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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    colton bachelor

    • "The Bachelor" returns on January 7 for its 23rd season, helmed by former professional football player Colton Underwood.
    • In honor of Underwood's new season, we've ranked every star of "The Bachelor," based on likability, quality of contestants, and the entertainment value of his season.
    • No, Arie Luyendyk, Jr. does not rank last. But he comes close.

    Reality TV juggernaut "The Bachelor" is returning for its 23rd season on January 7, with its 22nd Bachelor, Colton Underwood.

    It's hard to believe that this show has been on air for so long, plus that it's spawned a whopping five separate spin-offs, and more than a few wedding specials.

    To celebrate its much anticipated return we've ranked the Bachelors themselves, from fan-favorites like Ben Higgins to the universally hated Juan Pablo Galavis.

    Keep scrolling to see where your favorite man lands.

    21. Juan Pablo Galavis, season 18

    Could this have been anyone else? While many were initially delighted when Galavis was announced as the first Latino Bachelor back in 2013, things quickly deteriorated. Two weeks into the broadcast of his season, Galavis upset many when he stated that he believed that there shouldn't be a gay or bisexual Bachelor, though he later apologized and claimed his words were taken out of context.

    Galavis was also patronizing towards his contestants, repeatedly brushing off any of their concerns by saying "It's okay." Andi Dorfman, future star of "The Bachelorette" spin-off, left the show after Fantasy Suites, claiming that she "want[ed] to die" if she had to hear him say "it's okay" again.

    The season ended with runner-up Clare Crawley telling Galavis off because she felt that he had lead her on, and ended with her telling him "I would never want my children having a father like you." Galavis' reply? "I'm glad I didn't pick her."

    To top it all off, Galavis didn't even propose at the end of the season, instead offering winner Nikki Ferrell a final rose — the two broke up soon after.

    20. Arie Luyendyk, Jr., season 22

    Things started off rocky for Luyendyk when he was announced Bachelor, as his pick was met with a resounding "who?" The race car driver hadn't appeared on the franchise in six years, since his break-up with then-Bachelorette Emily Maynard. Plus, Bachelor Nation had been hoping that Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay's runner-up Peter Kraus would be named the new Bachelor.

    It was only downhill from there. Fans frequently complained about how boring Arie— and thus the season — was, and how it was unclear what Luyendyk actually wanted.

    But, of course, nothing will top the finale, in which painfully raw, unedited footage showed Luyendyk dumping his distraught winner and fiancée, future-Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, so he could reunite with runner-up Lauren Burnham. Though this wasn't the first time this happened — more on that later — it made Luyendyk persona non grata to Bachelor Nation, and even got him banned from Kufrin's home state of Minnesota.

    19. Jake Pavelka, season 14

    Pavelka's fall from grace is still astounding nine years later. The pilot's season, subtitled "On the Wings of Love," was highly anticipated since he was a fan-favorite on his season of "The Bachelorette."

    However, Bachelor Nation turned on him when he picked the season's villain, Vienna Girardi.

    The couple broke up not long after the show wrapped, putting fans through an excruciatingly uncomfortable break-up special, in which Girardi sobbed and called Pavelka emotionally abusive, while he screamed at her to stop interrupting him.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • During the winter of 2017, there were 2.1 million new affairs in the United States, according to data from married dating website Ashley Madison.
    • Ashley Madison polled its users to determine the US cities where cheating most often occurred at this time, and places like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Bloomington, Indiana made the list.
    • "A lot of times people living in smaller hubs spend a great deal of time traveling for work and use that time to connect with people who are not their spouse," Isabella Mise, director of communications for Ashley Madison, said in a release.

    With cold and dark winter months comes a tendency for couples to stay inside and get close in bed. And sometimes with someone other than your partner. Last winter, there were 2.1 million new affairs in the United States, according to data from married dating website Ashley Madison.

    To determine the top places where people cheat in the winter, Ashley Madison analyzed sign-up data between December 21, 2017 and March 20, 2018 to find the most popular places for wintertime extramarital affairs.

    Many of the places that made the list were smaller towns and cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Bloomington, Indiana.

    "A lot of times people living in smaller hubs spend a great deal of time traveling for work and use that time to connect with people who are not their spouse," Isabella Mise, director of communications for Ashley Madison, explained in a release.

    Here are the top 10 cities for cheating during the winter.

    Alexandria, Virginia

    The 10th most popular city for cheating in the winter months is Alexandria, Virginia. According to Paul Keable, Ashley Madison's vice president of communications, East Coast destinations like Alexandria were the most popular for wintertime affairs.

    Read more:6 people reveal why going on a dating hiatus may be your best tool in finding love

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the ninth most popular winter cheating location and with the city's cold temperatures during the winter months, it makes sense.

