Weekend Digest: The ‘You Should Be A Star’ Edition

by Larry Brannan (ltbrannan@aol.com) 2 views 

For our weekend business and political readers:

Meet 38-year-old Brent Weinstein. Forbes reports that Weinstein has a front row seat to the revolution currently underway in Hollywood.

As the head of UTA’s digital media group, Weinstein, 38, leads a group of agents who are responsible for signing the hottest online talents and helping them grow their YouTube channels into sustainable (and profitable) careers.

Some of them have collected millions of fans without the benefit of a professional production studio or a marketing budget. These stars often write, direct, star in, edit and market their shows.

No “gatekeepers” means loyal and passionate viewers for the mostly streaming video product of YouTube stars like 28-year-old Todrick Hall, a former American Idol contestant.

Take an up close look at some of the top online stars, and how this “new” lucrative Hollywood product is being promoted by the Beverly Hills agent at this link.

Houston Texan running back Arian Foster has gone public according to Bloomberg Businesweek. Yes, you read that right … gone public through a new company called Fantex Holdings.

Fantex has established a market in which people can purchase and trade shares of athletes’ future earnings, in a sort of stock market for jocks. The company has persuaded regulators that this counts as investing, not gambling.

As of today, anyone over the age of 18 can buy stock in Foster, claiming a stake of his future earnings in increments as low as $50. Fantex is selling $10.5 million worth of stock, which represents 20 percent of Foster’s future earnings. The company takes $500,000 in fees and gives $10 million to Foster.

Go to this link for complete details on this “public” athlete’s potential future earnings, and a primer on how all of this will work for the running back and his investors.

That is the moniker of “shopping guru” Mark Ellwood. Ellwood has authored a new book, Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.

For the first time in more than a century, American consumers can readily barter — in a sense — thanks to price-checking apps, discount clubs, and a raft of free-shipping offers. At the same time, Ellwood says, there is a sheer glut of supply: more products, from more companies, in more flavors and shapes and colors and sizes than the world has seen before.

But wily retailers have tricks up their sleeves to coerce shoppers to spend, and so comes Ellwood’s book to the rescue with tips like what months you should never shop and advice on fake markdowns. Click on this link for Bargain Shopping 101.

That’s what Albert Einstein had. That’s not something he got from eating bad food, but rather it’s what made him so smart, reports Fast Company.

“The corpus callosum keeps each side of the brain informed about what the other half is doing,” says Dean Falk, a professor of anthropology at Florida State University, who contributed to the study.

According to Falk, the corpus callosum is both physically and cognitively important. The inter-brain connection allows our hands to coordinate and our bodies to move with intention. But it also allows thoughts and ideas that are generated in the right brain to be processed and expressed with language, which originates in the left.

“We all have that connection between the left and right,” says Falk, “but for Einstein, the connection was extraordinary.”

How extraordinary and how do they know for sure?  Click this link to find out.

It’s still “unclear,” reports the New York Times. After Congress passed a bipartisan bill last Wednesday to reopen the government and avert a national default, the advantages the president can parlay are not exactly easy to define.

Mr. Obama emerged the winner of the showdown, having stared down attempts to undercut his health care program or force other concessions, but it is not clear what he actually won.

Did he change the dynamic of his tumultuous presidency and break the cycle of Washington gridlock, opening the way to more meaningful legislation in months to come? Or did he merely kick the can down the road three months so he and Congress will be in the same place again, repeating a pattern that will define his remaining three years in office?

The question of how much he benefits hasn’t been answered. Do they want to refight the budget fight or do the budget fights end?

For a full look at this evolving story and analysis on how the GOP might respond, go to this link.

That is “using the threat of shutting down the government as a possible negotiating tactic in the future.” POLITICO reports on those foreboding remarks from Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

ABC News’ Jon Karl asked Cruz if he would rule out another shutdown and Cruz avoided showing his hand.

“I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” Cruz told Karl. “The test that matters Jon, is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?”

What has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said about another possible shutdown in the future, and how has all of this affected Cruz’s polling numbers?  Click here for the full story.

House Speaker John Boehner “has it much harder than I ever did,” says former speaker Newt Gingrich.

“I think he has an amazingly hard job,” Gingrich told Larry King on the broadcaster’s show, “Politicking” on RT America. “You know, I used to come on your show back when I was speaker and before I was speaker. You’d appreciate this, Boehner’s job is vastly harder than mine. It is harder for him to manage the House Republicans. He doesn’t have a Republican leader in the Senate the way I did. Instead, he has to deal with Harry Reid, who is a hard-core Democrat.

Why did former President Bill Clinton also make his job easier and what does Gingrich think the fallout will be for the Republican Party over the bitter and monumental fight?  Go to this link from POLITICO to find out.

“The Tea Party is getting more powerful, but less popular,” says the Washington Post.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and his band of tea party-aligned House conservatives proved over the past month just how much influence they have over the Republican Party in Washington. And yet, outside Washington, disapproval numbers for the tea party are soaring.

What are those numbers and how will they affect the GOP in the future, especially at the polls?  Go to this link for full analysis and charts.

It’s rated the top company in the world, but what really goes on inside the walls of its Cupertino, California campus headquarters? And is its cafeteria’s food as good as it’s rumored? Employees know the company’s first rule, but if you don’t work there anymore the code of silence has now been broken by some, and AOL has posted what they had to say about the secretive company.

Justin Maxwell, user interface designer: First rule of Apple, don’t talk about Apple.

“If I was still at Apple, I would not be responding to this question, nor would I feel wronged for not being able to,” he says.

“The general idea is this: You are part of something much bigger than you. The ideas you talk about in the hall, the neat tricks you figured out in CSS, the new unibody machining technique, that’s part of your job, something you are paid to do for Apple’s success, not something you need to blog about to satisfy your ego,” Maxwell added.

Click on this link to go inside Apple, really inside, and oh yeah… to get the whole story on that cafeteria.

The “building has been a chain drugstore, a beer garden and a soon-to-be hotel.” But recently its Colonial-era foundation in the basement was unearthed and one expert is “certain” he has discovered a tavern from the 1750’s. But not just any tavern.

Adam Woodward, a preservationist, believes he has discovered an 18th-century tavern that could have served the first President of the United States. The location of this significant watering hole? None another than the great New York City home to more than 10,000 establishments licensed to serve liquor today. It’s believed that George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, had a celebratory drink during the American Revolution at the spot of Woodward’s findings.

For more on this intriguing find, go to this link from Homesessive.