Who paid for this ad?

This ad for the movie, Birdman, appears at the bottom of today’s national edition of the New York Times.Birdman_NYTimes_p1_ad After I get past Michael Keaton’s expression, I am attracted by the brightest accent of color in the ad, the McDonald’s arches.   Read More


Who Owns Who? part 3

This is from Bloomberg, June 13, 2014

Buy Organic, Help Big Food by James Greiff

“Enjoy eating Stonyfield yogurt, which bills itself as “Obsessively Organic“? It’s owned by Danone SA, a Paris-based company that posted sales of 21 billion euros ($28 billion) last year. You wouldn’t know this by reading the packaging label or visiting Stonyfield’s website, which tells visitors “We’re still located right here in New Hampshire” beneath a picture of a cow loping along a country road.

. . .

Naked Juice (PepsiCo Inc.), Odwalla juices and fruit bars (Coca-Cola Co.), Cascadian Farm cereals and prepared foods (General Mills Inc.)”




Regulatory vacuum and housing boom

“. . . the failure of post-Mubarak administrations to enforce building regulations triggered a boom in construction of low-cost housing, which has buoyed steel firms. . .

This is from an October 27, 2013 Reuters story about the Egypt Steel Company hoping to build more capacity to meet increased demand.

After being rattled first by the idea of a regulatory vacuum as being good for the housing developers if not tenants, I then rattled myself further by the thought of low-cost steel mills built in such a vacuum.

I have no knowledge of how good the building codes are in Egypt or how well or poorly they were once enforced.

Giving by the Book. I’d be Fine with that. Part 3: kinda off point

As I was thinking through this idea, I wondered if libraries would be concerned that people who were donating a little something per book would be resented by borrowers next in line who were choosing not to. Then the Madison Public Library began offering a Limited Edition library card for a $25 donation.

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It’s black vs the usual orange.

I decided that the library must not be too worried that feelings might run high in the checkout line. It’s not quite the same as paying for the loan of a book, but flashing the black still says I’m supporting the library and you orange(!)

continue reading Part 3 & see the “Mistress of the Art of Death” library card


Giving by the Book. I’d be Fine with that. Part 2: Why Not?

Why this separation of giver and reader? Why can’t you borrow a book and support the library at the same time?

Is it to do with the beginnings of free public libraries? . . .

Is it a legal question? Separation of Library and Foundation? . . .

Is there a slippery slope here? . . .

Would the amount raised be worth it? . . .

How much would someone give? . . .

So, what does it cost the library per book to lend me any one of Crowner John’s dour investigations? . . .        continue reading Part 2

Giving by the Book. I’d be Fine with that. Part 1: What?

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I want to donate to my public library through my library card. Give something per book like a rental. Or per day like a late fine except that it starts accruing when I check a book out. The accounting should be easy since all library computer systems can do fines, and most can handle rentals.

It costs the library something per book to lend (more on this in Part 2), so giving something per book borrowed makes sense to me.

Why shouldn’t fundraising start among the people who actually use the library? For NPR, it starts among the listeners.    continue reading Part 1

Who is this man? Why is he bumming?

Robin Thicke NYT 8 2 13

Is he a SAC portfolio manager just indicted for insider trading?

Is he a major league outfielder who just learned of his 50 game suspension for using PED’s from the BioGenesis Clinic?

Is he a job seeker in a job fair line in Emeryville, Ca?

Is he brooding on whether it’s his shoes that squeak?

Is he “a conservator of classic soul” music listening to a photographer telling him to look it?

New York Times photo by Chad Batka copyright 2013