From Hot Rod icon Dean Jeffries’ passing, to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, this week had its share of ups and downs. In keeping with our weekly series of photo reviews, here’s the week of May 12th in review.

Dean Jeffries - Courtesy George Barris and Kustomrama

For Baby Boomers, or anyone who ever loved classic hot rods or racing, the name Dean Jeffries has been synonymous with custom car magic for decades. The news the 80 year old car legend had died hit the American race-car circuit pretty hard. The American race and hot-rod culture is as ingrained as the Old West was for our parents’ generation, so Jeffries took with him memories from millions of kids from back when cars were really cars. Actor James Dean was actually one of Jeffires’ early customers, if you can imagine that. RIP Dean, you’ll be sorely missed.

Silvio Berlusconi - Courtesy vas vas

As if Italy or any EU state needed more bad press, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction being upheld the other day is just a stark reminder for Italians of the shaky circumstances of trust and political representation all over Europe. Berlusconi is not the only European leader implicated in unsavory and inappropriate acts. At a time when people need the best from leaders, it seems people are constantly reminded of the worst in politicians. Berlusconi’s case will likely be tried before Italy’s highest court now.

Humankind's most fabulous achievements, shrouded in pollution - Courtesy Nina Hale

And since we are on a bad news track here, National Geographic’s story about the world’s CO2 levels being the highest in 3 million years may well take the cake for “worst news of May” or even 2013. According to scientists Earth’s CO2 levels have passed a momentous and dubious milestone of 400 ppm. At least this is the case from a monitoring station high atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa. Readers can visit the NOAA website to see the daily updates on the CO2 situation, but what seems most relevant is the note of an “uncertain climate future” denoted in the National Geographic article. And just when global warming had faded as a concern a bit.

Branson shaves legs - Courtesy his Google + profile

On the lighter side this week, Virgin Group boss and legendary cut up Richard Branson donned his flight attendant garb after loosing a bet with AirAsia’s billionaire top dog Tony Fernandes. The two bet their Formula I teams would outdo one another, and Fernandez won. Branson had to slip into something a little sexy, put on lipstick, and shave his less than sleek legs to put on as a hostess with the most in mid air. Unfortunately he was fired by Fernandez for purposely spilling the AirAsia founder’s orange juice in the latter’s lap. Branson is a good sport, if anything at all.

David Cameron and Vladimir Putin tour Sochi via helicopter - Courtesy Putin's press office.

Finally, more and more in the positive news of late, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave British PM David Cameron the VIP friendship tour of the site of the coming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi the other day.  Taking the PM on a tour via helicopter of the venues for the Games, the imagery from Putin’s press office are an interesting point to leave off on here. One can detect a lot of positive vibe looking at Cameron and Putin as opposed to other heads of state alongside one another. Just what the jean clad and laid back demeanor of the two means is conjecture, of course, but never the less the leaders seem to get along well.

 

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Phil Butler About Phil ButlerPhil Butler is editor-in-chief of Everything PR and senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. He’s a widely cited authority on beta startups, search engines and public relations issues, and he has covered tech news since 2004. Phil wrote in the past for ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Profy, SitePoint, Search Engine Journal, AltSearchEngines. Follow Phil on Twitter or send him an email at phil [at] pamil-visions [dot] com.