Ariel Camacho Gone At 22

from The New York Times

Ariel Camacho, Lead Singer of Los Plebes del Rancho, Dies at 22


MEXICO CITY — Ariel Camacho, the lead singer of the popular norteño group Los Plebes del Rancho, died in a car accident early Wednesday on a highway near the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was 22.

Mr. Camacho was returning from a performance at a music festival, Carnaval de Mocorito. He had been on tour with his group, whose name roughly translates as “the ranch’s plebeians,” promoting their album “El Karma.” It was not immediately known what caused the accident or who was driving.

Mr. Camacho, who played guitar and wrote songs as well as singing, was idolized by youngsters in rural Mexicoand had begun amassing a fan base on the other side of the border.

He was known for his original narcocorridos — accordion-driven ballads telling of the violent lives of drug traffickers. But his fans, and the musicians he worked with, argued that his message was broader. He himself referred to his songs as “campirana”: music for farmers.

[ click to read full article at ]

Llama Highway Star

from The New Yorker

The Running of the Llamas


A mother llama and her baby were recorded live as they fled down a Phoenix highway today after escaping their handlers.A mother llama and her baby were recorded live as they fled down a Phoenix highway today after escaping their handlers. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ABC15.COM

In 2015, when someone G-chats you to ask, “Watching the llama cam?” you might think little of it. You might even roll your eyes—twenty-four-hour live-streams of puppies or zoo animals are old news, and llamas, you might think, are not especially compelling. They just sort of stand there, chewing their cud and giving onlookers the side eye. The most exciting thing about them is the threat of loogies being hawked if you get too close. But when your G-chat correspondent follows up with “two llamas on the loose,” your interest is piqued. You click on a link to the Web site of an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.’

It’s hard to describe the particular thrill of watching, live, the two llamas who were chased down a desert highway today, for the better part of two hours, by law-enforcement officers and concerned citizens. The obvious comparison was to O. J. Simpson in his white Bronco; “Bonnie and Clyde” meets “Homeward Bound” also came to mind. The llamas, a mother and her baby, had been a visiting attraction at an assisted-living facility for seniors in Sun City, outside of Phoenix, earlier in the day. The details are fuzzy, but somehow, as their handlers loaded them into a trailer to head home to the llama farm, they made a break for it. It wasn’t long before they were traversing major thoroughfares, often against traffic, followed closely by a news helicopter above and a gaggle of would-be captors on the ground.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

The Best New Soccer Stadium In America

from The San Jose Mercury News

Is Earthquakes’ new stadium best soccer venue in America?

By Elliott Almond

SAN JOSE — It started almost 2 1/2 years ago when 6,256 soccer fans grabbed blue-bladed shovels to break ground at a long forgotten lot just west of Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The resulting European-style soccer stadium that lurches 75 feet skyward in sight of Interstate 880 and Highway 87 could become the envy of teams around the country — and a mecca for the region’s growing base of futbol aficionados.

On Saturday, the San Jose Earthquakes will christen Avaya Stadium, a privately funded, 18,000-seat venue that club officials hope transforms a once-niche sport into something that rivals baseball, basketball and football.

[ click to continue reading at SJ Merc ]

Aliens On The Death Star Planet

from The Daily Mail

What is flashing us from mysterious dwarf planet? Riddle of Ceres’ spots deepens as probe finds ANOTHER flashing mark

  • Ceres orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter, and may have water gushing from its surface

Ceres continues to baffle astronomers as the Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the dwarf planet.

The latest images, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000km) from Ceres, reveal that a bright ‘alien’ spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area.

While Nasa has not provided an explanation, scientists suggest these spots may be frozen pools of ice at the bottom of a crater that reflect light.

‘Right now, all we can say is that the material reflects 40 per cent or more of the light falling on it,’ UCLA astronomer Chris Russell, the principal investigator for the Dawn mission, told NBC News.

‘This limit is because of the resolution of the camera at this distance from Ceres. If the final answer is that it reflects all the light that falls on it, then the most probable reflector would be ice.’

He added that there may be a volcano-like origin of the spots, but that Nasa will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.

Using its ion propulsion system, Dawn will enter orbit around Ceres on March 6.

When it does, it will become the first human-made probe to visit the ‘Death Star’ planet – and scientists hope it will uncover the secrets behind its mysterious white spot.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Hey, Dude – It’s corporate. Can you do me a favor and trash the store. Nah, it’s cool, man – go ahead.

from The New York Daily News

Prank caller tricks employees into destroying Circle K convenience store, causing about $30,000 in damage: cops


At least they’re good at following instructions!

