Friday, June 26, 2015

Translink Police lying about Stats ?

March 3, 2013. If a public company gave one set of sales numbers to its board of directors, another to its shareholders, and a third to its auditors the chit would hit the fan with gusto."Incredibly, that’s precisely what has happened with the Transit Police.

In late February, the union and police brass did a local media tour, trying to drum up support for their beleaguered force. The next week, they released crime statistics showing what a bang-up job they’re doing. Or not.
Comparing their 2010 crime statistics in the new report, released March 4, and last spring’s Vancouver Police Department (VPD) operational review, has revealed a significant problem – they don’t match.

The VPD review reports Transit Police investigated 592 violent crimes in 2010. The new report says 615 – an addition of 4 per cent. The VPD review claims Transit Police dealt with 1,065 property crimes in 2010. The new report says 1,229 – an addition of 15 per cent. And the VPD review says Transit Police dealt with 296 police obstruction issues in 2010. The new report says 359 – an addition of 21 per cent.

This statistical sweetening continues throughout several categories: 12 per cent more disturbances, 15 per cent more weapons possessions, 15 per cent more drug cases, 44 per cent more emergency health or fire assists and 29 per cent more disturbed persons. Astonishingly, a third set of 2010 crime numbers – with even fewer reported incidents than the VPD review stats – was given to the Transit Police Board in March 2011.
The combined violent and property crime rate on the transit system decreased by 6.8 per cent from 2008 to 2010. Sounds good, until you consider that the crime rate across the Lower Mainland as a whole decreased by 13.9 per cent. Over five years, the Transit Police is expected to grow 25 per cent.

No wonder the Transit Police were a 2013 finalist for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s (CTF) signature Teddy Waste awards, which recognize the governments, public office holders, government employees, departments or agencies that most exemplify runaway government waste."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blue Diamonds

All coloured diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the colouration. Pure diamonds are transparent and colourless. Type IIa diamonds can be coloured pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies caused through plastic deformation during crystal growth.

Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1% of gem diamonds, are usually light blue due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix; these diamonds are also semiconductors, unlike other diamond types. A blue-grey color may also occur in Type Ia diamonds and be unrelated to boron.
While extraordinarily rare, blue diamonds are not the rarest.

They are more uncommon than yellow diamonds, which have nitrogen in them, but they lose out in rarity to green, black, pink, orange, purple, and red.
The Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats and is the largest deep-blue diamond known. The stone can be traced to Golconda and is considered by many to be the most famous diamond in the world. Now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It is a Type IIb diamond and exhibits red phosphorescence after exposure to ultraviolet light.

The diamond is notorious for supposedly being cursed.
The Wittelsbach-Graff is a 31.06-carat, Fancy Deep Grayish Blue diamond with an IF clarity and an unusual cut with 82 facets. The stone sold in 2008 for $24.3 million.
On October 8th, 2007 a 6.04 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond set in a platinum ring, flanked by two white emerald-cut diamonds sold for $7.98 million at the Sotheby's Hong Kong auction.

This 7.03-carat blue diamond sold for $9 million at the Sotheby’s semi-annual sale in Geneva.
A recent find by Petra Diamonds. The 29.6-carat stone was recovered at its Cullinan mine, about 40km (25 miles) north-east of Pretoria.

Petra unearthed another 25.5 carat blue diamond which sold for $16.9m in 2013.
13.22 carat pear-shaped Fancy Vivid blue flawless diamond sold at Christie's Geneva on May 14, 2014 for $ 24m, setting a new world auction record for the price per carat for a blue diamond.

Immediately after the sale, it was renamed 'The Winston Blue'.
In the past decade, only three blue diamonds of 10 carats or more with the same vivid grading for intensity have been sold at auction, all weighing less than 12 carats and none flawless.

The Premier Blue is a 7.59-Carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond.

Expected to bring upwards of $ 19m the stone did not find a buyer in late 2013.
A 6.01 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond that sold for $10.1 million, or $1,686,505 per carat, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2011.

A 5.3 carat blue diamond fetched $9.6 million, or $1.8 million per carat in April 2013.
US$1.59 million per carat was achieved by a 8.01-carat, emerald-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond in 2012.

The Blue Heart diamond

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Poodles on pogo sticks

TransLink helped sponsor the giant porcelain poodle public art project that cost $100,000. What does a giant porcelain poodle on top of an eight-metre-high pole have to do with transit?

TransLink approved spending $615,000 on public installations at three SkyTrain stations last year, despite complaints the money would be better spent on actual transit improvements. “The TransLink people are always crying for money from local government,” Delta Mayor Lois Jackson told the Burnaby News Leader. “But, on the other hand, they’re spending money as if it comes from a bottomless pit.”

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Top Gems at Auction in 2014

11. An 89.23-carat Pear-Shaped Diamond – $11,085,000

10. A 70.33-carat Cushion Brilliant-Cut Diamond – $14,201,234

9. A 75.97-carat Pear-Shaped D Colour, Flawless Diamond – $14,474,732

8. Pair of Fancy Vivid Blue & Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond Earrings, by Bvlgari – $15,820,731
7. The Graff Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond weighs 100.09 carats and is graded VS2 clarity. It set a new world auction record for a yellow diamond.– $16,347,848

6. The Blue Belle of Asia – $17,295,796. At 392.52 carats, the Ceylon sapphire is the fourth largest faceted sapphire in history and set a new world auction record for any sapphire.
5. A Belle Époque Diamond Devant-de-Corsage Brooch, by Cartier – $17,581,612

4. An 8.41-carat Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond – $17,778,247

3. The Winston Blue – $23,795,372
2. The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace – $27,441,026. The Hutton-Mdivani Necklace set a new world auction record for any jadeite jewelry and a new world auction record for a Cartier jewel.

1. The Zoe Diamond – $32,645,000 ($3,348,205 per carat) The Zoe diamond set a new world auction record for any blue diamond and a new world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond.

(Click on Images)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bonhams Amelia Island 2015 Auction

Offered by Cord in sedan, brougham, convertible coupe and convertible sedan body styles, only a handful of L-29 chassis were sent to coachbuilder Murphy for the addition of a Town Car body.
The inaugural Bonhams Amelia Island 2015 Auction was held Thursday, March 12 at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Amelia Island, Florida and resulted in $13.95 million in total sales. Classic Car Week saw pre-war American cars sell strongly and models from Alfa Romeo, BMW and Porsche set new auction records.

The top result went to the preserved 1930 Cord Model L-29 Town Car with coachwork by Murphy that sold to a US collector for $1,760,000.
A 1932 Stutz DV32 Super Bearcat made $1,012,000 and a 1912 Peerless Model 60 Runabout sold for $440,000.

A 1911 EMF Model 30 Factory Racer was bought for $242,000.
A 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformable Phaeton previously owned by Marlene Dietrich sold for $742,500.
A 1925 Bentley 3-Liter Four Seat Tourer achieved $462,000.
1981 BMW M1 Coupe realized $605,000
A 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Coupe sold for $415,800.

1980 Ferrari 512 BB made $359,700

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ancient Gold Coins

Example of the most successful coin in history; an antique fine gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their very high gold content (99.40%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.00
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, nimbate, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C. The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250.00
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.00
An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. The legend reading:

D[ominvs] N[oster] BASILICVS P[ater] P[atriae] AVG[vstvs]
"Our Lord Basiliscus, Father of the People, Augustus"

The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross and wearing loose drapery. $7,000.00