Archive for October, 2010

31
Oct
10

‎10.31.2010 … Happy Halloween … fed my soul at worship … fed by body at Amelie’s …

Halloween, holidays, google doodle :  Happy Halloween!  Gotta love the Scooby Doo Halloween doodle!

travel, restaurants, places, Boulder: A few more suggestions … my boys went to Pizzeria Basta and absolutely loved it.  Next time …

Boulder has won just about every shiny happy lifestyle award a city can: Healthiest, Most Educated, Most Bicycle-Friendly—the list goes on. And this year, it can add one more: Bon Appétit’s Foodiest Town in America.

… I have more questions to ask him, but I have to stop and walk. Finally, a pint of Left Hand Brewing Company lager and a few pizzas (one with house-made sausage and mozzarella and another with seasonal local potatoes and goat cheese) from Pizzeria Basta come to the rescue.

via America’s Foodiest Town 2010: Boulder, Colorado.

Davidson, kudos:  Dr. Murphy gave a very inspiring talk at Davidson’s convocation yesterday.

A Davidson College alumnus who organized a medical mission to Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake will speak at the college’s fall convocation Oct. 30.

Dr. Greg Murphy, a 1985 graduate who now works as an urologist and general surgeon in Greenville, N.C., has conducted short-term medical missions in developing countries for 20 years. But Murphy said he never seen such a dire situation as Haiti, and two weeks after the quake, he and 15 other medical personnel he recruited began seeing patients at St. Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

via Physician who served in Haiti speaking at Davidson convocation | Huntersville Herald.

technology, the Cloud: Coming next …

Moving beyond mere Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the company is positioning Windows Azure as a Platform-as-a-Service offering: a comprehensive set of development tools, services, and management systems to allow developers to concentrate on creating available, scalable applications.

Over the next 12-18 months, a raft of new functionality will be rolled out to Windows Azure customers. These features will both make it easier to move existing applications into the cloud, and enhance the services available to cloud-hosted applications.

The company believes that putting applications into the cloud will often be a multistage process. Initially, the applications will run unmodified, which will remove patching and maintenance burdens, but not take advantage of any cloud-specific functionality.

Over time, the applications will be updated and modified to start to take advantage of some of the additional capabilities that the Windows Azure platform has to offer.

Microsoft is building Windows Azure into an extremely complete cloud platform. Windows Azure currently takes quite a high-level approach to cloud services: applications have limited access to the underlying operating system, and software that requires Administrator installation isn’t usable.

via Future of Windows Azure — platform is the service – CNN.com.

food, restaurants, Charlotte: Amelie’s Bakery was very good!  Charlotte NC :: Amelie’s French Bakery :: Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe.

tv, movies, James Bond: ‎… Bond Weekend on TNT … What more could a girl want … (followup — so far I have only watched 2)

facebook, internet, religion, things past, Westminster:  Friday I asked Westminster friends on FB if they remember reading/watching Francis Schaeffer’s How then Should We Live in Christian Ethics senior year?  The answers varied … from we had senior ethics? … to  memories of other books we read , memories of the teachers (cute Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Eastham) and papers written … No one else remembers watching the videos … Do you remember them?  YouTube – How Should We Then Live 10#1.

lists:  I like lists … but I can see why Ebert doesn’t.  Why Roger Ebert Loathes Top 10 Film Lists – WSJ.com.

history, literature: Bill Wood referenced Girolamo Savonarola and the 15th century “bonfire of the vanities.”  I really hate it when I have completely missed a literary reference.

Girolamo Savonarola (21 September 1452, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna – 23 May 1498, Florence) was an Italian Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and hostility to the Renaissance. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Rodrigo Borgia, who was Pope Alexander VI from 1492, through Savonarola’s death, to 1503.

via Girolamo Savonarola.

After Charles VIII of France invaded Florence in 1494, the ruling Medici were overthrown and Savonarola emerged as the new leader of the city, combining in himself the role of secular leader and priest. He set up a republic in Florence. Characterizing it as a “Christian and religious Republic,” one of its first acts was to make sodomy, previously punishable by fine, into a capital offence. Homosexuality had previously been tolerated in the city, and many homosexuals from the elite now chose to leave Florence. His chief enemies were the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI, who issued numerous restraints against him, all of which were ignored.

Painting of Savonarola’s execution in the Piazza della Signoria.

In 1497, he and his followers carried out the Bonfire of the Vanities. They sent boys from door to door collecting items associated with moral laxity: mirrors, cosmetics, lewd pictures, pagan books, immoral sculptures (which he wanted to be transformed into statues of the saints and modest depictions of biblical scenes), gaming tables, chess pieces, lutes and other musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets, and burnt them all in a large pile in the Piazza della Signoria of Florence.[2] Many fine Florentine Renaissance artworks were lost in Savonarola’s notorious bonfires — including paintings by Sandro Botticelli, which he is alleged to have thrown into the fires himself.[3]

Florence soon became tired of Savonarola because of the city’s continual political and economic miseries partially derived from Savonarola’s opposition to trading and making money. When a Franciscan preacher challenged him to a trial by fire in the city centre and he declined, his following began to dissipate.

During his Ascension Day sermon on May 4, 1497, bands of youths rioted, and the riot became a revolt: dancing and singing taverns reopened, and men again dared to gamble publicly.

via Girolamo Savonarola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

As a metaphor, Tom Wolfe used the 15th century event and ritual as the title for his 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and its film adaptation.

via Bonfire of the Vanities – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

education, literature, film/lit:  Sometimes it is the really odd classes that stay with a preson their whole life.

Students in the course write essays and blog about such movies as 28 Days Later and Night of the Living Dead and books such as the Jane Austen send-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.

“The course looks at what fears about society and ideology are expressed in zombie fiction,” Rivers says, “such as becoming part of a society where the individual ceases to exist, or what zombies, who persuade us to become them by consuming us, have to say about persuasion and identification.”

One student, Rohit Mukherjee (NHS’12), wrote about how in movies and books, zombies kill people just because they are different.

“At our core, we possess the same force of destruction as the zombie masses,” Mukherjee wrote. “No virus led the Hutu masses to hack their Tutsi neighbors to death … their rage was intrinsic.”

via Georgetown University: Students Attack Tough Subjects Through Zombies.

museums, NYC:  I would like to see this museum one day …

McKim Building Reopening

The Morgan’s landmark 1906 building by McKim, Mead and White closed in early June for the first extensive restoration of its interior spaces in more than one hundred years. The building will reopen to the public on Saturday, October 30 with a full slate of special activities and we invite you to join us to mark the occasion.

The afternoon’s festivities will begin with a welcome and talk about the McKim building project and the Morgan collections by director William M. Griswold. Throughout the day, musicians, including the New-Trad Octet, a New Orleans-style band exploring the roots of early American music, will perform. Docents will be on hand to provide visitors with historical insight into the Morgan’s architecture. All events are included with admission to the Morgan.

via The Morgan Library & Museum – Public Programs – McKim Building Reopening.

30
Oct
10

‎10.30.2010 … to Davidson for Convocation … John’s on the podium representing the alumni board … say hello if you are in town for parent’s weekend … :)

Davidson, me: Just returned from Davidson and as always I come back renewed.  It is such a great place.

youth, Myers Park High School: This one just made me feel good.  MPHS was my boys’ high school.  YouTube – Myers Park Homecoming.

random, places NYC: A tree house in NYC …

 

Hackett received an injunction and an order to appear before court but the case was just dismissed. “My kids come up here and have meetings. They use it as a clubhouse,” Hackett says. “They plot. They scheme. They gossip.”

via Video: A Tree House Grows in Manhattan – Cities – GOOD.

food – Southern: Pimento Cheese, Please!: A film about the South’s beloved spread by Nicole lang — Kickstarter.

Great Recession, psychology:

Why are bubbles such a persistent feature of financial history? Economists argue that these speculative frenzies are caused in part by market failures like too much liquidity or lax regulation. Cognitive psychologists, meanwhile, see bubbles as a case of pattern recognition gone awry, as people extrapolate the past into the future. In recent years, neuroscientists also have become interested in bubbles, if only because the financial manias seem to take advantage of deep-seated human flaws; the market fails only because the brain fails first. Read Montague, at Baylor College of Medicine, has spent the last few years trying to decipher the bits of brain behind our irrational exuberance. It’s microeconomics at its most microscopic.

This is a costly mental mistake. Montague notes that investors who listened to the prescient dopamine neurons would earn much more money than the typical subjects, largely because they would get out of the market before it was too late. “It’s crazy to think that there’s a signal in our head that’s so much smarter than we are,” Montague says.’…

Montague says he hopes that someday the neuroscience of bubbles will help us stop the speculation before it spirals out of control. “The only way we’re going to avoid the next bubble is by understanding why people start bubbles in the first place,” he says. “The Fed should buy a brain scanner.”

via How the Brain Reacts to Financial Bubbles – NYTimes.com.

college, applications, hooks:

Guidance counselors often say that students need a “hook” to attract the attention of colleges.

It was probably inevitable that someone would take that advice literally.

Mark Hatch was reading applications for Bates College in Maine one weekend a few years ago when he became intrigued by a student’s essay about fishing. Turning the page, Mr. Hatch felt a sharp pain — and realized that the student had attached an actual hook.

After a trip to the emergency room and several stitches, Mr. Hatch finished reading the essay. Now a vice president at Colorado College, Mr. Hatch has the scar to prove that he did, in fact, admit a student with a hook.

This college application business is out of control. Take a look at the waiting room at the admissions office of Gettysburg College. Several times a year, applicants show up dressed for Civil War reenactments because they assume the college is obsessed with the war.

The admissions office says those in costume get no edge, by the way.

via Not the ‘Hook’ the Admissions Office Had in Mind – NYTimes.com.

music, kith/kin:  I love it when my nephews or nieces teach me something new.  YouTube – Jonsi – Go Do.

education:  We have a lot to do …

Even though more critics said AUSL’s efforts were unproven, Duncan handed over a dozen more schools to the organization.

After Duncan accepted President Obama’s offer of the Secretary of Education job, he touted Sherman and the turnaround method as central to education reform. Indeed, turning around schools is one of the key pieces of Duncan and Obama”s national Race to the Top initiative. Duncan regularly refers to the school as a success, even though Sherman’s 68-percent average in math last year is lower than non-turnaround regular public schools, and is below the Illinois state average.

Taking the turnaround method of reform national has another problem beyond effectiveness. It could lead to lawsuits. A group of mostly black, female teachers fired from dozens of Chicago turnaround schools just won a discrimination suit against Duncan. In the suit, the teachers said they were being replaced with, “less experienced, younger, whiter teachers at lower salaries.” According to the judge’s ruling, Chicago has 30 days to rehire the teachers axed through the turnaround process.

via Results at Arne Duncan’s First Chicago Turnaround School Raise Efficacy and Legal Questions – Education – GOOD.

 

tours, travel, places, Athens GA: Athens Food Tours – News – Pumpkin & Spice and Everything Nice Food Tour: Sign up now!.

internet, social networking, nerds: interesting combination …

Spinebreakers, as a content website, already exists but does not have any tools which allow its users to communicate and interact about their shared pastime. Instead it is a site where teenagers write about books and authors.

Anna Rafferty, managing director of Penguin Digital , who founded the site three years ago, told The Telegraph: “I set up the site as I felt there were fewer and fewer places talking about books in a way which appealed to teenagers. However, I knew in order for the site to work, it would have to be written and edited by teenagers – which is why we have over 100 deputy editors aged between 14 and 18 looking after the site, and many more contributors of a similar age.

“However, they cannot use the site to communicate, which is why I want to transform the site into the first social network dedicated to books within the next six months.”

She said that the site, which attracts 10 to 15,000 unique users each month and is still in beta, was not a commercial venture for Penguin, but was hugely important to the company for “future-proofing the book industry”. Spinebreakers does offer branded promotions on the site, but there is no display advertising.

via Penguin to launch a social network for bookworms – Telegraph.

libraries, oxymoron:  Libraries without librarians … hmmm

“The basis of the vending machine is to reduce the library to a public-book locker,” Mr. Lund said in an interview. “Our real mission is public education and public education can’t be done from a vending machine. It takes educators, it takes people, it takes interaction.”

Public libraries are an American creation. The first was introduced by Benjamin Franklin, who created a co-operative library funded by people who used it. The first tax-supported library was founded in Peterborough, N.H., in 1833, according to Larry Nix, a retired librarian and library historian. Today there are about 16,700 public library buildings in the country.

Robo-libraries are still a relatively rare sight. Public Information Kiosk Inc., a company in Germantown, Md. that sells kiosks and vending machines to libraries, has had 25 orders for a book-and-DVD-dispensing machine that the company introduced last year. Fred Goodman, the company’s chief executive, estimated that, overall, there are no more than a few dozen vending machines now in operation. Still, he expects to sell at least twice as many units in 2011.

via New Library Technologies Dispense With Librarians – WSJ.com.

OA (Old Atlanta), the past:  I wonder who these guys were … could have been my dad …

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Bein’ a Buckhead gangsta ain’t easy… Photo taken August, 1954.

via Facebook | Atlanta History Center’s Photos – Wall Photos.

green, bikeshare, San Francisco:  OK … I am going to rent a bikeshare bike someday …

Exciting news out of San Francisco: The city has announced that it will pilot an almost $8 million bikeshare pilot, starting next year. A thousand bicycles will be made available for members with smart cards or credit cards, which they’ll swipe to unlock a two-wheeler.

The goal, of course, is to incentivize non-car commuting by making it easier and cheaper. It’ll be funded by the transportation commission and the air-quality office

via San Francisco Bikeshare Program: The Specifics – Transportation – GOOD.

Children’s/YA fiction: I wonder if my kids have nightmares …

Illusory ghosts, ambiguous monsters and creepy-crawlies are all bound to elicit goosebumps.

In July of 1992, Robert Lawrence “R.L.” Stein published “Welcome To Dead House.” From then on, children were never able to sleep soundly again.

But “Welcome To Dead House” was only the beginning of the Goosebumps explosion. From that book spawned dozens and dozens of bone-chilling sequels, alternate series and eventually a television series on Nickelodeon.

Taking the idea of scary stories to the next level, the “Goosebumps” series consisted of chapter books meant to shock, surprise and thrill its childhood audience. The stories covered all sorts of ghoulish topics, from possessed dolls to haunted theme parks to an ominous camera that cursed its subjects.

The wide scope of topics ensured that everyone had a story to spook them. Whether their fear was monsters, aliens or mummies, readers could find their greatest terrors in the pages of “Goosebumps.”

One of the most memorable additions to the Goosebumps series was the creation of the “Give Yourself Goosebumps” series. With these, readers could decide how their scary stories would end through a system of page turning.

via Flashback Friday: Goosebumps | CU Independent.

random, history, places, NYC, cows: One lonely cow …

Do-it-yourself food cultivation has found a home in New York City, with backyard chicken coops, honeybee apiaries and rooftop gardens sprouting like spring lettuce inside America’s largest metropolis. But the urban farming trend has its limits. In Manhattan, at least, the locavore line appears to be drawn at the cow.

There is just one cow who calls the island home, according to local animal experts. His name is Othello and he lives happily outside the food chain at the Central Park Zoo.

The 14-year-old Dexter cow is an ambassador for his entire species in a borough crowded with people — an animal that, while commonplace in much of the U.S., becomes somewhat exotic in Manhattan, earning a spot at the zoo alongside two alpacas and a polar bear.

Manhattan wasn’t always such a lonely place for the bovine. One of the island’s earliest incarnations, after European colonization, was as a bucolic grazing pasture for Dutch cattle. The wall that gave Wall Street its name was built in 1644 to keep the colonists’ cattle from wandering away.

via Central Park Zoo Is Home to Manhattan’s Only Cow — The History of Cows in NYC – Metropolis – WSJ.

Charlotte, transportation, Great Recession:  Someday …

The big question mark for the Red Line is money – and it’s such a big unknown that there’s no firm estimate right now of when the line might be completed. The task force also reviewed efforts to work with developers and town governments in north Mecklenburg County to develop cooperative models to pay for the project.

via North commuter line may not get any cheaper | DavidsonNews.net.

Constitutional law (GA), politics:

The upcoming election on November 2nd provides Georgia voters with a number of important decisions to make. In addition to choosing which candidates to vote for at the local, state, and federal levels, Georgians will also have the opportunity to cast their ballots on five constitutional amendments to the Georgia state constitution, as well as a single statewide referendum.

I thought I would give you the background on these amendments to help you make an informed decision on each of them.

via Georgia Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot.

digital library, history:

The NHPRC and UVA Press will create a new web site which provides access to the fully annotated published papers of key figures in the nation’s Founding era. The project is designed to include the papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission will provide funding in the amount of up to $2 million for the UVA Press to undertake the work on the published papers.

via National Coalition for History » Blog Archive » National Archives to Put the Founders Papers Online.

29
Oct
10

10.29.2010 P&P at Davidson was fun, but not great. Staging was good … acting good, but loud (were they not used to the mics in the larger theater? … Some men in the audience laughed at the wrong point … they obviously were not used to the subtlety of her dialogue … sorry men.

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, theater, Davidson, review, kudos:  I attended Davidson’s production of  P&P last night.  It was fun, but not great. The staging was very good … 50 scene changes … and they flowed. The acting was good, but loud (were they not used to the mics in the larger theater? … I know the story by heart and the dialogue, too … Some men in the audience laughed at the wrong points  … they obviously were not used to the subtlety of her dialogue … sorry, men. Kudos to Tatum P. who was a charming Mrs. Reynolds.

The Davidson College Theatre Department will present one of its most ambitious efforts ever in producing the North Carolina premier of one of literature’s most popular love stories October 27-31.

The college’s presentation of Jane Austen’s beloved 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice, will be the state premier of a 2009 adaptation of the play by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan originally produced at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Professor of Theatre Ann Marie Costa, who directs the production, has assembled an “A Team” of area theatre professionals and a large student cast to reinforce the script with an energetic, rich production that highlights the humor and complexity of Austen’s characters. She said the new adaptation will especially appeal to Jane Austen fans because it maintains much of the actual dialogue of the novel.

DiFiore said the Davidson production should be highly entertaining for the audience as a “solid, full production.” It will include large ball scenes, dynamic lighting, elaborate costumes, music, and many scene changes.

Music provides almost constant accompaniment for the play, with theme music for lead characters and multiple instruments playing in large ballroom scenes. Davidson College music faculty member Cynthia Lawing played the piano parts on a modern instrument, and Bill Lawing, another music faculty member, converted it electronically to mimic the sound of a piano forte, the instrument played in Austen’s time. Sam Van Hallgren, a producer with WDAV, created the overall sound design for the play.

Charlotte-based costume designers Bob Croghan and Heidi O’Hare are creating period costumes from scratch for female characters, and Davidson College set designer Josh Peklo has built two major automated platforms that will support outdoor and indoor worlds for 50 scene changes. Delia Neil of UNC Charlotte is choreographing English country dance scenes, and Todd Wren has designed the lighting.

via Davidson College Mainstage Theatre Production of “Pride & Prejudice” | Charlotte Area News Local Section.

quote, politics:   From my brother-in-law Gary — “Regarding the President being referred to as Dude by Jon Stewart the other night on Comedy Channel “news”, let us respectfully remember that there is only one “Dude”!”

“Let me explain something to you. I am not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr.
Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So, that’s what you call me. You know, that, or
his dudeness, or duder, or el duderino, if you’re not into the whole
brevity thing.” – Jeff Bridges, from “The Big Lebowski,” 1998

restaurants, Charlotte: actually Belmont … The String Bean is about 30 minutes from my house … worth the drive … I had a pimento cheese sandwich with fries fried in duck fat. Both were very good.  Trobs had the Cuban and the Reuben (I think) … W will go again!

The String Bean Fresh Market and Deli is an experience. There’s nothing like it in the area. We feature a creative menu with daily specials that go far beyond your typical “Deli”. Our collection of 200 beers and 400 wines is sure to quench your thirst. The Market Place boasts never frozen fish and meats…cut to your liking

via Belmont North Carolina Restaurant : The String Bean Market & Deli.

food, I’d walk a mile for a …, facebook:  My review of The String Bean … see above … brought on a fb discussion of french fries … what are your favorites … good enough that you would go out of your way to get them again?

C:  We went to Dandelion Market (Charlotte) partially because they had duck fat fries on the menu, but they had taken them off. Bummer. About a half block from Caroline’s apartment in New York is the David Burke restaurant in Bloomingdale’s. …

Dennard:  If you are in Boulder’s Larkburger has trufle oil and parmesan fries which are amazing …

education:  Great presentation of his position … long but worth the time to watch … YouTube – RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms.

random, culture, blogposts: A grew up with being told woman of a certain age should not have long hair … so I enjoyed this post.

Hey! I missed all the fun! Wouldn’t you know it–the one time I write something that goes viral, I go missing in Utah, without a laptop. I’ve come home from the excellent Utah Humanities Council Festival, only to find my piece in The New York Times about having long hair at 55 jammed with comments, more than 1200 so far. I’m told they will soon close out the commentary section as the people who monitor it must move on to other subjects. I cannot wait to catch up on them, to see what nerve that hit. Mothers and daughters? Middle age? Graying hair? And here is a link for readers of Slow Love Life who missed the Times. The picture here is of my braid, which Theo took last summer; you can tell that I’m not so good at braiding. The picture in the Times is no one I know–but reminds me of a young Joni Mitchell, yes?

via Slow Love Life: LONG HAIR on WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE.

random, culture, Coca-Cola: My sister says she can tell a difference,  and they sell it at Wal-Mart in Marietta sometimes (you find it on the international aisle).  Study: Hey, Hipsters, Mexican Coke Might Be a Myth – TIME Healthland – StumbleUpon.

soccer, student athletes, Davidson: Nice interview with Matt Spear. YouTube – Mondo Coaches Interview – Matt Spear, Davidson College.

media, ebooks, technology, business models: If I were a writer, I would try to figure this one out … $80,000 for short fiction.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, King revealed how much he earned on the story. While aspiring novelists can’t imagine eBook sales figures, it does reveal an audience hungry for digital reading.

Here’s more from King’s interview: “I didn’t do ‘Ur’ for money. I did it because it was interesting. I’m fairly prolific. It took three days, and I’ve made about $80,000. You can’t get that for short fiction from Playboy or anybody else. It’s ridiculous.”

via Stephen King Earned $80,000 on Kindle Novella – GalleyCat.

me, kith/kin, places, Atlanta: As a  child I visited the Swan House because it was the home of the grandmother of my kith uncle.  I loved the foyer … but I vaguely remember something about not walking on the black tiles … funny what you remember …

A fan wanted to confirm that Mrs. Inman would ask people to only walk on certain tiles in Swan House. The story is true. She asked family and house workers to walk on the white tiles because the black tiles scuffed easily.

via Facebook | Atlanta History Center’s Photos – Wall Photos.

politics, silver linings, women’s issues:

In one unexpected result of the scandal, the women’s movement was considerably strengthened. In the 1992 election that followed, voters who watched a circle of white men act like bozos elected more women to Congress than ever before. In the spirit of silver linings, maybe in this election cycle, another unintended result of Mrs. Thomas’ phone call will be a closer look at judicial conflicts of interest.

via Virginia Thomas and the Optics of Faith.

international issues, water resource management: Good video .. Michael Pritchard’s water filter turns filthy water drinkable | Video on TED.com.

blogs, new: Thanks, Max, for pointing this one out … Texts From Last Night.

retail, culture: OK, people, chill … “outrage” over coupons …

Avid coupon users are calling it an outrage.

via Target shortchanges shoppers with certain coupons | Chicago Breaking Business.

28
Oct
10

10.28.2010 … very random day , but lunch with the Trobs will keep me on my game ! … and Pride & Prejudice tonight at Davidson …

art, me, Art Institute, places, Chicago:  At 19, I fell in love with this painting and then did not “find” it again for 25 years … and when I walked in the room, it had the same impact that it did on me a 19 …  so as I am contemplating a visit to Chicago this year, I can’t wait to walk up to her again.  Do you have a painting that transcends time with you?

The Song Of The Lark 1884 – Breton Prints – Easyart.com.

A few rooms down, Jules Breton’s “The Song of the Lark,” depicting a farm girl in twilight holding a sickle and singing, received the group’s approval for its comprehensibly concretized values, though Saad mostly talked about Willa Cather’s eponymous novel.

via Objectivists on Art | The Chicago Weekly.

-and-

Jules Breton – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

lions, Art Institute, Chicago,places, traditions, terms:  I really did not believe that “wreathing” was a verb … it is … I would like to attend the Wreathing of the Lions in Chicago.

Kick off the holiday season with the Art Institute’s annual Wreathing of the Lions. After the ceremony, watch a performance of “Favorite Things” by HS2 at 11:00 in Griffin Court. Then visit a drop-in workshop to create a Welcome Home Wreath inspired by your favorite Art Institute treasures.

via The Art Institute of Chicago: Calendar: Events.

Apple MacBook Air: Maybe my next toy …

So, if you’re a light-duty user, you might be able to adopt one of the new Airs as your main laptop. If you’re a heavy-duty user, who needs lots of power and file storage, they’re likely to be secondary machines.

Overall, Apple has done a nice job in making these new MacBook Airs feel more like iPads and iPhones without sacrificing their ability to work like regular computers. But, as always with Apple, you’ll pay more than you will with Windows PCs.

via Review: MacBook Air Has iPad Feel | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD.

high school, senioritis, culture, success stories: I think CMS was attempting this with its Senior Project, buti n my opinion  it falls short.  It takes a lot of energy and money to pull off.

For many, the boredom starts in October, after early applications are filed.

Quite a few principals agree that we need to reinvent senior year. It should be a chance for teenagers to make the transition from the predictable routines and 42-minute blocks of secondary school to the self-discipline, public speaking and teamwork that is vital in college and many careers.

I know about Ralph Vasami because as classmates at Woodlands High in Hartsdale, N.Y., we both were transformed by WISE, also called the Wise Individualized Senior Experience.

While pursuing our projects off campus, we received credit for 12th-grade English and social studies. We worked closely with teachers we chose as mentors. At the end, we had to stand in front of our classmates and make presentations.

Mr. Vasami recalls himself as an ordinary student with ordinary ambitions at an ordinary high school. “I wasn’t even sure if I was going to college,” he says. But through the experiential learning of WISE, he found his calling.

He went on to Lyndon State College in Vermont; as soon as he graduated, a job was waiting at the company where he had been an intern. Three decades later, Mr. Vasami is chief executive of that company, Universal Weather & Aviation Inc., which has 1,300 employees in 20 countries and $860 million in annual billings.

The other day, I went to see my favorite high school teacher, Vic Leviatin. He and two other Woodlands teachers, Andy Courtney and Toni Abramson-Matthews, nurtured WISE from a pilot project in the early 1970s. As it spread to 60 public and private schools, it became one of the few education reforms I’ve seen that actually delivers what it promises.

via A Potential Vaccination for ‘Senioritis’ – NYTimes.com.

bookshelf, culture:  we talked about relationships and food at our wasabi retreat … I really think there is something here.

Author Mark Kurlansky’s lastest book, Edible Stories, a “novel in sexteen parts,” brings together stories of relationships and food, from Tofurkey to tripe, not to mention Belons and boudin.

via Edible Stories | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Great Recession, emotional toll, financial toll:

A new Washington Post poll shows that concerns about housing payments have spiked since 2008 despite some improvements in the overall economy. In all, 53 percent said they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about having the money to make their monthly payment. Worries are the most intense among those with lower incomes and African Americans.

These concerns can be boiled down to one thing: jobs, said Karen Dynan, who worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve and on President George W. Bush’s council of economic advisers.

via Most Americans worry about ability to pay mortgage or rent, poll finds.

random, technology, internet, marketing:  I still do not understand how these companies make money. Compete Top 50: Bing And Ask Rise – MySpace, MapQuest And Flickr Fall.

prayer, analysis: I have enjoyed Sunday school classes where  we have analyzed the Lord’s Prayer line by line.  This analysis of the Serenity Prayer (used by AA and Al-Anon) is interesting.  I do not agree with her/his analysis, but enjoyed working through it.  Thoughts on a Prayer by Alex Kearns | LikeTheDew.com.

economics, single biggest economic issue in our lifetime:  Puts it front and center for me …

The need is tremendous. The nation’s network of water systems was right at the bottom of the latest infrastructure grades handed out by the American Society of Civil Engineers, receiving a D-minus. Jeffrey Griffiths, a member of the federal government’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council, told The Times: “We’re relying on water systems built by our great-grandparents, and no one wants to pay for the decades we’ve spent ignoring them. There’s a lot of evidence that people are getting sick. But because everything is out of sight, no one really understands how bad things have become.”

What has always struck me about this issue is that there is a desperate need to improve the nation’s infrastructure and a desperate need for the jobs and enhanced economic activity that would come from sustained, long-term infrastructure investment. But somehow the leadership and the will to move forward on the scale that is needed are missing.

via The Corrosion of America – NYTimes.com.

gLee, movies: Many of my friends thought it was the WORST episode.  I had watched RHPS in anticipation of the episode (having seen it twice before in college and never a fan … too weird for me).  But I felt there was some merit in the message, as did Rolling  Stone.  (aside – this may be the first time I have quoted Rolling Stone.)

He ultimately decides to cancel the musical and delivers the episode’s message: “Rocky Horror isn’t about pushing boundaries or making an audience accept a certain rebellious point of view… [The midnight shows] were for outcasts, people on the fringes… searching for anyplace where they felt like they belonged.” With that, the entire ensemble delivers a rousing, G-rated rendition of Rocky’s most popular tune to close out the show.

Bottom Line: Can Adam Shankman direct every episode? Glee has been on an upward climb in season two, peaking with last night’s episode. In two weeks: Puck is back, and the girls tackle “Livin’ On a Prayer.”

via ‘Glee’ Playback: ‘Rocky Horror Glee Show,’ Best Episode Yet | Rolling Stone Music.

movies, romantic comedies, bookshelf, random:  Whatever … It is only a structure … but what will make this an interesting romantic comedy? Also love the reference to “Love Actually and Valentine’s Day treatment.”

We never expected we’d have to write that headline. Moviegoers will soon be treated to a romantic comedy based on the parenting handbook, What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

The 600-page handbook by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel has helped millions of expectant parents (including this GalleyCat editor) cope with pregnancy. Currently, there are 14.5 million copies of the book in print.

Entertainment Weekly has the scoop: “Lionsgate has confirmed that they will adapt the bestselling pregnancy bible What To Expect When You’re Expecting and intend to give it the Love Actually and Valentine’s Day treatment. In other words, we’ll see a series of intertwining vingnettes with enough star wattage to blind most any moviegoer.”

via What To Expect When You’re Expecting Will Be Adapted as Romantic Comedy – GalleyCat.

health, diet: I think I’ll pass on this one … figuratively, that is …

Because I did enjoy the floaty sensation, but more than that, I loved what generations before (and undoubtedly after) me loved about fasting: the triumph, however briefly, over sensuality.

I wasn’t thinking about food. I wasn’t thinking about drink. I wasn’t even thinking about sex. The appetites that rule me every single day were my slaves, for once. By that third day I wasn’t craving anything. I was free.

via The Juice Cleanse – A Strange and Green Journey – NYTimes.com.

good Samaritan, teach your children well: I hope I would stop … I hope my children would stop …

“I just did what I teach kids to do, which is try to treat others as you want to be treated,” Odoms said.

“If anything, I was ticked off at the people driving by,” she said. “Even if they were scared, they should have at least stopped and talked to her and gotten some kind of information.”

via Driver who helped impaled woman: ‘People kept passing her’ – Chicago Breaking News.

libraries, education, Chicago, Great Recession:  Another example of how our infrastructure is the victim of the Great
Recession.  (And yes, i view libraries as infrastructure.)

But the situation at Whittier is hardly unique. Citywide, 164 public schools — nearly 1 in 4 elementary schools and 51 high schools — do not have standalone libraries staffed by a trained librarian.

CPS librariesTeacher Sharon Gonciarczyk, green sweater, works with students in what qualifies as a library at Durkin Park Elementary School, a windowless room that doubles as a supply area. (Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune / October 24, 2010)

If they want to explore a wider world of books or get help with research from a trained librarian, children in Chicago often have to look beyond their school.

