I have just learned that Wal-Mart (perhaps in a bid to revamp its image after several damaging exposÃ©s of their business practices) is planning to sell 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs to its customers this year. Called “swirls” by those in the industry, these low-power, high-output bulbs use less than 25% of the power while they last up to ten times as long. I love this type of thinking, and yes, I am willing to overlook Wal-Mart’s destructive tactics on American small-businesses to see their plan succeed. A PBS special aired last year which asked, “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?” Wal-Mart is responding, “No, but we will be. Just give us a year.”
Also, an unrelatedly, I had the pleasure of listening to Merri-Emma play a few diddies from her Gitjo (a 5 string banjo tuned like a guitar) in the back of Mola coffee. As she sang “folkabily” ballads, as she put it, she stared at us with her bright blue eyes, trying to get us to connect with her, with the music. I didn’t need to be mesmerized by her eyes, though. The music already had me. Here she is singing about the “F” train, and wishing she could ride it around the country. The tattoo on her left arm is, interestingly, a drawing she did when she was very young that she has more recently made permanent.