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Finance

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  • Wandering Eye: On Kendrick Lamar's new video, Dan Deacon weighs in on the Orioles, and more

    Wandering Eye: On Kendrick Lamar's new video, Dan Deacon weighs in on the Orioles, and more
    We've been thinking a lot more about video on our mobile site this week, mostly because it's something that the website can finally handle after many readers rightfully complained that the clip of Bill Cosby being heckled was unavailable on the mobile website. On Wednesday, rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose masterful new album "To Pimp A Butterfly" was released last month (he plays Merriweather's Sweetlife Festival on May 30-31), put out a video for 'King Kunta,' a defiant, catchy James Brown homage ("Something's in the water/ And if I gotta brown nose for some gold/ Then I'd rather be a bum than a motherfucking baller"). The video follows Lamar around his hometown of Compton, full of slices of life pulled equally from hip-hop generation iconography such as 1995's movie "Friday" and the iconic video for Juvenile's 'Ha,' and the '70s Los Angeles neorealism of black films like "Killer of Sheep" and "Bush Mama." It's great. What's particularly interesting about the clip, though, is that it has been shot to conform to the aspect ratio of a smartphone, as if the video were shot by someone who didn't think to keep the phone shooting it horizontal. Of course, it's on purpose in this case. The spirited, celebratory video is for the smartphone. It's an interesting example of how technology affects art and changes it and opens it up to more possibilities, adding to the sense that Lamar and his hometown are too big for the frame. It's also but one more way that Lamar expresses solidarity with those who grew up like him, black and poor with way fewer options. Research says people in poor communities use smartphones as substitutes for computers, which are too expensive. In every way, Kendrick Lamar has made a video just for people like him. (Brandon Soderberg)
  • Op-Alt: The injustice of a two-tiered education system in Baltimore City

    Op-Alt: The injustice of a two-tiered education system in Baltimore City
    “Class size doesn’t matter,” said no teacher ever. At Southwest Baltimore Charter School and City Neighbors High School (also a charter school), we have an average of 23 students in our sixth-grade literacy and ninth-grade English...

    Wandering Eye: Study looks at student performance in charter schools, a local politics pundit says don't sweat the small budget stuff, and more

    Wandering Eye: Study looks at student performance in charter schools, a local politics pundit says don't sweat the small budget stuff, and more
    Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes has put out a new study that looked at charter-school performance in 41 urban regions over a six-year period ending in 2012, and found that charter-school students receive “the...

    Why So Much P.R.?: WYPR seems to routinely trade underwriting for air time. Is that a problem?

    Why So Much P.R.?: WYPR seems to routinely trade underwriting for air time. Is that a problem?
    At 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, the voice of John Hoey comes over the public’s airwaves on 88.1 FM, WYPR. The short segment—a monthly show Hoey says he does for free at the behest of station manager and president Anthony “Tony” Brandon&...

    The Mail 2/4/15

    The Mail 2/4/15
    The New Normal I was glad to see Heather Hooper’s letter (The Mail, Jan. 28) about polluted runoff and her call to fellow citizens to do their part in helping to clean up this source of pollution to their local waters. There’s one fact she...