liveonearth: (Tempest in a Teapot)
In the course of the winter's passing my sweetie has been snookered twice by the tricky naming of teas.  The brand that I prefer is Traditional Medicinals.  I send him to the store with tea on the list and he comes home with Yogi brand tea because the names are similar and because the Yogi teas are cheaper.

Traditional Medicinals has IMO the best blends with the most potent herbs in them.  Some of my favorites are Throat Coat, Breathe Easy, Herb Tussin and Gypsy Cold Care.  I discovered Throat Coat back when I was a raft guide and used to shout myself hoarse trying to get people down the river.  These teas have been made for years and they are excellent.

There's this other brand, called Yogi Tea, which makes some decent teas.  They have however been trying to steal the marketshare of Traditional Medicinals by naming their teas in parallel ways to confuse the consumer.  Instead of Breathe Easy theirs is Breathe Deep, instead of Throat Coat it's Throat Comfort, right down the product line.  It has worked twice on my boyfriend so I have had to drink boxes of Yogi tea, repeatedly testing my perceptions.  While their blends are OK, they are nowhere near as good as the Traditional Medicinals herbal teas.

Frankly, even though I used to buy some Yogi Tea I have stopped entirely because I do not like their marketing approach, and the ones I did buy from them were not all that good.  It seems normal for tea companies to start out making really good teas, then get bought out by some mega-corporation who starts cheapening the ingredients in a cost cutting exercise.  This results in reduced quality.  It happens in every industry, and I do not know how Traditional Medicinals has avoided it, but it appears that so far they have.  I thank them for their quality.  I stopped buying Celestial Seasonings a LONG time ago, when their quality took a dive.  We used to joke that they were bagging up floor sweepings.  If I end up with Bigelow or Stash brand tea in my tea box, it just sits there until I have a guest that chooses them.  Tazo is middle of the road in my view.  Trader Joe's is about as good as really cheap tea can be.  There's a lot of "tea" out there that gives tea a bad name.

Much tea is bad just because it is old: herbs don't stay potent forever.  If that box of tea bags in your cabinet has been open for years and collecting dust, the tea inside is not going to be good.  Not liking this does not constitute not liking tea.

Full disclosure: I have no ties to any commercial tea manufacturers, other than I work part-time in a medicinary where we compound our own blends.  Nobody is paying me to issue an opinion, but I have one, just like everybody.  I think that most people who say "I don't like tea" have never had a really good cup of herbal tea suited to the season and their constitution.  I am educated about the medicinal uses of herbs and have created some of my own blends for specific purposes.
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
Looks like it is mostly true, the assertion that more handouts are given in republican-dominated states. This makes sense to me because in those states or areas where local social programs are limited or cut, the poor will seek out federal assistance. Big business on the other hand is likely to avoid paying taxes entirely. Churches remain tax exempt no matter how gigantic or lavish. There is a problem here.

http://exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com/post/35908018305
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
This is an order of magnitude greater moral offense...because what is at stake is the fate of the planet, humanity, and the future of civilization, not to be melodramatic.

—Alyssa Bernstein, ethics expert at Ohio U, comparing Exxon's funding deniers (despite knowing about climate change since the 80's) to the tobacco industry denying the link between smoking and cancer.
liveonearth: (moon)
Maybe not quite yet, but I can hope. This article is right on:

9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)
Americans' lack of worldliness clouds our views on everything from economics to sex to religion.
By Alex Henderson / AlterNet March 25, 2015
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/9-things-many-americans-just-dont-grasp-compared-rest-world
liveonearth: (moon)
If the truth brings them down, then by all mean let them go down. This story reinforces for me the fact that businesses are never as ethical as people. It's no surprise that a wind power company would want to bury bird death data, but it reminds me of pharmaceuticals that try to hide negative findings about their drugs. You might think wind power is green and renewable and good, but perhaps it is not. You might think that nuclear power is suicidally dangerous and evil, but perhaps it is not.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Energy/20141117/wind-firm-sues-to-block-release-of-bird-death-data#
text )
liveonearth: (critter 2)
That's a lot of people who can't shower in or cook with the water coming from the faucet. The solution to this pollution is said to be dilution, same as ever, which means people have to wait until enough good water has run through the system to wash out the chemical. The wildlife get no such warning. The symptoms are nausea and vomiting. I haven't found anything about longterm toxicity yet.

Events like this are manageable for populations wealthy enough to purchase bottled water or travel to cleaner digs. For impoverished folks and for the creatures and plants of the land, this is a true crisis.

The leak was a foaming agent used to wash coal, and it went from a 48,000 gallon storage tank straight into the Elk River. The primary component in the foaming agent that leaked is the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (CH3C6H10CH2OH). It has been patented as an air freshener and has a slightly minty odor (another good reason not to use air fresheners). It is used in ~20-25% of coal plans, mainly for "coking coal" which is used for metallurgical purposes, but not for making coal burned to make electricity ("steam coal") which is the lion's share of total coal produced.

The biz owning the leaky tank is called Freedom Industries, and it distributes mining reagents for WV, VA, PA, OH, MD, MN, KY, and MI. In 2008, Freedom Industries was specially selected by Georgia-Pacific Chemicals as a distributor of G-P's Talon brand mining reagents for the states already mentioned. Georgia-Pacific Chemicals is, of course, a subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific, which was acquired by Koch Industries in 2005. Koch is big biz, and should be penalized to assure that they will take better precautions in all their plants in the future.



