Posts Tagged ‘CMS

27
Jan
15

1.27.15 … “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.” – Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg (Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus), obituary, NYTimes.com:  I do not agree with his conclusions. but I do believe his work was important.

Marcus J. Borg, a scholar who popularized a liberal intellectual approach to Christianity with his lectures and books about Jesus as a historical figure, died on Wednesday at his home in Powell Butte, Ore. He was 72.

His publisher, HarperOne, said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Professor Borg was among a group of scholars, known as the Jesus Seminar, who set off an uproar with its very public efforts to discern collectively which of Jesus’ acts and utterances could be confirmed as historically true, and which were probably myths.

His studies of the New Testament led him not toward atheism but toward a deep belief in the spiritual life and in Jesus as a teacher, healer and prophet. Professor Borg became, in essence, a leading evangelist of what is often called progressive Christianity.

“His own vision was not simply derived from opposing fundamentalist or literalist Christianity,” Mr. Crossan said. “It was a very positive vision. He could talk about Jesus and he could talk about Paul and the positive vision they had.”

In his last book, the memoir “Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most” (2014), Professor Borg wrote: “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.”

via Marcus Borg, Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus, Dies at 72 – NYTimes.com.

religion before the modern period, civilization,  Karen Armstrong,  Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

First of all, there is the whole business about religion before the modern period never having been considered a separate activity but infusing and cohering with all other activities, including state-building, politics and warfare. Religion was part of state-building, and a lot of the violence of our world is the violence of the state. Without this violence we wouldn’t have civilization. Agrarian civilization depended upon a massive structural violence. In every single culture or pre-modern state, a small aristocracy expropriated the serfs and peasants and kept them at subsistence level.This massive, iniquitous system is responsible for our finest achievements, and historians tell us that without this iniquitous system we probably wouldn’t have progressed beyond subsistence level. Therefore, we are all implicated in this violence. No state, however peace-loving it claims to be, can afford to disband its army, so when people say religion has been the cause of all the major wars in history this is a massive oversimplification. Violence is at the heart of our lives, in some form or another

via Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” – Salon.com.

9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity, OnFaith, lists:  Interesting list … something to think about.

“I am dedicated to unoriginality.” So said historical theologian Thomas Oden in his classic work, Classical Christianity. He goes on: “I plan to present nothing new or original in these pages . . . My aim is to present classical Christian teaching of God on its own terms, undiluted by modern posturing.”

I echo Oden. Because, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year is the year to go backwards in order to move forwards in our faith.

To regress, by rediscovering and retrieving the vintage Christian faith.

But what do I mean by vintage Christianity? Before we can explore it, let’s define it. And since everyone seems to be doing listicles these days, here are nine things you need to know about the vintage Christian faith …

via 9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity | OnFaith.

Modern Farmer Ceases Publication, NYTimes.com:  I hate it when I miss something good.

Modern Farmer Combines Serious Coverage With LambCam, Hits Jackpot – Businessweek.

The magazine itself was part of an emerging genre of food-related publications like Lucky Peach and Cherry Bombe, which offer readers a media experience that is as much tactile as it is about content.

“It is part of a genre of very niche publications that say one thing we can do is create this beautifully designed artifact,” said the author and magazine veteran Kurt Andersen.

The problem, he said, may simply have been one of audience and execution.

“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying, but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” he asked. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”

via Modern Farmer Ceases Publication – NYTimes.com.

Each issue of Modern Farmer, the stylish agrarian quarterly, has an austere portrait of an animal on the cover. So far, there have been six. The animals look remote and self-satisfied, as if nothing you said could matter to them, just like human models. The first cover had a rooster with an eye resembling a tiny dark paperweight. The second had a goat looking haughtily askance. The third was of a sheep whose gaze is so penetrating that she seems to be trying to hypnotize you. The fourth was of a pig in profile whose ears flop forward like a visor; according to a note by the photographer, a pig’s flopped ears trap smells as it searches for food. The fifth had a hulking farm dog with a ruff like a headdress, and the sixth has a serene-looking cow with a black face and a white forehead and nose. Ann Marie Gardner, the magazine’s founder and editor, says that she always thought she would have animals on the cover. The art director, Sarah Gephart, says, however, that she had nearly finished designing the magazine when Gardner told her that the cover would have animals. “We thought it would be people,” Gephart said.

Modern Farmer appeared in the spring of 2013. After three issues, it won a National Magazine Award; no other magazine had ever won so quickly. According to Gardner, though, Modern Farmer is less a magazine than an emblem of “an international life-style brand.” This is the life style of people who want to “eat food with a better backstory”—from slaughterhouses that follow humane practices, and from farmers who farm clean and treat their workers decently. Also, food cultists who like obscure foods and believe that fruits and vegetables taste different depending on where they are grown. Also, aspirational farmers, hobby farmers, intern farmers, student farmers, WWOOFers—people who take part in programs sponsored by the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms movement—and people who stay at hotels on farms where they eat things grown by the owners. Plus idlers in cubicles searching for cheap farmland and chicken fences and what kind of goats give the best milk. Such people “have a foot in each world, rural and urban,” Gardner says. She calls them Rurbanistas, a term she started using after hearing the Spanish word rurbanismo, which describes the migration from the city to the countryside. Rurbanistas typify the Modern Farmer audience.

via Modern Farmer Plows Ahead – The New Yorker.

Ann Clark, CMS, Davidson alumni:

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Veteran Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administrator Ann Clark was named superintendent Tuesday while the school board searches for a long-term leader – but Clark will not be considered for that job.

Instead, Clark said she plans to retire from the district in 2016 when a new superintendent is selected and ready to take office.

Clark’s new position will cap a three-decade career rising through the CMS ranks. Her selection also fills the void left by former Superintendent Heath Morrison, who resigned in November after an investigation into claims that he bullied staff members. The months since then have been marked by uncertainty among the district’s 18,000 employees and the Charlotte community.

“Ann will provide the stability and direction we need,” school board Chairwoman Mary McCray said.

Clark, who had been the deputy superintendent, said it was her decision not to be considered for the position long term. She said she had planned to file the paperwork Dec. 1 to retire this spring, but after Morrison’s departure she decided it would be in the district’s best interest for her to stay.

via Ann Clark to serve as CMS superintendent until 2016 | CharlotteObserver.com.

2015 NBA All-Star Game starters,  ESPN, Steph Curry: On a more cheerful note …

The star of the NBA-leading Warriors, Curry ended up with more than 1.5 million votes, more than 42,000 ahead of James, who had a 13,285-vote lead over the sharpshooter at the previous update. James was the leading vote-getter last year, preceded by Kobe Bryant in 2013. Curry, who just two years ago was an All-Star snub, becomes the first Warriors player elected to consecutive starts since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.

via 2015 NBA All-Star Game starters announced – ESPN.

9 Mystery Books , lists, Downton Abbey:

There’s a reason more than 10 million people tuned in Downton Abbey’s fifth season premiere — and it’s not because of the pretty costumes! From dark family secrets to untimely deaths to salacious gossip, Downton Abbey delivers an unparalleled level of mystery and drama week after week.

We rounded up nine mysteries set in the Edwardian period and beyond that promise all of the drama Downton Abbey fans have come to know and love! Check out the full list below, complete with publishers’ descriptions and reviews

via 9 Mystery Books to Read If You Like Downton Abbey.

C.S. Lewis, BBC Broadcasts During WWII:

During the second world war, people in Britian were facing life and death issues every day.  The director of religious programming, at the BBC, asked C.S. Lewis to give some “Broadcast Talks” about faith.

At first, Lewis was unsure – he liked neither the radio nor traveling to London.  He finally relented, because he thought it was his duty.  His first talks were so successful that the BBC wanted him to do more – and he agreed.

via C.S. Lewis – BBC Broadcasts During WWII.

Milton Friedman, macroeconomics:  Interesting.

Friedman’s negative income tax proposed that we eliminate poverty with one fell swoop by providing everyone with a livable income, no matter what their employment status is.

Wow, right?

Before we move forward, let’s acknowledge that there’s something not quite perfect about an old white guy coming in to save the “helpless poor people” (see The White Savior Industrial Complex). But Friedman’s idea of a negative income tax is worth discussing not because he’s such a nice guy; it’s worth discussing because it’s a valuable policy idea.

A variation of Friedman’s plan is often referred to as a guaranteed basic income.

via An Interviewer Doesn’t Know How To Handle His Guest Because He Got Something Quite Unexpected.

20
Sep
11

‎9.20.2011 … to Davidson, to Davidson … for dinner and to hear Sebastian Junger (2011 Reynolds Lecture) … I wonder if I ever went to a public lecture while there (actually I remember one: former President Gerald Ford) … and btw Junger’s lecture was excellent … however, I was not gLeeful after gLee …

Sebastian Junger, Davidson College – Reynolds lecture:  When I saw that he had written The Perfect Storm I was excited to have an invite from Davidson’s new President Carol Quillen to join her and others for the dinner and the lecture.  Mr Junger walked in casually and comfortably to the President’s Home and engaged willingly with everyone at dinner … a few professors, students (mostly those interested in journalism or ROTC) , and several alum couples.  I enjoyed meeting him.  At the lecture he was introduced with a pretty full bio, but I remembered two things, he was a cultural anthropology major at Wesleyan College and he was named by People magazine and the most attractive writer.  His talk was thoughtful and thought-provoking and focused on themes from his latest book War and documentary Restrepo.  He willingly took questions.  He often focused on the young adult male psyche and how that plays into a soldier’s life.  Having a nephew a West Point made me really think about this.  Great talk.  If you have the opportunity to hear him speak, I highly recommend making the effort.

sebastian Junger

Author Sebastian Junger, 7:30 p.m., Davidson College Duke Family Performance Hall – Sebastian Junger, author of “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont,” and “Fire,” will give the 2011 Reynolds Lecture at Davidson. His topic: “From the Front Lines: 20 Years of Reporting from the Around the World.” Tickets free, available at Alvarez Student Union Box Office beginning Monday, Aug. 22. http://www.davidson.edu/tickets

via  Sebastian Junger | DavidsonNews.net Guide.