Many of the city’s public schools lack libraries, a situation that made a group of mothers in Pilsen so angry they commandeered the ramshackle field house at Whittier Elementary School for more than a month.

The mothers won, and the Chicago school board is set to vote Wednesday on measures including a library for Whittier that should end the protest.

But the situation at Whittier is hardly unique. Citywide, 164 public schools — nearly 1 in 4 elementary schools and 51 high schools — do not have standalone libraries staffed by a trained librarian.

A lack of money and space and the competing need for new technology mean libraries are often left out of school plans even as students in Chicago Public Schools struggle to meet national standards in reading.

Even at those schools that do have a library, which by CPS’ definition means at least one part-time teacher-librarian is on staff, the situation is sometimes far from ideal.

At Durkin Park Elementary School on the Southwest Side, half of a dank and windowless supply room doubles as a library. Only a few children can squeeze into the 12-foot-by-15-foot space, with barely any room to sit down to browse through a book.

“Yeah, I’m frustrated,” says Durkin Park Principal Dan Redmond. “I know we’re better off than most schools, but when I go to other schools (with better libraries) and I see what they have, it breaks my heart. It doesn’t seem fair.”

It’s not just older neighborhood schools that go without libraries. Jones College Prep, a selective enrollment high school, is one of a handful of elite schools within CPS without a library. The school’s library was replaced about five years ago with a classroom for computers and tutoring programs.

Principal Joseph Powers hopes a library will be included in a new $111 million building for the school that was approved last month.

“I feel like it’s a deficiency for the school,” Powers said. “A full-service library or media center can serve as an academic hub for the school. It becomes a place for strong student scholarship where kids go to get resources and learn from the expertise of the librarian or media specialist.”

About one-quarter of the elementary schools without libraries and nearly half of the high schools without them — 25 of the 51 — are charter schools, according to the most recent data available.

Last week, district CEO Ron Huberman said he wishes all schools had a library. But with $7 billion in unmet building needs throughout the system, he said, it’s just not possible.

“We’re having to make do,” he said. “That doesn’t mean kids don’t read, don’t have books. It just means there’s no designated space (for a library).”

Libraries became an integral part of the school experience after Congress approved $100 million for building and expanding school libraries through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

But over time, principals confronted with crowded classrooms, the need for expensive and ever-changing educational computer software, and tighter budgets have replaced full-time librarians with part-timers and volunteers, and converted library space to other uses.

“There are many schools that have (only) classroom libraries because librarians have become a discretionary purchase,” says Barbara Radner, director of the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University. “They’ve gone from being a school essential to now becoming perceived as an option.”

via 164 Chicago public schools without libraries because of lack of space, funds and competing needs – chicagotribune.com.

journalism, media: opinion v. reporting … I always said that I never knew Walter Cronkite was a liberal and that I did know that about Dan Rather,  and it was one reason, maybe the reason, that Dan Rather “was no” Walter Cronkite.

Still, I am not here to defend NPR. I just like facts to be separate from opinions, and that brings me to the large issue: we now live in a world with two types of journalism. This is a relatively new fact and, judging by the hubbub surrounding the Juan Williams firing, takes some getting used to. With the exception of the very young, everyone reading this grew up on fact-based—not opinion-based—mass media. (Yes, I know there are those on the right who think this a fantasy, but that’s what makes horse racing.)

In the old days, you might have thought you knew the political mind of many journalists, but it was not necessarily so. They were quite careful not to imbue their reporting with their personal biases. If they didn’t they tended to get fired in much the way Mr. Williams was by NPR.

Call it wishful thinking or a bias of unfounded conceit, but it is human nature to ascribe our personal perspective to those we watch, hear or read. At least it is until they give us incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. I thought a few former ABC, CBS and NBC correspondents were liberals like me until they took up with Fox News and denounced their former employers. (I’m not sure if it was wishful thinking or conceit in my case, but I’m leaning toward the latter.)

Spurred by the emergence of talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh in the 80’s, opinion became profitable. Then Roger Ailes’s particular genius saw that one could parade opinion as fact, and Fox News, a sister product to The Wall Street Journal in the News Corporation panoply, was born, signaling in turn the birth of a new, at least on a mass market scale, brand of journalism that wears its heart on its sleeve. Sure, specialty publications like The Nation and The New Republic have been around for years, but their subscriber base has always been rather modest when compared to the millions of viewers for Fox News Channel and more recently—and less grandly—MSNBC.

Viewed through this lens, the moment where a reporter or analyst for a news agency that has strict and specific rules about its employees’ conduct in the public square was bound to come. NPR says they had already warned Mr. Williams that his opinion-driven appearances on FNC constituted a breach of those rules, and had requested that his NPR affiliation not be noted in on-screen descriptions. He knew very well that he could not stand with one foot in the fact-based world of journalism and the other in the opinion-based world. This day was bound to come. There is a new line and the ethical implications are just dawning.

via NPR: Most Recent Casualty of the New Journalism by Jon Sinton | LikeTheDew.com.

architecture, Apple, Chicago: Chicagoans are architectural snobs, you know …

The tightly controlled Apple publicity machine isn’t making much of the fact that the company’s new store in Chicago’s Clybourn corridor (left) looks an awful lot like another Apple store in, of all places, an outdoor shopping center in Scottsdale, Ariz. (below)

On the face of it, importing a cookie-cutter design from that architectural nowhere to Chicago, the first city of American architecture, is an insult, particularly because Apple last year opened a custom-designed store, complete with an elegant glass roof, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

But some prototype designs are better than others, and while this one, which made its debut Saturday, has minuses, it is hard to argue with the outcome: a sleek, minimalist object, bracingly transparent, that also delivers a major upgrade to the cityscape.

via Cityscapes: Apple tweaks its cookie-cutter; new store in Chicago is less than original, but still upgrades the cityscape.

baseball, baseball cards, Honus Wagner, children’s/YA lit: Since Honus and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure was one of Edward’s favaorite books as a kid, I just jumped all over this story … add nuns and it makes it even more interesting!.

Sister Virginia Muller had never heard of shortstop Honus Wagner.

But she quickly learned the baseball great is a revered figure among collectors, and the most sought-after baseball card in history. And thanks to an unexpected donation, one of the century-old cards belongs to Muller and her order, the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame.

The Roman Catholic nuns are auctioning off the card, which despite its poor condition is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000. The proceeds will go to their ministries in 35 countries around the world.

via Nuns auctioning rare Honus Wagner baseball card – MLB – SI.com.

science, the future:

An international consortium of scientists says it has identified and catalogued the vast majority of genetic variations among people, a huge step toward the ultimate goal of mapping nearly all such differences in humans’ biological blueprints.

The project, which will cost $120 million over five years, is expected to speed efforts to study the roles genes play in many diseases, including diabetes and coronary ailments.

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, as it is known, used the latest technology to sequence the entire genome of 179 people and the protein-coding genes on 697 others. By studying populations of European, West African, and East Asian ancestry, the researchers are able to compare genetic information between individuals and also across different populations.

Its findings were published in related papers in Nature and Science on Wednesday.

The pilot phase identified 15 million genetic differences among the people studied, more than half of which had never been seen before, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature. That means the database—which will be available to researchers world-wide—will list 95% of the genetic variations found in people, according to comments during a briefing by Richard Durbin of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, co-chairman of the project steering committee.

via Most Human Gene Variations Identified, Scientists Report – WSJ.com.

cars, if I had a million dollars, followup, movies, James Bond: …well, a billion … I would buy this for John!

An Aston Martin driven by Sir Sean Connery in James Bond films has gone under the hammer for £2.6m.

The DB5 was the star of Thunderball and Goldfinger

The 1964 DB5 – dubbed the most famous car in the world – was bought at an auction for well under the guide price of £3.5m.

via James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 Star Of Goldfinger And Thunderball Sold For £2.6m | UK News | Sky News.

27
Oct
10

10.27.2010 ….“I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb.” Elizabeth Bennet

quotes:  Since I had nothing amazing or profound to say … I thought of Elizabeth Bennet today …

“I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are

each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we

expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed

down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb.” Elizabeth Bennet

architecture, for sale, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago: A FLW is up for sale … the B&W listing is fun — Riverside, IL 60546 $2,890,000 Bedrooms: 5 Full Bath: 5 | Baird & Warner.

The architectural genius, Frank Lloyd Wright, built the Coonley House from 1908 to 1912, and after a few owners and many restorations, the 6,000 square foot house is now for sale.

Wright called the Riverside, Ill. home his “best house” in his 1932 autobiography.

This five bedroom, five bathroom, prairie style home is listed for $2.89 million. It sits on more than one acre of land and has a reflection pool outside. There’s also a 50-foot mural in the living room. Despite the restorations in the home, the home’s historic details have been kept intact.

via Frank Lloyd Wright’s Coonley House For Sale (PHOTOS).

Riverside, IL 60546 $2,890,000 Bedrooms: 5 Full Bath: 5 | Baird & Warner.

constitutional law, Amazon, NC: I am so glad that there is a connection between money and free speech … so I don’t have to pay taxes on all my dirty movies and books …

Lists that identify the books, music and movies individual customers bought from online retailer Amazon.com are protected from North Carolina tax collectors, a federal judge has ruled.

Amazon said in a lawsuit it filed in April in its hometown of Seattle that disclosing the names, addresses and purchases of its customers as requested by the North Carolina Revenue Department would harm anyone who may have bought controversial books or movies.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled late Monday that the First Amendment protects a buyer from the government demanding to know the books, music, and audiovisual products they’ve bought.

Amazon and the American Civil Liberties Union, which later joined the case, “have established that the First Amendment protects the disclosure of individual’s reading, listening, and viewing habits,” Pechman wrote.

At stake are potentially millions of dollars in taxes that North Carolina contends Amazon was responsible for collecting for years before a state law was changed last summer.

via Judge: Free speech protects Amazon buyers’ data – USATODAY.com.

Apple iPhone: What is it with the white one???

The elusive white iPhone has been delayed yet again.

Apple said Tuesday that the device, which was slated to go on sale before the end of the year, will not be available until spring. The company did not give an explanation for the new delay.

“We are sorry to disappoint customers who ware waiting for the white iPhone yet again,” said Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman. “We’ve decided to delay its release until spring.”

via White iPhone Delayed Again – NYTimes.com.

media:  books v. ebooks v. apps v. multimedia

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered,” wrote the poet W.H. Auden in his 1962 essay on “Reading.” Quite right, apart from the exceptionally undeserving ones, which risk being remembered for the wrong reasons.

A folded page of “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman,” published by Visual Editions and designed by A Practice for Everyday Life.

“Alice for the iPad,” an application created by Atomic Antelope, an Anglo-American design duo.

A data visualization created by Ben Fry in 2003 to illustrate variations in the human genome data of 100 people, published in “Form + Code.”

Auden was referring to books in terms of their literary merit — what they say, and how the writer said it. When it comes to the type of books that are likely to appeal to design nuts, some score highly on that basis, and others are memorable because of how they look. Then there are the books that will be remembered because their designers turned them into something dazzlingly new or different. The launch of the Apple iPad and other digital readers has created perfect platforms for such innovations.

Here is my personal pick of the current crop of books that seem likeliest to be remembered for their design credentials — for old reasons, and new ones.

via The Invincible Book Keeps Reinventing Itself – NYTimes.com.

____

“As an author, I want you to have the best experience,” he said. “People want to talk about the books they are reading with other people. Why, with everything we know, wouldn’t you include a chat room with your e-book?”

Once readers buy the app, he says, they are beginning a relationship with him and other readers; they can leave comments and read responses and updates from the author. They may even be told down the line that he has a new book for sale and then be able to buy it through the app.

via ‘Adderall Diaries’ Blurs Books-Apps Line – NYTimes.com.

gLee, media: I think they went too far … but I don’t have to buy the magazine.

It’s no surprise that the Parents Television Council was outraged by a GQ photo spread featuring the actors of Glee (for an issue going on sale October 25). The PTC has been outraged by Glee for a long, long time. The group’s objections this time around center around the fact that actresses Lea Michele and Dianna Agron play high school students, which means, it says, that the shoot “borders on pedophilia.”

via GQ’s Gross ‘Glee’ Photos: The Objections Are Right For The Wrong Reasons : Monkey See : NPR.

random, news, education: I hope it works … more power to Millinocket for trying.

Never mind that Millinocket is an hour’s drive from the nearest mall or movie theater, or that it gets an average 93 inches of snow a year. Kenneth Smith, the schools superintendent, is so certain that Chinese students will eventually arrive by the dozen — paying $27,000 a year in tuition, room and board — that he is scouting vacant properties to convert to dormitories.

via Millinocket, Me., High School Recruits in China – NYTimes.com.

bucket list, travel: better get there fast …

Pictures: 12 Ancient Landmarks on Verge of Vanishing.

South Africa: So much potential.

South Africa is a vibrant, multiethnic democracy striving, with mixed success, to fulfill its promise.

via Mandela’s Children – Photo Gallery – National Geographic Magazine.

Apartheid is gone, but the slow process of reconciliation continues. In this issue, photographer James Nachtwey shows us contemporary South Africa, while writer Alexandra Fuller tells about a town, a victim of a hate crime, and the prisoner responsible. It’s a tale of forgiveness and redemption—a story, one South African minister says, about how a nation prepares for the future.

via NGM Blog Central – Editor’s Note: Moving Forward in South Africa – National Geographic Magazine – NGM.com.

green, UNC-CH, places, kudos:  This was my first home away from home … it was not new in 1978 … So to me it is even more impressive what the school and the students did.  Kudos, UNC-CH and Morrison Dormitory!

Ultimately, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels prevailed over rival North Carolina State Wolfpack—as well as trouncing Sears, J.C. Penney and Sheraton.

The playing field: a national competition sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency to see which commercial building could trim its energy use the most over 12 months. The EPA will report Tuesday that ranking first was a dorm at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dean Carovillano/Blink Eye Production

Morrison Residence Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill installed solar panels to cut utility costs.

The strategy at UNC’s Morrison Residence Hall wasn’t as sexy as a winning three-point shot at the buzzer—but tweaks to its heating and cooling equipment, an expanded solar-powered hot water system, lighting upgrades and persistent coaxing of students to dial down hot water usage in the laundry room helped the dorm cut its energy consumption by almost 36% and shave more than $250,000 off its bills. Similar moves are being implemented campus-wide.

via N.C. Dorm Wins Energy Contest – WSJ.com.

news, Great Recession, journalism: I hate to admit it but I wasn’t sure what a 99-er was (made a good guess) … still a journalist posting on a news site should define the term.  Very sad statistic.

What struck me was Pelley’s line that many of the 99-ers are “too young to retire and too old to rehire.” Simply hearing that makes anyone who is north of a certain age (say, 40) cringe.

5 Lessons from the 99-ers:

Don’t ever take a job granted: Keep adding value and every now and then, remind your boss of your contribution to the bottom line

Upgrade and expand your skills along the way

Pay down consumer debt as quickly as possible

Establish an emergency reserve fund of at least one year of household expenses (two years, if you are in a high-risk job)

Save, save, save: if you don’t like the stock market, select lower risk options, but do it!

via The 99ers: 5 Sobering Lessons – CBS MoneyWatch.com.

Who are the 99ers?

“99ers” is a term for the group of unemployed workers who have been out of work for over 99 weeks and thus are no longer eligible to receive federal unemployment benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June approximately 1.4 million Americans fell into the “99ers” category, which accounts for 9.2 percent of all unemployed workers. This means that in the past three years, the number of 99ers has multiplied sixfold from roughly 221,000 in June 2007.

via Unemployment Extension FAQ: Who are the 99ers and what is Tier 5?.

media:  Is this big?

Time Warner Cable and ESPN plan to make programming available online behind a paywall, starting with “Monday Night Football.” Meanwhile, sports leagues are distributing video content on their own digital platforms, and are looking to devices like tablets. Peter Kafka and Lauren Goode discuss.

via Video – ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Live on the Web – WSJ.com.