A prank caller fooled two Circle K employees in Globe, Ariz. into destroying the convenience store so severely that it temporarily shut down.

The loyal-to-a-fault workers believed they were abiding by the guidance of a security company — and they caused about $30,000 in damage before figuring out the trick, police said.

“They thought they were acting righteously in terms of following direction from security,” Sgt. A.J. Castaneda told the Daily News.

The call came in around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The prankster posed as Circle K’s corporate security, claiming that a silent fire alarm was going off and giving instructions to contain the crock crisis, KSAZ reported.

The caller told the employees to discharge fire extinguishers in the store, throw the extinguishers through the windows and destroy merchandise, computers, registers and security televisions, Castaneda said.

In less than five minutes, the employees wrecked most of the store and smashed all but one of its windows. One employee remained on the phone while the other followed the destructive demands, Castaneda said.

All of this happened while two or three customers were shopping.

[ click to read full article at ]

Dizzying Hedonism On Film

from The Daily Mail

Glitz, glamour and infamous excess: Dizzying photos from inside Studio 54 reveal the star-studded debauchery of the world’s most famous disco

Nearly 40 years after it opened its doors to a flood of party-hungry movie stars, fashion royalty and debaucherous disco dancers, Studio 54 remains the most famous night club America has ever known.

This month, Swedish-born photojournalist Hasse Persson releases a breathtaking compilation of his first-hand experiences at the New York discotheque, where he routinely captured the dizzying hedonism on film from 1977 to 1980.

Like a booze and drug fueled fever dream, Persson’s ‘Studio 54’ freezes a red-hot moment in disco-era history into 200-plus pages of spellbinding, head-spinning imagery.

Standouts in the vivid, black and white shots are such colorful characters as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Bianca Jagger.

But, nearly always sharing the frame with these notables, are the professional level partyers whose presence made Studio 54 the white hot cultural touchstone it was for a brief but memorable 33 months and continues to be in society’s collective memory.

As the tome is billed at,  ‘Almost 35 years after the club’s unceremonious and sudden closure, this beautiful hardback volume superbly documents the zeitgeist.’

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

SQUAREPUSHER Damogen Furies Woo-hoo

from Paste Magazine

Squarepusher Announces New Album Damogen Furies, Shares New Track

By Jeff Pearson

Squarepusher Announces New Album <i>Damogen Furies</i>, Shares New Track

Since 2012’s Ufabulum, prolific English producer Squarepusher (Tom Jenkinson) has been relatively quiet. He released the Music for Robots EP last year, a composition written by Jenkinson and performed by three Z-Machine robots, but that didn’t quite sate the die-hard fans in the interim. Squarepusher has announced that he will be returning with a proper LP, titled Damogen Furies, on April 20 via Warp Records.

In addition to the exciting album announcement, Squarepusher has made the lead single “Rayc Fire 2” available as a free download on his website. The song continues in the direction of the Ufabulum material, with utterly mind-bending future sounds moving along at a frenetic and glitchy pace. It’s a jarring trip through technology, and hints that Damogen Furies will be an intense listening experience, to say the least.

You can pre-order Damogen Furies here, and download “Rayc Fire 2” here.

[ click to continue reading at paste ]

Meditation Boom

from The LA Times



MeditationParticipants meditate during a class at Unplug, a new meditation studio in Los Angeles, on April 24, 2014. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

One hundred fifty people sat in the big meeting room, hands on laps, eyes closed, feet flat on the floor.

“Bring your attention to this moment,” Janice Marturano instructed. “Be open to sensations of warmth or coolness, sensations of fullness from breakfast, or perhaps hunger.” Minutes later, the meditation ended with the traditional strikes of little hand cymbals.

Buddhists? Old hippies? New Agers?

Nope. The room was full of hospital executives and managers in lab coats and scrubs, jeans and sports coats at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. And the teacher was Marturano, once a top executive at General Mills.

The founder of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, Marturano is about as far from woo-woo as the spectrum allows — and a sign that meditation has snaked its way into every sector of our lives. The hospital employees were learning a practice shared by millions these days: college students, parents and prisoners; soldiers, the overweight and the lovelorn; the Seattle Seahawks, public school kids and members of Congress; Oprah, Chopra and Arianna.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Philip Levine Gone

from The New York Times

An Appraisal: The Poet Philip Levine, an Outsider Archiving the Forgotten


Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, Ida and Cal. You met a lot of unpretentious people in Philip Levine’s spare, ironic poems of the industrial heartland. Mr. Levine had toiled in auto plants as a young man. “I saw that the people that I was working with,” he told Detroit Magazine, “were voiceless in a way.”

