The Thirst is Real!

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What do you know about water? How much should you consume? What does a lack of it cause? Considering that it makes up about 60% of our body, we should all know a lot more. More importantly, about 75% of us should be drinking more because proper hydration is necessary for our bodies to perform correctly.

Designed with this in mind, the Sixty Hydration Monitor offers several tiers of hydration level feedback. The device can be worn constantly, responding to fluctuating hydration levels in real-time and informing the user of incorrect behavior.

Of course, nobody wants to wear anything all the time, so Sixty can also be helpful when it’s not being worn. The device is attached to the strap via embedded magnets and can be detached to be left on a table-top or in a pocket, for example. In this standalone format the device will periodically prompt the user to check their hydration level by manually placing the device against the skin and tapping the surface.

Using the companion smartphone/smartwatch app, users can gain fluid intake advice and maintain awareness to potential symptoms as well as their unique hydration history.

Designers: Chris Pearce & Mark Teucher for Crux Product Design

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2 of the newest Nintendo Switch games show how crazy popular the console is

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LA Noire

A huge new list of games for the Nintendo Switch was announced on a company live stream on Wednesday, and fans drooled over the new A-list games that were announced.

But according to Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies, two new games in particular point to the growing popularity of Nintendo’s newest console.

"Two major surprises: Last week, Rockstar (creator of GTA) announced L.A. Noire for Switch. This week Tencent announced its mobile game ‘Arena of Valor’ (aka Honor of Kings) for Switch – a Free2Play model," Goyal said.

The two games each mean something different for the Switch, so let’s break it down.

Rockstar’s "L.A. Noire"

"It was a surprise when Take Two studio Rockstar (creator of GTA and Red Dead Redemption) announced L.A. Noire game for Switch (in addition to launch on PS4 and XBO). This is a sign that Nintendo platform is expected to be big and attractive enough for third party developers to dedicate resources towards game development for Switch," according to Goyal.

Rockstar is a powerhouse game developer, and coming to the Switch is a huge deal for the platform, Goyal said. He expected support for the new console to be strong, but L.A. Noire is evidence of this happening faster than Goyal predicted. Strong sales of the Switch have made it a force to be reckoned with, and its large fan base has proven enough incentive for major studios to start paying attention to the platform.

"There are many more games being made available on Switch than Nintendo’s previous platform," Goyal said.

Tencent’s "Arena of Valor"

A child plays the game Tencent is a Chinese company that, until now, has produced PC and mobile games, ignoring the popular consoles. Arena of Valor is a port of the company’s popular mobile game by the same name, but it is another example of the strength of Nintendo’s Switch.

"It could also mean that the two companies[, Nintendo and Tencent,] are in discussions to bring their respective games to each other’s platforms. That would suggest that Nintendo mobile games could come to China via Tencent platform," Goyal said.

If Goyal is right, Nintendo’s nascent mobile strategy could get a boost from Tencent’s mobile prowess, especially in China. Tencent would gain access to its first console and Nintendo’s loyal fans through a partnership.

The Switch, despite supply constraints, has been the best-selling console globally, according to estimates made by Goyal. The strong sales have put Nintendo into the spotlight for many developers, and bigger titles will only increase the already rabid demand for the console.

Goyal rates Nintendo a buy, and the company is up 56.25% this year.

Click here to watch Nintendo move in real time…

nintendo stock price

SEE ALSO: Nintendo Switch sales are ‘much stronger’ than the PS4

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The looming war between Alibaba and Amazon

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Cassini Is Gone and I’m Not Crying You’re Crying

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After a 20 year sojourn in the final frontier, at approximately 5:00 AM PT this morning, NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory lost contact with the Cassini spacecraft, which had plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere about an hour and a half prior, ending its 13-year exploration of the Saturn system.

“Maybe a trickle of telemetry left, but we just heard the signal from the spacecraft is gone, and within the next 45 seconds, so will the spacecraft. I hope you’re all deeply proud of this amazing accomplishment,” a project manager at JPL announced moments ago. “I’m going to call this the end of mission.”

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Cassini’s date with death had been planned for months. The spacecraft only has a few drops of fuel left, and rather than risk allowing a dead hunk of metal to crash into one of Saturn’s potentially life-harboring moons, NASA decided to send its beloved spacecraft into the object of its decade-plus exploration. It beamed back data until it couldn’t anymore.

In the hours leading up to its fiery demise, Cassini also sent back a final batch of images, captured in the last days of its mission. These are Cassini’s swansong.

A last look back at Saturn’s glorious rings. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
A last look at Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Saturn. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Saturn setting on Cassini’s icy moon, Enceladus. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Emily Lakdawalla

Ad astra per aspera, Cassini. We won’t forget about you.

