American Business Coops
Profits!? We don't need no stinkin' profits

Calvin Coolidge once said, it is said, that the business of America is business. Business can have more than one model thoough... we don't all have to work in LLCs, or other manner of corporate legalistic structures.
Coops offer a different way of doing business...American Worker Coop, sporting the new ".coop" domain suffix (is that what those are called?) links to a ton of useful assets about the history and formation of coops.
Like the Hoedads...
It all starts with a mission statement...
The goal of the site is to assemble a contemporary history of the worker cooperative movement in the United States, first by accumulating an inventory of people, organizations, writings, media, and eventually through some sort of synthesis.   \
On being a snob
Book and language snobs....

It is really not worth it. Snobbishness raises its ugly hackles in me about math in the news... I become a calculator pounding, scratch pad filling ideologue when I come across a headline the doesn't make mathematical sense. I admit it, I am trying to be better...

Here, though, are a couple of thoughts on snobbishness in books and language...
British maven and raconteur Stephen Fry's words ride upon kinetic typograophy to demonstrate his annoyance at grammar snobs.
66 Days to A New You...
Science knows how we make habits...good and bad

It takes a little over two months to develop a new habit that operates automatically in your psyche, that from recent University College-London research. 
The average time to reach maximum automaticity was 66 days, although this varied greatly between participants from 18 days to a predicted 254 days (assuming the still rising rate of change in automaticity at the study end were to be continued beyond the study's 84 days). 
From the birthplace of your Filet o' Fish
Yeooow! On the C/P Alaska Ocean, they sure work the fishermen hard...

From the At Sea Processor's Association website...
All crew works a minimum of 7 days/week.


That thumbdrive you use...?
Sitting in your pocket because...

...you are too lazy or busy or whatever, to stow your files online so you can access them where you need them?

Well, America,here's your 1956, 5-gig model.
The pen is
is indeed mightier than the sword

Dong Jiansheng,  
Using the Pen as a Weapon to Denounce (Counter-Revolutionary) 'Black' Culture
Poetry in Motion
a couple of transport blogs that are much more than logs in the fog...

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing about the business and technology and methodologies of transportation. There  are a couple of blogs I regularly follow that report on matters relating to ships and aircraft. The bloggers bring a lot to the table in terms of knowledge and lore, reverence and irony, incredibly good writing and pathos.

Here, GCaptain's John Konrad discusses the most dangerous hour of the day in shipping, and why. (Spoiler: It is around bedtime). GCaptain covers the maritime industry and has recently had some great coverage of piracy and the issues it raises.

Guilty pleasure #225: My favorite channel on the in-flight music on United is the aircraft radio chatter...to me, there is a lot of fun in listening to the controllers and pilots, especially at a busy airport like ORD. What I do is sit back and close my eyes and envision the planes as they react in concert, yet individually, to the directives of the ATCs. Captain Dave lives the life on the line and does a poetic job of relating his workday in Flight Level 390. He also manages to include commentary on the state of American business management, his favorite cities and much much more.


You ain't one of them...?
Are You?

From The Neglected Book, a blog

In 1939, Rollo Walter Brown was 59, a former Harvard professor of literature, a popular lecturer, and a dangerous man. In I Travel by Train, he recalls some of his many trips across the United States through the depths of the Depression...On more than a few of these trips, he seems to have found himself in conversation with some businessman, industrialist, clergyman, or other establishment figure. As Brown recounts it, at some point in each of these exchanges, he found himself accused of being a trouble-maker:
The other four smoked and looked toward the floor out in the center of the room, but their spokesman squinted at me, turned his cigar over in his mouth a time or two, and then demanded: “Say, are you a socialist?”
“Why? Does a man who believes that people ought not to starve have to be a socialist?”

“Well,” and he squinted his eyes and the whole of his big face into deeper lines as if he were trying to think and to be amiable at the same time, “it always looks a little suspicious, doesn’t it?”


Mama, mama, please don't make me go downtown
It's full of scary monsters that pull little children into the sewers.

ScoutingNY is a great blog by Nick Carr, who searches high and low throughout New York City to find great spots for filming motion pictures. It's one of the blogs I check regularly just for the architectural oddities he uncovers in his work. This past summer he went across country and filed marvelous travelogues of his journey.

