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Fauci: We won't be able to sit in theaters until a year after an effective coronavirus vaccine is created

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:41pm  |  Clusterstock
Dr. Fauci and Jennifer Garner on Instagram Live.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s leading expert on COVID-19, said we likely will not be able to go to the theatre to see movies and performances for at least another year or more. 
  • Fauci told actress Jennifer Garner during an Instagram Live that a vaccine will need to be out for almost a year before it is safe. 
  • “If we get a really good vaccine and just about everybody gets vaccinated, you’ll have a degree of immunity in the general community that I think you can walk into a theatre without a mask,” Fauci said.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease, said Wednesday we likely won't be able to safely sit down in theaters for at least another year, if not more.

Fauci made his prediction in a 30-minute interview with actress Jennifer Garner on Instagram Live, discussing the coming flu season, vaccines, and lockdowns. 

As a film fan and performer herself, Garner asked Fauci, "When are we going to be able to sit in a theater and watch our favorite performers up on stage again?" 

"I think it's gonna be a combination of a vaccine that has been around for almost a year and good public health measures," Fauci told Garner. 

Fauci said that even if a vaccine were to be finalized by November or December of this year, that would mean the soonest the majority of the population could be vaccinated is by Fall 2021. 

(However, Fauci has repeatedly said he thinks it is "unlikely" a vaccine will exist by November, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention telling states to prepare to roll-out vaccines in November.)

The vaccine will be distributed first to frontline medical workers, then those with pre-existing conditions, then necessary personnel like politicians and public health officials, then children, and then the rest of the population. 

However, it will also depend on how effective the vaccine is. 

"If we have a vaccine that's a knockout vaccine — that's 85% - 90% effective. I don't think we'll get that, I'll settle for 70% effective," Fauci said. "If we get a really good vaccine and just about everybody gets vaccinated, you'll have a degree of immunity in the general community that I think you can walk into a theatre without a mask and feel like it's comfortable that you aren't going to be at risk."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Thrive Market has an extensive healthy snack selection that caters to many dietary restrictions — here are 10 favorites

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:38pm  |  Clusterstock

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A few members of Insider Reviews have been members of Thrive Market for the past couple of years and rave about the curates selection of healthy and tasty food and snacks.

If you're not familiar with Thrive Market, think of it as an online-only, healthier version of Costco. Members pay a yearly fee ($60) that gives them access to food products at relatively low prices and for every membership purchased, Thrive gives one to a family in need. Here's a full review from one of our senior reporters who's used the site.

Thrive doesn't have much in terms of fresh produce so I shop mostly for nonperishable options like pasta and sauces to fill in the gaps after a trip to the grocery store. But my favorite thing about Thrive? Its awesome snack collection.

There are hundreds of tasty goods that often cater to dietary restrictions including gluten-free, keto-friendly, or plant-based. Here are the best ones we've tried and loved from Thrive Market.

The best snacks on Thrive Market: Rick's Picks Sour Snacking Pickles Rick's Picks Sour Snacking Pickles, $1.99

I love eating pickles, but it's hard to take them as an on-the-go snack. Thankfully, popular pickle brand Rick's Picks offers little snack-size pickles in travel-size, single-serve packaging. The pickles taste sour with a nice salty and acidic bite, and I gobble these up whenever I have them on hand. I've even thought about pouring some of the leftover brine into a cocktail. They're low calorie, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher.

Bare Snacks Organic Apple Chips Bare Snacks Organic Apple Chips, $4.79

I love these because they give you the crunch of a chip and the health factor of eating an apple. I've read that it's relatively easy to dehydrate apples and make them into chips — you literally just stick a tray of apple slices into your oven. But when I don't have time to do that (which is often), I go for these organic snacks that are gluten-free and non-GMO. Bonus: You get both Fuji and red apples in every pack.

Luke's Organic White Cheddar Cheese Puffs Luke's Organic White Cheddar Cheese Puffs, $3.29

I always loved Pirate's Booty when I was a kid and these taste just like them, but with a way more amped-up flavor. There's a salty tang to these, probably because buttermilk is one of the ingredients in this gluten-free, non-GMO snack.  

That's It Fruit Bars: Apple and Cherry That's It Fruit Bars: Apple and Cherry, 12 pack, $16.99

These fruit bars are sweet without being cloying, and they only contain apples and cherries — absolutely no other ingredients added. I love to grab one of these bars for breakfast when I want to start off my day with fiber, vitamin C, and a little natural sugar. They're small enough to feel like a snack, but substantial enough to stave off my hunger at the beginning of the day. They come in other delicious flavors as well, including Apple and Coconut, Apple and Strawberry, Apple and Mango, and Apple and Blueberry.

Thrive Market Non-GMO Avocado Oil Potato Chips, Salt & Vinegar Thrive Market Non-GMO Avocado Oil Potato Chips, Salt & Vinegar, $2.49

This chips are kettle-cooked with avocado oil and then sprinkled with salt and vinegar for a super crunchy and tasty snack.

I love that these chips only have three ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil, and salt and vinegar seasoning. Plus, they're made from non-GMO and ethically sourced ingredients, and are kosher too.

Thrive Market Dragon Fruit Chips Thrive Market Dragon Fruit Chips, $2.99

I never really considered dragon fruit as a snack or smoothie addition until I tried Starbucks' Mango Dragonfruit Refresher. I loved that the dried dragon fruit pieces in the drink were sweet with a little tang, and of course, they turned my drink pink. I bought these fruit chips looking for a similar experience, and I've found it's a fun fruit to snack on when I'm looking to mix things up. They have a good amount of fiber and vitamin C, and since they only contain one ingredient — dragon fruit — they can an easy snack for those who are looking for something paleo, gluten-free, or vegan.

Zellee Organic Fruit Jel Variety Pack Zellee Organic Fruit Jel Variety Pack, 6 pouches, $9.99

If I had to describe Zellee's Fruit Jel in three words, they would be "Jell-O, but healthy." These tasty snacks come in individual pouches you usually see with baby food or applesauce, so they're convenient to take on the go. They taste like real fruit and get their jelly-ness from konjac root, so there's no gelatin and therefore, no bovines harmed in the making of this product. They're also vegan, gluten-free, and organic.

Thrive Market Lightly Salted Plantain Chips Thrive Market Lightly Salted Plantain Chips, $1.99

The plantain chips are made out of three ingredients —plantains, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, and sea salt — and they're delicious on their own or with a dip. Expect to open and finish a bag of these in one or two sittings, even though it's a pretty good size for $2 per bag.  They're also vegan, non-GMO, and free of preservatives and sweeteners and additives. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers, $4.49

These crackers are a good, simple snack that you can eat in handfuls without feeling greasy and lethargic after. They're also vegan and gluten-free, among other things. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Thrive Market Organic Dark Chocolate Almonds Thrive Market Organic Dark Chocolate Almonds, $14.99

These dark chocolate almonds are expensive at $15, but they're also delicious and the chocolate is layered on nice and thick over the almonds. The bag is decently sized, so it lasted me a few sweet-tooth snacking sessions. They're also certified organic and reportedly ethically sourced. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump falsely claims he 'didn't lie' to the American people about the coronavirus when confronted by a reporter

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:32pm  |  Clusterstock
President Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force April 3, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • President Donald Trump denied on Thursday that he publicly lied about the dangers of the coronavirus, despite newly-released interviews proving otherwise. 
  • Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in on-the-record and recorded conversations earlier this year that he intentionally played down the threat of the virus in his public messaging.
  • "Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what you have to say now?" Jon Karl of ABC News asked the president during a news conference at the White House on Thursday. 
  • The president called Karl's question "terrible" and claimed he wanted to project strength and not panic the American people. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump denied on Thursday that he publicly lied about the dangers of the coronavirus, despite newly-released taped conversations with journalist Bob Woodward proving the president knowingly misled the public. 

Trump told Woodward in on-the-record and recorded conversations earlier this year that he intentionally played down the threat of the virus in his public messaging. While he told Woodward that the coronavirus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus" and that "plenty of young people" were impacted by it, he told the American public a very different story. He repeatedly compared it to the common flu to make a public case against lockdowns.

"Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what you have to say now?" Jon Karl of ABC News asked the president during a news conference at the White House on Thursday. 

"Such a terrible question and the phraseology," Trump replied. "I didn't lie. What I said is we have to be calm, we can't be panicked."

He went on, "I want to show a level of confidence and I want to show strength as a leader and I want to show our country is going to be fine, one way or another, whether we lose one person ... Whether you have one person, 180,000 people, or two and a half or three million people, which it could have been, very seriously, if we didn't make the moves."

—The Recount (@therecount) September 10, 2020

The president then went on to blame Woodward for not reporting his comments earlier, arguing that what he told the journalist was public knowledge. 

On February 7, Trump told Woodward the coronavirus was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus." 

But on February 26, Trump told reporters at the White House, "It's a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for ... And we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner."

On March 6, Trump again compared the coronavirus to the flu and claimed that those who die from Covid-19 would also be vulnerable to the seasonal flu. 

"We've had 11 deaths, and they've been largely old people who are — who were susceptible to what's happening," he said. "Now, that would be the case, I assume, with a regular flu too. If somebody is old and in a weakened state or ill, they're susceptible to the common flu too." 

In a tweet on March 9, Trump wrote, "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!"

Trump also told Woodward on March 7 that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans through the air. 

"You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed," he said in the recorded conversation. "And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one." 

On March 19, he told Woodward of the coronavirus, "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

He added in the recorded conversation, "Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It's not just old, older. Young people too — plenty of young people."

But since then, Trump has repeatedly claimed that children are "almost immune" from the coronavirus and pressured schools to reopen. 

"If you look at children, children are almost, and I would say almost definitely, but almost immune from this disease," Trump told "Fox and Friends" on August 5. "I don't know how you feel about it, but they've got stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this."

The president has publicly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus at least two dozen times, pressured state goverments to reopen their economies before his own advisers said it was safe, and aggressively campaigned to reopen schools and churches.

He's also repeatedly undermined mitigation efforts by refusing to consistently promote social distancing and mask wearing, which are essential to containing the virus' spread. 

Just last week, the president mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at a campaign rally, asking the crowd if they know "a man that likes a mask as much" as the former vice president.

"It gives him a feeling of security," Trump told his supporters. "If I was a psychiatrist, I'd say this guy has some big issues."

