Archive for December, 2010


‎12.31.2010 I’ll be singing … “Auld Lang Syne” …

New Year’s, music, history:

“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”)[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, its use has also become common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.


Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


via Auld Lang Syne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

New Year’s, music, history, Peggy Noonan:  It is not often Peggy Noonan and I are not on the same wavelength.

Christmas, technology, YouTube: fun … but who has time to do this? YouTube – THE DIGITAL STORY OF THE NATIVITY.

technology, lists:  Some good ideas here. 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology –

New Year’s Resolutions, marketing, Great Recession:  last year Molly gave up soda … and I am trying. Obviously it has had little effect on soda sales. 🙂

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. Chief Executive Larry Young says retail soda-price increases have started to stick after a summer of steep discounts, but consumers are still being frugal.

via Dr Pepper Sees Sticky Prices Sweetening Profits –

random, prostate cancer, health:

A new study found that men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger are at lower risk to develop prostate cancer, according to the British Journal of Cancer.

via Research Report: Linking Index Finger Length to Prostate Cancer Risks –

random, movies: Very interesting … YouTube – Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop.

random, travel, Jekyll Island GA, Georgia:  I just liked this one … maybe I’ll visit and find one.

During the months of January and February, Jekyll Island commissions a group of highly skilled artisans from across the U.S. to create an array of stunning, hand-worked glass globes. Then, during this 2 month long program, “Beach Buddies” hide these floats along Jekyll Island’s beaches for lucky visitors to find. For the lucky ones that find an Island Treasure, it is theirs to take home.

via Island Treasures – Georgia Events – Overview – Explore Georgia.


12.30.2010 … Since all the stores tell me to get organized for 2011 … as they do for every other year … here I go …

RIP, end of an era: Rest in Peace, Kodachrome!  Oh, how I do hate change …

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the end, it was determined that a roll belonging to Dwayne Steinle, the owner, would be last. It took three tries to find a camera that worked. And over the course of the week he fired off shots of his house, his family and downtown Parsons. The last frame is already planned for Thursday, a picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne’s wearing shirts with the epitaph: “The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010.”

via For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas –

vocabulary, faith, acts of God:  Another one to make you think:

First, during a period of wonderful, calm, sunny weather we do not read of Nature’s “love” or “mercy” or that we are being “blessed” or “rewarded.” The good we take for granted, as our due. The bad we assume is wrathful and punishment of some kind.

I do not want to make too much of this, but my simply drawing attention to it makes the point. It seems almost natural (!) to refer to the storm as “wrath” and “punishing” while it would be strikingly odd to read a weather report referring to a sunny day as “merciful.”

Why is this? Is it because we assume we deserve everything to be perfect or at least unchallenging? That the norm for us is bland perfection? That somehow we deserve grace and favor, which, of course, is a contradiction?

In short, “who do we think we are?” Maybe we simply don’t think!

via Grapes of wrath? « Hopelens Blog.

Davidson, history: Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century Bill Gates”  … interesting to think that Andrew Carnegie would need to be defined.

With the prospect of a new year ahead, the last blog of 2010, will celebrate the 100th anniversary one of the loveliest buildings on campus.  Now known as the Carnegie Guest House, it was dedicated on September 10, 1910 as the Carnegie Library.Interior of Carnegie Library from Cornelia Shaw scrapbookThe name comes from Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century Bill Gates – who took some of the monies made by his companies and helped build libraries across the nation. Most were public libraries but a number of colleges, including Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, received funding as well.

via The Davidson College Archives & Special Collections blog — Around the D.

historical preservation, Atlanta, memories:  The golden grandeur of the Fox Theatre is not diminished one bit in knowing that it is plaster, aluminum and paint!

While they appear to be made from exquisite metals, most of the ornate decor in the Fox Theatre is actually plaster. The Restoration Department identifies damaged or worn pieces and recreates each piece using a historic mold.

Once the plaster has been poured, set, and hardened, a fine, adhesive glue called “size” is applied. The plaster and size will sit untouched for 8-12 hours until it achieves a high level of stickiness.

The artisans then gild the plaster pieces using a paintbrush and extremely thin sheets of aluminum leaf or imitation gold leaf, also known as Dutch metal. The process is repeated until the plaster is concealed.

After the metal has been applied, a piece of cheese cloth is used to burnish or smooth out the creases. Finally, the aluminum is treated with orange shellac and a burnt umber glaze to give the appearance of gold. The imitation gold leaf is treated with a burnt umber glaze to deepen the appearance and add age.

via The Fox Theatre, While they appear to be made from exquisite….

random:  Don’t you just wonder who buys theses things?

