Archive for August, 2010

31
Aug
10

‎8.31.2010 … why do I feel the need to fix our cars and clean my house before I go on vacation?

random, RIP: Loved this Daniel Pink Spotlight on a unique individual. Rest in peace, Mr. Foster … I am sure you are leading the band now and forevermore.

I’ve got a soft spot for people who take on the status quo — of an industry, a sport, an art form — and then turn it upside down and inside out. Think Marcel Duchamp for art. Or Ray Kroc for restaurants. Or Bill Walsh for football.One such person passed away this weekend: William P. Foster, whose obituary runs in today’s New York Times. Foster was a consummate outsider — an African-American clarinetist who aspired to become a symphony conductor, only to realize that his race prevented him from attaining that position.So instead Foster decided to reinvent the marching band.

via What a fabled marching band can teach you about innovation | Daniel Pink.

colleges, green:

CU-Boulder is no longer the reigning king of environmentally friendly colleges and universities across the nation, at least according to Sierra Magazine.

After Sierra Magazine gave CU the top spot on the “Coolest Schools” list for being green last year, the Buffs fell to 13th out of 162 surveyed schools with an overall score of 81.9 points, according to Sierra. However the lower ranking is not due to decreased sustainability on campus, said Dave Newport, director of CU Boulder’s Environmental Center.

“All our process indicators are up, we are doing more than we were doing last year when we were first [in the nation],” Newport said.

This year, according to Sierra, the magazine put more scoring emphasis on energy supply than last year, which affected CU’s score. When it comes to energy supply, CU is dependent on the utility provider because the school does not have access to as many renewable resources, Newport said.

via CU slides to 13th “Coolest School” | CU Independent.

Great Recession:

A growing number of homeowners are choosing to pay down their mortgages at a faster rate–even if it means a substantial jump in their monthly payments.

Between January and June, 26% of homeowners who refinanced chose a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to data from CoreLogic, a provider of financial, property and consumer information. During all of 2009, 18.5% of borrowers who refinanced opted for a 15-year term.

What’s prompting the shift to shorter loans? Historically low interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages.

Homeowners are doing the math and realizing that rates have fallen enough so the increase in payment between a new 15-year mortgage and their current loan is no longer unbearable for their budgets, says Bob Walters, chief economist at online lender Quicken Loans.

via Paying Off the House in 15 Years – WSJ.com.

Great Recession:

Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health-care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort.

More than a fifth of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals are owned by governments and many are drowning in debt caused by rising health-care costs, a spike in uninsured patients, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and payments on construction bonds sold in fatter times. Because most public hospitals tend to be solo operations, they don’t enjoy the economies of scale, or more generous insurance contracts, which bolster revenue at many larger nonprofit and for-profit systems.

via Cash-Poor Governments Ditching Public Hospitals – WSJ.com.

Retail, bookstores: Guilty.

People browsing at the Lincoln Center store on Monday lamented the loss of one of the city’s largest and most prominent bookstores, a sprawling space with a cafe on the fourth floor and an enormous music selection. For devoted theatergoers, it was a reliable site for readings and events that focused on the performing arts. (Still on the fall schedule are appearances by Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige.)

But many of those same people conceded that they have not bought as many books there as they did in the past. Some said they were more likely to browse the shelves, then head home and make purchases online. Others said they prized the store most for its sunny cafe or its magazines and other nonbook items.

via At Bookstore, Even Those Not Buying Regret Its End – NYTimes.com.

random:

Lights are going on across the country as cities try to cut crime by flipping a switch.

Los Angeles this year added eight parks to its Summer Night Lights program, which now keeps the lights on until midnight at 24 parks in neighborhoods with high levels of gang-related crime, as part of a broader community-involvement effort.

Earlier this year, Joplin, Mo., reported a 47% drop in crime since 2007, when it started adding or replacing more than 1,000 lights throughout the city to reduce crime. And in other cities, like Fresno, Calif., plans to turn off street lights to cut carbon emissions and reduce costs have been thwarted by resistance from those with concerns about crime levels.

via Los Angeles Uses Light to Fight Crime – WSJ.com.

Great Recession, banking:

Since 2008, Friday night bank failures have become something of a certainty — almost as likely as death and taxes.But last Friday regulators didn’t seize a single bank. When was the last time that happened?Excluding holiday weekends, when the FDIC typically doesn’t seize banks, you have to go back to June 2009 for the last time regulators didn’t close a bank on Friday.Is this a positive sign? Not exactly. Bank failures remain ahead of last year’s pace — 118 to 84 — and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair expects it to remain that way. The weakening economic recovery hardly suggests fewer bank failures, either.On the positive side, as Colin Barr writes, it’s unlikely that this year’s total will top 1989’s when 534 banks failed.

via Tracking Bank Failures: Regulators Take a Weekend Off – Deal Journal – WSJ.

religion, culture:  OK, this one fascinated me.

In the history of the world, every culture in every location at every point in time has developed some supernatural belief system. And when a human behavior is so universal, scientists often argue that it must be an evolutionary adaptation along the lines of standing upright. That is, something so helpful that the people who had it thrived, and the people who didn’t slowly died out until we were all left with the trait. But what could be the evolutionary advantage of believing in God?

Bering is one of the academics who are trying to figure that out. In the years since his mother’s death, Bering has done experiments in his lab at Queens University, Belfast, in an attempt to understand how belief in the supernatural might have conferred some advantage and made us into the species we are today.

For Bering, and some of his friends, the answer to that question has everything to do with what he discovered in his lab — the way the kids and adults stopped cheating as soon as they thought a supernatural being might be watching them. Through the lens of evolution then, a belief in God serves a very important purpose: Religious belief set us on the path to modern life by stopping cheaters and promoting the social good.

Dominic Johnson is a professor at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom and another one of the leaders in this field. And to Johnson, before you can understand the role religion and the supernatural might have played in making us the people we are today, you really have to appreciate just how improbable our modern lives are.

Today we live in a world where perfect strangers are incredibly nice to each other on a regular basis. All day long, strangers open doors for each other, repair each other’s bodies and cars and washing machines. They swap money for food and food for money.  In short: they cooperate.

This cooperation makes all kinds of things possible, of course. Because we can cooperate, we can build sophisticated machines and create whole cities — communities that require huge amounts of coordination. We can do things that no individual or small group could do.

The question is: How did we get to be so cooperative? For academics like Johnson, this is a profound puzzle.

“Explaining cooperation is a huge cottage industry,” Johnson says. “It dominates the pages of top journals in science and economics and psychology. You would think that it was very simple, but in fact from a scientific academic point of view, it just often doesn’t make sense.”

via Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous? : NPR.

30
Aug
10

‎8.30.2010 … busy, busy … cars in shop … lots to do!

gLee, tv:  Enjoy!

YouTube – “Glee” in the 2010 Emmy Opening Skit.

NASA, the future: So there is still hope for our program.

This is the big program, the one that pushes boundaries. The GCDP is designed to “develop novel aerospace capabilities that have more technical risk yet higher potential payoff” than the sort of tech being developed for NASA’s mainstream missions. The program is even focused on “developing radically new approaches to NASA’s future space missions and the nation’s significant aerospace” needs.

NASA’s asking for input from NASA centers, university sources, federal-funded R&D centers, “private or public companies” or even government research labs.

via NASA Finds Cash to Fund Fast, Clever, Unusual Tech For Future Space, Air Missions | Fast Company.

google, marketing:  Love the  use of the british style booth!

Instead of a boring old ad campaign of TV commercials, YouTube videos, billboards, and what have you, Google decided to do something a little bit more fun. The company is constructing several old-style British phone booths that will be using the new Google Voice feature–all for free. The phone booths, modeled on a 1957 vintage example, will be installed in high-traffic areas, like college campuses.

via Google Plans Adorable, Green, and (Most Importantly) Free Google Voice Phone Booths | Fast Company.

places, Davidson, green: Perfect place for a nature preserve.

A public site visit and planning workshop are scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m., at the site of a planned town nature preserve off Jetton Street, behind Davidson Day School.  Tuesday’s meeting is aimed at helping to identify trails and a kayak/canoe launch site on Lake Davidson.

The 8-acre nature preserve was first proposed to meet open space requirements years ago during planning for the so-called Northeast Quadrant, off I-77 Exit 30. Tuesday’s site visit comes as the result of a formal agreement between Davidson Day School, which owns the land, and the town, according to Parks & Recreation director Steve Fraher.

via Site visit Tues. to plan Lake Davidson nature preserve | DavidsonNews.net.

places, Charlotte, education, sports, people: Go Big Mike!

Michael Jordan and the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats will announce a $250,000 donation Monday to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system to help fund middle-school athletics programs this academic year.

Jordan, an NBA legend who made a fortune with his basketball skills and marketing savvy, bought the Charlotte Bobcats this spring. At the time, he talked of the importance of making the franchise an active contributor within the Charlotte community.

via Michael Jordan lends schools a hand – CharlotteObserver.com.

religion:  Say a prayer for our youth.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of “Almost Christian,” a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.

She says this “imposter” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.

via Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians – CNN.com.

language, culture, quotes:  I really like this quote, and the whole article is interesting.

“Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.”

via Does Your Language Shape How You Think? – NYTimes.com.

29
Aug
10

8.29.2010 … Great Teague family weekend in Asheville … Grove Park Inn for sleep and dinner, breakfast and lunch — all very good … Corner Kitchen for dinner – a great foodie and cultural experience … Parkway drive and then Pisgah Inn for breakfast … Happy birthday, Laura!

The President, The Media, politics:

All presidents take vacations, and all are criticized for it. It’s never the right place, the right time. Ronald Reagan went to the ranch, George W. Bush to Crawford, both got knocked. Bill Clinton even poll-tested a vacation site and still was criticized. But Martha’s Vineyard—elite, upscale—can’t have done President Obama any good, especially following the first lady’s foray in Spain. The general feeling this week was summed up by David Letterman: “He’ll have plenty of time for vacations when his one term is up. Plenty of time.”

via We Just Don’t Understand – WSJ.com.

random, LOL: caught my attention … I guess I am gullible.

No.

Aug. 27 is the date of a purportedly rare celestial phenomenon, the “double moons” event where Mars is supposed to loom as large as a second moon in the Earth’s night sky. Not only would this be a spectacle, the gravitational effect supposedly portend a host of environmental disasters that will End. Life. As We Know It.

The problem? Both parts of this are completely bogus. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Mars remains some 195 million miles from us, far too far away to appear as much more than its typical pinpoint of light in the night sky, much less to provoke any cataclysm on Earth. This isn’t even the closest the two planets have been — in 2003, Mars and Earth were separated by just 34.6 million miles. Life here continued unabated.

If your friend e-mails you this “helpful” heads up of impending doom, e-mail them back the definition of the word “gullible.”

via Mark Malkoff: Comedian Undergoes 5-Day ‘Online Cleanse’ in His Bathroom – TIME NewsFeed.

words, history, digital era, endo of an era:  This makes me very sad.  WE had an OED that my mom got from the BOMC.  It came in a boxed two-volume set with a little drawer at the top for a magnifying glass.  OK, I am a nerd.

It’s been in print for over a century, but in future the Oxford English Dictionary – the authoritative guide to the English language – may only be available online.

Oxford University Press, the publisher, said Sunday that burgeoning demand for the dictionary’s online version has far outpaced demand for the printed versions.

By the time the lexicographers behind the dictionary finish revising and updating the latest edition – a gargantuan task that will take many more years – publishers are doubtful there will still be a market for the printed form.

via Zounds! Print Oxford English Dictionary to End? – CBS News.

random, divorce:

Mr. Sheresky, 82, left the firm in a huff last month, claiming that his former partners reneged on a longstanding commitment to take care of him financially in the twilight of his career. Mr. Aronson, 61, and Mr. Mayefsky, 57, denied that such a vow existed, and dissolved the partnership, forming a new one with Pamela M. Sloan, who joined the original firm in 2007.

Mr. Sheresky responded strongly Friday by filing a $26 million lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging breach of contract and fraud.

In the legal world, partnerships come and go like so many discovery motions. But the dispute that led to Mr. Sheresky’s name being removed from the firm’s letterhead and new Web site raises a common question for the city’s prominent firms: how to handle a senior partner who is transitioning toward retirement? It also serves as a reminder that business agreements should always be put in writing, and that greed — or accusations of greed — can ruin any relationship.

via Divorce Law Firm in New York in Split of Its Own – NYTimes.com.

green, cities, urban living:

Flanner of Brooklyn Grange. “And we’re growing 50, 60, 70 different varieties of vegetables.”Flanner and four friends are running a commercial farm, seven stories off the ground, surrounded by a to-die-for view of the New York City skyline. The soil, a million pounds of it, had to be raised a sack at a time by crane.

via Field of Greens: The Growth in Farmers Markets – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

The President, politics, Hurricane Katrina:  It was shameful, but ultimately the problem was local.

Calling the federal response to Hurricane Katrina “a shameful breakdown in government,” President Barack Obama said Sunday as rebuilding continues, officials are looking ahead to avoid a repeat when future disasters strike.

Speaking at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans to mark the fifth anniversary of Katrina, Obama said construction of a fortified levee system to protect the city is underway and will be finished by next year, “We should not be playing Russian roulette every hurricane season,” he said.

“There is no need to dwell on what you experienced and what the world witnessed,” the president said, speaking to a crowd that included current New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation.

“We all remember it keenly — water pouring through broken levees; mothers holding their children above the waterline; people stranded on rooftops begging for help; and bodies lying in the streets of a great American city,” Obama said. “It was a natural disaster but also a man-made catastrophe; a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men and women and children abandoned and alone.”

via Marking Katrina anniversary, Obama praises New Orleans’ resilience – CNN.com.

places, Asheville, food:

Grove Park Inn for sleep and dinner, breakfast and lunch — all very good …

Corner Kitchen for dinner – a great foodie and cultural experience … I had pecan crusted trout … very good.

Blue Ridge Parkway drive and then Pisgah Inn for breakfast.

places, Atlanta, food:  Last week I went to Mary Mac’s … I had not been there in a while … it just made me smile.


We started with an order of Mudbugs. These are big, plump crawfish tails battered lightly in cornmeal then fried golden. Then each of had a 4-vegetable plate.  I had friend green tomatoes, tomato pie, black-eyed peans and turnips … all very good … and of course cornbread mini muffins and yeast rolls.

events:  Happy birthday, Laura, Linda and Tom!

random, NC: interesting …

The Alexander County community famed for its lunker emeralds has yielded a 64-carat gem that experts say is North America’s largest cut emerald.

via N.C. farm yields record emerald – CharlotteObserver.com.

28
Aug
10

‎8.28.2010 …. Living is easy at the Grove Park Inn …

27
Aug
10

8.27.2010 … the et cracked tooth raises its ugly head … hopefully resolved by mid afternoon … the off to the cool of the mtns.

blogging holiday … clips will return in a few days!

26
Aug
10

8.26.2010 … In Atlanta for a celebration of the life of a most favorite “kith uncle”. Rest in peace, Uncle Sam … Good luck President Ross in your new endeavor, Davidson’s loss will be the State of NC and its University System’s gain …. And happy 13th to my most special godson.

kith/kin, RIP, Atlanta: In Atlanta for a celebration of the life of a most favorite “kith uncle”. Rest in peace, Uncle Sam.

