On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, an anonymous buyer paid slightly over $91 million to acquire American artist Jeff Koons' "Rabbit" sculpture at Christie's Post War and Contemporary Sale in New York. The price, which includes the auction house's commission, is the highest-ever paid for work by a living artist. The previous record was held by British artist David Hockney, whose acrylic-on-canvas pop art painting "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" sold for $90.3 million in November 2018.
Though Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, the country's king is considered the spiritual protector of its people and culture. For seventy years, that role had been fulfilled by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. When the beloved monarch passed away in October 2016, his second child, and only male heir, crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, ascended to the throne. However, in respect to the highly-revered former king, the country observed a three-year mourning period, postponing the new monarch's coronation ceremony until early May 2019.
On May 6, 2019, just under a year after their 2018 fairytale wedding, Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced the birth of their first child — a healthy, 7-pounds, 3-ounce, baby boy. The news was first revealed on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Instagram and then on a placard placed at the entrance of Buckingham Palace by a pair of courtiers dressed in tails and red vests. Later in the day, a beaming Prince Harry informed reporters waiting outside the couple's Windsor Castle home that the "mother and baby are doing incredibly well." When asked what it felt like to be a dad, he gushed, "It's been the most amazing experience that I could ever possibly imagine."
Mention the word spy, and the images that come to mind are those of secretive, stealthy fictional characters like British Secret Service agent James Bond and former CIA assassin Jason Bourne. However, the alleged Russian mole, who recently "defected" to Norway, fits none of those descriptions. In fact, it is not even a person, but a friendly Beluga whale who loves to interact with humans!
Every year on Mother's Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday, May 12, 2019, Americans honor the real-life superheroes in their lives with special treats and extravagant gifts. Hence, it is not surprising to hear that Mother's Day is the third-largest US retail holiday, behind only the winter holidays and back-to-school season. According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year, the spending will escalate to a record $25 billion, up substantially from the $23.1 billion earned by retailers in 2018.
Shortly after graduating in 2012, Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer heard some distressing news. While he had been busy sketching designs for warm weather clothing for his new brand, a friend's father, who was homeless, had died of hypothermia just meters away from his studio. The young innovator set aside his personal ambitions and instead used his design skills to create Sheltersuit — a waterproof, insulated jacket that doubles as a sleeping bag to protect the world's homeless and refugees, living in makeshift camps, against extreme weather.
Meteor showers, which happen when our planet traverses through debris streams left behind by passing comets, are a fairly common occurrence. While the tiny rocks usually burn up when they collide with our atmosphere, resulting in what we call "shooting stars," every so often one manages to survive the impact and land on Earth. That is precisely what appears to have happened in Costa Rica recently.
Teachers don't just educate students — they also act as counselors, problem-solvers, and in some cases, even social workers to help kids in need. Yet, these incredible indivduals, who inspire kids to dream big and help them reach their potential, are often unappreciated and overlooked. To change that, since 2014, the Varkey Foundation — established to improve standards of education and raise the status and capacity of teachers worldwide — has been honoring the world's "real superheroes" with an annual $1 million Global Teacher Prize. This year's award, presented in a star-studded ceremony hosted by Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman in Dubai, UAE on March 24, 2019, went to Peter Tabichi from Kenya, Africa.