global perspectives

Was Töfood töo töo convincing?

I'm rather disappointed. People seem to have believed my April Fools Day joke. Tom says this means it was really good, but I'm not so sure. Anyhow, here it is for anyone who missed it, and do click that link at the end of the paragraph. China introduces global food sensation: Töfood An innovative Chinese company has made plans for the global launch of a vegetarian product popular throughout China after learning about the wildly successful introduction of SPAM® during the Great Depression. The Chinese canned meat substitute, made of [...]

April 1st, 2009|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , , |

A Berkshire weekend

I don't spend all that much time in the Berkshires at weekends, but thousands of other people do. I'm here this weekend and it's turning out wonderfully--not only perfect weather, but a succession of the small delights that make this, now that I think about it, rather a nice place to build a global media business, weird as that seems to people. (I had a call a few days ago from the U.S. Commercial Service, who had been asked by someone based in Beijing to set up a meeting when [...]

July 12th, 2008|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

American regionalism

Throwing a person's words back at them takes on new meaning online. I was about to watch a presentation about some online community building software yesterday and suddenly realized that the screen was showing a collection of comments I had made on Berkshire's community /UGC (User Generated Content) site, LoveUSHateUS. There they were, all the comments by "KarenCh. Driving, bathtubs. "I have a big bathtub," said one of my hosts. "My big mouth," I thought. There I was, trying to show my thoughtful visionary side while on the screen in [...]

February 28th, 2008|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Moon cake season, and a full moon tomorrow

  I love being able to upload a photo from my phone, but what a shame I haven't yet learned to get a title in! Webb Shaw got in a question even before I got here to tidy up, changing "Multimedia message" to the title above. "What's a mooncake?," he asks, and mentions that seasonal cakes where he lives in Wisconsin are yellow and green to match the colors of the Green Bay Packers. This is the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, one of the major celebrations of [...]

September 24th, 2007|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , |

Experiencing hunger: a Lenten perspective

I had lunch today with a friend who when we met said, "I'm day-fasting." Well, I thought, that's fine: I'll have to eat my proscuitto sandwich while he watches? What fun. "Why?" I asked. "It's Lent." "Catholics day-fast?" I said, "I thought that was Muslims." He looked shocked, "I'm not Catholic. That's not why I do it." A bit odd, but nothing out of the way in the Berkshires. I've learned to wing it, with people's food sensitivities and varied spiritual practices, and nothing surprises me much any more. But [...]

March 16th, 2007|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Knowledge propagation: can we learn from nature?

Not long ago I was idling away an evening with the 2003 Heronswood Nursery catalog. This is a famous catalog that no longer exists (nor does the nursery, as of May, when new owners W. Atlee Burpee & Co. closed it), and I'm sorry I threw away the other issues I had. They're probably collectors' items already, but with no ISBN, and no real title or author, how can I locate them at I have found other nurseries with interesting ranges and funky websites, and the truth is that [...]

January 9th, 2007|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , , |