Posts Tagged ‘Bill Gates

17
Apr
14

4.17.14 … ” ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our [upscale] neighborhood” … every life has equal value …

‘Homeless Jesus’, neighborhood, DavidsonNews.net, St. Alban’s Square:  I written about this Timothy Schmalz’s work before.  But last weekend it got national attention when it was featured on NPR.  Several Davidson locals posted a February local internet paper article about the reaction of the locals in the paper.  What followed was an interesting discourse on my FB page.  I think you need a little context.  St. Albans Square Neighborhood is small new neighborhood build on the edge of  a small college town but considers it “Old Davidson”.  When it was built, the local Episcopal church built at its center a traditional small town but upscale parish church, moving from what had been a nondescript parish church closer to the center of the town on a residential street. The original church had no physical presence and now it anchors a new but traditional neighborhood.  There is a mix of suburban sprawl and farmland just beyond this community.  There is nothing gritty or urban about it.  So I ask you, humble readers, how would you feel if this was your neighborhood?

Artist Timothy Schmalz’s work is in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson.

(David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

To the editor:

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has placed a sculpture at the entrance to our neighborhood that I think is entirely inappropriate for our neighborhood.

My complaint is not about the art-worthiness or the meaning behind the sculpture. It is about people driving into our beautiful, reasonably upscale neighborhood and seeing an ugly homeless person sleeping on a park bench. It is also about walking by this sculpture at night and passing within inches of the grim reaper. These are the impressions that this sculpture gives. I have stepped over actual homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in New York City and not been as creeped out as I am walking past this sculpture.

If I had submitted this sculpture to our architectural committee to place in front of my house, would it have been approved? Why, then, should we accept this at the entrance of our neighborhood?

In my opinion, the church had no business putting this obviously controversial sculpture out for display to our neighborhood. If they want to display it to their own congregation, then they can relocate it farther in on their property, facing their own internal sidewalk, instead of facing ours.

Resident of St. Alban’s Square

via ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our neighborhood | DavidsonNews.net.

My Facebook friends responded …

Jerry Dawson doesn’t like the new “Homeless Jesus” sculpture…

It saddens me that Mr. Dawson describes this as a statue of an “Ugly homeless person”. You can’t see the statue’s face. In fact, the only part of the statue’s body that is visible is the feet. The nail holes there are the only giveaway to the statue’s identity. To call this statue “ugly” says more, to me, about the attitude of the author toward the homeless than it does about the statue.

Actually, I would be pleased … to have the reminder of him, who told his followers to minister to ‘the least of these.’

Looks like the sculpture is doing precisely what it was probably designed to do.

So glad this conversation is in the open.

My response is that I can respect Mr. Dawson’s opinion, but I would be proud to have this in my neighborhood as a Christian.  I would love to have it at my downtown Charlotte urban missional Church, but then it would not be nearly so out-of-place.  And that juxtaposition is what makes the sculpture so powerful at St. Alban’s.

But I would embrace the statue right where it is in the Davidson neighborhood.  I would love to take my friends to see it on an evening stroll because it would open up lots of interesting conversation, and I would love to take children to see it because it would introduce them to Jesus beyond Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,  beyond the softened Jesus of Sunday School and “Jesus loves me this I know,” and  beyond urban and international mission trips (with a side adventure to a theme park or a Mexican resort.)  But I also feel strongly that Mr. Dawson’s feelings should be respected.  And that if there is a place closer to the church proper then possibly it should be moved there out of respect for those in the community.

 Paris’ Saint-Chapelle. traveling friends:

E. posted this great pic of an “open” stained glass window yesterday. It was in Paris’ Saint-Chapelle where they were cleaning every piece of stained glass individually.  I just love the irony of the image.

 

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I also love vicariously experiencing the travels of my friends. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your trip with your daughter!!   Godspeed!

And her pic sent me down memory lane …  Rue Cler:  good simple Gallic grub (Definitely not a B- in my opinion) … Amorino gelato …

Two of France’s great cheese shops, La Fromagerie and Marie-Anne Cantin (around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars) are also located here, as are various restaurants, including the popular Tribeca and Café Central.  You can buy wine at Nicolas, or buy specialty epicerie items (including tea, spices, top quality jarred tuna, olive oils and vinegars, etc.) at L’Epicerie Fine (also around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars).  Finally, if you want dessert there is a terrific gelato place with fruit, chocolate and other rich gelati at Amorino.

via Rue Cler Neighborhood | Best Restaurants in Paris | Le Best of Paris.

 

Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, philanthropy:

In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on the beach and made a big decision: to give their Microsoft wealth back to society. In conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their money away.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she puts into practice the idea that every life has equal value.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

 

Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist, TED.com: I have only seen a few of his favorites.

Susan Cain

The power of introverts

via Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist | TED.com.

South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis,  ads, Springwise:  Next time I go, I will seek them out!!

In big cities, congested roads mean that public transport is the predominant mode of travel and if residents need to take a car, it’s usually a taxi. The Netherlands’ Hopper has already explored the possibility of eco taxi travel with its one-person electric scooters, and now Mellowcabs is enabling South African citizens to travel for free in its electric cycle cabs that are funded by advertising.

The vehicles have been designed to achieve three goals: free and effective public transport, provide much sought-after advertising hoardings for marketers, and also cut carbon emissions. Each taxi holds up to two passengers and a driver, and customers don’t have to pay to use them. Mellowcabs travel around 120 km a day and have high visibility, including bright white and yellow coverings, meaning they’re both easy for customers to spot and provide a visual platform for advertisers. Each cab also has an on-board tablet providing further advertising opportunities, as well as entertainment for passengers. Since the taxis use electric pedaling, they’re already one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road, but they also take advantage of regenerative braking, which stores energy typically lost when braking and converts it into electricity to power the cab. Enough energy is produced by the cycling that passengers can also charge their phones while they use Mellowcabs.

Could this concept be picked up in your city?

via In South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis are paid for by ads | Springwise.

National Geographic,  interracial relationships, What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, Beauty, PolicyMic:

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, commissioning Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

via National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful – PolicyMic.

Twitter find, St. Louis House $16,000:

Sarah Kendzior ‏@sarahkendzior 8m

Six-bedroom home that has belonged to the same St. Louis family since 1906 now selling for $16,000 http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2707-Blair-Ave-Saint-Louis-MO-63106/2936445_zpid/ …

via (4) Twitter

 

2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

Photos

Map

Bird’s Eye

Street View

View larger

For Sale: $16,000

Zestimate®: $19,540

Est. Mortgage:

$62/mo

See current rates on Zillow

Bedrooms:6 beds

Bathrooms:3 baths

Single Family:2,538 sq ft

Lot:3,920 sqft

Year Built:1908

Heating Type:

via 2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106 is For Sale – Zillow.

Einstein on Why We Are Alive, Brain Pickings:

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation:  I loved this from a while back … shows you how our electronic oversimplification can be destructive.

How many times have you heard or muttered that? How many of of us have been frustrated at seeing too many presentations where PowerPoint or other visual aids obscure rather than enhance the point? After one too many bad presentations at a meeting in January 2000, I decided to see if I could do something about it.

via The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.

Speaker Notes

[Transcribed from voice recording by A. Lincoln, 11/18/63]

These are some notes on the Gettysburg meeting. I\’ll whip them into better shape when I can get on to my computer.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

via Summary.

Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls, Denise Dunning:

Globally, 600 million adolescent girls struggle with widespread poverty, limited access to education and health services, and persistent discrimination and violence. Adolescent girls are among the world’s most economically vulnerable groups, significantly more so than adult women or adolescent boys.

The Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute recently launched a global report that explores the factors that influence girls’ economic empowerment, analyzing promising strategies and highlighting recommendations for policymakers, funders and practitioners.

The Adolescent Girls’ Economic Empowerment Report demonstrates that economic empowerment initiatives can be a critical lever for change in adolescent girls’ lives, helping them to gain financial independence, establish good saving habits and improve their future prospects for participation in the labor force.

AGALI’s research identifies six principal factors that contribute to adolescent girls’ economic empowerment. The first is financial capital … Another is human capital, or a girl’s skills and attributes… A third key factor is social capital …

The fourth key element is physical capital, or the goods that make income generation possible. … Beyond a girl’s individual assets, community-level social norms and institutions can create challenges or opportunities for girls’ economic empowerment. Social norms include cultural beliefs regarding early marriage and childbearing, female genital cutting, and other traditional practices relating to girls’ age, gender or ethnicity. Influential institutions include the legal and policy frameworks that protect girls from violence and exploitation, the macroeconomic market structure, and national education and healthcare systems.

AGALI’s report highlights the importance of addressing the different needs and capacities of adolescent girls of varying ages. While adolescent girls around the world share many of the same challenges, a 12-year-old girl is drastically different from her 17-year-old sister. To that end, economic empowerment initiatives must tailor strategies to respond to the differing realities of girls across a range of age brackets, cultural contexts and political frameworks….

Although adolescent girls primarily enter the workforce to support their families financially, studies have shown that girls also value the increased mobility, opportunities for friendship and greater autonomy that may come with employment. Therefore, safe and appropriate employment opportunities can strengthen adolescent girls’ economic status, while improving their social welfare and future labor market prospects.

via Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls | Denise Dunning.

 

KBXX 97.9 The Box’s photo: I wasn’t expecting this one!

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living large, kith/kin, 14ers, bckcountry skiing, Breckenridge CO, Quandary Peak: On my first’s recent birthday, I woke up with a smile on my face.  He was packing in and skiing down from Quandary Peak … And I thought: what a way to celebrate 24. Live large, my son!  Unfortunately, living large had to be rescheduled. “We are saving it for next week because of avalanche danger. “. I guess that is life.

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map

QuandaryPeak

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map.

 

 

07
Apr
13

4.7.13 … “Civility allows me to have a relationship with you.”

Nora Ephron, Women In The World Summit, Tom Hanks, “Lucky Guy”:  I truly enjoyed Nora Ephron and her work.  Now I want to see her last work …

As far as the ongoing struggle of women to balance their work and their personal lives, he said that Ephron considered the notion of having it all “a sweet fantasy.”

“Nora Ephron said she did have it all — but only once she married an Italian,” Hanks quipped.

Ending his remembrances by sharing his favorite photograph of Nora — one of her with her then-young sons in front of a Christmas tree — Hanks teared up.

He closed, “There is Nora Ephron, about to get the story of her life, printed on page one.”

Earlier this week, Hanks received a standing ovation for his role as real-life tabloid journalist Mike McAlary at the April 1 opening night of “Lucky Guy.” According to the New York Post, Hanks struggled to hold back tears then as the cast paid tribute to Ephron.

“[S]elfishly, I did this [play] to hang out with Nora,” Hanks told NPR.

via Tom Hanks Gives Heartfelt Nora Ephron Tribute At Women In The World Summit.

marriage, David Blankenhorn, Jonathan Rauch, Krista Tippett, On Being: “Civility allows me to have a relationship with you.”  I am listening to this today.  It was the subject of a conversation between my husband and I today.  I really like how Krista Tippett walks you through an issue.

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The Future of Marriage with David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch | On Being.

Wyche Fowler, Jr., GA politics, Today In Georgia History, It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!:  He was my hometown congressman and a Davidsonian.

Fowler was the only white congressman in the country re-elected four times by a constituency that was 65 percent black. In 1986, Fowler beat incumbent Mack Mattingly for his U.S. Senate seat, traveling to all 159 counties. He served only one term, defeated by Republican Paul Coverdell in 1992. Four years later, President Bill Clinton appointed Fowler as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where terrorists made three attempts on his life.

Wyche Fowler’s remarkable career on the national stage began with his first election to Congress on April 5, 1977, Today in Georgia History.

via Wyche Fowler, Jr. | Today In Georgia History.

Jeff Elder, You must have a go-to salad in your life, Food for Thought:  This just amused me.  And then I thought what is my go-to salad?

I’m just going to talk for a while because I’m older than you and your head is bedeviled with nonsense. (There will be no questions.)

There are things you need to have: A dark suit, a workout you like, a few friends who will not co-sign your bullshit. Today we’re going to talk about getting you a go-to salad.

I don’t care about a great salad bar you know about. And this has nothing to do with your recent kale epiphany. (Fascinating, by the way.)

I am talking about a collection of fresh ingredients you can get in most stores, which you will never tire of, and can eat twice a week for the rest of your life.

Stop your caterwauling! I’ll let you choose the ingredients. Think about the alternatives! Do you want to just eat junk and get cancer? Do you want to slug across the couch with a Cheetos bag wondering what to have for dinner three nights a week? … I didn’t think so.

We’re talking about building muscle memory here. Marines must be able to assemble their weapon in minutes in the dark: You must achieve that same precision with your salad. It will save your life. You must be able to fix it without thinking, in any time zone, perhaps zero gravity.

It is your go-to salad, and no one else’s. If someone else has the same go-to salad, you must make it your vendetta to hunt that person down and avenge your salad.

Here is my go-to salad. I recommend that you do not attempt to adopt it

via You must have a go-to salad in your life — Food for Thought — Medium.

Future of Food, Gates Notes, Bill Gates:  Interesting …

How food scientists are reinventing meat – and how it can benefit everyone.

via Future of Food.

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 … 🙂
Photo

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.

main image

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

06
Jan
13

1.6.13 Epiphany … and Downton Abbey …

epiphany: One friend noted that she had never thought about the wise men/three kings sleeping on their journey.  I realize that I had never thought of it either.  God rest ye merry gentlemen!

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me Twelve Drummers Drumming. The Twelve points in the Apostles’ Creed. Will comment them below (they are too big to fit in a single post).

…  Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” We remember the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. Tonight is the twelfth night. This is an occasion for feasting, including the baking of a special King’s Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany.

…  On this day we as the body of Christ are reminded of our mission to seek to as best we can to be used by God to “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. With this we end the 12 days of Christmas and celebration of the Christmas/Advent season. Next year we will start again. Hope this was a blessing to you. God bless!

via Advent.

for EPIPHANY! The three kings must have been uncomfortable in the bed, wearing their crowns–but then, that’s how the artist Gislebertus shows us that they are kings! The embroidered blanket seems to move in harmony with the face, halo, sleeves and wing of the angel in one graceful, circular movement. It is as though the angel has slipped suddenly and silently in. With one hand he points to the star which will guide them safely home. With the other he touches one of the kings, who opens his eyes. The angel, despite his broken nose, still conveys a wonderful sense of gentleness.

via Theological Horizons, centered at the Bonhoeffer House.Photo: for EPIPHANY! The three kings must have been uncomfortable in the bed, wearing their crowns--but then, that's how the artist Gislebertus shows us that they are kings! The embroidered blanket seems to move in harmony with the face, halo, sleeves and wing of the angel in one graceful, circular movement. It is as though the angel has slipped suddenly and silently in. With one hand he points to the star which will guide them safely home. With the other he touches one of the kings, who opens his eyes. The angel, despite his broken nose, still conveys a wonderful sense of gentleness.

On the twelfth day  of Christmas my true love gave to me, the excitement of another series of Downton Abbey…

Photo: On the twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Downton Abbey Season 3…  Enjoy! 

 

via Downton Abbey

bookshelf, books, Bill Gates:  Since only one of 10 was on my list before today … I’ve got some work to do!  The Official Site of Bill Gates – The Gates Notes

 

college application process:  Al little late at chez Teague, but I thought it interesting.  How to Choose a College – NYTimes.com.

RIP, Wilmette:  Loved Lad & lassie when we lived in Wilmette.  Rest in peace, Bill Evans.

“He was fair and honest and kind,” Mimi Evans said Jan. 2. “He would keep the store open for people when they needed it. He extended sales for people who needed it, even when there was really no sale. He thought that was important.”

via Lad & Lassie owner remembered for love of family, business – Wilmette Life.

Davidson basketball.  I love a good rout … when Davidson is doing the routing.  Jake Cohen sparks Davidson in rout of UNC Greensboro | CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, short films:  Honk if you love someone … 🙂

Check out this amazing short film — about one man’s quest to make a city smile — which premiered today. If it doesn’t make your day, I’ll give you your money back. (Full disclosure: I know the filmmaker).

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EwYLZmkUxo&feature=player_embedded]

12
Oct
11

10.12.2011 … 6 am flight to Charlotte … busy day … great trip …

GOP Primaries, journalism, fact checking:  OK, I really like it when the fact checkers go to work. Fact Checking the Post-Bloomberg debate – The Fact Checker – The Washington PostRepublican New Hampshire Debate Fact Check – NYTimes.com.

Fall, tradition, news, random:  How embarrassing!

Authorities in Massachusetts say a family that got lost in a seven-acre corn maze called 911 for help, apparently taking advantage of the police department’s motto that says “We Want To Be Bothered.”

The maze at Connors Farm in Danvers has pathways totaling seven-miles long and can take up to an hour to navigate.

A police officer and his dog entered the maze with a farm manager on Columbus Day to search for the disoriented father, mother and two children, including a three-weeks-old infant. The family didn’t realize they had almost made their way out and were just 25 feet from the street.

It took the search party about 10 minutes to find the family. They were helped by a police dispatcher who stayed on the phone with the caller and asked the couple to yell for help to enable those looking for them to identify their location.

“Never again!” the woman is heard telling the dispatcher on police tapes. “We thought this would be fun, instead it’s a nightmare.”

via Family lost in Mass. corn maze calls 911 for help  | accessAtlanta.

technology, digital media, textbooks, education: Tailoring textbooks …

For his marketing course at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Daniel Flint wanted his students to read a white paper on public relations, a couple of case studies, an industry report, and a chapter of a forthcoming book.

So he created a textbook with just that—more than 100 pages of material in one customized package for his students.

Mr. Flint, a professor of marketing at the university, used a new build-your-own-textbook service called AcademicPub, which arranged payment of royalties and compiled the material for publication. His students were given three options for buying the book: Download a digital edition for $14.95, get it in paperback for $27, or go for the hardcover for $45.

The companies that make traditional textbooks have been increasing their custom-publishing offerings as well. Just last year, McGraw-Hill Higher Education unveiled Create, a Web service that lets professors pick passages from thousands of the company’s textbooks, as well as law and business case studies, to make a customized edition. “We think the more all this becomes digital, the more people will want to customize,” Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, told The Chronicle at the time. “And we want to be able to do that.”

Macmillan Publishers has its own build-a-textbook service, too, called DynamicBooks, which offers instructors the chance to add their own material to the company’s titles. DynamicBooks also gives professors $1 for each student who uses a customized copy.

Traditional publishers still customize printed books, too. Melonie D. Rasmussen, a professor of mathematics at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, in Washington, recently used a copyrighted statistics textbook for which she didn’t need all the chapters. So she contacted the publisher and asked for a shorter, cheaper book. “And they’ve been willing to do that,” she said.

Ms. Rasmussen is also part of the state’s Open Course Library project, and she has been using open content for years, but so far she is part of a small minority.

The question now is whether customization could move into the mainstream, ending the one-size-fits-all model of textbook publishing.

via New Digital Tools Let Professors Tailor Their Own Textbooks – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Lucifer Effect, psychology:

This vintage stunt from a 1962 episode of Candid Camera makes for a good laugh. But it also captures something important about human psychology — something that social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, famous for his Stanford Prison Experiment, describes on a website related to his 2007 book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. He writes:

One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt’s ingenious Candid Camera programs is “Face The Rear.” An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces.

Often times, the mindless submission to group norms has entirely innocuous results. But, in other cases, it can lead to “good people engaging in evil actions.” Witness what happened within the controlled environment of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Or, worse, the devastating abuses at Abu Ghraib, which brought otherwise average people to commit atrocious acts. For more read The Lucifer Effect.

via The Power of Conformity | Open Culture.

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, frenemies:

In 1997, Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld in Boston. It was one of his first public appearances after returning to the ailing company he’d left more than a decade earlier. Halfway through his presentation, he dropped a bombshell: Apple was teaming up with Microsoft. The audience of Apple fans jeered and booed. Microsoft was Apple’s archenemy; Bill Gates was evil incarnate. There wasn’t a worse partner for Apple. Gates appeared at the event via satellite, his face looming high over Jobs like Big Brother in Apple’s iconic 1984 TV ad.

It seemed an unlikely match, but in fact Jobs and Gates went way back. They met in the early ’80s, when Gates was one of the first software developers for the Macintosh. As Gates noted while paying tribute to Jobs after his death, they would go on to spend half their professional lives in each other’s orbit. They even went on double dates together.

Gates was an early evangelist of the Mac and enthusiastically boosted the platform. Jobs was so pleased, he lent Gates a prototype machine to work on. Gates called it SAND (Steve’s Amazing New Device). Soon, though, both companies were suing each other over copyright issues. The lawsuits led to nearly a decade of acrimony, insults, and taunts.

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste,” Jobs once said. “I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.”

After Jobs died, Gates was one of the first to eulogize him. “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago and have been colleagues, competitors, and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” he said in a statement. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”

via The Best of Frenemies – The Daily Beast

children, development, depression, anxiety:  What are we doing to our kids …

An article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Play details not only how much children’s play time has declined, but how this lack of play affects emotional development, leading to the rise of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention and self control.

“Since about 1955 … children’s free play has been continually declining, at least partly because adults have exerted ever-increasing control over children’s activities,” says the author Peter Gray, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (emeritus) at Boston College. Gray defines “free play” as play a child undertakes him- or her-self and which is self-directed and an end in itself, rather than part of some organized activity.

Gray describes this kind of unstructured, freely-chosen play as a testing ground for life. It provides critical life experiences without which young children cannot develop into confident and competent adults. Gray’s article is meant to serve as a wake-up call regarding the effects of lost play, and he believes that lack of childhood free play time is a huge loss that must be addressed for the sake of our children and society.

via All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed – Esther Entin – Life – The Atlantic.

Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy,  strip search, jailhouse dignity:  Shuffling of the court …

WASHINGTON — There was so much talk of anal cavities at the Supreme Court Wednesday morning that Justice Antonin Scalia asked, “You want us to write an opinion that only applies to squatting and coughing?” The comment provoked groans in the courtroom. But the groans could have just as easily applied to oral argument itself in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, which did more to confuse than enlighten the justices about the constitutionality of a jail’s routine strip-searching of all newly admitted arrestees, regardless of the gravity of their alleged offense.

In 2005, Albert Florence and his family were driving to his mother-in-law’s house when police pulled the car over. He was arrested, handcuffed and carted off to jail — all because a New Jersey county had failed to scrub from its system a civil contempt order for failure to pay a fine that he had since paid in full.

Upon his entry to the jail, Florence was instructed to open his mouth, take off his clothes, lift and rotate his genitals, and shower in front of an officer. Six days later, he was transferred to another facility where he went through a similar search, except this time it was conducted with other detainees present and he was asked to squat and cough.

When Florence was finally released a week after his arrest, he sued the facilities and their officers, arguing that they had violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches.

At this point, Kennedy tipped his hand. “It seems to me that your rule imperils individual dignity in a way that the blanket rule does not,” he said, referring to the policies of the New Jersey county jails who strip-searched every arrestee regardless of suspicion.

“Dignity” is Kennedy’s guiding light on the Court, and he will vote for whatever side respects the individual’s dignity the most. And according to Kennedy, Goldstein’s rule, which would be applied on a detainee-by-detainee basis, might lead to strip-searches “based on the person’s race” or other arbitrary and constitutionally forbidden affronts to personal dignity.

via Supreme Court Strip Search: Justice Kennedy May Be Swing Vote On Jailhouse Dignity.

economy, peanut butter:  I can deal with peanut butter price hikes more than gasoline.

How about just a jelly sandwich? A peanut shortage means that food manufacturers are paying roughly double what they paid for peanuts last year. In the coming weeks, that price increase is expected to be passed along to consumers in the form of peanut butter that’s 25% to 40% more expensive.

The problem started last spring, when many farmers in states such as Georgia and Texas decided to plant cotton rather than peanuts—because cotton was selling at record-high prices at the time. Over the summer, according to a story published in the Kansas City Star, drought and disease hurt the peanuts that were planted, resulting in a small harvest.

While the peanut supply has dropped, demand has risen over the past few years because, as every frugal mom and bare-bones-budget college student knows, peanut butter is a much cheaper source of protein than meat.

Soon, though, peanut butter won’t be quite as good a bargain. The wholesale price of peanuts has soared from $450 a ton to $1,150 per ton, and the net result will be much more expensive jars of peanut butter lining supermarket aisles

via Prepare to Shell Out: Peanut Butter Price Hike Coming | Moneyland | TIME.com.

War on Terror, news:  Bold plot on US soil …

The alleged plot to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil would represent, if proven, a significant escalation of a long-running covert struggle between Iran and the West that has included industrial sabotage, terrorist bombings and the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists.

It also would reflect a radical shift in tactics for a country that usually prefers to leave its dirty work to proxies.

Two people have been charged with conspiracy to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. A federal criminal complaint in New York says the two conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction and have ties to Iran. (Oct. 11)

The Obama administration on Tuesday directly accused Iran and its elite Quds Force of backing the alleged attempt to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, using hit men from a Mexican drug gang. The allegation plunged U.S.-Iranian relations into crisis and sent U.S. officials scrambling in search of new punitive measures to impose against a country that has already been hit with multiple rounds of sanctions.

via Alleged plot is uncharacteristically bold – The Washington Post.

Francis Bacon,  Rembrandt, art:  Inspiration … dark inspiration.

IN 1962 Irving Penn, an American photographer, went to visit Francis Bacon at his studio in London to make a portrait of him. The photograph he took shows Bacon clasping the front of his dark shirt and gazing up and away. Hanging on the wall behind his right shoulder, bent and creased and covered in paint, is a reproduction of a sombre, unfinished painting by Rembrandt, “Self-portrait with Beret” (pictured), from about 1659.

Bacon’s debt to Rembrandt’s self-portraits is the subject of “Irrational Marks”, the first show at Ordovas, a new gallery on Savile Row in London. Pilar Ordovás, the gallery’s owner is something of an art-world wunderkind, responsible for the sale of Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” for £21m in 2008. She has also managed Gagosian in London, and handled the estate of Valerie Beeston, who worked with Francis Bacon at the Marlborough Gallery. This exhibition shows intent: to put on contemplative considered exhibitions, as well as to be an art boutique with commercial clout.

The exhibition is tiny and tightly focused. On the ground floor there are just six works by Bacon, including two triptychs, along with the Rembrandt painting he liked so much and Penn’s photograph. Downstairs in the basement are three working documents from Bacon’s studio—all reproductions of Rembrandt self-portraits—and a short excerpt from “Sunday Night Francis Bacon”, a film from 1966 in which the painter speaks to David Sylvester, an art critic.

Bacon revered “Self-portrait with Beret”. It is an exercise in shadow and texture. The rough ruddiness of Rembrandt’s ageing cheek is no more than a patch of vertical lines scratched into the paint; his coarsened and wrinkled forehead crafted from layers of thick impasto in pale yellow and mottled red. Sections are left unpainted, allowing the ground colour to contrast with the brown pigments in a play of light and dark. But it was the eyes that fascinated Bacon. In the interview with Sylvester he says “If you analyse it, you will see that there are hardly any sockets to the eyes, that it is almost completely anti-illustrational.”

via Bacon and Rembrandt: Dark moments of self-appraisal | The Economist.

tragedy, news:   Man who served 10 presidents dies in his own squalor … tragedy.

The District’s Office of the Inspector General is looking into whether city agencies could have done more to prevent the death of Theodoric C. James Jr., the longtime White House employee whose friends and family had for months tried to get him help.

James, who had served under every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, had been showing signs of instability for about two years before he was found dead Aug. 1 inside his home during a brutal heat wave. He had stopped bathing. He wore the same tattered and fetid clothing. He went to the bathroom in buckets on the front porch of his Northwest Washington home.

Concerned that James, 71, was a threat to himself, his family and neighbors called every city agency they could think of, including Adult Protective Services, the Department of Mental Health, council members and the mayor’s office.

But James repeatedly turned the city’s social workers away, saying he did not want help.

via Squalid death of man who served 10 presidents being examined by District’s IG – The Washington Post.

Oprah Winfrey, Lifeclass:  Anybody watched a Lifeclass?

Oprah’s Lifeclass Tonight at 8/7c on OWN

In tonight’s lesson, Oprah talks to Cybil Shepherd and more women about aging and beauty. It’s time to apply their learning to your own life. And, tune in Friday for a live webcast at 9/8c.

via Oprah Winfrey’s Official Website – Live Your Best Life – Oprah.com.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

You can use iCloud to synchronize your data, including music and photos, across your Apple devices.

The ability to edit photos right on the phone. This includes red-eye removal, cropping and auto enhancement of whole pictures.

iMessage, a new, free text-messaging service exclusive to users of iOS 5. It detects whether you are using the new system and routes a text message over the Internet instead of using the standard cellphone text services. It allows group messaging and notifies users when messages are read and/or delivered.

Built-in Twitter support. Without adding a Twitter app, you can tweet directly from within functions like photos, maps, the browser and YouTube.

Notifications of alerts, messages and dates can be gathered together in a drop-down panel, or can appear briefly at the top of the screen instead of displaying one at a time in a box that blocks your screen.

There’s quick access to the camera, by simply double-clicking the home button, even if the phone is asleep. And you can use the volume up button as a shutter button.

On the iPad, the browser has tabs, and you can split and move the onscreen keyboard to make thumb typing easier.

You can create customized typing shortcuts, such as “tks” for “thanks.”

In Mail, you can now format words so they appear in bold, italics or underlined.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

via New Apple Software Adds Features to Older Phones – Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret – Mossblog – AllThingsD.

interior design,  blogs, lists:  Some new blogs to check out … need some help in the intereior design area.

Our Editor-in-chief, Cynthia Bogart, has been asked to moderate a panel speaking at the D & D Building  (The Decorating & Design Building ) in New York City tomorrow at 1 pm at the  Koroseal Showroom.

The panel consists of four very good interior designers who also happen to blog.  Why is that great?  These pro’s  – all of them, are BLOGGING.  Blogging means they are sharing their personal likes, dislikes and information you would otherwise only learn if you were talking to them in person.    These particular four are generating original interesting information.  They were chosen very carefully for this panel because they are considered trendsetters.  In other words, they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening.

via Four Great Interior Design Blogs That Will Inspire You!.

travel, fall, empty nesters, lists:  Can’t wait or fall trips when we are empty nesters!

Cooler temperatures, striking colors, smaller crowds—autumn is the perfect time to travel, and here are ten of the best fall trips, picked by National Geographic Traveler editors. Where do you want to go this fall? Share your travel plans—real or ideal—below

via Best Fall Trips 2011 — National Geographic.

28
Mar
11

3.28.2011 home … at 1 am … Spring Break is over … now I need a break!

random, zoos, snakes:  Reminds me of Harry Potter …

An Egyptian cobra was still on the loose at the Bronx Zoo Sunday after slithering out of its enclosure Friday afternoon.

Zoo keepers shut down the Reptile House “until further notice” to look for the venomous 20-inch snake. Officials said the cobra’s reclusive nature meant it posed little danger to the public.

Visitors to the Bronx Zoo were unfazed on Sunday afternoon after hearing that a venomous Egyptian cobra was missing from its enclosure in the Reptile House.

“Snakes are incredible escape artists no matter what you do,” said Frank Indiviglio, who worked at the zoo for two decades and now writes a blog about reptiles at thatpetplace.com. Still, he said, the cobra would likely have a hard time getting out of the Reptile House. “It’s not going to be the kind of thing where there’s a snake out running down Southern Boulevard.”

Egyptian cobras, like many ground-dwelling snakes, crave confined spaces, said Susan Barnard, a longtime reptile curator at Atlanta’s zoo and the author of the “Reptile Keeper’s Handbook.”

via Snake Escape Makes Zoo Squirm – WSJ.com.

travel, Seattle:  Second favorite N. American City!  And I love these articles … I should write them.  36 Hours in Seattle – NYTimes.com.

March Madness 2011:  As I said before, I am out …

Of 5.9 million brackets predicting the men’s college-basketball tournament filled out by ESPN.com users, 192 brackets — or about one in 31,000 — correctly predicted Butler and Virginia Commonwealth would meet in the Final Four. What’s remarkable isn’t that so few people picked the matchup; it’s that so many did.

Shelvin Mack and Butler have advanced to the Final Four again, in an even bigger surprise than last year.

That isn’t meant as a slight on the teams’ accomplishments this March. Both undoubtedly have earned their trip to Houston next weekend. Butler knocked off the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 seeds in the southeast region on its way to the national semifinals. VCU took out the Nos. 1, 3 and 6 seeds in the southwest — after playing its way into the final 64 by beating USC in a play-in game; the Rams remain the only team in tournament history to win another game after winning a play-in game. Butler has impressed by prevailing in close games, while VCU has been more impressive by beating USC and its next two opponents by double digits.

via 2011 NCAA Tournament: Counting the Ways Butler and VCU Defied the Odds – The Daily Fix – WSJ.

glee, Simon CowellYouTube – THE X FACTOR – Simon talks GLEE.

technology, iPad, business model, contracts, change:

Ms. Witmer said she thought some of the resistance by channel owners stemmed from a lack of understanding of the technology. “In fairness, truthfully, to all the executives in this industry that are trying to run businesses that are part of this ecosystem, it is exhausting — exhausting — keeping up with everything that is changing rapidly,” she said.

via Time Warner Ad Campaign Defends Streaming to iPad – NYTimes.com.

state law, state budgets, welfare of children, Bill Gates, TED:

In theory, all states but one (Vermont) must balance their budget. But that’s “a pretense”, said Mr Gates. Instead, states cook their books with accounting tricks that would make the guys at Enron blush. Using California as his example, Mr Gates walked his audience through asset sales, deferred payments, revenue securitisations and other gimmicks. California spends several times as much as Microsoft or Google, he showed. But whereas armies of analysts study these companies, hardly anybody really looks at the states.

And yet, the states and municipalities have—or lack—the money that is supposed to fund the schools and universities which are meant to produce the employers and taxpayers of the future. “We need to care about state budgets,” said Mr Gates, because they are failing America’s children.

via State budgets matter: Even Bill says so | The Economist.

policy, Libya, Khamis Gadhafi:  Amazing tidbit …

The monthlong internship was sponsored by AECOM, a global engineering and design company based in Los Angeles, and with the assistance of the State Department.

AECOM has business dealings with Libya.

Khamis traveled from coast to coast meeting with high-tech companies, universities and defense contractors. His itinerary included stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado, Chicago, Houston, Washington and New York City.

Khamis left the U.S. for Libya on February 17.

Paul Gennaro, the senior vice president and chief communications officer for AECOM, issued a statement saying, “The educational internship, which consisted of publicly available information, was aligned with our efforts to improve quality of life, specifically in Libya, where we were advancing public infrastructure such as access to clean water; quality housing; safe and efficient roads and bridges; reliable and affordable energy; and related projects that create jobs and opportunity.”

Gennaro said the company was “shocked and outraged” to learn of Khamis’ role in the Libyan crisis. “We were aware of the student’s family relationship, but we were not informed of any military connection whatsoever,” Gennaro said. It was the company’s understanding that Khamis was an MBA student from an accredited university in Spain. “The student was positioned to help oversee improvements in Libya’s quality of life and infrastructure initiatives, which the country had been advancing since 2007,” he said. The U.S. State Department was aware of and approved all the meetings, Gennaro said.

via Gadhafi son was on U.S. internship until crisis – CNN.com.




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