Ulbricht sentenced in Silk Road case
NEW YORK — A federal judge gave convicted Silk Road darknet mastermind Ross Ulbricht two terms of life in prison and three lesser sentences Friday for founding and operating a criminal version of eBay that made buying illegal drugs almost as easy as …
Silk Road founder gets life for creating online drug site
Ross Ulbricht, Creator of Silk Road Website, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison
Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison
New York Times
Saigas, an Endangered Antelope, Dying of Mystery Disease
New York Times
The saiga, a critically endangered Asian antelope species, has been decimated by a mysterious, fast-moving disease. In the past two weeks, more than third of all saigas have been killed, conservationists have found. The cause of the outbreak is unknown, …
Mass deaths of endangered antelope stumps scientists
Mass deaths hit Kazakhstan's endangered Ice Age antelope species
Mystery disease has killed half the world's Saiga antelopes
It’s great to be Pharrell and the multi-talented artist’s life just got better after closing on a new $7 million home in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, reports Curbed. Featuring amazing views, six bedrooms, massive glass windows, a pool, a two-story guesthouse and a deck on top of the garage that doubles as an outdoor screening room amongst other amenities. Pharrell also got the home fur just about $2 million less than the $9 million asking price. The home was designed and previously owned by Hagy Belzberg, the founder of the highly-regarded LA architecture firm, Belzberg Architects. It was previously sold or a then-Laurel Canyon record $5.9 million in 2009. Check out photos of the amazing home in the gallery above.
According to Variety, the LA home is another piece of property Pharrell owns around the country. He reportedly still owns a 9,000-plus square-foot mansion in his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA that he purchased in 2001. In 2007, he sold his 23rd floor penthouse in Bal Harbour, Florida and bought a 9,000-square-foot triplex penthouse just south of downtown Miami that he filled with contemporary art for anywhere from $12.5 million-$14 million depending on where you do research. For the past few years, Pharrell has unsuccessfully tried to flip the triplex and it was last removed from the open market in Feb. of this year when it failed to sell for right around $11 million.
Lil Mama hasn’t dropped an album since 2008–that year’s VYP (Voice of the Young People) sported two charting singles, the Chris Brown- and T-Pain-featuring “Shawty Get Loose” and the inescapable song with which she’s most closely associated, “Lip Gloss.” (More recently, Brooklyn rapper starred as the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, a biopic on the famous group that aired in 2013 on VH1.) Her newest video, “Sausage,” is a strange confluence of different worlds. On one hand, elements of the track and tightly choreographed video suggest a bit of a revivalist bent; on the other, Lil Mama is grafting herself onto the ongoing “Sausage raps” meme, in which kids disrupt whatever they’re forced to sit through at school by rapping about breakfast meats. It truly is a brave new world.
Related: MC Lyte Delivers An Inspirational Message With Lil Mama And AV In “Ball” Video
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Earlier this year, Suge Knight, famous as the head of Death Row Records and for being one of the rap world’s most ruthless henchmen, was charged with murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run. The charges come in connection to a January incident that took place at a hamburger stand in Compton; one of the victims, a man named Terry Carter, died from his injuries, while the other, Cle “Bones” Sloan, survived. According to The Associated Press, Knight’s lawyers moved today (May 29) to have his charges dismissed on the basis that Sloan has refused to identify Knight as the driver of a red truck that ran down the two men. ”There is nowhere in this transcript that Mr. Sloan ever identifies Marion Knight, the defendant, as a murderer,” writes Matt Fletcher, an attorney for Knight. ”There is nowhere in the entire transcript that Mr. Sloan even identifies Marion Knight as a driver of the red truck in question; the red truck that hit the victims.”
The motion will not be resolved in short order, however. Knight has now hired Thomas Mesereau, the attorney who successfully defended Michael Jackson on child molestation charges, to represent him. A Los Angeles judge has pushed the motion from today until July 7, in order to give Mesereau time to further familiarize himself with the case and to file additional documents, should he deem them necessary. Knight has pleaded not guilty.
Related: Suge Knight Refuses to Remove Bullet That Hit Him in Tupac Shooting
Suge Knight’s Lawyer Believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. Will Post Suge’s $10 Million Bail
N.W.A.’s Ex-Manager Jerry Heller Says Suge Knight’s Hit-And-Run Case Is Karma
Here’s the Timeline of Suge Knight’s Hit-and-Run Case
17 year old high school junior Jarrett Koral founded Jett Plastic Recordings as a vinyl only label. This year for Record Store Day, he released a seven-inch by actor Macaulay Culkin’s Velvet Underground cover band.
Macaulay Culin was not Jett Plastic’s first release since launching in 2012 and the very indie label will add 6 more to its dozen deep catalog by the end of the year. The label’s name was inspired by the Paul McCartney Wings’ hit “Jet”.
“I still have school, but I pretty much devote all my time to the label,” Koral told the Guardian. “Shipping orders, packing orders, doing promotions online, contacting news outlets – even just talking to the musicians takes a lot of time.”
“I know it sounds corny, but the label is mainly me trying to put out what I like and want to get other people to listen to. What I was trying to do is let them have an outlet for their music. I was just trying to help out.”
Here’s an earlier interview with Koral.
What makes Swiss cheese? You don't have the hole story
(CNN) For more than a century, the holes in Swiss cheeses such as Emmental have been attributed to carbon dioxide given off by bacteria. But that's not the whole story, and now the Swiss have determined exactly why the holes form the way they do.
Holy Cow! Scientists Decipher Mystery of How Swiss Cheese Holes Appear
How did Swiss cheese get its holes? Scientists know
Got hay? Why Swiss cheese is losing its holes
Pete Townshend was honored Thursday night during the 11th annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in New York, where he received the Stevie Ray Vaughan award from fellow rock legend Bruce Springsteen. The evening was filled with musical tributes to the Who, including appearances from Joan Jett, Billy Idol and Willie Nile. Springsteen joined the band for a rousing take on “My Generation,” and most of the lineup united for “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Other highlights included Jett’s powerhouse versions of “Summertime Blues” and “I Can’t Explain” and Idol’s punk-inflected takes on “Who Are You” and “The Real Me.”
Springsteen saluted the Who mastermind in his funny, heartfelt speech, emphasizing Townshend’s influence on his own music. The rocker recalled seeing the Who open for Herman’s Hermits in the late 1960s and, as a 16-year-old, emulating the band by bashing a vase of flowers after an early show. “Pete managed to take the dirty business of rock & roll and somehow make it spiritual and turn it into a quest,” Springsteen said. “Pete, I’m here to say, thanks for not just Who’s Next and Who Are You, but who I am.”
Bruce Springsteen’s Tribute to Pete Townshend at MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit
Thank you. Pete’s receiving the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award this year for his dedication to helping others who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, for his work with the Who and his Double ‘O’ charity, Pete’s got a long history of working hard and raising spirits and money for worthy causes. Here’s just a few: In 1986, Double ‘O’ promotions put on a Colombian Volcano relief concert. In 1989, the Who reconvened for an anniversary tour, generated over $8 million for children’s charities throughout the U.K. and the U.S.A. In the past years, the Who have helped the Teenage Cancer Trust raise close to 3 million pounds to provide cancer wards and screening units.
There are plans on this tour to raise funds for charities as various as the Teenage Cancer Trust, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation for Underprivileged Children, the Robin Hood Foundation which funds and supports innovative poverty-fighting organizations in New York City. I could go on and tell you much more about what Pete and the Who have done for others, but I think I’ll tell you a little bit about what Pete’s done for me.
I wouldn’t be windmilling a Fender Telecaster if it weren’t for Pete Townshend. It’s the summer of ’66 or ’67, I’m not sure which one, but it was the first American tour that the Who were on. And I’m in a long line snaking out of Convention Hall down the boardwalk and the billboard read, in big type, Herman’s Hermits [laughter], then The Who [laughter].
I was a young, pimply-faced teenager who managed to scrap enough together to go see my first rock concert ever. Pete and the Who were young pimply-faced teenagers with a record contract, a tour and a rude, aggressive magic. They were on this tour, of all things, opening for Herman’s Hermits [laughter]. There was no justice. So, I scrambled to my seat, which seemed like the cavernous Convention Hall and I waited for the rumble to start.
The first band out, I think was a band called the Blues Magoos. They were at a New York City, uh, yeah,… There are a few folks who remember the Blues Magoos out there? [cheers] I don’t believe you [laughter]. But they had a great song, “We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet,” and they came out and they had these electric suits and when all the lights went out in the hall, the electric suits lit up and, it was high-level special effects for the time. But then the Who came out. I think they played for probably no more than 30 minutes, and before Pete and a cloud of smoke demolished his guitar, bashing it over and over into the floor.
And his amplifier… Now the audience was filled with a significant number of teenyboppers who were waiting for “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” So they sat there with their mouths agape, and they were wondering, like, of course, who are you? Who are these guys? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? And all I knew was, for some reason, this music and the demolishing of these perfectly fine instruments filled me with incredible joy. There was something wonderful about the wanton destruction of good commercial property [laughter].
It was the joy and giddiness of the riot that the Who managed somehow to safely attain; semi-safely attain. But all I knew is that it made me happy and it thrilled and inspired me. Inspired me to a degree where I was in a young band called the Castiles. I was about 16 years old.
We had a gig the next weekend at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School in the basement for the CYO dance [laughter]. So I went out and I bought a smoke bomb and I bought a strobe light and I brought them over to the gig. And as the night neared its end — not being able to smash my guitar — It was the only one I had, you know. At the end of the night, I lit the smoke bomb in the Catholic school basement. I turned on the strobe light and I climbed on top of my damn electro-amplifier holding a vase of flowers that I had stolen from one of the upstairs classrooms [laughter].
And with this huge flourish, melodramatically, I raised the vase of flowers as the flickering, blinding strobe lit me with the smoke all around me, and as the nuns looked on in horror, I reached up and smashed them onto the dance floor [laughter]. And then I jumped off the amp and I stomped all over the petunias, putting them into an early death. Of course, I looked ridiculous and like I lost my mind. The vase of flowers simply failed to have the grandeur of the newly minted Telecaster being smashed to splinters. But, we worked with what we had so… I went home smiling, feeling like a blood bond with Pete Townshend, and I never looked back.
As I grew older, the Who’s music seemed to grow with me. The sexual frustration, the politics, identity. These things coursed through my veins with every concurring Who album. I always found myself there somewhere in their music. “The Seeker”; the seeker is the guy in “Born to Run.” There’d be no “Down in jungle,” ba da ba, “land,” without Pete’s slashing bloody attack on his instrument. Pete is the greatest rhythm guitarist of all time [cheers]. He plays such incredible rhythm and he showed you don’t have to play any lead. It’s an amazing thing to behold, really. Pete managed to take the dirty business of rock & roll and somehow make it spiritual and turn it into a quest.
He may hate this, but he identified the place where it was noble and he wasn’t afraid to go there. I took a lot of that with me as the years passed by. So Pete, I’m here to say, congratulations, well deserved, and thanks for not just Who’s Next, and for Who Are You, but for who I am [applause]. Congratulations Pete.
Video courtesy of Mitch Slater
Hunter Hayes will be the first to tell you that he has been lucky enough to get to meet and play with some of his musical influences, including Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks.
Now he can add Elton John to the list. Hayes, who covered the title track of John’s classic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for the record’s 40th anniversary re-release in 2013, recently got a phone call from his idol — and it came at just the right time.
“I’ve been really blessed; I’ve met a lot of my heroes and they’ve all reached out and said, ‘If you need anything, let me know.’ You don’t want to abuse that invitation,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “I sent Elton an email and [asked], ‘Do you have a second to chat?’ He called me and he gave me not as much advice as encouragement. He spoke so much positivity and strength and encouragement that can come from someone like that, who’s been through so much and is so brave. It was exciting. It definitely gave a new energy to my outlook on a lot of things, especially that day, that week, that month and, now, this year.”
Hayes didn’t want to get into specifics about the phone call, but stressed that John was “insanely encouraging.” Meanwhile, the young country star is shaking things up a bit by releasing a series of digital streaming singles, the first of which, “21,” debuted on Spotify last week. Hayes says John provided just the right words of courage, adding, “This is the year to be brave. I want to try some new things I’ve never tried before. It’s a lot of firsts coming from me soon.”
According to Billboard, fans can expect several more digital singles from Hayes, who is currently on the road with Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt on the Wheels Up Tour.
This smart fabric from Google can change the music and turn off the lights
Update 05/29 10:00am: Story updated with news about Levi's partnership. Wander around the halls of Google's I/O conference and eventually you'll bump into a large table covered with a blue cloth. But being I/O, this is no ordinary cloth. It's a smart fabric …
Levi's wants to put Google's touch-sensitive fabric inside your jeans
Google ATAP's Project Jacquard Wants To Weave Sensors Into Your Clothes
Google Wants to Put a Touch Sensor on Your Pants