Most Buzzed Designs of August 2017

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Below you’ll find the most popular designs we’ve tracked over the last 30 days – an overview of designs you shouldn’t have missed in August 2017.

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The Bladeless Drone is aptly named for its brilliant design that ditches dangerous blades for air ducts. The resulting unit is not only safer but so quiet that neighbors and strangers alike will thank you for not bugging them with an annoying hummmmmmmm!

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After the disaster at Grenfell Tower in London, the X-Space should be developed as a mandatory addition to every home. It forms a robust and safe bubble outside the building during a fire.

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Unlike classic designs where the trains sit on top of a track, this inverted train is secured on the side and levitated with super magnet tech between its upper and lower decks.

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Simple and elegant, the Leaf transforms any plastic bottle you may have lying around into a doggy drinking apparatus.

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10 inspirational designs from the A’ Design Award and Competition 2016-17 winners.

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Designed to illuminate, but in a way that is seemingly natural and definitely desirable, the lamp doesn’t emit light, but the illusion of sunlight coming to you from your window.

Touted as the grill that’s as portable as your lunch, the WG Grill comes in just two pieces. A stand, and a grilling surface.

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In this concept, called Aurora, Tesla’s electric motor technology is applied to a tricopter design to facilitate long-range, extended-time camera capability.

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Made for rough outdoor usage, but with an elegant style that makes it ideal for use even in the most style-conscious kitchens, Feastform’s spatula and tongs are crafted from Grade 5 titanium, known for its remarkably high strength to weight ratio.

Intel’s slick little card isn’t for swiping at the ATM. It isn’t even for using at the library. In the correct setting, it can pretty much power an ATM or run a library… because it’s a computer in a card!

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Another brilliant example of product semantics (or the picking up of one brand’s visual language/architecture and superimposing it somewhere else), the AMG hair dryer cleverly picks up AMG’s sporty race-car DNA with a body inspired by the car’s styling.

Goodbye fidget spinner, hello infinity cube! This machined aluminum cube toy results in hours of fun while it keeps your fingers fidgeting and your mind racing.

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How to Play With Breasts

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Art by Jim Cooke/GMG

Breasts can be pleasurable to play with, for both the giver and the recipient alike. Some women can even have orgasms from breast play alone. Others need breast play in combination with clitoral or vaginal stimulation.

Here’s your field guide to the breast.

Not Everyone Loves Breast Play

Like any other sexual act, consent is important when it comes to breast play. Keep in mind that some people may not want you to play with their breasts. For some people, it’s a matter of personal preference; for others, it’s a gender identity issue. Trans and genderqueer folks may not want their breasts touched.

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You can directly ask your partner what they feel comfortable with, or you can try slowly tracing your hand across their shoulders and collarbone area. If they tense up or move your hand away, move on to other parts of the body.

Be Sensitive to Timing

Be aware that breast sensitivity changes throughout the month. There will probably be certain points in her cycle where she’s much more sensitive than usual. There may even be times when she’s too sensitive for any sort of breast play. Don’t be surprised if she needs different things from you.

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Breasts also change a lot after a woman has given birth and while she’s breastfeeding. She may not want any breast contact for a while, or she may need you to be much more gentle than usual.

No Honking, Please

We’re all unique when it comes to how we like our bodies to be touched, but there are few sexual acts more universally despised than the breast honk. I have never met a woman who enjoyed having her breasts squeezed this way (especially not as sexual initiation). Please don’t treat your partner’s breasts like old-fashioned horns.

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The same goes with kneading. It just doesn’t feel good for most women. Remember Jon Hamm’s breast play move on Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids? If you haven’t seen it, it’s the perfect example of lackluster kneading. Don’t pull that move.

In general, breast sensitivity comes from the skin, not from the fat of the breast itself. So honking, kneading, and squeezing don’t typically feel as great as stroking and kissing. These moves also neglect the nipple, which tends to be the most sensitive part of the breast (more on this later).

Work with Clothing

You don’t need to be in a rush to unclothe your partner’s breasts. Breast play can feel pleasurable even through clothing, and it can also be a nice way to tease her. Rub her breasts over her shirt. To evoke a sense of teenage nostalgia, put your hands up her shirt and play with her breasts over her bra. Once you get her shirt off, touch the parts of her breasts that the bra doesn’t cover, gliding your fingertips along the top edge of her bra.

