A few interesting items for your Friday Focus….

A picture that went through the shredder sold for how much?

In 2018, a Banksy painting, Girl with a Balloon, sold for $1.4 million. To the consternation of the folks attending the Sotheby’s auction, a shrewd but secret shredder was built into the frame and was activated as soon as the picture was sold.

It wasn’t completely destroyed, but enough to shock the auction crowd.

But don’t shed any tears for the artist or owner. In that condition, it still sold earlier this year for $25.4 million!

You’ll find an interesting article here about how Banksy built the clever apparatus along with a video, below, that shows what he did.

The Math Behind Successful Relationships

Into which one of these categories does your marital relationship fall?

  • Validating
  • Volatile
  • Conflict-avoiding
  • Hostile
  • Hostile-detached

I’m not particularly fond of any of those labels … and it seems implausible that one could create a mathematical model to quantify how couples interact and use it to visualize the dynamics of a marriage.

Nonetheless, this pairing of a mathematician and a psychologist, has been able to predict divorce with a 94% accuracy.

The silver lining here is the knowledge that the relationship you have before marriage speaks volumes about what you can experience during your marriage.

If you’re single, pay close attention.

A Brief History of the High Five

Thanks to Mental Floss, you’ve now got A Brief History of the High Five.

You can see even this iconic gesture has its history … not to mention a family of variations you’ll find here … the Fist Bump, Double High Five, Air Five … and so it goes.

Of course, there are exceptions ….

Apple held a second October event this past Monday and announced several new products come including new AirPods with spatial audio ($179).

There is also a new music subscription. I didn’t think there were over 90 million songs in the entire world, but that many are available on Apple Music along with 30,000 playlists.

What is mind-boggling to me is the new MacBook pro 14″, and the MacBook Pro 16″ Max.

I don’t pretend to understand all of the technical details, but the faster graphics and CPU performance are exceptional compared to the first M1 chip just last year. What is inexplicable is how they get 7 trillion … yes, it’s trillions … transistors on a single chip?

… and the new display can show 1 billion colors? (I didn’t know there were that many?)

Also, the new MacBook Pros include a full-size keyboard, a return of connectivity ports of all types and for the first time, a new row of full-height function keys.

You can watch the entire Apple Event here.

I don’t think there is a more capable mystery writer today than James Lee Burke. He is a two time winner of the Edgar award, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts Infection and has authored over 40 novels.

He is such a clever architect of the English language that you will be immediately transported to the worlds he creates.

Another Kind of Eden is the latest installment in his wonderful Holland family saga:

“It dismantles the myths of both the twentieth-century American West and the peace-and-love decade, excavating the beauty and idealism of the era to show the menace and chaos that lay simmering just beneath the surface.” [Amazon.]

If you want a great read from a master storyteller, this is another winner from his pen.

You can find many other terrific novels in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre among the more than 2,000 books I have read in this category, by visiting the Mystery Corner.

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