Before we get to the rest of today’s news, one of the biggest headlines worldwide is the announcement from Sir Alex Ferguson that he’s retiring from soccer (er, football!) at the end of the season after managing Manchester United the last 26-plus years. Truly a titan of sport and one of the most successful managers anywhere, anytime – for a full record-breaking retrospective of Sir Alex’s career, check out my colleague Kevin Lynch's look back here.
Meanwhile, it turns out Sir Alex is actually related to many of the players charged to his stewardship over the years. In fact, all of Europe can say the same, as a recently released study confirms that all Europeans alive today can be traced back to the same group of ancestors as recently as just 1,000 years ago.
If the citizens of the continent can get their organization skills together, all of the E.U. definitely has a shot to break the record for the largest family reunion, of 2,585 relatives set by the Lilly family at Flat Top, Virginia, USA, on Aug. 9, 2009.
And what would families be without moms? Mother’s Day in the U.S. approaches this Sunday and, rightfully so, Americans are spending more on Mom this year. Surveys found that we’ll spend between $17.1-20.7 billion (£10.98-13.3 billion) on mothers this year. With that kind of cash, a good gift idea for Mom might be the most expensive chocolate egg sold at auction, valued at $11,107 (£7,000), and auctioned at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on March 20, 2012.
Another food item with skyrocketing prices these days is beef. Due to a confluence of factors, beef prices have hit an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down. If the largest hamburger – clocking in at 2,014 lbs (913.54 kg) by Black Bear Casino Resort (USA) on Sept. 2, 2012 – were to be recreated today, it would cost an approximate $4,240 (£2,722) just to buy the meat. The old question, “Where’s the beef?” has seemingly been answered – it's at the bank.
Ending on a lighter note, those looking for a unique vacation destination have one more option to choose from: ABBA the Museum. The careers of Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid certainly proved museum-worthy, and now that's the case in Stockholm.
Not only does the Swedish group hold the records for most consecutive No. 1 albums on the UK charts (8, tied with Led Zeppelin) and oldest album to top the UK charts (“Gold – Greatest Hits” hit top spot again 16 years after is release), but they’ve garnered an amazing international following. This was best proven when Melbourne’s Kew Primary School set the record for largest gathering of ABBA impersonators with 368 people on Guinness World Records Day 2011.
Mamma Mia indeed!