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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Meeting in the Middle... or Florida

February 2, 2010 10:48 am

It’s snowing right now in Wisconsin… big surprise. Two short weeks ago I was jacketless, touching down in Orlando, Florida, to attend the Grainger Total MRO Solutions event for customers and media. To be honest, I think I would have attended a convention where we skinned live, rabid rats, were it held in sunny, 75 degree Florida in the middle of January.

Umm ... That Edible Food-Like Substance Really Hits The Spot

February 1, 2010 3:47 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

Some of you might have heard about Michael Pollan, author and "food activitst," and his book, Food Rules . First, I'm going to admit that I haven't read the book, so I'm solely going off his remarks in a recent interview, which can be found in this video . Overall, I thought he made some very interesting points, and I’d agree with many of them in terms of further examining one’s diet, making a greater effort to really think about what we’re eating and even the points he touched upon relating to getting more animals back on the farms from where so much of our food supply stems.

The Solution To Everything: Charge More

January 28, 2010 7:41 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

The current slugfest between Verizon and AT&T has made for moderate entertainment if you’re one of the few who still watch — or lack the capacity to skip — commercials. Every time I see the other Wilson brother (Luke) wobbling around with a missing head or flinging postcards, it helps remind me that competition can still work in the consumer’s favor.

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Focusing on Distractions

January 26, 2010 7:45 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing

During a week in which there were plenty of newsworthy stories floating around, I spent the majority of my news-reading time emotionally invested in a fight among millionaires. I don’t tend to get overly wrapped up in the lives of famous people, but for reasons that are difficult to articulate, I’m apparently completely entranced by the sight of a bunch of rich people fighting over exactly what time they should be paid millions of dollars to tell jokes on TV.

IT — A Love & Hate Story

January 20, 2010 5:10 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

First, for those familiar with the work of Stephen King, the IT I mention here is not the terrifying Pennywise the clown, who haunted my dreams for about a week after seeing the movie IT that was based on the famous horror author’s novel. Rather, I’m talking about that equally wonderful and frustrating art of information technology — and the only time its impact ever seems to be really appreciated.

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Stalking The Weather Report

January 19, 2010 3:55 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

This is the time of year when I begin to obsessively check the weather. January in Wisconsin can be particularly soul-crushing, but it’s also January that’s the turning point: average temperatures typically hit their lows for the year in the late part of the month, and then it’s an incremental crawl back to air temperatures that humans can withstand without Gortex.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Playstation

January 13, 2010 3:22 am

I’m the “boy who harnessed the Playstation.” And for what, exactly? Let me explain. A while back I learned about the accomplished life of one William Kamkwamba, an African who, at the age of 14, built a windmill from trash (yes, literally) in order to keep his starving family alive.

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Quick, Get Me Some Meds

January 11, 2010 9:03 am | by by Carrie Ellis, Editor, Chem.Info

So, a new linguistic idiosyncrasy has sent me into dead lurch toward the First Aid kit for the family anti-anxiety elixir. It’s the abbreviated noun form of medicine — now commonly known as  meds  — and it’s coming soon to a too-close-for-discomfort dialog near you.

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Out With the Old, In With the Kardashians

January 11, 2010 3:02 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

I recently watched a video on the prospected “obsolete” technology of 2010 —a compilation developed by the Huffington Post which highlighted once prosaic things that were now going the way of the dinosaur. Before I pressed PLAY, I pondered the obsolete… it stood to reason that things like analog television would make the list of the recently tapping out… or DVD in the wake of BluRay? Maybe the Snuggie was past its prime.

Government-Controlled Weather

December 21, 2009 9:28 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info

When I first heard about Chinese officials trying to control the weather during the Beijing Olympics, I laughed it off as a far-flung idea, loosely based on science, which would never be considered in advanced western countries. For anyone that saw the torrential downpour during the men’s beach volleyball final, it was obvious that the techniques being used by the oriental powerhouse weren’t working too well.

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The World's Worst Christmas Wish List

December 18, 2009 9:56 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

Don’t worry. It’s probably not your fault that you’re insane – let’s conspire to somehow pin blame on the pharmaceutical companies and overzealous doctors. Oh, I apologize, I actually started mid-rant, but I need to comment on a colleague's Christmas wish list.

Goals for 2010: Tackling the 5lb. Bag of Oranges

December 15, 2009 6:26 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

In the spirit of my annoyance over those overwhelming, uninteresting, almost certainly irrelevant lists of the “Top 10 X of 2009,” I’ve developed my own. Though it’s a far cry from David Letterman, at least it’s not the perennial Top 10 Break-ups of 2009 (thank you Time.

Lean Manu ... Something Or Other

December 10, 2009 8:56 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

During a break from the recent onslaught of food and football that is the Thanksgiving weekend, I was half-watching CNN and reading the Sunday morning paper when one of the network’s “reports” really caught my attention. It was detailing the losses of U.

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Mr. Squiggles Was The Triggerman

December 10, 2009 8:30 am | by by David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

So if I am shot, I shouldn’t bleed or die as long as the gunman doesn’t consider the way the bullet was manufactured to be legitimate, right? Don’t tell me that I have to suck on a toy hamster to prove a point, but if I fall off the grid tonight, there’s a good chance that Mr.

The Death of 'American-Made'

December 7, 2009 6:34 am | by by Joel Hans, Associate Editor, IMPO

We live in a time of a globalized economy—no one knows this better than those in manufacturing. With competition literally rising from the smoke stacks in China and India, among a bevy of other countries, there is no doubt that most of what’s sold in America is longer made here.

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Taxing The Sweet Tooth

December 3, 2009 5:58 am | by by Krystal Gabert, Associate Editor , Food Manufacturing

I’m a skeptic at heart. I despise the word “epidemic.” The fake “trend” stories every week in the New York Times make me cringe. (Dear NYT , Just because somebody saw two hoodie-adorned twenty-somethings smoking pipes in Brooklyn does not make such behavior the latest craze sweeping Youngster Nation.

To Be Honest, I'm Lying

December 1, 2009 9:39 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

December 2, 2009 Recently, opinion columnist Stanley Fish asked his New York Times readers to weigh in on their least favorite popular phrases— And the Winner: ‘No Problem’ —things people found to be overused, latently offensive, or just simply redundant.

In Your Facebook

November 30, 2009 5:36 am | by by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, IMPO

I like to consider myself a true connoisseur of irony. So the circumstances regarding a recent article that Product Design & Development's esteemed associate editor Meaghan Ziemba forwarded on was not lost on me. You see, she e-mailed a collection of editors an article where the author spouted on about the death of e-mail as a form of communication.

There's A Wireless App For That

November 23, 2009 8:49 am | by by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info

Here at IMPO and Chem.Info , we try to stay out in front of the trends happening in chemical and processing facilities around the country. Whether it’s the inherently safer technologies that could (read: probably will) change the way chemical facilities operate, or membrane separation technologies designed to improve everything from wastewater treatment to carbon capture , we’re constantly reading, watching and talking about processing technologies in order to present products and stories that can help you on the plant floor.

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No Tricks, Just Tofurkey

November 17, 2009 5:14 am | by by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Ever. In fact, I find watching sports and eating carbohydrates to be two of the most enjoyable activities in which to indulge during winter. Each year I pretend to help with the cooking, eat, doze, and then force my grown adult brothers to watch the cartoon version of Dr.

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