The News Corp. who owns the Dow Jones and Company which publishes the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s weekly business magazine among many others in the U.S. is considering a company breakup into two entities. It would separate the media giant’s underperforming newspaper business from its lucrative entertainment assets. Approximately 70 percent of the company profits come from television. The new newspaper business could include The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The New York Post, and as many as other 175 newspapers worldwide. These publishing enterprises contributed $8.8 billion in revenue in 2011. On the other hand, the much more lucrative entertainment enterprises contributed $23.5 billion in revenue in 2011 to the media empire.



Rupert Murdoch who is the Chairman and CEO of the News Corp. built the company from a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia into a billion dollar multi-media giant. The Murdoch family owns 40 percent of the empire and will continue to handle both parts once separated.

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is valued at about $53 billion. A recent phone-hacking scandal at its News of the World British tabloid caused it to close the publication. It is faced with enormous financial strain and decline in print advertising revenue.

Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees

The 1970’s dominant music group, Bee Gees, singer Robin Gibb died on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at age 62 due to his long battle with colorectal cancer and intestinal surgery. The group included Robin and his two fraternal brothers Barry and Maurice. Robin Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 in Isle of Man and grew up in Australia and U.K.


Robin was a solo artist prior to Bee Gees and he became the lead singer for the group. Trio owned 1960’s pop songs like “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to you”. Bee Gees carrier spans more than five decades and sold over 200 million records worldwide. Robin was a singer as well as a song writer. The trio wrote most of their number one hits. Bee Gees were the gold standard for pop and R & B.

Bee Gees also produced materials for such artist like Barbara Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Robin Gibb received a CBE from the Prince of Wales for his contribution to music.

Robin’s twin brother Maurice died in 2003 and only surviving Bee Gees is Barry, age 65. Robin was married to Molly Hullis in 1968 and together they had two daughters. They got divorced in 1980.


Ross Bagdasarian Sr. spent $190 of his last $200 in 1958 to buy a state-of-the-art tape recorder that can playback at various speeds. He recorded “Christmas Don’t Be Late” with a fictitious group known as Chipmunks who sang with a high pitched obscure voice. The song later became the No. 1 Billboard chart, sold over four million copies and created the now famous three Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Today, Chipmunks is a family owned business based in Montecito, California. Ross Bagdasarian Jr. with his wife now owns the right to the Chipmunks empire.


Over the years, Chipmunks popularity came in waves. However, Fox bought the three characters in 2007 and this resulted in creating three hit movies: Alvin and the Chipmunks, Squeakquel, and Chipwrecked. Besides the major movies, there are many other productions, a TV series, several movies on DVDs and other merchandize. The company is also exploring an idea to make a live show that can travel around the world.

The current owners are very involved with the business and tightly control the branding of Chipmunks. Once they refused a proposal to manufacture and market a sugary cereal using the brand name. The owners are also involved in several law suits to protect the brand from exploitation.

sound-diffusion-wallSound deadening foam has many uses that determine how sound moves around a room, and how it fills the space in that room. Using different foam panels, you can redirect sound, eliminate white noise for a crisper recording, dampen bass and more. It’s all about learning which panels are best for diffusion, and which are best for absorption.


When you diffuse sound, you spread it throughout the space. Diffusion is good when you need to hear something in a larger space. It helps reduce echo, while filling the room with sound. These types of acoustic foam panels tend to have sharp edges to them. The sound just bounces off those edges at it travels through space.

Diffusing foam panels include:

  • Pyramid panels
  • Wedge panels
  • Spade panels (while they absorb sound, they also help clarify it)


Deadening the sound in a room helps to remove echo, reduce white noise exposure and create an excellent space for recording. Sound deadening can also be useful in apartments, where loud music systems can cause problems with neighbors. In general deadening panels tend to be much flatter than diffusal panels.

Deadening acoustic foam includes:

  • Eggcrate panels (especially effective when used with soundproofing cloth)
  • Grid panels
  • Wave panels

Final Thoughts

Appearance also plays a role, which is why eggcrate is the least expensive option for sound deadening. If you’re trying to build a professional recording studio, grid or wave panels are going to be your first choice. They look nice, do the job well, and provide the best absorption for the cost. You may also want corner bass absorbers, which help to remove echo that the acoustic foam can’t catch in the corners of the room.

The Foam Factory, Inc. carries a variety of sound deadening foam panels for use in the home, or at a professional recording studio.

elizabeth-olsenCelebrities have their own hairstylists and makeup artists to improve their looks. Makeup tricks and corrections make celebrities more attractive. Their hair is always styled and their skin always looks flawless. You may not have makeup artists or hairstylists at your beck and call, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve the looks of celebrities. Here are 6 really simple celebrity looks that you can copy.

#1 Elegant Bun
Selena Gomez’s elegant bun can be achieved by brushing your hair into a high ponytail using a paddle brush. Pull your ponytail through a hair donut in order for it to sit on top of your head, then spread your locks around. Tuck your hair around and underneath the hair donut. Use bobby pins to secure your hair and top it off with an anti-frizz spray to keep it in place.

