Message in Bottle Found, 25 Years Hence

March 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Posted in News | 1 Comment


message in the bottleThose New Zealand beaches are disgorging treasures galore. First it was a relic from a sunken sailing ship, found recently by a Taranaki beachcomber. Now it’s a message in a bottle that was returned to its writer this week, 25 years after she chucked it into the sea. Last Christmas Day, eight-year-old Aucklander Tom Hussona discovered the artifact on yet another North Island strand, Cooks Beach. “The message was just in hundreds of bits,” Tom’s mother Erica told a reporter. “The paper was so delicate … we had to try to get between the folds and unravel it with toothpicks.” Assembling the message, they saw that it had been written by a girl exactly the same age as Tom — but she had written it 25 years ago. 

With the help of the Internet, this week Tom and Erica located the message-writer, Kylie Tatham-Tahere, who is now a grown woman, married with three children. (They texted her — talk about the opposite end of the communication spectrum from messages in bottles!) During a childhood vacation a quarter-century ago, Tatham-Tahere and a cousin threw the bottle into the sea while boating just offshore from Cooks Beach.

The families are planning a joint vacation where they can all meet … at the beach.

Half Price Goes Green

March 11, 2009 at 8:52 am | Posted in News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


windpowerHalf Price Books is going green. One of our favorite destinations for bargain-priced books, the nation’s largest family-owned new (but cheap!) and used bookstore chain announced on Monday that it is purchasing pollution-free wind energy for thirty stores and other facilities in its home state of Texas over the next three years. Planning to purchase about 11.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power a year, Half Price Books has been recognized by the US. Environmental Protection Agency as an EPA Green Power Partner for its leading green power purchase. 

By purchasing the wind power, Dallas-based Half Price will offset about 15 million pounds of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of planting 901,000 trees or recycling 6 million pounds of newspaper.

According to a company press release, Half Price “sponsors the Half Pint Library Book Drive at each of its stores, donating thousands of books to hospitals and clinics throughout the United States.” Free books for the needy. That’s good karma.

Thrift-Shop Robbers Strike Again

March 11, 2009 at 8:24 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

st-vincent-de-paul_02The trend continues. How low can you go? A St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Newark, Ohio has been burglarized, as reported by Channel 4 in Columbus. It happened on January 25, but as the crime remains unsolved, Licking County Crime Stoppers is now offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible. At night while the store was closed, the perpetrator(s) broke a window, climbed in and stole an undisclosed amount of money. According to Channel 4, some of that money was snatched from a “jug” in the store itself, and some of it was stolen from “a coffee can that was stored in a locker” outside the public shopping area.

Don’t pull that “desperate times call for desperate measures” line on us. It won’t wash. Then again, we’re not saints. If St. Vincent de Paul heard about this crime, he’d probably cry — and buy the burglars lunch. As described in our book The Scavengers’ Manifesto: “St. Vincent de Paul was a 17th-century French priest whose pioneering charity efforts included orphanages, foundlings’ homes, workhouses and soup kitchens. Some of these institutions sound chilling to modern ears, but they were revolutionary in Vincent’s lifetime — a brutal era when poor urban orphans were commonly forced into prostitution and/or deliberately maimed and used as begging-bait. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul — founded in 1833 by a young Parisian student named Frédéric Ozanam, who was inspired by Vincent and who has been canonized as well — now operates hundreds of stores.”

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.