Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why the Gap Between Worker Pay and Productivity Is So Problematic - The Atlantic

Why the Gap Between Worker Pay and Productivity Is So Problematic - The Atlantic:

'via Blog this'

I just learned this is the case. It kind of made sense, since I was living it, but we still liked to think life was improving.

by  on  

One of the most frustrating parts of the sluggish recovery has been paltry wage gains for most workers. The stock market may be booming, corporate profits increasing, and home values rising, but middle and lower-class workers often don't truly feel the benefit of such improvements unless wages rise.

But wage stagnation isn't just a problem borne of the financial crisis. When you look at the relationship between worker wages and worker productivity, there's a significant and, many believe, problematic, gap that has arisen in the past several decades. Though productivity (defined as the output of goods and services per hours worked) grew by about 74 percent between 1973 and 2013, compensation for workers grew at a much slower rate of only 9 percent during the same time period, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute.

I spoke with Jan W. Rivkin, an economist and senior-associate dean for research at Harvard Business School who studies labor markets and U.S. competitiveness, in order to learn more about the history of the gap, and what it means for workers and the broader economy. The interview that follows has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Gillian White: So how long has the gap between wages and worker productivity persisted, and what does it mean for workers, other than the fact that they aren't seeing significant wage gains?
Jan Rivkin: From the end of WWII until the 1970s productivity in the U.S. and median wages grew in lockstep. But from the late 1970s until today we've seen a divergence, with productivity growing faster than wages. The divergence indicates that companies and the people who own and run them are doing much better than the people who work at the companies.
If the U.S. economy was healthy and competitive, we'd see firms able to do two things: win in the global marketplace and lift the living standards of the average American. Large businesses and the people who run them, and invest in them, are thriving but working and middle-class Americans are struggling—as are many small businesses.
White: Some say that the decrease of collective bargaining has played a role in creating the gap, how true do you think that is?
Rivkin: There are a number of causes, one is the underlying shift in technology and globalization. Another is systematic underinvestment in the commons, which is a set of shared resources that every business needs in order to be productive: an educated populace, pools of skilled labor, a vibrant network of suppliers, strong infrastructure, basic R&D and so on. A third is shifts in institutions and politics and bargaining power, which is embodied in the decline in collective bargaining and the weakening of labor unions. There's no question that that is part of the story. How large a part? I don't think anyone has a well-informed perspective.
White: Ok, so let’s talk more about some of the principal reasons this gap developed and then started to widen.
Rivkin: Starting in the 1980s changes in geopolitics and technology opened the world for business. It became possible to do business from anywhere and to automate an increasing array of activities. Globalization and technological change brought great benefits to the U.S. economy, but it had a few other consequences.

White: For instance?
Rivkin: It weakened the connections between companies and their communities. Those connections had led companies to invest in the commons, so corporate investment in the commons starts to decline around that period. Second, it put intense pressure on the middle class, which found itself competing for jobs with hundreds of millions of skilled, ambitious workers around the world—so this is the point at which we see the divergence between productivity growth and median-wage growth.
A third consequence occurred at the other end of the skills spectrum. For those who had unique skills, this became a golden age because now those individuals were able to sell their talents around the world, amplified by technology. So this is when we see inequality begin to soar.
White: This gap, like lots of other forms of inequality seems to bear down on the middle class—why do you think that is?
Rivkin: We could have doubled down on making the middle class so capable that it could compete with anyone, but I think instead, what we did collectively is we made a series of unsustainable promises to maintain the illusion of prosperity. Promises like let's extend credit to the middle class so that people can consume—especially houses; promises like the government will increasingly cover your healthcare costs in retirement; promises like the government will directly employ you. You then take those promises, couple them with a nasty recession and two wars and you wind up with a government that is physically hobbled and politically divided. So from government and from business you've got a systematic underinvestment in those shared resources that we need for the middle class to thrive.
White: You’ve said before, this isn’t just a middle-class issue, it impacts everyone and has ramifications for the economy as a whole. So how does this issue stretch beyond middle-class workers?
Rivkin: The divergence that I described is not just a problem for the middle class, it's a problem for all of society. Without a strong middle class we see weak consumption. With unhappy workers we have a less productive set of people for business to hire. If we're only tapping the creativity and potential of a small fraction of our population that can't be good for society. If working, middle-class Americans are not thriving, eventually they become anti-business voters. So this should be a concern for the 1 percent not only ethically, but economically.
White: Is there a way to rectify the situation, to close the gap or at least create better outcomes for workers?
Rivkin: There are some forces at work that are unstoppable and we probably wouldn’t want to stop them even if we could. Forces of globalization, technological change—those genies are out of the bottle. But there are other parts of they dynamic that are purely choice. The damage done by underinvestment is a Self-Inflicted Wound.
We need a movement toward cross-sector collaboration for rebuilding the commons and for sharing prosperity. We're seeing multiple examples of businesses that have realized that it’s in their interest to make sure that their workers are well educated, are skilled, that their supply networks are healthy, that the infrastructure in the cities where they operate is strong.
Investing in the commons should not be a substitute for raising wages, but wages are determined in a competitive market. It's impossible, for a company to justify paying an employee more if that employee hasn't been appropriately productive for the company. I think that business leaders just need to recognize that companies can't thrive for long if their communities are struggling.
White: Do you think that actual changes in business and policies that could help the situation are feasible in this environment?
Rivkin: It is a tricky moment. I really see us at a crossroads with two pathways. The current path is one where federal policy makers squabble for partisan gains, delay tough choices, and make America a less attractive place to compete. Business leaders pursue their narrow short-term interest and free ride off each other's investments—the business environment deteriorates, businesses leave America, the government enacts anti-business policies, companies reduce their U.S. activities further, and distrust deepens.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Upcoming Construction at 1604 & Bulverde

From the San Antonio Business Journal-

Local multifamily developer closes on 11 acres, across from future H-E-B


Monday, January 9, 2017

When teens lie (because they all do!) | Parenting

When teens lie (because they all do!) | Parenting:

'via Blog this'

From in the Parenting section.

When teens lie (because they all do!)

Teenage lying is nearly universal — and developmentally appropriate. So how can you build a trusting relationship with your adolescent child?

“Nelly, where are you going?” asks her mother one Saturday night, as her 16-year-old daughter scampers out the front door in a low-cut shirt and miniskirt.

“Shannon and I are going to a movie, I forget the name. Then we’re gonna eat at the new whatchamacallit cafe and I’ll be back by 11 or 12. Don’t wait up!”

“Okay… but… but… but…

Nelly’s mom frowns suspiciously as her daughter disappears into the night. She wonders: Was my daughter’s last-minute outfit change related to the furious spasm of texts she just got? Did she really break up with Dragomir, the too-old and too-rude wrestler? Is my daughter being honest with me?

Interrogating her, she realizes, is useless. Every time she tries, Nelly avoids her questions. Or gets angry and yells, “Mom! It makes me so mad you don’t trust me!”

It’s the paradox of parenting teenagers: their job is to develop the decision-making skills they’ll need to become responsible, autonomous adults. Our job is to give them enough freedom to practice those skills — but not so much freedom that they get themselves into serious trouble. We need to be able to trust them. But how reasonable is it to expect teens to be completely honest with their parents?

Trustworthy teens
Teens are old enough to have a well-established sense of right and wrong. And they value honesty — at least in the abstract. In the Josephson Institute of Ethics 2012 survey of more than 23,000 high school students around the country, more than 95 percent of teens said they believe “lying is morally wrong.” And 86 percent agreed with the statement, “It’s not worth it to lie or cheat because it hurts your character.” Like most adults, teens find lying to be more acceptable when the motive is to be polite or do good, less acceptable when the lies cause harm or self-gain. So that’s the good news. But if you’ve ever grilled your teenager for coming home after curfew, you’ve probably wondered if they’re telling you the whole truth.
Dr. Nancy Darling, professor and chair of the psychology department at Oberlin College, has researched teens and honesty for 20 years, conducting studies in the U.S., Chile, the Philippines, Italy, and Uganda. Her conclusion is that 98 percent of teenagers worldwide lie to their parents.
“Is that all?” My 16-year-old friend, Jesse, scoffs when I tell him this stat. “I think 2 percent are lying.”
Teens lie, Darling says, about how they spend their money, where they go with their friends, what they’re doing, who they’re dating, and their alcohol and drug use.
If the topics teens lie about are fairly predictable, the reasons they do it are also pretty easy to understand. According to Darling, the three reasons teens lie are, “they think they will get in trouble, they think their parents will be disappointed in them, and they think their parents will stop them from doing something they want to do in the future.”
My insightful friend Jesse offers a fourth reason teens may be reluctant to tell their parents everything: “We lie because we have this craving for autonomy and independence. By bending the truth, even in small, unimportant ways, we get to keep a morsel of information for ourselves. Every lie we tell is something our parents don’t find out about our lives. We crave that.”
My daughter Tallulah, also 16, agrees. “Kids lie,” she admits, “because they don’t want their parents to know what they’re doing or even thinking. Plus, parents always ask questions that kids don’t want to answer.”
There’s an argument to be made that this is a normal, healthy teen attitude. Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of the best-selling The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, writes in an email, “Among the primary challenges of adolescence is making your own decisions and establishing an identity separate and apart from one’s parents…. More often than not, some degree of lying, or fibbing at the least, typically takes place here. This is a part of the ‘rebellion’ that helps establish a personal point of view.”
Perhaps more worrisome than a teen who gently rebels, Duffy suggests, is one who doesn’t. “I find that the teens that always ‘toe the line’ are a bit quashed developmentally and somewhat overly dependent on their parents, sometimes well into adulthood. As a clinician, I find myself relieved when teens push the envelope a bit, knowing that the present difficulty will likely result in a future strength.”
Nosy parents, private teens
Darling’s knowledge of teenagers includes at-home experience: she’s the mother of two boys, including an 18-year-old. She has advice for respecting teens’ natural desire for privacy and autonomy.
“You don’t want to be intrusive,” she explains. “If you try to get into their personal business, they’ll push back, they won’t want to tell you… they might lie. They’ll throw up barriers.”
I feel guilty. I am a nosy dad.
“How do I know,” I ask, “what is intrusive, and what’s not?”
“I need to know if my son’s homework is done, but I don’t need to read it and make sure it’s all correct. I don’t need to over-control it,” she explains. “I need to know he went to school and was in class, but I don’t need to know every person he talked to at lunch. I need to know he was at his friend’s house, but I shouldn’t be asking about the content of his conversations.”
If you want more details, Darling suggests, try asking teens casual questions when they are doing a chore like the dishes. “They might be happy to talk and talk because they are bored and it is more relaxing then.”
Tough love when teens lie
Darling and Duffy agree that while it’s normal for teens to want to keep some details private, that doesn’t mean you should expect your child to lie to you, nor should you ignore it if they do.
“If you think they are lying, you should raise your eyebrows and say, ‘it’s undermining my trust in you, it’s undermining our relationship.’ When they do tell you the truth, you should thank them. Don’t punish them, otherwise next time they won’t tell you. Tell them, ‘I’m really disappointed that you lied, but now I really appreciate that you told me the truth’ and then move on,” Darling says.
They also agree that an honest, trusting relationship with your teen is an attainable goal.
Teens are the most frank with their parents, Darling says, when parents utilize two semi-opposing strategies. The first is to parent with warmth and acceptance, so your teen doesn’t feel they will be harshly and unjustly punished if they tell you something you aren’t going to like.
The second is to set clear rules — and enforce them consistently. “Let them know that you regard it as your job as a parent to set rules that are good for them in the legitimate domain of parental authority — safety and school-related concerns,” says Darling. And trust them with the decisions that are appropriate for their age and maturity level.
So, make it clear you expect total honesty from your teen when it comes to activities that put their health, safety, and future at risk — including drugs, alcohol, sex, driving, ignoring homework, ditching classes, and other thrill-seeking adventures. And respect their personal business — we don’t need to know everything they’re thinking and doing or control their self-expression and social life.
But what about the big, big gray zone, the area where clashes happen and lies are told? Do behaviors like wearing clothing you consider inappropriate — getting a tattoo, spending allowance money on items you think are foolish, going to parties where there will be drinking (to name just a few) — fall under parental jurisdiction for health and safety reasons or under teens’ personal business?
Only you and your teen can answer those questions for your family. Ideally, you’d decide together. Calmly explain your position. Relate to your child why you believe that getting an eyebrow piercing or extending their curfew until 2 am is a bad idea. Explain why you view it as your business to intervene.
Darling’s research shows that rulemaking plus warmth equals teenagers who are more likely to ask for your permission and more likely to confess if they have broken a rule. “They need to respect you and believe you will be warm, accepting, and non-punitive,” she says.
The recipe for honesty turns out to be cultivating warm, strong relationships with teens so they respect your rules and value your advice. And the best way to do that, says Duffy, is to “establish a strong positive balance in the emotional bank account. This means spending a lot of quality time together, just enjoying each other’s company, listening to your kid’s music, laughing with them, asking them to show you how an app works. This lays the foundation for a trusting relationship.” Research suggests that teens lie less when they have this kind of relationship with their parents, in part because they don’t feel like they need to, and in part because they don’t want to risk losing their parents’ trust.
Wonder what happened to Nelly, the wild and evasive teenager? I checked in with her on Facebook. She’s now a 21-year-old business major at Northeastern University. She wants to be a hedge fund manager, like her father.
“Nelly,” I ask. “Give me some advice. How can parents have an honest relationship with their teens?”
“Be honest with them,” she replies. “Get as interested and involved with their life as you can. That way, you’ll know what your kids are doing, even if you don’t agree with it.”
This is part of a new series on how the science of character development can help parents promote honesty, diligence, gratitude, generosity, forgiveness, and curiosity in their children.

