The 12/12/12 Concert For Sandy Relief Rocked. But Where Were The Women? – Forbes

December 16, 2012 Leave a comment

English: Alicia Keys in South Africa for the F...

When the line-up for last night’s concert at Madison Square Garden for Sandy relief was announced, it was not surprising to see the usual crowd-pleasing suspects among the performers: Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi.

What was surprising was that among the initial list of performers was one woman’s name: Alicia Keys. I expected to see more as additional musicians were added to the schedule.

But none was. When the concert took place last night, the stage was occupied almost exclusively by white male singers and instrumentalists, all of whom donated their time to the Robin Hood Foundation, all of whom deserve our thanks. This is not about them, not about the people whose presence raised, according to various reports, $30 million in ticket sales alone. It’s not about the people who were there.

It’s about the people who weren’t.

The evening, billed as the “12/12/12 concert,” placed special emphasis on the date, and in 2012, it’s difficult to imagine that a major, hours-long musical event was staged with a single female headliner, and with few people of color. It’s even more startling given the concert’s location and purpose. It doesn’t seem too much expect that the concert would have–and should have—reflected the diversity of New York City and of the people affected by the storm.

via The 12/12/12 Concert For Sandy Relief Rocked. But Where Were The Women? – Forbes.


Tourists find London unfriendly, dirty and expensive: survey | Reuters

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Cancun Beach

(Reuters) – London may have put on a cheerful face during the Olympics but tourists have still rated the city poorly in terms of friendliness, cleanliness and value for money, a survey showed on Thursday.

Of 40 cities worldwide, London this year ranked second to last for the friendliness of its locals, according to a poll by travel website TripAdvisor.

Only Moscow fared worse, while Mexico‘s Cancun ranked first.

Britain’s capital barely performed better in the nine other categories of the poll, ranking 28th for safety, 26th for cleanliness and 35th for best value for money.

On the upside, London was rated fourth best city for shopping – behind New York City, Bangkok and Dubai – and fifth for the quality of taxi services.

The study was based on responses from 75,000 TripAdvisor users surveyed last month.

via Tourists find London unfriendly, dirty and expensive: survey | Reuters.

Apps and Accessories Help Make the iPad a Scaled-Down Darkroom –

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Over the years, I’ve been in and out of relationships with dozens of film cameras, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Minolta and others, as a result of my passion for photography.

In the late 1990s, after college, I snapped so many photos that I ended up building a 5-by-6-foot darkroom in the corner of my living room in Brooklyn. There, standing amid long, dark strips of film under the glow of a dim red light, I spent countless hours mixing pungent chemicals and developing and printing photographs.

I have since retired most of my film cameras. Now, my camera bag is all digital, and my darkroom is 7 inches wide and 9.5 inches long: an Apple iPad.

The chemicals I once used have been replaced by a tiny, white USB connector that allows me to transfer my photos from any digital camera into the iPad in a matter of seconds.

What inspired me to jump from film to digital was immediacy — or impatience, depending on how you look at it. In the old days, I’d have to finish a roll of film, get home, develop it, wait, then wait some more. With digital, you snap a picture and there it is, like magic, on the back of your digital camera. With the iPad as a darkroom, it’s also editable immediately.

via Apps and Accessories Help Make the iPad a Scaled-Down Darkroom –

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Bad taste : McDonald’s pushed to rebrand hamburger- swissinfo

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Fast-food chain McDonald’s has been forced to rethink its latest marketing campaign for Swiss-themed hamburgers after it was revealed that the labelling of the cheese included in its Simmental Prime was not legal.

In advertisements broadcast on Swiss television, the company stated that its special burger contained alpine cheese – Alpkäse in German. This was sufficient to draw the attention of the German-language Agricultural Information Service (LID), a public relations and news service backed by farming associations.

LID’s interest was piqued by the use of the term “alpine”, which is restricted under Swiss law. In this case, it can only describe cheese produced in the mountains with milk from cows spending the summer on alpine pastures.

