Archive for April, 2011

30
Apr
11

4.30.2011 … the day after … the dress … the hats … the kiss … the second kiss … made for a fun day on Friday …

Royal Wedding, the dress, Embroidering Royalty, history:  Interesting history …

If clothes make the man … consider Henry VIII. In one famous image of him he’s absolutely encrusted in gold, and jewels. In Henry’s day, you wore your wealth. It was embroidered onto your doublet … pounds and pounds of it, if you were king – by law, the only man in England allowed to wear this much finery.

Lucy Worsley, chief curator for England’s historic royal palaces, showed Teichner Hampton Court Palace, one of Henry’s sixty (sixty!) palaces. “He had loads of palaces,” Worlsey said.

“He always looked forward to coming here, ’cause this is the place that he came for hunting, holidays and honeymoons. It was a pleasure palace,” she said.

Southwest of London along the River Thames, Hampton Court is where Henry VIII plotted his divorces and multiple remarriages – and where, according to a letter written at the time, he himself (yes, Henry VIII) may have taken up embroidery.

“The way it’s written, you could read it as though he was actually doing the embroidery,” said Dr. Susan Kay-Williams.

via Embroidering royalty – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

Royal Wedding, hats:  And the winner is ...

From Princess Beatrice’s giant sculpted bow, to Victoria Beckham’s spiky alien antenna, the royal wedding featured headwear so wacky it would put Lady Gaga to shame.

via Mad Hatters: 13 Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hats – Photo Essays – TIME.

Royal Wedding, LOLKeep Calm, Harry is Still Single Posters at AllPosters.com.


Zombies: So if you are tired of the wedding … a little more on zombies …

The flesh-hungry undead, often in the form of ghouls and vampires, have been a fixture of world mythology dating at least since The Epic of Gilgamesh,[2] in which the goddess Ishtar promises:I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,and will let the dead go up to eat the living!And the dead will outnumber the living![2]One Thousand and One Nights is another early piece of literature to reference ghouls. A prime example is the story “The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib” from Nights vol. 6, in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous ghouls, enslaves them, and converts them to Islam.[3]Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, while not a zombie novel proper, prefigures many 20th century ideas about zombies in that the resurrection of the dead is portrayed as a scientific process rather than a mystical one, and that the resurrected dead are degraded and more violent than their living selves. Frankenstein, published in 1818, has its roots in European folklore,[4] whose tales of vengeful dead also informed the evolution of the modern conception of vampires as well as zombies. Later notable 19th century stories about the avenging undead included Ambrose Bierces “The Death of Halpin Frayser”, and various Gothic Romanticism tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Though their works couldnt be properly considered zombie fiction, the supernatural tales of Bierce and Poe would prove influential on later undead-themed writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, by Lovecrafts own admission.[5]

via Zombies in popular culture.

Apps, Roadify:

It is easy to see how Roadify could be useful. But it is the kind of service that gets better as more people sign up, and it has not reached critical mass. It is not uncommon to click on, say, the E train at Queens Plaza, only to find an update saying the station is crowded — from six hours earlier. There is also some development work to be done: More than 20 bus lines have yet to be entered into the database, meaning that if you live in many parts of Queens you’re out of luck. And the subway information is arranged by line, not by station. Trying to decide which train to take from Times Square? You have to check each line individually. Roadify is also largely nonfunctional underground, a serious shortcoming for something you want to use on the subway.

via Roadify Turns to Commuters for News on the Commute – NYTimes.com.

fashion, clothing, preppy clothing, Tommy Hilfiger, pop-ups:  Ok, the only thing I want at ths pop-up is the wind vane … look closely!  I never realized that my favorite 4 footed friend was “preppy”.

Prep Squad – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, popular culture: 🙂

Sometimes I feel like everything I know about life I learned by reading Jane Austen. The funny thing is, I never wanted to read her in the first place. I was 26, a pompous young graduate student who preferred to associate himself with the big, masculine modernist heroes: James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov. Jane Austen? She was for girls. But when I had to read her for a course, I found out what an idiot I had been. Not just about her, I mean, but about everything. In other words, how much I had to learn about life. So I let her teach me. In A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, I talk about the lessons I learned and how I learned them.

via Bill Deresiewicz: 12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Jane Austen (PHOTOS).

Great Recession:  Great Recession or Great Depression II?

The Two-Track Recovery (or ‘Depression’?)

By CATHERINE RAMPELL

Despite what the gross domestic product report released Thursday shows, nearly a third of Americans believe the country is in a depression, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, conducted April 20-23, found that 29 percent of Americans thought the economy was in a depression, and an additional 26 percent thought it was in a recession.

The recession technically ended nearly two years ago, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Some of the disconnect between expert and popular views may be due to semantics. To economists, the words “recession” and “expansion” refer to a change in economic activity — that is, which direction is the economy moving in. But most laypeople who hear these terms probably think of the level of economic activity — that is, does the economy feel healthy or not.

via The Two-Track Recovery (or ‘Depression’?) – NYTimes.com.

29
Apr
11

‎4.29.2011 … Cary gets the award for the best stateside Royal Wedding partyer. Ask her what s

‎Royal Wedding:  … to awaken at 4 or to dvr … that is the question …. well I dvr’d and began watching a little after 6 … It appears I missed the entrance …

so what was your favorite … the dress , the carriages, the hats, the homily,  the balcony kiss, the second balcony kiss?

Royal Wedding copycats, shanzhai (山寨) culture, China:

The British aren’t the only ones who can put on a royal wedding.

On April 18, a Chinese couple in Nanjing organized a regal celebration for themselves complete with British-like ceremonial garb (including the famous Beefeater-style hats), a horse-drawn carriage for the procession and an archway of swords, according to the Associated Press. Total price: more than 50,000 yuan (US$7,600).

That’s a bargain, of course, compared to the estimated cost of the real royal wedding on Friday—the range is broad and starts at 20 million pounds (US$33 million)– of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Of course, that figure includes the costs of the wedding itself, as well as the price of security and street cleaning. And the couple’s horse-drawn carriage will have five horses; the Chinese couple’s carriage in Nanjing had just one.

The ceremony was that latest manifestation of China’s shanzhai (山寨) culture – a tradition of deliberately cheap fakery that has produced comically bad knock-offs of everything from iPhones to television shows, even pandas.

As with most things shanhzai, the Chinese wedding didn’t go off smoothly. The wedding parade of 50 people, a dozen cars and the horse-drawn carriage hit a glitch, according to reports, when firecrackers – a traditional element of any Chinese celebration – went off prematurely. The horse got rattled and handlers had to step in to calm it down.

via Latest China Knock-off: The Royal Wedding – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

TED, favorites:  I love the TED videos … do you have a favorite?

Robotics, pianos, brains — these are the lectures TEDsters love most. Which ones have you seen? And which have yet to touch you?

via Greatest Hits of TED Videos | Fast Company.

movies, horror/scary movies:  Well, it’s good to know that I don’t need a scary movie to feel alive …

This nerve-racking opening sequence of the Scream franchise, like many other iconic scary movie scenes, has the same physical effect on everyone who sees it. Your brain and body react as if you were the one answering the phone. The haunting images and sounds on screen signal the release of fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline and cortisol. As though you were running away from the masked murderer yourself, your heart rate and breathing speed up, your energy levels soar, and your senses sharpen.

The result: You literally feel more alive.

“Certain people tend to seek experiences that make them feel with all of their fibers,” says Lawrence Rubin, PhD, a psychologist in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Referred to as Big T (for thrill) personalities, these types value uncertainty, novelty, and curiosity when making decisions.

via Fear Factor: Why We Love Scary Movies – Emotional Health – Everyday Health.

movies, movie characters:  I must not like anxiety either … because I really don’t like movies with central characters who display anxiety.

Anxiety on the Silver Screen

Anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses can add tension, drama, and sometimes even laughs to films.

via Anxiety on the Silver Screen – EverydayHealth.com.

Charlotte, pollution, The Daily:  Well the iPad daily doesn’t allow me to “clip” … big negative.  But this is about Charlotte …. #10 in pollution!!

– WWW.THEDAILY.COM.

2010 Democratic national Convention, Dan Murrey, Davidson College, kudos:  Congratulations to Dr. Murrey on his new position … Davidson grad 🙂

Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Dan Murrey on Thursday was named executive director of the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee in preparation for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx made the appointment, and said the city is eager to make the most of the convention.

“We have done our homework and we’re now ready to get going. We are building a leadership team that will assure Charlotte, our region and the entire state of North Carolina make the most of this unprecedented opportunity,” Mayor Foxx said in an announcement on the official host committee site, charlottein2012.com.

Dr. Murrey is a former at-large Mecklenburg County Commissioner and surgeon at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, where he also serves as CEO. He also received a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In a press release Thursday he said: “I’m humbled and excited about the opportunity to show the rest of the world why we love living and working in this city, state and region.”

“My job is twofold: to work closely with the Democratic National Committee and our local partners to host a successful convention and to create an inclusive and interactive environment so all residents of our region have an opportunity to play host to visitors from around the world,” Dr. Murrey said.

via Dan Murrey to chair DNC 2012 host committee | DavidsonNews.net.

Civil War, history, statistics, technology:  Interesting … I am amazed half of Americans have any concept of states’ rights.  But read the article, the use of modern technology to go through data in fascinating.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center reports that nearly half of Americans identify states’ rights as the primary cause of the Civil War. This is a remarkable finding, because virtually all American textbooks and prominent historians emphasize slavery, as they have for decades. Even more striking, the poll shows young people put more stock in the states’ rights explanation than older people. The 38 percent of Americans who believe slavery was mainly to blame find themselves losing ground.

Of course, there’s no denying that states’ rights played an important role as the language of secession. But how might historians convey a more precise, comparative sense of the role slavery played in the states’ decision to secede? New computer-assisted techniques allow historians to draw clearer conclusions from immense amounts of data, including newspapers, public records and legislative proceedings. And few states left behind a better, more information-rich record of their secession debates than Virginia.

via The Causes of the Civil War, 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, follow-up:

Residents of Alabama, Mississippi and four other Southern states picked through their splintered communities Thursday as state and federal authorities mobilized to clean up and rebuild after scores of powerful tornadoes killed nearly 300 people in the most deadly storm cluster to hit the nation in 37 years.

The funnel clouds traveled as fast 60 miles per hour, destroying homes and property across six states over two days. Twisters blew apart churches in the small rural town of Smithville, Miss., flattened homes in the tidy suburbs of Birmingham, Ala., smashed poultry barns, uprooted power poles and flung cars wildly about.

The region was “hit and hit and hit again,” said Melissa McDonald of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

via Deadly Tornadoes Slam Alabama, South, Killing Hundreds – WSJ.com.

iPhone, marketing: White iPhone … finally!

“Finally” is the headline on Apple’s homepage today announcing the arrival of the white iPhone. It’s Apple poking fun at itself for a long, drawn-out techno failure, and indicates how it’s spun the affair into incredibly positive PR.

via The Great White iPhone: How Apple Spun A Tech Fail Into A PR Win | Fast Company.

Apps, Philadelphia: Philly, Philly … are you that corrupt?

Philadelphia residents have a new weapon for fighting municipal corruption: An iPhone app that lets them send photos and video of money-wasting city employees directly to the controller’s office.

via Philadelphia Launches Anti-Corruption iPhone App | Fast Company.

28
Apr
11

4.28.2011 … Prayers for those in the path of the Southern Storms of near-epic proportions … Charlotte was bypassed, again.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, natural disasters/acts of God, weather, prayers:  Why do we call natural disasters “acts of God?”  Prayers for the people impacted and for a quick clean up and recovery.

Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 247 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where 162 people perished, said Yasamie August, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

The storms are being compared to the “super outbreak” of tornadoes April 3 and 4, 1974, Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said Thursday. In that period, 148 tornadoes were reported in 13 states, and 330 people died. States affected were Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

via Southern storms: ‘I don’t know how anyone survived’ – CNN.com.

