Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

The Vatican

Renault has given the Pope an all-electic emissions-free Popemobile, a modified Kangoo Max...

Pope Benedict XVI has a new all-electric set of wheels, befitting his growing "Green Pope" status as an environmentally friendly (or at least concerned) Pontiff. The emissions-free vehicle is a gift from Renault, a Kangoo Maxi Z.E. modified into Popemobile form with help from utility vehicle specialists Gurau.  Read More

Incunabulum of the Nurenberg Chronicle (1483), edited by Hartmann Schedel (Photo: I. Pilon...

Scholars, priests, historians, and followers of the da Vinci Files can now look toward the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (the Vatican library) with anticipation. In a five-year joint project with the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, the Vatican Library will work to digitize and post online some 1.5 million pages from Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books (incunabula), Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books.  Read More

The dome-like building is actually a giant copper sculpture, furrowed with organic shaped ...

Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who created the famous "Sphere Within Sphere" located at the Vatican, has constructed his first-ever architectural sculpture. Titled “The Carapace,” the structure reflects its name by taking on the shape of a tortoise shell. The building, which will be inaugurated this June, is located on the Castelbuono Estate in Umbria, Italy. It marks the first time that the Italian master has created a work on such a grand scale.  Read More

The car in question doing its job

The greater share of the value of any significant collector car is in the provenance – who sat in the seat before you, and experienced the same vehicle, can make a massive difference to the price the car commands. What then of a car that was specifically built for, and used, by Pope Paul VI? It went on to become the focal point of countless ticker tape parades for the first astronauts to orbit the moon (Apollo 8's Borman, Lovell and Anders), the first astronauts to set foot on the moon (Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, plus Command Module Pilot Michael Collins) plus Apollo 13's Lovell, Mattingly and Haise and Apollo 15's Scott, Worden and Irwin, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. How much will it go for?  Read More

Sections of the historic 15th century Fibonacci manuscript are going to be put up for auct...

A collection of revered mathematical works will soon be put to auction in New York, including significant pieces of the Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation by Fibonacci. Esteemed as one of the most brilliant mathematicians in Western history, Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (Fibonacci) was one of the first to explain Arabic numerals, the superiority of these numerals and the importance of zero. Above all it was Fibonacci's work that has helped modern day mathematicians find breakthroughs in mathematical equations, whilst also defining sequences used for computer programming and the financial markets.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz builds new armoured Pullman State Limousine

February 27, 2007 Mercedes-Benz is developing a new, armoured luxury limousine designed to carry business tycoons, government ministers, monarchs and heads of state. The new Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard Pullman Limousine will be based on the extended wheelbase S 600 to provide a level of roominess worthy of its high-ranking occupants. Originally, the term “Pullman” derived from the luxuriously appointed rail cars produced by the American Pullman Palace Car Company before it was borrowed to describe Mercedes-Benz cars with an extra-long wheelbase and an extremely large passenger compartment in the rear. The first Mercedes-Benz to be factory-fitted with armoured protection was the 1928 W 08/460 Nurburg model which was modified to create the first Popemobile for Pope Pius XI in 1930. Similarly, heads of state such as Emperor Wilhelm II and Emperor Hirohito became customers during the thirties with the creation of the 770K, beginning a long lineage of Pullmans which were used to safely transport heads of State. Power is provided by a 5513cc twelve-cylinder biturbo engine with an output of 380kW/517 hp and an impressive peak torque of 830 Nm. The first editions of the new Mercedes-Benz State Limousine are due to be delivered in late 2008 with a full range of options including a fully equipped mobile office, all the communications and entertainment equipment required plus secure, comfortable, individually-styled surroundings for discreet meetings.  Read More

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