News from you 11/9/07

Welcome to another edition of News From You, an eclection of news, the weird, the arcane and the downright useless of interest to F-I infovores. I welcome noncommercial submissions from anyone be they useful, quirky, weird and offbeat. Commercial notices are encouraged from community members (guidelines). I credit all sources, include your web address for link love. Be kind and include your url with your message. If it’s not obvious from the content that you want to remain anonymous, you’ll have to tell me. Send your submissions to News From You.
Ack, I already missed it but Alisa Benay (one of our own) was on Get Married which aired November 9th, Lifetime Network, 7:30 AM EST. Luckily, you can see the episode on the website. She got a great feature. Nice gowns too! Someday, Alisa has to tell us the story of the wedding gown she made for a girl who didn’t have a groom or any prospects in sight. I’d tell you but she tells it better.
Mind Hacks mentions the artist Lee Pirozzi who creates brains and neuroanatomical structures made of fabric. Also mentioned is the Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art. And fiber art it is; who knew such a thing existed? The latter site also has a sense of humor saying “While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording”. I suppose humor among brain scientists is nothing new, Vesta is proof enough of that.

Continuing with the neuro theme, Neuromarketing blog cites recent research that says:

Would you be limiting yourself if you targeted advertising only at those who were above average in whatever characteristic related to your product (say, intelligence, good looks, athletic ability, perserverance, etc.)? In a word, NO. Studies show that across a wide spectrum of measures, almost everyone considers themselves to be above average. In the neuroeconomics book Your Money & Your Brain, author Jason Zweig cites a startling survey result in which two thirds of a group of drivers surveyed rated their skill, ability, and alertness the last time they were behind the wheel. That about two thirds rated themselves as “at least as competent as usual” wouldn’t be surprising had this group of drivers not been surveyed in the hospital after having crashed their cars! Zweig goes on to describe the actual police report data, which showed that two thirds of the group were directly responsible for their accidents, the majority had multiple traffic violations, etc….From a neuromarketing standpoint, advertisers should keep this odd brain quirk in mind. A pitch geared to those who are below the median in some way may end up falling on deaf ears because the audience doesn’t identify with that category. Instead, appealing to the above average with the suggestion of further improvement may be more successful…By and large, though, advertisers won’t go wrong by overestimating the consumer’s opinion of himself.

Maybe those scientists are right about most people but my readers are much smarter, thinner and better looking than visitors to other blogs. Natch.

Do you keep up with blog awards? I thought not. Me neither; I wouldn’t stoop. Heh. More likely that I pout with nary a chance of ever being nominated for anything ever. With endless categories to pick from, here’s the nominees for the funniest blog awards:
Jon Swift
Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper
DUmmie FUnnies
Sadly, No!
The Lawsons Do Dallas!
i am bossy
Laurie Kendrick
The Nose On Your Face
The Sneeze
The Hatemonger’s Quarterly

The full list of categories and nominees is here.
From the Co-op America mailing list is this mention from Michael:

A recently released international survey (pdf) by the BBC has shown that “Most are ready for green sacrifices”.

The surveyors interviewed 22,182 people in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United States between May 29 and 26 July 2007.

“The countries with the largest percentages saying that lifestyle and behavioural changes will be definitely necessary are Spain (68%), Mexico (64%), Canada (63%), Italy (62%), and China (59%). The countries with the largest numbers saying that such changes will not be necessary are Nigeria (33%), Egypt (29%), Kenya (25%), the United States (19%) and India (18%).”

Why does this not surprise me?
Speaking of life style changes and waste reduction, Catalog Choice is where you can eliminate unwanted catalogs you receive. Fill out the form, then find and decline your catalogs. Catalog Choice will contact the catalogs and request that your name be removed from their mailing lists. Free.
More from Just-Style:

According to the Organic Exchange, global retail sales for organic cotton products are likely to increase from $1.9bn by the end of 2007 to $3.5bn in 2008 and $6.8bn in 2010 – that’s a nearly four-fold rise in just three years. The figures aren’t just for clothes, but include personal care products and home furnishings made with organic cotton as well. Significantly, demand has been pushed by retailers expanding their organic programmes to offer more and more products including fashion-forward apparel, and pulled by consumers who are embracing a more altruistic lifestyle. Other trends highlighted by Organic Exchange’s research include mixing organic cotton with other fibres such as organic wool and linen, and certification to standards such as Fair Trade and Oeko-Tex.

Luckily, organic fibre production is growing apace too. The amount of organic cotton produced globally increased 53% from 2005/06 to 2006/07. Nearly half (44.9%) comes from the Middle East (Turkey, Syria and Israel), while around one-third (32.9%) is grown in South East Asia (India and Pakistan).

I guess US production isn’t even a blip. Along the same lines, WWD published Industry Looks to Raise Stake in Organic Clothing on a panel discussion called “Rethinking Fashion,” last Monday. One panelist, Zaroff (recipient of the 2007 Socially Responsible Business Award) said

“Clothing doesn’t grow in the boutique or the department store. There actually is a relationship back to nature and to farmer welfare. We have been out there for a while and the standards for organic certification are critically important,” Zaroff said. “If you are going to enter the market of sustainable fashion, you have to get educated and understand the whole picture because there is a scientific method behind organic agriculture. It’s not just a marketing gimmick, there is really a very serious process that goes into it.”

I’m glad people are starting to think about it. I’m always reticent to publish my dopey “It All Starts Here” entries so I’ve been pleasantly surprised when you all comment on those entries. Speaking of, I have yet to post on the organic cotton farmer I visited two weeks ago, nor have I written about the cotton harvest. Next week, I promise.
Sandra B sends:

Our local newspaper featured this milliner who has a fascinating story behind her work, is seen as a leader in ethical business practices, and makes really nice hats that sell all over the world. She is based in Fremantle, Western Australia, (Half an hour from me, but I’ve never met her) Part of the fascinating thing is that she is very involved with reating sustainable work for Tibetan refugees in India. Her story is quite inspirational, as she started in millinery as part of the therapy for a debilitating depressive illness, and deliberately creates a work/life model that is respectful of herself and others.

She’s got some great hats! I was never a hat person until I became friends with Amy Downs, now I’m into them. The aforementioned milliner also has a book out, A Milliner’s Tale. I sent word asking about it.

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