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    Digital Health

    The healthcare industry is in a state of disruption. Digital solutions are becoming a necessary part of the new global standard of care for patients and regulation is being fast-tracked to catch up to digital health innovation.

    These rapid changes will have ripple effects across the entire healthcare system, impacting incumbents and new entrants alike.

    Based on our ongoing analysis, understanding of industry trends, and conversations with industry executives, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together The Top Five Trends Shaping The Future of Digital Health.

    To get your copy of this free report, click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    run running runner jogging jog race marathon

    • Melody Wilding is an executive coach, licensed social worker, and professor of human behavior.
    • She writes that even the most practical New Year's resolutions tend to bomb, often because the goal-setter has made the goals too big, gotten caught up in the holiday hype, or trying to do too much, too soon.
    • A better way to set goals you can keep, she advises, is to pick a theme for the year, aim for small wins in big goals, and decide ahead of time how you will deal with getting derailed.

    It’s that time of year when we’re likely to reflect back on the past 12 months, thinking about what went well, what didn’t, and how we can do better in the New Year. Often, this goes hand-in-hand with making resolutions aimed at improving ourselves and our circumstances.

    The problem with New Year’s resolutions, however, is that they’re so darn hard to keep. We wake up on January 1st with the best of intentions, lots of energy, and even a well-laid plan to tackle the resolutions, but in reality, by March most of these goals are simply a distant memory. Old habits return, and life goes on.

    When we look at the psychology behind failed resolutions, there’s a few reasons why even the most practical of goals tend to bomb:

    You’ve bitten off more than you can chew

    Often when making resolutions we identify a major life theme that we want to change and take a broad, general approach to tackling it.

    For example, saying that you’re going to “eat healthier” in the New Year is really abstract. Are you going to try a specific diet plan like Paleo? Are you simply going to swap out your morning bagel for fruit? Big hairy goals are great, but you have to pick somewhere to start.

    A year is a long time

    It’s human nature to evolve and shift our habits and preferences over time as our surroundings and circumstances change. Add to that unexpected life changes. For example, say you get laid off from your job after resolving to get to work by 8:30 every morning, or become bored with that exercise routine you committed to doing five days a week.

    The fact of the matter is, things change. Committing to one resolution for an entire year — with no wiggle room for that resolution to evolve — therefore, doesn’t fit into how life really works.

    You get caught up in the New Year hype

    You’re more likely to break New Year’s resolutions than other goals because of the sheer peer pressure to make one even if you aren’t intrinsically motivated or ready to change. It’s much easier to fall off the wagon quickly if your heart’s not in it, especially when you see people around you breaking resolutions of their own.

    You try doing too much, too soon

    The holidays are crazy hectic. Most people, by the time they get to the end of the year, are totally burned out and don’t give themselves time to slow and renew their willpower and decision-making reserves heading into the New Year. If you start on an empty tank emotionally, physically, or mentally, it’s going to be hard to keep any goal.

    Though sometimes hard to keep, in the end resolutions can make a big difference. They can set the tone for your entire year ahead, and force you to get clear about taking steps to achieve new success. The key lies in creating resolutions that promote self-growth and understanding in a structured way.

    So how can you cultivate New Year’s resolutions in a way that won’t leave you frustrated in a couple months? Here are alternatives approaches to seeking goals that will help you improve your quality of life in the coming year:

    Pick a theme for the year

    Identify a word or mantra that maps back to a theme you’d like to focus on in the New Year and weave into your daily life. For example, if your word is “ease,” consider how you can create match your actions to the value of “ease”.

    How can simple tasks such as running errands feel less rushed or structure your schedule differently to eliminate hecticness? Repeating this enough can help you invite new people, habits, and behaviors into your life that aligned with your values and the goals you seek to achieve.

    Aim for small wins within a big goal

    Major goals can feel like they’re miles away, and when we don’t achieve them in the (often unreasonable) time frame we expect, it can lead to feeling depressed, discouraged, and defeated. Motivation begets motivation, after all. Start by setting mini-milestones that are reasonably attainable. You can measure your success against each of these, adjusting and gathering momentum as you go along.

    Rather than making a huge resolution — say, to start a business in 2015 — break it down into smaller pieces: set up time to meet with mentors in January, write out a business plan in March, set up a website by July, and raise $10,000 by September. This way, you can measure your progress and celebrate each success as you achieve it. You’re avoiding feeling overwhelmed (starting a business is a huge deal) and have metrics to measure against as you go along.


    Similar to setting numerous smaller goals throughout the year, consider setting an individual resolution in each area of your life you’d like to improve upon — health, career, finances, and relationships.

    For example, you might commit to monthly dinners with your roommates for the “relationships” bucket, taking a new fitness class each month for the “health” bucket, and automatically transferring $150 to your IRA each month for your finances. All of these are attainable goals, which can lead to huge differences in multiple areas of your life.

    Bulletproof your resolution

    Once you’ve decided on a goal, bolster it against the craziness of daily life. Think through possible scenarios that might come up that could derail you from your goal.

    For example, say you want to live a healthier life by setting goals around diet and exercise, but you know you have work trips planned. You could defend your goal by researching restaurants beforehand, finding out if the hotel has your gym and working that into your schedule, etc. You want to be defensively pessimistic and anticipate challenges before they come up the way, rather than being surprised when they inevitably appear and catch you off guard.

    This New Year, think about approaching resolution-making differently, so that you’re actually able to experience lasting transformation, rather than setting sweeping, overwhelming, and unrealistic objectives that — let’s be honest — you know won’t last.

    Melody Wilding is an executive coach, licensed social worker, and professor of human behavior at Hunter College. Her clients include high-performing managers and leaders at places like Google, Facebook, and HP.

    Sign up for your free guide, "The 3-Step Workday Reset," at

    This post was originally published on

    SEE ALSO: After coaching managers and execs from companies like Google, Facebook, and HP, I've seen that the most successful people use 3 psychological strategies on a daily basis

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    costco auto program

    • The Costco Auto Program allows Costco members to buy discounted cars from participating dealerships.
    • A wide variety of vehicle types and models are available to buy or lease.
    • The average discount is over $1,000.


    Costco sells just about everything, so it's no surprise that the retailer can also help customers buy discounted cars.

    Through the Costco Auto Program, Costco members can search for a variety of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, jet skis, and RVs.

    Once you've chosen a vehicle and your preferred trim, features, and exterior color, Costco sends you the contact information for a participating dealership and salesperson, at which point you can visit the dealership to find out the vehicle's discounted price and decide if you'd like to buy or lease it.

    Read more: We took an $81,000 Porsche Macan GTS on a road trip to see if it's a sports car in an SUV body — here's the verdict

    The range of available vehicles extends from budget options that start under $20,000 to luxury vehicles that top $100,000.

