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The latest news on Features from Business Insider
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    Trump Utah ski

    President Trump hosted 18 championship teams at the White House on Sunday, posing for photos, shaking hands, cracking jokes, and congratulating the student-athletes on their success.

    With teams representing rowing, equestrian, skiing, and most everything in between, Trump made the rounds while showing the young champions around the White House.

    Below we've gathered some of the best photos from the day.

    Meeting with the Penn State Men's Wrestling team, Trump struck a pose ready to grapple. The Nittany Lions beat Ohio State back in March to take home their title.

    Trump examined a softball glove from the University of Oklahoma, who beat the Florida Gators to win their NCAA championship in June.

    He also posed with the University of Florida baseball team in the East Room of the White House, alongside Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    disney trolley showThe INSIDER Summary:

    • A lot of work goes into making sure Disney World remains the "Happiest Place on Earth."
    • No matter how many times you've been to the parks, there is probably some detail you haven't noticed or secret you're not aware of.
    • As someone who has worked at Disney World, I've had an inside look at those secrets.
    • Here are 21 things you probably didn't know about the Disney parks and their cast members.

    There's no denying that the magic of Disney is infectious. Guests spend years saving up and travel from places all over the world just for a couple days of excitement and no matter how old you are, you can't ignore that giddy feeling you get when you step foot on Main Street and set your eyes on Cinderella's castle for the first time. Disney is a place where adults can act like kids and kids can go to live out their fantasies. It's also a place where you can wear mouse ears and eat turkey legs the size of your head without receiving judgmental looks.

    Growing up in Orlando I spent a lot of my time walking the streets of Disney World, but it's not until I spent my summer working there that I truly realized how much goes into making the magic happen. From all of the effort cast members put into making guests feel special to the inner working of the locations themselves, these are 21 things you probably didn't know about the Disney parks.

    Disney is just one big never-ending show

    When guests step foot in any Disney park, they are really stepping into a live show where everything from the costumes to the trash cans play a part. Disney even has their own lingo, which is why you may realize that visitors are called "guests" and workers are "cast members." When you walk through the streets of a park you are "onstage," and for the most part, "backstage" remains hidden.

    Nothing should compromise the feeling that Disney guests are a part of the show. If a cast member is dressed in their work clothing, they are not even allowed to cross a certain the line from their section of the park into the next because it would make no sense to see someone from the future (Tomorrowland) walking around the Old West (Frontierland). 

    Magic Kingdom sits on top of a set of tunnels

    Many people don't realize that when they are standing on Main Street, they are actually on the second level of Magic Kindgom and working their way up to the third when they head for Cinderella's castle. This is because the park sits on top of a set of tunnels known as the utilidors where cast members can walk around freely without ruining the "show." 

    If you're really itching to get a look at these not-so-secret tunnels you can sign up to take a backstage tour for a pretty penny, but prepare to be rather unimpressed. The utilidors aren't exactly what you would call magical, but you can get a look at all they have to offer for cast members from the cafeteria to a barber shop.

    There's a strict "Disney Look"

    Reputation is important to Disney. This is why cast members are expected to maintain a specific appearance known as the "Disney Look."Extreme hairstyles, over-the-top makeup, visible tattoos and body piercings beyond the earlobes are strictly prohibited. If you're a male with facial hair prior to starting at Disney, you can keep it as long as it is neatly trimmed, but if you were clean shaven when you got hired then say goodbye to switching up your look with a moustache because that's not allowed.

    If you're hoping to get casted as a character, you must meet strict requirements when it comes to looks. People interested in playing Mickey Mouse should be no taller than 5'2". Given this height requirement, chances are the person behind the Mickey Mouse costume is actually a girl.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sofia, bulgaria

    • GoBankingRates consulted's 2017 Flight Price Index and identified the countries you can fly to for the cheapest airfare (per 100 kilometers). 
    • The top 11 countries include South Africa, Portugal, and Romania. 
    • The country on their list with the cheapest airfare per 100 km is Malaysia.

    Airfares can change by the day or even the hour and are driven by movements in everything from fuel prices to currency conversion rates. So it's no surprise that the average cost of outbound air travel can vary significantly from country to country.

    To help travelers navigate the complex world of fluctuating fares, GOBankingRates consulted's 2017 Flight Price Index. The flight search engine company analyzed more than 1 million flights to find the average price of outbound air travel in 80 countries. All flight searches took into account high and low seasons, and prices were checked for the same travel dates.

    Many of the countries that topped's list for cheapest outbound airfares also offer rock-bottom rates at restaurants and hotels. What's more, several of these countries offer attractive exchange rates, making them bucket-list bargains for travelers looking to get the most bang for their buck.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best cities to own investment properties

    11. South Africa

    The average cost per 100 km: $7.25

    South Africa boasts beautiful beaches and mountain vistas, and its diverse attractions include everything from safaris to winery tours. Many of its top attractions are also affordable ― or free. For instance, hiking up Cape Town's Table Mountain is free, and a round-trip cable car ride up and down the mountain starts at 275 South African rand for adults, or around $19.75.

    As a whole, costs in the country seem relatively affordable. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant averages around $32, according to Numbeo.

    10. Spain

    The average cost per 100 km: $7.08

    Spain counts Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and many other iconic artists as native sons, so it's no surprise the nation boasts a number of notable museums — many of which you can visit for free. Spain is also known for its diverse cultures and cuisine, and it continues to draw crowds to the beach resorts on its southern coast.

    In fact, a record number of tourists have been sampling Spain's tapas and other offerings recently. It drew 12 percent more tourists in the first half of 2017 than during the same period a year ago, despite drawing a record 75.3 million visitors for all of 2016.

    9. Sweden

    The average cost per 100 km: $6.96

    Sweden is known for its crystal-clear lakes and expansive forests, but the Scandinavian country also offers beautiful beaches that are often uncrowded, considering its population barely tops 9 million. Sweden also boasts a number of ferry-accessible islands ideal for hiking or an invigorating dip during warmer weather.

    Considering the country's mild climate, it's no surprise hotel prices spike when temperatures do. So visitors should plan on spending some of the cash they saved at the airport on accommodations if they visit during the summer.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    france lgbt pride kids march

    2017 has been a big year for LGBTQI rights.

    Both Malta and Germany legalized same-sex marriage and, this week, Australia made big strides towards doing so as well.

    In a nation-wide postal poll, 61.6% of Australian voters said they were in favor of same-sex marriage, ensuring the federal government will try to pass a marriage equality bill before the end of the year.

    Yet while demand continues to grow for LGBTQI rights, there are currently only 25 countries that allow same-sex couples to marry.

    Keep scrolling to read the full list:

    SEE ALSO: How Australia's slow march toward same-sex marriage compares to the US

    1. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriages.

    The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children. 

    Source: CBS News

    2. Belgium followed suit in 2003 and granted equal rights to same-sex married couples.

    Beginning in 1998, the Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. In 2003, the parliament legally recognized same-sex marriages.

    Source: The Guardian

    3. In 2005, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

    In 1999, some provincial governments extended common law marriages to gay and lesbian couples, providing them with most of the legal benefits of marriage but laws varied across the country.

    Source: CBC News

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Two Sigma offices

    What do you picture when you imagine a hedge-fund office? A noisy trading floor full of hedge-fund guys in fleece vests?

    Two Sigma, a $45 billion hedge-fund firm that uses advanced technologies to find investment opportunities, is a little different. The firm, which says it has seen head count grow by more than 400% in the past seven years, is as much a technology company as it is a finance company, analyzing over 10,000 data sources to find patterns in markets.

    That approach seems to have paid off. Two Sigma ranked as the fifth-biggest hedge fund in the world in Institutional Investor's Alpha's 2017 Hedge Fund 100 list, while cofounders David Siegel and John Overdeck each made $750 million last year, according to the magazine's list of the top-earning hedge-fund managers. The firm also runs an insurance business, Two Sigma Insurance Quantified, a market-making arm called Two Sigma Securities, and a venture-capital arm.

    In August, Business Insider took a tour of the firm's two New York offices, which are across the road from each other in the SoHo neighborhood. The offices are stashed with arcade games, computing memorabilia, gyms, a hacker space, and a music room.

    SEE ALSO: These before-and-after photos show tech billionaires' dramatic transformations

    There was a teach-in on Python for Research when we visited 101 Avenue of the Americas, one of three talks the firm hosts weekly.

    The kitchen was well stocked.

    You may be able to see a Juicero machine on the left side. Two Sigma Ventures, the venture arm of Two Sigma, is an investor in Juicero, which recently announced a price cut and layoffs.

    Across the road at 100 Avenue of the Americas, there's another kitchen, with staff taking time out to play games.

    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 may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    snowe main

    A few weeks after I moved into my apartment in Brooklyn, I gave video tours of the space to my groups of friends back home. Someone always inevitably noticed our dining table. "Hey that table's from IKEA, isn't it?" they would say.

    I get the implication: The home goods in my apartment are virtually indistinguishable from any other young working professional's. I would love to come home to an apartment with nice, luxurious goods, but I shop at the big retailers because high-end boutiques, while great for beautiful inspiration, aren't so friendly on the wallet. 

    Rachel Cohen and Andrés Modak were two recent Wharton MBA grads who moved to New York. They, too, struggled to make their apartment their own with unique, inexpensive home goods. Shopping at traditional retailers was also overwhelming and confusing — a classic example of the paradox of choice, when more options actually paralyze decision-making.

    This experience led to an idea: creating an exceptional home can be refreshingly simple. 

    Cohen and Modak started Snowe in 2015, which offers simple and accessible luxury goods that bring a little something extra to your home, whether you're hosting a dinner party or just carrying about your daily activities. Unlike our parents' generation, who brought out the coveted dinnerware and drinkware only once or twice a year for special occasions, the cofounders believe in the power of everyday luxury.

    In an interview with Bond Street, they said, "We believe your nicest products should be used on a daily basis. That glass of wine at the end of the day, that cup of coffee you have in the morning. You want those small moments to feel luxurious." It's like the feeling of wearing a really nice but simple piece of jewelry. It makes a difference in how you carry yourself, and you actually care for that gold ring or necklace instead of throwing it around like the piece of jewelry you could've gotten anywhere. 

    Cohen and Modak didn't want to settle when it came to building their home, and you don't have to either. 

    Learn more about Snowe and why it's a favorite among millennial home shoppers, below.

    SEE ALSO: The 10 best purchases I've made to save space in my small apartment

    The shop is divided into five categories.

    EatDinnerware, flatware, table linens, sets, and accessories

    DrinkDrinkware, serveware, sets, and accessories

    SleepSheets, pillows, pillowcases, duvets, shams, comforters, sets, and accessories

    BatheTowels, sets, and accessories 

    CleanCandles and diffusers 

    As you browse products and images, you'll notice that Snowe's aesthetic is clean and pleasant to look at.

    It gives you a taste of the look and feeling you can bring to your own home. Since all of Snowe's products come in neutral colors, they're easy to incorporate into your dining room, bedroom, and bathroom setups. 

    The quality of design and craftsmanship is apparent, but the prices are actually reasonable.

    Snowe's dinnerware is made from lightweight but durable porcelain and is oven-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe. You can grab an 18-piece Dine and Serve Set, which includes plates, bowls, and serving platters, for $295. Its dishwasher-safe glassware is made from lead-free crystallized glass, and individual pieces cost $12 to $15

    For the bedroom, Snowe offers crisp yet breathable percale and sateen sheets, duvet covers, and shams, as well as down pillows for $38 to $228. 

    Its soft and quick-drying towels are made with 100% long-staple cotton and cost $8 to $48 per piece. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    essential phone angle2

    No matter how good the iPhone X looks, it still won't pull away the staunchest of Android users. 

    For some Android fans, making the jump to the iPhone's iOS operating system just isn't an option, no matter how much thicker the bezels are on the Pixel 2 phones, Samsung Galaxy phones, LG phones, and even the latest OnePlus 5t. 

    But Android users have to admit, the iPhone X is absolutely gorgeous, even with that "notch" at the top of the screen.

