How mindfulness can help with post-interview and post-exam stress, according to 2 psychologists

migraine screen time headache eyes
Mindfulness is the ability to pay full attention to the present.

  • If you can’t relax while waiting for results after interviews or exams, a mindful trick could help.
  • Psychologists say mindfulness makes it easier to deal with nerve-wracking waits.
  • Apple co-founder Steve Jobs found success in mindful meditation after a trip to India.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The post-interview period can be a particularly worrisome and stressful time.

A hundred questions cross your mind: did I make a good impression? Did I say what the interviewer wanted me to? When will they get back to me? Are they even going to call? What happens then?

If you’re not the sort who can sit back, relax, and wait for an answer after sitting through an interview, there’s a psychological tool to help stave off the temptation to check your inbox every five minutes: mindfulness.

Why mindfulness helps with your application

University of California psychologists Kate Sweeny and Jennifer Howell have discovered that mindfulness can make it easier to deal with nerve-wracking waits, according to psychology journal Psychologie Heute.

As part of their study, the researchers asked 240 law students waiting on news of their admission to the bar to complete a questionnaire.

In the first part of the questionnaire, participants were instructed to complete the so-called “Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory.”

This enabled the researchers to assess which of the students tended to lead a mindful life. “These ‘mindful’ participants were basically less concerned about the results,” the study said.

There was one thing that particularly struck the psychologists: mindful people prepare themselves for a potentially negative outcome but only towards the end of the waiting period.

It’s counterproductive to assume directly after an interview that the results may be negative. Basically, if you keep running through your mind what may have gone wrong during the interview, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

In the second part of the questionnaire, participants were told to do mindfulness exercises at least once a week for 15 minutes or to meditate with “Loving Kindness Meditation.”

“Participants who struggled the most during the waiting period experienced an improvement specifically through mindfulness exercises,” according to the study.

Steps for mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to pay full attention to the present. This means avoiding worries, doubts, fears, and uncertainties.

Meditation can be a helpful tool, and its uses aren’t restricted to interviews and exams.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs found out about the technique on a trip to India. There, he learned to be mindful through meditation, changing his view of the world, of design and creativity, and shaping his success.

You can read author and entrepreneur Faisal Hoque’s 4 steps to learn the art of mindfulness, including focusing on good thoughts and lessons learned from mistakes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An ‘elastic ice’ that can bend like wire could one day be used to detect air pollution

ice cubes being cut
Though the idea of ice bending rather than breaking or cracking seems impossible, scientists have managed it.

  • Chinese researchers have developed thin strands of ice that can be bent and curled like wires.
  • The discovery could have many applications, like transmitting light, as is done in fiber optics.
  • The ice is made by cooling water vapor with liquid nitrogen and forming microfibers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Materials science is going through a golden age – new, more sustainable, faster, or more efficient solutions for fields such as medicine, and construction are coming to the fore on an almost weekly basis.

This new tech has a broad range of possible applications – from fungi as a material for buildings and vegan spider silk to replace plastic, or developing biomaterials from common waste like olive pits.

More recently in new material innovations, Chinese scientists have created flexible ice with thin strands that can bend and curl like wire, Gizmodo reported.

In a research article published in Science, the researchers described their discovery as “elastic ice microfibers.”

Instead of cracking or breaking, a video published by New Scientist shows that when pressure is exerted on it, the ice is elastic.

The scientists created the ice by transferring water vapor into a small chamber that was then cooled with liquid nitrogen.

The next step was to put an electrified tungsten pin inside the chamber and electrify it to 2,000 volts.

The process pulls in water vapor and slowly forms the ice microfibers.

The final step to complete the breakthrough was to fluctuate the temperature of the chamber to see how the ice strands behaved, which proved to be incredibly flexible at the coldest temperatures.

At the maximum cold temperature, the microfibers displayed elastic properties, bending at a maximum deformation of 10.9%.

By contrast, normal ice has an elastic deformation of 0.3%.

The flexible ice approaches the theoretical limit of how flexible ice is supposed to be, at 15%. The ice is also incredibly transparent. This means the microfibers could be used to transmit light, similar to fiber-optic cables.

The scientists said the tech could eventually be used to create tiny sensors capable of detecting air pollution.

“They can guide light back and forth,” physicist at Zhejiang University in China Limin Tong, part of the team responsible for developing the ice, told the New York Times.

One of the many unusual applications the special ice could be used for is the creation of air pollution sensors, due to the fact that particles like soot can adhere to the ice.

The ice could help with the collection of data on the amount and type of pollution there might be in a given area.

“The discovery of these flexible ice fibers opens opportunities for exploring ice physics and ice-related technology on micro- and nanometer scales,” the paper said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Chinese innovators made an eerie virtual influencer who looks so human, her skin changes with her surroundings

ayayi virtual influencer
This virtual influencer has a long way to go, but she’s already starting to work with brands like Guerlain.

  • Ayayi is a non-human influencer that looks just like a real person.
  • Her skin texture changes depending on the lighting and surroundings, just as a real person’s would.
  • She’s already starting to work with brands like Guerlain.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For some time now, companies have been creating their own virtual influencers.

It is what it says on the tin – an animation in human form, developed either to promote a company’s own products or to act as an influencer that they can use to negotiate advertising rates with brands.

A post shared by @ayayi.iiiii

However, if there’s one thing most of these new virtual influencers have in common, it’s that most of them couldn’t always pass for real people.Now, though, another virtual influencer named Ayayi has joined the list and her appearance is eerily realistic.

One of the things that stands out the most about the influencer is the texture of her skin, as it changes depending on the lighting and surroundings, just as a real person’s would.

