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Man flies solo on Mumbai-Dubai flight for Rs 18k

This might sound slightly difficult to believe but it’s true. A man paid Rs 18,000 for a flight ticket and travelled as the only passenger on board an Emirates flight from Mumbai to Dubai on May 19. Bhavesh Javeri, 40, thus enjoyed an exclusive flight on a 360-seater Boeing 777 aircraft.

“I stepped into the aircraft and the airhostesses all clapped to welcome me aboard,” Bhavesh Javeri told The Times of India from his Dubai office.

Bhavesh Javeri, who has boarded over 240 flights between Mumbai and Dubai so far, added, “I have flown so much, but this is the best flight ever.”

On the flight, meanwhile, Bhavesh Javeri had a great time conversing with the crew as well as the commander, who also offered to give him a tour of the entire plane. Since 18 is his lucky number, Bhavesh Javeri got the specific seat that he had asked for, much to his delight.

“The novelty kept on coming through the flight in the form of the familiar inflight public address, delivered with a personal touch. ‘Mr Javeri, please fasten your seat belt. Mr Javeri, we are preparing to land.’ After we landed, I walked out leisurely and picked up my bag, the only one lying next to a conveyor belt,” Bhavesh Javeri, who has been a resident of Dubai for the past 20 years, told TOI.

As per the travel restrictions imposed by the United Arab Emirates in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, only UAE nationals, holders of UAE Golden visa and members of diplomatic missions can fly from India to UAE.

An operator from the Indian aircraft charter industry was quoted as saying by TOI that, “It would cost about Rs 70 lakh to charter a Boeing 777 from an airline to do the Mumbai-Dubai route. But the cost of charter would double if the aircraft was from a company that had to fly it back by ferry, without passengers, to its base.”

Bhavesh Javeri has a Golden visa and had purchased the Rs 18,000 economy class ticket after making a call to the airline one week prior to the scheduled date of his departure. “I normally book a business class ticket, but I thought, why not book an economy seat, the flight would have only a few passengers.”

After he reached the airport, Bhavesh Javeri was denied entry into the terminal building by the CISF personnel as his ticket didn’t have a date. Immediately, Bhavesh dialed Emirates and was told that the staff was waiting for him as he was the only passenger on board flight EK501.

“I was elated. I had flown a charter flight from Dubai to Mumbai last June with nine passengers on a 14-seater aircraft. But it was nowhere close to this money-can’t-buy experience,” he said.

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How ‘Friends’ helps people around the world learn English

True or false: In the television show “Friends,” Monica Geller was invited to Rachel Green’s wedding.

The question is part of an English lesson for international students in San Jose, California, that is based entirely on the show’s pilot episode. It was designed by Elif Konus, a teacher from Turkey who once binge-watched “Friends” to improve her own English.

The class, and the teacher’s TV habits, illustrate an international phenomenon that emerged in the 1990s and has endured across generations: Young people who aren’t native English speakers appear to enjoy learning the language with help from the hit sitcom.

Seventeen years after the final “Friends” episode, students and educators say that the show, still seen widely in syndication around the world, works well as a learning resource. The dad jeans and cordless telephones may look dated, but the plot twists — falling in love, starting a career and other seminal moments in a young person’s life — are still highly relatable.

Over the years, several prominent celebrities have said that they learned English from “Friends.” The list includes Jürgen Klopp, the German soccer coach who helms Liverpool in the English Premier League; a number of Major League Baseball players whose first language is Spanish; and Kim Nam-joon, leader of the South Korean pop group BTS.

Fans and educators on three continents echo the sentiment, saying that “Friends” is a near-perfect amalgam of easy-to-understand English and real-life scenarios that feel familiar even to people who live worlds away from Manhattan’s West Village.

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Christie’s to sell Isaac Newton’s notes for greatest work

Handwritten notes that show one of history’s greatest scientific minds in action are going up for auction in London.

Pages containing Isaac Newton’s jotted revisions to his masterwork, the “Principia,” are expected to sell next month for between 600,000 pounds and 900,000 pounds ($850,000 and $1.3 million), auctioneer Christie’s said Tuesday.

Published in 1687, Newton’s Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy set out the laws of gravitation and motion and is considered a scientific watershed. A first edition of the book sold at auction for $3.7 million in 2016.

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s in London, said the book reinvented our understanding of the universe.

The page and a half of notes for a planned second edition includes comments and diagrams by Scottish mathematician and astronomer David Gregory. The two scientists met and corresponded while Newton worked on revising the Principia in the 1690s.

Venning said that when he was working on the revisions, Newton was fizzing with the energy of one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen.”

And we can see that at work, the speed with which he’s writing, the ferment of ideas coming out from his pen, he said.

Keith Moore, head librarian at the Royal Society, the scientists’ club where Newton was president in the 18th century, said Gregory kept up a written dialogue with Newton. He met Newton and that partnership, almost, between the two of them, resulted in refining Newton’s thinking.

Newton eventually gave up on the revisions, but ultimately produced a new edition in 1713.

The document will go under the hammer at Christie’s in London on July 8. (AP)

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Beach etiquette for every summer

A perfect day at the beach doesn’t just depend on the weather: The behavior of the people around you can be the difference between a restful vacation and a stressful day out, especially as increasing numbers of travelers opt for local trips that don’t require  international flights. Ahead, several beach etiquette principles to remember the next time you head out for a day near the seashore.

Don’t crowd the other beachgoers

If you believe the spot you claim on the sand can make or break the success of your entire beach day, don’t dawdle over coffee and then squeeze in too close to another party—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic (whether you are vaccinated or not). 

If you prefer a slow morning and an afternoon by the water, be respectful of the families who got there first. 

Allow other beachgoers to enjoy the ocean view and parents to keep an eye on kids in the surf—and don’t plop five or six feet away from someone when you have ample plots to choose from. 

Keep your voice and music volume low.

No one should head to a public shore point in the summer expecting a silent, meditative experience, but you also shouldn’t disrupt the people around you with music, loud conversations, or foul language. 

Don’t leave your trash.

Bring a couple of garbage bags (plastic or paper) with you to the beach and collect all of your trash—that includes food wrappers, diapers, newspapers, and whatever else you bring—prior to departing. If there is no room in the garbage can, either find one that has space or bring it back home with you.

Pay attention to your kids (and pets)

A long, hot, tiring beach day primes every kid for a meltdown, but allowing your younger family members—whether toddlers or tweens—to disrupt the people around you is a firm etiquette “no.” 

Monitor children, make sure they don’t throw sand or walk on other people’s towels If you have true safety concerns about the behavior of someone’s kids, you can politely broach the topic with the parents—but otherwise, you’re better off ignoring small annoyances.  (Source: YahooLife)

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Ranveer Singh brings home Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule edition

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh has purchased a Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule Edition, which was launched in India this March. The Gully Boy star is fond of the Raging Bull considering he bought a red-colored Urus in 2019 as well. Singh’s car is finished in an Arancio Borealis (orange) shade and rides on 22-inch Nath wheels. It was delivered to him by Lamborghini Mumbai.

Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule has a 5-seater cabin with dual-tone Alcantara seats, black anodized trim bits, ‘Urus’ branding on the backrest, Lamborghini logo embroidered into headrests, and a multifunctional flat-bottom steering wheel. It packs a touchscreen infotainment console with support for the latest connectivity facilities. For ensuring the passengers’ safety, multiple airbags, crash sensors, and an optional Parking Assistance Package are available.

Singh bought the Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule for a hefty Rs. 3.43 crore (ex-showroom). Last month, actor Kartik Aaryan purchased a standard Urus. Some other celebrities and businessmen who own the popular SUV are director Rohit Shetty, Mukesh Ambani, and Adar Poonawalla.


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Dating apps team up to make vaccinating hot

Vaxxing, not waxing, is the new must-do before a date, with dating apps joining the White House on Friday to promote Covid shots.

Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, and Badoo are adding vaccination status to the expected details on dating profiles as part of a rollout over the next few weeks.