[Cassini Saturn]

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NASA’s groundbreaking Cassini probe is dead after 20 years of exploring Saturn on nuclear power

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  • The Cassini spacecraft was destroyed at Saturn on Friday around 6:32 a.m. EDT.
  • It took more than an hour for the probe’s last signal to reach antennas on Earth.
  • NASA’s $3.26-billion mission was ended to prevent contaminating oceans of Saturn’s moons — water that may harbor alien life.
  • The space agency is now reviewing a handful of proposals to return to Saturn.

With the crackle and fade of a signal beamed from 932 million miles away, NASA’s 20-year Cassini mission at Saturn came to an end on Friday morning.

The bus-size Cassini probe began its descent into Saturn around 6:31 a.m. EDT, local time, while streaming unprecedented real-time measurements of the planet’s atmosphere. The probe ramped up its thrusters to keep its antenna dish pointed toward Earth to send the data.

However, its connection with Earth didn’t last much longer: The thrusters weren’t designed to keep a spacecraft righted while plunging into Saturn at 78,000 mph.

Cassini began to tumble, breaking its last bond with Earth around 7:55 a.m. The signal was lost. And then the probe died.

It’s unlikely that anyone saw it happen — not even powerful telescopes — but NASA surmises that its "faithful traveler from Earth" heated up to hundreds and then thousands of degrees, broke apart, disintegrated, and vaporized into a small, plutonium-laced meteor that streaked above Saturn’s clouds.

Before dying, Cassini’s final communication traveled at light-speed from Saturn, taking just over 1 hour 23 minutes to pass through the void of space and reach Earth. Giant radio dishes in Australia picked up the signal and forwarded the data to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the heart of the Cassini mission).

For several minutes, silence fell over the control room, which was full of Cassini’s scientific stewards. A few "wows" could be heard as the staff reviewed data on their screens. When the connection broke, Earl Maize, an engineer who managed the Cassini mission for NASA JPL, gave a short speech.

"The signal from the spacecraft is gone, and so will be the spacecraft in the next 45 seconds," Maize said during a live broadcast by NASA TV, his voice wavering. "This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft, and you’re all an incredible team. I’m going to call this the end-of-mission."

The control room broke into applause. Afterward, some people stood there, staring into empty space. Others shook hands, then hugged, and ultimately choked up and cried.

NASA could not confirm exactly what time Cassini met its doom, though the agency estimated it happened seconds to minutes after they lost touch with the probe. One thing is clear, though: The $3.26-billion mission to explore Saturn is over.

"Thank you, Cassini, and farewell," Maize said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Why NASA killed the Cassini probe

cassini spacecraft titan illustration nasa jpl caltechCassini left Earth with 6,900 lbs of propellant in its tanks. This allowed it to adjust its orbit around Saturn and visit one moon after the next, leading to astonishing discoveries.

The probe discovered six new moons, mysterious "propeller objects" in Saturn’s rings, documented a giant hexagon swirling atop the planet’s north pole, photographed hydrocarbon lakes on Titan (Saturn’s largest moon), and found a vast ocean of salty water — which may harbor alien life — below the icy crust of the moon Enceladus.

In 2010, Cassini had enough propellant left to either fly by Uranus or Neptune, or continue to explore Saturn and its moons.

If it had flown past one of those planets and shot out into space, Cassini would have had enough plutonium-238 fuel to keep its electricity running for decades — just like the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, which launched 40 years ago and have left the solar system.

But with so many questions about Saturn still unanswered, NASA decided to keep Cassini in orbit there — and doom it to its fiery "Grand Finale" death in September 2017. With less than 90 lbs of propellant left on Friday, the spacecraft plunged to its demise. The scientists chose to kill the probe this way to avoid the risk that it could run out of fuel and crash into one of Saturn’s potentially life-fostering moons.

"Because of planetary protection, and our desire to go back to Enceladus, and go back to Titan," Jim Green, the leader of NASA’s planetary science program, said Wednesday, "we must protect those bodies for future exploration."

Extending the mission at Saturn helped Cassini’s controllers to pile on discovery after discovery.

The probe had discovered jets of water shooting out of Enceladus in 2005. This was astonishing enough, but the extension allowed Cassini to "taste" the spray, confirming the moon hides a salty ocean below its ice-encrusted surface. Cassini also learned that Titan, too, may harbor its own habitable, subsurface seas.

"To find that there’s an ocean world so tiny with a possibility of life, so far from the sun — 10 times farther from the sun than the Earth — has opened up our paradigm of where you might look for life," Linda Spilker, a Cassini project scientist and planetary scientist at NASA JPL, said of Enceladus on Wednesday, "both within our own solar system and in the exoplanet systems beyond."

Will there be a Cassini 2.0?

saturn rings cassini nasa roman tkachenko

Cassini is now dust falling through Saturn’s clouds, and NASA has no other spacecraft there to study the planet, its rings, and fleet of moons.

But NASA is itching to fuel up more nuclear batteries, build a new spacecraft, and return to the planetary system.

"The observations by Cassini have been so remarkable for Enceladus and Titan, that … we announced the inclusion of those two objects in our focused science program called New Frontiers," Green said on Wednesday. "Those proposals are in and currently under evaluation, and they do indeed include proposals to go back to Titan and Enceladus. We’ll look through this competition and see what happens."

enceladus ice crust subsurface global ocean hydrothermal vents illustration nasa jplNew Frontiers has produced missions like New Horizons, which flew by Pluto (and is on its way into the Kuiper Belt); Juno, which is currently orbiting Jupiter; and OSIRIS-REx, a probe designed to suck up bits of Asteroid Bennu in 2018 and return that sample to Earth in 2023.

Spilker wrote and submitted one of the latest New Frontiers proposals with Morgan Cable, a fellow Cassini scientist. If approved, they’ll get about $800 million, nuclear power supplies, and a rocket to make their mission happen.

"We’ve put together a proposal … to go back to Enceladus with the kinds of instruments that you would need to address the questions about the habitability and ‘is there life in the ocean of Enceladus?’ The mission’s called Enceladus Life Finder," Spilker told Business Insider.

She’ll find out in December whether or not the proposal made the first cut, and gets a year to more deeply study and flesh out a mission plan. There are 11 competing proposals, about half of which also propose a return to Saturn.

"Certainly if my mission doesn’t get selected, then I will be rooting for a mission to go back to the Saturn system," Spilker said. "Because as Cassini ends, part of me is saying ‘I need to go back.’"

SEE ALSO: Nuclear-powered space probes that rewrote our understanding of the solar system

DON’T MISS: Why these 2 robots may be the only lasting evidence of humanity’s existence

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NOW WATCH: The 5 biggest discoveries from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft that changed our view of space

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What’s next for NASA as Cassini’s mission comes to a close

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After nearly two decades in space and 11 years studying Saturn (and its myriad of moons), the Cassini spacecraft ended its mission at roughly 6:30 am Eastern on Friday, when it slammed into the gas giant’s suffocating atmosphere. It was an auspicious end for the $3.4 billion spacecraft, argues Curt Niebur, the program scientist for Cassini at NASA headquarters. "I find it exhilarating myself," he said. "Instead of just crashing it into something and saying we’re done, we’re actually going after science questions that we never intended Cassini to answer. And we’ll be able to address those. It’s fantastic."

Any melancholy felt in the JPL mission control room while Cassini hurtled to its demise at 70,000 MPH, was short-lived. However, as with virtually every planetary mission that NASA conducts, Niebur does wish that some elements had played out differently. "The first thing you realize on every mission you do," he explained, "is that once you get there and get your first measurements taken, is you wish for better instruments."

There’s a significant lag between the state of the art when a mission launches and when it finally reaches its celestial destination years later. Instruments used for the Discovery missions — NASA’s bread and butter expeditions throughout the solar system — are usually between five and eight years old once they start taking readings. And, given the rate of technological advancement these days, five to eight years is an eternity.

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Second on Niebur’s list: more data. Just as with cowbell and Blue Oyster Cult hits, NASA can never have enough data. "Like on Titan, we still don’t have 100 percent coverage of Titan. We’re missing half of it, he explained. "We’ve only done flybys — now, we’ve done over a hundred of them — but a hundred flybys and all you cover each time is a strip of a noodle. Paste all those noodles together you still don’t cover the entire globe."

Luckily, it won’t be long before we’re back investigating Saturn’s largest moon. There’s just so much to do there. "The things we’ve discovered are exciting enough that they definitely justified new missions," Niebur said. "You can send any mission you want to Titan. It’s that great a place. Submarines, boats, helicopters, airplanes, rovers — anything. It all works on Titan." Titan, as well as its smaller lunar sibling Enceladus and Saturn itself, are all on the approved list of targets for the next New Frontiers mission which is scheduled to launch sometime in 2025.

But will we really have to wait until the end of the next decade (assuming it still takes the same amount of time to reach Saturn and its moons that Cassini did)? Unfortunately yes, says Niebur. Solar panels and ionic thruster drives are great but solar only works within a certain proximity of the Sun (hence Cassini’s RTGs) and ionic thrusters take forever to get up to speed.

The recently selected Discovery mission, Lucy, will leverage an ionic engine when it inspects "trojan asteroids" circling the Sun. "It actually goes to one side of the sun to visit some trojans and then goes to the other side of the sun to visit others," Niebur explained. "And if we were doing that with wet propulsion, it’d never work but with electric propulsion and one small xenon tank, it can go back and forth. It’s not quick but they have the ability to do it."

Gravitational assists, such as the one used by Cassini to slingshot to Saturn, however, are far more effective. "Nothing beats a gravitational assist, Niebur exclaimed. "Getting a free boost, that is the ultimate in efficiency. You know the Voyager spacecraft are the fastest things out there and that’s because they’ve done so many gravitation assists. We could have never got them going that fast."

Indeed, every time these ships spun through Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune’s gravity wells, they picked up 20km/s of delta V (ie, speed) — for free. "We can never fit that much gas in a rocket" to accomplish the same, Niebur said. Potentially the only system that won’t have to rely on gravitational assists is the upcoming SLS. When it launches carrying the Europa Clipper around 2022, it should be able to reach Jupiter on a direct trajectory in under three years.

SPACE-NASA/ROCKET

That’s a massive improvement over today’s propulsion systems and has been a long time coming. "Every mission builds upon the previous mission. That’s just the limitation we’re operating under," Niebur said.

"A lot of times people come in and say you know let’s just skip all those steps and go for the brass ring," he continued. "That sounds very dramatic and it’s very tempting. But it’s also the wrong way to go about doing this."

That’s namely because we aren’t talking about spending two months coding a mobile app. These missions require decades of design and development, not to mention hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of investment. "You don’t want to make that kind of gamble and get there and realize whoops I brought the wrong tool set," Niebur explained. "You’d feel pretty stupid if you went to Mars with a boat. But you’d feel right at home if you did that on Titan."

But before we set out exploring the solar system again, Niebur sees a couple of key technical challenges that must be overcome. "One of the most pressing and universal challenges is power generation," he admitted. "Whether it’s a solar nuclear or what have you, every mission we do needs power." Because of the current limitations in battery and solar collection technologies, NASA is routinely forced to use the lowest-power scientific instruments that it can find. "On planetary missions, we’re always power starved because we are always very concerned about mass," he continued. "Most of our payloads take less than 50 watts for everything, which is ridiculously small. So power generation is a universal problem."

Niebur also sees a need for smarter and more independent spacecraft — specifically what he refers to as "Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT)" — which is what is installed on NASA’s prototype lunar lander, the Morpheus. For example, on the MER mission, the lander had a target zone 100 miles long by 20 miles wide. You just "pop a parachute and hope for the best," Niebur quipped. However, for the Mars 2020 mission, the rover will be able to survey the ground below it and make adjustments to its landing path while it’s still falling through the Martian atmosphere. "If you can get pinpoint landing that avoids hazards that means you can land safely anywhere in the solar system — you don’t have to wait until you’ve completely mapped that body."

This won’t be a fully-formed AI, mind you. The system won’t take the initiative to select and deploy to the landing zone of its choice. Instead, it will function under a "supervised autonomy" scheme wherein the system’s algorithms present decision trees to mission control and waits for humans to make the call.

That’s not to say AI won’t eventually find a role in future space missions. "I think there’s there’s definitely room for that because a lot of the observations we take don’t require a lot of creativity," Niebur explained. "But I don’t think we’re anywhere near the point where that element of creativity that you get from humans the intuition of insight can be captured by a computer."

He also hopes that our communications systems mature more rapidly because radio data transmissions just aren’t cutting it anymore. "As an extreme benchmark when New Horizons gets to MU69," he said. "You’re talking about bits to kilobits per second for your downlink."

Even dial-up connections put that data rate to shame. Laser transmission, however, would create data pipelines magnitudes of orders larger than radio. And with that extra bandwidth, researchers would be able to investigate cosmological phenomena far more thoroughly.

"As scientists we never have a problem filling up the bit bucket no matter what size the pipeline is, we will fill it," he said. "It’s always more of a challenge to constrain the data we take to fit in the data downlink."

And while NASA has been firmly focused on its low and mid-level missions, Discovery and New Frontiers, respectively, Cassini will not be the last flagship-class project that the agency undertakes. Turns out that these marquee missions are only taken up when the need arises. Specifically, "when, in working with the science community, we identify targets and missions that are important enough or complex enough." Niebur explained. "That it’s beyond the capability of Discovery or New Frontiers to achieve them… just simply too complex it just fits within within the tight resource constraints" of those programs.

There may even be some room for public-private partnerships, though Niebur is a bit skeptical. "I think there’s always room for collaboration on all things. But I think you can’t expect a private company to undertake exploration for the sake of pushing back the boundaries of human knowledge," he said. "At the end of the day they’re there to make a profit, they’re selling a service. We don’t earn any profits or cash for taking pictures of Saturn. We’re pursuing science."

Images: NASA

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Mission controllers reacting to the end of the Cassini mission at Saturn will make you emotional

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Scientists aren’t exactly known for their public displays of emotion, but sometimes, that’s what a moment calls for. 

On Friday, as the long-running Cassini mission at Saturn came to a close, mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California couldn’t help but get a little teary as they said goodbye to a spacecraft that had been in space for two decades. 

Even though the mission’s end was planned for years, it didn’t make it any easier to watch lines of data come back indicating that Cassini had broken apart in Saturn’s atmosphere, becoming a part of the planet it studied at close range for 13 years. 

“Things never will be quite the same for those of us on the Cassini team now that the spacecraft is no longer flying,” Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker, said in a statement. “But, we take comfort knowing that every time we look up at Saturn in the night sky, part of Cassini will be there, too.”

Earl Maize, left, and Julie Webster, right, embrace after the end of Cassini.

Earl Maize, left, and Julie Webster, right, embrace after the end of Cassini.

Some of the researchers on the Cassini project have been with the mission since it began, as it launched to space in 1997, when Bill Clinton was still president. It arrived at its target planet in 2004. 

During its time at Saturn, the probe has re-shaped our understanding of the ringed planet and its place in the solar system, sending back amazing photos and scientific data about the world’s moons, rings, and environment. 

For example, the spacecraft is responsible for helping us see the lakes and rivers of methane below the moon Titan’s hazy atmosphere. Cassini also helped researchers figure out that Enceladus likely has an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy surface.

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Incredible photos from the best space photographers of 2017

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Interstellar dust shines in starlight light-years away from Earth. Green curtains of the auroras shimmer over a ghostly landscape in Iceland. A famous crater stands out in relief against the surface of the moon.

These are just a few of the winning photos chosen as part of the annual Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest in 2017.

The images speak for themselves, so put them up on the big screen and scroll through. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

M63: Star Streams and the Sunflower Galaxy – Galaxies Winner

A bright, spiral galaxy, Messier 63 looks like a star necklace in which the stars have crashed outwards from the galaxy’s centre, producing this fantastic long train. The ghostly star arcs of the Sunflower galaxy had long been an elusive target for the photographer, but upon deciding to take the image in one of the darkest places in Europe – the Rozhen Observatory in the Rhodopes Mountains, Bulgaria – he successfully captured the astronomical object. Despite a warm winter and an early spring, there were snow drifts more than one metre high and it took a lot of effort to break through them, but the photographer prevailed, and captured the glittering galaxy in the unbelievably dark and crystal clear of Rhozen. Read more…

More about Space, Science, Photos, Space Photos, and Astronomy

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Visualizing The Side Hustle Economy: 25 Ways To Make Extra Dough

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Popularized in recent years by people like Gary Vaynerchuk, the “side hustle” has quickly become a preferred mentality for aspiring entrepreneurs to make additional money on the side.

As Visual Capitlsist’s Jeff Desjardins explains, the gist of it is: by working hard outside the traditional hours of a 9-to-5, a side hustle allows you to build a business around what you are truly passionate about. And if that endeavor is successful, it can also help you make the full transition into permanent entrepreneurship later on.

ENTER THE SIDE HUSTLE ECONOMY

Today’s practical infographic from Quid Corner highlights 25 different ways to dip your toes into the side hustle economy.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Some of these side hustles, like building courses or writing eBooks on your area of expertise, are great ways to begin building your personal thought leadership brand.

Meanwhile, other hustles listed here are more appropriate for supplementing your regular income. Getting extra cash in your pocket – and on your own terms – can help give you the confidence to start a business, or invest in further education.

GOING FROM 0 TO 60

If you are ready to make the dive into entrepreneurship, we previously posted 5 Ideas for Online Businesses in 2017.

If you’re still just getting your feet wet, it’s side hustle time. Work on the side for additional capital, get a proof-of-concept for your idea, or find ways to build your personal brand.

Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.

 

– Gary Vaynerchuk, Serial Entrepreneur

Side hustling allows you to get a start while still having two feet on the ground. However, that’s not to say that side hustling is easy – it takes lot of work and commitment, and you have to be prepared to spend evenings and weekends to pursue your passion, with no guarantee for immediate results.

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