Posts tagged with "The Washington Post"

Nursing Home Staff Shortages

Amidst the perseverance of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry has taken a massive blow. There are intense staffing shortages in the field, and the public is suffering from these scarcities. The Washington Post gave a detailed report on these worsening staff deficiencies, more specifically in long term care facilities.

Nursing homes tend to lessen the stress on hospitals as recovered patients typically move there after being released. Without proper staffing, though, facilities have not been able to take in patients from hospitals. A specific example of this misfortune stems from the Terrace View nursing home in Buffalo, New York. The home is currently not running at full capacity, and there are up to 22 beds not being used due to lack of staff.

The Washington Post article elaborates on this disaster, highlighting another facility affected. “That means some fully recovered patients in the adjacent Erie County Medical Center must stay in their hospital rooms, waiting for a bed in the nursing home. Which means some patients in the emergency department, who should be admitted to the hospital, must stay there until a hospital bed opens up. The emergency department becomes stretched so thin that 10 to 20 percent of arrivals leave without seeing a caregiver — after an average wait of six to eight hours, according to the hospital’s data.”

Many long-term care facilities across the country are facing these same troubles. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) found 58% of nursing homes are cutting down on arrivals, again, because of the shortage of staff members.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 425,000 long term care workers left the industry since February 2020. Though other industries have seen economic growth since the onset of the pandemic, nursing homes have not had the same luck. “Remarkably, despite the horrific incidents of death and illness in nursing homes at the outset of the pandemic, more staff departures have come during the economic recovery. As restaurants and shops reopened and hiring set records, nursing homes continued to bleed workers, even as residents returned.”

These troubles are heightened in more rural areas. The article, too, depicts the story of Diakonos Group in Medford, Oklahoma, that had to shut down since there was simply not enough staff. The facility provided care for patients with mental health needs, but after the pandemic started, they found that their staff had endured too much. Diakonos Group CEO Scott Pilgrim explained that although the business offered a raise in hourly wages, bonuses and overtime, employees continued to leave, and they could not withstand these absences.

AHCA/NCAL urges lawmakers to work with the long term care division of healthcare to fix this staffing crisis and devote resources to employ caregivers. As hospitals continue to be directly affected by this catastrophe, change must be made as soon as possible. AHCA/NCAL encourages Congress to take action and ease these tensions placed on both hospitals and long term care facilities.

Mike Mattison via Kailey Wolcott for use by 360 Magazine

POETIC SONG VERSE: Blues Based Popular Music and Poetry

While accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, Bob Dylan quoted The Odyssey: “Sing in me, muse, and through me tell the story.” In their new book, POETIC SONG VERSE: Blues Based Popular Music and Poetry (University Press of Mississippi, November 9, 2021), renowned musician Mike Mattison and literary historian and beloved Catholic University professor Ernest Suarez offer an enlightening look at the artform that artists like Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Gil Scott-Heron, Lucinda Williams and others used to tell their stories. Mattison and Suarez lay out the contours of what they see as a unique literary genre they dub ‘poetic song verse.’ This form was inspired by blues music and poetry, nurtured in the beat coffee houses of the 50’s and 60’s, and fully bloomed as it cross-pollinated with rock and roll. It goes far beyond the borders of popular entertainment, using voice, instrumentation, arrangement, and production to highlight evocative lyrics that resemble poetry. 

Synthesizing a wide range of writing and thinking, as well as their own experiences, (Mattison is a vocalist and songwriter for the Grammy-Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band; he wrote hits like “Midnight in Harlem,” “Bound for Glory”), the authors train a powerful lens on some of the most well-known songs of the 20th and 21st centuries. By demonstrating how the blues and poetry came together to birth a whole new genre of artistic expression, they shift the thinking on how we categorize lyrics—as literature, as music, or as a combined, innovative, new art form.

Q&A W/ Mike Mattison × Ernest Suarez 

What is poetic song verse, and how has studying and writing about it changed your appreciation of the artists who practice it?

We use the term “poetic” to describe lyrics that have literary intent and that consciously strive for aesthetic impact: linguistically rich compositions that operate on many levels simultaneously, incorporating image, metaphor, narrative, and play in ways that often deliberately correlate to broader cultural conversations. We’re talking about lyrics that seek to transcend the grasp-and-release mechanism of pure entertainment, lyrics that prick our curiosity and invite repeated visits and renewed scrutiny. Poetic song verse isn’t poetry set to music, like the Beats’ poetry with jazz accompaniment, but it sometimes takes a hybrid form in recordings like Gil Scott-Heron’s or Leonard Cohen’s. The distinction we draw rests on the symbiotic relationship that most often occurs when potent lyrics and sonics are developed together. By “sonics” we mean every aural dimension of song, including voice, instrumentation, arrangement, and production. In poetic song verse, sonics combine with verbal techniques often associated with poetry—imagery, line breaks, wordplay, point of view, character, story, tone, and other qualities—to create a semantically and emotionally textured dynamic.

The book argues that artists like Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix were transformative in the development of poetic song verse, but there were allusions and poetic phrasing in lyrics long before them. What did they do that wasn’t being done previously?

Songs from many periods and in different styles contain compelling verse, but in the late fifties and the sixties blues-based popular music and the new American poetry—especially the work of the Beats—came into close contact, resulting in a concentration of songwriters who transformed songwriting from entertainment to art-that-entertains. 

Poetic song verse sprung from a confluence of the blues and contemporary poetry.  Both forms emphasize the sound of the human voice.  Poetry’s turn toward more accessible language and the blues’ origins in the sound of the human voice helped rock absorb poetic language and techniques, and provided a catalyst for Dylan and others to change rock into a more lyrically and sonically sophisticated art form. Think about it this way: If you were a reasonably intellectual young musician who had been turned on to the blues, traditional metrical verse, or high modernist poetry such as T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, this might provide an idea of how to use allusions in a song, or provide strategies for intermingling certain types of imagery (as in some of Dylan’s, Van Morrison’s, and Joni Mitchell’s verse). But the language in most traditional and modern poetry tends to be very different from the type of language that characterizes blues-based popular music. However, when that same blues-enthralled young musician heard Howlin’ Wolf or Willie Dixon and read and heard Beat and other contemporary poets, he or she was exposed to rich, sophisticated language based on rhythms of speech (i.e., material that could serve as a powerful source for lyrics). With different twists and turns this essentially was the case for Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jim Morrison, and many others.  By examining the confluence of blues and poetry in various artists’ work, and by considering the creative practices of various seminal artists and the cultural conditions and landscapes in which they worked, we identify a relatively specific subgenre of song that’s also a form of literature.

What role did the coffee houses of the 50’s play in creating this genre? What does instrumentation add to the artform?

In the late fifties and the sixties Beat coffee houses, bookstores, and nightclubs sprang up across the United States and spread to Western Europe. Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and others embraced the blues and Beat coffeehouse culture, where they encountered contemporary poetry, rural blues, and folk music.  After putting rock ’n’ roll of their youth aside for a handful of years, many sixties songwriters returned to the rebellious rhythms of fifties rock ’n’ roll and wedded it with verse inspired by contemporary poetry. In the mid-sixties Dylan’s rock ’n’ roll–Beat poet persona strengthened his already active sense of the possibilities between poetry and music and led to Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966), albums that ignited an explosion of poetic song verse. Instead of portraying themselves as the descendants of Woody Guthrie, Bukka White, and Pete Seeger, artists returned to the theatrics of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis but retained the cerebral, self-consciously artistic emphasis that characterized songs and poetry in Beat coffeehouses. This combination released Dylan and others from songwriting conventions that ranged from the length of individual songs to how albums were conceptualized, recorded, and produced. In essence, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Doors, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks, and others followed Dylan’s lead and expanded fifties rock ’n’ rollers’ sounds and emphasis on performance, assuming often extravagant yet artistically resonant personae that resulted in songs and albums replete with ambitious wordplay and sonic arrangements.

Is poetic song verse a uniquely American invention? How did America’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, war, and sexism affect its creation?

Poetic song verse sprung from a confluence of the blues—a quintessential American art form—and various types of contemporary poetry that developed in the United States.  That said, artists around the world quickly started to write songs in this mode, largely due to blues artists’ popularity in England and other countries, and to Dylan’s influence on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others.

The history of slavery had a profound influence on the blues, which grew out of nineteenth-century spirituals and work songs, much like those styles grew out of various African musical traditions.  Nineteenth century work songs and blues songs written during the era of Jim Crow often contained “coded” lyrics that indirectly commented on topics that would have raised the ire of their oppressors.  This practice melded with techniques employed by contemporary poets in the work of songwriters from Dylan to Joni Mitchell to Marvin Gaye to Bruce Springsteen to Grandmaster Flash to Lucinda Williams.

The War in Vietnam also had a strong influence on many songwriters.  They often combined surrealistic imagery that they encountered in contemporary poetry with imagery from various African and Western metaphysical traditions.  This combination led to songs like the Stones’s “Gimme Shelter.”

What artists do you see as the contemporary and future upholders of this new tradition? 

Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Kendrick Lamar, Norah Jones, Dave Grohl, Fiona Apple, Lorde, Aimee Mann, Fantastic Negrito, Josh Ritter, Lyle Lovett, Luther Dickinson, Jason Isbell.

Death of Classical - PUBLIQuartet Freedom & Faith, credit Kevin Condon 6 via Olivia Rainoff at Unison Media for use by 360 Magazine

PUBLIQuartet Freedom and Faith Performance

Death of Classical will continue its third season of The Angel’s Share this August, with the innovative PUBLIQuartet performing in the Catacombs of The Green-Wood Cemetery on August 4, 6, and 7. The Angel’s Share is the Death of Classical’s second concert series, curated by the creator, curator, and leader of the series, Andrew Ousley, in partnership with Green-Wood. The perform will take place in the Catacombs of The Green-Wood Cemetary in Brooklyn, New York City.

The quartet will perform a program inspired by its GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album Freedom and Faith, featuring works that celebrate women composers through the ages, and explore ideas of spirituality, resilience, and inspiration.

Performances of Freedom and Faith will take place over the course of three evenings, with two performances per night, and include music by Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Jessie Montgomery, Hildegard von Bingen, as well as original MIND THE GAP compositions by PUBLIQuartet.

The innovative, barrier-breaking string quartet performs a program inspired by its GRAMMY-nominated album Freedom and Faith, featuring music that celebrates women composers through the ages, and explores ideas of spirituality, resilience, and inspiration.

The ensemble is innovating the performance of classic music and opera by incorporating free-flowing improvisational instrumentation and group compositions into their exhibitions. Death of Classical represents a modern take on timeless classic compositions by giving a voice to emerging performers and underrepresented composers. While many people say “Classical Music is Dead,” this group’s revitalized take on classical music allows for the group’s performances to reach new, younger, unexpected audiences then ever before. With their innovative and exciting twist on the performing arts, Death of Classic is reviving a passion for the genre.

Concerts feature works by Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Jessie Montgomery, Hildegard von Bingen, and original MIND THE GAP compositions by PUBLIQuartet.

Each performance includes a pre-concert reception with a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and harbor at sunset, with distilleries including Madre Mezcal, Appalachian Gap Distillery, Ume Plum Liqueur, and more

The Angel’s Share series takes its name from the distiller’s term for whiskey that evaporates while maturing in the barrel, thus going to the angels. Accordingly, the live concert events on August 4, 6, and 7 will open with a spirits tasting, with distilleries including Madre MezcalAppalachian Gap DistilleryUme Plum Liqueur, and more. The Angel’s Share is curated by Andrew Ousley and co-presented by Death of Classical and The Green-Wood Historic Fund.

Listing Info

August 4, 6 & 7, 2021 at 6:00PM and 7:30PM
PUBLIQuartet: “Freedom and Faith
Live at The Green-Wood Cemetery

JESSICA MEYER: Get into the Now (2017)
The Pull
Years of In Me
Go Big or Go Home

MIND | THE | GAP: Sancta Femina *
HILDEGARD VON BINGEN: O ignee Spiritus
FRANCESCA CACCINI: Regina caeli laetare Alleluia
CHIARA MARGARITA COZZOLANI: O quam suavis est Domine spiritus tuus

MIND | THE | GAP: Ella! & Nina! *
VAN ALEXANDER: A Tisket a Tasket
NINA SIMONE/HERB SACKER : Blackbird
LESLIE BRICUSSE/ANTHONY NEWLEY:  Feelin’ Good
NINA SIMONE/WELDON IRVINE: Young Gifted and Black
NINA SIMONE: Mississippi Goddam

‍*Arr. Gookin, Norpoth, Revel, Stewart 2017-2018

Performers:

PUBLIQuartet
Curtis Stewart, violin
Jannina Norpoth, violin
Nick Revel, viola
Hamilton Berry, cello

About PUBLIQuartet

Applauded by The Washington Post as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music,” and by The New Yorker as “independent-minded,” the GRAMMY nominated PUBLIQuartet’s modern interpretation of chamber music makes them one of the most dynamic artists of their generation.  Dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet, PUBLIQuartet rose on the music scene as winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places award, and in 2019 garnered Chamber Music America’s prestigious Visionary Award for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music.  PQ’s genre-bending programs range from 20th century masterworks to newly commissioned pieces, alongside re-imaginations of classical works featuring open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.

Death of Classical - PUBLIQuartet Freedom & Faith, credit Kevin Condon 6 via Olivia Rainoff at Unison Media for use by 360 Magazine

Taylor Swift illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION) BOWS AT #1 IN THE U.S., UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA & MORE AND BECOMES TAYLOR SWIFT’S 3RD #1 ALBUM IN LESS THAN A YEAR & THE BIGGEST COUNTRY ALBUM DEBUT SINCE 2015
 
BIGGEST FIRST-WEEK DEBUT OF 2021 & BIGGEST FEMALE COUNTRY STREAMING WEEK EVER!

LISTEN TO FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION) HERE

Returning to #1 around the world and breaking numerous records, Taylor Swift has made history yet again with Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Notably, she’s the first woman with three new No. 1 albums in less than a year. Moving over 1 million units worldwide, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) logged the “biggest first week debut of any album this year,” “the biggest first week debut for a country album since 2015” and “the biggest female country streaming week ever. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the only No. 1 album of its kind: a re-recording of an artist’s (own or another’s) previously released album.
 
Generating 50 million-plus streams on release day, it also achieved “the biggest first day streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year” and marked her fourth consecutive album to exceed 50 million Spotify streams in 24 hoursFearless (Taylor’s Version) also becomes the first country album by a female artist to reach #1 on Apple Music’s US Albums chart.
 
In addition to capturing #1 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart and #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, it went #1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. It debuted Top 5 in Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands and in Germany it was the biggest debut by a country album in the history of Germany’s album chart. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) charted at #1 on the iTunes Top Overall Albums Chart in 61 countries.
 
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) stands out as Taylor’s 4th #1 album in less than two years with the “3 biggest debuts since July 2020” with folkloreevermore, and Fearless (Taylor’s Version). It also emerges as “the biggest female country album debut since the inception of the Billboard Top 200 album-based conception charts in 2014.” Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the eleven-time GRAMMY Award-winning, record-breaking superstar’s 9th #1 Album.
 
Taylor entered rarified air across the pond as Fearless (Taylor’s Version) became her 3rd album to chart #1 during its debut week in less than a year in the UK. The Beatles had previously accomplished this incredible feat the fastest in 364 days, but Taylor eclipsed the speed of The Fab Four as she reached this benchmark and accumulated three #1’s in just 259 days—a difference of 105 days.
 
Not only did it become her 7th #1 in the country, but Taylor became “the first and only solo artist ever to claim three UK #1 albums in less than 12 months during the 21st century” and “the first ever international artist and first ever female artist to land three #1 albums in the UK within one year in history.”
 
Physical sales of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) outsold the remaining combined total physical sales of the UK Top 15. The permanent downloads also bested the remaining combined total permanent downloads of the Top 70. She shattered her own record for the second time in the last year as “the first and only female artist to garner 7 #1 studio albums in the UK this century. Additionally, she has gathered “the 3rd Most #1 albums in the UK by a female artist.
 
Down Under, Taylor is now “the first artist to release three #1 albums in a 12-month period in Australia.” Taylor is the first artist to have three different albums top the ARIA Charts in a twelve-month period. She bests her own record of “the shortest span of #1 albums in Australia” with only 17 weeks between evermore and Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Her previous record was 20 weeks between folklore and evermore. With eight total #1 albums in Australia, she is second for “female artist with most #1 albums” only behind Madonna and just behind Eminem for “most consecutive #1 albums.” At radio, “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version)” bows in the Top 10 on the Airplay Chart.

REVIEWS OF FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION)

  • A Rating” – The A.V. Club, Saloni Gajjar
  • “5/5 Stars” – The Daily Telegraph, Neil McCormick
  • “Fearless was always an exceptionally fine album of country-pop songs, detailing the romantic fixations of a wholesome teenage American girl on the verge of adulthood, and guess what? It still is.” – The Daily Telegraph, Neil McCormick
  • “4/5 Stars” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
  • “Her thirtysomething voice is richer, deeper, and more sure of itself.” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
  • “There are the songs that feel more moving now than they did 13 years ago.” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
  • “4/5 Stars” – The Guardian, Alexis Petridis
  • “Fearless is the kind of album in which fans have a genuine emotional investment.” – The Guardian, Alexis Petridis
  • “She’s changed from a talented kid with a guitar to one of today’s biggest superstars.” – USA Today, Hannah Yasharoff
  • “The new album is really well done.” – Entertainment Weekly, Lauren Huff
  • “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” Is Even More Beautiful Than The Original Album” – Buzzfeed, Ryan Schocket
  • “Taylor’s vocals are undeniably stronger, smoother, and more connected than ever.” – Buzzfeed, Ryan Schocket
  • “The vault songs are making everyone question why the album wasn’t 27 tracks long to begin with.” – Buzzfeed, Ellie Bate
  • “Taylor Swift’s Fearless Re-Recording Is a Thrilling Timewarp.” – SPIN, Bobby Olivier
  • “4/5 Stars” – i Newspaper, Sarah Carson
  • “There are lyrics throughout Taylor Swift’s breakthrough record Fearless that nearly 13 years later, feel prophetic.” – i Newspaper, Sarah Carson
  • “There’s something really special about listening to Taylor sing these songs knowing the huge distance between where she is now and who she was when she wrote them.” – TIME, Annabel Gutterman
  • “I love that this re-recorded album is essentially a love letter to being a teenage girl. The world still dismisses teenage girls as not serious enough, too dramatic, and overall too much. Adolescence is often looked back on with embarrassment and shame. But these songs make me want to give my former 14-year-old self a hug and tell her she was doing just fine.” – TIME, Samantha
  • “It’s really a triumph of self-knowledge and self-awareness, in the way that Swift is so hyper-conscious of the ways she’s matured that she has the ability to un-mature before our very ears.” – Variety, Chris Willman
  • “Has there been a greater pop single in the 20th century than “You Belong With Me”? Probably not.” – Variety, Chris Willman
  • “It would not be surprising if, as we speak, Big Machine was putting a combined team of scientists and lawyers on the case of the new album’s waveform readouts, to make sure it’s not just the original album, remixed. Honestly, it’s that close.” – Variety, Chris Willman
  • “4/5 Stars” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
  • “‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ both celebrates and stays true to Swift’s ‘Fearless’-era.” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
  • “Swift never cringes away from her younger self. Instead, she revisits the songs with kindness and affection, celebrating the success of her teenage releases.” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
  • “Taylor Swift’s Fearless album proves her songs were written to last.” – The Independent, Roisin O’Connor
  • “We can’t help but be impressed…” – Evening Standard, David Smyth
  • “Taylor Swift has taken control.” – Forbes, Abigail Freeman
  • “ALBUM OF WEEK: The real treats are the extra tracks, previously unreleased outtakes from the Fearless sessions. Maren Morris duets on the gorgeous You All Over Me, Keith Urban crops up and Mr Perfectly Fine is the banger that should have shown 13 years ago why country alone could never contain Swift’s talent.” – The Sunday Times, Lisa Verrico
  • “I immediately went to the chorus of “Fifteen,” one of my 2000s pop high-water marks, to see if I’d get chills. Good news: I did. Felt that gut punch during “White Horse.” “You Belong With Me” had that crucial air of resignation.” – The New York Times, Jon Caramanica
  • “As she dives back into her past work, it’s another reminder of what she brought to the genre — and what it lost when she moved on.” – The Washington Post, Emily Yahr
  • “The redone tracks from the original release, which make up the album’s first portion, are almost uniformly better than their forebears: warmer, crisper, more clearly enunciated. They sound newer and, at the same time, more lived-in.” – The Washington Post, Allison Stewart
  • “Taylor Swift releases a ‘perfect replica’ of Fearless.” – BBC, Mark Savage
  • “Damn, this album holds up – not only to the hype of its initial release, but despite that, beyond that.” – Consequence of Sound, Katie Moulton
  • “8/10” – The Line of Best Fit, Ross Horton
  • “4/5 Stars” – The Times, Will Hodgkinson
  • “Swifties grab your tissues, the release of Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is finally here in all its nostalgic and emotional glory.” – Wonderland, Staff Writer
  • “8/10” – Clash, Lucy Harbron
  • “Like a restored photograph brightening from black and white into colour, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the same, but better.” – Clash, Lucy Harbron
  • “It’s the latest evidence that Swift is not just fearless but also relentless.” – Stereogum, Chris DeVille
  • “8/10” – Gigwise, Kelsey Barnes
  • “Swift is creating a bridge between two worlds; one where she’s merging older, timeless songs with a mature voice and outlook.” – Gigwise, Kelsey Barnes
  • “4/5 Stars” – The Evening Standard, David Smyth
  • “A masterclass in classic Nashville songwriting, from the searing melodrama of Love Story to the breakdown of a relationship in Breathe.” – The Times, Will Hodgkinson
  • “5/5 Stars” – The Sun, Simon Boyle
  • “This is brilliant pop” – The Sun, Simon Boyle

LISTEN TO FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION) HERE

cruise illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

CruiseCompete Expands Cruise Offerings

CruiseCompete Adds 2 More Expedition Cruise Lines to Its Collection of Cruise Offerings

Expedition Cruise Ship requests are up 148% over 2019 according to the travel experts at CruiseCompete. The destinations offered by these expedition lines include Antarctic, Arctic, Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe and all the Americas (Central, North, South). To see a comprehensive listing of expedition, explorer and yacht types of ships visit All Things Cruise here.

CruiseCompete, the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003, lauded by the press and consumers alike, has added two more expedition cruise lines to its expansive offerings:

The lines added are Atlas Ocean Voyages and Lindblad Expeditions. Click to see Atlas Ocean Voyages Cruises’ expedition ship World Navigator.

See Atlas Ocean Voyages expedition cruise specials here.

About
Atlas Ocean Voyages is innovating the industry by focusing on authentic, active and adventurous experiences in some of the world’s most captivating destinations, such as Antarctica, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Central and South America. The line’s luxurious and intimate small ships will bring inspired travelers on exciting itineraries for invigorating at-sea and shoreside adventures, while employing the latest sustainability technology to help preserve the waters they ply for future generations to enjoy. Read more on their website.

Lindblad Expeditions and the Lindblad Legacy of Respectful Tourism

When Lars-Eric Lindblad set out with the first groups of expedition travelers in the late 1950’s, he was following his passion to discover unknown places and to share the unique cultural and environmental aspects of these places with others. These first adventure travel expeditions led many to define him as the father of “eco-tourism.”

CruiseCompete welcomes Atlas Ocean Voyages and Lindblad Expeditions to our collection of expedition cruises. Browse all cruise lines and expedition ships on CruiseCompete here. Expedition ships on CruiseCompete are designated with an (E) after the ship name to signify Expedition. Click here to search all cruises on CruiseCompete.

CruiseCompete member-advisors are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. It’s simple to use: Find the desired cruise. Request quotes. Compare personalized offers, prices, upgrades, cabin credits and more. Contact member-advisors with questions and to book. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruise tour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

About CruiseCompete
CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praise here).

Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. Almost 2 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and member-advisors have delivered nearly 18 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel advisors, see consumer reviews of advisors and agencies, and then contact travel advisors directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, the leading authority and resource for family travel information, and is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel advisors compete to offer you the best deal,” following similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.”

For more information, please visit their website. To check out group cruise options, click here.

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company, is not a travel agency or owned by a travel agency.

Morgan Wallen – 7 Summers

Big Loud/Republic Records’ Morgan Wallen has released the highly-anticipated official music video for his “dreamy, melancholy and unabashedly wistful” (Billboard) Top 30 single “7 Summers.”

Directed by Justin Clough and shot in Nashville, TN, the cinematic, eight-minute short film marks Wallen’s acting debut and depicts the song’s “nostalgic look back at a lost love” (Rolling Stone), reviving what happened “seven summers ago” on-screen.

WATCH “7 SUMMERS” HERE

This Wednesday (11/11), Wallen will perform his chart-racing Top 3 single “More Than My Hometown” while vying for New Artist of the Year on the 54th Annual CMA Awards airing on ABC.

KEEP UP WITH MORGAN WALLEN
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE

ABOUT MORGAN WALLEN:
Morgan Wallen has staked his claim as Country music’s next superstar with nearly 3 BILLION+ on-demand streams, MULTI-PLATINUM certifications, and three consecutive chart-toppers. “Unapologetically fresh and modern” (The Tennessean), the dynamic Tennessee native has been riding a red hot streak since 2017, collecting accolades including Best New Country Artist at the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards, Billboard’s #1 song of 2019 on both the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts (multi-week #1 “Whiskey Glasses”), ACM, CMA and CMT Music Awards nominations, recognized on PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch and MusicRow’s 2019 Next Big Thing lists, plus high-profile features in the Los Angeles TimesAssociated PressThe Washington PostGenius, and more. Wallen proved his crossover appeal with 2X PLATINUM Diplo collaboration “Heartless,” and previewed his highly anticipated sophomore album with New Year’s surprise drop “This Bar,” current Top 3 single “More Than My Hometown,” and record-breaking hit “7 Summers,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and inside the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 while shattering first-day streaming records at Apple Music and Spotify.

The Intersection Between Chairman Warren Buffett & Chairman Mao Tse-tong

The Extreme Capitalism Hidden Deep Within Socialism

I had the most interesting Uber ride the other day.  My driver was named Ramon.  A very intelligent gentleman whose ingenuity resulted in a plexiglass wall erected between the front and back seats of his vehicle, I noted how clever his idea was in my mind.  He thanked me, then launched into an engaging and highly enjoyable conversation of which I welcomed.  I learned a lot about his life, his gratitude towards the United States as someone who had immigrated here as well as the challenges Covid-19 had placed on his recent marital union.  He hadn’t seen his wife in eight months.  A citizen of Nicaragua, their delay was Covid-19 made.  He missed her dearly but told me that they Facetimed daily.  Still he was grateful towards the United States.  I listened carefully, wondering for a moment, what it must be like to be him.

Ramon continued talking.  Then upon reaching my destination, he proceeded to ask me a question.  He stated that in all his years of driving for Uber, only one person had answered this question correctly.  Intrigued, I was determined to increase that number to two.  He said, “Do you know about Little Red Book?”  I racked my brain.  Unfortunately, the original title holder still stands.  I didn’t know.

Ramon would go on to explain to me what this book was all about then suggested that I read it.  We then went on to exchange Facebook information so that I might share my thoughts with him about it after I had.  Admittedly, before the day was out, I had the book in my hot, little hands.  I devoured it quickly.  A collection of statements, speeches, and writings by the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Mao Tse-tong, the book clearly explains the interlinking of Communism, Leninism, Marxism, and Socialism alongside the overriding core philosophies and goals. For those who never read it, pick up a copy.  The relevancy to the transformation our own nation has been undergoing within the last hundred years is clearly laid out, explaining how we arrived to the point that we are today, a time when Socialism sounds good to so many.

What jumped out at me while reading Little Red Book was the extreme Capitalism that lies beneath this philosophy, ideology, political agenda, and (make no mistake about it) religion.

Not unlike in this case, I’ve never known any kind of extremism that was good.  Suffice it to say, I liken Socialism to a triangle, whereby the top point of the triangle must compel the bottom two points to hop on board and work for them, which includes convincing everyone in the middle to do the same, all in the name of equality and safety.  Once this is done, the top point will grow extremely wealthy on the backs of the rest, justifying this by the very equality and security that opened the door to the treasure trove to begin with.  Equality and security among the rest will continue to remain so long as no one decides to question the vast differences in wealth between the upper most point and everyone else.  In corporate terms, the proprietor rally’s his workers. Then, when the company becomes a multi-million dollar entity, forgets who put him there, takes all of the profits, then fires his team one by one when they begin to ask questions instead of rewarding them for jobs well-done and incentivizing them.  Unlike earlier days when our corporate culture took care of its employees garnering loyalty and hard work as a result, so much of what has occurred since, in the form of unfairness and greed, has literally unrolled the welcome mat for Socialism to walk its way into and across our borders.  And yet the solution is just another version of the extreme Capitalism that compelled the outrage to begin with.  It is in the “extreme” that lies the true problem and needs to be changed, whether it be in business, government or human relations in all its forms and definitions.

And it seems another highly regarded Chairman agrees, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett.  A brilliant Capitalist whose wisdom remains steadfast among generations of capitalists, Buffett prizes human ingenuity and the deployment of resources, harboring a “we’ve only just begun” mentality.  However, he cautions against “Capitalism left unchecked” beyond just in the corporate world.  In an interview with CNBC, Buffett offers this solution to “government left unchecked,”

“I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there’s a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right.” — Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO Berkshire Hathaway.

The idea of fair Capitalism, fair government, and fair human relations is what I think everyone in this nation is really fighting for, not equal even….just fair.  “Everyone” that is but those extreme Capitalists masked as Socialists (the ‘uppermost-point on the triangle’ crowd) who have been reading the room correctly for a very long time and in that capitalized on the very failures extreme Capitalism invoked, including generations of hardworking people who woke up everyday, went to work, then returned home feeling completely taken advantage of and resentful.  And you wonder where the pervasive foothold to Socialism in the United States began?

The reality is however that extreme Capitalism and fair Capitalism can not exist in the same room.  As Mao Tse-Tung put it in Chapter Four of Little Red Book,

 Before a brand-new social system can be built on the site of the old, the site must be swept clean. Invariably, remnants of oldideas reflecting the old system remain in people’s minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way. After a co-operative is established, it must go through many more struggles before it can be consolidated.”

I fear we are experiencing the “sweeping clean” phase of our national conversion with all of us just waking up to what’s been happening for some time now.  In our own greed and extreme Capitalism, we fell asleep at the wheel and are currently driving off a cliff because we lost our credibility with those who helped this country grow rich and their offspring.

Only they don’t realize that they won’t get any richer by allowing us to do so.  The wealth will just be diverted to those coaxing them along.

“People say that poverty is bad, but in fact poverty is good. The poorer people are, the more revolutionary they are. It is dreadful to imagine a time when everyone will be rich.” — Mao Tse-tung 

No doubt, things need to change but trading one master for another isn’t the way to do it.  But have we woken up too late?  I guess that answer lies in the question, “Will we opt for fair Capitalism going forward or extreme Capitalism by another name?”

For the second time in two days, I don’t have a clue.  The tale has yet to be written.  I am certain, however, that we will all soon find out…including Ramon, whose Uber I am darn happy I took yesterday.

“You are a gentleman and a scholar in all senses of the word,” my new friend.  “Thank you for compelling me to take this philosophical journey.  I am the better for it and so will many others be in reading this article.”

My Panama hat’s off to you! (an inside joke)

My Bio:

Laura J. Wellington is the Founder of THREAD MB.  A TEDx Speaker, Award-winning children’s television creator, and author, Wellington’s newest book “Be Careful What You Wish For” releases October 2020.  A Forbes Enterprise Award winner, Telly Award winner, and Buzz Award winner, Wellington has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CCTV, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.

Ellen DeGeneres illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Ellen’s Reputation

By Eamonn Burke

The reputation of Ellen Degeneres and her show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, are unstable after employees of the production alleged there was a “toxic work environment.” This included citations of being fired after medical leave, bullying, racism, and sexual misconduct by producers. While there were rumors of Ellen’s toughness, this is the first time a proper investigation has been done internally. 

Of the report, released in July, Ellen said in a statement: “We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention.”

This report is not the only scratch on Ellen’s reputation, as it is the culmination of multiple years of rumors. Back in 2018, in an interview response to the Hollywood stories of Ellen not being as cheerful and kind as she appears on television, she called the rumors an “outright lie.” In early 2019, she was criticized again for pardoning Kevin Hart of his previous homophobic comments in an interview with him. A photo of her talking with George Bush in late 2019 drew distaste again, though she defended herself and said that they were friends despite different political beliefs. 

The closer examination of Ellen started with a November interview with Dakota Johnson, in which Johnson awkwardly calls out Ellen for lying about not being invited to her birthday party. It led to a viral Twitter thread including ugly stories about Ellen’s meanness which further damaged her reputation. Lastly before the report was an April scuffle with Ellen’s audience as she insensitively compared quarantine to being in jail while she sat in her mansion. It was also reported that her employees had been told very little about the future of the show. 

Most recently was a Daily Mail article revealing that Ellen may leave the show or be “cancelled” and that employees are terrified of this scenario. “The show feels done” says a source, despite producer Andy Lassner asserting that “No one is going off the air” in a tweet. It is possible that James Corden will replace Ellen on her daytime television slot.

Conspiracy illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

‘Wayfairgate’

By Mina Tocalini

Wayfair Conspiracy irrupts over Twitter and Reddit with #wayfair, accusing the company of being involved in a child trafficking scheme. The trend sparked after Reddit user, PrincessPeach1987, posted a speculation on the conspiracy subreddit last Friday. The post expressed concern over the high prices of cabinets found on Wayfair, and contemplated whether it was a front for the sale of missing children.

Conspiracy Claims:

Counter Claims:

  • Wayfair stated the high prices were accurate for commercial grade products, but the descriptions and images provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the price.
  • Wayfair explained to Reuters that the company’s algorithm uses first names, geographic locations and common words for naming purposes.
  • Newsweek reported that SKUs did not return images of a single child and the same results were presented using a random set of numbers.
  • The Wayfair employee walkout protested contracts with ICE, but no complaints were made regarding posting missing children for sale

Social media’s effective dissemination of information is a clear strength, but we must also acknowledge the fact that it has the power to sensationalize rumors without consequence. The 2016 ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy accused a Washington D.C pizzeria of being linked to a child trafficking ring run by the Democratic Party. Specifically, it targeted Hillary Clinton, the Presidential candidate for the 2016 election and was yet another attempt to discredit her. ‘Pizzagate’  was widely debunked, but continues to be believed by social media users till this day. The Wayfair Conspiracy expresses similar concerns and is based on the inferences and connections derived from little and inaccurate evidence. Furthermore, its claims can be

considered to be a distraction from more concrete searches for missing children. Like any conspiracy, its influence lies more in faith. Regardless, we each have the right to our opinions. Considering the effect this may have on the welfare of the company and its employees, will you debunk the claims made? Or defend the possibility of children being trafficked?

Colin Kaepernick illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Colin Kaepernick × Disney

By Mina Tocalini

Civil rights activist and former football quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, partners with the Walt Disney Company via his production company Ra Vision Media. The collaboration will direct their projects towards elevating Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, in an effort to inspire today’s youth, announced Kaepernick on media. The first project will follow Kapernick’s life story in a docuseries.

While playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem became the topic of national debate. Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to the social injustice and police brutality faced by African Americans every day in the United States. In light of the recent uproar of activism after the death of George Floyd, Kaepernick’s partnership with Disney will provide the much-needed stories and perspectives that have been denied in our society. 

The Undefeated will be working side by side with Kaepernick to develop future projects committed to create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain. The Undefeated is a platform established with ESPN that explores the intersections of race, sports and culture. Nonetheless, the partnership will work with all Walt Disney affiliates: Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar.

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