Five Books Bill Gates Thinks You Should Read For Summer 2017

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently added another chapter to what has become an annual tradition—releasing his five-book summer reading list on his blog Gates Notes.

“The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed,” Gates writes.

As Gate explains, “Some of these books helped me better understand what it’s like to grow up outside the mainstream: as a child of mixed race in apartheid South Africa, as a young man trying to escape his impoverished life in rural Appalachia, or as the son of a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia. I hope you’ll find that others make you think deeper about what it means to truly connect with other people and to have purpose in your life. And all of them will transport you somewhere else—whether you’re sitting on a beach towel or on your own couch.”

(Courtesy The Gates Notes, LLC)

Take a look at the list below accompanied by Gates’s notes:

Born a Crime– Trevor Noah

Born a Crime Trevor Noah
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

“As a longtime fan of The Daily Show, I loved reading this memoir about how its host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in. Born to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father in apartheid South Africa, he entered the world as a biracial child in a country where mixed race relationships were forbidden. Much of Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa is tragic. Yet, as anyone who watches his nightly monologues knows, his moving stories will often leave you laughing.”

The Heart– Maylis de Kerangal

The Heart Maylis de Kerangal
The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal

“While you’ll find this book in the fiction section at your local bookstore, what de Kerangal has done here in this exploration of grief is closer to poetry than anything else. At its most basic level, she tells the story of a heart transplant: a young man is killed in an accident, and his parents decide to donate his heart. But the plot is secondary to the strength of its words and characters. The book uses beautiful language to connect you deeply with people who may be in the story for only a few minutes. For example, de Kerangal goes on for pages about the girlfriend of the surgeon who does the transplant even though you never meet that character. I’m glad Melinda recommended this book to me, and I recently passed it along to a friend who, like me, sticks mostly with nonfiction. ”

Hillbilly Elegy– J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy J.D. Vance
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

“The disadvantaged world of poor white Appalachia described in this terrific, heartbreaking book is one that I know only vicariously. Vance was raised largely by his loving but volatile grandparents, who stepped in after his father abandoned him and his mother showed little interest in parenting her son. Against all odds, he survived his chaotic, impoverished childhood only to land at Yale Law School. While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it.”

Homo Deus– Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

“I recommended Harari’s previous book Sapiens in last summer’s reading list, and this provocative follow-up is just as challenging, readable, and thought-provoking. Homo Deus argues that the principles that have organized society will undergo a huge shift in the 21st century, with major consequences for life as we know it. So far, the things that have shaped society—what we measure ourselves by—have been either religious rules about how to live a good life, or more earthly goals like getting rid of sickness, hunger, and war. What would the world be like if we actually achieved those things? I don’t agree with everything Harari has to say, but he has written a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity.”

A Full Life– Jimmy Carter

A Full Life Jimmy Carter
A Full Life by Jimmy Carter

“Even though the former President has already written more than two dozen books, he somehow managed to save some great anecdotes for this quick, condensed tour of his fascinating life. I loved reading about Carter’s improbable rise to the world’s highest office. The book will help you understand how growing up in rural Georgia in a house without running water, electricity, or insulation shaped—for better and for worse—his time in the White House. Although most of the stories come from previous decades, A Full Life feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low.”

Celebrate ‘Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary With Stunning Photos From Lucasfilm Vaults

A long time ago in a theater right around the block …

When George Lucas’ Star Wars opened up on March 24, 1977, even the cast and crew thought the space opera wouldn’t last these many Earth orbits around the sun. And the proof is in these behind-the-scene shots from the making of the eventual cinematic classic pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by RealClearLife.

Star Wars
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in landspeeder setting out to look for R2-D2 on Tatooine. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars Behind The Scene
That landspeeder got less than stellar gas milage on London streets. (Courtesy Lucas Film)

“On my first day, I had the scene with Peter Cushing [Grand Moff Tarkin] and I came in and it was, ‘I thought I recognized your foul stench or holding Vader’s leash,'” Carrie Fisher told* this reporter a year before her death. “That’s when George directed me. He said, ‘This is really serious. Your planet is about to get blown up, you’re losing everything. This really means a lot.’

