"I don't think people are really aware of just how accurate and detailed the images are of their naked body," said Peter Bibring, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union office in Los Angeles. "We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation is great not to follow procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is involved."
"The Russian billionaire owns a fleet of yachts, nicknamed "Abramovich's navy". His super-yacht, the 377ft Pelorus, has a staff of 40, a helicopter, helipad and a cinema. Worth £100m, it is usually moored in Malta – Abramovich prefers to keep his boats in the Mediterranean, although he can sometimes be spotted in the Caribbean. His other yachts include the Sussurro and Ecstasea, while in 2006 he gave Le Grand Bleu to a business associate. According to reports, he will soon add the world's largest private yacht to his fleet, the 550ft, £200m Eclipse, which is said to have two helipads, six guest suites, five VIP suites and a 5,000 sq ft owner's cabin, as well as an aquarium, a disco, a spa and a half-indoor, half-outdoor pool. Abramovich is also reported to own not one but two submarines. His first, a 118ft Seattle 1000, commissioned from the leading manufacturer US Submarines, cost £13m to buy and a further £1m a year to run. With two deck levels, separate living areas for guests and crew, dining rooms and staterooms, the boat is capable of diving to a depth of 1,000ft and can remain submerged for two weeks. He is said to have a second sub on order from US Submarines, a smaller 65ft Nomad 1000, which cost £3m and will dock on the Eclipse. On land, Abramovich owns a £1m Ferrari FXX racing car, and in the air he has a Boeing 767, known as The Bandit thanks to the design by the cockpit. Originally designed to seat 360 people, it was refitted with a luxury interior, including a two-level bedroom, a lounge, offices and a kitchen and crew area. It also has an anti-missile system."
Not to mention the art and houses.
"Bob’s way of talking was a challenge to many — he spoke in constant puns and metaphors, like a stream-of-consciousness poet, and one had to suspend traditional forms of speech, understanding and discourse and go with the flow. It was liberating, if you could hang in there, and never mundane. Conversation was like one of his pieces: a crazy mishmash of images, multiple layers and references, and a spray of allusions that were simultaneously silly, profound and beautiful — he was the Neal Cassady of the art world. His life, and his relation to those around him, was just like his work; there was no separation and he never went out of character. The love of the world that was in the work was also in the man.
From the corpse of a tramp he had embalmed (whom he called Diogenes after he found him living in a barrel on a rubbish tip) to the skeleton of a 16th-century midwife who was hanged for witchcraft which he kept in a long wooden box on top of the piano, through his prolific production quantified in 10,000 works and his miriad lovers, it was his lust for books that struck me most:
"Though his work could be lurid and shocking to the uninitiated observer, Lenkiewicz always maintained that it was underpinned by complex sociological ideals and philosophies. Much of this background was gleaned from his library of more than 50,000 rare books, arranged by subject – witchcraft, metaphysics, art biographies – and housed in his various properties, including St Saviour's Church, around Plymouth. He spent all the money he had (and plenty he didn't) on them, even doing a two-month sentence in Exeter prison for stealing four rare books from the Plymouth City Museum in the early 1970s."
When he died, book dealers came knocking for money, one of whom was owed over £300,000. Sales of his enormous collections of books at Sotheby's account for about £1.6m.
Suddenly I was aware that if I did that painting I could get that book.
"Genes are not merely selfish, it appears. Instead, people seem to have deep instincts for fairness, empathy and attachment...First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is...The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits."
The Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo has now reported that one company offering these tours includes a chat with what it calls an "armed soldier". A journalist from the paper, who was posing as a tourist, went on a tour of Rocinha - said to be the largest shanty town in Latin America. While there he was introduced to an armed man belonging to the faction that controls the sale of drugs in the area, who explained he had already spent nine years in jail. The gunman said his principal worries were the police and rival drug gangs. Another man armed with a machine gun told how he worked 12-hour shifts and earned $180 (£90) a week."
On a different plane, take an ayahuasca trip in the Peruvian jungle.
"The speculative economy is related to the real economy, but more as a parasite than a positive force. It is detached from the real needs of people, and even detached from the real commerce that goes on between humans. It is a form of meta-commerce, like a Las Vegas casino betting on the outcome of a political election. Only the bets, in this case, change the real costs of the things being bet on.... the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your interests is to make friends. The more we are willing to do for each other on our own terms and for compensation that doesn’t necessarily involve the until-recently-almighty dollar, the less vulnerable we are to the movements of markets that, quite frankly, have nothing to do with us.... Think small. Buy local. Make friends. Print money. Grow food. Teach children. Learn nutrition. And if you do have money to invest, put it into whatever lets you and your friends do those things."
"Like many families with the means to do so, the Ambanis wanted to build a custom home....[it] will be the world's largest and most expensive home: a 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai with a cost nearing USD 2 billion."
"You know things. I think this is what you do," she said. "I think you're dedicated to knowing. I think you acquire information and turn it into something stupendous and awful. You're a dangerous person. Do you agree? A visionary."
"Between the launch of Sputnik on 4 October 1957 and 1 January 2008, approximately 4600 launches have placed some 6000 satellites into orbit, of which about 400 are travelling beyond geostationary orbit or on interplanetary trajectories. Today, it is estimated that only 800 satellites are operational - roughly 45 percent of these are both in LEO and GEO. Space debris comprise the ever-increasing amount of inactive space hardware in orbit around the Earth as well as fragments of spacecraft that have broken up, exploded or otherwise become abandoned. "