Archive for February, 2013

28
Feb
13

2.28.13 … No matter our age, it seems we are all a little bit scared of the dark …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church:

First, I was scared that the labyrinth would not be well lit. It was well it. What a relief.
Second, I worried it would be too cold.  It was 42 degrees, a perfect temp.
Third, as I drove up the side street,  the view of downtown was phenomenal.  So i walked to the top of the garden hill (with the cross) and snapped a few shots … I don’t think a picture will capture it,  but here it is …
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I heard the water in the fountain rushing and the chimes ringing.
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My shadow was very long.
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Even though I had no reason to be fearful, I  was because it was dark and I was alone.   I found my heart was racing just a little bit and I walked much faster than I usually walk when I walk a labyrinth.
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My feet were sweating in my garden clogs!!
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Beautiful walk in the shadows of the night.

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And as I walked, my thoughts went to the Barbara Brown Taylor lecture I attended last winter … Darkness …

No matter our age, it seems we are all a little bit scared of the dark.

Taylor pointed out, though, that in the original story of creation, it was darkness that provided the backdrop for God’s creation of the light…the story says that darkness covered the face of the deep as God stepped up with God’s divine paintbrush to paint the first stroke; darkness was there as a canvas when God began.

And, recounting stories of a smoky underground jazz club where she worked nights while putting herself through seminary, Taylor pointed out that there is a whole other world that happens after dark, a world that many of us never get to see.

She said we need darkness, not only for the life-giving REM cycles that happen in the dark, but for walking outside under a blanket of stars, far enough away from the big city that we can see clearly the Little Dipper and Cassiopeia and Orion, and in seeing the stars clearly through the darkness can, from time to time, see our own lives with a clarity we were missing before.

We need the darkness, she says.  Without it, we can’t hope to see the light.

via 12 | November | 2012 | Talk With the Preacher.

Peace and grace …

Henri Nouwen:  Loved this one today …

We are afraid of emptiness. Spinoza speaks about our “horror vacui,” our horrendous fear of vacancy. We like to occupy-fill up-every empty time and space. We want to be occupied. And if we are not occupied we easily become preoccupied; that is, we fill the empty spaces before we have even reached them. We fill them with our worries, saying, “But what if …”

It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives. Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen. It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance. God wants to dwell in our emptiness. But as long as we are afraid of God and God’s actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God. Let’s pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love.

via Daily Meditation: Letting Go of Our Fear of God.

Southern art, Romantic Spirits Exhibition, Garden and Gun:

Romantic Spirits, a companion exhibit to the book by the same name, will run from March 7 through May 26 at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. From there, it will travel to the Spartanburg Art Museum in South Carolina and the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.

via Romantic Spirits Exhibition | Garden and Gun.

Jennifer Lawrence,  Oscars Interview,  Jack Nicholson , ABC News:  So what does Jack Nicholson have to  do with anything … I’ll be waiting …

Lawrence had just described her big win: “I feel like I can’t even remember. It’s kind of an insane moment and it was just really exciting. It was really just shocking.  It was the first time I’ve ever felt, like, actual shock.”

Out of nowhere, Nicholson, 75, walked into the interview and said to Lawrence, “You did such a beautiful job. I didn’t mean to cross into your interview but I had to congratulate you.”

“You’re being really rude,” Lawrence, 22, joked after thanking him.

They gushed over each others’ movies and said goodbye.

He exited and the actress shouted, “Oh my God,” putting her hands in her face. “Is he still there?”

“I’ll be waiting,” said Nicholson, who popped his head back into the interview as a surprise.

via Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscars Interview Interrupted by Jack Nicholson – ABC News.

Pope Benedict XVI, Twitter, WSJ.com: Tweets Gone, But Not Forgotten …

Along with his papal authority, Pope Benedict XVI relinquishes his twitter handle. WSJ’s Jason Bellini has the story of his not-infallible tweeting career.

via Video – Pope Benedict XVI’s Tweets Gone, But Not Forgotten – WSJ.com.

NBA records, Davidson College,  Stephen Curry, kudos:  Kudos, Steph!

NEW YORK — Stephen Curry rose for another jumper, and by then even the Knicks probably figured it would go in.

Curry had hardly missed in a scintillating second half of the NBA’s most electric performance this season, the crowd cheering even before the ball left his hands.

Felton’s blocked shot led to J.R. Smith’s tiebreaking basket with 1:10 left, and the Knicks overcame Curry’s NBA season-high 54 points to beat the Golden State Warriors 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Curry was 18 of 28 from the field, finishing one 3-pointer shy of the NBA record with 11 in 13 attempts, in a performance that had the crowd hanging on his every shot. But the Knicks and Felton finally stopped him with 1:28 to play and the score tied at 105.

“My main thing is to keep playing. Like I said, once a guy gets it going like that, there’s nothing I can really do. I’ve still got to stay in my mindset, still play my game, and I was still able to come up with some big plays at the end,” Felton said. “We all came up with some big plays to get that win.”

via Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks – Recap – February 27, 2013 – ESPN.

Lasso, slippers,  Gaspard Tiné-Berès & Ruben Valensi, Kickstarter:  They are so cute!

Each Lasso slipper is made from a single piece of felt, with a leather sole. The flat pattern is shaped simply by sewing the provided lace through the corresponding precut holes. They are delivered flat-packed with laces of your choice and only take a few minutes to assemble.

So we started to look for a manufacturer and found the Sellerie Parisienne, at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges in the Parisian suburbs, a social enterprise that provides work opportunities for people with special needs. It offered all the skills needed to manufacture, package and ship Lasso to the customer. The die was cast! It took a lot more discussions, coffees, pints, sewing and sweat to establish Lasso: a young, social and responsible brand.

Nike must be smacking their corporate heads that they didn’t think of this first. The Lasso Slipper is essentially the simplest concept of a shoe, with sturdy material and a laces holding it all together — much like a pre-sole version of Nike’s Footscape.

via Lasso Slipper: A Flat-Pack Wool-Felt Slipper You Can Assemble Yourself | The Crosby Press – BETA.

Pope Benedict, resignation

BBC News (UK) @BBCNews

Pope on resignation: “I took this step in full awareness of its gravity” but “with profound serenity of spirit”. LIVE

bbc.in/YYiuP6

Chiditarod,  Shopping Cart Race, Chicago’s Urban Iditarod & Epic Food Drive:  Fun …

Dress Up. Cause Chaos. DO GOOD.

Chiditarod Shopping Cart Race

Chiditarod (think Iditarod) is Chicago’s Epic Urban Iditarod. A charity food drive, beauty pageant, costumed shopping cart race, talent show, fundraiser and chaos generator all in one. And probably the world’s largest mobile food drive, benefitting the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

via Chiditarod Shopping Cart Race | Chicago’s Urban Iditarod & Epic Food Drive.

TEDTalks, food:  have I mentioned how much I enjoy TED …

Five of the conference’s most palatable PowerPoints

via TED’s Most Gluttonous – Drink – Thrillist Nation.

Sir Ravi The Juggler, Stanford Student,  Rubik’s Cube, juggling, NPR,  YouTube, random:  very random …

 

Sir Ravi The Juggler – YouTube.

Bowles-Simpson II. The Sequester , Forbes:  We shall see …

Simpson and Bowles, who chaired a 2010 White House deficit reduction panel, presented a broad framework aimed at reducing the debt to “below” 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 10 years. The debt/GDP ratio has become a favorite new target for both Democrats and Republicans though, naturally, they disagree on what it should be.

Many Democrats and some progressives want to aim for about 73 percent of GDP, which is what it is today. Many Republicans and other deficit hawks are shooting for about 60 percent, which was the upper bound of member state deficits set by the creators of the Eurozone (not that it’s done them much good). For context, the Congressional Budget Office figures that under the most likely fiscal scenario, th

via Bowles-Simpson II: A New Plan To Avoid The Sequester – Forbes.

27
Feb
13

2.27.13 … If I hate being late, why am I always late …

Van Cliburn, RIP,  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30, YouTube:  What a life!  RIP, Van Cliburn.

Pianist Van Cliburn died Wednesday at the age of 78 in Forth Worth, after battling bone cancer.

In 1958, Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow — he became an international classical music star.

via Van Cliburn Dead at 78: His Great Performances (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 (Van Cliburn) in D minor Op.30 – YouTube.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2013 FPC Charlotte Lenten Devotional, 2013  NAPC Lenten Devotional:

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Beautiful day …  as I opened the car door I hear the chimes ringing softly in the wind.  What a great way to start my walk.
Things I thought about …
From FPC’s Wes Barry:
I had a professor in Seminary say that anytime the word “bread” shows up in scripture we should take notice, because it is by this earthly substance that we are told by our Lord to remember him.  So when God asks us “why spend money on what is not bread,” he is asking us why would we spend our resources on things that do not satisfy?  In the end, it is only Jesus Christ, his body broken for us, which satisfies our longings.
From NAPC’s devotional …
Life is like this; just a little seed of an evil desire can cause us to go down another path. James is encouraging us to endure temptation and to stand the test so that we will receive a blessing beyond our imagination.
And from Henri Nouwen …

Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space for God.

TED Talks, business, Harvard Business Review:

It’s happening right now.

Thousands of very lucky individuals are seated in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center are at TED 2013. TED has become a brand name as they have uploaded their archive of 18-minute presentations from their exclusive annual event to TED.com. Originally available only online, the speeches are now distributed and broadcasted on TV, radio, podcasts and even on Netflix. I have been fortunate to have attended the annual conference since 2008, and I’ve found TED an experience that helps businesspeople unlock a new way to think about the work that we do, where we are going as leaders, and our collective role in the evolution of the world. In the spirit of TED 2013, here are 10 amazing TED Talks that have helped me think differently about what business can be, how to be a better leader, and how to become a better global citizen

via 10 TED Talks to Help You Reimagine Your Business – Mitch Joel – Harvard Business Review.

The Cloisters, The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary, WSJ.com:  I love it that my husband sent this to me. 🙂

Set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, the Cloisters museum and gardens were designed to give visitors the impression they are stepping back in time, wandering through what feels like an old-world monastery.

But as America’s only medieval-art museum approaches its 75th anniversary this spring, its curators are stepping gingerly into the modern world.

This year, the Cloisters will for the first time present a contemporary-art installation. The museum, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is developing new digital content for visitors to view on iPods. And after decades of displaying the same permanent collection, the museum is making a bid to attract return visitors with more special exhibitions, made possible by climate-control improvements in recent years.

Change is a delicate issue at the Cloisters, where curators are looking to draw a broader audience without alienating those who cherish the spot’s timeless quality.

via The Cloisters Opens Up – WSJ.com.

 Vatican, Pope Benedict’s new title, CNN.com, fyi:

Pope Benedict XVI will keep the title “his holiness” once he retires and will be called “pontiff emeritus,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican on Tuesday.

via Vatican reveals Pope Benedict’s new title – CNN.com.

BofA,  Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan, gaffes, Bloomberg:  Worth reading …

“Brian certainly doesn’t show up on anyone’s list of most- admired bankers,” Miller says. “If he’s successful, he will have a lot more stature than is now the case.”

Buffett, who stands to become Bank of America’s largest shareholder, says he has little doubt Moynihan will succeed.

“I’ve been around other companies that have great underlying strengths, where some huge event has gotten them into major trouble,” the 82-year-old billionaire says. “Sometimes, you can make a very good investment when that happens.”

via BofA Affirms Buffett Bet as Moynihan Recovers From Gaffes – Bloomberg.

Colm Toibin,  “Summer of ’38” , The New Yorker, bookshelf:  Colm Toibin: “Summer of ’38” : The New Yorker.

poems,  Rudyard Kipling, NPR:  I love lost works …

Fifty previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, were discovered by Thomas Pinney, an English professor at California State Polytechnic University. The lost works by Kipling, whose most famous poems include “If” and the notorious “White Man’s Burden,” are to be published next month. Kipling was widely derided as an apologist for British colonialism — George Orwell called him “a jingo imperialist” — though he was also a respected novelist who won the Literature Nobel in 1907.

via Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered : The Two-Way : NPR.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren,   Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney, lawsuits:  Ah, intigue in retail …

Lundgren, 60, said Stewart sounded like she was reading from a document prepared by lawyers when they spoke, and that he cut off the conversation when the home goods doyenne claimed her deal with J.C. Penney would be good for Macy’s.

“I think that’s when I hung up,” said Lundgren. “The thought this was going to be good for Macy’s was so far from anything I could comprehend.”

Lundgren said that at the time he considered Stewart a friend, and he has not spoken to her since.

via Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren ‘Shocked And Blown Away’ Over Martha Stewart’s Alliance With J.C. Penney.

Swiss watchmakers, The Economist:  I met someone a few years back whose ex worked with a swiss watchmaker … very interesting …

No one buys a Swiss watch to find out what time it is. The allure is intangible: precise engineering, beautifully displayed. The art of fine watchmaking has all but died out elsewhere, but it thrives in Switzerland. “Swiss-made” has become one of the world’s most valuable brands.

In the popular imagination, Swiss watches are made by craftsmen at tiny firms nestled in Alpine villages. In fact, the industry is dominated by one big firm. The Swatch Group’s stable of brands Breguet, Blancpain, Omega and a dozen others generated watch and jewellery sales of SFr7.3 billion in 2012. That is up by 15.6% over the previous year and accounts for one-third of all sales of Swiss watches. In January Swatch announced the purchase of Harry Winston, an American jeweller which also makes watches in Geneva.

via Swiss watchmakers: Time is money | The Economist.

YMCA, ballene:  I attended my second ballene class in a month … I like it!

Ballene: A unique blend of core, strength and flexibility exercises using the stability ball

via Exercise Class

gay marriage, GOP, NYTimes.com:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”

Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.

via Prominent Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com.

Secretary of State John Kerry,  Free Speech, only in America, NYTimes.com: “In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid.”  If you want to see the clip … Kerry Defends American Liberties.

In a robust defense of free speech during a meeting with young Germans in Berlin on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry explained just how far the limits of tolerance extend in blunt terms. “In America,” the country’s top diplomat explained, “you have a right to be stupid.”

That remark, at a forum hosted by the United States Embassy in Berlin, went completely unmentioned in German newspaper and television reports on the event, but it was gleefully seized upon by Mr. Kerry’s critics back home, and bored journalists everywhere, hungry for a gaffe.

via ‘In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid,’ Kerry Says in Defense of Free Speech – NYTimes.com.

North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Frank M. Eldridge:  I spent a day with Frank while my mother was having surgery in 2008.  What a blessing he is to NAPC … and what an accomplishment  … by title alone …

Name with titles: Hon. Rev. Dr. Frank M. Eldridge, Sr., JD, LL.M., M. Div., Th.M., Associate for Congregational Care, Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

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via North Avenue Presbyterian young adults, Who’s Who at NAPC?.

Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech, marriage, truth:  I thought this deconstruction of his speech very interesting …

Did you see Ben Affleck’s speech accepting the Best Picture award last night? If not, he made a moving and authentic statement about marriage. Read more about it here.

The part that has people in a tizzy is this:

I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.

The criticism centers around this statement as lacking in cuteness, and focusing on the negative. It wasn’t the “right forum” for this type of declaration, it was a possible indicator that “something is wrong” in the marriage, he should have just stuck to “I love you and adore you and you’re perfect” — basically whining that a major Hollywood star was uncomfortably honest about his relationship and said overly blunt things about marriage in one of the most public forums on the planet.

Anyone who actually agrees with the above criticism doesn’t get marriage.

A fundamental reality of human relationships is that two people are not meant to be in a single monogamous partnership for all eternity (or even until the end of their lives). Humans crave sexual novelty. We get bored. We lose interest after just two years. We find our intimacy crushed by the weight of daily routines. Marriage is a voluntary commitment that flies in the face of all scientific research and human evolution.

We enter this voluntary (some say insane, and they’re not entirely wrong) pact because we do a cost-benefit analysis and decide that the benefits of getting married (or otherwise partnering for life) outweigh the potential costs — breakups, emotional pain, financial disarray, the list goes on. We make just about the biggest emotional leap of faith a person can make, because we think, feel, and hope that the rewards will be great.

via Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech Revealed A Truth About Marriage.

The Silver Linings Playbook, bookshelf, film/lit:  I need to read the book and see the movie!

Paper or Plastic, games, icebreakers, app:  There’s an app for that?

Paper or Plastic App | A Simple Game to Break the Ice.

Kayla loves the moon, YouTube: Endearing .. to the tune of 300,000 hits in the first week!

That doesn’t make her attempts any less endearing.

In this swoon-worthy YouTube video, the pink-clad, stuffed-animal-toting toddler converses with her dad, who encourages her to reach for the moon before eventually agreeing with her that it’s a lost cause, and she should say “goodbye.”

Since being uploaded on Friday, the clip — which denmoff77 posted alongside links to the Lunar and Planetary Institute and its moon-themed site, MyMoonspace.com — has racked up almost 300,000 views.

via Kayla Loves The Moon So Much, She Wants To Catch It (VIDEO).

@amandapalmer, human connection, mutual dignity of gift economies,  TED2013, Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker:  I can’t wait to watch this 2013 TEDTalk.

Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker

“Asking makes you vulnerable.” @amandapalmer makes a beautiful case for the human connection and mutual dignity of gift economies #TED2013

via (73) Twitter.

bikes, cycling, training, Bicycling MagazineIndoor Bike Trainer Tips, Tricks & Strategies | Bicycling Magazine.

27
Feb
13

2.26.13 … paper or plastic? …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Myers Park Baptist Church:

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I almost did not walk today …  but decided there would be days when I definitely  could not walk,  so at 10:10 PM,  I walked. It was  42° and foggy. It’s nice that the labyrinth at Myers Park Baptist is lighted.
As i walked I thought about the TMBS  Proverbs lesson  from earlier today  at First  Presbyterian Church. I loved Kirk’s use of advertising to demonstrate our folly!
Paper or plastic? I learned something new …
Blessings!

Ben Affleck, Argo, Rolling Stone, CIA,  Fake Sci-Fi Flick, Wired Magazine: Two interesting  articles …

QA: Ben Affleck on Directing ‘Argo’ and Surviving Hollywood | Movies News | Rolling Stone

How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran | Wired Magazine | Wired.com.

Kickstarter, Oscars, shoutouts:

The begging and scraping that goes into getting a film financed is rarely mentioned among the glamour and triumph of the Academy Awards.

Not so with the short documentary “Inocente,” which became the first Kickstarter-funded film to win an Oscar.

Co-directors Andrea Nix and Sean Fine praised the crowd-funding website to reporters backstage. They said it helped them generate community involvement as well as dollars.

Nearly 300 people donated $52,000 through the site to fund the documentary chronicling the life of a homeless teenager in San Diego.

“It’s a great new outlet for films, and especially for documentary films,” Fine said.

via KICKSTARTER GETS OSCAR SHOUTOUT.

Waltz, Hathaway, Supporting Oscars, WSJ.com: What did you think?

The Oscars got under way with edgy humor and a surprise win on Sunday.

Host Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the animated series “Family Guy” and last summer’s hit movie “Ted,” sought to tread a careful line between respect and comedy as he opened the show with his trademark brand of bawdy humor.

He enlisted William Shatner, playing Captain Kirk from “Star Trek,” to show a series of offensive skits Mr. MacFarlane performed in an alternate future. In them, he made fun of famous actresses for their frequent nudity, re-enacted the alcohol- and drug-filled movie “Flight” with sock puppets, and propositioned Sally Field, nominated for her role in “Lincoln.”

The star-filled audience, which initially reacted hesitantly to jokes about Mel Gibson and Chris Brown, seemed to warm to Mr. MacFarlane as he mixed his “fake” skits with musical numbers more in the tradition of past hosts like Billy Crystal.

via Waltz, Hathaway Win Supporting Oscars – WSJ.com.

FiveThirtyEight, Oscar ballot:

Batting .500

FiveThirtyEight’s Oscar ballot — after getting off to a fairly inglorious start by choosing “Lincoln”‘s Tommy Lee Jones instead of “Django Unchained”‘s Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor — got back on track with Anne Hathaway’s win for Best Supporting Actress.

via Live Coverage of the 2013 Oscars – NYTimes.com.

Nora Ephron, Oscars 2013:  Miss Nora Ephron … When Harry Met Sally | Nora Ephron’s Best Film Moments | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

 Searching for Sugarman, Oscars 2013:  Congratulations to Searching for Sugarman on winning the Oscar tonight for Best Documentary!

This true story epitomizes the multifaceted and wonderful relationship between South Africa and the USA! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

via Facebook.

favorites, Twitter, oscars 2013:  And this was my favorite tweet from last night …

Richard Dreyfuss @RichardDreyfuss

I always dreamed that the score of one of my films would be used to play people off at the Oscars. We did it, Steven! #oscars2013

9:15 PM Feb 24th

ChristCare, Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus: The Man Who Lived, Beethoven Missa Solemnis – Agnus Dei, YouTube:  I loved starting a new study with my Christ Care group …

Agnus Dei – Beethoven Missa Solemnis – YouTube.

Biography of Malcolm Muggeridge – Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

25
Feb
13

2.25.13 … I am in the midst of something …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Sharon Baptist Church, ChristCare:
Dagummit! We are back to that typical dreary cold Charlotte winter weather. It is 45° and heavily overcast.
As I drove up to Sardis Baptist’s labyrinth, I saw the daffodils in full bloom.  So,  if the sun will not shine for me, the flowers will.
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At ChristCare, we are studying Malcolm Muggeridge’s Jesus. We studied the first 16 pages today. And Muggeridge challenged each of us to think about how we define Jesus. So that is what I contemplated today as I walked.
As we were reading the Muggeridge’s text, I smiled when I came to this passage …
The story of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels is true to the degree that it can be, and is, believed;  it’s truth must be looked for in the hearts of believers rather than in history, or an archaeological dust  or anthropological bones.  Where two or three are gathered together in my name, Jesus promised, there I am in the midst of them. The promise has been kept, even  in the unlikeliest of places – his own ostensible birthplace in the crypt of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. (15)
Definitely see Him in my ChristCare group and in my walks …
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So what did I observe as I walked today … I saw the flowers; i saw the wind. I heard cars; I heard birds who today were not chirping, but cawing. Then  I heard some  chirping … I felt winter … My hands were cold; my feet were cold.
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But still it was a walk worth taking. I was in the midst of something …
25
Feb
13

2.25.13 … two Banksy stories in the news at the same time …

Sophie Blackall, public art, NYC subway, Explore: If you scroll down, you’ll see where I noticed this work  on 1.28.13

Illustrator Sophie Blackall’s heart-warming New York City subway artwork, with a subtle nod to her famous Craigslist missed connections.

Treat yourself to this fantastic interview with Blackall by the one and only Debbie Millman.

viaExplore – Illustrator Sophie Blackall’s heart-warming New…

 The Bay Lights, public art, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, WSJ.com:

That’s how many LED bulbs the 46-year-old is using for “The Bay Lights,” an art installation that will illuminate the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for the two years, starting March 5. The installation, which organizers say is seven times the scale of the Eiffel Tower, was inspired by the 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge in 2011.

via Lights, Action Come to the Bay Bridge – WSJ.com.

Banksy, arrest, hoax, street art, graffiti:  Two Banksy stories in the news at the same time …

The internet was up in arms today when a clearly fake suspicious looking press release announced the alleged arrest of Britain’s uber-famous street artist, Banksy. Rumors quickly circulated that the graffitist, known to decorate walls around the world with his tongue-in-cheek social criticism, had not only been apprehended, but his identity had also been revealed.

But it turns out the “news” of Banksy’s arrest was just one giant hoax, likely orchestrated by a savvy online troll who takes joy in seeing media outlets report the faux news. As Business Insider confirmed, the London Metropolitan Police did not in fact nab the elusive street artist nor did they reveal his real name (Paul Horner, really?).

via Banksy Arrest Was A Giant Hoax, The Elusive Street Artist Has Not In Fact Been Caught.

Banksy, London, follow-up,   street art, graffiti, BBC News:

“We thought we were just going along to see the gap in the wall and were surprised to see something else had appeared.

“There was obviously a lot of affection for it in Wood Green and a lot of people were very disappointed when their Banksy disappeared.”

He said the new mural had appeared in exactly the same spot as the Banksy artwork

.

Local councillor Alan Strickland said residents had been left “really shocked and really astonished” at the disappearance of the mural of the boy.

“Banksy gave that piece of art to our community, and people came from all over London to see it,” he said.

Banksy’s work has been at the centre of a number of thefts over the years.

via BBC News – Banksy artwork taken in north London withdrawn from sale.

Banksy, Katrina,  street art, graffiti, NOLA:  and I was wondering if Banksy had done work in the US …

   

In late August 2008, marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failure disaster, Banksy produced a series of works in New Orleans, Louisiana, mostly on buildings derelict since the disaster.[49] A stencil painting attributed to Banksy appeared at a vacant petrol station in the Ensley neighbourhood of Birmingham, Alabama on 29 August as Hurricane Gustav approached the New Orleans area. The painting depicting a hooded member of the Ku Klux Klan hanging from a noose was quickly covered with black spray paint and later removed altogether.[50] His first official exhibition in New York, the “Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill,” opened 5 October 2008. The animatronic pets in the store window include a mother hen watching over her baby Chicken McNuggets as they peck at a barbecue sauce packet, and a rabbit putting makeup on in a mirror.[51]

via Banksy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Pope’s retirement, final Sunday blessing, CBS News:

Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself “even more to prayer and meditation,” which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City’s ancient walls.

“But this doesn’t mean abandoning the church,” he said, as many in the crowd looked sad at his departure from regular view. “On the contrary, if God asks me, this is because I can continue to serve it (the church) with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and to my strength.”

The phrase “tried to” was the pope’s adlibbed addition to his prepared text.

Benedict has one more public appearance, a Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

via 100,000 turn up for pope’s final Sunday blessing – CBS News.

labyrinths, Mediterra, Naples FL: I knew I was talking too much about my hobby when everyone, including my mother-in-law, tells me about ones they see or hear about.  🙂

Mediterra - Naples

Lunar, planetary and seasonal references appear throughout the park. A path marked by arches with vines leads to a secret garden with benches and a meditational element, a patterned labyrinth on the ground that forms a path. The labyrinth found in ancient Greek and Roman cultures is re-interpreted at Parque Celestial, using brick edging and grassed pathways to lead the visitor on a meditative journey. Parque Celestial received the American Landscape Society Association’s Florida Chapter Award of Excellence in 2003.

via Mediterra – Naples Florida – NoSnow Naples Real Estate

 

24
Feb
13

2.24.13 … amaze …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Myers Park Baptist Church: 

Talk about a beautiful day.

As I walked up to the labyrinth at MP Baptist, I heard children crying.  They were in the church nursery.  I also heard birds chirping. They were in God’s nursery …
This labyrinth was installed in  2005 under the watch of Rev. Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker. I have never met Steve, nor heard him preach, but I’m grateful to him.  This labyrinth was constructed during his tenure as senior pastor.  What a gift to this church and this community … and to me.
My prayers during my walk  were for Steve.  As I walked,  he was preaching his  final sermon as Senior Minister.
The sun was blinding, but there was water still on the labyrinth from yesterday’s rains.  Our sermon at First Presbyterian Church-Charlotte had focused on baptism … and my thoughts were that the water on the labyrinth was living water.  I reached down  and touched the water on the center stone which was quarried from the same quarry as the stones used to build the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Chartres, France.
  IMG_6046 
IMG_6037 
IMG_6041 IMG_6043 
IMG_6039 IMG_6074 
IMG_6049   IMG_6052
 IMG_6047   IMG_6053
 IMG_6072 IMG_6081 IMG_6059 IMG_6080  IMG_6061
IMG_6068 IMG_6065   IMG_6078  
IMG_6071 
IMG_6070   
IMG_6082 
 IMG_6085
Did I mention it is absolutely gorgeous … It is amazing that eight days ago I drove home from the same labyrinth in a  winter storm. Today it is 62°, the daffodils are screaming with excitement, and I am thankful.
Blessings to you, Rev. Dr. Shoemaker.
24
Feb
13

2.24.13 … feasting on facebook …

Lent, organic smoothies, feast days:  On my feasting day, i saw this … maybe I should try it for a week and then see if I want to go back on …

Here’s a POWERFUL Healing Tonic to help reduce inflammation:

source:Jay Kordich Organic ALKALINE Powerhouse! (makes over 1 quart/ 32
ounces) 1 large (unwaxed) Cucumber (English) 2 Limes peeled 1 cup
Spinach 1 cup Parsley 1 Green Apple 6 ribs Celery 1 inch Fresh
Ginger Root If you drink a tonic like this DAILY, in 30 days you
will notice a big difference in your skin, in your daily challenges
with swollen fingers, hands and your digestion will improve. 90
days of juicing this way, the chronic inflammation you may be
experiencing WILL significantly decrease. Granted, you need to also
mirror your food habits by eating Alkalizing foods as well.
via Facebook.

history, historical films,  Argo, NYTimes.com: Since seeing Argo , I’ve wondered how
much was true.

