On August 21, 1911 Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was stolen when Vincenzo Peruggia slipped the small 76-by-53-centimetre painting out of the Louvre underneath his smock. The 16th-century Florentine beauty wasn’t discovered missing until the next day as the Louvre had been closed to the public.
Peruggia was caught two years later. He had been motivated by a desire to return the painting to its homeland in Florence, Italy, where it was located.
Today, millions of people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris each year to catch a glimpse of her enigmatic smile.
U.S. News & World Report has released their annual “Best Countries” index.
They evaluated 80 countries and surveyed 21,000 people from four regions (the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa). Countries were graded 65 different ways, from how well they rank in “citizenship,” “cultural influence,” “education,” “heritage,” “power,” to “quality of life,” to name a few.
Interestingly, both the UK and the USA are down one position in this year’s rankings.
The opportunity to see all of Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings in one place may have passed us by for now—an exhibit in Chicago brought them together in 2016. But we can see the original bedroom at the yellow house in Arles in a virtual space, along with almost 1,000 more Van Gogh paintings and drawings, at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam’s site. The digitized collection showcases a vast amount of Van Gogh’s work—including not only landscapes, but also his many portraits, self-portraits, drawings, city scenes, and still-lifes.
This week, Barack Obama is travelling to Africa for the first time since he left office.
In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
In preparation for the trip, Mr. Obama wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.
Researchers have shown that politicallyconservative Americans, with more restrictive their sexual attitudes, were more likely to have signed up for the adultery-focused dating website Ashley Madison than we’re liberal minded folks.
Still, many Americans—and their physicians—have come to think that every symptom, every hint of disease requires a drug, says Vinay Prasad, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. “The question is, where did people get that idea? They didn’t invent it,” he says. “They were spoon-fed that notion by the culture that we’re steeped in.”
It’s a culture, say the experts we consulted, encouraged by intense marketing by drug companies and an increasingly harried healthcare system that makes dashing off a prescription the easiest way to address a patient’s concerns.