Five Points – 43

Life –

I recently watched several episodes of Life, narrated by David Attenborough, by the BBC on Netflix.  The cinematography and his narration make for a spell binding experience.

Cabling at Woodstock Festival 1969 – 

Sex News –

The robot sex trade is about to get hot!  The infamous “Teledildonics Patent” that prevented the development of any sort of internet controlled sex devices climaxed a couple weeks ago.  One may expect the motion of the ocean to evolve in strange ways in the not so distant future. Here’s the full story –

And in other sex related news, a little human nature captured neatly via web traffic reports from pornhub before, during, and after the false missile alert in Hawaii this year.

What I’m Listening To – 

The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel –

Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole –

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – MMA Approved by the US Senate / Spotify Lets Artists Directly Upload Music to Service / Apple Music Now Searchable by Lyrics

Five Points – 42

Hurricane Florence –

I grew up in Raleigh, NC and my father’s people are from down east, as we say.  More specifically, Burgaw – Pender County.  This little town sits about 30 mins due north from Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington on the North East Cape Fear River.  After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington I spent a few years in the on a small elbow of land, hugged on two sides by that lumbering river.  My father and I designed it and with the help of Tyler Ward and Charlie Ross and Ross Harrell and Timmy and Harry Pfaff and lots of hands from the rugby boys, friends from far away, and tons of family, I built a house – Dragon Fly.

In this photo the river is riding at about 2″ above sea level.  That is normal.

As a result of Hurricane Florence, the river is predicted to crest tonight at 25.2 feet.

For clarity, the bottom of the house proper is at 21′, so she’ll not be completely under water, but we expect a solid hit.  We’ve not received any photos or updates about the property as of this writing.

It makes me feel strange and like a part of me is hurting to know that house might be in trouble.  Building it was a much needed catharsis during a dark time in my life and I’ve had wonderful parties and family reunions and bbq’s and oyster roasts and it has been a repeated vacation rental for many families since I moved to California.

I do appreciate everyone reaching out and sending love.  It means a lot.

Hoʻoponopono – 

(a) “To put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up make orderly or neat, administer, superintend, supervise, manage, edit, work carefully or neatly; to make ready, as canoemen preparing to catch a wave.”

(b) “Mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right (hoʻoponopono) through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.

I’ve recently discovered this Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.  It is super simple and the antidote to arguments.

It’s cool because you can initiate the practice any time things are starting to go or are already sideways in a discussion.  These are the steps, which require saying the following with a measure of intention.

1) I’m sorry
2) Please forgive me
3) Thank you
4) I love you

It truly is magic to see how a disagreement dissolves upon saying and embodying these words.

Pabi Chulo – 

I recently shared a laugh and a beer with my friend, Pabi Chulo, in Copenhagen, Denmark on my recent trip to Scandinavia.

We laughed about how we are enjoying more and more of being away from the city as we get older…perhaps taking on a pinch of curmudgeonness, but we insured each other that that was ok.

Pabi’s art is captivating.  Often, unsettling.  Always, complex and meaningful and refined.  You can reach out to him directly or to the galleries around the world to purchase a piece for your own collection.

What I’m Listening To – 

Anthem by Emancipator –

No lyrics.  I really like the violin.  And the album name – “Soon it will be cold enough”

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – EU Approves New Copyright Reforms / MMA Anticipates Changes in Congress / Apple Music Streaming Market Share Up 3%

Five Points – 41

Shepard Tone –

Anxious when watching Dunkirk?  You’re not alone and there is a specific reason why – the Shepard Tone.

A Shepard Tone creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.  The tone is a sound that comprises multiple sine waves separated by an octave and layered on top of each other.  And it can cause anxiety and panic attacks.

Here is a Shepard Tone generator –

And this is a 3 minute video explaining how Hans Zimmer has used the special sound to make the movie’s he scored so intense.

Norbert’s Gambit – 

Norbert’s Gambit is the process of using Canadian Loonies and/or US Dollars to purchase a stock that is listed on both a US and Canadian Stock Exchange, such that the stock can then be sold, all in an effort to avoid expensive banking fees.

With the movement of money across borders in mind, I must mention  They take this process a step further, by removing the need to purchase a stock and one’s funds are placed in escrow, effectively in the cloud, until withdrawn at a later date.  I’ve found the service to be seamless and they have excellent customer service.

The real kicker is the cost.  TransferWise costs between .3-.6% vs. 3-4% via a traditional bank.

Merino Wool –

Most folks may know that wool is somewhat of a miracle fabric.


Fiber Absorbency – Wool is a hygroscopic fiber; it takes up moisture in vapor form. Tiny pores in the epicuticle make the fiber semi-permeable, allowing vapor to pass through to the heart of the fiber. Wool can easily absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy.

Durability and Resilience – Each wool fiber is a molecular coil spring making the fiber remarkably elastic. Nature has folded the chemical polypeptide chains back upon themselves in such a way that they act like a coiled spring which elongates when it is extended and retracts when it is released. This molecular crimp, along with the 3-dimensional fiber, allows wool fibers to be stretched up to 50% when wet and 30% when dry, and still bounce back to their original shape when stress is released.

Dyeing –  Wool absorbs many different dyes deeply, uniformly and directly without the use of combining chemicals. Wool is an amphoteric, which means it reacts with both acids and bases; thus it accepts both acid and basic dyestuffs. Dyes penetrate into the inner medulla core of the fiber where a chemical reaction occurs making the color change permanent except under extreme and prolonged fading conditions.

Flame Retardant – Because wool contains moisture in each fiber, it resists flame without chemical treatment. Instead of burning freely when touched by flame, wool chars and stops burning when it is removed from the source of fire. Wool is self-extinguishing. It will not support combustion; this is why wool blankets are recommended for use in extinguishing small fires.


But it can be bulky and itchy sometimes :/

And when the fibers are viewed under a microscope you can easily see why.

What I’m Listening To – 

Lannka At Scorpios Mykonos –

This is what I might describe as Tribal House or more broadly, ambient electronic house.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – YT Calls Out EU Copyright Directive / UK Music Exports Total £408.4M in 2017 / Spotify Inks Deals in Indonesia and Thailand

Five Points – 40

Pulpit Rock aka Preikestolen-

Last week was spent taking a much needed vacation, where I found myself in a van down by the river…in Norway.

Pulpit Rock was one of the most amazing places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit in my life.  The 1.5 hour hike up was second only to the summit. Grateful for the good company, too.

iPhone Grey Scale – 

I’m always looking for hacks on how to relegate phone usage to only that which is necessary and have found switching to grey scale to be a productive exercise.  A great shortcut via Lifehacker, “To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to color.”

What I’m Listening To – 

When Your Minds Made Up – Once – Glen Hansard + Marketa Irglova –

I watched this film (Once) a few days ago, as I am consuming music films these days, and it was raw and beautiful.  Here’s the trailer – – It is a tale of music and love and heartbreak and forgiveness…and it doesn’t end like you might expect.  Delightfully so.

Quote I’m Pondering – 

If you always do what you always did, then you’ll always get what you always got. ~ unknown

In my effort to be the best version of myself, I am giving this quote and more over, the spirit of it, much consideration and appropriate action these days.  Maybe it’s living in my forties (41 next month)…maybe it’s just wanting to do differently.  In any case, I am getting different results out of life as a function of behaving differently.  I’ll be doing more of that.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – Spotify Releases Podcasts / YT Merges Artist Channel Subscriptions / Court Rules No New Copyright for Remastered Recordings

Five Points – 39

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work –

Zapier is a software company that integrates and automates apps that you may use in your personal and business life.  An example of this automation is to have a photo that you post to Instagram be automatically saved in your Dropbox or to create a new contact in Salesforce when a webform is filled out by a potential customer.  They have tons of connections that can be made really easily.

Zapier is and has always been run 100% remotely.  Followers of this newsletter may know that I am a fan of remote working environments for a lot of reasons – staff are happier and more productive, I’d prefer to offer full benefits instead of a physical office, ability to work from anywhere, ability to set one’s own hours…the list goes on and on..

Whether you currently work in or run a remote team, or you hope to work in or run a remote team in the future, this book will have nuggets of wisdom that you can apply to your current situation.

