| |1. A third of US women now get C-sections — and the world's leading health organization says that's way too many21:53[−]
- In modern America one in three women give birth via C-section, a figure that has radically increased in recent decades.
- Research shows that children who have been born by cesarean are more inclined to experience obesity, asthma, and diabetes.
- Women who undergo the procedure are more likely to develop postpartum blood clots and infections, and could experience placenta accreta in future pregnancies.
- Health organizations state that vaginal delivery should be the priority, and that a C-section ought to be a last resort.
Here's a doozy of a birth story: In an 1830 issue of the Western Journal of Medical and Physical Sciences, Dr. John L. Richmond describes an impromptu surgery he performed in rural Ohio. Richmond had made his way through a storm to a "bleak home, with its dirt floor and gaping crevices in the logs that constituted walls." He found a woman who had been in labor for hours, but each contraction was followed by "general convulsions" and "alarming faintings." He dosed her with laudanum and sulphuric ether, which helped with the "fits," but he could not figure out why her labor wasn't progressing.
Richmond told the woman, the midwives who had been attending her prior to his arrival, and the friends and family watching and worrying that only a cesarean section would give the patient and the baby any chance to survive. "Feeling a deep and solemn sense of my responsibility, with only a case of common pocket instruments," Richmond made the incision. "The woman's friends," Jacqueline Wolf writes in her absorbing new book, ' Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence,' "helped by holding blankets in front of candles to prevent the howling wind from leaving the surgical scene in total darkness." See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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|↑|3. The most and least expensive places to live in America21:38[−]
- America's cities tend to be more expensive than other parts of the country.
- Using recently released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, we looked at the most and least expensive places to live in the US.
America's big coastal cities are really expensive.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2016 for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan parts of states, including the relative cost of living in different parts of the country.
Regional price parity is an index that sets the national average cost of goods and services at 100, with a particular region's RPP showing how the cost of living in that region compares with that average.
For example, the New York metropolitan area had an RPP of 122 in 2016, meaning the city and its suburbs are about 22% more expensive than the national average.
Meanwhile, Beckley, West Virginia, had an RPP of 78.8, meaning goods and services cost about four-fifths as much as the national average.
Here's a map illustrating the RPP of the country's metropolitan areas and of the parts of states that fall outside of them. Regions in blue are less expensive than the national average, with darker areas indicating the lowest relative cost of living. Those in red are more expensive than average, with darker red showing a higher cost of living.
And here are the 10 most expensive (in red) and least expensive (in blue) metro areas in the US:
Here are the 40 largest metro areas by 2016 population, ranked from most to least expensive, along with their overall regional price parities and RPPs for goods, rent, and non-rent services. Much, but not all, of the disparity in prices among cities comes from rent, rather than other goods and services:
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Overall regional price parity: 127.1
Goods RPP: 110.4
Rent RPP: 213.3
Non-rent services RPP: 110.7
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Overall regional price parity: 124.7
Goods RPP: 110.7
Rent RPP: 190.9
Non-rent services RPP: 111.0
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Overall regional price parity: 122.0
Goods RPP: 109.9
Rent RPP: 154.9
Non-rent services RPP: 115.9
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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|↑|4. The average millennial will spend over $200,000 on rent before buying a house — but Gen Z will spend even more21:37[−]
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
- Generation Z renters will spend more money on rent before they buy a home than any previous generation, according to a report from HotPads.
- Gen Z will spend an average of 11 years renting before becoming a homeowner, one year less than millennials.
- The top four cities where Gen Z renters are projected to spend the most money on rent are all in California.
It's no surprise that rent is more expensive for millennials than it was for baby boomers.
But soaring rent costs will hit Generation Z the hardest, those born between 1998 and 2016, according to new analysis from HotPads, a Zillow Group site.
Even when adjusted for inflation, today's youngest adults will spend more on rent in their lifetime than their predecessors, according to the report. Members of Gen Z will spend an average of $226,000 on rent before ever owning a home.
That tops older generations, surpassing the $202,000 millennials will end up spending on rent, and the average $148,900 baby boomers spent on rent before becoming homeowners after adjusting for inflation.
But while Gen Z will spend more money on rent in their lifetime — paying a median of $1,710 a month — HotPads estimates the younger generation will be quicker to buy homes than millennials. Baby boomers spent an average of 10 years renting before buying, Gen Z will spend 11 years, and millennials will spend 12 years renting.
"While there are a lot of unknowns about how the American economy will evolve over the coming decades as Generation Z grows into adulthood, if historical trends hold, the long-term forecast right now suggests that Generation Z is likely to benefit from a stronger job market than millennials," said HotPads economist Joshua Clark.
Clark also said that "while rising rents and home values mean that it won't be as easy for Generation Z to become homeowners as it was for baby boomers, they should get there sooner than millennials did."
HotPads analyzed government data and its own rental data to determine how much total rent each generation paid or will pay in their lifetime before becoming homeowners, as well as how many years they spent or will spend renting. HotPads based their projections on data for the average person in the median birth year of each generation — 1954 for baby boomers, 1987 for millennials, and 2002 for Gen Z. They also assumed renters begin paying rent at age 20.
Below, see the 10 cities expected to be most expensive for Gen Z renters, plus how much the average millennial and baby boomer renter spent or will spend there before buying a home.
10. Miami, Florida
Generation Z total rent paid: $305,100
Millennials total rent paid: $258,400
Baby boomers total rent paid: $180,700
9. Denver, Colorado
Generation Z total rent paid: $320,300
Millennials total rent paid: $251,200
Baby boomers total rent paid: $169,500
8. New York, New York
Generation Z total rent paid: $323,800
Millennials total rent paid: $318,700
Baby boomers total rent paid: $194,700
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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|↑|9. An insulated bottle holder that keeps your beer colder for longer is selling at a rate of 2.5 units per minute — and it's on track to earn over $15 million this year21:01[−]
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.
- Warm, flat beer is the best way to ruin the fun summer vibes of your outdoor parties this season. The BottleKeeper ($34.99), an insulated beer bottle, fixes this problem.
- The patented design keeps your drink colder and carbonated for longer, plus it's easier to carry around and less susceptible to breakage if you drop your drink.
- BottleKeeper's products appeal to anyone who loves to keep cold, refreshing beers flowing all afternoon long — which is a lot of people, considering that the company is on-track to earn over $15 million in revenue in 2018.
The simple pleasures of spring and summer include fragrant, blooming flowers, clear blue skies, and cold adult beverages consumed as you take these beautiful sights in — preferably from a rooftop. I like drinking beer, but I would like it a lot more if my bottles didn't get warm within a half-hour of being outside. Now that I think of it, I've never heard anyone say, "Yum, I love warm beer!" See the rest of the story at Business Insider
|↑|11. A creator of the original Millennium Falcon describes how the legendary ‘Star Wars’ ship was made with airplane scraps and lots of imagination20:17[−]
The latest “Star Wars” release, “Solo” (opening Friday), looks at not just a young and idealistic Han Solo as he begins his path to becoming one of the most infamous pilots in the galaxy. It also shines a spotlight on the origin story of Han’s true love, the Millennium Falcon.
Before becoming one of the standout ships in the Rebel Alliance fleet against the Empire in the Skywalker “Star Wars” saga, it was the prize possession of card hustler Lando Calrissian. In “Solo,” the ship has a slightly different look (no gap in the front of the ship, and much cleaner), but shows the traits that will make it one of the most beloved aspects of the franchise. The ship’s main highlight in "Solo" happens when Lando teams with Han and Chewbacca and they use the ship to complete what will become one of the Falcon’s most legendary adventures: the Kessel Run.
With Han getting his origin story, we thought this would be the perfect time to recount just how the Millennium Falcon was born through the sweat and tears of a small group of designers who, under the guidance of George Lucas, made the iconic ship for the first movie in the “Star Wars” saga, “A New Hope.”
Business Insider spoke to Roger Christian — who was the set decorator on “A New Hope” (and won an Oscar for his work) — about the movies that inspired the space western style of the Falcon, the truckloads of airplane scraps he collected to create the interior sets of the ship, and how he crafted the famous dice that hung in the cockpit.
Creating references for a space western.
It was around 1975 that Roger Christian began work with production designer John Barry, and art directors Norman Reynolds and Leslie Dilley, at a small studio outside of London on designs for “Star Wars.” All of them worked for a small wage George Lucas paid them out of his own pocket, as no studio had greenlit the movie yet.
“The difficult thing, especially with science fiction in 1975 and 1976, is there’s nothing to reference,” Christian said. “Flash Gordon, ‘Barbarella,’ Robby the Robot, nothing was real at all. So all we had was a communication and it just happened that my DNA matched George’s.”
Christian said Lucas’ vision of “Star Wars” was a space movie that was also a “dusty western.” So for the Millennium Falcon specifically, Christian said he saw the ship having a worn-out look that was “always dripping oil and being repaired again and again.” Those thoughts would then be matched with references to the movies they would watch at night in the studio.
“We used to watch 16 millimeter prints and project them at the studio, we very much related to ‘Solaris,’” Christian said, referring to the classic Andrei Tarkovsky sci-fi epic.
This would all lead to sketches by Ralph McQuarrie that were the first visuals of what “Star Wars” could become.
“Ralph is the unsung hero of this whole process,” Christian said. “He was in the army and understood all of that and the mechanical reality of things. So when George arrived with six paintings from Ralph that included Tatooine, Darth Vader, and the Millennium Falcon, all of it showed exactly what we were all thinking.”
Building the Falcon out of junk.
By the end of 1976, “Star Wars” had found financing and the team moved to Elstree Studios in the UK to begin making the sets. Immediately they realized they didn’t have the space to build a full-scale set of the Millennium Falcon, so they built half of the exterior along with specific sections of the interior of the ship.
Christian’s idea of the Falcon having this look of, well, as Luke Skywalker famously said in the first movie, “a piece of junk,” led him to the junkyard.
“I had the idea that if I bought scrap junk airplanes I could break it down and build the sets,” Christian said. “That was key to making the Millennium Falcon.”
With an okay from Lucas, Christian set out to get the airplane scraps, which entailed him getting on a prop plane and flying to three different airfields that were basically airplane graveyards.
“I went in and found mountains of junk,” he said. “I could buy it for nothing. I bought 20 jet engines, a ton of cockpit gear, containers that they used to heat up food, anything I could get my hands on."
It was all sold by weight so most if was very cheap to purchase because it was light metal for airplanes.
“It would be 50 pounds for a whole load,” Christian said.
Back at Elstree, the prop room was completely cleared out and a giant 18-wheeler pulled right up and all the airplane scraps Christian bought were unloaded into the room. The prop department was then instructed to break it all down, as Christian would then use certain pieces for the interior Falcon sets.
“I had no clue if any of this would work,” Christian said. “But George loved it.”
Matching the work done in America — sometimes to a fault.
The team at Elstree weren’t the only ones working on making the Falcon. Back in the US, visual effects artist Joe Johnston (he would go on to direct “The Rocketeer,” “Jumanji,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and his team were building a model of the ship, which would be be used for the exterior shots as well as a guide for the art team in the UK.
But this was the 1970s, and the process to see each team’s work took days and led to miscommunication at times.
“There weren’t any fax machines back then, we had a pouch that would be mailed every Tuesday to America and Thursday it would come back,” Christian said. “We were sent pictures of the model and John Barry and the draftsman had to match that. They would build it full scale and I would find scrap that I could match and stick to the sides. It was a brand new process. No one had done this before.”
When they were done with a section in the UK, they would then take pictures of the Falcon set and send them back in the pouch to the US so Johnston and his team made sure the model matched.
However, Christian pointed out that their pouch system wasn’t mistake free. There is one error to this day that’s on the Millennium Falcon, though it’s impossible to find.
Christian said one Thursday the pouch came back and Johnston wrote a note to the team, “You built in my mistake.”
Turns out the previous round of photos of the model sent to the UK were taken when Johnston was still working on it.
“Just before they photographed it, Joe didn’t like one piece and pulled it off, expecting to replace it,” Christian said. “They photographed it before he did that. The photo came back in the pouch and we built it. So somewhere on the Millennium Falcon there’s glue marks where a piece is missing that we built full-scale. Neither Joe or I can remember where it is exactly. It’s on there somewhere.”
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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|↑|14. Tensions are rising between China and Taiwan — and the US isn't helping matters20:10[−]
- China views Taiwan as a renegade province, reinforced by Taiwan's former president, Ma Ying-jeou, who regularly implied it was part of China.
- Once Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), became President of Taiwan in 2016, Beijing has feared Taiwan is inching toward independence.
- Beijing also worries about Trump's motivation for improving relations between the United States and Taiwan.
- Taiwan and the United States must prepare for greater hostility from China in the coming years, likely to last until the next Taiwan presidential election in 2020 or longer.
Just hours after staging the largest display of naval forces in its history in the South China Sea on April 12, China announced that it would abruptly pivot to conducting live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait six days later. The bombastic exercises went ahead — and Beijing followed up with several recent bomber flights around the self-governing island as well.
According to the Chinese nationalist tabloid Global Times, Beijing felt compelled to proceed with the exercises to "check 'Taiwan independence'" and because "the US has been containing China on the Taiwan question." And it's been exactly Beijing's perception or misperception of these two factors — the political status of Taiwan and how close Taipei and Washington have become — that have come to dominate cross-strait relations in recent months, substantially raising the risk of military conflict. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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|↑|18. The evidence is piling up that Amazon will choose Washington, DC, for its HQ2 (AMZN)19:50[−]
- There is plenty of compelling evidence that Amazon is looking very closely at the Washington, DC, area for its second headquarters project, called HQ2.
- Hints the company has dropped — both on purpose and inadvertently — are starting to add up.
- There are other reasons the company may want to place its headquarters in Washington.
The race for Amazon's second headquarters is heating up, and Washington, DC, just might be in the lead.
The evidence is now piling up that Amazon is looking seriously at the nation's capital for its HQ2. After all, it may be the only place large enough to capture the company's growing ambitions across multiple sectors with its high-profile colleges, sprawling transportation system, and high concentration of powerful people.
Here are all of the reasons it's looking likely that Washington will be chosen for Amazon's HQ2:
If you have any information about Amazon's HQ2 project, contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DC is near the the "bull's-eye of America's internet."
Northern Virginia is attractive for tech firms due to its proximity to Data Center Alley, where 70% of the United States' internet traffic flows through. That means more efficiency and reliability, as well as cheaper power, according to Business Insider's Hayley Peterson.
Amazon could be looking at a specific spot right in the center, on the border of Loudoun and Fairfax counties, near Washington Dulles Airport and the DC Metro, for its new headquarters.
It's also close to where Amazon is planning a 600,000-square-foot data-center campus as well as its new Herndon, Virginia Amazon Web Services office.
An article on a local news site in Arlington, Virginia, blew up overnight, and the site says the views came mostly from what appears to be an internal Amazon.com page.
In February, a local news site called ARLnow.com said it saw an unusual spike in traffic to an article from December titled "County Wins Top Environmental Award from US Green Building Council" explaining how Arlington County was the first in the US to be selected for an environmental award.
The site says the story saw a spike of about 6,000 pageviews, mostly referred from what it identified as an internal Amazon.com
ARLnow.com speculated that the page was linked closely with Amazon's search for the city for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, and that the traffic spike indicated Arlington was being considered seriously.
Amazon has drastically increased its lobbying efforts.
Amazon has rapidly expanded its Washington lobbying efforts in the past five years, according to Bloomberg.
The company has increased its lobbying spending by more than 400% over that time. It has also widely expanded both the number of issues and the number of entities it lobbies, according to Bloomberg. To do this, it has nearly doubled the number of lobbyists it employs.
The company is reportedly fighting to be seen as a job creator rather than a job taker. It's working to have more influence in Washington as it expands and moves rapidly into areas like drone aviation, cloud computing, and grocery.
In 2015, Amazon hired Jay Carney — the former press secretary under President Barack Obama — to oversee corporate affairs, and he now oversees the Washington policy office, which opened in 2014.
These moves are also powerful signifiers of a desire to have more influence in Washington. One way Amazon could have more influence is by relocating some of its corporate operations in or near the city. It could do that with its HQ2 project, which promises to bring significant investment to the chosen area.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
SEE ALSO: Amazon is making it harder and harder to quit Prime
|↑|19. Harvey Weinstein's estranged wife's fashion label took a major hit amid scandal — now it is trying to launch a comeback19:29[−]
- The fashion label of Harvey Weinstein's estranged wife is in jeopardy following accusations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein.
- Georgina Chapman is a co-founder of the fashion label Marchesa.
- Chapman's career at Marchesa is tightly tied to her husband's success. Stars of Weinstein-backed productions, including Renée Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, and Blake Lively, have worn Marchesa designs on the red carpet.
- Chapman and Marchesa kicked off an attempt at a comeback this month, with Scarlett Johansson wearing Marchesa to the Met Gala and Vogue publishing a sympathetic profile of the designer.
Less than a year after scandals engulfed Harvey Weinstein, his wife is preparing to reenter the spotlight with her high-profile fashion label.
Marchesa, a fashion label co-founded by Weinstein's estranged wife, Georgina Chapman, has struggled in the wake of sexual-misconduct accusations against Weinstein. According to the New York Post, Marchesa pulled out of New York Fashion Week after Chapman was too afraid to go through with the scheduled February show.
Chapman, who co-founded the fashion label Marchesa, reportedly left Weinstein in October and is set to receive $15-$20 million in a divorce settlement that has yet to be filed in court.
Chapman's career as the co-founder of Marchesa is tightly tied to her husband's success. Stars of Weinstein-backed productions, including Renée Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, and Blake Lively, have worn Marchesa on the red carpet, and rumors have floated for years that Weinstein pushed actresses to wear the fashion brand. With the allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, many are wondering whether Marchesa will disappear from the red carpet altogether.
"No star is ever going to want to wear the brand again," The Hollywood Reporter quoted an unnamed New York fashion publicist as saying in October, after Weinstein was ousted from The Weinstein Company, the studio he founded.
However, Scarlett Johansson proved the publicist wrong at this year's Met Gala. The actress wore a Marchesa gown to the event — the first time a "major celebrity" has worn Marchesa on the red carpet since the allegations against Weinstein broke.
Here's the story of how Chapman's Marchesa became a celebrity favorite — and how the label is trying to reclaim its place on the red carpet:
Georgina Chapman founded Marchesa with Keren Craig in 2004. The same year, Chapman, then a 28-year-old former model from England, began dating Harvey Weinstein.
AP Photo/Shiho Fukada
A 2007 Teen Vogue article — spotted by Jezebel — says Marchesa caught on with Hollywood starlets after Ren?e Zellweger wore a gown from the line to the premiere of "Bridget Jones's Diary." "Bridget Jones" was distributed by Miramax, which Weinstein founded, and Zellweger thanked Weinstein during her Oscar speech in 2004.
AP Photo/John D McHugh
"Maybe I helped, but just very, very little, with Ren?e Zellweger," Weinstein told Vogue in 2013.
AP Photo/Adam Butler
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
SEE ALSO: Gwyneth Paltrow says Brad Pitt threatened to kill Harvey Weinstein after she told him Weinstein sexually harassed her
|↑|20. Trump and Sen. Orrin Hatch announce American hostage returning to US from Venezuela19:27[−]
- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that a Venezuelan prison would be freeing an American hostage and his wife after two years.
- The hostage, Josh Holt, is from Utah and has been in prison since 2016 after traveling to Venezuela to marry his wife Thamy, whom he met online.
- Holt was arrested when police said they found him stockpiling weapons.
- Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch posted a statement about the news that detailed "two years of hard work" that went into securing the Holts' release.
An American held in Venezuela will return to the US Saturday evening after two years in a Caracas prison, according to President Donald Trump and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
In a statement posted to Twitter Saturday morning, Trump said the prisoners, Josh Holt and his wife Thamy, would arrive Saturday evening with their family at the White House, making the people of Utah, Holt's home state, "very happy!" See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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