Friday, May 3, 2013
Perhaps these are things you never really wanted to know anyway. But just in case...
If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan .
If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 00-09 then it's made or sourced in USA.
It is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public; therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves (as usual). Nowadays, many Chinese businessmen know that American consumers prefer not to purchase products "MADE IN CHINA", so they don't always show the country of origin. However, if you want or need this information, you may now refer to the barcode. The first three digits tell the story:
890......MADE IN INDIA
690, 691, 692 ...MADE IN CHINA
00 - 09 ... USA and CANADA
30 - 37 ... FRANCE
40 - 44 ... GERMANY
471 ........ Taiwan
45 or 49 ........JAPAN
50 .......... UK
76.........SWITZERLAND and LIENCHTENSTIEN
471......... is Made in TAIWAN (see sample)
629.........UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
740..........745 - CENTRAL AMERICA
All 480 Codes are Made in the PHILIPPINES. Share this Info!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
"DID MONSANTO BACK
A DELIVERY TRUCK OVER
THE WHOLE FOODS KID?"
--Greensburgher on Twitter
It was a fierce twelve year struggle between the organic elite and genetic engineers with no clear winner in sight. But in the wake of the battle, it was obvious who had the bloodier ax. Monsanto emerged the victor with the help of the U.S. Calvary--Uncle Sam. At stake were over 25,000 organic farms and ranches, the very people we have been depending on to keep our food supply uncontaminated.
In the beginning, there was a conclave of greenies headed by Whole Foods, Stoneyfield Farm and Organic Valley who took up "the cause;" indeed the fight to keep the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive genetically engineered perennial crop away from John Q. Public. The crop was GE (genetically engineered) alfalfa--Round Up Ready Alfalfa-- which some, like World Truth TV, say was guaranteed to spread its mutant seeds across the nation; eventually contaminate organic animals; most likely poison farm workers, cause the use of toxic herbicides which in turn will in time will produce a super weeds, which will require even more potent herbicides to kill it. At first blush, Whole Foods staunchly defended what they called "seed purity." but in the end it seemed they were overwhelmed by Monsanto, "the bio tech bully of St. Louis [and the government's] bio tech cheerleader, Tom Vilsack," said World Truth.
Whole Foods, however, sees it differently.
"THESE ARE TROUBLING TIMES IN THE KINGDOM"--Flo, Progressive Insurance
"USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently invited representatives from agriculture, business and consumer organizations to explore coexistence between non-GE proponents and GE proponents. It showed refreshing leadership after many years of debate that has cost farmers with contaminated crops in this country millions of dollars in litigation over the years," defended Whole Food in their blog, The Whole Story.
Several months down the pike, they were on the defensive again pleading with the public to "get back to your scheduled shopping," comforted by these assurances:
"We have not been bought out by Monsanto... we (no way!) made a secret deal with Monsanto...Wrong again! GMO's [genetically modified organisms] have been in our food supply for as long as there have been GMOs." And even allowing that coexistence between GMO and NonGMO "is a must!"
Two years ago, The NonGMO Project agreed stating: "...if the fields are contaminated...biotechnology companies for the first time would be held accountable and...forced to pay for the damages."
Sigh. It would have been nice if the convincing had gone the other direction. This should have been a simple case of David vs. Goliath. In case you don't know your King James--David wins. In the bible, the mighty giant is slain by the tween with the power of the Almighty. Cool. But in this case we sense some unfair play, Monsanto may have just backed a delivery truck over the Whole Foods kid, who was probably on a bike. And they got away with it. Not cool. In the words of Flo from Progressive, these are "troubling times in the kingdom."
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Seen Green salutes Mayor Ravenstahl's "Edible Gardens" Program and his plans to "plant 10-15 edible gardens in targeted 'food deserts' throughout the City that can harvest 2,000 pounds of fresh produce for 200 families in low income neighborhoods."
It all part of the Mayor's Serve Pittsburgh Program in conjunction with the Department of Public Works fueled by a $100,00 grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies. Here's to hoping it all works. To learn more or apply, click here.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Said CNN, "A century is a very short period of time for such a spike. If not for man-made influences, the Earth would be in a very cold phase right now and getting even colder, according the joint study by Oregon State University and Harvard University. Climatologist Shaun Marcott was the lead author of the report on its results." His main concerns center around our ability to adapt globally and our inability to accept needed change.
While Marcott didn't want to comment on what the would might look like in the next century, CNN reports his hopes that we can "pull out of it."
Friday, March 8, 2013
From the days of "Things go better with Coke," to today's "Live Positively," the Coca Cola marketing train has never run out of ideas. Enter Kent Muhtar, son of a Turkish diplomat, and you have yet another spokesman in the soft drink's iconic PR wheel. Muhtar is the current Chief Officer of Coca Cola, but he titles himself, "Chief Sustainability Officer."
Even while the company battles accusations from detractors, who think their product has entirely too much sugar and contributes to childhood obesity, Muhtar and his team have diplomatically moved past these complaints by offering people something they can hang their eco hats on: A broad ranging sustainability program that's integrated throughout the company's entire business plan.
Said Muhtar in a Forbes interview: "The [original plan] didn't have the right metrics around it. Sustainability was just a warm and fuzzy word in our corporate social responsibility report, and part of compliance. We also didn't have proper alignment with our bottling partners."
Now Cola Cola is making constructive changes that have even their harshest critics blinking in disbelief. Some of their bolder plans involve returning as much water to the earth as they take out or becoming "water neutral"; reducing their carbon footprint by 5%, and the introduction of a "plantbottle" which is 30% plant material and 100% recyclable. Ideally, this should make the global manufacturing of their over 3,000 products a bit more palatable to John Q. Public.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
"Never perfect...Just Beautiful" is the caption for GA/GI Fest. Each year, a mixture of the quirkiest, emerging and off-beat art, eco and tech ideas get a chance to be seen and heard during April's edition of First Fridays on Penn Avenue, an art crawl known as "Unblurred." This year it's on April 5th and 6th so mark those calendars! For more info from the blog, click here.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Kudos for the University of Australia for coming up with this concept: In the future ladies, your dress may form itself right on your body without needing a stitch! And it's all thanks to a biological fermentation process that allows living microbes to produce fabric. These Aussy researchers for this process are even looking at ways to create alternate colors since they know the red color won't do for every girl. So far they have only come up with clear from beer or white wine, but they will most likely work that out as they tend to a few other "bugs. For example, unless you like a fine French "bouquet," you and your significant other won't enjoy that the fabric will smell like the vintage that created it. And for heaven's sake don't get caught in the rain! When wet, these dresses will turn to sludge.
On the up side, provided you do like wine aroma and live in southern Califtornia, where it hardly rains, or some other agreeable clime, this may be the (future) look for you. Says Bioalloy, makers of the--uh, stuff--they have named micro"be": "Instead of lifeless weaving maching producing the textile," it will all happen with living microbes.
They have set out to explore, they say, the possible forms and implications of futuristic dressmaking and textile technologies.While the idea of a bacterial fermented seemless garment may seem like an alien concept, it will certainly "rupture the the meaning of traditional interactions with body and clothing."
Monday, June 11, 2012
Their Kickstarter funding page (ending June 12) has got them 10,491 backers, netting them a war chest of over a half million at this writing! But the pair wants their invention to be affordable, so they intend to sell Makey Makey for just around $35.
The invention's name derives from Make + Key, and the product basically uses alligator clips, a USB connector, and a circuit board that can turn nearly anything with only a whiff of electronic charge (like gummies, cats, dogs or staircases) into a touch pad capable of typing, surfing the net, playing video games or music. Yes, you can even turn you and your friends into human synthesizers! The circuit board (which can be flipped and used on either side) is manufactured at Sparkfun, a company in Boulder, Colorado.
Get more information click here or look on Silver and Rosenbaum's website.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Choder, has a normal job as a respected corporate attorney. She never really had it in her mind to raise chickens. However, with roots in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, she did consider herself a country bred girl with a dark secret.
"To tell you the truth, when I hit my teenage years, I couldn't wait to get out to the city, " Choder admitted. "I wanted the bright lights, the wide sidewalks; all of that." And so, years later, after starting her legal career and getting married, she and her husband, Steve moved to Pittsburgh and into the Point Breeze community where after only a year into the renovation of their new home, Jody Noble Choder found a better house, a quiet place with a big yard, plenty of flora and fauna; up against the Highland Park damn. It would become the best of all possible worlds for her.
