Posts Tagged ‘adventure travel

19
Apr
14

4.19.14 … The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb … and the Pope likes Homeless Jesus …

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, Holy Saturday: Saw this image today, Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22.  I can only say, it struck me off guard.

 

550px-The_Body_of_the_Dead_Christ_in_the_Tomb,_and_a_detail,_by_Hans_Holbein_the_YoungerThe Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb is an oil and tempera on limewood painting created by the German artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22. The work shows a life-size, grotesque depiction of the stretched and unnaturally thin body of Jesus Christ lying in his tomb. Holbein shows the dead Son of God after he has suffered the fate of an ordinary human.

The painting is especially notable for its dramatic dimensions (30.5 cm x 200 cm),[1] and the fact that Christ’s face, hands and feet, as well as the wounds in his torso, are depicted as realistic dead flesh in the early stages of putrefaction. His body is shown as long and emaciated while eyes and mouth are left open.[2]

via The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Philomena, RedBox:  I got lucky! The movie has so many themes consistent with Holy Week, forgiveness, marginalized people, role of the Church, atonement, confession, tragedy … and what if he was obese? 

via ▶ Philomena – Size of Portions – The Weinstein Company – YouTube.

Philomena: “Now we’re getting closer, all these years wondering if Anthony was in trouble or prison or goodness knows where. But as long as I didn’t know I could always turn myself he was happy somewhere and that he was doing all right.”

Martin: “Don’t upset yourself.”

Philomena: “What if he was obese?”

Martin: “Obese?”

Philomena: “I watched this documentary that says a lot of Americans are huge. What if that happened to him?”

Martin: “What on earth makes you think he’d be obese?”

Philomena: “Because of the size of the portions!”

As they learn more about Anthony and draw closer, Philomena wonders about his lifestyle and health. A documentary about obese Americans has her wondering if Anthony is obese, among other things.

via Philomena Movie Quotes.

 

Oh my goodness, it’s the best movie I’ve seen in the last five years.  It’s a rather somber movie, although positively holy. I’d go for something more lighthearted for an exhausted Wildcat.

Loved it!

A must see

One of the best talks about forgiveness

Excellent story. Worth watching.

Philomena seems to have broad appeal: men women, protestant, jew, young, old (or at least middle aged) …

The most wrenching scene in the film is when she spots her young son being taken away from the convent by the American couple who adopt him, almost as an afterthought, to be a companion to the young girl they had originally come to claim. (Plot spoilers abound in this article.)

Throughout the film, Mr. Hess remains something of an enigma to the audience, which is why his real-life story may seem so tantalizing to viewers. Yes, there are those artfully staged flashbacks, but Mr. Hess is always “a little out of reach” to quote Mr. Coogan, who plays the journalist who helps Philomena track him down and who was a co-writer of the screenplay.

This was apparently intentional. If you are going to make a movie based on a true story, and if that story centers on a woman’s search to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption, it makes a certain amount of sense not to flesh him out too much.

“We didn’t want to become overly involved in the life of Anthony Lee or Michael Hess,” Mr. Coogan said. “What appealed to me was the search for the son and the tragedy of not being able to see him grow up. That’s how Philomena experienced it; it was just out of reach, just beyond her.”

via Behind ‘Philomena,’ the True Story of Michael Hess – NYTimes.com.

60 MINUTES CLASSICS

THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES

The movie “Philomena,” which opens this week and stars Judi Dench, tells the true story of an unwed, pregnant Irish girl who is sent off to a convent, where her baby is given up for adoption against her will. Years later, as an elderly woman, Philomena tries to find her son.

The convent where Philomena was sent was a “Magdalen Laundry,” one of many convents across Ireland where thousands of girls – pregnant out of wedlock or otherwise deemed morally wayward – were placed by the church or their families. At the laundries, the girls endured harsh, unpaid labor to make restitution for their sins.

Steve Kroft reported on the Magdalen Laundries in 1999, only two years after the last one had closed and when the full story of the laundries was coming to light. “The women had been virtual prisoners,” Steve reported. “Confined behind convent walls for perceived sins of the flesh, condemned to a life of servitude.”

Earlier this year, the Irish government released a report on the laundries. The report acknowledged, for the first time, that the state was directly involved in the laundries, having sent as many as one quarter of the women to these institutions — most of them in their twenties, but at least one as young as age 9.

“The chronicle of the Magdalen Laundries was for many years characterised primarily by secrecy, silence and shame,” the report says. “The psychological impact on these girls was undoubtedly traumatic and lasting.”

via “Philomena” and Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries – CBS News.

And a friend put me on to this … beautiful!

emmylou harris – magdalene laundries

Electoral College, kith/kin: A long time ago on a family vacation, my brother and sister discussed the pros and cons of the electoral college (yes, really). It was a very heated discussion (yes, really). So I always click on news items discussing it and its alternatives. Somehow my childhood never leaves me.

I think, like most colleges, the cost of the EC has become outrageous!

It was the statewide and/or nationwide debate topic when I was in high school. I’m well versed on both sides. Would welcome the opportunity to referee.

Maybe you are the cause of the lifelong debate in our house!! I had to interest in the matter at the time. I really think the Great Electoral College Debate began on a Jekyll beach trip.

I used to ask my dad to explain the Electoral College to me when we were driving on trips and he seemed sleepy. He would get all fired up and it would wake him back up.

Why does that not surprise me about V. Stuart!

Pros/cons of the Electoral College was one of the national debate topics when I was in high school – I never thought I was very convincing when I had to support it.  We also debated unilateral intervention in Vietnam, abortion rights, and the role of the military- industrial complex. I loved debate!

Deadliest Everest Avalanche, adventure travel, Sherpas: This link is a Sype interview with Diana Williams, the wife of a Davidson friend , who is just down from Everest Base Camp. You never think that you might know someone who is at such a phenomenal place. Prayers for the Sherpas who lost their lives and the families and the adventurers who are up there.

[http://bcove.me/4brrdauw]

VIDEO: Deadly Everest Avalanche.

On April 17, at about 6:30 a.m. local time, an avalanche swept down off the west shoulder of Everest and killed 16 climbers. To anybody who’s familiar with Everest climbing, it should come as no surprise that all of the men were Sherpa porters. Sherpas are Everest’s workforce—the literal backbone of the climbing industry there. The men who were struck were either carrying 80-pound loads to Camps 1 and 2, or they were on their way back to Base Camp. Without the hard work of the Sherpa porters, it would be largely impossible for Americans and Europeans with slightly above-average physiology, and well-above-average disposable income, to scale the world’s tallest mountain.

Increasingly, the pinnacle of adventure tourism—the summit of Everest—comes at too steep a cost. In the August 2013 issue, I wrote a story titled “Disposable Man,” about the routinization of Sherpa deaths on Everest. Today’s avalanche was the worst accident in the history of the mountain. Add to this the April 2 death of Sherpa Mingma Tenzing, who was working for the Peak Freaks expedition, as well as at least a dozen serious injuries from the avalanche, and 2014 stands out as the bloodiest year in Everest history— all before most teams have even set foot on the mountain.

Yes, something needs to be done.

via The Value of a Sherpa Life | Mountaineering | OutsideOnline.com.

Homeless Jesus statue,  Timothy Schmalz, audience with an admiring Pope Francis, Toronto Star: The Pope likes Homeless Jesus; no surprise there.  Maybe St. Albans/Davidson should ask him to drop by and see it installed.

 

For two years, it was the sculpture nobody would take: a life-sized Jesus sleeping on a park bench with his bare feet, wounded from his crucifixion, poking out from under a blanket.

But now Jesus the Homeless and its Canadian sculptor have a new fan in the Vatican: Pope Francis.

Timothy Schmalz brought the original wooden model of his sculpture to St. Peter’s Square last Wednesday to present to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. After his weekly general audience, the Pope prayed over the statue and blessed it, Schmalz said.

“It is very, very amazing for a sculptor to have that,” he said. “After, the Vatican officials introduced me to Pope Francis and he said he thought Jesus the Homeless was a beautiful sculpture. So needless to say, I’m very excited about that.”

The model is going to stay in one of the Vatican houses, he said, and he is working to find an outdoor location near St. Peter’s for the full-sized bronze version.

via Homeless Jesus statue gets audience with an admiring Pope Francis | Toronto Star.

clear quartz, follow-up:  I’m trying to figure out what to do with my quartz.  Infuse me with optimism … I like that! 🙂

IMG_9758

Crystal Properties – Clear Quartz

Color: Clear with a glassy look.

Associations:

Associated Crystals: Diamond, white sapphire and white topaz.

Candle Color: Gold.

Chakra: Crown.

Element: Fire.

Flowers & Plants: Golden chrysanthemum, marigold and sunflower.

Herbs – Incenses – Oils: Bay, frankincense, orange and rosemary.

Planet: Sun.

Zodiac: Leo.

Metaphysical Properties & Uses:

Animals: Use clear quartz with old animals to help give them an energy and health boost.

Children: All children should be give a piece of clear quartz to be kept throughout life. It will gradually increase in power and act as their own personal talisman.

Environment: Clear quartz will send environmental healing energy to anywhere it is needed on the planet.

Finance & Prosperity: –

Health & Healing: Clear quartz is almost certainly the most versatile healing crystal there is. It can be used for any cleansing, energizing or healing.

