1. How do I know this is not a fraud?

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* In 1952, the Elves, Gnomes and Little Men’s Science Fiction,
Chowder and Marching Society of Berkeley, Calif., put its stamp on a
triangular area in the Sea of Tranquility, informing both the United
Nations and the U.S. president of their ownership. It was a “publicity
gag” intended to boost their reputation in the Bay Area; instead, it
made the headlines across the globe. Their claim did not go however
unchallenged; the objection came from one Alexander F. Victor of the
Monterey peninsula, who informed the Little Men that they couldn’t
make a claim on the Moon — because he already owned it.

* In 1953, Jenaro Gajardo Vera, a Chilean lawyer, published a deed
to the moon in his nation’s official record three times, an act he
said made the Moon his. His will left it to the people of Chile.

* In 1955, Robert R. Coles, chairman of New York’s famed Hayden
Planetarium, called the Moon his own and sold parcels for one dollar
per acre.

* And in 1966, 35 citizens of Geneva, Ohio, signed a “Declaration
of Lunar Ownership.” Emulating the US “Declaration of Independence”,
the document avows: “When in the course of human events and space-age
accomplishments, the destiny of mankind becomes influenced … [by] the
presence of a particular controversial Celestial Body unclaimed and
unregulated … it should be advisable and honourable … to lay
definitive and prior claim to the entire physical mass and any and all
aura, aspect, imaginative or otherwise, of … the Moon.”

There are at least a dozen other less-publicized “claims” that have
been made over the years, not one of them any more (or less) valid
than Hope’s dubious claim — only Hope has done a better job promoting


Moon Over Ohio: Residents Claimed Lunar Ownership in 1966  /  April
30, 2004

Who really owns the Moon? A group of Geneva, Ohio, residents say they
claimed Luna as their own back in 1966. And they have the paperwork to
prove it.

GENEVA, OH — Donald Miles, 76, of Geneva is certain he has a deed to
some land on the moon. He just cant remember where he put it. Dick
Whaley, 73, doesnt have a deed, but thanks to his wife Janets sharp
memory, he was able to put his hands on the document in which Geneva
laid claim to the lunar landscape 38 years ago. Miles and Whaley are
among the 35 signatories on the Declaration of Lunar Ownership,” which
was unveiled to the world April 12, 1966, in the auditorium of Geneva
High School. More than 200 persons attended the announcement

…the city this morning is awaiting cablegrams of congratulations
from throughout the world,” noted the Geneva Free Press the following
day. As yet, no word has been received from the Soviet Union.”

The claim was laid in conjunction with a celebration of the citys
100th anniversary, held in early June. The stunt was the brainchild of
the late George Spencer, a furniture store owner who had a knack for
marketing. George was a very innovative guy when it came to
advertising,” recalls Miles.

Miles says Spencer also organized a militia of bearded men to protect
the citys claim to the moon. And Whaley says he recalls the Centennial
Committee building a rocket to the moon where the convenience store
stands on South Broadway. He witnessed the liftoff. The smoke poured
out of it like it was going to the moon,” Whaley says. Everybody
gathered around to watch it, but it just sat there and looked silly.”

The verbose declaration, largely forgotten by the surviving
signatories, declared that The Physical property of the Moon shall
belong exclusively to the citizens of Geneva, Ohio, and any act or
encroachment upon this claim shall be deemed an unfriendly act upon
that lovely little city that is ‘in the know and on the Go, with Ohio
and shall be responded to with all human dignity and moral

The document also gave the city the right to rent or lease its moon
holdings with a two-thirds vote of the citys entire population. And it
provided for the sale of 100 deeds for 100 acres each at a price of
$100. “Yes, I remember them selling them,” says Miles, but I have no
idea how many were sold.”

In justifying the citys claim, City Councilman John Haeseler told the
citizens that the rays of the Geneva moon were the reason for many of
the advantages to living and doing business in Geneva. His politically
incorrect speech argued that Geneva women are more beautiful than
women from any other location in the world. The moonbeams mature,
soften and perfect their complexions, statures and general loveliness
better than any other place on earth.” The moonbeams also were
credited for producing superior fruit, mops, rubber products, golf
shafts and weather.

The stunt was evidently quickly forgotten and nothing more ever made
of the citys bogus claim. Further, in 1967, the United Nations Outer
Space Treaty stipulated that no government could own extraterrestrial
property. The treaty was not ratified, however.

Had Genevas committee done its homework, it would have discovered that
in February 1952, a Berkley science fiction fan club laid claim to a
section of the moon. The following year, a Chilean lawyer, Jenaro
Gajardo Vera, claimed ownership and published that claim in three
issues of the Chilean official journal.

President Richard Nixon even acknowledged the Chilean claim. In May
1969, Nixon sent a telegram to Vera through a U.S. Embassy
representative requesting his authorization for the U.S. astronauts to
land on the satellite that belongs to you.” However, he apparently
didnt bother to get Genevas permission.

Nor was selling lunar land a new idea. In 1952, Robert R. Coles,
former chairman of New Yorks Hayden Planetarium, incorporated to sell
lots on the moon for a buck an acre. Inflation must have been
nonexistent from 1955 to 1966.

More recently, many Internet sites offer a piece of the moon for
unwary buyers. A United Kingdom seller was offering an acre for under
$15 on eBay. The most prominent of moon-selling sites is Dennis Hopes
Lunar Embassy (, which claims to
have found a loophole in the 1967 United Nations treaty. Hope, who
claims to have sold more than 300 million lunar acres since 1980, says
he has legal claim because the treaty didnt forbid individuals or
corporations from owning the moon.

Inflation has taken its toll, however, from the days when Geneva
offered 100 acres for $100. Hopes lunar landscape starts at $29.95 an

So, if you were among those who bought 100 acres from Geneva 36 years
ago, you might want to dig deep into the safe deposit box or desk
drawer, dust off that old piece of paper … and use it to start a
fire in the hearth some moonlit night.


Time, equipment, and costs to repair cratered runways.
BY J.J. O’Sullivan

“Part of a larger study on strategic air base systems which examines
the cost of repairing craters of varying sizes. Several levels of
facilities for repair are considered, together with multiple and
single cratered runways. In addition, the time for operating and
assembling the machinery is discussed.”

Laboratory and Field Investigations of Small Crater Repair
BY Lucy P. Priddy; Jeb S. Tingle; Timothy J. McCaffrey; Ray S.

ABSTRACT: In support of the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, the
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) was tasked
to develop and test innovative techniques, materials, and equipment
for expedient and sustainment repairs of small bomb craters in
airfield pavements. This airfield damage repair (ADR) investigation
consisted of laboratory testing of selected crater fill and capping
materials, as well as full-scale field testing of small crater repairs
to evaluate field mixing methods, installation procedures, and repair
performance. After 3 hr of cure, each crater was trafficked under
controlled traffic conditions to determine the ability of the repairs
to support the gross load of an F-15E aircraft. Results of the traffic
tests identified multiple repair materials that can be used for
expedient and sustainment repairs of concrete airfield pavements. Both
the laboratory and full-scale traffic tests were conducted at the ERDC
in Vicksburg, MS, from February to November 2006. Experimental results
were used to develop ADR criteria for rapidly repairing small craters.

System for rapid repair of damaged airfield runways
Document Type and Number: United States Patent 4404244

ABSTRACT: A membrane of fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin is used
as a traffica cover over a compacted backfilled crater and crushed
stone base to impart strength to the repair and prevent foreign object
damage to aircraft. The membrane cover is usually prefabricated from
several fiberglass matting layers of chopped fiberglass strands
chemically bonded to woven fiberglass roving and impregnated with a
polyester resin; an anchoring system consisting of holes along the
cover perimeter and torque set rock bolts are used in conjunction with
special steel bushings to secure the cover to airfield pavement
surrounding the crater.

Crater repair project no problem for “Can Do!” Seabees in Iraq
FROM All Hands; BY Suzanne Speight  /   Feb, 2005

In true “Can Do!” spirit, Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction
Battalion (NMCB) 23 have made permanent repairs to 31 giant-size
craters at the Al Asad airfield–a military runway critical to
operations in northern Iraq. The airfield, once a military hub
accommodating F/A-18 Hornet fighters, C-130 Hercules and C-5 Galaxy
cargo planes, had been out of service with battle damage for more than
a year when the Seabees moved in.

According to LT Donald Panthen, assistant operations officer, 1st
Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Engineer Group, the Seabees’
performance has been outstanding despite a number of project
difficulties. “The Seabees completed this job ahead of schedule and in
spite of material shortages, contractor delays and insurgent
activity,” Panthen said. When NMCB 23 officially took on the project
in October, work was already behind schedule by more than three weeks,
and additional existing craters had been added to the project.

Permanent crater repairs require extensive measures, such as cutting
and removing the damaged pavement adjacent to the craters, excavating
the soft, filling the hole and compacting with structural fill
material, and then capping the craters with concrete. “It’s comparable
to patching giant potholes, each five feet deep and up to 80 feet
across,” said LT Stephen Fichter, project officer. The crew produced
more than 3,600 cubic yards of concrete for the job, utilizing more
than 6,000 tons of patching material. “Operating in a war zone adds
another layer of difficulty to an already challenging project,”
Fichter said.

According to Fichter, quality sand and gravel are in short supply in
the Al Anbar province, and there are only a few nearby quarries for
obtaining the scarce raw material. “Getting stone and sand from the
quarries is dangerous due to the security situation in that area,” he
said. “We can’t just order up material and have it delivered. Here, we
have to go and get our own stone and sandy.” In addition, an explosive
ordnance disposal team must visit supply sites prior to loading
material to check for the presence of improvised explosive devices and
supply convoys must travel at night with tight security.

In spite of these obstacles, the Desert Bees completed one runway
three weeks ahead of schedule. “From the start, we’ve empowered our
Seabees on the ground to find what works and get the job done,”
Fichter said. The Seabees produced their own formulas for concrete,
considering that the quality of sand and gravel vary widely from
source to source. “It’s like trying to make cookies all taste the
same, even though your ingredients are different in every batch,”
Fichter said. “We keep adjusting our recipe, depending on what kind of
material we have at the time.” The Seabees produced concrete for the
project using only two “crete-mobiles,” a major accomplishment
considering the diminutive mobile concrete mixers are designed for a
much smaller workload.

“This project has not been easy,” Fichter said. “I think our positive
attitude has been a key aspect of this project. We have established
good working relationships with fellow Soldiers and Marines, so when
we need repair parts or additional equipment, they are glad to help
out. Good will goes a long way and is easily built using the diverse
skills found in ordinary Seabees.”

For related news, visit the Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division
Navy NewsStand page at Story by JOC
Suzanne Speight, who is assigned to public affairs with the 1st Marine
Expiditionary Engineer Group, Al Asad, Iraq / COPYRIGHT 2005 U.S.
Navy / Gale Group


The theme of avoidance characterizes the early history of what is now
Craters of the Moon National Monument. The lava fields and formations
of the Great Rift, with their sharp surfaces, heat, and aridity,
discouraged entry and exploration by both native peoples and Euro-
Americans. Similarly, the hostile environment did not appeal to
westering pioneers seeking cheap, arable lands, and valuable minerals.
Encounters with the region were of a transitory nature.

Evidence of human occupation in the proximity of the monument dates to
ten thousand years before present. Yet archaeological sites within the
monument suggest that it was not until thirty-five hundred years ago
that small bands of hunters and gatherers, the Northern Shoshoni and
Bannock, occupied parts of the area. Even then, they did so only
during their annual summer migrations, their passage marked by trails
of polished lava and cairns. Many of the known sites are composed of
stone windbreaks and rock rings–used perhaps for hunting blinds,
religious purposes, or temporary shelters. Artifacts such as tools,
arrowheads, and projectile points are strewn throughout the lava
flows. From this evidence, it is believed that indigenous peoples
entered the lavas to forage and hunt in small groups and stayed only
short periods of time. Restricted to what the volcanic environment
offered, they concentrated mostly in the northwestern section of the
monument where travel was easier and resources more abundant. Until
Euro-American settlement wiped out or drove off most of the wildlife
near the monument, Indians hunted and lived among bison, elk, wolf,
grizzly and black bear, cougar, and bighorn sheep. [1]

Early explorations of the Snake River country by Euro-Americans also
avoided the Craters landscape. Expeditions under John Jacob Astor’s
Pacific Fur Company in 1811, the North West Company the following
decade, and the Hudson’s Bay Company after 1821 penetrated southern
Idaho in search of furs. With its commercial goals, the fur trade
circumvented the arid region that supported few beaver-rich streams.
However, depletion of beaver and an increase of independent American
trappers within the Snake River system expanded the search closer to
the monument’s vicinity in the 1820s and 1830s. In 1823, a Hudson’s
Bay Company fur trader, Thyery (or Antone) Godin, ventured onto the
Big Lost River, which for a time bore his name. Another Bay Company
trapper, Antoine Sylvaille, arrived on the Big Wood River in 1828. [2]

While these efforts netted little in the way of furs, they did provide
the first documentation of the monument’s periphery, as well as the
first visual description of the region. By Washington Irving’s
account, United States Army Captain Benjamin L. E. Bonneville neared
the volcanic district between 1833 and 1834. The military explorer and
fur trade entrepreneur viewed it as a vacant and lifeless place. A
threat to human life and absent the desired economic resources, “the
volcanic plain in question forms an area of about sixty miles in
diameter, where nothing meets the eye but a desolate and awful waste;
where no grass grows nor water runs, and where nothing is to be seen
but lava.” [3]With that, Bonneville cast a lasting, negative
impression of the unnamed monument.

Another lasting influence of the fur expeditions was that they drew
more people closer to the present monument. Segments of the overland
route blazed by the Astorian party of Wilson Price Hunt and Donald
Mackenzie in 1811 became part of the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s.
The fur trading posts of Forts Hall and Boise, permanently established
after 1834, functioned as service centers for emigrants. Missionaries
headed first for Oregon Country and were followed in the 1840s by
thousands of westward-trekking pioneers. They traveled well to the
south of today’s monument along the Snake River, at the southern rim
of the Snake River Plain. Like the fur traders before them, these
early westerners sought treasures in the land that lay beyond Craters
of the Moon–fertile soil in the Willamette Valley or gold in
California. Beginning in the 1850s, though, many overland travelers
opted for an alternate route, afterward called Goodale’s Cutoff, that
sent them to the northern rim of the great lava plain, and brought
them to the landscape of Craters of the Moon. [4]

This secondary trail departed Old Fort Hall, branched northwest from
the river, passed Big Southern Butte, neared Arco by about eight
miles, and from there arched southwest; it skirted the flanks of the
Pioneer Mountains and the northern section of the present Craters of
the Moon before it stretched on to rejoin the main trail at Boise. The
cutoff represented a well established travel path. Indians crossed the
lava fields in the monument’s north end on their way to Camas Prairie,
a valuable food source of Camas roots. Later, mountain men, fur
traders, and finally emigrants exploited the route. John J. Jeffrey,
hoping to profit from a ferry across the Snake River, promoted the
cutoff for emigrant traffic between 1852 and 1854. After that year,
however, the venture failed, and the trail went unused until the era
of the Civil War migration, when Tim Goodale guided his party over it
in 1862. [5]

Goodale, an experienced trapper, trader, and guide of the Far West,
led the emigrants over the cutoff because they wanted a shorter and
safer route to their destinations. By 1862, gold had been discovered
at Salmon River and the Boise River Basin, and the travelers were
eager to reach the new mines as quickly as possible. That year as
well, Indian hostilities diverted emigrants north of the main overland
trail. In August, Shoshoni tribes, antagonistic toward white settlers
infiltrating their homelands, attacked a party of emigrants at what
became known as Massacre Rocks. The group that Goodale guided in 1862
eventually numbered 1,095 people, 795 men and 300 women and children.
Although the Northern Shoshoni were irritated by the wagon train’s
presence, especially as it departed the future monument and entered
into Camas Prairie, the train’s size and Goodale’s leadership saw the
company through to Boise unscathed. Thankful, some of the emigrants
then named the cutoff for their guide. [6]

Even though individuals chose to travel through what is now the
monument, they still perceived it as a place to avoid–a place along
the way to somewhere else. Exposed to the seemingly desolate lava
fields, emigrants endured the harshness and bleakness of the landscape
of Craters of the Moon and pressed on. One year after the creation of
Idaho Territory, Julius Caesar Merrill described what it was like
putting the Craters of the Moon Lava Field behind him and his party in

It was a relief to see the distance widening between us and those
volcanic strata. It was a desolate, dismal scenery. Up or down the
valley as far as the eye could reach or across the mountains and into
the dim distance the same unvarying mass of black rock. Not a shrub,
bird, nor insect seemed to live near it. Great must have been the
relief of the volcano, powerful the emetic, that poured forth such a
mass of “Black Vomit.” [7]

In subsequent years, Goodale’s Cutoff served as a popular emigrant
route through southcentral Idaho. Various modifications and the
construction of a ferry crossing on the Snake River transformed the
trail into a more accessible road. Because railroads arrived late in
the century to this section of Idaho, the cutoff received heavy use by
overland travelers. As emigrant traffic tapered off, it functioned as
a stage route after 1879, ferrying travelers to and from the mining
districts of southcentral Idaho, and points west and east. It also
evolved into a freight route, then into a road for farm families
settling the region, and finally into a section of a modern highway.
Even with all of this activity, the lava landscape remained a
formidable and barren place to those who crossed it. [8]


“The crowded conditions give some indication of growing pressures on
monument resources.”


Robert Limbert’s experience traversing the contorted landscape helped
him to “appreciate its scenic value.” Where others had seen only a
barren waste, he found solace and beauty. Here, he wrote, the “human
voice seems a sacrilege in the amphitheater [sic] of nature such as
these huge craters seem to be.” Visually, he was enamored of the
“immense rolls and folds of fantastically formed lava…colored blue,
black, and brown…the scores of crater rims and walls that start at
your very feet and dot the landscape to the horizon line….”
Exploring this strange landscape took Limbert to some of the “grandest
sights imaginable,” from the heights of the great craters to their
“deep somber depths.” It was awe-inspiring to descend from the scenic
feast of surrounding space and sky to crater bottom, and become
enveloped in a “red walled funnel,” where “one feels little and
insignificant, a fly on the wall of the world.” [25]

The impression was lasting and moving, and in his descriptions he
captured the essence of the area. As he watched the light of sun and
moon dance across the cobalt blue lavas of the Blue Dragon Flow, it
changed from a “twisted, wavy sea” to a “glazed surface” with a
“silvery sheen.” Not simply day and night, but all the “changing
conditions of light and air” make this a “place of color and silence,”
a place, with few exceptions, unequaled in “variety of formation,
color, and scenic effects” in the world. [26]

Limbert’s expression for the lava country’s unique beauty found its
way into the April 10, 1921 Idaho Sunday Statesman, where he stated
that “no more fitting tribute to the volcanic forces which built the
great Snake [R]iver [V]alley could be paid than to make this [region]
into a national park.” [27] True to the promoter that he was, Limbert
asserted that the site would attract thousands of visitors, once
adequate roads were constructed so travelers could reach the Craters
area as they motored to Yellowstone National Park via the Lincoln
Highway. All people, he believed, should have the chance to see “these
wonders of nature for themselves.” [28]

Impassioned about this issue, Limbert called for the state’s public to
pressure Idaho senators to “introduce a bill suitably framed to give…
[Craters] the recognition it deserves.” Not only did the area’s scenic
values drive Limbert’s preservation plea, but also what he saw as the
threat to the district’s archaeological features (Indian cairns and
rock hunting blinds), which could be “torn down and destroyed with
their contents carried off for the personal gratification of an
unthinking few.” [29] It was this perception that led Limbert to
spearhead a movement on both a local and national level to create a
“new national park or monument in many respects the equal and in some
easily the peer of many…now within our boundaries.” [30]

Following his 1920 exploration, Limbert conducted free lectures around
southern Idaho, meeting with civic groups to drum up support for
converting the lava district into a national park unit. Heartened by a
positive response, he decided to attract national attention by guiding
several more trips with scientists and reporters. In June 1921, the
explorer-promoter led his most famous investigation of the Craters
area for the Idaho Statesman. The party consisted of ten men, who were
“equipped to make an exhaustive study of the lava formations, bird and
animal life, and explore the many craters.” The end result would be a
study placed before Congress emphasizing “the possibilities of this
wonderland as a national park.” Included in the group were local
residents, Samuel Paisley and Era Martin; civic leaders, Clarence A.
Bottolfsen and Jo G. Martin; as well as two scientists representing
both the Biological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution, Luther
Goldman and W.E. Crouch. The trip spanned two weeks, during which
Limbert snapped more than 276 still photos, recorded an estimated 1400
feet of motion-picture film, as well as produced maps of the lava
country’s features: ice caves, “bottomless pits,” and craters
previously uncharted. [31]

Upon his return, Limbert announced that the scenery and natural
wonders of the “Moon Valley” were “unexcelled by either the
Yellowstone National Park or the Garden of the Gods.” [32] To ensure
this message reached a wide audience, he published photo essays of the
area in a number of regional and national newspapers and magazines.
His most famous piece appeared the March 1924 National Geographic. His
essay, “Among the Craters of the Moon,” with its photographs and map
detailed the 1921 expedition’s route, though it represented a
composite of his several trips. Originally submitted in the fall of
1921, the article was delayed going to press by the Society, which
questioned Limbert’s findings, and held up publication until his
observations could be confirmed. [33]

Two months after the National Geographic appeared, the monument was
established. Limbert’s role, given the course of events, was
instrumental to this outcome. His explorations and essays–both
written and photographic–exposed a historically and geographically
isolated region to the public at large. [34] More importantly, he
espoused a positive attitude for the lava fields that before had been
largely unknown or actively avoided.

As the delay by the National Geographic suggests, Robert Limbert
needed help to succeed in establishing a national park for the Craters
region. Although evidence of the movement to create the monument
outside Limbert’s efforts is limited, enough information exists to
imply that Limbert himself galvanized the public to action. But at the
same time, it should be noted that his reception was positive, hinting
that a majority of people already shared his feelings on the
uniqueness of the region, or saw its removal from the public domain as
insignificant. [35]

When the account of Limbert’s 1920 expedition appeared in the spring
of 1921, for example, the Idaho Statesman voiced that a movement was
already afoot “to have the lava country designated a national park.”
Stating what reflected, most likely, the stir surrounding Limbert’s
preparation for his 1921 expedition, the paper noted that “Eastern
scientists have expressed great interest in the proposition [to create
a park] and Idaho commercial clubs and women’s organizations are
making individual investigations.” Moreover, the paper reported what
seems to have been a dominant hope for an isolated and young western
state–the establishment of national park. For once that occurred and
the area became accessible, “this spot in Idaho may become as great a
mecca for tourists as Yellowstone Park.” [36]



To build public support for parks in its founding years, the National
Park Service encouraged tourism. By welcoming automobiles, and
developing roads, campgrounds, and hotels, the agency enabled more
Americans to enjoy the nation’s wonders, and visitation soared. The
Service’s leaders, however, never intended to grid the parks with
roads and mar the landscape with subdivisions, but rather to make the
most spectacular sites accessible to tourists and concentrate other
developments in a central location–leaving the majority of park lands
as wilderness. While this approach reflected the Park Service’s
mission to balance visitor use and resource protection, park promotion
attracted larger and larger numbers of tourists pressuring the agency
to increase development. [1]

During the 1930s, the New Deal emergency work relief programs injected
park management with the necessary manpower and appropriations to meet
these growing demands, marking one of the most important phases in
park developments. The next phase, perhaps the most significant,
responded to an even greater crisis. The war years had backlogged
critical maintenance and development projects, and a visitor explosion
in the 1950s had swamped the already inadequate park physical plants.
In the mid-1950s, Mission 66, the Park Service’s ten-year
rehabilitation program, arrived and with over a billion dollars in
appropriations renovated the overwhelmed facilities of the national
parks. The program strove to upgrade all areas, some for the first
time, repairing and constructing thousands of miles of roads,
campgrounds, employee housing, and sanitation systems. Innovations
such as the visitor center incorporated interpretive facilities and
administrative offices, containing in some instances concessionaire
services and auditoriums. Since this period, development programs in
the Park Service have concentrated mostly on maintaining Mission 66
facilities, but as has often been the case, increased visitation and
staffing have outpaced the capacity of existing park developments. [2]



Issues And Highlights
Natural resource management at Craters of the Moon National Monument
constitutes the majority of management concerns. Historically,
protection of the geologic resources has been the primary management
focus because the volcanic formations were the basis for the area’s
creation and are its central theme. Protection of wildlife,
vegetation, water, and air quality have formed a secondary but
nonetheless important management emphasis. In all cases, custodians
and superintendents have pursued policies of mitigation, education,
and enforcement to strike the balance between preservation and use of
the monument’s varied natural resources.

Geologic Resources
Attracting the majority of visitor activity and visitor related
impacts, the lava formations are plagued with the chronic problems of
illegal collection, vandalism, and other forms of human erosion.
Unlike biological resources, the volcanic features are frozen in time.
Where grass or trees can regenerate, only a new eruption can replenish
the lavas. Until then, they will breakdown. While a natural process,
erosion is accelerated by visitor contact. Federal laws and National
Park Service regulations prohibit unauthorized collection and
vandalism, yet both exist. [11]

To the untrained eye, the lavas seem indestructible, when in fact the
opposite is true; they are deceptively fragile–realized all too
starkly by the disappearance of known formations and the degradation
of others. Thus efforts to protect the sensitive terrain have required
vigilance from monument managers. Balancing preservation and use has
led to changes ranging from modifications in the types of acceptable
visitor behavior and activity to rehabilitation of popular features.
Similar to other aspects of Craters of the Moon’s management, the long
term effects of depletion and damage from visitor use were not readily
apparent nor rigorously managed until mid-century when visitation
accelerated and the monument’s administration grew in response to
increasing pressures. Although the majority of damage occurs within
the monument’s developed interior, among the outstanding natural
features, resource problems are not isolated to these sites alone.
Finding a way to protect the geologic resources has meant combating
the perception that the already broken, twisted, and contorted
landscape is not susceptible to alteration, when it is even by the
most incidental human contact.

Impacts to the lava terrain, many of them through benign actions,
predated the establishment of the monument. At the turn of the
century, scientific groups entered the lava flows of Craters of the
Moon and by the early 1920s unrestrained sightseers roamed the
formations by foot, horse, or auto. As promotion of the area
accelerated, so did visitation and souvenir hunting. Lava bombs, tree
molds, squeeze tubes, and loose fragments of aa and pahoehoe lava were
among the volcanic specimens attractive to scientists for research and
to individuals for souvenirs. Commercial interests, to a degree, also
threatened the reserve’s “great scientific and scenic wonders.” Before
the monument was established, at least one entrepreneur had “had sold
several hundred dollars’ worth of curiously formed lava bombs” taken
from “the slopes of the volcanoes.” [12]

Even after the Park Service placed Custodian Samuel Paisley in charge
in 1925, it was evident that fascination with volcanic rocks would
persist. In January, the Arco Advertiser reported what was then and is
now a common reason for impacts to geologic features: “There is the
general desire on the part of visitors to take home specimens of the
different kinds of lava to show friends.” Similarly, universities were
conducting scientific outings at an increasing rate. [13] Perhaps the
most famous rock collector was Park Service Director Horace Albright
himself. Demonstrating the attractive qualities of the monument’s lava
rocks, Albright “tried to carry an armful of `lava bombs’ for half a
mile or so” during his 1924 inspection, “in order to make them
available for photographing.” Sensing his mistake, however, he
concluded: “I finally got them to the car, but resolved that I would
never again gather specimens at Craters of the Moon National
Monument.” [14]

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


UK astronomers to broadcast adverts to aliens
BY Roger Highfield  /  07/03/2008

British astronomers are to broadcast the first adverts to aliens.

The cosmic stunt marks a small step for man, a giant leap for
advertising hype and underlines the desperation of British astronomers
to find new sources of funding as they struggle to cope with swingeing
cuts that now threaten institutions such as Jodrell Bank, the world
famous observatory in Cheshire.

Although each and every television advert already broadcast has leaked
into the heavens, the caper marks the first time one is to be
targetted at an other worldly market, a zone in the constellation Ursa
Major that could harbour alien worlds, the snack manufacturer Doritos
announces today.

The project, in which the public are invited to shoot a 30 second
advert, underlines the current crisis in funding astronomy, due to an
£80 million shortfall.

For broadcasting the advert into space, encoded as ones and zeros that
clever aliens should be able to figure out, Doritos will make an
undisclosed donation to astronomers and academics from Leicester
University and Eiscat (The European Incoherent SCATter Scientific

The space-bound ad will broadcast from a 500MHz Ultra High Frequency
Radar from the EISCAT Space Centre in Svalbard, Norway, used to study
the atmosphere and northern lights, which has escaped a savage round
of cuts because its five year renewal contract has been signed.

Prof Tony van Eyken, Director of Eiscat, admits he does not know what
the effects of the UK cuts will be but says he is happy to accept any
novel source of funding: “Broadcasting an advert extra terrestrially
is a big and exciting step for everyone on Earth as up until now we
have only tended to listening for incoming transmissions.”

When Nasa recently beamed a Beatles song towards the North Star, 431
light years from Earth, some experts warned that the signals could
expose us to the risk of attack from mean spirited aliens.

“In this case we are giving somebody the opportunity to create this
message as a way to say hello on behalf of mankind,” says Prof van
Eyken, who adds the prospect of the Earth being destroyed by Doritos
hating aliens is remote. “No, I am not worried.”

Humans have been announcing their presence by radio and TV broadcasts
for decades and when it comes to the Nasa broadcast, “this is a 1,000
light year round trip, it’s highly unlikely it will ever be received
by extra-terrestrials.”

However, he adds that in this case “there is a much greater chance
that the Doritos advert will potentially be seen by billions of

The transmission will be invisible to earthlings and is being directed
at a solar system 42 light years away from Earth with planets that
orbit its star ’47 Ursae Majoris’ (UMa). 47 UMa is located in the
‘Ursa Major’ Constellation, also known as the Great Bear or Plough.

He adds “we have no way to know whether there is extraterrestrial life
out there.”

As part of its new ‘You Make It, We Play It’ campaign, Doritos will
also air the advert on the more conventional medium of British
television in June. The filmmaker responsible for the winning ad will
also win £20,000.

The Royal Astronomical Society has talked about its “deep pessimism
and anger” at the cuts. Although it welcomes a consultation by the
Science and Technology Facilities Council, STFC, the Society remains
“deeply concerned” about the impact on UK research in astronomy, space
science and solar-system physics.

The RAS does not, however, accept the STFC’s classification of many
projects as ‘lowest priority’, which include the £2.5 million running
costs for “e-Merlin” – an upgrade to the Multi-Element Radio Linked
Interferometer Network between the UK’s seven radio telescopes,
notably Jodrell, which would struggle if this funding were lost.

Some of these have a high profile, it says, including eMerlin, the
Gemini Observatory and UK involvement in the Hinode space observatory
currently being used to study activity on the Sun.

Alongside the risks to these and other projects is a 25 per cent cut
in the STFC research grants to universities that will see numbers of
postdoctoral researchers in space science and astronomy fall to their
lowest level for seven years.

There is also a real concern that the consultation with the science
community on the Review is too brief for responses to be heard. This
began this week and will close on 21 March – by comparison UK
Government guidelines on public consultation suggest a minimum period
of 12 weeks.

President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Prof Michael Rowan-
Robinson says: “I welcome the commitment by STFC to consult with the
wider community on what remains a severe package of cuts. It is vital
that the consultation is as fair and transparent as possible so that
the eventual decisions are seen to be made on an objective basis.

“Closing down UK involvement in a swathe of projects will harm our
ability to carry out cutting-edge research, our international
reputation and our ability to attract young people into science and
physics in particular.”

posted by snarfies  /   March 07, 2008

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From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]
a portion of Edison’s film Electrocuting an Elephant, taken from a
German television show

“Topsy the elephant was electrocuted at Luna Park Zoo on Coney Island
in 1903. Captured on film by Thomas Edison, the event was one of a
string of animal electrocutions Edison staged to discredit a new form
of electricity: alternating current.”


Jan. 4, 1903: Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point
BY Tony Long  /  01.04.08

1903: Thomas Edison stages his highly publicized electrocution of an
elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current,
which, if it posed any immediate danger at all, was to Edison’s own
direct current.

Edison had established direct current at the standard for electricity
distribution and was living large off the patent royalties, royalties
he was in no mood to lose when George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla
showed up with alternating current.

Edison’s aggressive campaign to discredit the new current took the
macabre form of a series of animal electrocutions using AC (a killing
process he referred to snidely as getting “Westinghoused”). Stray dogs
and cats were the most easily obtained, but he also zapped a few
cattle and horses.

Edison got his big chance, though, when the Luna Park Zoo at Coney
Island decided that Topsy, a cranky female elephant who had squashed
three handlers in three years (including one idiot who tried feeding
her a lighted cigarette), had to go.

Park officials originally considered hanging Topsy but the SPCA
objected on humanitarian grounds, so someone suggesting having the
pachyderm “ride the lightning,” a practice that had been used in the
American penal system since 1890 to dispatch the condemned. Edison was
happy to oblige.

When the day came, Topsy was restrained using a ship’s hawser fastened
on one end to a donkey engine and on the other to a post. Wooden
sandals with copper electrodes were attached to her feet and a copper
wire run to Edison’s electric light plant, where his technicians
awaited the go-ahead.

In order to make sure that Topsy emerged from this spectacle more than
just singed and angry, she was fed cyanide-laced carrots moments
before a 6,600-volt AC charge slammed through her body. Officials
needn’t have worried. Topsy was killed instantly and Edison, in his
mind anyway, had proved his point.

A crowd put at 1,500 witnessed Topsy’s execution, which was filmed by
Edison and released later that year as Electrocuting an Elephant.

In the end, though, all Edison had to show for his efforts was a
string of dead animals, including the unfortunate Topsy, and a current
that quickly fell out of favor as AC demonstrated its superiority in
less lethal ways to become the standard.

Topsy, Electrocuted by Edison
Died 1903 – Coney Island, New York

As the 19th century turned into the 20th, one of the biggest
attractions at Coney Island’s “Luna Park” was its private herd of
elephants, which roamed freely. A favorite was Topsy, a three-ton
tusker whose great strength had been put to use building the
attractions that made Coney Island so much fun.

But Topsy had a temper. She killed three men in three years, the last
a drunk trainer who had fed her a lit cigarette. Topsy had to go. But
how? The authorities fed her carrots laced with cyanide. She wolfed
them down without effect. Topsy was one tough elephant.

Thompson & Dundy, who owned Luna Park, decided to turn Topsy into a
moral issue — and to make a profit at the same time. They announced
that man-killer Topsy would be publicly hanged for her crimes. The
ASPCA protested: Hanging was cruel and inhuman punishment. After all,
hadn’t New York State just replaced the gallows with a modern electric

All right, said Thompson and Dundy. Coney Island has a powerful
electrical plant — we’ll FRY Topsy! But to pull it off, they needed
top-shelf technical support. And that’s where Thomas Edison came in.

Edison at the time was engaged in his own free-for-all, battling
George Westinghouse for control of America’s electric infrastructure.
Edison had declared that his direct current system was safe, but that
Westinghouse’s alternating current was a deadly menace. To prove it,
Edison had been publicly electrocuting dogs and cats for years. And it
was Edison who had convinced New York to use Westinghouse’s “deadly”
AC for their electric chair.

Topsy offered an opportunity that Edison couldn’t resist. What better
way to demonstrate the horrible consequences of alternating current
than to roast a full-grown elephant?

Topsy juiced.Edison sent over a crack team of technicians — and a
film crew. Topsy was led to a special platform, the cameras were set
rolling, the switch was thrown. It took only ten seconds. Edison later
showed the film to audiences across the country to prove his point.

In the end, it made no difference. AC beat out DC, but both Edison and
Westinghouse prospered. In fact, Westinghouse was awarded the Edison
Medal for “meritorious achievements in the development of the
alternating current system.”

That wasn’t much consolation to Topsy, who was dead, nor to Luna Park,
which was eventually destroyed in a horrible fire. Today, nothing
remains of either except for Edison’s film.
from The Commercial Advertiser, New York, Monday, January 5, 1903.


Topsy Meets Quick and Painless
Death at Coney Island.

Topsy, the ill-tempered Coney Island elephant, was put to death in
Luna Park, Coney Island, yesterday afternoon. The execution was
witnessed by 1,500 or more curious persons, who went down to the
island to see the end of the huge beast, to whom they had fed peanuts
and cakes in summers that are gone. In order to make Topsy’s execution
quick and sure 460 grams of cyanide of potassium were fed to her in
carrots. Then a hawser was put around her neck and one end attached to
a donkey engine and the other to a post. Next wooden sandals lined
with copper were attached to her feet. These electrodes were connected
by copper wire with the Edison electric light plant and a current of
6,600 volts was sent through her body. The big beast died without a
trumpet or a groan.

Topsy was brought to this country twenty-eight years ago by the
Forepaugh Circus, and has been exhibited throughout the United States.
She was ten feet high and 19 feet 11 inches in length. Topsy developed
a bad temper two years ago and killed two keepers in Texas. Last
spring, when the Forepaugh show was in Brooklyn, J. F. Blount, a
keeper, tried to feed a lighted cigarette to her. She picked him up
with her trunk and dashed him to the ground, killing him instantly.

Off Goes the Power Current Started by Thomas Edison
BY Jennifer 8. Lee  /  11/14/2007

Today, Con Edison will end 125 years of direct current electricity
service that began when Thomas Edison opened his Pearl Street power
station on Sept. 4, 1882. Con Ed will now only provide alternating
current, in a final, vestigial triumph by Nikola Tesla and George
Westinghouse, Mr. Edison’s rivals who were the main proponents of
alternating current in the AC/DC debates of the turn of the 20th

The last snip of Con Ed’s direct current system will take place at 10
East 40th Street, near the Mid-Manhattan Library. That building, like
the thousands of other direct current users that have been
transitioned over the last several years, now has a converter
installed on the premises that can take alternating electricity from
the Con Ed power grid and adapt it on premises. Until now, Con Edison
had been converting alternating to direct current for the customers
who needed it — old buildings on the Upper East Side and Upper West
Side that used direct current for their elevators for example. The
subway, which has its own converters, also provides direct current
through its third rail, in large part because direct current
electricity was the dominant system in New York City when the subway
first developed out of the early trolley cars.

Despite the clear advantage of alternating current — it can be
transmitted long distances far more economically than direct current —
direct current has taken decades to phase out of Manhattan because the
early backbone of New York’s electricity grid was built by Mr.
Edison’s company, which had a running head start in the first decade
before Mr. Tesla and Mr. Westinghouse demonstrated the potential of
alternating current with the Niagara Falls power project. (Among the
customers of Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street power plant on that first
day was The New York Times, which observed that to turn on its lights
in the building, “no matches were needed.”)

But direct current clearly became uneconomical, as the short distances
that it could be transmitted would have required a power station every
mile or less, according to Joe Cunningham, an engineering historian.
Thus alternating current in New York began in the outskirts — Queens,
Bronx, Upper Manhattan and the suburbs.

The direct current conversion in Lower Manhattan started in 1928, and
an engineer then predicted that it would take 45 years, according to
Mr. Cunningham. “An optimistic prediction since we still have it now,”
he said.

The man who is cutting the link today at 10 East 40th Street is Fred
Simms, a 52-year veteran of the company. Why him?

“He’s our closest link to Thomas Edison,” joked Bob McGee, a Con Ed

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


“Some people define “multicultural” by targeting demographics of
individuals defined most often by race, language, ethnicity and
religion.  Burson-Marsteller defines multicultural as “multiple
communities” and our multicultural offerings are borne out of a keen
understanding of a world that is becoming more and more community-
centric with communities built around a clear cultural identity,
common interests and shared values.  When, how and why individuals
self-select to identify or join with a community has never been more
varied and it is typical for people to identify or join with more than
one community at any given time.

Because of the specificity of the “common ground” in these
communities, it is often difficult to engage with community members
through traditional channels.  Our research-based approach to
identifying the motivations and drivers of these communities, coupled
with our knowledge of digital and grassroots outreach, enables us to
shape programs with the specificity and relevance necessary to
generate receptivity, motivation and action.”


BY Tim Lott  /  11/10/2007
who reviews Microtrends by Mark J. Penn with E. Kinney Zalesne

Along with such recent publishing hits as The Long Tail and The
Tipping Point, Microtrends is a book that develops our vision of how
societies work at a time when they are becoming so complex as to be
frustratingly opaque.

The central premise is that the US, and much of the world, is no
longer driven primarily by a few large-scale forces, but by a
multitude of small, elusive criss-crossing tendencies, groups and

These exert a disproportionate influence through their intensity of
interest, the fact that they are growing and the fact that their needs
are as yet unmet by the commercial and political policy-makers.

Thus, although we can all cite globalisation, turbo-capitalism and the
communications revolution as large-scale trends, it is a patchwork of
smaller trends appearing ‘off the radar’ that gives significant clues
as to where the world is heading and offers opportunities and cues for
those who seek to hook up with both voters and consumers.

This picture is complex and contradictory but it is real and it is
significant. Furthermore, it is counterintuitive – Mark Penn believes
that with the speed of change in the modern world and the multiplying
currents of ‘mass individualism’, gut feelings based on common sense
are increasingly misleading.

These emerging markets and groups do not have to be that large, Penn
claims, to exert an important influence. He cites a figure of one per
cent of the population as constituting a microtrend. He never quite
succeeds in making it clear why this number is so magical outside of
his own specialist area (political polling where a small group of
swing voters are so crucial).

Can it really matter that there are seven million archers in America?
Or that there are one and a half times more Umbandans (a religious
group) in the world than there are Jews? Or that a phone poll asking
young Californians what they were going to be doing in 10 years time
revealed that a full one per cent of them (which turns out to be a
grand total of six) said they wanted to be snipers?

Likewise Penn ‘identifies’ trends that feel like common knowledge. We
all know that long-distance or ‘extreme’ commuters are on the rise
(particularly in the UK). And the fact that caffeine consumption is on
a massive spike is neither a microtrend nor a fresh insight.

But the beauty of this book is that it brings all the fibres of a
complicated tapestry into a focus that makes it susceptible to
discrete analysis. And it produces a picture of the world that
confounds preconceptions. The book delivers jolt after jolt on this

Were you aware that in the US women outspend men on technology by a
factor of three to two? Or that more women buy cars than men? As Penn
points out, you would never guess from the male-message-loaded

I was shocked that double the number of people aged 20-44 took
sleeping pills in America in 2004 than in 2000. That eight out of 10
dog owners buy birthday gifts for their pets. That there are three
million straight spouses left behind by ‘Late Breaking Gays’. That one
third of African women are not malnourished but overweight. That the
average age for video and computer game users is not 15 but 33.

These figures come – to me, anyway – out of the blue. But Penn also
gives shape and substance to many ‘common sense’ perceptions that turn
out to be only half formed.

We are all aware, for example, that women have made advances but who
would have known that, in America at least, 70 per cent of PR
employees are women, along with 57 per cent of news anchors, analysts
and journalists and more than of half of law school graduates.

