• Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Gretchen Rubin asked the pioneer what she thought was the secret to happiness.“And she answered me right away. She knew exactly what her answer was. And she said, it was work worth doing.”Rubin, who is a four-time New York Times bestseller and the host of a weekly podcast, “Happier with Rubin,” says O’Connor’s comment stuck with her.“I got to the point where I thought, well you know what I would really like to try is to write a book. I would like to actually see if I could become a book writer. At a certain point, I decided that I would rather fail as a writer than succeed as a lawyer,” she says on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis.”As a graduate from Yale Law School, it was a twist from her well-prepared career track but one she was compelled to try.“Many people who are circus performers feel a tremendous compulsion to go and do these kinds of professions,” Rubin says. “And I felt that way.”In a nod to "Star Wars," Rubin added, “For me, this call to writing -– once I had a subject, and had this idea that I wanted to turn into a book, it was the Death Star that had me in its gravitational field.“And it was just pulling me towards it.”Rubin found herself up for the challenge, and left law to pursue her passion. It led to the books “Profane Waste,” “Power Money Fame Sex” and “Forty Ways to Look at JFK,” among others. And then came “The Happiness Project.” Her breakout novel spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, sold over 1.5 million copies, and was published in over 30 languages.As Rubin made the switch from law to the literary world, she recalls the ardent support of her family members as one of the driving forces that made her decision possible.“I’m very impressed by my family and now that I’m a parent myself, I really do respect even more how willingly they supported me.”Rubin adds, “They want you to do something that feels safer, because they want to protect you. But the problem is, there is no safe place.”In her most recent book, “The Four Tendencies,” Rubin goes deeper into territory she herself has had to explore: how individuals respond to inner and outer expectations.Today, Rubin believes that one of the secrets to happiness came from challenging herself. She says that one of the greatest tensions standing in the way of happiness is “on the one hand we want to accept ourselves, and on the other hand we want to expect more from ourselves.”“Novelty and challenge do bring happiness, but you have to find the novelty and challenge that’s appropriate for you.”Hear more of Gretchen Rubin’s interview on this week's episode of "No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis," available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn and the ABC News app.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • CPSC.gov(NEW YORK) -- Seven companies are issuing new hoverboard recalls after discovering that the battery packs may pose a fire hazard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.Tuesday's recall involves 13,900 units, bringing the total number to 520,100 since the CPSC began issuing the warnings last year.Safety officials say the risk is in the battery packs and have found a significant risk of overheating, smoke, fire and in some instances, explosions that cause burns and property damage, according to the CPSC.The recalls included two reports of property damage, including one recent incident in Louisiana resulting in approximately $40,000 of damage after the unit caught fire.No injuries were reported in the recalls.The vast majority of the 520,100 hoverboards recalled stem from a July 2016 announcement involving eight manufacturers and more than 500,000 units.Hoverboards by Swagway make up more than half of those recalled -- 267,000.ABC News reached out after business hours to the seven companies involved in the recall and did not receive an immediate response.You can find the recalls here: Smart Balance by Salvage World, Sonic Smart Wheels by Dollar Mania, Tech Drift, iLive by Digital Products, iHoverspeed by Simplified Wireless, Go Wheels by Four Star Imports, Drone Nerds.
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  • Uber(NEW YORK) -- A lawsuit filed against Uber on Tuesday alleges "thousands" of female passengers have endured "rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment" while using the popular ride-hailing service.The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco by attorneys for two women identified in court documents only as Jane Doe 1 and 2, is seeking class-action status.Jane Doe 1 lives in Miami and Jane Doe 2 lives in Los Angeles, according to the complaint, and both claim that they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers.The complaint states that Uber uses "low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks" for their drivers and does not monitor drivers for "violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired."Even after allegations of sexual misconduct have emerged against Uber drivers, the lawsuit claims that: "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers -- especially women."A spokesperson for Uber told ABC News that the company is currently reviewing the lawsuit, and that the company takes the allegations seriously."Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it," the spokesperson said. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously."Uber announced earlier this month -- prior to the lawsuit being filed -- that it was implementing a new initiative to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. Part of the initiative includes an education program for their customer support agents that involves expert training provided by the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the company said in a statement posted to its website.The company simultaneously announced that it was committing $5 million over five years to fund sexual assault and domestic violence "prevention initiatives."In the statement, Uber outlined some of the app's safety features including "GPS tracking, the ability to share a trip with family and friends, and 24/7 support.""We will continue to listen, learn, collaborate and build on our commitment to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence," Uber added in its statement.Jeanne M. Christensen, one of the attorneys with Wigdor LLP, the firm that filed the lawsuit Tuesday, called on Uber to make public the number of reports it has received about sexual misconduct."The company must come forward with information about how many reports it has received about rapes, sexual assaults, and gender-motivated harassment to allow consumers to assess whether Uber really does provide safe rides, especially to women," Christensen said in a statement.She added that the recent #MeToo campaign on social media has brought to light many "heinous acts" that female Uber passengers have allegedly experienced.Christensen continued: "It is time for Uber to 'Do the right thing. Period.'"
