Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Markie Z Guest Blogger Patrick McKeown Interview

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Moycullen man Patrick McKeown  has trained over 5,000 people—including Olympic and professional athletes—in reduced breathing exercises and now shares his scientifically validated techniques to help you breathe more efficiently.
In The Oxygen Advantage, Patrick McKeown teaches you the fundamental relationship between oxygen and the body, then gets you started with a Body Oxygen Level Test (BOLT) to determine how efficiently your body uses oxygen. He then shows you how to increase your BOLT score by using light breathing exercises and learning how to simulate high altitude training, a technique used by Navy SEALs and professional athletes to help increase endurance, weight loss, and vital red blood cells to dramatically improve cardio-fitness.
He joined Gerry Murphy in Studio: 
Mark Andrew-214-552-0652 High Performance Breathing Technology, LLC

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Future Of Sports and TV

The future of sport on TV isn't on TV

Markie Z Guest Bloggers - David Ramli and Max Mason

    Tuning into sports is a near-ritualistic experience. You rush for the big screen, turn it on to a TV channel and get hit with the pre-game chatter of commentators and pitches from major advertisers.

But in the next few years a subtle shift will sneak into your living room. Rather than start with irrelevant noise, you'll hit a calm landing page on the TV or tablet computer tiled with apps for your favourite sporting codes.
This change means much more than a few seconds of added convenience. It represents one of the biggest waves to crash against the sports, broadcast and telecommunications industries for almost 100 years.
And not everyone will survive the hit intact.

Changing landscape

Optus this week surprised many Australians when it won the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the Barclays English Premier League – outbidding incumbent sports giant Fox Sports with an offer thought to be well more than $US100 million.
This was the first time in Australian history that a phone and internet provider had bought exclusive sports broadcast rights. And to say it shocked the incumbent players is a dramatic understatement.
"I thought Optus' purchase of the Premier League was one of the more intriguing moves I'd seen in sports rights for quite a long time," ABC managing director Mark Scott tells Fairfax Media.
"I think it clearly brings in more tension around television broadcast rights and I think it all depends on what distribution strategy Optus develops for that content."
Network Ten chief digital officer Rebekah Horne worked with Optus chief executive Allen Lew back when he was spruiking pixelated sports matches on Nokia phones – a product ahead of its time in 2006. She says the latest deal underlines the disruption facing the traditional titans of broadcasting.
"We can't think about our competitors in a traditional sense any more," she says. "Anyone who is able to amass audience and distribute content is a potential competitor in the future.
"It will be interesting to see whether there is a broader play outside of Optus, or whether it's an Optus ring-fenced kind of offering."
But analysts warn that Optus' push is just the start of a fundamental change in the way we get all content. In June the right to broadcast a rare NFL match in London was won by search provider Yahoo!, which beat social media provider Twitter for the rights with a $US17 million bid – a move that attracted more than 15 million viewers.

Fear and opportunity driving change

The two main forces driving this convergence of media, telecommunications and television broadcast players are fear and opportunity.
Telecommunications companies such as Optus and Telstra fear becoming nothing more than the people who sell "dumb-pipe" internet connections. The $56 billion national broadband network aims to get high-speed broadband to everyone by 2020 and telcos must do more to avoid becoming commoditised like gas and electricity providers.
Television broadcasters have long been the gatekeepers for advertisers wanting to reach into Australia's living rooms. Their fear of being bypassed is rapidly being realised thanks to content players such as Netflix delivering movies and top-shelf TV shows on demand over the internet.
Sports codes are addicted to the large amounts of money that locking in TV broadcast rights with the likes of Fox Sports can offer, but they fear losing touch with audiences that want to go online.
The opportunity for everyone is clear; the chance to retain and grow customer numbers while gaining an intimate understanding of viewers using the content they want to watch.
In your future living room, as you watch the Hawthorn Hawks or Parramatta Eels cruise to yet another grand final victory on a smart TV, the content is tailored to your tastes – none of the commentators you despise get air time and replays show the angles that a computer algorithm has decided that you best respond to.
Even the ads that pop up will be tailored to your needs – offers for the holiday destinations you've been searching pop up and never again do they interrupt the key play in a live match.

Future in viewers' hands 

Sports codes are addicted to the large amounts of money that locking in broadcast rights can offer.
TV broadcasters are also using streaming to capture audiences once they leave their homes. Seven began live streaming last week and had more than 300,000 punters watching the Melbourne Cup on their mobile, tablet or desktop.
"It creates a new content moment, which we believe ... is additive to the TV experience because the bulk of those people were on the cellular network, out of home, on a device and importantly, nowhere near a television," Seven West Media chief digital officer Clive Dickens said.
Much of the shift away from the old model of delivering sports is being driven by the codes themselves, which have finally started to realise the true value of their content in a world where news, movies and TV shows can be packaged and streamed by global players with deep pockets.
The United States is seen as sport nirvana by many codes and fans alike. Major League Baseball Advanced Media lets fans worldwide buy digital passes to live matches – bypassing the traditional cable television stations.
The strategy has been so successful that in August the once-unthinkable occurred – America's National Hockey League partnered with the baseball streamer to launch new services with shared revenue. In Australia, this would be like the AFL taking control of the NRL's digital streaming rights.

Cricket seen as a leader 

Cricket Australia has maintained ultimate control over its streams. Photo: Getty Images
Cricket Australia is recognised as one of the leaders and is changing the way its fans watch matches. Where sports codes traditionally rely on TV stations and telcos to install the required technology, almost three years ago it chose to take control of all digital rights and hired Accenture to build the infrastructure required to stream games online – despite a concurrent deal with TV broadcaster Nine Entertainment.
"When we did the deal there was a little trepidation about what the impact would be on linear broadcasters by having a live stream across all of our platforms," Cricket Australia media, communications and marketing executive general manager Ben Amarfio says.
"But it's actually grown the pie – the ratings for cricket over the journey of this relationship have held up extremely well.
"We get up towards 1.4 million people watching international cricket for large periods of time all through the summer … so there's been no degradation and at the same time we've seen our live app downloaded onto over 2 million devices and a lot of video views."
Optus announced in October it had signed a partnership deal with Cricket Australia that included free live passes for its customers, sponsorship rights and exclusive content.
But Cricket Australia maintained ultimate control over its streams – a key thing that allows it to tailor the content to what the fan base rather than the broadcasters desire. Ultimately, this helps build the code's popularity in time for the looming battle over live-streaming rights.
"Broadcasters are getting into streaming, pay TV companies are getting into broadband and telcos are getting into content so everyone is converging into the middle," he says.
"So there will be media/telco companies who want to scoop up as many rights as possible to make sure they get across as many platforms as possible because they'll want to go where the eyeballs are.
"Sport is still one of the last few bastions able to aggregate large numbers of people … and that's one thing the streamers [like Netflix] are currently not in."

Tech makes it happen 

The television of the future probably won't have an antenna at all. Photo: Karl Hilzinger
One of the biggest drivers of this push is the rising tide of internet access. Like it or not, the government's NBN project aims to deliver broadband speeds of more than 25 megabits a second to every home and business by 2020.
It's around this point that telcos, content providers and broadcasters will have a genuine ability to switch away from using TV signals and onto internet-enabled streams, which cost less to deliver thanks to fewer signal towers and spectrum costs.
But this will also be the point at which the traditional broadcasters lose a key reason they've traditionally been the gatekeepers to Australian sport. The television of the future probably won't have an antenna at all – every kickoff delivered over broadband speeds thought impossible a mere 10 years ago.
In the new era, however, telcos will hunger for scale and profit margin because the NBN will be their wholesale suppliers of broadband. Premium players such as Telstra and Optus will have to justify why they're more expensive than the TPG Telecoms of the world and they'll use things such as content and customer service to do so.
"Sport today has a lot of traction, especially in a country like Australia, and that's why it's so attractive for some of the providers," Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief executive Inaki Berroeta says.
"It was once carried by single providers but now with the NBN there are other ways of broadcasting it.
"But there are also some of the challenges you see in other markets where the fact that some providers have exclusive rights means customers have to buy multiple platforms if they want to see all the sports."

Telstra stuck in a tough spot 

In the new era, however, telcos will hunger for scale and profit margin. Photo: Peter Riches
The nation's biggest phone and internet provider, Telstra, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one side is its 50 per cent stake in the highly profitable pay-TV provider Foxtel, whose premium margins rely on being the go-to provider of live sports and other content.
But on the other is the NBN churn that could strip Telstra of its vital customers unless it offers users what they want, namely content on demand. Its head of media, Joe Pollard, who previously worked at Nine Entertainment, says the strategy remains one of offering an entry-level service with Telstra TV or its more-expensive Foxtel bundles, which will remain viable thanks to deep pockets.
"I think it'll come down to who is willing to pay for the rights," she says. "At the moment where all of the commercialisation of that content sits well and truly in the free-to-air advertising or pay-TV model.
"It would be very, very difficult to have an at-scale payback on rights on the amount of money that is being paid for in the ... direct-to-consumer model."

Roadblocks ahead 

Optus must spend big on infrastructure if it wants to deliver high-definition football. Photo: Getty Images
But there remain plenty of cultural, regulatory, technical and financial barriers to the shift taking off. Australia's relatively small population makes it harder for sports codes to reach consumers directly as they have in the US and Europe.
And the anti-siphoning rule, which stipulates that free-to-air broadcasters must get first dibs on certain hugely popular events and matches, could well prevent the TV stations from becoming extinct.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims this week said the rule may need to be reviewed thanks to the rise of online streamers and players such as Optus – a point supported by Seven chief executive Tim Worner.
"The acquisition of sports rights by telcos and others will place pressure on the current anti-siphoning framework, which only covers free-to-air and pay-television broadcasters," Worner says.
"The one thing we do not want in this country is to create a community of haves and have nots, where only those that can afford it can watch the sporting events that up until now have brought the nation together."
Optus will also be forced to spend big on infrastructure if it wants the ability to deliver high-definition football over the internet with data centre upgrades just the tip of the iceberg. Its rights kick off from August 2016 onwards – more than four years before the NBN is due to be completed.

The future is here 

Optus caught the dominant players flat-footed.
None of this is likely to stop the wave.
Monash University's Associate Professor Brett Hutchins, who is halfway through a four-year research project into these specific changes, tells Fairfax Media that the move by Optus caught the dominant players flat-footed.
"Fox Sports no longer has the unquestioned dominance they've long enjoyed ... and they're not accustomed to losing so I'm sure this will shorten them up but it'll also focus their attention," he says.
"There's a tipping point in most markets and they weren't aware the tipping point was already here.
"That has something to do with complacency and the idea that 'the Australia market is so small [the sports codes] will always come to us' but while ever they've got AFL, NRL and some cricket and the A-League as well as super Rugby I think it'd be pretty silly all those sporting organisations want Foxtel to be weakened."
But if Cricket Australia's approach of wooing fans directly takes off, it may be the case that none of the broadcasters gets a choice in the matter.
"Once you build a capability, like [Major League Baseball] have, then one of the benefits you can do is look into other areas and how else you can use it," Amarfio says.
"We're developing capability as well and we've had to because we've had to become content creators that we never were before – we're cricket administrators.

"So down the track we may have to look at how we branch out and leverage ... whatever we become great at."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

High Performance Breathing Technology - The Oxygen Advantage - Fighting Irish Olympic Runners

"Training Secret for The Next Generation"

Guest Blogger Chris Giesting - Olympic 400 Meter 

Living at near sea level in Granger, Indiana, it’s almost impossible to get the kind of high altitude training if we were in Colorado or New Mexico...until now.

For the last month the three of us have been working with a team from High Performance Breathing Technologies that has been helping us to develop our own high altitude training regimen right here in Granger, Indiana USA. And to think they said Indiana was all corn fields.

Patrick McKeown, the author of The Oxygen Advantage, is an expert at utilizing the breath to improve one’s health. He has been working directly with us since August in order to coach us and teach us the techniques necessary to benefit from this program.

At the elite level in track and field, the difference in winning and losing comes down to a hundredth of a second. We can’t tell you have many times we’ve lost by a hundredth or a tenth. Who even keeps count of the one, two or twelve times it’s happened. We aren’t bitter at all. They are just lucky we had the sun in our eyes, and the wind facing the...anyway, like we were saying, track and field is determined by these small fractions of seconds. So much so that even the slightest of edge can make the difference. With the High Performance Breathing Technologies practice, we believe we can take up to a mind-boggling half a second off of our times.

That’s like the time it takes a college kid to get dressed before an 8 am class!

In our sport, it really does make the difference in being a champion and watching from the bleachers.

So just to give you a sense of what type of exercises we are doing, here is one of our favorites:

First things first, you must have your mouth closed for the entirety of these exercises. It’s paramount you perform nasal breathing only. Science. So we start off walking at a moderate pace breathing through the nose. Then we’ll pinch our noses shut and walk 15 steps, and then go back to nasal breathing after the 15 steps to catch our breath. Then rinse, wash and repeat. After two times, we’ll move up to 20 steps for a couple times, and then 25, 30, 35 and so on and so forth until we reach 80 steps while holding our breath.

One thing to note here is that you’ll catch a lot of odd looks when you’re walking around holding your nose. We believe that when you hold your nose in front of people, it releases a strange light that attracts newcomers. The jury is still out on that one though!

What Patrick and his team have been able to accomplish with their research and practice is astounding. They have introduced certain types of exercises similar to the above that call for you to hold your breath while walking, jogging and sometimes running. Like running wasn’t hard enough already.

Essentially, they’ve figured out a way to improve your ability to improve oxygen carrying capacity and deliver more oxygen to your organs and muscles. Another goal is to train the body to reduce lactic acid build up, thereby delay the onset of fatigue.  Lactic acid is the cause of your gluteus maximus to lock up at the end of the race. Are you not entertained?!

Now, with their help, we are able to “live” at high altitude without actually living at high altitude. “live high, train low”. That’s what Patrick emphasizes and we’ve already seen benefits within a month of incorporating these exercises.

We’ve seen an increase in our ability to hold our breath, which is a good indication of your VO2 max level, and we’ve experienced an ability to complete workouts easier than before. On a smaller level, we’ve reduced our nasal airway congestion and been able to sleep throughout the night without having to get up to pee. Trust us, when you hydrate like we do, you typically have the nighttime bladder capacity of an 80 year-old man. BUT NOT ANYMORE!

No other athletes are using this program...yet, so we have the ultimate advantage, or the oxygen advantage, if you will. But once they realize the difference it makes, this will revolutionize the way we think about training.

It’s certainly been an enlightening experience getting to work with the High Performance Breathing Technologies team and we’d like to thank all of them for choosing to work with us while we train for the Olympics. This could be the difference it takes to set us apart.

If you don’t believe us, check it out yourself at

Don’t forget to check out our donation page link! All donations help us fund our training and racing efforts for the year.

Go Irish!

Chris Giesting - Jade Barber - Patrick Feeney

#oxygenadvantage #highperformancebreathingtechnology #chrisgiesting #jadebarber #patrickfeeney
#2016summerolympics #riodejaneiro #brazil #usatrackandfield #notredame #patrickmckeown #markiez #markandrewzwartynski #markandrewz #doctormartindenbar #davidcraig #ioc #usoc

Monday, September 21, 2015

Guest Blogger - Robert Reich - Big Tech Today

Berkeley, Calif. — CONSERVATIVES and liberals interminably debate the merits of “the free market” versus “the government.” Which one you trust more delineates the main ideological divide in America.

In reality, they aren’t two separate things. There can’t be a market without government. Legislators, agency heads and judges decide the rules of the game. And, over time, they change the rules. The important question, too rarely discussed, is who has the most influence over these decisions and in that way wins the game.

Two centuries ago slaves were among the nation’s most valuable assets, and after the Civil War, perhaps land was. Then factories, machines, railroads and oil transformed America. By the 1920s most working Americans were employees, and the most contested property issue was their freedom to organize into unions.

Now information and ideas are the most valuable forms of property. Most of the cost of producing it goes into discovering it or making the first copy. After that, the additional production cost is often zero. Such “intellectual property” is the key building block of the new economy. Without government decisions over what it is, and who can own it and on what terms, the new economy could not exist.
But as has happened before with other forms of property, the most politically influential owners of the new property are doing their utmost to increase their profits by creating monopolies that must eventually be broken up.

The most valuable intellectual properties are platforms so widely used that everyone else has to use them, too. Think of standard operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows or Google’s Android; Google’s search engine; Amazon’s shopping system; and Facebook’s communication network. Google runs two-thirds of all searches in the United States. Amazon sells more than 40 percent of new books. Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion active monthly users worldwide. This is where the money is.

Despite an explosion in the number of websites over the last decade, page views are becoming more concentrated. While in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31 percent of all page views in America, by 2010 the top 10 accounted for 75 percent. Google and Facebook are now the first stops for many Americans seeking news — while Internet traffic to much of the nation’s newspapers, network television and other news gathering agencies has fallen well below 50 percent of all traffic. Meanwhile, Amazon is now the first stop for almost a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything. Talk about power.

Whenever markets become concentrated, consumers end up paying more than they otherwise would, and innovations are squelched. Sure, big platforms let creators showcase and introduce new apps, songs, books, videos and other content. But almost all of the profits go to the platforms’ owners, who have all of the bargaining power.

Contrary to the conventional view of an American economy bubbling with innovative small companies, the reality is quite different. The rate at which new businesses have formed in the United States has slowed markedly since the late 1970s. Big Tech’s sweeping patents, standard platforms, fleets of lawyers to litigate against potential rivals and armies of lobbyists have created formidable barriers to new entrants.

The patent system is crucial to innovation. The law gives 20 years of patent protection to inventions that are “new and useful,” as decided by the Patent and Trademark Office. But the winners are big enough to game the system. They make small improvements warranting new patents, effectively making their intellectual property semi permanent. They also lay claim to whole terrains of potential innovation including ideas barely on drawing boards and flood the system with so many applications that lone inventors have to wait years. The White House intellectual property adviser Colleen V. Chien noted in 2012 that Google and Apple were spending more money acquiring patents (not to mention litigating them) than on doing research and development.

