Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

This Site has Moved to

Click Here to Vist NEW Site:

I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out:



January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Retro & Vintage Design

So I woke up pretty early this morning (5:30am) and thought lets work on a project that I’ve been postponing for a while…  So I collected some vintage and retro art design for this long overdue project and thought some people might find it inspiring.   I enjoy the branding side of business and I think this look can help a business stand out by giving it a unique and distinct flavor.

As an individual whos all about requirements gathering I find it very difficult to sit with a designer and just explain what I need.  I’ve about diagrams, charts, brief statements, pictures etc. So this collection should help me with that process and also provide me with a single place to store all these pictures.  Hope its useful for whatever you need it for, enjoy!

Some of these pics came came from, an online magazine dedicated to designers and developers.

  • illustrations from old posters, movies, newspapers, CDs, vinyls, ads;Movie in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old-style typography (e.g. Roman typefaces);Class in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • script fonts and handwriting;Script in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old radio devices;Radio in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old TV devices;Tv in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old cars;Car2 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old packaging;Package in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old photos;Photos in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • vibrant rainbow colors (high contrast, neon-style);Rainbow in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • torn, used paper with stains (often yellowish paper);Paper in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • dark, dirty colors (brown, dark red, dark blue) and textures (e.g. paper);Dark in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • scrapbooks;Scrap in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • pop-art elements (see also Pop Art Is Alive: Classics and Modern Artworks);Popart in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • retro illustrations;Posters in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old-style signs;Hire in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • vintage and retro are often combined with a hand-drawing style and grunge style.

11 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Custom Design

44 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Big Rig Design

28 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

8 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

FortySeven Media

47 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Jeffrey Sarmiento

1 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Klassiker in Acryl

48 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

43 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Rob Across America

45 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

31 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Dallas Advertising Agency

23 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Sensi Soft

40 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


27 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The New York Moon

3 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

~ The Statement ~ The Official Blog of The Old State

4 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

MacTarnahan’s Brewing Company

2 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

ISO50 – The Visual Work of Scott Hansen

5 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Tricycle Terror

6 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Charlies Loan

7 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Small Stone Recordings

10 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Big Cartel

12 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Ernest Hemingway Collection

15 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

16 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Five Cent Stand – Bitter Kiss

18 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Tennessee Vacation

22 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


25 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Thigpen Designs

30 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Team Mongolmania

32 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


33 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Superest

34 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Red&Blu Winter ‘08-’09

35 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


37 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


41 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


42 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

46 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


49 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Dollar Dreadful Family Library

50 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Creating Passionate Users

54 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Dennis Jones Artwork

55 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Capitol Media

56 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

One Horse Shy

57 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Lippincott

58 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

BlackMoon Development

59 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Sourcebits TangledDecals

61 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

FOWA Miami

62 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Bestial design

63 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The First Twenty

64 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Blizzards

65 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


66 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Internet Zillionaire

53 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


52 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design


51 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Ads, Art, Brochure, Business Cards, Creativity, Marketing, Packaging, Photography, Products, Sales, Website | | Leave a comment

An Old- Fasion Approach

An Amish Entrepreneur’s Old-Fashioned Approach

Without electricity, a car, or a cell phone, Amos Miller turned his dad’s Pennsylvania farm into a $1.8 million national food retailer

I hope you enjoy this story its by  David Gumpert of Business Week and he’s made me think on a few occasions… Anyhow here’s a little bit about David, he’s a journalist who blogs regularly about the business of health and has written a number of books about small business and entrepreneurship, including Burn Your Business Plan! His latest book is, The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights.  Now Enjoy!

Imagine trying to build a national food retailing business based on mail order, far-flung distributors, and trade shows—without using the Internet. No e-mail newsletters or Web site for taking orders and handling complaints, no Facebook fans, or Google (GOOG) ads, or Twitter following.

That’s not all. Imagine doing it without using cell phones or computers. No BlackBerry for expediting orders. No CRM software for segmenting customer lists. Absolutely no texting.

Let your imagination go a little further and picture doing it without driving a car or without using electricity. No quick trips to the post office to ship orders, and no fax machine, scanner, or copier.

Remarkable Anomaly

This is the world of Miller Farm, a Pennsylvania food producer that has grown to $1.8 million in annual sales from less than half that four years ago. The farm is so busy it’s turning away orders from food cooperatives around the country.

But data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest what an anomaly Miller Farm is.

While farming is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, with more than 300,000 new farms started from 2002 to 2007, accounting for nearly 2 million small farms, making a good living is becoming tougher. The USDA in its 2007 census said the number of small farms with $100,000 to $250,000 annual sales (its highest revenue range for small farms) declined 7%.

Horse-and-Buggy Ways

The driving force behind this anomaly is 32-year-old Amos Miller. He’s not growing his business bereft of so many modern conveniences out of some sense of purity or to prove a point, but rather because he is Amish. As part of their religious beliefs, the Amish turn their backs on modern-day conveniences and are highly visible in the areas of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where most live, notable for their dark clothing and their horses and buggies, which compete with cars and trucks on local roads. They avoid even having their photos taken, which is why we can’t include a photo of Miller and his family.

Located in Bird-in-Hand, Pa., Miller Farm was started by Amos’ father, Jacob. Amos says he and his dad concluded in 2000, based on conversations they had with customers and representatives of organizations that promote nutrient-dense foods, that interest was about to grow significantly. The two of them focused on expanding the farm’s product line, so they now offer 31 products, from grassfed beef (including not only various steak cuts, but marrow bones, ox tail, and tallow) to milk-fed pork, pastured chicken (including chickens not fed any soy), and 16 varieties of cultured veggies (including fermented ketchup, cabbage juice, and tomato salsa).

The interest in such foods has helped drive the rapid growth of farmer’s markets, private buyers clubs, cooperatives, and community supported agriculture (known as CSAs, whereby consumers commit to buying a particular producer’s foods for a season or ongoing). Once popular mainly for vegetables, CSAs now exist for meat and even for fish.

Quest for Nutrient Density

“It used to be that organic was all the rage,” says Dan Kittredge, executive director of the Real Food Campaign, which is part of advocacy group Re-Mineralize the Earth. “Now everyone has organic.” Nutrient-dense food is the new rage and gives “the advantage back” to small farmers who leverage the notion that certain foods, such as fermented vegetables, grass-fed beef, and pastured chickens, are more nutritious than conventionally produced products and may help consumers strengthen their immune systems. “There is money to be made here,” he says.

And making money is what Miller Farm is doing. “I can’t meet all the demand,” says Amos Miller. He relies on additional supplies of product from his brother, John, who “grows the produce that we ferment and process here,” and from three other neighboring Amish and Mennonite farmers.

What distinguishes Miller Farm from others, such as celebrity farmer Joel Salatin’s farm in Virginia, which has helped popularize nutrient-dense foods, is that Miller has gone national—and done it without modern conveniences. His main concessions to modern life are a generator for refrigeration to cool certain foods and a landline telephone (717-556-0672) to take orders from distributors and mail-order customers. He also relies on FedEx (FDX) for shipping orders to customers.

Courting the Foodies

To market his wares and network, Miller regularly attends events popular with foodie types. At the annual conference of the Weston A.Price Foundation, held in November at a hotel outside Chicago, he and several other Amish manned a large table in the exhibitor area, selling large jars of fermented veggies, maple syrup, and homemade spelt noodles.In December, at a conference in St.Paul, Minn., of sustainable farmers and their customers put on by Acres USA, Miller’s offerings were a little different: at breakfast time, slices of dense grain bread slathered in butter and honey; and at lunch, plates of bread with homemade liverwurst and salami.

How did he get all that food to the conferences if he doesn’t drive? He rented a refrigerated truck and hired a non-Amish neighbor to drive it. He stored the food in dozens of coolers with refrigerant chemical blocks.

“He’s a hustler,” says Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, who mans a booth near Miller’s at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference.

The Blessings of Dirt

The conferences bring in not only direct revenues but also customers from around the country. For instance, many of the attendees at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference are involved with food cooperatives back home that are seeking the kinds of foods Miller’s farm produces. The orders pour in from individual consumers the old-fashioned way—via snail mail, as well as via the farm’s conventional telephone line. The farm receives regular orders from food cooperatives as far away as Florida and California.

While he says he’s proud of the fact that “we’re making a lot of money,” Miller notes that elders in his church worry about the growth. “They discourage us getting too big,” he notes, in part because they don’t want Amish farmers to be tempted by the marvels of modern technology. “As long as we don’t rely on computers and electronics, they’re okay.”

Miller says he doesn’t get frustrated by not having modern conveniences. In fact, when he’s at trade shows, he usually can’t wait to get back home. “The city is a pretty sterile environment,” he says. “But if I did it once a month, I’d get lost, I’d forget what it’s like to get dirty.”