Now, Harlan Ellison, a self-identified blue-collar fantasist who has written over 1,000 short stories, screenplays, essays, and criticisms, has listed his Remington noiseless portable for $40,000. Ellison penned “I, Robot,” “Soldier,” which James Cameron drew from for “The Terminator” and “The Outer Limits,” to name just a few. Speakeasy spent some time on the phone with Ellison, who dominated the conversation with anecdotes and allusions of times past.


No it’s all tied up in the fact that I’m 76 and I’m very ill and like a sage old dog I can smell when certain signs are there. We are trapped in a medical eddy, this mad meat house of medicine where we cannot get the help we need. I’m not a bag lady, I live in a particularly good house that I’ve been living in since 1966, but we don’t have anywhere near the chance of getting Marcus Welby to fix my problems. As a consequence we have to get some money and as time goes by you get more and more famous and less and less wealthy. I literally have to start eating my past and turning into the actually dollar all of the artifacts that have made me who I am. I am eating my past.

via Would You Pay $40,000 For An Antique Typewriter? – Speakeasy – WSJ.

technology, trends, stocks, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter: So if Walt Mossberg is right, I should be buying Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

It has been a big year in personal technology, from the debut and early success of Apple’s iPad, to the rise and continuous improvement of Google’s Android smart phone platform, to the continued surge in social services led by Facebook and Twitter.

via Walt Mossberg’s What’s In Store for Technology in 2011 | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD.

Apple, technology:

If patents are to be believed, Apple is working on the creation of the world’s first glasses-free 3D display that would produce holographic images using a screen made up of “pixel-sized domes” that would be read differently by the human eye depending on where they’re viewing from.

via Is Apple Planning A Holographic 3D TV? – Techland –

New Year’s Resolutions, me: #1 – Get organized.


12.29.2010 … slipped away … but I did use up our FSA … and by the way Christmas 2010 was officially NOT a snow day in Charlotte, NC.

oral history, media, official records, Charlotte,  headlines: How often do official records and oral history differ?  Everyone I know will remember Christmas 2010 as a white Christmas.  Sounds very Grinchy to me!

John Tomko, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says the official snow depth reading is taken at 7 a.m. Charlotte had no snow at 7 a.m., so according to weather service in Greer, S.C., Charlotte had no snow on Christmas. And the official records in Greer, S.C., will state that Charlotte’s last White Christmas was in 1947.

via Musta been a Grinch who stole our White Christmas –

college, grade inflation:  It’s happening in high schools, too.  And by the way, I have no idea what “Zen koan” means.

It could be a Zen koan: if everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?

The answer: Not what it should, says Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “An A should mean outstanding work; it should not be the default grade,” Mr. Perrin said. “If everyone gets an A for adequate completion of tasks, it cripples our ability to recognize exemplary scholarship.”

As part of the university’s long effort to clarify what grades really mean, Mr. Perrin now leads a committee that is working with the registrar on plans to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts. In addition, they expect to post further statistics providing context online and give instructors data on how their grading compares with their colleagues’.

“It’s going to be modest and nowhere near enough to correct the problems,” Mr. Perrin said. “But it’s our judgment that it’s the best we can do now.”

via Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation –

media, social change, Mozambique, Africa:  Interesting … I wonder how I would feel if it was moving the people of Mozambique toward revolution?

But while many publishers would be satisfied with creating a popular, free, quality newspaper, for founder Erik Charas that’s just the beginning: the 36-year-old homegrown entrepreneur believes his paper can be an instrument of social change, one that will help lift the country out of poverty and end its dependence on aid. “We didn’t start a newspaper to become a great newspaper,” he says. “We started a newspaper to achieve transformation in the country, to push the issue of access to information and ultimately … to engineer or create ambition in Mozambicans.”

Leaving coverage of high-level politics to other papers, Verdade focuses on the issues that affect those on Maputo’s fringes: bread subsidies, electricity prices, crime in the slums and HIV/AIDS. “I’ve never bought a paper. I’ve never had the opportunity,” says Enia Tembe, 29, a washroom attendant in a Maputo shopping mall who earns about $70 a month. “Verdade helps us to see what’s going on.”

via Mozambique: How One Newspaper Wants to Transform a Nation – TIME.

Great Recession, economics, college: Good question?

How have the financial crisis and recession affected the way economics is taught? How should economic instruction change?

via Economics: How has the crisis changed the teaching of economics?.

lists, movies:  I just keep these so I can see them on video. 🙂 The Best Movie Lists of 2010 – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Jane Austen, winter, historySnow Sports and Winter Transportation in the Regency Era « Jane Austen’s World.

Christmas, gingerbread, architecture, Frank Llyod Wright:

If It’s Hip, It’s Here: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water In Gingerbread for 2010!.

words:  Vuvuzela, of course!  Words of the Year 2010 – Interactive Graphic –

RIP, movies:  Rest in peace, Liesl.  Agatha was the model for Liesl in the Sound of Music. Agathe von Trapp Dies at 97 – Eldest of Trapp Singers –

blogs:  Kinda’ interesting … The Period Periodical.

NYC, trends:  Maybe too cheap for me … but I know kids who have done the Couchsurfing thing … and it scares me … like Craig’s list … My $100 Weekend in New York: Where the Money Went –


12.28.2010 … great breakfast with Maxwell and Len Al (we did solve the problems of the world :) ) … then off to Cashiers to leave Molly with a camp friend for New Year’s and a 30 minute cup of soup with Lisa … and now safely home … great day in my opinion …

The Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor:

In an amusing and astute post on his legal blog, Mike Sacks said the two justices had become “their sides’ enforcers.”

The seven opinions about decisions not to hear cases support this theory. Justice Sotomayor wrote or joined all four from the liberal justices, and Justice Alito did the same for the ones from the conservative side.

“Appearing rough around the edges, they send clear, aggressive messages, often on behalf of their comrades, but sometimes alone on principle,” Mr. Sacks wrote.

By contrast, he added, Chief Justice Roberts and the court’s newest member, Justice Elena Kagan, are all polish and charm. They wrote none of the seven decisions and joined one each. At arguments, their questions are wry and sly.

They are, Mr. Sacks wrote, “suave assassins, devastating advocates without compromising their gentility.”

via Sotomayor Guides Supreme Court’s Liberal Wing –

faith:  I was always a J …. another thing to work on …

When we are free from the need to judge or condemn, we can become safe places for people to meet in vulnerability and take down the walls that separate them. Being deeply rooted in the love of God, we cannot help but invite people to love one another. When people realise that we have no hidden agendas or unspoken intentions, that we are not trying to gain any profit for ourselves, and that our only desire is for peace and reconciliation, they may find the inner freedom and courage to leave their guns at the door and enter into conversation with their enemies.

via December 28, 2010 – Being Safe Places for Others.


12.27.10 … Mom thinks she no longer can figure out technology … I just spent 7, yes 7, hours trying to set her new tv up to her old TiVo … Now I will have GNO with my family girl friends. “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” …

random, LOL:

As many Americans were spending Christmas night with their families, Olek, a New York based artist was near Wall Street, freezing her fingers to the bone while outfitting the famous “Charging Bull” into a giant knitted cozy.

via A knitted cozy for “Charging Bull” and a warm new year wish – Dec. 27, 2010.

iPad, trends, 2010:

The iPad and the rise of the tablets

via The top 10 tech trends of 2010 –

Great Recession:  Some good news …

Shoppers spent more money this holiday season than even before the recession, according to preliminary retail data released on Monday.

via Holiday Sales Return to Prerecession Level –


12.26.2010 … Small world … Visited Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Atlanta to see our minister for a year in Chicago, Marthame Sanders, and ran into Tom and Ann Cousins (Lillian’s parents) … You never know who you’ll see! Like I said, small world.

movies:  Do you go to a movie on christmas Day or during the holidays?  Any recommendations? The Best Movie Lists of 2010 – Speakeasy – WSJ.

After the success of Inception and Avatar and the relative failure of movies like The A-Team or Sex and the City 2, Hollywood studios are having a revelation. In a world where people must pay $12 for a movie, they want to pay to see movies that are good.

“I believe there is a long-term danger to moviegoing if familiarity becomes too pervasive in the films we make,” said Chris Meladandri, the founder of Illumination. “The industry has a responsibility to its audience and to itself to make films that allow people to have a sense of discovery in the cinema.”

Sounds promising. Don’t forget that these people who are going to give you that sense of discovery also made Marmaduke, so there may not quite be a golden age of cinema on the horizon. But at least they’re getting on the right track.

via Hollywood Realizes People Don’t Like Bad Movies – Culture – GOOD.

followup, Atlanta, Christmas:

Once the kids came running into their parents rooms early in the morning, they were ready to do whatever they could to stir them awake so that they can head for the Christmas tree and start tearing up the beautiful Christmas wrapping and find out what Santa did bring them for this greatest time of year of joy, smiles and reflections and more.  Speaking of more, the Atlanta area did get much more than it bargained for on this Christmas day, Saturday, December 25, 2010.  The last time that Christmas Day became a white event in Atlanta was nearly 130 years before, in 1881.

via Atlanta receives an added gift on Christmas Day 2010 – Atlanta event photography |



12.25.2010 … Joy to the World! … Snow in Atlanta … New wrinkle … Electricity off in Brookhaven … Adds to the Peace thing …

Christmas: Yuletide: Christmas around the world | The Economist.

quotes, 2010:  Interesting perspective … but Jon Stewart usually is interesting …

“Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear — often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

“And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile-long 30-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. … And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s OK — you go and then I’ll go.” — Jon Stewart, on the National Mall, Oct. 30 (quote starts in video at 8:45 mark).

via Year in Review: 13 Most Memorable Political Quotes of 2010.

pop ups, restaurants, green: Pop-Up Restaurants Popping Up All Over : TreeHugger.

It makes sense that the rise of pop-up restaurants has coincided with the decline of economy—the smaller investment, use of social media, and potential for a huge customer base overnight considerably reduces the risk in such dismal financial times. Treehugger reports today about a newer aspect of the pop-up trend, highlighting spots that are constructed using reclaimed, borrowed, or already existing building materials. Examples are all over the globe, using everything from old shipping containers to leftover scaffolding. The post quotes an interview from DeZeen with the architect of Studio East Dining in London:

via Pop-up Eateries Implement Sustainable Design – Environment – GOOD.

graphics, stats: presentation is very interesting.

YouTube – Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four.



12.24.2010 … But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

holidays, Christmas Eve, FPC, carols:  One of may favorite things at Christmas is the Christmas service where everyone walks out with a lighted candle singing …

Silent night, holy night!

All is calm, all is bright.

Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

Holy infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

…Sleep in heavenly peace.


kids, college:  This one is from last year but good for a laugh …

For nature lovers, this season has brought the appearance of a special species, homo studentus universitatus, a.k.a. the college student on break.

via Kids home on college break: Homo studentus universitatus season is winding to a close – Chicago Tribune.

automobiles, green, marketing, Tennessee:  Cracker Barrel is being pretty smart with this one.

The “old country store” embraces the new. Cracker Barrel is going to install electric vehicle charging stations at 24 of its restaurants along three Tennessee freeways. Twelve of them will be Blink chargers that can get a Chevy Volt from dead to 80 percent in 20 minutes.

Tennessee, you may recall, is part of the EV Project, a public-private partnership that’s working to build an electric car charging infrastructure in six states (the others are California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Arizona). Progress!

via Tennessee Will Get Electric Car Chargers at Cracker Barrel Restaurants – Transportation – GOOD.

health, happiness:  Interesting

The Harvard Study of Adult Development, begun in 1937, has been following the lives of 268 men, from college to death, to learn what makes for a good life.Dr. George Vaillant, a professor at Harvard Medical School, has been the director of the study for 42 years. In this excellent short video from The Atlantic, he discusses lessons he learned about fame, ambition, and happiness along the way. In the end, his expansive empirical studies confirmed what John Lennon told us a few decades ago:”The job isn’t conforming, it isn’t keeping up with the Jones’. It is playing and working and loving. And loving is probably the most important. Happiness is love. Full stop.”But it’s great to hear it from a doctor.

via The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness – GOOD Blog – GOOD.


12.23.24 … why I thought today was a good day to pay taxes, pet license fees, etc., I do not know … Merry Christmas!

food, 1970s:  So very 70s, but I do love them …  French-Inspired Party: Crepes for Christmas : Holidays and Parties : Food Network.

cookbooks, holidays, graphics:  From Linda Hoopes … A fun holiday cookbook and tutorial on how graphics can be used to explain things. Amazing holiday recipes from around the world | Happy holidays 2010 from XPLANE – Page 3.

calendar, Christmas, Christmas Eve:  I might just put this on my calendar … first at 8 at FPC then on the tv …

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark will be featured in the holiday broadcast, “A Christmas for Everyone: A Service of Lessons and Carols,” which will air nationwide Dec. 24 at 11:35 PM ET on CBS.

via Victoria Clark Will Be Featured in CBS’ “A Christmas for Everyone” –


12.22.2010 … last day to ship … but 3 more days to shop … Merry Shopping, I mean Merry Christmas!

Christmas, facebook: Enjoy!   Social Network Christmas | Igniter Media.

shopping, travel, superlatives, Houston:  Never been to Houston, don’t plan to go unless for free or a special person … so why do they have the “best” shopping?


Forbes used a formula that took into account each city’s number of retail locations, shopping centers and sales tax to compute the rankings.

via Forbes Names Houston the Best Shopping City in America : What’s Right Now.



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December 2010