Archive for November, 2011

29
Nov
11

11.29.2011… Planning the half-way there luncheon for my high school senior … and for the magabus tomorrow …

grammar, LOL:


‎7 walking-into-a-bar jokes for grammar geeks… http://is.gd/1hDsvf

Eloise, The Plaza, NYC, Christmas trees:

At first glance, it’s easy to forget that Johnson’s creation is a Christmas tree. There’s barely a hint of green in the 18-inch high creation, but instead, vibrant pink decorations everywhere, which is befitting the designer’s aesthetic. “It’s filled with girly stuff—pink feathers, sparkles, foldout Eloise paper dolls,” Johnson says. “There’s three quarters of me that’s six years old and it comes out.”

via Betsey Johnson Unveils ‘Eloise’ Christmas Tree at Plaza Hotel | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

abseiling, rapp jumping, South Africa, adventure travel, South Africa:

It’s only recently that abseiling has become an activity in its own right. Really it’s just the method climbers use to get off mountains – or special services forces use to descend deserted buildings into enemy territory in adventure movies – but it’s fun, and so it’s become available as an activity in its own right.

You can hang out high over Cape Town abseiling from Table Mountain. The “long drop” is 112m high – and about a kilometre above the city – making it the world’s highest commercial abseil.

via Abseiling & rapp jumping in SA – SouthAfrica.info.

Advent Calendars, chocolate, history:  The Germans again … 🙂

Like most Christmas traditions, Advent Calendars date back to early 19th-century-Germany. Religious families counted down the days to Christmas by drawing lines in chalk on their doors and, later, lighting candles and hanging religious images on their walls each day to mark Advent’s passing. The first Advent Wreath was hung in December 1839.

Historians believe the first hand-made Advent Calendar, an extension of the Wreath tradition, was produced in 1851. The date of the first printed Advent Calendar, however, is uncertain. But we do know that it was some time in the first decade of the 1900s.

Gerhard Lang, a Swabian, began printing Advent Calendars in Munich around this time, and created at least 30 different calendar designs, mostly consisting of little paper images stuck to a piece of cardboard, before his company folded in the 1930s. Other companies picked up the practice, which grew in popularity until cardboard was rationed during the Second World War.

Post-WWII, many companies picked printing back up again, including Richard Sellmer, who was the first to recreate Advent Calendars in 1946. His company produces yearly calendars to this day.

The first chocolate-filled calendar was created in 1958 and—obviously—the trend stuck.

via The History of Chocolate and the Advent Calendar — Gourmet Live.

The Physics Book: An Illustrated Chronology of How We Understand the Universe, books:

Einstein famously observed that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it’s comprehensible. In The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics, acclaimed science author Clifford Pickover offers a sweeping, lavishly illustrated chronology of comprehension by way of physics, from the Big Bang (13.7 billion BC) to Quantum Resurrection (> 100 trillion), through such watershed moments as Newton’s formulation of the laws of motion and gravity (1687), the invention of fiber optics (1841), Einstein’s general theory of relativity (1915), the first speculation about parallel universes (1956), the discovery of buckyballs (1985), Stephen Hawking’s Star Trek cameo (1993), and the building of the Large Hadron Collider (2009).

The book, which could well be the best thing since Bill Bryson’s short illustrated history of nearly everything, begins with a beautiful quote about the poetry of science and curiosity:

As the island of knowledge grows, the surface that makes contact with mystery expands. When major theories are overturned, what we thought was certain knowledge gives way, and knowledge touches upon mystery differently. This newly uncovered mystery may be humbling and unsettling, but it is the cost of truth. Creative scientists, philosophers, and poets thrive at this shoreline.” ~ W. Mark Richardson, ‘A Skeptic’s Sense of Wonder,’ Science

via The Physics Book: An Illustrated Chronology of How We Understand the Universe | Brain Pickings.

Three as Four, fashion collective, Islam, Judaism:  Very interesting …

On Sunday night, the fashion collective Three as Four opened its highly anticipated exhibition “Insalaam Inshalom” at the Beit Ha’Ir Center for Urban Culture in Tel Aviv, bringing to fruition a project over two years in the making. Covering the walls of the four-story building in fabric printed with their spring collection’s central motifs, which are made of a mix of Muslim and Jewish symbols, the designers Gabi Asfour, Adi Gil and Ange Donhauser invited 10 artists to show works that relate to the project’s central notion: that Judaism and Islam can live side by side. “We’ve accumulated the energy of artists and performers who are like-minded,” Asfour said. “We tried to balance things from all sides, though it’s always difficult.”

via Come Together – NYTimes.com.

Apple, iPad:  Chatter, chatter … Apple Chatter: New iPad, iPhone Soon? – TheStreet.

Africa Through a Lens, photography, Africa:

These images, from The National Archives, have been added to Flickr so that you can comment, tag and share them easily.

Do you recognise anything or anyone in the photographs and do they provoke any personal memories? Perhaps you have a similar picture from your own travels? If you do, post us a link. Let us know of any inaccuracies in the descriptions and help us to map the images we don’t have locations for.

For more information please see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/africa

The CO 1069 series is a diverse collection of images with a rich variety of content. In many instances we know little about the people or contents of the photographs and this is one of the reasons why we have published them online and asked people to comment and share their knowledge.

Please note the pictures and the captions attached to them are representative of the time they were taken. They frequently use terms that would not be used today. However, our role is to preserve the integrity of the historic public record, which is why they have been preserved and presented as originally captured.

via Collection: Africa Through a Lens.

nature, Atlanta, coyotes:

Emma Millican Park remained closed Thursday due to the wild animals.

Resident LaTanya Grant said she feared the worst when she saw the yellow caution tape stretched across the park across the street from her home.

Tuesday, she said she walked across Lynnhave Drive to read the yellow notice posted at the park. Turns out, there wasn’t a crime at all. But there is a den of coyotes living near the park, according to the notice posted by the city of Atlanta.

“I read it twice because the first time I didn’t believe it,” Grant told the AJC. “They’re probably just as scared of us, but my guard is going to be up.”

Joyce Shepherd, a member of the Atlanta City Council, told Channel 2 Action News the coyotes have become more aggressive recently, even eating a neighbor’s chickens and a goat.

via ‘Coyote’ trapped near park turns out to be dog  | ajc.com.

Chiquita, Charlotte,Twitter war, Cincinnati:  War!

Determined to stop Chiquita’s exodus, Cincinnati residents started a hashtag on Twitter, #NoCincyBananaSplit, to keep the global fruit and vegetable distributor around. Within days, Charlotte lovers had come up with their own rival hashtag, #Bananas4CLT, certain they could win the battle for Chiquita’s heart. Prolific tweeter and Chiquita CEO Fernando Aguirre encouraged the faceoff, and Charlotte restaurants soon joined in.

Today, Chiquita announced its decision: It would, as planned, move its headquarters to Charlotte. But Cincinnati didn’t go without a fight. Here is how the Twitter war went down:

via Chiquita’s new world headquarters in Charlotte decided with help from a Twitter war – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

cake balls, holiday desserts: 🙂

I first tasted these two years ago at a Christmas party and immediately had to have the recipe. It’s based on a mix, but I imagine you can follow the same directions substituting from scratch cake and frosting (I’ll try that one day). You can also try it with other cake combinations.

via Red Velvet Cake Balls « bakerella.com.

27
Nov
11

11.26.2011 … post-Thanksgivng down time in Louisville … visited cemetery … enjoyed time with family … bittersweet, but thankful … …

Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville KY, kith/kin:  We visited CHT’s grave as a family.  It’s still hard to believe he is not with us.  You see him in each of his sons … my husband and his two brothers.  I am very fortunate to have had such a great father-in-law.  The cemetery is another story.  It is huge and the roads meander through it.  Interesting history …

Like any Pioneer, when William Johnston decided to build a brick house in the countryside of the fledging town of Louisville, he first searched for a good spring. He found one that helped feed Beargrass Creek, emanating from a large cave that kept it well protected.

When surveyed by Edmund Lee in 1847, the spring was 11 feet above the creek, which was later made into a lake. The spring is protected by a sizeable cave which can be entered on foot for about 30 feet. Crawl space extends another 45 feet. However, footing is treacherous, and the cave is off limits.

via Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Waffle Houses, crime spree:  Classically southern … comforting.  So it is ironic that it has become the target of a crime spree.

“Another day, another Waffle House robbery,” began one article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as 18 Waffle Houses were robbed this summer.

Throughout the South, it was not so much the three-week crime spree that caught people’s attention. It was the location.

Waffle House, a ubiquitous chain of yellow-roofed diners, is as much a fixture of Southern life as the grits, hash browns and crispy waffles that it serves all day, every day, even on Christmas. In Georgia, where the 1,600-store chain originated, it is hard to find an Interstate exit without the restaurant’s yellow block-letter sign nearby.

In the Atlanta area alone, there are 230 locations, all offering heaping portions, strong coffee and jukeboxes that play songs about Waffle House. And federal emergency officials even use what they call the Waffle House Index to determine how severe natural disasters are in the South. If a local Waffle House is closed, along with a Home Depot or a Wal-Mart, it indicates a longer recovery process.

But in recent weeks, bad news has kept coming for the restaurant chain.

via At Waffle Houses, a Side of Drama With Breakfast – NYTimes.com.

Cooking Solves Everything, Mark Bittman, books, manifesto:  I love it when they use terms like manifesto … rarely lives up to the hype.

Cooking Solves Everything

 

Bittman argues that a simple meal prepared at home is a powerful tool: It’s one small step toward improving your health and, by extension, the health of the planet. Our reliance on prepared food—in the form of snacks, soft drinks, frozen meals, and fast food—supports a system of agriculture that is playing havoc with our bodies, our economy, and the environment. How can we break the cycle? By cooking.“People who prepare meals—even infrequently—achieve outcomes that extend far beyond the morsel at the end of the fork,” writes Bittman. “Cooking may not solve everything, but it solves a lot. When people make food a priority in their lives, they actively contribute to society. Cooking can change our collective lives for the better.”

Cooking Solves Everything is an engaging manifesto that inspires non-cooks to reach for a pan (Bittman’s shopping list and foolproof recipes will get them started) and encourages all of us to take a closer look at how we feed ourselves and our loved ones.

via iTunes – Books – Cooking Solves Everything by Mark Bittman.

brands, tv, entertainment,  infographics:

A brief infographic history of hidden product placement   (via)

Everything You Should Know About Hidden Product Placement

via Everything You Should Know About Hidden Product Placement | OnlineMBA.

25
Nov
11

11.25.2011 … Louisville labyrinth walking … Shalom!

Labryrinths, Louisville KY: I made two walls today  and loved both!

Labyrinth walk (and the walk is the grass!) — at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Shalom!

Labyrinth #2 — at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Louisville, KY.

.

travel,gift ideas, frugal gift ideas: 

On the other hand, coming up with creative, personalized gifts that don’t cost much takes some effort. This year’s frugal suggestions won’t please everyone. You’ll have to think a bit about whether the traveler in your life will like an item and actually use it. I’ve also added some free alternatives, aimed at those in the gift-receiving minority who still believe what their moms told them: the best gifts are the ones you make yourself. (The good news: none involve finger paint.)

via Ten Gift Ideas for the Frugal Traveler – The New York Times.

Thanksgiving, music, playlists:  Another one for you …

GIVING THANKS: AN APPRECIATIVE, GRATEFUL PLAYLIST

Thanksgiving is a holiday whose purpose is telegraphed in its title: not only to be with family and to eat but also to give thanks. Expressing gratitude is also a persistent theme throughout pop music.

via Culture Desk: Giving Thanks: An Appreciative, Grateful Playlist : The New Yorker.

apps, holiday greetings:  Poor USPS …

“Last year was a huge tipping point in terms of people sending things electronically and by mobile,” Ms. Newkirk said. “A lot of our clients didn’t have snail mail addresses anymore and wanted to send texts and e-mails and feel good about it.”

The United States Postal Service numbers back that up. This holiday season, the post office expects to deliver 2.7 billion letters and process 801 million pieces of mail on Dec. 20, the busiest mailing day of the year. That is down from 3.4 billion holiday letters and 960 million pieces of mail on the busiest day in 2008.

SINCERELY INK Matt Brezina, co-founder and chief executive of Sincerely, a start-up, believes it is not just Great-Aunt Ethel who wants printed cards. He introduced an app, Postagram, to turn photos stuck on Instagram, Facebook and cellphones into printed postcards.

The company’s newest app, Sincerely Ink, applies that idea to holiday cards. The designs are fairly traditional (think snowflakes and Christmas trees), and when the season ends, the app will be updated with cards for coming holidays.

In typical Apple fashion, the cards are elegantly designed and addressed in cursive. Users choose from 21 templates, add a photo, write a message and choose addresses from their phones’ address books. For $2.99 in the United States, Apple mails the card and sends a notification to the sender’s phone when the card is scheduled to arrive.

via Smartphone Card Apps Send Holiday Greetings – NYTimes.com.

travel, shopping, London:

Gulliver assumed that London owed its success to the presence of John Lewis (where he tries to do all his shopping), but in fact the city scored most highly for the variety of its goods and shopping locations. It was also praised for its accessibility: it receives 950,000 passenger flights a year, which is almost 200,000 more than the next city on the list. The British capital’s status as shopping nirvana is compromised by its high prices, though, and it was ranked 24th for overall affordability. If you’re seeking a bargain, you’re better off heading east to Sofia, Bratislava, Bucharest, Kiev and Belgrade. (Or, more simply perhaps, to Primark.)

Some keen shoppers may be surprised to learn that Madrid and Barcelona shared second place ahead of Paris and Rome. The report attributed the Spanish cities’ prominence to their “strong and extensive attractions for the shopper, including good cuisine, convenience, and low prices for brand names.”

One last point to highlight in passing is the absence of large shopping malls in Europe’s cities. The continent’s biggest urban mall is about to open in London, but will not even make it into the world’s top 20 by floor space.

via Shopping: London’s top shops | The Economist.

CloudFTP, hardware, cloud storage:

CloudFTP is a pocket size adapter that can turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server, sharing files with WiFi-enabled devices (iPad, iPhone, computer etc.). It can also automatically connect to the Internet to backup and synchronize your USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.

via CloudFTP. Wirelessly share ANY USB storage with iPad, iPhone by Daniel Chin — Kickstarter.

tweet of the day, planking:

@USATODAYcollege look! We’re planking with USA Today! pic.twitter.com/pBCUpWKQ

pic.twitter.com/pBCUpWKQ

via Twitter / @AMK2K: @USATODAYcollege look! We’ ….

banking,  history, President Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln’s Last-Known Check …

Last year, Ms. Draeger, an avid Lincoln fan, pulled out each check and gaped. “It reads like a who’s who of American history,” she said. “It’s everybody that you studied growing up and read their literature and, you know, they were your heroes.”

The collection includes checks for as little as $1.56 (from Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and as much as $10,000 (from Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain). The Abraham Lincoln check—made out in the amount of $800 to “Self” and dated April 13, 1865—was perhaps the president’s last check. By the end of the next day, he was shot.

Huntington didn’t know what to do with the collection, though. It was sent to an appraiser with the intent of auctioning off the checks by the end of this year. Then Huntington decided to display them in Pittsburgh. The public’s response led it to cancel the auction.

“When you look at checks like these, it can remind you how America was built with a lot of these local community banks,” said Dan Walsh, Huntington’s Cleveland president. “The community bank was really the heart of the way the community developed and the hopes and dreams of a lot of people.”

via Cached at Huntington: Lincoln’s Last-Known Check – WSJ.com.

Cyber Monday, tips,  online deals:  Skipped Black Friday … probably skip Cybr Monday.

Maybe you purposely avoided Black Friday’s mayhem. Or you still have holiday shopping to do. Either way, here are ways to prepare for Monday’s online version of Black Friday:

via Cyber Monday: Tips to get the best online deals | Atlanta Bargain Hunter.

 

24
Nov
11

11.24.2011 … Do you argue politics at your Thanksgiving Dinner? … stuffed, but blessed …

Thanksgiving,  prayers, Lincoln, history: 

Jon Meacham (@jmeacham)

11/24/11 10:24 AM

Lincoln, Thanksgiving 1863, asked prayers for “all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers.”We sd repeat them today.

Rev. James Howell, prayer, Thanksgiving Day 2011: excellent prayer … I must admit  stole heavily from it for my reading at our Thanksgiving table.

O Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good (Psalm 118:1). What shall I render to the Lord for all His bounty? I will lift up the sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and call on the name of the Lord (Psalm 116:17).

via Rev. James Howell: A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day 2011.

