Archive for April 26th, 2012
One of the most noticeable changes to the venture capital business over the past decade is the movement of investment allocation from capital and time intensive sectors like biotech and clean tech to capital efficient and fast moving sectors like internet and mobile.
This makes total sense if you think about it. Venture capitalists are professional money managers. We are provided capital to invest as long as we can return it to our investors with a strong return in a reasonable amount of time. A strong return is 3x cash on cash (continue reading…)
I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, or the “triple-x trilogy,” as described on the Today Show , from my best friend Stacey Pashcow, who has a knack for stumbling upon the next big thing. The book had been turning up at brunches all over the Upper East Side. Now that the hush has turned to a cultural roar, my advice is to skim the book, already too thin to be a main course, and get to the “spicy stuff” in between.
To me, nothing turns up the heat like Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke did back in the 80′s in the kinky movie 9 weeks (continue reading…)
Suppose you live in an apartment building and in the apartment opposite you, there is a neighbor you don’t get along with. You’ve had numerous problems that have proven to you that this neighbor is selfish and thinks only of his own interest. This neighbor talks about principles but often, for the sake of his own personal interest, ignores them. So your relationship is troubled, and you develop such an aversion to your neighbor that you no longer have anything to do with him (continue reading…)
This month, organizations around the nation are celebrating National Minority Health Month and joining together to voice their concerns about health and health care disparities in their communities and how to work together to achieve health equity. Communities of color and low-income populations experience a number of health- and health care-related disparities caused by a range of socioeconomic factors including difficulties accessing affordable care and insurance coverage, and language and cultural barriers. These disparities have been documented by the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine, and more recently, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality’s National Health Care Disparities report, which found that health care quality and care continue to be suboptimal for minority and low-income communities and that people of color received worse care than whites on a number of issues.
Communities of color need a multi-disciplinary approach to achieving health equity and eliminating barriers to care, which is why we support the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012. Historically, the Health Equity and Accountability Act has been introduced by the Congressional Tri-Caucus (made up of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)) as a comprehensive health disparities elimination bill for racial and ethnic communities over the last several Congresses (continue reading…)
It will take five votes on the Supreme Court for Arizona to get permission to start enforcing key parts of its tough new immigration control law — S.B. 1070 — and those votes appeared to be within reach on Wednesday. In an 80-minute hearing, the Court got strong assurances from Arizona’s lawyer that the law would not be enforced in an abusive way, and the Justices could not find fault with that promise.
The judicial arithmetic is important in this case, because only eight Justices will be taking part in deciding it, and that always raises the prospect of a 4-4 split. But if the Court does divide that way in the case of Arizona v (continue reading…)
Links:Full news story
More than a decade ago, the World Health Organization called for the exclusion of the riskiest bovine tissues — cattle brains, eyes, spinal cord and intestine — from the human food supply and from all animal feed to protect against the spread of mad cow disease. Unfortunately, the United States still allows the feeding of some of these potentially risky tissues to people, pigs, pets, poultry, and fish. Cattle remains are still fed to chickens, for example, and the poultry litter (floor wastes that include the feces and spilled feed) is fed back to cows. In this way, prions — the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease — may continue to be cycled back into cattle feed and complete the cow “cannibalism” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.
Because poultry litter can be as much as eight times cheaper than foodstuffs like alfalfa, the U.S (continue reading…)
The floor of the U.S. Senate isn’t a place that usually sees a lot of drama. But last month there was the closest thing to a high drama moment when a bipartisan group of eight women senators (that’s half of us) stood together to show a united front and deliver a series of speeches in support of reauthorizing the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As the only two women members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Feinstein and I headed up the group and since then we have gained a number of cosponsors for the bill, now totaling 61 senators (continue reading…)
Joseph Alsop belonged to that long line of opinionated American journalists who are convinced only they know what is best for the country, and anyone who disagrees with them can go to hell. The Columnist, David Auburn’s docudrama of sorts on the last few years of Alsop’s career, gives just a glimpse of one of the fourth estate’s most conflicted pundits in the twilight of his career.