Ayayi’s appearance does sometimes look artificial but is still very realistic, especially considering that it was created by a computer program.

A post shared by @ayayi.iiiii

Big brands will now pay large sums of money to fund their design and animation.

There are a lot of virtual influencers who have already starred in campaigns for prestigious brands like Chanel or Prada.

For now, she has a few photos on Instagram, and about 1,000 followers – although her presence and popularity are growing in China.

This virtual influencer has a long way to go, but she’s already starting to work with brands like Guerlain.

Read the original article on Business Insider

28 of the most breathtaking and isolated stays on Airbnb, ranked by cost per night

Hobbit House Washington
There are accommodations for every budget – from less than $20 per night to over $1,000.

  • Operating in 220 countries, Airbnb has over eight million homes on offer to travelers worldwide.
  • The platform made a list of its most remote, unique, and sought-after accommodations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Operating in 220 countries and regions today, Airbnb has over eight million homes on offer to travelers all over the world.

In 2018, 10 years on from its inception, users had checked into accommodations advertised on the platform over 300 million times.

Airbnb has many remote, unique, and sought-after accommodations on offer, and not necessarily for an excessive price.

Whether you’re looking to lose yourself in nature or want to immerse yourself in an authentic, cosmopolitan experience in the city, there are accommodations for every budget – from less than $20 per night to over $1,000.

Here are some of Airbnb’s most secluded homes, ranked from lowest to the highest price per night.

(Editors note: Prices vary per night depending on when bookings are made, prices correct as of August 2021.)

28. Couples’ getaway chalet in Florinópolis, Brazil – $19 per night

Florinópolis Brazil Airbnb
By night, you can enjoy shooting stars and by morning, a stunning dawn chorus.

This snug and private hideaway is in the heart of the natural beauty Florinópolis — or the “Island of Magic” — has to offer.

Book here.

27. Yurt in the wilderness of Khushuut, Mongolia – $25 per night

Khushuut (Mongolia) Airbnb
The yurt is near several lakes and waterfalls.

This yurt is located in a national park and is surrounded by the breathtaking geography of the Alti Mountains.

Book here.

26. Lakeside eco-cottage in Lyantode, Uganda – $33 per night

Lyantode (Uganda)  Airbnb
Here, you can watch the sunrise over crystal clear waters, enjoying the sounds of frogs and birds.

From your accommodation you can watch the sun rise and set over Monte de la Luna, while and enjoying being a part of home where the garden and house are one.

Book here.

25. Romantic Cabana with a view of Armenia, Colombia – $40 per night

Armenia (Colombia) Airbnb
Surrounded by beautiful rainforest plants, this charming cabin is located in the coffee region of the Andean mountains of Colombia.

The cabin features a “sendero” or pathway through the bamboo forest, which criss-crosses the host’s five-acre, organic farm, and leads down to a stream.

Book here.

24. Cabin overlooking the harbor in Aasiaat, Greenland – $55.47 per night

Greenland Airbnb
The perfect place to get lost.

In summer you can watch whales from the porch.

Book here.

23. Cosy palace in Marrakech, Morocco – $69.34 per night

marrakesh Airbnb
Another place at the top of many Airbnb users’ wishlists, this place is tucked away in the Marrakesh Medina.

In the coolness of the courtyard, there are banana trees and the terrace offers great views of the roofs and palm trees.

Book here.

22. Bamboo eco-cottage in the rice fields of Bali, Indonesia – $75 per night

bali indonesia Airbnb
This bamboo cottage is a secluded retreat down a quiet foot path nestled in the rice fields, and only a five minute walk to central Ubud.

An open-air basket weave bedroom with a mini loft, a modern elegant bathroom, and an outdoor living area make this a truly unique Bali experience.

Book here.

21. A different experience of the sea in Longyearbyen, Norway – $83 per night

longyearbyen norway airbnb
If you stay here, you can wake to the sound of Arctic ocean waves or perhaps even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

In the mid-summer months there is huge bird activity on the beach outside the house, with terns and eiders nesting.

Book here.

20. The house of the seven cones in Ostuni, Italy – $86 per night

Ostuni Airbnb
As well as olive trees, the region features winding country lanes, beaches, the caves of Castellana, and Grottaglie, which is famous for its ceramics.

The house of the seven cones is one of Airbnb’s most coveted and is perfect for anyone who wants to be in touch with nature.

Book here.

19. Apartment with views of the sea in Kotor, Montenegro – $94 per night

Montenegro Airbnb
This is one of the most wishlisted spots on Airbnb.

This studio apartment has spectacular waterfront views over the bay of Kotor.

Book here.

18. A bamboo sanctuary in Bali, Indonesia – $99 per night

Bali Airbnb
This rustic and authentic spot is right in the middle of Balinese village life

Totally removed from city life, this bamboo house is situated on the banks of a river in the middle of a rice field.

Book here.

17. Casita Muyuyo in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – $100 per night

Galapagos Islands Airbnb
This home is near the entrance trail to the walk to Tortuga Bay.

As well as being ideally located close to a trail that leads you to Tortuga Bay Beach, the home is surrounded by a lush garden and is just a short walk to downtown Puerto Ayora.

Book here.

16. Repurposed plane in Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef, France – $104 per night

Saint Michel France Airbnb
The accommodation is not far from several beaches, including Tharon, Pornic, and Saint Brévin.

There may be many amazing houses in the world but sleeping aboard a real airplane throughout your stay is a unique experience.

Book here.

15. Tatami Room in a traditional Japanese house in Osaka, Japan – $108 per night

Airbnb osaka
This house was built by the host’s grandparents over 70 years ago.

This accommodation has a long family history — of three generations — and is more than 70 years old.

Book here.