    A Costco representative told Business Insider in March that Costco members save over $1,000 off the average price of a vehicle when using the program, on average, and members can also get a 15% discount on parts, service, and accessories at participating service centers.

    Here's how you can use your Costco membership to get a discount on your next car.

    SEE ALSO: I tried Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot feature to see if it lives up to the hype — here's the verdict

    1. Go to the Costco Auto Program's webpage or call its customer-service line.

    From the Costco Auto Program webpage, you can browse and compare available vehicles, calculate monthly payments, and read reviews.

    You can also call the company's customer-service line to have an employee walk you through the process over the phone.

    2. Choose the vehicle you'd like.

    You can choose from a variety of classes, including sedans, sports cars, SUVs, trucks, and crossovers.

    While you don't learn the discounted price until you visit the dealer (this is an old sales trick — prospective customers are less likely to walk away from a potential purchase if a salesperson is able to talk face-to-face with them about their hesitations), the manufacturer's suggested retail price ranges from under $20,000 to over $150,000 for vehicles available through the program.

    You can also buy or lease a motorcycle, RV, ATV, jet ski, snowmobile, or UTV.

    If you don't want to buy outright, you can also lease or select a pre-owned vehicle, which the dealer inspects for any broken or worn-down parts and fixes before selling it again.

    3. Customize the trim, features package, and exterior color.

    For many vehicles, you can select the trim, features, and color you'd like. For others, you can choose only the model.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Cadillac CTS-V

    • The Porsche Panamera Turbo carries a hefty price tag.
    • The Cadillac CTS-V is essentially a Corvette Z06 with four doors.
    • Can the awesome Caddy face down possibly the greatest sedan on Earth?

    The Porsche Panamera is an incredible machine — so incredible that we named it Business Insider's 2017 Car of the Year.

    The Panamera in Turbo trim is monumental: There's a stonking twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 under the hood, cranking out 550 horsepower. But behind that motor is a cabin of unparalleled luxury.

    For those who want it all, the Panamera Turbo doesn't disappoint. But it will cost you more than $150,000. Face it: one doesn't get to be a Porsche owner without doing some damage to the bank account.

    That's a rich sticker, but for about half the price you can get your hands on even more power. It won't be German power — it will be Detroit oomph. And it will have a Cadillac badge.

    The CTS-V is probably my favorite high-performance four-door on Earth. If you like the Corvette Z06 and its 6.2-liter, 650-horsepower V8 widowmaker, the CTS-V has the same powerplant, just tuned down by 10 horses, to 640. You would be hard-pressed to notice the dropoff in power. In both the Caddy and Vette, you're getting some extreme performance at a cost that's sort of difficult to overlook.

    So let's call this comparison a showdown between perhaps the greatest sedan in existence and the extreme value proposition. Read on to see who wins.

    FOLLOW US : on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    The CTS-V in "Red Obsession." I enjoyed the vehicle immensely. Our test car cost over $90,000 and was very well-optioned. Base, the CTS-V is about $86,000.

    Read the review »

    The "V" cars are Caddy's answer to high-performance versions of European sports sedans: BMW's M Sports, Mercedes-AMGs, and the Audi RS. And, of course, dedicated high-end rides such as the Panamera.

    It's tough to climb higher in the General Motors lineup than the CTS-V, however. With the Z06 and ZR1 'Vettes, you get mountains of power but no back seats, and the flagship CT6 Caddy doesn't yet come in V trim.

    I will at this point acknowledge that one might not be cross-shopping a CTS-V and a Panamera Turbo. But then again, a lot of folks don't think they should cross-shop a Z06 and, say, a Ferrari 488. That doesn't mean they shouldn't.

    I also more recently checked out the car in a fetching "Crystal White" paint job. It got some serious stares, but I still liked the CTS-V better in red.

    The heart of the Caddy is the savage, 640-horsepower, supercharged V8 LT4 motor, which the CTS-V shares with the Corvette Z06.

    This engine is sublime. For my money, it's better than the Porsche's 550-horsepower V8, but I tend to think that big V8s get along better with superchargers than turbochargers. (Both increase the compression of airflow headed in an engine's cylinders for combustion, but superchargers are powered by the motor, whereas turbos are spun by engine exhaust.)

    The best part of driving a CTS-V, in many ways, is starting it up and hearing the gutsy roar and rumble. Because we're dealing with a luxury sedan, out on the road, the CTS-V isolated the driver and passengers from the exhaust note, but you can sure as heck feel those 640 horses doing their thing.

    The eight-speed automatic has a manual mode, so you can use the paddles behind the steering wheel to shift your gears. The CTS-V also has various drive modes, including a ferocious "track" option. I found that skipping the paddles and going with "comfort" and "sport" modes were the best route.

    "Driving the car is glorious," I wrote in 2016. "The Z06 requires constant attention ... The CTS-V, by contrast, is an insane beast when you want it to be, possessed of earth-splitting violence delivered via a 0-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    millennial worker reading

    • Kick off 2019 the right way by making your life, work, and money more productive.
    • We rounded up some of the best business and money books from 2018 to make 2019 your most productive year yet.
    • They're filled with insights on how to make the most of your time, build habits, and find success at work, from creating a culture to leading the right way.

    Make 2019 the year of productivity when it comes to life, work, and money. 

    There's no shortage of books to help guide you through your most productive year yet. To help you get started, we rounded up some of the most popular books on Amazon in business and money published in 2018.

    They're brimming with advice on how to utilize your time, focus on the things that matter, and build new habits. They're also full of secrets to success in business, from leading organizations and making the most of meetings to building a culture and overcoming obstacles — and how to scale up your business to be the next big thing.

    Read more:The best business books of 2018

    Because if you succeed in work and use your time effectively, your chances at building wealth will be more successful, too.

    Kick off the year on the right note with these books.

    SEE ALSO: 11 books to read in 2019 if you want to get rich

    DON'T MISS: 13 unforgettable insights from a year reading about relationships, time management, and getting ahead at work

    'Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones' by James Clear

    From Amazon:"If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights."

    Find it here »

    'The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success' by Albert-László Barabási

    From Amazon:"Too often, accomplishment does not equal success. We did the work but didn't get the promotion; we played hard but weren't recognized; we had the idea but didn't get the credit. We convince ourselves that talent combined with a strong work ethic is the key to getting ahead, but also realize that combination often fails to yield results, without any deeper understanding as to why.

    "Recognizing this striking disconnect, the author, along with a team of renowned researchers and some of the most advanced data-crunching systems on the planet, dedicated themselves to one goal: Uncovering that ever-elusive link between performance and success."

    Find it here »

    'Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.' by Brené Brown

    From Amazon:"Four-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe.

    "She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?"

    Find it here »


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump new years resolution 2019 2x1

    • Most people's New Year's resolutions are related to self-improvement.
    • INSIDER surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about what they think President Donald Trump's New Year's resolutions should be for 2019.
    • We discovered that many people want Trump to "tweet less" or simply "resign."

    New Year's resolutions aren't easy to keep: 80% of our resolutions tend to fail by February

    Still, with a fresh year on the horizon, it's tempting to fantasize about what we might do better in 2019.

    Or perhaps what others might do better. 

    To get a read on what Americans want from their president in the coming year, INSIDER — a sister publication of Business Insider — posed the following question to 1,037 people across the country:

    What is a New Year's resolution you'd like President Donald Trump to make? ___________

    Responses to our online fill-in-the-blank SurveyMonkey form ranged from some extremely vulgar answers that can't be printed here to some simple, supportive suggestions like "continue" (5.7%) or "build the wall" (2.8%). That seems to align with Trump's own plans for the new year, since he has pledged to keep the government shut down until a $5 billion southern border wall is funded

    Read More: Most Americans would rather spend the $5 billion Trump is demanding for the border wall on infrastructure, education, or healthcare

    Other survey responses focused on self-improvement ideas for Trump. But of the 1,037 people we surveyed, 213 suggested that the president should "resign" and leave office. That was by far the most popular response.

    The second most popular answer was and "tweet less"— more than 10% of survey respondents suggested this. President Trump tweets, on average, more than five times a day, often disparaging the media as "fake news" or criticizing the government's Russia investigation. Over the last year, he's posted hundreds of comments on Twitter, even going so far as to brag that his "Nuclear Button" is bigger than North Korea's.

    Below are the most common responses to our survey, from Americans of all political stripes. You may notice that a common theme seems to be a desire for Trump to improve the way he communicates. Whether encouraging him to tweet less, be kinder, be honest, or speak cautiously, people are clearly thinking about ways Trump could be a more thoughtful leader in the new year.

    trump new years resolution 2019 chart

    Some less frequent survey responses — which still garnered more than a handful of supporters — included suggestions that Trump "respect others,""work for other Americans," and "improve US." Other answers, as we said, were too vulgar to include in this chart.

    Fewer than 1% of respondents gave Trump a traditional New Year's resolution: 0.7% thought that he should lose weight and exercise more in the new year.

    SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,037 respondents polled November 23-24, 2018, margin of error plus or minus 3.15 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

    SEE ALSO: A Yale psychologist's simple thought experiment temporarily turned conservatives into liberals

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    orimade bathroom shelf

    • The easy organizational fix for all the products cluttering my bathroom costs less than $20 and is sold on Amazon by an unknown brand. 
    • The Orimade Bathroom Shelf ($18) is a simple and strong stainless steel shelf that adheres to the wall with no tools or additional hardware and can hold a good amount of weight. 
    • If you want an organization solution that's effective and requires very little effort on your part, look no further than this affordable and versatile shelf. 

    The result of 1) a job that requires taking home and reviewing various products and 2) a typical New York City apartment design where countertop and living space is half the size it should be, is unsurprisingly, a very cluttered bathroom. 

    After one last foolish attempt at playing the delicate game of product Tetris, I knew I had to do something about this unorganized lifestyle and looked to Amazon for inspiration. When I buy for my home, I like splurging on good-looking kitchenware or houseplants, but take on a more utilitarian approach when looking for organization and storage products, whether they're for my closet or for my kitchen

    Wanting something cheap, simply designed, and durable, I found my match in this $18 bathroom shelf by Orimade.

    A big factor that drew me to it was the description of easy, tool-free installation. These magical words have previously led me to finds like the $100 Zinus platform bed frame and will continue to be my guiding light as long as I remain a lazy and impatient nomad wandering between short-term lease commitments. 

    The stainless steel shelf measures 15.8 x 4.2 x 2.4 inches and attaches securely to the wall with adhesives, so you won't damage the walls. However, the damage-free promise only applies to smooth, hard surfaces like ceramic tile, flat marble, and plank. If you stick it to wallpaper or a painted wall, it will take paint off when you remove it. 

    The instructions to install the shelf were easy to follow: clean the wall surface, apply one adhesive (both have two sets of hooks to hold the shelf), measure the appropriate distance with the included ruler, apply the second adhesive, then snap the shelf into the grooves of the hooks. I waited 24 hours before placing my products on, as suggested by the manufacturer instructions, but other online reviewers didn't wait and the shelf appeared to hold up well anyway. 

    The shelf was an instant fix to my bathroom clutter. Nearly all the skincare and personal care products I use on a daily basis — the creams, gels, toner, lotion, contact lens solution, toothpaste, retainer, and more — currently sit on it and it hasn't budged in the last two months of use, even after I've bumped into it a few times. It's as simple of a look as a shelf can go, which is an advantage if you're looking for a versatile style. 

    If you need to free up space in your bathroom, or even your kitchen, the shelf is the perfect solution and makes efficient use of wall areas that would otherwise go to waste. I have it next to my sink as my personal morning and night routine station, but it's water-proof and also works well to hold your bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the shower. It only costs $18, and for an extra $2, you can get the version with an adjustable, attached towel barWhen it comes time to remove the shelf, all you need to do is direct a hot hair dryer at the adhesive to peel it off. 

    Buying stuff off Amazon can be hit-or-miss when the product is suspiciously cheap or is made by a brand no one has ever heard of, but I'm glad I trusted the existing reviews and bought the Orimade shelf for my bathroom organization dilemma. Upon seeing how quickly and easily the shelf made a difference, my roommate bought one for all her products, too, and our apartment is looking better than ever. 

    Shop the Orimade Bathroom Shelf, $17.99, available at Amazon

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    most educated town in every state

    • Educational attainment varies across the country.
    • Using data from the Census Bureau, we found the town in every state with the biggest share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree.

    Different places have different levels of educational attainment.

    The American Community Survey is an annual survey run by the Census Bureau to allow the government, corporate and academic researchers, and anyone who is curious about demographics to better understand the population of the US Among many other subjects, the ACS includes questions about respondents' education levels.

    Read more: All 50 states and Washington DC, ranked from least to most average

    Using the 2012-2017 ACS estimates for places with at least 1,000 population, Business Insider made a map showing, for each state, the town with the highest percentage of adults over 25 who have at least a bachelor's degree.

    Some of the places were college and university campuses, and we excluded those from our analysis, instead focusing on incorporated towns and cities and unincorporated Census-designated areas.

    Several wealthy suburban and exurban enclaves appear on the list, like Scarsdale, New York and Chevy Chase, Maryland.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

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    reading brain

    • Reading isn't just good for learning something new — it's also excellent for your brain function.
    • Dr. Mark McLaughlin, a neurosurgeon, says that reading books (outside of medicine and school) transformed his life.
    • He says not only does it help you learn how to navigate specific circumstances in a better way, but it also helps the brain's connectivity.
    • Various studies have found reading can improve parts of the brain related to language and empathy.

