14
Jul
10

‎7.14.2010 … talked to the molls … guess what they dont have, but love in South Africa … RANCH DRESSING!

friends, relationships, followup:  What do you think? Are best friends bad for kids?  Who are your friends?

We talked about categories — family, chosen family, neighbors, close male friends, collective friends (i.e. whole groups, some members of which we are closer to than others but generally considering the whole group friends), friends with common experiences (contingency friends, perhaps… from “the kids’ soccer team” or “the PTA,” relationships which sometimes fade when the context does), neighbor friends (people whom we can call to check on the dogs or make sure we turned off the stove).

via Friends for the Journey, or Parts thereof « Holy Vernacular.

green, environment: 7 square miles???

Seven-square miles of a Greenland glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, moving the edge of the glacier a mile inland in one day, the furthest inland it has ever been observed. While such calving of glaciers isn’t rare, seeing it happen at high resolution by satellite in almost real time is.

via Big chunk of Greenland glacier breaks off – Science Fair: Science and Space News – USATODAY.com.

food, garden, travel, vocabulary:  When we were in China in ’07, at one point we were starving for western junk food, and our guides ordered french fries … 5 huge orders … and then asked if we would like tomato jam with that … when we realized they were asking if we wanted ketchup, we broke out laughing.

Tonight with our bountiful tomato harvest, we will make our first batch of tomato jam! Recipe – Tomato Jam – Recipe – NYTimes.com.

culture, families:  They ask hard questions some times.

Doctors, and the parents who look to them for advice, need a way to integrate their standards of honesty with what we know about preventing substance abuse — and with new research that makes it clear we know a lot more today than anyone did when we were young. (Which may help explain some of the dumb decisions made by so many of us, including me.)

In particular, scientists understand much more about the neurobiology of the teenage brain and the risks of experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence. While we used to think the brain was relatively mature by 16 or 18, in fact it is still developing into the mid-20s.

“If the way it’s presented is, ‘This is risky, and I hope that you don’t have to touch the hot stove to find out you get burned,’ they don’t have to take the same chance.”

And finally, after all the cautions and the anxieties, it’s essential to come back to the positives — “always remembering to notice the good about your child,” Dr. Williams said.

After all, the most important message a parent can give is not about the mistakes that can derail a child, but about the joys of finding your way.

Tell your child, in Dr. Simkin’s words, that “I would prefer you to work on finding your passion, finding what in life you want to do” — and celebrate that potential.

And for that very reason, Dr. Williams said, “I would like them to have every brain cell they can have.”

The Press:  I think this goes too far.

We have entered a momentous period in the history of the American press. The invention of new communications technologies—especially the Internet—is transforming the human capacity to speak, perhaps as monumentally as the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. This is facilitating the largest and fastest expansion of global economic growth in human history. Free speech and a free press are essential to a dynamic economy.

This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let’s demonstrate great journalism’s essential role in a free and dynamic society.

via Lee Bollinger: Journalism Needs Government Help – WSJ.com.

culture, families:  Toxic children … even the name is unsettling.

“The central pitch of any child psychiatrist now is that the illness is often in the child and that the family responses may aggravate the scene but not wholly create it,” said my colleague Dr. Theodore Shapiro, a child psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The era of ‘there are no bad children, only bad parents’ is gone.”

I recall one patient who told me that she had given up trying to have a relationship with her 24-year-old daughter, whose relentless criticism she could no longer bear. “I still love and miss her,” she said sadly. “But I really don’t like her.”

For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.

via Mind – Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds – NYTimes.com.

education, culture:

“I have to assume that in every class, someone will do it,” he said. “It doesn’t stop them if you say, ‘This is plagiarism. I won’t accept it.’ I have to tell them that it is a failing offense and could lead me to file a complaint with the university, which could lead to them being put on probation or being asked to leave.”

Not everyone who gets caught knows enough about what they did to be remorseful. Recently, for example, a student who plagiarized a sizable chunk of a paper essentially told my friend to keep his shirt on, that what he’d done was no big deal. Beyond that, the student said, he would be ashamed to go home to the family with an F.

As my friend sees it: “This represents a shift away from the view of education as the process of intellectual engagement through which we learn to think critically and toward the view of education as mere training. In training, you are trying to find the right answer at any cost, not trying to improve your mind.”

This habit of mind is already pervasive in the culture and will be difficult to roll back. But parents, teachers and policy makers need to understand that this is not just a matter of personal style or generational expression. It’s a question of whether we can preserve the methods through which education at its best teaches people to think critically and originally.

via Editorial Observer – Cutting and Pasting – A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name) – NYTimes.com.

fashion, technology:

But savvy competitors grasped how significant the Web would be for trend spotting and grabbed market share. Worth Global Style Network, known as WGSN, was founded in 1998 and now boasts 36,000 unique users. It sped up fashion forecasting with “up-to-the-minute information with no time delay” from a network of 200 trendspotters around the world, says Sally Lohan, the company’s West Coast content director.

Another rival, Stylesight, founded in 2004, has image banks and customizable trend analyses available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish.

Fashion bloggers, who spot local trends around the world and post new photos constantly, also help retail buyers, and they do it free of charge. “It is very easy to find out what’s going on in Shanghai and Tokyo with a click of a mouse,” says Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon, who says she looks to Tobe not for ideas, but rather for confirmation of her own fashion hunches. For example, she says she placed big bets for spring 2010 on nautical stripes long before Tobe weighed in on the trend (and she was relieved to see that Tobe confirmed her instincts).

via Trend Forecaster Tobe Report Gets Trendy Again – WSJ.com.

Apple iPhone: Up until the iPhone 4 flap, buying Apple was a no-brainer.

That’s just astounding. The folks at Nokia, RIM, etc., should hang their heads in shame.

via You Can’t Appreciate How Completely Apple Has Humiliated The Cellphone Industry Until You See These Charts.

technology, business, Great Recession:

That is the hope of an increasing number of investors who are turning to the science of artificial intelligence to make investment decisions.

With artificial intelligence, programmers don’t just set up computers to make decisions in response to certain inputs. They attempt to enable the systems to learn from decisions, and adapt. Most investors trying the approach are using “machine learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer program analyzes huge chunks of data and makes predictions about the future. It is used by tech companies such as Google Inc. to match Web searches with results and NetFlix Inc. to predict which movies users are likely to rent.

via ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Gains Fans Among Investors – WSJ.com.

Davidson, education internships:  Davidson is supporting 20 research projects this summer.  What a great thing! And what a great internship!

Allison’s research project aims to answer the question: Can a business corporation, as an entity that is distinct from the employees, shareholders, and other members that compose it, be held morally responsible for its actions? More specifically, she is addressing the role of corporate structure (e.g. its written policies, unwritten corporate culture, etc.) in defining the corporation’s moral status.

via » Research at Davidson: Allison Drutchas.

Two days later I was sporting an official badge, revising policy manuals, performing employee housing inspections, and passing Ambassador Thorne on the compound. I have made courtesy calls to the head of each embassy section, and enjoyed meetings with the ambassadors of the Tri-Mission (because Rome is the home to an unusual case of three independent US Embassies: Italy, the Holy See, and the UN).

I have had the unique pleasure of exploring Villa Taverna, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and I have gone days speaking only Italian because all but two officers in my section are locally-employed Italians. This weekend I will have the opportunity to assist in the visit of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and on Monday I will have a private tour of the French Embassy, which contains many Michelangelo works.

There appears to be no end for me to the surprises at the Ambasciata Americana! For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering a career with the US Foreign Service. Ciao a tutti e tanti abbracci!

via Good Call! |.

health, alternative medicine:

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

Stress reduction is one factor. But scientists also chalk it up to phytoncides, the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects and which also seem to benefit humans.

via Really? – The Claim – Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity – Question – NYTimes.com.

food, random:

Would I recommend it? Reservedly, yes, but mostly because afterward you can honestly say you’ve eaten a burger made out of bacon, and not many people can say that. If you don’t care about the “honor” of it, I suggest sharing it with at least one other person, because it’s not likely you’ll actually want to eat more than half. I suggest uncured bacon so the salt doesn’t make your blood pressure spike. Cook it the way I did unless you want it to bathe in its own fat as it cooks. Oh, yes, and wash it down with something with a bite to it, because otherwise the taste of the bacon fat will likely overwhelm your palate.

via The Great Bacon Odyssey: Bacon, the Other Crispy Brown Meat | GeekDad | Wired.com.


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