Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Oxfam America Check Presentation

Walter Wakefield of Whole Earth and Jessica Glidden of Oxfam America

Walter Wakefield of Whole Earth and Jessica Glidden of Oxfam America
~ photo by Jesse Reynolds

To everyone who took part in our Nepal Recovery Fund Drive – Oxfam America received the funds you contributed today – $17,763! This is the second largest donation that Oxfam America has received for relief work in Nepal in the wake of two devastating earthquakes. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generous support.

Vibram Class-action Lawsuit Settlement Information

Vibram has settled a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of making false and unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of its Vibram FiveFingers footwear. The company will put $3.75 million into an escrow account to pay out settlements to class members and will remove all claims that its products either strengthen muscles or reduce injuries—unless it comes up with proof. The company has established a website where consumers will be able to get dates, deadlines and notices about making their claims.

According to news reports, consumers who purchased a pair of the shoes between March 21, 2009 and the date of the first dissemination of summary settlement notice or class notice, will be eligible for an estimated refund between $20 and $50 per pair. Class members can submit a claim for up to two pairs of shoes without any kind of receipt or proof of purchase, though the company can request proof of purchase at any time.

Customers will need to apply directly to Vibram to receive a portion of the settlement money. Whole Earth will not be accepting returns as a part of the Class Action Lawsuit.

Celebrating Marie

Whole Earth Home Office with Social Media Maven, Marie!

Whole Earth Home Office with Social Media Maven, Marie!

Last week we said our fond farewells to our Maven of Social Media, Marie. She is moving on to exciting new adventures in California. And in true Whole Earth fashion, we had a party to say goodbye. Our ice cream social was filled with hugs, tears, shared memories and many, many good wishes.

Marie began her career with Whole Earth eight years ago as a staff member at our North Lamar store in Austin. She became a Buyer’s Assistant and later led Whole Earth’s venture into the realm of Social Media. Her enthusiasm for the fast moving world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms was infectious. She read white papers, studied the acknowledged leaders in the field for ideas, got caught up in the heady world of SXSW Interactive, and thrived as the face of Social Media for Whole Earth.

As anyone who has met Marie will tell you, she glows with energy, intelligence, good humor and beauty. Her interests are many: design, fashion, photography, climbing, acroyoga, dancing and, in general, having a grand time at work and at play. She will be greatly missed.

Greetings from the Pale Blue Dot!

Whole Earthlings Wave Hello to Cassini

Whole Earthlings Wave Hello to the Cassini Spacecraft

Greetings from the Pale Blue Dot!

NASA called it the first interplanetary photobomb and Whole Earth Provision Co. was there! On July 19th the Cassini spacecraft turned its camera towards Earth and took a picture. Cassini has photographed the Earth once before, but this was the first time that Earthlings knew in advance that their picture was going to be taken from a billion miles away. NASA hoped that people around the world would go outside to wave at Saturn while the photo-shoot was underway. Always happy to do our part, we gathered outside the Whole Earth office in Austin and sent salutations to Cassini and the ringed planet.

This is only the third photo of the Earth taken from the outer solar system. The first, the Pale Blue Dot, was taken 23 years ago by Voyager 1 from beyond Neptune. The other image was taken by Cassini in 2006. Why did NASA have Cassini take a picture of the Earth today? The spacecraft was taking advantage of an eclipse of the Sun by Saturn which made the Earth visible just outside the E ring.

Whole Earth ad circa 1970

One of our very first ads (1971)

Why is an image of our planet at such a distance so important? It’s a reminder of just how small we are in the great cosmic scheme of things and how precious our planet Earth really is. The Pale Blue Dot inspired Carl Sagan to write:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. …The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It is said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

from Carl Sagan’s The Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Georgean and Paul Kyle and the creation of Chaetura Canyon Preserve

The June 2013 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine includes a tribute by Carter P. Smith to the work of Georgean and Paul Kyle. Austinites may know the Kyles as the craftsworkers at Rootin’ Ridge Toymakers or as crusaders out to save endangered Chimney Swifts. Smith’s article describes their work to reclaim Chaetura Canyon from an overabundance of deer and cedar trees and the subsequent return of native plants and wildlife. It’s an inspiring story that highlights the power of many small acts to add up to significant achievements. We hope you’ll enjoy the article and watch the Central Texas Gardener’s video tour of the Chaetura Canyon.

Cast Your Vote – The Best of Dallas 2013

D Magazine in Dallas just announced their 2013 Best of D Readers’ Choice Poll for shopping. Whole Earth Provision Co. is proud to have once again been nominated in the Best Toy Store category.

Best Toy Store Nomination, Best Of D Magazine

Toys have had a special place in Whole Earth stores from the beginning. Based on the principles of the Whole Earth Catalog, we stock items that are useful, relevant and of high quality. But we added one more item to the list – fun. We’re a playful bunch and always on the lookout for great new toys to add to our collection of time-tested classics and new favorites. We’ve got toys for rambunctious outdoor fun, games and puzzles for children of all ages, toys for building, pretending and quiet indoor play, toys for exploring, and stuffed animal companions large and small.

If you love our toys, please vote for us in the Best of D Reader’ Choice Poll.

Tony Pierson on the 50 Mile Walk

Tony Pierson wears a Whole Earth t-shirt on the 50 Mile Walk. 

On Friday February 8th, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story on Robert F. Kennedy’s 50 mile walk. The gist of the story was Robert F. Kennedy taking on a challenge issued to the Marines by his brother President John F. Kennedy to walk 50 miles in one day. The President jokingly suggested that his staff take on the challenge as well. So the next day, in the snow, slush and freezing temperatures, Robert F. Kennedy, the U.S. Attorney General, walked 50 miles in one day from Great Falls, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C., to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. And he did it with no training and in business shoes.

50 Mile Walk 2012 route

At the Whole Earth offices we wondered how Kennedy had done it. We decided that, in a famously competitive family, a challenge by an older brother, who also happened to be President, would offer sufficient motivation for even the craziest feat. The fact that the Press Corps was on the scene by mile 25 may have been an added encouragement. Little did we know that back East, Earthling Sarah Pierson had also heard the NPR story and that there would be a 50th anniversary walk the next day. She mentioned it to her husband, Tony Pierson. By 7 p.m. Friday evening, Tony had decided to participate in the Walk and at 4 a.m. was at the starting line with about 30 other walkers.

50 Mile Walkers at the starting line.

Walkers at the starting line


As Tony tells it, “A 50 mile hike… how hard could it be? We have been training for 26 miles in full uniform, carrying a 35 pound ruck [for the Bataan Memorial Death March]. But 50 miles was a real challenge while carrying about 15 pounds of supplies and wearing cold weather gear. Next year I will try to prepare. We averaged not quite 4 mph, but did stop a few times to take in calories. Overall it was a lot of fun.” Tony was also thankful that Sarah not only humored him but brought him Gatorade, protein bars and a Pepsi at mile 33.

So a big Whole Earth congratulations to Tony Pierson for completing the Robert F. Kennedy 50 Mile Walk!