Posts Tagged ‘colleges

16
Mar
14

3.16.14 … “I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.” – Emma Watson

The Fall of France, Huguenots, economics, socialism, Edict of Nantes, entrepreneur, taxes:  Very interesting article.  An article like this makes me want to spend some time researching both the modern-day economics and French history.

It’s a stretch, but what is happening today in France is being compared to the revocation of 1685. In that year, Louis XIV, the Sun King who built the Palace of Versailles, revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had protected French Protestants – the Huguenots. Trying to unite his kingdom by a common religion, the king closed churches and persecuted the Huguenots. As a result, nearly 700,000 of them fled France, seeking asylum in England, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and other countries.

The Huguenots, nearly a million strong before 1685, were thought of as the worker bees of France. They left without money, but took with them their many and various skills. They left France with a noticeable brain drain.

Since the arrival of Socialist President François Hollande in 2012, income tax and social security contributions in France have skyrocketed. The top tax rate is 75 percent, and a great many pay in excess of 70 percent.

As a result, there has been a frantic bolt for the border by the very people who create economic growth – business leaders, innovators, creative thinkers, and top executives. They are all leaving France to develop their talents elsewhere.

And it’s a tragedy for such a historically rich country. As they say, the problem with the French is they have no word for entrepreneur. Where is the Richard Branson of France? Where is the Bill Gates?

via The Fall of France.

Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy, ABC News:  A wonderful read.  I would hope I could be the person that says, “Who better than us?”

And at some point, Ryan’s question changed from “Why us?” to “Why NOT us?” After all, we had beautiful life, a wonderful marriage, a daughter we adored and plenty more love to give. Who better than us?

via Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy – ABC News.

‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo,  ISS, Globalnews.ca: I recorded this show Friday night.  As I was watching the news and following twitter I noticed this tweet from fellow Davidsonian.

Thomas H. Marshburn @AstroMarshburn 6m

Watching colleagues Koichi and Rick right now on #LiveFromSpace on the Natl Geo channel. Almost feels like I’m back on-board!

I had not thought that a former ISS resident would watch. So I watched last night.  It was an awesome show.  If  NatGeo reboadcasts the show, watch it!

National Geographic Channel is targeting a subject that’s literally over our heads, bringing it down to Earth in an ambitious two-hour special.

Airing Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific, Live From Space will originate from the International Space Station with American astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata, who’s Japanese, as on-board correspondents.

Veteran reporter Soledad O’Brien will anchor from NASA Mission Control in Houston.

O’Brien said she’s excited about the special, and particularly happy to be hosting Live From Space from a comfortable distance.

via ‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo to air special from the space station – National | Globalnews.ca.

gap year, colleges, Tufts University: Wow … some colleges  offer to pay students to take year off.

Colleges are paying students to take a year off after high school to travel, volunteer or do internships so that students of all income brackets can benefit from “gap years.”

A new program at Tufts University and existing ones at a handful of other schools aim to remove the financial barriers that can keep cash-strapped students from exploring different communities and challenge their comfort zones before jumping right into college.

The gap year program starting this fall at Tufts will pay for housing, airfare and even visa fees, which can often add up to $30,000 or more.

Although gap years are more popular in Europe, they have started to gain traction in the United States. About 40,000 Americans participated in gap year programs in 2013, an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2006, according to data gathered by a nonprofit called the American Gap Year Association.

In 2009, Princeton University began offering applicants gap-year aid based on need. Nearly 100 students have participated, volunteering in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Senegal.

The University of North Carolina offers $7,500 to gap year applicants, while students at Wisconsin’s St. Norbert College can receive financial aid based on need, although airfare isn’t covered.

via College offers to pay students to take year off.

news, media:  news pays …

It has become a water cooler topic, with several social media references to the downed jet that kicked off the popular television series “Lost.”

Cooper’s show, which has averaged 444,000 viewers this year, reached 972,000 people on Wednesday, Nielsen said. On both of the last two nights, Cooper achieved the highly unusual feat of topping Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly among the 25- to 54-year-old age demographic. O’Reilly easily won among viewers of all ages.

So far, the plane story has meant less for Fox and MSNBC, which have a heavier concentration on political stories. Fox’s full-day average of 1.26 million people on Thursday beat the 1.1 million it has been typically drawing this year. MSNBC had 370,000 viewers, lower than its non-Olympic average of 405,000 this year, Nielsen said.

via AOL.com Article – Missing Malaysian Airlines jet nets high ratings on cable news.

Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era, RIP, ABC News:

PHOTO: U.S. Navy sailor Glenn Edward McDuffie kisses a nurse in Times Square in an impromptu moment at the close of World War II, after the surrender of Japan was announced in New York, Aug. 14, 1945.

But his life became more exciting about six years ago when Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson was able to identify him as the young man leaning over the woman in his arms to kiss her.

By taking about 100 pictures of McDuffie using a pillow to pose as he did in the picture taken Aug. 14, 1945, by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gibson said, she was able to match the muscles, ears and other features of the then-80-year-old McDuffie to the young sailor in the original image.

“I was absolutely positive,” Gibson said of the match. “It was perfect.”

The identification remained controversial, partly because other men also claimed to have been the sailor in the image, but also because Life magazine, whose photographer had died years earlier, was unable to confirm that McDuffie was in fact the sailor, noting Eisenstaedt had never gotten names for those in the picture.

Yet for McDuffie, Gibson’s word was enough. A well-respected forensic artist who was in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records for helping police identify more suspects than any other forensic artist, Gibson said McDuffie was ecstatic when she told him the results he had waited 62 years to hear.

And so began a whirlwind lifestyle of going to air shows, gun shows, fundraisers and parties to tell his story. Women would pay $10 to take a picture kissing him on the cheek, Gibson said.

“He would make money and kiss women,” Gibson said. “He had the most glamorous life of any 80 year old.”

via Man Known as Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era Image Dies – ABC News.

Davidson College Alumnus, Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education, Davidson College, Stan Humphries ’90:

Real estate is not rocket science.

Or is it?

Ask Stan Humphries ’90. He’s responsible for Zillow’s “Zestimate,” an estimated market value on every U.S. home, which is integral now to all things real estate-related on the internet since its introduction a few short years ago.

In the late ’80s, Humphries was an aerospace engineering student at Georgia Tech. He loved the academic work, but as time passed he found he did not want to become an engineer after all. He transferred to Davidson, studying political science and economics through an interdisciplinary major, with an eye toward science and technology policy.

The Davidson years were formative, personally and professionally. He met his future wife, Katherine Bagby Humphries ’90.

“It’s not just a cliché, what they say about the liberal arts,” said Humphries. “In my case, it gave me a way of thinking about the world and a critical faculty for thinking about issues and breaking down problems. It also gave me an enlarged worldview in terms of what I should be thinking about. I left Davidson thinking about life being a continual learning exercise.”

via Alumnus Focus: Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education – Davidson College.

Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You?, TopDailyInfo.com:

Banksy, Idris Elba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Elbow are just some of the stars who are supporting the #WithSyria campaign that will see thousands of people across the world, from Moscow to Washington, standing together in a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria on Thursday, March 13.

“#WithSyria,” a stunning animated film, will be shown around the world, from an inflatable cinema in Za’atari Refugee camp in Jordan to the big screen in Times Square, and iconic locations will be bathed in light by candlelit vigils, a Banksy light projection of his famed “girl with a red balloon” — which he has redesigned to feature a young Syrian refugee — and the release of red balloons carrying messages of hope to Syrians.

The #WithSyria coalition is made up of 120 humanitarian and human rights groups from 24 countries, including Save the Children, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Hand in Hand for Syria and the International Rescue Committee. The campaign is calling for urgent action to ensure Syrians in need –- including civilians in areas under siege — can access aid and for the voices of ordinary Syrians to be heard and heeded in reconvened peace talks.

via Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You? (VIDEO) | TopDailyInfo.com.

Ethan Alban,  Karsyn Folds, 2012 Nationals Friday Night, shag dancing, , YouTube:  Mercy, mercy, mercy … One friend say this and noted that  karsyn was leading!  And to that I say, you rock, Bossy Girl!

via ▶ Ethan Alban and Karsyn Folds – 2012 Nationals Friday Night – YouTube.

Apps, Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes, speed reading, Elite Daily:

The reading game is about to change forever. Boston-based software developer Spritz has been in “stealth mode” for three years, tinkering with their program and leasing it out to different ebooks, apps, and other platforms.

Now, Spritz is about to go public with Samsung’s new line of wearable technology.

Other apps have offered up similar types of rapid serial visual presentation to enhance reading speed and convenience on mobile devices in the past.

However, what Spritz does differently (and brilliantly) is manipulate the format of the words to more appropriately line them up with the eye’s natural motion of reading.

The “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) is slightly left of the center of each word, and is the precise point at which our brain deciphers each jumble of letters.

The unique aspect of Spritz is that it identifies the ORP of each word, makes that letter red and presents all of the ORPs at the same space on the screen.

In this way, our eyes don’t move at all as we see the words, and we can therefore process information instantaneously rather than spend time decoding each word.

via This Insane New App Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes | Elite Daily.

Emma Watson,  Elle Magazine, TopDailyInfo.com:  I like this actress.  I truly hope she has a good her on her shoulders.

“I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me,” she said. “I don’t know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.”

via Emma Watson Reveals Why She’s Jealous Of Other Actresses To Elle Magazine | TopDailyInfo.com.

Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie,  The Wire:  Love this selfie! “Eat your heart out Ellen!”

This selfie is a truly great selfie, and a good reminder that these images existed and were all over the place way before they became a thing we discussed during major news events (or as a way to sell mobile phones.) Basically, as long as there have been cameras.

We’ve always had the impulse to use technology at hand for self reflection: Jerry Saltz noted in his “History of the Selfie” that Van Gogh’s series of self portrait paintings feel really darn selfie-like, a sort of “proto selfie” that has “the same intensity, immediacy, and need to reveal something inner to the outside world in the most vivid way possible.” Professional and amateur photographers have been taking self portraits since the invention of the camera. Add Young Colin Powell to the list of those who did it early, and best.

via Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie Is Everything You Could Ever Hope For in a Selfie – The Wire.

Adobe hardware,  iPad Pen and Ruler,  Personal Tech News – WSJ:

Adobe—the software company that brought the world iconic creative apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign—is forging into hardware. Sometime this year, AdobeADBE -1.44% will bring its first hardware products to market, starting with a digital pen and ruler set built specifically for AppleAAPL -1.11%’s iPad.

“When people hear that Adobe is getting into hardware, for many the first reaction is ‘why?’,” explained Michael Gough, Adobe’s vice president of experience design, at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. “But, this really is within our wheelhouse. We’ve always built creative tools and these products are really just another example of that. This isn’t just another stylus.”

Adobe’s pen currently wears the codename Mighty, while the ruler is going by the name Napoleon—because “it’s a short ruler,” Gough said.

The two products, which Gough demoed at SXSW, as you can see in the video above, are built with clean lines and shod in aluminum and white plastic. They look not mistakenly like something Apple would design.

Adobe

The two devices work in tandem with an iPad drawing app that Adobe is also developing, one that enables the hardware to mimic an architects ruler and wide array of drafting templates—the greenish, flat pieces of plastic you’ve seen if you’ve been down the art aisle in any office supply store.

via Adobe Bets on an iPad Pen and Ruler in Hardware Debut – Personal Tech News – WSJ.

Frat Bros, SeaWorld, OutsideOnline.com: I’m a little worried about the 23-year-old. 😦

At 2 a.m. Thursday, five University of Houston frat brothers allegedly broke into SeaWorld San Antonio in search of ice cream and animals to take pictures with.

Their results were decidedly mixed. According to Huffington Post and San Antonio Express-News reports, the bros climbed a tree near a perimeter fence to enter the park. Once they got in, they embarked on a quest for ice cream. Somewhat surprisingly, the guys were successful, breaking into a storage container and stealing Dippin’ Dots.

That’s when things went awry. As the frat bros searched for animals to pose with, police arrived—they had been called by security guards who spotted the trespassers. Three of the intruders escaped, but authorities apprehended a 23-year-old and an 18-year old, subsequently charging them with criminal trespassing and theft under $500. Police have still not confirmed whether the students obtained the pictures they so fervently sought.

via Frat Bros Break into SeaWorld | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

The Coastal Explorer, Coastal Carolina University, Georgetown SC:  I’ll have to check out the docks next time I’m in Georgetown.

Coastal Carolina University christened their new research vessel, The Coastal Explorer, this afternoon. From her home in the Georgetown Harbor, graduate and PhD students will be doing research of the marine environment of the SE coast.

Quiznos, bankruptcy, Groupon:

Quiznos has filed for bankruptcy: http://on.wsj.com/1kRNEX5

There’s more than $67,000 worth of Quiznos gift certificates out there, plus another $350,670 in Groupons. The sandwich chain says it will honor them.

Credit: Kevin Hagen for The WSJ

05
Sep
11

9.5.2011 … Happy Labor Day … highly recommend The Conspirator … if you are into historical (not hysterical) drama …

The Conspirator, movies, Mary Surratt, Frederick Aiken, history, kith/kin:  Two movie nights with the Trobs make for a fine Labor Day Weekend … and what fun it is that they too like to follow-up with a little research on the internet.  and Joni is very good.  As for the Conspirator, I loved it.  It was intense.

So here are my questions:

1) Where is the picture they were obviously setting up to take of the hanging?

 

 

Execution of Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and

George Atzerodt at Washington Penitentiary on 7th July, 1865.

via Mary Surratt.

2)What happened to Mary Surratt’s children?

