Posts Tagged ‘2013 Festival of Legal Learning

21
Feb
13

2.21.13 … labyrinthine evolution … “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious …

labyrinths, history, labyrinthine evolution, Loyola University Chicago: “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious … and why have a chosen this as my Lenten Practice two years in a row?

Simply put, eleven was seen as a stigmatized number from the time of Saint Augustine of Hippo and throughout much of the Middle Ages because it signified the fallen nature of humanity.  Eleven was perceived as equating to sin and dissonance with God, being one more than the Commandments yet one short of the Apostles.  Eleven, like humanity, was flawed.[3]  Despite this corrupted number, the enlarged labyrinths were geometrically perfect.  During the Middle Ages the cosmos, as a product of God, was seen as being without flaw and as such the circle symbolized divine unity for it has no beginning nor end.[4]

Having been enlarged to become perfectly circular, there was still one more significant alteration to labyrinths which made them entirely Christian, and that was the superimposition of the Cross.[5]  Around the year 900 CE, an otherwise nameless monk probably from the Benedictine monastery of Auxerre, ingeniously placed the cross within the confines of the labyrinth.[6]  He accomplished this by dividing the full circles into halves and quarters.

With its sinful eleven tracks and the incorporation of the Cross, the labyrinth in Western Europe not only looked Christian, but became truly Christian, symbolizing important aspects of the faith.[9]   When the labyrinth was finally put back into stone, the two regions which would build them most extensively would be found in Northern France and Northern and Central Italy. Click on either to find examples from each country!

via labyrinthine evolution: Loyola University Chicago.

pomegranates: Love pomegranates!

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via Uses of pomegranates

ailurophobia, The Cat-Hater’s Handbook, Tomi Ungerer, Brain Pickings:

I learned a new word … and I found two used copies, one for each of my favorite ailurophes!

An ailurophobe’s delight circa 1982

via The Cat-Hater’s Handbook: A Subversive Vintage Gem Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer | Brain Pickings.

Paula Broadwell, CharlotteObserver.com, local news:  Because I can drive by her house, I really hate this story … I feel sorry for her children and husband.  I feel sorry for her … Human beings do such stupid things.

Paula Broadwell’s promotion in the Army Reserves has been revoked by military officials because of the investigation into whether she might have been storing classified information at her Charlotte home without permission, according to a report Thursday by CNN.

Broadwell became a national figure last year after her affair with David Petraeus, director of the CIA and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, became public. Broadwell, 40, had co-authored a book on Petraeus.

CNN’s story says an unnamed military official said Broadwell’s promotion from major to lieutenant colonel, which had been approved last August, has been revoked until the investigation has been completed.

via Paula Broadwell’s promotion revoked, CNN says | CharlotteObserver.com.

MINI Backflip [Landed], YouTube:  I find myself holding my breath … even though I know the mini made it …

The French champion skier and stuntman Guerlain Chicherit took the death-defying backflip challenge and nailed it in the hills of Tignes, France. The Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV was modified enough to make the flip and land without falling apart. This is the first time a backflip such as this has been pulled off. 360 degrees in anything that heavy is a tall task. There is less of a chance I can do this myself,  jumping off a diving board.

via MINI Backflip [Landed] | Guerlain Chicherit | The Crosby Press – BETA

Wray Herbert,  order, disorder, chaos, creativity, good, evil:  God created the world out of chaos … so can we …

Vohs wanted first off to explore the effects of order and disorder on socially desirable behaviors, so in the first experiment she looked at healthy eating and charitable giving. These are both things that, by common agreement, are good. She recruited volunteers and, unknown to them, had some work in a tidy room and the others in a messy space. They filled out questionnaires that weren’t really relevant to the study, and afterward were given the opportunity to donate privately to charity — specifically, to help pay for toys and books that would be given to children. Then, as they were departing, they were offered the choice of an apple or chocolate.

The results were unambiguous. Those who had been working in an orderly workspace were more generous. Not only were they more likely to donate anything to the kids, collectively they donated more than twice as much money to the charity. They were also more likely to make the healthy food choice.

The results confirmed what Vohs had predicted. As described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, the volunteers who worked in the untidy room were much more creative overall, and they also produced more “highly creative” ideas. In other words, they were more likely to break away from tradition, order and convention in their thinking. In a third study, those in a messy environment were more likely to select an option labeled “new” over one labeled “classic” — further supporting the link between order and tradition, disorder and novel thinking.

Taken together, these findings challenge the well-entrenched view of order and disorder as too simplistic. It’s misleading to conclude that messiness promotes wild, harmful and morally suspect behavior, or that order leads to honesty and goodness. A more nuanced view would add that disorder also inspires breaking from tradition, which can lead to fresh insight, and that order is linked to playing it safe. Vohs concludes with the example of Albert Einstein, who famously quipped: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

via Wray Herbert: What a Mess: Chaos and Creativity.

U.S. Postal Service, clothing line, TIME.com:  It worries me that I know some folks that might actually buy and wear this …:)

Postal service workers may stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have style. Soon everyone will be able to dress like a postal worker seven days a week.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is launching a clothing and accessory line called “Rain Heat & Snow,” due out in department and specialty stores nationwide in 2014. According to a news release, the name is meant to signify resilience — inspired by the agency’s unofficial motto “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

via U.S. Postal Service to Launch Clothing Line | TIME.com.

kith/kin, restaurants,  Atlanta, Yahoo! News:  Reading this list is like walking down memory lane … with my dad.  I’ve actually never been to Greenwood … but I will add it to my list … all the others I have regularly frequented during my lifetime …

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta

As you might have guessed, Colonnade is best known for its Southern dishes. That means fried chicken, beef ribs, and chicken-fried steak. Then we hit the sides, and there are about 30 of them each day. From apple sauce to mac and cheese, and it wouldn’t be a Southern favorite if it didn’t have that staple, fried okra.

As is tradition in the South, a basket of yeast rolls and cornbread muffins comes with your meal. Also a tradition, the servers are well-trained and attentive, and the atmosphere is relaxing and positive.

The Varsity

61 North Ave., Atlanta

It’s nothing fancy, and part of the building standing today is the original structure. The food is addicting in a good sort of way. Naked dogs, burgers, onion rings, and frosted oranges — the menu is pretty simple, but nerve-racking when it comes time to make that decision.

“We are what we are,” said Gordon Muir, whose grandfather, Frank Gordy, opened the restaurant after going to school at nearby Georgia Tech. “The food hasn’t changed.”

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

224 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta

Mary Mac’s Tea Room represents the “old guard” of Atlanta’s restaurants, and they do it well. …

Like The Varsity, Mary Mac’s is one of those “must eat” places when in Atlanta. Unlike The Varsity, Mary Mac’s offers comfort food with fresh cooked vegetables, and that includes the likes of picked beets and something called pot liquor, which apparently is the droppings from all the cooking going on in the kitchen. The servers will bring you some so you can dip your cornbread or muffin in for a special treat.

At Mary Mac’s, there is a pencil on every table, and you fill out your own order. Is that tradition in the South?

Greenwood’s Restaurant

1087 Green St., Roswell

“Greenwood’s was doing farm-to-table before farm-to-table was cool,” stated Melissa Libby of the popular Atlanta blog Atlanta Dish.

via A Look at Some of the Oldest Restaurants Around Atlanta – Yahoo! News

President Obama, media, the liberal press, technology, POLITICO.com:  Just thought this an interesting read …

President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.

Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.

The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

via Behind the Curtain: Obama, the puppet master – POLITICO.com.

Obamacare layoffs:  I saw a nasty post on FB where an employer fired employees who had voted for Obama …

Firing workers based on political affiliation may land employers in hot water. “It’s possible that employees could have some protection under various laws that exist,” said Risa Lieberwitz, professor of labor and employment law at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Federal law offers fines and imprisonment for anyone who “intimidates, threatens, coerces” someone “for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, several employers sent notices to workers urging them to vote for Romney, or warning of potential problems if Obama won. Courts would have to determine whether such letters constitute “intimidation.” The Supreme Court specifically protected employers’ rights to distribute political information to workers in its Citizens United decision.

Retaliation for a vote may not qualify as intimidation. But employers who fire workers or cut their hours based on their vote could face additional legal threats from a few state and local laws, which specifically ban retaliating against employees based on their voting preferences.

via Obamacare Layoffs: Georgia Businessman Claims He Fired Workers Because Obama Won.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, law blogging, blawging:  Enjoyed this session … don’t like the term “blawging” …

Law Blogging in the 21st Century

Tamar R. Birckhead, Associate Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

You are an expert in your field and you’d like to start a legal blog. this session will explore how to use social media to establish your presence in the blogosphere.

Festival of Legal Learning.

kitchen islands, design, WSJ.com:  thinking about my next kitchen …

[D]

Once-concealed preliminaries to a formal dinner, food prep and cooking are now the main event. It’s part of the fun for guests to mingle around the hostess-chef and help out. In this context, the island becomes “a stage where you perform cooking in front of your friends,” says Elizabeth C. Cromley, author of “The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating and the Architecture of American Houses.”

“I call it the lighthouse,” says Joseph Tralongo, lead designer at Leeds Custom Design, in West Palm Beach, Fla. “When someone walks into the kitchen, they immediately gravitate towards leaning or touching or putting their stuff on the island. It’s like a law of nature.” And the island is a design element that helps balance interior space—especially in a big, open home. “It keeps everything in scale,” Mr. Tralongo says.

via Kitchen Islands Get More Built-In Appliances, Storage and Features – WSJ.com.