    "Having a warm body to snuggle up with in the winter allows people to avoid feeling devoid of the human and social interactions they mentally and physiologically crave," Caitlin Bergstein, a matchmaker for Three Day Rule, told Brit+Co when explaining why people tend to pair up more in the winter.

    Bloomington, Indiana

    Bloomington, Indiana ranked eighth on Ashley Madison's list. The city has a population of 85,000 and many live there while they attend Indiana University.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ringed seal

    • Climate change is changing our environment and ecosystems, and it's impacting many aquatic animals. 
    • Rising ocean temperatures, pollution, and the disappearance of low-lying beaches are altering the lives and safety of these aquatic animals. In 100 years, many species could go extinct or be highly endangered. 
    • Krill, blue whales, hawksbill turtles, and ringed seals, among others, are at risk of extinction in the next century as their food and habitats disappear.

    Climate change is already impacting a variety of ecosystems and environments around the world, putting vulnerable animals in danger of extinction or putting already endangered animals at even higher risk. There's still hope that these animals won't be wiped out completely by climate change-related impacts, but we'll need to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases and ramp up conservation efforts.

    Here are eight aquatic species that may no longer exist in 100 years due to climate change. 

    SEE ALSO: The most irreplaceable sites on Earth

    Pteropods may cease to exist in certain areas.

    The increased acidification of our oceans — which is happening as the water absorbs carbon dioxide — is already affecting shellfish. In some areas of the Pacific Ocean, the changing pH levels mean the shells of pteropods can no longer form properly.

    Pteropods are a type of small sea snail that fish like salmon and herring depend on for food. 

    A 2014 study published in the journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B" found that in certain areas off the US West Coast, the water has become corrosive to pteropod shells. As a result, pteropods, especially juvenile ones, could see their entire shell dissolve, which can be fatal.

    "By 2100, 50% of the oceans would no longer be viable for pteropods," Dr. Richard Freely, the study's co-author, told Vice

    The population of Hawaiian monk seal has been declining for quite some time.

    As ocean water warms, it expands. This is partially why sea levels are rising around the world — and projected to continue doing so throughout this century. Higher sea levels can lead some beaches to disappear.

    The Hawaiian Monk Seal has been severely affected by this loss of beach, as it spends about one-third of its time on land. The creatures are also suffering from a disease called toxoplasmosis, which originates in cats.

    The monk seal population is reportedly declining at 4% annually; it is estimated that fewer than 1,200 individual Hawaiian Monk Seals exist. Biologists predict the number willdip below 1,000 in the next three to four years, placing this species among the world's most endangered.

    The number of hawksbill turtles is also dwindling.

    Thehawksbill turtle is one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world. In addition to being threatened by the now-illegal tortoiseshell trade and boat strikes, climate change also puts this species at risk of extinction.

    In particular, the species could lose their habitat in areas where coral reef bleaching is occurring, likeAustralia, Indonesia, and the Maldives. As coral reefs continue to die, that eliminates some of the hawkbill's habitat, which means the turtle could be headed toward extinction. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ho Chi Minh City

    It might be less than a week into 2019, but it's never too early to start mapping out your travel plans for the new year. And don't worry if you're unsure of where to go.

    Travel website Kayak recently shared its list of the top trending travel destinations for 2019. The search engine analyzed more than 1.5 billion annual travel searches to find its data, and then compiled everything from hotel prices to weather statistics for each location.

    Spanning the globe from Mexico to Indonesia, these are the 10 trendiest travel spots of 2019, according to Kayak.

    10. Munich, Germany, will trend among tourists who love to view historic sights in the daytime, and indulge in fast-paced nightlife in the evening.

    Popular art galleries like SPERLING and Deborah Schamoni are likely to thank for the recent 34% increase in searches for Munich.

    9. Known for its beautiful beaches and daring hiking trails, Maui, Hawaii, has something for every type of traveler.

    If you're hoping to travel from the island's resorts to its museums and beaches, Kayak recommends renting a car. Of course, the island is large, and seeing Maui in its entirety might be difficult, but doing so will help you understand why searches for the spot have increased by 35%.


    8. Rome, Italy, has seen a 39% increase in searches, likely thanks to its rich history and opportunities for sightseeing.

    If you choose Rome as your destination of choice this year, don't be surprised to find a "service tax" on your receipt when dining. Tipping is not customary in Italy, so the fee is added in its place, according to Kayak.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Enameled Colander

    Williams Sonoma has just added hundreds of items to its semi-annual sale, so you can save on cooking tools you'll use on a regular basis.

    The sale covers everything from a basic rolling pin to a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, so there's definitely something for everyone and every budget. Best of all, most orders are eligible for free standard shipping if you use the promo code "FREESHIP" at checkout.

