Take a Look at Most Instagrammed Locations in US

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 9:12 am (UTC-4)
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The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the most Instagrammed locations in the United States. (Photo by Flickr user tinyfroglet via Creative Commons license)

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the most Instagrammed locations in the United States. (Photo by Flickr user tinyfroglet via Creative Commons license)

In the United States, parks and geographic landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, are among the most Instagrammed locations in the United States.

Busbud explored which locations are mentioned most on the photo-sharing app, which claims to have 300 million monthly users, and came up with a diverse list that includes everything from wineries and vineyards, to historic sites and wildlife areas.

Parks and geographic landmarks are the most common attractions on the list. The extreme wilderness of Denali National Park in Alaska, a 6 million-acre preserve with beautiful views, diverse wildlife and North America’s tallest mountain is the top Instagrammed location in Alaska.


In the South, the beaches of South Carolina and Tennessee’s Dollywood theme park are tops, along with two racetracks: Georgia’s Atlantic Motor Speedway and North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A BIG congrats to our #BofA500 winner @joeylogano #TheChase #NASCAR

A photo posted by Charlotte Motor Speedway (@charlottemotorspeedway) on


In the American Northeast, ballparks, landmarks, and beaches are among the locations mentioned featured most often on the photo-sharing app.


In the West, there are many natural splendors to choose from, including Montana’s Glacier National Park, home to more than a million acres of forests, alpine meadows, lakes and valleys in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Its more than 2.3 million visitors in 2014 make Glacier the tenth most-visited park in the nation. The Grand Canyon, also a western wonder, is the second most popular national park with more than 4.7 million annual visitors.


Next to parks, vineyards and wineries are the most popular locations on Instagram. There are 7,762 wineries in the United States, 3,674 of them are in California. Historic sites are next on the list, with places such as the White House being the most Instagrammed spot in Washington, D.C.

instagram-locations-us

What Americans Fear More Than Terrorists

Posted October 21st, 2015 at 5:04 am (UTC-4)
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Americans fear US government corruption and cyber-terrorism more than terrorism, according to a new survey from Chapman University. (Photo by Flickr user Florian F. via Creative Commons license)

Americans fear US government corruption and cyber-terrorism more than terrorism, according to a new survey from Chapman University. (Photo by Flickr user Florian F. via Creative Commons license)

Americans are more afraid of U.S. government corruption than they are of potential terrorist attacks.

According to a Chapman University survey, 58 percent of people say they were either afraid or very afraid of corruption on the part of government officials, while 44.4 percent report fearing man-made disasters such as a terrorist attack.

DomainsOfFear-740x572Government corruption tops a list of 88 potential fears and anxieties that 1,541 people from across the country were asked about.

Almost half of Americans say they fear cyber terrorism and having their online information tracked by the government and corporations.

The survey broke fear down into 10 major domains, including categories such as crime, personal anxieties and technology, as well as man-made and natural disasters.

The other top 10 fears include corporate tracking of personal information, terror attacks, bio-warfare, identity theft, running out of money and credit card fraud.

Ultimately people seem to be more afraid of disasters created by man than those nature dishes out.

The most-feared natural disasters are pandemics, rather than hurricanes or earthquakes, and when it comes to personal anxieties, fear of reptiles tops the list. Global warming is the main environmental concern and when it comes to daily life, death is what people fear the most.

Other fears include war, heights, insects, loneliness and the dark.

Top10Fears-740x572

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Why Largest US Ethnic Group Vanished from American Culture

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 2:37 pm (UTC-4)
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FILE - The annual Steuben Parade in New York celebrates German-American culture and is billed as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. (AP Photo)

FILE – The annual Steuben Parade, in New York celebrates German-American culture and is billed as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. (AP Photo)

People with German ancestry have long dominated the U.S. melting pot yet their stamp on American culture — once so proud and robust — seems to have all but disappeared.

MORE ABOUT AMERICA

 the 54th Annual Steuben Parade, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in New York. The parade celebrates German-American culture and is billed as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. (Photo by Flickr user momentcaptured1 via Creative Commons license)

People of German Ancestry Dominate the US Melting Pot

 

67 Million PantsThis US Ethnic Group Makes the Most Money

 

ALZAWENYWhy So Many US Koreans Are Dry Cleaners While Arabs Are Grocers

There are more than 49 million Americans — 16 percent of the population — with German ancestry, according to Ancestry and Ethnicity in America, which used data from the 2010 Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.

At the turn of the century, just before the United States entered World War I, German Americans accounted for about 10 percent of the population and their presence was keenly felt.

“They were very proud and they clung to their culture very strongly. They still spoke German everywhere…They were almost arrogantly proud of what they thought was a superior German culture and a lot of them didn’t want to integrate and assimilate in the United States,” said Erik Kirschbaum, author of Burning Beethoven: The Eradication of German Culture in the United States during World War I. “They wanted to preserve their culture and keep it intact as long as they could.”

German immigrants flocked to New York and Chicago, and residents in numerous small Midwestern towns spoke German almost exclusively. German-language newspapers, theaters and churches flourished.

In some of these areas, the German influence was so pervasive that other non-German settlers ended up learning German so they could communicate with fellow residents. Germans helped establish General Electric and designed New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. They dominated the beer industry and that influence lingers in name brands like Busch, Miller and Pabst.

Dormitory for interned Germans at Fort Douglas, Utah. (Library of Congress)

Dormitory for interned Germans at Fort Douglas, Utah. (Library of Congress)

The situation took a dark turn for German Americans when the United States entered World War I. Suddenly, as anti-German hysteria swept the country, America’s largest, most powerful minority was considered suspect.

“A lot of people thought the country was filled with spies and saboteurs and actually 30 Germans were killed by mobs and lynch mobs,” said Kirschbaum, whose own grandfather grew up speaking German but refused to speak in the language in his later years.

Shortly after declaring war on Germany, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson required about 250,000 German-born men — aged fourteen and older — to register their address and employment at their local post office. Within a year, that order was expanded to include women. About 6,000 of these people were arrested and 2,000 of them, who were deemed “dangerous”, were sent to internment camps.

German language books were taken out of schools and libraries and burned by so-called patriotic organizations that wanted to make sure German was eradicated from the American landscape. Kirschbaum says German Americans, who saw Germany as their mother and America as their wife, felt they had to make a choice.

“They suddenly realized they can’t be both German and American,” he said. “And after the war, a lot of them felt they had to assimilate, there was no choice and a lot of them did. A lot of them became thoroughly American. They stopped speaking German. They stopped teaching their children German. They stopped reading German newspapers and they became whole-hearted Americans.”

And in doing so, much of the German culture they’d proudly held onto for so long, slowly vanished from the American landscape.

Today, Kirschbaum sees disturbing parallels between the anti-German sentiment that swept the nation a century ago and the rise of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“There’s definitely a parallel between the United States government turning sauerkraut into liberty cabbage during World War I and some people in Congress trying to change the term French fries into freedom fries after 9/11,” he said. “It’s another sad chapter in American history that perhaps could have been prevented or avoided if more Americans knew about the history and the way they persecuted German Americans 100 years ago.”

(Teaser photo by Flickr user momentcaptured1 via Creative Commons license)

Why So Many US Koreans Run Dry Cleaners While Arabs Are Grocers

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 9:10 am (UTC-4)
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(File) Korean immigrant-owned Custom Dry Cleaners with store co-owner Chung Soo (R) and her daughter-in-law Choi Soo (C) behind the counter, with local customer Victory Hucks (L) in Washington, D.C. (Reuters)

(File) Korean immigrant-owned Custom Dry Cleaners with store co-owner Chung Soo (R) and her daughter-in-law Choi Soo (C) behind the counter, with local customer Victory Hucks (L) in Washington, D.C. (Reuters)

In the United States, Koreans are 34 times more likely than other immigrant groups to run dry cleaners, while Gujarati-speaking Indians are 108 times more likely to manage motels.

