You may have seen Matt Damon doing a commercial with Stella Artois in the past few weeks. But, it is not for alcohol fully. The advertisement has to do with Water.org and bringing long-term clean water to the world. The commercial has been on TV for the past month or two. Matt Damon and Gary White are the cofounders of Water.org. Water.org has a mission to bring clean water to 3.5 million more people in developing countries, by 2020. Damon and White want to inform the American public about the global water crisis, which many US citizens are unaware of.
For instance, the global water crisis is affecting over 600 million people worldwide. Matt and Gary have partnered with Stella Artois for the Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, which will help raise awareness about the global water debacle. Gary mentioned that their organization was discussing the water crisis to the audience in Davos, Switz. recently. Matt and Gary started water.org in 2009. Another goal of water.org is to provide safe water and sanitation, which is a growing concern.
Next, water.org is a website which makes about $4-$5 million annually. Water.org has a new ventures fund, that acts as a source of innovation funding to pilot, disseminate and scale initiatives that address the main causes of the water crisis. The new ventures fund is for private capital for building wells, and other ways to get running clean water to everyone. Also, Matt and Gary are working with PepsiCo to provide access to safe water and sanitation. Their partnership has been an ongoing one for almost a decade. Finally, Hope you like the picture of Matt and Gary at the Clinton Global Initiative's 10th Annual meeting. Matt Damon and Gary White have definitely informed me about water.org, and it is good to see Matt helping others in a cosmopolitan fashion. Hope they continue their hard work, and that water can be provided to the 2.4 billion people who don't have access to it.
Nearly two decades ago, Christopher 'Notorious B.I.G.' Wallace was gunned down in the Los Angeles area. It was a drive by shooting, and the murder was unsolved by LAPD. March 12, 2017 will be a day of honoring Christopher Wallace at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, NY. The Brooklyn Nets will host the NY Knicks on this day, also known as 'Biggie Night.' The Brooklyn Nets have had a lousy season this year, as they have won only 11 out of 62 games.
Furthermore, Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs and Voletta Wallace will play a big part in the event. Christopher Wallace's four kids will be present at the event also. If 2Pac Shakur was alive, then he may have attended the event. The two rappers were friends, and became enemies later in 2pac's short-lived life. As for 2Pac Shakur, there may be a new movie about the deceased West Coast rapper appearing in theaters in June 2017. The movie is titled 'All Eyez on Me'; just like his most popular double album from 1996. It has been more than 2 decades, since 2Pac was gunned down in Las Vegas. This murder was unsolved by Las Vegas Police Department.
Demetrius Shipp will play the part of 2Pac. Jamal Woolard will reprise his role of Christopher Wallace from 'Notorious'; in the latest 2pac flick.
Finally, both rappers would have been in their mid-40s if they were not gunned down. Both men were married, but were total players or 'ballers.' Both rappers have famous songs, which get airplay from time to time on radio stations. Their music is popular in nightclubs around the country as well. There are many conspiracy theories on the deaths of both rappers. Inquiring minds want to know who the real killers are. Enjoy the picture above of 2pac and Biggie Smalls.
In 2014, Lyft was a new brand for me to read about. But, Lyft has never given me a ride. No pun intended!
In 2015, Uber was the first and only ride sharing service for me to try. It was quite expensive in Phoenix. Then, San Diego seemed to be a good place for me to try Uber again. The second time around, it was not that expensive.
Aside from a personal experience, Uber has the higher market capitalization than Lyft. Uber has a market capitalization of $68 billion, while Lyft has a market capitalization of $6 billion only. Both services require the user to download an app. to their smartphone. If you don't have the app., then it is difficult to use the services. Uber operates in 500 cities across 70 countries, while Lyft is expanding in 54 new cities in the US only.
Next, there is Waze carpooling service which is owned primarily by Google. Waze could generate more profits as Uber is dealing with accusations of sexual harassment internally, from its own employees. While Uber is dealing with internal problems, Waze is expanding into more than nine counties in the San Francisco Bay area. Lyft and Uber are considered 'unicorn companies'; as each company has a market capitalization of more than $1 billion along with being privately owned. Lyft, Uber, and Waze are headquartered in the San Francisco bay area.
Finally, Uber has over 6,700 employees and it was started in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. Uber, Lyft, and Waze have brought increased competition to the taxi industry. Lyft was launched in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer. Lyft has a pink mustache, for its logo. Both companies have raised money from successful VCs including General Motors, Morgan Stanley, and
the Mayfield Fund.
In the end, there is some good competition from a domestic and global standpoint. Enjoy the picture above of the Lyft app.
It is available to download on Google Play, and the Apple app store.
Big $ean, aka Sean Anderson, released his 4th solo album on February 3. The new album is titled 'I decided'; and it has a great collaboration with Eminem. The song with Eminem is 'no favors'; and Marshall Mathers disrespects Ann Coulter plus President
Donald Trump. Big $ean does his classic rapping on the track, but Eminem steals the show. Two of the other early tracks off the album are 'moves' and 'Bounce back.' 'Moves' is a wacky track, which is less than 150 seconds. Thank God!! 'Bounce Back' is a
good one for sure. Finally, the 4th track that G. Ripley has heard is 'halfway off the balcony.' This one is another stellar Big
Sean track, and he rhymes sooo tight on this beat. Enjoy the picture above of Big Sean, and Jhene Aiko. Friends, or a couple?
