Daydream Rich: “Taj Mittal”
Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man and owner and CEO of world’s largest steel production company ArcelorMittal, owns part of the Taj Mahal. Not literally, but his home, which cost him $128 million in 2004, is decorated with marble from the same quarry that was supplied to the Taj Mahal. The home is known at the “Taj Mittal.” The 55,000 sq ft property has 12 bedrooms, a Turkish bath, a massive ballroom, a rare bejewelled swimming pool, an oak-panelled picture gallery, and parking for 20 cars. It is located in London at the Billionaire’s Row, between Kensington Palace and the mansion of Sultan of Brunei.
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Daydream Rich: Bill Gates & Xanadu 2.0
This week’s installment of Daydream Rich may be a bit obvious but DragNSync thinks it’s that important to mention. Bill Gates, billionaire / founder and owner of Microsoft / one of the most influential people of the 20th century, lives in a technologically advanced Pacific lodge style house which overlooks Lake Washington in Medina, Washington. The lodge (also known as Xanadu 2.0) and all of its glory are spread over 66,000 square feet and has a waterfront area of approximately 500 feet.
Looks somewhat average at first glance, right? Except it’s anything but. Here’s an aerial view:
Inside are seven bedrooms, 24 bathrooms including ten full baths, six kitchens and six fireplaces— all of which are surrounded by some sort of technological beauty that most other average homes don’t have.
Hundreds of microcomputers are used to make simple, everyday tasks, simpler.
The house lights are computer controlled and gradually turn on when someone walks into different rooms. Are you listening to music in the kitchen, but need to take a quick bathroom break? Not to worry! There are speakers beneath the wallpaper which allows the music to follow you from room to room. Gates’ guests are surveyed and given a über special pin to wear. The pin is connected to the electronic services of the house (music, lighting, climate) and automatically adapts to their tastes.
Other cool features include:
- a large private library with a dome shaped roof and oculus
- an Olympic sized private swimming pool with an underwater music system
- a trampoline room with a 20 foot ceiling
- a 20-seat art deco theater spread over 1500 sq feet
- a hidden beneath the forest, an underground garage that could house 20 vehicles
Here are more detailed images of different parts of the estate:
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Daydream Rich: Bill ‘Freakin’ Murray
This week’s Daydream rich is going to be a bit different than the previous installments because…well, Bill Murray is a bit different. Being able to afford anything means that buying material objects becomes mundane. Choosing between the Lamborghini and the Mercedes or the caviar and the pate is arbitrary when price is not an issue. But, Bill Murray has found a way to keep his life fun and exciting, despite the terrible handicap of being rich and famous. He does what no other A-list celebrity would even consider, the unthinkable…he acts like a regular person!
The difference, however, is that he is rich and famous; so, when he he’s invited by strangers to karaoke, he actually shows up and belts out Elvis. The internet is rife with Bill Murray urban legends, some true some far fetched, but here are a few of our favorite true stories.
The Karaoke Story
The story begins with a group of friends at a bar in NYC. They spot Bill Murray walking into the bar with a woman, and, after the initial shock, they muster up the courage to invite him to their hotel room for drinks and then karaoke. Astounded by their good fortune to run into Bill, the group heads back to their room thinking that would be the end of their story. Fifteen minutes later a knock on the door and the Ghostbuster himself has materialized into their hotel room. The rest of the night is a drunken blur a singing, yelling, and laughing. A story this unbelievable can only be accepted if offered with proof. Fortunately, pictures were taken to prove that the magical night did, indeed, happen.
The Rain Delay
What do most people do when a baseball game is rain delayed? Hide under the stands until it stops. What does Bill do? Hops the fence and runs the bases on the tarp and slides into home. Oh, to be eccentric and famous enough to get away with it. This video is from a Charleston RiverDogs (the Yankees’ Class A affiliate) game.
The Bartending Story
At the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas you’re liable to see many shocking sights. But, bazaar doesn’t even begin to explain what it must have been like for the patrons at the Shangri-La bar when Bill rolled in with the Wu-Tang Clan and started serving drinks. Apparently, Bill demanded to be the bartender, and then started serving everyone shots of tequila no matter what they ordered. Here’s some amateur video of the event.
