1.21.14 … verbal sparring, elite parents and embroidered photos …

Richard Sherman , NFL football:  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

So now, America, let’s talk about Richard Sherman in the NFL. Let’s talk about the Stanford graduate from Compton who has never been arrested, never cursed in a post-game interview, never been accused of being a dirty player, started his own charitable non-profit, and won an appeal in the only thing close to a smudge on his record.

via What Richard Sherman Taught Us About America | Isaac Saul.

2013 Target security breach:  I had no idea how they would use the stolen data …

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A South Texas police chief said Monday that two Mexican citizens who were arrested at the border used account information stolen during the Target security breach to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. But a federal official said later there currently was no connection between the arrests and the retailer’s credit card data theft.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, had used cards containing the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to purchase numerous items at national retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” Rodriguez said.

On Sunday morning, federal officials alerted police the two were at the Anzalduas International Bridge trying to re-enter the U.S. They were carrying 96 fraudulent cards, Rodriguez said.

Investigators believe the two were involved in both the acquisition of the fraudulent account data and the production of the cards.

Rodriguez said investigators suspect Garcia and Guardiola were singling out Sundays for their shopping sprees hoping that the banks would not be as quick to detect the fraud.

He said he expected Garcia and Guardiola to eventually face federal charges.

The Target security breach is believed to have involved 40 million credit and debit card accounts and the personal information of 70 million customers.

via 2 nabbed at Texas border in credit card fraud case.

elitism,  volunteers, children, public school, level playing field,  NYTimes.com:  I had some negative experiences in boys’ sports at both public middle and high school in Charlotte NC.  I also had a situation at middle school that I thought petty. In both situations the parents who were not wealthy were made to feel that their contributions were not wanted or worthy.  Several friends disagreed strongly with me.  I will admit that my most negative experiences in this area were in boys’ sports, and in particular football.  But my friends were correct, most endeavored through the PTAs to provide for all on an equal basis; there was no sushi or spring rolls.  It was a conversation worth having …

One long-ago day my mother took cupcakes to school wearing a pale yellow coat — not warm enough for the winter day, but she wanted to look nice. A classmate admired her. I was a little proud. I hoped to impress this classmate, or anyone. My dad was an alcoholic. A friend with a similar childhood calls it “impoverished.” I lacked currency: cash or social sway.

The problem is bigger than that. It’s an inescapable fact that extracurricular activities, which increase student investment in school, are planned by parents who have ample time and money, who sometimes lack insight into the lives of students whose parents don’t. I tried to advocate for these students. My empathy is tangible. Where exactly do you live again? a volunteer asked when I said pizza, not sushi.

I felt the condescension behind the question. I smiled while clenching my teeth — overruled, because parents who would agree with me can’t leave work.

Volunteering meant parties, I discovered. It meant “let them eat chocolate-mousse cake.”

No one actually said that. But one volunteer insisted on chocolate-mousse cake for Valentine’s Day, even as another argued it was too unfamiliar for third-graders. At the celebration, a boy who lived in a rundown house a few miles from me said he had been excited all week about cake. His face fell when he tasted it. “Gunk in the middle,” he said.

Another volunteer set the price for a Christmas gift exchange at $25. Too high, I said. She said to spend what I could. “I can afford $25,” I said, “but some people can’t.” She smiled. “No one but you is objecting.” On the day of the party, she was gone. A widow raising a grandchild had worried that some kids would show up without gifts and feel bad, so she had bought eight spares. They were necessary, and we remaining volunteers ponied up.

via When Elite Parents Dominate Volunteers, Children Lose – NYTimes.com.

Lost-Wallet Syndrome, The Happiness Project:

But my bliss at getting my laptop back is staying with me, I must say. I felt so lost without it…my laptop is my work and my play; my encyclopedia and my phone; my teddy bear and my to-do list.

When I thought it was lost forever, the analogy that kept popping into my mind came from Harry Potter. I felt as though I’d accidentally created a horcrux, and a piece of my soul had lodged into a physical object and was lost in the world.

via Why I Didn’t Post Last Week, or, Lost-Wallet Syndrome. « The Happiness Project.

Sausage escarole and bean soup, recipes:  Here is the link to the recipe.

As I have tinkered with adding different combinations of ingredients to the pot, I’ve become enamored with the combination of Italian sausage with escarole. Escarole is a leafy lettuce, a member of the endive family, that in the past I have used only for salads. However, it turns out that, unlike most lettuce varieties, it holds up well to cooking and I’ve been adding it to my soup pot. Escarole is not quite as bold as kale or chard and won’t wilt as much as spinach. When you pick up a head of escarole next to the romaine at the grocery store, you might question the logic of adding it to the pot, but misgivings will disappear when you see that it performs beautifully.

via Sausage, escarole, and bean soup | Food and Dining.

verbal tee-ups, insincerity, WSJ.com, guilty:

Some phrases like “to be perfectly honest” and “don’t take this the wrong way” can make you seem insincere. How certain expressions hinder conversations: http://on.wsj.com/1e9WYNG

Which phrases would you add to this list?

Photo: Some phrases like "to be perfectly honest" and "don't take this the wrong way" can make you seem insincere. How certain expressions hinder conversations: http://on.wsj.com/1e9WYNG</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Which phrases would you add to this list?

A friend of mine recently started a conversation with these words: “Don’t take this the wrong way…”

I wish I could tell you what she said next. But I wasn’t listening—my brain had stalled. I was bracing for the sentence that would follow that phrase, which experience has taught me probably wouldn’t be good.

Many people use verbal “tee-up” phrases like “to tell you the truth…”. Elizabeth Bernstein discusses when they’re useful and when they’re a bad idea, and guest Betsy Schow shares her personal experience of being on the wrong side of a tee-up. Photo: Getty.

Certain phrases just seem to creep into our daily speech. We hear them a few times and suddenly we find ourselves using them. We like the way they sound, and we may find they are useful. They may make it easier to say something difficult or buy us a few extra seconds to collect our next thought.

Yet for the listener, these phrases are confusing. They make it fairly impossible to understand, or even accurately hear, what the speaker is trying to say.

via Why Verbal Tee-Ups Like ‘To Be Honest’ Are a Signal of Insincerity – WSJ.com.

art, embroidered photographs, Observatory: Design Observer:  An interesting art technique.

I happen to own several actual photographic postcards from the turn of the last century that have been embroidered. These paper cards are embellished with decorative embroidered stitching that were created for tourists, and most of these seem to have come from Spain, Portugal, Germany and other European countries. More recently, an Italian born artist by the name of Maurizio Anzeri has found great success with his embroidered photographs, obviously inspiring a few other artists to take the needle and thread to photographic images. Anzeri\’s work is gorgeous, bringing with it elements of extraordinary design and such masterful perfection it makes me feel as if it were created by computer — not that I find that detracting. If it is done by hand, one stitch at a time, that’s great. If he uses a computer program to create his stitching — that\’s fine too. It\’s ingenious work.

While I enjoy the work of Anzeri, who is the first person I know of to reinvent and bring new art to a centuries old craft, it is Dutch artist Hinke Schreuders whose embroidery on photographs excites me now. Her work feels more “statement orientated” in the images I present here. Additionally, her work with thread is very intuitive and raw, different than the work of Mr. Anzeri.

via The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs: Observatory: Design Observer.

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