Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

Help me Pure Content, you're my only hope! I have been pondering and wondering this for as long as I can remember and nobody seems to know the answer. Why oh why is Baltimore, Maryland known as the "Charm-City"? What is it about that city that is so charming? And is that why it's called Charm-City? For example, why isn't Richmond, VA called Charm-City and instead it's just the "RIC" or the "Rivah City" or "Capital of the South"? Thanks, Trenholm


it's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

Sadly, Bizquick.org is moving on. Dan had done a fantastic job with it, but it's remained idle for a little while. A great blog regarding business issues, Bizquick also frequently featured links to Malcolm Gladwell and Rob Walker, and was even one of Forbes's "Best of the Web" picks. Bizquick had occupied one of the first seats at Pure Content's "Cool Kids Table" (see left). We'll keep the seat there for Dan for another week or so, in case he decides to come back. If you haven't seen it before, though, go check it out.

We'll miss you, Dan. Thanks for helping advance the blogosphere, especially in regards to the business world.


thief and ... actor

The Christian Science Monitor has a neat article on inmates in Kentucky, performing in an annual event, "Shakespeare Behind Bars: Acting With Conviction." I'm not posting it because acting equals creativity. That's not the point. I'm posting it because it shows how these men, unable to remove themselves from the system, have found a way to investigate their motives, their personalities, and their crimes, through drama. As the article notes, the actors tend to select characters that have something to do with the crimes that they themselves committed. And as they go through the process of developing their character, they often have to come to terms with their offenses. It's almost a form of catharsis.

From the article: "But as the actors struggle to identify with the characters they're playing in "Hamlet," it becomes clear that the year's real changes have occurred within them: Each has come a little further toward taking responsibility for his crime."


my favorite gas

there is nothing i like to put in my car better than gas. the problem is that the gas companies offer little choice for discriminating users of petrol who would rather give their dollar to an energy company with a sliver of environmental conscience. it wouldn't need to be a company with much of an environmental conscience, just a little is all that i ask.

up till now i've bought gas from all purveyors except for exxon. today, reveries.com reports on an article about BP PLC. they have begun opening their BP Connect stores in the US. These stores average 4,000 square feet have such amenities as on-site bakeries, internet station for directions and weather updates, and use solar power to supply 15 percent of the store's electricity.

BP aims to be known as the environmentally-friendly petroleum company. BP says it "is ahead of the competition and government mandates in reducing the sulfur content in its fuel and in keeping its promise to cut 'greenhouse gas' emissions by 10 percent." Industry analyst Fadel Gheit dismisses BP's brand position a mere posturing and claims that BP only wants to be green because it can't be Exxon.

well that's good enough for me. i buy gas from anyone who isn't exxon and now i'll direct my discretionary gas money to BP because it is at least making an effort to reduce its environmental impact. am i a lush for believing BP's claim that they care about the environment. what is your favorite type of gas?

also, i'd like to give a shout out to all of those who sent in suggestions to my previous blog about inspiration and creativity in biz. your comments are much appreciated.



the intersection of uncommon things

You've probably heard about the transgenics experiments that have led scientists to give goats the ability to create spider silk in their mammary glands. Nexia, the Canadian biotech firm that developed this process announced their findings back in May. They've actually signed with a couple of manufacturers now, and they are developing Kevlar-like "soft body armor" and super Band-Aid-style bandages and hemostatic dressings.

Although some other elements of genetic modification weird me out, I think this is cool, as long as they're treating the goats well. It's eerily sci-fi, though.

From their site: "Nexia's proprietary silk production system is an innovative approach, proven successful in producing the most authentic, man-made spider silk to date. The result is "BioSteel®". ... Nexia's technology relies on the anatomical similarities between the spider silk gland and goat mammary glands. In both cases, epithelial cells manufacture and secrete water soluble, complex proteins in large amounts. Nexia has successfully completed the first phase of its program by producing and secreting fully soluble silk protein in vitro within its patented MAC-T mammary cell lines."

"The success of this cell-based, prototype system has encouraged Nexia to continue the scale up of manufacturing spider silk protein within its transgenic BELE® (Breed Early, Lactate Early) goat system. Nexia has the demonstrated ability to put the spider gene into all the cells of the goats including the mammary gland. This process termed "transgenics" is a proven and patented technology at Nexia."

Thanks to MeFi.


In response to Sean's question about inspiration and creating something new... I've just read an article about James Dyson and his invention of the Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner. It all started when he got frustrated with his own vacuum cleaner and how inneffective it was. "There was no suck in it," he says. Here's an excerpt. "In his usual style of seeking solutions from unexpected sources, Dyson thought of how a nearby sawmill used a cyclone—a 30-foot-high cone that spun dust out of the air by centrifugal force—to expel waste. He reasoned that a vacuum cleaner that could separate dust by cyclonic action and spin it out of the airstream would eliminate the need for both bag and filter...." That was 1978. Dyson then invented a Dual Cyclone machine that has an outer cyclone that rotates at 200 mph and an inner cyclone that rotates at 924 mph. He then tried to get companies interested in his idea. But no one bit. Years later (1985) a Japanese company made a deal with him, and in 1993 Dyson set up his own company in the UK, marketing the Dual Cyclone under his name. Now his vacuum has a 50% market share in the UK, and has generated sales of more than $2 billion worldwide. This article appears in the Vol. 8 No. 1 issue of @Issue: The Journal of Business and Design. ---Anne Carle


Inspiration and Creativity

Does anyone have any good stories or examples of an individual or business being inspired by something and using that inspiration to create something new? I'm thinking in terms of inspiration leading to creativity leading to innovation.


who / what / why

At Play we create brands, strategies, new products, and better cultures for Fortune 100 companies. Our formula for creativity: "Look at more stuff. Think about it harder." Pure Content is one place where we do that, daily.

the cool kids' table

Ben Domenech
(politics, football, and a boatload of know-how)

Creative Generalist
(if Pure Content had a doppelganger ...)

Heath Row
(punk + business
+ creativity = Heath)


go go gadget google:

stuck in an airport

A Pattern Language

Creative Company
Orbiting the Giant Hairball
The Ultimate Book of Business Creativity

The Little Prince

Wittgenstein's Poker

The Dancing Wu Li Masters

The Tipping Point

new to you

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see our neighbors
Comments by: YACCS