Archive for August, 2011

31
Aug
11

8.31.2011 … my pets are acting weird … I don’t want to tell them they are a week late …

kith/kin, pets:  They say animals sense big natural events before we do … Well, Bart Lisa and Fitz (2 ten-year old bassets and a black American short-haired cat) are clueless … last week, rather than the two weeks before when we had an earthquake and a hurricane in our region, my animals have been cling-y, bark-y , howl-ly, etc … and nothing.

9/11, prayers:  Some things you just do not think about.  Like a traditional war, there are children who never see their fathers, but here we have a concentration in one area of children without fathers.

They were the smallest victims of 9/11 – not yet even born when they lost their fathers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Today, they are bright and hopeful 9-year-olds who only now are beginning to understand their unique legacy. Their resiliency is proof that life goes on.

“This is something the whole world felt,” says Jill Gartenberg Pila, whose daughter, Jamie, was born six months after 9/11. “As Jamie gets older, she realizes the loss she had was also a loss that affected everyone.”

In many ways, they are typical fifth graders who skateboard, play video games and worry about schoolyard crushes.

Yet they are far from ordinary.

Gabriel Jacobs Dick, 9, releases balloons every 9/11 with messages for Dad to “give him an update on how life is going,” he says. “Mostly it’s like, ‘I miss you.’ ”

September 11 Anniversary, Children of 9/11 : People.com.

Hurricane Irene, Vermont, covered bridges, icons:  Covered bridges are architectural poetry.

Perhaps it’s the simple, humble way that the Bartonsville Covered Bridge seems to say goodbye, bowing first at its far end, then slipping behind the trees while keeping its structure, and its dignity, intact until its peaked roof slips into the Williams River. Perhaps it’s the grief in the voices of the onlookers. We all know that tourists like to take pictures of Vermont’s iconic covered bridges; what this clip shows is the deep affection that Vermonters feel for these structures, and the terrible sense of loss when one disappears. Most bridges are simply crossings, a means from one place to the next. But covered bridges seem like dwellings. They give a sort of permanence to transitions, and impart to the otherwise ordinary act of driving somewhere a special texture and a mystery. Perhaps their claim on the imagination has something to do with that momentous crossing everyone makes, to death.

via News Desk: Requiem for a Covered Bridge : The New Yorker.

Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge collapses into the Williams River in Vermont – YouTube.

Hurricane Irene, quotes:  Some of these are really good …

“Para todos, gracias, por los bomberos, muchas gracias por tu ayuda. Es suficiente?” —Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City

via News Desk: The Crisis in a Nutshell: Floods and FEMA : The New Yorker.

college life, happiness:  I was very surprised by this list. It doesn’t seem that there is much correlation between the “party” schools and the “happiest” schools.

Happiness is subjective, but without a doubt some college campuses make life a little sweeter for students. Newsweek ranks the 25 Happiest Schools in America.

Methodology: To find the happiest schools in the country, Newsweek crunched the numbers for six categories, weighted equally using z-scores (a measure of how close or distant each school is to average): dining, housing, and nightlife grades from College Prowler, the number of sunny days per year, with data from Sperling’s Best Places, student-teacher ratio, and the average indebtedness at graduation, with data from the College Board.

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

… and now the list … surprise anyone?

Happiest Schools

Yale University

Harvard University

Rice University

Stanford University

Bowdoin College

Pitzer College

Occidental College

Colby College

Emory University

University of California-Davis

Southern Methodist University

Rollins College

Hamilton College

University of California-Los Angeles

University of Southern California

Cornell University

Wellesley College

Colorado College

Smith College

James Madison University

Purdue University

Vanderbilt University

Bucknell University

Santa Clara University

University of California-San Diego

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

college, liberal arts, interdisciplinary world: “One has got to be ready to think quick.”

It just goes to show that the liberal arts and sciences have a real, growing, and very practical place in the future of thinking through a day, a career, or a lifetime in today’s increasingly interdisciplinary world. Discrete “skillsets” are great—but least limiting when the person using them understands the big picture of where they came from and what shape they might shift to, next week, year, or decade. One has got to be ready to think quick.

via » Liberal Arts AND Sciences, Mmm’kay? A Sample Davidson Click-fest Offers a Peek To the Future.

2012 DNC, internships:  It will be interesting to see what Charlotte gains from having the DNC.  Summer jobs and internships for college students will be great.

Fall internships with the DNC have been posted!  The deadline for applications is September 12, 2011.

The DNC is seeking self-motivated, results-driven and trainable students for this opportunity. A DNCC intern will have a wide range of responsibilities, such as acting as the first point of contact for a Department head in the offices of the CEO, COO, or Chief of Staff. Interns may assist with special projects in various departments such as Intergovernmental Affairs or Communication and Public Affairs.  They may prepare correspondence, assist staff with requests pertaining to the convention, assist with IT network systems, or help prepare memos as well as research important legal topics.

via Internships with the Democratic National Convention | Office of Career Services Blog.

Warren Buffet, BofA:  I like Buffet, but he is definitely all over the plate these days.

in the 1930s, they called Roosevelt a traitor to his class. Some would say he saved that class. Oddly, Warren Buffett finds himself in a comparable position today. Some would say he’s saving capitalism. Others would most certainly not say that.

The Buffett story du jour is, of course, the $5 billion investment in Bank of America, initially trumpeted as a vote of confidence that will salvage yet another purportedly too-big-to-fail institution. It is, among other things, a powerful example of the obvious intersection of finance and reputation management. From the bank’s perspective, all their reputational initiatives were faltering absent a critical communications tool – namely, a third-party endorsement of significant impact.

“I remain confident that we have the capital and liquidity we need to run our business,” said Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan. “At the same time, I also recognize that a large investment by Warren Buffett is a strong endorsement in our vision and our strategy” [emphasis added]. The New York Times, for one, cited favorable responses by analysts and concluded that the Berkshire Hathaway investment “has helped allay concerns about Bank of America.”

Maybe, but it might not be the best medicine for the Bank of America C-Suite amid prominent headlines like “Brian Moynihan Got Fleeced By Buffett’s BofA Bet.” Nor might it infuse confidence in the bank itself amid conspicuous commentary that features taglines like “Sorry, Warren, Bank of America Still Stinks.”

Importantly, though, this story is not just playing out at a “purely business level.” Most striking in much of the commentary is an unprecedented ambivalence – if not antipathy and distrust – toward Buffett, who has historically played the role of folk hero for Americans of every socio-politicalstripe. The problem with being a folk hero is that your public image has to be clear and simple. You’re a leader among peers from whom every citizen can learn the lessons of success without being made to feel inferior for want of a billion or two in disposable income.

The lesson is that financial communications never occur in a vacuum. They can be driven to an important extent by extrinsic public affairs concerns that directly affect the perceptions of analysts, shareholders, and journalists – who, in turn, influence how transactions are received in the marketplace.

Life is no longer clear and simple for the Sage of Omaha. Welcome to our world, Mr. Buffett.

via A Rorschach Blot Named Warren Buffett: The Sage of Omaha in an Age of Ideology – Forbes.

travel, science, random:  I just wish one airline would try it for a week!

If Fermilab astrophysicist Jason Steffen is right, this could be quite the boon to anyone who has to fly commercially (assuming, that is, you’re not lucky enough to sit in first class or business.)

Steffen invented a model using an algorithm based on the Monte Carlo optimization method used in statistics and mathematics to halve the time it takes to board an airplane. According to Steffen, the best method is to board alternate rows at a time, starting with the window seats on one side, then the other. The people sitting in window seats would be followed by alternate rows of middle seats, then the aisle seats. Another of Steffen’s conclusions: Boarding at random is faster than boarding by blocks.

But he’s still a preacher without a congregation. Although he published his study in the Journal of Air Transport Management in 2008, the airline industry hasn’t taken much notice.

via Physicist claims faster way to board a plane – CBS News.

30
Aug
11

‎8.30.2011 … doing the little things … servicing cars and inspections … etc.

Apple, tablets, competition: War?

If Apple has to “prepare for war,” she says, they have only themselves to blame. “Product strategists at Apple … fired the first shot” by changing the App Store rules and making it harder for Amazon to sell books on Apple’s devices.

via Forrester: Amazon’s tablet will bury the iPad – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech.

The Help, bookshelf, movie, reviews:  I thoroughly enjoyed this review because of its honesty.

Today I enjoy many friends of all races and I am so grateful that God protected my heart from the hatefulness of prejudice. When I meet someone, I simply see that person. I am not aware of skin color, eye shape, hair texture, I simply see a soul that God loves.

Over the years I have learned that most racial prejudice is rooted in fear and ignorance, and is never rational. I have read somewhere that it is rooted in tribalism and was about maintaining one’s possessions, hunting grounds, or agricultural lands. Differences in dress (costume) signaled the enemy and so people learned to fear those who are different. I have no idea just how correct that theory is, but it at least gives me some rational reason for such an irrational way of thinking.

In closing I highly recommend, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, both book and movie.

via ‘The Help’ by Jack DeJarnette | LikeTheDew.com.


Arab Spring, guessing game:  The world is still in shock …

IN FEBRUARY we put together an index that attempted to predict which Arab regime would be toppled next. At the time Libya seemed rather an unlikely candidate for regime change, even though the index suggested Muammar Qaddafi’s time as Brother-Leader might be numbered. Below is the interactive version of the Shoe Thrower’s Index, set with the weightings we originally chose. Play around with it to explore the factors that created fertile soil for the Arab Spring.

via Daily chart: Return of the shoe throwers | The Economist.

Steve Jobs, Apple, changing the world:  Another interesting article on Steve Jobs.

We know the world, and each other, better because of him. With his Apple Mac he managed, in the words of Walt Whitman, to “unscrew the locks from the doors.” He precipitated an enlightenment. But as with the dazzling light of many great inventions, unexpected shadows were created—the greatest of which is an eroding of privacy, now verging on a total loss of solitude. Beware of darkness.
In public appearances in recent years, Jobs has been thinner, whittled to his essence, and yet somehow this seemed to emphasize his elasticity and endurance, a metonym for his ever-thinner, ever-more-adaptable machines. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” Jobs said toward the end of the Stanford speech. “Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important?.?.?.?There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Facebook, daily deals:  I never saw anything I wanted to buy.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to metro Atlantans: Facebook is ending its “deals” program.The daily-deal type offerings promoted spas, horseback riding trips and the typical restaurant discounts — many times for large groups of people — through the current Facebook platform.Although Facebook hasn’t announced a reason for dumping “deals,” speculation includes consumer deal fatigue. When I wrote a column on Facebook in May, I had trouble finding anyone who’d actually bought a Facebook deal here in Atlanta, one of the five test markets.According to media sources, the demise of “deals” won’t affect Facebook’s location-based “check-in deals.”What’s your go-to daily deal source? Are there any underdogs you think offer better discounts?
physics, God particle, Big Bang: Big question!
CERN’s statement said new results, which updated findings that caused excitement at a scientific gathering in Grenoble last month, “show that the elusive Higgs particle, if it exists, is running out of places to hide.”Under what is known as the Standard Model of physics, the boson, which was named after British physicist Peter Higgs and is sometimes know as the God particle, is posited as having been the agent that gave mass and energy to matter just after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.For some scientists, the Higgs remains the simplest explanation of how matter got mass. It remains unclear what could replace it as an explanation. “We know something is missing; we simply don’t quite know what this new something might be,” wrote CERN blogger Pauline Gagnon.
book clubs, technology: Video chat with an author!
Skype made book club headlines today as one author used the video chat service to visit book clubs around the country.If you want to have an author speak to your book club through video chat, check out our Authors Who Visit Book Clubs list to find nearly 1,000 writers–simply explore the “Video Chat” category to find a video-friendly author in your favorite genre. Read our Host a Virtual Book Club on Facebook, Skype or Google article for more tools.Here’s more from Reuters: “Nine book clubs across the United States took part in an hour-long discussion earlier this month with Meg Wolitzer, the best-selling author of the ‘The Ten-Year Nap,’ in what is thought to be the first coast-to-coast virtual book club with multiple participants.” (Image via)
food, locavore, globalization:  Interesting historical analysis of the local food movement.
The foods we consider local are results of a globalization process that has been in full swing for more than five centuries, ever since Columbus landed in the New World. Suddenly all the continents were linked, mixing plants and animals that had evolved separately since the breakup of the ancient supercontinent Pangaea.What resulted, Mr. Mann argues in his fascinating new book, “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created,” was a new epoch in human life, the Homogenocene. This age of homogeneity was brought on by the creation of a world-spanning economic system as crops, worms, parasites and people traveled among Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia — the Columbian Exchange, as it was dubbed by the geographer Alfred W. Crosby.“The Columbian Exchange,” Mr. Mann writes, “is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in the United States, chocolates in Switzerland and chili peppers in Thailand. To ecologists, the Columbian Exchange is arguably the most important event since the death of the dinosaurs.”
Meanwhile, people in Europe were reaping nutritional benefits from the Columbian Exchange. Europeans’ diets improved radically from the introduction of potatoes and what Mr. Mann calls the first green revolution: the widespread use of fertilizer, made possible by the importing of guano from Peru.As always, there were trade-offs. In China, the introduction of maize and sweet potatoes to the highlands provided vital sustenance — and erosion that flooded rice paddies. A ship carrying guano fertilizer to Europe was probably also the source of the organism that blighted the potato crops in Europe and led to the great famine in Ireland in the 1840s.Mr. Mann has come to sympathize with both sides in the debate over globalization. The opponents of globalization correctly realize that trade produces unpredictable and destructive consequences for the environment and for society, he says, but globalization also leads to more and better food, better health, longer life and other benefits that affluent Western locavores take for granted.
“People in Brazil still talk bitterly about the Brits stealing their rubber seeds and planting them in Asia,” Mr. Mann said. “Brazilians will denounce this horrible ‘bio-piracy’ while they’re standing in front of fields of bananas and coffee — plants that originated in Africa.” Two other leading crops in Brazil, soybeans and sugar, he noted, are from Asia.“But if your concern is to produce the maximum amount of food possible for the lowest cost, which is a serious concern around the world for people who aren’t middle-class foodies like me, this seems like a crazy luxury. It doesn’t make sense for my aesthetic preference to be elevated to a moral imperative.”
BofA:
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan bought himself some breathing room as the bank agreed to sell more than $8 billion of China Construction Bank Corp. stock, its second multibillion-dollar deal in a week.Shares rose 8% Monday, adding to a rally following a deal Thursday for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to buy $5 billion worth of Bank of America stock. Since the Buffett deal, the Charlotte, N.C., lender has regained $14 billion of market value.
Like its competitors, Bank of America has struggled to make up revenue lost to a stagnant economy and tighter rules on fees.But Bank of America faces additional worries because of its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled California lender that is the source of many bad mortgages now plaguing the bank.Construction on the Hong Kong headquarters of CCB takes place in front of the Bank of America Tower.”No one really knows the capital hole that sits there,” said Mr. Miller, the bank analyst for FBR Capital Markets.Shareholders, he said, could get more comfortable about that exposure if a judge rules that an $8.5 billion settlement the Bank of America reached with a group of mortgage-bond investors is fair and can move forward. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday joined the parties objecting to that proposed agreement.
faith and spirituality:  Like this article!
Polkinghorne doesn’t know for sure that there is a God. And yet, when he was at the top of his game in physics at Cambridge in 1979, he left the laboratory studying one unseen reality for the seminary to study another unseen reality. He became a priest in the Anglican Church. In addition to believing that quarks exist, he believes in a God who is driven by love to continuously create a world that is beautiful. For him, the theories that have God in them work. But he doesn’t really know for sure. And he’s OK with that.
Religious belief in the modern age doesn’t seem to hold much room for uncertainty or doubt. In November of last year, I took Polkinghorne to the Creation Museum in Santee, Calif., to see how he would react to a hall dedicated to certainty. The museum organizers are certain that there was a six-day, 24-hour creation, that there was a literal Adam and Eve, that Darwin and Hitler belonged on the same wall of genetic engineers, and that evolution is a hoax. Polkinghorne stopped at a display that said the Bible has no record of death until Adam and Eve’s sin. (Apparently even animals lived forever before the humans ate the apple.) Polkinghorne gazed at what appeared to be the museum’s certainty and said to me, “The Bible may not have a record of it, but there is plenty of evidence in the fossil record.” Motivating evidence changes one’s beliefs. Or at least it can if we aren’t holding on to our certainty too tightly.
It may be OK, finally, for people to admit that they don’t know things for sure — whether it’s about quarks, light, God or the best way forward for the nation’s economy.At 80, Polkinghorne doesn’t let his own doubts keep him from believing, any more than he let his doubts about quantum physics keep him from solving problems. He still prays, still celebrates the Eucharist, still believes in some kind of life eternal.As for belief in God, “It’s a reasonable position, but not a knock-down argument,” he said. “It’s strong enough to bet my life on it. Just as Polanyi bet his life on his belief, knowing that it might not be true, I give my life to it, but I’m not certain. Sometimes I’m wrong.”
cycling, green, NYC:

But, white gloves or no, bike storage tends to be easier to find in new buildings, whether condo or rental. As of 2009 most new buildings, including multifamily residential, have been required by the city to provide some bike storage. (Offering it is also a relatively inexpensive way for a developer to gain points toward LEED certification, which measures a building’s environmental impact.)

“It adds to the general tone of the building,” said Shaun Osher, the founder of the brokerage CORE, who kept his rusty bike on the fire escape when he first moved to New York City 20 years ago. “It’s one less thing you have to worry about in your apartment.”

In most buildings, however, either the service is free or the fee is nominal, maybe $10 a month. That small sum is mostly intended to discourage the leaving of unused and unusable bikes in storage ad infinitum, rather than to raise revenue.

“When you’re paying top dollar for a home,” said Mr. Kliegerman of Halstead, “you wouldn’t expect to pay to hang your bike on a wall.”

Many New Yorkers, of course, do surrender chunks of their living rooms to their two-wheelers. And they make do.

“People find all kinds of creative solutions,” said Richard Hamilton, a senior vice president aof Halstead Property. “I’ve seen bike pulleys that get them off the floor. In my old apartment, we put up hooks and hung them. Or you could lean it against the wall. And then it falls on you. And then you cuss.”

via The Bicycle Muscles In – NYTimes.com.

NASA, space station:  I hope this problem can be solved.
Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed.This photograph from May shows the International Space Station and the space shuttle Endeavour docked on the left.Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit.Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station.“We’re going to do what’s the safest for the crew and for the space station, which is a very big investment of our governments,” said Michael T. Suffredini, manager of the space station program for NASA, during a news conference on Monday. “Our job is, as stewards of the government, to protect that investment, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”The $100 billion station has been continuously occupied for over a decade.Last Wednesday, an unmanned Russian cargo ship known as the Progress, which was carrying three tons of supplies to the space station, crashed in Siberia. Telemetry from the rocket indicated that a drop of fuel pressure led its computer to shut down the third-stage engine prematurely five and a half minutes into flight.
apps, translators, travel:  May have to try this next time I travel to a non-English speaking country.
Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time! PLEASE NOTE: Language packs must be purchased from within the app. Use Word Lens on vacation, business travel, and just for fun.
Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, quotes:  The more I read the more I like Powell and the less I like Cheney.
But I got some new favorite Powell quotes this weekend, when he went on “Face the Nation” to talk about Dick Cheney’s charming new book. “I think Dick overshot the runway,” Powell said, with the “cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the Administration.” One of the many things that bothered Powell was Cheney’s complaint that he didn’t support the President:Well, who went to the United Nations and, regrettably, with a lot of false information? It was me. It wasn’t Mr. Cheney.Cheney was peddling the false information—does that count? Schieffer said afterward that Powell struck him as “truly, I think, offended about what he read in this book…. “Interior lines of communication,” “another block away,” “everybody needs a shoulder,” “he would do the same for me”—real knowledge of war, street smarts, human sympathy, and humility: four qualities that “the lone cowboy,” if he ever had them, fatally lacked in his all too influential Vice-Presidency, and now again in his memoir. There will be more to say about that—and particularly about Cheney’s expressed desire for waterboarding. (He seems to be the sort of man who, told that he li torture ved in a city on a fjord, would start babbling about how well worked for the Vikings.) Does being a lone cowboy mean losing all sense of shame?via Close Read: Colin Powell and the Lone Cowboy : The New Yorker.
Steve Jobs, Apple, philanthropy:  I have often wondered about this …

In 2006, in a scathing column in Wired, Leander Kahney, author of “Inside Steve’s Brain,” wrote: “Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.”

Yet Mr. Jobs has always been upfront about where he has chosen to focus. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 1993 , he said, “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

Let’s hope Mr. Jobs has many more years to make wonderful things — and perhaps to inspire his legions of admirers to give.

Despite accumulating an estimated $8.3 billion fortune through his holdings in Apple and a 7.4 percent stake in Disney (through the sale of Pixar), there is no public record of Mr. Jobs giving money to charity. He is not a member of the Giving Pledge, the organization founded by Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates to persuade the nation’s wealthiest families to pledge to give away at least half their fortunes. (He declined to participate, according to people briefed on the matter.) Nor is there a hospital wing or an academic building with his name on it.

None of this is meant to judge Mr. Jobs. I have long been a huge admirer of Mr. Jobs and consider him the da Vinci of our time. Before writing this column, I had reservations about even raising the issue given his ill health, and frankly, because of the enormous positive impact his products have had by improving the lives of millions of people through technology.

via The Mystery of Steve Jobs’s Public Giving – NYTimes.com.

29
Aug
11

‎8.29.2011 … Settling in to a Fall routine …

9/11, 9/11 Remembrances – 10 years, President George W. Bush, Where Were You When …Bush Recollects Ground Zero: “It Was Like Walking Into Hell….There Was A Palpable Blood Lust.” – YouTube.

Davidson College, Davidson Basketball, Steph Curry:  Welcome home!

The NBA: just helping make dreams come true, even when it’s clogging up news feeds with stodgy non-updates about a lockout that’s as bleak as this weekend’s beach weather along the Jersey shore.

Curry is back on campus and registered as a full-time undergraduate, taking three classes. The school’s most recognizable commuter student lives approximately 30 minutes away, just outside of Charlotte.

“I’ve had a couple of run-ins already where some kids are a little star-struck,” Curry said.

It’s an intangible gift he can give back to the community that he was largely responsible for invigorating. After Davidson’s Elite Eight run in 2008, applications for the school skyrocketed. Enrollment increased by 300 students, which is large considering Davidson’s undergraduate numbers flirt with the 2,000 mark. Suddenly, there was a housing crisis on campus, which led to two new dormitories.

“I have always wanted to finish since I left,” Curry said. “I made a promise to myself to finish at some point. Once the lockout was looming, I thought about it. It was my idea, and coach McKillop was very helpful to reaching out to professors and get a plan back together.”

It speaks to the tone of the lockout and the NBA’s foggy future for the rest of 2011. Why else would Curry go through the trouble of enrolling at Davidson and committing himself to being a full-time student?

“I’m very optimistic about a deal getting done, it’s just the way the talks have gone so far, I want to be as productive as possible,” he said.

If the improbable happens and the NBA season does start on time or gets going before Curry’s course load comes to an end this semester, there are allowances at the university that Curry could utilize. He would be able to finish up his work from Oakland and send it in.

So, what does Stephen Curry need to take in order to move toward earning his degree? The history of education, medical sociology and research on his senior thesis will be taking up his weekday mornings and afternoons in the coming months. Once he completes those at the end of this semester, he’ll have three more credits to finish, plus his senior thesis, which he said he plans on writing next summer.

He’s already developing a routine. McKillop said Curry stopped at his office in between classes Thursday, just to say “Hi.”

His weekdays go roughly something like this:

• At 7:30 a.m., he has ankle rehab in a suburb of Charlotte. Curry had surgery at the end of May, and said he’ll be ready to get on the court and play competitively in a few weeks. “I’m not so far behind that I wouldn’t be ready if the season were ready to go in [October],” Curry said.

• After his rehab he makes sure to stop at Chick-fil-A. It’s arguably the most important part of his day.

• From there, it’s about a 40-minute drive to Davidson.

• He works out for a few minutes before his late-morning/early-afternoon classes.

• He then stops in to see McKillop, gets in some more shooting or weight-lifting workouts, then heads home to see his wife later in the afternoon.

• Mondays and Wednesdays are one class; Tuesdays and Thursdays, a double-dip.

The turn of events also presents an opportunity to be a student assistant for the basketball team.

via Curry reconnects with Davidson for degree, more, during lockout – NCAA Division I Mens Basketball – CBSSports.com.

Moses, Bible, vocation:  I am still listening for my vocation!

I know their sufferings, and have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, to bring them up to a land flowing with milk and honey. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people.” But Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” He said, “I will be with you.” Moses said, “What is your name?” God said, “I am who I am. This is my name forever” (Exodus 3).Moses is quite literally minding his business when God surprises him with a startling vocation. We may look forward to “vacation,” but God is all about “vocation,” calling us into active duty, for God and for the community. When God “calls” people in the Bible, there is a noticeable pattern. God calls. The one who hears, and is stunned by the divine encounter, is at a loss for words. God proposes a plan. The mere mortal objects, and usually with good reason – but God reassures. The God of the Bible seems far more interested in availability than in ability. In fact, God at times seems to prefer disability to ability. Moses is often thought of as having a stutter, but Exodus only says “I am not eloquent” – and what shepherd could expect to be eloquent in the courts of Pharaoh?

God’s assignments often are staggering in scope, and costly to us. Robert McAfee Brown said, “Moses ducks and weaves in every possible way to avoid the body blow of the assignment.” Yet God is persistent, and is able to overcome every objection, able to use us in spite of our inability, precisely through our inability.

Notice Moses is not out looking for God. He’s been on the run from God and his destiny for some time! And: God does not relate to Moses so he can have warm, religious feelings and continue on his way. Moses is called into the thick of difficulties, to be God’s representative on behalf of disadvantaged people, even at the point where religion and politics meet, and wage battle with each other.

And what better biography could we have of the nature of God? “I have heard my people’s cry; I know their suffering; I am coming to deliver them, and to bless them.”

via eMoses – Burning Bush.

Justice Clarence Thomas, Virginia Thomas, Constitutional Law, The Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin, literary allusions:  This is just a review of Toobin’s article … I’ll tell you what I think after I read the article.

Jeffrey Toobin’s gripping, must-read profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the New Yorker gives readers new insight into what Sauron must have felt: Toobin argues that the only Black man in public life that liberals could safely mock and despise may be on the point of bringing the Blue Empire down.

In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.

If Toobin’s revionist take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work.

Toobin is less interested in exploring why liberal America has been so blind for so long to the force of Clarence Thomas’ intellect than in understanding just what Thomas has achieved in his lonely trek across the wastes of Mordor.  And what he finds is that Thomas has been pioneering the techniques and the ideas that could not only lead to the court rejecting all or part of President Obama’s health legislation; the ideas and strategies Thomas has developed could conceivably topple the constitutionality of the post New Deal state.

It’s hard to argue with Toobin that Thomas has moved the ball down field in his quest for a new era of constitutional jurisprudence.  Sauron’s tower is probably not going to fall right away, but for the first time, progressives are beginning to see credible scenarios which could change the rules of the game.

Jeffrey Toobin is announcing to the liberal world that Clarence Thomas has morphed from a comic figure of fun to a determined super-villain who might reverse seventy years of liberal dominance of the federal bench and turn the clock back to 1930 if not 1789.

The fantasy is still far fetched, and it is notoriously hard for political movements to get and hold power long enough to shift the balance on the Supreme Court, but that Thomas has accomplished as much as he has shows how far the country has drifted from the old days when liberals were confident that the Supreme Court would find new ways to fit its judicial philosophy to the demands of the blue social model.

They can no longer count on that; the consequences could be extreme.

via New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom | Via Meadia.

2012 Presidential Election, Michelle Bachmann:  I am already tired of this woman.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Team Bachmann says the line wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

“Obviously she was saying it in jest,” campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart told TPM.

via Michele Bachmann: Earthquake, Irene Were A Wake Up Call From God For Politicians | TPMDC.

The Help, movies, bookshelf, reviews, racism:  To a large extent  I agree with this woman … but I thought the black actresses in the movie added authenticity.  But she nails it “they question whether she [a white woman] is capable of telling that particular story.”  Also, “Cultures function and persist by consensus.” And this is where I am left … I belief that my Southern white family is good … at what point does the sin of a culture become my sin.

To some extent, they have been angry that the movie is based on a novel by a white woman, Kathryn Stockett, and they question whether she is capable of telling that particular story. Some have also complained that the movie reinforces stereotypes about black Southern households. The black heroines speak with a dialect that disturbs some viewers; the audience never sees an intact black household, and a black man’s abuse of his wife is all the more chilling because we never see him, only the pots he hurls and the scars he leaves.

One maid’s close bond with the white toddler she cares for has been decried as a re-enactment of the misconception that maids nurtured their white charges while denigrating their own black offspring.

Not all blacks are unmoved by “The Help.” Indeed, among my friends, relatives and colleagues a wide range of views have been shared, including comments that some of us might want to establish a support group for strong black women who liked “The Help.”

This movie deploys the standard formula. With one possible exception, the white women are remarkably unlikable, and not just because of their racism. Like the housewives portrayed in reality television shows, the housewives of Jackson treat each other, their parents and their husbands with total callousness. In short, they are bad people, therefore they are racists.

There’s a problem, though, with that message. To suggest that bad people were racist implies that good people were not.

Cultures function and persist by consensus. In Jackson and other bastions of the Jim Crow South, the pervasive notion, among poor whites and rich, that blacks were unworthy of full citizenship was as unquestioned as the sanctity of church on Sunday. “The Help” tells a compelling and gripping story, but it fails to tell that one.

I have dim recollections of watching Dr. King in 1963, with the black maid who raised me — my mother. If my father wasn’t in the room, he was working to make sure there would be opportunities in my future. I have benefited enormously from their hard work and from the shift that American culture has undergone as the scaffolding of discrimination was dismantled.

via Dangerous White Stereotypes – NYTimes.com.

The Holy Land Experience, Orlando FL, Disney, faith and spirituality, Facts Stranger Than Fiction…:  Anybody been?  I haven’t, but I do have a few thoughts: 1) reminds me of PTL, 2) disneyfies the Biblical stories, and 3) monetarily competes with “theme parks.” Just doesn’t work for me … I don’t want my kids comparing faith with fiction … Jesus with Harry Potter or Moses with Dumbledore.

 

The Holy Land Experience is a living biblical museum and park that brings the world of the Bible alive!

It combines the sights and sounds of the biblical world in a unique and interactive way unlike anywhere else! To appreciate everything there is to do at The Holy Land Experience, you will want to plan to spend a full day with us.

via Exhibits – The Holy Land Experience.

28
Aug
11

8.28.2011 ‎… Have i mentioned that the man can cook … :)‎… Heading to Amelie’s to see if American-made French macaroons are worthy of the drive … Scratch that, Amelie’s is always worth the drive :)

home, food, kith/kin, Amelie’s, Charlotte, macaroons:  Last night John tried an old favorite (which I buy frozen) Chicken Cordon Bleu.  The kids actually rebel and call it Chicken Cordon Bleh … well, homemade by Chef JBT is definitely better.  And then today Molls and I headed to  Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe for macaroons … they were good … but not as good as Parisian macaroons … pistachio was definitely better than raspberry.  I guess we are still on a French food kick. 🙂

Dr. Martin Luther King, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA):  I have never been a great fan of John Lewis.  I respect what he did during the civil rights movement, but in some ways he historically has ignored his white constituents in Atlanta … not completely, but that is another issue.  Nor have I ever thought he spoke well … too vituperative. But his commentary here is excellent.  And even if you do not agree, this is worth reading because it sums up MLK’s dream.

Among those leaders, I know he would take a special interest in President Obama — not only because he is the first African-American to sit in the Oval Office, but because Dr. King recognized the power of one man to transform a nation. He would say that the president has the capacity to unify America, to bring us together as one people, one family, one house.  He would say that a leader has the ability to inspire people to greatness, but that to do so he must be daring, courageous and unafraid to demonstrate what he is made of.

As a minister, never elected to any public office, Dr. King would tell this young leader that it is his moral obligation to use his power and influence to help those who have been left out and left behind.  …

Dr. King would say that a Nobel Peace Prize winner can and must find a way to demonstrate that he is a man of peace, a man of love and non-violence.

He would say that Obama’s election represents a significant step toward laying down the burden of race, but that this task is not yet complete. The election of 2008 was a major down payment on Dr. King’s dream, but it did not fulfill it. When one member of Congress calls the president a “tar baby” on a radio show and when another cries out “You lie!” during a State of the Union address, it is more than clear that we still do not understand the need to respect human dignity despite our differences.

Dr. King would tell this young president to do what he can to end discrimination based on race, color, religious faith and sexual orientation. He would say that righteous work makes its own way. … The people of this country recognize when a leader is trying to do what is right. Take a stand, he would say. Go with your gut. Let the people of this country see that you are fighting for them and they will have your back.

There will be opposition, and it might become ugly. … He often quoted the notion that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” And the reason it does is because of the central goodness of humankind.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that once people heard the truth, their tendency to bend toward what is right would pave the way for goodness to prevail. And it still can.

via What would MLK say to President Obama? – The Washington Post.

Libya Uprising, Qaddafi, Middle East stability, NATO:  Getting your arms around all the issues in the April Sring is very difficult.  This article is helpful with regard to Libya.

The toppling of Colonel Qaddafi—no matter whether he is eventually tried, killed or exiled—will be a boon to the Middle East and Western powers that supported the rebels. The implications for Libya itself are less clear and in part depend on whether Qaddafi loyalists will disperse and keep their weapons or agree to disarm. To become a rule-based democracy—the stated goal of all the various rebel groups—Libya must avoid an Iraqi-style insurgency, as well as disputes among the new rulers.

Helpfully, Libya has no sectarian divide. Its society is relatively homogeneous but grievances abound after four decades of oppression. Revenge killings loom, as well as tribal conflicts and large-scale looting, given the lack of physical security at the moment. The fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan showed that a temporary power vacuum can lead to long-term instability and undermine the formation of a functioning state.

The impact of Libya’s liberation on the rest of the Arab world looks clearer. What counts there is the dethronement of a tyrant. It will lift spirits in Syria, where another reformist revolt is under way. It will also give renewed drive to Egyptians and Tunisians who toppled their dictators several months ago but have since been grappling with constitutional change. Libya will inject new momentum into the Arab spring—raising hopes that decades of stagnation and repression can be ended.

Libya will have an impact on NATO too. The military alliance that faced down the Red Army might have been expected to crush the clumsy forces of Colonel Qaddafi in days. Instead it took five months of fighting and 17,000 air sorties. An embarrassment for NATO? Not at all. The alliance has had a good war so far (who said “stalemate” not long ago?) and is winning the best kind of victory given the circumstances: one achieved mostly by Libyans themselves. Rebels entered the capital without a single Western soldier visible on the ground (though there were some special forces). NATO air attacks, as well as weapons supplied by friendly Gulf states, aided the rebels. But they alone manned trenches, which will give them added legitimacy in months to come.

via End-game in Libya: Going, going… | The Economist.

Neil Gaiman, heroes, LOL, twitter:  Never meet your heroes!  But this goy got a retweet by his hero!

Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself)
8/28/11 12:41 PM
Very funny… RT “@barryhutchison: Blog post about meeting @neilhimself at @edinbookshop last night:http://t.co/3QHUgm3

You might not have heard of Neil Gaiman. At least, you might not have heard of him if you’re deaf and blind, and have spent the last 20 years living in a ditch. On the moon. Just in case this describes you, here’s a quick summary of his career. Much more detailed information can be found on Wikipedia. You can also read Neil’s blog.

Neil Gaiman is very busy man. He has written adult novels, children’s novels, graphic novels, short stories and picture books. He has also written movie screenplays and scripts for TV programmes, most notably BABYLON 5 and DOCTOR WHO, as well as his own original series, NEVERWHERE, for the BBC.

It was only during the three hour drive home that I realised I’d made a mess of the little message I’d written to him inside the book. I thanked him for inspiring me to become an author myself. At least, that’s what I meant to write, but I’m pretty sure in my semi-coherent state I actually thanked him for ‘encouraging’ me to become an author, as if he himself had popped round my house back in the late 80s/early 90s and personally egged me on. After reading that, I’ll be surprised if he bothers going any further.

And that, I think, is why they say you should never meet your heroes. You’ll only end up making a dick of yourself if you do.

via Meeting Neil Gaiman | BarryHutchison.com.

Hurricane Irene, twitter, quotes:  Harsh! Re: NY … NC got in the way …

CNN Video (@CNNVideo)
8/28/11 12:31 PM
New Yorkers should be thanking the state of North Carolina for a weakened #Irene. Chad Myers explains. Video:http://t.co/oS3971b
WSJ Greater New York (@WSJNY)
8/28/11 11:56 AM
“A wet day in London seems worse than this.” Tourists in Times Square react to Irene:http://t.co/bjUJG2h
Eric Holthaus (@wxrisk)
8/28/11 10:40 AM
Def historic. first landfalling TS or Hurr in 5 boroughs since 1893. @rap584 So was #Irene of “historical proportions” as we were told?

Apple, iPad, tablet market:  I like my iPad …

More than anything else, the announcement showed that the firm had finally seen the light about the tablet market—namely, that there is no such thing.

What exists instead is a rip-roaring market for iPads. Tablets based on Google’s Android, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS, Microsoft’s Windows, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry operating systems—have failed dismally to capture consumers’ hearts and minds the way Apple has with its iconic iPad.

You only have to look at the numbers. Apple’s share of the tablet market is over 61% and growing, while all the Android tablets together make up barely 30% and are being squeezed. According to Strategy Analytics of Newton, Massachusetts, Windows tablets account for 4.6% and Research in Motion’s 3.3%. Sooner or later, the rest of the iPad wannabees are going to realise that, just because Apple has a runaway success on its hands, they cannot charge Apple prices for their hastily developed me-too products and expect consumers to clamour for them.

via Tablet computers: Difference Engine: Reality dawns | The Economist.

Paris, France, guides, private guides, Donna Morris:  Small is good; private is better … I found this website and it looked wonderful – France…Off the Beaten Path.  I will give a BIG plug for our private guide in Paris, Donna Morris.  If you need a great way to get oriented, give her a call … Best Friend in Paris France.

World of Coca-Cola, Asa Candler, business cards, end of an era, random:  Are business cards on the way out … I loved seing this old card of Asa Candler … and had not realized business cards had been around since the 1890s or before.

Twitpic – Share photos and videos on Twitter.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former Vice President Dick Cheney:  I like Colin Powell; I do not like Dick Cheney … enough said.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that former Vice President Dick Cheney took “cheap shots” in his forthcoming memoir, and that he was taking his aggressive promotional techniques “a bit too far.”

Powell, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” targeted Cheney’s claim that the book, “In My Time,” would “make heads explode.”

“My head isn’t exploding, I haven’t noticed any other heads exploding in Washington, D.C.,” Powell pointed out. “From what I’ve read in the newspapers and seen on television it’s essentially a rehash of events of seven or eight years ago.”

In fact, Powell suggested, the most notable thing about the book was Mr. Cheney’s characterization of it.

“What really sort of got my attention was this way in which he characterized it: it’s going to cause heads to explode,” he said. “That’s quite a visual. And in fact, it’s the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist, or the kind of headline you might see one of the supermarket tabloids write. It’s not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former Vice President of the United States of America.”

He added: “I think Dick overshot the runway.”

Powell also took issue with Cheney’s claim that, during his tenure as Secretary of State, he declined to fully present his positions to former President George W. Bush.

“Mr. Cheney may forget that I’m the one who said to President Bush, ‘If you break it you own it,'” Powell said, referencing the administration’s actions in Iraq. “I gave the president my best advice.”

via Powell: Cheney “overshot the runway” in book – CBS News.

green, electric cars, standards:

Indeed, charging the car’s battery pack at home, or topping up at the office or shopping mall, will work fine for most drivers. But what about trips that are beyond the range of a single battery charge? Couldn’t a driver in need simply pull up to a charging kiosk and plug in for a rapid refill?

It’s not that simple.

Sure, there are already public charging stations in service, and new ones are coming online daily. But those typically take several hours to fully replenish a battery.

As a result, the ability for quick battery boosts — using a compatible direct current fast charger, the Leaf can refill to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes — could potentially become an important point of differentiation among electric models.

But the availability of fast charging points has in part been held up by the lack of an agreement among automakers on a universal method for fast charging — or even on a single electrical connector. Today’s prevalent D.C. fast-charge systems are built to a standard developed in Japan by Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru in conjunction with Tokyo Electric Power.

Called Chademo, which translates roughly to “charge and move,” it uses a connector that is different from the plugs in most electric cars. As a result, a Chademo-compatible car like the Nissan Leaf requires two separate sockets.

Overcoming the limitation of a short driving range is vital to achieving acceptance by consumers who want uncompromised, do-everything vehicles. The potential solutions all have drawbacks. Larger batteries are expensive and saddle the car with added weight. An onboard generator turned by a gasoline engine, as used in the Volt plug-in hybrid and similar future models, are another possible solution, but such systems add cost and pounds — and compromise the emissions-free image that attracts consumers to electric cars in the first place.

via Electric-Car Makers’ Quest – One Plug to Charge Them All – NYTimes.com.

27
Aug
11

8.27.2011 ‎… Last night, Midnight in Paris … In Charlotte :( … Off to the WNC XC Carnival … Run, Molly, Run … Go Hawks! ‎… and I am feeling guilty because so many friends are in harm’s way … stay safe those in the path of Irene.

Hurricane Irene: Charlotte and western and central NC really got nothing.  I actually am feeling guilty because so many friends are in harm’s way … stay safe those n the path of Irene. My beloved OBX was hit hard.  🙂

This photo from the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) shows something never seen – and certainly not on what should be a busy Saturday afternoon in August: an empty Grand Central Station. With all transit in the New York area closed, the terminal is a big empty barn. If you’re watching TV news they’ll probably call it “Death Central Station.”

via Hurricane Irene-emptied Grand Central Station looks like the end of the world.

CLS XC, WNC Cross-Country Carnival,  UrbanSpoon, Mean Mr. Mustard’s Cafe, Hendersonville, NC,  kith/kin: What a great race … very well-organized and wonderful park –  WNC Cross Country Carnival  at Jackson Park, Hendersonville, NC.  Afterwards, we used Urban Spoon app to find Mean Mr. Mustard’s Cafe in downtown Hendersonville … which was excellent.

‎Midnight in Paris, movies:  John and saw ‎Midnight in Paris on the recommendation of several.  I loved it and he enjoyed it.  He said if he had not read A Paris Wife and recently been there, he would not have enjoyed it nearly as much.  Molly adored seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at 11 pm. Toward the end they showed the Eiffel Tower lit up and it  just made me smile.

apps, photography apps: Another interesting photo app.  Luminance for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

twitter, Daniel Pink, Steve Jobs tribute, Apple:  Daniel Pink finds some really fun stuff.

Daniel Pink (@DanielPink)
8/27/11 12:24 PM
RT @runkeeper: Tribute to Steve Jobs: 21km Apple Logo http://j.mp/rmJ4RT by @tamegoeswild#artofrunning

 Art of Running – A Tribute to Steve: 21KM Apple Logo « Joseph Tame.

apps, FutureTap, Urban Spoon, travel, food:  We used the similar Urban Spoon, in  Hendersonville NC and found a great restaurant.  First time I have ever really had success with these apps.  Anybody tried this one?

Discover your next destination.

Where To? makes it incredibly easy to locate the closest steakhouse, bank branch, billiard club or anything else you may be looking for, at the drop of a hat! Finally you can find local businesses without any typing, using a slick, intuitive user experience.

via Where To? – Discover your next destination | FutureTap.

Navy SEALs, Hawkeye, man’s best friend, pets, followup, photography, iconic images, followup:  I actually did not post this story, but I loved it and wondered what would happen to Hawkeye (what a great name for a dog!) … now we know.  I think this photo may become an iconic image of the continued war on terror.

Hawkeye — not a military dog, but Tumilson’s personal pet — “led the family into the gym” where the funeral was held, as the Des Moines Register reports. And then he lay down.

A poignant picture taken by Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, has gotten lots of attention since then. So too have video reports aired and posted by local TV stations and the news networks.

Our colleagues at KPBS’ Home Post blog in San Diego were among the outlets that helped spread the word about Hawkeye. Today, they write that many readers wanted to know what was going to happen to Hawkeye and wondered if they could adopt him. There’s good news: According to Home Post, “Tumilson’s friend, Scott Nichols, will be Hawkeye’s new master.”

via Navy SEAL’s Loyal Dog Now With Master’s Friend : The Two-Way : NPR.

Gadhafi, Libya Uprising, personality cults, dictators, megalomaniacs:  Unfortunately, those that choose this route can negatively affect international politics for years …

In contrast, Gadhafi showed absolutely no interest in fleeing abroad during the six months that elapsed between the start of the Libyan uprising in February until Tuesday, the day the rebels stormed into his compound in Tripoli.

For months, the rebels encouraged Gadhafi to leave, and it seemed he would have had relatively little trouble finding a new home. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez was often mentioned as a possible host.

Now Gadhafi is presumed to be in hiding in Libya, and the rebels have put a bounty out on him. If captured, he is likely to be prosecuted at home or abroad.

Personality Cults

Absolute power, it seems, not only corrupts — it can also confuse.

“There’s a healthy dose of megalomania in these guys,” John Norris, a security analyst at the Center for American Progress, says of dictators who refuse to surrender power. “If I had to find one common thread, it’s a profound and fundamental miscalculation that the end is near.”

Dictators who rule unchallenged for decades — like Gadhafi or Saddam Hussein — have the hardest time accepting the fact that it’s time to leave, says Natasha Ezrow, a lecturer in government at the University of Essex and author of two books about dictators.

via A Dictator’s Choice: Cushy Exile Or Go Underground : NPR.

Game of Thrones, bookshelf, tv, HBO: A friend has highly recommended both the Game of Thrones tv show and the book.  Books are ordered from Amazon and will watch the show … Anybody read the books or watching the show?  HBO: Game of Thrones: About.

food – wine, viticulture,  oenology, Stellenbosch, South Africa, apartheid:  This is a great story.  We have been to SA’s wine country and Kwala-Zulu Natal, and the contrast is amazing.  What a wonderful story of post apartheid success.

Her choice of study was a fluke. Though she had been a good student, none of her grant applications for college were approved until an airline, hoping to promote diversity, offered to pay her way to study viticulture and oenology: grapes and wine. What was wine? the young woman wondered, guessing it was another name for cider.

She had never been outside the eastern province of KwaZulu Natal, but she boarded a bus and traveled across South Africa to the wine country of the Western Cape. She gazed at the immense mountains. She puzzled over the short, thin trees planted in perfect rows. She had no idea what they were.

Finally, Ms. Biyela tasted the beverage she had come such a distance to study. She and a handful of other black scholarship students met with a wine connoisseur, Jabulani Ntshangase. He opened a superb red, raised the moist cork to his nose and talked rapturously about the wine’s fruitiness and color and fragrance. She was expecting to sip something sublime when handed the elegant, long-stemmed glass. Instead, she was stunned. It was disgusting.

Ms. Biyela, having definitely adapted her tastes, is now one of this nation’s few black winemakers in an occupation that has been dominated by white people for 350 years. Her blends of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinotage have won gold medals and four-star ratings. She was named South Africa’s Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2009. Last month, she was busy judging the country’s entries for the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

“Somehow I fell in love with the ever-changing content of wine,” she said as if still surprised by her own journey. “Wine is never the same today as it is tomorrow. It even depends on where you drink it and who you are with and what mood you are in. It’s a very, very nice thing.”

Though apartheid has been swept away, this country is still a racially divided society. Ms. Biyela is a pioneer in its transformation, not someone elevated through political connections, but a rural woman who made it on grit.

via Black South African Goes From Never a Sip to Vineyard Fame – NYTimes.com.

UGA, PSAs, REM: Great PSA.  Thanks UGA and REM.

R.E.M., one of Athens, Georgia’s biggest rock exports, has lent their song, “Oh My Heart” from Collapse Into Now to the University of Georgia for a beautiful, new public service message. The University of Georgia reached outside the arches, teaming with an alumni group, to create the in-game public service announcement for the upcoming 2011 football season.

via R.E.M. Lends Song to University of Georgia for New PSA.

UGA_PSA_Skylabb.mov – YouTube.

twitter, college football, LSU, LOL, Pat Forde:

@espn4d

Pat Forde

Even Imelda Marcos is impressed by Jordan Jefferson’s shoe collection. Forty-nine pairs, nearly one for each week of the year.

via Twitter / @espn4d: Even Imelda Marcos is impr ….

college basketball:  I really do like college basketball

…25 consecutive hours of game action highlighted by Champions Classic doubleheader with College GameDay on-site; 17 men’s games; two women’s games for first time; and 11 ESPN telecasts

For the fourth consecutive year, ESPN will celebrate the opening of the college basketball season with a marathon of college basketball coverage across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com. This year’s College Hoops Tip-off Marathon Presented by Disney Parks Tuesday, Nov. 15, beginning at midnight ET, will include 19 live matchups – 17 men’s and two women’s – in a minimum of 25 hours, highlighted by ESPN’s 11 game telecasts and a special one-hour College GameDay Driven by State Farm. ESPN3.com will offer two exclusive games as well as a simulcast of every ESPN and ESPN2 telecast.

The schedule will feature four of the sport’s winningest programs – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State – in the inaugural State Farm Champions Classic doubleheader, 14 teams that played in last year’s men’s NCAA Tournament, including Final Four participant Kentucky; and four women’s NCAA Tournament teams from last year, including defending National Champion Texas A&M.

via ESPN Celebrates Opening of Hoops Season with Fourth Annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon | ESPN MediaZone.

26
Aug
11

‎8.26.2011 … Meeting of CLS Sr. Parents … headmaster says he would like to come back as a CLS Senior … the good life … :)

Libyan Uprising,  Moammar Gadhafi,  Condoleezza Rice: Truth stranger than fiction ...

That’s how the State Department is describing a surprising find inside the compound of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi: a photo album filled with page after page of pictures of Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state who visited Tripoli in 2008. The pictures were first highlighted here on PhotoBlog and went on to be published around the world.

The album is just the latest addition to a bizarre collection of loot discovered by rebel fighters ransacking Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound. Earlier this week, PhotoBlog published images of the Libyan leader’s eccentric fashion accessories and his daughter’s golden mermaid couch.

via PhotoBlog – In the ruins of Gadhafi’s lair, rebels find album filled with photos of his ‘darling’ Condoleezza Rice.

Davidson College, Steph Curry: What a great Davidsonian … 🙂 🙂

Not even 10 seconds into a call with Stephen Curry, we were interrupted. It was his wife on the other line. She was calling to check in with him after his first Wednesday class of the semester.

“It’s going well — we’re still talking,” Curry said of his new marriage to his high school sweetheart, Ayesha.

This is the new Steph Curry: on-hiatus NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, born-again Davidson undergraduate and obeying husband for all of three weeks.

Curry is arguably making more out of the NBA lockout than any other player. And perhaps no other program is benefiting from the pros’ work stoppage like Davidson. That’s because Curry is taking advantage of an opportunity and fulfilling a promise at the same time. Upon leaving early from Davidson to enter the NBA Draft in 2009, he swore to his parents and his coach, Bob McKillop, that he would earn his degree as soon as possible.

“He’s walking the walk,” McKillop said. “Our culture in college athletics is going through a few hits right now, but here’s a great story.”

The NBA: just helping make dreams come true, even when it’s clogging up news feeds with stodgy non-updates about a lockout that’s as bleak as this weekend’s beach weather along the Jersey shore.

Curry is back on campus and registered as a full-time undergraduate, taking three classes. The school’s most recognizable commuter student lives approximately 30 minutes away, just outside of Charlotte.

In that moment he saw his old player back on campus, one with the program and college again. There was the humble NBA player, son of Dell and Sonya, older brother to Seth, munching on a morning sandwich, stopping to give hugs and high fives to the longtime workers who clean the school’s laundry. Like time and marriage and millions hadn’t separated the boy from the college just yet. In most ways, they never did.

via Curry reconnects with Davidson for degree, more, during lockout – NCAA Division I Mens Basketball – CBSSports.com.

Apple, Steve Jobs, cancer: Cancer does not discriminate … I will miss this visionary genius … and his black turtlenecks.

“Steve Jobs is one of the great innovators in the history of modern capitalism,” New York Times columnist Joe Nocera told CNN’s Piers Morgan Wednesday night. “His intuition has been phenomenal over the years.”

But four decades ago, you might have been hard-pressed to spot clues to Jobs’ future success.

He dropped out of Oregon’s Reed College after one semester, although he returned to audit a class in calligraphy. He quit one of his first jobs, designing video games for Atari, to backpack around India and take psychedelic drugs.

Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple Will Apple be OK without Jobs? Tim Cook new Apple CEO Apple’s future without Steve Jobs

But those early experiences, Jobs would say later, shaped his creative vision. The graceful brush strokes of the calligraphy class influenced his elegant Apple aesthetic. His LSD trips as a young man expanded his mind and helped breed Apple’s counterculture, “think different” spirit.

via Steve Jobs: From college dropout to tech visionary – CNN.com.

BofA, Warren Buffet, Oracle of Omaha: I always liked the old man …

B of A rallies 24% on Buffett’s $5 billion stake

Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.31% rallied 24% to $8.67 a share in pre-market trades on Thursday after billionaire Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A +0.98% BRK.B +0.99% said it would invest $5 billion in the financial conglomerate. Berkshire agreed to purchase 50,000 shares of cumulative preferred stock with a liquidation value of $100,000 a share in a private offering. The preferred stock carries an annual dividend yield of 6% and is redeemable by the company at any time at a 5% premium. “I am impressed with the profit-generating abilities of this franchise, and that they are acting aggressively to put their challenges behind them,” Buffett said in a statement.

via B of A rallies 24% on Buffett’s $5 billion stake – MarketWatch.

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8.24.2011 … first day of school for my baby … senior year … that was quick …

9/11, church v. state, outrage:

Religious leaders are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse course and offer clergy a role in the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Rudy Washington, a deputy mayor in former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration, said he’s outraged. Mr. Washington organized an interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me,” said Mr. Washington, who has suffered severe medical problems connected to the time he spent at Ground Zero. “I feel like America has lost its way.”

City Hall officials, who are coordinating the ceremony, confirmed that spiritual leaders will not participate this year—just as has been the case during past events marking the anniversary. The mayor has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies.

“There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11,” said Evelyn Erskine, a mayoral spokeswoman.

But the mayor’s plans this year have drawn increased scrutiny and some disapproval, as the event will attract an international audience and President Barack Obama will attend.

via 9/11 Exclusion Spurs Outrage – WSJ.com.

Apple, Tim Cook, Steve Jobs:  An Alabaman … and a Dookie …

While Steve Jobs’ announcement Wednesday that he was resigning as CEO of Apple may have come as a surprise to some, the company is already being run by the man tapped to replace him, according to most reports.

Tim Cook, the unflappable Alabaman, had been Apple’s chief operating officer since 2007, running its day-to-day operations, a role many expect him to keep as CEO. He has twice taken over CEO duties during Jobs’ recent medical leaves.

While most insiders say Cook is not the “visionary” that Jobs is, nearly everyone credits him as being a kind of business-operations “maestro,” according to a 2008 Fortune magazine profile.

Cook earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University, according to his official Apple biography. Prior to joining Apple, Cook had served in various executive roles at Compaq, Intelligent Electronics and IBM.

While Jobs and Cook are both known for their relentlessness, they largely operate in opposite ways, The New York Times reports.

Jobs is often described as mercurial and prone to outbursts, while Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is polite and soft-spoken, The Times reports. Whereas Jobs liked to focus on Apple’s products, Cook has largely delved into the minutiae of its operations.

via Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, a business “maestro” – CBS News.

8/23 DC earthquake, animal behavior, National Zoo, DC:

We know how humans first sensed Tuesday’s earthquake. We felt the shake, then the rattle, and then the urge to flee.

But what about the region’s animals?

Did they sense the rare 5.8-magnitude temblor before the shaking started?

We checked in with the folks at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, one of the most popular attractions in the nation’s capital, to see what they could tell us.

(First things first: The zoo was open for business as usual Wednesday, and zoo officials report that there were no injuries, animal or human, as a result of Tuesday’s seismic event.)

And, according to zoo keepers and other eye witnesses, the animals did, indeed, sense the coming quake before their human compatriots, including Dr. Don Moore, the zoo’s associate director for animal care sciences.

“I didn’t have any pre-quake behavior,” Moore joked Wednesday morning.

But a quick Smithsonian survey indicates that many animals in his care did.

Behavior ranged from jumping into trees and “vocalizing,” to banding together.

via ‘Hearing Something We Can’t Hear’: How Animals Foretold The Earthquake : The Two-Way : NPR.

apps, history, photography: A new one for me to try!

Discover windows into the past by seeing and interacting with the history all around you.

The official Historypin app reveals photos near your current location and allows you to view them layered over the modern scene in front of you. You can also explore Collections of some of the best old photos from around the world, wherever you are.

You can add your own piece of history and pin it to the map, too, by using your phone to digitise an old photo, capture a modern moment of historic importance, or take a modern replica of a photo on the app.

And if you shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, your phone will bring up some of the best photos from all over the globe.

Historypin was created by the not-for-profit company We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google.

via Historypin for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

food fads, macaroons, France:  We loved the ones in France!  Now to find them in Charlotte, NC …

In the 1970s, it was Jell-O molds. In the 1980s, it was frozen yogurt. And for the past decade? Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. Trendy desserts have come and gone, and some foodies predict another treat is poised to be this decade’s defining sweet: Bonjour, macaron!

The fad for macaroons, as they tend to be spelled in English, first came to my attention with a post on Amanda McClements’ terrific Washington, D.C., food blog, Metrocurean.

Her argument about the rise of the colorful little almond-and-air cookies included the following: that the show Gossip Girl has fetishized the macaroon in a manner reminiscent of the way Sex and the City launched a cupcake boom; that Starbucks recently carried a limited edition of macaroons; and that white-hot designer Jason Wu (who designed Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown) recently baked them in an issue of Food & Wine magazine. Plus, McClements says, she’s just seeing them everywhere.

“It seems the little French confections are partout,” she wrote.

I contacted McClements and asked her to be my macaroon muse, my guide to the best macaroons in our city. She took me first to Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Va., where the macaroons are made by Chef Ed Jiloca, who trained in California. His macaroons are fat with buttercream, and they come in American flavors like peanut butter and jelly, and birthday cake (complete with sprinkles).

More traditional macaroons were on the menu at Adour, the restaurant at Washington, D.C.’s St. Regis Hotel. Macaroons have become so popular there that the hotel sells them in boxes for guests to take home, and chef Fabrice Bendano has started offering macaroon-making classes in the restaurant kitchen. They regularly sell out.

“Macaroons are the new cupcake,” said one young man in a Penn State sweatshirt at a recent class, as Bendano explained how to make rose-flavored white chocolate macaroons. “They’re now the fashionable snack. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve on that.”

via Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon.




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