Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13

"The use of 'like' in a sentence, 'apparently without meaning or syntactic function, but possibly as emphasis,' has made its way into the Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition."

--Philip B. Corbett, in charge of The New York Times’s style manual; image from


Identity, public diplomacy, and war: specifically the morass in Afghanistan and the impact on US image - Richard Layman, urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com:  "It's not ostensibly relevant for this blog to discuss the recent tragic, horrible event in Afghanistan, where a U.S. soldier went off into the stealth of the night and murdered 18 Afghan civilians while they were sleeping. What happened in Afghanistan is devastating vis-a-vis the U.S. position in global society, particularly in Islamic nations. The reality is that nation-branding (e.g., Simon Anholt's book Brand America, and the op-ed from the Boston Globe, 'Re-branding America') and 'public diplomacy' aren't different, except to a degree, from regional and local identity and branding systems development. After all, there is the Association for Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, the Place Branding and Public Diplomacy Journal, blogs such as this one, Place Management and Branding, from Germany, etc.

I have had links to these kinds of resources in the right sidebar for years, and I reference these materials from time to time. I have always thought in the era of military civil action programs since the 1960s, that we need to think of soldiers not just as killing machines, but as ambassadors. Obviously, that's a boundary spanning dilemma that is practically incalculable." Image from article, with caption: At sundown, a United States Air Force Special Operations soldier walks by an Afghan boy as others loyal to the rebel Northern Alliance look on, in Kwaja Bahuddine, 15 November 2001.

Obama’s Foreign Policy: Between Pragmatic Realism and Smart Diplomacy? - Giuseppe Colucci, Young Leaders' Post: "[T]he Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) [is] 'a bipartisan, independent, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington D.C, that created in 2006 a 'Commission on Smart Power' directed by J. Nye himself and the former assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage. The goal of this Commission was to study the reasons for the decline of US power and to propose solutions to improve the country’s image by elaborating new strategies to allow America wield its power in a changing world. The Commission’s Report 'A Smarter, More Secure America', published in 2007, articulated the new grand strategy to put America on a more solid footing to deal with global challenges under the banner of 'smart power': 'Our view, and the collective view of this commission, is that the United States must become a smarter power by investing once again in the global good – providing things that people and governments in all quarters of the world want but cannot attain in the absence of American leadership. By complementing U.S. military and economic might with greater investments in its soft power, America can build the framework it needs to tackle tough global challenges'. The five key areas on which a 'smart power' oriented foreign policy should be focused on as identified in the Report are: 1) partnership and alliances, 2) global development starting with public health, 3) public diplomacy, 4) economic integration and 5) technology and innovation. The ideas promoted by the CSIS Report have obviously reached the new Administration because 'smart power' has become the core principle of Obama’s foreign policy." From the above made analysis, it is obvious that 'smart power' has become the core principle of Obama’s foreign policy, and that the Presidential team advocates a 'smart power' strategy."

Obama’s Israel dilemma - Majid Mahmood, Pakistan Observer: "The public diplomacy between United States and Israel has intensified in recent days regarding the possible military action against Iran to ‘end’ the alleged military dimension of its nuclear program. Senior officials from United States and Israel are visibly at odds regarding the nature of Iran’s nuclear program and mechanisms to manage the issue. The persistence of serious differences between Jerusalem and Washington at the influential US- Israel summit in Washington on Monday reflects a far deeper dilemma and complexity of bilateral relationship between two allies. The fundamental problem between Israel and United States is that of priorities and great power politics. For United States, a war with Iran means four inevitable consequences. One, this will destabilize the entire Middle East and connected

regions such as South Asia and Afghanistan which means in extension, US strategic interests in these regions. ... Second is the American policy in the Islamic world. United States is supervising carefully knitted regional transitions in Iraq and Afghanistan involving primarily Iran and Pakistan amongst other regional players. The fundamental objective of US is to extricate itself, rather than deeper engagement, from the Islamic theater and lower the strain on its foreign policy so that it can focus on other emerging challengers such as China and Russia. ... Third, a potential crisis in the Persian Gulf will not only disrupt world’s 35 percent crude oil traffic but will raise the oil prices an estimated $150 to $200 per barrels. ... Fourth is a domestic factor. 2012 is an election year in United States and the focus of American establishment is on daunting domestic challenges, first amongst them is revival of US economy. ... [There is a] growing concern within US administration that Israel, with the political support of powerful European capitals, is seriously considering an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities without American consent." Image from

Disaster Relief as Public Diplomacy? - Helle Dale, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The primary purpose of humanitarian relief is not public diplomacy. This may be almost too obvious to state. However, we have a tendency to want to measure the international popularity rating of many U.S. government activities that may influence foreign publics, whereas their real purpose is something entirely different. In other words, impact on popular opinion is not the reason for military interventions, military bases, U.S. trade policy, and development aid either. Military interventions are judged by how well they effectively they dealt with the enemy, and trade agreements on how they affected the volume of goods and services traded between two countries. Similarly, humanitarian relief has to be measured by an entirely different set of metric, on the most fundamental level, how many lives did it save? In that context, U.S. humanitarian relief globally is a huge success. Now, it would not hurt if the U.S. government was more proactive in ensuring that U.S. relief supplies, from food to field hospitals were clearly identifiable as gifts from the American people -- given not as part of a popularity competition, but out of a sense of shared humanity."

American Music Abroad 2012-2013 selections - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "After a week of bouncing around NY, STL and SF for live auditions for the American Music Abroad program, the selections have been made for the 2012-2013 American Music Abroad ensembles:·Act of Congress (Americana/Acoustic Rock, Alabama)·Audiopharmacy (Hip Hop/Dub, California)·Boston Boys (Soul/Country, Massachusetts)·Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer with Barbara Lamb (Folk/Roots, Maryland) ·The Clinton Curtis Band (Rock/Blues, New York ·Della Mae (Bluegrass, Massachusetts)·Keola Beamer & Jeff Peterson, with Moanalani Beamer (Hawaiian Slack Guitar/Hula, Hawaii)·Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road (Heartland Acoustic, Oklahoma)· Mahogany Jones (Hip Hop/Soul, Michigan)· Matuto (Americana, New York)·PROJECT Trio (Jazz/Classical/Hip Hop, New York ·Real Vocal String Quartet (Classical/World Strings, California)[.] Competition was really tight among the approximately 40 bands selected for the live auditions.

The final list has some really amazing ensembles that span the whole scope of American music. For instance, PROJECT Trio creates some amazing music with flute beatboxing. Keola Beamer was involved in the music for the move 'The Descendants,' while his partner Jeff Peterson has won a Grammy or two. Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer also won two Grammys. I am a huge fan of Della Mae, an all-girls bluegrass group. A great group on the whole, and I am going to enjoy touring with some of these groups. This is where good cultural diplomacy starts." Rockower image from his blog

CUSIB Joins Efforts to Free Gao Zhisheng - cusib.org: "On Sunday, March 11, 2011 the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) Executive Director Ann Noonan attended the 'Global Mission to Free Gao Zhisheng' sponsored by Chinese dissident Tang Baiqiao held at the Democracy University Chamber in Flushing, New York.

This event, broadcast live over the internet, demonstrated concern for the perilous situation faced by Gao Zhisheng, a prisoner of conscience in China who has had no contact with the outside world since February, 2009. Ms. Noonan’s presentation focused on Mr. Gao’s fight to seek social justice through legal means: 'His disappearance represents a grave denial of rights to a Chinese citizen who has dared to speak up about injustice.' She also stressed CUSIB’s adamant opposition to proposals by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. federal government agency, to eliminate Voice of America (VOA) Tibetan Radio (in Tibet) and to eliminate Voice of America’s Cantonese Service." Noonan image from entry