Antitrust laws used to fight this sort of market power. In the 1990s, the federal government accused Microsoft of illegally bundling its popular Windows operating system with its Internet Explorer browser to create an industry standard that stifled competition. Microsoft settled the case by agreeing to share its programming interfaces with other companies. But since then Big Tech has been almost immune to serious antitrust scrutiny, even though the largest tech companies have more market power than ever. Maybe that’s because they’ve accumulated so much political power.

In 2012, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition submitted to the commissioners a 160-page analysis of Google’s dominance in the search and related advertising markets, and recommended suing Google for conduct that “has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers and to innovation.” But the commissioners chose not to pursue a case. Investigators also found evidence that Google was pushing its products ahead of competitors’ on search results; though no legal action was recommended on this point.

It’s unusual for commissioners not to accept staff recommendations, and they didn’t give a full explanation. The F.T.C. noted a competing internal report that recommended against legal action, but another plausible reason has to do with Google’s political clout. Google is now among the largest corporate lobbyists in the United States. Around the time of the investigation the company poured money into influencing both the commissioners and the commission’s congressional overseers.
GOOGLE is heading into a major fight with antitrust officials in the European Union for some of the same reasons the F.T.C. staff went after it. Not incidentally, Europe is also investigating Amazon for allegedly stifling competition in e-books, and Apple for doing the same in music. While many on this side of the Atlantic believe Europe is taking on these tech giants because they’re American, another possible explanation is that Google, Amazon and Apple lack as much political clout in Europe as they have here.

Economic and political power can’t be separated because dominant corporations gain political influence over how markets are maintained and enforced, which enlarges their economic power further. One of the original goals of antitrust law was to prevent this.

“The enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power,” warned Edward G. Ryan, the chief justice of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, in 1873. Antitrust law was viewed as a means of breaking this link. “If we will not endure a king as a political power,” Senator John Sherman of Ohio thundered, “we should not endure a king over the production, transportation and sale” of what the nation produced.

Sherman’s Antitrust Act easily passed Congress and was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison on July 2, 1890. Twelve years later, President Teddy Roosevelt used it against the Northern Securities Company, which dominated rail transportation in the Northwest. In 1911, President William Howard Taft broke up the Standard Oil empire.
The underlying issue has little to do with whether one prefers the “free market” or government. The real question is how government organizes the market, and who has the most influence over its decisions. We are now in a new gilded age similar to the first Gilded Age, when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. As then, those with great power and resources are making the “free market” function on their behalf. Big Tech — along with the drug, insurance, agriculture and financial giants — dominates both our economy and our politics.

Yet as long as we remain obsessed by the debate over the relative merits of the “free market” and “government,” we have little hope of seeing what’s occurring and taking the action that’s needed to make our economy work for the many, not the few.

Robert B. Reich is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of the forthcoming book “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few,” from which this essay is adapted.

#robertreich #markandrewgroup #markandrewz #markiez #economy #technology 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guest Blog - Dr. Martin Denbar "For Everyone Concerned About Improving Their Lives"

Finally, high altitude training using simulated techniques while at sea level without the need for expensive equipment is now being coupled with proper breathing techniques.  This allows for year round optimized conditioning that will improve endurance, stamina, mental acuity and performance.  No longer does an athlete have to be at altitude just before an event to maximize their training before competition.  This program provides for the complete athletic program that is drug free, comprehensively addresses an enhanced airway management program for the athlete or individual and provides for generalized improved health and wellness of the participant.  
            Trained doctors look for abnormal breathing and swallowing patterns that can negatively impact performance and the ability to maximize one’s training efforts.  This program is performed drug free with possible lifelong structural and functional improvements for the junior to senior athlete or private individual.

            All protocols, therapies and techniques are back by published research.  The difference is that for the first time these protocols, therapies and techniques have been structured into a comprehensive program that provides for enhanced results.

Dr. Martin Denbar - Guest Blogger 

Mark Andrew Zwartynski (Markie Z Blog)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Mental Game
Markie Z (Mark Andrew Zwartynski)

Take a deep breath.  Wait.  Breathe through your nose, hold until you feel the beginning of your body wanting to release.  Exhale through your mouth.
"It is how you breathe during your daily life that determines how you breathe during physical exercise. If our breathing is off during rest, it would be unreasonable for it to automatically correct itself during physical exercise.  The seemingly innocuous tendencies of breathing through the mouth during the day, having noticeable breathing from the upper chest or holding the breath during sleep not only dictates your breathlessness during training but often limits your capacity to go faster and further."  Patrick McKeown - Buteyko Clinic Dublin, Ireland.
"Nose breathing imposes approximately 50 percent more resistance to the air stream in normal individuals than does mouth breathing, resulting in 10-20 percent more O2 uptake. (Cottle, 1972: Rohrer, 1915) 
Faster and father.  This means you are feeling good, rested and the shape you are in at the moment. Wait a minute, you say.  Weren't we discussing the mental game?  You bet we were!  You get 80% better oxygen needs into your lungs than by breathing through your mouth.  When breathing correctly one supplies the fuel for the brain and the opportunity to be mentally sharper, think quicker, be resilient to immediate and long term strategic planning.