Home: Clear quartz will help your family to live together in harmony. It will also help instill a sense of optimism and purpose when times are difficult.

Love: –

Protection: Clear quartz is protective against negative energy and will transmute it to positive energy.

Psychic: Clear quartz will amplify any healing or psychic power. It is also suitable for channeling angels and spirit guides, and can be used for aura work.

It Is The Stone Of: –

Ritual: –

Work: Clear quartz will infuse everyone with a sense of optimism, even those who are by nature pessimistic.

Other: –

See Our Clear Quartz

via Clear Quartz – Properties – Associations – Uses.

biological clock, reset: I have never been a big camper, but I am definitely in need a of a reset!

10153255_665277280204454_3871675732912470919_n

Inflatable Child Seat Concept, Volvo Cars, YouTube:  Pretty cool.

via Inflatable Child Seat Concept – Volvo Cars – YouTube.

selfie, travel photos:

“The selfie is a new type of travel photo,” explains Dr. Lev Manovich, a professor at CUNY’s Graduate Center and the project coordinator of Selfiecity, an academic investigation into the where and why of the phenomenon. Portraits may have always been integral to travel photography, but the emergence of the two-camera mobile phone means people no longer need a friend or trustworthy stranger to take one.

“Since the face occupies a larger part of the images, these self-portraits may function differently from earlier travel photos,” Manovich continues. “They do not document the travel scene—rather they announce, ‘I was here.’”

And this year, with World Cup mania taking over Brazil, Universal Orlando opening a new section of its Harry Potter mini-park, and Coachella celebrating 15 years of wrecking the minds and bodies (and fashion sense) of music fans, there’s plenty to announce. If Kobe Bryant can have a selfie-off in a Turkish Airlines commercial and Ellen can break Twitter records at the Oscars, then you can surely make your friends and family jealous for months. And if you do it in the Philippines, home to the Selfiest City in the World, you’ll be in good company; Manhattan and Miami trail just behind.

So grab your favorite mobile camera—be it a Canon, iPhone, or GoPro—and get snapping. This year, you don’t want to spare a minute of #FOMO. We’ve even included a few hashtags for you to use along the way.

via 25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

Swan House, Atlanta History Center, Flyworx.co productions, YouTube: New perspective!

via ▶ Swan House – Atlanta History Center – Flyworx.co productions – YouTube.

What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks, Carmine Gallo, Harvard Business Review:

What makes for a great presentation — the kind that compels people’s attention and calls them to action?  TED talks have certainly set a benchmark in recent years: HBR even asked Chris Anderson, the group’s founder, to offer lessons drawn from the three decades he’s run TED’s signature events in an article published last summer.

But experience and intuition are one thing; data and analysis are another. What could one learn by watching the most successful TED talks in recent years (150 hours’ worth), talking to many of the speakers, then running the findings by neuroscientists who study persuasion?  I did just that, and here’s what I learned:

Use emotion. Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk, “We need to talk about an injustice”, received the longest standing ovation in the event’s history. A civil rights attorney who successfully argued and won the Supreme Court case Miller v. Alabama, which prohibits mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder, this is a man who knows how to persuade people.

I divided the content of his talk into Aristotle’s three areas of persuasion. Only 10 percent fell under “ethos” (establishing credibility for the speaker); 25 percent fell into the “logos” category (data, statistics) and a full 65 percent was categorized as “pathos” (emotion, storytelling). In his 18-minute talk, Stevenson told three stories to support his argument. The first was about his grandmother, and when I asked him why he started with it, his answer was simple: “Because everyone has a grandmother.” The story was his way of making an immediate connection with the audience.

Stories that trigger emotion are the ones that best inform, illuminate, inspire, and move people to action. Most everyday workplace conversations are heavy on data and light on stories, yet you need the latter to reinforce your argument. So start incorporating more anecdotes – from your own experience or those about other people, stories and brands (both successes and failures) – into your pitches and presentations.

Be novel. We all like to see and hear something new. One guideline that TED gives its speakers is to avoid “trotting out the usual shtick.” In other words, deliver information that is unique, surprising, or unexpected—novel.

In his 2009 TED presentation on the impact of malaria in African countries, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates shocked his audience when he opened a jar of mosquitoes in the middle of his talk. “Malaria, of course, is transmitted by mosquitoes,” he said. “I brought some here so you can experience this. I’ll let these roam around the auditorium. There’s no reason why only poor people should have the experience.” He reassured his audience that the mosquitoes were not infected – but not until the stunt had grabbed their attention and drawn them into the conversation.

As neuroscientist Dr. A.K. Pradeep confirms, our brains can’t ignore novelty. “They are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out.” Pradeep should know. He’s a pioneer in the area of neuromarketing, studying advertisements, packaging, and design for major brands launching new products.

In the workplace your listener (boss, colleague, sales prospect) is asking him or herself one question: “Is this person teaching me something I don’t know?” So introduce material that’s unexpected, surprising or offers a new and novel solution to an old problem.

Emphasize the visual. Robert Ballard’s 2008 TED talk on his discovery of the Titanic, two and a half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic, contained 57 slides with no words. He showed pictures, images, and animation of life beneath the sea, without one word of text, and the audience loved it. Why did you deliver an entire presentation in pictures? “Because I’m storytelling; not lecturing,” Ballard told me.

Research shows that most of us learn better when information is presented in pictures and text instead of text alone. When ideas are delivered verbally—without pictures—the listener retains about 10% of the content. Add a picture and retention soars to 65%.

For your next PowerPoint presentation, abandon the text blocks and bullet points in favor of more visually intriguing design elements. Show pictures, animations, and images that reinforce your theme. Help people remember your message.

via What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks – Carmine Gallo – Harvard Business Review.

Japan, travel:

Japan: What facts about Japan do foreigners not believe until they come to Japan?

In light of all the comments and feedback I’ve been getting, the one thing about Japan that foreigners do not believe, even if they do come to Japan for a visit, is probably this: It’s a mass of contradictions and hard to pigeonhole; your snap judgement may just be wrong. This may be why you are reading this and why Japan interests you. I addressed this in greater depth in the first half of my answer here: Makiko Itoh’s answer to Japan: What are some of Japan’s best kept secrets?

via (1) Home – Quora.

Divinity Candy Recipe, Garden and Gun, kith/kin: I saw this today as an Easter treat.  It was more a Christmas confection from my memory, but that memory is a good one.

My mother made wonderful divinity, but I also remember the divinity fails if you tried to make it on a rainy day and it would refuse to set.

I like divinity every now and then, but if I’m going to mess with making meringue I’d rather make a Pavlova or just meringues.

I’m going to have to check on Pavlova … that’s a new one for me.

It’s a large – pie sized – meringue. Usually has fresh fruit w/sauce over it.

 

holidays can be particularly tough for homesick Southerners. Her old-fashioned Divinities make a great addition to the Easter table, wherever you are. Meringue clouds studded with hunks of pecan, they’re bound to trigger a few sweet memories, especially among Southerners of a certain age. Feel free to personalize them with your own add-ins—she recommends peanuts, chocolate, or candied fruit.

via Divinity Candy Recipe | Garden and Gun.

J.P. Craven, Davidson College alum, Boston Marathon after trauma, http://www.wsoctv.com:

A group from Davidson College will fly to Boston this weekend to cheer on graduate and baseball alumnus J.P. Craven. Craven was at the finish line waiting for his father to cross when the first blast went off at last year’s marathon.

Craven will be running in the race for a cause.

As Craven gets ready to take on the Boston marathon, he’s going with the support of his former baseball team, classmates and teachers at Davidson.

It’s just some of the support he’s relied on since the bombings. The first explosion knocked him to the ground.

“I realized I was bleeding and realized I had to get out of there, which is when I started running,” Craven said.

Craven found help at a Boston Medical Center tent nearby. A piece of shrapnel had hit him in the head and ear, and another piece was lodged in his nose. He asked medics to call his parents, and his dad, who hadn’t finished the race yet, ran straight there.

via Davidson College alum returns to Boston Marathon after trauma | www.wsoctv.com.

Boobypack,  A Fanny Pack For Your Rack, kickstarter campaigns:  The things you learn from daughters.  One of her friends is interning for tho startup.  🙂

About Boobypack- The one and only fannypack for your rack | Boobypack | A Fanny Pack For Your Rack.

23
Jan
13

1.23.13 … BINGO and congealed salad … great day …

BINGO, Lenbrook, kith/kin, sleep, wellness:  Wednesday night Bingo at Lenbrook.  And despite the fact that my mom fell asleep during the first coverall BINGO game, she won it due to her beloved daughters … teamwork.

 

“Sleep is part of what I call the ‘wellness triangle,’ along with fitness and nutrition,” says Nancy Rothstein, a sleep expert who consults with corporations on the topic. “And when you’re exhausted, you’re less likely to exercise and less likely to eat well. That’s why I put sleep at the top of the triangle.”

via Give It a Rest: Tips for Improving Your Sleep – At Work – WSJ.

Lenbrook, Ladies of Lenbrook, congealed salad: I totally enjoy my time in the place where they still have a “congealed salad of the day.” As always the company is delightful and am looking forward to a day with my mom and dinner and. BINGO with the Ladies of Lenbrook.

weather, global warming, kith/kin:  E wins the high temp award today … Boulder – 64. About the same in Davidson, Vail , Charlotte and Atlanta. A little colder in Louisville!

LOL:

This made us smile today. Window washers at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh dressed up as super heroes ♥ http://ow.ly/h1Kuy

 

NYC, travel,  The High Line, El Anatsui, Big Onion Walking Tours, Greenwich Village:  Heading to NYC next week … Suggestions? I want to walk the High Line Park and find a labyrinth … Other than that I’m pretty open.

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.

via Park Information | The High Line.

 

High Line Art presents Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui’s Broken Bridge II, the largest outdoor installation ever by the artist. A monumental sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, the work will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it. Broken Bridge II will be on view from November 21, 2012 through Summer 2013.

via EL ANATSUI, BROKEN BRIDGE II | The High Line.

Stroll through one of New York’s most picturesque neighborhoods as we explore the unique and legendary home to artists, writers and radicals.   Our walk has a special emphasis on the history and architecture of the Village. Stops could include: Jefferson Market Courthouse, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the “hanging elm”, the Stonewall Inn, and sites associated with Stanford White, Aaron Burr, Edith Wharton, John Sloan, Evelyn Nesbit, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Paine.

via Greenwich Village | Big Onion.

Charlotte,  free history program 2/5/13,   Charlotte On The Cheap:

Interested in learning more about our local history? Here’s a free program on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013. Read on for more details.

The Mecklenburg Historical Association Docents invite visitors who are interested in learning about and sharing history to attend their upcoming program on Tuesday, February 5th, in the Fellowship Hall of Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, West Sugar Creek Road at North Tryon Street.  Refreshments are available at 9:30 a.m.  The business meeting will follow at 10:00, with the program beginning at 11:00.

The program will be presented by Ann and Jim Williams, local historians and reenactors, who have conducted extensive research on three generations of the Davidson family, who made their home at Rural Hill in Huntersville.  From a vast array of primary family papers, family stories, wills, estate papers, court records, etc. they have produced a unified narrative.  The title of the program is “It Ain’t Necessarily So – Rewriting Site History Using Primary Sources.”  This study revealed much about antebellum Mecklenburg County, including some surprises.  Slides will illustrate the talk.

via Free history program 2/5/13 » Charlotte On The Cheap.

Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, Rand Paul, Benghazi Hearings, Politics, truth:  I  try to form educated opinions on political controversies.  But I don’t believe either side anymore.  What is the truth?

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing over the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility,” said Paul. “I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that.”

“Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable,” he said, referencing Clinton’s comments that she had not read all of the documentation surrounding the attack.

“I think we can understand you’re not reading every cable,” Paul said. He added that he didn’t suspect Clinton of “bad motives” but said that it was a “failure of leadership.”

Clinton responded, “I am the Secretary of State. And the [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) rebuked Paul in the next exchange. “If some people on this committee want to call this tragedy the worst since 9/11, it misunderstands the nature of 4000 plus Americans lost in the War in Iraq under false pretenses.”

via Rand Paul To Hillary Clinton: ‘I Would Have Relieved You Of Your Post’.

Pride & Prejudice 200, Jane Austen, bucket list:

Two hundred years after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s most famous (and arguably her best) novel is as popular as ever. The descriptions of England in Pride and Prejudice and her other novels continue to provide a quintessential image of the country for locals and visitors alike. To celebrate this special anniversary we’ve ‘taken a turn’ around places associated with Austen herself and with her characters which can still be enjoyed today.

via Jane Austen’s England: a traveller’s guide to finding Mr Darcy – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet

Join us as we take a step back in time visiting the haunts of Jane Austen. On this journey we’ll visit the homes and estates of Jane Austen and her family, including Godmersham Park, Chawton House Library, and Chawton Cottage (where Jane Austen wrote her mature masterpieces); tour the seaside towns of Lyme Regis, Ramsgate, and Portsmouth; walk The Cobb; explore Oxford and Winchester; then on to Bath to participate in the beginning of the world famous Jane Austen Festival!

via A Jane Austen Tour: — Seascapes and Landscapes.

travel, adventure travel, bucket list: Cuba!

With 2012 now behind us, we’ve tallied up the Top 12 National Geographic Expeditions of the year based on the number of travelers who joined us, and the list spans the gamut from Alaska to Antarctica, and from wildlife adventures to photography workshops.

via Top 12 Trips of 2012 | Field Notes.

2013 SuperBowl Ads:  You can vote … Coke Chase 2013 Ad – YouTube.

 

 

29
Nov
11

11.29.2011… Planning the half-way there luncheon for my high school senior … and for the magabus tomorrow …

grammar, LOL:


‎7 walking-into-a-bar jokes for grammar geeks… http://is.gd/1hDsvf

Eloise, The Plaza, NYC, Christmas trees:

At first glance, it’s easy to forget that Johnson’s creation is a Christmas tree. There’s barely a hint of green in the 18-inch high creation, but instead, vibrant pink decorations everywhere, which is befitting the designer’s aesthetic. “It’s filled with girly stuff—pink feathers, sparkles, foldout Eloise paper dolls,” Johnson says. “There’s three quarters of me that’s six years old and it comes out.”

via Betsey Johnson Unveils ‘Eloise’ Christmas Tree at Plaza Hotel | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

abseiling, rapp jumping, South Africa, adventure travel, South Africa:

It’s only recently that abseiling has become an activity in its own right. Really it’s just the method climbers use to get off mountains – or special services forces use to descend deserted buildings into enemy territory in adventure movies – but it’s fun, and so it’s become available as an activity in its own right.

You can hang out high over Cape Town abseiling from Table Mountain. The “long drop” is 112m high – and about a kilometre above the city – making it the world’s highest commercial abseil.

via Abseiling & rapp jumping in SA – SouthAfrica.info.

Advent Calendars, chocolate, history:  The Germans again … 🙂

Like most Christmas traditions, Advent Calendars date back to early 19th-century-Germany. Religious families counted down the days to Christmas by drawing lines in chalk on their doors and, later, lighting candles and hanging religious images on their walls each day to mark Advent’s passing. The first Advent Wreath was hung in December 1839.

Historians believe the first hand-made Advent Calendar, an extension of the Wreath tradition, was produced in 1851. The date of the first printed Advent Calendar, however, is uncertain. But we do know that it was some time in the first decade of the 1900s.

Gerhard Lang, a Swabian, began printing Advent Calendars in Munich around this time, and created at least 30 different calendar designs, mostly consisting of little paper images stuck to a piece of cardboard, before his company folded in the 1930s. Other companies picked up the practice, which grew in popularity until cardboard was rationed during the Second World War.

Post-WWII, many companies picked printing back up again, including Richard Sellmer, who was the first to recreate Advent Calendars in 1946. His company produces yearly calendars to this day.

The first chocolate-filled calendar was created in 1958 and—obviously—the trend stuck.

via The History of Chocolate and the Advent Calendar — Gourmet Live.

The Physics Book: An Illustrated Chronology of How We Understand the Universe, books:

Einstein famously observed that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it’s comprehensible. In The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics, acclaimed science author Clifford Pickover offers a sweeping, lavishly illustrated chronology of comprehension by way of physics, from the Big Bang (13.7 billion BC) to Quantum Resurrection (> 100 trillion), through such watershed moments as Newton’s formulation of the laws of motion and gravity (1687), the invention of fiber optics (1841), Einstein’s general theory of relativity (1915), the first speculation about parallel universes (1956), the discovery of buckyballs (1985), Stephen Hawking’s Star Trek cameo (1993), and the building of the Large Hadron Collider (2009).

The book, which could well be the best thing since Bill Bryson’s short illustrated history of nearly everything, begins with a beautiful quote about the poetry of science and curiosity:

As the island of knowledge grows, the surface that makes contact with mystery expands. When major theories are overturned, what we thought was certain knowledge gives way, and knowledge touches upon mystery differently. This newly uncovered mystery may be humbling and unsettling, but it is the cost of truth. Creative scientists, philosophers, and poets thrive at this shoreline.” ~ W. Mark Richardson, ‘A Skeptic’s Sense of Wonder,’ Science

via The Physics Book: An Illustrated Chronology of How We Understand the Universe | Brain Pickings.

Three as Four, fashion collective, Islam, Judaism:  Very interesting …

On Sunday night, the fashion collective Three as Four opened its highly anticipated exhibition “Insalaam Inshalom” at the Beit Ha’Ir Center for Urban Culture in Tel Aviv, bringing to fruition a project over two years in the making. Covering the walls of the four-story building in fabric printed with their spring collection’s central motifs, which are made of a mix of Muslim and Jewish symbols, the designers Gabi Asfour, Adi Gil and Ange Donhauser invited 10 artists to show works that relate to the project’s central notion: that Judaism and Islam can live side by side. “We’ve accumulated the energy of artists and performers who are like-minded,” Asfour said. “We tried to balance things from all sides, though it’s always difficult.”

via Come Together – NYTimes.com.

Apple, iPad:  Chatter, chatter … Apple Chatter: New iPad, iPhone Soon? – TheStreet.

Africa Through a Lens, photography, Africa:

These images, from The National Archives, have been added to Flickr so that you can comment, tag and share them easily.

Do you recognise anything or anyone in the photographs and do they provoke any personal memories? Perhaps you have a similar picture from your own travels? If you do, post us a link. Let us know of any inaccuracies in the descriptions and help us to map the images we don’t have locations for.

