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Gun Used By Hans Solo in Star Wars For Sale, $200K Starting Bid

December 12, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The gun brandished by actor Harrison Ford, while playing the role of Hans Solo, in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, from George Lucas’ Star Wars film franchise, is for sale via auction through December 21.

The “DL-44 Blaster” is currently a featured item in the Hollywood Auction by auctioneer Profiles in History. Bids are being accepted online for this highly valued piece of movie memorabilia, which is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000. The starting bid is $200,000. 

The prop gun is one of two used in the films, as there was a heavy and a lightweight version of the blaster. The lightweight, non-firing gun is for sale. 

….This non-firing blaster was created for The Empire Strikes Back and was also used in Return of the Jedi. It would have been used in the majority of scenes that feature Han, with the heavier, live-fire weapon being used for close-up shots.

Leadership: Without Trust, It's a Bust

December 12, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

We like to keep things relatively simple here. When it comes to leadership, there are two types of bosses: worthwhile and worthless. 

While there are many characteristics to consider in what makes a leader effective, trustworthiness is an imperative. It is the core value that fosters good relationships through good or bad times. This article, 7 Reasons Why Employees Don’t Trust Their Leaders, by Glenn Llomis, offers valuable insight that formidable supervisors need to be in tune with to circumvent being tuned out by their employees. 

The seven points proffered by Mr. Llomis are not only 9 to 5 fodder, they are life lessons that are applicable 24/7 to consider if being viewd as a trustworthy person is important to you. 

1.  Lack Courage-- Leaders that don’t stand up for what they believe in are difficult to respect and trust.   Too many leaders today battle the gulf between assimilation and authenticity. 

Read More on forbes.com ››

Louis Vuitton's $9K Teddy Bear

December 11, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Looking for something to stuff into a silk-lined stocking for that special someone whom already has it all? How about a Louis Vuitton-brand teddy bear priced at $9,000? 

The savoir-faire toy bear actually was an item that came out years ago, according to fashion blog Glamour.com. It was released to coincide with the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2004-05 menswear line. Five hundred were made and sent out to VIPs around the world. 

Those same posh bears are now available at the Tokyo Toy store in New York City, which is renown for stocking its shelves with rare and pricey items.   

Blogger Danica Lo, a former model for Wilhelmina and author of "How Not to Look Fat," suggests that the LV Teddy bear is what Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby, North West, needs. Perhaps Kanye should buy two so that Kim doesn’t get jealous.  

Read More on glamour.com ››

Black Périgord Truffles at $495 for 8 Ounces Are 'Gold' for Foodies

December 11, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

So, who needs digital currency when you have chocolate candies selling at nearly $1,000 per pound

The scent of a black Périgord truffle is said to instill insatiable cravings in a foodie. The rare chocolate candy with an earthy aroma and a smooth texture is the crème de la crème among savvy gourmands. It is reported that just the slightest amount of this delicacy can transform the flavor of a dish tenfold.

A recent story by i09 reports that “Périgord is a black diamond among fungi.” It is so expensive due to its rarity, as it grows only on oak and hazelnut roots. A study published by the Journal of Proteome Research explains why culinary scientists do not understand this fungus well enough to farm it.

However, it is reported by io9 that a solution to reproduce this coveted fungus may be on the horizon. An excerpt from io9 story explains it (better than we could!). 

….The researchers compared the proteins they'd found with a few synthetic compounds on the market that are used to imitate the Périgord scent, and found some similarities. But now, would-be truffle reverse-engineers have a lot more to go on if they want to craft the perfect replacement for Périgord oil, or even Périgords themselves.

Read More on io9.com ››

Secondhand Stress Spreaders Can Ruin Decorum & Productivity

December 11, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

“There is no time to think … just do it already!” 

Is there a rusher in your life? Whether it is at work, at home, or out and about, have you ever been around someone who is always on the go, jumps from one task to another, and is non-stop busy 24/7? Does that person’s hurrying and scurrying raise your stress level? 

If so, you are not alone. Several experts in the field of stress management believe that these types of individuals causes second-hand stress to those around them, according to a post by The Wall Street Journal.

People who obsessively multitask may be more harmful than helpful, because their behavior stresses out those around them. Three separate sources claim that this personality type could adversely impact decorum by raising anxiety levels, prompting resentment, and making others feel inferior. It also could lead to others avoiding these individuals, or making them feel desperate when communicating with a rusher is a necessity.  

There is big difference between appearing to be busy and actually being productive. Keep those mowing blades sharp!      

…. Open-plan offices help spread the contagion. When the boss has a view of the entire office, no one wants to be seen as the slowest moving object in the solar system.

From One Smart Gadget to Another -- the Phone to Ring Connection

December 11, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The smartphone is connected to the smart ring, which is connected to confused consumers that are trying to determine whether another “smart” gadget is really a wise buy … or redundancy gone wild.

Mashable reports that the Smarty Ring is a Bluetooth-enabled wearable gadget that enables users to check smartphone alerts and mange incoming calls. It is like a dashboard for a smartphone built into a ring. It is a stainless steel ring that is compatible with both Android and iOS.

While a smartphone and its owner are seldom apart … if ever … the Smarty Ring will beep an alert to an owner as a reminder not to leave the phone if that distance exceeds 30 feet.

The smart ring is ringing in the ears of investors. Its campaign on the fund-sourcing site, Indiegogo, to raise $40,000 has been reached thrice over. With one day left, the Smarty Ring has raised more than $129,000.

While people are leaving comments on the Mashable article expressing doubts on whether the product actually works as advertised, the fund-raising project worked out rather well.  

Read More on mashable.com ››

Adam Sandler Most Overpaid Actor in Films for 2013 on Forbes' List

December 10, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Adam Sandler has the dubious distinction of being the most overpaid actor in Hollywood, topping Forbes’ 2013 List of the Most Overpaid Actors. Clunkers starring Sandler include Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy. Both flicks had high box office expectations that did not pan out.

Katherine Heigl finished second on the list. The once-dubbed queen of romantic comedies' stock plummeted rapidly following the less-than-acceptable returns on Killers and One for the Money.

Reese Witherspoon’s third place position on the list prompted Forbes to speculate that she will take a significant drop in pay for upcoming work. Nicolas Cage and Kevin James finished fourth and fifth respectively. 

What a difference a year can make to a career going well in Hollywood.

….[Kevin] James ranked on our Best Actors for the Buck last year but the recent film Here Comes The Boom knocked his return down to the overpaid category.

Read More on forbes.com ››

Leonardo DiCaprio Funding Team in FIA Formula E Circuit

December 10, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Leonardo DiCaprio is putting his greenbacks into a green-inspired electric-car racing team.

The actor and environmentalist is backing the Venturi Formula E racing team of the newly formed FIA Formula E Championship, according to a report by Piston Heads and a follow up story on Yahoo Sports.

The EV-racing league will feature 10-team competitions. The races will feature two cars each from the 10 teams. The debut race of the FIA Formula E Championship is September 2014.

The Venturi racing team will participate in street circuit events in a season that will include tour stops in London, Beijing, and Los Angeles. DiCaprio plans to be an active participant in FIA Formula E Championship events.

DiCaprio is hopeful to transform Venturi Formula E into a builder of automobiles for Formula E racing. Richard Branson is funding the Virgin Racing team for the league.

…."The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles," said the Titanic star. "Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be part of this effort."

MLB HR King Barry Bonds Reduces Price on Beverly Hills Mansion

December 9, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

So far, Barry Bonds’ attempt to sell his grandiose mansion in Beverly Hills at his asking price of $25 million has been a shutout. Market 1 … Bonds 0.

The house has lingered on the market since being listed last January, prompting the former MLB slugger to lower the price by $1.5 million, which is a 6% reduction. Mr. Bonds bought the 17,000-square-foot residence for $8.7 million in 2002. However, significant upgrades were made to the property by the former leftfielder of the San Francisco Giants (and the Pittsburgh Pirates).   

Is it possible that he is asking too much for it? Even with the recent price reduction to $23.5 million, the current price is still more than 170% over what he originally paid for it. While real estate experts and financial analysts quibble over price versus market conditions versus celebrity clout, perhaps the real reason Barry is having trouble selling his marvelous mansion is simple, occurs frequently, and is often overlooked.

The advertising copy written by Realtor.com stinks. 

…. Bonds’ enormous mansion is one of his finest home runs, which is saying something considering he hit 762 bombs over the course of his career. Beyond its sheer size — Bonds expanded the compound-estate by 5,500 square feet after buying it — the Hall of Fame property is flush in the finer things of life.

Are we wrong? 

Prelude: World's Largest Mega-Ship Leaves Dry Dock in South Korea

December 9, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

The world’s largest mega-ship, the Prelude, was removed from its dry dock in South Korea last week. And no, it is not the status-symbol extender acquired by Russian business mogul Roman Abromovich … at least not today.

Actually, the Prelude is owned by Shell. It is 243 feet wide, 1,601 feet long, and weighs 600,000 tons. Wired magazine reported that the super-size vessel is 150 feet longer than the height of the Empire State Building in New York City. The mega-ship set in a dry dock while under construction in South Korea over the past year.

While it is a classified as a ship, it is actually a FLNG, an acronym for a floating liquefied natural gas facility. The ship/facility will be moved to the coast of West Australia and remain there for the next 25 years. It will launch in 2017 and remain in West Australia through 2042 (or until Roman Abromovich buys it, guts it, refurbishes it, and reclaims his title as the owner of the largest mega-yacht in the world!).