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 places to buy prescription glasses and sunglasses online using insurance, HSA, or FSA money

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:20pm  |  Clusterstock

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  • Instead of haggling with a store clerk for a pair of generic eyeglasses, take your prescription eyewear shopping online. 
  • Warby Parker, EyeBuyDirect, ZenniFelix Gray,, and Eyeconic are making it easy and affordable to find a pair of stylish prescription glasses and sunglasses. 
  • Some accept insurance, while all accept FSA and HSA dollars to help bring down the cost of your glasses.
  • A few also feature virtual try-on options so you really never have to step into a physical store again. 

I remember visiting the optometrist's office as a kid, emerging from my eye exam to peruse the books of gorgeous glasses-donning models with furrowed brows — as if I could afford those frames then or even now as an adult. 

Traditional optometrist offices and glasses retailers tend to overcharge or upsell you on their frames, but it's easier to skirt this awkward and painfully expensive process today. Grab your prescription and go to your laptop or phone instead. There are now many online glasses retailers that can provide a seamless, convenient, and affordable shopping experience. 

As a glasses-wearer, you probably often feel like you're being punished for not having perfect vision, but these retailers will make you enjoy shopping for glasses again. They offer a large variety of frames, from the classic to the quirky; are able to accommodate for all different types of lenses; and even throw in a nice discount now and then. 

Some other things to take into consideration when shopping online for glasses are whether the retailer accepts insurance and FSA/HSA dollars, offers a virtual try-on option (and if not, whether it has a generous return and exchange policy), and has kids' styles if you want to shop for the whole family. 

Learn more about the 7 best places to buy glasses online: Warby Parker Shop glasses at Warby Parker here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at Warby Parker: 

Why you should shop at Warby Parker: Most of Warby Parker's frames cost $95 and include the price of the lens (if you get the classic, non-blue light and non-light responsive ones). This does make them pricier than other online glasses brands, but you do get the benefit of free Home Try-On, a large variety of on-trend styles to choose from, and the opportunity to visit a physical Warby Parker location near you. In addition, the company distributes a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased. 

Virtual try-on option: Yes. Its iOS app, available for iPhone X, features a Virtual Try-On option. It also has a Home Try-On program where you can pick out five frames to have sent to your house for free. You have five days to try them and decide which to keep. Send them all back and Warby will send you a fresh pair. It has a 30-day free return and exchange policy. 

Insurance and other programs: Accepts insurance from major providers, including UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Anthem, etc. If your provider is not listed, you will need to contact your insurance company directly for reimbursement. Check your vision benefits here

Warby Parker also accepts FSA and HSA dollars for all prescription eyewear purchases. 

Read our full review on Warby Parker here.

EyeBuyDirect Shop glasses at EyeBuyDirect here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at EyeBuyDirect:

Why you should shop at EyeBuyDirect: Not only are EyeBuyDirect's frames incredibly affordable, but they're also really stylish, so you never feel like you have to decide between your wallet and your look. They're made from metal and premium acetate and hold up well, and since they're so inexpensive, you can get multiple pairs if you tire of wearing the same frames every day. Lenses start at just $7, and available options include single-vision distance, reading lenses, Transition lenses, progressives, and bifocals.

Virtual try-on option: No. But you can see its guides for how to pick glasses for your face shape and how to take frame measurements. It has a 14-day free exchange and return policy.

Insurance and other programs: Does not accept insurance but can provide you with the information necessary for a reimbursement. It does accept FSA and HSA dollars for prescription eyewear and sunglasses purchases.

Read our full review on EyeBuyDirect here.

Zenni Shop glasses at Zenni here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at Zenni:

Why you should shop at Zenni: Similarly affordable is Zenni Optical, where it's easy to shop by style, face shape, and collection. You can also find specialty frames such as Sports Glasses and Goggles, so the range of options is truly diverse. It's a great place to shop for the whole family because it separates the kids' section further into little kid, pre-teen, and teen categories. Its resource library of guides is robust and demystifies all your questions about the costs of wearing glasses, why you might want to consider progressives, and many more topics. 

Virtual try-on option: Yes. Use Zenni's video capture tool to get a 180-degree view of how the frames will look on you. It has a 30-day return policy where you can get 50% back directly or 100% back in-store credit. 

Insurance and other programs: Does not accept insurance but can provide you with the information necessary for a reimbursement. It does accept FSA and HSA dollars for prescription eyewear and sunglasses purchases.  


YesGlasses Shop glasses at YesGlasses here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at YesGlasses: 

Why you should shop at YesGlasses: YesGlasses has a great selection of stylish frames, incredibly affordable prices, and many lens options. All prescription glasses from YesGlasses come standard with high-index 1.61 lenses, but you'll find options for "super-thin" 1.67 lenses and "ultra-thin" 1.74 lenses too. This is important for people who have a stronger prescription and want a thinner lens.

Virtual try-on option: YesGlasses does have a virtual try-on option. In order to try on glasses virtually, you'll need to upload a photo of yourself without glasses on your face and have your pupillary distance (PD) handy. If you don't have it handy, you can learn how to measure your PD here.

Insurance and other programs: YesGlasses accepts Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars for purchasing prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, as long as your FSA or HSA account is affiliated with a major credit card. For all other insurance, YesGlasses can provide a detailed copy of the invoice so you can request reimbursement through your insurance provider.

Read our full review of YesGlasses here.

Felix Gray Shop glasses at Felix Gray here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at Felix Gray: 

Why you should shop at Felix Gray: Felix Gray started primarily as a computer glasses company, highlighting the negative effects of our increasingly digital world. All of its glasses contain a blue light filter to provide relief from the harsh light of our computer and phone screens. If you already know you want blue light glasses, Felix Gray is probably the most convenient place to get them since it bundles the feature directly into all its prescription glasses options

Virtual try-on option: No. Check Felix Gray's Fit Guide to see which pair will look best. It has a 30-day free return and exchange policy. 

Insurance and other programs: Does not accept insurance but can provide you with the information necessary for a reimbursement. It does accept FSA and HSA dollars for prescription eyewear and sunglasses purchases. Shop glasses at here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at 

Why you should shop at is the largest online eyewear retailer, operating in over 92 countries, and selling both designer and in-house brands. Though prices can run into the hundreds and even thousands because of the designer leaning, it often runs sales and promotions (and we also have some Business Insider promo codes for you here), which can help you save on a sleek new pair of glasses. There are multiple ways to give your prescription information: You can fill it out online, upload it, have your doctor send it directly to the site, or use previously saved information. 

Virtual try-on option: Yes. You can use its virtual mirror, and see its guides for how to find your frame size and the best glasses for your face shape. It has a 30-day free return and exchange policy. 

Insurance and other programs: Does not accept insurance but can provide you with the information necessary for a reimbursement. It does accept FSA and HSA dollars for prescription eyewear and sunglasses purchases.  

Read our full review on here.

Eyeconic Shop glasses at Eyeconic here

Types of prescription eyewear you can shop at Eyeconic: 

Why you should shop at Eyeconic: Eyeconic is part of VSP Vision Care and thus accepts insurance. It also helps connect you to 38,000 doctors if you need an optometrist, giving you a more convenient and online-centric version of the traditional eye care experience. Like GlassesUSA, it offers designer brands as well as many discounts and promotions — the difference is that Eyeconic is more closely tied to the eye care professional community and insurance companies, plus it has a couple retail one-stop shops. 

Virtual try-on option: Yes. Use Eyeconic's video capture tool to get a 180-degree view of how the frames will look on you. It has a 30-day free return and exchange policy. 

Insurance and other programs: Accepts insurance from VSP, MetLife, and Cigna Vision. If your provider is not listed, you will need to contact your insurance company directly for reimbursement.

Eyeconic also accepts FSA and HSA dollars for all prescription eyewear purchases. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Farmer's Dog sends your dog fresh food weekly — I recommend it for its customized meal plans and high-quality ingredients

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:19pm  |  Clusterstock

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The Farmer's Dog offers customized dog food recipes delivered right to your door.

  • The Farmer's Dog offers fresh dog food that is developed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists.
  • Each package is customized to your dog's individual profile and pre-portioned in easy-pour bags.
  • While fresh dog food delivery is significantly more expensive than regular kibble, the health benefits are worth the cost. 
  • Prices start at $3 a day, and you can save 50% on your first box of The Farmer's Dog food when you sign up.
Table of Contents

When it comes time to feed your dog, you probably head to the pantry and open up a bag of dry kibble or a can of wet food. While there are plenty of high-quality commercial dog foods on the market, this type of food has its limitations.

The process through which traditional dog food is made often strips away the original nutritional integrity, and most brands design their foods to provide for only the most basic nutritional needs of dogs in certain life stages and different breed sizes.

Each dog is unique, and so are their nutritional needs. Fresh dog food companies offer customized meals that cater to a dog's unique nutritional profile. That's what fresh food from The Farmer's Dog has to offer.

When I opened my home to a new companion — a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy I named Archie — I selected a popular dog food brand that offered a small-breed puppy formula and called it a day. Archie is the kind of dog that will eat anything that falls on the floor or anything I offer him by hand.

When it comes to eating from his own bowl, however, he can be a little picky. Most days he doesn't show any interest in his food until one of my cats tries to eat it. So, when I was given the opportunity to try The Farmer's Dog fresh food, I was interested to see how he would like it.

Before I get into the details, I want to point out that The Farmer's Dog is not the only fresh food service available to dog owners. We've also tried products from PetPlate and Ollie, so I'll be mentioning my experience with them as a point of comparison.

How the signup process works

The first step in testing The Farmer's Dog food was to create an online profile for myself and Archie using the company website. The whole process took less than five minutes.

I plugged in basic information such as my name, email address, and zip code along with some facts about Archie including his sex, age, weight, and breed. From there, I was asked to evaluate his body composition, activity level, and eating preferences. After plugging in the necessary information, I learned that Archie needs roughly 460 calories per day.

After completing Archie's profile, I was given three formulas to choose from: turkey, beef, or pork. With my background in pet nutrition, I decided to steer clear of the beef option due to its risk for triggering food allergies and selected the turkey formula. In addition to turkey as the main ingredient, this recipe also included other nutritious ingredients like parsnips, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and fish oil. Each of the three recipes also includes something called "Farmer's Dog Nutrient Blend" to ensure balanced nutrition.

After placing my order, the product arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Packed with dry ice to keep the product frozen, the food was preportioned in bags that contained enough food for one day. All I had to do was thaw the first bag and put the rest in the freezer. The bags themselves were frozen flat so they took up minimal space in my already jam-packed freezer.

What it's like to feed

My shipment came with what looked like a takeout container with a plastic lid, so I was able to fold up the open food bag and place it in the container in the fridge until dinner time. I found it a little disappointing that the bags themselves were not resealable — I needed to cut them open with scissors.

Once the product thawed, I began incorporating it into Archie's diet. I followed the included instructions to mix some of the fresh food with his dry food, working up to feeding him half a bag twice a day. While I found the food bags easy to freeze, once they were open it was a little bit tricky to store them.

When I offered Archie his first bowl of The Farmer's Dog food, he was a little cautious. He spent a couple of seconds sniffing it with interest and then sampled a bite. He didn't act overly excited about the food, but he did seem to find it more appealing than his regular dry food alone. Over the next few days, as I phased out the kibble and began feeding him the fresh food only, he continued to enjoy it.

During the first few days of feeding Archie his new fresh food, he experienced some mild diarrhea. It isn't unusual for his stools to change a little in consistency from one day to the next (he likes to sneak mouthfuls of cat food whenever he can), so I wasn't worried.

What makes it stand out

After a few days of solely feeding Archie The Farmer's Dog food, his bowel movements became more solid and regular. He also became a little more interested in eating at mealtime rather than ignoring the food for a couple of hours before eating it. Overall, I was very pleased with The Farmer's Dog fresh food, and Archie seemed to like it as well.

There were three protein options to choose from (Pet Plate and Ollie currently offer four) and found the flat food bags easier to freeze and store than the larger containers Ollie food came in. The fact that each bag contained enough food for one day was also very convenient because it enabled me to keep the food as fresh as possible.

On the downside, I had to throw away several portions when Archie didn't eat them right away because my house doesn't have air conditioning, and I was worried about the food going bad. Also, while at first I didn't like the fact that the food bags were not resealable, I got used to using the storage container, and it didn't end up being a significant inconvenience.

The bottom line

The fact of the matter is that fresh food will always be the best option for your dog when it comes to quality nutrition. You need to be careful when selecting a fresh food product, however, to ensure that your dog isn't allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients and to make sure that the formula is backed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists.

If you can't afford the high price tag of fresh food from The Farmer's Dog, you have the option of using the product as a food topper instead of your dog's sole source of nutrition. By mixing a little of the fresh food with their kibble you can boost their daily nutrition without draining your bank account.

If you want to improve your dog's nutrition (and their health by extension) and you're considering fresh food, we wholeheartedly recommend The Farmer's Dog.

Pros: Fresh food customized to your dog, unprocessed ingredients; recipes by board-certified veterinary nutritionists comply with AAFCO standards; cooked in human-grade kitchens; convenient shipping; packaged as daily portions

Cons:  Limited protein options, especially for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities; bags are not resealable; may cause digestive upset during the transition from dry food to fresh food; fresh food may go bad if not eaten immediately, expensive

Sign up for The Farmer's Dog and get 50% off your first box.Read the original article on Business Insider

Dozens of Amazon's private label products have racked up customer reports of exploding, melting, or catching fire since 2016 — but Amazon continues to sell many of them

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:18pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Customers have left hundreds of reviews on more than 70 AmazonBasics products detailing how the items caught fire, exploded, melted, or exhibited some other malfunction, CNN reported on Thursday.
  • Many of the items, which include surge protectors, phone chargers, and microwaves, remain listed for sale on the marketplace.
  • In a statement to Business Insider, Amazon said it takes a number of "proactive steps" to ensure that "safety is a top priority at Amazon."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon customers have left hundreds of reviews on dozens of AmazonBasics products detailing how the items caught fire, exploded, melted, or exhibited some other malfunction, according to a new analysis conducted by CNN — and many of those products are still listed for sale.

CNN found more than 1,500 customer reviews for over 70 AmazonBasics products — not those listed by third-party sellers — that reported the items had exploded, melted, caught fire, began smoking, or exhibited some other electrical defect. The reviews dated back to 2016, and some were left as recently as this month. Microwaves, USB cords, phone chargers, paper shredders, and surge protectors are all items listed as exhibiting malfunctions. 

About 30 products with three or more reviews that report fire hazards were still for sale at the time the report was published on Thursday. Some with such reviews had been delisted, and others were no longer for sale following CNN's report. At least four pages were completely removed by the site, per the outlet.

The reviews represent only a portion of AmazonBasics purchases, as CNN notes, and gadget-sparked fires are not uncommon, nor are they exclusive to Amazon products. But experts told CNN that reports of faulty electronics sold by Amazon still cause for concern.

The outlet published screenshots of the reviews, many of which include photos of the torched items. One review posted in June 2019 said that an AmazonBasics car charger caused "a mini explosion and sparks flew everywhere" when the customer plugged it into their car. Another wrote that an AmazonBasics microwave caught on fire when the customer's 8-year-old daughter heated up a dish of macaroni and cheese. And a 2016 review details how a power strip started a fire. The reviewer wrote: "Why are these still being sold after all the fire reviews?"  

CNN obtained two of the burned AmazonBasics products — a USB cord and a microwave — and asked the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering to test them. The failure analysis lab researchers found the USB cord to be too damaged to study, but found the microwave to indeed pose safety risks since it "heated up to the extent a fire could occur," engineering professor Michael Pecht told CNN. "This is more than a reliability problem, this is a potential safety problem." Amazon told Business Insider that it is sure the microwave is safe to use.

A company spokesperson said in an email to Business Insider: "Safety is a top priority at Amazon and we know customers expect Amazon's products to be safe and high quality. We take a number of proactive steps to ensure this - for example, we work with third party labs to establish safety and compliance standards for our products; select experienced manufacturers that meet our quality, safety, and social responsibility bar; test products to ensure they pass safety and compliance standards; monitor customer feedback for any indicators of a safety or quality concern; and periodically test private brand products available in our store."

The company also said it would investigate any concern brought forth by a customer. The company shared a blog post in response to the CNN report detailing the steps it takes to ensure the safety of its products.

Some consumer reports of the company's products catching fire have been filed to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency that can conclude if a company needs to officially recall a certain product. Amazon has recalled two AmazonBasics items, in 2018 and 2019, after dozens of reports complained about power strips overheating and a space heater sparking, per CNN.

Amazon launched the Basics line in 2009, and its products are marketed as more budget-friendly alternatives to name brand items. These items are typically promoted within the marketplace, and often include an "Amazon's Choice" tag.

Read the full report on CNN here.Read the original article on Business Insider

How to make Twitter appear in dark mode to reduce battery strain on your computer or mobile device

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:16pm  |  Clusterstock
Twitter technically has several different dark modes across its mobile app and desktop site.
  • You can make Twitter appear in dark mode to set a dark background with white text, save your battery, and possibly reduce eye strain.
  • You can find dark mode in the Settings and Privacy menu on the desktop site and mobile app.
  • Twitter allows you to choose between "Dim," which sets the background to a dark blue, or "Lights Out," a true black background.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

There are a few reasons to like the dark mode function on apps, desktop sites, mobile devices, and your computer. Not only does it have the potential to reduce eye strain and potentially help you sleep better (though the science isn't definitive on that front), it can help extend the battery life of your mobile device by keeping most of the pixels dim. 

On Twitter, you can enable Dark mode and select between Dim and Lights Out options. These let you pick exactly how dark to make the screen. Lights out is a pure black background, while Dim is a dark blue. 

You can enable dark mode options on Twitter with just a few clicks or taps. Here's how to do it. 

How to turn on dark mode in the Twitter mobile app for iOS

1. With the Twitter app open, tap the profile avatar at the top left of the screen. 

2. You should see the side menu open. Select "Settings and privacy."

3. In the settings menu, choose "Display and sound."

4. Tap "Dark mode."

5. On the Dark mode page, toggle on Dark mode. 

6. In the Theme section, decide whether you want Dim or Lights Out mode. 

Activating "Use device settings" will automatically enable Dark mode based on your phone's settings.

7. Choose "Use device settings" to synchronize Twitter's dark mode with your iPhone's overall dark mode settings.

How to turn on dark mode in the Twitter mobile app for Android

1. With the Twitter app open, tap the profile avatar at the top left of the screen. 

2. You should see the side menu open. Select "Settings and privacy."

Open the Settings and privacy menu to find dark mode settings.

3. In the settings menu, choose "Display and sound."

4. Tap "Dark mode."

5. On the Dark mode page, toggle on Dark mode. 

6. In the Theme section, decide whether you want Dim or Lights Out mode. 

7. Choose "Automatic at sunset" to automatically turn on Dark mode at the end of the day and switch it off at sunrise. 

How to turn on dark mode on the Twitter web page in a browser

1. Open Twitter in a browser.

2. Select the three-dotted "More" icon on the left side of the screen.

3. Click "Settings and privacy."

4. On the settings page, choose "Display."

5. Under the Background section, pick between "Dim" or "Lights out." 

Dark mode should automatically kick in based on your computer's time zone. Related coverage from Tech Reference:Read the original article on Business Insider

The best shoe polish

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:14pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Shoe polish is an important part of ensuring that your leather shoes and boots last as long as possible.
  • With its all-natural formula, great nourishing properties, and centuries-old pedigree, the French-made Saphir Renovateur is an old-school icon that remains the premier shoe polish. 

A good pair of leather dress shoes is one of the most important parts of any wardrobe, but one of the "catches" with buying quality leather is that animal hide needs a bit of care in order to maintain its character and suppleness. After you wear those new shoes for a while, they're naturally going to start looking worn out as the leather's natural oils dry out and the surface takes on scuffs, scratches, creases, and general wear from the elements.

The good news is that you don't have to toss those worn-out shoes in your closet: Good leather can last for decades and decades with proper care, and many people (myself included) actually find polishing their shoes to be a relaxing old-school ritual. Good polish can breathe new life into leather, making it look almost new again, and if you're investing good money in quality shoes then it behooves you to spend a few bucks on quality polish. Few things look worse than an otherwise nice outfit ruined by worn-out, dull-looking shoes.

Shoe polish generally comes in two forms, shoe cream and shoe wax:
  • Shoe creams are oil-based polishes that impart a matte shine to the shoe while also restoring moisture and adding a bit of color to the leather — great for shoes that are looking a bit dry and rough on the surface. This is the most common type of polish, the easiest to work with, and our recommendation for beginners.
  • Shoe wax is a solid polish with a base typically comprised of beeswax or something similar. It offers a more classic glass-like shine than cream polishes as well as some extra resistance to scuffs and marks on the leather, but takes a bit more time and effort to use. You don't want to over-apply wax as it can dry out and flake off if you layer it on too thick — rather than getting fully absorbed into the leather, wax polishes do most of their work on the surface.
How to polish your shoes

To start, find a flat surface to work on and lay down an old towel or some newspaper. Remove the laces, clean any dirt off the shoes with a horsehair brush, and then use a dauber to apply the polish. If the shoes are considerably dirty, consider cleaning them with saddle soap before starting this process. Work the polish into the leather with a cloth, moving in small circular motions with your fingers. Finish by buffing the shoes to a shine with a separate buffing cloth, and you're done.

Polishes are also great for casual shoes and boots, and there are special types made for these that offer additional leather protection. We've rounded up the best shoe polishes available today to suit just about any need, so read on to find the right one to help you keep your leather footwear looking great for years to come.

Here is the best shoe polish you can buy:

Updated 8/20/2020 by Amir Ismael: Prices and links are up to date.

The best shoe polish overall For the be-all, end-all cream polish that can bring even the most worn-out pair of leather dress shoes back to life and impart a world-class shine, look no further than Saphir Renovateur.

In the world of shoe care, there's one name that stands tall above the rest: Saphir. This award-winning French shoe polish brand, established in 1925, retains a near-legendary status among style experts after nearly a century.

If you're looking to treat and condition your leather shoes and aren't looking to add any color to them, then our top recommendation is Renovateur. Saphir Renovateur is a mink oil-based polish with a 100% natural formula. It's a neutral-colored cream, and as you probably guessed from its name, Renovateur is specifically made to treat and nourish full-grain leather, something it does better than just about any other shoe polish you're likely to find.

Cheaper polishes you'll see online and in stores are almost always made of natural oils and waxes with synthetic additives like petroleum and/or silicone. Synthetic materials aren't absorbed into the leather nearly as well as organic ones because leather itself is a natural material and they aren't as good for the leather over the long-term. These polishes are OK for shining up cheap corrected-grain leather, but for full-grain hide, you want something all-natural like Renovateur.

Considered by many sartorial enthusiasts to be the prince of shoe polishes, Saphir Renovateur is a little expensive. It's worth it. A jar or tin will last you a very long time, anyway, so "buy the best and you'll only cry once." For conditioning leather while still delivering a fantastic shine, Saphir Renovateur remains far and away the best polish that money can buy.

Pros: All-natural formula is healthier for leather than creams that use synthetic additives, provides excellent shine, hydrates and nourishes full-grain leather extremely well, and it can restore even the most worn-out pair of shoes

Cons: It's comparatively expensive, and it's only available in a neutral color

The best cream shoe polish If you're looking for a cream-based shoe polish that's as easy to use as it is easy on your wallet, it doesn't get better than Meltonian boot and shoe cream.

Like Saphir, Meltonian is another classic shoe polish brand and one you might have heard of before — If your father or grandfather favored a cream-based polish, then there's a very good chance it read "Meltonian" on the tin. Meltonian polish is a soft cream formula, making it very easy to work into leather than wax-based polishes and even most other cream polishes while imparting a subtle matte, rather than super-glossy, shine.

Meltonian does contain some synthetic materials — namely petroleum — as most inexpensive polishes do. That's not a deal-breaker, especially at this price, but bear in mind that it's not quite as good for full-grain leather as all-natural formulas like our top pick, Saphir Renovateur. Nonetheless, it is dead simple to use, is even somewhat easier to work into the leather than Saphir can be, and reconditions leather very well without leaving behind excess residue.

Meltonian boot and shoe cream is available in a variety of colors, whereas Renovateur is only available in a neutral tone. Colored polishes aren't necessary to help your shoes retain their luster, but they can add some color and patina to shoes and other leather goods that are a bit worn-out or ones you'd like to darken up a bit. Colored polish is also great for getting rid of scuffs and scratches. If this doesn't interest you, then Meltonian's "bone" color is a neutral option.

Pros: Soft cream formula is easy to work into leather and doesn't leave residue behind, a number of colors (including neutral) available, and it's an excellent value

Cons: Partially synthetic formula isn't as good for leather as all-natural polishes

The best wax shoe polish A decades-old favorite among both soldiers and civilians, Lincoln Stain Wax is an American classic with a rich waxy formula that will bring your shoes and boots to a mirror shine.

If anybody in your family has served in the military, then they were likely familiar with Lincoln Stain Wax. This iconic American shoe polish has been "general issue" in the military for decades, but you don't have to be a GI to appreciate it — Just as many civilians as soldiers have found Lincoln to be the go-to wax polish for buffing up leather shoes and boots of all colors to a glass-like shine you can almost see your reflection in.

As a hard wax-type polish, Lincoln Stain Wax requires a bit of extra elbow grease to work with, which can take some getting used to if you're more familiar with soft cream polishes like Meltonian. Don't be intimidated by this, and don't be afraid to use a little bit of water and heat to help you work the Lincoln wax into the leather. Once it's absorbed into the leather, you'll be ready to buff it up to a glassy surface shine that no cream polish can rival.

Lincoln Stain Wax is an American classic and has thankfully remained so, still being made right in the US. It's cheap, too, at around $7 per tin, with multiple colors available  —including a neutral tone — with black likely being the most popular due to its association with the military.

Harder wax polishes also typically last longer than creams, as they're not designed to condition leather as much and are more for shining up the surface while adding some extra scuff protection.

Pros: Made in the US, wax formula imparts a glass-like shine to your shoes, protects the surface of your shoes better than creams, and it's an excellent value

Cons: Hard wax formula requires more time to work into leather and buff to a shine

The best conditioning shoe polish An all-natural formula that combines carnauba wax with shea butter makes Otter Wax Leather Salve another great choice for dry, worn-out shoes that need restoration and protection as much as a polish.

As stated in the intro, shoe polishes tend to fall into two categories: creams and waxes. Softer creams nourish and hydrate, but don't deliver a long-lasting glassy shine like waxes do. Waxes, on the other hand, don't condition leather as well, tending to mostly sit on the surface of your shoes where they provide that great shine. For something that can do both, Otter Wax Leather Salve is a great alternative that conditions and restores leather while also polishing and protecting it.

Otter Wax products are made in Oregon of all-natural ingredients. Its Leather Salve, in particular, uses carnauba wax and shea butter — no silicone or petroleum to be found here — which are great organic ingredients for hydrating and conditioning dry, worn leather. This unique formula basically delivers a one-two punch: The shea butter penetrates deeply to nourish the hide, and the carnauba wax can be buffed up to a shine while protecting the surface of your shoes similar to wax polishes.

Like Lincoln Stain Wax, Otter Wax takes a little more work to use than creams, although it's a bit softer and easier to apply than most hard wax polishes. The extra effort is worth it and lets you achieve a glossier shine than is possible with most purely oil-based conditioning products like mink oil. I've never used Otter Wax for shoes, but I do use the company's fabric wax (a beeswax-based solid), so I can attest to the quality of Otter Wax products.

At $10 for a two-ounce tin, Otter Wax is more expensive per ounce most of our other picks aside from Renovateur. A tin should last a while, though, unless you have a lot of shoes you need to polish. Although once you use it to restore your old Oxfords, you might start discovering other things you own that could benefit from an Otter Wax application. And while it's great for dress shoes, Otter Wax is just as useful for work boots, bags and purses, and other leather goods.

Pros: All-natural ingredients, made in the US, organic carnauba wax and shea butter formula hydrates and conditions leather extremely well, provides a better shine than purely oil-based products, and it can also be used on a variety of other leather goods

Cons: Only available in neutral tone, and it's relatively expensive per ounce (but still quite affordable)

The best polish for protecting shoes and boots If polishing your shoes is a secondary concern to restoring and protecting them, then Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP should be your go-to for bringing rough-looking shoes and boots back to life while also guarding the hide against water, acids, and other damage.

Designed 25 years ago by a firefighter looking for the perfect shoe wax, Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP has since become an American icon in the world of shoe care. While technically not a "polish" like products such as Saphir Renovateur or Lincoln Stain Wax, Obenauf's still has a place on our list for a number of reasons: It revitalizes and conditions dry and worn-out leather, it provides great protection against water and other things that can damage hide, and — unlike similar products — it actually looks great and can even be brought to a shine.

Obenauf's excellent leather-protecting properties are owed to the formula's beeswax base, but out of the jar, Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP has a more cream-like consistency that's very easy to apply. It's similar in texture to mink oil — although somewhat thicker due to its heavier wax base — than it is to hard polishes like Lincoln, yet it provides much better water-resistance than mink oil while nourishing and hydrating leather incredibly well.

Alternatively, Obenauf's Leather Oil is a slightly different beeswax concoction that's more liquid-like than Heavy Duty LP and even comes with a dauber, and it works just as well for restoring and protecting leather. Nonetheless, both Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP and Leather Oil aren't quite as good at locking out water as Sno-Seal, another popular "boot grease" and a heavier beeswax formula. Many users prefer the way Obenauf's looks, however, and so do we.

It's also why we included it on our list of shoe polishes where Sno-Seal wouldn't really fit: Obenauf's imparts a nice patina to leather shoes and boots and can even be buffed up to a matte shine. Just note that it will darken whatever leather you apply it to.

It's not our top recommendation for dress shoes, but it's the best choice for keeping your go-to pair of work boots and other casual leather footwear looking almost new assuming you're not going for the "mirror shine" look.

Pros: Made in the US, beeswax base revives and conditions hide while providing good protection against water and other leather-damaging compounds, available in wax and oil formulas, easy to apply and work with, and imparts a nice-looking patina to shoes and boots

Cons: Waterproofing is not as good as Sno-Seal, and it will noticeably darken leather

More shoe care-related stories 10 effective products for cleaning and maintaining your shoes — as recommended by a sneaker collector

Although shoe polish is a great way to preserve the life of your leather shoes, it shouldn't be the only shoe care product you rely on. There are many products that can help you keep your shoes clean, dry, and odor-free. From sneaker cleaners to water-resistant sprays for suede and nubuck, these are the best products for keeping your shoes of all kinds clean.

I nearly ruined my favorite sneakers with mud, but this $16 shoe cleaner made them look good as new — here's how it works

Jason Markk has been a staple in the sneaker community for years, but it should be known by the masses. It's a simple and effective cleaning kit that's safe to use on all materials including mesh, leather, rubber, suede, and more.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Marine Corps will pay up to $210,000 to hang on to its pilots

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:08pm  |  Clusterstock
An Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier pilot talks to a mechanic after a flight, March 2, 2017.
  • To address pilot "shortfalls," the Marine Corps says it will pay some fliers retention bonuses of nearly a quarter-million dollars.
  • The bonuses will go to skilled aviators trained on at least one of the Corps' main aviation platforms, but pilots of fixed-wing aircraft are eligible for the highest payouts.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Marine Corps will pay some of its pilots retention bonuses of nearly a quarter-million dollars in order to address "shortfalls" in the service's aviation community.

In a message released on Wednesday by Lt. Gen. David Ottignon, deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, the Corps said its aviation bonus program provides "a proactive, short-term incentive for aviation officers in certain grades and communities with current or forecasted inventory shortfalls."

The bonuses will be paid out to skilled aviators trained on at least one of the Corps' main aviation platforms, including the F-35 Lightning, AV-8 Harrier, and F/A-18 fighter jets; MV-22 Osprey, AH-1 Cobra, CH-53 Sea Stallion, and UH-1 "Huey" helicopters; and KC-130 aircraft, which is mainly used for aerial refueling.

Fixed-wing pilots seem to be in the highest demand: Flyers in those categories with less than 12 years of service can get $210,000 if they sign up for an additional six years of service, or receive $100,000 for an additional four.

Pilots of the Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing, can get up to $125,000, while pilots of traditional helicopters, such as the Huey, Cobra, or Sea Stallion, can receive up to $75,000.

The bonuses will be paid out in equal annuities over the length of a Marine's contract, according to the message.

"For example, an AV-8B pilot with less than 12 YCS, with a 72-month contract will receive six equal payments of 35,000 dollars," the message said.

You can view the full requirements here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dow sinks 406 points as tech stocks resume volatile sell-off

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 5:06pm  |  Clusterstock
  • US stocks sank in turbulent Thursday trading as falling tech giants dragged on benchmark indexes.
  • Tech names had rebounded on Wednesday but resumed their downward spiral as investors shunned their still lofty valuations.
  • Traders also mulled weekly jobless-claims data that signaled lasting pain in the US labor market. Claims totaled 884,000 for the week that ended on Saturday, missing the economist estimate of 850,000.
  • Oil fell after the American Petroleum Institute reported that US stockpiles increased by nearly 3 million barrels. West Texas Intermediate crude sank as much as 2.9%, to $36.95 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities slipped on Thursday as tech stocks faltered after a brief rally, ending the day near session lows.

The popular sector has taken center stage this week, following its collapse before Labor Day weekend. Tech names pushed indexes higher on Wednesday as investors scooped up shares at lowered levels. But a short-lived upswing on Thursday gave way to heavy selling and a broader market slump.

Mega-caps including Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon led the decline. McDonald's, Disney, and Oracle were among the few large-cap names spared in the market decline. Energy stocks were the only group to sink further than tech names, while real-estate and consumer cyclical shares dropped the least.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday:

Read more: Buy these 16 tech stocks that are beaten down from the pandemic and now primed for explosive growth in the months ahead, Stifel says

Traders also digested worse-than-expected jobless-claims data. Claims for unemployment benefits in the week that ended on Saturday reached an unadjusted total of 884,000. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected weekly claims to fall to 850,000. Thursday's report signaled continued pain in the labor market even after the unemployment rate declined in August.

Continuing claims, which track the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, slightly increased to 13.4 million. Economists had expected continuing claims to dip below 13 million.

Investor hopes for near-term stimulus were dashed on Thursday after Senate Democrats blocked Republicans' $500 billion proposal. The bill aimed to expand unemployment benefits by $300 a week. Democrats united against the measure and continued to call for a bill with more than $2 trillion in aid.

Read more: Morgan Stanley says the stock market's future is 'unusually dependent' on another stimulus package — and recommends 5 portfolio moves to make if Congress passes another round

The frothy price action boosted the Cboe Volatility Index, a popular gauge of expected market volatility, as much as 6% during the session. The VIX closed just below 30, a key psychological level for those betting on continued market chaos.

Tesla shares erased moderate morning gains and closed slightly below its Wednesday levels.

Another popular electric-vehicle stock, Nikola Motors, tanked after Hindenburg Research published a scathing short-seller report alleging that Nikola overhyped its electric truck's capabilities and filled its multibillion-dollar order book "with fluff."

AstraZeneca retraced some of its Wednesday slide before falling into a loss. The biotech company had tumbled after pausing a trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate because a participant had an adverse reaction. CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday that the company still aimed to know before the end of the year whether the vaccine protects people against the coronavirus.

Read more: Renowned strategist Tom Lee called the market's rebound from its worst-ever crash. He lays out 9 bullish forces for stocks after this week's 'overdue' sell-off, and shares his best strategy for cashing in.

Spot gold sank modestly after leaping as high as $1,966.60. The precious metal has remained in a narrow trading range of $1,900 to $2,000. The US dollar strengthened through the day, and Treasury yields fell.

Oil declined after the American Petroleum Institute reported that US stockpiles increased by nearly 3 million barrels last week, Bloomberg reported. West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled as much as 2.9%, to $36.95 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international standard, fell 2.5%, to $39.76 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

A strategist at the world's largest wealth manager lays out 4 election-related risks that could damage investors' portfolios — and shares how to safeguard against each one now, regardless of who wins

The market and Congress are locked in a high-stakes game of chicken — and who blinks first will ultimately determine where stocks go next

US economic reopening reaches halfway point on improved retail and hotel spending, Goldman Sachs says

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet Jane Fraser, the first woman set to helm a major US bank

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:56pm  |  Clusterstock
Jane Fraser addresses Brazil-US Business Council forum in Washington, DC in March 2019.
  • Citigroup announced on Thursday that its CEO Michael Corbat will be retiring come February 2021 — and his successor will be Jane Fraser. She has been elected to Citi's board, effective immediately.
  • The move makes Fraser the first woman to helm a major US bank ever, shattering a glass ceiling on Wall Street.
  • Fraser, who is Scottish-American, has held various leadership positions at Citi since 2004. Before that, she worked at both McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs.
  • Here is a look at her life and career.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Jane Fraser has been at Citi since 2004. She was named as the incoming CEO of the bank on Thursday, following Michael Corbat's retirement in February 2021. Jane Fraser.

Source: Citi, Business Insider

Fraser, 53, was born in Scotland and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a master's in economics from Cambridge. Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Source: Barrons, Citi

She started her career working on mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs in London. The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the NYSE in New York.

Source: Citi

She then worked at McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to 2004, where she eventually became a partner, which is a coveted high-level role. She left to become the head of client strategy at Citi, and has been at the bank since. The logo of McKinsey & Company is seen at VivaTech fair in Paris.

Source: Citi, LinkedIn, Business Insider

In the 2010s, she held multiple executive positions within the company, most notably serving as the head of the bank's Latin American operations from 2015 to 2019. FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto

Source: Citi

Fraser told CNN Business in 2018 that when she was first appointed to the head of Latin America role, there was "some pretty negative press" about a "female foreigner with responsibility" in Mexico. She tackled the problem by buying "an elegant dress" and getting a haircut, which made her feel more confident and comfortable in her own skin, she said. Jane Fraser at a 2018 gala in New York City.

Source: CNN Business, Business Insider

Her resolve and success as woman in banking have not gone unnoticed: American Banker named her the sixth most powerful woman in the field in 2019. Jane Fraser.

Source: American Banker

She was promoted to president of the bank last fall, marking her as the potential successor to Michael Corbat, who had a 37-year run with Citi and has been the CEO for the past eight years. In her previous role, she oversaw retail banking, wealth management, credit card, and mortgage departments across dozens of countries. Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, speaks during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City, New York in September 2019.

Source: Business Insider

In a Thursday statement announcing his retirement and Fraser's appointment, Corbat, 60, wrote: "I have worked with Jane for many years and am proud to have her succeed me. With her leadership, experience, and values, I know she will make an outstanding CEO." Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup Michael Corbat speaks at a European Financial Forum event in Dublin, Ireland February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Source: Citi

Fraser is the first woman to lead a major US bank. "I will do everything I can to make all of our stakeholders proud of our firm as we continue to build a better bank," Fraser wrote in the same press release. "Citi is an incredible institution with a proud history and a bright future." Jane Fraser addresses Brazil-US Business Council forum in Washington, DC in March 2019.

Source: Citi

Fraser and her husband share two sons, according to her company bio. "Being a mother of young children and having a career is the toughest thing I have ever had to do," Axios reported Fraser had said after leaving McKinsey. Jane Fraser, center, at an even in Miami in March 2018.

Source: Citi, Axios

On top of juggling work and family, Fraser also serves on the board of dean's advisors to Harvard Business School and is a member of the Economic Club of New York, the Global Advisory Board at Stanford, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Graduates of Harvard Business School, where Fraser serves as a board advisor.

Source: Citi

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump supporters are increasingly isolated in their denial of systemic racism, according to new polling data

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:55pm  |  Clusterstock
President Donald Trump greets fans at a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
  • A large swath of the American public has shifted in its views on race, but Trump's base has not.
  • In a new Pew Research survey, just 9% of Trump supporters say it's harder to be Black in the US than white.
  • Compared to 74% of Biden voters and 44% of the general electorate, Trump's base is left on an island of its own denial of systemic racism.
  • Seventy-six percent of American voters say it is at least "a little more difficult" or "a lot more difficult" to be Black than white in the US, with the share of respondents saying the latter up 9% from 2016.
  • "This change has come entirely from supporters of the Democratic candidates," Pew researchers said on the shift in a breakdown of the survey provided to Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New data from Pew Research on perceptions of key social issues show that President Donald Trump's base is an outlier from the rest of the country when it comes to views on racism. 

Just 9% of Trump supporters say they believe it is harder to be Black in the US than white, compared to 44% of all voters and 74% of Joe Biden supporters, according to a report released Thursday, part of the Center's American Trends Panel.

Trump supporters remain relatively unchanged in this view since 2016, when 11% said they believe it is harder to be Black in America than white.

Yet the data indicates a dramatic shift in perceptions of racism among Democratic voters, signifying the Biden coalition is much more progressive on race in 2020 than Hillary Clinton voters were in 2016. Only 57% of Clinton supporters had said it is harder to be Black than white in the US in the same survey.

"This change has come entirely from supporters of the Democratic candidates," Pew researchers note in a breakdown of the survey provided to Insider.

The results indicate a 65-percentage point gap between Biden and Trump supporters on this question of racism, compared to 46 percentage points between Trump and Clinton voters in 2016.

The survey was taken between July 27 and August 2, and does not mention George Floyd, although other polling data has shown a significant shift in public views on racism in the aftermath of his death at the hands of police.

Of the total sample of 11,001 respondents, the margin of error is 1.5%, according to Pew.

Trump has tried to court Black voters through the summer, but has repeatedly stated he does not believe systemic racism exists, equating police officers who kill unarmed civilians to golfers who "choke" on the putting green.

He only won 8% of Black voters in 2016, while more recent polling shows him earning, at best, 10% support among them nationwide.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ninja just signed a multi-year contract that keeps him exclusive to Amazon-owned Twitch

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:52pm  |  Clusterstock
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins.
  • In August 2019, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins announced a precedent-setting deal to leave Amazon's Twitch streaming platform and exclusively stream on Microsoft's Mixer. Ninja reportedly earned as much as $30 million from the Mixer deal.
  • Then, this past June, Microsoft announced the sudden closure of Mixer – making Ninja a free agent once again.
  • In the time since, Ninja has streamed sporadically on both YouTube and Twitch. But this week, he announced a multi-year exclusivity deal with Twitch that will keep him exclusive to Amazon's wildly popular service.
  • The terms of the deal are unknown.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon's Twitch is getting back one of its biggest stars: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is returning to the service with a multi-year exclusivity contract, Blevins announced on Thursday.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Blevins previously left Twitch for Microsoft's now-defunct Mixer service, where he was reportedly paid in the ballpark of $30 million for his exclusivity to the platform. That service was shuttered suddenly earlier this summer, making him and other high-profile streamers Microsoft had paid into free agents once again.

In the months since, Blevins has popped up on both Google-owned YouTube and Amazon-owned Twitch to stream games. When asked where he would end up by viewers, he has demurred.

"I really took my time to decide which platform was best," Blevins said in the announcement, "and Twitch has been very supportive throughout this process and understanding my overall career goals."

Amazon's Twitch is the most popular live video streaming service by a large margin.

Like Google-owned YouTube dominates internet video-on-demand, such is Twitch's dominance of live-streamed internet video. Millions of people are watching live videos streams on Twitch at any moment.

Until his departure in 2019, Blevins was Twitch's most popular streamer. 

In an effort to compete with Amazon, Microsoft spent tens of millions of dollars on two particularly high-profile exclusivity deals with the two highest-profile streamers: Blevins and Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek.

Then, on June 22, Microsoft suddenly announced plans to close Mixer. The service shuttered on July 22, and any existing streamers were re-routed to Facebook Gaming, the social network's own Twitch rival. As of Thursday's announcement, both Blevins and Grzesiek have since returned to Twitch.

Going forward, beyond playing "Fortnite" live on streams, Blevins said his focus will be "to elevate and bring more eyes to underrepresented creators.

His first Twitch stream under the new deal went live on Thursday afternoon, featuring the game "Fall Guys," and had nearly 100,000 viewers as of the time of publishing.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (, or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Home Depot CEO says the coronavirus isn't killing American cities — millennials are just destined to flock to the suburbs like previous generations

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:49pm  |  Clusterstock
"Migration is something that we've always dealt with," Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said.
  • The coronavirus pandemic isn't killing cities, according to Home Depot CEO Craig Menear.
  • Much has been made about the coronavirus pandemic sending millennials packing for the suburbs.
  • Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference on Thursday, the home improvement executive said that millennials were always set to relocate to more spacious, affordable locations.
  • Menear stressed that generalized and incorrect assumptions have long been made about millennial migration.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Reports of the COVID-19-related death of the American city are greatly exaggerated, according to Home Depot CEO Craig Menear.

As the pandemic continues to hamper city life, many reports and op-eds have highlighted the migration of young professionals out of urban areas. But speaking on Thursday at Goldman Sachs' annual Global Retailing Virtual Conference, Menear said a good portion of millennials were always going to drift to the suburbs, coronavirus pandemic or no coronavirus pandemic.

In response to a question about residents in cities like New York City and San Francisco flocking to the suburbs, Menear said that it's important not to ascribe too much importance to the coronavirus pandemic. He said observers have frequently gotten things muddled when observing millennial consumption patterns.

"It takes me back to 2015 and earlier, when there was a lot of conversation around the whole millennial generation," Menear said. "Everybody was going to move to inner cities and the millennials were never going to own anything. They were only going to rent. They would never have a car, they would never have a tool."

None of that came to pass, according to Menear. He said that Home Depot conducted "deep research" circa 2015 that ended up debunking that belief. The company found that millennials had every intention to "act the same way other generations had," although they were on a "delayed cycle" due to student loan debt and other financial hardships. 

"As the millennial generation get married, kids come along, they need more space, and they move from the city centers to a more suburban environment," Menear said. "They need more space and it's more affordable."

Despite millennials' suburban dreams, Home Depot has continued to move forward with plans to open locations in cities around the country, according to Menear. He said that the company had pushed for years — a decade in some cases — to open more stores in "urban centers to take the pressure off a really high volume stores" in surrounding suburban areas. 

"Migration is something that we've always dealt with," Menear said. "That's just part of what you have to do as a retailer."

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Pentagon pulls order to shutter Stars and Stripes after Trump abruptly decided he wants to keep the military newspaper alive

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:42pm  |  Clusterstock
The Stars and Stripes newspaper on October 18, 2007.
  • A senior Pentagon official has announced that an August directive to end Stars and Stripes has been rescinded, a journalist for the US military reported Thursday.
  • Last Friday, President Donald Trump unexpectedly tweeted that the US military will continue funding the  Stars and Stripes, effectively saving the publication that his administration's defense budget request defunded.
  • "It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!" he tweeted.
  • The Department of Defense first announced plans in February to strip funding from the newspaper, which originated during the Civil War and has long been a source of news for troops, veterans, military families, and civilians.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Department of Defense has rescinded an August directive to discontinue publication and dissolve Stars and Stripes, Defense Media Activity Director Col. Paul Haverstick announced Thursday, according to Steve Beynon, one of the US military newspaper's reporters

President Donald Trump unexpectedly decided last Friday to continue funding the US military's editorially-independent newspaper Stars and Stripes, backtracking on his administration's plans to end a paper that has been providing troops, veterans, military families, and civilians with news for decades.

"The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch," Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020

Instead of spending about $15.5 million, a fraction of the Pentagon's more than $700 billion budget, to sustain the paper that originated during the Civil War and has been published regularly since World War II, the Department of Defense moved to strip the historic newspaper of its funding in its fiscal year 2021 budget request.

"We trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in February after the Pentagon announced plans to cut funding for the paper.

Initial plans were to suspend publication at the end of this month, with the dissolution operations to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021, according to a letter from lawmakers, but a Pentagon memo described last Friday in a USA Today op-ed reportedly accelerated the timetable, aiming to dissolve the paper earlier.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 15 senators called on Esper to reconsider, arguing that "Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation's freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom."

In a letter, they said that there was a "real possibility" Congress would move to fund Stars and Stripes, even if the initial budget request did not.

Commenting on reports that the Pentagon has rescinded its order to end the newspaper, Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Marine Corps veteran and Arizona Democrat, tweeted: "Still putting protections in the NDAA to save Stars and Stripes. Don't trust they won't change this in the lame duck."

Update: This post, which was first published on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, was updated to include the Pentagon's withdrawal of the order to discontinue and dissolve Stars and Stripes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best school notebooks

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:41pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Although onsite learning is an uncertainty for many students this fall, we've rounded up the best school supplies, many of which are useful for virtual learning as well.
  • From kindergarten through college, students go through a lot of paper and notebooks — key components in mastering handwriting, taking notes, and learning. 
  • We put 12 popular notebooks through the paces to bring you our top picks for this guide.
  • The best school notebook overall is the Five Star Advance Wirebound Notebook 3 Subject — it's durable, versatile, and offers a lot of bang for your buck.

With a master's degree in education and years of teaching under my belt, I've seen and bought my fair share of notebooks.

Some students, school districts, and colleges have made the switch away from paper and gone completely digital. However, research has shown that students who write their notes down — as opposed to typing them — perform better on tests.

As a teacher, I've seen this firsthand. Students may not internalize their notes as well when they don't write them out by hand. It's also easier for them to get distracted when using a device — it's almost impossible for them to ignore a notification.

You don't need to splurge to get a good notebook, but there are some things to consider when shopping for this ubiquitous school supply. Andy Beauchamp, a second grade teacher in Minnesota, advises parents to wait until they hear from their child's teacher before purchasing notebooks. Always keep in mind that different teachers may have different requirements.   

To find the best notebooks, I conducted research, talked to current teachers, and tested 12 popular options, which were provided as editorial review samples by their manufacturers. My testing included writing, ripping out pages, spilling water on them, and more — which you can read about at the end of this guide.

Here are the best school notebooks you can buy:

Prices and links are current as of 9/10/20. We selected new picks based on research and testing and added slides that include our testing methodology, what else we considered, and note-taking tips.

The best overall The Five Star Advance 3 Subject Notebook with moveable pocket dividers keeps notes in great shape through the school year and beyond.

In my experience as a teacher, the two main reasons notebooks get ruined are ripped covers and snagged wires. The college-ruled Five Star Advance Notebook takes care of both of these problems with a durable plastic cover and a fabric wire guard.

With room for three subjects and protective coverings, this notebook will last through an entire school year and even longer. In our tests, the cover protected the pages from water damage, and it was difficult to pull the wires out from under the fabric guard. 

Its durability makes it ideal for saving notes from higher-level courses to refer back to later. The moveable dividers add versatility as well. Maybe one class only uses 50 pages while another uses 75 — you won't waste pages like you would with a fixed divider. I found the pages ripped out cleanly and didn't leave any jagged edges. A nice added feature is the pen/pencil holder. 