Thanksgiving dinner,  political arguments guide, table talk:  🙂

First, a prayer: May your Thanksgiving gathering be the supercommittee of our dreams, which is to say a happy meeting where everyone gets along despite their ideological differences and divides the pie equitably. We recognize, however, that some families are like the actual supercommittee — and the day may end with one faction pouting to Chris Matthews in the guest room after a political debate. In that case, the better prayer is always Loudon Wainwright’s Thanksgiving one: “If I argue with a loved one, Lord, please make me the winner.” In that spirit, we present Slate’s annual guide to this year’s political arguments, so that you might be lightly armed for small skirmishes.

via Thanksgiving dinner political arguments guide – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

Time for the annual family dinner, where you are the behind-the-scenes powerbroker, the resident expert on All Things Beltway — or so your mom told her cousins. What if you’re just a deputy to an assistant to an undersecretary, i.e. intern? Our sixth annual Thanksgiving Talking Points are just smarty-pants enough to wow the hometown crowd. Okay, maybe they’re not technically true — but that never stops presidential candidates.

via The 6th Annual Reliable Source Thanksgiving Talking Points – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

TIME, Spotify Playlist, music, Thanksgiving:

In the absence of classic Thanksgiving tunes, I put together a playlist of my own. You can listen to it on TIME’s Spotify account here. There are songs about food (The Kinks’ “Maximum Consumption”), songs about returning home (Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound”) and songs about being thankful for something (Sly & the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” counts, right?). The playlist is an hour long, so while it might not keep you company during the entire time that your turkey is baking — those suckers take forever — it’ll definitely come in handy as you preparing some side dishes. Think of it as TIME’s way of saying thank you for reading.

via TIME Puts Together a Spotify Playlist of Songs to Listen to on Thanksgiving | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, kith/kin: One of my favorite places,Lynn’s Paradise Cafe,  with some favorite people — with Ruth-Ann, Sarah and husband … great way to start Thanksgiving.

apps, 6×7:

Description

For high-quality images, medium-format cameras were the professionals’ choice for years. And many preferred the framing of the 6x7cm format above all. Now 6×7 takes you back to that time, with beautiful, high-resolution images that aren’t quite square – but aren’t too stretched out, either.

via App Store – 6×7.

23
Nov
11

11.23.2011 … over the hill and through the woods to GoGo’s house we go … ‎… And now I am told I have no choice. UK is playing. GO BLUE!

travel, Thanksgiving, Facebook:  On the way … Sleep you traveling masses … Just for a bit …Traveling Along 74 … Sun At Our Backs … Hello, Asheville! A little rainy on your side of the mountains …. — at I-26 W … Shout out to Pidgeon Forge … Man you guys got rain this morning! — in Gatlinburg, TN … Whew… Made it through the “BEWARE OF FALLING ROCKS” zone near Sieverville .. — at I-40E Tennessee … Hello, Knoxville. Hello, Brantleys — at I 75N … We are almost to Lexington … Goal is to get to Louisville before I – 64 gets bottled up…. Made it to KY … and the Thanksgiving Exodus has started … Shout out to Lexington KY and the Whites! — at I-75 Near Lexington KY. … Almost to Louisville … Shout out to the Bodes … [my FB posts as we traveled :)]

Thanksgiving: Stay Calm …

Thanksgiving, Goggle doodle: Gobble … Gobble

Davidson College, teaching initiative:  Interesting story involving Davidson prof and students.

Longtime science blog readers will certainly remember the popular cognitive psychology blog Cognitive Daily, written by Greta and Dave Munger, that had a fantastic five-year run at Scienceblogs. While Dave is still involved in the science blogging community through projects like Research Blogging and Science Seeker, and of course writing his own blogs, Greta has been pushing forward with online science communication in a slightly different way: working with her undergraduate psychology students at Davidson College in updating and improving psychology-related entries on Wikipedia.

Greta’s project is part of a larger effort spearheaded by the Association for Psychological Science, called the APS Wikipedia Initiative:

APS is calling on its Members to support the Association’s mission to deploy the power of Wikipedia to represent scientific psychology as fully and as accurately as possible and thereby to promote the free teaching of psychology worldwide.

All APS Members are encouraged to participate by adding new entries and enhancing existing ones with more complete and accurate information with references. This is an especially exciting initiative for teachers and students who can make updating or creating Wikipedia entries part of coursework.

I spoke with Greta about this project recently:

Why did you decide to include this somewhat unconventional assignment in your class? What might this sort of assignment offer for your students that is different from more standard papers or presentations?

I’ve always had students in my 200-level lecture course write research papers on a topic of their choice as a way to introduce reading journal articles and writing literature reviews. It also introduces them to the search tools in our library. When I read about the APSWI challenge to have students help correct Wikipedia, I thought it sounded like a really neat idea at many levels: taking some responsibility for how research psychology is represented; having a project the students might get more excited about; and having a chance to tap into the service and leadership part that is so important to Davidson College’s tradition. In order to write a good Wikipedia article, the students need the same reading and research skills that my older assignment was designed to teach them, with the advantage of also contributing to the public good.

via Engaging Undergrads with Wikipedia | The Thoughtful Animal, Scientific American Blog Network.

Thanksgiving traditions, turkeys, pardons, President Obama:  🙂

It’s good to have friends in high places. Especially when you’re a turkey. On Thanksgiving.

President Obama will use his executive authority Wednesday to pardon two 19-week-old, 45-pound turkeys a day before America’s annual feast. Liberty, chosen from among more than 100 candidates as the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and its alternate Peace, will be driven to Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where they will be on display through Jan. 6, the White House announced.

via Obama to pardon two national turkeys for Thanksgiving – 44 – The Washington Post.

English language, history:

Yesterday, the Open University released ‘The History of English in 10 Minutes,’ a witty animated sequence that takes you through 1600 years of linguistic history. The Vikings gave us “give” and “take.” Shakespeare added another 2,000 words and expressions to the mix. The British Empire (see video above) then brought the evolving English language to new lands, creating new varieties of English worldwide. And so the story continues.

via The History of the English Language in Ten Animated Minutes | Open Culture.

YouTube, Urban Ninjas:  Crazy stuff out there …

DANCE ASSASSIN + Urban Ninja 3 Preview

via DANCE ASSASSIN + Urban Ninja 3 Preview – YouTube.

public libraries:  Worth reading … “6. Public libraries are one of the greatest equalizers for equitable access to information regardless of race, creed or income level.”

… so, before you read my interview with Molly Raphael, President of the American Library Association, please take a moment to look at 10 important things you need to know about our American libraries.

1. Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies.

2. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S. (total of 16,604 including branches).

3. 59% of adults in the U.S. have a public library card.

4. Reference librarians in the nation’s public and academic libraries answer nearly 5.7 million questions weekly.

5. Public libraries are the number one point of online access for people without internet connections at home, school or work (98.7% of public libraries provide public access to the internet).

6. Public libraries are one of the greatest equalizers for equitable access to information regardless of race, creed or income level.

7. In these times of economic crisis, over 65% of public libraries provide services for job seekers.

8. Americans spend more than twice as much on candy as they do on public libraries.

9. Americans spend $34.95 a year for the public library (and check out an average of more than seven books a year)

10. A public library provides a safe, warm, friendly place for a poor family to read with their children.

via C. M. Rubin: How Will We Read: In Public Libraries?.

Boston College,education, collaborative learning:  Wow … a collaborative twist on the Socratic method used in law schools.

Peter Wilson believes (as do many education researchers) that collaborative activity fosters learning. It is for this reason that he assigns students to groups at the start of a semester. But he also knows that when a crew of five divvies up the work each student will dig deeply into roughly 20 percent of the material. “I want them to teach each other before they come back to class,” he says. And so he instituted the regime of the bingo cage and the dice, to spur his students to learn the full assignment. The students arrive early because of his habit of drawing the first numbers 10 minutes before class begins, which he does to get a head start. (There are usually two or three more drawings on the same day, without time for preparation.) The opportunity of a little advance warning, however, scarcely explains Hevia’s reaction to “winning.” “I knew the stuff. I had to know the stuff,” the student from Miami said later. “And I guess I felt happy I could show it.”

via Boston College Magazine » Fall 2011 » Features » Master teachers.

apps, Nouvelle, RSS:  I have never used RSS … so I have no idea how this works.  Anybody willing to show me/explain RSS.

Nouvelle – An app with the style and substance

Nouvelle provides the most simple and clutter free RSS reading experience.

via App Store – Nouvelle.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ernest Hemingway, famous people:  I have never met anyone really famous … but wondered what I would do.

For a fraction of a second, as always seemed to be the case, I found myself divided between my two competing roles. I didn’t know whether to ask him for an interview or cross the avenue to express my unqualified admiration for him. But with either proposition, I faced the same great inconvenience. At the time, I spoke the same rudimentary English that I still speak now, and I wasn’t very sure about his bullfighter’s Spanish. And so I didn’t do either of the things that could have spoiled that moment, but instead cupped both hands over my mouth and, like Tarzan in the jungle, yelled from one sidewalk to the other: ”Maaaeeestro!” Ernest Hemingway understood that there could be no other master amid the multitude of students, and he turned, raised his hand and shouted to me in Castillian in a very childish voice, ”Adiooos, amigo!” It was the only time I saw him.

