Posts Tagged ‘Christianity

10
Jun
13

6.10.13 … “They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions” …

atheists, Christianity, New Atheism, college culture, The Atlantic, Next Church, worth reading: I highlighted this The Atlantic article yesterday … 6.9.13 … “Sincerity does not trump truth. After all, one can be sincerely wrong. But sincerity is indispensable to any truth we wish others to believe. “ This Next Church summary is very helpful (the article is long).

Next Church

Fascinating listening project with college-aged atheists. – Larry Alex Taunton – The Atlantic

The article is really long, but the learnings from the listening project are informative as we grapple with the number of teens/young adults leaving Christianity:

1. They had attended church.

2. The mission and message of their churches was vague.

3. They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions.

4. They expressed respect for ministers who took Bible seriously.

5. Ages 14-17 were decisive.

6. The decision to embrace unbelief was an emotional one.

7. The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism.

via Facebook.

09
Jun
13

6.9.13 … “Sincerity does not trump truth. After all, one can be sincerely wrong. But sincerity is indispensable to any truth we wish others to believe. “

atheists, Christianity, New Atheism, college culture, The Atlantic, worth reading:

What led you to become an atheist?

… To hear them tell it, the choice was made from a philosophically neutral position that was void of emotion.

That these students were, above all else, idealists who longed for authenticity, and having failed to find it in their churches, they settled for a non-belief that, while less grand in its promises, felt more genuine and attainable. I again quote Michael: “Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that.”

Sincerity does not trump truth. After all, one can be sincerely wrong. But sincerity is indispensable to any truth we wish others to believe. There is something winsome, even irresistible, about a life lived with conviction. I am reminded of the Scottish philosopher and skeptic, David Hume, who was recognized among a crowd of those listening to the preaching of George Whitefield, the famed evangelist of the First Great Awakening:

“I thought you didn’t believe in the Gospel,” someone asked.

“I do not,” Hume replied. Then, with a nod toward Whitefield, he added, “But he does.”

via Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity – Larry Alex Taunton – The Atlantic.

29
Mar
13

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

Lent, Room for Debate – NYTimes.com:

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

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

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

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

How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England

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

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

South Africa,  Brics era, FT.com:  

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

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

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

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

Ice Climbing, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, Iceland: 

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

Davidson College, Humanities, 50th anniversary:

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

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

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

via Thanks for These Four, And So Much More.

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

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

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

Christianity, Non-Believers,  Shane Claibourne, Esquire: 

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

Now for the good news.

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

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

Marriage Equality Symbol, Facebook: 

 

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

baseball:

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

via Facebook.

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

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

Paris à la bonne heure – Vidéo Dailymotion.

A Journey Together – NEXT Church.

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

DOMA, Thomas Jefferson:

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

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

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

via Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

travel, hidden places, Paris, sewers:

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

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

via 10 Hidden Places Around the World.

22
Feb
13

2.22.13 … more than a cake …

retro, Tunnel of Fudge Cake,  Bake-Off® Contest, Pillsbury.com, kith/kin:  Saw this list of bests .. and the #2 Nordic Ware bundt pan just brought back a flood of memories … And btw, everything about these two lists makes me feel old … 🙂

Go Retro: Top 10 Desserts – Bread Pudding to Chocolate Eclairs.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

This recipe, arguably the recipe most closely identified with the Bake-Off® Contest, mysteriously develops a “tunnel of fudge” filling as it bakes. Don’t scrimp on the nuts, or it won’t work!

Bake-Off® Contest 17, 1966
Ella Helfrich
Houston, Texas

via Tunnel of Fudge Cake Recipe from Pillsbury.com.

Moss Covered Easter Eggs,  threadowl, Etsy, Easter:  Like them …

Set of 4 Large Moss Covered Easter Eggs

Add a touch of natural greenery to your home’s spring decor, Easter celebrations, or other parties with beautiful handcrafted moss eggs. Use as center pieces or embellishment in vases and bowls.

These larger size Moss Eggs look amazing grouped together as a center piece on tables, and as decoration on fireplace mantels!

via Set of 4 Large Moss Covered Easter Eggs by threadowl on Etsy.

Sallie Krawcheck,  2012 Alumni Forum,  YouTube:  Worth  watching … makeup 🙂

via Sallie Krawcheck ’87 | SEVEN Talk at the 2012 Alumni Forum – YouTube.

trapped, manhole, criminal acts,  wsoctv.com: This man could have died …

Fifty manhole covers have been stolen so far this year in Gastonia.

via Man rescued after being trapped in manhole for 12 hours | www.wsoctv.com.

Downton Abbey,  One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful, YouTube: 🙂

Downton Abbey Perform One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful – YouTube.

coffee shops, productivity, scientific reason,  University of British Columbia, background noise, creativity, abstract thinking, technology:  I like coffee shops … maybe I should try to work while I am there.

If you’ve always found that you do your best work in coffee shops, you’ll be happy to learn that there’s a scientific reason for it. Last year, researchers at the University of British Columbia discovered that moderate levels of steady background noise (at approximately 70 decibels) actually spur creativity and abstract thinking better than silence. Heading to the local coffee shop isn’t always an option, of course, but with headphones, these eight ambient noise apps do an excellent job of delivering a similar audio experience, regardless of your surroundings.

via AppLife.

labyrinth walking, Christianity, neopagan, New Age, Women of Grace:  This one is loaded … Maybe they should try walking one …

However, the labyrinths in use today are not even remotely associated with these Christian labyrinths. Today’s version was popularized by an Episcopalian canon and New Age devotee named Lauren Artress who describes walking a labyrinth as a “way to find healing, self-knowledge and our soul assignments and to continue weaving the Web of Creation.”

In her writings about the labyrinth, Artress reveals her feminist disdain for the God of the Bible. Instead, she refers to “the Source,” “the Sacred,” and “the God within,” which she claims has been “destroyed through centuries of patriarchal domination, through fears of creativity and of the traits associated with the feminine.” Artress says she prefers this “Source” to the transcendent God “out there” who “keeps track of whether we follow the rules.”

She also says that Jesus as the Christ is too often not helpful because he is closely tied to the patriarchy. Instead, she calls people to the more inclusive “Father and Mother God” and “The Greening Power of God, the Holy Spirit in all Her mystery,” who is found in the “power of The Divine within.”

Artress openly admits that neopagan journalist and Wiccan priestess, Margot Adler (author of Drawing Down the Moon) and New Ager Jean Houston, one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement, influenced her modern labyrinth movement.

Such a firm New Age foundation certainly explains why the emphasis for labyrinth walkers is always upon the self rather than on God.

Knowing the belief system of the creator of the modern labyrinth movement hardly makes this so-called “meditation tool” very appealing to Christians. But this doesn’t stop retreat centers in need of the Christian market from presenting the labyrinth in ways that will appeal to them.

For instance, some try to “Christianize” it by using terms associated with the Christian mystical tradition although the meanings are radically different (something that is never explained to the walker!).

For instance, the three stages of a typical labyrinth walk are referred to as the purgation, illumination and unitive stages, all of which have meaning in the Catholic mystical tradition. But purgation doesn’t mean turning away from sin and embracing the gospel as it does in Christianity; it means “letting go of the details of your life.” Illumination means to “receive what is there for you to receive” rather than the Catholic concept of illumination which is a new closeness to God after a deeper conversion. The unitive stage in labyrinth language is when one “is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world” not achieving transforming union with God as is taught in the Catholic tradition.

Other retreat centers simply present their labyrinths to the faithful in terms so nebulous no one can figure out what it is, such as this snippet from a retreat center’s website: “When you stand at the threshold of the labyrinth, you stand at the threshold of your own consciousness, ready to step from the exterior to your own interior space, that interior space being represented by the labyrinth.”

via Should you walk the labyrinth? | Women of Grace.

29
Jan
13

1.29.13 … it’s not all about me … but I did have a great day … :)

2013 birthday, NYC, The Cloisters, MTA, High Line Park, Chelsea, bucket list, foo dogs: First Stop The Cloisters … A bucket list item.

First thing I noticed this morning was this beautiful set of foo dogs in the window … $35,000 for the pair. 🙂

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Next stop … The Cloisters.  I view getting there as part of the adventure.

Subway 6 to Grand  Central  … Subway 7 to Times Square … Love the artwork in the Times Square Station.  There are small tile pictures of New Year’s Eve revelers embedded in the standard white subway tiles. But there are also a MILLION ads for new movie Hansel and Gretel … Kills the interest … No cell service in Times Square Station … BUT a very  nice policeman tried to help … However,  he had never heard of the Cloisters  and kept trying to tell me where the Met was …

Subway A to 190th … Got on Express so I may have to backtrack at some point. Strange to roar through stations. The stations become less and less interesting. No art, not even nice big colorful tile insets identifying the station. Nice fellow passengers assure me it stops at 190th.

187th Yeshiva University is a little cleaner with several men with yarmulkes.

190th St. Station … very strange … like a prison … except great posters in the elevator!

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Half mile walk to the Cloisters … Along the Hudson. Gorgeous!

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THE CLOISTERS!

The Cloisters is a modern building (1930s) built to hold  to medieval art … as if Benedictine monastery … 1938 … “built as evocation of the Middle Ages “
moustached lion
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bestiary dragon
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Doorway … headless angels, Jesus, Mary, Clovis and son
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Chapel
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View from the Porch
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Cuxa Cloister
Capitals … One  with monkeys
Cloister means closed but is open to the world at the same time
Planted in garden … Rue, lavender, limes and aloe
Arch with fantastic beasts

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Pontaut Chapter House
Early Gothic Hall
Virgin
Panels from destroyed Lady Chapel at St. Germaine
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus
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Tapestries
9 heroes
Julius Caesar, Alexander the great or hector of troy, Arthur (pic), King David & Joshua
Unicorns
(But I really loved the dogs!)
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The Cloisters was well worth the visit.  I shall return!  And the return walk to the 190th St. Station was lovely … Although I wish the kind policemen driving through the park had given me a lift.  🙂

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NYC, Chelsea, High Line Park, kith/kin:  Now to Chelsea and a visit with a long-lost, but much-loved childhood friend …

6 train from 190th to 14 th …

190th – like a prison, but the elevator art in the other elevator was equally amusing.

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175th – grim …
Woman with bike who was not amused by the singing cowboy!
Posters all advertising “The Lion King”  again, all= overkill
168th –  better, red stripe
BTW never get a raspberry scone at Starbucks … So dry I would not eat it but now am starved!
145th –  yellow stripe, but nothing special
Cowboy playing … …. Singing in Spanish 🙂
135th – no stop
125th –  green stripe,  no art,  express …  Am I on the right train? … Bumpy as we pass other trains … Very bumpy …
110th –  no stop …   96th –  some decor, but no stop …
81st – no stop, but know that is the stop for museum of natural history … 72nd –  clean, no stop, blue stripe …
59th – big stop, blue stripe, kiosks on the platform, transfers …
42nd – purple stripe … train was getting crowded,  but emptying now …
34th Penn Station red stripe — Interesting iron work
23rd – no stop
14th – Out into the sun …

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NYC, Chelsea, Bonsignour, Organic Avenue:  Now to find Catherine and lunch … Please note … some pictures are the property of CW.  You can probably tell the difference.  🙂
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OK, I get off the subway and walk a few blocks … and I decide on Bonsignour on Jane St.  Biggest turkey and avocado sandwich I have ever seen …
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This little takeout shop in Greenwich Village is just the sort of place to visit when food becomes boring. It’s not that Bonsignour offers many unusual preparations, it’s that everything, even familiar dishes, tastes the way you imagine it should. That means cool poached salmon in a tart sauce of dill, capers and chopped tomatoes, and savory roast chicken breast cooked with scallions and thyme that is moist yet crisp on the outside and covered in herbs. You will also find unusual combinations that work, like lasagna made with chicken, spinach, roasted peppers and pesto. For dessert, Bonsignour offers rich, fudgy walnut brownies, flaky lemon walnut pastries and luscious raspberry linzer torte squares. — Eric Asimov

via Bonsignour – West Village – New York – Restaurants Search – The New York Times.

… then caught up  Catherine and “enjoyed” Splendid Sweet Green Juice and Cauliflower Cleanse Salad.  CW says Organic Avenue is the next Starbucks … I think they need some help with their product names. 🙂
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Organic Avenue is the leading provider of organic cold pressed juices, raw food cleansing programs, snacks, superfoods, truly natural beauty products, healthy lifestyle education and community building events. The company helps people learn how to transition and maintain a healthy lifestyle that is pleasurable and sustainable, while also friendly to people, animals and the environment.

Organic Avenue is controlled by Weld North, an investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global investment firm, Weld North seeks to make control investments in businesses with high potential for long-term growth in cash flow. With strong and highly motivated management teams, the firm looks to accelerate growth through an obsessive focus on enhancing the customer experience, operational excellence, marketing expertise, and strategic and disciplined management.

via Organic Avenue – About Us.

NYC, Chelsea, Meatpacking District, High Line Park, public art, El Anatsui, kith/kin, friendship: At one point while Catherine and I were walking and talking, she said something to the effect that it was so wonderful that the friends you made were you were little were often the truest … and could survive 35+ years apart.  Children do instinctively bond based on personality, etc. and not on social hierarchy, looks, school, etc. She was right … and I loved reconnecting on a very personal level with a great deal of trust.
As we walk toward the Meatpacking District and the High Line park, we noticed this building being “painted” to look like it has been in a bad fire.  It is for a Michael J. Fox tv show (see… NBC Picks Up Michael J. Fox’s New Comedy Series.)  Kinda cool …
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Next up was a little window shopping, but no buying.  Really liked Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor | ART.BEAUTY.DESIGN.STUDIO ~ 212.524.2800. for gifts (it’s a salon) and the FIG & OLIVE Restaurant – Kitchen Tasting Bar and Olive Oil Store.  Then into The Standard, High Line – Boutique Hotels New York City | Hip Hotels Manhattan NYC for a look around.  Great looking restaurant – THE STANDARD GRILL,  ice skating rink, unisex bathroom and artsy fun lobby …
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LINE IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN’S MEATPACKING DISTRICT STUNNING VIEWS OF NEW YORK AND THE MIGHTY HUDSON RIVER THE STANDARD GRILL GERMAN BIERGARTEN LIVING ROOM LOUNGE THE STANDARD ICE RINK WITH ITS OWN RINK-SIDE KAFFEEKLATSCH SERVING APRÈS SKATE DRINKS & SNACKS PRIVATE DINING ROOMS AND EVENT SPACES 24-HOUR ROOM SERVICE 24-HOUR GYM LE BAIN DISCOTHÈQUE SEASONAL ROOFTOP BAR AND CRÊPERIE NON-STANDARD SHOPPING IN THE STANDARD SHOP COMPLIMENTARY BIKES FREE WIFI EVERYWHERE

via The Standard, High Line – Boutique Hotels New York City | Hip Hotels Manhattan NYC.

Now on to the High Line
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(Did I tell CW I always take a picture of my feet?)
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Meatpacking District, our first encounter on the Highline… fun guy, a little on the short side!

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The El Anatsui …
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High Line Art presents Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui’s Broken Bridge II, the largest outdoor installation ever by the artist. A monumental sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, the work will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it. Broken Bridge II will be on view from November 21, 2012 through Summer 2013.

via EL ANATSUI, BROKEN BRIDGE II | Friends of the High Line.

And very interesting to me and CW was the work of David Everitt-Carlson,

“I Think Outside My Box” (ITOMB) was born on 6 October, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, Manhattan as a performance art and community outreach vehicle supporting Occupy Wall Street.

As a solution to signs he had made being constantly blown away or rained upon in the park, artist David Everitt-Carlson settled upon using a box instead of flat cardboard whilst sitting inside and painting. ITOMB was first featured in the Wall Street Journal on 7 October, 2011.

Over the course of the next 48 days, he painted all of 12 panels, each with a different theme and began to branch out into individual smaller signs that could be used by other participants for a small donation.

via I think outside my box: iTOMB HISTORY.

Here is my artwork … very poor … and here it is posted on his site … iTOMB Interactive 2013 – Google+.

 

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Off to Lower Manhattan … to find the Labyrinth in Battery Park …
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But after a walk alongside Ground Zero, St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church, we can’t find the labyrinth.  It was destroyed by Sandy and has not been restored.  Next time …

Camino de Paz Labyrinths in collaboration with the Battery Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation created the Labyrinth for Contemplation situated in the Jerusalem Grove at Battery Park, Manhattan.

The Labyrinth for Contemplation enables the families of those who lost relatives and friends, visitors, local residents and workers, with an interactive tool for reflection, grieving, honoring, and healing. The Labyrinth transforms the existing Jerusalem Grove of 11 cedar trees into a place of pilgrimage by providing all visitors with the opportunity of actively offering respect through walking the path.

via Camino de Paz Labyrinth for Contemplation in Battery Park – Virtual Globetrotting.

NYC, Subway:  6 train all the way home …
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NYC, dinner, SEO:  When in Rome … Eat Asian! Birthday dinner — at SEO Japanese Restaurant. Overall, pretty good meal.  I really liked John’s calamari salad … Calamari Salad, Miso Soup, Sushi And Sashimi Combination, Pear and Banana dessert

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NYC,  The Waldorf Astoria, Secret Train Platform, FDR, history: On the way back to the hotel from dinner, John and I looked down on the train tracks that run directly under the Waldorf Astoria and remembered this little bit of historical trivia – that  FDR had a private entrance from the tracks to the hotel.  One of the bell men overheard us and did a great job telling us about what he knew including that the platform had also been used to get workers in passed picket lines during strikes.

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Over the weekend we had a chance to visit the long-abandoned Waldorf-Astoria train platform, which allowed VIPs to enter the hotel in a more private manner—most famously it was used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, possibly to hide the fact that he was in a wheelchair suffering from polio. The mysterious track, known as Track 61, still houses the train car and private elevator, which were both large enough for FDR’s armor-plated Pierce Arrow car. Legend has it that the car would drive off the train, onto the platform and straight into the elevator, which would lead to the hotel’s garage. Trainjotting has some more history regarding the platform, known as Track 61, and notes that the quest for it “has become a holy grail for many urban explorers.”

Some fun facts regarding the timeline of the tracks: It was first used by General Pershing in 1938, and less than 30 years after that, in 1965, it was the venue for a party thrown by Andy Warhol (fittingly called The Underground Party).

via Photos: Visiting The Secret Train Platform Beneath The Waldorf-Astoria – Democratic Underground.

And a few thoughts on the Waldorf … when I stayed here two years ago, it was not in good shape.  Well, this time, the public areas look great and our room was quite nice, large with wonderful fixtures.  The service was very good, but not excellent, however.  One thing I missed was turn down service … and the reason is because someone needs to pull the shades down and close the curtains … a great deal of city light and noise comes in at night.  Otherwise, we had an excellent stay.

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UNC President Tom Ross, Gov. Pat McCrory, liberal arts education: I’m with you, Tom Ross!

“The University’s value to North Carolina should not be measured by jobs filled alone. Our three-part mission of teaching, research, and public service requires that we prepare students with the talent and abilities to succeed in the workforce, because talent will be the key to economic growth. We must also continue to serve the state through our agricultural and industrial extension programs, our Small Business and Technology Development Centers, our Area Health Education Centers, and through the many other ways our faculty and students are engaged in our communities. Higher education plays a key role in ensuring a higher quality of life for all North Carolinians.”

via UNC president responds to McCrory radio remarks | CharlotteObserver.com.

Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A, LGTB Controversy, Christianity, culture:  What a nice twist to this story …

This is why, after discussions with Dan and Chick-fil-A, Campus Pride suspended our campaign. Like Dan, we had faith. It took time to be proven publicly.

Now it is all about the future, one defined, let’s hope, by continued mutual respect. I will not change my views, and Dan will likely not change his, but we can continue to listen, learn and appreciate “the blessing of growth” that happens when we know each other better. I hope that our nation’s political leaders and campus leaders might do the same.

In the end, it is not about eating (or eating a certain chicken sandwich). It is about sitting down at a table together and sharing our views as human beings, engaged in real, respectful, civil dialogue. Dan would probably call this act the biblical definition of hospitality. I would call it human decency. So long as we are all at the same table and talking, does it matter what we call it or what we eat?

via Shane L. Windmeyer: Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.

15
Oct
11

10.15.2011 … RIP, Dr. Partin, a most beloved Davidson professor … and missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Dr. Malcolm Partin, RIP, Davidson College faculty:  So many friends consider Dr. Partin their favorite Davidson professor.  Rest in peace, Dr. Partin. I never had Dr.Partin but his  “Catherine the Great” lecture was well-known in Davidson lore  … and everyone would try to get in to hear it.  I listened in once.  🙂

During the funeral service, the Rev. Jody Seymour had reminded us all of Malcolm’s insistence that people made history, not social forces like the economy and political ideology. And the people in attendance to celebrate Malcolm today at Davidson United Methodist Church were a living history of Davidson.

It is tempting to think in a crowd like this of the Davidson of yore—”old Davidson” as someone else in the receiving line said. It is a comforting thought, in its way, attached as it is to more youthful days. Look, over there are Sam and Ava and John and Missy and Will and Sue and Hansford and Earl and Leland…. Of course, Leland. I’ve never laughed as much as I did when Malcolm and Leland would get on a roll. I hear Leland laughing even now in the receiving line, sharing happy memories of his friend with all who reach out to shake his own hand.

This is a solid group of good people, I think, and I’m honored to be in it. And when I back up a few steps (away from some very delicious homemade cookies), I see that there is no real distinction here of old or new. Just flow, here we all are right now. You never jump in the same river twice, and that. Someone is always arriving or leaving. It is Davidson in its terquasquicentennial glory, the Davidson of people who’ve gone before for nearly 175 years and who are here now and who are yet to come here, that matters….

via Daybook Davidson » Malcolm Overstreet Partin: May 24, 1936–October 12, 2011.

He engaged students with anecdotes and insights, inviting them to join him in discovery of two centuries of triumphs and tragedies that ultimately helped explain their own circumstance in history. He began one segment by saying, “Dig in your heels now, because we’re about to tackle the ‘Eastern Question’ in all its dreadful splendor…”

The benevolent dictatorship of his classroom was balanced by his behavior outside that personal domain. Students stopped by his office regularly in the afternoons for conversation and help, and he frequently dined with them. “He’s a friend an confidant who takes time to know you as a person, and not just as a student,” wrote one admirer.

via Davidson College News Archives.

empty nesters, kith/kin:  I hate experiencing the empty nest vicariously! Missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Constitution, Second Amendment, Gene Weingarten: Enjoyed Weingarten rewrite of the Second Amendment … look forward to reading more of his rewrites!

The old version: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What a mess! It’s got mangled syntax, extraneous punctuation, and, above all, mealy-mouthed caveats and qualifiers. If you are going to allow arms, allow arms.

My new Second Amendment:

“You have the right to bear arms, including but not limited to handguns, tommy guns, assault rifles, bazookas, zip guns, grease guns, blunderbusses, howitzers, flamethrowers, grapeshot cannons, shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles, medieval-style catapults that can launch a putrifying, disease-ridden horse carcass over a castle wall, and Al Pacino’s ‘lil’ fren’ from ‘Scarface.’ This amendment should not be construed to rule out ordinarily, non-lethal devices that might be weaponized, such as plowshares, pitchforks, and handheld, riled-up roosters.”

via Gene Weingarten: Get me rewrite – The Washington Post.

history, Great Depression, Great Recession:  Is history repeating itself?

Toward the end of his book, Allen sums up the mood of the country. By 1939, people were weary of hard economic times, but they were also weary of Roosevelt’s endless experiments. Many modern historians believe that Roosevelt’s biggest problem was not that he’d done too much, but that he’d done too little — that the Depression required a response bigger than even Roosevelt’s New Deal. Implicitly, Allen agrees with that.

Still, he writes, “Despite all the miseries of the Depression and the recurrent fears of new economic decline and of war, the bulk of the American people had not yet quite lost their basic asset of hopefulness.”

He concludes: “A nation tried in a long ordeal had not yet lost heart.” When our current long ordeal finally ends, will we be able to say the same?

via The 1930s Sure Sound Familiar – NYTimes.com.

The Phantom Tollbooth, children’s/YA literature:  Did you like The Phantom Tollboth?  It’s 50!

It’s a commonplace of scholarship to insist that children’s literature came of age when it began to break away from the authoritarian model of the moralizing allegory. Yet “The Phantom Tollbooth” is an old-fashioned moralizing allegory, with a symbolic point at every turn. Milo finds that the strange land on the other side of the tollbooth is sundered between words and numbers, between the land of Azaz the Unabridged, the King of Dictionopolis, and his brother the Mathemagician, the ruler of Digitopolis. The only way to reunite the kingdoms is for someone—why not Milo?—to scale the Mountains of Ignorance, defeat the demons, and release the banished princesses of Rhyme and Reason from their prison. (They were banished because they refused to choose between words and numbers, thereby infuriating the kings.) Along the way, each new experience makes funny and concrete some familiar idea or turn of speech: Milo jumps to Conclusions, a crowded island; grows drowsy in the Doldrums; and finds that you can swim in the Sea of Knowledge for hours and not get wet. The book is made magical by Juster’s and Feiffer’s gift for transforming abstract philosophical ideas into unforgettable images. The thinnest fat man in the world turns out to be the fattest thin man; we see them both. We meet the fractional boy, divided in the middle of his smile, who is the “.58 child” in the average American family of 2.58 children. The tone of the book is at once antic and professorial, as if a very smart middle-aged academic were working his way through an absurd and elaborate parable for his kids. The reality is that when Juster wrote “The Phantom Tollbooth” he was a young architect in Brooklyn, just out of the Navy, unmarried and childless, and with no particular background in writing or teaching, working out a series of jokes and joys for himself alone.

via Norton Juster’s “The Phantom Tollbooth” at 50 : The New Yorker.

Breast Cancer Awareness, “pinking of America”:  Too much media hype  … does it do any good?  Actually pinking seems far less pervasive this year here in Charlotte.

THE Dallas Cowboys just got “pinked.”

And not just the Cowboys. The entire Cowboys Stadium here. Pink is everywhere: around the goalposts, in the crowd, on the players’ cleats, towels and wristbands.

In case you haven’t noticed, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the entire nation gets painted pink. This is also when “pink” becomes more than a color: It becomes, for better or worse, a verb.

In marketing circles, “to pink” means to link a brand or a product or even the entire National Football League to one of the most successful charity campaigns of all time. Like it or not — and some people don’t like it at all — the pinking of America has become a multibillion-dollar business, a marketing, merchandising and fund-raising opportunity that is almost unrivaled in scope. There are pink-ribbon car tires, pink-ribbon clogs, pink eyelash curlers — the list goes on.

via In the Breast Cancer Fight, the Pinking of America – NYTimes.com.

piracy:  Modern piracy is not glamorous … makes you rethink 18th century piracy.

SOMALI pirates can be persistent. They have attacked the Maersk Alabama, a container ship owned by an American subsidiary of Denmark’s Maersk Line, no fewer than five times, most recently in May. In the first attack, in 2009, the captain was held hostage until the US Navy rescued him. Then Maersk put private armed guards on the ship. Since then, it has successfully repelled all boarders.

Maersk says it is only arming a few ships plying the pirate-infested waters off East Africa. But the practice is spreading rapidly among shipping firms despite the cost, which can run to $100,000 per voyage for a four-man team. That is because the number of attacks, off Somalia and elsewhere, has kept growing despite the strengthening of naval patrols (see chart). The European Union’s NAVFOR task-force, NATO warships and other navies patrol the waters off Somalia, but this has only pushed the pirates out into the open ocean, extending their attack zone towards India’s coast and as far south as Mozambique’s. This has forced the shipping industry, its insurers, and the national and international authorities that oversee them to accept that private armed guards are a necessity.

viaPiracy: Prepare to repel boarders | The Economist.

politics, what ifs …:

Hillary Clinton is going to swap jobs with Joe Biden at some point between now and the 2012 election, okay? I can just tell.

Yes, I understand that I should rightly be embarrassed for making this claim. But no, it’s not because of the obvious fact that both Biden and Clinton have repeatedly claimed that they want no part of such a swap, or that there isn’t any indication that the White House would do such a thing, or that even if the White House and Biden and Clinton wanted to it would be treated by the media as a fundamental sign of desperation and by their opponents as a sign of weakness. It’s not because of the unambiguous absence of any compelling reason to make a change like this. And it has nothing to do with the fact that such a change-up would not result in a single needle being moved in the White House’s favor.

via Here Are Some Thoughts I Had For America!: This Week In Pundit Pontifications.

iPhone 4S, SIRI, LOL: OK I laughed … Shit That Siri Says STSS

violence, Christianity:  Interesting analysis … an issue that has come up several times recently.

There was a simple lesson we learned that day: skepticism is good; because life is far more interesting and complex than our assumptions would have us believe, especially those assumptions about other people.

But at a deeper level, what we learned was our faith is a resource, the deepest of deep wells. It is not only a tool for coping with difficulties, but it provides some sense of both meaning and direction.

That is where I’d like to address the question for this panel today. And as a way to talk about what Christianity says about peace, I’d like to do so from the side by answering this question: What is the Christian response to violence?

There are typically two answers to this question from the Christian tradition that many of us would be familiar with.

First, there is what is known as the “just war” theory, first developed in a Christian sense by St. Augustine in the 4th and 5th centuries. Without going into too much detail, it is the theological rationale that there is such a thing as permissible violence, but within a very clearly prescribed set of circumstances that limit behavior during war and also limit the reasons for going to war. In short, the good must outweigh the bad.

Second, there is pacifism, which roots itself in Christ’s teaching to “turn the other cheek”. It had its proponents in the early church, and has continued as a Christian way of thought. We know it best in the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who employed it as both a strategy and a way of life.

But in both cases, what is not an option is revenge. It is not a Christian value. There is no justification, from a Christian perspective, for getting even.

Listen carefully to Jesus’ response to the crowd: “Do you think these suffered in this way because they were worse sinners? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.”

In that, I hear Jesus issuing a warning: lives lived without repentance – without the humility and honesty of acknowledging wrongdoing – are destined for tragedy. And not in the sense that either Falwell or Robertson might believe.

Repentance is, after all, a turning to face God. It is a shining of light on that which is shrouded in darkness. It is painful, but it is restorative. Before anything else, there is the need to confront our brokenness, our imperfections, the evil we harbor within ourselves. And repentance is not confined to the individual. It is a collective responsibility. How are we complicit? How do we participate in systems which allow violence to flourish?

It is my conviction that it is the asking of these difficult questions that begins the Christian path to peace. It is the moral consequences of the answers that give us direction.

via What Is the Christian Response to Violence? Reflections for an Interfaith Panel « i feast therefore i am.

Louisville KY, river cities:  I love this description of Louisville!

I love cities on rivers. They always remind me of the great Raymond Carver poem, Where Water Comes Together With Other Water … and the lines “I love the places where water comes together with other water… They stand out in my mind like holy places. . .”

The mighty Ohio River from our hotel room

Louisville isn’t quite holy, but it is a quiet, likeable city of beautiful old brick facades, lots of fountains, and the KFC Yum! stadium, picturesquely situated on the banks on the mighty Ohio. Our hotel room overlooks the river, where we can watch coal barges floating by, loaded up with great mounds of black grit. When I drove in Monday night, I missed my turn and ended up driving across the river into what I thought was Ohio but was actually Indiana (and yes, I am directionally and geographically challenged).

via My new Kentucky home. | What Gives 365.

‘The Rosie Show”: I am not sure I will ever like Rosie again … she just got mean and ugly …

On the premiere of her show on Monday, Ms. O’Donnell performed a mock cabaret number with her own lyrics to “The Night Chicago Died.” (“Remember my problems on ‘The View’/I told Hasselbeck a thing or two.”)

She also discussed rehab with Mr. Brand, a former drug addict, and breast cancer with Ms. Sykes, who caught hers early and is in full recovery. But serious issues don’t get in the way of what Ms. O’Donnell does best: amiable, free-floating conversation that seems unscripted and unpretentious.

“The Rosie Show” is an OWN program that doesn’t ask viewers to look inside themselves; it just entices them to watch.

via ‘The Rosie Show’ and ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass’ on OWN – NYTimes.com.

White House, President Obama, BlackBerry messages,  Solyndra, Executive Privilege:  New area … blackberry communications … Solyndra is getting bigger …

President Barack Obama won’t be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders that they should still be happy with the trove of Solyndra-related documents they’re getting from federal agencies including DOE, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget.

But Ruemmler said the investigators’ request for all internal White House communications about Solyndra — dating back to the first day of the Obama administration — “implicates long-standing and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Obama had to fight his lawyers just to be able to become the first president to use a BlackBerry, and so far no one has successfully gotten access to the messages.

via White House won’t turn over Obama’s BlackBerry messages on Solyndra – Darren Samuelsohn – POLITICO.com.

Google, Steve Yegge,  “Jerry Maguire moment”:

I’m not sure if Yegge interrupted his fervent writing spree to assume yoga positions, as Jerry Maguire did, but his memo about Google+ shook the tech community as much as Maguire’s memo shook the fictional sports agency world.

The only difference: Yegge does not seem in danger of being fired and forced to start up his own tech company with a spunky sidekick/secretary. (At least not yet). But his missive left me cheering for Yegge, imaging a Hollywood symphony swelling to a crescendo when I reached the final line: “But we’ve gotta start doing this right.”

To recap for the non-tech-obsessed: An engineer at Google, Yegge poured out his angst about the struggling Google+ on Google+. His diatribe was meant for Google employees only, but even Yegge can’t figure out how to use the platform and he mistakenly made it public. He took it down, but nothing dies on the Internet, so copies are still posted all over Google+. (He also has an archive of long posts around the Web, most amusingly “Stevey’s Drunken Blog Rants” about his time at Amazon.)

His Google+ post is a fascinating glimpse inside the world of one of the largest tech companies. It’s long, but worth reading — even if you don’t understand half the tech jargon (I write about the Internet, and there were parts I stumbled over). By the time you reach the end, you’ll be cheering for Yegge too.

While there’s plenty for the tech crowd to enjoy (especially the inside gossip on Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, or “Dread Pirate Bezos,” in Yegge’s words), what stuck out to me were the simple rules he laid out for thinking about how a company should be run.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say, for all his complaints about the company, Yegge does a pretty great job making Google seem like an incredible place to work.

via Google engineer Steve Yegge has his Jerry Maguire moment – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

 ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out, Web: Way too public to me.

LIKE a lot of people who post videos of themselves on YouTube, Kristina Cecil wants the world to know a few personal facts:

She is an avid hiker.

She is a Minnesota Vikings fan.

She is a member of the United States Air Force, which is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to serve in the military.

And she is gay.

“It’s really nice to say that now, because the whole ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been repealed,” Ms. Cecil, a 22-year-old with short-cropped blond hair and a tattoo on her right arm, said excitedly to the camera. “I’m just really happy to say that I’m gay, and I’m an American airman.”

Ms. Cecil’s on-screen declaration, shot in her disheveled bedroom, is one among a wave of coming-out videos posted by gay soldiers on YouTube in recent weeks. With National Coming Out Day this past Tuesday, less than a month after the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed, the genre of military coming-out videos gained force this week.

via After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out on the Web – NYTimes.com.

Philip Johnson, Glass House, architecture, design, icons, bucket list: Glass House is on my bucket list … but isn’t a glass house counterintuitive to the idea of a house?

The architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House is one of the most important icons of modern architecture. For nearly five decades, Johnson and the art collector David Whitney lived in the 47-acre grounds in New Canaan, CT, sculpting the landscape and adding new buildings.

In 2007, two years after both men had died, the site opened up to the public as a National Trust Historic Site.

via Is Philip Johnson’s Glass House The Most Beautifully Designed House In The World?

social media ads, politics:  clicks = votes ….

The other problem with television: Live viewers are diminishing rapidly. A recent poll by the advertising company SAY Media reported that one in three voters had not seen any live television during the previous week. And politicians want to go where the conversation is.

Romney, for example, records short video messages and pushes them out on social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube. “You need to have digital embassies on every one of those sites,” Moffatt said.

Whether this form of advertising will be effective, or whether it will fall prey to the same arguments Malcolm Gladwell made about the efficacy of social media influencing world events (he disowned Twitter’s role in the Arab Spring), remains to be seen. There have been no major studies proving the success of online political advertising.

And in social media, all users — not just politicians — wield influence. New tools are allowing voters to tout their favored politicians. Votizen launched an endorsement tool last month on Twitter and Facebook to help people publicly vouch for candidates — and solicit their friends to get behind them.

via Will clicks on social media ads translate into votes? – The Washington Post.

pictograms, graphic design, Jesus, LOL:  Famous lives in minimalist pictograms!  Even, Jesus!

From Milan-based creative agency H-57 comes this brilliant series of minimalist pictogram posters for the life-and-times of famous characters, both fictional and historical, from Darth Vader to Marie Antoinette to Jesus — part Isotype, part Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, part something entirely and ingeniously its own.

via From Darth Vader to Jesus: Famous Lives in Minimalist Pictograms | Brain Pickings.

14
Oct
11

10.14.2011 … returned from Louisville … went through the Cumberland Gap tunnel … someday I will stop and go to the national park … visit with Davidsonian Julie … great visit …

travel, Cumberland Gap, KY, TN: Went through the Cumberland Gap tunnel, again … Someday I will stop and go to the national park …

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer… all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.

via Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service).

kith/kin, Davidson alums:  Very fortunate to enjoy the company of DC roommate Julie … very luck indeed.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Doo-Ri Chung, fashion:  Some of her “bare” shouldered outfits i do not care for … but she looks magnificent in this one.

Last night at the White House, it didn’t take much to become a fashion insider. Even though the first lady’s Doo-Ri Chung gown remained a tight-lipped secret until the last minute, everyone seemed to mirror Michelle. Watching guests glide past reporters prompted a sense of déjà vu. Purple? Check. One shouldered? Check. A little bit of sparkle? Check. As previously noted, even ABC News’s Juju Chang, whose dress was “crowd-sourced” by viewers, stuck to the same formula. We were left feeling a little nostalgic for the wow-factor of the China state dinner red carpet. Thank goodness for the hanboks.

via South Korea state dinner fashion lacked originality: Mirroring Michelle – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

Lumina Foundation:   no surprise here … college success and economic prosperity are linked.

Put simply: To prosper—even to survive—in the global economy, we need many more college graduates … here in the cities and towns of Maine, and all across this country. That is a fact we can all agree on, so I won’t spend more time today explaining the need or underscoring the urgency. Instead, I’ll try to suggest some specific things you can do to help meet that need. It’s clear to me—based on my experience in higher education and on Lumina’s work in increasing college access and success—that everyone in this room can play a part in helping boost college completion.

In fact, this is just the sort of gathering where the message of concerted collaboration is most appropriate—because this group represents the perfect mix of players. As higher education officials, as policymakers, and as local and regional business leaders, you all have critical roles to play in the college-completion effort—individually and as partners. More than that, I believe you have a vital role to fill even before we can tackle the college-completion effort … a role that centers on earning and keeping the public’s trust. I hope today to offer some suggestions about how each of us can play all of those roles.

But before I delve into the details, I should step back a bit and provide a bit of background for those who aren’t familiar with the organization I represent. Lumina Foundation is a national foundation, based in Indianapolis, with an endowment that puts us among the largest private foundations in the country.

At Lumina, we have one mission: enrolling and graduating more Americans from college—especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. And we pursue that mission in a very targeted way. All of our energy and resources are focused on achieving one ambitious but specific goal for college attainment, what we call “Goal 2025.”

Clearly, no one-size-fits-all system of higher education will work for these students, and it won’t serve us as a nation. To reach Goal 2025, America needs all types of students to succeed, and they must succeed in far greater numbers.

As employers, educators and civic leaders, all of you understand the huge payoffs that come from a well-educated, innovative and productive workforce. I urge you, then, to join together to make Goal 2025 a reality. It truly is a vital task—from Kittery to Fort Kent, Maine to California, and indeed across our great nation.

via Linking College Success and Economic Prosperity in Maine – Lumina Foundation.

Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs:  Another perspective …

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

Clinton reminisces about his friend Steve Jobs; how Jobs gave the Clintons a place to stay when visiting Chelsea at Stanford; and the conversation Clinton had with Jobs before he died.

via Bill Clinton Reminisces About His Friend Steve Jobs | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

graphic novels, comics:  New ‘Star Wars’ comics and graphic novels of Stieg Larsson’s Trilogy  … hate to admit it … I don’t get these graphic novels.

When moviegoers were first introduced to “Star Wars” in 1977 they were promised a story that took place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. At the New York Comic Con on Friday, Dark Horse is revealing a new comic book series, “Dawn of the Jedi,” that explores the Jedi myth long before Luke Skywalker took his first step.

“At the point that our story begins, what will become the Jedi order has been around for about 10,000 years,” said Randy Stradley, the senior editor of the “Stars Wars” comics that Dark Horse publishes. “All these guys have been studying the force, and trying to learn how to deal with it and maintain its balance.” The Jedi, who have limited space travel abilities, are discovered by some villains with more technological muscle and “mayhem ensues,” Mr. Stradley said. The series, which will be published monthly, but with small breaks between story arcs, will be written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, who is also the illustrator.

In other comic book news, DC Entertainment announced this week that it had secured the rights to turn Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy into graphic novels. Each book in the original series will be presented as two graphic novels to be published from 2012 to 2014. Ace Books, an imprint of Penguin Groups, announced that it would publish a trilogy of graphic novels by Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, that will be written with Christopher Golden. The series, “Cemetery Girl,” is about a teenager who has amnesia and who lives alone in a cemetery. Ace will release “Deadlocked,” the next volume in the Sookie Stackhouse series, in next May.

via Picture This: New ‘Star Wars’ Comics, and Graphic Novels of Stieg Larsson’s Trilogy – NYTimes.com.

creativity, adults: Activity Books for grown-ups!

The intersection of childhood and adulthood is a frequent area of curiosity around here, from beloved children’s books with timeless philosophy for adults to quirky coloring books for the eternal kid. Today, we turn to seven wonderful activity books for grown-ups that inject a little more whimsy and playfulness into your daily grind

via Catalyzing Creativity: 7 Playful Activity Books for Grown-Ups | Brain Pickings.

UGA, UGA students,  parking boots, stealing:  Kids will always make bad choices … but don’t you think parking boots are ridiculous.  I never saw one until my friend Catherine showed me one in 1983. So note to nephews … don’t steal them … a felony.

University of Georgia police are warning students they could face serious consequences for stealing parking boots — the wheel locks that police place on the vehicles of traffic scofflaws.

The Athens Banner-Herald quotes Police Chief Jimmy Williamson as saying that such incidents are occurring on a regular basis and students may not realize how serious the offense is — it’s a felony.

Instead of merely paying a fine, the charge is elevated to interference with government property, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, Williamson told the Banner-Herald.

He said the problem seems to be increasing this semester, with at least four such incidents so far.

via UGA students warned on stealing parking boots  | ajc.com.

Ernest Hemingway, letters: Tender side?

The letters — lively, quirky, full of doodles and delightfully unusual spellings — cover everything from Hemingway’s childhood in Oak Park, Illinois, to his adventures as an ambulance driver on the Italian front in WWI to the heartbreak of his romance with a Red Cross nurse named Agnes von Kurowsky and his eventual marriage to Hadley Richardson.

From lovers to rivals to his mother, the recipients of the letters each seem to get a different piece of Hemingway, custom-tailored for them not in the hypocritical way of an inauthentic social chameleon but in the way great writers know the heart, mind, and language of their reader. The letters thus become not only a tender homage to this unknown Hemingway, revealing new insights into his creative process along the way, but also a bow before the lost art of letter-writing itself.

via Young Hemingway’s Letters: A Rare Glimpse of the Great Author’s Tender Side | Brain Pickings.

digital media, comics:  I still don’t think I will read them…even if digital.

And the problem with webcomics, as people said over and over again, was that there was no way to monetise them.

Way back in the day, in fact, people talked about how what the medium needed was an iPod for comics.  I, and probably others, countered that what was in fact needed was an iTunes for comics.  The delivery system, not the device.  Comixology, Graphic.ly, iVerse and all the others are in the business of trying to provide the iTunes for comics.  But, of course, with the iPad, we got the iPod for comics, too, the perfect device for reading them.

(I am, for the purposes of this thought, ignoring the Kindle, and also Android tablets.)

But no-one seemed to have cracked the Season Pass yet.  I’ve talked to a few digital-comics services about this: if your service doesn’t allow you to buy a subscription that has your favourite comics automagically download to your device or your in-service locker, then I think you’re missing a huge piece of potential.

via Warren Ellis » The Broadcast Of Comics.

religions, Christianity, lists:  Actually I thought Christianity was no longer the world’s biggest world  religions.

Originating in the 1st century A.D. as an offshoot of Judaism that incorporates Greek philosophies, the monotheistic religion’s core belief is that Jesus was the son of God, and that spiritual salvation and eternal life are possible through his grace.

The version of Christianity prevalent today is that promulgated by St. Paul, a converted Roman official who established it as a faith separate from Judaism, and who defined its fundamental tenets.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Christians make up over 33 percent of the world population, with the breakdown by major Christian sects being: Roman Catholic, 16.83 percent of the world population; Protestant, 6.08 percent; Orthodox, 4.03 percent; and Anglican, 1.26 percent.

via World’s Biggest Religions – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

27
Sep
11

9.27.2011 … started a new bible study at FPC … and I loved it … Genesis … In the beginning …

FPC Tuesday Bible Study, Jonathan Sacks, Covenant and Conversation, Genesisfaith and culture: Great first class … creation.

TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY:  This weekly study meets on Tuesdays from 11:45- 1:00 in the Pattie Cole Room (S203). Led by Reverend Roland Perdue the group will study Jonathan Sacks’ recent book, Covenant and Conversation, Genesis: the Book of Beginnings. Using the text, Scripture and supplemental readings, we will examine current issues and concerns in the biblical context and discuss them from the vantage point of a dialogue between faith and culture.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

Steven Pinker, violence, history:  Great piece …

“How bad was the world in the past?”

Believe it or not, the world of the past was much worse. Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species.

The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth. It has not brought violence down to zero, and it is not guaranteed to continue. But it is a persistent historical development, visible on scales from millennia to years, from the waging of wars to the spanking of children.

This claim, I know, invites skepticism, incredulity, and sometimes anger. We tend to estimate the probability of an event from the ease with which we can recall examples, and scenes of carnage are more likely to be beamed into our homes and burned into our memories than footage of people dying of old age. There will always be enough violent deaths to fill the evening news, so people’s impressions of violence will be disconnected from its actual likelihood.

Evidence of our bloody history is not hard to find. Consider the genocides in the Old Testament and the crucifixions in the New, the gory mutilations in Shakespeare’s tragedies and Grimm’s fairy tales, the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals.

For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment that we can savor—and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible.

via Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing – WSJ.com.

teenagers, brain development, culture:  … what’s wrong with these kids?!  …

Through the ages, most answers have cited dark forces that uniquely affect the teen. Aristotle concluded more than 2,300 years ago that “the young are heated by Nature as drunken men by wine.” A shepherd in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale wishes “there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting.” His lament colors most modern scientific inquiries as well. G. Stanley Hall, who formalized adolescent studies with his 1904 Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education, believed this period of “storm and stress” replicated earlier, less civilized stages of human development. Freud saw adolescence as an expression of torturous psychosexual conflict; Erik Erikson, as the most tumultuous of life’s several identity crises. Adolescence: always a problem.

Such thinking carried into the late 20th century, when researchers developed brain-imaging technology that enabled them to see the teen brain in enough detail to track both its physical development and its patterns of activity. These imaging tools offered a new way to ask the same question—What’s wrong with these kids?—and revealed an answer that surprised almost everyone. Our brains, it turned out, take much longer to develop than we had thought. This revelation suggested both a simplistic, unflattering explanation for teens’ maddening behavior—and a more complex, affirmative explanation as well.

via Teenage Brains – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine.

Herman Cain, 2012 Presidential Election, GOP, Florida Straw Poll:  This process is a nightmare … who cares about these straw polls …

Herman Cain, Ex-CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, pulls stunning upset over Rick Perry.

via GOP in Disarray After Shocking Florida Straw Poll | Video – ABC News.

Troy Davis, death penalty: Another voice against the death penalty …

Last Wednesday, as the state of Georgia prepared to execute Troy Davis despite concerns about his guilt, I wrote a letter with five former death-row wardens and directors urging Georgia prison officials to commute his sentence. I feared not only the risk of Georgia killing an innocent man, but also the psychological toll it would exact on the prison workers who performed his execution. “No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt,” we wrote in our letter.

via Ordering Death in Georgia Prisons – The Daily Beast.

war: This article reminds me of last week’s clip about Sebastian Junger’s talk at Davidson. “The adrenaline rush of finding a roadside bomb …”

It’s just life or death: the simplicity of it,” said Cpl. Robert Cole of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, which ends a seven-month deployment in the southern region of Sangin in October. “It’s also kind of nice in some ways because you don’t have to worry about anything else in the world.”

The dominant narrative about war in a foreign land says its practitioners yearn for home, for the families, the comforts, and the luxury of no longer worrying about imminent death or injury. It applies to young American troops in Afghan combat zones, but it’s not the whole truth.

Combat can deliver a sense of urgency, meaning, order and belonging. There is the adrenaline-fueled elation of a firefight, and the horror of rescuing a comrade wounded by a bomb on patrol. It is magnified, instantaneous experience. An existence boiled down to the essentials mocks the mundane detritus, the quibbles and bill-paying and anonymity, of life back home.

Various books, films and television series address the theme of troops liking aspects of war, or missing it when they get home. Many focus on the sacrifice, the brotherhood, or the bloodshed, or some combination. Norman Mailer’s novel, “The Naked and the Dead,” and the 1998 movie “Saving Private Ryan” are among works that explore the psychological impact of intense combat on its protagonists.

Some who come from rural areas in the United States feel a curious affinity with Afghanistan and its web of sparsely populated villages and farmland. Capt. Brian Huysman of Delphos, Ohio — “Good luck finding Delphos on the map,” he said — sees parallels between the “small town mentality” and rivalries back home and the jostling for advantage among local leaders in southern Afghan settlements.

“It’s very eerie,” said Huysman, Weapons Company commander for the battalion.

When these men are retired veterans, many will look back on Afghanistan as a place of loss, but also a place that made them better than they were, whether the U.S. military succeeds in its long-term goals or not. The cult of sacrifice finds expression in a shrine to the missing in action of past wars in the dining hall at Camp Leatherneck, the main Marine base in southern Afghanistan.

via The adrenaline rush of finding a roadside bomb: US Marines enjoy some aspects of Afghan war – The Washington Post.

photography, photo gallery, LIFE:  I love these … The beauty of shadows is that they can be so many things— Seeing Shadows

50656806.jpg

To think of shadows,” Victor Hugo wrote in his great novel, Les Miserables, “is a serious thing.” Hugo, of course, was addressing vast concepts — justice, memory, vengeance — both in the book and in that particular quote. But the beauty of shadows is that they can be so many things: symbols, suggestions, riddles, jokes, threats. They can be anything, or they can simply be themselves — which is a central reason why they’re so cool. Pictured: A handmade Shaker basket sitting on the floor amid a grid of shadows in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.

via Seeing Shadows – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

mens rea, Federal Criminal Code, legal history: Originally 20 federal crimes … now over 4500.

For centuries, a bedrock principle of criminal law has held that people must know they are doing something wrong before they can be found guilty. The concept is known as mens rea, Latin for a “guilty mind.”

This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically swells. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them.

Back in 1790, the first federal criminal law passed by Congress listed fewer than 20 federal crimes. Today there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, plus thousands more embedded in federal regulations, many of which have been added to the penal code since the 1970s.

One controversial new law can hold animal-rights activists criminally responsible for protests that cause the target of their attention to be fearful, regardless of the protesters’ intentions. Congress passed the law in 2006 with only about a half-dozen of the 535 members voting on it.

Under English common law principles, most U.S. criminal statutes traditionally required prosecutors not only to prove that defendants committed a bad act, but also that they also had bad intentions. In a theft, don’t merely show that the accused took someone’s property, but also show that he or she knew it belonged to someone else.

Over time, lawmakers have devised a sliding scale for different crimes. For instance, a “willful” violation is among the toughest to prove.

Requiring the government to prove a willful violation is “a big protection for all of us,” says Andrew Weissmann, a New York attorney who for a time ran the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of Enron Corp. Generally speaking in criminal law, he says, willful means “you have the specific intent to violate the law.”

A lower threshold, attorneys say, involves proving that someone “knowingly” violated the law. It can be easier to fall afoul of the law under these terms.

via ‘Mens Rea’ Legal Protection Erodes in U.S. as Federal Criminal Code Expands – WSJ.com.

Ford Motor Company, marketing, politics, White House, President Obama, automotive bailout: Marketing and politics don’t mix.

As part of a campaign featuring “real people” explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named “Chris” says he “wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” according the text of the ad, launched in early September.

“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”

That’s what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.

With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.

The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.

In other words, where presidential politics and automotive marketing collide — clean, green, politically correct vehicles not included — the president wins and the automaker loses because the benefit of the battle isn’t worth the cost of waging it.

via Columnists | Ford pulls its ad on bailouts | The Detroit News.

Amanda Knox, criminal cases, Jessica Rabbit: I don’t follow these big cases daily, but how could I not click when her lawyer says Knox “more like Jessica Rabbit.”

A defense lawyer has told a court to see Amanda Knox, the American student convicted of killing her roommate, not as the “femme fatale” her accusers describe but rather as a loving young woman.

Giulia Bongiorno even compared Knox to the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, saying Tuesday she is faithful like the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” character.

Amanda Knox called “she-devil” in court

Anxiety grips Amanda Knox as appeal wraps up

Prosecutors compare Amanda Knox to Nazis

Knox was convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, a British student in Perugia, and sentenced to 26 years in prison, while co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

Bongiorno, Sollecito’s lawyer, paraphrased a famous line from the movie saying Knox “is not bad, she’s just drawn that way.”

“Jessica Rabbit looks like a man-eater, but she is a faithful and loving woman,” Bongiorno said.

via Amanda Knox lawyer: She’s no “femme fatale” – CBS News.

 Banned Books Week, Virtual Read-Out, Gossip Girl:  A reading from Cecily von Ziegesar’s GOSSIP GIRL – YouTube.

Professor Jim Miller, University of Wisconsin, criminal charges, free speech, constitutional law: Sigh …

A professor has been censored twice, reported to the “threat assessment team,” and threatened with criminal charges because of satirical postings on his office door. Campus police at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) censored theater professor James Miller’s poster depicting a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly, and the police chief threatened Miller with criminal charges for disorderly conduct. After UWS censored his second poster, which stated, “Warning: Fascism,” Miller came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

via ‘Firefly’ and Anti-Fascism Posters Get Professor Threatened with Criminal Charges on University of Wisconsin Campus – FIRE.

digital photography, organization, tips:

That’s where a good photo organizer comes in. There are many available, but I’ll concentrate here on Google’s Picasa. It’s not my personal favorite (that would be Microsoft’s Windows Live Photo Gallery, which handles tags much better than Picasa), but it’s popular, free, and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

via How to Organize Your Digital Photos – Techland – TIME.com.

Troy Davis, RIP: I honestly never thought about his or any executed individual’s funeral … makes me feel less human.  Maybe that is my issue with the death penalty … it takes away my/our humanity.

The family of Troy Davis has scheduled his funeral for Saturday in his hometown of Savannah.

Davis’ younger sister, Kimberly Davis, said Tuesday the public is invited to attend the 11 a.m. funeral service at Jonesville Baptist Church.

Davis was executed in Georgia’s death chamber last week for the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis insisted he was innocent, but courts ultimately upheld his conviction. Thousands of supporters worldwide protested Davis’ execution, saying the case raised too many doubts about his guilt.

Because some people recanted their testimony, the Davis case has added to the debate over eyewitness reliability.

via Troy Davis funeral set for Saturday in Savannah  | ajc.com.

recipes, chicken:  Just looking at the pictures makes me want chicken! Recipes for Chicken Dishes – Slide Show – NYTimes.com.

bookstores, end of an era, Oxford Books, Atlanta, kith/kin:  Friday nights in Atlanta my mom and dad always went to the local bookstore Oxford Books … sad when things change.

In a gloomy post, TechCrunch predicted that bookstores will be virtually extinct by 2018.  The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline also imagined a “great culling of publishers” in 2019.

What do you think? Extrapolating from the rapid growth of eBooks and declines in print sales, the post took a dark view of print books. Here are a few excerpts:

“2015 – The death of the Mom and Pops. Smaller book stores will use the real estate to sell coffee and Wi-Fi. Collectable bookstores will still exist in the margins.”

“2018 – The last Barnes & Noble store converts to a cafe and digital access point.”

“2019 – B&N and Amazon’s publishing arms – including self-pub – will dwarf all other publishing.”

via TechCrunch Predicts Bookstores Will Disappear by 2018 – GalleyCat.

dating methods, media, Christianity, BBC:  BBC dropped the B.C./A.D. dating method and outraged Christians … I saw this happening in my children’s history books …  and I wondered who makes these decisions …

British Christians are incensed after the state-funded BBC decided to jettison the terms B.C. and A.D. in favor of B.C.E. and C.E. in historical date references.

The broadcaster has directed that the traditional B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, or Year of the Lord) be replaced by B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) in its television and radio broadcasts.

The BBC said in an official statement that since it is “committed to impartiality, it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.”

It described the terms B.C.E. and C.E. as “a religiously neutral alternative to B.C./A.D.,” although critics quickly pointed out that the new terms, like the old, were anchored around the birth of Jesus Christ.

via BBC Drops B.C./A.D. Dating Method: Christians Outraged (UPDATE).

BofA, shareholder lawsuits:  $50 billion shareholder lawsuit … this one will be interesting …

But if it is true that Mr. Price, with Mr. Lewis’s assent, kept this information from Mr. Mayopoulos in order to avoid disclosure, this is a prima facie case of securities fraud. Would Bank of America shareholders have voted to approve this transaction? If the answer is no, then it is hard to see this as anything other than material information.

Plaintiffs in this private case have the additional benefit that this claim is related to a shareholder vote. It is easier to prove securities fraud related to a shareholder vote than more typical securities fraud claims like accounting fraud. Shareholder vote claims do not require that the plaintiffs prove that the person committing securities fraud did so with awareness that the statement was wrong or otherwise recklessly made. You only need to show that the person should have acted with care.

This case is not only easier to establish, but the potential damages could also be enormous. Damages in a claim like this are calculated by looking at the amount lost as a result of the securities fraud. A court will most likely calculate this by referencing the amount that Bank of America stock dropped after the loss was announced; this is as much as $50 billion. It is a plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream.

via Bank of America Faces a $50 Billion Shareholder Lawsuit – NYTimes.com.

“Prohibition”,  tv documentaries, history, Ken Burns, history:  DVR is set …

It’s a subject that violently polarized the nation, pitting “wets” against “drys,” Catholics against Protestants, city folk against small-towners, and immigrants against native-born citizens.

Prohibition’s story, like Burns’ film, starts almost 100 years before the ban on alcohol took effect in 1920.

For much of the 19th century, a sizable percentage of the U.S. population made the cast of “Jersey Shore” look like lightweights. Male-only saloons and taverns were everywhere. Alcohol abuse was destroying families and, in some people’s eyes, the very fabric of society.

Women who’d never had a political voice began leading a crusade against the evils of booze — a crusade that was championed further by the Anti-Saloon League, a lobbying group that grew so powerful “it makes the NRA look like they’re still in short pants,” Burns said.

The fight culminated in 1919 with the passage of the 18th amendment, which made the sale and manufacturing of “intoxicating beverages” illegal.

“It was meant to eradicate an evil,” says “Prohibition” narrator Peter Coyote. “Instead, it turned millions of law-abiding Americans into lawbreakers.”

And it turned run-of-the-mill hoodlums into rich and ruthless bootleggers.

via Ken Burns’ ‘Prohibition’ tackles hot topic that polarized nation – Chicago Sun-Times.

food – slow food:   I am a prepared food, fast food junkie … all sorts of reasons this is bad …

This year, Slow Food USA, which defines “slow food” as good for its eaters, its producers and the environment — a definition anyone can get behind — set out to demonstrate that slow food can also be affordable, not only a better alternative to fast food but a less expensive one. The organization issued a $5 Challenge with the inspired rallying cry of “take back the ‘value meal’,” which in most fast food restaurants runs somewhere around five bucks.

Under the leadership of its president, Josh Viertel, Slow Food has moved from a group of rah-rah supporters of artisanal foods to become a determined booster of sustainability and of real food for everyone. Last month it called for people to cook pot luck and community dinners for no more than $5 per person. “We gave ourselves a month to launch the first big public day of action in what we hoped would become an ongoing challenge,” says Viertel. “In those four weeks we hoped to organize 500 people to host meals on Sept. 17. Our dream was to have 20,000 people participate.”

Slow Food believes that the very best way to build the kind of social movement needed to produce the systemic changes that they seek is to start small: to share knowledge and to share meals. What’s wrong with that?

via Slow Food: Shared Meals, Shared Knowledge – NYTimes.com.

criminals, hijackers: On the run for 41 years!  “Wright’s life story reads like an international crime novel.”

Now, after a manhunt spanning three continents that often appeared to run cold, the FBI has finally found George Wright.

At age 68, he was living quietly in the resort of Sintra near Lisbon in Portugal when he was arrested Monday.

The United States is seeking his extradition from Portugal to serve the remainder of a 15- to 30-year sentence for murder. Portuguese judicial authorities could not be reached Tuesday for details of the extradition process.

Wright is fighting extradition, a U.S. federal agent said, and his next court appearance in Portugal is in about two weeks.

Wright’s life story reads like an international crime novel.

via On the run for 41 years, hijacker traced to Portugal – CNN.com.

citizen journalism, politics, global issues:  Very good article about empowering people through citizen journalism.

Before the American Revolution, journalism, if you could call it that, was an elite practice heavily censored by the colonial government. So when Thomas Paine and John Peter Zenger published their defiant tracts, fellow American colonists yearning for freedom did not question their credentials to write. Instead, they enshrined their right to do so in the First Amendment.

“We are the first nation – arguably the only nation – in which top-down control of the flow of information never was seriously attempted,” AOL Huffington Post Media Group editorial director Howard Fineman writes in his 2008 book, The Thirteen American Arguments .

He notes that Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense anonymously, yet “It was the most influential pamphlet of our time, and perhaps even in world history.”

Meet Kimberley Sevcik, Media Relations Manager for Camfed, an international educational organization with offices in Cambridge (U.K.) and San Francisco, who just returned from three weeks in East Africa. There, as she did on two previous trips (to Zambia and Tanzania), she trained women in basic communications techniques, empowering them to talk and write about what most impacts their lives and what they would like to see done about it. In other countries such as Zambia and Ghana, Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education) previously hired professionals to teach filmmaking as a communication tool, resulting in deeply affecting documentaries about previously taboo topics such as AIDS and domestic violence. The latter was the topic of their latest film, “Hidden Truth,” which just won the Prize for Best Documentary at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

If you think about it, “People are always speaking for African woman,” Sevcik observed. “Isn’t is better to ask them, ‘What are you experiencing?’ – and let them find their own voices?”

via Laura Paull: In The Beginning, There Were Citizen Journalists.

Rick Perry, 2012 Presidential Election:  I’d like to write him off.

If anyone is seriously willing to argue that a handful of Republican activists in Florida are predictive of the broader electorate, please unmask yourself in the comments and accept the teasing you deserve.

As I’ve said before, I think Mr Perry is beatable, by Mr Romney or Mr Obama (or perhaps by another Republican, should it come to that). He has two serious liabilities. The first is that he doesn’t particularly play well with others. He explicitly rejects moderation and bipartisan behaviour, even though his behaviour is occasionally quite temperate, as on the tuition issue. This truculence is slightly unusual in a national politician, at least a winning one. Mr Perry’s second major liability is that he has no record of leading people places they don’t want to go, on politics or on policy. He usually doesn’t even try. This isn’t a thoroughgoing drawback in an elected leader—it forestalls crusading—but it does challenge his ability to form coalitions, electoral or otherwise. These are the overarching reasons that I think Mr Perry can be beaten. However, many of his critics, being apparently unable to take a balanced view of the situation, tend to ignore such substantive complaints or obscure them with a barrage of flimsier complaints about how he has a Texas accent. At some point they’re going to realise that’s not going to work.

via Rick Perry’s problems: The need for new narratives | The Economist.

depression, “Supermoms”:  I bet  “Supermoms” who accept their limitations and drink lots of coffee are never depressed. 🙂

So I was intrigued to come across a new study reporting that women who recognize that something has to give when it comes to juggling a job and family tend to have fewer depressive symptoms than those who think they can truly have — and handle — it all.

“It’s really about accepting that combining employment and family requires that trade-offs be made, and then feeling okay about letting certain things go, either at home or at work,” says the study’s leader, Katrina Leupp, a graduate student at the University of Washington.

via Depression is less common among ‘Supermoms’ who accept their limitations – The Washington Post.

economics, cities, Great Recession, families: An interesting take …  “The Gated City”: Moving toward stagnation | The Economist.

17
Apr
11

‎4.17.2011 … Palm Sunday … Beautiful day …

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

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

via Palm Sunday – read Mark 11:1-11.

faith and spirituality: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Slow Love Life: MAIRA KALMAN EXHIBIT IN NYC.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, Bible, translations:

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

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

via Hopelens Blog.

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

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

The Bank of Davidson a few years after Rusk graduated

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

via Poor Man’s Princeton — Around the D.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Alexander Hamilton: Hamiltonian America | The Economist.

graphics, advertising:  

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

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

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

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

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

via SodaStream’s DIY Pepsi Machine | Fast Company.

politics, Gang of Six:

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

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

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

technology, art, 3D imaging:

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

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

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

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

productivity, creativity:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Al Fin.

10
Feb
11

2.10.2011 … I am off to a festival … festival of legal learning at UNC … whooppee!

faith and spirituality:  Really liked this post by Brene Brown.

As I look around at the political and social struggle around us, I’m reminded of my own struggle to find/reclaim faith in my life. As a lover of all things certain, I wanted faith to work like an epidural; to numb the pain of vulnerability. As it turned out, my faith ended up being more like a midwife – a nurturing partner who leans into the discomfort with me and whispers “push” and “breathe.”

Faith didn’t make my life less vulnerable, it simply offered to travel with me through the uncertainty.

via faith, doubt and inspiration – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

In a region where the truth and truth-tellers have so long been smothered under the crushing weight of oil, autocracy and religious obscurantism, suddenly the Arab world has a truly free space — a space that Egyptians themselves, not a foreign army, have liberated — and the truth is now gushing out of here like a torrent from a broken hydrant.

And the this is a titanic struggle and negotiation between the tired but still powerful, top-down 1952 Egyptian Army-led revolution and a vibrant, new, but chaotic, 2011, people-led revolution from the bottom-up — which has no guns but enormous legitimacy. I hope the Tahrir Square protesters can get organized enough to negotiate a new constitution with the army. There will be setbacks. But whatever happens, they have changed Egypt.

After we walked from Tahrir Square across the Nile bridge, Professor Mamoun Fandy remarked to me that there is an old Egyptian poem that says: “ ‘The Nile can bend and turn, but what is impossible is that it would ever dry up.’ The same is true of the river of freedom that is loose here now. Maybe you can bend it for a while, or turn it, but it is not going to dry up.”

via Speakers’ Corner on the Nile – NYTimes.com.

quotes, pity quotes, Julia Child:  Love this old article/interview with Julia Child!

The problem with the world right now is that we don’t have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don’t have anyone who’s speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don’t know what’s to become of us.

via Julia Child Interview – Eating Healthy and Smart – Quotes about Diets – Esquire.

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has recovered enough from a bullet to the brain to ask for toast with breakfast.

Few details are available, but Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, confirmed that the congresswoman made the verbal request on Monday when hospital workers at TIRR Memorial Hermann brought her a meal.

“The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process,” Kelly wrote on Facebook. “There are encouraging signs every day, though.”

via Giffords speaks, asking for toast with breakfast – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

health care:  But Gabrielle Giffords costs are fully covered … many are not so fortunate.

What is clear, however, is that her care at one of the country’s top five rehab sites will be paid for through a federal workers compensation program, providing essentially unlimited time and money to help her regain cognitive, physical and social functions.

“What she’s needed, she’s gotten,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, who confirmed to msnbc.com that Giffords’ care after the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and injured 13 will be treated as a workplace injury.

via Brain injury victims struggle to find care – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

restaurants, farm-to-table, Boulder, Salt:  Add Salt to my Boulder list …

In every bite of a dish from Salt, one can taste a medley of flavors that impart more than just the delight of a quality, flavorful meal, but also a dedication to sustaining the ecology and businesses of Boulder.

Salt is one of the few restaurants in America that has fully immersed itself in the culture of farm-to-table dining, a culinary approach in which restaurants (and family kitchens) get their products from nearby farms, ranches and vendors, instead of ordering them from a corporate third party.

“The term farm-to-table is the shortest distance, the fewest hands, that it takes to get a vegetable from the ground to the table,” said Kevin Kidd, the executive chef at Salt. “It’s the farmer selling it and it going directly to the chef.”

Kidd said the benefits of farm-to-table dining go beyond a kitchen filled with fresh food, but also contribute to a sustainable environment and localized economy.

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvellous things—the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space. I wish there were some way you could have all that and still be reminded of the wild array that we humans are. Instead, it seems like you can watch birds or people, but not both.

via Free Range: On the Wing : The New Yorker.

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ghonim also said it is “no longer the time to negotiate” with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

“There’s a lot of blood now” that has been spilled, he said.

Ghonim played a key role in organizing the protests that have convulsed Egypt for more than two weeks. He was the administrator of a Facebook page that is widely credited with calling the first protest January 25.

“This is not about me,” he said several times during an hour-long and emotional interview in a relative’s Cairo apartment..

He conceded that President Hosni Mubarak has “sacrificed a lot” for Egypt but said the 82-year-old leader represents a system that needs to be replaced. He demanded that Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party be immediately dissolved. He also said, though, that Mubarak should be treated with dignity.

via Egyptian Google exec is ‘ready to die’ for change – CNN.com.

Apps, tv, Bones: So an App to enhance my tv watching of Bones … Of course I will try it, but I did not enjoy tweeting and tv-watching so I probably will not like this.

It’s the Bones hook-up we’ve been waiting for!

In an effort to enhance fans’ viewing experience, Fox has launched the Bones Show Companion, a new iPad app that will automatically synchronize with the current episode as its broadcast in each time zone to provide content that is both wholly unique and pretty freakin’ cool.

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

cookbooks, comic books:  Funny … I think I can figure it out without the graphics!

According to the Strong Buzz, Amanda Cohen, the chef/owner of Dirt Candy, has signed a deal with publisher Clarkson Potter to create a cookbook disguised as a graphic novel.

via The Cookbook as Comic Book | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

random, history, food, foodies: Just read it …

THE ROMAN HISTORIAN Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline. I wonder what he would have thought of The New York Times’ efforts to admit “young idols with cleavers” into America’s pantheon of food-service heroes.

With their swinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers have the raw, emotional appeal of an indie band … “Think about it. What’s sexy?” said Tia Keenan, the fromager at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café and an unabashed butcher fan. “Dangerous is sometimes sexy, and they are generally big guys with knives who are covered in blood.”

That’s Severson again, by the way, and she records no word of dissent in regard to the cheese vendor’s ravings. We are to believe this is a real national trend here. In fact the public perception of butchers has not changed in the slightest, as can easily be confirmed by telling someone that he or she looks like one. “Blankly as a butcher stares,” Auden’s famous line about the moon, will need no explanatory footnote even a century from now.

Whether gluttony is a deadly sin is of course for the religious to decide, and I hope they go easy on the foodies; they’re not all bad. They are certainly single-minded, however, and single-mindedness—even in less obviously selfish forms—is always a littleness of soul.

via The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – Magazine – The Atlantic.

statistics, economics, men v. women:  We still have a long way to go, baby!

Young women are outpacing men in educational attainment and there’s little sign males will make up ground any time soon.

Nearly one in four women had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they reached age 23, compared to just one in seven men, the Labor Department said Wednesday. And while a growing share of professions are expected to require a college education in the future, men don’t appear poised to make up the education gap.

via Women Likely to Continue Outpacing Men in Education – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

A new application being sold on iTunes, “Confession: a Roman Catholic App,” cannot be used as a substitute for confession with a priest, the Vatican said Wednesday. The application was developed by American entrepreneurs with the help of two priests and the blessing of a bishop. It features a questionnaire of sins, and is promoted as a tool both to revive interest in confession and to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament. But some media reports cast the app as a “virtual priest” for Catholics who do not have time for church, prompting the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, to respond, “One cannot speak in any way of ‘confession by iPhone.’ ”

via App Can’t Replace Confession, Vatican Says – NYTimes.com.

Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 300 tweets since my last confession.

Whether you’ve been “borrowing” free Wi-Fi or coveting your neighbor’s avatar — or, heaven forbid, something worse — a new mobile app is designed to help you atone for it.

Lame tech jokes aside, the makers of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” say their software is seriously designed to help believers with the sacrament, and to help those who have left the church take a digital step back home.

Worry not, faithful Catholics: The $1.99 application, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is not intended to replace the confessional. Instead, it’s designed to complement the act of confession, offering a “personal examination of conscience” (password-protected, of course) and a step-by-step guide to sin-confessing.

via New app helps Catholics confess on the go – CNN.com.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, culture: Very interesting article …

More and more Christians choose a church not on the basis of its denomination, but on the basis of more practical matters. Is the nursery easy to find? Do I like the music? Are there support groups for those grappling with addiction?

This trend is a natural extension of the American evangelical experiment. After all, evangelicalism is about the fundamental message of Christianity—the evangel, the gospel, literally the “good news” of God’s kingdom arriving in Jesus Christ—not about denomination building.

If denominationalism simply denotes a “brand” vying for market share, then let denominationalism fall. But many of us believe denominations can represent fidelity to living traditions of local congregations that care about what Jesus cared about—personal conversion, discipleship, mission and community. Perhaps the denominational era has just begun.

via Russell D. Moore: Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? – WSJ.com.

health, health care, globalization, technology, history:  A little history of epidemics and a modern-day use of technology to help detect new viruses …

That’s why it’s so welcome to see the launch of the new Predict project, an online mapping tool that will allow scientists to track outbreaks of animals diseases that could threaten human beings. Funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — and led by a group of institutions, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the innovative new Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI) — the system will monitor data from World Health Organization alerts, news reports, online message boards for epidemiologists, to create a digital map of where animal outbreaks are occurring around the world and where they might threaten human beings.

The consortium was put together in 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic, and the hope is that a better information tracking system will help scientists avoid being caught off guard. As Damien Joly of the WCS told the New York Times:

We strongly believe in public access to the data we collect. It doesn’t do public health much good to collect data and let it sit while it awaits publication.

The Predict tool (download a PDF about the project here) is just the latest indication that the global human health community is finally beginning to take animal disease seriously. That hasn’t always been the case — just compare the vast World Health Organization to its relatively tiny animal counterpart, the World Organization for Animal Health. But nearly 75% of all new, emerging or reemerging diseases affecting human beings in the 21st century originated in animals, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and influenza.

What’s needed is a “one health” approach of the sort pioneered by Nathan Wolfe of the GFVI, who patrols areas in the deep developing world where humans and animals closely overlap. We may not be able to stop the next flu pandemic or new emerging disease as it passed from animals to human beings — but we should know when it happens.

via USAID’s Predict Tool Will Help Scientists Keep Track of Animal Disease Outbreaks—and Protect People – TIME Healthland.

college, heart-strings, Wake Forest University, kudos: What a great story … kudos, Coach Walter!

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.

Both Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed.

“For us, it’s almost like it’s been divine intervention,” Jordan’s father Keith told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday from Atlanta.

Dr. Kenneth Newell, the lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter’s kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.

The school says the recovery time for both the 42-year-old Walter and Jordan is expected to be several months. Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal. Keith Jordan says his son could swing a bat again in 6-8 weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.

via Baseball Coach Donates Kidney to Star Player – CBS News.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

via Twitter / @DailyLit: “Love takes up where knowl ….

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

For his latest novel, Davidson College’s Alan Michael Parker got a big helping of inspiration from The Home Depot.

Parker’s new literary comedy, “Whale Man” (WordFarm; $18), is about a guy who builds a life-sized wooden whale on his mother’s front lawn.

via Davidson professor’s new novel is a whale of a tale – CharlotteObserver.com.

green:

How it works? The station’s ventilation system includes heat exchangers that convert all that excess warmth into hot water. That water is then pumped to the nearby building, where it reportedly reduces energy costs by as much as 25 percent.

via Commuters’ surplus body heat used to warm office building – Springwise.

food, food regulation:  The incredible edible egg is better, but still not incredible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that in its routine reevaluations of the nutritional content of foods, it discovered that domestic chicken eggs — which hadn’t been looked at since 2002 — has had something of a nutritional makeover.

Compared with the egg of 2002, the current-day egg has 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D. A large egg now has 185 mg of cholesterol and 41 IU of Vitamin D, down from 212 mg of cholesterol and up from 18 IU of Vitamin D. It also still contains 70 calories and 6 g of protein. (More on TIME.com: Is School Lunch Making Your Kids Fat?)

via The Updated Egg: Less Cholesterol, But Is It a ‘Healthy’ Food? – TIME Healthland.

The President, USA, high-speed rail:  This may be worthy of federal money in my opinion … may.

U.S. passenger trains are, quite simply, a global laughingstock. Most of them travel at speeds that were common a century ago. Meanwhile, bullet trains have been zipping around Western Europe and East Asia for years, China is building more high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined, and even countries like Morocco and Brazil are getting into the game. “It works everywhere else in the world,” says Alstom Transport vice president Chuck Wochele, whose French firm is one of 30 train manufacturers that have pledged to build or expand U.S. factories if they land high-speed contracts. “Unfortunately, it’s been politicized in the U.S.”

via High-Speed Rail: Obama Pledges $53 Billion for Upgrades – TIME.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

via The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness. Gretchen Rubin.

quotes, random, LOL:

NCIS rerun quote: “Love means never having to read her her Miranda rights.” – Abbie 🙂

via NCIS rerun quote:….




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