It’s Saturday. Time to clear out the bookmarks from the week that didn’t form into otherwise coherent themes. As always, these are news articles or other items that came across my RSS feed during the week:
- Where Does Your Money Go? Have you ever wondered, as you buy things from corporate America, exactly which billionaire’s pockets you were lining? This special report from Forbes allows you to map corporate brands to the wealthy people behind them. Some of these I knew, such as the folks behind Aldi being behind Trader Joes as well. Some I didn’t, such as the Koch Brothers being behind Brawny, or some of the same folks being behind both Burger King and Budweiser. It’s like a giant game of concentration.
- Historical Money. In the musical Tenderloin, one of the songs makes reference to a “double eagle”, and I’ve always wondered what that was. I found my answer in this Mental Floss article, which looks at 10 of the lesser known coins in the US. This is more than just Suzies and Sacajaweas. It is things like Gold Buffalos, Unions, Stellas, and various odd coin denominations such as ½¢, 2¢, 3¢, 20¢, half-dimes, and $3. Speaking of the ½¢, here’s another related item: Why are coupons worth 1/100th of a cent? Hint: The answer goes back to trading stamps. Remember those?
- Food Issues. Another twofer of food items. The first looks at a niche in the world of Chinese restaurants in Monterey Park, CA: Organic Chinese Food. Monterey Park is an Asian community east of Los Angeles, home to loads and loads of great Chinese restaurants. Many of these place the emphasis on quick and cheap. A few are bucking the trend attempting to go for organic and healthy cuisine (something that would go well in West LA), and the article looks at their struggles. Also food-related is a petition effort from a number of food bloggers to get Kraft to remove the food dyes from their Mac&Cheese. Of course, what they fail to realize is that one eats Kraft Mac & Cheese expressly for the food dye (it’s a food group, don’tcha know?); if you want healthy food for your family, don’t depend on the corporations — make it yourself! Great mac and cheese isn’t hard to make.
- Plumbing Issues. This one I discovered through Boing Boing: An article about a fellow who buys a new house, has a drain problem, calls a plumber, and enters into the rabbit hole of plumbing problems. This is something I’ve run into — especially the situation of tarpaper sewage pipes, which we had in our front yard (our house was built in 1962). Plumbing is one of the reasons I hate houses built on concrete slabs — I still remember, as a kid, having plumbing leaks under the slab and having to rip up the carpets and jackhammer the floor.
- Body Issues and Acceptance. One of the folks I read on Livejournal is TheFerrett. A wonderful writer, he often has very insightful essays (for example, his recent essay on being the dumb one in the room). This week he reposted an essay he had originally posted over at Fetlife, a fetish-oriented bulletin board. This essay looked at body image from the genitalia point of view, noting that whatever you’ve got, there’s someone else that finds it sexy. This essay hit a nerve with a lot of people — it is a very positive statement of body acceptance, and one that many people need to remember. It is something to think about everytime you see a couple and go: Why is he/she with her/him? The answer is because each has something the other loves. Related to this: The Nu Project kickstarter, as of when I write this, has about 3 hours left. This is your last chance to get the Nu Project book at a discounted price; the Nu project presents pictures of women of all shapes and sizes, taken in their homes, demonstrating that all bodies are beautiful.
Music: If Not Now When? (Debbie Friedman): “Kumi Lach”