Archive for March, 2013

31
Mar
13

3.31.13 … Christ is risen, indeed! …

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

Rain … actually heavy rain. But the church was ready … and the chairs were set up under the covered entrance to the fellowship hall with a straight on view of the columbarium in the Sacred Garden. A very nice plan b.
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The Highland Piper crossed our path in full regalia … where did he go?
Before the service began, the ministers introduced themselves and shook hands as they walked out to the front.
The Highland piper played “Amazing Grace.”
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At this sunrise service the word I heard over and over was “creation.” From the scripture that was read … Mark 16: 15:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
And then I heard repeatedly, “Christ is risen!.”
Dr. John Earl asked us to focus on “sounds,” to listen to creation, to hear and see things in creation beginning with resurrected Christ. And he concluded, ” Creation is laughing. In every cemetery, creation is laughing. Listen to the laughter you find in creation.” (paraphrased :))
The service concluded with another bagpipe tune … and Dr. Earl encouraged us to walk the Garden while he was still playing. I, of course, walked the labyrinth!
After I walked, Rev. Jane Summey Mullennix called me over to share coffee. It was great fun to talk with her about the service and labyrinths!
Christ is risen, indeed!
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29
Mar
13

3.29.13 … Blessings and peace on this Good Friday … It is finished … …

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

I’m going to take another late afternoon walk. (In case you’re wondering, it’s 5 PM and 62°, very overcast.) I guess I really do like it that we have changed to daylight savings time. 🙂
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I was very sad as I walked today.  My favorite mum left us yesterday.  I have big hole in my heart and can only imagine how her husband,  her 5 children and  many grandchildren are feeling as well as an army of assorted other family and friends. She always teased me that I grew up on her kitchen counter.   As her daughter says, “she had an indomitable spirit!”
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Blessings and peace on this Good Friday … It is finished.
PS.  Meet Little Bear, the old dog,  and the puppy is a Chesapeake and Chow mix.  These two wait patiently as their master walks the labyrinth everyday at the end of their walk.  What a nice way to end a walk.
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29
Mar
13

3.29.13 … clean it like the queen of England is visiting! …

Lent, Room for Debate – NYTimes.com:

Lent is a promise to walk with Jesus even into the desert. It is a trusting willingness to put our hand in his at all times, no matter what it requires, to go with him into the wilderness or onto the cross. Lent is about our relationship with Christ; and that relationship, like our ordinary relationships with other people, has seasons of trial and deprivation as well as seasons of joy. Lent allows us to say “yes” to all those seasons. It echoes Ruth’s pledge to her mother-in-law, Naomi: “Whither thou goest, I will go.”

Life will test our love; Lent allows us to promise, each year, that we will try to hold on.

via Lent Is Not Supposed to Benefit You – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

bathroom , Queen of England, Photo Gallery – Yahoo!, LOL: 

How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England

This Alabama family’s bathroom is now fit for a queen, thanks to one mom’s sarcastic note to her son. When 21-year-old Caleb B. saw the note to tidy the bathroom “like the Queen of England is visiting,” he decided to respond just as sarcastically as he was asked. Caleb not only scrubbed the royal room from top to bottom, but also adorned it with a hand-drawn flag of England, and left an assortment of tea on the counter for the Queen to enjoy. “My mom bursted out laughing when she opened the bathroom door,” Caleb told ABCNews.com. “She thought it was great.” Apparently the social media world also got a kick out of it, as the photos he posted have more than 518,000 views on Imgur and began trending on Reddit .

via How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England | Photo Gallery – Yahoo!.

South Africa,  Brics era, FT.com:  

Nowhere does the celebratory mood of the past decade, which inspired this motley group to launch the Brics summits, feel more absent than in South Africa. With its gross domestic product growing at a pace of 2.5 per cent, South Africa is on track to finish the year as one of the slowest economies in Africa.

This is an ironic turn. When The Economist called Africa the “hopeless continent” at the start of the millennium, South Africa seemed to offer a single bright spot. It brought debts and inflation under control, creating the stability required for growth. Now, it is stuck, and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya, are growing twice as fast.

