Posts Tagged ‘Advent

03
Dec
13

12.3.13 … Peace be with you … and also with you …

So what does peace mean within the context of Advent?

My Advent photo-a-day prompt was “PEACE” … so I immediately went to my labyrinth walking and from there went to scripture and liturgy … Where does the word “peace” take you?

Advent Photo #3: PEACE

IMG_8821

John 14:27 (NIV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The Passing of the Peace

By Rev. Rebecca

St. Paul always greeted and closed with the words, “The peace of God be with you” in his pastoral letters. This is an appropriate way to greet fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and so we say, “The peace of the Lord be with you” and respond, “And also with you.” We then pass this greeting of peace to one another. At the passing of the peace we should earnestly desire God’s peace upon each person we greet. The passing of the peace is also a sign of obedience to Jesus’ words that we make peace with one another before offering our gifts at the altar (Matt. 5:23-24).

via The Passing of the Peace.

The name itself makes them seem old. Ancient, really. Like something pre-Christian, something that might be unearthed among long-lost ruins.

But labyrinths – wandering pathways like the one Greek myths say Daedalus devised to imprison the monstrous Minotaur – are in the midst of a modern renewal.

For the last couple of decades, labyrinths based on a medieval model have cropped up at churches, retreats, private homes, even health-care institutions across the country and across Georgia and north metro Atlanta. They’re catching on with the faithful as a way to momentarily escape the distractions of modern life.

Mary Caroline Cravens of Buckhead, president of St. Monica’s Guild at the Cathedral of St. Philip, said she’s found an “amazing release” walking labyrinths. “You feel refreshed. Rejuvenated. Lighter. Calmer,” she said. “I think it’s because you’re leaving whatever burden it was [you brought in with you] in God’s hands.”

via Labyrinths provide peace, focus, release – Reporter Newspapers.

The Serenity Prayer Path

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

ACCEPTING HARDSHIPS AS THE PATHWAY TO PEACE;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr

And finally, just a few minutes ago, I saw this.  I had a delightful conversation with a kith sister and we talked briefly about the relationships of our children’s generation with religion, noting the spiritual v. religion dichotomy.  This Krista Tippett tweet brought peace into a full circle “if you give a moose a muffin” moment.

Krista Tippett ‏@kristatippett 38s

Spiritual life is reality-based. It can have mystical entry points and destinations. But it is at root about making peace with what is.

via Twitter.

And now on a less serious random note … Just noticed the bobbing gif!

This first version was… surprisingly not awful. But it also was not anything else. The flavors just canceled each other out, and it was bland. So I started over. The second time, I blended some Greek finishing salt (it’s flaky so it crumbles easily) with the potato chips, and instead of the buttermilk, used half & half and fresh Meyer lemon juice to instantly “sour” it. Finally, I added a dollop of actual applesauce to amp up the apple flavor and provide some texture, without too much syrupy sweetness. The result? Cool, creamy but not cloying, and with a little salty crunch from the rim. Success!

I noticed that the ingredients did start to separate after about ten minutes. But hey, latkes don’t taste good cold, either. –E.C. Gladstone

via The Latketini – Bon Appétit.

 American English:

Coastal Southern: Similar to the Piedmont drawl, but with more remnants of Colonial English. Something diagonally across the street is “catty-corner.”

via What dialect do you speak? A map of American English.

Bay Psalm Bookm world’s most expensive printed work,  $14.2m, BBC News:

A tiny book of psalms from 1640 has become the world\’s most expensive printed book as it was auctioned in New York for $14.2m (£8.8m).

The Bay Psalm Book is the first known book to be printed in what is now the United States.

It was published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The book was meant to be a faithful translation into English of the original Hebrew psalms.

But it is not the most expensive book ever – that title goes to a handwritten Leonardo da Vinci notebook which sold for $30.8m in 1994.

via BBC News – Bay Psalm Book is world’s most expensive printed work at $14.2m.

03
Dec
13

12.3.13 … I do love Advent … but with true Advent practitioners “no Christmas hymn will pass the lips of a serious churchgoer for another two weeks.” …

Ok, so as a Southern Presbyterian, I did not celebrate Advent (or Lent for that matter), but as a 40-something in Chicago I embraced them both.  I must admit it is a learning process … if you did not grow  up with the traditions.  So this article being a rant on FOX, it contains some helpful information.

According to ancient Christian tradition, “Christmas” is not the December shopping season in advance of Christmas Day; rather, it is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the Twelve Days following that run until early January. During most of December, Christians observe Advent, a four-week season of reflection, preparation and waiting that precedes the yearly celebration of Jesus’ birth. In many mainstream and liturgical (and even liberal and progressive) churches, no Christmas hymn will pass the lips of a serious churchgoer for another two weeks. If you wander into a local Lutheran, Episcopal or Roman Catholic parish, the congregation will still be chanting the ethereal tones of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” or “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night.” There are no poinsettias, no Christmas pageants, no trees or holly, and no red and green altar linens. A few days ago, they might have preached about St. Nicholas — but not Santa Claus. There are no twinkling lights or over-the-top Christmas displays. Just four candles in a simple wreath, two partially burned, two yet to be lit. The mood is somber as December moves toward deeper darkness, and the night lengthens. The world waits, and it is time to prepare for the arrival of God’s kingdom. It is not Christmas. It is Advent.

via Diana Butler Bass: Fox News’ War on Advent.

