Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fold the Flock

Wikimedia image
"2014 marks the centennial anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. To help remember the Passenger Pigeon, we are folding origami pigeons to recreate the great flocks of 100 years ago."

There's a tidy little video demonstrating the origami folds and a list of schools and organizations that have joined the flock.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Wretched Writers Welcome"

Some excellent laughs (via Ackackack on Aug. 18) —

2014 Contest Winners
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:
Elizabeth Dorfman of Bainbridge Island, WA, is the 32nd grand prize winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest that that began at San Jose State University in 1982. The contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels and takes its name from the Victorian novelist George Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who began his Paul Clifford (1830) with “It was a dark and stormy night.“ Although Lytton did not originate the line, he exploited its familiarity to begin his novel, as have several other writers who followed him.
The winner (but check out the other entries):
When the dead moose floated into view the famished crew cheered – this had to mean land! – but Captain Walgrove, flinty-eyed and clear headed thanks to the starvation cleanse in progress, gave fateful orders to remain on the original course and await the appearance of a second and confirming moose.

Monday, August 18, 2014

McClure's Ads

These are some ads from the back pages of McClure's Magazine, February 1900:

The Modernist Journals Project:
Though McClure’s was founded in 1893 to compete with other quality American magazines like Harper’s and Scribner’s, the magazine achieved distinction and national fame at the turn of the century by launching the “muckraking” era in American journalism. Bringing together a team of pioneering journalists that included Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, and Lincoln Steffans, the magazine published a series of deeply researched exposés of abuse and corruption in American government and big business, such as Tarbell’s landmark history of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company and Baker’s series on Andrew Carnegie’s U.S. Steel. Over a five year period, the magazine’s investigative reporting launched major campaigns for reform and triggered a spate of new legislation, while the paper’s circulation reached over a half million readers. When this core group of investigative journalists left the magazine in 1906 to start their own (The American Magazine), S. S. McClure responded by hiring Willa Cather as editor and moving the magazine in a more literary direction. Readers will find numerous contributions by Cather in the eleven years covered by the MJP’s edition, as well as works by Arnold Bennett, Arthur Conan Doyle, O. Henry, A. E. Housman, Ford Madox Heuffer, Sarah Orne Jewett, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, R. L. Stevenson, Booth Tarkington, Mrs. Humphry Ward, and W. B. Yeats. Like other quality journals of the day, McClure’s is richly illustrated, publishing art work by N. C. Wyeth and Arthur G. Dove, and a typical issue easily averages a hundred pages of advertising.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nothing Compares 2 'Breathe Me'

Sia hit big on the pop music charts so there's a post by Paris Close at Crushable18 Sia Songs You’ll Love More Than ‘Chandelier

It's just that nothing compares to "Breathe Me"

... just as nothing compares to "Nothing Compares 2 U."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Walmart on SourceWatch

Walmart Is a Driving Force in U.S. Imports and Offshoring
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that Walmart was responsible for $27 billion in U.S. imports from China in 2006 and the company’s imports between 2001 and 2006 led to the elimination of 200,000 U.S. jobs. Walmart continues to be the largest importer of goods in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 25 shipping containers brought into the country. Of the 1 million manufacturing jobs Walmart has said it will help create in the next decade, just over 2,000 were created in the first year – equivalent to 0.2% of the company’s commitment.

Last year, Walmart committed to spending an additional $250 billion over ten years on U.S.-sourced goods, but these numbers need to be put in context. Based on the company’s projected sales growth, Walmart is expected to meet its new “commitment” with a business-as-usual approach and spend $262 billion on U.S. goods in the next decade without any substantial changes to its current sourcing practices.

PR Watch

How “Beautiful” is Work at a Walmart Supplier?
In its “Work is a Beautiful Thing” ad campaign, Walmart seizes upon the popular notion that American manufacturing jobs are well-paid jobs with good benefits, but Walmart supports the onshoring of these jobs at least partly as a cost saving mechanism in response to rising wages in China.

One of the first factories touted by Walmart in March 2013 was 1888 Mills in Griffin, GA. The company makes towels for Walmart. The Los Angeles Times reported that 1888 Mills was adding a mere 35 jobs as part of Walmart’s initiative and that 90% of its production would remain overseas.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sen. Sanders: Democracy or Oligarchy?

"During the Gilded Age, there was rampant political corruption. Government workers were expected to provide a kickback to their political bosses in order to keep their jobs. One hundred years ago, candidates relied heavily on the corporate contributions of robber barons. In response to allegations involving improper contributions to his own Presidential campaign, Teddy Roosevelt signed into law the first comprehensive campaign finance reform, the Tillman Act, which banned campaign contributions from corporations and national banks.

"In the ninety years following the Tillman Act, Congress incrementally placed greater restrictions on campaign finance, often in response to election scandals. In 2002, Congress’s efforts culminated in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as McCain-Feingold, which created a comprehensive set of regulations on how and when money could be spent in politics.

"But the Koch brothers and others in the billionaire class have worked doggedly to try to undo these regulations and once again allow the wealthy and powerful to have an unlimited ability to influence elections. In that process, they have been aided and abetted by the five conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court."

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Alternative Trade Mandate

The Alternative Trade Mandate  (PDF) presents ideas other than corporate takeover of international trade agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).