One NATO: Strengthening Unity through Transparency and Engagement - atlantic-community.org: "Memo 38: To encourage ownership and identification among its Member states and their publics, NATO should become more transparent and support stronger engagement between citizens. It can accomplish this by better defining Member contributions, making its internal processes more open, and initiating participatory programs like military exchanges and a cyber awareness campaign. Atlantic-community.org’s 'Your Ideas, Your NATO' policy workshop competition, sponsored by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, challenged students and young professionals to answer the question: How can NATO encourage ownership and identification among its member nations and their publics? The five best submissions were published and intensely debated online. ... POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ... A Member participation point system would detail each level of contribution from NATO Members, ranging from military and diplomatic involvement, arms production and contribution, infrastructural contributions, aid distribution, as well as participation in NATO public diplomacy campaigns. ... 1.3. Increase NATO's strategic communication transparency. ... •Strike the proper balance between values-based and interest-based language in NATO's public diplomacy pronouncements. ... NATO’s core values of liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law already echo with the democratic peoples of NATO. Unity among its peoples can be enhanced and fostered by increasing the emphasis on the communication of the transnational commonality of these values through the Public Diplomacy Division, to engage people on both sides of the Atlantic in fostering and protecting their common values and purpose. These efforts should be measured through polling by assessing whether or not citizens associate NATO with the above-mentioned values. ... 2.2. Improve cyber security by fostering social responsibility. ... The main advantage of a Cause Promotion campaign geared towards responsibility and solidarity in cyberspace is that NATO already has some capabilities in place for performing such a task. The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC), and NATO Information Assurance Technical Centre (NIATC) could partner with the Public Diplomacy Division in spreading the Alliance's efforts in the cyber domain."

Interfaith Dialog Facilitate Religious Tolerance - tempointeractive.com: "TEMPO Interactive, Semarang, Central Java: A total of 120 religious leaders from 13 countries in Asia-Pacific attended the '6th Regional Interfaith Dialog' which discussed religious tolerance. 'We want to build a network with leaders of different faiths in order to establish communication and sharing of experiences, also, to provide insight on their respective faiths,' said Abdurrahman M. Fachir, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ director-general of Information and Public Diplomacy, during the inauguration of the dialog in Semarang on Monday. In addition to attending the forum, the guests, representing various religions in their respective countries, also visited places of worship such as the Agung Mosque in Central Java and the Semarang Archdiocese. 'Places of worship are not only places to conduct rituals. They can also serve as centers for the advancement of socio-religious interaction,' said Abdurrahman.'" Below image from

Deputy Foreign Minister Stresses Interfaith Dialog to Strengthen Peace - indonesia-oslo.no: "Deputy Foreign Minister Wardana has stressed on the importance of interfaith dialog to strengthen peace. 'Indonesia will remain steadfast in promoting interfaith dialog in all layers of the community,' he said when opening the 6th regional interfaith dialog in Semarang, Central Java, on Monday. Wardana noted that Indonesia would continue to support any regional and international initiatives to promote respect for religion, freedom, justice, tolerance and cooperation. The Indonesian stand was in line with the theme of the meeting, which focused on strengthening collaborative communities to promote regional peace and security, he added. The minister reiterated Indonesia’s steadfast commitment to promoting a culture of peace and dialogs of inter-civilization, faith and culture. The five-day meeting, which kicked off on Sunday, is expected to produce an action plan in an effort to agree on concrete initiatives. 'Indonesia is ready to cooperate with other countries in the region in implementing the initiatives,' he said. Director General of Information and Public Diplomacy at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry AM Fachir said interfaith and intercultural dialog existed in the DNA of the Indonesian community to maintain a tolerant and harmonious community. The 6th Regional Interfaith Dialog brings together 120 delegates comprising religious leaders, social figures, academicians, journalists and government officials from 13 countries; Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines as co-sponsors, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam."

