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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Edward Lampert

    • Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.
    • Lampert owns three homes, including one on the "billionaire bunker" island in Florida, and a $130 million yacht.
    • Lampert is a member of the ultraexclusive Skull and Bones society at Yale University.
    • In 2003, he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint — and negotiated his way free.

    Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has had an eventful career.

    With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Lampert was once hailed as a genius hedge-fund manager and the next Warren Buffett. He's a member of Yale's ultraexclusive Skull and Bones secret society, along with three former presidents, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was his college roommate.

    He also managed to save Kmart from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, but not before he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint for 30 hours in a Connecticut hotel. He reportedly talked his captors into releasing him, then capped off the Kmart deal a week later.

    Now, after Lampert merged Kmart with Sears, the department store is on the brink of liquidation.

    Lampert has been criticized for his management of Sears, which he reportedly runs from his sprawling $38 million estate in a wealthy Florida community known as "billionaire bunker." The executive also owns houses in Connecticut and Colorado — not to mention a $130 million yacht.

    Read on to see how Sears' embattled chairman made — and spends — his $1 billion fortune.

    SEE ALSO: Sears is getting one last chance to save itself from oblivion

    DON'T MISS: Inside Sears' death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy

    Eddie Lampert, 56, is the chairman of Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart.

    Source: Forbes



    Lampert's net worth is an estimated $1 billion, and he hasn't been shy about spending: He owns three sprawling homes and a $130 million yacht.

    Source: Business Insider



    But Lampert wasn't always this wealthy. Although he grew up in an affluent family in Roslyn, New York, his life changed at age 14 when his father, a successful attorney, died of a heart attack. Lampert helped his family make ends meet by taking jobs at warehouses stocking shelves and packing boxes.

    Source:CNN



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hyundai Motor Co car with legs

    • The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas features more than 4,400 exhibitors showcasing the very latest in gizmos, gadgets, and doodads.
    • This year, more than 180,000 people are attending CES. 
    • Some wacky technology has been on display thus far, including a Lamborghini-themed massage chair and cars with foldable legs. 

    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the place where companies like LG, Samsung, and Sony show off their latest TVs, laptops, and other state-of-the-art high tech. 

    But it's also the place where some of the weirdest and wildest gadgetry gets its time in the spotlight. 

    Lamborghini-themed massage chairs, cars with foldable legs, and Roomba-like lawn mowers are just a few of the bizarre products seen thus far at the world's largest tech show. 

    Read more:Here's all the major tech we're expecting at CES 2019, the biggest tech convention of the year

    Things haven't quite escalated to the degree it hit last year, where a pole-dancing robot performed at a nearby gentleman's club. But you never know — CES doesn't end until Friday. 

    Here are the 33 best and wackiest photos from CES 2019 thus far: 

    LG unveils its futuristic Signature OLED TV that rolls-up with the press of a button.



    These LG OLED TV screens were used to create a colorful light display for attendees.



    The Bodyfriend LBF-750 is a Lamborghini-themed massage chair.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Drive FilmDistrict

    On Thursday, Amazon’s movie and TV database, IMDb, unveiled its free streaming video channel, IMDb Freedive

    The ad-supported channel is available on the IMDb site or through Amazon Fire TV devices, and is the latest destination where you can watch a collection of movies and TV shows for free, like Crackle or the Roku Channel.

    We looked through its current library of movies and it’s not too shabby.

    Along with TV shows like "Fringe" and "Heroes," there are a bunch of movies ranging from the 1980s ("Body Double,""Short Circuit") to the mid 2010s ("Blue Jasmine,""Drive").

    Here are 31 movies on Freedive we think are worth your time:

    SEE ALSO: The 43 biggest movies coming out in 2019, which could propel the box office to another record-breaking year

    “1941” (1979)

    It's the movie that showed Steven Spielberg he wasn't bulletproof. After making "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" he made this comedy (penned by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis) set in California days after the invasion of Peal Harbor, as hysteria is high that a similar attack could happen on American soil (sound hilarious, right?). With a huge cast of known stars at the time (Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, Nancy Allen, John Candy), the movie is an interesting watch at something going off the rails before your eyes.  



    “2 Days in Paris” (2007)

    An underappreciated gem of the early 2000s, Julie Delpy directs, writes, and stars in this dramedy starring opposite Adam Goldberg as a couple trying to rekindle their relationship in Paris. The problem is, because it's the hometown of Delpy's character, everywhere they go she runs into old boyfriends. Then there's Delpy's real-life father playing her dad in the movie, who steals every scene.