#2 Radiant Skin
It’s possible to achieve Miranda Kerr’s radiant skin. Use a light-reflecting foundation for the base, then apply a highlighter stick on your nose, cupid’s bow, cheekbones and brow bone. Apply a peachy pink gloss on your lips and finish your look with individual lashes.

#3 Half up, Half down
If you want to copy Kendall Jenner’s cool half-up ‘do, just apply a thickening hair gel around the crown of your head then grab the hair from your crown and twist it into a high bun. Secure the bun with a tie and spritz some texturing spray on the remaining locks.

#4 Smoky Eyes
To achieve Elizabeth Olsen’s rose-colored smoky eyes, apply a burnt copper shade across your eyelids. Use a shimmery brown liner to define your lids, then use your fingers to blend the different shades. Apply a black coat, then pump up your lash volume with some mascara. After that, dust your cheeks with a bronze blush and finish off with a matte, peachy brown lipstick.

#5 Get a Smooth Chignon
Use a rat-tail comb to make a deep side part. Start from the arch of one eyebrow, then apply a styling cream to your hair. Brush your hair back to your nape. Gather up your hair and twist it firmly at the base of your head in order for it to naturally coil into a chignon. Tuck the twist and use bobby pins to secure it. For extra shine, spritz some dry, finishing spray on your hair.

#6 Sultry Lips
If you want to try Gigi Hadid’s sultry lips, use a mauve-tinted brown pencil to line your lip. Apply a liquid lipstick in the same color. To balance the color, apply shimmery champagne shadow on the inner corners of your eyes. Finish it off by applying a luminous bronzer on your jawline, cheekbones and temple.

Adore Cosmetics uses organic fruits and botanical extracts to offer innovations in skin care driven by formulations from plant stem cells, gold, vitamin C and more to promote smooth, youthful-looking skin. Read Adore Cosmetics reviews online at Adore Cosmetics.

acoustic-triangleIf you’re looking into sound deadening foam, you’ll quickly realize you have more than a few options to choose from. These foam products fulfill different needs, and work at different ranges. This guide will discuss the three major varieties of soundproofing foam, but there are many to choose from. Of the many, people seem to usually go for wedge, pyramid or egg crate foam patterns.

Wedge Foam

So called “wedge” acoustic foam has wedges cut into it, which are usually about one to four inches in thickness. It functions best at the mid-high frequency range and has much stronger absorption as the frequency is raised.

Pyramid Foam

Pyramid acoustic foam panels are better at diffusing sound than absorbing it. That’s because the pyramid wedges are cut with 4 sides that meet at a point. This provides a great deal of surface area to work with, and ultimately a slightly higher rate of absorption than wedge.

Egg Crate

Similar to what you might find in people’s beds, egg crate foam is an excellent choice for those who desire sound deadening without the money to build a professional sound studio. If you pair this type of foam with acoustic cloth, you’ll see an immediate improvement in recording quality on a rather shoestring budget. It’s excellent for home studios.

Final Thoughts

You can buy foam in sheets as thick as four inches, depending on what you need. Those foam sheets should help to either diffuse or deaden the sound. As a general rule, you want to diffuse sound to control acoustics, such that someone can stand anywhere in the room and hear clearly, and deaden sound to reduce background noise.

The Foam Factory, Inc. distributes foam products across the United States and Canada, including mattresses, acoustic foam, and packaging solutions.

Known as one of the most popular fast casual spots in the city of Los Angeles, many celebrities, shows and books have paid homage to Zankou Chicken. The restaurant is best remembered for the perfectly crispy rotisserie chicken they sell, which is seasoned using a combination of local spices. This process takes several hours, so workers are often up well before the restaurant opens.

That’s probably why a sense of pop-culture has developed around Zankou. It should be no surprise that Zankou has also been referenced in actual media too.

Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Palestinian Chicken

curb-your-enthusiasm-zankouIn the popular show Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David wrote a scene that took place inside a restaurant that was a not so subtle nod to Zankou Chicken. Although it’s not actually called “Zankou” by name, all the signs are there. One inconsistency: the Iskendarian family serves Lebanese recipes, not Palestinian chicken. Still you can see the yellow shirts and red-block writing, smell the pita and taste the garlic sauce.

Beck’s “Debra”

The song “Debra” features a not-so hidden mention of everyone’s favorite chicken spot. Supposedly, Beck is a regular at Zankou, getting it whenever he has the opportunity to do so. Although we don’t know what his favorite dish is, our guess is it’s the rotisserie chicken.

Other Mentions

If you’ve ever seen the show “Man vs. Food”, then you know the name Adam Richman. He’s among several celebrities who call Zankou Chicken one of their personal favorites. In fact, Zankou’s first Los Angeles location was in Hollywood to cater to the city’s population of starving artists, aspiring actors and ambitious screenwriters.

Los Angeles is full of great and inexpensive food spots, like Zankou, that are perfect for anyone on a budget. Take a quick food tour of the city of angels.