This awards season, though, some
of the Dream Factory’s highest-profile contenders — “Lincoln,”
“Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Django Unchained” — have been
subjected to unusually insistent fact-checking from journalists,
politicians and op-ed pontificators. Among the accusations:
Connecticut congressmen did not vote against the 13th amendment in
1865, as shown in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Iranian
Revolutionary Guards did not chase a plane carrying six American
Embassy workers down a Tehran airport runway in 1980, as they do in
the climax of Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” And a freed slave in 1858 did
not lay waste to a Mississippi plantation called Candyland to free
his German-speaking wife, as in Quentin Tarantino’s brazenly
fantastical “Django Unchained.” Arguments over these movies raise
familiar questions about art and its uses: Is art supposed to make
us better people, give us moral instruction, work toward the social
good or exist merely for our personal pleasure? Above all, does it
have to be true? When it comes to this recent crop of historically
informed movies, these eternal conundrums have been intensified by
an acute contemporary anxiety about the truth that has less to do
with how rightly or wrongly “Argo,” for instance, gets its facts
than with the crumbling monopolies on the truth held by
institutions like the government and the press. … Movies tend to
tell more than one story. “Argo” isn’t just about a thrilling
rescue: it is also about two powerful institutions — the American
movie industry and the Central Intelligence Agency — that are
masters of dissembling. … Given some of the stories that
politicians themselves have peddled to the public, including the
existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, such concern is
understandable. It can often seem as if everyone is making
stuff up all the time and in such a climate of suspicion and
well-earned skepticism — punctuated by “gotcha” moments of scandal
and embarrassment — movies are hardly immune. But invention remains
one of the prerogatives of art and it is, after all, the job of
writers, directors and actors to invent counterfeit realities. It
is unfair to blame filmmakers if we sometimes confuse the real
world with its representations. The truth is that we love movies
partly because of their lies, beautiful and not. It’s journalists
and politicians who owe us the truth. via The
History in ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Argo’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ –
NYTimes.com
.

Argo, BBC News:

The central element of the story sounds
incredible but is in fact true. The CIA cooked up a plan to spirit
the six out of the country on a scheduled flight from Tehrans
Mehrabad airport, masquerading as Canadians working on a
non-existent science-fiction film. via BBC
News – Argo: The true story behind Ben Afflecks Globe-winning
film

snark v. sweetness, Harvard Business Review: interesting …

Sweetness has a couple of faces. It expresses an openness to the world, a wish to be useful, an
innocence, a goodness, a guilelessness, a disinclination to insist
on your own interests. If there is a poster girl, it is Jess (Zooey
Deschanel), the female lead in New Girl, the new show from Fox. New
Girl turns out to be a veritable shrine to sweetness, as four
roommates rescue one another from the stream of misadventures with
madcap enthusiasm and a touching generosity.

Why sweetness? Well, we are coming out of an era of some darkness. We
seemed almost to celebrate skepticism and snark. We dwelt upon the
grimmest aspects of the human experience. TV and movie making were
increasingly ghoulish, with new standards of viscera and depravity.
Shows like CSI and NCIS dwell lovingly on the crime victim. Bright
lights and strategically placed towels protect our sexual
sensitivities, but everything else on the autopsy table is
enthusiastically examined. Once the standard bearer of
heartlessness, The Silence of the Lambs (1991) now looks a little
quaint. Since its release, we have seen a succession of werewolves,
vampires, serial killers, and human monsters of every kind. If you
are 40 or under, you’ve grown up on a steady diet of heartlessness.
via The Decline of Snark and the Return of Sweetness – Grant McCracken –
Harvard Business Review
.

Evolution Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama), YouTube, LOL:

Evolution
Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama) –
YouTube
.

In honor of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and to
encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their
kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the “Evolution of Mom
Dancing.” via Evolution
Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama) –
YouTube
.

Smart Ass Cripple, twitter, Roger Ebert:  A tweet I just had to follow up …

Roger Ebert
(@ebertchicago)

2/23/13, 11:15 AM Smart Ass Cripple
gets the last laubit.ly/121KLdB

I’ve found a new way to
amuse myself, which, after all, is what life is all about.One Last
Laugh First, I picture some anthropologists about a thousand years
from now discovering my crippled skeleton. That makes me chuckle.
My skeleton will be a keeper for them because they’ll know right
away it belonged to a cripple.  It bears the ravages of
sitting on my ass all day. It’s twisted and bent. It’s contracted
up fetal. The bones are soupy soft. Sitting takes a toll. If God
intended for humans to sit on our asses all day, she would have
made us all Congressmen. But my body either sits in a wheelchair
(or on a crapper) or lies in bed. Every day I abuse my body by
making it get out of bed.

via Smart Ass Cripple: One Last Laugh.

history, literature, novels:  I feel stupid … I have not read any and have not even heard of all of them.  😦

According to the
novel’s liveliest, undisciplined, and most raucous traditions (and
to the word “novel”‘s etymology), the purpose of fiction is to
bring readers “news” of the real state of things as experienced and
expressed in everyday speech. The novel’s job is to reflect the
truth of our lives in common in a way that official and respectable
languages—whether these be Latin, law, economics, public policy,
cybernetics, or professional humanism (the list goes on and
on)—can’t. History is one of those respectable languages by which
we expect to be instructed in navigating the present by placing
that present within a story of grand human development headed
toward some benign purpose.

via 10 Books That Rewrite History.

Banksy, public art, ownership, Bloomberg:  Who owns it?  good question.

BBC News – ‘Banksy’ boy worker image on Poundland shop wall.The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and was located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London. The work was later removed and was to be auctioned in Miami. It was withdrawn
moments before the auction. Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

via Bloomberg.

Michelle Obama’s Bangs, midlife crisis: .Michelle Obamas Bangs

Michelle Obama’s Bangs The Result Of Midlife Crisis? First Lady Jokes About Hair During Interview

via Michelle Obama’s Bangs The Result Of Midlife Crisis? First Lady Jokes About Hair During Interview.

Paul McIlhenny,  Tabasco,  RIP, NOLA.com:  RIP, Mr. McIlhenny.

Paul McIlhenny, an ebullient executive who for 14
years led the family-owned company that makes Tabasco sauce and who
reigned as Rex in 2006, died Saturday at his New Orleans home,
apparently of a heart attack. He was 68. Mr. McIlhenny, whom The
New York Times once called “The Scion of Spice,” became the
company’s president in 1998 — the sixth family member to hold that
title — and chief executive officer two years later. At his death,
he still held the latter position and also was chairman of the
board of directors, but a cousin, Anthony “Tony” Simmons, was named
president last year. The company, which was founded by Edmund
McIlhenny in 1868 on Avery Island, near New Iberia, sells Tabasco
sauce in about 165 countries and has 11 websites outside the United
States, in North and South America and Europe. During Mr.
McIlhenny’s years at the helm of the McIlhenny Co., he worked
aggressively to expand the number of items to which the familiar
Tabasco logo could be affixed. They include T-shirts, aprons,
neckties, teddy bears and computer screensavers, as well as seven
varieties of hot sauce. via Paul
McIlhenny, CEO of the company that makes Tabasco sauce, dies at 68
| NOLA.com
.

stress, health:

Roughly 25
percent of people say stress gives them an upset stomach or
indigestion, according to a survey by the American Psychological
Association. Here’s why: Prolonged anxiety slows digestion as your
nervous system directs its energy toward the organs and muscles
most critical to survival. This, in turn, can cause nausea,
constipation, cramping, and bloating.

via Side
Effects Of Stress: How Stressing Out Hurts Your
Body
.

Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, Journal of Victorian Culture Online:
Two of my favorites … linked …

But the connections between Downton Abbey and the
nineteenth-century novel (and Jane Austen’s novels in particular)
go far beyond the American penchant for indulging in the love
stories of “our betters” that come to pass while drinking high tea
in corseted costuming. Even a cursory glance at film adaptations of
Austen’s novels staring Downton Abbey actors reveals the
similarities between the events at Downton and the plots of
Austen’s novels. via Downton
Abbey & Jane Austen; Or, in Praise of Lady Mary | Journal
of Victorian Culture Online
.

The Pope, Twitter:  No surprise …

The Pope Is
Quitting Twitter

The Pope is giving up Twitter
when he leaves his office later this month. via The
Pope Is Quitting Twitter
.

House of Cards, NYTimes.com:  On my list to watch …

The Washington
that majestically unfurls in the credits for “House of Cards” is
recognizable to anybody who has spent time there. But even though
it can be a monumental kingdom filled with portent, it can also be
a fairly quotidian and sometimes ugly small town — but that’s not
the kind of place you make a huge, expensive television show
about.

An original series picked up and distributed by
Netflix, “House of Cards” is a great looking, lavishly made
13-episode series based on a BBC mini-series. It was developed and
produced by Beau Willimon, a guy steeped in politics as an aide to
Charles Schumer, Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton and who also wrote
“The Ides of March,” a film directed by George Clooney that got
high marks from politicos for its verisimilitude. “House of Cards”
revolves around Frank Underwood (played with lizard-like glory by
Kevin Spacey), a Democrat and House majority whip, who, when passed
over for a promotion to secretary of state wreaks revenge on all
who would lay him low. His willing partner is Zoe Barnes (played by
Kate Mara), a reporter/blogger at The Washington Herald, a
fictional establishment newspaper in the capital. via “House
of Cards”: Two reporters talk deconstruct the deck. –
NYTimes.com
.

apps ,
iPhone, Android , Digits – WSJ
:  I am such an iPhone loyalist … but I have friends that love their android …

When it comes to developing apps, the iPhone is
usually the first option. Look at apps like Instagram, which was
exclusive to the iPhone for an extended period of time before
landing on Android. But there are plenty of reasons to want to go
with an Android phone.

via Apps That Might Make You Want to Switch to Android – Digits -WSJ.

Danica Patrick, Daytona 500, firsts, kudos:  Congrats …

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Congratulations to Danica Patrick for becoming the first woman in history to win the Daytona 500 pole on Sunday.

via (1) Facebook.




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