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.
In most democratic countries, all voters go to the polls on a single, predetermined day. However, this is not the case in India, the world's largest democracy and the planet's second most populous country after China. In this diverse subcontinent — which boasts 22 official languages, 200 regional languages, and over 6000 dialects across its 29 states and 7 Union territories — voting is an elaborate process, conducted in seven stages over a period of 39 days. Held every five years, this year the general elections began on April 11, 2019 and will continue until May 19, 2019, with the final results announced on May 23, 2019.
Like most people, you have probably lost count of the number of perfectly pristine-looking shoes you have tossed out simply because the rubber soles are cracked. In addition to the expense and hassle of replacing footwear, it is also harmful to our environment. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, 300 million pairs of shoes end up in landfills each year, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. Now, thanks to a revolutionary self-healing 3-D printed rubber material, fractured shoe soles may be a thing of the past.
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!
As if being downgraded to dwarf planet status was not enough, Pluto may now be in danger of losing its wispy atmosphere by 2030. The dire prediction comes from a 28-year study of the small celestial body, which lies at the edge of our solar system, by a team of international researchers led by University of Tasmania astronomer Andrew Cole.
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.