Get the Look: Queer Eye’s Industrial Atlanta Loft

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As someone who has watched the Netflix reboot through twice, I’m confident in saying it is a smashing success. I laughed. I cried. I wanted another eight episodes. The new Fab Five are so charming; it’s hard to stop watching.

They’ve retained the same format at the original: Five gay men make over a (usually) straight guy. They redesign his home, his clothing, his hairstyle, and his inner confidence. On top of loving their witty banter and heartfelt investment in each of their projects, the loft in Georgia that they use as home base is fun, fresh, and a look I definitely want to steal.

It’s unabashedly industrial. There’s a garage door that opens to the outside. It’s open concept – although we never see a bedroom area. It’s perfect for entertaining or watching your makeover prodigy complete his final test. It actually reminds me a bit of a retail catalog set, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Infuse your personality into it, and you can’t go wrong.

Bobby Berk gave one of their subjects (Neal, third from left) a similar vibe to the Fab Five loft

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The palette is neutral. Concrete, white subway tile, leather, glass and natural wood are the main players. I can feel you thinking, “I don’t have subway tile in my apartment.” Oh boy do I have a treat for you? Beautiful geniuses have created tile wallpaper. It sticks to your walls like paper, but look like tile. It’s a brilliant, inexpensive way to get the subway tile look. And the best part? Subway tile looks good in 98% of homes. It transcends styles and always looks fresh.

The Fab Five’s loft also has exposed brick that is painted white, so it almost blends in with the subway tile. If you have exposed brick, you’re a lucky duck and I bet your friends talk about you behind your back in jealousy. If you don’t, paint all of your walls white and call it a day. If you want to create some contrast, paint your window and door trims black.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Let’s chat furniture. They have a big white sectional in the loft. White sofas are not the most practical of pieces so if you’re nervous about that, go for a light grey or a black sofa. Black? Won’t that look big and clunky? Not if it’s a sleek, tailored silhouette. Pair it with a shapely leather chair. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an armchair, but make sure it’s super comfortable and perfect for curling up and cracking open a good book. If you can tuck your legs under you, it’s a winner. For tables, look at natural wood, glass, or metal. Rectangular shapes are going to look the most modern, but I wouldn’t kick a fabulous oval table out of my home either.

Top the whole look off with some pops of greenery, gallery frames, and fun modern lighting fixtures. Oh and don’t forget a bar cart. You can’t throw a great party without one!

Get the look

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A Study Has Revealed How Much Money You Need To Make Per Year To Actually Be Satisfied With Life

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man in suit counting money

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If you’ve ever bought drugs at a music festival or inhaled a slice of pizza while absolutely hammered at 3 AM, you know the phrase “Money can’t buy happiness” is a total crock of shit. In the words of modern philosopher Kanye West: Having money isn’t everything, not having it is.

I like to think it’s going to be a while before society pulls a Brave New World and starts letting people pick up weekly rations of happiness, and as a result, most of us rely on money to bring joy into their life in various ways. If a recent study of millionaires is any indication, some people will never be satisfied with what they have in life, but according to some new research, there’s a quantifiable point you need to reach if you want to be truly satisfied in life.

According to Market Watch, a group of researchers at Purdue and the University of Virginia combed through the data of 1.7 million people in an attempt to find a correlation between income and quality of life. The findings echoed the results of the study above while also giving some hope to people who know they’ll probably never have to deal with all of the downsides that apparently come with having a shitload of money.

Here’s a summary of the results:

Globally, we find that satiation occurs at $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being. However, there is substantial variation across world regions, with satiation occurring later in wealthier regions. We also find that in certain parts of the world, incomes beyond satiation are associated with lower life evaluations. These findings on income and happiness have practical and theoretical significance at the individual, institutional and national levels.

I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to all of the people beyond satiation with lower life evaluations.

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A blockchain without cryptocurrency is just a database innovation — and that’s great

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While in Davos, Business Insider’s Sara Silverstein interviewed Adam Ludwin, co-founder and CEO of Chain, for a special edition of Crypto Insider. The following is a transcript of the interview.

Silverstein: So how does — but your blockchain, many blockchains exist without a cryptocurrency.

Ludwin: Right

Silverstein: So how important is the connection between the two or do you envision a future of blockchain without cryptocurrency?

Ludwin: So I think there’s this false dichotomy that’s pretty popular at conferences like Davos where you hear — you hear many different languages at Davos. But when I don’t understand what someone is saying, I just assume they’re saying, "you know, I don’t like bitcoin, but the underlying blockchain technology…" I think I know how to say that in 20 languages now.

So yeah, I think it’s a false dichotomy. Like I said, they’re both useful and they’re actually on more of a continuum than people appreciate. So a lot of the work we do, for example, is linking private blockchain — where there is no cryptocurrency — into a public blockchain.

But to answer your question, you’re right our protocol does not have a cryptocurrency. And the reason for that is we don’t need one, because the cryptocurrency — or cryptoasset — its purpose is to provide an economic incentive to a decentralized operating group.

Silverstein: To keep it going?

Ludwin: To keep going and we don’t need that, because we already know who’s going to run the business. So yes, we could create a currency to cash in on the the hype, but we’re much more interested in building a real business. And so that’s why we’re focused on that. And that’s not to suggest that there’s anything wrong with creating new cryptocurrencies. Again, I think it’s just such a different context; it’s hard to compare them. And I think over time, especially this year, I think one of the big trends is they’ll converge more than people are expecting.

Silverstein: They’ll converge in what way?

Ludwin: They’ll converge in the following way — we have different payment networks and financial markets all around the world quite fragmented; there’s very little mesh or interoperability between networks. So right now, for example, if you’re in China, and you open up the Alipay app and you want to send money out of China, do you know what option you have? Do you know what it says in the app? It says Western Union. So, you know, I think that is going to change. I think the interoperability between say WhatsApp — if they ever have payments — and Alipay will be something that looks somewhat like a public blockchain. So I think that’s where we’re going to see real penetration and links between the existing financial institutions — some of which run blockchain architecture, some of which don’t — and public networks, which will, sort of, drive interoperability. And then in parallel, I think you’ll continue to see cryptoassets that are serving, you know, these alternative software models that for many people, don’t get them anything new, but for certain people in certain contexts, it’s really a good solution for them.

Silverstein: And why does the blockchain software — why does that always come with the word integrity?

Ludwin: Because the core innovation and in a blockchain — now a blockchain by the way is just a data model; it’s being used — to meet — to address a lot of different things in, you know, corporate marketing at an event like Davos. But the technical reality is blockchain’s just a data model. It’s a database innovation. And that innovation is applying cryptography to every transaction update in that database, so that anyone can independently verify whether there’s been a change to the database and can independently verify therefore, sort of, the state of say a balance in a checking account, or the current custodian of a security, or the current owner of a cryptocurrency.  So it’s really in the context of an institution using a blockchain, it’s really about increasing the trust in them. But, as I think many people know, a blockchain can also be used without an institution — in other words a trust replacement in a more decentralized model. But in our view, a blockchain is as relevant as an accounting model as it is as a mechanism to create decentralization. It just depends on the design goal and the intention of the company or group that’s deploying the technology.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here’s how to take action on gun control

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Here’s how to take action on gun control

There are a lot of things you can do beyond social media.
There are a lot of things you can do beyond social media.

Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the gut-wrenching days following a mass shooting, people often attempt to cope with the tragedy by sharing their feelings online.

After the deadly shooting this week in Parkland, Florida — as well as recent shootings in Orlando, Las Vegas, Nevada, and beyond — discouraged people have expressed their outrage, grief, and anti-gun beliefs on social media in an effort to have their voices heard. It’s understandable, a way to vent when we all feel so helpless. But, of course,Twitter outrage only goes so far. 

While sharing words online has the potential to ignite important discussions, there’s so much more we can do — and, added plus, these offline efforts will have you feeling better than when you end up engaging with a Twitter troll. 

Here are some ways to take action on gun control outside of social media.

