Yearly Archives: 2018

Bill Gates says the US has lost its global leadership in nuclear power, and needs to ‘get in the game’

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates attends the 10th World Health Summit 2018 event in Berlin, Germany, October 16, 2018.

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Microsoft Founder Bill Gates attends the 10th World Health Summit 2018 event in Berlin, Germany, October 16, 2018.
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Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Bill Gates is urging the United States to invest in nuclear power research.

In his annual year-in-review Gates Notes blog post, Gates noted that, despite the consequences of climate change that people face around the globe, “global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018.”

Because burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) releases carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, Gates wrote that we need breakthroughs in clean energy in order to curb the rise of global temperatures. Generating energy from sunlight and wind does not emit CO2; the same goes for nuclear energy.

“The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change,” Gates wrote. “Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade US leaders to get into the game.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world will face catastrophic effects of climate change if global temperatures climb to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We are on track to hit that 1.5-degree threshold by 2040, though the IPCC said a huge shift in global energy and economic systems could still reverse the trend.

Read more: The scariest parts of the new climate change report: The goals the world set are inadequate, and the track we’re on is disastrous

Solar and wind energy are becoming much cheaper – which Gates said he was “glad to see” – but he wrote that these energy sources alone are not enough. That’s because solar and wind energy are not viable when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is available 24 hours a day.

This is not the first time Gates has sought to improve the world’s energy options. Gates, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and other billionaires, leads a fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures that invests in startups that focus on renewable energy. In 2018, the group announced the first companies to get that funding.

“The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market,” Gates wrote in his end-of-year note.

As far as nuclear power is concerned, Gates said he is confident that further innovation can eliminate concerns about the risk of accidents.

“The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious.”

As an example of a promising approach to nuclear energy, Gates pointed to the company TerraPower that he started 10 years ago. TerraPower is working on creating a traveling-wave reactor, which Gates said is safe, produces minimal waste, and can’t be used in nuclear weapon production.

A TerraPower facility.

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A TerraPower facility.
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TerraPower

TerraPower was trying to building a pilot project in China, Gates wrote, but recent moves by the Trump administration have “made that unlikely.”

Gates said there may be a chance for the project to move forward in the US. But regardless, he plans to continue drawing more attention to energy issues in 2019.

“Next year I will speak out more about how the US needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research,” Gates wrote.

‘Fortnite’s’ New Year’s Eve surprise confused so many players that the cofounder of Epic Games weighed in with a crack about time zones

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“Fortnite”/Epic games

  • “Fortnite” is the world’s most popular game, with 80 million players spread across the globe.
  • “Fortnite” will feature a ball drop and fireworks at the top of every hour as the New Year reaches all 24 time zones.
  • However, as the celebration began on New Year’s Eve in some time zones, players rushed to social media to report that the New Year had arrived early in “Fortnite,” prompting a response from the game’s creators.

“Fortnite” has become well known for its special in-game events, many of which coincide with real world holidays. So of course the game has its own New Year’s event going on, complete with a ball drop and fireworks for when the clock strikes midnight.

But “Fortnite” has a global player base with more than 200 million players worldwide; meaning that players in different time zones will see the new year at different times. “Fortnite” creator Epic Games came up with a simple solution, the New Year’s ball in “Fortnite” will drop at the top of every hour to account for midnight in all 24 time zones around the world.

However, some players who spent the early hours of New Year’s Eve playing “Fortnite” were shocked to see the fireworks arrive early for their own time zone. When the ball drops in “Fortnite” players are forced to dance for a few seconds, making the moment impossible to ignore. Several players rushed to social media to announce that “Fortnite’s” New Year celebration had gone off early.

An honest mistake to be sure, but the “Fortnite” community has surged with responses to the “early” event, prompting a response from Epic Games. Co-founder and Vice-President Mark Rein gently chided players who believed the event had been triggered early in error.

“Is it that you don’t really understand how timezones work or you think yours is the only timezone in the world?” Rein tweeted.

Epic spokesman Nick Chester and Rein both later confirmed that the event would occur every hour to account for every time zone.

Hopefully, the event will teach how wide the “Fortnite” community stretches, and remind some that the Earth revolves around the sun, not around them.

10 bird facts that sound fake but are true

Ostriches are thought to be one of the closest relatives to the T. rex.

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Ostriches are thought to be one of the closest relatives to the T. rex.
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Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

  • Crows, ravens, and pigeons are all smarter than you may previously have thought – and scientists have proof.
  • Chickens and ostriches are thought to be descendants of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • The average man would need to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day if they had the metabolism of a hummingbird.
  • The Bassian thrush farts to scare worms out of hiding.

The bird world is a fascinating – and strange – place. From a bird with claws on its wings to another bird’s ability to recognize human faces, there’s a lot of interesting things to know about various bird species.

Here are several bizarre bird facts with which to impress your friends and family at trivia nights.


Chickens and ostriches are the closest modern relatives to Tyrannosaurus rex.

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Scientists found similarities between these modern birds and the Tyrannosaurus rex.
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Donarreiskoffer/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)

Although a link between dinosaurs and modern birds had long been suspected, in 2008 research was published in the journal Science that found molecular evidence, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

It’s worth noting that chickens and ostriches aren’t that closely related themselves, so there’s certainly more information to be discovered.


Baby hoatzins have tiny claws on their wings.

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Baby hoatzins’ claws help them to climb.
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Wikimedia Commons

Native to the Amazon, hoatzin babies have tiny claws on their wings – as well as on their feet. Since their nests are in trees that frequently overhang water, it’s a safety feature for when predators try to eat the babies. Baby hoatzins can simply hop down into the water, then climb back up the tree when it’s safe, according to Audubon.

The wing claws disappear as the birds mature – once they can fly, they no longer need them.


Crows and ravens are extremely intelligent.

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Crows can do incredible things.
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Flickr/Sheila Sund

According to National Geographic, crows can use tools and solve logic puzzles. Further, scientists believe that ravens may even pre-plan their tasks – a trait previously thought to be exclusively human.

Read more: The smartest bird in the world can use tools like a human, and it’s amazing to watch


Pigeons can recognize human faces.

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Pigeons can also learn words.
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Getty Images/Carlo Allegri

Not only that, but they can also use touch screens – and apparently even learn to read.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists established that pigeons can learn to recognize around 50 words – and crucially, that they can distinguish words from non-words.


Ospreys carry their prey a specific way to be more aerodynamic.

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The osprey has mastered the art of carrying their food.
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Wikimedia Commons

Ospreys love to catch fresh fish – but they often want to transport their food somewhere closer to home before eating it. Their strong talons and the pads on their feet allow them to do this – but picking up a big, slippery fish that might still be wriggling around can make flying difficult.

According to Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Birds of North America, ospreys specifically situate their fish in their grasp so that it is as aerodynamically streamlined as possible. A fish is held parallel to the osprey’s body, head forward, so that it doesn’t increase drag as the osprey flies toward home.


Parasitic jaegers gather food by stealing it directly from the mouths of other birds.

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Parasitic jaegers are the thieves among birds.
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Wikimedia Commons

Specifically, at sea, these birds chase down other birds and harass them into dropping the food they’ve just caught for themselves – and then they eat it, according to Audubon. I mean, in their defense, the nature of how they live is right in their name.


The average man would have to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day to maintain your weight if you had the metabolism of a hummingbird.

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Hummingbirds have incredibly fast metabolisms.
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REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

According to the National Park Service, hummingbird metabolisms are pretty intense across the over 330 species found in the Americas. Of course, if you were a hummingbird, you would also have a significantly shorter lifespan of just three to five years.


Bearded vultures are the only birds to dye their plumage on purpose.

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Bearded vultures rely on bones for nutrition.
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Wikimedia Commons

The bearded vulture’s diet consists of 70 to 90% bone, and it is the only bird in the world whose diet is like this, according to the World Wildlife Federation. It bashes larger bones into smaller, more manageable pieces by dropping them from a height so they shatter, and then eats the marrow and bone fragments on the ground.

But that’s not the only unique thing about this species. According to a paper published in the journal Animal Behavior, bearded vultures purposely dye their feathers with red soil – most likely to prove their dominance to other birds. No other species dresses itself up this way.


California condors have such big wingspans, they’re sometimes mistaken for small airplanes.

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California condor’s wingspans make it so they are often mistaken for small aircrafts.
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pacific southwest region/flickr

With a wingspan of up to 9.5 feet, seen from far away, California Condors are sometimes mistaken for small aircrafts, John Nielson, writer of the book “Condor: To The Brink And Back” about how conservationists saved California condors from the brink of extinction, told Gizmodo.

In 1987, the entire population of this species of condor was down to just 22 birds, which were captured and placed into a captive breeding program. Now there are over 400, and at least half have been released from captivity to fly free, according to Gizmodo.


The Bassian thrush locates its food using the most unique method possible.

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The Bassian thrush’s diet consists of worms.
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Wikimedia Commons

Picture this: You’re hungry, and you need to go look for some food. Your favorite food is worms, and you know there are some in easy reach – but you can’t see them because they’re hiding. What do you do?

If you’re a Bassian thrush, you fart at them. According to Janey Levy’s book “Really Strange Birds,” these birds have adapted their foraging techniques to rely in part on generating enough gas to startle earthworms into moving. If the worms move, then the birds can find and eat them.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

Japan was officially the best place to travel in 2018. Here are 15 photos that will make you want to visit ASAP.

Fushimi Inari-taisha is one of Japan's most well-known and photographed shrines.

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Fushimi Inari-taisha is one of Japan’s most well-known and photographed shrines.
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Phattana Stock/Shutterstock

  • Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.
  • The magazine selects each year’s choices among a jury of writers, editors, and relevant experts.
  • Towering mountains, beautiful cherry blossoms, and neon-flooded streets make Japan a remarkable place.
  • Some of the best things to do include taking the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to see Mount Fuji on the way and walking the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine for an unparalleled view of Kyoto.
  • You can also take a dip in the natural hot springs at Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which is widely considered the world’s oldest hotel.

Tokyo may be an impressive city, but that’s not all Japan has to offer.

The country’s islands, shrines, world-renowned cuisine, and beautiful scenery are just a few reasons why it’s a great place to travel. So it should come as no surprise that Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.

From the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, to the majestic Mount Fuji, here are some things to see and do in Japan that will make you want to visit immediately.


Ride a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and see Mount Fuji along the way.

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The views of Mount Fuji along the famed Shinkansen are unparalleled.
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By BaLL LunLa/Shutterstock

Traveling across Japan isn’t a terribly difficult undertaking thanks to its Shinkansen bullet train network. With trains that travel at speeds of up to almost 200 miles per hour, passengers riding south from Tokyo to cities like Kyoto and Osaka can take the window seat and enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, a dormant volcano and Japan’s highest mountain.


Visit a cherry blossom festival in the spring.

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Enjoy the public display of cherry blossoms in spots like Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.
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ウィキ太郎/Wikimedia/Public domain

The cherry blossom, or sakura in Japanese, is a revered flower in Japan. Considered a symbol of life and its vulnerability, many Japanese families congregate to practice hanami, or the tradition of publicly watching and celebrating cherry blossoms when they bloom in the spring.