Economists William Kerr, of Harvard Business School, and Martin Mandroff, of the Swedish Competition Authority, studied the relationship between ethnicity, occupational choice, and entrepreneurship. They found that ethnic groups in the United States tend to concentrate in certain businesses and that these small, socially-isolated groups attain considerable financial success through this type of concentrated entrepreneurship.

FILE -- Rae Alzaweny, owner of the Iraq Market grocery store, sorts produce in Dearborn, Michigan. (AP Photo)

FILE — Rae Alzaweny, owner of the Iraq Market grocery store, sorts produce in Dearborn, Michigan. (AP Photo)

According to Kerr and Mandroff, Yemenis are 75 times more likely to own grocery stores than other immigrants, while Greeks tend to concentrate in the restaurant sector, and Middle Eastern immigrants are more likely to own grocery and liquor stores.

The researchers say people decide what industry to enter based on their interactions.

The tendency to cluster around certain industries often results because market interactions — such as with corporate America or in higher education — can prove more challenging for certain members of ethnic groups.

Consequently, they rely more on social interactions — with friends, family or people within their ethnic group — to learn new skills and find jobs.

This tendency to own their own business is more apparent among some groups. For example, 45 percent of adult Korean males are self-employed. That’s three times higher than the 15 percent self-employed rate of the general adult male immigrant population.

As business owners, these immigrant groups have to rely on their own judgment and they tend to learn from each other.

“When socializing during family gatherings and religious/cultural functions, entrepreneurs mentor each other and exchange industry knowledge and professional advice,” the authors wrote. “The more an entrepreneur socializes with other entrepreneurs, the more knowledge is exchanged. Social interaction and production are therefore complementary in the entrepreneurial sector and entrepreneurial productivity increases with the number of friends and family members in that sector.”

"From Social Networks, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship" by William R. Kerr and Martin Mandorff

“From Social Networks, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship” by William R. Kerr and Martin Mandorff

Map Shows Every US School Shooting Since 2013

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 10:39 am (UTC-4)
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Students and family members reunite at Shoultes Gospel Hall after a student opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, in Marysville, Washington October 24, 2014. (Reuters)

Students and family members reunite at Shoultes Gospel Hall after a student opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, in Marysville, Washington, October 24, 2014. (Reuters)

There have been at least 150 school shootings in the United States since 2013, an average of nearly one per week, according to the group, Everytown for Gun Safety.

The advocacy group created the map below showing the locations of those shootings.

To create the map, “school shooting” was defined as, “anytime a firearm is discharged inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press and confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement”.

Flowers are left at a memorial outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, Oct. 3, 2015. The gunman who killed his English professor and eight others at an Oregon community college committed suicide after a shootout with police. (Reuters)

Flowers are left at a memorial outside Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, Oct. 3, 2015. The gunman who killed his English professor and eight others at an Oregon community college committed suicide after a shootout with police. (Reuters)

Instances in which guns were taken to school but were not fired, or were fired off school grounds after having been on school grounds, are not included on the map.

In a 2014 report, Everytown for Gun Safety found that in 70 percent of the incidents, the shooters were minors and that nearly two-thirds of these perpetrators used guns they’d gotten from home. One-third of the shootings happened after a verbal argument or other confrontation.

Critics, such as John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, take issue with Everytown’s numbers.

“A number of fact checks have found significant mistakes in Everytown’s report,” Lott said in an email. “Among their mistakes, they include: shootings that are off of school property and do not involve people who have anything to do with the school, legitimate self defense gun uses, and gang shootings and lone suicides that were well outside of school hours that do not involve anyone connected to the school.”

Deadly school shootings can have a profound impact on schools and student performance, according to a recent analysis.

Louis-Philippe Beland of Louisiana State University and Dongwoo Kim of the University of Missouri found that enrollment in 9th grade — the first year of high school — drops following a deadly shooting, but the numbers of students in the other grades do not.