Take Your Time

Even once you’ve gotten her clothes off, you can still take your time teasing her. Spend some time tracing her collarbone with your finger, then kissing along it. Touch and kiss along the sides of the breasts, without going straight for the nipple right away.

Pay Attention to the Underboob and Sideboob

Most people tend to squeeze the entire boob, or focus on just the nipple. That’s a shame, because the underboob and sideboob can both be exquisitely sensitive. The areas I’m talking about are where her breast meets her ribcage. As the names imply, the underboob is the lower part of the breast, and the side boob is the outer edge (the side near her armpit).

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This area tends to respond best to delicate touch. Very gently trace a fingertip along this sensitive curve. Start at the outer edge and slowly work your way around to the middle of her chest. You can also do this with your tongue, or with light kisses.

Nipples are Unique

Nipples are sort of like clitorises: some women can hardly stand direct contact, while other women need very firm pressure. As with the clitoris, it’s best to err on the side of being too gentle, then work your way up to more pressure. Start off by lightly stroking her nipple and circling the areola (the flat section around the pointy nipple). If your partner pushes her body towards you or makes a lot of noise, try gradually increasing pressure. Or just ask her, “Do you want more?”

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If she wants more intensity, try gently pinching her nipples between your thumb and forefinger. Slowly increase the pressure, and ask her to tell you when it’s too much. Or you can try pulling on her nipples. Cup her breast in your hand, and pull on her nipple with your thumb and forefinger, pulling the breast further away from her ribcage. You can also gently twist her nipples, but be careful with this move, as it’s pretty intense.

Get Your Mouth Involved

Get your lips, tongue, and teeth involved as well as your hands. You can lick, suck, and nibble on her breasts. Try licking the curve from sideboob to underboob, or sucking or nibbling on her nipples. You can also get some temperature play involved, by licking her breast then lightly blowing onto the area.

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If she likes a lot of pressure, try sucking and biting on her nipples. Again, start off gentle, and gradually increase the pressure until you find what she likes.

Bring in the Toys

You can use vibrators or feather ticklers to create new sensations on her breasts. Even running a silk tie or scarf over her breasts can feel great. If she likes more intense nipple play, you can buy nipple clamps or suckers. You can also try blindfolding her, and touching her breasts with different toys or materials. Not knowing what’s coming can be a wildly intense experience. Or try using use lube or massage oil to help your hands really slide around on her breasts.

Ask Her to Touch Them

Another way you can learn what she likes is to ask her to touch her own breasts. This can be especially hot while you’re in the middle of another activity, like intercourse or fingering her. Watch the specific ways she touches herself, and try to get a sense of how much pressure she uses.

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A top psychologist shares his 3-step method parents can take to discipline their kids

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Parents face no shortage of things to get frustrated about when it comes to their kids’ behavior, from fussy eating habits and too much screen time to teeth brushing and belabored bedtimes.

Ross Greene wants to make life easier.

Greene is the groundbreaking psychologist behind the theory of "collaborative partnerships," an approach that discards the stuff of traditional parenting — timeouts and the revocation of privileges — and replaces them with calm, focused discussion.

"The best you can shoot for is influence, not control," Green told Business Insider. "And that means your role is more of a partner than that of lord and master."

In his most recent book, "Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child," Greene outlines a three-step process parents can take to exert that influence in the most productive way possible.

Step 1: Get to the root of the problem

Greene calls this step the "empathy step." It involves the parent asking the child a lot of questions to understand why they aren’t meeting expectations. So much of explosive behavior is caused by parental ignorance to larger issues, Greene said. Perspective-taking is essential for parents to learn what’s at the root of each outburst.

"I always say your least fallible source of information on what’s getting in a kid’s way on a particular unmet expectation is the kid," he said.

Step 2: The adult puts his or her concern on the table

Next comes the step most parents mistakenly lead with: voicing their concerns.

"The very same concern that could have led the parent to be punitive or to impose his or her will is now being addressed in a different way: collaboratively," Greene said. "Caregivers are losing nothing in this equation. What they are picking up is a problem-solving partner."

This is the step in which parents can explain why the child needs to go to bed at a certain time or eat their vegetables. And importantly, it comes after the child has already aired their grievances.

Step 3: Collaborate on a solution

In Greene’s practice, this is called the "invitation" — in the sense that parents can propose solutions and invite the child to participate in making it a reality. The most important factor is that the solution is acceptable on both sides, Greene said, otherwise it won’t work.

"Say a solution isn’t mutually satisfactory," he said. "I promise you this problem is not solved."

If the child doesn’t like the taste of his or her toothpaste, a parent can test out other flavors and find one that is more palatable. If the child doesn’t want to go to bed on time, the parent can hear the reasons why and perhaps fill the evening with more engaging or phsyical activities to prime the child for rest.

Greene admits the method won’t correct all problematic behaviors overnight, but if parents address one screaming outburst at a time, "I can promise you this," he said, "not only is your kid going to be meeting more of your expectations; your kid is going to be screaming a whole lot less."

SEE ALSO: A former Stanford dean explains the difference between authoritarian and authoritative parenting

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist says this is the first thing you should do when you wake up

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SpaceX successfully launches mysterious X-37B spaceplane and recovers first stage

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SpaceX can add another first to its ever-increasing list: On Thursday, it successfully launched an the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B experimental spaceplane for the first time. This makes it the only launch provider to accomplish this besides the United Launch Alliance, and should help ensure SpaceX gets more business from U.S, defense contracts in future.

The launch vehicle used was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which took off from the company’s LC-39A launch facility at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday morning at 10 AM ET (7 AM PT). The Falcon 9 deployed the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, as the payload is officially called, and then its first stage booster returned to Earth for a planned recovery at Cape Canaveral Air Force base via SpaceX’s LZ-1 landing pad. The goal was to get the launch up before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, and they succeeded.

While the specifics of the X-37B’s mission aren’t available to the public, it will be “conducting experiments” post-launch. Its last mission saw it orbit Earth for two years before returning via a landing in May. The X-37B, built by Boeing, is an uncrewed vehicle, but resembles the Space Shuttle on a smaller scale. It’s also designed to land like the Shuttle, using a landing strip like you’d use for an airliner.

The X-37B is the first uncrewed space plane for the U.S., and is designed for reusability at a reasonable cost. It’s aim is to fly and test new tech, and to return experimental results in a way that protects cargo and makes it suitable for post-operation examination. One of the goals with this launch was basically just to prove SpaceX as a viable launch option, which Boeing says will help ensure the flexibility and continued viability of the X-37B for experimental use.

For SpaceX, this marks the 16th recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. The next mission to reuse a refurbished recovered booster is EchoStar 105’s SES-11 mission, which is taking place in October and which will reuse a booster first used for the CRS-10 ISS resupply mission.

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How Hedge Funds Are Preparing For This Weekend’s “Catastrophe”

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This weekend Hurricane Irma is set to unleash hell over Florida, resulting in devastation and damages worth tens of billions of dollars… and many hedge funds are on the hook ahead of their own coming balance sheet "catastrophe."

On Wednesday we reported that as a result of the imminent destruction to befall Florida, investors in catastrophe bonds – among them prominently one Stone Ridge Capital – could be facing a total wipeout on their investments (those unfamiliar with (Cat)astrophe bonds and Insurance-LInked Securities are urged to read the original article, especially since this will be a very prominent topic in the weeks to come). As a quick reminder, as their name suggests, catastrophe, or cat, bonds are a bet (by the buyer) that a catastrophic event such as a hurricane won’t take place, instead allowing them to clip 3 years work of generous coupons and get principal repayment at maturity; they are also a bet (or insurance) by the seller that a catastrophic event will take place, in which case the bonds contractually default, and as much as the entire principal amount could be forgiven.

In short, cat bonds are a form of securitized "reinsurance", sold to hedge funds, catastrophe-oriented funds, and various other return-starved "alternative" asset managers and offer diversification as they are uncorrelated with other risks such as equity market risk, interest rate risk, and credit risk.