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Business, Creativity, Great Ideas | , , | 1 Comment

A Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

So I cam across this book about 4-5 years ago and it just captivated me.   Sikhs and Jews have a lot in common and this story tells a tall tale.   Click on the Video Link to know what I mean.

The Book: Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

Product Details

Author: Aaron Lansky

The Website:


So why I am I curious about Yeddish Books?

My Dad and I have been talking about these particular issues for about 5 years and finally I took a baby step and spent part of my new years eve volunteering with an amazing and inspiring group of people from my book club.   We spent time showing youth and the sikh community at large a new website that was launched to perserve Sikh litrature and history.  The project is called the Panjab Digital Library (

This particular demo was held at a sikh temple (Gurdwara) in Surrey,  I decided to bow out of my volunteer obligations a little early as I wanted to spend the new year  with my family who were at Gurdwara closer to home.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Blogging, Creativity, Great Ideas, Sustainable Community Development | , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Tiger: Code of Conduct

I thought I would take the initiative and start drafting an initial code of conduct so one of the groups I’m involved with can can continue to grow and inspire people in a more structure environment.   So I randomly came across this video and I it was worth sharing.  Whoever created them seems like a very gifted and social conscience person. I hope you enjoy.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Art, Creativity, Sustainability | , | Leave a comment

Gross National Happiness Index Vs. Consumption (GDP)

From an ecological and community focused perspective, how can we expect our communities to change in these ever-changing times when we measure growth and success based on consumption (GDP)?  The concept of gross national happiness (GNH) is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than gross national product.  Below you’ll find out the basics of GNH and I’ll be sure to blog about GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) in a later post as it’s just as interesting.

History of GNH

The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan‘s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization, soon after the demise of his father, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for Bhutan’s five-year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country.

Principals (How ti works)

There is no exact quantitative definition of GNH it refers to the concept of a quantitative measurement of well-being and happiness. The two measures are both motivated by the notion that subjective measures like well-being are more relevant and important than more objective measures like consumption. It is not measured directly, but only the factors which are believed to lead to it.  While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

GNH has grown and expanded over the years, the metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking 7 development areas including the nation’s mental and emotional health. GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following measures:

  1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
  2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic
  3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses
  4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
  5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
  6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
  7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

Another Link: GDP & GNP Explained in an understandable way.  (below link)

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, Government, Information Technology (I.T.), Politics, Sustainability | | Leave a comment

Cold Play, The Pioneers of Carbon Credits

I think some artist have the canny  ability to see the world from a different perspective, one different from those who haven’t dared explore their creative side and ask the basic questions of our existence.   Although I don’t listen to Cold Plays all to often I can heartedly appreciate them bring the change they want to see.

Cold Play is an iconic music group that has an international fan base, they reach million upon million of people with their messages.

So when they decided to Offset the re carbon footprint for their world tours by selling carbon certificates to their fans that was an amazing point in history!  They wanted to offset the carbon dioxide from there travels, there concerts by planting and grow mango’s in India that would suck up some of the CO2.  The plan was brilliant and nobel.  the only problem was that the mango tree’s died and there were other logistic problems.   But my hat goes off to a group with that sort of influence trying to make a change, even if they didn’t succeed the first time around.

Here’s an article by Amrit Dhillon in Gudibanda and Toby Harnden published by The Telegraph Paper in the United Kingdom in early 2006, it outlines the problems and challenges the Cold Play Forest Project faced.

When Coldplay released its second hit album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band said that part of the environmental damage caused by its production would be offset by the planting of 10,000 mango trees in southern India.

More than four years after the album’s release, however, many of Coldplay’s good intentions have withered in the arid soil of Gudibanda, Karnataka state, where the saplings it sponsored were planted.

The idea of saving the world while making music was proposed by Future Forests, a British company since renamed CarbonNeutral. It declared that the scheme would soak up carbon dioxide emissions and help to improve the livelihoods of local farmers.

“You can dedicate more saplings in Coldplay’s forest, a specially-selected section in Karnataka, India,” its website said. For £17.50, fans could invest in the scheme and receive a certificate packaged in a tube bearing the words “The Coldplay Forest”.

CarbonNeutral meanwhile, gave the task of planting the trees to a group called Women for Sustainable Development (WSD), as part of a £33,000 contract. WSD is headed by Anandi Sharan Mieli, 44, born in Switzerland of Indian origin and a Cambridge graduate. She now claims that the scheme was doomed from the outset.

In the impoverished villages of Varlakonda, Lakshmisagara and Muddireddihalli, among the dozen that Miss Mieli said had received mango saplings, no one had heard of Coldplay. Most of those who received saplings said they had not been given funding for labour, insecticide or spraying equipment to nurture them.

One woman, called Jayamma was the only person out of 130 families in Lakshmisagara, to receive saplings from Miss Meili, according to Ashwattamma, a farmer’s wife. She said: “No one else got any trees. Some of us were offered saplings but we don’t have any water.”

Jayamma managed to get 50 of her 150 trees to survive because she had a well on her land. “I was promised 2,000 rupees (£26) every year to take care of the plants and a bag of fertiliser. But I got only the saplings,” she said.

In nearby Varlakonda, about 10 families were given approximately 1,400 saplings. Of these, just 600 survived. Another farmer who took 100 saplings, said: “[Miss Meili] promised us that she’d arrange the water.” But villagers said a tanker came only twice.

The land in Gudibanda is dry and rocky. Farmers depend on rainfall but the monsoon failed every year between 1995 and 2004, causing drought.

One of the few successes are the 300 mango trees owned by Narayanamma, 69, and her husband Venkatarayappa, 74. They were apparently the only couple to receive 4,000 rupees from Miss Meili. They also spent 30,000 rupees on tankers and labourers. “We were promised money for maintenance every year but got nothing,” said Narayanamma.

Sitting in her spacious house in Bangalore, Miss Meili said that she had distributed 8,000 saplings and acknowledged that 40 per cent had died. The project had foundered, she said, because of inadequate funding. She accused Future Forests of having a “condescending” attitude. “They do it for their interests, not really for reducing emissions. They do it because it’s good money,” she said. CarbonNeutral said that it did not fund the whole programme and that WSD had a contractual responsibility to provide irrigation and support to farmers. Jonathan Shopley, the chief executive, conceded that while the project might still succeed, it had “struggled to reach its full potential”.

Coldplay is supporting a similar project, which CarbonNeutral says is much more successful, in Chiapas, Mexico. If the Karnataka project does not offset the carbon emissions that Coldplay specified, then CarbonNeutral will make good the amount from other projects.

Richard Tipper, the director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management, which monitored the project for CarbonNeutral, said that the Karnataka project had “experienced major problems” because WSD had not raised the necessary money to administer the project and because of the long drought.

A monitoring visit in 2003 had found that “WSD had been unable to make the anticipated progress with the project and had not delivered carbon payments to farmers”. He added that “practices for screening projects have developed considerably based on this experience”.

Chris Latham, the spokesman for Coldplay in Britain, declined to comment but a source close to the band said: “Coldplay signed up to the scheme in good faith with Future Forests and it’s in their hands. There are loads of bands involved in this kind of thing. For a band on the road all the time, it would be difficult to monitor a forest.”

Coldplay,The Coldplay Forest,UK,Deleted,MEMORABILIA,354387

COLDPLAY The Coldplay Forest (2002 UK Future Forests/CarbonNeutral’ gift pack featuring a double-sided commerative certificate with a black & white image of Coldplay in the studio and a map showing the location of the Coldplay forest in Gudibanda Taluk, Karnataka, India. Housed in a custom 9½” x 2″ diameter tube with ‘The Coldplay Forest’ text and ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ album artwork logo with red and white printed belly band!).

Coldplay,The Coldplay Forest,UK,Deleted,MEMORABILIA,354387

November 28, 2009 Posted by | Creativity | | Leave a comment

Who Started Carbon Credits?

I was curious to find who the genius or geniuses behind the development of carbon credits were and how the whole thing got into play on the world stage.   So I did some digging and this is what I found…..

In 1992,  in Rio de Janeiro Brazil the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held and this where the birth of Greenhouse gases as a tradable commodity began.

The conference  known as “The Earth Summit” was headed up by Canada’s Maurice Strong and he had made the revolutionary suggestion why not pay people to keep carbon out of the atmosphere!

Now you know how the ball started rolling on this subject!  Check out my other posts for some insight into Carbon Credits and Offsets.


108 Heads of States or Governments were there when the idea was proposed!

Rio de Janeiro

November 28, 2009 Posted by | Carbon Credits, Creativity, Government, Sustainability | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Can’t believe this is a WordPress site!

I found these sites on (the WordPress Showcase) < Amazing, not because of the woman, but the source code is actually WordPress! < I thought this was good use of a WordPress site for a Real Estate application.

November 26, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Creativity | Leave a comment

Top 20 Consumer Trends for 2010

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Model, Creativity, Great Ideas | | Leave a comment