    As I was about to start my own practice as a neurosurgeon, I experienced a transformative moment.

    It didn't happen in the OR during a challenging surgery. It happened in a quiet room at home, under the glow of a single lamp.

    I started reading books.

    As a kid, and even as a young adult in medical school, I rarely read books other than those required for my studies. I didn't have the patience. Non-medical reading seemed like a waste of time.

    My perspective changed in my mid-30s, when I was starting Princeton Brain and Spine Care. Med school didn't prepare a doc to run a small business, so I had to get up to speed fast. I immersed myself in volumes on management, planning, human resources, accounting, and leadership.

    My breakthrough book was "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. Then I dove into Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point," which I consider one of the greatest marketing books ever. As I continued consuming volumes on business, I branched out into biographies and fiction. I had finally broken free of the limitations of reading for a specific need.

    Before long, I realized that books were doing more for me than just instilling knowledge in my brain — they were also improving my communication skills. I became a more attentive listener in meetings with patients and business associates, and more articulate and insightful in my responses.

    Of course, being a brain guy, I wanted to know how reading books impacted me on a neural level. Clearly, it was affecting my overall thought processes — but perhaps also my brain anatomy.

    Research on the topic has confirmed this: Reading actually changes the wiring of the brain.

    Advances in scanning technology have enabled us to see how reading affects areas of the brain associated with communication. In a 2013 study done at my alma mater Emory University, student volunteers were instructed to read sections of a novel ("Pompeii," a 2003 thriller based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient times) for nine consecutive nights. MRIs taken the morning after revealed an increase in connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language.

    What's most interesting is that this strengthened language processing was evident even though the subjects weren't reading at the time of the scan. According to Gregory Berns, the neuroscientist who led the study, this increased connectivity was "almost like a muscle memory." Imagine how strong these connections become if you read every night!

    Another MRI analysis by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, revealed a significant overlap in brain networks that comprehend stories and those involved in trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of others — the basis of empathy.

    Reading fictional stories apparently makes us better at dealing with real-life people, especially in challenging encounters.

    I have recognized this benefit in my own life, both in the hospital and in my business dealings. It's critical for me to handle encounters with patients and their families with tact and understanding. One day I may need to gently persuade an ambivalent patient to undergo an essential operation. On another day, I may have to console parents over the loss of a loved one.

    Immersing myself in the lives of various characters on the printed page has enhanced my ability to "read" real people in challenging scenarios.

    Reading on a regular basis has also better equipped me to get colleagues on my side when I need their cooperation and support. In fact, it has enriched all of my social encounters — in business, in coaching wrestling, and with my own family.

    I've come a long way from reading books to become more informed. I clearly see how reading helps me navigate situations that have nothing to do with the topics I've read about.

    It's cross-training for the brain. And excellent training for life.

    Being a bibliophile has also helped me better train and engage my employees. For example, I give out copies of "Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery" by Henry Marsh to my staff and encourage discourse about it at office meetings. It's filled with inspiring stories relevant to a surgeon's work and gives my employees a better perspective of what it's like to be a doctor and a patient.

    My greatest hope is that my gift of books will land in the hands of people like me: latecomers to serious reading who are grateful to have discovered the wonders of literature.

    When they catch the wave of words, they may be amazed at what exciting new shores they land on. As Walt Disney once said, "There's more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

    Dr. Mark McLaughlin, M.D., practices neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine Care and believes that we can all apply the core principles behind brain surgery to our daily lives. His mission is to use the lessons he has learned from his career to help others manage stressful situations and engage with problem-solving.

    SEE ALSO: I'm a neurosurgeon, and the best morning routine I've found only consists of 3 simple steps

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

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    • Luxury watches and private yachts are obvious status symbols, but there are so many other subtle, and in some cases, particularly odd, ways to flaunt wealth.
    • In some US cities, you may be able to decipher a person's social position by the size of their family, the animals in their backyard, and even how many digits are on their license plate.


    People have found obscure ways to flaunt their social position for centuries.

    Before sports cars and luxury gym memberships came along, Americans demonstrated their wealth by snapping selfies, although not the kind we take today. Shortly after the X-ray was invented in 1895, the rich couldn't wait to snag a radiographic machine of their own. They would snap photos of their jewelry-clad bones with at-home X-ray machines they scored from the black market.

    And while the days of smuggling X-ray machines are long gone, Americans now try to impress each other in different ways: by always having the newest iPhone, wearing the most expensive watch, or exclusively sporting Lululemon to spin class. But more unexpected status symbols abound in the US.

    Here are seven ways Americans around the country show their social status:

    SEE ALSO: The top 10 most expensive watches sold by Christie's in 2018, ranked

    Silicon Valley: Urban chickens

    Not all status symbols are glamorous. Take, for instance, Silicon Valley's latest hipster trend. According to The Washington Post, tech industry leaders have started housing chickens in their backyards.

    While keeping livestock has historically been the thriftiest way of putting food on the table, these egg-laying hens are fed gourmet meals and sometimes even sport diapers around the house.

    Chicago: Canada Goose coats

    One fail-proof way to show people that you have money is to wear extreme, expedition-ready outerwear in the city. It's a widespread phenomenon, but Chicagoans are partial to the notoriously expensive brand Canada Goose, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Sure, the Windy City can feel like the Arctic Tundra sometimes, but could its finicky climate possibly warrant wearing a $1,000 parka suited for Antarctica? Probably not.

    Los Angeles: The costs of Scientology courses

    If you've seen or heard of Leah Remini's docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath," then you're familiar with the controversies of the religion that Tom Cruise and John Travolta follow. According to Remini's series, Scientology is not only a secretive religion, but also an expensive one.

    The courses, books, and therapy required to join the church allegedly cost thousands, which only the rich and famous can afford, according to the series. It's no surprise why Los Angeles, with its affluent stars, has been called the "Scientology Capital of the World."

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    Welcoming in the new year usually comes with a load of ambitious New Year's resolutions. One resolution that comes up often is to read more books. If this happens to be one of your goals for the new year, you can start right now — all you have to do is pick up a book.

    If you're not sure just which book to begin 2019 with, check out Amazon's Best Books of the Month section. You'll find a selection of the best new releases handpicked by Amazon's editors. This month, you'll find "Maid" by Stephanie Land, the spotlight pick, along with nine other unique titles. One is sure to kick-start your desire to read more. 

    If you're looking to start off 2019 with a great book, check out this list to see what Amazon's editors are loving right now. 

    Captions have been provided by Erin Kodicek, editor of books and Kindle at

    SEE ALSO: This is the best book of 2018, according to tens of thousands of avid readers

    "Maid" by Stephanie Land

    Stephanie Land’s aspirations to go to college and become a writer were derailed by an unplanned pregnancy. In "Maid", she describes the struggle to keep her American dream alive.

