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Monday, September 30, 2013

Sample Reel for 'Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force' - #IAF


These volunteers from the US were the IAF's first pilots; part of the Machal division of foreign fighters.

Sample Reel for 'Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force' - Playmount Productions from Katahdin Productions on Vimeo.
Sample Reel for forthcoming documentary feature "Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force" currently in production by Playmount Productions.

Help us make the film! Make a tax deductible donation at www.katahdin.org/films/iaf/contribute.html.
Sample Reel for 'Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force' - Playmount Productions on Vimeo


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Saturday, September 28, 2013

The #cannabis #business: Here come the suits, man | The Economist

 
D'you think he's a real cop?

Here come the suits, man

EVERY stoner has been there. You are sprawled on the couch, smoking trees of the finest Super Lemon Haze, when the phone rings: a friend needs picking up from the station. Happily, help is on the way: pop a Buzzkill, one of several products in development by the masterminds at Hudson Nutraceuticals, and the metabolising of tetrahydrocannabinol in your liver is accelerated, helping you sober up.
Such is the claim of Mike Schreibman, a former NBC executive who co-founded Hudson last summer. He understood he was on to something, he says, when he ate too much cannabis-infused chocolate sauce one day and realised he would do anything to stop the room from spinning.
Mr Schreibman was one of many entrepreneurs peddling their wares this week at a cannabis jamboree in Denver organised by ArcView, an angel-investment group. Together they raised over $1m. But bar the large pot plants on the stage, in many respects the meeting was no different from other gatherings of American investors and businessfolk. Ties, women and non-white faces were scarce. Pitches were peppered with jargon and cheerfully optimistic revenue projections, though not always a clear indication of the product or service on offer. But there was also a strong atmosphere of camaraderie, a sense that here there was an industry to be built rather than turf wars to be fought.
That is because the ground at last appears to be clearing for the cannabis industry in America. In 1996 California became the first state to legalise the drug for medical use (19 others, and Washington, DC, followed). But aggressive enforcement of federal law, under which pot remains illegal, and unpredictable regulatory regimes have made life miserable for growers and dispensary-owners. Investors have largely stayed on the sidelines.
Yet in November 2012 Colorado and Washington became the first states fully to legalise the drug. And last month the federal government indicated that it would not stand in the way of their experiments so long as they were properly regulated. Soon afterwards, says Steve DeAngelo, one of ArcView's founders, he was contacted by three well-known investors who had previously been unwilling to countenance cannabis. Now they wanted in.
With several more states likely to legalise cannabis in the coming years it is little wonder gold-rush metaphors are being thrown around. The legal cannabis market was worth $1.2 billion in 2011, reckons ArcView. By now it will be much bigger. Some look forward to a fully legalised industry worth $100 billion or more.
Still, says Steve Berg, an adviser to ArcView, investors remain wary of any outfit that "touches the leaf" directly. Thus the heavy presence at ArcView of ancillary businesses in which risks as well as returns are lower: from cannabis-oil extractors to electronic plant-trimmers. Some have built their business models around regulatory schemes: the pitch of Canna Security America, which is seeking $2m to expand, is that it helped write Colorado's security regulations. Who better to help a dispensary implement them?
Participants in the conference speculated about the shape the industry might take as it develops. One day rolling a spliff from home-grown weed will seem as quaint as baking one's own bread, suggests Mr Schreibman (who despite his chocolate-sauce experience has never smoked). Cosmetics and herbal remedies will be huge with soccer moms, muses another attender. Adam Cohen, who set up a cannabis-investment fund last year, thinks that once the full extent of the drug's medicinal uses becomes clear the federal government will be forced to reclassify it.
Inevitably something is lost as Wall Street steps in. A veteran ArcView investor recalls a charming but hopeless presentation by two stoner entrepreneurs who had built a device to convert Starbucks coffee cups into water pipes. Not only might a spruced-up cannabis business have no room for such innovations, he feared, it would be much less entertaining.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Damon Dash Launched Jay-Z And Roc-A-Fella Records Then Blew Through A $50 Million Fortune

In the late 90s and early 2000s, hip hop entrepreneur Damon Dash was on top of the world. At the time, Dash was the CEO of the hottest rap label in music, Roc-A-Fella Records, with powerhouse roster artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, DJ Clue and Juelz Santana. Dash was also the CEO of the wildly successful Rocawear clothing line which was reportedly generating annual revenues of $350 – $450 million. As if this wasn't enough, Dash was testing the waters in Hollywood by executive producing the critically acclaimed 2004 Kevin Bacon film "The Woodsman". Perhaps most importantly, without Dash, the world would likely never have heard the name Jay-Z at all. With the above resume, you'd have to assume that today Damon Dash must be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and is presiding over a dynasty that rivals Russell Simmons, Diddy or Dr. Dre, right? Unfortunately that is not the case. Today Damon Dash is not only broke, but he owes millions of dollars to the IRS and has had several properties seized through foreclosure. How did this happen? The story of how Damon Dash launched Jay-Z's career and Roc-A-Fella Records then blew through a $50 million fortune is a sad and shocking cautionary tale.

