Posts Tagged ‘CNN.com

24
Jun
14

6.24.14 … skiing by the light of the moon …

The Perfect Summer: Lake Life, Garden and Gun, Lake Rabun GA, kith/kin, Lake Toxaway NC: I adore this pic from my daughter’s  recent visit to the Lake Rabun to visit a Davidson friend, her family and  their 4 footed friends. And, of course, she returned last  weekend, her last in the US for a while. Ah, the good life! (And her summer mountain lake weekends reminded me of many weekends I spent at Lake Toxaway in NC (one in particular when I was a college student at the Black’s lake house … skiing by the light of the moon. 🙂

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Lake Rabun

Lakemont, GA

There’s one marina and a twenties-era inn, and the closest grocery store is a thirty-minute drive. But it’s exactly that quiet charm that has kept families returning for generations to this North Georgia hideout, just a hundred miles from Atlanta. Summer highlights include the Fourth of July Wooden Boat Parade—the area is home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of classic crafts.

via The Perfect Summer: Lake Life | Garden and Gun.

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 9/50, Gregor Turk:

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I had great fun at the Opening Gala for 9/50: A Southeast Arts Presenters Summit at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center 6.20 with Catherine W.. Seriously thought about buying a Gregor Turk original dish. As a matter of fact, I may go back … It is not often that you can own a dish designed by one of your first crushes.

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2014 FIFA World Cup, viewing venues, Germany:  I would go and watch!

This Stadium In Berlin Was Transformed Into A Giant Living Room For The World Cup

World Cup fans in Germany transformed the Union Berlin stadium into a giant living room Thursday, packing the pitch with sofas to lounge on while watching the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.

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AP Photo/Axel Schmidt

Organizers estimate that 12,000 fans showed up at the home field of 1 FC Union Berlin for the first World Cup game. 780 sofas were registered and an estimated 3,000 watched from a couch on the field. End tables and lamps were also provided.

via This Stadium In Berlin Was Transformed Into A Giant Living Room For The World Cup.

baking,  the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies,  tweaking:  Useful info!

Some like their chocolate chip cookies soft and chewy. Others prefer it a little crispier. No matter what your cookie preference is, a simple adjustment in ingredients will help you bake your perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies.

OZY took insights from several science-focused food experts (UCLA Science and Food teacher Kendra Nyberg, cookbook author Tessa Arias, Serious Eats, and cookie videos) to come up with rules of thumb for making different kinds of cookies.

For example, if you want a crispy cookie with a soft center, use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Want it more cakey? Use more baking soda to puff the cookies up.

Hit up the link below for more cookie variations.

via Bake the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies by Knowing What to Tweak.

UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites, CNN.com, lists, bucket list:  I keep adding places … the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc (France)

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New World Heritage Sites include the earthen remains of a Louisiana civilization dating back to 3700 B.C., Myanmar’s Pyu ancient cities (Myanmar’s first-ever site), and evidence of the end of the age of dinosaurs at the cliffs of Stevns Klint in Denmark.

Trading routes that crossed modern borders across South America and Asia were also inscribed on the list. The Qhapac Nan, the Andean road system, runs through Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. A 5,000-kilometer section of the Silk Roads known as the routes network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor crosses through China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In addition to being of “outstanding universal value,” an inscribed site must also meet at least one of 10 criteria such as “representing a masterpiece of human creative genius,” containing “exceptional natural beauty” or being an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement.

Other new sites include the Okavango Delta (Botswana); the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc (France); Rani-ki-Vav (India); Caves of Maresha and Bet Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands (Israel); the vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (Italy); Namhansanseong emergency capital city (South Korea); and Saudi Arabia’s historic Jedda, the Gate to Makkah.

UNESCO has been gradually adding to the World Heritage List since 1978.

via UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites – CNN.com.

18
Feb
14

2.18.14 … salt and sochi … It was a dark and stormy night …

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

Rachel Ries, Urban-Rural Split,  Ghost of a Gardener, NPR:  Really good NPR segment from Sunday.

Sometimes you need to get away from the thing you love. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to singer Rachel Ries about her new album, Ghost of a Gardener, which she produced after taking a couple years off from music.

via Rachel Ries’ Album Reflects Her Urban-Rural Split : NPR.

via ▶ Rachel Ries ‘Mercy’ – YouTube.

Humans of New York,  Susie’s Senior Dogs:  Loved this …

I’ve got to tell you guys about all the amazing things happening over at Susie’s Senior Dogs. So we started this page on a whim last week, for the purpose of placing old dogs in new homes. (And by we, I mean 95% my girlfriend, and 5% me– let’s be honest.) Nearly 100,000 people “liked” the page in 24 hours.

We’ve posted about 11 dogs so far, and 6 of them have been adopted– from all over the country. It’s just been an incredible success. Almost all of these dogs were ten years or older, and many of them had been in shelters for a long time. Check out these pictures of the pups in their new homes. Remember, these guys were sleeping in cages just last week.

From Left to Right: Nina (13), Fancy (12), and Max (10).

A Wrinkle in Time, favorites:  A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite book of my early reading life. Truly started me on my love of reading path.

Photo: Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L'Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans. </p><br /> <p>To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time</p><br /> <p>To check out the graphic novel adaptation, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-the-graphic-novel</p><br /> <p>To view Out of Print's t-shirt for teens and adults featuring artwork from the novel's first edition 1962 cover, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-t-shirt </p><br /> <p>And, to view the 5-book box set of The Wrinkle In Time Quintet, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/the-wrinkle-in-time-quintet-box-set

“It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.”

Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans.

To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Winnie-the-Pooh, favorites:  And another favorite …

“And then, all of a sudden, Winnie-the-Pooh stopped again, and licked the tip of his nose in a cooling manner, for he was feeling more hot and anxious than ever in his life before.”

On February 13, 1924, Punch magazine published a short poem titled “Teddy Bear” by Alan Alexander Milne, one of the magazine’s editors and a frequent contributor. The poem, inspired by the stuffed teddy bear so dearly beloved by Milne’s four-year-old son Christopher Robin, was included in Milne’s collection of children’s verses, When We Were Very Young, illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard and published later that year. But the bear’s very first appearance in Punch was the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh, which Milne released two years later and which went on to become one of the most timeless children’s books ever written.

In the summer of 1929, the Dominion Gramophone Company set out to capture prominent British authors reading from their work. In this rare recording, Milne reads the third chapter of his classic, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle,” made all the more delightful by his enchantingly melodic voice — please enjoy:

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/a-a-milne-reads-from-winnie-the-pooh

via Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh: A Rare 1929 Recording of A.A. Milne Reading from His Beloved Book | Brain Pickings.

 Buckhead’s  Beltline,  Path400, Parks & Recreation, Curbed Atlanta, multi-use trail:  Another multi-use trail!

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Great news for multi-use trail zealots: The first phase of PATH400, a Beltlineian trail that will wend for 5.2 miles through Buckhead parallel to Ga. 400, is set to break ground Feb. 17. Officials are hoping the path will lend Buckhead the same sense of interconnectedness the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has provided neighborhoods east of downtown and Midtown. “PATH400 will be a tremendous asset,” Jim Durrett, executive director of Buckhead CID, said in a press release. “Our community will enjoy new pedestrian access to schools and the local business district, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a greater sense of connectedness. It’s a wise investment for Buckhead.” PATH400’s first phase will be a half-mile stretch from Lenox Road at Tower Place up to Old Ivy Road. Extensions could soon follow.

via Buckhead’s Answer To Beltline Will Break Ground This Month – Parks & Recreation – Curbed Atlanta.

Worth your time …, Molly Wilmer Barker:  Loved this post!

With the recent drug overdose of Philip Seymour, comes up (again) the age-old conversation about whether addition and abuse of drugs and alcohol is the result of a disease or just a really bad habit to overcome…I’ve got a thought that is somewhat unrelated to either, but perhaps worth considering.

Addicts and Alcoholics, with a few years of good, grounded sobriety under their belt, are some of the absolute coolest people on the planet. They have an outlook that carries with it a good dose of humility. Many have been to the depths of their own darkest despair and, through a variety of ways, climbed out, up, through or over, whatever beliefs, obstacles, brain chemistry that bound them to a behavior that dimmed the bold, light-filled people they really are.

The addicts and alcoholics I know…who live daily expressing the humility and gratitude their recovery brings…are also some of the most creative souls on the planet.

One in four people are affected by addiction…either in their own lives or in the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances.

Today, rather than debate the best route to recovery/treatment, I will hold those still suffering…in this space…a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there is hope.

via Molly Wilmer Barker.

 “Le Tricorne”, Picasso: Tapestry travesty.

Most people agree that the fate of “Le Tricorne” rests squarely in Mr. Rosen’s hands. The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

via At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry Hangs on the Edge of Eviction – NYTimes.com.

Stephen Curry,  Bay Area Warriors, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:

Marsten said it’s telling that every Warriors fan seems to know Curry went to Davidson, the small, academically elite college north of Charlotte.

“He’s very proud of his roots, very proud of Davidson. Warriors fans understand about that,” Marsten said. “If you asked them where (Warriors forward) David Lee played, I don’t know that they’d know. And he won two national championships at Florida.”

This works because it’s not an “image.” It’s who Dell and Sonya Curry raised their three kids to be.

via Stephen Curry loves the Bay Area and the Bay Area sure loves him back | CharlotteObserver.com.

Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations, lists, CNN.com:  Very fun!

But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there\’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.

via Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations – CNN.com.

Passing on body hatred, Essential Mums:  A good lesson …

But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”

At first I didn’t understand what you meant.

”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.”

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.

2. Fat is ugly and horrible.

3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

via Passing on body hatred | Essential Mums.

Paris,  Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris,  Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic:  Very cool!

Anyone who wants to make a swimming pool out of an abandoned metro station neglected for 75 years, has definitely got my attention. The ghosts of the Parisian underground could soon be resurrected if city voters play their cards right in the upcoming mayoral elections. Promising candidate, Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet, who would become the first female to ever hold the post in the capital, has released the first sketches of her plans to reclaim the city of light’s abandoned stations.

via Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy

GI Joe, Yahoo News, kith/kin: I always liked to play with my brother’s dolls … and now they are 50. Makes me feel old.

The birthday of what’s called the world’s first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well.

Since Hasbro brought it to the world’s attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace.

via GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50 – Yahoo News.

Nathan Edmondson, alphacomics, @nathanedmondson: I love being able to claim a connection to a graphic artist writer … Second cousin once removed.

Embedded image permalink

Written by @nathanedmondson both Black Widow and Punisher are new tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/OZ2zsKvYEI

via Twitter / alphacomics: Written by @nathanedmondson ….

Future of Transportation, The Atlantic Cities:  world without car ownership …

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that’s just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that’s both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.

In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

via Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car – Eric Jaffe – The Atlantic Cities.

google doodles, Harriet Tubman

Musée Nissim de Camondo,  Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds: Donna Morris took us to Musée Nissim de Camondo … opened up a whole world of interesting historical research!

Richard Harbus for The New York Times

The Musée Nissim de Camondo boasts one of the great collections of 18th-century decorative arts.

It also holds a tragic story. When Camondo died in 1935, he left his mansion and collections to France’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His only condition was that the house be turned into a museum and named after his son, Nissim, who died as a combat pilot for France in World War I.

The family felt protected when the Nazis occupied France. A marble plaque at the entrance to the house states otherwise. It announces that Camondo’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, his last descendants, were deported by the Germans between 1943 and 1944. They died at Auschwitz.

The French government kept its word, turning the house into a museum and naming it after Camondo’s son.

via Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds.

Martin Luther, history:  Today is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.  He was one interesting guy.  Among other things, he introduced congregational singing of hymns …

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. The Emperor Charles V summoned him to the meeting of the Imperial Diet at Worms. There Luther resisted all efforts to make him recant, insisting that he had to be proved in error on the basis of Scripture. The Diet passed an edict calling for the arrest of Luther. Luther’s own prince, the Elector Frederick of Saxony, however, had him spirited away and placed for safekeeping in his castle, the Wartburg.

Here Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

via February 18: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546 | Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

01
Jan
14

1.1.14 … “”We are all children of one heavenly father, we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny

Pope’s New Year’s Message:

“We are all children of one heavenly father, we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny,” Francis said, speaking from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, jammed with tens of thousands of faithful, tourists and Romans.

“This brings a responsibility for each to work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and takes care of one another,” the pope said.

via Pope’s New Year’s Message Stresses Strength, Courage, Hope.

New Years Eve,  Dubai, record fireworks blitz, CNN.com:

New Years fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai set a new world record for largest fireworks display, according to Guinness World Records. The show featured 400,000 pyrotechnics and spanned more than 100 kilometres 62 miles.

via New Years Eve: Dubai sets record in fireworks blitz – CNN.com.

Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns, When Harry Met Sally:

“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”)[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2][3] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

via Auld Lang Syne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

But what does it mean?

via ▶ When Harry Met Sally – Auld Lang Syne – YouTube.

Harry: “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.

“I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?”

Sally: “Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”

And from a FB friend:

I did a wee bit o’ research, and it’s a Burns poem that refers to looking at the past with fondness in spite of not being able to remember the details, hence the reference to “acquaintance” rather than “friend”. A rather appropriate sentiment given how many followers of Burns, if not Burns himself, tend to celebrate(!).

Auld Lang Syne Comic. Re/code, LOL, sad but true:

Auld Lang Syne Comic | Re/code.

Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen:

Expecting a SurpriseEach day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

via Daily Meditation: January 1, 2014 | Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen.

27
Jul
13

7.27.13 … George Alexander Louis: history of a name …

Royal baby name, history, George Alexander Louis , CNN.com, fyi:

The world finally knows how to address the latest addition to the British royal family: HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

The baby boy is third in line to the throne, after grandfather Prince Charles and father Prince William. Here’s some of the history behind the young prince’s three names:

Royal Baby: What’s next?

George

“George” — the front-runner before the announcement, according to many UK bookmakers — was the name of Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, who reigned from 1936 until his death in 1952. He assumed the throne on the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. His life was depicted in the Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech.”

Baby’s name is steeped in royal history The royal aunt and uncle Excited crowds welcome royal baby boy

Photos: Other famous Georges

George I, born in Germany, became king in 1714. He was followed by a line of kings with the same name, including George III, who was known for his bouts of insanity.

The name is also a patriotic choice for many in the UK: Saint George, patron saint of England, is known for his legendary defeat of a dragon in the third century. His feast day is celebrated on April 23, (the date also associated with the birth of William Shakespeare, England’s most revered writer).

Despite its royal connections, George has humble origins, derived as it is from the Greek name “georgios” meaning “earth worker” or “farmer.”

Other historical Georges: composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), first president of the United States George Washington (1732-1799), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). Authors Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair also chose George as their pen names: George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950) respectively.

Alexander

This gallant title means “defender of men,” from the Latin form of the Greek name “Alexandros.” Alexander III of Macedon (356-323 B.C.), better known as Alexander the Great, courageously ruled and conquered many parts of the world before his untimely death at age 32.

The name “Alexander” is a feature of the Dutch royal family: Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne after the abdication of his mother Queen Beatrix earlier this year.

Other historical Alexanders: English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), American statesman Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Scottish-Canadian explorer Alexander MacKenzie (1764-1820), Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) and Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-born inventor of the telephone.

Louis

The name “Louis” originates from the English and French interpretations of the German name Ludwig, which can be interpreted as “renowned warrior.”

Louis was the first name of Lord Mountbatten, uncle of George’s great-grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and mentor to Prince Charles. He was killed by the IRA while holidaying in Ireland in 1979.

No British monarch has been named Louis, but it is very popular across the English Channel in France, where 18 kings have taken the name from 814 onward. Louis XIV, the Sun King, reigned from 1643 until 1715 and was hailed by many as the greatest monarch of his age because of the growth in French power and the opulence of his court, which included the Palace of Versailles.

Louis XVI was the king of France from 1774 until 1792, when he was found guilty of treason after the revolution and executed in 1793.

Other historical figures named Louis: French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895); Métis leader Louis Riel (1844-1885), who led a rebellion against Canada; and Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), who wrote “Treasure Island” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

via Royal baby name: The history behind George Alexander Louis – CNN.com.

27
Feb
13

2.27.13 … If I hate being late, why am I always late …

Van Cliburn, RIP,  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30, YouTube:  What a life!  RIP, Van Cliburn.

Pianist Van Cliburn died Wednesday at the age of 78 in Forth Worth, after battling bone cancer.

In 1958, Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow — he became an international classical music star.

via Van Cliburn Dead at 78: His Great Performances (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 (Van Cliburn) in D minor Op.30 – YouTube.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2013 FPC Charlotte Lenten Devotional, 2013  NAPC Lenten Devotional:

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Beautiful day …  as I opened the car door I hear the chimes ringing softly in the wind.  What a great way to start my walk.
Things I thought about …
From FPC’s Wes Barry:
I had a professor in Seminary say that anytime the word “bread” shows up in scripture we should take notice, because it is by this earthly substance that we are told by our Lord to remember him.  So when God asks us “why spend money on what is not bread,” he is asking us why would we spend our resources on things that do not satisfy?  In the end, it is only Jesus Christ, his body broken for us, which satisfies our longings.
From NAPC’s devotional …
Life is like this; just a little seed of an evil desire can cause us to go down another path. James is encouraging us to endure temptation and to stand the test so that we will receive a blessing beyond our imagination.
And from Henri Nouwen …

Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space for God.

TED Talks, business, Harvard Business Review:

It’s happening right now.

Thousands of very lucky individuals are seated in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center are at TED 2013. TED has become a brand name as they have uploaded their archive of 18-minute presentations from their exclusive annual event to TED.com. Originally available only online, the speeches are now distributed and broadcasted on TV, radio, podcasts and even on Netflix. I have been fortunate to have attended the annual conference since 2008, and I’ve found TED an experience that helps businesspeople unlock a new way to think about the work that we do, where we are going as leaders, and our collective role in the evolution of the world. In the spirit of TED 2013, here are 10 amazing TED Talks that have helped me think differently about what business can be, how to be a better leader, and how to become a better global citizen

via 10 TED Talks to Help You Reimagine Your Business – Mitch Joel – Harvard Business Review.

The Cloisters, The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary, WSJ.com:  I love it that my husband sent this to me. 🙂

Set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, the Cloisters museum and gardens were designed to give visitors the impression they are stepping back in time, wandering through what feels like an old-world monastery.

But as America’s only medieval-art museum approaches its 75th anniversary this spring, its curators are stepping gingerly into the modern world.

This year, the Cloisters will for the first time present a contemporary-art installation. The museum, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is developing new digital content for visitors to view on iPods. And after decades of displaying the same permanent collection, the museum is making a bid to attract return visitors with more special exhibitions, made possible by climate-control improvements in recent years.

Change is a delicate issue at the Cloisters, where curators are looking to draw a broader audience without alienating those who cherish the spot’s timeless quality.

via The Cloisters Opens Up – WSJ.com.

 Vatican, Pope Benedict’s new title, CNN.com, fyi:

Pope Benedict XVI will keep the title “his holiness” once he retires and will be called “pontiff emeritus,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican on Tuesday.

via Vatican reveals Pope Benedict’s new title – CNN.com.

BofA,  Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan, gaffes, Bloomberg:  Worth reading …

“Brian certainly doesn’t show up on anyone’s list of most- admired bankers,” Miller says. “If he’s successful, he will have a lot more stature than is now the case.”

Buffett, who stands to become Bank of America’s largest shareholder, says he has little doubt Moynihan will succeed.

“I’ve been around other companies that have great underlying strengths, where some huge event has gotten them into major trouble,” the 82-year-old billionaire says. “Sometimes, you can make a very good investment when that happens.”

via BofA Affirms Buffett Bet as Moynihan Recovers From Gaffes – Bloomberg.

Colm Toibin,  “Summer of ’38” , The New Yorker, bookshelf:  Colm Toibin: “Summer of ’38” : The New Yorker.

poems,  Rudyard Kipling, NPR:  I love lost works …

Fifty previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, were discovered by Thomas Pinney, an English professor at California State Polytechnic University. The lost works by Kipling, whose most famous poems include “If” and the notorious “White Man’s Burden,” are to be published next month. Kipling was widely derided as an apologist for British colonialism — George Orwell called him “a jingo imperialist” — though he was also a respected novelist who won the Literature Nobel in 1907.

via Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered : The Two-Way : NPR.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren,   Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney, lawsuits:  Ah, intigue in retail …

Lundgren, 60, said Stewart sounded like she was reading from a document prepared by lawyers when they spoke, and that he cut off the conversation when the home goods doyenne claimed her deal with J.C. Penney would be good for Macy’s.

“I think that’s when I hung up,” said Lundgren. “The thought this was going to be good for Macy’s was so far from anything I could comprehend.”

Lundgren said that at the time he considered Stewart a friend, and he has not spoken to her since.

via Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren ‘Shocked And Blown Away’ Over Martha Stewart’s Alliance With J.C. Penney.

Swiss watchmakers, The Economist:  I met someone a few years back whose ex worked with a swiss watchmaker … very interesting …

No one buys a Swiss watch to find out what time it is. The allure is intangible: precise engineering, beautifully displayed. The art of fine watchmaking has all but died out elsewhere, but it thrives in Switzerland. “Swiss-made” has become one of the world’s most valuable brands.

In the popular imagination, Swiss watches are made by craftsmen at tiny firms nestled in Alpine villages. In fact, the industry is dominated by one big firm. The Swatch Group’s stable of brands Breguet, Blancpain, Omega and a dozen others generated watch and jewellery sales of SFr7.3 billion in 2012. That is up by 15.6% over the previous year and accounts for one-third of all sales of Swiss watches. In January Swatch announced the purchase of Harry Winston, an American jeweller which also makes watches in Geneva.

via Swiss watchmakers: Time is money | The Economist.

YMCA, ballene:  I attended my second ballene class in a month … I like it!

Ballene: A unique blend of core, strength and flexibility exercises using the stability ball

via Exercise Class

gay marriage, GOP, NYTimes.com:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”

Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.

via Prominent Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com.

Secretary of State John Kerry,  Free Speech, only in America, NYTimes.com: “In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid.”  If you want to see the clip … Kerry Defends American Liberties.

In a robust defense of free speech during a meeting with young Germans in Berlin on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry explained just how far the limits of tolerance extend in blunt terms. “In America,” the country’s top diplomat explained, “you have a right to be stupid.”

That remark, at a forum hosted by the United States Embassy in Berlin, went completely unmentioned in German newspaper and television reports on the event, but it was gleefully seized upon by Mr. Kerry’s critics back home, and bored journalists everywhere, hungry for a gaffe.

via ‘In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid,’ Kerry Says in Defense of Free Speech – NYTimes.com.

North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Frank M. Eldridge:  I spent a day with Frank while my mother was having surgery in 2008.  What a blessing he is to NAPC … and what an accomplishment  … by title alone …

Name with titles: Hon. Rev. Dr. Frank M. Eldridge, Sr., JD, LL.M., M. Div., Th.M., Associate for Congregational Care, Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

image

via North Avenue Presbyterian young adults, Who’s Who at NAPC?.

Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech, marriage, truth:  I thought this deconstruction of his speech very interesting …

Did you see Ben Affleck’s speech accepting the Best Picture award last night? If not, he made a moving and authentic statement about marriage. Read more about it here.

The part that has people in a tizzy is this:

I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.

The criticism centers around this statement as lacking in cuteness, and focusing on the negative. It wasn’t the “right forum” for this type of declaration, it was a possible indicator that “something is wrong” in the marriage, he should have just stuck to “I love you and adore you and you’re perfect” — basically whining that a major Hollywood star was uncomfortably honest about his relationship and said overly blunt things about marriage in one of the most public forums on the planet.

Anyone who actually agrees with the above criticism doesn’t get marriage.

A fundamental reality of human relationships is that two people are not meant to be in a single monogamous partnership for all eternity (or even until the end of their lives). Humans crave sexual novelty. We get bored. We lose interest after just two years. We find our intimacy crushed by the weight of daily routines. Marriage is a voluntary commitment that flies in the face of all scientific research and human evolution.

We enter this voluntary (some say insane, and they’re not entirely wrong) pact because we do a cost-benefit analysis and decide that the benefits of getting married (or otherwise partnering for life) outweigh the potential costs — breakups, emotional pain, financial disarray, the list goes on. We make just about the biggest emotional leap of faith a person can make, because we think, feel, and hope that the rewards will be great.

via Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech Revealed A Truth About Marriage.

The Silver Linings Playbook, bookshelf, film/lit:  I need to read the book and see the movie!

Paper or Plastic, games, icebreakers, app:  There’s an app for that?

Paper or Plastic App | A Simple Game to Break the Ice.

Kayla loves the moon, YouTube: Endearing .. to the tune of 300,000 hits in the first week!

That doesn’t make her attempts any less endearing.

In this swoon-worthy YouTube video, the pink-clad, stuffed-animal-toting toddler converses with her dad, who encourages her to reach for the moon before eventually agreeing with her that it’s a lost cause, and she should say “goodbye.”

Since being uploaded on Friday, the clip — which denmoff77 posted alongside links to the Lunar and Planetary Institute and its moon-themed site, MyMoonspace.com — has racked up almost 300,000 views.

via Kayla Loves The Moon So Much, She Wants To Catch It (VIDEO).

@amandapalmer, human connection, mutual dignity of gift economies,  TED2013, Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker:  I can’t wait to watch this 2013 TEDTalk.

Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker

“Asking makes you vulnerable.” @amandapalmer makes a beautiful case for the human connection and mutual dignity of gift economies #TED2013

via (73) Twitter.

bikes, cycling, training, Bicycling MagazineIndoor Bike Trainer Tips, Tricks & Strategies | Bicycling Magazine.

20
Feb
13

2.20.13 … diamond hydrangeas …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church:

Well, nature played a funny trick on me today. It was absolutely perfect day this morning sunshine. The trick was but I did not realize how cold it was.
I walked with my friend Cheryl who I met at the labyrinth conference hosted by Avondale Presbyterian Church last April when Lauren Artress spoke. Cheryl and I have walked several times since we met.  She is supporting me in my quest to walk labyrinths during Lent. We walked last week, and again this week. We hope to walk again next week.
Cheryl had arrived a few minutes before I did.  When I entered the Sacred Garden, I immediately was drawn to the dead hydrangea bushes. Cheryl had already seen them.  These bushes were so beautiful all last summer and into the fall. They are one of the Southern flowering bushes that I love because my grandmother had two blue ones right next to her back door … great memories.
But these dead ones, and I mean really dead, were  absolutely gorgeous this morning because the dew/frost  had frozen as tiny droplets in the brown/dead flowers.  In the morning light the frozen droplets  looked like tiny diamonds.  I had never seen anything like it …
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As we approached the labyrinth,  we both noticed the same frozen droplets on a tree overlooking the labyrinth.  Cheryl and I talked a few minutes before walking. I realized that I had a great deal of angst surrounding events going on in my personal life. It was nice just to talk about them and then cathartic to give them up as I walked. I think it helped to express them out loud to another human being prior to walking. Thanks, Cheryl.
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After my walk, I commented  to Cheryl that I had learned several things about labyrinths this last week that I had not known before.  These include …
1. The first Christian labyrinth is in Algeria and was built around 400 BC. This I learned from the brochure at Sardis Baptist Church.  Here is  little info on that labyrinth for you:

Labyrinths—their history and their mystery—are featured in St. Anthony Messenger’s August cover story, “Labyrinths: The Inward Journey.” Author and labyrinth enthusiast Gerilyn Wartonick Herold writes of these spiral patterns and how they have aided the faith journeys of many Christians over the centuries. After July 20, the article will be found at: AmericanCatholic.org.

Labyrinths are not a new phenomenon. Archaeologists believe they date back 4,500 years, though no physical evidence survives. Different versions of the spiral pattern have been discovered in Egypt, India, Russia and Peru. The first Christian labyrinth, discovered in the fourth century Basilica of Reparatus in Orleansville, Algeria, contains the words “Sancta Eclesia” inscribed in the middle, indicating its use for religious purposes.

Labyrinths can vary greatly in design. The shapes range from circular to square, spade or octagonal. They may be simple or complex and span from 13 to 44 feet. All are designed with a single meandering path that leads to the center.

This journey inward appeals to many people. Julie McAfee, a nondenominational Christian, has grown quite fond of walking labyrinths. “The labyrinth really gives me a sense of God,” she says. “The message for me is that God is present.”

via American Catholic | Press Room | Labyrinths: Exploring Their History and Mystery.

2. Mini – Chartres labyrinths, of which there are many, have two circuits that are 360° circuit. A true  Chartres has no is no circuit longer than 180°.  It’s very interesting,  and I think goes to my dissatisfaction walking the mini –  Chartres  because they go  too fast,  and if you can have a long circuit like that then it quickens your pace noticeably.
The walk was great and so far I am enjoying my daily walks.
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Blessings!

NASA, International Space Station, Astronaut  Tom Marshburn:  Oh, no ….

Communication was restored less than three hours later, Byerly said”Weve got our command and control back,” he said.Station commander Kevin Ford was able to briefly radio Moscow while the station was flying over Russia.Normally, NASA communicates with and sends commands to the station from Houston, via three communications satellites that transmit voice, video and data. Such interruptions have happened a few times in the past, the space agency said.If there is no crisis going on, losing communication with the ground “is not a terrible thing,” said former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who was on the Russian space station Mir during a dangerous fire in 1997. “You feel pretty confident up there that you can handle it. Youre flying the spacecraft.”Not only should this boost the confidence of the station crew, its good training for any eventual mission to Mars because there will be times when communications is down or difficult during the much farther voyage, Linenger said.In the past few weeks the space station had been purposely simulating communications delays and downtimes to see how activity could work for a future Mars mission, Byerly said. This was not part of those tests, but may prove useful, he said.

via NASA & International Space Station Regain Contact, Officials Say.

exercise, WSJ.com:  I knew there was a reason …

Hard-Wired to Hate Exercise? – WSJ.com.

street paving, random, technology:  When we lived in Wilmette, the village redid our street, i.e., they took up all the original brick, dug down six feet, replaced all the sewer and water pipes, then relayed the original brick street.  It took 5 months … I wonder if this machine could have helped?

STREET PAVING: A ‘Tiger-Stone’ paved a road in IJmuiden, Netherlands, Tuesday. The Dutch-made machine uses gravity and an electric motor to lay stone and brick roads and is capable of laying 300 square meters (about 360 square yards) of road a day.

via Photos of the Day: Feb. 19 – WSJ.com.

Tolstoy, quotes, families:

…  old quote from Tolstoy: Happy families are all alike. Unhappy families have kids under five or teenagers.

via Explore – This reminds me of the old quote from Tolstoy:….

CIA, Cyber war,  Amanpour, CNN.com:  It is scary how vulnerable we are …

Sanger and two colleagues reported in the New York Times on Tuesday that a secretive unit of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military, is responsible for most of the many Chinese cyber attacks on U.S. corporations and infrastructure.“This is, diplomatically, I think one of the most complicated problems out there,” Sanger said. “The fact that your adversary would know that you could get into their systems and turn them on or off at any time – whether it was cell phones or air traffic control or whatever – might well affect your future behavior. So it doesn’t mean that they’re going to do it, or there’s out-and-out war, but it does mean that they have a capability to do this by remote control.” The New York Times reported last month that the newspaper was the victim of Chinese hackers – brought on, they believe, by a report on the finances of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.An internet security firm hired by the paper to investigate that attack has released a new report on Chinese hacking, and that report alleges the deep involvement of the Chinese military.In fact, the security company, Mandiant, says that the attacks originate from a single 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai.“It’s got thousands of people working in it,” Sanger said. His colleague, David Barboza visited the site, but was not allowed inside.The Chinese government hotly denies all the allegations in the Mandiant report, calling them “baseless,” “irresponsible and unprofessional.”“If it’s not coming from this building,” Sanger said, “then you’ve got to believe it’s coming from the noodle shops and restaurants that surround this building.”Chad Sweet, a former CIA and Homeland Security official who now runs his own global security firm, said that the standoff between the U.S. and China envisages a bleak future.“We’re essentially facing a new Cold War – a cyber Cold War,” he told Amanpour. “The destructive capacity is equal to that of a nuclear warhead… But what makes it more sinister than the nuclear age is that there’s no easily identifiable plume.”In other words, it is very difficult to attribute a cyber attack to a source or exact retribution.

via Fmr. CIA official: Cyber war ‘more sinister than nuclear age’ – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs.

George Orwell, writing, motivation, creation, Brain Pickings: Why do you write?

I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

(i) Sheer egoism. …

(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. …

(iii) Historical impulse. …

(iv) Political purpose. …

It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.

via Why I Write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation | Brain Pickings.

Palace Malice,  Dogwood Farms, Derby Fever:  Always fun to have a horse to watch …

Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.20 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center Sunday morning in preparation for his upcoming appearance in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the move has Dogwood president Cot Campbell looking ebulliently forward to the final local prep for the 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30.

“I’m a New Orleans boy – I was born there and it’s going to be great coming back there,” said Campbell, speaking from his South Carolina headquarters. “I also came back there in the early ‘50s to work for an advertising agency there, but I haven’t been back for a few years now. We’ll have about seven people in our party besides me and we’ll be getting in Friday morning. It’s a wonderful town with a wonderful race track and a lot of wonderful people live there.

“We’re starting to get into a very exciting time of year,” said Campbell. “With all the Kentucky Derby preps coming up around the country everybody in the nation starts to get interested in horse racing and I think that’s a wonderful thing for our sport.

via Sunday Notes: Palace Malice Giving Dogwood Derby Fever | Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Louisville, Ohio River, NYTimes.com:  Interesting that this bridge story was significant enough to merit coverage by the NYT …

Although friction about some aspects of the project still reverberates, including over its tolls and environmental impact, construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the two new bridges linking Kentucky and southern Indiana are expected to open in 2016.

“If we didn’t build this, we would become the bottleneck for the Southeastern United States,” said Chad Carlton, the project spokesman. “We think it could become the shape of things to come for infrastructure across Middle America.”

About $1 billion of the project will be financed by the two states, mostly through gas taxes. There is some federal support, although not much, reflecting a nationwide trend of dwindling federal money for state transportation projects. Tolls over the next 40 years are expected to generate around $10 billion.

“There’s not a major bridge project in the country that doesn’t involve the use of tolls and other creative financing mechanisms,” Gov. Steven L. Beshear of Kentucky said in an interview. “The project will employ thousands, and it’s going to let the metropolitan areas of Kentucky and southern Indiana grow much faster and help jobs grow much faster.”

The project comes at a time when some cities are moving in the opposite direction, dismantling downtown bridges and expressways in favor of public transportation.

Hank V. Savitch, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, said that while some cities were shifting away from accommodating cars, Louisville’s project signaled a declaration of faith in suburban-style growth.

via Like the Ohio River, a Bridge Project Divides a Community – NYTimes.com.

man’s best friend, YouTube, LOL: 🙂

you will love this dog – YouTube.

internet addiction, the Mail Online:  The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site … what makes theMail online the most “ruthlessly addictive site?

During the average workday, I allow myself to take a couple “Internet breaks,” little bursts of Tumblr and Gawker and other forms of web candy that tug at my attention span like a needy kid. There’s one web threshold I never step over on a weekday, though: the Mail Online. The online outlet of the British tabloid is a one-way ticket to an hours-long surfing spree of celebrity gossip and moral outrage. It’s not web candy–this is web crack.

via 4 Lessons From The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

mobile phones, sleep:  Guilty …

Most people who own iPhones use them as their alarm clock — making it all too easy to check email one last time before falling asleep and hard to ever feel unplugged from work and social networks.

Several years ago my boss, Arianna Huffington, passed out from exhaustion after staying up late to catch up on work. She banged her head on the way down and ended up with five stitches — and became what she calls a “sleep evangelist.” Now she leaves her phone charging in another room when she goes to bed and encourages friends to do the same.

“I sent all my friends the same Christmas gift — a Pottery Barn alarm clock — so they could stop using the excuse that they needed their very tempting iPhone by their bed to wake them up in the morning,” she said.

via How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep (INFOGRAPHIC).

Downton Abbey:  🙂  Personally, I think we all would look a little better in Edwardian garb …

Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham)

Hugh Bonneville looks a lot more relaxed when he’s not in character as “Downton’s” Lord Grantham. Maybe that Edwardian ascot is tied a little too tight.

C S Lewis, Narnia, Speakeasy: Some interesting thoughts on CS Lewis …

C.S. Lewis’s death was – understandably – overshadowed because it happened on the same day as one of the most traumatic events of the last century, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Lewis is a good case of someone who hasn’t been well served by some of his admirers: we can get the false impression that he is of interest only to a particular kind of conservative Christian.  When I admitted to some of my friends that I was publishing a book about Lewis, there were some raised eyebrows: wasn’t he a misogynist/fundamentalist/ homophobe?  Didn’t his books reinforce a cerebral and narrow dogmatism?  Isn’t he at best just a bit too – well, English and tweedy?

At the heart of his thinking and writing, both in his imaginative books of fiction and in his more concept-heavy works, lies one recurring theme.  We are so successful in telling ourselves stories about ourselves that it takes a major revolution to expose us fully to the truth.  And we are so successful at conjuring and nourishing our own pictures of what makes us happy that we miss actual joy when it taps us on the shoulder.  I can’t think of any other modern religious writer who diagnoses so accurately our habits of self-deception.  Two of his works, “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce” analyze ruthlessly what it might be like to be stuck in a position of systematic denial of reality – being forever incapable of seeing what’s in front of our noses.  This is Hell, says Lewis.  But his genius is to make this analysis memorably comic as well as tragic.

Here and in other works (including the three science fiction novels he wrote), the target is often the idea that we could live in a totally managed world.  Long before the ecological crisis was recognized, he castigated those who thought of “colonizing” space so that we needn’t worry about polluting and exhausting the earth’s resources.  He presents a world where animals and humans actually talk to each other, where community extends to the whole environment – and a world where death is not the worst thing that can happen.  We love the world best when we know we can’t ‘have’ it for ever for ourselves – something that St Augustine and Shakespeare would have understood perfectly – not to mention Czeslaw Milosz, with his book, “Proud to be a Mammal.”

That’s part of what makes Lewis more than a knee-jerk modern conservative – that richly skeptical and amused perspective, resting on deep cultural reserves which teach us that the world is both wonderful and fragile.  Deny this and you lose all chance of enjoying your real humanity.  Lewis’s God wants us to be spiritually settled as physical beings, not to think either that all our important hopes are material or that we just need to get through earth quickly so as to get to Heaven sooner.

Sit light, then, to some of the 1940’s or 1950’s attitudes – though he is no worse than most and better than many in much of what he writes about women or even gay people.  His world is both a lighter and also a more morally challenging one than a lot of what we find in religious writing, liberal or conservative, these days.  He is still able to reacquaint us with the meaning of joy and the strange excitement of honesty.

via Why You Can’t Get to Narnia By Turning Left or Right – Speakeasy – WSJ.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards:  All the reasons not to be … in one hour …

Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards

Marty Martin, Martin Law Firm

Nonprofit boards are in the news because of high profile failures with nonprofit boards of directors and management. Lawyers frequently are asked to serve on nonprofit boards of directors, but with limited substantive background in the law related to nonprofit organizations. Using a case study, the class will discuss legal and ethical issues that confront the lawyer serving on a nonprofit board of directors.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

mobile phones, unlimited phone plan, Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD:  Every member of my family has an iPhone … I might as well give AT&T my first child … I would love options …

A typical smartphone costs around $200, but it’s usually shackled to a two-year contract that often costs $70 or more monthly and includes limits on data consumption, voice minutes and texts. Even prepaid smartphones, without a contract, can cost $30 to $50 a month and carry limits.But I’ve been testing an Android smartphone from an upstart carrier that charges just $19 a month for unlimited data, voice and texts—with no contract. That’s right: $19 a month, unlimited.Motorola’s Defy XT is the only phone that works with Republic’s network.This carrier is called Republic Wireless, a private firm in Raleigh, N.C., which launched its service in December. The sole phone that works with the company’s technology is a Motorola model, the Defy XT. The phone costs $249—partly to help offset the low monthly price.

via For $19, An Unlimited Phone Plan, Some Flaws – Walt Mossberg – Personal Technology – AllThingsD.

Cynaps, Thrillist Nation:  I like this one.  But I don’t wear hats …

CynapsBone-conducting headphones discreetly hidden in a hat

via Cynaps – Own – Thrillist Nation.

 

LOL:

Whew, scientific proof. What a relief to learn this !

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was ? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

Thank goodness for studies like this. It’s not our age, it’s that damn door !

Antarctic penguins,  New Zealand:  Awww ..

The original "Happy Feet" ready for release aboard The New Zealand research vessel Tangaroa in Aug. 2011.

Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’

via Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’ : The Two-Way : NPR.

millionaires, philanthropy, The Technology Chronicles, disease, cure, kudos: You rock, nerds!

A group of tech and investment luminaries gathered on Wednesday to announce the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, a competition for the biology research community to develop cures to the world’s toughest diseases and solve the life science’s most complicated problems.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Art Levinson, chairman of both Apple and Genentech, Anne Wojcicki, genetic mapping startup 23andMe co-founder (and wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin) and investment guru Yuri Milner sat alongside one another to announce the new $3 million cash prizes.

via Tech heavyweights announce million dollar prizes for curing diseases | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog.

Mophie Juice Pack Helium,  iPhone 5, TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Unfortunately, I need one …

During the time that I owned my iPhone 4 and 4S, those phones spent most of their lives in a Mophie Juice Pack Air. That battery pack got me through some of those scary situations where I had spent a couple of hours geocaching, making calls and sending texts, only to find that I was down to 5 percent of charge capacity and was nowhere near a power outlet. So when the iPhone 5 came out last fall, my first thought for a case was a Mophie product. It took a few months, but now the Mophie Juice Pack Helium (US$79.95) is available to protect and power the iPhone 5.

via Review: Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Bottles Up Glass Water Bottle, design:  It’s a water bottle,  stupid … but a very pretty one … $34.95 at Amazon …

it’s art.

Our challenge was to blend beauty + utility. We’ve created an everyday object that combines the magic and clarity of glass with sophisticated, practical design.

via BottlesUp Glass – Your Reusable Glass Bottle Resource – Reusable Water Bottles.

Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander MD, consciousness, Life Beyond Death:  I read his book … very interesting …

Can science and spirituality co-exist? Are we more than we appear to be in this physical universe? Does any part of us survive death? Is there a God? Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Proof of Heaven, was certain the answer to these questions was “No,” until something he had thought was impossible happened to him: a transcendental Near-Death Experience.  While in a near-fatal coma in 2008, Dr. Alexander entered a realm of unconditional love and profound awareness of the nature of the universe, populated by angelic beings and a resonant, omnipotent and omniscient presence that he called “Om” (and whom many would call God). This radiant state of total acceptance of who we are, says Dr. Alexander, is our birthright, and we can tap into it from this earthly plane. Now fully recovered and determined to share his experience with the world, Dr. Alexander offers this four-part online course, the first of its kind, courtesy of Sounds True.

via Next Steps in the Proof of Heaven: Delving into the Mysteries of Consciousness | Life Beyond Death.




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