In contrast, John Mayer has released a new EP. The EP has four tracks, and it is titled 'The Search For Everything.' Three of the tracks are really good, especially 'love on the weekend' and 'Moving On and Getting Over.' Another good song is 'changing.' These four songs are John's newest material in over 3 years, since his stellar 'Paradise Valley' album in late 2013. It's good to see
his pop music on mainstream radio, and youtube again.
Lastly, Kaskade performed at the 2017 Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, AZ. He has not released a new album since his
mixed 'Automatic' album in 2015. This album had some ok tracks like 'Disarm U'; but the EDM tracks were not my favorite off
this album. Recently, Haley and Kaskade collaborated on 'Let It Out'; which is a soft EDM track.
Haley's voice is beautiful, and Kaskade mixes some smooth beats. Seeing Kaskade perform in Las Vegas is on my bucket list.
The ATP and WTA tennis year has started with upsets in Melbourne, at the Australian Open. On the men's side, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray packed their bags before the 4th round started. Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, and Agnieszka R. left Melbourne before the 4th round from the women's draw. There will be a new #1 ranking in the women's rankings, when the first grand slam tournament of the year concludes. Roger Federer has a good chance of reaching the semifinals, if he can defeat Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. Milos Raonic and Stanislas Wawrinka are the top 2 seeds in the quarterfinals. Rafael Nadal plays #3 seeded Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals. Raonic defeated Nadal earlier this month in the Brisbane International tournament.
On the men's side, Roger Federer defeated Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori in strong fashion. Federer is the #17th seed, and
he should move up in the rankings by reaching the semifinals. Serena Williams is the favorite on the women's side, after Angelique Kerber
lost to Coco Vandeweghe in the 4th round. Serena could win her 23rd grand slam title, which would surpass Steffi Graf's grand slam record of 22 titles. Back to the men's draw, Djokovic was trying to win his 7th title in Melbourne. Yet, he lost to Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan in
five grueling sets in the 2nd round.
Finally, who can beat Serena on the women's side? The list is not a long one. On the men's side, let's hope Roger Federer does not face a strong Rafael Nadal in the sunday final. Roger would need to beat Zverev and Stan Wawrinka most likely, before reaching the final. Wawrinka plays Tsonga in the quarterfinals. Let's enjoy the quarterfinals and semifinals action, in the upcoming days before the finals on this weekend. See the image above for a jubilant Federer, after defeating Nishikori in five thrilling sets. Goodbye from Land Down Under.
2017 has started globally, and the UK government is trying to create 400,000 jobs post Brexit. In France, Francois Hollande has met with
Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase CEO; to discuss the luring of investment and personal bankers to Paris post Brexit. The EU countries need to create jobs, in order to keep their economies growing. Francois H. will not be running for a 2nd term as prime minister, when French elections happen
in the spring of this year. This new year brings change in the US, and France also. The US will have a new president come into office
on January 20, with the inauguration in Washington DC. Can Donald Trump help Theresa May, and Francois Hollande in
strengthening economies in both regions with job creation as one way to ensure growth?
Furthermore, the UK government is inclining that 400,000 jobs will be created in 2017. Yet, uncertainty is there for Great Britain as the EU has
a shaky relationship with the British post Brexit. Businesses want to make the best of Brexit, by being committed to full employment.
Firms should increase pay, in order to keep bankers and IT consultants employed in Great Britain. Business and consumer confidence needs
to go higher somehow, and businesses need to create agile workplaces. Businesses need to work on increasing the value of
employee engagement as well, for improving productivity and employee retention.
In closing, UK companies should improve in employee retention and improving leadership skills in future employees. There is a broad talent
pool in the UK, and the EU-UK relations will improve by end of 2017. Temporary and permanent full-time roles need to increase for
companies, to lessen the unemployment rate. Improved performance can generate higher profits, and it can generate higher
growth rate too. Theresa May will have to work with Donald Trump, Francois Hollande, and Angela Merkel to build a better global
workplace for 2017. This goal may be the main one for 2017. See the image above of Francois Hollande, France PM; and
Jamie Dimon. Their secret meeting happened a few days ago.
These days, Savannah Guthrie is on maternity leave from the 'Today' show. She is one of my favorite female anchors on
tv, and she has been the main female anchor on the 'Today' show since 2012. NBC has decided to have Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric as anchors, during the first two weeks of January 2017. Meredith hosted the 'Today' show in 2013, and she was back on NBC in
2014 covering the winter olympics. Vieira was the main female anchor on the NBC morning show from 2006 to 2011.
It is refreshing to see that Meredith will be back in the anchor's chair soon.
Now, let's chat about Katie Couric. She was the host of the 'Today' show from 1991 to 2006. Since 2014, she has worked for
Yahoo! as a global news anchor. Over the past decade, Katie has come back to the 'today' show to serve as a host.
Katie has worked at ABC News, and CBS too. She worked at '60 minutes' back in 2009 and 2010.
Finally, both of these women do work outside of journalism. Katie is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a renowned public policy think tank. Meredith has appeared in movies, and tv shows like '30 rock' and 'madagascar 2' movie.
In closing, both journalists have impressive careers in journalism and tv/radio/internet too.
Enjoy the picture above of both ladies from a 'today' show celebration, back in 2012.
Looking forward to seeing both of these former 'today' show hosts in 2017.