14. Cave near the castle of Amboise in Nazelles-Négron, France – $115 per night

amboise nazelles Airbnb
As well as beautiful castles, the region offers excellent food, including wines, charcuterie, and goat cheeses.

Just two miles from Amboise, this accommodation is right on the doorstep of Leonardo Da Vinci’s home.

Book here.

13. ‘Fare’ in Hiva Oa Valley, French Polynesia – $118 per night

Airbnb Hiva Oa
The Marquesas Islands were made famous by painter Paul Gauguin and singer Jacques Brel, who were buried there.

Nestled in Hiva Oa, this “fare” (house in Maori) is comprised of 1.5 acres of land and looks out to the Pacific Ocean from within the valley of Hiva Oa.

Book here.

12. Mushroom-dome cabin in California, United States – $146 per night

mushroom dome Airbnb cabin
This unique accommodation in Aptos, California is the most booked house on Airbnb.

From here, you can hike in the woods, watch the hummingbirds, pet the goats, go to the beach, or gaze at the stars.

Book here.

11. Pitcairn Community Home, Polynesia – $150 per night

pittcairn airbnb
Pitcairn is one of the most remotely inhabited islands on the planet.

As reaching Pitcairn requires two nights aboard a working cargo ship that visits only at set times throughout the year, guests are only able to stay on Pitcairn for either three or 10 nights.

Book here.

10. Luxury villa in Crete, Greece – $198 per night

CRETE GREECE Airbnb
The apartment is very close to the lagoon of Balos and the famous beach of Falasarna.

This accommodation was made from a natural rock excavation — from the balcony, you can admire the Bay of Kissanos.

Book here.

9. AirShip 002 in Drimnin, Scotland – $222 per night

Airbnb Drimnin Scotland
This insulated aluminium pod was designed by Roderick James Architects.

The AirShip 002 is situated in a beautiful, secluded position on a four-acre site, with stunning views across the Sound of Mull towards Tobermory and out to sea, towards Ardnamurchan Point.

Book here.

8. Triangular cottage by Great Geysir in Laugarvatn, Iceland – $280 per night

Iceland Airbnb
Airbnb also includes this house in its list of homes with the best architecture.

This accommodation was constructed to reflect the Icelandic landscape, as well as to complement the moss and trees in the old lava-field.

Book here.

7. Underground ‘hygge’ hole in Washington, United States – $401 per night

Hobbit House Washington
This inspired dwelling is nestled in the Columbia River Gorge mountainside.

There is a short but steep hike up the pathway where, tucked into the earth, you’ll find a realistic imitation of a hobbit hole.

Book here.

6.. Colonial style palace in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain – $423 per night

Airbnb jerez de la frontera
The accommodation is in the centre of Jerez de la Frontera and has a private garden and indoor swimming-pool.

This palatial home was built in the eighteenth century.

Book here.

5.. Off-grid itHouse in California, United States – $490 per night

airbnb itHouse
This home is in the sunbaked wilds of the California high desert.

This spot brings together raw industrial aesthetics with green design to create an original and unique home to stay in.

Book here.

4.. Skylodge ‘adventure’ suite in Calca, Peru – $501 per night

airbnb peru
This is one of the most unusual accommodations on Airbnb.

Not unlike a see-through version of a condor’s nest, this transparent luxury capsule hanging from the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Book here.

3.. Luxury home with a private beach in Tossa de Mar, Spain – $546 per night

tossa de mar beach airbnb
This luxury property is in Gerona.

This accommodation has a jacuzzi, swimming pool, and private beach.

Book here.

2. Hector ‘cellar’ house in Santorini, Greece – $703 per night

Hector cave house
This unique accommodation in Santorini is open to to travellers from all over the world.

A cave carved into a cliff, Hector Cave House was originally used as a “canava” wine cellar and has been converted into a family-owned summer house.

Book here.

1. Minimalist house in Llucmajor, Spain – $1,174 per night

Llucmajor
Llucmajor is in the Balearic Islands.

As the most expensive on the list, this property is valued for its spectacular architecture, has a private swimming pool, and incredible views.

Book here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A psychiatrist warns of the signs that may suggest your child is depressed

depressed crying child baby
It can be hard to recognize the symptoms of depression in children.

  • 264 million people worldwide were suffering from depression in 2020, according to the WHO.
  • Depression can manifest in children as young as three or four years of age.
  • Spotting symptoms of depression in kids can be hard – the patterns don’t resemble those of adults.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Eight years ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicted that depression would become the second most common disease worldwide by 2020.

According to the organization’s latest statistics in 2020, with 264 million people around the world suffering from the illness, it’s a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.

The most alarming aspect of this is that this phenomenon is far from exclusive to adults; children at elementary age can be diagnosed with depression too.

While the symptoms are many, it’s hard to recognize depression in children.

Michael Schulte-Markwort, a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy and clinic director at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, spoke to Business Insider on the subject.

He explained that the older children are, the more symptoms of depression begin to resemble those of adults.

“I recently talked to a nine-year-old boy who said clearly, ‘Life’s too hard for me,'” Schulte-Markwort explained.

The difficulty is that the younger children are, the harder it is to recognize depression.

The specialist suspects the disease can manifest as early as three or four years of age, despite this being rather rare.

Depressed children often suffer inexplicable temper tantrums

While depression in adolescents and adults is often characterized by deep sadness, hopelessness, and listlessness, small infants may experience apparently unfounded aggression.

As well as angry outbursts, depression can present itself through a lost interest in playtime, insomnia, distraction, and teariness.

“Symptoms also depend on the personality and character of the child,” said Schulte-Markwort.

grandfather granddaughter hug
Sometimes, increased affection can be an indication of depression in young children.

In addition, children struggle to effectively identify and articulate their depression, and instead, the illness manifests through psychosomatic symptoms, such as stomach aches or headaches.

Other symptoms include altered eating habits, poor expression, and concentration problems.

Infants are sometimes more affectionate than usual.

How able children are to identify their symptoms is also tied in with the stage they’re at with respect to cognitive development.

Again, this applies to suicidal tendencies: children from the age of 12 can be suicidal but the desire to no longer live can be expressed at a much younger age.

“Such a statement should always be taken seriously. This is enormously important,” said Schulte-Markwort. It actually used to be thought that children weren’t susceptible to depression but professionals’ approaches have changed drastically on this front.

“There has been a dramatic change in the past 50 years,” said Schulte-Markwort.

Empathy is needed to recognize depression in children

Many of the symptoms that point to depression in children aren’t uncommon in “normal” development: just because a child is angry, sad, or affectionate on a given day doesn’t mean they’re suffering from depression.

It’s only if the depressive behavior occurs frequently and the parents note that it’s unusual that they should turn to a specialist.

just because a child has is angry, sad, or affectionate on a given day doesn't mean they're suffering from depression.
Just because a child has is angry, sad, or affectionate on a given day doesn’t mean they’re suffering from depression.

“If the behavior lasts four to six weeks, you should act,” said Michael Schulte-Markwort. Depression isn’t always evident in a child’s behavior; empathy is needed to understand the child, particularly within the context of their surroundings.

“We can sense whether someone is sad, happy, or angry, especially mothers,” said Schulte-Markwort. “When you feel that a child is consistently unhappy, seek help.”

In children, depression is often a reaction to something external

The triggers for depression in children can be quite different.

There are reactive and endogenous depressions.

In endogenous depression – which occurs due to the presence of an internal cognitive or biological stressor rather than a social or environmental stressor – no trigger for depression is detectable.

Reasons can be genetic predispositions such as bias by parents who are already suffering from depression.

More often, there are, according to the expert, reactive depression in children.

Therefore, in the case of a treatment, first of all, a possible trigger is searched for.

death in the family, child at funeral, child funeral
“The death of a caregiver might lead to depression in some children, while others might handle the grief quite well.”

“Depression is often a reaction to something that’s missing. The reasons for this could include a child’s parents divorcing, family feuds, or neglect,” said Schulte-Markwort.

The “deficiency” can be physical or mental.

Examples include loss of love or affection, physical violence, or sexual abuse.

Any traumatic events can trigger depression.

“It also depends quite heavily on the personality of the child,” said the expert. “The death of a caregiver might lead to depression in some children, while others might handle the grief quite well.”

Treatments for depression in children

The youngest age at which he would consider prescribing medication for children is 11 or 12 years of age – and he’s also very cautious in doing so.

“When it comes to children, we tend to exercise a great deal of restraint and care when using drugs,” the specialist told Business Insider, although there are sometimes cases in which it can’t really be avoided.

This is particularly the case with “endogenous depression” in which no detectable trigger can be found and there would otherwise be a threat of the disease becoming chronic.

According to the expert, depression in children is often treated with psychotherapy and play therapy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A tiny startup made a vegan, alcohol-free protein beer for muscle growth

JoyBräu workout beer muscle-building protein shake
The beer is now produced in a family-run private brewery near Kaiserslautern.

  • Two Germans, working with Berlin Technical University made a beer to replace protein shakes.
  • The beverage is vegan, alcohol-free, contains 21 grams of protein, 10 grams of amino acids and more.
  • It has a citrusy flavor, a bitter aftertaste, and is reminiscent of an apple spritzer or cider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The contrary effect drinking beer has on muscle growth is a serious First World problem – but not for much longer.

When two gym enthusiasts from Hamburg in Germany spotted a gap in the market, they quickly developed the solution for those wanting to enjoy a beer after work and yet still reap the benefits of their workout: JoyBräu, the protein beer.

Beer instead of protein shake: the idea born at the bar

The founders of the new protein drink, Tristan Brümmer, 23, and Erik Dimter, 24, explained to Insider how they came up with the idea of replacing protein shakes with beer.

“It all started in Singapore,” Brümmer explains. Their employer sent them to South-East Asia, Brümmer to Kuala Lumpur, Dimter to Singapore. “Erik lived in an apartment block where there was a gym. We both worked out, trained together and met regularly with colleagues at the bar after work, as you do.”

One evening after the training they were sat there – a protein shake in one hand and a beer in the other.

“Neither of us was keen on the taste of shakes and drank them more for the health benefits than the taste,” Brümmer said, “so we thought that there must be a way to combine the delicious taste of beer with the health benefits of a protein shake.”

That’s how JoyBräu, the athlete’s beer, was born in the summer of 2015.

What’s in the protein beer and how it tastes

The protein beer is alcohol-free. Unlike beers that contain alcohol, JoyBräu beer supposedly supports the recovery and growth of muscle mass.

A 0.33-liter bottle of the vegan low-carb drink contains 21 grams of protein. Of these 21 grams, 10 grams are the essential amino acids BCAA.

These are essential building materials for encouraging the muscle fiber tears that occur during training to repair themselves. Each bottle also contains L-carnitine and beta-alanine, both of which are beneficial for fat burning, explains JoyBräu founder Dimter – so the beer is even suitable for those on a diet.

fitness workout exercise
Unlike beers that contain alcohol, JoyBräu supposedly supports the recovery and growth of muscle mass.

The protein beer costs a little more than usual beer.

We wanted to find out for ourselves whether it tasted any good. Insider’s verdict? Fruity with a bitter aftertaste and, at first, slightly reminiscent of an apple spritzer or cider.

