Archive for February, 2014

27
Feb
14

2.27.14 … “discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.” …

Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen,  President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, President Barack Obama, Davidson College:  If I get to pick and choose which executive orders to support, I support this one. Kudos to President Quillen.

President Barack Obama has appointed Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen as a member of the newly constituted President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.

She was among 15 members named on Wednesday to the council. It will be chaired by John W. Rogers Jr., the Chair, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments. José Cisneros, the Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco, will serve as vice-chair.

President Obama created the new President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans by signing Executive Order 13646 on June 25, 2013. The council is charged with advising the President and the Secretary of the Treasury on ways to promote financial capability among young Americans.

It will seek ways to encourage building the financial capability of young people at an early stage in schools, families, communities, and the workplace, and through use of technology.

The council will seek to identify ways to build public-private partnerships between various governmental agencies concerned with youth. It will support ongoing research and evaluation of financial education for young people, and determine and disseminate effective approaches. It will identify strategies to promote financial literacy in schools, test promising approaches to increase planning, saving and investing for retirement by young people, and promote the importance of planning for financial success.

The council will hold its first meeting on March 10.

Quillen was named President of Davidson in August 2011. Previously, she was Vice President for International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Rice University. Quillen also was a member of the Rice history faculty, director of its Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. She earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Chicago and a doctorate degree from Princeton University.

via Quillen Named to Presidential Advisory Council – Davidson College.

Glee, kith/kin: Glee is no fun without the Molls …

via ▶ Glee 5×09 Promo “Frenemies” (HD) – YouTube.

man’s best friend, LOL:

Atlanta History Center, Sam Inman, Swan House 1935, #wouldagrammed, kith/kin:  How cool … my kith uncle. My dad and “Uncle Sam” became friends when they were 9 or 10 years old. I think my dad had a bull dog as a kid, too.

Sam Inman playing with his dog at Swan House in 1935. #wouldagrammed

 Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen, Henri Nouwen Society Blog, Creating Space for God, discipline v. discipleship:

Creating Space for God

Discipline is the other side of discipleship. Discipleship without discipline is like waiting to run in the marathon without ever practicing. Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating. It is important, however, to realize that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports. Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better. Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.

Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

via Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen | A Henri Nouwen Society Blog.

Paul Hunt, 1988 USA-USSR/Los Angeles, gymnastics comedy beam routine, YouTube:

I dare you not to laugh.

via ▶ 1988 Paul Hunt gymnastics comedy beam routine – YouTube.

Paul Hunt performs on balance beam at the 1988 USA-USSR display in Los Angeles.

via ▶ 1988 Paul Hunt gymnastics comedy beam routine – YouTube.

Snurk Beddengoed,  duvet set for space-loving kids, A Mighty Girl: Loved this from my NASA knowledgeable cousin! “That’s not a shuttle suit. It kinda looks like an old Apollo suit, except they weren’t blue. Maybe it’s a Russian suit. ‘

When the small Dutch bedding company, Snurk Beddengoed, released this amazing duvet set for space-loving kids last year, it was hugely popular online but not widely available outside of the Netherlands. Since we frequently receive inquiries from parents about bedding recommendations for Mighty Girls, we’re excited to share that it’s now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1hsSTZl — and if we add a bedding section to A Mighty Girl, we’ll certainly highlight this fun set there as well!

For more recommendations for space-oriented and girl-empowering books, toys, clothing and room decor, check out recent blog post, “Mighty Careers: I Want To Be An Astronaut!”, at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=5812

via A Mighty Girl.

Lenbrook, BINGO

25
Feb
14

2.25.14 … “Is that American for hello?” …

‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show, The Daily Beast: It wasn’t THAT bad. I’ll admit that I didn’t particularly like Cora’s brother, the character or the actor, and that I’m not a fan of her mother, the character AND Shirley McClain as the actress portraying her. So I was  disappointed with the finale primarily because of  the American relatives.

That was quite a ridiculous season of Downton Abbey, now wasn’t it? What happened to the formerly addictive, splendid, elegant costume drama?

Season four of Downton Abbey, which concluded Sunday night, was all about acceptance. It was about accepting the death of two major characters and the need—for us and the residents of Downton—to move on. Accepting the budding love between a white heiress and a black singer. Accepting the conception of a child out of love—and out of wedlock. And, most of all, accepting the fact that Downton Abbey is a shell of the seductively elegant costume soap opera we all became so addicted to four years ago.

That’s because there’s one thing Downton Abbey refuses to accept is the very thing that’s the supposed to be the crux of the whole damned show: change.

via ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show – The Daily Beast.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter, Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward, TIME.com:

On the show, Lady Rose has the opportunity to rub elbows with the Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, who eventually came to the throne in 1936 — and his lover, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The story’s main arc is set into motion when a letter from the Prince to Freda is stolen by a no-good card sharp hanging around the Crawleys. If he leaks the letter to the international press, it could cause a scandal, which sends Rose and Robert into detective mode.

As it turns out, there was correspondence between the Prince and Freda — as described in the book Letters from a Prince: Edward, Prince of Wales, to Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The socialite daughter of a rich businessman, she was already married when she met the Prince, but her marriage wasn’t in good shape. In 1918, the Prince began to send her the first of what would be many letters.

Though their romance ended abruptly in 1934 when the Prince began his relationship with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he would eventually give up the throne, the Prince of Wales didn’t exactly hide his feelings. Take, for example, one missive from June of 1919: “Darling darling beloved little Fredie,” he begins, “This is only just a teeny weeny little scrawl to catch the last post sweetheart and to tell you how fearfully madly I’m loving you this afternoon angel and looking forward to 4:30 tomorrow. Although I only said all this about 12 hrs ago I can’t help saying it all again this afternoon only I mean it even more sweetheart!!”

via Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter | TIME.com.

TMBS, N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _ and Why He Matters: Starting the next book for TMBS … I think I would like his dad. And I still don’t know what “eschatology” means, and I’ve looked it up at least 10 times.

“This is the first book I have written since the death of my beloved father, at the age of ninety-one. Having read little or no theology or biblical scholarship until his mid-sixties, when I started writing, he then read everything I wrote within days of its publication and frequently telephoned me to tell me what he thought about it. I cherish some of his comments. “I’ve looked up ‘eschatology’ three times in the dictionary,” he once complained, “and I keep forgetting what it means.” When my big book on the resurrection came out, he read it, all 700 pages, in three days, commenting that he had really started to enjoy it after about page 600. Presumably, with the end in sight, he was starting to experience hope as well as reading about it. Particularly with my popular writings, I now realize that he was always part of the “target audience” of which I was subconsciously aware. Writing a book like this feels different now that he’s not there to read it. In any case, though I hope he learned a few things from me, this book— particularly its concluding chapter— hints at some of the many things I learned from him. As I grieve his passing, I dedicate this book to his memory with gratitude, love, and, yes, hope.’

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

9/11, man’s best friend, Daisy, Medal of Honor of New York City:  teary eyed …

Juliette Guidara

Follow · February 20 near Nahant, MA

James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy.

After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love.

She darted away into the darkened hallway.

Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later,

Daisy comes back along with James’ boss, Who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112

On her first run of the building, she leads James, James’ boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building.

But she wasn’t through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James’ wishes she ran back in the building.

On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses.

James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears.

Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. “She led us right to the people, before she got injured” the fireman explained.

Her final run saved another 273 lives. She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.

Daisy is the first civilian Canine to win the Medal of Honor of New York City.

Pass it on to all animal lovers

via Juliette Guidara.

Humans of New York, NYPL:  Almost every post is insightful … read the follow-up, too.

Photo: "You want to photograph me eating chicken?"<br /><br /><br /> "Yep."<br /><br /><br /> "Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."<br /><br /><br /> "What's that?"<br /><br /><br /> "I work at this library.  And before that, I was coming here for twenty years.  It's my favorite place in the world.  As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world.  Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library.  As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library.  When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe.  Now read that back to me."

“You want to photograph me eating chicken?”

“Yep.”

“Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message.”

“What’s that?”

“I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me.”

via Humans of New York.

Because of all the attention of this morning’s library post, I thought it’d only be fair to post the NYPL’s response. I’m quoting four points that they’ve asked me to clarify:

*The man says “I work at this Library.” Ends up, he doesn’t “work” for the library in the sense of being an employee. He is probably doing his work at the library (millions do each year!). We fear the confusion might make people think he is offering his opinion as an employee.

*The vast majority of research books will remain on the site (in far superior storage conditions)

*None of the public spaces he and others enjoy will change, and we’ll be returning a circulating collection to this main library (it had one for its first 70 years).

*This plan will be greatly expanding access to the library. The renovation will allow all New Yorkers–scholars, students, educators, immigrants, job-seekers– to take advantage of this beautiful building and its world-class collections.

Obviously the issue is more complex than soundbites from either side, so feel free to educate yourself further and form your own opinion:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=NYPL+renovation+debate

via Humans of New York.

indie bookstore, LOL:

Photo: Awesome indie bookstore displays FTW.</p><br /><br /> <p>Nice job, Blue Willow Bookshop.

Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased, Salon.com: Overwhelmed by this statement …

Abortion for black women has always been a revolutionary rejection of patriarchy, white supremacy and forced systems of oppression. The great scholars Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis have explained that throughout slavery and into the 20th century, self-abortion through herbal remedies, hangers, hatpins and pencils were a way out of slavery and poverty. Our ancestors fought hard to refuse to carry the children of their master rapists and rear another generation of slaves, even when it meant that “barren” women were deemed worthless chattel and sold between plantations. From generation to generation, stories and recipes were passed down to ensure that women weren’t forced to carry pregnancies they never desired or weren’t able to carry healthily. For as many powerful women that raised children in the worst conditions imaginable, so there were those who refused.

via Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased – Salon.com.

RIP Harold Ramis: The good are always taken from us too soon!

Photo: The good are always taken from us too soon!<br /><br /><br /> RIP Harold Ramis

North Korea Cloaked in Darkness, Korea Real Time, WSJ, satellite images, picture paints a thousand words, darkness:

One of the most stunning—and revealing—photos ever taken of North Korea was a 2002 satellite image of the peninsula at night, shown by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon briefing.

The photo showed the lights of South Korean conurbations, and even large clusters of fishing boats, in stark contrast to an almost entirely black North Korea. Other than a small spot of light in the showcase capital Pyongyang and the outline of the country, North Korea wouldn’t have been visible at all.

“South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea isdark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

via North Korea Cloaked in Darkness – Korea Real Time – WSJ.

Upinspire, This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked, secret lives: What a great story:  Upinspire – This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked..

13 Things Mentally Strong People Dont Do, lists: Good list …

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

24
Feb
14

2.24.14 … ” Sure enough, from above my head, again that Red Bird called … and called … and called … again and again. A-tweega-tweega-tweega, a-tweega-tweega-tweega. He sounded near enough to touch, and inside my closet, I walked to the spot directly under his song and stood, marveling at our miraculous closeness.” …

71579_10152250161984052_2101296358_n

Photo by friend and wonderful photographer Mark Fortenberry

cardinals, hope, joy comfort: I had to search a bit to find an old blog post by Cary Campbell Umhau on cardinals. I thought you  who have noticed cardinals would enjoy it.

And finally, as I neared the end of my circuitous route and was musing about all I had seen, I saw my own personal sign of hope, a cardinal.  Several years ago in a particularly dark time, when I’d asked God for a sign of hope, a cardinal darn near dive-bombed me.  And since then I’ve appreciated seeing them and chuckled over how obvious God made his answer back then.

So today, I saw a cardinal.  And that’s not all that unusual.  But this one was stubbornly standing on the doormat of a pretty yellow house.  Hopping around.  As if he’d rung the doorbell and was waiting to be asked in. Which perhaps he was.  Because hope does knock, persistently, even in the disastrous times, especially in the disastrous times.

As I smiled at that persistent red wonder, I glanced at the next house on my route.  And — I kid you not — a female cardinal was not just standing as if she had knocked but was flinging her body against the glass storm door, begging to come in.  And when — naturally — no one answered her plaintive request, she went to two separate windows and did the same thing.  I watched a while.

God was answering some of what I was asking today: “Can we keep hoping even when things around us look, well, not so hopeful?”   “Yes, hope endures.  Don’t lock the door against it.”

So if you are my neighbor and you saw me staring at your house today, I wasn’t casing it out; I was laughing in wonder at how God shows up, bidden or unbidden as Carl Jung said… but especially when bidden, for then we have our eyes open and expect to see Him.

Every time we put one foot in front of another and march off to work, we are hoping for a future.

When we dare to acknowledge our dreams, we are participating in creation with God, taking steps towards doing what He wants done on earth (since He’s the ultimate dream-provider).

When we feed someone, we are saying that we want them to continue to thrive.

When we water plants or tend gardens or nurture children or teach science, we are investing in the future.

When we try again and again to nurture relationships, we are living into the longing for community that God has set within us.

And when we wander and pray, we see wonders, for they are there.

via We Keep Showing Up | Holy Vernacular.

And I knew there was a followup by another Davidson friend. You must read them both!

Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper

Yesterday I requested “cardinal stories” from readers, since several told me (in response to a post on hope on Tuesday) that they’d had cardinal encounters recently (what’s going on?)  So for the next couple of days, I’ll stick with the cardinal theme.