Read his story online here:  How Damon Dash Launched Jay-Z And Roc-A-Fella Records Then Blew Through A $50 Million Fortune | Celebrity Net Worth


Monday, September 16, 2013

Billionaire Sound Pioneer Ray #Dolby Dies, Age 80 - Forbes

A pioneer in the field of sound, Dolby will be remembered as the man who took the hiss out of sound recordings. With a fortune of $2.4 billion at his death, Dolby truly did make silence golden.

Billionaire Sound Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies, Age 80 - Forbes


Ray Dolby died Thursday in San Francisco, age 80. He suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and acute leukemia.
A pioneer in the field of sound, Dolby will be remembered as the man who took the hiss out of sound recordings. With a fortune of $2.4 billion at his death, Dolby truly did make silence golden.
He founded his namesake Dolby Laboratories DLB +2.95% in 1965. His work revolutionizing the immersive experience of movie theater sound started with Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange in 1971 and matured with Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977.
Over the years Dolby earned 50 patents, two Oscars, multiple Emmys and a Grammy.
He first entered the billionaire ranks in 2005 when Dolby Laboratories went public. The company’s revenues last year were in excess of $900 million. Last year it issued a special dividend to shareholders. Dolby, with more than 56 million shares got $200 million.
With his death, Dagmar, Dolby’s wife of 47 years, assumes his fortune and place on the Forbes 400 list. They have two sons Tom and David. (Of no relation is the musician Thomas Dolby, who recorded the hit “She Blinded Me With Science.”)
Ray Dolby. (Courtesy Dolby Laboratories)
Dolby was born in Portland, Ore. He first became fascinated with sound when studying the vibrations of his clarinet reeds as a child. At 16 he started work at Ampex, a videotape recording company. After studying electrical engineering at Stanford he earned a PhD in physics from Cambridge in 1961 and even consulted to the U.K.’s Atomic Energy Authority. After two years as a United Nations advisor in India he founded Dolby Laboratories in London, later moving to San Francisco.
Though Dolby retired several years ago, his company has continued to make innovations, with the new Dolby Atmos system using 64 speakers — with some sounds programmed to come out of just one speaker. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of the first to use the new system.
At a ceremony honoring Dolby last year film editor Walter Murch said, “you could divide film sound in half: there is BD, Before Dolby, and there is AD, After Dolby.”Dolby had donated more than $35 million to fund stem cell research at the University of California. He is the second billionaire sound engineer to die this year. Loudspeaker innovator Amar Bose died in July; Fritz Sennheiser passed in 2010.
The Dolby Laboratories website posted a tribute to its founder yesterday, including these quotes from Dolby summing up the passion of inventing and the meaning of success.

On Inventing:
“I’ve often thought that I would have made a great 19th century engineer, because I love machinery. I would have liked to have been in a position to make a better steam engine, or to invent the first internal combustion engine; to work on the first car. All my life, I’ve loved everything that goes; I mean bicycles, motorcycles, cars, jeeps, boats, sail or power, airplanes, helicopters. I love all of these things, and I just regret that I was born in a time when most of those mechanical problems had already been solved and what remained were electronic problems.”
“Remember that most of my life was that of an adventurer, not of somebody who is trying to invent something all the time. I wanted the experience of traveling to many parts of the world. Inventions were part of my life, but they didn’t overtake everything that I was doing.”
“To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in this darkness and grope towards an answer, to put up with anxiety about whether there is an answer.”
On Success:
“I was never a gold-digger, or an Oscar-digger, or anything like that. I just had an instinct about the right sort of things that should be done in my business. So all these things just fell into place.”
“I think I was both lucky and I was also straightforward with people, and I think they liked that attitude.”
“There is no major next step. It’s a matter of constantly being aware of one’s environment, of keeping track of what’s happening in the various industries that we’re operating in and just sort of sensing what’s possible and what’s not possible, what’s needed, what’s not needed-just having all your antennae going, sensitized to all the signals that are out there.”

Ray Dolby

PAUL BUCK/EPA/Newscom

Billionaire Sound Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies, Age 80 - Forbes


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The #Netherlands isn’t the permissive society. It’s the pragmatic society

Policy makers in Holland aren’t hippie potheads. They legalised dope because they are cold-headed realists

Bicycle paths, gay marriage, legal soft drugs, what the world today considers normal, the Dutch showed the way in the past, will they also show the way for the future?

How we all went Dutch
By Simon Kuper
Financial Times
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Read the full article at: http://on.ft.com/1awoghJ

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