Stone of Remembrance

February 4, 2007

Everything Has A Website

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 21:33

Even the Slowskys, the talking commercial turtles. The ad campaign is based on this turtle couple that prefer a slow DSL connection to a highspeed one.

The most amusing – or amazing – thing about this is that there’s all kinds of content on this site, including a blog for Karolyn, the wife (the “Sudoku Maniac”). At least you have a chance to remember the product, since the subject matter has something to do with what’s being sold.

Here’s what I want to know. The material on this site – the blog postings, for example – are not terribly different from the soup so common to the net mainstream. Generating it seems dead easy; anyone could do it, even me. How can I sign up for that gig and get paid for it?

Cup of Excellence

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 09:11

I was reading an article in the The Economist last week that described competition for the “Cup of Excellence”, which chooses the world’s best coffee. My wife and I are coffee drinkers, and we are particularly fond of Kona from Hawai’i (it’s on the Emperor’s breakfast table, after all :-)); the article describes the way in which coffee has become much more like wine in the way in which the different grades are classified – and words are adopted to describe them:

But a countervailing trend led by Starbucks and other “specialty” roasters has introduced drinkers to coffee differentiated by origin and type. Small roasters such as Stumptown, based in Portland, Oregon, are taking this approach further, borrowing concepts such as terroir, vintage and appellation from the wine world, taking the utmost care in roasting and preparation, and emphasising quality. “It’s a different world,” says Joel Pollock, Stumptown’s head roaster and one of the judges in Viçosa.

The coffee trade, the article says, has “bifurcated” into commodity coffee – what you get from drive-through – and specialty coffee, which is what you get at Starbucks for $3.50.

For poorer farmers in less developed countries, even modest investments that would greatly improve their coffee can be out of reach. In such places, targeted assistance can help. “Quality coffee can be a significant driver in ending poverty,” says David Browning of TechnoServe, an NGO that promotes entrepreneurship among the rural poor. The tasting expertise and price-discovering transparency of Cup of Excellence can, he says, uncover “remarkable global competitive advantages” in some regions.

My buddy Slet, whose contributions to this blog have been numerous and much appreciated, prides himself on the ordinariness of his coffee – Dunkin’ Donuts, the New England standard, is plenty good enough for him. “And none of that flavored ****,” he adds. I fill my travel mug from them often enough, and it’s been observed that coffee drives their business, not the donuts. Still, there are differences. A good cup is worth drinking and savoring, even if you don’t get to drink it every day.

More info at Cup of Excellence. Yes, of course it has a web site.

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