    To save you time, we looked through the whole sale and rounded up 20 deals that are actually worth checking out.

    And while Williams Sonoma is known for stocking high-end kitchen tools, a majority of the items below are available for less than $50, so you won't have to break the bank to give yourself a major kitchen upgrade this year.

    Keep reading for 20 great deals on kitchen essentials at Williams Sonoma's semi annual sale:

    SEE ALSO: 28 useful kitchen gadgets you can get under $25

    Cole & Mason Ardingly Faux Marble Salt & Pepper Mill

    $38.99 (originally $49.95) [You save $10.96]

    Rocket Ship Cocktail Shaker

    $39.95 (originally $59.99) [You save $20.04]

    Linen Double Hemstitch Table Runner

    $29.99 (originally $59.95) [You save $29.94]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    GettyImages 1076709050

    • The most diverse Congress in US history was sworn in on January 3, 2019. 
    • New Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi led the swear-in ceremony for House members. Vice President Mike Pence led the ceremony at the Senate. 
    • More than 100 women were sworn in as members of Congress today, a historic record. 

    SEE ALSO: What to watch for as the new Congress begins

    Nancy Pelosi was handed back the gavel by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

    She then administered the oath to the members of the 116th Congress.

    Pelosi received 220 votes and reassumed her role as Speaker.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iphone environment UI

    • Former Apple engineer Bob Burrough spent seven years working under Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.
    • Burrough uploaded a video to his YouTube channel on Tuesday, in which he introduced a new kind of iPhone interface that responds to your environment.
    • Apple — or any other phone manufacturer, for that matter — would be keen to try something like this for their own phone software, as it's a very cool visual effect. 

    To ring in the new year, former Apple engineer Bob Burrough uploaded a new video to his fledgling YouTube channel to show off a new idea he has for a smartphone interface.

    Burrough's "Project Erasmus" is a user-interface (UI) implementation that uses the lighting in your immediate environment to light, shade, and reflect on the software elements in the device. The result is an incredible, immersive visual effect that would make you want to use your phone even more (as if that's possible).

    Take a look.

    SEE ALSO: This guy made physical flip-flops out of Trump's contradictory tweets — and he sold out his entire inventory in less than a month

    Burrough created a small-screen application to show how Project Erasmus works.

    When he moves the phone around in the air, the buttons and elements on the screen react to the lighting of the room he's in, complete with shading and highlights.


    "It looks like the user-interface elements are physical objects that reside just beneath the surface of the screen, like you could reach in and touch them," Burrough said in the video.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    msc zoe 4

    • One of the world's largest container ships, the MSC Zoe, lost nearly 300 containers in a storm off the coast of the northwest coast of Germany late January 1 into early January 2.
    • Dozens of the containers have since landed on beaches in the Netherlands, where beachcombers have been taking home the loot — including TVs, My Little Pony dolls, and down jackets.
    • Officials in both Germany and the Netherlands have warned treasure hunters to stay away from the containers, since three of them contain hazardous materials and they haven't been located yet.

    A storm off the northwest coast of Germany caused one of the world's largest container ships to lose nearly 300 containers overnight on Tuesday.

    Since then, dozens of the containers have floated southwest and landed on beaches on nearby Dutch islands, where local laws allow locals to take the loot home.

    Beachcombers have been posting images of the treasure that washed ashore, which include IKEA furniture, My Little Pony dolls, and TVs.

    Photos of the beachcombing efforts are incredible.

    One of the world's largest container ships, the MSC Zoe, encountered a storm while sailing in the North Sea, near the German Island of Borkum, the night of January 1 and the morning of January 2.

    Source: Reuters

    Overnight, the rough waters caused the ship to lose up to 270 containers.

    Source: Kustwacht Nederland

    Dozens of the containers then floated southwest, washing ashore on the Frisian Islands (also called the Wadden Islands), a chain that protects the coast of the Netherlands.

    Source: Reuters

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Pelosi JFK

    • Despite first running for office at age 47, House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has managed to become the most powerful woman in Washington. 
    • It's been a long road, but with staggering fundraising skills and a political sixth-sense, Pelosi has managed to break gender barriers and force her way into the notorious Old Boys Club on Capitol Hill.
    • Here's how Pelosi became the most powerful elected woman in US history.

    SEE ALSO: Who's in and who's out of House committee leadership positions

    Pelosi grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of the Democratic Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro. As a young girl, she manager her father's book of who owed him political favors.

    Source: U.S. NewsNancy Pelosi Biography

    She attended her first Democratic National Convention at age 12. Here she is at age 20 with JFK at his inaugural ball.

    Source: Nancy Pelosi Biography

    Pelosi met her husband Paul at Georgetown. She was a mother of five by 1969, when the family moved to San Francisco. Paul worked as a banker, while Nancy raised their children and started a Democratic Party club at her home.

    Source: U.S. News

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    its always sunny in philadelphia cast

    • "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" has been around for 13 seasons.
    • The concept of "It's Always Sunny" was born out of a nightmare.
    • Most of the time, all the actors do their own stunts.

    It's hard to believe that the gang from Paddy's Pub has been around for a full 13 seasons. The group of overgrown degenerates has tackled the most controversial subjects and found a way to transform it into slapstick comedy.

    We rounded up some things you may not know about "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." 

    The concept of "It's Always Sunny" was born out of a nightmare.

    Rob McElhenney, who plays Mac, told Entertainment Weekly that the idea for the show actually came about through his "night terror" about a cancer-plagued man and his insensitive friend. By 2005, they create their pilot episode: which was tastefully titled, "Charlie Has Cancer."

    The "pilot" episode was made on a $100-$200 budget.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show's first ever episode was on an extremely tight budget — around $100-$200 (other sources have it at less than $100). Eventually, the video got a green light, thanks to FX general manager John Landgraf, and the budget was increased to $400,000, according to The LA Times.

    Most of the time, the actors do their own stunts.

    This one is pretty surprising, considering the fact that the gang usually ends up in some pretty dangerous situations. Kaitlin Olson told Yahoo News that during an episode for season four, she actually rammed her head into a car door.

    "They had a stunt double there, and I was like, 'Yeah, but you're going to watch [me] all the way out and then [the double] throw her body,'" Olson said. "I think that's part of the acting. I don't want someone else to do it for me. So, yeah, I needed to see a chiropractor many times afterwards, but whatever, it worked"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    classpass, choose your $

    No matter the year, the New Year's resolution cycle tends to look the same. Wake up on January 1 motivated and eager to achieve a set of goals for the new year, work towards these goals for a few weeks or so just to let them fizzle out come February. The short life cycle of New Year's resolutions is pretty common — according to one statistic, 80% of people give up on their resolutions in the first six weeks.

    While that number might seem bleak, making a New Year's resolution doesn't have to be a pointless pursuit. A little planning and the right tools are all you need to stay on top of your goals this year.

    Whether you're looking to adopt some healthier eating habits, save more money, or finally organize your apartment — we thought up some of the most common New Year's resolutions and found the products and services you can count on to help you conquer them this year. 2019, let's do this. 

    Kickoff 2019 with these products and services to help you keep up with these 7 popular New Year's resolutions:

    Eat healthier

    After an indulgent holiday season, there's no better time than January 1 to commit to eating a little healthier. Trading in pizza and takeout for more wholesome, fresh foods can seem daunting, but don't worry — there are plenty of ways to make healthy eating an attainable goal.  

    For many, prep and cooking time is the biggest hurdle to a healthier diet. Luckily, there are plenty of meal kit delivery services that do the grunt work for you. Blue Apron will deliver all of the pre-measured ingredients you need along with easy-to-follow recipes. If you're looking for an even more low-effort option, Daily Harvest has smoothies, soups, and other superfood meals that come ready-made. With these services, you'll always have healthy, fresh meals at your disposable.

    Check out our guide to the best meal kit delivery services

    Build your box of superfood meals at Daily Harvest, from $6.99 a meal

    Shop meal plans at Blue Apron, from $9.99 a serving




    Pick up a new skill or hobby

    You've been wanting to learn how to develop your own app but it never really felt like the right time. Maybe you want to brush up on your Spanish language skills that you haven't exercised since college. Whatever the case, picking up a new skill or hobby is a rewarding way to start the New Year.

    With an abundance of online classes in pretty much any category you could think of, right now learning something new is easier than ever. Take the leap and enroll in an online course. Udemy is one of our favorite e-learning platforms for the sheer variety of offerings — there are more than 80,000 online courses. With categories ranging from business and fitness, to design and personal development, there's no limit to what you can learn.

    Enroll in an online course at Udemy, from $9.99 a course

    Exercise more

    If kick-starting a workout routine is your goal, but you're not really sure where to start ClassPass is a great way to find out what kind of fitness works for you. A membership gives you the ability to try out a variety of boutique fitness classes in your area. So, you can do some yoga, kickboxing, or that new, trendy workout class everyone's been talking about. The ability to constantly mix up your workout routine will hopefully keep you motivated and excited.

    ClassPass monthly memberships begin at $19 a month (and note that pricing varies by location), but right now you can get an entire month for free. This New Year's deal is the perfect excuse to get up and moving. 

    Sign up for your free month trial at ClassPass here

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman eating salad juice smoothie

    • Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, whereas incomplete proteins are missing one or more.
    • It can be hard to know if you're getting good quality protein in your diet.
    • INSIDER found out what the differences are between complete and incomplete proteins .

    When it comes to a healthy diet, a lot of emphasis is placed on the quantity of protein in food, but not so much on the quality. The terms "complete" and "incomplete" protein refer to the quality of protein in a food and the types of amino acids it includes.

    INSIDER corresponded with Perri Halperin, MS, RD, a dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, about what these terms mean, and how they should play into your own nutrition.

    Proteins are made up of amino acids.

    Amino acids are the units that make up all proteins, and the human body can produce several of them on its own. The rest have to come from diet.

    "Of the approximately 20 known amino acids, nine of them—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine—cannot be made or modified by the body and must come from food," Halperin said.

    These nine are called essential amino acids. The rest are called "nonessential" not because they lack importance, Halperin explained, but because the body can produce them or synthesize them from other compounds independently.


    Animal products tend to be complete proteins.

    Animal products, such as chicken, eggs, dairy, and seafood, tend to be complete proteins made up of all nine essential amino acids, but there are a number of complete proteins that are plant-based as well, including quinoa, buckwheat, and soy

    Incomplete proteins tend to be plant-based.

    Incomplete proteins tend to be plant-based and are either low, or lacking, in one or more of these amino acids, making the protein imbalanced.

    Examples of incomplete protein are rice and vegetables. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • INSIDER recently talked to four wedding experts and planners to find out how wedding trends will change in 2019.
    • Food stations are expected to get smaller, as more couples focus on reducing waste at their weddings.
    • Many couples will gravitate toward minimalistic bridal dresses and bouquets.
    • Cakes will make a big return to the spotlight, after years of being overshadowed by alternative desserts.
    • And wedding decor will feature more personalized touches.

    From more inclusive menus to less formal receptions, weddings are changing in several major ways this year.

    We recently talked to four wedding experts and planners to find out what wedding guests can expect in 2019.

    Below, find out which trends are on their way out and which are making a comeback.

    In 2019, menus will become more inclusive.

    Amy Shey Jacobs, the founder of Chandelier Events, told INSIDER that she works with many vegetarian or vegan couples who want their menus to reflect their values and dietary lifestyles.

    "It used to be that a lot of venues didn't have a vegetarian option listed on the menu," Jacobs said. "It was the silent option. It was the secret you whispered to the server."

    She continued: "I think that's very old-fashioned and non-inclusive now."

    As couples become increasingly considerate of guests with dietary restrictions, expect to see more interesting options like zucchini noodles or cauliflower steaks, Jacobs said.



    Mobile desserts will take over for large decadent displays.

    Extravagant dessert displays may sound amazing in theory, but they're not as great in practice, Jacobs said.

    "[Dessert rooms] can pull people off the dance floor right when they're getting cooking," she explained.

    According to Jacobs, more couples are serving desserts on carts or passable trays, so guests can keep the party going.

    Signature cocktails will give way to signature bars.

    "Mixology is increasingly available and desirable by couples," Jacobs said. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sitting sweatpants

    • Sweatpants that are fitted can make your look appear more polished.
    • Adding jewelry or a nice coat can elevate your look.
    • Sweatpants that are silk or velvet can add a fancy twist to your outfit. 

    Sweatpants may have once been something to wear to bed or to lounge around the house in, but that's no longer the case and the runways and street style of celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner are proof.

    You can easily dress sweats up and make them a look a lot more stylish than you ever thought they could be, creating an outfit you can wear whether you're going out with friends or heading to the office.

    Here are 13 stylish and easy ways to dress up sweatpants. 

    Choose sweatpants that are fitted rather than baggy.

    If you're looking to dress up your look, the fit of your sweats can make a huge difference. Baggy sweats may be cozy, but they can be more difficult to dress up. On the other hand, fitted pairs, like leggings or joggers, will be easier to style. Pick a pair that fits well and feels comfortable.

    Pair them with a trendy coat or blazer.

    Instead of reaching for a sweatshirt when heading outside, wear your sweatpants with a blazer or coat that will immediately make them look more put together. Think a long belted trench, a leather jacket, or a more casual denim jacket. The coat will give the sweats a more dressed up feel than a sweatshirt might. 

    Take some time to style other parts of your look, like your hair.

    When you're trying to dress up sweatpants, the rest of your look can make quite a difference. An outfit of sweats, sneakers, and a simple top may look more casual if your hair is in a messy bun or loose ponytail. But if your hair is more styled, it can make the rest of your outfit look more dressed up and intentional.

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    best exercise ball

    • A flat exercise ball is as worthless as that idle exercise machine you currently use to hang laundry.
    • If you want a thick-walled exercise ball that holds air well even after it's been punctured, the TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball will deliver.

    Exercise balls have been around for a long time, but not everyone is a believer. After all, how can a big round ball be safe for sitting on or using as an exercise tool that’ll help maintain your balance and support your weight? Or maybe you are like me, and every time you see one, you want to let your inner child try to kick the giant ball over the roof of your house.

    The truth is exercise balls may look silly, but they work for a host of exercises where you need flexible support. Even though the exercise balls are round, they’ll give you a base that’s more solid than you might think.

    If you can prevent your dog from chasing it or your kids from borrowing it for a neighborhood game of giant dodgeball, you’ll be impressed by the benefits an exercise ball can provide.

    Even though it may go against everything you’ve been taught, a round object can provide impressive stability. Your weight compresses the ball to give it a flatter, more stable edge. It certainly isn’t as stable as a chair, but it’s more stable than you might expect it to be.

    Exercise balls are great for everything from active seating in the office to working out at the gym. That's why we've done the research to find the best ones you can buy.

    Here are the best exercise balls you can buy:

    Updated on 01/04/2019: Updated prices and formatting.

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

    SEE ALSO: The best foam rollers you can buy to relieve your muscles

    The best exercise ball overall

    Why you'll love it: The TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball holds air better than most exercise balls — even if it’s punctured.

    One common complaint among exercise ball fans is the inability of the ball to hold air over time. As air ekes out of the ball, it loses its firmness and becomes difficult to use. Luckily, the TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball is one of the thickest-walled balls you can buy, and it holds air longer than most of the competition.

    Even if it’s punctured, the ball will deflate very slowly, allowing you to finish your exercise session. In its review, the Garage Gym Builder says this patented slow deflation technology is a great feature that ensures your safety while exercising with the ball.

    Because the Theraband Exercise Ball retains air so well, you won't have to reinflate it that often, which is a very good thing because this ball does take quite a bit of time to inflate in the first place. In fact, one Amazon buyer says the TheraBand ball is difficult to inflate properly.

    The ability of this exercise ball to hold air well and maintain its shape gives it a firm feeling that other exercise balls cannot match, according to one Amazon reviewer, and many other reviewers agree.

    The TheraBand ball has just the right type of surface for grip-ability, says The Wirecutter, because it isn't too slippery or sticky. Gym Gear Info also likes the durability of the TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball, which is also latex and phthalate free.

    The exercise ball is available in four sizes from 45 cm to 75 cm and it comes in a few colors.

    Pros: Maintains its shape and holds air better than other exercise balls, includes a slow deflate technology if the ball is punctured, extremely firm, has a good surface for just the right amount of grip, offered in four sizes

    Cons: Takes a long time to inflate, no inflation pump included, only one color per size

    Buy the TheraBand Exercise and Stability Ball on Amazon for $20 to $50 (price varies by color)

    The best portable exercise ball

    Why you'll love it: The DynaPro Exercise Ball is extremely durable and will hold its air pressure nicely, but it’s also portable, thanks to its easy-to-carry hand pump.

    When you’re looking for an exercise ball you can take with you anywhere, the DynaPro Exercise Ball is a good idea. It ships with a hand pump and inflates faster than many other balls, so you can be ready to use it within several minutes.

    The ball is available in four sizes, ranging from 45 cm to 75 cm, and it features slight ribs around the circumference of the ball to ensure a steady grip. You can get it in a few fun colors, including pink, blue, silver, gray, and black.

    In its review, Thoroughly Reviewed says the DynaPro ball is great for gym goers because you can quickly inflate it anywhere with the included pump.

    Like many exercise balls, you can also use it for active seating in your office. One Amazon buyer says the DynaPro exercise ball is a perfect option for using as a substitute for a desk chair, because unlike most exercise balls, it’s available in gray or black, which fits in better with an office setting than a brightly colored ball. 

    This is a tough, durable exercise ball, too. The Garage Gym Builder points out that it has a 2,000-pound burst rating. The ball will also slowly deflate if it ever suffers a puncture, allowing you to finish your workout safely.

    Many reviewers even favorably compare the DynaPro to the high-quality exercise balls you’d find at an athletic club.

    However, the ball cannot be inflated fully the first time you use it. You’ll have to inflate it fully after it’s had 2-3 days to stretch out. Additionally, a few Amazon reviewers say the DynaPro ball is not as firm as it should be to provide the proper support for exercising.

    Pros: Good price point, easy to fill while on the go because of included hand pump, very durable material in the ball, prevents fast leaks when it suffers a puncture, available in four sizes and four different colors

    Cons: Cannot fully inflate the ball the first time you use it, firmness level of the ball seems below average

    Buy the DynaPro Exercise Ball on Amazon for $17.99 to $29.99 (price varies by size and color)

    The best tough exercise ball

    Why you'll love it: The Live Infinitely Exercise Ball receives high marks for its durability and ability to stand up to tough workouts.

