May 11, 2015

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Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record –
Picasso’s Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $179.3m (£115m) at Christie’s in New York. Eleven minutes of prolonged bidding from telephone buyers preceded the final sale – for much more than its pre-sale estimate of $140m. The evening sale also featured Alberto Giacometti’s life-size sculpture Pointing Man, which set a record as the most expensive sculpture, at $141.3m. The buyers chose to remain anonymous. The Picasso oil painting is a vibrant, cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a 15-work series the Spanish artist created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A to O. [BBC] See Video of the Day
Les_femmes_d’Alger,_Picasso,_version_OPicasso’s Women of Algiers

Ukip rejects Nigel Farage’s resignation as party leader –
Nigel Farage is to stay on as leader of the UK Independence Party after the party’s ruling board rejected his resignation. Mr Farage quit as Ukip leader last Friday, delivering on a pledge to resign if he failed to be elected as leader of South Thanet. The news risks making Ukip into a laughing stock because Mr Farage had raised the stakes about his future by insisting he would resign. Mr Farage’s decision to stay on also raises questions over whether Douglas Carswell, Ukip’s only MP, will quit the party to become an independent MP after he suggested Mr Farage should not lead Ukip again. Mr Carswell later repeatedly refused to endorse Mr Farage’s return to the Ukip leadership after speaking at an event in central London. [Daily Telegraph]
Nigel-Farage Nigel Farage

James Corden can’t believe the Late Late Show is still on the air –
James Corden’s appearance at the Bafta TV awards was just a flying visit. In fact, his time on home soil (19 hours) was less than the time he spent in the sky travelling to and from Los Angeles for it (23 hours). “I’ve genuinely had some of the best nights of my life at this event,” he told us on the red carpet. Since he took over the Late Late Show in March, America’s latest chat show host has been grabbing headlines with his big name guests and viral videos. But he admitted to Newsbeat that it’s “mostly mystifying” as to why the show is still on the air. “No-one could have predicted the show would be received in such a manner. It’s beyond all of our wildest dreams.” [BBC]
James-CordenJames-Corden

David Cameron unveils ‘blue collar’ Cabinet –
David Cameron has unveiled his “blue collar Cabinet” as he promoted the son of a milkman, the daughter of a garage-owner and the Tory Party’s “champion of the people” to senior Government roles. In a bid to put making the Conservatives “the real party for working people” at the centre of the next five years of Government, Mr Cameron promoted Robert Halfon, Sajid Javid, Greg Clark and Priti Patel to senior ministerial roles. It means that 43 per cent of Cabinet ministers were educated in comprehensive schools – a rise from 21 per cent in Mr Cameron’s first Coalition Cabinet in 2010. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day for the complete Conservative cabinet.

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The bidding for the most expensive painting in the world –

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April 17, 2016

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Messi scores 500th career goal –
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has scored his 500th career goal. The Argentine forward netted in the 63rd minute of Sunday’s Liga clash with Valencia to bring up the landmark. Messi, who was making his 525th appearance for Barca, has now scored an incredible 450 goals for the Liga champions, while he has a total of 50 for Argentina from his 107 caps for the national team. [Goal.com] In January Messi won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.
Lionel MessiLionel Messi

Apple recovered one tonne of gold by recycling iPhones last year –
Apple has revealed it reclaimed almost one metric tonne of gold by recycling its own products in 2015. At current prices, that’s equivalent to around £28 million worth of gold. The figure was revealed in Apple’s recently-released Environmental Responsibility Report, which details the results of the company’s eco-friendly efforts in the last financial year. As well as the gold, Apple recovered three tonnes of silver (worth around £1.1 million at current prices), and over 1,300 tonnes of copper. These valuable materials were reclaimed through the Apple Renew scheme, which lets customers hand in their worn-out Apple devices in exchange for money off future Apple purchases. [The Independent]

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How To Hide You’re Out Of Shape

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May 11, 2016

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Queen filmed calling Chinese officials ‘very rude’ –
The Queen has been filmed saying Chinese officials were “very rude” during last year’s state visit by President Xi Jinping. She was discussing their treatment of Britain’s ambassador to China with a senior police officer at a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday. It came after David Cameron was overheard saying Afghanistan and Nigeria were “fantastically corrupt“. The Queen’s remarks were filmed as she was introduced to Metropolitan Police Commander Lucy D’Orsi, who the monarch is told had overseen security during President Xi’s visit to the UK in October. [BBC]
Queen_Elizabeth_II_March_2015 The Queen

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October 2, 2016

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Americans finally break through to end Ryder Cup frustration –
This was not eight years in the making. It was two decades. Two decades worth of frustration was pent up inside the American team room when it arrived to Hazeltine National this week for the 41st Ryder Cup. And two decades worth of relief was released with the force of popping champagne corks when the Americans put the finishing touches on a 17-11 rout of the Europeans Sunday, capturing the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008 and only the third time since 1999. After eight losses in the last 10 Ryder Cups, including the last three, the Americans decided enough was enough. [New York Post] [See list of the day]

 

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OFFICIAL “PANTSUIT POWER” FLASH MOB FOR HILLARY from Celia & Mia for HRC on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Ryder Cup matches
Year Winners Score Runners-up Host country Venue GBI/Europe captain United States captain
1927  United States 9½–2½  Great Britain United States Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts Jersey Ted Ray Walter Hagen
1929  Great Britain 7–5  United States England Moortown Golf Club, Yorkshire Scotland George Duncan Walter Hagen
1931  United States 9–3  Great Britain United States Scioto Country Club, Columbus, Ohio England Charles Whitcombe Walter Hagen
1933  Great Britain 6½–5½  United States England Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, Lancashire England John Henry Taylor Walter Hagen
1935  United States 9–3  Great Britain United States Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey England Charles Whitcombe Walter Hagen
1937  United States 8–4  Great Britain England Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, Lancashire England Charles Whitcombe Walter Hagen
1947  United States 11–1  Great Britain United States Portland Golf Club, Portland, Oregon England Henry Cotton Ben Hogan
1949  United States 7–5  Great Britain England Ganton Golf Club, Scarborough, Yorkshire England Charles Whitcombe Ben Hogan
1951  United States 9½–2½  Great Britain United States Pinehurst Resort Course No. 2, North Carolina England Arthur Lacey Sam Snead
1953  United States 6½–5½  Great Britain England Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey England Henry Cotton Lloyd Mangrum
1955  United States 8–4  Great Britain United States Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California Wales Dai Rees Chick Harbert
1957  Great Britain 7½–4½  United States England Lindrick Golf Club, West Riding of Yorkshire Wales Dai Rees Jack Burke, Jr.
1959  United States 8½–3½  Great Britain United States Eldorado Golf Club, Indian Wells, California Wales Dai Rees Sam Snead
1961  United States 14½–9½  Great Britain England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire Wales Dai Rees Jerry Barber
1963  United States 23–9  Great Britain United States East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia Scotland John Fallon Arnold Palmer
1965  United States 19½–12½  Great Britain England Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire England Harry Weetman Byron Nelson
1967  United States 23½–8½  Great Britain United States Champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas Wales Dai Rees Ben Hogan
1969  United States [A] 16–16Match was tied  Great Britain England Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire Scotland Eric Brown Sam Snead
1971  United States 18½–13½  Great Britain United States Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis, Missouri Scotland Eric Brown Jay Hebert
1973  United States 19–13 United Kingdom Republic of Ireland Great Britain & Ireland Scotland Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian England Bernard Hunt Jack Burke, Jr.
1975  United States 21–11 United Kingdom Republic of Ireland Great Britain & Ireland United States Laurel Valley Golf Club, Ligonier, Pennsylvania England Bernard Hunt Arnold Palmer
1977  United States 12½–7½ United Kingdom Republic of Ireland Great Britain & Ireland England Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire Wales Brian Huggett Dow Finsterwald
1979  United States 17–11  Europe United States The Greenbrier, The Greenbrier Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia England John Jacobs Billy Casper
1981  United States 18½–9½  Europe England Walton Heath Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey England John Jacobs Dave Marr
1983  United States 14½–13½  Europe United States PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida England Tony Jacklin Jack Nicklaus
1985  Europe 16½–11½  United States England The Belfry, Brabazon Course, Wishaw, Warwickshire England Tony Jacklin Lee Trevino
1987  Europe 15–13  United States United States Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio England Tony Jacklin Jack Nicklaus
1989  Europe[A] 14–14Match was tied  United States England The Belfry, Brabazon Course, Wishaw, Warwickshire England Tony Jacklin Raymond Floyd
1991  United States 14½–13½  Europe United States Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, South Carolina Scotland Bernard Gallacher Dave Stockton
1993  United States 15–13  Europe England The Belfry, Brabazon Course, Wishaw, Warwickshire Scotland Bernard Gallacher Tom Watson
1995  Europe 14½–13½  United States United States Oak Hill Country Club, East Course, Rochester, New York Scotland Bernard Gallacher Lanny Wadkins
1997  Europe 14½–13½  United States Spain Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, Andalusia Spain Seve Ballesteros Tom Kite
1999  United States 14½–13½  Europe United States The Country Club, Composite Course, Brookline, Massachusetts England Mark James Ben Crenshaw
2002  Europe 15½–12½  United States England The Belfry, Brabazon Course, Wishaw, Warwickshire Scotland Sam Torrance Curtis Strange
2004  Europe 18½–9½  United States United States Oakland Hills Country Club, South Course, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Germany Bernhard Langer Hal Sutton
2006  Europe 18½–9½  United States Republic of Ireland K Club, Palmer Course, Straffan, County Kildare Wales Ian Woosnam Tom Lehman
2008  United States 16½–11½  Europe United States Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky England Nick Faldo Paul Azinger
2010  Europe 14½–13½  United States Wales Celtic Manor Resort, Twenty Ten Course, Newport Scotland Colin Montgomerie Corey Pavin
2012  Europe 14½–13½  United States United States Medinah Country Club, Course 3, Medinah, Illinois Spain José María Olazábal Davis Love III
2014  Europe 16½–11½  United States Scotland Gleneagles, PGA Centenary Course, Perth & Kinross Republic of Ireland Paul McGinley Tom Watson
2016  United States 17–11  Europe United States Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota Northern Ireland Darren Clarke Davis Love III

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April 16, 2017

The wait is over for April the giraffe and her legions of fans. Before an online audience of more than a million viewers, April gave birth to a healthy male calf Saturday at the Animal Adventure Park in New York. The 15-year-old giraffe delivered her calf shortly before 10 a.m. EDT in an enclosed pen at the zoo in rural Harpursville. The newborn stood up on his wobbly legs about 45 minutes after he was born. He began nursing not long after. At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park’s YouTube streaming of the event. Zoo owner Jordan Patch says both mom and calf are doing fine. [Business Insider]

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Animal Adventure Park’s April the Giraffe – Live Birth – Archive footage

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July 16, 2019

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ESA confirms asteroid will miss Earth in 2019

Asteroid 2006 QV89, a small object 20 to 50 metres in diameter, was in the news lately because of a very small, one-in-7000 chance of impact with Earth on 9 September 2019.

In the first known case of ruling out an asteroid impact through a “non-detection,” ESA and the European Southern Observatory have concluded that asteroid2006 QV89 is not on a collision course this year—and the chance of any future impact is extremely remote.

Asteroids come and go, quite literally, often frustrating astronomers. You can catch sight of a hurtling space rock, take some measurements to narrow down its orbit, and days later it’s gone—potentially remaining unobservable for decades.

In general, when an asteroid is found to have even a tiny chance of impacting Earth, further observations and measurements are taken. These “astrometric” data refine our understanding of the asteroid’s path, improving our understanding of the risk it poses and often excluding any chance of collision altogether.

However, the case of asteroid 2006 QV89 is peculiar. The object was discovered in August 2006 and then observed for only ten days. These observations suggested it had a 1-in-7000 chance of impacting Earth on 9 September 2019.

(phys.org)

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July 17, 2019

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Trump Twitter row: US House condemns ‘racist comments’

The row over US President Donald Trump’s tweets attacking four Democratic congresswomen shows little sign of abating. The House of Representatives has passed a motion denouncing “racist comments that have legitimised fear and hatred of New Americans and people of colour”.

The motion got through the Democrat-controlled House by 240 votes to 187. It follows Mr Trump tweeting that Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib – who are all US citizens – should “go back” to their own countries.

After the House’s decision, the president has come out fighting on Twitter again, writing that there is not “a racist bone in my body”. 

BBC

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  • Astronomers rule out the chances of ~30-meter asteroid 2006 QV89‘s impacting Earth in September 2019 by eliminating the possibility of its passing through an area where it would have to be if it were on an impacting orbit. Prior to this, the asteroid had been given a one-in-7,000 chance of impacting Earth. (phys.org)

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July 24, 2019

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Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures as the second extreme heatwave in as many months to be linked by scientists to the climate emergency grips the continent.

The Dutch meteorological service, KNMI, said the temperature reached 39.2C(102.5F) at the Gilze-Rijen airbase near Breda on Wednesday afternoon, exceeding the previous high of 38.6C set in August 1944.

In Belgium, the temperature in Kleine-Brogel hit 38.9C on Wednesday afternoon, fractionally higher than the previous record of 38.8C set in June 1947, and then subsequently rose to 39.9C. Forecasters said temperatures could climb further on Thursday.

Germany’s national weather service, DWD, said it believed a new all-time national high of 40.5C – 0.2C higher than the record – had been set in the town of Geilenkirchen near the Dutch and Belgian borders, but had still to confirm it.

“The most extreme heat will build from central and northern France into Belgium, the Netherlands and far western Germany into Thursday,” said Eric Leister of the forecasting group AccuWeather.

The latest heatwave, caused by an “omega block” – a high-pressure pattern that blocks and diverts the jet stream, allowing a mass of hot air to flow up from northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula – follows a similar extreme weather event last month that made it the hottest June on record.

(Guardian)

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