Sawtelle is colloquially known as “Japantown”, and it isn’t Little Tokyo. It’s a small street in Santa Monica where the Japanese population in Los Angeles settled and decided to bring a few tastes from back home. Sawtelle is made up of many restaurants so it’s up to you to find whatever suits your tastes for the day. You can start with some curry or ramen, then move on to sushi once you’ve had your fill. Definitely save room for Beard Papas. The cream puff shop offers something light and fluffy for dessert.


Burbank is full of excellent food, and you’ll find yourself returning frequently once you’ve been there. When you’re looking for something healthy and inexpensive, there’s really only one choice though. Zankou Chicken, which has locations all over Los Angeles, offers healthy and perfectly roasted chicken. Their garlic sauce is absolute bliss, and the side dishes seal the deal. Why Burbank and not the original location in Hollywood? The simple answer is the décor, but hardcore fans will tell you it just feels better eating there. The flagship location is beautiful and the food is prepared fresh.


Silverlake has undergone a bit of a facelift, and the end result is tasty food and cool spots to kick it with friends. Right by the Echo and Echoplex, for instance, one can find a variety of vegan and vegetarian spots nestled among taco trucks. Two Boots Pizza offers a selection of gluten free pizzas with toppings that include shrimp, sausage and a variety of veggies too.  Bulan Thai offers vegan and vegetarian Thai food, but Sage offers desserts too.

By Phineas Upham

In the pantheon of legendary clubs, New York’s 300 Club occupies a spot very near the top of “classiest booze joint”. This club catered to the rich and glitzy crowds of New York City, and its lead emcee was a woman named Texas Guinan.


Mary Louise Cecilia Guinan was born in Waco, Texas, and spent her adolescent years in Colorado. In Denver, she learned how to play the organ for her local church and acted in several plays. That was foundation for an intriguing career in the entertainment business.

In 1906, she moved to New York where she got her true start as a chorus girl. She quickly moved into the rising art of Vaudeville Theater, where she was well received as “Texas” Guinan.

Her 300 Club was a haven for alcohol during the height of the prohibition, and she was arrested several times for serving liquor to her guests. She always avoided prosecution. Although her establishment also hosted 40 scantily clad girls dancing for men, during a time when such things were strictly forbidden, she would claim the size of the building made it impossible for a proper stage. Guests with liquor? They’d brought it with them when they came. How was she to know?

She had attitude, greeting her patrons with “Hello Suckers!”, and referring to the richer patrons as “butter and egg men”. She was a key player in the prohibition-era underworld, and appeared in several films before her death in 1933, exactly a month before the repeal of prohibition.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

By Phineas Upham

Irving Penn was born to Russian-Jewish parents in Plainfield New Jersey in 1917. Penn was artistically inclined and studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. There, he became adept at drawing, painting, graphic and industrial art. His teacher was Alexey Brodovitch, who’s connections at Harper’s Bazaar would prove advantageous to the fledgling artist.


Brodovitch helped Penn get his start by publishing his drawings in Harper’s,which kickstarted his career as a freelance artist. Brodovitch, meanwhile, became art director for Saks Fifth Avenue. Penn became an accomplished fashion photographer and published a few photographs of his own. When Brodovitch stepped down from his position with Saks, Penn was all too eager to fill the role.

After a year with Saks, Penn traveled to Mexico and across the United States seeking inspiration. Upon his return, he took a job for Vogue that was offered by Alexander Lieberman. Penn focused on painting while at Vogue, but Liberman insisted he try his hand at photography.

Penn’s first cover was for the October 1943 issue of Vogue, which kicked off a lifetime career with the magazine. During the 1950s, he branched into still life photography and portraits. When he was ready to found his own studio by the end of the 1950s, he was poised to become a major advertising photographer. By the close of his career, his clientele would include General Mills, DeBeers and Clinique.

Penn married the Swedish fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives, and the two had one son. Fonssagrives passed away in 1992, and Penn died in 2009.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

Steven Spielberg’s latest installment, Jurassic World, is getting mixed reviews. It is rated PG-13 due to intense sequences of science-fiction violence. It is part action and adventure; part mystery and suspense; part science fiction and part fantasy. It came out for a wider audience on June 12, 2015 for US movie enthusiasts.


Colin Trevorrow directed the movie while characters were created by Michael Crichton. Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa wrote the story for it. The two hour three minute movie is distributed by Universal Pictures.

The plot unravels at the same island as Jurassic Park. Claire is sent to the island with Zach and Gray to have fun. Claire is not the mothering type and soon they face a park that is experiencing technical difficulties that turn to a contained anomaly.

Some say Jurassic World contains more violence and terrifying than the original movie, Jurassic Park. Sustained terror and suspense is more intense and peril due to people have been eaten, torn apart, severely injured and trampled. Some even say the language due to use of certain words is questionable. Heavy use of product placement is also critiqued by some. Even though it is rated PG-13, it may suits more teens than a younger audience.