Beland and Kim also found that standardized test scores in math and English drop for up to 3 years following a deadly shooting. Previous research suggests exposure to trauma can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s thought to be the center of memory and emotion.

The negative effects can last long after the students’ school years. Research shows adolescent victims of violence are more likely to suffer from depression as adults.

Map from Everytown for Gun Safety

Map from Everytown for Gun Safety

These Are New York City’s Most Treasured Interiors

Posted October 9th, 2015 at 4:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Loews Theater in the Bronx, currently a church. (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Loews Theater in the Bronx, currently a church. (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Most people might think of buildings like the Empire State Building when they think of cherished landmarks, but interiors of structures — the spaces where we live, work and go for entertainment — can also be treasures worth saving for future generations.

“Even though building exteriors are the most obvious things that we look at, interiors are really where we live,” said design historian Judith Gura of the New York School of Interior Design.”They’re where we spend most of our time, they’re where we’re entertained, where we have our political situations, where we study. They are really recording our history so that, more than exteriors, they show the changes, they show social practice.”

The Mark Hellinger Theater (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

The Mark Hellinger Theater (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Gura and Kate Wood of Columbia University, wanted to remind people of that.

First, with a photo exhibit, Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, and then with the book, Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York, which features photos of 47 of these preserved spaces.

“There are very few designated interiors in New York City, so that automatically makes them rare and precious,” said Wood, who also leads the preservation group, LANDMARK WEST. “That’s really the most important first step, recognition of this valuable historic resource that we have, which we might take for granted.”

New York has been designating landmarks — like the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City Public Library building — since 1965.

The book is being released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law. The demolition of New York’s Pennsylvania Station in 1963, which The New York Times called a “monumental act of vandalism”, triggered the adoption of that legislation.

However, interiors have only been preserved since 1973. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated 117 public interiors as landmarks.

In order to be preserved, interiors must be at least 30 years old and have special historical or  aesthetic value to the city. These spaces must also be open or accessible to the public, which explains why a number of libraries, museums and theaters are on the list.

For example, the rather plain building on Ellis Island where America’s immigrants were received from 1892 until 1924 is probably of greater historic significance than anything else. The Registry building’s interior — which was restored in the 1980s — has been designated for preservation.

The interior elements of a designated structure that must be preserved include fixtures and anything that’s fastened to the walls, including built-in furniture.

Many of the interiors designated as landmarks feature examples of lost artistry.

“Many of them you look at the elaborate ornament. People don’t do this kind of thing anymore,” said Gura. “Part of the reason is that it’s too expensive and the other part of the reason is that we don’t necessarily have workers who are trained to do the intricate mosaic work or very elaborate plaster work and painting.”  

Ellis Island Registry Building  from "Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York" (Courtesy The Monacelli Press)

Ellis Island Registry Building from “Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York” (Courtesy The Monacelli Press)

A particular challenge of saving interiors is to preserve the integrity of the original design, while still rendering the space usable for today’s generation.

Anything built before 1985 is eligible to be preserved, but Gura and Wood express concern that more modern spaces are being overlooked.

“We’ve got two decades of interiors that haven’t been preserved yet,” said Wood, “and I think that tells us something about our city as well, about our culture, that we value things that we can understand in context with history but we don’t necessarily appreciate the qualities of the recent past yet.”

Both worry that these important modern interiors could be forever lost if people don’t begin to rethink their views of what constitutes a landmark and come to the realization that spaces don’t necessarily have to be old to be worth saving.

 

Williamsburgh Savings Bank from “Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York” (Courtesy The Monacelli Press)

Williamsburgh Savings Bank from “Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York” (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

City Hall (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

City Hall (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Tweed Courthouse (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Tweed Courthouse (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

A&T Long Distance Building (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

A&T Long Distance Building (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Four Seasons Restaurant (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Four Seasons Restaurant (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

The Plaza Hotel (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

The Plaza Hotel (© Larry Lederman. Courtesy of The Monacelli Press)

Trans World Airlines Flight Center from  “Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York”. (Photo: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Courtesy The  Monacelli Press)

Trans World Airlines Flight Center from “Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York”. (Photo: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Courtesy The Monacelli Press)

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today’s True Native Americans

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Josh is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) Kalo farmer, activist, and educator from the beautiful island of Kauai. He works with youth to be proud of their Hawaiian culture and community, and believes that through education there can be healing. He says, “We have a lot of sickness. I believe the spiritual sickness and a lot of the physical and mental sickness we encounter in our communities, when we focus our energy, our mana, onto fixing that, we put our minds together and we get our energy moving in the same way, it’s through education.” (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Matika Wilbur is on a mission that will take her across the United States. Weary of stereotypical representations of Native Americans, the high school teacher is determined to photograph every federally-recognized Native American tribe in the country.

“When you see us represented in mass media, you see Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves and Twilight, or maybe on some Netflix series you’ll see an Indian who’s fighting with Congress to have a casino,” Wilbur said. “What you won’t see is doctors and lawyers and contemporary people living in the present.”

Wilbur, a Native American woman of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes, is out to change that. She hopes her pictures will present a well-rounded portrait of today’s Native Americans: People fighting hard to maintain tribal sovereignty and protect ancestral ways, who also have children and family problems and chaos and order and love, like any other people.

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Ray, 82, and Fannie, 83, have been married for 65 years. They only speak Dine, so their daughter had to translate for me while I was visiting them. This picture was taken at their sheep camp, where they live without running water. Fannie is a weaver, she shears the wool from the sheep, spins and hand dyes the wool to create beautiful Navajo rugs. Ray worked for the railroad for most of his life but he is now retired to ranch life. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Wilbur has been on the road for more than three years now on a journey that has covered more than 250,000 miles so far.

It’s worthwhile trek, she says, to uplift young Native Americans who are inundated with stories about themselves that revolve around poverty, alcoholism, stereotypical representations, lower life expectancy and a myriad of other social problems.

“I think it’s the result of brutal colonization and the years of genocide, all of the racist federal policies: termination, relocation, assimilation,” said Wilbur. “These policies that have aimed to erase our people have left a lasting impression and we’re in the throes of attempting to recover from the sum of those experiences.”

Wilbur’s venture is called Project 562, after the 562 federally-recognized tribes she plans to photograph, including some on reservations in remote areas of the country. She ultimately plans to exhibit the photos, publish them and see her images used in education curricula.

Darkfeather, Bibiana and Eckos Ancheta from the Tulalip Tribe. (Photo by  Matika Wilbur)

Darkfeather, Bibiana and Eckos Ancheta from the Tulalip Tribe. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

She hopes her photos will help reshape the public’s perception of who Native Americans are.

“There’s something in this collective consciousness that still believes that Indians are lesser human beings, savage, that we’re conquered,” Wilbur said. “It’s like someone is throwing stones at you and it lands somewhere. It lands somewhere on your spirit, and your heart and how you feel about yourself.”

Wilbur’s goal is for her photos to help reshape how young people, like her former high school students, feel about themselves.

Native American youth have the highest suicide levels in the country and Wilbur saw first-hand how false and outdated impressions of Native Americans negatively impacted them and how they felt about themselves.

Ultimately, she hopes her photographs of a diverse people will be not only informative, but also uplifting.

“Hopefully we create something beautiful and positive, something that shows stories of hope and endurance,” she said. “It’s not the dying race, it’s not a manifestation of a romanticized version [of a people].”

 

Juanita (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Calling Walwatoa (Jemez Pubelo), New Mexico home, Juanita is a community wellness advocate and works for her tribe’s community wellness program. She lives on her tribal lands, and feels grateful for the opportunity to serve her people. Born in Washington, D.C. while her mother was working for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Juanita moved back to her community when she was young. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Fishermen (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Treaty fisherman Chase, Nancy, Tandy and Tanner Wilbur standing in front of the Wilbur family purse seining boat at Swinomish. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Industrial engineering student, Stephen Yellowtail, of the Crow Nation, at his family's cattle ranch in Montana. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Industrial engineering student, Stephen Yellowtail, of the Crow Nation, at his family’s cattle ranch in Montana. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Cousin (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Jaclyn Roessel, Dine’ (Navajo Nation), has an MPA from Arizona State University and works as the Heard Museum’s education and public programs director. She also owns the Naaltsoos Project, which prints cards with Navajo greetings, produces the podcast “Schmooze”, which features interviews with Arizona women about topics ranging from the arts to immigration, blogs at Grownup Navajo, and runs a fashion blog Presence 4.0 with Chelsea Chee and Nanibaa Beck. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Zunii (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Zunii (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

(Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Viola Richards of the Tolowa. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

$100 Million: The Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Each US State

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 5:00 am (UTC-4)
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At $149 million, "Palazzo di Amore" in Beverly Hills, California, is the most expensive house for sale in the United States. (Photo by Marc Angeles for Coldwell Banker)

At $149 million, “Palazzo di Amore” in Beverly Hills, California, is the most expensive house for sale in the United States. (Photo by Marc Angeles for Coldwell Banker)

The most expensive house for sale in the United States is a palatial Beverly Hills estate with 12 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, parking for 24 cars, and its own vineyard.

With help from Point2Homes, Business Insider compiled a list of the most expensive homes currently for sale in every U.S. state and Washington, D.C..

While Beverly Hills boasts the most expensive “expensive house”, the most modestly-priced home on the list is a 5-bedroom home in North Dakota featuring an indoor sports court, theater room and a 4-car garage. It’s on sale for $2.78 million.

The most expensive homes on the list are located on America’s East and West Coasts. The second priciest home on the U.S. real estate market is “Briar Patch” in East Hampton, New York. The 10-bedroom property has a guest house that’s bigger than many American homes, along with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Here’s a sampling of the most expensive homes for sale in the United States:

 

NEW YORK
Price: $140 million

Built in the 1930s, “Briar Patch,” in East Hampton, New York, is the second-most expensive home for sale in the United States at $140 million. (Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate)

Built in the 1930s, “Briar Patch,” in East Hampton, New York, is the second-most expensive home for sale in the United States at $140 million. (Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate)

 

NORTH DAKOTA
Price: $2.78 million

This 5-bedroom house with 8,727-square-foot home is on sale for $2.78 million and is the least expensive house on the list. (Courtesy Remax)

This 5-bedroom house with 8,727-square-foot home is on sale for $2.78 million and is the least expensive house on the list. (Courtesy Remax)

 

LOUISIANA
Price: $7.99 million

The most expensive home in the southern state of Louisiana has five bedrooms, a pool, cabana, tennis court, and green house. (Courtesy Sotheby's International Realty)

The most expensive home in the southern state of Louisiana has five bedrooms, a pool, cabana, tennis court, and a green house. (Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty)

 

NEW MEXICO
Price: $13.9 million

This 5-bedroom, 19,339-square-foot home in New Mexico, designed in the traditional Pueblo Revival style, costs $13.9 million. (Courtesy Sothey's International Realty)

This 5-bedroom, 19,339-square-foot home in New Mexico, designed in the traditional Pueblo Revival style, costs $13.9 million. (Courtesy Sothey’s International Realty)

 

ALABAMA 
Price: $15 million

This former horse ranch in Alabama is known as "Rattlesnake Ridge" and sells for $15 million. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

This former horse ranch in Alabama is known as “Rattlesnake Ridge” and sells for $15 million. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

 

MONTANA
Price: $18 million

This16,000-square-foot home in Montana features ski-in/ski-out access and is available for $18 million. (Sotheby's International Realty)

This16,000-square-foot home in Montana features ski-in/ski-out access and is available for $18 million. (Sotheby’s International Realty)

 

ILLINOIS
Price: $18.77 million

This home in Illinois, called "Hidden Ponds", sells for $18.775 million and has eight bedrooms and a full-size British pub. (Courtesy Sotheby's International Realty)

