Posts Tagged ‘cookbooks

25
Jan
14

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga …

I am having very strange FB conversations tonight … naked yoga and pilgrimages to Iona … some things just do not fit in the same “space.”

pilgrimages, Iona, sacred spaces, thin places:

I have been pondering pilgrimages … Iona is one of several that intrigue me. Your thoughts?  And some fun conversations … Wow, a

church youth group to Iona next summer. It sounds like a fabulous experience …  And I am very interested to know if the youth group “gets it”, i.e., does it open them up to a “thin place” type experience or is it merely a wonderful time together in a foreign country. My children gained much insight on mission trips regarding world poverty and Christian mission, but I never felt it stimulated “spiritual awakening.” But I did not think my children were ready for that either.

 

Your Invitation to Iona: a sacred place, in time and space.

So I assumed there would be a labyrinth … It is lovely …

It isn’t advertised on a map or in tourist brochures. Our guides knew about this labyrinth constructed in recent years.  Getting there was a walking pilgrimage of sorts. Over an hour each way across the island through lanes, fields and even part of a small golf course.

It is constructed of stones and the grass walkway is full of tiny daisies.  You can’t see it well in the photo, but if you look closely towards the sea, there is another smaller labyrinth.

This is the beach where Columba, the famous Catholic priest and missionary self-exiled himself from Ireland and founded a monastery that flourished during the dark ages and where many people from all over Europe were sent to study. All of this can be easily researched on the internet if you want to learn more.

I can talk about the feeling.  The location is on the southwest part of the island – cliffs on one side and to the right of this photo is the landing place of Columba and his twelve companions.  Pilgrims over many years have brought stones to leave on that portion of the beach, several mounds.  On this day the weather was overcast and there was a slight breeze.  It is a sheltered area and very inviting and unpretentious.  The builders of this labyrinth took great care in the location and also the variety of stones marking the labyrinth could be a book in itself – probably a poetry book as they convey imagery and metaphor.

It is a huge contrast to the Chartres labyrinth, but equally splendid.  I started humming a little tune walking the labyrinth at Chartres and found myself humming it again at Iona.

I first walked the smaller and newer one. In the middle I was inspired to do the movement pattern for the elements I recently learned while at Findhorn. Then I went and explored the beach. There was activity on the next door beach with the mounds of stones and we found out later that Neil Oliver who did the BBC Scotland Series (find it if you can) was filming a piece about coast lines.

Never mind. When I walked the larger labyrinth the experience was one of integration. There is the current pilgrimage, but also family and friends came to mind and locations that have meaning in my life. I thought about the elements and the creatures. I also felt a strong connection with the new Eagle Nest Labyrinth in Surrey.

Then thoughts related to relationship, lineage, life story came to mind. Three threads emerged – one is the ancestry of my family history, one is my current relationships and  story and the third is that other story line, the archetypal one where I might imagine or remember  living in other times and cultures other than those into which I was born.

All three threads are resources worthy of exploration. Perhaps there are more threads I will find along the way.

via Labyrinth Isle of Iona | ON THE MOVE.

coed naked yoga studio, NYC, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Interesting is one way to describe it!!

If you were offended by the transparency of the yoga pants Lululemon recalled last March, stay away from Bold & Naked, the first coed naked yoga studio in New York City.

Owners, Joschi Schwarz and Monika Werner believe that naked yoga allows participants to find a deeper connection with the world around them. When the popularity of Schwarz’s all-male naked yoga classes in Le Male Yoga in Chelsea rose, he opened Bold & Naked with Werner.

The studio offers various combinations of clothed, naked, same sex, and coed classes. And regarding the naked sessions and Tantric Yogassage offered: “If you are looking for an orgasm, you are in the wrong place,” the Bold & Naked website states.

“By shedding their clothes and practicing yoga in the nude, students literally drop the masks and labels they hide behind all day,” the website says. \”Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows you to be more accepting of your physical imperfections.”

via Coed Naked Yoga Studio Opens in NYC | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And now some conversation excerpts …

“what? Ok this is just crazy”

“So many bad thoughts and visuals come to mind–all I can say is NO.”

“coed no less …”

“…downward dog (eeeeeewwwwwww)”

“Just the thought of this is horrifying….”

“Woah!”

“I really doubt that it would free me of negative thoughts of my body image. On the contrary. I already find some coed yoga classes less than desirable.”

“This is just wrong! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, not gross me out”

” I hope the woman in the picture consented to its internet distribution!”

“She must have or else her “child’s pose” would not have been so modestly contained!”

” I love Outside magazine’s postings … but I must admit this one threw me. I am still laughing at the thought.

“Pretty amazing that’s even legal!”

And the studio is called … Bold & Naked … LOL. I wonder if they have anybody horribly out of shape who \”boldly\” ventures in … At least the name warns folks!”

“you can check it out next time you’re here. I think the first class is free. Guessing it’s hot naked bodies with whips, but who knows!”

“Why don’t you go CW and tell me about it first!!”

“Don’t be so judgmental!”

“spiked dog collar optional”

“And it would be impossible for everything to “blade the side wall” during a side plank sorry–it’s the bad visual thing again).”

“you could come incognito and write an amazing article! We could wear those sheer outfits that J-Lo and Beyonce wear that look like you’re naked but you’re actually covered head-to-toe, and wear wigs and fake tattoos, and take on a discreet unpresuming attitude. Ha ha!”

“There is presbyterian minister in our midst. Oh, no … He’s been to Iona recently, maybe his next spiritual awakening will be at B&N. LOL”

” I want to come too. I could have air-brushed abs on my faux-naked outfit.”

“And you could wear your beard and pink wig!!”

“you would be the über cool one,  you might get  a cover story with that hot model look.”

“LOL … I am not sure what do do with this conversation … Add it to my clipping service? I might get bounced.”

” You asked for it–posting a naked yoga story!”

” I actually thought twice before I hit post.”

” Well, they do refer to Iona as “a thin place”! Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not necessarily advocating B&N Yoga…I just recognize that it may be okay for some people…if not me.”

“glad you hit “post”–this has been entertaining!”

“It will disappear …

USIS Fraud Charges, Edward Snowden, TopDailyInfo.com:

The DOJ said that between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks, which was about 40 percent of the total submissions.

“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.

The payments to the firm ranged $95 to $2,500, depending on the type of background investigation. The lawsuit requested for a jury trial and seeks to recover treble damages and penalties.

Through a software known as “Blue Zone,” USIS was able to quickly make an electronic “Review Complete” notation without fully going through the mandated review process, DOJ said.

“By using Blue Zone, USIS was able to substantially increase the number of background investigations that could be dumped in a short time period,” according to the filing.

via USIS Fraud Charges: U.S. Brings Fraud Charges Against Firm That Vetted Edward Snowden | TopDailyInfo.com.

Leo Tolstoy, quotes:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”-Leo Tolstoy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech:

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

“And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”

via DrMartinLutherKingJr.com – Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: Audio, Text And Photographs.

CEO Brian Moynahan, WEF, Davos:

Why do bank CEOs come to Davos?

We come to learn.

Its a chance for all the CEOs of all the institutions across the world to sit across the table …  and have a dialogue.

We come because our clients are here.

via Moynihan Says BofA Trading Consistent Amid Taper: Video – Bloomberg.

“Jerusalem”, cookbooks, NYTimes.com:  A friend is posting recipes from this cookbook.  I’m intrigued.

The first symptoms of “Jerusalem” fever appeared on New Year’s Eve: a friend rushed over at a party, breathless, her eyes bright.

“We have to do an all-‘Jerusalem’ dinner!” she panted, then immediately called dibs on making the chicken with clementines and arak.

“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” was written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, chefs who grew up on opposite sides of the divided city, Mr. Tamimi in the Arab East, Mr. Ottolenghi in the Jewish West. Both left Israel decades ago, live in London and are hardly celebrity chefs, although Mr. Ottolenghi’s last book, “Plenty,” was admired here among the vegetarian set.

The book’s recipes are traditional in Jerusalem, or loosely inspired by the city, gathering influences from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cooks who live there, with flavors from almost everywhere else: Iran, Poland, Syria, Italy. Many of them have long lists of ingredients, including spices like sumac and za’atar, and are based on vegetables and grains. Chickpeas, lamb, eggplant and eggs turn up over and over again.

via ‘Jerusalem’ Has All the Right Ingredients – NYTimes.com.

global warming,  Forgotten WWI Battle, Peio’s war museum, Motherboard:

The local community has been laboring for years now to reveal the remains of this largely forgotten war. In 2004, Maurizio Vicenzi, a local mountain guide and head of the Peio’s war museum, discovered the bodies of three soldiers hanging upside down from an ice wall at an altitude of 12,000 feet—victims of one the highest front lines in history. Multiple findings followed. In one rare find, a team discovered a hidden ice tunnel, that, after being melted open with huge ventilators, turned out to house an enormous wooden structure used as a transportation station for ammunition and supplies.

All bodies that have since emerged pass through the office of Daniel Gaudio, a forensic anthropologist tasked to trace the identities of the war victims. Despite the fact that in most cases he’s able to extract the DNA from the corpses, he rarely succeeds. They’re missing contextual information, he says, that is necessary to determine the possible whereabouts of the families of the war victims.

To date, more than 80 bodies have appeared from the depths of the glacier. And more will surely follow. On the Italian side alone more than 750,000 soldiers died in battle, according to historian Mark Thompson, author of The White War. Next summer, archeological teams will continue their search for more remains of icy melee. And the bodies are certain to keep on coming—climate change looks certain to continue, even accelerate, the thaw.

For now, it’s winter. Not far from the place where the soldiers were first discovered lies Peio, a ski resort where Italians, Austrians, Germans and Russians are once again sharing the same mountain. They do so more peacefully now.

via Global Warming Is Thawing Out the Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle | Motherboard.

education, teaching, American History, WickedLocal.com, race v. diversity, civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

Unfortunately, the alternative may be that students never learn anything about Bob Moses at all, or about America’s founding contradiction.  “Race has always been at the heart of American History,” Branch said, and a glance at the headlines or the balkanized cafeterias of today’s high schools demonstrates that race – or it’s modernized, diluted form, “diversity,” are as relevant today as ever.  But if we knock U.S. history out of the curriculum and reduce the civil rights struggle to a non-threatening, non-controversial “MLK was a great man who had a dream”  cartoon, how will our children and grandchildren come to understand their country?

via Not teaching history – – WickedLocal.com.

James Cone,  Taylor Branch,  MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality,  YouTube: 

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Theologian James Cone and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch join Bill to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King\’s vision of economic justice in addition to racial equality, and why so little has changed for America\’s most oppressed.

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden, Garden and Gun, Lincliff, Louisville KY:

Crime novelist and her husband transform the gardens of their 100-year-old Louisville home.

Kinsey Millhone, the spunky protagonist of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, wouldn’t be caught dead spading compost onto a perennial bed. “I hate nature. I really do,” the fictional detective proclaims in F Is for Fugitive. Grafton, who has called Millhone her “alter ego,” admits she once shared those sentiments. How, then, to account for the garden transformation taking place at Grafton’s 1912 estate, Lincliff? Perched above the Ohio River eight miles east of downtown Louisville, the grounds were a vine-tangled mess when Grafton and her husband, Steve Humphrey, bought the place in 2000. Today, the once-crumbling fountain trickles and shimmers, boxwood parterres have been trimmed in-to shape, and a handful of spectacular new features, including an intricate knot garden, grace the property.

Humphrey, a philosophy of physics professor raised in south-central Los Angeles, is an equally unlikely suspect. “We had a tiny yard,” he says. “My father made the kids get up early on Sunday morning and hedge and weed. I never liked yard work, especially when forced to do it at gunpoint.”

The turnaround appears to be the work of professionals, but the couple swears no landscape designers played a part. So whodunit?

Upon further questioning, the truth emerges. “Something clicked when I met Sue,” Humphrey explains. “We rented a house when I was a graduate student at Ohio State, and I planted a vegetable garden. When we bought a house in Santa Barbara, I got into roses. I realized I love creating gardens.”

Grafton has a confession of her own: She’s becoming a garden lover, too. “Steve has taught me a lot about the virtues and benefits of a well-cared-for property,” she says.

Grafton grew up in Louisville but as a young woman, rebellious and burning with ambition, moved to California to become a writer. “When I left the state of Kentucky, it was ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, I’m out of here!’” Grafton says. Decades later, after penning dozens of best sellers, she felt the pull of home. “I’ve been to a lot of places in the world. Coming back here, I realized Kentucky is quite beautiful. I’m proud to be a resident of this state.”

The couple’s original plan to build a house changed when Humphrey, touring a riverfront lot, scaled a hill and glimpsed Lincliff, a long-abandoned stuccoed Georgian Revival mansion. Their real estate agent told them the property was slated to be divided and sold off in small parcels. Smitten, they bought it all.

via Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden | Garden and Gun.

emotional intelligence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , Hitler, Atlantic Mobile:

Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence. When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Dr. King demonstrated remarkable skill in managing his own emotions and in sparking emotions that moved his audience to action. As his speechwriter Clarence Jones reflected, King delivered “a perfectly balanced outcry of reason and emotion, of anger and hope. His tone of pained indignation matched that note for note.”

Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language. Practicing his hand gestures and analyzing images of his movements allowed him to become “an absolutely spellbinding public speaker,” says the historian Roger Moorhouse—“it was something he worked very hard on.” His name was Adolf Hitler.

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers: Interesting! From a Davidson Classmate …

This is a great resource. 46,000 sermons from 100 AD to today indexed by scripture verse and author. Amazing. Pick a verse and read a sermon by Augustine or Chrysostom or Luther or Wesley or Barth. Many hundreds of ministers and thousands of sermons. This has been compiled by a patient and friend of mine over the past 20 + years. (He doesn’t sleep much. The product of his insomnia is now available to all of us!) He is talking to a number of seminaries about utilizing this resource. Please pass around to ministers, academics, theologians, Christians, students of the Word, and the intellectually curious. Check out this amazing resource.

46,000+ HISTORIC SERMONS

Indexed by primary Biblical Text for simple Searching

via Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers.

man’s best friend, cats, me: This is so my house … two 12-year old bassets v. one 10-year-old black cat. Cat wins every time!!

via ▶ You Shall Not Pass, Dog – YouTube.

Lucky Charms, Pentatonix, tv ads, commercial,  iconic brands, new technology, YouTube, kith/kin, Atlanta:  And to close … I have been a lifelong fan of the kid cereal Lucky Charms (yes, it is a fact).  So, I was excited to see them using Pentatonix.  But unfortunately, the ad posted is a fail.  It does not do them justice and does not showcase their skill.  The Evolution of Lucky Charms (the second clip) is better. Well, I am glad they are making some money, but the ad really doesn’t showcase their talent.  An an aside, an Atlanta friend is working with Pentatonix on the campaign. He noted, “I think that it is an iconic brand that is looking for new ways to reimagine their advertising through new technology.”  Good point. I think I ‘ll go buy a box of Lucky Charms …

via ▶ Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial – YouTube.

via

▶ Evolution of Lucky Charms (feat. Pentatonix) – YouTube.

23
Nov
11

11.23.2011 … over the hill and through the woods to GoGo’s house we go … ‎… And now I am told I have no choice. UK is playing. GO BLUE!

travel, Thanksgiving, Facebook:  On the way … Sleep you traveling masses … Just for a bit …Traveling Along 74 … Sun At Our Backs … Hello, Asheville! A little rainy on your side of the mountains …. — at I-26 W … Shout out to Pidgeon Forge … Man you guys got rain this morning! — in Gatlinburg, TN … Whew… Made it through the “BEWARE OF FALLING ROCKS” zone near Sieverville .. — at I-40E Tennessee … Hello, Knoxville. Hello, Brantleys — at I 75N … We are almost to Lexington … Goal is to get to Louisville before I – 64 gets bottled up…. Made it to KY … and the Thanksgiving Exodus has started … Shout out to Lexington KY and the Whites! — at I-75 Near Lexington KY. … Almost to Louisville … Shout out to the Bodes … [my FB posts as we traveled :)]

Thanksgiving: Stay Calm …

Thanksgiving, Goggle doodle: Gobble … Gobble

Davidson College, teaching initiative:  Interesting story involving Davidson prof and students.

Longtime science blog readers will certainly remember the popular cognitive psychology blog Cognitive Daily, written by Greta and Dave Munger, that had a fantastic five-year run at Scienceblogs. While Dave is still involved in the science blogging community through projects like Research Blogging and Science Seeker, and of course writing his own blogs, Greta has been pushing forward with online science communication in a slightly different way: working with her undergraduate psychology students at Davidson College in updating and improving psychology-related entries on Wikipedia.

Greta’s project is part of a larger effort spearheaded by the Association for Psychological Science, called the APS Wikipedia Initiative:

APS is calling on its Members to support the Association’s mission to deploy the power of Wikipedia to represent scientific psychology as fully and as accurately as possible and thereby to promote the free teaching of psychology worldwide.

All APS Members are encouraged to participate by adding new entries and enhancing existing ones with more complete and accurate information with references. This is an especially exciting initiative for teachers and students who can make updating or creating Wikipedia entries part of coursework.

I spoke with Greta about this project recently:

Why did you decide to include this somewhat unconventional assignment in your class? What might this sort of assignment offer for your students that is different from more standard papers or presentations?

I’ve always had students in my 200-level lecture course write research papers on a topic of their choice as a way to introduce reading journal articles and writing literature reviews. It also introduces them to the search tools in our library. When I read about the APSWI challenge to have students help correct Wikipedia, I thought it sounded like a really neat idea at many levels: taking some responsibility for how research psychology is represented; having a project the students might get more excited about; and having a chance to tap into the service and leadership part that is so important to Davidson College’s tradition. In order to write a good Wikipedia article, the students need the same reading and research skills that my older assignment was designed to teach them, with the advantage of also contributing to the public good.

via Engaging Undergrads with Wikipedia | The Thoughtful Animal, Scientific American Blog Network.

Thanksgiving traditions, turkeys, pardons, President Obama:  🙂

It’s good to have friends in high places. Especially when you’re a turkey. On Thanksgiving.

President Obama will use his executive authority Wednesday to pardon two 19-week-old, 45-pound turkeys a day before America’s annual feast. Liberty, chosen from among more than 100 candidates as the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and its alternate Peace, will be driven to Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where they will be on display through Jan. 6, the White House announced.

via Obama to pardon two national turkeys for Thanksgiving – 44 – The Washington Post.

English language, history:

Yesterday, the Open University released ‘The History of English in 10 Minutes,’ a witty animated sequence that takes you through 1600 years of linguistic history. The Vikings gave us “give” and “take.” Shakespeare added another 2,000 words and expressions to the mix. The British Empire (see video above) then brought the evolving English language to new lands, creating new varieties of English worldwide. And so the story continues.

via The History of the English Language in Ten Animated Minutes | Open Culture.

YouTube, Urban Ninjas:  Crazy stuff out there …

DANCE ASSASSIN + Urban Ninja 3 Preview

via DANCE ASSASSIN + Urban Ninja 3 Preview – YouTube.

public libraries:  Worth reading … “6. Public libraries are one of the greatest equalizers for equitable access to information regardless of race, creed or income level.”

… so, before you read my interview with Molly Raphael, President of the American Library Association, please take a moment to look at 10 important things you need to know about our American libraries.

1. Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies.

2. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S. (total of 16,604 including branches).

3. 59% of adults in the U.S. have a public library card.

4. Reference librarians in the nation’s public and academic libraries answer nearly 5.7 million questions weekly.

5. Public libraries are the number one point of online access for people without internet connections at home, school or work (98.7% of public libraries provide public access to the internet).

6. Public libraries are one of the greatest equalizers for equitable access to information regardless of race, creed or income level.

7. In these times of economic crisis, over 65% of public libraries provide services for job seekers.

8. Americans spend more than twice as much on candy as they do on public libraries.

9. Americans spend $34.95 a year for the public library (and check out an average of more than seven books a year)

10. A public library provides a safe, warm, friendly place for a poor family to read with their children.

via C. M. Rubin: How Will We Read: In Public Libraries?.

Boston College,education, collaborative learning:  Wow … a collaborative twist on the Socratic method used in law schools.

