First day of summer 2013 has nothing on northern Norway's 60 days of sun

The first day of summer 2013 in the United States, the longest day of the year, still has less sunlight than northern Norway right now. Territories in the arctic circle have, effectively, 60 first days of summer.

The first day of summer 2013 is the year's longest day in terms of sunlight, but it still pales in comparison to the amount of sun in northern Norway. This photo was taken in North Cape at exactly midnight.
Courtesy of Saleha Mohsin

Today the sun will shine for 18 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second.

Now I realize that in December, when the days are short and the imposing darkness begins to wear on me, I’ll regret having said this: I’m tired of the sun. My body needs the kind of peace that only a dark, starry night can provide.

At first I was looking forward to being in Oslo on June 21, the longest day of the year. The best remedy for a grim Norwegian winter is the buildup to the summer solstice. But I went on a whirlwind trip with the Foreign Press Association into the Arctic Circle where, for five days, I didn’t see a cloud in the sky. Just the intense, bright yellow sun. In northern Norway towns like Kirkenes, Honningsvåg, and Vardø, the sun doesn’t set for 60 days. Even when the peak of the midnight sun has passed, twilight increases by just 40 minutes each day. There isn’t a proper dark night from April through August.

The first two days I was charmed by the whole thing. Sunshine all the time! Having to wake up about four hours earlier than I’d like didn’t feel so tough because the brightness and surprisingly warm weather lifted my spirits.

After a few days I started to feel tired. The sun was there when I got up at 6am for a press conference with the prime ministers of Russia and Norway, and at 2pm when we drove to the Norwegian-Russian border for a ceremony. When I clambered into bed at 11pm, I could see the sunshine bursting through the ineffective hotel curtains. My eyes opened for a moment around 3am and the blazing sun made me feel like I had fallen asleep watching television in the middle of the day. Even after eight hours of sleep I still felt like all I’d had a power-nap.

By the end of the week I was programmed to fall asleep when the lights were simply turned off. I nearly nodded off during a Power Point presentation by an oil company executive.

Fortunately for them, localers are used to 60 days of sunshine in the summer and 60 days of darkness in the winter. I spoke to a native of Finnmark County in the High North and he said besides being a little more tired than usual in the summer, he didn’t find it too challenging. “We aren’t depressed drunks in the winter, nor are we hyperactive in the summer,” he said, debunking ubiquitous myths. “It’s really not a big deal.”

I was lucky enough to have the chance to go to North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian), a 1,007-foot-high cliff with a plateau that attracts tourists from around the world to see the midnight sun in the summer and northern lights in the winter.

North Cape is the second northern-most point of Europe, a mere 2,102.3 kilometers from the North Pole. It has restaurants, a small chapel for weddings, a museum, a theater with a short video about the natural beauty of the High North, and a cheesy souvenir shop.

North Cape offers panoramic views of the point where the Norwegian Sea, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean, meets the Barents Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean.

The midnight sun can be seen from 14 May to the 31st of July. The sun reaches its lowest point from 12:14 – 12:24am during those days.

Supermoon 2013 PHOTOS: Pictures Of Year's Biggest Full Moon

 Did you get a chance to see the supermoon? Don't worry if you didn't. In our gallery of supermoon photos (see below), you can page through scores and scores of spectacular images -- snapped by skywatchers around the world. Many were collected during our supermoon live blog, which has now concluded.

But there's still time to submit any photos you might have snapped of the dazzling celestial phenomenon. You can tweet them to us using the #HPsupermoon hashtag, or submit them directly in the gallery.

A supermoon is simply a new or full moon that coincides with what astronomers call "lunar perigee." That's the point at which the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit around our planet. Of course, you don't have to be an astronomer to get excited about what a supermoon looks like:

'Dexter' cupcakes...woukd you eat them?

Today Showtime announced the arrival of a special cupcake created in partnership with Magnolia Bakery. The red velvet Dexter cupcake is "spattered with caramel 'blood' and sugar 'glass' shards." I'm including an image, which looks both appetizing and disturbing.

If this sounds like it's exactly what your season-premiere viewing party needs, note that you can purchase the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery locations (in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) and on They're only available until June 30, so act fast.

Dexter's new season premieres June 30 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. Expect lots of blood — and not the caramel variety ...

Antoni Gaudí: a doodle for the master of the Sagrada Familia

The Catalan architect's iconic buildings have left an indelible mark on Barcelona as work continues on his masterpiece

Antoni Gaudí's 161st birthday is celebrated with a Google doodle. Photograph: Other/Google

Google's latest doodle celebrates the 161st birthday of Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect whose iconic buildings have left an indelible mark on Barcelona.

Gaudí, who met his untimely death under the wheels of a city tram in 1926, took with him to the grave his vision for his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia church.

Work continues on the vast Roman basilica and visitors flock to Barcelona every year to see it and his other works, including Park Guell, a steep garden complex with architectural elements and Casa Batllo, a mansion on the city's Passeig de Gracia.

Research suggested in 2011 that Gaudí used the garden of a psychiatric hospital as a testing ground for his revolutionary designs, with the patients serving as his artisans. The grounds of the hospital at Sant Boi, south of Barcelona, are littered with Gaudí-esque constructions, the most outstanding of which is a bench similar to those in Park Guell, finished with broken tiles in a style known as trencadis that was pioneered by Gaudí.

The relative crudeness of the work had previously suggested that the works were copies, but research published in the magazine Sapiens showed that they pre-date Gaudí's signature buildings and were in fact prototypes for features in Park Guell, the Sagrada Familia and the nearby Colonia Guell, all of which Gaudí was working on at the time.

While Gaudí was part of the art nouveau movement, he was also a revolutionary structural engineer. He made an upside-down model of the Sagrada Familia to test his structural theory, which he then tested in practice when he built Colonia Guell.

Known as "God's architect", Gaudí's deep Catholic,


Michael Jackson 4 years Death Anniversary

Remember of The King Of Pop, 4 Years After His Untimely Death

Four years have passed since Michael Jackson died, on June 25, 2009, from cardiac arrest caused by a lethal combination of prescription drugs. His death, later rumored to be a homicide, shocked fans and musicians across the world.

Michael Jackson was famous since the year 1964, being the youngest member of the "Jackson 5", his family's Motown group. He continued to dominate the music industry with best-selling hits such as "Thriller," "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Dangerous", "They don't really care about us".

Jackson is survived by his three children, Prince Michael Jackson II, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson.

TripAdvisor Releases List of Most Expensive Cities for Tourists

Trip Advisor has released its latest TripIndex Cities that ranks the cities on the basis of the expense a visitor would make.

Oslo, the Norwegian capital tops the list as the most expensive amongst the world’s key cities. Visitors to Oslo would have to pay an average of $561.26 for a night out in town. The list is dominated by European cities with Sydney being the only exception in the top eight cities.

According to the report a night out in Sydney would cost a visitor $445.64.

TripAdvisor has calculated the cost for a couple staying one night in a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner with a bottle of wine, and return taxi fare of 3.2 kilometers each way.

Sofia, Warsaw and Budapest are the Most Affordable Cities in Europe

Sofia, Bulgaria

Europe as a continent is the most expensive, but the interesting part is that the least expensive city is also in Europe. The spot is occupied by Sofia in Bulgaria which was declared the cheapest city overall with the visitors expected to spend only $153.21 for a night of revelry.

South East Asia has expectedly a significant presence in the list of least expensive destinations with Hanoi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur occupying the 2nd, 6th and 7th position respectively. The report clearly shows that Asia is the most affordable continent. However, there are exceptions in both Asia and Europe. Cities like Sofia, Warsaw and Budapest, though in Europe are rather affordable and don’t exert undue pressure on the pockets of visitors.

Hotel Room Costs Are Lowest in Sofia and Highest in New York

The ranking hasn’t changed much since last year but Singapore which had been part of the top ten has slipped to the 14th position this year.

Another interesting finding of the report is the wide variation that exists between cities in the cost of return taxi trip. The cost of hotel also varied sharply with a night in Sofia hotel costing only $93 where as the hotels in New York City were the most expensive averaging $366 for a night.

The key cities which are part of the survey was selected from 49 countries based on the data compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the cities receiving the largest number of international visitor arrivals.

Via: brisbanetimes

Rockaway Beach is the Most Expensive Beach in America

Calling a beach the most expensive sounds a little odd, particularly when you are not buying it outright. But in some cases the maintenance and expansion of a public beach requires huge investments making the beach rather expensive. According to this parameter the most expensive beach in America is the Rockaways. The beach has shrunk due to the havoc created by Sandy. The narrower beach will look more crowded this summer. Luckily the US Army Corps of Engineers have taken it upon themselves to replace the lost sand and restore the glory of the beach. The investment involved in the project will make the beach even more expensive.

Army Corps Had Moved in Millions of Dollars Worth of Sand

The old residents of the area remember both the erosion and the reconstruction of the beach. John Cori, 50, who is a resident of Rockaway remembers the grandeur of the beach when people had to get down 14 steps and jump another 4 feet to get to the beach. He also remembers the fate of the beach when the waves had eroded the sand even from under the boardwalk steps. It was towards the end of the 1970s that the federal government decided to invest in the reconstruction and restoration of the Rockaway Beach. The Army Corps also chipped in with millions of dollars worth of sand. However, the flow of funds dried up in 2004 and the level of maintenance dropped drastically.
Sandy Sucked Out 1.5 Million Cubic Yards of Sand to Deeper Water

It was Sandy, the storm that almost swallowed the entire beach. The waves during the storm sucked sand into deeper water. According to estimates made by Army Corps almost 1.5 million cubic yards of sand simply disappeared from the beach. The Army Corps of Engineers have taken it upon themselves to restore the beach. Half of the sand lost during the storm will be replaced this summer itself at the cost of $10 million. The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University has gone through, in detail, the records at the federal, state and local level to assess the cost of maintaining different beaches. The Rockaway has been receiving funds for its maintenance since 1926 and $216,928,138 has been spent on it till date.