About the author

Hank Pellissier is a freelance writer on education and brain development, and the author of Brighter Brains: 225 Ways to Elevate or Injure Intelligence. He is also the director of the Brighter Brains Institute.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kentucky State University announces free e-textbooks for students | Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University announces free e-textbooks for students | Kentucky State University:

'via Blog this'

OK, this does not suck.

FRANKFORT, KY—Kentucky State University (KSU) is making college more affordable for students. KSU announced today that it has partnered with Pearson, a global learning company, to offer e-textbooks to all KSU students for a flat fee. And to make things even better, KSU is providing a book scholarship to every student, which means the books are free.
“Some traditional textbooks can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 apiece. And the fact is, some students simply cannot afford to buy all the textbooks required for their course load,” said Aaron Thompson, PhD, interim president, Kentucky State University. “We want our students to be successful, and numerous studies have shown that if students do not have their books during the first few days of school, their success rate is seriously diminished.”
While many institutions have leveraged digital course materials delivery models at the individual course level, Kentucky State is one of only two institutions in the country and is the only institution in Kentucky currently working with Pearson to deliver course materials digitally college-wide, to undergraduate to graduate-level students.
“We want to ensure that all our students have equitable access to required course materials the very first day they walk into the classroom,” said Candice Love Jackson, PhD., acting vice president for Academic Affairs, Kentucky State University. “If a student does not own a computer, not to worry. Students can choose to rent a computer, or the University offers free computer at convenient locations all over campus which includes, dorms, computer labs, and the library.”
Kentucky State University also recognizes that providing comprehensive support both inside and outside the classroom is a key to student success. To provide students with crucial academic and technical support, KSU has created a technical help desk and Smarthinking online tutoring services part of its partnership with Pearson.
“There are some outstanding things happening at Kentucky State University and this is one of them,” said Thompson. “We are thrilled to be able to offer the free electronic textbooks to our students.”

To read more:
Kentucky State U offers free eTextbooks for all students
Technology in Higher Education
E-Xcellent News: KSU to offer students free e-textbooks
Kentucky State to Provide Free E-Textbooks to All Students

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mafia Game History

Wizards of the Coast has totally obliterated all of the old discussion boards and it appears, even it's archives.

Saved my old game list, posting it here for posterity.

