blog advertising is good for you

Monday, March 17, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres
























"A few months ago, I received a highly unusual invitation over the phone. 'Monday I’m planning my funeral, and Tuesday I’ve got Bette Midler. Come Wednesday at 11:30.' On the line was Rachel 'Bunny' Lambert Mellon, one of the world’s richest, most reclusive, and most elderly persons. Though she will turn 100 on August 9, there were no indications that services would be needed anytime soon. On the contrary, her voice was breezy and cheerful. Even as she approaches centenarian status, and the inevitable, Bunny Mellon continues to expect perfection in every detail.
Privacy has long been a priority for her, too, as it was for her late husband, billionaire Paul Mellon. '[It’s] the most valuable asset that money can buy,' he wrote at the conclusion of his 1992 memoir, Reflections in a Silver Spoon. The only son of financial titan Andrew Mellon, he had the means to purchase plenty of this commodity, along with so much more, and thoroughly enjoy it all. Bunny, whose grandfather Jordan W. Lambert invented Listerine, was loaded, too. Few invitations were as coveted as those to Oak Spring Farms, the Mellons’ 4,000-acre estate, in Upperville, Virginia. Guests such as John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and the scarlet-coated members of the Piedmont Foxhounds found arguably the most understated refinement this country has produced. While the couple collected masterpieces of art on a par with the Medici and bred some of the world’s finest Thoroughbred horses, the backdrops were sublimely low-key. 'Nothing should be noticed' was the decree of Bunny, whom Paul credited with crafting all this perfection. Indeed, throughout the second half of the 20th century, Bunny was widely venerated as the epitome of good taste and the true queen of green, thanks to her prowess with gardens, both her own and those she designed for friends such as Hubert de Givenchy and the Kennedys, for whom she did, most notably, the White House Rose Garden. Since her husband’s death, in 1999, at 91, Mellon has rarely been seen. What interest she ever had in society seems to have disappeared. As a result of this and the fact that most of her contemporaries have long since died, she’s become unknown or forgotten in many quarters. Yet Mellon has continued to enjoy a remarkably vigorous life at Oak Spring and her other properties. Having your own airport helps." (VanityFair)












epa04129713 Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony of Russia's state awards presentation to medal winners of Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, 17 March 2014.  EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT












"Vladimir Putin, in his campaign to restore Russian dominance over post-Soviet states, has an unconventional weapon in his arsenal: vast supplies of natural gas. In 2006 and 2009, Gazprom, the Russian gas company, cut off supplies to Ukraine (the second time, this created shortages in Europe, too). In 2010, it reduced supplies to Belarus, and last fall Russia threatened Moldovans with the same if they didn’t abandon plans to sign a free-trade accord with the European Union. 'We hope that you will not freeze,' a Russian deputy foreign minister said ominously. During the current crisis in Crimea, Putin’s readiness to use natural resources for strategic ends has made it difficult for Europeans to take a hard line against him, since Europe gets roughly thirty per cent of its gas from Russia, mostly via pipelines running through Ukraine. 'One big difference between the U.S. and Europe on this issue is energy,' Jeffrey Mankoff, a Russia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me. 'The assumption that, because of the energy relationship, Europe was not going to risk a major confrontation over Ukraine was surely part of Russia’s calculations.'You might take Putin’s brandishing of the gas weapon as a shrewd geopolitical move. But it’s a classic case of putting short-term interests ahead of long-term gain. Although the region’s need for Gazprom supplies may strengthen his hand in the present, the strategy is forcing Europe to end its reliance on Russia. After the crises of 2006 and 2009, Europe increased imports from Norway and Qatar. It built new facilities for receiving liquefied natural gas, and upgraded storage capacity, so that supplies could be stockpiled in case of a cutoff. It imported more coal. Pipeline connections within the E.U. were improved, making shortages easier to alleviate. The Crimea crisis will give new impetus to these efforts. The U.K.’s foreign secretary has said that the crisis is likely to make Europe 'recast' its approach to energy. A draft document prepared for a forthcoming E.U. summit deplored the Continent’s 'high energy dependency' and called on E.U. members to diversify their supplies. These moves are reminiscent of what happened after the oil crises of the nineteen-seventies made it clear to the West and Japan that relying on OPEC suppliers was foolish. Europe installed energy-saving technologies and invested heavily in nuclear energy and natural gas. France built fifty-six nuclear reactors in the fifteen years after the oil embargo of 1973.This time around, we’re sure to see more infrastructure for liquefied natural gas and more emphasis on renewables. Europe may also finally make its peace with fracking—a hard sell till now, not just because of environmental concerns but also because European landowners typically don’t own the mineral rights to their property, and so have no incentive to allow drilling." (TheNewYorker)










S-P-futures-S-P-futures_chartbuilder (1)



"So it looks like Crimea is going to be Russian again. And the markets don’t really seem to care.
+ Around the world, stocks are seeing a lift this Monday. In the US, the Dow industrials are up roughly 1%, about the same as the major European indexes. In Russia, the Micex snapped a nasty six-day losing streak by rising nearly 4%. +In fact, global investors bid up the price of stocks soon after President Barack Obama’s administration announced a series of sanctions—including asset freezes and travel bans—on a number of individual Russian and Crimean leaders. +After the announcement, at a little after 10am EST, S&P 500 futures rose… " (Quartz)






Jagger ‘devastated’ by designer girlfriend L’Wren Scott’s suicide


"Mick Jagger’s model-turned-designer girlfriend killed herself in her luxurious Manhattan apartment — just weeks after abruptly canceling her London Fashion Week show, sources told The Post on Monday. L’Wren Scott’s body was found shortly after 10 a.m. by an assistant to whom she sent a text message around 8:30 a.m. saying, 'Come by,' police sources said.The assistant used a key to open the door and found the 6-foot-3 Scott hanging from a doorknob with a scarf around her neck, sources said.The assistant called 911 and cops responded to the ninth-floor apartment at 200 11th Ave., near 24th Street.There was no note and no signs of foul play, sources said.Scott, 49, began dating the Rolling Stones’ frontman in 2001, and last year marked his 70th birthday by posting a vintage photo on Instagram of the rocker at age 21, wearing a pair of swim trunks, just before his band hit it big.A spokesman for Jagger, currently on tour with the Stones in Australia, said the singer was 'completely shocked and devastated' by Scott’s death. Scott’s suicide followed the last-minute cancellation of her London Fashion Week show last month, with WWD reporting that she blamed 'production delays in key show and couture pieces.' But a fashion-industry source said the real reason the show was scrapped was that 'L’Wren’s business just crashed.'Another fashion source said: 'I knew something was wrong when L’Wren canceled her London Fashion Week show. That would have been so important to her. She was very prolific on Instagram and recently had gone quiet and hadn’t been posting so much.' A third source added: 'Everybody who knows L’Wren and Mick are totally and completely shocked.'" (NYP)



No comments: