Posts Tagged ‘Christmas



07
Dec
11

12.7.2011 … Remembering Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 … Davidson v. Vandy … behind by 6 … 28 seconds ‎… lost … 87 – 83 … again, respectable …

 Pearl Harbor Day, times they are a chang’in…: Fewer veterans to remember Pearl Harbor Day.

For more than half a century, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gathered here every Dec. 7 to commemorate the attack by the Japanese that drew the United States into World War II. Others stayed closer to home for more intimate regional chapter ceremonies, sharing memories of a day they still remember in searing detail.

But no more. The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association. With a concession to the reality of time — of age, of deteriorating health and death — the association will disband on Dec. 31.

“We had no choice,” said William H. Eckel, 89, who was once the director of the Fourth Division of the survivors’ association, interviewed by telephone from Texas. “Wives and family members have been trying to keep it operating, but they just can’t do it. People are winding up in nursing homes and intensive care places.”

via Fewer Veterans to Remember Pearl Harbor Day – NYTimes.com.

Sidwell Friends, Pearl Harbor Day, irony:  I just had to laugh … careless error.

 

A lunch that will live in infamy? That’s what at least one parent at elite Sidwell Friends (yes, Sasha and Malia’s school!) wondered upon seeing what the school cafeteria listed as its “Pearl Harbor Day” menu Wednesday: A heavily Japanese-inspired lineup, including teriyaki chicken and edamame (as well as more generically Asian delicacies like tofu, fried rice, fortune cookies and “oriental noodle salad”). A school rep told us this was just a fluke — not a meal intended to commemorate the 1941 Japanese attack on U.S. forces: The contractor that prepares school lunches randomly assigned an Asian menu to Dec. 7, and the subcontractor that prints the calendars automatically marked Wednesday at Pearl Harbor Day. “It was completely coincidental,” said Ellis Turner, associate head of the school.

via Sidwell Friends’s surprising Pearl Harbor Day menu – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball, Vanderbilt, Steph Curry, Twitter:  Steph tweets the loss … I love it that the NBA lockout reconnected him with te college!

Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)

12/7/11 9:38 PM

Tough loss for Davidson boys. Fought hard to the finish. Hey! In ’08 we lost to UNCC, Western MIchigan, NC St. and 3 top 25′s. Long season

(@StephenCurry30)

Pinterest:  I haven’t figured out Storify, yet … and now Pinterest.  TIME Magazine (time_magazine) on Pinterest.

Amherst College, typewriters, letter writing, college social life:  OK, I loved this one …

At Amherst, 'Clack Clack Clack' Drowns Out 'Thump Thump Thump' 1

Manual typewriters are enjoying a comeback at Amherst College.

Like most American institutions, the college has a thriving party scene, where students who want to socialize can knock back a few drinks and grind the night away to pounding bass lines.

“But we also have a large part of the population who really aren’t inter­ested in dancing in a dark basement,” says Crista Reed, assistant director of student activities. So this fall the college started “Amherst After Dark,” a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. program meant to provide consistent social options for students who want to stay out late and remain sober.

As one of September’s activities, Ms. Reed proposed a “letter-writing social,” hearkening back to her own days as a “slightly dorky undergrad” at Roanoke College who eschewed late-night parties in favor of things like writing letters to relatives and high-school friends. This fall Ms. Reed ordered three manual typewriters, some hand-cut quill pens, stationery, postcards, postage stamps, and even wax cartridges for a hot-glue gun so that students could art­fully seal their letters without using open flames.

She was expecting 150 to 200 students to show up. She drew 350.

“I was elated by the response that Crista got to this event,” says Rohan Mazumdar, a senior physics and economics major. “It’s filled a huge gap.” Mr. Mazumdar says he wrote a letter to a faithful correspondent back in his native India, and a couple of postcards to friends at Amherst.

“A lot of folks were writing to friends,” says Ms. Reed. “We had a lot of international students writing to people back home. And we had a couple people writing to professors, so that was really sweet.”

via At Amherst, ‘Clack Clack Clack’ Drowns Out ‘Thump Thump Thump’ – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Alec Baldwin, AA flight, Twitter, Twitter war:  Alec Baldwin needs to just be quiet for a while.

“On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.”

Baldwin was aboard AA Flight 4, which was delayed an hour, when the “30 Rock” star was booted for not listening to the flight attendant.

Passenger Steve Weiss, who was sitting across the isle from Baldwin, described the scene.

“Apparently he said he was playing a game, but he was actually talking on the phone. She [the flight attendant] was very nice. The door was closed they just announced that they were pulling away from the gate. He got up threw his papers on the floor stormed into the bathroom slammed the door closed, beat on the wall and then came back.”

“He said ‘If you want to kick me off, kick me off.’ He was just crazy, he just flipped out, the guy has problems.”

A crew member who dealt with the hotheaded Hollywood actor said he couldn’t stay on the flight.

via Alec Baldwin thrown off AA flight at LAX for ‘playing game’ on phone – NYPOST.com.

Christmas, Christmas traditions, Charlie Brown Christmas, tv:  Interesting background story …

“In 1963, I did a documentary on Willie Mays, the world’s best baseball player and one on Charlie Brown, the world’s worst. We sold the Mays documentary, but never sold the Charlie Brown documentary. Three years later, TIME Magazine put the [Peanuts] characters on its cover and we got calls from advertisers and networks asking if we were still thinking of doing an animated show, and that’s what led us to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

We had done a couple of minutes of animation in the documentary but people said, “You can’t have kids who talk like adults.” We had given up, but when Coca-Cola called after the TIME cover they asked if we’d ever thought of doing a Christmas show and I lied and said, “Oh, absolutely.” So they asked us to send them an outline on Monday. I called Schulz on the phone and said, “I think I just sold A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and he said, “What’s that?” and I told him, “It’s something you’re going to write tomorrow.”

via How TIME Saved ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ | Time.

 

 

Twitter:  Interestingly, most of the most tweeted stories are not why I follow twitter … Twitter’s 2011 Year in review.

Charlotte, Banktown:  I will be interesting what we are after the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Home to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, NC isn’t New York City, one of my artist friends reminded me the other day. We’re not Los Angeles or San Francisco, not London and we are certainly not Paris. One extremely popular parlor game around these parts, enjoyed particularly by those from the above-referenced burghs or those even further afield, is the blood-sport of city relative comparison. The dissection of what exactly the Queen City is – or more fashionably, what it is NOT – seems to fuel endless discussion amongst those smarter, hipper and infinitely-more-urbane-than-us lowlies here in “Banktown

via LikeTheDew.com, What Charlotte Is Not by Michael J. Solender | LikeTheDew.com.

productivity, how to’s:

Not only do unproductive days like this detract from the success of your projects, your team and your organization; they can endanger your own well-being.

We discovered that nothing makes people feel happier and more engaged at work than making meaningful progress on something they care about. We call that the progress principle. But this progress principle has a serious downside: Nothing makes people feel worse than being stalled in their work – and this negative effect is much stronger.

Most often, the cause of an unproductive day is fragmentation – trying to juggle many competing, and usually unexpected, demands on your time. It’s what happens when you’ve worked like crazy all day, and still you have the sense that you haven’t been productive. Sound familiar?

via How to Save an Unproductive Day in 25 Minutes – WSJ.com.

Flipboard, iPhone, apps:  I like the iPad app … so I will try the iPhone version.

Now for iPhone

Your (pocket-sized)

social magazine

via Flipboard — Now available on iPhone.

acne:  Very interesting!

Every day, Cassandra Bankson wakes up, washes her face and does a makeup routine that dramatically transforms her looks.The California teen has severe acne. It’s so bad that it covers most of her face,  as well as parts of her neck, chest and back.But Bankson is now able to model, and her shots are picture-perfect. How?Bankson performs a daily makeup makeover, expertly hiding the extensive blemishes that cover her face and neck with a technique that she says she learned after hours of research and practice. She demonstrates her method in a before-and-after YouTube video that’s had more than 2 million views.

via Acne-Scarred Teen Model Undergoes Amazing Daily Makeup Transformation – ABC News.

technology:  Seems short-lived …  Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers …

alttext

Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers

Little Printer enables users to set up subscriptions to a range of publications, which it then prints as one miniature newspaper.

via Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers | Springwise.

Advent, Advent Calendars:  OK, this one is funny … .:.The Art of Dancing by Lewis & Luke.:..

 

06
Dec
11

12.6.2011 …. icbg … .. time for a second opinion … I think I will just go for the bg part … and don’t you think Jane looks lovely :)

yoga, Ayn Rand:  Makes you think …

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

eternal youth, Tony Bennett, music, kudos:  Never liked him, but kudos!

In a youth-oriented industry, Tony Bennett is enjoying some of his greatest successes at the age of 85.

In September, the acclaimed vocalist scored his first-ever No.1 album on the Billboard 200, becoming the oldest living person to top the chart. Last week, he garnered three Grammy nominations for his hit album “Duets II.” And when he stopped by the Wall Street Journal’s acoustic music showcase the WSJ Cafe he talked about collaborating with such stars Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse, the British vocalist who passed away earlier this year at the age of 27.

via Tony Bennett: How To Be No.1 Your Whole Life (WSJ Cafe) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

apps, NPR:  Mu local station  has an app … which is great … now I can just pull up NPR.

NPR News: The ultimate portable NPR experience for your iPhone or iPod Touch. Follow local and national news and listen to your favorite NPR stations wherever you are and whenever you want to.

via App Store – NPR News.

Campbell Soup Company, csr, kudos: Idealistic Realistic …

Instead of making lethal cuts, we decided that our dream — our vision — was to transform Campbell into a place where employees wanted to be…and wanted to stay. You can’t have an organization that consistently delivers high performance unless you have a consistently high level of engagement predicated on trust. We needed to restore both — trust and engagement. If we could do that, then we were sure the profits would follow. There were a lot of things we changed, from the leadership team to package design — you’ve read about those. But what took the momentum at Campbell to an even higher level in terms of employee engagement happened more recently.

One of the primary things that makes Campbell a place where people want to come to work is the company’s earnest and ongoing commitment to our communities around the globe. We forged an ambitious plan to make Camden, our hometown for more than 140 years, a better place. That is what is helping employees feel more fulfilled despite even this latest economic crisis.

As a food company, working hand-in-hand with a cadre of strategic local and national partners, we centered our efforts on health and nutrition. The project, still in its infancy, is focused on cutting the BMI (Body Mass Index) of Camden’s 23,000 children in half over the next decade. It includes bringing nutritionists into schools and having Campbell’s chefs help parents think about ways to serve healthy food at home. And that is just the beginning: Today, Campbell is working to attract food retailers to Camden’s food desert — the city has only one supermarket — and helping to build neighborhood gardens to get children closer to the food supply. Campbell is also sponsoring activities for youth to increase physical fitness in schools and to help them remain active and occupied when school is not in session. And the company is developing the areas all around its world headquarters — leveling run-down buildings to attract commerce.

It is an ambitious agenda but it is right in Campbell’s sweet spot. And why not? It has advanced our corporate agenda. Focusing these efforts on food and nutrition has allowed us to smartly leverage our resources. Another part of the corporate social responsibility plan — committing to cut Campbell’s carbon footprint by half — has saved money and lowered costs. Campbell is earnestly and sincerely helping to build a better world within the scope of what the company does well. But even more than that, employees are proud to be associated with a company that is doing this kind of work, and consumers in the community and beyond have supported our efforts and our business.

The flywheel effect is astounding and ongoing: Winning in the community leads to winning in the workplace and winning in the marketplace. The more the Company takes care of the world, the more the world responds. The more the company leans into building a better society in a strategically focused way, the better the company performs.

Gallup, the polling and research firm, studied the engagement levels of Campbell’s managers back in 2002 and found that for every 2 people actively engaged in the business, 1 was actively disengaged. Anecdotally, those numbers were the worst for any Fortune 500 firm at the time. As of 2011, the story is far different: 17 Campbell employees are actively engaged for every 1 employee who is actively disengaged. Gallup considers twelve to one to be world-class.

via The Idealistic Realistic: What Really Helped Elevate Campbell Soup Company – Douglas R. Conant – Harvard Business Review.

short film:

Beautiful animated short film about a racist barber in 1930s New York, who moves away from bigotry after a magic trumpet arrives at his shop

via curiosity counts – Beautiful animated short film about a racist….

Christmas, cake balls:  This is my life for the next few weeks!

Easy to make and delicious to eat, cake balls can be made out of any of your favorite cake recipes.  All you do is make the cake, crumble it up and mix it with frosting or cream cheese then roll the cake mixture into balls, bake and dip.  But, don’t take our word for it, look at  Bakerella‘s video below.

Karen Chiumento uses only fresh, all natural ingredients in her hand made cake balls. Yes, they ship! Photo by Jacqueline Marque

Bakerella explains it very easily.  She also wrote the Cake Pops book (below) with recipes and decorating ideas. Cake Pops are Cake Balls with a lollipop stick in them!

Christmas Cupcakes, Cake Balls and Mini-Pies Baking Supplies | The Daily Basics.

journalists, media:  As a lawyer, I often feel “attacked” … never thought about the journalists feeling that way!

Writers from around the country have posted pictures and life stories at the ‘We Are Journalists‘ blog on Tumblr.

Launched  by St. Petersburg Times reporter Emily Nipps (pictured, via) the site gives journalists a place to share why they keep writing despite a challenging economy and a rapidly changing profession. Why do you keep writing?

Here’s more from the site: “We are journalists. We are proud of what we do. We are tired of bad press about the press. We are trying to be ‘team players.’ We are terrified of more layoffs and paycuts. We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99′ posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it. We complain because we want things to be better. We would like some respect, plz. We are journalists.”

via Writers Proudly Post at ‘We Are Journalists’ Blog – GalleyCat.

design, dichotomies, makes you think …:  Excellent essay … makes you think …

We’re at the apex of our power, but the nadir of our potency. Let’s start with the biggest heartbreaker of them all: We are at a moment in history when, as designers, we are at our most powerful. There is almost nothing we cannot make, enjoying the triumphs of research and development in materials science, manufacturing technology, and information systems. We can get any answer we seek through social networks, peer communities, or hired guns. We have sub-specialties at unimaginably thin slices of expertise—from ubiquitous computing to synthetic biology—and a plumbing system in the Internet that is simultaneously unprecedented in human history and entirely taken for granted.

At the same time, unbelievably, we have never been in worse shape: We are witnessing the collapse of every natural system on earth. Take your pick—on the ground we’ve got clear-cutting, desertification and agricultural run-off. Underneath we’ve got fracking and groundwater contamination. In the air, greenhouse gasses; in the oceans, ice sheet melting, acidification and Pacific trash vortices; in space we have the ghastly and ultimately impossible problem of space debris (we won’t be able to leave even when we’re ready to, and nobody will be able to get in to help us if they wanted to). We carry body-burdens of toxic chemicals leached and outgassed from our homes, our cars, our food packaging. The consequences of industrialization metastasize out to slave factory labor, massive river diversions, obesity, malnutrition, gender inequality, rampant poverty, minefields. We tax our economies with war machinery instead of fueling healthcare and education provision. We feel helpless on the one end and hopeless on the other.

How can we be so strong and yet so weak? How can it be that we, as a species, are at the absolute height of our power at exactly the same moment that we are on the precipice of self-annihilation?

via 1000 Words: The Critical Dichotomies of Design – Core77.

psychology, the mind, makes you think…: Another good essay …

If someone asked you to describe the psychological aspects of personhood, what would you say? Chances are, you’d describe things like thought, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, maybe emotion. In other words, you probably list the major headings of a cognitive psychology text-book. In cognitive psychology, we seem to take it for granted that these are, objectively, the primary components of “the mind” (even if you reject a mind/body dualism, you probably accept some notion that there are psychological processes similar to the ones listed above). I’ve posted previously about whether the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive even makes sense. But, here, I want to think about the universality of the “mind” concept and its relationship to the modern view of cognition.

In fact, this conception of the mind is heavily influenced by a particular (Western) cultural background. Other cultures assign different characteristics and abilities to the psychological aspects of personhood. Wierzbicka (2005) delves into this problem in detail. She argues that speakers of a particular language make assumptions about what must be universal based on their own ability to imagine doing without a certain concept. Important cross-cultural differences in meaning become lost in translation. For instance, Piaget’s “The moral judgment of the child” was translated to English by substituting the French “juste” with the English “fair.” So, English readers think they are reading about the development of fairness in children, when this was not the author’s intention.

via Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: How Universal Is The Mind?.

Christmas, Christmas carols, history:  this is a great history of Christmas carols in particular and Christmas generally.

At face value, the Christmas carol may be the least captivating style of occasional song. While other popular tunes arise from passion or desire, heroism or defeat, the Yuletide songbook is a catalog of modest thrills and postindustrial neuroses. A quick survey turns up portraits of manic stress release (“Jingle Bells”), overwrought hallucination (“Do You Hear What I Hear?”), complex Freudian trauma (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”), desperate midlife lechery (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), forced enthusiasm (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”), and thinly veiled xenophobia (“Dominick the Donkey … the Italian Christmas donkey!”). It was apparently decided long ago that we can overcome these demons by frightening them away with feckless vocalization. Carol-singing, like drinking, accounts for a large part of boisterous group behavior in this country. If a large posse of merrymakers rings your doorbell in the quiet suburban night, there is an equal chance that you should call the cops or offer them a nutmeg-flavored snack.

Consider, too, that Christmas carols have no obvious counterparts among the other holidays. Large group odes are not sung in anticipation of Memorial Day.

If anything, their legitimacy as tradition has only increased in recent years. Today’s carols are one of our few genuine access points to the history of Western pop music, the centuries of mainstream fare buried beneath our own.

via The Long, Strange History of Christmas Carols – Slate Magazine.

flash sites, fashion, GILT:  I have never bought anything from a flash fashion site … new term for me … but have bought from groupon, etc.

It’s not surprising that fashion deal sites like Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Ideeli, which often offer designer merchandise discounted up to 80%, have garnered more than 5 million members in just a few short years. Known for “flash sales”—deals that typically last just 36-48 hours—these members-only websites feature excess inventory from more than 1,000 brands at steeply reduced prices.

Gilt Groupe launched in fall 2007, and the industry has quickly become packed with competitors, with Amazon.com’s MyHabit launching in May. “There are lots of outlets that offer consumers huge assortments that take a lot of time to shop,” says Steve Davis, president of Rue La La. “The beauty of the flash business is that we’re perfect for that time-starved consumer. You can shop our site for five minutes every day. It’s a very specific, curated assortment, and we help to pick the right things for you.”

But the bargain sites aren’t just booming among consumers. In May, CNN Money reported that flash sites made $1 billion in sales in 2010, with a projected $6 billion revenue figure by 2015. As these retailers expand to include travel, home and culinary deals, TIME Moneyland asked the presidents and CEOs of the top five fashion flash sites about making the most of the online deal-hunting experience.

via Taking Advantage of Flash Fashion Sites | How Online Shoppers Can Make the Most of Fashion Flash Sites | Moneyland | TIME.com.

Jane Austen:  New picture … changed perception … This discovery reminds me of the movie Possession …

Jane Austen scholar Dr Paula Byrne claims to have discovered a lost portrait of the author which, far from depicting a grumpy spinster, shows a writer at the height of her powers and a woman comfortable in her own skin.

The only accepted portraits of Austen to date are her sister Cassandra’s 1810 sketch, in which she looks cross, and an 1870 adaptation of that picture. But when Byrne, biographer of Evelyn Waugh and Mary “Perdita” Robinson and with an Austen biography due out in 2013, was given a portrait of a female author acquired by her husband, Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, at auction, she was immediately struck by the possibility that it could be a lost drawing of Austen.

The portrait drawing, in graphite on vellum, had been in a private collection for years, and was being auctioned as an “imaginary portrait” of Austen, with “Miss Jane Austin” written on the back. “When my husband bought it he thought it was a reasonable portrait of a nice lady writer, but I instantly had a visceral reaction to it. I thought it looks like her family. I recognised the Austen nose, to be honest, I thought it was so striking, so familiar,” Byrne told the Guardian. “The idea that it was an imaginary portrait – that seemed to me to be a crazy theory. That genre doesn’t exist, and this looks too specific, too like the rest of her family, to have been drawn from imagination.”

Byrne pointed out that Austen did not become famous until 1870, 50 years after her death, and the portrait has been dated to the early 19th century, around 1815, on the basis of the subject’s clothes. “Why would someone have wanted to draw her from their imagination, when she was not popular at that time?” she asked.

via Jane Austen biographer discovers ‘lost portrait’ | Books | guardian.co.uk.

media:

One of the coolest and most charming book releases of this year, The Influencing Machine is a graphic novel about the media, its history, and its many maladies — think The Information meets The Medium is the Massage meets Everything Explained Through Flowcharts. Written by Brooke Gladstone, longtime host of NPR’s excellent On the Media, and illustrated by cartoonist Josh Neufeld, The Influencing Machine takes a refreshingly alternative approach to the age-old issue of why we disparage and distrust the news. And as the book quickly makes clear, it has always been

via The Influencing Machine: A Brief Visual History of the Media | Brain Pickings.

 Kathryn Schulz, psychology, regret, TED: TED provides me with some of my favorite information.

My friend Kathryn Schulz, who penned the excellent book Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error and who is, in my opinion, one of the finest, bravest, most thoughtful journalists working today, recently gave a TED talk about regret. As the new owner of ink that makes me very happy, what got me to pay even closer attention was Kathryn’s extended example of her own tattoo as a lens for examining the psychology of regret, a vehicle for her characteristically potent formula of universal wisdom channelled through personal anecdotes and hard data.

Make sure you watch to the very end, it’s well worth it.

via Kathryn Schulz on the Psychology of Regret and How to Live with It | Brain Pickings.

Twitter, ideal life:  I follow a couple of these …. Martha Stewart Wannabees …

 For more holiday ideas and inspirations, pop over to the rest of the #HolidayHQ posts today and discover what the experts are decorating, cooking and planning for a festive December.  And then join us on Twitter Thursday 8 December at 8pm EST for the popular #HolidayHQ tweet chat for even more holiday ideas.

http://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

Christmas, salt dough ornaments:  Add another to the list?

 

My fondest Christmas memory is sitting around our kitchen table watching my mother turn dough into works of art, she effortless hand crafted a jointed Santa Clause, an ornate rocking horse and many other keep sake ornaments while I fiddled around with gingerbread cookie cutters wondering why I did not inherit her creative gene.  While those around me are turning their kitchens into cookie factories, churning out confections for countless recipients, parties and hostess gifts, I am recreating my favourite Christmas memory and creating the most delightful decorations for our holiday tree, gift toppers and garlands.  While many of us think of salt dough crafts as the back bone of elementary school projects (and granted mine do have that air about them), artisans have been working with salt dough for centuries creating elaborate works of art using the most basic of ingredients:  salt, water, flour and paint.

viahttp://www.housewifebliss.com/?p=1029.

07
Oct
11

10.7.2011 … grocery, grocery store or HT, Kroger, etc? … Christmas in October? … Since I mentioned Christmas – Amy Grant … Pez dispensers … OK a very random day!

words, local customs, retailing, Christmas, Amy Grant, PEZ dispensers, random, holiday traditions:  Ok … It’s October 7 … I went to the grocery (do you say grocery, grocery store or call it by its franchise name… Harris Teeter, for me?), and I smelled cinnamon. Looked up and saw a display of McCormick holiday spices, next to that display Christmas tree shaped Little Debbie cakes, next to that fake Oreos filled with peppermint cream, and finally Christmas cookie cutters. Has someone gone mad??

Speaking of Christmas, I just saw a e-mail which lists Amy Grant’s Christmas holiday tour, and I  have to admit Amy Grant’s early Christmas album is still my first to listen to every Christmas season … old habits die hard. Thank you Mary Phil  for introducing me to her a million years ago.

And while I am discussing holidays … found this fun quiz … HowStuffWorks “PEZ Quiz”. ‎:) … I wish I had saved 21 years of PEZ dispensers from my children’s Christmas stockings, Easter Baskets, Halloween surprises and birthdays …

Steve Jobs, RIP, tributes, speaking ill ... :

Gizmodo Tribute Video To Steve Jobs – YouTube.

When Steve Jobs resigned from Apple in August, 7,000 miles away in Hong Kong, graphic design student Jonathan Mak Long, “shocked” by the CEO’s departure, did what he knew best: He created a design to honor the Apple co-founder.

The 19-year-old posted the image, the Apple logo with the bite changed to a profile of Jobs, to his Tumblr blog. Known as Jonathan Mak, he initially received about 80 notes on the image. Then word came this past Wednesday that Jobs had died, after a long battle with cancer. Mak reposted the homage, which this time caught fire on the Web, attracting an almost immediate response of 10,000 likes and reblogs on his Tumblr site and surging to 180,000 — in one day. Comments included “awesome invention like steve jobs.” One thought it should be the “new Apple logo.” Another wanted to “use it as a tattoo.”

Speaking in fluent English (which he said he learned from watching the TV show “Friends”), the Polytechnic University School of Design student told Yahoo! in a Skype interview that the image was a tribute to Jobs’s contributions to the world: “I wanted to commemorate him. He’s such an integral part of Apple. I thought it would be fitting to include him in the Apple logo.” Long added, “With Jobs gone, Apple is literally missing a piece.”

via Apple tribute logo a Web hit | Today in Tech – Yahoo! News.

Everybody fails. It’s what comes next that counts.

Jobs wormed his way back into Apple, first as an adviser, then as interim chief executive, then by dropping the “interim.” What followed must be among the greatest comebacks in business.

He proved himself to be the Thomas Edison of our age: prickly, yes, but adept at combining technology and business to change peoples’ lives.