While there are plenty of festivals devoted to the flower in Japan, the southern city of Matsuyama is most famous for its historic cherry blossom-themed spring festival where the flowers bloom amid Matsuyama Castle each year.


Visit an island where cats outnumber people.

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Cats outnumber humans on Tashirojima nearly four to one.
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Jom Uraiphan/Shutterstock

Tashirojima earned its nickname as “Cat Island” for good reason. While the island is home to around 100 humans, they are heavily outnumbered by their feline friends. Initially brought to the island for pest control, the cats are now taken care of by the island’s residents, largely due to the good luck cats are said to symbolize in Japan.


Kyoto’s bamboo forest is a tranquil place to visit.

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The Sagano Bamboo Forest is a beautiful place for a walk.
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Guitar photographer/Shutterstock

Kyoto is well known for carefully maintaining its many historical temples, shrines, and gardens, and the Sagano Bamboo Forest is no exception.

Located on the outskirts of the city, the forest is often touted for its second-to-none scenery and beautiful soundscapes. The forest also contains manicured gardens and is a short walk away from Kyoto’s Tenryu-ji Temple.


Pay your respects at Kamakura’s Great Buddha.

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The Great Buddha was originally gold-plated and dates back to 1252.
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Somyote Tiraphon/Shutterstock

In the city of Kamakura there’s a centuries-old bronze statue dedicated to the Amida Buddha. The monument weighs around 121 tons, and was originally gold-plated; according to Atlas Obscura, some traces of gold can still be seen around its ears today.


Walk the path of Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari-taisha.

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The winding paths of Fushimi Inari-taisha are a signature attraction in Kyoto.
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Phattana Stock/Shutterstock

Fushimi Inari-taisha is one of Japan’s most well-known and photographed shrines. Dedicated to the Shinto god of rice, the shrine’s path is a strenuous hike; visitors have to pass over 5,000 of its signature orange gates along the way. But with centuries-old monuments and statues, along with an unparalleled view of Kyoto, it’s worth the walk.


Lose yourself in the forest that inspired “Princess Mononoke.”

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Yakushima has some of Japan’s oldest trees.
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aido/Shutterstock

The island of Yakushima is littered with forests and ravines, some of which contain trees that are over 1,000 years old. One of the most notable is the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, a nature park with nearly-untouched creeks and cedar trees, along with accessible footpaths for easy hiking. The park was iconic enough to serve as visual inspiration for one of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s most famous films, “Princess Mononoke.”


Look at modern art or shop your heart out at Roppongi Hills.

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Roppongi Hills features some of Tokyo’s most notable cultural sights in one complex.
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bluehand/Shutterstock

Developed in 2003, Roppongi Hills is a residential and cultural project that was built to revitalize Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood. Today, it features multiple contemporary art museums and galleries, a vast shopping and restaurant district, an observation deck of the Tokyo skyline, and a small garden touted for its beautiful greenery and cherry blossom trees.


Walk down the bustling Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood.

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Takeshita Street is a focal point of Harajuku.
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Blanscape/Shutterstock

Located in the heart of the Tokyo neighborhood of Harajuku, Takeshita Street is a busy shopping district lined with eclectic boutiques, cafés, and shops. Known to be a center for style and fashion, the area is especially popular with young people on the weekends.


Nearby Takeshita Street, spend hours in awe of the Meiji Shrine.

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The shrine was commissioned by the Japanese government to honor Emperor Meiji.
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cowardlion/Shutterstock

Built in 1920, the 178-acre Meiji Shrine is a dedication to the late Emperor Meiji.

The shrine’s walking paths, gardens, and monuments to the Shinto faith (such as Torii and Noh Theater stages), in addition to the 100,000+ trees within its forest, make it a great place to spend a day.


Visit Tōdai-ji, or the Great Buddha Hall — once the largest wooden building in the world — in Nara.

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Buddha statues, big and small, are scattered across the grounds of Todai-ji.
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adirekjob/Shutterstock

A former capital of Japan, Nara became home to many significant Buddhist and Shinto monuments. Among them, Tōdai-ji (or the Great Buddha Hall) is one of the most notable.

Constructed in 752 AD, it was once the largest wooden building in the world and contains a 500-ton statue of the Buddha. When you go, you might also spot some deer; a population of tame deer from the neighboring Nara National Park regularly wander the temple grounds, making it a peaceful destination to visit.


Get a concentrated taste of Japanese pop culture in Akihabara, Tokyo.

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In Akihabara, you’ll find everything from manga to home gadgets.
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ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Once a market popular with Tokyo’s seedy merchants, Akihabara has now become one of Tokyo’s most eclectic neighborhoods.

You’ll find stores catering to the signature aspects of Japanese pop culture – manga, video games, and toys – along with multistory shopping complexes dedicated to electronics. The neighborhood’s excessive neon signage and eccentric shops make it a must-see when in Tokyo.


Fulfill your inner child at the Ghibli Museum.

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Ghibli Museum was built to be as playful as the films of Studio Ghibli.
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cowardlion/Shutterstock

Fans of Studio Ghibli – the film studio behind iconic animated films such as “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke” – will find themselves at home at its namesake museum.

Located in the suburbs of Tokyo, it’s both a museum that showcases the studio’s vast body of work and an interactive playground built on the themes of its films. Children and adults alike can immerse themselves in the museum’s exhibits, large park, and studio-themed cafe.


Take a dip in this 1,300-year-old hotel’s natural hot springs.

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This Japanese inn has maintained its hot springs for over 1,000 years.
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663highland/Wikimedia/Some Rights Reserved

Onsen, or natural hot springs, are scattered across Japan’s countryside, and are considered a part of local culture.

