NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a poll in March and early April to find out how stress is affecting people in the U.S. Here's what we found.
The former Soviet minister and Georgian president is credited with helping end the Cold War. He died Monday following a long illness, his spokeswoman tells the media.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York added the first downloadable app to its collection this month: Björk’s Biophilia, which the singer released in 2011 along with an album of the same name.
The app opens to a swirling constellation with a brightly colored star for each song from the album. In a recent demo, Paul Galloway, who manages MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection, selects a song called “Virus,” the screen of his iPad filling with gently jostling pink cells.
“It’s like looking in a microscope down at cells,” he says, noting that Björk is using the virus as a metaphor for love.
As the song progresses, small green virus cells come into view and start to attack the existing pink cells.
“Like a virus needs a body, soft tissue, as soft tissue feeds on blood,” Björk sings. “Someday I'll find you, the urge is here.”
If Galloway flicks the green virus cells off screen, the vocals stop.
The whole display is oddly beautiful and mesmerizing. Each song has its own unique design and way for users to interact with it.
“You now becomce a part of the team that’s creating Björk’s music,” says Galloway. “That’s a really powerful thing to enable your users to do.”
Beauty and interactivity – these are two elements of Biophilia that make the app art, says Galloway.
“[What] we also look for is this something that’s moving the field forward,” he adds. “Is it a masterpiece? Because we aspire to be a museum that’s chock full of masterpieces.”
Galloway thinks this is Björk’s equivalent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
While it’s the museum’s first downloadable app, it follows other digital acquisitions in typography and video games like Tetris.
It’s the latest example that museums are taking digital art seriously, says Heather Corcoran, the executive director of Rhizome, an art and technology organization. She says it’s natural for artists to work with technology as a medium given its current impact on culture. But even still, she notes this app is part of MoMA’s design department.
“I think that design within museums has a lot more freedom to push boundaries,” she says. “It’s not quite as attached to this really established canon of art history, so a lot of the most adventurous collecting is happening within the design departments.”
Corcoran says digital art can also present new preservation challenges for museums, as technology becomes obsolete very quickly -- much faster than a painting would need restoration.
It’s something MoMA is very aware of.
“This iPad is going to look hilariously dated in five years,” says Galloway. “That’s really soon, so how do we make sure this thing lives and continues to impact people? It’s a headache.”
When Bank of America merged with NationsBank and moved out of its headquarters in San Francisco after 94 years to decamp to North Carolina, people said that's just business. When Boeing announced it was moving its headquarters halfway across the country after 85 years as a mainstay of the Seattle economy, people said that's just business, too.
So, isn't it just business when companies move their headquarters to places like Bermuda or Ireland for the purpose of saving on taxes out of the U.S. completely? Executives of the cruise ship company Carnival work out of Miami, but the company's tax home is Panama. The GPS navigation company Garmin has letterhead that reads Kansas, but its tax home is Switzerland. The medical devices company Medtronic is based in St. Paul, but after its planned merger with Covidien, its tax home could also move to a foreign land.
The insider lingo for this tax maneuver is "inversion," and inversions are perfectly legal. Let me say that again: they break no law. But, longtime Marketplace contributor Allan Sloan is angry and thinks companies should stop with the inversions, and stop now.
It may matter that Mr. Sloan is angry. He is senior editor-at-large for Fortune Magazine and a veteran business writer who knows now to kick up a ruckus when he wants to. His Newsweek cover story in 1996 about mass layoffs in corporate America is the stuff of legend. Its headline, "Corporate Killers," drew the ire of many a corporate chief and went on to become a topic of national conversation.
Sloan has written the cover story for the latest Fortune. The article is about these inversions but its headline is in plain English. Sloan's article carries the title: "Positively Un-American." Sloan argues American taxpayers get stuck paying what the companies who shift their tax home to other countries save. By one estimate, we are talking more than $19 billion over 10 years.
Again, Sloan acknowledges that inversions are legal. Companies say they adopt this strategy to increase shareholder value. Sloan rejects that argument, saying long-term shareholder value will come from investing in the USA, not from leaving it. Then, in case anyone has missed that he is angry about this, Sloan calls the companies who switched tax homes "deserters."
Yes, fighting words, I know.
What bugs Sloan most is seeing companies that benefit in so many ways from being in America seeming to abandon it. Sloan told me he is the grandson of immigrants and comes from a family that would have been destroyed if the United States hadn't welcomed them. He thinks it is just plain wrong for companies to switch their tax home just to make more money.
"They don't even leave," Sloan told me. "They just go off and stick you and me with the tab, and that makes me pretty angry." Did I mention he's angry?
Some elected officials are talking about legislation to make switching tax homes less attractive to companies. Many corporations oppose this, arguing a better strategy would be for the U.S. to lower corporate taxes. Sloan is not opposed to comprehensive tax reform, he just doesn't see it happening any time soon. What is happening soon is that more and more U.S. companies are running the numbers on this "inversion" thing and switching to foreign addresses.
Speaking of which, there is a pharmacy on almost every American street corner by the name of Walgreen's. It is a brand so American that you can see a Walgreen's in the background of that famous photo of the sailor kissing a lady on VE day in Times Square. The Walgreen company is now thinking of moving its tax residence out of the United States, with a decision possible any day now.