The Columnist focuses mainly on Alsop’s tightly closeted homosexuality and his dwindling influence during the Vietnam War era. The opening scene takes place in a Moscow hotel room where in 1957 the K.G.B (continue reading…)
Case One. An African country spends four percent of its GDP every year paying for the gasoline consumed by its relatively few rich people. That would be enough money to double the budget for public education or triple the construction of hospitals–all services mostly used by the poor. One day the government decides to do something about this madness (continue reading…)
There is a principle in exercise science called “SAID,” which stands for “specific adaptations to imposed demands.” Basically, it means that your body will eventually adapt to the demands you place upon it. So if you exercise regularly, you must constantly alter your routine in some way in order to continue to get results, or to get off a weight-loss plateau.
The nice part about changing up your workouts is that not only does it keep your body guessing, but it also keeps your brain guessing, which can help keep workouts from getting ho-hum or boring, and keep you from losing your exercise motivation!
So here are 10 ways to vary your workouts and keep you body from adapting!
#1 Switch Positions
If you usually sit while doing an exercise, try standing! For example, a seated shoulder press or seated machine shoulder press can easily be done in a standing position by grabbing a set of dumbbells instead. If you’re already doing the dumbbell version, then balance on one leg while you press overhead. Or do a squat before you press (continue reading…)
The Five-Year Engagement wrings a slightly different change on the old boy-meets-girl formula – and finds enough big laughs to make the whole thing enjoyable, even if it’s never particularly fresh.
Written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller (who also directed), Engagement brings together the same mix of the romantic, the painful and the humiliating to create a solid comedy (though one that could afford to lose 20 minutes; ahh, the Judd Apatow influence).
Segel and Stoller also wrote Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the movie that lifted Segel out of the throng of Apatown actors flooding the film market. Like Seth Rogen, he’s nobody’s idea of beefcake – but he’s an intensely human and open actor, who captures the restless energy of young adulthood. He also simmers better than a lot of his contemporaries, just before he boils over.
He plays Tom, a rising chef on the San Francisco restaurant scene. He’s involved with Violet (Emily Blunt), to whom he’s engaged to be married (continue reading…)
Here’s a dual-choice question about making a fortune in a relative hurry — which do you think works better?
A)A hard toil with the truth
B)A well-timed tirade?
Here’s another related question: Which is more likely to put you on the fast track to fame?
A)Dispensing a genuine dose of useful information
I’ll go with tirade and hype for a quick million and national TV coverage, Bob…
Too often, I think, even here on The Huffington Post, that’s the answer people choose.
The temptations of hype and tirade are obvious, but ultimately you are victimized by them. Distortions and exaggerations can mutate even genuinely useful information into nonsense. In the aggregate, the propagation of hype and propaganda dilutes “information” in such a vast sea of misinformation, it becomes nearly impossible for anyone to find the reliably true.
The flu vaccine is certainly not an attempt by the CDC to carry out genocidal population control — but make the unfounded assertion that it is, and it’s apt to go viral (continue reading…)
If there are two things I like to do every day of my life, it’s: 1) look after my health, and 2) laugh. Not a bad combo, right? But did you know that by doing the second, you’re also doing the first?
Not that you shouldn’t climb onto that life-cycle, but laughter — all by itself — treats the body to a whole array of health benefits. For starters, a good, big laugh relieves physical tension and relaxes your muscles for up to 45 minutes. (Maybe that’s why everyone feels so laid back when someone starts telling jokes at a party!) Laughter also keeps the immune system humming by decreasing stress hormones and boosting infection-fighting antibodies (continue reading…)
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
but in the expert’s mind there are few.