    There is one Android phone, however, that could match the iPhone X in looks and feel, and it costs half as much as the iPhone X. It even runs a near-stock version of Android, which I'll always recommend over heavily skinned versions of Android that you find on Galaxy and LG phones. 

    I'm talking about the Phone from Essential. Here's why it rivals the iPhone X:

    SEE ALSO: Hands on with the new smartphone from OnePlus, the OnePlus 5T

    The Essential phone has the thinnest borders around the display compared to any Android phone, save for the bottom bezel.

    While the Phone may not be fully edge-to-edge like the iPhone X thanks to its bottom bezel, it comes pretty close. It comes closer to that iPhone X edge-to-edge design than any other Android phone out there, including the Samsung Galaxy Phones.

    Spec-wise, the Phone's display is a 5.7-inch IPS display, which doesn't quite get the same depth of contrast as the OLED panel on the iPhone X or the AMOLED panels on many Android phones, but it's a beautiful display regardless. 

    And since this is a comparison with the iPhone X, we'd be remiss in not mentioning the fact that the Essential Phone also has the dreaded "notch" at the top of its screen — but this notch is smaller than the iPhone X's

    It's a gorgeous device to behold with the power to match.

    Thanks to its near edge-to-edge design, the Phone is the most striking and beautiful Android smartphone you can buy at the moment. 

    The Phone runs on the fastest and latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and packs 4GB of RAM, which is pretty standard across the range of Android flagship handsets. That means it has some serious power, and it glides through a day of intense usage. The battery is on the smaller end compared to those in other Android flagship devices, and doesn't offer the best in Android smartphone battery life, but for most people it should provide a full day of usage.

    Storage-wise, the only option you get is 128GB of flash memory, which is plenty for photos, videos, and music if you still store those on your phone instead of using a cloud service. It's also more than enough for apps. 

    The ceramic back and titanium frame brings the Phone to another level of premium.

    Most flagship Android phones are clad in either glass or metal, which is the standard for premium devices. The Phone, however, has a ceramic back that's incredibly resistant to scratches, and it has a beautiful deep gloss that glass just can't achieve. 

    The Phone's titanium frame also makes it feel rock-solid, and it's more durable against scratches, scuff, dents, and other damage than the aluminum frame around most flagship Android phones. If it doesn't exceed the premium looks and feel of the iPhone X's ultra stainless steel frame, the Essential Phone's titanium frame at least matches it. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    skin iphone app

    • Advances in machine learning now mean that doctors can take a photo and identify the disease or condition depicted.
    • Apple is a fan of one specific app, VisualDx, that uses new machine learning software to assist with diagnosis on an iPhone. 
    • VisualDx has built a database of 32,000 high-quality medical images. 

    Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't a doctor, but he talked about a piece of medical software, VisualDX, during Apple's most recent earnings call.

    It was an interesting choice of an app to highlight. Apple has deep ambition to break into the health and medical worlds, but although VisualDx is available to consumers through the Apple App Store, it's not really an app for the public. It's targeted at trained and credentialed doctors who can use it to help diagnose skin conditions and disorders. 

    This fall, the app has gotten a new trick — it can use an iPhone's camera and machine learning to automatically identify skin conditions, or at least narrow down what they could be. Snap a picture in the app, and it will return a list of conditions the rash could be, based on decades of medical research.

    "VisualDx is even pioneering new health diagnostics with Core ML, automating skin image analysis to assist dermatologists with their diagnoses," Cook said

    In some ways, VisualDx offers a hint of the future of medicine, where a hot topic of conversation is whether sufficiently advanced computers and artificial intelligence could automate one of the core parts of what doctors do: identifying what the problem is. 

    In the future, some of this technology will trickle down to consumers, giving them the ability to snap photos of their own bodies, answer some questions, and ultimately figure out whether it's a problem that requires medical attention, or simply a common rash, VisualDx CEO and medical doctor Art Papier tells Business Insider. VisualDx is currently developing a version of this tool, called Aysa, for common skin disorders.

    "Consumers don't want to play doctor themselves. But on a Saturday, they want to know, do I need to go to the emergency room with my child or can this wait until Monday when I could see my pediatrician," Papier said. 

    "It's really education and triage. It's not diagnosis, we don't believe in that," he continued, "At least in the next few years, we're not going to tell patients you're totally OK, you don't need to see a doctor." 


    Art PapierThe reason why Apple's CEO mentioned VisualDx is because it's using CoreML, a new set of software that makes it possible to run machine learning algorithms on a phone, instead of uploading the photos online to a server for processing. 

    "Our clients are hospitals and they really don't like the idea of a doctor in their hospital taking a picture of a patient and then sending the picture to a third party or a private company," Papier said. 

    "We realized when Apple announced CoreML in June, they announced that you can move your models onto the iPhone," he continued. "Now the image gets analyzed on the phone, and the image never goes up to the cloud to us. We never see the image."

    Even still, the software can return an analysis in a second on a newer iPhone. The identification neural network is "trained" by researchers at VisualDx, but it can run on a phone, Papier said. 

    The models are trained using VisualDx's own library of professional medical images, Papier said. 

    "We're not like a wiki model where you know anyone can upload images to us and just tell us what they think they are," Papier said. "We're very very selective to work with the universities and individual physicians we know are experts."

    Many of VisualDx's images were scanned from old collections of slides and film, from leading departments and doctors. It's built a library of 32,000 images to train its models. "We developed this reputation as somebody that was going to preserve the legacy of medical photography," Papier said. 

    Still, even with high-quality models and training data, Papier doesn't think completely automated diagnosis will happen anytime soon. "The hype cycle right now for machine learning is off the charts," he said. 

    "Machine learning will get you into a category on this, to get to the final mile, you have to ask the patient did you take a drug a week ago. Did you travel," he said. 

    Here's what VisualDx does: 

    VisualDx is intended for use by doctors to confirm and validate diagnoses. It allows doctors to search by symptoms, signs, and other patient factors.

    Medical professionals can download the app from the App Store. If your institution doesn't have a subscription, various in-app purchases range from $99 for a year's access to DermExpert. A complete purchase with access to other medical information is $499 per year. 

    The newest feature in the app is called Derm Expert, which allows doctors to take a photo to help diagnose a skin condition.

    The photo is completely analyzed on an iPhone or iPad, and it isn't sent to the cloud.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tesla Model 3

    • Designer Franz von Holzhausen had an impressive resume before joining Tesla.
    • But the combination of his frustration with the traditional auto industry and Elon Musk's distinctive ideas about how to solve problems has taken his work to a new level.
    • He's followed an unlikely path to becoming the most influential car designer of his generation.

    Before Franz von Holzhausen signed on with what was then called Tesla Motors in 2010, he was on his way to being a member of the automotive design world's elite.

    He had graduated from Art Center College of Design in the early 1990s, making him an alumnus of the world's most prestigious transportation design program, counting among its graduates the likes of J. Mays, Chris Bangle, and Henrik Fisker.

    At General Motors, he designed a pair of exquisite roadsters, the Pontiac Solstice the the Saturn Sky. From there he want to Mazda North America, where he ran the entire show and garnered praise for his concepts vehicles.

    If Holzhausen had remained on that track, he would have been a car-design aristocrat. Instead, he too a huge leap of faith and joined a buzzy Silicon Valley startup, far from the automotive capitals in Michigan, Japan, and Germany. And he became the most influential designer of his generation.

    Yes, I know that's a big statement. Jaguar's Ian Callum or Aston Martin's Marek Reichman might object, and Luc Donckerwolke is capturing plenty of attention for his work a Hyundai, following a stint designing Lamborghinis.

    But the key factor for Holzhausen is that as Tesla rolls out its Model 3 sedan, attacking the mass market, he's witnessing the return on his risky decision to join CEO Elon Musk back when Tesla was selling only one car, the original Roadster. Many designers of high reputation who are about Holzhausen's age (he's 49) continue to imaging the future within the context of the past.

    Holzhausen gets to envision the future on its own terms — gorgeous electric cars that will someday be able to drive themselves. The car designer of the coming decades might admire the legends if the profession's history (and there have been many). But when it comes to crafting a career and a reputation, they will look Holzhausen.

    I recently got the chance to speak with Holzhausen and he shared some details about how he came to join Tesla and what guides his design philosophy.

    SEE ALSO: 'So, do you want to see the car?': The story of the day that Tesla stunned the world

    FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more great car content

    It was Holzhausen, not Musk, who was the budding superstar back in the late 2000s.

    When Holzhausen joined Tesla in 2010, memories of a near-bankruptcy in 2008 were still fresh. The company had only a single vehicle to sell — the Lotus-based Roadster — and although it had stoked enthusiasm with all-electric cars that were fast and sexy and would raise $226 million in an IPO shortly after Holzhausen arrived, the carmaker lived on the edge of a knife.

    Even though the traditional auto industry had endured its own near-death experience during the financial crisis, by 2010 General Motors had staged its own IPO, returning to the public markets after a government bailout and bankruptcy. Moribund auto sales had begun a recovery, and other electric-car startups were showing the strains of introducing new technologies; most would fail. A lot of experts figured Tesla would be out of business in a few years, as the cost of launching new vehicles killed the company.

    But Holzhausen was frustrated with the traditional industry and ready to leave Mazda. A few chats and meetings with Musk proved that the experienced designer and the entrepreneur with a designer's sensibility were on the same page, sharing vision and values.

    For Holzhausen, it was Musk's and Tesla's absolute commitment that cinched the deal. Musk has said that he and Holzhausen share the same taste, so beyond that critical aspect of the relationship, it boiled down to how serious Musk was about completely remaking the landscape of transportation.

    The bottom line for Holzhausen? 

    "Tesla was all in," he said in an interview with Business Insider.


    Holzhausen mission was to create a "world-class design competency" for Tesla. The company's first car was cool, but the Roadster was based on a Lotus design. Holzhausen would have the nearly unique opportunity to start from scratch.

    Tesla's roadmap, drawn up by Musk, was straightforward. The company had to first create an exciting electric car that would change the impressions that EVs were glorified golf carts. That car would be sold at a high price to early adopters and fans of high-performance, exotic sports cars. 

    The money would fund additional, luxurious, pricey electric vehicles, and that money would provide the funding for the first major endgame: a mass-market vehicle intended to bring long-range electric mobility to the masses.

    The Roadster's Lotus underpinnings meant that when those ran out, Tesla would need a new car. For Holzhausen, going to work at Tesla's earliest design studio in Hawthorne, CA, at SpaceX headquarters, that meant about two years to come up with a new vehicle — a rare opportunity to pen a "clean sheet" design.

    Roadster production would phase out by 2012. And regardless, Tesla had to start selling a more versatile lineup or vehicles. While a snazzy two-seater was fun to drive and thrilling to look at — more so when you realized you were running only on electrons — people wanted to buy sedans and SUVs.

    Holzhausen had a lot of work ahead of him.

    Tesla zigged rather than zagged with the Model S, which was revealed in 2011 and went on sale the following year. And Holzhausen introduced his own design philosophy.

    The auto industry is over a century old. Tesla is the first new carmaker to emerge in decades. So it's just about the rarest thing imaginable for a car designer to be able to imagine a new vehicle without feeling the explicit burden of the past. Just try to sketch a new Mustang at Ford or Corvette at Chevy. 

    Tesla was announcing itself as a real car company with the Model S, so Holzhausen knew that his ideas would define the visual vocabulary of numerous vehicles to follow: SUVs, sports cars, coupés, probably even pickup trucks and vans. The whole tamale. 

    A lot of designers would have let it rip and tried to be the next Giorgetto Giugiaro, the crucial Italian designer of Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, and Maseratis. In a sense, Holzhausen did become the next Guigaro, minus the more flamboyant efforts. Giugiaro designed dozen of cars, and not all of them made viewers automatically weak in the knees.

    Holzhausen let Musk be his guide. Musk embraces something called "first principles thinking" and has made it into a mantra at Tesla. The idea is to avoid thinking by analogy — let's make this car look like that car, just sort of different or better — and instead deal with problems by stripping them down to the core and working your way up.