Said Choder, "You can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl. Well, it didn't stop there. Next thing I knew, I was watching Martha Stewart's TV show, putting in vegetable and French potager garden; building raised bed and gravel paths."
No one can deny that Martha Stewart makes country living look more than incredible. When the lifestyle diva ran a story on raising chickens, Choder was smitten. She ran the idea of getting some young peeps past her husband. He was no instant Martha fan. He would only agree with the plan, if they built their own chicken coop, to save the expense. It was only much later that the couple realized they didn't have the carpentry skills to do it right.
"We bought a dog house from Lowes and tried to retro fit it. The problem is we forgot about the door." The first spring their young peeps where killed by weasels, who lived near the damn. Choder refused to accept failure, but vowed not to bring another peep into the house, until they had their act together.
The second year, the Choders went back to To Lambert's Tack and Feed in Butler, PA, determined to get more peeps, and raise a better roost. With only a few more setbacks--young ducklings they purchased "disappeared," possibly met with foul play--the Choders soon became worthy of the title: Urban chicken farmers. They purchased a heat lamp and kept it and the young peeps on their sun porch to warm the downy birds so they could safely "feather out." They learned they had to harden them off, much like plants before the peeps could be placed outdoors. They perused every chicken raising catalogue and magazine known to man. Sure, they could build a better dog house, but it still wasn't a chicken coop. Before long, they spied an amazing Amish built chicken domicile.
"Our chickens went from humble Section 8 housing to a five-star mansion," Choder said. The new coop had automatic doors, heated roots to warm their feet, special in-door lighting, nesting boxes, and an easy-clean floor. "Our hens must have felt like they hit the chicken lottery!" The Choders then dubbed their feather friends with names. Now in addition to their dog, two cats and pond fish, there was Gregory Peck, a rooster; Buffy the Worm Slayer, Attila the Hen, Hillary Rodham Chicken, Princess Lay-a, and finally (who could resist it?) Mother Clucker.
By six degrees of separation, the Choders began find other urban chicken farmers. the network grew through friends and friends of friends. By 2010 the group wanted to host the city's first self-guided coop tour. The plans were somewhat hampered when they learned the City of Pittsburgh was looking to create a chicken ordinance that required a zoning variance. However, by the next year the dust settled and the tour could be planned. And so, with four east end coops and four on the Northside, the first Urban Chicken Coop Tour was launched.
"We expected some success, but for a first year event, the interest was phenomenal! We had over 450 people attend coming from Uniontown, West Virginia and as far away as Ohio." The numbers included a diverse range of men, women and children. At a price of only $5 for adults and children for free, the tour had great family appeal. The event even made the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Choder added simply: "People want to know where their food is coming from. It's an opportunity for parents to teach their kids something, and everyone wants to eat healthier." Tour-goers also got to see a variety of yard set-ups, and exchange chicken farming tips." It seemed not a single person went away lacking information.
One of the surprise hits of the tour were the tee-shirts designed by Jason Sauer, owner of Most Wanted Fine Art, a gallery and Yoga spot on Penn Avenue. The tees were emblazoned with the caption: Chicks In The Hood. They quickly sold out. Proceeds from the the tour were donated to the Urban Food Bank.
"Chickens are lot like potato chips; you can't have just one," explained Jody Noble Choder. Still, she hasn't gone down the crazy chicken slope, like a friend of hers (who shall remain nameless). She only maintains five chickens."The treatment of the birds by most urban farmers is very humane. The birds aren't injected with chemicals, they are free range, and we give them organic feed." The Choders raise a kinder, gentler chicken. The eggs the hens produce are given away to friends and even neighborhood restaurants like Salt, which have offered trade in return.
"Some people are surprised by what we do, but I don't know why," said Choder. "People use to raise chickens in the city all the time, before it fell out of favor. It's such a good and holistic practice. It's nice to have some control over what you eat."
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
While a good portion of the world was freezing it's keisters off this winter, the White House was having a hot time in the old town with who else but--Mick Jagger! We just came out of our winter doldrums to find this little gem belatedly posted on Mick's Facebook page. We're only one of over 172,000 fans, who visits there every once in while in the hopes that Mick might give us something epic. Even the thought that he's browsing a computer from time to time is kind of surreal. But seeing the still-mighty, Mick who at 69 can still high kick and get Prez Obama and First Lady Michelle rockin' is enough to make us stand up and clap and probably lift every baby-boomer, couch potato too. Mick has made 22 albums in 45 years with the Rolling Stones--a title the band picked up from blue's man Muddy Waters-- and they earned over 437 million on their last tour earning them a place in the Guinness World Records. Mick just keeps coming back, and back and back...and bringing it!