It will probably not come as a surprise to anyone, that the firm behind catastrophe bonds is, drumroll, Goldman Sachs:

Michael Millette, the former head of structured finance at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., helped the bank develop a market for cat bonds in the 1990s. It was one of the first signals that high finance had discovered the reinsurance market. Millette now runs his own fund, with backing from Blackstone, according to Artemis, a trade publication

Cat bonds are also largely untested, especially at a time when two "100-year storms" are set to hit the US within 2 weeks of each other.

“The market for this kind of thing is pretty untested,” said Ryan Tunis, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “There are questions of how fast they’ll pay out, whether they’ll pay out” he added quoted by Bloomberg.

The cat-bond market is currently valued at almost $90 billion, and almost half is tied to risks in Florida, where insurers are mostly state-run entities and small regional carriers looking to mitigate risk. "For the most part, the cat bonds have remained resilient. Part of this is due to a lack of major disasters in the biggest U.S. cities, where losses would be large."

As Bloomberg writes, cat bonds began to proliferate in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, a disaster so devastating that the World Meterological Organization discontinued the use of the name after the 1992 hurricane season, according to Swiss Re AG. Significant losses from California’s Northridge earthquake in 1994 and the Kobe temblor in Japan a year later motivated many companies to find reinsurance, or insurance that backs insurance.

More than a dozen hurricanes during the 2005 season, including Katrina, Rita and Wilma, resulted in more than $75 billion of insured losses, causing a dramatic rise in cat-bond issuance, according to the Journal of Alternative Investments.

 

Not everyone is rushing in. David Havens, an insurance analyst at Imperial Capital LLC, said his company considered wading into the market. Since the firm would be matching buyers and sellers rather than using their balance sheet to invest in the debt, the trading spread was “like a dime,” he said.

 

“There’s already a preexisting world of clubby guys,” Havens said. “So it’s a hard market to get into.”

As we showed on Wednesday, the Swiss Re Cat Bond Total Return Index has climbed more than 100 percent in the past decade, outperforming the S&P500 and generating the same return as the Barclays High Yield index but with a higher Sharpe ratio.

So, thanks to its Ponzi-like returns, the market has drawn in a record amount of cash in the first half of this year, according to insurance broker Aon Plc. Issuance was $11.3 billion. The problem is that with Harvey and Irma, this record outperformance is about to hit a brick wall, leading to historic losses for most cat bonds investors.

Investors like Brett Houghton, managing principal at Fermat Capital Management, which has most of its $5 billion fund in cat bonds, said he spent most of Thursday avoiding televised forecasts.

In his best head in the sand impression, Houghton said that "If people just watched the Weather Channel, they’d sell everything. The round-the-clock coverage is looking for ways to sound as sensational as possible. We’re trying to look at it from a more cold, detached, calculative perspective.”

That, or investors like Houghton, after a decade of virtually no hurricane losses, have forgotten what a "fat-tail" event means, and more to the point, that one can also lose money in this business.

Someone else who will lose lots of money, is Stone Ridge Asset Management, which we first pointed out on Wednesday. As we said, within the universe of buyers, "one particular name emerges more frequently than any other: that of Stone Ridge, and its various Reinsurance Funds, most notably the aptly named "High Yield Reinsurance Risk Premium Fund."

Two days later Bloomberg has caught up, discussing the rising cortisol levels of one Stephen Barnes, a financial advisor from Phoenix, who is invested in the Stone Ridge Reinsurance Risk Premium Interval Fund, "a mutual fund that dropped 11 percent this week as the hurricane wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. In calmer times, Barnes has enjoyed solid returns uncorrelated with stocks and bonds while accepting risks that the fund that may be on the hook when disaster strikes. “I won’t tell you it wasn’t unsettling,” said Barnes.

The $4.5 billion Stone Ridge offering is one of a small number of U.S. mutual funds that invest in reinsurance products like catastrophe bonds. They provide regular payments to investors but lose money if damage costs are too high. The Stone Ridge fund also bets on quota shares, essentially small slices of a reinsurance company’s book of business.

Like all other cat bond investors, the Stone Ridge fund made lucrative gains in recent years, rising 6.4% last year, 7.9% in 2015 and 11% in 2014,. But this year, even ahead of Irma’s unprecedented damage, the fund has sunk 7.9% as of Thursday. It will suffer much more before all is said and done, especially if the recent repricing of Citrus Re’s cat bonds due 2020 from par to 50 overnight is indicative of what is coming.