You can learn some more at his website: Sebastian Junger’s Community – The official Sebastian Junger community.  asked him afterward why he did not use twitter.  His response was when he did, he paid someone to run it for him.  Basically he did not have time.  I also asked him how his degree in cultural anthropology played into his career as a journalist, and he said it gave him a perspective from which he view the world.  He said distinctions between brotherhood and friend are anthropological distinctions.

Here is a quote from a recent article.

It doesn’t matter that most civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were caused by insurgent attacks; if our soldiers died for freedom there — as presidents are fond of saying — then those people did as well. They, too, are among the casualties of 9/11. Nearly a decade after that terrible day, what a powerful message we would send to the world by honoring those deaths with our grief.

via Why Would Any Soldier Miss War? – NYTimes.com.

Someone asked him about this book …

Drawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those on the front lines but entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting the most basic human desires. Mixing hard-nosed realism with profound moral and philosophical insight, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is a work of terrible power and redemptive clarity whose truths have never been more necessary.

via War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges – Book – Random House.

fracking, followup, NPR, Quest,  book:  This NPR story/interview gave me more insight into fracking.

A television ad running in upstate New York has been warning residents that the state’s water supply is headed for ruin.

“New York tap water has always been the best in the world,” it says. “In places where gas companies are already using a dangerous process called fracking, like Pennsylvania, the water is cloudy and full of toxic chemicals.”

The ad is part of an intensifying debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — the process energy companies use to get a certain kind of natural gas out of the ground. Fracking is also one of the many subjects energy expert Daniel Yergin covers in his new book, The Quest. Yergin tells NPR’s David Greene that the type of natural gas obtained through fracking, the gas found in shale, only recently became a serious energy source for the U.S.

“Shale gas really has been a revolution that’s happened extremely rapidly,” Yergin says. “Up until 2008, it really wasn’t recognized and then it just took off, and it’s gone from being virtually none of our natural gas production to about 30 percent of our total natural gas production.”

via Daniel Yergin Examines America’s ‘Quest’ For Energy : NPR.

CMS, education,  Broad Prize, kudos: Congratulations to CMS on winning the Broad Prize.

The Broad Prize, sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, comes with a $550,000 award that will be distributed as college scholarships for the district’s high school seniors. The three other districts that were finalists—the Broward County and Miami-Dade systems in Florida and the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas—will each receive $150,000 in scholarships for their students.

The 133,600-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg district, which was recognized by the foundation for its work in reducing achievement gaps, is about 33 percent white, 41 percent black, 16 percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian, American Indian, or multiracial. About 53 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, a commonly used measure of student poverty, and 10 percent are designated as English-language learners.

Like the other districts that were finalists this year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg had been singled out by the award program before. The district was a finalist in 2004 and 2010.

Hugh Hattabaugh, the district’s interim superintendent, said in an interview before the announcement was made that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district had made strides on more than two dozen education indicators, including improved graduation rates, SAT scores, and scores on end-of-course exams.

The nomination “really says wonders about our teachers and their commitment to excellence,” said Mr. Hattabaugh, who has served as interim superintendent since July.

via Education Week: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Wins Broad Prize.

The Playboy Club, tv, Norah Ephron, reviews, kith/kin:  I love Norah Ephron …  Anybody watched the Playboy Club?  My mother, yes my mother, has a great story she tells of her first visit to The Playboy Club in Chicago … shortly after my birth in 1960  … and it concludes with “and I never drank another martini.”

But Hefner himself, now 85, is a whack-a-mole, popping up from his life on the D list to give interviews about his pajamas and his little blue pills and his cadre of surgically enhanced women. Why does anyone read about him? Why do I? I can’t explain it. Last year, when news of his impending marriage was epidemic, I actually found myself wasting 30 seconds hoping that his fiancée, Crystal, 25, would have the courage to break it off. She did! Way to go, Crystal! Crystal then turned around and disappointed me by giving several television interviews denying that she’d been responsible for the breakup. “It was mutual between Hef and I,” she said.

I mention all this because NBC is about to put a series about a Playboy Club on the air. Inspired by the success of Mad Men, it has gone back to the early 1960s, to that golden moment just before the women’s movement came along and ruined everything. It’s about several Bunnies, an ambitious Chicago lawyer, and the mob. The show (or at least the opening episode) is not unlike Playboy magazine in the early years: it has its moments, but it’s mostly an excuse to show women’s breasts, which (in this version, because it’s on a network) are usually encased in fabulous pointy period bras or shoved upward in satin-polyester Bunny costumes. Hefner doesn’t appear except as a shadowy figure, like a masked mafioso in the Federal Witness Protection Program. But he does provide a weird, creepy voice-over, on which he says that Bunnies “were the only women in the world who could be anyone they wanted to be.”

This of course is so preposterous on so many levels that it is almost not worth attacking. But I worry (as someone who was an adult in the 1960s) that young people will see The Playboy Club and think that this is what life was like back then and that Hefner, as he also says in his weird, creepy voice-over, was in fact “changing the world, one Bunny at a time.”

So I would like to say this:

1. Trust me, no one wanted to be a Bunny.

2. A Bunny’s life was essentially that of an underpaid waitress forced to wear a tight costume.

3. Playboy did not change the world.

Incidentally, the weird, creepy voice-over is probably my favorite thing about The Playboy Club, and I was disappointed to read that it might not continue after the first episode. Not that I am planning to watch it again. Although you never know. Before she became a feminist and did change the world, Gloria Steinem wrote a famous piece about being a Bunny, and made clear how shabby and pathetic life was at a Playboy Club. She recently called for women to boycott the show. I am currently boycotting so many television shows that I may not have time to boycott another.

via In Case You Were Planning to Watch ‘The Playboy Club’… – The Daily Beast.

Paris, travel, puces, flea markets:  I did not get to hit the puces … next time. 🙂

Given a little more than 30 hours in the City of Light, jet lag was ignored and a whirlwind trip to the famous puces, or flea markets, was a must. Toma made the most of my brief stay. Her boutique business offers private tours to visitors to Paris and six other European countries.

Most antique shoppers head straight for Clingancourt, the gigantic flea market to the north of Paris. With limited time and the desire to hunt for kitchen tools, cutlery, linens and other trappings of the French home, we began at the Puces des Vanves (Metro: Portes des Vanves).

via A French connection: MrsWheelbarrow goes to Grrl’s Meat Camp – All We Can Eat – The Washington Post.

college life, culture, define: “hooking up” :…”a way of divulging information — which, yes, could still be considered gossip — but also provides an element of mystery about the encounter, which could protect privacy in some cases. And in today’s social media-obsessed, oversharing culture, that’s not a bad thing.”  BTW, my kids would define it as intercourse.  Makes the term “hooker” have similar back ground.  I no longer tell a friend … “let’s hook up for lunch.”

Don’t expect co-eds to help clarify the situation, either. A new study has examined the modern lingo often used by college students to describe a sexual encounter, and found that while 94% of the study’s sample knew and used the phrase “hooking up,” its definition is more a little hazy.

GOOD reports that the study, published in the journal Health Communication, found that college students thought hooking up could refer to a wide variety of sexual activities, covering “kissing, intercourse, and all the bases in between.” Further complicating the definition is that “activities can involve acquaintances, friends, or potential long-term partners, and can unfold over the course of one night or many months.” Pretty much the only certain aspect of a hookup is that sexual activity of some sort takes place.

If this all sounds frustratingly vague, it’s probably because it’s supposed to. The study also found that even though college students were often willing to discuss their hook ups with friends, they notably kept the details out of the discussion. Talking about who hooked up with whom was common, but what that exactly entailed, less so. It seems the phrase offers

Don’t expect co-eds to help clarify the situation, either. A new study has examined the modern lingo often used by college students to describe a sexual encounter, and found that while 94% of the study’s sample knew and used the phrase “hooking up,” its definition is more a little hazy.

GOOD reports that the study, published in the journal Health Communication, found that college students thought hooking up could refer to a wide variety of sexual activities, covering “kissing, intercourse, and all the bases in between.” Further complicating the definition is that “activities can involve acquaintances, friends, or potential long-term partners, and can unfold over the course of one night or many months.” Pretty much the only certain aspect of a hookup is that sexual activity of some sort takes place.

If this all sounds frustratingly vague, it’s probably because it’s supposed to. The study also found that even though college students were often willing to discuss their hook ups with friends, they notably kept the details out of the discussion. Talking about who hooked up with whom was common, but what that exactly entailed, less so. It seems the phrase offers a way of divulging information — which, yes, could still be considered gossip — but also provides an element of mystery about the encounter, which could protect privacy in some cases. And in today’s social media-obsessed, oversharing culture, that’s not a bad thing.

via No One Knows What ‘Hooking Up’ Entails — Not Even Those Who Are Doing It – TIME NewsFeed.

apps, ScatterBrain:  I could probably use this!

ScatterBrain — Collect your thoughts. Quickly. Simply. Beautifully.

BofA, job cuts, kith/kin:  Machete?

Current job cuts by U.S. lenders such as Bank of America are insufficient and they will likely need to slash even more before they can get their costs under control, a prominent U.S. banking analyst said on Tuesday.

“U.S. banks are using a pocket knife when what they really need is a machete,” CLSA banking analyst Mike Mayo. “I’m not saying to use the machete at one go, but more drastic measures are needed.”

Mayo, speaking at CLSA’s annual investor conference in Hong Kong, is famous for being a strong critic of Citigroup, a feud that began shortly after the 2008 financial crisis.

Banks in the United States are shedding jobs as stricter regulations and a tough second quarter for trading income take their toll on investment banking units in particular.

Bank of America said earlier this month it would cut 30,000 jobs to save up to $5 billion. It currently has a expense-to-revenue ratio of about 57 percent, and is trying to bring that down to 55 percent.

Outside of the United States, banks such as HSBC are also trying to bring down costs, with Europe’s biggest bank saying it wants to bring its expense ratio down to 48-52 percent by 2013 from about 57 percent currently. The bank says it plans to cut 30,000 jobs.

via US banks need headcount machete, not pocket knife-CLSA’s Mayo.

Google Doodles, Google, kith/kin:  What a great job for an artist … at least for a little while.  🙂

A few times a year Chronicle’s design department closes up shop early and heads out in search of inspiration. This fall we went to Google headquarters in Mountain View to meet the Google doodlers.

First we met up with head doodler Ryan Germick, who gave us a tour of the campus and answered all our incredulous questions. (Yes, that’s a beach volleyball court. Yes, people really use it.) The Google campus is pretty mind-boggling. Some of the highlights: Lush grounds with patio furniture galore. A van offering haircuts. On-site laundry. Beach volleyball. Free lunches and snacks. Did I mention you can bring your dog to work?

Then we got to the heart of the visit—getting to know the Google doodlers. The doodlers reconfigure the Google logo to commemorate everything from Thanksgiving to Freddie Mercury’s birthday. They’ve done more than 300 doodles for the U.S. and more than 700 doodles internationally. Considering their output, the doodlers are a surprisingly small bunch—I counted five illustrators and two engineers.

via Chronicle Books Blog » Blog Archive » From the Design Desk: Visit to Google.

economics, Great Recession, class warfare, religion v. economics, surveys:   Survey says, “”They say the invisible hand of the free market is really God at work .”

About one in five Americans combine a view of God as actively engaged in daily workings of the world with an economic conservative view that opposes government regulation and champions the free market as a matter of faith.

“They say the invisible hand of the free market is really God at work,” says sociologist Paul Froese, co-author of the Baylor Religion Survey, released today by Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

BLOG: What do you think?

MORE: Entrpreneurs more likely to pray, meditate

“They think the economy works because God wants it to work. It’s a new religious economic idealism,” with politicians “invoking God while chanting ‘less government,'” he says.

“When Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann say ‘God blesses us, God watches us, God helps us,’ religious conservatives get the shorthand. They see ‘government’ as a profane object — a word that is used to signal working against God’s plan for the United States. To argue against this is to argue with their religion.”

Most (81%) political conservatives say there is one “ultimate truth in the world, and new economic information of cost-benefit analysis is not going to change their mind about how the economy should work,” Froese says.

via Baylor Religion Survey reveals many see God steering economy – USATODAY.com.

economics, Great Recession, class warfare, religion v. economics: “It’s not ‘class warfare,’ it’s Christianity”

President Obama just drew the economic battlelines more clearly in his call to raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue primarily through increased taxes on the wealthy, letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and closing tax loopholes.

“Class warfare!” countered the Republicans.

Americans sharing more equally in the burden of pulling our country out of massive debt, and using tax revenue to stimulate the economy and create jobs isn’t “class warfare,” it’s actually Christianity.

Many Christians are starting to find the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few very rich people to be an enormous moral and ethical problem. Catholic theologians and ethicists took pains recently to challenge Speaker Boehner on Catholic values in regard to his views, particularly on the economy.

But not all Christians agree with those perspectives. Today, not only is economics a political battleground, it is a faith battleground particularly in Christianity. According to some Christian conservatives, unregulated capitalism, with all its inherent inequalities of wealth, is God’s plan.

“Christian Captialism” in their view, isn’t an oxymoron, it’s God’s will as revealed in the Bible. God wants you to own property and make money, and if some make a lot more money than others, that’s okay. In fact, it’s God’s will too.

These competing views are very influential in our current public debates. The Christian conservative viewpoint, however, has been more instrumental in shaping our political shift to the right in recent years, not only on social issues, but also on economic issues. You can see this display in the “God Hates Taxes” signs carried at Tea Party rallies.

Let me be clear as I can be. We need to understand the so-called “Christian” underpinnings of the anti-tax, anti-government, anti-the-poor, “let him die” approach to economics and public policy today as completely un-Christian, as well as un-American. What we need to do is re-establish our national values of fairness, equality and opportunity for all, values that I believe are actually the core of the Christian faith, (as well as of other religious traditions and of humanist values).

via It’s not ‘class warfare,’ it’s Christianity – – The Washington Post.

cloud computing, technology, economy:  “Cloud computing isn’t revolutionary because it’s changing the mode of technology delivery. The real revolution that is underway is that it is opening up new lines of business in information technology or service delivery — even among non-IT businesses.”

Economists and pundits have long feared the emergence of what they called “hollow corporations,” or businesses that don’t actually produce actual goods or services themselves, but instead act as brokers or intermediaries relying on networks of suppliers and partners. But now, thanks to technology, successful businesses surprisingly are often brokers of services, delivered via technology, from providers and on to consumers.

Where are these services coming from?  Look to the cloud.

Yes, cloud computing enables cost savings — as companies can access technology and applications on-demand on an as-needed basis and pay for only what they use. And yes, this fosters greater agility, with less reliance on legacy IT assets. But the changes go even deeper that that. Consider the ways cloud computing is altering our business landscape:

“Loosely coupled” corporations

Blurring of IT consumers and providers

Startups on a dime

More software innovation

Rise of “micro-outsourcing”

Cloud computing isn’t revolutionary because it’s changing the mode of technology delivery. The real revolution that is underway is that it is opening up new lines of business in information technology or service delivery — even among non-IT businesses.

via Cloud Computing May be a Shot in the Arm our Economy Needs – Forbes.

G.K Chesterton, authors, books:  Must read some Chesterton … With a cartoon drawing as attractive as the one below, he must be great.

Rethinking Chesterton 1

It has been over half a century since Maisie Ward’s major biography of G.K Chesterton (1874-1936) appeared in 1943. Since then, Chesterton has largely been a darling of Anglophiles, conservatives, and orthodox Roman Catholics, the sort of writer often invoked in the pages of the National Review. And oh, yes, read by mystery-story lovers everywhere for his Father Brown series.

More recently, however, he has begun to find a sympathetic audience in wider literary circles, as evidenced by G.K. Chesterton, Ian Ker’s detailed and compelling new biography from Oxford University Press, and a generous collection of his writings this year from Everyman’s Library, selected by Ker, a senior research fellow at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University. From my viewpoint, it’s time Chesterton was taken seriously as a major critic and biographer, a thinker of sharp wit and deep learning.

Chesterton’s work includes nearly every type of writing—poetry, philosophy, literary criticism, biography, political and social argument, playwriting, detective fiction, and Christian apologetics. Yet he was, in the main, a journalist at heart, pumping out weekly columns for a variety of papers, especially The Daily Mail, on every conceivable subject, and his devoted audience included the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, who was “thunderstruck” by Chesterton’s fierce independence of thought.

Chesterton was a lifelong Christian who, as Ker shows, moved gradually but inexorably from the Anglo-Catholicism of his childhood to Rome (he was received into the Roman Church in 1922). Even then, he remained complicated and ironical, reassessing such major figures in the history of Christianity as Thomas Aquinas and Francis of Assisi—an unlikely duo, drawn from opposite ends of the Catholic temperament.

In truth, Chesterton was a natural democrat who identified more with the beer-drinking masses than snobs with glasses of sherry in their Oxford college gardens. His lifelong interest in the Middle Ages was less about a love of feudalism and hierarchy than a warm identification with peasants and craftsmen. As Ker notes, he held in high regard the idea of “self-government,” which he saw in the medieval guild system, of which Britain’s “attenuated and threatened” trade unions were but “a ghost.”

It is the quality of wonder that so many readers and critics have lost sight of in the priggish, conservative Chesterton they seem to prefer. This man was an eagle, flying high over the barren landscapes of modernism, and his astute challenges to mundane views challenge us to rethink thoughtless positions on a variety of subjects.

His good cheer was not baseless optimism: It arose from a deep conviction that the human imagination is glorious, has its origins in divine realities, and refuses to lie down. He believed, in a strange way, in belief itself as the ground of experience. As he once said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

via Rethinking Chesterton – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

apps, Instagram 2.0:  I never mastered Insatagram 1.0 … and now I have  live filters and higher resolution photos.

The best gets better: Instagram 2.0 adds live filters and higher resolution photos |

It’s hard to believe that Instagram launched only about a year ago. In a mere three months it accumulated its first million users, and now supports over eight million pocket photographers.

Its success is in no small part due to its easy-to-understand value proposition: instantaneous photo sharing with a creative mix of filters. As founder and CEO Kevin Systrom told Fast Company back in February: “You have to explain everything you do, and people have to understand it, within seconds.”

The challenge, of course, is innovating upon the existing app without cutting into its simplicity. And yet, Instagram 2.0 manages to succeed at this beautifully.

via The Best Gets Better: Instagram 2.0 Adds Live Filters, Higher Resolution Photos – Techland – TIME.com.

Google+:  Since they never gave me an invite … yes my feelings were hurt … I may just pass.

Google Inc. has opened up its Google Plus social network to everyone after testing it with a limited audience for 12 weeks.

Google said in a blog post Tuesday that it will now let anyone sign up for Google Plus. Previously the service was only available by invitation, though it got easier to join in recent weeks.

The company also added a search capability to Google Plus that will let users sift through posts on the site.

Google Plus is the online search leader’s attempt to compete with Facebook, by far the world’s most populous online social network with more than 750 million users. Tuesday’s upgrades come two days ahead of Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco, where the company is expected to unveil several new features.

Google also made Plus’s “Hangouts” feature —which lets users video chat with multiple people at a time— available on smartphones with front-facing cameras. The feature currently works with phones running Google’s Android system. Google says support for Apple devices is coming soon.

A new service called “Hangouts On Air,” meanwhile, lets users broadcast their videos online or view these videos as spectators. Google said it’s starting off with a limited number of broadcasters. Google plans to host its first such hangout with Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am. on Wednesday night.

via Google opens Plus social network to everyone  | ajc.com.

American Girl, Chicago, travel, kith/kin:  So, the The Talbott Hotel in Chicago is offering an American Girl Package … comes with  a Keepsake American Girl® doll-sized travel bed … Oh, if only Molly was still that age!

American Girl Place Package – Spirit

Package rates start at $185

Personalized welcome letter

Milk and two Sprinkles cupcakes at turndown

Keepsake American Girl® doll-sized travel bed

Access to the “girl blog @ the talbott”

Complimentary continental breakfast for two

via Packages & Gift Certificates at The Talbott Hotel | The Talbott Hotel.

apps, social networking: I don’t think I want a “nightclub” on my smartphone.

If social networks such as Facebook are about keeping in touch with friends, and online-dating sites about finding a long-term relationship, Badoo is about something in between: meeting people spontaneously. Some call it “nightclub-as-a-service”.

When users sign up, they upload photos of themselves and provide such details as age, sex and interests. Other users can discover them based on this information as well as by browsing the photos. Originally the service was only available on the web, but the firm now also offers applications on Facebook and for smartphones. The mobile application, for instance, lets users adjust how widely they fancy casting their net. If they set the dial to one mile, say, and find somebody they would like to meet, they can strike up an online chat and then get together.

Even more intriguing is how Badoo makes money. The basic service is free. But if users want to increase the chances of being discovered, they can pay £1.50 ($2.36) or a similar amount in their country’s currency to rise to the top of the list. Their ranking drops as others put down money—which can create somewhat of a bidding war for the top slots. Users can also take out a subscription for £5, which gives them “super powers”, such as being able to view others’ profiles anonymously.

Without any marketing, Badoo has managed to become one of the most popular online meeting services worldwide. It is available in 35 languages and boasts 124m registered users—a number that is growing by about 125,000 a day. Its Facebook application has more than 16.4m monthly active users, making it one of the most popular applications on the social network. And although only about 5% of users pay, the firm claims to be on its way of exceeding $100m in annual revenues.

via Social networking: A nightclub on your smartphone | The Economist.

25
Jun
11

6.25.2011 … happy jc is tired and sick … too much fun …. lazy summer day … JBT in Maine enjoying cool and golf … nice …

music, UNC, memory lane:  Couldn’t help noticing a Chi Psi’s posting of YouTube – Devo ” Gut Feeling ” first time in live in 1977. That and “Whip It” …  You guys were fun, but strange!

blog post of note, kith/kin, timelessness, age:  What peers are you referring to Cary?  As always I enjoyed your post!

Sometimes I weird out my peers.  And sometimes I feel lonely and alien at the grown-up table.  Yet I’m of a certain age, which a friend and I recently laughed about meaning that, when there’s such a need, I’m “the one who needs to kill the spider.”

I feel like I’m a part of a caravan of purposeful wanderers, typified by risking, trusting, seeking out rainstorms and dancing, while not eschewing the pain of the world or an honest admission of whatever IS.  I pinch myself when I look through a mental Rolodex at the names and faces of these glorious ones with whom I do life.

Even as I claim my hard-earned status as one of the elders of my “generation,” often called on to lead, I am also often called on to learn from my younger teachers.  We are a generation, co-journeyers.

Here’s to a spacious redrawing of generational boundaries.

via catapult magazine Chosen generation.

Mordecai Scott, CMS, Charlotte, Davidson College, GlobeChangers award, kudos:  Kudos to local and Davidsonian Mordeccai Scott!

Mordecai Scott, a 2006 West Charlotte High School graduate who overcame family hardships to attend Davidson College, received the Jefferson Award for public service earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

He was one of 10 to receive the GlobeChangers award at a Tuesday event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Known as the “Nobel Prize for Public Service,” the awards are presented each year over two days of ceremonies.

Scott was nominated for his efforts to overcome childhood hardships to graduate from college.

Scott, one of eight children, moved frequently between shelters and relatives after his parents divorced. He carried a 0.68 GPA and was on the verge of dropping out when, at age 12, school staff got involved.

With help from the nonprofit group Communities In Schools, Scott began to envision himself attending college. He went on to receive a scholarship from Davidson and graduated in 2010.

via West Charlotte graduate wins national public service award.

2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriole, cars, reviews:  I don’t think I have ever read a more scathing car review.  Sad, it is kinda cute.

In the midst of this automotive banquet, the CrossCabriolet is like a sorbet of mouse scat.

via 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet: A CUV at CrossPurposes With Competence | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com.

food/drink, wine, boxed wine, lists:  Next time I need a box of wine I have a list to try!

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be that all boxed wine was bad. That was easy. Now things are trickier, because a number of producers are actually putting good wine – and sometimes really good wine – into boxes. It’s actually possible to go out there, trade your twenty bucks for a 3 liter (that’s four bottles-worth) box of wine, and end up not only with something you can tolerate, but something you’ll actually enjoy quite a bit.

NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box Chardonnay ($20)

In your face Chardonnay, in an old-school California way: it’s big, ripe, oaky, and luscious. If you like that style, this one’s for you.

via Box wine with serious bang for the buck – Eatocracy – CNN.com Blogs.

FBI, 10 Most Wanted, memory lane:  Does anyone else remember standing at the post office looking at the pictures of the 10 Most Wanted?   I guess people get this info through tv shows and the internet now … but I thought they always looked dark and ominous and almost always men.

With James Bulger’s arrest and Osama bin Laden’s death, there are eight names left on the current FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Who’s left, and just what did these fugitives do?

via The FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’: Two Down, Eight To Go : NPR.

Newt Gingrich, 2012 Presidential Election:  Ah, Newt … it’s two early for two Pinocchios!

The Pinocchio Test

Even at a running length of more than two minutes, Gingrich’s video gives a misleading impression of the Federal Reserve’s explanation of its actions during the economic crisis — and the role of the Dodd-Frank law in forcing those disclosures. His speech gives a clearer view of his critique but that is not an excuse since fewer people will read the speech than see the video.

Two Pinocchios

via Newt Gingrich’s video attack on the Federal Reserve – The Fact Checker – The Washington Post.

Jane Austen, history, Steventon, parenting, cottages:  I never thought about it, but talk about “refrigerator moms” … 18th century mothers of means really did not parent!  Also enjoyed the  discussion of English cottages.

I recently went to Steventon again, the birthplace of Jane Austen and where she spent her formative years until the age of twenty six. Steventon was where she thought she would spend the rest of her life. As soon as she was born she was sent to live with a family in the village. The mother of the household she was sent to became Jane’s wet nurse. Mrs Austen had nothing to do with her children as babies. This might provide an explanation for Jane’s aversion towards her mother as she grew older but it also explains that her attachment to Steventon was not just through her own family and the rectory but it was linked to the wider community and she had very close ties to some of the villagers.

via Steventon and Barton Cottage « Jane Austen’s World.

Andrew Lovedale, Access to Success Foundation, Davidson College, basketball, kudos:  I know I talk about Steph Curry a lot … but another member of the dream team is giving back. Kudos, Andrew Lovedale!

Andrew Lovedale

Access to Success (A2S), the foundation created by former Davidson men’s basketball player Andrew Lovedale to benefit underprivileged children through athletic, education and spiritual programs, is preparing for a pair of firsts:

A trip to Lovedale’s hometown Benin City, Nigeria, from June 27-July 6.

The inaugural “Kicks from ‘Cats: The Andrew Lovedale 5K” walk/run on the Davidson College cross country trail on Sept. 10, 2011.

The Nigeria team includes Lovedale, Davidson College Assistant Sports Information Director Lauren Biggers, former Davidson Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions Morgan Clark, Davidson graduates Claire Asbury (2010) and Eloise Grose (2006) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. employee Lindsay Biggers. They’ll spend 10 days in Lovedale’s hometown of Benin City.

The trip will focus on building long-term partnerships with three schools, an orphanage and a church. The team will also be delivering the basketball shoes raised earlier this year through the Kicks from ‘Cats Shoe Drive, held at the Davidson College men’s basketball game against the College of Charleston on Jan. 29, as well as other sporting equipment and school supplies donated by Lowe’s employees. They’ll also run basketball and volleyball clinics.

via Lovedale foundation plans Nigeria trip, 5K fund-raiser  | Sports.

boodos, new vocabulary:  I had to find the opposite of kudos for the next entry. 😦  And actually there really isn’t one …

Boodos

“Boodos” is the opposite of “Kudos”

via Urban Dictionary: Kudos!.

Anthony’s, restaurants, Atlanta, boodos: I have been to quite a few wedding functions at Anthony’s and they were delightful … Very poorly done, Anthony’s … BOODOS!

Anthony’s, a legendary Atlanta spot for wedding receptions, has closed.

Now dozens of couples say they’re not only out thousands of dollars in deposits, but have no place for their reception.

Valiree Eaton booked her reception last fall. She said when she called to finalize plans for her July 3 wedding, a recording said Anthony’s was out of business. “I’m a bit of a wreck. I’m extremely stressed. Weddings are stressful enough without this,” said Eaton. “I feel like my wedding day has been marred,” she added.

via Reception Hall Leaves Brides-To-Be In Limbo – News Story – WSB Atlanta.

Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth, Pearl Buck in China, book shelf:  Another to add to my bookshelf!  I loved The Good Earth when I read it in high school.  I may re-read it to see what I think now.

Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling

Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman. These days, however, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read in the West or in China) that fascinate readers. In making the case for reappraising Buck’s fiction and her life, award-winning biographer Hilary Spurling transforms Buck from a dreary “lady author” into a woman warrior. Having grown up in China at the subsistence level, as the daughter of a missionary, Buck had firsthand knowledge of war, infanticide and sexual slavery when she entered college as a charity student in Virginia. As Spurling deftly illustrates, that alienation gave Buck her stance as a writer, gracing her with the outsider vision needed to interpret one world to another.

via New In Paperback: June 20-26 : NPR.

news, condolences, adventure travel, tragedy, random:  What a personal tragedy for these two friends.

A man who climbed Everest found the body of his friend who had died hours after conquering the summit only months before.

Rodney Hogg saw the body of his climbing friend Peter Kinloch on a ledge 1,000 ft below the peak as he neared the top of the mountain.

Mr Kinloch, 28, had been attempting the Seven Summits Challenge last year, in which climbers attempt to conquer the highest peak of each continent.

via Climber discovers frozen body of best friend on peak of Everest | Mail Online.

Huguette Clark, RIP, tragedy, random, kudos, boodos:  Sad this woman never seemed to enjoy life and it ends with folks arguing about her money.  Kudos to her for leaving the bulk to the arts.  Boodos to those who won’t allow her to rest in peace.

Huguette Clark, the Montana copper mining heiress who died in New York last month at 104, has left most of her $400 million fortune to the arts – wealth from the Gilded Age that produced the Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts.

According to her will, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Clark gave to Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art a prized Claude Monet water-lily painting not seen by the public since 1925.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is looking into how Clark’s affairs were managed while she spent the last two decades of her life in a hospital, a virtual recluse, people familiar with the probe have said. Before that, she lived in the largest residence on Fifth Avenue – 42 rooms.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.

The daughter of one-time U.S. Sen. William A. Clark left instructions for the creation of a foundation “for the primary purpose of fostering and promoting the arts,” according to the will prepared and signed in 2005, when she was 98.

About $300 million will go for the arts, including the 1907 Monet from his famed “Water Lilies” series, which is worth tens of millions of dollars, said attorney John Dadakis, of the firm Holland & Knight.

via Huguette Clark, Montana Mining Heiress, Leaves NY Fortune To Nurse, The Arts.

weddings, events, food, cakes:  After looking at this collection I feel like the world keeps upping expectations … I loved it when a friend’s daughter family and friends all gathered and baked an assortment of wedding cakes and another friend did the same thing but had wedding pies!  My mom still talks about the aunt that baked hers.  I think these television cake shows have upped the ante.

Not every bride and groom’s wedding cake will be as enormous as that enjoyed by Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton (pictured) — but no matter whether it’s as intricate as a future queen’s or as simple as a cupcake with a heart-shaped candle, every wedding cake is fancy and fabulous.

via Simple as Love – Fabulous and Fancy Wedding Cakes – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

22
Jun
11

6.22.2011 … hot … woke up to an im picture of the sunrise at camp from Molls … what a great way to wake up!

Camp Illahee, kith/kin: Sunrise at Camp Illahee

music, kith/kin, Davidson College, memory lane:  I am sure this is dating me, but this is my group of girlfriend’s favorite song from freshman year.  YouTube – September by. Earth, Wind and Fire.

1978 was also the year that Maurice and managers Cavallo and Ruffalo worked out a deal for the launch of a new record label called The American Recording Company (ARC), to be distributed through CBS and the creation of a recording studio, George Massenburg/ARC also called “The Complex” in West Los Angeles. The year ended with another hit single, “September”, which was added to the quintuple platinum compilation album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, and was released November 23, 1978, just four days before Thanksgiving.

via Earth, Wind & Fire – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

movies, Louisville, Gill Holland, Jr., Davidson College, UNC, kudos:  I knew he had to be related to one of my all time favorite Davidson profs … Gil Holland.  Kudos, GHjr.

Gill Holland, who owns the Green Building on East Market Street and has helped to bring new businesses to that neighborhood in recent years, is the film’s producer. Holland and his production company, The Group Entertainment, had three movies at the Sundance festival this year. But this is the first movie he has made in Louisville.

“The pressure’s on,” Holland said. “It’s got to be good.”

Holland hopes to premiere “Tan Lines” at next year’s Flyover Film Festival and to have a theatrical release in autumn 2012.

via Louisville has a starring role in Gill Holland’s indie tennis movie | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.

Great Recession, healthcare, desperation, followup:  This is getting international attention …

A middle-aged man with no criminal record walks into a Gastonia bank on June 9 and slips a teller a note demanding $1 – and medical treatment.

Then he sits down and waits for police.

James Richard Verone’s story has captured national attention and made front pages in papers as far away as England, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said Tuesday.

Verone, 59, was charged with larceny from a person after he entered the RBC Centura Bank on South New Hope Road and handed the teller note demanding $1.

“It’s a bad situation when someone who’s been law-abiding all his life falls on hard times and feels like he has to commit a crime to get health care,” Cloninger said. “It’s tragic.”

via Gastonia’s $1 bandit gets major coverage | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

cities, disease, healthcare, health scares:  I am reading a book about the modern city and our future.  One of the continuing issues with cities is the spread of disease.

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever after it claimed the life of at least one child while infecting thousands of others in the city and elsewhere in China.

A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl died from the illness late last month while a five-year-old boy in the city died Tuesday morning from what health authorities said was a “very likely” a case of scarlet fever.

Hong Kong authorities have recorded 40 new cases in the past few days, pushing the total number to 459 so far this year, the highest annual total in the city and more than three times the figure for the whole of 2010.

The boy — who also had chicken pox — developed a fever last Wednesday and was admitted to hospital on Sunday with symptoms of the illness.

“We are facing an epidemic because the bacteria that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in this region — not only in Hong Kong but in mainland China and Macau.”

Hong Kong radio station RTHK reported that 49 people had contracted the illness in Macau, a former Portuguese colony about an hour by ferry from Hong Kong, with nine taken to hospital but no fatalities.

Tsang said Tuesday that more than 9,000 people had been infected so far this year in mainland China, doubling the average figure in recent years. He did not say if there were any fatal cases.

“Scarlet fever is in its peak season and may continue to be widespread for a prolonged period of time, possibly the whole summer,” Tsang said.

Local scientists said the outbreak may be linked to a deadly new strain of the disease which could make it more contagious than in the past.

A unique gene fragment was present in the bacteria’s genome “which might contribute to increased transmissibility of this strain,” said a health protection centre statement, released late Monday.

Scarlet fever mainly affects children between the ages of two and eight. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, rashes and a “strawberry coloured” tongue, and usually subside within 48 hours with appropriate antibiotic treatment.

The new strain, discovered by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, appears to be resistant to antibiotics traditionally used to fight the illness.

via Hong Kong declares scarlet fever outbreak – Channel NewsAsia.

health, sleep, insomnia, kith/kin:  I think i may get Edward a hammock. 🙂

Napping in a hammock is one of the more delightful tasks of summer, and Swiss researchers say they now know why.

The gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster, and they sleep deeper. Those changes in brain activity may inspire new ways to help insomniacs, the researchers say.

Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva rigged up a bed so it would sway gently from side to side every four seconds, considerably slower than the pendulum on a cuckoo clock. “This rocking is very gentle, very smooth, oscillating every four seconds,” Sophie Schwartz, a professor of neurology who led the study, told Shots. “It’s not like rocking like you would see some mothers rocking their babies, it’s more gentle.”

A dozen adult research subjects napped on the bed for 45 minutes while scalp electrodes recorded brain activity. During one nap the bed swayed; for another, it was stationary.

The scientists weren’t too surprised to find that people fell asleep faster when the bed rocked. But they were surprised at the big difference that rocking made in brain activity.

Rocking increased the length of N2 sleep, a form of non-REM sleep that takes up about half of a good night’s rest. It also increased slow oscillations and “sleep spindles.” Sleep spindles are brief bursts of brain activity, which look like sudden up-and-down scribbles on an electroencephalogram.

That ability is important in recovery from stroke, and the researchers say that rocking while sleeping should be tested on people with strokes or other brain injuries. Rocking is “changing things in your brain,” Schwartz says.

The Swiss scientists are eager to try the rocking bed on night-time sleepers, to see if it might help with insomnia and other common sleep disorders. But Shots readers may not want to wait for those results, and instead head directly to the back yard and their own time-tested research tool, the hammock.

via Why Hammocks Make Sleep Easier, Deeper : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

global issues, statistics, slavery, definitions:  Staggering … ““The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

Slavery still exists. Of that there isn’t much dispute, if any. But how widespread is what many experts call modern-day slavery?

Estimates range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars.

The International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on, among other things, labor rights, put the number at a “minimum estimate” of 12.3 million in a 2005 report.

Kevin Bales, a sociologist who serves as a consultant to the United Nations and has authored several books about modern-day slavery, estimated the number was 27 million people in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.” The book was published in 1999.

There is yet another estimate. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on trafficking at Harvard University and also an author, recently told CNN that his calculations put the range between 24 million and 32 million. That number was current as of the end of 2006, he said.

There are several reasons behind the variance in numbers, said Ben Skinner, who published a book about modern-day slavery – “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery.”

“There are two big problems with the count,” Skinner, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, said during a telephone interview. “The first is that the people we are counting are, by definition, a hidden population.

“The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

via The challenges of counting a ‘hidden population’ – The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery – CNN.com Blogs.

draught, South Georgia, prayers:  This is where my grandparents farmed.  Amazing record low river levels.  Worthy of prayers..

The U.S. Geological Survey says the levels of south Georgia’s waterways have fallen to record lows.

Gauges on the Flint River showed the average depth of the river at 1.31 feet Friday, and discharge from the river was at 606 cubic feet per second. That number compares to a maximum output of 17,500 cubic feet in 1965 and a minimum average output of 715 cubic feet in 2000.

Brian McCallum, assistant director of the USGS Georgia Water Science Center, says data from Friday shows all of the waterways in South Georgia set record lows.

He says the drought in Georgia is becoming more severe.

McCallum says the diminished rainfall does not allow the natural restoration of underground water and forces farmers to use more water from waterways for irrigation.

via S. Georgia waterways hurt by drought  | ajc.com.

Steph Curry, basketball, people, followup, Davidson College, blessings/best wishes:  Like I have said before, what a great kid.

I spent part of Monday with Stephen Curry, the former Davidson star who has a big summer going on. Curry was part of the Curry Celebrity Classic at River Run Golf Club in Davidson today — the charity event that is raising $40,000 for the Ada Jenkins Center this year.

Curry, 23, isn’t playing golf today, as his right ankle is in encased in a cast due to offseason ankle surgery. He goes into a walking boot next Monday. He had nagging ankle problems most of the 2010-11 season but expects to be 100 percent for his third season (assuming there is a 2011-12 NBA season — labor strife looms).

On a more life-changing note, Curry will get married July 30th to Ayesha Alexander. She grew up in Charlotte as well — the two met in a church youth group when she was 14 and he was 15. They have dated for the past three years.

via Scott Says …: Curry getting married, rehabbing ankle.

YouTube, LOL: Enjoy … YouTube – Incredible eyebrow control by young golf fan.

education, legislation, NC, CMS:  The State has voted to add 5 days to the school calendar … talk about a last minute mess.

The state legislature slipped a summer surprise into the budget bill: Students are slated to spend five more days in school next year, a total of 185.

School districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, are scrambling to figure out the new mandate for a calendar that’s already been approved with 180 days.

John Tate, a state school board member from Charlotte, said even he was trying to figure out what the new requirement means. Tate says he’s a strong supporter of more class time for kids, once pushing to add five days per year, with additional pay for teachers, until the state hit a 200-day calendar.

But by yanking workdays that teachers use to build their skills, he said, “it’s a little bit of a shell game.” He said the state board will discuss how to deal with the waiver in July. Tate’s interpretation: To get a waiver, districts must show kids would benefit more from the teacher training than they would from five more days in school.

Mary McCray, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, said Monday she hopes CMS will make that argument. She said students benefit from teacher training such as CMS’ ongoing summer teachers institute: “We get an extensive amount of ideas and information that we can transfer into our classrooms.”

via Legislature adds five days to school year for N.C. students | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

health, skin cancer, media, Brene Brown, blog posts of note:   From one of my favorite bloggers, this message is important …

My dear friend Ali Edwards told me about this video and it really spoke to me.

Like Ali, Steve and I were both swimmers. In fact, we met coaching swimming and life guarding. Even though that was 24 years ago, we still live in the pool during the summer. We both have family histories of skin cancer so we’re very careful about sun protection and we’re trying to teach our kids good habits.

I hope you’ll take a look at this powerful video and share it with someone you love – especially a teen or tween.

via hello sunshine – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

The video is powerful … spread it …

YouTube – Dear 16-year-old Me.

education, private education, costs, NYC:  Amazing that people can afford this …

The Riverdale Country School will charge $40,450 for high-school students in the coming year, the first time a New York private school has topped $40,000 in annual tuition.

Tuition at New York City schools has long outpaced the national average. This past year, national median tuition for 12th grade was $21,695, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. In New York City, it was $35,475.

via Private School Tuition Bill Tops $40,000 – WSJ.com.

17
Jun
11

‎6.17.2011 … now to get this unhumerous humerus to heal … always good to have goals.

pranks, culture, Charlotte, CMS:  there is no such thing as a prank anymore.  Myers Park graduation prank nets lifetime ban | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Dorothy Parker, quotes, telegrams, things no more:  “I can’t look you in the voice.” … Don’t you just love that.  Strange that telegrams no longer exist …

Anyone who has ever hit a wall whilst writing will find it difficult not to empathise with the dejected words of Dorothy Parker in this telegram, sent in 1945 to her editor, Pascal Covici. Such was her frustration, Parker couldn’t even bring herself to ring him and explain.

via Letters of Note: I can’t look you in the voice.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL, followup:  The Goats again.  This blogger is quicker than I am …”Cud Zoo!”  And he has pictures of their handiwork.

Speaking of pickings, I’ve been out twice already since Monday to check on our friendly neighborhood ruminants—it’s a real cud zoo out there!—and in 48 hours they had taken a full acre-plus of knee-high kudzu down to ankle height. Thirty goats each eating 12+ pounds of kudzu a day. Wow. I’m going to hoof it out there daily for a few weeks to get some time-lapsed pictures to post. Stay tuned!

Late note: Just went out there for Day Three pictures. Impressive results so far, but when the goats move across the road to a more extensive infestation, they’ll really have their work cud out for them!

via Cud Zoo on the Cross-Country Trails, dba Ecological Preserve

President Obama, Father’s Day, The First Family, parenting, LOL, privacy:  Sorry I thought this a strange post.  The second part was quite quite funny… what father of girls would not like to have their daughters surrounded by men with guns!  However, the first part I thought  a slight invasion of their privacy.  What do you think?

In a pre-Father’s Day interview Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” – President Barack Obama makes it clear that the First Lady is done having children – even if he might like to add a son to the family.   Asked if he ever thought of having a son, Mr. Obama was quick to tell Robin Roberts:  “You know, you act as if this is a decision of mine. This really isn’t.”

He said wife Michelle makes it clear to him that he did not carry ten pounds in his belly.

“I think what Michelle’s general view is, we’re done.”

With eldest daughter Malia about to become a teenager next month, Mr. Obama said he’s glad he has “men with guns” around his daughters and said it’s an incentive to run for re-election.

He said it means his daughters will never get in a car with a boy who had a beer.

In the interview, Mr. Obama also said that compared to his childhood and family, wife Michelle grew up in a family he likens to “Leave It To Beaver.”

via Obama: Don’t expect any White House babies – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

pain, therapy, medicine, drugs, science, pharmacology:  I’m all in for new treatments for pain!

Pain Therapeutics will be the stock to watch in the coming week.

via The Next Big Thing In Biotech: Pain Therapeutics PTIE – TheStreet TV.

slime bags, history: Very interesting walk through history of reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct by men.

The conventional answer is that when it comes to sex, a certain kind of man, no matter how intelligent, doesn’t think at all; he just acts. Somehow a need for sexual conquest, female adulation and illicit and risky liaisons seems to go along with drive, ambition and confidence in the “alpha male.” And even if we denounce him and hound him from office, we tend to accept the idea that power accentuates the lusty nature of men.

This conception of masculinity is relatively new, however. For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery. Late antique and Roman writers, like Plutarch, lauded men for their ability to resist sexual temptation and control bodily desire through force of will and intellect. Too much sex was thought to weaken men: a late-15th-century poem mocks an otherwise respectable but overly sexually active burgess who has “wasted and spent” his “substance” until there is “naught left but empty skin and bone.”

But in the face of recent revelations about the reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct of so many of our elected officials, it may be worth recalling that sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.

How and why have we moved so far from this ideal? Why do so many powerful men take sexual risks that destroy their families and careers? Contemporary worship of youth is one explanation: rather than shunning the idea of childishness, many adults, male and female, now spend much of their time clinging to an illusory and endless adolescence. The ability to be a “player” well into middle age thus becomes a point of pride, rather than shame, for the modern man. Perhaps the erosion of men’s exclusive status as breadwinners and heads of households also figures in: when one no longer “rules the household,” there may be less motivation for or satisfaction in “ruling oneself.”

But in the face of recent headlines I find myself less inclined to analyze or excuse current mores than to echo medieval ones. The critics of Pedro II of Aragon would have turned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s own words against him and his kind: Who are the girlie men now?

via Anthony Weiner and the Manly Men of Yore – NYTimes.com.

history, David McCullough, education:  Oh, great … another area where we are failing our kids!

‘We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, “I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don’t know.” Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. “It’s shocking.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

Another problem is method. “History is often taught in categories—women’s history, African American history, environmental history—so that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what.”

What’s more, many textbooks have become “so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence farther back”—such as, say, Thomas Edison—”are given very little space or none at all.”

Mr. McCullough advises us to concentrate on grade school. “Grade school children, as we all know, can learn a foreign language in a flash,” he says. “They can learn anything in a flash. The brain at that stage in life is like a sponge. And one of the ways they get it is through art: drawing, making things out of clay, constructing models, and dramatic productions. If you play the part of Abigail Adams or Johnny Appleseed in a fourth-grade play, you’re never going to forget it as long as you live.”

via The Weekend Interview With David McCullough: Don’t Know Much About History – WSJ.com.

