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GP26Jan05: Mining the Global Province

Getting Our Letter.  Each day queries about the Global Province and the Letter from the Global Province originating in Malaysia, Buenos Aires, and Fort Worth traipse into our inbox, so we thought this week we’d give you a little guided tour of the joint.  First and foremost, we do include a little button about how to subscribe right at the top of the homepage—in answer to a question from one solicitor.  (Or just follow this direct link, with very easy instructions: www.globalprovince.com/subscribe.htm.)  And there’s a note at the bottom of each letter on how to get off the list.  For your information, we are under the impression that about 10,000 people look at the site with some regularity, so you are only patronizing a small boutique when you visit with us. 

Finding out What’s on the Site.  There’s a little prologue that tells you about most of our sections at www.globalprovince.com/aboutglobalprovince.htm.  Each week, on the site and in the letter, we list the newest things added to the Global Province under “New Entries.”  And if you will scroll down the homepage, you will also find a complete table of contents just below the list of new entries.   

Searching the Site.  A slew of researchers have asked us to put a search engine on the site, and we have failed them so far.  We will get it done, but you must realize that we are ivory-tower antiquarians who lag behind the galloping herd when it comes to improvements.  We’re the guys who hate all those gizmos they put on cellphones.  

In the meanwhile, we suggest you take a look at a couple of indexes that might be helpful.  In Best of Class, you will discover some special categories ranging from cities to hotels to restaurants where you can find  particular items that may meet your special fancy.  There, too, you will find an index which we devised for the many readers chasing the best things in life who are mostly interested in this section.  Three items at the bottom of the current entries on the homepage merit your attention—our Company Index, our Global Lists, and the Infinite Bookstore.   

Golden Nuggets.  Scattered around the site are special, hard-to-find lodes that deserve a look if you happen upon them.  They’re not obvious, because we like to do our shouting quietly.  Let us point you to a few of them.  Since we think Wal-Mart is the world’s most important company, we are building a little W file which only shows up when we add something new—www.globalprovince.com/walmart.htm.  Very slowly we are building a Global Province Network which includes merchants and institutions where we are acquainted with the chiefs and think that they are awfully good at what they do and are people of character besides.  We have archived all the old Letters from the Province, some of which probably touch on subjects close to your heart.  Our archive is located at www.globalprovince.com/letters.htm.  

Both the letter and other sections of the site often receive extensive contributions from friends of the Province, a few of which we will mention here.  You may be interested in a plasma physicist’s reflections on the current state of fusion energy development.   Or to hear from Dr. Jim Duke, actively retired from the Department of Agriculture, about the pitfalls of conventional drugs and the need for more herbal testing.  Or to travel with the peripatetic Howard Gross, who ruminates about the various first class airline offerings to Asia.  Most of our contributors are compulsive travelers, by the way.  Also, don’t miss the best pranks at Cal-Tech we mentioned last week, as re-created for us by Dennis Meredith, now at Duke and a fine science writer.  And then again, there are the many tasting contributions of Andrew Tanzer, resident of Greater China, to our wine section.  A thousand pardons to the legion of other contributors whose gems we will mention in other letters, such as Brian McBain’s two part history of his treatment over 20 years for a heart condition and Linda Peterson’s paean to Sandy Koufax.  (Linda’s just out with a new mystery, incidentally).  Another stalwart is working up a very personal piece on the trials of breast cancer.  (Cancer now outranks heart malfunction as the nation’s leading disease.) 

More Spice on the Way.  This year we added to the Province a newsletter called SpiceLines, which will eventually enjoy its own website and probably cost you a pretty penny.  But for now you can learn about fine spices and better cooking freely.  In the first issue, you will fine everything you ever wanted to know about pepper and more.  Make sure you try the recipes.  Cinnamon will be the next treat.  Fortunately our editor just put off a spice trip to Asia and avoided probable encounters with tsunami 2004 along the way.  Of course, we will also continue adding to our Best Spices section in Best of Class.  

And by the Way.  This week we have encountered a chap who’s written a little gem on lists found in literature, all of which fairly well prove that mankind was able to keep track of odds and ends before computers came along.  Read about him and his book in “Magnificent Obsession.”  It’s a great way of getting into nineteenth-century American Romanticism.  We must solicit a special list from him for our Global Lists section.   

P.S.  Well, of course, we haven’t told you the half of what’s on the site, nor mentioned some of the most popular areas.  If you are into neurology, peek at Brain Stem; jokes and such are on Global Wit; ideas about healthcare are at Stitch in Time.  Innovative business ideas can be found at Agile Companies and Dunk’s Dictums. The greatest number of readers flock to our Investor’s Digest: we are due for an update of Investment Outlook.  And so on.

P.P.S.  We are to take a Roman Holiday next week, since we will be in Vancouver, Texas, Mendocino, and other points of the compass.  Please stay tuned the following week for our thoughts on “Embedded Wrongs,” which are more difficult to eradicate than kudzu, cellphones, and the loud-talkers on MSNBC.

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