This is just a test

So Getty Images (sorry the link goes to the German one – usability peeve – let me decide where I want to be, don’t do it for me, jerks) has done something pretty amazing. So if you go to their site, you can jump around through their photos and then, rather than having to license to use them on your blog or whatever, you can use it for free if you use their code. I’m just trying this out, but great to see a company realizing that people will likely get their hands on creative for free anyway, so why not take credit for it where you can? And then figure out where you value-add and charge for that. Although, curious to see how this works long-run.

Let’s see, this is what came up when I searched ‘walrus coffee’.

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Gaining Ground, A Book Report

This is a picture that came up when I searched 'dirty old Wells Lamont chore gloves'.

I don’t know why a picture of Mia Farrow comes up when I search ‘dirty old Wells Lamont chore gloves’, but it does.

Winter was  tough on the farm. Most mornings Mom would struggle to rustle us from sleep. It would begin gently enough with a song and a gentle carress. Then it would move to a ‘Let’s go’ shout up the stairs, which would lead to the blanket snatch leaving a spastic boy flopping into the fetal position to escape the cold air.

In the basement we would slip our hands awkwardly into two pairs of old Wells Lamont chore gloves. Zip up a sweater and jacket, pull on a stocking cap and cinch down the hood. Feet – clad in two pairs of heavy socks – were jammed into old rubber boots.

Gripping the doorknob, your hands would slip a bit before it would turn, a crunch of frost in the doorjamb, and with that you  plunged into the cold. And while chores were about the last thing I wanted to do nearly every single day, once outside, it all seemed to melt.

There’s a stillness once it gets in the range of -10˚where sound seems to slow down. The putt-putt of the milk pump as Dad slipped machines onto the cows barely even made it to the house just a 100 feet away.

My mind was flooded with similar memories while reading ‘Gaining Ground’ by Forrest Pritchard, the story of how the author saved his family farm through a combination of persistence and ignorance, optimism and good humor. The story tracks his lurch against the grain to make small, family farming work in a world dominated by industrial-scale ag.

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Honestea isn’t…

So there’s this thing called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For all collective purposes, it looks like one of those NAFTA-styled free trade agreements that are supposed to support globalization and reduce barriers to trade. But in practice it’s more like a corporate/industrial-ag grab for continued growth on the backs of the poor. Plus all negotiations are taking place behind closed doors and then there are slimy folks who are trying to pass a bill that will allow them to fast track this bad boy.

You should all go here and sign this to oppose it and read more about it. I don’t have time to write it up or explain it completely, but you get my meaning. Sign this, then come back here. 

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Replacing Unpleasant Dementia with Sweet, Sweet Memories

Reader be wary: Andy Rooney-esque diatribe ahead.

I subscribe to the Confectionery News. It’s an industry rag that caters to the the folks who make your treats. It’s not actually a rag. It is a website. Each day my inbox receives a hearty helping  of news on the wonderful advances in the confectionery world, untold promises, and exposés of sweets research. Here is a sample of headlines:

Remember when you boiled down all that fruit into syrup and then pressed it back into fruit form?

One particular headline stood out recently:

Nostalgic candy wrappers help dementia sufferers bring back the memories: Nestlé

According to the article, “Nestlé UK has put together a collection of historical packaging and posters of its Rowntree brand designed to help patients diagnosed with dementia bring back happy memories.”

At first blush, this sounds really great. A unique way to help dementia patients flex their mind muscles. Just pull those old ads out and watch forgetful folks remember  when they used to buy delicious Rowntree Fruit Clear Gums for a nickel a box.

Then on second thought it sounds creepy as hell. Continue reading

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A bit o’ nut roll

This is a candy bar that makes your mouth happy.

This is a post started a long time ago, but this was a happy day:”St. Paul’s Pearson Candy Co. acquires Bit-O-Honey.”

Of course we all know this means the grand unification of two of the finest candy bars in the history of the world.

Some of you may remember the post where I wrote to Dudley P. Nut, the official mascot of Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll.  He wrote me a letter back. He even sent me a package of candy.

Looks like I better loosen up the old writing hand. It’s time to write another fine letter to the geniuses at Pearson’s extolling their virtuous climb up that ladder of sweet delight.


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On sustainable communications

‘Resource scarcity will become a major factor for our world so we all have to accelerate the pace of our commitment. Which is why we’ve adopted an approach we call…’

I stole this image from the movie Mars Attacks that another blogger used in talking about a similar subject. You can find her post here.

For communicators working in the competitive field of sustainability, there is a constant war of words, a proliferation of jargon, as we jostle for funding opportunities and unique ways to express how what we do is better and more effective than the other sloths.

Hence the humble word ‘training’ has become capacity building, which can morph into an on-the-ground train-the-trainer approach, before winding up as locally-owned participatory skills development. And so it goes, a never-ending proliferation that can leave even the most astute reader cross-eyed and ready to slit their wrists.

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Way to go, Germany, Pt. II

There is a massive backlog of things occupying my mind I’ve been meaning to unload. Some are more recent, some are from long ago, but all require your immediate attention.

In addition to my previous post, Way to go, Germany!, here is a place you should go.

The Walther Collection outside of Ulm, Germany, is just one more chapter in that age old story of ‘son-leaves-town-becomes-partner-at-Goldman-Sachs-leaves-it-to-become-big-fancy-art-collector-accumulates-a-pile-of-amazing-African-photography-decides-to-turn-house-where-he-grew-up-in-middle-of-nowhere-into-world-class-art-space.’


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