    We don’t expect anyone to routinely put 2,200 pounds of pressure on the Live Infinitely Exercise Ball, but if you do, you can feel comfortable that this tough exercise ball can stand up to the pressure.

    If you’re looking for a tough exercise ball that’s also really large, the Live Infinitely model is one of the few that comes in five sizes ranging from 55 cm to 95 cm. You can also choose between five colors, including blue, green, gray, purple, and silver.

    In its review, Runner Click liked the durability and high burst weight rating of the Live Infinitely ball, even though it carries only an average price point. This ball stands up well to rough workouts, according to one Amazon reviewer, and performs well under stress.

    The ball ships with a detailed exercise e-book, which Empower Moms says is a great feature for helping you learn to use the ball properly. The Lifevest also likes all of the online tools you gain access to when you buy a Live Infinitely ball, as well as the high-quality materials used in the construction of this ball.

    As for downsides, a few Amazon reviewers say fully inflating the Live Infinity Exercise Ball is extremely difficult.

    Pros: Excellent price point, durable and tough exercise ball that can withstand 2,200 pounds of weight, available in a diameter as large as 95 cm, five color and five size options, includes a large library of online exercise guides

    Cons: There is no 45 cm diameter size option in this model, difficult to fully inflate this ball

    Buy the Live Infinitely Exercise Ball on Amazon for $25.90 (95 cm), $23.90 (85 cm), $22.90 (75 cm), $20.90 (65 cm), and $14.90 (55 cm)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    blake nordstrom

    • Blake Nordstrom, one of the co-presidents of Nordstrom, Inc., died on Wednesday at 58.
    • He had been diagnosed with lymphoma in December. 
    • Blake Nordstrom's brothers, Pete and Erik Nordstrom, will continue to lead the company as co-presidents.  
    • The Nordstrom family has owned the retailer since it was founded in 1901. 

    Blake Nordstrom of Nordstrom, Inc. died on Wednesday at 58, the company announced in a press release

    Nordstrom was a co-president and heir of Nordstrom Inc., which was founded by his great-grandfather.

    Blake Nordstrom's brothers, Pete and Erik Nordstrom, will continue to lead the company as co-presidents. 

    Nordstrom, initially a shoe store, was founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin in Seattle in 1901. John Nordstrom handed down the shoe store to his three sons, and over time it grew from a local Seattle business to the largest independent shoe store chain in the US. The second generation of Nordstroms focused on expanding into women's clothing throughout the 1960s, starting with the acquisition of Seattle-based Best's Apparel in 1963

    In 1971, the third generation of Nordstroms took the company public before opening the clearance outlet Nordstrom Rack in 1973. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, expansion of the now-department store continued nationwide. In 1995, the third generation of Nordstroms stepped down, passing the store to their sons.

    The fourth generation of Nordstroms — Blake, Pete, and Erik — took Nordstrom digital in 1998, launching

    Here's how the Nordstroms built their empire: 

    SEE ALSO: After Blake Nordstrom's death, people are sharing stories of how the department-store heir touched their lives

    Nordstrom was founded as a shoe store by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin in Seattle in 1901.

    Source: Nordstrom

    In 1923, the partners opened a second store in Seattle's University District.

    John Nordstrom retired and sold his share to his sons Everett and Elmer in 1928. A year later, Wallin retired and sold his share of the company to the Nordstrom sons. In 1933, John's third son, Lloyd, joined the team as well.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    samsung space monitor

    • Samsung's new Space Monitor uses an arm that clamps to your desk instead a traditional monitor stand.
    • It's designed to save the space that a regular monitor stand takes up.
    • The monitor is available in two models: a $400 27-inch QHD version and a $500 32-inch 4K version.

    Samsung has come up with a fresh new design for monitors that should've been done years ago.

    The Samsung Space Monitor replaces the traditional monitor stand with an arm that clamps on to the back of your desk. In effect, Samsung is letting you use the desk space that would otherwise be taken up by the screen's stand.

    The amount of space that a monitor stand uses up probably isn't something that crosses minds very often, but I've become a convert after buying a clamping monitor arm a couple years ago for my monitor at home.

    The arm I bought was a separate third-party attachment and they've been around for some time, but they're not especially easy to install and set up. It's good to see monitors that come with built-in clamping arms as standard.

    Spec-wise, the Samsung Space Monitor comes in two models. The 27-inch model sports a QHD (1440p) resolution and is priced at $400. The larger, 32-inch model sports a 4k UHD (2160p) resolution and is priced at $500. Both models are available for preorder from Amazon with a released date of February 23.

    Check out Samsung's Space Monitor:

    SEE ALSO: The futuristic LG TV that rolls itself in and out of a box could hit living rooms in 2019 — check it out in action

    Samsung's Space Monitor is designed to clamp on to your desk, eliminating the need for a traditional stand that takes up space.

    It's designed to let you use the desk space that would usually be taken up by a traditional monitor stand.

    Samsung's example here is a little embellished, where the desk with the traditional monitor stand is incredibly messy while the desk with the Space Monitor is spotlessly clean. If your desk is typically messy, the Space Monitor might simply give you more space for more stuff to clutter your desk.

    You can position Samsung's Space Monitor against the wall, hovering in the air, or flush against your desk.


    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.

    burrow 2

    If you want an idea of which new startups are going to make it big in a few years, look no further than the portfolios of Silicon Valley's biggest venture capital firms and start-up accelerators. 

    Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Bessemer Ventures, and 500 Startups are among the most recognizable names in the Valley because of their history of success with e-commerce startups and ability to place their fingers on the pulse of consumer retail trends. 

    A number of our favorite direct-to-consumer companies and online services are funded in part by these firms, and we're not surprised.

    In an environment filled with startups trying to convince investors that they're disrupting stagnant industries, it's only the ones with truly strong products and growth potential that cut through the noise and earn their investments. 

    Learn more about the firms backing the best e-commerce startups, from the unicorns to the companies that are just getting started. 

    Rent the Runway

    Rent designer dresses at Rent the Runway here

    Recently named one of the most innovative companies in the world, Rent the Runway makes it convenient and cost-effective for women to dress for work, special events, and everyday life. You can rent single pieces or refresh your wardrobe every month through its subscription options. 

    Investors include: Kleiner Perkins

    Total funding amount: $416.2 million 


    Book an accommodation through Airbnb here

    This Y Combinator startup has come a long way since 2009 and has raised an incredible amount of funding. You already know you can book homes anywhere in the world at affordable rates through Airbnb, but you can also find unique experiences like intimate concerts and art walk tours.

    Investors include: Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Y Combinator 

    Total funding amount: $4.4 billion 


    Shop sofas at Burrow here

    Burrow's easy-to-assemble, modular couches fulfill our desire for simple furniture that can keep up with all the activity and changes in our life, from messy movie nights to cross-country apartment moves. 

    Investors include: Y Combinator, NEA 

    Total funding amount: $19.2 million 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Whole Foods

    • Some products at Whole Foods can be a great deal and healthy for you, while other items are either expensive, nutrition-lacking, or both.
    • Here, several food experts and nutritionists list 25 items you should buy at Whole Foods and 25 items you should avoid. 


    While the company has worked to combat its "whole paycheck"stigma, Whole Foods can still cost you a pretty penny. But that tide is changing in the wake of its 2017 Amazon deal.

    If you shop right, you can not only save money at the high-end supermarket chain, but you can eat healthier food that's actually delicious.

    Unfortunately, if you're not careful, you can also be duped into spending big bucks on artery-clogging treats (processed cookies are still cookies even if they're organic).

    We spoke to several food experts and nutritionists to compile this list of what to buy and what to skip at Whole Foods.

    SEE ALSO: 10 'As Seen On TV' cooking products that actually work

    Buy: Eden Foods sauerkraut

    Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that colonize our digestive systems, and they're found in fermented foods like sauerkraut. They're great for healthy digestion.

    "Boost your intake [of probiotics] with foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, brine cured olives, miso soup, and tempeh," said Melissa Litwak, a registered dietitian and founder of Chickpeas and Chocolate. "Whole Foods has a great selection to choose from, including well-priced sauerkraut by Eden Foods."

    Skip: Salads from the salad bar

    We'd all love to be Martha Stewart in the kitchen (but who even has that kind of time!), so we're the first to see the appeal in Whole Foods' salad bar. That convenience, however, can prove expensive.

    "If you want to make it a robust salad stuffed with veggies other than lettuce, you'll pay a pretty penny — about $8 to $9 per pound, which can easily turn a salad that costs you $5 to make at home into a $25 splurge,"said The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, nutritionists and authors of "The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure."

    Buy: Organic bok choy

    You can always count on Whole Foods for good quality and variety when it comes to produce.

    "They typically carry both regular and baby bok choy on their shelves and for good reason," Litwak said. "Cruciferous vegetables like this one are highly concentrated in vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. They're also full of fiber, providing good fuel for your intestinal bacteria."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    1TopRatedHotel NewYorkCity Beekman (38 of 45)

    • Condé Nast Traveller 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 Traveller 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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