Rockaway Beach at Beach 90th Street. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

New Zealand’s Tokelou Island Powered Entirely From Solar Energy

New Zealand’s Tokelau Island has become a pioneer in solar energy by being the first completely solar powered territory on the planet. New Zealand has always been known for its environmentally sound policies, and this will become another feather in its cap. The island is made up of three coral reef atolls. Its 1500 odd inhabitants till now were using around 2,000 barrels of diesel every year to generate power. This method of power generation was proving very expensive for the island dwellers, bringing their diesel bills to over $825,000 every year.

However, thanks to the Tokelau Renewable Energy project, this island in the Pacific will now meet its energy demands entirely through solar energy. Earlier, a huge chunk of the development funds allotted for the small island were being eaten up by the power demand. This made the future of development in this remote island quite bleak. But due to this project, not only will they be able to cut costs but also have a cleaner source of energy generation. The initial cost of set up was around $8.5 million, which will be recovered in due course. Each of the three atolls of this island, namely Nukunonu, Fakaofo and Atafu have their own mini solar grid, thereby making them self reliant in the real sense.

The initial predictions for the solar power project estimated it to provide 90 percent of the energy requirements. It however, far exceeded the expectations and is capable of generating 150 percent of the energy needs. 4032 photovoltaic panels, 1344 batteries and 392 invertors are generating and supplying almost one Megawatt of electricity to the inhabitants. Such measures go a long way in reducing the long term carbon footprints and the success of this endeavor will surely inspire other nations to follow in this small island’s footsteps. Another interesting green initiative has been taken by King Abdullah of Jordon who is building a Star Trek theme park powered entirely by renewable energy.

Mermaids: The New Evidence full episode


Mermaids the new evidence. is the 2nd documentary in a series that explores the possibility that we may be discovering a new species of aquatic life that descended from prehistoric man but evolved in and around water.

Lamborghini Collaborates With Car Shoe to Create Celebratory Moccasins

Lamborghini, the Italian automaker has collaborated with Car Shoe to make limited edition driving footwear on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. They have completed fifty years in the industry and have established themselves as a leading brand. 50th anniversary is a major milestone in any company’s existence and Lamborghini is making every moment count. They are creating a series of celebratory limited editions. They are also organising special events. Just last week 350 Lamborghinis participated in the Grand Tour in Italy. Now they have got luxury brand Car Shoe to come on board and create a celebratory design that will appeal to the owners and admirers of Lamborghini and add to the anniversary celebrations.
The Stylish Moccasins are Made From Calf Leather

Car Shoe, owned by Prada, is the celebrated Italian brand established in 1963. They have created a limited edition of their famous moccasin to honour the 50th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini. A 50th anniversary metal logo features on the lace of each shoe. The Lamborghini shield is enamelled on the back and printed on the insole of the shoes. The craftsmanship of Car Shoe is evident in each pair of the shoes as every detail is perfectly finished. The moccasins have been made from calf leather and their design is very stylish. Yet the shoes are very functional and promise to provide luxurious comfort to your feet.

The Shoes Will be Sold Through Select Prada Stores

The limited edition shoes feature studded sole that provide high traction grip. It is an essential feature required by high speed racers. The shoes are gorgeous, to say the least. The shoes will be made available in three colors. However, it is expected that the reddish orange moccasins will be preferred by the Lamborghini owners to match the color of their car. The limited edition shoes will be made available in the coming weeks at select Prada stores. The 50th Anniversary celebrations are still on at Lamborghini and we can hope for some more limited edition creations honouring the significant milestone.

Via: luxpresso

Pagani Brings Out a New Avatar Of Its Amazing Zonda R

Though not the most well known of sports car brands, Pagani sure believes in quality and not quantity. Pagani has impressed us again with their latest avatar of Zonda: the Revolucion. At 2358 pounds, this car definitely goes to the feather weight category of sports cars. That is thanks to its carbon-titanium monocoque chassis. Its 6.0-liter V12 engine is capable of an amazing 800 horsepower, while its torque is around 538 pound-feet. Its gears are like a dream. There are a total of six-speed sequential transmission and can be shifted through the cogs in just 20 milliseconds. Another great feature is the drag reduction system, which gives better stability by adjusting two downforce settings of the rear wing. According to the condition, you can adjust it yourself or the auto adjust will do it for you.

The current price is 2.2 million Euros or approximately $2.9 million excluding taxes. The company released this car at the 9th Pagani Gathering or The Vanishing Point 2013. The traction control on this car has been developed by Bosch and comes with 12 different settings. The Brembo braking system adopts the latest F1-tecnology derived CCMR discs. Due to its reduced weight of up to 15 percent, this CCMR offers lower operating temperature and higher stiffness for extreme track use. This also increases the life of the disc by as much as four times. All this means great breaking power and that is a must have for any sports car.

Horacio Pagani, the Owner and chief designer of Pagani Automobili and his team have truly brought out a wonderful amalgamation of art and technology. Though Pagani Zonda R was already their fastest car, their hard work and ingenuity has brought out something that manages to surpasses the existing high standards. This car will surely attract the attention of those with a discerning taste and knowledge of cars.

Via: LuxuryLaunches

Paresa Resort in Phuket is Truly “Heaven of Heavens”

Thailand has taken huge strides in the field of tourism and has established itself as a perfect holiday destination. Phuket has become popular globally as a destination for exciting as well as relaxing beach holidays. A new addition to a series of luxury resort in Phuket is the Paresa Phuket.

Located on a seafront cliff facing the Andaman Sea the resort is the perfect luxury getaway that is surrounded by tropical forests. Paresa is an appropriate name for the resort as it translates as “Heaven of Heavens.” The resort offers rooms, suites and villas with names like Cielo, Dima, Cliff, Aqua, Talay, and Grand Villa. All the suites and villas are sea facing with unique views of the sea and the property.

Sea Facing Suites and Villas

The suites and the villas also boast of private infinity pools, balconies and decks. In addition they feature several luxury Thai amenities. The Grand Villa is the largest on the property and features three bedrooms. It is ideal for a large family or a group of friends vacationing together. The large villa also features steam room, treatment area and swimming pool. Paresa Phuket is in the heart of Asia but it is an international class resort that offers diverse dining options from around the world. Diavolo is one of the restaurants at the resort that serves an a la carte breakfast in the mornings and has an Italian menu for lunch and dinner. The views of the Andaman Sea are stunning from the Diavolo Restaurant. The restaurant has a large cellar and serves some of the best wine in Phuket.

Personalized Service at Paresa Phuket

The guests can enjoy the luxuries of the resort fully because of a very high level of personalized service at Paresa Phuket. There are “Angels” who guide the guests through the different excursions that the resort has to offer. The Elephant Trekking adventure is highly recommended as it is truly a memorable experience to view the landscape from the top while riding an elephant. The other popular excursion offered by the resort is a guided adventure through Kamala Market. The guests can be chauffeured and escorted in a SUV for some exciting shopping. But the guests who really want to enjoy the Phangnga bay’s beaches would prefer to snorkel and swim or go island hopping. The destination is being promoted for special weddings. The elegant resort surrounded by natural beauty makes an ideal venue. In any case, it is a perfect getaway that promises some rest and plenty of relaxation.

The Spa by PARESA  

The Spa by PARESA is the highlight of the resort and is sure to attract the visitors who are looking for true relaxation. The spa features five double treatment suites that boast of balconies overlooking the sea. The spa offers a wide range of services that include pedicures, waxing, massage and hair styling. More importantly a sense of peace prevails in the spa. It also offers traditional Thai treatments as well as holistic therapies. Guests can also opt for wellness retreats and detox programs that use only natural remedies and promises total healing.

Hotel Information:
Paresa Resort
49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road
Kamala , Phuket 83150 Thailand
T: +66 76 302000 F: +66 76 302001
E: or

Hong Kong Opens New Cruise Terminal Costing $1.1 Billion

Hong Kong opened a large cruise terminal that has come up on the old international airport site. It is perhaps the best example of redevelopment as what used to be the runway will now be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world. The berths in the new cruise terminal have been built to handle liners of up to 220,000 gross tons. Built at a cost of $1.1 billion, the terminal hopes to become Asia’s hub for luxury liners. It was the site for Kai Tak International airport that connected Hong Kong to the rest of the world. Even in its new avatar it will continue connecting Hong Kong to the rest of the world. The only difference is that it will now connect through the seven seas.

Mariner of the Seas was the First Liner to Dock at the New Terminal

The commissioner of Tourism, Hong Kong, Philip Yung was present at the inauguration of the terminal and was excited about the possibilities it had opened. The new facility has enabled Hong Kong to receive mega cruise ships and it is sure to feature in the new itineraries of large cruise liners. It is a happy development for Hong Kong as it will give a boost to the international tourist arrivals in the City. The first mega cruise liner to dock at the new terminal was the Royal Caribbean’s 1,020 feet (311 meters) long “Mariner of the Seas”. The luxury cruise liner brought 3,000 passengers to Hong Kong.

The Site Earlier Had the Airport that Was Closed in 1998

The guests were impressed by the new facility as it provides a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. A troupe of lion dancers welcomed the guests as they disembarked from the ship. Kai Tak functioned as the international airport of Hong Kong for over 70 years but was always considered difficult for the incoming aircrafts because the site was surrounded by tall mountains. The airport was closed in 1998 after the new Chek Lap Kok International Airport was developed. The large tract of land has been put to good use now. The new cruise terminal will become fully functional in the next quarter. However, the second berth will be ready for use only next year in 2014.

Most Expensive Suit in the World is Made in Hong Kong for HK$ 1 Million

Most expensive suit may come up from the most unlikely place. Hong Kong is known for its expensive real estate but a tailor in the city has produced a suit that he claims to be one of the most expensive in the world. When you think of expensive suits, the names that come to mind are Saville Row or Ermenegildo Zegna who custom make suits in some of the most premium and exclusive material. Of course there are designers who create one off pieces and embellish them with precious stones and metals to claim the honor of being the most expensive in the world.

