links for 2010-10-26

  • "In 2009, I produced a reality show for BET. It was called FIRST IN and the show followed the daily lives of the Compton Fire Department, which has the distinction of being the busiest department and is headed by the youngest battalion chief in the country. BET ordered a 10 episode first season, which did well in North America and also premiered in the U.K. The production experience on FIRST IN was intense and extremely satisfying. I’d gotten the reality bug and started thinking about the next project: K-TOWN. If Aaron Sorkin’s thesis of THE SOCIAL NETWORK was that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook as a way to reinvent himself, then that was what K-TOWN was to become for me."
  • "But in California, as everywhere else, the racial lines are blurry, and old stereotypes might prove a poor predictor of how the various populations in the nation's largest, most diverse state will vote when it comes to Proposition 19. As November draws near, there are increasing signs that race will play an important role in the upcoming vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults, though not in the ways one might expect."
  • 'The Call to True Beauty' is the historically black college's zero-tolerance attitude attitude toward the issue.

    "The school hopes to create a network of research, advocacy and prevention across the country, and especially among other HBCUs."

  • "…[s]tudents are concerned that the ongoing suspension could be an indirect way of eliminating the program by starving it of new students and resources. The suspension comes as other U.S. universities are launching similar programs amid growing interest in the study of Islam.

    "'This is just the wrong time to take UCLA out of the dynamic process of teaching about Islam,' said Khaled Abou El Fadl, a UCLA law professor and chairman of the Islamic studies program. 'I'm baffled because UCLA has such a large Muslim community and has had an Islamic studies program for 60 years and has such a good reputation internationally.'"

  • A video from Playboy featuring Sara Jean Underwood, a former Playmate of the Year, performing yoga poses, has angered Hindu elders, in what they see as the latest in a string of attempts to commercialise an ancient and spiritual practice.

    “Hindus are upset over what is the misuse of the age-old and revered system of yoga by Playboy for mercantile greed, and we are urging the organisation to withdraw all its yoga-related products,” said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.

    The criticism is the latest salvo to be fired in what some dubbed the yoga wars, a series of disputes over the alleged hijacking of yoga for profit.

    The yoga industry is estimated to be worth $6 billion a year in the US alone, where recently-invented variations include yoga for pets and hot nude yoga.

  • "Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Far East Movement (FM) has topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with their song 'Like a G6,' the group announced on their Twitter site Thursday.
    'The group, comprised of four Asian-Americans including two who are ethnically Korean, is the first Asian group to make the Top 10 in the Billboard charts and moved to the No. 1 spot ahead of their 'Free Wired' album to be released on Oct. 25."
  • "With the midterm election fast approaching, African American women are emerging as crucial to success for Democrats according to voting analysts and the Democratic National Committee. In 20 House races, mostly in southern states, African American women could be the deciding factor.

    Analyst Page Gardner, founder of Women’s Voices, Women Vote, follows women’s voter enthusiasm. Her review reveals a recent increase in interest among unmarried and minority women. And small blocs of voters can be decisive. As Gardner recalls, in the last midterm election, there were 15 House races that were decided by only about 2000 votes. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released an October 14 report by David Bositis, a longtime political analyst, which confirms African American voters could tip many of the most competitive races. Hence, voter turnout among African American women is the key for Democrats success."

  • "Businesses wondering how to crack the huge lower middle class consumer segments in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico will get some answers this week when Razorfish releases its latest report, "The Stampede." IT details the purchasing power and preferences of "Classe C" consumers, with a focus on their digital aspirations.

    The report's lead author, Joe Crump, speaking with Fast Company from Brazil, shared key findings, and explained what exactly businesses should be doing to reach consumers with a household income of $700-$2,000 per month in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.

    While the Classe C segment is traditionally thought to be primarily television consumers, Crump's research shows that in fact they are just as digitally savvy as the upper classes, if not more. "They want phones that are smart for their lives. They like phones that look high-end, but that have features that suit their lives," says Crump. "YouTube, for example, is key for Brazilians."