[Editor's note: Interesting geography piece in yesterday's Washington Post about how Argentina is producing less free-range beef in favor of US-style feedlots. The days of the cowboy are indeed numbered.]
Republished from The Washington Post.
By Juan Forero. Thursday, September 10, 2009
Cattle Being Moved Off Plains and Into U.S.-Style Feedlots
MAGDALENA, Argentina — Cattle once ruled the seemingly endless grasslands here, delivering decades of prosperity for Argentina and producing a brand familiar to the world — natural, grass-fed beef.
But a quiet revolution has arrived on the famously fertile pampa, a swath of plains bigger than Texas.
Instead of roaming freely and eating to their hearts’ content, a growing number of Argentine cattle are spending a third of their lives in U.S.-style feedlots. There, crammed in muddy corrals, they are pumped with antibiotics and fed mounds of protein-rich grain, which fattens them up fast but hardly conjures up the romantic image of the Argentine cowboy, the iconic gaucho, lassoing cattle on the high plains.
[Editor’s note: This cover illustration from Matt Wuerker for Politico is a take on Steinberg’s classic illustrations for the New Yorker that show the mental map for politicians living in the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. The lead article looks at the top 50 politicos to watch. Thanks Laris!]
Given the name of this publication, we sometimes get asked a good question: What exactly is a politico? There are a lot of definitions that fit, but here’s one that seems to work well: A politico is a participant in and/or an especially avid devotee of the theater of politics.
There is no grander stage than the capital for this particular drama. And what is the main thing you do at the theater? You watch it, of course. And then you laugh or cry or yawn or boo. At the end, you applaud — whether out of admiration for the performance or gratitude that it is over.
This issue (the third special glossy that POLITICO has published this year) is devoted to 50 Politicos to Watch. In some cases, the people are on the watch list because they are on the rise — the kind of list people in Washington relish being on. But be careful what you wish for. Some politicos are interesting to watch because they are in the middle of one sticky mess or another.
But in every case, the names we compiled here — and, let’s be honest, the list is somewhat random — were identified by our reporters and editors as being characters in motion, in the middle of interesting plots.
[Editor’s note: One big news design conference already in 2009 (Malofiej) and another coming up (SND in Buenos Aires). The “subway” map above (view PDF) shows the presenters at Malofiej thru the years and the topological relationships between “lines” and presentors (nodes). The video and text below preview the SND conference. Thanks Larry!]
Republished from Mauricio GutierrezDeputy Design Director/Features, Detroit Free Press
If you’re thinking that SND Buenos Aires could be a good conference to attend in 2009, put in your vacation request ASAP! Buenos Aires is piping hot. Has anyone counted how many stories on the city have run in The New York Times lately? A lot.
And for a good reason. I went there a few weeks ago and can give you a sneak peek at what you may see while you’re there enjoying the Workshop.
First, clear your calendar for at least a week: you’ll need the time. After flying ten or more hours, you’ll want time to relax and stroll around the city’s many neighborhoods.
At first, the city’s charms underwhelmed me. It’s a big city with big city problems: pollution, traffic, dog poop. But look past all that and you’ll find a great place, one inspiring and show-casing design.
Just walking around the city, I saw some of the best use of color, particularly around the neighborhood of La Boca — (for soccer fans) home to the Boca Juniors stadium where Maradona played — with its multicolored homes and shops. And don’t forget the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s White House but in a nice pink hue. How great is that? An explosion of colors.
The amount of visual stimulation is surprising. From fantastic architecture to well designed stores, from colorful facades to ornate signs, there’s so much to take in. Among the amazing things I saw were hand-painted signs. Not your average signs, these were full of color, great typographical sense, and fanciful designs. They’re a unique artistic expression called “fileteado porteno,” an art form that started as a way to identify carts at the market. It was then transferred to other vehicles. Now you see it everywhere, from menus to McDonald’s. I love its naive simplicity and bought a sign painted by an artisan in San Telmo, an up-and-coming neighborhood with an art fair and flea market on Sundays. Though you can find many street vendors and artists selling signs in the fileteado style, each shows various skill levels. By far, the best sign painter was Marcelo Arias. His trace and color sense were fantastic. I also bought a book on the subject, “Fileteado Porteno,” by Alfredo Genovese to learn more about its history and current use. When you’re in Buenos Aires pick up a copy of the book, it’s an indispensable reference book for any designer.