Suit Stitched With Gold Thread Has Gold Buttons Encrusted With Diamonds

Stuart Hughes of Manchester, England has created a bespoke suit that carries a staggering price tag of $892,250. He has no doubt used premium material like cashmere, wool and silk but the price has been pushed towards a million dollars by embellishing it with 480 individual pieces of 0.5 carat, color G, vs2 quality diamonds. The Hong Kong tailor has used 22 carat gold thread to stitch the suit. The waistcoat is golden and the buttons are crafted from gold and encrusted with diamonds. It is a one off creation and carries a price tag of HK$ 1 million which is close to US$ 129,000.

Punjab House Was Established in 1889 and Served the British Forces

Arshad Mahmood shows off Apsley Tailors' suit. Photo: Thomas Yau
The tailoring establishment runs under the name Apsley Tailors. The firm running it has been in Hong Kong for over a century now and is known as Punjab House. The firm was established in 1889 and is located Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is renowned in the region for its bespoke suits. Soon after its establishment it became the recognized tailors for the British forces in Hong Kong for both officer’s uniforms and civilian attire. They were recognized as a leading tailor in Hong Kong and even opened a store in London’s exclusive Pall Mall. Arshad Mahmood, the Director of Punjab House is very upbeat about the achievement of his firm. He believes that the suit is the only one of its kind in the world. In any case it is one of the most expensive suits in the world.

Via: scmp

The Oberoi Dubai is the First Property of the Group in UAE

The Oberoi Group opens its first property in UAE, The Oberoi Dubai. The India based Oberoi group has created a niche for itself with some ultra luxurious properties who have even won awards. Their Vanyavilas Ranthambore provides luxury amidst nature and was voted the best in the world by industry peers. The Udaivilas and the property in Gurgaon have also been admired by the industry and guests. 

It is not just the property but their service has also been applauded and they have been able to consolidate their position right at the top in luxury hospitality. The group is expanding its presence in the Middle East in a planned manner and has now opened their first property in UAE.

The Hotel Offers a Total of 252 Rooms and Suites

The Oberoi Dubai boasts of a premium location as well. The hotel is housed in the Oberoi Center which is quite close to downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall. The hotel offers a total of 252 rooms and suites that overlook the iconic Burj Khalifa. All the rooms offer stunning views of the city’s skyline. 

The luxury hotels in Dubai are generally designed lavishly and the Oberoi Dubai is no different. However, it is contemporary in design and lavish in height, light and space. Its lobby, its restaurants and suites are all spacious and exude luxury. The suites boast of floor to ceiling windows that capture the best of Dubai.

Umai, Nine 7 One and Ananta Offer Varied Dining Options

The Oberoi Group prides itself on its ethos of service without compromise. They are able to maintain the superior level of service as they train key members of their teams at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. The Oberoi Dubai will also provide in-room check in facility. The guests will have access to 24-hour butler and Les Clefs d’Or concierge services. The dining options offered by the new hotel are varied and exclusive. 

Umai is a PanAsian restaurant which is very contemporary in its ambiance. Ananta is an Indian specialty restaurant and because of the Group’s roots in India it brings the best of Indian cuisine. Nine 7 One is an all day dining restaurant that boasts of a menu featuring the best of world cuisine.

Hotel Information:
The Oberoi Hotel Dubai‎
Plot No - BB.A03.002, Sheikh Zayed Road - Dubai
United Arab EmiratesDubai. By the Oberoi.

A contemporary luxury hotel that embodies height, light and space and overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa. The Oberoi, Dubai is located at The Oberoi Centre which is a commercial complex and includes an office tower.
The hotel is located within minutes from the Dubai Mall and the Dubai International Financial Centre. The 252 spacious guest rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows and have spectacular views of the city’s skyline.

The Oberoi, Dubai is located at The Oberoi Centre which is a commercial complex and includes an office tower. Overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa, the hotel is easily accessible from centers of business and leisure.

Most Expensive Motor Home in Dubai from Marchi Mobiles

Marchi Mobiles, known for their premium vehicles have released their latest and the most expensive motor home which is perhaps the ultimate luxury vehicle, the eleMMent Palazzo. Their eleMMent series has been created to address the needs of the super rich who love the extraordinary. It is a new class developed in the ultra premium segment.

The futuristic design of the Palazzo makes it look like a space age vehicle. It is also larger than an average motor home and definitely more expensive as it carries a price tag of£2 million. The eleMMent Palazzo has been made available for sale in Dubai. The motor home is obviously targeted at the oil rich sheikhs and that’s why it is being showcased in Dubai.

The State of the Art Mobile Home Washes Itself After a Day’s Drive

It is a large motor home with an enormous master bedroom. The luxury amenities on board include a 40-inch TV, on-board bar, fireplace and even its own rooftop terrace. However, the highlight of the luxury vehicle is the ‘Sky Lounge’ which emerges at the press of a button. In fact, the 40 feet vehicle transform into a personal retreat. And it is a luxurious retreat with a pop up cocktail bar, under floor heating and extravagant marble lighting. The luxury vehicle has been really appreciated by the super rich in the Middle East. One exclusive feature of the state of the art mobile homes is that they wash themselves after a day’s driving through the Middle Eastern desert.

