Stunning images of the ‘super blue blood moon’ from around the world

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Super blue blood moon

On Wednesday, for the first time in over 150 years, people around the world caught a glimpse of a "super blue blood moon."

The term refers to three lunar events that happened at once: a full moon at the point in its orbit closest to Earth, the second full moon of a calendar month, and a total lunar eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse is known as a blood moon because the Earth’s shadow gives the moon a reddish hue. The second full moon in a calendar month is referred to as a blue moon. And a supermoon is another name for the full moon at the point in its orbit closest to Earth.

That’s a blood moon, a blue moon, and a supermoon all at the same time.

Moon gazers came out in droves around the world to watch the event, and many of their pictures are breathtaking.

Here’s how the moon looked from Hong Kong to San Diego.

SEE ALSO: A "super blue blood moon" is coming January 31 — here’s what that means

Astronomy enthusiasts around the world — including this group at the Beijing Planetarium — gathered with telescopes in anticipation of the lunar event.

In Beijing, the full lunar eclipse was visible at night, after moonrise.

In Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the full moon could be seen between British and Chinese flags. (British Prime Minister Theresa May is visiting China.)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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An Italian village is selling homes for $1.25 so it doesn’t become a ghost town

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  • The Italian town of Ollolai is selling 200 homes for €1 ($1.25) in an effort to lure new residents. The village’s population has declined significantly in the last 50 years.
  • New owners must renovate the homes within three years, which will cost approximately $25,000.
  • Ollolai’s mayor hopes that the strategy will help preserve the town’s traditions.

On the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the old village of Ollolai is at risk of turning into a ghost town.

Over the past half-century, the town’s population has declined from 2,250 people to just 1,300. And now, there are hundreds of abandoned homes.

In an effort to lure new residents, Ollolai’s government is selling 200 of these homes for $1.25 each. According to CNN, the village has already sold three houses, and more than 100 people from across the world have expressed interest.

But there’s also a catch. As part of the deal, the new owners must pay to renovate their homes within three years, which is expected to cost around $25,000.

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The village’s mayor, Efisio Arbau, says the goal is to preserve Ollolai’s culture.

"We boast prehistoric origins," he told CNN. "My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion."

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This isn’t the first time an Italian town has offered homes for so little. As Business Insider previously reported, the Sicilian town of Gangi started selling vacant homes for €1 in 2015. Gangi and Ollolai shared the same condition: Owners needed to present plans for renovation within the first year, and fix up their houses within three.

Some US cities have tried similar strategies to attract new residents. Small towns like Gary, Indiana and larger metros like Indianapolis, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan, have listed certain homes for $1 or even for free.

It’s unclear if the tactic will work in Ollolai, but Arbau is optimistic.

"Pride in our past is our strength," he said. "We’ve always been tough people and won’t allow our town to die."

SEE ALSO: This woman visited the Italian town that’s giving away free homes — and discovered an expensive surprise

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Put Your Needs Before Your Kid’s Wants

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Photo: Getty Images

Parents today are stressed. They’ve lost old friends. They miss their old hobbies. They’re too tired for sex. They feel judged. A few years ago, one study reported that the drop in happiness after having a first kid was larger than when experiencing unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. Yes, unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. A lot of factors play into the struggle—economics, social media, the dissolution of the parenting village—but a big one has got to be this: We care a whole lot about fulfilling the wishes of our kids.

In a discussion in Reddit’s parenting community, a dad confessed that if he were to go back in time, he wouldn’t have had his two children. Of course, he says, he “would take a bullet for them” and vows to “do everything to make sure they have an amazing life,” but he believes their existence has “come at the expense of everything I liked about my previous life and all my interests and all my hopes for the future.” He concludes with this:

I can’t remember the last day I just got to do something for myself. I spend all my money on the kids and hate that I resent it. I had to move out into the burbs and don’t like it. I hate my “parenting lifestyle” and miss my pre-kids marriage. I hate that I have such selfish feelings but they are what they are and I just. Yeah. I love them but wish they were not mine and I was the “uncle.”

My guess is that more people identify with this father than he realizes. His honest post ended up launching a discussion about the modern shift to a kid-centric culture, and how unsustainable it is. One redditor who goes by urbanabydos made a comment about parenting that struck me, one I wish to remember. They gave a simple ranking of priorities that it seems we have stopped following. It is this:

  1. Kids’ needs
  2. Parents’ needs
  3. Parents’ wants
  4. Kids’ wants

The redditor wrote that all the unspoken societal pressure has bumped No. 4 up to No. 3 or even No. 2, and “that’s not healthy for anyone.” They’re right.

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Redditors recalled the days when this ranking was in place. Their moms and dads would bring them along to whatever they as parents liked to do—say, drive around and look at interesting buildings—and the kids just had to go with it. They’d occasionally protest, but admitted it would sometimes be fun. I remember when my mom and dad would have me sit in the corner of their ballroom dancing class, and just wait. It wasn’t very exciting, but they sat through a lot of my tap and piano recitals, and it was clear that everyone’s interests were important.

My five-year-old daughter recently said to me, “Being a grownup is so boring.” And as much as I wanted to say, “It is not!”, I didn’t exactly have a strong case. We spend a lot of weekends driving to her friends’ birthday parties, watching shows she likes and basically doing all the things she wants to do. That is pretty boring.

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It’s very slowing shifting as she gets older. (For instance, when she rides in my husband’s car, she knows it’s “Daddy’s Music Car,” and therefore she’s very familiar with Weezer, The Beatles and The Strokes.) Seeing her parents pursue their own interests is good for her. I want her to know that we never stop learning and growing.

The ranking is a reminder of how important it is to distinguish your kids’ needs from their wants. And if something is a want, have it get in line.

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7 Ways to Be ‘On’ Even When You’re Totally Exhausted

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I spent the past week representing my company at two different trade shows. I am exhausted.

The entire time I was out there, I had to be “on” while enduring the basic conference schedule: up early for a breakfast, catch a seminar, talk to potential partners/customers at our booth instead of eating lunch, chat at coffee break “networking” sessions, circulate through cocktail parties and make lively conversation with twenty strangers packed around a dinner table. Rinse and repeat. The big question became, “How can I keep this up?”

Here’s what I learned about thriving and not collapsing at your next conference.

Related: 6 Critical Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid

1. Know your pitch

When I used to work for The Metropolitan Museum of Art or Disney Theatrical, people understood who I was and what I did right away. But now I work for a startup called Show-Score, which I need to explain. And so I learned to do in the simplest way possible. Depending on who my audience is, Show-Score is “Rotten Tomatoes for theater” or “Trip Advisor for theater”. This saved my life. You don’t the time or energy to give a ten-minute spiel everytime you meet someone new at a conference, so learn how to explain your business or product in one simple and intriguing phrase.

2. Don’t talk business nonstop

I’m in sales, and sometimes I worry that I sound like an endless commercial. I am passionate about my company, but no one wants to hang out with a packaged pitch. A quick sales moment is fine on the trade floor, but when you sit down to dine or grab drinks with colleagues at the bar, what’s your go-to conversation? I like finding out where people are from, what sports teams they like and what movies they’ve seen recently. And if you are a conference where interests are shared, lean on that. At the ticketing conference I went to, I learned so much, like how the same venue will take a completely different approach to selling tickets to a college basketball game versus selling tickets to a concert. (Okay, that may only be interesting to a ticketing nerd like me, but you get the idea). 

3. Take ten minutes of Zen

I must attribute this advice to a former colleague. We may not have time to grab a power nap, but we can all grab ten minutes of alone time at some point in the day. If you are on a conference floor, walk away from the booth, find a quiet spot and zone out for a full ten minutes. Don’t scroll through your Twitter feed, don’t check email. Just chill and rebuild your headspace. 

