Saturday, August 23, 2014

Robin Hood of the Banks: Enric Duran

Wikipedia:
Enric Duran Giralt, also known as Robin Bank, Robin Banks or the Robin Hood of the Banks is a Catalan anticapitalist activist and member of the Temps de Re-volts collective. On September 17, 2008, he publicly announced that he had "robbed" dozens of Spanish banks of nearly half a million euros as part of a political action to denounce what he termed the predatory capitalist system.

From 2006 to 2008, Duran took out 68 commercial and personal loans from a total of 39 banks with no guarantees or property as collateral. He had no intention of repaying the debts, and used the money to finance various anti-capitalist movements. In 2008, Duran released both an online article entitled "I have “robbed” 492,000 euros from those who rob us the most, in order to denounce them and build alternatives for society" (translated), and an online video, each explaining what he had done and that he had left the country to view the reaction and consider his next move. This was also published in the free magazine Crisis, in Catalan, of which 200,000 copies were printed and distributed by volunteers throughout Catalonia. A second newspaper, We can! Live Without Capitalism was distributed on March 17, 2009, and a third, We on September 17, 2009.

Duran stated that he sought to create a debate about the financial system and the current capitalist system, proliferate protest actions against it and fund the social movements that seek to create alternatives. Duran called his action one of 'financial civil disobedience', and stated that he was prepared to go to prison for his actions. He planned for the anniversary of his declaration (September 17, 2009) to be an action day where people meet, both in Spain and abroad, to share alternatives to capitalism.

Duran was involved in the "Look for the abolition of debt" campaign(1999/2000), the "Global Resistance Movement" (2000/2002) the "Campaign Against the World Bank"(2001) and the "Campaign Against the Europe of Capital"(2002).

In April 2010, Duran began promoting the Catalan Integrated Cooperative as a practical example of the ideals detailed in We can! Live Without Capitalism. In 2011, the cooperative accepted responsibility for a former industrial complex, with a view to turning it into a centre for environmental activities.

Monday, August 4, 2014

David Wilson's Career is Over Due to Diffuse Cervical Stenosis

"I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me," Wilson said in the team's release. "I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too."
ESPN:
The promising career of New York Giants running back David Wilson appears to be over before his third NFL season.

The Giants announced Monday that two doctors have advised Wilson, 23, to stop playing football due to the condition of his neck and spine. The Giants placed Wilson on injured reserve, which means he will not play for them this season. And according to a team news release, Wilson appears to understand that his playing days are over.

Wilson injured his neck in a Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles and missed the rest of the season. He had spinal fusion surgery in January and was not cleared for full contact until July 21, the day before the Giants' first training camp practice.

He was injured during practice a week later and spent a portion of last week being examined by doctors. Monday morning, he met with Frank Cammisa, who is the chief of spine services at the Hospital for Special Surgery and the doctor who performed Wilson's surgery in Januay. Cammisa and Giants team doctor Russell Warren then advised Wilson not to play anymore.

"David has diffuse cervical stenosis," Warren said in the team's news release. "He had a disc removed and a fusion in January. In light of last week's episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank and I both told David he should not play football anymore. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious."

The Giants drafted Wilson in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Virginia Tech. He was a star kick returner as a rookie and opened the 2013 season as the starting running back. He fumbled twice in the 2013 opener and was benched while coaches worked with him on his ball carrying technique. He has 115 carries for 504 yards and five touchdowns in his NFL career, as well as six receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on a kick return in 2012.

After his appointment Monday morning, the Giants say, Wilson returned to the team facility to meet with team officials.

"David and I had a great talk," general manager Jerry Reese said. "He's disappointed like all of us, but he's a strong young man and understands that he has a lot of life left to live and it's not worth to him, his family or us to put his health in harm's way by continuing to play football."

"I'm thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football," Wilson said. "I always try to find the positive in everything. This morning, I didn't hear what I wanted to hear, but I expected what they told me could be a possibility. I had played out both scenarios in my mind."

The Giants will open the season with Rashad Jennings as the starting running back and back him up with Peyton Hillis, rookie Andre Williams and either Michael Cox or Kendall Gaskins.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Childish Gambino - "3005" (2013)


Wikipedia:
"3005" is a song by Childish Gambino from his second studio album Because the Internet. The song was released on October 22, 2013 as the first official single from the album. It was produced by Gambino, Stefan Ponce and Ludwig Goransson. The song has since peaked at number 11 on the UK R&B Chart and 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The video received a MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Hip-Hop Video.

The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart and number 12 on the Canadian Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 96,000 copies in the United States. This would be an 84% increase in first week sales in his home country, compared to his debut album Camp. As of April 20, 2014, it has sold 257,000 copies in the United States. Due to Record Store Day, the week ending April 20, 2014, the album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Vinyl LPs chart, selling 3,600 vinyl copies.

Childish Gambino said that he wrote the song early in the morning, as he does with all the songs he considers his best songs. He spoke on the track's significance saying, "Everybody's like, 'It's a love song.' It's kind of an existential thing. I'm just really scared of being alone. When I was little, there was a big dog down the street. I was really scared of it. But when I was with my sister, when I knew I had to protect her, I wasn't afraid of the dog as much because somebody was there. I had a purpose...I kind of feel lost. I kind of lost that, I feel."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Best of Weird Al Yankovic


Wikipedia:
Mandatory Fun is the fourteenth studio album by American musician "Weird Al" Yankovic. Self-produced, the album was released by RCA Records in the United States on July 15, 2014.

Yankovic composed the originals first, and wrote parodies last in order for them to be as timely as possible upon the album's release. Many artists were positive in their assumptions of being parodied; Pharrell Williams remarked that he was "honored" to be spoofed by Yankovic, while Imagine Dragons advised Yankovic on how to achieve similar sounds as their original song "Inactive."

Although the music video aspect of Yankovic's songs had long been a part of his success, RCA Records opted not to fund any video production for Mandatory Fun. Yankovic instead turned to various social media portals including Funny or Die and CollegeHumor which he had worked with in the past; these sites helped to cover the production cost of the videos with Yankovic foregoing any ad video revenue.

The release of Mandatory Fun marked "Weird Al" Yankovic's first number one album on the United States Billboard 200 in his 38-year long career, debuting atop the chart the week of August 2, 2014. Mandatory Fun is also the first comedy album to reach the number one spot since Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut in August 1963. It achieved the largest sales week for a comedy album since The Beavis and Butt-head Experience in 1994 after selling 104,700 copies during the sales week ending July 20, 2014.