India Forces Rabbi to Leave Country, Vows Stronger Relationship with Iran - Karen Eisenberg, jewocity.com: "The only Rabbi in India’s oldest Jewish settlement has agreed to leave India with his wife, after Indian officials told him to agree to exit 'honorably'

or face deportation. Rabbi Zalman Bernstein presided over services at the Pardesi Synagogue in Kerala, which was established in 1568. According to The Calcutta Telegraph, Bernstein’s exit will leave the small Jewish community in the area, which is comprised of less than 50 members, without a rabbi. ... Israeli Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Yoel Edelstein, argued that he could see no evidence that the couple had violated the terms of their visas. He voiced shock at the way in which Bernstein and Keinging had been treated." Image from article

What Is Higher Education’s Role in International Relations? - Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser, The Chronicle of Higher Education: "What role does higher education play in the relationship between nations? This question guided the conversation of a gathering of approximately 50 academics, international-education experts, and current and former foreign-service officers at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, this past Tuesday. The meeting was propelled by a growing acknowledgment that, for better or for worse, higher-education institutions are significant players in the international landscape. ... Clearly, some colleges and universities now have extensive international engagements. All of these activities and many more that we did not reference, help facilitate the creation of global connections between current and future institutional and government leaders. They are a source of new resources and financial investment for foreign nations, developed and developing. Their actions and activities can affect the perceptions of prospective and current students; and those students may eventual hold leadership positions in business, government, and civic society. But, what does this all mean for the relationship between nations? Is there a role for higher education in diplomacy? Are colleges and universities legitimate sources of soft power? To what extent do international-education professionals recognize that their actions, positive and negative, can have lasting effects on their nation’s credibility? Are governments purposeful in using colleges and universities as instruments of public diplomacy? Should colleges and universities be concerned about the diplomatic implications of their actions?"

Public Diplomacy and International Politics: The Symbolic Constructs of Summits and International Radio News - c1376bw137der631.blogspot.com: "This book examines international radio news coverage of the four superpower summit meetings between Soviets and Americans from 1987 to 1990. It concentrates on the symbolic constructs used by radio services to report about the summits, including their treatments

of the two superpowers, their leaders, and their perspectives as recorded in interviews, press conferences and releases, joint communiques, and briefings. The study assesses the degree of success enjoyed by each of the superpowers in directing the nature of international news coverage, particularly the public relations."

The Israel Government Fellows Program - umdgvpt.blogspot.com: "The Israel Government Fellows Program (IGF) is a Masa Israel Journey initiative of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. Endorsed by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, IGF offers outstanding and highly motivated young college graduates an experience at the heart of the Israeli government establishment, combining internships in government offices with educational seminars, Hebrew language instruction, and travel throughout the country. It is the only existing program of its kind for non-Israelis to intern in the government and is available for applicants aged 22-30 with at least a bachelor's degree. We are also expanding our Policy and Diplomacy track this year, which allows Fellows to intern in Israeli research institutes, think tanks, and public diplomacy organizations."

£183k Landie: Police are not helping us with your enquiries - thisisguernsey.com: "GUERNSEY Police yesterday said it would no longer answer questions on its purchase of a £183,000 armoured Land Rover. It followed concerns raised by posters on Thisisguernsey.com. Many argued that a cheaper, secondhand, alternative could have been found for much less – one reader posted a link to an MoD website selling a used vehicle for £17,500. When those questions were put to police chief Patrick Rice, he responded: ‘Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions, however, we have no further comment to make.’ ... [Comment by 22 local]:

Patrick Rice’s appointment has been a bad move for Guernsey from the outset. He is frighteningly paranoid and overreacts massively to calm and simple situations. His methodology is out of sync for the Island. There appears to be a big move away from community and public diplomacy and more comply by force creeping into how things are done since his arrival." Image from article, with caption: Police chief Patrick Rice has declined to comment further on the purchase of the armoured Land Rover.


Militants attack Afghan delegation at site of U.S. killings - Ernesto Londoño, Washington Post: An Afghan government delegation came under attack by Taliban militants on Tuesday while traveling to the villages where a U.S. soldier reportedly killed 16 civilians. In Washington, President Obama said he told Karzai that “the United States takes this as seriously as if it was our own citizens and our own children who were murdered.” In his strongest public comments about Sunday’s killings by an Army staff sergeant, Obama added: “We’re heartbroken over the loss of innocent life

