Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Curse of the Hope Diamond

National Museum of Natural History

Diamonds are known for their extraordinary cut and brilliance; the famous large 45.52 carats blue Hope Diamond is no exception either. But what sets it apart from its other dazzling counterparts is the eerie legend of curse attached to it. Currently displayed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C, the Hope Diamond originally came from the Kollur mine in Golconda and belonged to the statue of the deity Sita in India. Ever since it was stolen from the Indian temple, it passed through several hands, touching each with its cursed heritage.

The greatly disputed ‘curse’ of the Hope Diamond entailing a trail of death or misfortune of its owners is said to have befallen the blue gem from the very moment it was stolen by the widely traveled French jeweler Jean Baptiste Tavernier in 1642. Right after selling it to Louis XIV, Tavernier met his tragic end in his next trip to India where wild dogs ripped him into pieces. The diamond received the royal title ‘Blue Diamond of the Crown’ and new cuts that turned it into a heart-shaped stone of 67-1/8 carats.

The Hope Diamond

The misfortune carried by the Hope Diamond struck again when it was inherited by Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette. After a disturbing and unstable reign, both were beheaded during the French Revolution of 1789. During this French political crisis, the royal jewelries including the Hope Diamond were placed in the Garde-Meuble from where they were repeatedly stolen. With time, the rest of the jewels were retrieved but the notorious blue diamond went amiss for some time.

45.52 Carat, deep blue diamond. Est. Value: $250 million.

Before it was seen again in London, the Hope Diamond probably went into the possession of the Spanish Queen Maria Louisa in 1800. During that period, it was reshaped by the Dutch jeweler Wilhelm Fals. He died of sheer grief when the diamond was stolen by his son Hendrick, who went on to commit suicide under the cursed influence of the diamond. Thereafter, the diamond was bought by Henry Philip Hope in 1813 and has been called the ‘Hope Diamond’ since then.

The diamond left its trail of misfortunes in the Hope family by stripping it of its prosperity and leading on to bankruptcy. After the death of Henry Hope, the diamond was passed on to his grandson Lord Francis Hope who tried repeatedly to get permission from the court to sell it. In 1901, his request was finally granted when he had reached the worst stage of gambling and bankruptcy.

Meantime, the Hope Diamond claimed some more unfortunate famous victims. The Hope passed from the hands of the Russian prince Kanitowski to French actor Lorens Ladue whom he shot dead on stage. He was not himself spared by the revolutionaries who stabbed him later. Its Greek owner Simon Montharides was plunged with his family into a precipice in an automobile accident. Even the Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid II who possessed the Hope diamond for a short time encountered dethronement in 1909.

Hope Diamond by HarshLight.
The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.

The Hope Diamond traveled to the United State of America with jeweler Simon Frankel and went to jeweler Pierre Cartier, who looked for a prospective buyer. His search ended with the rich and eccentric social figure Evalyn Walsh McLean, who agreed to buy it after hearing the curious tales of its cursed legacy. She was determined to turn it into a good luck charm but encountered too many family blows as its owner. Her son died in a car accident, her daughter committed suicide while her husband went insane and died in the confines of a mental hospital.

After the death of Evalyn McLean, the Hope Diamond was put to sale in 1949 and bought by a New York jeweler named Harry Winston. Perhaps affected by the tales of its curse, Winston made up his mind to donate the diamond to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, which is its present destination.

The hope diamond exhibit
It is said that the curse of the Hope Diamond was so strong that when it was delivered to the museum in a plain brown box by the USPS mail carrier James Todd, he faced leg injuries run over by a truck. Further tragedies unfolded on Todd as his wife died of a cardiac arrest, his dog died strangled by its leash and finally his house was burnt down by a fire.

May Yohe, the actor who is supposedly the last of the Hopes; tried to build on the cursed legend of the Hope Diamond by creating a 15-episode serial – “The Hope Diamond Mystery”. The serial included her personal misfortunes caused by the possession of the Hope Diamond along with a score of fictional characters posed as the victims of the Hope Diamond curse. Although her efforts to hog limelight through the Hope Diamond did not bear fruit, the fact remains that the Hope Diamond has at its wake the tragedies of many non-famous jewelers and intermediaries who were somehow involved in its handling.

Victoria Beckham steps back in the evolutionary process

Victoria Beckham was looking Sasquatch-chic (hunchback posture, fur and all) after catching Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theater in London today. She really needs to work on her posture so that she doesn’t look like she’s a few steps behind in the evolution process.

And the coat looked actually fierce from the front!

The Daily Mail is suggesting that it’s a real fur, GASP (for those of you who have PETA cards)!. Hubby David, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz also joined in on the fun.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sultan of Brunei's Luxurious Private Airplane

Worldmustbecrazy back with a new story based about the luxurious things, have you read about world's most luxurious aircraft cabin before?? now let me take you to this private plane owned by sultan of brunei, this private airplane interior was really lucurious, and really cool.. just check this out on Sultan Brunei's Luxurious Private Airplane

Sultan bought this Airbus 340 for roughly USD 220 Million RM99.90, the plane comes fully equipped with a Gold Plated Sink.Just look at the huge amount of luxury from that plane, if a fully equiped flying house.

Al-Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Almarhum Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin, GCMG (born July 15, 1946) is the 29th Sultan of Brunei, the eldest son of Omar Ali Saifuddin Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the previous sultan.

Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah is the sultan's heir, born by Queen Saleha. By 2005 he had four sons and six daughters with Queen Saleha and his former second wife, Queen Mariam. In accordance with Islam, Bruneian men are allowed four wives, but thesultan only has two, with Queen Anak Saleha being designated his first wife. His first second wife, Queen Mariam, was a former air hostess whom he divorced in 2003, stripping her of all her royal titles. In August 2005 her place was taken by a former Malaysian TV3 presenter, Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, who is 32 years younger than thesultan.

An Air Force Lt. General wrote:

'I toured this aircraft as it was being 'remodeled' in Texas.

Yes, the sinks are solid gold and one of them is Lalique crystal. The Sulton bought the
aircraft brand new for roughly $100 Million dollars.

He had it flown to Texas from the Boeingfactoryand had the interior
completely removed. Then, he had the folks at E- Systems install $120 Million
worth of improvements inside and outside.

I have gained entrance to nuclear weapons storage areas much easier than it was gaining
entrance to see this airplane. While there it struck me . Maybe the rich really are different than the rest of us.
And we're paying for this through the price of oil!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas gifts for Gadget Lovers

DeWalt-Williams F1 Simulator
Driving an F1 car requires much more than money. You need to be extremely fit to withstand the high G forces that F1 cars generate during cornering. For all the lesser mortals who want thrills of an F1 car minus all the exhaustion, here is the DeWalt-Williams F1 Simulator. The simulator mimics a modern F1 car’s cockpit with a monocoque cabin manufactured from top quality genuine race materials, a steering wheel made of carbon fiber, genuine front suspension, ex-race wheels and tires too. All this racing kit gets a great simulator with ultra realistic graphics. So, what are you waiting for? Buy yourself the F1 simulator to zoom away and lap the Nurburgring.

GM-M7800S Wireless Computer Mouse
The ubiquitous computer mouse gets some beautification courtesy Gigabyte. Gigabyte has encrusted the GM-M7800S wireless computer mouse with Swarovski crystals to give it an oh-so-sexy look. Leather is another material that makes the GM-M7800S wireless mouse feel a bit more special. Advanced laser tracking, 1600/800 adjustable resolution, tilt wheel and a nano receiver are standard bits on the wireless mouse that works on 2.4GHz wireless technology. The GM-M7800S wireless computer mouse comes in at an affordable $60.

Virginia Tech MP3 Enabled Hoodie
Jogging along with a great song to keep you company is one of the best ways to stay in shape. Music on the go usually means pesky wires. LimbGear has a solution in store for you in the Virginia Tech MP3 Enabled Hoodie. With this hood, you can control your iPod through buttons on the sleeve. The pesky wires will be routed safely through channels in the hood, thus letting you jog without any intrusion. What’s more, you can even clean the hoodie whenever it needs a wash. The simple, yet effective Virginia Tech MP3 Enabled Hoodie will cost you $85.

HD Helmet HERO
Adventure buffs wanting to capture all their death defying moves on camera will love the HD Helmet HERO from GoPro. This waterproof high-definition camera comes with its own mounts that will let you wear it while you attempt that record setting bungee jump. The camera also has an ultra-wide 170 degree view to satisfy even the most avid wide view photographers. You can also snap pics automatically for all of two and a half hours. The camera can be worn on your head via a helmet or can be mounted on vehicles too. You can buy the HD Helmet HERO this Christmas for $229.

Artist Series A40 Headphones
Gamers love to collect everything associated with their favorite characters. The folks at ASTRO Gaming know that. So, they just went ahead to create the Artist Series A40 Headphones. These headphones feature the insignias of popular video game characters ranging from RayGun to the Bone Shield. The fully adjustable headphones will reproduce crystal clear sound, giving you an enjoyable gaming experience. The A40 Headphones also come with a quick-disconnect cable and multiple ends, a MixAmp cable and a standard dual-jack PC connector with in-line volume and mute control. All this sits in a smart carrying case. The A40 headphones sell for $341.

Specchio Wi-Fi Digiframe
Digiframes have quickly replaced the photo frames of yore. Here is another such digiframe that goes beyond just being another digiframe. The Specchio Wi-Fi digiframe will display pics. When it isn’t doing that, it will double up as a mirror. Like its name suggests, it will even use Wi-Fi to receive emailed photographs. It can also connect to online photo sharing services like Flickr and display your pics from there. All this functionality makes the $500 Specchio Wi-Fi Digiframe very versatile and expensive too.

