A belated arrival on the streaming-music scene, Led Zeppelin quickly shot up the charts on Spotify this week despite not having released an album of new material in more than 30 years. The service made the band's first two albums (both from 1969) available Wednesday -- the first Led Zep releases to appear on any of the licensed music subscription services -- and within a day they were both in Spotify's Top 25.
That's no real surprise. It's Led Zeppelin, after all, not Dread Zeppelin. The real test will be how the band's records are faring on Spotify a month from now, when the novelty has worn off.
Typically, older acts are nowhere to be found on the "most popular" lists on Spotify, Rdio, MOG and other streaming music services. The top 100 reads like the top sales charts on Soundscan or iTunes, dominated by pop, hip hop and rock, with the occasional nod to country and trendy alternative artists.
Well, certainly Nelson Mandela, whom we are memorializing this week, demonstrated that the notion of political kindness -- actions designed to heal instead of divide -- exists. Mandela famously forgave his oppressors, then worked with them to build a new South Africa. In a larger-than-life story that was mostly true, wrote one interviewer, he led the fight against a racist regime, "went to jail for a quarter-century; emerged from that dark place a stronger, wiser man; and, with quiet strength, led his nation toward peace, democracy and prosperity."
Although Mandela's example trumps most, there were other well-publicized incidents this year -- large and small, in America and abroad -- involving political kindness. -- Sara Lessley
One of the trickier problems in animal welfare is stopping the illegal sale of underage rabbits, kittens, turtles, birds and other exotic animals on street corners in Los Angeles. The area outside Santee Alley, the popular and densely filled open-air market for all kinds of wares downtown, has also been the venue of choice for vendors trafficking in these animals. The state of California bans the roadside sale of animals. And it’s against the law to sell underage animals that are fragile and need special attention or bottle feeding.
Vendors display unweaned bunnies in cages and let them nibble on lettuce leaves (which, by the way, they shouldn’t be fed at a young age.) Turtles commonly carry salmonella on their outer shells and skin. Buyers end up with animals that are malnourished, sick, likely to die once they get them home — or make family members sick.
“Not only is this an issue of animal cruelty, it is a public safety issue as well,” says Lejla...
The hormone does what it says, which theoretically would raise profits. But getting that productivity benefit requires such close monitoring of the cows’ feed that the numbers weren’t penciling out for most dairies, according to the study. Dairies often found themselves spending as much or more on feed as they were gaining by having more milk to sell.
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen shared an Instagram photo Tuesday of herself, while on the job, breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter. Flanked by a hair and makeup team, the model appears to be serenely feeding her baby without a care in the world. A photo like this can be positive — these kinds of images help ease all-too-common stigmas that surround public breastfeeding. However, this scene also highlights how difficult it is for most moms to breastfeed in public, at work or otherwise.
There are countless examples of how public breastfeeding is stigmatized. Facebook’s policies allow depictions of violence against women and beheadings, while photos of breastfeeding were banned until recently. Last year, Time magazine kicked up controversy when a cover photo of a mother breastfeeding a toddler caused reactions of outrage, disgust and concern for the child’s well-being. Then there was the heated debatesparked by a college professor breastfeeding her sick baby in the...
From a cartoonist's standpoint, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the gift that keeps on giving. With allegations that include corruption and inmate abuse, you have to wonder whether the really bad guys aren't the ones inside the cells but the ones guarding them.
Responding to numerous credible reports of dirty dealings by deputies, the FBI arrested a number of sheriff's officials in connection with a wide-ranging probe of alleged improprieties by a department charged with — remember? — upholding the law and protecting the public. Which includes inmates.
If the charges hold up, this will turn out to be one of the biggest corruption scandals in L.A. history. If these guys are guilty, they're guilty of some serious whoppers. "In one case, prosecutors say, an Austrian consul official trying to visit an Austrian inmate was arrested and handcuffed even though she had committed no crime and would have been immune from prosecution," the indictment said.
Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone knows that Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships. Put the two together in today’s world and you have — ta da! — Gisele Bundchen, the woman who sparked a thousand-tweet Twitter war.
To guys, Bundchen is beautiful, Brazilian and a Brady — at least, that is how most American men know her, as the supermodel wife of Tom Brady, quarterback extraordinaire of the New England Patriots. (What can I say? We’re men — we’re shallow.)
But among women, she’s known as a big breastfeeding advocate. And this week, an attempt to promote that cause went, well, awry when she sent out a photo of herself breastfeeding the couple’s 1-year-old daughter. She captioned it: “What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep #multitasking #gettingready.”
The Los Angeles City Council has dropped a plan to increase the limit on gifts city officials can accept.
As The Times’ David Zahniser reported, two months ago council members voted to draft a law allowing people with financial interests at City Hall, such as contractors and bidders on construction projects, to give gifts of up to $150 per year, an increase from the current $100 limit.
The council proposal came after the Ethics Commission urged them to ban gifts altogether. The goal was to simplify the rules, since city officials are already prohibited from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Plus, it was a way to address the public cynicism about special interests influencing politicians.
So it was quite surprising when council members voted not only to ignore their ethical advisors but to go the opposite direction and let city officials accept even more gifts.
Over the last week, New Zealand singer Lorde has been the subject of racist cyber-bullying on Twitter after a photo of the 17-year-old singer and her boyfriend, James Lowe, was posted to social media. Odd Future rapper Tyler, the Creator Instagrammed a picture of the couple with the caption “Hhahahahahah.” Lorde quickly dismissed his mockery, responding: “Was this supposed to make me feel something?” Tyler, the Creator then shot back: “NOT AT ALL, IT MADE ME LAUGH.”
What could be so funny about Lorde’s boyfriend? Judging from social media, the problem is that he’s Asian.
After the controversial hip-hop artist’s comments hit the Web, fans of One Direction and Justin Bieber joined in mocking Lowe on Twitter and Instagram. Their motivation? An unfounded rumor that Lorde called those artists “ugly.” For the fans, criticizing Lorde’s boyfriend’s appearance has provided a means of retaliation.
The selfie seen round the world — namely President Obama with Danish and British leader pals — is still attracting a certain amount of scorn for unbecoming behavior at a funeral. And when you first glance at the photo that shows Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt taking, with her smartphone, a picture of herself with British Prime Minister David Cameron on one side and Obama on the other (Wow! How did girlfriend grab that seat?) clad in their funereal black attire and grinning, it is a bit surprising. After all, they’re at a funeral.
But this was hardly a somber funeral in a cathedral. This was an hours-long funeral/tribute/homage to Nelson Mandela, with singing and dancing in a stadium.
And everyone is so busy trying to judge whether three world leaders — particularly Obama, first among equals — were acting appropriately that they’ve missed the real takeaway.
As pro-Western and pro-Russian Ukrainians battle over the future orientation of their country, there is a world figure who could offer an important symbolic gift to European-minded Ukrainians: Pope Francis.
Stalin supposedly dismissed the importance of the Roman Catholic Church by asking: “How many divisions does the pope have?” But before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has kept a wary eye on the Vatican’s activities, particularly in connection with the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine.
Most Christians in Ukraine are Orthodox Christians, split into three denominations. The Moscow Patriarchate, as the name suggests, is affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church, and its adherents identify with Russia. But another branch of Orthodox Christianity, the Kyivan Patriarchate, has offered support to demonstrators who want Ukraine to join the European Union. The third Orthodox group is the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.