While McDonald’s did source its beef from Simmental cattle, it purchased its cheese slices from Emmi, Switzerland’s biggest dairy company. The cheese is not produced according to the alpine criteria and cannot carry the label.

via Bad taste : McDonald’s pushed to rebrand hamburger- swissinfo.

NY, NJ ponder new boardwalks without the boards – Yahoo! News

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. AP — They’re the places where generations of families savored fast-melting ice cream cones and chowed down on garlicky slices of pizza, where teens scoped out potential dates, where a tipsy Snooki tottered unsteadily, and under which the Drifters sang about falling in love.

For all their nostalgia, boardwalks are still a major economic engine for shoreline communities in New Jersey and New York. Tourists and residents alike spend their money on food and drinks there, or on games of skee ball or balloon darts to win a stuffed animal. So weeks after Superstorm Sandy, towns are racing to rebuild their boardwalks by May, for reasons both sentimental and financial.

They will need the tourism money this summer more than ever as they try to rebuild homes and other infrastructure. The expensive efforts are forcing decisions not only about how much to spend, but also whether to rebuild with environmentally sensitive wood or more durable materials.

The destruction in Seaside Heights has become emblematic of the storm because of a roller coaster that plunged into the ocean. Yet Sandy also destroyed the boardwalk where families eat belly-busting foods like zeppoles — fried dough laden with powdered sugar — and where Snooki and company partied their way through the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.

Mayor Bill Akers said 75 percent of his town’s budget comes from tourism, with the remaining 25 percent raised from local taxpayers.

“You can see how important it is for us to get the boardwalk back up and running, and to make sure we have a summer season,” he said. “It’s something we have to get done.”

via NY, NJ ponder new boardwalks without the boards – Yahoo! News.

The world’s most and least livable cities – Business on

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Rathaus nightshot (2005)

According to a study released this week by global consulting group Mercer, the best U.S. city to live in is Honolulu, Hawaii. However, the study reviews hundreds of cities around the world, and Honolulu ranks worse than 27 other major metropolitan areas. This includes two cities from New Zealand, four from both Canada and Australia, and more than a dozen from European countries like Switzerland and Germany.

Mercer’s 2012 Quality of Living Survey looks at the largest cities in the world and takes into account dozens of metrics, including internal stability, law enforcement effectiveness, education, crime levels and the quality of health care in the city. This year, the best city in the world to live in is Vienna, Austria. The worst city to live in is Baghdad, Iraq. Based on Mercer’s report, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cities with the lowest and highest quality of living.

The cities with the highest quality of living are primarily in wealthy, politically stable, central European countries. Among the 11 with the highest quality of living, three are in Switzerland, three are in Germany, and the highest-ranked city, Vienna, is in Austria. According to Slagin Pakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer, “Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures.”

via The world’s most and least livable cities – Business on

Catholic absolution of guilt boosts donations to church – Technology & Science – CBC News

December 10, 2012 Leave a comment

People who recall, or even imagine, being absolved of their sins tend to donate more money to the church, according to British researchers.

“Recent evidence has suggested that people are more likely to behave prosocially, such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating and volunteering, when they feel guilty,” said Ryan McKay, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway College of the University of London.

“This raises the question of whether religious rituals of absolution, in which people are absolved of their sins and released from guilt, would actually make people less prosocial.”

In a study done by the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, published in the journal Religion, Brain and Behaviour, researchers posed the question: “If sin is a form of capital, might absolution rituals squander that capital?”

In the study, volunteers – all devout Catholics —were provided two memory tasks.

First, they were asked to remember a sin, privately, that they had committed in the past.

Secondly, they had to recall if they attended confession for this sin or, if they hadn’t done it in reality, just to imagine doing so.

Each person was given an opportunity to donate to a local Catholic church by putting some money in an envelope.

via Catholic absolution of guilt boosts donations to church – Technology & Science – CBC News.

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