Archive for December, 2010



24
Dec
10

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.

23
Dec
10

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” – Playbill.com.

22
Dec
10

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 : InStyle.com What’s Right Now.

 

 

21
Dec
10

‎12.21.2010 clean up day from the feast … kinda nice that that part of Christmas is done … house is decorated and ready for the relaxing part … missed the eclipse … and humbug by the way!

holidays:  Sometimes it is just fun to say HUMBUG!

Humbug Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy to allow people let off some steam before Christmas kicks in. Their instructions say you’re allowed 12 free humbugs on December 21st. Today’s the day to curse all things Christmas – overpriced toys, endless lines at the post office, and, of course, the havoc-wreaking snow across much of the country. How else will you celebrate?

via Step Aside, Scrooge: Celebrate National Humbug Day on Dec. 21 – TIME NewsFeed.

nature, eclipse: Glad I didn’t set my alarm and get up … Clouds spoiled the eclipse; here’s what we missed  | DavidsonNews.net.  And a little more info … Lunar eclipses | Need to Know.

20
Dec
10

12.20.2010 Christmas Eve … Not on Christmas Eve … Dinner

nature, astronomy:

This year’s winter solstice — an event that will occur next Tuesday — will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn’t been seen in 456 years.

The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun.

“It’s a ritual of transformation from darkness into light,” says Nicole Cooper, a high priestess at Toronto’s Wiccan Church of Canada. “It’s the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation.

via Solstice-eclipse overlap first in 456 years.

history:  I think I will tire of this sesquicentennial. Gone With the Myths – NYTimes.com.

kith/kin, banking, ethics, BofA, Charlotte, UNC:  Charles Bowman quoted in the paper … one of our own.

Q. Can you describe an ethical dilemma you’ve faced at work?

Charles Bowman, Bank of America: Part of my job is to help people work through things like conflicts of interest. There are things that are clearly black and white: You can’t take bribes, you can’t act illegally. But I think the toughest ones are, how do you deal in the shades of gray where people are making very rational decisions but it may not be as clear-cut as an illegal activity?

***

Q. Can you give us an example?

Bowman: One example is probably gifting or perceptions of influence – will it be perceived as giving favor to a customer?

Another example is where an institution may be representing both sides of a transaction. You may have two customers coming at a transaction from different perspectives and you’ve got an obligation to try to represent their interests. In some cases you might take yourself out of one side of the transaction. Clearly you don’t represent the buyer and the seller, or you try not to.

via Bankers and ethics: Where do we go now? – CharlotteObserver.com.

too little-too late: Panthers get a 2nd win, boosting Fox’s record – CharlotteObserver.com.

19
Dec
10

12.19.2010 … waiting … isn’t that what advent’s all about … but today I am am waiting for the last child … Jack arrives on the redeye tomorrow at 5:30 am!!clean, clean, clean …

The Supreme Court: Business Finds Receptive Ear in Roberts Court – NYTimes.com.

gLee, high school, Atlanta:

The excitement builds in a cavernous classroom at Marist High School after the school’s elite chamber choir sings a new song, and it’s pitch-perfect.

“Not bad for only the second time seeing this piece,” Sharon Coheley, the school chorus director, says with a smile.

Marist may be well-known as a sports powerhouse, but the private Catholic school is also a singing sensation. The school features 11 choral ensembles, including the Girl’s Trio, the Men’s Quartet and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The list goes on, with singers belting out not only the classics but pop song mash-ups, too.

Here and everywhere, school chorus directors are seeing a surge of interest in singing, and they credit shows such as “Glee,” a TV musical comedy about high school misfits who perform high-energy, witty and stylized numbers, and the buzzy show “The Sing-Off,” featuring a cappella groups, for sparking the attraction.

In high school culture, it has led to a phenomenon known as “The Glee Effect,” blurring the line between kids who play sports and those who sing by helping erode negative stereotypes and getting kids thinking about trying something new.

via At high schools, a ‘Glee’ effect  | ajc.com.

pop ups:  lost cultural cache before I get to see a really unique one … 😦

Once heralded as an innovative strategy to draw in holiday shoppers, the concept of the temporary store, or “pop-up,” has quickly become as prevalent as the average corner bodega. Now pop-up stores are more like The Boy Who Cried Wolf: since they appear so often, they’ve lost their cultural caché and are as expected as any other marketing ploy.

via How the USPS Can Rebrand Itself: Clever Pop Up Shops | Co.Design.

Business Finds Receptive Ear in Roberts Court – NYTimes.com.

The excitement builds in a cavernous classroom at Marist High School after the school’s elite chamber choir sings a new song, and it’s pitch-perfect.

Enlarge photo

Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com Brendan Hickey (from left), Branton Wandera, Clark Helman and Braden Finch practice with Marist’s chamber group. Half of the chamber choir members are school athletes.

Enlarge photo

Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com Marist High School’s chamber music group does warm-up exercises at the start of practice. The chamber has the school’s best singers and is increasingly competitive in what some call “The ‘Glee’ effect.”

Enlarge photo

Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com Kelly Garcia and Shelby Curren follow the direction of Marist chorus director Sharon Coheley. Tweens and teens aren’t the only ones beginning to make a joyful noise.

More Atlanta area news »

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2 dead in Atlanta house fire

“Not bad for only the second time seeing this piece,” Sharon Coheley, the school chorus director, says with a smile.

Marist may be well-known as a sports powerhouse, but the private Catholic school is also a singing sensation. The school features 11 choral ensembles, including the Girl’s Trio, the Men’s Quartet and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The list goes on, with singers belting out not only the classics but pop song mash-ups, too.

Here and everywhere, school chorus directors are seeing a surge of interest in singing, and they credit shows such as “Glee,” a TV musical comedy about high school misfits who perform high-energy, witty and stylized numbers, and the buzzy show “The Sing-Off,” featuring a cappella groups, for sparking the attraction.

In high school culture, it has led to a phenomenon known as “The Glee Effect,” blurring the line between kids who play sports and those who sing by helping erode negative stereotypes and getting kids thinking about trying something new.

via At high schools, a ‘Glee’ effect  | ajc.com.

Once heralded as an innovative strategy to draw in holiday shoppers, the concept of the temporary store, or “pop-up,” has quickly become as prevalent as the average corner bodega. Now pop-up stores are more like The Boy Who Cried Wolf: since they appear so often, they’ve lost their cultural caché and are as expected as any other marketing ploy.

via How the USPS Can Rebrand Itself: Clever Pop Up Shops | Co.Design.

18
Dec
10

12.18.2010 … tree is in and up … mantle is decorated … groceries bought for the big feast on Monday …

art, dance, ballet, history:

In her new book Apollo’s Angels, historian Jennifer Homans — a former professional ballet dancer herself — traces ballet’s evolution over the past 400 years, and examines how changes in ballet parallel changing ideas about class structure, gender, costume, the ideal body and what the body can physically do. The book chronicles ballet’s transition from the aristocratic courtier world in Europe through its place as a professional discipline in the Imperial Court of Russia, and finally as a technique performed on stages throughout the world.

Apollo’s Angels

Ballet’s origins, Homans explains, grew out of the Renaissance court cultures of Italy and France. Dancers would perform at the royal courts — and then invite the audience members to participate.

“It was a dance that was done by courtiers and kings and princes at court in social situations,” she says. “It was not a theatrical art set off from social life.”

The first ballet dancers did not wear tutus or dance in satin shoes, but they did formalize the footwork patterns — known as first, second, third, fourth and fifth position — that are still used today.

“Louis XIV realized that if his art form was going to be disseminated throughout his realm and even to other European countries, he would have to find a way to write it down,” Homans explains. “So he asked [choreographer] Pierre Beauchamp to write some these positions. The positions themselves are the grammars of ballet, they’re the ABC’s, the classical building blocks of ballet.”

via The Tutu’s Tale: A Cultural History Of Ballet’s ‘Angels’ : NPR.

faith, theology:  I like this concept of God and time.

The Fullness of timeJesus came in the fullness of time. He will come again in the fullness of time. Wherever Jesus, the Christ, is the time is brought to its fullness.We often experience our time as empty. We hope that tomorrow, next week, next month or next year the real things will happen. But sometimes we experience the fullness of time. That is when it seems that time stands still, that past, present, and future become one; that everything is present where we are; and that God, we, and all that is have come together in total unity. This is the experience of God’s time. “When the completion of the time came [that is: in the fullness of time], God sent his Son, born of a woman” Galatians 4:4, and in the fullness of time God will “bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth” Ephesians 1:10. It is in the fullness of time that we meet God.

via December 18, 2010 – The Fullness of time.

bookstores, books, ebooks, paradigm shift:  We still go to the movie theater!

This past year, Riggio fought off a hostile attempt to take over the Barnes & Noble board, and along with it, his chairmanship. He won’t comment on the potential sale of Barnes & Noble, though a decision is expected early next year. Still, he says this is an exciting time to be in the business, and he is anything but downbeat about his company’s future.

“It’s pretty heady times,” he says, “and we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But if you want to count up the people who will have a say in how it will turn out, put us in as one of them.”

And what about the independents? Will they just become precious reminders of a time when most people read books made of paper? Not a chance, says Elaine Petrocelli. All bookstore owners know that the digital future is now. It’s up to them to work it in a way that keeps their doors open and their shelves filled with actual books.

“I don’t think we’re going to become precious,” she says. “I think we’re going to be a vital part of the future, but we’re going to have keep growing and changing.”

via End Of Days For Bookstores? Not If They Can Help It : NPR.

books, cookbooks, apps, ebooks: I will try them.  Any suggestions?

It’s hard to imagine how the Web could replicate a cookbook’s well-organized recipes or enticing illustrations — and, of course, a book doesn’t freeze or short out after a cooking accident. And cookbooks make the perfect gift for the foodie on anyone’s list, which is why they’re a mainstay of publishing at this time of year.

But though the traditional cookbook is alive and well, a number of tech-savvy cooks believe that e-books and iPad apps are a boon for the industry — and could provide cooks with more creative and convenient ways to find the right recipes.

via App-etizing: Cookbooks And Recipes Go Mobile : NPR.

music, holidays, Christmas:

I genuinely had no idea that so many people had recorded holiday albums over the years, until I decided to create my own: “A Christmas Cornucopia.” I knew the classic songs by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin etc., but (naive as it might sound) I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as a holiday music chart in Billboard.

via Annie Lennox on the Secret History of Christmas Songs – Speakeasy – WSJ.

privacy, technology:

Tech companies file patents on blue-sky concepts all the time, and it isn’t clear whether Apple will follow through on these ideas. If it did, it would be an evolution for Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has spoken out against intrusive tracking. At a tech conference in June, he complained about apps “that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up.”

via IPhone and Android Apps Breach Privacy – WSJ.com.

Christmas, memories, childhood, retailing:  I loved the FAO Schwwatz catalog … and the Sear’s Toy Catalog!

As a child the holidays started at our house—at least in my imagination—not in December but in November. That’s when the FAO Schwarz toy catalog arrived. It’s hard now, in this age when everything, at least virtually everything related to commerce and consumption, is only a click or two away to conceive of a time when one’s dreams were funneled through the United States Postal Service.

The toy store’s Christmas catalog constituted the bible of childhood aspiration, a work of merchandising art no less masterful than a Beethoven symphony, culminating in the capitalistic equivalent of the “Ode to Joy” where you’d run to your parents and start lobbying for Santa to bring the singular toy that would spell the difference between eternal happiness and crushing disappointment.

There was no manipulation involved, either on your part or that of FAO Schwarz for bringing you to this level of arousal. Your pleading with your parents was merely informational; you just wanted to make it clear that the ball was now in their court (of course you’d be discovering other things you had to have in the days ahead, as you spent more time with the catalog). While you would be going through the motions of living a normal life over the remaining weeks until Christmas—even striving to get good grades and not beat up your kid brothers—you were actually rather miserable at the prospect that Christmas morning might dawn without Mr. Machine or a 15-piece disguise kit sitting under the tree.

via Catalog of Dreams – WSJ.com.

Christmas, childhood, Santa Claus:  Yes, virginia?

At one point he mattered. He fit the needs of the society he was servicing, with his rosy red cheeks and eyes a-twinkling. A role model in a bygone age, his existence centered on making simple toys and giving them away. He required nothing else from life—not fortune, nor a platform to pontificate, politicize or self-publish. His appearance was consistent over decades, as was the acceptance he received. He was a throwback for generations of men, women and children who valued a simpler time. Today, I would argue, Santa is no longer suitable.

For starters, Mr. Claus is painfully simple. Kids have become urbane consumers, and in many ways they are treated like adults by parents and society alike. The result is a decline in the age of the unbeliever, affecting everything from Saint Nick to the Tooth Fairy to the imaginary friend. We now have an awkward situation in which the jolly old man is more child than the child itself.

Secondly, Mr. Claus is not cool. Because they have been marketed to like teenagers, young children are acting more and more like teenagers (count the number of 6-year-olds watching Hannah Montana), so a cheerful old man dressed in a red suit and surrounded by elves is no longer agreeable.

Thirdly, Mr. Claus is obese. I know that his weight has been one of his more charming attributes, with his belly shaking with laughter and his round posterior squeezing through the fireplace. But obesity is a problem in this country. Santa’s girth presents an image problem for the market-makers in pop culture and those government officials responsible for engineering our behavior.

Fourth, Mr. Claus is not proficient in the employment and/or deployment of technology. This is probably his most glaring weakness, as everything we do centers around Internet connectivity, wireless access, social networking and endless communication without a word spoken. Goodness gracious, the man doesn’t even have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. How he can he update us on what he is wearing or on how Rudolph is feeling?

via Brian Campbell: Time for Santa 2.0 – WSJ.com.

tv, gLee:  Katie Couric?  Well, it will be interesting.

Gleek alert! CBS News anchor Katie Couric will be featured in the upcoming “Super Bowl” episode on the television series “Glee.”

Although she couldn’t give details on the episode or her character, Couric did talk about her experience filming with the likes of Matthew Morrison and other members of the cast.

“I just had so much fun. I joked with some press that I would be doing a Busby Berkeley-like number, but it was just that, a joke. I was being facetious,” Couric said.

As Fox show’s eleventh episode of the second season, the episode will feature Couric in some capacity — the newscaster would neither confirm nor deny if she was dancing and/or singing.

via How Did Katie Couric Wind Up On ‘Glee’? – Speakeasy – WSJ.

 




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