Apple Apps:  I think I will like this one … when I get a new phone … 🙂

PhoneQi allows users to clip, save and share any text from newspapers, magazines, books, even text displayed on computer screens. Utilizing the iPhone’s camera and in-phone OCR to capture a short sequence of rendered text, Exbiblio’s Qi® technology will search through Google’s index to find a printed document’s digital counterpart. Using quoted-phrase searches, only 6 words are needed, on average, to identify a document among the billions of documents indexed by Google. In effect, every line of text in every printed document is unique / a barcode / a URL. This enables Exbiblio to deliver rich digital interactivity to the printed documents we encounter in our day-to-day activities. The PhoneQi app is just a small, first piece of an ecosystem that connects the physical, print world to the digital world.

via Exbiblio PhoneQi for iPhone is Now available through the Apple App Store. – DailyFinance.

literature, India: With Bollywood movies as they are, it does not surprise me that India has a mass pulp fiction industry.

Tamil has always been the language of high culture in India. Its literature is 2000 years old, its poetry exquisite.

But some of the most widely read stories in Tamil have titles like Sweetheart, Please Die.

You see these books everywhere in India. The covers are lurid, mustachioed men menacing women in tight nurse’s uniforms, knives dripping blood, and lots of cleavage. Rakesh Khanna, a Californian living in India, wanted to find out more about the stories. So he hired a translator. Now, they have put together Volume II of The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction.

Indian pulps have been around since the early 20th century. They borrowed freely from American dime novels and British penny dreadfuls. But because this is India, there are also kings, ghosts and mythological serpents.

via ‘Tamil Pulp’: Sexy, Gory Fiction, Now In English : NPR.

mung-bean, food/drink: hedonistic epistemological dilemma??

It is a hedonistic epistemological dilemma: when one believes something tastes different, does that mean it actually tastes different? I suspect Hume would say yes, Descartes would say no. But at a wine tasting at the Winery, a beautiful North London wine shop, neither philosopher could weigh in. I take the glass offered by the shop’s owner, David Motion. “How does it taste?” he asks. “Different?” I sip. I pause. “Um…” I don’t know.

I rarely mix wine with philosophy (a favoured pastime for some). But I am not often in the position of sipping the same wine twice in an afternoon, in order to observe the effect of the moon’s passage on its flavour. The Winery specialises in wines produced according to biodynamic principles, which hold that a wine’s taste is altered dramatically by the phases of the moon. I am here to sample such changes myself.

The theory has its origins in the biodynamic movement, which Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, began in the early 20th century. The ideas are simple, albeit eccentric. Biodynamic wine is created from grapes grown in harmony with nature. This means that the wine is not only organic, but also crafted with a heightened awareness of stars and planets—that is, the forces of cosmic energy. Because such wine growers view the vineyard as a living organism, they presume the grapes are affected by the moon, like other living things. Similarly, consumers should be mindful of when they drink such wine, as the phases of the moon affect the taste of the vintage.

Motion admits this belief “does sound a bit mung-bean”.

via COSMIC SIPPING | More Intelligent Life.

travel:  Hmmm … I am not sure about this one.

If you’re flying from Los Angeles to New Zealand, you could soon be traveling much more comfortably.

Air New Zealand will offer customers the chance to purchase seats that can turn into couches or beds.

According to Air New Zealand’s website, these new seats, called “Skycouches,” will be perfect for couples who want some extra room, or families with small children.

via Air New Zealand to Offer “Cuddle Class” on Auckland-LA Flights | NBC Los Angeles.

health, fitness: This sounds like fun to me.  A Trampoline Becomes a Launchpad to Fitness – WSJ.com.

Halloween, holidays: What will they think of next.

Since it often appears as though the cast of”Jersey Shore” are in costume, it comes as little surprise that some of the most popular outfits this Halloween are based on Snooki, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and DJ Pauly D. As the Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Holmes reports, the costumes are licensed by MTV and the cast members, which adds another revenue stream for the popular show. Watch the video.

via Halloween’s Top Costumes? Snooki and the ‘Jersey Shore’ Cast – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Davidson, art: Art Opening?

It was an early Christmas morning Monday for members of the Davidson College art department. Alumnus Jim Pepper ’65, of Miami, Fla., boxed and shipped to the college 34 pieces of art from his collection.

But Pepper did not send an inventory listing ahead, preferring that members of the department be surprised with each piece as the bubble-wrap was removed.

Surprised and delighted they were: The donations included works by Wassily Kandinsky, Hans Hofmann, Robert Mapplethorpe, a meso-American textile piece, an ancient Hellenistic amphora, and more.

via Art ‘opening’: Alumnus surprises college with gift of art | DavidsonNews.net.

Wal-Mart, business models, South Africa: One of the things I liked about SA was that its retail  still seemed “local” once you got out of the really big cities.  I hope Wal-Mart sticks to the big cities …

Similar scenes across South Africa help to explain why Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is considering making a 32 billion rand ($4.63 billion) bid for Massmart, which operates warehouse-sized stores that sell goods ranging from food and liquor to clothing, gym equipment and home furnishings.

Wal-Mart is now in its fifth week of conducting due diligence on Massmart. Executives are inspecting each of Massmart’s 288 stores, which are located in 14 African countries, though mostly in South Africa.

via Wal-Mart Checks Out a New Continent – WSJ.com.

random, Laura Bush: She has a good head on her shoulders!

“As for me, it’s come to this,” Mrs. Bush said of her life after eight years in the White House, placing the doll on the glass plate. “This is the Laura Bush bobble head doll. I got this from a friend of mine who found it in the gift shop in the constitutional center a few weeks after the election. It was on the clearance shelf. He said he couldn’t resist sending it to me, I told him he could have tried a little harder. But I’m kinda glad to have it.”

She joked about the surreal nature of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“When you live in the White House and are a bobble head inside a bubble, reality can get a little warped,” Mrs. Bush smiled and said coyly. “Sometimes you have to work hard just to recognize yourself.”

via Former first lady Laura Bush to President Bush: ‘pick up your socks’ – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

libraries, careers, bookshelf: What fun to be the research librarian for All Things Considered.

Thank goodness for librarian Kee Malesky — who, for 20 years, has been saving NPR’s hosts and reporters from themselves. Malesky is the organization’s longest-serving librarian, and Simon says he suspects that she is actually the source of all human knowledge.

In her new book, All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge, Malesky catalogs some of the facts that she has researched so dutifully over the years.

Odd Queries From NPR Staff

During her two decades of service in the NPR reference library, reporters have asked Malesky to look up some fairly obscure, though fascinating pieces of information.

The first non-Native American to set foot in what is now Chicago?

That would be an African man from Haiti by the name of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, whose trading post was the first permanent dwelling there. Chicago has since named a high school after him that few residents can properly pronounce.

via ‘All Facts Considered’ By NPR’s Longtime Librarian : NPR.

26
Oct
10

‎10.26.2010 … back to reality … I feel like I have been in another world for the past 2-3 months … now I am home …

art, bookshelf: Very interesting interview.  I keep this one in mind …

“The Ghent Altarpiece” was painted over 600 years ago and may be the most significant artwork you’ve never heard of. Art historian Noah Charney writes about the painting and the many crimes against it in his new book and talks with Kai Ryssdal about why it’s the most stolen artwork in history. Plus view a slideshow of the most wanted stolen artworks that are still missing.

via Marketplace Photo Gallery: The most wanted stolen art in history.

RIP: I always loved Rocky and Bullwinkle … and Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale …

Pioneering TV cartoon artist Alexander Anderson Jr., who created Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose, has died. He was 90.

via Creator of TV cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle dies – Yahoo! News.

25
Oct
10

‎10.25.2010 .. Enjoyed a delightful redeye .. Enjoyable environmental graphic design consultant who also coaches 16-17 year olds in high level club hockey who was nice enough to warn me that he snores loudly … So after chatting for an hour … He sleeps and I take a sleeping aid .. Everyone was happy. Prayers today for his father who is critically ill.

me, strangers, art: I should have asked the man on the plane his name … loved talking to him and learning about his field … environmental graphic design … “we have nothing to do with tree huggers…”

art, public art, media, YouTube, NYC:  I would have loved to have been in NYC and seen the live streaming of the selected videos!

Over the course of the evening, the top videos will be projected onto a large screen in the rotunda and onto the Guggenheim Museum facade facing Fifth Avenue. The exterior projections, created by Obscura Digital and Consortium Studios, will be on display October 21 and 22 from sundown to 10:30 pm. The final videos selected by the distinguished jury will also be on view to the public from October 22 through 24 in the Annex Level 2 area of the museum and in an adjoining HP + Intel digital gallery, as well as to a worldwide audience on the YouTube Play channel.

via YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim.

The videos and artists were celebrated at an event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on October 21, which was streamed live to a worldwide audience at youtube.com/play.

via YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video.

The Guggenheim/YouTube Art Experiment: See Winning Videos Here | Discoblog | Discover Magazine.

Got @NYTimes? Turn to pg A32 & see our Frank Lloyd Wright… on Twitpic.

wasabi wildcat friends, kith/kin, Davidson: I had a great time at my  Davidson  Reunion (the Wasabies … it’s what we call ourselves)  in the Tahoe area and so loved the diversity of interests and experiences of these 15 friends.  Here are some tidbits from their lives …

LeeAnn:  On the board of … :: Welcome to the Official Website of the Daraja Academy :: – Home.

Ann: On the Board of … Worlds of Words | International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature.

Cary:  Blogger extraordinaire … Holy Vernacular … and two of her children … Charlie and Carter …

This is my first pair of pants and I am so happy about by how well they turned out. I’ve been bit by the sewing bug, and now I gots sewing fever

They are based on a mens 1860′s civilian work pant pattern, but I gave these old timey high-waisted trousers a modern day twist with a red zipper front, indigo dyed denim fabric, large jean-style back pockets and side seam pockets with with a funky white and blue patterned fabric from Tanzania. They are fully equipped with suspenders buttons- suspenders are in the works- for now they are held up with a waist belt. I spent about fifteen/sixteen hours making these.

via Custer’s Last Waistband- | Charlie C. Umhau.

and Carter Fleet Umhau.

opinion, politics, Supreme Court, quotes:  “and that the conservative constitutional view of money as speech is unconvincing.”  I just had not conceptualized this holding in this way …

Mr. Matthews is a sharp observer of politics and no naïf about campaigns. But, as he told me, he finds that “secret money” is a problem; that self-financing, wealthy candidates unfairly threaten “reasonably effective officials” at all levels; and that the conservative constitutional view of money as speech is unconvincing.

via Campaign Ad Uses a Sleight of Lines – NYTimes.com.

politics, polling, culture:  I don’t answer my phone … So I find some issue with this argument.  Do you answer your phone to pollsters …

In all, The Post identified more than 1,400 possible groups and was able to verify and reach 647 of them. Each answered a lengthy questionnaire about their beliefs, members and goals. The Post tried calling the others as many as six times. It is unclear whether they are just hard to reach or don’t exist.Mark Meckler, a founding member of the Tea Party Patriots, said: “When a group lists themselves on our Web site, that’s a group. That group could be one person, it could be 10 people, it could come in and out of existence – we don’t know. We have groups that I know are 15,000 people, and I have groups that I know are five people.”

via Gauging the scope of the tea party movement in America.

random, Halloween, holidays: So how did you rank your candy as a kid?  I was very partial to any full size bars and to Reese’s. 🙂

The Candy Hierarchy – Boing Boing.

culture, media, religion: Look at her vocabulary … Yet there is no religion in this cycle.

Transgression, disgrace, redemption, oblivion — the whole self-destructive cycle, from public denial, to groveling, to “Dancing with the Stars,” to the sweet hereafter (Us Magazine), is such a part of 21st century life that it’s something of a scandal itself that there hasn’t been a serious consideration of scandal.

via Laura Kipnis explores a culture of scandal – chicagotribune.com.

culture, kith/kin:  My sister was a grandmother at 55, and my first peer will be a grandmother in February and she is/will be 50.  I guess the rest of us are going to be on the old side of the median.

And speaking of age…the popular image of a grandparent as a person with plenty of gray hair might be misleading. The report notes that the median ages when men and women first become grandparents are 54 and 50, respectively.

via Grand Times – WSJ.com.

libraries, culture, wealth: I certainly think this community has the right not to fund a library, but it does seem selfish.

Robert Toohey, a lawyer who a few years ago unsuccessfully fought Bloomfield Township’s library contract all the way to the state Supreme Court, is still hammering at his failed legal argument: He contends residents shouldn’t have to pay any portion of the township library’s operating costs, only the cost “to check out books.”

“There are people here who think they don’t need to pay for a library because they’ll order what they want from Amazon. It’s an arrogance,” said Carol Young, a Bloomfield Hills library lover.

New city residents like Dr. Homa Hasnain are sometimes surprised to discover their beautiful new home in a prestigious community doesn’t include access to the nearby library.

“I was shocked,” said Hasnain, whose 9-year-old couldn’t participate in summer reading programs. “We thought a library is automatic. … It feels like a punishment to my daughter.”

In a recent op-ed piece in the Birmingham Observer & Eccentric, Bloomfield Hills resident Christine Zambricki, an opponent to the proposal, suggested that residents can use the excellent “local libraries” in Birmingham and Bloomfield Township.

In other words, they can use those lovely “free” libraries in other cities. Libraries supported by unenlightened taxpayers still clinging to 19th-century ideas about sharing knowledge and education.

Hey, times are tough, especially when your mansion isn’t worth what it once was. But before fighting taxes became the only American principle that mattered, all kinds of people, wealthy and not, recognized the public library as one of the inspiring ideas that makes us American.

via To some, Bloomfield Hills is a cheap rich town | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

Justice Thomas, The Supreme Court: Scathing opinion … I keep hoping some set of facts that will make sense of this story.

In the wacky coda to one of the most searing chapters in American history, everyone remained true to form.

Anita Hill reacted with starchy disgust.

Ginni Thomas came across like a spiritually addled nut.

Clarence Thomas was mute, no doubt privately raging about the trouble women have caused him

….

It’s too late to relitigate the shameful Thomas-Hill hearings. We’re stuck with a justice-for-life who lied his way onto the bench with the help of bullying Republicans and cowed Democrats.

We don’t know why Ginni Thomas, who was once in the thrall of a cultish self-help group called Lifespring, made that odd call to Hill at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. But we do know that the Thomases show supremely bad judgment. Mrs. Thomas, a queen of the Tea Party, is the founder of a new nonprofit group, Liberty Central, which she boasts will be bigger than the Tea Party. She sports and sells those foam Statue of Liberty-style crowns as she makes her case against the “tyranny” of President Obama and Congressional Democrats, who, she charges, are hurting the “core founding principles” of America.

via Supremely Bad Judgment – NYTimes.com.

culture, USA:

Americans have been in this sort of apathetic but emotional mood many times before, and the record is grim. After World War I, the United States turned away from the League of Nations and back in on itself, only to watch from an unsafe distance the resurrection of Germany under the Nazis. After the Cold War evanesced, the Gulf War was won, and history, it seemed, had ended in the early 1990s, Democrat Bill Clinton won the presidency with the axiom “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In the years that followed, the American public was almost completely unmoved by enormous tragedies elsewhere on the planet. Little was done to stop the genocides that swept through Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. After a brief and bloody intervention in Somalia, the United States stepped back, let the country slide into chaos, and promptly forgot about it. “Americans have a great ability to shrug things off,” says Professor Mueller. With the Russians out of Afghanistan, the U.S. lost interest, opening the way for the Taliban to take over, Al Qaeda to thrive, and Pakistan to be destabilized. What was there to worry about? In the summer of 2001, not long before 9/11, polls showed that the issue of “terrorism” ranked a flat zero on the American public’s list of concerns.

As Senator Graham said, sometimes it takes a “dramatic event” to focus America’s attention.

via Americans Grow Apathetic Over Foreign Policy – Newsweek.

libraries, business models: Enjoyed this analysis … what is next for our libraries?

In fact, all kinds of organizations and businesses can use the study in this way: inserting themselves into the stories and asking themselves: do “we” still work? That is, is our value proposition, our business model, our resource or alliance base, still valid? Do our success recipes still apply? If not, what are the necessary new ways to be valuable and to engage with consumers and stakeholders? What would we need to do—how would we need to innovate to transform our organization such that it creates value for future users—given the overwhelmingly powerful external dynamics redefining our operating environment?

http://detnews.com/article/20101023/OPINION03/10230366/1409/To-some–Bloomfield-Hills-is-a-cheap-rich-town

via Libraries Are Showing the Way for Everyone – Adam Gordon – Management By Looking Ahead – Forbes.




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