On Square Foot Basis It Will Cost Twice as Much as Homes in London

Middle Eastern consumers love gold and that’s perhaps why the 40 feet long vehicle comes in a stunning gold. However, if you are not a lover of gold you can opt for the white finish. The spokesman for Marchi Mobiles highlighted the fact that the exclusive home has been developed after many years of sustained effort. The introduction of the new vehicle ushers in a new era and raises the bar for the luxury mobility industry. The look, the feel and the comfort all come together to make the vehicle a perfect masterpiece. It is bigger, better and more luxurious than anything you have seen before. And that’s why it is more expensive than any other home on wheels. Even if you calculate the cost on square foot basis, the cost of the vehicle will be double that of some of the finest homes in London.

Sony PlayStation 4 Launch Edition Already Sold Out At Amazon

Gamers are speaking with their wallets following E3 2013, a show that was dominated by Sony PlayStation 4 in the next gen battle. Amazon has already sold out of the $400 PlayStation 4 launch edition of the next gen console, which will be available on day one of Sony’s launch. Sony is still selling PS4 as a $400 Standard Edition, but is not guaranteeing when gamers will receive that version this fall.

PS4 is also being bundled as a $500 bundle with two different versions, one including Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 4 and PS Plus and one including Guerilla Games’ Killzone Shadow Fall and PS Plus. There are also two other bundles retailing for $460, one including Sony’s Knack and the other including Ubisoft’s Watch Dog.

The Xbox One Day One Edition is still available for $500. Amazon is not currently selling any Xbox One bundles. Microsoft MSFT -0.91%’s Forza Motorsport 5 is the only Xbox One game in the
Top 20 bestselling games list on the site. Sony has three PS4 games (Watch Dogs, Battlefield 4 and Killzone Shadow Fall) in the Top 20. Gamers are also buying the Dualshock 4 PS4 controller and the PlayStation 4 Camera. Three of the PS4 bundles (all but the Knack bundle) are in the Top 20 in Amazon sales.

While the PS4 Standard Edition is listed number one and Xbox One Day One Edition is listed number two on Amazon, sources have told me that PS4 is outselling Xbox One by two to one. I’ve emailed Amazon to confirm these numbers, but have not heard back. Baird video game analyst Colin Sebastian confirmed that PS4 is outselling Xbox One on both Amazon and GameStop GME +3.94%, but
has not revealed any specific numbers.

Amazon is currently running a Facebook FB -0.34%
poll asking consumers which console they’ll purchase, PS4 or Xbox One. With only six hours left in the poll, 95% of the over 40,000 gamers who replied said they’d be purchasing a PS4.

Michael Pachter, video game analyst for Wedbush Securities, expects Sony to sell 12 to 15 million PS4s in its first year. He expects an unsubsidized Xbox One will sell 9 to 10 million in its first year.

“I still expect a subsidy for the Xbox One, and each $100 in lower price probably represents 4 to 5 million units annually,” said Pachter. “At E3, Sony highlighted its used game and DRM policies, and that will make a difference to the hardcore. With that said, there are a lot if Microsoft fan boys out there, so it may not mean a share shift of more than 1 to 2 million consoles. I don’t think ‘new’ customers will understand or care that much.”

But those numbers are for the first entire year at retail shelves. Pachter believes Sony and Microsoft will only have about 3 million consoles available worldwide for launch. PJ McNealy, analyst for Digital World Research, said that historically no console has sold more than 1 to 2 million units in North America in a launch window.

Even when consoles are popular, like Nintendo Wii was at launch, supply is shared across the world and the demand doesn’t catch up until the following year. Early numbers are showing a demand for PS4 and Xbox One, but the strong showing by Nintendo Wii U at E3 hasn’t bumped its next gen console into the Top 20 on Amazon and none of the new Wii U first party exclusives have made the list.

I was able to check out both PS4 and Xbox One games with hands-on demos at E3 this past week. Infamous Second Son stood out in the Sony first party camp, along with Driveclub, Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack. Microsoft had a solid racer with Forza Motorsport 5 and Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 offered an open world zombie experience. Respawn’s Titanfall (an Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC exclusive) stood out in the crowded shooter genre with its micture of giant Titans and on-foot pilots gameplay.

In talking to a developer who wished to remain anonymous, gamers will see a difference on Day One when they compare third party PS4 games to Xbox One head-to-head. The developer told me the PS4 is 40 percent more powerful than Xbox One and games like Call of Duty Ghosts will be noticeably different out of the gate.

In the past, Xbox 360 games looked better out of the gate and over time PS3 games progressively improved to the point where games like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls stand out even against some next gen titles. But if this differentiator holds true, not only will Xbox One games have DRM issues and no rental options and limited used game opportunities, the games won’t look as good as PS4 titles. That sounds like a perfect storm of negativity for the hardcore gamers.

This processing power issue also could be a potential reason behind the latest controversy that has emerged for Microsoft at E3, in which photos were taken of some Xbox One games running on Windows 7 PCs with NVIDIA graphics cards. Sony PS4 developers took to Twitter saying PS4 demos were running on PS4 dev kits. I know playing PS4 games behind closed doors that the PS4 was clearly visible as I played.

Microsoft certainly has a lot of work to do between now and its November launch to win over gamers. It’s the hardcore that are voting now early on sites like Amazon and GameStop. There’s also a much larger audience to connect with. But right now the number of negative stories surrounding Xbox One far outweigh anything positive.

Azerbaijan Joins Effort to Build World’s Tallest Building

Is bigger really better? If you take the constant attempts to build the world’s largest building as any indication, then yes, bigger is better. Azerbaijan is now joining in on the tallest tower building endeavor seen both in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

It has become one of the most competitive, expensive and popular building “competition” ever – the race to build the world’s tallest building. In hopes of topping Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Azerbaijani businessman, Haji Ibrahim Nehramli, president of Avesta Group, has enlisted the help of his architecturally talented employees to build the Azerbaijan Tower.

Construction on the tower is expected to begin sometime in 2016-2017 and the plan is to build the next world’s tallest building on one of Avesta Group’s artificial islands in the Caspian Sea. Known as the Kazar Islands, the artificial floating metropolis will serve as a hub for both commercial and residential purposes. Estimated to cost $100 billion to develop the entire project, the new center for business and commerce will provide residents with access to more than 50 hospitals, daycare centers, parks, shopping centers, universities, cultural centers, schools and even a F1 racetrack. The Azerbaijan Tower will be 1050 meters high and cost $2 billion alone to complete.

The Azerbaijan Tower is expected to be complete in 2018.

Source: Luxuo
Image: Digital Trend

Elizabeth Taylor’s First Wedding Gown To Be Auctioned Off By Christie’s

Elizabeth Taylor was an iconic figure in life and now in death. Her famous jewelry collection was auctioned by Christie’s and fetched quite a handsome amount. This time around Christies is auctioning off her first wedding gown as part of their Pop Culture sale. The pre-sale estimates are around $45,300, but the actual final bid could go much higher. The highest bidder will get a provenance and picture of Taylor wearing the gown at her wedding as a complimentary document. The auction will be held on June 26.

Taylor wore this silk gown to her marriage to hotel heir Conrad Hilton Jr., son of Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton Hotels and the great uncle of the current Hilton heiresses Paris and Nicki. The wedding was the first for both and lasted less than a year. Hilton was married one more time while Taylor went on to marry seven more times. She was just 18 years old when she wore this gown.

This stunning silk satin gown was designed by Helen Rose, the chief costume designer of MGM. She also designed the iconic wedding gown of Grace Kelley to Prince Rainier of Monaco. This dress has long fitted sleeves, a mere 20 inch waistline and a translucent silk gauge off shoulder neckline. The bodice, cuff, skirt, and neckline have a foliated motif embroidered with glass bugle beads and seed pearls. The veil is made of silk and comes with a beaded Juliet cap.

This dress is truly an iconic piece of film star memorabilia. But if the buyer is thinking of wearing it, she would have to have a really teeny tiny waist. Some time back we saw the auction of Princess Diana’s gowns, which fetched over a million dollars. If they ever decide to auction off all of Taylor’s wedding gowns, of which there are many, I am sure the total would easily cross the million mark.

Presenting The World’s Most Expensive Car, The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

If you thought that the French automobile giant Bugatti was only famous for creating the world’s fastest production car, Bugatti Veyron? Then think again! As it happens, Bugatti is also the creator what is now officially the world’s most expensive car, a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. This vintage exotic ride is considered to be the holy grail for auto enthusiasts and is extremely rare with only two models of the vehicle in existence as of now. 

The first Type 57SC is in the possession of the world’s leading fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, while the second model of this fabulous piece of vintage automobile specimen resides at the Mullin Museum, in Oxnard, California. The last of the Type 57SC Atlantic was sold off at an auction organized by Gooding & Company in the month of May last year, where the vehicle was sold off to the museum for a mind blowing sum that hovers between $30 million to $40 million.

This particular figure puts everything back in the line, in regards to the automobile world and even dwarfs the world’s most expensive model car, which happens to be a Lamborghini Aventador, with a price tag of a staggering $4.7 million.

The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic was powered by a 200bhp engine and featured a teardrop body with a top speed of 123 mph. This fabulous vintage car has for a long time coined as ultimate Bugatti creation and a first supercar ever built. This car was personally designed by Jean Bugatti and the design itself was an amalgamation of aircraft style designing, fused with a teardrop body work. The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic from an engineering standpoint, was quiet similar to other Type 57s and was developed primarily as a grand tourer. The Type 57SC Atlantic was composed of Rudge Witworth wire wheels, De Rams shocks absorbers, drum, brakes and the entire vehicle carried extremely complicated craftsmanship.

Most Expensive Russian Painting Fetches $12 Million at Auction in London

A 1931 painting by Russian artist and philosopher Nikolai Roerich has become the most expensive Russian painting ever after it fetched £7.9 million (equivalent to approx. $12 million) at an auction at Bonham’s in London on Wednesday.