Samuel Inman Obituary: View Samuel Inman’s Obituary by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Davidson, these times they are a changin’: Good luck President Ross in your new endeavor, Davidson’s loss will be the State of NC and its University System’s gain.

Ross had no prior experience in higher education when tapped to lead Davidson three years ago. But he caught on quickly, said Robert Dunham, a Davidson trustee from Chapel Hill.

“He had such an array of experiences. He had a great deal of respect,” Dunham said. “But he acknowledged that he’d be learning on the fly. And he did very well.”

An elite private college, Davidson enrolls about 1,700 students. UNC, in contrast, is a sprawling system of about 215,000 students.

Susan McAvoy, president of the board of directors of Davidson’s alumni association, doesn’t expect Ross to stumble.

“He’ll be amazing,” she said. “When you have his methodical mind, it doesn’t matter how big (a problem) is because you break it into manageable pieces.”

via Davidson president to lead UNC – CharlotteObserver.com.

kith/kin, Michael: And happy 13th to my most special godson.

25
Aug
10

8.25.2010 … lots of errands!! … welcome, welcome, liv and sedi … Charlotte schools are back in session …

e-readers:

People who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book, preliminary research shows.

via A Look at the Reading Habits of E-Reader Owners – WSJ.com.

the law, local news, Charlotte:  Why? Why would a detective plagiarize and throw away notes?

A Mecklenburg judge ruled Tuesday that Demeatrius Montgomery should not face the death penalty because a detective’s misconduct has tainted the trial in the killings of two Charlotte police officers.

But Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges allowed the trial to continue, rejecting a request by Montgomery’s attorneys to dismiss the murder charges entirely.

Bridges called the case a “moving target.” He said former police Detective Arvin Fant’s admission that he threw away and plagiarized notes has “placed a cloud of suspicion over these proceedings.”

via No death penalty in police slayings – CharlotteObserver.com.

education, NC, Great Recession:  I would prefer not to need the funds, but would rather get the funds than not.

The states named to receive sums from $75 million to $700 million each were Hawaii, Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, New York and Florida.

via Ten Winners Selected to Receive ‘Race to the Top’ Education Funds – WSJ.com.

the brain, technology, iPhone: I am definitely fatigued!

Sure, smart phones and mobile devices help pass the time whenever you have a tedious task to do: standing in line; waiting for the train; working out at the gym. But is the constant barrage of information overloading your brain?

The New York Times reports that researchers have concluded that the constant distraction today’s electronic devices provide, could be fatiguing your brain.

via Is Your iPhone Killing Your Creativity? – TIME NewsFeed.

Apps:  I use a few more … but many I just try and leave … hey most are free.

When I recently received my new iPhone 4, I took great delight in organizing my apps into folders, finding new apps in the app store, and seeing how beautiful various apps looked on the new screen. Then I used it for a couple of days and realized, not counting pre-loaded Apple software, I use exactly five apps: The New York Times, Dropbox, Pandora, MenuPages, and Skype. Why am I wasting time collecting and organizing all these apps? We’re in an app bubble.

via The Great App Bubble | Fast Company.

health, diet: Go H2O!

CONSUME more water and you will become much healthier, goes an old wives’ tale. Drink a glass of water before meals and you will eat less, goes another. Such prescriptions seem sensible, but they have little rigorous science to back them up.

Until now, that is.

via Obesity: Drink till you drop | The Economist.