For more information please see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/africa

The CO 1069 series is a diverse collection of images with a rich variety of content. In many instances we know little about the people or contents of the photographs and this is one of the reasons why we have published them online and asked people to comment and share their knowledge.

Please note the pictures and the captions attached to them are representative of the time they were taken. They frequently use terms that would not be used today. However, our role is to preserve the integrity of the historic public record, which is why they have been preserved and presented as originally captured.

via Collection: Africa Through a Lens.

nature, Atlanta, coyotes:

Emma Millican Park remained closed Thursday due to the wild animals.

Resident LaTanya Grant said she feared the worst when she saw the yellow caution tape stretched across the park across the street from her home.

Tuesday, she said she walked across Lynnhave Drive to read the yellow notice posted at the park. Turns out, there wasn’t a crime at all. But there is a den of coyotes living near the park, according to the notice posted by the city of Atlanta.

“I read it twice because the first time I didn’t believe it,” Grant told the AJC. “They’re probably just as scared of us, but my guard is going to be up.”

Joyce Shepherd, a member of the Atlanta City Council, told Channel 2 Action News the coyotes have become more aggressive recently, even eating a neighbor’s chickens and a goat.

via ‘Coyote’ trapped near park turns out to be dog  | ajc.com.

Chiquita, Charlotte,Twitter war, Cincinnati:  War!

Determined to stop Chiquita’s exodus, Cincinnati residents started a hashtag on Twitter, #NoCincyBananaSplit, to keep the global fruit and vegetable distributor around. Within days, Charlotte lovers had come up with their own rival hashtag, #Bananas4CLT, certain they could win the battle for Chiquita’s heart. Prolific tweeter and Chiquita CEO Fernando Aguirre encouraged the faceoff, and Charlotte restaurants soon joined in.

Today, Chiquita announced its decision: It would, as planned, move its headquarters to Charlotte. But Cincinnati didn’t go without a fight. Here is how the Twitter war went down:

via Chiquita’s new world headquarters in Charlotte decided with help from a Twitter war – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

cake balls, holiday desserts: 🙂

I first tasted these two years ago at a Christmas party and immediately had to have the recipe. It’s based on a mix, but I imagine you can follow the same directions substituting from scratch cake and frosting (I’ll try that one day). You can also try it with other cake combinations.

via Red Velvet Cake Balls « bakerella.com.

22
Sep
11

9.22.2011 … in 1989 I experienced my only REAL natural disaster, Hurricane Hugo … we went 18 days with out electricity. It was amazing. … I cannot imagine dealing with flooding in addition to the immediate results of a massive storm.

Hurricane Hugo, natural disasters, kith/kin: in 1989 I experienced my only REAL natural disaster, Hurricane Hugo … we went 18 days without electricity, and a month without phone or cable.  It was amazing.  There was only fear for a few hours in the middle of the night … And afterwards we all emptied our refrigerators and cooked out.  The weather was absolutely beautiful.  I cannot imagine dealing with flooding or repeated storms in addition to the immediate results of a massive storm.

On September 18, the hurricane was located a couple of hundred miles east of Florida when it began a more northward track, in response to a steering flow associated with a upper-level low pressure area that was moving across the southeastern United States. Hugo then began to strengthen again, and it reached a secondary peak at 1800 UTC on September 21 as a Category 4 hurricane. The maximum sustained winds were 140 mph (230 km/h), while the minimum central pressure was 944 millibars (27.9 inHg). On September 22 at 0400 UTC, Hugo made landfall on Isle of Palms, South Carolina, at his secondary peak as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. The storm continued inland, and weakened to a Category 1 hurricane as the cloudy eye passed over Charlotte, North Carolina.

via Hurricane Hugo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

college search, advice:  Good advice here …

It doesn’t help, of course, that decisions about college are mind-numbingly complex to begin with. For starters, a college education is really a joint production between both the college and the student, so “fit” matters greatly. The best college for one student might be a nonstarter for another. Second, both the benefits and the costs, at least for the two-thirds of students who borrow, are extended over a long period of time, requiring a kind of investment perspective.

Moreover, investing in college is not something families deal with frequently, so learning from experience is hard. Reliable information is hard to come by, and decisions aren’t reversed easily or without cost; transfer is possible, but it’s often expensive and risky.

Even a rational planner armed with all available information would have a tough time making smart choices. Add in the foibles and frailties of real human beings, and it’s easy to see why the college search process results in so many bad decisions by so many families.

Being aware of cognitive biases—and taking steps to combat them—can help families make smarter choices. We can’t make the process simple or foolproof. But we can offer some observations and techniques to guard against the cognitive traps too many families fall into.

If parents understand more about the decision biases they share with the rest of the human race, they may be able to plan and save more effectively and to help their children make more constructive choices. They should actively question all of their assumptions and be open to planning, choosing and supporting their children even in ways that don’t immediately feel “right”—like taking on more debt for a higher-tier school.

Finally, there are two basic truths people should keep in mind. The college market is highly competitive. If families have a favored school, and a worthy rival offers a better deal, they shouldn’t hesitate to show the top-choice college their cost spreadsheet. The student-aid office may improve its offer.

And remember that for the great majority of students, the time spent in college, forgoing full-time work, has a bigger monetary value than the tuition they pay. To make the most of college, students have to choose the right place, find a course of study that motivates them, and put considerable time and energy into the learning process. Nothing matters more than using this valuable time well.

via Get Smart About College – WSJ.com.

adventure travel, migration watch, Tanzania, Kenya:  OK, I’m in … ” greatest wildlife show on earth.”

The trouble with animals is that they don’t read textbooks. Take those capricious wildebeest, the mainstay of Africa’s famous migration, the year-long circular movement of animals that has been dubbed the greatest wildlife show on earth.

Right now, as I write, they should have passed through the Serengeti in Tanzania and be milling around the Masai Mara national reserve in south-west Kenya. A good number are where they are supposed to be, chewing the grass, emitting their curious grunting sounds, kicking up the dust, but down in the Serengeti, on the vast plains of the Singita Grumeti game reserves, there are thousands who seem to have taken one look at the Mara and decided that they prefer it in the Serengeti.

The migration is an awesome sight but you don’t have to be obsessive about catching it at its most spectacular. If you speak to the guides, they’ll tell you that their favourite time for game-watching is after the bulk of the migration has passed through.

“It’s as if the grass has just been mown,” says Russell Hastings, who spent several years as a guide in Singita Grumeti and now runs the enchanting Legendary Coffee Lodge (www.legendarycoffeelodge.com) in the Tanzanian city of Arusha. “You get these long, clear vistas enabling you to see game right across the plains.”

via Migration watch – FT.com.

famine, “collateral crisis” , Somalia, War on Terrorism:  “Collateral crisis” … read on ..

A mass exodus, an emptying of half a country, is an unprecedented, biblical event. What triggered it? The immediate cause was drought. Rains failed last October in East Africa, then again in April, and by early August the U.N. was putting the number of people at risk from hunger in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda at 12.4 million.

Southern Somalia was in famine. A full 2.8 million people, 63% of the region’s population, were either starving or at risk of it. The number of Somali children with severe acute malnutrition — near death — was 170,000; 29,000 had already died. Even those cataclysmic figures were probably underestimates. Iffthikar Mohamed, country director for Islamic Relief (which has staff inside the famine area, unlike the U.N.), said his teams found mortality and malnutrition rates at least twice as high. Senior relief managers tell TIME there is no chance of preventing 100,000 Somalis, perhaps more, from dying in the next few weeks.

How did this happen? Could it have been stopped? And how is it that millions of Somalis were so sure that no help was coming that they took their families on a death march across the desert? The answers reveal how a war between Islamic militants and the U.S. and its allies led directly to human catastrophe.

via Collateral Crisis in Somalia: How the War on Terrorism Created a Famine – TIME.

ACC, college football, college sports:  I honestly don’t like these bigger conferences … they lose their local connection.  Just my opinion.

In a development that happened with incredible speed, the ACC announced Sunday morning that it is extending formal membership to Pittsburgh and Syracuse, creating the first 14-team BCS conference.

The news came barely 24 hours after it was first reported that the schools had applied for ACC membership.

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”

We’ll have more on the ACC’s huge news after this morning’s ACC teleconference, which I’ll be following on the Terps Insider Twitter feed. It starts at 9:30.

via ACC extends formal invitation to Pittsburgh and Syracuse – Terrapins Insider – The Washington Post.

Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, bookshelf, Lee Stoffel, FPC, quotes:  Dr. Stoffel wrote Believing … (after he left FPC) in the mid 70s.  We are reading it this fall in a small group study.  Some books strike me as written for a certain time.  So far this book is very good and relevant now.  I love his use of salt in this passage.

If the posture of the church is no more than condemnation without redemption, then we become like salt without savor, and our words will be cast out and trodden under foot. We are called to be a saving people – which is the positive, redemptive side of those who would do no more than condemn and denounce and deplore.

 Apple, iCloud: I am looking forward to seeing how this works.  We have our entire family on one iTunes account … and to be able to manage the entire library in the cloud sounds great.

