Inside Job, Narrated by Matt Damon (Full Length HD)
‘Inside Job’ provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
For anyone who doesn’t understand what the Occupy movement is about.
This is a brilliant watch regardless.
I haven’t watched this yet, but I want to!! And I want to share it too.
This contribution seeks to identify the short and long-term economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, films and games, while taking into account the legal context and policy developments. The short-term implications examined concern direct costs and benefits to society, whereas the long-term impact concerns changes in the industry’s business models as well as in cultural diversity and the accessibility of content. It observes that the proliferation of digital distribution networks combined with the availability of digital technology among consumers has broken the entertainment industries’ control over the access to their products. Only part of the decline in music sales can be attributed to file sharing. Despite the losses for the music industry, the increased accessibility of culture renders the overall welfare effects of file sharing robustly positive. As a consequence the entertainment industries, particularly the music industry, have to explore new models to sustain their business. [Click the image for the PDF source].
An interesting read.
Slightly off-topic… I always thought that, if it weren’t for people uploading videos on YouTube and sharing music upon various sites, I wouldn’t have later bought from quite a lot of foreign artists I have the CDs of. Of course, things have changed over the past few years, they have official YouTube channels for a lot of artists now… but, before that, people’s uploading of things when they weren’t supposed to was really the only way I could hear or see anything from these international artists before I bought from them!
A Harvard business prof. and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable. Check out the rest of our inequality charts here.
It’s always quite thought-provoking to compare people’s perceptions to statistics.
US threatens Spain over lacking SOPA-like law
"In a leaked letter sent to Spain’s outgoing President, the US ambassador warned that if Spain didn’t pass SOPA-like file-sharing site blocking law, Spain would risk being put into United States trade blocklist. United States government interference in Spain’s intellectual property laws have been suspected for a long time, and now the recent leaks of diplomatic cables confirm this. Apart from the cables leaked earlier, now another cable dated December 12th says U.S. expresses “deep concern” over the failure to implement SOPA-style censorship law in the country. ‘The government has unfortunately failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain,’ read the letter. Racing against the clock in the final days of the government, Solomont had one last push. ‘I encourage the Government of Spain to implement the Sinde Law immediately to safeguard the reputation of Spain as an innovative country that does what it says it will, and as a country that breeds confidence,’ he wrote.” [Source].
Learn about SOPA and a brief account on the EU’s opposition to it.
Lots of companies (EA, Sony, Nintendo, GoDaddy, etc) have withdrawn their support, others are thinking of doing a blackout to oppose it (Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc) [Indirect source]. S’all very intriguing.
An interesting read~ into that part of the past of dentistry. Here’s an extract:
"The problem was that the majority of those teeth used in 18th-Century dentures were of poor quality, diseased and rotten, deriving as they did from less than satisfactory sources.
The teeth of executed criminals were certainly highly prized, dependent on the health of the criminal in question, but the agreement of an understanding judge was necessary in order to obtain them. There were other ways in which teeth could be legitimately taken from corpses – where the bodies in question were those of unidentified paupers, for instance – but many more were acquired illicitly, often by graverobbers or by unscrupulous workers in mortuaries or graveyards. The quality of such teeth was rarely good.
Dentists had access to teeth they had pulled themselves, but these were also far from ideal, for obvious reasons. Bizarrely, this didn’t prevent some dentists, generally those at the less professional end of the new science, from occasionally arranging the immediate transplantation of teeth from one mouth to another: unsurprisingly, the success rate of this procedure was not high and it was later discovered to be an almost sure-fire method of transmitting syphilis.
Finally, the desperately impoverished could even be paid for their teeth but as with the other sources just mentioned, these were as often as not in a pretty rotten state already”.
More on Roman cosmetics, and its male use.
Men are also known to have used cosmetics in Roman times, although it was frowned upon by society. Men seen carrying mirrors were viewed as effeminate, while those using face-whitening makeup were thought to be immoral because they were expected to be tanned from working outside. Two of the more acceptable practices were the light use of certain perfumes and moderate hair removal. A man removing too much hair was viewed as effeminate, while removing too little made him seem unrefined.
The Romans found it especially inappropriate for an emperor to be vain, as was apparently the case with the Emperor Otho. The Emperor Elagabalus removed all of his body hair and often donned makeup, which caused the Romans much grief. [Source].
From teeth to cosmetic, more on its early use.
Roman attitudes towards cosmetics evolved concurrently with the expansion of the empire. The assortment of cosmetics available increased as trade borders expanded and the resulting influx of wealth granted women additional slaves and time to spend on beauty.
Ideas of beauty from conquered peoples, especially the Greeks and Egyptians, greatly influenced the Roman paradigm of beauty. Unlike their eastern trading partners however, the Romans felt that only the “preservation of beauty” was acceptable and not “unnatural embellishment”. Despite exaggerating their makeup to make it appear in the poor lighting of the time, women still wanted to appear natural as a sign of chastity. Artificiality denoted a desire to be seductive, which made men question for whom exactly a woman was trying to appear attractive. This was why men generally viewed the use of cosmetics as deceitful and manipulative. Vestal Virgins did not don makeup because they were supposed to look holy and chaste. Postumia defied this convention and consequently, was accused of incestum.
Of all the surviving texts mentioning cosmetics, all of which should be noted were written by men, Ovid is alone in his approval of their use. The overall consensus was that women who used cosmetics in excess were immoral and deceptive and were practicing a form of witchcraft. Juvenal wrote that “a woman buys scents and lotions with adultery in mind” and mocked the need for cosmetics, believing that they were ineffective. Use of perfumes was further looked down upon because they were thought to mask the smell of sex and alcohol. Seneca advised virtuous women to avoid cosmetics, as he believed their use to be a part of the decline of morality in Rome. Stoics were also against the use of cosmetics, as they were opposed to the usage of all man-made luxuries. Although there are no surviving texts written by women expounding the attitude of women towards cosmetics, their widespread use indicates that women accepted and enjoyed these products.
More on the use of cosmetics and ideal looks they aimed to achieve: