The Magazine

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers (cont.)

From the Scrapbook.

Sep 3, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 47 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Verily magazine aims to occupy another niche. Its founders are smart young women, some married, most single, who found they didn’t recognize themselves in the pages of Cosmo, or the more recherché Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, or any women’s magazine in between. What real woman does, after all, when models look like heroin addicts, clothes suggest a millionaire’s budget and exhibitionist’s soul, and advice is geared to people whose only relationships appear to be ill-defined, neurotic entanglements with losers? Verily’s founders want their magazine, in the words of editor in chief Kara Eschbach, a veteran of New York’s financial district, to “start new conversations” and help readers “discover the beauty in -everyday life.” They mean to tell women’s stories that are “empowering, affirming, and true.”

Take a look at the teaser issue, available free on the web. It has lovely fashion spreads, elegant design, and thought-provoking articles, like “The Women of ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” “Love and Living Green,” and “Between Two Worlds,” by a Sudanese-American who rejected an arranged marriage. Join The -Scrapbook in wishing this venture a success even Helen Gurley Brown—always a champion of hard-working women—would have applauded. And buy a couple of subscriptions for your favorite young friends.


One Man’s Trash .  .  .

There is a scene in the 1983 movie Local Hero where an over-pampered American executive visiting rural Scotland appalls an innkeeper by asking him: “Would you have an [electrical] adapter? I have to charge my briefcase.” He would feel at home on the streets of several Democrat-run American cities today. Since the administration began funneling money to green energy projects in the 2009 stimulus, there has been a proliferation of solar-powered trash cans. That is good news for the Massachusetts-based BigBelly Solar company, which sells the units for $4,000 apiece. Philadelphia has more than a thousand of them. Chicago has hundreds. Boston has hundreds, too, and ordered 400 more in July. Boston’s units must be special, because the price tag on them has reportedly risen to $6,000.

Regular urban trash cans only run about a hundred bucks. But to listen to BigBelly’s executives and urban planners, cities just can’t afford not to buy the things. They don’t only hold the trash, they compact it, leading to .  .  . em .  .  . well, denser trash! “Philadelphia will reduce its collections from 17 to 5 times per week,” ran one early promotional video, “cut its greenhouse gas emissions from collections by 80% .  .  . and save $13 million over the next 10 years.” Oddly, The Scrapbook has seen no press releases announcing the layoffs of now-redundant garbage collectors, or the lowering of municipal tax rates in Philadelphia. 


Must Reading

The Scrapbook is a big fan of the distinguished historian Gertrude Himmelfarb. (Really, who isn’t?) So we were very pleased to learn that Rowman & Littlefield has just published a new, expanded edition of her superb collection of essaysThe Moral Imagination. The subtitle of the 2006 edition was “From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling.” The new subtitle is “From Adam Smith to Lionel Trilling,” reflecting the fact that the new volume features three additional essays, on Smith, Lord Acton, and Alfred Marshall. 

So now you get 15 dazzling studies of men ranging from John Stuart Mill to Michael Oakeshott, Charles Dickens to John Buchan, and Walter Bagehot to Winston Churchill. And, The Scrapbook hastens to add only partly for fear of being accused of complicity in the famed war on women, not just men—the essays on Jane Austen and George Eliot are two of our favorites. Buy the book and send copies to your friends—you’ll thank us for the recommendation, and they’ll thank you (and Himmelfarb) for the reading enjoyment, the historical education, and the intellectual stimulation. 

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