Broadly speaking, the cloud is an airy metaphor for computational resources—data, storage, applications, and so on—available from an external network of computers and servers via the Internet. So whenever you do any kind of computing using data or programs that don’t live on your local computer, smart phone, or other connected devices, you are doing cloud computing.

For example, if you store and edit your photos at a site like Google’s Picasa.com, you’re working in the cloud, using Google’s storage space and applications instead of those on your own computer. Gmail and other Web-based e-mail services keep your correspondence in the cloud. And Amazon’s Cloud Drive lets you upload, store, and access music in cloud-based “lockers.” Physically, the cloud is wherever the company happens to house its servers.

The advantage of cloud computing is that you can access your stored stuff from any Web-connected device, instead of being tethered to one location or machine. One drawback, of course, is that you might not always have a usable Internet connection when you need one. And if your cloud service crashes for some reason, your content won’t be available until the service is back on its feet.

Use caution when signing up for any cloud service. Make sure your information is well protected against cyberthieves. The company you’re using should encrypt sensitive data and have state-of-the art privacy safeguards. And use strong passwords—a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols in a minimum of six characters.

via What is the Apple iCloud – Consumer Reports.

corruption, Middle East,  Kuwait:  “This is becoming the Kuwaiti Watergate,” said Shafeeq Ghabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University. “The reaction at the popular level is that this is proof that the existing government has failed the people. In this context more demands for the resignation of the government are now heard.”

Two of Kuwait’s largest banks thought it a bit suspicious when about $92 million was transferred into the accounts of two members of Parliament.

So the National Bank of Kuwait and the Kuwait Finance House alerted the public prosecutor, who decided last week to open an investigation not just into those suspicious deposits, but also into the account activity of seven other members of Parliament, as well.

Kuwait is a wealthy nation that has managed to appease the public and avoid the kind of tumult that has swept other Arab nations. But even in Kuwait, where allegations of corruption and kickbacks are endemic, the sheer size of the deposits has set off a fury that is rocking the oil-rich country. Not to mention that investigations, so far, involve 9 of just 50 total members of Parliament.

“This is becoming the Kuwaiti Watergate,” said Shafeeq Ghabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University. “The reaction at the popular level is that this is proof that the existing government has failed the people. In this context more demands for the resignation of the government are now heard.”

Late last month, the Kuwaiti news media first broke the news that the country’s two largest banks were alarmed by multimillion-dollar transfers into the accounts of lawmakers, said Nasser al-Sane, a former lawmaker who now teaches business at Kuwait University.

But even as public anger soars, the government has remained tight-lipped about the case, only fueling public suspicions, rumor and speculation. In that environment, popular anger at the royal family, and in particular the prime minister, Nasser Mohamed al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has flourished.

“We still have been given no information about the source of this money or who received it,” said Ebtihal al-Khatib, a longtime democracy activist. “Everything is a rumor, and that is one reason people are so angry and have come together, because we want more information. We want to know names, and we want to know the dates they will be tried in court.”

The corruption inquiry threatens to put the government into an impossible position, Mr. Ghabra said. If the emir allows Parliament to remain in place while at least one-fifth of its members are investigated for graft, he risks the growth of ever larger street protests and an erosion of public trust. But if he dissolves Parliament and calls for new elections, public outrage could help usher in a legislature hostile to the monarchy and more assertive in demands for constitutional changes.

via Corruption Inquiry Rocks Kuwait – NYTimes.com.

Bumble-Ardy, Maurice Sendak, children’s/YA literature, parenting:  Nursery rhymes and fairy tales have always carried double messages, scary messages.  I don’t know why we are so worried now.  ” There’s something deeply dark and wonderful about older cartoons like this.”

It’s yet another mildly subversive children’s book by a writer known for pushing—if not the absolute limits, at least poking around their edges. At one point, even the Grim Reaper puts in an appearance, leading one Amazon reviewer (granted, one of only three to date) to describe the book as “disturbing…in so many ways” (noticed by the Christian Science Monitor).

Then again, being a little scared isn’t the end of the world. Where the Wild Things Are would be nothing without its nightmarish horned and bearded monsters that “roared their terrible roars, and gnashed their terrible teeth.” Besides, if you want to see something really scary, try this old 1970s Sesame Street clip—also by Sendak, and the inspiration for the 2011 book’s inception—about Bumble-Ardy, whose ninth birthday party’s crashed by a pack of anarchic, Dwarf-like swine. There’s something deeply dark and wonderful about older cartoons like this.

via Should Parents Fear ‘Bumble-Ardy’, Maurice Sendak’s New Book? – TIME NewsFeed.

Oyster.com, travel, websites:  Might try oyster.com

While Web sites like TripAdvisor, which is owned by Expedia, amass consumer reviews, Oyster relies instead on 45 full-time reviewers who stay in hotels incognito and post their reviews and photographs.

Unlike TripAdvisor, Oyster is also a booking site. But unlike booking sites like Orbitz, Expedia and Hotels.com, Oyster eschews the photographs and descriptions provided by hotels.

A regular feature, Photo Fakeouts, contrasts promotional photos from hotels with photos taken from the same perspective by Oyster reviewers. The promotional photo for the beach at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, for example, shows just a few beachgoers and about a dozen unoccupied chairs, while the Oyster.com photo shows a beach packed with chairs and vacationers.

“Oyster is meant to be very simple, easy, straightforward and truthful, where what you see is what you get,” said Elie Seidman, chief executive of Oyster. “And the goal in the ads was to convey that.”

To date, Oyster has reviewed about 1,300 hotels in 32 destinations.

This is the first advertising campaign for Oyster, which went online in 2009. Oyster drew 156,000 unique visitors in August, a small fraction of the six million who visited Hotels.com, according to comScore.

via Oyster.com Sells Travel With Words, Not Pictures – NYTimes.com.

R.E.M., music, Athens GA, kith/kin:  I think “my” generation claims REM.  I was in Athens GA for law school and we definitely claim them.  RIP, REM.

R.E.M. has folded after a 31-year run, an influential arc that transformed the Athens, Ga., band from college radio darlings to major label stars. The group released 15 albums, including milestones of alternative rock such as “Murmur” and “Automatic for the People.”

In recent years, however, the group’s cultural clout had eroded, as sales declined and front man Michael Stipe pursued a host of other interests, from filmmaking to sculpture.

In a statement posted on their site today, the band announced: “As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” the group said in a statement on its web site. “We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

via R.E.M. Breaks Up After 31-Year Run – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Palestinian Statehood Bid, President Obama, politics, international relations: Impossible situation.

“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.,” Mr. Obama said, in an address before world leaders at the General Assembly. “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”

Instead, Mr. Obama said, the international community should keep pushing Israelis and Palestinians toward talks on the four intractable issues that have vexed peace negotiations since 1979: borders of a Palestinian state, security for Israel, the status of Palestinian refugees and the fate of Jerusalem, which both sides claim for their capital.

For Mr. Obama, the challenge in crafting the much-anticipated General Assembly speech was how to address the incongruities of the administration’s position: the president who committed to making peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians a priority from Day One, now unable to get peace negotiations going after two and a half years; the president who opened the door to Palestinian state membership at the United Nations last year, now threatening to veto that membership; the president determined to get on the right side of Arab history but ending up, in the views of many Arabs, on the wrong side of it on the Palestinian issue.

via Obama Explains Opposition to Palestinian Statehood Bid – NYTimes.com.

26
Jun
11

6.26.2011 … somewhere over the rainbow …

music, gay marriage:  See the reference below … I am so behind or don’t attend enough gay rights parades that I just chuckled when I was reminded that this is their theme song.  YouTube – Judy Garland – Somewhere Over The Rainbow – HIGHEST QUALITY Music Video – The Wizard Of Oz, 1939.

Paris, food, events:  Too early for the Teagues, but sounds fun.  Bazarette/bodega = convenience store … Why does it always sound so much nicer in French?

On July 1, the French gastronomic group Le Fooding will be celebrating summer with a butcher, a baker and a macaron maker at their annual Bazarette du Fooding, a collection of food and drink purveyors.

The Paris Bazarette — events in Arles and Biarritz will follow — takes place in conjunction with the Days Off festival, at Cité de la Musique (221 avenue Jean Jaurès) in the 19th Arrondissement.

“Bazarette” loosely translates as “convenience store,” but this is no typical bodega. There will be a D.J., drinks and star purveyors from Paris and farther afield on hand to dish up samples to the crowd.

Breads will be provided by Gontran Cherrier, known for his good and good-looking multi-grain loaves, as well as buns made colorful by squid ink and paprika. Local growers Terroirs d’Avenir will be bringing in organic produce and the Italian grocery Mmmozza! will take care of the cheese. The “Bohemian butcher” Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec (who did a guest stint at the Meat Hook in Brooklyn last fall) will be serving his own house-cured beef.

Sweets will be handled by Maison Charaix from Joyeuse, who craft their macarons according to a 400-year-old recipe. The chef Magnus Nilsson will visit from the Swedish countryside to mix a special barley and almond aperitif.

Advanced reservations are required. They are available starting Tuesday on the Le Fooding Web site; the 15-euro fee (about $22) goes to charity.

via In Paris, a Festival for Food Lovers – NYTimes.com.

apps, journalists, lists:  From  a twitterer that I like …

Holly Tucker (@history_geek)
6/26/11 3:23 AM
Great apps for journalists from @nancyshute iReporter,Fire,Report-it lite, Skype, 1st video,Monle,Hindenberg,Camera+. #wcsj2011

economics, US, managrialist economy:  Actually makes some sense to me …

MARK ROE, a professor at Harvard Law School, asks how capitalist America really is in a stimulating Project Syndicate piece. Mr Roe suggests that the level of state ownership of capital, or the level of government intervention in the economy, may offer a misleading picture of America’s political economy. By these measures, one might infer that America is very capitalist, in the sense that capital largely controls the economy. However, as Mr Roe points out, ownership of capital is often extremely diffuse, spread over many thousands of shareholders. While a scattered body of shareholders collectively own much or most of public corporations, they generally have little control over the firms in which they have a stake. The people with real power are are the class of managers and executives. Mr Roe writes:

American law gives more authority to managers and corporate directors than to shareholders. If shareholders want to tell directors what to do – say, borrow more money and expand the business, or close off the money-losing factory – well, they just can’t. The law is clear: the corporation’s board of directors, not its shareholders, runs the business.

via Corporate power: Managerialist America | The Economist.

website, data base, writers, reading, history:  Now I thought this was fun!

RED is a collection of databases whose aim is to accumulate as much evidence as possible about reading experiences across the world. The search and browse facilities enable you to chart the reading tastes of individual readers as they travel to other countries, and consider how different environments may have affected their reading. You can track the readership of books issued in new editions for new audiences in different countries. Search results are displayed on an interactive map and linked to relevant records in national REDs.

Each national RED offers a range of services to users, including profiles of readers, authors, and titles; tutorials on accessing and analysing evidence; and examples of how scholars have used the database to uncover patterns of reading.

via Reading Experience Database – Home.

travel, tours, DC, green, electric bikes, bike tours:  I would have done this in a heartbeat.  Electric bike tours of DC!

The Monumental Tour starts and ends at the U.S. Marine Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Monument. From there, we follow the bike trail along Marshall Drive toArlingtonNational Cemetery, across Memorial Bridge toLincoln Memorial, past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, around the Constitutional Garden and Lagoon, past National Mall andWorld War II Memorial, in the shadow of Washington Monument.

From there, we cross Independence Avenue under the world-famous cherry blossoms, past the paddle boat dock, towards Jefferson Memorial. We dip south toward East Potomac Park, then return past FDRMemorial and the future site of Martin Luther King Memorial, back past Lincoln Memorial, across Memorial Bridge toward the Women In Military Museum, back on the Marshall Drive trail, up the final hill of Marine Corps Marathon, and back to the U.S. Marine Memorial.

via Pedego DC Tours.

gay marriage, New York, faith and spirituality:  Again, a very complex issue …

The gathering at that apartment was slightly surreal. It appeared to be familiar: handsome young men flirting with each other over sweets and alcohol. But now they had a complex new dimension to navigate through — albeit the kind of calculus that heterosexuals can do in their sleep. Or when they sleep with each other. Or when they wake up and discover who they have slept with. It’s the possibility of marriage, lurking subtly somewhere in one’s head. Imagine all the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that will emerge as that little formula weaves itself into the lives of gay New Yorkers. Soon, we can have the kind of domestic life straight people have. One day, we may no longer even be gay. Just the people next door. No more parades.

But in one very important way, marriage will not quite be marriage even in New York, even 30 days from now when the law goes into effect. That is because the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that entangle the domestic lives of straight people often have another component — religion. And religious institutions have an exemption in the new law from accommodating gay people. It was key to the passage of the legislation.

,,,

I write this as a deeply religious Christian who is pained that the church that otherwise provides me with so much spiritual comfort and joy will never allow me to marry within its walls. Some clerics may be “liberal” enough to turn a blind eye to gay relationships so long as they do not have to recognize them, much less grant them any kind of imprimatur. And, as of now, even in New York, religious institutions cannot be compelled to perform such a simple act of charity.

The state cannot force a church to change its beliefs. Even gay people realize that is wrong. And so, just to remind folks that we’re here we will have to continue to march in our parades and to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Nonetheless, waking up this morning, I was very happy not to be in Kansas anymore.

via Gay Marriage: A Bittersweet Victory? – TIME.

tweet of the day, gay marriage, New York, LOL:  I just had to laugh …

“Alec! Now we can get married!” – Steve Martin to Alec Baldwin, on Twitter.

via Celebrities tweet on N.Y. gay marriage law

Machu Picchu, Peru, history, travel, adventure travel, bucket list:  We went to Peru 25 years ago and chose to visit the Amazon over Machu Picchu … I have always wanted to go back … I want to go back via this route.  Love the comparison of seeing Machu Picchu to seeing the Mona Lisa (in bold)!

The first known American to see Choquequirao was the young Yale history lecturer Hiram Bingham III, in 1909. He was researching a biography of the South American liberator Simón Bolívar when a local prefect he met near Cuzco persuaded him to visit the site. Many believed that the ruins of Choquequirao had once been Vilcabamba, the legendary lost city of the Incas. Bingham didn’t agree, and was mesmerized by the idea of lost cities waiting to be found. Two years later, he returned to Peru in search of Vilcabamba. On July 24, 1911, just days into his expedition, Bingham climbed a 2,000-foot-tall slope and encountered an abandoned stone city of which no record existed. It was Machu Picchu.

This year, which marks the 100th anniversary of Bingham’s achievement, up to a million visitors are expected to visit those ancient ruins — a sharp rise from last year’s roughly 700,000, one of the highest attendance figures ever. Most of those pilgrims will hear the tale of Bingham’s 1911 trip. But few of them will know that the explorer also located several other major sets of Incan ruins, all of which approach his most famous finds in historic significance. After Machu Picchu — where he lingered for only a few hours, convinced that more important discoveries lay ahead — Bingham continued his hunt for vanished Incan sites. His 1911 expedition turned out to be one of the most successful in history. Within a few hundred square miles, he found Vitcos, once an Incan capital, and Espiritu Pampa, the jungle city where the last Incan king is thought to have made his final stand against the Spanish invaders. A year later he returned, and came upon Llactapata, a mysterious satellite town just two miles west of Machu Picchu whose importance is still being decoded.

Today Machu Picchu is a beehive of ongoing archaeological work while elsewhere in the area restoration efforts have progressed slowly, allowing visitors a chance to see ancient history in a form that closely resembles what Bingham encountered.

I wondered if it was still possible to detour from the modern, tourist path and arrive in the same way Bingham had — by taking the scenic route. Aided by John, a 58-year-old Australian expatriate who works with the Cuzco-based adventure outfitter Amazonas Explorer, I assembled a trip to do just that. Rather than start with the most famous ruins, our route began in Cuzco and looped counterclockwise around them, stopping first at the other extraordinary sites. You might call it a backdoor to Machu Picchu.

One’s first view of Machu Picchu is a bit like seeing the Mona Lisa after staring for years at a da Vinci refrigerator magnet. You know exactly what to expect, and at the same time, can’t quite believe that the real thing exceeds the hype. Also like the Mona Lisa, Machu Picchu is more compact than it appears in photos. In less than an hour John and I were able to visit most of the ruins that Bingham saw 100 years ago, in the same order he had encountered them: the cave of the Royal Mausoleum, with its interior walls that seemed to have melted; the perfect curve of the Sun Temple; the titanic structures of the Sacred Plaza, assembled from what Bingham called “blocks of Cyclopean size, higher than a man”; and, at the very top of the main ruins, the enigmatic Intihuatana stone, around which a throng of mystically inclined visitors stood with their hands extended, hoping to absorb any good vibrations radiating from the granite. At noon, when trainloads of day-trippers arrived, John and I took a long walk out to the Sun Gate. We munched on quinoa energy bars and watched tour groups endure stop-and-go traffic up and down Machu Picchu’s ancient stone stairways. At 3 p.m., the Cuzco-bound crowds drained through the exit like water from a tub, and we wandered the main ruins for another two hours before catching the day’s last bus down at 5:30.

On the last morning of our trip, still feeling crowd-shy, I asked John if he knew of any place at Machu Picchu that Bingham had seen but that most people never bothered to visit.

“I know just the spot,” he said without hesitating. “Mount Machu Picchu.”

Climbing a 1,640-foot-tall staircase isn’t something I normally do on vacation. But the condor’s-eye view from the top of Mount Machu Picchu, a verdant peak that looms above the ruins, was the sort of thing that compels a man to quote Kipling. Once at its summit, we had views of sacred apus unfolding in all directions; the Urubamba River snaking its way around Machu Picchu, on its way to the Amazon; and even the busy Inca Trail. We were inside the confines of Machu Picchu, and yet, like Bingham a hundred years before, we could appreciate it in peace.

via In Peru, Machu Picchu and Its Sibling Incan Ruins Along the Way – NYTimes.com.

US flag, trivia, history:  So no Betsy Ross, no real meaning to colors (other than same as Union Jack), no daily Pledge of Allegiance in Congress until recently, yes to burning, yes to t-shirts and beach towels …

In other words, when you wear a flag T-shirt or hat while reclining on an American flag beach towel near your American flag camping chair, you are violating the Flag Code. The code, which was drawn up at the first National Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is part of the law of the land. But it is not enforced, nor is it enforceable. It is merely a set of guidelines, letting Americans know what to do — and what not to do — with our red, white and blue national emblem.

There is no Flag Police. You will not be arrested for wearing a flag-embossed T-shirt on Flag Day — or any other day of the year.

via Five myths about the American flag – The Washington Post.

25
Jun
11

6.25.2011 … happy jc is tired and sick … too much fun …. lazy summer day … JBT in Maine enjoying cool and golf … nice …

music, UNC, memory lane:  Couldn’t help noticing a Chi Psi’s posting of YouTube – Devo ” Gut Feeling ” first time in live in 1977. That and “Whip It” …  You guys were fun, but strange!

blog post of note, kith/kin, timelessness, age:  What peers are you referring to Cary?  As always I enjoyed your post!

Sometimes I weird out my peers.  And sometimes I feel lonely and alien at the grown-up table.  Yet I’m of a certain age, which a friend and I recently laughed about meaning that, when there’s such a need, I’m “the one who needs to kill the spider.”

I feel like I’m a part of a caravan of purposeful wanderers, typified by risking, trusting, seeking out rainstorms and dancing, while not eschewing the pain of the world or an honest admission of whatever IS.  I pinch myself when I look through a mental Rolodex at the names and faces of these glorious ones with whom I do life.

Even as I claim my hard-earned status as one of the elders of my “generation,” often called on to lead, I am also often called on to learn from my younger teachers.  We are a generation, co-journeyers.

Here’s to a spacious redrawing of generational boundaries.

via catapult magazine Chosen generation.

Mordecai Scott, CMS, Charlotte, Davidson College, GlobeChangers award, kudos:  Kudos to local and Davidsonian Mordeccai Scott!

Mordecai Scott, a 2006 West Charlotte High School graduate who overcame family hardships to attend Davidson College, received the Jefferson Award for public service earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

He was one of 10 to receive the GlobeChangers award at a Tuesday event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Known as the “Nobel Prize for Public Service,” the awards are presented each year over two days of ceremonies.

Scott was nominated for his efforts to overcome childhood hardships to graduate from college.

Scott, one of eight children, moved frequently between shelters and relatives after his parents divorced. He carried a 0.68 GPA and was on the verge of dropping out when, at age 12, school staff got involved.

With help from the nonprofit group Communities In Schools, Scott began to envision himself attending college. He went on to receive a scholarship from Davidson and graduated in 2010.

via West Charlotte graduate wins national public service award.

2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriole, cars, reviews:  I don’t think I have ever read a more scathing car review.  Sad, it is kinda cute.

In the midst of this automotive banquet, the CrossCabriolet is like a sorbet of mouse scat.

via 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet: A CUV at CrossPurposes With Competence | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com.

food/drink, wine, boxed wine, lists:  Next time I need a box of wine I have a list to try!

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be that all boxed wine was bad. That was easy. Now things are trickier, because a number of producers are actually putting good wine – and sometimes really good wine – into boxes. It’s actually possible to go out there, trade your twenty bucks for a 3 liter (that’s four bottles-worth) box of wine, and end up not only with something you can tolerate, but something you’ll actually enjoy quite a bit.

NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box Chardonnay ($20)

In your face Chardonnay, in an old-school California way: it’s big, ripe, oaky, and luscious. If you like that style, this one’s for you.

via Box wine with serious bang for the buck – Eatocracy – CNN.com Blogs.

FBI, 10 Most Wanted, memory lane:  Does anyone else remember standing at the post office looking at the pictures of the 10 Most Wanted?   I guess people get this info through tv shows and the internet now … but I thought they always looked dark and ominous and almost always men.

With James Bulger’s arrest and Osama bin Laden’s death, there are eight names left on the current FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Who’s left, and just what did these fugitives do?

via The FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’: Two Down, Eight To Go : NPR.

Newt Gingrich, 2012 Presidential Election:  Ah, Newt … it’s two early for two Pinocchios!

The Pinocchio Test

Even at a running length of more than two minutes, Gingrich’s video gives a misleading impression of the Federal Reserve’s explanation of its actions during the economic crisis — and the role of the Dodd-Frank law in forcing those disclosures. His speech gives a clearer view of his critique but that is not an excuse since fewer people will read the speech than see the video.

Two Pinocchios

via Newt Gingrich’s video attack on the Federal Reserve – The Fact Checker – The Washington Post.

Jane Austen, history, Steventon, parenting, cottages:  I never thought about it, but talk about “refrigerator moms” … 18th century mothers of means really did not parent!  Also enjoyed the  discussion of English cottages.

I recently went to Steventon again, the birthplace of Jane Austen and where she spent her formative years until the age of twenty six. Steventon was where she thought she would spend the rest of her life. As soon as she was born she was sent to live with a family in the village. The mother of the household she was sent to became Jane’s wet nurse. Mrs Austen had nothing to do with her children as babies. This might provide an explanation for Jane’s aversion towards her mother as she grew older but it also explains that her attachment to Steventon was not just through her own family and the rectory but it was linked to the wider community and she had very close ties to some of the villagers.

via Steventon and Barton Cottage « Jane Austen’s World.

Andrew Lovedale, Access to Success Foundation, Davidson College, basketball, kudos:  I know I talk about Steph Curry a lot … but another member of the dream team is giving back. Kudos, Andrew Lovedale!

Andrew Lovedale

Access to Success (A2S), the foundation created by former Davidson men’s basketball player Andrew Lovedale to benefit underprivileged children through athletic, education and spiritual programs, is preparing for a pair of firsts:

A trip to Lovedale’s hometown Benin City, Nigeria, from June 27-July 6.

The inaugural “Kicks from ‘Cats: The Andrew Lovedale 5K” walk/run on the Davidson College cross country trail on Sept. 10, 2011.

The Nigeria team includes Lovedale, Davidson College Assistant Sports Information Director Lauren Biggers, former Davidson Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions Morgan Clark, Davidson graduates Claire Asbury (2010) and Eloise Grose (2006) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. employee Lindsay Biggers. They’ll spend 10 days in Lovedale’s hometown of Benin City.

The trip will focus on building long-term partnerships with three schools, an orphanage and a church. The team will also be delivering the basketball shoes raised earlier this year through the Kicks from ‘Cats Shoe Drive, held at the Davidson College men’s basketball game against the College of Charleston on Jan. 29, as well as other sporting equipment and school supplies donated by Lowe’s employees. They’ll also run basketball and volleyball clinics.

via Lovedale foundation plans Nigeria trip, 5K fund-raiser  | Sports.

boodos, new vocabulary:  I had to find the opposite of kudos for the next entry. 😦  And actually there really isn’t one …

Boodos

“Boodos” is the opposite of “Kudos”

via Urban Dictionary: Kudos!.

Anthony’s, restaurants, Atlanta, boodos: I have been to quite a few wedding functions at Anthony’s and they were delightful … Very poorly done, Anthony’s … BOODOS!

Anthony’s, a legendary Atlanta spot for wedding receptions, has closed.

Now dozens of couples say they’re not only out thousands of dollars in deposits, but have no place for their reception.

Valiree Eaton booked her reception last fall. She said when she called to finalize plans for her July 3 wedding, a recording said Anthony’s was out of business. “I’m a bit of a wreck. I’m extremely stressed. Weddings are stressful enough without this,” said Eaton. “I feel like my wedding day has been marred,” she added.

via Reception Hall Leaves Brides-To-Be In Limbo – News Story – WSB Atlanta.

Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth, Pearl Buck in China, book shelf:  Another to add to my bookshelf!  I loved The Good Earth when I read it in high school.  I may re-read it to see what I think now.

Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling

Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman. These days, however, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read in the West or in China) that fascinate readers. In making the case for reappraising Buck’s fiction and her life, award-winning biographer Hilary Spurling transforms Buck from a dreary “lady author” into a woman warrior. Having grown up in China at the subsistence level, as the daughter of a missionary, Buck had firsthand knowledge of war, infanticide and sexual slavery when she entered college as a charity student in Virginia. As Spurling deftly illustrates, that alienation gave Buck her stance as a writer, gracing her with the outsider vision needed to interpret one world to another.

via New In Paperback: June 20-26 : NPR.

news, condolences, adventure travel, tragedy, random:  What a personal tragedy for these two friends.

A man who climbed Everest found the body of his friend who had died hours after conquering the summit only months before.

Rodney Hogg saw the body of his climbing friend Peter Kinloch on a ledge 1,000 ft below the peak as he neared the top of the mountain.

Mr Kinloch, 28, had been attempting the Seven Summits Challenge last year, in which climbers attempt to conquer the highest peak of each continent.

via Climber discovers frozen body of best friend on peak of Everest | Mail Online.

Huguette Clark, RIP, tragedy, random, kudos, boodos:  Sad this woman never seemed to enjoy life and it ends with folks arguing about her money.  Kudos to her for leaving the bulk to the arts.  Boodos to those who won’t allow her to rest in peace.

Huguette Clark, the Montana copper mining heiress who died in New York last month at 104, has left most of her $400 million fortune to the arts – wealth from the Gilded Age that produced the Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts.

According to her will, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Clark gave to Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art a prized Claude Monet water-lily painting not seen by the public since 1925.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is looking into how Clark’s affairs were managed while she spent the last two decades of her life in a hospital, a virtual recluse, people familiar with the probe have said. Before that, she lived in the largest residence on Fifth Avenue – 42 rooms.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.