The ruling African National Congress is relying heavily on a “liberation dividend” to remain in office. Many South Africans have understandably ugly memories of apartheid and still embrace ANC leaders as authors of freedom, even if they are also the architects of stagnation. Yet the problems of inequality and unemployment are as acute as when the ANC promised “economic justice” two decades ago.

via South Africa should forget the Brics era – FT.com.

Ice Climbing, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, Iceland: 

Picture of Tim Emmett climbing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, Icelandvia Extreme Photo of the Week — National Geographic.

Davidson College, Humanities, 50th anniversary:

“Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar.”             —Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

In a time when death has been moving prominently in my circles on campus and beyond, I found some strange, hard comfort in reporting and writing a 50th-anniversary story about the college’s Humanities Program, which for me felt so full of life and memory as I approached my own half-century marker.

“Humes” was born the same year I was, so the program and I were both 18 when I ventured unsuspectingly into a Gilgamesh lecture in September 1981. Two very academic years later, I emerged with a deep sense of the broad sweep of my own Western culture in the world. It was a very personal and at the same time a very universal view of things as they are. A broad, deep view represents perhaps the essence of the liberal arts—the word “liberal” springing from the root word for “freedom” and the word “art” harking back to “fit together, join.” Thirty years on, I still subscribe to this very personal, very universal view of humanity through the humanities.

via Thanks for These Four, And So Much More.

Davidson NC, Cornelius NC, Carolina Cones,  DavidsonNews.net:

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t limit myself to post-dental nirvana. I treat myself regularly to this Cornelius treasure, as I know so many of us out there do. What a wonderful example of small town, local goodness. Where else can you pick out a potted plant, peruse the selection of frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors, and watch a model train circle above your head?

via Winter’s over, Carolina Cones is back!  | DavidsonNews.net Guide.

Christianity, Non-Believers,  Shane Claibourne, Esquire: 

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

via Shane Claiborne – Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claibourne – Esquire.

Marriage Equality Symbol, Facebook: 

 

via 17 Different Versions Of The Marriage Equality Symbol For Your Facebook Page.

baseball:

In 2003, there was only one pitcher who threw at least 25 pitches 100 mph or faster. In 2012, there were seven. Pitchers are throwing faster than ever before. Here’s why: http://on.wsj.com/14BH2Us

via Facebook.

Not only does this save time for the crew, stuffed as they are in the cramped Soyuz, but since the Russian capsule can fly autonomously in orbit for only about four days, the shorter commute means more fuel, oxygen and other supplies can be conserved for a possible emergency.

via Commute From Earth To Space Station Just Got Shorter : The Two-Way : NPR.

Paris à la bonne heure – Vidéo Dailymotion.

A Journey Together – NEXT Church.

Disconnect: A New Movie Sounds the Alarm About Our Hyper-Connected Lives | LinkedIn.

DOMA, Thomas Jefferson:

This is the Jefferson Memorial, if any were wondering what the Founding Fathers might say today as the Supreme Court considers the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Under DOMA, passed 17 years ago, same-sex couples who are legally married in their home states are denied federal benefits offered to opposite-sex married couples.

There are over 1,000 such benefits, such as tax savings, Social Security payments and medical and family leave.

via Facebook.

The Boiling Frog Syndrome, follow-up, Mind Boggling Stories – Quora:

What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water. But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.

We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to face. There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action. If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. We have to decide when to jump. Let us jump while we still have the strength.

via The Boiling Frog Syndrome – Mind Boggling Stories – Quora.

David Petraeus, public relations, Vanity Fair:  Philandering ex-head of CIA … can he overcome the moniker …

Philandering former C.I.A. director David Petraeus apologized for cheating on his wife “in a speech to veterans at the University of Southern California, his first public address since the scandal,” The Hill reports. He also revealed that he deeply regrets schtupping his biographer: “Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret—and apologize for—the circumstances that led to my resignation from the C.I.A. and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.” No worries, it’s cool, the audience, which did not include the woman to whom he made marital vows, probably thought.

Petraeus also has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal in which he, spoiler alert, does not address sleeping with a woman whose jealously issues, frankly, sound like they require more maintenance than a 30-something-year marriage. The op-ed concerns the professional difficulties of many veterans after returning home, and reading it is like the moral equivalent of a Hail Mary after the sin of so closely and hungrily following the grotesque sex scandal for all those months.

via David Petraeus: the Public Relations Comeback Beginneth! | Vanity Fair.

The former members of our armed forces have done their part to ensure Americas national security, often sacrificing greatly in the process. Now it is our turn to do our part to help them build promising futures for themselves and their families.Gen. Petraeus U.S. Army, Ret. commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as director of the CIA. He is a senior adviser to American Corporate Partners. Mr. Goodfriend, a retired investment banker, is founder/chairman of American Corporate Partners. https://acp-advisornet.org

via David Petraeus and Sidney Goodfriend: Training Veterans for Their Next Mission – WSJ.com.

travel, hidden places, Paris, sewers:

After writing Hidden Cities, I’ve gotten asked one question more than any other: some variation of “so – I’d love to see a part of a city that’s hidden and secret and unknown, but also, you know, safely and legally.” It doesn’t really work like that (in today’s day and age, excursions that are safe, legal, and interesting enough to be found in major publications usually don’t stay hidden and secret for too long), but there are a few off-the-beaten path destinations around the world where you can see the forgotten corners, hidden infrastructure, and underground tunnels of some of the great cities of the world in a safe and legal way – but also get your feet slightly dirtier than your average tourist. 10 of my favorites are:

1. Le Musée des Égouts de Paris (Paris Sewer Museum) – A wonderful, up-close way to see one of the most significant engineering accomplishments of the 19th century. Descend into the bowels of the city, and walk alongside an active part of the Parisian sewer system. The entrance can be found across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, on the Quai d’Orsay near the Pont de l’Alma

via 10 Hidden Places Around the World.

28
Mar
13

3.28.13 … walked together through the last hours of Christ’s life …

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

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The church grounds are noisy with workers preparing for Easter services.

It’s Maundy Thursday, and I am just beginning at age  50-whatever to understand what Maundy Thursday means. It’s interesting that my childhood and early adult faith walk avoided any concept of this day. 
 
Although still  unseasonably cool, 50 degrees at 2 pm, I very much appreciated the time to walk and to have that closeness with God.   I also am very grateful for the sun!
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An aside … I attended my church’s Maundy Thursday and the Service of Tenebrae (we walked together through the last hours of Christ’s life.)  Beautiful music and service ending in darkness.  Very moving.  I will do it again next year.
 
Blessings!
27
Mar
13

3.27.13 … what a difference a little sunshine makes …

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

Chimes … I now expect to hear them when I arrive.  🙂
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As a child, I would spend hours with a friend named Laura playing  at the base of a large of oak tree on Brighton Road  in Brookwood Hills. Every time I walk by this wonderful oak tree as I enter the Avondale’s Sacred Garden, I think of those hours and Laura.
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And thank goodness for the sunshine. I was beginning to feel like my 2013 Lenten  labyrinth walks were a burden.  What a difference a little sunshine makes.
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27
Mar
13

3.27.13 … a little of this … a little of that …

Easter, kith/kin, Peeps, Peanuts, LOL:  I great blend of two of my favorites … LOL!

media, start-up,  Columbia Journalism School, ‘The Big Roundtable, Capital New York, Kickstarter: Opportunities abound …

Lots, according to Michael Shapiro, a Columbia Journalism School professor who thinks he’s developed a way to publish and distribute orphaned features by crowd-selecting stories, putting them up for sale on a website and paying writers $1 for each copy sold.

“There are writers with big, true-life stories to tell. There are readers who might want to see them. These two groups of people too often never meet,” reads a description of The Big Roundtable, a proposed long-form publishing collective for which Shapiro and his collaborators are raising money on Kickstarter. (One day in, they were more than half-way to their $5,000 goal.)

“For centuries standing between them was a gatekeeper—an agent, an editor, a publisher—who decided what people would want to read based on little more than the gatekeeper’s gut, a hunch, an instinct, a feeling. This meant that too many writers were left without readers. And too many readers left having never been told a story that might have mattered.”

via Media start-up hatched at Columbia, ‘The Big Roundtable,’ looks for a new long-form business model | Capital New York.

 ‘The Music Is You: A Tribute To John Denver’, First Listen, NPR, kith/kin: I claim a family member who was a fan.  🙂

Ask die-hard John Denver fans why they love the late singer’s music so much and they’ll likely tell you the same thing: “He makes me cry.” Denver, who wrote unabashedly sentimental songs about love, nature and an ever-homesick life on the road, had a rare gift for stirring something inside listeners. To many, his melodies and lyrics could come off as maudlin and conventional. But for the countless believers — and there are many — Denver was a poet, a visionary and a constant companion.

via First Listen: ‘The Music Is You: ATribute To John Denver’ : NPR.

Cincinnati,  2013 NCAA tournament, Adidas alternate uniforms, The Dagger: College Basketball Blog/Yahoo! Sports: pretty ugly …

Wednesday afternoon also marked the debut of Cincinnati’s alternate uniforms, made by Adidas and unofficially known as the Zubaz model for their unique pattern. The Bearcats are one of six schools wearing them (Louisville and Notre Dame will be debuting their versions at the Garden this week as well), and the rollout last month did not receive the warmest of receptions. Our own Jeff Eisenberg referred to them as “hideous” and he was definitely expressing the majority opinion. Kansas fans were so angry about the Jayhawks version they filed a petition to the White House to get them banned.

via Cincinnati seals up NCAA bid while debuting much-discussed alternate uniforms | The Dagger: College Basketball Blog – Yahoo! Sports.

 

27
Mar
13

3.27.13 … How to pronounce Jeroen Dijsselbloem – YouTube

The new president of the group of countries using the euro apparently presents some pronunciation woes for non Dutch speakers. With BM’s 400 years at the heart of Carolingian northern Europe, such names trip somewhat more easily off the tongue.

http://berlaymonster.blogspot.be/2013…

via How to pronounce Jeroen Dijsselbloem – YouTube.

26
Mar
13

3.26.13 … it’s just not right …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:
I’m going to complain. Today at 5 o’clock it was approximately 50° and there is a freeze warning for tonight. This is just not right.
So during my  quick walk, i focused on when you feel like life is just not right. 🙂
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26
Mar
13

3.26.13 … a little of this … a little of that …

water fountain, evolution,  WSJ.com:

The basic drinking fountain—requiring you to bend over, press a button and slurp—was a steady seller for decades. Then, nearly 10 years ago, executives of Elkay Manufacturing Co. started noticing what they call “the airport dance.”

More people were toting plastic water bottles. Rather than drinking from the fountain, they wanted to refill those jugs. It wasn’t working.

“We were really changing what a water cooler was,” says Rod Magnuson, a product director at Elkay.

Water is more popular as Americans reduce consumption of high-calorie soft drinks. Tap and bottled water accounted for around 30% of the typical American’s liquid intake last year, up from 16% two decades before, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., a consulting firm. Nearly half of that water came from taps, including drinking fountains.

But Americans are picky. Many consider fountains unsanitary. Though Elkay added antimicrobial agents to the mouth guards, fear of germs lingered.

One of the most inspired features is a digital counter, showing how many bottles have been filled. “I thought that was a dumb idea,” says Jack Krecek, who spearheaded the EZH2O project before leaving Elkay to run another company. But the counter ended up helping “make this thing go viral,” he says. College students liked showing how green they were by tracking how many plastic bottles had been kept out of landfills. Some held intra-campus competitions to see who could reuse the most bottles.

Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., began buying Elkay fountains after students campaigned against what they saw as plastic-bottle waste. The college has installed 49 of the devices and says more than 1.4 million plastic bottles have been refilled by them over the past two years. Incoming freshmen receive a free stainless-steel water bottle. David Rabold, capital projects manager at Muhlenberg, says sales of bottled water on campus have fallen 90% since EZH2O fountains were installed.

via With Bottle-Fillers in Mind, the Water Fountain Evolves – WSJ.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, Andy Borowitz, LOL,  The New Yorker:  Andy Borowitz is a hoot …

SCALIA SAYS MARRIAGE VIEWS NOT AFFECTED BY LIFELONG FEAR OF GAYS

POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ

via Scalia Says Marriage Views Not Affected by Lifelong Fear of Gays : The New Yorker.

Plainsong:  Since I didn’t know exactly what it was, I thought you might be interested.

History

A sample of the Kýrie Eléison (Orbis Factor) from the Liber Usualis, in neume notation. Listen to it interpreted.

Plainchant is believed to originate from the 3rd century A.D. Gregorian chant is a variety of plainsong named after Pope Gregory I (6th century A.D.), although Gregory himself did not invent the chant. The tradition linking Gregory I to the development of the chant seems to rest on a possibly mistaken identification of a certain “Gregorius”, probably Pope Gregory II, with his more famous predecessor.

For several centuries, different plainchant styles existed concurrently. Standardization on Gregorian chant was not completed, even in Italy, until the 12th century. Plainchant represents the first revival of musical notation after knowledge of the ancient Greek system was lost. Plainsong notation differs from the modern system in having only four lines to the staff and a system of note shapes called neumes.

In the late 9th century, plainsong began to evolve into organum, which led to the development of polyphony.

There was a significant plainsong revival in the 19th century, when much work was done to restore the correct notation and performance-style of the old plainsong collections, notably by the monks of Solesmes Abbey, in northern France. After the Second Vatican Council and the introduction of the New Rite Mass, use of plainsong in the Catholic Church declined and was mostly confined to the monastic orders[1] and to ecclesiastical societies celebrating the traditional Latin Mass (also called Tridentine Mass). But, since Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, use of the Tridentine rite has increased; this, along with other papal comments on the use of appropriate liturgical music, is promoting a new plainsong revival.[verification needed]

Interest in plainsong picked up in 1950s Britain, particularly in the left-wing religious and musical groups associated with Gustav Holst and the writer George B. Chambers. In the late 1980s, plainchant achieved a certain vogue as music for relaxation, and several recordings of plainchant became “classical-chart hits”.

[edit]

via Plainsong – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

design, history, childhood, Brain Pickings:

“Children help us to mediate between the ideal and the real.”

“Every child is an artist,” Picasso famously proclaimed. “Every child is a scientist,” Neil deGrasse Tyson reformulated. But, as it turns out, every child is also a designer — so argues Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000 (public library), the impressive companion book to the MoMA exhibition of the same title, which explores “children as design activists in their own right, pushing against imaginative and physical limitations and constantly re-creating the world as they see it, using whatever equipment they happen to have at hand.”

via A Design History of Childhood | Brain Pickings.

Rome, museums, travel, serendipity, Fodor’s Travel Guides:  Definitely into the off the beaten path!

Whether it’s your first trip or your fifth, there are plenty of good reasons to stray from the beaten path a bit in Rome. Yes, see the Spanish Steps, but then check out the Keats Shelley Memorial House. Sure, tour the Vatican, but add a trip to the Museo Ebraico before the day’s done. And between that mouthwatering lunch and your wine-soaked dinner, pack in a trip to the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, which will make for some solid dinner conversation.

via Rome’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums | Travel News from Fodor’s Travel Guides.

25
Mar
13

3.25.13 … enabling us to to look out from Time, our prison, on to the mercy of Eternity, our liberty …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Finger Labyrinth@home:

I cheated.  There … I said it. I used my finger labyrinth at home. I went out earlier today, and it was overcast and cold. By the time I returned the sun was beginning to come out,  but it was still cold.

I truly planned to go out again because it became a beautiful cold early spring day, but one thing led to  another,  and I was still here so I decided to use my finger labyrinth.
It does not have the same effect as a walk, but it does have some value.  I had to slow down and with effort work through my usual meditation litany.  I am actually quite pleased with my “walk.”
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Anyway,  I focused on John 1:9-13 which states:
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
“He gave the right to become children of God” … what does that mean?
I also thought about this quote from Malcolm Muggeridge’s Jesus:
This was the theme of his life, the essence of the drama he lived out in order to guide all who came after him in the ways of truth; to give us hope in our despair, and light in our darkness, enabling us to look out from Time, our prison, on to the mercy of Eternity, our liberty.
Peace and grace.



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