 

20
Feb
13

2.20.13 … diamond hydrangeas …

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

Well, nature played a funny trick on me today. It was absolutely perfect day this morning sunshine. The trick was but I did not realize how cold it was.
I walked with my friend Cheryl who I met at the labyrinth conference hosted by Avondale Presbyterian Church last April when Lauren Artress spoke. Cheryl and I have walked several times since we met.  She is supporting me in my quest to walk labyrinths during Lent. We walked last week, and again this week. We hope to walk again next week.
Cheryl had arrived a few minutes before I did.  When I entered the Sacred Garden, I immediately was drawn to the dead hydrangea bushes. Cheryl had already seen them.  These bushes were so beautiful all last summer and into the fall. They are one of the Southern flowering bushes that I love because my grandmother had two blue ones right next to her back door … great memories.
But these dead ones, and I mean really dead, were  absolutely gorgeous this morning because the dew/frost  had frozen as tiny droplets in the brown/dead flowers.  In the morning light the frozen droplets  looked like tiny diamonds.  I had never seen anything like it …
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As we approached the labyrinth,  we both noticed the same frozen droplets on a tree overlooking the labyrinth.  Cheryl and I talked a few minutes before walking. I realized that I had a great deal of angst surrounding events going on in my personal life. It was nice just to talk about them and then cathartic to give them up as I walked. I think it helped to express them out loud to another human being prior to walking. Thanks, Cheryl.
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After my walk, I commented  to Cheryl that I had learned several things about labyrinths this last week that I had not known before.  These include …
1. The first Christian labyrinth is in Algeria and was built around 400 BC. This I learned from the brochure at Sardis Baptist Church.  Here is  little info on that labyrinth for you:

Labyrinths—their history and their mystery—are featured in St. Anthony Messenger’s August cover story, “Labyrinths: The Inward Journey.” Author and labyrinth enthusiast Gerilyn Wartonick Herold writes of these spiral patterns and how they have aided the faith journeys of many Christians over the centuries. After July 20, the article will be found at: AmericanCatholic.org.

Labyrinths are not a new phenomenon. Archaeologists believe they date back 4,500 years, though no physical evidence survives. Different versions of the spiral pattern have been discovered in Egypt, India, Russia and Peru. The first Christian labyrinth, discovered in the fourth century Basilica of Reparatus in Orleansville, Algeria, contains the words “Sancta Eclesia” inscribed in the middle, indicating its use for religious purposes.

Labyrinths can vary greatly in design. The shapes range from circular to square, spade or octagonal. They may be simple or complex and span from 13 to 44 feet. All are designed with a single meandering path that leads to the center.

This journey inward appeals to many people. Julie McAfee, a nondenominational Christian, has grown quite fond of walking labyrinths. “The labyrinth really gives me a sense of God,” she says. “The message for me is that God is present.”

via American Catholic | Press Room | Labyrinths: Exploring Their History and Mystery.

2. Mini – Chartres labyrinths, of which there are many, have two circuits that are 360° circuit. A true  Chartres has no is no circuit longer than 180°.  It’s very interesting,  and I think goes to my dissatisfaction walking the mini –  Chartres  because they go  too fast,  and if you can have a long circuit like that then it quickens your pace noticeably.
The walk was great and so far I am enjoying my daily walks.
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Blessings!

NASA, International Space Station, Astronaut  Tom Marshburn:  Oh, no ….

Communication was restored less than three hours later, Byerly said”Weve got our command and control back,” he said.Station commander Kevin Ford was able to briefly radio Moscow while the station was flying over Russia.Normally, NASA communicates with and sends commands to the station from Houston, via three communications satellites that transmit voice, video and data. Such interruptions have happened a few times in the past, the space agency said.If there is no crisis going on, losing communication with the ground “is not a terrible thing,” said former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who was on the Russian space station Mir during a dangerous fire in 1997. “You feel pretty confident up there that you can handle it. Youre flying the spacecraft.”Not only should this boost the confidence of the station crew, its good training for any eventual mission to Mars because there will be times when communications is down or difficult during the much farther voyage, Linenger said.In the past few weeks the space station had been purposely simulating communications delays and downtimes to see how activity could work for a future Mars mission, Byerly said. This was not part of those tests, but may prove useful, he said.

via NASA & International Space Station Regain Contact, Officials Say.

exercise, WSJ.com:  I knew there was a reason …

Hard-Wired to Hate Exercise? – WSJ.com.

street paving, random, technology:  When we lived in Wilmette, the village redid our street, i.e., they took up all the original brick, dug down six feet, replaced all the sewer and water pipes, then relayed the original brick street.  It took 5 months … I wonder if this machine could have helped?

STREET PAVING: A ‘Tiger-Stone’ paved a road in IJmuiden, Netherlands, Tuesday. The Dutch-made machine uses gravity and an electric motor to lay stone and brick roads and is capable of laying 300 square meters (about 360 square yards) of road a day.

via Photos of the Day: Feb. 19 – WSJ.com.

Tolstoy, quotes, families:

…  old quote from Tolstoy: Happy families are all alike. Unhappy families have kids under five or teenagers.

via Explore – This reminds me of the old quote from Tolstoy:….

CIA, Cyber war,  Amanpour, CNN.com:  It is scary how vulnerable we are …

Sanger and two colleagues reported in the New York Times on Tuesday that a secretive unit of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military, is responsible for most of the many Chinese cyber attacks on U.S. corporations and infrastructure.“This is, diplomatically, I think one of the most complicated problems out there,” Sanger said. “The fact that your adversary would know that you could get into their systems and turn them on or off at any time – whether it was cell phones or air traffic control or whatever – might well affect your future behavior. So it doesn’t mean that they’re going to do it, or there’s out-and-out war, but it does mean that they have a capability to do this by remote control.” The New York Times reported last month that the newspaper was the victim of Chinese hackers – brought on, they believe, by a report on the finances of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.An internet security firm hired by the paper to investigate that attack has released a new report on Chinese hacking, and that report alleges the deep involvement of the Chinese military.In fact, the security company, Mandiant, says that the attacks originate from a single 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai.“It’s got thousands of people working in it,” Sanger said. His colleague, David Barboza visited the site, but was not allowed inside.The Chinese government hotly denies all the allegations in the Mandiant report, calling them “baseless,” “irresponsible and unprofessional.”“If it’s not coming from this building,” Sanger said, “then you’ve got to believe it’s coming from the noodle shops and restaurants that surround this building.”Chad Sweet, a former CIA and Homeland Security official who now runs his own global security firm, said that the standoff between the U.S. and China envisages a bleak future.“We’re essentially facing a new Cold War – a cyber Cold War,” he told Amanpour. “The destructive capacity is equal to that of a nuclear warhead… But what makes it more sinister than the nuclear age is that there’s no easily identifiable plume.”In other words, it is very difficult to attribute a cyber attack to a source or exact retribution.

via Fmr. CIA official: Cyber war ‘more sinister than nuclear age’ – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs.

George Orwell, writing, motivation, creation, Brain Pickings: Why do you write?

I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

(i) Sheer egoism. …

(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. …

(iii) Historical impulse. …

(iv) Political purpose. …

It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.

via Why I Write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation | Brain Pickings.

Palace Malice,  Dogwood Farms, Derby Fever:  Always fun to have a horse to watch …

Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.20 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center Sunday morning in preparation for his upcoming appearance in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the move has Dogwood president Cot Campbell looking ebulliently forward to the final local prep for the 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30.

“I’m a New Orleans boy – I was born there and it’s going to be great coming back there,” said Campbell, speaking from his South Carolina headquarters. “I also came back there in the early ‘50s to work for an advertising agency there, but I haven’t been back for a few years now. We’ll have about seven people in our party besides me and we’ll be getting in Friday morning. It’s a wonderful town with a wonderful race track and a lot of wonderful people live there.

“We’re starting to get into a very exciting time of year,” said Campbell. “With all the Kentucky Derby preps coming up around the country everybody in the nation starts to get interested in horse racing and I think that’s a wonderful thing for our sport.

via Sunday Notes: Palace Malice Giving Dogwood Derby Fever | Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Louisville, Ohio River, NYTimes.com:  Interesting that this bridge story was significant enough to merit coverage by the NYT …

Although friction about some aspects of the project still reverberates, including over its tolls and environmental impact, construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the two new bridges linking Kentucky and southern Indiana are expected to open in 2016.

“If we didn’t build this, we would become the bottleneck for the Southeastern United States,” said Chad Carlton, the project spokesman. “We think it could become the shape of things to come for infrastructure across Middle America.”

About $1 billion of the project will be financed by the two states, mostly through gas taxes. There is some federal support, although not much, reflecting a nationwide trend of dwindling federal money for state transportation projects. Tolls over the next 40 years are expected to generate around $10 billion.

“There’s not a major bridge project in the country that doesn’t involve the use of tolls and other creative financing mechanisms,” Gov. Steven L. Beshear of Kentucky said in an interview. “The project will employ thousands, and it’s going to let the metropolitan areas of Kentucky and southern Indiana grow much faster and help jobs grow much faster.”

The project comes at a time when some cities are moving in the opposite direction, dismantling downtown bridges and expressways in favor of public transportation.

Hank V. Savitch, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, said that while some cities were shifting away from accommodating cars, Louisville’s project signaled a declaration of faith in suburban-style growth.

via Like the Ohio River, a Bridge Project Divides a Community – NYTimes.com.

man’s best friend, YouTube, LOL: 🙂

you will love this dog – YouTube.

internet addiction, the Mail Online:  The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site … what makes theMail online the most “ruthlessly addictive site?

During the average workday, I allow myself to take a couple “Internet breaks,” little bursts of Tumblr and Gawker and other forms of web candy that tug at my attention span like a needy kid. There’s one web threshold I never step over on a weekday, though: the Mail Online. The online outlet of the British tabloid is a one-way ticket to an hours-long surfing spree of celebrity gossip and moral outrage. It’s not web candy–this is web crack.

via 4 Lessons From The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

mobile phones, sleep:  Guilty …

Most people who own iPhones use them as their alarm clock — making it all too easy to check email one last time before falling asleep and hard to ever feel unplugged from work and social networks.

Several years ago my boss, Arianna Huffington, passed out from exhaustion after staying up late to catch up on work. She banged her head on the way down and ended up with five stitches — and became what she calls a “sleep evangelist.” Now she leaves her phone charging in another room when she goes to bed and encourages friends to do the same.

“I sent all my friends the same Christmas gift — a Pottery Barn alarm clock — so they could stop using the excuse that they needed their very tempting iPhone by their bed to wake them up in the morning,” she said.

via How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep (INFOGRAPHIC).

Downton Abbey:  🙂  Personally, I think we all would look a little better in Edwardian garb …

Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham)

Hugh Bonneville looks a lot more relaxed when he’s not in character as “Downton’s” Lord Grantham. Maybe that Edwardian ascot is tied a little too tight.

C S Lewis, Narnia, Speakeasy: Some interesting thoughts on CS Lewis …

C.S. Lewis’s death was – understandably – overshadowed because it happened on the same day as one of the most traumatic events of the last century, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Lewis is a good case of someone who hasn’t been well served by some of his admirers: we can get the false impression that he is of interest only to a particular kind of conservative Christian.  When I admitted to some of my friends that I was publishing a book about Lewis, there were some raised eyebrows: wasn’t he a misogynist/fundamentalist/ homophobe?  Didn’t his books reinforce a cerebral and narrow dogmatism?  Isn’t he at best just a bit too – well, English and tweedy?

At the heart of his thinking and writing, both in his imaginative books of fiction and in his more concept-heavy works, lies one recurring theme.  We are so successful in telling ourselves stories about ourselves that it takes a major revolution to expose us fully to the truth.  And we are so successful at conjuring and nourishing our own pictures of what makes us happy that we miss actual joy when it taps us on the shoulder.  I can’t think of any other modern religious writer who diagnoses so accurately our habits of self-deception.  Two of his works, “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce” analyze ruthlessly what it might be like to be stuck in a position of systematic denial of reality – being forever incapable of seeing what’s in front of our noses.  This is Hell, says Lewis.  But his genius is to make this analysis memorably comic as well as tragic.

Here and in other works (including the three science fiction novels he wrote), the target is often the idea that we could live in a totally managed world.  Long before the ecological crisis was recognized, he castigated those who thought of “colonizing” space so that we needn’t worry about polluting and exhausting the earth’s resources.  He presents a world where animals and humans actually talk to each other, where community extends to the whole environment – and a world where death is not the worst thing that can happen.  We love the world best when we know we can’t ‘have’ it for ever for ourselves – something that St Augustine and Shakespeare would have understood perfectly – not to mention Czeslaw Milosz, with his book, “Proud to be a Mammal.”

That’s part of what makes Lewis more than a knee-jerk modern conservative – that richly skeptical and amused perspective, resting on deep cultural reserves which teach us that the world is both wonderful and fragile.  Deny this and you lose all chance of enjoying your real humanity.  Lewis’s God wants us to be spiritually settled as physical beings, not to think either that all our important hopes are material or that we just need to get through earth quickly so as to get to Heaven sooner.

Sit light, then, to some of the 1940’s or 1950’s attitudes – though he is no worse than most and better than many in much of what he writes about women or even gay people.  His world is both a lighter and also a more morally challenging one than a lot of what we find in religious writing, liberal or conservative, these days.  He is still able to reacquaint us with the meaning of joy and the strange excitement of honesty.

via Why You Can’t Get to Narnia By Turning Left or Right – Speakeasy – WSJ.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards:  All the reasons not to be … in one hour …

Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards

Marty Martin, Martin Law Firm

Nonprofit boards are in the news because of high profile failures with nonprofit boards of directors and management. Lawyers frequently are asked to serve on nonprofit boards of directors, but with limited substantive background in the law related to nonprofit organizations. Using a case study, the class will discuss legal and ethical issues that confront the lawyer serving on a nonprofit board of directors.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

mobile phones, unlimited phone plan, Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD:  Every member of my family has an iPhone … I might as well give AT&T my first child … I would love options …

A typical smartphone costs around $200, but it’s usually shackled to a two-year contract that often costs $70 or more monthly and includes limits on data consumption, voice minutes and texts. Even prepaid smartphones, without a contract, can cost $30 to $50 a month and carry limits.But I’ve been testing an Android smartphone from an upstart carrier that charges just $19 a month for unlimited data, voice and texts—with no contract. That’s right: $19 a month, unlimited.Motorola’s Defy XT is the only phone that works with Republic’s network.This carrier is called Republic Wireless, a private firm in Raleigh, N.C., which launched its service in December. The sole phone that works with the company’s technology is a Motorola model, the Defy XT. The phone costs $249—partly to help offset the low monthly price.

via For $19, An Unlimited Phone Plan, Some Flaws – Walt Mossberg – Personal Technology – AllThingsD.

Cynaps, Thrillist Nation:  I like this one.  But I don’t wear hats …

CynapsBone-conducting headphones discreetly hidden in a hat

via Cynaps – Own – Thrillist Nation.

 

LOL:

Whew, scientific proof. What a relief to learn this !

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was ? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

Thank goodness for studies like this. It’s not our age, it’s that damn door !

Antarctic penguins,  New Zealand:  Awww ..

The original "Happy Feet" ready for release aboard The New Zealand research vessel Tangaroa in Aug. 2011.

Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’

via Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’ : The Two-Way : NPR.

millionaires, philanthropy, The Technology Chronicles, disease, cure, kudos: You rock, nerds!

A group of tech and investment luminaries gathered on Wednesday to announce the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, a competition for the biology research community to develop cures to the world’s toughest diseases and solve the life science’s most complicated problems.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Art Levinson, chairman of both Apple and Genentech, Anne Wojcicki, genetic mapping startup 23andMe co-founder (and wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin) and investment guru Yuri Milner sat alongside one another to announce the new $3 million cash prizes.

via Tech heavyweights announce million dollar prizes for curing diseases | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog.

Mophie Juice Pack Helium,  iPhone 5, TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Unfortunately, I need one …

During the time that I owned my iPhone 4 and 4S, those phones spent most of their lives in a Mophie Juice Pack Air. That battery pack got me through some of those scary situations where I had spent a couple of hours geocaching, making calls and sending texts, only to find that I was down to 5 percent of charge capacity and was nowhere near a power outlet. So when the iPhone 5 came out last fall, my first thought for a case was a Mophie product. It took a few months, but now the Mophie Juice Pack Helium (US$79.95) is available to protect and power the iPhone 5.

via Review: Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Bottles Up Glass Water Bottle, design:  It’s a water bottle,  stupid … but a very pretty one … $34.95 at Amazon …

it’s art.

Our challenge was to blend beauty + utility. We’ve created an everyday object that combines the magic and clarity of glass with sophisticated, practical design.

via BottlesUp Glass – Your Reusable Glass Bottle Resource – Reusable Water Bottles.

Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander MD, consciousness, Life Beyond Death:  I read his book … very interesting …

Can science and spirituality co-exist? Are we more than we appear to be in this physical universe? Does any part of us survive death? Is there a God? Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Proof of Heaven, was certain the answer to these questions was “No,” until something he had thought was impossible happened to him: a transcendental Near-Death Experience.  While in a near-fatal coma in 2008, Dr. Alexander entered a realm of unconditional love and profound awareness of the nature of the universe, populated by angelic beings and a resonant, omnipotent and omniscient presence that he called “Om” (and whom many would call God). This radiant state of total acceptance of who we are, says Dr. Alexander, is our birthright, and we can tap into it from this earthly plane. Now fully recovered and determined to share his experience with the world, Dr. Alexander offers this four-part online course, the first of its kind, courtesy of Sounds True.

via Next Steps in the Proof of Heaven: Delving into the Mysteries of Consciousness | Life Beyond Death.

19
Feb
13

2.19.13 … unpacking …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Davidson College Labyrinth and Peace Garden, Hobart Park, Proverbs, unpacking:

Prior to my walk,  I had a soup and salad with Molly at the Soda Shop.  The soup was not so hot but Molly’s caramel milkshake was divine.  She was right to quip, “It’s not like the Soda Shop is known for its soup.”  It was fun to see how things are different on the one hand,  yet how much they are the same on the other.   Molly  seems to love it here, as do most of her friends. I am joyful for that.
Who doesn’t like to hear the bell on college campus. 🙂 Right before I began my walk, I heard the college’s bells ring 3 o’clock, and as I was finishing up, I heard the bells ring 3:15.
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As I walked, it really struck me how clean the labyrinth was today. The landscapers must have come and blown it clean right before I walked. Not a leaf on the labyrinth.
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IMG_5876 IMG_5872 IMG_5874
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IMG_5885  IMG_5892 IMG_5878
My mind  today focused  on the Tuesday Morning Bible Study Class that I had just attended at First  Presbyterian Church. We are studying Proverbs,  and this week we focused on Proverbs 1-9. My group is very insightful,  and Kirk Hall is unbelievable in leading us through this very deep book.  We “unpack” the material. I laugh because Kirk repeatedly tells us that we are going to have to unpack a passage, a  phrase or a word. My generation, and oh how I hate to  say my generation, does not use that term “unpack.” It always strikes me as funny. When I unpack, I take how what I used, and note what I have taken unnecessarily,  hoping to learn from my mistakes … I wonder what Kirk means when he says “unpack.”
This was my favorite passage from Proverbs 3 that we unpacked today.
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

Now that I have finished my walk … and announced it to the world by striking the gong …

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I returned to Charlotte, did some shopping and then went home for a long nap with my two puppies and one cat.
Blessings

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, Recent Developments in Internet Law:  There’s a lot to watch out for …

Recent Developments in Internet Law

David W. Sar, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard; and Marcus W. Trathen, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard

The law struggles to keep pace with developments in internet technology and online business models. This session will review the most significant recent developments in internet law, including online video, privacy, data security, trademarks, copyrights and cyberliability. the session is relevant to both litigators and transactional lawyers.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

Jane Austen, quotes, juvenilia — Jack and Alice.