France, travel, recommendations:  Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I am keeping a list … keep the recs coming.  From today …

Harper Lee, bookshelf, biography, Southern literature:  Harper Lee was at Alabama at the same time as my mother … she was shy … everyone was “shocked” when her book came out and won the Pulitzer Prize.  It sounds like she was shocked, too!  It will be interesting to see why she has never published another novel.  I clipped about Ms. Lee yesterday, her 85th birthday, and a year ago.  She is a very interesting literary “character.”

After winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 debut novel, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee talked excitedly of her plans to carry on writing and become “the Jane Austen of south Alabama”. Yet she was never published again for reasons unknown.

Her reaction to the book’s success was “one of sheer numbness”, she said in her 1964 interview. “It was like being hit over the head and knocked cold,” she admitted.

“You see, I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird … I hoped for a little but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

Yet she also spoke of wanting to write a series of novels chronicling small-town life. Friends say she continues to work on her ageing typewriter, raising the possibility that there are books waiting to be published – perhaps after her death.

The biography will also throw light on Lee’s friendship with Capote, her childhood next door neighbour. The pair worked together on Capote’s 1966 ‘true crime’ book ‘In Cold Blood’, but fell out for reasons unexplained. It has been claimed that Lee was hurt by Capote’s failure to give her full credit for her research.

via Harper Lee to disclose why she stopped writing after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – Telegraph.

Royal Wedding, fashion, game-changers:  “But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.”  — So many of my friends who married after Princess Diana now laugh about their puffy sleeved wedding gowns!  I personally was saved from the fashion disaster in retrospect … but my dear bridesmaids were not … they had the big puffy sleeves!

WHEN Kate Middleton strides down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday, millions of Americans watching at home will be transfixed by her gown.

Mr. O’Neill, the creative director of Theia, a bridal house in Manhattan, expects that Ms. Middleton’s dress (or a much more affordable version of it) will be coveted by brides-to-be on this side of the Atlantic. So sure is he, in fact, that he has already designed, and plans to sell, a gown he thinks will emulate her choice. Slender and long-sleeved, its decorously scooped neckline encrusted with crystals and silver bullion thread, it will boast a five-foot train.

“We’re calling it the Kate,” Mr. O’Neill said. “It’s very precious, very regal and suited to a princess, if only in my head.”

Not every bridal designer is so farsighted — or so brashly confident. But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.

via Designers Wait to Copy Kate Middleton’s Dress – NYTimes.com.

Royal Wedding, Royal Family, monarchy, culture, media:  Will you watch …

Still, it got me thinking. The children singing are now in their late thirties and perhaps most of them now have children of an age to be in primary school. I wonder if any of them are singing wedding songs. I slightly doubt it. The Times reports that David Cameron’s invitation to Her Majesty’s subjects to arrange community street parties has met with a disappointing response, and it’s hard not to feel that pride in the monarchy, as an unquestioning habit of mind, is on the wane. In 1981, it was different: plenty of people were still alive who had been born in the reign of Queen Victoria; shillings and florins, left over from before decimalization, still circulated as legal tender. To read through British newspapers from the week before the 1981 Royal Wedding is to enter a more deferent era.

Compared to an event like the funeral of the Queen Mother—where all the pageantry is retrospective and everyone gets to wallow in a century’s worth of nostalgia—a wedding is risky. Weddings are all about the future and monarchies, let’s face it, are all about the past.

It’s estimated that nearly a third of the planet will be watching the wedding on Friday. This strikes me as a bit awful. I don’t know whether the viewers will be drawn by an old-fashioned atavistic fixation with tradition or from a new-fashioned fixation with celebrity and sensation, but either way it can’t be healthy. I shan’t be watching, or singing.

via News Desk: Don’t Let’s Watch the Royal Wedding : The New Yorker.

Royal Wedding, random, LOL, Facebook:  OK  …. I am Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton …  Listen out for my name … 🙂

In honor of the big wedding tomorrow, use your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Let’s do this! Post yours here. Then cut and paste it into your status.

Regards,

Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton

iPhone, marketing:  I am sure there is money in the why …

SAN FRANCISCO — You may not know it, but if you carry a smart phone in your pocket, you are probably doing unpaid work for Apple or Google — and helping them

As those two companies battle for dominance in mobile computing, they have increasingly been using their customers’ phones as sensors to collect data about nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Google and Apple use this data to improve the accuracy of everything on the phone that uses location. That includes maps and navigation services, but also advertising aimed at people in a particular spot — a potentially huge business that is just getting off the ground. In fact, the information has become so valuable that the companies have been willing to push the envelope on privacy to collect it.

via Location Data From Phones Is Valuable for Ads – NYTimes.com.

technology, RIP, typewriters, corrections:  Well Fox says not so fast …

Nostalgic newspaper reports around the globe lamented the death of the typewriter recently, as Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce announced its intentions to pull the plug on its Mumbai factory.

After decades of use and trillions of typed characters, the typewriter appeared to have written its own swan song.

Not so fast.

Despite the surge in popularity of PCs, and their smaller digital cousins the iPads, the typewriter is far from dead, said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec. So forget Godrej: Swintec seems to be the last typewriter maker in operation.

“Typewriters are alive and well,” Michael told FoxNews.com. Most big offices need a typewriter or two or three to do some special jobs — special forms, multipart forms. Some places need to have typewriters to do original forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, things like that.”

“These are things that need to be done,” Michael said. Swintec makes its own typewriters, though the company doesn’t manufacture in the United States.

“They’re made off-shore, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia,” Michael tod FoxNews.com. “But they all ultimately end up here in New Jersey.” And just like Godrej, which specialized in sales to government agencies, there’s an industry keeping Swintec’s production lines rolling: prisons.

via Don’t Believe the Type! World’s Last Typewriter Maker Alive and Well in NJ – FoxNews.com.

27
Apr
11

4.27.2011 … waiting for the midwestern storms to move east …

British Monarchy, Prince Charles, Prince William, journalism, media, tabloid news:  I enjoy the history and heraldry of the Royal Family, but it just seems “so yesterday” … tabloid news not real news.  Is their story really worthy of our major news outlets …

Prince William and Kate Middleton will exchange vows Friday in a ceremony expected to be watched by almost a third of the planet. But if the story that day will be of a prince and his bride, another will also be playing out behind the scenes: a tale of two kings.

William’s popularity is helping reinvent the monarchy here, with his marriage to a glamorous bride cementing the easy-mannered 28-year-old’s image as the perfect 21st-century king. Yet even as he becomes the single greatest key to ensuring the future of the House of Windsor, many here say William is in danger of overshadowing his far less popular father, Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne.

Streets in London were sealed off so that hundreds of troops from the city’s Wellington and Hyde Park Barracks could hold a dress rehearsal for the royal wedding on the procession route. (April 27)

How did William and Kate meet? Which princess married — and then divorced — an Olympic medalist? Whose wedding gown was adorned with 20,00 pearls? Test your knowledge!

At stake, royal watchers say, is the public standing of the British monarchy, which during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed virtually unwavering support. Yet despite a relatively successful campaign to improve Charles’s image, an Ipsos Mori poll last week showed a greater percentage calling for William to leapfrog Charles to the throne than at any point since the 1997 death of Charles’s ex-wife and William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Forty-six percent of respondents now say Charles should step aside.

via In Britain, Prince William threatens to eclipse his father, Prince Charles – The Washington Post.

Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton, fashion, icons:  She looks pretty good … but if you look back prior to the engagement, she looks like a beautiful commoner.  She’s going to have a little help now with the transformation into a fashion icon.

She’s not even a princess yet, but Kate Middleton, the future bride of Prince William, is already being held up around the world as a fashion plate. Designers are scampering to imitate the dresses she wears, and fashionistas debate the meaning of her latest hat. When it turned out that the ruffled silk blouse Middleton wore in her engagement photos was no longer being sold, the Whistles store obligingly brought the style back.

via Kate Middleton: The Fashions – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Twitter, parenting:  Favorite of the day … I hope i am not a lawnmower parent … helicopter parent at least sounds more glamorous.

Word Spy

lawnmower parent n. A parent who smooths his or her children’s paths through life by solving their problems for them. http://wspy.ws/lawnm

via (39) Twitter / Home.

law, ethics, politics, King & Spalding, Atlanta:  Sometimes politics and lawyering don’t mix.

This week, the law firm hired by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, withdrew from the case in the wake of criticism from gay-rights groups. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general and a highly regarded litigator, who was to be the lead counsel on the case, resigned from the firm, King & Spalding, in protest. King & Spalding issued a bland statement saying it was dropping the case because it hadn’t adequately vetted the contract. It looks more like a cave-in to pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and other groups that warned King & Spalding that it could have trouble recruiting and retaining lawyers if it persisted in defending DOMA, a job the firm took on after the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer be doing so itself.

Now, the activists can certainly demand whatever they want, and it’s easy to understand their chagrin. DOMA is a discriminatory piece of legislation, made even more problematic by its disrespect for laws enacted by the states: it prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages that are legal in the states in which they occurred.

But giving in to pressure to rid yourself of a controversial client is never a good idea in our system. It sets a bad precedent and carries an unfortunate whiff of McCarthyite groupthink. The Los Angeles Times had it right when it editorialized that it understood the outrage,

But the suggestion that it’s shameful for Clement or his firm to do so misunderstands the adversarial process. For one thing, with sharp-witted counsel on both sides making the strongest possible arguments, it is more likely that justice will be done. For another, a lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible.

Clement will take up the defense of DOMA at his new firm, Bancroft P.L.L.C., which presumably is prepared for the disapproval that might come its way, and won’t back out. Maybe gay-rights groups can now return to making the strongest possible affirmative case for marriage equality, instead of trying to put its opponents out of commission.

via News Desk: Why DOMA Deserves A Lawyer : The New Yorker.

First Presbyterian Church, Rev. Roland Purdue:  Easter joke …. Rev Purdue does like to hear his congregation laugh!

So our interim minister today related a story that he often sees people he kind of knows but isn’t sure, since he travels a lot between churches. After service one day , he sees a woman he thinks he knows, so he he approaches her and says ” You look like Helen Brown,” to which she replied ” And you don’t look so good in black either!”

culture, gender issues, economics, traditions, marriage:  Name changing seems to be an expensive tradition.

FORGET ABOUT cash-stuffed wedding envelopes. A Dutch study suggests a way for brides to pick up an extra half million dollars by doing nothing–specifically, by not changing their names. Women who kept their maiden names were judged to be more professional than married-name doppelgangers and proved more likely to win a job, according to the research. They also attracted higher pay.

If the study results have real-world implications—and more on some limitations of the research in a moment—then as this season’s brides ponder a name-change, they might consider not only their shifting sentiments but economic realities.

via Are Maiden Names Really Worth $500,000? – SmartMoney.com.

Harper Lee, good stories, Jon Meacham, quotes:

Jon Meacham author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship (2004) said in an interview about Harper Lee for the book Scout, Atticus & Boo:

“I was with Harper Lee once in Sewanee, Tennessee, a couple of years ago at an occasion where Winston Churchill’s daughter and Miss Lee were receiving honorary degrees from the University of the South. At one of the events, the recipient stands up and says how they got to be where they are, and when Harper Lee stood up, she simply looked at Churchill’s daughter, Mary Soames, and said, “I would like to thank Lady Soames for everything, because if her father had not done what he did, I wouldn’t have been able to write anything at all.” And then she sat down. It was one of the most remarkably gracious things I have ever seen.”

via The Character of an Author – Nelle Harper Lee | Authors Say the Darndest Things.

Harper Lee, birthdays, 4/26, favorite posts, Jon Meacham:

It’s Harper Lee’s 85th birthday. Everyone who has ever wondered What Would Atticus Do? should raise a glass and drink to Miss Lee tonight.

via Jon Meacham./Facebook

Google Doodle birthdays, 4/26, John James Audubon:  I like this one …

Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon!

