HERE are some thoughts from a guy who wonders at times about product development and marketing.

The other day I read a story about a guy who developed a new pepper that is supposed to be the hottest pepper in the world.

How hot is it? Supposedly it can stop you from breathing and might kill you.

I wondered: How do you advertise something like that and who would buy it?

Then I got the answer.

When I went home that day, there was a jar of them on the kitchen table with a note from my wife: “Honey, try some of these new peppers!”

• Another “hot” topic that our state seems intent on marketing is roundabouts instead of intersections and red lights.

We have a relatively new one in downtown Sharon right by The Herald. Lots of fun.

While roundabouts can expedite traffic movement if people know how to use them, it comes down to one thing — a lot of people don’t know how to use them.

People who are coming onto the roundabout go right through the yield signs and people in the roundabout have to spike their brakes to avoid an accident. Or, people moving around the circle suddenly stop to let people coming off side roads onto the roundabout. Of course, drivers behind them have to hit their brakes.

So now, PennDOT wants to build one in Hermitage at a very busy intersection near the Shenango Valley Mall. Wow!

That will really be a nightmare. Almost makes me want to invest in a towing company to help clean up the wrecked cars and trucks.

Kind of smacks in the face of the old PennDOT motto: “Temporary Inconvenience for Permanent Improvement”.

• Speaking of permanent improvement, one is gravely needed at the Shenango Valley Mall which won’t really get a boost from a roundabout.

It’s one of the several sad situations I’ve witnessed in my many years at The Herald. It ranks right up there with plazas and malls helping to destroy our businesses in Sharon and Farrell.

But both cities are trying to reinvent themselves and I give credit to the leaders from both towns for their efforts.

Sharon is attempting to rebuild itself as a shopping experience thanks to some great individuals like Mike Lisac, Jim Landino and others who are investing in the future there.

I still think Sharon should grab the idea from a city planner in the 1970s who recommended that the city close off State Street to make it a walking area with fountains, entertainment, etc. Give people something more to draw them there. If you build it properly, people will come.

And, after all, you have a roundabout that can help with a traffic route around the city that leads to parking areas.

Farrell has jumped on board the medical marijuana business and it should generate jobs as well as some spinoff businesses. When they are ready to be up and running, it would be nice if they hold a tour of the facilities. It is reportedly a very high tech operation.

And right next to it, they can build a greenhouse to raise those special hot peppers.

LYNN SATERNOW of the Herald writes this column each week for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at