Monday, June 29, 2009

Organic or Not?

Here is an awesome article that prioritizes which fruits and vegetables you should purchase organic, including details on why.

For example, you should buy organic potatoes because they grow in the ground and have thin skin and therefore soak up all the pesticides. Bananas, on the other hand, grow high up and a have a thick skin and should be fairly well protected.

Cool stuff to help you save a little bit of cash while eating healthy. You're welcome, Mary. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sharpton on Jackson

Harley went crazy with the MJ coverage last night. I just happened to pay attention long enough to see Al Sharpton talk about him. Al is good!

He makes you realize how much of a social force Michael Jackson was. Makes you remember that at one time he was rightfully so the most popular entertainer in the world. Almost made me miss him.

But still, poor Farrah Fawcett!! Some one should do a paper on how quickly she got bumped from the news. Who could that some one be?!? (Jen Simon, you up for it in the Fall?)

The New Silk Plus

Here's the old Silk Plus:

Here is the redesign of the Silk Plus line, which has Omega 3 for added nutrition. It no longer has the Plus but the differentiation is much clearer. They haven’t touched the base line, but I would assume that is coming to match this new design.

Silk is owned by a large, national company called Dean Foods, the country’s largest processor and distributor of dairy products. This is a massive company with a strong grip on the dairy industry.

Almost every brand out there has a behemoth company behind them, making sure the product is profitable. I'm all for successful business, but the more I learn about the food industry, the more I get the heeby jeebies. Bad things happen when business gets an unhealthy level of control on how the food is made. Branding is good, but it only goes so far. Then they look to cut costs on the "product." Capitalism must be checked.

More to come on this as I write my thesis.

Picture of the Day

On June 12th, just as Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano was erupting for the first time in 20 years, the International Space Station flew directly overhead. Astronauts had their camera ready and snapped one of the most dramatic Earth-science photos ever taken from space:

Researchers are studying this rare photo to learn about the early stages of powerful volcanic eruptions. A few phenomena stand out:

(1) The volcano erupted with such force, the plume actually punched through the atmosphere. Note how clouds around the volcano have parted in a circular ring--that is a result of a shock wave produced by the upward blast.

(2) The plume is a mixture of brown ash and white steam. A "dirty thunderstorm" complete with lightning could be in progress within the roiling cloud.

(3) The smooth white bubble on top of the plume is probably a mass of water condensing from air shoved upward by the rising ash column.

All thanks to

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Super Market

We took a family trip to Stew Leonard's. Everybody loved it. The produce was great, cheap, and beautiful. The aisles snaked around like a maze, with plenty of samples along the way.

They had a guy dressed in a cow suit for the kids. Lilah did NOT want to say hello to the cow, but she pointed to every cow in the store from there after. Their logo is a cow, so we saw a lot of cows. On the way home and for days after, she kept saying that she wanted to see the cow, to talk to the cow on the phone. It became a bovine obsession.

They had "naked" beef (no additives, nothing artificial) on sale. I stocked up on porterhouses for $6.99 a pound and am going to have my first one tonight. Mmm...

What could have been the best part was the special parking that we qualified for. I love it when things work out.

P.S. I am an excellent parallel parker. I may have failed it on my first driver's test (not the second), but my time in NYC has taught me well. I fit into a tight, tight space on Sunday night and could not have asked for a better Father's Day present. Well, I could have asked but I didn't.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love to Hate John and Kate

Ah, John & Kate. How sad you make me. I resisted watching your show for years, YEARS!! It felt like a violation of your privacy that you (understandably) allowed for financial gain. I finally get interested when the cracks started to show. I liked seeing the caring family beneath it.

Now, it appears that the show has caused the dissolution of the entire reason I watched in the first place. You may say the show didn’t have anything to do with it, but come on. The show was and remains an intrusion into your world. It opens up the family to the world’s eyes and judgment. That cannot be healthy.

Jerry Springer always has his final word at the end of the show where he takes the ridiculousness of the previous 58 minutes and makes sense of it in a rational way. After one show about cheating husbands or something, he said something that always stuck with me. When you have an affair, you’re violating more than the trust of your spouse. You’re violating the intimacy of your marriage. You’re allowing another person into the sacred space supposed to be shared by just 2 people. Once that breakdown, it is very difficult to get back.

In many ways, the show was there affair. The cameras/audience became another member of the family, and (I’m guessing) somehow got in between them. They grew apart, if not because of the show them maybe a little faster than if they bickered like a regular couple (love you, Harley!).

Looks like John had an affair, got a taste of life after Kate+8 and got intoxicated. He ran to the light without really thinking about the consequences. Kate got my sympathy last night, but she had her role in all of this. We’ve all seen how she treated him like the 9th kid over and over again. That behavior doesn’t go unpunished.

It makes me sad. It makes me want to stop watching the show. And I will stop watching. Maybe I’ll start watching again once the show comes off hiatus. I will definitely watch it, cause I am a bastard and love gossip even though I hate it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Zen Soy Makes Me Happy

This brand keeps getting better. You might have seen previous blogs about Zen Soy, our preferred soy milk (it's the best chocolate soy milk by far). The old design is to the left.

Their quarts now have this cool waves built into the side of the carton. This is a relatively easy but cool way to get your brand to stand out. Sure beats changing the formula, which can costs millions in R&D! Expect more simple packaging changes in the future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Coolest Rake Ever

My father-in-law has this. It has an adjustable, central stablizing rod (my term) that lets you keep the teeth small and tight for rocks, and then opens up wide to better gather leaves. Awesome stuff.

Closed for rocks

Open for leaves

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The New Formula 409

It's on the left. I don't like it. Looks thin and weak, not industrial. The color isn't as bold and doesn't stand out. But the copy is much more well organized.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Funniest Story

Had the best weekend. Lilah went peepee on the potty - twice! Had some great time with the kids on Saturday night and a family walk and picnic in Central Park on Sunday night. It had been a long time since we got to spend real quality time, so it felt great.

I got into a little argument with a cop while trying to cross the Israel Day parade on Sunday. He didn't like that I crossed after he said stop. I said I couldn't stop because the stroller was already in the street. He again said he wasn't happy ("Not cool, man"). I said "What should I do? I got the stroller!". He asked for ID.

FYI - the new stroller sucks. It's heavy and is harder to steer than a boat. But it holds 2 kids and is the best of a bunch of bad options.

Anyway, I finally pull the boat to the side after weaving through the crowd, hand him my ID and apologize. He was pissed that I didn't respect his authority, so that was the first thing I did. He looks at me struggling with the stroller, and I can tell he's going to let me off. Things will be fine, let me just talk this thing through and we'll be on our way.

I tell him my wife and I had been arguing and I lost my temper. (Harley had been cross examining me, like the good lawyer she is, and it was not fun.) At that exact moment, she jumps in between the cop and me all tough and says, "Is there a problem officer?" I ask her to back off.

Again she says, "What did he do, officer?" He says, "What are you, his lawyer?" She says, "Yes, I am." I turn to him and say, "See?? That's the problem!!" We laughed about that for a good hour.

Logo Design

Here's an awesome article about the evolution of the corporate identity from a cold, strark treatment to a more friendly, bright look. When the going gets tough, corporate America gets soft.

And here are some new Coke bottles.

Sorry if this is boring, but it's what I do.