…today, when junk mail is predominant, “postal management is unable to articulate a compelling vision of the public good,”…

…today, when junk mail is predominant, “postal management is unable to articulate a compelling vision of the public good,”…

Quote attributed to Richard R. John, a historian at Columbia Univeristy Graduate School of Journalism.

While I continue to subscribe to paper magazines, send and receive zillions of packages via Etsy and other online shops, and even maintain relationships via written correspondence, I have to wonder the status of the postal service. So much of the bulk of materials send via the postal service doesn’t really qualify as serving the “public good,” does it?

(via NYTimes.com )

During the heyday of calling cards, using a business card for a social purpose was considered bad manners.

During the heyday of calling cards, using a business card for a social purpose was considered bad manners.

 The Gentleman’s Guide to the Calling Card is a great primer for the modern use of calling cards for men AND for women. Even in the current environment of Facebook, Twitter, email and texting, sometimes you want to be able to convey to someone your name and how to reach you. Why not have a few cards with your name, digits and a URL to your fabulous foodie blog, or your username on Flickr where you keep all your amazing travel photos, or your twitter handle where you post endless minutia on Apple products? Sure, there are lots of situations where its more appropriate to hand out your office business card but not if you’re trying to hook up on Friday night or organize a group ride over the weekend. Right?

(via The Art of Manliness)

Happy National Pencil Day! March 30, 1858, is when Hymen Lipman received a patent for a pencil with an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is 153 years old today!

Happy National Pencil Day! March 30, 1858, is when Hymen Lipman received a patent for a pencil with an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is 153 years old today!

ARGH! How could I have missed the actual day?!?! Happy belated birthday to my beloved wood-encased sticks of graphite (sometimes topped with vinyl or rubber caps)!

(via Pencils.com)

William Gibson loves Field Notes

I love the idea of really well-designed, well-made, preferable simple, American-made (or Canadian-made) products, particularly if they have really smartly-designed websites that are entertaining to read. So here’s your product placement for this evening: Field Notes. Has a kind of American Muji thing going on, it seems to me.

(A little shout-out to Field Notes from one of my favorite authors, William Gibson.)

The thing about opening your mind up to a new story idea is that you once you do it, there’s no going back. All of a sudden, everything seems like it has to do with the new idea. Songs and lyrics and billboards and articles and movies and books and people seem to come at me, out of nowhere, non-stop.

The thing about opening your mind up to a new story idea is that you once you do it, there’s no going back. All of a sudden, everything seems like it has to do with the new idea. Songs and lyrics and billboards and articles and movies and books and people seem to come at me, out of nowhere, non-stop.
Jennie Nash: Little Notebooks Everywhere: How the Idea for a Novel Grows Nash uses mini Moleskines to record her on-the-go ideas for a future novel. How do you keep track of your ideas and projects?