Austin Texas Floods In Minutes – Ask Whole Foods

Made in USA Rain Gauge

Last night the iPhone sounded the flash flood sirens. It’s always unnerving when it does that. Since we have tornadoes in Austin I immediately started thinking about how to get the family, including 3 skittish cats and a 45 lb dog, into the space under the stairs which is already full. Luckily it was only a flash flood. I don’t say that lightly though. Ask Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market, previously known as Saferway, started in 1980 as the crunchy “health food store.” Remember this was the time of microwave popcorn, packets of Hidden Valley dressing and Chicken McNuggets. We were too busy to cook since both husband and wife were working.

About 7 months after Whole Foods launched, Austin had the worst flood in 75 years and Whole Foods’ entire inventory was soaked to the tune of $400,000. It was the Austin community that quickly helped them recover. My personal theory is that the flood was the catalyst to their empire. Nothing sparks an entrepreneurial drive better than adversity not to mention knowing the community was willing to give them free sweat equity. As you know they are really big now.

Our rain gauge topped out at 5″ but some parts of Central Texas got 13″ of rain. 500 homes were flooded, 60 people had to be rescued from their roofs and 6,500 people were without power. Austin may not have a drop of rain during the unbearable heat of the summer but when it rains, it pours here.

The photo is of the rain gauge in our front yard. Full to the top. The gauge is Made in the USA of course.

 

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5 Tough American Women

We Can Do It

We Can Do It

American women are pioneers, scientists, explorers and fighters for human rights. They are tough as nails and continue to shape and define America. Today we highlight five tough women who pushed the boundaries of their times and continue to inspire women of all ages.

All five stood strong for their missions their entire lives. Gender and age were never factors despite the naysayers or dangers that surrounded them. They never gave up.

 

Calamity Jane

1. Martha Jane Canary ( “Calamity Jane” ) 1852-1903 – Wild Wild West Woman

Martha Jane Canary was unlike any other woman of her time. She was a cursing, gambling and drinking frontierswoman. Her early career was spent as a scout during the Indian Campaign. Although she had to fend off her male counterparts at times the Bozeman Montana newspaper wrote “when cowboys in an Oakes, North Dakota saloon began to ‘chaff’ her, Canary smiled, whipped out two revolvers, shouting, ‘Dance, you tenderfeet, dance.’ Dance they did ‘with much vigor.’ Calamity Jane was not a person to be trifled with.

In addition to being a scout she also worked as a pony express rider, a nurse during the smallpox epidemic, an inn keeper and cattle raiser. At 35 years old she had a baby girl with husband and native Texan Clinton Burk but upon her death she requested to be buried next to her true love – Wild Bill Hickok.

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones

2. Mary Harris “Mother” Jones 1837-1930 – Labor Rights Leader

Mary Harris Jones was an Irish-American who lost everything in the early part of her life. Her husband and 4 children died of yellow fever and her dress making studio was destroyed by fire. Instead of being mentally and financially ruined, she become an early advocate for labor rights.

She organized the Knights of Labor, the United Mine Workers union and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World.

In 1902 she organized mine workers in order to demand rights from the mine owners and was considered “the most dangerous woman in America.” She also helped organize the railroad workers’ strike in Ohio, women bottlers in Milwaukee, and streetcar workers in Texas and New York. She protested to help men receive a livable wage and made sure women were paid adult wages. She also advocated to enforce child labor laws.

She never stopped fighting for worker rights until her death in 1930.  She stated “My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong.”

Harriet Tubman

3. Harriet Tubman 1820-1913 – Moses of Her People

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery and at one point nearly died after suffering a severe head injury from a metal weight. Even though she was a slave she was allowed to marry a freeman. She tried unsuccessfully to convince her husband to escape with her to the North so she could gain freedom. He refused and remarried.

Alone, she ran away from a Maryland plantation in the middle of the night and made it to Pennsylvania by way of the underground railroad. When she learned that her family members were going to be sold and split up back in Maryland she returned to the plantation and led them to freedom. For the next 11 years she made 19 more expeditions during the Winter months and rescued 300 slaves.

After President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, she became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War due to her knowledge of the area. This assault on plantation owners helped free 700 slaves during the Combahee River Raid.

“There was one of two things I had a right to,” Tubman said, “liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.”

