Posts Tagged ‘Brene Brown

27
Mar
19

3.27.19 … “ Even if our stories are different, broken, bruised and skinned hearts recognize each other, and when they come together they have the power to heal and create change.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (22/40), Myers Park Baptist Church-Charlotte NC:

I am agitated today and I really don’t know why. It could be the news… The continuous banter about the Mueller Report or the Jussie Smollett case in Chicago or the suicides of two Pakland FL teen survivors and of a Sandy Hook parent …

I thought of the Mary Oliver poem that Parker Palmer posted on social media today:

The Poet Dreams of the Mountain

Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.

I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking

The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping

Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.

I want to see how many stars are still in the sky

That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.

I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,

And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.

All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!

How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.

I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.

In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.

-Mary Oliver

And of this from Brene Brown:

Last month, I made my second trip to Newtown to do some work with the Sandy Hook community. Jeremy and Jen started the Avielle Foundation to honor their daughter, Avielle, who was one of the 20 children and six adults murdered in the 2012 school shooting. The Avielle Foundation invited me to be a part of their speaker series on brain health and violence prevention.

Jeremy died of an apparent suicide yesterday. I feel heartbroken and gutted.

But I won’t look away. And, I ask that you continue to look pain in the eye.

We absolutely need to lean into the joy, laughter, beauty, love, and connection in our lives. As much and as often as we can.

And, when called, we need to stand with those in pain. We need to make sure that when we see a heart breaking, we bare our own broken heart and stand together so we know that, even in the midst of struggle, we’re not alone.

Even if our stories are different, broken, bruised and skinned hearts recognize each other, and when they come together they have the power to heal and create change.

So with these melancholy thoughts swirling in my head, I ventured out this afternoon and drove down Memory Lane, i.e. I drove past our first home on Sharon Road, 2247 Sharon Road. As I drove by that house and into Myers Park, I realized what a beautiful place Charlotte is, and I felt my blood pressure begin to go down. The pink and white blooming cherry trees were magnificent today, and there were even a few dogwood trees beginning to bloom.

I pulled up at the labyrinth tucked behind Myers Park Baptist and realized that I had timed my walk very poorly. There were multiple lawn management crew members blowing, trimming and mowing … c’est la vie!

Of course right when I opened my door, one of the men began blowing the labyrinth free of all debris, just for me. I think he tried to hurry and then go as far away as possible to give me some peace. That may be just positive spin on my part.

It looked as if they tried to power wash this labyrinth and instead it has made the painting difficult to see. I imagine it would not be easy on a rainy day. However, I could clearly see the path in today’s sunshine.

I heard emergency sirens in the background, but barely, since the blowers and trimmers and mowers predominated my walk.

And as I walked I clutched my new key, a small thing that I am grateful for… the ignition on our 22-year-old Mercedes that was a gift from john’s mother after his father died went out recently. It was very expensive to repair, but we just could not give the car up yet. It is a link to the past, a sturdy and generally reliable link to the past. When the dealer returned the car to me yesterday, he gave me two new keys including a remote control key. So now, for the first time since I have been driving the car, I have a remote control key and that makes me very happy because I feel much safer.

Other thoughts for today …

Last spring I saw the 2018 “A Wrinkle in Time” 3 times and I never decided my verdict on the film … but I certainly never saw it in this light …

It strikes me that “A Wrinkle in Time” is a Lenten story. Christians give themselves intentional space during Lent to reflect not only on our sin sickness, but also on the hurt we suffer because of the sin sickness of others. Lent is a time to be honest about our fragility, our imperfections and our wounds. Lent reminds us that God’s light conquered sin’s darkness when Jesus was crucified and then rose again. In Jesus’ wounds, we find healing. In our own wounds, we experience the love of God. May our wounds be the places where God’s light can enter in and heal.

Source: Lent: Reckoning with wounds – The Presbyterian Outlook,

https://pres-outlook.org/2018/03/lent-reckoning-with-wounds/

3.27.19

2019 Lenten Lists: Cars I’ve Owned/Loved

1. My mom’s little blue Opel

2. White Sunbird

3. Gray Ford old lady car

4. John’s blue 1964 TR 4A

5. 1986 VW Jetta sedan

6. 1989 Volvo 240 station wagon

7. John’s 1991 Japanese sedan (Honda Accord, maybe?)

8. 1994 Mercury Villager minivan

9. 2000 Volvo V70 wagon*

10. 2004 Volvo V90 SUV*

11. 1997 Mercedes Benz E420*

12. 2000 Volvo V70 wagon – tan interior*

*currently own

06
Mar
15

3.6.15 … The road to hell is paved with good intentions … Mind Reset … “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 15/40, Chartres Hand Held Pewter Labyrinth a @ home – Charlotte NC

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That was the thought as I began my labyrinth meditation using a gift from one of my wonderful Wasabi Family (thank you, Betsy).  Why was I having such negative thoughts?  For the second day in a row I had cheated and used a hand-held or finger labyrinth.
IMG_2482
But that is not where my mind wanted to be because I spent my day pondering something much more wonderful when I was not writing demand letters on behalf of my mom or descriptions for projects for a committee I chair.
So let me tell you what my day was really about: JOY.

Step 8: We are joyful

We came to see that, despite at times feeling the burden of the world upon our shoulders, expressing joy and approaching our lives and those in it with the innocent wonder and curiosity of a child is essential to our well-being and the well-being of those around us.

We are joyful.

via Step 8: We are joyful / The Red Boot Coalition.

Our discussions jumped all around, but included these ideas: community, children and being childlike, mobius strips, Parker J. Palmer, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, favorite authors as children, curling up with a good book, Madeleine L’Engle on joy, Doctors using ACE scores,  God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold,  Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle
So here’s a little more thoughts on a few of these topics …

Here’s a brief meditation on “Life on the Mobius Strip”—a curious concept to be sure, but no more curious than life itself!

via Parker J. Palmer.

10959968_10152667325172078_5596560342796011586_o
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, a favorite of 3 of the women at the table (all born in the early 1960’s) … Although I did not share, I laughed to myself because the title of yesterday’s post,3.5.15 … It was a dark and stormy night … , which  is the first line of A Wrinkle in Time and often considered the worst opening line in literature (there is an award to that effect.)

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

via The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Writer’s Digest described this sentence as “the literary posterchild for bad story starters”.[3] On the other hand, the American Book Review ranked it as #22 on its “Best first lines from novels list.”[4]

via It was a dark and stormy night – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Doctors using ACE scores to determine adult health and well-being and does that correlate to lack of joy in adults (note my source for this info is a Facebook post by one of my favorites, Brené Brown)

Brené Brown

Most powerful part of NPR interview: Just speaking shame can help reduce it and increase well being.

Is this a shame or vulnerability issue with doctors? I’ve worked many who are advocating for more training on the relational aspect of care. I’m not sure how the ACE is helpful without professionals in place to support and offer resources (social workers, nurses etc.). And, what about resiliency factors? I think we do need more integrative mind-body-spirit options. What do y’all think?

 

Answering those questions would give you an “adverse childhood experiences” score (or ACE score, for short). The test’s proponents say that it provides a rough measure of a tough childhood, and some of the experiences — death of a parent, childhood abuse or neglect — that can have long-term effects on your health.

That’s the point, Felitti believes: Asking patients about ACEs helps patients understand their health more deeply, and helps doctors understand how to help.

There are no randomized controlled trials that show that applying these screening tools to a large population changes any outcomes that a patient cares about. Someone’s got to show me that it’s going to actually make a difference in my patients’ lives.

– Dr. Richard Young, Family Medicine, Fort Worth

According to Dr. Jeff Brenner, a family doctor and MacArthur Fellows award-winner in Camden, N.J., getting these rough measures of adversity from patients potentially could help the whole health care system understand patients better.

The ACE score, Brenner says, is “still really the best predictor we’ve found for health spending, health utilization; for smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse. It’s a pretty remarkable set of activities that health care talks about all the time.”

Felitti agrees that there is no research tracking how asking for ACE scores affects patients in the long term, but says that from his experience with many thousands of patients, the benefits of getting an ACE score come down to something more spiritual than medical: alleviating shame.

Felitti says that many of his patients never had told anyone that they’d been abused as a kid — ever — until he asked them. Disclosing their secrets, they told him afterward, brought them tremendous relief.

He likens that unburdening to a lay version of a Catholic church confession.

“They leave with the understanding that they’re still an acceptable human being, they’re still part of the group,” Felitti says.

Instead of treating a specific medical problem, talking about an ACE score with a patient is a process of listening and accepting, Felitti says. But for busy doctors eager to diagnose and cure, that’s harder than it sounds.

That’s the point, Felitti believes: Asking patients about ACEs helps patients understand their health more deeply, and helps doctors understand how to help.

There are no randomized controlled trials that show that applying these screening tools to a large population changes any outcomes that a patient cares about. Someone’s got to show me that it’s going to actually make a difference in my patients’ lives.

– Dr. Richard Young, Family Medicine, Fort Worth

According to Dr. Jeff Brenner, a family doctor and MacArthur Fellows award-winner in Camden, N.J., getting these rough measures of adversity from patients potentially could help the whole health care system understand patients better.

The ACE score, Brenner says, is “still really the best predictor we’ve found for health spending, health utilization; for smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse. It’s a pretty remarkable set of activities that health care talks about all the time.”

Felitti agrees that there is no research tracking how asking for ACE scores affects patients in the long term, but says that from his experience with many thousands of patients, the benefits of getting an ACE score come down to something more spiritual than medical: alleviating shame.

Felitti says that many of his patients never had told anyone that they’d been abused as a kid — ever — until he asked them. Disclosing their secrets, they told him afterward, brought them tremendous relief.

He likens that unburdening to a lay version of a Catholic church confession.

“They leave with the understanding that they’re still an acceptable human being, they’re still part of the group,” Felitti says.

Instead of treating a specific medical problem, talking about an ACE score with a patient is a process of listening and accepting, Felitti says. But for busy doctors eager to diagnose and cure, that’s harder than it sounds.

via 10 Questions Some Doctors Are Afraid To Ask : Shots – Health News : NPR.

And the  two authors I mentioned today …

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold:

But I believe we still have opportunities to meet the Divine (whatever you believe that to be), because in the wilderness, we connect with That Which Is Greater Than Ourselves (one of my favorite names for God), and we are embraced by sense of belonging, of oneness, and of peace.

I know that it’s not always possible (or even desirable) to relocate to the middle of the desert for a month. For people who live in the city, the closest you might get to the wilderness is an urban park. But even there you can cultivate the patience to see burning bushes and open yourself to spiritual opportunity. One of my favorite “tools” for slowing down, taking notice, and being fully present is a short sensory meditation that can be done anywhere.

As we hiked, Iasked the group to try to consciously slow down their minds and shift into their “Sabbath souls,” to allow themselves to experience the calmness and grace that surrounded us.

Then I introduced one of my favorite mind-focusing exercises, and the group agreed to try it. Each person would focus quietly on either listening or seeing for 10 minutes, at which time we would share what we had noticed.

God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

Madeline L’Engle:

And it was joy.

Joy, Grandfather would remind me, joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.

– A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

And as I was looking for this joy quote, I found this in the “A Note from the Author”:

“Vicky’s questions or problems are questions and problems that most adolescents have had, whether in the Middle Ages, in distant countries, or right here and now. The big problems of our growing up are not limited by time, culture, or geography. We share our wonder and confusion: Who am I? Why am I here? Does it matter? Ultimately I hope we all answer with Vicky: Yes, it does. We do matter. What we do matters. And that is both a challenge and a joy.”

– A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

So I left the meeting joyful and looking for joy …
And soon after leaving the early am meeting,  I opened my daily Henri Nowen meditation … although not exactly on point to our opening discussion at the RBC meeting, it danced all around the issue of what RBC is trying to do  … community.

Every good relationship between two or more people, whether it is friendship, marriage, or community, creates space where strangers can enter and become friends. Good relationships are hospitable. When we enter into a home and feel warmly welcomed, we will soon realise that the love among those who live in that home is what makes that welcome possible.

When there is conflict in the home, the guest is soon forced to choose sides. “Are you for him or for her?” “Do you agree with them or with us?” “Do you like him more than you do me?” These questions prevent true hospitality – that is, an opportunity for the stranger to feel safe and discover his or her own gifts. Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest. It is also and foremost an expression of love between the hosts

via Missionary Renegade: The Henri Nouwen Society of Toronto, Ontario, Canada Daily Meditation for Friday, 6 March 2015 “True Hospitality”.

And late in the day I say this quote on the Grace Cathedral FB page:
Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. – Mother Teresa
… which I reposted with the comment … There’s that joy word again. It seems to be the theme of my day. Not a bad theme.
And of course  I had to find out why Grace Cathedral’s web page was called “Spacious Grace.”

Where are the Pews?

For the past five years, we have changed the seating arrangement in the Cathedral for a few days to celebrate Carnivale, our annual gala benefiting Cathedral life. This year, for the first time, we are exploring the Cathedral with flexible seating from February 9 until the end of Lent — a period we are calling Spacious Grace.  View a list of the events inspired by the pew removal below!

via Grace Cathedral – Spacious Grace.

And then I used the Mother Teresa quote as my labyrinth “walk” mantra …
Blessings and joy …
IMG_2484
24
Feb
14

2.24.14 … ” Sure enough, from above my head, again that Red Bird called … and called … and called … again and again. A-tweega-tweega-tweega, a-tweega-tweega-tweega. He sounded near enough to touch, and inside my closet, I walked to the spot directly under his song and stood, marveling at our miraculous closeness.” …

71579_10152250161984052_2101296358_n

Photo by friend and wonderful photographer Mark Fortenberry

cardinals, hope, joy comfort: I had to search a bit to find an old blog post by Cary Campbell Umhau on cardinals. I thought you  who have noticed cardinals would enjoy it.

And finally, as I neared the end of my circuitous route and was musing about all I had seen, I saw my own personal sign of hope, a cardinal.  Several years ago in a particularly dark time, when I’d asked God for a sign of hope, a cardinal darn near dive-bombed me.  And since then I’ve appreciated seeing them and chuckled over how obvious God made his answer back then.

So today, I saw a cardinal.  And that’s not all that unusual.  But this one was stubbornly standing on the doormat of a pretty yellow house.  Hopping around.  As if he’d rung the doorbell and was waiting to be asked in. Which perhaps he was.  Because hope does knock, persistently, even in the disastrous times, especially in the disastrous times.

As I smiled at that persistent red wonder, I glanced at the next house on my route.  And — I kid you not — a female cardinal was not just standing as if she had knocked but was flinging her body against the glass storm door, begging to come in.  And when — naturally — no one answered her plaintive request, she went to two separate windows and did the same thing.  I watched a while.

God was answering some of what I was asking today: “Can we keep hoping even when things around us look, well, not so hopeful?”   “Yes, hope endures.  Don’t lock the door against it.”

So if you are my neighbor and you saw me staring at your house today, I wasn’t casing it out; I was laughing in wonder at how God shows up, bidden or unbidden as Carl Jung said… but especially when bidden, for then we have our eyes open and expect to see Him.

Every time we put one foot in front of another and march off to work, we are hoping for a future.

When we dare to acknowledge our dreams, we are participating in creation with God, taking steps towards doing what He wants done on earth (since He’s the ultimate dream-provider).

When we feed someone, we are saying that we want them to continue to thrive.

When we water plants or tend gardens or nurture children or teach science, we are investing in the future.

When we try again and again to nurture relationships, we are living into the longing for community that God has set within us.

And when we wander and pray, we see wonders, for they are there.

via We Keep Showing Up | Holy Vernacular.

And I knew there was a followup by another Davidson friend. You must read them both!

Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper

Yesterday I requested “cardinal stories” from readers, since several told me (in response to a post on hope on Tuesday) that they’d had cardinal encounters recently (what’s going on?)  So for the next couple of days, I’ll stick with the cardinal theme.

Here’s a post from a college friend, Diane Cooper.  Let me tell you a little about her first:

Diane Cooper is the mother of four children, including sweet David Cooper, her seventeen-year-old son who died suddenly two years ago from Athlete Sudden Cardiac Arrest while rowing with his crew team at McCallie School in Chattanooga.

She wrote this about the piece below:

My son David was an identical twin and ALWAYS dressed himself in his favorite color — red — to visually distinguish himself from his brother, Reid. By doing this, he helped people greet him by his name rather than by “Hello Reid or David.” Since David died, cardinals have shown up in my life in a big way – too many significant instances to tell. I’m attaching one of the stories I wrote for a newsletter that I do for bereaved families in Chattanooga. Hope you enjoy it. Those cardinals are cheerful little guys!

Back to School

The beginning of August rolled around this year, and I found myself, once again, face-to-face with School Registration. This has been a difficult day for me the past two years. Our family had some longstanding  ”back to school” rituals with our three sons, and the boys, who are twelve to fourteen years older than their baby sister, were so looking forward to sharing the traditions with little Brett when she finally reached school age. David, in particular, talked about this for years, anticipating the time that Brett would begin kindergarten, and he would be launching his senior year of high school on the same day.

I thought back to all the “First Day of School” photos that I have of my three sons – three darling, fresh-faced boys, looking earnest in their new school clothes and their neat haircuts, standing proudly in front of the local coffee shop where we always began our “First Day” traditions with breakfast of waffles and bacon. David was always dressed from head to toe in red – his favorite color and the only way to distinguish him from his very-identical twin brother, Reid, who wore blue.

The past two School Registrations have reminded me of those bittersweet, innocent days, and at the first one after David died, when I went to register Brett for kindergarten, I cried all the way through the registration process — the principal and the school secretary crying right along with me. Last year, for Brett’s first grade Registration, I was just numb, and I rushed through the process as quickly as possible, trying not to make contact with anyone beyond the most basic, necessary exchanges.

This morning, however, I woke and hoped that things would be better this year — after all, I had arranged to work Registration for Brett’s choir teacher, and since David’s death, I find I do better, socially, if I can have a purpose and a reason to reach out to other people. I greeted the morning with slightly over-zealous courage, as I contemplated my intention to have a joyful day.

The warm morning sun was streaming through the bedroom windows as I walked to the back of the master bedroom and into my dark, cool, windowless closet. It’s a big closet, and it’s always very quiet and peaceful in there — a weird thing to say about a closet, but it is. I stepped inside and closed the door behind me and just as I did, I heard a cardinal start calling — loudly. I stopped and thought I must have imagined hearing it, since I was inside a closed closet that has no opening to the outside of the house. Sure enough, from above my head, again that Red Bird called … and called … and called … again and again. A-tweega-tweega-tweega, a-tweega-tweega-tweega. He sounded near enough to touch, and inside my closet, I walked to the spot directly under his song and stood, marveling at our miraculous closeness.

I finally realized that this sweet Red Bird must have been perched on the low, sloping roof, exactly above where my closet lies. His call of greeting and encouragement made me smile, and I thanked my son-who-loved-red and the Designer of this wonderful universe for the “thumbs-up” on my decision to create a joyful Registration Day, and I moved forward and got on with things.

… And it WAS a joyful day.

via Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper | Holy Vernacular.

defining ages, This is 45: The Eye of Life’s Storm | Emily Mendell:

Forty-five is the eye of life’s storm. The emotional drama of growing up is behind you, the physical perils of aging are still to come. In these years of quiet, it is easier to be grateful… and fearful. You are an expert on more things than you care to be, and you realize that most of your life has been of your own making. Yes, you are dealt cards that are both good and bad, but you are the one who plays them. With that realization comes a feeling of late great responsibility. You come to terms with how many moments, days, months have been squandered. You vow to do better; you know that you won’t.

via This is 45: The Eye of Life’s Storm | Emily Mendell.

Brené Brown, Bear Hug!, RSA Short Animated by Katy Davis: I really, really enjoy Brene Brown and her work (read her books, watch her TED presentations), and I love these animations. Well done!

via ▶ RSA Shorts – The Power of Empathy – YouTube

So grateful to The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts) for inviting me to speak in London this year and to animator and illustrator, Katy Davis, for this amazing short on empathy! Beautiful. #RSABear

via This Gives New Meaning to Bear Hug! An RSA Short Animated by Katy Davis – Brené Brown.

Vibram FiveFingers CVT Hemp | Covet | OutsideOnline.com, kith/kin:  I actually know someone who wants some.  🙂

Most of us know Vibram FiveFingers as the shoe of choice for runners who are serious about minimalism. Now the company is introducing its first hemp casual lifestyle piece—the CVT Hemp.

The CVT is a far cry from the other FiveFingers, whose colors tend to fall on the euro-fluorescent-techno end of the spectrum. Birkenstock wearers might be temped to convert.

Made from a blend of hemp and polyester that’s supposedly breathable, durable and sustainable, these slip-on shoes have the same sole as the other casual FiveFingers. You can even fold down the heel and wear the shoe as a clog. Take note that unless your toes are perfectly aligned, the shoes still take some effort to get on.

The CVT hemp will hit shelves this August.

$100, vibramfivefingers.com

via Vibram FiveFingers CVT Hemp | Covet | OutsideOnline.com.

The Haunting Reality,  Captain Phillips:  I really enjoyed this film.  Aspects are haunting …

Captain Phillips is a draining cinematic experience.   The director of Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass, is an expert at building tension.  He employs handheld cameras whenever possible, from the chase scenes in The Bourne Supremacy to the hijacking of United 93.   He tends to recreate the events as they happened, focusing upon the workmanlike elements of people simply doing their job.   His cast often include non-professionals who enhance the feeling of cinema verite that distinguished the director’s breakthrough feature, Bloody Sunday.   Consequently, the searing intensity in Captain Phillips felt achingly accurate.  It elevates the everyday heroism of Navy Seals and negotiators as well as the hard choices made by sailors on both sides of the standoff.

The desperation driving the Somali pirates to pursue a huge tanker overlapped with the motivations of those who hijacked Scott and Jean’s boat.   In the movie, we are invited to empathize with Somalis like Muse who are responding to economic pressures and brutal overlords by taking up arms.   Barkhad Abdi deserves the kudos and awards that have accompanied his performance.   He helps us understand that piracy is a by-product of almost no viable employment or alternatives.   His menace is fueled by grit and resolve.

via The Haunting Reality Beyond Captain Phillips.

2014 Oscar Best Picture Movie Nominees, kids, Video | TIME.com:  These kids make us look silly.

via ▶ Kids Reenact the 2014 Oscar Nominated Films – PEOPLE – YouTube

Okay, just admit it: you want to be able to say you’ve seen the more serious Oscar contenders like 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips, but you don’t really want to sit down and watch them. But if they were acted out by adorable children, well, then you’d totally want to grab the popcorn and go see them.

So watch here as some really cute kids offer their best reenactments of all this year’s best picture nominees — besides Philomena, which for some reason got left out. But all the others — from Her to Nebraska to American Hustle — get the adorable kid treatment, and we’re willing to bet that the full versions would be better than the originals.

via Kids Reenact 2014 Oscar Best Picture Movie Nominees: Video | TIME.com.

‘Downton Abbey’, historical drama, period dram, accuracy:

Edith and Michael’s marriage scheme makes sense, though she’d be required to become a German citizen.

Men could not divorce women for reason of incurable insanity and women could only divorce their husbands, if they were able to prove they had been excessively beaten. Laite said that it would not have been until the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1937 that things like adultery would be grounds for divorce. Unlike British civil code, German law did allow for divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity, however, it would have required both Michael and Edith to become German citizens, which is a important issue considering the prominence of nationalism at the time.

via Ask A Historian: How Accurate Is ‘Downton Abbey’?.

Yes –  Jesus Would Bake A Cake for a Gay Person | RedState, marriage equality, religion in the workplace, discrimination: I know where I come down, but I can see both sides of this issue when it is framed this way.  Originally I had a long quote from this article, but I do not want to have a political fight with my readers.  I clip and save here for me.  I think and rethink issues.  I am strongly in favor of the rights of all humans to live a life of respect and opportunity.  I am not a fan of Big Brother.   So do not jump on the attack.  I am thinking.

The disagreement comes on one issue only — should a Christian provide goods and services to a gay wedding. That’s it. We’re not talking about serving a meal at a restaurant. We’re not talking about baking a cake for a birthday party. We’re talking about a wedding, which millions of Christians view as a sacrament of the faith and other, mostly Protestant Christians, view as a relationship ordained by God to reflect a holy relationship.

This slope is only slippery if you grease it with hypotheticals not in play.

There are Christians who have no problem providing goods and services for a gay marriage. Some of them are fine with gay marriage. Some of them think gay marriage is wrong, but they still have no problem providing goods and services.

Other Christians, including a significant number of Catholic and Protestant preachers, believe that a gay marriage is a sinful corruption of a relationship God himself ordained. Because they try to glorify God through their work, they believe they cannot participate in a wedding service. Yes, because they believe they are glorifying God in their work and view it as a ministry, they view providing goods and services as a way to advance, even in a small way, God’s kingdom.

Herein lies the dispute of the day. The latter group does not stand in the way of the former group providing cakes, flowers, and pictures for a gay wedding. Some of the former, however, believe the government should compel the latter group to violate their conscience. They only see the transaction through the customer’s eyes as if the vendors are passive participants.

That’s the problem.

Christians should serve. But the government should not force them to.

via Yes, Jesus Would Bake A Cake for a Gay Person | RedState.

14
Feb
13

2.14.13 … Valentine’s Day = Generosity Day … simple: reboot Valentines Day as a day of “sharing love with everyone.”

 Valentine’s Day, sand art, Room with a View:  I am not cheating … I had saved this Facebook page for today from a few days ago …

Photo: A Room With A View

A Room With A View

NO ANXIETY HERE

Description

anx·ious/ˈaNG(k)SHəs/Adjective: 1.Experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

2.(of a period of time or situation) Causing or characterized by worry or nervousness

A ROOM WITH A VIEW IS HERE TO HELP YOU RELAX:)

As you gain more awareness and release these old patterns, your

anxiety may begin to soften, allowing you to connect to an embodied

“felt-sense” of yourself. This growing awareness can inform other areas

of your life, leading you to make to healthier choices, find deeper

relationships, and live a more authentic, fulfilling life.

Join Us At http://www.facebook.com/WithaView. Relax a Little

via A Room With A View.

i heart generosity day, Valentine’s Day, Brene Brown:  Reboot …

I love Generosity Day. The idea is simple: Lets reboot Valentines Day as a day of “sharing love with everyone.” You can read more about the origins of the movement here. I love this idea! For me its really easy to forget about real love on Valentines Day. When I was a tween and teen, the entire day was cringe-worthy. It was always about watching the popular girls get the crappy $1 roses sold at school. When I was was dating and first married to Steve I felt pressure to “get it right” which launched all of my shame gremlins.As a mom its about running to Target at 8PM on 2/13 to rummage through the picked-over cards.  As you can see, my perspective has been about how the day makes me feel. Wheres the LOVE in that?Heres the call to arms hearts:”Give to people on the street.  Tip outrageously.  Help a stranger.  Write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them.  Smile.  Donate more to a cause that means a lot to you.  Take clothes to GoodWill.  Share your toys grownups and kids.  Be patient with yourself and with others.  Replace the toilet paper in the bathroom.  All generous acts count!”

via i heart generosity day with a giveaway, of course

Valentine’s Day,  The Little Prince, Scientific American Blog Network:  “One only sees well with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.”

Because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”

And of course, there are those final words of the fox to the prince, as the young man makes up his mind to return to his planet, to reunite once more with the rose that has become his life. “One only sees well with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye. It’s the time that you’ve spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. Men have forgotten this truth. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”

It’s a love story for the ages.

via Valentine’s Day on the planet of the Little Prince | Literally Psyched, Scientific American Blog Network.

Great American Love Stories, Amazon Books: Great American Love Stories … state by state … Of course I immediately checked to see what the story was for “my” states. 🙂

50 GREAT AMERICAN LOVE STORIES

Who doesn’t love a great story about love? We sure do, and in the spirit of the Valentine season, we’re paying tribute to all the ways love transforms lives. Browse our Editors’ Picks for 50 Great American Love Stories (plus a few dozen more too good not to mention), set in every state of the union. Click on the heart of each state to jump to our selections.

via Amazon Books: Great American Love Stories.

Amazon Books: Great American Love Stories.

By state …

Georgia

Gone with the Wind, 75th Anniversary Edition

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Spirited Scarlett O’Hara meets her match, mischievous Rhett Butler, in everyone’s favorite epic Civil War-era romance.

North Carolina

Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier: A wounded Confederate deserter makes a periolous, months-long journey on foot to reunite with his beloved wife.

Also in North Carolina: The NotebookThe Fiery Cross(from the Outlander Series),SerenaThe Hunger GamesTrilogy

Illinois

Endless Love: A Novel (P.S.)

Endless Love by Scott Spencer:This early book from novelist Scott Spencer is still the last word on teenage obsession with passion.

Also in Illinois: The Time Traveler’s WifeWill Grayson, Will Grayson, and Loving Frank

.

Valentine’ Day, kith/kin, NODA, Cabo Fish Taco, Charlotte NC:  So what did you do to celebrate VD?  I had the pleasure of having lunch in NODA with two of my faves, two of my kith children.  I always love spending time and seeing the world through their eyes …

IMG_5602  IMG_5603

IMG_5605

IMG_5620 IMG_5618

IMG_5615 IMG_5607

IMG_5614

IMG_5611

 IMG_5621         IMG_5623

IMG_5626 IMG_5627

 IMG_5631

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Labyrinth walks:

I almost skipped my labyrinth walk, on the second day of the Lent, but then I thought better of it. And so instead I walked my least favorite of the local public labyrinths.

This one is at Wedgwood Church, “A Liberal Church,” IMG_5681 and is on the way to the dry cleaners,  and  I almost never walk it because it is my least favorite of the labyrinths within striking distance of my home.  I don’t know why it’s my least favorite except that it is very noisy, traffic noisy, not nature noisy or wind chime noisy or construction noisy … just plain old traffic noisy … and walking noisy.  Crunch, crunch …
There’s nothing really wrong with the setting of this labyrinth, except it’s next to an electric pathway. But since we are love the least :),  I’m going to love this labyrinth today.
IMG_5639 IMG_5651 IMG_5659 IMG_5641 IMG_5673
IMG_5663
IMG_5664   IMG_5661 IMG_5652
IMG_5675 IMG_5676 IMG_5677
 IMG_5649   IMG_5646
IMG_5671
IMG_5679
It is a gravel walk with brick boundaries. I realize now that the sound of the gravel crunching under my feet while walking, which is often peaceful when there are no other sounds, is very disconcerting when you’re listening to cars, trucks and buses accelerate and brake,  et cetera, et cetera. I even hear the horn of a train in the not too far distance.
I do think it’s very interesting that someone at some point has taken the  effort to put crushed red stone in the  a little corners that exist in the labyrinth’s  layout.
The gravel is a couple of inches deep, enough to cause me to focus on each and every step, fearful that I might lose my balance. This is disconcerting, especially when I think what a wonderful spiritual tool a labyrinth can be for the elderly.  This labyrinth would be a disaster for elderly person.
On a good note, the labyrinth of laid out as a traditional 11 circuit Chartres pattern,  My favorite …
Blessings.
Uptown Charlotte, Ashes to Go, Ash Wednesday, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, follow-up, CharlotteObserver.com:

Wearing the ashes “is a marking – no pun intended – of a new life and being reminded of who … we are as children of God,” Rencher said. “Those ashes say: ‘Now, go back into the world and prepare for new life.’ The 40 days of Lent is an opportunity … to journey with Christ.”

On this first day of Lent, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church has an answer for Charlotte Christians too busy to make it to an Ash Wednesday service:

“Ashes to Go.”

via Uptown Charlotte church offers ‘Ashes to Go’ for Ash Wednesday | CharlotteObserver.com.

US Airways,  American Airlines, merger, travelers, Charlotte hub, ABC News:

On the up side, the merger will also mean more destinations for the new American Airlines. US Airways passengers will benefit from American’s international routes, particularly in Europe and Latin America. American will be able to access the smaller U.S. cities where US Airways has a large presence. So for example, a US Airways flier who travels abroad from time to time will now be able to earn meaningful miles on those trips.

American Airlines has hubs and or a significant presence in Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles while US Airways has key operations in Phoenix, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C. A merger may force the new airline to reduce operations at one or more of these hubs.

via What the US Airways and American Airlines Merger Means For Travelers – ABC News.

random, Japan Trend Shop, Mocoro Robotic Fur Ball Vacuum Cleaner: Should I buy one??  Funnest …

Mocoro Robotic Fur Ball Vacuum Cleaner

This “microfiber hop ball” is one of the funnest in the recent trend for robotic vacuum cleaners in Japan. The Mocoro might sound like a bizarre but sophisticated piece of technology – a colorful “fur” ball that rolls automatically around home cleaning – but actually its beauty lies in its simplicity. All you need to do is clean the furry cover and then let the ball do the rest!

via Japan Trend Shop | Mocoro Robotic Fur Ball Vacuum Cleaner.

21
Jan
13

1.21.13 2013 Inauguration and MLK Day … Interesting combination …

2013 Inauguration, Edward Lindsey:  Thoughtful words from my brother …

Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition. But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy. One President. One Congress. One Country. United today by more than what divides us. Congratulations, President Barrack Obama. May God bless you and our nation.

via Edward Lindsey.

Photo: Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party  will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition.   But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy.  One President.  One Congress.  One Country.  United today by more than what divides us.  Congratulations, President Barrack Obama.  May God bless you and our nation.

Martin Luther King Jr., quotes, holiday:  Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you dont see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. #martinlutherkingjr

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Photo: Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.,  Brene Brown:  I loved this post by Brene Brown “light, love and martin luther king, jr.” so I am sharing it in full …

 

I used to turn to this quote in the midst of crisis or tragedy (or whenever I was in personal struggle). Now I realize that what started as shared wisdom has become my central prayer and a daily practice for me.

Anger, judgment and blame are go-to emotions for me. This is especially true when I’m tired, anxious, or feeling vulnerable. When I’m not being mindful, I can try to overcome hate with hate. I can drop quickly into resentment and judgment.

When there is darkness in the world, I can slip into the dark place. I can start rehearsing tragedy and let my fear take over. I can turn to blame even though I know that blaming is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort and has nothing to do with holding people accountable.

This incredible wisdom from Martin Luther King has become a prayer to me because it is everything I believe about my faith. I want to stay in love when fear drives me to hate and judgement. I want to practice gratitude and cultivate joy in the darkness. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be afraid or sad or vulnerable, it simply means that reacting to tragedy by living in fear doesn’t create empathy, it breeds more fear.

Here’s to love and light. As an imperfect practice. As a daring prayer. Thank you, Dr. King.

via light, love and martin luther king, jr..

Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, anthropology,  13.7: Cosmos And Culture, NPR, bookshelf:  Another to add to the list …

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, Diamond questions the practice of psychologists who base their claims about human nature entirely on people from WEIRD — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic — societies. In fact, Diamond writes, people in small-scale societies, people who gather and hunt, herd animals or farm, may have figured out better ways than WEIRD ways to treat people, solve social problems and stay healthy.

So far, this sounds pretty much like an embrace of the cross-cultural diversity that we anthropologists work to understand, even to celebrate. So what’s the backlash all about?

via Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Mark Twain, A Biography, quotes, profanity: Interesting … I think I’ll send this to the person in my life who actively uses profanity. 🙂

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Mark Twain, A Biography

via Did Twain use the F-word?.

Downton Abbey, Speakeasy – WSJ:  In case I missed something I love these recaps.:)

What was Branson thinking? What do you think of Robert’s handling of financial matters up to this point? Did Ethel make the right decision?

via ‘Downton Abbey,’ Season 3, Episode 3: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

21+ Students,  drinking preferences, culture, college life, Davidson College:

Though 21-year-old students may drink more nights per week, they rarely feel like they “black-out” or get as drunk as they did when they were younger. It seems that as Davidson students get older, they develop more responsible drinking habits. When students turn 21, alcohol becomes much more accessible at court parties, Martin Court Apartments, and bars, and they thus feel less inclined to pre-game or aggressively drink.

via 21+ Students share drinking preferences – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

sustainability, money, justice, environment, Davidson College:  This is much bigger than I realized …

 

Now leading the sustainability charge at Davidson is Jeff Mittelstadt ’99, who returns to alma mater as the college’s first, full-time director of sustainability. A triple threat with masters’ degrees in environmental management (Duke), in business administration (UNC Chapel Hill) and in journalism and mass communications (UNC Chapel Hill), Mittelstadt likewise takes a three-pronged view of sustainability circa 2013.

 

“It’s a triple bottom line,” he says, “of economic prosperity, social justice, environmental integrity. It’s about not just how they conflict but how they can drive each other.”

 

via Sustainability 3.0: Money, Justice, Environment.

Carl Sandburg, unpublished, guns, poetry, “Revolver”: Very timely …

With the debate over gun control heating up, a retired volunteer at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made a timely find.

Ernie Gullerud, a former professor of social work at the university, came upon a previously unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg titled “A Revolver,” which addresses the issue of guns and violence.

“I’m no judge of what makes a great poem, but this one said so much and so succinctly and to the point. I thought ‘Golly, someone could have written this today,'” said Gullerud, 83.

It’s not clear when Sandburg typed the poem:

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.
 

via Unpublished Carl Sandburg poem about power of guns uncovered at U. of I. library – chicagotribune.com.

31
Dec
11

12.31.2011 … Meilleurs vœux 2012!

New Year’s Eve, as seen from the car, NC, billboard alert, freaky weather, broccolini, zombies: Morning car ride to SC Outlets …

My question for you … why does Gaffney SC need a Beach Barbecue Restaurant?   Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill.

Only in NC … 🙂

.

My favorite billboard: “now featuring zombie paintball” … Near Charlotte .

It is gorgeous outside … The daffodils are shooting up … John is turning his garden … And what to our eyes did appear …. A very tasty head of broccolini!

twitter favorites, quotes, Brene Brown:

BreneBrown (@BreneBrown)

12/31/11 1:28 PM

What is vulnerability? It sounds like courage and feels like truth.

via 12.31 « Dennard’s Clipping Service.

New Year’s Eve, graphics, Facebook, 1000 words:

Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, New Year’s Eve, YouTube:  What Are You Doing New Years Eve? by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – YouTube.

Mitt Romney, President Obama, historical allusions, 2012 Presidential Election, “let them eat cake”: Come on, Mitt … You need a better quip-writer.

Mitt Romney on Thursday sought to portray President Barack Obama as out of touch with the struggles of everyday Americans — a charge he himself has often faced — by comparing the president to a former French queen who was overthrown during the French Revolution.

“When the president’s characterization of our economy was, ‘It could be worse,’ it reminded me of Marie Antoinette: ‘Let them eat cake,'” Romney said, referring to the infamously dismissive remark toward the poor attributed to the queen.

“This is not a time to be talking about, ‘It could be worse.’ It’s a time to recognize that things should be better,” Romney said during an interview on his campaign bus with The Huffington Post. “And the president’s policies have failed the American people, have led to 25 million people still being out of work. He didn’t cause the recession, but he has made it deeper and has made the recovery more tepid and the pain last longer.”

via Mitt Romney: President Obama Out Of Touch Like Marie Antoinette.

Christmas cards,Vimeo, Group Hug, kudos:  Great video card!

 Christmas Card to Friends

A friend of mine, Grant Harold, sent me a song he wrote for Chrismas this year, and I liked its simple message. So I rang my friend Nathan Deceasar and asked if he wanted to join me in turning it into a card for friends. Grant and Nathan and I call our little trio “Group Hug”

I hope these holidays have been a time that you’ve gotten to share with people you love.

———————-

Song: Christmas Is Free.

Christmas Card to Friends on Vimeo on Vimeo

 

 

April Uprising, acts of courage, Egypt, Wedad Demerdash:  One person … one act of courage.

And, according to one reading of the events that unfolded, it all began with a little-known act of courage on the part of a matronly, middle-aged millworker who wears a head scarf and was inspired to act because she couldn’t afford to buy meat for her family.

It was she who helped organize the initial strike by disgruntled workers in December 2006 that culminated in a nationwide call for a work stoppage on April 6, 2008. The date inspired the 6th of April Facebook group, which was used to rally the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in January.

When the men of the mill balked at joining the banned strike action, she seized the initiative and led her female co-workers out into the factory grounds. Chanting “Where are the men? Here are the women,” they marched around the mill until the men were shamed into joining them. After three days, the workers won.

Amid the upheaval of the past year, the part labor played in the birth of the revolution has been largely forgotten. But workers joined the revolutionaries in the square in February and have continued to stage strikes throughout the year, taking on a far greater role in Egypt, with its strong industrial base, than labor has in other countries where uprisings have taken place.

The strikes continue to this day, and although they have been eclipsed by the far-better-publicized demonstrations in Tahrir Square, future Egyptian governments will need to address at least some of the demands of an increasingly organized labor movement if the country’s unrest is to be tamed.

This is the story of Wedad Demerdash, 44, a mother of four and, perhaps, the original revolutionary.

via An act of courage that launched a revolution – The Washington Post.

Maurice Sendak,  children’s/YA literature, Where the Wid Things Are, creativity:  Very interesting interview … Sendak is definitely a curmudgeon!

There are very few creators alive today truly worthy of being called “creative genius.” Children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, beloved for Where The Wild Things Are and other gems, is certainly one of them. This affectionate 5-minute micro-documentary from Tate Modern zooms in on the iconic creator, uncompromising and idiosyncratic and brilliant as ever at the age of 83, to reveal the creatively restless and lovably grumpy workings of his heart and mind.

My books are really books that are impressed and in love with the memory of comics and how important they were to me as a child… I didn’t live near any famous person, I didn’t see Michelangelo go to work in the morning. I just lived in Brooklyn, where everything was ordinary — and yet, enticing and exciting and bewildering. The magic of childhood, the strangeness of childhood, the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see…”

via Inside Maurice Sendak’s Idiosyncratic, Infinitely Creative Mind | Brain Pickings.

TateShots: Maurice Sendak – YouTube.

Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry, recipes, Sunday Supper:  Next Week, maybe!

Our all time favorite, showstopper, the thing we crave all year and makes our mouths water is….

The Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry …. I am not kidding… You have not lived until you try this amazing soup.  You don’t just eat it like regular Soup, you have to break up the buttery croissant topping and fold it into the Soup.  When mixed with the chunks of shrimp and the creamy soup….It really is that good!

via Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry for a Special #SundaySupper « Family Foodie.

Apostrophe Protection Society, grammar, kith/kin:  I am always fighting with my kids on this … now a resource!

The Apostrophe Protection Society was started in 2001 by John Richards, now its Chairman, with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language.

The rules concerning the use of apostrophes in written English are very simple:

1. They are used to denote a missing letter or letters, for example:

I can’t instead of I cannot

I don’t instead of I do not

it’s instead of it is

2. They are used to denote possession, for example:

the dog’s bone

the company’s logo

Jones’s bakery (but Joneses’ bakery if owned by more than one Jones)

… but please note that its, which is usually used as a possessive adjective (like our, his etc), does not take an apostrophe:

the dog ate its bone and we ate our dinner

… however, if there are two or more dogs, companies or Joneses in our example, the apostrophe comes after the ‘s’:

the dogs’ bones

the companies’ logos

Joneses’ bakeries

3. Apostrophes are NEVER ever used to denote plurals!  Common examples of such abuse (all seen in real life!) are:

Banana’s for sale which of course should read Bananas for sale

Menu’s printed to order which should read Menus printed to order

MOT’s at this garage which should read MOTs at this garage

1000’s of bargains here! which should read 1000s of bargains here!

New CD’s just in! which should read New CDs just in!

Buy your Xmas tree’s here! which should read Buy your Xmas trees here!

via Apostrophe Protection Society.

just liked this, gift ideas, maps, historyCassini Maps – Keyword Product Search | Personalised Historical Map Place Mats & Coasters.

29
Oct
11

10.29.2011 … Molly and John on the tarmac early this am … running in the Runway 5K Run out at CLT. (Oh, and Molly so beat her daddy :))

food, kith/kin, random: Ever heard of white sweet potatoes? Ask Elizabeth  and Ballard … I laughed about as hard as I have ever laughed about special white sweet potatoes from VA at “67.” Who else was there? Jimmy? And why did I think of this …

When potato plants bloom, they send up five-lobed flowers that spangle fields like fat purple stars. By some accounts, Marie Antoinette liked the blossoms so much that she put them in her hair. Her husband, Louis XVI, put one in his buttonhole, inspiring a brief vogue in which the French aristocracy swanned around with potato plants on their clothes. The flowers were part of an attempt to persuade French farmers to plant and French diners to eat this strange new species.

Today the potato is the fifth most important crop worldwide, after wheat, corn, rice and sugar cane. But in the 18th century the tuber was a startling novelty, frightening to some, bewildering to others—part of a global ecological convulsion set off by Christopher Columbus.

via How the Potato Changed the World | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine.

Brene Brown, TED, culture:  I have posted this before, I think … but it is one of my favorite TED videos … Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on TED.com.

Christmas 2012, stocking stuffers:  I really love the little gifts … The Container Store – The Original Storage and Organization Store®.

zombies, pop culture, kith/kin:  Once again the Teagues are ahead of the game. 🙂

That glazed look in their dead eyes, the stench of rotting flesh, their hunger for fresh human brains — zombies seem to be everywhere.

The fascination with the undead has been creeping up on the sexy vampires of the “Twilight” dynasty. Over the past decade, movies such as “Resident Evil,” “I Am Legend ” and the spoofy “Zombieland” — not to mention the vast array of zombie DVDs, video games and accessories — have brought in $5 billion.

Seven million people watched the premiere of the hit AMC series “The Walking Dead” last week. Greg Nicoterro, the co-executive producer for the TV show said people have become “really obsessed” with zombies.

“You know vampires also have this huge following, they’re sort of been made sexy by the Twilight movies,” he said. “I honestly believe it’s the fact that as people grow up being fans of the horror genre that there’s something about zombies that are iconic.”

It’s arguable that Nicoterro is responsible for this most recent zombie contagion. He has created about 400 zombies for just season two of “The Walking Dead,” and his professional life has been dedicated to transforming regular-looking people into an army of flesh-feasting, blood-slurping ghouls.

via Move Over ‘Twilight,’ Zombies Are Creeping Up as the Popular Horror Obsession – ABC News.

Halloween costumes,  Steven J. Baum, Great Recession, PR nightmares:  Sometimes grown-ups can be really stupid.

These pictures are hardly the first piece of evidence that the Baum firm treats homeowners shabbily — or that it uses dubious legal practices to do so. It is under investigation by the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. It recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the firm had “filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in the state and federal courts in New York.” (In the press release announcing the settlement, Baum acknowledged only that “it occasionally made inadvertent errors.”)

MFY Legal Services, which defends homeowners, and Harwood Feffer, a large class-action firm, have filed a class-action suit claiming that Steven J. Baum has consistently failed to file certain papers that are necessary to allow for a state-mandated settlement conference that can lead to a modification. Judge Arthur Schack of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn once described Baum’s foreclosure filings as “operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe.” (My source told me that one Baum employee dressed up as Judge Schack at a previous Halloween party.)

I saw the firm operate up close when I wrote several columns about Lilla Roberts, a 73-year-old homeowner who had spent three years in foreclosure hell. Although she had a steady income and was a good candidate for a modification, the Baum firm treated her mercilessly.

When I called a press spokesman for Steven J. Baum to ask about the photographs, he sent me a statement a few hours later. “It has been suggested that some employees dress in … attire that mocks or attempts to belittle the plight of those who have lost their homes,” the statement read. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” It described this column as “another attempt by The New York Times to attack our firm and our work.”

I encourage you to look at the photographs with this column on the Web. Then judge for yourself the veracity of Steven J. Baum’s denial.

via What the Costumes Reveal – NYTimes.com.

define: person, social sciences, the natural sciences, liberal arts education, What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up, books:  Age old question … who should answer it?

We’ve previously explored three different disciplines’ perspectives on what it means to be human and a neuroscientist’s search for the self. But what, exactly, is a person? That’s exactly what sociologist Christian Smith examines in What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up — a fascinating and ambitious meditation on the grand existential question, the answer to which determines our view of our selves, our expectations of others, and our conception of what makes a good society, arguing that much of contemporary theory and thought on personhood is incomplete, short-sighted, misguided even.

Above all, Smith debunks the idea that science, morality, politics, and philosophy are separate matters that don’t, and needn’t, intersect — a byproduct of the ill-conceived model demanding the social sciences emulate the natural sciences. What Is a Person? is thus as much a compelling case for cross-disciplinary curiosity as it is a testament to the power of the synthesizer as a storyteller, weaving together existing ideas to illuminate the subject for a new

via What Is a Person? | Brain Pickings.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 620 other followers

May 2019
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031