RELATED: HOW ‘STAR WARS’ CHANGED THE PLANET

“And I understood then what he needed that character to be which was hard for me, because it was going to take away anything ironic that I would bring. At first, anytime that earnest stuff came in, it’s when I’m earnest bossy or worried, that’s where I can have a hard time. To the point where in the first movie, I had a British accent. Who could say, ‘I thought I recognized your foul stench when I was brought aboard.’ What? Say that like an American and I’ll pay you.”

Star Wars
Darth Vader battles Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (Alec Guinness) in a lightsaber duel on the Death Star battle station. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars Behind The Scenes
Model-makers get the Millennium Falcon in shape for the ship’s arrival on the Death Star. (Courtesy Lucas Film)

The team was on its own hero’s journey, just trying to complete the film under the looming shadow of the most fearsome weapon in their universe—studio accountants who threatened to close down the production.

It’s a good thing that they didn’t.

Lucas never fully recovered, ditching the directing chair for the Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, before helming the prequel movies. But despite the billions that the franchise, its licensing, and Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney made for the reclusive filmmaker, he never really felt comfortable with the giant Death Star–sized shadow looming over him after May 24, 1977.

Star Wars Behind The Scenes
George Lucas speaks to Anthony Daniels on the Tunisian desert set of the original ‘Star Wars’ (Courtesy Lucas Film)

“I came to that conclusion really around Return of the Jedi,” the film pioneer told the Daily News in 2015. “By the time I came to the thing, I knew I was always going to be, ‘George (Star Wars) Lucas.’ There wasn’t anything I could do about it, so I had to get used to it.

“Because everything else was going to fade into oblivion, and once you realize it, it doesn’t worry you much anymore.”

See some more amazing behind-the-scenes photos from the now legendary shoot.

Star Wars Behind The Scene
George Lucas stands ready to film as Peter Mayhew’s costume gets a touch-up. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars Behind The Scene
Shooting the opening crawl. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars Behind The Scene
Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher share a laugh on the set. (Courtesy LucasFilm)
Star Wars
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) get in character. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars
American actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in costume during a promotional photo in 1977. (Photo by Terry O’Neill/Getty Images)
Star Wars
‘Star Wars’ was so popular, the American Public Health Department found the droids they were looking for for this poster to raise awareness for an immunization push. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Star Wars
C-3PO, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (Alec Guinness), and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the desert of Tatooine. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) scans the horizon of his home planet of Tatooine. (Courtesy Lucas Film)
Star Wars
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) loads the plans for the Death Star battle station with a plea for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi into R2-D2 on the Rebel Blockade Runner. (Courtesy Lucas Film)

*Fisher’s actual lines in the movie were: “Governor Tarkin, I should’ve expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.”

London May Get Own Version of New York’s High Line Park

Green with envy, London wants an elevated garden like New York City.

Designs were recently revealed for the Camden High Line—a planned public park converted from disused railroad tracks in a post-industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of London.

Studio Weave and Architecture 00, two London-based architecture firms, won a pitch to convert a half-mile of derelict railway between Camden Town and King’s Cross into a lush public space. Similar to the popular attraction in New York, its British sibling aims to create a trendy park for tourists to visit and expedite pedestrian commuting times for residents of those two post-industrial neighborhoods.

Camden’s business improvement committee is asking people to pledge support for the project, which still in its early stages, online.

The Camden High Line, elevated 30 feet above the ground, would be comprised of a garden and cycling and walking paths. The proposal stretches the public green space across some of Camden’s busiest roads, several disused bridges, and along the abandoned railroad tracks that were once part of the North London Railway.

Camden High Line
(Studio Weave/Architecture 00/Camden Town Unlimited)
Camden High Line
(Studio Weave/Architecture 00/Camden Town Unlimited)
Camden High Line
(Studio Weave/Architecture 00/Camden Town Unlimited)
Camden High Line
(Studio Weave/Architecture 00/Camden Town Unlimited)

Porsche Teams With Dynamiq for Unique SuperYacht

Porsche is shifting gears, taking to the high seas with the Grand Turismo Transatlantic (GTT) 115 Hybrid—a 35-meter, all-aluminum superyacht modeled after the classic sports car.

Dynamiq, a Monaco-based yacht builder, released initial images of the yacht, which was designed by Studio F.A.

“The Dynamiq GTT 115 is designed to appeal to car lovers and forward-thinking yacht owners who appreciate the advantages of speed, style and our philosophy of intelligent performance,” Roland Heiler, managing director at Porsche Design Group, said in a statement.

GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)

The luxury superyacht is powered by a combination of 1213 kW MAN engines and the latest Fortjes 5000 pods, allowing it to travel as fast as 21 knots. But some of the sports cars’ original features are still there, including the familiar Porsche Carrara white, Rhodium Silver, Chalk or Monte-Carlo Blue colors. Other signature features are the Pepita houndstooth deck cushions borrowed from the Porsche 911 R, window panels that resemble those of the 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S and the single-blade red rear lights.

Inside, saddle brown, Luxor beige leather, Sahara Noir marble and carbon fiber trim, encompass the three or four sizable cabins that could comfortably fit half a dozen guests—with a 6-person crew attending to their needs.

The cost for all those amenities? $13 million.

Seven limited edition GTT 115 yachts are under construction, the first of which will be unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show in September.

GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)
GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)
GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)
GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)
GTT 115 Hybrid
(Dynamiq Yachts)

 

 

Best of the World’s Thought-Provoking Art on Display at Venice’s 57th Biennale

You don’t go to the Venice Biennale to stand in front of portraits and take selfies; it’s all about experiential art.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, this year’s Biennale proves the worthiness of the festival.

Stretching from May 13 to November 26, the famed art exhibition is taking place at a pair of venues—the Giardini park and Arsenale shipyard—in Venice, Italy; and features some of the world’s most groundbreaking performance, conceptual, film, video, and other envelope-pushing modern artists.

The Journal sets the scene of this year’s Golden Lion winner, “Faust,” a performance art piece by German artist Anne Imhof:

“At the German pavilion … two Doberman Pinschers are on patrol behind a heavy metal fence. Inside the building, visitors walk over a plate-glass floor, an experience all the more unsettling because young people in black athletic gear are trapped below in sanitized rooms strewn with manacles, mattresses, bars of soap, and steel dog bowls. Accompanied by a pulsing electronic soundtrack or mournful chanting, their faces are emotionless as they crawl along the floor, climb up and fall back.”

Below, browse some of the incredible art on display at the 57th Venice Biennale.

57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
The sculpture ‘Support’ by Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn during the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
Actors perform in ‘Faust’ by German artist Anne Imhof during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
‘The horse problem’ by Argentinian artist Claudia Fontes during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
‘Imitation of Christ’ by Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
Norwegian artist Siri Aurdal’s in the ‘Mirrored’ exhibition of the Nordic Pavillon during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
An actress performs in Austrian artist Erwin Wrum’s art piece ‘Stand quiet and look out over the Mediterranean sea 2017’ during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale, in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
Austrian artist Erwin Wrum’s art piece ‘Stand quiet and look out over the Mediterranean sea 2017’ at the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale, on May 9, 2017 in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
An installation by Ekin Onat part of ‘objection’ during the Press Opening of the Arte Biennale 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
‘Medusa’ by artist Mark Bradford during the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
View of Damien Hirst’s exibition at Pallazzo Grassi during the 57th Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy. (Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
‘Pars pro Toto’ by Polish artist Alicja Kwade, on May 10, 2017 in Venice during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
The entrance of ‘Grotta Profunda, Approfondita’ an artwork by French artist Pauline Curnier Jardin during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
A picture shows the artwork ‘Swan Song: Now’ by Czech artist Jana Zelinska during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
57th International Art Exhibition in Venice
‘Theatrum Orbis’ made by Russian artist Grisha Bruskin during the 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale in Venice. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Sir Roger Moore, Iconic James Bond Actor, Dead at 89

Sir Roger Moore, the British actor best known for portraying James Bond in a number of the franchise’s best-loved films, has died.

He was 89.

Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me
Actor Roger Moore and actress Barbara Bach on the set of “The Spy Who Loved Me”. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

statement from Moore’s family, tweeted out this morning from Moore’s handle, reads:

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”

 

Moore began his career on British television in the ’40s, breaking into the film world in the ’60s.

After a successful turn as Simon Templar in British TV show The Saint, Moore got his license to a killer payday, landing the coveted role of James Bond in 1973’s American-set caper, Live and Let Die. (He famously replaced George Lazenby, who portrayed Bond just once, in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.)

For Bond fans, Moore was known for bringing a more affectionate angle to the role—a sort of a Don Juan-ish Bond—a different take from the hard-charging, female-slapping Sean Connery version. It worked for movie audiences, too, as Moore would end up reprising his role in six more titles, including The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).

