In Brief – August 2021


Michelangelo’s fingerprints?

Museum experts at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum have discovered fingerprints on a 500-year-old waxwork, titled A Slave. They believe that the prints pressed into the material belong to Michelangelo, the Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance. The statue was part of his preparations for Pope Julius II’s tomb in Rome. It depicts a young naked figure with its arm thrown across its face. Specialists first discovered the print on a dark red figurine, which was an initial sketch model for a larger unfinished marble sculpture.



Sirisha, third Indian-origin woman to fly into space

Sirisha Bandla, a research operations and government affairs vice-president at Virgin Galactic, joined British billionaire Richard Branson and four others on board SpaceShipTwo Unity to make a journey to space. The Andhra Pradesh-born researcher was scheduled to conduct experiments designed by NASA involving plants in microgravity. She became the third Indian-American woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.



$12.3mn-diamond bought in cryptocurrency

An anonymous buyer has bought a pear-shaped, 101-carat diamond using his $12.3 million cryptocurrency. The gemstone dubbed The Key 10138 has become the most expensive jewel ever purchased with cryptocurrency, according to the auction house Sotheby’s. The diamond was sold for the equivalent of $12.3 million, after the auctioneer announced it was accepting offers in bitcoin and Ethereum, in addition to traditional forms of payment. Sotheby’s has not disclosed which of the two cryptocurrencies had been used to make the purchase or the name of the buyer.



Lego LGBTQ set

Inspired by the classic rainbow flag — symbol of solidarity for the LGBTQ community — and to help families let their LGBT children know that they are loved and accepted, toymaker Lego has released an LGBTQ-themed set that contains 346 pieces and 11 figures, each with an assigned rainbow colour. The set designer Matthew Ashton, vice-president, design, said in a release that he “wanted to create a model that symbolised inclusivity and celebrated everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.”



3D-printed house

Setting the tone for the future of affordable homes, Project Milestone, a joint construction and innovation project from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, the local municipality, real estate investor Vesteda and three construction sector specialists, built the country’s first 3D-printed house. The home has a spacious living room and two bedrooms and consists of 24 concrete elements that were printed at a plant in Eindhoven within five days and transported to the building site. The digital key of the house was handed over to a Dutch couple.



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