    “Awakenings” (1990)

    One of the best in the filmography of the late Penny Marshall, Robin Williams plays a doctor who discovers that a new drug awakens patients of his who were catatonic. Robert De Niro plays one of those patients, and the two give incredible performances as a friendship builds while De Niro's character tries to get a handle on the world after decades of being in a hospital bed. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    eagle crest estate

    • A $180 million lottery winner is selling a massive California mountain estate for $26 million.
    • It includes a 16,000-square-foot house with a sauna, a 17-seat movie theater, a three-story elevator, and a 4,000-square-foot garage. 
    • The estate also comes with a fully operational buffalo ranch and a four-star steakhouse and saloon.

     

    A lottery winner is selling a massive California mountain estate for $26 million.

    The sprawling estate sits on 845 acres near the town of Oak Glen and includes a 16,000-square-foot house with a sauna, a 17-seat movie theater, a three-story elevator, and a 4,000-square-foot garage. 

    Rick Knudsen won the $180 million California Mega Millions jackpot in 2014, quit his job, and bought the house — which was still under construction — for $5.5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. He went on to buy an adjacent buffalo ranch and another swath of land, piecing together 845 acres in total. The estate also includes commercial property in the nearby town of Oak Glen, where he established a steakhouse and saloon.

    The Eagle Crest Estate, listed with Craig Strong at Pacific Union International, is described as "the embodiment of natural luxury within an expansive mountainside setting."

    Here's a look at the massive estate.

    SEE ALSO: Shaq is selling his lakeside Florida mansion for $22 million, and it comes with a 17-car garage and a 6,000-square-foot basketball court — here's a look inside

    DON'T MISS: Jeff Bezos and his family own at least 6 massive properties across the US. Here's a look at the homes, from a sprawling Seattle estate to a set of historic NYC condos

    A lottery winner is selling his 16,000-square-foot mountain home that sits on 845 acres on Little San Gorgonio Mountain in Oak Glen, California, for $26 million.

    Source: Eagle Crest



    The owner, Rick Knudsen, won the $180 million California Mega Millions jackpot in 2014, quit his job, and bought the $5.5 million home, which wasn't yet finished and sat on about 50 acres at the time.

    Source: Wall Street Journal



    Knudsen went on to spend millions more on an adjacent 155-acre buffalo ranch and another 640-acre piece of land, as well as a steakhouse and saloon in town. It cost him about $11.5 million total.

    Source: Wall Street Journal



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jake Thomas Patterson (left) and Jayme Closs (right)

    • Jayme Closs was found on January 11, 2019, after going missing in October 2018.
    • Even though it's rare, Closs isn't the first missing child to reappear after getting abducted.

     

    Jayme Closs' parents were found dead in their home on October 15, 2018 — their 13-year-old daughter Jayme was nowhere to be found.

    She was found three months later over an hour away from home. She approached a woman walking her dog and was eventually able to get in contact with the police.

    While many missing people, tragically, stay missing or are presumed dead, sometimes they reappear after a few weeks, months, or even years.

    Here are nine more children who eventually returned home.

    Jayme Closs was found after 87 days after she vanished from her home, on a street 70 miles away.

    13-year-old Closs went missing from her Wisconsin home on October 15, the same night her parents were found fatally shot inside. Closs herself was quickly ruled out as a suspect.

    For months, authorities"pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme," and "led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search on October 23," to no avail.

    However, on January 10, Closs was found outside the small town of Gordon, about an hour away from her home. According to CNN, Gordon resident Kristin Kasinskas was at home when her neighbor pounded on the door and explained that she had found Closs. The neighbor said that Closs approached her while she was walking her dog, and was so unnerved that she refused to say her name.

    A suspect in the deaths of her parents and her kidnapping has already been taken into custody. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced at a press conference on January 11 that 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson is being held on the charges of homicide for the murder of Closs' parents, as well as for her kidnapping.

     



    Elizabeth Smart was found nine months after she was kidnapped in 2003.

    Smart was 14 years old when 48-year-old drifter Brian David Mitchell broke into her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002. He took her to an encampment in the woods outside of Salt Lake City, and introduced her to his wife and accomplice, Wanda Barzee.

    For nine months, she was repeatedly abused and raped.

    Apparently, Smart was taken into public by Mitchell and Barzee a few times, wearing a wig and a veil. Once, they were questioned by the police, but claimed the veils were due to religious beliefs.

    The breakthrough in the case came in October 2002, when Smart's sister Mary Katherine, who had witnessed the initial kidnapping, suddenly recognized the voice of her sister's kidnapper as a man named Immanuel that the family had employed briefly to rake leaves and do some roof repair. A sketch of Immanuel was publicized, and eventually led to the arrest of Mitchell and Barzee in March 2003. Barzee was later sentenced to 15 years in prison, but released in September 2018. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison.



    Jaycee Dugard was missing for 18 years before being rescued.