Women’s control and mastery of words (Penn dubs them ‘Wordy Women’)
explains why the news agenda has become relatively feminised, with
abortion, childcare and sex-discrimination stories all working up the

Even more illuminating is a statistic Penn quotes about voting
behaviour. He points out that, contrary to popular expectations,
holders of PhDs are much more emotionally driven when making decisions
on how to vote than the blue-collar workers are. Why? Because they are
not at the cutting edge of changes. They are insulated against swings
in policy in the way that those at the economic and social coal-face
are not.

This turns conventional wisdom on its head and explains why political
commentators on both sides of the Atlantic so often get it wrong. A
‘satisfied élite’ is driving media perspectives – in a misleading
direction. Hence, in this country, the absurd surprise of the
commentariat at the success of Gordon Brown when he was so supposedly
voter unfriendly and disconcertingly unBlairlike. It was the economy,

One of the pleasures of the book is that you will also inevitably
recognise yourself – as I did (a Do-over Dad, a Snowed Under Slob, a
Stay At Home Worker, and a 30-Winker). I am not alone – and neither
are you.

The greatest compliment I can pay this book is that it made me want to
go and start a business, so rich is its suggestion of untapped,
unidentified social realities.

As a ‘Snowed Under Slob’ I probably won’t be bothered, but even so,
Microtrends gave me a picture of the world that surprised and
challenged me. It is also internationally relevant, not only because
the world tends to follow the US, but because Penn has included panels
that fill in the global picture (did you know 82 per cent of Italian
men aged 18-30 still live with their parents?)

The book is like Schott’s Miscellany without the irrelevance. That is,
it is not merely fun to read but bursting with essential, and almost
certainly profitable, information for policy-makers, businessman,
pundits and punters alike.

BY Rachel Sylvester  /  19/09/2007
who gets to grips with Mark Penn’s ‘microtrend’ voting categories

Mark Penn argues that the world is increasingly made up of “societal
atoms”. These are, he says, “small trends that reflect changing habits
and choices.” Often, they are counter-intuitive. By analyzing polling
data, he has identified 75 “microtrends”, categories of people who
might just change the world. Although most of the research in his book
is based on American polls, many of the findings are replicated in the

1. Sex-ratio singles. Around three per cent of women are, according to
Penn, now left on the shelf because there are not enough straight men
to go round.

2. Cougars. Women who date younger men. The number following the
example of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate has more than trebled in the
last ten year.

3. Office romancers. According to one recent survey nearly 60 per cent
of Americans have mixed business and pleasure.

4. Commuter couples. The number of people who live in separate cities
has doubled in the last fifteen years.

5. Internet marrieds. Couples who meet on line are more likely to
cross class and race barriers.

6. Working retired. The baby boomers are refusing to give up their
jobs at 65.

7. Extreme commuters. The number of those who travel at least 90
minutes each way to get to work has doubled in the last ten years.

8. Stay-at-home workers. Up 23 per cent in the US since 1990.

9. Wordy women. It’s not just JK Rowling. Females have a rising
profile in language-based professions such as the media, PR, law and

10. Ardent Amazons. Women are also increasingly going into jobs that
demand physical strength, such as the military, fire-fighting,
plumbing, sport and building.

11. Stained glass ceiling breakers. The number of female vicars has
trebled in the last twenty years.

12. Pro-Semites. According to Penn: “Jew-loving is a bit of a craze.”

13. Interracial families. More than one per cent of couples in the US
are mixed race.

14. Protestant Hispanics. Latino immigrants are a powerful lobby group
and those who are Protestant, rather than Catholic, are a surprisingly
important subgroup.

15. Moderate Muslims.

16. Sun-haters. Those who are turning against tanning are “early
adopters” of a trend that Penn believes will soon spread.

17. 30-winkers. Margaret Thatcher survived on four hours a night, and
the number of people who sleep fewer than six hours is rising fast.

18. Left-handers. The number has doubled in a generation and will
continue to rise, thanks, Penn thinks, to more liberal teaching and

19. DIY doctors. We are all researching, diagnosing and curing
ourselves via the internet.

20. Hard-of-hearers. The number of people with hearing loss doubled
between 1970 and 2000.

21. Old new dads. Fathers having children in their 40s and 50s, up
dramatically. Pet parents.

22. Not only are people having more animals, they are also treating
them more like children.

23. Pampering parents. Nurture, not discipline, is the order of the

24. Late-breaking gays. Those leaving heterosexual marriages for gay
relationships. One study found that one in five gay men were past 40
when they had their first homosexual experience.

25. Dutiful sons. Although the bulk of those caring for elderly
relatives are women, the number of men is rising.

26. Impressionable elites. Wealthy and educated people who are now
more obsessed by personality, rather than issue-based, politics than
their working class counterparts.

27. Swing is still king. The non tribal centrist voters will still,
according to Penn, determine elections.

28. Militant illegals. In the US, illegal immigrants are increasingly
taking to the streets to demand more rights.

29. Christian Zionists. Christians who support Israel outnumber Jews.

30. Newly released ex-cons.

31. Mildly disordered. Conditions such as attention deficit disorder
are on the rise.

32. Young knitters. The fastest growing group of people who knit are
in their teens and 20s.

33. Black teen idols. There is a new class of black super-achievers
graduating for the first time.

34. High school moguls. The internet and eBay make teenage
entrepreneurship easier than ever.

35. Aspiring snipers. The most bizarre fact Penn has discovered is
that one per cent of young Californians told a pollster that they want
to be snipers. “Stealth,” he says “is in openness is out.”

36. Vegan children. The younger generation is turning off meat in a
big way.

37. Obese adults. There are an estimated 300 million obese people in
the world, compared with 200 million in 1995, with all the
implications for health policy.

38. The thinning thousands. There are meanwhile thousands cutting
their calories to near-starvation levels in an attempt to lengthen
their lives.

39. Caffeine crazies. Starbucks and Red Bull are taking over the

40. Long attention spanners. 50 million Americans do jigsaw puzzles,
best-selling books are on average 100 pages longer than 10 years ago –
and Penn believes politics is moving from soundbites to issue-based

41. Neglected dads. The man who discovered the Soccer Mums thinks
advertisers, and politicians are now ignoring fathers.

42. Native language speakers. The number of people living in
households where no-one speaks English well has increased by more than
50 per cent in recent years.

43. Unisexuals. After metrosexuals, we have unisexuals, people to whom
as Penn puts it “the binary gender classification system is arbitrary,
limiting and oppressive.”

44. Second home buyers. Middle income earners are the fastest growing
group of those buying rural retreats.

45. Modern Mary Poppinses. Well-educated, well-heeled women are
increasingly becoming nannies.

46. Shy millionaires. There is a significant group of rich and super-
rich who live below their means. Penn calls them Secret Succeeders and
Satisfied Savers.

47. Bourgeois and Bankrupt. In America personal bankruptcy filings
have climbed nearly 350 per cent in the last 25 years.

48. Non-profiteers. The number working for charities and non-profit
organizations has soared.

49. Uptown tattooed. High earners are now more likely than low earners
to have ‘body art’.

50. Snowed under slobs. One in ten people identify themselves as ‘very
messy’ – and they are almost twice as likely to be Democrats as

51. Surgery lovers. There has been a huge increase in cosmetic surgery
and nearly half of surgeons say they have treated teenagers.

52. Powerful petites. According to Penn, ‘little women are big

53. Social geeks. Computer nerds are now more sociable than their
technophobic neighbours.

54. New luddites. A dedicated band who refuse to logon.

55. Tech fatales. Women spend a third more on technology than men.

56. Car-buying soccer moms. Although you would not guess it from the
adverts, they are also the majority of car-buyers today.

57. Archery moms. Niche sports – such as archery – are taking over
from mainstream ones such as soccer.

58. xxx men. There are 4 million pornographic websites worldwide,
about 12 per cent of the total, and one in four search engine requests
on an average day is for pornography.

59. Video game grown ups. Mothers over 45 are one of the fastest
growing group of computer game players.

60. Neo-classicals. Classical music is growing in popularity.

61. Smart children left behind. Middle class parents are increasingly
holding their child back a year, so they are the oldest not the
youngest in the class.

62. The home-schooled. A growing band are abandoning mainstream

63. College drop-outs. Although college enrollment has gone up college
graduation rates have stayed about the same.

64. Numbers junkies. Science is failing to attract enough students.
There are only 77 maths students at Harvard, out of over 6,700

65. Mini-churched. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia,
there are nearly 10,000 distinct religions in the world with two or
three new ones being created every day.

66. International home buyers.

67. LAT couples. One million couples in Britain live apart – but are
not separated.

68. Mammonies. In Italy 82 per cent of men age 18-30 are still living
at home with their parents.

69. Eurostars. Although Americans are reproducing at a rate of 2.1
children per woman of child-bearing age, European women are having an
unsustainable 1.5 children each.

70. Vietnamese entrepreneurs. Vietnam is one of the most successful

71. French teetotalers. No country has cut its alcohol consumption
more than France in the last 40 years.

72. Chinese Picassos. Between 1993 and 2005, China’s premier art
auction house nearly quadrupled its annual sales volume.

73. Russian swings. Russians who, in the 1990s, swung towards
democracy are now swinging back.

74. Indian women. An increasingly powerful force.

75. Educated terrorists.

Why There’s Strength in Small Numbers
By HARRY HURT III  /   September 16, 2007

THE human psyche finds something supremely reassuring about numbers.
Just ask my 9-year-old son. His favorite prime-time television series
is CBS’s “Numb3rs,” spelled with a digit in place of the third-to-last
letter. The show features an F.B.I. agent and his math-genius brother
solving crimes with the aid of formulas like Bacon’s Cipher and the
Knapsack Algorithm.

“There’s no way the bad guys can win,” my son assures me each time we
watch the show together. “They can’t do the math, Dad.”

Mark J. Penn and his co-author, E. Kinney Zalesne, profess a similarly
deep-seated faith in the power of numbers in their new book,
“Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes” (Twelve,
448 pages, $25.99). Mr. Penn, chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, is
a longtime pollster who is chief political adviser to Hillary Rodham
Clinton. He won fame for identifying “soccer moms” as a crucial
constituency in President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.

The thesis of Mr. Penn’s book is that “you can’t understand the world
anymore only in terms of ‘megatrends,’ or universal experience. In
today’s splintered society, if you want to operate successfully, you
have to understand the intense identity groups that are growing and
moving, fast and furious, in crisscrossing directions.” In the United
States, he notes, these society-changing “microtrends” can involve as
few as three million people, about 1 percent of the population.

So how does Mr. Penn identify the 75 most important microtrends of the
current age? By numbers, largely those obtained through polls and

“Americans claim to be a ‘gut’ nation – which is kind of a bodily term
for what we roughly term our ‘values,’ ” he declares. But according to
Mr. Penn, the advice we get from our guts is “lousy” most of the time
because it is inexact and often contrary to statistically determined
facts. Numbers, he believes, do not lie. ”Numbers will almost always
take you where you want to go if you know how to read them,” he

Except perhaps for the fictional math genius in “Numb3rs,” few people
are better at gathering or reading numbers than Mr. Penn.
“Microtrends” is a diligently researched tome chock-full of
counterintuitive facts and findings that may radically alter the way
you see the present, the future, and your places in both. The book’s
15 main chapters group microtrends in virtually every area of life,
like “Love, Sex, and Relationships,” “Politics,” “Technology,”
“Education,” “Food, Drink & Diet” and “Looks and Fashion.”

“Microtrends” is the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial
pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times.

Suppose, for example, you were asked to name an American subculture
that marries at a rate of 70 percent and registers to vote at a rate
of 82 percent. Chances are you wouldn’t guess that group is the
“moderate Muslims” identified by Mr. Penn. Likewise, with all the
stories about poverty breeding political unrest, you probably wouldn’t
figure that the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated acts like the 9/11
attacks were mostly middle class and college educated, as Mr. Penn
duly documents.

Let’s say you want to elected president of the United States with the
help of the soccer moms Mr. Clinton charmed last decade. Better take a
fresh look at your target electorate.

According to Mr. Penn, most of the soccer moms of the 1990s have
already sent their children off to college; many of these mothers are
now seeking personally fulfilling leisure activities. Archery ranks as
the nation’s fourth-fastest-growing sport behind skateboarding,
kayaking and rafting, and snowboarding – so go after those “archery

What should you do on the educational front if you have a child with
an aptitude for numbers, as mine does? Both of you had better get
cracking, because American college students are studying less math. As
an example, “Microtrends” says Harvard has only 77 math majors out of
6,700 undergraduate students.

The math story is different in China and India, which are graduating
as many as 950,000 engineers a year. Granted, both nations are far
more populous than the United States, but that is a lot of engineers.

Mr. Penn notes that a 2001 bipartisan commission “said that the
greatest threat to American national security – behind only terrorist
attacks – was the threat of failing to provide sufficient math and
science education in America.”

If Mr. Penn’s array of microtrends is unrelentingly fascinating, the
sheer number is a bit much to digest in one or even several sittings.
As an admittedly “impressionist” portrait, a statistical snapshot
frozen in recent past time, it is also a bit lacking in a coherent
vision of the future. Mr. Penn predicts that “the explosion of
individual expression” will also make it much harder for autocracies
to flourish in China and elsewhere. But in the next breath, he warns
that the “weakness of a world driven by personal choice is that mass
collective action” against those autocracies will become “more
difficult to organize and sustain.”

THAT said, the book’s numbers offer a measure of reassurance about the
future of politics that is almost on par with the reassurance my son
gets from watching the math genius and his F.B.I. agent brother defeat
the bad guys on “Numb3rs.”

Mr. Penn says in the last chapter that “it is only a matter of time”
until either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party breaks
apart. “As of the spring of 2007, the Democratic Party is energized
and showing greater unity,” he writes. “The Republican Party, on the
other hand, is losing membership and arguably its identity, and is
probably more ripe for breakup.”

Is it to much to hope that with the continuing “explosion of personal
choice” both parties might go under at the same time? Stay tuned.

Mark J. Penn, Worldwide President & CEO

Office: New York
Phone: 212-614-4446
Fax: 212-598-5679
Email address: markjpenn [at] bm [dot] com

“Mark Penn is worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller and President of
Penn, Schoen and Berland. As CEO of Burson-Marsteller, Mark oversees a
global network of 94 offices and 1600 employees that brings world-
class public relations to companies around the world. As President of
PSB, a position he has held since 1975 when he was an undergraduate at
Harvard, Mark focuses on providing research-based communications
strategy to political figures, corporations and crisis situations.

Mark has been called “Master of the Message” by Time Magazine; “The
king of polls” by the London Times; and an “incandescent intellect” by
the New York Times. On his wall are notes saying “you were brilliant”
from Tony Blair after his historic third win and “thanks” from Bill
Clinton after his impeachment acquittal along with photos of Mark
working with CEOs including Bill Gates and Bill Ford, Jr. The
Washington Post, in “Politics and Policy by the Numbers” summed up his
influence in the White House and the corporate boardroom as a “unique
vantage point: adviser to the preeminent innovator of the past decade
in the realm of politics, Bill Clinton, and the preeminent innovator
in the realm of business and technology, Bill Gates.”

The techniques applied to these political and corporate battles were
honed from early major corporate experiences with AT&T, Texaco and
others. In “The Guru of Small Things” the New York Times explains how
he has combined innovative techniques of micro-targeting, issue-based
messaging and visual message testing to win major corporate, marketing
and political battles.

Today, Mark serves as strategic consultant to several Fortune 500
companies and CEOs on a wide range of image, branding and corporate
reputation issues. His client relationships include Ford Motor
Company, Merck, Verizon, BP, McDonald’s and Microsoft. He has been a
key adviser to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer since 1998, helping
Microsoft affect a complete corporate turnaround from anti-trust
scandal to Most Trusted Company (Wall Street Journal).

In 2007, Mark published a ground-breaking book, Microtrends: The Small
Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes that has been compared to The
Tipping Point by Kirkus Reviews and has received praise from President
Bill Clinton and Bill Gates.

Mark has helped to elect over 25 leaders in the United States, Asia,
Latin America and Europe. Most recently, he served as advisor to Prime
Minister Tony Blair, helping achieve an unprecedented third term win
for the Labour party in the United Kingdom. He is also well known for
serving as President Clinton’s pollster and political adviser for the
1996 re-election campaign and throughout the second term of the
administration. Currently, Mark serves as a key strategic advisor to
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has worked with Mrs. Clinton for
over six years, since he ran the polling and messaging for her
successful election to the US Senate in 2000.

Mark won the Pollster of the Year award, given every 4 years, in both
1996 and 2000, the top honor in his profession, from the American
Association of Political Consultants. Mark has written for
publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post, and
has appeared frequently on networks including CNN and Fox News.”

“I do not have any formal public relations training. How then do I
move into the industry?”

We suggest you visit any one of the following Web sites for general
information as well as career advice. (links)

* Canadian Public Relations Society
* European Association of Public Relations and Communications
* European Public Relations Confederation (Confederation
Europeenne des Relations Publiques)
* Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication
* Institute of Public Relations of Singapore
* Inter-American Confederation of Public Relations
* International Association of Business Communicators
* International Communications Consultancy Organisation
* International Labour Organization
* International Public Relations Association
* Latin American Association of University Careers of Public
Relations (Asociación Latinoamericana de Carreras Universitarias de
Relaciones Públicas)
* Public Relations Consultants Association of India
* Public Relations Consultants Association
* Public Relations Institute of Australia
* Public Relations Institute of New Zealand
* Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa
* Public Relations Society of America
* Public Relations Society of Japan


EXCERPT of Microtrends
by Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne

In fact, the whole idea that there are a few huge trends that
determine how America and the world work is breaking down. There are
no longer a couple of megaforces sweeping us all along. Instead,
America and the world are being pulled apart by an intricate maze of
choices, accumulating in “microtrends”-small, under-the-radar forces
that can involve as little as 1 percent of the population, but which
are powerfully shaping our society. It’s not just that small is the
new big. It’s that in order to truly know what’s going on, we need
better tools than just the naked eye and an eloquent tongue. We need
the equivalent of magnifying glasses and microscopes, which in
sociological terms are polls, surveys, and statistics. They take a
slice of the matter being studied and lay it open-bigger and clearer-
for examination. And inside, you will find yourself, your friends,
your clients, your customers, and your competition, clearer than you
ever thought you might.

Working for President Clinton in 1996, I identified the under-the-
radar group that became known as the Soccer Moms. (I like to think I
did something for the youth soccer movement, although I really didn’t
mean to. The phrase was just meant to get at busy suburban women
devoted to their jobs and their kids, who had real concerns about real
presidential policies.) Until that campaign, it was generally thought
that politics was dominated by men, who decided how their households
would vote. But the truth was, in 1996, most male voters had already
made up their minds by the campaign. The people left to influence were
the new group of independent Moms, devoted to both work and their
kids, who had not yet firmly decided which party would be good for
their families. They, not their husbands, were the critical swing
voters. To win them over, President Clinton initiated a campaign to
give them a helping hand in raising their kids-drug-testing in
schools, measures against teen smoking, limits on violence in the
media, and school uniforms. These Moms did not want more government in
their lives, but they were quite happy to have a little more
government in their kids’ lives to keep them on the straight and

In retrospect, a profound political change was spawned by this bit of
trend-spotting. Previously, almost all Democrats had targeted
downscale, noncollege workers, particularly in the manufacturing
sector. But union membership and manufacturing jobs were shrinking,
more people were going to college, and almost the entire electorate in
the U.S. was calling itself middle class. If Democrats missed the key
trends, they would miss the boat.

Now candidates enthusiastically target Soccer Moms-although someone
may want to let them know that trends move fast, and Soccer Moms, too,
have moved on. Now, a decade later, their kids are getting ready for
college, many of them have been through a divorce, and their own
financial security has become as big an issue for them as raising
their children was ten years ago.

And with all of the attention being paid to those Moms, Dads-suburban-
based, family-focused, office-park-working Dads-are all but neglected
in politics, advertising, and the media. In the twenty-first century,
Dads spend more time with their children then ever in history. Has
Madison Avenue adjusted? Are Dads ever the target of back-to-school

There could be as big a shift ahead in marketing as 1996 saw in
Democratic politics.

The art of trend-spotting, through polls, is to find groups that are
pursuing common activities and desires, and that have either started
to come together or can be brought together by the right appeal that
crystallizes their needs. Soccer Moms had been there for a decade or
more-but they became a political class only when they were recognized
as a remarkably powerful voting bloc in America.

Today, changing lifestyles, the Internet, the balkanization of
communications, and the global economy are all coming together to
create a new sense of individualism that is powerfully transforming
our society. The world may be getting flatter, in terms of
globalization, but it is occupied by 6 billion little bumps who do not
have to follow the herd to be heard. No matter how offbeat their
choices, they can now find 100,000 people or more who share their
taste for deep fried yak on a stick.

In fact, by the time a trend hits 1 percent, it is ready to spawn a
hit movie, best-selling book, or new political movement. The power of
individual choice is increasingly influencing politics, religion,
entertainment, and even war. In today’s mass societies, it takes only
1 percent of people making a dedicated choice-contrary to the
mainstream’s choice-to create a movement that can change the world.

Just look at what has happened in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. A
few years ago, they were the forgotten Americans, hiding from daylight
and the authorities. Today they are holding political rallies, and
given where they and their legal, voting relatives live, they may turn
out to be the new Soccer Moms. Militant immigrants fed up with a
broken immigration system just may be the most important voters in the
next presidential election, distributed in the key Southwest states
that are becoming the new battleground areas.

It’s the same in business, too, since the Internet has made it so easy
to link people together. In the past, it was almost impossible to
market to small groups who were spread around the country. Now it’s a
virtual piece of cake to find 1 million people who want to try your
grapefruit diet, or who can’t get their kids to sleep at night.

The math can be not just strategic, but also catastrophic. If Islamic
terrorists were to convince even just one-tenth of 1 percent of
America’s population that they were right, they would have 300,000
soldiers of terror, more than enough to destabilize our society. If
bin Laden could convert just 1 percent of the world’s 1 billion
Muslims to take up violence, that would be 10 million terrorists, a
group that could dwarf even the largest armies and police forces on
earth. This is the power of small groups that come together today.

The power of choice is especially evident as more and more Americans
make decisions about their own lives. For example, the population
growth in America has slowed to .9 percent, but the number of
households has exploded. Between people getting divorced, staying
single longer, living longer, and never marrying at all, we are
experiencing an explosion in the number of people who are heads of
households-almost 115 million in 2006 compared to about 80 million in
1980. The percentage of households consisting of one person living
alone increased from 17 percent in 1970 to 26 percent in 2003. The
proportion of married-with-kids households has fallen to less than 25

All these people out there living a more single, independent life are
slivering America into hundreds of small niches. Single people, and
people without kids at home, have more time to follow their interests,
pick up hobbies, get on the Internet, have a political debate, or go
out to movies. By all rights, no one should even go to the movies
anymore-you can get movies practically as fast by downloading them or
using pay-per-view-but for people with a free Saturday night, movies
are such a solid preference that theaters are raising their prices,
not lowering them. More people have more disposable resources
(including money, time, and energy) than ever before. They are
deploying them in pursuit of personal satisfaction like never before.
And as a result, we’re getting a clearer picture of who people are and
what they want. And in business, politics, and social-problem-solving,
having that information can make all the difference.

This book is all about the niching of America. How there is no One
America anymore, or Two, or Three, or Eight. In fact, there are
hundreds of Americas, hundreds of new niches made up of people drawn
together by common interests.

Nor is niching confined just to America. It is a global phenomenon
that is making it extremely difficult to unify people in the twenty-
first century. Just when we thought that, thanks to the Internet, the
world would be not only connected but ultimately unified around shared
values favoring democracy, peace and security, exactly the opposite is
happening. We are flying apart at a record pace.

I recently went bowling and, contrary to another popular but misguided
idea, no one was there alone. But actually, the people hurling the
balls down the lanes weren’t the clichéd pot-bellied, beer-drinking
bowlers, either. In fact, there appeared to be no similarity at all
from one group to another. In one lane was a family of Indian
immigrants, including the grandparents. In another lane was a black
Mom with two adolescent kids. In a third lane were four white teens,
some with tattoos, some with polo shirts. And two lanes down, a
Spanish-speaking man and woman were clearly on a bowling date,
smooching between spares.

With the rise in freedom of choice has come a rise in individuality.
And with the rise of individuality has come a rise in the power of
choice. The more choices people have, the more they segregate
themselves into smaller and smaller niches in society.

The Explosion of Choice

At the Boston Tea Party in 1773, there was probably only one kind of
tea hurled overboard-English Breakfast. Today, if Americans staged
that rebellion, there would be hundreds of different teas flying into
the harbor, from caffeine-free jasmine rose to Moroccan mint to sweet
Thai delight.

You can’t even buy potato chips anymore without having to pick from
among baked, fried, rippled, fat-reduced, salted, or flavored-with
flavor subcategories including barbeque, sweet potato, onion and
chive, and Monterey Pepper Jack.

We live in a world with a deluge of choices. In almost every area of
life, Americans have wider freedom of choice today than ever in
history, including new kinds of jobs, new foods, new religions, new
technologies, and new forms of communication and interaction.

In some sense, it’s the triumph of the Starbucks economy over the Ford
economy. In the early 1900s, Henry Ford created the assembly line so
that mass consumerism could take place-uniformly. Thousands of workers
turned out one black car, millions and millions of times.

Today, few products still exist like that. (One that does, ironically,
is the personal computer, which has made it to every desk in every
home in essentially the same form. There is some customization around
the edges, but if you go to a typical CompUSA to buy a computer,
you’ll have fewer options than you do choosing lettuce in the

By contrast, Starbucks is governed by the idea that people make choices
-in their coffee, their milk, their sweetener-and that the more
choices people have, the greater satisfaction they feel. (And in just
those simple choices, you can see the unpredictability of the consumers
-some are avoiding caffeine, fat, or sugar, and others are happily
ordering them all.) Starbucks is successful because it can be all
things to all people-it makes no bets on one set of choices over

Whereas in the Ford economy, the masses were served by many people
working to make one, uniform product, in the Starbucks economy, the
masses are served by a few people working to make thousands of
customized, personalized products.

The Starbucks model seems to be winning. iPods are popular not because
we can carry around music-we could do that with the Walkman in the
1980s. They are popular because they let us pick and choose our own
songs. Personal technology has become personalized technology, and now
we can have exactly what we want in almost every consumer area. You
can even have a made-to-order car delivered in less than a month-
longer than it takes to get a pizza, but still an amazing feat made
possible by technology.

The triumph of personalization and choice is a boon for coffee-
drinkers and car-buyers, but it’s a nightmare for trend-spotters. As
choices get more and more finely sliced, you have to look all the
harder to see how choices change.

But remember the terrorists, or realize that the best-selling car in
America is bought by barely 300,000 people. Unlike any other time in
history, small trends can make a big difference. So while it is harder
than ever to spot trends, it is also more important.

Small groups, drawn together by shared needs, habits, and preferences,
are on the rise. They are powerful, and they are hard to find. This
book aims to pin some of them down.

The Power of Numbers

There have been some very good books in recent years that claim that
America is moving in a couple of big directions. This book contends
the opposite. America is moving in hundreds of small directions. At
once. Quickly. It’s part of our great energy and part of our looming

Because small trends pay very little deference to one another. For
every high-profile group of young, urban chic in America, there is
another group of older, old-fashioned churchgoers. For every group of
Gadget Geeks, there are the people who say turn the technology off.
Americans are dieting more than ever, but the steak houses have never
been more full. Politics is split to the extremes with “red states”
and “blue states,” but there have never been more voters who call
themselves Independent.

For thirty years since reading V. O. Key, I have used the most
reliable device I know of to spot trends, or the shifts and evolutions
in these groups: numbers. Americans claim to be a “gut” nation-which
is kind of a bodily metaphor for what we roughly term our “values.”
How many times do you hear that the right thing to do is to follow
your gut?

Most of the time, though, that advice is pretty lousy. If you want the
safest form of transportation, get on a plane; don’t go near a car. If
you want to lose weight, count calories; forget the cranberry juice
and flaxseed. Numbers will almost always take you where you want to go
if you know how to read them.

In general we love numbers-a hit TV show these days is even called
Numb3rs. But we also fear them. In part because we’re less well
trained in math and science than we are in language and literature. As
a country, we suspect we’re not that good at numbers. They scare us,
almost as much as public speaking. At the same time they fascinate us.

Many of us have a healthy mistrust of numbers, because some people, in
an effort to advance an agenda, misuse them. Do you remember the Y2K
scare? Every computer-user on earth worried that their files were in
jeopardy as the millennium turned over. In fact, only one-third of the
world’s computers were ever even susceptible to Y2K errors-and in
those, hardly any problems materialized. Or avian flu. In late 2005,
it sped around the world that out of 140 or so human cases of avian
flu reported in Southeast Asia, more than half had resulted in death.
Reporters somberly concluded that the mortality rate for avian flu is
more than 50 percent. Terrifying! But in fact the sample those numbers
came from was only the very sickest people. People who contracted the
flu and never went to the hospital never even made it into the
calculations. I call these reported numbers “scaretistics.”

My job, in thirty years as a pollster, has been to separate the wheat
from the chaff when it comes to numbers. In working for different
kinds of clients, from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates to Tony Blair, I
have learned to pierce through remarkably stubborn conventional
wisdom, finding counterintuitive trends in society that can help solve
substantial challenges. Imagine for a moment that you are a powerful
leader. Eloquent advocates tug at you every day, and the press gives
you its opinions. Your advisers chime in. It becomes hard to make the
right choice unless you also have the missing ingredient: the numbers.
My job was to wade through all the opinions and offer a solid,
quantitative view of reality based on the numbers, so that leaders had
a true picture when they made their decisions. In my view, words
without numbers are as meaningless as numbers without words-you need
the right balance, so that eloquent arguments are backed up by reality
as depicted by numbers. Later in the book, we talk about rising crime
in America-a very difficult subject that has been the focus of
countless treatises and theories on everything from unemployment to
permissive parenting. But when you understand that the number of
felons being released from jail has lately escalated to 650,000 people
a year, you instantly have a model of a new threat on the streets and
are pointed to a new set of solutions.

In my role as pollster and strategist, I have helped generate winning
counterintuitive strategies that follow the numbers. Going after the
Soccer Moms in 1996. Helping soon-to-be Senator Hillary Clinton in
2000 look for votes in upstate New York, where Democrats had not
traditionally found many. Breaking the mold on advertising for
companies by having them pitch their ads to older people, not young
ones. Advising the winners of fifteen foreign presidential elections
in languages I could not even pronounce, let alone understand, because
I stuck to the numbers and not local biases. Often, people are just
too close to the situation to see the real facts-and it takes an
objective look to tell them what is really going on. Leaders can be
even more isolated, often captive to their staffs, and hearing only
what local journalists say is going on. Numbers can cut to the chase
in any language.

I remember one day telling the new president of Colombia that his
people were ready for an all-out war on drugs by an overwhelming
percentage. They did not, as most people thought, want to turn a blind
eye but wanted to modernize the country. The president was silent on
the matter-but finally his chief of staff said, “Mark, you are right,
but we would all be killed.” He taught me the limits of the numbers
that day, but eventually both that president and the country did
decide to make war on the drug lords, and risk their lives in the

This book is about the power of numbers and how they drive America and
the world. Rarely are things what they seem on the surface, and
nonquantitative, conventional wisdom is usually not wisdom at all.
Hidden right in front of us are powerful counterintuitive trends that
can be used to drive a new business, run a campaign, start a movement,
or guide your investment strategy. Even though these trends are
staring us in the face, we often don’t really see them.

Trend Spotters in Context

I am part of a proud line of trend-spotters. Alvin Toffler, who wrote
the Future Shock series, and John Naisbitt, who wrote Megatrends, were
some of the first thinkers in the modern era to look at the huge,
changing world of human behavior and try to make some sense of it with
facts and data. They got it right that the Information Age would
change everything.

But one thing in particular that it changed was the nature of looking
at trends themselves. As we’ll see throughout this book, you can’t
understand the world anymore only in terms of “megatrends,” or
universal experiences. In today’s splintered society, if you want to
operate successfully, you have to understand the intense identity
groups that are growing and moving, fast and furious in crisscrossing
directions. That is microtrends.

It is very different, however, from what most people do when they
“spot trends”-which is itself a growing trend. Lately there is
something of a cottage industry of marketers and sociologists who will
tell you the Ten or Fifteen Things You Must Know to get through the
next two or five or ten years. They define and refine the world around
them with ever cuter and cleverer names for the consumer, cultural,
and personal changes going on in society. Yes, I aim for some sticky
labels in this book, too. But in this book, a trend is not merely a
“development,” like the declining use of cash. It is not simply a
“shift” in how people do things, like more women taking their
husband’s name. It is not just an evolving “preference” for a product
or activity, like the growing use of GPS systems. A microtrend is an
intense identity group, that is growing, which has needs and wants
unmet by the current crop of companies, marketers, policymakers, and
others who would influence society’s behavior.

