“High Times and Low Tide at Reefer Beach”
Forty years ago, six young, Florida beach boys and a shrimper named Bubba smuggled more Jamaican weed into America than the nation had ever seen. Until one night in 1973, when too much weed on too small a boat with too little tide beneath it resulted in a bust that sent them to federal prison. Today, writer, Jodi Cash, takes us down to St. Pete Beach to meet some old weed pirates - and the man who eventually made their way of life a thing of the past. (Photography by Ethan Payne)
Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
The next Bank of England £5, £10 and £20 banknotes will be printed on polymer. "The new fiver will be issued in September 2016. On 2 June, the full details of the design and security features will be revealed and a range of training materials for retailers and businesses will be released. The £10 note will be issued in 2017 and the £20 note by 2020. Polymer banknotes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper banknotes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of banknotes in circulation."
an introduction to fiat money (pdf) by Steve Randy Waldman:* - "Self-reinforcing bootstrap dynamics hold as strongly for a king's token as it would for any other thing, but much more stably so, since the king can reinforce and assure the stability of his token so long as he retains the political capacity to coerce or persuade payment of tax." (via) [more inside]
The End of €500 Bills. Larry Summers wants to get rid of the US $100 note. Is it fighting fraud, crime and money laundering or an actual War On Cash? Is it really a plan to simply drive up bank fees? What about the 9.6M US households that are unbanked? When even Monopoly goes all-electronic can anything be done to stop all-electronic banking?
In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears - "Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic." [more inside]
Planet Money's Adam Davidson ponders an emerging economic paradox in this week's NYT Magazine: Why are corporations hoarding trillions in cash? The cash stockpiles being held by many major corporations situation are unprecedented in size, and often vastly exceed any sum of money that these corporations could ever dream of spending. This behavior runs in direct opposition to most economic theories, violates assumptions about how rational corporations should act, and is being rewarded by the market (but only in some industries). So, what gives?
In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
The Killer at Peace: Jerry Lee Lewis's Golden Years
In the living room, directly above Lewis' chair, is a framed photo from the day in December 1956 when Lewis, Cash, Carl Perkins and Presley – a.k.a. "the Million-Dollar Quartet" – hung out and recorded at Sun. Elvis is at the piano, looking upward, eyes fixed on Lewis. Above the bar is a photo from the sessions for the Class of '55 LP, a 1985 reunion of Lewis, Perkins, Cash and Roy Orbison. "All of them, really good friends," he says quietly. "All gone." Lewis took his survival as a point of pride by naming his 2006 comeback LP Last Man Standing. "A lot of people didn't like it when I said that. But they had to accept it."Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive and rocking, having just released his third album in the 2000s, titled Rock & Roll Time, though his most raucous days are behind him.
"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
Amos Barshad of Grantland talks to Darcy Frey and the basketball players featured in the classic book The Last Shot 20 years after the book's release.
blankonblank.org takes unheard interviews with famous musicians, innovators, authors, Hollywood stars and cultural icons and animates them. Interviews include everyone from Johnny Cash to Carol Burnett, Tupac Shakur to Farrah Fawcett, and Tim Gunn to Al Jaffee. blankonblank.org previously and previously. (Most interviews are ~5 minutes long.)
How Johnny Cash was nearly killed by an ostrich in 1981. Surprise toy in the bottom of the box: "Folsom Prison Blues" covered by a band called Ostriches.
In 2014, Bitcoin (BTC) has become established as increasingly "real" money with government regulatory interest, law enforcement, and growing acceptance in commerce, but also as the reserve cryptocurrency for hundreds of "altcoins," making them also convertible to legacy money. Foremost among these is Litecoin (LTC), which introduced the scrypt hashing algorithm to cryptocurrency, democratizing coin mining by being best suited to common GPUs rather than Bitcoin's dedicated mining equipment. Recently donated LTC paid for a forest in Madagascar. Peercoin (PPC), next in prominence, introduces "proof of stake" where less energy is spent mining and existing coins pay interest. Dogecoin (DOGE), a fork of Litecoin (previously covered on Metafilter), continues heading to the moon, with more transactions than all other coins combined, thriving markets in digital goods, tipbots, an upcoming party in NYC's Bitcoin Center on Wall Street, much charity, and the recent announcement that new Dogecoins will be generated indefinitely. A selection of other foremost and interesting cryptocurrencies is within. [more inside]
This response to the question, "What's it like to be a drug dealer?" goes into how the anonymous author became a drug dealer while in college. (Business Insider via Quora)
The costs of cash. Economists know that using cash has a built-in cost, compared to electronic forms of payment like credit cards or direct deposits. (Prepaid cards, not so much.) This creates a "digital divide" that may contribute to income inequality. A new study out today from Tufts quantifies these costs, which hit the poor over three times as much as wealthier folks, on average.
