Actresses want to grow a movie career? — don’t work with cliques!


Scarlett Johansson in LUCY

“My research indicates that women in the film industry suffer a lack of access to future career opportunities when they tend to work with people who have collaborated frequently in the past,” said Mark Lutter, lead author of the study…at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Germany.

Titled, “Do Women Suffer from Network Closure? The Moderating Effect of Social Capital on Gender Inequality in a Project-Based Labor Market, 1929 to 2010,” the study will appear in the April print issue of the American Sociological Review…

For the purposes of his study, Lutter analyzed the career data, including more than a million performances in almost 400,000 movies, of about 100,000 actors and actresses in the American film industry. The data originated from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which contains details on all films produced since the advent of cinematography, as well as information on all of the actors and actresses involved and the networks within which they operated — in other words, with whom they worked.

Lutter found that when actresses work more often with less connected, more diverse groups featuring people from different social and cultural backgrounds, their career prospects become indistinguishable from those of actors.

The career opportunities for actresses are more likely to dwindle if they work in homogeneous teams,” Lutter said.

If the groups they tend to work with also feature a large proportion of men in senior positions — directors and producers, for instance — or if the actresses work in male-dominated film genres, the risk of career decline is even greater. The effect is further amplified for actresses still in the early stages of their careers.

No surprise, I guess. In some crafts and trades, in some communities, there are deliberate [and often secretive] groups used in modern life to get ahead. Origins may have been in religion, ethnicity and of course gender.

I think Lutter’s analysis is of something more subtle, less deliberate; but, just as limiting as conscious inclusion.

France, Germany and Italy add to UK joining AIIB – refusing Obama’s demands

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“If they don’t pay attention, we break both legs next time”

A senior US diplomat said it was up to individual countries to decide on joining a new China-led lending body, as media reports said France, Germany and Italy have agreed to follow Britain’s lead and join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Accommodation seems to be all that’s left to Obama since threats didn’t work.

A growing number of close allies were ignoring Washington’s pressure to stay out of the institution, the Financial Times reported, in a setback for US foreign policy.

In China the state-owned Xinhua news agency said South Korea, Switzerland and Luxembourg were also considering joining.

The Financial Times, quoting European officials, said the decision by the four countries to become members of the AIIB was a blow for Washington…

The bank is also seen as contributing to the spread of China’s “soft power” in the region, possibly at the expense of the United States.

The AIIB was launched by Beijing in 2014 to spur investment in Asia in transportation, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure. It is touted as a potential rival to the western-dominated World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

China said earlier in 2015 that a total of 26 countries had been included as founder members, mostly from Asia and the Middle East. It plans to finalise the articles of agreement by the end of the year…

Obama, the State Department, Congressional clown show members who fancy their foreign policy cred – all joined in to try to prevent this new international funding source from acceptance by our allies. At least those who acquired the title by generally obeying White House orders.

Didn’t work. Didn’t happen.

The bank will be welcome throughout the developing world, throughout the 3rd World. Like Chinese foreign policy it doesn’t come with social strings. The intent is to aid in the building of infrastructure – which means we probably should apply from poor states like New Mexico as a matter of need. We ain’t getting anything from Congress. That’s for sure.

The rap on both the World Bank and the IMF is that they have to answer to conservative voices in the United States and the European Union. Conservative voices not so focussed on the funds as social welfare – which they consider to be at least a mortal sin. Money is doled out through an eyedropper. Proof of reduction in socially productive programs required on a daily basis.

The chuckle is – for a lot of reason including holding a place in line for future exchanges dealing RMB, the Chinese currency, EU nations often the most conservative when criticizing other nation’s social practices – still want to be seen as caring and participating and maybe even profiting from a more open and less-political form of moneylending.

The United States OTOH is “above all that”. So to speak.

The American middle class richest in the world? — not anymore, man!


Just one of life’s fragile qualities

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.

Although economic growth in the United States continues to be as strong as in many other countries, or stronger, a small percentage of American households is fully benefiting from it. Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then. Median incomes in Western European countries still trail those in the United States, but the gap in several — including Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden — is much smaller than it was a decade ago…

The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true.

…The most commonly cited economic statistics — such as per capita gross domestic product — continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.

RTFA for up-close-and-personal examples of family life ranging from Sweden to Canada. Consider the reality of family income coupled with social benefits provided by tax dollars — instead of the world’s biggest standing army and military bases distributed around the world to protect corporate wealth.

Go to use the restroom in a WalMart – and it turns out to be a meth lab!

A restroom at a Wal-Mart in eastern Indiana has been closed indefinitely after an employee discovered a working meth lab inside.

State police say a Wal-Mart employee alerted police after seeing a man he described as suspicious enter the restroom about 11:30 p.m. Thursday with a backpack and leave without it. The Star Press reports that members of a state police meth suppression team removed the dangerous chemicals.

Delaware County Health Department inspectors closed the restroom and a nearby women’s restroom until they could be “decontaminated” by a professional cleaning company.

State police say people who make methamphetamine are leaving “the deadly explosive chemicals in public places to return later to get the finished product,” rather than risk explosions and contamination at their own homes.

What? Surely, you didn’t expect drug dealers to be thoughtful and urbane?