Trump’s pick for NASA lays out agenda, and answers critics

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was nominated to become NASA’s next administrator by the Trump administration on Sept. 1, may get a Senate confirmation hearing as early as next week. The choice of the 42-year-old Republican pilot has raised objections among some of his fellow members of Congress, because Bridenstine does not have a technical background, as well as from environmentalists, due to his views on climate change.

However, a pre-hearing questionnaire submitted by Bridenstine addresses some of these criticisms and also offers some important clues about where he would like to see the space agency go. “With NASA’s global leadership, we will pioneer the Solar System, send humans back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond. This requires a consistent, sustainable strategy for deep space exploration.” Bridenstine supports human missions to the Moon before going to Mars.

Florida senators

Among the first critics of Bridenstine’s nomination on Sept. 1 were Florida’s two senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio. Nelson told Politico that the head of NASA should have a professional background, rather than a political one. Rubio echoed Nelson’s sentiments, saying, “I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I’m very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission.” He added that NASA’s administrator should have a scientific perspective.

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The new study suggesting sitting will kill you is kind of a raging dumpster fire

A new study out this week suggested that both sitting a lot overall and sitting for long, uninterrupted stretches can increase a person’s risk of all-cause mortality.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, adds to evidence that sedentary lifestyles can increase health risks. However, the study aimed to push the conversation forward, not just look at how much time people spend sitting each day and what that does to health. The researchers also tried teasing apart patterns of sitting. The authors, led by researchers at Columbia University, hoped to address more nuanced questions, such as: if you have to sit all day for work, can you reduce your health risks by getting up every 30 minutes? Or, if you’re generally active, are there still health risks from a 10-hour Netflix binge each week?

The questions are good ones. Based on the study’s vast media coverage, health-conscious Americans are leaping for answers and specifics on the risks of our sedentary, modern lives.

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These Are the 15 Highest Paying Jobs in America

What occupation earns the biggest bucks in America?

According to LinkedIn’s first State of Salary report, the answer is orthopedic surgeons.

To find the highest-paying occupations, LinkedIn analyzed data from two million members who submitted their total compensation, including bonuses and commissions.

Other physicians fared well on the list, too.

Eight of the top 15 jobs on LinkedIn’s list of the highest-paying occupations were in the medical field.

Here are the 15 highest paying jobs in the US, according to LinkedIn:

14 (tie). Medical director

Medical directors are typically physicians who occupy a senior role in a hospital or health clinic.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $250,000

Median cash bonus: $36,000

Read more: 15 of the most highly-recommended places to work

14 (tie). Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are physicians who focus on disorders and diseases of the eyes.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $250,000

Median cash bonus: $50,000

13. Vice president of supply chain

VPs of supply chain management typically oversee an organization’s supply chain logistics.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $255,000

Median cash bonus: $62,500

12. Senior vice president of strategy

SVPs of strategy typically work to identify long term business strategies and opportunities for growth.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $256,000

Median cash bonus: $50,000

10 (tie). Senior vice president of human resources

SVPs of HR typically oversee an organization’s HR department.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $272,000

Median cash bonus: $57,500

Read more: The 2 worst mistakes you could make in a job interview, according to an ex-Apple recruiter

10 (tie). Vice president of tax

VPs of tax typically oversee an organization’s tax functions.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $272,000

Median cash bonus: $67,500

9. Senior managing director

Senior managing directors are senior-level executives who tend to focus on business strategy.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $298,000

Median cash bonus: $100,000

7 (tie). Senior vice president of sales

SVPs of sales typically oversee an organization’s sales department.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $300,000

Median cash bonus: $60,000

7 (tie). Senior vice president of finance

SVPs of finance typically oversee an organization’s financial department.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $300,000

Median cash bonus: $80,000

6. Emergency physician

Emergency physicians work in emergency room and provide rapid care for patients.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $314,000

Median cash bonus: $20,000

4 (tie). Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are physicians who are trained to provide anesthesia and pain relief to patients.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $350,000

Median cash bonus: $25,000

4 (tie). Plastic surgeon

Plastic surgeons are physicians who restore and alter parts of the body for cosmetic and reconstructive reasons.

Median total compensation including bonus and commission: $350,000

Median cash bonus: $90,000

Read more: There’s a smarter way to answer a recruiter’s email when you don’t want the job — and most people don’t do it

3. Radiologist

Radiologists are physicians who use medical imagining to diagnose and treat patients.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $374,000

Median cash bonus: $50,000

2. Cardiologist

Cardiologists are physicians who deal with disorders of the heart and circulatory system.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $382,000

Median cash bonus: $50,000

1. Orthopedic surgeon

Orthopedic surgeons are physicians who treat musculoskeletal system injuries and disorders.

Median total compensation, including bonus and commission: $450,000

Median cash bonus: $60,000

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Hackers Accessed 143 Million Americans’ Social Security Numbers in Equifax Breach

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Credit monitoring company Equifax has been hit by a high-tech heist that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information about 143 million Americans. Now the unwitting victims have to worry about the threat of having their identities stolen.

The Atlanta-based company, one of three major U.S. credit bureaus, said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year.

The theft obtained consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The purloined data can be enough for crooks to hijack the identities of people whose credentials were stolen through no fault of their own, potentially wreaking havoc on their lives. Equifax said its core credit-reporting databases don’t appear to have been breached.

“On a scale of one to 10, this is a 10 in terms of potential identity theft,” said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. “Credit bureaus keep so much data about us that affects almost everything we do.”

Lenders rely on the information collected by the credit bureaus to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards. Credit checks are even sometimes done by employers when deciding whom to hire for a job.

Equifax discovered the hack July 29, but waited until Thursday to warn consumers. The Atlanta-based company declined to comment on that delay or anything else beyond its published statement. It’s not unusual for U.S. authorities to ask a company hit in a major hack to delay public notice so that investigators can pursue the perpetrators.

The company established a website, , where people can check to see if their personal information may have been stolen. Consumers can also call 866-447-7559 for more information. Experian is also offering free credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers for a year.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” Equifax CEO Richard Smith said in a statement. “I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”

This isn’t the biggest data breach in history. That indignity still belongs to Yahoo, which was targeted in at least two separate digital burglaries that affected more than 1 billion of its users’ accounts throughout the world.

But no Social Security numbers or drivers’ license information were disclosed in the Yahoo break-in.

Equifax’s security lapse could be the largest theft involving Social Security numbers, one of the most common methods used to confirm a person’s identity in the U.S. It eclipses a 2015 hack at health insurer Anthem Inc. that involved the Social Security numbers of about 80 million people .

Any data breach threatens to tarnish a company’s reputation, but it is especially mortifying for Equifax, whose entire business revolves around providing a clear financial profile of consumers that lenders and other businesses can trust.

“This really undermines their credibility,” Litan said. It also could undermine the integrity of the information stockpiled by two other major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, since they hold virtually all the data that Equifax does, Litan said.

Equifax’s stock dropped 13 percent to $124.10 in extended trading after its announcement of the breach.

Three Equifax executives sold shares worth a combined $1.8 million just a few days after the company discovered it had been hacked, according to documents filed with securities regulators.

The sales, executed on August 1 and August 2, were made by: John Gamble, Equifax’s chief financial officer; Rodolfo Ploder, Equifax’s president of workforce solutions; and Joseph Loughran, Equifax’s president of U.S. information solutions. Bloomberg News first reported the divestitures.

In a subsequent statement, Equifax said the three executives “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.”

The potential aftershocks of the Equifax breach should make it clear that Social Security numbers are becoming an unreliable way to verify a person’s identity, Nathaniel Gleicher, the former director of cybersecurity policy in the White House during the Obama administration, said in an email statement.

“This breach might just have put the nail in the coffin of the idea that we can use personal identifiers like Social Security numbers as security factors,” wrote Gleicher, who now oversees cybersecurity strategy for computer security firm Illumio.

In addition to the personal information stolen in its breach, Equifax said the credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also taken, as were “certain dispute documents” containing personal information for approximately 182,000 U.S. individuals.

Equifax warned that hackers also may have some “limited personal information” about British and Canadian residents. The company doesn’t believe that consumers from any other countries were affected.

Vanity Fair Editor and Donald Trump Antagonist Graydon Carter Stepping Down

Graydon Carter is stepping down as the editor of Vanity Fair after 25 years at the magazine, it was revealed in an interview published Thursday.

Carter has long been known for the influence he wields in the media and entertainment worlds. Under Carter, Vanity Fair has grown in cultural influence and journalistic impact. But the Vanity Fair editor told the New York Times he’s ready to leave now, “while the magazine is on top.”

“I want to leave while it’s in vibrant shape, both in the digital realm and the print realm,” he said. “And I wanted to have a third act — and I thought, time is precious.”

Carter has been a leading antagonist of President Trump ever since he called Trump a “short fingered vulgarian” in Spy Magazine in the 1980s. Following the presidential campaign, Trump has taken to lashing out at the magazine and Carter himself on Twitter.

“He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative,” Carter told the Times. “So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all. They’re all on a wall—this is the only wall Trump’s built—outside my office.”

Carter, who hosts a famed Academy Awards party every year, says he has ideas for a future project. He added that he will suggest to parent company Condé Nast who could succeed him as the top editor at Vanity Fair.

Virtually Every Cryptocurrency in the World Is Tanking Right Now

If you’re still pondering whether or not to invest in cryptocurrency, this should help you make up your mind.

Almost every single cryptocurrency in the world is tanking right now. Bitcoin lost over 11% in the 24-hours before time of writing, Ethereum and Litecoin had plunged almost 20%, and Ripple nosedived 14%. Some, like EOS and Qtum, had lost almost 40%. Among the larger coins, only Tether—the 19th largest cryptocurrency by market cap—was holding out with a 3.2% gain.

Here’s how the top end of the cryptocurrency market looked as of 11:31 PM ET on Sept. 4:

A screenshot of the web site taken on Sept. 4 at 11:31 PM ET shows the world’s top 10 cryptocurrencies in freefall

So what’s behind the crash?

On Monday morning, China said cryptocurrencies had “seriously disrupted the economic and financial order” and outlawed Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)—also known as token sales—the means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture.

China’s ban hit the market especially hard in the immediate wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warning against the legality of some ICOs, Tech Crunch reports.

The across-the-board tanking of cryptocurrencies also coincides with the latest provocative nuclear test by North Korea, suggesting traders are not betting on it as a safe-haven asset in times of global turmoil.

Turns out it might be time to revert back to the old refrain: buy gold.

The Real Economic Madness Behind Tulip Fever

With a romance at its center, the title of the oft-delayed film Tulip Fever (and the novel on which the Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan movie is based) plays on the passionate sense of a “fever.” But the real historical context in which the story is set had to do with a fever less about love and more about money.

The fever in question, known as the Tulip Mania (sometimes styled as one word), struck in 17th century Holland, when the nation’s now-famous blooms caused a major financial boom and bust. As TIME once explained in a story about a different boom market, the flower itself was almost incidental to the story:

The tulip was then a comparatively new import from the Near East, and mutant specimens, with irregular stripes, were prized as rarities — so prized that men would mortgage their villas and their fields. The tulips had little intrinsic value. Their worth as commodities was a function of pure, irrational desire, and their economic fate proved that nothing is more manipulable than desire. When the mania fell away, the flowers were as pretty as they had been before. It was just that now few people wanted them very much, whereas before they had been invested with a kind of fetishistic and obsessive “rarity.”

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It was, according to Mehmet Odekon’s financial encyclopedia Booms and Busts, the first significant bubble in European financial history. It burst in 1637 when tulip speculators could no longer find investors; without that flow of money, the bulbs themselves “plummeted” in value. In the centuries since, though many experts believe it did not really damage the Dutch economy long-term, it has remained an important touchstone and reference point for what can happen when financial speculation goes haywire.

The level of speculation, in fact, would even have affected the painterly plot of Tulip Fever.

“At the height of the Dutch tulip mania,” Robert Hughes noted in a 2001 review of work by the Dutch artist Vermeer, “such rare blooms would never have been cut for a painter; he would have had to draw them in the garden.”

24 Surprising Facts About Warren Buffett

Billionaire and legendary investor Warren Buffett turns 87 years old on August 30. With a net worth of nearly $77 billion, “The Oracle of Omaha” is currently the fourth-richest person in the world — but he doesn’t act like it.

His modest home in Nebraska is worth just .001% of his total wealth and he never spends more than $3.17 on his daily McDonald’s breakfast.

To those who knew him from the beginning, Buffett’s success comes as no surprise: He was picking out stocks at 11 years old and had amassed the equivalent of $53,000 in today’s dollars by the time he was 16.

But Buffett isn’t just a master at making money — he’s good at giving it away, too. Although he didn’t start donating until later in life at the insistence of his first wife, Buffett is now regarded as one of the most generous philanthropists in the world, giving more than $27 billion to causes in the last decade.

Inspired by a Quora thread asking “What are some mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett,” we rounded up 24 astonishing facts about the legendary investor and his massive fortune.

Read more: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah all use the 5-hour rule — here’s how it works

While his elementary school classmates were dreaming about the major leagues and Hollywood, 10-year old Buffett was having lunch with a member of the New York Stock Exchange and setting life goals

Buffett’s legendary career all began with an epiphany at age 10 when he was on a trip to New York City with his dad.

Dining with a member of the NYSE planted the idea in young Buffett’s head to organize his life around money.

Source: Business Insider

He bought his first stock at age 11.

He purchased multiple shares of Cities Service Preferred for $38 apiece.

Source: GOBankingRates

When Buffett was a teen, he was already raking in about $175 a month — more than his teachers (and most adults).

He pulled this off by dutifully delivering the Washington Post.

Source: Business Insider

He had amassed the equivalent of $53,000 by the time he was just 16.