At the time, I was a 28-year-old newspaperman with a published novel and a literary prize in Colombia, but I was adrift and without direction in Paris. My great masters were the two North American novelists who seemed to have the least in common. I had read everything they had published until then, but not as complementary reading – rather, just the opposite, as two distinct and almost mutually exclusive forms of conceiving of literature. One of them was William Faulkner, whom I had never laid eyes on and whom I could only imagine as the farmer in shirtsleeves scratching his arm beside two little white dogs in the celebrated portrait of him taken by Cartier-Bresson. The other was the ephemeral man who had just said goodbye to me from across the street, leaving me with the impression that something had happened in my life, and had happened for all time.

via The Only Time Gabriel Garcia Marquez Saw Ernest Hemingway | Wired Science | Wired.com.

9/11 museum:  Sad … this needs to be done …

The 2012 opening of the Sept. 11 museum at the World Trade Center will be delayed by disputes over redevelopment costs, a person familiar with the construction project said Monday.

The dispute between the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

via 9/11 museum opening delayed due to costs – CBS News.

They Draw & Cook: Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World, cookbooks, illustrated cookbooks:  This seems to be a trend … I noted Maira Kalman had illustrated a cookbook recently … Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

For the past 18 months, brother-and-sister duo Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell have been delighting us with their beautifully illustrated visual recipes from around the world. They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World collects the best 107 of these lovely and delicious treats, joining the ranks of our favorite quirky cookbooks with an absolute gem of visual and culinary allure. From the playful and facetious to the elegant and sleek, these illustrated treasures offer everything from Chocolate Haystacks to Starving Artist Goo-lash and, of course, Cooooooookies for good measure.

via They Draw & Cook: Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World | Brain Pickings.

college basketball, Kentucky:  ‎… And now I am told I have no choice. UK is playing. GO BLUE!

22
Nov
11

11.22.2011 … seeking a second confirming opinion … Preparing to join the masses tomorrow … Over the hills and through the woods to GoGo’s house we go …

Thanksgiving, kith/kin: 🙂

Salvador Dalí, Walt Disney,  collaboration, creativity, art:

In 1945, Dalí and Walt Disney embarked upon a formidable collaboration — to create a six-minute sequence combining animation with live dancers, in the process inventing a new animation technique inspired by Freud’s work of Freud on the unconscious mind and the hidden images with double meaning. The film, titled Destino, tells the tragic love story of Chronos, the personification of time, who falls in love with a mortal woman as the two float across the surrealist landscapes of Dalí’s paintings. The poetic, wordless animation features a score by Mexican composer Armando Dominguez performed by Dora Luz.

As fascinating as the film itself is the juxtaposition of the two creative geniuses behind it, each bringing his own life-lens to the project — Dalí described the film as “A magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time” and Disney called it “A simple story about a young girl in search of true love.”

via Destino: A Salvador Dalí + Walt Disney Collaboration Circa 1945 | Brain Pickings.

liberal arts, education, life, culture: I knew this!

The study found that liberal arts college graduates are more likely than graduates of both private and public universities to give their college a high effectiveness rating for helping them learn to write and speak effectively.

The study found also that liberal arts college graduates are more likely than alumni of other types of institutions to say all of the following about their college experience:

Their professors often challenged them academically and personally helped them meet those challenges;

Most of their grades were based on essay exams and written reports;

Their experience often included extensive classroom discussions;

They participated in faculty-directed research or independent study;

They often engaged in conversations with professors outside of class;

They participated in service-learning or community service;

They were involved in an extracurricular activity.

Alumni of all three types of institutions – liberal arts colleges, private universities, and flagship public universities – were more likely in the 2011 survey to rate their overall experience as “excellent” than in the 2002 survey, Day noted. The increase was particularly pronounced for graduates of liberal arts colleges, who went from 66 to 77 percent, and public universities, who went from 41 to 53 percent.

The Annapolis Group, a non-profit alliance of 130 residential liberal arts colleges, commissioned the survey to determine how its graduates perceive the effectiveness of its member institutions in comparison to others.

via Liberal Arts College Graduates Feel Better Prepared for Life’s Challenges, Study Finds | College News.

Edward Gorey, macabre, Why We Have Day and Night:  Gorey’s work always scared me …

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Edward Gorey’s, mid-century illustrator of the macabre, whose work influenced generations of creators, from Nine Inch Nails to Tim Burton. Eleven years after his death, Gorey still manages to charm us with his signature style of darkly delightful illustrations with Why We Have Day and Night. In three dozen beautifully minimalist black-and-white illustrations, with plenty of design-nerd-friendly negative space, Gorey and collaborator Peter F. Neumeyer illuminate young readers on the mystery of why we have darkness and light.

via The 11 Best Illustrated Children’s and Picture Books of 2011 | Brain Pickings.

college application process, early admission:  Our poor kids … nearly 4,250 apply to Harvard early admission …

Last week, The Choice published a chart with early admission application figures — most of them increases over last year — at 25 colleges. That chart has now grown to include nearly 40 schools.

Our updated tally includes Harvard College, which suspended early admission in 2007 and restored it only this year. The college said on Monday that 4,245 students filed single choice early action applications by its Nov. 1 deadline; under that program, students are prohibited from filing early applications with other private colleges in the United States. Those 4,245 applicants represent more than double the size of Harvard’s anticipated class of 2016, and they mark a 5.9 percent increase from four years ago, when early admission was last in effect at Harvard and 4,010 students chose to apply.

Yale University has also reported that it received 4,310 early applications for admission, an 18 percent decrease from last year’s figure, perhaps influenced by the reinstatement of early admissions at Harvard and Princeton University this fall.

via Nearly 4,250 Apply to New Harvard Early Admission Program – NYTimes.com.

 football, sports art, Salvador Dalí:

Do you like football? Salvador Dalí paints a picture on the pages of a newspaper for Boys’ Life, 1965. Other obscure Dalí collaborations: Walt Disney short film (1945), Alice in Wonderland illustrations (1969)

Do you like football? Salvador Dalí paints a picture on the pages of a newspaper for Boys’ Life, 1965.

via curiosity counts – Do you like football? Salvador Dalí paints a….

college life,  study abroad alternatives:

But while these travelers were away experiencing the exotic, many of their friends – about 20,000,000 students altogether – remained bound to campus. Undoubtedly, not all of these students wanted to study abroad. However, many did and their decision to stay home could have been a result of finances, extracurricular commitments, or otherwise.

If this is you, don’t resign yourself to four years of the same familiar view out your window: As it turns out, there are many equally-enticing alternatives to studying abroad.

Even if you’re already an accomplished globetrotter, read on. These off-campus opportunities offer rich experiences for any student.

via Unable to study abroad? Check out these alternatives | USA TODAY College.

Address Is Approximate, vimeo, short film, animation:  Quite fun!

via Address Is Approximate on Vimeo.

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11

11.21.2011 … Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. Presbyterian … OK not Duke … not ESPN National TV … But GO CATS! Davidson wins!

Davidson College, Davidson basketball: Live Blog for Friday’s Men’s Basketball Game at Duke … www.davidsonwildcats.com … OK, not Duke … not national tv … but thank you Jean for reminding me that PC beat 20th ranked Cincinnati on Friday!! And now we beat PC …

Thanksgiving, history, President Abraham Lincoln, Civil War: ” A national day of thanksgiving for military success and for the protection of the Union would wed religion, thanksgiving, and the Union war effort. ”

President Lincoln wanted Union supporters to give thanks for the recent successes. He was also aware of faltering enthusiasm for the devastating war and the wavering loyalty of Democrats who were eager to make peace with the Confederates. A national day of thanksgiving for military success and for the protection of the Union would wed religion, thanksgiving, and the Union war effort. So the President declared a national day of thanksgiving.

But the nation’s first national Thanksgiving was not in November. The date President Lincoln set was Thursday, August sixth.

On that day, ministers across the country pointed out that the celebration was most apt, as they listed the signal victories of the U.S. Army and Navy in the past year. It was now clear that it was only a matter of time until the Union won the war, they told their congregations. Their predictions reinforced the war effort, of course, just as Lincoln had almost certainly intended.

While the roots of the national holiday we celebrate lie in the war years, though, the holiday we celebrate does not center on giving thanks for American military victories.

In October 1863, President Lincoln declared the second national day of Thanksgiving. It is this one that we celebrate, and its purpose was much broader than that of the first.

In the past year, Lincoln declared, the nation had been blessed:

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. The needful diversion of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence have not arrested the plow, the shuttle or the ship. The ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect a continuance of years with large increase of freedom.*

The President invited Americans “in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands” to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving.

It is this one, the celebration of peace, order, and prosperity, that became the defining national holiday.

via The Historical Society: The History of National Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: Hmmm … Someone very funny … but who?

Characters at Your Dinner Table

Which fictional character would you like to invite to Thanksgiving (or your next formal dinner)?

via DailyLit Forums: Question of the Week / Characters at Your Dinner Table.

faith and spirituality:  just liked this …

Waiting patiently for God always includes joyful expectation.  Without expectation our waiting can get bogged down in the present.  When we wait in expectation our whole beings are open to be surprised by joy.

All through the Gospels Jesus  tells us to keep awake and stay alert.  And Paul says, “Brothers and sisters … the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe.  The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light” (Romans 13:11-12).   It is this joyful expectation of God’s coming that offers vitality to our lives. The expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us is what allows us to pay full attention to the road on which we are walking.

via Daily Meditation: Waiting in Expectation.

Creature, Andrew Zuckerman, books:  I agree … Exquisite!

In Creature, Zuckerman brings his exquisite signature style, crisp yet tender, to Earth’s beings. With equal parts detail and delight, he captures the spirt of these diverse creatures, from panthers to fruit bats to bald eagles, in a way makes them seem familiar and fresh at once, and altogether breathtaking.

via Animals like you’ve never seen them before, Salvador Dalí’s Alice in Wonderland illustrations circa 1969, and more.

Jon Meacham, Americans, 2012 Presidential Election:  Great essay!  Are we really exceptional? Essay gives brief history and current political implications of our belief.

In the beginning — before the beginning, really — Americans have thought of themselves as exceptional, as the new chosen people of God. Either before departing England or en route aboard the Arabella — it is unclear which; the ship arrived in 1630 — John Winthrop, a layman trained as a lawyer, wrote a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity” in which he said “we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world …”

The “city upon a hill” phrase — Winthrop borrowed it from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount — echoes still. (It is interesting to note that only Ronald Reagan could improve on Jesus in terms of communication: it was Reagan who added the modifier “shining” to the image.) In a recent Pew poll, when asked if they agreed with the statement “Our people are not perfect but our culture is superior others,” 49% of Americans said yes, compared to 32% of Britons and 27% of French.

In rough political terms, the Republican presidential field argues that America is a place set apart, a nation with a divinely ordained mission to lead the world. A corollary to the case as it is being put in the 2012 cycle is that President Obama does not believe this. George H.W. Bush leveled the same charge against Michael Dukakis in 1988, claiming that Dukakis thought of the United States as just another country on the roll of the United Nations. The argument is well-suited to reassure voters who are pessimistic about the life of the nation and about the place of America in the world.

We are going to be hearing more about this notion of exceptionalism, possibly far beyond Iowa and New Hampshire and into the general election. So let’s be clear about the history — and the uses and abuses — of the vision of America as an instrument of God’s will on earth.

via Jon Meacham: Are Americans Really Exceptional? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

define: library:  Know one when you see one?  It is very strange that we have trouble defining a library … when until 20 years ago and for the past 2000+ years, that was not a problem.

This week, after tweeting a link to ALA’s President Molly Raphael’s statement regarding the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library in New York City, I became engaged in a conversation on Twitter about what constitutes a library. To me this seems obvious, but I had a hard time coming up with a hard fast definition. I discovered that, like Justice Stewart, I’m of the know-it-when-I-see-it mindset when it comes to identifying it, a library that is. I am not sure I can define it in terms that reconcile with the statement from ALA. If I say the dissolution or destruction of any library is wrong I need a concrete definition for library, because while it may be uncool (and probably illegal) for someone to come into my home and destroy my personal library, I’m not sure that warrants a statement from the ALA President. Let me be clear, I am in complete and total agreement with the statement from ALA. I will happily defend that statement and ALA’s choice to make it. The problem I ran into was defining a library in terms that fit with it. Not just the OWS library but any library of this type. Even after doing some digging (see below) I still didn’t feel like I could offer a succinct definition, not the 140 character kind Twitter requires and probably not even a 140 word one.

For example, the Merriam Webster definition could apply to my private library, well not the morgue part but the rest of it, so that doesn’t work. Ditto for Oxford. The Whole Library Handbook requires that it be “ organized by information professionals or other experts”. So again that would apply to my private library. But this definition also leads us into that whole merry circle of a conversation (or shouting match and snipping remarks) about what constitutes an information professional. I don’t think a collection needs to be organized by an MLS holding person to qualify as a library. You could throw publicly accessible into the definition to rule out my home library because I only begrudging lend books to friends so I’m not about to let the public en masse have access to it. But there are many great libraries not freely available to the public.

via What IS a Library? | Librarian by Day.

travel, business travel, serendipity:  He definitely made lemonade!

Since I like to gather information by talking to people rather than just reading, I’m not one of those fliers who hate talking to seatmates. People are always interested in our work in helping communities build playgrounds, and it’s always great to hear people being so supportive. Most of my seatmates have fond memories of running around outside to play, and they wish more children today had the same opportunity.

You never know where a conversation may lead.

On a flight from Los Angeles to Washington I was seated next to a guy who worked as vice president of operations for a national restaurant chain. We started talking, and I invited him to stop by our offices to see if he had any suggestions for us. He did. And a few months later he became our board chairman. Another time, I got a huge donation, about $20,000, from a fellow passenger I was talking to.

I’ve had a lot of missed flights and canceled flights, just like any other business traveler. I hate when I do it to myself, though.

Since I still have a tough time reading, I always recheck my boarding passes. But I still make mistakes. One time I actually wound up in Sioux Falls, S.D., when I was supposed to be in Sioux City, Iowa. I was dumbfounded. I just rebooked myself back home, and I actually made it, which was great.

Another time I was just so tired I fell asleep at the airport in Tampa, Fla. I guess it was a deep sleep, because when I finally opened my eyes, I discovered I had missed the last flight to Washington. All the nearby hotel rooms were booked. I wound up sleeping at the airport, feeling kind of foolish.

Occasionally, you can turn bad experiences into something positive.

I was headed back to Washington from a conference in Oxford, England, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. Air traffic was canceled. I rarely get to travel with my wife, but she was with me this time.

Instead of trying to get out of Britain, we decided to enjoy it. I got a last-minute reservation at a hotel in Bath and had an unexpected leisurely weekend.

The airline confirmed our seats for a Monday morning flight from London to Washington. But on that Sunday, as we were getting ready to return to London, we learned that was canceled. The next one wasn’t until Friday.

So my wife got on the Internet and found a flat for rent in St. Ives in Cornwall. It was open because the expected tenants were unable to get into the country. The landlord offered a day-by-day rental. The cottage was located right in the middle of an artist colony.

We began our mornings with coastal hikes, and we would buy some fish from a local fisherman on the way back to the flat. We managed to keep up with work for about six hours each day. And at night we just ate our fish, walked around town and were grateful that we could spend some time together.

I know the volcano really disrupted air travel for so many people. But I still look back at that time as one of the best business trips I ever had.

via One of the Best Business Trips, Courtesy of Iceland’s Volcano – NYTimes.com.

careers, hiring, elite firms, elite schools:  Just read the whole article … How Elite Firms Hire: The Inside Story, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

Big results:

1. Most applications practically go straight in the trash.

Because professionals balanced recruitment responsibilities with full-time client work, they often screened resumes while commuting to and from the office and client sites; in trains, planes, and taxis; frequently late at night and over take out… [E]valuators tended to do so very rapidly, typically bypassing cover letters (only about fifteen percent reported even looking at them) and transcripts and reported spending between 10 s to 4 min per resume.

2. Evaluators have a lot of slack.

[M]ost firms did not have a standard resume scoring rubric that they used to make interview decisions, evaluators reported “going down the page” from top to bottom, focusing on the pieces of resume data they personally believed were the most important “signals” of candidate quality. (emphasis mine)

In fact, evaluators explicitly select candidates similar to themselves in school rank, grades, etc.  For example:

[R]oughly one-third of evaluators did not use educational prestige as a signal. One of the

primary differences between these two groups was their own educational history, with those who had attended “top” schools being more likely to use educational prestige as a screen than those who had attended other types of selective institutions.

