By Haddon Libby

Let’s Take a Lighter Look at the News this Week

Maurizo Cattelan is an Italian visual artist.  Known for his hyperrealistic sculptures and installations, many in the art world refer to him as the prankster of the art world.  In one artwork, he made a solid gold toilet and titled the piece, “America”.  At a recent exhibit in Seoul, South Korea at the Leeum Museum of Art, one of his artworks was eaten by a museum visitor.  Titled “Banana”, Cattelan had duct taped a banana to the museum wall.  Feeling a bit peckish after missing breakfast, Noh Huyn-soo removed the artwork banana from the wall and ate it.  The ‘artwork’ was valued at $120,000.  That’s one expensive banana!

Comedy can be serious business.  A recent study from online publication Stacker reports that Jerry Seinfeld, 70, is the richest comedian in the world with a net worth of $900 million.  Second on the list is Byron Allen, 63, at $800 million.  Allen made his network debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson when he was just 18 years old.  Since then, Allen has made most of his money running his entertainment company creating numerous syndicated television shows.


Matt Stone, 53, the co-creator of “South Park” and “Book of Mormon” is third at $700 million with partner Trey Stone, 54, tied for fourth at $600 million with “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, 70… Rounding out the top ten are Ellen DeGeneres at $500 million, Jay Leno and Kevin Hart at $450 million, Adam Sandler at $440 million and David Letterman and Larry David at $400 million.

The Aquarium and Shark Lab of Hendersonville, North Carolina which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains has a rare stingray that is named Charlotte.  What makes Charlotte so unique is that she has a rare condition called parthenogenesis that allows her to birth baby stingrays from unfertilized eggs.  She is expecting four stingray pups.  California condors, Komodo dragons and yellow-bellied snakes have also shown this rare genetic defect.

Lopburi, Thailand is known as Thailand’s monkey town.  Located 90 miles north of Bangkok, the city has a problem.  It seems that 2,500 marauding wild monkeys are causing havoc throughout the community by stealing food and injuring people.  A local auto parts company works behind wire as the monkeys have been pinching anything they can get in the store.  As a result of the increased aggressiveness of the primate population, the town began capturing the monkeys and putting them into jail.  Mayor Chamroen Salacheep says that the monkeys have caused the town to become almost abandoned with locals and tourists fearful of them.  The town plans on moving the captured monkeys to a permanent location outside of the city.

In the /Spanish town of Platja d’Aro, Mayor Maurici Jimenez has passed a law that requires people to wear clothes.  It seems that the town is a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties where festivities often get out of control.  When tourists descend on the little town of 12,500, as many as 300,000 visitors can pack the town for the weekend.  Police Chief David Puertes cited a recent party where a naked groom-to-be was taped to a lamp post where music was played late into the night.  Large inflatable penis, human genitals and inflatable dolls often crowd the landscape.  The actions of Platja d’Aro follow similar restrictions in Sevilla, Malaga and Granada.

Lastly, the California Highway Patrol had a sticky situation just outside of San Jose last Wednesday.  A truck carrying 20 tons of strawberries overturned at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 880 creating quite a jam.

Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of RIA firm Winslow Drake Investment Management.  For more information on our services, please visit