Monday, June 22, 2009

The end of the line for Kodachrome

Kodak has closed one of its oldest and most famous product lines, in the latest sign of the film business fading away against the onslaught of digital photography. Kodak announced Monday that it would cease production of Kodachrome, the line of professional quality film that was first developed in 1935 and became one of the company’s pre-eminent brands, known for stunning colors and sharpness. Kodachrome’s prominence may have peaked in the 1970s when it was immortalized by Paul Simon, who lauded the film’s capacity for bright colors with the lyrics, “Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”. Kodak’s newer and cheaper films, combined with the rapid transition to digital cameras in the past 10 years, have eaten away at demand for Kodachrome, which requires complicated processing. The film now represents less than 1 per cent of the company’s total sales of still-picture films. Here is a link to the press release from Kodak:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Interactive Unemployment Map of California

According to a number of sources and economists, it is predicted that California will hit a 12% unemployment rate by the end of the year. The Sacramento Bee Newspaper has prepared an interactive map that allows you scroll over each county to see the respective unemployment rate in that county. On the left hand side of the map, you can choose a month between January of 2008 and February of 2009. Here is a link to the interactive map in the Sacramento Bee:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Say Goodbye to Rest Stops

The state-supported rest stop, an American institution since 1956, is dying off. The rise of roadside retail and shrinking government budgets are to blame, says GOOD Magazine. Closures are spreading across the country, as Louisiana closed 24 of its 34 stops, and Vermont has already closed four this year. This past April, Wisconsin stopped staffing its welcome centers. This article also highlights how rest stops have created and reflected a sense of place wherever they are built; and reflects the local/regional culture or landscape of each State, from teepees in Oklahoma to oil rigs in Texas. Here is a link to the full article: