I drew a picture of a giraffe on my iPad. This is what it looks like. (Taken with Instagram)
—Shake Your Rump
I didn’t realize how much the Beastie Boys were a part of my life until Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away today and my heart hurt. I was ten years old when Fight For Your Right blew up all over MTV. MTV was my everything back then. That was when they still played 90% music videos. I watched it every morning before school and every afternoon after school let out. The Fight For Your Right video led me to get Licensed to Ill on vinyl. The vinyl album cover folded out so you saw that it wasn’t just the tail of the plane, the front of the plane was smashed into something so that it looked like a cigarette (or joint) being crushed out. I thought I was so freaking cool having that album. At the time of its release Paul’s Boutique did not speak to me like Licensed to Ill did. But as I grew older it became my favorite Beastie Boys album. The samples are so layered and diverse, it’s overwhelming. I’ve included a track from Paul’s Boutique here, Shake Your Rump. When Check Your Head came out in 1992 I was a sophomore in high school and EVERYONE was now a Beastie Boys fan. We all wore Beastie Boys t-shirts and blasted Pass the Mic and So What’cha Want from our car stereos in the school parking lot. In 1994 Beastie Boys headlined Lollapalooza and it came to my city. It’s the only time I ever saw them live. It was July in the Las Vegas desert and by the time they took the stage the audience were all miserable, sunburned, and dehydrated but our love for them conquered the heat and their energy reinvigorated us. That was also the summer of Ill Communication which rocketed the Beastie Boys even further into the stratosphere of worshipped bands. At the time Sabotage was the coolest music video EVER. It still is. So yeah. I’ve been a Beastie Boys fan for 25 years and the fact that one of them is gone and there will be no more Beastie Boys albums in my future is a sad, sad thing. And Adam Yauch was way more than just a Beastie. He was a musician, a humanitarian, an activist, a filmmaker, and, always, a champion of peace. The world will miss him. I’ll miss him.
Rich Get Richer of the Day: According to a Roll Call analysis of Congress members’ financial disclosure forms, the collective net worth of American lawmakers jumped 25 percent to over $2 billion in just the last two years — with 50 of the richest Congressmen and women accounting for 90 percent of the increase.
In 2008, the minimum net worth of House Members was just over $1 billion. In 2010, it rose to $1.26 billion. Senators experienced a more modest increase during this same time period, going from $651 million in 2008 to $784 million last year.
Roll Call notes that the real net worth of individual members is likely higher, since their estimates do not take into account non-income-generating properties such as private homes. Also, members are only required to disclose the minimum value of their assets — meaning, the actual value “may be much higher.”
Among other interesting facts: Senate Democrats are significantly wealthier than their Republican counterparts, while the opposite holds true in the House. Additionally, 78 percent of Congress’s total net worth is concentrated among 50 of its richest Members.
Don’t weep for the less-fortunate Members just yet: At least 196 House and Senate members are millionaires.
Any way you slice it, the average Congress Member is a serious chunk of change richer than the average citizen of the country he or she was elected to run: Congress’s median net worth last year was $513,000, which the median net worth among American households was around $100,000 — a number which, according to the Federal Reserve Board, has dropped by $20,000 since 2008.
The Loneliest Whale in the World.
In 2004, The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem:
She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.
Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.
This just made me monumentally depressed. Damn.