The Wal-Mart You Don't Know
By Charles Fishman Fast Company December 2003
Global fishiness: How can Wal-Mart sell Chilean salmon for $4.84 a pound?
By Charles Fishman
Click here to see Garth Brooks singing Wal-Mart's praises
Harper Lee, Gregarious for a Day Harper Lee attends Mockingbird essay contest ceremony.
NPR - Short Films Shot on Cell Phones Ithaca College in upstate New York has launched a contest to find out. It's called Cellflix. Like any film festival, there are judges and there's even a $5,000 grand prize. To qualify, submissions had to be shot on a cell phone or smartphone, be no longer than 30 seconds and include music, dialogue or other audio.
Four Line Films Website and Production Blog
Winning Entry Here
Touch lightly Nature's sweet Guitar
Unless thou know'st the Tune
Or every Bird will point at thee
Because a Bard too soon -
You can make decisions to pad your wallet. You can make decisions to maintain proper appearances. You can make decisions because they're safe or predictable. You can make decisions because it'll keep your parents off your back. You can make decisions simply to delay making harder decisions. I began this book because I was drawn, artistically, to those who've made decisions to serve none of those ends. I was interested in people who resisted those pressures and made a decision simply because it was good, or right, or true to their nature - and were willing to be challenged by the consequences.
Goodbye (Again), Norma Jean NYTimes, DEBORAH SOLOMON, September 19, 2004.
Like any number of male intellectuals, Arthur Miller is not always wise when the subject turns to women. His ''After the Fall'' opened on Broadway in 1964, and many viewers considered it offensive. They could not understand why a playwright known for his lofty principles, for his famously sturdy and unshakable conscience, would have depicted his former wife so harshly. Marilyn Monroe was no longer alive to protest the character of Maggie, a popular singer who is addicted to pills and tyrannizes her husband with her implacable demands.
Using the same cool detachment he used to create the Campbell Soup silkscreens that first made him famous, Warhol's 'Marilyn' is no different from a soup can on a grocery shelf. She is no longer a human being but a consumer product, one created by Hollywood to satisfy the demands of the marketplace. This illusion is emphasized by Warhol's depersonalizing colors and the silkscreen medium, which, because it is so reproducible, blurs the line between art and commodity.
At the same time, Warhol is also celebrating Monroe. Although the series was created five years after her death in 1962, she is in many ways the perfect embodiment of Warhol's ideal: the sexy and the tragic wrapped up in one famous package.
Wired News: Saddle Up Yer Velomobile
These vaguely egg-shaped vehicles may never become a common sight on the world's roadways, but with increasing gas prices and never-ending gridlock, short-distance commuters are starting to take them more seriously.
TOKYO, Japan, December 13, 2005– Honda Motor Co., Ltd. debuted a new ASIMO humanoid robot which features the ability to pursue key tasks in a real-life environment such as an office and an advanced level of physical capabilities. Compared to the previous model, the new ASIMO achieves the enhanced ability to act in sync with people – for example, walking with a person while holding hands. A new function to carry objects using a cart was also added. Further, the development of a “total control system” enables ASIMO to automatically perform the tasks of a receptionist or information guide and carry out delivery service. In addition, the running capability is dramatically improved, with ASIMO now capable of running at a speed of 6km/hour and of running in a circular pattern.
To describe the stylistically elusive music of the 30-year-old pop composer Sufjan Stevens as avant-folk is a little like calling Walt Whitman a salty regional poet.
A Songwriter With Dreams of Continental Dimensions
Wendell Berry's standards for technological innovation are as follows:
1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.
Scythe Supply Wendell Berry essay: "A Good Scythe: Here's a case where a hand tool outperforms its motor-driven counterpart."
The Leatherman Pocket Survival Tool embodies the American values of endurance and ingenuity.
For a time during the nineteenth century, a geographic feature in the Colorado Rockies captured the nation’s attention, clear evidence to some of the divine sanction of the American errand into the western wilderness.
From A Divine Sanction by Allen Best - Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
William Henry Jackson photograph of Mountain of the Holy Cross
The Cross of Snow
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the long, sleepless watches of the night
A gentle face--the face of one long dead--
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.
John Muir: An Appreciation by Theodore Roosevelt
The Evolution of the Conservation Movement at the U.S. Library of Congress
In 1997, Robert Hass, then poet laureate of the United States, observed, "Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and you got national parks. It took a century for this to happen, for artistic values to percolate down to where honoring the relation of people's imagination to the land, or beauty, or to wild things, was issued in legislation."
"Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant
'The Trouble With Poetry' by Billy Collins
New York Times Book Review
By DAVID ORR
January 8, 2006
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
Walden Pond State Reservation
I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It
A Literature of Place - Barry Lopez
Nature writing is not about nature, says the author--it is about the removal of nature from our lives and communities, it is about morality, it is about the immense power of place in forming character and hope.
Engagement - Terry Tempest Williams
With a foreign policy run amok, the coming election offers a chance to question the simplistic view that what is good for business is good for humanity.
Top Ten Reasons: Why we'll always need a good story - Scott Russell Sanders
We have been telling stories to one another for a long time, perhaps for as long as we have been using language, and we have been using language, I suspect, for as long as we have been human. In all its guises, from words spoken and written to pictures and musical notes and mathematical symbols, language is our distinguishing gift, our hallmark as a species.
Our Land, Our Literature: Literature - Scott Russell Sanders
And then there's Edward Abbey - Desert Solitaire, a video clip, and
Knowing Our Place
Excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver's SMALL WONDER
I have places where all my stories begin.
One is a log cabin in a deep, wooded hollow at the end of Walker Mountain. This stoic little log house leans noticeably uphill, just as half the tobacco barns do in this rural part of southern Appalachia, where even gravity seems to have fled for better work in the city. Our cabin was built of chestnut logs in the late 1930s, when the American chestnut blight ran roughshod through every forest from Maine to Alabama, felling mammoth trees more extravagantly than the crosscut saw. Those of us who'll never get to see the spreading crown of an American chestnut have come to understand this blight as one of the great natural tragedies in our continent's history.
Write Till You Drop
By Annie Dillard
People love pretty much the same things best. A writer looking for subjects inquires not after what he loves best, but after what he alone loves at all. Strange seizures beset us. Frank Conroy loves his yo-yo tricks, Emily Dickinson her slant of light; Richard Selzer loves the glistening peritoneum, Faulkner the muddy bottom of a little girl's drawers visible when she's up a pear tree. ''Each student of the ferns,'' I once read, ''will have his own list of plants that for some reason or another stir his emotions.''
'The Worst Hard Time'
The New York Times Book Review Reading List: Literary Biographies
The Lives They Lived
The New York Times Magazine