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, more:  ??

What does it all mean? Fans will hope that Rowling will be putting pen to paper (or writing method of her choosing) and continue the Potter story ad infinitum (no, Potter fans, that’s not a spell). Rowling has said she’s uncertain whether she’d write another Potter book, but the term “Pottermore” is supposedly the last patent she recorded, back in July 2009.

Some believe that an encyclopedia could be on tap, but will that be enough to satisfy the insatiable demands of the passionate fanbase, who are currently counting down the days to the July 15 release of the last ever movie?

via Harry Potter Fans Salivate Over J.K. Rowling’s New Site, ‘Pottermore’ – TIME NewsFeed.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, miracles:  She is still in my prayers … her recovery continues to be miraculous.

In the long run, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords should flourish from returning to a home life with her husband. But in the days and weeks ahead, she and her family will have to make difficult adjustments to this new phase in her recovery.

While Giffords gets used to living outside a hospital for the first time in more than six months, her family – especially her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly – will learn to care for a person who still has significant cognitive and physical problems caused by a devastating gunshot wound to the head.

“It’s really an emotional roller-coaster,” said Dr. Richard Riggs, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The 41-year-old lawmaker left the hospital on Wednesday and moved to her husband’s home in a Houston suburb not far from the Johnson Space Center.

via Gabrielle Giffords Home; Mark Kelly: ‘Great To Have Her Out Of Hospital’.

09
Jun
11

6.9.2011 … get to go to a sneak preview today … and happy LVII, big sis …

movies, sneak previews, film/lit: I’ll tell you about it tomorrow … but I read the book (hint).

google doodles:  You know I love a good google doodle!

When unveiling a classic Doodle, Google sure knows to pick ’em.

In terms of interactivity, Google has designed what is arguably its coolest home-page logo yet — surpassing even its Pac-Man banner and the colorful and initially mysterious “Google Balls.”

Today, the California company offers an animated Doodle you can strum and share — a gift of music entirely befitting a birthday celebration for the legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul.

The pioneering designer of the solid-body, “rounded sound” electric guitar, who died in August of 2009, would have been 96 today.

Today, thanks to Google, the trill isn’t gone.

You can hit the record button (near the bottom of the second “g” in Google), pluck a tune — then send the URL of your recorded music to other people, who can even “duet” with your recording.

via LES PAUL: Today’s great Playable ‘Google Doodle’ Guitar marks legend’s 96th birthday (*Pluck it for yourself) – Comic Riffs – The Washington Post.

John Edwards, slime bags, Cate Edwards, family:  Blood is thicker than water … but I feel sorry for Cate Edwards, a very attractive, smart woman.  Her father has placed a horrible burden on her.

But those in the Edwards inner circle knew that Cate, 29, was stepping into a familiar role, one that she has filled for half of her young life.
The night before the court appearance, Ms. Edwards, a lawyer like Mr. Edwards and her mother, Elizabeth, was at her father’s side as he planned his legal strategy with his defense team at their home near Chapel Hill. She and her father had just returned from her little brother’s baseball game.
“She’s a sounding board for John,” said a person familiar with the meeting that night.
“Cate sticks with her dad,” said Glenn Bergenfield, a close friend of the family who introduced Elizabeth to John when they were all in law school together and is godfather to their young son.
“Despite all the things that have happened, she wants her father to succeed and her family to stay together,” Mr. Bergenfield said. “It’s not any more complicated than that.”
At the courthouse, Ms. Edwards, a graduate of Harvard Law School, appeared composed. She has come by her strength the hard way, having coped with more than her share of pain, much of it on the public stage.
Fifteen years ago, when she was barely a teenager, her 16-year-old brother, Wade, was thrown from a car and killed on his way to the family beach house. For two years, her mother later wrote, Cate slept on two chairs pushed together in her parents’ room, but she emerged as the glue that would hold the family together.
That experience laid the foundation for her to face the cascade of crises that would follow: her father’s political losses, the revelations that he had an affair and a child with his campaign videographer while he was running for president in 2008, her mother’s public and prolonged battle with breast cancer, and then in December, her mother’s death.
via For Cate Edwards, a Recurring Role as Family Glue – NYTimes.com.

random, wedding gifts, lists:  This 1950s list was still pretty common into the early 80’s … now the couple just wants cash.

 

Crystal glassware 
Flatware 
Vacuum cleaner 
Toaster 
Steam iron 
Pots and pans 
Electric fry pan 
Pressure cooker 
Electric broiler 
Cookbook

Top Wedding Gifts – WSJ.com.

recipes, eggs:  I am not so sure I want my dinner meal with a poached egg on top.  But I am willing to try it.

Basically, you can throw a perfectly poached egg on top of most any dish and we’re in. But on top of a creamy bowl of risotto, studded with chunks of bacon and sweet leeks? Forget it. Game over. That’s probably why the Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg from our April issue did so well in bloggers’ kitchens.

via Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

Jane Austen, random, YouTubeYouTube – Pride & Prejudice in 100 Seconds.

 

action sports, Nike, marketing:  Action sports are a special niche … it will be interesting to see how Nike does?

MOVE over, Michael Jordan: here comes P-Rod.

In an attempt to leave no sport unmarketed, Nike, the sports apparel manufacturer, will begin the next phase of its current “Just Do It” campaign with a focus on action sports like skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing.

The new campaign, called “The Chosen,” is Nike’s largest effort at moving into action sports, and will feature athletes like the skateboarder Paul Rodriguez (or P-Rod), the surfer Laura Enever and the snowboarder Danny Kass.

“When we looked at action sports, we saw a unique consumer segment that was underserved in terms of product innovation,” Mark G. Parker, Nike’s chief executive and president, said at a shareholder meeting in May.

Action sports are a $390 million business for Nike, and executives hope that figure doubles over the next five years. Nike’s biggest competitors in the youth-oriented action sports arena include brands like Quiksilver, O’Neill, Volcom and Billabong.

Big brands that want to enter the action sports market have to contend with the somewhat insular culture of certain sports and with the athletes’ loyalty to smaller, edgier brands. For the last few years, Nike has been on a steady mission to penetrate the market by creating sub-brands like Nike 6.0 and buying smaller brands like Hurley.

And they seem to be getting it right.

via Nike’s New Campaign Focuses on Action Sports – NYTimes.com.

Paris, sewer tour – Paris, places, guides:  Anybody been on the Paris Sewer Tour?  Have a favorite guide?  I take recommendations.

Some of the best sights in Paris are the ones underground- the catacombs of Paris, the Paris Crypt, and the Paris Sewers. The Paris Sewers provide people with something really different, and a little bit stinky, to see while in Paris.Paris is a big city with a very long history. From its early days as a Roman outpost though modern times, the city has had to deal with waste. How would they handle waste from millions of people? In ancient times, it wasn’t a problem. The population wasn’t large enough yet to create any real pollution, so everything went into the River Seine.However, as the city grew, more waste went into the Seine and, by the late middle ages, the river was simply too polluted, and something needed to be done. Beginning in 1370, the city started building sewers and drains. Back then, people just threw their waste onto the street where it just sort of stayed. This was a common practice all over Europe up until the 19th century. In fact, part of the reason women begin carrying those little parasols in the late 18th/19th century was to protect themselves from falling… debris.

via Unusual Place of the Month: The Paris Sewers – Nomadic Matts Travel Site.

Bas Bleu – City Cool Notes – Paris.

science, periodic chart:  Something new …

They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but theyve gained immortality in chemistry: Two new elements have been added to the periodic table.RSS Feed Get Science News From The New York Times »The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. Theyre called elements 114 and 116 for now — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.Youre not likely to run into any of this stuff. Scientists make them in labs by smashing atoms of other elements together to create the new ones.”Our experiments last for many weeks, and typically, we make an atom every week or so,” said chemist Ken Moody of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, whos part of the discovery team.In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in just a fraction of a second, Moody said.

via Two New Elements Added to Periodic Table – NYTimes.com.

shopping, marketing, Target:  I still prefer it to Walmart.

The chain that made it trendy to shop for low-priced designer clothing and mod lamps while picking up detergent and toothpaste has been struggling to gain back its pre-recession sales strength.

Target shoppers are stocking up on toilet paper and foodstuffs, but the stores are having a hard time enticing customers to spend money on stylish clothing and home goods—which are more profitable and make up more than 40% of annual sales. It was these apparel and decorating items—mixing mass with class—that set Target apart and allowed it to be one of the few discount chains to thrive against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s relentlessly low prices.

via Has Target Lost Its Cachet? – WSJ.com.

Apple, Steve Jobs, iSpaceship:  Well, it will be iconic.

Apple wants to build a new corporate headquarters that, in Chief Executive Steve Jobs’s own words, looks “a little like a spaceship.”

A day after the company unveiled its new Web-based service iCloud, Mr. Jobs spoke at a Cupertino, Calif., city council meeting to pitch plans for a new Apple corporate campus on 150 acres of land, much of which used to belong to Hewlett-Packard.

“Apple has grown like a weed,” said Mr. Jobs, as he explained how the company’s current Cupertino headquarters only holds about a quarter of the 12,000 employees it has in the area.

via Steve Jobs’s Latest Project: iSpaceship – Digits – WSJ.

YA fiction:  Too dark? Realistic?  I find it too weird … but maybe I better take another look.

 How dark is contemporary fiction for teens? Darker than when you were a child, my dear: So dark that kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things in novels directed, broadly speaking, at children from the ages of 12 to 18.

Pathologies that went undescribed in print 40 years ago, that were still only sparingly outlined a generation ago, are now spelled out in stomach-clenching detail. Profanity that would get a song or movie branded with a parental warning is, in young-adult novels, so commonplace that most reviewers do not even remark upon it.

If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is. There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.

So it may be that the book industry’s ever-more-appalling offerings for adolescent readers spring from a desperate desire to keep books relevant for the young. Still, everyone does not share the same objectives. The book business exists to sell books; parents exist to rear children, and oughtn’t be daunted by cries of censorship. No family is obliged to acquiesce when publishers use the vehicle of fundamental free-expression principles to try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children’s lives.

via Book Review: Young Adult Fiction – WSJ.com.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal ran a piece claiming that fiction at least nominally aimed at readers under 18 — young adult or “YA” fiction, that is — is entirely too dark. Calling out the books about kids who cut themselves or suffer abuse right alongside the books with abundant profanity in them, it laments the fact that young readers will be “surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.”

Unsurprisingly, the commentary has come under intense criticism — it’s not in any way a new complaint, and every response to it points that out, along with plenty of other problems.

But as easy as it is to tear the piece apart — for its complete failure to acknowledge V.C. Andrews, who was writing books with incest and rape themes in the 1980s and is the go-to choice for adults my age who want to talk about the screwed-up YA fiction they read, if nothing else — I’m more intrigued by the aspirational nature of the quaint but sad idea that teenagers, if you don’t give them The Hunger Games, can be effectively surrounded by images of joy and beauty.

via Seeing Teenagers As We Wish They Were: The Debate Over YA Fiction : Monkey See : NPR.

technology, security, cyber attacks:  We live in a changing world.

These jobs aren’t being pulled off by kids fooling around, or even by the criminals who steal credit-card numbers. “You’re looking at nation-state capability actors,” says Herbert Thompson, a computer-security consultant and professor of computer science at Columbia University.

With digital attacks becoming rampant, the computer nerds who work for the good guys to thwart such incursions have become the new Navy SEALs—elite commandos who can carry out sophisticated operations on the battlefield of cyberspace. The enemies they’re battling slip into computer systems to steal information or wreak havoc and then slip out without being detected. The services of these commandos, both to attack and defend, are becoming increasingly vital to top militaries around the world.

China just admitted it has organized a cyber-commando unit called the Blue Army. Officially its role is to defend China’s systems from intruders. Here in the U.S., a new report from the Pentagon warns potential enemies that the U.S. may consider cyberattacks to be acts of war and might retaliate with conventional weapons. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” an unnamed military official told The Wall Street Journal.

via Tech Report: The Hacker Wars – Newsweek.

Dr. Peter Gorman, CMS, Charlotte:  Bad timing, Peter.

Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent Dr. Peter Gorman announced his resignation during a news conference this afternoon.

Gorman says he has accepted a position with News Corporation in a newly formed education division.  Gorman will be named Senior Vice President and work with school districts to implement the division’s programs, as well as review their integrity and effectiveness, according to a news release.

Gorman made the surprise announcementduring a scheduled meeting to discuss budget cuts at the Government Center in uptown.

“I’m thrilled to join News Corporation, and to work with someone of Joel’s caliber, and the rest of his team, to transform the educational system through digital technology and other means,” said Dr. Gorman said in a CMS news release. “News Corporation has a reputation for leading significant change across many industries, and I look forward to what lies ahead for the education sector.”

via Gorman resigns as CMS superintendent | WCNC.com Charlotte.

random, Happy Father’s Day, superlatives:  OK, this guy is nuts … I hope his 16 year old son has a sense of humor …

Dad Waving At The Bus

Meet Dale Price, a stay-at-home father of three from American Fork, Utah, who dressed up in 180 different, wacky costumes to wave to his 16-year-old son’s school bus every morning. For 170 days, he greeted the passing bus in almost every costume imaginable. He also wasn’t afraid to cross dress, pictured here on Day 160 as Batgirl. (Dale Price)

via Most Embarrassing Dad? Dad Waves at Son on School Bus, Dressed in 170 Costumes | Photos – ABC News.

29
May
11

5.29-30.2011 … Happy Memorial Day Weekend … staycation for me …

Memorial Day, holidays, staycations, Atlanta, favorites:  Well, I am  having a Charlotte staycation which, by the way, is not on the list.  But oddly just about every other favorite US city is on it … Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Chicago …  I will have to make do with Charlotte.

A staycation here could include a visit to Oakland Cemetery followed by a cold beer on a rooftop patio, shopping on the Westside followed by cheap eats, chilling with Coca Cola, hanging in the Botanical Gardens, or (heaven forbid) working up a sweat on the Silver Comet Trail. Our local Atlantan’s staycation plans showed her that she could stay in Atlanta but feel like she was a million miles away… without spending a million dollars to get there!

via Six Great Cities, Six Great Staycations – weather.com.

Robert McDuffie, people, Macon GA, Westminster: Saw that the GA Music Hall of Fame is closing down.  On its website is this advertisement for an exhibit on Macon GA artists.  I think the violinist in the picture is Macon native Bobby McDuffie , Camille’s husband.  Small world.

Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

bookshelf, lists:  Well, I have heard of very few of these … the list came recommended to me.  I’ll give you my list tomorrow …. Books for the Beach.

essays, love:  I liked David Mark Simpson entry “What is Carved in Stone,”  a runner-up in the Modern Love college essay contest.  Enjoy!

Every day for the next two weeks, we scraped our way up the cliffs of our two-bar plateau. It may not have been the same as carving a petroglyph, but the three-hour journey required a kind of resoluteness. It was exhausting and dangerous. And it left ample time to ponder if the climb was worth making.

via Modern Love – What Is Carved in Stone – NYTimes.com.

Facebook, twitter, social network, addictions:  I fail the test … and my children will tell you that.  Maybe I will set myself free this summer …

Q: Do you ever feel the urge to pull out your smartphone while someone else is making a point in a conversation?

Q: Have you ever realized that you were texting or checking your e-mail while your child was telling you about her day at school?

Q: Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook?

Q: Does a flashing red light on your BlackBerry make your heart flutter?

Q: Are you spending time with your spouse or significant other without talking to each other because you’re each immersed in a different device?

If you answered yes to at least a couple of these questions, you’re among the millions of Americans being overrun by technology.

via The Digital Diet: How to break free of your smartphone and other gadgets – The Washington Post.

food, vegetarian food, lists, kith/kin:  We have a family friend who is vegetarian so I always keep a box of veggie burgers on hand.  After several years, I have grown to like them myself.  Our favorite brand, Morningstar, is not even on the list.  What do they know? Taste Test: 10 Veggie Burgers for Grilling – KitchenDaily.

Davidson IB, Davidson, CMS,  magnet schools, education, Charlotte:  I still do not understand how CMS could shut down what is considered one of the best magnet schools in the country … amazing.

They bonded over shovels.

It was a Friday in March, a day off for students. Parents and kids from two middle schools, Davidson IB and J.M. Alexander, met on the Alexander campus. They were partners in an arranged marriage. Davidson was closing at the end of the school year. Alexander would take Davidson’s students and faculty. Nobody was thrilled about it.

Back in the fall, when the school board made the decision, the feelings were bare and raw. Davidson families blasted the board for killing off one of the best magnet schools in America. Alexander families got mad at the idea that their school didn’t measure up. Board member Rhonda Lennon said Davidson parents seemed unwilling to send their kids to school with poor black students. Davidson parents threatened to walk away from CMS.

Now, a few months afterward, everyone had calmed down. But the relationships still needed tending. The principals of both schools thought sprucing up the Alexander campus might be the way to spruce up the mood.

via Starting with a clean slate – together | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

news, for the love of money:  She buried him in the flower garden to collect his social security, and no one noticed for 15 years!!!

When police found the body of Ruth Huber Bostic last year in the living room of her southeast Raleigh home, her neighbors noted that they hadn’t seen her husband, David Ellis Bostic, in a while.

As in a decade or more.

via Flower bed hid man’s grave | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

commencement speeches, kith/kin, lists:  OK, they failed to mentioned my brothers’s speech at E. Rivers Elementary School … 2011’s Best Commencement Speeches – Galleries – The Daily Beast.

Picasso, muses, art:  Be honest, have you ever heard of an artist’s muse who was happy?

 

 

At Picasso’s death in 1973, an abstract sculpture of Marie-Therese holding a lantern was placed over his grave:

“Why do you think he wanted that sculpture on his grave?” Mason asked.

“I think he saw Marie-Therese as his real wife,’ Richardson said. “And she was the one person of all the women in his life who’d given him the most love, the most understanding.”

Fifty years after their first meeting, Marie-Therese took her own life.

For the muse, there was no living without the artist.

via Picasso and his mistress, his muse – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney:  Interesting analysis of Mitt and this “early” campaign speech.

THE principal themes of Mitt Romney’s speech here in Des Moines earlier this afternoon were that America’s economy remains a wreck because Barack Obama’s a rank amateur whose woeful inexperience, ignorance of the requirements of a robust economy, and faintly un-American taste for the public-policy fashions in Europe, has created a climate of economic uncertainty that has retarded recovery. Speaking before a small crowd beneath antique airplanes suspended in the atrium of the State of Iowa Historical Museum, an effortfully cheerful Mr Romney assayed an early version of a stump speech I imagine will become a staple of his campaign for the Republican nomination, once it “officially” begins some time next week in New Hampshire.

via Mitt Romney in Iowa: All-pro, all-American | The Economist.

Niagara Falls, travel bucket list:  Well, I love these articles… 36 hours in ______ … and Niagara Falls is on my list.  36 Hours in Niagara Falls – NYTimes.com.




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