    Buy it here >>

    "Sugar Run" by Mesha Maren

    Debut author Mesha Maren’s ability to engender compassion in deeply flawed characters shines in this Southern noir about a parolee who tries to rebuild her life, but is stymied by her past and terrible taste in romantic partners.

    Buy it here >>

    "The Current" by Tim Johnston

    When a car is pulled from the Black Root River, only one occupant makes it out alive. The incident mirrors one from a decade prior, so this no accident, and the further the surviving woman delves into the mystery, the more imperiled her life becomes.

    Buy it here >>

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    This is a preview of the Global Payments Landscape report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report  here.

    • Noncash payments are on the rise worldwide.
    • As new players emerge to capitalize on consumer appetite for digital payment methods, three mature markets — the UK, Australia, and Sweden — have become standouts for what a more cashless society could look like.
    • The UK, Australia, and Sweden are transitioning to digital particularly well, and can serve as a roadmap for other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash.

    Noncash payments have been gaining popularity around the world for the last decade. And though cash isn’t anywhere near dead, its global growth is slowing as consumers turn to emerging cashless alternatives.

    Cash As A Share Of Total Transactions In Australia

    But there are a few key markets - Australia, Sweden, and the UK - where annual noncash payments have already surpassed traditional cash transactions altogether — and they’re stong early indicators of what a truly cashless society could look like.

    Why are digital payments on the rise?

    The growing adoption of noncash payments is a direct result of the rise of e-commerce, but that’s not the only factor. Consumers today are adaptable to disruptive technologies and are generally open to trying new types of digital payment methods.

    This consumer appetite is compounded by their access to infrastructure, as well as the emergence of government-backed initiatives, such as real-time transfers and the backing of electronic currencies, that make digital payments more enticing to both consumers and merchants.

    How are Australia, Sweden, and the UK driving the world towards cashless payments?

    Australia, Sweden, and the UK are emblematic of opportunities for payments players to lead the world away from cash. The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, provides a snapshot of the payments industry in each of these three markets.

    The report shows that several leading payments players have already emerged or are dominant within each of these regions — and they’re finding success in different ways. For other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash, the digital transformations of Australia, Sweden, and the UK can serve as a roadmap.

    Here are the strategies these regions are implementing in the race to become the world’s first cashless society:

    • Australia is launching government initiatives and instating new regulations. The Australian government has banned purchases over AU$10,000 ($7,500) from being made in cash, as well as launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) to allow real-time funds transfer as a means of replacing transactions typically made in cash, such as paying back a friend.
    • In Sweden, consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of cards. In fact, only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020.
    • Contactless payments are leading the shift away from cash in the UK. Nearly the entire population has a debit card, and debit card transactions surpassed cash payments for the first time at the end of 2017. This milestone was largely fueled by the surge in contactless cards, which grew 97% annually last year to hit 5.6 billion transactions.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence compiles various payments snapshots, together illustrating how digital payment methods are supplementing or replacing cash in each market.

    Each snapshot provides an overview of the payments industry in a particular country, and details the evolution of its development. They also highlight notable payments players in each region and discuss the opportunities and challenges that players are facing in their respective markets.


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    man worried nervous thinking listening

    • Not everyone is suited to owning a business– and that's OK.
    • Some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset, and there are clear signs that you're not ready to start a company, according to Uptima Business Bootcamp cofounder Rani Langer-Croager.
    • There are also some practical matters you should have in order, particularly your finances.

    Despite the entrepreneurial hype of the Silicon Valley era, not everyone is suited to owning a business— and that's OK.

    "Starting and growing a business takes a lot of energy. It's very risky,"Rani Langer-Croager, the cofounder of Uptima Business Bootcamp, told Business Insider.

    There's no shame if you are happier as an employee, as some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset. Though you can develop entrepreneurial traits, your business would need to be something "that you can't not do," according to Langer-Croager.

    From issues of risk appetite to matters of personal finance, Langer-Croager shared eight signs you might want to keep your day job, at least for now.

    SEE ALSO: 8 things that could increase your chances of being audited, and how to avoid them

    1. You have a low appetite for risk

    Here's the harsh reality of starting a business: around 70% of startups are no longer in business by year 10, according to Fundera.

    Even if your product or service is fantastic, there are a host of snags you can hit, from running out of money to running out of steam. To deal with this risk, "every entrepreneur should go into this with their own timeline" for when they expect the business to turn a profit — and pay its founder a salary.

    This timeline should be "tied to their own financial wellbeing," Langer-Croager said. In other words, figure out how long you can afford to allow your business to grow without getting something back from it, knowing that there's a chance your startup might never turn a profit. She said that doing so "makes managing that risk a little easier." 

    2. You have a "scarcity mindset"

    "People who are in a scarcity mindset think there aren't enough opportunities or resources for them," Langer-Croager said. This can result in a sense of desperation that can lead you to pursue avenues that hurt your business, rather than holding out for better opportunities. This is a pitfall even for seasoned business owners during down times, she said.

    "Working on your own relationship with money and knowing that relationship might be deep-rooted" may be necessary to remove this obstacle to becoming your own boss, according to Langer-Croager.

    3. You need a quick profit

    Small Business Trends reported only 40% of startups actually turn a profit and 82% of small business failures are tied to cash-flow problems.

    It can take years for your business to become profitable enough to pay yourself a living wage, Langer-Croager noted. "If you're trying to make cash quickly, you're going to put a lot of pressure on the business that's not going to allow it to grow the way it needs to grow," she said.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Making friends

    • Making friends as an adult can be difficult.
    • As we get older, life changes can affect existing friendships, and adulthood can make forging new ones harder than it was in adolescence.
    • But it is possible to make new friends in adulthood with a few simple steps.
    • It's a process that requires repetitiondisclosure, and some initiative on your behalf.

    It's akin to how salmon feel when swimming upstream. Trying to keep in touch with your buddies post-college, much less forging new friendships, is difficult, exhausting, and sometimes futile.

    But it's not just you.

    An analysis of a whopping 177,000 people found that friend groups expand until about age 25, after which they shrink like a sweater in the dryer. Additionally, a national survey conducted in 1985 found the most commonly reported number of confidants was three. Fast-forward several decades, and that number has dwindled to zero. That's right, zero.

    Whether as a result of parenthood, divorce, moving to a new city, or simply focusing on family and career, having to make new friends doesn't end on the playground. It is a task and a skill that we revisit time and time again throughout life.

    When it comes to making friends, semantics reveal an important detail: We make friends. Making a friend isn't luck or chance: It's a process, which is actually good news. You don't have to wait for the stars to align; instead, with three factors — repetition, disclosure, and some initiative — we can give the stars a nudge.

    1. Be a regular

    There's a prevailing sense that having shared interests — a love of bocce, Democratic politics, or Argentine tango —  precedes a friendship. And while a mutual love of David Lynch films can't hurt, the true magic ingredient is considerably less sexy than shared interests: repetition.

    spin classTo have the best shot at friendship, we have to interact with the same person again and again. One study illustrated this fact perfectly: 44 state police trainees, when asked to name their closest friends, chose those who fell next to them in alphabetical order of seating.

    Another classic study of friends in a university apartment building found that the most popular individuals were simply those who lived in the most highly-trafficked areas: the foot of the stairwells.

    Therefore, think about how to see the same people on a regular basis. Rule out drop-ins, like one-time meetups or special events, and look for  activities where the same core people show up every day or every week, like going to the the local dog park, choral group practice, Thursday night running group, or anywhere you can be a "regular."

    The bottom line? Keep showing up. Commit to any new activity for at least a few months. Conventional wisdom holds that six to eight  conversations — beyond "Hey, how's it going?"— are necessary before people consider us a friend.

    2. Talk about yourself 

    For the shy among us, answering questions that come with meeting new people can be torture: 'And what do you do for work? Where are you from? What brought you to this city?'

    But it can be just as  frustrating for our conversation partner to have to interrogate us.

    people talking

    Therefore, experiment with sharing the details of your life and inner workings more freely. If you're shy or socially anxious, experiment with initiating and offering more than usual.

    This might feel wrong, as if you're talking too much, being annoying, or making it about you, but if you're known for being reticent, give yourself permission to stretch and grow. Research shows what draws others in is disclosure, specifically that which is "sustained, escalating, reciprocal, and personalistic."

    Whether you're an introvert, extrovert, or anywhere in between, telling someone the details of your life sparks them to share with you, which in turn brings you closer.

    Even the most banal small talk can be made personal. Talking about traffic can be a disclosure: "I prefer to ride my bike because it's so much faster, but I draw the line when it's raining like this.""Traffic was horrible, but '2 Dope Queens' got me through as usual.""The construction on Broadway is nuts — I could barely get to my favorite donut place." You're still talking about traffic, but you've also laid the groundwork of conversation by giving them a topic or two to riff off.

    3. Be the conversation starter

    It's not your imagination that people seem busy and noncommittal when it comes to making new friends. But as long as you get some basic friendliness (no grunting and staring at their phone when you say hello), try this mindset: Assume that they like you, and act in kind.

    making friends

    Unapologetically brighten when you see them. Share a little bit of your life. Don't wait for them to initiate the "hello," or suggest trying the new ramen place — be the reason the conversation starts.

    In my experience as a clinical psychologist, pretty much everyone is secretly scared of getting rejected. So initiate. They'll be relieved and you'll be on your way to those six-to-eight conversations.

    There's no doubt about it: It's tough to cut through the busyness and ambivalence of life to meet new friend after we've tossed our mortarboards. But don't despair: the stardust that is potential friendship is all around us. Interaction by interaction, disclosure by disclosure, initiation by initiation, we really can, as the Girl Scout song reminds us, make new friends.

    Ellen Hendriksen, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, award-winning host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast, and author of How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. Follow her @ellenhendriksen.

    SEE ALSO: A clinical psychologist shares the simple strategy she gives her clients to help them get better at public speaking

    DON'T MISS: 4 ways to make small talk without seeming awkward or boring

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

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    • The past year had a lot of breathtaking sports to offer.
    • Between the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, and thrilling NBA and NFL seasons, it was quite a year for sports and sports photography.
    • Whether capturing an important moment or simply a moment of beauty, great sports photography gives us a new perspective on athletes we love to watch.

    The past year was a great one for sports.

    Things started with a bang, with an epic Super Bowl and an enthralling Winter Olympics. From there, we journeyed through the NBA playoffs, and the summer brought us World Cup we'll never forget.

    After spending the dog days of summer watching baseball, football season was back before we could blink. With it came historically high-powered offenses and a brand new slate of rookies ready to change the league.

    Through it all, some of the best photographers alive were there to cover it and produce some astounding images. 

    Take a look below at some of the best sports photographs of 2018.

    Rory McIlroy finds himself in a predicament amongst Augusta National's iconic foliage during the third round of the Masters.

    Read more:The 55 best photos from the 2018 Masters

    Boxer Paddy Barnes makes his way to the ring.

    The Philadelphia Eagles walk out on to the field prior to their NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Morning routines can be hard to develop, but having one can set you up for a productive day and successful life.
    • Neurosurgeon Mark McLaughlin shares the three-step morning routine he follows to set up the rest of his day for success.
    • He calls it his "triple threat": meditation, filing, and planning.

    It's easy to feel overwhelmed when juggling career and work demands, family time, relationships, and other obligations.

    If you feel like you're constantly playing catch-up with no time to achieve personal or professional fulfillment, it's possible to turn it all around by changing one thing about your day: your morning routine.

    There's a reason successful people tend to beearly risers— think Tim Cook or Oprah. The quiet early morning hours are a key time for focusing on a set of routines that start your day off right, before the rest of the world wakes up and has the potential to throw you off course.

    If your morning routine isn't designed to maximize productivity, then you're missing an opportunity to boost your performance in both life and business.

    As a busy neurosurgeon, wrestling coach, author, speaker, and dad, my morning routine is the secret to my success. It consists of only three simple steps that set the rest of my day up for productivity — I call it my triple threat:

    1. Meditating

    People meditating in the flatiron district

    I awake each day at 5:00 a.m. and meditate for 10 minutes, without fail. This is anon-negotiable self-care aspect of my day, which is why it comes before everything else.

    I was fortunate to learn transcendental meditation — which involves silently reciting a mantra over and over — from instructors John Hanlon and Dean Sluyter, who's author of severaloutstanding books and audio meditations, at the Pingry School back in 1980. However, over the years, my technique has changed to natural meditation— which does not require the use of a mantra. It is more centered on quiet inactivity.

    Meditation — or mindfulness practices — can help reduce your stress levels and avoid burnout, improve your mental health and well-being, boost your creativity levels, enhance your capacity for empathy, improve sleep and so much more.

    Try at least 10 minutes of meditation to start your day and discover what it enhances in your life.

    2. Filing

    medical records filing office

    This sounds like a real 180-degree turn, right? Going from relaxing and focus-enhancing meditation to…filing? Hear me out.

    I've created a personal file system labeled for each day of the month, and every day has one task in that file. When something pops up during my day that's not urgent, I file it away in this system and don't think about it again until its designated day. For example, I might wake up one morning, check my file, and see that today's task is to write a thank-you note to a friend. I can check this off my list and move on with my day.

    Create a similar daily filing system for yourself to remove the stress of all of the little "to-dos" that can easily pile up and overwhelm you.

