Archive for June, 2010

30
Jun
10

6.30.2010 … as of tomorrow, my youngest will be driving … times they are a changing …. … what do you remember about turning 16? … the end is near, in two parts (Harry Potter) … John saw Ringo Starr in a restaurant in Boston the other night … have you ever seen someone famous/infamous … I’ve met and/or seen a few politicians … but other than that … nada

food – Southern:  This is going too far … bet they don’t have these in Colorado.

The doughnuts will be packed with Cheerwine-infused crème and topped with a chocolate icing and a healthy dose of red and white sprinkles, said Tom Barbitta, vice president of marketing for Cheerwine.

via Cheerwine-infused Krispy Kremes to hit stores – CharlotteObserver.com.

vuvuzelas, sports, FIFA World Cup:  I am searching for mine now … 4th of July vuvuzela, anyone?

Spicing up boring old American baseball — one vuvuzela at a time.

At a home game June 19, the Florida Marlins debuted vuvuzela-style plastic horns. They were a hit with fans, the players? Not so much. “I can’t tell you how awful it was,” said center fielder Cody Ross.

The good news? After the World Cup ends you can mourn its loss by blowing into a vuvuzuela forlornly. The bad news? That annoying, head ache-inducing killer bee sound? It seems it’s here to stay.

via They Live: Vuvuzela Coming Soon, to a Sporting Event Near You – TIME NewsFeed.

blogs: OK, 35 best blogs … I have heard of 10 and been to 2 … I am on this computer a lot … who finds this stuff?

From the savvy to the satirical, the eye-opening to the jaw-dropping, TIME makes its annual picks of the blogs we can’t live without

via Zenhabits – Best Blogs of 2010 – TIME.

education, twitter, literature: importance of conciseness … and they actually have college courses on the literary art of twitter!  where?

Twitter critics all seem to forget the old adage: less is more.

If you’re anti-twitter because you just “don’t care what someone had for breakfast,” then maybe you’re still missing the point.

At least according to Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News, who says that twitter isn’t just a place for frivolous updates or random links. He says there’s actual literary value in keeping things 140 characters and less.

And he has a point.

Writers, poets and editors have long known the importance of conciseness. As Vognar points out, it takes a lot more skill to make a salient point in 140 characters than it does with dozens of needless words.

And that’s where Twitter’s literary value really shows. Not in the reading of tweets—which can of course be consumed rather quickly—but in the writing. To write a pithy, interesting tweet, time after time, takes discipline (what exactly are you trying to say), self-editing (it’s difficult to stay under the character limit), and an appreciation for language (which words are absolutely necessary).

Time’s own James Poniewozik made similar observations recently, pointing to past literary giants who “would have killed on Twitter.” (Alexander Pope in this case).

From the Twitter novel to the Twitter short story to the Twitter humorists, there is a strong case for how, when done right, Twitter allows writers to use a new form of technology to sharpen the old writing rules.

Twitter is all about what you make of it. And like all forms of literature, sometimes it takes a bit of effort to find the masterpieces (that is, until they actually have introductory college courses on the literary art of Twitter). So when you find something worthwhile, please make sure to retweet.

via Twit Lit 101: How Twitter Is Redefining Writing – TIME NewsFeed.

health, Colorado: This is scary … maybe my boys have the right idea.

Take a look at this map. See that blue state in a sea of red and purple hues? It’s Colorado, the only state in the union with an adult obesity rate below 20%. (”Just” 19.1% of its residents are obese.)

We’re talking obesity here — defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, or about 180-plus pounds for a 5′5″ person — not merely overweight (defined as a BMI of between 25 and 30).

via Colorado Now the Only State With Obesity Rate Less Than 20% – Health Blog – WSJ.

Apple apps, philosophy: Since John and I met in an 8 am philosophy class, I am a little light in that area … so I downloaded this app and made it though about 3 sentences in the first article and glazed over … I am not meant to be a philosopher …

We’re a little way off from a handheld Deep Thought, but since life and meaning continue to perplex, a new philosophy application for smart phones might be the next best thing. AskPhilosophers.org — a popular online resource for questions philosophical — has launched an app — AskPhil —for iPhones, iPods and Android phones.

Alexander George, a professor of philosophy at Amherst College, launched AskPhilosophers.org in 2005 (he discusses the site in his post for The Stone, “The Difficulty of Philosophy”). He describes the AskPhil app in an Amherst press release: “When philosophical questions occur to people away from their desks or computer screens they’ll now have the opportunity through their mobile devices to see quickly whether other people have already asked that question and whether it’s received interesting responses.”

via Philosophy App – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

colleges, parenting, teens: I am so guilty of some of these … Reacting to One College’s Advice for Parents – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

news, movies, fact/fiction: Yesterday we met a real life Jason Borne, today a real life Bond girl …

Her Facebook page’s address contains the more Russian first name “Anya” instead of the Americanized “Anna” and is adorned with glamorous, suggestive self-portraits. Many of them are being republished today in the tabloids, with captions calling Chapman a “femme fatale” with a “Victoria’s Secret body.”

via Spy Ring’s ‘Femme Fatale’ Anna Chapman Conjures Bond Girl Image.

Also check out … Deep Inside Alleged Russian Spies’ Tech and Techniques | Fast Company.

Charlotte, culture, LOL: Just plain out funny … “weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.”

This royal theme, while fine for street-sign logos, is an absolute manly-man disaster, public relations-wise. Mention royalty and people instantly think of Prince Charles.

Our honor springs from one of those surveys ranking various towns – which surveyors never bother to visit – on oddball criteria. Sponsored by the snack food Combos, the nation’s 50 biggest cities were weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.

And we won. Baltimore, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, well-muscled manly-man hotbeds if ever there were, are left in our dust.

Ridiculous.

We’re such a manly-man city that:

Our top tourist attraction is an outlet mall.

We cancel school because it might snow.

Our prostitution ring was called “Hush-Hush.”

Panthers receiver Steve Smith breaks his arm playing flag football.

Tryon Street, our main drag, has three art museums, but you can’t get a tattoo anywhere.

via Real men don’t do Charlotte – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, marketing: The end is near … in two parts … The trailer is pretty good … so Thanksgiving 2010 will have a fun movie … and July 2011 … way to build things up.

YouTube – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Official HD.

blogs: Another pretty good blog …Girls, God and the Good Life.

blogs, summer: I really like this blog I found yesterday … amazing what is out there … and the $1.69 cheery limeade drink at TAco Bell is pretty good too!

Sonic Strawberry Limeade is summer beverage perfection. The ice is perfect. The fizzy sweet-tartness is perfect. The juicy bits of strawberry that sneak up the straw to surprise your taste buds are perfect. The ice is perfect. The fresh lime wedge and strawberry chunks left in the bottom of the cup are perfect. And did I mention the ice? It’s the perfect size, the perfect shape, and the perfect softness for ADA-approved crunching. It’s the ice all other ice dreams of becoming but never will. Sonic Strawberry Limeade is a delectable treat from the first sip to the last bits of berry you scrape off the side of the cup with your straw, if you’re unladylike enough to do that sort of thing. A finger works, too.

Better still, it’s half price from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Happy Hour indeed! For one dollah and nine cent you can purchase a 16 oz mini-vacation in beverage heaven. So, what are you waiting for? By my clock, you still have ten minutes to get there.

via The View From Here.

RIP, icons: “most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II” … goodbye, Ms. Shain … I think every woman would have loved to have been the recipient of that random kiss …

It’s perhaps the most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II, and the nurse who made it possible, Edith Shain, is dead at 91.

via ‘Kissing Nurse’ From Famous World War II Photograph Dies – TIME NewsFeed.

history, archeology, alluring titles:  Come on, with a title like “Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? ” you have to find out!

Did someone sabotage the Egyptian king’s mummy to hide his less-than endowed genitalia? A new report from The New Scientist presents the possibility of a anatomical conspiracy.

Earlier this year, scientists speculated the cause of famed King Tutankhamen’s death to be due to a bone disorder and a bad case of malaria, but just last week a group of German researchers overruled that diagnosis. Instead, they say the 19-year-old pharaoh suffered from sickle-cell anemia, a genetic abnormality in red blood cells that ultimately causes organ failure.

While researching the new prognosis for The New Scientist,journalist Jo Marchant uncovered another proposed ailment of Tut’s. A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that Tut could also have suffered from Antley-Bixler syndrome, a genetic mutation that yields strange physical effects, such as elongated skulls and even under-developed genitalia. (Some researchers support the theory and use artistic depictions of Tut and his relatives, often show with elongated faces, as proof.)

Egypt’s chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass dismisses the theory, claiming that Tut was, in fact, well-developed. However, as Marchant points out, Tut’s penis is no longer attached to the body. After some digging, Marchant was able to confirm that the king’s genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning the postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times. Interestingly, Tut’s penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy.

This evidence has lead some, including Marchant to believe that Tut’s penis was swapped sometime after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from embarrassment of the locker room variety, even in the afterlife.

via Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? – TIME NewsFeed.

quotes:

“To do good, you actually have to DO something.”

Yvon Chouinard

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.

unique, philanthropy, doing good: I am fascinated by this project.

Back in March, I spent two weeks writing about some of the 36 young entrepreneurs who were each trying to raise $6,500 to get to the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder. This 10-week business incubator is designed to give these dauntingly brilliant, inspired, energetic and committed young innovators the tools to get their big ideas off the ground & out in the world where they can do some huge good.

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.

29
Jun
10

6.29.2010 … happy birthday, alex! … sunny day … lots in the news … braves win against the phenom … Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

baseball, Braves, Strasburg: I hope et enjoyed the game!

Stephen Strasburg came to town as the toast of baseball, so dominant through his first four starts that a Washington reporter asked Braves manager Bobby Cox whether the Nationals rookie should be in next month’s All-Star Game.

Cox was diplomatic in his response, but a couple of hours later his Braves delivered a response of a different kind.

After Strasburg sailed through six innings, the Braves knocked him out of the game during a five-run seventh that lifted them to a X-X win against the Nationals in a series opener before an excited crowd of 42,889 at Turner Field.

via Braves, Hudson win duel with phenon Strasburg  | ajc.com.

csr, culture: Another article right in line with some discussions we have been having at our house.

Two-and-a-half years later, Danone teamed up with Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi who later won the Nobel Peace Prize for his microcredit program that lends money to poor entrepreneurs. Mr. Riboud and Mr. Yunus, having met over lunch, set up a joint venture called Grameen Danone Foods Ltd.

The idea was to sell an affordable seven-cent yogurt product called Shokti Doi—which means “strong yogurt.” Fortified with vitamins and minerals, it was to be sold through local women who would peddle it door to door on commission.

For the 54-year old Danone boss, who eschews ties and gets around by scooter, the Shokti Doi initiative was something of a personal mission. His father Antoine, who preceded him as chief executive, had instilled in him an interest in ventures that had a chance to both make money and give a lift to the poor—the “double project”, as he called it.

