Archive for January, 2012

20
Jan
12

1.20.2012 … Lunch in Davidson at Toast then music by locals at the college … The final piece, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, performed by a teenager, was phenomenal! — with Susan …

Davidson, Toast, music, Rachmaninoff:  Lunch in Davidson at Toast then music by locals at the college … The final piece, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, performed by a teenager, was phenomenal! — with Susan.  I closed my eyes and imagined my grandmother Matibel  Dennard playing that piece in Athens Ga in approximately 1920 in the state high school music competition … which she won!

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Debates:  another one bites the dust … RIP Rick Perry … Did I hear this was the 17th debate? Have you changed your mind because of them!

college application process, kith/kin, UNC:  Molly has a college option … 🙂

Davidson College, basketball:

That was it. Kansas was done. Losing that game meant there was no way coach Bill Self’s team, one that couldn’t even beat a lowly Southern Conference squad, could hold off Baylor and Missouri in the rugged Big 12.

But the Jayhawks haven’t lost since Davidson. They demolished rival Kansas State to open conference play, then crushed previously undefeated Baylor on Monday. All of a sudden, Kansas looks like a very legitimate Final Four squad. At the time, the loss to Davidson was all about the Jayhawks; very few people even considered what the win meant about the Wildcats.

Well, it’s time to consider the Wildcats.

“When you get a big win like that, it builds and you just want to keep it going,” said guard Nik Cochran, who was 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc against Kansas and finished with 21 points in the upset. “It definitely gave us a lot of confidence that we know we can play with anyone in the country.”

The Wildcats played a challenging non-conference schedule. They hung around long enough to give Duke a mild scare at Cameron Indoor, and they pushed Vanderbilt to the final few seconds before losing.

In the win against Kansas, though, everything came together.

“What happens when you have a victory like that is it’s recognized so nationally that the memory of it is constantly brought to the players’ minds,” McKillop said. “They’re watching Kansas beat Baylor the other night and Dick Vitale mentions it a couple of times. Well, that resurrects that memory, and that’s a good memory, something they can think about as they come to practice and get better.”

This is a relatively young Davidson squad—McKillop starts three juniors and two sophomores—but it’s also an experienced team. The Wildcats returned 81 percent of their scoring and 87 percent of their rebounding from last year’s team.

via Upset of Kansas not all Davidson is about – NCAA Basketball – Sporting News.

public speaking, advice,  Abraham Lincoln:

Introducing “Show and Tell,” a series in which we ask arts professionals for advice that applies to our everyday lives. First up: how to be a good public speaker, with David Selby, who plays Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre’s “Necessary Sacrifices,” opening Friday. Selby, 70, has appeared in numerous Broadway, off-Broadway and regional productions and has portrayed Lincoln multiple times, most recently in “The Heavens Are Hung in Black” at Ford’s in 2009.

via Take public speaking tips from Abraham Lincoln – The Washington Post.

free ride, marketing, hybrid stores, Apple:

But ample showrooms and well-trained staff are costly. And consumers may find that, having made their choice, they can save money by buying from dealers who skimp on such expenses—or, in the case of internet-only sellers, who spend nothing on maintaining physical outlets.

Rival dealers also like to see others invest in high-quality stores. In one of the cheekiest examples of low-cost sellers free-riding on other retailers’ lavish spending, Dixons, an online electronics retailer in Britain, ran a big advertising campaign in 2009 urging the public to try out televisions and other gadgets in big department stores—and then go to its website and buy them more cheaply (ironically, the parent company of Dixons operates physical stores vulnerable to online free-riders).

Unsurprisingly, high-quality retailers have trouble recouping their costs—a phenomenon economists call a “missing market”. That is a good thing for consumers: free-riding dealers keep prices down. But they also cause problems. The pressure on prices forces full-service dealers to cut spending on showrooms and advertising. As a result, fewer consumers may get to know the products, and overall demand for them may fall.

A paper by two American-based academics, published in 2001, just as the dotcom boom had turned to bust, suggested a market-friendly answer to all this. The manufacturers themselves could open “hybrid stores”, in which the full range of their products are beautifully displayed, but with not much stock. Consumers could try out the products, even if they ultimately bought them from a retailer elsewhere. The best-known adopter of this approach is Apple, a computer maker, whose chain of stores in city centres and shopping malls let browsers try out the company’s gadgets, with lots of bright young assistants offering advice, but with little pressure to buy.

Joe Oddo, one of the authors of the Capgemini report, notes that carmakers are increasingly following suit. Many have opened chains of Apple-like car showrooms in city centres, where potential buyers can kick tyres, sit behind the wheel and maybe even do a test-drive. Those who decide to buy are typically directed towards a retail dealership close to their home, which will also offer the after-sales services that motorists prefer to have close by. This is unlikely to reverse the trend towards fewer, larger dealerships (see chart). But neighbourhood dealers will no longer need to maintain such well-appointed and heavily staffed showrooms. The free-riding problem is unlikely to go away, but it will be less costly

via Selling cars: The cost of a free ride | The Economist.

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos, race issues:

Yes, many people feel that that the issue of race and the quarterback position in the NFL was settled long ago, when Michael Vick became the first African-American quarterback to be selected with the first overall draft pick in 2001 by the Atlanta Falcons.

But the social issues around Vick are still generating heated discussion. On ESPN’s “First Take” several days ago, the panelists debated whether Tebow was in fact getting exposure because he was white and that black quarterbacks in the past had not been given the same opportunities. On the show, sports journalist Rob Parker stated “The NFL is making an exception for Tebow which has created resentment that is grounded in the question of ‘How come black players with similar skills in the past were not granted the chance to play quarterback?’”

There is little comparison between Tebow and Michael Vick apart from the fact that they are both left-handed, Vick clearly was a polished passer with very good mechanics meshed with tremendous speed and uncanny athletic ability. In essence he challenged many of the historic criticisms that limited the opportunities of those before him, black quarterbacks could not “read” defenses, did not have the ability to go through their progressions, or were not fundamentally sound mechanically throwing the football. Tebow has largely been described as a leader or winner, a player with intangibles who has drive and determination, and rock solid Christian faith despite having poor technique that causes numerous inaccurate passes to the tune of a 46.5 completion percentage. Professional football, unlike baseball or basketball only has a sixteen game regular season and coaches typically don’t have the luxury of extending patience to players–particularly quarterbacks who are not accurate.

