Sunday, October 21, 2018

Auto: Are Automakers Remaking Themselves?

General Motors plans to roll out a robo-taxi service next year that will let urbanites hail a driverless Chevrolet Bolt. Ford is overhauling a dilapidated Detroit train station to become a tech hub aimed at attracting software superstars. Daimler wants to merge one of its divisions with archrival BMW to create a juggernaut for services like ride hailing and car sharing.
And Toyota says it’s evolving into an entirely different company, one that focuses more on services that move people around. “It’s a matter of surviving or dying,” says Chief Executive Akio Toyoda.
The global auto industry thinks it sees the future, and it will require a transformation without precedent in business history: The giant industrial sector has to turn itself into a nimble provider of software and services.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Books & Arts: Jamaica's Culture Minister Urges Support for Legal Deposit

Cultural artisans in the diaspora are being encouraged to make legal deposit of creative works with the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ).
The call comes from State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, who said that this is important in preserving and promoting Jamaica’s rich culture.
Mr. Terrelonge noted that while such deposit by overseas nationals is not a requirement under the law “it is important that our writers and authors who are producing material outside of Jamaica make their contribution as well”.
“It is important because it does form a part of that cultural heritage that truly belongs to the people of Jamaica. It says that we continue to make an impact not only at home but also abroad,” he said.
He was speaking at the launch of Legal Deposit Month 2018 on Thursday (October 11) at the NLJ, downtown Kingston.
Mr. Terrelonge is appealing for locally based artistes to fulfil their legal obligation by submitting copies of their works to the NLJ. Failure to comply is an offence that attracts a fine not exceeding $50,000.
 “What we really want is for Jamaicans to comply… . We need your material for the benefit of the next generation, so we have a compilation of our culture/history,” he said.
 “Jamaica’s publishers, producers, self-produced authors, composers, playwrights, film-makers and artistes of all respects should make every effort to make their legal deposits,” he appealed.
Chairman of the Board of Management for the NLJ, Joy Douglas, said that the entity is on “an aggressive move to have Jamaicans abroad realise that their work must make it into the national collection of Jamaica”.
Ms. Douglas said the relevant ministries, agencies, embassies and high commissions are being encouraged to assist in this regard.
The NLJ is partnering with Fontana Pharmacy to organise a series of activities throughout October in observance of Legal Deposit Month.

Jazz: Winterfest Marks 15 Years come January

In its landmark 15th year, the festival will present an unprecedented NINE CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS offering standalone concerts, a "Half Marathon" showcase on January 5th to coincide with the annual APAP conference in seven venues, the returning PRS Foundation / BBC Music Introducing British jazz showcase hosted by BBC DJ and tastemaker Gilles Peterson featuring rising UK talent Ezra Collective, Emma-Jean Thackray, Yazmin Lacey and Yussef Dayes (of Yussef Kamaal) and five other single night events leading up to our epic two-night marathon Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12 in 11 venues around Greenwich Village to close the 2019 festival.

"We welcome visionary singer-songwriter, bassist, producer and genre-defying artist Meshell Ndegeocello as our Artist-In-Residence who will appear as a leader and collaborator in various projects including an opening night event "Meshell Ndegeocello Plays The Music of Prince." Ndegeocello will also participate in at least one Winter Jazzfest Talks, originally launched in 2017, this year helmed by award-winning journalist Nate Chinen of WBGO-FM, our radio sponsor."

NYC Winter Jazzfest again joins festivals across the globe in striving for gender parity on our festival stages. We are proud to be part of UK-based PRS Foundation's international Keychange program, through which we've pledged to achieve a gender balance on our stages. We'll be hosting a Keychange panel discussion and event as part of our Winter Jazzfest Talks series.
It also notably celebrates the 50th Anniversary of ECM Records with a special listening session with founder Manfred Eicher sharing the stage with performances by ECM artists David Virelles and Larry Grenadier.  ECM will once again host a showcase stage featuring the new trio of Michael Formanek/Mary Halvorson/Tim BerneShai Maestro TrioRalph Alessi Quintet feat. Ravi ColtraneVijay Iyer/Craig TabornMathias Eick, and the Billy Hart Quartet.

*Tickets On Sale October 26th at Noon*

Watches: BRM Does Bullitt Watch

Fifty years ago today, Bullitt (an iconic thriller starring Steve McQueen in the titular role) was
released in theaters across the United States. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the film, Drive Toward a Cure—a nonprofit dedicated to Parkinson’s disease research and patient care—has partnered with motorsports chronograph manufacturer BRM Chronographes and professional automotive fine artist Nicolas Hunziker to create a one-of-a-kind timepiece inspired by the film’s original car, a 1968 Bullitt Mustang GT 390 that starred in a pivotal car chase scene.

