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3.10.2011 … If they call it “artisan,” I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

Lent: I like the discipline idea of Lent .. rather than the giving up … But I will do both … I will give up using my right arm (it will heal much more quickly) and will discipline myself to pray rather than complain or be judgmental.  I am not giving up ice cream … read on … 🙂

foods – desserts, artisan foods, ice cream:  If they call it “artisan,”  I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

You’ve heard this story before: tiny company makes wonderful product using method alien to evil corporate rival; tiny company vows to keep at it even if it never makes a dime. There’s usually a twee, antiquarian sensibility about it, maybe you grow a handlebar moustache and print a label with an ancient letterpress. Painstakingly (and conspicuously) sourced ingredients, laborious production methods and most importantly a supportive circle of buyers — preferably in somewhere like Brooklyn or Portland, Ore. — completes the picture. There’s just one universal law: you can’t be expected to make any real money. As a recent article in food-snob bible Edible Brooklyn boasted of its subjects, “none of these entrepreneurs is looking to be the next Mrs. Fields or Ben & Jerry’s. Part of what sets this artisan boomlet apart from other start-ups is that the goal is to make a living — not a killing.” Real profit, in this narrative, needs be ceded to the corporations.

Jeni Britton Bauer, on the other hand, has never done anything but work on ice cream, think about ice cream and take ice cream to places where it has never gone. If she can become a success, and it looks like she can, there may yet be hope for all those tiny, perfect products — the micro-distilled spirits, the handmade cheeses, the bean-to-bar chocolates — that currently exist only in gourmet ghettos. After all, there was a time when gelato was unknown in America’s supermarkets too.

via In Ohio Ice Cream Chain’s Success, Hope for Other Artisans – TIME.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Made in Columbus Ohio.

globalization, USA, Fareed Zakaria: “The Rise of the Rest” … I think this is one of the best articles  I have read in a while.

Despite the hyped talk of China’s rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate. But these are snapshots of where we are right now. The decisions that created today’s growth — decisions about education, infrastructure and the like — were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world and generous immigration policies. Look at some underlying measures today, and you will wonder about the future. (Watch TIME’s video “Why Cities Are Key to American Success in the 21st Century.”)

The following rankings come from various lists, but they all tell the same story. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades). We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment. Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy. American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization, we’re 27th in life expectancy, 18th in diabetes and first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more. There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they’re not ones we usually brag about. We have the most guns. We have the most crime among rich countries. And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.

The changes we are currently debating amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But reducing funds for things like education, scientific research, air-traffic control, NASA, infrastructure and alternative energy will not produce much in savings, and it will hurt the economy’s long-term growth. It would happen at the very moment that countries from Germany to South Korea to China are making large investments in education, science, technology and infrastructure. We are cutting investments and subsidizing consumption — exactly the opposite of what are the main drivers of economic growth.

It’s not that our democracy doesn’t work; it’s that it works only too well. American politics is now hyperresponsive to constituents’ interests. And all those interests are dedicated to preserving the past rather than investing for the future.

The founders loved America, but they also understood that it was a work in progress, an unfinished enterprise that would constantly be in need of change, adjustment and repair. For most of our history, we have become rich while remaining restless. Rather than resting on our laurels, we have feared getting fat and lazy. And that has been our greatest strength. In the past, worrying about decline has helped us avert that very condition. Let’s hope it does so today.

via U.S. Decline in Global Arena: Is America No Longer No. 1? – TIME.

YA/children’s lit, Shel Silverstein, bookshelf:  I may have to buy it just for the memories!

Nearly a dozen years after his death, Shel Silverstein will once again hit the shelves with a new book of poems called Everything On It.

Silverstein gained fame for penning children’s classics like The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic. Members of his family selected the poems and illustrations in Everything On It from his archives, and took care to make sure the content echoed his past work.

via Posthumous Poems: New Shel Silverstein Book Hits Stores in September – TIME NewsFeed.

Facebook, technology, culture, Good Samaritan, suicide prevention: If it saves lives … but …

Facebook is launching a system that allows users to report friends who they think may be contemplating suicide.

The feature is being run in conjunction with Samaritans, which said several people had used it during a test phase.

Anyone worried about a friend can fill out a form, detailing their concerns, which is passed to the social networking site’s moderators.

It follows reports of several cases where Facebook users announced their intention to commit suicide online.

The reporting page asks for the address (URL) of the Facebook page where the messages are posted, the full name of the user and details of any networks they are members of.

Suicide-related alerts will be escalated to the highest level, for attention by Facebook’s user operations team.

via BBC News – Facebook adds Samaritans suicide risk alert system.

news, South Africa, hate crimes, new terms:  corrective rape?

Gaika is a rarity in South Africa, indeed in all of Africa, as an openly gay woman. And since her attack, which took place in 2009, she has become something of an icon in the battle against the South African phenomenon called “corrective rape.” Virtually unknown to the rest of the world at the time of Gaika’s ordeal, corrective rape has since become a hot issue. Through online campaigns, nearly a million people have joined local activists in demanding that the South African government recognize corrective rape as a hate crime. But with so few cases of homophobic violence resulting in trials — and of those, almost none ending in conviction — the activists have a long fight ahead of them.

via South Africa’s Corrective Rape: Activists Battle Violence – TIME.


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