Sly Stone's history of drug addiction and eccentricity is well known. But, a recent California Court of Appeals ruling details how a series of ill advised business deals left Stone destitute. [more inside]
This week, retailers in 40 states will be allowed to charge fees for the use of Visa or Mastercard credit cards. Know Your Card. While large chains may avoid the new surcharge, it could be up to 4%. This is part of a settlement reached last summer in an anti-trust lawsuit against Visa, Mastercard, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, among others. There are 10 states where surcharging is illegal, but in many of them merchants may offer a discount for using cash.
Cigarettes: The Most Stable International Currency. In China, expensive cigarettes (not to be confused with counterfeits of popular brands) are sometimes used as bribes. Cash can be difficult to handle, or outright illegal, in some places. Since a smoking ban (and subsequent black-market trade in cigarettes) in US prisons, canned mackerel (previously on MetaFilter) has become the exchange medium of choice. [more inside]
Johnny Cash once called 1968 the happiest year of his life. It was the year his masterpiece At Folsom Prison came out, the year he was named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, and the year he married the love of his life, June Carter. So it was a fortunate time for a young filmmaker named Robert Elfstrom to meet up with Cash for the making of a documentary. Elfstrom traveled with Cash for several months in late 1968 and early 1969. The resulting film, Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, is a revealing look at Cash, his creative process and his ties to family. [via]
I Got Cash SLYT, NSFW lyrics
Want your new law school to get accredited by the American Bar Association? Be prepared to jump through some hoops.
Throughout time immemorial, songs of patriotism, such as Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" are a staple of countries at war. Our ballads root for our soldiers to come back safe and sound to families and sweethearts, but who sings the tale about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the autonomous drone that pines for the vending machine it left at home? Only the evil ghost of Johnny Cash does. [more inside]
People in Korea now have a new vocation available to them: snitching on other civilians for cash payouts from the government.
After receiving a $20,000 grant from the Australia Council, Denis Beaubois set about creating his artwork, Currency, 2011, by withdrawing $20,000 from a teller at the Reserve Bank of Australia and writing down the serial numbers. The artwork sold at auction yesterday for $17,500. [more inside]
Rapper 50 Cent stashes $2,000,000 in the front trunk of his Lamborghini. (SLYT)
Today, Deadspin leaked financial documents detailing the finances of several MLB teams, including a few that are getting revenue sharing money. They show that several of MLB's "poorest" franchises turned a profit due to these cash infusions. [more inside]
Footnoted.org, a blog devoted to pointing out those buried atrocities in SEC filings, is having its annual worst footnote of the year contest. contenders include Chesapeake Energy disclosing it spent $12.1 million to purchase Aubrey McClendon's antique map collection, Martha Stewart's $3 million retention payment to remain at Martha Stewart Omnimedia and InfoGroup disclosing it really spent $852K on former CEO Gupta's yacht instead of zero. Polls close tomorrow.
Edmunds released data this month on the results of the Cash for Clunkers stimulus. Freakonomics blog commented. Now the Detroit News has offered a state-by-state analysis of how funds were used. Which state was most likely to trade an American car for another American car? You guessed it...
"If the Swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can't we North Americans too." The Dollar ReDe$ign Project believes its time for the United States to switch from the old to something new in the field of American currency. As a result, a contest was developed and submissions accepted. They range from the cultural to the cynical, and a salute to American space achievements to update designs to the present content.
The US House of Representatives today passed a Cash-for-Clunkers bill, giving people up to $4,500 to trade in their old cars for newer, more efficient cars. Inspired by European and Chinese successes, the bill is naturally not without its detractors.
Leonard Nimoy ruins Joni Mitchell. Johnny Cash redeems Gordon Lightfoot. The Donnas render Men Without Hats ever so slightly less ridiculous. The CBC assembles a list of great (and sub-great) covers of Canadian songs. And a happy Canada Day to you.
Jimmy Rodgers' blue yodel series started in 1927. He started with Blue Yodel #1 (T for Texas). My favorite covers were by the Everly Brothers and by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. There's even a hip hop cover.
CASH is the Coalition of Artists & Stake Holders, a project conceived and initiated by musician Kristin Hersh. CASH is "read-write" — more than consumption; a collaborative online effort — helping make music ownership more of an interactive affair facilitated through Creative Commons licensing.
Wal-Mart workers walk out. "It's the first time that Wal-Mart has faced a worker-led revolt of such scale, according to both employees and the company". Apparently the working conditions of Wal-Mart employees is not much of a concern to The Eagles though. Time to start greasing the wheels for the new album.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
“I always say that if North Korea only produced conventional goods for export to the degree of quality and precision that they produce counterfeit United States currency, they would be a powerhouse like South Korea, not an industrial basket case.”
Made most popular to many Americans as the closing song for the Grand Ole Opry programs, Will The Circle Be Unbroken was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon, an intensely religious young woman and acquaintance of Dwight Moody and Ira David Sankey. The music was "composed" by Charles Gabriel, a popular songwriter and composer of the era who is often solely credited with the song, but while he may have put the notes down on paper, the tune itself already existed as the African-American spiritual Glory Glory / Since I Laid My Burden Down. [lots more inside]
IndieKarma micropayments: automatically tip the weblogs you favour 1¢ each time you visit. (Via Kottke, perhaps unsurprisingly.)
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