The daughter of one-time U.S. Sen. William A. Clark left instructions for the creation of a foundation “for the primary purpose of fostering and promoting the arts,” according to the will prepared and signed in 2005, when she was 98.

About $300 million will go for the arts, including the 1907 Monet from his famed “Water Lilies” series, which is worth tens of millions of dollars, said attorney John Dadakis, of the firm Holland & Knight.

via Huguette Clark, Montana Mining Heiress, Leaves NY Fortune To Nurse, The Arts.

weddings, events, food, cakes:  After looking at this collection I feel like the world keeps upping expectations … I loved it when a friend’s daughter family and friends all gathered and baked an assortment of wedding cakes and another friend did the same thing but had wedding pies!  My mom still talks about the aunt that baked hers.  I think these television cake shows have upped the ante.

Not every bride and groom’s wedding cake will be as enormous as that enjoyed by Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton (pictured) — but no matter whether it’s as intricate as a future queen’s or as simple as a cupcake with a heart-shaped candle, every wedding cake is fancy and fabulous.

via Simple as Love – Fabulous and Fancy Wedding Cakes – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

16
Feb
11

2.16.2011 … mind is lots of places … Bahrain, Boulder, Charlotte, Atlanta, Naples … technology makes the world smaller.

Uprising in the Middle East, Bahrain:  Unlike Egypt,  where most have a visual picture, albeit ancient, of pyramids and pharaohs, few have much knowledge of Bahrain, ancient or modern.  I only became aware of it beyond its name last year when I met our South African exchange student.  Her family’s primary residence is there because her father is a banker working out of the Middle East, and it is/was considered the safest.  Now the democracy movement has moved there.  I watch … I wish I knew more.  I wish I could understand what is going on and where this is going

Protests in Bahrain entered their third day on Wednesday, as tens of thousands continued to occupy a major intersection in the capital and thousands more marched to mourn a second man killed in Tuesday’s clashes with security forces.

A committee set up by seven opposition groups to coordinate the protests called for a massive demonstration on Saturday, forecasting a gathering of at least 50,000 people.

Crowds massed at the hospital morgue, as the body of the man killed on Tuesday was ferried out on top of a land-cruiser in a coffin covered with green satin. Thousands of men followed the coffin, many holding pictures of the deceased, beating their chests and chanting “God is great” and “Death to the Al Khalifa,” a reference to the country’s ruling family. Security forces remained withdrawn from protest areas, stationed in large battalions around a kilometer away.

At the Pearl roundabout, a central traffic circle in the financial district of the capital which has been claimed by the protesters, more tents and makeshift food stalls sprung up Wednesday, with those who spent the night there in a festive mood. Young men, many carrying Bahraini flags, chanted and danced, while a loudspeaker broadcasted a steady stream of speeches from activists.

The mourners are expected to march to the central roundabout later in the day, further swelling the numbers there.

Bahrain is a tiny, island kingdom in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, best known for its banking prowess and bars that cater to nationals from alcohol-free Saudi Arabia next door. While it pumps little crude itself, its neighbors are some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers.

Its position straddling the Gulf has made it a longtime, strategic ally of Washington. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, though no American warships are actually home-ported here.

via Protests Swell as Bahrain Demonstrators Mourn – WSJ.com.

Bernie Madoff, banking, Great Recession:  Is he getting even?  The NYT Op-Ed piece that follows is a great read even if you do not agree.

Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff said in an interview published online Tuesday that banks and hedge funds were “complicit” in his scheme to fleece victims out of billions of dollars.

Madoff did not name any institutions in his series of interviews with The New York Times but said banks and hedge funds “were complicit in one form or another.” He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.

via Madoff to NY newspaper: Banks ‘complicit’ in fraud – WSJ.com.

The billions that vaporized in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme amounted to a rounding error next to the eye-popping federal bailouts, including those pouring into too-big-to-fail banks wrecked by their own Ponzi schemes of securitization.

via At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back – NYTimes.com.

faith and spirituality:  When anthropologists and psychologists discuss the breakdown of the nuclear family, there is often a comment about the importance of the family meal.  From a spiritual standpoint,  I found this blogpost very interesting.

The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, “Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it,” we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion. That is why a refusal to eat and drink what a host offers is so offensive. It feels like a rejection of an invitation to intimacy.

Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another. Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communion with one another.

via February 16, 2011 – The Intimacy of the Table.

business, mergers, Family Dollar, Howard Levine, Charlotte: I heard a commentator on the radio the other day quip that Charlotte should be renamed “Levine-McColl” (like Winston-Salem?)  because of the importance of these two men and their families.  If the Levine’s sold Family Dollar I do not think it would impact Charlotte like a merger of other local companies … many do not know it is headquartered here …

Mr. Peltz’s Trian Group contacted Family Dollar’s chairman and chief executive, Howard Levine, on Tuesday and said it had amassed a 7.9 percent stake in the retailer, according to the filing. The investment firm has offered to pay between $55 to $60 a share in cash for the rest of the company, valuing Family Dollar at between $7 billion and nearly $7.6 billion.

At the low end of the range, Trian’s offer represents a 25 percent premium over Family Dollar’s Tuesday closing stock price of $43.96. Shares in the company soared more than 30 percent in after-hours trading.

Family Dollar’s stock has risen 39 percent over the past 12 months.

via Peltz Offers More Than $7 Billion for Family Dollar – NYTimes.com.

travel, adventure travel:  If money were no object then every vacation would be an adventure for John … but part of the adventure is planning it yourself.

Mr. Robertson creates 15 to 20 trips a year; he also takes the bespoke quality to a new level, having personally accompanied travelers (there’s a maximum of six per trip) on each trip so far. The packages, which start at around $7,000 a person (they can range up to $500,000, since each trip is custom-designed), span all seven continents and range in length from two to 21 days. They also make good use of Mr. Robertson’s wide network. On a recent hunting and whiskey-making getaway, for example, guests stayed at a seaside castle in Scotland that’s not open to the public.

via A New Entrant in Adventure Travel Outfitters – NYTimes.com.

marathons, adventure travel:  John loves Chicago’s, has wanted to run London’s … never thought about Las Vegas’s …

Marathons are popular around the globe, and it’s not uncommon for people to fly great distances to run in one. After all, if you’re going to work that hard, you might as well reward yourself with interesting sites, great pre-race carb-loading and the reward of a champion’s feast afterward. Here are three marathons that are among the best for an all-around great experience.

via Where is the World’s Best Marathon? | Spa & Sport | Four Seasons Magazine.

business, business secrets, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Those who read this “blog” know that I am brand loyal to Apple.  But before Apple, I was brand loyal to only one other company … Coca-Cola … I am an Atlanta girl:  I loved real Coke; I loved that the “secret formula” was locked away in the vault at the Trust Company (now SunTrust); I loved Atlanta’s Anonymous Donor (when everyone knew it was Mr. Woodruff); I pay money to go to the World of Coke … at least once a year;  I have read multiple books about its corporate history … truly.  Is the secret formula now out …

One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: NPR’s “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.

According to the show’s host, Ira Glass, the drink’s secret flavoring component, which was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, is something called “Merchandise 7X.” The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch.

The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area.

Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets in American commerce, steeped in cloak-and-dagger lore. After businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought out Pemberton–who also conjured up cough medicines and blood purifiers, among other things–in 1887 for $2,300, the exact recipe for 7X was placed in the vault in an Atlanta bank. It’s been reported that only two company employees are privy to its ingredients and how they’re mixed at any given time–and that those two aren’t allowed to travel together out of fear that a traveling accident might take both of their lives.

According to company historian Mark Pendergrast, Candler was so paranoid about the recipe leaking out of his proprietary control that he would go through the company mail himself to prevent any employees from seeing invoices that might tip off its ingredients.

“It’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual,” Pendergrast told Glass, “and the formula is kept in a bank vault at Sun Trust, which used to be the Georgia Trust Company.”

via Did NPR’s ‘This American Life’ discover Coke’s secret formula? – Yahoo! News.

economics, St. Valentine’s Day, LOL, UNC-CH:  OK, one last VD post.  I loved this …

This annual event has really become a classic in the economics department,” said Sarah Whitford, executive co-president of the club.

Byrns said he hopes students take away more than a laugh from his lecture, adding that he also wants them to learn to approach love rationally and look at the bigger picture.

“I hope they take away the technique of making themselves better people,” Byrns said.

“I hope they take away that, even though I teach economics, this isn’t all about money. It’s about relationships and what you give the world.”

During his lecture, Byrns said that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, quoting Whitney Houston.

“Giving love is so much harder than receiving love because in order to give love you have to be a whole person,” Byrns said. “Asking and demanding love is a sign that you have issues you need to work through and that love should be a gift.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Ralph Byrns gives last-ever lecture on economics of love.

Apple, iPad: I knew this was coming.  I was not about to buy a magazine every month for full price …

Apple launched a subscription service at the App Store for magazines, newspapers, videos, and music bought through its App Store.

In a move that goes a long way to addressing concerns of many in the magazine and newspaper sectors, Apple said today that publishers will be allowed to set the price and the length of the subscription term. The processing of payments will be Apple’s job and handled within the App Store. Apple will collect 30 percent of the revenue.

“Our philosophy is simple,” Steve Jobs wrote in a statement. “When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.





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