Getting the shot may do more for lovers than keep them healthy, the White House said. “Research from OKCupid shows people who are vaccinated or plan to get shots get 14% more Matches than people who don’t,” it said. Among incentives being offered by Tinder is access to the “Super Like” feature to “help them stand out among potential matches,” the White House said.

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Poet Maya Angelou and Astronaut Sally Ride to be first women honored on series of quarters

The US Mint is honoring 20 trailblazing women on a new series of quarters, starting with Maya Angelou and Dr Sally Ride.

The poet and the NASA astronaut will be the first two women featured on the back of the coins, which are debuting in January and will continue in circulation through 2025 as part of the American Women Quarters Program.

US Rep. Barbara Lee said in a statement that “for too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color.”

She added that Angelou and Ride “paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy.”

Tam O’Shaughnessy, Ride’s life partner and co-founder of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, previously said in an April statement that Ride, the first American woman in space who died in 2012 at age 61, “would be so moved by this great honor.”

“It’s especially fitting that it comes during the 20th-anniversary celebration for Sally Ride Science,” O’Shaughnessy added. 

Angelou, who died at age of 86 in 2014, gained acclaim for her first book, her 1970 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

“Maya is one of those totally steadfast people with a spine made of iron,” writer Jessica Mitford, Angelou’s longtime friend, previously PEOPLE. “She’s a force of nature with so many talents in every direction that the combination comes like an earthquake.”

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Huge new ‘Oracle’ greets Rockefeller Center visitors in New York

A massive new bronze sculpture welcomes visitors to Rockefeller Center in the New York landmark’s first campus-wide show by a single artist.

The 25-foot (7.6 m) tall black “Oracle” with a huge head joins murals, flags and videos at the venue, all created by Sanford Biggers, whose artwork also includes music and performance.

The seated figure is part of the Harlem-based artist’s Chimera series of sculptures that combine African masks and European figures to explore mythologies of those cultures.

“I’ve always been intrigued by Rockefeller Center for its architectural history and mythological references,” Biggers said in a statement, calling the Art Deco-styled venue “an ideal context for myth creation.”

The show by Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund was slated to open in September, but was delayed by the pandemic.

The works will be on view until 29 June, with plans to take the centerpiece sculpture on tour later.

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Now live concerts home delivered

Live concerts are on the menu for home delivery, as musicians and audiences seek to satisfy their appetite for human interaction.

As the sun set in Piedmont, California, about 20 masked revelers gathered on the back porch of a home. Lit up by a few stage lights, a nearby fire and hanging garden bulbs, singer-songwriter Steve Poltz strolled in, guitar in hand, happy to be performing live again.

“Just being able to interact with folks feels so good again, because I know I needed it and I know other people needed it after being quarantined so long,” said the Nashville, Tennessee-based musician, who has performed on FacebookLive during the pandemic.

With concert venues largely shuttered over the past year, San Francisco-based concert promoter KC Turner and musician friend Megan Slankard came up with a way to bring live music directly to fans in their driveways or backyards.

“It’s a way to bring music to people safely, very small, private and bring that joy of what music is,” Turner said.

The concert series started last fall with about 35 shows throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Bookings continued through the spring.

Audiences must wear masks for the private 75-minute-long shows, except when eating or drinking, and stay socially distanced. The initial audience limit of 10 has doubled, but they must keep 12 feet away from the unmasked performers.

“I did have concerns, but I had faith in the fact that it would be done right and it has been,” said Poltz, who has been vaccinated.

Homeowners typically book shows through Turner and invite guests. Fees range from $1,000 to $5,000 based on the artist.

The roster of artists includes Donovan Frankenreiter, Clarence Greenwood (better known as Citizen Cope) and David Lowery of Cracker.

The pandemic did provide Poltz a break from constantly touring, allowing him to spend time with his ailing father and write new songs. Yet he is happy to be back on stage – even if that is the corner of a porch.

“It doesn’t matter whether you play for 100,000 people or you’re playing to 30 or 20 people. What I’m looking for is that connection. So it’s so fun to be back out,” he said. (Reuters)

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