Within a year, though, Grameen Danone hit a wall: Milk prices soared, factory openings were delayed, and the saleswomen couldn’t earn a living selling yogurt alone. Today, a significant portion of sales of Shokti Doi come from urban stores, not rural villages as planned.

via Danone Expands Its Pantry to Woo the World’s Poor – WSJ.com.

culture, South Africa, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Because of the World Cup and that my daughter will soon spend 9 weeks in SA, I am fascinated with it’s culture, history, problems … and hope.

At moments, as during this first African World Cup, the rainbow shimmers. This was supposed to be the competition of smash-and-grab and of machete attacks. Many stayed away.

The fear merchants, always hard at work, have been proved wrong. German grandmas do not lie savaged on the road to Rustenburg.

Unity has unfurled, calm broken out. Smiles crease black and white faces alike. To the point that the most asked question here is: Will this moving honeymoon last beyond the World Cup?

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Black and the White of It – NYTimes.com.

media:  How often do you read Rolling Stone?  Will you read it more often now?

“Everything was kind of hunky-dory under Clinton,” Mr. Wenner said in a telephone interview last week. “With Bush, between 9/11 and his response to it, he put the country in pretty serious danger. And that kind of got our juices going again.”Rolling Stone’s explosive piece “The Runaway General,” which last week brought a disgraceful end to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s career, was just the latest in a string of articles resonating in the nation’s corridors of power.Its excoriating takedown of Goldman Sachs last summer was one of the most provocative and widely debated pieces of journalism to come out of the financial crisis. In the article, the writer Matt Taibbi described the investment bank as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”And this month, the magazine published a critical take on the Obama administration’s regulation of the oil industry, which started a firestorm on cable news and in the blogosphere. The current issue contains a follow-up on BP’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

via Rolling Stone Back on a Roll With Investigative Articles – NYTimes.com.

RIP: Interesting perspectives from many who knew him well … to me, he was always the old guy in the senate.

Op-Ed Contributors – Robert Byrd, Living History – NYTimes.com.

media:  I don’t produce YouTube videos … but if I did would I pay the fee … I am a rule follower …

You’ve shot the video and edited it down. It’s ready for YouTube. But what about the soundtrack?

Publishing a video with copyrighted music requires a license for the song. And securing that can be a cumbersome task — track down the record label, make a deal — especially for amateurs just looking to post a video of the family vacation.

But on Tuesday, the music licensing company Rumblefish is introducing a service that allows users to buy a license to a copyrighted song for $1.99. For that price, the user gets the full version of the song and can edit it as well.

via Rumblefish to Offer Music for YouTube Users – NYTimes.com.

basketball: A Curry is probably the only thing that could make me watch or, god forbid, pull for Duke.

Blend in Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, plus Andre Dawkins, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and beefed-up Ryan Kelly (232 pounds), and it’s easy to see how the Devils could win their fifth title.

via Despite roster changes, Duke could win it all again – CharlotteObserver.com.

economy, Dublin: The City Center seemed vital and bustling … but John and I got off the map (directionally uninhibited/challenged …by me :)) and we saw the multitude of “for let” signs, the unfinished developments … it is truly a global recession.

Signs of the decline encrust Dublin’s streets. Boisterous crowds still mash onto the cobbles of Temple Bar. Yet farther out, “To Let” posters obscure the hollowed shells of once-vibrant cafes and clothing shops.

Fifteen minutes north of the city center, hulks of empty buildings form stark symbols of why Ireland must now hunker down. At Elm Park, a soaring industrial and residential complex, 700 employees of the German insurer Allianz are the lone occupants of a space designed for thousands.

In the impoverished Ballymun neighborhood, developers began razing slums to make way for new low-income housing. Halfway through the project, the financing dried up, leaving some residents to languish in graffiti-covered concrete skeletons. “Welcome to Hell,” read one of the tamest messages.

via In Ireland, a Picture of the Cost of Austerity – NYTimes.com.

economy, Charlotte, urban development: 30 years ago as a college student, we favored Eastland over South Park … times change … demographics change.

The polished corridors of Eastland Mall, once abuzz with shoppers and cash registers, held only hissing escalators and echoing elevator music Friday. Darkened storefronts lined the hallways.

It will close Wednesday – 35 years after its debut as the region’s premier retail destination. Though a Houston company last week bought the core of the 1.1million-square-foot shopping center with the hope of reinventing it, the old Eastland is almost certainly finished. A new identity, a new look, a new name could take its place.

via Why Eastland went from bustling to bust – CharlotteObserver.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court: modest … how does that mix with snarky and brassy?

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan sought Monday to counter assertions by conservatives that she was a liberal activist with an agenda, promising to be a modest jurist, respectful of the “often messy” democratic process.

Ms. Kagan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the court’s role should be “a modest one, properly deferential to the decisions of the American people and their elected representatives,” in her first comments since her nomination.

She added, “The court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people.”

via Kagan Hearings Get Under Way – WSJ.com.

R(etire) in Peace, Supreme Court: Justice Stevens you will be missed … even your bow ties.

Bowtie-wearing lawyers and spectators dotted the U.S. Supreme Court chamber on Monday, a nod to retiring justice John Paul Stevens and his signature neckwear.

Stevens, 90, officially retires Tuesday, the first day of the Supreme Court’s summer recess.

“If I have overstayed my welcome, it is because this is such a unique and wonderful job,” said Stevens, who on his retirement will be the third-longest serving justice.

via John Paul Stevens Retires From Supreme Court, Bow Tie-Clad Lawyers Say Goodbye.

media, politics:

On most cable newscasts, the people who are writing new financial regulations are called congressmen. But on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” on MSNBC, some are called “banksters.”

Dylan Ratigan says that the financial overhaul bill is “nothing more than window dressing.”

That term, a twist on gangsters, tells viewers a lot about Mr. Ratigan, a financial news apostate who has transformed himself into an outspoken opponent of too-big-to-fail banks and the politicians whom he calls their servants. In the recent fight over financial reform, he lent a megaphone to people who wanted an end to “too big to fail,” and he called on viewers to lobby the Senators in his imaginary Bankster Party.

All this from a man who, until recently, hosted a stock-picking show on CNBC, the cable personification of Wall Street. Now Mr. Ratigan, who labels himself a taxpayer advocate, rails against the “vampire” banks who “have assumed control of our government.”

“It’s like being the guy who was running the casino, and then having an awakening and realizing that the casino is what’s killing the country,” Mr. Ratigan said in an interview last week.

via A Business Journalist Turned Anti-Banker – NYTimes.com.

parenting, culture, teens: Fine line … most parents almost can’t win …  except the perfect ones …

Kids whose parents are either too strict or too lenient may be more likely to engage in binge drinking, according to a new study out of Brigham Young University.

Researchers found parenting style doesn’t make a difference in whether or not your kid will try alcohol, but it does affect the relationship teens have with adult beverages.

The Los Angeles Times reports that of 5,000 teens surveyed, those who had the healthiest relationship with alcohol also had parents who strike a balance between watchful and loving.

via Parenting Style an Influence on Teen Drinking, Study Says – ParentDish.

great headlines:  Just had to read about a real life jason Bourne!

Detectives are focusing on the contents of four computer hard drives in hopes of unraveling the case of the so-called “real-life Jason Bourne,” an ex-con who sparked a six-week international manhunt after police found his Los Angeles luxury loft stocked with loaded weapons, counterfeit bills and photos documenting his changing appearance.

via Brian Alexik, ‘Real-Life Jason Bourne,’ Mystifies Detectives.

culture, women’s issues: No class ceiling … but I don’t particularly like beer.

“We have found that females often are more sensitive about the levels of flavor in beer,” says Barry Axcell, SABMiller’s chief brewer. Women trained as tasters outshine their male counterparts, he says.

If practice makes perfect, men should have the clear edge in beer tasting, since they account for 72.8% of the world’s beer sales, according to market-research firm Datamonitor Group. But SABMiller, which makes Pilsner Urquell, Peroni and Grolsch in addition to Miller and Coors brands, says its empirical evidence shows that females are the superior sex when it comes to detecting such undesirable chemicals as 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which makes beer “skunky.”

via No Glass Ceiling for the Best Job in Whole World – WSJ.com.

media, culture: After seeing the picture, I scared to go find the video!

Last week, Mr. Wilson released a spoof of Gaga’s “Alejandro,” a video that has been generating attention because of its religious overtones, this time as sung by Old Lady Gaga. The character is played by comedian Jackie Hoffman and the act involves tubes of Fixodent, walkers and granny panties.

via Jackie Hoffman a Hit as Old Lady Gaga – WSJ.com.

work, culture: … more seamless blend of work and life …hmmm

Over the past couple of decades, a new way of working and a new kind of workplace have evolved. It began in Silicon Valley, where companies ceded a certain degree of autonomy to knowledge workers, recognizing that too much rigidity could stifle creative output. Khakis and shirtsleeves replaced gray flannel suits. And 9 to 5 sometimes became 9 to 9 or 11 to 1 in the morning. But the time was broken up by espresso runs and bike rides, or ultimate Frisbee games during lunch.

The trend has spread to the point that our lifestyles and our work styles are becoming increasingly blurred. Though my factory-worker father might not have believed it, those people you see hunched over their laptops in coffee shops and thumbing instant messages on their BlackBerrys as they walk through the park are actually working.

This new way of work has given rise to what the sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls “third places” — the Starbucks where we go not just to drink coffee but also to send an e-mail; the hotel lobby where we take a meeting; or the local library where we write a report, edit a document or revise a business plan.

Increasingly, places are supplanting plants — corporate headquarters and factories — as the principal social and economic organizing units of our time. There are several reasons for this.

Mass migration from farms to urban centers generated new prosperity after the Long Depression of 1873-79. The expanding suburbs underpinned the great economic boom of the 1950s and 60s. We are now at the cusp of another such far-reaching movement — with the magnetic pull of urban centers strengthening our economy and leading to a more seamless blending of work and life.

via Preoccupations – The Urban Lands of Opportunity – NYTimes.com.

culture, annoyances: Ranks at the top of my list!

IN a recent Consumer Reports survey about everyday annoyances, with 10 being “annoys you tremendously,” respondents rated the failure to get a human being on a customer service line an 8.6, second only to hidden fees (8.9) and more irritating than spam e-mail (7.5) and inaccurate meteorologists (4.3), which was at the bottom of the list.

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

icons:  Does anyone know where this DAWG statue is … I assume in Athens?

annoyances, culture:

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

vocabulary, random, music:  Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm,[1] is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind, put colloquially as “music being stuck in one’s head.”

via Earworm – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

OK, so here is mine ….

culture, teens, children: a little troubling, but worth reading …

Everyone warns parents about the drama of the teen years—the self-righteous tears, slamming doors, inexplicable fashion choices, appalling romances.

But what happens when typical teen angst starts to look like something much darker and more troubling? How can parents tell if a moody teenager is simply normal—or is spinning out of control? This may be one of the most difficult dilemmas parents will ever face.

via Worried About a Moody Teen? – WSJ.com.

blogs: I like this new blog.

