- - Monday, May 7, 2012

A teacup and saucer used only once by pop diva Lady Gaga has sold for more than $75,000 at auction, the sale’s organizer said Monday.

There were more than 1,300 bids for the teacup in the weeklong charity auction, according to Yahoo! Japan, which managed the event.

Payment was required before the winning bid could be confirmed, AFP said.

The cup was used by Lady Gaga at a news conference in Tokyo three months after the massive March 2011 tsunami swamped a large stretch of coastline.

Lady Gaga told reporters at the time that she would auction the cup, marked with her lipstick and bearing the Japanese message “We pray for Japan” along with the star’s autograph.

"Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking," written by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, won a James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year. (Associated Press)
“Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking,” written by former Microsoft ... more >

All the money raised will be used to help young Japanese artists who want to study in the United States.

The teacup was one of a number of items being sold to raise money for those affected by Japan’s worst post-war calamity, and was the second-most expensive.

The top-priced item was a Kawai crystal piano used by Yoshiki of rock band Japan X, which went for more than $137,000, Yahoo! Japan said.

The natural disaster killed some 19,000 people on Japan’s northeast coast and sparked the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, leading to a plunge in visitors to the country.

Lady Gaga visited Japan twice after the disaster and called on tourists from around the world to follow suit.

The songstress is due back in Japan this week as part of an Asian tour.

James Beard Foundation names cookbook of the year

Six volumes, 2,438 pages, 46 pounds and $625 added up to two hefty awards Friday for Nathan Myhrvold’s cookbook, “Modernist Cuisine.”

The massive and much-lauded tome on the science of food and cooking by the former chief technology officer of Microsoft Corp. was named Cookbook of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, a nod to the growing influence over food culture being wielded by the so-called molecular gastronomy movement.

“Modernist Cuisine” also took home a second Beard award in the category of cooking from a professional point of view.

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