In her later life she advocated for women’s suffrage working along side Susan B. Anthony and Emily Howland. In 1903 she donated a parcel of real estate to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn to create a home for “aged and indigent colored people.” However, when the church required everyone to pay a $100 entrance fee, she was dismayed.

She later died in the home she helped establish and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn for her government services.

Annie Peck4. Annie Smith Peck 1850-1935 – Women’s Rights Mountaineer 

Annie Smith Peck was one of the first great American mountaineers. Despite not being allowed in Brown University due to her gender, she left home to attend the University of Michigan. Following her graduation she became the first woman to attend the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. It was at this time she discovered her love of mountaineering. She climbed Mount Hymettus in Greece, Mount Shasta in the USA, and the Matterhorn on the border of Switzerland and Italy in addition to many other mountains.

She became famous after her Matterhorn climb due to her choice of clothing rather than her climbing achievement. During this time women were arrested for wearing trousers in public and she wore a long tunic, climbing boots and a pair of pants during her summit climb.

At 50 years old, she was the first person to climb Mount Nevado Huascaran in Peru (6768 m) and in 1911 at 61 years old she climbed  Mount Coropuna in Peru. At the peak she placed a “Women’s Vote” banner on the top in support of her fight for Women’s suffrage.

She said, “Climbing is unadulterated hard labor. The only real pleasure is the satisfaction of going where no man has been before and where few can follow.”

Diana Nyad

5. Diana Nyad – Relentless Marathon Swimmer

“The toughest athlete in the world is a 62 year old woman” — D.L. Stewart for the Dayton Daily News

He is talking about American swimmer Diana Nyad, who is working towards her 5th attempt to swim from Havana, Cuba To Key West, Florida.

The first evidence of her fearlessness came about in 1967 when she jumped out of her Emory University dormitory window wearing a parachute. She survived but was thrown out of the school and later became a marathon swimmer. She wound up setting a women’s world record in her first race (10-miles).

In 1978 at 28 years old she attempted to swim from Havana to Key West inside a steel shark cage. The weather moved her off course and she had to abandon the attempt. The following year she swam her last competitive race and became a CBS and NPR sports news contributor.

In 2010 at age 60 she announced that she would make another attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida despite not swimming for 30 years. She began training by swimming between 8 and 14 miles every week.

On August 7th 2011 she entered the water and headed to Key West. Twenty-nine miles into the swim she had to abandon the attempt after being pushed off course by strong currents and experiencing shoulder pain. The expedition cost $500,000 dollars.

She made another attempt in September 2011 but was severely stung in the face and body by box jellyfish and Portuguese men-of-war. She continued to swim despite the stings but finally had to be pulled from the water for medical attention.

On August 18, 2012 she tried again only to reach the halfway mark before the attempt was ended. She was stung again by jellyfish but refused to leave the water. It was a lightning storm which pushed her and her support team wildly off trajectory that made a course correction impossible.

Faced with turning 64 she began her 5th attempt at 8:59:02 on August 31, 2013 at the Hemingway Marina in Havana, Cuba. Covered in a body suit at night to avoid being stung by box jellyfish she arrived successfully at Smather’s Beach, Florida on September 2, 2013 in 52 hrs, 54 mins & 18.6 seconds.

“When I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of those AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say, ‘I’m going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I’m going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I’m going to adopt a child. It’s not too late, I can still live my dreams.”

 

We Can Do It water bottle american made

24oz Aluminun Water Bottle To Keep You Going Strong

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Our Favorite 4th of July Films

Since July 4th falls on a Thursday this year, we have plenty of time this weekend to celebrate the warm days of Summer. If you are in the 100+ degree zones of America inside entertainment is a priority. We’ve put together our top 5 films to watch with the family during 4th of July weekend.

Grab an extra plate of potato salad and cole slaw and pick out a few films from our list to enjoy.

Born on the 4th of July

1. Born on the 4th of July

Tom Cruise stars as Ron Kovic, a real-life Vietnam War veteran who became a prominent antiwar activist after returning home paralyzed. Oliver Stone won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1989.

Amazon Streaming

independence Day

2. Independence Day

What’s more American than apple pie? Aliens of course. Since the 50′s Americans have been obsessed with Alien movies. In this film the Aliens figured out the perfect day to attack the seemingly weak Americans – on the 4th of July. Will the Aliens take over our planet or can Will Smith save us?

Independence Day 2 will be released in 2015.

Amazon Streaming

the patriot

3. The Patriot

Mel Gibson stars as a South Carolina farmer who is forced to fight the British during the American Revolution. If you set aside historical accuracy this one is an epic film full of action and emotion. It’s pure fiction yet depicts the modern American ideal.

Amazon Streaming

Yankee Doodle Dandy

4. Yankee Doodle Dandy

This is a great family film full of classic American tunes such as “Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Over There” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” James Cagney plays real-life entertainer George M. Cohan. It traces his life as a child-star in his family’s vaudeville show through the time he received a medal from the president for his special contributions to the USA. Cagney won the Academy Award in 1942 for Best Actor and it’s on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Films in the last 100 years.   

Amazon Streaming

1776 film

5. 1776 (Director’s Cut)

If you want to add another musical following your viewing of Yankee Doodle Dandy, this film is the perfect companion. It was released in 1972 and is based on a stage play. Some of the dialogue and song lyrics were taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants of the Second Continental Congress.  

Amazon Streaming

Here on Earth

Bonus: Here on Earth

Maybe you would prefer a romantic cry fest film from a sappy 1-star movie. This is the one. It takes place around the 4th of July and includes everything needed to have you sobbing before the credits roll. Get the tissues ready and a carton of ice cream.

It’s not available on demand but you can always rent the disk. Trailer

What are your favorite 4th of July films?

 

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Made in USA Shopping Trip – Bed Bath & Beyond

tervis tumbler

I recently made a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond for some clear 16 oz Tervis Tumblers which I love for holding my iced tea. I’ve been slowly buying the 2-packs with my 20% off coupons that are a must to have when you shop there.

Tervis is lucky and gets the prime front spot in the store. The front display did not have the 2-packs so I had to go further back in the store to find them.

I did a quick survey as I walked around the store looking for other Made in USA products. Here are my findings:

Calibowl – It seemed like a good price for 3 bowls and I liked that they were colorful, especially since I love red as you may have noticed in the design of the OHSAY USA website. Since I already own the “rainbow” 1986 vintage Pyrex mixing bowls I did not need them.

calibowl-set

Dexas Chop & Scoop. Once again I like the color choices and it seemed very convenient to have the handle on the end. I’m always concerned about the level of bacteria that remains on cutting boards but it states that it is bacteria and odor resistant. They were hard to find in the store & the Made in USA label was not prominent. They should rethink their packaging.

dexas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA Pan – They had a large display on an end cap along with a lot of Made in USA signage. They also had a nice position in the store. They were located just a little way down the right side path.

My initial reaction was to their light weight. I prefer heavier cookware but I do need new cookie sheets. I’m inclined to buy Nordic Ware since I use some of their bakeware and love the weight. I also use All-Clad, manufactured in Canonsburg, PA., for my stove top cooking but it is expensive. I look for sales online and have slowly bought pieces at outlet stores. As a side note All-Clad is guaranteed for life and I recently replaced 2 non-stick fry pans.

usa-pans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add your product reviews from your finds at Bed Bath & Beyond ONLY and let us know if you have used the Calibowl, Chop & Scoop or USA Pan. I highly endorse the Tervis Tumblers myself and will be buying more in the future.

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George Washington (Dollar Bill) Origami

USA capitol building origami

According to Wikipedia, Japanese origami began sometime after Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan during the 6th century. The first Japanese origami is dated from this period and was used for religious ceremonial purposes only, due to the high price of paper.

In the 19th Century the founder of kindergartens, Friedrich Frobel, used paper folding as a teaching aid for child development. In the 1920′s conjurors and magicians such as Houdini started folding paper money as part of their act. Houdini even published a book on it in America titled Magic Paper.

During WWII, dollar bill folding became a way for troops to pass the time and distract themselves between battles. Soon after, bartenders began to amuse their customers with the bill folding presentation. Customers would place their bill on the bar top and ask the bartender to fold it for their girl.

Here’s to George Washington & the other Presidents whose faces adorn American paper money.