About Johnson

In this blog, named for the dictionary-maker Samuel Johnson, our correspondents write about the effects that the use (and sometimes abuse) of language have on politics, society and culture around the world

That said, a lot of meetings are still bilingual, and the English spoken in Euro-Brussels has some quirks that come directly from French. One of my favourites is the word “normally”, which is a real marker for speakers of Euro-English, including native English speakers who have been in the city a long time. The adverb is a false friend, with “normally” and “normalement” carrying subtly different meanings in English and French.

via Johnson | The Economist.

28
Jun
10

6.28.2010 … et + 2 clt friends + 1 atl cousin + 1 braves game with strasburg pitching = 1 great time + 1 jealous mum!

Braves:

Stat of the day: Strasburg’s dazzling numbers

8:08 pm June 27, 2010, by David O’Brien

41, 1.78, .242 – Strikeouts, ERA and opponents’ on-base percentage for Nationals rookie Steven Strasburg in his first four major league starts.

The hard-throwing right-hander makes his fifth start Monday against the Braves and Tim Hudson, and a large crowd is expected at Turner Field to watch the latest chapter of the most-chronicled and buzzed-about season by any rookie pitcher.

Strasburg’s 41 strikeouts (in 25-1/3 innings) are a major league record for a picher’s first four starts, and he’s only issued five walks and allowed 19 hits.

Right-handed batters are 8-for-47 (.170) with a staggering one walk and 26 strikeouts against him. Lefties have fared a little better at 11-for-47 (.234) with two homers, four walks and 15 strikeouts.

Right-handed batters have an absurdly low .358 OPS (on base-plus-slugging percentage against him, while lefties have a .677 OPS.

It shapes up as a sensational matchup of Strasburg vs. Hudson, who is  8-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 14 career starts against the Nationals, including 7-0 with a 1.62 ERA in past 10.

Also, Hudson is 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in five home starts this season.

via Stat of the day: Strasburg’s dazzling numbers | Atlanta Braves.

media, politics:

On most cable newscasts, the people who are writing new financial regulations are called congressmen. But on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” on MSNBC, some are called “banksters.”

Dylan Ratigan says that the financial overhaul bill is “nothing more than window dressing.”

That term, a twist on gangsters, tells viewers a lot about Mr. Ratigan, a financial news apostate who has transformed himself into an outspoken opponent of too-big-to-fail banks and the politicians whom he calls their servants. In the recent fight over financial reform, he lent a megaphone to people who wanted an end to “too big to fail,” and he called on viewers to lobby the Senators in his imaginary Bankster Party.

All this from a man who, until recently, hosted a stock-picking show on CNBC, the cable personification of Wall Street. Now Mr. Ratigan, who labels himself a taxpayer advocate, rails against the “vampire” banks who “have assumed control of our government.”

“It’s like being the guy who was running the casino, and then having an awakening and realizing that the casino is what’s killing the country,” Mr. Ratigan said in an interview last week.

via A Business Journalist Turned Anti-Banker – NYTimes.com.

27
Jun
10

6.27.2010 … .. Love meeting new people … Our Fall 2010 South African Exchange Student and her parents were visiting in SC and came up to meet Molly and John and me and see the school. It makes me excited for Liv’s trip here and Molly ‘s trip there!

travel, South Africa: Video – Visiting a South African Township – WSJ.com.

cities, retail: I still want my city to be “big” enough to support pop up shops!

The concept of a “now you see it, now you don’t” store is commonly tied to a holiday theme: the New York beauty store Ricky’s opens more than a dozen Halloween costume shops in September and October. And last winter Toys “R” Us opened 33 Holiday Express locations in the tristate area.

But in the last few years pop-ups have flourished in New York regardless of the holiday calendar. For building owners they are a way to fill vacant space and for sellers they offer a place to gauge the reception to their brand or introduce new products, without a long-term rental commitment.

“The great thing about a pop-up space is that it allows you to have one very consistent, very clear and very distinct message around the brand,” Mr. Gibb said. Belvedere negotiated a deal to lease the 6,500-square-foot second-floor space at 414 West 14th Street a few months in advance. Within a few days of the three-night event, a team of designers, painters and construction workers turned it into a softly lighted den of glamour.

via Square Feet – Pop-Up Stores Become Popular for New York Landlords – NYTimes.com.

Apple:

There is no greater gift. Athleticism? No way. Intelligence? Sorry. The greatest God-given gift is the ability to see life as it really is and to know of things yet to come. Steve Jobs is a committee of one. Compare his results to the hundreds and thousands of focus groups at Palm(PALM) or Microsoft(MSFT). The difference between seeing and not seeing is exponential. I’ll bet Steve Jobs rarely works up a sweat. We know very little about his personal life but we do know he has time to go out for coffee with Eric Schmidt, he has time to rehearse keynote speeches, he has time to email customers, and he has time to negotiate with the media industry. He has time to do these things because his forecasting decisions are so sure. One Steve Jobs is worth a million tech executives. He releases a single iPhone in black or white. He releases one iPad. His gift is extraordinarily sure.

via Steve Jobs: His Exponential Value for iPhone 4 – TheStreet.

media:  I don’t like Spitzer …

CNN announced Wednesday that Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, and Kathleen Parker, who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in April for her conservative newspaper columns, are teaming up in September for a newsy conversation show at 8 p.m., replacing “Campbell Brown.”

