ROCK OF AGES. Old white guys still rock, and they roll in the dough. As Variety reports:
The Police topped the chart by taking in $131.9 million from 54 North American shows, far outdistancing No. 2 seller Kenny Chesney, who made $71.1 million on the same number of shows, according to Pollstar, which tracks the concert business. The Police and Chesney were the only acts to sell more than 1 million tickets in 2007; four acts, one of which was Chesney, did it in 2006.Reuniting never felt so good -- or paid so well, especially for your Lightning Round editor's favorite band, Genesis:
The David Lee Roth-led edition of Van Halen pulled in $56.7 million from 39 dates to land in fifth place; Phil Collins and his mates scored $47.6 million from 25 shows.Oh, and what about Hanna Montana?
The tour that caused the biggest ruckus in terms of ticket demand, the “Hannah Montana”/Miley Cyrus tour, grossed $36 million from 49 gigs.But hey, when she's grey, she'll be topping the charts.
WORK IT OFF. Throwing a tea party isn't feasible, so seniors are working part-time for the city of Greenburgh, NY to pay off sky-high property taxes.
From the AP:
People shouldn't have to sell their house, move away to a place with less taxes, leave behind their family and friends," said Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.Other cities have tried similar programs with success. But we note, this still doesn't do anything about the taxes:
He envisions retired doctors mentoring schoolchildren, retired accountants helping with the town's finances, retired lawyers offering their services for a discount. But there are plenty of less-skilled jobs that need doing, he said.
"It's not like we're going to see grandma running the snowplow," he said. "There are lots of things people can do for the town and it wouldn't cost us that much to pay them."
[Audrey] Davison, who suffers from arthritis and sciatica and needs a walker to get around on her bad days, said she pays about $12,000 a year in property taxes - perhaps $2,000 to the town - and has already taken out a reverse mortgage to pay her bills.And tell them: "Hello. I'm eager to serve you, just as long as the tax man gets his piece of my flesh. Otherwise, they're going to throw me in debtor's prison."
Talking to Feiner last week at the town senior center, she said, "I would work as long as it was a job where I could sit."
"You could be a receptionist!" Feiner said. "You could greet people right here, when they come in."
THEY DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THEY USED TO. Good old Sudafed -- reliable and drowsiness-free. Not anymore. When meth heads started using it for their own evil purposes, its maker was pressured into reformulating it with an active ingredient that Jeffrey Tucker of Mises.org argues "might as well be a placebo." And he has a theory:
The reason you can't get Mucinex and Sudafed that work without jumping through hoops isn't really about stopping basement meth users. It is really about the racket going on in Washington in which the law is used to benefit influential producers in cahoots with the political class at the expense of less influential producers and the American people, who should have the freedom to choose.In other words, you can thank lobbyists and lawmakers for your stuffed-up nose. You can send them a Kleenex at re-election time. What you do to it before you mail it off is up to you.
BIC: THE NEW WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. The Harvard School of Public Health finds no evidence to support X-raying of luggage prevents hijackings or attacks, although we do admit it makes us feel safer anyway. But more telling, the same study also found no evidence to support taking your shoes off helps either. Tell that one to the people who flew with Richard Reid.
From ABC News:
"Even without clear evidence of the accuracy of testing, the Transportation Security Administration defended its measures by reporting that more than 13 million prohibited items were intercepted in one year," the researchers added. "Most of these illegal items were lighters."Just think of all the money the "gub-mint" could raise by selling them in the gift shop!
HIGH INFIDELITY. CD's -- provided you're still buying them anymore -- have been getting louder and louder, and you're actually hearing less. Rolling Stone turns up the volume on the casualties in "the loudness war:"
The idea that engineers make albums louder might seem strange: Isn't volume controlled by that knob on the stereo? Yes, but every setting on that dial delivers a range of loudness, from a hushed vocal to a kick drum — and pushing sounds toward the top of that range makes music seem louder. It's the same technique used to make television commercials stand out from shows. And it does grab listeners' attention — but at a price. Last year, Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone that modern albums "have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like — static."Of course, Bob Dylan's vocal range had us adjusting the pitch on the turntable.
Now hear this: we're signing off until next year.