The killing of innocent civilians is outrageous and it’s unacceptable. It’s not who we are as a country, and it does not represent our military.” The slayings were the latest in a cascade of missteps and blunders that have shaken Afghans’ confidence in the United States. And as ghastly details and images of the bodies were broadcast on Afghan television, even some Afghans with close ties to the United States said they feared that Sunday’s killings in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province could mark an irreversible turning point. Image from article

Koran-burning probe clears troops of malicious intent - Kristina Wong, The Washington Times: The Pentagon said Tuesday that a joint NATO-Afghan investigation into the burning of Korans at Bagram Air Field has been completed. The investigation found that the “disposal process” of the Korans was improper but was not a malicious act intended to show disrespect for Afghans or Islam. The probe was conducted by the International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

End the Afghan mission now - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: What are we accomplishing, aside from enraging the Afghan population we’re allegedly trying to protect? How are we supposed to convince them that a civilian massacre carried out by a U.S. soldier is somehow preferable to a civilian massacre carried out by the Taliban?

How does it make any of us safer to have the United States military known for burning Korans and killing innocent Muslim children in their beds? Image from

Afghanistan on edge: The killing of 16 Afghan civilians, allegedly by a rogue U.S. soldier, only reinforces the need to wind down the U.S. mission there - Editorial, latimes.com: Some believe that atrocities such as the one that took place Sunday are inevitable when a military force has been at war too long, with too little hope of success and too many soldiers rotating repeatedly back into combat duty. If anything, it shows that the United States is right to be winding down its mission in Afghanistan, and that it should continue to do so as quickly as it responsibly and humanely can.

The Perils of Retreat: Things get messy when a President signals that he wants out of a war - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: No one but a rogue Army Sergeant is responsible for the crime of killing 16 Afghan civilians on the weekend. And no one but rogue Afghan soldiers are responsible for the recent killings of American GIs. One GI's killing spree should not be able to undermine a war effort for which Americans have sacrificed so much. But that's what can happen when everyone concludes that a President's timetable is geared more to an election than to military success.

Claims of Parchin site clean-up are propaganda: Iran - tehrantimes.com: International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano’s recent remarks that Iran may be trying to remove evidence from the Parchin military site are propagandistic, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday. Ramin Mehmanparast made the remarks during his regular press briefing in reply to a question asked by the correspondent for the Tehran Times about the remarks that Amano made on March 9, in which he said that he did not rule out the possibility that Iran might had been trying to sanitize the Parchin site, which is located southeast of Tehran, of any incriminating evidence of explosives tests that would indicate efforts to design nuclear weapons.

Mehmanparast said, “It is common knowledge that the site is a military site, and conventional military activities are being carried out in the site. Therefore, I think that comments being made about military nuclear activities are not very precise and prudent. They have made remarks saying that the evidence of military nuclear activities in this area are being cleaned up, but those who are familiar with technical nuclear issues know that these remarks are not remarks worth paying attention to." Image from article

Kony 2012 campaign is war propaganda - Ken Olende, socialistworker.co.uk: Viral web campaign Kony 2012 has shone a light on atrocities committed by Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in east Africa. But the campaign has an agenda beyond human rights. It is run by Invisible Children, a US charity that supports US military intervention in the region. Invisible Children is demanding that US military advisers “support the Ugandan army until Kony has been captured and the LRA has been disarmed." Below image from

Columnist Reactions: Kony 2012 - The Daily Gamecock: As a propaganda piece with the goal of spreading awareness, “Kony 2012” is certainly effective. The problem is, this new video is presenting a situation at least five years out of date. Since the video’s debut, plenty of critics have uncovered the questionable moral and financial history of Invisible Children, and the current situation in Uganda is easy to research. There’s As a demonstration of the propaganda-carrying capabilities of social media, “Kony 2012” is impressive. As activism, it’s useless at best, harmful at worst. Northern Uganda needs help rebuilding now that the war there is over. African conflicts in general need African solutions. And we all need to dig deeper for our information, and not rely on what our friends post on Facebook.

Devil’s Advocate: This ‘Kony’ bandwagon is not a bad thing - Justin Enriquez, dailytitan.com: Published: March 13, 2012 There are 74 million reasons why Joseph Kony propaganda is a real show of humanity. Since March 5, the YouTube video, titled “KONY 2012,” has amassed that many views in less than a week of being uploaded. This is truly a sign of the times and the power that social networking has not only in America, but the entire world. Most importantly, this is 74 million more people that know the name of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). As fast as the viral video has spread, so has the support and the criticisms of the Invisible Children organization. My Facebook news feed has been filled with rabid advocacy, writhing criticisms and even people making fun of the entire situation. However, this is exactly what an organization like the Invisible Children and founder Jason Russell want -- to spread awareness and educate the people of the world about the name Joseph Kony.

The 'civil war' trap in Syria - Lionel Beehner, Los Angeles Times, bellinghamherald.com: The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, recently depicted the conflict in Syria as "civil war." Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added that there was "every possibility" of civil war breaking out in Syria. Both of these portrayals of the conflict were meant to ratchet up pressure on the international community to prevent further violence. But in fact, describing a conflict as a civil war achieves exactly the opposite effect. It is not a call to arms; it is a call to inaction.

Barbara Kay shares her ‘feelings’ about Israel Apartheid Week - Barbara Kay, nationalpost.com: You’ve all heard of “Israel Apartheid Week.” But how about Israel Peace Week (IPW)? IPW is an initiative by Hasbara Fellowships, a training program that teaches students to counter anti-Israel propaganda with a positive message, summed up in its motto: “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

Image from article, with caption: Members of the Jewish Defence League protest a public forum on Israel Apartheid in Toronto last year.

Chinese Cultural Revolution: Facing History and Shaping Today - Deniz Cem Ozensoy, triplehelixblog.com: What we know as propaganda uses a constructed language on media to implant ideas in the minds of individuals. It creates public trends on how susceptible we are to authorities at the individual level. Unfortunately, the human tendency to trust in an authority is well known, and often exploited. Widespread propaganda played a central role in encouraging youth activism through a variety of techniques during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Examples include art, literature, government publications, newspapers, and television. Propaganda of this era used various techniques to distinguish the just from the opposed.

Some frequently recurring techniques included visually disfiguring and dehumanizing opponents, distorting proportions to make favored groups look larger than their opponents, and giving preferred physical traits such as a muscular build to the favored groups. Often these stylistic devices are accompanied by blatant practices of propaganda and marginalization of the opposition. These devices included targeting and intimidating individuals, repeating certain ideas, using depictions of large crowds to encourage the audience to join the ”bandwagon”, emphasizing colors associated with violence, among other tactics. Propaganda in different and more subtle forms such as omission of information, and use of discriminatory language still plays a central role today, albeit to discourage such extreme levels of activism practiced during the Revolution. Image from article


"An increasing number of teachers don’t like their jobs and are considering a new line of work, according to a major survey by MetLife. The study, which sampled more than 1,000 instructors in kindergarten through 12th grade, found that only 44 percent of American public school teachers are 'very satisfied' with their jobs, down 15 percentage points from 2009 and the lowest figure in more than 20 years. Nearly 30 percent of teachers - up from 17 percent in 2009 - are now 'very or fairly likely' to leave the profession entirely, the report shows. MetLife officials said the poll was the first to reflect how the recent economic downturn and cutbacks in public spending have affected teachers. Teachers’ job satisfaction is at its lowest level since 1989, and the decline has accelerated since President Obama took office in 2009. That year, 59 percent of teachers said they were happy with their jobs and 17 percent were pondering career moves, the survey says."

--Ben Wolfgang, "To many teachers, career has failed," The Washington Times


Sunglass frames made from whiskey barrels - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing: "Portland's Shwood -- a manufacturer of wooden eyewear -- offered a (now sold-out) limited run of wooden sunglass frames made from Bushmills whiskey barrels. I toured the Bushmills distillery in the 1990s (top tip: volunteer to do the whiskey tasting at the end!), and was struck by the fact that these amazing barrels' only afterlife was being 'turned into rubbish bins by a man from the town.' Good to see that these storied casks are finding more imaginative third lives." Image from article


--Via MR on facebook


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