Serj Tankian releases video for new single

System of a Down frontman Serj tankian’s third solo release, “Harakiri” is currently scheduled to hit stores July 10th.  In anticipation of the upcoming release, Tankian has released the video for the first single from the album, ‘Figure It Out.’  Tankian said of the video, “”It’s a comical political song talking about abusive capitalism and the differences created in economic stature and the reaction to it.”  He added, “CEOs have gotten away with murder, until now…”  

The video shows Tankian and his band performing in front of an image of a stock market monitor, while images of CEO’s flash throughout the video.  The CEO’s are the stereotpyical figures, smoking their cigars, drinking champagne, and partying as a banner reading, “Bailout Party” hangs above them.

Fans can check out the video now on Noisecreep, right here: 

http://www.noisecreep.com/2012/05/24/serj-tankian-figure-it-out-video/ .

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The Business Playground is Child’s Play in a good way

Dave Stewart is most commonly known for his role as one half of the pop group, Eurythmics.  But what a lot of people probably don’t know about Mr. Stewart is that he is quite the intelligent businessman.  And his recent book, The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide shows just how smart he is.  Stewart partnered with Mark Simmons to write what comes across as a textbook, but is easy enough for even a casual reader or even a business student to understand.  From the colors and cartoony characters, and simple writing style (and associated short chapters), it’s likely to become one of the next standards for understanding business success.  It will help businesses succeed both at the employee level, and that of the CEO. 

The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide has a lot going for itself.  It’s written in the simplest possible terms for its readers.  The writing style used for the book is so simple that it would be no surprise if at least some colleges and universities across the globe were using it in their business management classes.  If not, they should be.  It even includes pre-highlighted sections that point out some important and semi-important facts.  Among those highlighted sections is one statement that expertly sums up the entire book.  It reads, “It’s likely that some people are in fact more creative than other people, but we all have the ability to think creatively and certain activities can bring out that ability”.  Stewart and Simmons attempt to bring out that ability by writing the book in layman’s terms, instead of business legalese that only a select group can grasp.

This may come across as odd, but the book’s simple terms are only a small part of what makes The Business Playground the innovation that it is.  Most books about businesses are as cold as the businesses about which they are written.  This work, on the other hand, is much warmer and more welcoming.  It’s not a standard hardback book with lots of big words in tiny print.  Instead, it’s a paperback book.  It’s not stiff and rigid, like said businesses, and their descriptive text books.  The chapters are relatively short.  And they’re explained in a way that not only students and businesses can understand, but that average readers can grasp. 

Still not enough?  Well how about the fact that it uses bright colors and cartoonish figures throughout.  Yes that’s right.  It incorporates lots of bright colors and cartoonish figures to grasp the rearder’s attention.  One would think it was written for children.  But adults are nothing but grown up children.  Most casual readers don’t want something overly difficult.  And if ever there was something difficult to understand, it’s how to get one’s innovations to be used in business.  By using the bright colors, and cartoony figures, the book is easier on the reader’s eyes.    In turn readers are more inclined to not immediately toss the book aside.

The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide is one of the best books about the business world written in recent history.  Because of its ease in reading, and general assembly, it could become the model for businesses and business schools alike for many years to come.  And it could make Stewart and Simmons themselves leaders of the business world.

Chasing Madoff a gripping real life crime drama

Bernie Madoff is one of the most hated individuals in the history of the United States.  He is so hated because of a crime that cost countless others their entire lives.  Now, in the new documentary, “Chasing Madoff” audiences see exactly the devastation that Madoff brought not only on single individuals and families, but also potentially on the entire economic system of the United States.  And all it took to reveal this was one single person.

Harry Markopolous tells his story in this stunning work, of how he came to discover the massive financial fraud being covered by Madoff.  It all began a decade before Madoff was eventually arrested at 8:30 in the morning on December 11, 2008.  In the course of his story, Markopolous tells viewers how scared he was to really delve into the case and bring it to light.  He explains that another whistleblower had been beaten and left for dead because of that person’s attempt to uncover wrongdoings.  That alone puts this real life story up there with some of the best legal thrillers by the likes of author John Grisham.  Viewers also see how Madoff actually covered up his crime for so long before finally being caught.  That too, made this such an enthralling work, as it makes one wonder how he got away with it for so long.  That leads to another eye opening aspect of the documentary. 

What’s really eye opening in this documentary isn’t so much the massive extent of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  But that as a result of its discovery, members of the SEC and the federal government started pointing fingers at each other, sniping at one another like a bunch of children.  Seeing this behavior in the context of the Madoff case serves to prove exactly why Americans are so fed up with Wall Street and the people charged with monitoring its behaviors.  While it is a documentary, it’s not exactly presented in the standard mold of a documentary.  Through interviews with those who lost their money thanks to Madoff, and the people sniffing out Madoff’s trail, those who are really interested in this massive financial fraud scheme will really find themselves enthralled by the whole presentation.  

“Chasing Madoff” is one of the most gripping real life dramas in modern history.  It’s the kind of stuff that simply cannot be made up, to use a phrase.  But it’s definitely the stuff that can be made into stories.  It’s also a perfect documentary for college level finance and business classes.  It serves as a reminder of everything that can happen as a result of one person’s misdeeds.  Most of all (bad joke here), it serves as a reminder that for criminals on any level, crime simply doesn’t pay.  Anyone who followed the madoff case remembers that as a result of his crimes, he will likely die in prison, having been sentenced to nearly two hundred years in prison for his crimes.  The sad reality of all of this is that while Madoff may never see the light of day again outside prisn walls, those who lost everything will likely never regain their sense of trust among so much more.  All of this in mind, Chasing Madoff is one of those documentaries that will alsways have a niche audience.  But it will most definitely never be forgotten.