Major changes are underway, so expect to see even less posts in the upcoming weeks…
I don’t know if I’ll update this site while I’m there. Stay tuned…
This post is inspired by an article published not too long ago at Slate. I’ve been really slow to post it, but I definitely think it’s worth the read. The following quote puts the whole action into perspective:
“Four companies (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony BMG, and EMI) control a staggering 90 percent of all record sales in the United States, and they’re hopping mad. CD sales are in free fall, and the recording industry’s revenues have shrunk from $15 billion to $10 billion in less than a decade. Instead of blaming themselves for failing to embrace the Internet soon enough, Big Music has pointed the finger at piracy, shaking down scofflaw MP3 downloaders with capricious, multimillion-dollar lawsuits. This has not strengthened the record companies’ position—at this point, they’re losing money and everybody hates them”
With all of this in mind, the music industry has been considering levying a potential “tax” or as some others have called it, “an extortion scheme,” that will result in consumers having to pay an extra $5 or so on their Internet Serive Provider bill. I found this to be interesting, given my belief that thanks to the Internet the major labels traditional business are dated and will be extinct. Hence, I look at any attempt by the music industry to stop piracy as an exercise in futility and a tragic prolonging of the inevitable.
I also recommend reading the comments posted by other in The Fray, which is the designated area for Slate readers to post comments. Not surprisingly, this approach of the music industry is wildly unpopular with the public.
It’s been reported that “Rocky the Bear,” most known from the movie Semi-Pro starring Will Ferrell, killed a trainer recently.
Anyway, the event reminded me of a quote from Chris Rock’s stand up special Never Scared which came out after a tiger attacked Roy Horn from Siegfried & Roy:
“That tiger ain’t go crazy; that tiger went tiger! You know when he was really crazy? When he was riding around on a unicycle with a Hitler helmet on!”
Indeed, it could be said that the bear went crazy when he wrestling humans on camera. But I’m always skeptical of the domestication of dangerous animals in general and I’m not surprised that a bear would “go bear” and attack a human.
Here’s the Chris Rock clip from Never Scared when he said the abovementioned quote (it’s around the 1:30 mark):
This tiny gun is the world’s smallest working revolver. It’s being marketed as a collector’s item and measures just 2.16 inches long (5.5cm). It can fire real 4.53 bullets up to a range of 367ft (112m).
It’s made out of stainless steel and costs £3,000. The manufacturers also produce extravagant, made-to-order versions made out of 18-carat gold with customized diamonds that sell for up to £30,000!
Unfortunately, since the barrell is less than 3 inches it can’t be imported to the USA (3 inches is the shortest barrel size deemed fit for sporting purposes).
Forbes Magazine just published a list of the top 25 dirtiest cities in the world. To see which cities in the world were dirtiest, they used Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s 2007 Health and Sanitation Rankings. As part of their 2007 Quality of Life Report, they ranked 215 cities worldwide based on levels of air pollution, waste management, water potability, hospital services, medical supplies and the presence of infectious disease.
All cities were positioned against New York, the base city, with an index score of 100. For the Health and Sanitation Rankings, the index scores range from the worst on the list–Baku, Azerbaijan, with a score of 27.6–to the best on the list–Calgary, Canada, with a score of 131.7
Pardon my ignorance, but I’ve never heard of the city of Baku or Azerbaijan. Here’s a wikipedia entry about Baku.
In light of the Eliot Spitzer scandal, many people from a wide range of disciplines (psychologists, economists, etc) have written articles about why Spitzer solicited sex from from a prostitute.
This article, written by Columbia University sociologist Sudhir Ventakesh, sheds some light on the high end call girl industry. It’s pretty fascinating.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
“What high-end clients pay for may surprise you. For example, according to my ongoing interviews of several hundred sex workers, approximately 40 percent of trades in New York’s sex economy fail to include a physical act beyond light petting or kissing. No intercourse, no oral stimulation, etc. That’s one helluva conversation. But it’s what many clients want. Flush with cash, these elite men routinely turn their prostitute into a second partner or spouse. Over the course of a year, they will sometimes persuade the woman to take on a new identity, replete with a fake name, a fake job, a fake life history, and so on. They may want to have sex or they may simply want to be treated like King for a Day…
This doesn’t mean the elite women have a great life…high-end workers routinely experience physical abuse at the hands of their clients—on average, they report getting abused twice per year, which is better than the six times a year that street-based workers report but still, clearly, troubling. Escort services (usually owned by men) often charge…Plus, their lives are cash-based—they can’t plan for the future or make any real investments.”