Here’s a post from a college friend, Diane Cooper.  Let me tell you a little about her first:

Diane Cooper is the mother of four children, including sweet David Cooper, her seventeen-year-old son who died suddenly two years ago from Athlete Sudden Cardiac Arrest while rowing with his crew team at McCallie School in Chattanooga.

She wrote this about the piece below:

My son David was an identical twin and ALWAYS dressed himself in his favorite color — red — to visually distinguish himself from his brother, Reid. By doing this, he helped people greet him by his name rather than by “Hello Reid or David.” Since David died, cardinals have shown up in my life in a big way – too many significant instances to tell. I’m attaching one of the stories I wrote for a newsletter that I do for bereaved families in Chattanooga. Hope you enjoy it. Those cardinals are cheerful little guys!

Back to School

The beginning of August rolled around this year, and I found myself, once again, face-to-face with School Registration. This has been a difficult day for me the past two years. Our family had some longstanding  ”back to school” rituals with our three sons, and the boys, who are twelve to fourteen years older than their baby sister, were so looking forward to sharing the traditions with little Brett when she finally reached school age. David, in particular, talked about this for years, anticipating the time that Brett would begin kindergarten, and he would be launching his senior year of high school on the same day.

I thought back to all the “First Day of School” photos that I have of my three sons – three darling, fresh-faced boys, looking earnest in their new school clothes and their neat haircuts, standing proudly in front of the local coffee shop where we always began our “First Day” traditions with breakfast of waffles and bacon. David was always dressed from head to toe in red – his favorite color and the only way to distinguish him from his very-identical twin brother, Reid, who wore blue.

The past two School Registrations have reminded me of those bittersweet, innocent days, and at the first one after David died, when I went to register Brett for kindergarten, I cried all the way through the registration process — the principal and the school secretary crying right along with me. Last year, for Brett’s first grade Registration, I was just numb, and I rushed through the process as quickly as possible, trying not to make contact with anyone beyond the most basic, necessary exchanges.

This morning, however, I woke and hoped that things would be better this year — after all, I had arranged to work Registration for Brett’s choir teacher, and since David’s death, I find I do better, socially, if I can have a purpose and a reason to reach out to other people. I greeted the morning with slightly over-zealous courage, as I contemplated my intention to have a joyful day.

The warm morning sun was streaming through the bedroom windows as I walked to the back of the master bedroom and into my dark, cool, windowless closet. It’s a big closet, and it’s always very quiet and peaceful in there — a weird thing to say about a closet, but it is. I stepped inside and closed the door behind me and just as I did, I heard a cardinal start calling — loudly. I stopped and thought I must have imagined hearing it, since I was inside a closed closet that has no opening to the outside of the house. Sure enough, from above my head, again that Red Bird called … and called … and called … again and again. A-tweega-tweega-tweega, a-tweega-tweega-tweega. He sounded near enough to touch, and inside my closet, I walked to the spot directly under his song and stood, marveling at our miraculous closeness.

I finally realized that this sweet Red Bird must have been perched on the low, sloping roof, exactly above where my closet lies. His call of greeting and encouragement made me smile, and I thanked my son-who-loved-red and the Designer of this wonderful universe for the “thumbs-up” on my decision to create a joyful Registration Day, and I moved forward and got on with things.

… And it WAS a joyful day.

via Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper | Holy Vernacular.

defining ages, This is 45: The Eye of Life’s Storm | Emily Mendell:

Forty-five is the eye of life’s storm. The emotional drama of growing up is behind you, the physical perils of aging are still to come. In these years of quiet, it is easier to be grateful… and fearful. You are an expert on more things than you care to be, and you realize that most of your life has been of your own making. Yes, you are dealt cards that are both good and bad, but you are the one who plays them. With that realization comes a feeling of late great responsibility. You come to terms with how many moments, days, months have been squandered. You vow to do better; you know that you won’t.

via This is 45: The Eye of Life’s Storm | Emily Mendell.

Brené Brown, Bear Hug!, RSA Short Animated by Katy Davis: I really, really enjoy Brene Brown and her work (read her books, watch her TED presentations), and I love these animations. Well done!

via ▶ RSA Shorts – The Power of Empathy – YouTube

So grateful to The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts) for inviting me to speak in London this year and to animator and illustrator, Katy Davis, for this amazing short on empathy! Beautiful. #RSABear

via This Gives New Meaning to Bear Hug! An RSA Short Animated by Katy Davis – Brené Brown.

Vibram FiveFingers CVT Hemp | Covet | OutsideOnline.com, kith/kin:  I actually know someone who wants some.  🙂

Most of us know Vibram FiveFingers as the shoe of choice for runners who are serious about minimalism. Now the company is introducing its first hemp casual lifestyle piece—the CVT Hemp.

The CVT is a far cry from the other FiveFingers, whose colors tend to fall on the euro-fluorescent-techno end of the spectrum. Birkenstock wearers might be temped to convert.

Made from a blend of hemp and polyester that’s supposedly breathable, durable and sustainable, these slip-on shoes have the same sole as the other casual FiveFingers. You can even fold down the heel and wear the shoe as a clog. Take note that unless your toes are perfectly aligned, the shoes still take some effort to get on.

The CVT hemp will hit shelves this August.

$100, vibramfivefingers.com

via Vibram FiveFingers CVT Hemp | Covet | OutsideOnline.com.

The Haunting Reality,  Captain Phillips:  I really enjoyed this film.  Aspects are haunting …

Captain Phillips is a draining cinematic experience.   The director of Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass, is an expert at building tension.  He employs handheld cameras whenever possible, from the chase scenes in The Bourne Supremacy to the hijacking of United 93.   He tends to recreate the events as they happened, focusing upon the workmanlike elements of people simply doing their job.   His cast often include non-professionals who enhance the feeling of cinema verite that distinguished the director’s breakthrough feature, Bloody Sunday.   Consequently, the searing intensity in Captain Phillips felt achingly accurate.  It elevates the everyday heroism of Navy Seals and negotiators as well as the hard choices made by sailors on both sides of the standoff.

The desperation driving the Somali pirates to pursue a huge tanker overlapped with the motivations of those who hijacked Scott and Jean’s boat.   In the movie, we are invited to empathize with Somalis like Muse who are responding to economic pressures and brutal overlords by taking up arms.   Barkhad Abdi deserves the kudos and awards that have accompanied his performance.   He helps us understand that piracy is a by-product of almost no viable employment or alternatives.   His menace is fueled by grit and resolve.

via The Haunting Reality Beyond Captain Phillips.

2014 Oscar Best Picture Movie Nominees, kids, Video | TIME.com:  These kids make us look silly.

via ▶ Kids Reenact the 2014 Oscar Nominated Films – PEOPLE – YouTube

Okay, just admit it: you want to be able to say you’ve seen the more serious Oscar contenders like 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips, but you don’t really want to sit down and watch them. But if they were acted out by adorable children, well, then you’d totally want to grab the popcorn and go see them.

So watch here as some really cute kids offer their best reenactments of all this year’s best picture nominees — besides Philomena, which for some reason got left out. But all the others — from Her to Nebraska to American Hustle — get the adorable kid treatment, and we’re willing to bet that the full versions would be better than the originals.

via Kids Reenact 2014 Oscar Best Picture Movie Nominees: Video | TIME.com.

‘Downton Abbey’, historical drama, period dram, accuracy:

Edith and Michael’s marriage scheme makes sense, though she’d be required to become a German citizen.

Men could not divorce women for reason of incurable insanity and women could only divorce their husbands, if they were able to prove they had been excessively beaten. Laite said that it would not have been until the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1937 that things like adultery would be grounds for divorce. Unlike British civil code, German law did allow for divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity, however, it would have required both Michael and Edith to become German citizens, which is a important issue considering the prominence of nationalism at the time.

via Ask A Historian: How Accurate Is ‘Downton Abbey’?.

Yes –  Jesus Would Bake A Cake for a Gay Person | RedState, marriage equality, religion in the workplace, discrimination: I know where I come down, but I can see both sides of this issue when it is framed this way.  Originally I had a long quote from this article, but I do not want to have a political fight with my readers.  I clip and save here for me.  I think and rethink issues.  I am strongly in favor of the rights of all humans to live a life of respect and opportunity.  I am not a fan of Big Brother.   So do not jump on the attack.  I am thinking.

The disagreement comes on one issue only — should a Christian provide goods and services to a gay wedding. That’s it. We’re not talking about serving a meal at a restaurant. We’re not talking about baking a cake for a birthday party. We’re talking about a wedding, which millions of Christians view as a sacrament of the faith and other, mostly Protestant Christians, view as a relationship ordained by God to reflect a holy relationship.

This slope is only slippery if you grease it with hypotheticals not in play.

There are Christians who have no problem providing goods and services for a gay marriage. Some of them are fine with gay marriage. Some of them think gay marriage is wrong, but they still have no problem providing goods and services.

Other Christians, including a significant number of Catholic and Protestant preachers, believe that a gay marriage is a sinful corruption of a relationship God himself ordained. Because they try to glorify God through their work, they believe they cannot participate in a wedding service. Yes, because they believe they are glorifying God in their work and view it as a ministry, they view providing goods and services as a way to advance, even in a small way, God’s kingdom.

Herein lies the dispute of the day. The latter group does not stand in the way of the former group providing cakes, flowers, and pictures for a gay wedding. Some of the former, however, believe the government should compel the latter group to violate their conscience. They only see the transaction through the customer’s eyes as if the vendors are passive participants.

That’s the problem.

Christians should serve. But the government should not force them to.

via Yes, Jesus Would Bake A Cake for a Gay Person | RedState.

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “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!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

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

The 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.

And from 1.25.14 

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.

From 1.26.14 

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.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

.

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … I think Pooh walked labyrinths …

Winnie The Pooh , labyrinths: I think Pooh walked labyrinths.

One fine winter’s day when Piglet was brushing away the snow in front of his house, he happened to look up, and there was Winnie-the-Pooh. Pooh was walking round and round in a circle, thinking of something else, and when Piglet called to him, he just went on walking.

via Winnie The Pooh 1/2 CHAPTER III.

cardinals: Wonderful picture! I have several friends who have mentioned the cardinal’s appearance in their lives at times when they need a loved one who has passed.

Photo: A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear.

A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they’ll appear.

Friday Funny Photography, Box o’ Bluebirds, Birds and Blooms:  And here is another …

Friday Funny Photography: Box o' Bluebirds

Birds & Blooms’ Friday Fun Photography snapshot for February 21, 2014: Box o’ Bluebirds by Christi Kalmbach of Neosho, Missouri. Christi writes, “On the morning of Feb. 4, it began to snow, and while looking out our patio door, we saw this group of bluebirds huddled together seeking shelter. There were seven total, but they couldn’t all fit in the opening so they fidgeted, changed positions, and sometimes ended up one top of one another! We watched for a long time, and these little bluebirds made an otherwise dreary morning delightfully cheerful.”

It cheers us up just looking at this photo! And if you have a clever caption for this fun photo, we’d love to hear it!

via Friday Funny Photography: Box o’ Bluebirds – Birds and Blooms.

Maria von Trapp Dies – Death, The Sound of Music, People.com: So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu.  (Thanks BW for the clever comment). RIP,  Maria.

Maria von Trapp Dies

She was the last surviving member of the musical family of seven brothers and sisters and passed away in her sleep at home in Vermont at the age of 99 on Tuesday, PEOPLE confirms.

Von Trapp, who was the second-eldest daughter, and her family fled their home in Austria to escape from the Nazis in the 1930s and eventually ended up in the U.S., where their story inspired a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical and the popular 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews.

“Maria had a wonderful life and while we will miss her, the memories of her will live on,” her half-brother, Johannes von Trapp, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. He also thanked fans worldwide for their kind thoughts.

via Maria von Trapp Dies – Death, The Sound of Music : People.com.

Cape Town SA, South Africa’s Mother City  natural beauty, a world-renowned food & wine scene, Travel Wires – MiamiHerald.com:  I will return!!

South Africa’s Mother City boasts natural beauty, a world-renowned food & wine scene

via South Africa’s Mother City boasts natural beauty, a world-renowned food & wine scene – Travel Wires – MiamiHerald.com.

22
Feb
14

2.22.14 … “Puett tells his students that being calculating and rationally deciding on plans is precisely the wrong way to make any sort of important life decision. The Chinese philosophers they are reading would say that this strategy makes it harder to remain open to other possibilities that don’t fit into that plan. Students who do this “are not paying enough attention to the daily things that actually invigorate and inspire them, out of which could come a really fulfilling, exciting life” …

Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?,  The Atlantic: My nephew posted this article.  I am very proud to have been given both  an education and  a trade.  I use my education everyday, my trade, not so much.

Why are so many undergraduates spending a semester poring over abstruse Chinese philosophy by scholars who lived thousands of years ago? For one thing, the class fulfills one of Harvard’s more challenging core requirements, Ethical Reasoning. It’s clear, though, that students are also lured in by Puett’s bold promise: “This course will change your life.”

His students tell me it is true: that Puett uses Chinese philosophy as a way to give undergraduates concrete, counter-intuitive, and even revolutionary ideas, which teach them how to live a better life.  Elizabeth Malkin, a student in the course last year, says, “The class absolutely changed my perspective of myself, my peers, and of the way I view the world.” Puett puts a fresh spin on the questions that Chinese scholars grappled with centuries ago. He requires his students to closely read original texts (in translation) such as Confucius’s Analects, the Mencius, and the Daodejing and then actively put the teachings into practice in their daily lives. His lectures use Chinese thought in the context of contemporary American life to help 18- and 19-year-olds who are struggling to find their place in the world figure out how to be good human beings; how to create a good society; how to have a flourishing life.

Puett began offering his course to introduce his students not just to a completely different cultural worldview but also to a different set of tools. He told me he is seeing more students who are “feeling pushed onto a very specific path towards very concrete career goals” than he did when he began teaching nearly 20 years ago.  A recent report shows a steep decline over the last decade in the number of Harvard students who are choosing to major in the humanities, a trend roughly seen across the nation’s liberal arts schools. Finance remains the most popular career for Harvard graduates. Puett sees students who orient all their courses and even their extracurricular activities towards practical, predetermined career goals and plans.

Puett tells his students that being calculating and rationally deciding on plans is precisely the wrong way to make any sort of important life decision. The Chinese philosophers they are reading would say that this strategy makes it harder to remain open to other possibilities that don’t fit into that plan. Students who do this “are not paying enough attention to the daily things that actually invigorate and inspire them, out of which could come a really fulfilling, exciting life,” he explains. If what excites a student is not the same as what he has decided is best for him, he becomes trapped on a misguided path, slated to begin an unfulfilling career. Puett aims to open his students’ eyes to a different way to approach everything from relationships to career decisions. He teaches them that …

via Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy? – Christine Gross-Loh – The Atlantic.

The Reluctant Tweeter: Joyce Carol Oates, Re/code:  I have wondered why some authors tweet and whether they enjoy it.  So I loved this interview with Joyce Carol Oates.  Very insightful …

“I don’t consider that I really said anything that I don’t feel and I think that sometimes the crowd is not necessarily correct. You know, Kierkegaard said, “The crowd is a lie.” The sort of lynch mob mentality among some people on Twitter and they rush after somebody — they rush in this direction; they rush over here; they’re kind of rushing around the landscape of the news — and this goes on a lot on Twitter. Not necessarily that I’m watching, but I know it goes on elsewhere. When I first started there was a lot in the news about gun control so I was tweeting about that and I got these amazing tweets from these complete strangers who just hated me and what do I know about guns, that I know nothing. I’m this liberal person. And really some of these things I was really astonished. But then I just stopped reading them because I still feel there should be gun control. I don’t care if a million people think I’m wrong. I just think there should be gun control. So basically you react by withdrawing. Many people on Twitter who I follow, like Bill Maher, who is very outspoken. So I imagine he just doesn’t read all the negative tweets. He must care.”

via The Reluctant Tweeter: Joyce Carol Oates | Re/code.

 

 

Haunting Photos of the Abandoned 1984 Winter Olympics Facilities, 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics:

 

While these photos offer a stunning glimpse of the decayed grounds from the 1984 Winter Olympics, it’s  important to also remember how devastating the 1990s war was for the region. The Siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The sports complex built for the 1984 Winter Olympics was utilized as a graveyard due to high casualties. The story of the 1984 Olympics doesn’t have the happiest ending, but it’s definitely a story worth knowing.

via Haunting Photos of the Abandoned 1984 Winter Olympics Facilities.

 16 Things Only People With Unique Names Will Understand, lists: Yep, nailed it!

1. You have a mild panic attack when a restaurant hostess asks for your name.

6. When giving your name, you just automatically spell it out of habit.

via 16 Things Only People With Unique Names Will Understand.

Can Google Fiber turn Charlotte into a tech hub?, CharlotteObserver.com:  I hope we get Google Fiber and loved the connection to traditional transportation hubs.  Lets speed up the information highway!

In generations past, communities rose or fell if the path of the next major horse trail, railroad or interstate highway landed within their borders. In the digital age, will the same be true for high-speed Internet access?

In generations past, communities rose or fell if the path of the next major horse trail, railroad or interstate highway landed within their borders. In the digital age, will the same be true for high-speed Internet access?

Can’t say I know for sure, but it’s increasingly looking that way. So it was big news last week when Google announced that Charlotte is one of the nine metro areas where it would like to build its super-fast Google Fiber network, with access speeds up to 100 times faster than today’s broadband service.

For one thing, it makes Google the latest deep-pocketed national company to have concluded Charlotte looks like a good bet for the future.

For another, it could put Charlotte on the front lines of whatever’s coming next in the digital revolution.

To be sure, we’ve never been known for our thriving tech industry. In North Carolina, that distinction goes to the Raleigh-Durham area and its Research Triangle Park. But who knows? If Google decides to greenlight construction of its 1 gigabit-per-second broadband service in Charlotte late this year, perhaps it will accelerate the growth of our emerging tech sector.

Geoff Ables thinks so. He’s managing partner of C5 Insight, a business consulting and Internet technology services firm based at UNC Charlotte’s PORTAL business incubation center.

Its roots stretch back only to 2002, but C5 is growing fast, with 23 employees and a network of contractors that brings its team up to about 75. C5 made Inc. magazine’s list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for 2013, boasting 2012 revenues of $2.6 million. That was up from 2009 revenues of $772,000.

Ables says Google Fiber would be a plum asset for his business, which often involves teleconferencing and application sharing with clients across the U.S. as well as in the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.

via Can Google Fiber turn Charlotte into a tech hub? | CharlotteObserver.com.

21
Feb
14

2.21.14 … 23 Signs You Went To A Mid-Major College …

23 Signs You Went To A Mid-Major College, UNC v. Duke, ACC Basketball, Davidson basketball, Tobacco Road:  Maybe it’s good I transferred from UNC to Davidson. I just can’t hate a rival team the way UNC fans hate Duke. My personality is definitely suited to the fan realm of the mid-majors. That said, go HEELS. (and the HEELs won.)

12. And no one ever confused your gymnasium with an arena.

13.. It could be mistaken for a large high school’s

20. You love the first week of March Madness. (Not a feeling exclusive to mid-major fans.)

via 23 Signs You Went To A Mid-Major College.

And then there is the sport that built the ACC’s identity and remains in its DNA: basketball. It is not the best league in America this season, but it has deftly commandeered the spotlight and become the must-watch conference in February. To date the ACC has been home to:

• The Game of the Year: Syracuse’s overtime victory over Duke on Feb. 1 before an on-campus record crowd of 35,446 at the Carrier Dome.

• The Shot of the Year: Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis’ 35-footer as time expired to beat Pittsburgh on Feb. 12.

• The Freshman of the Year: In the so-called Year of the Freshman, it is Duke’s Jabari Parker.

• The Upset of the Year: Boston College, which entered the game 6-19, shocked the No. 1-ranked Orange 62-59 in OT Wednesday night. That result might have taken some luster off the Syracuse-Duke rematch set for Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but it still had fans riveted to the TV over a game nobody was talking about when it started.

“We’ve landed in a really good place,” Swofford told Yahoo Sports on Thursday.

Swofford’s emergence at the top of the commissioner power rankings is not quite as surprising as BC beating Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. But it is unexpected.

via A ‘ninja’ is the key to the ACC becoming the hottest league in the land – Yahoo Sports.

man’s best friend, LOL, ImperfectWomen.com: For Dog lovers …

Sherlock,  Reichenbach Falls, Doctor Who: A great mash-up!!

19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die, bucket list:   I just added 19 towns to my bucket list … not good. Bibury England …

Bibury England: This old village is known for both its honey-colored stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs as well as for being the filming location for movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary. It’s been called “the most beautiful village in England.”

via 19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die.

Eight Most Overlooked Foodie Towns in the South,  Greenville SC, Asheville NC, Decatur GA, foodie towns, Bourbon & Boots:  All look worthy of my time.  I love good local restaurants.  Anybody care to join me?

3. Greenville, S.C.

Last year, Esquire wondered if Greenville, S.C., would be the “next big food city of the South.” The city is in a fast-growing rivalry with Charleston for the title, but Greenville has “more than 110 restaurants, overwhelmingly locally owned, and excellent” within a mile-and-a-half of the quaint downtown area.

Suggestions: Roost, The Green Room, Nose Dive or The Lazy Goat.

4. Asheville, N.C.

It’s always the college towns. Right? The town is one-part academic, one-part performance art and two dashes of wacky. Like most college towns, it has a youthful, energetic vibe which typically manifests in creative food menus and chefs just on the verge of acclaim. It’s home to 2012 James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year semi-finalist Katie Button as well as chocolatiers serving drinkable ganache.

Suggestions: Knife & Fork, French Broad Chocolates, Curate Tapas Bar

5. Decatur, Ga.

Two years ago, this oft-overlooked Georgia city was gaining notoriety for its inventive dining options nestled in a safe, walkable community atmosphere. Today a diverse cuisine is available at a variety of price points as well as placing a value on local, sustainable food sourcing.

Suggestions: Cakes & Ale, Leon’s, Cafe Lily, Iberian Pig, No. 246

via Eight Most Overlooked Foodie Towns in the South – Bourbon & Boots.

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I pet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.




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