    Holzhausen's version of this has been to embrace what he calls "efficiency." He assumes that every Tesla has to be beautiful, and besides, making a piece of industrial design beautiful doesn't really cost anything. It's more a matter of choosing beauty as a first principle because, in a competitive market, the best-looking product stands out.

    With efficiency, Holzhausen had a concept that could inform not just the design of the Model S sedan but also the entire, evolving Tesla brand.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Slot Machine

    Just as blockchain technology is shaking up the startup space, it's also revamping the way venture capital firms invest in emerging companies.

    Over the last year and a half, startups have raised nearly $4 billion through initial coin offerings, or ICOs, which are a kind of unregulated fundraising technique involving the creation of new digital tokens, or units of value.

    Venture capitalists have been wanting a piece of the action. Enter the Simple Agreements for Future Tokens, otherwise known as a SAFT. 

    In a SAFT deal, VCs invest a certain amount of money in a startup in exchange for its promise to one day give them a set amount of the tokens it sells in an ICO. The agreements are premised on the notion that once the company's service is up and running and consumers are using the tokens to pay for things on it, those tokens will become valuable.

    A SAFT is like a mashup of buying a gift card for a store that hasn't yet opened and purchasing shares in a private company. 

    As more and more blockchain startups look to raise funding, VCs are experimenting with SAFTs as a way to get involved early on. Among the pioneers is Matt Huang at Sequoia Capital.

    Here's what you need to know about this emerging funding technique:

    SEE ALSO: This partner at Sequoia Capital thinks cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups have big potential — and he's investing millions.

    SAFTs are only possible because blockchain technology lets companies create their own cryptocurrencies and tokens.

    Blockchains, which are widely distributed digital ledgers, are the technology behind bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies. The technology is really good for publicly documenting rules and changes, which is why some large enterprise technology companies including IBM and Oracle are designing blockchain products for shipping and contracts.

    Blockchains also make it easy to create unique digital tokens, or units of value. Companies can sell those tokens to investors to raise money or allow customers to use them on their sites and services as a medium of exchange.

    If Facebook had been built on top of a blockchain, for example, it could have issued tokens that could be exchanged for upgraded profile features or used to buy advertising.

    In a SAFT, investors buy the rights to tokens that will be issued in the future, rather than equity in a company.

    In traditional venture capital investing, investors give a startup money in exchange for an ownership stake in the company. But with SAFTs, venture capitalists receive the rights to future tokens instead.

    Typically, in the agreement, the VCs get the rights to a certain portion of the tokens a company issues in an ICO.

    SAFTs are related to ICOs, the superpopular new fundraising technique.

    SAFTs are venture capital's way of adapting to the boom in ICOs.

    ICOs are similar to initial public offerings, or IPOs, in that they are a way for companies to raise money from the public. In an IPO, a company sells stock, or ownership stakes, to the public; in an ICO, a company sells its tokens. After an ICO, the public can buy, sell, or hold the tokens in much the same way they can stock.

    Ultimately, investors and VCs hope that the tokens gain enough value that they'll be able to cash out their tokens for a profit. 

    The first ICO was held in 2013, but the technique has boomed in recent months. Startups have raised nearly $4 billion since mid-2016, and most of that has been raised since May.

    There's growing concern about how well companies that are choosing to use ICOs for fundraising are being vetted and how well the public is being informed about the process. Controversy has swirled recently around Centra and Tezos, both of which raised money through an ICO this year.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the rock

    • The Rock created a motivational alarm clock called 'The Rock Clock' as part of a larger initiative called 'Project Rock.'
    • I used it for five days to help me wake up an hour earlier. 
    • In the app, you can set a project, a deadline, and select the sounds you want to wake up to. 
    • After one week of use, I realized that motivation starts with me — and without that internal desire to reach a goal, external motivation won't have the the same impact. 

    Waking up is hard to do. 

    Sometimes I wake up when I intend to, but lay in bed for an extra 10 to 15 minutes staring at the ceiling, debating the value of those extra minutes, and coercing myself into actually putting my feet on the (cold) floor. Usually this happens somewhere between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m. — even though I tell my phone to wake me around 7 a.m. Usually I end up rushing and not actually checking things off my morning to-do list.

    Ultimately, though, the problem isn't my inability to avoid the snooze button — it's that I really just need some extra time in the morning to shower, eat, dress, and chill out for a minute before getting on the subway and heading into work.

    I've tested numerous approaches to my morning routine with the hopes I'd find something that sparked some inspiration to become that person that wakes up at 6 a.m. I tried some of the more sudden/scary Apple alarm sounds — like the one that sounds like a truck backing up — and I've made my alarm upbeat songs I liked (that have since lost their previous happiness-inducing power). I've also tried setting the time for drastically earlier thinking my snoozes would then equal out to the time I actually want to get up (that trick never works). 

    So when someone at work told me the Rock had a motivational alarm clock — well, I just couldn't resist giving it a shot.

    SEE ALSO: I tried eating, exercising, sleeping, and spending 'perfectly' for a week — and realized I've been approaching my goals all wrong

    Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is a wrestler-turned-actor who's equal parts funny and intimidating.

    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson made his professional TV wrestling debut back in 1996 on the Survivor Series. Since then, he's won the WWE heavyweight title six times, and has gone on to be one of the biggest action and comedy stars. As of this year he is the second highest-grossing actor in Hollywood — and according to Forbes, he's currently worth $65 million. 

    Over 95 million people follow his workouts, projects, and puppies on Instagram.

    He released the 'Rock Clock' app as part of 'Project Rock,' a partnership with Under Armour to inspire people to strive for more.

    In 2015, the Rock announced a new partnership with Under Armour called "Project Rock"— which officially launched in 2016 — intended to "bring you innovative and bad ass products that inspire men, women and kids to stay hungry, humble and always be the hardest workers in the room." 

    As part of this partnership, the brand aims to create inspiring products for audiences hoping to reach their goals — and these products are referred to as "projects." 

    The alarm is project number two of four to be released — the first was a backpack, and the last two have yet to be announced.

    I downloaded the the Rock Clock and set it up for the work week.

    When you first open the app it asks you to type in your goal or project and select an end date — so I wrote "Wake Up Earlier," and set the deadline for the upcoming Friday. I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Robots are coming for our jobs. We've heard it before, and to a varying degree, it's true. Business consultant group Cognizant predicts in its book "What to do when machines do everything" that over the next 10 to 15 years, 12% of jobs in the U.S. will be replaced by automation.

    However, all is not lost, the group also predicts that there will 21 million new jobs created as a direct result of new technologies.  To head off some of the fear and help prepare for the future, the organization came up with 21 jobs they think will materialize over the coming years.

    "We wanted to try to raise the flag, there is something big and profound going on," said Ben Pring, vice-president and director of Cognizant's Center for Future of Work. "If you are paying attention, there’s enough time to deal with this now," he added.

    Written as hypothetical job descriptions from human resources departments of the future, some of the gigs in the report require a lot of imagination, but others only require a small jump from our current reality. 

    Check out the job listings of the future and get a head start picking your post-robot career: 

    SEE ALSO: I met Sophia, the world's first robot citizen, and the way it said goodbye nearly broke my heart

    Data Detective

    These data professionals will analyze data from IoT devices, mesh, neural capabilities etc., to provide business and organization with data-based insights. This profession is not hard to imagine. Companies already spend time and money sleuthing through people's data in order to sell them products. The data detectives of the future will go one step farther, sorting through data from someone's Amazon Alexa or Nest device in order to "better" serve them.


    This job is for a future when, thanks to biotechnology, people are living longer than ever and there is a larger population of senior citizens than ever before. And all of these elderly people are going to need someone to talk to. This job would be exactly what it sounds like; walking with elderly people in need of companionship and listening to them talk about their grandkids, the good ol' days, etc.



    Cyber City Analyst

    To maintain cyber cities, data needs to efficiently "flow"around cities. In the cities of the future, data collected from millions of sensors keeps services like power and waste collection thrumming along. The city also collects bio data, citizen data and asset data. If a sensor on the city's biotracking beehives breaks, the city analyst needs to be there to fix it. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lisa lena

    Lisa and Lena Mantler, 15-year-old twins from Germany, have one of the fastest-growing fan bases on the internet. You've probably never heard of them, but the teen in your life has.

    The girls are the reigning queens of, the social-media app of choice for Generation Z. Teens record and post 15-second clips of themselves lip-syncing, dancing to popular music, and pulling stunts. The app launched in 2014 and has racked up over 200 million"musers."

    In November, the startup behind was purchased in a deal valued up to $1 billion.

    Here's how Lisa and Lena rose to stardom before their braces came off.

    SEE ALSO: A lip-syncing app teens are obsessed with just got bought for $1 billion — here's how to use

    Lisa and Lena Mantler are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for Generation Z.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Teens love them, even if they can't tell them apart.

    In December 2015, the twins uploaded their first video to — a six-second clip that showed them lip-syncing to Gnash's "i hate u, i love you (feat. Olivia O'Brien)."

    Youtube Embed:
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    The girls first spotted a video on their Instagram feed.

    "We thought, 'Let's try it, it looks fun,'" Lena told online magazine Dazed.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Welcome to the internet, where incredulity and paranoia loom large. Here, you'll find no shortage of theories expounding on the non-existence of celebrities and detailed analysis on the many ways in which we've been lied to by the government (which, in turn, has been lied to by the elite reptile overlords who really rule the earth). 

    Here are a few of the strangest ideologies currently occupying the web:

    SEE ALSO: Here's why videos of a woman tapping a hairbrush and Margot Robbie spreading Vegemite on toast have become internet sensations

    DON'T MISS: A giant knob you can stick on the back of your phone is taking off with celebrities — and it's on track to sell 30 million this year

    1. Melania Trump has a doppelganger who follows the president around on official business.

    In October, several people took to Twitter to question the real identity of the woman trailing behind the president during a White House press chat. Twitter users compared side by side photos of the "real Melania" and the "Melania double" and came to an official assessment: there's a slightly shorter First Lady lookalike. 

    2. J.K. Rowling doesn't actually exist.

    In 2005, Norwegian filmmaker Nina Grünfeld argued that the Harry Potter series had been created by an entire industry of writers, and that the woman known as J.K. Rowling was only a front. "Is it possible that a person can write six thick books that are translated into 55 languages and sell more than 250 million copies in less than 10 years?"Grünfeld asked. 

    3. Finland doesn't exist either.

    This theory evolved on Reddit in 2015, when a user called "Raregans" suggested that Finland was a fabricated landmass, dreamed up by the Japanese and Soviet Union during the Cold War in an effort to secure fishing rights in the Baltic Sea.

    Raregans suggested the people who populate the country known as Finland actually belong to the nations of Sweden, Estonia, and Russia. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Toy Story 3 Pixar

    Pixar and Studio Ghibli tend to spring to mind first when discussing great animation, but there’s a world beyond those two giants. Animated films have grown ever more artful and affecting as more and more folks realize that it’s never just been a medium for kids, with studios and indies alike creating stop-motion marvels, hand-drawn standouts, and CGI spectacles.

    The genre has grown so much since we entered the current century, in fact, that it can be easy to forget the Academy Awards didn’t even recognize animation until 2001. As few as three movies were nominated per year until 2010, but since then animation’s increased prominence has been reflected in the race’s competitiveness.

    Not every worthy movie could make the cut on either the awards circuit or this list, sadly, but rest assured that “The Red Turtle,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Ernest and Celestine,” to name just a few, are very honorable mentions.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: Every Pixar movie from worst to best

    20. “Sita Sings the Blues” (2008)

    Nina Paley’s “Sita Sings the Blues” is a visual feast and an extremely personal attempt to make sense of and contextualize one of the most important works of Indian literature.

    The film is simultaneously an adaptation of and a commentary on the Ramayana, the epic Indian poem that tells the story of the prince Rama as he rescues his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Paley splits the movie into three narratives, each individualized through different animated techniques.

    The more straightforward adaptation of the story is rendered in the style of Rajput paintings and includes a Greek chorus that interprets the poem’s meanings. Another storyline tells a similar narrative to the Ramayana but sets it in modern day, proving the text’s timelessness.