3. Super-elite credentials matter much more than your academic record:

[E]valuators drew strong distinctions between top four universities, schools that I term the super-elite, and other types of selective colleges and universities. So-called “public Ivies” such as University of Michigan and Berkeley were not considered elite or even prestigious…

4. Super-elite schools matter because they’re strong signals, not because they’re better at building human capital:

Evaluators relied so intensely on “school” as a criterion of evaluation not because they believed that the content of elite curricula better prepared students for life in their firms – in fact, evaluators tended to believe that elite and, in particular, super-elite instruction was “too abstract,” “overly theoretical,” or even “useless” compared to the more “practical” and “relevant” training offered at “lesser” institutions…

[I]t was not the content of an elite education that employers valued but rather the perceived rigor of these institutions’ admissions processes. According to this logic,

the more prestigious a school, the higher its “bar” for admission, and thus the “smarter” its student body.

[…]

In addition to being an indicator of potential intellectual deficits, the decision to go to a lesser known school (because it was typically perceived by evaluators as a “choice”) was often perceived to be evidence of moral failings, such as faulty judgment or a lack of foresight on the part of a student.

5. At least in this elite sample, I’m totally wrong to think that extracurriculars don’t matter:

[E]valuators believed that the most attractive and enjoyable coworkers and candidates would be those who had strong extracurricular “passions.” They also believed that involvement in activities outside of the classroom was evidence of superior social

skill; they assumed a lack of involvement was a signal of social deficiencies… By contrast, those without significant extracurricular experiences or those who participated in activities that were primarily academically or pre-professionally oriented were perceived to be “boring,” “tools,” “bookworms,” or “nerds” who might turn out to be “corporate drones” if hired.

But they have to be the right kind of extracurriculars.  You have to signal that you’re not signaling!

Across the board, they privileged activities that were motivated by “personal” rather than “professional” interest, even when activities were directly related to work within their industry (e.g., investing, consulting, legal clinic clubs) because the latter were believed to serve the instrumental purpose of “looking good” to recruiters and were suspected of being “resume filler” or “padding” rather than evidence of genuine “passion,” “commitment,” and “well-roundedness.”

Don’t imagine, though, that you should merely follow your bliss:

[T]hey differentiated being a varsity college athlete, preferably one that was also a national or Olympic champion, versus playing intramurals; having traveled the globe with a world-renowned orchestra as opposed to playing with a school chamber group; and having reached the summit of Everest or Kilimanjaro versus recreational hiking. The former activities were evidence of “true accomplishment” and dedication, whereas the latter were described as things that “anyone could do.”

6. Grades do matter somewhat, but mostly as a cut-off.  They’re a signal of work ethic more than IQ:

[M]ost evaluators did not believe that grades were an indicator of intelligence. Rather, they provided a straightforward and “fair” way to rank candidates, particularly those within a given school… [G]rades were used to measure a candidate’s moral qualities. An attorney (Asian-American, male), believed that grades were an indication of a candidate’s coping skills, “It tells me how they can handle stress; if they’d had their feet to the flames before. If they’ve gotten good grades at a very competitive school, they’re probably pretty sharp and can take care of themselves.”

If labor economists want to understand how real-world labor markets actually work, these are the kinds of pieces they’ll be reading – and eventually writing.

via How Elite Firms Hire: The Inside Story, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

 Gang of Six, Super Committee (joint congressional deficit reduction committee), budget, politics, Washington:  …

As the joint congressional deficit reduction committee consummated its super flop Monday, the Senate Gang of Six plan remained as a possible alternative.

Rick Santorum: Says the unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.4 percent and over 10 percent for noncollege-educated.

The bipartisan group, which includes Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss, produced a framework for $4 trillion in deficit reduction this summer that includes both increased tax revenues and cuts to entitlement plans – but never produced a formal bill.

Last week the members of the gang joined dozens of allies in Congress to ask the supercommittee to consider their plan and said they could provide an alternative bill if the supercommittee failed. Chambliss said last week a bill could be ready “in short order.” He was in Afghanistan on Monday and unavailable for comment.

As the co-chairs of the 12-member supercommittee issued a statement declaring they were unable to reach a consensus, several senators said Congress’ next step should be to stage a vote on the framework put forth by the Gang of Six and President Barack Obama’s debt commission. There was no official word from the six on their plans, though in a statement one of the group members, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he would “continue to push for a bipartisan agreement.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wrote a letter to the president and Congressional leaders formally requesting a vote on a $4 trillion package. Others announcing their support for the Gang of Six route Monday included Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The effort faces institutional hurdles, as leaders in the House and Senate never embraced the gang’s work.

“My understanding is they’re nowhere near having legislative language,” Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote in an email Monday. “We don’t schedule votes for hypothetical plans.”

via Gang of Six plan could be alternative to failed supercommittee  | ajc.com.

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11

11.20.2011 … just a regular Sunday … The Widow Mite/Might …

FPC, Roland Purdue, sermon, faith and spirituality, worship, Soren Kierkegaard: Rev. Purdue referenced “Prompters in worship” from Kierkegaard … so I had to look it up.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a great theologian, was born in Copenhagen in the early nineteenth century. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen and then spent two years in Germany before he returned to Copenhagen, where he lived the rest of his life. Although his writings covered many areas of the Christian faith, he was particularly outspoken on the subject of worship.

He was quite critical of many churches whose worship had become “user friendly.” He developed the idea that Christian worship was a drama. He had come to the conviction that many churches also believed that, but that there was an inappropriate redefining of what that meant. What he observed was that in the drama, God was to be the prompter, the liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) had become the actors in the drama and the congregation had become the audience in the drama. An elitist class of leaders had implicitly modeled that they were better equipped to be the performers in this drama and that it was best if those in the congregation just watched as onlookers. This understanding of worship is still maintained and taught in many churches in America today.

Kierkegaard taught that this understanding of our worship of drama was totally wrong. People were taking on the wrong rolls. The liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) were to be the prompters in worship. All of us, the congregation as well as the liturgical leaders are the actors in the drama of worship and God alone is the audience for the drama.

via Soren Kierkegaard – Theologian – Worship is a drama.

culture, Southern culture,  Flannery O’Connor , Eudora Welty, eccentrics, LOL:  I wonder which I am … an O”Connor or Welty eccentric.  I’m definitely Southern!

…  at almost forty, I’m learning being from the South doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me Southern. And I own that, by God. As my friend says, “That which you once mocked, you now embrace.” She usually says that about something like caftans or yard gnomes, but it works here too. I have embraced the Southern Woman inside me and she would like to talk to you about your lack of calling cards. I fully intend to age gracefully into a caftan-wearing, yard gnome-loving, giant beaded necklace-wearing Southern Eccentric Woman…of the Flannery O’Connor persuasion.

I like to classify Southern eccentrics into two groups: Eudora Welty eccentric or Flannery O’Connor eccentric. If you are a Welty eccentric, your sister is called something like Cattie Paw because her name is Katherine and she walks quietly. If you are O’Connor eccentric, your sister is called Trampasaurus Oceanus because she gets around during Fleet Week. Welty eccentrics may leave a family dinner to go sit in the woods and sketch lichen. O’Connor eccentrics leave a family dinner after announcing they’ve ended the affair with the Methodists’ choir director to move to Hilton Head with the Piggly Wiggly produce manager and his spiritual guru.

via Embracing My Inner Flannery by Susan Wilson | LikeTheDew.com.

old news, human trafficking, slavery:  This astounds me … I, too, believe that freedom is a basic human right.

There are 27 million slaves in the world today — more than ever before in human history. Kutcher continued, “One could make an assumption that it’s a global problem. The CIA estimates that there are a million slaves in the US today. I think if Abe knew that, he’d be quite upset.”

A year ago, the couple came to CGI with the intent to educate themselves as much as possible about the issue: the modern day abolition movement. The more they learned about it, however, the more they realized there was no way they could continue living in the world and not do something about it. Among their education, they went on an exploratory trip to the Mexican-US border. Kutcher details one of their encounters, “We met a girl who told us how she was trafficked into the US, taken into a field by her pimp and raped by 30 men on a trash bag. That’s the day we started the DNA Foundation.”

Over the past year, Moore, Kutcher and the DNA Foundation have been gaining momentum and street-cred among the philanthropic, social action and social media communities. This new, holistic campaign takes them one step closer to making their mission — that freedom is a basic human right — a reality.

via Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher Looking for “Real Men” | Demi and Ashton Foundation.

On this day …, Thomas Edison, phonograph, inventions:

On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph.

via Twitter / @LIFE: On this day in 1877, Thoma ….

 …

Play That Old-Timey Music!

Ever since Thomas Edison (pictured) created the phonograph after five days and nights hooking up his ears to rubber tubes, the world’s been grooving to the oldies thanks to the miracle of recorded music. But way before there was ever anything remotely resembling an iPod, listening to a particular recording meant listening to a victrola, gramophone, or phonograph, which could sound awfully staticky to our MP3-spoiled ears. Still, there’s no reason not to break out the old LPs every once in a while and crank up that old-timey music!

via Play That Old-Timey Music! – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

 travel, 1%, first class/business class:  I had no idea about international first class … business class is very nice.

The gap between first class and coach has never been so wide.

Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. Some have bars. One airline has installed showers onboard.

The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.

So as domestic travelers take to the skies for the holiday season, most will be in cramped cabins, their food is likely to be bland and they will have paid for it, along with any fees for slightly more legroom or checked bags.

But even as they have cut back on domestic service, including first-class accommodations, the airlines have been engaged in a global battle for top executives and the superwealthy on their international routes. Though only a privileged few can afford to pay $15,000 to fly first class from New York to Singapore or Sydney, the airlines are betting that the image of luxury they project for the front helps attract passengers to the rest of the plane. That includes a growing business-class section with offerings once solely the preserve of first class.

via Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond – NYTimes.com.

Gugghenheim Museum, apps, Maurizio Cattelan:  I think this is great!

Enjoy unique access to Maurizio Cattelan: All with this interactive, multiplatform app, which features dramatic views of the museum’s unprecedented site-specific installation along with extensive documentation of Cattelan’s artworks, actions, and other projects.

In short videos, filmmaker John Waters introduces the app and its sections. Exhibition curator Nancy Spector offers an illuminating presentation of Cattelan’s oeuvre, while exhibition engineers and artwork conservators offer a behind-the-scenes look at putting the show together.

via Download the App.

quotes, Collette, history:  I liked the quote, but had no idea who Collette was …

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
 Colette

Colette (1873-1954)

Colette was a writer known for her novels in which women were depicted as full sexual beings. Her husband published her first works under his own name. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette married twice and was involved with women and men outside her marriages. One of the most famous adaptations of Colette’s work was the play and movie, Gigi.

via Colette Quotes.

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11.19.2011 … Downtown Charlotte tour … first stop CLS Senior art show … sites along Tryon … then Halcyon …

Charlotte, Charlotte Latin School, kith/kin, Jefferson Davis, Civil War History, Halcyon:

A little late to the CLS SENIOR ART EXHIBIT — at Spirit Square.

And then stumbled upon this on S. Tryon …

So here is what happened after he heard the news…

Jefferson Davis Memorial Park

On May 4, 1865, Jefferson Davis arrived in Washington, Georgia (178 miles NE of the Park), where he performed his last duties as President of the Confederate States of America. Shortly thereafter, with a small staff and escort, he departed enroute to the trans-Mississippi Department where, from which vantage point he hoped to negotiate a just peace.

Traveling via Warrenton and Sandersville, he reached Dublin (50 mile NE) about 11 o`clock May 7th, after being joined by his family early that morning. Leaving Dublin, he camped for a few hours near Alligator Creek (30[?] miles NE) and again four miles SE of Eastman (UDC marker at site), then he pushed on toward Abbeville, unaware that the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry (USA) had learned of his passage through Dublin and had begun a pursuit.

On the 8th, after a day of hard rains and boggy roads, his party crossed the Ocmulgee River at Poor Robin Ferry and camped in Abbeville (26 miles SW) and camped a mile N of the town in the present Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park. At dawn on May 10th, his camp was surrounded by men of the 1st Wisconsin and 4th Michigan cavalry regiments (USA) and he became a `state prisoner`, his hopes for a new nation — in which each state would exercise without interference its cherished `Constitutional Rights` — forever dead.

??? Georgia Historical Commission 19??

via Georgia Marker.

And then Halcyon … where John had Greens eggs and ham …

Thanksgiving, food-southern, menus, Hugh Acheson:  Turkey brined in sweet tea. 🙂

“Top Chef” judge and celebrity chef Hugh Acheson is known for reinventing traditional Southern cuisine with a bit of a French twist.

When he’s not dishing culinary advice on “Top Chef,” he’s chef/partner of the Athens, Ga. restaurants Five & Ten and The National, as well as Gosford Wine, and Atlanta eatery Empire State South.

He also has a new cookbook, “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen.”

On “THE Dish,” a different famous chef each week reveals what he or she would have if they could have just one meal. That’s because for us, “THE Dish” is about the moment, the place, and the person you would share it with. It’s about the emotion behind the food, it’s about the conversation and the meal itself. We want to get to know these chefs on a deeper level and hope our viewers will, as well.

RECIPES:

ROASTED SWEET TEA BRINED TURKEY

via Hugh Acheson’s Southern take on Thanksgiving – CBS News.

art, photo mosaic:

Smile-one / Guinness World Records

Containing 137,200 photographs and measuring 1,562.39 square meters (or 16,817.3 square feet), the largest photo mosaic was created in Nagoya, Japan by Smile-one Taichi Masumoto on Nov. 16. And the finished product is pretty cute, too.

via Largest Photo Mosaic | Hula Hoops and Giant Underwear: Eight Odd Feats from Guinness World Records Day | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

Lip Service: The Science of Smiles,  books, psychology, anthropology, biology, medicine, computer science:  Another use for anthropology

Years ago, I did an undergraduate thesis on nonverbal communication and facial expression, a large portion of which revolved around the Duchenne smile — a set of anatomical markers that differentiate an authentic smile from a feigned one. The science of smiles is, of course, far more complex than the mere fake vs. real dichotomy — the universal expression of positive disposition lives on a rich spectrum of micro-expressions and nuances. That’s exactly what Marianne LaFrance explores in Lip Service: Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics — a fascinating new book drawing on the author’s research at Yale and Boston College, alongside a wide array of cross-disciplinary studies from psychology, anthropology, biology, medicine and computer science, to reveal how smiles impact our inter-personal dynamics and our life experience as social beings.

via Lip Service: The Science of Smiles | Brain Pickings.

fashion, Versace, H&M:

High Fashion, Low Cost – Versace comes to H&M

via High Fashion, Low Cost | Video – ABC News.

careers, resumes, virtual badges:  OK, I thought this fascinating …

CLOTH and metal badges have long been worn by Boy Scouts, soldiers and others to show off their accomplishments.

Now the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is putting millions of dollars into a competition to spur interest in a new type of badge — one that people can display not on their clothing but on a Web site, blog or Facebook page while they are looking for a job.

The badges will not replace résumés or transcripts, but they may be a convenient supplement, putting the spotlight on skills that do not necessarily show up in traditional documents — highly specialized computer knowledge, say, or skills learned in the military, in online courses or in after-school programs at museums or libraries.

“The badges can give kids credit for the extraordinary things they are learning outside of school,” as well as being a symbol of lifelong learning for adults, said Connie M. Yowell, director of education grant-making at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.

Prospective employers could click on an e-badge awarded for prowess in Javascript, for example, and see detailed supporting information, including who issued the badge, the criteria and even samples of the work that led to the award.

“The badges are another way to tell the story of who you are and what you know,” Dr. Yowell said.

“What people are learning in school is often not connected to the world of work,” she said. “Badges can fill that gap. They can be a kind of glue to connect informal and formal learning in and out of school.” If valued, they might also inspire students to accomplish new tasks.

To create prototypes of these alternative credentials, MacArthur has started a “Badges for Lifelong Learning” competition that will culminate in March 2012, when the foundation will award a total of $2 million to several dozen winners, Dr. Yowell said.

In addition, the federal Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs will jointly award $25,000 for the best badge concept and prototype that serves veterans seeking jobs.

In preparation for the contest, MacArthur has also given $1 million to the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation to develop a common standard or protocol for the badges.

Developers will use this protocol so that their badges will work across the Web on various platforms, no matter which organization is awarding them, just as e-mail works across the Internet regardless of the particular program used, said Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation in Mountain View, Calif.

“People will be able to take courses at a dozen places, and then put the badges from these different places on their Web site,” he said.

The badges can be verified in several ways. For instance, a badge can include a verification link that makes it possible to check with the issuer about authenticity and status, should the badge have an expiration date.

The Mozilla Foundation supports the development of free software that can be used throughout the Web. It owns the Mozilla Corporation, creator of Firefox, the open source Internet browser.

Mr. Surman’s group tested an early version of the badge system this spring at the School of Webcraft at Peer to Peer University, an online school offering free courses organized by peers, said Erin B. Knight, who works on the badge project for the Mozilla Foundation. Students in the pilot program were awarded badges in Javascript, HTML, teamwork, collaboration and other areas.

Many organizations, including NASA, Intel and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are collaborating with MacArthur in the competition, providing information about their programs and activities that could be the basis for badge awards, said Cathy N. Davidson, a professor at Duke University and co-administrator of the competition.

NASA, for example, has educational programs in robotics for young people that might be suitable content for badges.

