Posts Tagged ‘Ayn Rand

09
May
13

5.9.13 … Nobody puts Howard Roark in the corner! …

Dirty Dancing, The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand, racial integration:  One of my favorite rainy day movies is … Dirty Dancing. 🙂  I just noticed that Robbie the Creep gave Baby a copy of The Fountainhead in an early scene (where Baby is trying to talk to Robbie soon after Baby learns that Robbie has “knocked up” Penny).  I truly do not understand the Ayn Rand cult followers. But Robbie giving her The Fountainhead says a lot without mentioning Rand.

In response to my musings on Dirty Dancing … Mike: Nobody puts Howard Roark in the corner! Classic!

I also searched Dirty Dancing and integration and that search led to this … Unspeakable images: ethnicity and the American cinema – Google Books.  Enjoy!

Apple, iPhoto:  

So Apple, I think you’ve got a bit confused. Don’t worry about sharing, we don’t need you for that. Your job is to take photos, organise them and make sure they don’t get lost. So let’s talk about how you can do that.

via Peter Nixey – Dear Apple, let’s talk about photos.

Quick-Pickled Shrimp, Recipes,  BA Daily: Bon Appétit:  The picture made my mouth water!

Quick-Pickled Shrimp

via 7 Fast Easy Fresh Recipes for May: BA Daily: Bon Appétit.

 

 

06
Dec
11

12.6.2011 …. icbg … .. time for a second opinion … I think I will just go for the bg part … and don’t you think Jane looks lovely :)

yoga, Ayn Rand:  Makes you think …

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

eternal youth, Tony Bennett, music, kudos:  Never liked him, but kudos!

In a youth-oriented industry, Tony Bennett is enjoying some of his greatest successes at the age of 85.

In September, the acclaimed vocalist scored his first-ever No.1 album on the Billboard 200, becoming the oldest living person to top the chart. Last week, he garnered three Grammy nominations for his hit album “Duets II.” And when he stopped by the Wall Street Journal’s acoustic music showcase the WSJ Cafe he talked about collaborating with such stars Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse, the British vocalist who passed away earlier this year at the age of 27.

via Tony Bennett: How To Be No.1 Your Whole Life (WSJ Cafe) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

apps, NPR:  Mu local station  has an app … which is great … now I can just pull up NPR.

NPR News: The ultimate portable NPR experience for your iPhone or iPod Touch. Follow local and national news and listen to your favorite NPR stations wherever you are and whenever you want to.

via App Store – NPR News.

Campbell Soup Company, csr, kudos: Idealistic Realistic …

Instead of making lethal cuts, we decided that our dream — our vision — was to transform Campbell into a place where employees wanted to be…and wanted to stay. You can’t have an organization that consistently delivers high performance unless you have a consistently high level of engagement predicated on trust. We needed to restore both — trust and engagement. If we could do that, then we were sure the profits would follow. There were a lot of things we changed, from the leadership team to package design — you’ve read about those. But what took the momentum at Campbell to an even higher level in terms of employee engagement happened more recently.

One of the primary things that makes Campbell a place where people want to come to work is the company’s earnest and ongoing commitment to our communities around the globe. We forged an ambitious plan to make Camden, our hometown for more than 140 years, a better place. That is what is helping employees feel more fulfilled despite even this latest economic crisis.

As a food company, working hand-in-hand with a cadre of strategic local and national partners, we centered our efforts on health and nutrition. The project, still in its infancy, is focused on cutting the BMI (Body Mass Index) of Camden’s 23,000 children in half over the next decade. It includes bringing nutritionists into schools and having Campbell’s chefs help parents think about ways to serve healthy food at home. And that is just the beginning: Today, Campbell is working to attract food retailers to Camden’s food desert — the city has only one supermarket — and helping to build neighborhood gardens to get children closer to the food supply. Campbell is also sponsoring activities for youth to increase physical fitness in schools and to help them remain active and occupied when school is not in session. And the company is developing the areas all around its world headquarters — leveling run-down buildings to attract commerce.

It is an ambitious agenda but it is right in Campbell’s sweet spot. And why not? It has advanced our corporate agenda. Focusing these efforts on food and nutrition has allowed us to smartly leverage our resources. Another part of the corporate social responsibility plan — committing to cut Campbell’s carbon footprint by half — has saved money and lowered costs. Campbell is earnestly and sincerely helping to build a better world within the scope of what the company does well. But even more than that, employees are proud to be associated with a company that is doing this kind of work, and consumers in the community and beyond have supported our efforts and our business.

The flywheel effect is astounding and ongoing: Winning in the community leads to winning in the workplace and winning in the marketplace. The more the Company takes care of the world, the more the world responds. The more the company leans into building a better society in a strategically focused way, the better the company performs.

Gallup, the polling and research firm, studied the engagement levels of Campbell’s managers back in 2002 and found that for every 2 people actively engaged in the business, 1 was actively disengaged. Anecdotally, those numbers were the worst for any Fortune 500 firm at the time. As of 2011, the story is far different: 17 Campbell employees are actively engaged for every 1 employee who is actively disengaged. Gallup considers twelve to one to be world-class.

via The Idealistic Realistic: What Really Helped Elevate Campbell Soup Company – Douglas R. Conant – Harvard Business Review.

short film:

Beautiful animated short film about a racist barber in 1930s New York, who moves away from bigotry after a magic trumpet arrives at his shop

via curiosity counts – Beautiful animated short film about a racist….

Christmas, cake balls:  This is my life for the next few weeks!

Easy to make and delicious to eat, cake balls can be made out of any of your favorite cake recipes.  All you do is make the cake, crumble it up and mix it with frosting or cream cheese then roll the cake mixture into balls, bake and dip.  But, don’t take our word for it, look at  Bakerella‘s video below.

Karen Chiumento uses only fresh, all natural ingredients in her hand made cake balls. Yes, they ship! Photo by Jacqueline Marque

Bakerella explains it very easily.  She also wrote the Cake Pops book (below) with recipes and decorating ideas. Cake Pops are Cake Balls with a lollipop stick in them!

Christmas Cupcakes, Cake Balls and Mini-Pies Baking Supplies | The Daily Basics.

journalists, media:  As a lawyer, I often feel “attacked” … never thought about the journalists feeling that way!

Writers from around the country have posted pictures and life stories at the ‘We Are Journalists‘ blog on Tumblr.

Launched  by St. Petersburg Times reporter Emily Nipps (pictured, via) the site gives journalists a place to share why they keep writing despite a challenging economy and a rapidly changing profession. Why do you keep writing?

Here’s more from the site: “We are journalists. We are proud of what we do. We are tired of bad press about the press. We are trying to be ‘team players.’ We are terrified of more layoffs and paycuts. We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99′ posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it. We complain because we want things to be better. We would like some respect, plz. We are journalists.”

via Writers Proudly Post at ‘We Are Journalists’ Blog – GalleyCat.

design, dichotomies, makes you think …:  Excellent essay … makes you think …

We’re at the apex of our power, but the nadir of our potency. Let’s start with the biggest heartbreaker of them all: We are at a moment in history when, as designers, we are at our most powerful. There is almost nothing we cannot make, enjoying the triumphs of research and development in materials science, manufacturing technology, and information systems. We can get any answer we seek through social networks, peer communities, or hired guns. We have sub-specialties at unimaginably thin slices of expertise—from ubiquitous computing to synthetic biology—and a plumbing system in the Internet that is simultaneously unprecedented in human history and entirely taken for granted.

At the same time, unbelievably, we have never been in worse shape: We are witnessing the collapse of every natural system on earth. Take your pick—on the ground we’ve got clear-cutting, desertification and agricultural run-off. Underneath we’ve got fracking and groundwater contamination. In the air, greenhouse gasses; in the oceans, ice sheet melting, acidification and Pacific trash vortices; in space we have the ghastly and ultimately impossible problem of space debris (we won’t be able to leave even when we’re ready to, and nobody will be able to get in to help us if they wanted to). We carry body-burdens of toxic chemicals leached and outgassed from our homes, our cars, our food packaging. The consequences of industrialization metastasize out to slave factory labor, massive river diversions, obesity, malnutrition, gender inequality, rampant poverty, minefields. We tax our economies with war machinery instead of fueling healthcare and education provision. We feel helpless on the one end and hopeless on the other.

How can we be so strong and yet so weak? How can it be that we, as a species, are at the absolute height of our power at exactly the same moment that we are on the precipice of self-annihilation?

via 1000 Words: The Critical Dichotomies of Design – Core77.

psychology, the mind, makes you think…: Another good essay …

If someone asked you to describe the psychological aspects of personhood, what would you say? Chances are, you’d describe things like thought, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, maybe emotion. In other words, you probably list the major headings of a cognitive psychology text-book. In cognitive psychology, we seem to take it for granted that these are, objectively, the primary components of “the mind” (even if you reject a mind/body dualism, you probably accept some notion that there are psychological processes similar to the ones listed above). I’ve posted previously about whether the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive even makes sense. But, here, I want to think about the universality of the “mind” concept and its relationship to the modern view of cognition.

In fact, this conception of the mind is heavily influenced by a particular (Western) cultural background. Other cultures assign different characteristics and abilities to the psychological aspects of personhood. Wierzbicka (2005) delves into this problem in detail. She argues that speakers of a particular language make assumptions about what must be universal based on their own ability to imagine doing without a certain concept. Important cross-cultural differences in meaning become lost in translation. For instance, Piaget’s “The moral judgment of the child” was translated to English by substituting the French “juste” with the English “fair.” So, English readers think they are reading about the development of fairness in children, when this was not the author’s intention.

via Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: How Universal Is The Mind?.

Christmas, Christmas carols, history:  this is a great history of Christmas carols in particular and Christmas generally.

At face value, the Christmas carol may be the least captivating style of occasional song. While other popular tunes arise from passion or desire, heroism or defeat, the Yuletide songbook is a catalog of modest thrills and postindustrial neuroses. A quick survey turns up portraits of manic stress release (“Jingle Bells”), overwrought hallucination (“Do You Hear What I Hear?”), complex Freudian trauma (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”), desperate midlife lechery (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), forced enthusiasm (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”), and thinly veiled xenophobia (“Dominick the Donkey … the Italian Christmas donkey!”). It was apparently decided long ago that we can overcome these demons by frightening them away with feckless vocalization. Carol-singing, like drinking, accounts for a large part of boisterous group behavior in this country. If a large posse of merrymakers rings your doorbell in the quiet suburban night, there is an equal chance that you should call the cops or offer them a nutmeg-flavored snack.

Consider, too, that Christmas carols have no obvious counterparts among the other holidays. Large group odes are not sung in anticipation of Memorial Day.

If anything, their legitimacy as tradition has only increased in recent years. Today’s carols are one of our few genuine access points to the history of Western pop music, the centuries of mainstream fare buried beneath our own.

via The Long, Strange History of Christmas Carols – Slate Magazine.

flash sites, fashion, GILT:  I have never bought anything from a flash fashion site … new term for me … but have bought from groupon, etc.

It’s not surprising that fashion deal sites like Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Ideeli, which often offer designer merchandise discounted up to 80%, have garnered more than 5 million members in just a few short years. Known for “flash sales”—deals that typically last just 36-48 hours—these members-only websites feature excess inventory from more than 1,000 brands at steeply reduced prices.

Gilt Groupe launched in fall 2007, and the industry has quickly become packed with competitors, with Amazon.com’s MyHabit launching in May. “There are lots of outlets that offer consumers huge assortments that take a lot of time to shop,” says Steve Davis, president of Rue La La. “The beauty of the flash business is that we’re perfect for that time-starved consumer. You can shop our site for five minutes every day. It’s a very specific, curated assortment, and we help to pick the right things for you.”

But the bargain sites aren’t just booming among consumers. In May, CNN Money reported that flash sites made $1 billion in sales in 2010, with a projected $6 billion revenue figure by 2015. As these retailers expand to include travel, home and culinary deals, TIME Moneyland asked the presidents and CEOs of the top five fashion flash sites about making the most of the online deal-hunting experience.

via Taking Advantage of Flash Fashion Sites | How Online Shoppers Can Make the Most of Fashion Flash Sites | Moneyland | TIME.com.

Jane Austen:  New picture … changed perception … This discovery reminds me of the movie Possession …

Jane Austen scholar Dr Paula Byrne claims to have discovered a lost portrait of the author which, far from depicting a grumpy spinster, shows a writer at the height of her powers and a woman comfortable in her own skin.

The only accepted portraits of Austen to date are her sister Cassandra’s 1810 sketch, in which she looks cross, and an 1870 adaptation of that picture. But when Byrne, biographer of Evelyn Waugh and Mary “Perdita” Robinson and with an Austen biography due out in 2013, was given a portrait of a female author acquired by her husband, Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, at auction, she was immediately struck by the possibility that it could be a lost drawing of Austen.

The portrait drawing, in graphite on vellum, had been in a private collection for years, and was being auctioned as an “imaginary portrait” of Austen, with “Miss Jane Austin” written on the back. “When my husband bought it he thought it was a reasonable portrait of a nice lady writer, but I instantly had a visceral reaction to it. I thought it looks like her family. I recognised the Austen nose, to be honest, I thought it was so striking, so familiar,” Byrne told the Guardian. “The idea that it was an imaginary portrait – that seemed to me to be a crazy theory. That genre doesn’t exist, and this looks too specific, too like the rest of her family, to have been drawn from imagination.”

Byrne pointed out that Austen did not become famous until 1870, 50 years after her death, and the portrait has been dated to the early 19th century, around 1815, on the basis of the subject’s clothes. “Why would someone have wanted to draw her from their imagination, when she was not popular at that time?” she asked.

via Jane Austen biographer discovers ‘lost portrait’ | Books | guardian.co.uk.

media:

One of the coolest and most charming book releases of this year, The Influencing Machine is a graphic novel about the media, its history, and its many maladies — think The Information meets The Medium is the Massage meets Everything Explained Through Flowcharts. Written by Brooke Gladstone, longtime host of NPR’s excellent On the Media, and illustrated by cartoonist Josh Neufeld, The Influencing Machine takes a refreshingly alternative approach to the age-old issue of why we disparage and distrust the news. And as the book quickly makes clear, it has always been

via The Influencing Machine: A Brief Visual History of the Media | Brain Pickings.

 Kathryn Schulz, psychology, regret, TED: TED provides me with some of my favorite information.

My friend Kathryn Schulz, who penned the excellent book Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error and who is, in my opinion, one of the finest, bravest, most thoughtful journalists working today, recently gave a TED talk about regret. As the new owner of ink that makes me very happy, what got me to pay even closer attention was Kathryn’s extended example of her own tattoo as a lens for examining the psychology of regret, a vehicle for her characteristically potent formula of universal wisdom channelled through personal anecdotes and hard data.

Make sure you watch to the very end, it’s well worth it.

via Kathryn Schulz on the Psychology of Regret and How to Live with It | Brain Pickings.

Twitter, ideal life:  I follow a couple of these …. Martha Stewart Wannabees …

 For more holiday ideas and inspirations, pop over to the rest of the #HolidayHQ posts today and discover what the experts are decorating, cooking and planning for a festive December.  And then join us on Twitter Thursday 8 December at 8pm EST for the popular #HolidayHQ tweet chat for even more holiday ideas.

http://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

Christmas, salt dough ornaments:  Add another to the list?

 

My fondest Christmas memory is sitting around our kitchen table watching my mother turn dough into works of art, she effortless hand crafted a jointed Santa Clause, an ornate rocking horse and many other keep sake ornaments while I fiddled around with gingerbread cookie cutters wondering why I did not inherit her creative gene.  While those around me are turning their kitchens into cookie factories, churning out confections for countless recipients, parties and hostess gifts, I am recreating my favourite Christmas memory and creating the most delightful decorations for our holiday tree, gift toppers and garlands.  While many of us think of salt dough crafts as the back bone of elementary school projects (and granted mine do have that air about them), artisans have been working with salt dough for centuries creating elaborate works of art using the most basic of ingredients:  salt, water, flour and paint.

viahttp://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

13
Sep
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9.13.2011 … last night I watched the Republican Debate (a/k/a CNN hosted Tea Party Republican Debate) … It is going to be a long year …

2012 Presidential Election, 9/12 CNN hosted Tea Party Republican Debate, President Obama: I think I will dislike them all by the time they complete 6 before Christmas.  And why does it have to be labeled “Tea Party? ”  The Republicans will lose all the independents and half the Republican Party if they don’t watch out.  Luckily President Obama is helping them out a great deal.  My take I can’t stand Perry or Bachman.  Don’t particularly like any of the rest.  Some are at least funny.

post-it war, la guerre des Post-It, follow-up:  🙂  Has anyone seen any in the US?

Post-it® War.

EARonic, iPhone, design, charity, President Obama, random: Cases That Look Like Ears!  I wonder if they could have President Obama’s ear … what a great way to raise money for charity … who else has famous ears?

CollabCubed has produced the EARonic, a collection of iPhone cases with photographic images of ears. Designed by Rhode Island School of Design student, Daniela Gilsanz, there are five ears total, including one with stubble and piercings and another with a wireless headset.

via EARonic, iPhone Cases That Look Like Ears.

Steph Curry, Davidson College: Fun interview … Still proud he went to Davidson …

During this question, Steph, who had been acting very disinterested in the interview, whipped out his cell phone to take a call. We were shocked to say the least. Before we even started, he strolled in late, with his iPod in his ear, and asked us what The Davidsonian was. Not a good start. We both thought to ourselves, “How can you not know The Davidsonian? It’s just the paper you’ve been featured on countlesstimes.”

He didn’t look like he wanted to be there at all. His attitude conflicted with what we had heard about him, which was that he was a really nice guy and down-to-earth. He seemed like he was “big-leaguing” us and acting like a jerk. But when he answered the call from his cell phone, he burst into laughter, saying “I can’t do this anymore.” Apparently, he and Ms. Lauren Biggers in the Sports Information Department had planned to “punk” us all along. His whole “big league” attitude was all a ruse, and it worked. The fact that he could not keep the act going for more than three minutes tells you more about what kind of person he is than this interview. When all the laughter had died down, we resumed the interview by asking the question again.

via A little 2 on 1 with Steph Curry – Sports – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

9/7 Delhi Bombing, terrorism:  It scares me when we say things like ” the toll from the Delhi bombing was relatively low.”  … “killing 11 and injuring at least 60 …”

By South Asian standards the toll from the Delhi bombing was relatively low. On the same day over 20 people were killed in the western Pakistani town of Quetta, as suicide bombers attacked the deputy chief of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps. The Pakistani Taliban, a group also with close links to al-Qaeda, said it was responsible. It perhaps sought revenge for the soldiers’ part in the arrest, earlier in the week, of a senior al-Qaeda man in Pakistan. Sadly for Pakistan the assault confirms a worsening pattern of violence, with Quetta a known corner for extremist hide-outs, including the senior leadership of Afghanistan’s Taliban.

via Terrorism in South Asia: Bloody Wednesday | The Economist.

recipe,  Pub-Style Burgers, Cook’s Illustrated:  I love Cook’s Illustrated, but grinding my own meat ….  I’ll give this one to John!

To create a recipe for juicy, pub-style burgers with big, beefy flavor, we knew that grinding our own beef was a must. We chose sirloin steak tips for their supremely beefy flavor and lack of gristly sinew, and we upped their richness by adding melted butter to the cold beef before we formed our burgers. A combination stove-oven cooking technique gave us pub-style burgers with a crusty exterior and juicy interior that were evenly rosy from center to edge. A few premium (yet simple) toppings were all that was needed to top off our pub-style burger recipe.

via Juicy Pub-Style Burgers – Cooks Illustrated.

branding, marketing, icons, grammar, articles, “the”:  No ifs, ands or buts, no”the.”

Cutting excess articles is attractive in a digital era where space is at a premium on 140-character Tweets and in Web addresses, says Chapin Clark, the managing director of copy at the Interpublic Group of Co.’s ad agency RGA, which has worked on Barnes & Noble’s no-the Nook. “It may seem insignificant, but it is something that a brand has to think about now,” he says.

In Silicon Valley especially, dropping “the” before product names has become an article of faith. Without the omission, people might be friending each other on TheFacebook.com. After Mark Zuckerberg moved his social network from Cambridge, Mass., to Palo Alto, Calif., adviser Sean Parker persuaded him to drop what he called the awkward article.

Branding gurus defend the “the” omission. “When you can drop an article, the brand takes on a more iconic feel,” argues Allen Adamson, managing director of WPP Group PLC’s branding agency, Landor Associates.

But grammarians disagree. Theodore Bernstein’s 1965 tome “The Careful Writer,” dedicates two pages to omitting articles, which he called a “disfigurement of the language.”

He warns: “When the writer is tempted to lop it off, he should ask himself whether he would as readily delete the other articles in his sentence. Would we write, ‘Main feature of combined first floors of new building will be spacious hospitality area’? Obviously not.”

The Wall Street Journal style calls for inserting articles before product names, except in quotations, even if companies omit them, says stylebook editor Paul Martin.

via An Article of Faith for Marketers: Place No Faith in Articles – WSJ.com.

music, social networking, Turntable.fm:  Sounds very cool … may be way over my head!

Where is this going?

Talley is definitely onto something here. On the surface, turntable.fm is a generic social networking application. Like others, it extends itself to a wide variety of parallel social networks. You can Facebook and Twitter your room directly from TT.fm. You can buy the music via links to Amazon or iTunes, or share it on Last.fm, Spotify, and Rdio. And like Pandora and Last.fm, turntable lets you choose genres and share your favorite music.

But TT.fm goes beyond all that. By letting users choose music and chat in real time, it can replicate the spontaneous “hang-out” feeling of a freeform FM music radio station, the kind that thrived “long ago,” as Talley put it.

Despite its superior sound, FM was a marginal technology in the 1950s. It finally took off for a variety of reasons. First, in 1964 the Federal Communications Commission required AM stations that owned FM frequencies to produce some original content for the latter, not just dupe their AM fare. Second, device makers started attaching FM to “Hi-Fi” stereo systems.

As a consequence, music lovers and entrepreneurs of all kinds embraced FM and turned their stations into spontaneous community music and talk centers. Some of the most famous in the 1960s and ’70s included listener-supported station WBAI-FM and commercial station WNEW in New York City, and KSAN-FM in San Francisco.

WFMU-FM in New Jersey continues the free form tradition today, but most conventional radio stations gradually abandoned the practice in the 1980s. They either replaced the approach with a more predictable range of tunes called “format,” or they went all talk. Then came the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which eased restrictions on radio license buying. As hundreds of stations changed hands, the price of a signal went through the transmitter, making experimentalism unaffordable.

By the early 2000s, the mantle for adventurous music sharing had passed to the Internet, especially to huge successes like Pandora. But although the word “radio” is constantly attached to Pandora and its brethren, much Internet radio doesn’t really sound like radio. More akin to a juke box, it has always lacked the crucial element that made mid-20th century music radio so compelling—human beings spontaneously picking the tunes and keeping you company while you listened.

via Inside Turntable.fm: saving music radio from itself.

food – Peruvian:  We have loved Peruvian food ever since our 1987 trip … maybe some ceviche this weekend.

The renowned Wall Street Journal said Peruvian food is the next big thing in the world. Its ceviches, causas and anticuchos provide flavors that have the world’s top toques raving, experimenting and catching the next jet.

“Make room Spain and Korea, Peru is having its moment in the gastronomic sun”, says an article published this week.

The daily said Peruvian cuisine is the result of a nearly 500-year melting pot of Spanish, African, Japanese and Chinese immigration and native Quechua culture, which is on the lips of top chefs worldwide.

Ceviche, the country’s famous cured-seafood salad, abounds on menus, even outside of Peruvian spots: Haute cuisine temples Le Bernardin and Daniel both serve it.

Peruvian chefs say they are able to entice investors to finance homages to their national cuisine for the first time.

The Wall Street journal said top chefs from around the world are gathering in Lima thsi week for Mistura, a 10-day food festival that began in 2008 and has become the most important food event in Latin America, attracting a projected 300,000 visitors this year.

“There they will discover a cuisine unique in Latin America. Peruvian food features a lot of seafood, often prepared raw or cured; high acid—Key lime juice and red onion are ubiquitous flavors; and a subtle hint of spice provided by the fruity aji pepper, which leaves lips tingling”, the article says.

Peruvian food also uses lots of potatoes—there are about 3,000 varieties in Peru, where the tuber originated. Ceviche often features pieces of either yellow potato or yam, and mashed potatoes are served cold, with fish or chicken salad as toppings, in a dish called causa.

via The next big thing is Peruvian food, says Wall Street Journal | ANDINA – Peru News Agency.

politics, polls, Democrats, Rep. Anthony Weiner:  Wow.  If the Democrats lose today …

Another poll shows Democrats in danger of losing a New York City congressional seat in a special election Tuesday — an outcome that many would see as a loud rebuke to President Barack Obama from voters in his own party.

According to the poll by Public Policy Polling, Republican Bob Turner has a 6% point edge over Democrat David Weprin. That is the same margin found by a Siena College poll released last week.

The two men are running to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Anthony Weiner, a married Democrat who resigned after admitting he sent sexually charged messages to about a half dozen women he met online.

The district, which encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens, has a Democratic registration advantage of 3-to-1, and for that reason a Republican victory was considered a very remote possibility until recently. Now, polls are showing that voter unhappiness with Obama is hurting Weprin, a state Assemblyman.

via Poll Shows Republican Bob Turner Leading Democrat David Weprin – Metropolis – WSJ.

Global Cities, interactive map, data, computer technology:  Amazing amount of data in one place.

Over the next 15 years, 600 cities will account for more than 60 percent of global GDP growth. Which of them will contribute the largest number of children or elderly to the world’s population? Which will see the fastest expansion of new entrants to the consuming middle classes? How will regional patterns of growth differ?

Explore these questions by browsing through the interactive global map below, which contains city-specific highlights from the McKinsey Global Institute’s database of more than 2,000 metropolitan areas around the world.

via Global cities of the future: An interactive map – McKinsey Quarterly – Economic Studies – Productivity & Performance.

Libya, spring uprisings, change, Andrew Reynolds, UNC: “Libyans yearn just as strongly as us to choose their leaders, hold them accountable and live under the rule of law. To travel, engage.” I have often wondered if culturally some people do not have this mentality.  I found this writer’s optimism enlightening. And on a different not, I could see Molly just loving this work.

(Editor’s note: Andrew Reynolds, UNC’s chairman of global studies, is in Libya advising the Transitional National Council on its plans for an interim government. The following is a first-person dispatch written Friday from Benghazi, Libya.)

We once thought of Libya as a closed and hostile place, a state, and indeed people. We distrusted them as opponents of our way of life and allies of some of our worst enemies. But after the uprising against the 42-year dictatorship of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, a very different reality has been revealed. Libyans yearn just as strongly as us to choose their leaders, hold them accountable and live under the rule of law. To travel, engage. They see Westerners as their great friends, indeed saviors, after the NATO used its military might to support their uprising and protect civilians who were under attack from Gadhafi’s army.

While Libya is full of great optimism, it remains fragile. As I write in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Gaddafi and his sons remain on the run, perhaps hiding in on one the few remaining cities held by the regime. The transitional (rebel) government has made great strides quickly and its instincts on a transition to democracy are good but there are huge challenges ahead. Libya has never had anything like a democratic regime, free elections or a

political party system. Now it must evolve all these institutions in little time. The challenge will be to include all voices, guard against the country fragmenting into tribal allegiances, and try and retrieve the large and small guns which seem to be in everyone’s hands.

All day today we meet at Gadhafi’s high tech security headquarters in Benghazi that has become reborn as the headquarters of the “rebel” Transitional National Council. I have long discussions about the democratization timetable with members of the political and legal affairs committees.

At lunchtime I chat with another of our drivers and fixers who I’ll call Muhammed. He is unrelentingly optimistic. “We want to become better than Malaysia, better than Qatar. Look at our country.” His hands sweep across the seafront. “We can provide.”

Muhammed has two brothers fighting with the rebels — one is a teacher, the other an engineer. But this evening the reality and fragility of Libya comes home. Muhammed hears that his best friend from high school was killed on the front lines near Bani Walid.

The TNC’s timetable for a new government begins on Day 0: Liberation day. And that day has not yet come.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Professor works with Libyan rebels.

Charlotte, energy capital, economy, changes, Great Recession:  A bright spot!

By the end of this year, a tower built as a home for Wachovia will be the new headquarters of Duke Energy.

That switcheroo in one downtown building highlights a change sweeping Charlotte in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. While the tidy North Carolina city of 730,000 people still counts itself as the nation’s No. 2 financial center and is looking to expand in a number of arenas — including health, motor sports and defense — the area’s energy sector is showing particular promise.

Such bright spots are hard to come by at a time when the nation’s unemployment rate is stubbornly locked above 9 percent. On Thursday, President Obama presented Congress a $447 billion bill to put Americans back to work, repeatedly urging, “You should pass this jobs plan right away.”

The travails of the financial crisis, punctuated in Charlotte by Wachovia’s near collapse and takeover by Wells Fargo, thumped Charlotte’s finance and insurance sector, which between 2008 and 2010 lost 9 percent of its jobs, a drop to 77,000. Bank of America, the other top-five bank in Charlotte, has moved some of its operations to New York.

And instead of regaining solid footing three years after the crisis, the financial sector is under siege again.

Bank of America rejiggered its management team last week as the giant finance firm grapples with a dwindling share price and new legal liabilities over mortgage deals. Warren Buffett has made a $5 billion investment in the bank. And a restructuring reportedly could cut as many as 40,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, since 2007 Charlotte has announced about 5,600 new energy-related jobs, taking the total to roughly 27,000 at 250 energy-oriented firms, according to economic development officials. About 2,000 energy jobs were added in 2010, with another 765 this year.

It’s not enough to replace finance jobs lost in the recession or to turn around local unemployment, which hangs at 11.2 percent. But local officials say it’s a start, and their bet is long-term. They must, they say, diversify the region’s economy.

“I think we are going to be the energy capital of the country before it’s all over,” Mayor Anthony Foxx said.

The goals, he said, stretch from corporations to consumers. In addition to luring energy firms, the city is expanding recycling, “smart” grid projects and public transit, with plans to add 10 miles of light rail and a commuter line in years to come.

via Charlotte looks beyond financial sector in effort to become ‘energy capital’ – The Washington Post.

Amazon, Amazon Prime, subscription library service:  I would use it …

Would you pay to have limited, monthly access to a library of books for your e-reader? According to report from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is hoping you would.

The online retailer is reportedly thinking about making a subscription library service available to Amazon Prime members, adding book rentals to the $79 per year service that now offers online video and an unlimited deal on two-day shipping. The rental subscription, described in the report as a Netflix-like service for books, would offer older titles, and the company would limit the amount of books users could read for free every month.

apps, books, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand:  Might actually buy this one …  I am intrigued.

Penguin has a new book app available for Ayn Rand‘s controversial text Atlas Shrugged. The interactive app includes audio and video of the author, as well as scans of her notes on the subject.

The app also includes social media sharing features. Here is more from the app’s iTunes listing: “While immersed in the app, readers also have the option to share favorite passages and quotes from the novel on Facebook, Twitter, and via email with a few quick taps—and without ever leaving the page.”

This is the third time this year that the publisher has taken a popular old book and repurposed it with special features to turn it into an app.

via Ayn Rand Gets Atlas Shrugged App – GalleyCat.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged [A New American Library Amplified Edition] for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

nerdfighters,  publishing, twitter: Good question.

In a presentation entitled “How Nerdfighters Can Save Publishing,” Green will share lessons he learned while building one million Twitter followers and 17 million channel views on YouTube.

via John Green to Keynote Publishing App Expo – GalleyCat.

art, paper statues, Edinburgh, random:  Fun!

One day in March, staff at the Scottish Poetry Library came across a wonderful creation, left anonymously on a table in the library. Carved from paper, mounted on a book and with a tag addressed to @byleaveswelive – the library’s Twitter account – reading:

It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.…

… We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.…

This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

via Mysterious paper sculptures – Central Station Blog post.

English language, grammar, word use: Enjoyed this …

Redundant is almost always hurled as a negative epithet, but repetition can be an effective rhetorical device. Shorn of all redundancy, Shakespeare’s “most unkindest cut of all” would be pretty vanilla, and the ad slogan “Raid Kills Bugs Dead” would become the ho-hum “Raid Kills Bugs.” Meanwhile, Gertrude Stein’s “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” would have to be completely erased because the quotation is nothing but redundancy. (Completely erased is redundant as well—something is either erased or it isn’t. But I felt I needed the emphasis provided by completely.)

Most redundancy, however, truly is regrettable, a product of both laziness (not bothering to prune your prose) and verbal inflation: a boy-who-cried-wolf phenomenon whereby you feel you need to say something multiple times to make your point. It’s tough to prove, but I have little doubt that redundancy is on the upswing, a manifestation of the wordiness and clunkiness that characterizes much writing these days.

via Lingua Franca – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

BofA, workforce cuts, kith/kin: Underwhelming? Not if you are a BofA associate or live in one of their headquarter cities …

Bank of America Corp said it will cut 30,000 jobs and slash annual expenses by $5 billion, but investors were unimpressed with the plan and the lack of details on how it will be accomplished.

The staff reductions amount to more than 10 percent of the bank’s workforce, and come as chief executive Brian Moynihan struggles to fix a bank whose share price has dropped nearly 50 percent this year.

Media reports last week said the bank could cut as many as 40,000 jobs. Many investors had hoped for a more dramatic turnaround plan on Monday, when Moynihan spoke at a financial conference and the bank released its cutback plans.

“It was pretty underwhelming,” said Jason Ware, an analyst at Albion Financial Group, referring to the bank’s plan.

“They need to address the bigger issues the bank faces,” Ware said.

via BofA plans 30,000 job cuts; investors underwhelmed – Yahoo! Finance.

2012 Olympic Games, London, travel, London August 2011 Riots, media campaign:  Pandora’s box may have been opened … big pr problem.

British police would not be able to cope with disturbances on the scale of August’s riots if they occur during next year’s London Olympics, the officer coordinating security for the Games said Monday.

Officers are holding off decisions on how to cope with security problems during the 2012 Games until the conclusions of a report on public order policing becomes available, said Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the national Olympic security coordinator.

“If we were facing exactly the same as we were faced with on the Monday night (of the riots), with the resources we’ve got now, we still wouldn’t be able to cope with it,” he told reporters.

“Some work is being done to think about what we need to put in place in Games time,” he said.

Gangs of youth rampaged through London and other major British cities in early August, burning and looting shops and buildings in the country’s worst unrest since race riots in the 1980s. Hundreds of people were arrested for the violence. The disorder, which took place over four nights, came less than two weeks after London celebrated the one-year countdown to the opening of the games on July 27, 2012, with great fanfare.

Officials said Monday they would spend three million pounds ($4.7 million) to boost tourism on the back of the Games and restore the Olympic host city’s tarnished image.

Culture, media and sport secretary Jeremy Hunt says the publicity campaign aims to “set the record straight” and show the world that the riots do not “stand for what the U.K. is all about.”

via $4.7M PR campaign launched for London Olympics – Europe – NBCSports.com.

Meatless Monday, Sid Lerner, diet and health, history:  We have Taco Tuesdays! Hmmm, I guess that is not the same thing.

Meatless Monday in the Media

“‘Friday is pay day, Saturday is play day, Sunday is pray day,’ Lerner says, naturally rolling into the smooth rhythm of a practiced pitch. ‘Monday is health day’… Mondays are magic. And Sid Lerner’s determined to own Monday, slather it with soy–based dressing, and then get Americans to just try one bite—they might like it.”Michael Y. Park for Gourmet

“Under Woodrow Wilson’s watch during World War I, Americans were asked to conserve resources with Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays… ‘When our country was involved in war, it meant shortages and sacrifices back here at home,’ Kamps says. ‘The whole country was really involved in the war effort in that sense.’ Food and national security felt closely connected to each other.”

via Meatless Monday in the Media.

NBA Lockout,  Michael Jordan: $100,000 … I hope he learned his lesson.

Last month, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan discussed revenue sharing and Andrew Bogut in an interview with an Australian newspaper.

Now, according to an ESPN report, those remarks will cost him $100,000. Even where the league’s greatest player is concerned, the league is making good on its promise to fine anyone for discussing that which shall not be discussed — the lockout.

“The model we’ve been operating under is broken. We have 22 or 23 teams losing money, [so] I think we have gotta come to some kind of understanding in this partnership that we have to realign,” Jordan said in the Aug. 19 Herald Sun interview.

via NBA fines Michael Jordan $100,000; don’t they know who he is? – The Early Lead – The Washington Post.

criminal acts, students, iPads, cellphones: Students are such easy prey.

According to a campus crime alert posted by university police, the student “was approached by three suspects who snatched her iPad and fled.”

via Thieves snatch cell phone, iPad from Georgia State students  | ajc.com.

green, electric motorcycle:  Cool … patented gyroscopic stability technology–no tipping … a fully enclosed, two-wheeled motorcycle … and 125 miles on one charge.

Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim wants to reinvent the motorcycle as we know it today. His idea? To design and manufacture a fully enclosed, two-wheeled motorcycle that runs purely on electric. SmartPlanet gets an exclusive first look at the C1-concept vehicle and its patented gyroscopic stability technology that helps prevent it from tipping over.

via Lit Motors unveils concept, all-electric, fully enclosed motorcycle | SmartPlanet.

alternate fuel, algae, bio-energy: Venice turns green!

VENICE is renowned for its canals, gondolas, and its glamorous film festival. It is less well known for its green credentials. Yet the work of a team of scientists sifting through micro-algae on the neighbouring island of Pellestrina may change that. Researchers on this tiny, thin strip of land aim to power the city’s entire port by harnessing the bio-energy potential of algal life. They are busy identifying which of the lagoon’s native species of unicellular micro-algae can be bred in new bioreactors to provide efficient biomass for electricity and motor fuel production.

Set to be operational by the end of the year, the experimental tanks will generate 500KW of peak capacity with oil derived from algal pulp. If successful, the project can be rapidly scaled up to 50MW. The entire port currently consumes 7MW. It is one of a growing number of projects across Europe extracting bio-fuel from algae. These simple organisms offer a slew of advantages. They can be harvested as often as once every three days, have higher oil content than alternative biological sources, and, since they can grown in tanks, they reduce the risk of ecosystem damage and do not pinch increasingly scarce arable land as other biomass crops do.

via Algal energy: Venice turns green | The Economist.

Bible, Moses, film/lit, politics, James Howell: 🙂

Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic The Ten Commandments, stands out as one of the great Bible films of all time – and one of my personal favorites. DeMille had produced a silent film, The Ten Commandments, in 1923, and now reshot everything in stunning Technicolor. The 1956 version is four hours long, but is never boring… Hokey? Indeed. After Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush, he descends the mountain, where his wife looks at him and exclaims, “Moses, your hair!” – as his hair has greyed overnight, evidently due to a virtually radioactive encounter with the Almighty.

What is more striking is how much the politics of the 1950’s bleeds into the movie’s spin on Exodus. The heated conversations between Moses (played by Charlton Heston) and Pharaoh (Yul Brynner) are about freedom from tyranny, human rights, independence, with constant echoes of Cold War sentiments in the U.S. – whereas the people of Israel weren’t bolting for independence or rights or even freedom, but to worship, to learn submission to the Lord, and strict obedience.

via eMoses – Moses at the Movies!.

Food, restaurants, Adam Rapoport, favorites,  lists, the Pearl, Dublin,  Domaine Chandon, Auberge du Soleil, Napa, Frank’s, Pawley’s Island SC, Pisgah Inn, Asheville NC, kith/kin:  So what are your favorite restaurants meals?  i’m still thinking … but I know they are not big named restaurants … more of everything coming together: people, food, ambiance/place.  And I don’t necessarily remember what I ate!  I can think of  … hot dogs at the Varsity (anytime),  Pimento cheese sandwiches at the Masters (anytime),  fresh trout at a mountain inn on my honeymoon in Austria (1984) , dinner with the tv crew by a river in Arequipa Peru (1987), dinner with my in-laws at an inn tucked high above the Pacific south of Monterrey CA (1988),  lunch at Domaine Chandon and another at Auberge du Soleil in Napa (1988), in Dublin eating at the Pearl at the bar (2009), fried calamari at a touristy restaurant in Seattle (2003), fresh salmon at a touristy restaurant in Alaska(2005), Molly’s birthday celebration (with a horrible cake) at safety alarm corporate hotel in rural China near Beijing(2007),  chicken tika masala at the Broadley’s home in Nottingham Road SA,  moules frites in Honfleur FR, trout at the Pisgah Inn near Asheville NC (anytime), every meal at Frank’s in Pawley’s Island SC (anytime)… but really my favorite meals are holiday meals with family and my dad’s post-Masters lobster salad.  Here is Mr. Rapoport’s List …

Duke Ziebert’s, 1990

A 21st-birthday lunch with Dad at the D.C. power restaurant. Prime-rib hash and eggs, onion rolls, dill pickles, Coke.

Daniel, 1995

My intro to the NYC big time. Still remember all eight courses, from peekytoe crab with celery gelee to whole roasted halibut tail with tapioca pearls.

In-N-Out Burger, 2001

A long night and an even longer wait for a Double-Double in Vegas.

Peter Luger, 2007

Surprise bachelor dinner two nights before my wedding. Thick-cut bacon + medium-rare porterhouse + creamed spinach + 4 of your closest friends = the perfect meal.

The Fat Duck, 2008

Walked into the U.K. restaurant wondering what the hype was about, left mesmerized.

via Adam Rapoport’s 5 Most Memorable Restaurant Meals: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

9/11 10th Anniversary, Paul Simon, “Song of Silence”:  “If this song didn’t bring tears to your eyes before, it sure will now.”

If this song didn’t bring tears to your eyes before, it sure will now.

Paul Simon was one of the featured performers at the ten-year 9/11 memorial service in New York on Sunday, where he played Simon & Garfunkel’s hauntingly beautiful 1964 classic, “Sound of Silence.”  Simon was reportedly meant to perform “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the service, and as much as NewsFeed loves that song, we think the change was perfect. Somehow, the lyrics seem as if they were written for this occasion.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Simon, a native New Yorker, has used his music to comfort in the wake of the attacks; he was Saturday Night Live’s musical guest on the first episode back on the air after the Twin Towers fell. Back then he performed “The Boxer.”

via Watch: Paul Simon Sings ‘Sound of Silence’ at 9/11 Memorial – TIME NewsFeed.

Hacking the Academy, books, academics, social media: Changing world …

An eon ago in Twitter time–that is, yesterday–the online and open-access version of Hacking the Academy, edited by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, was released through the University of Michigan Press’s DigitalCultureBooks imprint. The final version will be release in print in 2012. A somewhat different version of the text has been, and will continue to be, available on the original website for the project, but as Cohen and Scheinfeldt explain, the goal is both to reach audiences beyond the social media echo chamber and to show how “scholarly and educational content can exist in multiple forms for multiple audiences.”

Originally promoted as a “One Week, One Book” experiment somewhat akin to One Week / One Tool,” Hacking the Academy is an energetic look at ways “the academy might be beneficially reformed using digital media and technology,” a project dear to the heart of this site. (And, indeed, several of the contributors are either ProfHacker writers or guests.) With sections on “Hacking Scholarship,” “Hacking Teaching,” and “Hacking Institutions,” and with multiple contributions that comment directly on one another, Hacking the Academy provides an excellent thumbnail introduction to some of the most interesting questions, challenges, and opportunities posed by the intersection of digital and academic ways of being. The compressed nature of its composition–with only one week to author submissions, many of which were repurposed from other formats–means that the book is necessarily fragmentary and suggestive than comprehensive.

via ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

President Obama, race, culture, Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?, books:  Are racial attitudes changing post-Obama? OK, the title of the book got my attention.

In the age of Obama, racial attitudes have become more complicated and nuanced than ever before. Inspired by a president who is unlike any Black man ever seen on our national stage, we are searching for new ways of understanding Blackness. In this provocative new book, iconic commentator and journalist TourÉ tackles what it means to be Black in America today.

TourÉ begins by examining the concept of “Post-Blackness,” a term that defines artists who are proud to be Black but don’t want to be limited by identity politics and boxed in by race. He soon discovers that the desire to be rooted in but not constrained by Blackness is everywhere. In Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? he argues that Blackness is infinite, that any identity imaginable is Black, and that all expressions of Blackness are legitimate.

Here, TourÉ divulges intimate, funny, and painful stories of how race and racial expectations have shaped his life and explores how the concept of Post-Blackness functions in politics, society, psychology, art, culture, and more. He knew he could not tackle this topic all on his own so he turned to 105 of the most important luminaries of our time for frank and thought-provoking opinions, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Eric Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry, Harold Ford Jr., Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Ligon, Paul Mooney, New York Governor David Paterson, Greg Tate, Aaron McGruder, Soledad O’Brien, Kamala Harris, Chuck D, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and many others.

via Books> Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?  

John Belk, Davidson College, Charlotte:  The Belks have shaped Charlotte,  John Belk in particular.  And Davidson, too.

Belk, who died in 2007 at age 87, loved three things passionately: Davidson College, the Presbyterian Church and the city of Charlotte, friends say. He quit the Davidson board of trustees in 2005 when the college decided to allow non-Christians on the board, but continued his support of the school where buildings he helped underwrite bear the Belk name.

Historian Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South credits Belk with the vision to revive uptown in the ’70s, a time of urban decay across the nation. Belk insisted a new civic center be built in the business district despite strong opposition.

He also opposed district representation on the City Council, recognizing it would interfere with his paternalistic style of leadership. After he lost that battle, he opted not to seek a fifth term.

Belk’s penchant for malapropisms was one of his hallmarks. “A certain amount of fleas are good for the dog, ’cause it keeps him scratching,” he once said.

via WTVI profile recalls vast influence of John Belk | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Post 9/11, follow-up:  Here are some websites and articles that have made me re-think our post 9/11 world.

An Interfaith Answer to “Religious Totalitarianism” and Terrorism | Interfaith Voices.

The Real War:

Religious Totalitarianism

by Thomas L. Friedman

New York Times editorial – November 27, 2001

If 9/11 was indeed the onset of World War III, we have to understand what this war is about. We’re not fighting to eradicate “terrorism.” Terrorism is just a tool. We’re fighting to defeat an ideology: religious totalitarianism.

World War II and the cold war were fought to defeat secular totalitarianism – Nazism and Communism – and World War III is a battle against religious totalitarianism, a view of the world that my faith must reign supreme and can be affirmed and held passionately only if all others are negated. That’s bin Ladenism. But unlike Nazism, religious totalitarianism can’t be fought by armies alone. It has to be fought in schools, mosques, churches and synagogues, and can be defeated only with the help of imams, rabbis and priests.

The generals we need to fight this war are people like Rabbi David Hartman, from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. What first attracted me to Rabbi Hartman when I reported from Jerusalem was his contention that unless Jews reinterpreted their faith in a way that embraced modernity, without weakening religious passion, and in a way that affirmed that God speaks multiple languages and is not exhausted by just one faith, they would have no future in the land of Israel. And what also impressed me was that he knew where the battlefield was. He set up his own schools in Israel to compete with fundamentalist Jews, Muslims and Christians, who used their schools to preach exclusivist religious visions.

After recently visiting the Islamic madrasa in Pakistan where many Taliban leaders were educated, and seeing the fundamentalist religious education the young boys there were being given, I telephoned Rabbi Hartman and asked:

How do we battle religious totalitarianism?

He answered: “All faiths that come out of the biblical tradition – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have the tendency to believe that they have the exclusive truth. When the Taliban wiped out the Buddhist statues, that’s what they were saying. But others have said it too. The opposite of religious totalitarianism is an ideology of pluralism – an ideology that embraces religious diversity and the idea that my faith can be nurtured without claiming exclusive truth. America is the Mecca of that ideology, and that is what bin Laden hates and that is why America had to be destroyed.”

The future of the world may well be decided by how we fight this war. Can Islam, Christianity and Judaism know that God speaks Arabic on Fridays, Hebrew on Saturdays and Latin on Sundays, and that he welcomes different human beings approaching him through their own history, out of their language and cultural heritage? “Is single-minded fanaticism a necessity for passion and religious survival, or can we have a multilingual view of God – a notion that God is not exhausted by just one religious path?” asked Rabbi Hartman.

Many Jews and Christians have already argued that the answer to that question is yes, and some have gone back to their sacred texts to reinterpret their traditions to embrace modernity and pluralism, and to create space for secularism and alternative faiths. Others – Christian and Jewish fundamentalists – have rejected this notion, and that is what the battle is about within their faiths.

What is different about Islam is that while there have been a few attempts at such a reformation, none have flowered or found the support of a Muslim state. We patronize Islam, and mislead ourselves, by repeating the mantra that Islam is a faith with no serious problems accepting the secular West, modernity and pluralism, and the only problem is a few bin Ladens. Although there is a deep moral impulse in Islam for justice, charity and compassion, Islam has not developed a dominant religious philosophy that allows equal recognition of alternative faith communities. Bin Laden reflects the most extreme version of that exclusivity, and he hit us in the face with it on 9/11.

Christianity and Judaism struggled with this issue for centuries, but a similar internal struggle within Islam to re-examine its texts and articulate a path for how one can accept pluralism and modernity – and still be a passionate, devout Muslim – has not surfaced in any serious way. One hopes that now that the world spotlight has been put on this issue, mainstream Muslims too will realize that their future in this integrated, globalized world depends on their ability to reinterpret their past.

via Readings on religion and world events.

bees, beekeeping, apiarists:  I love this description of amateur beekeeping!

Why are we doing this? If you grew up suburban, barefoot and curious, your first memory of pain is probably a bee sting. One wrong step, and clover-specked lawns suddenly feel like minefields. As humans, though, our first experience of sweetness—high-grade, system-shocking, what is this stuff sweetness—was probably honey. Ten thousand years after we started stealing it from wild hives, cartoon bees push their dope to kids watching Saturday-morning TV. Fear and reward, reverence and addiction: our relationship with bees is long and complicated. That’s one way of explaining that early-morning car ride.

via Sweet Stings and Armageddon: My Life as an Amateur Beekeeper.

apps, photography, Photo Academy:  Another that has  caught my attention …

Photo Academy is a comprehensive guide and tool set for photographers of all skill levels. Browse through thousands of tips and sample photos, record your progress in your diary, and expand your photography repertoire.

via App Store – Photo Academy.

20
Apr
11

4.20.2011 … with two boys in Boulder 4/20 is not my favorite day …

4/20, Boulder, CU:

In Boulder, April flowers not only bring May showers, but also clouds of marijuana smoke over the Norlin Library Quad on 4/20 at 4:20 p.m. Though this event attracts a large group, reactions and views are mixed.

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Washington, D.C., released a letter on 4/20 in 2010, where he referred to these nationwide smoke-outs as “protestivals” happening across the country.

via 4/20 perspectives | CU Independent.

4/20, LOL:  A few more sites for those of you who are just learning about 4/20 (that would be me until Jack went to Boulder …)  Stoner Lingo Decoded: The Super High History of 420 – TIME NewsFeed. … Welcome to Potopia – Newsweek … and a joke ….

When Parents Text

Happy 4/20!

ME: How come harry potter fans dont get a name?! there are trekkies and twihards.

MOM: Pot heads.

via Facebook.

movies, film/lit, The Help:  I hope I respond better to the movie.  My objection to the book is that the author casts a very wide net of condemnation … and I don’t think things were quite so black and white.  But I will definitely go to the movie.  The Help Trailer Released – GalleyCat.

Ayn Rand, politics, Davidson:  I am getting tired of Ayn Rand.  I have some friends who became Randists in college  … it wasn’t pretty. Definitely don’t need a Randist element in the GOP, but obviously we already have it.

Welcome to the Ayn Rand Congress. As I write in a piece for the April 25 issue of the dead-tree magazine, “Rand has always been a lodestar for proponents of limited government.” But never so much as now. Conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck herald her work. Tea Partyers hoist signs that name-check her literary heroes. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chair and GOP man of the moment, has passed out Rand’s novels to staffers and called her the reason he got into politics. Rand’s theory of a two-tiered society — split between the “producers” who shoulder society’s burdens and the “looters” who mooch off their efforts — is one of the strains of thought that animate the Tea Party movement, along with free markets (check), individual liberty (check) and limited government (check). Strands of Rand’s objectivist philosophy are woven through most of Congress’s weighty debates about tax rates and regulations (Alan Greenspan was a Rand protégé), wage scales and social-welfare programs. The 112th Congress has been dominated by apocalyptic debates over fiscal policy; in the last line of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt traces a dollar sign “over the desolate earth.” You could argue that the essential confrontation of this Congress is not between Democrats and Republicans but between people who see income inequality as a major social problem and those who consider it a natural byproduct of an equal-opportunity society.

via Rand Paul Cites Tea Party Prophet Ayn Rand in Congress | Swampland.

news, Fidel Castro:  My generation grew up with classmates whose parents had fled Cuba; I don’t think I ever got what had happened … It is a strange part of our North American/US history … the Cold War and Communism at our back door.

News that Fidel Castro has resigned from the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party isn’t very surprising — slowed by chronic health problems, the 84-year-old has effectively been out of political life since passing over the reins to his brother Raul in 2006. He now looks more familiar to us in a loose track suit than his once iconic military fatigues. (See a terrific photoessay of the Cuban rebels in the jungle over a half century ago.) TIME was there, though, when the bearded revolutionary ousted Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. After the jump: an excerpt from TIME’s gripping Jan. 26, 1959 cover story on Castro’s rise to power.

via Fidel Castro Steps Down from Cuba’s Communist Party Central Committee – Global Spin – TIME.com.

careers, listsFive Best Job Search Sites.

tv, food television shows, lists:  They say we are cooking less and watching food shows more !  Ten food television shows you should be watching – chicagotribune.com.

culture, Tax Day, statistics:  The only thing I get is that we are spending more than we are taking in …

There’s a movement afoot to mail every taxpayer a “taxpayer receipt,” a breakdown of how the government spends its money. The goal is to educate people about where their taxes go, since Americans are famously unaware about such matters.

But as long as we’re talking about educating Americans about fiscal policy, why not start with what they actually pay in taxes, and what they earn, relative to their fellow Americans?

I am constantly amazed by how little Americans know about where they stand in the income and taxing distribution. The latest example is evident in a recent Gallup study, which found that 6 percent of Americans in households earning over $250,000 a year think their taxes are “too low.” Of that same group, 26 percent said their taxes were “about right,” and a whopping 67 percent said their taxes were “too high.”

via Rich People Still Don’t Realize They’re Rich – NYTimes.com.

green, wind farms:  A while back I noted seeing the wind farm in the English Channel, it was an amazing sight.  It will be interesting to view one off our coast.

A federal agency approved a construction and operations plan for the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast, clearing the way for work to begin on America’s first offshore wind farm as early as this fall, Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announced Tuesday.

Approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was required before construction of the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound could get under way.A

via Mass. offshore wind farm approved; Nation’s 1st – CBS News.

art, the law:  This is one combination I was not expecting … “rediscovering art through law.”

Legal Art Gallery » GALLERY.

cars:  I always loved seeing a mini or micro as a child.  Since the intro of the mini cooper they really are no big deal to the current generation …  the vintage ones are down right comical.

Mini- and Micro-Cars Coming To New York Auto Show – Speakeasy – WSJ.

romance, blog posts, Jane Austen: I have followed Cheryl for several years … love her fiance’s proposal.  Oh, to be young again!

And with such a prospect before me, dear reader, I said yes!

The two gentlemen in costume were friends of James’s, unknown to me; James wrote the scripts with all the Jane Austen references to please me, featuring characters with defects (greed and vanity) that would highlight his own suit in turn–“classic literary foils,” he says. He rented the costumes for them from a shop in Midtown.

via Brooklyn Arden.

blog sites, favorites:  Delancey Place is quickly becoming a favorite.

… very simply a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, primarily historical in focus, and will occasionally be controversial. Finally, we hope that the selections will resonate beyond the subject of the book from which they were excerpted.

via home | www.delanceyplace.com | eclectic excerpts delivered to your email every day from editor Richard Vague.

137th Kentucky Derby, Louisville places, events:  It almost time for Derby delirium!  Triple Crown Talk | Derby Delirium | BloodHorse.com Blog Stable.

Google, Google Places:  Trying to figure if this would be useful … Google Places.

health, medicines, lists:  Any surprises here? Chart of the Day: The Top 15 Prescription Drugs in America – Alexis Madrigal – Technology – The Atlantic.

DanielPink, acronoym:  I have to admit I never heard of  TANSTAFL, but it is true …

Daniel Pink

RT @markknoller: Obama quotes old saying acronym TANSTAFL (tahn’-stah-fil): “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

via (31) Twitter / Home.

19
Apr
11

4.19.2011 … lazy basset day …

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random, media,lists: I remember most of these …The Most Controversial Magazine Covers of All Time | Webdesigner Depot.

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility , literature, culture:  This is a very interesting perspective from a man!

Sense and Sensibility is of special importance to me because I think, one of the things Jane enables us to do in all her novels is hold a mirror up to ourselves. Her novels help us reflect on ourselves. Sense and Sensibility does this especially for me through the character of Willoughby. He reminds me of my dissolute youth, perhaps drinking too much , looking out for a good time always, and seeing attractive women merely as a good lay. I too was superficial. I empathise with his pain as maturity and knowledge of his true love dawns on him. Willoughby was unlucky because he made too many fatal mistakes and lost Marianne. I was far luckier. I met my wife, Marilyn, and she changed me. It felt, just right, deep down when I met her. We made a connection. It is still right 29 years and four children later. The superficiality of my early relationships, often as exciting as exploding fireworks, were no more than that, a bright sparkling explosion and then nothing.

via Jane Austen Today: Sense and Sensibility: Two hundred years this year.

Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton, faith and spirituality:  Nice perspective … but she Kate really had no choice.

Kate may have had some of the same conversations and wobbles of conscience that troubled me 16 years ago: that solemn vows have little weight unless you trouble yourself to consider the splendid solemnity of the forces that underpin them. It seems to me that one part of becoming an adult is to take responsibility for your faith, or, indeed, your lack of it. I can’t bear it when people say, “I’m a very spiritual person”, before telling you of their experimentation with Buddhism, Islam, yoga, joss sticks, crystals, Tantra, Wicca and the monster who lives under the bed. It is easy to leap from one fad to another, especially those that best justify your own manifold, selfish desires. I’d rather own my many transgressions and lapses of character and look to their roots, than pretend that I’ve never trespassed.

via Royal wedding: Kate Middleton’s statement of faith is bold, not dutiful – Telegraph.

health, sleep:  I think sleep is the key!

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

via Importance of Sleep : Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep – Harvard Health Publications.

Lent, Passion of Christ, faith and spirituality:  To be honest I never have understood the use of the word “passion” in this context.

Passion is a kind of waiting – waiting for what other people are going to do. Jesus went to Jerusalem to announce the good news to the people of that city. And Jesus knew that he was going to put a choice before them: Will you be my disciple, or will you be my executioner? There is no middle ground here. Jesus went to Jerusalem to put people in a situation where they had to say “Yes” or “No”. That is the great drama of Jesus’ passion: he had to wait for their response.

via Weekly Reflection – Palm Sunday.

culture, Great Recession, careers:  This article is very troubling to me as the spouse of a “suit” … I see it in his friends.  This recession is truly a game-changer.

The suits are “doing worse than they have at any time since the Great Depression,” says Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute. And while economists don’t have fine-grain data on the number of these men who are jobless—many, being men, would rather not admit to it—by all indications this hitherto privileged demo isn’t just on its knees, it’s flat on its face. Maybe permanently. Once college-educated workers hit 45, notes a post on the professional-finance blog Calculated Risk, “if they lose their job, they are toast.”

via Dead Suit Walking – Print – Newsweek.

Tax Day, lists:  You’ll have to go to the article to get the links …

Some links in honor of Tax Day:

The American companies that have the most untaxed foreign income.

A calculator created by the White House gives you your federal taxpayer receipt.

“Farms” owned by the rich are often used as tax shelters.

Seven percent of taxpayers file for extensions.

Tax facts hardly anyone knows, from David Cay Johnston.

Employment in tax preparation services, over the months and the years.

Alan Greenspan is calling for an end to the Bush tax cuts.

via Happy Tax Day – NYTimes.com.

gLee, tv, Gwyneth Paltrow:  Gwyneth must really like the show … she keeps coming back for mere.  🙂

British belter Adele will enter the “Glee” canon in tomorrow night’s episode with the song “Turning Tables” off her album “21.” It will be sung by Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays a substitute teacher at McKinley (and love interest of Mr. Schuester) and who seems intent on solidifying her image as a singer in real life. Paltrow, who performed at the Oscars and gained an immediate following with her interpretation of Cee Lo’s “Forget You” on a previous episode of the show, needs to bust out serious vocal chops  if she wants to do the song justice. What do you think of the song? Does Paltrow pull it off?

via Gwyneth Paltrow Takes on Adele in ‘Glee’ – Speakeasy – WSJ.

KJV, Bible, history:  Love the history of the KJV of the Bible.

This year, the most influential book you may never have read is celebrating a major birthday. The King James Version of the Bible was published 400 years ago. It’s no longer the top-selling Bible, but in those four centuries, it has woven itself deeply into our speech and culture.

The King James is woven into our lives. It was read in churches and family devotionals for centuries, and today its language laces hundreds of everyday phrases. Consider: “How the mighty are fallen” (Samuel 1:19), and “Can a leopard change its spot?” (Jeremiah 13:23), and “The writing is on the wall” (Daniel 5: 5/6), and “The blind leading the blind” (Matthew 15:14).

“These phrases have become part and parcel then of the general usage in the English language,” says Jeffrey. “We do not recognize them any longer perhaps as biblical unless we have a pretty good memory for the language of the KJV.”

Campbell adds that this Bible is foundational to the English-speaking world. “It’s in the texture of our society rather than on the surface of it, I think. But if you trace back who we are, how we speak, how we think, many of those things have their origins in the King James Bible.”

He and others say that new translations will come and go, as our language changes with each generation. But as long we can understand the King James Bible, this four-century-old book will be seen as the voice of God — and the highest poetry of man.

via NPR.org » Hallelujah! At Age 400, King James Bible Still Reigns.

Ayn Rand, Atlassphere, online dating:  Online dating for Randists … who  thought that one up??

“They are selfish,” Siadat said. “To become the best, you have to do what’s right for you, not someone else.”

That doesn’t sound like the conventional makings of a solid relationship. Maybe these people really do need their own dating site.

There are about 12,700 dating profiles on the Atlasphere, which Joshua Zader, 37, founded in 2003 after attending a few Rand-related conferences. “I realized that all the single people were using the conferences to search for another Ayn Rand fan they could fall in love with,” says Zader, who modeled the site after Match.com’s pay-to-view profile system. But the Atlasphere also functions as a social network (with some 22,000 nondating profiles) in which members can contribute essays and articles.

I asked Zader how someone who espouses a me-first philosophy can also maintain a loving relationship. “Ayn Rand has a great quote in The Fountainhead,” he told me. “She writes that a person cannot say ‘I love you’ without first being able to say the I.”

via Ayn Rand’s Atlasphere: Online Dating for Her Biggest Fans – TIME.

17
Apr
11

‎4.17.2011 … Palm Sunday … Beautiful day …

Lent, Palm Sunday, faith and spirituality:  Saw Palm Sunday in a different light this year …

So we are a long way from our prettified Church images of children in pastel outfits singing the hymn: “Tell me the stories of Jesus… Into the city I’d follow, waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand.”  Interestingly, the mounting tension of Palm Sunday was captured pretty well in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar’s catchy song, “Hosanna, Heysanna.”

via Palm Sunday – read Mark 11:1-11.

faith and spirituality: 

It was the worst news I could get as an atheist: my agnostic wife had decided to become a Christian. Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was “divorce.”

I thought she was going to turn into a self-righteous holy roller. But over the following months, I was intrigued by the positive changes in her character and values. Finally, I decided to take my journalism and legal training (I was legal editor of the Chicago Tribune) and systematically investigate whether there was any credibility to Christianity.

Maybe, I figured, I could extricate her from this cult.

I quickly determined that the alleged resurrection of Jesus was the key. Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.

For nearly two years, I explored the minutia of the historical data on whether Easter was myth or reality. I didn’t merely accept the New Testament at face value; I was determined only to consider facts that were well-supported historically. As my investigation unfolded, my atheism began to buckle.

Was Jesus really executed? In my opinion, the evidence is so strong that even atheist historianGerd Lüdemann said his death by crucifixion was “indisputable.”

Was Jesus’ tomb empty? Scholar William Lane Craig points out that its location was known to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if it hadn’t been empty, it would have been impossible for a movement founded on the resurrection to have exploded into existence in the same city where Jesus had been publicly executed just a few weeks before.

Besides, even Jesus’ opponents implicitly admitted the tomb was vacant by saying that his body had been stolen. But nobody had a motive for taking the body, especially the disciples. They wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs’ deaths if they knew this was all a lie.

Did anyone see Jesus alive again? I have identified at least eight ancient sources, both inside and outside the New Testament, that in my view confirm the apostles’ conviction that they encountered the resurrected Christ. Repeatedly, these sources stood strong when I tried to discredit them.

Could these encounters have been hallucinations? No way, experts told me. Hallucinations occur in individual brains, like dreams, yet, according to the Bible, Jesus appeared to groups of people on three different occasions – including 500 at once!

Was this some other sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.

Neither was primed for a vision, yet each saw the risen Jesus and later died proclaiming he had appeared to him. Besides, if these were visions, the body would still have been in the tomb.

Was the resurrection simply the recasting of ancient mythology, akin to the fanciful tales of Osiris or Mithras? If you want to see a historian laugh out loud, bring up that kind of pop-culture nonsense.

One by one, my objections evaporated. I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.

In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter, I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.

And that’s why I’m now celebrating my 30th Easter as a Christian. Not because of wishful thinking, the fear of death, or the need for a psychological crutch, but because of the facts.

via How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Maira Kalman, exhibits, NYC:  Another reason to go to NYC!

For anyone planning a trip to New York City over the upcoming holidays–or already there: Make sure you visit Maira Kalman’s quirkily charming, provocative exhibit, Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), at the beautiful Jewish Museum, up until July 31, 2011. The museum sells quite a bit of Mairana, as I call it, so while you’re there you can buy have a shower curtain imprinted with her famous New Yorker cover of the Stans of New York City, all her books, and a bag for your loot, printed with her painting of the famous 1939 poster produced by the British government at the outset of World War II: Keep Calm and Carry On.

Sometimes I think of Maira as having been a co-Mom, even though I didn’t meet her until my boys were past toddlerhood. Over the years–well into their years–I read them her Max stories over and over again; they couldn’t hear them often enough. Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman, Max Makes a Milion, Max in Hollywood, Ooh-La-La: Max in Love (in Paris of course)–they are among our cherished possessions.

As a grown up, I’ve returned many times to the pages of The Principles of Uncertainty. Many people got to know Maira through her blog, And the Pursuit of Happiness, for the New York Times. I heard Maira lecture recently at the museum; she said that she was smitten with Lincoln, though Franklin’s face is on the cover of her collection of those blog posts. She feels she would have made Lincoln a much better wife than that crazy Mary Todd.

via Slow Love Life: MAIRA KALMAN EXHIBIT IN NYC.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, Bible, translations:

Christianity, needless to say, is awash in translated variety, a trend begun in the middle of the 20th century as new translation upon new translation flowed from the publishing houses in search not only for a final replacement of the King James Version, but also of soaring profits. Meaning became unrelated to the sounds. Hebrew and Greek are even no longer ordination requirements for clergy in many Christian denominations. The Word is divorced from the words in the original languages. A preacher of the Word no longer needs to be able to read the words! This accounts, I believe, for much of the slide into emotive Gnosticism, today’s heresy of choice, which declares, “I am saved by what I know and I know only what I feel.” (This can be heard in the soppy, “I am so in love with Jesus.” Yuck.) Everyone, and anyone, can be an expert about feelings. Meaning, divorced from the sounds, finds its roots “wherever.”

All this is by way of an introduction of a consideration, to be offered in my next post, of the pending arrival in English-speaking Catholicism of a new translation of the Missal. Much is at stake, as I hope to show.

via Hopelens Blog.

Davidson, Dean Rusk, random:  Great story about Dean Rusk and Davidson.

The title comes from a chapter in Dean Rusk’s As I Saw It (Norton, 1990)–the chapter about his student years at Davidson College.  I had not read the chapter before and at the urging of an alumnus, finally pulled the book off the library shelf.

The Bank of Davidson a few years after Rusk graduated

Rusk writes with humor -and honesty about his experiences.  He claims the “poor man” title …

via Poor Man’s Princeton — Around the D.

Alexander Hamilton, history, tv:  Might have to watch this PBS show …

ALEXANDER HAMILTON was never president. Indeed, he probably could not have been, for he was the only founding father born outside of what became the United States. (I can’t imagine that the Caribbean hell hole called Nevis where Hamilton, an illegitimate child, was born even issued birth certificates. Birthers?)

By contrast, three of the men who cast Hamilton’s life into relief were presidents:

George Washington, who was Hamilton’s aegis for much of his career,

James Madison, who began as Hamilton’s intellectual ally in writing the Federalist Papers but later turned into Hamilton’s enemy, and

Thomas Jefferson, who, with Madison, became the ideological and personal antithesis to Hamilton in the early years of the nation.

Perhaps this is why many of us know less about Hamilton than about these others. For a strong case can be made that Hamilton was in many ways the most “soulful” of the founders and the one with the most nuanced and farsighted vision for America. Indeed, America today almost certainly—as futile as this thought experiment admittedly is—conforms to Hamilton’s vision much more than to Jefferson’s.

America is a cosmopolitan, commercial and industrial place (as Hamilton envisioned), not an agrarian land of yeoman farmers untouched by the corrupting influence of banks and brokers (as Jefferson wanted). It has long since banned slavery, as Hamilton always thought it should, but as Jefferson and Madison, among other southerners, dared not contemplate.

Indeed, a list of Hamilton’s legacies—first Treasury secretary, founder of  “Wall Street” and American central banking, founder of the Coast Guard, visionary of capitalism and governmental checks and balances—inevitably shortchanges his overall impact. In everything but title he really was America’s first and most important prime minister.

So I was thrilled to watch a new documentary about Hamilton that finally gives the man his due. To be aired on PBS on April 11th, “Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton” by Michael Pack and Richard Brookhiser (who also did “Rediscovering George Washington”) brings the man to life in some creatively contemporary ways.

via Alexander Hamilton: Hamiltonian America | The Economist.

graphics, advertising:  

In 2010 Old Spice dominated the airwaves and the Internet with its slick new brand of sexy, funny ads. That’s why Wieden+Kennedy, the ad agency behind these unforgettable spots, made our list of Most Innovative Companies.

Now we bring to you, in striking comics format, The Amazingly True Tale of the Old Spice Campaign.

via The Amazingly True Tale of the Old Spice Campaign | Slideshows.

innovation:  I would have one of these if I had not given up soda … forever …

WHEN NIKE executive Daniel Birnbaum became CEO of the sleepy 104-year-old SodaStream International in 2007, his kids were less than thrilled. “My 12-year-old was in tears. Nike was part of his identity,” says Birnbaum, a Queens, New York, native. “Here I was going to this company that people did not know existed, and it was not exactly the most proud place to work.” Birnbaum has since transformed the “aerating liquid apparatus” company into a sexy soda-maker brand taking over granite countertops across the globe. After a year in which the Israel-based company surpassed $150 million in revenue, gained distribution in 4,000 U.S. retail stores, and had a hot IPO, FAST COMPANY talked to Birnbaum about saving energy, why Coke and Pepsi should be nervous, and actress Tori Spelling’s (water) drinking problem.

via SodaStream’s DIY Pepsi Machine | Fast Company.

politics, Gang of Six:

Perhaps more troublesome for Mr. Chambliss have been critics at home like Erick Erickson, a conservative blogger, Atlanta radio talk-show host and CNN contributor. “Is Saxby Chambliss Becoming a Democrat?” Mr. Erickson asked in a recent blog post.

For many actual Democrats, Mr. Chambliss remains negatively defined by his 2002 defeat of Senator Max Cleland, a triple-amputee veteran of Vietnam, after a campaign that included an ad picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama bin Laden. Mr. Chambliss’s work on the Gang of Six has done as much as anything to soften attitudes.

via ‘Gang of Six’ in the Senate Seeking a Plan on Debt – NYTimes.com.

technology, art, 3D imaging:

Ron van der Ende must have the patience of a Torah scribe. His artwork, shown above, might vaguely resemble a photograph or at least a damn good paint by numbers, but it’s actually made entirely out of reclaimed wood veneers — each an astonishingly scant 3 millimeters thick.

All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job.

It gets crazier. All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job; Van der Ende, who hails from the Netherlands, doesn’t use a lick of extra pigment. Instead, he hoards wood the way a painter collects paint tubes, stalking the dumpsters of Rotterdam for doors, cupboards, planks — whatever he can find. That way, he’s always got plenty of colors on hand. (On the rare occasion he can’t find the right color, he visits a warehouse near Rotterdam that stores more than 7,000 old doors. “An afternoon in there with a good flashlight will usually get me exactly what I need,” he tells Co. in an email.)

via Dumpster Diving Artist Creates Trippy 3-D Drawings From Wood Scraps [Slideshow] | Co.Design.

productivity, creativity:

By framing the making of creativity as a game that takes place inside a playground of our own making, we widen the conversation about innovation and design dramatically.

via Nussbaum: 3 Reasons You Should Treat Creativity Like A Game | Co.Design.

innovation:  I need these tires … we always have flats!

Bicycle tire tubes need to stay firmly inflated against the inner surface of the tires themselves to ensure safe, rugged riding. But in the unlucky event of a puncture, that same pressure will only stretch the hole wider — even when it’s closed with sealant. Michelin’s new line of ProTek Max inner tubes employ a radical design to avoid this problem: The air pressure inside actually compresses a puncture closed, instead of blowing it further open.

via Michelin’s Self-Healing Bike Tires Ensure Flats Never Happen | Co.Design.

movies, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Objectivism:  The movie is being universally canned …

The 1957 tome which champions Objectivism–Rand’s controversial philosophy–has managed to find its way to the big-screen despite numerous challenges along the way. But at last, thanks to John Aglialoro, who bought the rights to the book in 1992 and has been trying to get it on-screen ever since, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is here.

(More on TIME.com: Wanna marry an Objectivist? See the Ayn Rand fan dating site)

And so far, critics aren’t liking it. Here is just a sample of what critics are saying about the film adaptation:

via Sorry, Objectivists: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Movie Gets Pummeled By Critics – TIME NewsFeed.

IT’S April 15th, tax day! (But not this year; this year, it’s Emancipation Day, which is worth observing if anything is.) And probably not coincidentally, the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s widely-loved and loathed novel “Atlas Shrugged” opens today at theatres nationwide. So what could be more appropriate and entertainingly polarising than a discussion of Ayn Rand’s views on taxation?

Ayn Rand’s position on government finance is unusual, to say the least. Rand was not an anarchist and believed in the possibility of a legitimate state, but did not believe in taxation. This left her in the odd and almost certainly untenable position of advocating a minimal state financed voluntarily. In her essay “Government Financing in a Free Society”, Rand wrote:

In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary. Since the proper services of a government—the police, the armed forces, the law courts—are demonstrably needed by individual citizens and affect their interests directly, the citizens would (and should) be willing to pay for such services, as they pay for insurance.

This is faintly ridiculous. From one side, the libertarian anarchist will agree that people are willing to pay for these services, but that a government monopoly in their provision will lead only to inefficiency and abuse. From the other side, the liberal statist will defend the government provision of the public goods Rand mentions, but will quite rightly argue that Rand seems not to grasp perhaps the main reason government coercion is needed, especially if one believes, as Rand does, that individuals ought to act in their rational self-interest.

via Taxes and government: Ayn Rand on tax day | The Economist.

The film version being released to theatres today is updated to modern times, but the underlying theme is as timely as ever. It was produced on a tiny $20 million budget, and whether the other parts are completed most likely depends upon whether Part I can sell enough movie tickets and DVDs (and cable rights etc.) to keep the momentum going.

Leftist media outlets are using a mixture of ridicule and silence in order to minimise the impact of the film on the general public. Young minds (and superficial minds) in particular tend to be overly influenced by what is seen as “hot” or “the in thing.”

via Al Fin.




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