Diving In

In Microtrends, we will look at seventy-five groups who, by virtue of
their daily decisions, are forging the shape of America and the world
both today and tomorrow. While some groups are larger than others,
what they have in common is that they are relatively unseen-either
because their actual numbers are small or because conventional wisdom
hides their potential in the shadows, sometimes even emphasizing the
exact opposite.

In some of the groups, you will see yourself or your friends, your
clients or your constituents. Some groups will seem wildly remote.
Some funny. Others tragic. Occasionally, I have documented
diametrically opposing trends. Taken together, they are a kind of
impressionist painting of America and the world.

At the end, we’ll take a step back and look at the portrait. No longer
the sum of a few master strokes, America and the world are now a
collection of fine dots, to be examined one by one. We’ll see what
image emerges at the end, and what it means for our future.

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

Can You Write a Better Slogan for NASA?

By Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides  /  September 06, 2007

In early August, NASA internally released its latest marketing
campaign, designed to show its relevance and value to the American
people. Its new slogan? “NASA explores for answers that power our
future.” The campaign now seems to be aborted, but it did get me
thinking, could we do any better?

I am no marketing genius, but I think that we could. I mean North
Face’s has much more zing, “Never Stop Exploring.” Even Dow Chemicals
did better, “The Human Element.”

Now, I know that NASA does not have the massive budget that these
companies do to hire super star advertising execs. I also know that a
lot of people at NASA put a lot of time and thought into this new
campaign and so I don’t want to criticize it without offering up some
constructive alternatives. Therefore, I am turning to cyberspace and
the power of crowdsourcing to come up with some alternatives to offer
them. One of the issues they cite in their market research is a
challenge being relevant to people 18-24.  Maybe we could help.  I
will even throw in prizes.

The writer of the best slogan will get a DVD of the space movie of
their choice, From the Earth to the Moon, Star Wars, Battlestar
Galactica, etc. and will be interviewed for a follow up posting on
what it takes to engage the public with space. Other noteworthy
submissions will get other small space swag.

For reference, the previous NASA slogan, under the previous
Administrator (new Administrator, new slogan) was “Explore, Discover,
Understand.” Although it seemed a little dry at the time, it now seems
light years ahead. It at least it honored the ‘under four words’ rule
(ok there is not really an under four words rule).

The NASA plan is more then just a slogan however, it also includes a
blue triangle and the equation “Innovation + Inspiration + Discovery =
Future.”  I am not interested in mocking what was done, I am actually
interested to see if in three weeks time, the collective power of the
Wired set can create something that actually moves, touches and
inspires people. To see if we can craft something that appeals to the
public, that speaks to them and has them want to make sure that we
Never Stop Exploring.

Submissions should be posted as comments here in the NASA Slogan
Reddit tool (link fixed!)
by Sept 28th. Please do not comment on each others submissions until
after the winner is announced on October 1st. If you don’t like
someone’s suggestion make your own! It is easier to destroy than to
create. Spread the word, I am throwing down the gauntlet to the whole
community — we will need artists, PR experts, poets, marketing
professionals and visionaries to capture the spirit of it.  Let’s show
them what we can do!

Internal NASA Memo from Robert Hopkins, Chief,
Office of Strategic Communications: NASA Messages
Date Released: Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Source: NASA HQ

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001
August 1,2007

Reply to the attention of: Office of Strategic Communications

TO: Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices

FROM: Chief, Office of Strategic Communications


I am pleased to provide you with the final NASA Message Construct.
These messages have been market tested and have proven to resonate
best with the general public.

The Message Construct serves to guide your communication efforts with
the general public. We are asking that you use the Core Message: “NASA
explores for answers that power our future,” in the text of your
communications material and that it be used verbatim. We also have
developed a graphic element to illustrate and enhance the Core
Message. The graphic element is: Inspiration + Innovation + Discovery
= Future. The graphic element is to be used on all Agency
communications materials. The other messages in the Message Construct
are also market-tested and should be used where best applicable.

The new Message Construct can be found at
addition, the Strategic Communications Framework Implementation Plan,
NASA Style Guide, and the Strategic Communications Implementation
Handbook are also available at this site to help with your planning,
implementation and usage.

I am available to brief you and/or your organizations on the new
messaging and the Strategic Communications Framework Implementation

Robert Hopkins



CORE MESSAGE: NASA explores for answers that power our future.

Inspiration – NASA powers inspiration that encourages future
generations to explore, learn, and build a better future.

* Space exploration engages and inspires the public and encourages
students to pursue studies in challenging, high-tech fields.

* Space exploration contributes to our Nation’s economic
competitiveness by helping to build and maintain a skilled, high-tech

* Going to the Moon and Mars will be a stunning achievement and
enduring legacy to future generations of our desire to explore, learn,
and progress.

Innovation – NASA powers innovation that creates new jobs, new
markets, and new technologies.

* Space exploration has contributed to over a thousand new
technologies that improve and save lives every day–advanced breast
cancer imaging systems, heart pumps, biohazard detectors, LASIK eye
surgery, and water filtration systems are just a few innovations that
have benefited from NASA’s work.

* Space exploration will enable us to develop new technologies,
such as hydrogen fuel cells, that may help meet our energy needs on

* NASA research enables safer, more environmentally friendly, and
more efficient air travel. For example, NASA’s research in lightweight
composite materials, quieter and cleaner aircraft engine technologies,
and advanced air traffic management tools have all contributed to
improving the Nation’s air transportation system.

Discovery – NASA powers discovery that enables us to learn more about
ourselves, our world, and how to manage and protect it.

* Space exploration will enable us to better understand and
protect Earth through the study of weather and climate change, to
monitor the effects of the Sun, and to detect objects that could
collide with Earth.

* Space exploration satisfies our curiosity, advances our
knowledge, and answers fundamental questions about the history of
Earth, the solar system, and the universe.

* Going to the Moon provides an opportunity to test new
technologies and techniques and to develop resources for future
missions to Mars and beyond.

Inspiration + Innovation + Discovery = Future


NASA explores for answers that power our future.

* NASA exploration powers inspiration that engages the public and
encourages students to pursue studies in challenging high-tech fields.

* NASA exploration powers innovation that creates new jobs, new
markets, and new technologies that improve and save lives every day in
every community. Quieter and cleaner aircraft, advanced breast cancer
screening, heart pumps, biohazard detectors, and LASIK eye surgery
have all benefited from NASA’s work.

* NASA exploration powers discovery that enables us to better
understand our solar system and protect Earth through the study of
weather and climate change, to monitor the effects of the Sun, and to
detect objects that could collide with Earth.

Why explore? Because exploration powers the future through
inspiration, innovation, and discovery.


Deputy Administrator/Ms. Dale
Associate Administrator/Mr. Scolese
Chief of Staff/Mr. Morrell
Associate Deputy Administrator/W. Scales
Assistant Associate Administrator/Ms. Johnson
White House Liaison/Ms. Cherry
Assistant Administrator External Relations/W. O?Brien
Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate/
Dr. Porter
Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate/
Dr. Horowitz
Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management/Mr. Luedtke

* Assistant Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity/Ms.
* Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Management/Ms. Dawsey
* Assistant Administrator for infrastructure and Administration/
Ms. Dominguez
* Assistant Administrator for Internal Controls and Management
Systems/Mr. Henn
* (Acting)
* Assistant Administrator for Procurement/Ms. Goddard (Acting)
* Assistant Administrator for Security and Program Protection/Mr.
* Assistant Administrator for Small Business Programs/Mr. Delgado
* Executive Director, NSSC/Mr. Arbuthnot

Associate Administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation/Dr. Pace
Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate/Dr. Stern
Associate Administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate/W.
Chief Engineer/Dr Ryschkewitsch
Chief Financial Officer/Mr. Bowie (Acting)
Chief Health and Medical Officer/Dr. Williams
Chief Information Officer/Ms. Pettus

* Director, Integrated Enterprise Management Program/Deputy CIO
Mr. German

Chief Safety and Mission Assurance/Mr. O’Connor
Chief of Strategic Communications/Mr. Hopkins

* Assistant Administrator for Communications and Planning/Mr.
* Assistant Administrator for Education/Dr. Winterton
* Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Intergovernmental
Affairs/Mr. Bruner (Acting)
* Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs/D. Mould

Director, Innovative Partnerships Program Office/Mr. Comstock
Director, Office of Program and Institutional Integration/Mr. Keegan
General Counsel/Mr. Wholley
Inspector Genera/Mr. Cobb

Directors, NASA Centers:

Ames Research Center/Dr. Worden
Dryden Flight Research Center/Mr. Petersen
Glenn Research Center/Dr. Whitlow
Goddard Space Flight Center/Dr. Weiler
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Dr. Elachi
Johnson Space Center/Mr. Coats
Kennedy Space Center/Mr. Parsons
Langley Research Center/Ms. Roe
Marshall Space Flight Center/Mr. King
Stennis Space Center/Dr. Gilbrech

cc: Director, Strategic Investments/Mr. Shank
Executive Secretariat/Mr. Box
Office of the Administrator/Ms. Mays
Office of the Administrator/Ms. Sweeney
Office of the Deputy Administrator/Dr. Keiser
Office of the Deputy Administrator/Ms. Potter

From the archive, originally posted by: [ mmm ]

ugh this is so gross.

view pics here:

May 14, 2007

This just in from

Saatchi & Saatchi/London has a new print/poster campaign in the U.K.
that cleverly employs four dead rock stars – Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious,
Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer – as Doc Martens endorsers. “We wanted to
communicate that Dr. Martens boots are ‘made to last,’ ” explains
writer Andrew Petch, “and we discovered that these idolized musicians
wore them. Showing them still wearing their Docs in heaven dramatized
the boots’ durability perfectly. And, as images, they feel very
iconic.” As for the legal implications of enlisting the support of
this particular fab four from beyond the grave, Petch says the images
have been cleared for use in the U.K. only, in an arrangement with
Corbis, supplier of the original photographs, which have been enhanced
by photographer Dimitri Daniloff and retoucher Christophe Huet.

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ],,2-2458696,00.html

Sausages affected by draconian trade laws

By Simon de Bruxelles

A SPICY sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after
trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could
face prosecution because it does not contain dragon.

The sausages will now have to be labelled Welsh Dragon Pork Sausages to
avoid any confusion among customers.

Jon Carthew, 45, who makes the sausages, said yesterday that he had not
received any complaints about the absence of real dragon meat. He said:
“I don’t think any of our customers believe that we use dragon meat
in our sausages. We use the word because the dragon is synonymous with

His company, the Black Mountains Smokery at Crickhowell, in Powys,
turns out 200,000 sausages a year, including the Welsh Dragon, which is
made with chili, leak and pork. A Powys County Council spokesman said:
“The product was not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of
the true nature of the food.”