Bill Murray’s ‘Autograph’
When approached to sign an autograph it’s not uncommon for a celebrity to deny it because they’re tired of meaninglessly scribbling their name for a fan. Bill Murray is not an exception. But, when other celebrities would just turn a fan away, Bill denies the autograph so that he can do something much more personal for them. In this case when he denied a fan an autograph he chose to do a slow motion walk on camera with them instead. Here’s the video.
The Party Crasher
There are many stories of Bill being invited by complete strangers to party and actually showing up no matter who did the inviting. Bill has crashed house parties on more than one occasion and is always the life of the party when he does.
In one such story Bill is in Scotland when he is invited to a house party by 22-year-old Norwegian student Lykke Stavnef. The college students amazed by his presence were also embarrassed by the amount of dirty dishes in the sink. Being the casual guy he is Bill begins doing the dishes himself and is more than happy to accept his vodka in a coffee mug.
Stories like these, and many others, have allowed Bill to transcend celebrity and enter folklore. While we all would fancy being rich and famous, most of us would agree that being a legend is much more exciting. Bill might not even have the time to daydream because whenever he has an urge to do something he’s already begun to do it. We can all daydream about the crazy things we would do if we were rich, or we could just go out and do them. The world would be much happier if people followed their passions, and you know that whether he was a famous actor or a gas station clerk Bill ‘freakin’ murray would still act like Bill ‘freakin’ Murray.
Among the working class, you will frequently hear the optimistic utterance: “If I were rich I would…” followed by some ludicrous act of extravagance. It is said that when a person goes blind their other senses are enhanced to compensate. Similarly, the proletariat’s ability to fantasize compensates for his lack of resources and upward mobility.
The rich, however, typically abandon frivolous daydreaming for the more practical, calculated thinking required to attain financial wealth. Once wealth is then obtained they squander it buying boring, unimaginative status symbols. Only on exceptionally rare occasions do you find a person both fantastically rich and fantastically eccentric. Should you get the chance to meet a person like that, consider yourself lucky, because you are about to see the fruition of all that person’s wildest fantasies.Daydream Rich will be a recurring post on the DragNSync Tumblr. For our very first issue, we present you with Jay Walker, chairman of Walker Digital, creator of Priceline, and inventor with more than 200 patents. Walker’s daydream brought to life is this amazing, tri-level, 3,600 square foot library of history and human imagination. Enjoy.
Among the many objects in this picture, you may notice the large chrome, orb-like piece at the top, which is an original Soviet Sputnik.
View of the third floor. Artist Clyde Lynds created the intricate illuminated glass panels and many other visual elements in the library.
A first edition Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1768.
A bridge made of glass on the third floor
On the table rests Andrea Cellarius’ hand-painted celestial atlas from 1660, which is the first published maps where Earth is not the center of the solar system, and a fragment from the Sikhote-Alin meteorite that fell in Russia in 1947—it’s tiny but weighs 15 pounds.
Many of the books in Walker’s library are considered priceless. In the foreground of this picture, these books are all decorated with real gold, rubies and diamonds. In the first row, (open, with Post-it flags) an original copy of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, the first illustrated history book, and in the second row, the 1535 Coverdale Bible (the first completely translated into modern English).
The chandelier hanging from the ceiling is from the James Bond movie Die Another Day.
A full skeleton of a juvenile raptor.
A globe of the Moon signed by 10 of the 12 astronauts to have walked on its surface.
An Egyptian wooden sarcophagus (approx. 1800 BC).
A clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs.
A miniaturist’s on-site painting of one of Napoleon’s battles (one of a series commissioned by Napoleon).
A page from a Bills of Mortality summarizing the week’s deaths from the plague year of 1667.
A leaf from a 1440 Illuminated Flemish Book of Hours.
A lunar module surface checklist that astronauts took with them on the Apollo 16 mission.
Congressional Space Medal of Honor given posthumously to Edward Higgins White, who died in a pre-launch test of the first mission to the moon.
A variety of gadgets including the Nazi’s infamous Enigma coding machine (center) and an 1890 Edison phonograph (back-right).
Phil Pirages (shown explaining a particularly unique book) is Walker’s antique book expert.
Finally, here’s Jay Walker showing off one of Gautier D’Agoty’s anatomical masterpieces