Archive for September, 2010


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 …’


‎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 –

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.’


‎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 |


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 –

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? –

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 – 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 —

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  |

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 —

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 |

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 –

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.


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 –

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 –

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

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 –

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 –


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 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 –

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 –

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


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.


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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –


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 –

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 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.


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

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 –

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.

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September 2010