Flawless 100-carat diamond sells for $22.1 million at NY auction –
An eye-popping, 100-carat diamond, the highlight of a magnificent jewels sale in New York on Tuesday, sold for $22.1 million, Sotheby’s auction house said. The perfect classic emerald-cut D color diamond, which is about the size of a walnut and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa, was purchased by an anonymous buyer via a telephone bid. It had a pre-sale estimate of $19 million to $25 million. Gary Schuler, the head of Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York, said the gem is the definition of perfection. The $22.1 million price, which includes the buyer’s premium, fell short of the $30.6 million world record price paid for a 118.28 carat white diamond in Hong Kong in 2013. Sotheby’s said only six perfect diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been sold at auction in the last 25 years. [Reuters]
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to threat to kill –
Phil Rudd, drummer of Australian rock band AC/DC, has changed his plea to guilty on a charge of a threat to kill, at a court in Tauranga, New Zealand. The court heard he was unhappy about his album’s launch party and asked for a former employee to be “taken out”. He had previously denied the charge. He also pleaded guilty to cannabis and methamphetamine possession. Prosecutors dropped a second threat to kill charge, relating to the former employee’s daughter. [BBC] On April 1 2015 AC/DC won their first Grammy.
[Daily Telegraph] AC/DC
Japan maglev train breaks world speed record again –
A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji. The train beat the 590km/h speed it had set last week in another test. Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks. Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. The 280km journey would take only about 40 minutes, less than half the current time. However, passengers will not get to experience the maglev’s record-breaking speeds because the company said its trains will operate at a maximum of 505km/h. In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or “bullet train” is is 320km/h. (See Video of the day). [BBC] The SCMaglev test track in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Video of the Day –
Yasukazu Endo, the head of the research centre run by Central Japan Railways, discusses the new maglev train. [Guardian]
Caitlyn Jenner breaks Twitter record, gaining more than 1m followers –
After gaining more than a million followers in four hours, Caitlyn Jenner has broken a new Twitter record, Guinness World Records has confirmed. She’s beaten Barack Obama, who held the title for two weeks. The US president reached the one million mark in five hours. Caitlyn launched her Twitter account at the same time as a Vanity Fair magazine cover was released, showing her as a transgender woman and revealing the name she will now be using. See Video of the Day. [BBC]
Front cover of Vanity Fair July 2015 featuring an Annie Leibovitz photograph of Caitlyn Jenner.
British tank crushes learner driver’s car in Germany –
There’s a lot to remember when you’re a learner driver but a pretty good rule is: don’t pull out in front of tanks. That’s what happened to an 18-year-old driving this Toyota Yaris in the Lippe district of Germany today. According to local police she pulled out in front of a column of British military vehicles travelling on a ring road around the town, often used by British forces stationed nearby to transport tanks and other armoured vehicles. The driver of the tank, a 24-year-old British serviceman, wasn’t able to bring his Challenger 2 tank to a stop in time.
Inevitably, in a battle between 62-tonnes of armour and a one-tonne hatchback, there was only going to be one winner. Luckily the driver of the car was completely unharmed in the incident, and the tank crew pulled her free. The car, however, suffered 12,000 euros (£8,600) worth of damage.
The tank, not entirely surprisingly – was unscathed. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Caitlyn Jenner Is Finally “Free” on Vanity Fair’s Cover
Novelist Jackie Collins dies aged 77 –
The novelist Jackie Collins has died of breast cancer at the age of 77, her family said in a statement. “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one-of-a-kind mother,” the statement said. The British-born writer, sister of actress Joan Collins, died in Los Angeles, her spokeswoman said. Collins’s raunchy novels of the rich and famous sold more than 500 million copies in 40 countries.
In a career spanning four decades, all 32 of her novels appeared in the New York Times bestseller list. [BBC] Jackie Collins
Japan shocks the rugby world and Twitter erupts –
80-1 outsiders to beat South Africa, Japan’s win over the two-times world champions has sent Twitter into a frenzy. Japan’s utterly well-deserved conquering of the mighty Springboks [32-34] has, unsurprisingly, made Twitter’s rugby community quite excited.The bookmakers usually know a thing or two about these things, yet more than a few people would have thought this morning that even 40-1 for the Brave Blossoms to win against the Boks was rather generous. For those who don’t understand how big a shock this was, @Burgerboxx provided an interesting, and somewhat useful, analogy. [Daily Telegraph]
Guinness World Record judicator hit in head by robot at giant Belfast Meccano bridge opening –
Engineering students have set a new world record with a 100ft footbridge made from Meccano. The temporary structure – weighing in at approximately 1,300lbs – has been built 100 feet long across Belfast’s Clarendon Dock and was unveiled at an event on Saturday. Representatives from Guinness World Records were on site to confirm it had set a record for the world’s largest ever Meccano construction. However the event did not go quite as smoothly as organisers hoped, with a giant Meccano robot believed to have malfunctioned and swiped a Guinness World Record judicator round the head.Dr Danny McPolin from the school of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, who led the project, said: “If you count all the nuts and bolts and washers, there is approximately 70,000. “In terms of the longer pieces, if they’re all laid out end-to-end I think it would be about 3.8kms – approximately 10,000 or 11,000 pieces. [Daily Telegraph]
A Saudi-led military coalition bombards government buildings and residential neighborhoods in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, killing about 30 people, including civilians. Rescuers continue searching for other possible victims buried under the rubble. (AP viaOrange County Register), (Xinhuanet)