Paper delivery was just one of many small businesses teenage Buffett orchestrated: He sold used golf balls and stamps, buffed cars, set up a pinball machine business, and turned a horse track into a lucrative playground.

Source: Business Insider

He was rejected from Harvard Business School.

Buffett, confident he nailed his admissions interview, had already told a friend, “Join me at Harvard.”

“I looked about 16 and emotionally was about nine,” he recalled of the in-person interview. Forced to look elsewhere, he settled on Columbia University, which only required a written application and no interview.

Source: Business Insider

His idol refused to hire him the first time he applied.

Buffett originally wanted to work with his idol, and author of “The Intelligent Investor,” Benjamin Graham, but Graham rejected him because he wasn’t Jewish (Graham was saving a spot at his firm for someone Jewish, since at the time Jewish people had a tougher time landing work on Wall Street).

Buffett wouldn’t take no for an answer, and continued pitching Graham ideas until he eventually hired him.

Source: James Altucher

Buffett spent $100 to take a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking.

He was 21 and terrified of public speaking. It ended up being a worthy investment, as the course helped him propose to his wife.

Source: Business Insider

His house is a humble five-bedroom in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought in 1956 for $31,500.

If you want to be Buffett’s neighbor, the house across the street will cost you about $2.15 million.

Source: James Altucher

Buffett doesn’t keep a computer on his desk, and he chooses to use a flip phone rather than a smartphone.

There is, however, a World Book Encyclopedia set on his shelf.

Source: James Altucher, Business Insider, and CNN

In fact, he’s only sent one email in his life, to Jeff Raikes of Microsoft.

Source: CNN

Read more: It’s all mental with him’: Warren Buffett’s late wife revealed why it took the billionaire so many years to start giving away his fortune

His distance from technology leaves him time for bridge, which he plays about 12 hours a week.

Oftentimes, his bridge partner is Bill Gates.

Source: James Altucher

He spends 80% of his day reading.

When he’s not playing bridge, he’s reading. “I just sit in my office and read all day,” he says.

Source: The Week

He drinks an alarming amount of Coca-Cola each day.

The business magnate is a notoriously unhealthy eater: “If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday.”

He also likes to double-fist salt shakers, and don’t put it past him to enjoy a bowl of ice cream for breakfast.

Source: Business Insider

99% of Buffett’s wealth was earned after his 50th birthday.

Source: Fool

Among investing legends, Buffett has the longest track record for beating the market.

The longevity of Buffett’s outperformance is greater than that of other savvy investors, such as David Einhorn and Walter Schloss.

Source: Business Insider

$1,000 invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1964, when Buffett took over the company and shares cost just $19, would be worth about $13 million dollars today.

Source: Business Insider, Markets Insider

Buffett’s net worth is greater than the GDP of Uruguay.

Uruguay’s 2014 GDP was estimated to be $57,471,277,325.

Though Buffett spends frugally, he gives generously. In 2010, he teamed up with Bill and Melinda Gates to form The Giving Pledge, an initiative that asks the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

As of June 2016, more than 154 affluent individuals have signed the pledge, including Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison.

Source: Business Insider, Fortune

Buffett has also so far donated nearly enough money in his lifetime to build six Apple ‘Spaceship’ Campuses, which are $5 billion endeavors.

The Apple Campus, one of the last major projects Steve Jobs worked on, is a futuristic-looking company campus that will feature curved glass panels, an underground parking lot, a private auditorium for keynotes and product launches, and a 360-degree view of nature.

Buffett has donated nearly $30 billion — the second-highest amount (following that of Bill Gates).

Source: Forbes

In 2013, Buffett made on average $37 million per DAY — that’s more than what Jennifer Lawrence made the entire year.

According to Forbes, Jennifer Lawrence was the second-highest-paid actress in 2013, and she is estimated to have made $34 million that year.

Warren Buffett made $37 million per day in 2013.

Source: MarketWatch

Read more: 5 things you didn’t realize about Warren Buffett, according to his daughter

In July 2016, Buffett broke his own giving record when he donated $2.9 billion to various charities, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which is named for his late wife.

Source: Forbes

The multi-billionaire reportedly earns only $100,000 a year at Berkshire Hathaway — and spends it frugally.

Source: GOBankingRates

People are so fascinated with the legendary Buffett that they’ll spend millions of dollars to eat lunch with him.

Buffett has been auctioning off a “power lunch” since 2000 at his charity event for GLIDE Foundation.

The highest bidder gets to bring up to seven people to dine with the steak-loving business magnate at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan, and the most recent winner paid $3,456,789.

Source: CNN Money

He doesn’t think money equals success: ‘I measure success by how many people love me. And the best way to be loved is to be lovable.’

Source: James Altucher

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