    Dugard was grabbed off the street ner her home in South Lake Tahoe, California, on June 10, 1991, when she was 11 years old. Her captors were Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Bocanegra. Garrido had previously been in jail for 12 years for the rape of another woman. 

    Dugard was kept in a shed in the backyard of Garrido's home, three hours away from her home in Antioch County, California. Garrido and his wife abused her and raped her for years, resulting in two daughters.

    Garrido was caught when he showed up at the UC Berkeley campus with his two daughters in 2001 to request permission to hold a special event. His erratic behavior led to a police officer to request a meeting with him, Bocanegra, Dugard, and the two children. Although Dugard introduced herself as Alissa, the truth was eventually revealed by Garrido under questioning.

    Bocanegra was sentenced to 36 years to life, and Garrido received 431 years.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    empty paris

    • A number of major cities have joined the "car-free" movement, which aims to reduce air pollution and improve safety among residents.
    • Most cities that are starting to ban cars are located in Europe, though a few others, such as New York, are making considerable strides. 
    • In addition to implementing outright bans, cities have enacted measures to encourage cycling and make public spaces more pedestrian-friendly. 

    As small cities successfully implement plans to ditch their vehicles, many large urban areas are determined to follow in their footsteps.

    The idea of a car-free city is not without its challenges. Though bikes and public transit are widely available in most cities, cars remain a preferred method of transportation for many urban commuters.

    Studies have shown that it's notoriously difficult to change a driver's commuting habits, even when free public transit is involved. 

    The alternative is high levels of car pollution, which contributes to around 20% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. An Oxford study found that around 10,000 people die prematurely in Europe each year due to pollution from diesel cars alone.

    Here are some of the major cities that are determined to improve health and safety by banning cars.

    Madrid banned older cars from its city center.

    In December, Madrid began restricting access to gas-powered vehicles made prior to 2000 and diesel vehicles made prior to 2006. Exceptions are currently being made for cars with a private parking spot that are registered in advance. Come 2020, older diesel and gas-powered cars won't be allowed to enter at all.

    Older diesel and gas-powered taxis will have until 2022 before the ban goes into effect, while hybrid vehicles with an "eco label" are granted free reign. Any car that's found in violation of the new rules will have to pay a fine of around $100. 

    On its first day, the ban successfully cut traffic on Madrid's busiest street by a third. The city expects the ban to impact around 20% of the cars entering its urban core.

    Read more:Madrid’s ban on cars cut traffic on its busiest street by a third — and other cities are cracking down



    In Paris, the first Sunday of every month is free of cars.

    A 2018 study found that Paris has the second worst air quality among 13 European cities, behind Moscow, but ahead of London. 

    The city's major, Anne Hidalgo, has made it a personal mission to improve pollution levels by imposing numerous restrictions on vehicles. Cars made before 1997 have been banned from the city center on weekdays, and the city plans to limit select streets to electric cars by 2020. 

    Hidalgo recently declared the first Sunday of every month car-free from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the urban core — a rule that's already been established in other parts of the city.



    New York City banned cars from Central Park.

    New York City's car-free initiatives may lag behind those in European cities, but they're still far ahead of the curve in the US.

    In addition to creating permanent, pedestrian-only zones in popular areas like Times Square, Herald Square, and Madison Square Park, the city has banned cars from the internal streets of Central Park, which receives around 42 million visitors each year. 

    "This park was not built for automobiles," Mayor Bill de Blasio said while announcing the plan in April. "It was built for people."

    The city also built more protected bike lanes in 2018, though there's some controversy over whether it exaggerated the scope of its efforts.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Arianna Huffington

    • Some successful people take long breaks from email and digital technology (or don't use them at all).
    • Still, they manage to be rockstars in fields like tech, finance, and fashion.
    • Below, see nine of those people, including John Paul DeJoria, who doesn't use computers, and Karlie Kloss, who takes a weekly digital detox.

    When you're the founder or CEO of a company, it's a given that people are going to be vying for your time and attention. It's your choice how to respond.

    Some of those CEOs and founders opt to be glued to their phones all day, checking email and the news. Others opt to limit the energy they devote to digital technology, going hours, days, and sometimes weeks without checking in.

    Below, we've listed nine successful people who have spoken publicly about digital detoxing, checking out, and going off the grid. Read on to find out how and why they do it: 

    SEE ALSO: 6 executives who make a point of leaving the office before dark

    Hinge CEO Justin McLeod disconnects from work for a week or two at a time

    McLeod, who founded dating app Hinge, recently deleted the email app from his phone. He's found himself to be a happier person.

    "I'm a much better decision-maker, I'm a much better strategist, I'm a much better leader when I'm not wrapped up in the minutia of what's going on in the company and what's going on in the world," McLeod told Business Insider. "I'm giving myself the space."

