Posts Tagged ‘baseball

26
Apr
14

4.26.14 … so, does watching a youtube clip of a labyrinth walk count as a walk? … “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.” – Proverbs 4: 26 …

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth, 2014 Labyrinth Walks, You Tube: I MAY go to Chartres on a Friday in August, so I spent my evening researching. And I think I will count watching this YouTube clip as a walk …

via Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, a Spiritual Pilgrimage – YouTube.

As one of the best-known examples in the world, much has been written and said about the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral. But what is fact and what fiction?

Jeff Saward provides some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this labyrinth…

via Chartres Labyrinth FAQs.

Scripture for walking the Labyrinth, Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, Spiritual Pilgrimage, YouTube, Proverbs 4: 25:

Alan Tattersall

Scripture for walking the Labyrinth: Proverbs 4: 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil. (NKJV)

via Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, a Spiritual Pilgrimage – YouTube.

Malcolm Miller at Chartres, YouTube:

World-class historian and instructor for thousands of young, visiting American students offers an architect’s “hands on” visualization of flying buttresses. passports.com

via ▶ Malcolm Miller at Chartres – YouTube.

Chartres and the Chartres Cathedral, Visitor Guide:

 Museums:

Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum of Chartres):

Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum of Chartres, located just behind the cathedral)

Centre International du Vitrail – Stained Glass Center

Conservatoire du Machinisme et des Pratiques Agricoles, an agricultural museum with exhibits of old machines and artifacts of the rural life around Chartres.

Muséum des Sciences Naturelles et de Préhistoire (Natural Science and Prehistory Museum)

Where to Stay

 Hotel Hotellerie Saint Yves offers simple lodging with private baths in a former seminary building. Individuals on retreat or groups can stay here; the price is very reasonable for a hotel a around 100 meters from the cathdral.

via Chartres and the Chartres Cathedral – Visitor Guide.

 The Chartres Labyrinth: 

Typical of many Gothic Cathedrals, Chartres Cathedral has a labyrinth laid into the floor. The Labyrinth is dated to around 1200.

David’s Discoveries: A tale of two labyrinths gives you a good idea of what to expect concerning the labyrinths at Chartres:

“Unsurprisingly, of the 2 million or so visitors who tramp through the cathedral each year, only a fraction of them walk the labyrinth. It’s accessible – meaning the chairs are removed from the floor space the labyrinth occupies – on Fridays only, from April to October. Those who arrive on the wrong day or in the wrong season head outside to the grass labyrinth, where they mix with the locals.”

 For more on Chartres, see our Chartres Travel Directory.

via Chartres and the Chartres Cathedral – Visitor Guide.

Great-Start Breakfast Cookies, recipes:   Great-Start Breakfast Cookies recipe from Pillsbury.com.

The League of Extraordinary Black Gentlemen, Theodore R. Johnson, The Atlantic:  There is a lot to think about here.  I remember being asked once,  “Does anyone ever ask you what it feels like to be white?”

Today, blacks are more educated than they’ve ever been and occupy more of the middle class than they once did. The electorate has desegregated to the point where black voter turnout rates surpassed white for the first time in history in 2012. There are black Fortune 500 CEOs and media moguls, politicians and white-collar professionals, who have tremendous influence on American society. And yes, even our president is black. These are direct results of the value the community placed on elevating our exceptional members and making blackness palatable to the whole nation.

In the 21st century, the Tenthers—the solution class DuBois envisioned—have arrived. These college-educated, middle-class black folks have left the South and inner cities to settle in suburbia, and fashioned an identity as bound up in class as it is in race. But like DuBois himself, they struggle with a double-consciousness—a twoness that makes it possible for them to enter predominantly white spaces while still holding positions of esteem in spheres of blackness. They move about both comfortably, but don’t fit neatly into either.

via The League of Extraordinary Black Gentlemen – Theodore R. Johnson – The Atlantic.

Williams College’s Kellogg House, $5.2M experiment in sustainability, Berkshire Eagle Online, Living Building Challenge project,  International Living Future Institute:

WILLIAMSTOWN — In 1794, Kellogg House was built as the new home for the Williams College president, just one year after the school was established.

Today, Kellogg House is the home of a $5.2 million experiment in both learning and sustainable construction: Once the Kellogg House is complete, designers hope it will produce at least as much electricity as it uses, and that it will only use the falling rain for all its water needs.

Just as important are the construction practices and materials used in renovating and adding to the original structure.

“It’s an experiment in some ways to see if we can do it,” said David Dethier, Williams College professor of geology and mineralogy and chairman of the Kellogg project building committee. “It’s a building designed to achieve total neutrality in its affect on the environment.”

More than a year after completion — which could be as early as this fall — officials are hoping it will qualify as a Living Building Challenge project by the International Living Future Institute.

Through the use of the latest in insulation tactics, photovoltaic solar panels, mulching toilets, a 6,000 gallon water collection tank, and a complex rain water retention and water filtration system, the operation of the facility should not require water from the town supply, nor use of the town sewer system, and will hopefully produce more power than it needs. Any surplus power would feed into the public utility grid.

Kellogg House

From the exterior of Kellogg House, some of the orinal wood used in its construction in 1794 can still be seen. Wednesday, April 9, 2014 (Scott Stafford/Berkshire Eagle Staff) (Stafford)

 

The real challenge, Dethier noted, is installing these 21st century technologies into a structure that was built with wooden planks and spike nails 220 years ago.

“It’s a philosophy being put into practice,” he said. “If done right, the building will behave as a part of the ecosystem.”

To qualify for the Living Building Challenge (LBC), in addition to net zero use of electricity and water, the plan has to include environmental restoration of the project site to minimize its impact on the local habitat. The project also needs to use materials that are nontoxic — both as part of the structure and in their manufacture — and procured from sources as close to the project as possible.

via Williams College’s Kellogg House becomes a $5.2M experiment in sustainability – Berkshire Eagle Online.

How Beloved Chef and Entrepreneur Julia Child Conquered the World: An Illustrated Life Story, Brain Pickings: Love this!

 

Legendary chef Julia Child, who would have been 101 today, not only revolutionized the world of cookbooks but was also a remarkable beacon of entrepreneurship and perseverance more than a decade before women started raising their voices in the media world. Her unrelenting spirit and generous heart cast her as one of modern history’s most timeless role models, and that’s precisely what writer and illustrator Jessie Hartland celebrates in the endlessly wonderful Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child (public library) — a heartening illustrated biography of the beloved chef, intended to enchant young readers with her story but certain to delight all of us. Hartland’s vibrant drawings — somewhere between Maira Kalman, Wendy MacNaughton, and Vladimir Radunsky — exude the very charisma that made Childs an icon, and infuse her legacy with fresh joy.

via How Beloved Chef and Entrepreneur Julia Child Conquered the World: An Illustrated Life Story | Brain Pickings.

Backlog …

bacon:

 

The Panda Cam Is Back!, @ TeamCoco.com:  Again, an old one …

CONAN Highlight: The government is back in business and the Panda Cam has returned. Uh, better cue the “panda.”

http://teamcoco.com/video/conan-highlight-panda-cam

via ▶ The Panda Cam Is Back! @ TeamCoco.com.

Podcast: The Unwritten Jersey Rules, The Daily Fix – WSJ:  I cannot imagine doing this … from October.

When Peyton Manning returned to Indianapolis on Sunday night, Colts fans showed up in force wearing the jersey of their former quarterback. Geoff Foster explains why he had a problem with that and explains his unwritten rules on wearing a jersey of a player no longer on your favorite team.

via Podcast: The Unwritten Jersey Rules – The Daily Fix – WSJ..

baseball, national sport:  I must admit I am a fair weather friend of football.  I love baseball season so much more.  So  I found this post from FB October … What do you think?  Is baseball a national or a regional sport?

During the television broadcast of the Panthers game on Sunday, one of the commentators noted that no one was talking about baseball despite the fact that the playoffs were ongoing. Why? Because baseball is not a national sport. It\’s fans are only regional. He contrasted that with NFL teams which have a national fan base. Any thoughts?

Maybe regional/national are wrong. I think the comment was more focused on once your team was out, many fans in baseball drop out of watching playoff games and even the World Series.

Best thing about the panthers today was that the pink looked nice with the shade of blue in their uniforms.

Does anybody like the Dodgers?

And I continue to ask my last question …

 

 

 

05
Nov
13

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!” …

Guy Fawkes Day, British history:  Love seeing on twitter the bonfires in London …  “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”

Here is a fun English holiday to celebrate…

On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was found in the cellar of the Houses of Lords with a large amount of gunpowder, while attempting to blow up parliament.

To celebrate parliament (and King James I) being saved, every November 5th in England, an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned on a large bonfire and the evening ends with an extravagant fireworks display.

Now that my family lives in the U.S. we have chosen not to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes… it seems a little strange to explain to our kids when no one else is doing it! We do however eat British foods, like Scotch Eggs, and talk about the political structure of the United Kingdom and how democracies give their citizens a voice. This year I made my girls each a spoon doll of Guy Fawkes.

\”Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!\”

by Helen Bird

via Guy Fawkes | Spoonful.

 kith/kin, baseball, replica bats: An interesting story about an interesting member of my husband’s family!

Rayburn really likes baseball, and he has ever since he was a kid.

“Baseball, I think, was a little bit of an equalizer,” he says. “You didn’t have to be the best looking kid in the class – the best liked in the class, but if you were good, or at least worked hard and tried to be good, you could be an equal on the playing field.”

Credit Austin Ramsey/WKMS News

He’s retired now, but he spent years in real estate, freight and university athletics. And in retirement, he builds baseball bats that resemble those from the game’s early history. He even restores bats – many of which were used in the game’s early history.

Plus,  he single-handedly produces the entire line of bats for one of the nation’s largest classic baseball memorabilia producers  in his garage.

Each day, Rayburn occupies the small shop adjacent his home west of town.

Inside, walls are lined with bats of various shapes and stages of completion. He has a series of new bats with oddly-shaped handles. He says they represent the dead ball era, when a baseball was softer and more emphasis was put on field positions and strategic bunts.

With each new bat, he starts with a three-inch billet of Ash or Maple, which he marks and whittles down on a lathe, carefully carving away excess wood in one-inch increments. As he carves away, using different sized tools, the corrugated form of a bat appears.

via Local Man Brings to Life Replica Baseball Bats from Past | WKMS.

Christmas, The Christmas Scale:  An early Christmas Gift. I may re-gift it in a month!

via ▶ The Christmas Scale – YouTube.

Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, movies:  Add this to my movie list.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant-Chicago,  RIP:  I ate at Charlie Trotter’s once while we lived in Chicago. It was very good, a true culinary dining experience.  I cannot say I would do it again, but I can thank my lovely in-laws for the once in a lifetime experience.   RIP

Trotter burst on the scene in 1987, when the self-taught chef opened Charlie Trotter’s restaurant on Armitage Avenue. In short order, the chef’s intense creativity and never-repeat-a-dish dictum made Trotter’s the most talked-about restaurant in Chicago, and his fame quickly spread throughout the country and beyond.

He was named the country’s Outstanding Chef by James Beard Foundation in 1999; in 2000, Wine Spectator magazine called Trotter’s the best restaurant in the nation. More awards and accolades followed, including a 2002 Beard Award for Outstanding Service; at the time, Trotter called it the award he was most proud to receive, as it represented “a team award.”

The mercurial chef was a stern taskmaster who demanded the absolute best from everyone who worked for him. He was also a man of uncommon generosity, creating the Charlie Trotter Education Foundation to provide scholarships for culinary students. He received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 2012.

“Charlie was an extreme father figure to me when it came to not just cooking, but life, and seeing things in a different way,” said chef Graham Elliot Bowles, one of many famous chefs who worked for Trotter. “I just can’t put into words how saddened I am by all of this. It’s a huge loss, not just personally, but for the culinary world.”

via Charlie Trotter dead: Famed Chicago chef dies – chicagotribune.com.

Just earlier today I posted 11.5.13 … I don’t talk sports that often … but I have to admit I pulled for the Red Sox because I like their fans a wee bit better …  and now I have to take two exceptions:  Davidson Basketball and the Carolina Panthers.

Davidson Wildcats at #4 Duke Blue Devils

Friday November 8, 7PM (ESPNU)

I’m not sure how much a chance Davidson has against Duke, but I\’ve learned to never count out Bob McKillop and his Wildcats. McKillop is one of the few who won\’t \”abandon all hope\” when he enters Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday night.

Though Davidson lost Nik Cochran, Jake Cohen, and others, the Wildcats still return a talented squad who will compete with Elon for a Southern Conference title in their last year in the conference. Leading that veteran laden group is De\’Mon Brooks. Brooks has been the SoCon\’s Player of the Year before and is a two-time SoCon Tournament MVP. The 6\’7 forward averaged nearly 14 points and 6 boards a year ago and is going to need all of that and more against the Blue Devils.

Beyond Brooks, McKillops will rely on the rest of his senior core Chris Czerapowicz, Tyler Kalinowski, and Tom Droney to step up big on Friday.  This may also be the coming out party for Miami (Ohio) transfer Brian Sullivan, who averaged over 10 points per game his freshman year while being named to the All-MAC Freshman team.

Duke is the other Tobacco Road team that struggled a bit in their preseason warm up. The Blue Devils found themselves down to Drury 38-34 Saturday afternoon, but they pulled away in the second half for a 81-65 victory. Freshman Jabari Parker and Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood will be the story for Coach K\’s team. Parker is expected to be a top five pick in the NBA Draft, while Hood is considered among the nation\’s top transfers. Rasheed Sulaimon missed the Blue Devils tune up due to illness, but expect him and Quinn Cook to be firing on all cylinders Friday night in Durham

via Mid-Major Upset Alert: Opening Weekend Trouble on Tobacco Road? – Mid-Major Madness.

Last year I wore red socks inside my boots to the Panthers v. Falcons game … This year I left the red socks at home. I figure the Falcons are a lost cause and I really ought to put my mouth (and socks) where my money is.

2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration: And then I could not pass this one up from last weekend’s GA FL Game:

2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration

via ▶ 2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration – YouTube.

Mexican Coke:

Well, fear not, soda snobs. All those reports are wrong.

Monterrey, Mexico-based Arca Continental, which bottles Coca-ColaKO -0.03% in glass bottles for U.S. consumers as part of a nostalgia project that began in 2005, assures that its fizzy pop destined for the U.S. market will continue to be sweetened entirely with cane sugar.

A street vendor carries bottles of soda to customers in Mexico City

That’s not the case for Coke sold in Mexico. The soda chugged in vast quantities by Mexicans has long been sweetened with a mix of high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar. The mix varies, depending on which sweetener is cheaper, with local bottlers aiming to limit HFCS to conserve taste and their relationships with Mexico’s powerful sugar industry.

Currently Mexico’s largest soft drink bottler, Coca-Cola FemsaKOF.MX -3.25%, uses HFCS to cover 60% of its sweetener needs, CFO Hector Treviño told analysts last month. Mr. Treviño said his bottler is at maximum capacity for HFCS and that, if anything, going forward it will buy more cane sugar—which is very cheap right now. Mexico is the world’s fifth-biggest sugar producer, and domestic bottlers have their own sugar refineries.

via Have No Fear, Your Mexican Coke Will Remain as Sweet as Ever – Corporate Intelligence – WSJ.

 Roman Sculpture, London, archeology, new discoveries: 

Archaeologists excavating at the future site of a 16-story hotel in London have uncovered a 1,800-year-old statue of an eagle with a writhing serpent in its beak.

The statue was carved in limestone from the Cotswolds and stands two feet (65 centimeters) tall. The right wing has broken off from the body, but otherwise the sculpture is intact.

The foundations of a mausoleum were also found at the site. Experts have concluded that the sculpture once adorned the tomb of a Roman-era Londoner, likely a high-ranking official or a prosperous merchant.

via Finest Roman Sculpture Ever Found in London Uncovered.

man’s best friend, corgis: 

In today’s edition of worst possible news ever: corgis — the dogs popular among the entire Internet and, of course, Queen Elizabeth — could soon earn a place on the endangered breed list. The stubby-legged bundles of cuteness are now on Britain Kennel Club’s “at watch” list and are set to be classified as a “vulnerable native breed” by January, AFP reports.

The club said only 241 Pembroke Welsh Corgis were registered this year, and it seems unlikely that they’ll reach the 300 registrations needed to stay off the vulnerable breeds list. The club says this decline correlates with the rise in popularity of smaller foreign breeds, like French bulldogs. (Which, for the record, are really ridiculously cute too.)

The Daily Telegraph, however, blames the decline on a 2007 ban on tail-docking, the practice of cutting off part of the animal’s tail. The Telegraph reports that many breeders say they can’t achieve the desired corgi look without tail-docking, and so many have simply given up on the breed.

So, it’s probably a combination of factors — horrible, terrible, no-good factors — that are coming together to try to wipe out our precious corgis and deprive us of the most divine cuteness the world has ever known.

Of course, it’s the viral content factory BuzzFeed that will probably take this news the hardest, as the site’s business model can be summed up as “mo corgis mo money.”

via Corgis Becoming Endangered: Queen’s Favorite Dog Breed At Risk | TIME.com.

Raymond Loewy, Google Doodle,  “Father of Industrial Design”, TIME.com:

Today’s Google Doodle honors what would have been the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy 1893-1986, often referred to as the “father of industrial design” who ”made products irresistible at a time when nobody really wanted to pay for anything,” as TIME once wrote.He is the man behind the Lucky Strike cigarette pack, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Greyhound bus, the S1 Locomotive, logos for Shell and Exxon, plus the interiors of President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and NASA’s Apollo and Skylab “orbiters.” When he “streamlined” the Coldspot refrigerator design, sales at Sears went up, illustrating his famous line “between two products equal in price, function, and quality, the better looking will outsell the other.”

via Raymond Loewy Google Doodle Honors the “Father of Industrial Design” | TIME.com.

Moving Dollies, Buckhead’s Randolph-Lucas House, Around Town – Buckhead GA Patch:

On Wednesday morning, the moving dollies arrived onsite at the historic Peachtree Road home that was built in 1924 for Hollins Nicholas Randolph, a great, great grandson of Thomas Jefferson.

Due to the wet weather in Friday\’s forecast, the move will likely not take place this week. But it is coming and soon as foundation work at the Ansley Park locale has continued throughout the month as the attached Youtube video depicts.

For the move, the home will be horizontally split above the first floor, lifted by cranes and then transported on flatbeds. Utility lines will need to be moved temporarily as well.

Every piece of the home, except the kitchen, will be completely renovated and moved to the new location at 78 Peachtree Circle, about two miles away. The kitchen will be updated to a more modern one, but will still complement the home, according to HGTV Front Door.

via Moving Dollies Arrive for Buckhead’s Randolph-Lucas House – Around Town – Buckhead, GA Patch.

60 Signs You Studied Sociology In College:  I learn a lot from my children, so I actually got a few of these.

26. You’ve given up on trying to bridge the “natural science vs social science” divide.

via 60 Signs You Studied Sociology In College.

29
Mar
13

3.29.13 … clean it like the queen of England is visiting! …

Lent, Room for Debate – NYTimes.com:

Lent is a promise to walk with Jesus even into the desert. It is a trusting willingness to put our hand in his at all times, no matter what it requires, to go with him into the wilderness or onto the cross. Lent is about our relationship with Christ; and that relationship, like our ordinary relationships with other people, has seasons of trial and deprivation as well as seasons of joy. Lent allows us to say “yes” to all those seasons. It echoes Ruth’s pledge to her mother-in-law, Naomi: “Whither thou goest, I will go.”

Life will test our love; Lent allows us to promise, each year, that we will try to hold on.

via Lent Is Not Supposed to Benefit You – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

bathroom , Queen of England, Photo Gallery – Yahoo!, LOL: 

How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England

This Alabama family’s bathroom is now fit for a queen, thanks to one mom’s sarcastic note to her son. When 21-year-old Caleb B. saw the note to tidy the bathroom “like the Queen of England is visiting,” he decided to respond just as sarcastically as he was asked. Caleb not only scrubbed the royal room from top to bottom, but also adorned it with a hand-drawn flag of England, and left an assortment of tea on the counter for the Queen to enjoy. “My mom bursted out laughing when she opened the bathroom door,” Caleb told ABCNews.com. “She thought it was great.” Apparently the social media world also got a kick out of it, as the photos he posted have more than 518,000 views on Imgur and began trending on Reddit .

via How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England | Photo Gallery – Yahoo!.

South Africa,  Brics era, FT.com:  

Nowhere does the celebratory mood of the past decade, which inspired this motley group to launch the Brics summits, feel more absent than in South Africa. With its gross domestic product growing at a pace of 2.5 per cent, South Africa is on track to finish the year as one of the slowest economies in Africa.

This is an ironic turn. When The Economist called Africa the “hopeless continent” at the start of the millennium, South Africa seemed to offer a single bright spot. It brought debts and inflation under control, creating the stability required for growth. Now, it is stuck, and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya, are growing twice as fast.

The ruling African National Congress is relying heavily on a “liberation dividend” to remain in office. Many South Africans have understandably ugly memories of apartheid and still embrace ANC leaders as authors of freedom, even if they are also the architects of stagnation. Yet the problems of inequality and unemployment are as acute as when the ANC promised “economic justice” two decades ago.

via South Africa should forget the Brics era – FT.com.

Ice Climbing, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, Iceland: 

Picture of Tim Emmett climbing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, Icelandvia Extreme Photo of the Week — National Geographic.

Davidson College, Humanities, 50th anniversary:

“Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar.”             —Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

In a time when death has been moving prominently in my circles on campus and beyond, I found some strange, hard comfort in reporting and writing a 50th-anniversary story about the college’s Humanities Program, which for me felt so full of life and memory as I approached my own half-century marker.

“Humes” was born the same year I was, so the program and I were both 18 when I ventured unsuspectingly into a Gilgamesh lecture in September 1981. Two very academic years later, I emerged with a deep sense of the broad sweep of my own Western culture in the world. It was a very personal and at the same time a very universal view of things as they are. A broad, deep view represents perhaps the essence of the liberal arts—the word “liberal” springing from the root word for “freedom” and the word “art” harking back to “fit together, join.” Thirty years on, I still subscribe to this very personal, very universal view of humanity through the humanities.

via Thanks for These Four, And So Much More.

Davidson NC, Cornelius NC, Carolina Cones,  DavidsonNews.net:

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t limit myself to post-dental nirvana. I treat myself regularly to this Cornelius treasure, as I know so many of us out there do. What a wonderful example of small town, local goodness. Where else can you pick out a potted plant, peruse the selection of frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors, and watch a model train circle above your head?

via Winter’s over, Carolina Cones is back!  | DavidsonNews.net Guide.

Christianity, Non-Believers,  Shane Claibourne, Esquire: 

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

via Shane Claiborne – Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claibourne – Esquire.

Marriage Equality Symbol, Facebook: 

 

via 17 Different Versions Of The Marriage Equality Symbol For Your Facebook Page.

baseball:

In 2003, there was only one pitcher who threw at least 25 pitches 100 mph or faster. In 2012, there were seven. Pitchers are throwing faster than ever before. Here’s why: http://on.wsj.com/14BH2Us

via Facebook.

Not only does this save time for the crew, stuffed as they are in the cramped Soyuz, but since the Russian capsule can fly autonomously in orbit for only about four days, the shorter commute means more fuel, oxygen and other supplies can be conserved for a possible emergency.

via Commute From Earth To Space Station Just Got Shorter : The Two-Way : NPR.

Paris à la bonne heure – Vidéo Dailymotion.

A Journey Together – NEXT Church.

Disconnect: A New Movie Sounds the Alarm About Our Hyper-Connected Lives | LinkedIn.

DOMA, Thomas Jefferson:

This is the Jefferson Memorial, if any were wondering what the Founding Fathers might say today as the Supreme Court considers the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Under DOMA, passed 17 years ago, same-sex couples who are legally married in their home states are denied federal benefits offered to opposite-sex married couples.

There are over 1,000 such benefits, such as tax savings, Social Security payments and medical and family leave.

via Facebook.

The Boiling Frog Syndrome, follow-up, Mind Boggling Stories – Quora:

What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water. But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.

We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to face. There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action. If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. We have to decide when to jump. Let us jump while we still have the strength.

via The Boiling Frog Syndrome – Mind Boggling Stories – Quora.

David Petraeus, public relations, Vanity Fair:  Philandering ex-head of CIA … can he overcome the moniker …

Philandering former C.I.A. director David Petraeus apologized for cheating on his wife “in a speech to veterans at the University of Southern California, his first public address since the scandal,” The Hill reports. He also revealed that he deeply regrets schtupping his biographer: “Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret—and apologize for—the circumstances that led to my resignation from the C.I.A. and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.” No worries, it’s cool, the audience, which did not include the woman to whom he made marital vows, probably thought.

Petraeus also has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal in which he, spoiler alert, does not address sleeping with a woman whose jealously issues, frankly, sound like they require more maintenance than a 30-something-year marriage. The op-ed concerns the professional difficulties of many veterans after returning home, and reading it is like the moral equivalent of a Hail Mary after the sin of so closely and hungrily following the grotesque sex scandal for all those months.

via David Petraeus: the Public Relations Comeback Beginneth! | Vanity Fair.

The former members of our armed forces have done their part to ensure Americas national security, often sacrificing greatly in the process. Now it is our turn to do our part to help them build promising futures for themselves and their families.Gen. Petraeus U.S. Army, Ret. commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as director of the CIA. He is a senior adviser to American Corporate Partners. Mr. Goodfriend, a retired investment banker, is founder/chairman of American Corporate Partners. https://acp-advisornet.org

via David Petraeus and Sidney Goodfriend: Training Veterans for Their Next Mission – WSJ.com.

travel, hidden places, Paris, sewers:

After writing Hidden Cities, I’ve gotten asked one question more than any other: some variation of “so – I’d love to see a part of a city that’s hidden and secret and unknown, but also, you know, safely and legally.” It doesn’t really work like that (in today’s day and age, excursions that are safe, legal, and interesting enough to be found in major publications usually don’t stay hidden and secret for too long), but there are a few off-the-beaten path destinations around the world where you can see the forgotten corners, hidden infrastructure, and underground tunnels of some of the great cities of the world in a safe and legal way – but also get your feet slightly dirtier than your average tourist. 10 of my favorites are:

1. Le Musée des Égouts de Paris (Paris Sewer Museum) – A wonderful, up-close way to see one of the most significant engineering accomplishments of the 19th century. Descend into the bowels of the city, and walk alongside an active part of the Parisian sewer system. The entrance can be found across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, on the Quai d’Orsay near the Pont de l’Alma

via 10 Hidden Places Around the World.

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Feb
13

2.15.13 … I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ….

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“Solvitor Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Labyrinth  walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Augustine of Hippo, Rev. Wes Barry, Ash Wednesday Sermon,  First Presbyterian Church:  There are days when I wonder why anyone would choose to live anywhere but the southern part of the United States. Today is one of those days.
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As I approached the Avondale Presbyterian Church labyrinth, the chimes were clanging and the water poured at its columbarium fountain.  Both welcome me.
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I reach for an information sheet for the first time in a long time,  and Avondale’s  labyrinth keepers have  changed the sheets since the last time I looked at them. One is entitled, “Light, Darkness, Shadow of death, and the Way of Peace” … rather ominous title 🙂 … I especially liked the these quotes …
In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (from Benedictus, Song of Zechariah)
Light, darkness, shadow of death, peace. These four themes draw us closer in these mid-winter days to God.
Light, darkness, shadow of death, way of peace: may you find yourself caught up in the good news of Jesus Christ and be a part of community called to be Christ’s body in the world.
And from the other sheet …
Augustine of Hippo said, “It is solved  by walking.” What is IT? If you want to find out, then you’ll have to do your own walking.
-Barbara Brown Taylor , An Altar to the World
You will show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.   Micah 6:8
Let my inner child dance the rainbow, the labyrinth. Chase each color along the way. Thank you, bless you, oh my God. Be with me and I shall begin to shine as you shine;
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I then thought about  Wes Barry’s Ash Wednesday Sermon from First Presbyterian Church.  Two snipits jumped out at me that directly relate to my walking …

Slows down time for us that we might see Jesus …

Four things that make us human: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual  …

After I arrived home I did a little research and found this helpful … The Practice of Walking on the Earth: Groundedness (4 March 2012) – Chicago Community Mennonite Church and also this …

Walking the Labyrinth is a right-brain meditation activity.

There are as many ways to walk it as there are walkers, but here are some suggestions.

Give Gracious Attention: quiet your mind, let go of doing and be, allow thoughts to go away, be still in mind, embrace soul rest.

Ask a Question: Prior to walking, journal your thoughts or share what you are looking for with another person (they might help you to form your unspoken question). During the walk look at your question from all aspects; walking allows your own consciousness to open so deeper aspects of yourself can speak.

Use Repetition: a mantra phrase, centering prayer, non-distracting word, affirmation sentence

Read & Reflect On Scripture: a psalm or other inspiring material

Ask for Help Through Prayer: pray as you walk

Honour a Benchmark in Your Life or That of Another: a memorial act, a celebratory act, a penitence act, an intercessory act, etc.

Make A Body Prayer: move spontaneously as encouraged by the path, feel safe in its containment, sense kinetic awareness.

Use Accessories: wear a coloured scarf as symbolic of something for you; carry an object of significance to you (votive candle, flower, stone, etc.) Whatever you carry in should be carried out as well.

via Labyrinth Society of Edmonton.

Fareed Zakaria, suicide,  gun control , twitter, NYTimes.com: This tweet by Fareed Zakaria  got my attention …

Fareed Zakaria ‏@FareedZakaria

Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85% of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2% of cases: NYT http://nyti.ms/XP2FtA 

As did this quote in the NYT article … “If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

 
Suicidal acts are often prompted by a temporary surge of rage or despair, and most people who attempt them do not die. In a 2001 study of 13- to 34-year-olds in Houston who had attempted suicide but were saved by medical intervention, researchers from the C.D.C. found that, for more than two-thirds of them, the time that elapsed between deciding to act and taking action was an hour or less. The key to reducing fatalities, experts say, is to block access to lethal means when the suicidal feeling spikes.

The chances of dying rise drastically when a gun is present, because guns are so much more likely to be lethal, said Dr. Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard center. Guns are used in more than half of all suicide fatalities, but account for just 1 percent of all self-harm injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, a rough proxy for suicide attempts, Dr. Miller said. Overdoses, which account for about 80 percent of suicide attempts, are responsible for just 14 percent of fatalities.

“If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

via To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

MLB, baseball, stadium financing, New Yankee Stadium, tax-exempt bonds, 2013 Festival of Legal Learning:  This was one of my favorite seminars … You can just call me a nerd.

Building the New Yankee Stadium: Tax-Exempt Bonds and Other Subsidies for the Richest Team in Baseball

Patricia L. Bryan, Martha Brandis Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

When Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009, aggregate costs had skyrocketed to $2.3 billion, with more than half contributed by taxpayers. the massive federal subsidy resulting from tax-exempt financing bonds presents a particularly troubling issue, especially

In light of convincing evidence that wealthy private owners, and not the broader community, reap the financial benefits of using these bonds for sports stadiums. the enormous—and often hidden—drain on the federal treasury leads to the important questions: are taxpayers striking out on public investments in sports stadiums, and if so, how can these federal subsidies to sports teams be limited in the future?

via Festival of Legal Learning.

Mother Teresa, quote, Goodreads:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

via Goodreads | Quote by Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can d….

Valentine’s Day, Harry Potter,  howlers:  I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ❤

A Howler defined …

Letter that plays recorded message in a very loud voice, and then explodes

Howler

“You’d better open it, Ron. It’ll be worse if you don’t. My gran sent me one once, and I ignored it and – it was horrible.”

—Neville talking to Ron about his Howler.[s rc]

via Howler – Harry Potter Wiki

Frederick Buechner Center, Barbara Brown Taylor:  I heard BBT talk last winter and was overwhelmed … this lecture is from 2009 …

If you are among the billions of people who do not know what I am talking about, then the first book was called Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, which chronicled my decision to leave full time parish ministry for college teaching ten years ago now.  The second is called An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, which is a kind of field guide to encountering God in the ordinary practices of everyday life.  It comes out next month.

The difference between these two books and those that preceded them—or to put it another way, the difference between the form and content of their proclamations—is what you might call the difference between public and private truth.  I don’t think you can ever draw a clear line between those two, since private truth is always going to flavor public truth.  I am not even sure it is a good idea to make a distinction between them.  If your private truth and your public truth are very far apart, shouldn’t you be seeking professional help?

I know Christians who speak of the “scandal of particularity,” by which they mean the apparently outlandish claim that God chose to be made known in a particular person living in a particular human body during a particular period of history.  You will have to invite a theologian to say more about that, but I like to think that people who are inclined to accept such a claim might be willing to accept the scandal of their own particularity too.

Still, I was paying attention when the dean introduced Frederick Buechner, the Beecher Lecturer for 1977, whose lectures were entitled “Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.”

Great title, I thought, as the elegant man stepped into the pulpit.  When he opened his mouth, I was struck first by the voice: restrained but insistent, as if he had something important to tell us that he would not yell to make sure we heard.  If we wanted to hear him, then he expected us to do our parts.  His job was not to make things easy for us.  His job was to say something true that mattered.

The next thing I noticed was his sentence structure, which was odd and looping, beguiling to the ear.  Each word had earned its place in his speech.  Each word had been chosen for its meaning, but also for its beat.  If I could have blurred my ears the way I sometimes blur my eyes, then I might have imagined that I was listening to a poet instead of a preacher—or to a composer conducting his score—but that would have required at least a moment’s disengagement from the words themselves, which I was not willing to give.

While I was still trying to figure out how he was doing it, Buechner began conjuring up the living presence of Henry Ward Beecher, his predecessor by more than a century, the first Beecher Lecturer in 1872.

the places they go and the things they do, there is the sense of what the old hymn quaveringly addresses as “O love that will not let me go,” the sense of an ultimate depth to things that is not finally indifferent as to whether people sink or swim but endlessly if always hiddenly refuses to abandon them.  Brownie loses his faith and his teeth.  Lucille teerers off to her death on French heels.  Open Heart goes up in flames, and the Love Feasts are run out of Alexander Hall.  And yet…Here’s to Jesus, Here’s to you, proclaims the air-borne streamer high over Nassau Street, and even Antonio Parr wonders at the end if it is maybe more than just a silvery trick of the failing light to which every once in a while the Tonto in him whispers Kemo Sabe, faithful friend.  Maybe the reason any book about something like real life is a love-letter is that in the last analysis that is what real life is too.[3]

Sorry that was so long.  I just wanted to hear the words coming out of my mouth, as the perfect finish to The Buechner Lecture.

So thank you, Frederick Buechner, for the time you have spent looking in the mirror that we might see ourselves more clearly.  Thank you for telling the truth, both about yourself and about the gospel, that we might tell it too.  Thanks even for nicking yourself, so that you could write for us in blood instead of ballpoint pen.  We can tell the difference, and we are in your debt.

©Barbara Brown Taylor

King College, Bristol, TN

January 24, 2009

via Frederick Buechner Center.

Latin, More Intelligent Life, essays:  Love this essay … so here it is in full…

For Intelligent Life’s editor, Tim de Lisle, the best language to learn is one that has hardly any direct use…

I studied Latin for 15 years, and this may well be the first time it has been of direct use in my adult life. There was one moment, long ago, when it nearly came in handy. I was reviewing an album by Sting that contained a stab at a traditional wedding song. There are many such songs in Catullus, whose elegant poetry I had spent a whole term plodding through. If ever there was a time to play the Latin card, this was it, so I described Sting’s wedding song as “Catullan”. Somewhere between the Daily Telegraph copytakers and the subs, “Catullan” was changed to “Catalan”. It probably served me right.

So, direct use: virtually nil. But Latin—which gives us both “direct” and “use”, both “virtually” and “nil”—has been of indirect use every day of my career. If you work with words, Latin is the Pilates session that stays with you for life: it strengthens the core. It teaches you grammar and syntax, better than your own language, whose structure you will have absorbed before you are capable of noticing it. Latin offers no hiding place, no refuge for the woolly. Each piece of the sentence has to slot in with the rest; every ending has to be the right one. To learn Latin is to learn rigour.

The price for the rigour is the mortis. Soon enough, someone will helpfully inform you that Latin is a dead language. In one way, sure, but in others it lives on. It is a vivid presence in English and French, it is the mother of Italian and Spanish, and it even seeps into German. More often than not, the words these languages have in common are the Latin ones: it remains a lingua franca. The words we take from Latin tend to be long, reflective, intellectual (the short, punchy words we didn’t need to import: live, die, eat, drink, love, hate). Business and academia, two worlds with little else in common, both rely more and more on long Latinate words. The European Union speaks little else. Ten years ago, for another article, I had to read the proposed European constitution. It was a long turgid parade of Latin-derived words. The burghers of Brussels were trying to build a superstate out of abstract nouns.

Management-speak and Euro-blather are Latin at its worst, but learning it will still help you cut through them to find clarity. It is a little harder to bullshit when you’ve learnt Latin (though quite possible to bluster, as Boris Johnson proves). And if you stick at it you discover, after no more than eight or nine years, that this is a glorious language per se.

via LATIN IS THE BEST LANGUAGE | More Intelligent Life.

2.15.13 meteor strike, Russia, BBC News: Wow … 

A meteor crashing in Russia’s Ural mountains has injured at least 950 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.

Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where meteorites fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.

A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.

President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.

A large meteorite landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.

The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.

via BBC News – Meteorites injure hundreds in central Russia.

Sen. Lautenberg,  Rep. Ralph Hall, Rep.  John Dingell, WWII veterans, The Greatest Generation, end of an era, US Congress:  Interesting fact about The Greatest Generation –

Aaron Blake  @FixAaron

Lautenberg is last WWII veteran in the Senate. Two remain in House: Ralph Hall and John Dingell.

The recent death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a celebrated World War II veteran, coincided in many ways with the waning influence of veterans in American politics. There are now only three World War II veterans in Congress: Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas and Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan. Over all, the number of veterans joining Congress has perpetuated a four-decade-long slide.

The interplay between politics, the military and veterans is a complicated subject matter. Although war is supposed to be an extension of politics, we don’t want service members associated with politics. Some historians surmise that Lincoln removed Gen. George B. McClellan, the top Union Army general, partly because General McClellan showed too great of an interest in politics.

In recent decades the number of military veterans in Congress has greatly diminished, but this trend will somewhat reverse as Afghanistan and Iraq veterans come of age. Although this past election cycle was focused on domestic issues and the economy, it will be interesting to analyze whether veterans running for office place a great emphasis on their military service in an election cycle in which foreign policy is a major issue. It will also be interesting to note how veterans of my generation contextualize their service and explain what lessons they learned from our recent wars. Veterans are not a homogenous group, and every veteran takes away a different lesson from military experience.

via The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics – NYTimes.com.

Sports Illustrated,  Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday, NBC Chicago, restaurants, Chicago:  I don’t think anyone has told Chicago that he’s not there anymore …

Ring in MJ’s 50th with this five-course birthday dinner that includes a shrimp cocktail with a 23-spice cocktail sauce and a 50-day dry-aged Wagyu rib eye. Finish things off with a complimentary piece of chocolate layer cake, which also clocks in at 23 layers and will likely put your pants into a Space Jam.

via Michael Jordan’s Birthday – Eat – Near North Side – Thrillist Chicago.

Michael Jordan will turn 50 years old on Feb. 17.

It seems hard to imagine that one of the most iconic figures in the history of basketball is getting up in age. There hasn’t been a parade celebrating an NBA Championship in Chicago since 1998, but it seems like only yesterday that MJ was still in his Bulls uniform and mesmerizing us all as he delivered title after title.

To commemorate Jordan’s 50th birthday, the latest issue of Sports Illustrated will feature MJ on the cover for a record 50th time.

via Sports Illustrated Celebrates Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday | NBC Chicago.

Pier 213 Seafood, restaurants, Atlanta GA, Thrillist Atlanta:  Sounds pretty good to me …

.

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After eight years of providing seafood for ATL restaurant heavyweights eager to turn you into one (Bacchanalia, McKendrick’s Steak House…), the family behind Irvington Seafood in Mobile, AL decided to throw their (presumably cool, floppy sailor’s) hat in the ring with Pier 213: a nautical-themed outpost serving up a variety of fried, grilled, and steamed plates from under the sea. Under the sea!

via Pier 213 Seafood – Eat – Thrillist Atlanta.

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12
Feb
13

2.12.13 … Shrove Tuesday: With this pancake thing … do waffles count? … and WHO speaks Latin these days? …

Shrove Tuesday: With this pancake thing … do waffles count? Great dinner and early valentines celebration with the Molls … 🙂
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Pope resignation, Latin, BBC News, twitter, @StephenAtHome, @dandrezner:  Who speaks Latin these days?  Amazing, but the one journalist in the room who ‘spoke” latin, got the scoop!

“One of the pleasures of Latin is that you don’t have to speak it and of course not many people do. It is charming that the Finns broadcast news in Latin. It doesn’t hurt. But it’s not why you learn Latin,” says Beard.

“You learn it so that you can read what the Romans wrote and what was written in Latin down to the 17th Century. You learn it to read Virgil.”

But can she and her classicist colleagues speak it?

“If you give us some nice claret, and as the claret goes down, we’ll drop our inhibitions and have a go.”

In Europe Latin was still important in the 16th and 17th Century but by the 18th it was already on the wane. It fell out of use first in France and England. “Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687) was the last major work in England to be published in Latin,” says Ostler.

The reporter who broke the news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation got the scoop because she understood his announcement in Latin. How much of it is spoken in the Vatican and elsewhere these days?

There are not many occasions when a reporter needs a grasp of Latin. But one came on Monday when the Pope made a short announcement.

Most of the reporters present had to wait for the Vatican’s official translations into Italian, English and languages that people actually speak.

But not Italian wire service reporter Giovanna Chirri, who had clearly been paying attention in secondary school. Her Latin was up to the job and she broke the story of the pope’s resignation to the world.

Giovanna Chirri, who covers the Vatican for Italian news agency ANSA and knows Latin, heard the Pope’s resignation speech to cardinals

After alerting her news desk, she tweeted in Italian “B16 si e’ dimesso. Lascia pontificato dal 28 febbraio”

Translates as “B16 [Benedict XVI] has resigned. Leaves pontificate from 28 February”

She later tweeted that his Latin was “very easy to understand”

Flurry in the Vatican newsroom

But beyond Chirri how widespread is Latin within the Roman Catholic Church? To what extent does it exist as a spoken language?

In his office at the Vatican, Father Reginald Foster says “we always spoke Latin”. It was Foster’s job to write the Latin for the Church’s official documents and encyclicals.

Now retired to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Foster continues to speak to friends in the Vatican on the phone in Latin. And he still has friends to whom he sends postcards in Latin.

But even while he was writing Latin for the Church he felt he was writing not for the present “but for history”. It is still important he argues that there is a single version of a text which people can consult in case of any doubts about meaning.

To keep Latin alive he has for many years run Aestiva Romae Latinitas in Rome – a two-month immersion course in Latin.

“Latin is a language,” Foster stresses. “It didn’t come down in a golden box from Heaven. You don’t have to be clever to speak it. In ancient Rome it was spoken by poor people, prostitutes and bums.”

via BBC News – Pope resignation: Who speaks Latin these days?.

So what exactly prompted him to resign …

The Vatican is acknowledging for the first time that Pope Benedict XVI has had a pacemaker for years and that its battery was replaced a few months ago in secret.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said Benedict had the pacemaker installed “a long time” before he became pope in 2005. He called the latest medical procedure “routine.”

via Vatican acknowledges that pope had pacemaker – Chicago Sun-Times

Conclave: How cardinals elect a Pope …

Process of choosing a pope

via BBC News – Conclave: How cardinals elect a Pope.

and a few from twitter …

Stephen Colbert ‏@StephenAtHome

What’s the past tense of “Pope”? Puppe? Porpe?

Daniel Drezner ‏@dandrezner

In under ten minutes, @TheDailyShow managed to mash up the Pope’s resignation with Manti Te’o, the GOP, Nate Silver, and Leno/Conan. #funny

Bookshelf, The House Girl, Tara Conklin, Man in the Empty Suit, Sean Ferrell, Eighty Days, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland:  I hate it hen I add 3 books to my list in one day …

The House Girl by Tara Conklin (Goodreads Author)

Alternating between centuries, this novel connects the lives of two women: a plantation house slave in 1852 Virginia and a modern-day New York lawyer who is tasked with finding a slave descendent willing to be the plaintiff in an enormous reparations lawsuit for African Americans. Kiki says, “Great writing, compelling storytelling, and lovely structure helped make an almost unbelievable story…absolutely unforgettable.”

via Goodreads | February 2013 Movers & Shakers.

Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell (Goodreads Author)

Every year for his birthday, a time traveler hops to 2071 Manhattan to celebrate with all the other versions of himself—the ultimate party with both his younger and older selves. But at age 39 in this mind-bending thriller, he discovers his 40-year-old self shot dead in the hotel elevator. Rita calls it “a lightning-paced, intricately woven take on the classic theme ‘man vs. himself’…this thoughtfully riveting story will make you question every decision you’ve ever made in your life.”

via Goodreads | February 2013 Movers & Shakers

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

In November 1889, gutsy journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland left New York City in opposite directions, each hoping to circumnavigate the globe in under 80 days. Their race, chronicled in this nonfiction adventure, pushed the limits of world travel as they defied Victorian mores and created a media frenzy. Jammies says, “Mr. Goodman writes as if he knew his heroines personally, and his fascination with their journeys is infectious…engrossing and satisfying and well worth a read.”

via Goodreads | February 2013 Movers & Shakers.

twitter, @StephenAtHome, @BONESonFOX, Jamie Dimon, @wsj: My source …

Jamie Dimon is the most powerful New Yorker in finance, according to our #NYIndex. Who’s up and who’s down: http://on.wsj.com/14OjKIc

BONES ‏@BONESonFOX

“Civilization is based on rational thought.” – Brennan.

Stephen Colbert ‏@StephenAtHome

Bush’s paintings are all over the internet. Yet we’re STILL waiting for his alt-folk album to drop. Release the tapes, Mr. President!

automation of work, meta-professioanls, Daniel Pink:  

In discussing the automation of work, the former Vice President writes:And robosourcing is beginning to have an impact on journalism. Narrative Science, a robot reporting company founded by two directors of Northwestern University’s Intelligent Information Laboratory, is now producing articles for newspapers and magazines with algorithms that analyze statistical data from sporting events, financial reports, and government studies. One of the cofounders, Kristian Hammond, who is also a professor at the Medill School of Journalism, told me that the business is expanding rapidly into many new fields of journalism. The CEO, Stuart Frankel, said the few human writers who work for the company have become “meta-journalists” who design the templates, frames, and angles into which the algorithm inserts the data.Are we all destined to become meta-journalists, meta-physicians, and meta-teachers? And is this a good thing, a bad thing, or more likely, just a thing?

via Anything you can do, I can do meta. | Daniel Pink.

poetry, The Laughing Heart, Charles Bukowski:  Just liked it …

The Laughing Heart

by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life

don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission

be on the watch.

there are ways out.

there is light somewhere.

it may not be much light but

it beats the darkness.

be on the watch.

the gods will offer you chances.

know them.

take them.

you can’t beat death but

you can beat death in life, sometimes.

and the more often you learn to do it,

the more light there will be.

your life is your life.

know it while you have it.

you are marvelous

the gods wait to delight

in you.

via Farrah Braniff Photoblog.

adventures, Madrid, kith/kin, technology, apps, flighttrack:  So I wake up and note the time … jack’s flight should be somewhere over the atlantic.  Then I pull the flighttracker app  and realize that Jack is indeed, crossing  the Pond … Almost halfway back … Apps can be amazing.

Condoleezza Rice, Immigration Reform Group,  Path To Citizenship:  Big issues … love it that Ms. Rice is on the task force.

WASHINGTON — A new bipartisan task force on immigration reform led by Republicans Condoleezza Rice and Haley Barbour and Democrats Henry Cisneros and Ed Rendell still has a number of issues to resolve, including what may be the most challenging: whether undocumented immigrants currently in the country should be given a pathway to citizenship.

“I come in with an open mind on this,” Rice, former secretary of state to President George W. Bush, told reporters on Monday. “I don’t actually have an exact answer at this point because I think this is actually the hardest and most vexing issue. So I look forward to sharing views with other members of the task force.”

Members’ lack of consensus on certain immigration issues is precisely what makes the group important, according to organizers from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Barbour is a former Republican governor of Mississippi; Cisneros was a Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Bill Clinton; and Ed Rendell is a former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania. They will join with about a dozen other members, yet to be announced, to advocate for immigration reform.

via Condoleezza Rice: Immigration Reform Group Will Discuss Path To Citizenship.

2013 Super Bowl, Ecard,  baseball, someecards.com:

Funny Sports Ecard: The half-hour with no action during the Super Bowl got me excited for baseball season.

via Super Bowl Power Outage Baseball Football Funny Ecard | Sports Ecard | someecards.com.

UNC, Class of 2017:  Largest pool ever …  seriously worries me about the state of our economy.

A total of 30,689 applications were received in all, surpassing last year’s total of 29,497. This marks the eighth consecutive record year for applications at UNC; during this period, applications to the first-year class have increased by 64 percent.

via UNC News – From 15 percent larger pool, Carolina offers admission to 5,393 in first round.

Atlanta, foodtrucks, Smiley’s Street Eats, po boys, Thrillist Atlanta:  i am a po boy snob … Henri’s or bust.  OK, I’ll track this truck down and give it a try.

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One night, Mrs. Smiley had a dream. In it, she saw a food truck made out of blue jeans, and vowed to make one herself. But since even Destination XL doesn’t have Jordaches in large-automobile size, she and her husband Guy Smiley got a truck, painted it like denim, researched successful food rigs all over the country, and decided to laser-focus on creating 21 of the most ridiculous, delicious po’ boys ever.

via Smiley’s Street Eats – Eat – Thrillist Atlanta.

Daily Meditation: Words That Feed Us, Henri Nouwen: 

When we talk to one another, we often talk about what happened, what we are doing, or what we plan to do. Often we say, “What’s up?” and we encourage one another to share the details of our daily lives. But often we want to hear something else. We want to hear, “I’ve been thinking of you today,” or “I missed you,” or “I wish you were here,” or “I really love you.” It is not always easy to say these words, but such words can deepen our bonds with one another.

Telling someone “I love you” in whatever way is always delivering good news. Nobody will respond by saying, “Well, I knew that already, you don’t have to say it again”! Words of love and affirmation are like bread. We need them each day, over and over. They keep us alive inside.

via Daily Meditation: Words That Feed Us.

Apple, battery drain issue, iOS 6.1:

Rory Cellan-Jones @BBCRoryCJ

According to one source, Apple is preparing to release an update to iOS 6.1 tonight to deal with the battery draining issue

Bill Gates,  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AMA random:  AMA = Ask me anything …

What do you do for fun? I find it hard to fathom how someone like you can just disconnect. Disconnect from the emails, calls ,the media. All of it. What would be your definition of a chill and fun day? Edit-Thanks for the gold!

I love playing tennis. I am  an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it – it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona),… I read a lot and watch courses (online or the Learning Company)..

Casually tours the LHC. The jealousy is strong.

Ask me anything.

via I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AMA : IAmA.

Leonardo, ‘The British Library , The Atlantic:  pretty amazing …

The British Library has been digitizing some of its prize pieces and they announced a new round of six artifacts had been completed including Beowulf, a gold-ink penned Gospel, and one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks.

“Each of these six manuscripts is a true splendour, and has immense significance in its respective field, whether that be Anglo-Saxon literature, Carolingian or Flemish art, or Renaissance science and learning,” Julian Harrison, the library’s curator of medieval artifacts, blogged. “On Digitised Manuscripts you’ll be able to view every page in full and in colour, and to see the finer details using the deep zoom facility.”

All of these texts can be appreciated on a visual level, particularly because the scans are so good. Even the grain of the paper is fascinating.

via Leonardo’s Notebook Digitized in All Its Befuddling Glory – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

trees, FYI, Explore:  Very useful ..

A visual guide to trees. Complement with Herman Hesse’s poetic meditation on trees.

Revit RPC Tree Guide from a Revit User « Archvision’s Blog.

Downton Abbey: A little Downton fun for you …

this is probably one of the most amazing pictures in history.via Pedro Hogan.

Photo: okay. this is probably one of the most amazing pictures in history.

Photo

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9.24.2011 ‎… nice visit with Jimbo, Joni and Bob, and John … then off to Davidson to see Moneyball in it’s great movie theater and Moneyball was great …

Davidson NC, movie, places:  Davidson has a fun movie theater … worth the drive for a date night!  10 best new places, uptown and beyond – Our Town Cinemas

Moneyball, movies, baseball, music:  Moneyball was great fun … even had sentimental chick flick theme in the subplot.And I loved the daughter’s song …

When Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts attends home games at Wrigley Field, he spends part of the day hearing from fans who have endured more than a century without a World Series Championship.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than 1 million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday,starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane. Matthew Futterman on Lunch Break discusses how the book changed the game.

He must endure inevitable questions about “Moneyball,” Michael Lewis’s 2003 best seller about baseball’s statistical revolution. Fans used to ask owners when they’re going to trade for a starting pitcher; now they beg for a computer whiz to swoop in and save the franchise.

“It comes up all the time,” says Mr. Ricketts, whose family bought the Cubs two years ago. “The fans hope that the decisions made on the baseball side are made with the evidence at hand.” He doesn’t mind at all: he’s pushing for more such analysis himself.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than one million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday, starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane.

“Moneyball” allowed the business world to see sports in terms of strategic tools, especially in environments where resources are scarce and innovation becomes a requirement.

“It’s about how to price assets, and that’s something that’s germane whether you’re running Chrysler or Goldman Sachs or the Oakland A’s,” says George Will, the political columnist and author of the baseball book “Men at Work.”

Beyond that, “Moneyball” celebrated measurements at exactly the time when computers and simple programs were exponentially increasing the speed at which the educated working public could analyze data and hold everyone from second basemen to third-grade teachers accountable for their results.

John Challenger, principal of the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, remembers reading “Moneyball” for the first time, then going out and buying copies for each of his top managers. In his view, this was the first book to coherently address the issue of finding the key measurements that will help you run your business, the kind of data that a company like General Electric sought tirelessly for decades.

“People thought it was crazy,” Mr. Challenger said of GE’s approach. “Moneyball” gave everybody a way to understand and think about it, and everybody finally got it.”

via Baseball After Moneyball – WSJ.com.

Lenka – The Show (With Lyrics) – YouTube.

education, early achievers:   I have seen this happen … there must be a solution.

The study, “Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?,” builds on a previous report from Fordham that suggests nationwide policies aimed at making schools more accountable for improving low-performing students’ achievement are hurting the brightest students. That 2008 report found that from 2000 to 2007, achievement for students who were the highest performers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was flat, while the lowest-performing students improved dramatically.

Unlike NAEP, which compares different cohorts of students, the MAP data analyzed for the Fordham study compared individual students with themselves.

The new study also found that while some high-achieving students faltered, other students developed into high performers as they got older, although those students were likely to have scored between the 50th and 80th percentiles in the first place. In addition, many of the initially high-achieving students whose test scores fell below the 90th percentile after a few years didn’t fall far. Many scored in the 70th percentile or higher years later.

Role of NCLB Law

The Fordham authors also acknowledge that the idea that all high-achieving students will remain that way indefinitely is “naive, … just as it’s naive to expect 100 percent of students to reach ‘proficient,’ ” which is the mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act. Signed into law in 2002, No Child Left Behind is the current version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Reauthorization of the ESEA is stalled in Congress. Later this week, President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a package of waivers that would give states wiggle room on some of the current law’s requirements.

via Education Week: Early Achievers Losing Ground, Study Finds.

knitting, Martha Stewart:   Some people compare knitting to yoga.  Maybe I will let Martha teach me to knit.

The Basics of Knitting

Learn how to knit your own mittens, hats, scarves, and more. Here we take you through the step-by-step instructions and teach you how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off.

There are two basic knitting styles, the English method and the German/Continental method, but the only real difference lies in how the yarn is held.

With the English method, the working yarn is held in the right hand; with the German/Continental method, it is held in the left. While both methods produce equally fine results, here we use the German/Continental method.

via The Basics of Knitting – How to Knit – Knitting – MarthaStewart.com.

“Le Lac Annecy”,  Paul Cezanne, painting, art, Talloires FR:  I was thinking about Talloires last night and researched Cezanne’s painting.  Learned something new …

Richard Verdi (in Cézanne) has described this painting, simple in form but highly complex in its prismatic colours, ‘with no two strokes of blue or green appearing exactly the same in size hue or direction’. Verdi notes, for example, that ‘while house and château on the distant shore are clearly delineated, the landscape around them appears in an inchoate state, as though still awaiting further resolution.’ This illustrates a general feature of the artist’s approach: rather than distinguishing foreground from background through the degree of detail applied to forms, Cézanne concentrated attention on objects at different points in space. While Cézanne saw in this his difficulty in realizing the full complexity of nature, the result was paintings that have ‘an unparalleled vitality and lay bare the formative process of painting as few other works of art do.’

via Some Landscapes: Lac d’Annecy.

Twitter, restaurants, foodies, Zagat:  Zagat, you are crazy … who is going to follow 140 restaurants and foodies.

Not sure who to follow in the foodie Twitterverse? Check out our indispensable guide to 140 must-read accounts, including chefs, food media and restaurants.

via Who to Follow on Twitter: 140 Restaurants and Foodies | Zagat.

food trucks: I only know of one food truck in Charlotte, and it is not crazy-looking.  Like pop-up stores, we are just not on the cutting edge.  🙂

Some food-truck proprietors have gone beyond the norm with design, creating totally wacky vehicles from which to dole out their grub. And we don’t just mean a friendly coat of paint or a cute awning – some sport elaborate murals and sculptures, and one even resembles the animal served on its menu.

via The 8 Craziest-Looking Food Trucks | Zagat.

foursquare, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, social networking:   OK … Still want to know why I would use foursquare???  What does KK doughnuts get …

All of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s Tips

Here are all of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s insider Tips. Whip up a List of the best ones, so you can experience the world through their eyes.

via foursquare :: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts :: Tips.

Eve’s Diary, book, Mark Twain, Banned Books Week:  I wonder if our public library has any banned books?

Trustees of the Charlton Public Library lifted the 1906 ban earlier this week of “Eve’s Diary,” Twain’s satirical version of the Adam and Eve story, said Cheryl Hansen, the library’s director.

Two paperback copies were made available at the library in central Massachusetts on Thursday and, within hours, one of them was in a reader’s hands, she said.

“I think there’ll be a lot of interest in taking it out,” Hansen added, saying the unanimous vote to lift the ban came just in time for Banned Books Week, which begins on Saturday.

A library trustee learned about the ban from a local newspaper article and last year tracked down a first edition of the book, which will be on display through next week, she said.

via Library lifts 1906 ban on Mark Twain book | Reuters.

Palestine, U.N. Statehood Bid, 2012 Presidential Election, foreign affairs:   This really is going to be the 2012 Presidential Election foreign affairs issue.

Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the U.N. Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of troubled negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would re-energize their quest for an independent homeland.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hands over a formal letter for Palestine to be admitted as a state to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Earlier in the week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an intense, U.S.-led effort to sway him from the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as planned.

“We’re going without any hesitation and continuing despite all the pressures,” Mr. Abbas told members of the Palestinian diaspora at a hotel in New York on Thursday night. “We seek to achieve our right and we want our independent state.” Shortly before noon on Friday, Mr. Ban’s spokesman tweeted, “President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General UNSG.”

In his letter to Mr. Ban accompanying the application, Mr. Abbas asked the U.N. chief to immediately forward the request for full U.N. membership to the Security Council and the General Assembly, according to a top aide. The General Assembly will likely be asked to approve a more-modest status upgrade if the bid in the council founders as expected.

via Palestinians Submit U.N. Statehood Bid – WSJ.com.

Wall Street Banks, BofA:  I am getting tired of words like “bruising.”  I can’t tell you how much this thrills me … “Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.”

Third-quarter revenue expectations at six big U.S. banks—Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman and Morgan—have fallen 7% since midyear, according to analysts surveyed by data provider FactSet Research Systems. That is the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The banks’ pain has widespread implications on Wall Street and across the country. Weaker banks will likely lend less, pressuring an economy already flirting with recession. Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.

via Wall Street Banks Taking a Bruising – WSJ.com.

Cure Bad Breath,  YouTube, marketing, Wal-Mart:   OK, I might check out  “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?”  🙂

Can a YouTube video bring in big business? If it goes viral, it just might.

On Tuesday, Provo, Utah-based Orabrush Inc. announced its flagship product – a tongue cleaner – would be carried in 3,500 of Wal-Mart Inc.’s 3,800 U.S. stores thanks to a social-media campaign launched two years ago.

[SBtongue1]

Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, Jeffrey Harmon, (left) and Robert Wagstaff, the company’s founder, watch YouTube videos.>

Orabrush initially marketed its tongue cleaners directly to consumers with a TV infomercial in mid-2008, according to founder Bob Wagstaff, who invented the product. But the strategy didn’t perform well.

“We spent $40,000 on it and sold practically nothing,” says the 76-year-old, who next cold-called several large retailers, asking them to carry the product, to no avail.

Unsure why his efforts failed, Mr. Wagstaff approached a marketing professor at Brigham Young University about his dilemma. The professor agreed to let Mr. Wagstaff solicit students for suggestions on how to get the word out. One student suggested creating a YouTube video and volunteered to take up the task. Mr. Wagstaff accepted the offer, which resulted in a comedic two-minute video that cost about $500 to make. It quickly went viral and a series of related videos also made by the same student, now Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, followed soon after.

Today, the company has its own YouTube channel that boasts more than 39 million views and 160,000 subscribers, who get alerts whenever a new video is posted to it. The channel, called Cure Bad Breath, is the third most popular YouTube channel behind OldSpice (No. 1) Apple (No. 2), according to Vidstax.com, a Web-analytics firm. Orabrush also has nearly 300,000 fans on Facebook, which the company uses to promote its videos.

Cure Bad Breath features 88 original shorts, all comedies, with titles like “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?” The company’s more recent videos are slicker than the originals and cost more to produce — between $3,000 and $5,000, says Orabrush’s CEO, Jeff Davis. Most of the actors in them are college students and recent graduates, which are also the company’s biggest customers.

Wal-Mart didn’t base its decision to stock the tongue cleaner on Orabrush’s YouTube popularity, says Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, but she notes the company’s YouTube videos likely raised its profile among consumers.

via How a Start-Up Landed Shelf Space at Wal-Mart – WSJ.com.

physics, light speed limit,  Albert Einstein, 1905 special theory of relativity: Just when we think we understand the world  ” … appears to violate the laws of nature as we know them.”

Physicists on the team that measured particles traveling faster than light said Friday they were as surprised as their skeptics about the results, which appear to violate the laws of nature as we know them.

Hundreds of scientists packed an auditorium at one of the world’s foremost laboratories on the Swiss-French border to hear how a subatomic particle, the neutrino, was found to have outrun light and confounded the theories of Albert Einstein.

“To our great surprise we found an anomaly,” said Antonio Ereditato, who participated in the experiment and speaks on behalf of the team.

An anomaly is a mild way of putting it.

Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen, according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity. The speed of light — 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second) — has long been considered a cosmic speed limit.

The team — a collaboration between France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research and Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory — fired a neutrino beam 454 miles (730 kilometers) underground from Geneva to Italy.

They found it traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than light. That’s sixty billionth of a second, a time no human brain could register.

Physicists not involved in the experiment have been understandably skeptical.

Alvaro De Rujula, a theoretical physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside Geneva from where the neutron beam was fired, said he blamed the readings on a so-far undetected human error.

If not, and it’s a big if, the door would be opened to some wild possibilities.

The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

But Ereditato and his team are wary of letting such science fiction story lines keep them up at night.

“We will continue our studies and we will wait patiently for the confirmation,” he told the AP. “Everybody is free to do what they want: to think, to claim, to dream.”

He added: “I’m not going to tell you my dreams.”

via Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet – WSJ.com.

NBA lockout, Steph Curry:  What is bad for the NBA is good for Davidson … the longer the lockout, the closer Steph is to a Davidson degree.

The NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached a new labor deal with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

NBA.com’s schedule page, which has a banner across the top listing the number of games on each day, was changed Friday morning to read “0 Games” for each date until Oct. 16, when there are four games.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The cancellations were expected after the latest meeting between owners and players Thursday ended without a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides still hope the entire regular season, scheduled to begin Nov. 1, can be saved.

The NBA has lost games to a work stoppage only once, when the 1998-99 season was reduced to a 50-game schedule.

via NBA postpones camps, cancels 43 preseason games – ESPN.

Davidson College, vandalism,  community bike program, honor code:  Very disappointing … you would think Davidson would be the perfect place for a community bike program.

The system was convenient for those who did not have bikes on campus, or who were unexpectedly running late to class. They were also a pleasant surprise to many, who found them sitting outside their dorm, the library, the Union or on Chambers lawn. The bikes did not have to be locked up or left in a secure location, which made them extremely convenient.

Of course since the bikes were limited in number, completely public and in high demand, they were never in one place for long. This inconvenience aside, the program was in place for many years here, and many other campuses across the country maintain similar programs.

Why was such a useful and popular program discontinued? Unfortunately, it appears that the strong Davidson sense of honor and responsibility wavered when it came to these bikes.

“They were stolen, damaged and some were even thrown off of buildings,” Jeannie Kinnett ’12 said. “Since there were no repercussions for damaging them, and no way to ensure their maintenance, the Activities Tax Council decided that funding them this year would not be worth it since they would be trashed anyway.”

There were efforts by Davidson Outdoors and other organizations to improve student treatment of the bikes, but this was largely ineffective. They were being damaged and stolen faster than they could be repaired or replaced.

“I once found one on the side of the road on Main Street,” Samanvitha Sridhar ’14 said. “I tried to ride it, but the tires were completely deflated, so I fell. It was pretty awful, and after that, I avoided the bikes because they all seemed to be in bad condition or broken.” One bike was even found in a drug bust.

Though Davidson students take great pride in their honor code, it is difficult to enforce any sort of regulation on the treatment of public property that changes hands on an hourly basis. Ironically, the program’s initial success was due to the honor code, which has now become its downfall.

Many students are not happy about the end of the program. “While I understand why the decision was made to end the community bikes program, I think that it was a useful resource for many students and I’m sad to see it go.” Denton Baird ’14 said.

Perhaps one day the community bikes program will be reinstituted, perhaps not. Either way, it brings to light the fact that, though the Honor Code is a source of pride for every Davidson student, when tested at least a few students take advantage of the benefits it affords. Our community is also accessible to a wider public that does not share our mutual pact.

via Theft, vandalism kill community bike program – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Duke Energy, green energy:  Buying energy or energy credits … very complicated.

Carolinas is seeking bids from companies that produce power from wind projects to sell the electricity and credits to Duke to help it meet state renewable-energy requirements.

Duke filed its long-range power-generation plan with state regulators this month. The plan calls for an increased reliance on wind power in the early years of the 20-year plan. About 12% of the renewable energy Duke provides by 2015 is expected to come from wind projects.

This is the first request Duke has made for bids from wind producers since filing that plan. The company says that power or credits will have to come from projects 50 megawatts to 300 megawatt in size. And the proposals must offer a minimum of 60,000-megawatt hours annually.

via Duke Energy asks for bids to sell wind power – Charlotte Business Journal.

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9.19.2011 … ChristCare then relaxing to disappointing new season of tv

ChristCare, FPC, Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast:  FPC runs a ChristCare  small group ministry.  I belong to a multigenerational women’s group, and we are starting a book written by a former FPC minister in 1977.  We are reading Lee Stoffel’s Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast.  So far it is excellent and it challenges you to ask how much has changed in 30+ years.

How I Met Your Mother, new season, tv:  I hate to say this … but I think i like to watch the whole season in a short period.  I think I like the instant gratification!

autism, culture, community:  Great article about integrating autistic adults communities.

As planned, he arrived that morning with a portfolio of his comic strips and charcoal sketches, some of which were sold through a Chelsea gallery. Kate Stanton-Paule, the teacher who had set up the meeting, accompanied him. But his first words upon entering the office were, like most things involving Justin, not in the script.

“Hello, everybody,” he announced, loud enough to be heard behind the company president’s door. “This is going to be my new job, and you are going to be my new friends.”

As the employees exchanged nervous glances that morning in January 2010, Ms. Stanton-Paule, the coordinator of a new kind of “transition to adulthood” program for special education students at Montclair High School, wondered if they were all in over their heads.

Justin, who barely spoke until he was 10, falls roughly in the middle of the spectrum of social impairments that characterize autism, which affects nearly one in 100 American children. He talks to himself in public, has had occasional angry outbursts, avoids eye contact and rarely deviates from his favorite subject, animation.  His unabashed expression of emotion and quirky sense of humor endear him to teachers, therapists and relatives. Yet at 20, he had never made a true friend.

People with autism, whose unusual behaviors are believed to stem from variations in early brain development, typically disappear from public view after they leave school. As few as one in 10 hold even part-time jobs. Some live in state-supported group homes; even those who attend college often end up unemployed and isolated, living with parents.

But Justin is among the first generation of autistic youths who have benefited throughout childhood from more effective therapies and hard-won educational opportunities. And Ms. Stanton-Paule’s program here is based on the somewhat radical premise that with intensive coaching in the workplace and community — and some stretching by others to include them — students like Justin can achieve a level of lifelong independence that has eluded their predecessors.

“There’s a prevailing philosophy that certain people can never function in the community,” Ms. Stanton-Paule told skeptics. “I just don’t think that’s true.”

With some 200,000 autistic teenagers set to come of age in the United States over the next five years alone, little is known about their ability to participate fully in public life, or what it would take to accommodate them. Across the country, neighbors, employers, colleagues and strangers are warily interacting with young adults whose neurological condition many associate only with children.

via Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World – NYTimes.com.

Arab Spring, diplomacy, international relations: Long term relationships are up in the air.  I had not thought of the long-term consequences of this move toward democracy in the middle east.

While the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring created new opportunities for American diplomacy, the tumult has also presented the United States with challenges — and worst-case scenarios — that would have once been almost unimaginable.

What if the Palestinians’ quest for recognition of a state at the United Nations, despite American pleas otherwise, lands Israel in the International Criminal Court, fuels deeper resentment of the United States, or touches off a new convulsion of violence in the West Bank and Gaza?

Or if Egypt, emerging from decades of autocratic rule under President Hosni Mubarak, responds to anti-Israeli sentiments on the street and abrogates the Camp David peace treaty, a bulwark of Arab-Israeli stability for three decades?

“We’re facing an Arab awakening that nobody could have imagined and few predicted just a few years ago,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a recent interview with reporters and editors of The New York Times. “And it’s sweeping aside a lot of the old preconceptions.”

It may also sweep aside, or at least diminish, American influence in the region. The bold vow on Friday by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to seek full membership at the United Nations amounted to a public rebuff of weeks of feverish American diplomacy. His vow came on top of a rapid and worrisome deterioration of relations between Egypt and Israel and between Israel and Turkey, the three countries that have been the strongest American allies in the region.

Diplomacy has never been easy in the Middle East, but the recent events have so roiled the region that the United States fears being forced to take sides in diplomatic or, worse, military disputes among its friends. Hypothetical outcomes seem chillingly present. What would happen if Turkey, a NATO ally that the United States is bound by treaty to defend, sent warships to escort ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to do?

via Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington – NYTimes.com.

adoption scandal, China, U.S. ramifications:  Chills … I know many families who have adopted from China, and this literally sent chills down my spine.

On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized babies from their parents and sold them into what the article called “a lucrative black market in children.”

The news, the latest in a slow trickle of reports describing child abduction and trafficking in China, swept through the tight communities of families — many of them in the New York area — who have adopted children from China. For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents?

And from that question, inevitably, tumble others: What can or should adoptive parents do? Try to find the birth parents? And if they could, what then?

Scott Mayer, who with his wife adopted a girl from southern China in 2007, said the article’s implications hit him head on. “I couldn’t really think straight,” Mr. Mayer said. His daughter, Keshi, is 5 years old — “I have to tell you, she’s brilliant,” he said proudly — and is a mainstay of his life as a husband and a father.

“What I felt,” he said, “was a wave of heat rush over me.”

Like many adoptive parents, Mr. Mayer can recount the emotionally exhausting process he and his wife went through to get their daughter, and can describe the warm home they have strived to provide. They had been assured that she, like thousands of other Chinese girls, was abandoned in secret by her birth parents, left in a public place with a note stating her date of birth.

But as he started to read about the Hunan cases, he said, doubts flooded in. How much did he — or any adoptive parent — really know about what happened on the other side of the world? Could Keshi have been taken by force, or bought by the orphanage in order to reap the thousands of dollars that American parents like him donate when they get their children?

In his home in Montclair, N.J., Mr. Mayer rushed upstairs to re-examine the adoption documents.

According to the news reports, the children were removed from their families when they were several months old, then taken to the orphanages. “The first thing I did was look in my files,” he said, speaking in deliberative, unsparing sentences. According to his paperwork, his daughter had been found on a specific date, as a newborn.

He paused to weigh the next thought.

“Now, could that have been faked?” he said. “Perhaps. I don’t know. But at least it didn’t say she was 3 months old when she was left at the orphanage.”

According to the State Department, 64,043 Chinese children were adopted in the United States between 1999 and 2010, far more than from any other country. Child abduction and trafficking have plagued other international adoption programs, notably in Vietnam and Romania, and some have shut down to stop the black market trade.

via China’s Adoption Scandal Sends Chills Through Families in U.S. – NYTimes.com.

fashion, copies: I always think it interesting how fast they copy … Who Wore it First? – Fall Fashion Trends 2011 – Fashion – InStyle

PostSecret, PostSecret App:  There was something really fun about checking PostSecret on Sunday … I think this will take away from that.  Although I do think more will post.

I started PostSecret six years ago in Washington, DC by passing out postcards to strangers and inviting them to illustrate a secret and mail it to me. Quickly, word of the project spread virally around the world. Today I have a pile of anonymous secrets taller than me – more than 600,000.

Now I’m excited about the new PostSecret App that allows users to discover secrets from their cities or schools, create and share anonymous secrets with their phone, and connect with like-minded people. In this special collection made for Huffington Post readers, I have included five provocative secrets mailed to me on postcards and five secrets shared with the new PostSecret App, and a trailer that explains how the app works.

via Frank Warren: EXCLUSIVE: New PostSecret Post Cards.

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer – Medal Of Honor Recipient, White House, White House home brew, President Obama: I thought it pretty gutsy that Mr. Meyer asked for the face time.  And I want some White House Honey Blonde!

Talk about an all-American beer.

Barack Obama and the White House chefs have been brewing beer for quite some time, and on Wednesday, the president shared some of the White House Honey Ale with a Medal of Honor recipient.

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer had requested to share a beer with the president before the ceremony, CBS reports.

The Honey Ale is the first beer brewed in the White House, but Obama is not the first president to take on the hobby, according to historians.

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were brewing aficionados, but Jefferson never made beer at the White House, and Washington, of course, never lived there, White House curator Bill Allman told NPR.

Early reports of the White House-brewed beer began circulating after Obama offered it to guests guests during the Super Bowl this year, CBS reports. The beer was also consumed on St. Patty’s Day.

Obama Foodorama, a blog focusing on the administration’s food and nutrition initiatives, reports that the Honey Ale isn’t the only beer that’s been brewed by the chefs. A White House Honey Blonde and a White House Honey Porter have also been created.

The Obamas paid for all of the brewing equipment out of pocket, according to CBS.

The casual meeting between Obama and Meyer didn’t end without controversy, though.

White House staffers Tweeted a photo of the two men talking over drinks Wednesday, which elicited both sincere praise and snarky remarks about the president, the Washington Post points out.

Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor on Thursday for his service in Afghanistan.

via White House Brews Its Own Beer; Obama Shares A Drink With Dakota Meyer, Medal Of Honor Recipient.

writing, tipsUncreative Writing – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

House Speaker John Boehner, politics, democrats v republicans, jobs creation/deficit reduction:  Irony here …

House Speaker John Boehner just gave a speech outlining the GOP’s ideas for jobs creation and its prescriptions for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I thought I’d highlight two sentences from it. There was this:

If we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the “my way or the highway” philosophy behind.

And there was also this:

Tax increases, however, are not a viable option for the Joint Committee.

The juxtaposition of those two sentences perfectly encapsulate the last two and a half years of United States political history. And who knows — it may end up encapsulating what’s left of Obama’s term, too.

via Two sentences from John Boehner’s speech – The Plum Line – The Washington Post.

travel, guidebooks, NYC, LOL: Sounds like fun … I wonder how long it takes.

The Italian art house publishing group Log607 is testing conventional wisdom that guidebooks should be fact-based with a series of fictional-narrative guides that force tourists to go on treasure hunts. These “WhaiWhai” guides have been popular in Italy for a few years now, but had not been released for any city outside the boot until this week when New York: The Pegleg hit bookstores.

The book concerns the legend of a magical pegleg that once belonged to Peter Stuyvesant, and asks readers — who might better be described as participants — to go to different Manhattan landmarks in search for “secrets.” Each page of each guidebook is cut into thirds and participants are given codes that tell them how to put a page together whenever they correctly solve a puzzle by identifying a detail about New York (a la the number of women depicted on a Broadway Theater’s facade).

In an effort to determine whether treasure hunt-style guidebooks might become a fad, HuffPost Travel editors Paul Brady and Andrew Burmon took to the streets and tried to uncover the secrets of the pegleg. The experiment went swimmingly, providing our stand-in travelers with an excellent excuse to get out of the office and wander around downtown Manhattan. They made some interesting discoveries along the way, but also found this creative guidebook model a bit of an uneasy compromise.

The book is clearly intended to create opportunities for serendipity and exploration while also being very opinionated about where travelers should go next.

via New York: The Pegleg: A Guidebook That’s Actually A Treasure Hunt (VIDEO).

Tim Gruber, high school sports, high school cross-country, kudos:  Kudos, Tim Gruber!

Tim Gruber won the 13th annual Cannon Invitational Cross Country Invitational boys’ race on Saturday, Sept. 17, on his home 5K course at Cannon. Lake Norman Charter School won the team title with 73 points, edging North Raleigh Christian with 77.

via Gruber wins Cannon Invite, other local runners shine | Sports.

French macarons, cookbooks:  I want to master French macarons! Macarons – Anthropologie.com.

reform education, great schools revolution:

Why now? One answer is the sheer amount of data available on performance, not just within countries but between them. In 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD, a rich-country club, began tracking academic attainment by the age of 15 in 32 countries. Many were shocked by where they came in the rankings. (PISA’s latest figures appear in table 1.) Other outfits, too, have been measuring how good or bad schools are. McKinsey, a consultancy, has monitored which education systems have improved most in recent years.

Technology has also made a difference. After a number of false starts, many people now believe that the internet can make a real difference to educating children. Hence the success of institutions like America’s Kahn Academy (see article). Experimentation is also infectious; the more governments try things, the more others examine, and copy, the results.

Above all, though, there has been a change in the quality of the debate. In particular, what might be called “the three great excuses” for bad schools have receded in importance. Teachers’ unions have long maintained that failures in Western education could be blamed on skimpy government spending, social class and cultures that did not value education. All these make a difference, but they do not determine outcomes by themselves.

The idea that good schooling is about spending money is the one that has been beaten back hardest. Many of the 20 leading economic performers in the OECD doubled or tripled their education spending in real terms between 1970 and 1994, yet outcomes in many countries stagnated—or went backwards. Educational performance varies widely even among countries that spend similar amounts per pupil. Such spending is highest in the United States—yet America lags behind other developed countries on overall outcomes in secondary education. Andreas Schleicher, head of analysis at PISA, thinks that only about 10% of the variation in pupil performance has anything to do with money.

Many still insist, though, that social class makes a difference. Martin Johnson, an education trade unionist, points to Britain’s “inequality between classes, which is among the largest in the wealthiest nations” as the main reason why its pupils underperform. A review of reforms over the past decade by researchers at Oxford University supports him. “Despite rising attainment levels,” it concludes, “there has been little narrowing of longstanding and sizeable attainment gaps. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds remain at higher risks of poor outcomes.” American studies confirm the point; Dan Goldhaber of the University of Washington claims that “non-school factors”, such as family income, account for as much as 60% of a child’s performance in school.

via Reforming education: The great schools revolution | The Economist.

Ted Williams, heroes, baseball:   “the greatest achievement in 20th-century hitting” and “a lesson to all who value the best in human possibility.”

In an essay within the 1994 book “Ted Williams: A Portrait in Words and Pictures,” the Harvard paleontologist and popular science writer Stephen Jay Gould called Williams’s 1941 season “the greatest achievement in 20th-century hitting” and “a lesson to all who value the best in human possibility.”

via Ted Williams’s .406 Average Is More Than a Number – NYTimes.com.

John Maynard Keynes, economics, graphics:  Very interesting article … love the graphic!  Winston Churchill of economics!

FOR someone who’s been dead for 65 years, John Maynard Keynes has amazing presence. Open a paper, click on a blog or TV, and, voilà, like Waldo, he’s everywhere. The British economic oracle — whose boyhood nickname Snout should tell you that a pretty face isn’t why he’s hot — gets more Google hits than Leonardo DiCaprio. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas apparently got so fed up with the old scene stealer that he interrupted a recent Republican debate to flash his rivals the news that Keynes was, well, deceased.

For some, Keynes is the hero who rescued the West from the Great Depression, for others the villain to blame for the current mess. To me, he’s neither, but rather the Winston Churchill of economics, radiating optimism when things looked bleakest, never so happily engaged as in a national or global emergency.

The new, cheerful social science that Marshall pioneered and Keynes and others innovated was a genuine revolution in human thinking that changed the lives of everyone on the globe. What would Keynes say if he were, say, to appear on CNBC tomorrow? That we’ve overcome a dozen challenges as bad or worse, that the tenfold rise in standards since Jane Austen’s lifetime shows that we’ve done more things right than wrong, and that the “apparatus of the mind” — which demands that we let facts change our minds, engage our critics and see common ground — is infinitely more helpful in a crisis than ideology or raw emotion.

And what would Keynes do now? Go shopping, I suspect. This was the “incorrigible optimist,” his biographer Robert Skidelsky relates, who made a big bet on the United States recovery in 1936 and hung on when it collapsed again in 1937. It may have looked like midnight but Keynes knew that morning would come again.

via John Maynard Keynes – His sunny optimism shaped economists’ approach to depression. – NYTimes.com.

Republican governors, politics, republican v. democrat:  Governors are a different breed from Members of Congress and their politics can vary much more … think Romney and Perry.

But the four Republicans’ uncompromising and unapologetic stance marks them out, says Carolyn Fiddler of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, an outfit dedicated to getting more Democrats elected to state legislatures. She notes that they have all attempted to cut taxes even as they slash spending. Mr Kasich’s budget compounded an $8 billion two-year shortfall by eliminating Ohio’s inheritance tax and pressing ahead with a promised income-tax cut that had been delayed for two years. Mr Walker piled $200m in tax cuts onto a $3.2 billion gap in Wisconsin. Mr Scott, who already needed to find cuts of $3.7 billion to make ends meet, proposed $2 billion in tax cuts, but was rebuffed by the legislature.

All this has made the four heroes in Republican circles. Mr Christie is constantly swatting away pleas that he run for president. Mr Walker is spoken of as vice-presidential material. Their pugnaciousness has energised donors and activists. But it has not endeared them to the general electorate. Polls over the summer put Mr Christie’s approval rating at 47%, Mr Walker’s at 45%, Mr Kasich’s at 36% and Mr Scott’s at 35%—especially dismal numbers for the three who have been in office for less than a year.

It is a standard tactic to get unpleasant tasks out of the way at the beginning of a four-year term, in the hope that anger will have faded by election time. It worked for Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana, another swing state. But Messrs Kasich and Walker, in particular, seem to have stirred unusually fierce opposition.

via Republican governors: The right’s brave swingers | The Economist.

2012 Primaries, media primary coverage:  Interesting article – should national media cover all the candidates … is there a journalistic obligation?

JONATHAN BERNSTEIN makes an excellent point:

The other thing that’s important to remember is that there is no actual good reason for either parties or the press to be fair to candidates. They should be fair to voters, either individually or as they exist in organized groups and constituencies. But candidates? Nope.

There’s no reason at all why Herman Cain or Rick Santorum “deserves” to be covered. Ron Paul is different: he has no chance to win the Republican nomination, but he has a fervent following of supporters nationwide and is a national political figure in his own right amongst the small but ideologically influential libertarian constituency. But for the rest of this year’s vanity candidates, I’d actually go further than Mr Bernstein does: the press is doing the public a disservice by covering them. The mainstream media’s job ought to be filtering out the irrelevant noise for busy voters so that they can process the information they need to have in order to vote. To the extent major press organs fail to filter out irrelevant noise, they’re not doing their jobs.

via Primary coverage: The media should be fair to voters, not candidates | The Economist.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.),  2012 Election:  Everything may be worse under Obama, but the republicans are doing everything to lose the election in my opinion.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that “everything is worse” under President Barack Obama.

“This is our election to lose,” Graham told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked for his assessment of the GOP candidates and the 2012 race.

“President Obama has done everything he knows how to do to beat himself. The reason people have little confidence in President Obama’s policies, they’re just not working. Everything is worse: 2 million people unemployed after he took office. Gas prices are 100 percent higher. Home values are down. Debt is up by 35 percent”

“There seems to be no relief on the horizon,” Graham said. “He keeps proposing the same old things.”

Graham’s remarks ran counter to the perspective offered earlier in the program by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who was optimistic about Obama’s reelection prospects.

“As I listen to the Republican presidential nominee candidates come forward and spot their ideas and bow and genuflect to the Tea Party and their agenda, I remember the Tea Party is not very popular in America,” Durbin told Crowley.

“I don’t think people like that style of politics.”

via Lindsey Graham: 2012 Election Is GOP’s To Lose, ‘Everything Is Worse’ Under Obama.

Is Marriage for White People?, books, culture:  Interesting question.

The unmarried black woman is a figure of cultural fascination these days. Cable news specials, popular books by Steve Harvey and T. D. Jakes, the films of Tyler Perry, and newspaper articles about single black women and their children born out of wedlock send waves of dismay through the American public. The explanations offered for this phenomenon tend to be of two sorts: prurient accounts of black male promiscuity and irresponsibility, or caricatures of aggressive and unreasonable black women. It is rare for the popular media to include careful social or historical analyses. Rather, they are often purveyors of a moral panic presented without root or reason.

Upon reading the title “Is Marriage for White People?” I assumed the book, by the Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks, would follow in this trend. But I was wrong. Banks doesn’t offer a jeremiad about the decline of black family values in the way of so many others who do little more than regurgitate Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which described black family structure as “a tangle of pathology.” Refreshingly, Banks offers a well-researched and probing discussion of why marriage rates are so low among black Americans.

In clean and efficient prose, Banks presents a lucid picture of romantic life in black America. Moreover, he disposes of the mythology that the failure to marry is primarily an underclass phenomenon, turning his attention especially to the lives of middle-class black women. He has set out to answer the question: Why are black women “half as likely as white women to be married, and more than three times as likely as white women never to marry”?

via Is Marriage for White People? — By Ralph Richard Banks — Book Review – NYTimes.com.

message bottle, random:  I always wanted to put a message in a bottle … nice story.

The clear glass bottle was found Thursday by Navy Petty Officer Jon Moore during a beach cleanup at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai island.

The bottle contained four origami cranes — symbols of peace in Japan — as well as a photo of Arikawa’s elementary school class and a note dated March 25, 2006, and signed by Arikawa saying she wanted it to be “a graduation memory.”

News of the bottle’s recovery reconnected more than a dozen of her old classmates, now studying at different high schools, and their elementary school homeroom teacher for a reunion Saturday. Arikawa says she now wants to further expand the circle of friendship.

via Japanese girl thanks US sailor in Hawaii for finding message bottle, calls it a ‘miracle’ – The Washington Post.

GOP, “Right to Death Party”, 2012 Presidential Debates:  I too was shocked by the crowd’s response … another example of the GOP going down the wrong rabbit hole.

I’ve watched the two Republican Party debates, and something weird is going on in the audience.

When moderator Brian Williams said to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “Your state has executed 234 Death Row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times,” the audience APPLAUDED.

Applause at the number of people executed in Texas?

When Ron Paul was asked by Wolf Blitzer about health insurance, and how an uninsured man who had a medical emergency should be treated, the Texas Congressman said:

“That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks.”

The audience cheered.

Paul continued: “This whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody …”

“Are you saying that society should just let him die?” Blitzer asked.

There were cheers from the audience of “Yeah!”

How about these guys – applauding even before Ron Paul answered the question!

Now, I haven’t been to church in years, but I seem to remember the question of “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And something about “Thou shall not kill.”

So how is it that NOT ONE single candidate – some of whom claim their spirituality has been a guiding force in their politics – how could they not challenge the applause, and maybe suggest that their invited audience take a step back from the bloodlust?

I totally take it for granted that one of the founding principles of the United States is freedom to express an opinion. But having said that, regardless of party affiliation, I can’t imagine APPLAUDING at the idea of death – either mandated by lethal injection, or from lack of medical insurance.

via GOP: The “Right to Death Party”? – CBS News.

CU- Boulder, kith/kin: disappointing … CU falls in national rankings but still holds high position | CU Independent.

Bob Turner (R-NY), Anthony Weiner, LOL: I just laughed … But Mrs. Weiner has a point.

Newly-elected Republican Bob Turner officially took over Anthony Weiner’s House seat on Thursday. But he won’t literally be taking over his chair.

That’s because Turner’s wife Peggy apparently wants Weiner’s office chair, the one the embattled former Congressman tweeted lewd pictures from, removed from the office.

Turner took over Weiner’s old office, suite 2104, in the Rayburn House Office Building last week. Upon moving in, they found some choice leftovers from the office’s prior inhabitants. “Weiner left his toothbrush behind! It literally says ‘Anthony’ on it,” an insider tells the New York Post.

This prompted Peggy Turner to ask for a thorough sanitization of the entire space. The insider notes Mrs. Turner was discussing replacing the office chair and carpeting, in addition to having the place professionally cleaned.

But the 70-year-old new congressman, a retired television executive from Queens, was decidedly mum about the decision. “That’s not the most important thing I have to deal with,” he said. Turner, a first-time politician, is just learning the ropes of Congress. He’s taking over Weiner’s seat just hours after winning Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 9th District.

via Turner Takes Over: Anthony Weiner’s Old Office Gets a Scrubdown – TIME NewsFeed.

America’s Favorite Cities, photography, LIFE:  I agree … Chicago has the most beautiful skyline!

America’s Favorite Cities With Travel + Leisure

From sea to shining sea, the United States of America has the best, brightest, and most exciting cities in the world. But with its bounty of metropolitan riches, it’s sometimes hard to decide between destinations when you’re up for a domestic trip. Thank the travel-ready gods, then, for Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual round-up of Americans’ favorite U.S. cities in various categories. T+L editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod recently sat down with LIFE to give readers an early scoop on this year’s winners, including the always-entertaining T+L look at America’s most and least attractive people.

via America’s Favorite Cities – Photo Gallery – LIFE.




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