Posts tagged “alternative”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • American Made Utility Kilts for Everyday Wear – Their FAQ is clever/amusing, too.
    It is often suggested that Utilikilts* are not “real kilts.” This is 100% TRUE! “Real Kilts” are defined as: “A knee-length skirt with deep pleats, usually of a tartan wool, worn as part of the dress for men in the Scottish Highlands.” Utilikilts*, on the other hand, are manskirts (as are Scottish traditional kilts, and, for that matter, any M.U.G (Men’s Unbifurcated Garment). That being said, Utilikilts* are not Real Kilts, as in “I don’t need a Utilikilt*, I have a real kilt at home” And so the conversation begins; “Then why aren’t you wearing your real kilt on a gorgeous day like today?”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Percival Everett's short story, “The Appropriation of Cultures” – This is the second story in this podcast and is an entertaining and powerful piece of fiction about the meaning of symbols and the power that we might seize to change that meaning. Culture jamming as narrative device, in other words.
  • Ethnography is not an in-home interview – Grant McCracken considers the emerging finger-pointing as Tesco doesn't do as well in the US as they had hoped. Was research (or rather, poor research) to blame? I share his concern about people going through the motions and claiming they've done the research. A prospective client asked us the other day why they would hire us as opposed to simply borrowing a video camera from his brother and dropping into some of their target offices. It's an important question because it reveals a common mindset. My short answer was that they should definitely do that, but that the expertise we are bringing includes (but is not limited to) the ability to plan and execute those interviews so you really do get to something new, and the process for analyzing and synthesizing that data so that we can identify what it means to them and what the opportunities are. Perhaps, as McCracken suggests, Tesco failed to do just that.
  • Standing/adjustable height work surfaces, long available in workplaces, are being tried out – with seeming success – in schools – Teachers in Minnesota and Wisconsin say they know from experience that the desks help give children the flexibility they need to expend energy and, at the same time, focus better on their work rather than focusing on how to keep still.

    “We’re talking about furniture here,” she said, “plain old furniture. If it’s that simple, if it turns out to have the positive impacts everyone hopes for, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?”

Evil Bling

Seen in the window of a jewelry store in a very respectable normal mall in downtown Seattle. What a collision of imagery and meaning here! Glamor meets rebellion meets underground meets punk meets opulence meets bling.

Not to mention, that necklace/pendant is huge. Look at the size of the skull ring for a bit of scale.

Serving Good Intentions by the Bowlful – New York Times

The New York Times looks more closely at the “alternative” breakfast cereals, including where the money goes, what ingredients they contain, what those ingredients do or don’t deliver, and who really owns these companies.

General Mills owns Cascadian Farm, and the name behind Kashi is Kellogg. Barbara’s Bakery is owned by Weetabix, the leading British cereal company, which is owned by a private investment firm there. Mother’s makes clear that it is owned by Quaker Oats (which is owned by PepsiCo). Health Valley and Arrowhead Mills are owned by a natural food company traded on the Nasdaq, Hain Celestial Group; H. J. Heinz owns 16 percent of that company.

The cereals sold under the Peace label are owned by Golden Temple, a for-profit company owned by a nonprofit group founded by the late Yogi Bhajan, who made his fortune from Yogi Tea, Kettle Chips and a company that provides security services.

Of the companies that made the cereals tested, only Nature’s Path, a Canadian company, has no parent company.

Don Sayles, a retired manufacturer and typical New York skeptic, was recently shopping in the cereal aisle at a Whole Foods in New York. He buys alternative cereals ‘because we believe the hype to a certain extent about whole grains.’


About Steve