Today in London, Christie's auction house sold a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of its first publication. The book, one of only 1,250 copies first printed in 1859, was found on a shelf in a family's guest bathroom in Oxford. Christie's said they thought the book would likely sell for around $100,000, but an anonymous telephone bidder won the green bound, gilt-decorated tome for about $171,000. Darwin's Origin of Species outlined his theory of natural selection and is the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution.
Of course, many fearful zealots thoroughly believe, and joyfully so, that Charles Darwin is now barbequing away, racked in hideous, throbbing pain, burning forever in the pit of hell for the rest of eternity because of his blasphemous thought provoking ideas, such as his belief that man evolved from lower forms of primates and random mutation.
Many of the least thinking biblical pundits and dim ostriches would like to blame Darwin and all his followers for the reason why this good christian nation is sliding into all things wicked. Any preacher worth his fear mongering salt will certainly lecture on the evil Stalinism these monkey loving evolutionists are shoving down the throats of the faithful joes and janes, taking society to hell in a hand basket with their flu shots, homosexuality, flag burning, pro-choice, science education, gun control, cunnilingus, hip hop, global warming, masturbating, MSNBC, health care reform.
Fear not creationists, god created Kansas just for you. Do I hear an amen!?
Well somebody out there has money to burn ... shit, crisis what financial crisis? The pathetic and mostly lifeless contemporary art market was suddenly re-animated on Wednesday at Sotheby's New York when a silk-screen painting by Andy Warhol, produced in 1962, sold for a $43.8 million, the second highest price ever for a Warhol piece. (In 2007 his painting, Green car Crash (Green Burning Car 1), sold for a mind blowing $71.7 million.) The amazing thing about all this is that the pre-auction estimate of for the silk-screen was expected to pull in only about $8 - $12 million.
Sotheby's contemporary art auction as a whole sold $222.8 million worth of art, more than doubling the auction house's high estimate of about $98 million in sales.
The bidding for the piece 200 One Dollar Bills opened at $6 million, but instantly doubled with the very first bid from the floor – those in the biz called it “an unusually aggressive move;” I call it just weird, ego driven conspicuous consumption. Five more bidders joined in the battle before an anonymous buyer won the painting via telephone bid.
Described as a "hugely important work for American art history," its one of Warhol’s earliest silk-screens. The 80¼ x 92¼ inches canvas comprises of 200 $1 bills reproduced in black and gray with a blue treasury seal. The painting's anonymous seller bought the piece back in 1986 for $385,000. Nice profit!
The War to End All Wars. Though in 20 years time the Second World War would begin and the 78 million casualties would more than double the amount of World War One.
The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 38 million: 16 million deaths and 22 million wounded (7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured).
Of the 60 million European soldiers who were mobilized from 1914 – 1918, the official number of deaths was 9,721,937 with 21,228,813 wounded personnel; that is over half the military population. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies -- United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and the United States) lost 5.7 million soldiers and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) about 4 million. Civilian deaths officially totaled 6,821,248, though many estimates double that number.
Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria–Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%. About 750,000 German civilians died from starvation brought on by the British blockade during the war. In 1914 alone, the typhus epidemic killed 200,000 in Serbia and a few years later more than 3 million more would die in Russia. By 1918, famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon. In addition, the biggest influenza pandemic of the century, the Spanish flu, spread around the world killing at least 50 million to as many as 100 million people. Though the war was not the cause of the flu, it certainly hastened the pandemic (the first cases were found at the army base, Fort Riley, Kansas). With massive troop movements, close quarters and poor sanitary conditions, some researchers speculate that the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment as well as the stress of combat and attacks from chemical weapons, increasing their vulnerability to the flu, widening the spread of the disease.
Battles of Arras, Somme, Verdun, Soissons, Ypres, Liege, Lorraine, Belleau Wood, Antwerp, St. Quentin, Fromelles, Artois, Bazentin Ridge, Gallipoli, Ctesiphon, Dujaila, Asiago, Caporetto, Mount Ortigara, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Galicia, Komarów, Kraśnik, Gumbinnen, Łódź, Przemyśl, Rawa, Tannenberg, Vistula River, Kajmakcalan, Kosovo, Bucharest, Cer, Kolubara, Mărăşeşti, Turtucaia, Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, Saint-Mihiel, Passchendaele, Mont Sorrel, Messines, Marne, Le Cateau, Loos, Guillemont, Fromelles, Charleroi, Gaza, Romani, Hanna, Kut, Champagne, Broodseinde, Amiens, Aisne, Kisaki, Erzincan, Manzikert, Sardarapat, Sarikamish...
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.