7 Trips, Seeking Solitude, Adventure Travel Guide | OutsideOnline.com:

Let the masses line up for Old Faithful and Half Dome. These bold adventures take you to big places with the breathing room to match.

via 7 Trips For Those Seeking Solitude on a Grand Scale | Adventure Travel Guide | OutsideOnline.com.

20 Reasons You Absolutely Need A Dog In Your Life, Distractify, man’s best friend:

As if I didn’t already know … Can cats do anything but tell you when you are going to die?

 

Day-to-day depression, or even more serious chronic depression, is easier to handle with the love of a dog, studies show. Simply by having them around, and knowing that even at our worst, somebody loves us unconditionally and is eager to see us happy again, we’re given a reason to get up and keep going.

via 20 Reasons You Absolutely Need A Dog In Your Life | Distractify.

07
Dec
11

12.7.2011 … Remembering Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 … Davidson v. Vandy … behind by 6 … 28 seconds ‎… lost … 87 – 83 … again, respectable …

 Pearl Harbor Day, times they are a chang’in…: Fewer veterans to remember Pearl Harbor Day.

For more than half a century, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gathered here every Dec. 7 to commemorate the attack by the Japanese that drew the United States into World War II. Others stayed closer to home for more intimate regional chapter ceremonies, sharing memories of a day they still remember in searing detail.

But no more. The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association. With a concession to the reality of time — of age, of deteriorating health and death — the association will disband on Dec. 31.

“We had no choice,” said William H. Eckel, 89, who was once the director of the Fourth Division of the survivors’ association, interviewed by telephone from Texas. “Wives and family members have been trying to keep it operating, but they just can’t do it. People are winding up in nursing homes and intensive care places.”

via Fewer Veterans to Remember Pearl Harbor Day – NYTimes.com.

Sidwell Friends, Pearl Harbor Day, irony:  I just had to laugh … careless error.

 

A lunch that will live in infamy? That’s what at least one parent at elite Sidwell Friends (yes, Sasha and Malia’s school!) wondered upon seeing what the school cafeteria listed as its “Pearl Harbor Day” menu Wednesday: A heavily Japanese-inspired lineup, including teriyaki chicken and edamame (as well as more generically Asian delicacies like tofu, fried rice, fortune cookies and “oriental noodle salad”). A school rep told us this was just a fluke — not a meal intended to commemorate the 1941 Japanese attack on U.S. forces: The contractor that prepares school lunches randomly assigned an Asian menu to Dec. 7, and the subcontractor that prints the calendars automatically marked Wednesday at Pearl Harbor Day. “It was completely coincidental,” said Ellis Turner, associate head of the school.

via Sidwell Friends’s surprising Pearl Harbor Day menu – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball, Vanderbilt, Steph Curry, Twitter:  Steph tweets the loss … I love it that the NBA lockout reconnected him with te college!

Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)

12/7/11 9:38 PM

Tough loss for Davidson boys. Fought hard to the finish. Hey! In ’08 we lost to UNCC, Western MIchigan, NC St. and 3 top 25′s. Long season

(@StephenCurry30)

Pinterest:  I haven’t figured out Storify, yet … and now Pinterest.  TIME Magazine (time_magazine) on Pinterest.

Amherst College, typewriters, letter writing, college social life:  OK, I loved this one …

At Amherst, 'Clack Clack Clack' Drowns Out 'Thump Thump Thump' 1

Manual typewriters are enjoying a comeback at Amherst College.

Like most American institutions, the college has a thriving party scene, where students who want to socialize can knock back a few drinks and grind the night away to pounding bass lines.

“But we also have a large part of the population who really aren’t inter­ested in dancing in a dark basement,” says Crista Reed, assistant director of student activities. So this fall the college started “Amherst After Dark,” a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. program meant to provide consistent social options for students who want to stay out late and remain sober.

As one of September’s activities, Ms. Reed proposed a “letter-writing social,” hearkening back to her own days as a “slightly dorky undergrad” at Roanoke College who eschewed late-night parties in favor of things like writing letters to relatives and high-school friends. This fall Ms. Reed ordered three manual typewriters, some hand-cut quill pens, stationery, postcards, postage stamps, and even wax cartridges for a hot-glue gun so that students could art­fully seal their letters without using open flames.

She was expecting 150 to 200 students to show up. She drew 350.

“I was elated by the response that Crista got to this event,” says Rohan Mazumdar, a senior physics and economics major. “It’s filled a huge gap.” Mr. Mazumdar says he wrote a letter to a faithful correspondent back in his native India, and a couple of postcards to friends at Amherst.