Mafia Games 2010-2012
Submitted by PeregrineV 4 years ago
Ongoing games & signups:
Completed games:
[Basic#5]-Bandit Mafia, Town Doc, NK night2, Town Lost
Dreven City:A Wild West Mafia [Int+]: Town Vanilla*, lynched day4(2062), Town Won  (Design File)
Tales of Symphonia Mafia[Int+]: Town Gigilo*, lynched day2(888), Town Won
YMtC:Summit of Null Moon II[Int+]: Town Planeswalker, died day7, Town Lost
Anime Mafia[MINI]: Town Charasmatic, NK night2, Town Won (Design File)
Economic Crisis on Pandora[MINI]: Town Fountain Watch, Town Won (Flawless!)
Touhou Mafia IV: Border Collapse[PC]: Town HistoryChanger,died day6, Town Lost
You Will Hate Being Town Mafia[MINI]: Mafia Mother Brain, Mafia Won
Resistance v2.0: Resistance, Town Won
eBay Mafia: Town, dayvig day1, Town Lost
InFamous Mafia[Beginner]: Town Voteblocker*, lynched day3 (585), Town Lost
Kingmaker: Town, Town Won
Newbie 1077: Town, Town Lost
Full Metal Alchemist[Int]: Mafia, vigged night2, Mafia Lost
Sunflowers for Ragnarokio[PC]: Town Naive Cop, lynched day6, Town Won
True Blood Mafia[MINI]: Town Mason Lovers, NK Day3, Town Lost
Cold War Mafia: Town*, died day7, Town Lost
Elite Scumhunting Unit[MINI]: Town, lynched day3, Town Won
Time Traveler Mafia: Town, NK cycle 4, Town Won
Touhou Mafia: Subterranean Animism[MINI]: Town Doctor, NK night2, Town Lost
My Mafia Diary[Int+]: Town Mason, died day6, Town Lost
Chuck Mafia: Season 1: Town, lynched day3, Town Won
Paper Mario Mafia[MINI]: Mafia Pariah, lynched day2, Mafia Won
American Dad Mafia: Town Miller, lynched day3, Town Won
Mini 1157: Witch-Hunt Nightless: Mafia*, Mafia Lost
Stuff on My Desk Mafia [MINI]: Town Insomniac, NK night0, Town Lost
Razorborne Mafia [Basic]: Back-up Mod, Mafia Won
Small Town Mafia [Int]: Pigsticker Mafia Doc*, died day4, Pigsticker Mafia Lost
Wizards at the Sorcerors Den: Mafia Artificer, killed night3, Mafia Lost
Camp Crystal Lake [Int]: Town, lynched day2, Town Lost
Order of the Chaos Rose Mafia [MINI]: Town Martyr, died day4, Town Lost
Battelstar Galactica Mafia: Mafia Rolecop*, Mafia Won
[MINI 1168] Philosophy Mafia: Town*, dayvig day3, Town Lost
You Pick Your Role Mafia: Town Bulletproof, died day3, Town Lost
Planet of Hats Mafia [LARGE NY 1133]: Town Doc, NK night6, Town Lost
Into Africa Mafia: Town, dayvig day1, Town Won
Return to Gambits Mafia: Town Insane Cop*, NK night2, Town Lost
Lemming Mafia: Town, lynched day1, Town Lost
A Certain Magical Mafia[INT]: Town Networker, bombed day3, Town Won
[MINI 1199] Plissken's Pit: Mafia Goon, Mafia Won (Flawless!)
Mafia of Ancient Egypt [Mini]: Town, lynched day1, Town Won
Marketplace Mafia: Town, lynched day2, Town Lost
Mass Effect Mafia: Mafia Gifter, Draw leaning to Mafia Won
TV Show Mafia: Town, lynched day9, Town Lost
Simpsons Mafia [PC]: Town Voteblocker, NK night2, Town Lost
The Siege of Balginor [Real Adventures]: Town Champion, Day JOAT, Town Won
Toy Story Mafia: Town, NK day7, Town Lost
Dr. Who Mafia [MINI]: Mafia Godfather*, Mafia Won

Repo! the Genetic Mafia: Town, lynched day1, Town Lost
Worse Idea Mafia 4:SKs On the Loose: Town Child, Town Won
Death at a Funeral Mafia: Town, Town 1-shot Strongman Vig, Cancelled
PictoMafia III [MINI 1212]: Town*, died day4, Town Lost
Box Office Mafia: Town Neighborizer, died day7, Town Lost
Serenity (aka Firefly) Mafia: Town 1-shot Doc, nk n3, Town Lost
Lord of the Rings Mafia: Mafia Godfather, Mafia Won (Flawless!)
Imperishable Night Mafia: Town Enhancer, lynched day1, Town Lost
Zombie Com Mafia: Town Neighborizing Shieldee, Cancelled leaning toward Town Won
Brightest Day Mafia: Town Enhancer*, vigged n2, Town Won
Mafia Dating Game Show 2: Town, lynched day2, Town Lost
NY140: Powerrox's Large Normal: Town, NK n4, Town Lost
8p Swift Mafia: Town, NK n1, Town Lost
Bastardmind of Sin: Town Cop, vigged day 8, Town Won
Children of Hurin Mafia: Town, lynched day1, Town Won
Back to the Future Mafia: Town Doctor, Town Won (Flawless!)
Internet Stars Mafia[MINI]: Mafia Bulletproof, Mafia Won (Flawless!)
Disney Mafia [Basic #7]: Town, lynched day2, Town Lost
Imperial Intrigue Mafia: Mafia Traitor, NK night5, Mafia Lost
Mini 1245: Trouble in Paradise: Moderator, Town Won
Mini 1249: Community Paintball Mafia: Town, died day5, Town Lost
Mini 1247: Auction Mafia: Town, Cancelled
Camn's Tempermental Mafia: Mafia Ninja, Mafia Won
Mini 1249: RPG Mafia: Town Barbarian Mystic, lynched day4, Town Lost
Open 335: Gurgi EC8: Town*, Town Won
TV UPick Mafia: Town FBI Agent, endgamed, Town Lost
Dram's Bastard Mafia: Mafia Redirector, lynched day2, Mafia Won
Secret Society Mafia: Town tracker, nk night8, Town Lost
[Basic#8] Revolutionary War Mafia: Moderator, Mafia Won
Magic the Gathering: Innistrad Edition Mafia: Town Test Subject, NK night4, Town Won
Mythos Mafia: Town Miller, endgamed, Town Lost
Star Wars Mafia- Invitational: Town Motivator, lynched day3, ongoing
: Town, endgamed, town lost but guessed right

Mini 1272: Mafia Along the Boardwalk: Mafia Goon, lynched day4, Mafia Won

Arrested Development Mafia: Town, endgamed, Town Lost

Mini 1270 - Stargate SG-1 Mafia: Town Mason, lynched day1, Town Lost

NY 143: Mafia on the Gulf Coast: Town, Town Won

Cyclic Experimentation Set x02: Town, lynched day3, Town Lost

War in Heaven III Mafia: Town Cherub, Cancelled, (but I think town won!)

100 Boxes Mafia: Mafia**, Cancelled

100 Boxes Mafia (Reboot): Town**, self-exploded n1, Town Lost

Mini 1282: Mafia*, lynched day5, Mafia Lost

Mini 1293: New Age Mafia: Town, Town Won

Playground Mafia: Mafia Won, Moderator

DC Universe Mafia: Town (Flash), NK n1, Town Lost

Touhou 12:Undefined Mafia[Mini]: Town, lynched day2
: Town, Town Lost++

RPG Mafia II: Battle for Malura: Mafia Angel, Cancelled

Touhou 13: Yoshi's Revenge[Mini]: Town Hypnotist, Town Lost

Playground Mafia Mini (no relation): Mafia, Cancelled

Week Long Mafia: Moderator, Cancelled

Mafia With the Kittens: Town, lynched day3, Town Lost
Newbie 1214: Town Won, Moderator
Star Wars Mafia: Town (Count Dooku), lynched day1, Town Won

