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Matt Gaetz tweeted that the FBI should be defunded, then deleted it. He's still being probed by the bureau.

9 hours 36 min ago  |  Clusterstock
Gaetz is still under FBI investigation.
  • Florida congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted that the FBI should be defunded, then deleted it after one minute.
  • A Gaetz spokesperson told Vice that the congressman had made and deleted a "jocular tweet."
  • The FBI is currently investigating Gaetz to find out if he participated in sex trafficking.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Controversial Florida congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should be defunded, then deleted his tweet a minute later.

"If Democrats want to defund the police, they should start with the FBI," wrote Gaetz on Wednesday.

The tweet was caught by nonprofit Propublica's Politwoops, a platform that tracks deleted tweets from politicians.

A Gaetz spokesman told Vice that Gaetz "felt it appropriate to remove a jocular tweet taken from a speech some time ago."

Calls to defund the police gained traction on social media following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Gaetz has been a vocal critic of the progressive movement, tweeting on June 11 last year that defunding the police made America a "Woketopia."

The Florida congressman's calls to defund the police come while he remains under FBI investigation. The agency is looking to find out whether or not he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl and broke federal sex trafficking laws.

Most recently, Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to six charges, including sex trafficking, wire fraud, identity theft, stalking, and conspiracy. Per his plea deal, Greenberg agreed to cooperate with prosecutors on related cases.

Gaetz has been linked to Greenberg, but the congressman vehemently denied the allegations against him and instead accused the Justice Department of attempted extortion. Gaetz has also attempted to deflect said accusations, saying in May that he was "being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors."

While this ongoing FBI investigation around Gaetz continues, he has launched several salvos at the Bureau. On Newsmax, Gaetz alleged that the FBI had a role in "organizing and participating" in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Gaetz posted on June 17 as well that he was leading the charge from the GOP to "demand transparency on the FBI's involvement during the January 6 riot."

Read the original article on Business Insider

7-Eleven owners are using surveillance cameras to prevent workers from stealing, months after some franchisees paid back $173 million over wage-theft accusations

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 10:55pm  |  Clusterstock
7-Eleven and other convenience stores have deployed surveillance tech to prevent worker theft and shoplifting, but the companies' theft of employee wages often goes unscrutinized.

Workers at some 7-Eleven stores, Shell gas stations, Dairy Queen restaurants, Holiday Inn hotels and other service businesses are being monitored 24/7 via security cameras by a "virtual supervisor," Vice News reported Monday.

The Washington-based company Live Eye offers the surveillance technology for $399 per month. It is ostensibly meant to help business owners deter shoplifting, robberies, and employee theft.

In Live Eye's promotional videos, according to Vice, remote supervisors question convenience store workers about whether they paid for drinks and why they're talking to a person who's out of view of the camera, and even attempt to scare off suspected robbers in what appears to be a 7-Eleven store.

Theft and fraud aren't small problems - they cost retailers $62 billion in 2019, according to the National Retail Foundation.

But experts are increasingly raising concerns about whether such intrusive and persistent surveillance may impose even greater costs on workers. They're also asking why problems like wage theft - with employers in 2019 stealing an estimated $12.6 billion from workers making less than $13 per hour, according to the National Employment Law Project - receive far less scrutiny.

7-Eleven and Live Eye did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Part of the problem, some experts say, stems from the prejudices many people hold against low-wage workers and low-income individuals.

"When it comes to low-wage work and people who are on welfare, there's just this general distrust," Aiha Nguyen, a researcher at the think tank Data & Society who recently wrote a report on workplace surveillance called "The Constant Boss," told Insider.

"It has nothing to do with technology," she said, adding there's a "dual standard" in how employers treat low-wage workers compared to corporate employees and executives.

The NRF's survey found retail chains fired an average of 559 employees for stealing in 2019, and prosecuted an average of 156, while research by the Economic Policy Institute found employers are rarely prosecuted and underfunded labor regulators often lack the ability to enforce wage laws.

7-Eleven announced last year that some of its franchisees paid $173 million in back wages to more than 4,000 workers in Australia after media outlets including Four Corners and The Sydney Morning Herald reported the company stole as much as half of workers' wages, doctored pay records to cover up the scheme, and threatened potential whistleblowers with deportation.

During an investigation by Australia's labor regulator, 7-Eleven's head office in the country faced accusations that it had bribed franchisees not to testify against its executives. (7-Eleven denied the accusations).

While the company's chairman, Russell Withers, and CEO Warren Wilmot, eventually resigned, Withers went on to pocket $78 million from selling stakes in 7-Eleven stores. Wilmot faced no financial or criminal penalties as a result of the scandal.

In that context, Nguyen said, theft by 7-Eleven store employees "is a much smaller problem than that bigger issue of wage theft."

But that's not to say tools like Live Eye are inherently bad.

"In theory, this system could be helpful" for retail workers, Nguyen said, "but that's not how it's being deployed."

Hiring a security guard would be far more effective at deterring theft, she said, "but what's being presented is a video camera that may be turned on the workers themselves." It is not immediately clear if, and how many, 7-Eleven stores employ a security guard in addition to other safety measures.

A former 7-Eleven consultant told Vice that Live Eye was "a solution in search of a problem," because theft and shoplifting doesn't cost stores much, and that startling armed robbers violated the company's policy and could put workers in more danger.

"We provide every 7-Eleven store with a base security system that includes CCTV and alarms, however, independent franchise owners can install their own system on top of what is provided," a 7-Eleven spokesperson told Vice.

"We're using insecurity about the risk of robbery as an excuse to target workers," Eva Blum-Dumontet, a senior researcher at Privacy International, told Vice, adding: "what's happening with workplace surveillance is employers trying to keep track of their employees to make sure they match their idea of productivity. This is very toxic for the mental health of employees."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bipartisan group of senators reach deal for 'framework' of infrastructure package, to meet with Biden tomorrow

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 9:42pm  |  Clusterstock
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives on Senate subway for a vote in the Capitol in December 2020.
  • The bipartisan group of senators meeting with White House officials said they reached a 'framework' for a deal.
  • They will present their framework for the massive spending package to President Joe Biden tomorrow.
  • Senators will still need to draft legislation and gin up 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A bipartisan coalition of senators secured a tentative agreement with White House staff on the highly prioritized infrastructure spending package.

On Wednesday, Senators involved in the negotiations, including Sens. Susan Collins, Joe Manchin, and Mitt Romney, announced that they had reached the "framework," for a bill on the spending.

"There's a framework of agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure package," Collins told reporters on Wednesday after the meeting. "There's still details to be worked out."

The senators, who did not publicly share the new framework, said that they would brief President Joe Biden on the deal tomorrow and begin to work out details for how the hundreds of billions of dollars, or more, of infrastructure spending will be paid for.

Bloomberg reported that the bipartisan deal stands at $559 billion, instead of $579 billion, with broadband funds repurposed.

Senators leaving the meeting indicated that they reportedly agreed on how the spending would be financed.

The last proposal by the bipartisan group of senators was not taken up by the White House, and after today's breakthrough, senators will still need to draft legislation and gin up 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

Simultaneously, Senate Democrats are considering pushing through an infrastructure package drafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Through budget reconciliation in July, an infrastructure package could be approved without GOP support.

"White House senior staff had two productive meetings today with the bipartisan group of Senators who have been negotiating about infrastructure," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday, confirming the upcoming meeting. "The group made progress toward an outline of a potential agreement, and the President has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this in-person."

Read the original article on Business Insider

A brief history of John McAfee's run-ins with the authorities

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 9:23pm  |  Clusterstock
John McAfee
  • Silicon Valley mogul John McAfee butted heads with law enforcement around the globe.
  • McAfee was a "person of interest" in the murder of his neighbor in Belize and bragged about avoiding US taxes.
  • Spanish news reported that McAfee was found dead in his Spanish prison cell on Wednesday after Spanish authorities granted the US' extradition request.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

John McAfee became a Silicon Valley legend after founding the first commercial computer antivirus software with McAfee Associates in 1987. But the internet mogul's life took a series of bizarre turns after he sold the company to Intel in 2011.

Ten years later, the famed iconoclast, 75, was found dead by apparent suicide, his lawyer told Reuters, in his Spanish prison cell on Wednesday, hours after Spanish authorities authorized his extradition back to the United States.

McAfee's last decade was littered with accusations of fraud, drugs, and even murder.

Troubles in Belize

In 2009, McAfee moved to Belize and began to search for medicinal uses for the plants on his land.

In April 2012, the Gang Suppression Unit of Belize's police department raided McAfee's home for weapons and for "blocks of something that he was producing that resembled methamphetamine or cocaine." He was released without any charges.

Seven months later, McAfee was deemed a person of interest in connection to the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull. He left for Guatemala soon after but was arrested by Guatemalan authorities for entering the country illegally and was deported to the United States.

In 2016, McAfee, a former Business Insider contributor, discussed his legal troubles abroad in a column titled "Here's what really happened in Belize."

In the piece, McAfee acknowledged his criminal history, admitting he had been "jailed multiple times," and had "brushes with law both here in American and abroad."

But his real crime in Belize, he claimed, was refusing to be extorted by the country's "corrupt" government.

McAfee alleged there was an ongoing government plot to assassinate him due to his successful business ventures in the country and his refusal to partake in bribery. He said he believed he was the intended target in Faull's murder, and that "the incompetence of the government caused the assassins to enter the wrong house."

McAfee was later found legally "liable" for Faull's death by a United States District Judge in Florida in 2015.

A brush with the law caused by 'pure stupidity'

McAfee was arrested in Tennessee for driving under the influence and possessing a firearm while under the influence in 2015.

"In every case of my brushes with the law, with the exception [of] one - caused by pure stupidity; a DUI - I can attribute to my belief that every one of us possesses the fundamental right to civil disobedience," McAfee wrote in Business Insider in 2016.

McAfee claimed he 'hadn't filed taxes in 8 years'

On January 3, 2019, McAfee tweeted that he "hadn't filed taxes in 8 years." Less than one month later, he announced that he was living on a boat and running for president with the Libertarian Party while "in exile."

As a staunch Libertarian, McAfee vocally opposed taxation, arguing it was illegal and claiming he was a "prime target for the IRS" in a 2019 tweetstorm. He even goaded the agency to come after him, tweeting "Here I am."

In July 2019, McAfee, who was evading US tax authorities, was arrested on his yacht in the Dominican Republic related to allegations of entering the country with a supply of weapons and ammunition. He was held for four days before being released.

Three months later, on October 5, 2020, McAfee was arrested by Spanish authorities on tax-evasion charges at the behest of the United States. The US Department of Justice said he gained millions by "promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary" and avoided paying taxes using several different schemes.

A US federal court indicted McAfee in March 2021 on conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud and several other fraud counts relating to cryptocurrencies and money laundering.

Spain granted the United States' extradition request on June 22, 2021. Spanish authorities reported finding McAfee dead in his prison cell just hours after the decision.

Read the original article on Business Insider

QAnon followers are already spreading Epstein-like conspiracy theories about John McAfee's reported suicide

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 8:52pm  |  Clusterstock
  1. John McAfee answers questions from journalists in Guatemala City on December 4, 2012.
  • Antivirus software company founder John McAfee reportedly died by suicide in prison on Wednesday.
  • QAnon believers quickly began suggesting conspiracy theories about his death.
  • QAnon notably spread a similar theory when Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in 2019.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Just minutes after the news broke that John McAfee reportedly died by suicide in a Spanish prison, QAnon conspiracy theorists baselessly suggested that the antivirus software pioneer died by other means.

Several top QAnon influencers on Telegram, some of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers on the far-right-favorite messaging platform, shared posts on Wednesday afternoon including the word "suicide" in quotes.

"Word on the street, only time will tell if this report was true or not," an account with 61,000 subscribers shared on the app. Conspiracies alleging that McAfee had a "dead man's switch," or a device that activates when its owner dies, were also being shared online.

McAfee was imprisoned in Spain pending extradition on tax evasion charges before his death was reported on Wednesday.

A 2019 tweet from the antivirus software mogul's verified Twitter account appeared to be emboldening some of these claims: "If I suicide myself, I didn't," the tweet said.

-John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019

QAnon, a wide-ranging, far-right conspiracy theory based on the false notion that former President Donald Trump had attempted to take down a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers and pedophiles, notably spread a similar theory when disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in 2019: "Epstein didn't kill himself" eventually became a major online meme.

Hours after McAfee's death, a similar phrase became a popular hashtag on Twitter.

-Eddie Blackadder HMP (@BlackersNot) June 23, 2021-PhotianSacker1204 (@ByzCat) June 23, 2021-Clara

20 of the most popular Prime Day 2021 deals our readers bought this year, from Crest Whitestrips to AirPods

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 7:00pm  |  Clusterstock

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • Amazon Prime Day is one of the biggest sale events of the year.
  • During the annual sale, shoppers saw massive discounts on tech, cookware, and home goods.
  • Below are 20 of the most-purchased products Insider readers bought this year.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 ended on June 22. During this Prime member-exclusive event, shoppers saved big on MacBooks, Instant Pots, headphones, and kitchen essentials.

Below, we rounded up 20 of Insider readers' most-purchased items from this year's Prime Day event. There are some lingering deals on a few products, and you might want to keep an eye out in case these go on sale again.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)Here are 20 of the most-purchased items by Insider readers during Amazon Prime Day 2021: Crest 3D Whitestrips Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips + Crest 3D White 1-Hour Express Whitestrips Treatment Kit

White strips are arguably the easiest way to brighten your teeth, and you can grab the two-in-one treatment kit on Amazon. Crest 3D Whitestrips are our favorite pick in our guide to teeth whitening kits recommended by dentists, and they hold a top spot in our most-purchased products list every Prime Day.

3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kit (button, Preferred: Amazon) LifeStraw personal water filter, 2-pack LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 2-Pack

If you have a camping or hiking trip scheduled, it's a good idea to pack the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with you. This less-than-one-pound travel essential will provide 1,000 gallons of clean and safe drinking water.

The LifeStraw removes bacteria and parasites from water as well as microplastics, so you can have the peace of mind of a lightweight, mobile water purifier wherever you go. It's a no-brainer for hiking, camping, travel, and emergency preparedness. 

This practical and portable accessory jumped up four spots from last year's list to become the second-bestselling item among Insider readers.

Read our full review of the LifeStraw.Personal Water Filter (2-Pack) (button) Fire TV Stick 4K Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon's Fire TV Stick products are known for their reliable streaming performance, and the Fire TV Stick 4K is the best of the bunch. This tiny stick plugs right into your existing TV's HDMI port, adding access to popular apps like Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.

As its name implies, the Fire TV Stick 4K can stream in up to 4K resolution with support for all of the major HDR formats. This will ensure you get the very best picture quality, as long as your TV also supports these features. 

Check out all the Amazon Fire TV deals during Prime Day.Fire TV Stick 4K (button) Kasa Smart Plug Kasa Smart Plug

One of our favorite smart plugs, the Kasa Smart Plug is small and affordable. You can fit two into a standard outlet, which isn't true of all smart plugs. It connects over Wi-Fi, and you control it from a smartphone app. The plug supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can turn devices on and off with voice commands.

Kasa Smart Plug (button) AirPods Pro Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods are our favorite wireless earbuds for iPhone users and for good reason. They are convenient to pair and set up, they sound great, and they include noise cancellation technology to help block out distracting ambient noise. These quicly sold out but you can still order them for slightly more than their Prime Day price.

Check out all the best deals on Apple AirPods during Prime Day.AirPods Pro (button, Preferred: Amazon) Amazon Echo Dot, 4th Generation Amazon Echo Dot, 4th Generation

Amazon's latest Echo Dot ditches the old puck-shaped design of the previous model in favor of a new spherical shape. The tiny smart speaker features Alexa built right in, offering convenient digital assistant support for answering questions, setting alarms, and controlling other smart home products.  

This was the lowest we've seen the Echo Dot sell for since it launched in October of last year, so it's no wonder the Dot was so popular with our readers for Prime Day. 

All-New Echo Dot (4th Generation) (button, Preferred: Amazon) Belkin BoostCharge Belkin BoostCharge 15W Fast Wireless Charger Pad

The Belkin BoostCharge is a wireless charging pad for iPhones and Galaxy devices. The pad is a great idea for when you don't want to fumble for a charging cable in the dark. The Prime Day deal, which was the best we've seen on Amazon, was $23.99.

BoostCharge 15W Wireless Charging Pad (button) Sengled Color Changing Smart Light Bulbs Sengled Color Changing Smart Light Bulbs

This smart light bulb works with Alexa devices, enabling voice control for turning the light on or off, as well as dimming functions. The bulb is rated for 800 lumens, which is about the same level of brightness you'd get from a traditional 60W bulb. Buyers can also adjust the color of the light to create different moods. 

Smart Light Bulbs (button) Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle is a beloved e-reader for bookworms and the occasional page flipper alike and now, the brand's Paperwhite is waterproof and comes with double the storage of the former model. It reads like paper even in bright sunlight and is perfect as a summer beach reading companion.

Kindle Paperwhite (button, Preferred: Amazon) Waterpik WP-660

The versatile Waterpik WP-660 has 10 pressure settings, so you can adjust based on your gum sensitivity. It holds 22 ounces of water and pulses at the 30-second and one-minute interval so you can keep track of how long you're flossing for. The Prime Day deal was a big one, with the $70 device marked at $40. 

WP-660 Water Flosser (button) Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag

Stasher's reusable bags are great for those trying to cut down on waste in their kitchens. The silicone bags are safe for the dishwasher and microwave. They're popular with sous vide users who don't want to use plastic in heated water. The Prime Day discount offered some great prices on the bags, as well as variety packs with bags in several sizes.

Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag, 4-pack (button) Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 9-in-1

The 6-quart is a great choice for those who want to cook decent quantities without occupying the whole counter. This was a great deal when it was over half off for Prime Day.

Duo Plus 6-Quart (button, Preferred: Amazon) Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener

You consistently upgrade your smartphone, laptop, and clothing, but how about your garage? The MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener enables you to open and close your garage door regardless of location. This is one of the deals that's still going on, even after Prime Day is over.

myQ Smart Garage Door Opener (G0401) (button) Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Set of 2 Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows for Sleeping, Set of 2

For budget pillows, the Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows are our go-to — inexpensive yet they provide a comfortable, supportive night's sleep. They're soft and stackable, sleep relatively cool, machine washable, good for stomach and side sleepers, and hypoallergenic. For a limited time, shoppers can pick up two queen-sized pillows for just $16 each.

Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (Queen) (button, Preferred: Amazon) Kindle Unlimited Subscription Kindle Unlimited Subscription

For Prime Day, Amazon offered four months of Kindle Unlimited for free to new members. The subscription service features over one million ebooks, along with unlimited access to audiobooks and up to three magazine subscriptions.

Monthly memberships usually cost $10 and typical trials only last 30 days, so it makes sense that readers jumped at the chance to score four months free of charge.

Kindle Unlimited Subscription (4 Months) (button, Preferred: Amazon) Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with 1 Year Premium Trial Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with 1 Year Premium Trial

The Inspire 2 packs all of the standard features buyers expect from a Fitbit into a slim, sleek design that rests comfortably around a user's wrist. It doesn't have the most robust features, but it was over 40% off for Prime Day.

Inspire 2 (button, Preferred: Amazon) 5W USB Official OEM Charger Amazon 5W USB Official OEM Charger and Power Adapter for Fire Tablets and Kindle eReaders

Lots of our readers picked up this wall adapter for Amazon Fire products, like Kindles and Fire tablets. Whether shoppers were looking for a replacement or a spare, we don't know for sure. Its popularity can likely be attributed to the big Prime Day deals we've seen on other Amazon devices that can use the adapter, such as the Kindle Paperwhite and Fire 10 tablet. There was no Prime Day-specific deal, but it's affordable.

5W USB Official OEM Charger and Power Adapter for eReaders (button, Preferred: Amazon) Fire Stick, 3rd Generation Fire Stick, 3rd Generation

The Fire TV Stick is a reliable streaming device that plugs right into your TV's HDMI port. Once connected, you get access to a huge library of streaming apps. Though this model only supports up to 1080p resolution, that should be just fine for any buyers who are looking to add streaming support to an older HDTV.

Though we recommend the Fire TV Stick 4K over this version, the standard Fire TV Stick does include a newer remote. The updated remote features shortcut buttons for popular apps like Netflix and Disney Plus.

Fire TV Stick (button, Preferred: Amazon) Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier

Got space issues? Whether you live in a tiny apartment, need to dehumidify a closet, or just want something that stores away, the super portable and affordable Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier is handy. Right now you can save 40% on this little device, bringing the price below $15; that's the lowest we've seen for this model

Wireless Mini Dehumidifier (button, Preferred: Amazon) Amazon Prime Day 2021 FAQs When is Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day was on June 21 and June 22.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is an online shopping event providing early access to deals for Prime members. If you'd like to take part in all of the deals and discounts, you can register for a 30-day free trial. After that, you'll be charged $12.99 or $119 per year as a Prime member.

Sign up to be a Prime member here.

How long will Amazon Prime Day last?

Typically, it's a two-day sale. Originally, however, it began as a single-day event. This year, it was two days worth of deals on popular items like MacBooks, air fryers, and home goods. A few deals lasted after June 22.

Do you have to be a Prime member to qualify for sales on Prime Day?

Yes, though you can sign up for the free trial.

To make the most out of your online shopping experience, look out for competitor deals at other retailers, including Target.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Walmart's Deals for Days event is still running after Amazon Prime Day's conclusion - here are the 23 best deals still kicking

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 6:48pm  |  Clusterstock

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Walmart Smartphone: Deals for Days

Walmart's Deals for Days event is still kicking today, even though Amazon Prime Day has come to a close.

Ending today, June 23, Walmart's offering comparable discounts to Amazon Prime Day's deals and, in some cases, even offers exclusive or better deals on products. It's the last chance to save big with some deep discounts, including the AirPods Pro, a robot vacuum, 40-inch Smart TV, and more.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyBest Amazon Prime Day Walmart deals available nowGalaxy Watch Active 2 (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Express (medium, Preferred: Walmart)BioShock: The Collection Standard Edition (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Quick Care (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Tobi Robot Smartwatch (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Flex Wireless Earphones (medium, Preferred: Walmart)V8 Animal+ Cordless Vacuum (Refurbished) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Soundcore Life Q20 Noise Cancelling Headphones (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Blokus (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Hello (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Clara HD (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Magic Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Nest Mini (2nd Generation) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Watch Series 6 (40mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)R13 Mediatek 2-in-1 Touch 4GB/64GB Chromebook (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Chromebook 4+ (medium, Preferred: Walmart)40-inch FHD Roku Smart TV (medium)Link's Awakening (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Nest WiFi Router (2-Pack) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Airmega 200M Air Purifier (medium, Preferred: Walmart)S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)AirPods Pro (medium)Libra H2O (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Viva 9-in-1 6 Quart Pressure Cooker (medium)

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Read the original article on Business Insider

To fix the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA may have to rely on a computer that hasn't turned on since 2009

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 6:35pm  |  Clusterstock
The Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth shortly after NASA astronauts serviced the observatory in May 2009.

NASA still hasn't figured out what forced its Hubble Space Telescope offline more than a week ago.

The telescope's payload computer suddenly stopped working on June 13, sending NASA engineers scrambling to figure out the problem. That computer, built in the 1980s, is like Hubble's brain - it controls and monitors all the science instruments on the spacecraft. So the telescope has gone into a hibernation-like "safe mode" while NASA troubleshoots.

The agency has made three attempts to get Hubble's computer working again - in vain. If NASA can't fix the issue, the telescope should be able to switch to hardware on its backup payload computer, but that hasn't powered up since astronauts installed it in 2009. It would take NASA several days to bring the telescope back to its full science operations following such a switch.

Hubble, which launched into orbit around Earth in 1990, is the world's most powerful space telescope. It has imaged the births and deaths of stars, discovered new moons around Pluto, and tracked two interstellar objects as they zipped through our solar system. Hubble's observations have allowed astronomers to calculate the age and expansion of the universe, and to peer at galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang.

