Stationary bikes that power your gadgets as you pedal are this week's innovation pick. They've already appeared in railway stations and airports in Europe and may be for sale later this year.
It’s unlikely that someone outside the jazz scene would cite Clark Terry if asked to name an influential jazz musician. That’s something legendary music producer Quincy Jones and documentary filmmaker Alan Hicks hope to change.
The two have paired up to make “Keep on Keepin’ On,” a documentary that explains Terry’s role in shaping American jazz music and follows Terry’s work with one of his students.
Both Jones and Hicks agree Terry is one of the best trumpet players ever. He played with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and many more. He was also a member of Johnny Carson’s house band, the NBC Orchestra.
Hicks realized early on that to really illustrate Terry’s greatest legacy, they’d have to show him teaching.
“When we were doing interviews with all these greats, they would constantly be saying, 'Yeah, he’s one of the greatest trumpet players that ever lived, but he’s also one of the greatest teachers to have ever lived,'” Hicks says.
Terry was known to be generous with his time with developing musicians. His students include Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Jones himself.
“I was 12, and I studied with him when I was 13,” Jones says. He remembers skipping school in Seattle to hang out with jazz musicians.
“Seattle was perfect to hang out with guys like Clark, and I begged him to give me a lesson,” he says.
Terry and a student, pianist Justin Kauflin, share a special bond. Kauflin has been blind since he was 11, and Terry went blind more recently after a lifetime of diabetes. In the documentary, the two work through the ups and downs of trying to launch Kauflin’s jazz career.
Jones says that’s harder to do now than back when he started.
“Back then, you couldn’t get away from jazz," Jones says. "It was in the air, the water. Today, they have to resist the pressure of their peers to say, ‘Let’s go see Lil Wayne, Jay Z and Kanye [West].”
In the midst of worldwide panic over Ebola, Africa's most populous nation has started to celebrate. Nigeria's outbreak began in July, and now the country is on the verge of victory.
African officials say they will prosecute Thomas Eric Duncan for failing to disclose at the airport his contact with an Ebola patient — a fact the hospital treating him said also was hidden from them.
Turkey had declined to join the international coalition launching attacks against Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Today and by a large margin, the country's parliament approved military action.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway already owns NetJets and BNSF Railway, and now it's buying the fifth-largest car dealership in the U.S., the Van Tuyl Group. For those of you keeping score at home, that's planes, trains and automobiles.
(That's Buffett’s joke, by the way, delivered Thursday morning on CNBC.)
“Automobile sales is something that I think Warren Buffett feels he can understand, and therefore forecast, and therefore evaluate,” says Meyer Shields, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which does business with Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett hasn’t said how much Berkshire paid, but he did say the Van Tuyl Group’s revenue is around $9 billion.
As Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific, points out, “$9 billion is a lot of cars.” Since the financial crisis, Sullivan says, car dealers have been consolidating and their business model has changed. As cars have gotten more reliable, drivers are spending less on repairs.
“When you are making your money pretty much all in sales, bigger is better," he says.
The average age of a car is 12 years old, and Sullivan sees that as an indicator that there is pent-up demand. “It’s a pretty exciting time to be getting into the auto industry for Mr. Buffett," he says.
It is also exciting for the auto industry that Buffett is getting involved with. “I think it is a positive signal to investors and consumers, for that matter, that this is a very healthy, growing industry,” says David Kass, who teaches finance at the University of Maryland and closely tracks Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett says he plans to buy more dealerships, most of which are privately owned. Something else makes the timing good for Buffett: A lot of underperforming dealerships have closed since the recession — dealerships that sold Fords, GMs and Chryslers. That means the ones that are left have gotten more profitable.