    3. Planning

    diary planner unsplash STIL

    Starting your day without a set plan is like running a race with no idea of the route or destination: You might get there eventually, but you're going to be stressed, exhausted, and certainly lagging behind everyone else.

    That's why the third element to my "triple threat" morning routine is consulting my day planner and making a list of everything I need to get done that day before it all has a chance of going sideways. Though most things have gone digital these days, I personally use a classic paperFranklin planner. There arebenefits to keeping a paper day planner, including increased mindfulness and memory retention.

    Mapping out your day before it begins each morning doesn't mean it won't go off course, but it will help keep you focused on your goals and give you a better shot of actually achieving them.

    Lastly, try different morning routines until you land on one that works for you. While it doesn't have to be complicated, it does need to be intentional and tailored to your needs in order to help you have a more productive, successful day.

    Dr. Mark McLaughlin, MD, practices neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine Care and believes that we can all use the core principles behind brain surgery and apply them to our daily lives. His mission is to utilize the lessons he has learned from his career to help others manage stressful situations and engage with problem-solving.

    SEE ALSO: I got up an hour earlier for 2 weeks — and it completely changed the course of my days

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran on Donald Trump: 'He is the best salesman I've ever met in my life'

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    • ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial— double their standard trial period offer.
    • With the trial, you can go to up to six boutique fitness classes in January for $0. 
    • It's the perfect way to jump-start that New Year's resolution.
    • Find out how ClassPass works below.

    ClassPass is a relatively inexpensive way to drop into boutique fitness classes in your area without any commitment or membership. You pay a monthly ClassPass fee and get credits, and you use those credits to sign up online for classes that pique your interest: boxing, yoga, cycling, weight training, martial arts, pilates, and a seemingly never-ending list of others.

    And, since budget-friendly options can often mean second-rate options, it’s nice to know ClassPass typically features top-tier studios, including a majority of the fitness classes you’ve likely heard of or have actually been meaning to try.

    Right now, ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial for the new year.

    Their standard offer is typically two weeks. You can take up to six classes during your free month, and you can cancel your membership whenever. If you don’t cancel, though, you’ll be auto-enrolled in a monthly membership.

    Screen Shot 2018 12 27 at 12.11.19 PM

    Here’s how ClassPass typically works:

    1. After your free trial, you pay a monthly membership fee that’s based on your city and how many classes you want to take each month. For reference, the lowest tier membership starts at $15, though you should expect to pay something closer to $59 (the rate in cities like Minneapolis) to $79 (the rate in New York City) per month for five to eight classes. That works out to be about $7-$12 per class in Minneapolis or $10-$16 in New York.
    2. Use the app or online site to book yourself in one of the thousands of participating fitness classes in your area. Every class has a different credit value, and you can book in advance or last-minute—even up to five minutes before it starts when you use the mobile app.
    3. Add more credits anytime if you use yours up.

    The perks are plentiful. You pay as much as 50% less per month for multiple specialized fitness classes (for comparison, a single class can normally run for $30), you can get class recommendations and read reviews so you know what’s good before you try it, and you can stream workouts from home if you’re not up to leaving the house. You don’t have to buy class packs or commit to a membership that penalizes you if you decide in February that you’re really not interested in getting into fitness in 2019.

    Plus, the versatility means working out can actually be fun and engaging — and you can rope friends into trying out new classes with you, in the hopes that you’ll discover you actually love something like martial arts but just never knew it. And if you’re traveling, you can switch your account location and use ClassPass wherever you are (given you're in one of the 80 participating cities). 

    The risks you run, depending on the city, are popular classes booking up quickly, falling in love with a high-credit class, needing to buy more credits because you exercised too much that month (is this really a bad thing, though?), or paying for a month and never using the credits. If you end the month with a bunch of unused credits, you can use them on the considerably higher credit spa treatments ClassPass also offers. Otherwise, up to 10 credits roll over each month. And if you love a workout spot that isn’t listed, submit it as a recommendation to ClassPass.

    You can go to most studios an unlimited times per month (or per “cycle”), though it’s possible more credits will be charged if you go often, in which case you’ll see a message explaining the change.

    Overall, ClassPass is ideal for relatively inexpensive access to variety and top fitness classes. But, with a month to try it, you don’t have much to lose. If you’re thinking about trying it, now is a good time. 

    Sign up for your free month-long trial of ClassPass here

    SEE ALSO: 90+ of the best end-of-year sales on the internet — from big-box retailers to your favorite small startups

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    American Airlines DFW

    • The US government shutdown is taking its toll on the country's air traffic control network.
    • According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association or NATCA, air traffic controllers are not only understaffed but also working without pay.
    • The FAA's ATC training center is closed during the shutdown while newly trained controllers have been put on furlough, limiting an already depleted staff.
    • According to the union, this will lead to increased flight delays. 

    As the US government shutdown drags on into another week, its effects are being felt across the nation. America's air transport system is certainly not immune from its effects. 

    Stuck in the middle of the shutdown is America's beleaguered air traffic controllers. 

    According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association or NATCA, there are currently fewer fully trained controllers than at any point in the last 30 years.

    With the government shut down, the country's air traffic control centers are not only understaffed but also currently working without pay, NATCA, the union that represents roughly 20,000 air traffic controllers, engineers, and aviation professionals, said in a statement. 

    "This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown almost certainly will make a bad situation worse," Paul Rinaldi NATCA's president said in the same statement. "Even before the shutdown, controllers have needed to work longer and harder to make up for the staffing shortfall."

    Read more: The CEOs of Brazil's biggest airlines reveal the extreme challenges they are up against.

    The Federal Aviation Administration has temporarily closed its ATC training center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a result of the shutdown while newly trained controllers have been put on furlough. 

    The result of all of this, according to Rinaldi, is increased flight delays for the traveling public. 

    "If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the National Airspace System, meaning more flight delays," he said. "A lack of adequate staffing also hurts the FAA’s ability to develop new technology and modernize the system, and controllers also don’t get the amount of time they need for training."

    The US federal government shut down on December 21, 2018, after the Congress failed to pass a new spending bill due to disagreement over the Trump Administration's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding. 

    SEE ALSO: Frontier Airlines passengers got sick and vomited on a flight after reportedly drinking bad airport water

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    NOW WATCH: This Rolls-Royce feature might be the world's fanciest way to tailgate

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    Larry Fink

    BlackRock notched a record month in November for new investor cash into its massive exchange traded funds business, according to a new Morningstar report

    The world's largest asset manager attracted $25.3 billion in net flows into its iShares ETFs last month, beating a previous record of $23.7 billion set in April 2017. 

    BlackRock dwarfed second-place Vanguard in November, which brought in $10.7 billion, according to Morningstar. 

    BlackRock is close to setting another record in December, with $31.2 billion in inflows so far in December into its passive funds business, according to Bloomberg data. 

    iShares, already the world's biggest ETF provider, is a major growth area for BlackRock,as individual investors turn to cheaper, and often better-performing, passively managed investments over active strategies. The platform managed $1.9 trillion as of September 30, which represents 29% of the firm's total assets under management. Gary Shedlin, the firm's CFO, said earlier this month that iShares will expand above the firm's 5% growth target. 

    See more:Investors are fleeing active funds in the worst month for managers in nearly 2 years

    "The index investing industry has been growing rapidly, with ETFs as a major beneficiary, driven by the migration from commission-based to fee-based wealth management, clients' focus on value for money, the use of ETFs as alpha tools and the growth of all-to-all trading in fixed income," Shedlin said at a conference.

    Overall, investors across the asset management industry exited actively managed stock funds in November at nearly the same rate as those entering passive funds. Active strategies saw $57.4 billion in outflows last month, while passive picked up $55.9 billion, Morningstar said.

    Read more:

    A zero-fee ETF could be the next thing to shake the fund-management business, and 4 firms are in a position to launch the first

    An investor at a $1 trillion asset manager identifies a 'powerful challenge' to passive investing over the next 5 years

    BlackRock is launching a new suite of products to capture a red hot market for do-good funds that could grow to $400 billion by 2028

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • The keto diet is one of the trendiest diets around — and an eating plan that many people have resolved to try in 2019.
    • The regimen kicks the body into a natural fat-burning mode called ketosis by starving a person's system of carbs and sugars, which are typically the first fuels we burn.
    • Some people say that being in ketosis helps them focus and decreases their appetite, while trimming belly fat.
    • But more research is needed on the long-term effects of the high-fat diet, and anyone who wants to go keto should consult their physician first.

    Dieters from Silicon Valley to the Hollywood hills are convinced that the keto diet is a miracle for the body. 

    The high-fat regimen has become the go-to eating plan for celebrities like Halle Berry and the Kardashians, Silicon Valley tech workers,venture capitalists, and sports stars like LeBron James. Fans of the diet believe it can help burn belly fat, tamp down on hunger, and increase energy, all while encouraging consumption of fatty and oily foods. 

    The keto diet is designed to get the body into a natural fat-burning state called ketosis. It’s the same process that happens when people starve. In ketosis, the body switches from its default mode — burning carbs and sugars for fuel first — and begins breaking down fatty acids.

    Entering ketosis usually takes at least a few days. Dr. Priyanka Wali previously told Business Insider that most people use up leftover glycogen stores in about five days, and experts agree it takes at least one to three months to see and feel the benefits of the restrictive plan. 

    The keto diet wasn't originally developed for weight loss. Physicians started prescribing the diet in the 1920s to help with tough-to-control epileptic seizures that weren’t responsive to other drugs. The diet can significantly reduce the instance of seizures in children, and in some cases, stops them completely. It can also help control blood glucose levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes. 

    Read more:Silicon Valley's favorite diet can lead to kidney trouble — here's how to go keto without getting sick

    Many keto fans who don't have epilepsy or diabetes report feeling sharper and more energetic on the diet. Some competitive athletes are also convinced that following a keto plan helps them perform. Ultra-marathoner Zach Bitter, the world record holder for the longest distance run in 12 hours, has said that going keto helped him achieve record-breaking athletic performances.

    The US military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also poured $10 million into developing a ketone-ester drink that generates energy from ketones, with the intention of one day giving it to soldiers. The drink is on the market now for performance athletes. But research on the keto diet for athletes is still mixed: some studies suggest that relying on fat can hurt an athlete’s performance. Large-scale studies are needed to know for sure.

    Keto by the numbers

    One of the trickiest things about the keto diet is the careful counting it requires. 

    Dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick at the Cleveland Clinic suggests people going keto should get 70% to 80% of their calories from fat, and less than 10% from carbohydrates. To that end, most keto dieters try to keep daily carb intake between 20 to 50 grams. 

    Considering there are roughly 6 grams of carbohydrates in one medium-sized carrot or a serving of plain Greek yogurt, keto meal planning requires forethought. It’s not as simple as swapping morning toast for a few strips of bacon.

    Since going keto can get complicated, one Redditor even created a keto food pyramid that he encourages people on the diet to print out and put on their fridge. 

    Here’s what's safe to eat on the keto diet


    • Meat (pretty much any kind, including poultry and red meat.)
    • Fish.
    • Leafy greens.
    • Eggs, including the yolks.
    • Cheese.
    • Oils, especially those containing healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats (like olive oil). This is critical because relying too much on more saturated fats from dairy and meat can cause digestion issues and hurt your heart.
    • Avocados, another great source of monounsaturated fats.
    • Nuts and seeds.
    • Cauliflower: Theveggie is low in carbs and high in dietary fiber, so many keto dieters use it as a substitute for bread, pasta, and crusts.
    • Berries, especially blackberries and raspberries.
    • Heavy cream.
    • Lots of water and other unsweetened drinks to stay hydrated. Tea and coffee are both fine.
    • Perhaps even dark chocolate: Most people suggest sticking to cacao concentrations higher than 70% to 80%, since lower concentrations are too carb-heavy.

    What to avoid on the keto diet


    • Sugar. (Duh.)
    • Other carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and wheat-based flour. (There's one big caveat to this rule, however, which we'll dive into below.)
    • Anything made with corn, especially high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners.
    • Legumes like chickpeas and beans of all kinds. These nutrient-rich foods are high in protein and fiber, but the idea with ketosis is to rely more on fat. Many keto dieters limit their protein intake to around 10% to 15% of a day's calories, which means that a single cup of black beans could put you in range of a daily limit. Besides, that cup of black beans also has a hefty dose of carbs. 
    • Most fruits. A single apple could put you over your carb count for the entire day. 
    • Milk. A cup of whole milk has 12 grams of carbs, while the same amount of whipping cream has less than eight. 

    While it might seem tough to limit carbohydrate intake this strictly, there's one important loophole to keep in mind. Because some carbs come from dietary fiber, which the body doesn’t break down and absorb, keto dieters can subtract those from their daily count.

    The resulting number is called net carbs, and it's a better measure of how many carbohydrates you're ingesting. For example, while a carrot may have 6 grams of carbs, about 1.7 of them are dietary fiber, so the net carb intake from the carrot is just over 4 grams. Similarly, more than 75% of the carbs in spinach are fiber, making it a relatively safe choice for keto-ers.

    Kirkpatrick suggests dieters limit their net carb intake to 25 grams a day.

    Like any restrictive diet, it’s hard to get a balanced plate of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy on a keto plan. The diet is also not recommended for pregnant women, people with liver and kidney problems, or anyone prone to gout. 

    Whatever your weight-loss or dieting goals may be, it’s essential to talk with a professional dietitian or doctor before going keto.

    SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley's favorite diet can lead to kidney trouble — here's how to go keto without getting sick

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