This image uses 16 years of Hubble data - 7,500 photos - to capture about 265,000 galaxies.

But Hubble is getting old. None of its parts have been upgraded or replaced since the last astronaut mission to service the telescope in 2009.

In March, a software error also sent the telescope into safe mode. But in that case, NASA fixed the problem within a week. Now, with this mysterious new glitch, NASA has been struggling to get the Earth-orbiting observatory back online for 10 days.

But Paul Hertz, NASA's director of astrophysics, told NPR that the timing can mostly be chalked up to "the inefficiency of trying to fix something which is orbiting 400 miles over your head instead of in your laboratory."

"If this computer were in the lab, we'd be hooking up monitors and testing the inputs and outputs all over the place, and would be really quick to diagnose it," he said.

A NASA spokesperson told Insider that "there are many redundancies available to the team that have not yet been tried, and it is extremely likely that one of these will work."

"Hubble is one of NASA's most important astrophysics missions. It's been operating for over 31 years, and NASA is hopeful it will last for many more years," the spokesperson said. "From a perspective of the value of Hubble to the scientific community, it is still the most powerful telescope available so age is not a decision-making factor."

A computer error led NASA down the wrong path last week

NASA tried, and failed, to restart the malfunctioning payload computer on June 14, the day after Hubble went offline. Initial data pointed to a computer-memory module that was degrading as the potential cause of the problem. So the Hubble team tried switching to one of three backup modules aboard the telescope. But the command to start the new module didn't work.

On Thursday, the Hubble team tried again to bring both the current module and the backup online. Both attempts failed.

In the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts installed a set of specialized lenses to correct the main mirror.

Since then, further testing has revealed that the memory issues were a symptom of the real problem - which NASA still hasn't identified.

Now the Hubble team thinks that the issue is related to the computer's central processing module. NASA said in a blog update on Tuesday that the most likely culprit is either the module itself or some interface hardware that helps the module communicate with other parts of the telescope.

"The team is currently designing tests that will be run in the next few days to attempt to further isolate the problem and identify a potential solution," the NASA blog said.

If that doesn't work, the Hubble team is prepared to switch to the backup computer, which was also designed in the 1980s and has been sitting dormant in orbit for 12 years.

"They're very primitive computers compared to what's in your cell phone," Hertz told NPR. "The problem is we can't touch it or see it."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden lays out plan to combat gun violence in the US, calls for a 'zero tolerance' approach to take on rogue gun dealers

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 6:01pm  |  Clusterstock
President Joe Biden.
  • President Biden and Attorney General Garland announced initiatives aimed at stemming gun violence.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing calls for policing reform after the death of George Floyd have increased the stakes for action.
  • Biden has long pushed for gun control legislation, including a ban on assault weapons.
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President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday laid out a plan to curtail gun violence across the country, which includes several measures focused on stemming the stream of firearms used in crimes.

The president has long sought gun control measures pushed by most Democratic lawmakers, including an assault weapons ban and universal background checks for gun purchases, which he mentioned during his speech.

"Crime historically rises during the summer, and as we emerge from this pandemic, with the country opening back up again, the traditional summer spike may be more pronounced than it usually would be," he said. "I've been at this a long time, and there are things we know that reduce gun violence and violent crime, and things we don't know."

He added: "Background checks for purchasing a firearm are important ... the ban on assault weapons at high-capacity magazines. No one needs to have a weapon that can fire up to 100 rounds, unless you think the deer are wearing kevlar vests or something."

A key focus of the administration will be the pursuit of gun sellers who violate existing law, with Biden stating that the Department of Justice would have a "zero tolerance" approach to such incidents.

"We are announcing a major crackdown the stem of flow of guns used to commit violent crimes," he said."It is zero tolerance for those who willfully violate key existing laws and regulations."

He added: "If you willfully sell a gun to someone who is prohibited from possessing it, if you willfully fail to run a background check, if you willfully falsify a record, if you willfully fail to cooperate with the tracing requests or inspections, my message to you is this ... 'We'll find you and we'll seek your license to sell guns.'"

Read more: Biden's pick to oversee Capitol riot cases is expected to be a former public corruption prosecutor

In his speech, Biden also stressed that state and local officials in areas that are experiencing increases in crime can utilize $350 billion in funding from the $1.9 COVID-19 relief package known as the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced new strike forces aimed at tackling gun trafficking in five key metropolitan regions - New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, and Washington, DC.

Biden's actions come as violent crime has become an issue as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which created sustained economic hardship for millions of Americans.

After the May 2020 murder of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police, the calls for justice were immediate, especially among Black Americans.

While Biden, who has a long legislative record on criminal justice issues as a senator and as vice president, has so far risen above becoming an effective foil for Republicans, increases in violent crime have become an issue in many cities.

According to criminologists, homicide rates in large US cities rose by more than 30 percent on average last year, and rates were up by another 24 percent for the beginning of the year, The New York Times reported.

Biden has vehemently opposed the "defunding" of police departments and has backed bipartisan talks aimed at crafting police reform legislation.

On Wednesday, Biden and Garland also led an anti-violence meeting at the White House with Democratic Mayors Brandon Scott of Baltimore and Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County, along with GOP Mayor Steve Allender of Rapid City, S.D., New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Baton Rouge, La., police chief Murphy Paul, and several community activists.

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Fort Bliss: Biden administration responds to report of inhumane conditions for migrant children at emergency shelter in Texas

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:48pm  |  Clusterstock
Activist defending the rights of migrants holds a protest near Fort Bliss to call for the end of the detention of unaccompanied minors at the facility in El Paso, Texas, U.S, June 8, 2021.
  • In court filings, migrant children at a federal shelter in Texas complained of inhumane conditions.
  • Children said they were given rotten food and were unable to sleep in overcrowded tents.
  • The Biden administration said it is working to improve conditions.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Biden administration is defending its handling of migrant children seeking asylum following testimony this week from young people and federal employees alike alleging poor conditions at an emergency intake facility in Texas.

"We take our humanitarian mission and the well-being of children in our care seriously," said a statement emailed to reporters on Wednesday by Sarah Lovenheim, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

In court documents filed this week, migrant children suggested that commitment was lacking, complaining of severe depression caused at least in part by excruciating conditions at shelters such as the one at Fort Bliss, a US Army base in El Paso, Texas.

The facility was first used to house detained migrants during the Trump administration.

In response, HHS, which runs the site, says it has increased the number of case managers at such sites by 95%, from 909 to 1,776 as of May 21. At the same time, it has also reduced the number of children in detention at Fort Bliss, from around 5,000 to 1,500, and elsewhere: there are fewer than 15,000 children in HHS custody today, compared to nearly 23,000 at the end of April.

A 13-year-old girl from Honduras said she was placed on suicide watch after spending two months there.

"The food here is horrible," she testified. "Yesterday we were given hamburgers but I couldn't eat it because there was a foul odor coming from the bread."

The child also described suffering insomnia due to the conditions, per the legal filing.

"It is really hard for me to sleep because my cot is right next to a light that stays on all night," she said, adding that a request for sleeping pills had been denied due to her age. "For the past week or so I have only been sleeping during the day."

In its statement, HHS insisted children are "receiving nutritionally-appropriate meals."

"Our goal is to safely and expeditiously unite children with their parent or sponsor and we continue to improve and streamline this process," it said.

Another 17-year-old girl at the same facility, however, described overcrowded conditions even with the decrease in the number of children there, with hundreds of girls sleeping under the same tent.

"A lot of the girls here cry a lot," she testified. "A lot of them end up having to talk to someone because they have thoughts of cutting themselves."

Federal officials, concerned about deteriorating mental health among the children, "banned pencils, pens, scissors, nail clippers, and regular toothbrushes" inside of such tents, CBS News reported.

"They've gone from a small cage at Border Patrol to a larger cage at Fort Bliss," a former employee there told the outlet. "It's a juvenile detention facility."

Have a news tip? Email this reporter:

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CDC acknowledges a likely link between COVID-19 vaccines and heart inflammation for young men, but says it's 'extremely rare' and the Delta variant is a bigger threat

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:46pm  |  Clusterstock
Simon Huizar, 13, receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Myocarditis, a heart inflammation, has affected 0.004% of men aged 12-29 after their second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • CDC advisors met Wednesday and acknowledged a likely link between COVID-19 vaccination and myocarditis in young men.
  • But myocarditis risk from COVID-19 is much higher, especially with the Delta variant in play.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The nation's top doctors and nurses are near unanimous in their agreement that the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the US are both effective and safe - even for young teenage boys who may, in rare cases, experience a type of heart inflammation called myocarditis, prompting chest pain after vaccination.

On Wednesday, an advisory group of experts independent to the CDC spent hours discussing and dissecting data on reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart swelling) in people under 29 years old who've been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the US.

The rate of such reports, while tiny, has been highest among young men, after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna's mRNA vaccines. 434 cases of myocarditis have been documented in males from 12-29 years of age, in the 21 days after their second shot. That's a rate of about 0.004%, among more than 10 million vaccinated in that same age group nationwide.

But there's also a link between COVID-19 infections and myocarditis, and it's younger men who face the higher risk of death from COVID-19, according to data the advisory group reviewed.

At the end of the discussion, the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and 15 more public health organizations released a joint statement, that said: "The facts are clear: this is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination."

A rare event that resolves quickly A nurse gives Malikai McPherson, 16, a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at Health First Medical Centre in Florida.

Even for these young men "this is still a rare event," the CDC's Dr. Tom Shimabukuro from the COVID-19 vaccine safety team said at the meeting, stressing that their cases typically resolve quickly.

"Most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment," the joint statement also read. "In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe."

Dr. Eliot Peyster, a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, previously told Insider that the incidence of myocarditis from a vaccine is about "100 times lower than the incidence when you actually get [a COVID-19] infection."

The advisory group weighed the risks and benefits of vaccination to young men, and determined that benefits of vaccination clearly outweigh risks, even for males from 12-17 years old.

While there could be an additional 56 to 69 cases of myocarditis in this group, the advisors looked at forecast data that found vaccines could prevent 5,700 additional COVID-19 cases, 215 hospitalizations, 71 ICU admissions, and two deaths over 120 days.

What to do about second doses

The only group the CDC advised some caution for in administering second doses was young men who've had myocarditis after their first vaccine dose. They may want to defer a second dose, or discuss the situation with their doctor first.

For everyone else, medical professionals are stressing now's the time to get vaccinated.

The Delta variant, now responsible for more than 20% of sequenced cases in the US, is spreading much slicker and faster than other versions of the coronavirus have.

David Morales, 15, (L) and brother Daniel Morales, 14, (R) play games on their phones in a waiting area after receiving a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

"With the troubling Delta variant increasingly circulating, and more readily impacting younger people, the risks of being unvaccinated are far greater than any rare side effects from the vaccines," the joint statement continued.

"If you get COVID-19, you could get severely ill and be hospitalized or even die. Even if your infection is mild, you or your child could face long-term symptoms following COVID-19 infection such as neurological problems or diminished lung function."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best playpens and play yards in 2021 for indoors, outdoors, and travel

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:41pm  |  Clusterstock
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • Playpens can be a safe play or sleep space at home or while traveling, as long as parents are nearby.
  • The best playpen, the 4Moms Breeze Go Play Yard, is durable, easy to set up, and offers ample space.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, MD, CPST-I, FAAP, professor of pediatrics, Oregon Health and Science University.

Playpens serve as the ultimate babyproofing solution, keeping babies and toddlers away from household hazards as well as messy mischief. But besides keeping toddlers from splashing in toilets or drumming on all the pots and pans, the playpen can serve as a safe place for sleep anywhere, from grandparents' house to family vacations. Despite their versatility, playpens can easily spark parent frustration over difficult folds, bulky bags, and hard-to-clean surfaces.

For this guide, I tried out 11 playpens and travel cribs with my now 1-year-old son to see which options were simple to use, portable, and safe for sleep. Because playpens come in a few different variations, I looked at traditional options, playpens with bassinets, and outdoor play spaces. I tested each editorial review sample for at least two weeks, setting it up and tearing it down multiple times. Along with letting my 1-year-old play and occasionally sleep in the playpens, I torture-tested the top picks - a process you can read more about at the end of this guide.

Safety, however, is the primary consideration when considering any sleep surface for infants. I spoke with Justin Smith, MD, a pediatrician at Cook Children's in Trophy Club, Texas, to understand what makes a sleep surface safe and what to look for when choosing a playpen. No matter which playpen you choose, be sure to follow the pediatrician-recommended safe sleep practices at the end of this guide and never leave your child unsupervised in a playpen.

Here are the best playpens and play yards in 2021

Updated on 6/23/2021: We reformatted this guide to highlight product specs.

The best playpen overall The 4Moms Breeze Go Play Yard is sturdy and durable with plenty of space for play and sleep, and it sets up and tears down in seconds.

Pros: Easy setup and teardown, versatile design, sturdy, good play space size, one-year warranty on manufacturing defects

Cons: Heavy, bulky

  • Dimensions and weight: 43 inches (l), 30 inches (w), 31.5 inches (h), 23 pounds
  • Age, weight, and height requirements: Newborn to 3 years old, 5 to 30 pounds, up to 35 inches tall or until child can climb out
  • Carrying bag included: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturer's warranty

When I put my son in smaller playpens, he wants out right away, but this is not so with the 4Moms Breeze Go, which gives him plenty of room to play. It is also compact enough that I can fit it in my master bathroom.

The play yard has an incredibly sturdy steel frame that holds the mattress a few inches off the ground. The mattress is firm and stable, while offering a little more padding than budget options. Baby food splatter wiped up easily from the nylon sides and mattress and left no stains. 

The 4Moms Breeze Go looks and feels like a traditional playpen, but the only motion required for setup and teardown is pulling up or pressing down on the center, no locking and unlocking top railings. I could easily set it up with one hand and tear it down in less than 5 minutes. Two hands are needed for teardown and packing it into the included travel bag. Even the bag is well-thought-out — the zipper runs diagonally down one side, which makes it easier to fit the play yard inside.

At nearly 3-feet long when stored in the travel bag, the Breeze Go isn't exactly a breeze to carry around, but it's a trade-off for its excellent build. For parents who prefer a durably constructed playpen over a light and small one more suitable for frequent travel, the Breeze Go is an excellent choice.

The best playpen with bassinet The Tiny Love 6-in-1 Here I Grow Play Yard packs nearly everything you need to travel with a baby into one bag, while offering more than one way to play at home too.

Pros: Bassinet, changing table, and activity gym all in one; well-built; large play space; one-year warranty on manufacturing defects

Cons: Changing table difficult to disassemble, heavy

  • Dimensions and weight: 32 inches (l), 24 inches (w), 45 inches (h), 35 pounds
  • Bassinet and changing table weight requirements: Up to 15 pounds or until child can sit up alone
  • Play yard age, weight, and height requirements: 30 pounds, 35 inches tall, or until child can climb out
  • Carrying bag included: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturer's warranty

Out of all the play pens I tested, the Tiny Love 6-in-1 Here I Grow Play Yard offered the best all-in-one solution for sleep, play, and diapering. It has a bassinet, changing area, diaper caddy, and infant activity gym. The changing station was larger and more durable than others I evaluated and they play yard gives infants plenty of space. 

While a playpen with a diaper changing station isn't hard to find, Tiny Love adds one more perk: an activity gym to use entirely separate from the play yard. The gym consists of a mat and a detachable toy arch that is nearly identical to Tiny Love's Gymini activity gym, one of the top picks in our guide to the best infant activity gyms. Even more, the gym comes with a developmental guide offering ideas on how to play with your baby. The arch can also clip into the top of the play yard's frame to double as a mobile.

Made with a metal and plastic frame and polyester fabric, the materials feel sturdier and more comfortable than those found in less expensive options. While the mattress is white, it cleaned up well for being spot-clean only, even when I left a splatter of squash puree to sit for a few days.

The Tiny Love Here I Grow assembles like a traditional play yard, with a center pull under the mattress and locking side rails, but it's not overly stiff or difficult to set up or take down. The changing table attachment is tough to take apart, which you'll need to do to pack it into the bag. Fitting so many pieces into the bag is also a bit tricky.

With all the added features, the play yard is on the heavy side. However, having sleep, play, and diapering from one play yard — including more ways to play than most — may be worth the added bulk for many parents.

Best playpen for travel The Guava Lotus Travel Crib fits in a backpack to easily take it on the go, yet still offers enough room to play, a comfortable mattress, and easy setup.

Pros: Backpack-style carrying bag, lightweight, comfortable mattress, easy setup, machine-washable mattress cover and sides, two-year warranty on manufacturing defects

Cons: Folding isn't as intuitive as other models

  • Dimensions and weight: 45.5 inches (l), 23.5 inches (w), 25.5 inches (h), 13 pounds
  • Age, weight, and height requirements: Newborn to 3 years old, until child can crawl out, no weight or height limits
  • Carrying bag included: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 years

The best playpen for travel isn't a playpen at all, but a similar option called a travel crib. Travel cribs have a thicker sleeping mattress that rests on the floor instead of a frame for a more portable design. The Guava Lotus travel crib's portability, simple setup, washable sides, and comfortable mattress quickly earned it a spot as my favorite out of several travel cribs I tested.

The Lotus offers a generous space for sleep and play. The legs stick out a few inches so the crib takes up roughly 10 square feet of floor space. Because the mattress sits on the floor, there's no weight limit and the Lotus can be used until baby is attempting to climb out. The mattress itself feels more comfortable than the other playpen mattresses I tested, but still firm enough to use with a newborn.

The sides also have a zippered opening as an alternative way to get baby in and out. Made with an aluminum frame, polyester mesh sides, and a foam mattress with a base plate, the Lotus is Greenguard certified to be free from heavy metals, formaldehyde, and PVC. Both the mattress cover and the mesh sides are machine-washable (air-dry only), a major plus for diaper blowouts. Baby food easily wiped off the mattress, and the mesh sides came out of the wash unstained. 

The Lotus's frame unfurls in a unique design: Unfold each leg, expand the top frame by pulling in one quick motion, then place the mattress inside. Folding is slightly more complex. The first few times I needed to use the instructions, but the process was still quick.

The backpack is a rather compact 24 inches on the longest side. I could carry the Lotus, the baby, and one other item simultaneously, something I couldn't do with the other playpens.

Best outdoor playpen As easy to set up as a folding camp chair, the Regalo My Play Deluxe creates a safe, large play space for baby.

Pros: Easy setup, generous play space, portable, sunshade, lightweight

Cons: Not for sleep, empty playpen will tip in heavy winds, only a 90-day warranty on manufacturer defects

  • Dimensions and weight: 48 inches (l), 48 inches (w), 26 inches (h), 15 pounds
  • Age, weight, and height requirements: 6 to 24 months, no weight limit, up to 35 inches tall or until child can crawl out
  • Carrying bag included: Yes
  • Warranty: 90 days for manufacturer defects

*This play yard is temporarily out of stock. You can purchase the extra-large version at Amazon for $113.19.

The Regalo My Play Deluxe play yard provides a safe place to play in the backyard, at parks, while camping, and at outdoor events. Any playpen will help keep baby from getting into trouble outside — and a crib sheet can double as a sunshade in a pinch — but the Regalo My Play Deluxe is as easy to bring along and set up as a folding camp chair. 

The hexagon-shaped play yard measures a roomy 4-feet across, making it the largest playpen we recommend in this guide. The larger size helps my son to play a little longer before wanting out and can accommodate bigger toys. The canopy provides shade and keeps out most flying insects, though there is a small gap between the top of the play yard and the topper where bugs could potentially crawl through.

Setup is simple. I could stretch out the metal frame, then lock each of the two levers with my foot while holding the baby. The optional umbrella-style topper pops open with a quick pull on a string. The longest part of the process is latching the topper to the play yard using several bungee cords, which takes just a few minutes. When collapsed in the carry bag, it is about 40 inches long.

The My Play Deluxe doesn't include a mattress and is made for play, not sleep. It is less versatile and shorter-lived than playpens for sleep and play that go up to age 3. It's also not one you'll want to leave set up in the yard indefinitely. Big wind gusts weren't an issue while my son was playing in it, but a good wind can catch the topper and tip the play yard if nothing is inside. Mud also has a tendency to stain the bottom.

Best playpen for toddlers The Evenflo Versatile Play Space is an affordable gate system that gives toddlers plenty of room to play.

Pros: Roomy, affordable, sturdy, indoor and outdoor use

Cons: No floor or mattress, difficult for travel, only a 90-day warranty on manufacturer defects

  • Dimensions and weight: 18.5 square feet, 28 inches (h), 15 pounds
  • Age, weight, and height requirements: 6 to 24 months or until child can climb out
  • Carrying bag included: No
  • Warranty: 90 days for manufacturer defects

The amount of time my 1-year-old spends happily playing in a playpen seems to correlate with how large the play space is, and flexible gate systems offer the most space for active toddlers. The Evenflo Versatile Play Space is a six-piece gate system that offers more than 18 square feet of space and additional panels are available in sets of two.

While I preferred the Regalo's built-in floor for keeping outdoor choking hazards away, the Evenflo offers a more affordable price and plenty of space. There's no door, but at 5-foot-2, I can easily reach over the 28-inch side. If my son is playing in the center, however, I have to climb over the side to get to him.

Indoors, the gate system uses flat "feet." Outdoors, those feet can be reversed to stakes, similar to tent stakes, to keep the gate in place. To switch to the stakes, you need to push a button on the bottom, pull out the flat foot, and reinsert it with the stake side out. Switching the feet was a little tricky at first, but once I found how to get a good grip on the foot to pull it out, it was much easier. The stakes aren't necessary for outdoor use, but could be handy for older toddlers who tend to pull and wiggle the sides.

The Evenflo Versatile Play Space has a carrying handle for use when folded up, though it is a bit tougher to carry and travel with than traditional playpens that collapse.  The plastic panels are durable enough to take outdoors and easily wipe clean with a damp cloth. I used the play space while camping and even forgot it outside in the rain with no issues. 

Best budget playpen The Evenflo Baby Suite Playard is large enough for both sleep and play, and the sturdy construction feels like it should cost more.

Pros: Lightweight, good size play space, easy setup

Cons: Mattress can be noisy and may slide, only a 90-day warranty on manufacturer defects

  • Dimensions and weight: 29.5 inches (l), 40 inches (w), 27.5 inches (h), 15 pounds
  • Age, weight, and height requirements: Newborn to 24 months, up to 30 pounds, up to 35 inches tall or until child can climb out
  • Carrying bag included: Yes
  • Warranty: 90 days for manufacturer defects

The Evenflo Baby Suite Playard is a simple budget option that offers a large space for sleep and play, fabrics that easily wipe clean, and uncomplicated setup.

The mattress is covered with a vinyl material, a design choice that is both good and bad. The good: The mattress and the sides of the Baby Suite wipe down easily. Even dried-up baby food didn't leave a stain or require much scrubbing. However, that material makes the mattress a little noisy as the baby moves around. My son didn't seem to mind the noise, but some babies and caregivers might. The mattress also needs to be strapped down because the vinyl is slippery and it could slide out of place. 

With its traditional playpen design, setup involves locking the four top rails, pressing down the center, and securing the mattress. A button in the center of the rail depresses for teardown. The button is large enough to easily locate, and it didn't stick like other budget models I've used in the past. 

The play yard weighs less than 17 pounds and comes with a carrying bag, making it lighter and more portable than options like the 4Moms Breeze Go. While not as easy to set up or as high quality as our other top picks, the Baby Suite is lightweight, roomy, and easy to clean at an excellent price point.

What else we considered

I tested 11 playpens and travel cribs over six months to find the best options. Along with our top picks, I also tried the following:

  • Graco Pack 'n Play Travel Dome LX Playard: I loved the Travel Dome that is included with this Pack 'n Play, which would be ideal for newborn naps without packing the entire thing. The Pack 'n Play wasn't as easy to set up — I couldn't get the changing station fully assembled — or as large as our pick for the best playpen with a bassinet, the Tiny Love Here I Grow Play Yard.
  • Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Travel Crib: This Skip Hop travel crib has a unique design that converts from a sleep space to a larger play area, but it can be a bit tricky to convert. The mattress isn't quite as soft as our top pick, the Guava Lotus, and it's not quite as stable, but it's a good alternative if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option.
  • Baby Jogger City Suite: If you want a bassinet for travel, this is a good option. The play and sleep space is smaller than others I tried, however.
  • Joovy Gloo: The Joovy Gloo is more akin to a portable toddler bed than a playpen. The tent-like bed is excellent for infants older than 6 months, toddlers, and preschoolers — even for outdoor naps. I love using the Gloo for naps on the go, but it isn't tall enough for play.
  • Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light: An excellent travel crib, the Baby Bjorn is easy to set up and clean. It was one of my favorites, but the Guava Lotus offered the same perks in a backpack for less money.
Our testing methodology

I used each of the top picks in this guide for at least two weeks with my son, age 8 months to 1 year old during testing. Because playpens tend to take more abuse during play than sleep, we spent most of that time using each one for play. I evaluated them for durability, portability, ease of use, and safe sleep.

Durability: To test durability, I shook the frame, then folded up the playpen and dropped it from arm's length a few times, not unlike what a playpen could experience while getting manhandled as checked airline baggage. Because my son was too old for a bassinet, I tossed some books into the toppers and checked for a sturdy, level sleep surface. For outdoor playpens, I left each one outside overnight, including in the rain and on camping trips.

Ease of cleaning: To see how well each option would handle diaper blowouts and spit-up, I splattered baby food on the mattress and sides.

Portability: I evaluated each playpen while in the bag, if one was included. I carried the playpens from room to room to see how easy they were to lug around. This test was prioritized for the travel category.

Ease of use: I set up and tore down each option several times, considering both simplicity and the length of time needed.

Safe sleep: I also evaluated mattresses. I pressed on each one to check for firmness and ensure there was no gap between the mattress and playpen sides.

Safe sleep

No matter which type of playpen you choose, considering safe sleep is a must. Last year, inclined sleepers like the Rock 'n Play Sleeper were recalled after infant deaths, a reminder that some products on store shelves do not follow the safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to those guidelines, infants should sleep on their backs on a flat, firm surface without any loose bedding or other objects. The playpen you choose should also meet the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

When it comes to playpens, Justin Smith, MD, a pediatrician at Cook Children's in Trophy Club, Texas, said parents should look for firm sleep surfaces.

"All sleep options should be a flat surface with a firm mattress in order to be safe," he said. "Parents should also be careful to make sure that the surface doesn't have built-in bumpers or soft surfaces which could cause suffocation."

If you plan to cover the mattress with a sheet, make sure that it fits tightly. Loose-fitting sheets and soft items like blankets and stuffed toys should never be placed in a portable crib with a child under 1 year old.

With any playpen or travel crib, it's important read the entire user's manual, which will also include weight, height, and age restrictions. For example, most bassinet add-ons are only rated to 15 pounds, with changing tables often having similar restrictions.

To protect children against injuries, caregivers should also provide constant supervision while they are in the play yard, whether they are awake or asleep. It's also important to note that, like with cribs, once a child can climb out of a play yard, it is no longer a safe space for them to spend time.

Whenever traveling, Smith recommends making sure that the baby's caregivers are also aware of safe sleep guidelines.

"Parents should keep in mind that travel is a particularly risky time for babies regarding safe sleep environments," Smith said. "Make sure each caregiver, including grandparents, is aware that children should be placed on their back on a flat surface for every sleep."

Read the original article on Business Insider

27 easy beach reads that are perfect for summer vacation

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:33pm  |  Clusterstock

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  • Beach reads are highly entertaining books that you can't put down, and are perfect for summer.
  • No matter the genre, these beach reads are an immersive escape, whether you're on vacation or not.
  • Below are our 27 best beach reads, including YA, romance, thriller, and non-fiction books.

Beach reads used to be known as mindless, mass-market paperbacks with shirtless men on the cover that we'd throw in our bags, read for an hour, and never care about again. But now, beach reads are an escape, whether your toes are in the sand or not. They take us on vacation, into a new world away from our stresses.

My mark of a good beach read is one with a fully consuming story. Many of these books are ones I've read in a single day (or a single sitting), and every one of them pairs perfectly with a day off. Whether it's a delightfully cheesy romantic comedy or harrowing nonfiction, every book on this list has the potential to whisk you away and make any day a vacation in the sun.

27 great beach reads: Rom-com beach reads An aptly titled beach read "Beach Read" by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Of course I had to include this one. It's about two polar-opposite writers staying in neighboring beach houses for the summer, one a romance writer and the other trying to write the next Great American Novel. Faced with writer's block, they decide to swap topics and spend the summer teaching each other the ins and outs of writing their genres, all while competing to publish their own book first. With plenty of romance, scenes that might make you cry, and an interesting (and accurate) inside look at the process of writing a book, this is an easy one to read in the sun. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The enemies-to-friends-to-lovers storyline.

A beach read that feels like a reality show "One to Watch" by Kate Stayman-London, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Okay, I'll admit it. I watch "The Bachelorette" every single week. If you love watching the show's smart, strong leads who know exactly what they want and refuse to settle, then you will absolutely love this book. Bea is a plus-sized fashion blogger who gets asked to be on a "Bachelorette"-like reality show. She sees it as an opportunity to grow her brand and show that plus-size women deserve the spotlight, too. Between internet drama and conniving producers, this book is more entertaining than a reality show. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The can't-look-away drama.

A charming, sexy rom-com "Take A Hint, Dani Brown" by Talia Hibbert, available at Amazon and Bookshop

First of all, every Talia Hibbert book belongs on this list. Her romances are known for their sensitivity and steam, but they're also such enjoyable reads that any one of them is perfect for a relaxing beach day. Danika has no interest in a relationship but asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits. So when a video of sexy security guard Zafir carrying Danika out of a building goes viral, they decide to fake a relationship to promote Zafir's charity (and help Danika secretly seduce him behind the scenes). I loved Dani's intelligence and the anti-toxic masculinity storyline around Zafir. Have you ever teared up because a book was so naturally inclusive that it felt like a breath of fresh air? You might once you grab this.

Irresistible beach read quality: The steamy romance.

An emotional yet adorable romance "The Happy Ever After Playlist" by Abbi Jimenez, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This one starts out a little cheesy, but there's something so endearing about it that got me hooked. Sloan lost her fiancé two years ago and is still struggling to get her life together when she finds a lost pup named Tucker whose owner, Jason, is on tour in Australia. The two exchange texts and calls, their connection growing as their meeting grows near. But being an international star, Jason might not have time for a relationship and Sloan could end up heartbroken again. This book is super dramatic and full of scandal, giving it all the summer romance vibes you need. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A super cute dog — and a dog owner who's not too bad looking, either.

The tale of an unexpected Hawaiian vacation "The Unhoneymooners" by Christina Lauren, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Christina and Lauren (the co-authors) have written a bunch of fun rom-coms but this is my favorite because it's absolutely hysterical. Olive (who thinks love is gross) and her sworn enemy Ethan put aside their mutual hatred for an all-expense-paid Hawaiian honeymoon after food poisoning hits everyone in her sister's wedding besides them. When they run into her boss, the entire vacation revolves around pretending to be loving newlyweds. It's adorable and fast-paced because of the constant (and hilarious) complications that arise.

Irresistible beach read quality: The witty banter.

Thriller beach reads A brilliant and fast-moving thriller "Verity" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The day I opened this book, I did absolutely nothing else besides getting to the bottom of what the heck was happening in these pages. Lowen is a budding writer, brought to the Crawford home to finish writing Verity's book series after a car accident left her in a waking coma. While doing research in Verity's library, Lowen finds an autobiographical manuscript with haunting admissions, so devastating that she chooses to keep them a secret. This is a rollercoaster of lies that will have you trying to guess the truth until the last page.

Irresistible beach read quality: The need to know the truth gets stronger with every lie.

A unbelievably creepy novel "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn, available at Amazon and Bookshop

"Gone Girl" is undoubtedly the most famous of Flynn's novels but "Sharp Objects" is my favorite to recommend as a beach read. It's a bit shorter — and so twisted that you have to finish it in a day. Camille is an investigative reporter returning to her small town to cover the murder of a young girl. She's staying with her hypochondriac mother in her childhood bedroom and must unravel some psychological twists in order to uncover the story. This is an incredibly suspenseful thriller and you'll need the sun to balance out all the dark secrets.

Irresistible beach read quality: A disturbing past that feels all too real.

A summer story that turns deadly "I Killed Zoe Spanos" by Kit Frick, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Anna is spending the summer in the Hamptons on a nannying gig, in a community on edge after the New Year's Eve disappearance of Zoe Spanos. Anna, who is constantly reminded of her resemblance to Zoe, begins to dig deeper into the unsolved case. Two months later, she finds herself charged with the manslaughter of a girl she'd never met. The book bounces between Anna's confession and the summer as it unfolds, with an ending that will throw you for a loop — I really thought I had this one all figured out but the last 10 pages blew me away. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The true-crime feel.

A shocking family drama "The Push" by Ashely Audrian, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Blythe is determined to be the warm and loving mother she never had. She's convinced that something is wrong with her daughter, even though her husband says she's exhausted and just imagining things. When her second child is born, the connection between herself and her children is strong and beautiful, until their lives are forever changed. This is another one that demands to be read in one sitting as everything you've accepted is eventually overturned. The book's short chapters have you turning the pages faster and faster as you navigate haunting memories, trauma, and the legacy of motherhood.

Irresistible beach read quality: The ending that will make you want to throw the book in the ocean.

Historical fiction beach reads A page-turning exploration of one woman's life "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This was the first book I read in a single sitting and it's one I recommend to everyone. Evelyn Hugo is an A-list Hollywood actress who is finally ready to tell her story, but only to one little-known journalist. In this book, we get to hear Evelyn's story of rising to fame in the '50s, leaving the business in the '80s, and marrying seven husbands (all for different reasons) along the way. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes characters and stories that are so vivid, you can't believe they're not real. This book is fascinating and a little heartbreaking, and when everything comes together in the end, it might become your new favorite. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The desire to know who the love of Evelyn's life was.

A story of forgotten courage during the war "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Just when you think you've read every World War II story there is to tell, this book comes into your life. It's about French women's role in the war — from secret messengers across country lines to wives forced to house German soldiers as bombs drop around them. While 600 pages might warrant a week-long beach stay, I read this in two days and cried twice. It is so achingly beautiful and so hard to pull away.

Irresistible beach read quality: The constant action of women fighting to survive.

A historical tale set in Scotland "The Skylark's Secret" by Fiona Valpy, available at Amazon and Bookshop

In 1940, Flora embarks on a forbidden romance that brings even more tension into a home rocked by devastating changes in the community. Many years later, Flora's daughter, Lexie, returns to the village with her own daughter to learn about her mother, their past, and the sacrifices made in her name. This multi-generational story is about war, love, and learning from and about our past. The family dynamics — and facing that which lays hidden behind them — make this book so beloved by many. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The connection between the generations of women and their homeland.

A fictional account of a real, often-overlooked woman "Hamnet" by Maggie O'Farrell, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Maggie O'Farrell's magical writing elevates an already fascinating book into one that you'll hold close long after the summer is over. It's historical fiction, based on the little-known (but real) story of Agnes, found in the footnotes of "Hamlet." In 1580s England, Agnes is a gifted healer, both feared and sought-after, who settles down with her husband and has three children. When her son, Hamnet, dies at age eleven, Agnes' husband writes a play called "Hamlet." You absolutely do not need to be a Shakespeare buff to love this story and appreciate its rightful place in history. 

Irresistible beach read quality: Maggie O'Farrell's lyrical writing.

Young adult beach reads A novel that will leave you feeling optimistic "With the Fire on High" by Elizabeth Acevedo, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The only place Emoni has to let go of her stress is the kitchen, making food that everyone agrees is unparalleled. With a dream to be a chef and an opportunity just out of reach, Emoni needs to find a way to balance her dreams and responsibilities. This one is about hardships: Young motherhood, the harshness of the world, and balancing everything you love. It's a very character-driven novel, so prepare yourself to become emotionally invested in Emoni's happiness and success. Elizabeth Acevedo might not be capable of writing anything that's not incredible, as every book of hers I've read has blown me away. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The food in this book will make you hungry in real life.