Edison has the more impressive portfolio — you can get by without your iPod more easily than you can without lightbulbs. No, really, you can.

But Jobs has the more impressive following.

For many people who heard the news of Jobs’ death, there was an immediate lurch of sadness.

On the sidewalk beside the Apple Store along Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue, Jobs’ fans on Thursday created a shrine to his memory. They left flowers, lit candles and placed fresh apples on the concrete. The same spontaneous tributes occurred at Apple Stores in London, Paris, Tokyo and elsewhere around the world.

“I promise to always take the next big step,” said one message left for Jobs in Chicago.

“Let’s go invent tomorrow,” said another, invoking a Jobs quote.

via The amazing reaction to the death of Steve Jobs – chicagotribune.com.

mike10072011

Political Cartoons from Mike Luckovich.

 

“Everyone always wanted a piece of Steve,” said one acquaintance who, in Mr. Jobs’s final weeks, was rebuffed when he sought an opportunity to say goodbye. “He created all these layers to protect himself from the fan boys and other peoples’ expectations and the distractions that have destroyed so many other companies.

“But once you’re gone, you belong to the world.”

Mr. Jobs’s biographer, Mr. Isaacson, whose book will be published in two weeks, asked him why so private a man had consented to the questions of someone writing a book. “I wanted my kids to know me,” Mr. Jobs replied, Mr. Isaacson wrote Thursday in an essay on Time.com. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Because of that privacy, little is known yet of what Mr. Jobs’s heirs will do with his wealth. Unlike many prominent business people, he has never disclosed plans to give large amounts to charity. His shares in Disney, which Mr. Jobs acquired when the entertainment company purchased his animated film company, Pixar, are worth about $4.4 billion. That is double the $2.1 billion value of his shares in Apple, perhaps surprising given that he is best known for the computer company he founded.

Mr. Jobs’s emphasis on secrecy, say acquaintances, led him to shy away from large public donations. At one point, Mr. Jobs was asked by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates to give a majority of his wealth to philanthropy alongside a number of prominent executives like Mr. Gates and Warren E. Buffett. But Mr. Jobs declined, according to a person with direct knowledge of Mr. Jobs’s decision.

Now that Mr. Jobs is gone, many people expect that attention will focus on his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, who has largely avoided the spotlight, but is expected to oversee Mr. Jobs’s fortune. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Mrs. Powell Jobs worked in investment banking before founding a natural foods company. She then founded College Track, a program that pairs disadvantaged students with mentors who help them earn college degrees. That has led to some speculation in the philanthropic community that any large charitable contributions might go to education, though no one outside Mr. Jobs’s inner circle is thought to know of the plans.

Mr. Jobs himself never got a college degree. Despite leaving Reed College after six months, he was asked to give the 2005 commencement speech at Stanford.

In that address, delivered after Mr. Jobs was told he had cancer but before it was clear that it would ultimately claim his life, Mr. Jobs told his audience that “death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.”

The benefit of death, he said, is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

via With Time Running Short, Steve Jobs Managed His Farewells – NYTimes.com.

Personally, I think this person should have just stopped “talking.”  I was taught not to speak ill of the dead …

In the days after Steve Jobs’ death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He’s been hailed as “a genius” and “the greatest CEO of his generation” by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man’s reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.

We mentioned much of the good Jobs did during his career earlier. His accomplishments were far-reaching and impossible to easily summarize. But here’s one way of looking at the scope of his achievement: It’s the dream of any entrepreneur to effect change in one industry. Jobs transformed half a dozen of them forever, from personal computers to phones to animation to music to publishing to video games. He was a polymath, a skilled motivator, a decisive judge, a farsighted tastemaker, an excellent showman, and a gifted strategist.

via What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs.

food, comfort food, chicken pot pie, recipes, kith/kin:  I cooked for a friend’s family following surgery the other night.  When I asked my husband asked what I should cook, he recommended ordering pizza … he doesn’t like my cooking … so I cooked my favorite no recipe comfort food … Chicken pot pie. Enjoy!

Dennard’s Chicken Pot Pie

3 large chicken breasts, cooked at 350 until done, then cut into bite size pieces.

line 9×9 glass baking dish or tall round baking dish with ready made pie crust, reserving enough crust for top … bake 10 minutes

in saucepan, add two cups cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, salt and pepper, a little white wine  … simmer to slightly thickened

cook/thaw carrots in bite size pieces, peas and corn … frozen is fine, as much as you like … add any others that you like

put chicken pieces in bottom of pre baked pastry pan

add veggies

add cream mixture

cover with pastry dough

cook at 350 for 40-45 minutes!

 

 

 

Great Recession, IMF, Olivier Blanchard,  fiscal policy: Interesting interview – Olivier Blanchard on fiscal policy: A complicated game | The Economist.

Pat Robertson, Mitt Romney, faith and politics:  I just wish religious affiliation were not the issue in US politics … high moral character is what matters …not the source of your high moral character.

Robertson’s non-endorsement of Romney, for those who have ears to hear, trumpets two critical things to the Republican evangelical base: affinity and electability. At first glance, Robertson’s comments may seem like faint praise for a candidate who is currently the front-runner for the GOP nomination, and for one who unsuccessfully lobbied Robertson for an endorsement in 2008. But it could make an enormous difference for Romney, not only when he addresses the annual “Values Voter Summit” this weekend, but also on the longer campaign trail.

Most critically, by pronouncing Romney part of the Christian fold, Robertson signals that Romney’s faith is not so different from that of the white evangelical Protestants who form a strong core of the Republican base. The declaration that Romney is an “outstanding Christian” is a dramatic upgrade from Robertson’s more tepid comments in the last presidential campaign. In 2007, Robertson dubbed Romney an “outstanding American,” while his Christian Broadcasting Network Web site also declared-under the heading “How Do I Recognize a Cult?”-that “when it comes to spiritual matters, the Mormons are far from the truth.”

This Christian embrace should be a godsend for Romney, given that Americans generally want president’s with strong religious values, and that a significant portion of the electorate still holds reservations about the Mormon faith.

via Why Pat Robertson’s ‘endorsement’ of Mitt Romney matters – Figuring Faith – The Washington Post.

marijuana, food, food – drink, Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, US Government Programs:  Odd … Gourmet magazine online article about eating/drinking marijuana and a US Government Program, the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, provides free reefers!

Her description pretty neatly sums up the common expectation of eating marijuana: a bit of psychoactive Russian roulette with a strange aftertaste.