Many thought that Tebow would find himself in a similar position, maybe as a hybrid quarterback/tight end/fullback, but instead the Broncos have stuck with their young quarterback. As a long-time Pittsburgh Steeler fan, I am not unbiased in my critique of the mania that this young man has generated, but he must be given credit for bringing raw determination, faith and more importantly chemistry to a team few believed had a chance to make the post season.

via Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos: What’s Race Got to Do With It? – Speakeasy – WSJ.

curiosity, education, lifelong learning: !!

We are all lifelong learners, from day one to twenty-thousand-and-one, and that’s why we keep exploring, wondering and discovering, yearning and learning, reaching with more than just our hands… The future belongs to the curious.”

via The Future Belongs to the Curious: A Manifesto for Curiosity | Brain Pickings.

vocabulary, websites:

Definitive Jest is a vocabulary-building and SNOOT-approved word-of-the-day blog centered around David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.*

via Definitive Jest: About.

John Steinbeck, advice, love: Love this!

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

via Letters of Note: Nothing good gets away.

Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens bicentennial, Edgar Allen Poe, literature:  Really interesting story … Nevermore …

Strange as it might sound, the dead bird and accompanying year-long Dickens program at the Free Library probably provide the perfect means for the American culture vulture to celebrate not only Dickens’s 200th birthday on Feb. 7, but also the little-known yet astonishing impact of Grip on American letters and popular culture to this day.

“That’s because Grip is ‘The Raven,’ ” said Edward G. Pettit, a lecturer at La Salle University, author of “Edgar Allan Poe in Philadelphia” (History Press, 2012) and consultant to the library’s coming year of exhibits, readings, pub crawls and other events to mark Dickens’s ties to Philadelphia and, more subtly, Poe’s shadow behind Dickens.

Poe (1809-49) was a literary critic in Baltimore, New York and, for six years, Philadelphia. (After his wife died, he wandered back to Baltimore, where he died mysteriously in the streets.) In 1841, he reviewed Dickens’ serialized new novel, “BarnabyRudge” for Graham’s Magazine, explained Pettit. The novel, long out of favor, centers on anti-Catholic riots in London and a strange hero named Rudge, who has a goofball talking raven named Grip. At the end of the fifth chapter, Grip makes a noise and someone asks, “What was that — him tapping at the door?”

Another character responds, “’Tis someone knocking softly at the shutter.”

In his review, Poe both accurately predicts the outcome of the serialized novel, and suggested that a spooky raven like Grip could have a more weighty role in literature.

“Two years after Dickens visited Philadelphia, when both met and groused about copyright infringement,” Pettit continued, “Poe writes ‘The Raven,’ with its haunting refrain of ‘Nevermore.’ ” The poem, for which he was paid $15 (about $350 in inflation-adjusted dollars today) “sweeps Poe to instant fame, if not fortune, and generations of American kids get their first exposure to poetry, usually in high school or junior high, through ‘The Raven.’ ”

via Charles Dickens bicentennial, and his link to Poe – The Washington Post.

OnLive Desktop, apps, cloud technology:

Most well-known for its cloud gaming service, OnLive rolled out a pretty ambitious product for Windows users looking to get a little work done. The company’s new OnLive Desktop iPad app grants you access to a version of Windows and, most importantly, Microsoft Office apps that run from OnLive’s servers directly to your tablet. Oh, and it’s free.

via OnLive Desktop | The 12 Coolest Things We Saw at the Consumer Electronics Show | Techland | TIME.com.

Norma Kamali Kulture, LBD (little black dress):  LBDs … Under-$100!

norma kamali, kamali kulture

Norma Kamali is launching a collection named Kamali Kulture this season, featuring a lineup of figure-flattering Polyester-Lycra jersey LBDs ranging in price from $74 to $96. “There are always situations when you need a little black dress,” the legendary designer told InStyle. “I know that no matter what woman you put in front of me, I can find a flattering dress for her in this line.” To see more Kamali Kulture looks—including dresses designed to balance your hips, highlight your collarbones and enhance your chest—check out page 129 in InStyle’s February issue, on newsstands now. We’ll reveal the full lineup soon, and you can sign up for updates at kamalikulture.com. Plus, read our tips on shopping for your shape!

via Norma Kamali to Launch Kamali Kulture, New Under-$100 Collection! : InStyle.com What’s Right Now.

Samuel Beckett, doodles, marginalia:

Novelist, playwright, poet, and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. As a hopeless lover of marginalia and voyeur of famous creators’ notebooks, I was thrilled to discover these excerpts from the original manuscript of Watt, Beckett’s second novel and a pinnacle of his signature deadpan philosophical humor, courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The manuscript consists of 945 pages spanning six notebooks and loose sheets, written in ink and colored crayons between 1940 and 1945, and features a wealth of doodles, sketches, mathematical calculations, rhyming schemes, and drawings.

via A Rare Look at Samuel Beckett’s Doodle-Filled Notebooks | Brain Pickings.

19
Jan
12

1.19.2011 … To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray …

graying of America, kith/kin, me: To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray … 🙂

faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

Thursday January 19, 2012

Creating Space to Dance Together When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, “Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.” But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to trust that this space allows us to dance together.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space to Dance Together.

Davidson College, terquasquicentennial:  Happy 175, alma mater!

“Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial!” What a great word, terquasquicentennial.

via Daybook Davidson » 1837–2012: Happy New Year! Happy Old Years! Happy… Terquasquicentennial!.

historic church labyrinths, England, travel:  Preparing for my next labyrinth adventure!

The historic labyrinths situated in English cathedrals, churches and chapels mostly date from the late 19th century, a period when renewed interest in labyrinths combined with a wave of church building and restoration during the Victorian era. Only two examples, the splendid gilded roof-boss in St.Mary Redcliffe Church and the tiny labyrinth on the Hereford Mappa Mundi are from the medieval period, when many labyrinths were created in the cathedrals of France and Italy.

Situated largely in the south and east of England, these labyrinths are always a pleasure to visit, located as they are in everything from simple chapels and churches to grand cathedrals. Their construction and design range from the relatively simple to some of the most fascinating examples from their period.

The majority are relatively easy to find, although obviously some are subject to limited opening hours and others will require the finding of a key or caretaker to gain admission. And therein lies the joy of tracking them down. While several are in large towns and cities, a number are beyond the reach of regular public transport and will require some planning to visit.

Within the last few decades, several modern examples have been constructed, most notably at Batheaston (1985), Norwich Cathedral (2000), and the Church of St. Michael, Abingdon (2008)

via Historic Church labyrinths – England.

The Taj Majal, icons, India: On my bucket list …

I think that, for several reasons, the term iconic is very important in any consideration of this edifice.  First, as I previously mentioned, it serves as an iconic demonstration of love.  Second, it serves as a cultural icon.  For much of the world’s population, the Taj Mahal is India.  Third, we associate cultural icons with the Taj.  Lady Di’s 1992 visit to Agra is forever ingrained in our conscience, as a result of her iconic photo in front of the Taj Mahal.   Finally, the representation of the building, in our collective consciousness, is iconic.     When we imagine the Taj Mahal in our mind’s eye, we represent it in one form:  from a distance, straight-on, and from the front.

via The Taj Majal: From a rare angle | Wonders & Marvels.

The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin, culture, RSA Animate:  Lots to think about …

http://dotsub.com/media/cefe3990-0ee4-4617-a3db-f5edf766c189/embed/

Best selling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society. This ‘working location’ is currently open for translation into all languages.via RSA Animate – The Empathic Civilization – 24 Translation(s) | dotSUB.

 Apple, Newton “Scribble Thing”:  …  15 Years Ahead of Its Time …

“Newton was probably 15 years too early,” Sculley told the BBC. “I’m not a technologist. I didn’t have the experience to make that judgment, but we were, I think, right on many of the concepts. The product clearly failed in terms of taking on such an ambitious goal. I think, in hindsight, there is a lot of good legacy there with the Newton. Even if the product itself never survived, the technology did.”

Specifically, ARM, which is still in wide use today.

Said Scully, “ARM not only was the key technology behind the Newton, but it eventually became the key technology behind every mobile device in the world today, including the iPhone and the iPad.”

via Former Apple CEO: Newton “Scribble Thing” 15 Years Ahead of Its Time – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

electric bikes, Pulse, green:

Micah Toll is no stranger to entrepreneurship.

With only five months left until graduation in April, Toll, 22, has spent his days at the University of Pittsburgh like every other student: Going to classes, becoming involved in clubs, hanging out with friends and, oh yeah, starting his own electric bike company called Pulse Motors.

Pulse Motors is a Pittsburgh start up business designed to provide two-wheeled electric vehicles to the students and the public.

“Americans are fed up with the inconveniences of this conventional transportation being expensive, dirty and unreliable,” said Toll. “Now we are simply giving them an alternative in the form of cheap, affordable and fun transportation. It’s a no-brainer.”

Toll grew up in a household surrounded by science. His mother being a nurse and his father a biological oceanographer, science has always played a big part in his life. But while he didn’t evolve a love for biology like his parents, Toll instead took the engineering route and started building things.

via Student entrepreneur Micah Toll pedaling in the right direction | USA TODAY College

….

Developed with a goal of increasing bicycle commuting and creating a class of new transportation, the “Pulse” by industrial designer Timothy Daw is a hybrid bicycle that backs the pedal power with electric propulsion to boost zero-emission commutation with minimum physical efforts. Housing a rechargeable battery system, two 26V lithium-ion batteries for 75 miles of assisted biking, within the rear frame to preserve the aesthetics of the bicycle, the hybrid bike also includes streamlined traffic indicators, headlight and break light to ensure complete safety on cramped city roads. The throttle-controlled 250W motor adds an assisted pedaling experience when biking uphill or into a strong headwind. Moreover, the Pulse folds into a compact size for easy storage and transportation, which makes it a characteristic modern urban vehicle.

via Pulse pedal electric hybrid bicycle ushers in a new class of transportation.

free, The Guggenheim, digital books, free:   65 Modern Art Books Online … FREE!

 

In recent days, the museum has made 65 art catalogues available online, all free of charge. The catalogues offer an intellectual and visual introduction to the work of Alexander Calder, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele, and Kandinsky. Plus there are other texts (e.g., Masterpieces of Modern Art and Abstract Expressionists Imagists) that tackle meta movements and themes.

Now let me give you a few handy instructions to get you started. 1.) Select a text from the collection. 2.) Click the “Read Catalogue Online” button. 3.) Start reading the book in the pop-up browser, and use the controls at the very bottom of the pop-up browser to move through the book. 4.) If you have any problems accessing these texts, you can find alternate versions on Archive.org, which lets you download books in multiple formats – ePUB, PDF and the rest.

via Free: The Guggenheim Puts 65 Modern Art Books Online | Open Culture.

London, maps, songs:  🙂

Song Map – London remapped in song names

via curiosity counts – Song Map – London remapped in song names   (via).

business, culture, novels:  The smartest people I know are all well-read.

I’ve been a devoted, even fanatical reader of fiction my whole life, but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting time if I spend an evening immersed in Lee Child’s newest thriller, or re-reading The Great Gatsby. Shouldn’t I be plowing through my in-box? Or getting the hang of some new productivity app? Or catching up on my back issues of The Economist? That slight feeling of self-indulgence that haunts me when I’m reading fake stories about fake people is what made me so grateful to stumble on a piece in Scientific American Mind by cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley extolling the practical benefits to be derived particularly from consuming fiction.

Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness. For instance, in fMRI studies of people reading fiction, neuroscientists detect activity in the pre-frontal cortex — a part of the brain involved with setting goals — when the participants read about characters setting a new goal. It turns out that when Henry James, more than a century ago, defended the value of fiction by saying that “a novel is a direct impression of life,” he was more right than he knew.

via The Business Case for Reading Novels – Anne Kreamer – Harvard Business Review.

MLK Memorial, quote, misquote:

Five months ago, in this space, I wrote that something was wrong with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The quotation inscribed on the monument’s left flank had been so badly excerpted that a modest statement of King’s was turned into a boast.

At the time, it wasn’t clear how or why this had happened, but what seemed likely, at least to me, was that nothing would be done about it. Things that are etched in stone seldom are changed, especially in Washington, which is not famous for admitting error, righting wrongs, getting things done in a timely fashion, or getting things done at all.

It turns out I was right about the error but wrong about Washington. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told The Post today that the quote will be corrected. He has given the National Park Service 30 days — because “things only happen when you put a deadline on it” — to consult with the King Memorial Foundation, family members and other interested parties and come up with a more accurate alternative.

“This is important because Dr. King and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America, and we have to make sure that we get it right,” Salazar said.

Some important people who hadn’t seen the quote yet read the op-ed and agreed. The poet Maya Angelou, who knew and worked with King, said the truncated quote made King seem like “an arrogant twit.” Roy Peter Clark, an expert on the use of words, wrote for CNN, “Everything I’ve learned about the language of enshrinement suggests that the inscription on the King monument should be revised.” Martin Luther King III told CNN: “That was not what Dad said.”

Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert noted that it was “to the point. Not Dr. King’s point, but still. Brevity is the soul of saving money on chiseling fees.”

via MLK Memorial’s ‘drum major’ quote will be corrected, Interior secretary says – The Washington Post.

Facebook, personality, me:  The Real Me?

Facebook Logo_150x150.jpg

If you think you’re different on Facebook than you are in real life, you’ve got some explaining to do.

A 2011 study from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Psychology called “Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information” published in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that Facebook users are no different online than they are offline. The study also revealed strong connections between real personality and Facebook-related behavior. Social and personality processes, the study says, accurately mirror non-virtual environments.

via Study: Your Facebook Personality Is The Real You.

blogging, lists, advice:

 Five Ways to Boost Your Blog

What does it take to move your blog up to the next level? Obviously you need a regular supply of useful content to attract readers and keep your audience happy, but here are a few extra tips on increasing interest in your blog in 2012.

via Tech Journal: 5 Ways to Improve Your Blog – India Real Time – WSJ.

18
Jan
12

1.18.2012 … Yesterday’s Bible Study at FPC was great … then lunch at Mert’s where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good! … New Mantra: “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

FPC, TMBS, Genesis, Mert’s:  Yesterday’s Tuesday Morning Bible Study at FPC continues to be insightful as we study Genesis with Rabbi Sachs’ book … then lunch at Mert’s Heart and Soul Restaurant where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good!

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish

Recipe created by James Bazzelle, chef/owner of Mert’s Heart and Soul, Charlotte, NC.

4 medium catfish

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (fish breading)

1/4 cup white vinegar

Vegetable oil

via Mert’s Restaurant.

culture, mantra, advice:

“Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

Elderly ‘Experts’ Share Life Advice in Cornell Project – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, pop ups, libraries:

Maria Popova @brainpicker Close

Ooh! An entire Flickr stream of miniature pop-up libraries around the world j.mp/yN86cv (HT @shawncalhoun)

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private equity,  privileges v. profits, 2012 Presidential Election: The Republicans and their in-fighting are just fueling the OWS …

Mitt Romney, the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has brought the rights and wrongs of private equity to the front of U.S. politics. He once ran a private-equity firm, and he has been attacked for it even by fellow conservatives.

This is a new version of an old complaint, and the quality of the discussion is not improving with age. The question to ask about private equity — which involves taking over companies, restructuring them and selling them at a profit — is not whether it creates jobs. It is whether taxpayers should be subsidizing its practitioners’ paychecks.

Many politicians say private equity is rapacious. Not long ago, the same charge was laid against leveraged buyouts, and before that against hostile takeovers. The issue is essentially the same. When control of a company changes hands, are the new owners so intent on short-term profits that they act against the interests of other stakeholders — not just shareholders, but also employees, customers and the wider community?

The current debate has revolved around jobs. Defenders of private equity say the new owners tend to boost employment, and critics say the opposite.

The study concluded that “private equity buy-outs catalyze the creative destruction process.”

Exactly. In a market economy, some companies or industries are shrinking, while others are growing. You can’t have one without the other, and the spur for both kinds of adjustment is profit. Market forces raise living standards not by increasing wages and employment enterprise by enterprise, but by applying capital and labor to the best uses. Private equity, leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers all serve this purpose. To keep managers on their toes, capitalism requires a functioning market for corporate control.

If private equity can succeed without preferences, that’s fine: The more competitive the market for corporate control, the better. Its current mode of operation, though, is largely a symptom of a flawed tax code. The industry’s borrowing is subsidized and so are the generous incomes it pays its staff. These privileges are a problem. The issues its critics choose to emphasize aren’t.

via The Trouble With Private Equity Is Special Privileges Not Profits: View – Bloomberg.

Winnie the Pooh, Americanisms,children’s/YA literature:  Oh, bother … I actually prefer the original … non Disney version …

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The publishers, Parragon, are based in Bath and responded to Weeks’ complaint about the new phrases with this explanation: “[W]e sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.”

While it seems like a fair enough explanation when taken at face value, many critics, both British and American, have joined in the protest, saying that editing out the original language fundamentally changes the work.

More worrying, however, is the recent crop of errors and grammatical mistakes that have appeared in the books and similar children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to Weeks, in the Alice story, the words “all ways” was written as “always” and in another story, whales slap their “tales” rather than their “tails.”

It would seem that this is all a case of some editors stuffing up royally. Oh, excuse us, we’ll rephrase — they messed up big time.

via Oh, Bother: Brits Say Modern Winnie the Pooh Riddled With Americanisms | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

PIPA, SOPA, Internet:  There is a lot more here than many realize …

The video above discusses the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster.

via PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet.

The biggest impact of Wednesday’s blackout may be in the shutdown of the English-language version of Wikipedia, which gets 2.7 billion U.S. visitors per month.

“It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web,” said a statement signed by three of the free encyclopedia’s administrators, with the handles “NuclearWarfare,” “Risker” and “Billinghurst.” They said the decision to shut down the English-language portion of the site, starting at midnight Eastern time, had been made after a virtual discussion that involved 1,800 users.

But already, the momentum of the two controversial bills has been largely halted. Just weeks ago, they seemed on their way to passage, having cleared a Senate committee and garnered bipartisan support in the House.

via SOPA protests shut down Web sites – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, President Obama:  Glad to see someone saw the irony of the acceptance speech at BANK Of AMERICA Stadium!

