Archive for the “News” Category
Jul 21 2011
Los Angeles–Bonhams and Butterfields will auction off what is believed to be the world’s second-largest documented pearl, a five-pound gem found off the coast of the Philippines that has been dubbed the "Palawan Princess."
The natural non-nacreous pearl was found in saltwater near the Philippines’ Palawan island and "bears an uncanny resemblance to a human brain," the auction house said. Both rare and immense, the gem is thought to be surpassed in size only by the 14-pound "Pearl of Allah," an approximately 14-pound, 31,893.5-carat pearl that, like the Palawan Princess, was the product of the giant clam shell Tridacna gigas and was also found off the coastal waters of the Philippines.
The approximately 11,339-carat Palawan Princess is a blister pearl measuring six inches in diameter and accompanied by the lower half of its original giant clam shell, which shows the point of attachment where the pearl formed.
Oct 23 2009
2008 was a crazy year for everyone. Here is a quick run down of the top news stories of 2008:
The Election of President Barack Obama: On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African American President in the country’s history and the significance of his taking the oath of office on slave-built steps on January 20, 2009 was not lost on those who attended the events or watched the ceremony on television. President Obama has been busy since being sworn in: closing Guantanamo Bay, passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, redefining ethics for his administration and setting a tone of "I will be held accountable for what I do and I will always be up front in my decision making." The theme for his administration is transparency and accountability and so far he seems to be living up to his promise.
The Crashing of the United States Economy: The stock market plummeted just days before the 2008 US Presidential Election making news in both the economic and political spectrum: less than twenty four hours before the crash, John McCain had insisted that the United States’ economy was strong. Some say that this might have been the final nail in the coffin of McCain’s doomed campaign. The news did not stop with the crashing of the stock market. The market somehow kept diving, prompting some to ask "does the Dow ever run out of points?" It will cost the federal government more than one trillion dollars to fix all of the damage done in the crash.
Oil Prices Dropping: When the news broke of the oil companies’ insanely high profits in a single quarter, many people decided that they were tired of funding oil companies and turned to other modes of transportation: mass transit, bicycles and even walking. This led to the crash of oil prices and the price of gasoline went from almost four dollars per gallon to less than one dollar and fifty cents per gallon in some areas. The prices have since leveled out at just fewer than two dollars per gallon.
The Russia-Georgia War: The nations of Russia and Georgia made news in 2008 when they went to war against each other for five days. The war was started with a Georgian artillery strike on the newly forming South Ossetia region. Russia fought back by invading Georgian territory which made their relationship even less stable.
Other major news stories of 2008 included the death of Heath Ledger (who accidentally overdosed on sleeping and anti-anxiety medication), the never ending Iraq war, the rise and fall of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the terrorism in Mumbai, and the passing of Prop 8 in California by the exact same margin that the state elected Barack Obama President.
2008 was an exciting news year and 2009 is already off to a great start with the Israeli-Hamas conflict, President Obama’s inauguration, and the slow rebuilding of the United States economy.
The image on the front page of Sunday’s NYT — accompanying an article on Senator Schumer’s Wall Street cheer- (and other) leading — illustrates a visual surge underway against the American upper-class power elite. (In other words, much of the paper’s target audience.)
But, are they just making a fashion of it?
So much for greeting us with flowers.
…I know it’s not fair to read in like this, but #3 is there because it captures, at least in part (for me, at least), not just disgust and disappointment, but an Iraqi sense of fatalism. For Maliki, who lives in a country where everyone wears a bulls eye, I sure he felt Bush didn’t even get a taste.
For Bush, as we’ve been chronicling for the past few weeks, it’s just more confirmation how desperate (and sunk) he is to salvage his legacy. What was the translation? “This is a goodbye kiss, you dog!”
And, as for Karl, regarding this now-defining incident in this stunt-of-a-trip, it’s just more confirmation politics surely is TV with the sound off.
Particularly interested in any thoughts you had on #4.
More: Not sure you remember this from ‘o5. If you click through, though, you’ll see where former Iraqi PM (and U.S. favorite) Allawi was thought to be the subject of an assassination attempt in Najaf. Turned out, however, it was worse than that, given the culture significance of the shoe….