1/27/2015

Seattle to shame residents for throwing away food


Grist’s beloved hometown is prime real estate for climate refugees; it’s located in Washington, which has the greenest governor in the country; it has a super ambitious climate action plan; AND it’s gunning to divert 60 percent of its waste from landfills by the end of this year.

That’s why, this summer, Seattle will begin fining its residents for putting compostable food in the trash bin. It’s $1 per infraction for households, $50 for apartment buildings or businesses. As the first U.S. city to actually fine people for not composting, it’ll start off easy: Until July 1, the punishment is public shaming, reports the Washington Post:

Those who refuse to separate their garbage will find their bins tagged with a red sign for all to see. The hope is that the tags will help serve as both a warning as well as an incentive to make composting a habit.

I know, I know. We’re talking about a Portlandia-esque city whose mayor actually pardoned a Thanksgiving Tofurkey, after all. But even Seattle still sends100,000 tons of food to a landfill in eastern Oregon each year — and that’s not only expensive, but bad for the climate, since landfills are the globe’s largest producer of methane gas.

Still, the penalty does seem rather small. Is a $1 fine really going to do much to change habits? And aren’t the compost cops going to have to tear open every trash bag to hunt for banana peels? Nope, says NPR:

[Seattle waste contractor Rodney] Watkins doesn’t have to comb through the trash — the forbidden items are plain to see.

“You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds,” he says, raising one lid. “All that makes great compost.”


So much for Seattle’s deep green #citybrag. But by the end of 2015, maybe the shame will get bad enough for the city to actually meet its goal. Cause just like the Seahawks, we’re nearly there: 56 percent already, baby. Via 

Google Glass: Turning Drivers Into Mechanics

Augmented reality - technology which takes virtual objects and layers them on top of live camera images - is being used by the car industry to help design the next generation of cars.

Click's Dan Simmons visits Audi's research headquarters in Germany to find out how the company is using the technology and looks at some of the augmented reality apps in development by Metaio, which could help drivers fix problems without needing to consult a manual. Via 




MUSIC: Oscar - Daffodil Days

MUSIC: Sleepy Tom & Gladiator - Cruise Control

MUSIC: Hundred Waters - Cavity (Shigeto Remix)

1/21/2015

Ten Secrets A Brand Naming Agency Won’t Tell You


Whether it’s a tech startup, a local bakery or an architecture practice, it’s something that every entrepreneur has to deal with very early on in the process: what is the business going to be called?

The question isn’t always easy to answer, but you’ll want to get it right. If it all works out as it should, you’ll have to live with the name of your new business for many years. The right name could make all the difference.

But how do you find a name for your business? Can you do it yourself? Or do you commission a naming or branding agency to take on the task on your behalf?

Before you make your choice, you might want to consider these 10 things that the naming agency probably won’t tell you.

It’s An Art, Not A Science


Creating a brand name for a business is really a misnomer. A brand is built over time and is the sum of what other people think and feel about a company, its products and its service – it can’t be in place from Day One.

What a company name can be is an attempt to distill its aspirations for its brand into a neat package which – when wrapped up in a logo – becomes a signpost, guiding people towards the ‘right’ perceptions.

This ‘brand’ – think of it as a ‘reputation’ – is not based on facts and figures. It’s based on an emotional response, not analysis …people are more Homer Simpson, than Mr. Spock. So there’s nothing that you can do to create a name that works in a predictable, controllable way.

There is no giant branding computer running a fiendishly clever algorithm. There’s no repeatable methodology. And there are no provable hypotheses.

Branding, and brand naming, is not a science. So, although people in the naming business often talk about their work using long words and opaque terminology, they’re relying more on instinct, than analysis. And they are right to do so.

Research Doesn’t Work


Because you never really know if your proposed business name is any good, it might be tempting to test it out. You will probably ask your partner, your friends and family. You might seek input from business associates. Or from a neighbor.

But the danger is that this often leads to a range of opinion: if you ask five people, you’re likely to get five answers. What’s more, if you look for a consensus, you’ll usually end up with a name that fewer people dislike; not the name that some absolutely love....more 

New York Dancers Flex to Fela Kuti


New York-based dancers Flizzo, Opt, Jay Donn, Sedo, and Danny respond to the afrobeat rhythms of Fela Kuti by ‘flexing’, a style of dance that came out of East Brooklyn. Watch “Fela Flex”, directed by Dominick Sheldon. Via 

Textbooks are free