In another break from tradition, Democrats announced Tuesday that they’re shortening their national convention and moving events to the Charlotte area’s two largest outdoor venues.

Party officials – and even the White House – said the moves are designed to allow President Barack Obama and his campaign to reach a wider audience while energizing supporters at the same time.

The president will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium, replicating his 2008 address at Denver’s Invesco Field.

And in a twist, the party will forgo the convention’s traditional Monday opening and instead entertain tens of thousands that day at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He said the changes won’t reduce the convention’s regional economic impact, which is expected to be at least $150 million. About 5,000 delegates and alternates are still expected to arrive on Saturday or Sunday for the convention.

Though the role of modern conventions has changed dramatically from the days when they actually decided the nominees, the format has changed little. They traditionally span four days. So will the Republican convention in Tampa this August.

“Four days really is an anachronism,” said Washington political analyst Charlie Cook. “There’s arguably not more than one day’s business to do …

“I think the Obama folks like to do things differently for the sake of doing things differently.”

via DNC: Charlotte’s convention to try new twists | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Moving the president’s speech mirrors the playbook the Democrats used in 2008. Obama spoke at the Denver Broncos’ home field after becoming the Democratic nominee, a last-minute move party organizers say allowed more people a chance to attend. The rest of the Denver convention was held at that city’s NBA arena.

Agreements between the Democratic National Convention Committee and both the stadium and the speedway are being negotiated. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panthers and the stadium, said the team will not charge the Democrats rent, but he declined to discuss details beyond that.

“This convention isn’t about political ritual and speeches on the floor, it’s about the American people coming together to commit ourselves and our country to a path that creates more opportunity for all Americans,” said Stephen Kerrigan, national convention chief executive. “And that is why we have decided to make a few changes to meet that goal. President Obama made it clear from Day One that he wanted this convention to be different than in any history and definitely any happening this year.”

via Obama speech moves to BofA Stadium – Charlotte Business Journal.

While Obama and Moynihan seemed to be on good terms a couple of years ago, more recently the president ripped the bank for its ill-fated attempt to hike debit-card fees.

Organizers and other Democrats said Tuesday they have no concerns about links between the president and a Bank of America-named venue.

“We don’t believe there’s any relevance to who the sponsor or the naming rights are handled by to any of the venues that we host convention events in,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic national party. “In particular, this president has a remarkable record not only of rescuing our economy from the precipice of disaster. Now he’s been able to make sure that folks on Main Street aren’t run over by folks on Wall Street.”Wasserman Schultz was referring to the president’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

via Odd couple: BofA, Obama – Charlotte Business Journal.

Bank of America,  CEO Brian Moynihan: Delicate …

Appointed in late 2009 as predecessor Ken Lewis retired, Moynihan, the article says, has had a “delicate” hold on his job. Sources quoted by the paper, apparently close to the board of directors, point to an assessment earlier in his career at BofA that said Moynihan tended to micromanage, struggled with communication and failed to surround himself with experienced advisers.

The article also says those are areas the CEO has targeted for improvement.

An unnamed director told the WSJ that Moynihan’s handling of BofA’s denied dividend increase request last year showed a “very inexperienced team.” And another portion of the report says Moynihan didn’t heed a suggestion by former consumer banking chief Joe Price to study a $5 debit card fee longer before announcing it publicly. That fee, announced in late September, became a public relations nightmare and was cancelled a month later.

A spokesman for BofA told The Wall Street Journal, “We are a less risky, smaller, better capitalized, and more streamlined company since Brian became CEO.”

Moynihan’s vision calls for BofA to continue shrinking both expenses and non-core operations. He has initiated asset sales, capital raises and efficiency initiatives. He has also re-tooled his management team this year, jettisoning Price and brokerage head Sallie Krawcheck, and elevating David Darnell and Tom Montag to co-chief operating officer roles.

Montag openly sought the CEO position before it was given to Moynihan. Darnell is a longtime BofA executive, dating back to Hugh McColl-led BofA and its predecessors in Charlotte.

BofA this week also sought to improve its public image, placing its ad account on review and soliciting new ideas for its marketing efforts.

via WSJ: BofA could retreat, Brian Moynihan’s hold on CEO job ‘delicate’ – Charlotte Business Journal.

bookshelf, books, list:  I found this one interesting. I have most in my house … haven’t read them all.

What makes a must-own classic book? After all, there are many kinds of book available. There are the coffee-table books, designed to be flicked through by guests, with their impressive art and embellished covers, and then there are bookshelf books – either novels we’ve read so many times the pages are inked up and torn, or those books we bought on a whim, and really keep meaning to get to whenever we’re not so busy.

Somewhere in between lie the Essential Bookshelf Conversation Starters, those spines that add a touch of class to a room, or might provoke a fascinating conversation. After all, UK newspaper The Daily Mail reported last year that a survey by Lindeman’s wine in the UK showed the average bookshelf was filled with 80 books that the owner hasn’t themselves read.

Don’t get us wrong – these recommendations are also fascinating reading in their own right. But if you’re going to buy hard covers with at least one eye on the opinions of visiting friends and relatives, these are our choices of the titles you really should have on display.

via 12 Books You NEED On Your Bookshelf.

faith and spirituality:

Be Yourself

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

via Daily Meditation: Be Yourself.

René Descartes, Cartesian Theory:  Watched a movie where they discussed Cartesian Theory … Mindwalk (1990) … and I hate to admit that I needed a refresher course.

René Descartes may just be the Thinking Man’s thinking man. More than any other modern philosopher, he is identified with the view that the soul is separate from the body and superior to it—in fact, we refer to this position as Cartesian dualism. The synonymy is so overwhelming, one can imagine him subjected to some hackneyed literary or television treatment wherein he is brought forcibly into the present, only to find success as an advertising executive with his slogan for the Winterman sneaker account that promises “mind over matter.” (For the women’s line: I pink therefore I am.)

Any dualistic theory encounters what is known in philosophy as the mind-body problem: how is it possible for two entirely discrete substances to act in concert and produce what we conceive of as unitary being? Curiously enough, Descartes’ lifelong passion for experimental physiology—which, for him, was just rationalistic epistemology by other means—influenced his answers. He was an avid practitioner of dissection on both human and animal bodies. (Because he believed animals were mindless machines and could not feel pain, he often dissected them while they remained alive.) In his search to discover the differences that distinguish humans and animals from one another as res intelligens and res extensa—that is, intelligent beings and “machines,” respectively—he hit upon the pineal gland, which he found present only in the human brain.

via The Devoted Intellect.

antidepressant v. placebo:

Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in England and author of a 2008 meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine that found little benefit of antidepressants for most patients, is less sanguine about the new study. He characterizes the results as “indeed important,” but says they suggest that “while many people may benefit from antidepressant treatment (although most of them to a degree that is not clinically significant), about 1 in 4 are made worse.”

“What makes this particularly problematic is the fact that we don’t know who these people are,” Kirsch says. “Although placebo may not be a viable treatment option, there are other treatments that on average work as well as antidepressants, [such as] physical exercise and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. As far as we know, these alternatives don’t make people worse.

“This suggests to me that antidepressants should be kept as a last resort, and if a person does not respond to the treatment within a few weeks, it should be discontinued,” says Kirsch.

Krystal agrees that if one-quarter of patients with depression are made worse by antidepressant treatment, “we need to find ways to identify who those people are and find other ways to reach that group of people.”

via New Research on the Antidepressant-Versus-Placebo Debate | Healthland | TIME.com.

technological change, end of an era, RIP, Kodak, Fuji, creative destruction:  I remember the first time I used Fuji film.  I felt like a traitor. And for the second time in two days I run across the term “creative destruction.” (See above in the excerpt on private equity.)

Kodak’s blunder was not like the time when Digital Equipment Corporation, an American computer-maker, failed to spot the significance of personal computers because its managers were dozing in their comfy chairs. It was more like “seeing a tsunami coming and there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Mr Christensen.

Dominant firms in other industries have been killed by smaller shocks, he points out. Of the 316 department-store chains of a few decades ago, only Dayton Hudson has adapted well to the modern world, and only because it started an entirely new business, Target. And that is what creative destruction can do to a business that has changed only gradually—the shops of today would not look alien to time-travellers from 50 years ago, even if their supply chains have changed beyond recognition.

Could Kodak have avoided its current misfortunes? Some say it could have become the equivalent of “Intel Inside” for the smartphone camera—a brand that consumers trust. But Canon and Sony were better placed to achieve that, given their superior intellectual property, and neither has succeeded in doing so.

Unlike people, companies can in theory live for ever. But most die young, because the corporate world, unlike society at large, is a fight to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and survived. Film went from 60% of its profits in 2000 to basically nothing, yet it found new sources of revenue. Kodak, along with many a great company before it, appears simply to have run its course. After 132 years it is poised, like an old photo, to fade away.

via Technological change: The last Kodak moment? | The Economist.

 Apple,   ‘Digitally Destroy’ textbooks:

While MacInnis reiterated his belief that this event should see a new Apple tool for creating iPad textbooks, he told Fortune they weren’t a “GarageBand for e-books” (that phrase was imagined or perhaps misunderstood by Ars) and that the whole thing is actually designed to complement the textbook biz, not breathe Godzilla-style atomic death on it.

Tune in here Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Techland’s full coverage of the event.

via Apple Poised to ‘Digitally Destroy’ Textbooks? Don’t Bet On It | Techland | TIME.com.

apps, Day One (Journal/Diary):  I like this one …

Day One is a micro-journal / diary / text logging application that makes it easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them sync and available in the cloud.

via App Store – Day One (Journal/Diary).

17
Jan
12

1.17.2012 … Good morning … post MLK, really beginning of New Year … time to put the resolutions into a effect DAY …

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, debates, pinnochios: So which is your favorite?

And then there were five….which made for a feisty evening of misstatements. We focused on 11, and may come back for more later in the week. Let’s take them in the order in which they were made.

“As [House] speaker, I came back, working with President Bill Clinton. We passed a very Reagan-like program: less regulation, lower taxes. Unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent. We created 11 million jobs.”

— Newt Gingrich

Former president Clinton would be shocked at this description, since he always credited the 22 million jobs created during his presidency to the deficit-reduction package he narrowly passed early in his tenure without a single GOP vote.

via Fact Checking the Fox News-WSJ debate in South Carolina – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, President Obama, Bank of America Stadium, irony:  Irony here?

President Obama will close out the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September with an acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., party sources told the Charlotte Observer.

via Obama Reportedly to Accept Nomination at BofA Stadium – ABC News.

Face-off With Iran, energy supply, 2012 Presidential Election, President Obama:  Why does this sound vaguely familiar? What do you think President Carter?

Mr. Obama retains two important levers: he can delay sanctions if he determines there is not enough oil in the market, and he can exempt any country that has “significantly reduced its volume of crude oil purchases from Iran.” Administration officials, seeking to preserve flexibility, said they would not quantify “significant.”

An early test of the administration’s approach will come at the end of February, when the law mandates that it cut off private financial institutions that conduct non-oil transactions with Iran’s central bank, except for the sale of food, medicine and medical devices.

Senator Kirk said carrying out the oil sanctions might be less complicated than it appeared, with Saudi Arabia pledging to step up production and with Libya and Iraq both bringing production back online. But the administration’s opposition to the original draft of his legislation, he said, belied the president’s threats to the Iranian government.

“It’s been a strange political journey for the president because he said he was tough on Iran,” Mr. Kirk said.

via Face-Off With Iran Complicates Obama’s Re-election Campaign – NYTimes.com.

bike-sharing programs, GPS data, innovation, NYC:  I love these bike sharing programs … really great that it can produce data which will make travel better.

Here’s one more reason to get excited about the launch of bike-share later this year: the reams of data generated by the GPS units located in every public bicycle. The Department of Transportation will use that data to inform their bike lane planning, commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan revealed last night.

“It’s going to be amazing to have GPS generated data for all these trips,” said Sadik-Khan. “For planning purposes, it’ll be huge.

via Sadik-Khan: Bike-Share GPS Data Will Help Plan NYC Bike Network | Streetsblog New York City.

academic research, open-source, taxpayer rights:  If taxpayers paid for it, they own it. I agree!  Of course there are exceptions … national security, etc.

THROUGH the National Institutes of Health, American taxpayers have long supported research directed at understanding and treating human disease. Since 2009, the results of that research have been available free of charge on the National Library of Medicine’s Web site, allowing the public (patients and physicians, students and teachers) to read about the discoveries their tax dollars paid for.

But a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last month threatens to cripple this site. The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library. If the bill passes, to read the results of federally funded research, most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

This is the latest salvo in a continuing battle between the publishers of biomedical research journals like Cell, Science and The New England Journal of Medicine, which are seeking to protect a valuable franchise, and researchers, librarians and patient advocacy groups seeking to provide open access to publicly funded research.

The bill is backed by the powerful Association of American Publishers and sponsored by Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, and Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. The publishers argue that they add value to the finished product, and that requiring them to provide free access to journal articles within a year of publication denies them their fair compensation. After all, they claim, while the research may be publicly funded, the journals are not.

Rather than rolling back public access, Congress should move to enshrine a simple principle in United States law: if taxpayers paid for it, they own it. This is already the case for scientific papers published by researchers at the N.I.H. campus in Bethesda, Md., whose work, as government employees, has been explicitly excluded from copyright protection since 1976. It would be easy to extend this coverage to all works funded by the federal government.

But it is not just Congress that should act. For too long scientists, libraries and research institutions have supported the publishing status quo out of a combination of tradition and convenience. But the latest effort to overturn the N.I.H.’s public access policy should dispel any remaining illusions that commercial publishers are serving the interests of the scientific community and public.

via Research Bought, Then Paid For – NYTimes.com.

16
Jan
12

1.16.2012 … It’s strange that so many businesses do not take MLK Day as a holiday. I had a doctor’s appointment, and the staff was not happy to be there … Blue Monday? How’s it going for you?

MLK Day:  It’s strange that so many businesses do not take MLK Day as a holiday. I had a doctor’s appointment, and the staff was not happy to be there.

Blue Monday:

January is a depressing time for many. The weather’s awful, you get less daylight than a stunted dandelion and your body is struggling to cope with the withdrawal of the depression-alleviating calorific foods, such as chocolate, of the hedonistic festive period. January is one long post-Christmas hangover.

So there are many reasons why someone may feel particularly “down” during January. But every year, much of the media become fixated on a specific day – the third Monday in January – as the most depressing of the year. It has become known as Blue Monday.

This silly claim comes from a ludicrous equation that calculates “debt”, “motivation”, “weather”, “need to take action” and other arbitrary variables that are impossible to quantify and largely incompatible.

True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external. What is extremely unlikely (i.e. impossible) is that there is a reliable set of external factors that cause depression in an entire population at the same time every year.

But that doesn’t stop the equation from popping up every year. Its creator, Dr Cliff Arnall, devised it for a travel firm. He has since admitted that it is meaningless (without actually saying it’s wrong).

via Blue Monday: a depressing day of pseudoscience and humiliation | Science | guardian.co.uk.

networks, knowledge organization:

Manuel Lima, founder of data visualization portal Visual Complexity, author of the indispensable information visualization bible of the same name, and one of the most intelligent people I know, recently gave an excellent talk on the power of networks at the RSA. Using examples that span from the Dewey Decimal System to Wikipedia, Manuel explores the evolving organization of knowledge and information, and the shift from hierarchical structures to distributed lateral networks.

via Manuel Lima on the Power of Knowledge Networks in the Age of Infinite Connectivity | Brain Pickings.

logos, icons:

We often don’t really look at great logos — we just see them and know exactly what they mean, like the shape of a letter or a familiar word that our brains can process so quickly it seems as if it goes straight from image to understanding. Some logos are so ubiquitous that we would never think twice about what they mean or how they came to be, so when we came across this great little video about the PBS logo we decided to take a closer look at some iconic brand markers. Click through to read the stories behind a few of our favorite logos, and perhaps you will look at them a bit more closely in the future.

via Flavorwire » The Stories Behind Great Iconic Logos.

The Genographic Project:

The Genographic Project is seeking to chart new knowledge about the migratory history of the human species by using sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. In this unprecedented and of real-time research effort, the Genographic Project is closing the gaps of what science knows today about humankind’s ancient migration stories.

via The Genographic Project – Human Migration, Population Genetics, Maps, DNA – National Geographic.

online shopping, the Little Guy:  GUILTY …

Giant e-commerce companies like Amazon are acting increasingly like their big-box brethren as they extinguish small competitors with discounted prices, free shipping and easy-to-use apps. Big online retailers had a 19 percent jump in revenue over the holidays versus 2010, while at smaller online retailers growth was just 7 percent.

The little sites are fighting back with some tactics of their own, like preventing price comparisons or offering freebies that an anonymous large site can’t. And in a new twist, they are also exploiting the sympathies of shoppers like Dr. Pollack by encouraging customers to think of them as the digital version of a mom-and-pop shop facing off against Walmart: If you can’t shop close to home, at least shop small.

via Online Shoppers Are Rooting for the Little Guy – NYTimes.com.

South Africa, car guards/valet/hustler, informal economy:  Very noticeable in South Africa and makes Americans very uneasy … you really wonder if you don’t “pay up” then you will be robbed.

At sporting events and concerts, shopping malls and pub crawls, they are a ubiquitous breed: self-appointed car guards who direct drivers into parking spaces and ask for money in exchange for watching the vehicles while the drivers are gone.

The car guards are part of South Africa’s informal economy, which provides work for about 2.1 million people, more than 16 percent of the labor force, a crucial sector in a country where the official unemployment rate is 25 percent. The informal economy includes windshield washers and prostitutes, peddlers of squishy balls and exfoliators, people who cannot find official jobs as well as people who do not want them.

But car guarding, which requires little overhead and whose success depends largely on energetic enterprise, has proved a strong draw for young men with little prospect of a formal job. Offering a semblance of security in a crime-racked city, the entrepreneurs have found a ready market and a decent, tax-free income.

via South African Car Guards, Part Valet, Part Hustler – NYTimes.com.

15
Jan
12

1.15.2012 … FPC was spot on today … Enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School and Worship … Lots to ponder … great start to my week. MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

FPC, worship, Wired Word Sunday School, Psalm 139, Bonhoeffer, MLK, Hymn 400 – When we are living: FPC was spot on today.  We are lucky to have such wonderful ministers on staff.  I enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School where we discussed In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews and Worship, especially Katie Crowe’s sermon “Known.”  Both gave me lots to ponder … great start to my week.

Wired Word: Great discussion of duty to enemies in light of “In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews.”

From Katie’s sermon “Known:”

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.

Excuse me, have we met?

Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the Life of Jesus in others. The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness.

via Bonhoeffer on “Confessing Sins One to Another”… : www.JesusLifeTogether.com.

MLK: “I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”

Incredible?  Even though known God invites us to salvation … God is going to do great things with your life I can’t wait to see it

And finally Hymn 400: When we are living …

Across this wide world, we shall always find
Those who are crying with no peace of mind,
But when we help them, or when we feed them,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.

MLK birthday: MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well.  It was my first year in private school and I did not get the holiday, but my brother in public school. My parents surprised me that morning and said … you don’t have to go to school either … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

kith/kin, Charlotte Latin School:  Molly in CLS Admission’s ad in today’s paper. 🙂 We loved that they chose her given that she loves CLS so much.  Great experience … great education.

 

Federal Reserve, economics:  The Fed is much lke the Supreme Court.  We are always amazed that is is a collection of human beings, not  machine.  And sometimes they don’t get it right.

The transcripts of the 2006 meetings, released after a standard five-year delay, clearly show some of the nation’s pre-eminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with shepherding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.

“It’s embarrassing for the Fed,” said Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “You see an awareness that the housing market is starting to crumble, and you see a lack of awareness of the connection between the housing market and financial markets.”

“It’s also embarrassing for economics,” he continued. “My strong guess is that if we had a transcript of any other economist, there would be at least as much fodder.”

Many of the officials who appear in the transcripts have since spoken publicly about the Fed’s failings in the years before the crisis. But the transcripts provide a raw and detailed account of those errors as they were made. Evidence of problems in the housing market accumulated at each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets policy for the central bank.

For a famously private institution known for its cryptic, formulaic statements, the meeting transcripts offer a rare glimpse of senior officials in relatively unguarded conversation, somewhat akin to the tapes that some presidents have made in the Oval Office. The Fed officials exchange jokes, gossip about people who are not present, and speak much more frankly about the economy and policy than they did in the public remarks that they made contemporaneously.

The results are unlikely to burnish any of their reputations, inasmuch as they could not see the widening cracks beneath their feet. But the Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, appears as the most consistent voice of warning that problems in the housing market could have broader consequences.

The general consensus on the board, summarized by Mr. Geithner, was that problems in the housing market had few broader ramifications. “We just don’t see troubling signs yet of collateral damage, and we are not expecting much,” he said at the September meeting.

Mr. Bernanke initially agreed, telling colleagues at his first meeting as chairman, in March, “I think we are unlikely to see growth being derailed by the housing market.”

As the year rolled along, however, Mr. Bernanke increasingly took the view that his colleagues were too sanguine.

”I don’t have quite as much confidence as some people around the table that there will be no spillover effect,” he said.

via Inside the Fed in 2006 – A Coming Crisis, and Banter – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, zombies, zombify, poetry, Maya Angelou:

Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf)
1/13/12 2:49 PM
I could quote entire stanzas of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” as #zombiepoetry …but that poem is too awesome to zombify!

Winter in London, travel, London, chocolatiers:  Going to London for my late January birthday …. Melt may be on my list!

Have a Hot Chocolate

When you’re out and about in the cold, blood sugar levels can plummet, resulting in classic kiddy temper tantrums! Boost their energy levels and put a smile on their faces with a steaming mug of delicious hot chocolate. Try Notting Hill chocolatiers, Melt for a serious dose of cocoa. They also run a children’s hour where young chocoholics can have a crack at making their own chocolate treats. Yum!

via Family: Tips on Enjoying the Best of Winter in London – Visit London.

About Melt

Melt is a fantastic chocolatier on Ledbury Road selling delicious chocolates. Damian, the chocolate specialist and pastry chef, has fifteen years experience working in Michelin starred restaurants around the world.

via Melt – Places To Go in London – Visit London.

14
Jan
12

1.14.2012 …Movie night at home. Any recommendations? … Moneyball … great suggestion …

 

movie night, Moneyball:  Movie night at home. Moneyball!  What a great movie … sports, underdogs, against all odds, relationships, money, greed …

 

social venture,  Charlotte,  SEED20 Class of 2012, kudos:

SEED20, the nonprofit social entrepreneur competition launched by Social Venture Partners Charlotte, has just announced the inaugural SEED20 Class of 2012:

CARS Inspiring Youth

The Center for Community Transitions

Charlotte Community ToolBank

Charlotte Teachers Institute

Circle de Luz

Easter Seals UCP

Exodus Foundation

Friendship Gardens

Inspire the Fire

Julie Jones

Let Me Run

McClintock Partners in Education

Mothers Raising Sons

The Relatives

Second Helping of Charlotte

Silent Images

Sow Much Good

Street Soccer 945

Sustain Charlotte

Urban League of Central Carolinas

 

These 20 innovators – selected from an applicant pool of 82 – have compelling ideas for creating positive social change that can have real impact in the Charlotte region. Now, SVP Charlotte and over 40 volunteer coaches – made up of business and nonprofit leaders from across the region – will work with the SEED20 Class of 2012 over the next several weeks to hone their messages and presentation skills. At the end of this coaching period, SVP Charlotte will choose 10 finalists who will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and a live audience at SEED20Unleashed! on the evening of March 6, 2012.

via Social Venture Partners Charlotte Announces SEED20 Class of 2012 | SEED20 from Social Venture Partners Charlotte.

design, Chinese-Takeout container, American:  Uniquely American?

The Chinese-takeout container, with its Japanese-influenced origami folds, is a uniquely American invention. On Nov. 13, 1894, in Chicago, the inventor Frederick Weeks Wilcox patented a version of what he called a “paper pail,” which was a single piece of paper, creased into segments and folded into a (more or less) leakproof container secured with a dainty wire handle on top. The supportive folds on the outside, fastened with that same wire, created a flat interior surface over which food could slide smoothly onto a plate.




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