Globetrotting: news from around the world – October 2016

An increasing number of celebrities are turning to venture investing, while museums across the US are partnering with high-level restaurants to create new venues on their premises.

CELEBRITY LIFE

The new venture capitalists

An increasing number of celebrities, reports The Fiscal Times, are finding another outlet for their money besides parties, self-promotion and Bel Air homes. It comes in the form of venture investing.

Retired NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant recently announced that he and former Web.com CEO Jeff Stibel would launch a US$100-million investment fund for technology, media and data companies. He thus joins the ranks of celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr. and Lupe Fiasco, who have said they would put money into the quest for the next Facebook or Uber.

But having a celebrity investor is not always a plus. As digital strategy consultant Cortney Harding puts it, “A year down the line, you’re going to get a lot more help from a boring investor than someone you put in a press release.”

MUSEUMS

A new taste in art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

“A total experience in the museum should be about using all your senses,” New York’s Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg recently told The Art Newspaper. That probably explains why the artistic experience now includes an ever greater appeal to the sense of taste — of the culinary variety, that is.

Art institutions are partnering with high-level restaurants, which are opening new venues on their premises. For example, In Situ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art calls itself an “exhibition restaurant,” with dishes “curated” from the work of other chefs worldwide.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will take the trend a step further when it opens its new restaurant in June 2017. The new locale will benefit from the farmers market hosted on the museum’s plaza, making for a menu that museum director Madeleine Grynsztejn calls “accessible, creative and vegetable-forward.”

US REAL ESTATE

Home sweet home

How much do you need to earn to afford a house in a major US city? Maybe not as much as you think.

Mortgage site HSH.com periodically calculates the salary you would need to pay the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in several US metro areas. For the second quarter of 2016, San Francisco came out on top, with a median home price of US$885,600. There, you would need a salary of almost US$162,000 to afford a monthly mortgage payment of US$3,779. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh had a median price of US$140,500, requiring US$32,390 for a US$756 mortgage.

OCEAN PREDATORS

Long live the Greenland shark

Greenland shark

The Greenland shark, one of the world’s largest carnivores, swims at the top of the food chain in northern oceans. “It is almost unbelievable that we don’t know if this shark lives to 20 years or to 1,000,” Steven Campana of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik told Science News.

But a study of 28 Greenland sharks accidentally caught in fisheries surveys found that the oldest specimen was a 392-year-old female. Although the method used to determine age in this case leaves a margin of error of plus/ minus 120 years, that still makes for a minimum age of 272 years.

About the Author

Yan Barcelo


Yan Barcelo is a journalist in Montreal.

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