The End of a 1,400-Year-Old Business
The world's oldest continuously operating family business ended its impressive run last year. Japanese temple builder Kongo Gumi, in operation under the founders' descendants since 578, succumbed to excess debt and an unfavorable business climate in 2006.
How do you make a family business last for 14 centuries? Kongo Gumi's case suggests that it's a good idea to operate in a stable industry. Few industries could be less flighty than Buddhist temple construction. The belief system has survived for thousands of years and has many millions of adherents. With this firm foundation, Kongo had survived some tumultuous times, notably the 19th century Meiji restoration when it lost government subsidies and began building commercial buildings for the first time. But temple construction had until recently been a reliable mainstay, contributing 80% of Kongo Gumi's $67.6 million in 2004 revenues. (another slice)
Not Saying Anyone is a Geek...
But if you're interested in taking the Kite-Launched Skydiver challenge or getting your paper airplanes to stay aloft for 20 secs, you might want to go here.
Not Saying Anyone is a Stuntman...
39 Ingredients and One of Them Explodes!
Twinkie, Twinkie...tunnel-busting Twinkie
Thick cream and egg yolks are nature's way of merging water and fat for creaminess. Polysorbate replicates this, but lasts much longer. The emulsifier is made using explosive ethylene oxide. "They're using an explosive ingredient to make food," Ettlinger says. "That kind of blew my mind."