“Sustainabell” Value

Over a cup of coffee on Sunday morning, I will occasionally watch the show, Sunday Morning on CBS.  The show has been on forever and is often filled with very interesting topics, opinions and perspectives. You can learn more about the show at http://www.cbsnews.com/sunday-morning/

Yesterdays show was focused on architecture, focusing on new designs that look old among other topics.  The story that captured my attention however was about bells.  Yes, church bells.  Talk about sustainabell value (see what I did there) 🙂

The Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli (or Marinelli Pontifical Foundry, Marinelli Bell Foundry) was founded in 1339 in the Apennine hills of Italy. The village of Agnone, where the foundry is located, “has a tradition of foundries that dates back 10 centuries.”  The current leaders of the family business are the brothers Armando and Pasquale Marinelli.  They are the 26th generation of Marinelli’s to lead the family business.

The foundry typically produces up to 50 bells a year and currently employs around 12 people.  The firm’s managers still apply the same lost wax casting technique that the firm’s founders used nearly a thousand years ago. The artisans use wax to transfer the bell’s designs onto a brick “core” slathered with clay, slightly smaller than the bell to be forged. Another layer of clay is applied to form a “false bell”. After this hardens, the wax inside is melted, leaving the imprint of the design on the inside of the false bell. Molten bronze, at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius (2,200 degrees Fahrenheit), is poured into the space to form the bell.

Amazing, just amazing.  Everyday we read about businesses trying to build sustainable companies.  Looks like the Marinelli family has figured that out.  For more information about the foundry and the family, please visit their website at http://www.campanemarinelli.com/inglese/index2.php

Enjoy the day.

Webman

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If You Have the Means!

One of my favorite movies of all time is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago. Accompanied by his girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and his best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), he creatively avoids his school’s Dean of Students Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), his resentful sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), and his parents. During the film, Bueller frequently speaks directly to the camera to explain to the audience his techniques and thoughts.

Well as Ferris says, “If you have the means”.  Well if I had the means, here is what I would be sporting around in this weekend.

Maserati  is an Italian luxury car manufacturer established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. The company’s headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident.

The Maserati brothers founded the company.  The Maserati Brothers were involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. All were born to Rodolfo Maserati and his wife Carolina in Voghera, Lombardy, ItalyAlfieri, along with the other five brothers, Carlo, Bindo, Mario, Ettore and Ernesto, contributed to the sports luxury automobile manufacturer Maserati in one way or another.

Racing is what the Maserati’s did.  They created some of the most awesome vehicles.  In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.

I have never sat in a Maserati, but after seeing the pictures below of the 1956, it is now on the bucket list.  Check this out.  Even if you are not a big fan of cars, you will be of this one 🙂

maserati

maserati1

Sweet.  Love the Italians 🙂  Have a great weekend.

One more clip for you from Ferris.

Webman

Take Five!

Newspapers were once the primary source of information for us.  We would regularly walk to the store to pick up the daily paper to learn how our favorite teams were dong, what was happening in the world, the local community, business, arts, leisure and all other categories that continue to be covered by the newspapers today.  Newspapers were at the center of our information world and they were raking in the cash from two primary revenue streams – subscribers and advertisers.

What a difference a few years make.  In 2005, the newspaper industry had $49.5 billion in advertising revenue.  In 2010 the number was $25.8 billion, 50% of 2005. http://www.naa.org/Trends-and-Numbers/Advertising-Expenditures/Annual-All-Categories.aspx  Many newspapers have closed, local coverage has been disbanded, other sources are now used for content.  The most prominent newspapers continue to try new business integrated print and digital business strategies to slow the decline and survive.  An old business model that has been completely disrupted by competitors that were not even considered competitors just a few years ago.

One of the best attributes of leafing through a newspaper was exposure to new and interesting topics that were not on your radar screen.  If you were like me, I first read the sports section and moved on to business, world and local news.  But before I passed the newspaper on I would go through the entire paper on time, many times “stumbling upon” other interesting articles in science, architecture, technology or other topics that I was less familiar with.

In today’s “sound bite” society, we can quickly peruse Google News, Yahoo, the home pages of our favorite newspapers and magazines.  The world has changed from one where the publishers controlled access to their information to one where content distributors provide one stop shops for all content.   Most of you use these content aggregators everyday as part of your ritual of being current about what’s happening.  You choose what you want to read and what you don’t.   You still read the sections that you are most interested in, but since you are time starved are you spending an extra few minutes looking at other topics of interest.  Maybe you are, maybe you are not.

Here are a few suggestions for you.  If you have a smartphone or and iPad, check out the applications from Flipboard, Zite and Pulse.  They are awesome content aggregators, in easy to use formats made specifically for these devices.  They will provide you with your key areas of interest but they can also connect you with many other topics, such as design, humor, arts, leisure and many others.  Zite enables you to create your own channels that finds stuff you are interested in – I have set up feeds for the Beatles and Italy as examples.

So today take five minutes to read something new, to go outside your normal routine and engage with a topic or news article just interests you, not because it is part of your routine or you need it for work.  It will open your mind, expand your interests and give you a peak at what is happening in other peoples worlds. Take Five!

And hey, you just might become the most knowledgeable person at all of those holiday parties you will be attending!

Let me know what you think of this blog by posting your comments below.

Have a great day!

Webman