Related: The Surprising Sleep Habits of the Rich and Famous (Infographic)

4. Talk less, smile more

For you musical fans, you’ll get the Hamilton reference of this line. (I can’t help it, I work in theater!) But the point here is that when you’re dealing with tons of people, realize that you don’t always need to be the one talking. Spend time listening. And smile, damn it. I have made more connections with people at conferences just by smiling at them than by talking. It usually happens during a shared experience like being stuck on an endless line trying to get Starbucks before a string of meetings starts. Or I’ll just smile at someone who looks as exhausted as I am at the end of the day. Try it and your whole mood lightens, too.

5. Wear comfortable shoes, dress your best

For women, high heels without backup flats is a rookie mistake. And for men, don’t buy new shoes right before hours on a trade floor and expect to break them in. Make sure you wear something you can easily walk around in for an entire day that makes you look professional and feel confident. Same goes for your outfit. I have a few dresses that make me feel on top of the world. A friend of mine loves to change out his pocket squares to give both his look and his confidence a boost. 

6. Go easy on the booze

Yes, a conference can mean lots of cocktails but I always follow each drink with two glasses of water. Or sometimes I just fake it completely and order seltzer with lime and sip slowly. There is always that temptation to have an all-night rager when we are on the road, but don’t forget you are there for work. Tomorrow you will need to be back “on” and a hangover is not going to help.

Related: 5 Ways to Get a Natural Energy Boost at Work

7. Sleep when you can

Five AM flights and time zone changes can seriously throw off your sleep schedule. So when you do finally get a chance to catch some Zs, sleep like you mean it. Plug your phone in away from your bed (the temptation of work email can wait till the morning), turn off the lights, pull the curtains closed and rest up. I almost never turn on the TV when I get back to my hotel room. The pull of late night talk shows means I get what is called “junk sleep,” which is when light and noise mess up sleep cycles and sleep-related hormone levels. You wake up exhausted and grouchy. Not exactly how you want to start an important day of networking.

And the eight bonus tip: remember to have fun! I have learned so much at these trade shows, made great business connections and even a few new friends. Enjoy! And smile!

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Macaulay Culkin Talked Trump, Drugs, Michael Jackson And More In A Very Entertaining Reddit AMA

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Macaulay Culkin Reddit AMA

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Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin, after years and years of silence, has been much more visible for the past year or so. Beginning with his pizza-themed comedy rock band the Pizza Underground in 2014 to poking fun at his most famous role as Kevin McAllister to getting into a wrestling ring with former WWE star Hornswoggle, Culkin seems a lot more comfortable in his skin now that he’s hit his thirties. (Let that sink in for a moment. He’s 30-freaking-7.)

Recently, Culkin appeared on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron and opened up on numerous topics including his friendship with the late Michael Jackson, why he gave up acting for almost a decade and detailed some of the mental and physical abuse he had do deal with from his father as a child.

Lately he’s been focusing on a podcast called Bunny Ears that he does with his friend, Matt Cohen. Which, as he mentioned very clearly, is one of the main reasons he sat down for a Reddit AMA on Tuesday.

Culkin ended up actually answering a LOT of questions, but here are some of the highlights bits I think you’ll find most interesting and entertaining.

Q: With all of the speculation about drug abuse, how bad did it actually get? What were your drugs of choice? Do you still use any drugs? Drink?

A: Yes, I consumed and imbibed in drugs in my life. Never as bad as people said. It’s not really a thing in my life right now. I’m an adult. I like to drink.

Q: What’s your biggest regret?

A: I don’t have a biggest regret but most of my regrets involve women.

*cough*

Macaulay Culkin Mila Kunis

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Q: What’s your favorite memory of Michael Jackson?

A: When I almost crashed my golf cart into his and he called me “Applehead.”

Q: Are there any movies you passed on, or didn’t get the chance to make for what ever reason, that you wished you would have taken?

A: I was sent the script to Rushmore; I was still retired then. That’s a perfect movie.

Q: I always wanted to ask what’s your favorite athlete?

A: Chris Jericho. Cause he’s a boss.

Q: Do you get sick of people talking about Home Alone?

A: It’s a self-answering question.

Q: Would you ever do a remake of Home Alone? This is my fave movie of all time.

A: Only if it was set in the woods, ala Rambo.

Q: Why you aren’t on social media?

A: Why are you?

Q: What do you think about theory uncle Frank was behind criminal activity in Home Alone?

A: I feel the same way that I do about Kevin being Jigsaw.

Q: Which Home Alone is your favorite?

A: The first one was more fun because we didn’t know what we were walking into and it was a lot less flying all over the place; it was all in Chicago. Also it had 100% less Trump.

Q: I had a huge crush on you when I was 10. Did you also have a crush on me too?

A: Is your name Kelly Kapowski?


 

Q: What’s next for you?

A: Lunch probably.

Q: What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

A: Duh.

Check out Culkin’s entire Reddit AMA here.

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Mom can’t stop laughing after learning the meaning of this NSFW word

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Regardless of its definition, the word queef will continue to bring bouts of laughter to anyone who hears it. 

This is simply a fact, and it’s been once again proven true by Twitter user _andreaacruzz’s mother.

“I told my mom what a queef was yesterday and this was her reaction,” Cruz wrote on Twitter. “If you want a good laugh, enjoy this.”

In the clip, Cruz’s mom is brought to happy tears over her newfound knowledge, repeating the word over and over again, and getting increasingly hysterical each time.

Even if you don’t understand a word of Spanish, this woman’s laugh is infectious, and it’s hard to not smile at her entertainment. Essentially the woman says that she thinks she may have peed her pants from crying so hard, but that it also resulted in a great workout. 

While many consider a queef to be flatulence from a  vagina, a.k.a. a vagina fart, that’s not exactly true. Air sometimes makes its way into the vaginal cavity, and when it escapes, the resulting noise sort of sounds like a fart. And that’s why queefs don’t smell rancid like a fart does.

“Queefs don’t smell because they’re caused by plain old air. They’re basically the vaginal version of making fart sounds with your mouth,” Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, told Cosmopolitan.

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Stop Studying for the Test

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Photo by Rina Pitucci.

Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and a guide to using its waters to reflect on and improve your life.

This week’s selection comes from Seneca. In his Moral Letters (88.7), he describes the real lessons to be learned from Homer’s The Odyssey:

Do you raise the question, “Through what regions did Ulysses stray?” instead of trying to prevent ourselves from going astray at all times? We have no leisure to hear lectures on the question whether he was sea-tost between Italy and Sicily, or outside our known world (indeed, so long a wandering could not possibly have taken place within its narrow bounds); we ourselves encounter storms of the spirit, which toss us daily, and our depravity drives us into all the ills which troubled Ulysses. For us there is never lacking the beauty to tempt our eyes, or the enemy to assail us; on this side are savage monsters that delight in human blood, on that side the treacherous allurements of the ear, and yonder is shipwreck and all the varied category of misfortunes. Show me rather, by the example of Ulysses, how I am to love my country, my wife, my father, and how, even after suffering shipwreck, I am to sail toward these ends, honourable as they are.

What It Means

Scholars and students—from ancient times to this day—toil away trying to figure out and remember all the names, dates, and locations from Homer’s epic, but all those details are beside the point. Take a closer look at this line:

Show me rather, by the example of Ulysses, how I am to love my country, my wife, my father, and how, even after suffering shipwreck, I am to sail toward these ends, honourable as they are.

To Seneca, the real lessons of this story are the moral lessons. I know, surprising right? The Odyssey isn’t about cyclops monsters, Trojan Horses, or braving stormy seas; it’s about love, honor, temptation, hubris, and perseverance.

What to Take From It

Back in school, teachers may have quizzed you on details from a book, lecture, tour, or film to see if you actually paid attention to the material. It’s a system that sometimes works, but it engrains the wrong approach to education in our minds. Instead of focusing on the real lessons of a story—the why—we instead learned to note the who, what, when, and where. We learned to “study for test.” It’s time to stop that if you haven’t already.

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Most of us are out of school now, and there are no longer tests for us to study for. It’s time you learn to study just for you. When you read books, watch movies, and see plays, look for ways to apply the lessons the characters learn to your own life. Unless you plan on being a quiz show winner, there’s no need to remember all those little details that don’t make you a better person.