A Gift Box

origami gift box

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Box & iPod Mini Shuffle Case

origami iPod shuffle

 

 

 

 

 

A Ring

origami-ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wallet

Origami Wallet

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Building Supplies Made In America

made in america dream

In Bozeman, Montana, Anders Lewendal and Aaron Sullivan in Kennewick, Wash have one thing in common. They both want their homes built with materials Made in USA. Both have had challenges along the way. As we all know these materials exist in the US but they are scattered and hard to locate or purchase. It requires adding the time to contact the manufacturer, get pricing and shipping to the building site.

It becomes an act of love for America that they have sacrificed delaying the completion of their home and having to pay for the land without the benefit of having a place to live or selling the home.

Luckily they have shared a master list of their suppliers so it is one step easier for others to follow in their footsteps. Even if home builders commit to using 10% more building materials Made in USA it is a start. Just taking the list to stores such as Home Depot and asking “which of these items do you carry” can speed the process.

It all begins by trying and not thinking it has to be 100% in the first attempt.

Print version of the list.

Product Manufacturer/Supplier State
Windows Amsco Windows UT
J bolts/foundation S.C. Prototypes MT
J bolts/foundation/stock Pacific Steel UT
Gorilla Duct tape The Gorilla Glue Co OH
4″ perforated pipe, radon Northern Pipe Co. ND
4″ pvc fittings GPK ND
pvc glue Oatey OH
8d ring shank nails True Spec CA
16d sinkers Griptite WI
1/2″ foundation nuts CAT IL
gun nails Maze IL
damp proofing Mulseal/Tremco OH
Rebar Nucor UT
Concrete CMI MT
Concrete Portland Ash Grove MT
Concrete aggregate CMC. Beglade MT
Concrete sand CMC. Beglade MT
Hangers, straps, H clips Simpson Strong-Tie CA
TJI’s I-Level Truss Joist OR
2×4′s and 2×6′s RY Lumber MT
Plywood Potlatch ID
2×4′s and 2×6′s F.H. Stoltze MT
2×4′s and 2×6′s Idaho Forest ID
PL 400 sub floor adhesive Loctite CT
MiraTEC fascia CMI Corp PA
treated plate McFarland Cascade WA
T braces/framing Appleton Supply WI
sill seal Reflectix IN
powder actuated pins TW Ramset/Redhead IL
foam board Dow IL
Spray paint Rustoleum IL
Spray insulation JM Corbond MT, TX
Screws Por Pac CO, CT
Wire joint Thomas & Betts TN
Spray paint ACE IL
paint Sherwin Williams OH
Window foam Touch n Seal MO
Caulking White Lightning OH
Plastic elect. Straps Handy Straps WI
meter base Eaton/Cutler Hammer PA
electric panel Eaton/Cutler Hammer PA
Breakers Eaton/Cutler Hammer PA
PVC pipe/fittings Ridgeline Pipe OR
2″ Romex connectors Bridgeport CT
Boxes Allied OH
Wire-service, romex Southwire GA
staples Sturgeon Bay WI
4/0 SER straps Sturgeon Bay WI
Telephone wire 3M MN
wire connectors/crimp sleeves Ideal IL
wire staples Sturgeon Bay WI
Furnace disconnect Eaton/Cutler Hammer PA
recessed cans Juno/Schneider Electric IL
recycled glass Livingston Landfill MT
Furnace Trane TX
Cooling Coil Trane TX
HRV Trane TX
Air Cleaner Trane TX
Zoning/Thermostats Trane TX
Ductwork Norwesco WA
Screws Brynolf Manufacturing IL
PVC Cresline-Northwest WA
Condensate Trap Airtec MA
Registers/Grilles Hart & Cooley MI
Allthread Rod Chicago Hardware IL
Pipe Brackets C&S Manufacturing WI
Conensate Pump Franklin Electric IN
Unistrut Cooper B-Line IL
Flexible Duct Atco TX
Duct Sealant Hardcast TX
Flex Duct Straps Source 1 OK
PVC Glue/Primer Oatey OH
Thermostat Wire Honeywell MS
Exhaust Fans Broan WI
Concentric Vent Source 1 OK
Exhaust Hoods Broan WI
Nuts/ Washers Perine Danforth WA
Dryer Box In O Vate Tech FL
Duct Liner Johns Manville CO
Duct Liner Pins Hardcast TX
Allthread Anchors ITW Buildex IL
Ductstrap Colombia Man WA
Manual Dampers Norwesco WA
Sill Sealer Reflectix, Inc. IN
PVC Primer and Cement Oatey OH
PVC Pipe Cresline-Northwest WA
Pex Pipe Viega KS
Kitchen Sink Moen PA
Kitchen Faucet Moen NC
Kitchen Basket strainer Dearborn Brass TX
Kitchen disposer In-Sink-Erator WI
Bathroom Pedestal Lav Mansfield OH
Bathroom Lav faucet Moen NC
Bathroom Lav sink Mansfield IL
Bathroom toilets Mansfield IL
Bathroom toilet seats Kohler AR
Master Shower Aquaglass OR
Master shower valve Moen NC
Master shower trim Moen NC
Master soaker tub Aquaglass OR
Master soaker tub trim Moen NC
Master soaker tub valve Moen NC
Bathtub waste and overflow Watco MO
Full Bath tub/shower Aquaglass OR
Full Bath tub/shower trim Moen NC
Full Bath tub/shower valve Moen NC
Water Heater Bradford White PA
Pex Fittings Zurn TX
PVC Fittings Sioux Chief MO
Hangers/pipe insulators Sioux Chief MO
Roof Jack Oatey OH
Plumber Putty Hercules NJ
Wax rings Hercules NJ
Thread Dope Hercules NJ
Plumber tape Smith/Cooper CA
Black pipe RJB Wholesale, Inc WA
Black pipe fittings Anvil International NV
Gastite pipe and fittings Gastite MA
Soulder Flux Rectorseal TX
Soulder Exeon Inc. IL
Copper Pipe Cerro Flow Products Inc. MO
Copper fittings Elkhart Products Corp. IL
Backflow preventor/PRV Watts ME
Expansion Tank Amtrol RI
Hose bibs Woodford CO
Chattahoochee Pencil Company Atlanta GA

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Holiday Retro Toy Guide

Happy Thanksgiving
Let Our Sock Monkey Be Your Guide

Shopping Sock MonkeyOur Favorite Retro Toys

Roy Toy Log Building Set   Roy Toy Logs – 1930′s
This is the same USA-made building set and package design that was first introduced in the 1930s in East Machias, Maine. Lift the box top and smell the all-natural pine wood. Watch a smile form on the face of a new grandparent as they are reminded of a time many years ago when he/she, as a small child, was helped by his/her grandparents to build a log cabin for the first time.

Kit-Cat ClockKit-Cat Clock – 1930′s
This classic American iconic Kit-Cat clock has been in family homes for over 3 generations, is still made in USA, and continues to be the most loved timekeeper in the household.

Sock MonkeyAmerican Sock Monkey – 1930′s
In 1932 during the Great Depression, times where tough and worn-out Rockford Red Heel socks became the iconic American sock monkey for gifts. The smile or frown mouth was achieved using the red patented heel. By 1955 every pair of “Rockfords” included a sock monkey pattern. A common phrase also began during that era –  “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” to express surprise or disbelief.

Wooden Cone ToyWooden Cone Toy – 1930′s
This is the original Classic Rocky Color Wood Cone educational toy that was first designed 1938 and continues to be a bestseller today! Unlike cheaper imitations, this original Wood Cone features a rounded wood base which is a trademarked design and is still made in USA.

SlinkySlinky – 1940′s
Slinky originated in 1945 as part of an antivibration device developed by American naval engineer Richard James, who thought the spring might be a successful toy because of its comical walking behavior. Over half a century later, Slinky still lives.

Potholder LoomPot Holder Loom – 1950′s
We made these potholders as kids and still treasure them today. When the kettle boils these are the potholders we use, not the fancy ones we got as gifts. Originally weavers looped threads around a tree branch to create a natural type of loom but we make it easier today. The loom is made of US steel to last a lifetime.

Wooly Willy   Wooly Willy – 1950′s
This is the same Wooly Willy we all know and love. Children and adults love playing with the magnetic magic dust and making crazy hair styles on Willy. In 1955 James Herzog made a brilliant discovery—that the dust from magnet grinding could be used for magnetic drawing! He patented the first workable Wooly Willy.
Mister Rogers TrolleyMister Rogers Trolley – 1960′s
This is an amazing crafted replica of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley made right here in the USA. The classic Trolley brings memories to parents and grandparents and attracts a new generation of fans. The USA-made Mr. Roger’s Trolley is a popular desktop toy and conversation piece or can become a treasured toy for children.

Army MenArmy Men – 1960′s
Originally produced in the late 60′s, these figures may have been the first to represent US infantry troops during the Cold War with contemporary equipment including M16 A1 rifles and an experimental M60 light machine gun.

Get Going Before Sock Monkey Takes It All >>>

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Guess What, You’re An Environmentalist If You Support America

Shiping ContainerDid you realize that if you are an advocate of buying products Made in America you are also a environmentalist? It’s true. You don’t have to buy American-made products containing recycled materials to be eco. Your made in USA purchase just did something to save the earth. You reduced the impact of shipping on the environment plus reduced our dependency on foreign oil.

Beyond the obvious your decision did much more than you realize. This is what did NOT occur during a sea voyage to get foreign made goods to the USA:

1. Ballast Water Discharge- This is water which is taken on in one country and discharged when the ship unloads its cargo. This not only hurts marine life it can kill us since it is full of biological materials, including foreign plants, animals, viruses and bacteria.

2. Sound Pollution- This is a misunderstood type of pollution. Many marine animals rely on sound for their orientation, communication, and feeding. The biggest offender comes from the large propellers on commercial ships. Since sound travels faster and farther in water than air, the ships are causing havoc in the “silent world” of the ocean.

3. Ship impacts- Whales and manatees are at risk from being killed by ship collections. Currently the biggest threat to the North Atlantic Right Whale is injury sustained from ship strikes. The whales and manatees have a 79% chance of being killed when struck by a ship going 15 knots.

4. Exhaust emissions- This is the pollution you were expecting to be on the list. The emissions from ships not only impact marine life, they also kill people living in coastal cities due to various lung ailments. Forty percent of air pollution over land is estimated to come from ships.

5. Oil Spills – Human error can do a lot of damage. The March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska killed 400,000 seabirds, 1,000 sea otters and massive numbers of fish.

6. Sewage, Graywater & Solid Waste – This is a big mess. The sewage and graywater dumped overboard contains bacteria, pathogens, viruses and intestinal parasites. In addition the general trash from the ship consisting of glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel cans and plastics are thrown overboard adding to the floating dump yard and landing on our beaches.

7. Bilge Water- Oil and gas from the ship’s machinery mixes with the water in the hull. This murky soup plus by-products from the biological breakdown of petroleum products in the ship can cause harm to fish and wildlife and pose threats to human health if ingested.

Congratulations Environmentalist. You have another reason to share with others on why they should buy Made in America goods.

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In Remembrance of our Heroes on 9/11

American Firemen Troup 343 -9-11

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Everything Can Be Made in America

Airbike

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an article from Forbes the writer, Baizhu Chen, said Apple would “be better off focusing on designing iPhones in America but letting the Chinese handle the assembly” because of the current cost structure.

Forbes readers changed his mind after heated discussions and his realization that 3D printing will play a huge role in manufacturing American products in our near future.

Just as cassette tapes gave way to CDs and CDs transitioned towards MP3s so will follow the technology of manufacturing everything. It will not just be about WHERE it is made but HOW it is made.

When 3D printing is added to the equation the game changes. We no longer need to outsource anything. That is, IF we put money into training people in America to use 3D printing machines.

This change will not create new American jobs. It will reduce the number of many positions since it will take fewer people to create a product. We will still need assembly workers to put products into their display boxes or items into a kit. That means we need to shift all our assembly oriented jobs back to being made in America or we will be in a dire situation.

It’s not all doom and gloom here. We have plenty of companies that will continue to make American products “the old fashioned way,” even by hand. It is also still to be determined if 3D made products will have the same quality as traditionally made products.

Product safety will also be important. Items used for food containers such as the plastic Bento Box must not contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), PVC, or lead. So the materials used by 3D printers must evolve.

In some industries 3D manufacturing will bring about miracles. Imagine a new heart valve  custom made to fit an individual. Think about racing the lightweight Air Bike in the Tour de France. How about custom shoes for Olympic runners? If we can imagine it we can make it.

This means we need to rethink the role that art and science play together. Those that will excel in this new world need to be creative and technical. In fact the designer can also be the manufacturer in many small businesses. You can buy a small MakerBot 3D printer today for $1,700.

Wait until the next Henry Ford inspired leader figures out how to harness the full potential of 3D printing. We just need to get everyone educated and ready for the explosion when it happens in America.

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