CNN executives emphasize that the show is not a new “Crossfire” or a combative battle of partisan talking points, but instead a thoughtful roundtable with two original thinkers.

via CNN teams Eliot Spitzer, Kathleen Parker to replace ‘Campbell Brown’ – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

Supreme Court, culture, women’s issues:

Do women judge differently than men? Justice Sandra Day O’Connor famously said: “A wise old woman and a wise old man will reach the same conclusion.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made similar observations, but at the same time, she has said that women bring to the table their own experiences, which inform their decision-making.

She points, for example, to a decision written by Justice O’Connor in 1982 telling a state-run, all-female nursing school, that it had to admit a qualified male applicant. The dissenters in that case asserted that the all-female policy was a kind of affirmative action for women, and that, says Ginsburg, was an idea firmly rejected by O’Connor.

via How Women Changed The Supreme Court … And Didn’t : NPR.

science, religion: One of my favorite discussions … spiritual man v. scientific man …

Nothing gets as vicious as fighting for a lost cause. If the proverbial Martian landed in a flying saucer today and saw how religionists war against scientists, he would be surprised at the vehemence on both sides. What is the war about? Fact beat out faith long ago. When Darwin’s theory of evolution replaced Genesis to explain the appearance of human beings, which was in the middle of the 19th century, the trend away from faith was already old. The world had been remade as material, governed by natural laws, random in its effects, and immune to divine intervention. Not just science but thousands of unanswered prayers did their part to dethrone God.

I am not drawn to lost causes, and therefore I’d like to guide the debate away from religion. And since religion is the primary form of spirituality in most people’s lives, we’ll have to step away from spirituality, too, at least at first. There should be renewed admiration for science’s attempts to answer the fundamental mysteries. These are well known by now:

How did the universe come about?

What caused life to emerge from a soup of inorganic chemicals?

Can evolution explain all of human development?

What are the basic forces in Nature?

How does the brain produce intelligence?

What place do human beings occupy in the cosmos?

Many observers have linked these questions to spirituality, too. Facts tell us how life came about, but faith still wants to know why. But what strikes me is how useless these big questions easily become. You and I live our lives without asking them. We may be philosophically curious; we may even have enough leisure time to reflect upon the big picture. For all that, the big questions are posed, by and large, by professors who are paid to pose them. Religion and science occupy different kinds of ivory towers, but until they come down to earth, neither one meets the practical needs of life.

via Deepak Chopra: Consciousness and the End of the War Between Science and Religion.

substances, Colorado:

Since this place opened in January, it’s been one nerve-fraying problem after another. Pot growers, used to cash-only transactions, are shocked to be paid with checks and asked for receipts. And there are a lot of unhappy surprises, like one not long ago when the Farmacy learned that its line of pot-infused beverages could not be sold nearby in Denver. Officials there had decided that any marijuana-tinged consumables had to be produced in a kitchen in the city.“You’d never see a law that says, ‘If you want to sell Nike shoes in San Francisco, the shoes have to be made in San Francisco,’ ” says Ms. Respeto, sitting in a tiny office on the second floor of the Farmacy. “But in this industry you get stuff like that all the time.”

via In Colorado, Pot-Selling Pioneers Try to Turn a Profit – NYTimes.com.

icons: Another icon bites the dust …

The statue will be moved to Goris Stalin Museum, which houses artifacts, documents and the dictators death mask, said Mziya Naochashvili, the museums director of research. “Tourists will come to look at it and it will be a wonderful brand,” she said.

via Georgia Dismantles Stalin Monument – WSJ.com.

tv, gLee, culture, stereotypes:

But the overarching theme of the show is everyone’s in the same club — jocks and divas, gays and straights. The new character also opens the possibility that by joining in the show choir — creating normal, friendly respectful relationships with her fellow singers — the branded official Christian will be shown accepting what her elders reject. Statistics show young adults hold more accepting attitudes on race and on homosexuality.

via Will a new ‘Christian character’ harmonize with ‘Glee’ values? – Faith & Reason.

LOL:  Would you go for it?

26
Jun
10

6.26.2010 … still hot … Lovely to have my girl home (she absolutely adored camp, AGAIN.) …

travel, Dublin, literature, random: OK … so the doubledecker tour bus driver told us to look for this in the crypt!

While visiting the Crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, you will come across a unique artifact in the church’s history. The mummified remains of a cat and a rat are on display. The theory is the cat chased the mouse into an organ pipe and both became stuck.

The existence of the mummified remains of the duo struck a chord with James Joyce and he made reference to them in his, also unique, novel “Finnegan’s Wake.”

The sign at Christ Church Cathedral reads:

THE CAT & THE RAT

The one, presumably chasing the other, became trapped in an organ pipe in the 1850s and were mummified. They are referred to in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake” where someone is described as being “…As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ…”

via The Cat and the Rat of Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin, Ireland – Weird Story Locations on Waymarking.com.

friendship, culture, faith: Cary and I have been having a great dialogue about friendships and faith … this seemed to fit our discussion.

When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop. When we say, “Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met,” we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.

via June 26, 2010 – A Courageous Life.

science, medicine:

In the long run, it seems likely that the genomic revolution will pay off. But no one can be sure. Even if the genetic roots of some major diseases are identified, there is no guarantee that treatments can be found. The task facing science and industry in coming decades is as at least as challenging as the original deciphering of the human genome.

via Editorial – The Genome, 10 Years Later – NYTimes.com.

Charlotte, history, end of an era:

Thompson, 88, of Charlotte, was grocery shopping for the last time at Reid’s in uptown Friday, as the store plans to close at 8 p.m. today.

The original store opened in Myers Park on Providence Road in 1928, in a building a few doors down from the Manor Theatre. Reid’s in Seventh Street Station uptown opened in 1998. The owner says Reid’s will reappear but wasn’t specific.

via Loyal customers say goodbye to Reid’s – CharlotteObserver.com.

culture:

Women make up only 17 percent of political leaders today, and the White House Project’s most recent research, “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership,” shows that across 10 sectors of American culture, women on average are only 18 percent of its leaders. If the full range of health, economic and safety options is not supported by the women who advance, then they will pull the ladder up behind them.

via Letters – Today’s Feminist – A Different Breed? – NYTimes.com.

Apple Apps:

They set out to build a game that included a rabbit jumping up a screen trying to collect carrots. They soon realized that a collection of doodles they had sketched out to test the game were visually fun. And so Doodle Jump was born.

On Friday, the two brothers announced that Doodle Jump, which sells for 99 cents in the iTunes store, has now sold more than five million copies. Although Apple doesn’t disclose competitor numbers, the brothers believe this is the first iOS4 application to reach the five million download mark.

via Doodle Jump Reaches Five Million Downloads – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

politics, the President:

In this environment, the rage against Obama for not doing more, now, faster, becomes at least somewhat understandable. It’s not that he hasn’t done a great deal for liberals during his 18 months in office. It’s that liberalism itself may be running out of time.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Agony of the Liberals – NYTimes.com.

Apple:

Companies like Google and Adobe have accused Apple of unfairly using its clout to exclude their technologies from the iPhone and iPad. And some application developers are fretting under Apple’s tight control of those devices, even though many of them built their fortunes on the popular gadgets.

But perhaps in the clearest sign that Apple has emerged as an industry superpower, government regulators are beginning to scrutinize its every move.

via Is Apple a Victim of Sour Grapes? – NYTimes.com.

architecture, Chicago:

Amid the neo-Gothic quads of the University of Chicago, Helmut Jahn’s futuristic domed library is getting ready for take-off.

Here’s a sneak peek from Tribune photographer William DeShazer, who attended a hard-hat tour this week.

The building, known as the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library and located next to the Regenstein Library (left), flaunts a steel-lattice dome that will shelter aboveground uses including a grand reading room.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

architecture, the economy, Louisville: Design looks interesting … financing?

In an effort to help jumpstart the financing of the stalled Museum Plaza skyscraper, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said the state will apply for a $100 million federal loan typically associated with creating jobs for low-income residents.

Beshear made the announcement Friday morning at the Museum Plaza construction site near Seventh and Main streets.

Beshear called the loan effort a “first step” to help advance the project but cautioned that there’s no certainty that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will approve it.

via Museum Plaza developers seek $100 million HUD loan | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal.

design, food/wine:


A box of wine is portable, but not classy. Stemware is classy, but not portable. But in a stroke of mad genius, inventor James Nash has combined the two to revolutionize drinking on the go. Cheers! Meet the Tulip.

via Single Serving Wine Glass Drowns Your Multiple Sorrows.

Kagan nomination: Interesting analysis … A Second Chance for Joshua – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

The Supreme Court, followup: Like I said, a conservative becomes a liberal and a liberal can become a conservative.

Consider that the two great “liberal” justices who retired from the Supreme Court most recently — David Souter in the spring of 2009 and John Paul Stevens a year later — were conservatives. Not only were both appointed by Republican presidents, but both also subscribed loosely to the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” With a handful of exceptions, neither favored identifying new constitutional rights where none existed before. Their status as liberals came from the fact that, as the court on which they served tilted to the right, they held their ground as moderate Republicans, consistently voting to sustain the constitutional rights that were discovered by the Supreme Court before they were on it.

via Magazine Preview – Imagining a Liberal Court – NYTimes.com.

quotes:

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act — George Orwell

via Al Fin.

history, Davidson:

It is known now as the Town Green but in 1920 the lawn at the corner of Main and Concord held tennis courts. Those courts provided a perfect place for a Chautuaqua tent.  The Chautauqua movement started in the 1870s as summer camps, the traveling version started in 1904 and lasted into the mid-1920s.

Davidson hosted its first Chautauqua in September 1920. The September 17, 1920 Davidsonian reported that “A group of representative citizens of Davidson have brought this Chautuaqua to Davidson without profit to themselves, for all proceeds go to a worthy local charity. The main committee was mostly comprised of local businessmen and faculty but several local men and women participated as well. Lester Hannah and Hugh Hovis served on the mill division committee. Mrs. P. A. Stough chaired the Cornelius subcommittee, Miss Lizzie Young headed the ticket committee for “the section of town north of Scofield corner” [corner of Main and Depot], Mrs. T.E. Lothery and Rev. Mr. Woolsy headed the ticket committee for the “section of town from Carter’s Garage on the east side of South Main Street, and Mrs. L. R. Brady headed the ticket committee from Carter’s Garage on the West Side of South Main Street.  Mrs. L. E. Johnston, Mrs. W.R. Grey and Miss Carraway made up the committee for the children’s hour.

via Let Me Entertain You – Around the D.

culture, technology: And to think we just had CB radios to raise a quick crowd … now called a flash mob …

Flash mobs are increasingly common, as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy for anyone to summon large crowds. It’s designed as harmless social networking fun: a group of people come together at a set time and place, perform some unusual act in unison, and then disperse.

A group called Charlotte Flash Mob has more than 700 people listed as members on its Facebook page. In April, the group planned to celebrate International Pillow Fight Day by holding its own pillow fight at Freedom Park, according to its Twitter page.

Despite their benign origins, police say the spontaneous crowds they attract can be a problem, especially when word spreads so widely through social networks that the groups turn out in huge numbers. Last month, for instance, when N.C. State students marked the start of finals week with a flash mob, as many as 3,500 people showed up. About 35 officers blocked off intersections as they moved toward the Capitol. Police eventually told them to disperse.

