Saturday, August 19, 2017

Auto: with a million Units, GLC is best in class for Benz

Mercedes makes a whole array of SUVs, from the compact GLA to the big GLS. But the most popular among them is the GLC. In fact the manufacturer has just built its millionth example.

The model started out as the GLK in 2008, and (like the SLK/SLC) was relaunched in 2015 as the GLC to more clearly align with the C-Class family. Today it's also offered as the GLC Coupe with a sleeker roofline.

The landmark millionth example was produced at the plant in Bremen, Germany, where it's built alongside the C-Class sedan and wagon, but rolls off the line at a quicker pace than its lower-slung stablemates. That's not the only location where it's made, though: additional capacity is handled by Valmet in Finland, with local production taking place in China as well.

The Chinese market accounts for roughly half of all GLCs sold around the world – more than the United States or Germany. With nine engine options, a dozen colors to choose from, and so many trim levels and options, Mercedes says that – even with so many being made – no two GLCs need ever leave the factory exactly alike. We'd imagine, though, that certain combinations have proven more popular than others.

To put that million-made figure into perspective, consider that, as of this time last year, Mercedes had sold roughly four million SUVs in total – so the GLK/GLC accounts for nearly a quarter of all those made. The company's most popular model line remains the E-Class, of which Mercedes had sold over 13 million sedans and wagons two years ago already.

Media: Major newsmags cover hate, graphically

Major US magazines have dedicated their front covers to recent political events with illustrations that reference Donald Trump, the Nazi Party and the KKK.
The New YorkerEconomist and Time magazines all revealed illustrated covers for their next editions yesterday, after an extraordinary week in American politics that saw a deadly white-nationalist rally take place in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The events have continued to dominate news headlines as President Donald Trump equivocated in condemning Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups. He instead blamed "many sides" for the violence that culminated in the death of civil-rights activist Heather Heyer when a motorist associated with the white-supremacist groups drove a car into the counter-protest on Saturday.
In response, US illustrator David Plunkert sketched an image of Trump in a sailboat, puffing up the sail with his own breath. The billowing white canvas has two holes in its centre, conjuring the image of a Klansman's hood.
Major magazine covers address race hate in America
Plunkert, whose illustration will appear on the cover of the 28 August issue of the New Yorker, said the nature of the events in Charlottesville had prompted him to diverge from his usual subjects and create an explicitly political work.
"President Trump's weak pushback to hate groups – as if he was trying not to alienate them as voters – compelled me to take up my pen," he said.
"A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary."
Major magazine covers address race hate in America
Working for the Economist, Irish illustrator Jon Berkeley similarly drew on KKK iconography for his work, which depicts Trump blowing into a hood-like white megaphone. It accompanies an article that claims "Donald Trump has no grasp of what it means to be president".
Berkeley told the Huffington Post that the Economist usually commissioned covers on Mondays, but wanted to make a last-minute change to focus on Trump on Wednesday, following a press conference the previous day where the president backflipped on an earlier, scripted condemnation of white-supremacist groups.
"I do think that cartoons and illustration can have a strong effect on people's perception of particular people or events over time ― maybe even more so as the credibility of the printed word is dented," said Berkeley.
He described the instantly recognisable KKK hood as "a gift in graphic terms". The issue of the Economist with Berkeley's cover is out on 19 August.
Major magazine covers address race hate in America
A third related illustration came from Time magazine and will appear on its 28 August edition. Created by Cuban-American artist Edel Rodriguez, it forgoes a direct image of Trump and instead features the American flag draped on a figure giving the Nazi salute.
"These people are hiding behind the flag and the idea of patriotism it connotes," Rodriguez said. "They have tried to change the language from 'white supremacist' to 'white nationalist' to further hide behind the flag, and the idea of patriotism, but they are espousing the same views as always."
Major magazine covers address race hate in America

Books: "Celeb-o-grams" are the new grail for book promoters

In May, Picador Books sent a copy of an upcoming thriller, Christopher Yates’s “Grist Mill Road,” to the actress Krysten Ritter. The publicity team was thrilled when Ritter, the star of the Netflix series “Jessica Jones,” agreed to blurb the book — and even more thrilled when, unprompted, she shared a picture of it with her 655,000 followers on Instagram. “There’s a good chance her Instagram is going to help the book more than her blurb on the back cover, which will mostly be seen by people picking it up in a physical bookstore,” says James Meader, Picador’s executive director of publicity.
Increasingly, book publicists are working to get new hardcovers into celebrities’ hands — not in hopes of a film option but a simple tweet, Instagram photo or Facebook post. These little endorsements can reach a much larger audience than an interview with the author on a popular television show or a rave review in a major newspaper. “In previous times, you would have the Oprah or Daily Show bump,” says Todd Doughty, the director of publicity at Doubleday. “Now you have the Reese Witherspoon bump from Instagram.”
Witherspoon and Ritter are two of several actresses, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Emma Watson, Lena Dunham and Emma Roberts, who share photos of their favorite books with millions of followers on Instagram. While it is difficult to isolate the impact of a social-media post from the other facets of a promotional campaign, nearly all the major publishing houses see these accounts as a way to connect with audiences that would be difficult to reach through the traditional organs of book publicity. Watson’s pictures, for example, go out to 38 million Instagram followers, while an interview on NPR’s popular “Fresh Air” radio program reaches about a million listeners. “It’s absolutely something we think about,” says Miriam Parker, an associate publisher at Ecco Books. “We try to get books to people with big social-media followings and are strategic about it.”
A person need not necessarily be a celebrity to attract a publishing house’s attention. “What we really look for is people who are a little more niche, who do make sense for a particular title,” says Lydia Hirt, the marketing director at Riverhead Books and Viking Books. Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, Eva Chen, for example, is not a household name, but she regularly recommends books to her 850,000 followers. “She’s somebody who absolutely puts books in front of a group of people who may not have normally come across them,” says Cristina Gilbert, the vice president of sales and marketing at Bloomsbury. Chen’s endorsements of young-adult fiction are an unlikely pairing with her carefully composed photographs of beauty products, handbags and designer shoes — which is exactly what makes them so valuable to book publicists, who might struggle to reach her audience through more traditional outreach. Other book publicists have received promotional boosts from the comedian Patton Oswalt on Twitter and the fashion designer Zac Posen on Instagram.

_NY Times

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jazz: Garvey, Bird and NYC jazz

The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with an expanded five-day program this year. New York City’s annual salute to the late saxophonist, presented by the City Parks Foundation, will take place at parks and venues around Manhattan on from August 23 to August 27.
The festival will include free concerts, artist discussions, a screening of the film I Called Him Morgan (about the tragic life and death of jazz musician Lee Morgan) and a dedicated evening of dance. “We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of the beloved Charlie Parker Festival,” said Heather Lubov, executive director of City Parks Foundation. “We hope all New Yorkers, young and old, jazz aficionados and new fans alike will join us in honoring the legacy of Charlie Parker and jazz in New York.”he festival will kick off on August 23 at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music with “Bird With Strings,” a tribute performance featuring an ensemble of students and veteran jazz players honoring Parker’s 1950 recording, Charlie Parker With Strings.
Other highlights of the 25th Charlie Parker Jazz Festival include: tap dance virtuoso Jason Samuels Smith and Broadway veterans Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick K. Grant bringing Parker’s music to life through dance in a special performance featuring live music on August 24; clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen leading a consortium of strings, horns, percussions and keyboards with her jazz-folk troupe and saxophonist, flutist and vocalist Camille Thurman on August 25; saxophonist (and contemporary of Parker when bebop came on the scene) Lee Konitz performing with his quartet and joined by drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Louis Hayes, and vocalist Carenee Wade.

Brands: Ting Goes "AfroPunk" in Brooklyn

Afro Punk will take place on August 26 and 27 in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. One of the main sponsors is Jamaica’s Ting:
[. . .] As the organisers make final preparations for the New York instalment set for August 26 and 27, a stellar line up of acts have been confirmed, headlined by the very talented Solange who joins Jorja Smith, Raphael Saadiq, Sampha, Thundercat and Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals. The festival will take place in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park.
Afro Punk has also announced its After Dark list of events that include their annual Fancy Dress Ball, Afro Comedy, FAR OUT BLACK: An Evening of Afro-Futurist Short Films, The Rebel Soul Cypher and much more.
“While at the festival, be sure to check out the Ting Tiki Bar and stop into the Spin thrift Market that showcases and celebrates the best of the Afro Punk maker community. With 100+ DIY-minded craft vendors who sell an array of one-of-a-kind and bespoke jewelry, natural beauty products, apparel, housewares, books, prints, and more. Some of the vendors this year will include Hi Wildflower, Afrodesiac Worldwide and Dopecity. You can also find the Hair Village, a celebration of the culture and history that our hair represents through interactive activations and events: Festivalgoers can also try out a new style at the Macy Gray Braid Bar,” Matthew Morgan, founder of Afro Punk explained.
Afro Punk could not be possible without the help of partners and sponsors. This year, Dr Marten’s will rock out by amplifying the Pink Stage, Zumiez will host the first ever Brooklyn Rat Race a drift cart drag race and Jamaica’s own Ting will host a Tiki Bar. The Tiki Bar will be the ultimate chill spot for patrons to relax, indulge in gaming activities while enjoying Ting signature mocktails and cocktails.
According to Carla Hollingsworth, export marketing manager for Ting, the involvement of the brand in Afro Punk has been nothing short of amazing. [. . .]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