Not surprisingly, on Tuesday, Stone Ridge Asset Management marked down Tuesday based on models of possible losses from the hurricane, said Frani Feit, managing director of Tradition Capital Management, whose clients have invested in the fund for the past three years.

“We realize there will be events that may negatively impact accounts,” Feit said.

The question is whether 7.9% will be enough to cover all the losses from Harvey and Irma. The realistic answer, it won’t.

Ironically, just as Goldman was instrumental in creating the Cat bonds space, Stone Ridge was the creation of another financial crisis veteran, Magnetar Capital:

New York-based Stone Ridge was founded by Ross Stevens, who previously was with Magnetar Capital, a hedge fund. The Stone Ridge fund, which is aimed at advisers, requires a minimum investment of $15 million.

What makes Stone Ridge unique is its quarterly liquidity structure: "Investors can only withdraw money at certain intervals, typically quarterly." In other words, we won’t know if there is a run on the fund for at least a few more weeks.

Yet while Stone Ridge’s mark down was optimistic, some of its peers are hoping Irma will avoid Florida entirely:

The $391 million Pioneer ILS Interval Fund, which also invests in reinsurance products, gained 9.1 percent last year and 9.9 percent in 2015. It is up 3.4 percent in 2017 as of Thursday and was not marked down this week.

What we find most surprising is that even when faced with near certain "catastrophe" for which they counter-hedged, investors still remain optimistic: Barnes said there could be opportunities for investors if Irma causes significant damage. When reinsurers suffer losses, he said, they typically raise prices, which translates into higher premiums for customers and better returns for investors.

Meanwhile, the abovementioned Brett Houghton – who simply refuses to watch the Weather Channel – of Fermat Capital, which was founded in 2001, maintained a similar philosophical coolness despite contemplating possible Irma-related losses.

“Even if our investors do end up losing a lot of money on this event,’’ he said, “there will be opportunities to make money in the aftermath.”

Sure… unless all the remaining investors decide to pull their money after the imminent, pardon the pun, "catastrophic" losses.

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Hollywood Hates Rotten Tomatoes For Telling People Bad Movies Are Bad

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You might have been too busy enjoying the nice weather to notice, but this was an absolutely miserable summer for Hollywood. If you adjust for inflation, it’s been two decades since box office receipts were as low as they were between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There are a number of explanations for what caused such underwhelming returns, but many people in the industry are pointing to the same culprit: Rotten Tomatoes.

An expansive piece in the New York Times broke down the rocky relationship that Hollywood has with the review aggregator, and while it’s clear that the site’s employees have a great deal of passion and respect for Hollywood, it would appear the feeling isn’t so mutual:

Studio executives’ complaints about Rotten Tomatoes include the way its Tomatometer hacks off critical nuance, the site’s seemingly loose definition of who qualifies as a critic and the spread of Tomatometer scores across the web. Last year, scores started appearing on Fandango, the online movie ticket-selling site, leading to grousing that a rotten score next to the purchase button was the same as posting this message: You are an idiot if you pay to see this movie.

In an amusing twist, it turns out that Rotten Tomatoes— which is owned by Fandango— is in turn owned by NBC Universal and Warner Bros., two movie studios who could theoretically eliminate the pesky thorn in their side if they felt that had more to gain than they had to lose by doing so. With that said, Rotten Tomatoes only becomes a liability when you find yourself in a position in which you’re unable to produce movies that are actually good, a struggle that is all too real for many studios.

At the end of the day, it seems like executives are looking for a scapegoat when a more obvious explanation already exists. When you consider the virtually endless entertainment options people have today, it’s not just enough to spend millions of dollars on marketing in the hopes you’ll persuade the population to see your shitty film when they can find out it’s shitty by checking a website with a reputation built on recognizing shittiness.

I’m lucky enough to live near a movie theater that serves booze and food during the film, so if I’m going to go see something, it’s virtually guaranteed that I’m going to end up dropping at least $50 when everything is said and done. As a result, I want to make sure the experience is as enjoyable as possible, and making sure the movie I’m thinking about seeing doesn’t suck is one of the first things I do. Rotten Tomatoes might not be foolproof, but it’s rarely let me down.

As Ice-T once said: don’t hate the player, hate the game.

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