Check out by Patrick McKeown.

Take a deep breath.  How many times have you heard someone say that phrase?  Magic Nutrition and MagicMind - - are produced to improve one's lifestyle.  Placing your body and mind into shape will help you overcome the daily obstacles in life and improve your overall "Lifestyle." 
The Human Performance Resource Center published 10 great tips for mental game peak performance:

Markie Z (Mark Andrew Zwartynski)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Many Pro Songwriters Are Starving - How and Why - by Brent Baxter Guest Blogger on Markie Z Blog

ro Songwriters Are Starving- And That’s Good News For You!

Man vs Row
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

I have good news and bad news.

Bad news: These days, it’s so hard to make a living writing songs that a lot of great, talented professional songwriters need to look for additional income outside of just publishing deals and royalties. Yeah. That’s the bad.
Here’s the good. A lot of those pro songwriters are turning to teaching and coaching as a way to make ends meet, so there has never been a better time for you to learn the art and craft of songwriting!

Yeah, that’s pretty messed up when you think about it, I guess. But it is what it is.

You probably can’t do much to affect the state of the music industry, but you CAN take advantage of the situation by seizing as many learning opportunities as you can.
Whether it’s through folks like me who are writing ebooks and doing the occasional workshop or coaching session, or the fine folks at NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) or GSC (Global Songwriters Connection) who hold workshops and give you the chance to connect with publishers, there are plenty of options.

There is really no excuse for you NOT to be learning a ton about the music business.

Even if you can’t afford to join a songwriting association or pay for coaching right now, there are still free blogs (like Man vs. Row) and YouTube videos that are free- and full of great information and inspiration.

Beware of sharks.

Out of desperation or greed, some “coaches” may lie to you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If he or she says you’ll have a good chance at a big cut if you pay a few hundred dollars for a cowrite… run. After all, if this pro can get cuts that easily, why are they writing with anyone who’ll pay them?
However, if a pro offers up a paid cowrite as a chance to “learn by doing” while you work on a song together and the pro teaches as you write… well, that’s a lot more realistic and could be a worthwhile investment.
The royalty scraps we’re being thrown is leading to a heaping buffet of learning opportunities. So pile up your plate, pig out, and come back for more!

When it comes to learning, gluttony is a virtue.

Speaking of learning, I’ve written an workbook about how to write market-smart songs (songs that have a competitive advantage in the commercial market).  If you want to discover more about how to write market-smart songs, check out my ebook, “Cut/able: Lessons In Market Smart Songwriting.”  Click on the image below or click here to write market-smart songs.
God Bless,

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How We As The People Affect Politics

Some people have reservations about posting their thoughts about politics in social media, in social settings or just about any other form of communication.  Other folks are very passionate and have no problem discussing what they feel is right, wrong and how things should be fixed.

The 2016 Presidential election campaigns are in full swing.  Yet, some politicians have placed themselves in the "exploratory - potential" category, i.e., Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, George Pataki, Donald Trump and others.  Of course, they are testing the waters, discussing issues and seeking financial support.

The word has long been on the street about the $1 billion Hillary Clinton is amassing for her 2016 Presidential run.

The is also reporting. “A network of conservative advocacy groups backed by Charles and David Koch aims to spend a staggering $889 million in advance of the next White House election, part of an expansive strategy to build on its 2014 victories that may involve jumping into the Republican primaries.

That is a lot of money, to say the least.  It is much more than twice the amount both parties have spent on the 2008 Presidential election.

What is the point?  It is that those running for office or "exploring" their options will be spending money that will be channelled through all forms of communication and the media to deliver the message as to why they are the most qualified to lead the country.  Most, but not all, people will be making their decisions based on what they hear and see through the media.  The media will deploy "experts" to explain the issues the candidate is discussing as well as the opposing view.

In the Dallas, Texas mayoral elections, 6% of eligible voters turned out and casted a vote.  Of course, we know that local elections have low turnouts, state elections climb higher (33.7% in Texas), congressional elections climb even higher (but are at an alarming low turnout - 2012 at 53.6%, 2014 at 36.3% the lowest since World War II) and the highest turnout is the Presidential election - 2008 at 57.1% and 2012 at 54.9%. 

Obviously, political campaign strategists focus highly on the demographic makeup of the constituency of people contained within those percentages.  Groups have been organized, along with strategies to encourage people to go out and vote.  Ah yes, the old adage, "not casting a vote is casting a vote for the candidate you not want to win."  But do people care?  It appears that maybe 54.9% of the people do.  The others must have no feeling either way.  One can suppose that they do not feel they can affect the direction or decisions of their country.

I am afraid obsolescence has set in to the people that affect politics.  People affect the outcome of the race when they do vote and when they don't vote.  I am afraid that we have allowed a very simple minority to affect an election.  Along with obsolescence comes the strategy of how campaign managers and those that want to influence decisions such as the Koch brothers communicate what they want to to the voters (the ones they know will actually come out).  If a person agrees with the Koch brothers and what they stand for then that is their prerogative.  If a person agrees with Hillary Clinton and what she stands for that is their prerogative as well.  However, the issues are Foreign Relations Policy - ISIS/ISIL, Nuclear Armament, Military Intervention, Coalition Forces Overseas,Trade Agreements, Oil, Currency Exchange, Security, Immigration, Marriage Rights, Food Supply, Imports, Exports, Isolationism, States Rights and the Federal Government, Taxes, Terrorism, Rioting, Profiling, Bomb Attacks, Prison Reform, Abortion, Right To Bear Arms, Minority Rights, Government Spending, Gross National Product, Minimum Wages, Health Care, Medicare, Social Security, Public Safety, Crime, Government Regulation and much, much more.  Much more.

The issues continue, but so does obsolescence.  There is a point to be made that a person must work to support their family and does not have the time to research all the issues and the ensuing facts. Even with that knowledge, one then needs to take the thoughful time to make their own assessment.

The media arrives and due to visual and audible entertaining elements attempts to capture the audience and relay the news, the facts, the reality or present it in comedic fashion.  So, there must be a percentage of people that engulf themselves with this presentation of issues and events and make an analysis based on their own clear conscience. I do not know what that percentage might be.  I do not believe anyone does.  But, I do believe that the political campaign managers make an "educated" guess as to what that percentage may be and align their strategies accordingly.

I also know that 5% of high net worth individuals earn more than half of the entire population of the United States.  That is a Federal Reserve reference.  

I also know that Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern have a very strong commonality.  They are each and unto themselves merely an act.  Entertainment.  They surely have opposing views.  But they are still just an act.  Believe them if you will.  That is what is great about the United States.  It is called freedom.  Freedom to choose who you will listen and/or not listen to.  But only 54.9% create the action and take it upon themselves to vote.  Listening to whomever you want is freedom.  Not voting is a vote against freedom.


Markie Z

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blind Boy Fuller: Piedmont Blues' | American Songwriter

"Truckin' My Blues Away"
By Blind Boy Fuller - Performed by Blind Boy Fuller

Many songs have been inspired by Blind Boy Fuller - the Grateful Dead attribute inspiration for "Truckin" to this song.  It's been covered by Hot Tuna.  Check it out! 

Markie Z

Blind Boy Fuller: Piedmont Blues' Notorious B.Iby.G. | American Songwriter

Monday, May 4, 2015

 "The Weight of the Wall" Teachers.  Do we take these people for granted?  Do we over-criticize them with our so-called "learned" opinion when it comes to our children?  The answers to those questions are for each of us as individuals to make to ourselves in a private setting.

A person usually knows what they are signing up for when they accept the position of a teacher - at any level.  There are many items to ponder before agreeing to do that job.  There may also be some instances that are not specifically outlined in the job description the teacher is accepting as well.

They have to ponder low wages, many hours of work, oversize classrooms, non-attentive students, in some cases, guns, drugs, low morality among those students, delinquency, disrespect, administrative demands, demands of parents.

They also ponder the  opportunities to "help" children/students/parents/people.  They ponder the chance to work with a child/student and improve them in a particular subject or academic area.  They think about the possibility to help a child/student in their life. 

And then, they may be called upon to do something else during the course of a split second.

Last week the strongest category tornado (EF 5) touched down in Moore, Oklahoma wreaking devastation a mile wide and seventeen miles long.  It was just approximately 14 years since a similar tornado touched down and wreaked devastation in the very same town.

Fourteen years ago when I was working for the Dallas Mavericks NBA Franchise, I was traveling and away from home which is so commonplace for a person in the sports and entertainment business.  I do not remember where I was, but I surely remember sitting in my hotel room in front of the television watching The Weather Channel, at the same time being on the phone with my wife Maritta who was hunkered down under a mattress with our two daughters, Andrea and Sarah, in the "safety room" constructed specifically in the center of the house under the staircase.  They were in Edmond, Oklahoma.  I was watching The Weather Channel showing spikes of golden flashes on the screen depicting lightning strikes and possible tornado touchdowns around the area of Edmond and North Oklahoma City.  It looked like I was watching a science fiction space movie.

