Banksy’s tribute to health workers sells for record $20 million at auction

A Banksy painting showing a boy playing with a toy nurse as a superhero sold for more than 20 million dollars, setting an auction record for the elusive British street artist. “Game Changer,” unveiled last May at University Hospital Southampton, paid tribute to the frontline workers of Britain’s National Health Service in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The black-and-white …

Meat-free spam

A major downside of a rise in sales of canned meat like Spam is the greater consumption of pork, which brings both ethical and environmental concerns. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Koreans eat 31 kilos of pork per year, while people in China eat 24 kilos, both well above the international average of 11 kilos. Meat …

The evolution of Japanese manga

Megumi, a Japanese office worker, said she reads 20 pages of manga on her phone during her lunch break, and turned to the manga apps when stuck at home with her kids during pandemic lockdowns. She became “addicted” to and paid for hit Line Manga series “True Beauty,” about a young woman whose makeup skills make her popular with men. …

Japan’s teamLab melds museum and sauna in fresh digital art experience

A wall of flower petals bursts into a thousand fragments. A huge ball levitates in the air, turning from red to blue to purple. Hundreds of butterflies dart around a screen of tiny water particles. This is not a modern art museum, but the latest creation of Japan‘s teamLab collective of engineers, artists and architects, anchored around a maze of …

Happy birthday Ken! Barbie’s beau turns 60

Ken, fashion doll Barbie‘s long-term companion, turned 60 last March 11, celebrating the milestone birthday with a return to his original look. Toymaker Mattel has recreated a version of the first Ken doll, dressed in red swimming trunks, sandals and carrying a yellow towel on his shoulders. Ken, who was named after the son of Mattel founders Elliot and Ruth …

Spam: No love lost

In the US, mention of Spam can often provoke disgust rather than salivation. Many World War 2 veterans, who depended on the canned meat while deployed, came to loathe it in peacetime. Even during the war, many were less than appreciative: company president Jay Hormel told an interviewer in 1945 that he kept a file in his office “in which …

How Chanel No.5 was born

Coco Chanel launched her eponymous No.5 perfume in 1921. A year before, so the legend goes, she challenged French-Russian perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a scent that would make its wearer “smell like a woman, and not like a rose.” The result was a mixture of 80 natural and synthetic ingredients. Beaux presented her with a numbered series of perfume …

Filipino artist fights waste by using recycled trash in paintings

When Filipino artist Gilbert Angeles found out that his country was one of the world’s biggest contributors of plastic trash in the ocean, he felt compelled to take action. Angeles decided the best way to show how discarded waste could be given a new life in a different medium was to incorporate materials ranging from shredded plastic to old paint …

The Chanel suit

Coco Chanel was a designer who once famously said: “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” The Chanel suit was a game-changer — not just for fashion but for women’s sartorial liberation. Coco Chanel introduced her first two-piece set in the 1920s, inspired by menswear and sportswear, as well as the suits of her then lover, the Duke of Westminster. …