This home in Illinois, called “Hidden Ponds”, sells for $18.77 million and has eight bedrooms and a full-size British pub. (Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty)

 

VIRGINIA
Price: $33.5 million

Virginia's "Oakendale Farm" features two stone guest cottages, a greenhouse, pool, pool house, stables and a  log cabin on the property. (Courtesy Redfin)

Virginia’s “Oakendale Farm” features two stone guest cottages, a greenhouse, pool, pool house, stables and a log cabin on the property. (Courtesy Redfin)

 

NEVADA
Price: $39.75 million

This 4-bedroom ski chalet in Nevada has walls of glass, a glass elevator, and a 6-story glass stairwell. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

This 4-bedroom ski chalet in Nevada has walls of glass, a glass elevator, and a 6-story glass stairwell. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

 

COLORADO
Price: $60 million

"Four Peaks Ranch" in Colorado has seven bedrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, and a  furnished teepee. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

“Four Peaks Ranch” in Colorado has seven bedrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, and a furnished teepee. (Courtesy Point2Homes)

 

TEXAS
Price: $100 million

The Hicks Estate in Dallas is a 4-story mansion with a helipad, tennis courts, a panic room, and a wine cellar. (Photo by Stephen Reed/Allie Beth Allman)

The Hicks Estate in Dallas is a 4-story mansion with a helipad, tennis courts, a panic room, and a wine cellar. (Photo by Stephen Reed/Allie Beth Allman)

 

See the complete list of homes at Business Insider.

Detailed Map Reveals Hidden Backbone of US Internet

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 7:57 am (UTC-4)
2 comments

(Photo by Flickr user Jeremy Brooks via Creative Commons license)

(Photo by Flickr user Jeremy Brooks via Creative Commons license)

A new map outlines the backbone of the U.S. Internet for the first time.

Researchers have been trying to create the map for about 20 years, but a team from the University of Wisconsin, Colgate University and the computer security company NIKSUN, finally made it happen. Computer scientist Paul Barford says the resulting report and map represent hours of painstaking work.

“The complexity of Internet infrastructure has gone well beyond what a single entity can actually understand today,” he said. “The map shows the first-of-its-kind representation of the long-haul links in the United States that make up the Internet.”

AT&T is the largest owner of Internet infrastructure in the United States. Other leading owners include Level 3, Sprint, and Windstream. Before this map was created, none of these providers knew where all of the conduits were buried.

Barford expects the diagram to help create a stronger, more secure and robust Internet. He also anticipates it will help the FCC make decisions on how to regulate the Internet, should its network infrastructure become public.

usfiberinfrastructuremap

Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin/Paul Barford

The map’s release raises security concerns about whether it gives enemies of the United States, or enterprising hackers, a road map for disrupting the nation’s Internet.

“There’s always an ongoing question about security,” said Barford. “Do you want to be secure through the obscure? Or do you want to be secure by having information that people can use to make infrastructure in this case better?”

Barford and his team, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, chose the latter. To be on the safe side, the publicly-released map isn’t as detailed as it could be.

The intent in creating the map, Barford said, it to make things better, not worse.

“It gives us a platform for improving the Internet,” he said, “and for researchers to ask longer-term questions that potentially result in the Internet of the future that gives us features and functions and capabilities that young people are dreaming up right now.”

If the researchers have their way, with the backbone of the Internet already all mapped out, those dreams will come true just a little bit faster.

American Food Has Surprising Military History

Posted September 28th, 2015 at 9:11 am (UTC-4)
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(Photo by Flickr user Fuschia Foot via Creative Commons license)

Today’s cake mixes are the result of the U.S. military’s desire to send a nonperishable food dessert product to army cooks in camps overseas.  (Photo by Flickr user Fuschia Foot via Creative Commons license)

Much of the food Americans buy at the grocery store has a secret military history.

People in the United States eat more processed foods than anyone else in the world; foods like energy bars, frozen dinners and Cheeto snacks, the origins of which can be traced back to a military lab somewhere, according to food writer Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of Combat-Ready Kitchen

The U.S. military’s interest in food science really ramped up during World War II, when the nation went from feeding 400,000 soldiers to sending rations to 11.6 million troops worldwide. Those foods deteriorated, spurring a massive effort to learn how to preserve, store and carry food into battle.

The military enlisted huge food industry corporations, such as ConAgra, General Mills, Hershey, Hormel, Mars, Nabisco, Reynolds, Smithfield, Swift and Tyson, to help produce these foods for soldiers on the front line.

As a result, this U.S. military-led effort spearheaded the invention of foods like energy bars, restructured meat, extended-life bread, and instant coffee.The collaboration did not end when the war did.

“The government never wanted to have to go through the experience of ramping up for a World War III, should it come along,” said Marx de Salcedo. “And so the system where the military, universities, and industry worked together to solve some of the big issues in food science has stayed intact and from that system all sorts of  processing techniques have come into the marketplace.”

Contents of a United States Army Meal, Ready-to-Eat (from left to right): Chicken breast, pineapple pound cake, outer packaging, MRE Heater (to heat the main meal), wheat snack bread, spoon, Tabasco sauce, sugar, moist towelette, matches, pretzels, peanut butter, orange beverage base powder, salt, tea, coffee cream, toilet paper, chewing gum (Laxative) (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Contents of a United States Army Meal, Ready-to-Eat (from left to right): Chicken breast, pineapple pound cake, outer packaging, MRE Heater (to heat the main meal), wheat snack bread, spoon, Tabasco sauce, sugar, moist towelette, matches, pretzels, peanut butter, orange beverage base powder, salt, tea, coffee cream, toilet paper, chewing gum (Laxative) (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

These foods, originally intended for U.S. soldiers in the field, ended up infiltrating the American diet. And it was no accident.

“They [U.S. military] have a mandate to get the science used in creating combat rations into consumer food items,” said Marx de Salcedo. “At a moment’s notice, the food industry needs to be able to convert its production lines over to producing combat rations…or better yet, it might produce consumer items that already meet military specifications.”

This collaborative effort led to the development of many of the foods Americans see on grocery store shelves and in refrigerator cases. For example, the U.S. military developed whole cheese powder — like the kind often found in boxes of macaroni and cheese — draining water from the cheese in an effort to reduce the weight and volume of food sent to soldiers overseas.

“After the war, there was this whole cheese power dehydration industry that had sprung up to meet the needs of the military,” said Marx de Salcedo. “And it converted over to consumer food companies and, shortly thereafter, snack and convenience foods started to appear, such as the Cheeto.”

9781591845973The military’s effort to dehydrate potatoes ultimately resulted in the technology that made Pringle’s potato chips possible.

A technology called modified atmosphere packaging, which American food suppliers now use to preserve fruits and vegetables, was originally used to send produce to American soldiers in Vietnam in the 1960s. And high pressure processing, which appeared in the late 1990s, is used to keep ready-to-eat meals fresh.

Today’s energy bars are the result of a decades-long quest to find an emergency ration that was small, light and nutritionally dense. The very first energy bars were known as the “D ration” an emergency bar made of chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk powder and oat flour. The D ration didn’t taste very good, but it served the purpose of keeping troops nourished.

The next food item Marx de Salcedo expects to see from the U.S. military is nonperishable pizza, an item that’s been most requested by American soldiers. The pizza will be shelf-stable, which means it won’t require refrigeration.

Marx de Salcedo believes widespread American consumption of these foods, which are often far from their original state, has both positive and negative impacts.

“We consumers have benefited by having food that is convenient and safe to eat and it certainly has helped us in managing our modern lifestyles,” she said. “On the downside, because the military focuses foremost on the values that go into making a ration, which are long shelf life, durability, affordability and sort-of broad palatability, those are the values expressed in the food items you find on our supermarket shelves.”

Meaning that while these U.S. military-driven processed foods might last long and taste good, they are not necessarily good for you.