Jerry Sternberg: June 19, 1920 – July 3, 2012

Zadie, my sister Emily, Bubbie and me - Ravinia Festival circa 1983.

My grandfather died Tuesday at age 92. Zadie, as all of his grandchildren affectionately called him, was and is a huge influence on my character and personality. He was a hero. I miss him and feel very lucky to have had him in my life for the first 37 years.

I delivered the following remembrance at the funeral ceremony honoring him at Beth El in Highland Park, his synagogue for more than 50 years.

Zadie was a very special person to all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And growing up it was easy to see that he wasn’t just any ordinary Zadie. His warmth and loyalty affected everyone around him, friends, family, community and strangers.

Zadie, my sister Emily, Bubbie and me - Ravinia Festival circa 1983
Zadie, my sister Emily, Bubbie and me – Ravinia Festival circa 1983.

Emily and I were very lucky to grow up just a mile from Bubbie and Zadie’s house on Brittany Road in Highland Park. We were never too far from Zadie’s playful nature — his infectious smile and that laugh… oh yeah that famous Zadie chuckle. Even when we were limited to playing games of “roll the ball” in the living room with Zadie — that was enough.

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Spring Mix: My April Spotify Playlist via ‘Spotify Play’ button

The Spotify Play Button

Spotify released a public embed code for streaming tracks from the service on any website. It’s called The Spotify Play Button and I’m testing it out here with the April playlist I created for the office. Check it out below and check out my other Spotify playlists here. (both those I’ve created and those I subscribe to). Some companies, such as FanRx have already begun incorporating the code into artists’ Facebook Pages. This reminds me of Yahoo! music player, which is a simple script that triggers a player to appear when an audio or video file was present in a blog post or more recent versions of similar, such as the Ex.fm extension. The main difference, of course, is that the music is streamed directly from Spotify, rather than an ambiguous (or non-accountable) URL ending in .mp3, which essentially locks in plays to a revenue stream for artists (however minute), assuming Spotify is in fact paying out based on number of plays and not just as a percentage of Spotify subscriptions.

Click here to create a customized Spotify Play embed code.

Up Front with Jay-Z at Austin City Limits Live

American Express must have thrown down seven figures plus to book Jay-Z into the pristine Moody Theater in the Austin W complex but it managed to monopolize the buzz — at least for the hmoment — at SXSW Interactive. Jay-Z performed for just under two hours, doing 24 songs (full-length as opposed to the medley format favored on the Watch the Throne tour) cherry-picked from his deep repertoire. Amex flew in Jay and likely a planeload of entourage for this one-off event. I was fortunate to get a spot up close and snapped a ton of photos (only a few of which were worth posting).

SXSW seems to have a dearth of hip-hop on its schedule and this event was not an official part of the conference itself (though it got plenty of love as Amex is a SXSW sponsor). But let’s not kid ourselves, Jay-Z may be the greatest rapper alive but he’s every bit as much of a pop star today as he is hip-hop. The show was also simulcast within the W, on a big screen on Red River and on YouTube (watch on demand here). Photos, video and setlist below.

Click photos to embiggen.[nggallery id=6]

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Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles and Early Media Reaction

occupy la city hall
Originally posted at KCET’s The Public Note.

Hundreds of people marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, some with masks, some with bandanas, and many with signs bearing slogans admonishing the government, corporations and the current financial climate.

“We are the 99%”
“It’s not a crisis it’s a scam”
“Audit the Fed”
“Rights for the people not for corporations”
“200k in grad school debt where is my bailout?”

The protesters have been camped out on the City Hall lawn since Saturday, in solidarity with the 3-week strong Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. If America is a democracy, why does 1 percent of the population control 40 percent of the wealth, and take 25 percent of the income, economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz asked in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair.

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Video and Photos: LA’s Spirited, Peaceful Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

Los Angeles joined in protesting Wall Street and corruption at the crux of politics and corporate welfare on Saturday October 1 with a well-organized march and rally. As many as 1,500 took part in a march from Pershing Square to City Hall where #OccupyLA took to the Spring Street stairs leading up to the entryway before moving to the north lawn. Occupy Los Angeles unofficially began about a week prior, and roughly 15 people consistently showed up to nightly general assemblies (GAs) at Pershing Square to coordinate and plan for the best way to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protest.

I livestreamed — 3 videos are below in chronological order — apologies in advance for Ustream’s super-annoying pre-roll ads 😉

Marching from Pershing Square to City Hall:

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