Donate to established organizations

Gun control organizations around the world are working to regulate access to these weapons, and every donation helps. Here are a few great options:

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

With the goal of cutting the number of gun-related deaths in half by 2025, the Brady Campaign has campaigns focused on ensuring that background checks are applied to each and every gun sale, better regulating those who sell guns, and working to raise awareness at a national level about the dangers guns pose to the everyday lives of Americans. You can volunteer with one of the 94 chapters across the country or donate money to the campaign.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The CSGV has devoted itself to developing gun control policies related to issues including domestic abuse, suicide, and mental illness since it was founded in 1974.

The organization utilizes data to draft and implement laws like the Gun Violence Restraining Order, which gives family members or law enforcement the ability to take firearms away from loved ones experiencing crisis. You can donate here and sign a variety of petitions to further support the organization’s efforts.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown encourages Americans to work together toward building safer communities. The collective movement focuses on bumping up background checks associated with firearm purchase, increasing laws around gun trafficking, supporting laws that work to keep guns away from people with a history of domestic abuse, and educating people on responsible gun ownership. To get involved, donate here.

Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence

Co-founded by gunshot survivor and former Arizona House Representative Gabrielle Giffords, this organization fights to reduce gun violence by working to pass related legislation, educating and empowering people on voting, and supporting candidates dedicating to addressing the nation’s gun laws. You can donate to support the efforts here.

Other notable organizations:

Offer your time and resources

If you’re looking for an alternative to donating money, contact your state representatives and members of Congress to show your support for gun control. Everytown makes it easy to find the contact information for your representative by filling out this form.

You can also sign up for Gun Safety’s Mobile List of Gun Sense Activists to stay informed on actions and opportunities, and of course, volunteer at events and organizations in need.

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There’s a storm dying on Neptune, and it probably smells like rotten eggs

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There’s a storm dying on Neptune, and it probably smells like rotten eggs

The Hubble Space Telescope's photos of a storm on Neptune.
The Hubble Space Telescope’s photos of a storm on Neptune.

Image: NASA, ESA, and M.H. Wong and A.I. Hsu (UC Berkeley)

A darkly colored storm on Neptune that’s the diameter of the Atlantic Ocean is shrinking. 

The Hubble Space Telescope first spotted the dying storm in 2015 and has kept an eye on it over the past few years. The most recent photos from the Hubble show that the storm is shrinking. 

This isn’t totally unexpected. While storms like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot have been raging for centuries, Neptune’s storms tend to be more short-lived, NASA said. 

Oh, also, the dark storm may smell like rotten eggs. 

According to NASA, the storm is probably made of hydrogen sulfide, meaning that, yes, it probably has that distinct, gassy smell. 

The storm’s “particles themselves are still highly reflective; they are just slightly darker than the particles in the surrounding atmosphere,” Joshua Tollefson from the University of California at Berkeley said in a statement.

Although scientists understand that the storm is shrinking, Neptune’s tempests still hold some mysteries. 

First of all, researchers aren’t exactly sure how these storms form in the first place — though they do have some guesses.

“We have no evidence of how these vortices are formed or how fast they rotate,” Agustín Sánchez-Lavega from the University of the Basque Country, said in the statement. “It is most likely that they arise from an instability in the sheared eastward and westward winds.”

Also, the storm isn’t dying in the way the scientists expected. 

Hubble photos showing the death of the storm.

Hubble photos showing the death of the storm.

Image: NASA, ESA, and M.H. Wong and A.I. Hsu (UC Berkeley)

Earlier simulations showing the deaths of these kinds of storms suggested that “anticyclones under Neptune’s wind shear would probably drift toward the equator,” Michael Wong of the University of California at Berkeley, said in the statement. 

“We thought that once the vortex got too close to the equator, it would break up and perhaps create a spectacular outburst of cloud activity.”

That wasn’t the case. Instead, the storm seems like it’s just fading into nothing as it moves toward Neptune’s south pole and not the planet’s equator as expected, NASA said. 

Storms like this one on Neptune were first spotted by the Voyager 2 spacecraft during its trip through the solar system. Today, the Hubble is the only spacecraft that can keep a good eye on the storms and their motions. 

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