August 30, 2010

Clippings: August 23-29

Hello dear readers...I am sorry my posting was so sporadic last week.  I had been in CA for a simply marvelous wedding and bridal shower (two different brides!), and got back wiped.  Then 4 ten hour work days, and several other big happenings, and I just never had time to schedule my posts.

Here then, 3 days late, is my "clippings" column.  For more random fascinating news stories, click here.



+ The Unplesantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy Sayers, was one of the first 10 books published by Penguin.  That made me glad to know.  Only now does it occur to me that part of my long time preference for Penguin over other mainstream publishers is because they have the Sayers translations of Dante.  Anyway...more on Sayers tomorrow.  But aren't you the least bit curious what the other 9 books were?  Find out that and more at the Penguin 75th Anniversary site.

+ This made the rounds a few weeks ago, but I still view it as essential reading: Fortune did a big profile on how Trader Joe's works, business-wise:
But Trader Joe's is no ordinary grocery chain. It's an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience. It stocks its shelves with a winning combination of low-cost, yuppie-friendly staples (cage-free eggs and organic blue agave sweetener) and exotic, affordable luxuries -- Belgian butter waffle cookies or Thai lime-and-chili cashews -- that you simply can't find anyplace else.

Employees dress in goofy trademark Hawaiian shirts, hand stickers out to your squirming kids, and cheerfully refund your money if you're unhappy with a purchase -- no questions asked. ...

It's little wonder that Trader Joe's is one of the hottest retailers in the U.S. It now boasts 344 stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and strip-mall operators and consumers alike aggressively lobby the chain, based in Monrovia, Calif., to come to their towns. A Trader Joe's brings with it good jobs, and its presence in your community is like an affirmation that you and your neighbors are worldly and smart.

The privately held company's sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods' (WFMI, Fortune 500) and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list.

+ I've always thought that I didn't like Salvador Dali because I didn't understand him.  On the other hand, I've never felt compelled to try, either.  A recent exhibit of Dali's late works inspired The New Republic's Art Critic, Jed Perl to write, scathingly but respectfully, about Dali's "lunatic creations."

+ I know I am going to regret saying this, but: Hamlet, in Klingon.  Yes please. (Washington Post)

+ Michael Kors.  The Happy Designer.  And so fabulous. (New York Magazine)

+ Via Joe Carter's brilliant 33 Things on First ThingsWhy Goats are the most awesome animals.  I am a particular fan of #5: Goats climb trees (below)


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