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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One of Burt’s Bees foundations is its creation myth. In 1984 in Maine, the story goes, a graphic artist named Roxanne Quimby met a photographer-turned-beekeeper named Burt Shavitz. She turned his beeswax into candles, hand salves, stove polish and lip balm using old recipes gathered from farmers. She illustrated labels for the products, using Mr. Shavitz’s bearded face as a logo. The pair formed the company in 1989, quickly moving production from a former schoolhouse to a converted bowling alley as sales expanded.

Researchers have detected a striking political dimension to morality. People were asked to identify their position on a liberal-conservative spectrum and then complete a questionnaire that assessed the importance attached to each of the five moral systems. (The test, called the moral foundations questionnaire, can be taken online, at

It was found that people who identified themselves as liberals attached great weight to the two moral systems protective of individuals — those of not harming others and of doing as you would be done by. But liberals assigned much less importance to the three moral systems that protect the group, those of loyalty, respect for authority and purity.

Conservatives placed value on all five moral systems but they assigned less weight than liberals to the moralities protective of individuals.

Researchers believe that many political disagreements between liberals and conservatives may reflect the different emphasis each places on the five moral categories.

The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night… Experts say that opinion columns are unlikely to generate much ad revenue, but that they can drive a lot of reader traffic to other, more lucrative parts of The Times site, like topic pages devoted to health and technology.

The Times said the project had met expectations, drawing 227,000 paying subscribers — out of 787,000 over all — and generating about $10 million a year in revenue.

“But our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising,” said Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of the site,

The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Company, is the only major newspaper in the country to charge for access to most of its Web site, which it began doing in 1996. The Journal has nearly one million paying online readers, generating about $65 million in revenue.

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