Kodak announced today that it is selling its Eastman Gelatine
plant in Peabody, Mass. Could this be the beginning of a big
At the time of a fantastic 1999 Wall Street Journal article
(which I can now find online only here), Eastman
was processing 80 million pounds of bovine skeletal remains a year
to keep up with the world demand for photographic film. (And
selling the rejects to make Jell-O, which apparently does not
necessitate the same level of purity as the photo industry.)
I try my best to ignore election-related news coverage in
non-election years such as this one. It’s distracting and
counterproductive. But it can be hard to tune out—especially
when the list of apparently viable contenders for the Republican
ticket include such, um, brilliant minds as Herman Cain and
There are two phenomena at play that I have trouble
understanding. First, who would rally behind a presidential
candidate that lacks a top-notch knowledge of law, policymaking,
foreign policy issues, and economics? (Isn’t this supposed to
be the hardest job in the world?) Secondly, why does the Republican
vetting system seem to revolve around publicly questioning the
candidates on whether they are conservative enough? (Can there be
no room for compromise in a functioning two-party system?)
Fortunately, someone has written a funny and interesting essay
exploring both topics: “Why
Republicans Embrace Simpletons and How it Hurts
Spent the week after Am and Paul’s July wedding “on island time” in Maine. Photos are here!
Andy Rooney died today. I’ve always felt a strange sort of
connection with the guy. In my TV-watching days, I would regularly
tune in for his 60 Minutes commentary. I have read most of
The popular opinion has pronounced him the archetype of the
grumpy old man, but those who look more carefully will find that
his voice—his writer’s voice, that is—was
something quite different. Rooney was a keen observer of the world
around him. He wasn’t just curmudgeonly in his
pieces—he was incisive and witty and clever. He was also a
serious woodworker with a deep appreciation for craftsmanship.
His best book, My War, is one of my favorites. It
offers a deeply personal and completely fresh perspective of life
in World War II. Go out and read it!
F told me about a new protest technique hatched by the Occupy
Wall Street types: using the pre-paid return evelopes enclosed with
credit card offers to send messages back to big banks. I have
decided to do this, although I harbor no illusions of changing the
financial system. My dream: a mailbox with fewer credit card offers
If I can help to keep the US Postal Service solvent on someone
else’s dime, that’s not a bad outcome either.
Well, as far as urban Boston was concerned: so much for the
hurricane. It sure was fun to head out to the beach and watch the
I’m sitting at a factory in China, waiting for some boards
to come off the production line. Due to the deficiency of the
electric grid here, this region is having a power-saving day.
Because they get only 24 hours of notice from the electric
authorities, business has to proceed normally. So air conditioning
has been cut back to a minimum to allow the entire campus to be
powered from diesel generators. This place is not a
sweatshop—but it sure feels like it in these hallways!
Here in Boston, we’re anxiously awaiting Hurricanemageddon
2011! So far everything—the airport, the subway service,
malls, movie theatres, and restaurants—have announced their
intention to shut down on Sunday. Party on!
And you thought this site was dead!
Summer has been busy with Am’s wedding week in Maine and
lots and lots of work. Finally, time for a week in France! When I
return: some new photos, and perhaps some more blogging.