Tag Archives: recession

The recession hits Harvard…with interesting changes – more money to undergrads, less to books

Harvard isn’t belt-tightening everywhere. Since 2007, its investment in financial aid to undergraduates has risen by more than 78%, which Harvard said is “significantly outpacing increases in tuition.” Undergraduate tuition for the 2012-13 year climbed 3.5% to $54,496.

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As it looks to economize, Harvard has turned some of its attention toward the more than $160 million it spends each year on its nearly 375 year-old library system, which holds 17 million volumes, and includes 73 separate libraries. Widener, the flagship library, alone has 57 miles of shelving.

Harvard is also changing its philosophy on owning books. The goal: Provide access to them rather than collecting each one, which can lead to costs for storage and preservation, a 2009 Harvard task-force report said. The library will extend partnerships to borrow from other libraries, and further digitize its own collection so it can share with others.

The university is finding it “increasingly painful” to manage academic-journal subscriptions, which annually cost it about $3.75 million, Harvard Provost Alan Garber said.

In a move watched throughout academia, Harvard in April urged its faculty members to publish in open-access journals. “Move the prestige to open access,” a memo said.

 

Keep reading: Wall Street Journal - Economy Tests Harvard

 

 

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Happy Monday! 50 big name bankruptcies

I’ve got the Monday’s. What better way to celebrate than troll the bankruptcies. Did you know that Rembrandt lost it all in 1656 and so did Mark Twain in 1894 ?

Here is a list of the major brands that went under during the Great Recession (2008-11).

Of note, many of these companies are still alive, emerging from bankruptcy, or bought by another company.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Phoenix Coyotes
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Michael Vick
  5. Bill Buckner
  6. Lenny Dykstra
  7. Stephen Baldwin
  8. Sinbad
  9. Trump Entertainment Resorts
  10. National Enquirer
  11. MGM Studios
  12. Round Table Pizza
  13. Yellow Pages
  14. Tropicana Casinos
  15. Sbarro’s
  16. Philadelphia Orchestra
  17. The Octuplet Family
  18. Active Ride Shop
  19. Air America Radio
  20. Six Flags
  21. Filene’s Basement
  22. Fatburger
  23. Samsonite
  24. The Walking Company
  25. Borders
  26. Hollywood Video
  27. Circuit City
  28. Washington Mutual
  29. Black Angus
  30. Hometown Buffet
  31. Mrs. Fields
  32. Ritz Camera
  33. Nortel
  34. Claim Jumper
  35. Loehmann’s
  36. Big 10 Tires
  37. Z Gallerie
  38. KB Toys
  39. Midway Video Games
  40. Anchor Blue
  41. Eddie Bauer
  42. Crabtree & Evelyn
  43. Golfer’s Wharehouse
  44. Ziff Davis
  45. Tribune Company
  46. Sharper Image
  47. Mervyns
  48. Madoff Investment Securities
  49. Linens ‘n Things
  50. Levitz Furniture
  51. Countrywide Financial
  52. Bearing Point
  53. Fuddruckers
  54. Marie Callender’s

A Poem: Signs the economy is picking up

Last week the bells were sounding alarm
The jobs report was down
Housing is still in a depression
The pundits are starting to talk double dip

But what about my report
Pennies on the ground
15x more pennies on the streets
I’m hauling in the copper

Strength in the economy?
Bums are now only taking silver
Drunks are letting loose their cents
Parents are telling children pennies are trash

How will you decide
Pennies on the ground
Fancy-pants wall street reports

A penny saved is a penny earned

The Best in Virginia Wines – My Top 10

This best of Virginia wine top 10 list is pulled from my experiences living in and around Virginia for the last 5 years. It includes local sources, tips from vineyard owners, top chefs, and important local critics. Enjoy!

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1. Any list has to start with the Norton grape. Widely considered to be America’s only native grape it was first planted here in Virginia several hundred years ago. Today it is still only grown here in America in Virginia and Missouri.

The most important thing to know about this wine is that “Norton wine comes into its own about 10 years after the vintage…after about five years, the intense fruit began to turn earthy, with soy and mushroom flavors, while the grape’s acidity mellowed.”

A few recommendations are: Chrysalis Vineyards, Locksley Reserve 2005 – Cooper Vineyards, Reserve, 2008 – Horton Vineyards, 2005 – and more…

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2. After the Norton grape, the most popular and awarded winning grapes coming out of Virginia are the (red) Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and (white) Viognier, Petit Manseng. Ask for these varietals when visting your local wine store for the best of Virginia viticulture.

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3. Now for some award winners, in the World Wine Awards Virginia took home 3 silver medals for these wines:Decanter World Wine Awards DWWA 2011

  • Potomac Pointe Viognier Reserve, 2009.
  • Veramar Cabernet Franc, 2007.
  • Williamsburg Winery Adagio, 2007 (red Bordeaux blend).

More information on Virginia’s bronze awards, including one dessert wine, can be found on Richard Leahy’s blog.

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4. In our biggest local event, the Virginia Governor’s Cup, that includes all the vineyards in Virginia, gave the  2010 top prize for red to King Family Vineyard for their 2007 Meritage. And, the top prize for white was given to newcomer Paradise Springs Winery for their 2009 Chardonnay.

A full list of the red winners (pdf) and white winners (pdf).

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5. In a bit of pop culture the White House and the Obama’s have been making waves in Virginia’s wine world. First in 2009 when they selected Thibaut-Janisson as the sparkling wine for their first State Dinner. Then again in 2010 for the Governor’s Ball when they selected Sugarleaf Vineyard’s 2008 Petit Manseng, one of Virginia’s few African-American owned vineyards.

In juicier gossip, local (former) vineyard owners Tareq and Michaele Salahi are famously known as the White House Party Crashers and members of the TV show Real Housewives of DC

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6. Not to leave out sparkling wines, Keswick Vineyards invited together some of the best critics to perform a blind taste. The results revealed these critic favorites: Prince Michel Sparkling Wine, Afton Mountain Vineyards Tete’ de Cuvee, and the Kluge Estate SP Blanc de Blanc.

fight the recession buy local wine blonde woman

7. To improve our skills, Virginia Tech has a growing selection of oenology courses and a Winery Design program.

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8. Virginia is home to a growing number of festivals with the biggest two being the Virginia Wine Expo in February and the Virginia Wine Festival in September. The state government keeps a list of events at Virginia Wine as do several other websites: Virginia Wine Events, Virginia Wine Festival, and Peaks of Otter Winery.

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9. My favorite media coverage of Virginia wines comes from Flavour Magazine and the Virginia Wine Gazette. There is also an official guide including maps, regions, and newsletter you can get (for free), and an unofficial newsletter.

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10. Finally, a documentary on Virginia wine called, Vintage: The Winemaker’s Year. Click to to view the trailer, see the extra footage, or order the DVD.

“A feature length documentary exploring the rapid growth of the wine industry in Virginia and its increasing impact on the state’s cultural, social, and economic landscape…the narrative of the film is of two intertwining strands- the story of the wine industry’s rise from humble beginnings and the tale of the creation of the state’s 2008 vintage.”

“Vintage examines the factors that make Virginia unique amongst the wine producing regions of the United States and explores why two hundred years after Thomas Jefferson’s failure to cultivate grapes at Monticello the region is finally flourishing as a producer of quality wines.”

“Viewers will see Virginia as a rapidly advancing player in the wine industry, one that is gaining national attention, attracting top winemakers and wine professionals, and poised for explosive growth in the decades to come.”