Archive for January, 2014

31
Jan
14

1.31.14 … Leave no footprints …

Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 labyrinth walks,  Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

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After the great snow of January 28 :-), I am out for a walk. There are little patches of snow still sitting in wooded areas, but otherwise there is little evidence that Charlotte was blanketed in snow and ice two days ago.
And typical of the Southeast, it is 58° at 5 PM. The sun is setting in the west, of course.
As I’m pausing in the car, the first thing I noticed was urban wildlife: three or four squirrels scampering about  on the trees in the wooded area. I wondered if they are out now after the snow. There were very noisy.
I must note that I had two distractions today: the first was a walker/jogger who cut across the cement labyrinth and asked, “On your way in, or out?”  I responded, “On my way in. Have you ever walked?” And he responded, “No,” and hurried away. The second distraction was a man who I thought was about my age.  He pulled up, parked his car, jumped out and clicked the lock to which I was startled by the loud horn honk that accompanied his lock. I looked up and expected him to say, “I’m sorry, ” or to nod and acknowledge me in my sacred, quiet space. But instead,  I received no acknowledgment. I think the man needs to slow down.
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I walked using some techniques I have been learning from my online contemplative prayer class. I feel your eye roll.  I will say I am having trouble combining the two techniques, although they are very related.
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Leave no footprints:   I did have a funny thought as I was walking.  There were  streams of water from the melting snow and ice. I realized that I was spreading the water so it would not freeze again.  I then looked back and saw that after I had spread the water,  I left footprints, something I’ve never left. A labyrinth is a leave no footprints kind of place. So there was a little bit of irony in that. But I like irony.
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All in all a good walk, no complaints.
Blessings!
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31
Jan
14

1.31.14 … The Year of the Horse is upon us …

Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year/Spring Festival ‘Lucky’ red envelopes,  digital, BBC News, China: Happy New Year!

Seen in Chinatown

 via Humans of New York.

The Lunar New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) is one of the most significant of Asian holidays and is a time for feasting, reflection and renewal. Traditionally celebrated over 15 days, the holiday starts with the first lunar new moon of the year and ends on the full moon. Chinese New Year 4712, which begins Jan. 31, will be the Year of the Horse.

via Happy Chinese New Year, Y’all – Atlanta INtown Paper.

kith/kin:  I just realized that one of my children, Jack, is a year of the horse.

Horse people are active and energetic. They got plenty of sex-appeal and know how to dress. Horses love to be in the crowd, maybe that is why they can usually be seen in such occasions like concerts, theaters, meetings, sporting occasions, and of course, parties.

The horse is very quick-witted and is right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you are saying: he’s on to the thought in your mind even before you’ve expressed it.

In general, the Horse is gifted. But in truth they are really more cunning than intelligent – and they know that. That is probably why, most of the horse people lack confidence.

Chinese believe that because horses are born to race or travel, all Horse people invariably leave home young.

via Chinese Astrology – Animal Sign: Horse

Technology and red envelopes: I’d take either one.

Chinese people would rather receive bank transfers than traditional red envelopes filled with cash, it’s reported.

More than half of those questioned in a poll would rather money was wired to their accounts than be handed a “lucky” red envelope, Hong Kon’s South China Morning Post reports.

The envelopes – known as “lai see” in Cantonese, and “hongbao” in Mandarin – are usually given during holidays such as Lunar New Year, and at important family gatherings.

The findings come as messaging service WeChat launches a new smartphone app allowing users to swap virtual red envelopes on their phones. Users can now allocate up to 200 yuan (£20) in virtual red envelopes, and have the option to disperse the money at random in the form of a game, Xinhua says.

via BBC News – China: ‘Lucky’ red envelopes go digital.

Voodoo Doughnuts, Denver, Thrillist DEN: Note to sons in CO … Voodoo Doughnuts now in Denver 🙂  My son Edward and I still talk about our visit that a friend said was a “must” for any visitor to Portland! I will admit, NOTHING COMPARES!

Voodoo Doughnuts, the Portland ‘nuttery with a penchant for… interesting names and oddball ingredients, just hit East Colfax with its official grand opening and its full arsenal of pants-stretching treats awaiting your consumption. But lines can be long and pants can only stretch so much, so here are the eight selections you shouldn’t miss if you want to maximize your Voodoo experience.

via Voodoo Doughnuts Denver – Thrillist DEN.

Thomas Jefferson, TJ, quotes:  I totally agree with this one, TJ.

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Looking for a New Old House?,  WSJ.com: I’d like a “new old house.”

“The first words that come out my clients’ mouths are, ‘We’d love to have a real old house. We just can’t find one,’ ” said architect Russell Versaci, who runs a Middleburg, Va.-based practice. “And the second thing they say is, ‘We are so sick of McMansions. We just want to get out and get back to reality.’ ”

via Looking for a New Old House? – WSJ.com.

fun food: Another one for my friends with or who teach small ones.

marijuana v. alcohol, New Yorker cartoons: My thoughts … Since I am not any more concerned about the effects of marijuana than I am for the observed effects of alcohol, I’m all for limiting alcohol.  A cartoon by David Sipress. For more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/M6FRWb

Photo: A cartoon by David Sipress. For more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/M6FRWb

Paper, Facebook’s New Answer for Browsing, Mobile Media, Re/code:  interesting, but I tired of Flipboard.  I’ll be interested to see if it improves on Flipboard.

Facebook wants to be a newspaper. And it wants you to be writing some of its best stories.

To that end, the social giant announced on Thursday it will soon launch Paper, a mobile application that entirely re-envisions how Facebook users discover — and create — much of the content flowing through the massive social network.

The stand-alone app is the fruit of a multi-year effort under VP of Product Chris Cox, an attempt to aesthetically and thematically rethink how Facebook presents itself to users. The project — something many insiders never thought would come to fruition — has been a particular challenge for Facebook, which has relied largely on the content distribution power of the News Feed since it was first introduced in 2006.

On the surface, Paper seems like a mere overhaul of the Facebook app’s user interface. Instead of scrolling through a feed like the familiar main Facebook app, browsing through Paper is akin to thumbing through a deck of cards — or sheets of paper, if you will — a drastically different way of browsing mobile content. And just like the Facebook app you already have, all those cards are populated with content such as status updates, photos and other things you normally find floating throughout Facebook.

One big difference: Paper heavily emphasizes the tools you use to post to Facebook. In the composition area, you’re able to see what your status update (or photo, or check-in) will look like after you’ve posted it. In Paper, these “stories” are strikingly different from what you’re used to in your main Facebook app; photos are full-bleed and navigable, videos take up the whole screen. Each word of your status update is aligned with careful, deliberate precision.

In other words, Facebook is paying the same precise attention to detail as Medium, Evan Williams’ buzzy collaborative blogging startup. Even the philosophy of both companies seems to be the same: Present your audience with better tools and a pleasant aesthetic environment, and they’ll naturally start creating better content.

via Meet “Paper,” Facebook’s New Answer for Browsing — And Creating — Mobile Media | Re/code.

30
Jan
14

1.30.14 … Y’all Laughin at Us? Bless Your Hearts … Come on down, the weather is fine. Or it will be in a coupla days … But today, I must admit: this is personal …

blame game, Atlanta Snow Storm, POLITICO Magazine:  Interesting history and interesting perspective.

What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country. As with famines in foreign lands, it’s important to understand: It’s not an act of nature or God—this fiasco is manmade from start to finish. But to truly get what’s wrong with Atlanta today, you have to look at these four factors, decades in the making.

4. Metro voters rejected transit relief in a 2012 referendum.

In a rare showing of regional allegiance, local leaders supported a referendum on a special tax for transportation improvement, known as T-SPLOST, in July 2012. But voters, suspicious of the government’s ability to carry out the plans, rejected T-SPLOST resoundingly.

Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution, who has studied Atlanta congestion and development for three decades, wrote in his 2013 report “The Walk-Up Wake-Up Call: Atlanta”:

“Given that Atlanta’s primary reason for economic success over the past 175 years has been as the transportation hub of the Southeast U.S., this lack of investment is disappointing. It is as if the reason for the region’s very existence, transportation, has been forgotten. The overwhelming loss of the July 2012 transportation ballot measure is just the latest example of turning a blind eye to the reason for Atlanta’s economic success.”

And that brings us back to Atlanta’s present snowbound state. There was no coordination around school closings, because there are more than two-dozen city and county school systems in “Atlanta.” There was little coordination between highway clearance and service to city streets because “Atlanta” is comprised of dozens of municipalities connected by state and federal highway systems. In one of the most surreal episodes today, Charley English, the head of the Georgia Emergency Management Association, asserted that gridlock wasn’t severe around 3 and 4 p.m. Tuesday, never mind that traffic maps glared red and motorists had already been sitting on freeways for hours at that time. Mayor Reed claimed that the city had done its part getting motorists out of downtown Atlanta, and that getting them the rest of the way home was up to the state. Gov. Nathan Deal, who outrageously called the storm “unexpected,” never mind weather reports warning of the snowfall, at his morning press conference of the relief that will come with a thaw. An act of God might have triggered the fiasco, but wishing for another one to bring it to an end is hardly leadership.

As a Walking Dead fan, I appreciate all those jokes on social media, but as an Atlantan, I’m concerned that this storm revealed just how unprepared we are in case of real disaster. If Atlanta, the region, wants to get serious about public safety, its mayors, county officials, and state officials will need to start practicing regionalism instead of paying lip service to it. And whether threatened by a dangerous pandemic, a major catastrophe, or just two inches of snow, we need to have ways to get around—and out of—the city other than by car.

via Atlanta Snow Storm – POLITICO Magazine.

Reflections, TSPLOST, House Majority Leader Edward Lindsey:  As I said, this is personal.  Even though I have spent my adult life away from Atlanta and Georgia, I will always call it home.  Even more so I have “skin in the game.”  My brother is an elected official from Atlanta.  I immediately researched his position on the failed TSPLOST referenced above.  I knew Edward to have a regional view about Atlanta and this post confirms it.  Proud that he is on the side of solving problems.

Must keep focus on fixing traffic congestion

By Edward Lindsey

Many of us supported the T-SPLOST, but tens of thousands more opposed it. Nevertheless, our transportation problems have not and will not magically disappear, and most people on both sides of the July 31 vote understand this reality and the seriousness of the crisis we face.

Urban areas – even historically great ones like metro Atlanta – are perpetually either in a period of growth and greater prosperity or steady decline. There is no standing still. We either attack our problems head-on and make a better future for ourselves and our children today, or we sit back and watch our past successes slip away into the history books.

Metro Atlanta commuters have one of the worst commutes in the nation. This translates into more time in our cars and less time for work, home and play. It also wastes on average in fuel for each of us over $900 per year sitting in traffic. Atlanta is ranked 91st out of 100 among major metro regions for access to transit. Major business prospects rank our transportation difficulties as one of their major concerns about relocating here, and our inability to address this problem will only further aggravate their concerns.

Make no mistake, we are not spendthrifts in Georgia. We rank 49th in the nation in overall per capita state spending, and have one of the lowest overall state government tax rates in the country (45th). Over the past four years, we have further reduced our state spending by billions of dollars since the beginning of the Great Recession. These facts demonstrate our fiscal conservatism and are responsible for us having a very rare AAA state bond rating (higher than the federal government’s). Nevertheless, we must understand that while government cannot and should not ever be involved in everything, transportation — along with education and public safety — is an area where government needs to roll up its sleeves and get it right.

Therefore, there is no time to mourn or celebrate about what happened on July 31st regardless of which side you were on. Both sides now need to focus on where we go from here.

Elected officials need to hear from you and other metro residents. So start communicating. Today is for you to talk and for policymakers like me to listen. How do we overcome the extreme mistrust that divides us and come together to fix this traffic noose around our necks?

You and I must answer this question and start moving forward again together. I look forward to your suggestions.

State Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, is Georgia House Majority Whip.

via Reflections on TSPLOST from Governor Nathan Deal, House Majority Leader Edward Lindsey, A.J. Robinson, Shirley Franklin.

silver linings, Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse 2014, SnowedOutAtlanta:  I have friends who live near I75 who opened their homes.

For those stunned by the fact that “two inches of snow shut down Atlanta,” here’s an explanation: Schools and businesses, which normally close at the mere threat of snow, remained open until the first flakes began falling around noon, at which point everything shut down at once. Thousands upon thousands of drivers flooded the highways (Atlanta’s public transit is…inadequate to say the least) at the same time, trying to pick up kids from school or get home from work. The gridlock prevented salt trucks and plows from accessing the roads. The snow turned to ice. Vehicles were unable to get up hills due to the ice. Hundreds of accidents blocked lanes, worsening gridlock. Hours later, cars began running out of gas. It was a horrible ripple effect. These traffic maps, provided by Twitter user @a23kiki23 (Kevin O) show just how quickly things got out of hand. Twitter: @a23kiki23 / Via Twitter: @a23kiki23

SnowedOutAtlanta

Then something amazing happened… More than 46,900 Atlantans (and counting) joined the Facebook group SnowedOutAtlanta, which was created to provide info and resources to those who needed help. A map was created so that people could add their homes and show where stranded motorists could get shelter and supplies. Via Facebook: 397839673695382

via The Silver Lining Of Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse 2014.

shelter in place,  Shelter from the storm, E. Rivers Elementary School, Atlanta, APS:  This was my 1-7 school.

Ninety-four students and 31 adults — mostly teachers along with a few bus drivers and parents — hunkered down for the night.

“Our beautiful little snow flurries at 12, 12:30 turned into a fast-moving snow incident and we ended up having a lot of our kids that are bus riders and car riders stuck here at school with us,” he said. “We had a snowcation. A little, mini snow vacation overnight.”

The kids watched “Free Willy” while munching popcorn, ate pizza for dinner in the cafeteria and had a paper airplane-making contest. After breakfast Wednesday morning, they did something Georgia kids don’t usually get to enjoy — a snowball fight.

“One of my students said, ‘Mr. Rogers, it’s like a party.’ Yeah, it’s like a big slumber party,” Rogers, 41, said Wednesday morning as 61 students were still at school.

“We’ve been having a good time,” said an exhausted Rogers, principal of the 670-student school for the last four-and-a-half years.

The kids spent the night on tumbling mats in the gym, using coats and even tablecloths as blankets. “I was using my dress coat,” Rogers said. “We were using anything and everything we can find.”

Lindsay Treharne

“My teachers are the rock stars of this whole event,” said E. Rivers Elementary Principal Matt Rogers, pictured here with teacher Lindsay Treharne, as they both spent the night at school with their students stranded by the snowstorm.

After dinner, the kids finished the movie and most fell asleep by 10 p.m. Rogers said. “By that time, kids were tired and they crashed,” he said.

School officials fielded phone calls from parents all evening, and let kids call home whenever they wanted to.

A few of the youngest students were upset, likely never having spent the night away from home before, Rogers said.

“We probably had about three to four kids that were crying, so we got them up here (in the office), and they talked to their parents,” Rogers said. Some of the kids’ teachers were at school, “so they felt safe.”

“We were hugging a lot of kids and letting them know that this was an adventure they would never forget,” said fifth grade teacher Lindsay Treharne, who manned the phones most of the night.

While the kids managed to get some sleep, most of the teachers and other adults did not.

“My teachers are the rock stars of this whole event,” Rogers said. “They’ve been answering phones. They have been entertaining the kids. They’ve been playing with the kids, putting blankets on the kids.

via Shelter from the storm: Teachers entertained, dried tears of kids stuck overnight at school – TODAY.com.

LOL:

Come on down, the weather is fine. Or it will be in a coupla days.

via Y’all Laughin at Us? Bless Your Hearts….. | Forever 51.

30
Jan
14

1.30.14 … “Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog.” – Oprah

Oprah, Her Dog Sophie, greatest teachers, man’s best friend, purest love:

Oprah is a woman who loves her dogs. She’s had 21 pups in her adult life — including 11 at one time. “Nothing makes me happier than being with my dogs,” she says. In the above video from “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” we look back at the incredible bond she’s experienced with her animals.

“Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog,” Oprah says.

Though she loved them all, “Oprah Show” fans will remember one special cocker spaniel who rarely left Oprah’s side. “One of my greatest teachers is my dog, Sophie,” Oprah says. “Sophie lived for 13 years and came to work with me every day. Was there for every show, was backstage at the Oscars, at the Emmys, was waiting in the car if I went to the gynecologist.”

Solomon, Oprah’s other cocker spaniel, also went with her everywhere — but Sophie would cling even closer, as the pooch would get separation anxiety whenever Oprah left the room.

Sadly, Sophie died on March 10, 2008. “It wasn’t until she passed away that I really understood the depth of my love for her,” Oprah says. “Because I learned from a show we did many years ago with Gary Zukav that there are big souls and little souls. And Sophie was a little soul – just a little soul, but had a great impact on my life. And when I lost her is when I realized that nobody on earth had ever loved me like that little dog.”

via Oprah Remembers Her Dog Sophie As One Of Her Greatest Teachers (VIDEO).

college education, college financing,  The Daily Beast, The War Room:  INSANE! My daughter and I were talking about the price of Davidson, when I went, 1978, and today. The numbers in this article are fairly accurate.

Since 1978 the price of college has increased in absolute dollars by 1120 percent, more than any other good or service in the U.S. economy. (For example, the cost of food has increased by just 244 percent and healthcare by 601 percent in the same period). A widely cited study by Richard Arum, Academically Adrift, concludes that 36 percent of college students show no significant gains in learning over the course of their four years in college. Indeed, 68 percent of students at public colleges and universities fail to graduate in four years. And in 2012, over 50 percent of graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

via The Price of College Has Increased 1120 Percent Since 1978, So Is It Worth It? – The Daily Beast.

And a friend sent me this and it makes some very good points!

The plain fact of the matter is this:

1. Certain colleges are a complete waste of time and money.

2. Certain majors are not only a waste of time and money, but risk making you stupider for having studied them.

3. Certain kids just shouldn’t go to college at all. They don’t like it, they’re not good at it, and they’re going to hate it.

via Stupid college tricks: should you go to college? | The War Room.

random, sperm donors, when worlds collide:  What a great story!

So Mikayla, a San Diego native, messaged Emily right away, suggesting they room together. It was too late; Emily already had a roommate. But the girls friended each other on Facebook anyway.

Then on Father’s Day, Mikayla posted a glib Facebook status. “Thank you Colombian sperm donor, for one of my X chromosomes.”

“That’s odd,” thought Emily, whose parents also had selected a donor of Colombian heritage.

She responded by writing, “Not to be creepy. But kinda think we could have same donor.”

The idea was so far-fetched that neither gave it much thought, they said. But when the girls arrived at Tulane in the fall, they met and jokingly referred to each other as “sister.”

They were placed in the same dormitory, one floor apart, and both landed parts in the same theater production, “The Vagina Monologues.” Throughout the first semester, they said hello in the stairwell but were more acquaintances than friends.

Then, over Thanksgiving break, both freshmen were part of a larger group of Tulane students that didn’t go home. They ended up at the Gonzales outlet mall, as part of a Black Friday shopping trip. Each spent the day shopping with their own friends, then discovered on the bus ride home that they’d bought the same sweater in different colors.

The similarities continued to pile up.

They both sleeptalk and sleepwalk — so much so that their parents used to put an extra lock on the door at night, for fear they’d walk outside. And back in the early 1990s, their parents had gone to the same place, California Cryobank, and selected a Colombian sperm donor with an interest in theater out of hundreds of potential candidates for insemination.

via Genes that fit: Tulane freshmen discover shared sperm-donor dad | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

character counts, deviations from gender norms, double standards, shame on you:  It’s not the little white lie, it’s that she left her husband after he paid off her loans.  And yes there are double standards, but I try to hold both sexes to the same standards.  Shame on you, Wendy Davis.

Now the question is whether Slater’s sexist narrative will hurt Wendy Davis’ chances. It’s hard to imagine that there are many Texans who were considering voting for a pro-choice Democrat but would be too scandalized by her deviations from gender norms to vote for her now. The biggest obstacle that Davis faces—that she’s a Democrat in a solidly red state—hasn’t changed a bit. And the fact that the attacks on her are getting so shrill suggests that perhaps Republicans are really beginning to fear she has a chance.

via Wayne Slater paints Wendy Davis as a gold-digger and a bad mother in the Dallas Morning News..

And a little of my conversation …

I don’t know…regardless of party affiliation …people don’t like it when one is loose with the truth. She has been loose with the truth. Her one big thing is abortion.

“Loose with the truth”? She was separated at 19 and divorced at 21, rather than divorced at 19. And she “only” lived in a trailer for a few months. And she got help paying for law school. That’s the best they got. I don’t think she will win, but she just raised $12 million and the TX Repubs are scared s**tless.

The Republicans just might tear each other appart in the primaries, leaving whichever candidate wins vunerable. The attacks on one area congressman have already started, without any mention of who is running against him.

 This may be setting her up for a US House run in 2016. The districts have been heavily gerrymandered, but there still are some Democratic districts.

She is undoubtedly intelligent, attractive and came from modest means. Why couldn’t that be enough? Why have to “exaggerate” the true circumstances of her life just to get some easy to remember narrative (divorced teen mom who pulled HERself up to make it through Ha rvard Law all alone). After decades of being told ‘it takes a village’

…why can’t the true narrative of her life be enough? We should celebrate that she was able to surpass 2 of the 3 biggest causes for women to be in poverty (teen mom, no degree) to become an attorney and state office holder. So she had help, that’s great!

I guess she is a natural blonde………

yoga,  Doga,  Secret Yoga, follow-up, London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes, Completely London Blog: As a follow up to my “naked coed yoga’ article … Doga and Secret Yoga!  Those Brits … They have a better idea shen it comes to yoga.

Doga

Your dog + yoga = doga. Yes, we’re serious. Classes with Swiss instructor Mahny involve four-legged friends in your yoga practice to help you both relax. Expect mediation, stretching and gentle poses, whether you’re lifting your Chihuahua for a sun salutation or using your Labrador as a yogic bolster. And lots of jokes from your friends about the downward dog. SW6

Secret Yoga Club

Rather than a weekly drop-in, serious yoga fans might want to treat themselves to this pop-up/fitness hybrid. Held at clandestine venues across London – Secret Yoga Club provides a dynamic hour-long Jivamukti flow class, a Savasana (the relaxation bit at the end) serenaded by a singer and a three-course vegan menu. They say: ‘leave with a soul full of joy and a tummy full of goodness’. We say: ‘Sign us up!’. Find their weekly classes here.

via London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes | Completely London Blog.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

olympic uniforms ralph lauren ugly review nbc today showThe U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!

Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!

decades-long mystery, seemingly random letters: I loved this FB post!

” This is cool not only because it is a prayer (oops, spoiler alert!), but because it demonstrates what can happen when we share, collaborate compassionately, and lend our minds and time to others in need. Surely that must be among the highest callings and most ardent lessons we can know or share? Surely.”

Yesterday afternoon, a woman seeking help with a decades-old family mystery posted a thread on Ask Metafilter titled “Decoding cancer-addled ramblings”:

My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn’t get anywhere.

The index cards appear to just be a random series of letters, and had confounded the poster’s family for years. But it only took Metafilter 15 minutes to at least partially decipher them. User harperpitt quickly realized she was using the first letters of words, and that she was, in fact, writing prayers:

AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc

via Ask Metafilter: A decades-long mystery over a series of index cards with seemingly random letters was solved..

Facebook, predictions,  Princeton’s Demise, Digits – WSJ:

After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook’s demise, Facebook has responded with its own “research” predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu

Photo: After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook's demise, Facebook has responded with its own "research" predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu</p><br /> <p>Credit: Facebook

On Thursday, Facebook went a step further with its own mock academic research. “Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all,” wrote Mike Develin, a data scientist at Facebook.

Develin said he analyzed various data points, including the percentage of queries on Google Scholar matching the query “Princeton.” Develin’s research showed the percentage had dropped dramatically since 2000, an “alarming” number, he wrote.

“In keeping with the scientific principle ‘correlation equals causation,’ our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely,” Develin wrote.

The paper authors could not immediately be reached.

Facebook’s posting Thursday ends on an ominous note. “While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet–Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left.”

via Facebook Responds by Predicting Princeton’s Demise – Digits – WSJ.

Maria Tallchief, the first Native American prima ballerina, Mighty Girls:  Interesting history from the art world.

Photo: Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, "Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva." </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine's ballet "Firebird." This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>There are two wonderful books for young readers about her life: "Who Is Maria Tallchief" for ages 8 to 12 (http://www.amightygirl.com/who-is-maria-tallchief) and "Tallchief: American's Prima Ballerina" for ages 4 to 9 (http://www.amightygirl.com/tallchief-america-s-prima-ballerina).</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>She is also one of several women role models featured in the picture book “Every-Day Dress-up” for ages 3 to 8 at http://www.amightygirl.com/every-day-dress-up</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief is also highlighted in our blog post, "A Celebration of Native American and Aboriginal Mighty Girls for Native American Heritage Month," at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=5226</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>For more stories of girls and women in dance and the arts, visit our "Creative Arts" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/creative-arts</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>To learn more about Tallchief's life, the NY Times released an excellent tribute to her following her death last year at http://tinyurl.com/bul6zyo

Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, “Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva.”

Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine’s ballet “Firebird.” This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88.

Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life, Breakthru films, feature-length painted animation, YouTube, new technology:  very cool concept …

Concept trailer for the new production from Oscar-winning studio Breakthru films, a feature-length painted animation. A murder mystery about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh told through revealing interviews with the characters from van Gogh’s own paintings.

via ▶ Loving Vincent – Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life – YouTube.

29
Jan
14

1.29.14 … “Snow days are our Sabbath days. They bring with them a commandment to pause, to curl up by a fire, stay in your pajamas or go outside and catch a snowflake and marvel at its tiny beauty. Or do nothing … Be Still.” … if I could choose a perfect birthday …

If I could choose a perfect birthday, it would include any combination of the following: time with or hearing from friends and family, snow, early daffodils outside and perfect timing for my forced paperwhites inside (I also love London for my birthday! :))

I am blessed to have some glorious combination every year, and this year has been no exception.  Thank you, family and friends, for making my day perfect!!

So as I went to sleep yesterday, this was my last thought … I can’t wait to check outside tomorrow. It will be magical.

So I had the chance to check at 4:50 am.  Thank you Old Dogs! And the report  … It was a wee bit icy, actually more ice than snow. So after a few minutes … we all agreed: we would be  happier in bed.

Photo

Photo

A Gift From Above/Wrapped in White, snow day = Sabbath Day, Be Still, washingtonpost.com:

 One of the first things I discovered  on this snow day!

What a nice way to look at the the world this morning.

Snow days are our Sabbath days. They bring with them a commandment to pause, to curl up by a fire, stay in your pajamas or go outside and catch a snowflake and marvel at its tiny beauty. Or do nothing.

Snow Sabbath days are the kind of days when your mother can actually catch you on your home phone and ask, “Hey, can you talk? What are you doing?”

“And you say, ‘I’m doing nothing’ ” — this time, without exasperation. “How are you, mama? I have nothing to do, so tell me about every single thing that is happening at home.”

And she does.

And you listen as you look out the window and the snow is falling. And you have all the time in the world because the snow has given you permission to have nowhere to go.

Snow days are our Sabbath days. They remind you of the note you came across lying in the snow in Connecticut. The plain paper held down by a single, cold stone beckoned you to go inside the college chapel because, as the note promised, it was the most quiet place in the world. And you went inside because you had a few minutes before you had to rush to catch an airplane. And the silence inside was so thick it commanded you to “Be still.”

And you did.

And the snow, this snow in Washington, reminds you that we have been too much in a hurry, pulled along by our collars, stressing, trying to make the clock slow down, beat the light, “making more and more money, but not getting any peace,” as a friend’s grandmother in Louisiana said. “More and more money and ain’t getting no peace.”

The snow is a bookmark in a loud world. Ordering respite, quiet, poetry.

via A Gift From Above, Wrapped in White (washingtonpost.com).

And with the light of day … Winter magic!!

Photo: Winter magic!!

kith/kin, coffee, cities, urban planning, via Discovering Urbanism,  City: Rediscovering the Center, William Whyte: Great discussion about cities at coffee this morning with wonderful friends. Thanks for the birthday coffee. I think I did read some of his stuff in the 80’s. I would love to have the syllabus for my 1981 economics seminar on urban planning.

Discovering Urbanism: City: Rediscovering the Center

Great discussion about cities at coffee this morning with some very old friends, Davidson friends. Thanks for the birthday coffee. I think I did read some of his stuff in the 80’s. I would love to have the syllabus for my 1981 economics seminar on urban planning.

William Whyte was the foremost empiricist of cities in the 20th century. He sought to turn the planning and design process on its head – to start with detailed observations of how the smallest scale of an urban place is used by people and work outward from there, designing places and writing codes accordingly. City: Rediscovering the Center begins with lessons drawn from sixteen years of meticulously recording plazas, streets, small parks, and marketplaces with time-lapse video and scientifically parsing out the patterns of behavior. Once the basic observations of human nature have been identified, he launches into an evaluation of the health of downtowns in their entirety.

What jumps out right away from Whyte’s study is the attention he pays to the most basic human needs. How does the provision of food impact the life of a place? Where do people use the bathroom? How can one find light on a cool day and shade on a sunny day? In other words, he doesn\’t travel very far up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I find to be a refreshingly humble and practical disposition toward the power of physical space in our lives. He never reaches for transcendence by design; that’s reserved for what happens in these places.

This leads to Whyte’s most important insight of all, one that really underscores each chapter of the book, that is: people want to be around other people. We are inherently social beings. As simple as this insight seems, it actually ran head on against the prevailing notion in planning at the time that people want as much space for themselves as possible. Whyte noticed that not only did friends clump together when sitting in a plaza, but even strangers tended to take seats in reasonable proximity to each other rather than evenly disperse themselves throughout the space. Well-used places were safer, both in perception and reality. People who stopped for conversation on sidewalks would typically not step out of the way, preferring to be in the center of movement. Parks and sidewalks that were outsized for their activity tended to swallow up its life and repel visitors. People like to be crowded, but not too much.

via Discovering Urbanism: City: Rediscovering the Center.

southern winter storms,  2 Inches=traffic nightmare, Atlanta, Atlantic Mobile:  Amazing events in Atlanta …

How much money do you set aside for snowstorms when they’re as infrequent as they are? Who will run the show—the city, the county, or the state? How will preparedness work? You could train everyone today, and then if the next storm hits in 2020, everyone you’ve trained might have moved on to different jobs, with Atlanta having a new mayor and Georgia having a new governor.

Regionalism here is hard. The population of this state has doubled in the past 40-45 years, and many of the older voters who control it still think of it as the way it was when they were growing up. The urban core of Atlanta is a minority participant in a state government controlled by rural and northern Atlanta exurban interests. The state government gives MARTA (Atlanta’s heavy rail transportation system) no money. There’s tough regional and racial history here which is both shameful and a part of the inheritance we all have by being a part of this region. Demographics are evolving quickly, but government moves more slowly. The city in which I live, Brookhaven, was incorporated in 2012. This is its first-ever snowstorm (again, 2 inches). It’s a fairly affluent, mostly white, urban small city. We were unprepared too.

The issue is that you have three layers of government—city, county, state—and none of them really trust the other. And why should they? Cobb County just “stole the Braves” from the city of Atlanta. Why would Atlanta cede transportation authority to a regional body when its history in dealing with the region/state has been to carve up Atlanta with highways and never embrace its transit system? Why would the region/state want to give more authority to Atlanta when many of the people in the region want nothing to do with the city of Atlanta unless it involves getting to work or a Braves game?

The region tried, in a very tough economy and political year (2012), to pass a comprehensive transportation bill, a T-SPLOST, funded by a sales tax. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an attempt to do something. The Sierra Club opposed it because it didn’t feature enough transit. The NAACP opposed it because it didn’t have enough contracts for minority businesses. The tea party opposed it because it was a tax. That’s politics in the 2010’s. You may snicker, but how good a job has any major city done with big transportation projects over the past 30 years?

via How 2 Inches of Snow Created a Traffic Nightmare in Atlanta – Atlantic Mobile.

Emergency Update: APS will ‘shelter in place’ for the remainder of evening 1/28/14:  Just curious: Has this ever happened before?

January 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

Atlanta Public Schools has called an emergency “shelter in place” for all students and staff who remain in schools due to inclement weather and adverse road conditions. We will continue to transport students who are already enroute on buses, and parents will still be permitted to pick up students. For students who are sheltered in our schools, we will ensure proper security, supervision, and food. District leadership will continue to monitor the weather to provide additional updates as they become available.

The district is contacting all parents of students impacted by this decision.

via Emergency Update: APS will ‘shelter in place’ for the remainder of evening 1/28/14 | Talk Up APS.

And the answer is … yes …

that’s exactly what happened in 1982. My sister (class of 1984) got home, but there were lots of kids who spent days at the school.

Drifting Snow On The Outer Banks, WUNC:

Caption from Twitter: Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, beautiful even when surrounded by snow. 9:32 a.m. 1/29/14

Caption from Twitter: Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, beautiful even when surrounded by snow. 9:32 a.m. 1/29/14

via VIDEO: Drifting Snow On The Outer Banks | WUNC.

Bank of America Stadium:  Ice up, son, ice up!

Solvitur ambulando, The Christian Century:  Great article …

It is hard to walk toward some things. We may have dangerous things to face in life: illness, divorce, dementia, death, tragedy of all sorts. We also have wonderful things to face: birth, marriage, graduation, new jobs, new starts. Life after illness; life after divorce. The good news is that we do not walk alone. We have each other: family, friends, coworkers, doctors, therapists, classmates, neighbors. And most of all. we have Jesus—who has already been wherever we are going, and who will walk with us. Solvitur ambulando.

via Solvitur ambulando | The Christian Century.

Artist Simon Beck, intricate snow art:  It is created by walking … for miles!

It’s possible you’ve never heard of Simon Beck, but after today, you won’t be able to forget him or his wintry works of art. Simon is an artist and is most well-known for making incredibly delicate and detailed art in the snow, just by walking over a fresh snowfall. He literally walks miles in the snow to create these pieces. And the part that blows our minds? He could spend hours upon hours creating one design, just to have it be covered by snowfall or blown away by the next day. But he still makes them.

Simon walks over layers of fresh snow in special shoes to create his mind-boggling art.

via Artist Simon Beck Creates Intricate Snow Art by Walking for Miles.

LOL, inclement weather and heavy traffic:

Due to inclement weather and heavy traffic on my street, (see photo) I’m closing the studio early and headed downstairs. Please go back home to your families. There’s not enough hot chocolate for everybody.

lavender labyrinth,  Mt. Shasta:  And I will close with this … one of my favorite birthday greetings! … sending love and lavender from Mt. Shasta …

26
Jan
14

1.26.14 … schadenfreude and Justin Bieber … that’s the only explanation, but do we really care about a spoiled kid? …

schadenfreude, Justin Bieber:  That’s the only explanation … otherwise who cares?

Schadenfreude i/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/ German: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə] is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.[1] This word is a loanword from German. The literal English translation is Harm-Joy. It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It is also borrowed by some other languages.

via Schadenfreude – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute, contemplative prayer, online courses:  I am taking my first online course.  It’s on contemplative prayer.  So far, I am enjoying it.  It goes nicely with my labyrinth walking and my interest in theological studies.  

via Resources Page – Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute.

blogging, kith/kin, How Do You Sleep At Night?:  One of my favoorite people has started a blog.  He is always thoughtful, careful with his words, demanding intellectually and challenging in a good way.  So here’s his intro … How Do You Sleep At Night?

The title of this blog comes from a question that all criminal defense lawyers hear at some point in their lives, and to which I was subjected (along with several insults and ill-wishes upon me and my family) today on, of all places, Facebook. An individual convicted of a homicide in PA involving a toddler is apparently up for parole, and a person who was outraged by this characterized the individual’s defense attorney as a “slimeball”. I foolishly inquired as to why the attorney was a “slimeball”, and was quickly informed that it was because he had done his job and represented his client as best he could. I then, even more foolishly, responded that this was also my line of work, and if that made me a “slimeball”, oh well. It was then that a nice person whom I\’ve never met asked me the question of my sleeping habits, suggested that perhaps bad things should happen to members of my family (boy, would that teach me) and informed me that I made them ill. They also informed me that my “fat wallet” was not worth being a “slimeball”. The “fat wallet” comment was especially hilarious since, as I said, I represent mostly indigent clients and get paid an hourly rate lower than any plumber or other repairman who comes to your house.

So, how do I sleep at night? Usually just fine, thanks. I really and truly believe what we were taught about the Bill of Rights and stuff…you know, that everyone is presumed innocent, that no one should go to jail unless the State can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, that everyone (yeah, everyone) is entitled to a lawyer (preferably one who knows what the hell they’re doing) and a vigorous defense, and, ESPECIALLY, that if you make sure that the system gives the worst of the worst a fair trial then the system as a whole works better for everyone. I’ve met a lot of people along the way. Some who have done really terrible things. But I’ll tell you a secret. I can count on one hand the number of folks I’ve represented who were just flat-out bad people. Most got to where they were through combinations of factors. Part of my job is to try and get judges and juries to see that. Sometimes I can. Often I can’t.

That’s how this little venture got its name. I’ll post about stuff that comes up in my cases and other legal matters going on around the country. As a forewarning, I can get a little blunt and am not afraid to curse if the spirit moves me. If you want to comment, have at it….for those that know me, you already know I like to argue.

via How Do You Sleep At Night?: About the title—and other stuff.

 Twitter,  BofA_News, tweeting habits, WEF, Davos: Just interesting to think about …

Comparing the tweeting habits of #Davos attendees. Tech Pioneers – early risers or night owls? #WEF14:   pic.twitter.com/e2OPKFiLo4

via Twitter / BofA_News: Comparing the tweeting habits ….

Oatmeal, 9 Common Mistakes, Bon Appétit:  Good advice.  I love oatmeal and grits for breakfast in winter.  These are good suggestions!

Oatmeal is the classic “healthy” breakfast—but chances are, you’ve had a disappointing bowl of it at some point in your life. Perhaps you’ve pondered if there was more to morning life than this sad, gray, gluey bowl of semi-warm oats while dreaming of a hot, gooey egg and cheese sandwich. Or wished it was just a little hotter, a little creamier, a little more fun.

Guess what? Oatmeal doesn’t have to be this way. Our test kitchen editors Alison Roman and Dawn Perry love a good bowl of oatmeal, as long as it’s done right. We talked to them about the mistakes people are making when they make this hot breakfast cereal—and if you avoid them, you might even pass up that egg sandwich for a fragrant, steamy bowl of the healthy stuff.

via How Not to Ruin Oatmeal: 9 Common Mistakes – Bon Appétit.

cats, Smart News:  Cats, according to new research, recognize their owner’s voice. They just can’t be bothered to react to it … No suprise there …

Cats, according to new research, recognize their owner’s voice. They just can’t be bothered to react to it.

Researchers in Japan arrived at this conclusion after performing experiments with twenty house cats. They played recordings of the cats’ owners’ calling to their pets in whatever cat-talk voice they typically used. They also played recordings of three strangers calling to the cats, using the same words.

To quantify the cats’ reactions, the researchers recorded how often cats moved their head, tail, paws or ears, or whether they meowed or dilated their pupils. While the cats showed a significantly greater response to their owners calling their names than to strangers doing so, they did not bother to get up in either instance, the researchers found.

via Cats Recognize Their Owner’s Voice But Choose to Ignore It | Smart News.

“Ephemeral Stream” by Elizabeth Willis, poem-a-day:  I liked this one.

Ephemeral Stream

by Elizabeth Willis

This is the way water

thinks about the desert.

The way the thought of water

gives you something

to stumble on. A ghost river.

A sentence trailing off

toward lower ground.

A finger pointing

at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it.

I wanted to write a poem

and call it “Ephemeral Stream”

and dedicate it to you

because you made of this

imaginary creek

a hole so deep

it looked like a green eye

taking in the storm,

a poem interrupted

by forgiveness.

It’s not over yet.

A dream can spend

all night fighting off

the morning. Let me

start again. A stream

may be a branch or a beck,

a crick or kill or lick,

a syke, a runnel. It pours

through a corridor. The door

is open. The keys

are on the dashboard.

via Ephemeral Stream- Poets.org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

via No Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

25
Jan
14

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga …

I am having very strange FB conversations tonight … naked yoga and pilgrimages to Iona … some things just do not fit in the same “space.”

pilgrimages, Iona, sacred spaces, thin places:

I have been pondering pilgrimages … Iona is one of several that intrigue me. Your thoughts?  And some fun conversations … Wow, a

church youth group to Iona next summer. It sounds like a fabulous experience …  And I am very interested to know if the youth group “gets it”, i.e., does it open them up to a “thin place” type experience or is it merely a wonderful time together in a foreign country. My children gained much insight on mission trips regarding world poverty and Christian mission, but I never felt it stimulated “spiritual awakening.” But I did not think my children were ready for that either.

 

Your Invitation to Iona: a sacred place, in time and space.

So I assumed there would be a labyrinth … It is lovely …

It isn’t advertised on a map or in tourist brochures. Our guides knew about this labyrinth constructed in recent years.  Getting there was a walking pilgrimage of sorts. Over an hour each way across the island through lanes, fields and even part of a small golf course.

It is constructed of stones and the grass walkway is full of tiny daisies.  You can’t see it well in the photo, but if you look closely towards the sea, there is another smaller labyrinth.

This is the beach where Columba, the famous Catholic priest and missionary self-exiled himself from Ireland and founded a monastery that flourished during the dark ages and where many people from all over Europe were sent to study. All of this can be easily researched on the internet if you want to learn more.

I can talk about the feeling.  The location is on the southwest part of the island – cliffs on one side and to the right of this photo is the landing place of Columba and his twelve companions.  Pilgrims over many years have brought stones to leave on that portion of the beach, several mounds.  On this day the weather was overcast and there was a slight breeze.  It is a sheltered area and very inviting and unpretentious.  The builders of this labyrinth took great care in the location and also the variety of stones marking the labyrinth could be a book in itself – probably a poetry book as they convey imagery and metaphor.

It is a huge contrast to the Chartres labyrinth, but equally splendid.  I started humming a little tune walking the labyrinth at Chartres and found myself humming it again at Iona.

I first walked the smaller and newer one. In the middle I was inspired to do the movement pattern for the elements I recently learned while at Findhorn. Then I went and explored the beach. There was activity on the next door beach with the mounds of stones and we found out later that Neil Oliver who did the BBC Scotland Series (find it if you can) was filming a piece about coast lines.

Never mind. When I walked the larger labyrinth the experience was one of integration. There is the current pilgrimage, but also family and friends came to mind and locations that have meaning in my life. I thought about the elements and the creatures. I also felt a strong connection with the new Eagle Nest Labyrinth in Surrey.

Then thoughts related to relationship, lineage, life story came to mind. Three threads emerged – one is the ancestry of my family history, one is my current relationships and  story and the third is that other story line, the archetypal one where I might imagine or remember  living in other times and cultures other than those into which I was born.

All three threads are resources worthy of exploration. Perhaps there are more threads I will find along the way.

via Labyrinth Isle of Iona | ON THE MOVE.

coed naked yoga studio, NYC, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Interesting is one way to describe it!!

If you were offended by the transparency of the yoga pants Lululemon recalled last March, stay away from Bold & Naked, the first coed naked yoga studio in New York City.

Owners, Joschi Schwarz and Monika Werner believe that naked yoga allows participants to find a deeper connection with the world around them. When the popularity of Schwarz’s all-male naked yoga classes in Le Male Yoga in Chelsea rose, he opened Bold & Naked with Werner.

The studio offers various combinations of clothed, naked, same sex, and coed classes. And regarding the naked sessions and Tantric Yogassage offered: “If you are looking for an orgasm, you are in the wrong place,” the Bold & Naked website states.

“By shedding their clothes and practicing yoga in the nude, students literally drop the masks and labels they hide behind all day,” the website says. \”Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows you to be more accepting of your physical imperfections.”

via Coed Naked Yoga Studio Opens in NYC | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And now some conversation excerpts …

“what? Ok this is just crazy”

“So many bad thoughts and visuals come to mind–all I can say is NO.”

“coed no less …”

“…downward dog (eeeeeewwwwwww)”

“Just the thought of this is horrifying….”

“Woah!”

“I really doubt that it would free me of negative thoughts of my body image. On the contrary. I already find some coed yoga classes less than desirable.”

“This is just wrong! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, not gross me out”

” I hope the woman in the picture consented to its internet distribution!”

“She must have or else her “child’s pose” would not have been so modestly contained!”

” I love Outside magazine’s postings … but I must admit this one threw me. I am still laughing at the thought.

“Pretty amazing that’s even legal!”

And the studio is called … Bold & Naked … LOL. I wonder if they have anybody horribly out of shape who \”boldly\” ventures in … At least the name warns folks!”

“you can check it out next time you’re here. I think the first class is free. Guessing it’s hot naked bodies with whips, but who knows!”

“Why don’t you go CW and tell me about it first!!”

“Don’t be so judgmental!”

“spiked dog collar optional”

“And it would be impossible for everything to “blade the side wall” during a side plank sorry–it’s the bad visual thing again).”

“you could come incognito and write an amazing article! We could wear those sheer outfits that J-Lo and Beyonce wear that look like you’re naked but you’re actually covered head-to-toe, and wear wigs and fake tattoos, and take on a discreet unpresuming attitude. Ha ha!”

“There is presbyterian minister in our midst. Oh, no … He’s been to Iona recently, maybe his next spiritual awakening will be at B&N. LOL”

” I want to come too. I could have air-brushed abs on my faux-naked outfit.”

“And you could wear your beard and pink wig!!”

“you would be the über cool one,  you might get  a cover story with that hot model look.”

“LOL … I am not sure what do do with this conversation … Add it to my clipping service? I might get bounced.”

” You asked for it–posting a naked yoga story!”

” I actually thought twice before I hit post.”

” Well, they do refer to Iona as “a thin place”! Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not necessarily advocating B&N Yoga…I just recognize that it may be okay for some people…if not me.”

“glad you hit “post”–this has been entertaining!”

“It will disappear …

USIS Fraud Charges, Edward Snowden, TopDailyInfo.com:

The DOJ said that between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks, which was about 40 percent of the total submissions.

“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.

The payments to the firm ranged $95 to $2,500, depending on the type of background investigation. The lawsuit requested for a jury trial and seeks to recover treble damages and penalties.

Through a software known as “Blue Zone,” USIS was able to quickly make an electronic “Review Complete” notation without fully going through the mandated review process, DOJ said.

“By using Blue Zone, USIS was able to substantially increase the number of background investigations that could be dumped in a short time period,” according to the filing.

via USIS Fraud Charges: U.S. Brings Fraud Charges Against Firm That Vetted Edward Snowden | TopDailyInfo.com.

Leo Tolstoy, quotes:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”-Leo Tolstoy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech:

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

“And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”

via DrMartinLutherKingJr.com – Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: Audio, Text And Photographs.

CEO Brian Moynahan, WEF, Davos:

Why do bank CEOs come to Davos?

We come to learn.

Its a chance for all the CEOs of all the institutions across the world to sit across the table …  and have a dialogue.

We come because our clients are here.

via Moynihan Says BofA Trading Consistent Amid Taper: Video – Bloomberg.

“Jerusalem”, cookbooks, NYTimes.com:  A friend is posting recipes from this cookbook.  I’m intrigued.

The first symptoms of “Jerusalem” fever appeared on New Year’s Eve: a friend rushed over at a party, breathless, her eyes bright.

“We have to do an all-‘Jerusalem’ dinner!” she panted, then immediately called dibs on making the chicken with clementines and arak.

“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” was written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, chefs who grew up on opposite sides of the divided city, Mr. Tamimi in the Arab East, Mr. Ottolenghi in the Jewish West. Both left Israel decades ago, live in London and are hardly celebrity chefs, although Mr. Ottolenghi’s last book, “Plenty,” was admired here among the vegetarian set.

The book’s recipes are traditional in Jerusalem, or loosely inspired by the city, gathering influences from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cooks who live there, with flavors from almost everywhere else: Iran, Poland, Syria, Italy. Many of them have long lists of ingredients, including spices like sumac and za’atar, and are based on vegetables and grains. Chickpeas, lamb, eggplant and eggs turn up over and over again.

via ‘Jerusalem’ Has All the Right Ingredients – NYTimes.com.

global warming,  Forgotten WWI Battle, Peio’s war museum, Motherboard:

The local community has been laboring for years now to reveal the remains of this largely forgotten war. In 2004, Maurizio Vicenzi, a local mountain guide and head of the Peio’s war museum, discovered the bodies of three soldiers hanging upside down from an ice wall at an altitude of 12,000 feet—victims of one the highest front lines in history. Multiple findings followed. In one rare find, a team discovered a hidden ice tunnel, that, after being melted open with huge ventilators, turned out to house an enormous wooden structure used as a transportation station for ammunition and supplies.

All bodies that have since emerged pass through the office of Daniel Gaudio, a forensic anthropologist tasked to trace the identities of the war victims. Despite the fact that in most cases he’s able to extract the DNA from the corpses, he rarely succeeds. They’re missing contextual information, he says, that is necessary to determine the possible whereabouts of the families of the war victims.

To date, more than 80 bodies have appeared from the depths of the glacier. And more will surely follow. On the Italian side alone more than 750,000 soldiers died in battle, according to historian Mark Thompson, author of The White War. Next summer, archeological teams will continue their search for more remains of icy melee. And the bodies are certain to keep on coming—climate change looks certain to continue, even accelerate, the thaw.

For now, it’s winter. Not far from the place where the soldiers were first discovered lies Peio, a ski resort where Italians, Austrians, Germans and Russians are once again sharing the same mountain. They do so more peacefully now.

via Global Warming Is Thawing Out the Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle | Motherboard.

education, teaching, American History, WickedLocal.com, race v. diversity, civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

Unfortunately, the alternative may be that students never learn anything about Bob Moses at all, or about America’s founding contradiction.  “Race has always been at the heart of American History,” Branch said, and a glance at the headlines or the balkanized cafeterias of today’s high schools demonstrates that race – or it’s modernized, diluted form, “diversity,” are as relevant today as ever.  But if we knock U.S. history out of the curriculum and reduce the civil rights struggle to a non-threatening, non-controversial “MLK was a great man who had a dream”  cartoon, how will our children and grandchildren come to understand their country?

via Not teaching history – – WickedLocal.com.

James Cone,  Taylor Branch,  MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality,  YouTube: 

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Theologian James Cone and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch join Bill to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King\’s vision of economic justice in addition to racial equality, and why so little has changed for America\’s most oppressed.

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden, Garden and Gun, Lincliff, Louisville KY:

Crime novelist and her husband transform the gardens of their 100-year-old Louisville home.

Kinsey Millhone, the spunky protagonist of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, wouldn’t be caught dead spading compost onto a perennial bed. “I hate nature. I really do,” the fictional detective proclaims in F Is for Fugitive. Grafton, who has called Millhone her “alter ego,” admits she once shared those sentiments. How, then, to account for the garden transformation taking place at Grafton’s 1912 estate, Lincliff? Perched above the Ohio River eight miles east of downtown Louisville, the grounds were a vine-tangled mess when Grafton and her husband, Steve Humphrey, bought the place in 2000. Today, the once-crumbling fountain trickles and shimmers, boxwood parterres have been trimmed in-to shape, and a handful of spectacular new features, including an intricate knot garden, grace the property.

Humphrey, a philosophy of physics professor raised in south-central Los Angeles, is an equally unlikely suspect. “We had a tiny yard,” he says. “My father made the kids get up early on Sunday morning and hedge and weed. I never liked yard work, especially when forced to do it at gunpoint.”

The turnaround appears to be the work of professionals, but the couple swears no landscape designers played a part. So whodunit?

Upon further questioning, the truth emerges. “Something clicked when I met Sue,” Humphrey explains. “We rented a house when I was a graduate student at Ohio State, and I planted a vegetable garden. When we bought a house in Santa Barbara, I got into roses. I realized I love creating gardens.”

Grafton has a confession of her own: She’s becoming a garden lover, too. “Steve has taught me a lot about the virtues and benefits of a well-cared-for property,” she says.

Grafton grew up in Louisville but as a young woman, rebellious and burning with ambition, moved to California to become a writer. “When I left the state of Kentucky, it was ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, I’m out of here!’” Grafton says. Decades later, after penning dozens of best sellers, she felt the pull of home. “I’ve been to a lot of places in the world. Coming back here, I realized Kentucky is quite beautiful. I’m proud to be a resident of this state.”

The couple’s original plan to build a house changed when Humphrey, touring a riverfront lot, scaled a hill and glimpsed Lincliff, a long-abandoned stuccoed Georgian Revival mansion. Their real estate agent told them the property was slated to be divided and sold off in small parcels. Smitten, they bought it all.

via Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden | Garden and Gun.

emotional intelligence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , Hitler, Atlantic Mobile:

Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence. When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Dr. King demonstrated remarkable skill in managing his own emotions and in sparking emotions that moved his audience to action. As his speechwriter Clarence Jones reflected, King delivered “a perfectly balanced outcry of reason and emotion, of anger and hope. His tone of pained indignation matched that note for note.”

Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language. Practicing his hand gestures and analyzing images of his movements allowed him to become “an absolutely spellbinding public speaker,” says the historian Roger Moorhouse—“it was something he worked very hard on.” His name was Adolf Hitler.

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers: Interesting! From a Davidson Classmate …

This is a great resource. 46,000 sermons from 100 AD to today indexed by scripture verse and author. Amazing. Pick a verse and read a sermon by Augustine or Chrysostom or Luther or Wesley or Barth. Many hundreds of ministers and thousands of sermons. This has been compiled by a patient and friend of mine over the past 20 + years. (He doesn’t sleep much. The product of his insomnia is now available to all of us!) He is talking to a number of seminaries about utilizing this resource. Please pass around to ministers, academics, theologians, Christians, students of the Word, and the intellectually curious. Check out this amazing resource.

46,000+ HISTORIC SERMONS

Indexed by primary Biblical Text for simple Searching

via Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers.

man’s best friend, cats, me: This is so my house … two 12-year old bassets v. one 10-year-old black cat. Cat wins every time!!

via ▶ You Shall Not Pass, Dog – YouTube.

Lucky Charms, Pentatonix, tv ads, commercial,  iconic brands, new technology, YouTube, kith/kin, Atlanta:  And to close … I have been a lifelong fan of the kid cereal Lucky Charms (yes, it is a fact).  So, I was excited to see them using Pentatonix.  But unfortunately, the ad posted is a fail.  It does not do them justice and does not showcase their skill.  The Evolution of Lucky Charms (the second clip) is better. Well, I am glad they are making some money, but the ad really doesn’t showcase their talent.  An an aside, an Atlanta friend is working with Pentatonix on the campaign. He noted, “I think that it is an iconic brand that is looking for new ways to reimagine their advertising through new technology.”  Good point. I think I ‘ll go buy a box of Lucky Charms …

via ▶ Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial – YouTube.

via

▶ Evolution of Lucky Charms (feat. Pentatonix) – YouTube.




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