Kee said police are asking that teens keep safety in mind when they consider using social networks to organize “manhunt” games or flash mobs – especially at night or in neighborhoods.

“It was a poor choice,” he said of the time and place for Tuesday’s game. “It’s enough of a concern to us that we want to get the word out … Somebody could get hurt.”

via Huntersville police concerned about ‘flash mobs’ chaos – CharlotteObserver.com.

25
Jun
10

6.25.2010 picking up Molly at the Heavenly World!!

culture, blogs, favorites:

Are you extrovert or introvert (if that is based on whether you are recharged or energized by being with people or by being alone)?

And how do you see Emily Dickinson’s poem below?  Is it possible “the soul” is selecting her own self as company or is it definitely another person?  How do you select your nearest and dearest? Is it conscious?   Are you aware of God-direction in it?

Poetry food for thought:

The soul selects her own society,

Then shuts the door;

On her divine majority

Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing

At her low gate;

Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling

Upon her mat.

I’ve known her from an ample nation

Choose one;

Then close the valves of her attention

Like stone.

via Emily Dickinson, Extroversion, Introversion « Holy Vernacular.

Jane Austen, Bollywood, moviesJane Austen Today: Aisha: Bollywood’s Emma.

Jane Austen:

And yet, the most important quality that all the Austen protagonists share is a capacity for passion and a commitment to the concept of romantic love. Personally, I’m inclined to be most passionate about those, like Elizabeth and Emma, who are not always perfectly rational and measured, whose passion sometimes gets the better of their reason.

via Beautiful Minds: Jane Austen’s Heroines – Telegraph.

blog: very interesting .. Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Apple:

Right now, it seems as if Apple could do all that and more. The company’s surge over the past few years has resembled a space-shuttle launch — a series of rapid, tightly choreographed explosions that leave everyone dumbfounded and smiling. The whole thing has happened so quickly, and seemed so natural, that there has been little opportunity to understand what we have been witnessing.

via Apple Nation | Fast Company.

random, Chicago:

And so it was last night as Tribune photographer Chris Sweda headed to the John Hancock Center skydeck to snap a few shots of the official debut of the Trump Tower spire–and a supercharged storm broke over Chicago.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

history, random:

On May 22, 2010, Polish priests reburied Copernicus—nearly 500 years after his death and condemnation of his findings by the Roman Catholic Church. Exhumation and reburial is hardly a new phenomenon. It begins in the Bible. According to Genesis (50:24-26), Joseph requested on his deathbed that his remains be carried out of Egypt when the Israelites were delivered. In Exodus (13:19) we learn that Moses is said to have personally brought Joseph’s bones out of Egypt; and in Joshua (24:32) Joseph is said to have been buried at Shechem, in the Land of Canaan. The story is even mentioned in the New Testament, in Hebrews (11:22).

via Wonders & Marvels — A Community for Curious Minds who love History, its Odd Stories, and Good Reads.

food, San Francisco:


American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, located in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood three blocks east of AT&T Park, has become a lunch hot spot for hipsters and professionals because of its namesake: artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches.

Since opening in late May, lines have spilled out the door for its grilled cheese sandwiches that come in eight combinations. Some of the early favorites are the Mousetrap, with Tillamook sharp cheddar, creamy havarti and Monterey Jack; and the Windy City with provolone, roast beef, garlic butter and Chicago-style marinated peppers. Sandwiches are served on country-style levain bread, with sandwiches priced between $6 and $9.

via A Grilled Cheese Destination in San Francisco – WSJ.com.

24
Jun
10

6.24.2010 … Last day of camp for the molls … Lunch with a friend … Did I mention it was hot! …. Training it uptown while my car is serviced … Charlotte is sooo BIG time … 18th largest US city.

culture, children, technology: sometimes technology and children do not mix.

Much of the concern about cellphones and instant messaging and Twitter has been focused on how children who incessantly use the technology are affected by it. But parents’ use of such technology — and its effect on their offspring — is now becoming an equal source of concern to some child-development researchers.

“You can’t really do both,” she added. “If I’m at all connected, it’s too tempting. I need to make a distinct choice.”

via Your Brain on Computers – Plugged-In Parents – NYTimes.com.

Apple Apps: just what we all need … Vuvuzela 2010 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

travel, Amazon: … to be young again!

If I were to start an inpatient clinic for antisocial workaholics, I might model it after the rickety wooden boats that serve as mass transportation in the Amazon.

via An Amazon Cruise for $17 a Day. Hammock Not Included – Frugal Traveler Blog – NYTimes.com.

cities, Charlotte, facts: 18th!

Charlotte’s population growth during the recession has allowed it to remain the 18th-largest in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The city’s population was 709,441 on July 1. That’s up 2.4 percent from 692,989 in 2008, when the Queen City grew to be the country’s 18th-largest.

via Charlotte is country’s 18-largest city – Charlotte Business Journal.

random:  I would have liked to see that plane.  If my dad were here, i would have gone for a ride to the airport.

The world’s biggest airplane, a Russian-built Antonov An-225, made a special delivery from Thailand to Charlotte’s Siemens Energy on Tuesday night. The massive plane with a 290-foot wingspan carried two damaged 60-ton rotors from a Thai power plant for repair at Siemens’ Westinghouse Boulevard turbine facility.

via World’s biggest plane lands in Charlotte – CharlotteObserver.com.

randomMysterious Martian Cave Discovered By 7th Graders (PICTURE).




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