  1. How to Run a Remote Team
  2. How to Build Culture in a Remote Team
  3. How to Hire a Remote Team
  4. How Successful Remote Teams Evaluate Employees: A Look inside Automattic, GitHub, and Help Scout
  5. How to End Internal Emails and Communicate Effectively in a Remote Team
  6. How to Build Strong Relationships in a Remote Team
  7. How to Run a Remote Team Meeting
  8. How to Run a Company Retreat for a Remote Team
  9. This is What a Remote Office Looks Like
  10. How to Work Faster in a Remote Team
  11. How to Find Your Optimal Work Environment and Boost Productivity
  12. How to Work in Different Timezones
  13. How to Avoid Burnout in a Remote Team
  14. A Special Thanks To Those Who Share: The Best Blog Posts, Articles and Resources on Remote Work

Ghost – is still being hosted on WordPress, but my company’s site and news archive are hosted using the Ghost platform.  We’d suffered from WordPress instability too many times and I decided to switch platforms a few years ago.  The change has proven to be a good one.  Coupled with CloudFlare for extremely fast global site delivery, has remained stable, fast, and optimized for a variety of metrics.  Ghost is great for a simple site that may have a blog.

They’ve just released a Ghost 2.0, which now includes a more robust text editor and the ability to embed a many types of dynamic content.

Dogs: Speed & Agility – 

Add speed and agility to the long list of why dogs are simply the greatest!

Check out Tex win the 2015 Masters Agility Contest.  His foot work through the slalom though… –

or better yet…

Check out Kirk, a female border collie watch herself win the 2017 Purina Pro Challenge –

What I’m Listening To – 

Gipsy Kings – Escucha Me

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​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.


Five Points – 38

Disclosure –

Several times over the past week disclosure was a topic of focus.  It reminded me of an adage I learned as a real estate broker over 15 years ago, and one I still adhere to:

With regard to disclosure:  If there is any doubt, there is no doubt (that the information should be disclosed).

Staying true to this model has proven over and over to be a good idea.

Cheetah – 

The planet’s fastest land animal in all his glory…102km/h

Colorized History – 

I have long standing fascination with flying airplanes, and of course, North Carolina as well.  It is hard for me to imagine the wonder witnessing this event would have caused.  Circa ~ 1902

What I’m Listening To – 

A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin @ The Kennedy Center

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – Citi Report Posts Inaccuracies / IMPALA Worried Over Sony’s EMI Deals / Spotify Launches Music Credits on iOS

Five Points – 37

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen –

One of my favorite books, a tale of how a graduating vet student at the turn of the century runs away after tragedy by blindly jumping the next train rolling by.  It ends up being the Circus.  And it also turns out to be one heck of a story, narrated by that same man, only 60 years later…I won’t spoil the end of the story.

And this recent tidbit in the news reminded me of the above and evoked a smile…for removal of doubt, I fully intend on exhibiting this behavior when the time comes.

Purchase I’m Enjoying – 

I visited Japan for work at the end of last year and learned that a bidet toilet seat is standard issue in the country.  It was my first experience with a robotic booty cleanser, but it was a good one.  One that made me rethink things a bit.  I reckoned, if I were taking my dog for a walk to do his business and got a wee bit of poo on my arm whilst preparing a doggie baggie, I’d wash it off.  I probably would not only use dry paper.  Plus, my bum has been so reliable and nonjudgemental, it deserves a bit of special attention.

Also, in buying my house, inspections told me that my septic system was old and fragile…it wouldn’t be a good idea to put tons of toilet paper down it, lest I replace it soon to great expense.  And with virtually unlimited water (I have a spring that produces a surplus of water for the property), using water would be a much safer route than loads of TP.  It’s also noteworthy, that it takes 37 gallons of water to produce a roll of TP and about 1/8th of a gallon per use via a bidet (

Toto Washlet Bidet Toilet Seat 

Liquid in Space – 

I find it fascinating how liquids perform in zero gravity.  And to add chemicals that produce bubbles… Check out the video!

In Depth Read – 

Citi: Global Perspectives and Solutions has produced a rather in depth study of the music business.  It’s dense, but explains the business from a high level, with plenty of charts and graphs and stats.  You might enjoy it if you’re keen to learn more of the nuance of the mechanics embedded in your favorite track.

Remastering the World of Music

The music industry is in the midst of two profound changes. First, consumers are increasingly opting to rent — rather than buy — music. Second, the demise of physical music has prompted artists to tour more often, driving significant growth in concerts and festivals.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Five Points – 36

Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall  –

I’ve just finished reading a most fascinating new book from the lauded writer of Born To Run, Christopher McDougall.  Natural Born Heros ties the tales of how Crete became a critical component to the evolution of WWII across Eurasia for both the Axis and the Allies.  But Churchill wouldn’t send to The Sliver young men suitable for the front lines.  No, it would only be misfits and poets and well traveled gipsies and academics and women…all of whom were better with their wits and ability to shape shift and finesse and endurance than pure brute strength.  For, battling these particular Nazi’s, whom just discovered a precursor to crystal meth, head to head had proven to not be so wise.  An interesting facet to the story, again, is its setting, as Crete is quite literally the home of one of the most famous hero stories ever – the Odyssey by Homer.  And this heritage spelt bad news for Hitler.  Not only would the residents and their adopted mainly British resistance prove most difficult to kill, they delighted in sculduggery, mischief, sneak attacks in the middle of the night, and most proponderously, kidnapping one of two Nazi generals on the island to use for propaganda against the tweaking infantry.

The story is woven with reference to modern physiology, endurance, and strength with regard to parkour – a way of moving through the crags fo the Cretan landscape, paleo diet – the only available food to eat was most basic, and finally, how anyone can be a hero, in fact, it is the average person, not the one groomed since birth to be Emperor, that is capable of being a true hero.

Purchase I’m Enjoying – 

In an ongoing journey to be a bit more healthy, I’ve realized drinking water, or the lack thereof, is a critical component I can easily change.

I have spring water at my home that is as good as any I’ve ever had, so it’s easy for me to fill up several of these to easily consume over the course of the day.  Apart from the simple cardboard packaging they come in, I am not forced to add to my home’s waste footprint either.

Bormioli Rocco Giara Clear Glass Bottle With Stopper [Set of 4] $21.99 –

Two Bit Circus – 

Hector Alvarez and Dan Busby, along with awesome band of mad scientists, roboticists, artists, and storytellers are opening a micro amusement park in Los Angeles!  This group of folks are some the smartest, most creative and industrious, fun loving I’ve ever known.

If you’re in town, I highly suggest giving it a looksy.

Check out a few of their recent news articles! 

Quote I’m Pondering – 

Despite my best efforts and quite a fuss, my girlfriend has moved in with me.  After enjoying a meal and some time together, a good friend rightly said to to me in front of both of us, “Wow.  You’re definitely getting the better end of this deal.”  I have to agree.  She’s wonderful.  And smart and funny and beautiful and kind and interesting…I could go on.  Suffice to say, there isn’t anything so magical as throwing oneself with blind abandon into love.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to find all the barriers you have built up against it” ~ Rumi

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – SESAC Reaches Compromise Over MMA / Sony Acquires All Of EMI / Vivendi To Sell 50% Of UMG

Fine Points – 35

Do you know about business credit?  –

Exploration, of which I am the CEO, is healthy and growing.  Entering our sixth year, we have always been in the black and funded our own expansion.  And I am curious to learn about business credit to potentially further fuel our growth.

Perhaps you or someone you know has a command about how small businesses can utilize a credit facility or business line of credit?  The uses of the funds would be used for the acquisition of complimentary businesses and fulfillment of obligations to new customers that operate at a much larger scale (2-10x) than we currently service.  We have been fortunate to be able to rely on cash stores to execute on both scenarios this past year, but I believe there is merit I am ignoring in how credit may help us more effectively and profitably achieve our goals.

If you know anything on this topic, I’d love to chat.  I’m happy to pay your hourly fee or make a donation in your name to the charity of your choice to get the low down.

USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest – 

USPS – Informed Delivery Daily Digest – I am stoked to have just learned that the US Post Office will scan and send me a photo via email the exterior of envelopes physically arriving in the mail each day.  This is a great way to remain informed to a critical communication channel when on the road.

Hat tip to Josh Henkin for the idea and link!  Are you a scientist looking for a J-O-B?

After years of successfully mentoring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job seekers, Josh founded STEM Career Services, a career coaching company aimed at helping STEM graduates launch and sustain careers outside of academia, in 2014.

What I’m Listing To – 

The Snatch sound track is fantastic –, but my favorite will always be Golden Brown by The Stranglers –

I also listened to low slow jam – Spottieottiedopaliscious from Outkast – ..the horn beat has a catchy rhythm that I really like.

The Shipping Forecast – 

I found this 30 minute podcast on the global shipping forecast to be fascinating.

Four times every day, on radios all across United Kingdom, a BBC announcer begins reading from a seemingly indecipherable script. “And now the Shipping Forecast issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency,” says the voice over the wire. “Viking, North Utsire; southwesterly five to seven; occasionally gale eight; rain or showers; moderate or good, occasionally poor.” Cryptic and mesmerizing, this is the UK’s nautical weather report.

The story of this radio program starts (well before the BBC itself) in the 1850s with a man named Admiral Robert FitzRoy. He was the captain of the Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – MMA Endangered by Blackstone Intervention / Spotify Announces 83M Subscribers / Global Music Copyright Worth $26B in 2016

Five Points – 34

Opportunity Zones  –

I’ve mentioned my enjoyment and gained knowledge from Fred Wilson‘s blog multiple times here on Five Points and he has yet again shared a kernel that you may find valuable.

As part of the December 2017 Trump tax cut, an unlikely group of billionaires and politicians quietly inserted a generous and complicated new tax break designed to lure big dollars into struggling areas known as Opportunity Zones, or O-zones.  About 8,700 O-zones nationwide, ranging from run-down inner cities to dusty rural hamlets,  have already been designated. But investors who want to take advantage of the new O-zone tax scheme can’t plow money into these areas directly. Instead, they must do so through qualified opportunity funds, or O-funds. These funds will have remarkable freedom to invest in just about anything—from real estate to tech start-ups—so long as it’s located in an O-zone and isn’t a business Congress considers a vice. (No casinos, liquor stores or massage parlors.)

Here’s how it works. Investors who sell assets have 180 days to plow their taxable capital gains into an approved opportunity fund, which must hold 90% of its assets in Opportunity Zone projects. To put money to work fast, the law requires that the funds invest all of their cash within some specified time frame. (The Treasury Department is still deciding on that and other crucial details.) Tax on the original reinvested gain isn’t due until 2026, and the taxable gain is cut by 15%. Meanwhile the new opportunity investment grows tax-free, like a Roth IRA, provided it’s held for at least ten years. (If it’s sold earlier, it can be rolled into another opportunity fund and remain tax-free.

For a census tract to qualify as an O-zone, it must have a poverty rate of 20% or higher or a median household income that is less than 80% of the surrounding area. Governors are allowed to designate 25% of their states’ eligible tracts as O-zones. In all, about 8,700 areas, ranging from rusty industrial towns to dusty rural hamlets, have been approved.

Unlike previous development incentives such as Enterprise Zones and New Market Tax credits, which capped tax benefits and placed restrictions on the industries and regions you could invest in, the O-zone law is broad and scalable. Vice businesses (liquor stores, casinos, massage parlors) are barred. And while venture capitalists, private-equity shops and banks will be essential for launching opportunity funds, those firms can’t simply locate in an O-zone and grow tax-free. Other than that, the investment options and those who can invest are broad.

Here’s a map of O-zones in the United States.
Forbes has a long piece on how these rules came to be and how they work.

If this is interesting to you and are keen to discuss in more depth, please do contact me.  I have privately shared this with several capable investors and am considering organizing a fund for investment in O-zones surrounding Nashville, TN.

The Biographer’s Lover –

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

Ruby Murray just let the world know her second book is available for pre-order.

Why has no one heard of Edna Cranmer?

When a young writer is hired to put together the life of an unknown artist from Geelong, of all places, she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own past.

But Edna Cranmer was not a privileged housewife with a paintbrush. Edna’s work spans decades. Her soaring images of red dirt, close interiors and distant jungles have the potential to change the way the nation views itself.

Edna could have been an official war artist. Did she choose to hide herself away? Or were there people who didn’t want her to be famous? As the biographer is pulled into Edna’s life, she is confronted with the fact that how she tells Edna’s past will affect her own future.

This elegant and engrossing novel explores how we value and celebrate art and artists’ lives. The Biographer’s Lover reminds us that all memory is an act of curation.


Do yourself a favor…or treat someone you care about to a special gift…

It’s available for pre-order now:

Ruby is an incredible wordsmith and even better person.

7’s Rugby World Cup – San Francisco, CA

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

Super proud of Dallen Stanford for being selected to announce the 7’s Rugby World Cup this weekend in San Francisco, CA.  He is prolific in rich commentary and educational information about the game and players, one-liners to have you big belly roll laughing, and access to the game’s brightest stars.

His role as commentator is second only to his career as player, having represented the United States for many years on the international stage.

Most importantly, he’s one of the best friends a guy could ask for.

Prefabricated Homes – 

My friend Isaac Roth sent along a link to what I find to be a simple, but beautiful prefabricated house.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – Apple Music Touts US Subscribers / Spotify Reveals Pitching Feature / UnitedMasters Launches Data-Driven Distribution Service