    He also tries to disconnect from work for one or two weeks every year. "That helps me clarify my thoughts, when I'm not sucked up in the instant day-to-day operations of Hinge," McLeod said.



    Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff completely unplugged for 2 weeks

    CNBC reports that in July 2018, Benioff mailed his iPhone and iPad to his summer home in Hawaii — then left for a two-week vacation in the Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora and Easter Island.

    Benioff has long been a proponent of meditation, mindfulness, and seeing the world with a "beginner's mind," a concept from Zen Buddhism that describes constantly seeing the world anew, as if you didn't know anything about it.

    While meditating and taking calls exclusively by landline that summer, Benioff realized he was too busy and decided to bring on a co-CEO.



    Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington tucks her phone into bed at night

    Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global (and previously, HuffPost) has for years been championing sleep as the key to success. So perhaps it's no surprise that she advocates keeping your phone out of your bedroom, like she does.

    In a Medium interview, Huffington said she puts her phone "to bed." She added, "Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away in order to sleep: our to-do lists, our inboxes, the demands of the world. Charging your phone away from your bed makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone."

    And she never checks her phone first thing in the morning.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Muse meditation device

    • Of all the health tech gadgets I've ever owned, one of them has been life changing for me, a meditation device called Muse. 
    • I've been using the new version, Muse 2, for a few months. It offers more types of meditation: mind, heartbeat, breath and stillness.
    • This device taught me how to go from anxious to relaxed and sleepy in less than 10 minutes.

    I love health tech gadgets. But my infatuation typically fades when the novelty wears off (looking at you, Fitbit).

    There's one device I've been using for almost three years that has truly changed my life. And the company recently released a newer version with more features.

    It's called Muse. It's a meditation sensing device. Muse uses audio feedback to guide you into a super calm, focused state. As you quiet your mind, the feedback — wind/weather sounds — grows quieter until you hear birds chirp.

    The updated device, Muse 2, has added a bunch of new forms of meditation: body movement, heart rate sensing, breath sensing. Each one is better than the last.

    Read: I went to the biggest tech show in the world after not going for the past 7 years — and the tech I saw was shockingly old news

    This device and its accompanying app has taught me how to become truly calm on command, teaching me to go from anxious to settled, still, calm, focused, relaxed and then to sleepy — often in less than 10 minutes and sometimes in less than 5.

    I not only sleep better, I sleep better when traveling or in noisy conditions. I can also calm myself if I feel panicky which happens when I'm stressed or overtired. 

    I've been using Muse 2 for a couple of months and I've found a whole new level of mental peace.

    SEE ALSO: 44 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2019

    Muse gives you realtime feedback that teaches you to actually meditate, as opposed to trying to relax with your mind running in the background.

    I had taken meditation classes before and thought I knew how to do it.

    But the device showed me there's a difference between sitting quietly thinking my mind was blank, and actually being relaxed and focused. 



    The feedback is realtime and audio.

    You can choose from beach, rainforest, desert or city noises, whatever calms you. The feedback sounds like wind/weather.

    When you mind gets more active, the wind gets louder, nudging you relax your body and clear your mind and focus on your breath.

    When your mind is truly quiet, you hear birds. There's a game element, too. You are awarded points for your meditation achievements.



    Quieting my mind is easier said than done. Muse offers a series of lessons that helped.

    There are introductory lessons on various forms of meditation: quieting the mind, breathing exercises, listening to your heartbeat, sitting in stillness.

    You can also do a few meditation lessons from experts like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joel and Michelle Levy.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    clean market nyc

    • Clean Market is a luxury wellness center in New York City that offers treatments such as facials and vitamin IV drips. It also has an infrared sauna and a shop that sells wellness and beauty supplements, and treats like CBD smoothies.
    • The center is part of a wave of businesses, in the US and beyond, that deliver health- and wellness-based services to clients — often at a high premium.
    • I took a tour of Clean Market and tried some of the treatments. The experience was even more luxurious than I'd expected, and I've never felt so pampered.

     

    In NYC's Midtown East neighborhood, just steps from the posh Upper East Side, a new holistic wellness center has opened for New Yorkers who are looking to relax and detox.

    Clean Market, started by blogger and certified holistic health coach Lily Kunin, soft opened in June 2018 and had its grand opening in September.

    The space is one of many businesses, in the US and abroad, that is delivering on wealthy clients' appetite for health- and wellness-based services. As Forbes reported in 2017, "wellness is the new luxury," and fittingly, treatments like cryotherapy — the super-cold treatment LeBron James swears by — and IV vitamin drips, either as hangover cures or general health boosters, have an avid fan base.

    Notably, however, they also tend to come at a high premium. A one-time cryofacial at Clean Market costs $55, while whole-body cryotherapy is $85 for two to three minutes. The vitamin IV drips are included in packages that range from $109 to $359.

    In addition to spa services like the ones mentioned above, Clean Market has an infrared sauna. It also sells snacks at its café, along with an array of nutritional supplements and beauty products. And, like an increasing number of restaurants, cafés, and retailers, it carries a host of CBD products, including smoothies, coffees, and tonic drinks.

    Kunin said the majority of customers coming to Clean Market are neighborhood regulars who want to feel their best, boost energy and immunity, reduce stress, and increase their metabolism. She noted that the center has also had clients like NFL quarterbacks, Victoria's Secret Angels, and Real Housewives.

    I visited Clean Market and tried some of its services, and I've never felt so pampered in my life. Here's what it was like.

    SEE ALSO: A bygone luxury destination 2 hours outside of NYC is now attracting millennials with tiny house resorts, Instagrammable lodges, and wellness retreats

    DON'T MISS: A day in the life of a luxury interior designer, who starts her day with a 'caffeine cocktail,' has designed homes for Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and goes to a SoulCycle class every night

    Clean Market is a holistic wellness center in New York City that offers services including cryotherapy, vitamin IV drips, infrared saunas, and smoothies infused with boosters such as collagen and CBD.

    SourceClean Market



    It also sells an array of wellness and skincare products, as well as dietary supplements.

    SourceClean Market



    "We want [Clean Market] to be a one-stop shop for all things wellness," owner Lily Kunin told me. "Wellness should be accessible and easy to reach and there should be one place that you can go to fill a lot of your needs around feeling well."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    meeting laughing colleagues team happy

    • If you're looking for a new job, you might want to consider working for a small company.
    • Glassdoor has released its annual best places to work ranking, which takes into account its database of 45 million company reviews provided by anonymous current or former workers. 
    • Here's the list of 25 companies with fewer than 1,000 employees where workers are especially satisfied, according to Glassdoor. 

     

    Your job might be interfering with your ability to sleep, have a sense of humor, and feel comfortable taking vacations. 

    If that's the case, it may be time to look for a new job — and while big companies have some great opportunities, don't overlook smaller firms, either.

    Glassdoor, a job site with 45 million company reviews, has just released its annual Employees’ Choice Awards for the Best Places to Work. It also created a list of 50 companies with fewer than 1,000 employees where workers are especially satisfied. 

    The rankings are compiled from anonymous employee feedback that former or current workers can provide right on Glassdoor. To compile the listing, Glassdoor scans that massive database of company reviews.

    Workers writing a company review are asked to assess the pros and cons of working at the company, growth opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management, work/life balance, if they would recommend the workplace to a friend, and the company's six-month business outlook. 

    Those reviews are compiled in Glassdoor's awards algorithm, which also assesses the quality of reviews represented in its ranking. 

    Then, companies received a score on a scale of one to five — five being the highest. The scores have been rounded to the nearest tenth in our article, while Glassdoor ranked the companies by looking at their score rounded to the thousandth.

    The lowest ranking employer on this list scores a 4.7 on Glassdoor; the average company rating is 3.4. 

    Here are the best 25 small companies to work for, along with their headquarters location, a description of the company from Glassdoor, and a quote from a current or former employee. You can see all 50 small to medium-sized firms on Glassdoor.

    SEE ALSO: 17 seriously disturbing facts about your job

    DON'T MISS: 23 of the best icebreakers to use at a party where you don't know anyone

    25. Front

    Score: 4.8

    Headquarters location: San Francisco, California

    Front unifies email, customer communication channels, and apps in one platform for collaborative work. 

    "Best company I've ever worked for! Amazing culture, great product, and fast-paced!"— Front software engineer



    24. Bombas

    Score: 4.8

    Headquarters location: New York, New York

    Bombas is a sock brand that donates one pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair sold. 

    "Open, fun atmosphere where work gets done, but able to connect and build strong relationships with coworkers."— Bombas corporate sales manager 






    23. Acceleration Partners

    Score: 4.8

    Headquarters location: Needham, Massachusetts 

    Acceleration Partners is a marketing firm.

    "Amazingly flexible company, wonderful people, great benefits, interesting and engaging work, and awesome culture!"— Acceleration Partners affiliate marketing 






    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hotel TwentySeven amsterdam

    A hotel has the possibility to make or break your vacation — but, if it's one of the best boutique hotels in the world, chances are you'll be in very, very good hands.

    In 2018's Boutique Hotel Awards, fourteen hotels around the world took home top honors in a range of categories.

    The hotels were judged on "all aspects of the guest experience covering six categories: dining and entertainment, design, facilities, location and, most importantly, staff service and overall emotional impact," according to the news release.