Peter Wilson believes (as do many education researchers) that collaborative activity fosters learning. It is for this reason that he assigns students to groups at the start of a semester. But he also knows that when a crew of five divvies up the work each student will dig deeply into roughly 20 percent of the material. “I want them to teach each other before they come back to class,” he says. And so he instituted the regime of the bingo cage and the dice, to spur his students to learn the full assignment. The students arrive early because of his habit of drawing the first numbers 10 minutes before class begins, which he does to get a head start. (There are usually two or three more drawings on the same day, without time for preparation.) The opportunity of a little advance warning, however, scarcely explains Hevia’s reaction to “winning.” “I knew the stuff. I had to know the stuff,” the student from Miami said later. “And I guess I felt happy I could show it.”

via Boston College Magazine » Fall 2011 » Features » Master teachers.

apps, Nouvelle, RSS:  I have never used RSS … so I have no idea how this works.  Anybody willing to show me/explain RSS.

Nouvelle – An app with the style and substance

Nouvelle provides the most simple and clutter free RSS reading experience.

via App Store – Nouvelle.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ernest Hemingway, famous people:  I have never met anyone really famous … but wondered what I would do.

For a fraction of a second, as always seemed to be the case, I found myself divided between my two competing roles. I didn’t know whether to ask him for an interview or cross the avenue to express my unqualified admiration for him. But with either proposition, I faced the same great inconvenience. At the time, I spoke the same rudimentary English that I still speak now, and I wasn’t very sure about his bullfighter’s Spanish. And so I didn’t do either of the things that could have spoiled that moment, but instead cupped both hands over my mouth and, like Tarzan in the jungle, yelled from one sidewalk to the other: ”Maaaeeestro!” Ernest Hemingway understood that there could be no other master amid the multitude of students, and he turned, raised his hand and shouted to me in Castillian in a very childish voice, ”Adiooos, amigo!” It was the only time I saw him.

At the time, I was a 28-year-old newspaperman with a published novel and a literary prize in Colombia, but I was adrift and without direction in Paris. My great masters were the two North American novelists who seemed to have the least in common. I had read everything they had published until then, but not as complementary reading – rather, just the opposite, as two distinct and almost mutually exclusive forms of conceiving of literature. One of them was William Faulkner, whom I had never laid eyes on and whom I could only imagine as the farmer in shirtsleeves scratching his arm beside two little white dogs in the celebrated portrait of him taken by Cartier-Bresson. The other was the ephemeral man who had just said goodbye to me from across the street, leaving me with the impression that something had happened in my life, and had happened for all time.

via The Only Time Gabriel Garcia Marquez Saw Ernest Hemingway | Wired Science | Wired.com.

9/11 museum:  Sad … this needs to be done …

The 2012 opening of the Sept. 11 museum at the World Trade Center will be delayed by disputes over redevelopment costs, a person familiar with the construction project said Monday.

The dispute between the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

via 9/11 museum opening delayed due to costs – CBS News.

They Draw & Cook: Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World, cookbooks, illustrated cookbooks:  This seems to be a trend … I noted Maira Kalman had illustrated a cookbook recently … Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

For the past 18 months, brother-and-sister duo Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell have been delighting us with their beautifully illustrated visual recipes from around the world. They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World collects the best 107 of these lovely and delicious treats, joining the ranks of our favorite quirky cookbooks with an absolute gem of visual and culinary allure. From the playful and facetious to the elegant and sleek, these illustrated treasures offer everything from Chocolate Haystacks to Starving Artist Goo-lash and, of course, Cooooooookies for good measure.

via They Draw & Cook: Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World | Brain Pickings.

college basketball, Kentucky:  ‎… And now I am told I have no choice. UK is playing. GO BLUE!

08
Nov
11

11.8.2011 … a truly glorious day in Boston … Back to Flour for another poptart and latte … subway rides, bike rides, search and find the Make Way for the Ducklings statues at Boston Public Garden … search and find grilled cheese and tomato soup food truck … excellent In Gouda We Trust at Copley Square … xmas decorations going up … Tis the season … Harvard Divinity for another labyrinth .where I ponderedPsalm 46:10  … Be Still and know that I am God … Namaste … Oh, and the  Mandarin Oriental Boston.definitely has a feng shui feel …

Boston, travel, adventures:   … a truly glorious day in Boston … Back to Flour for another poptart and latte … then Silver Line to Red Line to Hubway bike … Now search and find  the Make Way for the Ducklings statues at Boston Public Garden.

I see the ducklings! 🙂

and here’s a little background on the Ducklings:

Then there was the problem, as always, of fund raising. It took two years to go through this process but on October 4, 1987 a bronze sculpture of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings was installed on old Boston cobblestones.

I treasure time that I spend standing near the sculpture and watching all the children hug, kiss, climb on and feed the ducks. How fortunate I am to have made this sculpture which, thanks to Mr. McCloskey, has given so much pleasure to so many.

via Make Way for Ducklings, Boston by Nancy Schön.

Off to find the grilled cheese and tomato soup food truck … Found it … About to try In Gouda We Trust — at Copley Square …

Tis the season …

BTW In Gouda We Trust was EXCELLENT! now have taken bike to Green Line to Red line to Bus 77 … One block … Thank you Google Maps! The 5 min walk to my next labyrinth — 

Walk was wonderful … Meditated on Psalm 46:10  my favorite using this website … Be Still and know that I am God … Namaste …

This hotel definitely has a feng shui feel — at Mandarin Oriental Boston.

invitations, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee,  The Blessing of a B Minus, Dr. Wendy Mogel:

CHARLOTTE LATIN SCHOOL and CHARLOTTE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL

join the

JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER CHARLOTTE

as Educational Partners

to present

Dr. Wendy Mogel

nationally-known author of

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:30 p.m. Knight Theater

cookbooks, Michael Pollan,  Food Rules, Maira Kalman:  Love Maira Kalman … must buy this cookbook …

I love love, love artist Maira Kalman and revere the work of Michael Pollan, easily today’s most vocal and influential advocate of smart, sustainable food. So I’m thrilled with today’s release of a Kalman-illustrated edition of Pollan’s classic compendium, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual — the timelessly sensible blueprint to a healthy relationship with food, now delivered with Kalman’s characteristically colorful and child-like yet irreverent aesthetic. This new edition also features 19 additional food rules, including Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good and When you eat real food, you don’t need rules

via Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, Illustrated by Maira Kalman | Brain Pickings.

home cinema, culture, oxymorons:

“Home cinema…doesn’t exist. The very phrase is an oxymoron”

And the answer is: me. I’m with NATO on this, all the more tenaciously because we will, in the final reckoning, lose. Universal actually backed down in the scrap over “Tower Heist” and cancelled the VOD release, but, like other studios, it will surely return to the fray. And the outcome? Showmen like James Cameron, I suspect, will continue to haul us off our couches for the grand, marquee events, but smaller fare may be streamed to us direct, and new films whittled down into just another channel on TV.

via “Tower Heist” and “Melancholia” Reviews : The New Yorker.

 

 

 

23
Sep
11

9.23.2011 … ‎lucky me … i get to take two dogs and a cat to the vet and its pouring … cat is MIA right now … and nightime viewing …‎… watched The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) … Why are old movies so slow?

pets, Armstrong Animal Clinic, followup:  It’s a good thing I love my pets and my vets … all animals are healthy … but the bill was $779!  I am getting pet insurance on my next pets.  And why are we talking about adding another to the pack??? Shout out to the best vets in Charlotte … the Drs. Williston at Armstrong Animal Clinic.  We have been seeing them for 26 years … Thank you for great vet care.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), movies, old movies: Why are old movies so slow? Did we not think they were slow way back when?

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Poster

1966 Nominated Oscar

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Richard Burton

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Ted Marshall, Josie MacAvin

via The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) – Awards.

Jenna Huff , Deb Guthmann, high school sports, high school cross-country, sportsmanship, kudos, NC:  sometimes you just need a feel good story.  Kudos to Jenna and Deb!

Eleven months ago, a spontaneous act of good sportsmanship at a girls’ cross country meet in Salisbury transformed a simple race into something bigger.

The ripples from that moment keep widening. Tonight, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Jenna Huff is scheduled to receive a national sportsmanship award from the U.S. Olympic Committee for what she did for Deb Guthmann.

They were bound together last Halloween morning at a regional meet, where Jenna trailed Deb for all but the final few yards of the 3.1-mile race.

As the two approached the finish line – behind the race leaders but well ahead of the majority of runners – Deb still led Jenna.

Then something awful happened. Deb’s right hip basically tore apart. She screamed in pain and stopped.

Jenna had never met Deb and had been taught to pass every runner she could no matter the circumstances.

Instead, Jenna stopped and helped.

“C’mon,” Jenna said she told Deb. “We’re going to run, and we’re going to do it now.”

Jenna took Deb’s left elbow with her right hand and helped her jog the last few yards of the race. Then, at the finish line, she pushed Deb in front of her, reasoning Deb would have beaten her anyway if not for the injury. That act helped Deb’s Waxhaw Cuthbertson team win the regional race and advance to the state meet.

via Act of sportsmanship one that keeps drawing praise | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

death penalty, last meals request, cookbooks, random:  The main part of this story is that Texas Prisons ended special last meals because the inmates facing execution were being unreasonable.  Nothing funny there.  However, I just had to laugh at the last paragraph …

A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky’s Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called “Meals to Die For.”

via Special Last Meals: Texas Prisons End Special Last Meals For Inmates Facing Execution.

cohabiting, culture:  Twenty plus years ago a special friend asked her girlfriends what we thought if her boyfriend moved in with her.  We all twenty-somethings told her the world judges women harsher than men, but that we would not judge her negatively because we knew her. He moved in … and pretty soon they got married and had three kids … happy ending.  This article strikes a chord ….

Is a Bad Idea For Some.

But if you are a young adult who thinks you might want to have kids one day and maybe even get married but you aren’t sure that your current sweetie’s The One, please don’t move in with him or her.

I can hear the grumbling; “How will I know if we’re compatible or not if we don’t live together?” Easy — you know because you’ve spent enough time together as a couple. If you really don’t know if you can live with his smelly socks in the hallway or her panties hanging in the bathroom, then you either haven’t known each other long enough or you haven’t been paying attention. In either case, you’re just not ready to marry. Please, date some more.

Couples rarely split up over socks and underwear; they split because of affairs, alcohol, addictions and abuse. They split because their expectations of marriage differ. And they split because they never should have been together in the first place — probably because they moved in together to see if they could live with the socks and panties while they were ignoring other, much bigger issues.

So what’s so wrong with living with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Let’s forget the studies pointing out the booze (cohabitors drink more), weight (they’re heavier) and happiness (they’re not quite as happy as married couples but they aren’t more miserable, either), because those aren’t the issues. Nor are the results of the latest NMP study, “Why Marriage Matters,” which predicts doom and gloom for the children of cohabiting couples. The NMP has an agenda; it wants to promote marriage. Still, even a recent and presumably agenda-less Pew Study finds similar results, at least when it comes to cohabiting couples’ economic well-being; they’re poorer, and that puts stress on a relationship. A lot of stress.

As a society, we need to pay attention because there are 12 times as many cohabiting couples today as there were in the 1970s.

The real problem with cohabiting is that many couples who enter into it don’t give it a lot of thought; it’s one of those “just kind of happened” things. You like him, he likes you and a few months later you’re jamming your stuff into his closets. And those are the couples who, if they end up “sliding into marriage,” as research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver Scott Stanley would call it, are more likely to divorce at some point.

Commitment is a decision. And if cohabitation is being offered as a replacement to marriage — as the Alternatives to Marriage Project and many sociologists and family psychologists see it — then a little more thought about it needs to happen, especially if you know you want to have kids one day.

For Linda Lea Viken, head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, that would mean a cohabitation agreement. Even if a couple doesn’t end up signing one, at least they’ve been thinking about things like property, spending, saving and — this is a big one — expectations. If you can have unrealistic expectations in a marriage, you can have them living together, too.

Of course, none of this matters if we’re talking about two child-free adults who live together and then split. It’s just a heck of a lot worse if there are kids involved — his kids, her kids, their kids. According to the ATMP, 40 percent of the first babies of single mothers are actually born to cohabiting couples. And some 42 percent of kids will have lived in a cohabiting household before they turn 12 years old.

Still, no one’s pushing for marriage (well, except the NMP), but it you want to live with someone happily and for the long haul you really do need to be committed, especially if you have or want kids. “To me, the biggest issue is commitment not marriage,” says psychologist Joshua Coleman, co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. “A lot of people are opting not to marry, but I wonder what is the context in which you have a child.”

For our most famously cohabiting couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the context seems clear. As Jolie said when asked if she and Pitt will grow old together, “Of course; we wouldn’t have six children if we weren’t absolutely sure of that.”

No one can ever definitively know if a relationship will last, whether married or not. But making a conscious decision to start off that way sure helps.

via Vicki Larson: Why Cohabiting Is a Bad Idea For Some.

Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It, children’s/YA literature:  I loved Siverstein’s poetry with my kids …. and now he has a post mortem (11 years) new book!

Every Thing On It, published eleven years after Shel Silverstein’s death, arrived yesterday. Homework was instantly abandoned. The Girl Who Hates To Read simply had to dive into this collection of 139 poems.

This speaks volumes.

Shel Silverstein’s books are said to be for children 9 to 12. Nonsense. We started reading him when The Girl Who Hates To Read was six, and now we have the full collection. Only Roald Dahl comes close — and he’s a distant second.

What is Silverstein’s appeal?

Simple: He’s not full of the mealy-mouth bullshit that used to pass for children’s books. Starting way back in the ’60s — when Ozzie and Harriet values were finally starting to wither and die everywhere but in kids’ books — he talked to kids with respect. He thought they were smart. And creative. And they needed to be encouraged, not sedated.

via Jesse Kornbluth: Hey, Kids! A Decade After His Death, Shel Silverstein Has a New Book.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry:  I learned a lot from this analysis using debate team analysis as the basis.  Without this new understanding, I agree, anyway:  timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it.

In any debate, contestants must make decisions given their limited amount of time to speak. On Thursday night, Rick Perry made the wrong ones. The Texas governor came across as forced and all over the place — awkward, unsure, with no clear strategy for how to answer questions or when he should go on attack. At one point he tried to fit three attacks on his nearest challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, into one sentence.

In short, Perry misused his time.

Academic competitions set rules and speaking times, and the debate teams I coach cannot change them. Debaters must make argumentative decisions about what they need to say to win. You have to pick and choose your best argument and stick with it. You should have a theme, limit your attacks, clarify your positions. In the presidential debates, the candidates must also do so.

As we have learned by now, these debates are a bit stacked. Front-runners Romney and Perry get more questions, making the job harder for the other candidates. They have to win over voters with less speaking time. Some did well with their limited time at the Florida/Fox News/Google debate in Orlando, others not so much.

via Timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it – CNN.com.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, illegal immigration:

My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals, that you don’t have a heart,” Romney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. “I think if you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

via TRENDING: Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney:  I found this review helpful …

Reporters look at five moments from the debate in Orlando, Fla., and their importance going forward in the Republican race.

via The Caucus | Key Moments From the Debate – Video Library – The New York Times.

2012 Presidential Election, President Obama, Israel, analysis:  Israel is becoming the  key foreign affairs issue … so far neither party is looking very good … “As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.”

A small secret. In writing about the White House or Congress, I always feel completely free to attempt to see things clearly, to consider the evidence, to sift it through experience and knowledge, and then to make a judgment. It may be highly critical, or caustic, even damning. But deep down I always hope I’m wrong—that it isn’t as bad as I say it is, that there is information unknown to me that would explain such and such an act, that there were factors I didn’t know of that make bad decisions suddenly explicable. Or even justifiable.

I note this to make clear the particular importance, for me, of Ron Suskind’s book on the creation of President Obama’s economic policy, “Confidence Men.” If Mr. Suskind is right, I have been wrong in my critiques of the president’s economic policy. None of it was as bad as I said. It was much worse.

The most famous part of the book is the Larry Summers quote that he saw it as a “Home Alone” administration, with no grown-ups in charge. But there’s more than that. Most of us remember the president as in a difficult position from day one: two wars and an economic crash, good luck with that. But Mr. Suskind recasts the picture.

Mr. Obama isn’t as resilient as a Bill Clinton, with his broad spectrum of political gifts and a Rasputin-like ability to emerge undead in spite of the best efforts of his foes. His spectrum of political gifts is more limited. That’s a nice way to put it, isn’t it?

But consider what happened this week in New York.

Mr. Obama’s speech Wednesday at the United Nations was good. It was strong because it was clear, and it was clear because he didn’t rely on the thumping clichés and vapidities he’s lately embraced. When the camera turned to the professionally impassive diplomats in the audience, they seemed to be actually listening.

“It has been a remarkable year,” he said: Moammar Gadhafi on the run, Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali deposed, Osama bin Laden dead. “Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way they will be.” Technology is putting power in the hands of the people, history is tending toward the overthrow of entrenched powers. But “peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart.”

On the Mideast conflict: “The people of Palestine deserve a state of their own.” But the proposed U.N. statehood resolution is a “shortcut” that won’t work: “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Peace can be realized only when both parties acknowledge each other’s legitimate needs: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” Friends of the Palestinians “do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”

“I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress,” the president said. “So am I.” All in all, it was a measured statement at a tense moment. It was meant to defuse tensions, to cool things down.

Contrast it with the words of Rick Perry, who zoomed into New York to make his own Mideast statement the day before the president’s speech. The Obama administration’s policy, the Texas governor said, amounts to “appeasement.” It has encouraged “an ominous act of bad faith.” We are “at the precipice of such a dangerous move” because the Obama administration is “arrogant, misguided and dangerous.” “Moral equivalency” is “a dangerous insult.”

This was meant not to defuse but to inflame. It does not seem to have occurred to Mr. Perry that when you are running for president you have to be big, you have to act as if you’re a broad fellow who understands that when the American president is in a tight spot in the U.N., America is in a tight spot in the U.N. You don’t exploit it for political gain.

Perry competitor Rick Santorum responded: “I’ve forgotten more about Israel than Rick Perry knows about Israel,” he told Politico. Mr. Perry “has never taken a position on any of this stuff before, and [the media is] taking this guy seriously.”

The Israeli newspaper Ha’artez likened Mr. Perry’s remarks to “a pep rally for one of Israel’s right-wing politicians, and a hard-liner at that,” adding that the governor “adopted the rhetoric of Israel’s radical right lock, stock and barrel.”

I’d add only that in his first foreign-policy foray, the GOP front-runner looked like a cheap, base-playing buffoon.

As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.

via Amateur Hour at the White House – WSJ.com.

“The Good Wife” , tv, culture, gender issues, monogamy:  I don’t really like tv’s portrayal of our culture … “there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.”

Are men meant to be monogamous?

Alan Cumming from “The Good Wife” says there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.

via Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

Morgan Freeman, President  Obama, race relations, politics, Tea Party:  Makes you think … I personally had hoped Pres. Obama’s election would be a great leap forward for the U.S.

Morgan Freeman, in an interview to be aired on CNN Friday evening, says that President Obama has made racism worse in America.

Chatting with Piers Morgan, the Oscar-winning actor also blames the Tea Party saying they’re “going to do whatever [they] can to get this black man outta here” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

via Morgan Freeman: Obama Made Racism Worse, Tea Party Will Do ‘Whatever [It] Can To Get This Black Man Outta Here’ | NewsBusters.org.

Troy Davis, capital punishment, understatement, GA:  “Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.”  SETTLED!  Talk about effective use of understatement.

The idea that if you do wrong you get what’s coming to you animates Westerns and crime fiction, both distinctly American genres; small wonder it should find fertile political ground too. But here’s the thing: life is not a movie or a novel. Reality has no obligation to provide us with a clear narrative or villain, and it rarely does.

Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.

Speaker after speaker harped on the same two points, one sound and one largely but not wholly irrelevant. The former, of course, concerned the injustice of the death penalty and the large amount of doubt concerning Mr Davis’s guilt. He was effectively killed on the word of nine people, seven of whom changed their minds. Reports said that Georgia’s parole board, which denied Mr Davis clemency on Monday, split 3-2 on that decision. Eyewitness testimony is profoundly unreliable; that it, and only it, was used to kill someone is unjust on its face and sets a terrible precedent.

The largely irrelevant point concerned the large numbers of supporters Mr Davis had around the world. We were told that rallies were held in Europe and across America, that hundreds of thousands of people had signed petitions, that death-penalty supporters such as Bob Barr and William Sessions (a former Georgia congressman and a former FBI director) and luminaries such as Jimmy Carter and the pope all opposed Mr Davis’s execution. But the problem with Georgia’s decision to kill Mr Davis is not that it’s unpopular; it’s that it was wrong.

When it was all over, Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Church, where Martin Luther King preached, said, “This is one of those moments when the nation is called to examine itself and ask, ‘Is this who we are?'” It seems that it is, alas.

via Capital punishment: A death in Georgia | The Economist.

President Obama, Jobs Bill, ” A Bridge To Nowhere”, 2012 Presidential Election:  Is the jobs bill nothing more than a first swing at the 2012 election … “This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.”

“It’s a short-lived fix,” he says. “I mean, the guys will be working on the bridge for a couple years, and then they’re out of work again.”

The truth is, construction on the Brent Spence Bridge would not begin right away even if the bill passes tomorrow. The White House says it never claimed this project was shovel-ready. One reason it was chosen was its political symbolism.

The Brent Spence connects House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky. On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said it would be great to fix this bridge, but the president’s jobs bill won’t get it done.

“Don’t patronize us by implying that if we pass the second stimulus, that bridges will get fixed right away,” McConnell said. “The American people heard the same thing when the administration was selling the first stimulus.”

But small-business owner Jeffrey McClorey says the first stimulus really helped this community. He runs Bromwell’s Fireplace and Art Gallery, which calls itself the oldest business in Cincinnati. He says the first stimulus helped spur a mixed-use condo development along the river, called The Banks.

“There’s 300 new families living down at The Banks, and more coming. And those people are buying products from me and other people downtown and in the region,” McClorey says. “And it also benefits and helps to repopulate the city center, which I think is very important.”

This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.

via Obama’s Jobs Bill Pitch: A Bridge To Nowhere? : NPR.

“How I Met Your Mother”, tv, Katie Holmes,  “Slutty Pumpkin”, random, LOL:  OK, I watch some shows because my kids watch them.  I admit I have grown to love “How I Met Your Mother” and look forward to Season 7 and Katie Holmes as the “slutty pumpkin.”

Shockers abound in Season 7 of “How I Met Your Mother.”

Just days after the season premiere return of Season 1’s cupcake girl, Victoria (Ashley Williams), the identity of the elusive “Slutty Pumpkin” has been revealed.

First reported by Vulture, the elusive character first mentioned in Season 1 will appear this year in the form of Katie Holmes.

“Katie is a lovely and talented actress,” co-creator Craig Thomas tells Vulture, “which is why we’ve saved for her perhaps the most classily named character in our show’s history.”

“The Slutty Pumpkin,” also the name of the series’ sixth episode, was a potential love interest Ted (Josh Radnor) met at a 2001 Halloween party and never saw again. She’s since been mentioned several times — and cannot possibly be the mother.

via ‘How I Met Your Mother’ revelation: Katie Holmes is the ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ – chicagotribune.com.

Michael Warner, public lectures, UNC-CH, evangelical Christianity: ” Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.”

When one thinks of evangelical Christianity, “nation-shaping” is not the first concept to come to mind.

But Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.

Warner defined evangelicalism as a “transnational movement” that focuses on converting strangers. The movement is loud and unafraid to adapt to technology, he said.

He focused on the rise of evangelical Christians as a “counter public” in America from the late 18th century until the mid-1970s, which he claimed was the turning point for modern evangelicalism.

He discussed early American evangelical publications created for the purpose of converting readers, including “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” a sermon delivered in the 1740s by theologian Jonathan Edwards.

“The idea of evangelicalism follows the assumption that a reading of these texts anywhere by anyone leads to a conversion,” Warner said. “To read it is to imagine a spectacular conversion happening somewhere.”

“Free speech created a very special kind of culture,” he said.

Many students attended as part of their “Introduction to Fiction” class, said John Weeks, a junior psychology and political science double major.

“The religious discussion relates to the theme in the book we’re studying, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle,” said Tara Jeffries, a freshman journalism major.

“I enjoyed the references to American history and how the Puritanical religious views shaped the country,” Jeffries said. “His analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon and the way he deconstructed it were especially interesting.”

The lecture was part of the Critical Speaker Series of UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Yale professor lectures on social importance of evangelical Christianity.

Silent Sam, public monuments, Real Silent Sam movement, UNC-CH, history, traditions:  I clipped about silent Sam before.  It is difficult … should it go … I will say I was very moved by The Unsung Founders Memorial.  I am interested to see how this plays out.  My opinion is that it should stay and be a reminder of a history that you cannot deny … but be a discussion point.

0919_silentsam_sweeney

The statue in McCorkle Place has again sparked community-wide debate about the implications of having a monument to the Confederacy so prominently placed on campus.

But despite outrage from some, the monument has never been seriously threatened, at least during the past few decades.

Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said he has heard of no formal petition to remove the statue in his 31 years at the University.

On Sept. 1, a group called the Real Silent Sam movement, composed of concerned community members and students, held a protest to attract attention to the statue’s history.

Senior Will McInerney, a member of the movement, said the group wants to start a discussion about monuments with racist backgrounds.

University officials said they support the students’ right to protest the statue.

“I do fully support robust and earnest dialogue about this and similar issues, and I fully support student’s rights to raise this issue before the university community,” said Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs.

About 10 years ago, University officials heard from a senior class that wanted to commemorate another aspect of UNC’s history.

The Unsung Founders Memorial — the stone table situated less than 100 yards away from Silent Sam — was erected in 2005 by the graduating class of 2002 in memory of enslaved African-Americans who helped to build the University.

David Owens, chairman of UNC’s building and grounds committee, said careful considerations were made about the placement of the Unsung Founders monument.

“Silent Sam was the second monument to be placed inside the sidewalks at McCorkle Place,” Owens said, adding that the first was the burial site for Joseph Caldwell, the University’s first president, who was also a slaveowner.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Real Silent Sam movement holds protest focused on statue’s history.

Sebastian Junger, Reynolds Lecture, Davidson College:  Great lecture … “He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: ‘And then there’s Congress.’”

His talk touched on themes recounted in his books “War,” “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire.”

He describes his time embedded with an military unit in Iraq. We all almost died, he said. Soldiers come to know that “you die or survive because of a random set of circumstances. … It’s meaningless,” he said. “It really torments these guys.”

The horrors and meaninglessness of war create problems when veterans return. On the battlefield, they come to know brotherhood and loyalty. For brotherhood, he said, all that’s required is that you value others’ lives above your own. “It’s there in the platoon,” and soldiers know they all can be brave.

That accords them respect that is hard to find in civilian life, Mr. Junger said. In combat, “every 19 year old can be encased in all the respect he can ever want.”

Once back home, they miss that and find they lack the same sense of purpose. In response to a question after his talk, he said as a nation, our goal for veterans should be to make them feel necessary. “A hug is great,” he said, but we need to ensure they have a purpose.

He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: “And then there’s Congress.”

Mr. Junger also recounted the death of his friend, collaborator and photojournalist Timothy Hetherington, with whom he made the award-winning documentary “Restrepo,” about Afghanistan. After they appeared at the Academy Awards ceremony to received an award for the film, Mr. Hetherington headed off to cover the civil unrest in Libya. There, he was killed by a mortar shell.

As Mr. Junger mourned, a friend emailed him. Apologizing for being so blunt, he told Mr. Junger that he and Mr. Hetherington had come closer than most to capturing the meaning of war. “The central truth of war is not that you might die, it’s that you’re guaranteed to lose your brothers,” the friend wrote. Now you understand, the friend said.

via At Davidson, Junger talks about war and its meaning | DavidsonNews.net.

Freshman Cake Race, Davidson College, traditions, goats, followup:  A Davidson tradition is the freshman cake race … I just saw this and loved its creativity … someone made a kudzu eating goat cake!

Today’s Freshman Cake Race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Baker Sports Complex has inspired people all over town. One of the college’s crack strategic planning analysts, Janet Werner, was so moved by the college’s summer goat story that she confected this decorative entry, complete with tiny goat on top of kudzu fondant:

Not Baaaad!

And irrepressible math prof Tim Chartier concocted a real Wildcat paw/M&M cake on his computer, then brought it to life in the kitchen.

via Daybook Davidson.

Davidson College,  first night down, college life, student life, traditions, change:  Change is hard .. What college tradition would you be upset about if the college changd or banned it?

In 2009, First Night Down was officially renamed the Opening of the Court. Related events were moved from a Friday to a Monday in an effort to deemphasize drinking and encourage Patterson Court houses to better present their unique qualities to first year students. These changes, however, failed to achieve their desired effect.

This year, administrators from Student Life and Patterson Court chose to completely eliminate First Night Down, a decision that also precipitated a new set of recruitment rules for Patterson Court organizations.

Students were informed of this change on Aug. 15 in an email from Patterson Court Council President Lee Dorsey ’12. Dorsey attributed the decision to a year-long conversation involving the Patterson Court Council, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Police, Counseling and Student Health Center, the Union and the Residence Life Office.

Dorsey stated in the email that the event had lost its original focus and needed to better maintain its primary purpose: “to provide first-year students a comprehensive and welcoming experience, and to favorably introduce the pillars of our Patterson Court organizations and the Patterson Court Council to the outside community.”

In eliminating a formal opening date, Dorsey said that they hoped to “diffuse a frequently stressful and intense environment.”

Current students have mixed feelings about the decision. Krista Catafago ’14, a member of the last class to have a First Night Down, said, “As a freshman, I kind of resented the first night down rule, but as a sophomore, I’m able to understand the reasoning behind it. That being said, I think including students from all years from the very beginning has made the court more fun.”

Ace Coumas ’14 felt more strongly about the loss of the tradition. “I wouldn’t have known my [freshman] hall as well as I do today had First Night Down not existed,” he said. Though Meg Shamburger, Patterson Court Advisor, previously told The Davidsonian that she felt students were more upset about the changes to recruitment than the elimination of First Night Down, Coumas disagreed.

“A tradition has been stripped from Davidson College. It is certainly different. Of all the changes that have been dropped on returning students this year, this is the one that I am most concerned about,” he said.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Anne Wills ’88, Associate Professor of Religion, also suggests that First Night Down may have meant more to recent classes. “As a historian, I would have to point to this occasion as yet another recent invention/innovation that has disguised itself as an ancient (or at least generations-old) tradition,” she said.

Though First Night Down may not have left as great an imprint on the memories of Davidson’s older graduates, the loss is more strongly felt among current students and recent alumni. This loss of tradition reflects the larger goals of the administration to overhaul Patterson Court culture. The measure is officially a “preliminary solution to a long-term concern,” though it remains to be seen what steps will be taken next.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

$16 Muffins, government waste,  Justice Department, oversight:  I am glad there were no $16 Muffins, but it does show you how we can get overhyped by phrases … and the bottom line is there is a lot of waste.

There was a whole host of over-priced items: $5 meatballs, $7.50 beef canapes, $8 coffees. But the sound-byte everyone took from the story was the $16 muffin.

Journalists and auditors arrived at the startling price when they discovered that 250 muffins at a hotel conference had cost the Department $4,200. Many were outraged, and pointed to the muffins as a prime example of governmental waste. Senator Chuck Grassley even said that whoever was responsible should be fired. Obama, for his part, seems to be complying. Obama Foodorama reports that POTUS has ordered a systematic review of all conference spending, and put Vice President Biden in charge of oversight.

It sounds like the new oversight is worth it; the government undoubtedly wastes a lot of money on catering and hospitality. But there’s a fantastic irony at the heart of the entire story. Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum has a great explanation of why the $16 muffins didn’t really cost $16. The calculation was based on the invoice price of the muffins — which included overhead and service charges for the use of the conference space.

UPDATE: Peter Yost of the Associated Press just wrote a story denouncing the idea of the $16 muffin as well; interviews with Hilton indicate that the apparent $16 price included free drinks, service and fruit. Here’s the full AP story:

via $16 Muffins, Which May Not Be Real, Get Justice Department In Trouble.

college search, virtual campus tours:  Anybody found these useful?

Virtual campus tours have been an active part of the higher ed web space for over a decade. Designed as the online sibling to the physical campus tour, they have the potential to reach prospective students and have a major impact on the recruitment process. Yet despite this great potential, the vast majority of virtual campus tours in existence today are disappointing, at best.

via Virtual Campus Tours | Higher Ed Live.

1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, history, Atlanta, followup:  I posted the anniversary of the Epositions’s opening a week ago.  I have always been fascinated it because my great-grandfather JJ Dennard, a Georgia state legislator, attended.  His ticket/pass with his photograph on it (remember 1895!) was always in a drawer in my grandparents home.  My sister has it now.  It just fascinated me.  So here is a little history for you.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
U.S. President Cleveland

The most ambitious of the city’s cotton expositions was staged in 1895. Its goals were to foster trade between southern states and South American nations as well as to show the products and facilities of the region to the rest of the nation and to Europe. These objectives found expression in the official name of the event—the Cotton States and International Exposition. There were exhibits by six states and special buildings featuring the accomplishments of women and blacks. Also showcased was the latest technology in transportation, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and other fields. Amusements such as the “Phoenix Wheel” and an early version of the motion picture were set up as part of a midway to attract visitors.

On opening day, September 18, military bands played, followed by speeches from political, business, and other leaders, including the prominent African American educator Booker T. Washington. In a speech that came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech and that was greeted enthusiastically by white advocates of the New South, Washington did not challenge

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition

the prevailing ideas of segregation held by advocates of the New South; putting aside all claims to political power and social equality, he urged blacks to make progress as agricultural and industrial laborers. In spite of lavish promotion, fewer than 800,000 attended the three-month exposition, which was plagued by constant financial problems. The Cotton States Exposition did showcase Atlanta as a regional business center and helped to attract investment. Although most of the 1895 exposition’s buildings were torn down so that the materials could be sold for scrap, the city eventually purchased the grounds, which became the present-day Piedmont Park.

via New Georgia Encyclopedia: Cotton Expositions in Atlanta.

BofA,  Countrywide, bankruptcy, business ethics:  I am a big supporter of  Bank of America (my spouse has worded for BofA or a predecessor for his entire career).   But passing the Countrywide debacle off on the American people bothers me.  However, BofA took a huge hit with Merrill Lynch for the country … and has taken huge hits with countrywide already … Opinions?

The threat of a Countrywide bankruptcy is a “nuclear” option that Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan could use as leverage against plaintiffs seeking refunds on bad mortgages, said analyst Mike Mayo of Credit Agricole Securities USA. … “If the losses become so great, how can Bank of America at least not discuss internally the relative tradeoff of a Countrywide bankruptcy?” Mayo, who has an “underperform” rating on the bank, said in an interview. “And if you pull out the bazooka, you’d better be prepared to use it.”

via Report: Bank of America could consider Countrywide bankruptcy – Charlotte Business Journal.

Facebook, changes:  I do not get too upset about Facebook changes … but some pretty creative people do …

20
Sep
11

9.19.2011 … ChristCare then relaxing to disappointing new season of tv

ChristCare, FPC, Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast:  FPC runs a ChristCare  small group ministry.  I belong to a multigenerational women’s group, and we are starting a book written by a former FPC minister in 1977.  We are reading Lee Stoffel’s Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast.  So far it is excellent and it challenges you to ask how much has changed in 30+ years.

How I Met Your Mother, new season, tv:  I hate to say this … but I think i like to watch the whole season in a short period.  I think I like the instant gratification!

autism, culture, community:  Great article about integrating autistic adults communities.

As planned, he arrived that morning with a portfolio of his comic strips and charcoal sketches, some of which were sold through a Chelsea gallery. Kate Stanton-Paule, the teacher who had set up the meeting, accompanied him. But his first words upon entering the office were, like most things involving Justin, not in the script.

“Hello, everybody,” he announced, loud enough to be heard behind the company president’s door. “This is going to be my new job, and you are going to be my new friends.”

As the employees exchanged nervous glances that morning in January 2010, Ms. Stanton-Paule, the coordinator of a new kind of “transition to adulthood” program for special education students at Montclair High School, wondered if they were all in over their heads.

Justin, who barely spoke until he was 10, falls roughly in the middle of the spectrum of social impairments that characterize autism, which affects nearly one in 100 American children. He talks to himself in public, has had occasional angry outbursts, avoids eye contact and rarely deviates from his favorite subject, animation.  His unabashed expression of emotion and quirky sense of humor endear him to teachers, therapists and relatives. Yet at 20, he had never made a true friend.

People with autism, whose unusual behaviors are believed to stem from variations in early brain development, typically disappear from public view after they leave school. As few as one in 10 hold even part-time jobs. Some live in state-supported group homes; even those who attend college often end up unemployed and isolated, living with parents.

But Justin is among the first generation of autistic youths who have benefited throughout childhood from more effective therapies and hard-won educational opportunities. And Ms. Stanton-Paule’s program here is based on the somewhat radical premise that with intensive coaching in the workplace and community — and some stretching by others to include them — students like Justin can achieve a level of lifelong independence that has eluded their predecessors.

“There’s a prevailing philosophy that certain people can never function in the community,” Ms. Stanton-Paule told skeptics. “I just don’t think that’s true.”

With some 200,000 autistic teenagers set to come of age in the United States over the next five years alone, little is known about their ability to participate fully in public life, or what it would take to accommodate them. Across the country, neighbors, employers, colleagues and strangers are warily interacting with young adults whose neurological condition many associate only with children.

via Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World – NYTimes.com.

Arab Spring, diplomacy, international relations: Long term relationships are up in the air.  I had not thought of the long-term consequences of this move toward democracy in the middle east.

While the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring created new opportunities for American diplomacy, the tumult has also presented the United States with challenges — and worst-case scenarios — that would have once been almost unimaginable.

What if the Palestinians’ quest for recognition of a state at the United Nations, despite American pleas otherwise, lands Israel in the International Criminal Court, fuels deeper resentment of the United States, or touches off a new convulsion of violence in the West Bank and Gaza?

Or if Egypt, emerging from decades of autocratic rule under President Hosni Mubarak, responds to anti-Israeli sentiments on the street and abrogates the Camp David peace treaty, a bulwark of Arab-Israeli stability for three decades?

“We’re facing an Arab awakening that nobody could have imagined and few predicted just a few years ago,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a recent interview with reporters and editors of The New York Times. “And it’s sweeping aside a lot of the old preconceptions.”

It may also sweep aside, or at least diminish, American influence in the region. The bold vow on Friday by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to seek full membership at the United Nations amounted to a public rebuff of weeks of feverish American diplomacy. His vow came on top of a rapid and worrisome deterioration of relations between Egypt and Israel and between Israel and Turkey, the three countries that have been the strongest American allies in the region.

Diplomacy has never been easy in the Middle East, but the recent events have so roiled the region that the United States fears being forced to take sides in diplomatic or, worse, military disputes among its friends. Hypothetical outcomes seem chillingly present. What would happen if Turkey, a NATO ally that the United States is bound by treaty to defend, sent warships to escort ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to do?

via Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington – NYTimes.com.

adoption scandal, China, U.S. ramifications:  Chills … I know many families who have adopted from China, and this literally sent chills down my spine.

On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized babies from their parents and sold them into what the article called “a lucrative black market in children.”

The news, the latest in a slow trickle of reports describing child abduction and trafficking in China, swept through the tight communities of families — many of them in the New York area — who have adopted children from China. For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents?

And from that question, inevitably, tumble others: What can or should adoptive parents do? Try to find the birth parents? And if they could, what then?

Scott Mayer, who with his wife adopted a girl from southern China in 2007, said the article’s implications hit him head on. “I couldn’t really think straight,” Mr. Mayer said. His daughter, Keshi, is 5 years old — “I have to tell you, she’s brilliant,” he said proudly — and is a mainstay of his life as a husband and a father.

“What I felt,” he said, “was a wave of heat rush over me.”

Like many adoptive parents, Mr. Mayer can recount the emotionally exhausting process he and his wife went through to get their daughter, and can describe the warm home they have strived to provide. They had been assured that she, like thousands of other Chinese girls, was abandoned in secret by her birth parents, left in a public place with a note stating her date of birth.

But as he started to read about the Hunan cases, he said, doubts flooded in. How much did he — or any adoptive parent — really know about what happened on the other side of the world? Could Keshi have been taken by force, or bought by the orphanage in order to reap the thousands of dollars that American parents like him donate when they get their children?

In his home in Montclair, N.J., Mr. Mayer rushed upstairs to re-examine the adoption documents.

According to the news reports, the children were removed from their families when they were several months old, then taken to the orphanages. “The first thing I did was look in my files,” he said, speaking in deliberative, unsparing sentences. According to his paperwork, his daughter had been found on a specific date, as a newborn.

He paused to weigh the next thought.

“Now, could that have been faked?” he said. “Perhaps. I don’t know. But at least it didn’t say she was 3 months old when she was left at the orphanage.”

According to the State Department, 64,043 Chinese children were adopted in the United States between 1999 and 2010, far more than from any other country. Child abduction and trafficking have plagued other international adoption programs, notably in Vietnam and Romania, and some have shut down to stop the black market trade.

via China’s Adoption Scandal Sends Chills Through Families in U.S. – NYTimes.com.

fashion, copies: I always think it interesting how fast they copy … Who Wore it First? – Fall Fashion Trends 2011 – Fashion – InStyle

PostSecret, PostSecret App:  There was something really fun about checking PostSecret on Sunday … I think this will take away from that.  Although I do think more will post.

I started PostSecret six years ago in Washington, DC by passing out postcards to strangers and inviting them to illustrate a secret and mail it to me. Quickly, word of the project spread virally around the world. Today I have a pile of anonymous secrets taller than me – more than 600,000.

Now I’m excited about the new PostSecret App that allows users to discover secrets from their cities or schools, create and share anonymous secrets with their phone, and connect with like-minded people. In this special collection made for Huffington Post readers, I have included five provocative secrets mailed to me on postcards and five secrets shared with the new PostSecret App, and a trailer that explains how the app works.

via Frank Warren: EXCLUSIVE: New PostSecret Post Cards.

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer – Medal Of Honor Recipient, White House, White House home brew, President Obama: I thought it pretty gutsy that Mr. Meyer asked for the face time.  And I want some White House Honey Blonde!

Talk about an all-American beer.

Barack Obama and the White House chefs have been brewing beer for quite some time, and on Wednesday, the president shared some of the White House Honey Ale with a Medal of Honor recipient.

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer had requested to share a beer with the president before the ceremony, CBS reports.

The Honey Ale is the first beer brewed in the White House, but Obama is not the first president to take on the hobby, according to historians.

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were brewing aficionados, but Jefferson never made beer at the White House, and Washington, of course, never lived there, White House curator Bill Allman told NPR.

Early reports of the White House-brewed beer began circulating after Obama offered it to guests guests during the Super Bowl this year, CBS reports. The beer was also consumed on St. Patty’s Day.

Obama Foodorama, a blog focusing on the administration’s food and nutrition initiatives, reports that the Honey Ale isn’t the only beer that’s been brewed by the chefs. A White House Honey Blonde and a White House Honey Porter have also been created.

The Obamas paid for all of the brewing equipment out of pocket, according to CBS.

The casual meeting between Obama and Meyer didn’t end without controversy, though.

White House staffers Tweeted a photo of the two men talking over drinks Wednesday, which elicited both sincere praise and snarky remarks about the president, the Washington Post points out.

Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor on Thursday for his service in Afghanistan.

via White House Brews Its Own Beer; Obama Shares A Drink With Dakota Meyer, Medal Of Honor Recipient.

writing, tipsUncreative Writing – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

House Speaker John Boehner, politics, democrats v republicans, jobs creation/deficit reduction:  Irony here …

House Speaker John Boehner just gave a speech outlining the GOP’s ideas for jobs creation and its prescriptions for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. I thought I’d highlight two sentences from it. There was this:

If we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the “my way or the highway” philosophy behind.

And there was also this:

Tax increases, however, are not a viable option for the Joint Committee.

The juxtaposition of those two sentences perfectly encapsulate the last two and a half years of United States political history. And who knows — it may end up encapsulating what’s left of Obama’s term, too.

via Two sentences from John Boehner’s speech – The Plum Line – The Washington Post.

travel, guidebooks, NYC, LOL: Sounds like fun … I wonder how long it takes.

The Italian art house publishing group Log607 is testing conventional wisdom that guidebooks should be fact-based with a series of fictional-narrative guides that force tourists to go on treasure hunts. These “WhaiWhai” guides have been popular in Italy for a few years now, but had not been released for any city outside the boot until this week when New York: The Pegleg hit bookstores.

The book concerns the legend of a magical pegleg that once belonged to Peter Stuyvesant, and asks readers — who might better be described as participants — to go to different Manhattan landmarks in search for “secrets.” Each page of each guidebook is cut into thirds and participants are given codes that tell them how to put a page together whenever they correctly solve a puzzle by identifying a detail about New York (a la the number of women depicted on a Broadway Theater’s facade).

In an effort to determine whether treasure hunt-style guidebooks might become a fad, HuffPost Travel editors Paul Brady and Andrew Burmon took to the streets and tried to uncover the secrets of the pegleg. The experiment went swimmingly, providing our stand-in travelers with an excellent excuse to get out of the office and wander around downtown Manhattan. They made some interesting discoveries along the way, but also found this creative guidebook model a bit of an uneasy compromise.

The book is clearly intended to create opportunities for serendipity and exploration while also being very opinionated about where travelers should go next.

via New York: The Pegleg: A Guidebook That’s Actually A Treasure Hunt (VIDEO).

Tim Gruber, high school sports, high school cross-country, kudos:  Kudos, Tim Gruber!

Tim Gruber won the 13th annual Cannon Invitational Cross Country Invitational boys’ race on Saturday, Sept. 17, on his home 5K course at Cannon. Lake Norman Charter School won the team title with 73 points, edging North Raleigh Christian with 77.

via Gruber wins Cannon Invite, other local runners shine | Sports.

French macarons, cookbooks:  I want to master French macarons! Macarons – Anthropologie.com.

reform education, great schools revolution:

Why now? One answer is the sheer amount of data available on performance, not just within countries but between them. In 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD, a rich-country club, began tracking academic attainment by the age of 15 in 32 countries. Many were shocked by where they came in the rankings. (PISA’s latest figures appear in table 1.) Other outfits, too, have been measuring how good or bad schools are. McKinsey, a consultancy, has monitored which education systems have improved most in recent years.

Technology has also made a difference. After a number of false starts, many people now believe that the internet can make a real difference to educating children. Hence the success of institutions like America’s Kahn Academy (see article). Experimentation is also infectious; the more governments try things, the more others examine, and copy, the results.

Above all, though, there has been a change in the quality of the debate. In particular, what might be called “the three great excuses” for bad schools have receded in importance. Teachers’ unions have long maintained that failures in Western education could be blamed on skimpy government spending, social class and cultures that did not value education. All these make a difference, but they do not determine outcomes by themselves.

The idea that good schooling is about spending money is the one that has been beaten back hardest. Many of the 20 leading economic performers in the OECD doubled or tripled their education spending in real terms between 1970 and 1994, yet outcomes in many countries stagnated—or went backwards. Educational performance varies widely even among countries that spend similar amounts per pupil. Such spending is highest in the United States—yet America lags behind other developed countries on overall outcomes in secondary education. Andreas Schleicher, head of analysis at PISA, thinks that only about 10% of the variation in pupil performance has anything to do with money.

Many still insist, though, that social class makes a difference. Martin Johnson, an education trade unionist, points to Britain’s “inequality between classes, which is among the largest in the wealthiest nations” as the main reason why its pupils underperform. A review of reforms over the past decade by researchers at Oxford University supports him. “Despite rising attainment levels,” it concludes, “there has been little narrowing of longstanding and sizeable attainment gaps. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds remain at higher risks of poor outcomes.” American studies confirm the point; Dan Goldhaber of the University of Washington claims that “non-school factors”, such as family income, account for as much as 60% of a child’s performance in school.

via Reforming education: The great schools revolution | The Economist.

Ted Williams, heroes, baseball:   “the greatest achievement in 20th-century hitting” and “a lesson to all who value the best in human possibility.”

In an essay within the 1994 book “Ted Williams: A Portrait in Words and Pictures,” the Harvard paleontologist and popular science writer Stephen Jay Gould called Williams’s 1941 season “the greatest achievement in 20th-century hitting” and “a lesson to all who value the best in human possibility.”

via Ted Williams’s .406 Average Is More Than a Number – NYTimes.com.

John Maynard Keynes, economics, graphics:  Very interesting article … love the graphic!  Winston Churchill of economics!

FOR someone who’s been dead for 65 years, John Maynard Keynes has amazing presence. Open a paper, click on a blog or TV, and, voilà, like Waldo, he’s everywhere. The British economic oracle — whose boyhood nickname Snout should tell you that a pretty face isn’t why he’s hot — gets more Google hits than Leonardo DiCaprio. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas apparently got so fed up with the old scene stealer that he interrupted a recent Republican debate to flash his rivals the news that Keynes was, well, deceased.

For some, Keynes is the hero who rescued the West from the Great Depression, for others the villain to blame for the current mess. To me, he’s neither, but rather the Winston Churchill of economics, radiating optimism when things looked bleakest, never so happily engaged as in a national or global emergency.

The new, cheerful social science that Marshall pioneered and Keynes and others innovated was a genuine revolution in human thinking that changed the lives of everyone on the globe. What would Keynes say if he were, say, to appear on CNBC tomorrow? That we’ve overcome a dozen challenges as bad or worse, that the tenfold rise in standards since Jane Austen’s lifetime shows that we’ve done more things right than wrong, and that the “apparatus of the mind” — which demands that we let facts change our minds, engage our critics and see common ground — is infinitely more helpful in a crisis than ideology or raw emotion.

And what would Keynes do now? Go shopping, I suspect. This was the “incorrigible optimist,” his biographer Robert Skidelsky relates, who made a big bet on the United States recovery in 1936 and hung on when it collapsed again in 1937. It may have looked like midnight but Keynes knew that morning would come again.

via John Maynard Keynes – His sunny optimism shaped economists’ approach to depression. – NYTimes.com.

Republican governors, politics, republican v. democrat:  Governors are a different breed from Members of Congress and their politics can vary much more … think Romney and Perry.

But the four Republicans’ uncompromising and unapologetic stance marks them out, says Carolyn Fiddler of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, an outfit dedicated to getting more Democrats elected to state legislatures. She notes that they have all attempted to cut taxes even as they slash spending. Mr Kasich’s budget compounded an $8 billion two-year shortfall by eliminating Ohio’s inheritance tax and pressing ahead with a promised income-tax cut that had been delayed for two years. Mr Walker piled $200m in tax cuts onto a $3.2 billion gap in Wisconsin. Mr Scott, who already needed to find cuts of $3.7 billion to make ends meet, proposed $2 billion in tax cuts, but was rebuffed by the legislature.

All this has made the four heroes in Republican circles. Mr Christie is constantly swatting away pleas that he run for president. Mr Walker is spoken of as vice-presidential material. Their pugnaciousness has energised donors and activists. But it has not endeared them to the general electorate. Polls over the summer put Mr Christie’s approval rating at 47%, Mr Walker’s at 45%, Mr Kasich’s at 36% and Mr Scott’s at 35%—especially dismal numbers for the three who have been in office for less than a year.

It is a standard tactic to get unpleasant tasks out of the way at the beginning of a four-year term, in the hope that anger will have faded by election time. It worked for Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana, another swing state. But Messrs Kasich and Walker, in particular, seem to have stirred unusually fierce opposition.

via Republican governors: The right’s brave swingers | The Economist.

2012 Primaries, media primary coverage:  Interesting article – should national media cover all the candidates … is there a journalistic obligation?

JONATHAN BERNSTEIN makes an excellent point:

The other thing that’s important to remember is that there is no actual good reason for either parties or the press to be fair to candidates. They should be fair to voters, either individually or as they exist in organized groups and constituencies. But candidates? Nope.

There’s no reason at all why Herman Cain or Rick Santorum “deserves” to be covered. Ron Paul is different: he has no chance to win the Republican nomination, but he has a fervent following of supporters nationwide and is a national political figure in his own right amongst the small but ideologically influential libertarian constituency. But for the rest of this year’s vanity candidates, I’d actually go further than Mr Bernstein does: the press is doing the public a disservice by covering them. The mainstream media’s job ought to be filtering out the irrelevant noise for busy voters so that they can process the information they need to have in order to vote. To the extent major press organs fail to filter out irrelevant noise, they’re not doing their jobs.

via Primary coverage: The media should be fair to voters, not candidates | The Economist.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.),  2012 Election:  Everything may be worse under Obama, but the republicans are doing everything to lose the election in my opinion.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that “everything is worse” under President Barack Obama.

“This is our election to lose,” Graham told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked for his assessment of the GOP candidates and the 2012 race.

“President Obama has done everything he knows how to do to beat himself. The reason people have little confidence in President Obama’s policies, they’re just not working. Everything is worse: 2 million people unemployed after he took office. Gas prices are 100 percent higher. Home values are down. Debt is up by 35 percent”

“There seems to be no relief on the horizon,” Graham said. “He keeps proposing the same old things.”

Graham’s remarks ran counter to the perspective offered earlier in the program by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who was optimistic about Obama’s reelection prospects.

“As I listen to the Republican presidential nominee candidates come forward and spot their ideas and bow and genuflect to the Tea Party and their agenda, I remember the Tea Party is not very popular in America,” Durbin told Crowley.

“I don’t think people like that style of politics.”

via Lindsey Graham: 2012 Election Is GOP’s To Lose, ‘Everything Is Worse’ Under Obama.

Is Marriage for White People?, books, culture:  Interesting question.

The unmarried black woman is a figure of cultural fascination these days. Cable news specials, popular books by Steve Harvey and T. D. Jakes, the films of Tyler Perry, and newspaper articles about single black women and their children born out of wedlock send waves of dismay through the American public. The explanations offered for this phenomenon tend to be of two sorts: prurient accounts of black male promiscuity and irresponsibility, or caricatures of aggressive and unreasonable black women. It is rare for the popular media to include careful social or historical analyses. Rather, they are often purveyors of a moral panic presented without root or reason.

Upon reading the title “Is Marriage for White People?” I assumed the book, by the Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks, would follow in this trend. But I was wrong. Banks doesn’t offer a jeremiad about the decline of black family values in the way of so many others who do little more than regurgitate Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which described black family structure as “a tangle of pathology.” Refreshingly, Banks offers a well-researched and probing discussion of why marriage rates are so low among black Americans.

In clean and efficient prose, Banks presents a lucid picture of romantic life in black America. Moreover, he disposes of the mythology that the failure to marry is primarily an underclass phenomenon, turning his attention especially to the lives of middle-class black women. He has set out to answer the question: Why are black women “half as likely as white women to be married, and more than three times as likely as white women never to marry”?

via Is Marriage for White People? — By Ralph Richard Banks — Book Review – NYTimes.com.

message bottle, random:  I always wanted to put a message in a bottle … nice story.

The clear glass bottle was found Thursday by Navy Petty Officer Jon Moore during a beach cleanup at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai island.

The bottle contained four origami cranes — symbols of peace in Japan — as well as a photo of Arikawa’s elementary school class and a note dated March 25, 2006, and signed by Arikawa saying she wanted it to be “a graduation memory.”

News of the bottle’s recovery reconnected more than a dozen of her old classmates, now studying at different high schools, and their elementary school homeroom teacher for a reunion Saturday. Arikawa says she now wants to further expand the circle of friendship.

via Japanese girl thanks US sailor in Hawaii for finding message bottle, calls it a ‘miracle’ – The Washington Post.

GOP, “Right to Death Party”, 2012 Presidential Debates:  I too was shocked by the crowd’s response … another example of the GOP going down the wrong rabbit hole.

I’ve watched the two Republican Party debates, and something weird is going on in the audience.

When moderator Brian Williams said to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “Your state has executed 234 Death Row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times,” the audience APPLAUDED.

Applause at the number of people executed in Texas?

When Ron Paul was asked by Wolf Blitzer about health insurance, and how an uninsured man who had a medical emergency should be treated, the Texas Congressman said:

“That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks.”

The audience cheered.

Paul continued: “This whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody …”

“Are you saying that society should just let him die?” Blitzer asked.

There were cheers from the audience of “Yeah!”

How about these guys – applauding even before Ron Paul answered the question!

Now, I haven’t been to church in years, but I seem to remember the question of “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And something about “Thou shall not kill.”

So how is it that NOT ONE single candidate – some of whom claim their spirituality has been a guiding force in their politics – how could they not challenge the applause, and maybe suggest that their invited audience take a step back from the bloodlust?

I totally take it for granted that one of the founding principles of the United States is freedom to express an opinion. But having said that, regardless of party affiliation, I can’t imagine APPLAUDING at the idea of death – either mandated by lethal injection, or from lack of medical insurance.

via GOP: The “Right to Death Party”? – CBS News.

CU- Boulder, kith/kin: disappointing … CU falls in national rankings but still holds high position | CU Independent.

Bob Turner (R-NY), Anthony Weiner, LOL: I just laughed … But Mrs. Weiner has a point.

Newly-elected Republican Bob Turner officially took over Anthony Weiner’s House seat on Thursday. But he won’t literally be taking over his chair.

That’s because Turner’s wife Peggy apparently wants Weiner’s office chair, the one the embattled former Congressman tweeted lewd pictures from, removed from the office.

Turner took over Weiner’s old office, suite 2104, in the Rayburn House Office Building last week. Upon moving in, they found some choice leftovers from the office’s prior inhabitants. “Weiner left his toothbrush behind! It literally says ‘Anthony’ on it,” an insider tells the New York Post.

This prompted Peggy Turner to ask for a thorough sanitization of the entire space. The insider notes Mrs. Turner was discussing replacing the office chair and carpeting, in addition to having the place professionally cleaned.

But the 70-year-old new congressman, a retired television executive from Queens, was decidedly mum about the decision. “That’s not the most important thing I have to deal with,” he said. Turner, a first-time politician, is just learning the ropes of Congress. He’s taking over Weiner’s seat just hours after winning Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 9th District.

via Turner Takes Over: Anthony Weiner’s Old Office Gets a Scrubdown – TIME NewsFeed.

America’s Favorite Cities, photography, LIFE:  I agree … Chicago has the most beautiful skyline!

America’s Favorite Cities With Travel + Leisure

From sea to shining sea, the United States of America has the best, brightest, and most exciting cities in the world. But with its bounty of metropolitan riches, it’s sometimes hard to decide between destinations when you’re up for a domestic trip. Thank the travel-ready gods, then, for Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual round-up of Americans’ favorite U.S. cities in various categories. T+L editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod recently sat down with LIFE to give readers an early scoop on this year’s winners, including the always-entertaining T+L look at America’s most and least attractive people.

via America’s Favorite Cities – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

10
Feb
11

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

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

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

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

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

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

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

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

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quotes, happiness quotes:

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

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

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

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

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

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

green:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

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

quotes, random, LOL:

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

via NCIS rerun quote:….

23
Dec
10

12.23.24 … why I thought today was a good day to pay taxes, pet license fees, etc., I do not know … Merry Christmas!

food, 1970s:  So very 70s, but I do love them …  French-Inspired Party: Crepes for Christmas : Holidays and Parties : Food Network.

cookbooks, holidays, graphics:  From Linda Hoopes … A fun holiday cookbook and tutorial on how graphics can be used to explain things. Amazing holiday recipes from around the world | Happy holidays 2010 from XPLANE – Page 3.

calendar, Christmas, Christmas Eve:  I might just put this on my calendar … first at 8 at FPC then on the tv …

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark will be featured in the holiday broadcast, “A Christmas for Everyone: A Service of Lessons and Carols,” which will air nationwide Dec. 24 at 11:35 PM ET on CBS.

via Victoria Clark Will Be Featured in CBS’ “A Christmas for Everyone” – Playbill.com.




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