–Shunryu Suzuki, Zen master feet
Ask any athlete or elite performer, writer, salesperson, speaker, very big project manager, or wide-awake lover: A track record can dull your senses. Success can make you lazy. Each win has got to be a new win, earned with intense focus and an open heart.
Do not take your expertise for granted. Stay awake (continue reading…)
Last week the country saw one of the fruits of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. The bill requires that major corporations offer their shareholders the opportunity to vote on the pay package for their chief executive. The shareholders of Citigroup voted down the $14.9 million pay package for CEO Vikram Pandit by a margin of 55-45 percent.
The vote was non-binding (a very serious problem), but it was nonetheless a huge slap in the face for Pandit and Citigroup’s top management and directors. It is extremely difficult to organize shareholders for this sort of vote (continue reading…)
Does anyone care that the economy is floundering and that we are not getting out of this crisis anytime soon? Housing values are in the cellar, the Fed foresees unemployment remaining unacceptably high for the next three years, and national economic growth is predicted to be, at best, anemic.
Even the substantial rise of stock averages during recent years has been based in larger part on the ability of companies such as Apple to outsource jobs and sales to booming markets led by China — while America’s graduating students face mountainous debt and what is shaping up as a decade without opportunity.
These are the inescapable conclusions to be drawn from a gloomy report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve. In that document, the Fed revises downward its growth projection for the next two years and predicts, in the words of a New York Times article about the report, that “unemployment will remain a massive and persistent problem for years to come.” The housing failure that is the root cause of this economic emergency continues unabated because there is no political will in either party to aid beleaguered homeowners.
Beneath all the pundit blather about the election lies the fact that most deeply affects the voters’ well-being: Home prices are at a decade low, and in cities like Atlanta and Las Vegas they are as dismal as they have been since the Case-Shiller indices started tracking housing prices in the early 1990s (continue reading…)
Here’s a scary fact: Four out of the Top 6 “American Idol” contestants weren’t even born when Freddie Mercury died in 1991, so expecting them to nail Queen classics might’ve been something of a stretch, especially since out of the remaining hopefuls, only Elise Testone truly qualifies as a rock singer.
Still, the “Idol” producers were apparently feeling sadistic tonight, so we got an hour of poor Queen imitations and an hour of contestants’ choice — which had the potential to be satisfying, since the wannabe Idols tend to excel when they’re actually allowed to tackle culturally relevant tracks. We also had a sick Ryan Seacrest, who spent much of the hour looking like he was on the verge of throwing up or passing out (flashbacks to Hollywood Week, much?).
Read on to see who emerged as a champion and who bit the dust as we recap the Top 6′s performances (continue reading…)
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 18 of ABC’s “Revenge,” entitled, “Justice.”
Revenge is a dish that’s best served cold, so perhaps it’s appropriate that the show has skipped three months into the future, to the beginning of Daniel’s trial. It’s the middle of a brutal winter in the Hamptons and everyone’s skin looks better in grayscale.
Though the trial is in full swing, there’s someone missing from all of the courtroom action: Jack Porter. He’s sleepless in Boston searching for Amanda (continue reading…)
The Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival’s 26th year brought fan favorites from classic Williams plays to the annual Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest. It also brought panels discussing a literary world balancing the rise of the e-book with an ever-increasing field of publishing options for writers.
I had the opportunity to pick the brains of ICM super-agent Lisa Bankoff; her client Jessica Maria Tuccelli, author of Glow; and Patricia Boyett whose manuscript The Right to Revolt won Pitchapalooza.
JESSICA MARIA TUCCELLI
Glow digs deeply into the background of the pre and post-Civil War South. How did you sort through the folklore of the Georgia region that you spent three summers traveling through?
Jessica: I felt intoxicated by the many tales I heard and read, several of which would find their way into the novel. In Glow, the environment is infused with ghosts, and accordingly, I focused on haint stories and Cherokee myths of creation (continue reading…)
Mitt Romney is now embracing his inner Etch A Sketch, it seems. With the news that even Newt Gingrich has finally decided that the race is over, Mitt now has no real obstacle along his way to securing his party’s nomination for president, or to cement his support among Republicans. No real obstacle except himself, of course.
Conventional political wisdom in America dictates that any candidate “tack” to the extreme wing of his party in order to win the primaries, and then “pivot” back to the center in an effort not to seem too extreme to the independent voters which will wind up deciding the race in November. So, Etch A Sketch jokes aside, this was entirely predictable.
But the first issue Romney chose to show a glimmer of independence from Republican orthodoxy is an interesting one, because the deadline for action is right around the corner (continue reading…)
This Sunday, theinterviewI did with Oprah will premiere on Super Soul Sunday (April 29th at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network) followed by a repeat of myLifeclass Tour: Spiritual Solutionsfilmed earlier at Radio City Music Hall.It was several months ago that I received a text on my blackberry from Oprah with a short message, “Call me!”I was in a dinner meeting and left briefly to call her.Oprah picked up the phone and said, “I hear you are going to India and I would like to join you there and do an interview as well.”So began our adventure.
I write a regular column for the Times of India and asked Oprah if she would be willing to answer some questions so I could create her “Soul Profile.”Here is a link to the article,Embracing India, featuring her Soul Profile in the Times of India: Speaking Tree section.
We met in Mumbai at a Bollywood party hosted by one of the prominent socialites in India.It was a beach party and every Bollywood celebrity came to meet Oprah.It was surprising to me that she was more popular among Indians than any Hollywood A-list celebrity.It was also surprising to me that Oprah seemed to know and recognize some of the big Bollywood stars both contemporary and vintage actors that belong to an era when I was growing up as a high school student in India.At one point I introduced her to Shabana Azmi saying “Shabana is a classical actress who does film and theater as well.”And Oprah responded, “Yes, I know. She is like the Meryl Streep of India.”She had obviously done her homework.
Oprah spent a few days in Mumbai in different settings including a visit to Dharavi slum, which is the locale of the now famous “Slumdog Millionaire.”I next caught up with Oprah at the Jaipur Film Festival, which over the period of a week has over 20,000 visitors and some of the greatest writers from the world – Pulitzer Prize winners, political commentators, journalists many intellectuals, but also a sizable number of pseudo-intellectuals and snobs.Oprah was interviewed on stage to a packed audience of several thousand intellectuals, artists and writers.The interviewer was a prominent Indian journalist, but it was clear that Oprah was the star.The discussion was open and relaxed covering a wide range of topics.She was candid in talking about her personal history and also made it obvious that she had an in-depth understanding of the literary scene and the global political landscape.Her talk was televised throughout the country and has had several repeat airings.India cannot get enough of her.
Oprah, along with my wife and I, was also hosted at the Jaipur Palace by the Maharani of Jaipur and the Princess of Jaipur.We were regally escorted into the palace in chariots with the royal soldiers playing bagpipes, painted elephants, and camels leading the way.As we passed through the ramparts of the palace walls under beautiful Mogul style architectural arches, dancing girls from rooftops sprinkled rose petals on us.Upon entering the palace we were greeted and garlanded by the Queen and the Princess.The Queen was dressed in elegant white but without makeup as she was officially in mourning as her husband the Maharaja had passed away a few months ago.Princess Dia, on the other hand, was decked with jewels and wore a glamorous sari.A slightly incongruous part of the scene was that she held a traditional flower garland in one hand and a Blackberry phone in the other.We had a sit down dinner on a Lalique table with the royalty of Jaipur, but also Kings, Queens, and Princesses from other royal states (continue reading…)
It pains me to say this but at some point in every organizational change initiative, you need to call upon the firstborns in the organization to step up and do what’s responsible. It pains me because I am a lastborn and it was tough living up to the standards my oldest sister set. But it’s undeniable that firstborns know how to take care of things and want to do so. It’s their nature to be responsible (continue reading…)