News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Internet Saved The Record Labels

When Vivendi SA took over Universal Music Group in 2000, the industry was riding high on bumper sales of CDs, though the investment soon soured as illegal downloads surged. CD revenue plunged by two-thirds over the next decade, and by the early 2010s, unloading Universal would’ve been a tough sell; who would pay a premium for a company whose main product—pop songs—was widely available for free? But today, Vivendi is considering the sale of a stake in Universal that could value the label at more than $25 billion.

“The notion that recorded music has value was one that as recently as a decade ago was still in question,” says Bryan Gildenberg, an analyst at researcher Kantar Consulting. A sale of Universal would be “a remarkable testimony to the resurgence and the importance of content.”

The rebound can be traced to the same boogeyman that almost killed the business in the first place: the internet. These days, music fans have largely shifted from illegal downloads to paid streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, and Pandora, which generally charge $5 to $10 a month for unlimited access to millions of songs. Even though the labels only get about 0.3¢ each time a tune is streamed, according to the Trichordist, a musician advocacy blog, the pennies add up. Since 2014, record company sales have jumped an average 7 percent annually and streaming has become the top source of revenue, generating $6.6 billion in 2017, up from $1.9 billion in 2014, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimates.

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Erykah Badu Helped Define ‘Wokeness.’
Now She’s A Target.

10erykah-badu1-superJumbo.jpg (1639×2048)News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

LOS ANGELES — About halfway through our conversation last month, Erykah Badu declared that she was 48, feeling it necessary to remind me. She did it gently, but in a way that made clear what she thought of my line of questioning — about empathy, generally, and when she decided to reject anger.

It’s easy to think of Badu as ageless. In person, her bright eyes, smooth skin and famously fluttering voice — restrained in conversation, though the occasional vowel sound answers a higher calling — project youthful tenderness.

As an artist, she may be even more remarkably undated. Alone in a cluster of R&B stars who emerged amid late ’90s exuberance, she became a folk heroine by insisting on her self-worth, sold millions of albums that spawned hits and passed from one era of pop music to the next with little depreciation of her credibility. For more than two decades, she has spent the majority of each year performing for converts around the globe.

Badu, who has always been the primary architect of her own legend, will extend it Friday with “What Men Want,” a gender-flipped remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson-Helen Hunt romantic comedy. Badu’s character is a cartoon version of herself. In her own wardrobe and makeup, Badu plays a flowing-haired, incense-burning spirit-guide-cum-small-time-weed-dealer with otherworldly comic timing and a tenuous foothold on the terrestrial plane.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

The Circus Singer and
the Godfather of Soul

  • Two years ago, I got a phone call from a woman who sang in the circus. She said she could prove that James Brown had been murdered. I met her on a hot day near Chicago, where the big top was rising and the elephants were munching hay. The singer’s name was Jacquelyn Hollander. She was 61 years old. She lived in a motor home with two cats and a Chihuahua named Pickles. She had long blond hair and a pack of Marlboros. She said she was not crazy, nor was she lying, and she hoped I would write her story, because it might save her life.

    Or maybe it would get her killed. That was also a possibility, she said. Bad things happened to people who ran afoul of the James Brown organization. “I’m sure you know that Adrienne Brown was my good friend,” she said, referring to James Brown’s third wife. “That’s a very long story, when I tell you about it. There’s no doubt she was murdered.”

    We got in my car and drove to Panera for lunch. Jacque’s story widened, deepened, growing ever more strange. New characters appeared and disappeared, suffering one calamity after another. Some were shot to death. Some were maimed or killed in vehicle crashes. Some appeared to die of natural causes, but Jacque thought they’d been poisoned. She had questions about the deaths of at least nine people, all of them somehow connected to the Godfather of Soul.

    I wanted to know how a woman in the Carson & Barnes Circus had become such an authority on the secret history of James Brown. She tried to explain. The story had many twists and turns, but it kept returning to one day in 1988, when she got in James Brown’s conversion van and took a ride into the woods.

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The big, controversial business of The Wing, explained

News 02.11.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Between the ocean’s bright blue surface and its blackest depths — 660 to 3,300 feet below — is a mysterious, dark span of water. Welcome to the twilight zone.

Recent evidence suggests there are more animals here by weight than in all of the world’s fisheries combined. But who lives here, and in what quantities?

Since August, a group of scientists has been using new technology to better understand the twilight zone’s strange inhabitants. They hope their findings will lead to a more sustainable approach before the fishing industry tries to harvest some of its abundant life as fisheries closer to the surface are diminished.

“The time is right to get this knowledge before it’s too late,” said Heidi Sosik, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who is leading The Ocean Twilight Zone project. “This twilight zone region of the ocean is really, very barely explored, but the more we learn, the more interesting and more important it seems to be in playing a role in the whole ecosystem.”

Each animal in the ocean has its own auditory signature that ships usually detect by sending out sound waves that bounce or scatter off their bodies. It’s how whale watching cruises often find humpbacks for you to view.

But the acoustic fingerprints of twilight zone animals are still mysterious because shipboard sonar don’t have the bandwidth to distinguish the many organisms living far below the surface in what’s called the deep scattering layer. It’s an area so dense with life that people once thought it was the seafloor.

Around 250 different species of myctophids, or lantern fish, like the specimens above, make up much of this dense layer. Though abundant enough to trick sonar, individually they are no bigger than your index finger.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

Is Climate Change Far Worse Than We Realise?

The opening to an article David Wallace-Wells wrote in 2017 begins: “It’s worse, much worse, than you think.” Based on the worst-case scenarios foreseen by science, the journalist’s piece portrayed a world of drought, plague and famine, all caused by climate change. Critics called this irresponsibly alarmist. Supporters said it was a long-overdue antidote to climate complacency. It was among the best-read climate articles in US history.

Wallace-Wells has now written a book-length follow-up – The Uninhabitable Earth: a Story of the Future. He talks to India Rakusen about why he believes the crisis is happening far faster than any of us realise. Human beings are engineering their own destruction, Wallace-Wells says, pointing to the fact more than half of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere was in the past 25 years, a period when we were fully aware of the damage that burning fossil fuels can cause.

Also: Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has announced it is withdrawing production of a new model from Sunderland in the north-east of England, saying uncertainty surrounding Brexit is part of its decision. Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor, reports on how this might affect the area.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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