“A lot of folks were writing to friends,” says Ms. Reed. “We had a lot of international students writing to people back home. And we had a couple people writing to professors, so that was really sweet.”

via At Amherst, ‘Clack Clack Clack’ Drowns Out ‘Thump Thump Thump’ – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Alec Baldwin, AA flight, Twitter, Twitter war:  Alec Baldwin needs to just be quiet for a while.

“On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.”

Baldwin was aboard AA Flight 4, which was delayed an hour, when the “30 Rock” star was booted for not listening to the flight attendant.

Passenger Steve Weiss, who was sitting across the isle from Baldwin, described the scene.

“Apparently he said he was playing a game, but he was actually talking on the phone. She [the flight attendant] was very nice. The door was closed they just announced that they were pulling away from the gate. He got up threw his papers on the floor stormed into the bathroom slammed the door closed, beat on the wall and then came back.”

“He said ‘If you want to kick me off, kick me off.’ He was just crazy, he just flipped out, the guy has problems.”

A crew member who dealt with the hotheaded Hollywood actor said he couldn’t stay on the flight.

via Alec Baldwin thrown off AA flight at LAX for ‘playing game’ on phone – NYPOST.com.

Christmas, Christmas traditions, Charlie Brown Christmas, tv:  Interesting background story …

“In 1963, I did a documentary on Willie Mays, the world’s best baseball player and one on Charlie Brown, the world’s worst. We sold the Mays documentary, but never sold the Charlie Brown documentary. Three years later, TIME Magazine put the [Peanuts] characters on its cover and we got calls from advertisers and networks asking if we were still thinking of doing an animated show, and that’s what led us to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

We had done a couple of minutes of animation in the documentary but people said, “You can’t have kids who talk like adults.” We had given up, but when Coca-Cola called after the TIME cover they asked if we’d ever thought of doing a Christmas show and I lied and said, “Oh, absolutely.” So they asked us to send them an outline on Monday. I called Schulz on the phone and said, “I think I just sold A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and he said, “What’s that?” and I told him, “It’s something you’re going to write tomorrow.”

via How TIME Saved ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ | Time.

 

 

Twitter:  Interestingly, most of the most tweeted stories are not why I follow twitter … Twitter’s 2011 Year in review.

Charlotte, Banktown:  I will be interesting what we are after the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Home to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, NC isn’t New York City, one of my artist friends reminded me the other day. We’re not Los Angeles or San Francisco, not London and we are certainly not Paris. One extremely popular parlor game around these parts, enjoyed particularly by those from the above-referenced burghs or those even further afield, is the blood-sport of city relative comparison. The dissection of what exactly the Queen City is – or more fashionably, what it is NOT – seems to fuel endless discussion amongst those smarter, hipper and infinitely-more-urbane-than-us lowlies here in “Banktown

via LikeTheDew.com, What Charlotte Is Not by Michael J. Solender | LikeTheDew.com.

productivity, how to’s:

Not only do unproductive days like this detract from the success of your projects, your team and your organization; they can endanger your own well-being.

We discovered that nothing makes people feel happier and more engaged at work than making meaningful progress on something they care about. We call that the progress principle. But this progress principle has a serious downside: Nothing makes people feel worse than being stalled in their work – and this negative effect is much stronger.

Most often, the cause of an unproductive day is fragmentation – trying to juggle many competing, and usually unexpected, demands on your time. It’s what happens when you’ve worked like crazy all day, and still you have the sense that you haven’t been productive. Sound familiar?

via How to Save an Unproductive Day in 25 Minutes – WSJ.com.

Flipboard, iPhone, apps:  I like the iPad app … so I will try the iPhone version.

Now for iPhone

Your (pocket-sized)

social magazine

via Flipboard — Now available on iPhone.

acne:  Very interesting!

Every day, Cassandra Bankson wakes up, washes her face and does a makeup routine that dramatically transforms her looks.The California teen has severe acne. It’s so bad that it covers most of her face,  as well as parts of her neck, chest and back.But Bankson is now able to model, and her shots are picture-perfect. How?Bankson performs a daily makeup makeover, expertly hiding the extensive blemishes that cover her face and neck with a technique that she says she learned after hours of research and practice. She demonstrates her method in a before-and-after YouTube video that’s had more than 2 million views.

via Acne-Scarred Teen Model Undergoes Amazing Daily Makeup Transformation – ABC News.

technology:  Seems short-lived …  Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers …

alttext

Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers

Little Printer enables users to set up subscriptions to a range of publications, which it then prints as one miniature newspaper.

via Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers | Springwise.

Advent, Advent Calendars:  OK, this one is funny … .:.The Art of Dancing by Lewis & Luke.:..

 

06
Dec
11

12.5.2011 … Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord … Happy Advent! … And happy bday big brother!

Advent:  So the Unapologetically Episcopalian had a link to a boy’s choir singing …  So I looked down at the others and had a good laugh with this one … Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord … Happy Advent!  Godspell – 1973 – “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord” & “God Save the People” – YouTube.

 

college education, Great Recession, President Obama: So what did they decide ..

Several university presidents and chancellors will join President Obama for a private meeting at the White House on Monday to talk about affordability in higher education.

The White House and the Education Department did not respond to questions about the meeting, which was first reported on Friday by Inside Higher Ed, an online news source.

But an official of a higher-education association, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the presidents and other leaders in attendence will include F. King Alexander, president of California State University at Long Beach; Francisco G. Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas system; Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University; William (Brit) Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland; Holden Thorp, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York. The names of other invitees could not be learned late Friday.

The discussion will be a candid conversation about how higher education can remove barriers “to college access, affordability, and success for students,” according to a letter of invitation, from the White House to the higher-education leaders, that was obtained by The Chronicle.

via White House Invites College Leaders to Closed-Door Meeting on Affordability – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

photography, Gothamatic, LIFE:  I just like this stuff …

Every day, photographer Zoran Milich roams New York City with his camera; every week, LIFE.com compiles his best shots for Gothamatic. | For the holidays, employees at a Starbucks on Roosevelt Island dress as Santa’s elves. (Roosevelt Island)

via Gothamatic: 12.5.11 – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Anthropologie, spotify, music:  I loved this list …

In case anyone’s interested, I made the @Anthropologie Sounds of the Holidays playlist into a @Spotify playlist. open.spotify.com/user/128766280…

via Anthropologie (anthropologie) on Twitter.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, documentary:  Worth watching …

Emerson: The Ideal in America is the first documentary about the life and work of the great thinker, whose belief in “the infinitude of the private man” is embedded in contemporary concepts ranging from spirituality to spirit of entrepreneurship to ideals of individualism and personal agency. The film is available both online in its entirety and on DVD

US Postal Service, USPS, First-Class Mail:  Sounds like economy to me.

The agency said the slower delivery would result from its decision to shut about half of its 487 mail processing centers nationwide. The move is expected to eliminate about 28,000 jobs and increase the distance that mail must travel between post offices and processing centers. It would be the first reduction in delivery standards for first-class mail in 40 years.

Current standards call for delivering first-class mail in one to three days within the continental United States. Under the planned cutbacks, those delivery times would increase to two or three days, potentially creating problems for clients of Netflix, the popular DVD-by-mail service, who hope that their next episodes of “Mad Men” will arrive in a day, or procrastinators who like to pay bills as late as possible.

via Postal Service Cuts Will Slow First-Class Mail – NYTimes.com.

books:  I love books …

It’s surprising how many academics who identify with the digital humanities also have ties to “the History of the Book,” a field that has long been nurtured by seminars in great libraries. On the shelves of such scholars you may find the five magisterial volumes on The History of the Book in America, placed near Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. New media emerge, but they do not immediately replace old media.

Contrary to many futuristic projections—even from bibliophiles who, as a group, enjoy melancholy reveries—the recent technological revolution has only deepened the affection that many scholars have for books and libraries, and highlighted the need for the preservation, study, and cherishing of both.

via We’re Still in Love With Books – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

YouTube, lists,  videos:  What is your favorite … The 10 coolest YouTube videos of 2011 …

Chosen from the YouTube blog’s highlights from each week of the year. Nominate your favorite video from 2011 in a comment below.

The 10 coolest YouTube videos of 2011 · jeffelder · Storify.

FDR, Newt Gingrich:   “F.D.R. wore a cloak. I can’t see any of these guys wearing a cloak.”

On January 4, 1988 — it was, hard to believe, a quarter century ago — The New Yorker ran a Donald Reilly cartoon that has stuck with me all these years. A man and his wife are in bed watching a news report on the ’88 campaign, and the man says, “F.D.R. wore a cloak. I can’t see any of these guys wearing a cloak.”

It is a perennial lament, one we are hearing anew as the Republican nomination race closes in on the actual casting of votes, and every candidate appears small if not fatally flawed. The past always seems somehow more golden, more serious, than the present. We tend to forget the partisanship of yesteryear, preferring to re-imagine our history as a sure and steady march toward greatness.

The problem with such narratives is that they are in fact ahistorical. Franklin Roosevelt was hated by a large number of Americans in real time; some people actually celebrated when word came of his death in April 1945. From Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, every great president inspires enormous affection and enormous hostility. We’ll all be much saner, I think, if we remember that history is full of surprises (both good and bad) and things that seemed absolutely certain one day are often unimaginable the next. (Remember President Palin?)

The latest surprise in American politics is Newt Gingrich’s surge.

Is Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney a terrific president-in-waiting, or can Barack Obama regain control of events to a degree sufficient to master the presidency and right the nation’s course? If we are being honest about things, we will acknowledge that we just don’t know.

Back to that New Yorker cartoon: it seemed pitch-perfect at the time. Yet one of those unimpressive “guys” running in 1988 who didn’t seem to measure up to cloak status has actually emerged as a strong historical figure. If not quite F.D.R. — and who is? — George H.W. Bush proved a fine president, and he looks better and better as the years pass. It’s more than possible that one of the men provoking such chattering-class disdain today may wind up a figure of veneration in coming decades. I wouldn’t call the tailor to get a cloak in the works, but stranger things have happened.

via Jon Meacham on The Stature Gap: Could Newt Be The Next FDR? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

sexting:  I feel stupid.  🙂

From the London Free Press:

1. CD9 – code 9 parents are around

2. P911 – parent alert

3. PIR – parent in room

4. 8 – oral sex (or ate)

5. GYPO – get your pants off

6. GNRN – get naked right now

7. RUH – are you horny

8. CU46 – see you for sex

9. IWSN – I want sex now

10. GNOC – get naked on camera (webcam)”

How did you do on your translations? Did you know what they mean without the answers? Ididn’t do well at all but then again I tend to spell all my texts out.

via 110 sexting codes parents should know: Can you translate? | Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms.

06
Jan
11

‎1.6.2011 … Epiphany Greetings!

holidays, Advent, Epiphany:  Always enjoying learning something new …

Advent January 6th is Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal”. On this day we as the body of Christ are reminded of our mission to seek to as best we can to be used by God to “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. With this we end the 12 days of Christmas and celebration of the Christmas/Advent season. Next year we will start again. Hope this was a blessing to you. God bless!

via Advent.

-and-

Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King’s Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany (a King’s Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA).

In some church traditions, only the full days are counted so that January 5th is the Eleventh Day of Christmas, January 6th is the Twelfth Day, and the evening of January 6th is counted as the Twelfth Night.

In traditional Christian churches Christmas, as well as Easter, is celebrated as a period of time, a season of the church year, rather than just a day. The Season of the Church Year associated with Christmas actually begins with the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Day.  Advent is marked by expectation and anticipation in preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  Christmas begins with Christmas Day December 25 and lasts for Twelve Days until Epiphany, January 6, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity. The one or two Sundays between Christmas Day and Epiphany are sometimes called Christmastide.

For many Protestant church traditions, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter.  Depending on the timing of Easter, this longer period of Epiphany includes from four to nine Sundays.  Other traditions, especially the Roman Catholic tradition, observe Epiphany as a single day, with the Sundays following Epiphany counted as Ordinary Time. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday.

The term epiphany means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. In some Central and South American countries influenced by Catholic tradition, Three Kings’ Day, or the night before, is the time for opening Christmas presents. In some eastern churches, Epiphany or the Theophany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, with the visit of the Magi linked to Christmas. In some churches the day is celebrated as Christmas, with Epiphany/Theophany occurring on January 19th.

via The Season of Epiphany.

Congress, The Constitution:  I agree.  Why edit the Constitution, Republicans?  I think it a great idea to read it … but you should read the entire Constitution.

Today’s reading of the Constitution on the House floor was surely intended by the GOP leadership as a Tea Party moment. But it looks like it has turned into a progressive moment instead.

Before the House started the reading, two Democratic congressmen stood up to inquire about the language the House leadership had deemed appropriate to read aloud on the House floor. While this elicited some laughter in the chamber — oh, the conservatives must have thought with a chuckle, how delightful that the liberals are revealing that they are so ignorant of the Constitution that they need to ask for clarification on its language via parliamentary procedure! — this was a significant, legitimate point. Rather than reading the entire Constitution, with all its flaws and corrections, the GOP-led House was going to read an “edited” version of our Nation’s charter.

One cannot fault members of the House for being reluctant to read the portion of the original Constitution that declared slaves to be three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation, or the fugitive slave clause. But, as Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., so powerfully explained before the reading began today, the fact that these portions of the original Constitution were superseded by Amendments that abolished slavery and guaranteed equality is an important one. These Amendments — as well as the Amendments to secure the vote for women and remove poll taxes from standing in the way of low-income voters, among others — were the result of generations of men and women who gave blood, sweat, and treasure in the struggle to improve our founding charter and create a “more perfect union.”

via Elizabeth B. Wydra: Why Did the GOP “Edit” the Constitution?.

holidays, LOL, me:  My friend Claudia of Tutu.com tweeted the below … and I laughed at myself for not getting the choice of the day before …

National Tutu Day is fast approaching! 02/02/2011! What tutu will YOU be wearing on National Tutu Day?

via Twitter / @Tutu.Com: National Tutu Day is fast ….

Great Recession, Banking Meltdown, Great Recovery, politics, words:  Two things …  1) This is very difficult for anyone in the industry to have their compensation structure dictated by the government … and I believe if the employer has paid back its TARP that should be the end of it.  2) What does “nous” mean?  It means “British informal common sense; practical intelligence” via definition of nous from Oxford Dictionaries Online.

DISPLAYING new-found political nous, Britain’s biggest banks have reportedly asked the government for guidance on “what sort of bonus payments will be acceptable”. One suspects the answer won’t be to their liking.

The bankers’ entreaties follow the recent announcement of EU and Financial Services Authority (FSA) guidelines on bonuses. The new rules, an effort to end “over-individualistic behaviour”, will limit upfront cash awards to 20-30% of the total bonus, and require banks to set aside at least 50% of a bonus for 3-5 years (depending on employees’ “risk profile”). Non-EU banks will have to apply the rules to their European employees, while EU-based banks will have to apply the rules globally.

You don’t have to be a red-clawed capitalist to see this as remarkable and unhealthy regulation. It’s highly unusual for governments to dictate the structure of private sector compensation, and for good reason: Soviet-style pay rules risk introducing far more problems than they solve.

Because the new regulations only address the symptoms of sky-high financial sector compensation, rather than the underlying causes, they amount to squeezing a balloon: financial companies will simply adjust their remuneration structures to maintain similar levels of “benefit” to employees. Starting salaries, for example, have reportedly gone up 15-20% this year alone.

via Financial sector compensation: Bad bonus rules are worse than bad bonuses | The Economist.

etiquette:  I actually think about this when I e-mail someone.  What is the proper way to open and close and e-mail message?  What do you think?

Correspondence styles have changed since 1860, when Abraham Lincoln addressed this letter to Mary Todd Lincoln ‘Dear Wife.’

Like many modern communicators, Ms. Barry, a spokeswoman for Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has nixed the salutation “dear” in her emails.

“Dear is a bit too intimate and connotes a personal relationship,” she said.

Ms. Barry said she wants to keep her business communications with the press at “the utmost and highest level of professionalism.”

Across the Internet the use of dear is going the way of sealing wax. Email has come to be viewed as informal even when used as formal communication, leaving some etiquette experts appalled at the ways professional strangers address one another.

People who don’t start communications with dear, says business-etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey, “lack polish.”

“They come across as being abrupt,” says Ms. Ramsey, who founded a Savannah, Ga., etiquette consultancy called Manners That Sell.

via Hey, Folks: Here’s a Digital Requiem for a Dearly Departed Salutation – WSJ.com.

children,education, play, parenting:  Do you think our parents ever thought that they had to teach us how to play.  My generation really screwed this one up as parents …

Ms. Wilson has embraced a growing movement to restore the sometimes-untidy business of play to the lives of children. Her interest was piqued when she toured her local elementary school last year, a few months before Benjamin was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks.

“There’s no imaginative play anymore, no pretend,” Ms. Wilson said with a sigh.

For several years, studies and statistics have been mounting that suggest the culture of play in the United States is vanishing. Children spend far too much time in front of a screen, educators and parents lament — 7 hours 38 minutes a day on average, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation last year. And only one in five children live within walking distance (a half-mile) of a park or playground, according to a 2010 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control, making them even less inclined to frolic outdoors.

via The Movement to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum – NYTimes.com.

Arianna Hufffington, TED videos, health:  Great TED video … “Sleep your way to the top, literally.” – as only Arianna could say it!  Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep | Video on TED.com.

Apple, iPad: Apple iPad 2 Rumors Circulate the Web – NYTimes.com.

politics:  Oops, Mr. President.

President Obama’s comment Wednesday that departing White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has worked awfully hard for his “relatively modest” pay of $172,200 may have sounded to some like a rationalization for Gibbs joining the private sector to earn some big bucks.

But the remark to the New York Times got the attention of the Washington Post “Federal Eye” columnist, who posted a lengthy story questioning just how modest such a six-figure salary is in a weak economy with high unemployment and complaints about government spending. Gibbs’ compensation falls just under the $200,000 mark that the pre-tax-compromise Obama administration once pegged as upper income for an individual — and undeserving of a continued tax break from the Bush-era reductions.

via Obama Comment That $172,000 Is ‘Relatively Modest’ Pay Has Tongues Wagging.

history, Civil War: Interesting website … I wonder how many people will plan a vacation around the sesquicentennial celebration of the Civil War?  Civil War in Georgia – Plan a Trip – Georgia Civil War Events and Attractions.

 

12
Dec
10

12.12.2010 Thunder Road was a success for John … my favorite Advent service tonight …

FPC, Advent:  Taize Service tonight.  This may be my favorite one.

“…in our silence.”

December 12, 2010

This evening service will remind us that among the noise of the holiday, God’s voice is still able to speak to us in the stillness and silence. Taize is a worship style from France that seeks to contrast noise and silence, and light and darkness as we worship God.

art, Norman Rockwell:

Norman Rockwell’s America still has its fans—both at home and overseas. His first major British exhibition will open Dec. 15 at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. On Thursday in New York, his work saw strong sales at a Sotheby’s auction.

It wasn’t always so: For decades, much of the art world looked down on Rockwell’s idyllic portraits of ball games, Boy Scouts and freckle-faced kids. But in recent years, collectors and museums have come to embrace the artist. At auction, 87% of the Rockwell oil paintings offered for sale this year have been sold, up from 73% last year.

via Norman Rockwell Paintings Sell Well at Sotheby’s – WSJ.com.

lawyers, ex-lawyers, yoga: Yoga teacher!

But nineteen months ago, Stuart lost his job.  He responded by becoming a yoga instructor. WTF Stuart?

“All I can tell you is that when you get older there are certain things that start coming to your mind that you can’t possibly explain or understand when you’re younger,” says Stuart. “It’s like trying to explain puberty to a five-year-old.  The concept of now or never really does begin to hit you, and you realize: Well, wait a second if I don’t this now, I’m never going to do it.  It’s not like oh geez I’ll do this when I retire.  I’m 55. A lot of people retire at 55.”

via From BofA Attorney to Yoga Instructor, Stuart Dean | The Ex-Lawyers Club.

holidays:  To call Christmas an agnostic holiday bothers me even more than a cultural holiday.  Holiday is by definition a holy day.  Interesting interview/book … Agnostic Holidays: Green With ‘Spiritual Envy’? : NPR.

culture, medicine, ethics:

PlanetHospital’s most affordable package, the “India bundle,” buys an egg donor, four embryo transfers into four separate surrogate mothers, room and board for the surrogate, and a car and driver for the parents-to-be when they travel to India to pick up the baby.

via Assembling the Global Baby – WSJ.com.

 

08
Dec
10

12.08.2010 … enjoying the bright cold of an early winter day …

Advent:  For about 10 years we have had an advent wreath on our dinner table which we light most nights and read the Christmas cards that came for the day as well as a passage from an advent book. Late this year, we just started two nights ago, and last night I just played a piece from the Unapologetically Episcopalian FB page … Elizabeth Poston – Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (1784).

Of course it wasn’t one of our ususal Presbyterian hymns so when Molly and John gave me a strange look, I quipped that I would put on Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Christmas Song.  And I did!

In response to this post on FB, a friend sent me a great Advent resource from her home church in Atlanta.  Advent Calendar 2010.  Enjoy!

RIP, news, media, headlines, obituaries, Elizabeth Edwards, :  Is Elizabeth Edwards death news justifying headlines that are at best merely factual … but more often titilating/demeaning or an obituary where the wording should be respectful?  I go for the latter. What do you think?

CNN This Just In Blog:

Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer

via Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer – This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

The Huffington Post – (Note first word is Ariana):

Arianna On Elizabeth Edwards’ Passing, Strength And Legacy

via HuffPost TV: Arianna On Elizabeth Edwards’ Passing, Strength And Legacy.

WSJ – Front Page Blurb in In Today’s Paper Column:

Died: Elizabeth Edwards, 61, campaigner and adviser whose battle with cancer and family travails drew sympathy.

via In Today’s Paper – WSJ.com.

WSJ:

Feisty Campaigner Drew Sympathy Amid Tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer – WSJ.com.

NYT:

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, 1949-2010

A Political Life Filled With Cruel Reversals

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer at 61 – Obituary – NYTimes.com.

Politics Daily (AOL):

Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace

via Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace.

CNN:

Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer

via Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer – CNN.com.

NPR:

Elizabeth Edwards: Resilience Remembered

via Elizabeth Edwards: Resilience Remembered : NPR.

Chicago Tribune:

Elizabeth Edwards dies at 61; wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the year her husband ran for vice president with John F. Kerry. The couple’s marriage unraveled years later when it was revealed that John Edwards was having an affair with a campaign videographer.

via Obituary: Elizabeth Edwards dies at 61; wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards – chicagotribune.com.

Atlanta Journal – Constitution:

Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy  | ajc.com.

Charlotte Observer:

Death is a quiet closing to a full and public life for Elizabeth Edwards

She won admiration for resilience amid illness, infidelity

via Death is a quiet closing to a full and public life for Elizabeth Edwards – CharlotteObserver.com.

The Daily Tarheel:

Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer

Was wife of John Edwards, UNC alumna, local business owner

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer.

facebook, Elizabeth Edwards:  FB allowed Elizabeth to control her own last words to the public.

Edwards also posted the following to her Facebook page:

“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,”  she wrote. “We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”

via A Look Into Elizabeth Edwards’ Facebook Post on Her Worsening Cancer Condition – Mike Isaac – Social Medium – Forbes.

religion, faith:  I really liked this entry from the Nouwen site today.

God’s Timeless Time

There is no “after” after death. Words like after and before belong to our mortal life, our life in time and space. Death frees us from the boundaries of chronology and brings us into God’s “time,” which is timeless. Speculations about the afterlife, therefore, are little more than just that: speculations. Beyond death there is no “first” and “later,” no “here” and “there,” no “past,” “present,” or “future.” God is all in all. The end of time, the resurrection of the body, and the glorious coming again of Jesus are no longer separated by time for those who are no longer in time.For us who still live in time, it is important not to act as if the new life in Christ is something we can comprehend or explain. God’s heart and mind are greater than ours. All that is asked of us is trust.

via December 6, 2010 – God’s Timeless Time.

random anniversaries, music: Today is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. I truly enjoyed his music.  Do you think John Lennon’s death is an event that warrants the questions, “Do you remember where you were when John Lennon died?”

YouTube – Imagine – John Lennon. — Don’t agree with the words … but sounds beautiful …

architecture, Chicago: good question …

In one of these essays, “New York, New York: Pluralism and Its Possibilities,” first published in 1979, Stern writes of New York’s place as a center of ideas–a nexus of distinguished architecture schools, journals, museums and newspaper criticism that no other American city could match. He goes on:

“One comes to New York to see architecture being made, and not so much to see it. How different from Chicago, where the products of Mies’s talents and those of his followers are everywhere to be seen. Chicago is like Detroit or Hollywood–the product and the place are one; architecture is Chicago’s dominant plastic art, just as film is Holywood’s chief artistic product; they are company towns, urban villages grown up to produce and market one or two things. New York is a metropolis, a world capital; architecture is dreamed here, realized everywhere.

Did Stern correctly characterize Chicago in 1979? And now, 31 years and a host of changes later, where is he right and where is he off base?

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

architecture, Chicago:  I was so looking forward to the Spire.  What is the last great skyscraper built in the US?

The Spire is so over

Irish developer Garrett Kelleher has lost control of the site on which he hoped to build architect Santiago Calatrava’s design for a twisting, 2,000-foot skyscraper, The Tribune’s Mary Ellen Podmolik reports.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

apps, art, Paris: Brushes is one of my favorite iPad/iphone apps.  Now there is a whole art exhibit done with the apps.  I want to go!

David Hockney thinks his current exhibition may be the first one that’s ever been 100 percent e-mailed to a gallery. The 73-year-old artist is standing in the space in question — the Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent Foundation in Paris — trying to talk about the works, when his iPhone rings.

via In Paris, A Display From David Hockney’s Pixelated Period : NPR.

Davidson:  Davidson sports … intentional, holistic, communal  … Don’t you love those words.

Fully one-quarter of Davidson’s 1,900 students are varsity athletes, and a preponderance of the student body practice some intramural sport, from crew to flickerball. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of brawny senior Wildcat hoopsters coaching a first-year flickerball practice on Chambers Lawn.

As has been well-documented in the “hoops and books” publicity surrounding our recent run to the Elite Eight, Davidson College is intentional and holistic in how it treats sports: as an integral part of the college experience, for athletes as well as for non-athletes. That makes for a strong sense of communal investment in the Wildcats’ seasons that is well worth witnessing.

via » A Different Kind of Sports Fan.

Apple:  I hope so.  I have a mobile me account primarily for the syncing … It needs some work.

Steve Jobs: MobileMe to ‘Get A Lot Better’ Next Year

Apple’s “MobileMe” service costs $99 per year and isn’t justifying its price with at least one user, who e-mailed Steve Jobs directly to complain. Jobs’ response: “It will get a lot better in 2011.” Sent from his iPhone.

Source: MacRumors

via TechFast: Google’s Notebook, Steve Jobs’ E-mail, and More – Techland – TIME.com.

news, college, stupid: How to screw your life up …

Each of the five students in the apparently well-coordinated network allegedly specialized in selling a certain type of drug, authorities said. During a five-month investigation, undercover New York Police Department officers made 31 purchases from the students, totaling nearly $11,000, said Bridget Brennan, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor.

According to Ms. Brennan, the sales took place in the common areas or bedrooms of three fraternities and two dorms and involved the peddling of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, Adderall and LSD, the latter of which was sometimes used to lace Altoids or Sweet Tarts candy.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the bust was the biggest at a college “in recent memory.” He said the investigation began after a tip from a confidential source. A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case said at least one student came forward to police with information about the narcotics exchange at the school.

via Columbia Drug Bust ‘Operation Ivy League’ Snares Five – WSJ.com.

apps, NYCBroadway by iPhone: TKTS Launches App – Metropolis – WSJ.

NYC, travel:  Ten Things Not to Do in New York City in Hot Spots on Concierge.com.

gLee:  I always wonder about the guys playing the instruments … why they are not ever characters. So I found this amusing. … Brad Ellis: ‘Glee’s’ Piano Man, Perfectly Happy With The Silent Treatment : Monkey See : NPR.

Apple: OK, Mac — does that make me “a spendthrift fetishist?”

PC or Mac? It’s the longest-running question in personal technology — along with the Mac itself, the debate turns 27 next month — and probably the most contentious one. A small but noisy percentage of computer owners consist of people who aren’t content to pick a computing platform and leave it at that. Instead, they question the IQ and/or taste of anyone who makes a buying decision different from their own. Hence the classic stereotypes: the Windows user as a clueless sucker for punishment, and the Mac fan as a spendthrift fetishist. (Apple has fanned the flames with PC-bashing ads for years, and Microsoft has gotten snarky about Macs in some recent commercials.)

via PC vs. Mac Holiday Shopping: Which Computer Type Is Best? – TIME.

technology, iPhones, Charlotte:  So I have the worst cell phone service in a major metropolitan area AND I use the worst carrier!

Consumer Reports, the influential product review publication, says AT&T Inc. is again the worst-rated cellular service provider in the U.S., a blow to the carrier’s effort to rehabilitate its network and reputation.

via Consumer Reports Says AT&T ‘Worst-Rated’ U.S. Carrier – WSJ.com.




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