“Steve McQueen has always been regarded as the King of Cool, and a big portion of that had to do with his passion for motorsports,” says Drive Toward a Cure founder Deb Pollack. “The chase scene in the original Bullitt movie is one of the most iconic film car chases in history, and the car itself has become a legend.” To commemorate the dark green vehicle, Hunziker hand-painted its likeness on the watch’s dial. The timepiece is further distinguished by an automatic chronograph, a 46 mm case made from a single block of aluminum, and a crystal-sapphire front and back. It’s valued at more than $35,000.
The vehicle is currently owned by Nashville resident Sean Kiernan. All of the proceeds from the raffle tickets will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation in memory of Kiernan’s father, Robert E. Kiernan Jr., who owned the Bullitt Mustang since 1974 and passed away from Parkinson’s in 2014. Drive Toward a Cure will be raffling off the watch through the end of January. Kiernan plans to announce the winner of the timepiece at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, Calif., on January 27, 2019, where the original Bullitt will also be on display. Tickets can be purchased through Drive Toward a Cure’s website. Pollack hopes to sell at least 1,968 raffle tickets in honor of the year the car was released.

Music: "Liquor Store Blues" and remembering Ray; The RIFFS this Week

THE RIFF’ 10/19/18: The Major Lazer sound’ first connection with Jamaica. “See Her Face” by Chronixx. “No Justice” by  Clinton Fearon. 99% by Dubtonic Kru. “Selassie In Dub” a tribute to Bob Marley by Addis Pablo. “Liquor Store Blues” by   Bruno Mars and Damian Marley.

  ‘THE SUNDAY RIFF’  10/21/18 : Brilliant New Orleans Voices: Davell Crawford and Jon  Baptiste. Maceo Parker’s salute to   Ray Charles. Trombonists Andrae Murchison and Seve Turre.

   Catch the RIFF


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Football: From "Frisco to France": Jamaica's Reggae Girlz Clinch Women's World Cup Berth

FRISCO, USA — After putting in many hours, arduous workouts and mind-cramping focus in an effort to qualify for the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup, the Reggae Girlz have finally done it.

The dream was realised courtesy of a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Panama in the Concacaf Women's Championship third-place play-off after both teams had played to a 2-2 stalemate in full and extra time on a cold and rainy night in Frisco, Texas, yesterday.

With the victory, the Jamaicans achieved their best-ever finish at the championships surpassing their previous best of fourth in 2006, and by extension became the first Caribbean team to qualify for the showpiece event in women's football.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of talented football players as they made their way back to the dressing room in celebration of their historic accomplishment.

Those tears of joy later gave way to jubilant cheers as they sang the National Anthem before skipping to the team anthem Strike Hard by the Marley brothers.
Captain Konya Plummer is hoping that their demonstration of commitment and patriotism to Jamaica will inspire others.

“The feeling is unbelievable; we went out and did what we had to do and created history, so I am just speechless right now. I am just extremely happy that after putting in the hard work we have accomplished what we set out to and we are now celebrating the reward of our labour.
“I would like to say congrats to my teammates, the coaches and everybody involved for what we have done for Jamaica and we hope this will have a big impact on the younger players coming up and even those around the world who are aspiring to achieve big things but are struggling at the moment,” Plummer said.

“We just have to refocus and get ourselves together to go to France because whatever we do there will also be a part of history, so we just want to go there and continue to write our destiny,” she added.
Twenty-seven-year-old Sashana Campbell, who recently made a return to the programme, was at a loss for words by the accomplishment, as, in an earlier interview, she had told this newspaper that this might be her last cycle with the team.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cannabis: High Up North; What Legal Weed in Canada Means for Everybody Else

Today, October 17, marks the first day that recreational marijuana can be purchased throughout Canada, per legislation passed in June. Canada is only the second country in the world to legalize weed, after Uruguay. It is the first country whose weed laws will have a substantial effect on Americans. Here's what citizens in the States need to know before taking a weed vacation up north.

Marijuana is legal for adults 18 and older in Canada, although territories can make their own laws. You can have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis on you (or the equivalent amount if it isn't dried), and you can share up to 30 grams with legal adults. Only licensed retailers can sell cannabis. And each person in Canada is allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use—but not for selling. Driving while impaired is prohibited. 

Because the Canadian government is letting provinces and cities set up their own marijuana laws, what and where you can do it depends on the local. For example, in many provinces like British Columbia and Ontario, you have to be 19 to buy and use marijuana. In New Brunswick you can only use it in private residences. In some provinces, you can only use it in public spaces if tobacco use is also permitted there. Canada's CBC has a useful tool for figuring it all out. Do your homework.

Canada is putting off regulating edibles for at least a year. You can make them on your own, but retailers cannot package and sell them. 

Not yet, at least. British Columbia, where the most weed is smoked in Canada, will only have one shop open today. Ontario won't have any. The government will license more and more shops as time passes.