Google Doodle

via Google Doodle: Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon! – TIME NewsFeed.

Donald Trump, politics, balders:

A threat to the fledgling presidential campaign of Donald Trump emerged today, as a group of activists charged that Mr. Trump is not eligible to hold the nation’s highest office because his hair does not originate from the U.S.

The group, who call themselves “Balders,” claim that the hair-like substance that crowns Mr. Trump’s head is from a foreign country, which would mean that the candidate is less than one hundred percent American.

“Time and time again, Donald Trump has refused to produce a certificate of authenticity for his hair,” said Leeann Selwyn, a leading Balder.  “This is tantamount to a comb-over of the truth.”

via Trump Dogged By Rumors His Hair is Not From U.S. « Borowitz Report.

26
Apr
11

4.26.2011 … 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl … an event we hoped would never repeat itself …

random acts of violence, Robert Barber, prayers:  Truly random .. truly senseless … Prayers for comfort for  his wife and family as they go through the  grieving/mourning process.  As I mentioned he and his wife go to my church, but I do not know them … but  a good friend is their neighbor and they own puppies from a litter of the Barbers’ golden.  So not only well-respected in the business world, heavily involved in the community and church,  but dog people, too.  Prayers to the accused and his family too … their lives have been changed forever by a senseless random act.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe said Monday that Chauncey Sterling was looking for a victim to rob Friday morning when he allegedly fatally shot hospital executive Robert Barber on a south Charlotte residential street.

Sterling, 18, was arrested Sunday night in his hometown of Rock Hill and charged in Barber’s murder.

“We believe it was a random act that started as a robbery,” Monroe said during a midday news conference Monday at police headquarters in Charlotte. “Mr. Barber was an innocent victim.”

via Teen arrested in killing of Charlotte executive | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Easter, follow-up, Pentecost:

   Luke’s very first sentence tips us off to where he’s going, how the very first Christians conceived of themselves, and what God is calling us to do today:  I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up (Acts 1:1).  Jesus began to do certain things – and so whatever his agenda had been, this became their script, their to-do list, their vision of the rest of their lives.

Easter isn’t a season that passes.  The mind-boggling fact of Jesus’ resurrection means we are forever attached to him; we find meaning and purpose insofar as we mimic him, and enact what he began to do.

Our problem?  We ignore Jesus, or never bother finding out what he began to do; or worse, we do whatever we prefer, we get busy with our pet projects, and try to glue Jesus on the outside of what isn’t of Jesus at all!  God is merciful when we do this – but we can do better, far better.

via All Jesus began to do – read Acts 1:1-5.

Japan Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl:  I mentioned to my daughter that japan’s disaster had been upgraded to a 7, the same as Chernobyl.  She did not know what Chernobyl was … I guess they did not cover that in World History.  I’ll have to ask her if she has heard of Three Mile Island.

Tuesday, April 26 is the 25th anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident. It set in motion events that today still significantly affect Ukraine. A special video from Gary Lee, who was on the ground in Chernobyl during the disaster, looks back at that time:

Following the recent earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Chernobyl accident and its aftermath have a particular importance this year. As the Washington Post’s Will Englund reported, “The significance of Chernobyl for Japan lies in the question of what happens next. Even if the scope of contamination is smaller, Fukushima will demand of the Japanese a commitment of unforeseeable dimensions.”

via Chernobyl 25 years later – A lesson for Japan – The Washington Post.

RIP, typewriters, technology:  No more typewriters … 😦

It’s an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce – the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.

via Godrej and Boyce: World’s last typewriter factory closes its doors in Mumbai | Mail Online.

Zombie literature, kith/kin:  J is on a zombie kick.  Any suggestions?  He has read the two by Max Brooks.

Famed horror novelist Stephen King has mined the zombie theme, first with 1990’s “Home Delivery”, written for the aforementioned Book of the Dead compilation and detailing a small town’s attempt to defend itself from a classic zombie outbreak. In 2006 King published Cell, which concerns a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide zombie outbreak, created by “The Pulse”, a global electromagnetic phenomenon that turns the world’s cellular phone users into bloodthirsty, zombie-like maniacs. Cell was a number-one bestseller upon its release[39]

Aside from Cell, the most well-known current work of zombie fiction is 2006’s World War Z by Max Brooks, which was an immediate hit upon its release and a New York Times bestseller.[40] Brooks had previously authored the cult hit The Zombie Survival Guide, an exhaustively researched, zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides published in 2003.[1] Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because:

Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race…. Zombies are slate wipers.

via Zombies in popular culture.

Zombies, culture, science: … Any connection?

An airborne virus is rapidly turning people into zombies. Two-thirds of humanity has been wiped out. Scientists desperately look for a cure, even as their own brains deteriorate and the disease robs them of what we consider life.

Relax, it’s only fiction — at least, for now. This apocalyptic scenario frames the new novel “The Zombie Autopsies” by Dr. Steven Schlozman, a child psychiatrist who holds positions at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Program in Child Psychiatry.

You might not expect someone with those credentials to take zombies seriously, but it turns out the undead are a great way to explore real-world health issues: why certain nasty diseases can destroy the brain, how global pandemics create chaos and fear, and what should be done about people infected with a highly contagious and incurable lethal illness.

“One of the things zombie novels do is they bring up all these existential concerns that happen in medicine all the time: How do you define what’s alive?” says Schlozman, who has been known to bounce between zombie fan conventions and academic meetings.

“When is it appropriate to say someone’s ‘as-good-as-dead,’ which is an awful, difficult decision?”

via Inside zombie brains: Sci-fi teaches science – CNN.com.

street art, graffiti:  Fun to run across one of  these …

Amazing 3-D chalk guy.

law, pc, law firms, King & Spalding, legal ethics:  I guess K&S found the risk outweighed the rewards of this representation.  Is political correctness a reason for withdrawal?