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the red on Tuesday as oil prices sunk. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 30.23 (-0.13 percent) to finish at 23,409.47.The Nasdaq fell 19.72 (-0.29 percent) to close at 6,737.87, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,578.87, down 5.97 (-0.23 percent) from its open.Crude oil prices sunk about 2.5 percent to $55 per barrel.Winners and Losers:  A second day of losses for General Electric after announcing Monday it would slash its quarterly dividend by 50 percent. Shares tumbled 5.89 percent.Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings soared 23.97 percent after reports private equity firm Roark Capital made an offer to buy the sports bar franchise.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Following a 19-month investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board identified 20 different factors that contributed to the April 2016 crash that killed two veteran Amtrak employees and injured 39 passengers when the company's train struck a backhoe and derailed in Chester, Pennsylvania.Investigators said Amtrak had a "weak safety culture" where employees frequently took short cuts and put on-time performance over safety.The NTSB previously disclosed toxicology reports indicating marijuana in the system of the train's engineer and cocaine or opioids in the systems of the killed maintenance workers, but they did not conclude that drugs impaired the employees at the time of the crash.While drug use did not have a "direct causal link to this accident," according to investigators, it is a reflection of a lax safety culture at Amtrak, they said.The Federal Railroad Administration revised its federal drug testing rules to include Maintenance of Way workers. This rule went into effect on June 12, 2017. Previously DOT regulations only required drug testing for locomotive engineers, trainmen, conductors, switchmen, locomotive helpers, utility employees, signalmen, operators and train dispatchers.These rules establish minimum requirements for drug testing. Rail companies are free to expand them.On Monday the FRA said it was adding certain semi-synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone to its testing.“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “The ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”Railroad repairs were ongoing in the days leading up to the fatal accident. A night foreman was found to have lifted a track closure while a backhoe remained on the track. The day foreman did not restore the closure, according to investigators, leading to a train striking the backhoe at nearly 100 mph.NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt described the mistake by the foremen as "the fundamental error of the night."“Under no circumstances should you clear foul times with men and equipment fouling the track,” said Joe Gordon, who investigated track and engineering issues for the board.Among the contributing factors to the crash were lack of communication between employees, improper establishment of work zones, lack of shunts and pressure from managers to keep trains on time.Positive Train Control had been installed in the Northeast Corridor where the crash occurred, but investigators said a series of human errors, such as not properly establishing the work zone, circumvented PTC technology.Despite Amtrak requiring the use of shunts at the time, investigators said the maintenance workers did not have them at the accident site. The NTSB said the shunts could have signaled that the track was occupied and prevented the crash.Amtrak has since purchased thousands of the devices.Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods told ABC News that Amtrak has "taken a series of actions to improve workplace safety at Amtrak," but did not respond when asked what exactly those actions are.The engineer of the involved train was fired following the accident, according to Amtrak.An NTSB spokesperson said the list of board recommendations would be posted later Tuesday.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's been 25 years since the release of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. To celebrate, the Plaza Hotel, which plays a prominent role in the film, is offering a package that allows guests to live it up like Kevin McAllister.Rates start at $895, only slightly less than the $967 Kevin spent on room service during his stay."In-room and throughout the hotel a variety of experiences inspired by Kevin's time over the holiday's here at The Plaza will come to life for guests to enjoy," according to the hotel's website. "Beyond the in-room experience, guests are invited to dine in the Todd English Food Hall to taste-test a 90s inspired menu with upscale versions of childhood favorites, or to head over to the interactive photo-experience where they’ll find themselves in Kevin’s New York journey."Included in the package is an "over-the-top" ice cream sundae from room service, just like the one Kevin had in the film.The hotel concierge will also arrange for guests to experience quintessential New York sights, like the Empire State Building, Wollman Rink and a limo trip through the city.
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