In spite of the wine she had been drinking, poor Alice was uncommonly out of spirits; she could think of nothing but Charles Adams, she could talk of nothing but him, & in short spoke so openly that Lady Williams soon discovered the unreturned affection she bore him, which excited her Pity & Compassion so strongly that she addressed her in the following Manner.

via Jane Austen’s Writings — Jack and Alice.

Twitter, favorites:

The White House (@whitehouse)

2/18/13, 6:30 PM

In honor of his birthday, see George Washington like never before with the @googleart project: at.wh.gov/hPtFA pic.twitter.com/CETCRqPj

A New Way to Tour the White House – YouTube.

Maria Popova (@brainpicker)

2/18/13, 6:40 PM

For President’s Day, a brief animated history of how the American Presidency was invented j.mp/135i3DG

via Inventing the American presidency – Kenneth C. Davis – YouTube.

Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost)

2/18/13, 5:50 PM

Jon Stewart calls out CNN‘s coverage of the Carnival Triumph huff.to/12KxCR1

“CNN has been on the case, for some reason giving this boat crisis wall-to-shit-covered-wall coverage,” Stewart opined, before rolling a clip of a CNN anchor showing a young girl on the ship waving to her mother via the TV cameras.

“You’re not heroes, guys,” Stewart said, referring to CNN. “It’s not a hostage situation or a baby in a well. You reconnected them? They weren’t supposed to see each other. They were on a cruise for a few days.”

via Jon Stewart Calls Out CNN’s Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Coverage: ‘You’re Not Heroes’ (VIDEO).

USA TODAY College (@USATODAYcollege)

2/18/13, 5:56 PM

5 ‘feminist’ colleges and what it’s like to attend them – usat.ly/VrKI5F

“We all come to MHC learning [that] our job as MHC students is to make history in our field and eventually become influential women,” Libby, a junior at Mount Holyoke, says.

From a women’s leadership center to their feminist a cappella group Nice Shoes — whose repertoire includes female empowerment songs — MHC graduates strong, activist women.

“After going to [an all-girls high school] I needed a feminist institution. I needed a college that supported women and their power,” Libby says.

via What it’s like to attend one of 5 “feminist” colleges | USA TODAY College.

Cali Lewis (@CaliLewis)

2/18/13, 5:58 PM

How to backup your data from the cloud with Google Takeout – geekbeat.tv/takeout

Travel + Leisure (@TravlandLeisure)

2/18/13, 6:00 PM

The top travel sites and apps: @Pintrips, @SeatGuru, @TingoTeam, @BackBid and more from @orwoll on @todayshow. Watch: tandl.me/XEcDOv

RunwayForTheBallet (@RunwayBallet)

2/18/13, 5:31 PM

Here is it is peeps…the ONLY chance you have to win FREE VIP tix for #runwayfortheballet w/ @CharlotteMag. Enter now! charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Maga…

Join them for an exciting blend of fashion and dance benefitting NC Dance Theatre. Mingle and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Luce and libations while experiencing a runway show featuring the hottest looks from Macy’s.

via Runway for the Ballet Contest – Charlotte, NC.

Jeff Elder (@JeffElder)

2/18/13, 6:11 PM

“It was like God was on the radio.” – My mom on growing up with FDR president.

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/18/13, 6:13 PM

Was ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Inspired by Jane Austen’s First Love? – Speakeasy – WSJ (This is news?) #Pandp200 blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013…

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/18/13, 6:14 PM

‘The Real Jane Austen,’ by Paula Byrne – NYTimes.com #JaneAusten nytimes.com/2013/02/17/boo…

Maria Popova (@brainpicker)

2/18/13, 6:20 PM

This is lovely: @debbiemillman interprets the Second Amendment in a new series of posters against gun violence j.mp/135aw7U

The Gun Show | An Eye For An Eye by Laura Worrick.

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/18/13, 6:28 PM

Enter 2 win a copy of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. Ends Feb 21. #JaneAusten #PandP200 #giveaways goodreads.com/book/show/1584…

Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday)

2/16/13, 2:38 PM

Kramer invents a reverse SodaStream to take carbonation out of fizzy drinks. J: “Just leave the bottle open!” K:”You don’t get it, Jerry!”

17
Feb
13

2.17.13 … I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year …

Charlotte, snow:  I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year.

photo

photo 2 photo 1   photo 3

photo 4 photo 5

history, Lent: So, I am a Pharisee now …

Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Don’t act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.”

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up ones strength and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Josephs Day March 19 and the Annunciation March 25, one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Dont act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.” Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

Wonder what it says about FB that so many people are abstaining from it for Lent?

and one of his friend’s comment …

I’m Betting they cheat and look ..just not commenting.

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.

via Daily Meditation: Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us.

Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being – this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead.

My goal for Lent is to remember this death, and to meditate on it in reverence, humility, and mystery. And to reflect not on the God who rules by power, but a god who leads by love; who identifies with the weak; whose foolishness upsets omniscience; a God who reveals Himself in many ways, who reveals Himself in a first century peasant named Jesus; a God who empties Himself of God, and offers Himself to his enemies in submission and servitude; who is concerned with the plight of widows and orphans, the least among us, and the disadvantaged; who sends Jesus to go after the marginalized and the misunderstood, and to bring back home again those who have been ostracized and forgotten.

I am giving up God for Lent to make room for God. I am prying open my fingers, and letting all of my theological idols crash to the ground. And I am lifting up my empty hands to Heaven in anticipation of God’s arrival, and quietly echoing the unsettling words of Meister Eckhart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

Kneeling in Jerusalem,  Ann Weems, Lent:  Ann Weems’ book  Kneeling in Jerusalem is a great resource during Lent.

LENT

Lent is a time to take the time

to let the power of our faith story take hold of us,

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

a time place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea and listen to his word,

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

a time to ponder and a time to wonder . . .

Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God!

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

clergywear, pastors, stoles, FPC-Charlotte, Lent,  fyi:

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

Of all the questions I have received since arriving as your pastor last September, the most popular has been about what we wear on Sunday during worship.

The name for what we wear around our necks is a “stole.” Stoles are worn by the clergy of many denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

The shape of a stole is reminiscent of a yoke that symbolizes the yoke of Christ, which reminds those of us who wear the stole (and those who see us wearing it) of whom we serve. Stoles are a symbol of ordained ministry – and are often given as gifts to a pastor on his or her ordination to service in the Church.

You may have noticed that the stoles we wear even change colors! The color of our stoles follows the season of the Christian year: purple in Advent and Lent, white in Christmas and Easter, green in ordinary times, and red in Pentecost.

You’ll also notice that the color of our stoles coordinates with the materials that cover both the pulpit and the communion table. These materials are called “paraments.”

Christians follow a different calendar – defined by our salvation history – because as we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are called to live a different kind of life.

Finally, most of your pastors’ stoles have a story – about where they were made or by whom they were given. Feel free to ask us about them sometime!

Pen

source: FirstNews

Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago Forum, bucket list: Thank you CCP for sharing this one.  One day …

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

architecture, I.M. Pei, Gateway Towers, Singapore, optical illusion, Wired.com:  strangely two-dimensional …

Gateway

Gateway Towers, Singapore

Completed in 1990, the trapezoidal shape of I.M. Pei’s Gateway Towers in Singapore create an optical illusion when viewed from certain angles — the 37-story office buildings appear strangely two-dimensional.

via Wired’s Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture | Wired Design | Wired.com.

uncreative writing, language, Digital Age, Brain Pickings:  subversive ..

The rest of Uncreative Writing goes on to explore the history of appropriation in art, the emerging interchangeability between words and images in digital culture, the challenges of defining one’s identity in the vastness of the online environment, and many other pressing facets of what it means to be a writer — or, even more broadly, a creator — in the age of the internet. Complement it with the equally subversive How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

via Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings.

art, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brain Pickings, 

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

Letters From Father Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas books that I shared with my children …  and to a large extent because of Tolkien’s whimsical drawings, I know I would love this edition of The Hobbit.

A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history’s greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer — a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

via Letters From Father Christmas: J.R.R. Tolkien: 0046442512657: Amazon.com: Books.

Obamacare, Uninsurables Program: I thought this was one of the good things about ObamaCare … 😦

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.

“From the beginning (the administration) has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”

via Obamacare ‘Uninsurables’ Program Quietly Winds Down As Funding Dries Up.

news, journalism, mobile journalism, end of an era, Poynter;  “News needs to solve problems” hmmm … ” We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.”

4. News needs to solve problems

A study by Flurry in November found that the news category only accounts for 2 percent of total time spent on mobile apps. Social apps gobble up 26 percent. Facebook alone accounts for 23 percent of all time spent with mobile apps, according to Comscore in December. That beats every news organization’s app combined by a long shot.

As Facebook (and Twitter) grow in time spent – and since both are populated with plenty of news – they’re increasingly competitive with news organizations’ mobile experiences by sheer volume.

As a result, simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

“The key insight from thinking about your business this way is that it is the job, and not the customer or the product, that should be the fundamental unit of analysis,” said Clayton Christensen, David Skok and James Allworth in a Nieman report. “This applies to news as much as it does to any other service.”

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself,” explains Y Combinator’s Paul Graham. “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.”

via 5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago | Poynter..

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Confirmation Process: One of my favorite lectures.  The speaker was a little dry, but I learned a great deal about the confirmation process from nomination to confirmation, vetting both by the White House and the Senate, the role of public relations and media, etc.  Once again, I have confirmed that I am a nerd.

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

Michael J. Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Law and Government, UNC School of Law

this session will explore the nuances of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. The speaker has significant experience in this arena. He advised several senators on the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel Alito Jr., and served as Special Counsel to Chair Patrick Leahy (D-vt.) as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning,  Student Athletes, Penn State, caveat emptor:  You should always be ticked when the presenter starts off telling you that there will be very little about Penn State despite the fact that it is in the title.

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

Barbara J. Osborne, Associate Professor, UNC Department of Exercise & Sport Science

this session will explain the 2012 U.S. Department of education’s Sexual violence guidance. Institutional liability will be discussed using recent situations involving student-athletes at the high school and college level, as well as the Office of Civil Rights’ complaint against Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Festival of Legal Learning.

Life With Dogs: Thank you, EWP,  for sharing this  Life With Dogs’s photo …

this is like one of those old-fashioned fox stoles that my grandmothers used to wear – EWP

Find Rufus Competition, corgies, visitlondon.com:  What is it with the Brits and corgies?

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

For your chance to win a romantic trip to London, use the clues to find Rufus in the map below. Remember, he’s only a little dog, so you might need to zoom in!

via Now See It For Yourself – Find Rufus Competition – visitlondon.com.

translation apps,  Google App,  NYTimes.com:  My husband downloaded an arabic translation app for his next trip to Kuwait.  We’ll see how that goes …

I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf and mute?The answer: yes, though knowing your way around it in advance will help. (United Nations interpreters need not fear for their jobs, at least not yet.) Here, then, are my tips, learned the hard way….

Pantomiming and phrasebooks have always worked for you in the past, and are more fun anyway? I hear you. But even if you want to stay old-school, the world is moving on without you. At least once a day during my trip, the Chinese broke out their own translation apps before I had a chance to break out mine. In other words, this train has already left the station. Or, to pick a cliché more appropriate to my trip, you don’t want to miss the boat.

via Lost in Translation? Try a Google App – NYTimes.com.

Carnival Cruise, Triumph Failure, Total PR Fiasco, bathrobes, twitter:  They may have tweeted too fast … bathrobe fiasco!

They may have been stranded aboard a busted cruise ship for five days with little food, broken sewage systems and no heat or air conditioning, but at least they’ll get to keep the bathrobe.

On Friday morning, as more than 3,000 tired and dirty customers finally disembarked from the stranded cruise ship Triumph, @CarnivalCruise tweeted, “Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.”

It was a remarkably tone-deaf finish to a week-long public relations fiasco that began Sunday night when an engine fire crippled the Caribbean-bound ship and set it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop news coverage and social media chatter brought the public vivid images of the fetid conditions aboard the Triumph. Reports from passengers included details about overflowing toilets, hours-long waits to get food and flooded rooms during the five days they were stranded at sea.

via Carnival Cruise Tells Passengers They Can Keep The Bathrobes In Total PR Fiasco.

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers, kith/kin, high school, Westminster Schools, memories, Brain Pickings: I had a friend in high school who got a hold of this.  I never laughed so hard as I did one night … Can anyone guess who possessed this “pamphlet”?

Between Edison’s scandalous footage of the first kiss in cinema in 1896 and Bill Plympton’s quirky animated guide to kissing a century later, the public image of lip-locking underwent some radical transformations. In 1936, the year my grandmother was born, a man named Hugh Morris penned a small illustrated pamphlet titled The Art of Kissing (public library), in which he guided young lovers through the techniques, tricks, and “approved methods of kissing,” including such varieties as “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss,” as well as tips on how to prepare for a kiss and how to approach a girl. Delightfully dated in its assumptions about love, heterosexuality, and marriage, it’s as much a charming time-capsule of a bygone era as it is a sure source of a good chuckle.

THE ‘VACUUM’ KISS

Here you start off by first opening your mouth a trifle just after you have been resting peacefully with closed lips. Indicate to your partner, by brushing her teeth with the tip of your tongue, that you wish for her to do likewise. The moment she responds, instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation, your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In this fashion, in a very short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be the sort of pain that is highly pleasurable. That may sound odd, but nevertheless it is a fact. Pain becomes so excruciating as to become pleasurable.

via The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers | Brain Pickings.

Valentine’s Day memes, follow-up:  Since I was off FB for VD … I enjoyed a belated FB experience this morning.  Some are nice … some,  not so nice …

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Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day gift, StoryCorps:  I think I’ll suggest this one to my husband for next year.  LOL

Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Grab your sweetheart and head to StoryCorps at the AHC to record your love story! Appointments are available this Saturday! http://ow.ly/hHctG

StoryCorps is pleased to be in partnership with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta.

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

via About Us | StoryCorps.

Downton Abbey, The Dowager Countess, quotes, LOL: : )

‎”I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.”

Georgia, Yumion – the Vidalia Onion, Vidalia GA, kitschy, corporate mascots:  I must admit, I would go out of my way to see Yumion … I have done so to see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and the Famous Idaho® Potato Truck …

Explore Georgia

Be sure to look for Yumion, the Vidalia Onion, when you visit Vidalia, Georgia! http://budurl.com/Vidalia

Tiffanys,  Costco, knockoffs, retail, knockoffs, icons, iconic jewelry, blue boxes, diamond rings,  ABC News:  If I were a bride, I’d be ticked …

Speaking of retail, a wild story. A big fight between tiffany’s and costco. Tiffany’s wants the big box store to knock off the knockoffs, selling fake versions of its iconic jewelry.

Here’s abc’s tanya rivero. Reporter: It’s the little blue box, versus the big box retailer. On valentine’s day, as lovers everywhere snuggled,iffany and co.

Slapped costco with a lawsuit. These pictures allegedly show tiffany koffs inside a california costco. Tiffany sent someone in, bought one of the rings.

They were not made by tiffany. They are not tiffany rings. They have nothing to do with tiffany.

Reporter: Being sold at a fraction of what real tiffany rings cost. Everybody would love a deal on a tiffany ring. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

Tiffany diamonds are never on sale. Reporter: Tiffany alleges costco had been selling the fakes for years. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of engagement rings were sold using the tiffany trademark.

Reporter: A rep for costco told abc news, we will be making no comment on this story as it involves pending litigation. Court papers say an unnamed consumer blew the whistle, contacting a tiffany store to complain. She was offended by the fact that tiffany would be selling engagement rings in costco.

In this particular case, there’s enormous room for confusion among consumers because costco does sell a of big brands at deep discounts. Reporter: Shoppers at tiffany’s flagship store weighed in. You think you’re buying into a brand.

And you find out it’s a rip-off. When you buy a tiffany diamond, you’re buying into the row mant schism and there’s only one place to get it. Costco has removed all tiffany labels.

But tiffany is a suing for additional mary damages. And whether customers will sue remains to be seen. If you have any doubt about a tiffany’s item you own, you can bring it into a tiffany’s store.

They’ll tell you if it’s the real thing. Diamonds are never on sale.

via Tiffanys Battles Costco Over Knock Off Diamond Rings | Video – ABC News.

 weddings,  trends, gold, The Huffington Post:  I am pretty traditional … but  I really like the gold …

Beyond emerald and yellow, one of the fastest growing color trends this year in weddings is gold. For a while, gold had become passé as platinum gained in popularity and silver made a resurgence. However, gold is back, and here to stay. With sequins so popular (we’re on board!), and because this color can be paired with so many options from pink to black and white, all that glitters is GOLD for 2013.

With the help of patterns and rose gold, check out our favorite golden wedding ideas in the gallery.

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

Twitter, David Boreanaz, Playmobil, adult play, random: So if I were to create a scene using playmobil figures, what would I create?

You see my photo!!!! Playmobil Bones!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Zb55U6pA

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random:

VALUE9.com India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

The Marine Corps on Friday unveiled their future mascot. If all goes as planned, Chesty the Recruit will become Private First Class Chesty XIV later this year, replacing Sgt Chesty XIII.

Chesty XIII became one of the most storied dogs in the long history of Marine Corps mascots when he faced off last year with Bravo, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s golden retriever.

As chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, the growling confrontation earned Chesty a promotion to Sergeant and raised the bulldog’s reputation among many of the enlisted and officers at the Marine Corps barracks. But it didn’t sit too well with some of the officer’s wives.

Some of the women viewed Chesty the XIII as crotchety and ill-mannered to guests. (Check out the video here.)

The Marines rolled out the red carpet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thursday night at the Home of the Commandants at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks. Bonnie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, met the latest Chesty Thursday night.

via Marines Roll Out Red Carpet for Chesty the Recruit – Washington Wire – WSJ.

short stories, literary genres, publishing, book industry, NYTimes.com.

The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.

Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.

“It is the culmination of a trend we have seen building for five years,” said Cal Morgan, the editorial director of Harper Perennial Originals, who until last year ran a blog called Fifty-Two Stories, devoted to short fiction. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers very engaged in experimentation.”

via A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling – NYTimes.com.

16
Feb
13

2.16.13 … Rainy days. Rainy nights …

Rainy days, Washington Street, lyrics:  Woke up to rain and thought of this tune …

Rainy days. Rainy nights.

Rain falls down and covers the city

 

It falls from fabulous heights.

Covers the streets with its sparkling skin.

via Laurie Anderson – Washington Street Lyrics.

I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster, graphics, icons, Michael Glaser, Fab.com:  I like the original and I think the new one works, too!

via Fab.com | I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster.

President Obama, twitter, I spy:  I love this picture and I think this is a great use of twitter and media.

Twitter / BarackObama: I spy… http://t.co/5KEpqgbA.

Rep. Cohen, Twitter exchange, privacy, public figures,  Rep. Anthony Weiner, SFGate: … salacious …  first: an older elected official tweeted “ilu” to a 24 year old and this is by definition “salacious.”  Thank you, Anthony Weiner.  second: the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner … did the TN Republican Party and its executive director apologize, and  did the TN Republican Party fire their executive director?   This story is worthy of journalistic pursuit …but I think the TN Republican Party’s action are reprehensible.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has revealed he’s the father of the 24-year-old Texas woman he was communicating with on Twitter during the State of the Union in an exchange that led some people to jump to a different conclusion.

Cohen, who has never been married, said Friday that he decided to publicly acknowledge Victoria Brink as his daughter after bloggers and the media tried to make the exchanges appear salacious. Cohen’s message to Brink included a Twitter abbreviation for “I love you.”

“It’s amazing how the minds jumped, and started speaking as if they knew what was going on,” Cohen said. “It should be a real lesson hopefully … not to jump to conclusions.”

After the tweets began to attract public attention and commentary earlier this week, an aide to the 64-year-old Memphis Democrat said he had accidentally exchanged a couple of public tweets with a woman who is the daughter of a friend, but removed them when he realized they weren’t private.

One was sent during the State of the Union speech Tuesday night and the second was sent Wednesday morning, in response to her tweet “(at)RepCohen just saw you on tv!”

Cohen’s tweets ended with “Ilu.” Aide Michael Pagan said the initials stand for “I love you.”

Following the tweets, the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned about two years ago in disgrace after tweeting lewd pictures of himself. Weiner initially claimed a hacker had posted a lewd photo to his Twitter account.

“It is very disappointing that Rep. Cohen would use his official congressional Twitter account … to send personal and unnecessarily revealing messages to college co-eds. Apparently, we have our own Weiner of the South,” party executive director Brent Leatherwood said in the statement released Wednesday.

Cohen said he didn’t learn that Brink was his daughter until three years ago.

via Rep. Cohen: Twitter exchange was with his daughter – SFGate.

Best Buy, price-matching policy,  “Low-Price Guarantee” , The Consumerist:  At Christmas, a Best Buy associate told me to tell the clerk to give me the low price guarantee of an internet competitor which I did not know about.  This makes shopping interesting.  🙂

While Best Buy has yet to confirm or deny rumors about the halving of its return and exchange period, the retailer has announced that it will be launching a price-matching policy that it believes will help keep customers from “showrooming.”

According to a statement from the company, starting March 3 Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee will “price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.”

What it doesn’t say in the statement, but what a Best Buy rep confirmed to Consumerist is that the Low Price Guarantee price match will be valid up to 15 days after the purchase (online or in-stores).

This is important and fits into the reports we’ve gotten from insiders regarding changes to the return policy. See the current price-match policy allows for a price-match request before making a purchase and “during the return and exchange period after your purchase.”

For most items, that period is 30 days, but if Best Buy limits the Low Price Guarantee and returns to 15 days, then it can’t have a customer come in on the 17th day to request a price match, then return the item because the request won’t be granted.

via Best Buy Confirms Price-Matching Policy Change With “Low-Price Guarantee” – The Consumerist.

YA literature, film/lit, TIME.com:

‘Beautiful Creatures’—the movie of which is in theaters Feb. 14—isn’t the only book to feature paranormal beings new to its readers

via Creatures Beautiful…And Not | Casters and Shadowhunters and Aliens, Oh My! 7 Young-Adult-Novel Supernatural Beings Making Their Way to Cinemas | TIME.com.

Harrison Ford,  ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’, Han Solo:  Can he successfully do this?

Harrison Ford Star Wars

Harrison Ford will apparently play Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

That’s the report from Latino Review reporter Umberto “El Mayimbe” Gonzalez, who went on Fox News Latino to break the news that Ford had signed on to appear in the new “Star Wars” film. According to Gonzalez, the deal is “significant.” HuffPost Entertainment has reached out to Ford’s publicist for confirmation, but has not heard back.

UPDATE, 2/15: According to EW.com writer Geoff Boucher, Ford’s deal is not yet complete and it could be “months” before he signs.

via Harrison Ford In ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Han Solo Reportedly Back For New Film.

twitter, vocabulary, BloombergNews:  So,  I pursued the tweet because of its inclusion of the word “labyrinthine.”  I have no idea why the tweeter used the term.

Bloomberg News ‏@BloombergNews

Salesforce CEO attempts to re-brand labyrinthine sales company | http://bloom.bg/Z3hee7

Definition of LABYRINTHINE

1

: of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth : intricate, involved

2

: of, relating to, affecting, or originating in the internal ear

via Labyrinthine – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Salesforce.com, which makes software to help businesses hone their sales and marketing campaigns, is taking a red pen to its own corporate messaging. For the past couple of years, Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has been pitching prospective customers on becoming “social enterprises,” capitalizing on the buzz around social networking.

In an interview, Benioff revealed his company’s new tagline: “customer companies.” After withdrawing a trademark application for the old brand last year, Benioff plans to formally introduce “customer companies” at a Feb. 26 event at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. The presentation, which he previewed during an interview at his home in San Francisco this month, will include a smattering of everything that’s hot in tech: Facebook, Twitter, iPads, “big data,” self-driving cars and the Nest thermostat.

via Salesforce CEO Benioff Tries Out Some New Material – Bloomberg.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, slavery, legal trials, Dred Scott:  Hands down this was my least favorite lecture/presentation at the Festival, and it was the one I was most interested in from an academic standpoint.

Slave Trials in Virginia and North Carolina, 1830-1834

Alfred L. Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor, UNC School of Law

This talk focuses on two trials in North Carolina: one of a white man who attacked a slave in his custody and another of a slave who killed his overseer. Sandwiched between those two cases, State v. Mann in 1830 and State v. Will in 1834, was the Nat turner rebellion in neighboring virginia. the trials of the turner rebels and suspected rebels in our state, along with the vigilante violence that accompanied the panic, further illustrate the ways that trials functioned to support slavery. They also illustrate how the legal system worked in conjunction with (and sometimes in opposition to) the community to establish and regulate slavery.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

15
Feb
13

2.15.13 … I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ….

IMG_5696
“Solvitor Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Labyrinth  walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Augustine of Hippo, Rev. Wes Barry, Ash Wednesday Sermon,  First Presbyterian Church:  There are days when I wonder why anyone would choose to live anywhere but the southern part of the United States. Today is one of those days.
IMG_5683 IMG_5709  IMG_5701
As I approached the Avondale Presbyterian Church labyrinth, the chimes were clanging and the water poured at its columbarium fountain.  Both welcome me.
 IMG_5684 IMG_5708 IMG_5697
I reach for an information sheet for the first time in a long time,  and Avondale’s  labyrinth keepers have  changed the sheets since the last time I looked at them. One is entitled, “Light, Darkness, Shadow of death, and the Way of Peace” … rather ominous title 🙂 … I especially liked the these quotes …
In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (from Benedictus, Song of Zechariah)
Light, darkness, shadow of death, peace. These four themes draw us closer in these mid-winter days to God.
Light, darkness, shadow of death, way of peace: may you find yourself caught up in the good news of Jesus Christ and be a part of community called to be Christ’s body in the world.
And from the other sheet …
Augustine of Hippo said, “It is solved  by walking.” What is IT? If you want to find out, then you’ll have to do your own walking.
-Barbara Brown Taylor , An Altar to the World
You will show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.   Micah 6:8
Let my inner child dance the rainbow, the labyrinth. Chase each color along the way. Thank you, bless you, oh my God. Be with me and I shall begin to shine as you shine;
IMG_5698 IMG_5695  IMG_5701
  IMG_5692 IMG_5690 IMG_5686 IMG_5691
IMG_5702 IMG_5710  IMG_5693  IMG_5705
 IMG_5699  
I then thought about  Wes Barry’s Ash Wednesday Sermon from First Presbyterian Church.  Two snipits jumped out at me that directly relate to my walking …

Slows down time for us that we might see Jesus …

Four things that make us human: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual  …

After I arrived home I did a little research and found this helpful … The Practice of Walking on the Earth: Groundedness (4 March 2012) – Chicago Community Mennonite Church and also this …

Walking the Labyrinth is a right-brain meditation activity.

There are as many ways to walk it as there are walkers, but here are some suggestions.

Give Gracious Attention: quiet your mind, let go of doing and be, allow thoughts to go away, be still in mind, embrace soul rest.

Ask a Question: Prior to walking, journal your thoughts or share what you are looking for with another person (they might help you to form your unspoken question). During the walk look at your question from all aspects; walking allows your own consciousness to open so deeper aspects of yourself can speak.

Use Repetition: a mantra phrase, centering prayer, non-distracting word, affirmation sentence

Read & Reflect On Scripture: a psalm or other inspiring material

Ask for Help Through Prayer: pray as you walk

Honour a Benchmark in Your Life or That of Another: a memorial act, a celebratory act, a penitence act, an intercessory act, etc.

Make A Body Prayer: move spontaneously as encouraged by the path, feel safe in its containment, sense kinetic awareness.

Use Accessories: wear a coloured scarf as symbolic of something for you; carry an object of significance to you (votive candle, flower, stone, etc.) Whatever you carry in should be carried out as well.

via Labyrinth Society of Edmonton.

Fareed Zakaria, suicide,  gun control , twitter, NYTimes.com: This tweet by Fareed Zakaria  got my attention …

Fareed Zakaria ‏@FareedZakaria

Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85% of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2% of cases: NYT http://nyti.ms/XP2FtA 

As did this quote in the NYT article … “If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

 
Suicidal acts are often prompted by a temporary surge of rage or despair, and most people who attempt them do not die. In a 2001 study of 13- to 34-year-olds in Houston who had attempted suicide but were saved by medical intervention, researchers from the C.D.C. found that, for more than two-thirds of them, the time that elapsed between deciding to act and taking action was an hour or less. The key to reducing fatalities, experts say, is to block access to lethal means when the suicidal feeling spikes.

The chances of dying rise drastically when a gun is present, because guns are so much more likely to be lethal, said Dr. Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard center. Guns are used in more than half of all suicide fatalities, but account for just 1 percent of all self-harm injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, a rough proxy for suicide attempts, Dr. Miller said. Overdoses, which account for about 80 percent of suicide attempts, are responsible for just 14 percent of fatalities.

“If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

via To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

MLB, baseball, stadium financing, New Yankee Stadium, tax-exempt bonds, 2013 Festival of Legal Learning:  This was one of my favorite seminars … You can just call me a nerd.

Building the New Yankee Stadium: Tax-Exempt Bonds and Other Subsidies for the Richest Team in Baseball

Patricia L. Bryan, Martha Brandis Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

When Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009, aggregate costs had skyrocketed to $2.3 billion, with more than half contributed by taxpayers. the massive federal subsidy resulting from tax-exempt financing bonds presents a particularly troubling issue, especially

In light of convincing evidence that wealthy private owners, and not the broader community, reap the financial benefits of using these bonds for sports stadiums. the enormous—and often hidden—drain on the federal treasury leads to the important questions: are taxpayers striking out on public investments in sports stadiums, and if so, how can these federal subsidies to sports teams be limited in the future?

via Festival of Legal Learning.

Mother Teresa, quote, Goodreads:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

via Goodreads | Quote by Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can d….

Valentine’s Day, Harry Potter,  howlers:  I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ❤

A Howler defined …

Letter that plays recorded message in a very loud voice, and then explodes

Howler

“You’d better open it, Ron. It’ll be worse if you don’t. My gran sent me one once, and I ignored it and – it was horrible.”

—Neville talking to Ron about his Howler.[s rc]

via Howler – Harry Potter Wiki

Frederick Buechner Center, Barbara Brown Taylor:  I heard BBT talk last winter and was overwhelmed … this lecture is from 2009 …

If you are among the billions of people who do not know what I am talking about, then the first book was called Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, which chronicled my decision to leave full time parish ministry for college teaching ten years ago now.  The second is called An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, which is a kind of field guide to encountering God in the ordinary practices of everyday life.  It comes out next month.

The difference between these two books and those that preceded them—or to put it another way, the difference between the form and content of their proclamations—is what you might call the difference between public and private truth.  I don’t think you can ever draw a clear line between those two, since private truth is always going to flavor public truth.  I am not even sure it is a good idea to make a distinction between them.  If your private truth and your public truth are very far apart, shouldn’t you be seeking professional help?

I know Christians who speak of the “scandal of particularity,” by which they mean the apparently outlandish claim that God chose to be made known in a particular person living in a particular human body during a particular period of history.  You will have to invite a theologian to say more about that, but I like to think that people who are inclined to accept such a claim might be willing to accept the scandal of their own particularity too.

Still, I was paying attention when the dean introduced Frederick Buechner, the Beecher Lecturer for 1977, whose lectures were entitled “Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.”

Great title, I thought, as the elegant man stepped into the pulpit.  When he opened his mouth, I was struck first by the voice: restrained but insistent, as if he had something important to tell us that he would not yell to make sure we heard.  If we wanted to hear him, then he expected us to do our parts.  His job was not to make things easy for us.  His job was to say something true that mattered.

The next thing I noticed was his sentence structure, which was odd and looping, beguiling to the ear.  Each word had earned its place in his speech.  Each word had been chosen for its meaning, but also for its beat.  If I could have blurred my ears the way I sometimes blur my eyes, then I might have imagined that I was listening to a poet instead of a preacher—or to a composer conducting his score—but that would have required at least a moment’s disengagement from the words themselves, which I was not willing to give.

While I was still trying to figure out how he was doing it, Buechner began conjuring up the living presence of Henry Ward Beecher, his predecessor by more than a century, the first Beecher Lecturer in 1872.

the places they go and the things they do, there is the sense of what the old hymn quaveringly addresses as “O love that will not let me go,” the sense of an ultimate depth to things that is not finally indifferent as to whether people sink or swim but endlessly if always hiddenly refuses to abandon them.  Brownie loses his faith and his teeth.  Lucille teerers off to her death on French heels.  Open Heart goes up in flames, and the Love Feasts are run out of Alexander Hall.  And yet…Here’s to Jesus, Here’s to you, proclaims the air-borne streamer high over Nassau Street, and even Antonio Parr wonders at the end if it is maybe more than just a silvery trick of the failing light to which every once in a while the Tonto in him whispers Kemo Sabe, faithful friend.  Maybe the reason any book about something like real life is a love-letter is that in the last analysis that is what real life is too.[3]

Sorry that was so long.  I just wanted to hear the words coming out of my mouth, as the perfect finish to The Buechner Lecture.

So thank you, Frederick Buechner, for the time you have spent looking in the mirror that we might see ourselves more clearly.  Thank you for telling the truth, both about yourself and about the gospel, that we might tell it too.  Thanks even for nicking yourself, so that you could write for us in blood instead of ballpoint pen.  We can tell the difference, and we are in your debt.

©Barbara Brown Taylor

King College, Bristol, TN

January 24, 2009

via Frederick Buechner Center.

Latin, More Intelligent Life, essays:  Love this essay … so here it is in full…

For Intelligent Life’s editor, Tim de Lisle, the best language to learn is one that has hardly any direct use…

I studied Latin for 15 years, and this may well be the first time it has been of direct use in my adult life. There was one moment, long ago, when it nearly came in handy. I was reviewing an album by Sting that contained a stab at a traditional wedding song. There are many such songs in Catullus, whose elegant poetry I had spent a whole term plodding through. If ever there was a time to play the Latin card, this was it, so I described Sting’s wedding song as “Catullan”. Somewhere between the Daily Telegraph copytakers and the subs, “Catullan” was changed to “Catalan”. It probably served me right.

So, direct use: virtually nil. But Latin—which gives us both “direct” and “use”, both “virtually” and “nil”—has been of indirect use every day of my career. If you work with words, Latin is the Pilates session that stays with you for life: it strengthens the core. It teaches you grammar and syntax, better than your own language, whose structure you will have absorbed before you are capable of noticing it. Latin offers no hiding place, no refuge for the woolly. Each piece of the sentence has to slot in with the rest; every ending has to be the right one. To learn Latin is to learn rigour.

The price for the rigour is the mortis. Soon enough, someone will helpfully inform you that Latin is a dead language. In one way, sure, but in others it lives on. It is a vivid presence in English and French, it is the mother of Italian and Spanish, and it even seeps into German. More often than not, the words these languages have in common are the Latin ones: it remains a lingua franca. The words we take from Latin tend to be long, reflective, intellectual (the short, punchy words we didn’t need to import: live, die, eat, drink, love, hate). Business and academia, two worlds with little else in common, both rely more and more on long Latinate words. The European Union speaks little else. Ten years ago, for another article, I had to read the proposed European constitution. It was a long turgid parade of Latin-derived words. The burghers of Brussels were trying to build a superstate out of abstract nouns.

Management-speak and Euro-blather are Latin at its worst, but learning it will still help you cut through them to find clarity. It is a little harder to bullshit when you’ve learnt Latin (though quite possible to bluster, as Boris Johnson proves). And if you stick at it you discover, after no more than eight or nine years, that this is a glorious language per se.

via LATIN IS THE BEST LANGUAGE | More Intelligent Life.

2.15.13 meteor strike, Russia, BBC News: Wow … 

A meteor crashing in Russia’s Ural mountains has injured at least 950 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.

Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where meteorites fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.

A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.

President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.

A large meteorite landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.

The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.

via BBC News – Meteorites injure hundreds in central Russia.

Sen. Lautenberg,  Rep. Ralph Hall, Rep.  John Dingell, WWII veterans, The Greatest Generation, end of an era, US Congress:  Interesting fact about The Greatest Generation –

Aaron Blake  @FixAaron

Lautenberg is last WWII veteran in the Senate. Two remain in House: Ralph Hall and John Dingell.

The recent death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a celebrated World War II veteran, coincided in many ways with the waning influence of veterans in American politics. There are now only three World War II veterans in Congress: Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas and Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan. Over all, the number of veterans joining Congress has perpetuated a four-decade-long slide.

The interplay between politics, the military and veterans is a complicated subject matter. Although war is supposed to be an extension of politics, we don’t want service members associated with politics. Some historians surmise that Lincoln removed Gen. George B. McClellan, the top Union Army general, partly because General McClellan showed too great of an interest in politics.

In recent decades the number of military veterans in Congress has greatly diminished, but this trend will somewhat reverse as Afghanistan and Iraq veterans come of age. Although this past election cycle was focused on domestic issues and the economy, it will be interesting to analyze whether veterans running for office place a great emphasis on their military service in an election cycle in which foreign policy is a major issue. It will also be interesting to note how veterans of my generation contextualize their service and explain what lessons they learned from our recent wars. Veterans are not a homogenous group, and every veteran takes away a different lesson from military experience.

via The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics – NYTimes.com.

Sports Illustrated,  Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday, NBC Chicago, restaurants, Chicago:  I don’t think anyone has told Chicago that he’s not there anymore …

Ring in MJ’s 50th with this five-course birthday dinner that includes a shrimp cocktail with a 23-spice cocktail sauce and a 50-day dry-aged Wagyu rib eye. Finish things off with a complimentary piece of chocolate layer cake, which also clocks in at 23 layers and will likely put your pants into a Space Jam.

via Michael Jordan’s Birthday – Eat – Near North Side – Thrillist Chicago.

Michael Jordan will turn 50 years old on Feb. 17.

It seems hard to imagine that one of the most iconic figures in the history of basketball is getting up in age. There hasn’t been a parade celebrating an NBA Championship in Chicago since 1998, but it seems like only yesterday that MJ was still in his Bulls uniform and mesmerizing us all as he delivered title after title.

To commemorate Jordan’s 50th birthday, the latest issue of Sports Illustrated will feature MJ on the cover for a record 50th time.

via Sports Illustrated Celebrates Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday | NBC Chicago.

Pier 213 Seafood, restaurants, Atlanta GA, Thrillist Atlanta:  Sounds pretty good to me …

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After eight years of providing seafood for ATL restaurant heavyweights eager to turn you into one (Bacchanalia, McKendrick’s Steak House…), the family behind Irvington Seafood in Mobile, AL decided to throw their (presumably cool, floppy sailor’s) hat in the ring with Pier 213: a nautical-themed outpost serving up a variety of fried, grilled, and steamed plates from under the sea. Under the sea!

via Pier 213 Seafood – Eat – Thrillist Atlanta.

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13
Feb
13

2.13.13 … Ash Wednesday … marked by ashes or just imposed on …

Lenten practices, the 40 Days of Lent, Sorting it Out, labyrinth walk, giving up Facebook, drinking only water, Walter Brueggemann, Marked By Ashes – The Journey with Jesus: 

Lent, the period of prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter, is 40 days long, but there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, and Easter. How can that be?

Answer: The answer takes us back to the earliest days of the Church. Christ’s original disciples, who were Jewish, grew up with the idea that the Sabbath—the day of worship and of rest—was Saturday, the seventh day of the week, since the account of creation in Genesis says that God rested on the seventh day.

Christ rose from the dead, however, on Sunday, the first day of the week, and the early Christians, starting with the apostles (those original disciples), saw Christ’s Resurrection as a new creation, and so they transferred the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

Since all Sundays—and not simply Easter Sunday—were days to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, Christians were forbidden to fast and do other forms of penance on those days. Therefore, when the Church expanded the period of fasting and prayer in preparation for Easter from a few days to 40 days (to mirror Christ’s fasting in the desert, before He began His public ministry), Sundays could not be included in the count.

Thus, in order for Lent to include 40 days on which fasting could occur, it had to be expanded to six full weeks (with six days of fasting in each week) plus four extra days—Ash Wednesday and the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that follow it. Six times six is thirty-six, plus four equals forty. And that’s how we arrive at the 40 days of Lent!

via How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated? – How To Calculate the 40 Days of Lent.

I am trying a few: regular labyrinth walks, drinking only water, and  …

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GIVE UP BEVERAGES

To be clear: we’re not asking you to fast for Forty days. We’re just asking you to ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage in lieu of clean water from the tap. By sacrificing your daily routine, you will make a difference in the daily routine of a person in Africa.

It’s a big commitment to not drink anything but water for Forty days. But from February 13th to March 30th, that’s exactly what we’re asking you to do. It’s a lot easier if you do it with other people like your friends or family. Remember, Sundays are feast days! You get to enjoy your favorite beverages one day out of the week, which will remind you just how much you miss them the other 6 days.

Be sure to visit the webstore to order a new Blood:Water bottle to remind you to head to the tap!

By giving up what you’d normally drink in exchange for the water from your tap you can save that money to help build clean water projects for communities in Uganda!

You can stay updated on the work you are enabling by reading our BLOG and UGANDA PROJECT UPDATES.

via Forty Days | 40 Days of Water | Blood Water Mission | How to Take Part.

My favorite Lenten thought . . . ..

Sorting it Out

a Lenten toolbox for adjusting your focus and supporting your soul

Rather than viewing Lent as a season of drab and dreary self-examination and sacrifice that waters down its spiritual potency, we might see it as a time offered to us each year simply to sort things out. It can be an intentional period of 40 days that can be used to realign the disorder in our life that keep us out of balance with our own soul and with the God who loves us boundlessly, unconditionally, and eternally. Using Lent to take an honest look at the disarray inside ourselves with an eye to discarding the debris leaves us renewed, with eagerness, enthusiasm, gratitude, and a readiness to offer ourselves to God and to the world.

via explorefaith.org – Sorting It Out..

Walter Brueggemann, Marked By Ashes – The Journey with Jesus:

Marked by Ashes by Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933)

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .

This day — a gift from you.

This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.

This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.

This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home

halfway back to committees and memos,

halfway back to calls and appointments,

halfway on to next Sunday,

halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,

half turned toward you, half rather not.

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,

but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —

we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:

of failed hope and broken promises,

of forgotten children and frightened women,

we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;

we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with

some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes

anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —

you Easter parade of newness.

Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,

Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;

Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.

Come here and Easter our Wednesday with

mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

via Walter Brueggemann – Marked By Ashes – The Journey with Jesus.

“Solvitur Ambulando”  – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Walks, MPBC, MPUMC:

Ash Wednesday walk with a favorite labyrinth partner, Cheryl.  We walked MPBC in the rain. It was a wonderful walk.  Although I did not calm my mind down as much as I like, I did love what came to my racing mind’s attention. Note the leafless/lifeless tress … the earthworm  – “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”  … reflection of the umbrella in the sculpted lighting … rosemary blooms – and rosemary always makes me think of Dan’s mom and this quote from Hamlet –

Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Act 4. Scene V OPHELIA:

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray,

love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.

via Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Act 4. Scene V.

Then coffee at Queens with Cheryl …   And how we have endless things than we can talk about.
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Second walk … at MPUMC, the site of my first Lenten Walk last year.  Not quite as “thin” an experience as last year, but still a useful “practice.”  I do love the last photo … a reflection of the canvas labyrinth in the stained glass doors …
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2013 Festival of Legal Learning, Using the Cloud, National Security Law Update:
First, I learned that I am way behind on using cloud-based resources.  🙂

Using the Cloud: Resources, Protections and Ethical Considerations by Steve J. Melamut, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, UNC School of Law and Information Technology Services Librarian, Kathrine R. Everett Law Library

Lawyers are increasingly interested in using cloud- based resources such as Dropbox, Box, iCloud, SkyDrive and UbuntuOne for file storage and easy access from multiple locations. Come to this session to learn about client related security and ethical obligations.

And second, every thing about Mr. Silliman’s presentation was interesting … very sad that this will be his last after 15+ years of presenting.

National Security Law Update by Scott L. Silliman, Professor of the Practice of Law, Duke University School of Law; and Judge, United States Court of Military Commission Review

This session will focus on a number of current national security topics including issues pertaining to targeted killings, including the killing of American citizens, the trial of alleged terrorists in military commissions, and surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

unfriending,  Facebook, Julia Angwin, online  privacy: Privacy issues … have you ever considered this?
I am going to spend this week “unfriending” all of my Facebook friends because I have come to believe that Facebook cannot provide me the level of privacy that I need. And yet, I am not quitting entirely because I believe that as an author and a journalist, it is important to have a Facebook presence.

My specific concern with Facebook is what NYU Professor Helen Nissenbaum calls a lack of “contextual integrity,” – which is a fancy way of saying that when I share information with a certain group or friend on Facebook, I am often surprised by where the data ends up.

Professor Nissenbaum argues that many online services – of which Facebook is simply the most prominent example –share information in ways that violate the social norms established in offline human relationships.

via Why I’m unfriending you on Facebook | Julia Angwin.

Davidson, Breakfast of Champions – Beer & chili feast, Food and Dining: Hmmmm …

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

This Saturday, Feb. 16, the Davidson Farmer’s Market and Summit Coffee will present another Breakfast of Champions,, a morning feast of chili and beer!

via Beer & chili feast, new pizza shop, Flying Fish moves | Food and Dining.

Scholastic,  Harry Potter  Series, all-new cover art,  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 15 years; 7 new covers …  As always, I like the old ones …

Accio some thrilling news! Today, Scholastic unveiled an all-new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! And better yet, it’s just the first of seven (7!) new covers that will appear on U.S. trade paperback editions coming in September 2013. It’s all part of the upcoming 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series.

The fact that we’re releasing new covers is awesome, but even more amazing is the incredible illustrator who designed them: Kazu Kibuishi! (You might know his name from his best-selling Amulet series, published by our Graphix imprint!) Kibuishi is a longtime Harry Potter fan who called this opportunity, “more than a little surreal.”

via 15 years; 7 new covers!.

 Atlanta GA, Four Days of Fury: Atlanta 1906, Atlanta History Center:

 

Four Days of Fury: Atlanta 1906, by resident playwright Addae Moon, involves audiences in the ideas, debates, emotions, and perspectives that led to the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot – a pivotal, yet unfamiliar event in Atlanta’s history.

Discover 1906 with trailblazing African American journalist, J. Max Barber, editor of Voice of the Negro in this provocative gallery-based theater experience exploring the headlines, people, and events of one of the city’s seminal episodes of race and memory.

Barber leads audience members through eight memory stations designed to place participants among the sights and sounds of 1906 Atlanta. The memory stations explore themes including disenfranchisement, Jim Crow laws, the Niagara Movement, segregation, fairness and equality, and the power of the media. At each memory station, guests meet and interact with historical characters such as Thomas Dixon, author of The Clansman, and Atlanta Judge Nash Broyles, as well as average citizens affected by the event. The actors, sound and music, sets and props, movement and images help to immerse the visitor and make history come to life in this History Matters production.

via Atlanta History Center | Four Days of Fury: Atlanta 1906 | Atlanta, GA.

Catholic Stephen Colbert,  Pope Benedict’s resignation, Presbyterians: I don’t know why he’s picking on Presbyterians … just watch the whole thing … too many zingers to list them all …

 “No pope is black smoke, a new pope is white smoke, I assume slacker pope is bong smoke,” he joked.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOlsbVVGja0&feature=share&list=PLCD54AAAA6AF29ED5]

Worst of all, the pope’s departure on Feb. 28  is going to leave the church’s top vacant for as long as a month. Colbert predicted “a Catholic free-for-all” where the once-devout will be “passing out Pez dispensers full of birth control pills, using the Lord’s name in vain, coveting thy neighbor’s wife, killing anybody you want. It’ll be like being a Presbyterian.”

via Catholic Stephen Colbert outraged by Pope Benedict’s resignation – latimes.com.




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