Once you get a satellite, you need to find a large tube filled with explosive fuel to take your satellite to space. Luckily, there is fierce competition among rocket makers to give you a lift. In the second of three-part series, Planet Money travels from California to New Zealand to see which rocket with blast their satellite to the stars.
Kendrick Lamar tweeted the artwork to Black Panther‘s soundtrack on Wednesday.
Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist
The soundtrack to the year’s most anticipated Marvel movie is packed with hip-hop star power. Kendrick Lamar, who is co-producing the soundtrack to Black Panther in collaboration with Top Dawg Entertainment president Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and director Ryan Coogler, has unveiled the official tracklistfor the film on Twitter.
Fans already knew that the TDE camp would be involved in the soundtrack — the first two tracks of the album, “All The Stars” and “King’s Dead,” showcase the talents of label mates SZA and Jay Rock respectively. But now it’s clear Top Dawg is pulling from all sides of the hip-hop world, as well as outside of it, to provide the sounds of Wakanda.
Along with big rap names like 2 Chainz, Future, Vince Staples and Anderson .Paak, Sacramento spitter Mozzy and Vallejo, Calif. crew SOB x RBE are in the mix, no doubt to provide a dose of West Side authenticity for the Compton rapper’s peace of mind. K. Dot himself appears on five of the 14 tracks.
Outside of the rap space, TDE has recruited a few wild cards from other genres: rising R&B star Jorja Smith and teenage pop sensation Khalid all appear on the 14-track album. Notice that the song titled “Redemption Interlude” does not have artist credits next to it, implying that there is one more surprise to come. With both the film and the soundtrack being hailed as the “blackest” production ever conceived by Marvel, the last punch pulled has got to be a member of music royalty.
Black Panther: The Album drops Feb. 9 via Interscope Records. Marvel’s Black Panther hits theaters nationwide Feb. 16.
Black Panther The Album
1. “Black Panther,” Kendrick Lamar
2. “All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
3. “X,” ScHoolBoy Q, 2 Chainz and Saudi
4. “The Ways,” Khalid and Swae Lee
5. “Opps” Vince Staples and Young Blackrok
6. “I Am” Jorja Smith
7. “Paramedic!” SOB x RBE
8. “Bloody Waters” Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak and James Blake
9. “Kings Dead” Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future and James Blake
10. “Redemption Interlude”
11. “Redemption” Zicari, Babes Wodumo
12. “Seasons” Mozzy, Sjava and Reason
13. “Big Shot” Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott
14. “Pray For Me” The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar
The tracklist to the soundtrack of Black Panther.
Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist
With tightly packed electronic hooks and Lauren Mayberry’s soaring soprano, CHVRCHES went for the jugular on its sophomore album Every Open Eye. Up until this point, the electronic trio from Scotland has been self-produced, featuring band members Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s off-center, pulsating beats.
This time around, they’ve teamed up with Greg Kurstin, who’s fresh off of a repeat win of Producer of the Year at the Grammys for his work with the Foo Fighters, Beck, Adele and Sia. CHVRCHES has always strayed shy of pure pop, but “Get Out” is the band’s most ambitious pop effort to date, all without losing that distinct edge.
Mayberry states that Kurstin “pushed what we were doing to be bigger in some ways, but he also pushed us to be weirder.”
Kurstin makes an appearance in the new video, which features nine interlocked feeds of security-style footage. The centerpiece is a clip of Mayberry crossing out a lipstick-drawn heart on a dirty bathroom mirror, which surfaced on social media feeds earlier this week. The imagery of mirrors plays into the lyrics: “Reflections you used to see / Never look alike to me.”
CHVRCHES hasn’t made any formal announcements for LP3, but the band is playing June 3 at this year’s Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island.
“Get Out” is available now.
Photo: Danny Clinch
A TV shows Donald Trump’s State of the Union address at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday. The White House is no longer considering its top candidate for the South Korea ambassadorship, reportedly due to disagreement over North Korea policy.
