Tag Archives: GOOD

north dakota + occupy wall st.

28 Nov

Next to the cash register of a small cafe in Chicago is a sign that shows a photo of the JP Morgan Chase Building, downtown, and an image of the cafe’s logo. Next to the Chase Building, it says, TOO BIG TO FAIL. Next to the cafe: NOT TOO BIG TO FAIL.

The sign encourages people to use cash, not because the owners are scrooges, but because they don’t want to support big banks and because they lose a percentage of the money paid via credit and debit cards. The sign was up long before Occupy Wall St. and that day a while back when we were all supposed to switch to local banks. It was just smart business and good for the community.

What might also be good business is if Illinois itself created a central bank. This article from GOOD, published this spring, describes how North Dakota beat the Occupy folks to the anti-bank punch.

The [state-owned Bank of North Dakota] does very little direct lending and instead helps prop up a large network of community banks throughout the state, financing parts of loans to farms and businesses. This mitigates some of the risk for the smaller banks and frees them up to make more loans, thus spurring industry and, subsequently, job growth.

In essence, this is socialism providing the means for capitalism, and it’s working very well.

Interesting stuff. The article is worth reading.

the end of an anomaly

19 Nov

Four-plus years of being a barista has meant that I can’t ignore the perennially absurd happenings of the coffee world. I’m still a junkie for brew methods and barista jams, and I regularly fork over three dollars for an eight-ounce cup of coffee. But this week Zak Stone wrote a fascinating piece on the decline of cheap coffee for GOOD. It turns out changes in weather patterns have taken a heavy toll on coffee bean yields. A really heavy toll.

“Between 2006 and 2009, the Colombian yield shrank by a quarter—from 12 million bags to 7.8 million, the lowest yield in 33 years,” Stone reports amid some fantastic illustrations by Dan Matutina. “The forecast doesn’t look good for the rest of the coffee-growing world, either: more pests in East Africa, more hurricanes in Central America, more droughts in Indonesia. Global coffee stockpiles are close to record lows.”

What this means is that coffee won’t be as cheap as it has been, which Counter Culture‘s Peter Giuliano says has been a long time coming. “Coffee as cheap fuel for the masses is a historical anomaly,” he says. “We’re going back to where coffee began—as an exotic, beloved culinary experience.”

It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a while, and the writing is beyond GOOD‘s typical fare. Check it out here.

Illustrator Dan Matutina's take on the brewing storm

oscar cocktails, other pairings

17 Nov

Ken Walczak keeps up his cutting commentary and cocktail-making. The subject of his scourge this time around: everyone involved in the Oscar-host fiasco.

How do you give a dude like Brett Ratner a proper sendoff? How about with a shot of Kansas Spirit. … Kansas Spirit bills itself as “whiskey without the middle-aged yuck factor.” I bill it as nonsense, inspired by poseurs—and as the perfect pour for a Hollywood douchebag whose accomplishments include sleeping with women half his age, then publicly ridiculing their appearance, sexual performance, and ethnic background; linking the words “masturbation” and “shrimp grease” in the public imagination; and the music video for “Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Being Crushed by Buildings.”

In other cocktail news, Drinkify pairs a drink to what you’re listening to. When listening to Gayngs’ 69-beats-per-minute groove, you should pour yourself six ounces of gin, served neat with a grapefruit twist. Phantogram requires a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale garnished with a cucumber. The “Of Montreal” is a bottle of Captain Morgan shaken up with a Monster energy drink.

I couldn’t stump it. They even had a drink recommendation for WU LYF: 10 oz. Microbrew, 10 oz. Lime juice, 6 oz. Damson Gin.

My musical tastes are apparently pretty narrow. Red wine was a popular pairing, from Wilco to Bon Iver to Mugison. The last I’m not sure about. More like eight ounces of Jack Daniels poured into a cup of boiling hot coffee, or a martini made with fish oil. SIMS was a surprise: water. Maybe the hip-hop artist doesn’t drink?

Check it out for yourself. I imagine there have been plenty of Drinkify-themed parties. People take turns choosing an artist and listening to the track the site plays while mixing up a new drink. Everyone has to finish it before the song ends. Could be fun. If I was DJ, though, everyone would apparently be asleep.

toast to the 9-9-9

9 Nov

I subscribed to GOOD’s Food Hub immediately. As an alternative media outlet, it promised to ignore conventional boundaries regularly. “We believe food is too important a topic to restrict the conversation to the usual suspects,” Nicola Twilley wrote when the online hub launched. “You’ll be as likely to meet a commodity trader, a synthetic biologist, or an industrial archaeologist as a chef or food activist … because both a neuroscientist and dishwasher have something interesting to tell us about what food is—and what it could be.”

But at some point I lost interest in what it was doing. The stories were becoming predictable (“New Farmers Markets Provide Health, Jobs Boost”) or sensational (“Child Slaves Made Your Halloween Candy. Stop Buying It.”) or just stupid (“The 10 Greatest Scanwiches Ever Scanned”). And yet, I didn’t delete it from my Reader. I kept checking in, browsing the headlines before clicking “Mark all as read.” Then today—snared no doubt by the name of a certain Republican candidate—I clicked “The 9-9-9: A Cocktail Inspired By Herman Cain.” Here’s what I discovered:  Continue reading