 …. Since the Prelude has to process and hold 175 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of the liquid natural gas year-round, it has to withstand anything Mother Nature sends its way. For that, there’s a 305-foot-tall turret that runs through the ship and into the seafloor, keeping the Prelude anchored and allowing it to slowly pivot to the direction of the wind. Between the moorings, the turret, and the three 6,700-horsepower engines, the ship can handle a category 5 hurricane.

Read More on wired.com ››

Audi Crossover Concept Revealed -- Official Debut at Detroit in January

December 9, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Audi unleashed a sneak peek of sorts of its new, two-door crossover-car concept by India’s Zigwheels on Monday. 

The two-door crossover makes its official debut at the North America International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month. It is definitely sporty and reported to be an “all-road concept” made for “all roads, tracks and for everyday driving.” 

While these types of occurences are never unplanned or accidental, kudos to Zigwheels (and Audi) for bringing this new car concept to our attention. 

….The show car is a systematic development of the Audi design language and combines a host of visual elements from future models with the Audi-typical all-road concept and independent “Shooting Brake” body style.

Burberry, Gucci & Ralph Lauren Are the e-Leaders of the Pack

December 9, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

More than 20% of fashion brands upgraded their websites to optimize their “e-presence” in 2013, according to a report by the Luxury Daily on Monday.

The report stems from data gathered and analyzed from the latest digital index by the L2 Think Tank. Digital proficiency of 85 brands was tapped for this study. Ease of navigation, better imagery, improved e-commerce support, and mor engaging social media were the four prominent areas that fashion brands sought improvements.

Burberry, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren are the trailblazers in website savvy, according to the results presented by L2. While at least 18 brands are playing catch-up, the study suggests that about 59 are setting on the sidelines waiting for this Internet fad to go away.

(e-normous mistake!)

….“The inordinate price increases and profits registered by the fashion industry is attracting non-traditional players, ranging from Apple to Amazon, to the sector,” said Scott Galloway, founder of L2 and NYU Stern clinical professor of marketing, New York.

Facebook May Add 'Sympathize' Button

December 9, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Hitting the “like” button on Facebook may not always accurately capture true sentiments between friends and other users. 

When a friend posts something on Facebook that conveys bad news, such as their beloved pet dying, an illness, or being fired, hitting the “like” button just doesn’t seem right, does it?

Well, it is for these moments that Facebook is considering adding a “sympathize” button, the Huffington Press reported. Of course, the ever-robotic social network has an if-then programming solution to this dilemma.

…. If someone selected a negative emotion like "sad" or "depressed" from Facebook's fixed list of feelings, the "like" button would be relabeled "sympathize."

Luxury Home Builder Sees 20% Spike in Sales

December 8, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

London-centric luxury homebuilder Berkley announced that it achieved a spike in profits bordering 20% in its half-year profits in year-over-year analysis, The Guardian reports.

The firm also stated that it is building more houses now that it has since the 2008 crashing of the economy. The company’s profits rose sharply over the past couple years due to increased buying from international investors. Thirty percent of the firm’s sales stem from non-UK residents.

Good Thames … bad Thames! This building has had its share! 

…. The London-focused developer said its second half profits would be boosted by the completion of its Tower at the One St George Wharf scheme on the south bank of the river Thames. The Tower was in the news earlier this year after a helicopter crashed into a crane on top of the 185 metre-tall block.

Lexus: No Below $30K Entry-Level Luxury Car in 2015

December 8, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus will not be a player in the entry-level luxury car market, as there will be no model selling for less than $30,000 in 2015. 

Mercedes-Benz has a four-door CLA with a base price of $29,900, and Audi already announced that it will have a four-door sedan, the A3, which will sell for the same base price as MBZ’s entry-level luxury model.

Autoevolution.com points out that the U.S. market can either vault or plummet a luxury brand. Lexus learned the hard way with its LS 400 model, which was designed for high-end buyers that shunned it so much that the Japanese luxury brand lost its number-one spot in the USA.

Jesse Owens' 1936 Olympic Gold Medal Sets Record, Selling for $1.467M

December 8, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

A gold medal won by Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin established a new record for the highest price ever paid for Olympic memorabilia, selling for $1.467 million on Sunday morning.

Auction house SCP Auctions said that Ron Burkle, co-owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, won the auctioned item. Burkle is a known collector of historical artifacts.

A silver cup issued to the winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896, which sold for $865,000 last April, was previously the most expensive Olympic memorabilia. 

….[Jesse Owen’s gold medal} also sold for nearly five times the highest price previously paid for a gold medal won by a member of the U.S Olympic team -- Mark Wells' gold from the 1980 ice hockey team sold for $310,700 in 2010.

Read More on espn.go.com ››

Fake Rock Star Defrauds Banks for 'Real' $11 Million

December 7, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Rob Mawhinney is the currently incarcerated lead singer of the rock band Lights Over Power. While the band had no hit records and zero recognition among music lovers and industry pundits, Mr. Mawhinney convinced four banks that he was an enterprising musician of means. His performance resulted in him receiving $11 million worth of loans. 

Per a report by CNBC, the duped fab four of the financial community, Comerica, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Zions, lent money to the bandleader based on his concocted rock-and-roll fantasy. Forged documents and a tour of a real recording studio which was owned by two associates, were used to substantiate the lead singer’s claim of a personal net income of $5 million, an existing bank account with more than $7 million, and personal assets of $7.5 million.

Mr. Mawhinney used the borrowed money to make music videos, buy a $750,000 custom-made tour bus, and to rent a luxury apartment in Los Angeles. One of the band’s music videos, "Turn Off The Lights," was featured on Yahoo! MusicMTV, and VH1 and received over one million views onYouTube

Rob Mawhinney defaulted on the loans, and was ultimately arrested while vacationing in Miami. Not a one-hit wonder by any standards, a day after pleading guilty to the charges, the brash bandleader walked into a credit union in Orange County (California) and tried to do it all over again. He is reported to be serving a seven-year sentence.     

…. [Mawhinney] initially received $3 million from Comerica, $750,000 from BofA, $500,000 from Zions Bank and $2.4 million from JPMorgan Chase—$11 million in total between 20

Read More on cnbc.com ››

Bruce Lee's Yellow Jumpsuit from 'Game of Death' Top Seller at Memorabilia Auction

December 7, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Fourteen items belonging to actor and iconic martial artist Bruce Lee sold for $258,000, at an auction held in Hong Kong on Thursday, Auction Central News reports.

The yellow jumpsuit worn by Lee and made for the film Game of Death, sold for $100,592, making it the most expensive lot of the event. The final sales figures for all items sold exceeded pre-auction estimates.

The nunchaku, a martial-arts weapon, also an artifact from the Game of Death film, sold for nearly $70,000, making it the second highest-priced item off the block at the auction held by the Spink China auction house.  

….Other highlights include a beautiful Chinese master monk hand-drawn by Bruce Lee in 1973, which sold for HK$66,000 ($8,512 US) and his evocative Be Like Water drawing, which fetched HK$78,000 ($10,059 US).

Painting by American Artist Edward Hopper Sells for $40M at Auction

December 7, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

While art remains priceless, its real-world value is indeed quantifiable. 

A painting by American artist Edward Hopper, East Wind Over Weehawken, sold for $40 million at an auction this week, the BBC reports.

The rendering, which is said to depict the Depression era’s impact on the small town in New Jersey, established a new record for Hopper as being the most expensive painting ever sold from the painter’s works.

An anonymous buyer phoned in the winning bid during an auction held by Christie’s. The price paid by the highest bidder was nearly 100% more than pre-auction estimates.

The painting was part of the Pennsylvania Museum of Fine Art’s collection for more than 60 years. It is reported that the monies will be used to fund the purchase of new artworks by the museum.

The painting, Hotel Window, which sold for $27.9 million in 2009, formerly was the most expensive painting ever sold from art done by Edward Hooper. Hooper, cited by the art community as a realist-styled painter, died in 1967.  

The property used in the painting still stands. However, it is now painted white.

….After a slow start, Hopper's career accelerated during the 1930s when several of his works were purchased by the Whitney Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

He married fellow artist Josephine Nivision, who died 10 months after him. She bequeathed both their bodies of work to the Whitney.

Read More on bbc.co.uk ››

Starbucks' $450 Metal Gift Cards Sell Out in Seconds

December 7, 2013 | By: DailyLuxe News

Apparently, faster than you could have said, “How many are left?” 1,000 Starbucks’ metal gift cards, valued at $450 each, sold out in just seconds after being offered for sale on Gilt.com, on Friday.

Last year, the Seattle-based coffee outlet sold 5,000 of its gift cards, valued at $400, in seconds. It is being widely reported that the Gold-level membership cards are currently being sold on eBay for more than a $1,000 each. Asking prices on the sell-all website are as high as $4,999, according to Eater.com.

Eater.com also reported that coveted cards were available during a one-hour pre-sale at 11 a.m. 

…. Reps from Gilt confirm that some cards were sold at pre-sale but [would] not reveal how many: "A total of 1,000 cards were created and a portion of those were made available early to "My Starbucks Rewards" members. The card sold out within seconds."

Read More on eater.com ››