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Listen to a captive killer whale named ‘Wikie’ mimic ‘hello’ back to scientists

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In 2014, scientists hauled their recording equipment into Marineland, an aquatic theme park located in the French resort town of Antibes. They wanted to see if a 14-year old orca whale living there, named Wikie, could listen to a huge diversity of sounds — from humans, elephants, and whales — and then mimic these noises back.

The experiment was designed to test the hypothesis,  supported other studies, that killer whales and other cetaceans learn sounds in social settings. 

According to their research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Wikie successfully copied these sounds back to the researchers — although there’s certainly no evidence she was ever truly “talking.”

The team of scientists, which included neuroscientists and evolutionary researchers, wrote that their “main objective was to test whether the killer whales were capable of learning novel sounds through imitative learning…”

Below is a recording of Wikie mimicking the sound of “hello,” as spoken to her by trainers:

Previously, sea-faring scientists documented different pods of wild whales using their own culturally distinct “vocal dialects” to communicate. Now, thanks to this new study, there’s some direct experimental evidence about how these regional whale dialects may develop. 

After seeing Wikie’s ability to mimic a rich diversity of sounds, the researchers suggest that these intelligent animals can master their unique vocalizations through “social learning” — in other words, hanging out with each other and mimicking each others’ sound and language. 

While it’s still very much a mystery how different killer whales in disparate parts of the sea pass along unique sounds to their respective clans, they might be mimicking each other, similar to Wikie imitating the sounds of human voices.

Wikie, though, has never seen the ocean, having spent her life in captivity at Marineland for nearly 18 years. According to the Marineland website, she’s no longer performing alongside human trainers after an incident in which she “pushed a trainer underwater.”

Her captivity, while controversial —- SeaWorld announced in 2016 that it’s completely phasing out its captive orca program — did afford the research team an opportunity to study whale intelligence and language. Not only was Wikie in a controlled environment, but as a trained whale, she could be instructed to listen to the researcher’s sounds.

Three different set-ups were used to observe Wikie’s behavior in the Marineland pool. This included Wikie responding to live sounds made by her son, Moana, as well as mimicking some never-heard-before sounds played through a speaker.  

Image: royal society publishing 

The great limitation in this research, of course, is that only one whale was studied, and a trained whale at that. If more killer whales can be observed mimicking sounds, we’ll know that this isn’t simply a fluke — meaning just Wikie’s unique ability to mimic sound. 

Future opportunities to perform these studies in controlled settings, however, will grow increasingly limited as more theme parks, like SeaWorld, shutter their captive killer whale programs in response to public pressure. This means that scientists will need to seek answers to the many remaining questions by saying hello to these intelligent creatures in the wild.

 

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Bitcoin has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018

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Bitcoin price

  • Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency, but its influence is waning.
  • The digital currency has slumped to its lowest levels in two months, and has lost more than $72 billion in market cap this year. 

2018 has been a swift departure from the previous year for cryptocurrencies, whose prices previously seemed to only move upward.

Bitcoin, the flagship digital coin that represents 33% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.com, was trading at $9,314 Thursday morning, less than half its all-time high of $19,843 set in December.

Thursday’s decline was spurred by comments from India’s finance minister, who said the country’s "government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

Facebook’s announcement that it would ban all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICO’s, as well as reports that two major exchanges, Bitfinex and Tether, had been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also helped to spook cryptocurrency markets this week

Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January in the green. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45% during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25% for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45% and 35% for Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash.

"The state of cryptocurrency is incredibly strong," Andy Bromberg, CEO of CoinList, an ICO hosting platform, told Business Insider in an email this week. "Looking far beyond the prices, we’re seeing an increasing number of high-quality projects in the space, with experienced teams, impressive early technological breakthroughs, and rigorous legal structuring.

"We expect to see this continue into 2018 as the industry matures and professionalizes — a necessary step for it at this time."

You can track the price of bitcoin in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up for Crypto Insider to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

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