24
Aug
10

8.24.2010 … loved picking up the St. Anne’s exchange students, Liv and Sedi … then helping them get settled in the US … I hope their experience is a wonderful as Molly’s has been in SA …

Libraries, Charlotte, Great Recession:  Not a story we want to be in the opening line …

In July, the Charlotte, N.C., library adopted a new budget that slashed nearly 30 percent of its funding and about 300 employees. In New York, libraries narrowly dodged an $82 million round of cuts thanks to public outcry earlier this year. The Milwaukee library system adopted austerity measures, only to find itself penalized for cutting too far. And the Free Library of Philadelphia only avoided a total shutdown through an act of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

via Libraries Face Increasing Budget Cutbacks – Newsweek.

Apple:  More changes … tablet affecting desktops …

Since the iPad was announced, Digits has been waiting for the day when the tablet and its iPhone operating system could be melded with a keyboard and the Mac OS. And now, courtesy of the Patently Apple blog, we have a glimpse of the future.

Apple has filed for an international patent in Europe for computers that allow the user to transition between touch-screen input and a traditional keyboard, according to documents found by the blog.

via Patent Gives a Glimpse of Apple’s Plans for a Touchscreen Mac – Digits – WSJ.

Davidson:  Freshman tell all … The Next Page: Cutting Steak With Scissors.

23
Aug
10

‎8.23.2010 … lunch in Davidson with a John and a potential applicant and family … why is it always so beautiful up there … lots of friends with birthdays …Happy Birthday, Dan, Karen and Doug … working on SA trip …. Rocktail Bay, Cape Town, Kruger and Pietermaritzburg near Molly’s school.

snippets from ZA Molly: Molly is still loving EVERYONE and EVERYTHING about her South African advneture. This weekend she is in Jo’burg with her friend Cally for mid-term break. Callie’s family has a game farm about an hour away and they spent two days there where she saw giraffes (Treetops and Bella who is expecting … 18 mo. gestation period!), zebras, wildebreasts … etc., etc.). The British exchange students flew back today and Molly has really enjoyed getting to know them. As I said, she las loved everyone and everything.

culture, education, terms: Like the term “the littlest redshirts” … did you redshirt your child?   Cultural Studies – The Littlest Redshirts – Postponing Kindergarten – NYTimes.com.

words, vuvuzella, facebook:

New Dictionary Words

“Vuvuzella” and “defriend” have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

via New Additions to Oxford English Dictionary – ABC News.

iPhone Apps:

Want the perks of satellite radio without having to pay the big subscription fee? There’s an app for that.

The Livio Car Internet Radio app, currently available for iPhone and in the works for Android phones, lets users listen to Internet-only radio stations as well as AM and FM stations from around the world. While you can listen to the radio while out and about with your phone, Livio’s real goal is to have users mount the phone in their cars and use this app in place of their car radio.

via The App that May Destroy Satellite Radio | Technology | Smart Spending | Mainstreet.

literature, RIP: Rest in Peace, Anne Frank Tree.

Known in local vernacular as the “Anne Frank Tree,” the 150-year-old chestnut trunk’s claim to fame was its role in the teenage girl’s Nazi-related plight.

The AP reports that Monday’s Amsterdam storms were strong enough to topple the tree used as a source of solace by Frank during the Nazis’ occupation of the Netherlands. Plagued by fungi and moths for several years, the structure faced several attempts by city officials to order it to the ground.

But with the help of local advocacy efforts, the historic arboreal symbol staved off its opponents, letting nature spell the end of Frank’s emotion-laced setting.

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” Frank wrote in her diary on Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind.”

via Historic Tree With Diary of Anne Frank Ties Felled By Storm – TIME NewsFeed.

college, books, these times they are a changin’:

“Textbooks are just plain boring,” said Short, who is a professor of management at Texas Tech University. He said that standard business textbooks use a lot of disconnected examples and irrelevant stock photos, and he wanted to create something that would be “more like a movie,” that would get the necessary points across while keeping students engaged. Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed was his first attempt at a graphic-novel textbook; it covers, short Says, all the bases of what his students need to learn, while telling a story in panels about a college kid named Atlas and his friends. His adventures continue in Atlas Black: Management Guru?

via Graphic novel replaces business school textbook – USATODAY.com.

parenting, college:  I see it in myself … but wow … school’s are really having a time with superinvolved parents.

As the latest wave of superinvolved parents delivers its children to college, institutions are building into the day, normally one of high emotion, activities meant to punctuate and speed the separation. It is part of an increasingly complex process, in the age of Skype and twice-daily texts home, in which colleges are urging “Velcro parents” to back off so students can develop independence.

via Students, Welcome to College – Parents, Go Home – NYTimes.com.

csr, favorite topics: What do you think?

Can companies do well by doing good? Yes—sometimes.

Hear Aneel Karnani, Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M Ross School of Business, discuss why the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is flawed .

But the idea that companies have a responsibility to act in the public interest and will profit from doing so is fundamentally flawed.

Large companies now routinely claim that they aren’t in business just for the profits, that they’re also intent on serving some larger social purpose. They trumpet their efforts to produce healthier foods or more fuel-efficient vehicles, conserve energy and other resources in their operations, or otherwise make the world a better place. Influential institutions like the Academy of Management and the United Nations, among many others, encourage companies to pursue such strategies.

It’s not surprising that this idea has won over so many people—it’s a very appealing proposition. You can have your cake and eat it too!

But it’s an illusion, and a potentially dangerous one.

Very simply, in cases where private profits and public interests are aligned, the idea of corporate social responsibility is irrelevant: Companies that simply do everything they can to boost profits will end up increasing social welfare. In circumstances in which profits and social welfare are in direct opposition, an appeal to corporate social responsibility will almost always be ineffective, because executives are unlikely to act voluntarily in the public interest and against shareholder interests.

via The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility – WSJ.com.

food – Southern, gone too far:  OK, yuck!

Cheeseburgers? Mmmmm.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Mmmmm.

A cheeseburger on a grilled Krispy Kreme?

Ummmm???

A popular dish on the fair circuit this year is the Krispy Kreme cheeseburger. At the Wisconsin State Fair, which ended Sunday, it sold for $5. For an extra buck, you could add chocolate-covered bacon.

And the burger packs an eye-glazing 1,000 calories, according to the vendor. A regular Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut has 200 calories.

via Krispy Kreme burger with chocolate bacon? – CharlotteObserver.com.

22
Aug
10

8.22.2010 … RIP VARSITY JR … nest is empty again … very quiet, refrigerator almost empty …

RIP, food – Southern, icons, Atlanta, oral history, my dad:  I never thought about it until now, but the Varsity Jr opened when I was 5 and we went there frequently when we went to the old Hastings location.  My dad always made some comment about it not being the same as the real Varsity downtown.  Just like me, he was slow to accept change!  I will miss you Varsity Jr.

Joey Ivansco, AJC File Susan Gordy, retired since 2006, ran the Varsity Jr. since 1980, when her husband, Frank Gordy Jr. (son of Varsity founder Frank Gordy) was killed in a shooting accident.

What’ll ya have before the Varsity Jr. closes its doors?

Sunday will be the last day to enjoy chili dogs and onion rings at the Lindbergh Drive location, according to the iconic Atlanta restaurant chain.

After 45 years, the Varsity Jr. will close due to an inability to meet zoning requirements with the City of Atlanta. Restaurant owners had hoped to build a new facility, complete with indoor restrooms.

via Varsity Jr. closes Sunday after 45 years  | ajc.com.

college advice, favorite blogs:   Well, not too crazy!  Put Yourself Out There and Do Something Crazy – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

games:  Rarely find anything interesting in Bill Gates’ blog, which is unfortunate.  But found this article about bridge partners interesting.  Bill Gates – Infrequently Asked Questions – What Makes for a Good Bridge Partner? – The Gates Notes.

cities, urban development:  Very interesting articles on one of my favorite subjects.  I agree that the cities in developing nations are not the cities that the world wants …they are little more than “sprawling slums.”