The White House has abandoned its choice for the next ambassador to South Korea, reportedly due to differing views on the idea of using a preemptive strike against North Korea.
Victor Cha, who was widely reported to be the prime candidate for the post, is no longer under consideration, a National Security Council spokesman told NPR. The spokesperson declined to give a reason. Cha is a professor at Georgetown University who served as director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration.
In a Washington Post opinion piece published Tuesday, Cha recounted that while under consideration for the post, he shared his view that a preemptive military strike against North Korea could escalate into a war that “would likely kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans.”
The preemptive strike option advocated by some Trump aides is sometimes referred to the “bloody nose” strategy. That strategy, as Gerald Seib at The Wall Street Journalexplained earlier this month, goes like this:
“React to some nuclear or missile test with a targeted strike against a North Korean facility to bloody Pyongyang’s nose and illustrate the high price the regime could pay for its behavior. The hope would be to make that point without inciting a full-bore reprisal by North Korea.
“It’s an enormously risky idea, and there is a debate among Trump administration officials about whether it is feasible. North Koreans have a vast array of artillery tubes pointed across the demilitarized zone at Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with which they could inflict thousands of casualties within minutes if they choose to unleash an all-out barrage.
“Now, that danger is coupled with the risk that the North Koreans could attempt to use a nuclear weapon if they choose to escalate in retaliation against even a single strike.”
In his piece at the Post, Cha agrees. He argues that a retaliatory strike might aim for South Korea, which isn’t protected by U.S. missile defenses. Among the 51 million people living in South Korea, the Korea Immigration Service says 140,000 are Americans, NBC News reports, including 28,500 U.S. military personnel.
Cha advocates instead for a four-point alternative strategy that calls for U.S., regional and global pressure on North Korea to denuclearize. “This strategy is likely to deliver the same potential benefits as a limited strike, along with other advantages, without the self-destructive costs,” he writes.
That opinion took him out of the running for the ambassador job, the Postreports.
Michael Green, a former Bush administration official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells NPR that though there were indications of problems with Cha’s security checks as a Korean-American, he believes the decision is primarily about Cha’s political views.
“The background and security and ethics checks that he had to go through before his name was sent to Seoul, which it was, for what’s called agrément — sort of pre-announcement approval — just suggest that the real issue was the growing opposition in and out of government to a military strike and I think he was associated with that,” Green says.
Kelly Magsamen of the Center for American Progress, who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, tells NPR that any president needs to hear all sides.
“I would want somebody coming in and saying ‘Okay, have you considered these downsides?’, or ‘Here would be the potential impact, maybe this isn’t the best option. Maybe we should pursue a different option,’ ” she says. “You’d think you would want that level of debate especially if you are considering something like the use of force, which should always be a last resort.”
Magsamen says South Korea was clearly hoping to have someone installed in the ambassador post by now — with tensions high and the Olympics in Pyeongchang just a week away.
Editor’s note: This story includes a description of sexual assault.
Larry Nassar, the former gymnastics doctor convicted of sexual assault, has returned to court for a third and final sentencing hearing where scores more accusers are expected to speak publicly about their experiences.
The total number of women and girls who say Nassar abused them is now around 250, according to Judge Janice Cunningham, The Associated Press reports.
Now he is back in court for more charges of assault, this time in Michigan’s Eaton County where the focus is on abuses Nassar committed at Twistars, a gymnastics club run by former Olympic coach John Geddert. He has admitted to penetrating three girls with his hands while pretending it was medical treatment for their injuries.
Cunningham, like Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in Ingham County, is allowing women and girls who were not involved in this specific court case to share their experiences at the sentencing hearing.
The AP reports so far 65 victims plan to speak in court or submit statements to be read aloud on their behalf.
Meanwhile, the entire Board of Directors of USA Gymnastics — where Nassar was a prominent team physician for years — has resigned. In a statement issued Wednesday the organization announced they have begun complying with the United States Olympic Committee’s requirements issued last week – a list of mandatory changes that includes forming an interim Board of Directors during the month of February.
“USA Gymnastics thanks the Board members for their service. We are grateful for the time and effort each has devoted to USA Gymnastics,” the statement read.
Michigan State University is also undergoing a structural reorganization. University trustees have named former Republican governor and alumnus, John Engler, as interim president. He was voted in unanimously after last week’s resignation of Lou Anna Simon.
Nassar has been sentenced twice already — once on federal child pornography charges, and once for multiple counts of sexual assault in an Ingham County courtroom.
The reach of Nassar’s abuse across a huge swath of the gymnastics world has also launched a criminal investigation of the Karolyi Ranch, where some athletes say they were abused. Gov. Greg Abott ordered the Texas Rangers to look into allegations of sexual assault at the famous facility owned by gymnastics legends Bela and Marta Karolyi, after Simone Biles wrote about the dread she felt in returning to the place where she suffered at the hands of Nassar.
Ocellated turkeys stand out for their bright blue heads and iridescent feathers. They’re still around the Yucatan today.
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
In 1519, conquistador Hernán Cortés wrote a letter home to Spain from Mexico, detailing a surprising element of the local cuisine. “They roast many chickens … which are as large as peacocks.”
Cortés was a little confused about the giant chickens, because he’d never encountered this bird before. Europeans ate chicken, so he projected his understanding of poultry onto some strange new birds. But he was wrong. The peacock-sized birds were turkeys.
These turkeys from Mexico eventually made it back to Spain, and the rest of Europe, then crossed the Atlantic to the eastern United States after that. Now that turkey mainly features in deli sandwiches and Thanksgiving roasting pans, it’s tempting to read Cortés’ letter and think that turkeys have always been raised just for food. But that would flatten many facets of the role of poultry in ancient society, before he arrived.
Archaeological evidence backs up Cortés’ claim that ancient people ate turkey, but more bones appear in special locations than at garbage sites. Because their bones show up in these high status, ceremonial locales, turkeys were probably mainly prized for more than their meat. “There is another site where we have evidence of complete turkeys with human burials,” says Aurelie Manin, an archaeologist at the University of York, in the United Kingdom.
Manin and a team of researchers recently took a look at turkey bones from archaeological sites throughout Mesoamerica — the region spanning present-day central Mexico to Costa Rica — and published their results in the Royal Society of Open Science.
Buried with a turkey
Before their analysis, they knew turkeys were symbolically important to ancient Mesoamericans. The Aztec Codex includes turkeys alongside important gods and ceremonies, showing their special status. There’s even a turkey deity, Chalchiuhtotolin, god of the plagues. Archaeologists had found an ancient flute, called an ocarina, decorated with a turkey drawing at a grave site in Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico. And in Oaxtepec, Morelos, Mexico, a dig uncovered the complete turkey skeleton at a burial that Manin mentioned, suggesting Mesoamerican people sometimes buried humans with turkeys.
“It seems that they were sometimes putting the turkeys on plates [at burials], so they might have been cooked somehow, or the turkey would just lay next to the individual,” Manin says. It’s hard to tell whether a turkey at a grave site is meant as a companion, a snack, or a status symbol, but any of those options elevate the turkey above an ordinary bird.
And while Mesoamericans ate turkeys sometimes, Manin’s team showed that they weren’t just commonplace food. The large human population in early Mexico didn’t result in an equally large number of turkeys, so people didn’t seem to depend on them as food. Turkey rearing really only grew after many Mesoamerican cities, like Teotihuacan, were beginning to fade.
Mesoamericans were also using turkey to feed other animals, which may have been ritual sacrifices. Cortés covered that too, although he still mixed up turkeys and chickens. In Teotihuacan, he wrote about houses with birds of prey, “representing all the sorts known in Spain, from the kestrel to the eagle … All these birds were fed daily on chickens, with no other food.”
Larger animals feasted on turkeys, too, Cortés continued. “There were certain large rooms in this palace, fitted with great cages, very well constructed, and joined with heavy timbers, in all of most of which were kept lions, tigers, foxes, and every kind of cat in considerable numbers. These were also fed on chickens,” he wrote.
But the written record and basic information about turkey bones at archaeological digs are really only the first clues about what turkeys in Mesoamerica were up to.
Manin and her team wanted to know where the turkeys came from, and how humans interacted with them. So they took bone samples, using DNA testing to map turkey lineage. The team analyzed the elements in the bones to look at what the turkeys had been eating, unraveling more clues about the ancestors of turkeys on the table today.
Their DNA detective work showed that Mesoamerican turkeys mainly came in three subspecies: the South Mexican wild turkey, the Rio Grande wild turkey, and Gould’s wild turkey. At sites in the Yucatan peninsula, another bird, the Ocellated turkey, appeared. Ocellated turkeys stand out for their bright blue heads and iridescent feathers. They’re still around the Yucatan today. “The Ocellated turkey is lovely, it’s like the peacock of the turkey world,” says Camilla Speller, an archaeologist at the University of York who also worked on this analysis.
Different flavors of captivity
Different regions were home to different turkey subspecies, but in all cases, bones showed that ancient people were feeding local turkeys at least some of the time. Grass-foraging wild turkeys end up with a different form of carbon in their bones compared with the corn-fed turkeys that humans cultivate. “So when they start to consume high quantities of maize in their diet it comes through very clearly,” Speller says.
Although turkeys were clearly eating corn and other human food throughout Mesoamerica, bones outlined a wide range of turkey lives. Some birds appeared to be held nearly completely captive, while others lived free-range lives, eating some grass and some corn.
It’s not clear why turkey treatment varied so much. Mesoamerica was certainly a large and diverse region, says Brian Kemp, an archaeologist at the University of Oklahoma who has studied ancient turkeys in the southwestern United States. “In the area this study sampled, you’ve got hunter gatherers, farmers, people who built all these gigantic monuments and temples, tons of linguistic diversity,” he says.
Ultimately, knowing more about these ancient Mesoamerican turkeys opens up more questions about the people of the region. That, Kemp says, is the best part about studying domesticated animals. “It’s really about letting those animals tell us something about the people that were working with them, how they did things,” he says.
And the Mesoamericans’ uses for turkeys were pretty interesting, according to Cortes’s account. Keeping a turkey around to feed a captive jaguar, for a later ritual, is quite a feat. Hundreds of years later, our uses for turkeys are a bit blander and more monolithic, raising another question altogether: What do today’s roasted and smoked turkeys say about us?
The logo of Fuji Xerox Co., the joint venture between Fujifilm Holdings and Xerox, is displayed outside the company’s headquarters in Tokyo.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Xerox is one of the United States’ most recognizable companies — its name is synonymous with “photocopy.” Now, the company that pioneered the computer mouse and other office technology will shed its independence, and come under the Japanese company Fujifilm’s control in a $6.1 billion deal.
Fujifilm and Xerox established the Fuji Xerox joint venture in 1962. Fujifilm owns 75 percent of that joint venture. In the deal announced Wednesday, Fuji Xerox will buy back that stake from Fujifilm, and Fujifilm will use those profits to purchase 50.1 percent of Xerox shares.
The new $18 billion company, also named Fuji Xerox, will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., and Tokyo, and trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Xerox has been under pressure to find new sources of growth as email and digital sharing services such as Dropbox have hurt the demand for printing and photocopying.
As then-Xerox CEO Ursula Burns told NPR in 2012, “The world is changing. We all know this. And as that world changes, if you don’t transform your company, you’re stuck.”
Fujifilmalso said it will cut 10,000 jobs as part of the joint venture’s restructuring. The joint venture had over 47,000 employees, according to its website — meaning the layoffs would slash its workforce by more than a fifth.
“The market environment surrounding the company’s subsidiary Fuji Xerox has grown increasingly severe,” Fujifilm said in a statement. A spokesperson from Fujifilm told NPR that the job cuts will be in the Asia Pacific region only.