Yesterday's mail brought an imaginative marketing packet from the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island (near Jacksonville, FL) keyed to the theme "Salt." The packet extolled the excellence of the featured restaurant, "Salt," complete with a sampling of the restaurant's red salt from Hawaii, gray salt from France, pink "Himalayan" salt and black salt, again from Hawaii. Completing the packet was a copy of Mark Kurlansky's best-seller Salt: A World History, and a chef's apron emblazoned "Salt." I'll wear it with pride for all my backyard BBQ entertaining.
Kudos to Ritz marketers.
Everyone's talking about jobs. But while flipping burgers may be better than sitting at home collecting unemployment benefits, the foundation for renewed economic growth in the United States isn't creating more government jobs, it's revitalizing manufacturing.
The National Association of Manufacturers recently released a must-read primer on the role of manufacturing,Manufacturing Resurgence A Must for U.S. Prosperity by Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe. The report documents that "manufacturing contributes more to U.S. productivity than an other major sector."
I was privileged to address the opening plenary session of the India-International Salt Summit 2010 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, sharing the session with the hosts -- S. Sundaresan, India's Salt Commisioner and leaders of the India Salt Manufacturers Association, President Hiralal Parakh and chairman P.B. Anandam. The featured speaker for the event was Gujarat's Chief Minister (equivalent to a U.S. state governor or Canadian provincial premier) Shri Narenda Modi.
Mr. Sundarsesan called for the 10th International Salt Symposium to be hosted in India in 2016 and predicted India's salt production would double in the next decade. Chief Minister Modi gave an exceptionally enlightened and detailed address advocating measures to support his state's salt industry -- the largest in India (itself, the world's third-largest salt producer).
My opening remarks (pdf 76.91 kB) identified three "global challenges" threatening full enjoyment of salt benefits: environment, safety and mobility, and health outcomes of dietary salt. I called for action by the salt industry to 1) stay informed about policy and technical developments, 2) remain a credible participant in the public policy debate by "speaking the truth," and 3) align salt industry advocacy with the public interest. "We must have a laser-like focus on performance, on outcomes, on actual operations of the systems that use salt."
An international audience of about 400 attended the three day conclave. Included were representatives from Tata Chemicals (India), Hub-Pak (Pakistan), China National Salt Industry Corporation (China) and Industria Salinera de Yucatan (Mexico). Here I am visiting with Ismail Suttar, CEO of Hub-Pak.
Artists are fascinated by salt and history. German photographer Fred Lange wrote today calling attention to his website with 50 large format photos related to salt .
Snowfighters belie the adage that everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. Well, Salt Institute member Compass Minerals is providing a new online winter severity tracking service in support of those who are "doing something about it (winter storm events). See the company's Snow Events page to learn about the severity of winters impacting North American roadways.
The company promises to update the report quarterly. It defines a snow event as one where more than one inch falls in any 24 hour period in one of 11 large cities.
For comparison, the last decade these eleven cities averaged 48.5 snow events during the Fourth Quarters 1999-2008, but the annual fluctuation provides insight into the marketplace, ranging from 20 events in 2006 to 80 in 2008. Here are the numbers:
- 2009 42 snow events
- 2008 80
- 2007 56
- 2006 20
- 2005 68
The new SI Report (html 43.56 kB) (html 48.85 kB) , January 2010, has been published and features stories on a FHWA report on performance measurement, the hazards of "politically-correct" weather forecasting and third quarter industry safety statistics. Read it now (html 43.56 kB) .
Stories this month (html 48.91 kB) include a consensus that salt iodization does not interfere with attempts to reduce population salt intakes, the relevance of "climategate" to the salt and health debate, how New York City is risking its greatest culinary achievement and severe economic loss in China due to poor winter road maintenance.
Spy thriller fans have been seeking alternative heroes since Tom Clancy stopped writing about his CIA champion Jack Ryan.
But the CIA will be getting an entirely new face next summer --Angelina Jolie. Jolie's new move, Salt, centers around the efforts by her character (Evelyn A. Salt) to clear her name as a rogue CIA operative. Hollywood can be so incestuous. The role in the original screenplay was written for Tom Cruise, but he dropped out. Cruise, moviegoers will remember, starred in another thriller (plus sequels), Mission Impossible, sharing a leading role with Jolie's father, Jon Voight.
Salt suffuses our culture. Who would have pictured the Salt Queen being dethroned by Angelina Jolie? So, salt fans, get used to the new "face" for salt -- here's the poster promoting the movie and the YouTube posting of the movie "teaser" trailer .
Tiffany & Co, East Hampton, NY, will host a royal art exhibition November 7 through February 28 featuring the textured, colorized salt art of The Salt Queen, Bettina Werner. Tiffany manager Kristina Klug announced "Crystals of the Winter Sea ":
History has taught us the most accomplished artists are those that have a recognizable medium that one can spot from far away – a language of art. Bettina Werner has truly created an entire unique language with her textured salt technique translating to all who encounter her artwork around the globe. It is unmistakably and synonymously profound.
Ms. Werner’s striking paintings created with Salt crystals have been recognized and selected from prestigious collections in the U.S and Europe exhibited all over the world from the Whitney Museum, Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Portofino Museum Italy, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Triennale Museum in Milan, Chase Manhattan Bank, to the collection of Herbert and Dorothy Vogel.
Royalty speaks ... in a recent interview . Here's a preview:
Homer says, "Salt belongs to the sphere of divine and stands far above human." I truly believe salt is the fifth element due to its importance in life. Salt is a basic human necessity, our bodies cannot function with out it. Salt was used to preserve food, think of the " Magazzini del Sale " (warehouse of salt) in Venice. It was a form of currency, a derivative of the word "salary." It has been used in the past to bring good energy and ward off negative influences and has also been synonymous with prosperity and health since ancient times. When I began incorporating salt into my paintings I found magic occurring in each single crystal. So I began amalgamating it with the colors I would create, and it seemed to pronounce their essence exponentially. I adopt the minimalist philosophy of "less is more" and when experiencing the art one is able to fully appreciate texture and color at its height. I capture the soul of this mystical element to share, and as I allow my eyes to trace the natural movement I get lost in its beauty and power.
Her website also features photos of a recent tour of her Manhattan loft illustrating her works.
Featuring stories on a new report on urban transportation mobility, Kellogg's decision to take on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on sodium and health, the new taxes required to pay for healthcare, how some news accounts adopt a "glass half empty" approach to assessing health progress, and how treating HBP below 140/90 may make no difference, the August issue of SI Report is now available (html 54.86 kB) .