This weekend New York held OHNY!, Open House New York, and Nick took the opportunity to explore the sculpture studio of Tom Otterness. While the studio tour looked interesting enough, I fell completely in love with the sculpture shown above (borrowed from Flickr user Nick Sherman) showing a monster coming out of a NYC sewer manhole cover to snatch away a toddler in his teeth. The work is installed at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, New York, NY


Seventy years of ready, aim, fire

Photos of woman returning to carny shooting gallery 

 This from the photography blog lens culture, a new book about a woman who, starting in 1938 managed to hit the bull's eye at a carnival shooting gallery, triggering a camera which took a photo of her.
Ria van Dijk is 88 now, and the subject of a new book, In Almost Every Picture #7, compiled by Erik Kessels and Joep Eljkens and published by Netherlands publisher KesselsKramer. The Almost Every Picture series are a collection of books that show the same subject over a period of time. The company's catalog portrays a pretty compelling collection of interesting and challenging photography books. A selection of the photos can be found here.
Big engines for big ships
Japan rolls out Godzilla-sized motor

Thanks to seafarers blog gcaptain for this amazing photo of the engine built in Japan to power the container ship, Emma Maersk. 
 The engine is available in sizes ranging from 6 to 14 cylinders. Each cylinder has a bore of just under 38" and a stroke of about 98" creating a gargantuan displacement of more than 111,000 cubic inches per cylinder. 
The Emma Maersk is no slouch herself. With a length of 1302 feet, capable of carrying 11,000 TEU's (twenty foot equivalent units, which are those sea-cans you see on the highway all the time, each about 1360 cubic feet), she sails with a crew of just 14 mariners.
Drink. A lot. With everybody.
Sage travel advice from the host of "No Reservations"

Anthony Bourdain has been travelling the world, filming for his Travel Channel program "No Reservations." where he jumps into local cuisines with respect, humor and flavor.
Here he imparts some of his best travel food advice... learned over five years, 100 episodes and three quarters of a million miles. To noone's surprise, he recommends sleeping on the flight, avoiding airline food and saving your appetite for the yum-yum local delights.


The business of America’s states is business
The worst, the best, the rest

The website 247wallstreet.com released its list of the rankings of how well states conduct the business of their business. For their rankings, analysts and writers examined hundreds of datasets from a myriad of sources to determine the rankings of all 50 state.

This caught my eye because Vermont, of all places, considered a hippie liberal never never land that never says no to the perceived needs of its populace, placed fourth. The twelve or fourteen rich people in the state are taxed pretty frickin hard to support the dental and mental and reproductive care of the half million of the rest of us.

To anyone who looks behind the headlines, though, this ranking probably won’t come as a surprise. Looking at the grinding gears of government shows a rock solid democratic legislature, working beside an executive of pretty moderate (at least by the 2010 standard) republicans. They exist in a dynamic tension, a balanced ballet of power and money. Very little happens that doesn’t seem like a pretty good idea to most of the people.

So, I decided to look at the other states in the Top 5 of the 247WS rankings, to see what if anything served as a common thread through the winners. Lo and behold, who were the other states joining Vermont at the upper tier of these rankings.

Was it our spendy neighbors to the south and west, Massachusetts and New York? No.

Was it our woodsier and more conservative neighbors to the east, New Hampshire and down east, Maine? Nope.

The winners (and our compatriots in this matter at least) were the northern Midwest and plains states… I mean we are talking about Wyoming and North Dakota at number one and two. Iowa in third, (Vermont, four) and Minnesota at number five. What on earth do we share with them besides some pretty hard winters?

Incidentally, the bottom five, the worst run states in America, represented the traditionally poor south, Kentucky and Louisiana (50 and 46), the nouveau poor rust belt Midwest, Michigan (47) and this week’s bankrupted west, California and Arizona (49 and 48).

It got me to thinking: what if there was an entirely subjective ranking of the states, based completely and unembarrassedly on my assumptions, prejudices, travels, and just my mood for the day? First, I double checked Google to be sure that there were no published polls of my rankings of the states. To my relief, there were not.

Then I got to work determining the metrics I would use. Before long this puppy had legs. I didn’t have a team of writers and analysts so I was forced to do all the work myself. After a few hours of that… it was sleep time.

Coming soon: 
The Chant Institute ranking of the BEST STATES IN AMERICA.


OK folks... Here's your new "The Office"
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret 
IS THE BEST new workplace comedy
Making its debut on IFC (Independent Film Channel) last night and available in full episode format on the internets (takes a few click throughs, then you are there), :The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" is the best new workplace comedy I've come across since Office and 30Rock. It shows on IFC (Independent Film Channel) which is probably channel 1038 on most cable systems. It stars US actor David Cross (who also writes and directs the show) as the likable low energy bullshit artist Todd Margaret who stumbles into his new job as the British sales rep for the energy drink Thunder Muscle.
 Once in England, the hapless (and clueless) Margaret plows his way into and out of a raft of messy situations with all the diplomacy and aplomb of Mr. Magoo. Of course, low energy bullshit artists and energy drinks don't mix well together, but Cross puts together a character who is likable and hilarious, even when, jacked on sugar, caffeine and guarana, he is aggressively touting the sexual benefits of Thunder Muscle to a cafe full of elderly, appalled British women. 

My understanding is that the show only exists as a six episode season, initially airing in the UK but now moved onto the American satellite arena. Here's hoping that someone picks up this gem and brings more of this fable to light....