Pulse Rate July/Aug 2012

British visual artist Damien Hirst, notorious for pieces featuring animals preserved in formaldehyde, is considered the world’s richest artist, with an estimated worth of $1 billion.

Rod Stewart holds the record for most concertgoers at a single performance. An estimated 3.5 million people showed up for his free show on the beach in Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve 1994.

Could the man himself remember the whole thing? Pablo Picasso was baptized “Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.”

The only painting Vincent Van Gogh sold in his lifetime was “Red Vineyard at Arles” an oil on canvas landscape painted in November 1888. A Belgian collector purchased it for 400 Francs (about $1,000 today) in 1890.

The general rule for lighting a painting on display: Dimmer at night and brighter during the day.

Warner Brothers released the first short film that could be considered a music video theatrically in December 1930. The Art Deco-style short featured Milton Charles “The Singing Organist” singing the hit song “Cryin’ for the Carolines.”

Two unknown individuals inadvertently became the first people to ever appear in a photograph. A long exposure of a busy Paris street by photography pioneer Louis Daguerre in the late 1830s lasted too long for anyone to appear on film—except for a man who stopped to have his boots polished.

Species of the genus Lingula, a brachiopod (shellfish), are considered the oldest animal types on earth, having existed for over 500 million years. They predate dinosaurs by at least 270 million years and survived at least 5 mass extinction events.

The name of a place within its own borders is known as an endonym and the name for a place used outside of its borders is called an exonym. For example, the US calls it Germany, but Germans in Germany call it Deutschland.

“The Card Players,” an 1892-3 post-impressionist painting by Paul Cézanne, is the most expensive painting ever sold. The Qatar royal family purchased the work for $250 million in 2011.

The exact moment portrayed in da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is the reaction of the apostles right after Jesus revealed that one of them would betray him.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat organization has decreed that a building can only join the ranks of the world’s tallest if 50% of its height is made up of habitable floor area. Tall structures that do not meet these criteria are called “towers.”