Anna Surratt moved from the townhouse on H Street and lived with friends for a few years, ostracized from society.[218] She married William Tonry, a government clerk.[218] They lived in poverty for a while after he was dismissed from his job, but in time he became a professor of chemistry in Baltimore and the couple became somewhat wealthy.[218] The strain of her mother’s death left Anna mentally unbalanced, and she suffered from periods of extreme fear that bordered on insanity.[218] She died in 1904.[216][219] After the dismissal of charges against him, John Surratt, Jr. married and he and his family lived in Baltimore near his sister, Anna.[218] Isaac Surratt also returned to the United States and lived in Baltimore (he never married).[218] He died in 1907.[216][220] Isaac and Anna were buried on either side of their mother in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.[218] John Jr. was buried in Baltimore in 1916.[218] In 1968, a new headstone with a brass plaque replaced the old, defaced headstone over Mary Surratt’s grave.[221]

Mary Surratt’s boarding house still stands, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.[222] Citizens interested in Mary Surratt formed the Surratt Society.[218] The Surrattsville tavern and house are historical sites run today by the Surratt Society.[181] The Washington Arsenal is now Fort Lesley J. McNair.[181] The building that held the cells and courtroom, and the brick wall seen in back of the gallows, are all gone (the courtyard where the hanging occurred is now a tennis court).[181]

via Mary Surratt – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

What happened to the Frederick Aiken? See Colonel Frederick A. Aiken biography | thisweekinthecivilwar.

 

Artisan Social Designer, shopping, Paris, France, artisan:  There is that artisan word again. 🙂

Artisan Social Designer, a new gallery and concept store in a converted grocery store in Paris, is giving traditional craft a makeover.

The shop was created by a freshly graduated fine artist couple, Rémi Dupeyrat and Naïs Calmettes, with the aim of showcasing young “artists with an artisan’s approach and vice-versa,” said Mr. Dupeyrat.

All the pieces on display, which are sold exclusively at the boutique (68, rue des Gravilliers; 33-1-4996-5605; http://www.artisansocialdesigner.fr), were handmade according to traditional techniques, or ones developed by their creators: tables made out of sea salt and resin, chairs of softened wood following an age-old architectural method, vases of traditionally blown glass.

The shop also takes a hard ethical line: only local materials are used, and all the pieces are limited to series of 20. “We don’t want a micro-factory-type production,” Ms. Calmettes said. “The artist should stop when he/she is bored.”

The space will also hold quarterly exhibitions, timed for the beginning of each new season. The first, “2011 Automnes,” running from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8, will have a theme of wood and tools. The group show will include shoes of carved wood by Simona Vanth and Manon Beuchot, photography by Irwin Barbé and an special installation by the shop’s founders.

via In Paris, a New Shop Where Art Meets Wares – NYTimes.com.

Georgia, history:  Wonder why?

September 5, 1774

Georgia was the only colony not represented at the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

via Atlanta History Center, September 5, 1774.

colleges, college ranking, US New & World Report:  History of the rankings is very interesting.

He’s also one of the most powerful wonks in the country, wielding the kind of power that elicits enmity and causes angst.

Morse runs U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges guide, the oldest and best-known publication to rank America’s premier colleges.

The annual release of the rankings, set for Sept. 13 this year, is a marquee event in higher education. Some call it the academic equivalent of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Colleges broadcast U.S. News rankings on Web sites and in news releases, tout them in recruiting pamphlets, alumni magazines and “Dear Colleague” letters, and emblazon them on T-shirts and billboards. Institutions build strategic plans around the rankings and reward presidents when a school ascends.

“U.S. News doesn’t advertise the rankings,” Morse said in a recent interview at the publication’s headquarters. “The schools advertise for us.”

Morse, 63, has endured for two decades as chief arbiter of higher education’s elite.

No one can stake a credible claim to academic aristocracy without a berth on the first page of a U.S. News list. He is to colleges what Robert Parker is to wine.

The rankings have changed the way colleges do business. Critics see their influence every time an institution presses alumni for nominal donations, coaxes noncommittal students to apply or raises the SAT score required for admission.

Twenty-eight years after the release of the first U.S. News lists, Morse and his publication dominate the college-ranking business they spawned. Last year’s publication drew more than 10 million Internet hits on launch day.

via U.S. News college rankings are denounced but not ignored – The Washington Post.

Google Fiber, technology:  100x faster …

Google has changed the way people search on the internet. Now it’s changing the way some people surf the web.

Hundreds of lucky residents in the San Fransisco Bay area are now accessing Google’s one-gigabyte broadband service, which is being touted as the fastest internet connection in the world.

CBS affiliate KCBS tested the Google Fiber internet service, which is being offered for free in a neighborhood just south of Stanford University.

According to the station, a 95-megabyte high-definition movie trailer downloaded in about nine seconds.

Download speeds on the network were up to 300 Mbps, with an upload speed of 150 Mbps. Comcast’s cable service, which has an average speed of 13Mbps, is about 1/20th the speed of Google Fiber.

Kansas City is the only other place to receive Google Fiber. It’s part of an experiment involving as many as half a million homes to improve ways to build the network, to see what apps people invent and how it would change the way we use the internet.

via Google Fiber world’s fastest broadband service, 100 times faster than norm – Tech Talk – CBS News.

President Obama, politics, Great Recession:  bottom line – we are in a mess.

Liberal critics of Obama, just like conservative critics of Republican presidents, generally want both maximal partisan conflict and maximal legislative achievement. In the real world, those two things are often at odds. Hence the allure of magical thinking.

via What the Left Doesn’t Understand About Obama – NYTimes.com.

twitter, Jim Cramer, banks, The Government: We have a long road ahead of us.

Jim Cramer (@jimcramer)
9/4/11 6:16 PM
As for the banks, i have to tell you, the government isn’t going to let them lift. Even the great ones are getting killed. Bad sign…
9/11 Memorial, architecture:

Mr. Arad, who started designing a memorial before there was even a competition, was invested from the start in making what he called a “stoic, defiant and compassionate” statement. Born in London, he had grown up all over the world as the son of an Israeli diplomat who was once ambassador to the United States, and has lived in New York since 1999. He watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center from his roof on the Lower East Side and saw the south tower fall from a few streets away.

“I think my desire to imagine a future for this site came out of trying to come to terms with the emotions that day aroused,” he said.

Like everything else about ground zero, the story of how the memorial got back on track is complicated, and involves many players. But it is also at least partly the story of Mr. Arad’s evolution from a hot-headed 34-year-old novice whose design bested some 5,200 others to the more sanguine and battle-tested — if still perfectionist — architect he is today. It’s a tale that surprises many of those associated with the project, not least Mr. Arad himself.

“When I started this project, I was a young architect,” said Mr. Arad, 42, as he toured the site during the summer. “I was very apprehensive about any changes to the design. Whether I wanted to or not, I learned that you can accept some changes to its form without compromising its intent. But it’s a leap of faith that I didn’t want to make initially — to put it mildly.”

“I had a dual role: designer and advocate,” said Mr. Arad (pronounced ah-RAHD), who comes across as thoughtful and intense.

The memorial occupies about half of the 16-acre World Trade Center site, which is a busy place these days, with four towers in various stages of construction. It includes a plaza with more than 400 swamp white oak trees, an area that will serve as a green roof over an underground museum designed by Aedas Architects with an entrance pavilion designed by the Norwegian firm Snohetta. (The budget for both memorial and museum is now down to $700 million.)

Most significantly, the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers have been turned into two square, below-ground reflecting pools, each nearly an acre, fed from all sides by waterfalls that begin just above ground level and bordered by continuous bronze panels inscribed with the names of those who died there and in Washington and Pennsylvania.

via How the 9/11 Memorial Changed Its Architect, Michael Arad – NYTimes.com.

Jesus Daily, Facebook, social network, define: church:  All in all an interesting article.

A North Carolina diet doctor has come up with a formula to create the most highly engaged audience on Facebook in the world, far surpassing marketing efforts by celebrities and sports teams. He draws on the words of Jesus and posts them four or five times a day.

The doctor, Aaron Tabor, 41, grew up watching his father preach at churches in Alabama and North Carolina, and his Facebook creation is called the Jesus Daily. He started it in April 2009, he said, as a hobby shortly after he began using Facebook to market his diet book and online diet business that includes selling soy shakes, protein bars and supplements.

For the last three months, more people have “Liked,” commented and shared content on the Jesus Daily than on any other Facebook page, including Justin Bieber’s page, according to a weekly analysis by AllFacebook.com, an industry blog. “I wanted to provide people with encouragement,” said Dr. Tabor, who keeps his diet business on a separate Facebook page. “And I thought I would give it a news spin by calling it daily.”

Facebook and other social media tools have changed the way people communicate, work, find each other and fall in love. While it’s too early to say that social media have transformed the way people practice religion, the number of people discussing faith on Facebook has significantly increased in the last year, according to company officials.

Over all, 31 percent of Facebook users in the United States list a religion in their profile, and 24 percent of users outside the United States do, Facebook says. More than 43 million people on Facebook are fans of at least one page categorized as religious.

But the increase in the number of people finding faith communities via social media platforms provokes the question of what constitutes religious experience and whether “friending” a church online is at all similar to worshiping at one.

Although Pope Benedict acknowledged in a recent statement that social networks offered “a great opportunity,” he warned Roman Catholics that “virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives.”

via Jesus Daily on Facebook Nurtures Highly Active Fans – NYTimes.com.

Great Recession, movies, Hollywood:  Well, it’s not my fault.  I go to no more than 4-5 theater movies a year.  I am actually up for the year. Hollywood spends an enormous amount of money and produces little of real worth.  Maybe they need to rethink.

From the first weekend in May to Labor Day, a period that typically accounts for 40 percent of the film industry’s annual ticket sales, domestic box-office revenue is projected to total $4.38 billion, an increase from last year of less than 1 percent, according to Hollywood.com, which compiles box-office data.

The bad news: higher ticket prices, especially for the 18 films released in 3-D (up from seven last summer), drove the increase. Attendance for the period is projected to total about 543 million, the lowest tally since the summer of 1997, when 540 million people turned up.

Hollywood has now experienced four consecutive summers of eroding attendance, a cause for alarm for both studios and the publicly traded theater chains. One or two soft years can be dismissed as an aberration; four signal real trouble.

via Summer Movie Attendance Continues to Erode – NYTimes.com.


history, technology, John Donne:  Technology can be amazing.

Gipkin-Pauls-Cross.jpg

With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, professors John Wall and David Hill and architect Joshua Stephens are working to virtually replicate the architecture of the old St. Paul’s Cathedral to recreate what early modern Londoners would have heard on that day. Their model of the structure is based on the work of John Schofield, an archaeologist who works for St. Paul’s, who has surveyed the foundation of the old cathedral, which is still in the ground though partially underneath the existing cathedral.

To recreate the experience of hearing Donne’s sermon, linguist and historian David Crystal is working with his son, the actor Ben Crystal, to craft a reading that will follow the specific accent and style of 17th-century London English. Ben will make his recording in an anechoic (or acoustically neutral) chamber. Wall, Hill, and Stephens — together with Ben Markham, an acoustic simulation specialist in Cambridge, Massachusetts — will then be able to mash up that recording with the architectural design to simulate how Donne’s voice would have traveled when he stood in the churchyard. They are also mixing in ambient sounds that would have been common in London at that time, such as neighing horses, barking dogs, and running water.

By the end of 2012, Wall plans to have the recreation up and running as a website, where people can go to hear Donne’s sermon. They’ll be able to adjust the sound for different locations on the grounds and crowd sizes. The only thing missing are the delightful aromas of 17th-century London. Some things are perhaps better left in the past.

via Travel Back in Time (Virtually) to Hear John Donne Preach – Rebecca J. Rosen – Technology – The Atlantic.

history, history myths:  Fun resource!

Washington’s Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales—Some of Which are True

By Mollie Reilly, Washingtonian, August 29, 2011

This week, Washingtonian magazine corrected misconceptions about why buildings in D.C. were given a height limit in 1899, whether D.C. traffic circles were designed to stop an invading army, the symbolism of D.C.’s equestrian statues, and more.

Myths of the American Revolution

By John Ferling, Smithsonian, January 2010

Read this careful examination of the American Revolution by historian John Ferling and shed beliefs you may have acquired in grade school, but which are “not borne out by the facts.”

Lincoln Myths

The National Park Service has posted a page specifically on Lincoln Memorial Myths to answer questions like, “Is Lincoln buried at the Lincoln Memorial?” The official blog of President Lincoln’s Cottage lists “10 Myths about President Lincoln”: that he owned slaves, that he wrote the Gettysburg Address on an envelope, and so on.

What history myths can you debunk? Let us know in the comments.

via AHA Today: U.S. History Myths.

Apple, Android, smartphones:  just out of curiosity, does anyone ever talk about how much they love their android phone?

New data from Nielsen paints a revealing, if not all that unexpected, picture of the current smartphone market here in the U.S.

While earlier this year we saw Android’s lead over both RIM and Apple’s iOS continue to grow, many (including us) expected that extraordinary growth to curb.

Well that didn’t happen.

According to this latest data, Android now accounts for an intimidating 40% of the overall smartphone market, versus 37% just in May. As for Apple’s iOS? It saw a mere 1% increase from 27% to 28% over the same period.

via Guess How Big Android’s Lead Over Apple Is Now – Techland – TIME.com.

Great Recession, careers, free-lance:  

The country’s freelance nation has always been a diverse lot, some of whom were pushed out of full-time jobs and others who actively pursued this pathway with entrepreneurial zeal. But the recession has forced a growing number of people to grudgingly pursue this path. Do some of them end up “loving it”? Of course. Will some devote their extra free time to creative pursuits, perhaps to become indie rock darlings? Sure. But those who want to pursue the freelance life to support themselves full time are having a far harder time doing so.

via Has the recession created a freelance utopia or a freelance underclass? – Ezra Klein – The Washington Post.

foreign languages, language learning, humiliation:  I just have to open my mouth and they know I am foreign!

A few weeks before that, in the course of work, I visited a school in Complexo do Alemão, a notorious conglomeration of favelas, or slums, in Rio. The head teacher, Eliane Saback Sampaio, did what good teachers everywhere do: she turned the occasion into a learning experience. She brought me from class to class, introducing me as a visitor—but a visitor with a difference. “Listen to our visitor speak,” said Ms Sampaio said each time (in Portuguese), “and tell me whether you think she was born in Brazil.” Thus set up, I gamely said, “Boa tarde, meninos,” (Good afternoon, children)—and in every room, immediately faced a forest of flying hands as the children called out: No, No! She’s foreign! “That’s right,” said Ms Sampaio, happily. “Doesn’t she sound strange?”

The children guessed I was American, European, Spanish, Argentinian—and then came the next humiliation, trying to explain where and what Ireland is. (Brazilians universally think I’m saying I’m from Holanda, not Irlanda. There are strong trade links with the Netherlands, and Brazil is one of the few places in the world with hardly any Irish emigrants.) I really enjoyed the school visit—Complexo do Alemão was until recently run by drug-dealers, and it was inspiring to see a school doing such great work there. Too bad it came at my expense.

via Language learning: No, she’s foreign! | The Economist.

children, play, signage, preschool:  I hope my children will remember me for letting them play!

 yet as i prepare to start a year with a stated goal of “better preparing children for kindergarten,” i don’t want to forget the necessity of play. it is cause to celebrate!

via c is for caution {or celebration} | preschool daze.

twitter, Conan O’Brien, taxes:  🙂

Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
9/4/11 12:05 PM
Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38% of their ice cream.
media, print v. paper, Amazon, e-readers, magazines, serendipity:  “And magazine buyers tend to enjoy the serendipity of stumbling upon something that turns out to be fascinating.”
I agree with this comment about the serendipity of stumbling … but I do that with twitter by following a whole host of magazines and bloggers.  hmmm
The more general question, however, is whether publishers like Amazon (and particularly Amazon) represent a threat to the older magazine model, in which a variety of articles are bundled together and sold for a price that, even on the newsstand, is lower than what a reader would expect to pay if buying everything piecemeal. Part of the reason readers buy magazines is because they are comfortable outsourcing some of the decision-making about content delivery, and welcome the fact that magazines curate the news. The last issue of the New Yorker, for example, included articles about Mr Perry, the gold standard, tarot cards, Wikipedia, Syria, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia, and Rin Tin Tin.

Few readers are interested in every article, but most will enjoy several of them. And magazine buyers tend to enjoy the serendipity of stumbling upon something that turns out to be fascinating. I don’t think I’ve read anything serious about tarot cards, for example, but I am more likely to read about it the New Yorker than I am to buy something a la carte, given that the subject never interested me before. It may be that e-publications will eat up part of the magazine market, but brands with a strong editorial line and loyal readers should fair pretty well.

via E-readers and magazines: It’s still good to have gatekeepers | The Economist.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Vice President Dick Cheney, politics:  OK, he is officially getting on my nerves.

Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t president, but Dick Cheney says that if she were in the White House rather than Barack Obama, then things might be different today in the country.

Cheney isn’t getting into specifics, but he does think that “perhaps she might have been easier for some of us who are critics of the president to work with.”

The former vice president tells “Fox News Sunday” that it’s his sense that the secretary of state is “one of the more competent members” of the Obama administration and it would be “interesting to speculate” about how she would have performed as president.

Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic nomination to Obama, who went on to beat Republican John McCain in the general election. Obama named Clinton as the country’s top diplomat.

via Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton As President Would Have Made Different U.S..

education, reading, digital v. paper:  No surprises here.

British kids are more likely to read texts, e-mails and Web sites than books, according to a new study.

Almost 60 percent of the 18,000 8- to 17-year-olds who were part of the study said they had read a text message in the past month; half said they had read on the Web. That compares with 46 percent having read a fiction book and 35 percent having read a nonfiction book.

Does that surprise you?

Here are some other findings about kids and reading from the survey, which was done by England’s National Literacy Trust.

● About one in five kids surveyed had never been given a book for a present.

● About 30 percent of children said they read every day. But 13 percent say they never read at all.

● Boys are almost twice as likely as girls to say they never read.

The survey findings called for kids to be challenged to read 50 books a year, or about one a week. Do you read more or less than that? Go to kidspost.com to vote in our online poll. (Always ask a parent before going

via Study: Kids read Web sites more than books – The Washington Post.


02
Jun
11

6.2.2011 … 27!

 

Anniversaries:  Today is my 27th wedding anniversary … seems like yesterday … seems like a long time ago …

RIP, William Gresham:  Big William’s funeral was hard for everyone there … He was 51 and wasn’t sick … it wasn’t expected, it wasn’t a blessing … and the funeral was different, beautiful, touching , but different.  They played this song … so now it will forever be William’s song to me …

Paris, travel:  A few ideas from Bon Apetit!

 

You know how we feel about the City of Light. Remember this gorgeous Guy Savoy video we fell in love with? Remember the budget-friendly Paris travel guide we asked Clotilde Dusoulier to write for the March 2011 issue? Or that time we told you a certain bartender at Paris’s Bar Hemingway made it one of the world’s best?  And then there are the hours we’ve spent perfecting our versions of classic French recipes, from macarons to coq au vin.

 

via Like us On Facebook, Enter to Win a Trip to Paris. It’s That Easy.: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

 

commencement speeches, fails:  Another one for you …  I am beginning to think they are an anachronism.

If you’re keen on delivering a great speech, a wise strategy would be to actually write one.

Tasked with responsibility of delivering the commencement address for the University of Maryland University College Class of 2011, actor Richard T. Jones, best known for his roles in the Why Did I Get Married films, attempted — with limited success — to improvise his way to inspiring remarks.

The video is circulating around the Web, and to say the least, the reviews are not pretty. As one member of the graduating class put it, “Richard T. Jones = Commencement Speech Fail!”

via Actor Richard T. Jones Improvs Embarrassing UMUC Commencement Speech (VIDEO).

photography, Arctic Lights: beautiful

 

Terje Sørgjerd has done it again — you’ll never see light quite like this.

Just weeks after producing two incredible viral hits, “The Aurora” and “The Mountain” (the latter of which attracted over 26 million views), the 32-year-old Oslo, Norway native has created this clip, a fantastic time-lapse shot shortly before “midnight sun” near the Arctic Circle. It’s the result of a grueling 12 day journey (it was shot between April 29 and May 10) that could have easily claimed the life of the filmmaker. He managed to fall in freezing Arctic water twice, and was even hospitalized after falling from a rock during the trip.

Incredibly, the footage is virtually unadultered. “The only post-production here is all done in raw adjustments, there is absolutely no HDR, composite or photoshop involved,” Sørgjerd said in an interview with The Huffington Post.

via ‘The Arctic Light,’ Time-Lapse Video Captures Breathtaking Northern Phenomenon (HD VIDEO).

colleges, superlatives, small classes, lists:  I think this is one of the most important criteria in evaluating a college.

Yesterday, US News and World Report released their list of universities with the highest percentage of small classes. Unwieldy, research-centric universities aren’t generally famous for their individual attention, but some large universities do have a surprisingly high proportion of classes with 20 people or less in them.

via 10 Universities With The Highest Percentage Of Small Classes.

Facebook, unfriend, culture, divorce:  It is hard to unwind a marriage … even harder now …

By the time my ex and I filed for divorce, however, Facebook was so ingrained in our lives, it was actually on the table during mediation.

“I think we need to unfriend each other,” my soon-to-be ex wife said across the big conference room table.

We hadn’t even begun discussing splitting up the furniture or the house or the dogs.

All of a sudden, my divorce was Real. And perhaps there is no better symbol of the finality of a divorce than how it’s borne out online. After several years of learning how to communicate with each other (and thousands of dollars in therapist’s fees), we were now deciding not to communicate via the world’s easiest way to stay connected.

Which is to say, for all the remarkable bringing together that social networking affords us–for all the warm fuzzy long lost high school classmates and unknown cousins and dictatorships brought down–there’s another side to the phenomenon.

It makes it really hard to let go of someone.

via Adam Paul: Til Death Do Us Unfriend.

food, comfort food, grilled cheese sandwiches, San Francisco:  I want one in Charlotte!

 

A surprisingly appetizing announcement was made today at a tech conference in Silicon Valley today: The creator of the Flip camera plans to open a small chain of high-tech grilled cheese restaurants.

Jonathan Kaplan, whose Flip cam was recently phased out of production by the tech giant Cisco, said his fast-casual (think Chipotle) restaurant chain will be called The Melt, specializing in grilled cheese and soup combos. The first four locations, hoped to be open by Thanksgiving, will all be in the Bay Area. As befits its hi-tech terroir (the silicon in the soil adds a distinct “venture capital” scent), The Melt will have its own mobile app for ordering on the run. Last time we checked (i.e. ordered Domino’s from our beds), this wasn’t a super novel development, but we’re obviously sold on anything that makes it easier to eat melty sandwiches.

via Flip Cam Creator to Open Geeked-Out Grilled Cheese Chain: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

 


 


27
May
11

5.27.2011 … old news now … I went to Davidson for the public announcement of its 18th president, and SHE is wonderful. She has to be … there are at least 10,000 living alums … and she just got our dream job!

Davidson College, Dr. Carol Quillen, kudos:  Congratulations to Dr. Quillen, Davidson College’s 18th president, to DC’s Presidential Search Committee for a job well done and to Davidson College for being open to an outsider and a woman … the future is bright. I also had the privilege of joining John, a member of the Board of Trustees, for a quick dinner with Dr. Quillen … not only is she everything listed on her cv, she is charming, warm, engaging and humorous.  It a great time to be a wildcat! …

Carol Quillen understands all facets of the academic enterprise. A brilliant administrator and a talented teacher and scholar, she can articulate not only the value, but also the necessity of a liberal arts education. Her values are Davidson’s values. She inspired us, and we could not be more enthusiastic about welcoming her to Davidson.”

via Davidson College – Presidential Search.

At Davidson, a particular religious tradition grounds a foundational commitment to cultivating a broadly diverse and collegial community, where people possessing different talents, from different cultures, whose deepest convictions differ, can learn from and with each other in an environment of warmth and respect. Davidson creates a distinctive culture of inquiry and trust within which students grow as humane thinkers and perceptive leaders precisely because they are simultaneously engaged in the production of knowledge and challenged to build creative, purposeful lives. Davidson graduates morally courageous persons who are not afraid to take intellectual risks. Most important, Davidson somehow enables each student to discover the remarkable human being he or she could become, such that each student seeks to fulfill his or her highest potential—not because they have to, not because other people expect it, not because they will get in trouble if they don’t, but because they genuinely want to be that remarkable human being that this college shows them they are capable of becoming. Somehow Davidson gives students the courage to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions, so that, whatever they choose to do, they live lives of purpose and consequence in pursuit of their highest aspirations.

I do not know precisely how Davidson has done this—that is why I need to spend some time just listening. I do not know what it will take for Davidson to do this in and for an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. That is something we will need to figure out together, the whole Davidson family, and it will be both challenging and exhilarating.

I do know this. Davidson is uniquely able to re-imagine and to exemplify this profoundly valuable kind of education at this crucial time. And because Davidson is uniquely able to do this, Davidson is also obligated to do so. It will be a great privilege to contribute with you to this daunting, urgent and profoundly rewarding task.

via Davidson College – Presidents Office – Remarks by President-Elect Carol Quillen.

colleges, liberal arts:  Some interesting thoughts of the value of a liberal arts education.

Fortunately, as Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, has pointed out, superior arts education also teaches many of those same skills. High-quality arts and humanities instruction is almost perfectly suited to stimulate imagination, creativity, and the ability to find adaptive solutions. Like Daniel Pink, I believe in enhancing “STEAM” in our institutions of higher education–with an extra “A” in the center of STEM incorporating the Arts as central.

Finally, the value of a liberal arts education cannot be minimized without also minimizing the lessons of history, literature, and science for the present-day. There is a reason why Congress created the National Endowment for the Humanities. I don’t ordinarily quote from statutory language to explicate the value of education, but the provisions of the U.S. Code outlining the purpose of the NEH bear repeating. The law states that Congress finds “an advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone but must give full value and support to the other branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.” Democracy,” the statute goes on to state, “demands wisdom and vision in its citizens.”

The founders, from Thomas Jefferson on, understood that the study of the liberal arts and civic obligation was important– not just to learn the lessons of history, but to preserve a functioning Republic. Walt Whitman once called America “an aesthetic democracy”– and that is a pretty good metaphor for the intellectual life of a liberal arts college.

via The Relevance of Liberal Arts to a Prosperous Democracy: Under Secretary Martha J. Kanter’s Remarks at the Annapolis Group Conference | U.S. Department of Education.

While the tradition of the liberal-arts education may be on the wane nationwide, the most elite schools, such as Harvard, Swarthmore, Middlebury, and Williams, remain committed to its ideal. These top schools are not tweaking their curriculums to add any pre-professional undergraduate programs. Thanks to their hefty endowments, they don’t have to. As the economy rebounds, their students, ironically, may be in the best spot. While studying the humanities has become unfashionable and seemingly impractical, the liberal arts also teaches students to think big thoughts—big enough to see beyond specific college majors and adapt to the broader job market.

via Jobs: The Economy, Killing Liberal Arts Education? – Newsweek.

inns, travel, lists:  Top 10 to-die-for inns and B&Bs.

truth, family history, memoirs, quotes, kith/kin:  A distant cousin has written a semi-autobiographical account of his childhood … which involves much of my family and extended family … So when I came across this NPR story, it just struck home … “‘It’s your own personal truth, and it is not necessarily factually accurate, and it’s not necessarily the truth that other people have possessed.”

In the best-selling memoir Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs told the story of his bizarre and occasionally brutal upbringing as the son of a mentally ill mother and an alcoholic father. When the book hit the best-seller lists, it not only established Burroughs as a well-known writer, but it also paved the way for the rest of his family to tell their own versions of the story. His older brother, John Elder Robison, wrote about their childhood in his memoir Look Me in the Eye, and now their mother, Margaret Robison, has added to this family saga with her memoir, The Long Journey Home. Taken together, the three books raise interesting questions about truth, memory and the much-maligned genre of the memoir.

Memoirs have to be true, says Lee Gutkind, a professor at Arizona State University and a specialist in creative nonfiction. But you can’t apply journalistic standards to a memoir — there’s a difference between facts and the truth.

“It’s your story, that’s what a memoir is,” Gutkind says.

“It’s your own personal truth, and it is not necessarily factually accurate, and it’s not necessarily the truth that other people have possessed.”

via In Burroughs’ Family, One Saga, Three Memoirs, Many Competing Truths : NPR.

10
May
11

5.10.2010 … not feeling very newsy today …

natural disasters, flooding, Mississippi River, Memphis, prayers, follow-up:

As the swollen Mississippi River continues to rush downstream, flood-level water is heading directly for some Louisiana communities still recovering from last year’s devastating oil spill and possibly forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate. Many neighborhoods of Memphis, Tenn., remain submerged in dirty, debris-strewn and reptile-infested water.

The National Weather Service said the Mississippi River has reached 47.85 feet, according to the Associated Press.

The river will continue to press against Memphis levees for at least the next few days, officials said. The Mississippi there has swollen to six times its average width.

via Mississippi River Flooding 2011: River Cresting, Louisiana Prepares for Rising Waters – ABC News.

random, words, lairs, lists:  Doesn’t the word “lair” just sound evil?

Top 10 Evil Lairs
For years, the accepted wisdom was that Osama bin Laden was holed up in a cave along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It turns out he was living in a rather large, heavily armed house in an affluent town outside Islamabad. With his Abbottabad house being carefully examined, TIME takes a look at the horrible hideouts of other evildoers

via Hitler’s Bunker – Top 10 Evil Lairs – TIME.

Malcolm X, digital media, libraries: interesting …

That the documents were in digital format, and I would be viewing them on a Web site, made the exercise seem a bit extraordinary. Can’t you just send me a link? I asked.

But there was a reason that I had to be invited there. The Malcolm X Multimedia Study Project was created by the late Prof. Manning Marable, whose new “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was published last month, days after the author died of lung disease. The material I would be viewing was largely constructed around the earlier, more famous book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley, who died in 1992. While Columbia may have permission to share a digital version of the original copyrighted book within its campus, they certainly didn’t have permission to share it with the world.

There was another reason that it seemed fitting that I was entering a library with columns and names like Homer and Cicero inscribed above the entrance to click on a computer and open a Web browser: the brilliant online project I was viewing was slowly disintegrating, like so much parchment.

In the biography, which reached No. 3 on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, Professor Marable argues that the famous autobiography overstated Malcolm X’s past life of crime before joining the Nation of Islam and failed to discuss his political evolution toward political organizing after leaving the Nation.

And so the multimedia project — containing F.B.I. and New York Police Department files on Malcolm X, photographs, interviews with scholars and hundreds of detailed descriptions of important people, places, ideas and themes in his life is built around the autobiography.

When he considers the dust settling on the project he worked on for so many years, Mr. Ali recalled that Mr. Marable was aware that there was a danger that the project would be the proverbial tree falling in the forest that no one heard.

“That is the nature of the project, a combination of technological change — the need to update the site — and issues of copyright,” he said in an interview. There may be inexpensive ways of avoiding “total bit-rot” by moving the media to a more modern format, said A. Maurice Matiz, the director of technology at the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, which worked with Mr. Marable to create the Malcolm X Project.

And some of the material that Mr. Marable or Columbia University produced can be migrated to an open site. Mr. Ali said he would try to get permission to share the tapes of four classes of Mr. Marable’s that reflect the themes that he developed in the book.

“He didn’t use technology but understood the value of it,” Mr. Ali said, adding that Professor Marable never read e-mail on a computer, but had an assistant print it out and enter his reply. “He had a sacred relationship with paper.”

via A Digital Review of ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ – NYTimes.com.

colleges, safety schools:

Spring is finally here in Colorado. The sun is back and with it, the flowers and songbirds. It’s an auspicious feeling as I make my final choices that will guide the beginning of the rest of my life. Senior year is almost over, A.P. exams are close at hand, and all of my classes are winding down into review.

Most significantly, I’ve made my college decision. After a full year of agonizing internal debate, I know what my plan is.

I will be attending Colorado University at Boulder next year — a college that  initially was my safety school, but has since begun to feel a lot like home. Money was the first factor that led me to this decision.

C.U. will be about $15,000 a year less than U.S.C., and $30,000 less than Carnegie Mellon or Cornell. However, the more I think about attending C.U., the happier I am with my decision.

via The Price Tag of a ‘Safety’ School Enhances Its Allure – NYTimes.com.

Apple, baseball:  what do they have in common … read on …

Could it be that Apple is more popular than America’s national sport?

The company is certainly more profitable than professional baseball. Apple’s revenue for fiscal year 2010 was $65.2 billion, $9.8 billion from the Apple stores alone, compared with the MLB’s total revenue of $7 billion.

And as the chart above shows, visitors to the Apple stores — which will celebrate their 10th anniversary next week — overtook attendance at Major League Baseball stadiums in 2006 and never looked back.

via Is Apple more popular than baseball? – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech.

movies, The King’s Speech, Colin Firth, life imitates art: He trained himself to stutter and now sometimes he can’t stop … life imitates art.

The King's Speech

He perfected the speech impediment while preparing for his Oscar-winning role. Now it appears he’s having trouble parting with it.

Colin Firth was stammer-free throughout his humorous yet humble acceptance speech for the Best Actor Academy Award. But old habits die hard, it seems. Speaking to British magazine WestSide, he explained that he sometimes lapses into the stammer he developed particularly for the movie.

“You can probably hear even from this interview, there are moments when it’s quite infectious,” Firth told the magazine. “You find yourself doing it and if I start thinking about it, the worse it gets. If nothing else it’s an insight in to what it feels like.”

via Life Imitates Art: Colin Firth Struggles to Shake King’s Speech Stammer – TIME NewsFeed.

google doodles, Roger Hargreaves, children’s/YA literature: 16 different ones … and I have never heard of the books or the author!

Google has created sixteen Mr. Men and Little Miss-themed Google Doodles in celebration of author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves‘ 76th birthday. As an extra bonus, the doodles change each time the Google page is reloaded.

via Roger Hargreaves Gets Google Doodle for Mr. Men & Little Miss Books – GalleyCat.

14
Apr
11

‎4.14.2011 Jack’s birthday eve … boy do I remember that night like it was yesterday! …

movies, writing:  Enjoyed this on writing a screenplay.

While crafting a screenplay, it helps to visit The Script Lab for Five Plot Point Breakdowns of popular movies–a useful tool for exploring the structure of your favorite films.

Here’s more about the site: “[T]he five major plot points are the building blocks behind sequence construction: Inciting Incident, Lock In, Midpoint, Main Culmination, and Third Act Twist. Each analysis of selected features breaks the film down to the essential 5 major plot points, time code of when each plot point occurs included.”

To help all the aspiring screenwriters, comic book writers, and playwrights participating in the Script Frenzy writing marathon, we will feature a new script writing tool or tip every day this month. Read all the advice at this link.

via Explore Five Plot Point Breakdowns: Script Frenzy Tip #14 – GalleyCat.

Ben Haverty, Westminster, Atlanta, kudos:  Nice article about Westminster classmate Ben Haverty.  kudos, Ben! RETAIL: Furniture dealer stands on own legs: Ben Haverty left Atlanta-based family chain five years ago. No-frills, discount stores grew during recession.

politics, budget crisis, Any Rand:  My ears perk up when I hear “Ayn Rand.”  Do you think most Tea Partyers have heard of Ayn Rand?

In fact, the two streams—the furious Tea Party rebels and Ryan the earnest budget geek—both spring from the same source. And it is to that source that you must look if you want to understand what Ryan is really after, and what makes these activists so angry.

The Tea Party began early in 2009 after an improvised rant by Rick Santelli, a CNBC commentator who called for an uprising to protest the Obama administration’s subsidizing the “losers’ mortgages.” Video of his diatribe rocketed around the country, and protesters quickly adopted both his call for a tea party and his general abhorrence of government that took from the virtuous and the successful and gave to the poor, the uninsured, the bankrupt—in short, the losers. It sounded harsh, Santelli quickly conceded, but “at the end of the day I’m an Ayn Rander.”

Ayn Rand, of course, was a kind of politicized L. Ron Hubbard—a novelist-philosopher who inspired a cult of acolytes who deem her the greatest human being who ever lived. The enduring heart of Rand’s totalistic philosophy was Marxism flipped upside down. Rand viewed the capitalists, not the workers, as the producers of all wealth, and the workers, not the capitalists, as useless parasites.

via War on the Weak – Newsweek.

youth, colleges, culture, parenting, US  Naval Academy, synthetic marijuana:  There are too things out there to trip up our kids.

The U.S. Naval Academy has expelled another midshipman in an ongoing investigation into the use or possession of synthetic marijuana.

Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said Wednesday that a male student was expelled last week. The expulsion brings to 13 the number of midshipmen who have been expelled as a result of the investigation, which began last fall.

Synthetic marijuana is sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet. The products contain organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked.

It is banned by the Defense Department and the Navy.

The academy has been working to raise awareness about synthetic marijuana. The superintendent and commandant have addressed the issue at school-wide forums.

via Academy expels 13th midshipman in synthetic marijuana investigation – baltimoresun.com.

politics, budget crisis:  Need to fact check … but it always helps me to have it laid out like this.Comparing Republican and Obama Budget Plans – Graphic – NYTimes.com.

movies, dvd release, Harry Potter:  I love Harry Potter … reminds me of Jack … and all my kids’ childhoods  ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’ and Other Blu-ray Releases – Speakeasy – WSJ.

iPad apps, marketing:  hmmm …just not sure why this “branding” will make me want to buy it.

Moleskine’s app–currently pending Apple’s approval and due out released later this week–is your standard digital note-taking space beckoning you to fill it with musings and rumination. But wait, how’s that different from Apple’s Notes app or something like Evernote? Why would you devote precious screen real estate to Moleskine’s nascent angle on the touchscreen world?

For starters, you’ll be able to abandon Apple’s harsh yellow pages for Moleskine’s easygoing cream-colored writing space. And you can join the ranks of the notebook’s historic lovers, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso – proudly touted by the company in each journal they sell – who used their Moleskines as a sketchbook and doodle pad.

The app also allows you to draw freehand, so whether you’re on an iPhone or iPad, you can use it just as you would pen and paper (hey, you never know when your next masterpiece will come to mind).

via Moleskine Goes Digital with First iPhone App – Techland – TIME.com.

photography, photo journalism, Libya:  Enjoyed this article and photo journalists perspective.

  Hellis, Libya

These images were shot all over eastern Libya, including Benghazi. I feel lucky to have been able to see a different perspective. For 42 years, Libya has been closed off to journalists. It was, and still is, a relatively authoritarian state. The image of Libya in my head was totally different from reality — both in terms of the landscape and the people. The front line, and people in scarves firing AK-47s into the air — that’s just one part of it. I wanted to show the people who are at stake.

You would walk down a street and, yes, there would be a guy with an AK-47. But there would be 10 or 20 other civilians, unarmed, queuing for gas. Resistance takes on many forms. Guns and fighting are one. But a different form of resistance I saw was people organizing, making food, housing each other, healing each other. They weren’t fighting with guns; they were fighting by creating social services, by talking to the media, by trying to represent themselves. They were trying to create a new society. I think people should be able to see that.

I don’t know what will happen next in Libya. But I’m glad I have at least a historical moment. It’s a snapshot of a country that almost was, or still may be.

via Photographs of Libya’s Quiet Moments – NYTimes.com.

03
Apr
11

4.3.2011 … There are not many weekends you get to share two distinctly southern meals and another Asian meal with lifelong couple friends (definitely BFFs), visit and share with 4 people who were in your wedding (definitely BFFs), get to know again 3 of their children (one in a play), visit every so briefly with a FFM (favorite friend mother) and take a quick but beautiful walk across the campus where you met your spouse with your spouse ….

Facebook, Linkedin, twitter, lists:

10 Must-Have Downloads for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Think Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer enough on their own? Think again. These apps amp up your social networking power–and many of them are free.

via 10 Must-Have Downloads for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – PCWorld.

colleges, college search:

Mr. PARKER: Hard as it is to imagine, it is going to be OK. I mean, you know, I’ve had the great privilege of turning down at least one Rhodes Scholar.

via NPR.org » Behind The Scenes: How Do You Get Into Amherst?.

politics, GA, education, kith/kin:  hard decisions …

The Legislature may be on the verge of giving Gov. Nathan Deal the power to remove members of the Atlanta Board of Education should the school system lose its accreditation this summer.

Not exactly what Mayor Kasim Reed was looking for – but something like it.

A bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Majority Whip Ed Lindsey and Democrat Kathy Ashe, both of Atlanta, was attached Tuesday to SB 79 by the House Education Committee.

Early this year, when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the Atlanta school system on probation because of a CRCT cheating scandal and board infighting, Deal discovered that current board members – in the Atlanta system and elsewhere – had been grandfathered in by 2010 legislation allowing the governor to take over local school systems.

via Move afoot to let Nathan Deal to replace Atlanta school board | Political Insider.

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