When compared to some of our other picks, writing utensils didn't glide quite as smoothly over the paper. However, this isn't a big deal for the average student. The only age group this notebook might not be ideal for is lower-elementary school due to its size. 

If for some reason this notebook doesn't last, it also has Five Star's one-year guarantee (misuse and abuse are not covered).

Pros: Cloth cover protects coils, moveable pocket dividers, extremely durable plastic cover

Cons: Some resistance when writing, might not be ideal for young students

The best for elementary school The AmazonBasics Wide-Ruled Composition Notebook helps kids perfect their handwriting and the sewn binding eliminates the danger of wires for younger kids. 

While I typically recommend notebooks with more durable covers, I like the AmazonBasics Composition Notebook specifically for elementary school kids because it has wide spacing between lines. This is ideal for writers who are still perfecting their technique. The sewn binding also prevents problems spiral notebooks can cause for young kids.

Beauchamp agrees that young children benefit from a sewn binding. "Spiral notebooks make practicing writing mechanics and using a full line challenging for students," he said. "About halfway through the year the spiral begins to come undone if not taken care of, and can be harmful to students as it is quite sharp. Composition notebooks eliminate those problems." 

In our tests, the cardboard cover tore easily, but there was no wire to pull loose. The cover held up well to the spill test; it showed water damage, but it didn't seep through to the paper. Like most composition notebooks, there aren't any perforations to tear pages out, so the edges ripped unevenly when I tried to pull them out. Ease of writing was average — slightly rough but what you'd expect from a notebook at this price point.

The notebook is available in solid or marbled covers in blue, yellow, green, red, and black. While these colors are nice, young kids might be disappointed that there aren't fun designs. 

A handy conversion chart and a space to write a schedule are included on the inside covers. The schedule space can help young kids learn to tell time and follow routines. 

Pros: Pages securely sewn in, wide-ruled paper is ideal for perfecting handwriting, includes schedule and conversion chart

Cons: Cover is plain, can't tear pages out

The best for middle and high school The Five Star Wirebound 1 Subject Notebook is simple, versatile, and exceptionally durable with a water-resistant plastic cover.

As both a student and a teacher, the Five Star Wirebound 1 Subject was my favorite notebook. While some other notebooks quickly succumb to wear and tear as the year goes on, many Five Star notebooks look good as new even on the last day of school. 

The durability of this notebook is largely due to its water-resistant cover. "Notebooks with stronger, thicker covers seem to survive the everyday wear and tear of being thrown in backpacks and lockers," according to Alissa Martin, a high school teacher in Pennsylvania. "Often, buying a more expensive notebook will save money in the end because it won't need to be replaced due to a cover falling apart or ripping, or the wiring coming apart." 

In our tests, the cover of this notebook did not rip and it protected the pages from spilled water. The edges of the wire loop back on itself to prevent snagging. There are also two interior pockets for storing handouts, worksheets, and loose paper. While I like this feature, the pockets are made of cardboard that is not very durable. The ink bleed-resistant paper has perforations, and the pages ripped out well in our testing. Out of all of our top picks, this was the roughest to write on but not unusual for this type of notebook.

A 100-page one-subject notebook is usually enough for one class. Teachers may request wide-or college-ruled paper. If they don't give a preference, middle school students might prefer wide-ruled while high school students might gravitate toward a college-ruled notebook.  Five Star offers both options. It also comes in many different colors, ideal for organizing classes by color, and it's sold in discounted packs of three or six at Amazon

Pros: Durable, water-resistant cover; built-in pockets; colorful covers are easy to organize; loops on wires prevent snagging

Cons: Interior pockets aren't very durable

The best for college The Hamelin 1 Subject has 150 pages of college-ruled paper to accommodate notes-intensive courses, and it comes with access to a note management app. 

Of all the notebooks I've used throughout my life — from elementary to grad school — the ones I've held onto the most are the ones from my undergrad years. That's why the Hamelin 1 Subject notebook with its sturdy cover is our pick for best college notebook. Not only will the notebook itself last, but electronic versions of your notes can last forever if you take advantage of the Scribzee app

According to Meghan Huber, assistant professor in mechanical and industrial engineering at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, "Choosing the right notebook paper is critical, now more than ever, since most classes are taught online. Especially in STEM courses, students might be required to upload their homework and exam problems to show their work."

This is where students will really appreciate the Scribzee app that serves as a companion to the notebook. Students can take pictures of their notes and turn them into PDFs, send them to other people, organize them into folders, and add additional content like images. Uploading homework and exam problems to send to professors is a breeze. 

For further organization, the included peel-and-stick labels can be used to create dividers, label sections, and add bookmarks. Papers can be stored in one double-sided pocket in the front, which is somewhat flimsy card stock like that of the Five Star. The notebook comes in blue, red, white, black, purple, green, and yellow. 

The thick cover protected the pages well in our water test. The paper was very smooth to write on, and the pages tore out easily. The only test this notebook didn't do well on was the wire pull test — the spiral wire that binds the notebook pulled out very easily. Traditionally, this is more of a problem with middle and high school students who get the wire stuck on their lockers. However, the pros of this notebook outweigh that one con, especially for college students.

Pros: Durable, works with Scribzee app to manage and send notes, includes organizational stickers, writing utensils glide smoothly on paper

Cons: Wire pulls out easily, cost adds up if you need to purchase multiple notebooks

The best for lefties The Moleskine Classic Notebook, Hard Cover, XL is ideal for lefties because the pages lie flat and ink doesn't smudge. 

Moleskine notebooks are known for their high quality and the brand has many loyal followers. This was my first time trying a Moleskine, and I was sold. 

To determine the best school notebook for lefties, however, my left-handed husband helped me test and make the final decision. This notebook came out on top in his testing for two reasons. First, the paper lies flat, so it wasn't uncomfortable and he didn't have to waste half the page. Second, ink and pencil smudged the least out of all the notebooks we tested. After decades of having ink smudged all over his hands, my husband was thoroughly impressed. 

These two factors, while great for lefties, aren't the only reasons this is an excellent notebook. In our tests, the hardcover protected the pages from water, and pens and pencils glided smoothly over the paper. Additional features include a bookmark ribbon, an elastic closure, and a durable expandable folder inside the rear cover. Although the pages do not have perforations, they tore out the best of all the nonperforated notebooks we tested. They come out evenly as long as you take your time.

The Moleskine classic has a very sleek look, and it's easy to customize: There are 10 color options, six sizes, four paper types, and two cover options (note that I did not test the soft cover). These options make this a great pick for lefties at any life stage — from elementary school all the way through professional life. 

Pros: Paper lies flat, minimal smudging, bookmark and folder included, many size and color options 

Cons: Expensive 

The best budget The simple Mead 1 Subject Spiral Notebook does the job at half the price of similar notebooks.

Is the Mead 1 Subject the best notebook out there? No. Can you beat $2 or less for a school notebook? Also no. This notebook almost always can be found for $2 and often goes on sale for prices under $1. It certainly has its drawbacks, but as a teacher, it was one of the most popular notebooks I saw in the classroom simply because you can't beat the price. 

It comes in a variety of colors for students to choose from and is a typical wire-bound notebook with a cardstock cover. The pages include perforations and three-ring holes, so students can rip them out for graded assignments or put them in a binder. 

With such a low price comes some drawbacks, however. The cover is thin and was easily ripped in our tests. It also allowed water to seep through in our water test. The wire coil can get snagged easily, and I've seen this ruin Mead notebooks in my classroom. 

Ease of writing is average, similar to the AmazonBasics Composition Notebook. The perforated pages tear out evenly, but if you don't take your time, you might get the jagged edges that go around the wire.

There are certainly better notebook options out there, but the cost of school supplies can add up very quickly. If your budget is tight and you're looking for ways to save, the Mead 1 Subject Spiral Notebook can do the job. 

Pros: Inexpensive, multiple color options, page perforations and binder holes  

Cons: Coil can get snagged, cover rips easily

What else we considered
  • Mead Composition ($7): This notebook is very similar to the AmazonBasics Composition Notebook. It came in slightly more expensive than the Amazon option, which is why it didn't make the cut. 
  • Staples ($2) and Mead ($3) Primary Composition Notebooks: These are both good options for very young kids. They use the red baseline ruled lines to help kids learn how to write. Because most kids would outgrow them by second grade, we went with a wide ruled composition notebook pick for elementary school instead. 
  • Rocketbook Core ($31): This is a unique eco-conscious notebook. Students can write on the reusable paper with FriXion pens, then use the Rocketbook app to store a digital copy of their notes and erase the page with a damp cloth. This technology worked well when I tried it, but it may not be the best option for students. For one, it's not cheap for a notebook that might get destroyed or lost, and if students lose their FriXion pen, the notebook is useless. They also won't be able to tear any pages out to hand to a teacher. It would be a better fit in classrooms with 1:1 technology than those without. 
  • Black n Red Ruled Hardcover ($9): This notebook had high-quality paper and the hardcover protected the pages very well. However, the cover was so hard and the binding so tight that it was difficult to get the notebook to lie flat. 
  • Cambridge Professional ($16): This was a nice notebook that I found to be similar to the Hamelin. The very thick paper made it difficult to rip off along the perforated line, however. The Hamelin also edged this notebook out because of its compatibility with Scribzee.  
How we tested

After researching and selecting the top contenders for this guide, I received samples of each one on my short list and put them through the following testing criteria: 

  • Writing test: I wrote in each notebook with various writing utensils to make sure there was no bleeding through pages. None of the pages bled with typical pencils and pens. I did not test with markers, highlighters, or Sharpies. 
  • Rip test: I tore pages out of each notebook to test how cleanly and easily they came out. Teachers often ask students to rip pages out to hand in, and many teachers don't like when pages are uneven and have jagged edges. 
  • Typical student test: I threw them, stepped on them, tried to rip them by pulling on the cover, and tried to pull the coil off of notebooks that had one.
  • Water test: I spilled water on the cover of each notebook and let it sit for 15 minutes before assessing damage. 
Note-taking tips

Efficient note-takers successfully create a balance between trying to write down every word their teacher says and not writing enough. Here are a few note-taking tips: 

  • Keep notes organized with dates, titles, and sections. "Different sections of a notebook can help students learn to organize, especially if it's notes within one subject area," according to Martin.
  • Having multiple notebooks can help keep students organized. "Keep a notebook for each class plus a catch-all notebook," Huber said. "This additional notebook should be with the student at all times and can be used for anything from scratch paper to making a shopping list to a stand-in for that forgotten notebook."
  • Try using highlighters or colored pens to color-code notes. 
  • Use shorthand and abbreviations. This helps you write your notes quickly so you can spend more time listening. It also helps ensure you'll be able to understand your notes later. 
  • Underline or otherwise mark important or key notes. 
Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump slammed after celebrating Kim Jong Un's 'good health' as the US COVID-19 death toll nears 200,000

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:40pm  |  Clusterstock
Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ on the border of North and South Korea
  • President Donald Trump offered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un well wishes on Thursday, prompting confusion and outrage on social media. 
  • "Kim Jong Un is in good health. Never underestimate him!" Trump tweeted.
  • Congressional lawmakers and reporters slammed Trump for celebrating the "good health" of one of the world's most repressive rulers. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump faced backlash online Thursday after celebrating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's "good health."

