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Saturday, April 30, 2011

AFTRA-SAG Merger Closer to Reality

I am in Los Angeles this weekend serving as a member of the National Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild. Historic weekend. For more information go to http://sag actor-bloodspot.com

Screen Actors Guild takes big step toward merging with AFTRA
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April 30, 2011 |  6:03 pm


The Screen Actors Guild board of directors on Saturday moved significantly closer to merging with its smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

The board unanimously approved a mission statement for a consolidated union and agreed to create a task force that would work with AFTRA to develop a merger plan, including drafting a constitution and dues policy by January. AFTRA's board is expected to take similar action at meeting on May 14.

The proposed union would represent about 140,000 actors as well news broadcasters, recording artists, dancers and other performers.

"The message from SAG and AFTRA members across the country has been clear: They want this done as soon as possible, " SAG President Ken Howard said in a statement.

"Not only will the creation of one union increase our bargaining leverage, it will allow us to pool our resources to give members the protection they need by actively enforcing contracts and organizing new work," SAG National Secretary Treasurer Amy Aquino said in a statement.

Despite a growing consensus among union leaders that merging is necessary to give the unions more bargaining clout and avoid turf battles,  the sides will have to wrestle with a number of tough issues before the marriage can occur sometime early next year. For more details, see today's business story in the Los Angeles Times.

--Richard Verrier

RELATED

SAG board expected to proceed with AFTRA merger

AFTRA board gives two thumbs up on merger talks

Actors unions' board approves new film and TV contract

 

Google Me

So what can you find out about a person with Google?

Have you tried googling yourself?

I found other Art Lynch's involved in medicine, government, comedy, photography, art and crime. I also found me.

Is it who they are or a capture of odds and ends crafting an incomplete image, false impression, snapshot with eyes closed or bad light?

So.

Google me.

You will find (partial list):

http://www.linkedin.com/in/arthurlynch

http://www.nevadayouthmedia.org/2008/04/art-lynch-536-sixth-street-boulder-city.html

http://www.plaxo.com/directory/profile/214749306549/7cf6c025/Art/Lynch

http://profile.myspace.com/30254782

http://www.nevadayouthmedia.org

http://www.nevadayouthmedia.org/2008/04/art-lynch-536-sixth-street-boulder-city.html

http://www.mylife.com/art-lynch-boulder-city-nv-264600472-r.html

http://www.scribd.com/Art%20Lynch

http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/PersonDetail.aspx?PersonID=237283805

http://movies.nytimes.com/person/972328/Art-Lynch

http://open.salon.com/blog/alynch

http://www.box.net/shared/vo0odcdmbr

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=581144

http://www.nevadaimpact.com/endorsements.htm

https://www.csn.edu/pages/2526.asp

http://www.census-online.us/search/LYNCH,ART

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power


In an interconnected world, speaking more than one language is becoming increasingly common. Approximately one-fifth of Americans speak a non-English language at home, and globally, as many as two-thirds of children are brought up bilingual.
Research suggests that the growing numbers of bilingual speakers may have an advantage that goes beyond communication: It turns out that being bilingual is also good for your brain.
Judy and Paul Szentkiralyi both grew up bilingual in the U.S., speaking Hungarian with their families and English with their peers. When they first started dating, they spoke English with each other.
But they knew they wanted to raise their children speaking both languages, so when things turned serious they did something unusual — they decided to switch to Hungarian.
Today, Hungarian is the primary language the Szentkiralyis use at home. Their two daughters — Hannah, 14, and Julia, 8 — speak both languages fluently, and without any accent. But they both heard only Hungarian from mom and dad until the age of 3 or 4, when they started school.
"When she did go to preschool that accent was very thick – she counted like Vun, two, tree," said Judy Szentkiralyi, recalling Hanna's early experience with English. "And by the time four or five months went by, it was totally gone."
Dispelling Confusion Around Bilingualism
The Szentkiralyis say that most people were supportive, but not everyone. Paul recounts an uncomfortable confrontation Judy once had in the local grocery store.
"I remember one time you came home and you said this one lady was like, 'When is she going to learn English?' And it was like, 'Well, when she goes to school she'll learn English,'" he said.
For a bilingual who really has two good languages that they use, both of them are always active.
"People would often say, 'Well, won't they get confused?" added Judy. "And I would have to explain, 'Well, no, it wasn't confusing for us.'"
The idea that children exposed to two languages from birth become confused or that they fall behind monolingual children is a common misconception, says Janet Werker, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who studies language acquisition in bilingual babies.
"Growing up bilingual is just as natural as growing up monolingual," said Werker, whose own research indicates babies of bilingual mothers can distinguish between languages even hours after birth.
"There is absolutely no evidence that bilingual acquisition leads to confusion, and there is no evidence that bilingual acquisition leads to delay," she said.
Werker and other researchers say the evidence to the contrary is actually quite strong. Instead of holding you back, being bilingual, they say, may actually be good for you.
Tuning In To The Right Signal
Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist from York University in Toronto, says the reason lies in the way the bilingual mind uses language.
"We don't really know very much in psychology," said Bialystok. "But the one thing that has been so overwhelmingly proven, that I can say with great certainty, is this: For a bilingual who really has two good languages that they use, both of them are always active."
In other words, no matter what language a person is speaking at the moment, both languages are active in the brain.
"The evidence is very dramatic. Even if you are in a context that is utterly monolingual, where you think there is absolutely no reason to think about Chinese or Spanish or French, it is part of the activated network that's going on in your brain," she said.
This means that bilinguals have to do something that monolinguals don't do — they have to keep the two languages separate. Bialystok likens it to tuning into the right signal on the radio or television: The brain has to keep the two channels separate and pay attention to only one.
"The brain has a perfectly good system whose job it is to do just that — it's the executive control system. It focuses attention on what's important and ignores distraction. Therefore, for a bilingual, the executive control system is used in every sentence you utter. That's what makes it strong," said Bialystok.
Remodeling The Brain?
Constantly engaging this executive control function is a form of mental exercise, explains Bialystok, and some researchers, including herself, believe that this can be beneficial for the brain. Bilingual speakers have been shown to perform better on a variety of cognitive tasks, and one study Bialistok did found that dementia set in four to five years later in people who spent their lives speaking two languages instead of one.
"They can get a little extra mileage from these cognitive networks because they have been enhanced throughout life," said Bialystok.
And the advantages of bilingualism may be due to more than just "mental fitness." Bialystok says there's some preliminary evidence that being bilingual may physically remodel parts of the brain. It's something researchers are only beginning to look into, but she says there is reason to believe that speaking a second language may lead to important changes in brain structure as well.

How The Shuttle Program Advanced Technology

On the eve of the space shuttle's penultimate flight, NPR's Melissa Block talks with Roger Launius, senior curator for space history at the Air and Space Museum, about what scientific benefits we've seen from the shuttle program. To hear a story and his observations, click here to go to NPR's All Things Considered.

Once Again, Just What IS The Future Of Music?


The four who tried to write and record eight songs in eight hours: Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Damian Kulash and Neil Gaiman.

The Berklee College of Music is holding a conference on the future of music industry - yes another one. What makes this interesting is that it's being held by a school that's set to graduate a class destined for this very industry. High-level representatives from Interscope, Tommy Boy, Warner Music and other labels are there defending their industry. And, as a nod to how that industry has changed, Damian Kulash, Ben FoldsAmanda Palmer, and Neil Gaiman locked themselves in a studio for 12 hours and came up with six new songs — with input from from their fans (who were watching live online) via Twitter.

Emily Elbert - Thriller (acoustic Michael Jackson cover - free mp3)

Corporations win battle limiting your right to sue



If you take a job at a fast-food restaurant or a big-box retailer, if you sign up for a credit card or a cell phone, chances are you're going to be signing away your right to bring a class action.
The U.S. Supreme Court has handed corporations a major victory. By a 5-4 vote, the court ruled Wednesday that companies can enforce contracts that bar consumers and employees from banding together to bring class action suits.
Ever read that long cell phone contract you signed when you enrolled for service? Well, look again. It likely has a provision requiring all disputes to be resolved by arbitration and barring consumers from banding together in a class action. Your credit card agreement, your cable agreement and maybe even your employment agreement have similar clauses.
Many states have ruled such contracts illegal and unenforceable, among them California. In Wednesday's case, a California couple sued on behalf of themselves and others who were charged $30.22 in sales tax for the supposedly free phone they got when signed up for service with AT&T Mobility. If they won, the class could potentially win millions of dollars versus the small amount — possibly only $30.22 — that each person would win in an individual arbitration. 
But on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal arbitration law enacted to encourage arbitration trumps the state law, effectively blocking consumers from bringing their claims as a group.

Green Bag Lecture Series May 5


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Imagining the Tenth Dimension (annotated)


Terminator to Return, with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is shopping a script and concept to return as the Terminator. The film would cost over $30 million in advance rights to other parties, before it can begin to finance production and make sure the former Governor makes the money he needs to do the project.
This Saturday and Sunday in Boulder City...
Activities for kids and adults..
Live music
Beer, Margaritas, food...
Downtown.... BC

30 years!


Happy Birthday Mouse!

On this date in 1981 the first computer mouse hit the marketplace...attached to the IBM STAR computer. The mouse became popular with the first commercial Mac personal computer in 1984.



Father God, thank You for giving me influence with the people in my life. 

Thank You for equipping me to help others rise higher. 
Reveal to me the potential You have deposited in the people around me 
and show me ways to help them so we can win at life together.

Obama Birth Certificate


Google / YouTube poised to expand movie and tv offerings in bid to challenge Apple, Amazon

You may soon have to search Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Studio Sites, Hulu and now You Tube to find the film or TV show you want to watch on Demand.



Google Inc.'s YouTube is poised to dramatically expand its on-demand movie rental service with films from several major Hollywood studios, a move that would position the online video giant to compete directly with Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com.
YouTube has reached agreement to offer movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Pictures on the same day the movies are available on other on-demand services (often that's when the DVD is released), according to several people with knowledge of the situation. Warner Bros. also has agreed to participate, according to the Wrap, which first reported the YouTube deal.
Lionsgate already rents certain titles from its library through YouTube and is expected to soon offer newer films as well, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Other studios, including Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Studios, have declined to join the service because of concerns that YouTube's corporate parent, Google, has not done enough to deter online piracy, people familiar with the matter said. Paramount's corporate parent, Viacom, is embroiled in a copyright infringement suit against YouTube.


Netflix faces tough competition in the near future


Add DirecTV to the growing list of companies considering challenging Netflix.
The El Segundo-based satellite TV company, which has about 20 million subscribers, has sent a survey to customers in which it indicates it is considering debuting an online service that, like Netflix, would offer television shows and movies on-demand for a flat monthly fee.
According to the digital media blog Zatz Not Funny, the survey said:
[W]e would like you to evaluate a new service that DIRECTV is thinking about offering to their customers. DIRECTV plans to offer a streaming-only Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month, which would appear as a line item on your monthly bill. The service would allow you to stream thousands of movies and television shows over a broadband internet connection to your television, computer or tablet ... You could watch as many programs as you want for one flat monthly fee, similar to what Netflix streaming offers.
According to the survey, the movies offered would be at least five years old. TV shows offered would include old series as well as previous seasons for current programs. A DirecTV spokesman said the company, the second largest television provider after Comcast, was "taking the temperature of the marketplace" with the survey and may not launch the service.
Nonetheless, it demonstrates that the success of Netflix, which now has 22.8 million subscribers in the U.S. and another 800,000 in Canada, has practically every television and digital video company scrambling to catch up.
As reported by The Times last week, a number of other companies are in talks to start offering a Netflix-like online movie and television subscription service. Chief among them is DirecTV's primary competitor in satellite television, Dish Network, which is considering using the brand name and infrastructure of Blockbuster Inc., which it recently acquired out of bankruptcy for $320 million. Other potential Netflix competitors include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon.com and Hulu.
Buying the Internet streaming rights to a large collection of movies and television shows could cost DirecTV hundreds of millions of dollars. But if it can recoup that money with an extra fee to subscribers and prevent them from engaging in the satellite equivalent of "cord-cutting," it could be well worth the cost.
-- Ben Fritz
RELATED:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


AFLAC DUCK HAS A NEW VOICE


Blog Stage
Insurance giant Aflac announced today that it has hired 36-year-old Dan McKeague of Hugo, MN as the new voice of its iconic duck mascot, following a month-long casting search after comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired from the gig in March, when his tweets...See More
Source: Blog Stage

NLRB FIGHTS ANTI-UNION LAWS

The National Labor Relations Board has announced that it will sue Arizona and South Dakota over new state constitutional provisions that are designed to make it harder for workers to win union representation. The NLRB says the states can’t set rules that are different from those set up under federal labor law. The two states are among those taking part in what we’ve called the war on unions.


knowledge

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge lives."

-James Madison to W.T. Barry,
August 1822

Photo from http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamesmadison

Oscars set for February 26, 2012


Not that there was any doubt about it, but now it's completely official: the Academy Awards are not moving earlier than their usual late-February slot in 2012.
The Academy announced on Tuesday that the 84th Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 26. While the AMPAS Board of Governors has talked about moving the show earlier in the month, or even into late January, it announced last October that it would not do so in 2012.
Oscar statuesAn Academy committee continues to study the logistics of moving the show earlier, which would be designed to reduce "awards fatigue" on the part of potential viewers who've already seen numerous other movie honors by the time the Oscars rolls around.
According to Academy president Tom Sherak, that committee will eventually make its proposal to the board, which would then vote on a move that could now come no earlier than 2013.
In addition to the February 26 show date, the Academy also announced that nominations will be announced on January 24, the nominees luncheon will take place on February 6, and final polls will close on February 21.
Still to be scheduled are a variety of Oscar-related events, including the third annual Governors Awards.
The key dates:
Thursday, December 1, 2011:            Official Screen Credits forms due
Tuesday, December 27, 2011:           Nominations ballots mailed
Friday, January 13, 2012:                   Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Tuesday, January 24, 2012:               Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT, Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, February 1, 2012:          Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 6, 2012:                Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2012:             Scientific and Technical Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2012:             Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 26, 2012:               84th Academy Awards presentation

Monday, April 25, 2011

KCET lot sold to Scientology


FINANCIAL TERMS OF DEAL FOR HISTORIC STUDIO FACILITY NOT DISCLOSED

The Church of Scientology is has just bought a bigger pulpit.
The church has cut a deal to acquire the historic Los Feliz studio lot that has been home to pubcaster KCET-TV Los Angeles for the past 40 years. In a lengthy statement, the church said the deal allows it to "establish one of the most advanced centers used by religious broadcasters with the ability to harness 21st century broadcast technology and production power to deliver its message to the the largest international audience possible."
The statement said the lot and its satellite uplink facilities would serve as "a central media hub" for its network of churches around the world. The KCET lot will concentrate on "the production of television programs, short-form information films and Internet content to further Scientology's religious and charitable purposes" while its existing Golden Era Prods. outpost in Hemet, Calif., will continue to focus on producing "informational and educational films" for use among members and as part of its "social betterment and humanitarian programs."
The church also said it "welcomed the unexpected opportunity" to acquire the lot.

Company Town, Hollywood News


Seeking Next Teen Movie, Fast Five Rolls Overseas, Thor Weaker, MPAA silent on VOD, Life without Simon, Sony President Passes...


FastThe season of big summer tentpoles will kick off next weekend, when Universal Pictures' sequel "Fast Five" will drive into domestic theaters. But overseas, that film and another big-budget studio movie, "Thor," have already begun to roll out and are having some early success.
"Fast Five," the fifth movie in the franchise known for its high-speed car races, launched this weekend in four international markets and collected a strong $24 million. The 3-D "Thor," meanwhile, opened only in Australia, where it lost the box office race against "Fast Five."

Get "Rio." For the second week in a row the 20th Century Fox-distributed "Rio" is the top movie. This weekend, "Rio" took in almost $27 million. That was enough to hold off Tyler Perry's "Madea's Big Happy Family," which made about $26 million. Also getting off to a solid start was "Water for Elephants," the romantic flick starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles  Times and Movie City News.
What teens want. With the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" franchises heading toward retirement, studios are scrambling to find the next big teen thing that doesn't have a vampire or a wizard in it. TheWall Street Journal looks at what rights are being gobbled up by which studios.
Sitting on the sidelines. While the studios,  theater owners and a some big shot directors battle over how fast movies should go from the big screen to the small screen, keeping silent is the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Of course, given that the studios pay the salary of new MPAA chief Chris Dodd, it's not much of a surprise that the association would not weigh in on the issue. The Directors Guild of America is also mum on the issue. The New York Times on who is talking and who is not.
Netflix expands overseas, 
While Wall Street eagerly awaits word on where Netflix will expand next overseas, the fast-growing home entertainment company has signaled its plans to Hollywood. 
According to entertainment industry insiders, Netflix executives have said they plan to expand soon to Latin America -- with Mexico and Brazil considered particularly promising markets -- and Britain

Walmart takes on Netflix. 
One of the most remarkable things about Netflix's accelerated growth over the past few years has been its lack of competition. 
Despite Netflix's 20 million-plus subscribers and skyrocketing stock price, no other companies offer a significant online video subscription service. 
That's about to change and the world's largest retailer could be in the lead. Wal-Mart is one of several companies in talks to launch a Netflix-like Internet service, or expand existing ones, along with well-known names like Best Buy, Amazon.com, Dish Network and Hulu, according to people familiar with the matter. 
For much more on the potential competition Netflix could soon face, read the story in Saturday's Los Angeles Times.

Is Simon Cowell worried? Do you get the sense that Simon Cowell and Fox are suddenly nervous about "X Factor?" At first, "X Factor" was going to save Fox because "American Idol" was going to be on the way out without Cowell. Now, though, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have kept "American Idol" going strong and the focus is on whether there will be enough of a hunger for Cowell's import. All I know is Cowell seems to be everywhere these days, as if he and the network are screaming, "Look at me!" His latest chat is with Deadline Hollywood where he again talks about potential judges and gossip about the show.
RIP Norio Ohga. On Saturday, retired Sony President Norio Ohga died at the age of 81. It was Ohga who pushed the consumer electronics company into Hollywood, overseeing the purchase of Columbia Pictures and CBS Records. An obituary from Reuters.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Netflix won't have the field to itself all that much longer. Jodie Foster on working with Mel Gibson.
-- Joe Flint and others
Follow Joe Flint on TwitterTwitter.com/JBFlint