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Independence Day 2020: still all about Great Music and Fun

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Maybe we should call this the people’s playlist…

“America The Beautiful” broadcast from Washington DC on 4th of July. Nothing wrong with that. Perhaps this year in particular – with many reasons to remind ourselves of our rights under the constitution and while we consider the future of the nation, perhaps some historical classic and meaningful titles are in order. Some great songs from our hallowed past, many with a more thought provoking auditory emanation of the American Dream, and perhaps that reflect the real lives and loves of Americans.

This Land Is Your Land

The ultimate people’s anthem. Endlessly influential, from Bob Dylan to Springsteen all the way to the present day. Not to be forgotten. Ever.

The Star-Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix)

Misunderstood, yet insightful to the nth degree. Performed at Woodstock (50 year anniversary happening now) at the height of unrest during the Vietnam War. For many, perhaps the peak and final moments of the 60s. Has taken on mythic status and while the controversy has faded, the insight and bittersweet love for the country shines through, to this day. Hendrix was a veteran and knew exactly what “rockets red glare” really sounded and felt like.

Born In The USA

In the parade of the misunderstood “Born In The USA” may stand as the most misinterpreted song ever. Pride at being born in the USA? Absolutely. Look at the rest of the lyrics to get the more nuanced take on what it means.

America, West Side Story

What can you say? Classic all the way.

Living In America

Anything by James Brown is an American Treasure.

America The Beautiful (Ray Charles)

Ditto

A bit more from The Boss and some lesser known gems to round out the tour:


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Crypto

Lloyd Ostertag aka Elon Musk aka The DogeFather on SNL – full clip

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Above: photo via Twitter credit: Mac Rumors

Was it really a knock on Crypto, or was there a hidden plug in the details?

Elon’s big night in NYC was awkward, as expected and he should probably keep his day job. The highlight, for pretty much everyone on earth (not sure about mars), was the Weekend Update segment where Musk appeared as Lloyd Ostertag, a crypto “expert” dressed in professorial garb.

Watch the clip below, and you will notice that, although the punchline was a dis’ on Doge, saying, or rather “admitting” that it’s a “hustle”, a detailed listening to Musk’s entire speech reveals some gems that go in the opposite direction, for those that follow crypto, and, well, money.

Elon-Musk-Read-More

The dollar is just as real (or unreal) as DogeCoin

In a comedy skit looking like it was designed to avoid scrutiny by the SEC, the writers at SNL, presumably with Musk’s help, decided to put a negative spin on both mentions of DOGE during the show. First, in an exchange with his Mom, Maye, Musk sheepishly grins and nods after she says she “hopes it won’t be DogeCoin” referring to her Mother’s day gift.

He eventually capitulates and, after saying that DogeCoin is “about as real as that dollar” he “concedes” that “it’s a hustle”.

Elon Musk, as LLoyd Ostertag on Saturday Night Live, May 8th 2021

Later, in the “Weekend Update” segment Musk plays “Lloyd Ostertag” who calls himself the “DogeFather” – and the anchors ask repeatedly, in a somewhat dismissive tone, “what is DogeCoin?”. The gag is that he, as Ostertag, eventually capitulates and, after saying that DogeCoin is “about as real as that dollar”, “concedes” that “it’s a hustle”.

Read More UFO Viral Footage Article

While the bulk of his appearance in the segment does reconfirm and support his actual views, in a smirking and slightly deprecating way, as Ostertag”, it also underscores a deeper truth that cryptocurrencies are “as real as the dollar” (some would say more real). However, in the end, the punchline is a negative way to sweep all of that away, with a nod to Buffet, Munger and the SEC, thereby toeing the line and insuring himself one less courtroom headache.

DOGE has the last laugh? Is Crypto dead? Doubtful…

As of Sunday, May 9th, DOGE is hovering around .51 cents. The Muskian peak was .74 cents on May 7th. This means that, although there was a decline on the “news” that Musk would not break the SEC rules by blatantly pumping DogeCoin on live national TV, the coin is still up approximately 33% for the week, 734% for the last month and 19,446% for the last year. And, according to Elon Musk, aka Lloyd Ostertag, aka the DogeFather, it is “about as real” as that dollar in your pocket.

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Breaking News

Was Elon Musk’s weak dis’ on SNL the real reason for DogeCoin’s Drop?

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Is any chosen form of “money” any more of a “hustle” than another?

Elon’s big night in NYC turned out, not surprisingly, to be less than climactic for the Shiba Inu meme crypto coin DOGE as it was seen sinking during the show and on Sunday. A wise man once said “correlation is not causation” and yet can anyone or anything be responsible for the drop in the high flying cryptocoin other than Elon and his Mom?

Elon-Musk-Read-More

In stock market lingo this was what’s known as a “date certain” event. Meaning, the entire world knew that Elon would be on SNL and would, one way or another, mention DOGE, given that he has been endlessly associated with the coin in the media, and it’s a “joke” that has to be told, if only to prove to the SEC that he is really just joking. “Look guys, I am literally on a comedy show talking about this”, he seems to be saying.

“Buy the Rumor, Sell the News”

For good measure, and to avoid scrutiny by the oversight body, he, and the writers at SNL, decided to put a negative spin on both mentions of DOGE during the show. First, in an exchange with his Mom, Maye, Musk sheepishly grins and nods after she says she “hopes it won’t be DogeCoin” referring to her Mother’s day gift.

He eventually capitulates and, after saying that DogeCoin is “about as real as that dollar” he “concedes” that “it’s a hustle”.

Elon Musk, as LLoyd Ostertag on Saturday Night Live, May 8th 2021

Later, in a sketch with 100% focus on the crypto coin, the “Weekend Update” segment features Musk playing “Lloyd Ostertag” who calls himself the “DogeFather” – who is asked repeatedly “what is DogeCoin”. He eventually capitulates and, after saying that DogeCoin is “about as real as that dollar” he “concedes” that “it’s a hustle”.

While the bulk of his appearance in the segment does reconfirm and support his actual views, in a smirking and slightly deprecating way, as Ostertag”, it also underscores a deeper truth that cryptocurrencies are “as real as the dollar” (some would say more real). However, in the end, the punchline is a negative way to sweep away all of that, with a nod to Buffet, Munger and the SEC, toeing the line and insuring himself one less courtroom headache.

Was it the Day of reckoning for Dogecoin? Possible but doubtful

As of Sunday, May 9th, DOGE is hovering around .51 cents. The Muskian peak was .74 cents on May 7th. This means that, although there was a decline on the “news” that Musk would not break the SEC rules by blatantly pumping DogeCoin on live national TV, the coin is still up approximately 33% for the week, 734% for the last month and 19,446% for the last year. And, according to Elon Musk, aka Lloyd Ostertag, aka the DogeFather, it is “about as real” as that dollar in your pocket.

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Books

Best Under-the-radar Books from Our Research

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Above:Photo Credit / Olivier Chatel on Unsplash

Sometimes, lost in all the hype and hoopla are gems that just don’t quite make it into the forefront of the mainstream. We make it our mission to keep our eyes open and be on the hunt for just those kinds of gems. Perhaps it’s an idea, or a thread of meaning, or maybe just something that is boiling under the surface about to explode like a geyser in Yellowstone Park.

Here are a few books, and the idea of a physical book itself is also one of those overlooked genius things that seems to slip past us everyday, and these are just the kind that only the eagle-eyed may have noticed previously. To make it easier they are featured front and center, below, along with descriptions, provided courtesy of the Bookshop, and some links for a variety of options to purchase.

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe

Infinite Powers Book image
buy at Bookshop

From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus–how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better.

Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket.

Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down-to-earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number–infinity–to tackle real-world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous.

Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age

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Antitrust enforcement is one of the most pressing issues facing America today–and Amy Klobuchar, the widely respected senior senator from Minnesota, is leading the charge. This fascinating history of the antitrust movement shows us what led to the present moment and offers achievable solutions to prevent monopolies, promote business competition, and encourage innovation.

