Amazon.com, the iTunes killer?

Amazon.com and EMI recently announced that they're launching a new online music store a la iTunes, and that announcement set music and copyright watchers atwitter. Why? Because the songs will lack digital rights management. This means audiophiles will be able to copy and burn songs onto whatever and however often they want: mp3 players, cds, other computers, etc.

Many record companies (aside from EMI, of course) feel that such a move will be the death of their industry. Or maybe, as Wired editor Chris Anderson says in The Long Tail, open access and niche markets are the logical progression of the internet. Regardless, digital media like mp3s are changing the way we interact and do business. And we're have to change the way we think about copyright in the digital era.

What do you think? Will less copyright protection mean more sales for Amazon and EMI? Could Amazon become the iTunes killer?

Happy 46th birthday, Peace Corps

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Michigan Union and by executive order announced the beginning of the Peace Corps. This experiment in activism was a huge success with many young people out of college as well as older retirees venturing to far off countries to teach, help with farming and start health clinics. The Peace Corps is alive and well today, still offering those who want to serve exciting and challenging opportunities.

Embracing Eatonville at UMMA Off/Site

EMbracing EatonvilleEMbracing Eatonville

There is still time to visit the photography exhibition Embracing Eatonville at the University of Michigan Musuem of Art Off/Site (through March 18th).

Located in Orange County, Florida, Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American community in the nation. Today, it is perhaps best known for its annual showcase of arts, literature and culture that celebrates native daughter Zora Neale Hurston.

The current exhibition "celebrates the spirit and character of Eatonville through the work of contemporary photographers Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, each of whom have created a new body of work for this exhibition as they explore the importance of place to individual and collective identity".

“I am not so bad a person once you get to know me . . .”

Iggy gets kicked out of high school and there’s no one at home for him to tell. His mother has been gone for days, his father is stoned on the couch and the phone’s been disconnected, so even his social worker can’t get through.

Walking away from his public housing, Iggy sets out to make something of his life. Not an easy task when he has no skills and his only friend is mixed up with the dealer who got his mom hooked.

Iggy’s got problems galore, but Iggy also has the kind of wisdom that lets him see what no one else can. Try Saint Iggy.

South Africa Remembered

Explore social issues in the mid-20th centry of South Africa in , Cry, The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton. Paton, a native white of South Africa explores the power of ideas in this story of a old Zulu parson as he searchs for his son. The murder of a white man, devoted to helping the native South African, results in far reaching changes in both a white and a black family, along with a rural native tribe.

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"

Jimmy Carter ex president appeared on the Diane Rehm show on 11-28 to discuss his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid". Certainly a timely and important read from, I believe, a vastly underrated president. The library has an extensive number of books on the subject Palestine

That Growling in Your Stomach

Is NOT, repeat NOT hunger, according to the Committee on National Statistics. Instead, 35 million Americans last year experienced “low food security” and 10.8 million experienced “very low food security” per the 2005 Household Food Security in the United States report by the USDA. “Hunger” has been banished from the federal government lexicon as “too amorphous.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors, however, continues to count hungry people as “hungry.” Look for their new report in early December. Speaking of banished words, check out the annual lists of banished words from Lakes Superior State College.

Who You Gonna Call? 211

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Beginning November 1, 2006, residents of Washtenaw, Livingston and Monroe counties will have one phone number to call – 211 -- for easy access to community services. Whether it’s helping with basic needs like food, shelter or rent assistance, employment services, help with child care, respite care, disaster relief or hundreds of other services vital to your well-being, 211 will direct you to the right agency. Use a land line, cellphone or a pay phone to make this toll-free call.

Washtenaw County Counts What Counts

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The Community Collaborative of Washtenaw County has published
Community Needs Assessment 2006
, a comprehensive look at the socio-economic well-being of county residents. Data on unemployment, health care, child poverty, homelessness and more are presented in the report. A Plenary Session for the public to discuss the findings will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 7:30 a.m. – Noon at the Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College.

Domestic Violence in the Spotlight

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Sponsored by a number of organizations, it is designed to raise awareness of the effort to end violence against women, children and within families. It is estimated that 20% of violent crimes against women are committed by their partners. Locally the effort to support and protect victims is led by the SafeHouse Center. Family violence, spouse abuse, and child abuse are all pervasive problems in American society which need our serious attention. If you are a victim, call the SafeHouse hotline at (734)995-5444 for assistance.

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