It’s certainly adequate as a summery refreshment. But real beer fans would probably be disappointed by the beverage, namely as protein beer has little of that bitter hops taste.

Yet the founders are well aware of this: “We had our product developed with our focus on summer. Our current beer is a very light beer, a bit citrus-like, with a fruity note. We didn’t bring out an extremely bitter beer, but a nice post-workout refreshment for the summer.”

Product expansion is an important topic. Brümmer explained: “We’re already developing non-alcoholic wheat. Of course, from time to time, we get feedback like: ‘It tastes more like shandy than a nice bitter beer.’

We can deal with that kind of thing because that’s exactly what we thought at the start. We must and want to respond to the feedback of our customers and expand our product range accordingly.”

joybru grnder
Joybräu founder Erik Dimter and Tristan Brümmer.

Implementing the idea: ‘We never really knew if it would work out in the end’

After their flash of inspiration in Singapore in 2015, it took several years before the product was ready for the market.

“We’d been tasting in my cellar for a while,” said Brümmer, an amateur brewer. “We tried to mix a little protein powder into the home-brewed beer. That, as you can imagine, went badly awry and ending up tasting pretty awful. We then realized quite quickly that if we really wanted to do this, we were going to have to get help from outside.”

They tried to exchange ideas directly with breweries. They wanted to get started as soon as possible.

“As is normal when you have a quirky product idea, you want to test it out as soon as possible and to get it on the market,” explained Brümmer.

But they hit a stumbling block here too.

“Breweries weren’t really taken with the idea,” says Brümmer.

Because German laws on beer purity are so important, it was difficult to convince anyone it was a good idea. Even those they were able to persuade had technical difficulties.

“You need analytical equipment and a laboratory,” said Brümmer, “which standard brewers don’t have. That’s why we sat down and thought of a new strategy.”

They then approached universities specializing in brewery and beverage technology, and that’s how their partnership with the Berlin Technical University (TU Berlin) came about. Yet it still took more than a year to get to the finished product.

“The biggest challenge was really to stick at it. We never really knew if it was going to work or not. But we were totally committed to the idea, did more market research, talked to more people, and the more we delved into the idea, the more convinced of it we became.”

Until the last month of development at the TU Berlin, it wasn’t clear whether it would really work and whether the two could even produce a marketable product. “Having that pressure there for over two and a half years, especially when you’ve invested all your savings in this one venture is, of course, an immense burden.”

In the end, it worked: the beer is now produced in a family-run private brewery near Kaiserslautern – and JoyBräu is just really taking off.

Fibo 2018 as a springboard

After JoyBräu won the Innovation & Trend Award at Fibo, Germany’s largest fitness fair, things really took off for the duo.

“We’d calculated conservatively that in the first year, we’d distribute via our website and would only sell to private consumers and not commercial distributors. By the second year, we’d wanted to venture into selling the product in the gyms,” Brümmer said.

At Fibo, it wasn’t just fitness studios showing an interest in protein beer; wholesalers and exporters wanted to market the product to other countries too.

“Thanks to Fibo, we were completely sold out straight after so we were left in a pickle of sorts, where people wanted more beer when we were completely sold out,” Brümmer said.

The founders have already been signed with various fitness studios that want to test the beer at their bar and in the vending machines.

Plans for the future: away from startup and into premium

JoyBräu’s founders’ ideas didn’t just go to plan – thanks to Fibo they exceeded their goals. That’s why they’re refocusing their strategy on the long term.

A big issue now is the personnel: “We need to massively expand our team,” Brümmer said. “Up until we did Fibo, there were only two of us. It meant that there were huge burdens for us in the last weeks. Luckily, we’ve already found two more team members and are still looking for sales support.”

Marketing is also to be significantly expanded, through Facebook and Instagram.

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 fascinating places around the world that are totally forbidden to visitors

Diego García
While some places off-limits to the world are home to military bases or espionage secrets, some have just not been explored.

  • Despite globalization and advances in tech and travel, some spots in the world are still off-limits.
  • Some areas are still pretty much unexplored by humans or have simply been long-forgotten.
  • These are 10 of the most fascinating places totally forbidden for outsiders to visit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In spite of globalization, technology, and advances in transportation, there are still places in the world you simply can’t visit.

While some of us are fixated on space exploration and colonizing Mars, the truth is that some parts of our planet are still practically untouched or have even been forgotten.

Other areas are home to military bases, espionage secrets, or have even been forbidden to the public on the grounds that they’re “legally haunted”.

See below for a list of 10 fascinating places that are totally forbidden to visit.

Room 39, North Korea

Room 39 north korea
Few and select people have managed to enter the office.

In the words of journalist Kelly Olsen, “Room 39 is one of the most secret organizations in arguably the world’s most secretive state.”

Created in the late 1970s, Room 39 is said to be located inside the Workers’ Party building in Pyongyang, taking its name, according to some sources, from the office it occupied at the party headquarters in its early days.

Although there isn’t much official information on the room due to the secrecy of its activities, it’s believed that it raises funds through commercial enterprises — both legal and illegal — with activities ranging from counterfeiting to the sale of gold, drugs, or weapons.

This network of companies present in various parts of the world is estimated to have been able to contribute up to $2 billion a year to North Korea. It’s speculated that Room 39 could be behind the sophisticated counterfeiting of $100 “supernote” bills that were issued over decades.

The Coca-Cola vault in Atlanta, United States

coca-cola vault
The company has never revealed who or how many people know the Coca-Cola formula.

The recipe for Coca-Cola is considered one of the best-kept secrets in the world — and they keep it secret by stowing it away in a large security vault.