A queer enemies-to-lovers royal romance "Red, White, and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the first son of the White House with a lifelong nemesis — Prince Henry of British royalty. When Alex confronts Henry at a royal wedding, the story is leaked to the tabloids and the best solution is a publicity stunt: a fake friendship between the two. As Henry and Alex begin to fall in love, the truth threatens to destroy the President's reelection campaign and even the relations between Britain and America. I love a good queer romance but the added royal aspect, the snarky wit between the boys, and the fun development of the relationship make this a must-read for the summer. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The heart-swelling romance.

A competitive and sweet first-love story "Today Tonight Tomorrow" by Rachel Lynn Solomon, available at Amazon and Bookshop

For all four years of high school, Rowan and Neil hate each other, bitter rivals and complete opposites. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan finds one last chance to beat him in a scavenger hunt/ninja assassin game played by all seniors after graduation. The plot spans 24 hours, which keeps this book moving quickly. It's easy to laugh and root for these two as their faux-hateful banter turns quickly to friendship despite years of sworn rivalry. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The balance between pure fun and deeper feelings.

A truly adorable, romantic high school adventure "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Lara Jean does not tell boys that she has a crush on them. Instead, she writes each one a letter and hides them all under her bed. Somehow, these letters have been mailed and all her past crushes, big and small, are confronting her about them. It's highly amusing because of the reappearance of every crush — from her sister's ex-boyfriend to her first kiss many years ago. The story is very cute and light, so you can relax in the sun as Lara winds through sisterhood and her past loves towards a romance that leaves you smiling. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A light love story to make any beach day brighter.

A summer beach read set in picturesque Italy "Love & Gelato" by Jenna Evans Welch, available at Amazon and Bookshop

After her mother passes away, Lina finds her mother's old journal while spending the summer in Tuscany to get to know her father. Suddenly no longer focused on leaving, Lina begins to follow her mother's writing through Italy's streets and discover her secrets with the help of a charming local boy. It's a summer story of family, first love, and discovery. My favorite quote is "People come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay it's for the same two things… love and gelato."

Irresistible beach read quality: The adorable love story accompanying the uncovering of long-kept secrets.

Contemporary fiction beach reads A novel of two very different journeys "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, available at Amazon and Bookshop

The Vignes sisters ran away from their small, southern Black community at 16 and moved on to very different lives; one sister moving back home with her Black daughter; the other passing for white, marrying a white man — and telling him nothing of her past. When their daughters' lives intersect years later, they begin to uncover the decisions and lies of their mothers. This book is about race, but also exploration, identity, desires, and how our past influences it all. There is so much about this book to love that I read it twice. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The stark differences of two sisters with the same upbringing.

A Californian story of love and friendship "The Knockout Queen" by Rufi Thorpe, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This is a coming-of-age story about the friendship between Bunny, a too-tall Olympic hopeful, and Michael, her closeted, home-schooled neighbor. Bunny is desperate to fit in and hide from her father's alcoholism while Michael is trying to navigate his sexuality while meeting up with men on the internet, the two taking solace in each other's company. With really intelligent writing that keeps you interested in the characters, it's an unapologetic and unflinchingly honest telling of two teens seeking human connection. 

Irresistible beach read quality: A tender look into the victories and downfalls of two misfits.

A light read on a thought-provoking topic "Such a Fun Age" by Kiley Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This book gets interesting from the first scene, where Emira, a young African-American woman, is accused of kidnapping Briar, the white child she babysits, while walking around the grocery store. Alix, the blogger mom of the child, tries to right the situation that quickly gets farther and farther out of control. Emira and Briar are hugely loveable characters that contrast heavily with the supposedly well-intentioned Alix, making this an entertaining read as well as a broader commentary on race, class, and influencer culture.

Irresistible beach read quality: How true-to-life the story feels. 

A story of fighting for what you love "Things You Save In A Fire" by Katherine Center, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Katherine Center is so good at writing hardships that leave you feeling hopeful. This one is about Cassie, one of the only female firefighters in her firehouse. With rundown facilities, no funding to fix them, and an environment that borders on toxic, the men aren't thrilled to have a woman join the crew, even though she's more competent than most of them. When the handsome new guy is the only one nice to her, Cassie has to constantly remind herself that she doesn't date firefighters. Katherine Center writes stories that have you rooting for the main character with every part of your heart and soul, and this one is true to form. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The protagonist's complete badassery.

A classic-feeling beach read with secrets galore "Winter In Paradise" by Elin Hilderbrand, available at Amazon and Bookshop

Elin Hilderbrand is basically the ultimate beach read writer, churning out smooth reads that end in cliffhangers. After the sudden, tragic death of her husband, Irene travels to St. John to investigate the unusual circumstances in which he died, stumbling upon the secrets of a man she may not have known as well as she thought. I loved this for a summer read because the characters are easy to understand, the drama keeps you interested, and there's just enough romance to have me rooting for love. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The tropical tourist destination setting.

Non-fiction beach reads A historical crisis told in an intimate way "The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz" by Erik Larson, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This book is a highly researched history about Churchill's actions and reactions in Britain during the WWII era. It follows him as well as his family and friends through the fear surrounding London as Hitler kills 45,000 Britains in a bombing campaign, having invaded Holland and Belgium on Churchill's first day as Prime Minister. Erik Larson writes history like an unfolding drama, so you'll find yourself learning and invested in the story.

Irresistible beach read quality: The diaries and formerly classified intelligence reports.

A true story about the mothers of our heroes "The Three Mothers" by Anna Malaika Tubbs, available at Amazon and Bookshop

This is the story of the mothers who raised and shaped Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Faced with Jim Crow-era racism, little has been previously said of the incredible women who taught these men the beliefs of justice and equality that would change the world. The book is filled with love and compassion, bringing the experience of Black women and mothers into the conversation while truly demonstrating their vital significance in the ongoing fight against oppression. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The untold stories of three extraordinary women.

A fact-filled presentation of a frustrating bias "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men" by Caroline Criado Pérez, available at Amazon and Bookshop

In nearly every aspect of our society, women are systematically ignored. From the way crash test dummies, voice recognition software, and even medicinal dosing have been designed, the data that drives nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around men. This book can be a little appalling as the well-researched case studies shed light on an unconscious bias in our society that might start to feel more and more obvious as you learn more about it. 

Irresistible beach read quality: The data to back up every claim.

A true story about women who glow "The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women" by Kate Moore, available at Amazon and Bookshop

As soon as I found out about this phenomenon of "The Radium Girls" I dove headfirst into this book. During the First World War, they were working in factories to get radium — a newly discovered magical drug — into the hands of the public. The girls were covered in radium, literally glowing from the chemical all over their bodies after leaving their coveted jobs. But when they began to fall ill, the factories ignored their claims that it could be from the radium. It's the story of a fight for workers' rights, one that saved so many lives because the women demanded to be heard. It's also such a remarkable story that it's easy to forget it's true.

Irresistible beach read quality: The tension created from fighting for what's right.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A new analyst report suggests Dunkin' is discontinuing its fan-favorite Beyond Meat sandwich, but the chain says it's still available in 10 states

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:32pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Dunkin' says it isn't discontinuing Beyond sandwiches, though they are not available in every store.
  • The Beyond breakfast sandwich was launched in 2019.
  • Fans are angry about losing their favorite sandwich.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Dunkin says it has not discontinued the Beyond Breakfast Sandwich, despite a report from JP Morgan analysts.

The analyst note says that the offering is no longer on menus at stores analysts called. It no longer appears on the website or in-app menus. At least 9,000 Dunkin' locations were previously carrying the sandwich, analysts said.

Dunkin' says it is continuing to work with Beyond Meat, though the sandwich is not available in many parts of the US.

"We maintain a strong relationship with Beyond Meat and will continue to work together to explore innovative plant-based options to meet consumer demand for plant-based menu items," Michelle King, Dunkin's head of corporate communications, told Insider. "The Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich continues to be available at several hundred Dunkin' restaurants throughout the country including in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Hawaii, Utah, Kansas, and Wyoming."

Dunkin' first launched the sandwich in 2019, and at the time it was the biggest ever launch of a plant-based meat product by a major restaurant chain. The sandwich consisted of a Beyond Meat breakfast patty, American cheese, and an egg on an English muffin.

Fans of the sandwich are expressing their anger and sadness at not being able to get the sandwich.

-countess aly

Function of Beauty makes it easy for anyone to customize their shampoo and conditioner - here's how it worked on 4 different hair types and textures

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:29pm  |  Clusterstock

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Strategic partnerships manager Elisabeth Chambry tried the Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner system with a leave-in treatment.
  • Even with a sea of options, it's hard to find haircare that feels like it's really made for you.
  • Function of Beauty is changing that with custom haircare that's based on your quiz results.
  • We tried it and loved the personalization process, but our thoughts about the formulas were mixed.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyProduct Card (small, Preferred: Function of Beauty)

Human beings are unique. We wear outfits that show off our personal style. We create playlists so we can listen to the music we love whenever we want. We have myriad interests and passions which we proudly display on our social media profiles. For the most part, the world that we live in makes it easy for us to personalize everything in our lives - from monogrammed phone cases to data-driven subscription boxes.

So, why doesn't our haircare get the same treatment?

Function of Beauty was founded in 2015 with the intention of helping people embrace their one-of-a-kind hair- and shaking up the shampoo aisle with some much-needed personalization. After all, we search for customization in so many other aspects of our lives, why should we settle for two-in-one shampoo and conditioner?

Zahir Dossa may not seem like your typical beauty brand founder. But, the MIT alum (with four degrees from his alma mater) saw a need for customization in the space. While receiving his PhD, Dossa started working on a beauty cooperative. When he asked a group of people for feedback on the same product, he was surprised at the wide range of answers he received. It was that experience that planted the seed that would soon become Function of Beauty, a haircare brand that lets people customize their routine with totally personalized shampoos and conditioners.

What we thought after trying Function of Beauty Elisabeth shows the before and after using Function of Beauty on her curly hair.

Function of Beauty has received tens of thousands of five-star reviews, but we wanted to see how it actually worked on our own hair. So, four of my colleagues swapped out their regular shampoos and conditioners for customized Function of Beauty regimens. They all filled out the hair quiz and received an eight-ounce shampoo and conditioner just for them. Find their reviews, below.

Elisabeth's Function of Beauty haircare lineup includes: purple shampoo, purple conditioner, and leave-in treatment. Elisabeth Chambry, strategic partnerships manager:

Hair type: light brown, curly, fine, dry scalp, long

Products: shampoo in purple, peach scent; conditioner in purple, peach scent; leave-in treatment

Elisabeth's experience: As a curly-haired girl, I was skeptical of the Function of Beauty haircare products but pleasantly surprised by the results. It might not be noticeable to the untrained eye, but my curls look more defined, less frizzy, and more moisturized.

I'm always searching for the perfect leave-in and curl cream combination for styling my hair. For the last two months, I've exclusively used my Function of Beauty leave-in treatment. It does a great job conditioning my curls and fighting frizz without weighing down my hair. The shampoo was sudsy even though it was silicone-free. I had to use much more conditioner, so the bottle is about 50% less full than my shampoo. This is common for me as a curly-haired girl who needs a lot of conditioners, so I wouldn't necessarily note it as a drawback. I have used other conditioner formulas that penetrated my hair better, making it softer and detangled, but I thought this formula did a fine job. The bottles are a joy to have in the shower, but the pumps also lock easily for travel.

As for my scalp, I didn't notice any difference in ridding flakes and dryness. I've had trouble finding a haircare product that competes with my simple apple cider vinegar rinses. I'll likely continue my treasure hunt to find something that absolutely blows me away, but I'll keep Function of Beauty in my back pocket for a reliable and fun-to-have haircare system. Finding products that work for my hair is pretty difficult, but I enjoy the chase.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Function of Beauty) Connie Chen shows the before and after using Function of Beauty on her color-treated hair. Connie Chen, senior reporter:

Hair type: dark brown (color-treated), medium coarseness, straight, medium-length

Products: shampoo in purple, pear scent; conditioner in blue, pear scent; hair mask

Connie's experience: With most haircare, it often feels like I have to compromise somewhere, whether it's an ingredient I don't want in the formulation or being pigeonholed into certain fragrances. I love that Function of Beauty gives me way more control. I have dyed hair, so I was able to choose a purple shampoo to reduce brassiness. At the same time, I could choose to have my products address my specific hair goals, which include strengthening and conditioning with a nice smelling formula. Over the last six weeks, I've used the shampoo and conditioner every other day. I apply the hair mask once a week and my hair looks and feels much healthier. A plus is that all the fragrances smell amazing - I've tried the pear, peach, and mango over the years and they're some of the most memorable haircare scents I've used.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Function of Beauty) Alyssa's Function of Beauty custom haircare lineup includes: turquoise shampoo and purple conditioner. Alyssa Powell, graphic designer:

Hair type: black, tightly coiled, short

Products: shampoo in turquoise, lavender scent; conditioner in purple, lavender scent; both silicone-free

Alyssa's experience: As much as I love my tightly coiled, well-put-together hair, maintaining moisture, retaining length, and finding the right products have always been a struggle for me. So I chose the following hair goals when customizing: curl definition, hydrate, and strengthen. I also chose to get the silicone-free formula for both, in the True L(o)vender scent because it was 100% natural.

The packaging of these products was beautiful. I loved my name printed on the bottles and on the direction booklet. When I tried Function of Beauty last year, I was not impressed. However, I decided to give it another try because I finally found a wash routine that had been working for me. I also wanted to use the products properly this time.

I followed my normal routine: shampooing once a week, using conditioner every other day, then following up with a leave-in gel from another brand. I let the conditioner sit for the directed 5-10 minutes. I liked the way my hair felt after using the shampoo and conditioner. It was clean, moisturized, and the products smelled amazing.

After one month of using the products, I think Function of Beauty has earned a spot on my bathroom shelf. Having a consistent routine and following the directions made all the difference.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Function of Beauty) Mara's custom Function of Beauty lineup includes: a purple shampoo, white conditioner, hair serum, and body lotion. Mara Leighton, senior commerce reporter:

Hair type: brunette (color-treated), thick, wavy, long

Products: shampoo in purple, eucalyptus scent; conditioner in white, eucalyptus scent; body lotion in eucalyptus scent; hair serum in pear scent; body wash in white, eucalyptus scent; body lotion in white, eucalyptus scent

Mara's experience: My hair can be as dry and frizzy as grass in a drought, so I tend to favor hydrating products - and I was surprised by how much I loved Function of Beauty's formulas.

First, I was able to customize my shampoo and conditioner to include the stuff I know I need but hate looking for in ingredient lists, such as ingredients to combat brassiness in color-treated hair and nutritious oils to smooth and hydrate. Personally, I don't care about the option to pick the color. But most importantly is that my hair consistently dried to look better hydrated and less frizzy, but still clean and voluminous.

If I could only buy one thing again, though, it would be the Hair Serum. It makes my hair look so uncharacteristically hydrated, shiny, and more defined (the qualities I find most difficult to replicate) without edging on greasy. It's also more manageable after I've applied the Hair Serum. I've definitely used too much before, but in my experience, that's difficult to do; my hair drinks this formula up. And the pear scent smells really nice.

The lotion and body wash are nice but don't reinvent the wheel (and they don't need to). My one nitpick is that I wish I'd gone for light strength on the fragrances. I chose the fresh, clean eucalyptus (which smells a lot like mint) for most of the products, and it's just slightly heavy for my liking.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Function of Beauty)How to create your personalized shampoo and conditioner

Creating your own Function of Beauty haircare is simple. You'll follow these steps to get a customized formula:

  • Fill out a quiz about your hair type and hair structure (curly, straight, thick, fine, etc.)
  • Choose five hair goals (Do you want to banish brassiness? Reduce oil? Add shine or volume?)
  • Pick out a fragrance (some of the scent options include eucalyptus, lavender, and peach)
  • Choose from nine color tints (all 100% vegan and sulfate-free; you can also choose to leave it dye-free)

The hair quiz tells the FOB team everything they need to know about your hair, and the brand's algorithms will get to work to find you the perfect formula. Your products will also come to your door in cute personalized bottles.


There are a few ways to buy Function of Beauty products. You can choose to get a delivery just one time, every six months, every three months, or once a month. In terms of size, you can choose from an eight- or 16-ounce bottle of either shampoo or conditioner. The pricing ranges from $29 for a single eight-ounce shampoo bottle to $49 for a 16-ounce shampoo and conditioner set. These are definitely pricier than your drugstore haircare brands, but the price tag reflects the custom approach as well as the high-quality ingredients used.

If you love the idea of custom haircare but need something less pricey, Function of Beauty also has a more affordable product line at Target. It works by having you first pick out a base formula, and then mix in booster packets that address your specific hair needs. The base formulas are $10 each and the booster packets are $2.99 each. You can learn more here.

The bottom line

Function of Beauty's custom shampoo and conditioner is fun to create and the colorful bottles look great on a bathroom shelf. Most of us were won over, but whether or not it works for you will really come down to your personal preferences. What we can all agree on is that we appreciate the clean scents, the thoughtful details, and the easy-to-use ordering process.

Create your own personalized haircare routine at Function of Beauty.Read the original article on Business Insider

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns of 'absolutely catastrophic' hit to economic recovery this summer if US can't pay its bills on time

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:26pm  |  Clusterstock
  • On Wednesday Secretary Yellen asked Congress to extend a July deadline to pay back some of the federal debt.
  • Without an extension, she warned of a "catastrophic" default that could hurt economic recovery.
  • Some in the GOP have signaled they want spending cuts in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress on Wednesday to extend a July 31 deadline to pay down a portion of the federal government's $28 trillion in debt to investors and foreign governments.

Without the extension, she warned of an "absolutely catastrophic" default that would imperil the nation's economic recovery from the pandemic.

"I think defaulting on the national debt should be regarded as unthinkable," she told the Senate Appropriations Committee, calling it "utterly unprecedented in American history for the US government to default on its legal obligations."

Though borrowing is a routine cycle the federal government uses to keep the country running through the sale of bonds, it's reaching its "debt ceiling" on July 31 and needs to service its debt before it can borrow more. The Treasury has some ability to keep payments flowing beyond that date, but Yellen said it could exhaust those measures sometime in August during the month-long Congressional recess. Increasing the debt ceiling does not mean additional federal spending.

If the federal government defaults, Yellen said it could jumpstart a chain reaction of cash shortages starting with US bond holders, which include individuals, businesses, and foreign governments.

"I believe it would precipitate a financial crisis," Yellen said. "It would threaten the jobs and savings of Americans and at a time we're recovering from the COVID pandemic."

Congress last suspended the borrowing limit in July 2019 for two years under President Donald Trump. Yellen also emphasized the pandemic is causing uncertainty around the Treasury's emergency powers to step in with emergency payments if it became necessary.

Some Republicans have signaled they will press for spending cuts in exchange for signing onto a debt ceiling increase, despite supporting a surge of red ink under Trump. Among many Democrats, memories of a 2011 brawl between House Republicans and President Barack Obama on the debt ceiling are still fresh, as it sent stocks tumbling and caused the first downgrade to US credit.

"This is a page from the Obama-era economic sabotage playbook, and I'm not going to let Republicans play games with the economy for their political benefit," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, told Insider in April.

Read the original article on Business Insider

27 huge Amazon Prime Day deals you can still get right now, even though the sale ended yesterday

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:24pm  |  Clusterstock

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 ran June 21 through 22, but some deals are still available. While some discounts aren't quite as low as during the event, you can still save some money on robot vacuums, air fryers, and the Apple iPad Air.

Walmart is also still running its Deals for Days event, so you'll find some sales there as well. It ends today, June 23. You'll find the lowest price we've seen on an iPad Magic Keyboard, $70 off the Apple Watch Series 6, and savings on a Hisense Roku Smart TV.

With July 4 approaching, many mattress brands, including Casper, Leesa, and Dreamcloud, are having sales that will continue through the holiday. If you're in the market, you'll have a bit more time to figure out the best kind of mattress for your budget and sleeping type. Some of these deals are only available through the manufacturer, and we've rounded them up here.

Here are the best deals still available after Prime Day 2021Watch Series 6 (40mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Magic Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Essential Wireless Video Doorbell (medium)Original Pillow (medium)iPad Air (4th Gen., 64GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Nest Thermostat (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Joy Machine (medium, Preferred: Amazon)AirPods Pro (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Foodi Deluxe XL Cooker & Air Fryer (medium, Preferred: Amazon)S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Mac Mini (2020) with M1 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)iPad 10.2-inches, 128GB (8th Gen.) (medium)New MacBook Air (M1) (medium)Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug (medium)One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (medium)Original Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Precision Cooker Nano (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Fire TV Stick 4K (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Mint Mattress (Queen) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Echo Show 5 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Smart Cooker (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Elite 85t True Wireless Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Personal Water Filter (2-Pack) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Breed + Health Kit (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Subscription (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Read the original article on Business Insider

Companies like State Farm and McDonalds say they support LGBT rights, but their franchisees and agents sometimes have other ideas

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:10pm  |  Clusterstock
A McDonalds' restaurant sign is seen as the restaurant is closed due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on April 19, 2020 in Southampton, England.
  • Insider investigated the campaign finance records of Arkansas lawmakers who sponsored anti-transgender legislation.
  • Several visibly LGBT-friendly companies, their agents, and franchise owners gave money to the laws' sponsors.
  • McDonald's franchise owners and State Farm agents donated a combined $107,000 to the Arkansas legislators.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The franchisees and agents of companies like McDonald's and State Farm directed vast sums to legislators that backed some of the most anti-LGBT legislation passed this year.

Arkansas was one of several states across the US that enacted legislation restricting trans women from playing on women's sports teams during the 2021 legislative session and was the only state to pass legislation that aims to remove access to medical care and punish those who treat trans youth.

Insider pored through campaign finance records from the Arkansas Secretary of State for the 76 members of the Arkansas legislature who sponsored House Bill 1570 or Senate Bill 354. We then digitized the records to identify key corporate supporters and found that several corporations that position themselves as LGBT allies have agents, employees, and franchise owners that donated to the sponsors of Arkansas legislation using their company's name and branding since 2018.

State Farm Insurance, for example, frequently takes part in local Pride Month events and proudly touts the company's support on its website. State Farm public affairs specialist Michal Brower told Insider that the company does not donate directly to state legislators.

"State Farm does have a Federal PAC (SFF PAC), which allows our employees and agents to collectively provide funds to individual candidates across party lines," Brower said. "The SFF PAC does not provide contributions to state-level candidates or legislators in Arkansas, past or present."

But while the company itself did not send money to Arkansas legislators, several of its individual agents donated $72,000 through a separate political action committee: the Arkansas State Farm Association PAC. Two PAC officers did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

-State Farm (@StateFarm) June 8, 2021

Much like State Farm, McDonald's also proudly positions itself as a supportive ally of the LGBT+ community through various digital campaigns and media sponsorships, but McDonald's franchise owners donated a combined $35,000 to 52 of the sponsors of the anti-trans legislation since 2018 through the McDonald's Local Owner Operators of Arkansas PAC.

The company promotes on its Diversity and Inclusion webpage that it received a perfect score in each of the last five years on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index. McDonald's did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

LGBT advocates told Insider that corporate support on Pride Month is inadequate if the company continues to finance the sponsors of deleterious legislation.

"Corporations can't celebrate Pride with us in June and expect us to look the other way if they fund anti-LGBTQ campaigns, legislators, and activist groups," GLAAD Rapid Response Manager Mary Emily O'Hara told Insider. "Being a corporate ally means speaking up for what's right and helping fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination all year long. It's not just throwing a rainbow on some packaging one month out of the year."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Edward Snowden says Julian Assange 'could be next' after John McAfee dies by suicide in jail

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:09pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Edward Snowden said he fears that Julian Assange 'could be next' if he faces extradition.
  • John McAfee took died by apparent suicide on Wednesday. News had broken that he would be extradited to the US from Spain.
  • "Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair," Snowden tweeted.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former NSA consultant and data privacy advocate Edward Snowden tweeted on Wednesday that Julian Assange "could be next," after antivirus mogul John McAfee died by apparent suicide in a Barcelona prison cell following news that he was being extradited to the US on criminal tax evasion charges.

Spanish outlets broke the news of McAfee's death by suicide on Wednesday.

"Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair - and prison system so cruel - that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it. Julian Assange could be next," Snowden tweeted.

"Until the system is reformed, a moratorium should remain," he added.

-Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 23, 2021

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in April 2019 in the United Kingdom, and a UK court temporarily blocked his extradition to the US in January 2021 on 18 charges, most through the Espionage Act, of obtaining and sharing classified information.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 27 best things we bought on Amazon Prime Day 2021

Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:07pm  |  Clusterstock

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 is over, and there were some impressive deals on products we love and others we're excited to try. We rounded up some of the best things the Insider Reviews team personally purchased during Prime Day, from smart TVs and video doorbells to beauty products and a year's supply of discounted toilet paper.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)

The 27 best products we bought on Amazon Prime Day 2021: Toshiba 32-inch and 43-inch Smart TVs

I knew that come Prime Day, I'd want to grab a couple of cheap TVs for the guest bedroom and home gym, and these Toshiba sets checked all the boxes for under $200 each. They come with built-in Fire TV, which means they will work seamlessly with my existing streaming setup. – Ellen Hoffman, service journalism editor-in-chief

32-inch:32-inch Fire TV (button)43-inch:43-inch HD Smart TV (button)Check out more great Prime Day deals on TVs. Crest Whitestrips

I'm getting married in September and I drink several cups of coffee a day, so you do the math. I waited to buy these on Prime Day after seeing that they were one of the most popular deals from last year, and I'm glad I did because I saved about $22 on the kit. It's the one thing I didn't get price-gouged on for my wedding! – Sally Kaplan, executive editor

I wore Invisalign all throughout the pandemic and now that I'm done straightening my teeth, I've wanted to show them off a little! I've seen these Whitestrips on sale before during events like Black Friday and waited until Prime Day to snag some. – Julia Pugachevsky, education & personal development editor

White Luxe Glamorous Whitestrips (button) Coop Pillow

I bought a Coop Pillow last year on Prime Day but my partner and I recently upgraded to a King bed, so I needed a King-size pillow to match. After sleeping on and absolutely loving the Coop for the last year, I wasn't going to settle for an inferior pillow this time around. I snagged the King version — something I would've bought at full price anyway — for 20% off. – Jen Gushue, home & kitchen reference editor

Ever since Coop landed the top spot in our guide to the best pillows, I've been strongly considering them. I finally bought one for myself — a stomach sleeper — and one for my boyfriend — a back sleeper. We both have neck pain from time to time, so the ability to customize these and the 100-day trial gives me peace of mind. – Lisa Sabatini, pets & parenting editor

Last year, my husband needed a new pillow so I bought him the Reviews' team cult favorite, the Coop Pillow on Prime Day. However, I made the dumb mistake of thinking I wouldn't like shredded memory foam fill (I've always been more of a down pillow gal myself) and didn't buy one, too. Well, I've been kicking myself ever since and hoping all year it would go on sale again for Prime Day. I'm a light side sleeper with neck pain, and I was wowed by how comfortable the pillow is and can't wait to sleep on it! – Emily Hochberg, travel editor

Premium Adjustable Pillow (button, Preferred: Amazon) Revlong One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer

As someone who has tried and failed to give themselves a salon-quality blow out, I jumped at the chance to buy the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer this Prime Day. The price of $49.99, plus an additional $10 with a coupon at checkout, was incentive enough. I'm excited to begin styling my hair more and more with this tool. Gareen Puglia, story production fellow

One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (button, Preferred: Amazon) KingStone Adjustable Workout Bench

We ditched our gym memberships during the pandemic and don't have any plans to reactivate them. Instead, we're slowly building out our home gym in the basement. And since workout benches are actually pretty expensive, my fiancé jumped on this deal for $60. – Ellen Hoffman, service journalism editor-in-chief

Adjustable Workout Bench (button) Fitbit Inspire 2

I like to count my steps but don't always like to bring my phone with me on walks or runs. I didn't feel like I needed something as high-tech as an Apple Watch or the Fitbit Sense Advanced. Instead, I was looking for a cheaper option with just the basics that also wouldn't be too bulky. The Fitbit Inspire 2 checked all those boxes so I snagged it when it went on sale for nearly 50% off. — Hannah Freedman, associate travel editor

Inspire 2 (button) Levi's 501 Original Shorts

The 501 denim shorts that put Levi's on the map is selling fast on Amazon, so I jumped on Prime Day's 30% off sale. I'm a huge Levi's lover because they're meant to last forever, but the price tag always deters me. This time, I didn't have to splurge close to $100 on one pair and bought my pair in Jive Stone for just $25. – Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty fellow

Women's 501 Original Shorts (button) Toilet paper

Our executive editor turned me on to the fact that Prime Day is an excellent time to purchase a year's supply of toilet paper, so that's exactly what I did. My favorite part is that it all ships right to my door, so I literally never have to walk the TP aisle of the supermarket again this year. – Lauren Savoie, senior home & kitchen editor

Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, 24 rolls (button) Samsung 32-inch Monitor

I've been looking at this monitor for quite some time. I currently have two monitors and want to make the switch to one gigantic one. This particular chonker will not only display gigantic spreadsheets with ease, but also packs a 144hz refresh rate to keep up with my games of "Overwatch." I found it for 25% off on Amazon Warehouse, and it was too good of a deal to pass up despite my "only essentials during Prime Day" rule. – Tercius Bufete, deals editor

G5 Odyssey Gaming Monitor (32-Inch) (button) Kindle Unlimited

I love my library app, except for the long waitlists for new releases. Four months — aka a whole summer — of free beach reads? Count me in. – Julia Pugachevsky, education & personal development editor

Kindle Unlimited Subscription (4 Months) (button) Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser in white

Last Prime Day, I wanted to pick up a waterpik, but I couldn't snag one before they sold out. Since I have a permanent retainer, it's very difficult to floss with regular floss. Everytime I go to the dentist, my hygienist recommends that I purchase a waterpik as an alternative way of flossing. I hope it makes my life easier, and I'm glad I was able to get one at such a steep discount. – Victoria Gracie, associate distribution producer

WP-660 Water Flosser (button) eufy 2K Video Doorbell

A video doorbell was high on my list of things to buy after a recent move. This one from eufy came highly recommended by our tech editors and was on sale for Prime Day, so I finally added it to my cart. – Ellen Hoffman, service journalism editor-in-chief

2K Video Doorbell with HomeBase (button) Insignia 32-inch Smart TV

I'm not a huge TV person, but I'm moving into a new place in September, and I wanted something small for my nightly "Real Housewives" binges. This Insignia smart TV is low-profile enough that it isn't an eyesore, but it has all of my apps built right in. – Maria Del Russo, senior style & beauty editor

32-inch Smart HD TV (button) Anastasia Brow Gel

I've been using this brow gel for 5+ years and it never fails to give me a fluffy look that stays in place all day. I use the clear gel, but if you don't have thick brows already you might prefer one with pigment! – Elisabeth Chambry, style & beauty strategic partnerships manager

Tinted Brow Gel (button) TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

We have great WiFi in the front of the house, but it struggles a little bit in the back. So we picked up a mesh WiFi system since they're known to provide better coverage than a traditional router. It's also supposed to be easy to set up ... so fingers crossed! – Ellen Hoffman, service journalism editor-in-chief

Deco S4 Mesh WiFi System (button) Ring Doorbell with Chime

My partner and I just bought a new house, so this is the first time we've ever really had to consider home security. Ring doorbells came highly recommended by my partner's dad and our own team's tech experts. – Sally Kaplan, executive editor

Video Doorbell Wired with Ring Chime (button) Uarter Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps have completely eliminated my need for plastic wrap in my kitchen, so whenever they go on sale I stock up. This is the best price I've seen on these so far, and the largest ones can wrap around an entire baguette! And the best part is that they're compostable once they break down. Just cut them up, place them in your compost bin, and order another round — hopefully for an equally low price. – Maria Del Russo, senior style & beauty editor

Beeswax Wraps (button) OYeet Massage Gun Amazon

Massage guns are great tools for relieving muscle soreness, whether it's from a heavy workout or if you just need to loosen up. A friend of mine flagged this brand to me and absolutely loves its stuff, so when there was a big price drop plus a 20% off coupon, I had to grab it. It's small, which makes it portable, and apparently it's just as powerful as the Theragun, so I'm excited to gift these to my favorite people. — Tiffany Chang, strategic partnership manager

NEX Gen Mini Percussion Massager Gun (button) Right Guard Aluminum-Free Deodorant

While fancy gadgets and big kitchen upgrades get all the attention during Prime Day, I love the boring, necessary purchase. That's why I purchased deodorant and soap every year for five years during Amazon Prime Day. This particular four-pack is 35% off at checkout. This should be enough to keep me odor-free through the hot NYC summer. – Tercius Bufete, deals editor

Sport Aluminum-Free Deodorant Invisible Solid Stick (4-pack) (button) Kona 360° Grill Brush

I actually bought this grill brush a few weeks ago when it wasn't on sale. For $20 (and now even less during Prime Day), it makes quick work of cleaning grill grates. – Ellen Hoffman, service journalism editor-in-chief

360° Clean Grill Brush (button, Preferred: Amazon) Lectrofan White Noise Sound Machine

My wife and I needed to get a dedicated and good white noise sound machine to help our new baby sleep, as the smart speaker we were using was proving unreliable for 24/7 streaming of white noise. We bought this one based on its simplicity and various options for white noise and fan sounds, and it's been a dream for us and our baby, so far. – Antonio Villas-Boas, senior tech editor

LectroFan White Noise Sound Machine (button, Preferred: Amazon) Google Nest Indoor Cam

Our current indoor camera that came with our alarm company was miserably bad at recognizing motion — it would rather record changes in lighting than actual people. So I bought the Google Nest Indoor Cam hoping it would fare better. So far, so good. – Antonio Villas-Boas, senior tech editor

Nest Cam Indoor (button) Love's cabin Silk Satin Pillowcase

I'm a big fan of attainable luxury, and in my early 20s, that means satin pillowcases for under $10. The pillow cases I ordered have already arrived, and I love the smooth texture and deep burgundy color. I prefer the zippered enclosure like on these cases because it keeps the seams aligned with the top and bottom of my pillow. — Lily Alig, junior home & kitchen reporter

Silk Satin Pillowcase (button) Levi's Women's 501 Original Shorts

I'm a big fan of Levi's jeans but haven't tried their denim shorts. And after seeing that these shorts were 40% off, I thought it was the perfect time to try them out. I snagged a pair in Luxor Baked and am super excited to get plenty of wear out of them this summer. — Victoria Gracie, associate distribution producer

Women's 501 Original Shorts (button) Quaker Life Breakfast Cereal

What do you get the guy who has everything? Food! I only bought snacks on Prime Day. I got two Frito-Lay 40-pack party mixes and some granola bars. I haven't had Life in a long time. Four boxes for $7 seemed like a good deal, and I like how it has relatively little sugar for a cereal that tastes good. When I'm hungry at night, I like to have a bowl of cereal with almond milk, which makes for a healthy treat. Plus, Mikey likes it. — James Brains, home and kitchen reporter

Life Breakfast Cereal (button)


Apple iPad Air

I've been looking to upgrade to a new iPad and Apple Pencil for a while now, so when I saw the iPad Air drop to a new low of $519, I snapped it up immediately. I love the color variety, and I'm going to use it often for drawing. I picked the Sky Blue finish, and I'm excited to take Procreate on a spin. I also got to utilize an extra 6% back using my Prime Rewards Card as part of a Prime Day promo. — Sarah Saril, deals reporter

iPad Air (4th Gen., 64GB) (button) PhoneSoap 3

The PhoneSoap is easy and effective at sanitizing phones, keys, and anything else that can fit; it's so good that it's the best overall screen cleaner in our guide. I've bought these in the past for my family, and it's been great both for my parents and young nieces. They all loved it, so I was excited to grab one for myself at the lowest price I've ever seen. — Tiffany Chang, strategic partnership manager

3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer (button) Read the original article on Business Insider

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