Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

9.30.2010 … off to Atlanta for a four score and four celebration for the mother …

old times: Shout out to our old neighbors Lea and Herb and Cindy and Elizabeth …

There is a common joke involving fortune cookies that involves appending “between the sheets” or “in bed” to the end of the fortune, usually creating a sexual innuendo or other bizarre messages (e.g., “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall [in bed]”).[9]

via Fortune cookie – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

street art:  As I have said before i love public art and street performers are a type of public art in my opinion.  I have become much more conscious of them in recent years and they add to the character of a city.

Curry said he sees street performing as a sort of study of the human condition.

“It’s an interaction with people with a myriad of socio-economic backgrounds,” he said.

Like many street performers, Curry said he feels good when he makes others feel good. As he got in his car to go home and grill a New York Strip for his wife and daughters, he offered one last piece of life advice:

“Follow your bliss,” Curry said.

via Through their eyes | CU Independent.

Continue reading ‘9.30.2010 … off to Atlanta for a four score and four celebration for the mother …’

29
Sep
10

‎9.29.2010 … rain! … today is talk to all the service guys … plumber, HVAC and cable all in one day … plumber is a Brit whose wife teaches Shakespeare … people can always surprise you.

bees, beekeeping, apiculture, kudos: Congrats to the apiculture genius!

A honey-bee breeder, a jellyfish scholar, a stone carver and an Emmy-winning screenwriter were among 23 people awarded $500,000 “genius” grants Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation here.

“It just blew me away,” said Marla Spivak, a 55-year-old professor of apiculture at the University of Minnesota. “I thought they might have the wrong person.” She won the grant for breeding honey bees that can restore health to beehives stricken with pests or pathogens, which in recent years have devastated U.S. bee colonies. She plans to use the grant to launch new bee-related projects.

via Genius Gets Its Own Reward – WSJ.com.

Continue reading ‘‎9.29.2010 … rain! … today is talk to all the service guys … plumber, HVAC and cable all in one day … plumber is a Brit whose wife teaches Shakespeare … people can always surprise you.’

28
Sep
10

‎9.28.2010 … BSF Isaiah today … then JBT back from Kuwait …

architecture, Chicago:  Architecture makes a difference.  Wouldn’t you like to go to this school?

The bright new charter high school rises next to the scene of a senseless inner-city killing — a 17-year-old girl, chatting with a friend on her cell phone, shot dead in 2008 after two men argued on a CTA bus.

The $20 million school is a legacy of the late Gary Comer, the innovative founder of the Lands’ End clothing empire, who grew up in the Grand Crossing neighborhood and never forgot it.

Like a neighboring youth center that also bears Comer’s name, the school is a beacon of optimism for an area that needs it.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

GOP Contract, random, graphic: Love the illustration …

The long awaited sequel to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On America,” is out. Here are cliff notes. A summary of sorts inspired by Cliff Hillegrass’ original, but written for the lemmings expected to be led and fall from the cliff.

via Pledge to America: the cliff notes by Lee Leslie | LikeTheDew.com.

education:

President Barack Obama said Monday that he would like to extend the school year and raise teacher pay to help improve the U.S. education system.

Mr. Obama, in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” said students around the world usually go to school for a month longer each year than children in the U.S. Such a difference, he said, gives those students an advantage and gives their countries an economic edge.

via Obama Advocates Longer School Year, Higher Teacher Pay – WSJ.com.

education:  Agree.

The U.S. is endangering the American dream by failing to educate its children.

Arianna appeared on MSNBC Monday to discuss the issues facing the nation’s deteriorating educational system and explained why learning is key to the American middle class–the focus of her new book “Third World America.”

“Education has always been the springboard to the middle class,” Arianna said. “The ability to learn, to be able to get a good job, was at the heart of the upward mobility that was the essence of the American dream. And that’s no longer the case.”

Arianna went on to explain that that a third of students are not graduating from high school.

Host Andrea Mitchell echoed Arianna’s concern and cited more disturbing figures. In Korea, Finland, and Singapore 100% of teachers come from the top third of university graduates. In the United states, just 23% come from the top third.

Despite the negative statistics, Arianna told Mitchell that she is hopeful the country can turn around its schools.

“There seems to be a tipping point… this is a ‘beyond left or right’ issue. And you have liberals and conservatives agreeing that we need to bring a sense of urgency to what’s happening. We have the media really engaged…. We have this amazing movie ‘Waiting For Superman’ that captures the fact… that getting a good education has become a game of chance.”

via HuffPost TV: Arianna: ‘Getting A Good Education Has Become A Game Of Chance’ (VIDEO).

business, travel, Charlotte:  Hooray for Charlotte!

Southwest Airlines Co. gets more exposure to existing markets like New York and Boston, and it can get into smaller markets it doesn’t already serve.

AirTran operates daily flights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to a number of markets, but it is unclear whether Southwest will continue that operation. In recent years, some passengers regularly have driven from Charlotte to the Raleigh area, which is served by Southwest, so they can take advantage of that company’s lower fares.

via Southwest buys AirTran; Charlotte impact? – CharlotteObserver.com.

weather:  113 in September in LA!

Los Angeles, California,  has broken the all-time record high temperature of  112F with a temperature of 113F at 12:15pm PDT.  Their temperature could rise more through the afternoon.

via Los Angeles breaks record high temperature – This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

education, followup:  Here is a public school that does pretty well with this test … still only 4%.  40 New Trier High School seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events — TribLocal.com.

RIP, random:

A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday.

Police in West Yorkshire said Monday that James Heselden and a Segway were found in the River Wharfe near Boston Spa, in northern England. Police said a member of the public had reported seeing a man fall over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Paraskos/Hesco/PA Wire)

The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was prounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.

Police said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of London.

via Segway owner dies after falling off river cliff  | ajc.com.

CU, boys, green:  I think this is a great idea … CU students rent cars while helping the environment | CU Independent.

Wilmette, restaurants:  Enjoy! Five Guys looking to open in Wilmette — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events — TribLocal.com.

literature:  I thought this was both interesting and funny.  I personally love GWTW, but do not think it ranks with the ones he wants to omit.

News item from the Boston Globe:

“…Universities are full of trendy English professors who don’t read Shakespeare for the beauty of the poetry or its peerless insights into human nature. The point is to uncover the oppression that’s supposed to define Western culture: the racism, ‘patriarchy,’ and imperialism that must lurk beneath the surface of everything written by those ‘dead white males.’ (The latest book from University of Pennsylvania professor emerita Phyllis Rackin, for example, investigates how ‘Macbeth’ contributed to the ‘domestication of women.’)”

I don’t believe for an instant that the Western literary canon should be changed to accommodate social and political agendas. Aesthetics shaped the canon in the beginning and should continue to shape it. Besides, art pressed into the service of a cause becomes propaganda, the aims of which are very different from those of art.

Yes, the canon’s shapers were mainly men, mainly white, mainly European, and, like all men, not without bias. But nowhere have I seen evidence that any work was admitted to the canon for any reason except that it was believed to be an outstanding work of serious intent.

But this should not be construed to mean that the Western canon is sacrosanct. It isn’t, nor should it be. Time changes everything, including the pertinence of art, and esthetic distance can reveal that a work’s admission to the canon might have been hasty or at the very least is ripe for review. Some inferior works also sneaked into the canon as companions of superior relatives. Any critic who believes, for instance, that all of Dickens’ novels are co-equal in quality simply hasn’t been paying attention.

Anyhow, of esteemed works in general, here are some nominations, purely random, for either demotion in the ranks or outright discharge from the canon (no pun).

via Great books — or not so great? by Robert Lamb | LikeTheDew.com.

news, random, LOL:

Wichita police are looking for thieves that stole a Little Debbie van and littered a road with empty snack cake boxes.

Police say the truck was stolen around 4 o’clock this morning from the the Walmart at Pawnee and Broadway.

The truck was later found at the canal route and Douglas St. in the canal with a trail of empty snack cake boxes littering the road to the south.

Police are still looking for the suspects. The van was returned to its owner.

via Thieves with snack attack steal Little Debbie van – Local news – Wichita, KS – News – msnbc.com.

tv, movies:  I am not a watcher of Oprah’s show … but I love the Sound of Music … so maybe I will watch …

Oprah’s ‘Sound of Music’: The hills are alive with the sound of…Oprah? Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is set to reunite the stars of the film “The Sound of Music.” The entire cast, which includes Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, will visit the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Oct. 29. While Andrews is not expected to sing, the Von Trapp Children, a group that features members of the real family portrayed in the musical, will perform on the program. [AP]

via Wyclef Hospitalized; Katy Perry on ‘The Simpsons’; Oprah Reunites ‘Sound of Music’ Cast – Speakeasy – WSJ.

archeology, anthropology, history, Jack: I love seeing what Jack can do with his major!

In addition to work on the Southeast United States and Caribbean, Dawdy has produced insightful studies of New Orleans from its establishment as a French colony to the present day. In Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans (2008), she integrates the intellectual life of the community with the story of the adventurers, entrepreneurs, and smugglers who resisted governance, providing a markedly expanded narrative of the colonial dynamics and structure of the region. Her recent fieldwork in New Orleans, concentrating on the former site of the Rising Sun Hotel and St. Antoine’s Garden behind St. Louis Cathedral, is the largest archaeological excavation undertaken to date in the French Quarter. These two sites are an important part of her current project: an exploration of the connections between aesthetics and social life. Complementing her academic work, Dawdy has also been a vocal advocate for historical preservation.

via Shannon Lee Dawdy – MacArthur Foundation.

travel, Swaziland, politics, history:  One of the more interesting 24 hours in my life was spent here …

RENOWNED as Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Swaziland has been in a state of emergency for the past 37 years. Political parties are banned, critics are systematically arrested and beaten up by police and freedom of expression is severely curtailed. Ministers, judges and local chiefs are all appointed by the king, Mswati III. While he and his 13 wives flaunt their opulence, most of his 1.2m subjects struggle to survive. More than one in four is HIV positive—the highest infection rate in the world.

Yet the pretty little mountainous kingdom, locked into the north-east corner of South Africa, is better known for its annual traditional reed dance, where bare-breasted virgins parade their beauty before their toga-clad king, than for its human-rights abuses. There may be the odd suspicious death in custody, but there have been no mass killings, as in Myanmar or Sudan. It does not have any big deposits of gold, diamonds or oil to covet; most of its wealth comes from sugar cane. So why should anyone care?

via The sorry state of Swaziland: A boiling pot | The Economist.

education: Interesting…

Public education in our cities runs the gamut from world class to depressingly lacking. What is clear across the spectrum is that educating our youth is an enormous cost, often one too great to be shouldered by a city alone. Here’s how the largest school districts in the country are funded and how they spend that money.

via Education 101 – Cities – GOOD.

movies, fashion: Work clothes need some improvement.  So i hope so …

The fashion world, however, is already seeking to capitalize on Gordon Gekko’s new look, the Wall Street Journal reports. The original movie popularized contrast-collar shirts, suspenders and French cuffs. The new movie features handmade shoes, tailored vests, clear eyeglass frames, pocket-watch chains and custom suits.

via New ‘Wall Street’ Movie May Do More to Help Wardrobes than Harm Reputations – News – ABA Journal.

science:  Isn’t it great when modern technology proves a theory.

In everyday life, these time fluctuations are tiny. But now, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., have measured them with unprecedented accuracy.

James Chin-Wen Chou and his colleagues used a pair of atomic clocks to demonstrate the relativistic changes. These clocks are based on the vibrations of an aluminum atom that’s missing an electron. In one experiment, one of the clocks was 33 centimeters above the other. The higher clock experienced a slightly smaller tug of gravity, and ticked more slowly than the lower clock. In another experiment, one of the clocks moved at approximately 20 miles an hour compared with the other.

via Researchers Produce Data Demonstrating Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity : NPR.

27
Sep
10

9.27.2010 … walked outside to petrichor (new words are useless if not used :)) … John’s picked pocketed wallet is worked out … now to replace its contents … we are getting into the rhythm of fall ..

libraries, quotes: “There’s this American flag, apple pie thing about libraries,” said Frank A. Pezzanite, …. “Somehow they have been put in the category of a sacred organization.”

A $4 million deal to run the three libraries here is a chance for the company to demonstrate that a dose of private management can be good for communities, whatever their financial situation. But in an era when outsourcing is most often an act of budget desperation — with janitors, police forces and even entire city halls farmed out in one town or another — the contract in Santa Clarita has touched a deep nerve and begun a round of second-guessing.

Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?

“There’s this American flag, apple pie thing about libraries,” said Frank A. Pezzanite, the outsourcing company’s chief executive. He has pledged to save $1 million a year in Santa Clarita, mainly by cutting overhead and replacing unionized employees. “Somehow they have been put in the category of a sacred organization.”

via As L.S.S.I. Takes Over Libraries, Patrons Can’t Keep Quiet – NYTimes.com.

editorials, media: I never knew what Op-Ed stood for … very much enjoyed this history and the excerpts.

Op-Ed was meant to open the paper to outside voices. It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper, people from all walks of life whose views and perspectives would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page across the way. (Hence, Op-Ed – Opposite Editorial.)

via Op-Ed at 40 – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

media:  And especially enjoyed this video on the Op-Ed page’s art. Op-Ed at 40: Four Decades of Art – Video – NYTimes.com.

jane Austen, bookshelf: Another to add to the shelf.

Touting itself as a something-for-everyone work, The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Jane Austen weaves non-spoiler plot summaries of each of the novels with interesting tidbits of information: interviews with Jane scholars and artists, framework for the “ideal Jane Austen tour”, a description of fashionable Regency Era dress, and answers the age-old question we all must ask of Mr. Bingley, “What the heck is ‘white soup’?” There is a Jane Aptitude test (challenging even for the most dedicated addict), analyses of film adaptations and gift ideas for your best Janeite friends, an original song entitled “On Reading Jane Austen” and a delightful section about why young women look upon walking so favorably. Witty comments abound, and the reader finds themselves engrossed almost immediately in this amusing little adventure!

via Jane Austen Today: Review: The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Jane Austen, by Carol Adams, Douglas Buchanan, and Kelly Gesch.

media:  Interesting…Baghdad in D Minor – NYTimes.com.

research, unemployment, economy, South Africa:

In the 16 years since the end of apartheid, South Africa has followed the prescriptions of the West, opening its market-based economy to trade, while keeping inflation and public debt in check. It has won praise for its efforts, and the economy has grown, but not nearly fast enough to end an intractable unemployment crisis.

For over a decade, the jobless rate has been among the highest in the world, fueling crime, inequality and social unrest in the continent’s richest nation. The global economic downturn has made the problem much worse, wiping out more than a million jobs. Over a third of South Africa’s workforce is now idle. And 16 years after Nelson Mandela led the country to black majority rule, more than half of blacks ages 15 to 34 are without work — triple the level for whites.

“The numbers are mind-boggling,” said James Levinsohn, a Yale University economist.

As the debate about unemployment intensifies, the government’s failure to produce a plan 16 months after President Jacob Zuma took office promising decent jobs has led analysts to question his leadership, though he has promised to act soon.

Experts debate the causes of the country’s gravest economic problem, with some contending that higher wages negotiated by politically powerful trade unions have suppressed job growth.

via Efforts Meant to Help Workers Batter South Africa’s Poor – NYTimes.com.

google:

It’s Google’s 12th birthday today, and Google’s regular logo has been replaced by an image of a cake, created by the American painter Wayne Thiebaud.

Thiebaud is famous for his paintings of cakes and other everyday objects, and has been associated with the Pop art movement.

As far as Google’s birthday is concerned, today’s logo change solidifies the notion that Google’s birthday is, indeed, September 27. Google had previously been unclear about the exact date, sometimes celebrating on September 7, although the Google.com domain was registered on September 15, 1997.

Although 12 years is a lot in the world of IT technology, the fact that a company has grown so huge in this time frame never fails to astound us. Happy birthday, Google!

via Happy 12th Birthday, Google.

blogs:  Liked this one … may add it to my list to watch.

You’re the Boss offers an insider’s perspective on small-business ownership. It gives business owners a place where they can compare notes, ask questions, get advice, and learn from one another’s mistakes. Its contributors also interpret news events, track political and policy issues, and suggest investing tips.

via Small Business Blog – You’re the Boss Blog – NYTimes.com.

retail, economy, South Africa:

The discount retail giant Wal-Mart Stores offered on Monday to buy Massmart Holdings, a South African retailer, for about $4.25 billion.

A deal would give the world’s largest retailer an opening to expand in Africa, a fast-growing region.

“South Africa possesses attractive market dynamics, favorable demographic trends and a growing economy,” Wal-Mart’s executive vice president, Andy Bond, said in a statement.

via Wal-Mart Makes Play for Massmart, a South African Retailer – NYTimes.com.

travel, South Africa:  Molly bought her Homecoming dress in Kalk Bay … very different … i loved it … Ten Good Reasons to Visit Kalk Bay – TIME.

26
Sep
10

9.26.2010 Happy birthday, Carroll Teague! … lovely dinner at the Forts … pick pockets can cause a lot of trouble …

travel: One of my resolutions is that when I visit somewhere, i will try to have at least one meal on the street.

Jenny Levison, owner of the popular Souper Jenny in Buckhead and an active member of The Atlanta Street Food Coalition, is also one of the people helping lead the charge for more food trucks in the city. In order to draw more attention to the subject and show city officials the benefits of having more street carts in Atlanta, she’s holding an event called “Souper Jenny’s Super-Secret Underground Food Truck Extravaganza” on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. Expect samplings from established names like Taqueria del Sol and Souper Jenny, as well as a few new faces like Yumbii, The Good Food Truck, West Side Creamery and Artichoke Bliss.

