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In This Issue

Daily Column

   Come join the editor Jennifer Barnick as she searches for the Champagne Life....

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Sparkling Wine

Interview with flight attendant Peggy O'Brien-Gould by Dr. Timothy Smith

Feature Italy's Surprising Sparklers: A Guide to Italian Sparkling Wine by Sandy Mitchell

Sparkling Wine Review John Euclid reviews Spanish Cavas

Arts & Sciences Flying High: Is Alcohol More Potent at Altitude? by Dr. Timothy Smith

Industry News ...a brief survey of sparkling wine news

First Person

HelloGoodbye Ian E. Detlefsen says hello and George Mentis says goodbye.

Passion ForumDarlene Foster writes about LSU women's hoops

Under the Goldlight—True Tales of Drinking Champagne Felisha Foster revisits New Years 2003

Life Before Ten J. Blake Gordon tackles the nightmare

Art & Literature

The Marcia Reed Virtual Gallery Paintings by Lorraine Smith

Drinker's Poetry Fredrik Bergström and Robert Slattery

Fiction The Garden Keepers by David Sirois

Film in ReviewAnna Luciano opines on a current release; Suzie Sims-Fletcher evaluates a current DVD rental, and John Euclid digs deep in the closet to review a classic movie

Other Goodies

Founder's Page Greeting from Dr. Timothy Smith

Letters to the Editor click for full list

Photo Gallery Click for Pics


Picture of Jennifer Barnick

In Search of the Champagne Life
by Jennifer Barnick

 Click here for introductory column




DESIGN your future: part II



         In DESIGN your future: part I, I discussed the book “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” by William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart. Mc Donough is an architect and Braungart is a chemist. Both authors are avid environmentalists, however, both men envision a revolutionary approach towards a clean, safe, and beautiful world. In part I, I dealt with the authors’ argument against the current and most popular environmentalists paradigm of “reduce, reuse and recycle”. Today, I want to discuss what these two visionaries seek to replace the current line of thinking and regulation.

         The primary motto one could use when embracing Mc Donough’s and Braungart’s thinking is “waste equals food”. For them the current mode of reduce, reuse and recycle does nothing to improve or solve the earth’s crisis rather it only serves to delay the inevitable and in some cases can prove to be more dangerous than simply tossing something out as in the case with recycling plastic soda bottles and making clothing fabric out of them—a fabric that is found to be dangerous to humans—primarily because plastic soda bottles were never designed with fabric in mind. Instead, the authors pose that all products should be designed from beginning to new beginning to new beginning without ever losing their usefulness: hence, the book’s title “Cradle to Cradle” versus the current reality of cradle to grave. Currently, everything that is “recycled” eventually ends up spent and in a landfill, consequently, recycling from a traditional standpoint still does not solve our current environmental problems.

         What the author’s want to see is first a separation between organic or biological materials and inorganic industrial materials. The separation will better allow the manufacturers to design a continuous, useful lifecycle for whatever materials are being dealt with. For instance, fabric made from wholly biological or natural products right down to the dyes and sizing could then safely be composted and used as valuable fertilizer. The fabric could even be fortified and designed with that intention. Consequently, one not only would not have to feel guilty for filling and filling their closets with clothes when they are done they could quite giddily throw them on the ground—only to know they are doing good for the earth. This is a distinct change from current environmentalist’s cry for “use less or purchase less” and most importantly it makes businesses happy by still allowing for growth, which is imperative in our economic system.

         Products made from inorganic materials could be designed so that when they are broken or outdated they can be returned to the manufacturer and then the manufacturer could completely recover and reuse the materials. The big difference between this plan and traditional recycling is that currently all recycling results in a “downgrade” or a less valuable product from an original. In the author’s model, the original item (say like a car or a computer) would be designed in such a way that all elements could be separated and reused to make another car or computer that is just as high of quality as the one before. Chemicals and metals if separated and not forced to be melted together can be reused over and over. This model would mean a halt to continuous mining for ore, a halt to creating and dumping toxic chemicals into landfill and waterways, and enormous cost cutting for manufacturers.

         The importance of designing and manufacturing products that are not “monstrous hybrids” or products made from a mix of organic and inorganic materials is based on this new approach to reusing over and over the earth’s precious resources. Biological products could be used to plant, feed, and fertilize more natural products. Inorganic products could be easily recovered and reused to make high quality products versus the current model of reuse, which always results in a downgraded and often toxic product.

         What makes this book exciting and uplifting is that these men are not simply dreamers—they are also profoundly successful doers—with clients such as Nike and Ford and several other major companies. This is a book I believe any thinking person in the world should read. It is important, enlightening, and I believe a beacon of how things could be. I was amazed by the sanity and sense of real world solutions, but also by the revolutionary thinking. To me what William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart are doing is everything I believe the Champagne Life is about: they are envisioning a future of beauty, justice, and strength and with that vision they are creating ideas, ideals, and solutions.


Previous Columns Vacation Issue
DESIGN your future: part I 9/19/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part XIV Practical Wisdom 9/15/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part XIII The Solution of the Basic Problem 9/8/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part XII Contemporary India, Japan, and China 9/7/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part XI The Meaning of Eastern Civilization 9/6/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part X The Traditional Culture of the Orient 9/2/05

The President and I are Back From Vacation 9/1/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part IX The Meaning of Western Civilization (Vacation '05) 8/31/05

We're the Same (Summer '04) 8/30/05
Fifty Things I Can Say About Pamela Anderson 8/29/05
The Spare Tire that Unites Us (Summer '05) 8/26/05
The OC (Fall '04) 8/25/05
Warm, A Parable…. (Winter '05) 8/24/05
A Zen Parable (Holiday '04) 8/23/05
The Trouble With Angels (Summer '05) 8/22/05
You Hit My Nerve (Spring '05) 8/21/05

Stop To-doing (Summer '05) 8/18/05

Third Place Gets the Girl (Summer '04) 8/17/05
The Circle (Holiday '04) 8/16/05
Can’t Get You Out of my Mind (Winter '05) 8/15/05
Confrontation (Fall '04) 8/11/05
An Independent Redemption Part II (Holiday '05 ) 8/10/05
An Independent Redemption Part I (Holiday '05) 8/9/05

A Road I Refuse to Travel (Spring '05) 8/8/05

Our Internal Happy Meter (Summer '05) 8/5/05

Keeping It Real (Holiday '04) 8/4/05
The Panther (Summer '04) 8/3/05
A Star Is Born 1937 (Spring '05) 8/2/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part IX The Meaning of Western Civilization 7/31/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part VIII Roman Catholic Culture and Greek Science 7/28/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part VII Russian Communism 7/27/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part VI German Idealism 7/26/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part V Unique Elements in British Democracy 7/25/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part IV The Free Culture of the United States 7/21/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part III The Rich Culture of Mexico 7/20/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part II The Contemporary World 7/19/05

Northrop’s The Meeting of East and West Part I Introduction and Preface 7/18/05

A Little Virtual Vacation: The Newest Issue Is Out! 7/15/05



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