The Atlanta law firm King & Spalding on Monday filed a motion to withdraw from its participation in defending the Defense of Marriage Act, prompting the immediate resignation of high-profile partner Paul Clement.

The law firm had come under fire from gay rights groups when partner Clement agreed to defend the law for Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. The act defines marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.

“Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal,” Robert D. Hays Jr., the firm’s chairman said.  “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”

Clement, the head of King & Spalding’s national appellate practice, was to be paid $520 an hour for his representation. He once served as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush.  The Obama administration has said it will no longer defend the law in court.

via King & Spalding no longer defending Defense of Marriage Act  | ajc.com.

education,  high school, grade inflation, misleading course titles = inflation:  Interesting insight.

“Like the misleading drink labels, course titles may bear little relationship to what students have actually learned,” said Dr. Mellor, who has analyzed course completion, test records and other student data in Texas “We see students taking more and more advanced courses, but still not performing well on end-of-course exams.”

The 2009 results — the most recent available — of the federal test that measures change in achievement levels over decades showed that the nation’s 17-year-olds were scoring no higher in reading and math than in 1973. SAT scores have dropped or flat-lined, too, since 2000.

via As High School Course Titles Become Inflated, Test Scores Fail to Follow – NYTimes.com.

cover art, Royal Wedding:  OK, I liked this one.

The image that was chosen is a variant on that last idea, but, rather than “doing it,” Prince William and Kate Middleton are “in a perfect pose, with shame and embarrassment. They’re aghast.” Blitt adds, “Prince Charles is great to draw and so is the Queen. Those people are already caricatures.”

via News Desk: Cover Story: Royals in Bed : The New Yorker.

Davidson, Davidson College:  For the past 25 years Davidson has moved the college back on the central campus.  They moved the student PO, they improved food service so not much need to go downtown, etc.  Now there is a move to reconnect the students with the town.  As it should be … a college town.

The college’s purchase and plans for the building have major implications for both downtown Davidson and the college, business owners and others said.

A 10-year facilities master plan approved by Davidson Trustees a year ago called for relocating the college bookstore operation off campus. A report outlining that plan noted the success of the Cats on Main apparel and souvenir store at 131 Main St. and suggested expanding it.

Cats on Main opened in 2009 at 131 N. Main St., next door to the BB&T building. The college plans to consolidate the successful shop into an expanded college bookstore in the BB&T building. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

Cats on Main currently leases a storefront in a block of buildings owned by Dr. Tom Clark and Joe Poteat, the men behind Cairn Studio. Cairn formerly operated the Tom Clark Museum in the current Cats on Main space, showing off the company’s gnome figurines. That store’s lease ends in July 2012 and its operations will be combined with the new college bookstore at 137 N. Main St. in August 2012, in time for the start of the school year.

After the college moves the bookstore downtown, it plans to renovate the bookstore’s current space in the Alvarez College Union for “student services.”

via College buys BB&T bldg. for $1.25M, to put bookstore there | DavidsonNews.net.

politics, Great Recession, partisan politics, class war:  Grim scenario …

So the Ryan plan worsens our trillion-dollar structural deficit and the Obama plan amounts to small potatoes, at best. Worse, we are about to descend into class war because the Obama plan picks on the rich when it should be pushing tax increases for all, while the Ryan plan attacks the poor when it should be addressing middle-class entitlements and defense.

In the real world, however, the global bond market is already rumbling — and around the corner, a fiscal conflagration surely lies.

via The Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness – NYTimes.com.

25
Apr
11

4.25.2011 … Easter Monday … Happy anniversary to many (so many post Lent weddings!) …

religion and spirituality, culture, academics:  Post Easter … really enjoyed this article.

To bring a little scientific order to the matter, researchers taking part in a multinational project called Explaining Religion have spent three years gathering data on various aspects of religious practice and on the sorts of moral behaviour that religions often claim to govern. The data-collection phase was wrapped up at the end of 2010, and the results are starting to be published.

At the moment, most students of the field would agree that they are still in the “stamp collecting” phase that begins many a new science—in which facts are accumulated without it being clear where any of them fit in. But some intriguing patterns are already beginning to emerge. In particular, the project’s researchers have studied the ideas of just deserts, of divine disapproval and of the nature of religious ritual.

One theory of the origin of religion is that it underpins the extraordinary capacity for collaboration that led to the rise of Homo sapiens. A feature of many religions is the idea that evil is divinely punished and virtue is rewarded. Cheats or the greedy, in other words, get their just deserts. The selflessness which that belief encourages might help explain religion’s evolution. But is the idea of universal just deserts truly instinctive, as this interpretation suggests it should be?

via Religious studies: The good god guide | The Economist.

culture, parenting, daughters, teenagers, kith/kin:  It is hard enough once they hit 15 or so … but at 7-12 … come on parents, do the right thing.  I took it as a very nice compliment when a friend who saw a picture of my daughter and said, “…good skin to dress ratio, Mom!!! My friends with girls say that is the hardest part about prom, finding a dress with the right ratio:)”  Thanks, Susra.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see all right. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There’s nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don’t know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

via Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps – CNN.com.

parenting, bullying, culture:  Again, parents need to take their job seriously.  There is no excuse for bullying in the early years.  Parents must take responsibility.

Katie is donating many of the books and toys to other kids.

A fan created a Facebook event suggesting that people wear “Star Wars” gear on December 10 to support Katie. The Goldmans also asked participants to donate Star Wars toys to charities for the holidays. About 20,000 people have signed up.

“What strikes me is how these individuals who were once so isolated are now part of a very tight community,” Goldman wrote on her blog this month. “They have found each other; they are plugged into each other, and they have each other’s backs. Now they have Katie’s back, too.”

Katie isn’t doing any more interviews. There are scales to practice, Spanish words to memorize, baby sisters to play with. She still has to wear the dreaded eye patch, and eat lunch with the kids in her class. She is very busy being 7.

But on December 10, her school will host Proud To Be Me Day. Kids will be encouraged to wear something that shows what they’re interested in, whether it’s princesses, sports, animals and anime.

Katie will have the force of thousands behind her, and a “Star Wars” water bottle.

via ‘The Force’ is with you, Katie – CNN.com.

public spaces, places, NYC:  I think I may just take the night megabus to NYC and spend the day … any body want to go?

The great outdoors calls, and even without counting Central Park, there’s a great deal of it in New York City. There are more than 1,700 parks in the five boroughs, according to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. (Though with the 0.04 acre Septuagesimo Uno Park, on 71st Street between West End and Amsterdam Avenues, on that list, it’s a number best taken with a grain of asphalt.) Here, a baker’s dozen’s worth of sites to enjoy the warm weather, when it arrives.

via A Warm-Weather Guide to New York City – NYTimes.com.

culture, Benjamin Franklin, Jane Mecom (Benjamin Franklin’s sister), history:  Never knew old Ben had a sister … interesting story.

That world was changing. In 1789, Boston for the first time, allowed girls to attend public schools. The fertility rate began declining. The American Revolution made possible a new world, a world of fewer obstacles, a world with a promise of equality. That required — and still requires — sympathy.

Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia in 1790, at the age of 84. In his will, he left Jane the house in which she lived. And then he made another bequest, more lasting: he gave one hundred pounds to the public schools of Boston.

Jane Mecom died in that house in 1794. Later, during a political moment much like this one, when American politics was animated by self-serving invocations of the founders, her house was demolished to make room for a memorial to Paul Revere.

via Poor Jane’s Almanac – NYTimes.com.

college life, UVA, fraternities:  This story is troubling … but the solution proposed is too broad.

I had a miserable semester back at home, working in a department store and looking for somewhere else to go to school. But the truth was that I wanted to go to Virginia. I went back in the spring, and while few things have had as a profound an effect on my life as my UVA education, my deep mistrust of the fraternities limited the ways I engaged in life on campus and almost robbed me of the education itself.

If you want to improve women’s lives on campus, if you want to give them a fair shot at living and learning as freely as men, the first thing you could do is close down the fraternities. The Yale complaint may finally do what no amount of female outrage and violation has accomplished. It just might shut them down for good.

via Shutter Fraternities for Young Women’s Good | Home Land – WSJ.com.

Easter basket/candy, Peeps, Peep Show, Chilean Miner Rescue:  Another Peep contest!

This year’s winning diorama, which depicts the dramatic rescue of 33 mine workers in Copiapo, Chile, last October, is the work of Mary Jo Ondrejka from Reston; Bryn Metzdorf from Fairfax; and Margaret Hartka from Parkton, Md. A Peep version of miner Ariel Ticona meets his newborn daughter for the first time, while Peep Johnny Barrios Rojas is greeted by both his wife and mistress.

via Peeps Show V – The Washington Post.

hobbies, needlepoint, kith/kin:  My grandmother did needlepoint and I love every piece of work she did.  It is a beautiful art.

It wasn’t long ago that the word “needlepoint” conjured up thoughts of dusty cushions with fusty florals. But in recent years, thanks to a handful of retailers, designers and enthusiasts, the craft has become cool again.

via It’s not your grandmother’s needlepoint – The Washington Post.

science, physics, “God particle”:  Wow …

The world’s largest atom smasher is rumoured to have found the Higgs boson, the subatomic particle otherwise known as the ‘God particle’.

The speculation is based on a leaked internal note, said to be from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17 mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland.

The rumours started when an anonymous post disclosed part of the note on Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit’s blog, Not Even Wrong.

Awestruck: An amateur photographer takes a picture during an open day at the 17 mile-long LHC atom smasher in Switzerland

While some physicists are dismissing the note as a hoax, others say the find could be a huge particle physics breakthrough in understanding the workings of the universe.

Physicist Sheldon Stone of Syracuse University said: ‘If it were to be real, it would be really exciting.’

More…

The genius who shrank the globe: Why after 70 years we should celebrate jet engine inventor Frank Whittle

The Higgs boson is predicted to exist by the particle physics theory known as the Standard Model. The Higgs boson, physicists believe, bestows mass on all the other particles and was crucial to forming the cosmos after the Big Bang.

via Science world buzzing over rumours elusive ‘God particle’ has been found | Mail Online.

Middle East Awakening, oil crisis, Chicago:  $4.27 in Chicago …

Chicago's at top as gas prices jump again

Chicago at top as gas prices jump

The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped about 12 cents over the past two weeks, and Chicagoans are paying the highest average price in the country. The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices puts the average price for a gallon of regular at $3.88, as of April 22. Chicago had the highest average price for gas at $4.27.

via Chicago Tribune: Chicago news, sports, weather and traffic – chicagotribune.com.

24
Apr
11

4.24.2011 … “Sing and Rejoice” … “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” … “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” … “Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks” … “In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.” … “The Day of Resurrection” … “Christ is Alive” … Hallelujah” … Again, Happy Easter!

Easter, faith and spirituality, worship, worship music, FPC:  The service was beautiful … I loved the music and feel blessed for the music ministry at our church … “Sing and Rejoice” … “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” … “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” … “Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks” … “In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.” … “The Day of Resurrection” … “Christ is Alive” … hallelujah” …
Easter, history, cultural history:

In The Mood for Easter

Long before the birth of 50-foot blow-up bunnies and AstroTurf egg hunts, people still gathered with the folks they loved most and celebrated Easter. Here, a look back.

via Easter: The Early Days – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Easter, Bones, LOL, quotes, twitter:  From Hart Hanson, the producer of Bones:

Happy Easter. To quote Seeley Booth: “Jesus is not a zombie. I should not have to tell you that.” Temperance Brennan does not agree.

via (4) Twitter / Home.

Easter, cultural Easter, lists:

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter

From dressing up as witches to burning effigies of politicians, the world holds many more Easter traditions than just dyeing eggs.

via Sweden’s Easter Witches – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter – TIME.

Easter, cultural Easter, Easter baskets/candy, chocolate Easter bunny:  I think I start with the tail … be right back I’ll check!