The family’s statement noted that “The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year.”

Moore is survived by his three children, Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian.

Roger Moore
English actor Roger Moore poses as 007, with a Lotus Esprit Turbo, on the set of the James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’ in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, March 1981. (Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)
Roger Moore James Bond
Actor Roger Moore and actress Jane Seymour on the set of “Live And Let Die”. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Roger Moore James Bond
Actors Roger Moore and Christopher Lee on the set of “The Man With The Golden Gun”. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Roger Moore James Bond
Actor Roger Moore and actress Lois Chiles on the set of “Moonraker”. (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Roger Moore
A matte shot of English actor Roger Moore as 007, clinging to a fire engine ladder in a publicity still for the James Bond film ‘A View To A Kill’, 1984. The background has been composited in by hand, to simulate the front projection effect used in the film. (Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)
Roger Moore
Roger Moore on set of the James Bond movie ‘A View to a Kill’ with half a car during filming in Paris, France in August 1984. (Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)
Photo of Roger Moore as James Bond. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Roger Moore
Comic actor Peter Sellers attempting to paint fellow actor Roger Moore’s toenails at Sellers’ home in Beverly Hills, California, circa 1975. (Terry O’Neill/Getty Images)
Roger Moore
English actor Roger Moore and his wife, Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, on their honeymoon in Cannes, France17th April 1969. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British actor Roger Moore and his one-year-old son Christian on the set of The Man with the Golden Gun, directed by Guy Hamilton. (Photo by Jacques Dejean/Sygma via Getty Images)
British actor Roger Moore and his wife Cristina Tholstrup pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the 2015 Princess Grace Awards Gala, on September 5, 2015 in Monaco. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Roger Moore
Sir Roger Moore signs copies of his book “Bond on Bond” at HMV, Oxford Street on October 22, 2012 in London, England. (Ben Pruchnie/WireImage)

 

Red Carpet Photos from 2017 Billboard Music Awards

The winners of the 2017 Billboard Music Awards have gone home with their statuettes—but the real award-worthy stars were the ones that turned heads and sparked flashbulbs on the red carpet.

Take a look at their style and be the judge of who hit the right notes and who was off key. And then there was the singer Halsey, whose dress, or lack their of, has to be seen to be believed.

2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Actress Lea Michele (FilmMagic/Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Actor Olivia Munn  (FilmMagic/Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Singer Nicole Scherzinger (FilmMagic/Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Actor/recording artist Rita Ora (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Singer Halsey (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
2017 Billboard Music Awards Co-Host Vanessa Hudgens. (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Singer Camila Cabello (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Dencia (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Tyler Hubbard (L) and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Singer/songwriter Jason Derulo (Getty IMages)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Singer Hailee Steinfeld (FilmMagic/Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Actress Kate Beckinsale (Getty Images)
2017 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet
Host Ludacris (L) and model Eudoxie Mbouguiengue  (Getty Images)

 

Billionaire Builds World’s Largest Yacht to Clean Up Ocean Trash

After profiting from offshore drilling, one billionaire is trying to clean up the environment with a trash-collecting yacht.

Kjell Inge R∅kke, a Norwegian businessman, is funding the construction of a state-of-the-art ship to research matters like climate change, pollution, and overfishing. At 595 feet, it will be the world’s largest yacht, according to Yacht Harbour.

Managed by the World Wildlife Foundation, the main focus of R∅kke’s boat will be cleaning up plastics polluting the ocean. The REV, short for research expedition vessel, will have a plastic retrieval system using a retractable crane. The ship, built by VARD, will also have an array of environmental sensors to take soil, water, and air samples.

Once completed in 2020, the REV will have room for 60 scientists and a crew of 40. Those aboard will have access to two aerial drones, an underwater drone, an R&D workshop, gym, recreational lounge, multiple laboratories, and a 40-seat lecture hall.

According to the ship’s owner Rosselinis Four-10, the REV will be available for private charters when it’s not deployed on research missions around the world.

The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)
The Research Expedition Vessel, or REV. (VARD/Rosellinis Four-10)

Ancient Chinese Art On Display at New York City’s MET

After laying in a tomb for some two thousand years, these artifacts from the Chinese Qin and Han dynasties, circa 221 BC, are ready for their close-up.

New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple can now see the collection on loan from China during a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition, entitled “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.-A.D. 220),” includes more than 160 pieces of ancient Chinese art.

Among the highlights: The body of Dou Wan, the wife of Prince Jing, laid to rest and perfectly preserved in a jade and gold encasement, terracotta army warriors, ornate dishware, metalwork, paintings and brightly-color textiles. The items on exhibit are pulled from 32 different museums and research centers throughout China. Many of these works have never before been on display in the West.

The exhibit ends July 16.

Kneeling Archer
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Qin Shihuangdi Mausoleum Site Museum)
Model Armor
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology)
Burial Suit of Dou Wan
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9) (Courtesy Hebei Provincial Museum)
Inscriptions from the Stele of Mount Yi (front). (Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Dog
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Henan Museum)
Model of a Multistory House
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Henan Museum)
Coffin Handle
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 2nd century B.C. (Courtesy Hebei Provincial Museum)
Model Helmut
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.)(Courtesy Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology)

Rhinoceros, Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 2nd century B.C. (Courtesy Nanjing Museum)
Tripod Food Container (Ding) with Cloud Pattern (Courtesy Hunan Provincial Museum)
Six Niuzhong Bells
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 1st century B.C. (Courtesy Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)
Pair of Finials in the Shape of Mythical Beasts
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Xi’an Museum)
From left: Unarmored General, Standing Archer, Civil Official Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Qin Shihuangdi Mausoleum Site Museum)
Pillow in the Shape of a Twin-Headed Bird
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum)

New York Penthouse Used in ‘Godfather’ and ‘Spider-Man’ on Sale

Douglas Elliman is making a property offer that Godfather fans can’t refuse.

Located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, the property played a role is several Hollywood movies that included The Godfather Part II, Spider-Man, and Scarface.

The 2,240 sq. foot gothic style penthouse has 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and occupies the top three floors of Windsor Tower. Highlights of the property include 18 foot ceilings, views of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler building, as well as chandeliers and a wood burning fireplace.

Take a look at the photos of this unique property below.

Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)
Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)
Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)
Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)
Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)
Windsor Tower Penthouse
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

New Book ‘Dronescape’ Takes Photography to New Heights

Drones were once used only by the military for surveillance. Now, they are commonplace, and both amateur and professional photographers alike are learning how to use them, capturing stunning shots in the process.

A new book from Thames & Hudson, Dronescapes, created in collaboration with Dronestagram, the world’s leading online community of drone hobbyists and photographers, shows the eye-popping potential in the burgeoning art-form.

From a bird’s-eye view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro to a photograph taken mere inches from a mid-flight eagle, this incredible new collection of drone photographs captures moments seen no where else on Earth.

Take a look at entirely new vantage points that sail far above where cameras have ever been able to travel before.

For more on the book, visit Thames & Hudson’s web site. 

Rio de Janeiro Drone photography
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil By Alexandre Salem (2017 The Photographers of Dronestagram)
Drone photography
Aquismón, Mexico By postandfly (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Dubai, UAE By Shoayb Khattab (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Oceanside, USA By kdilliard (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, USA By Romeo Durscher (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Merritt Island, USA by 2DroneGals (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Miami, USA By iMaerial_com (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Mérida, Mexico By jelipegomez (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
San Francisco, USA By GotShots
(Courtesy Thames & Hudson)
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram
Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram (Courtesy Thames & Hudson)

Bell Helicopter Introduces ‘Helicopter of the Future’ Concept

If it seems like helicopter design hasn’t changed much over the past few decades, that’s not an accident.

Helicopters are very complex machines that require specific learned skills to pilot and maintain, let alone build. Once a basic design that worked came along, there has been little incentive to stray from it.

But now Bell Helicopter seems to be creating winds of change. Over the past six months, their team of engineers and designers has been working on a conceptual design for the company’s Bell FCX-001 model, which uses emerging technology to simplify basic operation and maximize passenger comfort.

For example, the FCX-001’s hybrid propulsion system and anti-torque system make this helicopter safer and quieter, and the advanced flight deck eases the pilot’s workload.

It may be the business commute of the future: Passengers will have individualized augmented-reality systems in the cabin, through which they can host video conferences, share documents, or just watch a movie.

For more information on the FCX-001 as it develops, check out Bell’s website.

Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)
Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)
Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)
Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)
Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)
Bell Helicopter FCX-001 Concept
(Bell Helicopter)