Maker icon and Boing Boing friend, Mister Jalopy, is one of my all-time favorite outside-the-box thinkers. David Letterman used to be fond of saying: "He (or she) ain't hooked up right." He always meant it as a compliment -- someone who marched to their own drummer, someone unvarnished, someone who didn't succumb to habituated thinking. Mister Jalopy ain't hooked up right.
In this Instagram video, he announces that his store, Coco's Variety, LA's most idiosyncratic bike shop, will remain open where so many other stores are closing. They are going old-timey and setting up a counter in the entrance to the store. Customers will approach the counter, request what they want, and the staff will bring purchases to them. They will also still work on your bike (if you're willing to have it washed in disinfectant first).
It will be interesting to see what other retailers do creatively to remain open. This is an inspiring start.
View this post on Instagram
Coco’s is trying to keep the doors open to keep the wheels turning. Unprecedented times in which cycling becomes more important, not less so.
Image: Screengrab Read the rest
Buying products that are locally grown or made in your community is a great way to bolster your local economy and support small businesses in your community. Unfortunately being able to tell which products actually come from near the area where you live can be next to impossible, thanks to lax regulation and bullshit on the part of international conglomerates.
According to USA Today (disclaimer: I occasionally write for their tech site, Reviewed.com), many of the state branding programs put in place to inform consumers of where the the food that they're buying comes from don't mean a damn thing. This is because many of the food branding programs currently in place allow for up to half of the ingredients in a product to come from out of state.
Over the past four months, USA Today had reporters in their network hunt down the laws and regulations surrounding how locally-sourced products are presented for sale. Of the 45 states that rock these branding programs, 18 of them set no minimum requirement for how much locally-grown content needs to be in a product to earn a state brand. Worse still, 36 of the 45 states have no annual inspection process to be able to vet whether companies are actually using locally sourced ingredients in their products. And even if they were to get caught for lying about what's in the junk they make, 40 of the states with local source branding programs have no penalties for mislabeled products. So, a company could falsely claim to be making cookies in your basement and they wouldn't face any consequences for doing so. Read the rest