Beer probably has the most natural affinity with marijuana; after all, hops and marijuana are botanically speaking, kissing cousins. Boutique brewers in Europe and home brewers in the U.S. have been known to use cannabis tincture and plant matter to create THC-infused beer. Within the bounds of American law, Nectar Ales in Paso Robles, California, makes Humboldt Brown Ale with denatured hemp seeds (containing no measurable THC). The toastier, nuttier quality of the seed is highlighted rather than the herbal, funky character one would get from the plant itself. It is an interesting, unexpected expression of hemp, enjoyable even without its famous effects.

Jeremiah Tower, seminal in the creation of New American cuisine, first during his time as a chef/owner at Chez Panisse (1972–78) and later at Stars, knows a thing or two about letting ingredients speak for themselves, and letting them kick, if that’s what they want. He gives cannabis a clear, though not overpowering, voice in his Consommé Marijuana, recalled (with recipe!) in his 2004 memoir California Dish. The consommé was created in the spring of 1969 as the third course of a “self-consciously decadent” 11-course meal he prepared in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Made with 1 cup of marijuana stems steeped in 6 cups of rich chicken stock, it was strained and served over a chiffonade of nasturtium flowers and basil. As Tower recalls, the dish: “provided another level of stimulation. But not stoned. The brew takes forty-five minutes to reach the brain, by which time (as the menu planned) we were on to dessert, tasting strawberries and cream as we’d never tasted them before.”

There is, after all, the Bloody Maryjane, based on another drink attributed to him—the Bloody Mary—with a marijuana tincture replacing the vodka.

All of these applications point to a far richer culinary legacy than Alice B. Toklas’ brownies might lead us to expect. If legalization of marijuana comes at the same pace as smoking continues to get marginalized, we could be entering the age of ingested marijuana.

When that age comes, it could appear, rather than with a puff of smoke, in a glass, on a plate, or maybe even poured over a chiffonade of nasturtium flowers.

via Beyond Pot Brownies: Food + Cooking : gourmet.com.

Free reefers: Federal program ships marijuana to four

Uncle Sam a drug pusher? It’s true. For the past three decades, a handful of Americans have been getting regular deliveries of high-grade marijuana, courtesy of the federal government. It’s all part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, a little-known initiative that grew out of a 1976 court decision that created the nation’s first legal pot smokers. Of the 14 people who were in the program initially, four are still alive. Keep clicking to meet the government-sanctioned marijuana mavens and learn more about the program – including where the government gets the pot in the first place…

via Free reefers: Federal program ships marijuana to four Pictures – CBS News.

Appalachia, Berea College: I absolutely loved this article about the US region Appalachia and the people who are Appalachians.  And the picture that illustrates the article is great … reminds me of “Song of the Lark.”

Color Me Appalachian 1

As a native Kentuckian, I thought that I knew the state. But the first time I heard traditional mountain music, I was awestruck—I had never heard anything like it before. A student, Ashley Long, was singing “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble. Darrell Scott’s lyrics and Long’s haunting voice brought tears to my eyes. The song tells the story of a man’s great-granddaughter, who sings about the family lineage in the “deep, dark hills of eastern Kentucky,” where the “sun comes up about 10 in the morning and the sun goes down about 3 in the day,” and “you spend your life just thinking how to get away.” The pain and the despair were palpable in the lyrics and in the style of singing.

When I came to Berea College four years ago, I accepted employment as a college professor; but I quickly realized that I had embarked on something more than just a job or career path. I was drawn to Berea because of its 150-year history and its commitment to African-American students. But I did not want to live in what I regarded as the mountains (in reality, the foothills), so I commuted from Lexington the first year, not telling my family that I had taken a job in the region. I knew they would worry about my living there because of all the negative stereotypes of racist white mountain people.

I didn’t know, but would soon learn, that Appalachian people represent a distinct cultural group. I didn’t understand that their music, traditions, and values were rooted in a way of life I knew very little about; my family and I had accepted as truth all the stereotypes. Over time, I came to know that the rich culture of Appalachia extends beyond Kentucky, including 13 states from Mississippi to New York, with West Virginia the only state entirely in the region.

After a year of commuting, I decided to move. I had found the people in town friendly, and there was a vital black community.

My experience at Berea was different from any other job I had had as a college professor. My first surprise was that, in my first class, there were more African-American students than I had taught in 13 years of my being a professor in Kentucky. The college’s minority enrollment has ranged between 17 percent and 23 percent over the last 10 years, in a state whose African-American population is only about 8 percent.

While it was wonderful working at a predominantly white institution with a significant number of African-American students, even more surprising were the white students. Most of them—60 percent of the 1,500 students on campus—identify themselves as Appalachian. As the semester progressed and I got to know them a little, I found them different from other white people I had encountered. I had worked with working-class whites before, but these students’ differences existed apart from socioeconomic status. Aside from the cultural differences, they were devoid of “white entitlement”; there was a humility and respect that I had never experienced from white students before. They were outspoken about some things and shy about others; they were smart, but not savvy—I found contradiction after contradiction.

Talking with them about their homes in rural Appalachia was similar to talking to international students about their lives in developing countries. I simply did not understand their culture—I hadn’t realized that although these people were white, they were not part of mainstream white culture. That first semester was challenging because I was working with a group that I knew very little about. But I wanted to know more.

In my second semester, I took the college’s weeklong Appalachian Seminar and Tour. I thought it would answer all my questions about the region, but within minutes, I realized that nothing was straightforward. My first question was: “Is it pronounced “Ap-uh-lay-chuh” or “Ap-uh-lach-uh?” (I had been taught the former in grammar school.) Chad Berry, director of Berea’s Appalachian Center, explained that those outside the region said the former, while those inside the region said the latter. I decided to use the regional pronunciation. This was a place where I wanted to belong. I had already begun to feel connected, and I wanted to explore those feelings in more depth.

via Color Me Appalachian – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

UNC Basketball, college basketball:  Kinda fun … UNC  to play Michigan aboard aircraft carrier on Veterans Day.

This Veterans Day, the UNC men’s basketball team will kick off the season against Michigan State in unfamiliar territory — on an aircraft carrier.

And on Nov. 11, the Tar Heels will have an ally in the captain’s chair.

Captain Bruce H. Lindsey, commanding officer of the USS Carl Vinson, leads almost 5,000 crew members with a UNC basketball jersey draped over his captain’s seat.

His daughter, senior Blair Lindsey, gave him the jersey after UNC won the 2009 NCAA National Championship.

Lindsey said he fought to have the inaugural Carrier Classic played on the USS Carl Vinson.

“When I heard that they were thinking about playing the game onboard an aircraft carrier, I thought it would be an awesome way to show a little recognition of the Carl Vinson crew for all of their sacrifices protecting our great country’s freedoms,” Lindsey said in an email.

“This game will really boost the morale of the crew — especially since we will be deploying again soon afterward for six months.”

Lindsey added the fact that the Tar Heels will be playing on the Carl Vinson is an added bonus. He said he has been a UNC fan since he moved to Reidsville, N.C., during high school.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC men’s basketball to play aboard aircraft carrier on Veterans Day.

zombie genre, tv,  The Walking Dead:  Anybody a fan of ” The Walking Dead?”

You’ve been hearing about the show for a year or more, the much-ballyhooed second season starts on cable TV in a few weeks, and now all of The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is available on a single disc from redbox. (Episodes 1-4 are on Side A–flip it over and episodes 5-6 are on Side B).

If you’re already a fan of AMC’s terrific horror-drama series The Walking Dead, you probably don’t need much convincing to give that first season a quick re-watch before Season Two starts.

But if you’ve heard the hot, undead buzz and are curious what all the fuss is about, or if you’re not a hardcore zombie fan and wonder why you should bother with yet another “silly zombie thing,” let’s get you up to speed and fully on board.

via Zombie 101: 5 Things You Need to Know About The Walking Dead | Redblog.

Occupy Wall Street, revolution: “Do these people, like others worldwide who are disillusioned with their governments, have the potential to spark a mass movement?”

If you stopped by Zuccotti Park in New York and asked 10 protesters what their goals were for Occupy Wall Street, you might get 10 different answers. This has led some reports to call the group unfocused, but that may be normal for an emerging movement: would 10 young Egyptians in Tahrir Square in January have been any more unanimous?

One protester, in an interview that Fox News has not aired, said he and others were calling for “more economic justice, social justice — Jesus stuff — as far as feeding the poor, health care for the sick.” Another protester, a former Marine who was elected by Occupy Wall Street participants to speak for them, told NPR that he wanted to overthrow the government and reconstruct it. Will these big ideas get lost now that labor unions and other established interests are joining forces with Occupy Wall Street, bringing their more concrete demands?

The protest already is more popular than Congress. So what are the demonstrators doing right, and what could they be doing better? Do these people, like others worldwide who are disillusioned with their governments, have the potential to spark a mass movement? What are they missing?

via Can Occupy Wall Street Spark a Revolution? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

Great Recession:  US a third word nation?  moral failure? read on …

Is the United States a Third-World Nation? 10/7/2011 6:30:00 AMMichael Lewis, author of the new book “Boomerang,” says the United States and many European nations suffered a moral failure which lead to economic collapse. Lewis insists that the U.S. economic situation will get much worse before it gets better.

via Video – Author Michael Lewis States That the United States has Suffered a Moral Failure – WSJ.com.

social networking, over 55, dating sites:

If you think online dating is the domain of the young, maybe it’s time to check in with your mother. Now, people 55 and older are visiting American dating sites more than any other age group — up 39 percent in the last three years, according to the Internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise. The No. 2 group? Singles 45 to 54. According to IBISWorld, a market research firm, and the United States Census Bureau, about 37 percent of people 50 and older are unmarried. And the divorce rate among the 50-plus demographic is high. With so many older Americans unattached, living independently into their later years, and increasingly comfortable using the Internet, they, too, are logging on for love.

And they may be better at finding it than their younger cohorts. Dating industry professionals say that singles in their 20s and 30s are typically focused on marriage and starting a family, while older singles (many of whom have been married before) have a more relaxed approach and are careful to pick companions who share their interests.

“Baby boomers have been one of the fastest-growing demographics for a lot of online dating companies,” said Caitlin Moldvay, an analyst for IBISWorld. The growth comes at the same time that some younger singles (18 to 34) are moving away from dating sites to social networking sites like Facebook as “a proxy for online dating,” said Bill Tancer, the general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services.

Greg Liberman, the president and chief executive of Spark Networks — which owns specialty dating sites including JDate, ChristianMingle, BlackSingles, SilverSingles — said that for the first eight months of this year, Spark had a 93 percent increase in new members 50 and older across all of its dating sites, compared with the same span of time last year. “We’re seeing significant growth,” Mr. Liberman said.

He’s also observed that, while it’s been common for parents to buy dating site memberships for their adult children, now adult children have begun buying memberships for their widowed and divorced parents. Gone is the heyday of personal ads in The New York Review of Books.

via For Those 55 and Over, Love at First Click – NYTimes.com.

fonts, design, Fortune Magazine: Just thought this interesting …

Two-time National Magazine Award winner John Korpics has a lengthy editorial design resume that includes Premiere, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, InStyle, Fortune, and now ESPN The Magazine where he just joined as Creative Director. One of his final acts at Fortune was the annual “500” issue. It’s always a hefty production, but this year’s is a particularly typographic feast.

via Fonts In Use – Fortune Magazine, “500” Issue.

31
Dec
10

‎12.31.2010 I’ll be singing … “Auld Lang Syne” …

New Year’s, music, history:

“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”)[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, its use has also become common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.

 

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

via Auld Lang Syne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

New Year’s, music, history, Peggy Noonan:  It is not often Peggy Noonan and I are not on the same wavelength.

Christmas, technology, YouTube: fun … but who has time to do this? YouTube – THE DIGITAL STORY OF THE NATIVITY.

technology, lists:  Some good ideas here. 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology – NYTimes.com.

New Year’s Resolutions, marketing, Great Recession:  last year Molly gave up soda … and I am trying. Obviously it has had little effect on soda sales. 🙂

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. Chief Executive Larry Young says retail soda-price increases have started to stick after a summer of steep discounts, but consumers are still being frugal.

via Dr Pepper Sees Sticky Prices Sweetening Profits – WSJ.com.

random, prostate cancer, health:

A new study found that men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger are at lower risk to develop prostate cancer, according to the British Journal of Cancer.

via Research Report: Linking Index Finger Length to Prostate Cancer Risks – WSJ.com.

random, movies: Very interesting … YouTube – Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop.

random, travel, Jekyll Island GA, Georgia:  I just liked this one … maybe I’ll visit and find one.

During the months of January and February, Jekyll Island commissions a group of highly skilled artisans from across the U.S. to create an array of stunning, hand-worked glass globes. Then, during this 2 month long program, “Beach Buddies” hide these floats along Jekyll Island’s beaches for lucky visitors to find. For the lucky ones that find an Island Treasure, it is theirs to take home.

via Island Treasures – Georgia Events – Overview – Explore Georgia.

29
Dec
10

12.29.2010 … slipped away … but I did use up our FSA … and by the way Christmas 2010 was officially NOT a snow day in Charlotte, NC.

oral history, media, official records, Charlotte,  headlines: How often do official records and oral history differ?  Everyone I know will remember Christmas 2010 as a white Christmas.  Sounds very Grinchy to me!

John Tomko, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says the official snow depth reading is taken at 7 a.m. Charlotte had no snow at 7 a.m., so according to weather service in Greer, S.C., Charlotte had no snow on Christmas. And the official records in Greer, S.C., will state that Charlotte’s last White Christmas was in 1947.

via Musta been a Grinch who stole our White Christmas – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, grade inflation:  It’s happening in high schools, too.  And by the way, I have no idea what “Zen koan” means.

It could be a Zen koan: if everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?

The answer: Not what it should, says Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “An A should mean outstanding work; it should not be the default grade,” Mr. Perrin said. “If everyone gets an A for adequate completion of tasks, it cripples our ability to recognize exemplary scholarship.”

As part of the university’s long effort to clarify what grades really mean, Mr. Perrin now leads a committee that is working with the registrar on plans to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts. In addition, they expect to post further statistics providing context online and give instructors data on how their grading compares with their colleagues’.

“It’s going to be modest and nowhere near enough to correct the problems,” Mr. Perrin said. “But it’s our judgment that it’s the best we can do now.”

via Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation – NYTimes.com.

media, social change, Mozambique, Africa:  Interesting … I wonder how I would feel if it was moving the people of Mozambique toward revolution?

But while many publishers would be satisfied with creating a popular, free, quality newspaper, for founder Erik Charas that’s just the beginning: the 36-year-old homegrown entrepreneur believes his paper can be an instrument of social change, one that will help lift the country out of poverty and end its dependence on aid. “We didn’t start a newspaper to become a great newspaper,” he says. “We started a newspaper to achieve transformation in the country, to push the issue of access to information and ultimately … to engineer or create ambition in Mozambicans.”

Leaving coverage of high-level politics to other papers, Verdade focuses on the issues that affect those on Maputo’s fringes: bread subsidies, electricity prices, crime in the slums and HIV/AIDS. “I’ve never bought a paper. I’ve never had the opportunity,” says Enia Tembe, 29, a washroom attendant in a Maputo shopping mall who earns about $70 a month. “Verdade helps us to see what’s going on.”

via Mozambique: How One Newspaper Wants to Transform a Nation – TIME.

Great Recession, economics, college: Good question?

How have the financial crisis and recession affected the way economics is taught? How should economic instruction change?

via Economics: How has the crisis changed the teaching of economics?.

lists, movies:  I just keep these so I can see them on video. 🙂 The Best Movie Lists of 2010 – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Jane Austen, winter, historySnow Sports and Winter Transportation in the Regency Era « Jane Austen’s World.

Christmas, gingerbread, architecture, Frank Llyod Wright:

If It’s Hip, It’s Here: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water In Gingerbread for 2010!.

words:  Vuvuzela, of course!  Words of the Year 2010 – Interactive Graphic – WSJ.com.

RIP, movies:  Rest in peace, Liesl.  Agatha was the model for Liesl in the Sound of Music. Agathe von Trapp Dies at 97 – Eldest of Trapp Singers – NYTimes.com.

blogs:  Kinda’ interesting … The Period Periodical.

NYC, trends:  Maybe too cheap for me … but I know kids who have done the Couchsurfing thing … and it scares me … like Craig’s list … My $100 Weekend in New York: Where the Money Went – NYTimes.com.

26
Dec
10

12.26.2010 … Small world … Visited Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Atlanta to see our minister for a year in Chicago, Marthame Sanders, and ran into Tom and Ann Cousins (Lillian’s parents) … You never know who you’ll see! Like I said, small world.

movies:  Do you go to a movie on christmas Day or during the holidays?  Any recommendations? The Best Movie Lists of 2010 – Speakeasy – WSJ.

After the success of Inception and Avatar and the relative failure of movies like The A-Team or Sex and the City 2, Hollywood studios are having a revelation. In a world where people must pay $12 for a movie, they want to pay to see movies that are good.

“I believe there is a long-term danger to moviegoing if familiarity becomes too pervasive in the films we make,” said Chris Meladandri, the founder of Illumination. “The industry has a responsibility to its audience and to itself to make films that allow people to have a sense of discovery in the cinema.”

Sounds promising. Don’t forget that these people who are going to give you that sense of discovery also made Marmaduke, so there may not quite be a golden age of cinema on the horizon. But at least they’re getting on the right track.

via Hollywood Realizes People Don’t Like Bad Movies – Culture – GOOD.

followup, Atlanta, Christmas:

Once the kids came running into their parents rooms early in the morning, they were ready to do whatever they could to stir them awake so that they can head for the Christmas tree and start tearing up the beautiful Christmas wrapping and find out what Santa did bring them for this greatest time of year of joy, smiles and reflections and more.  Speaking of more, the Atlanta area did get much more than it bargained for on this Christmas day, Saturday, December 25, 2010.  The last time that Christmas Day became a white event in Atlanta was nearly 130 years before, in 1881.

via Atlanta receives an added gift on Christmas Day 2010 – Atlanta event photography | Examiner.com.

 

25
Dec
10

12.25.2010 … Joy to the World! … Snow in Atlanta … New wrinkle … Electricity off in Brookhaven … Adds to the Peace thing …

Christmas: Yuletide: Christmas around the world | The Economist.

quotes, 2010:  Interesting perspective … but Jon Stewart usually is interesting …

“Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear — often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

“And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile-long 30-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. … And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s OK — you go and then I’ll go.” — Jon Stewart, on the National Mall, Oct. 30 (quote starts in video at 8:45 mark).

via Year in Review: 13 Most Memorable Political Quotes of 2010.

pop ups, restaurants, green: Pop-Up Restaurants Popping Up All Over : TreeHugger.

It makes sense that the rise of pop-up restaurants has coincided with the decline of economy—the smaller investment, use of social media, and potential for a huge customer base overnight considerably reduces the risk in such dismal financial times. Treehugger reports today about a newer aspect of the pop-up trend, highlighting spots that are constructed using reclaimed, borrowed, or already existing building materials. Examples are all over the globe, using everything from old shipping containers to leftover scaffolding. The post quotes an interview from DeZeen with the architect of Studio East Dining in London:

via Pop-up Eateries Implement Sustainable Design – Environment – GOOD.

graphics, stats: presentation is very interesting.

YouTube – Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four.

 




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

Join 619 other followers

March 2020
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031