    A hotel in Bali was named the best overall boutique hotel, while hotels in Portugal, South Africa, Greece, New Zealand, and other countries also won top spots. Categories include World's Best Beach or Coastal Hotel, Best Honeymoon Hideaway, Most Stunning Views, and more.

    Here are the top boutique hotels in the world, from a beachside retreat in the Maldives to a wellness resort in Austria.

    SEE ALSO: Disappointing photos show what 9 top luxury destinations look like in real life

    DON'T MISS: Inside the world's largest underwater restaurant, which has a 36-foot window that looks right out into the seabed so guests can watch marine life swim by as they eat

    World's Best Beach or Coastal Hotel: Reethi Faru Resort

    Location: Filaidhoo, Maldives
    Rates starting at: $171



    World's Best City Explorer: Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal
    Rates starting at: $133



    World's Best Classic Elegance Hotel: Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage

    Location: Bruges, Belgium
    Rates starting at: $222



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kingdom Hearts Steamboat Willie

    • "Kingdom Hearts" is a beloved video game franchise that blends the worlds of Disney's films with characters and gameplay from the "Final Fantasy" universe.
    • Due out on January 25th, "Kingdom Hearts III" is one of the most anticipated games of the decade, and the first true sequel in the series since 2005.
    • From Mickey Mouse to Wreck-It Ralph, memorable characters from more than 30 Disney films appear across the "Kingdom Hearts" games.

    "Kingdom Hearts" is a video game franchise born from improbable circumstances: Before the first game was released in 2002, few could have imagined that Disney would be willing to hand their full library of iconic characters over to a Japanese video game developer. 

    And yet, developer Square Enix found itself with a hit in the form of "Kingdom Hearts," which marries the gameplay of its own "Final Fantasy" series with the legendary Disney pantheon of heroes and villains. 

    Due out on January 25th, "Kingdom Hearts III" is the first series sequel in more than 13 years, making it one of the most anticipated games of 2019. Square Enix has already teased a bunch of new worlds and returning characters for the game, borrowing from films including "Toy Story," Frozen,""Tangled," and"Big Hero 6."

    Indeed, in "Kingdom Hearts," players travel between different world's based on Disney films, usually accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy. In the course of battling the villainous Heartless, hero Sora helps classic Disney heroes like Mulan, Aladdin, and Simba face familiar villains from their respective stories. Since the first game was released, "Kingdom Hearts" has incorporated characters from more than 30 Disney films.

    Below you can find every Disney movie represented in the "Kingdom Hearts" series— including the forthcoming "Kingdom Hearts III"— in the order they were released.

    SEE ALSO: 'Kingdom Hearts 3' has leaked over a month early, and outraged fans are trying to punish the person they think did it

    SEE ALSO: The 29 hottest video games you shouldn't miss in 2019

    "Steamboat Willy" (1928)



    "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs" (1937)



    "Pinocchio" (1940)



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    furniture moving couch

    • Amazon and Wayfair are two popular options when it comes to shopping for furniture online.
    • But how do these competitors compare?
    • Amazon and Wayfair boast different strengths, but Wayfair ultimately offers a more straightforward furniture-shopping experience.

    These days, people who need furniture and hate shopping have a ton of options.

    Plenty of retailers — both digital and store-centric — offer customers the opportunity to make major furniture purchases online. And Amazon and Wayfair are two of the biggest players in the game.

    Amazon got its start shipping books, but it now offers all sorts of goods across different categories. Wayfair specializes in home goods and furnishings. Wayfair has been in the furniture business since 2002, but Amazon recently encroached on the home goods retailer's territory by unrolling private-label furniture brands Rivet and Stone & Beam.

    Business Insider recently decided to compare the two companies when it comes to shopping for furniture. Here's what we found:

    SEE ALSO: Wayfair's end-of-year clearance sale has some amazing finds — here are 18 deals you don't want to miss

    DON'T MISS: Amazon stopped selling certain furniture designs on its website after West Elm called them 'knockoffs' in a new lawsuit

    SEE ALSO: I tested out furniture from Amazon's new private-label brands — and the quality is surprisingly comparable to my higher-end furniture

    Amazon, famously, functions as an "everything store."



    So, unless you've recently been shopping for furniture, that category won't necessarily pop up for you on the site's main page.



    On the other hand, furniture takes the top spot on Wayfair's category tabs. To effectively compare both sites, let's use the example of buying a futon.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    samsung notebook 9 pro

    • Samsung announced new laptops at CES 2019 that finally look as good as those from rivals like Apple or Dell. 
    • If you've never thought about Samsung laptops as an option before, the new Notebook 9 Pro might change your opinion. 
    • The new Notebook Flash is inexpensive at $350, but it looks better than anything else you can get for under $500. 

    If Samsung's latest laptops were just a simple power upgrade over previous models, I wouldn't even bother to give them a second glance. 

    But the new Samsung PC models, announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, come with fresh new designs that finally earns them a place next to the modern and beautiful machines from makers like Apple, Dell, Lenovo, or HP.

    Indeed, there are plenty of laptops that can rock a powerful Intel Core i7 processor — Samsung seems to have finally realized that aesthetics matter as much as specs when it comes to standing apart from the competition. 

    Check out Samsung's latest laptops announced at CES 2019, the Notebook 9 Pro and the Notebook Flash:

    SEE ALSO: Samsung's new screen that clamps to your desk is incredibly simple — and it's the best thing to happen to computer monitors in years

    Samsung's Notebook Pro 9 is a tidy little powerhouse designed for power users looking for portability and great design.

    The new Notebook 9 Pro I saw at CES 2019 has a 13-inch FHD display, a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. Those are pretty standard specs for the high-end that pretty much any laptop from any company could sport — and many do. 

    It also comes standard with Samsung's Active Pen stylus, which is handy for taking notes or annotating and signing documents. It's good that Samsung includes the Active Pen with the Notebook 9 Pro — Microsoft sells its Surface Pen stylus separately. A laptop stylus is the kind of thing that's handy, but not usually useful enough to buy separately.

    The Notebook 9 Pro weighs in at a lightweight 2.84 pounds, which is a hair heavier than the 2018 MacBook Air. It's also 0.55 inches thick, which is actually thinner than the 2018 MacBook Air, which measures in at 0.61 inches at the thickest point. 

     

     



    Any laptop can have great specs, so Samsung improved the one area where it has the most control — design

    Any laptop can have great specs. It's become clear over the last few years that design is becoming more and more important — it's one of the few areas where laptop makers have the most control when differentiating their devices from others. This year, Samsung seized control of the design of its own laptops.

    With narrow bezels, sleek black borders, sharper and more modern edges, and a solid aluminum exterior, Samsung's latest Notebook 9 Pro has caught up with modern laptop design, where its previous models always felt laggard in terms of looks. 

    It also has three "diamond-cut" strips around the edges that gives it a little extra flair over its competitors. There's a slight retro vibe around the strips that I'm actually quite fond of. 



    There's no price tag as of yet, but the Notebook 9 Pro will be available in 'early 2019.'



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    white house

    • The 2020 presidential election is more than a year away, but many hopefuls are already announcing their candidacies. 
    • While many potential Democratic candidates have yet to announce their intentions, some have already launched presidential campaigns, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Maryland Representative John Delaney. 
    • Here's a list of the major party 2020 presidential candidates. 

    SEE ALSO: An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

    President Donald Trump

    President Donald Trump is seeking reelection in 2020. He announced his intentions to do so just days into his first term, on January 20, 2017. 



    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

    On a video posted to her website on December 31, 2018, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she was launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2020. In the video, Warren — who has long been expected to run – described her vision of defending the middle class, which she said was "under attack."



    Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

    Castro declared his candidacy on January 12 in a widely publicized announcement event in San Antonio, Texas, his hometown and where he served as mayor for five years. 

    Castro's official announcement came weeks after his brother had revealed the news during an interview with Stephen Colbert in December.

    Under Castro's tenure, HUD expanded lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, worked to reconstruct communities affected by natural disasters under a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, and fulfilled the Fair Housing Act.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    denali

    • Mountains are some of the most fascinating landforms on Earth.
    • The tallest mountains in the world are all in Asia, mostly in China, Nepal, Pakistan, and India.
    • We compiled photos of the tallest mountain in 31 different countries.

    Whether you're an adventurer, a nature lover, or just a sightseer, mountains make for some of the most fascinating landforms on Earth.

    When it comes to the highest mountains in the world, Asia is where the action is — the continent is home to the 188 tallest mountains in the world, most of which are in China, Nepal, Pakistan, and India.

    But with each country listed by just its tallest mountain, many other countries float up the list. Argentina has the 10th tallest national high point, Aconcagua, while the United States' tallest mountain, Denali, is 15th on the list.

    Read more:The highest point in every US state

    We've compiled breathtaking photos of the tallest mountains in 31 different countries, listed in reverse order. Some peaks, like the tallest mountain in the world, are claimed by two countries, so they're listed together here. Measurements were taken from Peakbagger.com.

    Read on to see where each country ranks among the giants.

    SEE ALSO: The highest point in every US state

    DON'T MISS: The tallest building in every US state

    30. and 31. France and Italy — Mont Blanc, 15,781 feet



    29. Indonesia — Pun cak Jaya, 16,024 feet



    28. Venezuela — Pico Bolivar, 16,332 feet



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Young Barack Obama

    • The country's most headline-making politicians might seem like they've always been around, but everyone's got to start somewhere. 
    • We look back at what some of America's most prominent lawmakers, politicians and government figures looked like at the early stages of their careers: 

    SEE ALSO: How Nancy Pelosi went from San Francisco housewife to the most powerful woman in US politics

    California Senator Kamala Harris as a young college graduate.



    Mike Pence loved to play guitar during his college years.



    Former El Paso Councilman Beto O'Rourke poses in front of his hometown.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Debate

    • 2019 just started, but this year's calendar is already getting busy for potential 2020 contenders. 
    • With stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, these are some of the major events 2020 presidential candidates can look forward to in 2019: 

    SEE ALSO: An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

    Fundraising for Quarter 1 begins — January 1, 2019.

    Presidential candidates will begin making their announcements in the first weeks of January, since fundraising for the first quarter of the year begins on January 1.  



    Politics & Eggs forums — beginning in February 2019.

    The "Politics & Eggs Forums," a long-held tradition in New Hampshire's political calendar, usually begin in February. During the series of forums hosted by the New England Council and Saint Anselm College, candidates meet one-on-one with attendees, sign wooden eggs, eat breakfast, and talk about their proposals, campaigns, and perspectives. 



    Fundraising for Quarter 1 ends — March 31, 2019.

    The first fundraising quarter of the year ends on March 31. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Neymar and Mbappe, most expensive footballers in the world

    • A prominent research group, the CIES Football Observatory, has updated its list of the most valuable soccer players in Europe's best leagues.
    • There are now 37 athletes who are valued at $100 million or more.
    • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are sliding down the list because of age, which means younger talent have leapfrogged them near the top.

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may be the most famous soccer players on the planet, but their transfer value is waning with age and they have been leapfrogged by the sport's brightest talents.

    Identifying a player's transfer value is never easy, but a prominent research group in Switzerland — the CIES Football Observatory— has done just that by updating its list of 100 big-five league players with the highest valuations according to its own algorithm.

    Only considering players from England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga, and France's Ligue 1, in order to calculate a player's value in the current transfer market, the Observatory has been monitoring soccer transactions since 2010, speaking to market actors (club executives operating in elite soccer), and studying factors like playing activity, the club the athlete plays for, the athlete's age, playing position, and economic level of the releasing club.

    The findings are interesting, not least because there are now 37 players worth $100 million or more, but also because there are a number of new faces — and teenagers — who are capable of improving further and enhancing their worth in the transfer market.

    Here are the 37 most valuable soccer players competing in Europe right now, ranked in ascending order:

    SEE ALSO: Lionel Messi says his 6-year-old son criticizes him and demands an explanation whenever FC Barcelona loses

    DON'T MISS: 3 ugly incidents show racism is running rampant in English soccer, and we're all to blame

    UP NEXT: An 18-year-old soccer player's transfer value has risen over 800% in 3 months because he's playing like the 'new Neymar'

    37: Atlético Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez is worth €90.2 million ($103.9 million).



    36: Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is worth €90.4 million ($104.2 million).



    35: Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi is worth €91.8 million ($105.8 million).



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    keto

    • The high-fat, low-carb keto diet can be great for shedding weight, but it presents distinct challenges.
    • Jennifer Still writes that though the keto diet has been a "godsend" for her, there are several things she wishes she'd known before starting.

    Having been overweight for years, I've tried every diet in the proverbial book in the hopes of shedding pounds and getting healthy.

    Like with many people, any success I found in dieting was usually short-lived, and I always ended up frustrated and right back where I started — that is, until I discovered the keto diet four years ago.

    While following a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates has been a godsend for me, it has come with its fair share of difficulties.

    Here are a few things I wish I'd known before I started the keto diet:

    SEE ALSO: 10 surprisingly filling foods you can eat on the keto diet

    A lot of people really won't get it.

    The idea that you can eat a large amount of fatty foods — bacon, steak, whole milk, cheeses, etc. — and not only lose weight but increase energy tends to surprise people.

    You'll soon lose count of the number of people who insist you need carbs to live. Ignore them. As the saying goes, KCKO. Keep calm and keto on.



    You still need to count calories.

    You may lose more weight more quickly on the keto diet than on other diets, but you can't eat with abandon just because you're cutting out carbs.

    Calories still count, so it's important to determine your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns daily by simply existing, as well as the deficit you should be eating at to lose weight.



    Going "off plan" for even a day could make you gain weight.

    It's pretty disheartening to wake up a few pounds heavier than you were the day before just because you had to have a cheat meal at McDonald's.

    While this change is may just be water weight that you can shed after going back to the keto diet for a day or two (it flushes water from your system), some people will find that such an interruption is not worth the trouble.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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