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan – widely considered the world’s oldest inn – located in the Yamanashi Prefecture has operated its hot springs for over 1,300 years and has served esteemed patrons such as Japanese samurai and members of the shogunate, Japan’s former military ruling class.


Beautiful scenery, notable museums, and spa days are all the norm in the mountain town of Hakone.

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Hakone takes pride in its natural scenery.
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witaya ratanasirikulchai/Shutterstock

Hakone is approximately a two-hour train ride outside of Tokyo and is known for its beautiful view of Mount Fuji, its hot springs, and a myriad of historical and contemporary art. Home to the Hakone Open-Air Museum, the museum covers 750,000 square feet and is one of the city’s most notable tourist attractions, featuring works from Picasso and Renoir, in addition to outdoor grounds that host a variety of contemporary sculptures.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

New report casts doubt on reason for Antonio Brown’s absence from Steelers’ must-win season finale

  • Antonio Brown did not miss Sunday’s crucial must-win game because of a knee problem, according to a new report.
  • Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that Brown was involved in a dispute with a teammate and then refused to practice or take part in team activities in the days leading up to the game.
  • Brown reportedly showed up to the game expecting to play but later left at halftime.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers won the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but still missed the playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns.

Antonio Brown did not play in Week 17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers season on the line, and a new report is now casting doubt on why he was not in the game.

According to several sources for Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown was not injured as previously reported. Instead, Brown missed the game after he refused to practice or attend team meetings following a dispute with a teammate.

“The disagreement occurred Wednesday morning during a routine walk-through practice that precedes their regular afternoon practice on the South Side,” Dulac and Bouchette wrote. “Brown became disgusted and threw a football in anger at one of his teammates, several sources said.”

The Steelers faced the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, needing a win for any hope at a playoff berth. Brown did not practice all week, and the team eventually listed him as “questionable” for the game, citing a knee injury.

Read more: The NFL playoff bracket is now set

On Friday, head coach Mike Tomlin told the media that Brown did not practice because he “didn’t feel comfortable enough” and would have the knee tested. However, according to Dulac and Bouchette’s sources, the knee was not a problem and was never tested.

After a report that Brown would “test” his knee during warmups before the game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Brown was feeling “better” and hoped to play.

“Antonio Brown feels better this morning, giving the Steelers hope he will play today,” Schefter wrote. “They didn’t sound as confident Saturday.”

According to the report, Brown showed up to Heinz Field on Sunday expecting to play, despite not attending Saturday’s walk-through practice or the team meeting on Saturday night. Brown is said to have left the stadium at halftime.

The Steelers won the game but were eliminated from the playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns.

A Chinese warship armed with an electromagnetic railgun appears to have set sail on the open ocean

Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy recruits.

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy recruits.
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REUTERS/China Daily

  • A Chinese ship armed with a suspected electromagnetic railgun has reportedly been spotted on the high seas.
  • The same vessel armed with what appears to be the same weapon was seen earlier this year at a Chinese shipyard on the Yangtze River.
  • Unlike conventional guns, which rely on gunpowder, railguns use electromagnetic energy to propel projectiles forward.

A Chinese navy warship armed with what looks like a mounted electromagnetic railgun has apparently set sail, possibly for testing in the open ocean.

The Type 072II Yuting-class tank landing ship “Haiyang Shan” and its weapon were spotted along the Yangtze River at the Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan earlier this year.

The latest photos of the test-bed ship, which appeared on social media a few days ago, show the ship toting the suspected railgun as the vessel roamed the high seas, Task & Purpose reported.

Chinese media outlets, such as the state-affiliated Global Times, said in March – nearly two months after the first pictures of what was dubbed the “Yangtze River Monster” showed up online – that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy is “making notable achievements on advanced weapons, including sea tests of electromagnetic railguns.”

China is expected to field warship-mounted electromagnetic railguns with the ability to fire high-speed projectiles at targets up to 124 miles away by 2025, CNBC reported in June, citing US defense sources with direct knowledge of the latest military intelligence reports on China’s new naval weapon.

China’s railgun was first seen in 2011 and first tested three years later, according to CNBC. The Chinese military is believed to have successfully mounted the weapon on a navy warship for the first time toward the end of last year, when sea trials were suspected to have first started.

While conventional guns rely on gunpowder to propel projectiles forward, railguns use electromagnetic energy to hurl projectiles at targets downrange at hypervelocity, roughly 1.6 miles per second, making these weapons desirable next-generation combat systems.

Railguns require significant amounts of power, among other challenging demands. Whether or not China has managed to overcome these developmental issues remains to be seen.

China appears to be making progress as it moves toward mounting railguns on combat-ready warships, such as the new Type 055 stealth destroyers, rather than test bed ships like the Haiyang Shan. The US military, on the other hand, has yet to put the powerful gun on a naval vessel, even though railgun development began over a decade ago.

It is, however, unclear which country is leading the charge on this new technology, as very little is publicly known about China’s railgun or its testing process. In the US, there is speculation that the Zumwalt-class destroyers could eventually feature railguns, which could be an alternative to the Advanced Gun System guns that the Navy might end up scrapping.

The destroyer is “going to be a candidate for any advanced weapon system that we develop,” Vice Admiral William Merz, the deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems, told the Senate Armed Services sea-power subcommittee last month.

11 of the most controversial celebrities of 2018

Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj, who collaborated on the song

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Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj, who collaborated on the song “FEFE.”
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Tekashi 6ix9ine/YouTube

  • INSIDER chose 11 controversial celebrities of 2018.
  • The list includes YouTube star Logan Paul; rappers Tekashi 6ix9ine and Kodak Black; and Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Chris Pratt.

Many celebrities cause controversy, simply by nature of their fame – but some scandals are far more consequential than others.

INSIDER rounded up a list of public figures who were involved in some of the biggest controversies of the year.