Adults may be sneaking goodies from kids’ Easter baskets because they appear very knowledgeable about the best way to eat chocolate bunnies. Eating bunnies’ ears first won hands down. “Apparently, this is the most appropriate way to enjoy a chocolate bunny,” said Graham, who admits to eating bunnies’ ears first, himself. Of 1,000 adults surveyed, 76 percent said they start with the ears when they munch a chocolate bunny. Eating bunnies’ feet first (five percent) and tail first (four percent) were not popular choices.

via Taking a Bite Out of the Bunny: Ears Munched First According to Easter Survey – Press Relases – News & Hot Topics – NCA.

Easter, cultural Easter, Easter baskets/candy, Peeps:  This one is funny …

If bragging rights are more valuable than time and money, then Racheal Jones and Ramona Wesely, both of Dallas, and Kathleen Canedo of Oakton, Va., and Hillary Berman of Bethesda, Md., are on Easy Street.

The Texas duo made a mad dash from the Lone Star State to Chicago (arrived Thursday, back home Friday) to deliver their diorama, “Satine the Sparkling Peep from Moulin Peep,” in time for our judges’ panel to deem it their hands-down favorite.

Canedo and Berman made a more leisurely trip from the East Coast, blogging about and posting photos of their journey with their “Larry Peep Live on PNN” diorama in tow. The judges’ panel, comprising movie critic Michael Phillips, visual arts reporter Lauren Viera and theater critic Chris Jones, awarded Canedo and Berman No. 2 honors, once they stopped marveling at the detail of “Larry Peep’s” glasses and little suspenders.

via Peeps contest, Easter, Peeps diorama, – chicagotribune.com.

health, substance abuse, danger:  Alcohol wins … no big honor …

You may want to think twice before going to happy hour tonight.

Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines, at least according to a new study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal.

The study, which was conducted on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, evaluated the dangers that various drugs pose to the user’s mental and physical health, as well as the harm it may cause the community, in terms of crime and health care costs.

The researchers found that heroin and crack cocaine were the most harmful drugs to the person using them, but alcohol was the most harmful to the community, and overall, when all the factors were added up, alcohol ranked as the most dangerous drug with a score of 72. By comparison, heroin, the next highest, had a score of 55, and other drugs like tobacco, cannabis and LSD scored just a fraction of that.

via Alcohol: The Most Dangerous Drug | Food & Drink | Lifestyle | Mainstreet.

Notre Dame Cathedral, history, places, Paris, France, quotes:

… walk in as tourists, walk out as pilgrims …

The history of France’s Notre Dame Cathedral – CBS News Video.

4/20, Boulder, followup:  Didn’t find the Teague boys in the pictures … Whew.  4/20 in photos | CU Independent.

places, tourist attractions, Charlotte, 2012 DNC: If this is the best we can do, we are gong to have some bored dems.

This week’s Charlotte Business Journal features two Top 25 lists: the Area’s Top Tourist Attractions and North Carolina State Parks.

via Top of the List: Tourist Attractions, State Parks | Charlotte Business Journal.

Middle East awakening, Bahrain, Royal Wedding:  Verygracious of the prince … probably best for his monarchy, too.

Bahrain’s crown prince on Sunday declined an invitation to attend Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, saying he did not want the Gulf nation’s unrest to tarnish the celebration.

Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa sent his regrets to Prince Charles after questions emerged over the British monarchy’s decision to invite a member of Bahrain’s Sunni ruling family, which has waged a wide-ranging crackdown against Shiite protesters calling for more freedoms.

Bahrain’s rulers have imposed martial law and are backed by a Saudi-led military force to try to quell the uprising. At least 30 people have died in Bahrain since mid-February, including four who died while in official custody, and many well-known activists and lawyers have been imprisoned.

The news helped to avoid a potentially awkward situation during the April 29 wedding. Campaigners in Britain complained when palace officials said Saturday that the prince was attending the nuptials, and some petitioned Foreign Secretary William Hague to revoke the invitation.

via Bahrain Crown Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invite – NYTimes.com.

random acts of violence, follow-up, Robert  Barber, FPC, obituary:  Mr. Barber was a member of FPC.  I did not know him or his wife, but his absence was felt at Easter worship today.

He and Barber were both retired colonels – a “couple of old military guys,” he said.

“We’d walk down the hallway, and I’d say, ‘You know, Bob, we’re in step,'” he said, laughing. “Old habits die hard.”

Brown and Barber were both members of the Rotary Club of Charlotte, where Brown said Barber took minutes and compiled newsletters.

“This man had not missed a Rotary meeting in 15 years,” Brown said.

He said Barber was devoted to his church, First Presbyterian in uptown, his profession and his family.

At work, Barber had a reputation as a skilled professional who could easily connect with his co-workers.

“He would work 80 hours a week if it meant turning around a community hospital,” Brown said.

Outside of work, Barber had many interests, including muscle cars, motorcycles and genealogy, Brown said.

“I think I’ve only known a couple of people in my life I’d consider Renaissance men,” Brown said. “Bob was one of them.”

via Witness heard victim’s lament after shooting | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

 art, graphic art, Maira Kalman:  Maira’s take on the British war poster …

Keep Calm And Carry On | anything goes.

Maira Kalman, art, TED videosMaira Kalman | Profile on TED.com.

art, graphic art, Maira Kalman, interview: I just like this woman …

Are there places or things you avoid because they sap your creativity?

I avoid malls. They are deadly.

via Inspiration Boards: Maira Kalman.

computer art, math, Davidson College, Tim Chartier, random:

Tim Chartier at Davidson College has discovered that if you make things out of candy there’s no lack of volunteers to help you clean up. He takes images and transforms them mathematically into arrays of candy pieces. Here you can see President Obama, as rounded to the set of m&m color values. Mathematically, the algorithm picks the available color which is closest in red-green-blue-space to the average of the pixels it replaces.

via Make: Online | Math Monday: Candy Images.

Also see Math Movement – Sugar-coated CoM&Mander-in-Chief.




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