Mr. Levine’s death is a serious blow for American poetry, in part because he so vividly evoked the drudgery and hardships of working-class life in America, and in part because this didn’t pull his poetry down into brackishness.

He was a shrewd and very funny man. I’m not sure another major American poet could give advice quite like the following, from a poem called “Facts,” collected in Mr. Levine’s classic 1991 book “What Work Is”:

If you take a ’37 Packard grill and split it down

the center and reduce the angle by 18° and reweld it,

you’ll have a perfect grill for a Rolls Royce

just in case you ever need a new grill for yours.

Mr. Levine was among those poets, and there are not enough of these, whose words you followed even outside their poetry. His interviews, for example, were feasts for the mind. To get back to Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, and Ida and Cal for a moment, here is what he told The Paris Review in 1988 about the unpeopling of American poetry:

[ click to continue reading at ]

Michele Ferrero, Creator of Nutella Gone

from The New York Times

Michele Ferrero, Tycoon Who Gave the World Nutella, Dies at 89


Michele Ferrero, widely regarded as the richest man in Italy and — a distinction more notable to lovers of sweets everywhere — the creator of Nutella, died on Saturday at his home in Monte Carlo. He was 89.

Mr. Ferrero presided over a vast international confectionary empire; he was sometimes referred to as a real-life Willy Wonka. He ranked 22nd on the most recent Forbes list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $26.5 billion. The magazine stated the source of his wealth simply: “chocolates.”

Actually, it was more than chocolates; Ferrero products include fruity and minty Tic Tacs, as well as Ferrero-Rocher candies and Kinder snacks. The company, which Mr. Ferrero’s father, Pietro, started in a Piedmont pastry shop in the 1940s, grew under the younger Mr. Ferrero’s leadership into a worldwide powerhouse, rivaling Mars, Nestlé and Hershey. Its sales in 2014 totaled about $10 billion.

It was Nutella, a thick spread of chocolate and hazelnut, that truly captivated the world’s taste buds.

“World’s flags should be at half-mast: Nutella owner has died,” read one of the many posts on Twitter after Mr. Ferrero’s death — which poetically enough came on Valentine’s Day — was reported.

[ click to continue reading at ]

$2.5 Billion Per Annum On Oreos

from EATER

The World Spent $2.5 Billion on Oreos in 2014


The Oreo is going through a bit of a renaissance. Sure the beloved sandwich cookie has been around for over a century, but it’s made headlines recently with its introduction of novelty flavors. Oreos now come in flavors like cookie dough, watermelon, peanut butter, caramel apple, and many more. So far, 2015 has already seen the debut of the Red Velvet Oreo and, if rumors are true, a S’mores flavor is coming soon. According to Quartz, Oreo is currently the most popular cookie in the world, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Below, Oreo by the numbers:

1912: The year of Oreo’s birth.

103: Years Oreo has been around.

$1.5 Billion: Amount spent on Oreos 2007.

$2.5 Billion: Amount spent on Oreos 2014.

5: How many times more Oreos sell each year than boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

[ click to continue reading at ]

30 Years Of Meat Is Murder

from PASTE Magazine

Meat Is Murder, 30 Years Later

By Mack Hayden
<i>Meat Is Murder</i>, 30 Years Later

Thirty years ago, The Smiths followed up a self-titled debut album which featured songs like “This Charming Man” and “Hand in Glove” with a record called Meat is Murder. It may not have the visceral punch of the debut, the gothic beauty and cohesion of The Queen is Dead or the pop confidence of Strangeways, Here We Come, but it’s still my favorite of their records, the reason for that being that this is the record in which all of the members of the band showed off their chops in equal measure to the best of their abilities. Don’t believe me? Listen to the first 10 seconds of “Barbarism Begins at Home” and we can talk again after. The fact it was their only No. 1 album on the UK Charts is further testament to its greatness.

To set the scene, let’s talk about music in 1985. In February of that year, two songs held the No. 1 spot: “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner and “Careless Whisper” by Wham! Schmaltz and sax riffs were reigning supreme. The only other album of importance to the latter-day post-punk movement to be released that month was Night Time by Killing Joke. Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chairdropped too, just in case you were wondering what kind of rad pop music was available to consumers during that month. Then in walk The Smiths ready for their round two.

Allow yourself to feel small in the presence of the group’s overwhelming talent. Johnny Marr was 21 when this record was released. This means he’d written “How Soon is Now?” at that point in his life, and all I’m doing is writing about how amazing that is. Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce’s rhythm section never gripes for unnecessary authority over the songs but when they’re in the spotlight, they always shine. Morrissey’s eloquence and command over the English language can be deceptive. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how recently these Manchester masterminds graduated from the institutions they decry. Their music is so fully formed it’s hard to believe it was being written by people in their early to mid twenties.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Lost Leonardo Found

from The Telegraph

‘Lost’ Leonardo da Vinci painting seized by Italy

“Priceless” painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci discovered in 2013 seized by Italian police from bank vault in Switzerland

A long-lost painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was confiscated from a bank vault in Switzerland after Italian police said it had been exported illegally and was in danger of being sold for up to £90 million.

Swiss police, acting on a request by their Italian counterparts, seized the portrait of Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, from a private bank vault in Lugano on Tuesday.

After being lost for centuries, the painting was rediscovered in 2013 in a collection of 400 artworks kept in a Swiss vault. The authorities then were alerted to the existence of the painting, but it went missing again.

It turned up again last summer during an investigation into insurance fraud and it later emerged an Italian lawyer was trying to negotiate the sale of the painting for €120 million (£89 million).

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Monarch Massacre

from The Washington Post

The monarch massacre: Nearly a billion butterflies have vanished

By Darryl Fears

Threatened animals like elephants, porpoises and lions grab all the headlines, but what’s happening to monarch butterflies is nothing short of a massacre. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service summed it up in just one grim statistic on Monday: Since 1990, about 970 million have vanished.

It happened as farmers and homeowners sprayed herbicides on milkweed plants, which serve as the butterflies’ nursery, food source and home. In an attempt to counter two decades of destruction, the Fish and Wildlife Service launched a partnership with two private conservation groups, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to basically grow milkweed like crazy in the hopes of saving the monarchs.

Monarch butterflies are a keystone species that once fluttered throughout the United States by the billions. They alighted from Mexico to Canada each spring on a trek that required six generations of the insect to complete. Afterward, young monarchs about the quarter of the weight of a dime, that know nothing about the flight pattern through the United States, not to mention Mexico, fly back, resting, birthing and dining on milkweed. Only about 30 million remain.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Original Les Paul Prototype On The Block

from The New York Times

Les Paul’s Groundbreaking Guitar Prototype Is Headed for Auction

Guitar Player magazine mentioned Eric ClaptonPete Townshend of the Who and Peter Frampton. Arlan Ettinger, the president of Guernsey’s, an auction house on the Upper East Side, mentioned more: Paul McCartney and George Harrison of the Beatles, Jimi HendrixJimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Frank ZappaCarlos SantanaSheryl CrowLenny Kravitz.

None of them would have achieved their fame, Mr. Ettinger said, without Les Paul — and without the guitar that Gibson Guitar began manufacturing in the 1950s to Mr. Paul’s specifications. Bob Marley not only owned one, he was buried with it. (Not to mention a Bible, a soccer ball and some marijuana.)

But before there were all those guitars, there was one, a prototype that came to be known as Black Beauty. Guernsey’s is preparing to auction it on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at Arader Galleries on Madison Avenue. The auction catalog does not list a presale estimate, but Mr. Ettinger said it could sell for over $2 million.

It was, in fact, the second prototype, said Thomas Doyle, a luthier who worked with Mr. Paul for more than 30 years. Mr. Paul had declared the first unsatisfactory, even unplayable.

But Mr. Paul was a tinkerer — he had made his own solid-body electric guitar in 1940 or 1941 — and he told Gibson what he wanted. Mr. Paul’s godson, Steve Miller, said the result was “literally part of the lexicon and fabric” of music history. “Without this very guitar, no other Les Paul guitars could exist in the form that we have come to know and love,” he wrote recently. “From the mid-50s right up until this moment, every guitar hero and rock star we have all ever listened to that played one of Les’s masterpieces would literally not exist.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Spongebob Kicks American Sniper’s Ass

from The LA Times

‘SpongeBob’ cleans up at box office; ‘American Sniper’ slips to No. 2

"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water"SpongeBob SquarePants with, from left, Squidward Tentacles, Sandy Cheeks and Mr. Krabs in a scene from “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” (Paramount Pictures)


Sixteen years after SpongeBob SquarePants first appeared on television, the yellow animated character made a splash on the big screen this weekend with the release of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.”

The film opened to an estimated $56-million gross in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend, exceeding tracking projections and pushing “American Sniper” out of the top spot after its three-week reign there.

[ click to continue reading at ]