    The final story thread introduces a musical number by a more active Sita, who modifies the original text by making herself more self-reliant. By putting the power in Sita’s hands and making her more than a damsel in distress, Paley ultimately makes “Sita Sings the Blues” a radical redefinition of a sacred work. It’s as impressive as it is daring. — Zack Sharf

    19. “Shaun the Sheep Movie” (2015)

    Who would have thought that a “Wallace & Gromit” spinoff would end up being just as good — and, according to some well-meaning heretics, better — than the original series?

    Aardman Animation outdid itself with this quietly daring corker, which has a simple premise (Shaun and his fellow sheep cause much mischief during a day away from the farm) and wildly entertaining set-pieces.

    There’s essentially no dialogue — or at least none that can be discerned, as the sheep bleat in much the same manner as their real-world counterparts and the humans speak not unlike the grownups on “Peanuts,” which only draws more attention to the madcap, almost Chaplinesque goings-on. At this point it almost sounds like faint praise to describe an animated film as being just as entertaining for adults as it is for children, but “Shaun the Sheep Movie” makes good on that promise as few others do. — Michael Nordine

    18. “Anomalisa” (2015)

    "Each person you speak to has had a day. Some of the days have been good, some bad, but they’ve all had one.”

    Even with all the other pain and beauty in Charlie Kaufman’s foray into animation, this simple reminder stands out as one of his most profound musings. We may lose sight of ourselves and the object of our affection when we become infatuated with someone new — especially during a business trip in Cincinnati — but there’s a painful honesty to the way Kaufman portrays those swooning early moments.

    David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh are both stellar in their voice-acting roles, but the decision to have literally every other character be voiced by Tom Noonan may be the film’s true stroke of genius — it makes it impossible not to see Lisa the way Michael does. The film itself is an anomaly, of course, one made all the more special by its rarity. Learn from Michael’s mistake and cherish it even after it’s over and you’ve returned to the mundanity of daily life.  —MN

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Agrihood Esencia

    • A new type of housing community known as an "agrihood" is popping up around the US.
    • Agrihoods combine the amenities of a rural farming community with the convenience of a modern, metropolitan neighborhood.
    • Millennials and active retirees alike are flocking to the agrihood at Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County, California.


    Farm life isn't what it used to be.

    A new type of housing community called an agrihood— short for "agricultural neighborhood"— is one of the latest real estate trends gaining popularity across the US.

    Agrihood developers aim to bring the amenities of a rural farming community, like fresh produce and ample outdoor space, to modern, metropolitan neighborhoods. The homes are typically built to high environmental standards, too — think solar panels and composting.

    "With the shifts in how people connect, developers and planners are seeking creative alternatives to create vibrant, engaging ways to create community," said Paul Johnson, senior vice president of community development for Rancho Mission Viejo, a 23,000-acre master-planned community in Orange County, California.

    "Where in the past it might have been a retail plaza or community center, now developers are looking at what kinds of places meet the changing needs of how people live," he said.

    The Ranch at Rancho Mission Viejo is building its neighborhoods around communal farms. Its agrihoods attract millennials, who represent the largest segment of American homebuyers today, and active retirees alike.

    We explored the agrihood on a recent visit to The Ranch — take a look:

    SEE ALSO: Rich millennials are ditching the golf communities of their parents for a new kind of neighborhood

    DON'T MISS: A developer is building a stunning coastal enclave for rich tech elites who are shunning golf communities — take a look

    The Ranch at Rancho Mission Viejo is California's largest new master-planned community. Upon completion, there will be 6,000 acres of homes and nearly 17,000 acres of habitat reserve. To date, The Ranch construction is about 25% complete.

    The first two villages, Esencia and Sendero, have a combined 3,411 residences, including townhouses, single-family homes, and apartments.

    Newly-built homes range from the low $400,000s to more than $1 million. Both villages also offer homes available exclusively to folks 55 and older to promote intergenerational living.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Trump Soho

    • Since the 2016 presidential election, restaurants inside Trump-branded properties have suffered as chefs have left and business has dwindled.
    • The restaurant Koi, which was located inside the Trump SoHo hotel, closed in April.
    • The space has a new restaurant called Spring & Varick, which opened this month.


    Operating a business in a Trump-branded property comes with a unique set of challenges in this political era.

    Take the Trump SoHo hotel in New York as an example. Once a regular for corporations and pro sports teams, the hotel has lost clients, lowered room rates, and been forced to lay off some staff after a reported decline in business. After the election, a restaurant in the hotel, called Koi, closed after foot traffic declined. Its replacement, Spring & Varick, opened this month, but John Creger, the new restaurant's head chef, isn't worried about filling seats.

    "I was looking for [a space] back down lower in the city. I wanted to do something with a different clientele that was looking to spend a little more money," Creger told Business Insider.

    When the owners of Trump SoHo got in touch, Creger was eager to get into the space. Still, he said that opening a restaurant associated with the Trump name was a "challenge."

    Recent investigative reporting done by ProPublica, WNYC, and the New Yorker revealed the sordid past of the Trump SoHo's development, which involved condo buyers suing the Trump Organization over misleading sales numbers. The Trumps eventually settled the civil suit with the buyers, who had alleged that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had lied about the number of units that had sold.

    And, post-election, some Trump brands are suffering as negative consumer perception grows.

    "We know that it's a challenge absolutely, but that said, everything we do here is a challenge — no matter what kitchen you're in, what building you're in, in a city [where] there's thousands of restaurants and tons of people who don't like this and that," Creger said.

    Drawing upon techniques he's learned during his time at restaurants like Le Cirque, Creger has developed an internationally inspired menu that includes edamame falafel, fish and chips, and a house burger served with comté cheese. See a sample of dishes below.

    SEE ALSO: Inside one of New York City's oldest and most famous bars, which serves only 2 beers and didn't allow women in until 1970

    While Spring & Varick does have its own entrance, the main front door is the Trump SoHo's lobby. The restaurant is named after the intersection where the hotel is located in Downtown Manhattan.

    "You come into [Spring & Varick] to have a completely different experience that is not political ... it's just to come in and enjoy food and learn something," Creger said.

    Keeping politics out could be easier said than done. Celebrity chef José Andrés, who was going to open a restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, backed out of the deal in 2015, citing comments by then-candidate Trump that Andrés said were "disparaging immigrants." The two parties have since settled in court.

    Source: Business Insider

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Warsaw far right march traditional clothes

    On the 99th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence at the end of World War I last Saturday, 60,000 people participated in what was likely the largest far-right protest in Europe yet, with some participants touting white nationalist banners and slogans and equating Islam with terrorism. 

    Organized by a variety of far-right groups in Poland, the march was met by several thousand anti-fascist demonstrators, who claim their counterprotest is the largest of its kind since 2011.

    Ever since 2015 when the right-wing Law and Justice Party gained control of several branches of government in elections that year, far-right Independence Day demonstrations like the one last weekend have steadily grown in size, and have by many accounts been tacitly endorsed by the ruling government.

    Here's a rundown of the events surrounding the largest right-wing gathering in Europe since World War II:

    SEE ALSO: Trump just got a hero's welcome in a country that may have underestimated his defining trait

    Right-wing groups have demonstrated on Poland's annual November 11 Independence Day celebration since 2010, but while the marches were initially only limited to several hundred people, they have quickly grown in popularity.

    Source: The Washington Post

    Although in previous years the marches have been met with stiff resistance from police, they have been largely peaceful since 2015 when the Law and Justice Party took power.

    Although the marches are unconnected to official celebrations of Poland's independence, recent demonstrations have overshadowed all other festivities.

     Source: Politico

    Numerous banners at the demonstrations in Warsaw featured anti-Islamic, anti-gay rights, and anti-EU slogans. Others proclaimed support for "clean blood" and a "white Europe," according to Politico.


    The march was organized by the All Poland Youth, National Movement and National Radical Camp, which invited several hundred foreign participants to join the demonstration.

     Source: Politico

    Adrian Bartoś, a spokesperson for the All Poland Youth, told Business Insider that around 500 foreigners were also present at the march, including some from Spain, Germany, and Hungary. He said Poland has become a magnet for right-wing nationalists throughout Europe.

    "They are overjoyed by it, and they don't see the kind of mobilization we see in Poland in other European countries," Bartoś said. "I think this is happening in Poland because there is strong national identity among the inhabitants, the citizens, of our country, and basically the majority see what is happening in the West."

    Bartoś cited an alleged rise in rapes and crimes in countries where Middle Eastern refugees have been resettled, like Germany and Sweden.

    "It is apparent that Poles don't want this," he said, "and this is why this understanding in our country and its citizens has caused us to see ourselves as sort of a bastion for the defense of Europe, as I would call it."

    However, although there have been several high profile cases of refugees committing such crimes in western European countries, overall, the rate of rape and crime has remained largely the same in Sweden, and even saw a slight dip in Germany.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    DimSum (5 of 37)

    • Dim sum in New York's Chinatown neighborhoods is a popular tradition among Chinese-Americans, and the larger New York community.
    • It can be a chaotic and intimidating experience for first-timers
    • We went to Jing Fong Restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown to explain how to do it right


    Forget brunch. Dim sum in Chinatown is the better New York tradition.

    Dim sum is the traditional meal served in Cantonese teahouses and banquet halls on the weekend mornings, where families gather to drink endless amounts of tea and nibble on tons of delicious small plates.

    Like many traditions, it can be intimidating to first-timers. Chinatown is a busy place that makes few concessions to first-timers.

    My first experiences eating dim sum were inevitably nerve-wracking. You often end up pointing to dishes you don’t want just to get ordering over with — or you're confused as to why you are seated with a family you’ve never met.

    I recently went to Jing Fong Restaurant, one of the best dim sum halls in Manhattan’s Chinatown, to relax after a busy weekend, catch up with friends, and chow down.

    Here’s how to do dim sum right.

    Welcome to Manhattan's Chinatown. It's actually one of nine predominantly Chinese neighborhoods in New York City. It's dwarfed in size by the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens, but Manhattan's still a hub for the Chinese-American community.

    Jing Fong Restaurant is one of the most popular dim sum spots in the city. On the weekends, it's crowded and chaotic, with both tourists and locals coming to get their fix.

    You enter through the bottom floor. Go up to the hostess to get a card with a number and your party size on it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chipotle Burrito

    • Chipotle has had a rough two years marked by E. coli scares and lackluster menu additions. 
    • The chain's efforts to turn things around have yet to really work. 
    • Chipotle still has a ways to go before it turns things around — if it can.


    It's been a bumpy ride for Chipotle.

    The chain's reputation has never truly recovered from the 2015 E. coli outbreak that left 50 people sick in 14 states. Chipotle's tarnished image has led to slumping sales growth, and third-quarter earnings missed targets. Most recently, Chipotle's stock fell nearly 6% after "Supergirl" star Jeremy Jordan blamed the burrito chain for an illness. And, according to, the rate of self-reported foodborne illnesses are at least nine times higher for Chipotle than all other restaurant chains.

    To Chipotle's credit, the restaurant chain has tried to reignite the spark with loyalty programs, queso, and even free lunches. But the rewards program was limited and lackluster, the queso grainy, and the free food likely in vain.

    We decided to visit Chipotle to see if the chain has made any improvements in its attempt to turn things around — or if it's stuck in a mire of its own making.

    SEE ALSO: Panera just acquired one of its biggest competitors — here's why it won the comfort-food battle

    ALSO READ: We tried the restaurant that wants to make cheap pasta the next big thing in fast food — here's the verdict

    It's lunchtime — roughly 12:30 p.m. — at a Chipotle near our offices in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City. The lines certainly aren't as long as they used to be.

    The staff was polite but hurried. The ordering line went so fast, I wasn't even sure what I had ordered by the time I was paying for it. The queso was peddled strongly, and I gave in and ordered it to give it a second chance. I hadn't been crazy about it the first time I tried it.

    There were customers in the restaurant, but I wouldn't call it busy. The line was fast —too fast for someone who isn't sure exactly what they want. I ended up ordering a chicken burrito, which has a menu price of $8.65.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider