Posts Tagged ‘2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

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

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

— Brian Seibert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

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

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

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

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

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

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

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

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

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

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

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

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

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

And from 1.25.14 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From 1.26.14 

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

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

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

via 1.19.14 …

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

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

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

Will they be back …

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

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

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

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

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

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

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21
Feb
14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via 19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die.

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

3. Greenville, S.C.

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

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

4. Asheville, N.C.

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

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

5. Decatur, Ga.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18
Feb
14

2.18.14 … salt and sochi … It was a dark and stormy night …

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Ries, Urban-Rural Split,  Ghost of a Gardener, NPR:  Really good NPR segment from Sunday.

Sometimes you need to get away from the thing you love. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to singer Rachel Ries about her new album, Ghost of a Gardener, which she produced after taking a couple years off from music.

via Rachel Ries’ Album Reflects Her Urban-Rural Split : NPR.

via ▶ Rachel Ries ‘Mercy’ – YouTube.

Humans of New York,  Susie’s Senior Dogs:  Loved this …

I’ve got to tell you guys about all the amazing things happening over at Susie’s Senior Dogs. So we started this page on a whim last week, for the purpose of placing old dogs in new homes. (And by we, I mean 95% my girlfriend, and 5% me– let’s be honest.) Nearly 100,000 people “liked” the page in 24 hours.

We’ve posted about 11 dogs so far, and 6 of them have been adopted– from all over the country. It’s just been an incredible success. Almost all of these dogs were ten years or older, and many of them had been in shelters for a long time. Check out these pictures of the pups in their new homes. Remember, these guys were sleeping in cages just last week.

From Left to Right: Nina (13), Fancy (12), and Max (10).

A Wrinkle in Time, favorites:  A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite book of my early reading life. Truly started me on my love of reading path.

Photo: Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L'Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans. </p><br /> <p>To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time</p><br /> <p>To check out the graphic novel adaptation, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-the-graphic-novel</p><br /> <p>To view Out of Print's t-shirt for teens and adults featuring artwork from the novel's first edition 1962 cover, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-t-shirt </p><br /> <p>And, to view the 5-book box set of The Wrinkle In Time Quintet, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/the-wrinkle-in-time-quintet-box-set

“It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.”

Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans.

To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Winnie-the-Pooh, favorites:  And another favorite …

“And then, all of a sudden, Winnie-the-Pooh stopped again, and licked the tip of his nose in a cooling manner, for he was feeling more hot and anxious than ever in his life before.”

On February 13, 1924, Punch magazine published a short poem titled “Teddy Bear” by Alan Alexander Milne, one of the magazine’s editors and a frequent contributor. The poem, inspired by the stuffed teddy bear so dearly beloved by Milne’s four-year-old son Christopher Robin, was included in Milne’s collection of children’s verses, When We Were Very Young, illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard and published later that year. But the bear’s very first appearance in Punch was the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh, which Milne released two years later and which went on to become one of the most timeless children’s books ever written.

In the summer of 1929, the Dominion Gramophone Company set out to capture prominent British authors reading from their work. In this rare recording, Milne reads the third chapter of his classic, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle,” made all the more delightful by his enchantingly melodic voice — please enjoy:

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/a-a-milne-reads-from-winnie-the-pooh

via Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh: A Rare 1929 Recording of A.A. Milne Reading from His Beloved Book | Brain Pickings.

 Buckhead’s  Beltline,  Path400, Parks & Recreation, Curbed Atlanta, multi-use trail:  Another multi-use trail!

DSC_0442-thumb.JPG

Great news for multi-use trail zealots: The first phase of PATH400, a Beltlineian trail that will wend for 5.2 miles through Buckhead parallel to Ga. 400, is set to break ground Feb. 17. Officials are hoping the path will lend Buckhead the same sense of interconnectedness the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has provided neighborhoods east of downtown and Midtown. “PATH400 will be a tremendous asset,” Jim Durrett, executive director of Buckhead CID, said in a press release. “Our community will enjoy new pedestrian access to schools and the local business district, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a greater sense of connectedness. It’s a wise investment for Buckhead.” PATH400’s first phase will be a half-mile stretch from Lenox Road at Tower Place up to Old Ivy Road. Extensions could soon follow.

via Buckhead’s Answer To Beltline Will Break Ground This Month – Parks & Recreation – Curbed Atlanta.

Worth your time …, Molly Wilmer Barker:  Loved this post!

With the recent drug overdose of Philip Seymour, comes up (again) the age-old conversation about whether addition and abuse of drugs and alcohol is the result of a disease or just a really bad habit to overcome…I’ve got a thought that is somewhat unrelated to either, but perhaps worth considering.

Addicts and Alcoholics, with a few years of good, grounded sobriety under their belt, are some of the absolute coolest people on the planet. They have an outlook that carries with it a good dose of humility. Many have been to the depths of their own darkest despair and, through a variety of ways, climbed out, up, through or over, whatever beliefs, obstacles, brain chemistry that bound them to a behavior that dimmed the bold, light-filled people they really are.

The addicts and alcoholics I know…who live daily expressing the humility and gratitude their recovery brings…are also some of the most creative souls on the planet.

One in four people are affected by addiction…either in their own lives or in the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances.

Today, rather than debate the best route to recovery/treatment, I will hold those still suffering…in this space…a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there is hope.

via Molly Wilmer Barker.

 “Le Tricorne”, Picasso: Tapestry travesty.

Most people agree that the fate of “Le Tricorne” rests squarely in Mr. Rosen’s hands. The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

via At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry Hangs on the Edge of Eviction – NYTimes.com.

Stephen Curry,  Bay Area Warriors, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:

Marsten said it’s telling that every Warriors fan seems to know Curry went to Davidson, the small, academically elite college north of Charlotte.

“He’s very proud of his roots, very proud of Davidson. Warriors fans understand about that,” Marsten said. “If you asked them where (Warriors forward) David Lee played, I don’t know that they’d know. And he won two national championships at Florida.”

This works because it’s not an “image.” It’s who Dell and Sonya Curry raised their three kids to be.

via Stephen Curry loves the Bay Area and the Bay Area sure loves him back | CharlotteObserver.com.

Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations, lists, CNN.com:  Very fun!

But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there\’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.

via Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations – CNN.com.

Passing on body hatred, Essential Mums:  A good lesson …

But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”

At first I didn’t understand what you meant.

”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.”

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.

2. Fat is ugly and horrible.

3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

via Passing on body hatred | Essential Mums.

Paris,  Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris,  Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic:  Very cool!

Anyone who wants to make a swimming pool out of an abandoned metro station neglected for 75 years, has definitely got my attention. The ghosts of the Parisian underground could soon be resurrected if city voters play their cards right in the upcoming mayoral elections. Promising candidate, Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet, who would become the first female to ever hold the post in the capital, has released the first sketches of her plans to reclaim the city of light’s abandoned stations.

via Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy

GI Joe, Yahoo News, kith/kin: I always liked to play with my brother’s dolls … and now they are 50. Makes me feel old.

The birthday of what’s called the world’s first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well.

Since Hasbro brought it to the world’s attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace.

via GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50 – Yahoo News.

Nathan Edmondson, alphacomics, @nathanedmondson: I love being able to claim a connection to a graphic artist writer … Second cousin once removed.

Embedded image permalink

Written by @nathanedmondson both Black Widow and Punisher are new tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/OZ2zsKvYEI

via Twitter / alphacomics: Written by @nathanedmondson ….

Future of Transportation, The Atlantic Cities:  world without car ownership …

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that’s just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that’s both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.

In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

via Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car – Eric Jaffe – The Atlantic Cities.

google doodles, Harriet Tubman

Musée Nissim de Camondo,  Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds: Donna Morris took us to Musée Nissim de Camondo … opened up a whole world of interesting historical research!

Richard Harbus for The New York Times

The Musée Nissim de Camondo boasts one of the great collections of 18th-century decorative arts.

It also holds a tragic story. When Camondo died in 1935, he left his mansion and collections to France’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His only condition was that the house be turned into a museum and named after his son, Nissim, who died as a combat pilot for France in World War I.

The family felt protected when the Nazis occupied France. A marble plaque at the entrance to the house states otherwise. It announces that Camondo’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, his last descendants, were deported by the Germans between 1943 and 1944. They died at Auschwitz.

The French government kept its word, turning the house into a museum and naming it after Camondo’s son.

via Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds.

Martin Luther, history:  Today is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.  He was one interesting guy.  Among other things, he introduced congregational singing of hymns …

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. The Emperor Charles V summoned him to the meeting of the Imperial Diet at Worms. There Luther resisted all efforts to make him recant, insisting that he had to be proved in error on the basis of Scripture. The Diet passed an edict calling for the arrest of Luther. Luther’s own prince, the Elector Frederick of Saxony, however, had him spirited away and placed for safekeeping in his castle, the Wartburg.

Here Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

via February 18: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546 | Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

30
Jan
14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The plain fact of the matter is this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The similarities continued to pile up.

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

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

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

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

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

And a little of my conversation …

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

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

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

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

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

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

I guess she is a natural blonde………

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

Doga

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

Secret Yoga Club

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

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

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

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

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

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The paper authors could not immediately be reached.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26
Jan
14

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

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

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

via Schadenfreude – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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

via Resources Page – Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Twitter / BofA_News: Comparing the tweeting habits ….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephemeral Stream

by Elizabeth Willis

This is the way water

thinks about the desert.

The way the thought of water

gives you something

to stumble on. A ghost river.

A sentence trailing off

toward lower ground.

A finger pointing

at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it.

I wanted to write a poem

and call it “Ephemeral Stream”

and dedicate it to you

because you made of this

imaginary creek

a hole so deep

it looked like a green eye

taking in the storm,

a poem interrupted

by forgiveness.

It’s not over yet.

A dream can spend

all night fighting off

the morning. Let me

start again. A stream

may be a branch or a beck,

a crick or kill or lick,

a syke, a runnel. It pours

through a corridor. The door

is open. The keys

are on the dashboard.

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

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

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

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

25
Jan
14

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga …

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

pilgrimages, Iona, sacred spaces, thin places:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Labyrinth Isle of Iona | ON THE MOVE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now some conversation excerpts …

“what? Ok this is just crazy”

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

“coed no less …”

“…downward dog (eeeeeewwwwwww)”

“Just the thought of this is horrifying….”

“Woah!”

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

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

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

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

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

“Pretty amazing that’s even legal!”

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

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

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

“Don’t be so judgmental!”

“spiked dog collar optional”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” I actually thought twice before I hit post.”

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

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

“It will disappear …

USIS Fraud Charges, Edward Snowden, TopDailyInfo.com:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leo Tolstoy, quotes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CEO Brian Moynahan, WEF, Davos:

Why do bank CEOs come to Davos?

We come to learn.

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

We come because our clients are here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Not teaching history – – WickedLocal.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

46,000+ HISTORIC SERMONS

Indexed by primary Biblical Text for simple Searching

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

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

via ▶ You Shall Not Pass, Dog – YouTube.

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

via ▶ Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial – YouTube.

via

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




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