In looking across the last 50,000 or so years of cultural evolution, the creation of cities has to be recognized as a revolution in itself. From Babylon and Sumer to Athens and Rome, the organization of human society into powerful cities, and the empires which often supported them, marked a critical turning point in our development.

Now with the human population poised to reach 9 billion or more over the next century, what is the future of our material-cultural organization? While the United States has poured its treasure into building energetically unsustainable suburbs, nations like China have seen their cities grow at phenomenal rates. In many poorer countries the growth of cities has come to include sprawling slums. This is where a significant fraction of that population increase will live.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

green, NC:  I believe this needs to happen.

Duke Energy Carolinas has abandoned plans to build three wind turbines in the Pamlico Sound as an offshore wind demonstrator project because costs have ballooned to almost $120 million.

But Duke is committed to spending about $750,000 more on studies UNC Chapel Hill has undertaken to determine the commercial viability of windmills off the Carolina coast. That will bring Duke’s total investment in the university’s offshore wind studies to about $4 million.

via Duke Energy drops wind project off N.C. coast, citing cost – Charlotte Business Journal.

libraries, places, Atlanta:  it would be nice to find a new use for libraries … sources for information and community center.  Does anyone remember going to the beautiful little midtown library (next First Pres. or the not so beautiful Buckhead library? … it was hoppin’.

As budget cuts chop library programs out of schools, public libraries are becoming increasingly important in their roles to educate entire communities. But they also serve another purpose as town squares for neighborhoods–places where people can come together and share ideas. The new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, which opened this month in Washington DC hopes to become the center of the neighborhood by adding uses that reach beyond reading, and creating a dynamic space that transcends the typical tomb-like library setting.

via A Neighborhood Revival Starts With a New Public Library | Co.Design.

college, our children, UGA: Our kids live in a different world.

It’s been two weeks since the University of Georgia was named the No. 1 party school in the nation by the Princeton Review. Apparently, authorities are paying attention.

Twenty University of Georgia students were arrested for alcohol-related charges Thursday night in Athens, including underage possession of alcohol and DUI, according to Athens-Clarke County jail records.Those arrests – by university and Athens-Clarke County police – bring the total of drug-and alcohol-related arrests made in the last two weeks to 43, according to The Red and Black, the campus newspaper.

via Arrests of UGA students on partying charges up sharply  | ajc.com.

Great Recession, real estate: I thought my childhood home in Brookwood Hills was huge … and it is about 1/2 of my home.  I would rather have a 2200 sq. foot home.  Keeps the family close.

It increasingly seems like that’s the case. As we’ve written before, the American love affair with massive and mass-produced luxury homes is fast coming to a close. The average home size peaked at 2,521 square feet in 2007. (WSJ reporter Kelly Evans noticed home sizes shrinking in the second quarter of 2007.) Home size came in flat in 2008 and fell in 2009 as builders built smaller, less ornate homes priced lower to compete with foreclosures.

In a WSJ story in November, Michael Phillips looked at the luxury home business and found that many builders were scaling back, “struggling to distinguish among what home buyers need, what they what they want and what they can live without — Jacuzzi by Jacuzzi, butler’s pantry by butler’s pantry.”

via Good-Bye McMansion, Hello Tiny House? – Developments – WSJ.

postsecret, random:  I laughed at this … I have never felt like my luggage has been opened.  Maybe I will try leaving a note.

RT @kaynemcgladrey: “Am I the only guy who leaves notes to the TSA, knowing they’ll open my luggage? It’s like @postsecret in my suitcase.”

via Twitter / Home.

teenagers, risky ventures:  I think the Dutch court was right the first time.

A Dutch court released Laura last month from the guardianship of Dutch child protection agencies, who had tried to block her voyage because of fears for her safety and psychological health.

via Dutch teen sets sail in secrecy on solo world trip – More Sports – SI.com.




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