Lauterbach is thrilled that the street food movement is starting to take hold in Atlanta. She sees a day where food trucks could unite the city by showcasing the diverse ethnic cuisines that Atlanta has to offer. And with the way the street food movement is progressing, that day shouldn’t be too far away.

via Street Eats: Redefining ‘fast food’ | Atlanta INtown Paper.

bookshelf:

Fall of Giants, Follett’s 20th novel, spotlights five families from Wales, the United States, Russia and Germany as their countries hurtle toward World War I. Its subjects range from class warfare between labor and aristocrats, to the suffrage movement, to the horrific ways in which WWI was fought.

via Author Ken Follett Takes On The 20th Century : NPR.

sports: I need something to motivate me … maybe it will be gadgets!  High-Tech Runners Train Smarter With GPS : NPR.

architecture, cities:

Not all modernist buildings are worth saving–I was glad to see the Mies van der Rohe-designed brick hut at the Illinois Institute of Technology bite the dust last year to make way for a new Metra station–but the really good ones are no less valuable than the works of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. One of the most important weapons in the fight to save them is getting people to see and experience them, so the buildings can’t be summarily dismissed as ugly and outmoded.

Along those lines, DOCOMOMO, the international group that encourages the preservation of modernism, is organizing tours of modernist architecture around the U.S. on October 9. There are several tours in Chicago, including a special bus tour on the 9th that features the work of Bertrand Goldberg.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

sports, cities, NYC:

Whether you live uptown or downtown, or you’re visiting from out of town, chances are you’re going to want to catch a college football game or two this fall and everyone knows Southern schools are the ones to watch. Since tomorrow would be as good a day as any to seek out a big screen—‘Bama battles Arkansas, the Wildcats take on the Gators, and South Carolina tests its mettle against Auburn—I’ve created a primer for finding fellow game day fans throughout the City, courtesy of each school’s alumni club. Note: For brevity’s sake, I’ve restricted the list to SEC schools and the Manhattan bars with which they are most often affiliated. My apologies to the ACC and Brooklyn.

via SEC Football in the City.

college, change:

College is your chance to see what you’ve been missing, both in the outside world and within yourself. Use this time to explore as much as you can.

Take classes in many different subjects before picking your major. Try lots of different clubs and activities. Make friends with people who grew up much poorer than you, and others much richer. Date someone of a different race or religion. (And no, hooking up at a party doesn’t count.) Spend a semester abroad or save up and go backpacking in Europe or Asia.

Somewhere in your childhood is a gaping hole. Fill this hole. Don’t know what classical music is all about? That’s bad. Don’t know who Lady Gaga is? That’s worse. If you were raised in a protected cocoon, this is the time to experience the world beyond.

College is also a chance to learn new things about yourself. Never been much of a leader? Try forming a club or a band.

via Op-Ed Contributors – Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend – NYTimes.com.

travel, Chicago: I want to write these articles!

ALL cities have their ups and downs, but Chicago has been on the rise by playing to its strengths, adding parks, architectural crowd pleasers and public art. Much of this has happened on the watch of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who, after 21 years in office, announced this month that he would be stepping down. How will the city fare without him? Just fine, probably, thanks to the raft of improvements that has left Chicago fortified both by 19th- and 20th-century public spaces brimming with 21st-century attractions.

via 36 Hours in Chicago – NYTimes.com.

polictics, GOP: If you think about this there is a certain amount of irony to labeling the religious right as social Darwinists.

John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.”

Actually, those weren’t Boehner’s words. They were uttered by Herbert Hoover’s treasury secretary, millionaire industrialist Andrew Mellon, after the Great Crash of 1929.

But they might as well have been Boehner’s because Hoover’s and Mellon’s means of purging the rottenness was by doing exactly what Boehner and his colleagues are now calling for: shrink government, cut the federal deficit, reduce the national debt, and balance the budget.

And we all know what happened after 1929, at least until FDR reversed course.

Boehner and other Republicans would even like to roll back the New Deal and get rid of Barack Obama’s smaller deal health-care law.

The issue isn’t just economic. We’re back to tough love. The basic idea is to force people to live with the consequences of whatever happens to them.

In the late 19th century it was called Social Darwinism. Only the fittest should survive, and any effort to save the less fit will undermine the moral fiber of society.

via Robert Reich: Republican Economics as Social Darwinism.

urban development, Charlotte:

Charlotte has reinvented itself before: from gold mining to railroads, from a cotton producer to a textile center.

Laura Schulte, Wells Fargo’s community banking president for the Eastern region, said she hopes Charlotte will reinvent itself again. It’s not in the city’s best interest to be a banktown forever, Schulte said, because the tax base, charities and other operations can become too dependent on that industry.

“Being the largest banking town outside of New York was the good news and the bad news,” said Schulte, who moved to Charlotte from Los Angeles after Wells bought Wachovia. “… So my opinion is it would be very good if banking played less of a role. I don’t think that’s because banking would contract but because we’d have more diversity in the businesses here.”

It will be difficult to determine when that transformation occurs, if ever. But the city says it’s going to try. The City Council’s new economic development plan for 2011 to 2014, which the council should vote on in November, emphasizes metrics for tracking whether the big-picture goals are met. For example, the city and its hospitality partners will measure the goal of making Charlotte more of a tourism draw by metrics like hospitality tax revenues, use of the convention center, and the number of retrained workers hired by the sector.

Foxx said short-term success will come when the region’s unemployment rate, which is still in the double digits, declines dramatically.

“Longer term, I don’t think we’ll ever be finished with the work of trying to make our city a better place to live,” Foxx said. “The minute you start standing still, you start losing ground.”

via Seeking a vision beyond banking – CharlotteObserver.com.

politics, GOP, bookshelf: I might have to read this one … same group that tried to save the SC governor.

Sharlet writes about C Street and the politicians who are affiliated with the house in C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. The book’s message is that Christian fundamentalists have tried to reshape American politics and the military.

In a conversation on Fresh Air, Sharlet describes the ways politicians affiliated with C Street have wielded influence in recent primary elections. He points to Sen. DeMint, who has recently emerged as one of the top members in Congress to back candidates affiliated with the Tea Party.

via A Refuge For Powerful Lawmakers : NPR.

world health, quotes: “Yet after three millennia, although we can now intercept a missile in outer space, we’re often still outwitted by wandering sperm.”

The next generation of family planning products will be cheaper, more effective and easier to use — they could be to today’s condoms and diaphragms what a smartphone is to the bricklike cellphones of 20 years ago.Contraception dates back to ancient Egypt, where amorous couples relied on condoms made of linen. Yet after three millennia, although we can now intercept a missile in outer space, we’re often still outwitted by wandering sperm.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Birth Control Over Baldness – NYTimes.com.

25
Sep
10

9.25.2010 … CLS Homecoming … Trob turns 50! … John flies the friendly skies to the middle east … boys are happy in boulder …

words, language:  OK, I like niveous (snowy, snow-like) and petrichor (the smell of earth after a rain).

via The 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language – GOOD Blog – GOOD.

parenting, boys, culture, quotes, education:  I give myself a C-.

“Plato before him,” writes C. S. Lewis, “had said the same. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting, and hateful.”

The secret to raising boys who read, I submit, is pretty simple—keep electronic media, especially video games and recreational Internet, under control (that is to say, almost completely absent). Then fill your shelves with good books.

People who think that a book—even R.L. Stine’s grossest masterpiece—can compete with the powerful stimulation of an electronic screen are kidding themselves. But on the level playing field of a quiet den or bedroom, a good book like “Treasure Island” will hold a boy’s attention quite as well as “Zombie Butts from Uranus.” Who knows—a boy deprived of electronic stimulation might even become desperate enough to read Jane Austen.

via How to Raise Boys That Read (As Much as Girls Do): Not With Gross-Out Books and Video Game Bribes – WSJ.com.

bookshelf:  Just about every one of my favorite childhood and YA books are on this list.

Saturday, September 25, is the first day of Banned Books Week, a national celebration of our freedom to read; it was launched in 1982 in response to what organizers describe as “a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.” In anticipation of Banned Books Week, GOOD scrolled through the American Library Association’s list of the 100 most frequently banned or challenged books from 2000 to 2009 and selected our 10 favorite entries.

The 10 Best Books on ALA’s Banned or Challenged Books List – Culture – GOOD.

book shelf, HP, children’s/YA lit, exhibits:  Sounds interesting.

To learn more about other Renaissance thinkers, practices, and lore that appear in the Harry Potter series, please visit the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibition website, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.

via Harry Potter’s World: A Traveling Exhibit.

culture:  I definitely like certain thinkgs because I am from Atlanta … The Varsity, Greenwood ice cream …

But 16% of people studied were migrants: they had grown up in one state and moved to another. They had the same options, in terms of what was on offer and at what price, as everyone else in their adopted home. But although they consumed more local favourites than someone in their native state would have, they bought fewer local hits (and more of the favourites from back home) than a longtime resident. And this gap between the purchases of migrants and that of the locally born was quite stubborn: although it faded the longer a person lived in their new state, it still took 20 years to halve in magnitude. Even 50 years on, it was still large enough to show up in the data.

If this is generally true, it has important implications. For one thing, the benefits of being the first brand into a market could last longer than might be assumed. But David Atkin of Yale University suggests in another new paper** that the effects of habit formation in consumption may also lead economists to rethink the way they calculate the gains from trade. This is because opening up to trade is in some ways akin to migrating. It changes the composition and prices of the goods that are available to a person. In particular, it can raise the relative prices of the goods that a region or country has a comparative advantage in, such as crops that the country’s climate or soil favour. These are the things that would have been relatively cheap and common in a closed economy and therefore the things that people might have acquired a taste for. To the extent that such preferences persist, people will benefit less from the increased variety of goods and altered relative prices that trade brings about than they would do if habits were not a significant determinant of consumption.

via Economics focus: The Marmite effect | The Economist.

tv, fans, Bones: Love the little secrets/inside jokes …

A sweet thing happened in the season 6 premiere of Bones that you may not have noticed. To the average viewer nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Booth and Brennan solved a case, there was plenty of unresolved sexual tension and the occasional line that made you laugh out loud. It was Bones as usual.

What you may have missed were the writers of Bones giving some special shout-outs to their fans. I’m talking about more than just addressing fan concerns like the Brennan’s seemingly inconsistent fear of snakes and the fact that Booth never wears his seatbelt in the car. No, the writers of Bones threw in a couple sweet moments that were not only for the fans, they were BY the fans.

via Bones Opens Season 6 with Special Shout-Outs To Fans « Shep Herds TV.

characters, James Bond, random:

In the book Jeffery describes the escapades of one Wilfrid “Biffy” Dunderdale, MI6’s man in Paris before and during the second world war, who is said to be the model for James Bond. “Biffy”, named because of his prowess as a boxer, was a friend of Ian Flemming, the author of the James Bond books, and is described as “a man of great charm and savoir faire” with a “penchant for pretty women and fast cars.” (See a TIME.com special on James Bond)

The book even tells the story of how Dutch MI6 agent, Peter Tazelaar, landed ashore on a beach near a casino at Schevening, The Hague, at 4.35 am on November 23rd 1940. He was dressed in a special rubber suit, which he then proceeded to strip off, revealing full evening dress. The event somehow managed to find its way into the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger! (see video)

via Meet The Real James Bonds: Fast Cars, But No License to Kill – TIME NewsFeed.

HP, movies, film/lit, holidays: I love the HP movies at Thanksgiving.

culture, health, US:  Officially now?  Study: America Is Officially the Fattest Developed Country in the World – TIME Healthland – StumbleUpon.

food – Southern, The Penguin, Charlotte: OK … where will I get the world’s best fried pickles?

To recap: Rowe and King, with chef Greg Auten, took over operation of the Plaza-Midwood landmark restaurant about 10 years ago from the originator, the late Jim Ballentine. The Ballentine family kept ownership of the building and the restaurant name and logo. About five months ago, Auten left the business to open a new restaurant. This week, it was announced that Rowe and King’s lease would not be renewed, and that the Ballentine family, with Auten returning and the addition of experienced franchisor Martin Sprock, would begin operating the restaurant, that it would retain the Penguin name, and eventually be franchised.

Rowe and King, who became partners in the nearby Diamond restaurant renovation some months ago, have said they would cease operating the Penguin Oct. 24. The Diamond is slated to open around the end of October. The news has continued to create a stir, especially in social media, where several Facebook pages address the developments, and the Twitter hashtag #penguingate continues to be active.

via Helen Schwab: Penguin: It ain’t over.

24
Sep
10

9.24.2010 … happy birthday, special kith niece Carson! … Fall is here, but no fall in temperature … only my hairdresser knows for sure :)

birthdays:  happy birthday, special daughter Carson!

icons, food – Southern, Atlanta:

What’ll Ya Have!

Varsity Chili Now Available Online

15 oz Can

http://secure.thevarsity.com:80/shop/dept.asp?dept_id=1337

Will also be available in all of our locations by Friday 24th.

via Facebook | The Varsity.

media, history, baseball, random: It amazes me what has not been saved …

Crosby, who was a part-owner of the Pirates, evidently was also extremely superstitious and could not bear to watch the deciding game of the series for fear of jinxing a Pittsburgh win. The fear was so great he “escaped” to Paris and listened to the game on the radio.But in order to see the game later and lacking the future technology of home videotape and DVRs, Crosby hired a film crew to record the NBC broadcast, featuring announcers Mel Allen and Bob Prince, off a TV screen.

via 1960 Series Game Found in Bing Crosbys Wine Cellar – Sports Blog – CBS News.

writing, education, media, Davidson:  The internet allows us to look back, be in the present and look to the future.  I love this new site.

Commonplaces is dedicated to publishing writing produced in any courses across the College taken by Davidson students in their first year. We invite writers to submit work produced during the 2010-2011 academic year to be considered for publication in the 2011 issue. We seek academic and intellectual writing of any length that demonstrates a commitment to understanding and its expression, and encourage submissions from the full range of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities

via Common Places » Vol. 1 / Fall 2010.

education, Westminster, Atlanta:

The Westminster Schools Thirty nine Westminster Seniors, in a class of 198 students, have recently been named National Merit Semi-finalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The prestigious group will now compete for finalist status through the demonstration of an outstanding academic record, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance (based on PSAT scores from October, 2009).

via Facebook | The Westminster Schools.

iPad:  I am not there yet …

There were only two things I wanted to do but couldn’t because I had an iPad rather than a laptop. In one case, where a Word document contained a lot of revision comments, I couldn’t get any of the productivity apps on my tablet to display these. In another, I couldn’t help a colleague test Apple’s new Ping social network, because, ironically, you can only set up a Ping account on a regular computer.

via Personal Technology: An iPad in Paris – WSJ.com.

politics, people:  Not everyone in the US agrees about Jimmy Carter’s place in history … but in South Africa we did not meet one person who did not revere Nelson Mandela.

Jimmy Carter says he’s “superior” to other U.S. ex-presidents. But on the world stage, he’s got some tough competition.

After decades leading South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle and a historic presidency, “Madiba” was already a global icon. But in the years since his retirement, Mandela has established himself as the African continent’s foremost elder statesman as well. He has founded the Nelson Mandela Foundation to promote conflict resolution, theNelson Mandela Institute to promote education and rural development in South Africa, and theNelson Mandela Children’s Fund to promote the rights of young people. In 2007, Mandela brought together a group of gracefully aging world leaders including Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to form The Elders, a group that speaks out on human rights issues from Burma to Sudan.

via The League of Extraordinary Ex-Presidents – By Joshua E. Keating | Foreign Policy.

23
Sep
10

9.23.2010 … absolutely beautiful moon last night …

random, viral videos:

YouTube – OK Go – White Knuckles – Official Video.

nature, yesterday:

For the first time since 1991, the full moon will shed light on the beginning of fall—the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox, which in 2010 officially begins Wednesday at 11:13 pm ET.

via Autumnal Equinox: Why First Day of Fall 2010 Is Different.

random, wildlife: i blew my horn …

The international conservation charity, WWF, is asking people everywhere to make September an action month to stand with the worlds embattled rhinos and the “rhino warriors,” the men and women who struggle to protect the pachyderms from poachers.September solidarity with rhinos is to culminate with “Make Noise for Rhinos Day,” during which people are asked to blow their vuvuzelas, the plastic replicas like the one in the photo above of the traditional African noise-maker made notorious by the recent World Football Cup tournament. Vuvuzelas were also used outside BP world headquarters in July by demonstrators wanting to express their displeasure at the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

via Blow your horn for rhinos – NatGeo News Watch.

Charlotte:  Anybody game to do this walking tour? Free walking arts tour podcast of downtown Charlotte and a meetup too – Charlotte Metro, NC Local News – Fwix.

iPhone, Apple apps:

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.My app library–littered with exactly 87 apps I used once and never touched again–now reminds me of a graveyard of defunct company logos from the dot com boom. Like the go-go days of 1999 when everyone had to have a Web site, today everyone wants an app. iPhone, iPad, Android apps for all, plus Blackberry for the very ambitious.

via The Great App Bubble | Fast Company.

Apple:

THE advertisement for Newsday’s iPad application starts blithely enough. A man in a shirt and tie sits in the kitchen, reading the New York newspaper on his tablet computer. He turns the device on its side and watches the live feed from a traffic camera. Then a fly lands on the table. The man quickly raises the iPad and smashes it down, shattering the glass. The ad implies that the iPad is superior to old-fashioned print in all sorts of ways, just not every way. It is a joke—but also a good summary of how newspaper and magazine outfits have come to feel about Apple’s product in the eight months since it was unveiled.

via Print on the iPad: A smashing success | The Economist.

The recent loosening of Apple’s developer rules, particularly the company’s decision to remove a prohibition against “intermediary translation or compatibility layers” in iOS apps, hasn’t done much for Adobe.

via Flash in the Pan: New Apple Rules Do Little for Adobe | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD.

politics: When I heard a summary on NPR this am, I thought “stupid” move by the GOP.  I do like these two provisions …

Reforming Congress:

– Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

– Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

via “Pledge to America” Unveiled by Republicans (Full Text) – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

random, Philadelphia, cities:

Six years after the state Legislature legalized gambling, Philadelphia is set to become the largest U.S. city with a casino.

The opening Thursday of SugarHouse Casino, Pennsylvania’s 10th casino, comes after years of community protests and delays. Now, casino officials expect thousands of gamblers to attend the first official day of business at the casino’s 1,600 slot machines and 40 table games.

via Philly to Become Biggest U.S. City with Casino – CBS News.

economy, movies, end of an era:

Troubled video-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and said it plans to keep stores and kiosks open as it reorganizes.

The move, long expected and pre-arranged with bondholders, effectively ends an era that Blockbuster dominated – of Americans visiting video-store chains for the latest movie-rental releases. Increasingly, Americans are watching movies via video subscription services like Netflix Inc., video on demand and vending machine services such as Redbox.

In a submission to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, the company said it reached an agreement with bondholders on a recapitalization plan.

via Blockbuster Bankrupt: Video Chain Files For Bankruptcy Protection.

politics:

Polls show the Republican candidate having gained ground in a key Senate race, Wisconsin — and Republicans have put another Senate race, in West Virginia, squarely into play. But strong polling for Democrats in two Pacific Coast states, California and Washington, have somewhat offset these gains and Republicans are only modestly more likely to take control of the Senate than they were a week ago.

via Senate Forecast: Republican Takeover Chances Improved, but Democrats Are Building Pacific Firewall – NYTimes.com.

Apple, Adobe: Cutting adobe out still makes no sense to me.

22
Sep
10

9.22.2010 … Happy Anniversary, Hugo … peaceful day …

events, anniversaries:  Happy birthday, Hugo!  Oh what a night …

gLee, tv:  I gave gLee’s season opener  a 5/10 … but it is still one of my favorites … this episode was just too negative.

If there was one thing season one of Glee trained us for, it was never to know what was coming next. The show could go from scattershot and goofy to assured and transcendent within a week, from wacky fantasy to heartfelt realism between commercial breaks, in a heady rush as if trying to cram five years of TV into nine months.

So the one thing I was not expecting from its season two premiere was what I saw: a simply solid season-opening episode, neither awful nor amazing, that got us back on our footing and set up some promising storylines for the season.

Glee is a show about mash-ups: combining musical styles in the same performance, combining realistic drama with absurd comedy. If it has an overarching philosophy, it’s that no one has to be just one thing, and that if you think you’ve defined someone, you’re probably wrong. Beiste already looks like a strong example of that. Jones manages to make her intimidating and vulnerable at the same time, so that when Sue mocks her—”Oversized, referring to herself in the third person as an animal”—we see that she’s attacking not just a football version of herself but a distinct person.

Overall, “Audition” wasn’t a hall-of-fame episode (none of the musical numbers really stood out, for instance, and save for the “living in the sewers” comment, no classic Brittany-isms) but it gave the season some emotional grounding before the cavalcade of guest stars that begins next week with Britney Spears. It showed us a Glee that’s not working double-time to give us everything we want all at once, and that’s pretty much what I want from it.

via Glee Watch: Back to School – Tuned In – TIME.com.

fads, South Africa:  As ZA Molly says … this is the South African Vera Bradley …

Durban Designer Lou Harvey, South Africa’s answer to Orla Kiely, is best known for her bags in distinctive designs.

Lou Harvey fabrics are designed, woven and printed locally. The Durban based company was founded in 2002, and her accessory range is produced in her factory in Durban.

The Lou Harvey range includes a large variety of accessories, including laminated bags, coolers, wallets and vanities; as well as an extensive fabric and soft furnishings range. Stocked in over 250 stores throughout South Africa, the Lou Harvey range is also available in other African countries, as well as the USA, UK, and Australia.

via Fashion South Africa: Lou Harvey Bags, Durban.

collectibles, Starbucks, travel, South Africa:  many mornings I have coffee in _______.  Actually it’s in a Starbucks’ mug (often bought at the airport) from some place we have traveled … NYC, Beijing, Dublin, London, Kuwait … But guess what there are no Starbucks’ stores in South Africa … even right after the World Cup.  Does that not amaze anyone but me?

Starbucks Coffee International, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), has entered into a license partnership agreement with Emperica Marketing (Pty), Ltd. to distribute Starbucks Coffee in South Africa through its We Proudly Brew Starbucks® coffee program in the hotel, restaurant catering, hospitality and leisure channels.

via Starbucks arrives in SA – South Africa | Moneyweb.

history, mysteries, Africa, water rights: Interesting both historically and legally …

Two colonial-era agreements give Egypt and Sudan — the downriver countries – the majority claim on the Nile’s waters. But other countries in the Nile Basin — including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia — now want to more equitably share the river.

Yet Egypt and Sudan say they won’t give up a single drop.

John Bosco Suuza, a lawyer for the Ugandan government, says, “Actually when you talk to Egyptians they jokingly — although I’m sure seriously — say, ‘No, no, no, that’s not your water. It’s our water, stored in your country.'”

via Mystery On The Nile: Just Whose River Is It? : NPR.

random, culture, followup:  As I said the other day … takes me back.

The Official Preppy Reboot

Thirty years ago, The Official Preppy Handbook cracked the Wasp code-and went on to become a huge best-seller. In an excerpt from the update, True Prep, the author, along with designer Chip Kidd, covers the inevitable changes that are piercing blissful bubbles from Deer Isle to Jackson Hole.

via The Official Preppy Reboot | Society | Vanity Fair.

culture, social networking, law: Social networking and legal problems/issues don’t mix well.

His observations parallel the results of a survey earlier this year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which found that 66 percent of divorce lawyers cite social networking sites as one of their primary sources of evidence.

Schutz says he’s continually “astonished” by the kind of personal information people are willing to put online, which lawyers like him are always on the lookout for.

He advises people involved in a divorce or a child custody battle to swear off social networking sites until their legal issues have been resolved.

“If what you are engaging in is not appropriate then you shouldn’t be putting it online, or someone like me might use it against you,” he told the station.

via Lawyer Gives Examples of Husbands’ Divorce Cases Undone by Facebook – ABA Journal.

