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BITS ‘N’ PIECES

December 8, 2017
By Usama Rasheed

Most parents have seen their teenager start the day in a reasonably good mood, but then return from school draped in gloom and chilly silence.

Why your grumpy teenager doesn’t want to talk to you

Most parents have seen their teenager start the day in a reasonably good mood, but then return from school draped in gloom and chilly silence. As hard as it can be to support our children when they tell us what’s wrong, it’s that much harder to help the obviously upset adolescent who turns down a warm invitation to talk.

These interactions usually unfold in an awkward and predictable sequence. We earnestly ask, “Is everything OK?” and our teenager responds with a full stop “No,” an insincere “Yeah,” or freezes us out while fielding a flurry of texts. We then tend to nurse a sense of injury that our teenager has rebuffed our loving support.

Our children often know us better than we know ourselves, having spent their young lives learning our reflexive responses.

If you suspect this might be a barrier and can listen without getting defensive, just ask, “Are you worried that I’ll have a bad reaction?” You might start a valuable conversation - even if it’s not the one you were looking for - while paving the way for better talks down the line.

And we should probably think twice about the long-term implications of saying “I told you so” to our teenagers (even when we did tell them so).

Leonardo da Vinci painting shatters auction records

After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for $450.3 million, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed.

The price is all the more remarkable at a time when the old masters market is contracting, because of limited supply and collectors’ penchant for contemporary art.

And to critics, the astronomical sale attests to something else - the degree to which salesmanship has come to drive and dominate the conversation about art and its value.

It is the 12th artwork to break the $100 million mark at auction.

Compiled by Usama Rasheed