In a world where Google reportedly controls 90 percent of the search engine market and Big Pharma’s drug price hikes impact healthcare accessibility, monopolies can hurt consumers and cause marketplace stagnation. Klobuchar–the much-admired former candidate for president of the United States–argues for swift, sweeping reform in economic, legislative, social welfare, and human rights policies, and describes plans, ideas, and legislative proposals designed to strengthen antitrust laws and antitrust enforcement.

Klobuchar writes of the historic and current fights against monopolies in America, from Standard Oil and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to the Progressive Era’s trust-busters; from the breakup of Ma Bell (formerly the world’s biggest company and largest private telephone system) to the pricing monopoly of Big Pharma and the future of the giant tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

She begins with the Gilded Age (1870s-1900), when builders of fortunes and rapacious robber barons such as J. P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were reaping vast fortunes as industrialization swept across the American landscape, with the rich getting vastly richer and the poor, poorer.

She discusses President Theodore Roosevelt, who, during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920), busted the trusts, breaking up monopolies; the Clayton Act of 1914; the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; and the Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950, which it strengthened the Clayton Act. She explores today’s Big Pharma and its price-gouging; and tech, television, content, and agriculture communities and how a marketplace with few players, or one in which one company dominates distribution, can hurt consumer prices and stifle innovation.

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

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From the man who coined the term net neutrality, author of The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants, comes a warning about the dangers of excessive corporate and industrial concentration for our economic and political future.

We live in an age of extreme corporate concentration, in which global industries are controlled by just a few giant firms — big banks, big pharma, and big tech, just to name a few.

But concern over what Louis Brandeis called the curse of bigness can no longer remain the province of specialist lawyers and economists, for it has spilled over into policy and politics, even threatening democracy itself. History suggests that tolerance of inequality and failing to control excessive corporate power may prompt the rise of populism, nationalism, extremist politicians, and fascist regimes.

In short, as Wu warns, we are in grave danger of repeating the signature errors of the twentieth century. In The Curse of Bigness, Columbia professor Tim Wu tells of how figures like Brandeis and Theodore Roosevelt first confronted the democratic threats posed by the great trusts of the Gilded Age–but the lessons of the Progressive Era were forgotten in the last 40 years. He calls for recovering the lost tenets of the trustbusting age as part of a broader revival of American progressive ideas as we confront the fallout of persistent and extreme economic inequality.

Silent Spring (50th Anniversary Edition)

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The classic that launched the environmental movement

Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring did exactly that.

The outrcrythat followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred the revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.

Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement.

This is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century. The introduction, by the acclaimed biographer Linda Lear, tells the story of Carson’s courageous defense of her truths in the face of a ruthless assault form the chemical industry following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death.

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Entertainment

Netflix’s latest Thriller ‘Awake’ – Wipes out the ability to Sleep

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Insomnia plays the #1 villain

Above: Official Trailer for Awake / Netflix

The next global catastrophe movie is coming to Netflix, its called “Awake” and the premise has quite the spin. This apocalyptic thriller makes surviving even more difficult because the Earth’s population no longer has the ability to sleep, which leads to mass hallucinations, disorientation, and ultimately death.

Buy at Bookshop

“Awake” hopes to garner the same success as the Netflix original film “Bird Box”, which was a watch-at-the-end-of-your-seat apocalyptic horror/thriller where upon one glimpse of something terrifying would drive a person to deadly violence. The Netflix film released back in 2018 starred Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson and John Malkovich.

The cast includes: Gina Rodriguez as Jill, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Shamier Anderson, and Ariana Greenblatt as Matilda, the young girl who may hold the key to figuring out the film’s mystery. The film will debut on the Netflix streaming platform starting June 8, 2021.

Read More UFO Viral Footage Article

According to a press release by Netflix, the summary of the film is as follows:

After a sudden global event wipes out all electronics and takes away humankind’s ability to sleep, chaos quickly begins to consume the world. Only Jill (played by Gina Rodriguez), an ex-soldier with a troubled past, may hold the key to a cure in the form of her own daughter. The question is, can Jill safely deliver her daughter and save the world before she herself loses her mind.

Directed by Mark Raso known for his work on “Kodachrome”.

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