Here are 11 of 2018’s most controversial stars, in no particular order.


Johnny Depp will continue to appear in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, despite allegations of domestic violence.

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Johnny Depp portrays “Harry Potter” spinoff villain Gellert Grindelwald.
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Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Amber Heard has repeatedly maintained the allegation that her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, physically and emotionally abused her throughout their marriage.

Heard filed a restraining order against Depp in May 2016, less than a week after filing for divorce from the “Fantastic Beasts” actor. She donated her entire divorce settlement to domestic violence and children’s charities.

Read more: Ezra Miller says the cast of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ wasn’t consulted about Johnny Depp’s controversial role in the franchise

In court, Heard presented a photograph of herself with a bruise on her right eye. Months later, TMZ published a video taken by Heard, which seemed to capture Depp yelling, attempting to grab Heard’s phone, and throwing a wine bottle at her.

“Twenty-five feet away from her, how the f— am I going to hit her?” Depp said about Heard in a GQ cover story, published in October. “Which, by the way, is the last thing I would’ve done. I might look stupid, but I ain’t f—ing stupid.”

Read more: Daniel Radcliffe wades into the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ controversy over Johnny Depp casting: ‘I can see why people are frustrated’

When the GQ reporter asked if he considers himself a violent man, Depp seemed to defend himself by saying people – paparazzi in particular – should keep their distance.

“I’ve even said before, if a paparazzo gets a shot, they’re far away and they get a shot of me and my kid, whatever, that’s their thing,” he said. “But if I catch you, I will eat your nose. I will eat your nose, chew it up and swallow it in front of you and then you’ll f—ing think about it next time. I f—ing mean it.”

Depp is currently being sued by a film location manager, who claims Depp punched him on set in 2017.

While many “Harry Potter” fans are furious that Depp has not yet been replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, J.K. Rowling said she is still “genuinely happy” to have him star.


Tekashi 6ix9ine was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty in a 2015 child-sex case.

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6ix9ine’s most identifiable features are his shock of rainbow-colored hair and having “69” tattooed all over him.
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Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage

Daniel Hernandez – also known as 69, 6ix9ine, and Tekashi69 – is a top-charting rapper and Instagram star with more than 15 million followers. After spending several years on the indie-SoundCloud-rapper circuit, Hernandez recently achieved mainstream credibility with “FEFE,” a hit single he made with Nicki Minaj earlier this year.

Read more: Here’s everything you need to know about Tekashi 6ix9ine, the controversial 22-year-old rapper who could go to prison for life

In November of this year, federal authorities arrested Hernandez on racketeering and firearms charges and alleged that he’s part of a violent gang.

Hernandez was also sentenced in October to four years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service for a 2015 child-sex case (there were a number of procedural delays and appeals between his plea deal in 2015 and 2018). The lurid acts are described in detail in a criminal complaint obtained in 2017 by Jezebel.


Piers Morgan is known for making sexist remarks and controversial arguments.

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Piers Morgan has previously feuded with Emily Ratajowkski, Chrissy Teigen, and J.K. Rowling.
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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Piers Morgan is a 53-year-old British journalist who has a history of writing widely criticized editorials, usually about female celebrities.

In August 2018, Morgan wrote about Tess Holliday on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK. “As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo,” he wrote on Instagram. “Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous and misguided as celebrating size zero models.”

Days later, he refused to mince words after Holliday posted a photo of herself in lingerie and wrote an open letter to Holliday that said she should be “deterred from celebrating because it’s unhealthy.”

In addition, Morgan slammed Ellen DeGeneres and called her a hypocrite for praising shirtless male celebrities. He also accused the band Little Mix of “using sex to sell records” after the group released images of themselves naked with insults written on their bodies to promote their song “Strip.”

The group defended their choice, saying: “What we do with our bodies is our choice and we felt liberated owning the negative words thrown at us as women. We’ll never stop talking/writing music about issues that affect so many women around the world. We have a voice to use it!”

Ariana Grande also took issue with Morgan’s words.

Grande wrote on Twitter: “Ellen is an incredible & kind human being.. I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because I choose to. women can be sexual AND talented. naked and dignified. it’s OUR choice. & we will keep fighting til people understand. I say this w all due respect but thank u, next.”

Morgan continued to target celebrities, like the time he criticized “James Bond” star Daniel Craig for being photographed carrying his newborn daughter in “an emasculating papoose.”

Twitter had a field day with that comment and even Chris Evans called him out.

Morgan also appeared to have a problem with 92-year-old actor Dick Van Dyke’s name. The “Mary Poppins” star shut him down with a simple tweet, though.


Nicki Minaj not only associated with controversial figures but pushed buttons herself.

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In 2018, Nicki Minaj collaborated with Tekashi 6ix9ine and entered a relationship with Kenneth Petty, both of whom are registered sex offenders.
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Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Nicki Minaj‘s cascade of negative headlines kicked off in May when she released the music video for her album’s lead single “Chun Li.” She was widely criticized for appropriating and fetishizing Asian culture.

In July, Minaj dropped “FEFE,” a collaboration with 6ix9ine. Soon after, Minaj announced that 6ix9ine would be an opener for her upcoming tour. Their close relationship infuriated fans but didn’t slow down their single’s success, which became one of Spotify’s most-streamed songs of the year.

In August, Minaj’s album “Queen” underperformed on the charts and she tried to blame everybody else, including Kylie Jenner’s 8-month-old daughter Stormi Webster.

Then in December, Minaj became Instagram official with her reported new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty – a registered sex offender. Minaj has defended her boyfriend’s criminal past: “Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”


Bill Maher questioned the #MeToo movement and attacked Stan Lee after his death.

