Archive for July, 2013


7.28.13 … summer and popsicles … ahhh …

popsicles, healthy popsicle recipes:  i am a big fan of King of Pops popsicles but they are $2.50 at the hand truck and $3.00 at Whole Foods, so I think I will get my Zoku | Quick Pop Maker out again and try some of these recipes!

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake Greek Yogurt Popsicles

In the sweltering summer heat, ain’t nothing like a popsicle to cool you down.

via 6 Healthy Popsicle Recipes That Put Your Neighborhood Ice Cream Truck To Shame (PHOTOS).


7.28.13 … “Suburban” – an attempt “to create a moving statement around Western ideas of home and turning them into symbols you can react against.” …

Suburban Street Art,  Ian Strange,  “Suburban” , National Gallery of Victoria:  Glad it’s not my neighborhood … But maybe that’s the point.  Do you think the artist’s name is really Ian Strange?

suburban street art

Bold street art projects are usually reserved for the confines of a sprawling urban center such as New York City or Los Angeles. But thanks to Australian artist Ian Strange, the suburbs are getting their own taste of public interventions.

For an upcoming exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria, Strange is presenting a combination of film and photography that documents seven site specific artworks, all taking place in suburban neighborhoods. The series — simply titled “Suburban” — explores how radical aesthetic adjustments can bring the vigor of city street art to the comfortable setting of middle America.

To create his jarring artworks, Strange and a crew of volunteers traveled to Alabama, Ohio, Detroit, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire, painting– and sometimes burning– houses in an attempt “to create a moving statement around Western ideas of home and turning them into symbols you can react against.” Watch the video above and let us know what you think of “Suburban” in the comments.

via Suburban Street Art Like You’ve Never Seen It Before, Courtesy Of Ian Strange (PHOTOS).


7.28.13 … somethings are not “better than nothing” …

You’ve heard the phrase, “it’s better than nothing.”  Well, somethings are not.  Last night, John went to the Red Box and brought back “Dead Man Down.”  He said there was just nothing in the Red Box. He was right.

This movie was a gangster shoot to kill movie with a romantic twist that was inevitable.

Read a book.  That is always better than nothing.

Such is “Dead Man Down,” a thriller that piles on its absurdities so fast and with such apparent obliviousness that you hope (pray) you’ll soon be watching either a diverting art-film intervention, like Werner Herzog’s remake of “Bad Lieutenant,” or joy riding with one of those rarest of screen delights: the demented howler. “Dead Man Down,” unfortunately, turns out to be too innocuous to qualify as either actually good or delectably bad. Yet while Colin Farrell and his sensitive, hardworking eyebrows help keep it from becoming a full-bore lampoon, the gangland clichés, nutty plot and seemingly random casting choices (F. Murray Abraham, Armand Assante, Isabelle Huppert) stoke your hopes that true movie madness may rise out of the darkening shadows and pessimism.

via ‘Dead Man Down,’ Starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace –


7.27.13 … George Alexander Louis: history of a name …

Royal baby name, history, George Alexander Louis ,, fyi:

The world finally knows how to address the latest addition to the British royal family: HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

The baby boy is third in line to the throne, after grandfather Prince Charles and father Prince William. Here’s some of the history behind the young prince’s three names:

Royal Baby: What’s next?


“George” — the front-runner before the announcement, according to many UK bookmakers — was the name of Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, who reigned from 1936 until his death in 1952. He assumed the throne on the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. His life was depicted in the Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech.”

Baby’s name is steeped in royal history The royal aunt and uncle Excited crowds welcome royal baby boy

Photos: Other famous Georges

George I, born in Germany, became king in 1714. He was followed by a line of kings with the same name, including George III, who was known for his bouts of insanity.

The name is also a patriotic choice for many in the UK: Saint George, patron saint of England, is known for his legendary defeat of a dragon in the third century. His feast day is celebrated on April 23, (the date also associated with the birth of William Shakespeare, England’s most revered writer).

Despite its royal connections, George has humble origins, derived as it is from the Greek name “georgios” meaning “earth worker” or “farmer.”

Other historical Georges: composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), first president of the United States George Washington (1732-1799), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). Authors Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair also chose George as their pen names: George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950) respectively.


This gallant title means “defender of men,” from the Latin form of the Greek name “Alexandros.” Alexander III of Macedon (356-323 B.C.), better known as Alexander the Great, courageously ruled and conquered many parts of the world before his untimely death at age 32.

The name “Alexander” is a feature of the Dutch royal family: Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne after the abdication of his mother Queen Beatrix earlier this year.

Other historical Alexanders: English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), American statesman Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Scottish-Canadian explorer Alexander MacKenzie (1764-1820), Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) and Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-born inventor of the telephone.


The name “Louis” originates from the English and French interpretations of the German name Ludwig, which can be interpreted as “renowned warrior.”

Louis was the first name of Lord Mountbatten, uncle of George’s great-grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and mentor to Prince Charles. He was killed by the IRA while holidaying in Ireland in 1979.

No British monarch has been named Louis, but it is very popular across the English Channel in France, where 18 kings have taken the name from 814 onward. Louis XIV, the Sun King, reigned from 1643 until 1715 and was hailed by many as the greatest monarch of his age because of the growth in French power and the opulence of his court, which included the Palace of Versailles.

Louis XVI was the king of France from 1774 until 1792, when he was found guilty of treason after the revolution and executed in 1793.

Other historical figures named Louis: French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895); Métis leader Louis Riel (1844-1885), who led a rebellion against Canada; and Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), who wrote “Treasure Island” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

via Royal baby name: The history behind George Alexander Louis –


7.27.13 …The North Pole: scary … heirloom tomatoes: so ugly, but so good … “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in, and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir (1838-1914) … Abraham Lincoln on grief: I must die or be better, it appears to me.” … bacon, cashews, and nut butter energy bar …

The North Pole,  This is scary.

The north pole, that great bastion of eternal cold and barren ice, is a lake.

It’s a shallow lake. It’s a cold lake. But it is, actually, a lake.

According to the North Pole Environmental Observatory, the summer ice is melting away at unprecedented rates. The sea of snow is now meltwater.

via The North Pole has a lake on top of it today |

heirloom tomatoes, Food & Wine: heirloom tomatoes … so ugly, but so good.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Tomatoes These incredible recipes highlight juicy summer tomatoes and include superstar chef Mario Batali’s brilliant solution for redeeming out-of-season tomatoes.CLOSE

via Tomatoes | Food & Wine.

Clay Macaulay, John Muir, quotes:  Loved this quote from Davidson friend Clay …

As Pam and I return to the home we love, after the most meaningful of journeys…the wisdom of John Muir speaks to me. He said:

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in, and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir (1838-1914).

Abraham Lincoln, condolences, times of grief, Grief Relief:  Man has a way with words.

Lincoln felt the full depths of grief. He wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.” (He wrote this in his grief at the end of his relationship with Mary, whom he later married.)

via Abraham Lincoln’s Condolences in Times of Grief – Grief Relief.

recipe, best energy bar ever, nutrition,, homemade whole-food bars, cashew-and-bacon rice cake,  The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes:  bacon, cashews, and nut butter energy bar … Hmmm …

Homemade Energy Bars

So Lim created homemade whole-food bars instead. He’s published his favorite recipes—including these cashew-and-bacon rice cakes—in his new book The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes. Lim says the savory combination of bacon, cashews, and nut butter is a counterbalance to all the sugary options on the market, and the extra protein is optimal for long training sessions. “If you’re looking for convenience, this isn’t it,” Lim says. “It’s about a better way to fuel.”

via Recipe for Best Energy Bar Ever | Nutrition |


7.27.13 … doing research on Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible …

Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible: I am doing research on Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible.  Anyone read it?  What impressed you?

“How would you like to take a trip where supposedly where some great biblical personalities voyaged?”

Although WALKING THE BIBLE: A JOURNEY BY LAND THROUGH THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES authored by Bruce Feiler certainly does not qualify as a scholarly treatise, it nonetheless merits reading. For many of us it will initiate a new appreciation of the Old Testament as well as man’s relation to God.

The author, guided by the Israeli renowned archaeologist, Avner Goren, attempt to retrace the Bible through Africa and the Middle East. Their travels are not only geographical in character, but also spiritual, that invariably piques our curiosity. Using the FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES, also called the Pentateuch (from the Greek word meaning five-book work), as a kind of road map or compass, we voyage to Turkey, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Sinai and finally to Mount Nebo in Jordan where supposedly Moses dies.

From the very onset we are informed that there is no archaeological evidence to relate any of the events in the Five Books to specific places. In other words, if we use the Bible as a map we would be facing often-contradictory claims of history, myth, legend, archaebiology, paleozoology, and faith. For example, there are many theories as to where exactly Mount Sinai is located. Moreover, the exact path the Israelites pursued through the Sinai has never been determined.

However, even with all of these shortcomings, the author and his guide undertake a “topographical midrash, a geographical exegesis of the Bible.” As pointed out, “in Judaism, the traditional process of analyzing scripture is called midrash, from the Hebrew meaning search out to investigate; in Christianity, this process is referred to as exegesis.”

The voyage kicks off in Turkey, and from the very onset the author perceives the land of the Bible as reaching up to him and touching him, “elbowing aside my preconceived views of the Bible as a sterile collection of stores set in places I couldn’t see, involving characters I couldn’t relate to, experiencing desires I didn’t have. What emerged was a vibrant view of the Bible as a collection of living tableux, set in actual places, involving genuine people, experiencing the most basic human desires: the longing to live in a place, with their own beliefs and their own aspirations.” The author arrives at the realization that he actually is part of the story and he casts aside the notion of the Bible as something of a metaphor. The actual experiencing of the scenery of the dessert, the mountains and the Sea, as well as the interrelation with the peoples inhabiting the various countries visited serves as a reinforcement of this insight. The viewing of ancient sites such as the Pyramids and coming into contact with the Bedouins, definitely can invoke powerful emotions.

One of the shortcomings of the book is that from time to time I found the author wandering in his thoughts in the same manner the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years! In all probability the book could have been shortened with less of the author’s introspection and self-questioning that at times I found irritable and monotonous. There was also a tendency to resort to trite descriptions of landscape features that should have been avoided. However, notwithstanding these deficiencies, the book is informative as it briefly touches on many disciplines including geography, history, religious study, sociology, anthropology and archaeology. If you are planning a trip to this part of the world or if you are an armchair traveler, the book will prove worthwhile and enlightening.

Reviewed by Norman Goldman

Posted July 14, 2002

via The Best Reviews: Bruce Feiler, Walking The Bible Review.

Walking the Bible Timeline

via Walking the Bible . Timeline | PBS.


7.27.13 … another MegaBus fan … Zombie Marie Curie … re Paula Deen: “It points to the fact that race is at the heart of Southern food and you can’t avoid it.”

MegaBus: So somebody else is a MegaBus fan!

Megabus is a cheap way to get from city to city.

The Megabus describes itself as a “safe, convenient, low cost, daily express bus service that offers city-to-city travel … in luxury single and double-decker buses.” Not only are the buses comfortable, but Megabus provides free wi-fi and an electrical socket while you are traveling down the highway. Did I mention they have a bathroom on board, too? This means no pit stops like you waste time doing when traveling by car.

The bus departs from Charlotte Transportation Center at three different times each day and arrives at Union Station in the middle of DC in about seven and a half hours, including pick-up spots in Raleigh and Richmond, and a 30-minute food pit-stop.

My round trip ticket to Washington, DC cost $70. I chose the 10pm bus and arrived in Union Station at 5:30 the next morning. I had two seats, so after checking my email, I laid down on the extra seat, curled up in my blanket, and slept the whole way. No security lines at the airport, no swearing at other cars in traffic jams, and no baggage claim.

via No car? No problem! | Guide.

Paula Deen, Mrs. Charles, history, Southern Culture, Southern Cooking,  This is not looking good … but is this broad statement, “It points to the fact that race is at the heart of Southern food and you can’t avoid it,” true?  I think this  limits the Southern cook.

“It points to the fact that race is at the heart of Southern food and you can’t avoid it.”

Mrs. Charles realizes that her time with Paula Deen is over, and that she will soon leave her kitchen. But the relationship will always be there.

“I still have to be her friend if I’m God’s child,” she said. “I might feed her with a long-handled spoon, but, yeah, I’m still her friend.”

via Paula Deen’s Cook Tells of Slights, Steeped in History –

Zombie Marie Curie:  “Zombie Marie Curie” — a fun and thoughtful look at women and science from cartoonist Randall Munroe of xkcd.

via Facebook.


7.25.13 … Death Toll From Spanish Train Crash Hits 80 … Modern day pilgrims …

Modern day pilgrims … Prayers for those who have been injured or killed and for their families. Also prayers for the pilgrims who have had the joyous culmination of their trek forever changed.


The crash came on the eve of the famed religious festival held annually at Santiago de Compostela, where tradition has it that St. James, one of Jesus’ apostles, is buried. Local authorities said festival ceremonies planned for Thursday were canceled.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, toured the scene on Thursday and then visited injured passengers at a local hospital. Mr. Rajoy called it “the saddest Apostle’s Day of my life” and declared three days of national mourning.

The preliminary death toll surpassed that of a 1972 accident on a train connecting the cities of Cádiz and Seville that claimed 77 lives. The only more deadly train accident in Spain was a three-train collision in Leon province that claimed hundreds of lives in 1944. Researchers said the exact death toll in the Torre del Bierzo crash was hidden by the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who ruled at the time.

via Death Toll From Spanish Train Crash Hits 80 –



7.25.13 … Freakonomics: “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”… conspicuous consumption: $1.3 million paddle tennis project … in case you need some help getting into the new season of ‘The Newsroom’ … since I made less than a week with my first fitbit … Fancy getting creative in the kitchen? …

Freakonomics, “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”, strategic thinking, decision analysis, Michael Chwe, social movements and macroeconomics and violence , Freakonomics Radio Podcast:  Some things just catch your attention … enjoy!

Okay, a bit more explanation is necessary. Michael Chwe is an associate professor of political science at UCLA whose research centers on game theory and, as he puts it, “its applications to social movements and macroeconomics and violence — and this latest thing is about its applications maybe to literature.”

The literature in question? The novels of Jane Austen. Chwe discovered that Austen’s novels are full of strategic thinking, decision analysis, and other tools that would later come to be prized by game theorists like those as the RAND Corporation just after World War II. (They included some of the brightest minds of the time, including Kenneth J. Arrow, Lloyd S. Shapley, Thomas Schelling, and John Nash.) And so Chwe wrote a book called Jane Austen, Game Theorist.

via Freakonomics » “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.

Wilmette Parks, paddle tennis, $1.3 million paddle tennis project, conspicuous consumption, Wilmette Life:  Given the economic situation, this seems to be conspicuous consumption to me.

The Wilmette Park District’s $1.3 million paddle tennis project has shifted into high gear, with a June 29 groundbreaking at West Park, and the hiring of a head platform tennis professional to manage programs and lessons at the four-court complex.

District Director Steve Wilson said last week that Brad Smith, who spent the last decade as racquet director for the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, will be responsible for creating new programs, events and lessons in Wilmette.

via Wilmette Parks break ground, hire pro for paddle tennis – Wilmette Life.

‘The Newsroom, ‘First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers’, Speakeasy – WSJ: In case you need some help getting into the new season. ‘The Newsroom,’ Season 2, Episode 1, ‘First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers’: TV Recap of Season Premiere – Speakeasy – WSJ. And here is episode 2’s recap …

The first episode of this season was fast-paced and interesting. This first half of this new episode dragged and the second half featured one too many speeches, (Lisa, Don, Charlie, Will, Mackenzie) although Will’s mini breakdown at the police precinct was interesting to watch. This episode differs from all the episodes last season because it doesn’t cover one day or one news event; it covers a span of a few weeks and focuses on Troy Davis and Occupy Wall Street.

via ‘The Newsroom,’ ‘The Genoa Tip’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

 fitbit, fitness data,  Since I made less than a week with my first fitbit …

If what you’re looking for is an overall health boost, the current wave of wristband trackers—Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, and Nike+ FuelBand—will give you a baseline measure of how much physical activity you’re getting each day. Unlike the cheap pedometers of yore, these devices are powered by robust accelerometers that detect motion in three dimensions. But their biggest advance is in usability: they’re small enough to wear 24 hours a day, and they sync effortlessly with smartphone apps. More important, they provide a simple tally—Nike calls it a Fuel-Score—so users need to compare only a single data point from day to day. “People like to see how they’re progressing,” says Trent Stellingwerff, a physiologist at the Canadian Sports Institute Pacific. That desire alone is enough to get you active.

If you’re more motivated by competition, look for something that quantifies your effort rather than just your distance. Under Armour’s new chest-strap-mounted Armour39 tracker combines heart-rate data with motion sensors to calculate a real-time “willpower” score. “Our vision was a single number that tells you how hard you’re working, no matter what the sport is,” says Christy Hedgpeth, Under Armour’s head of digital sports. Nike’s FuelBand and Adidas’s MiCoach offer similar cross-sport scoring systems, letting you track your fitness output across activities. They also allow you to compare scores and compete with friends and worldwide leaderboards, basically making a game of working out.

But it’s a third category, which aims to help you maximize your training—telling you when to push hard and when to slow down—that represents the boldest leap yet. “This is the holy grail, but it’s also a black hole,” says Shona Halson, who heads the performance-recovery division at the Australian Institute of Sport. Over the years, scientists have struggled to pin down the physiological indicators of overtraining, like heart-rate variability (the fluctuations in the time between heartbeats) and stress-related hormones like cortisol.

For coaches, two of the more trusted indicators of overtraining are mood and sleep cycle—and naturally, there are apps for those. With Moodscope, which keeps daily tabs on your emotions, you use a virtual deck of cards to rate feelings like alertness and nervousness. A sustained downward trend is a sign that you should probably back off. For sleep, there are a handful of top-end trackers that detect various stages, like REM and deep sleep, but Halson uses a simple wristband accelerometer to measure sleep time in her athletes. She’ll watch for patterns of disruption and suggest tweaks in bedtime habits, caffeine consumption, and training.

via Making Sense of Modern Fitness Data | Fitness – Health and Fitness Advice |

KITCHEN AID Artisan mixer,, artisan, conspicuous  consumption: I saw this in a Selfridges advertisement and it just jumped out at me.  It’s lovely, but artisan and copper  … just scream conspicuous consumption.  i wouldn’t mind one on my counter, but still …

KitchenAid® 5-Quart Artisan™ Custom Metallic Stand Mixer

This attractively styled stand mixer is reason enough for you to get busy in the kitchen. Lasting durability is ensured by using a five step custom plating process on the metallic finish. With a powerful 325 watt motor, it can handle any task you put to it. The tilt-back head allows for easy access to whatever you’re mixing and the 5-quart bowl features an ergonomic handle for comfort. The durable, all-metal construction is built to last. The unique mixing action reaches every part of the bowl. Five rubber feet protect countertop, while helping to stabilize the mixer. 10-speed control. Includes: flat beater, dough hook, wire whip, pouring shield and 5-quart, polished stainless steel bowl. UL listed. Hassle-free replacement warranty within the first year from purchase. Model # KSM152PS.

via KitchenAid® 5-Quart Artisan™ Custom Metallic Stand Mixer – Bed Bath & Beyond.


Fancy getting creative in the kitchen? KitchenAid’s Artisan stand mixer, now in a beautiful satin copper finish, has a large capacity to make mixing in batches a breeze, as well as a tilt up head design to ensure easy cleaning and usage. The combination of high quality craftmanship and good looks will make food prep a pleasure.

via Artisan mixer – KITCHEN AID – EXCLUSIVES – Home & Tech |


7.25.13 … JANE BEAT OUT CHURCHILL! But it was only after some civilized protest! …

tenner,victory, equality campaigners, Jane Austen, £10 note, Home News – UK – The Independent: JANE BEAT OUT CHURCHILL! But it was only after some civilized protest!


The decision is a swift victory for equality campaigners who launched a protest just three months ago after the bank declared it would be replacing social reformer Elizabeth Fry – the only female historical figure on a banknote – with Winston Churchill.

In a second victory, the bank will also review the process it uses to select historical figures for banknotes in the future – a decision likely to be influenced by the threat of legal action by campaigners. Solicitors wrote to the bank in May threatening court action for its failure to consider equality laws in the way it decided which historical figures appeared on a note.

More than 35,000 people signed a petition complaining that replacing Fry with Churchill on the £5 note would wipe women from Britain’s history. The petition was handed into the Bank of England earlier this month.

via Change for a tenner: Victory for equality campaigners as Jane Austen announced as face of £10 note – Home News – UK – The Independent.

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July 2013