Friday, September 2, 2011
Mr. Imagination Courtesy of Bob Ziller.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
From "The Graduate"
Friday, February 25, 2011
Next time you need to reorder your calling card stock, forget about laser cuts, pop-ups and UV lamination. Meatcards takes 100% beef jerky and sears it with your logo or message. Meatcards even claims your cards will last through any eco disaster, so it might be best to set a few aside a few of these life sustaining widgets for later!We just hope the people who receive these great cards have a sense of humor and don't get too salty. Some of the best businesses in town are getting jerky. For more info: meatcards.com.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
When an product is an American icon, its always good to see progress since its inception which in this case is 1919. But check the history and you will soon discover that the Reynolds company is no stranger to green innovation. It's origins began in the same home town as the "Louisville slugger" baseball bat---Louisville, Kentucky. Then Reynolds went through several corporate acquisitions, make-overs, and headquarter moves, along the way buying another icon, Eskimo Pies and swathing them in foil. But it was in 1947, that the Reynolds Metals Co. used surplus aluminum from World War II to make Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, creating its most famous product. We don't know if they went to ungreen and back to green, but we suspect that they finally get bragging rights for being on the right track. You can find the new green Reynolds on Facebook, subscribe to their e-news letter, get online coupons, cooking tips and more on their site. So if you're wondering...
From the Reynolds FAQ's:
Is Reynolds Wrap® Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum safe to use with food? [It is!]
Aluminum foil made from recycled aluminum is as clean and safe to use with food as foil made from new, also referred to as virgin, aluminum. The process of melting down the recycled aluminum requires heating the metal to more than 1200°F, which burns off any debris in the metal. Once it turns into a molten liquid, the aluminum is sent through a filtration process, poured and rolled into thin sheets.Get more info, click here.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
In Pittsburgh, PA the recent Geek Art /Green Innovators Festival on April 2, featured fashion attractions of trash. Five students from the Neighborhood Academy created clothing inspired by discards from their cafeteria and even bags from a local store. The Trader Joe's dress above is by "Briana." All this indisposable fashion energy comes from a new wave of stylish young ladies who are happy to help save the environment and have mothers who will be eternally grateful to them. As one spirited young lady said, "First we have to eat the trash; then throw away trash, so now we'll wear the trash."
Also shown: Blue Gum Wrapper gown created by Junior Elizabeth Rasmuson of Ganer, Iowa, who decided to make something for herself and her boyfriend Jordan Weaver. Elizabeth said, "I heard about somebody making a dress out of duct tape or something one time so I just like what's something cool and I've always liked the colors of the "Five" gum."
We think this trumps the duct tape, Elizabeth.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
"Did we really hurt the Earth?," wondered Diana Hickman, a community blogger for Greenwala. Thankfully however, the Earth is not bleeding. This is an image of Blood Falls located in Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. It seems that this five-story waterfall has a red blood like color due to a 2 million year old ecosystem of microbes that were once trapped under the glacier that are now free due to the glacier melting; creating a fissure in the glacier according to scientists.
In addition, the lake area where the glacier is located is rich in iron and has very high salinity. What seems to have scientists excited is that the microbes represent life in the most extreme conditions. Who knows what those microbes represent from a disease or nature impact something that-- according to our current sources--is not currently being studied.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Amid rumors that the diamond industry is headed for a short-fall in "roughs," many analysts are looking at the situation very seriously. A new, productive diamond mine hasn't been discovered in the past 15 years and those planning to open, cant seem to get up the steam to keep going. According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea: "Diamond mining is a hugely expensive business and finding deposits and proving their commercial viability can take several years, as well as tens or even tens of thousands of dollars." Apparently, even if a plausible diamond mine were to be found today, it couldn't open until 2015.
In addition to high costs, the business of bringing a diamond operation "on line" is a daunting. "Botswana’s Orapa [an African] mine is on the surface and yet took four years to develop," Kilalea explained. "The Jwaneng mine, also in Botswana and of the size of mine needed to overcome a possible future supply shortfall, took 10 years to move from discovery to production. The Venetia operation in South Africa took 12 years. In Canada, the Ekati mine took 10 years to find and seven to prove and build. Even roads to the mines – which may open for only a few weeks a year – can cost $20 million to build."
This is the source of the problem. It appears that despite investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in global exploration, the diamond industry has thus far failed to discover sufficient commercial diamond deposits to replace existing finite mines. As a result, production is projected to remain essentially flat for at least the next decade. Even the new mines able to come on stream will not make up for the shortfall as older mines become depleted.
Said Kilalea of RBC: "The Argyle mine in Australia that used to produce 30 million carats is now down to half that amount.
The four largest producers – De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton – account for 90 percent of total diamond output, while smaller players include Harry Winston Diamond Corp, Petra Diamonds, and Gem Diamonds. “A host of mid-tier and juniors kick in the rest; they are small and often not well financed,” Kilalea said. Of the more than 100 firms involved in diamond mining, fewer than 20 have “meaningful production,” Kilalea added.
Also working against productivity is the terrain. The world’s diamond mining is concentrated in a few areas which are not at all hospitable. These include Canada’s frigid North West Territories, and Russia’s equally frigid Far East. Deposits are to be found in a range of African countries other than Botswana. However, in some cases, wading through the waters of questionable governance is as difficult as cutting through glacial ice. Some forecasters believe this opens a window for style experimentation, such as cutting overall costs by dealing with diamonds in the rough. Take the excellent examples of rough-style diamond rings (pictured above) created by Sruli Recht, a self proclaimed 'nomad' with a passion for making "ugly things beautiful." Others think the possible short-fall in diamond production leaves room for the simulated market to expand, while others would argue that there is no replacement for a "real diamond."
Still, whatever the shortfalls or the pitfalls, or the prognostications or procrastinations, one thing is crystal clear: the diamond industry isn't going away. And there is good news: If production improves, the demand for quality diamonds is quite strong. Not only is it good, but its growing. Markets like India and China are clamoring for these stones!
Said diamond industry analyst Ken Gassman said, "You can't turn around a love affair [of making and buying jewelry] the human race has had for 50,000 years. "
Sources: Elran Diamonds
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Li Xiaofeng of China has finally come up with the definitive use for broken porcelain. Don't throw it out, he says--wear it! Xiaofeng collects and connects pieces of antique china shards with
silver thread creating one-of-a-kind dresses and men's jackets that trendsetters are sporting all over the globe. The works of recycled couture by this Bejiing artist are harvested from the selected remnants of Ming, Qing and Song dynasty vases, broken shards he grinds down, hand polishes, and then sets on pieces of leather lining. Amazingly enough, these glass outfits are not purely window dressing they are fully wearable pieces of art that celebrities like Lady Gaga have gone--well--gaga over!
Source: Linda Lucille
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Who knew blue was difficult to make? Well thanks to a "happy accident" at Oregon University, the world now has a new blue.
Blue pigments of the past have often been expensive (ultramarine blue was made from the gemstone lapis lazuli, ground up), poisonous (cobalt blue is a possible carcinogen and Prussian blue, another well-known pigment, can leach cyanide) or apt to fade (many of the organic ones fall apart when exposed to acid or heat).
So it was a pleasant surprise to chemists at Oregon State University when they created a new, durable and brilliantly blue pigment.
What the researchers were trying to make were compounds with novel electronic properties, mixing manganese oxide, which is black, with other chemicals and heating them to high temperatures. Then Mas Subramanian (catchy name), a professor of material sciences, noticed that one of the samples that a graduate student had just taken out of the furnace was blue.
“I was shocked, actually,” Dr. Subramanian said.
In the intense heat, almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the ingredients formed a crystal structure in which the manganese ions absorbed red and green wavelengths of light and reflected only blue. When cooled, the manganese-containing oxide remained in this alternate structure. The other ingredients — white yttrium oxide and pale yellow indium oxide — are also required to stabilize the blue crystal. When one was left out, no blue color appeared.
The pigments have proven safe and durable, Dr. Subramanian said, although not cheap because of the cost of the indium. The researchers are trying to replace the indium oxide with cheaper oxides like aluminum oxide, which possesses similar properties.
The findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Source: The New York Times