BioMirage Coffer
Large, unwieldy safes with combination locks are so yesterday. So how do you manage to safeguard your belongings? The answer to that question lies in the BioMirage Coffer, which brings the style equation to safety. The BioMirage Coffer uses fingerprint recognition and a USB key for access control. A patented algorithm and a capacitive sensor make sure that the fingerprint access works reliably. The BioMirage Coffer Safe, which weighs a tad over 10 pounds, can be yours for $579.

Gokukawa Black Leather Keyboard
Hammering away all day on the keyboard isn’t easy on the fingers. If you can muster up some extra money, you can say goodbye to the physiotherapist and buy yourself the GokuKawa Black Leather Clad keyboard. Like its name suggests, the Gokukawa keyboard is wrapped in soft black leather that will look classy and feel classy too. The cost of all this class and comfort at $630 is certainly pretty steep for a keyboard.

Akai all-in-one Entertainment Unit
Saving space is the buzzword, especially in today’s world where space certainly comes at a high premium. Saving space also means compactness that looks very trendy. In this vein, Akai has unveiled an all-in-one entertainment system that combines a DVD player, a speaker system, an iPod dock and even an AM/FM radio. To keep with the times, the system also gets HDMI output, USB and memory card ports for playing music. The Akai all-in-one entertainment system retails for $700.

Vertu V Accessories Collection
If you can afford the staggeringly expensive Vertu phones, you may also want to buy a few of their accessories. This time around, Vertu has come out with the V Accessories collection and has surprisingly priced it affordably. Vertu’s hyper expensive mobile phone accessories range from Vertu V Bluetooth headsets to Vertu V memory card readers and even includes some leather goods. Like always, Vertu has spared no expense in designing these accessories, which obviously means that they will look stunning. The price range for the Vertu V Accessories range from $330 to $730.

T.O.O.B. Omni-directional Dome Screen
Immersive movie watching is the new buzz in town with a plethora of movies releasing in 3D format. Now, you can sit in the confines of your cozy home and still manage to watch a 3D movie. Animator and inventor Alexander Marten McDonnell has designed an omni-directional dome screen called the T.O.O.B. The omni-directional dome screen will use a home projector from the outside of the half dome and a mirror in the middle that reflects movies. This will give viewers a totally immersive experience. The best part of the T.O.O.B. is the fact that it supports multiple formats. Meanwhile, the T.O.O.B. sells for $1,590.

MJ Art Studio’s extreme mods
Moneyed folks always look for that extra bit of difference in every product they use, especially to steer clear of the crowd and to make a individualistic statement. The boffins at the MJ Art Studio have recognized this need and have turned out plenty of everyday gadgets into rich masterpieces through their craftsmanship. Luxury laptops, computer peripherals, premium flash drives, customized iPhones, you name it and MJ Art Design will customize it for you. Now, they’ve launched a range of luxury notebooks called the 777 Edition. Customization is always high end and so are the prices, which incidentally will be made available on request.

TAG Heuer MERIDIIST Automobili Lamborghini
Lamborghini makes the hottest supercars on the planet. Tag Heuer on the other hand makes bespoke watches that use cutting edge technology to tell time. When both these great manufacturers come together, they make waves. This time, they are making waves with a cellphone called the TAG Heuer MERIDIIST Automobili Lamborghini. Needless to say, the twin LCD screen cellphone embodies cutting edge technology to suit its awe inspiring design. The sleek cellphone will let you talk for 28 hours, listen to music, snap pics and surf the internet. And these are just a few of the cellphone’s varied features. To make it ultra exclusive, only 1963 examples of the TAG Heuer MERIDIIST Automobili Lamborghini will be produced. Why only 1963? To signify Lamborghini’s year of inception! So grab one for $7,500 before it sells out.

BMW cars are known for being involving drives that look sharp. Now, BMW DesignworksUSA has decided to infuse some of BMW’s design principles to computer cases. Say hello to the BMW Computer Case targeted squarely at gamers who love cutting edge stuff. The BMW computer case makes sure that all the wires and game processors are enclosed in a sharp looking exterior case. This will let gamers indulge in their passion without the annoying wires and equipment creating an eyesore. Like everything BMW, the BMW Computer Case too will command a significant premium.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

13 Strangest Meals Of The World

Deep Fried Scorpians

This delicious meal can be considered as everyday food of some Asian and African countries. OMG… That people are really brave, who are eating such kind of meals. Off course I am not as brave as those people who eat this unusual meal daily but I wish, I had at least one or two dishes from following thirteen.

13 PhotosBalut – Embryo and Yolk

Deep-Fried Crickets
Deep-fried cockroaches
Pig Brain
Roasted Guinea Pig

Silkworm kabobs
Live Octopus
DishDeer placenta soup
Fried Tarantulas
Lamb Testicles
Bee larvae
Ox Penis