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Archive for the ‘research’ tag

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly digest of cool and interesting stuff. Happy reading, and we’ll see you next week!


September 14th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Spend an hour, boost your sales

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We’re putting on a can’t-miss webinar tomorrow with our resident sales expert and columnist Marty Grunder.

It starts at 12:30 EDT tomorrow, and you can register here.

Yes, it costs $69.99. But you’ll get invaluable insight and proven sales strategies that you can implement in your business tomorrow, including:

  • How to screen each and every prospect to make sure you are meeting with prospect who will buy.
  • What you must do before each and every call to improve your chances for making a sale by 50%.
  • Why your price doesn’t matter if you do 3 simple things.

Plus, you’ll get a  sneak preview of the L&L State of the Industry research on revenue and profits from me.

If you can’t make it tomorrow afternoon, you can still register to get access the recorded version later on.

So, if you want to increase your sales this fall and in 2013, you owe it to yourself to spend an hour with us tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did.


September 6th, 2012 at 1:45 am

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our digest of the most interesting stuff for your weekend reading pleasure. Enjoy!


August 3rd, 2012 at 4:52 pm

How parks make you smarter (and happier)

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While spending 12 hours in the blistering heat might not sound like the smartest idea, it turns out that spending more time outdoors improves the way our brains work.

A research team led by Marc Berman of the University of Michigan gave participants a standard memory and attention test then assigned some of them to walk through downtown Ann Arbor, and others to walk through the impressive campus arboretum. The participants were tested again upon their return, and beyond a doubt the group that took the nature walk scored significantly better.

Here’s what he original study, published in 2008, found:

In sum, we have shown that simple and brief interactions with nature can produce marked increases in cognitive control. To consider the availability of nature as merely an amenity fails to recognize the vital importance of nature in effective cognitive functioning.

Researchers repeated a similar study this year to see if exposure to greenspace would influence subjects with major clinical depression.

The study prompts several conclusions. The first, not really tied to cities, is that nature walks might provide a cost-efficient supplement to traditional treatments for major depression. As the researchers point out, the mood priming did work, meaning study participants set out on their journey thinking about a negative personal event. The fact that their positive affect improved despite this sour state shows the cognitive power of park land.

The second conclusion, more germane for our purposes, is that “incorporating nearby nature into urban environments may counteract” some of the cognitive strains placed on the brain by the city, the authors write. Recent research has suggested economic and crime benefits of urban greenery; now advocates can legitimately add “public health” to their list of arguments.

So, in conclusion: The urban and managed landscape doesn’t just look good – it makes you smarter and feel better about yourself.


July 31st, 2012 at 11:51 am

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Weekly round-up

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Big Wooden Ball Project from Mike Leuis on Vimeo.

Here’s our round-up of cool stuff from the web. Check it out and have a great weekend. (And call your dad!)


June 15th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

On the road: 3 cool things

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BASF executives updated reporters last week on the company's R&D efforts.

One of the best parts of my jobs is that I get to travel around and hang out with people who are a lot smarter than I am.

To that end, I spent a few days last week in Chicago with the team at BASF for its biannual Agriculture Media Summit. Every two years, the company brings together a bunch of reporters who cover on potatoes, corn, soybeans and the like, and puts them in a room with its top researchers and executives to showcase the latest projects and other cool stuff they’re working on.

This year, the theme was sustainability, and how farmers all around the world are going to need to feed about nine billion mouths by 2050 using pretty much the same amount of land they have now (and likely a lot less water).

While it has little to do with growing grass or trees, the research does shine a light onto some pretty cool stuff that the company is up to. Here’s a quick round-up of the top three highlights.

AgBalance sustainability measurement too
BASF has developed a tool to help bring some tangible numbers to the question of how sustainable a business or operation is.

It’s AgBalance system, which was developed 15 years ago in the automotive coatings business, examines a couple hundred data points (like soil quality, nutrient balance, biodiversity, rates of worker pay, commodity prices, etc.) to measure sustainability.

The same model has been applied in more than 400 other industries including, in late 2011, agriculture, where it calculated a 40 percent increase in the sustainability of Iowa corn production during a 10 year period.

Jan Buberl, head of the company’s specialty products department, says the T&O market can expect a similar tool in about two years.

Canola oil case study
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. BASF sees an opportunity in helping canola farmers produce these heart-healthy oils, which can then be used to fortify other foods.

The only problem is that canola oil doesn’t contain those chemicals. So the BASF R&D team was able to identify and move genes that do produce these oils into canola seed. In the fall of last year, BASF partnered with Cargill to bring these genetically modified seeds to market by 2020.

Investment in new business
Much of what chemical companies bring to market is, well, chemistry. Through the discovery of new active ingredients, formulations and other technologies, they try to stay ahead of new diseases, pests and other environmental factors.

But that takes money and people. Worldwide, 10,000 BASF employees work in R&D, and the company spends 23 of its annual research budget on new businesses and new segments it’s not already active in.

Last year, BASF posted global revenue of €73.5 billion. By 2020, the company plans to bring in €115 billion, and says a quarter of that will come from products and services that are less than 10 years old.


June 11th, 2012 at 11:59 am

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly collection of fun and educational stuff from the web. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!


June 1st, 2012 at 5:23 pm


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I got to do one of my favorite things as editor at L&L today.

When we run surveys, we typically offer an incentive – we’ve given away iPads, digital cameras and a trip to Hawaii. But we run a lot of surveys,  so we often use gift cards. So every few weeks I walk down to the bank near our office and pick up a few Visa gift cards.

We just finished up another research project, this one about lawn care product use, and I got to pick up cards at $75 a pop for 10 random respondents.

They are:

  • Michael Rush, Rush Lawn Care, Searcy, Ark.
  • Ricki Linyard, Lawn Doctor, Olive Branch, Miss.
  • Mark Landa, Boulevard Flower Gardens, South Chesterfield, Va.
  • Erv Denig, Lawn & Turf Landscaping, Ft. Wayne, Ind.
  • Robb Bashaw, Rancho del Escudo, Waller, Texas
  • Chris Senske, Senske Lawn & Tree Care, Kennewick,Wash.
  • Rick Lisanti, Growing Concern, Monroe Township, N.J.
  • Craig Pickett, J.H. Plantscapes, Cypress, Texas
  • Rafael Rico, Hometown Pest Control, Delray Beach, Fla.
  • Mark Ruppert, Ruppert & Company Property Services, Bloomfield, Conn.

So, congratulations to our winners. Your cards are on their way. And to everyone else out there, thank you for taking the time to fill out our surveys. We know you’re busy, and your responses really help us as we put together the magazine each month.

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May 16th, 2012 at 11:15 am

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly digest of interesting stuff from the internet. Have a great weekend. (And call your mom.)

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May 11th, 2012 at 11:33 am

Weekly round-up

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YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

Here’s our weekly digest of fun links from around the web. Hope you like them!


March 10th, 2012 at 2:51 am