"Kim Jong Un is in good health. Never underestimate him!" Trump tweeted.

Kim is widely regarded as among the most repressive rulers in the world, and largely maintains power via a brutal system of concentration camps.

Between Kim's terrible human rights record and the fact the US is nearing 200,000 confirmed deaths from coronavirus, many on Twitter (including congressional lawmakers) apparently found it highly inappropriate that Trump hailed the North Korean leader's health.

—Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) September 10, 2020—Rep. Mike Levin (@RepMikeLevin) September 10, 2020—Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) September 10, 2020—Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 10, 2020


It's not entirely clear why Trump felt compelled to tweet about Kim's well-being, but rumors have circulated in recent months that he was unwell

Trump's tweet came amid new revelations on the president's relationship with the North Korean leader via veteran reporter Bob Woodward's new book "Rage."

In the book, which Insider obtained an early copy of, the president spoke positively of Kim and offered gruesome details on the assassination of the North Korean leader's uncle. 

"He likes me. I like him. We get along. That doesn't mean I'm naive. That doesn't mean that I think, oh, it's going to be wonderful. He's a very tough cookie. And he is smart, very smart," Trump said to Woodward in one of 18 interviews for the book. 

Trump told Woodward that Kim tells him "everything." 

"I know everything about him. He killed his uncle and he put the body right in the steps where the senators walked out. And the head was cut, sitting on the chest. Think that's tough? You know, they think politics in this country's tough," Trump said, according to Woodward. 

The president has met with Kim on several occasions. The meetings were designed to facilitate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which has not yet occurred. North Korea continues to engage in aggressive activities, and critics contend that by meeting with Kim the president helped legitimize a brutal dictator without any palpable benefits. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Popular NYU professor Scott Galloway has a new course on business strategy anyone can sign up to take — I took away MBA-like insights for way less money than going to business school

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:35pm  |  Clusterstock

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  • Scott Galloway is an NYU professor, entrepreneur, and author. He also hosts a popular podcast called Pivot with Kara Swisher
  • I've been a follower of Scott for the last couple of years. I read his book The Four and have been listening to Pivot since it launched. Most recently, he became well known as one of the major critics of WeWork's business model ahead of its unsuccessful IPO.
  • When I saw that he was offering an online course, via his company, Prof G, to the public that covered a lot of his insights around what makes a successful company, I immediately signed up.
  • Unfortunately, there was a waitlist for the course, so I didn't get into the first one, but when the next class opened up, I jumped to sign up for it. The course is currently taking students for the October class, and if that sells out, you can join the waitlist.

Scott Galloway is a well-known investor, entrepreneur, and NYU professor. He's famous for his research on four of the biggest tech companies, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. More recently, Professor Galloway (or Prof G) was a major critic of WeWork's failed IPO and voiced his support for breaking up big tech companies.

When I saw that Scott was teaching a two-week business strategy course through his company, Prof G, I immediately wanted to take it. I don't have an MBA because some advice I got early in my career was that you should only go to business school if you want to change industries or your company requires it to continue getting promoted. Neither of those scenarios apply to me, so I've decided to save the money. But I have always been curious about whether or not I'm missing out. 

The course costs $750, so it is certainly more expensive than other online courses that you can take elsewhere on platforms like Coursera and edX. But in the context of an MBA, it presents a very decent value exchange. I was happy to spend $750 to get a piece of what others would pay upward of $100,000 to receive.

If you want to learn from a well-known business professor about how the most successful companies of the 20th and 21st centuries got to where they are now, this is a great course.

What you get with the class

The course comprises four sections, called modules, that have video lessons and case studies, two 1.5-hour live streams, and a Q&A with Professor Galloway.  

The lessons themselves are great, taking about 30 minutes each to watch. But is five hours of video worth $750? I know it sounds wild, but this is how I thought about it before I paid for the course. (Note: I paid for the course, but depending on where you work and how the course relates to your job, it's worth checking with your company to see if you may be eligible for reimbursement.) Here's why I felt it was worth the money.

If you listen to Scott anywhere you can find him, then you know that his way of thinking about business is unique, and I value the insights. He's spent a lot of time studying the most valuable companies in the world, and the way he thinks about marketing, branding, and their business models now and in the future always gives me a new perspective. He is not always right with his predictions, but even when they don't come true, they're still insightful.

He's also an incredibly engaging personality and teacher, so five hours of him talking about the characteristics of trillion-dollar companies (he calls it the T-algorithm) made me think about the company I work for differently. If you are a regular listener of any of his podcasts, you may hear some of the same topics and themes discussed. But even considering that, I still took quite a bit away from the course that you couldn't otherwise get without spending hours listening to him and piecing it together. 

The case studies, which include companies like Spotify, Tesla, McKinsey, Netflix, Restoration Hardware, Spotify, Waze, Away, and Shopify, drive home the points and make the examples more digestible for the real world.  

And while the course itself is a great learning experience, what I really enjoyed was the way Prof G was able to create a classroom feel for several hundred students. A few days before the class starts, you get invited to a group Slack channel where you and your classmates can discuss the lessons, case studies, and final project.  

Students from the course when I took it were from tons of different countries and industries, so it was great to see the discussion around the lessons and how they applied to everyone's various companies and industries. The attendees worked at a range of different company sizes, too, from the big technology companies down to one-person startups. 

I loved the Q&A section at the end of the two live-streamed lessons because it's Scott reacting in real-time to the groups' thoughtful questions. Scott's team also posts videos of him in the Slack channels sending encouraging messages to the students. 

I do want to be very clear, though, this class teaches you a framework for how to think about business in general, the business you work for, or the business you may want to start or run. It is not a shortcut to building a successful company, nor is it a full MBA. The hard part comes after, which is to take these themes and apply them to your real-world scenario. And you may find that not all of them are applicable. That said, I've been working for 10 years, and I felt that if I had taken this class earlier in my career, I might have been able to think differently about some of the choices that I made.  

After the class, you have access to your course materials and Slack groups for several months. I made some great connections in my study group. In the general channels where everyone could chat as a group, I watched people at various stages of their careers ask what it would take to get jobs at big companies like Google or Amazon. I'd see them get directly connected with people within those organizations who were also part of the group. No guarantees if you take this class you'll be in the same section as employees from any of these companies, but my feeling was the type of people attracted to this class are the ones who want to have an impact.

I don't have an MBA and don't have any plans to get one, so this is probably the closest thing to a business school class I will ever see. As more and more talented people take this course, I hope The Prof G School will be able to create networking opportunities. It's still very early, but I could see that being possible. 

Let's compare this course to the traditional business school model:
  1. A network of smart and interesting people, check.
  2. Insights into top companies, check.
  3. A framework to apply the knowledge in the real world, check.
  4. Cost: $750 versus ~$5,000 ($140,000 NYU Stern School of Business tuition divided by the estimated number of classes taken).
The bottom line

So, if you've read this far, you might wonder, is this the course for you? I feel like anyone could get something out of it, even if you're just curious about big businesses. But for the people who want to make a difference at their companies or start one eventually, this is a great resource. As more people take this course, it will be a great way to connect and network with other interesting people too.

Looking for more e-learning? Here are some of the best online classes you can take:Read the original article on Business Insider

Netflix CEO says the streaming service's decision to be ad-free isn't 'a philosophical thing' — it's simply 'the best capitalism'

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:33pm  |  Clusterstock
Reed Hastings discussed his new book.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a new interview that the reason the streaming giant doesn't have commercials isn't because of a philosophical stance, it's because it's the "best capitalism."
  • Making money from ads is hard to do, the CEO said, and highly competitive.
  • Hastings said Netflix isn't considering live TV add-ons like Hulu either, as "every content dollar is spoken for."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed more about the streaming giant's thoughts on advertising and commercials in a recent interview with Variety, explaining that "it's basically what we think is the best capitalism, as opposed to a philosophical thing."

Hastings, who has been giving interviews recently to promote his new book, "No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention," added that it's all part of the "No Rules Rule" approach he takes toward running the company.

"It's a judgment call… It's a belief we can build a better business, a more valuable business [without ads]," said Hastings. "Advertising looks easy until you get in it." He added that sometimes competing for advertising doesn't work the way that a business might expect, and with the ad market facing headwinds, a company has to "rip that revenue away from other places." 

Hastings has previously said that there's no "easy money" in the advertising industry, and competing with ad giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon would be "quite challenging."

Hastings said that focusing on subscriptions has worked for the company for such a long time, noting Netflix "went public 20 years ago at about a dollar a share, and now we're [more than] $500." And while other streaming giants offer free or less expensive subscription plans that are ad-supported, Netflix so far has been content to simply raise its prices every few years as it builds out its vault of originals.

In recent weeks, Netflix has begun to dabble in free marketing-related offerings. While not an actual free subscription, it now allows non-subscribers to watch the first episode of some of its original series and some full-length movies as a way to encourage them to subscribe.

Hulu, a major competitor, launched live TV add-ons in recent years as a way to diversify content and bring in new revenue. When asked if Netflix would follow suit, Hastings said that for now, "every content dollar is spoken for," as Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and Chief Content Officer is focusing on "bigger movies, bigger series, [and] animation of course." 

Other topics in the interview included filming during the coronavirus pandemic, competitors in the streaming market, and decisions the CEO regrets. You can read the entire Variety interview here.

Business Insider Global Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson also recently interviewed Hastings for his "Starting Up" podcast, which you can listen to here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Brondell Swash SE600 remote control bidet is $120 off from Woot, an Amazon Prime member exclusive

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:28pm  |  Clusterstock

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Read the original article on Business Insider

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