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Bill Maher has no problem sharing his opinions.
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FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Bill Maher has a history of making controversial, racially charged comments. In 2017, he used the N-word while speaking to a Republican senator from Nebraska named Ben Sasse on his HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

Following the backlash, he apologized and said: “I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.”

He also got into a heated discussion with Ronan Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize with The New Yorker for his reporting on the sexual assault allegations made against producer Harvey Weinstein. During an episode of “Real Time,” Maher asked Farrow if there was an “excess in the [#MeToo] movement that is causing a backlash.” He also questioned if “we’ve gone too far here,” in regards to the movement.

When beloved Marvel comics creator Stan Lee died in November, Maher questioned his legacy and impact, writing on the “Real Time” site: “The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.”

In clarifying his comments during an interview with Larry King, Maher just dug a deeper hole by insulting fandom culture.

“A culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb f—ing culture. And for people to, like, get mad at that just proves my point.”


Chris Brown continues to have run-ins with the law.

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This year, Brown was arrested on a felony battery charge and charged for illegal possession of a pet Capuchin monkey.
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Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Chris Brown first received public backlash when he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna during an argument that led to “visible injuries” and her hospitalization in 2009.

Read more: Chris Brown commented 3 times on photos of Rihanna in lingerie and her fans are furious

In the years since he pled guilty to the felony assault, has been repeatedly accused of violence, making threats, stalking, and sexual assault, including by his recent ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran, who has a permanent restraining order against the singer.

This year, Brown was arrested on a felony battery charge and charged for illegal possession of a pet Capuchin monkey.

Despite all this, Brown performed with Drake on the Los Angeles stop of the rapper’s world tour in October and his name was oft-mentioned on Twitter during a viral debate about “the king of R&B.”


Roseanne Barr was fired from the “Roseanne” reboot after posting a racist tweet.

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Roseanne Barr on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on April 30, 2018.
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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC

ABC abruptly canceled “Roseanne” after the star, Roseanne Barr, posted a racist tweet.

In a now-deleted tweet, Barr compared Valerie Jarrett, Barack Obama’s former advisor, to an ape. Barr later apologized “for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks,” but it was too late. She also said she thought Jarrett was white and said she has “struggled with mental health issues and … was struggling at that time as well.”

Even before the tweet, the show was not without incident since the reboot started airing on ABC in March 2018. The sitcom faced criticism for a problematic storyline that some viewers deemed Islamaphobic, jokes about minority-led TV shows, and the titular character’s support of Donald Trump.

The show was repackaged as a spinoff called “The Conners” without the character of Roseanne. “The Conners” is reportedly ending in 2019.


Rising rapper Kodak Black is an alleged rapist and was criticized for his quotes about black women.

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Kodak Black’s sexual assault trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring of 2019.
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Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TIDAL

Kodak Black, born Dieuson Octave, may be a rising star, but he is not without controversy.

This year, Black was criticized for his repeated demeaning of black women.

He has also been charged with a number of crimes in 2018, including assault, robbery, kidnapping, illegal weapon possession, and neglect of a child.

In addition to the 2018 charges, the 21-year-old is currently awaiting trial for charges of rape, which allegedly took place in 2016.


Chris Pratt fans have expressed disappointment and outrage over his “passion for hunting.”

Of Hollywood’s major Chrises (like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine), Chris Pratt seems to be the most controversial. The main issue is that Pratt has repeatedly faced backlash for his comments about hunting.

The actor previously explained that hunting runs in his family, but he didn’t get into it until he booked a role on the show “Everwood.”

“I became passionate about big game hunting when I moved to Utah to shoot the television series ‘Everwood’ in 2003,” he told Outdoor Life. “I lived there for four years, had the time and money to really get into it and became absolutely obsessed.”

Earlier this year, fans were outraged after he talked about eating “fresh, farm-to-table” lambs that he raised.

“They are the happiest lambs on the planet,” he said in a video shared on Instagram. “They are so sweet and then one day they wake up dead and they’re in my freezer.”

In the video, he also apologized to any vegetarians he may have offended with his lamb snack.

He continued raving about lambs in an additional post, where he showed off several pieces of meat and wrote in detail about one particular animal that “lived a very good life” before reaching “his final destination.”

“Just a touch of a USDA certified wand to his head and he goes to sleep,” he captioned a photo. “The other sheep don’t even notice. It’s like unplugging a TV.”

And in a now-deleted video, Pratt was dressed in new outdoor gear and said that he was “really excited for hunting season.”

“Can’t wait to put a hurting on a monster bull in the coming weeks,” he wrote in the caption.


Megyn Kelly faced immediate backlash after defending blackface.

Megyn Kelly has a history of making controversial statements, but viewers were furious this year after she defended blackface on NBC’s “Today.”

“But what is racist? You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween,” she asked her panel. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”

Read more: Megyn Kelly defended blackface on the ‘Today’ show, but here’s the racist history behind it

Kelly apologized for her comments after facing immense pressure from both viewers and colleagues, but only with the clarification, “I have never been a PC kind of person.”

Kelly was fired from her spot on NBC’s “Today” show in October, and it was later revealed she was paid a reported $30 million for leaving the company.


Logan Paul staged a comeback after vlogging a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest.”

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Logan Paul gained fame through a now-defunct app called Vine.
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Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

Logan Paul made headlines after he filmed a now-deleted video of himself and his friends discovering a corpse in a forest in Japan. He’s since apologized for filming the moment and took a break from posting videos.

Thousands of people signed a petition to get Logan removed from YouTube, but it wasn’t effective. Actress Sophie Turner slammed the star and urged followers to “find yourself an idol who isn’t a gargantuan a–hole.”

Despite Logan insisting that he’s learned from his past mistakes, in February 2018 he uploaded a video of himself tasering dead rats, which was met with criticism. Months later, Logan told The Hollywood Reporter that his “suicide forest” video ruined his plans to “create the next Axe” body spray.

In the same interview, the 23-year-old declared that he’s not going away any time soon, because creating content is his “passion.”

“Good luck trying to cancel me,” he said.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

An Alabama sheriff pocketed more than $1 million meant to go to federal ICE detainees, report says

  • A sheriff in Alabama pocketed nearly $1.5 million that was budgeted for feeding Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, according to an investigation by Al.com.
  • Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin had, earlier this year, acknowledged that he legally kept a total of $750,000 he got from the surplus of a federal contract, under which his county jail houses federal detainees, according to Al.com. He said he bought a beach house with that money.
  • Records appear to show, however, that he pocketed twice the amount, according to Al.com.

For more than 20 years, the US has held immigrant detainees in Etowah County Detention Center, a jail in Alabama.

As part of a Depression-era state law, Alabama sheriffs are allowed to keep half of surplus jail funds meant to go toward food budgets.

Since Etowah County Detention Center is the only Alabama jail that houses immigrant detainees, this means that any extra money left behind after feeding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees must be split 50-50 between the county’s sheriff and the county’s fund.

Thanks to surpluses in 2016 and 2017, Todd Entrekin, the county’s sheriff, legally collected $750,000. Earlier this year, Entrekin said he bought a $740,000 beach house with the money after Al.com, the online version of Alabama’s largest newspaper, The Birmingham News, questioned him about it, according to the newspaper website.

He went on to lose reelection this year, a loss he credited to the newspaper’s investigation.

But in a new report, Al.com said Entrekin might have taken twice as much money home from the surplus.

According to the report, the county jail has, since 2011, built up a $3 million surplus from the federal-inmate food budget. Half of that money has gone to the county, and half of it went to the sheriff, Al.com reported.

Jessica Vosburgh, executive director of the Adelante Alabama Worker Center advocacy group, told Al.com these revelations should be enough to make ICE cancel its contract with the Alabama jail.

“I think, based on this information, [the federal government] unequivocally needs to terminate its contract with Etowah County,” Vosburgh said. “This is not a reputable, law-abiding partner for the federal government.”

Vosburgh has long been part of a circle of activists who’ve said the jail and Entrekin are involved in “shady dealings with money and food.”

It isn’t rare for county jails to house federal ICE detainees, but such deals have come under national scrutiny during the Trump presidency. Entrekin told Al.com that the jail will typically house about 850 inmates at any given time, of which about 300 are ICE detainees. A former detainee, Sanju Rajput, an Indian citizen, told Al.com the prison is “such a hell” for ICE detainees.

“We used to eat what we got: porridge in the morning, bread, jam, one or two more items [each day.] The food that we got was not enough,” Rajput said.

During his time as sheriff, Entrekin has fought hard to maintain his jail’s contract with the federal government, lobbying in Washington, DC, against any plans to scrap the deal.

Read more: Here’s how many ICE detention centers are holding immigrants in every state

When first questioned by Al.com about the $750,000 check, Entrekin said he was functioning under the law.

“It’s the law. I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said at the time. “If it’s wrong, somebody needs to change the law. I have asked [state legislators] to change the law and they have not changed it.”

Lawyers and former fraud investigators interviewed by the newspaper, however, think otherwise.

“There’s pretty much no way that the federal government is OK with this. Regardless of what he argues about the Alabama law, if it comes to light that he’s taking these federal funds that are supposed to be used to feed and house federal prisoners, and instead is putting [hundreds of thousands of] dollars in his pocket, that would be of great interest to federal prosecutors,” Randall Eliason, a professor at George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC, told Al.com.

In July, Entrekin said the US Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General had launched an investigation into how he handled jail food funds.

We’re hiring an Acquisition Marketing Specialist to join our subscription marketing team

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Shutterstock / UfaBizPhoto

We’re looking for an Acquisition Marketing Specialist to join our subscription marketing team in our New York office.It’s a great opportunity for an ambitious candidate who wants to take on significant responsibility early in their career and develop marketing expertise as part of a fast growing team at a top media company.

Job overview

Insider Inc.’s subscriptions team is passionate about producing research products that help industry leaders transform their organizations using emerging digital technologies, along with premium business news in finance, markets, enterprise, and tech. The Acquisition Marketing Specialist will help build our brand, generate subscription leads using organic and paid channels, and analyze marketing performance data.

In this role, you will:

  • Leverage the Business Insider website to drive readers to Business Insider’s paid subscription products

  • Manage organic social media (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter) to increase website traffic and attract new leads

  • Analyze marketing list growth and engagement, and report on findings

  • Ideate and manage paid campaigns on search and social

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • 2+ years of relevant experience

  • Strong numerical reasoning ability

  • Excellent ability to communicate verbally and in writing

  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects at a time while paying strict attention to detail

  • An entrepreneurial drive, an interest in growing a business, and desire to work in a fast-paced, fluid environment

If this sounds like a great job for you, please apply online and include a cover letter telling us why you’d be a good fit for the role.

14 foods that contain a surprising amount of vitamin D

Yogurt is a great source of vitamin D.

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Yogurt is a great source of vitamin D.
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JeniFoto/Shutterstock

  • Vitamin D, commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is essential for bone health.
  • Many foods like cereals and some milks are fortified with vitamin D.
  • Fatty fish and beef liver are natural sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin D, a nutrient that’s vital to bone health, has been called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s created when our bodies are exposed to sunlight. We can also incorporate this vitamin into our routine by eating foods that contain high levels of it, or by augmenting our intake with pills, drops, and other forms of supplements. The recommended daily amount ranges from 400 International Units (IU) to 800 IU depending on age.

