Category Archives: Business

Live Simply So People Can Simply Live?

The slash and burn spending cuts that have been used to balance the budget will affect the low-income communities at first, then will gradually creep into the middle class arena, what is left of the middle class.

According to Moody’s the top 20% of the earners in the US account for 60% of all spending. MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a research service states that the luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increase compared to last year. July alone had an 11.6 percentage increase.

Much of this spending on luxury goods is attributed to the Dow Jones being up by about 80 percentage from its low in March 2009.

Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves

Published: August 3, 2011

Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.

Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.

“If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks.

The rich do not spend quite as they did in the free-wheeling period before the recession, but they are closer to that level.

Read the full article at The New York Times in Business Day.

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Christian Louboutin Bianca Patent Platform Pump
Neiman Marcus – $775     currently sold out

The shiny patent leather sheen gleams on this quintessential platform pump.

  • Patent leather
  • Low-dipped vamp for leg-lengthening effect
  • Almond toe
  • Leather lining; padded leather insole
  • 5″ covered heel with 1″ platform
  • Signature red sole
  • “Bianca” is made in Italy

About Christian Louboutin:

French designer Christian Louboutin introduced his namesake collection in 1991, and his powerfully feminine shoes soon became must-haves for stylish women everywhere.


A Headset That Reads Your Brainwaves

Tan Le is the co-founder of Emotiv Systems. When the headset is plugged into the computer the player can control certain applications by using their mind and facial expressions. The EPOC headset sells for $299.
“We’re really just scratching the surface of what’s possible,” she says.

Some concerns expressed about this device can be found here.

Women2drive to get Wal-Mart

Women2drive protestThe recent protest on Friday by Saudi Arabia women in what the New York Times called “random acts of women driving” follows the May 22 arrest of Manal al-Sharif, a 32-year-old Saudi woman who posted a video of herself driving on YouTube. It is 2011 and woman still can’t drive a car nor get equal pay. The recent decision on Dukes v. Wal-Mart by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for Wall Street over Main Street at the expense of women.

Arcelia Hurtado, executive director of ERA, says after 10 years of taking on the world’s largest retailer, they’re not giving up. “The women [of Walmart] have been speaking for the rest of us for the last 10 years. Speak up for your rights. We won’t make progress unless people have the courage to stand up and speak out.”

Whole Foods Parking Lot

Another way of working outside the “Hollywood” model is to create a collective of your choice. A collective is a viable and exciting paradigm to work in, very exciting.

Fog and Smog is a creative collective of culture vultures from the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles. Some of us work as composers, some as film editors, producers, designers, deejays, animators, photographers, etc.
Our first project, “Whole Foods Parking Lot” was written produced and performed by DJDave aka David Wittman, and directed by George Woolley with Pedram Torbati. Jake Pushinsky cut it, and both Ben Kahle and Ben Marlbrough appear in supporting roles. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Developing Your Creative Practice

There’s a proverb that says that the fruit takes a long time to ripen, but it falls suddenly.

Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco


We are so busy absorbing information that we forgot to flush out our brains in order to complete the creative process. “Developing Your Creative Practice: Tips” from Brian Eno offers insight on how to develop a practice to facility a fruitful creative process.


Current neuroscience research confirms what creatives intuitively know about being innovative: that it usually happens in the shower. After focusing intently on a project or problem, the brain needs to fully disengage and relax in order for a “Eureka!” moment to arise. It’s often the mundane activities like taking a shower, driving, or taking a walk that lure great ideas to the surface. Composer Steve Reich, for instance, would ride the subway around New York when he was stuck.

Read more

How to Live Forever

Once again the topical subject of the life extension science is upon us. A new documentary film by Mark S. Wexler’s opens on 6/3/11 here in LA.

The baby boomers, which I am one of, are shitting in their pants with fear about dying.
They started with cosmetic surgery to hide the signs of their mortality, now years later with the pending doom pounding louder on their door, Kurzweil has entered the picture with 2045. Transcendent Man a documentary about Kurzweil by director Barry Ptolemy is still ranking #2 on iTunes.

Ram Dass states in the documentary Ram Dass Fierce Grace  that at this stage of his life he is here to help the baby boomers deal with aging, infirmity, and disability by pointing the way to a higher understanding of these mysteries. I hope that he talks louder.

Expendable Cash?

For the truly adventurous diners, Dinner in the Sky straps you into your chair, then hoists you and the table with a crane 180 feet above, for a 360 degree view of the city. If your corporate meeting needs a lift or for that truly unique wedding, if you have the money, Dinner in the Sky can accommodate your wishes.
This quickly catching on outfit is operating in 28 countries and requires bookings 2 months in advance. Twenty-two guests can enjoy a meal prepared & served by a chef and waiter.

Forbes has called it the Most Unusual Restaurants In The World.                   GoodFood on KCRW interviewed co-partner David Ghyselsf.

I’m open to try it but it is out of my budget. Anyone willing to treat me? There is one in Brussels.

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