JBDC booth the hit of Denbigh 2017

The MICAF/JBDC VIP Oasis- ‘Nature Refined’ booth at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show was abuzz with excitement and activity for the three consecutive days of the event held August 5-7 at the Denbigh Show ground Clarendon.
Showcasing the ‘Farm to Table’ concept, the Oasis presented several product categories featuring local entrepreneur products. These include Taste Jamaicawhich showcased value added agricultural products such as packaged seasonings, condiments, jams and jellies. Of course, food and drink tastings were available in abundance through partnerships with Wallenford Coffee, Portland Authentic Jerk, Barcode, Ashebre the Virtual Restaurant, Champion Enterprise, E.G Wellness and Moveable Feast.
The Oasis also showcased Feel Alright, which captured aromatherapy products such as scented candles, skin care products, soaps as well as a live Spa experience. This was facilitated through partnership with Javanese Mind and Body Wellness Centre and Island Rituals.
The space was also had other activities such as a lounge area in which patrons could view the World Championship games, flair bartending and taste intricate cocktail mixes.
The space also hosted several government officials including:
- Governor General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen
- Prime Minister, The Most Honorable Andrew Holness and his wife, Member of Parliament, The Most Honorable Juliet Holness
- Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries, The Hon. Karl Samuda
- Minister of State, Ministry of Finance & Public Service, The Hon. Rudyard Spencer
- President on the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Norman Grant

Culture: Michelangelo’s Bank Account, and debunking the "starving artist" myth

Jeff is a bestselling author of several books, the latest of which is Real Artists Don’t Starve. The notion that all great craftsmen are impoverished by their work is an old one, he explains. And it’s also dead wrong.

Take Michelangelo, who complained publicly that his craft had left him “poor, old, and working as a servant of others.” It turns out his bank deposits tell a different story.
According to art historian Rab Hatfield, that isn’t even close to true. By the time of his death, the man who gave us those unforgettable images in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel had amassed a fortune worth roughly $47 million today.
That revelation turned a key for Jeff. He realized that creatives can excel in the marketplace.

Work and Pay the Bills

When I talked with him about this recently, I pushed Jeff on the Michelangelo example: How sure was he that this wasn’t just an outlier?
Jeff had the same question, so he conducted “hundreds of one-on-one interviews with modern day creatives.” He spoke with “people whose names you probably never heard of before, unless you read the book,” and found out that “they’re thriving.”
Many of these artisans and entrepreneurs may not be incredibly wealthy like Michelangelo ended up, but they’ve found a way to make a living doing what they love. They share many strategies in common that Jeff identifies and explains so that other creatives can learn to apply what works in their own business.
Here are four I find broadly applicable:

1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Right Away

As Jeff explained in an earlier guest post on this site aimed at entrepreneurs, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing at the start. You can and should work up to it, crafting your product or service and finding a market for it so that you do not have to starve.

2. Strive for Quality Over Originality

Starving artists are often excessively stubborn and strive to be original in all things. In contrast, successful creatives understand that they have much to learn from others and the thing they really need to be stubborn about is quality. The most important question to ask yourself is this—are you giving your best effort to what you are putting out?

3. Start, Collaborate, and Listen

Starving artists work alone, in private. Successful creatives are willing to work with and learn from others. They’re often willing to work in public and solicit public feedback on their work, because they realize it’s a good path to both improvement and profit.

4. Think Enough About Money

Jeff understands that too much focus on money can be annoying for most of us, especially creative types. But he also insists that we ought to think enough about money so that we can continue to do what we love without worrying too much. “The thriving artist makes money to make more art,” he said.