To learn more about the relationship between diet and vitamin D, INSIDER talked to Julia Zumpano, RD, who works with the Cleveland Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation Department and its Women’s Cardiovascular Center. We also looked at information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Dietitians of Canada, a professional organization.

From fatty fish to fortified yogurt, here are 14 foods that are rich in vitamin D.


Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are one of the best sources of vitamin D.

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Salmon is a great choice.
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Serenethos/Shutterstock

A 75-gram (2.5-ounce) serving of sockeye salmon contains between 394 to 636 International Units (IU) of the vitamin depending on whether it’s canned, cooked, or raw, according to Dietitians of Canada. Since salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, it also helps lower triglyceride levels.

If you prefer tuna, an equivalent serving of albacore packs 99 to 106 IU. Even your standard can of white tuna offers a good amount of vitamin D, boasting 60 IU per 75 grams.

“Most of the food that we’re going to get vitamin D fro, unless you eat salmon, is going to be fortified,” Zumpano told INSIDER.


Oysters contain a lot of vitamin D.

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They’re rich in vitamin D.
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Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock

They may be a delicacy, but oysters are also high in vitamin D. Each serving (one cup, raw) contains a whopping 794 IU.


Vegetarians and vegans can add vitamin D to their diet with fortified tofu.

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Tofu is often fortified with vitamin D.
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gontabunta/Shutterstock

If tofu is fortified, it can be a good source of vitamin D. Although nutrients vary by brand, the USDA reports that with 139 IU in every 18 grams (0.63 ounces), Nasoya Lite Silken Tofu has one of the highest amounts of vitamin D per serving.


Mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

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A cup of diced maitake, for instance, offers 786 IU.
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Pixabay

Mushrooms, which contain a pro-vitamin known as ergosterol, are unique in that they’re the only vegetable that can produce vitamin D. Ergosterol helps them generate the vitamin when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Nutritional value differs depending on whether a mushroom was commercially cultivated (a process that takes place indoors, in darkness) or grown in the wild where it can absorb ample sunlight. Portabellas, a commercial variety, contain 976 IU per diced cup after being exposed to ultraviolet light, according to the USDA Food Composition Databases. Wild mushrooms already contain a high amount of vitamin D when they’re harvested. A cup of diced maitake, for instance, offers 786 IU.


Eggs yolks are rich in vitamin D.

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The egg yolk contains vitamin D.
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Daniel Novta / Flickr

Eggs contain vitamin D in their yolks, boasting 41 IU of the nutrient per serving (defined as one large egg by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements).

Read more: Egg whites are not healthier – here’s why you should eat the whole egg


Dairy milk and fortified, non-dairy alternatives contain a decent amount of the vitamin.

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If you’re going dairy-free, opt for fortified milk.
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S_E/Shutterstock

With 103 to 105 IU of vitamin D per one-cup serving, milk (which is always fortified) is an excellent source of the nutrient. The dairy drink has the added benefit of containing calcium and some protein, Zumpano noted.

Fortified, dairy-free alternatives such as rice milk (101 IU per eight ounces) and almond milk (107 IU per cup) are also solid options.


You can get vitamin D from fortified yogurt.

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Different types of yogurt have varying amounts of vitamin D.
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Shutterstock

Six-ounce containers of fortified yogurt typically contain 88 IU of vitamin D. Greek-style yogurt that’s been fortified boasts 60 IU per five ounces.


Some cheeses contain more vitamin D than others.

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Fontina cheese is a great choice.
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Kate Ausburn/Flickr

Depending what kind you get, cheese can naturally contain upwards of 30 IU of vitamin D per one-cup serving. Fontina, Muenster, and Monterey cheeses are some of the best choices for incorporating vitamin D into your diet.

Richer varieties such as bleu cheese, brie, and gouda have six IU of vitamin D per ounce.


Add vitamin D to your sandwich with deli meat.

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Depending on the meat, it can boast as much as 54 IU of vitamin D.
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Flickr/dongkwan

Deli meats, a lunchtime favorite, can contain between 30 to 54 IU of vitamin D per three-slice serving depending if you opt for salami, beef, pork, or bologna.


Some pork cuts are especially high in vitamin D.

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Pork is generally high in vitamin D.
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anneheathen/Flickr

Pork in general is high in vitamin D. Cuts that pack the most punch include back fat (138 IU per four ounces) and spareribs (103 IU per four ounces).


Some breakfast cereals have vitamin D.

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Be careful of added sugars, however.
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Max Pixel

Some breakfast cereals, such as Post Foods’ Cocoa Pebbles and Honeycomb, are fortified with 80 to 100 IU of vitamin D per serving (usually about a cup).

Still, Zumpano advises that even if they contain the nutrient, cereals aren’t the healthiest way to add vitamin D into your diet.


Fortified orange juice can be healthy in moderation.

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Orange juice is high in sugar but also a great source of vitamin D.
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Jeremy Keith/Flickr

With 50 IU of vitamin D per half-cup, fortified orange juice is alright in moderation but it shouldn’t be your primary source of the nutrient. Drinking too much can cause your blood sugar to rise, Zumpano said.


Beef liver contains vitamin D, but it’s also high in cholesterol.

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Beef liver is high in the sunshine vitamin.
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Wikimedia Commons

A cooked, 2.5-ounce serving of beef liver has 36 IU of vitamin D. While known for being lower in calories than other meats, such as sirloin steak, it’s high in cholesterol.


Margarine is a vitamin D-rich condiment.

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Margarine might be the right butter substitute for you if you’re looking to get more vitamin D.
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Pixabay

When fortified, the butter substitute can contain 25 to 36 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.