Blood Bowl Mafia: Mafia, lynched day3, Mafia Won

Polite Mafia: Mafia, lynched day 4, Mafia Won

Mini 1320: Redwall Mafia: Town Badger. killed night2, Town Lost

Mini 1324: Mostly Mute Martyr Mafia Haiku Redux: Town, Town Won

Paranoia Mafia: Town Oracle, lynched day1, Town Lost

Good vs Evil, Law vs Chaos Mafia: Town (LG) Paladin, killed night4, Town Won

Dwarf Fortress Mafia[MINI]: Town Jailkeeper, bombed day2, Town Lost

League Mafia: Town, Town Won

Newbie 1221: Town Jailkeeper*, killed night3, Town Won

Team Mafia (Closed Normal): Town 1-shot neighborizer, lynched day3, Town Lost

Game of the Year: Town, lynched day6, Town Won

Heroes of Comedy: Town, Town Lost

Experimental Role Mafia: Town*, killed night1, Town Won

Mini 1332: Town Neighbor, lynched day2, Town Lost

Politics Mafia: Town Odd-Night Cop, killed n6, Town Lost++

Newbie 1223: Frogs & Toads Mafia: Town Won, Moderator

Newbie 1214: Town Won, Moderator

#Pony Mafia: Mafia Insomniac, lynched day3, Mafia Lost

Mafia Behind the Maiden: Town***, Town Lost

Open 410: Trouble in Paradise: Mafia, Mafia lost

Mini 1344: Murder on the HMS Regalia: Town****, Town Lost

Mini 1350: Spartacus Blood & Sand Mafia: Barca, Beat of Carthage, Cancelled

Mini 1348: Dragon Ball Z Mafia: Town, Town Lost

Words with Scum Mafia: Town, Town Lost

Lovers Mafia: Town Lover*, committed suicide day5, Town Won

My Little Pony Mafia: Town 1-shot bulletproofer, killed n1, Town Lost

Newbie 1254: Mars is for Martians: Moderator, Mafia Won

Otherworld Mafia (Aia & Vasta): Town, lynched day3, Town Won

I Love the 90s Cartoons Mafia: Mafia Inventor, lynched day 11, Mafia Won

New Orchard Mafia: Town, lynched day2, Cancelled, Personal Win

Judge, Jury & Executioner: ongoing***, -replaced out-, Town Lost

Literal Music Video Mafia: Town Dead-voter, lynched day4, Town Won

Mafia in La-La Land: Town, killed n5, Town Lost

WWE Attitude Era 2.0 Mafia: Town Tracker, killed n2, Town Lost

Project Turbine Mafia (Eden Sol & Point Sol): Back-up Moderator, Mafia Won

Mini 1374 - Steam Library Madness Mafia: Town Neighborizer, endgamed, Town Lost
Mini 1382 - The Mystery at Lake Village: Town, Town Won

NY159: RUST Mafia: Town, vigged n3, Town Won

Discworld Mafia: Town Enabling Neighbor, lynched day 4, Town Won
Bleach Mafia: Town, lynched d1, Town Lost

Marketplace Mafia II: Town, Town Won

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Legacy: Town, Harry Potter VT, killed day4, Town Lost

Vampire Mafia: The Gehenna: Town, Town Won

Return to Ravnica (Limited) Promo: Mafia Bulletproof, lynched day5, Mafia Lost

MTG Mafia 2.5: Town doc, lynched d1, Draw

Author Mafia*****: Town 1-shot neighborizor, Town Won

Inbetweeners Mafia: Town, Town Lost

Mini 1389: The Agency Mafia: CIA Mafia Won, Moderator

Mini 1397: War is Hell: Town, lynched d1, Town Lost

You Could Be Anyone Mafia: Town Lie Detector, lynched day 7, Town Lost

Mini 1399: Buckshot Mafia: Town, Town Won

Px2 2012 Invitational: Town, Town Won

Mini 1407: Town****, Town Lost

* replaced in
** as hydra Birds of Pro
*** as hydra Teleporting Speed Hippos
****force replaced out
*****As an alt
++ Mod error
- See more at:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why British Singers Lose Their Accents When Singing

Why British Singers Lose Their Accents When Singing:

'via Blog this'

I always wondered. This kind of explains it.


Mick Jagger, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Ed Sheeran, Phil Collins and George Michael all grew up in or near London and have very recognizably British accents. Once on stage, they sing like someone who grew up in New England rather than old. Yet another example is Adele, who has a lovely speaking voice, a very heavy cockney accent, yet her singing pipes do not indicate her dialect. One might argue that Adele’s speaking and singing voices were two different people if listening without visuals. Going beyond the British, we see the same thing with other non-American musicians, such as the Swedish band ABBA, and many others singing in English, yet from various places around the world. It seems like no matter where you’re from, if you’re singing in English, you’re probably singing with an American accent, unless you’re actively trying to retain your native accent, which some groups do.
There are several reasons we notice accents ‘disappearing’ in song, and why those singing accents seem to default to “American”. In a nutshell, it has a lot to do with phonetics, the pace at which they sing and speak, and the air pressure from one’s vocal chords. As far as why “American” and not some other accent, it’s simply because the generic “American” accent is fairly neutral. Even American singers, if they have, for instance, a strong “New Yorker” or perhaps a “Hillbilly” accent, will also tend to lose their specific accent, gravitating more towards neutral English, unless they are actively trying not to, as many Country singers might.
For the specific details, we’ll turn to linguist and author, David Crystal, from Northern Ireland. According to Crystal, a song’s melody cancels out the intonations of speech, followed by the beat of the music cancelling out the rhythm of speech. Once this takes place, singers are forced to stress syllables as they are accented in the music, which forces singers to elongate their vowels. Singers who speak with an accent, but sing it without, aren’t trying to throw their voice to be deceptive or to appeal to a different market; they are simply singing in a way that naturally comes easiest, which happens to be a more neutral way of speaking, which also just so happens to be the core of what many people consider an “American” accent.
To put it in another way, it’s the pace of the music that affects the pace of the singer’s delivery. A person’s accent is easily detectable when they are speaking at normal speed. When singing, the pace is often slower. Words are drawn out and more powerfully pronounced and the accent becomes more neutral.
Another factor is that the air pressure we use to make sounds is much greater when we sing. Those who sing have to learn to breathe correctly to sustain notes for the right amount of time, and singing requires the air passages to expand and become larger. This changes the quality of the sound. As a result, regional accents can disappear because syllables are stretched out and stresses fall differently than in normal speech. So, once again, this all adds up to singing accents becoming more neutral.
So at this point, you might be wondering if the musicians actually know they are losing their accents when they sing. Working in radio, I’ve contemplated how accents seem to disappear over my 20-year career. Keith Urban isn’t British, though fans of the Aussie singer swoon over his speaking voice (many women could listen to him read the dictionary) and have noticed that he sounds more American when he sings. I have spoken to Keith a few times and decided the good-natured Keith wouldn’t mind me posing the question: How is it you sing differently than you talk? (Certainly not wanting to offend Keith, I began with a few genuine compliments admiring his genius guitar skills.) He took it all in stride, laughed, then responded, ‘I don’t know.’ (More like kneh-owww) ‘Good question,’ he said. Though I don’t think I have an accent. I think you do!’ It’s quite reasonable to believe that a Hoosier like me sounds a bit hillbilly to a guy from down under. Keith could not really explain the mystery behind it, and instead went on to explain why he was wearing black toenail polish the last time I chatted him up in person. (His wife, Nicole, has since been his inspiration to stop, he says.) So it would seem, that at least with this sample size of one, the artist in question is not aware of any accent change when he sings. So what about others?
Andy Gibson, a New Zealand researcher at AUT’s University Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication also believes the change in accent between speaking and singing is not a deliberate one, nor are artists even aware of the change. A 2010 study he conducted of singers with speaking accents showed indeed that they were not aware that they sounded any different; they felt they were singing naturally. Crystal says it is unusual for a singer to hold a regional accent through an entire song, resulting in what he calls ‘mixed accents’ for most.
And then there’s Kate Nash, the anti-norm. The English-singing sensation was an unknown until Lily Allen mentioned her on a MySpace page and now she boasts more than 100,000 followers on twitter. She didn’t know she had talent until she picked up her first guitar two years ago, and the rest is history. Nash has garnered success on the music charts, accent and all, and flat out refuses to even attempt to sing with an American accent. She makes no apologies for her background and even themes her lyrics toward an English audience. She is as English as tea in the afternoon and proud of bucking the trend that so many British artists seem to follow, whether intentionally, or more likely in most cases, not.
Bonus Facts:
  • Eeyore’s name is based off the British Cockney dialect version of the phrase “hee-haw”.
  • The guy who did the voice for Optimus Prime also did the voice for Eeyore and was the first person to voice Nintendo’s Mario character.
  • Similar to how their are numerous accents within the generic “American” accent, it’s not quite accurate to simply say “British accent”. There are quite a few British accents- an amazing amount actually, particularly considering the entire UK could fit into Texas, and England itself is only about the size of Alabama. A few of the most common “British accents” out there include: Cockney (which was butchered by Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins), Estuary English (Southeast British), West Country (Southwest British), Midlands English, Northern England English, Geordie, and Welsh English, among many others.