Quinoa, a grain-like superfood, has become so popular in Western markets that Bolivians can no longer afford to eat it. Instead, they’re turning to cheap, processed foods, raising concerns about malnutrition in a poor country where it has long been a problem.
For centuries Bolivians lived off quinoa, and it was “little more than a curiosity outside the Andes.” But it has recently caught on in wealthier countries as a healthy alternative to grains, becoming a staple at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. With demand soaring, prices have nearly tripled over the past five years. That’s great for Bolivian farmers. But it means many Bolivians can no longer afford what has long been a healthy staple of their diet. Quinoa consumption in Bolivia has dropped by 34 percent in five years. “The shift offers a glimpse into the consequences of rising global food prices and changing eating habits in both prosperous and developing nations,’ say Simon Romaro and Sara Shahriari in The New York Times.
Read more about this problem here. What exactly is quinoa, and how do you pronounce it?
Photo: CC BY rusvaplauke
“Monday, we burn Miller … Tuesday, Tolstoy … Wednesday, Walt Whitman … Friday, Faulkner … and Saturday and Sunday, Schopenhauer and Sartre. We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes. That’s our official motto.”
Even if the original lyrics are off-limits to old media, it’s clear to everyone that the profane versions of the songs are going to be heard. The enforced innocence of broadcasting is no longer a cultural firewall; it’s barely an inconvenience. “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it,” the Internet-freedom activist John Gilmore famously said in 1996 — and hits with choruses that revolve around a four-letter word can count on Internet accessibility. Shock value is viral, and probably a selling point. Forbidden by the Federal Communications Commission as broadcast indecency, the original songs gain a tiny frisson of rebellion for those who click through to the grown-up versions on YouTube or iTunes. The songs lead a double life: the broadcast version for the uninitiated or oblivious, the raunchy one for anyone paying attention. Listening to a pop star singing a bawdy word, consumers of mass culture can feel like insiders.
Ekphrasis in action
On the wall are Penn’s ten game design rules, and it’s these that form the structure of the brainstorming process. There’s no sense that the team is just picking genres and trying to come up with new spins on old ideas. Instead, there’s a sort of organic, industrial design approach – they start by considering actions and interfaces – what’s fun to use, what isn’t? Today, they’re playing with iPhone, just fiddling about with different uses of the touchscreen, finding out what feels satisfying. “We always start with the idea of toys,” says Ralfe. “They’re the quickest way into finding fun. Rules aren’t fun, so we never begin with them.” There’s also a fluidity to the design process – Battle Atekko starting out as a racing game, but the fighting element looked like becoming the really fun bit, so they switched to a combat game. Fun is key. (via The Denki Difference | Technology | guardian.co.uk)
Forbes’ back-of-the-envelope accounting went like this. First, it tallied up revenue from all of those millions of YouTube views. YouTube, owned by Google, grants artists 68 percent of the proceeds earned from advertising on the site through its Partner Program. Forbes figured YouTube makes about $1 per 1,000 page views. Thus, “Friday’s” 30 million page views (at the time: It’s now up to 43 million) implied $30,000 in revenue, with a cut of $20,000 or so for Black. Then, it added in the earnings from downloads of the new hit single. Forbes initially reported that the song racked up 2 million purchases on iTunes. If iTunes pays out 70 cents per download, and Black keeps all of the proceeds, it makes her a tween millionaire. But there are a few problems with this accounting. First, the numbers. As for downloads, Billboard reports that “Friday” has sold just 37,000 copies, meaning the song has earned about $26,000. And as for YouTube plays, the number could be lower. Rates depend not just on page views, but also on how many people click on the advertisements. Thus, the song and video have earned perhaps $40,000 and counting—hardly chump change, but hardly $1 million either. Then comes the all-important question of who is benefiting from such frothy pop nonsense. Specifically, how big of a cut is the Ark Music Factory, which wrote the song and made the video, taking? (via Rebecca Black music video: Did she really make $1 million from “Friday”? – By Annie Lowrey – Slate Magazine)
Enter the Atomos Ninja and Samurai HD recorder / monitor / playback devices that take your 10-bit video and compress it in Apple’s 1080p ProRes QuickTime format to make your post-production life a little easier. The Ninja pulls video through HDMI and deposits it on your choice of 2.5-inch HDD or SDD storage, does playback via a 4.3-inch 480 x 270 touchscreen, and has continuous power thanks to dual hot-swappable batteries (available in 2600, 5200, and 7800 mAh varieties). Meanwhile, the Samurai matches the Ninja’s specs, but swaps out the HDMI connection for HD-SDI ports and adds SDI Loop-Through to connect an external monitor, a larger 5-inch 800 x 400 display, and 3D support (if you get two Samurais genlocked together). Both units have FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections for offloading your vids. (via Atomos Ninja and Samurai HD video recorder / monitors bring compression jutsu to pro filmmaking – Engadget)