Posts Tagged ‘Banksy

19
Feb
14

2.19.14 … “The physical details that carry the story and make it suspenseful and absorbing are also vessels of specific meaning, and together they add up to a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism. Our man is a privileged consumer (just look at all the stuff he has on that boat) whose fate is set in motion by a box full of goods (children’s sneakers, as it happens) accidentally knocked out of circulation” …

Redbox movies, All is Lost: “The film’s script is nearly dialogue-free and only 32 pages long.”  I watched til the end and it was a worthy of my time movie experience, but I can’ say it was entertaining.

Like other tales of survival at sea — a robust literary tradition that includes classic books by Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville — “All Is Lost” manifests a strong allegorical undercurrent. Nothing registers the fragility and contingency of the human presence in the universe quite as starkly as the sight of a small vessel adrift on an endless ocean, and few representations of heroism are as vivid as the spectacle of an individual fighting to master the caprices of wind and water.

But this is not — or not only — a parable of Man against Nature, ready-made for high school term paper analysis. The physical details that carry the story and make it suspenseful and absorbing are also vessels of specific meaning, and together they add up to a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism. Our man is a privileged consumer (just look at all the stuff he has on that boat) whose fate is set in motion by a box full of goods (children’s sneakers, as it happens) accidentally knocked out of circulation.

It is this catastrophe and the man’s desperate efforts to correct it that link “All Is Lost” with “Margin Call,” Mr. Chandor’s excellent first feature. That movie, about an office full of panicky investment bankers dealing with the unfolding financial crisis of 2008, is in many ways the opposite of “All Is Lost.” It takes place almost entirely indoors, and it’s pretty much all talk. But it is also very much concerned with how powerful men react when their sense of control is challenged, and with the vast, invisible system that sustains their illusions.

via ‘All Is Lost,’ With Robert Redford at Sea – NYTimes.com.

Banksy,  Brooklyn Art, Auction, WSJ.com: Follow-up on Banksy … fails to sell. 😦

Banksy, the elusive spray-painter, stenciled a red heart-shaped balloon covered in Band-Aids on a wall at the corner of King and Van Brunt streets in Red Hook in October as part of his monthlong New York “residency.”

The aerosol art was accompanied by an audio guide on Banksy’s website, which explained that it was “obviously an iconic representation of the battle to survive a broken heart.”

Property owners are usually incensed when graffiti vandals strike—often choosing to whitewash the markings. But it is different when the graffiti was painted by Banksy.

The Red Hook building’s owner sold the section of the wall to art dealer Stephan Keszler about a week after Banksy’s work appeared—and now it’ll be on the block at Fine Art Auctions Miami’s second annual street-art exhibition. Mr. Keszler declined to say how much he paid for the work.

Sebastien Laboureau, an expert on street art and principal at MoonStar Fine Arts Advisors, said he estimates the red balloon work will fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

“Very few of Bansky’s walls have been sold at auction,” said Mr. Laboureau, who has supervised the entire exhibition.

FAAM President Frederic Thut said it was mostly new collectors who were interested in buying street art.

“With Banksy, there’s always a very strong political message; they’re very emblematic of the period,” he said, adding that the “vibe” of street art “is like the pop art generation at the end of the ’70s.”

Mr. Thut said about 2,000 people had come through the exhibition by Monday morning and he has received calls from collectors in France, Germany, Russia and China.

That Banksy’s work was almost immediately painted over by another graffiti artist, Omar NYC, means the piece is more important to the street-art scene because it demonstrates the dialogue between street artists, said Mr. Laboureau.

“Banksy has become so successful now that other artists become jealous,” he said.

“We believe Banksy came back and wrote ‘is a jealous little girl’ under Omar NYC’s tag,” he said, “which makes it even more interesting. The street is open to everybody.”

via Banksy Brooklyn Art Goes to Auction – WSJ.com.

Banksy’s “Red Hook Balloon” Fails to Sell at Art Miami | In the Air: Art News & Gossip | ARTINFO.com.

Another aspect that makes Banksy’s persona and his work particularly fascinating to Diehl is his complete rejection of embracing the “celebrity.”

“If he isn’t interested in the celebrity that comes with being who Banksy is, then it’s completely meaningless. Because he’s still a blank to us, unless he embraces the celebrity, it doesn’t mean anything,” Diehl said.

While staying in Los Angeles, Diehl finished up her work on Banksy and while the lecture Thursday will be the first since she’s completed her research, there’s a good chance this topic can take flight into something much more long term.

via Art critic to lecture on Banksy street art.

Most people ignored Banksy – who was disguised as an old man – and his stall. However, three lucky people did make purchases – one of whom was New Zealander Arnika*, who bought two.

“There was a definite feeling, a gut feeling and I like to follow my gut feeling,” she told Campbell Live.

She was thanked by the ‘old man’ by leaning over for a kiss.

“At the time, he just said ‘thank you’. That was the second kiss he’d given me. I [just] stood there for about an hour talking to the man.”

via Kiwi Banksy buyer loans pieces to Canterbury museum – Story – Campbell Live – TV Shows – 3 News.

Bouley Botanical, green,  urban farming, NYC, NYTimes.com: Urban farm to table 🙂

His downtown Eden may look more “After Hours” than “Green Acres,” but he calls it a farm. “A lot of people think urban farming is going to be on some rooftop,” Mr. Bouley said, “but what’s coming is controlled environments.” Carefully tended planters overflow with scores of varieties of herbs, flowers and vegetables: chamomile, fennel, nasturtium, lavender, mustard greens, watercress, creeping savory, pineapple sage. The intoxicating fragrances prompt the chef to imagine soups, sauces, juices and extracts. “Smell that,” he said on a snowy evening, reaching for a white jasmine flower. “What I can do with these things!”

via At Bouley Botanical, Planters Overflow – NYTimes.com.

Calling for an Apology Cease-Fire, NYTimes.com:  I am sorry to say, I agree.

If you’re getting the feeling that I find something profoundly troubling about all this “apology washing,” you’re right. “Sorry” is in a sorry state. My distaste operates on several levels. First, it’s offensive that those issuing cheap apologies actually believe that we believe them, treating them as a “get out of jail free card.” But the transparent “get me out of this mess” declarations we are witnessing are bereft of credibility. They are motivated by strategic plotting, not soul-searching.

I am also offended because there are some authentic, legitimate apologies that are sent forth into the world. But bad apologies drive out good, so that those who take their apologies seriously, and work tirelessly to live up to them, are dismissed along with the drivel.

Apologies can and should be hugely important actions and mechanisms, blessed with enormous power and lasting impact. But they must be two-way exchanges of trust and healing that are open and transparent.

It is because I mourn the loss of the genuine apology that I propose an apology cease-fire.

via Calling for an Apology Cease-Fire – NYTimes.com.

Jon Meacham, mea culpa , executive orders: That must have been a hard one …

On television this morning I was asked about the role of executive orders in American presidential history, and my reply was at best imprecise and at worst just plain wrong. I did not say what I meant to say: that great presidential leadership requires not only executive action but public persuasion and legislative action. It\’s like the old cold-war triad of land, sea, and air military capabilities. The presidents I’ve written about–Jefferson, Jackson, FDR–used executive power, often boldly and to the great consternation of their critics, to advance their agendas. Sometimes that’s the only way to move forward. But these presidents also understood that the longterm success or failure of democratic leadership often turns on shaping public opinion and passing laws, not only on issuing executive orders. Such orders can be good starters but lasting reform usually comes from sustained public and legislative work. (In Lincoln’s case, for example, the anti-slavery project of the Emancipation Proclamation was followed by the passage of the 13th Amendment. Or, in the case of Truman, he in a way began a war on Jim Crow by desegregating the armed services by executive order–a war that ultimately required the landmark laws of 1964 and 1965.) So executive orders are a critical element in statecraft; I was just trying to say that they’re not the only one. In any event, I should have spoken more clearly and with greater care, and I regret that I did neither. Totally my mistake.

via Jon Meacham.

President Obama says Stephen Curry is the best shooter he’s ‘ever seen’,  For The Win: I am still amazed that all the big schools wouldn’t give him a chance, but am so glad they wouldn’t.

TNT’s Charles Barkley had the opportunity to interview President Barack Obama before All-Star Weekend, and the president — an ardent basketball fan — gave his opinion on some of the best players in the game. Obama said that four-time MVP LeBron James has the chance to be “as good as anybody.”

“I’ve never seen somebody that size, that fast, who can jump that high, who’s that strong, who has that much basketball savvy, all in one package,” Obama said.

President Obama also heaped praise on Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, whom Obama called the “best shooter [he’s] ever seen.”

This was Curry’s reaction Saturday night upon hearing the compliment.

via President Obama says Stephen Curry is the best shooter he’s ‘ever seen’ | For The Win.

14
Nov
13

11.14.13 … bourbon pecan pie …

 

 

The Hil, Serenbe, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Garden and Gun:  last week I went to the Hil and my meal was delightful.  Of course, less than a week later I spot this.  Why did I not  have dessert? 

Garden & Gun Magazine

Holiday recipes: From bourbon pecan pie to cornbread oyster dressing to the perfect Blood Mary, we’ve pulled together our favorite recipes to amp up your holiday spread. http://bit.ly/1aAAyTg

It’s hard to beat a fresh pecan pie, unless you add a little bourbon

The only tree nut indigenous to the South, the pecan has been used in the region’s cooking since the earliest colonists met Native Americans. But the rise of pecan pie—sometimes called Karo pie—came centuries later, commonly traced to a product-based recipe printed on jars of Karo corn syrup, circa 1930.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” says Hilary White, chef and co-owner of the Hil in Serenbe, a 1,000-acre sustainable community located in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Hill Country. “There was a day when family favorites were a mix of recipes clipped from the Sunday newspaper and Ladies Auxiliary books. Others came straight off the flour sack.”

While pecans grow throughout the South, Georgia has been the nation’s largest producer since the late 1800s. The state’s growers even donated enough pecan trees to create wood handles for more than ten thousand torches carried during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. With peak harvesting months October to December, it makes sense that pecan pie became a traditional Southern holiday dessert, and the rich, nutty flavor matches the aromatic spices used in savory Thanksgiving recipes. “Every year my father’s parents would drive from Florida to Ohio, where my family lived at the time, stopping in Georgia to buy pecans,” White says. “I remember it was dark outside and we’d sit in the eat-in kitchen, picking them. My grandfather would use the nutcracker, and my grandmother and I would use the nut picks. It was delicate work because you didn’t want to crush the pecans but keep them perfect halves for the pie.”

White’s maternal grandmother contributed the piecrust, and like most inherited family recipes, it has a few “miracle” ingredients. The flaky tenderness comes from fresh white lard, testament to the recipe’s age. And the acidity in the vinegar enhances the workability of the dough, keeping it so pliable you don’t even have to rest it.

“Pie making is sort of a lost art,” White says, “and this is a good old recipe.” Though she did add one other miracle ingredient to her grandparents’ version: bourbon. “It has the same flavor nuances of the dark corn syrup and makes the pie even more Southern.”

via Bourbon Pecan Pie | Garden and Gun.

ice cream premium brands, Talenti, High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations, Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, BOGO:  I love Talenti, but it is so expensive I only buy it when it is BOGO.  

Talenti’s clear plastic pint package with a screw-on lid is more upscale than the traditional cardboard pint. And with flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, gelato commands a price roughly 25% to 50% higher than premium ice creams.

After all, the mark of a top-selling gelato, says Talenti founder Josh Hochschuler, is “something you want to eat a ton of.”

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Jill Telesnicki (6)

High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations that once were considered niches—like vodka-flavored Limoncello and Montebianco, based on the Italian dessert made with roasted chestnuts and whipped cream—are going mainstream, as sellers of premium-priced gelato, sorbetto and ice cream cater to adult tastes and look to increase flat sales.

“We’ve seen an increasing level of interest in some of our more complex ice-cream flavors like rum raisin, bourbon praline pecan and peppermint bark,” says Cady Behles, brand manager of Häagen-Dazs, a Nestlé SA unit. Last month, Ben & Jerry’s, a unit of Unilever PLC, added “Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch” butterscotch ice cream, timed to the release next month of “Anchorman 2.”

via Premium Brands Hope Foodie Flavors Can Lift the $11.2 Billion Frozen Treat Industry – WSJ.com.

bikeshare programs, travel, adventure, Macs Adventure,  bikes, touring, Intelligent Travel:  I love touring by bike!

Macs Adventure

‘I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment.’

We couldn’t agree more. Biking allows you to access sides of places you wouldn’t otherwise see.

via Facebook.

Ten or 15 years ago, whenever I arrived in a new place, I’d ask where I could find the subway, a central plaza, or a DIY T-shirt shop. Nowadays — whether I’m in Ontario’s wine country or hopping off the train for a day in Denver – my first question has become “where can I get a bike?”

I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking (or horse cart, as I learned in Bagan), and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment. What’s more, biking allows you to access sides of cities you wouldn’t otherwise see.

I had lived in New York City a decade before I took a bike up the Hudson River Park Bikeway. I saw things I didn’t know existed, like out-of-view softball fields, riverside anglers, and a little red lighthouse tucked below George Washington Bridge. What’s more, I was reminded, after years lost in Midtown skyscraper canyons, that New York down deep is a river city.

via Are Bikes the New Tour Bus? – Intelligent Travel.

 American Girl Dolls, kith/kin, history, parenting: My daughter forwarded this to me.  she is a current college student majoring in history and believes that the AG Dolls fostered her  love of history.  Very sad. 

 

You grow up with your dolls and through your dolls (or action figures, or stuffed animals, or whatever is your drug of choice). You use them to navigate miniature worlds. Limiting the range of their canonical adventures to the present-day, first-world problems of these little girls who are Just Like You is a big mistake. Sure, maybe you picked your first American Girl doll because she resembled you – actually a lot has been written on this – but the whole point was to give you an entry point to history. Felicity or Samantha or Addy reminded you that, during the Civil War and the Revolutionary War and all the fascinating important times of history, there were Girls Almost But Not Quite Like You. You could see yourself in history! You could engage with the biggest moments of the past!

Dolls Just Like Us. Is this really what we want? The image is embarrassing — privileged, comfortable, with idiotic-sounding names and few problems that a bake sale wouldn’t solve. Life comes to them in manageable, small bites, pre-chewed. No big adventures. No high stakes. All the rough edges are sanded off and the Real Dangers excluded. It’s about as much fun as walking around in a life vest.

Yes, I know there are plenty worse toys out there. Still, it pangs. These dolls were once a stand-out.

Of course, that’s history. We’ve moved past that.

via Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl doll brand than you thought.

Providence and Queens Harris Teeter, grand openings, shame on you:  I am sorry, HT but your beautiful store is way out of scale for the neighborhood.  You ought to be ashamed.  

Harris Teeter plans to open its new, expanded grocery store at Queens and Providence Roads on Nov. 20, two years after the company first announced plans to demolish and replace the old Harris Teeter Express at that location.

The two-story, 42,000-square-foot Harris Teeter will be one of the larger grocery stores in the area. Its design mirrors many of the houses and buildings in the neighborhood nearby. As one of the company’s architects put it in a statement, “The building reflects the sophistication of the neighborhood fused with the excitement of shopping in a dynamic environment featuring food.”

The building features a Starbucks, an outdoor patio and expanded prepared food and produce sections. Building permits show Harris Teeter spent more than $9.1 million on the new store.

via What’s In Store: Providence and Queens Harris Teeter to open Nov. 20.

Mexican Coke  taste test, The Billfold:  I saw Mexican Coke in my local HT recently.  I think I will get some and have the kids do a blind taste test over Thanksgiving.  🙂

It really might be the experience of drinking the soda from a glass, at least according to Mexican Coke lovers. A commenter from the story argues:

Most of the “better taste” factor with MexiCoke comes from it being in glass bottles instead of cans or plastic. Bring back glass!

I have to admit that I too have always thought that the cane sugar in Mexican Coke made it taste better than the high-fructose Coca-Cola Classic bottled in the plastic in the U.S. The sweetness of American Coke is cloying, I’ve thought, perhaps, incorrectly. A grocery store near me sells both versions. Perhaps I’ll have to do a side-by-side taste test to find out for sure.

via Does Mexican Coke Really Taste Different From Coke Produced in the U.S.? | The Billfold.

4. ”If you want to hide a secret, you must also keep it from yourself,” wrote George Orwell in the novel 1984. That is coincidentally the year that Coca-Cola made the switch to high fructose corn syrup, rolled out New Coke (conspiracy theorists insist it was a diversion), began their denial of the flavor disparity, and started hiding miniature video cameras in their bottle caps.

11. If you get a Mexican Coke in Mexico, where they call it ”non-American Coke”, you won’t see any nutritional information sticker — those get slapped on when the bottles make their way up here. Maybe they should think about it, though: they recently surpassed us as the most obese country in the West!

via Mexican Coke Facts – Pure Cane Sugar Coke – Thrillist Nation.

 10.21.13 … supposedly they sell the real thing, Mexican Coke (aka non-American Coke) at some WalMarts in Atlanta, a a premium … Life doesn’t get much better than low country shrimp and grits … Perfect! … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

11.5.13 … “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

 

Banksy, followup: A few things to think about … 

On the side of the old brick building that houses a thriving optical business, there are now two geishas, one with an umbrella, strolling over a “bridge” formed by one of the basement window arches. At the bottom of the arch is a spreading tree. It is beautiful.  But whether we like it or not, my sisters, father, and I have suddenly found ourselves in the position of being responsible for this notable piece of public art.

Should we preserve it immediately? Do we have a public duty to do so? How does one preserve a piece of art like this? How do we control the crowds with gawkers and fans of the elusive artist, many of them foreign tourists, who were suddenly standing outside the building? Will it make us money?

The advice came fast and furious. “Don’t tell people who you are,” a neighbor told me on the street. “They’ll try and kill you.”  “Put up plexiglass,” another told me.

via I’m the Accidental Owner of a Banksy — Daily Intelligencer.

 

Banksy did at least one admirable thing during his monthlong New York City residency: He bought a $50 landscape painting from a Housing Works thrift store, added a Nazi, and returned it to the organization as the now very valuable The Banality of the Banality of Evil. On Halloween, Housing Works, which uses donations to fight homelessness and AIDS, auctioned off the piece for a reported $615,000. Like Banksy, the buyer’s identity was a something of a mystery — he went by the screen name “gorpetri” on the auction website he used to make the winning bid. And, (arguably) like Banksy, he did not live up to the hype. Today, the New York Times and Talking Points Memo report that gorpetri “immediately shirked” on his pledge, leaving Housing Works to scramble to find another buyer.

The charity contacted the auction’s other high bidders and found another anonymous person to take it off their hands for an undisclosed amount on Wednesday. As for the gorpetri? “We are still looking into why he defaulted, and we reserve the right to sort of see what we’re going to do with it,” Housing Works COO Matthew Bernardo told TPM on Friday night. But, he told the Times, “We were happy with the [second] sale. We were happy with the process which we closed with, and it’s at a very good home.”

via Original Buyer of Banksy’s Nazi Painting Bailed — Daily Intelligencer.

 

 

Guggenheim Museum, UBS MAP Global Art Initiative:  Interesting … 

 

 

The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative fosters cross-cultural interaction between artists, curators, and audiences via educational programs, online activities, and collection building. It focuses on three regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

via Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative.

Las Vegas NV, Lemon Drop Martini, “I’ll have what she’s having”:  I met a friend for drinks in LV.  I did a “I’ll have what she’s having” and I think this is what we had.  It was very good.  🙂

Jenny McCarthy’s Lemon Drop Martini

Makes 1

Juice of 3 lemons, plus a lemon wheel for garnish

2 tbsp. sugar (use 1 tbsp. for a more tart cocktail)

2 shots (1.5 oz.) vodka

1 sugar-rimmed martini glass

Mix lemon juice, sugar and vodka in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

via Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy: ‘Watch What Happens Live’ Cocktails.

The drinks

Wonderfully handcrafted cocktails are served, all with seasonal fruit, house-made mixers and freshly squeezed juices. We enjoyed two delicious examples: my friend had a Sunset Sangria ($15) with Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Absolut Tune, rhubarb and strawberry shrub. I went for a refreshing London Cooler ($15) with Oxley gin, fresh lemon, Mr. Q Cumber and fresh cucumber.

There’s a “Social Hour” from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day featuring draft beer and half-price martinis. There’s also a “Night Cap Hour” from 10:00 p.m. to midnight with half-price coffee cocktails. PRESS also features Lavazza espressos with some serious baristas behind the counter and organic, fresh-squeezed juices. The wine list is deep and they are currently featuring wines from women winemakers.

via PRESS at Four Seasons Las Vegas – a Delicious Oasis – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

 

 

The Women of the Supreme Court,  the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C. ,  female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sandra Day O’Connor

The women of the Supreme Court are the subjects of a new painting unveiled at the Smithsonian\’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

The portrait features the high court’s current female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, as well as Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired from the bench in 2005. O\’Connor made history in 1981 when she became the first woman ever named to the Supreme Court.

via The Women Of The Supreme Court Now Have The Badass Portrait They Deserve.

 

 

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’,  74 Years Ahead Of Its Time, architecture

The work of Frank Lloyd Wright needs no identification. Unless, it\’s one of the hundreds of structures the legendary architect designed that never saw the light of day.

If you aren’t familiar with Wright’s work, you could head to the famous Guggenheim museum in NYC, or check out photos of the legendary Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Or, you could take a stroll through the campus of Florida Southern College, which boasts 18 Wright structures, the most Wright-designed projects in a single site. That’s where the latest Wright design has come to pass — a single-story house that Wright designed 74 years ago.

Designed in 1939 as part of his middle class-friendly Usonian House series, the house features a flat roof, small kitchen, overlarge living area, and airy, plain-jane, aesthetic, as Curbed describes it.

According to design site Dezeen, the house is one of 60 created for in the Usonian style, “a kind of family residence that is free from ornamentation, intended to represent a national style whilst remaining affordable for the average family.”

Inside the house, which makes up part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, furnishings also keep Wright’s vision alive with its reproduction furniture designed by Wright specifically for use in his Usonian homes.

via Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’ Was 74 Years Ahead Of Its Time (PHOTOS).

Daylight Saving Time, helpful info, fyi, TIME Explains | TIME.com:   Very helpful info … watch the video, too!

Daylight Saving Time is one of the universe’s great mysteries, like the afterlife, or who really killed JFK. It was one of the things you assumed you’d never understand. But it’s time for TIME to break down Daylight Saving Time.

First of all, it’s this weekend (Saturday night going into Sunday, to be exact). And since we spring forward and fall back, we’ll all be setting our clocks back Sunday fall morning to get an extra hour of sleep.

Daylight Saving Time dates back to the good ole’ days when we did everything based on when we had sunlight. It got more serious when Benjamin Franklin decided to be “that guy,” suggesting we all get up earlier to save money on candles. Thanks, Benji. It was a major blow to all the unhappy, unhealthy, and unwise people who love to snooze.

The practice wasn’t formally implemented until World War I, when countries at war started setting their clocks back to save on coal. Daylight Saving was repealed during peacetime, and then revived again during World War II. More than 70 countries currently practice Daylight Saving Time, because they think it saves money on electricity (in the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii have opted out).

But studies show that Daylight Saving Time actually results in a one percent overall increase in residential electricity. And that it messes with sleeping patterns. Oh, and also it may cause heart attacks, according to the American Journal of Cardiology. So it’s no surprise that more and more countries are reevaluating whether to hold on to this relic from the past.

But like all great mysteries, the answers only beget more questions: Does your iPhone automatically update for Daylight Saving Time?

Actually, yes, it does.

via Daylight Saving Time: TIME Explains | TIME.com.

I-85 HOT lane toll, record, http://www.ajc.com, Peach Pass

The cost to drive the 16-mile stretch of “HOT” express lane on I-85 southbound in Gwinnett and DeKalb County soared to a record $8.50 Tuesday morning, eclipsing the old mark by 50 cents.

The High Occupancy Toll lane’s cost is set on a sliding scale depending on the level of congestion on I-85 and in the HOT lane.

According to the State Road and Tollway Authority website, “when HOT lanes become too congested, the price increases and this in turn reduces the number of cars entering the lane.”

The website says the authority’s goal is to keep traffic in the HOT lane moving at an average speed of greater than 45 mph during peak hours.

The maximum toll has been gradually climbing since the lanes opened on I-85 northbound and southbound 25 months ago.

Mark Arum in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said the cost to drive the entire 16 miles hit $7 for the first time on June 26, and first hit $8 on Sept. 10.

via I-85 HOT lane toll hits record $8.50 | www.ajc.com.

Student Health Advisers, student stress, The Davidsonian, Davidson College, kith/kin: Nice article, PB!

Stress is such a given part of our lives that it doesn’t even seem like a problem. Too happy to be prisoners to our planners (or our procrastination), we constantly find ourselves working into the wee hours of the morning, anxious, worried, strung out on Union coffee, the glare of a computer screen burning our eyes. To make things worse, often we survive the week only to spend the weekend doing more work or lying about in a hung-over daze, perpetuating the cycle of sleep deprivation.

And yet Davidson is by no means a mill of torture and toil; a walk through Davidson also reveals students practicing on sports fields, reading out in the sun, laughing over meals and engaging each other in meaningful conversation. Still, it is important to remember the importance of breaking the repetitiousness of our weekly routines.

So what can we do? People suggest yoga, encourage us to get more sleep or manage our time more effectively, but in the end the result is often the same: less sleep than we would like, more work than we would like, erratic sleep cycles, embattled immune systems, quick tempers and naps that replace classes––none of which are good for our health.

Breaking the routine, even if it is writing a page in a journal, playing a game of FIFA, going for a run on the (fabulous) cross country trails, building a nap into your routine, getting off campus for an afternoon or a weekend, doing that one thing you love that you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for, is crucial to staying sane and keeping stress at bay.

For those who drink, it is easy to forget that drinking is not the only way to relieve stress; in fact, drinking excessively often creates more stress and leads to less sleep. It’s also time to think seriously about expanding the health center into a space dedicated to student wellness, with more space for programming (blenders? a zen garden? acupuncture?) or simply space to wind down and relax. A more regular bus to Charlotte would also be a helpful step, allowing students to change their environment more readily and easily.

Telling students to get more sleep is like telling a gambler to step away from the baccarat table: we would if it were that easy. We should all remember that Davidson is a community with plenty of helpful resources: walking into Georgia Ringle’s office and contacting a health advisor are great ways to discover different resources and opportunities.

There is no need to sacrifice our standard of academic excellence on the altar of complaint; but neither is there reason to sacrifice our well-being.

via Health advisers focus on strategies to reduce student stress – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

01
Nov
13

11.1.13 … OK, I have loved “Better Out Than In” … maybe I should take him up on his t-shirt offer …

Now available – the official Banksy New York residency souvenir T shirt

(you have to take the jpeg to a copy store and make it yourself)

via Better Out Than In.

Today’s piece was going to be an op-ed column in the New York Times.

But they declined to publish what I supplied. Which was this…

via Better Out Than In.

31
Oct
13

10.31.13 … Halloween … What’s Banksy got to do with it … or the Scots, for that matter? … ” when the boundary between the living and the spirit worlds was at its most tenuous” …

Halloween, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (TV Short 1966):

My crazy dad dressed up as the Great Pumpkin (white sheet with giant plastic pumpkin container appropriately cut to fit on his head with a flashlight inside … get the picture) and had my mom drive him around sitting on the hood of our station wagon. I now realize my dad was spot on … via It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (TV Short 1966) – IMDb came out in 1966.  All this took place in our most perfect trick-or-treating neighborhood, Brookwood Hills – Atlanta.

traditions …  When we lived on Sharon Road in Charlotte (1985 – 1993),  we had Hitchcock Halloween with our neighbors.  Tonight we watched  Rear Window for a Throw Back Thursday Halloween!  We missed the Bennetts!

Rear Window (1954)

A few other tidbits and ideas for Halloween …

Halloween costumes, Banksy, Art Beat, PBS NewsHour:

Milwaukee resident Jason McDowell dressed as a famous piece of street art by the anonymous artist known as Banksy. The original work is on a wall in West Bank\’s biblical city of Bethlehem. Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Pittsburgh resident Tim Notari dressed up as Magritte\’s \”Son of Man\” for Halloween recently. Photo of Notari courtesy of Flickr user Jennifer Murawski and the original \”Son of Man\” from wikicommons

via Can’t decide what to be this Halloween? How about a Banksy | Art Beat | PBS NewsHour | PBS.

A few more costume ideas …

55 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas | Mental Floss.

pumpkins, jack o’lanterns, Louisville KY, Jack O’Lantern Spectacular:

This year, Reckner has brought his enormous “Jack O’Lantern Spectacular” to Louisville, where he has assembled his largest-ever display — 5,000 carved pumpkins, lining a path that’s a third of a mile long, in the woods of Iroquois Park.

For Reckner, the setting in Iroquois Park is ideal. “This is like a dream come true,” he said. “You walk in the woods at night, it’s an experience — never mind when you put 5,000 pumpkins up there.”

While many of the pumpkins in the show are more elaborate versions of the kind of jack-o’-lantern you might make at home, many larger pumpkins have intricate designs where artists have drawn scenes or faces and then scraped some of the pumpkin flesh away without cutting all the way through, so the design seems to glow from within the pumpkins.

To provide the manpower to carve all those pumpkins, Reckner put out a call to local artists through a Craigslist ad this summer, and interviewed candidates in September.

At the time, artist Edward Cabral was working a job he didn’t much like and was looking for something else. “I was applying to anything that had a pulse and said ‘art,’ ” Cabral said. Even so, responding to a Craigslist ad seemed a bit sketchy. “I was a little leery,” he said.

But after meeting the organizers and hearing their offer — $50 for each pumpkin design and $50 for the carving — Cabral and other artists signed up.

“I’ve been floored by the artists here,” Reckner said. “They’re actually teaching me a few things.”

Page

via Artists make the cut to design thousands of pumpkins at ‘Jack O’Lantern Spectacular’ | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.

Reformation Day (October 31), October 31 1517,  Martin Luther, 95 theses:

Photo: It’s Reformation Day (October 31), when in 1517 Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted his 95 theses protesting the sale of indulgences within the Catholic Church and launched the Protestant Reformation. “For sheer richness and exuberance of vocabulary and mastery of style,” wrote historian Roland Bainton, Luther “is to be compared only with Shakespeare.”

It’s Reformation Day (October 31), when in 1517 Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted his 95 theses protesting the sale of indulgences within the Catholic Church and launched the Protestant Reformation. “For sheer richness and exuberance of vocabulary and mastery of style,” wrote historian Roland Bainton, Luther “is to be compared only with Shakespeare.”

Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve,  Celtic festival of Samhain/Samhuinn, Robert Burns’ 1785 poem ‘Halloween’:

Halloween or Hallowe’en takes its name from All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the Christian festival of All Hallows or All Saints Day. But it’s possible to trace its beginnings back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain or Samhuinn, held on 1 November, which marked the culmination of summer and the harvest period with the onset of winter. Robert Burns’ 1785 poem ‘Halloween’ details many of the national customs and legends surrounding the festival, many of them pagan in origin, which had persisted even with the advent of Christianity.

One of the most enduring of these was the Celtic belief that it marked a time when the boundary between the living and the spirit worlds was at its most tenuous, and that the ghosts of dead, including supernatural beings such as witches and warlocks, would be able to walk the earth for this one night of the year. To ward off potentially malevolent entities, large bonfires were lit in communities and it is believed that this practice survives today in the tradition of carving pumpkin lanterns with creepy grimaces. While the use of pumpkins is actually an American invention, in Scotland it has been custom to carve lanterns out of ‘neeps’ or turnips.

via Halloween’s Scottish roots – The Distillery Blog | VisitScotland.

11
Oct
13

10.11.13 … all Banksy today …

Banksy, NYC project, street art, graffiti:  Here is the whole set so far:  banksyny on Instagram.  Today’s made kids cry. 😦

I am partial to the first …

 Why?

Despite the dangers of painting the streets – the criminality, the risk of being identified, the regular frustration of having your work defaced or painted over – the artist isn\’t about to go back to the cosy and profitable world of the gallery.

\”I started painting on the street because it was the only venue that would give me a show,\” Banksy told Village Voice.

\”Now I have to keep painting on the street to prove to myself it wasn\’t a cynical plan. Commercial success is a mark of failure for a graffiti artist. We\’re not supposed to be embraced in that way.\”

via Banksy defaced: Graffiti artist’s New York project ruined by spiteful rivals – News – Art – The Independent.

ridiculous … East New York Residents Charging People To View #BanksyNY Piece – YouTube.

via ▶ East New York Residents Charging People To View #BanksyNY Piece – YouTube.

And a good spoof by Colbert!

 

The Colbert ReportVerified account‏@ColbertReportI dont know whats more impressive — how #Banksy captured my likeness or how he knew how I look before I body #wax pic.twitter.com/VkUb45BTdS

via Twitter / ColbertReport: I dont know whats more ….

07
Oct
13

10.7.13 … Banksy’s Monthlong Street Art Show in NYC …

Banksy, street art, graffiti, NYC:  So I think I need an October trip to NYC!

“Hello, and welcome to Lower Manhattan,” the message begins, as elevator music plays. “Before you, you will see a ‘spray art’ by the artist Ban-sky. Or maybe not; it’s probably been painted over by now.”

This is the latest foray into street art by Banksy, the elusive British artist, and it is perhaps the most public and expansive of his works, taking over not just a patch of sidewalk or a shop wall but a whole city. Titled  “Better Out Than In,” the exhibit was announced in his usual mysterious, pop-up fashion.

“For the next month Banksy will be attempting to host an entire show on the streets of New York,” read a message posted on the artist’s Web site on Tuesday, after clues that something was coming began appearing on posters in Los Angeles.

via Banksy Announces a Monthlong Show on the Streets of New York – NYTimes.com.

07
Aug
13

8.7.13 … The Opt-Out Generation … me, me, me … So who was the first to cite twitter in an academic paper? … a little research on Churchill and Lawrence … Kudos to ‘NewsHour’ … Banksy and unintended consequences … Twyla’s 50-state labyrinth journey … Henrietta Lacks: I hope this privacy agreement brings closure to the family … heartbreaker: Two-Year-Old Best Man

The Opt-Out Generation,  NYTimes.com: That’s me, that’s me … Article is worth reading.

“I really thought it was what I had to do to save my marriage,” she said. But the tensions in her marriage didn’t improve. The couple’s long-term issues of anger, jealousy and control got worse as O’Donnel’s dependency grew and a sense of personal dislocation set in. Without a salary or an independent work identity, her self-confidence plummeted. “I felt like such a loser,” she said. “I poured myself into the kids and soccer. I didn’t know how to deal with the downtime. I did all the volunteering, ran the auctions. It was my way of coping.” Five years after leaving her Oracle job, O’Donnel began volunteering for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit group devoted to girls’ emotional empowerment and physical well-being, and was eventually hired part time, at low pay. She loved the work. The organization’s message, about respecting yourself and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you, resonated with her. “I started feeling very devalued when I was with him,” O’Donnel said of her husband, “but when I was doing all this nonprofit stuff, I felt great.” … The culture of motherhood, post-recession, had altered considerably, too. The women of the opt-out revolution left the work force at a time when the prevailing ideas about motherhood idealized full-time, round-the-clock, child-centered devotion. In 2000, for example, with the economy strong and books like “Surrendering to Motherhood,” a memoir about the “liberation” of giving up work to stay home, setting the tone for the aspirational mothering style of the day, almost 40 percent of respondents to the General Social Survey told researchers they believed a mother’s working was harmful to her children (an increase of eight percentage points since 1994). But by 2010, with recovery from the “mancession” slow and a record 40 percent of mothers functioning as family breadwinners, fully 75 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work.” And after decades of well-publicized academic inquiry into the effects of maternal separation and the dangers of day care, a new generation of social scientists was publishing research on the negative effects of excessive mothering: more depression and worse general health among mothers, according to the American Psychological Association. I wondered if these changes affected the women who opted out years ago. Had they found the “escape hatch” from the rat race that one of Belkin’s interviewees said she was after? Were they able, as a vast majority said they had planned, to transition back into the work force? Or had they, as the author Leslie Bennetts predicted in her 2007 book, “The Feminine Mistake,” come to see that, by making themselves financially dependent upon their men — particularly at a time when no man could depend upon his job — they had made a colossal error? The 22 women I interviewed, for the most part, told me that the perils of leaving the work force were counterbalanced by the pleasures of being able to experience motherhood on their own terms. A certain number of these women — the superelite, you might say, the most well-off, with the highest-value name-brand educational credentials and powerful and well-connected social networks — found jobs easily after extended periods at home. These jobs generally paid less than their previous careers and were less prestigious. But the women found the work more interesting, socially conscious and family-friendly than their old high-powered positions. via The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In – NYTimes.com.

Twitter, MLA , citations: So who was the first to cite twitter in an academic paper?

meghugs meghugs 3 Aug English major nerd alert: MLA has officially devised a standard way to cite a tweet in an academic paper. pic.twitter.com/BWZfKDXSY7 via Twitter / meghugs: English major nerd alert: MLA ….

TE Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, Winston Churchill:  Thanks, Bob … I had to divert myself to do a little research on Churchill and Lawrence.  🙂

Bob:  Upon Lawrence’s death in 1935, Winston Churchill said “I fear whatever our need, we shall never see his like again”. Sunday at 8:01pm · Unlike · 1

Born into a privileged British family, Churchill had a colorful career as a soldier and war correspondent before he entered politics as a member of parliament. When Lawrence publicly refused to accept his gallantry medals Churchill realized the deep discontent among Arabs. Churchill first encountered T.E. Lawrence after World War I when, as Colonial Secretary, he was charged with making a new and more just settlement in the Middle East. He determined to assemble the best and brightest of Britain’s Middle East experts. Despite Lawrence’s maverick reputation Churchill could not overlook his vast knowledge of the Arabs and their needs. Churchill persuaded Lawrence back into public service in 1921 with a special post in the Colonial office. Lawrence had enormous respect for Churchill and genuinely believed they could repair the injury done to the Arabs at the Paris Peace Conference, stabilize the region and remove British armed forces. The Cairo Conference set out to achieve this end and resulted in Feisal being given a Kingdom in Iraq and his brother the throne of neighboring Transjordan. Lawrence later wrote: “In Winston’s 1922 settlement of the Middle East the Arabs obtained all that in my opinion they had been promised by Great Britain, in any sphere in which we were free to act”. The pair remained in contact until Lawrence’s death in 1935 when Churchill headed the list of notable mourners. He said of Lawrence: “I fear whatever our need we shall never see his like again.” Churchill went on to lead his country through the darkest hours of World War II as both Prime Minister and Minister of Defense between 1940-1945. He returned for a second term in 1951, was knighted in 1953 and resigned as Prime Minister in 1955. Churchill remained in politics until 1964, dying a few short months later at the grand old age of 90. via Lawrence of Arabia . Winston Churchill | PBS.

‘NewsHour’,  First Female Anchor Team, kudos, NYTimes.com:  Kudos to ‘NewsHour’ not so much because it has appointed two women but because it has appointed two excellent women.

The PBS “NewsHour,” which was co-anchored for decades by the two men who created it, will soon be co-anchored by two women. PBS announced on Tuesday that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff would take over the nightly newscast in September, putting an end to the rotating anchor format that has been in effect for several years. Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff will also share the managing-editor responsibilities for the program. via ‘NewsHour’ Appoints First Female Anchor Team – NYTimes.com.

Banksy, kudos, unintended consequences, ARTINFO:  I like it that Banksy took responsibility for his unintended consequences.

In 2011, while in Los Angeles promoting his documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” the shadowy British street artist Banksy tagged a vaguely elephantine water tank near the Pacific Coast Highway with the sentence “This Looks a Bit Like an Elephant.” Unbeknown to him, the abandoned tank had been serving as a makeshift home for Tachowa Covington, and the attention brought by the famous artist’s stencil forced him to abandon his home of seven years.

2013-08-06-banksyelephanthomeless.jpeg

via Capturing Banksy

“I watched it for a month or so,” Covington told the Independent, recounting his discovery of the tank after it was abandoned in 2004. “Eventually, I climbed inside and saw that it was empty. I thought, ‘Wow. This would be a cool place to make a house.’ I picked it as a sanctuary, a place to kick back, to be close to God and to the ocean.” A choreographer and dancer, and a former escort and Michael Jackson impersonator originally from Sacramento, Covington became friendly with the local police, who didn’t bother him, and even had his mail delivered to the tank. “People left me alone because they thought it was an empty tank and I was just climbing up there with a sleeping bag,” he told the Independent. “But I was building inside the whole time.” By the time February 21, 2011 rolled around, he had installed a generator and security cameras, and was lobbying to secure squatter rights to the tank. That’s the night he heard to people moving around outside his home. “I looked out of the hatch, and there were two guys there,” he told the Independent. “I asked what they were doing, and one of them said, ‘We’re just making a joke’. I climbed down the ladder, looked at the writing, and I said, ‘Hey, that looks pretty cool!’ I introduced myself, and the English dude told me his name was Banksy. I didn’t know who he was, so I didn’t think twice about it.” Less than two weeks later, after buying the tank directly from the city of Los Angeles, the owners of the design firm Mint Currency had it removed by crane and trucked away, leaving Covington just 16 hours to gather his possessions and vacate his home of seven years. That’s when Banksy stepped in to help the man he’d inadvertently left homeless, giving him enough money to find an apartment and pay his bills for a full year. “He helped me so fast, I didn’t have to spend a single day more on the streets. It was like a miracle,” Covington said. “There ain’t no better man than Banksy… He was an angel to me. He helped me more than anybody helped me in my life.” Recently, the artist’s money ran out, and Covington was forced to move back to the hillside where his water tank home once stood while he waits for state-supported housing to become available. In the meantime, his story has inspired a new play, “Banksy: The Room in the Elephant” — which debuts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this week — and a forthcoming documentary. via Banksy Gave a Man Whose Home He Tagged Enough Money To Live for a Year | ARTINFO.

labyrinth, journeys, 

New York City Reflections: Join My Journey:

Godspeed on your walks!

My journey began on May 18, 2012. My goal is to complete it by April 30, 2014. As with any journey, but particularly this one, it began with a single step.  A step into a labyrinth. Anne Hornstein’s labyrinth on Miramar Beach, Florida.  It was the first state of 50 that I will visit.  All outdoor labyrinths, grounded in the earth.  All created by women. Since Florida, I have visited a labyrinth in 20 states.  Nineteen built in yards. One on a beach.  Each with a story.  I have walked each labyrinth except the one in New Jersey, made unwalkable by Hurricane Irene. (Bianca Franchi has since rebuilt it.)  I have listened to each woman’s story. The idea came from, well, who knows where.  That mysterious Voice that sneaks up on you from “out of the blue,” or as a needling nudge that elbows you at 2:00 am and won’t go back to sleep. “You love to write.  You love labyrinths.  Write about labyrinths, one in every state.” An ambitious Voice to be sure! For those of you unfamiliar with the labyrinth, it is an ancient design consisting of one path that leads from an entrance on the outer edge, in a circuitous way, to the center and back out.

Not a maze

No confusion

One way in

One way out

“It is a walking meditation.  A tool to quiet the mind, reduce stress, open the heart.” (Lauren Artress) via New York City Reflections: Join My Journey.

Welcome! Thank you for reading my blog about our first (now second) year in New York City! In addition to my NYC experiences, I’m in the process of making a 50-state labyrinth journey, which will end in April 2014. I invite you to share these exciting adventures and everything in between! All the best, Twylla via New York City Reflections: Join My Journey.

NIH,  privacy agreement,  Henrietta Lacks’ family, The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a classic.  I hope this privacy agreement brings closure to the family.

“The main issue was the privacy concern,” says Lacks’ grandson, David Lacks Jr. “Right now we are in the early stages of genomic science or genomic medicine and we don’t know what is going to come down the road in the future.” The new agreement requires NIH-funded researchers to use a “controlled-access” database of the HeLA cell genome, governed by a panel that contains Lacks family members, still living today in Baltimore. The agency is also asking biomedical researchers not funded by NIH to abide by the agreement as a matter of scientific ethics. Noting that he has used HeLa cells in his own lab, Collins stated that more steps need to be taken to protect privacy rights of genetic sample donors in the future — even those not made famous by a best-selling book. “Frankly the science has moved faster than the consent process, and maybe it is time to catch up,” Collins said in a telephone briefing on the agreement Wednesday. A related study in the journal, led by Andrew Adey of the University of Washington in Seattle, reports on the identification and location of the human papilloma virus genes inserted into the HeLA cell gene map that caused them to become cancerous. Collins called the study an important step in understanding what made the HeLa cancer cells so deadly to Lacks — and also made the cells so resilient in the lab. Collins drove up to Baltimore to talk the agreement over with members of the Lacks family. “That wasn’t lost on the family,” says author Skloot, who helped set up the meetings with the NIH and family members, and listened to the discussions. “This was the first time in history that scientists really took this kind of time with the family in a really open and transparent way.” via NIH makes privacy agreement with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Two-Year-Old Best Man Dies Two Days After His Parents Marry, TIME.com:  This one is a heartbreaker.

A toddler who served as the best man at his parents’ wedding over the weekend, died Monday due to complications associated with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder, the Today Show reports. Logan Stevenson had been suffering from leukemia and malignant tumors on his kidneys since December 2011. When doctors recently told his parents, Christine Swidorsky and Sean Stevenson, that their son only had a few weeks to live, the couple decided to get married this past Saturday instead of next July, as they had planned, so that their son could be there. During a backyard wedding at the family’s home in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, east of Pittsburgh, the terminally-ill boy, dressed in a tan, pinstripe suit and orange shirt, held his favorite teddy bear while his mother carried him down the aisle before passing him off to his grandmother. Being all together as a family was “a dream come true,” Swidorsky told NBC’s WPXI. via Two-Year-Old Best Man Dies Two Days After His Parents Marry | TIME.com.




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