August 23, 2006
Scrapbooking industry more than $2.5 billion
Women make general family albums and special albums as gifts on special occasions. Scrapbooking is the third most popular craft hobby in the nation amounting to $2.55 billion in 2004, up 28% over 2001.
Here's the profile of scrapbookers from a survey conducted by Simple Scrapbooks magazine.
Thirty-nine percent of scrapbookers have been involved in the hobby for five years or more.
Scrapbook enthusiasts are most likely to be females between the ages of 30 and 50. Eighty-two percent have a college education and nearly 50 percent are employed full-time.
Scrapbooking expenditures have increased significantly over the last three years. Now, about 75 percent of scrapbookers spend at least $25 on supplies in a month. On average, scrapbook enthusiasts own scrapbooking supplies valued at approximately $1,853, an 81 percent increase since 2001.
About three-quarters of scrapbookers have a room or space in their home dedicated to the hobby.
August 20, 2006
Chris Peacock, a graduate from the Royal College of Arts' design school has invented the Hand Steady.
About 5% of the world, some 300 million people have hand tremors that make it difficult to drink in public
By holding drinks in a rubber grip that rotates, the device keeps the cup steady while people are drinking.
Peacock won the Design for Disability Award, applied for a patent and is looking for businesses that want to produce it.
Made by Mark Fischer from the sound of an Hawaiian Humpback whale off Rio Vista, California.
Thanks to the bookofjoe who catches up a lot of fascinating stuff I've missed, like What does a whale's song look like.
In a Northern California studio, Mark Fischer, an engineer by training, uses wavelets — a technique for processing digital signals — to transform the haunting calls of ocean mammals into movies that visually represent the songs and still images that look like electronic mandalas. (His art can be found at aguasonic.com)
''When you see what whales are doing with sound, or begin to see what they are capable of, it is clear that humans are not the only artists on the planet,'' he said.
The beauty of the world never ceases to astonish me.
August 16, 2006
As above, so below
This is only micrometers wide.
This simulation of the big bang is billions of light years wide
The story behind this astonishing graphic is here.
August 15, 2006
Socrates on blogs
I like Jeff Jarvis's post, Is writing the highest form of speech commenting on Nick Lemann's New Yorker article, On the Internet, everyone is a millenarian
As the flood of responses and comments to Nicholas Lemann’s “On the Internet, everybody is a millenarian” article in the New Yorker continues to flow, bend, ripple and eddy, one can’t help but notice how Lemann’s piece simply stands there, mute, defunct. Sans capacity to comment, respond, defend, link. It’s Plato’s old distinction in the Phaedrus“>Phaedrus: blogs are the speaking voice, alive and self-present. Lemann’s article belongs to the world of print, of writing.
Socrates talks about the written word as a lesser form of shared knowledge. He praises conversation, teaching, humanity.
Well worth reading in its entirety.
August 9, 2006
FeedBurner Networks - Venture Capital
There's so many new tools for blogs, I can't keep up.
The new Feedburner networks look very interesting. Take a look The Venture Capital Network
A FeedBurner Network is a collection of blogs that fit within a particular topic. The goal is to create high quality collections of similar types of publishers. For example, if you are interested in reading Venture Capital bloggers, you currently have to manually poke around to find them. Some bloggers have taken it upon themselves to compile a list of Venture Capital bloggers (65 – where did all those come from?) and you can use Technorati to find Blogs about Venture Capital. But – none of these approaches is particularly organized, scales, or is really manageable.
A FeedBurner Network is managed by a coordinator. At this stage the coordinator is the gatekeeper for the network, although it will evolve so that all members of a network can promote other potential members. As a result, the content is "filtered and selected" by the network coordinator (and ultimately members) so that there aren't "fake" Venture Capital blogs as part of the network. The result should be a higher quality network and a quick and easy way to find “Venture Capital bloggers.”
Solution to Global Warming
At least for that which is not natural climate change but created by humans and much better than the economic-crippling regulation proposed by the Kyoto treaty.
An innovative solution for the man-made carbon dioxide fouling our skies could rest far beneath the surface of the ocean, say scientists at Harvard University. They've found that deep-sea sediments could provide a virtually unlimited and permanent reservoir for this gas that has been a primary driver of global climate change in recent decades, and estimate that seafloor sediments within U.S. territory are vast enough to store the nation's carbon dioxide emissions for thousands of years to come.
Schrag and his colleagues say an ideal storage method could be the injection of carbon dioxide into ocean sediments hundreds of meters thick. The combination of low temperature and high pressure at ocean depths of 3,000 meters turns carbon dioxide into a liquid denser than the surrounding water, removing the possibility of escape and ensuring virtually permanent storage.
August 8, 2006
From the Business Innovation Insider, 70% of American companies have no employees
August 4, 2006
Hackers clone e-passports
A German computer security consultant has shown that he can clone the electronic passports that the United States and other countries are beginning to distribute this year.
Although countries have talked about encrypting data that's stored on passport chips, this would require that a complicated infrastructure be built first, so currently the data is not encrypted.
"And of course if you can read the data, you can clone the data and put it in a new tag," Grunwald says.
The cloning news is confirmation for many e-passport critics that RFID chips won't make the documents more secure.
"Either this guy is incredible or this technology is unbelievably stupid," says Gus Hosein, a visiting fellow in information systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science and senior fellow at Privacy International, a U.K.-based group that opposes the use of RFID chips in passports.
"I think it's a combination of the two," Hosein says. "Is this what the best and the brightest of the world could come up with? Or is this what happens when you do policy laundering and you get a bunch of bureaucrats making decisions about technologies they don't understand?"
August 3, 2006
Ivy League Moms
Are you an Ivy League Mom?
Ivy League moms, a heretofore unrecognized demographic niche are now a $6 trillion market.
In a 102-page study released this May, Ekaterina Walsh of the Boston-based financial consulting firm Aite Group, defined a demographic group she refers to as "Ivy League Moms." They haven't all attended Ivy League schools, but they are highly educated and have left full-time careers to raise their kids, usually with the expectation of returning to their jobs after several years. In the meantime they want to work part-time and closer to home.
What makes this group so attractive is that they typically handle their own finances, or they share responsibility with their partner for developing the family's financial plans. In addition, they're firmly grounded in the mass-affluent, if not affluent, spectrum of investors. Walsh estimates that this group represents nearly 10 million households and $6 trillion in investable assets. In addition, they're well connected in their communities and consequently a rich source of potential referrals.
August 1, 2006
From High Net Worth news, Banks Readying for Generational Transfer.
One of the areas the report highlights this year, the unprecedented generational transfer of wealth that the industry is facing, will make winners of the banks that approach it shrewdly, says Petrina Dolby, wealth management specialist at Capgemini. Estimates vary, she says, but conventional wisdom holds that $12 to $18 trillion will be bequeathed in the next 12 years. (The GDP of the U.S. is about $12 trillion a year.) Longer-term estimates top $130 trillion for the wealth that will change hands by 2053, she says.
Webster says that the trends in wealth management can be summed up with two sentiments: Customers want more choices and they want simpler ones.