As usual, McSweeney’s slaughters it with this “A Small-Scale Organic Farmer Wants You to Know a Few Things” piece. Seriously, sometimes a little humor and sarcasm are the best tool for slicing to the heart of the matter.
Now go buy some produce from someone who worked their fingers to the bone ground it for you. Or better yet, grow your own.
Very, very happy to have had my book, Get Back Stay Back: 2nd Generation Back-to-the-landers, featured in the first-ever Maine Farmlands Trust Journal: Maine Farms and on Anthology Magazine’s blog.
“Anthology?” you ask. But isn’t that a high-end, lovingly prepared, San Francisco-based design and decor magazine? What’s a guy like you, writing about about hippies and farming have anything to do with that?
Well, a while back, my apartment ended up featured in the magazine thanks to a completely random turn of events. A friend of a friend is the art director for the pub, they had a photographer and stylist heading to Maine to shoot local design bon vivants Wary Meyers’ home, and they needed another place to make the trip pay off for everyone involved.
I’m not the type of guy to be like, “Yo, check my crib,” but my wife and I do happen to live in a pretty neat spot. The photographer and stylist team, a husband and wife, native Utahns based in Manhattan (Seth and Kendra Smoot) made it an awesome day. We hit it off and long story short, I ended up writing the piece myself.
You can download it on my portfolio site if you want to take a look. And I would sure be remiss if I didn’t flog the living daylights out of my book, which is still definitely for sale HERE.
Leave to Vice of all places to produce a compelling piece of journalism about the future of solar. When it comes to clean, green technologies, few have held as much promise for the future of our plant–and our collective ability to say “forget this” and opt out–as the sun’s rays.
Problem is, as the hippie homesteaders of the 1970s found, it’s expensive stuff. Today their kids, the second generation back-to-the-landers are finding much the same thing. Start up costs are high, and ROI is mostly long term.
But things are looking up. According to this article, when Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu stepped down as energy secretary last winter, he revealed that in 10 short years we’ll be in pretty good shape. “We’re following a learning curve, we see at least a decade of continuous improvement,” he said, noting that we’re seeing the price of solar in Power Purchase Agreements, or the contracts between energy producers and buyers, plummeting. “Now its 14-15 cents per kilowatt hour, going on 11-12. It’s a very exciting downward trend.” His SunShot Initiative (modeled after JFK’s Moonshot) is largely to thank for the advancements.
Maybe a decade from now we’ll all finally be able to find that special place in the country where we can really tell the utility company where to stick it.
I’m giving this Buzzfeed list about a 50/50 crap/genius rating, but it’s generally pretty good. #1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14 and 15 really hit home for me.
There’s a lot of talk these days about the infallibility of data. In this, as in most things, a little historical perspective goes a long way — because people have been cooking the numbers as long as numbers have existed.
If you’re like me, you probably feel like anyone preaching that gospel is either wildly uncreative or stands to benefit directly from the wholesale allegiance to scores and figures that fall a long ways short of summing up the complexity of the human experience.
Wall Street, often touted as the ultimate example of the supremacy of quant reason and logic, is a great example. Most of us know that everything about the stock market is inherently a few — or many — angles out of skew. “Highest population of psychopaths of any industry ever,” blah blah blah. But how bad is it really?
Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side and Moneyball tackles that question in his new book Flash Boys. The answer is: very. If the “why” of it is obvious, the “how” will leave you with steam shooting out of your ears.
In Lewis’ ridiculously able hands, the fixing of the entire financial market by just a few individuals comes alive. I won’t even attempt to get into the nitty gritty, Lewis’ ability to break down a hustle this complex is what makes him an author for the ages. Instead, in true WW&W fashion, I will rely on expletive to get my point across: What has played out in the world of high frequency trading since 2009 is totally, completely fucked.
Thanks to the nice people at W.W. Norton & Co., Wool Wood and Whiskey has FIVE HARDCOVER copies of Flash Boys to dish out to long time readers — right on the cusp of Father’s Day. You or dad can learn all about just how crazy things have gotten on what is apparently the wildest digital frontier. If you pass it along to Pops though, just make sure he’s not too deep into the G&Ts if he’s heavily invested. Stuff might get thrown.
FIRST FIVE COMMENTERS BELOW GET A COPY OF THE BOOK SHIPPED DIRECT TO THEIR DOORSTEP BY FATHER’S DAY.
Just please be sure to enter a valid email — that’s how we’ll contact you for your post address.
And check out Michael Lewis on the Daily Show for a way better primer on the book and story than I could ever scratch out if you need some convincing.
PS–Open to US residents only! Sorry rest of the world!
***It just came to my attention that if you’re viewing this post on the Wool Wood and Whiskey homepage, there’s no comment form — whoops! You just have to go to http://www.woolwoodandwhiskey.com/2014/06/10/fathers-day-giveaway/ and comment at the bottom of the post.***
French photographer Antoine Bruy has spent years documenting urban refugees living self-sufficient lifestyles in remote places across Europe. The resulting images, many of which can been seen in this video, are a frank depiction of the realities of living wildly in wild places.
Next year he’s hoping to train his lens on the Appalachian backcountry here in the US. With help from this fundraising video, he’s hoping to release a book of photos from this body of work.
Via The New Yorker.
This is way late, but a week or so ago I published what might be my best piece of writing yet. It’s for SinglesClub.fm, a radical new, mixed-media, web-and-good-old-analog-music project.
A while back, Jeffrey Silverstein, who is one half of the duo behind the project, contacted me because they were looking for someone to write about my buddy Bob, aka Small Sur. The idea is that Jeffrey and his partner, Chris Muccioli, record and press previously unreleased 7-inch singles with a bands of their choosing. Quarterly, they mail a record to subscribers via US Post, and meanwhile they publish a series of piece on the musician(s) on their online music journal.
Calling it radical isn’t an exaggeration. The journal is one of the best multi-media websites I’ve seen yet–right up there with the New York Times’ “Snow Fall” piece.
I’m glad to have been able to contribute what I think is my most fully-realized story so far to the effort. Writing about friends is obviously shaky ground journalistically, but I made a special exception for a friend who also happens to be one of my favorite musicians.
7-9pm, I’ll be hosting a party/reading/discussion at The Telling Room in downtown Portland (225 Commercial Street, Suite 201). The Telling Room is an amazing writing and literacy center for kids, where I’m luck enough to be employed.
Consider yourself invited–I’ll have books on had for sale and signing, and my folks are bringing some light apps!
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/525655684213978/?source=3&source_newsfeed_story_type=regular
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