Since it was created in 1886 by John Pemberton in Atlanta, this formula has been jealously guarded and few have been able to get their hands on it.

The soft drink and the company were acquired in 1919 by a group of investors led by Ernest Woodruff and from 1920, the recipe ended up under lock and key at a New York bank. In 1925 it was transferred to the Trust Company Bank in Atlanta.

In 2011 the company decided to move the famous Coca-Cola recipe to an Atlanta museum, but while many tourists visit the facilities each year, few and exclusive are the people who can get through the doors of the vault.

Snake Island or Queimada Grande, Brazil

snake island
Today, only the Brazilian navy and certain scientific research can access the perilous island.

Located about 100 kilometers off the coast of São Paulo, this island might seem the ideal exotic spot in which to lose yourself but the truth is that for decades the place has been uninhabited due to having been completely invaded by lethal snakes.

Between one and five snakes per square meter inhabit the island. And if that isn’t terrifying enough, it’s worth noting that the snakes that live here are one of the most venomous in the world.

The Golden Lancehead viper can reach up to half a meter in length and, with a strong, fast-acting venom, can dissolve the flesh around its bites.

It’s for this reason the Brazilian government expressly forbids visiting the island.

North Sentinel, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

north sentinel island india
North Sentinel Island belongs to the archipelago of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

While the rest of the islands in this archipelago are somewhat larger and better known, North Sentinel, full of mangroves and surrounded by coral, has remained virtually untouched by the outside world. It might sound like paradise but the island couldn’t be further from it.

While its geography makes it one of the most isolated places on Earth, it is inhabited by one of the world’s few remaining uncontacted tribes. The indigenous people of this island, referred to as the Sentinelese, have had practically no influence from the modern world.

Throughout history, encounters with the population have been met with violence. In 2006, they killed two fishermen whose boat had been dragged by the current to their shores.

According to The Guardian, a three-mile restriction zone prevents visitors from entering the territory.

According to Survival, an NGO for the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, the Indian government has abandoned any plans to contact the sentinels.

The entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity, which is why authorities respect their wish to remain uncontacted.

Bhangarh Fort, India

Bhangarh fort
Bhangarh Fort is described as the most haunted place in India.

Between Jaipur and Alwar in Rajasthan lie the ruins of what was once a splendid kingdom.

The fort was built by the ruler of Amber Kachwaha for his youngest son in 1573 and gradually its population dwindled until 1783 when a strong famine forced the villagers still living there to flee. Local legends state that the reason for the kingdom falling into ruin was that the fort was cursed.

As the only “legally recognized” haunted place in India according to the Times of India, a government permit is required to be able to enter before dawn or after sundown.

Although it’s said that the reason is down to wild, nocturnal animals such as tigers and the lack of artificial lighting in the area, no one knows what else could be lurking in the ruins.

North Brother Island, United States

North Brother Island
North Brother Island was abandoned more than 55 years ago.

Every year New York welcomes millions of tourists, eager to visit every corner of the city — except one.

Access is forbidden to North Brother Island without prior authorization since all its buildings are in a dangerous state of deterioration. Inside, nature continues to devour the abandoned structures and ruins of what was once the city’s quarantine hospital.

First claimed in 1614, the history of North Brother Island’s past is intertwined with death and disease: in the 1880s and right into the 1940s, the site quarantined people with highly contagious illnesses. All those who died there were stored in the island’s morgue. From 1951, it served as a rehabilitation center for drug addicts.

In 1963, North Brother Island was abandoned, becoming the property of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which now manages the site as a bird sanctuary.

Insider was able to access the island for a tour, which you can read more about here.

Diego García, British Overseas Territories

Diego García island
Diego García is full of dense jungles and white sandy beaches, but access to this island is highly restricted to the public.

Located between East Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, Diego García is an important strategic asset for the US Navy, which has a major military base there. It’s also said that some of the CIA’s most important floating black sites could be located in this area, according to The Guardian.

During the Cold War, the United Kingdom rented the atoll to the United States for 50 years but the island was not uninhabited so, before renting it out, the British government expelled some 2,000 Chagossians. Between 1968 and 1973, these inhabitants were forcibly sent to Mauritius, the Seychelles, and other British territories.

Since then, the islanders have unsuccessfully demanded the right to return to their homes. Diego Garcia’s tenancy expired in 2016, but the UK has extended the contract for another 20 years.

The White’s Club, UK

whites club
At White’s, the club is so exclusive that few have ever managed to sneak inside and find out what really goes on in there.

There are still, incredibly, certain places in the world where women are forbidden access — the best known probably being gentlemen’s clubs, which are very popular within British culture.

Founded in 1693 and located at 37 St. James’ Street in Picadilly, the members of The White’s Club include political leaders, senior bankers, and even heirs to the British throne.

The restriction on women is so strict, only Queen Elizabeth has ever managed to gain entry.

According to the Telegraph, in 2013 David Cameron voluntarily left the select club, saying: “I’m dismayed the club does not accept women as members. I find that inexplicable in this day and age, I really do.”

The membership of London’s oldest and most elitist gentlemen’s club has shrunk to 500, and its bar is said not to have closed for 200 years.

Surtsey Island, Iceland

Surtsey
The island of Surtsey in Iceland was formed in 1963, in a volcanic eruption.

The island of Surtsey in Iceland was formed just 55 years ago in a volcanic eruption, which meant scientists had the unique opportunity to observe the birth and evolution of an ecosystem from scratch. This fascinating event is precisely what makes its access restricted to the rest of the world.

It all began in 1963, when a violent volcanic eruption 32 kilometres south of Iceland resulted in the formation of Surtsey, one of the youngest islands on the planet. Due to water and wind erosion, the island has been decreasing in size since then.

Research by the Surtsey Research Society has estimated that according to the current rate of erosion, Surtsey could be at sea level by the year 2100.

Bacteria, fungi, and molds were the first to arrive on the island. Subsequently, the number of animal and plant species increased exponentially.

According to Unesco, at present, it’s estimated that around 89 species of birds and 335 invertebrates populate the area.

In order not to alter this development, only researchers are allowed to visit the island.

Jiangsu National Security Education Museum, China

Nanjing Spy museum china
Foreigners are completely forbidden from entering the national spy museum.

In 2009 China opened the doors of its national spy museum.

Located in Nanjing, the collection at the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum exhibits the history of espionage and secret intelligence services from the early days of the Communist Party of China to the late 1920s.

While checking out weapons disguised as regular objects, spy cameras, or eavesdropping devices might sound like an interesting visit, the museum isn’t entirely open to the public — foreigners are completely forbidden from entering.

It’s just as hard to get souvenir images too — for those nationals allowed entry, it’s totally forbidden to take photographs.

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With helipads, horse paddocks, and Michelin-star chefs, homes in this secret luxury estate can cost $30 million

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España
Today, the sprawling La Zagaleta estate comprises 230 luxury homes.

  • La Zagaleta in Benahavis, Spain, is one of Europe’s most exclusive, decadent, and secretive estates.
  • One villa has built-in Turkish baths and is on a plot of over 3,700m² overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • It also has Michelin-star chefs, housekeeping, an equestrian club, and a helipad.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In the middle of the foothills of the Serranía de Ronda, overlooking the Mediterranean, and 10 minutes from Marbella, you’ll find the “Zagaleta” estate.

Known as the most exclusive resort in Europe, no one can cross the development’s threshold without prior authorization.

Before it came to be known as La Zagaleta, the land there was a village that went by the name of “La Baraka”, and was owned by tycoon and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

After the Saudi billionaire’s arrest, the land was put up for auction in 1989, which led to a group of investors led by Enrique Pérez Flores to buy the 900 hectares of land.

Today, La Zagaleta comprises 230 of the 420 houses Flores had set out to build, all surrounded by fir trees and century-old oaks, and offers amenities that include an equestrian center, golf courses, and a helipad.

The compound, which is guarded 24 hours a day, can’t be entered without prior authorization – the compound boasts that they wouldn’t even permit entry to the Google Maps cars. The estate has released some images from inside the estate and the homes within it, to give a glimpse into this playground for the rich and famous in the foothills of the Spanish mountains.

La Zagaleta is located on the slopes of the Serranía de Ronda

zagaleta

The location offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and the Strait of Gibraltar.

The residential complex has been described as the most exclusive in Europe

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

The 230-house complex covers roughly 900 hectares.

One of those properties is known as Komorebi House

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

Komorebi House is one of the new villas for sale in La Zagaleta, which is selling for roughly $18 million, La Zagaleta’s director of communications told Insider

The villa’s plot covers over 3,700m², over 1,200 m² of which is comprised of the villa itself

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

The villa offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of Monte Mayor.

It also has roughly 700 square meters of balcony space.

The villa has seven bedrooms

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

In addition to this, it has eight bathrooms and a sheltered garage that can accommodate four cars.

As well as well-equipped bathrooms, the home has its own spa

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

The spa includes a heated indoor pool, a gym area, a sauna, and a Turkish bath.

There’s also an outdoor pool

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

 There’s a barbecue area, a fireplace, and an outdoor bathroom too.

A lot of care was taken when curating the interior of the villa

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

The interior designers clearly had a clear vision in their heads of how the villa should look, right down to the smallest detail.

Even the bathrooms have astonishing views

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

The villa boasts incredible views in every room in the house — even the bathroom, so you can soak up the vista from the tub.

La Zagaleta offers its residents personalized services 24 hours a day

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

As well as Michelin star chefs for residents’ events, those who live in the compound can enjoy private shopping trips at luxury boutiques, as well as private transportation by yacht, plane, or helicopter.

The residence also offers administrative services including picking up and forwarding mail, paying bills, taxes, accounting, or legal advice.

La Zagaleta is home to two golf courses and private stables

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

La Zagaleta Country Club is a resident-only, 18-hole golf course, designed by Brad Benz in 1991 and revamped by Marc Westenborg in 2016.

Another golf course was added in 2005, dubbed the New Course.

As well as this, there’s a riding club with eleven horses and ponies. Comprised of twenty stables, six paddocks, and a covered area for training and jumping, residents who live on the estate can keep their favorite horses there indefinitely.

As though that weren’t enough, there are tennis courts, ping-pong tables, and two social hubs known as “club houses.”

You have to be a member of the Country Club to access the amenities on the compound

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

As well as an initial registration fee of around $100,000, there’s an additional annual fee of around $11,000 to be able to access all the available amenities.

According to Diario Sur, this fee doesn’t include spouses and children, who pay a lower fee.

House sizes range from 3,000 to 10,000 square meters

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

This means the price of a house can range from anywhere between $6 and $30 million.

To live in La Zagaleta, your house’s price must represent 10% of your fortune

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

There’s also a community fee of around $5,600 and the maintenance of the house will set you back by roughly $78,700 a year.

If you moved here, your neighbors would mostly consist of senior executives or international executives from big companies

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

According to Expansion, some of La Zagaleta’s residents have included the founder of Orange Telecom Hans Snook, the former president of the Starwood Hotels chain Jürgen Bartels, a renowned British politician Lord Stanley Fink, and Silicon Valley guru David Heinemeier Hansson.

Exclusivity and privacy are the biggest draws of the estate

La Zagaleta / Business Insider España

La Zagaleta isn’t mapped out on Google.

“No cameras are allowed through here. We’re shielded in by both land and air,” a representative for the estate told El País.

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How a ‘smart foam’ could allow prosthetic hands to heal like human skin

prosthetic hand fist bump
The smart foam is artificially innervated.

  • AiFoam is a smart foam developed by the National University of Singapore.
  • It allows robotic hands to self-heal and recognize nearby objects with changes in electric fields.
  • The new design is a breakthrough in robotics and prosthetics research towards ever smarter tools.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Robots aren’t just becoming more graceful, sophisticated, and precise; they’re becoming more autonomous, too.

From serving coffee or cocktails, designing tattoos, and keeping people company to exploring the rocky cavities of Mars and the Mariana trench, the list of tasks robots can perform is constantly growing.

And now, robotic hands may also be able to self-repair with a new intelligent foam called AiFoam.

The smart foam is artificially innervated.

This means that – similarly to how human skin can heal itself when bumped or wounded – if used within robotic hands, they could heal themselves or recognize nearby objects by detecting their electric fields, Reuters reported.

AiFoam is a highly elastic polymer created by mixing fluoropolymer with a compound that reduces surface tension.

When the robot hand is cut, the spongy material fuses into a single piece.

To replicate the human sense of touch, the researchers embedded microscopic metal particles and added tiny electrodes under the foamy surface.

When pressure is applied, the metal particles move closer inside the polymer and change their electrical properties.

Electrodes connected to a computer detect these changes and tell the robot what to do.

“There are many different applications for this material, especially in robotics and prosthetic devices, where robots need to be much smarter when working with humans,” explained lead researcher Benjamin Tee of the National University of Singapore.

“When I move my finger close to the sensor, you can see that the sensor is measuring changes in my electric field and responds accordingly to my touch,” explained the researcher.

Hands can measure not only the amount but also the direction of the force.

This is a huge breakthrough towards smarter, more interactive robots, which could benefit users of connected prostheses, enabling them to use robotic arms and hands in a more intuitive way to grasp objects.

AiFoam is the first material that combines self-healing properties with proximity and pressure sensing.

After a couple of years of development, the developers hope to have it on the market and applied to robots within the next five years.

In recent years, robotic arms and legs have taken off: MIT developed a technique in 2018 to connect gestures and brainwaves to prostheses, while the market for medical exoskeletons has been growing steadily.

Other new products include the Luke arm created by Deka for the military agency DARPA, and Hero Arm, ‘ a 3D printed, electrically coded myoelectric prosthesis made by Open Bionics.

The prosthesis has already been tested in clinical trials with children in the UK.

There is also YouBionic’s Arm, which uses 3D printing to cut costs.

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How setting aside free hours every day from meetings can improve your teams’ productivity and mental health

Black young businesswoman listening to discussion of lawyers during meeting at office
Some companies are implementing rules in their working day to prevent workers from burning out.

  • Remote working means longer working hours, more meetings on Zoom, and constant emails.
  • Companies like Dropbox or Slack have started to set a few hours free of meetings every day.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Remote working appears to be here to stay. However, as we all start to get “back to normal,” some companies are combining remote and office work.

The challenge now, of course, is to coordinate this new normal and to ensure that companies remain productive while their employees have a good work-life balance.

In addition, remote working has meant more meetings with more people, more emails, and longer working hours.

Therefore, some companies have decided to implement rules in their working day to prevent workers from burning out.

One of these measures is the so-called “core hours,” when workers must be available for Zoom meetings, joint projects with other departments, or any other activity that involves teamwork.

These hours would be set between 10 am and 2 pm, or 1 pm and 4 pm, although it depends on the company. However, they wouldn’t exceed three or four hours a day.

The rest of the time would be hours free from any meetings, so employees can organize their working day and make better use of their time without being tied up in last-minute meetings.

This is nothing new, however.

A lot of companies have been doing this for decades – it’s a savvy way of avoiding afternoon meetings dragging on past the end of the working day, which can have a negative impact on teams’ personal lives.

But the pandemic has led many to jump on the trend.

Google, Dropbox, and Slack have set up meeting-free hours

Google established a week without meetings while companies like Dropbox and Slack have also set up a “meeting-free hours” strategy during the working day.

Laura Ryan, international human resources director at Dropbox, told Insider how a simple review of her calendar meant she was able to cut up to 15 hours of meetings per week.

Dropbox has implemented a strategy of “core collaboration hours,” in which it set aside certain hours just for meetings so employees could then freely and flexibly structure their working day as they wished.

This is something that companies such as Slack have also done.

“If you give people from 9 am to 5 pm to organize meetings, they will up with non-stop meetings all day. So they won’t be able to get anything else done,” vice-president of the Slack Future Forum Brian Elliot told The Wall Street Journal.

The Slack Future Forum is a consortium launched by the company to help other companies reflect on the future of work.

In Spain, a pilot program has been launched to trial the 4-day working week in order to improve work-life balance and productivity.

However, how the working day itself is organized – that is, the hours worked in the same day – varies depending on the sector and the company.

One example of a Spanish startup at the forefront of remote working and flexibility is Irisbond, a company that manufactures eye-tracking devices and technology.

Irisbond’s offices are designed as collaborative spaces for working in the cloud and using applications to communicate between team members such as Discord, Slack, and Google Meet.

In addition, their teams are self-organized and share results or the status of their projects only every two weeks, which slows down the flow of information.

When Insider asked Irisbond’s CEO and founder Eduardo Jáuregui about flexibility, he said: “The team can come to the office in the morning, go home for lunch, and finish the day from there. This makes it easier for everyone to have lunch with their family or at home.”

Read the original article on Business Insider