In his latest email newsletter, David Byrne explores the travesties of performance royalties on commercial radio:
I’ve been getting together in the last few months with a small group of musicians and writers who are concerned that there is no organization to represent us on many of the issues that affect us. More on that later. One issue that has been discussed recently is the payment of performance royalties on commercial radio broadcasts in the U.S.
When many of us think of the song “Respect,” we think of Aretha Franklin. Many people are shocked to learn that Aretha never made a penny from all the radio broadcasts of her performance of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (this is because she wasn’t the composer.) It’s true—many musicians receive little compensation or struggle to pay bills despite having widely-aired recordings. Executive Director of The Jazz Foundation, Wendy Oxenhorn, recently released an eye-opening statement explaining why performance royalties on radio broadcasts are so vital:
For nearly 14 years, I’ve been working to save jazz and blues musicians from eviction, homelessness and hunger. On a daily basis, legends who recorded with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Chet Baker, Miles Davis are having to be saved. Even the legends themselves; including Odetta, Abbey Lincoln, Hank Jones, Elvin Jones, Ruth Brown, Etta James and so many others have been touched by the Jazz Foundation of America. Had there been radio royalties all these years, I can guarantee that many of the crises these great talents have had to face in their old age would never have had to exist.
Byrne urges us to show our respect for music by joining him in signing this petition.
More on the royalty atrocities against artists can be found in Byrne’s altogether indispensable How Music Works.
How Long Can Humans Stay Awake?
Like breathing, sleep is a fundamental human requirement. It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long without food as one could without sleep. Indeed, one of the better known experiments on this subject found that depriving rats entirely of sleep resulted in their death, or near-dying state, within 11-32 days.
Despite research such as this, there is still much which remains unexplained around the importance of sleep. In fact, in the study described above, it cannot be established that sleep deprivation was the cause of these animals’ deaths. A number of the methods used in research can be identified as potential causes – the animals being wakened using an electric shock each time they lapsed into sleep, for example.
In 2012, a 26-year-old Chinese man reportedly died 11 days into a sleepless attempt to watch every game of the European Cup. But he was also drinking alcohol and smoking throughout, making it difficult to ascertain his cause of death. No human has ever definitively died from lack of sleep alone, and for obvious ethical reasons, scientists can’t find the breaking point in the lab. We are aware however, of cases outside scientific study where people have died after periods of no sleep at all.
Morvan’s syndrome is characterized by muscle twitching, pain, excessive sweating, weight loss, periodic hallucinations, and severe loss of sleep (agrypnia). Michel Jouvet and his colleagues in Lyon, France, studied a 27-year-old man with this disorder and found he had virtually no sleep over a period of several months. During that time he did not feel sleepy or tired and did not show any disorders of mood, memory, or anxiety. Nevertheless, nearly every night between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m., he experienced a 20 to 60-minute period of auditory, visual, olfactory, and somesthetic (sense of touch) hallucinations, as well as pain and vasoconstriction in his fingers and toes.
Another rare disorder, Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), is an autosomal dominate disease that is invariably fatal after about 6 to 30 months without sleep. Once an individual begins to show the symptoms of FFI, starting with insomnia, the illness progresses quickly and further symptoms emerge. These symptoms include hallucinations, weight loss and finally dementia before their death.
The best-known case of FFI is that of Michael Corke, who died after 6 months of total sleep deprivation. As with the clinical experiments on animals, it is very difficult to determine whether lack of sleep is the definitive cause of death in people suffering from FFI. Thus, we cannot conclude that 6 months really is how long you can go without sleep before you die.
So, how long can you survive without sleep?
Ultimately, we do not know. Sleep science is a young discipline and only in the last few decades have we really started to make advances in our understanding of the importance and functions of sleep. In the 1960s a high school student named Randy Gardner set out to break the world record for the longest time spent awake. During the experiment he contracted problems with eyesight as well as various cognitive deficiencies, such as speech and memory problems. Towards the end of the experiment he also started to hallucinate. These symptoms emerged within just 264 hours (about 11 days).
The more difficult answer to this question revolves around the definition of “awake.” As mentioned above, prolonged sleep deprivation in normal subjects induces altered states of consciousness (often described as “microsleep”), numerous brief episodes of overwhelming sleep, and loss of cognitive and motor functions. We all know about the dangerous, drowsy driver, and we have heard about sleep-deprived British pilots who crashed their planes (having fallen asleep) while flying home from the war zone during World War II. Randy Gardner was “awake” but basically cognitively dysfunctional at the end of his ordeal.
What we do know is that it is unwise to ignore our need for sleep: it can be delayed but not defeated. The negative side effects of partial sleep deprivation have been observed in countless research studies and it is safe to assume that these would only be worsened by prolonged total sleep deprivation.
How much sleep we really need depends on how old you are, what’s happening in your brain, and even your gender. On average, women sleep longer than men. And babies sleep longer than older people. It’s not uncommon for infants to sleep between 15 and 18 hours a night, while elderly adults report feeling rested at around six hours. And school aged kids, even teenagers, may need between 9 and 11 hours a night. New research also suggests that neurobiologically, young people would benefit from sleeping in, to aid in neuronal pruning and rewiring of nerve networks. Indeed, the early-morning school schedule, which coincides with mom and dad’s work schedule, may not be ideal for health or learning. The average adult requires somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, but when it comes down to it, different sleep strokes for different folks. It’s important to know your body, and to make sure that your particular sleep requirements are fulfilled.
If your federal spy satellite logo can evoke James Bond villains… I guess you have to do it?
A year after Paul McCartney’s “When I’m Sixty-Four” was released on the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, artist Michael Leonard imagined what the Fab Four might look like forty years later, on their 64th birthdays.
(via Open Culture)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
Le Man Avec Les Lunettes’ Former Leader premiered on Impose Magazine!
Listen to the first single from the forthcoming “Make it Happen”, out on March 10.
Preorders are available here!