Justice Breyer, The Constitution, The Supreme Court:

Justice Stephen G. Breyer is worried about the public perception that the U.S. Supreme Court is influenced by politics.

Americans “think we’re a group of junior league politicians,” he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. “They think we decide things on the basis of politics. Or, if not politics, on the basis of what we think is good for people, rather than the Constitution. And I think that’s wrong.”

Even when they disagree, “all nine of us think we’re following the same Constitution that was there in 1790,” Breyer told the newspaper.

via Breyer Says Justices Aren’t ‘Junior League Politicians’ – ABA Journal.

economy, culture, cycles:

And there’s plenty of supporting anecdotal evidence in other fields as well. For example, the closing of Circuit City’s stores has led to the rebirth of local, hands-on electronics shops. The bankruptcy of K.B. Toys has allowed some local toy merchants to sneak back in. The fast-fading fortunes of Hollywood Video and Blockbuster have been blessings for neighborhood video stores like the one owned by Tom Tavares in Fall River, Mass. “We just concentrate on making people happy,” he told the Herald News newspaper. “We’re not looking to get rich.”That’s probably a healthy perspective, because as video and books go increasingly digital and more shoppers go online, the crumbs left behind are not much to build on and won’t last forever. But it’s fascinating to watch the pendulum swing.

via Peter Funt: Will the Internet Save Main Street? – WSJ.com.

economy, change:

Dollar stores have shown the biggest spike in shopper visits over the last year out of all the retailers that sell basic consumer goods, according to market research data. Manufacturers are racing to package more affordable versions of products common at those stores, and other budget retailers, feeling the loss of customers, are trying to duplicate their success.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is adding thousands of items to its shelves, including inexpensive ones, and is asking dollar-store suppliers to create small, under-a-dollar packages for its stores, too. In areas with high unemployment, Wal-Mart is grouping together its less than $1 items in a clear challenge to the dollar stores.

via Dollar Stores Scramble to Accommodate Budget-Conscious Shoppers – NYTimes.com.


21
Sep
10

9.21.2010 … jack loving boulder as expected … maybe vietnam in the spring … et has the other half of his root canal today at 2:15 MT … prayers for ET … then first XC meet for molls … liv back from Charleston … hope she had shrimp and grits!

politics, the President (Carter), 1970s:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday he sees parallels between today’s tea party and his own campaign for the White House in 1976. But he doesn’t think the movement will be much of a factor beyond this fall’s elections.

The Georgia Democrat told The Associated Press he rode a wave of voter discontent to the presidency on the heels of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that felled President Richard Nixon, much like tea party conservatives are now earning support by voicing anger at the nation’s economic woes.

via Carter sees tea party parallels to his 1976 run.


travel, Johannesburg, South Africa: Next on my list … Doing business in: The Jo’burg insider | The Economist.

culture, 1970s: Struck home with me …

But the reason was simple, a book that defined what popular should look like The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach. I remember a copy of it in my parent’s house, and them reading it and laughing. To me it was a catalog of things I did not have and people I wish I could become.

Now Birnbach has returned with a sequel 30 years later. True Prep is an attempt to update that peculiar northeastern monied tribe for the 21st century. Benjamin Schwarz has an interesting piece on the book over at the Atlantic. He says it is fuzzy, it doesn’t have the panache and particularity of Birnbach’s first effort, but, he says, that is more about culture than writing ability.

via ‘True Prep’ Sure Sign Prep Is Dead : The Two-Way : NPR.

travel:  After traveling 24 hours+ on a plane in twice in the last few weeks … I say no way!

“LIKE riding a horse,” said Dominique Menoud, the director general of Aviointeriors, the Italian aircraft seat manufacturer, after I had slid into the company’s new “stand-up” airplane seat on display last week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade show. As television cameras poked around the display seats for angles, Mr. Menoud asked me, “It is very comfortable, no?”

“No,” I replied, though Mr. Menoud, beaming, seemed to take that as an assent.

I didn’t argue, but it was definitely not comfortable, although the seat, under the name SkyRider, is being promoted as resembling a horse saddle. I wasn’t buying that either. I have ridden many a horse, and the SkyRider seat is nothing like being in the saddle, whether Western or English. Sitting in one was more like being wedged, legs braced, on a stationary bicycle.

via On the Road – New Airplane Seat Has Less Legroom – NYTimes.com.

our kids, culture: So now they have a name for it!  🙂

Kids with school-refusal behavior may have separation anxiety, a fear of being away from their parents, or a social phobia, an inordinate fear of being judged, being called-on in class or being teased. A specific phobia—fear of riding the bus, walking past a dog or being out in a storm—may be present. Other children are depressed, in some cases unable to get out of bed.

Because many kids complain of headaches, stomachaches or other physical symptoms, it can be difficult to tell whether anxiety, or a physical illness, is to blame. One indicator: Anxiety-fueled ailments tend to disappear magically on weekends.

via What ‘School Refusal’ Means and How to Fix It – WSJ.com.

health care reform, the law: Surprise, surprise …

Two conservative federal judges have now voiced cautiously sympathetic views on legal challenges to the 2,400-page health-care law that President Obama signed into law in March. But such preliminary skirmishes shed little light on whether the Supreme Court will in the end strike down the law, a law that raises a completely novel legal issue: can Congress require millions of individuals to buy a commercial product (in this case health insurance) in the name of regulating interstate commerce.

via Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Health-Care Reform? – Newsweek.

recipes: OK, this just looked and sounded good to me … French Toast – Cooks Illustrated.

art, culture: So if you do not do work up to your potential, is it a “fake?’

I know this feeling well — the uncomfortable feeling that even though a particular piece of my work is original, it nevertheless feels repetitive, imitative, a perfunctory variation on a theme. And in other situations, too, I sometimes feel like I’m just repeating something that worked in the past, without re-imagining it or giving it a fresh spirit. Always a warning sign to push myself harder, to break through the familiar to something new.

via The Happiness Project: Pablo Picasso Paints Fakes? — A Koan about Creativity..




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