Monday, November 12, 2007

1st\NW Quadrant 11/19 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 19, 2007

MIT vs Gehry

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is suing renowned architect Frank Gehry, alleging serious design flaws in the Stata Center, a building celebrated for its unconventional walls and radical angles.

The school asserts that the center, completed in spring 2004, has persistent leaks, drainage problems and mold growing on its brick exterior. It says accumulations of snow and ice have fallen dangerously from window boxes and other areas of its roofs, blocking emergency exits and causing damage.

The suit says MIT paid Los Angeles-based Gehry Partners $15 million to design the Stata Center, which cost $300 million to build. It houses labs, offices, classrooms and
meeting rooms. (NY Times)

Gehry, 78, has spoken only to The New York Times about the legal battle. He said he believes the issues at hand are relatively minor and that "M.I.T. is after our insurance."

"These things are complicated, and they involve a lot of people, and you never quite know where they went wrong," he told the newspaper. "A building goes together with seven billion pieces of connective tissue. The chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small." (Fox News)

McCartney vs Mills



Stella McCartney has mocked her disabled stepmother Heather Mills by designing a £300 silver pendant necklace featuring a single leg in an apparent dig at her father's [Paul McCartney] estranged wife, who had her left leg amputated below the knee after being hit by a motorbike in 1993.

Heather branded Stella "evil" during an outburst on live TV, and said, "Every week she tried to break up my marriage to Paul."

Heather and Paul are currently in the middle of a high profile divorce. Heather is believed to have turned down a £50 million divorce settlement. (M & C)

Stolen White Truffles

An Italian truffle hunter has been robbed on his way to the market by thieves posing as police officers who relieved him of 400 grams of freshly collected white truffles worth €2,000.

Dario Pastrone, 58, had spent Friday and Saturday night in the wooded valleys around Chiusano collecting the prized delicacy and was driving to a truffle market in Asti when another car forced him off the road, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Three men dressed as police officers jumped out, opened his trunk and stole the truffles. The price of truffles has risen to as much as €8,000 ($11,500) this year, almost half the
price of gold. (Spiegel Online)

Federer Espresso Ads

Roger Federer, the top-ranked Swiss, recently inked a deal with Swiss coffee-maker Jura, which specializes in fully-automatic gourmet coffee and espresso machines.

According to the company’s website, “The Swiss multiple Grand Slam Winner will represent JURA as an Ambassador both in Switzerland and internationally and spread the message of their common values across the world: performance, precision, prestige and passion for excellence.”

Federer was on hand September 26, along with Jura General Manager Emmanuel Probst, to “inaugurate the JuraWorld of Coffee.”(Tennis)

Roderick Davis

A man who schemed to sell stolen computers and photographs used for Steven Spielberg's upcoming "Indiana Jones" movie has pleaded guilty to two felony counts.

Roderick Davis, 37, of Cerritos pleaded guilty on Thursday to receiving stolen property and commercial burglary. As part of his plea deal, he will serve two years and four months in state prison. He would have faced at least four years in prison if convicted of the charges, the District Attorney's Office said.

Davis was arrested Oct. 4 in West Hollywood during a sting operation by detectives who learned that some of the stolen material was being offered for sale to several entertainment gossip Web sites. They posed as potential buyers for the images and set up a meeting. When Davis arrived, they took him into custody. (Pravda)

Gisele Bündchen
Euros vs Dollar

Gisele Bündchen is the world's richest model, and to stay that way she is insisting that she be paid in almost any currency but the U.S. dollar.

Like the billionaire investors Warren Buffett and Bill Gross, Bündchen, the Brazilian supermodel said by Forbes magazine to earn more than anyone else in her industry, is at the top of a growing list of rich people who have concluded that the currency can only depreciate because Americans are living beyond their means.

When Bündchen, 27, signed a contract in August to represent Pantene hair products for Procter & Gamble, she demanded payment in euros, according to Veja, the biggest weekly magazine in Brazil. She will also get euros for the deal she reached last October with Dolce & Gabbana to promote the fragrance The One, Veja reported.

"Contracts starting now are more attractive in euros because we don't know what will happen to the dollar," Patrícia Bündchen, the model's twin sister and manager, said in September. (International Herald Tribune)

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