It is a Madonna Laboris which is part of a series of works depicting the Great Female Deities of the World. Roerich was spiritually obsessed and it resulted in this masterpiece. For a long time, the painting was believed to have been lost until it was rediscovered in a private collection in the US. Yelena Harbick, director of Russian Art at Bonham’s considered it a significant work of art and was confident that it will attract the interest of international collectors.

The Market for Russian Art has Grown Rapidly in the Last Decade

The painting was definitely the highlight of the day at the auctions and was acquired by an unnamed telephone bidder for a record price. The dominant color in the painting is blue as it shows Virgin Mary inside the blue, glowing walls of heaven. She has been shown lowering her scarf in order to help souls climb in. The experts and critics consider it to be one of the most balanced and harmonious compositions. The market for the Russian art has been boosted significantly by the growth in the Russian economy and the emergence of millionaires who would like to invest in art. There are special events, dedicated to Russian art, held by all the major auction houses. The growth has been phenomenal in the last decade.

Low Profile Artists are Also Able to Cross the Million Pound Mark

The recent trend has seen a boom in modern and contemporary Russian art. In another auction held by Christie’s ‘Still Life with Fruit’, by avant-garde artist Ilya Mashkov fetched as much as £4.7 million which was a record for the artist. More and more significant works have been making their way to auction due to increased demand. High net worth individuals are looking for a good alternative investment opportunity due to the Eurozone crisis. The trend is most likely to grow as more and more money will be chasing a limited supply of fine art work. Even artist who had a low profile in Western Europe are also doing well in auctions and fetching more than the pre sales estimates and several of them are crossing the million pound mark.

Via: calvertjournal

Jennifer Lopez Buys $10 Million Mansion in the Hamptons

She may be “Maid in Manhattan,” but Jennifer Lopez loves the Hamptons enough to spend $10 million on a chic 3-acre spread in Water Mill, NY.

First reported by the New York Post, Lopez, along with her young boyfriend Caspar Smart and her twins Max and Emme, were seen multiple times touring the property before Lopez officially dropped $10 million for the 8-bedroom, 7.5 bathroom, 8,500 square foot custom home.

Lopez’s new purchase is the perfect summer retreat with every amenity she and her family need, including a sparkling pool, pool house, theater, sauna, steam room and covered porches. The light, bright Hamptons beach house is perfectly private and situated on a secluded cul-de-sac. The property features the gorgeous main home, as well as room for J-Lo to build a guest house and tennis court, if she’s so inclined.

This news comes on the heels of news that ex-husband Marc Anthony just spent $2.5 million on a new home in Encino, CA. Coast-to-coast, the former duo is buying up some high-priced real estate!

Classic Hamptons style, J-Lo's new house is at the end of a private cul-de-sac. Image via Trulia. 

Sprawling lawns come at a high cost in the Hamptons, where space is at a premium. Image via Trulia. 

The grounds feature a perfect play area for Lopez's young twins. Image via Trulia. 

Gates and hedges separate the pool area from the rest of the backyard. Image via Trulia. 

A sparkling pool is a must-have feature at high-priced Hamptons homes. Image via Trulia.

Lopez's lot is actually big enough for her to add a guest house and tennis court. Image via Trulia.

Take A Tour of Jennifer Aniston's New NYC Home

Jennifer Aniston is at it again! No stranger to the ins and outs of buying and selling high-priced pads, US Weekly is reporting that Aniston has just purchased a posh apartment in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. At 50 Gramercy Park North, Aniston is the proud new owner of unit 9B, the only unit at the prestigious address that looks out over Manhattan’s only private park from the master bedroom.

Currently under contract with Aniston for a price close to $9,000,000, the home is fit for everyone’s favorite Friend. Featuring soaring 11.8 foot ceilings, 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, unit 9B offers uncompromised views, incredible natural light, gorgeous hardwood floors, a wood burning fireplace, and sumptuous spa-like bathrooms, custom shelving and top-of-the-line Miele appliances. Designed by John Pawson, 50 Gramercy Park North features beautiful custom features and amenities of a 5-star hotel including: housekeeping, valet, room service, event planning, butler service, catering, personal shopping, delivery service, car wash service and membership to the gym and spa at the Gramercy Hotel. Aniston bought the property from an unnamed seller, but based on the listing photos, you can tell it’s someone with a serious love of Hollywood. Famous faces grace the walls of the common areas and bathrooms, giving the home a definite aura of Tinseltown.

Ever since Jen stepped out with her latest love Justin Theroux, the couple has been plagued with rumors of marriage and babies. Aniston’s new abode features not one but TWO nurseries. Should the rumors turn out to be true, Jen’s got the right NYC home for a growing family.

Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight NYC views. Image via Trulia

Hardwood and high ceilings abound. Image via Trulia

Master bedroom with Gramercy Park views. Image via Trulia

The first of two nurseries. Image via Trulia

The second nursery also doubles as a guest bedroom. Image via Trulia

Aniston's new kitchen. Image via Trulia

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