Designers have until Jan. 12 to submit their ideas for badge prototypes. Design winners will be paired with content providers to compete for the final awards, Dr. Davidson said.

Independent of the MacArthur contest, one company, TopCoder, in Glastonbury, Conn., has been awarding its own version of digital badges for several years. It holds online programming competitions that offer cash rewards, said Mike Lydon, its chief technology officer. Many of the programs become commercial products that are sold or licensed to customers like I.B.M.

TopCoder competitors who do not win cash awards can still obtain a useful credential, Mr. Lydon said — a digital emblem that, when clicked on, gives statistics about their prowess relative to others. Competitors use screen names that let them preserve their anonymity, but also share scores with prospective employers when the scores are ones they are proud of.

It is an extremely helpful badge to include in job searches, Mr. Lydon said.

“Rather than saying ‘look me up,’ ” he said, “people have this transportable widget at their Web site.”

via Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills – NYTimes.com.

toys, gifts:  I did not think any of these interesting … KidsPost Holiday Toy Test – The Washington Post.

quote, Einstein, Disney, Jobs, Picasso: … ” It’s a real genius to tie art, emotion and technology together.”

I think that Einstein was in a different orbit. Steve was equal to Walt Disney or Pablo Picasso. Disney was probably the closest to Steve. The real genius of these men was that they were able to create an emotional connection with their products. Bob Dylan does the same with music; Picasso with art. It’s a real genius to tie art, emotion and technology together.

— The New York Times’ Nick Bilton has a great one-on-one interview with Walter Isaacson, author of the highly anticipated Steve Jobs biography

via curiosity counts – I think that Einstein was in a different orbit…..

‘sleep texting’:  Oh, my …

Doctors are seeing more cases of sleep deprived patients who are sleep texting.

Sleep expert Dr. Marcus Schmidt tells WTHR-TV that sleep deprivation can trigger common motor behaviors during sleep, including reaching for the phone when it goes off. Schmidt suggests keeping your cell phone away from the bed while you are sleeping, maybe even in another room.

Schmidt admits the phenomenon is new, so there isn’t a lot of empirical data to go with it.

via Doctors noting increase in ‘sleep texting’ | KING5.com Seattle.

graphics, web typeface:  for the real computer nerds …

There are those points in every interactive designer’s career when he becomes fed up with producing the same set of graphics all over again for every website he designs. It could be the social network icons, gallery arrows or any number of his «signature» butterflies for the footer of each of his projects. Similar for interactive developers that have to slice the same GIFs and PNGs each time art-director asks them to.

Until now. We want creative people to spend time on creative things. So we came up with the typeface that includes all frequently used iconographics and symbols. Although, the idea is not hot-baked — Webdings and Windings have been around for quite a time — all of them have a lot of unnecessary and sometimes actually scary symbols.

Web Symbols is a set of vector html-compliant typefaces, so it might be used in any size, color and browser (okey, mostly — but IE7 for sure).

via Web Symbols typeface.

street art, 3D street art: 🙂

3D pavement art: 3D painting by Joe Hill at Canary Wharf

3D street art around the world – in pictures

British artist Joe Hill’s creation has broken records for the longest and largest surface area 3D painting, according to Guinness Book of World Records. We take a look at some other great examples of 3D street paintings, from crevasses in Ireland to shark-infested waters in China

via 3D street art around the world – in pictures | Art and design | guardian.co.uk.

movies, holiday movies, kids’ movies:  I have heard that Hugo is good … mixed on the Muppets.

T he weeks between Thanksgiving and the new year provide lots of opportunities to go to the movies, and this year is no different. Here’s a look at some films made for kids that might be worth an outing for the entire family.

“Happy Feet Two”

“Arthur Christmas”

“Hugo”

“The Muppets”

“The Adventures of Tintin”

via Family-friendly movies for the holidays – The Washington Post.

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11.18.2011 … Davidson v. Duke on ESPNU 6:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC … We played a respectable game … Time to take the game face off …

Davidson College, Davidson basketball, Duke, national tv:  We played a respectable game … and Steph wore red!

It’ll be a tough task for the Wildcats (2-0) to end any of those streaks, as they haven’t beaten Duke since a 75-73 victory on Dec. 29, 1981.

Davidson is coming off a 74-61 victory over Richmond, as preseason All-Southern Conference selections Jake Cohen (22 points) and J.P. Kuhlman (11 points) had solid performances.

De’Mon Brooks scored 14 and is averaging a team-high 19.0 points through the first two games.

The Wildcats have won 12 of their last 15 games dating back to last season.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to play on national TV and in that environment,” said coach Bob McKillop, who is in his 23rd season with Davidson, which is located roughly 150 miles from Duke’s campus.

The Wildcats have lost their eight games against ranked opponents, last beating then-No. 6 Wisconsin 73-56 in the 2008 NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

via Davidson Wildcats vs. Duke Blue Devils – Preview – November 18, 2011 – ESPN.

Atlanta, childhood memories:  I loved the pink pig on top of Rich’s downtown … great memories … The Pink Pig Holiday Train – Buckhead – Atlanta, GA.

TIME, Spotify, social networking, music:  Have you tried Spotify?

Hey guys, guess what? TIME is now on Spotify!

My colleagues and I will soon be posting regular playlists to the music platform, but we thought we’d kick things off in style with an inaugural playlist based on TIME’s 100 Best Songs of All-Time. Not every song from the list is on there because some bands don’t have their music on Spotify yet (what gives, Led Zeppelin?) but as far as free playlists go, this 6-hour, 93-song sample is pretty comprehensive. You can listen to the playlist here.

What would you like to see on TIME’s Spotify account? Would you like monthly round-ups of new music? Themed playlists (songs about trains! songs that feature animal noises!)? A “What We’re Listening To” section of staff recommendations? Tell us what you want and we will do our best to make it happen.

via Listen to TIME on Spotify! | Entertainment | TIME.com.

education, school counselors, reform:

School counselors see a broken system in need of reform. Eighty-five percent of school counselors believe that, ideally, a top priority of schools should be ensuring all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers; however, only 30 percent of all counselors and 19 percent in high poverty schools see this as their school’s mission. Nearly all counselors (99 percent) want to exercise leadership in advocating for students’ access to rigorous academic preparation, including college and career-readiness counseling, even if other educators do not envision counselors playing this role.

But why shouldn’t they? Three out of four counselors (74 percent) see themselves as unique student advocates, creating pathways and offering support to ensure all students reach their post-secondary goals. Yet only a minority (42 percent) believes their schools take advantage of this contribution. Strong majorities want to see more college and career exploration, admission and academic planning that will boost the life prospects of students in a globally competitive economy.

Accountability can be the third rail — especially in education reform — but a majority of counselors support fair and appropriate accountability measures that create a college-going culture in schools. A majority of counselors supports measures for their own success, such as transcript audits of graduation readiness; completion of a college prep course sequence; students gaining access to advanced classes and tests; and both high school graduation and college application rates.

We are at a crossroads in American education — and in defining the role of our nation’s school counselors. At a time when resources for schools are more constrained than ever and America is losing ground in educating students, we need to more effectively use the precious resources offered by our school counselors, so they can help prepare the next generation for a globally competitive world.

via John Bridgeland: School Counseling at a Crossroads.

Stanford University, free online courses:

Two weeks ago, we mentioned that Stanford will be rolling out seven new courses in its experiment with online learning. Fast forward to today, and yet another seven courses have been added to the winter lineup, bringing the total to 14.

Immediately below, you’ll find the latest additions. All of these courses feature interactive video clips; short quizzes that provide instant feedback; the ability to pose high value questions to Stanford instructors; and feedback on your overall performance in the class.

Courses start in January and February. Enroll today for free. And, if something doesn’t pique your interest below, don’t miss our big list of 400 Free Online Courses.

Newly added:

Technology Entrepreneurship

Making Green Buildings

Anatomy

Information Theory

Design and Analysis of Algorithms I

The Lean Launchpad

Cryptography

Originally mentioned:

Computer Science 101

Software Engineering for SaaS

Human Computer Intereaction

Natural Language Processing

Game Theory

Probabilistic Graphical Models

Machine Learning

via Stanford Launching 14 Free Online Courses in January/February: Enroll Today | Open Culture.

Supreme Court, Health Care Reform, procedure:  Interesting procedure …

The court has scheduled five and a half hours of arguments in the case. Ninety of those minutes will be devoted to severability, and an hour to the Anti-Injunction Act.

The court appoints outside lawyers to make orphaned arguments about once a term, though typically in minor cases. The practice has been the subject of some academic criticism, on the ground that it can amount to “judicial agenda-setting.”

via Supreme Court Names Two Lawyers to Argue Points in Health Care Law – NYTimes.com.




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