Then came the report:  A category   EF 4 Tornado had touched down and was heading directly for Edmond.  I was helpless and I was of no help.  For some reason explainable only by meteorologists and weather scientists the tornado turned left and struck in the area of Guthrie, Oklahoma bypassing Edmond.  I was saddened for the people of Guthrie and happy at the same time for the safety of my family.  At that moment the quiet came after the storm.

The very next day mu children got on the schoolbus and went to their schools.  The teachers and administrators decided to practice their emergency measures once again to be sure they would be prepared for the worst.  the same way the administrators and teachers in Moore, Oklahoma have done time and time again.  Although this time in 2013, they lost 27 people and had hundreds injured.

The teachers in Moore stayed calm and pulled debris over their bodies as they laid over the children protecting them underneath them.

Did the teacher's job description state that if the worst category EF 5 Tornado came through the school that they were required to quickly cover themselves with debris so that they could protect the children lying their beneath them.  No, it did not.  it did not have to.  These teachers automatically sacrificed themselves to protect the children.

Aside from the fact that they stay after school and tutor students.  Aside from the fact that coach's work hard to mesh athletics with academics to create the an all-around learning environment from the student.  Aside from all of what is in their job descriptions perhaps they ought to be compensated a little better.  if anything, for the reason to keep them as teachers and not enticed to take corporate positions for higher pay.  We can't blame these people for leaving the teaching ranks for higher pay.  If teachers are sent into the ranks of developing the lives of our children - the future of our country - should we think of paying them more than what they are making now which is ridiculous.

How much is that teacher in Moore, Oklahoma worth after he or she inspired two students in different subjects and then saved the lives of multiple students all in a days work?  They took on "the weight of the wall."



Friday, January 16, 2015

The Human Brain - Stress

The Human Brain and Stress
There are many challenges that people face on a day to day basis.  There are also many things that people trust on a moment by moment basis.  For example, a person will purchase a bottle of water at a store and be comfortable that drinking its contents will not create any harm.  Of course, people trust the many agencies that require certain standards that must be met.  If people would not have that such of a comfort it begs the question as to how much more stress we would have to endure. 
Stress comes in many situations.  Perhaps, one is “running late for a meeting.”  Another may be an important life decision such as a career change or marriage.  In the extreme case there are violent places in the world where people fear for their lives on a daily basis.  War is not something to simply observe.  Every war has changed people’s lives in some way.  For some it may be psychological and for others it may be the physical loss of a limb or both.  And of course, there is death which has the most widespread effect on people as it relates to loved ones.
There are many good ways to deal with stressful situations.  However, sometimes a keen eye on the lookout and patience is all one can do. 

The following article on the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University provides some very interesting data on how meditation truly affects the brain.

I hope you enjoy it.  maz\

Check back every week for an article by Mark Andrew Zwartynski and helpful research on behalf of MagicMind.

The Mental Game

Take a deep breath.  Wait.  breathe through your nose,  Hold it until you feel the beginning of your body wanting to release the air.  Exhale through your mouth.

"It is how you breathe during your daily life that determines how you breathe during physical exercise. If our breathing is off during rest, it would be unreasonable for it to automatically correct itself during physical exercise.  The seemingly innocuous tendencies of breathing through the mouth during the day, having noticeable breathing from the upper chest or holding the breath during sleep not only dictates your breathlessness during training but often limits your capacity to go faster and further."  Patrick Mckeown of the Buteyko Clinic in Dublin, Ireland.

" Nose breathing imposes approximately 50 percent more resistance to the air stream in normal  individuals than does mouth breathing, resulting in 10-20 percent more O2 uptake. (Cottle, 1972:Rohrer, 1915)  There must be adequate nasal resistance to maintain adequate elasticity of the lungs. (Cottle 1980)  

Faster and father.  This means you are feeling good, rested and the shape you are in at the moment. Wait a minute, you say.  Weren't we discussing the mental game?  You bet we were!  You get 80% better oxygen needs into your lungs than by breathing through your mouth.  When breathing correctly one supplies the fuel for the brain and the opportunity to be mentally sharper, think quicker, be resilient to immediate unpredictable happenings and long term strategic planning.

Take a deep breath.  How many times have you heard someone say that phrase?  Magic Nutrition and MagicMind - - are produced to improve one's lifestyle.  Placing your body and mind into shape will help you overcome the daily obstacles in life and improve your overall "Lifestyle."  The Human Performance Resource Center has published 10 great tips for the mental game peak performance:

Check back next week for another article on behalf of by Mark Andrew Zwartynski.