Be It Ever So Humble Freakishly-Massive…

Istana Nurul Iman Brunei Palace

They say home is wherever you hang your hat. If you are the Sultan of Brunei, your home has enough space to hang the hats of a sizeable percentage of the human race.  Continue reading

Time, Money, and Wheels

 

Takes 13 hours to build Toyota 6 months for Rolls-Royce

Toyota and Rolls-Royce both manufacture automobiles, but the end result is quite different.

A 2016 Toyota Camry costs about $24,000 and takes 13 hours to build.

In comparison, a 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn costs $337,750, and spends 6 months being assembled.

If You Can’t Afford This Fruit, You’ll Be Melon-choly

most expensive watermelon

The Densuke watermelon — commonly known as a black watermelon — is a luxury item. Grown only on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, this gourmet fruit sells in department stores for $200 – $300 apiece.

In 2008 one 17-pound Densuke melon sold at auction for $6,100.

Connoisseurs tell us that the melon is unusually crisp, with a different level of sweetness than the typical melon.

The Gift That Didn’t Please His Wife

Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge as a gift for his wife

Cecil Chubb (1876-1934) was in the market for the perfect gift for his wife and thought he found just the thing. Apparently thinking that her love for “big stones” meant something other than diamond jewelry, Chubb purchased Stonehenge for her.

The world-famous landmark became his for £6,600 (£477,000 or $624,000 in 2016 values). He was rather surprised and disappointed, however, to find that his wife was less than enthusiastic about her gift.

Since he had no other use for it, Chubb chose to donate Stonehenge to the government of Great Britain, subject to the following terms:

stonehenge deed
First page of Cecil Chubb’s deed of Stonehenge to Great Britain.
First that the public shall have free access to the premises hereby conveyed and every part thereof on the payment of such reasonable sum per head not exceeding one shilling for each visit and subject to such conditions as the Commissioners of Works in the exercise and execution of their statutory powers and duties may from time to time impose Secondly that the premises shall so far as possible maintained in their present condition Thirdly that no building or erection other than a pay box similar to the Pay Box now standing on the premises shall be erected on any part of the premises within four hundred yards of The Milestone marked “Amesbury 2” on the northern frontage of the premises and Fourthly that the Commissioners of Works will at all times save harmless and keep indemnified the Donors and each of them their and each of their estates and effects from and against all proceedings costs claims and expenses on account of any breach or non observance of the covenants by the Donors to the like or similar effect contained in the Conveyance of the premises to the Donors.

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Forget Real Estate — Here is Where the Big Investment Is

bucky balls endohedral fullerenes

The next time you are tempted to complain about the price of a gallon of milk or even the cost of a new car, take a moment to give thanks that you don’t have to buy buckyballs.

Bucky balls — also known as endohedral fullerenes — are small, but their price isn’t based on size. The current asking price for one gram is $167,000,000.

Bucky balls consist of one atom encased in a cage of 60 carbon atoms. The final product resembles an American soccer ball or European football — hence the nickname of bucky ball.

Don’t have $167 million sitting around? Don’t worry. Designer Carbon Materials, a spin-off lab of Oxford University, sells the material in smaller quantities of 200 micrograms for the low price of $32,000. This is about one-fifteenth the weight of a single snowflake.

Endohedral fullerenes are in demand as scientists explore ways to improve the accuracy of atomic clocks. Currently an atomic clock occupies the space of a dining room table. Use of endohedral fullerenes could reduce an atomic clock to the size of a microchip. Such application would allow GPS devices to increase their accuracy from their current span of a few yards down to one millimeter.

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Treat Your Senses — Empty Your Wallet

Sublimotion world's most expensive restaurant

If you want to do more than simply satisfy the munchies with a quick snack, you might consider a visit to Sublimotion. A word to the wise, though: it’s going to cost you a wee bit more than a trip through the drive-through. Continue reading