SOURCES
Fresh Brains sent me this link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/11/west-virginia-chemical-sp_n_4582100.html
National Geographic on the same leak:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140110-4-methylcyclohexane-methanol-chemical-spill-west-virginia-science/
Daily Kos
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/11/1268990/-Freedom-Industries-Has-Ties-to-Koch-Brothers
Koch Industries
http://www.kochind.com/

Mastermind

Dec. 30th, 2013 09:35 am
liveonearth: (moon)
I am participating in a mastermind group.
The purpose is to reprogram our thinking (conscious and subconscious) regarding money.
L defines "paradigm" as a set of habits that is like the elephant you are riding.
Draws the distinction between conscious and unconscious mind.
Linking sense of smell to feelings and deep memories..
"Money can't talk, but it can hear, call it and it will come."
Carry a $100 (or several) in your wallet, not to spend, just to have.
Homework: read chapters 1 and 2
Do the exercises suggested in the chapters
Create a list of expenses for how I'd like to live
Life insurance

It ain't what you don't know
that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure
that just ain't so.
--Mark Twain
liveonearth: (moon)
Today on MoveOn they're soliciting for signatures on a petition to make Walmart pay its workers better. Moveon says it's an outrage that Wallyworld employees have to use public services for healthcare because can't afford better. What isn't mentioned is that they spent what they had on vehicles and fuel, guns, alcohol and cigarettes, mobile phones and flatscreens. And a roof over their head.

Minimum wage is law. No company can hire you over the table for anything less. Walmart can pay minimum wage and if people apply for and accept that job, they have made a deal with that company. If they don't like it, they can quit, get another job. If there isn't another job, they can start their own business, or be useful to a family business or take care of an aging elder. They can run for office, start a protest, try and change the minimum wage. There is no shame in doing these things. The shame is in doing nothing. I just don't know how far from nothing this petition is. Having a grievance is not the same as having a solution.

When the economy contracts, families get closer. The resources that we do have get shared with those we care about. The death rate went down in the Great Depression, perhaps for this reason.

I can't get on board with political efforts to increase "jobs" because what "jobs" means is working for large corporations which will strike the best deal they can get for everything including manpower. It's the game, and winning for the 1% means never having to worry about a job. The worker never wins. The worker is a cog in a machine that cares nothing about him and will replace him the moment he begins to crack. The safety net may ease his passage a bit, but it is easy to get caught in.

To be trapped in the safety net is to lose your self respect, to become depressed, to want to die. This may be why so many white American men commit suicide. Middle-aged white guys commit suicide more than anybody else. Perhaps the veterans are driving that statistic.
liveonearth: (moon)
If Americans snacked only occasionally, and in small amounts, this would not present the enormous problem that it does. But because so much money and effort has been invested over decades in engineering and then relentlessly selling these products, the effects are seemingly impossible to unwind. More than 30 years have passed since Robert Lin first tangled with Frito-Lay on the imperative of the company to deal with the formulation of its snacks, but as we sat at his dining-room table, sifting through his records, the feelings of regret still played on his face. In his view, three decades had been lost, time that he and a lot of other smart scientists could have spent searching for ways to ease the addiction to salt, sugar and fat. “I couldn’t do much about it,” he told me. “I feel so sorry for the public.”

SOURCE
NY Times article on the science behind Addictive Food. For sure, the objective is profits, not health.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
liveonearth: (endless_knot)

Here are the 5 skills that set serial entrepreneurs apart from everyone else.  Based on these one can predict with 90% accuracy who will become a serial entrepreneur:

1) Persuasion (get others to say yes)

2) Leadership (get others do do stuff)

3) Personal accountability (takes charge and takes responsibility)

4) Goal orientation (works toward something specific)

5) Interpersonal skills (can connect enough to do the other ones)


Of course those who succeed are different from others in the speed with which they implement new decisions.

SOURCE

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/new_research_the_skills_that_m.html

liveonearth: (Default)
This is today's headline in the business section of the local newspaper, The Oregonian. The sectors that took the biggest hits were finance and managed care. This supports my conviction that Obama will serve big business interests less than Romney would. Suits me, even though my tiny retirement fund is shrinking again.
liveonearth: (moon)
http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html

He speaks to the fact that all of us have some characteristics that are present on the diagnostic checklists for mental illness, and that we exist on a continuum. He has written a book with the subtitle "A Journey Through the Madness Industry".
liveonearth: (business dance)
You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing.
I made every mistake that could be made.
But I just kept pushing.

--Rene Descartes
liveonearth: (warthog?)
If Progressive is proud of their tactics, they should say so. "We fight against claims to keep our costs low, saving you money." But if they're not proud, they should tell the truth, learn from it and apologize.
--Seth Godin
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/08/corporations-are-not-people.html

Seems like this is what we'd expect from insurance. It's only unfortunate when you are the one denied coverage.
liveonearth: (dancing calvin & Hobbes)
The most efficient way to get the behavior you're looking for
is to find positive deviants
and give them a platform, a microphone and public praise.

--Seth Godin
liveonearth: (hand)
This engineer (ironically named Mix) knew that the 4/20/10 BP oil geyser was bigger than the company had told the media, and they're arresting him for deleting 300 text messages on that subject. Not to be totally uppity but I KNEW at the time that the guesstimated amount was likely to be false and low. Anybody with half a brain knew the number was not likely to be the eventual truth. They just picked a nice round number and were sticking to it. It sorta sickens me to see an engineer go down for this. Somebody higher on the food chain is more responsible, and for more heinous crimes.

READ ALL ABOUT IT
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/justice-dept-makes-1st-arrest-in-bp-oil-spill-ex-engineer-accused-of-obstruction-of-justice/2012/04/24/gIQAOuKieT_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNE_b
liveonearth: (Default)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpLFq4R_StI

This series is recommended by the instructor of our business courses. I haven't watched yet but I think I may.

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