Last year's soccer World Cup in Germany brought the host nation more than a respectable third-place finish in the international tournament showcasing the best of the best in the beautiful game - it has also produced a mini baby boom.
As reported by Spiegel Online International and Reuters, an expected jump in birth rates nine months after the fact can be directly attributed to those heady and fun-filled days last summer. "The party mood which gripped much of the nation between June 9 and July 9 last year helped couples who had struggled for years to conceive as well as leading to productive new liaisons," Reuters reported on Wednesday.
"We are looking at a 10 to 15 percent jump in births in early March which goes back to the World Cup," Rolf Kliche, head of the Dr Koch clinic in the city of Kassel near Frankfurt, told Reuters. "Biological factors are related to people being relaxed and in a good mood which explains the phenomenon."
His clinic delivered its first "World Cup Baby" on Feb. 11. Pia Schmidt said her daughter Farina, born five weeks early, was conceived after Germany's 1:0 victory against Poland.
"I remember it perfectly. There was a great atmosphere, we had friends over and later the celebrations continued in the bedroom," Schmidt, 27, told Reuters from her hospital bed.
"We had wanted a child for some time and the midwife said the positive vibes during the World Cup released my hormones."
Royalty-Rate Hike Alarms Web Broadcasters
Small Radio StationsFear
Increase Will Force Them
To Abandon the Internet
By SARAH MCBRIDE
March 7, 2007; Page B1
Internet radio broadcasters face the alarming prospect of paying much higher royalties to song performers, a burden that could silence some online stations.
The Copyright Royalty Board, an obscure federal agency charged by Congress in late 2004 with setting sound-recording royalty rates for online radio stations, has carried out its mandate -- with the result that some broadcasters could be on the hook for millions of dollars more than they had planned.
The rates set by the board, effective retroactively to 2006, start at .08 cents per song, per listener. While that might not sound like much, it rises every year and adds up fast. And that's in addition to the sizeable royalties Internet radio companies pay to the songwriters and composers of the underlying works. "With these rates, there's no Pandora," asserts Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora.com, an online radio service with about six million registered users.
The schedule is likely to take up a big part of the agenda at a congressional hearing on the future of radio scheduled for today. RealNetworks Inc., a Web company, is among those testifying. While the hearings aren't expected to affect the new rates, the industry can appeal the decision at the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
But it's the small broadcasters that are hit especially hard. Until now, Congress has kept the stations' royalty costs artificially low to encourage a nascent industry. Previously, those smaller groups could pay 12% of revenue to a music group called SoundExchange, which collects royalties for digital spins of a song and doles them out to song performers and record labels. Because the smaller stations paid a percentage of revenue, they never faced a situation where their royalty bills exceeded their operating revenue, as many will now.
At the same time, music labels facing faltering revenue have been eager to make sure that everyone pays for their music. The board's new rates appear to be close to those sought by SoundExchange, an offshoot of the Recording Industry Association of America that now operates independently. But the Internet radio broadcasters say the rates hit one of the few bright spots in the moribund music business and thus end up shooting the labels in the foot. "People buy a lot more music because of what they hear online," says Mr. Westergren of Pandora.
"Internet radio is one of the best things happening to the record industry," agrees Kurt Hanson, owner of the online radio company, Accuradio. The entrepreneur calculated that under the old rules Accuradio's sound-recording royalty payments last year would be about $50,000. But under the new schedule, Mr. Hanson figures that his bill now amounts to about $600,000 -- more than all of last year's revenue from his radio Web site.
The rates also hit public radio stations like those affiliated with National Public Radio, which has been charging hard into online music. The public-radio stations were previously allowed to pay a flat fee under a separate negotiation with the music industry association. Now the stations will be subject to the new rates, after a small number of exempted hours of streamed music.
"NPR is consulting with the public-radio community to determine what steps must be taken to reverse this decision and its dire consequences on public service media," says spokeswoman Andi Sporkin.
Internet radio counts over 50 million listeners in the U.S., many of them tuned in to tiny, niche-oriented online broadcasters. That's well in excess of the 14 million or so subscribers satellite radio can claim. Satellite radio pays sound-recording royalties under a different schedule that was separately negotiated with the music industry; it too is up for renegotiation.
The schedule highlights an inequality that has rankled many online entrepreneurs for years. Regular radio stations don't pay royalties to performers for their over-the-airwaves broadcasts, although they do pay royalties to composers and songwriters. "It's flat out unfair," says Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Washington-based Digital Media Association, which represents online music companies such as AOL. His organization is weighing its options, which include appealing the new schedule within 15 days. Judge James Sledge, who oversaw the proceedings at the Copyright Royalty Board, says the schedule "is our best determination" given the boundaries established by Congress.
if they ever do prove that this shit is real or else leak what they already know, phoenix is so going to be the center of this. over half the people who live here have at least seen SOMETHING strange in the skies. and it goes back for YEARS too. i've heard stories. shit you wouldn't believe.
Please informs us about UFO stories here or on BTMOW thread.
well to begin with, there's the stuff everybody knows about: travis walton, the phoenix lights, countless strange superstition mountain stuff over the years. i believe that at least two of the major investigative ufo organizations had their start here as well. from wikipeida, i also learned that arizona has had 1324 officially reported sightings since 1946, the sixth most in the country. the "unreported" stories though are the really interesting ones. my aunt told me once that my grandmother was one of about a hundred people who sat and watched one fly over the fairgrounds in the early 1950's. unreported. supposedly one equal in size to the "phoenix lights" but closer to the ground moved across the west valley in the summer of 1987. unreported. supposedly the gila river indian tribe is well aware of this phenomenon and have documented sightings going back well over a hundred years. if this thing IS real, my guess is that it's always been here and that it is in fact "here" all the time, we just can't see it. i'm making the assumption that ufo's, should they prove to be real, have very little to do with "space" and everything to do with "time". just my two cents. i'm not sure i really believe in any of this per se, i just think it's interesting that so much of it seems to happen out here in the big expansive west. denver, aurora, and parts of nevada and new mexico are are all hotbeds for this sort of activity.
i heard somewhere that half of denver proper lies on top of underground military shit. not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but that's one embedded city. there's like a hum in the air everytime i visit.
Yeah I hear it all the time, that they have a underground highway that runs from Norad to Denver for president/nuclear bullshity. Then you get all the DIA was built on miltary installations, which I believe because you can see the missile silos when you fly into DIA. Its was always fun to get a high as hell and sneak into them, all sorts of crazy shit down there. They are enormous.