Posts Tagged ‘CU – Boulder

30
Sep
11

9.30.2011 … I never thought I would be so excited about a few blades of grass! … tgif …

UNC-CH, international students, game reserves, Zimbabwe, Africa:  One of Molls’ favorite memories was visiting the game farm of a friend.  There is something magical that goes on there.

Cheetah urine on the curtains, a baby rhino knocking you off your chair and the family’s pet hyena trying to eat you are not the problems of a typical North Carolina student athlete, but they are for field hockey player Samantha Travers, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC forward recalls growing up on game reserve in Zimbabwe.

Appalachian Trail, thru hikers, Robert Yerike, RIP:  RIP, Buffalo Bobby.  I hope you died happy, doing something you loved.

A 67-year-old hiker was within 20 miles of completing the Appalachian Trail for the third time when he suffered a fatal medical problem.The Maine Forest Service received a call Thursday about a so-called “thru-hiker” who suffered stroke-like symptoms on a rugged stretch known as the 100-Mile Wilderness.0CommentsWeigh InCorrections?inShareThe hiker was Robert Yerike YER’-ick of Brick, N.J. He had to be carried more than 2 miles because bad weather made a helicopter rescue impossible. He died Thursday night at Millinocket Hospital.Yerike started hiking in Georgia in March. His family says the former paratrooper known on the trail as “Buffalo Bobby” completed the more than 2,000-mile trail twice before.One of his six children says he was planning to return to New Jersey on Sunday.

via NJ hiker dies in Maine just a few miles short of completing Appalachian Trail – The Washington Post.

Facebook, changes, marketing: Never realized what a big deal Facebook is too marketers, even colleges.

From Timeline to ticker and a totally revamped stream, it has been a big couple weeks for Facebook. And while the social giant’s latest innovations are grabbing headlines, many marketers are left wondering how the changes will impact their own efforts on the platform. Though largely overlooked amidst the recent media frenzy, Facebook has been quietly making significant changes to the way marketers engage with the site. Included in these changes are overhauling if and when your content will appear in a users’ stream, lifting restrictions on how users engage with your Page, and reversing the platform’s approach to public figure profiles, just to name a few.

via What Facebook Changes Means for Marketers | Higher Ed Live.

CU-Boulder,  youth violence prevention project,  Denver, kudos:  What an exciting project.  Kudos to CU.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is granting $6.5 million to CU to lead a project to reduce youth violence in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, according to a news release from CU.

The project, a five-year process that will begin Sept. 30, received praise from the city when it was submitted as a grant. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock supported the initiative.

Delbert Elliot, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and distinguished professor emeritus of sociology, is leading the project which will be partnered with the School of Medicine.

“We intend to create a novel combination of risk assessment and interventions in a broad partnership with the community, and in collaboration with a local hospital, to address the problem of high levels of violence,” said Elliot in a CU news release.

via CU leads violence prevention project in Denver | CU Independent.

BofA, headlines: Bad week/month/quarter for BofA … at least we weren’t the headline.

Morgan Stanley shares shed 7%, battered by concerns about the investment firm’s exposure to Europe, and Bank of America Corp. limped toward the third-quarter finish line Friday.

Bank of America also dragged on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -2.16% . The bank closed 3.6% lower on Friday and fell 25% in September alone. It is the worst performer among the Dow industrials’ 30 components for the quarter.

via Morgan Stanley sinks 11% on Europe exposure – Financial Stocks – MarketWatch.

Michele Bachmann, Arab Spring, GOP: Arab Spring is a consequence of Obama’s “weakness?”  Personally, I don’t think it had anything to do with Obama … and not a bad thing.

Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has taken her special perspective on world affairs to a new level, telling an audience in Concord, N.C., on Thursday that the Arab Spring was the unwelcome consequence of weak leadership from President Obama.

“You want to know why we have Arab Spring?” Bachmann asked in the appearance. “Barack Obama has laid the table for the Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America.”

In Bachmann’s telling, the widespread popular — and mostly peaceful — movements by Arab people to liberate themselves from decades of brutal dictatorships has posed a threat to the safety of Israel, and should not have been allowed to take place.

“[Obama] put a lot of daylight in our relationship with our ally Israel,” she added.

In a May speech, President Obama explicitly embraced the revolutions sweeping the Middle East, and confirmed that the U.S. would do everything in its power to help usher them along.

via Michele Bachmann Slams Arab Spring As Consequence Of Obama’s ‘Weakness’.

Pottermore beta:  I never got on the beta … I may lose interest by the time they let me on. 😦

There are now one million people with access to Pottermore and everyone who registered through The Magical Quill challenge can access the site.

The Beta is enabling us to learn a lot about how people want to use Pottermore – and to understand the features they enjoy the most.

Since the launch of the Beta, we’ve seen really high levels of activity, and interaction with the site has been phenomenal. This affects how quickly we can give everyone access. As a result, we’ve decided to extend the Beta period beyond September and take a different approach to the way new users are brought onto the site.

From the end of October, registration will be opened to everyone and we’ll be giving access to registered users in phases. Access may be granted quickly, but please note it could also take some weeks or months, depending on demand.

We are also making a number of enhancements and simplifications to Pottermore, in order to make the site smoother and more enjoyable – so existing Beta users will likely experience some changes when new users begin to join.

Finally, the Pottermore Shop, which will sell the Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books, will now open in the first half of 2012, in order to allow us to focus on our first priority: opening Pottermore to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be.

via Pottermore Insider: Beta and Beyond.

UBS, 2011 rogue trading scandal, risk management: ” I’m pretty convinced that we have one of the best risk managements in the industry.”

Looking back, perhaps Gruebel’s most side splitting remark came this past June when he said “we have no undue risk in our positions… I’m pretty convinced that we have one of the best risk managements in the industry.”
Man, what a laugher. Just too comical. But what really cracks us up about that particular statement is not that he announced a $2.3 billion rogue trading loss barely two months later.  It’s that he said it with a perfectly straight face.

New Boom, oil industry, North Dakota, fracking:  I had no idea of the magnitude of this.

The boom in Williston, Charles Groat says, is happening in spots across America. New drilling technology is also fueling boom towns in Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado. New drilling technologies mean companies can extract oil and natural gas from shale rock that was previously thought unreachable.

“Horizontal drilling — accessing a huge area of reservoir — and then the fracking process, which props opens those cracks, and allows the liquid or gas to flow to the well,” Groat says. “That’s what’s made shale gas and shale oil such a viable resource.”

But those techniques also raise environmental concerns that Groat is studying.

“There is a danger, here – the fact that we drill so many wells,” he says. “If you look at the numbers of wells that have been drilled in North Dakota, just in recent times, the numbers of wells are huge, which increases the opportunity for bad things to happen environmentally or procedurally in developing the resource. We also are not dealing, of course, with the question of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide as we continue our hydrocarbon dependence.”

Global Implications

Amy Myers Jaffe of Rice University says in the next decade, new oil in the US, Canada and South America could change the center of gravity of the entire global energy supply.

“Some are now saying, in five or 10 years’ time, we’re a major oil-producing region, where our production is going up,” she says.

The US, Jaffe says, could have 2 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be drilled. South America could hold another 2 trillion. And Canada? 2.4 trillion. That’s compared to just 1.2 trillion in the Middle East and north Africa.

Jaffe says those new oil reserves, combined with growing turmoil in the Middle East, will “absolutely propel more and more investment into the energy resources in the Americas.”

via NPR.org » New Boom Reshapes Oil World, Rocks North Dakota.

“Courageous”, movies, faith-based film industry: “As of this morning, purchases for “Courageous” accounted for 26% of the transactions on the site; the only other new release that comes close is “50/50,” which was in fourth place with 7%. The film has also been trending throughout much of the day on Google.”  Impressive numbers for a low-budget faith inspired film.

“Courageous,” a film about four police officers attempting to be good fathers and maintain their Christian faith, may be the most popular new movie release of the weekend. Yet odds are that you’ve never even heard of it.

The new movie — which opens on 1,161 screens nationwide and was co-written and directed by Alex Kendrick, the filmmaker behind past faith-based films such as “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” — is leading advance sales on Fandango and has been throughout the week, according to data provided by the online ticket retailer.

As of this morning, purchases for “Courageous” accounted for 26% of the transactions on the site; the only other new release that comes close is “50/50,” which was in fourth place with 7%. The film has also been trending throughout much of the day on Google.

But “Courageous” was not screened in advance for most critics (only four reviews can currently be found on Rotten Tomatoes) and the marketing push behind it does not even approach the media blitzes behind competitors like “50/50” and Anna Faris’s “What’s Your Number?”

via ‘Courageous’: The movie that’s leading Fandango ticket sales – Celebritology 2.0 – The Washington Post.

Apple, corporate secrets:  Whatever happened to the guy that left the iPhone 4 in the bar?

To feed the fan fire, Apple keeps its new devices shrouded in secrecy until launch day. As the iPhone 5 release date approaches, a lot has been said about the latest iGadget, but not much has been confirmed. And Apple likes it like that. While its had its slip-ups, Apple is pretty good at keeping those privy to its latest device muzzled, requiring a series of involved security procedures for those who get to test the device pre-launch. A few executives and developers who went through Apple’s absurd security precautions and lived to tell exactly how Apple keeps its new products under wraps. It’s intense.

via All the Ways Apple Keeps Secrets (That We Know Of) – Technology – The Atlantic Wire.

Great  Recession,  women’s equality:  Not good for anyone …

The recession was bad for everyone, but women experienced at least one silver lining: Their median earnings edged a bit closer to men’s.

The progress was bittersweet, however. It happened not because women earned more, but because men earned less, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data.

via Recession Struck Inadvertent Blow for Women’s Equality – NYTimes.com.

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.

02
Feb
11

2.2.2011 … Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring! … Happy Groundhog Day (a strictly secular holiday :) )… and Candlemas, too.

Groundhog Day:

Punxsutawney Phil has been prognosticating about when spring will come since the 1880s, and he’s developed quite a legend in the meantime.

via Punxsutawney Phil tweets: five little-known facts about Groundhog Day 2011 – There is only one Punxsutawney Phil – CSMonitor.com.

Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring!

via Facebook.

 

Candlemas Day, Groundhog Day, worship:  I’ll give it to the Episcopalians for making sure I know that Groundhog Day is a “strictly a secular holiday!”

FEAST OF THE PURIFICATION OF THE VIRGIN

CANDLEMAS DAY (FEB 2)

The events commemorated today are recorded in Luke 2:22-39.

Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem (1) to offer sacrifice on behalf of Mary to mark the end of her seclusion (see Le 12:1-8), and (2) to ransom or redeem (buy back) Jesus as a first-born male (see Ex 13:11-13; 22:29; Nu 18:15-16; Dt 15:19). As they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon. In a Sunday-School pageant, I once saw, the narrator said, “And now Simeon bursts into a spontaneous song of praise, assisted by the Temple Choir.” His song, called the Nunc Dimittis, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship. It has often been rendered in verse. I append one example.

Because an old reading for this festival contains the line (Zephaniah 1:12), “I will search Jerusalem with candles,” the day is also known as Candlemas, and sometimes observed with a candle-lit procession. On the other hand, Groundhog Day (“If the groundhog (or woodchuck, a kind of marmot, which burrows and hibernates) sees his shadow on 2 February, there will be six more weeks of winter.”) is strictly a secular holiday, brought to the United States and Canada by German immigrants.

via Feast of the Presentation (Purification of the Virgin Mary; Candlemas Day).

RIP, Willie B, childhood,  Atlanta: Oh, I didn’t know … One of my favorite childhood memories was going to see Willie B.  I even took my kids to see him in his new habitat in the 90s.

On this day in 2000, Willie B., Zoo Atlanta’s famous resident gorilla, passed away.

By: Atlanta History Center

CU – Boulder, students, kith/kin:  So now I know what Boulder students do after graduation!

The University of Colorado at Boulder is ranked the No. 1 school recruiting undergraduate students to serve in the Peace Corps.  According to a CU news release, 117 students are serving around the world this year.

In the CU news release, Chancellor Philip DiStefano said he is glad CU is contributing to the global community.

“I am delighted that our emphasis on civic engagement as part of the learning experience at CU-Boulder has resulted in service-oriented graduates contributing to their global community,” DiStefano said in the news release. “Service learning and civically engaged graduates are a cornerstone of our Flagship 2030 strategic plan and it is gratifying for the university community to realize that our vision is becoming a reality.”

via CU ranked No. 1 for graduates serving in the Peace Corps | CU Independent.

Super Bowl, sex trafficking, culture:  Yesterday I posted a friend’s blogpost about the feasting aspect of the Super Bowl … I guess the fans feast in other ways, too.

While football fans are eagerly anticipating the Feb. 6 Super Bowl showdown in Dallas, some state officials are gearing up for the big game’s dark side: the surge in human trafficking that tends to accompany major sports and entertainment events. “What we’ve learned is that sexual trafficking, sexual exploitation of children in particular, is all about supply and demand,” says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. With more than 100,000 fans descending on Dallas, that demand is going to be great. There is a “looming potential explosion of human trafficking around the Super Bowl,” says Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is expecting hundreds of girls and women to be brought to the area.
Past Super Bowls have borne this out. In the wake of 2009’s game in Tampa, Florida’s Department of Children and Families took in 24 children who’d been trafficked to the city for sex work. Given that Texas, according to Abbott, is second only to California when it comes to trafficking, the figures for Dallas could be even worse.

via The Super Bowl of Sex Trafficking – Newsweek.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, kudos: … “beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building”  – we have some work to do … “few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics.” … I am not so sure about that one …. But kudos nonetheless to my home city!

“We’re honored that the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host its 2012 convention,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “Thanks to the hard work and support of so many throughout our community, we have an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte. As we tell the story of Charlotte, and what a great place our city, state and region are to live and do business, we also will tell the story of America to our fellow citizens and our neighbors around the world.”

Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chairs the Charlotte In 2012 organizing committee with Mayor Foxx, added, “Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature. Only a few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. The economic and reputational significance of being chosen for this honor cannot be overstated.”

via Charlotte to Host 2012 Democratic National Convention | Charlotte in 2012.

Apple, apps, lists:  A new list for me to checkout! Full List – 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 – TIME.

Great Recession, consumers, superlatives, Wilmington NC:  Thumbs down on this one Wilmington, NC:

Where are people most addicted to their plastic? Apparently it’s Wilmington, whose residents seem to love (or maybe just need) their credit cards more than anywhere else in the country.

That’s according to data from Equifax, one of the national companies that compiles credit reports on consumers. According to a just-released study from Equifax, people in Wilmington owe an average of 17.26 percent of their income to credit cards, more than any other U.S. city. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe it’s something in the water, but the seaside haven is also the hometown of two of the three N.C.-based banks that have failed during the financial crisis.

via Wilmington tops the list for U.S. credit card debt – CharlotteObserver.com.

blogposts, quotes, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, graphics: Two of my favorite blogs have great quotes by great folks this week.

“To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.”
Winston Churchill

The Happiness Project.

-and-

quote of the week – cs lewis – my blog – Ordinary Courage.  And don’t you like her graphics!

Great Recession, Financial Meltdown, BofA:  Well I think Moynihan came out ok given the Bank’s performance.

It was a tough year for Bank of America, what with the foreclosure mess and a sagging stock price. Its chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, nonetheless received $10 million in his first year on the job.

Mr. Moynihan will get a bonus of $9.05 million in the form of restricted stock, along with a base salary of $950,000, bringing his total pay to $10 million for 2010. In 2009, before Mr. Moynihan took over as chief executive, he received a total of $6.1 million in compensation.

Mr. Moynihan’s base salary did not go up, however, and he received no cash bonus, a reflection of Bank of America’s slow recovery from the financial crisis, when it received two bailouts from Washington totaling $45 billion. What is more, Mr. Moynihan will have to fulfill performance goals to earn the full $9.05 million.

Other top officers of the company did receive a cash bonus of $900,000, but it will be paid in monthly installments and is tied to the stock price.

“All of the year-end compensation was deferred and tied to some measure of stockholder value,” said Bob Stickler, a spokesman for the company.

via Brian Moynihan Gets $10 Million as Bank of America Chief – NYTimes.com.

icons, places, Athens GA, REM:

Wilmot Greene sat among charred remains of his iconic Georgia Theatre recalling the fire that reduced it from an alternative rock icon to rusted steel girders and walls of black bricks.

A year after an unexplained fire gutted the century-old musical cradle of bands such as R.E.M., the B-52s, Indigo Girls and Widespread Panic, Greene still kicks himself for missing Rockinwood play the last show before the fire. He says he’d missed only about 20 shows since buying the place in ’04.

via Alt-rock icon struggles to make a comeback after fire – CNN.com.

green, Great Recovery, history, recycling:  Actually recycling a town …

And that’s just the start. Sempra has big designs on being a major player in the green energy game. But as the wind whips through my hair and I study the immense emptiness all around, I can’t help but ask, “Why is this such a good location for such a thing?”

“First, there is a lot of available, flat land,” Crider says. “Second, it is incredibly sunny. This region gets about 330 days of sunshine per year. And third, there’s existing transmission lines which provide access to major markets throughout the western United States.”

Which, as is so often the case, raises another question: Why are those lines way out here?

To find that answer, you have to drive 20 minutes to struggling Boulder City, population about 16,000. The town is uniquely poised to cash in on the new energy boom precisely because it was built on old energy technology; during another time when the economy and energy collided; when thousands of jobless men came here during the Great Depression to undertake an unprecedented power-generating project.

“This town is here because it was a federal reservation to build Hoover Dam.”

via Struggling Nevada town sees sunnier times ahead – CNN.com.

globalization, poverty, social responsibility, solutions:  “Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity.”

The first decades of the 21st century will be remembered as the ones in which the world finally began to grapple with global development. The likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono — TIME’s Persons of the Year in 2005 — have channeled funds to fighting malaria, TB and HIV, while supporting agriculture, infrastructure and even governance. But there’s one obstacle to development that has too often been forgotten, a blind spot that does more than almost anything to keep the poor poor: they don’t have electric power.

Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. That means they don’t have electric lights for students to study by at night. They can’t easily charge cell phones — assuming they even have them — which means they can’t easily create markets or sell goods. Without regular power, their hospitals are severely limited — after all, you can’t even keep vaccines cold without a refrigerator. Agriculture is essentially peasantry if farmers lack powered machinery. As long as those hundreds of millions remain in the dark, they will remain poor — yet solving energy poverty isn’t even one of the U.N.’s ambitious Millennium Development Goals.

via Clean Energy: How It Can Help Light Up the Developing World – TIME.

art, google street view, art galleries:  I still would rather travel there, but I think this is a great idea. YouTube – Art Project – Preview.

Now that Google has conquered a majority of the earth’s major streets with its Google Street View project, the company is starting to move inside. It’s  creating the Google Art Project, a virtual equivalent of 17 major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Britain and the National Gallery in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many others.

via Google Takes Street View Into Art Museums – NYTimes.com.

Egypt Uprising, titles: “The Last Pharoah” …

Hosni Mubarak: The Last Pharaoh – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Egypt Uprising, media, twitter:

With Egypt’s last remaining internet service provider taken offline, the country’s citizens have resorted to old school telephone technology to establish limited connections to the outside world.

Several internet service providers outside of Egypt have established dial-up phone numbers that can be used for pokey-yet-usable connections like the ones that have slowly died out in many developed countries as broadband internet becomes more prevalent and less expensive.

And Google and Twitter teamed up to build a speak-to-tweet service that allows people inside Egypt to call one of three international phone numbers and leave a voicemail that’ll be transcribed and sent out over Twitter. The messages themselves can be heard at the Speak To Tweet Twitter page.

via Egyptians Sidestep Internet Blackouts with Landline Phones – Techland – TIME.com.

Egypt Uprising – getting out, students:

Hilliard said that although classes at the American University have not begun, four students are currently in Cairo awaiting the start of their semester. Three students will be leaving Cairo, while one is still deciding.

“We expect three of those students will return home within the next 24-36 hours, and to be in a safe location in Europe within the next 12-24 hours,” Hilliard said. “The fourth student is thinking over the option of staying or going, and has not made the decision yet.”

via CU-Boulder’s Study Abroad Program in Cairo cancelled | CU Independent.

Egypt Uprising – victims:

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa has been missing in Egypt since last week, according to multiple news outlets.

Wael Ghonim, who has headed the company’s marketing in the region since January 2010 , has not been seen for several days as protests continue to swell in Egypt, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reports that Ghonim was a guest speaker at an Al Jazeera forum in Januray and that the news agency had been contacted by Ghonim’s family and friends.

“His wife is appealing for any information on his whereabouts,” said an Al Jazeera blog post on its English website.

Google declined to confirm to the Times if Ghonim was in fact missing. A spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We care deeply about the safety of our employees, but to protect their privacy, we don’t comment on the individually.”

via Google Exec Reported Missing in Egypt – World Watch – CBS News.

csr, Egypt Uprising – getting out:

Coca-Cola Co. closed its Cairo office starting Sunday. The office “will not reopen until security in the city improves,’’ said Kenth Kaerhoeg, a spokesman for the big beverage business in Atlanta.  “The safety of our employees is our primary concern and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Mr. Kaerhoeg declined to offer any details about possible evacuations or the exact number of Coke staffers in Egypt.  An Egyptian bottler operating as its local franchisee owns eight bottling plants there.

Egyptian operations of food giant Nestle SA “have been temporarily interrupted due to ongoing political unrest across the country,’’ said Nina Backes, a spokeswoman for the owner of brands such as KitKat, Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee.  “The company is currently evacuating the families of around 20 expatriates,’’ she added.

Ms. Backes said its three Egyptian factories “have temporarily been shut down.’’  She declined to say how family members are being evacuated – nor whether Nestle might also evacuate expatriates.  “We continue to monitor the situation closely,’’ she added.

Nestle’s Egypt unit has three factories  and 3,000 employees.  It began factory operations there in 1988.  Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland,  is the world’s largest food company by sales.

Unrest in Egypt also is affecting U.S. companies without permanent offices there. An Occidental Petroleum Corp. spokesman said ten professionals on a temporary Egyptian assignment cut short their stay and left Cairo Sunday on chartered aircraft arranged by the company without difficulty. “They left sooner than anticipated,’’ he continued.

He declined to disclose why the Oxy Pete staffers went to Egypt several weeks ago.  “There was no definitive time frame” for their abbreviated business trip, the spokesman said.

via Coke, Nestle Report Egypt Shutdowns – Dispatch – WSJ.

Egypt Uprising – impact, Syria, Middle East:

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad may face mass protests this weekend from opposition groups.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Syrian opposition groups are organizing protests against the government
The calls are the latest call for demonstrations in the wake of Tunisian protests
Those protests helped topple the Tunisian government and spark widespread unrest in Egypt
(CNN) — What began as a popular uprising that toppled the Tunisian government before spreading into Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and, of course, Egypt, may now be headed for Syria.
Opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests on Saturday against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.
The groups are organizing on Facebook, with several pages promoting protests in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.
Protest organizers want better living standards, human rights improvements and a greater voice for youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based organization that studies and translates news accounts and social-media postings.

It’s unclear how many people might join the protests. A few thousand people had expressed their support for the movement on the Facebook pages, some of them undoubtedly from outside the country, the research institute said.

via Unrest in North Africa and Middle East may spread to Syria – CNN.com.

Egypt Uprising  – “Youthquake”, new terms:

It’s 11:30 on Tuesday morning and the dusty office space around Adil is buzzing with the idealism of two-dozen young professionals, many of them juggling four cell phones at once. They’re lawyers, accountants and web designers. They wear jeans and flip flops, colorful headscarves, and the black and white checkered keffiyahs associated with the Palestinian intifadeh. Today they are among the country’s core activists who shoulder the responsibility for the largest Egyptian uprising in more than 50 years.

Welcome to the nerve center of the Arab world’s latest rebels. The 6th of April is one of several youth activist groups who have helped to bring the nearly three decade regime of President Hosni Mubarak to its knees. It was formed in the wake of a massive labor strike on the 6th of April 2008, becoming since then the group that made Egyptians under 30 a force to be reckoned with.

via Egypt’s Youthquake: At a Nerve Center of the Revolution – TIME.

art, Davidson, Davidson College, Herb Jackson, art galleries, NYC, kudos: Kudos to Herb Jackson!

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

In case you have your snow boots ready and are traveling to NYC, be sure to plan your trip for mid-February to catch Herb Jackson’s art exhibit at the Claire Oliver Gallery on 513 West 26th Street (just off 10th Avenue).  The opening will be Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery.  For a digital preview of Herb’s paintings, access http://www.claireoliver.com and select the heading “upcoming” before clicking on his exhibition.  Congratulations, Herb, on your continued artistic success.

via Rabbi and fiancee’s love story makes a Times Sq. billboard | DavidsonNews.net.

health, obesity, fad diets:  Another new fad diet?

For more than 25 years, De Vany has been an advocate of what he calls “evolutionary fitness”: a regimen of low-carb eating and interval- or cross-training workouts (with periodic fasting) aimed at controlling insulin. But he has also become the grandfather of the growing Paleo movement, a health philosophy built around the belief that modern life — dating from the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago — is simply alien to our genes. Believers say that only by returning to a diet of wild game and fresh produce, eliminating grains and dairy, and exercising in short, intense bursts, can we thrive in a world of escalators and cheese fries.

via Paleo Diet: ‘New Evolution Diet’ Author De Vany on Food and Exercise – TIME.

media, twitter:  I follow quite a few magazines and newspapers on twitter (where do you think I get my clips?), so I am very disappointed that the most followed is People magazine.

There are eight magazine brands with more than a million followers, and 14 with more than half a million, while the newspaper industry has just two: the New York Times (2,882,697) and Wall Street Journal (618,751). Inspired by a survey done by The Wrap last fall, we decided to take an updated look at the magazines with the most Twitter followers.

The following list of most followed magazines was culled at the end of January (follower counts were taken on Jan. 31). For about 50 titles, the follower counts were compared to a similar count conducted in October, to see how their counts grew over the last three months. Among the top 25, Rolling Stone (#25) and The New Yorker (#14) both grew about 30 percent in terms of followers, while the Economist (26 percent) was not too far behind.

via The Most-Followed Magazines on Twitter – emedia and Technology @ FolioMag.com.

health, obesity: You would think we could solve this one …

Obesity drugs are dead. Orexigen Therapeutics(OREX_) is done. Arena Pharmaceuticals(ARNA_) is a corpse. Vivus(VVUS_) is in an irreversible coma, waiting for someone to pull the plug.

The only silver lining from Tuesday’s outright and devastating rejection of Orexigen’s obesity drug Contrave is that investors need not waste time or money any longer speculating on which of these three companies will be the first to get their drug approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it crystal clear that it has serious problems with the entire obesity drug field and that none of these drugs — Contrave, lorcaserin or Qnexa — have weight-loss benefits that justify the safety risks.

via Obesity Drugs: The Road to Perdition – TheStreet.

11
Nov
10

‎11.11.2010 … happy veteran’s day … and the bassets are winning again …

technology, culture, change: I have a vivid memory from 2007 of a man riding a bicycle smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone in the rural China.

More than 4 billion of the 6 billion people on earth now have a cell phone, with a quarter of those owners getting one in just the last two years. And many are using them, in a giant global experiment, to change the way life is lived, from Manhattan to Ouagadougou.

The phones now allow Masai tribesmen in Kenya to bank the proceeds from selling cattle; Iranian protesters to organize in secret; North Koreans to communicate with the outside world; Afghan villagers to alert Coalition soldiers to Taliban forces; insurgents to blow up roadside bombs in Iraq; and charities to see, in real time, when HIV drugs run out in the middle of Malawi.

via How the Cell Phone Is Changing the World – Newsweek.

economics, RIP: Rest in Peace, Mr. Isard.  I did not know this specialized multidisciplinary area of study existed.

Walter Isard, an economist who founded the field of regional science, inspiring social scientists to study the relationships between such factors as geography, migration and land use in local or regional economies, died on Saturday at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his son Peter.

In the 1940s Professor Isard (pronounced EYE-zard) found common cause with other economists searching for a more sophisticated way to measure and understand economic activity on a smaller-than-national scale.

Deeply influenced by the German economists who developed location theory — the study of geographic location as a prime factor in economic development — he began lobbying for an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing local and regional economies.

Typically, a specialist in regional science might study the factors causing a particular industry to be located in a particular place, how the arrival or departure of a company affects a region, or how internal migration influences regional economic activity.

The core concepts of regional science were developed and propagated through the Regional Science Association (since 1989 the Regional Science Association International) and the Journal of Regional Science, both of which Professor Isard founded in the 1950s.

via Walter Isard, Father of Regional Science, Dies at 91 – NYTimes.com.

history, ancestry, research:  Fascinating … but I don’t think anyone in my family went there … until now … my nephew Harman is there …

Years before leading his vastly outnumbered troops to their doom at Little Bighorn, a young George Armstrong Custer was described as accurate in math.

Nearly 30 years before his March to the Sea laid waste to a large swath of Georgia, William Tecumseh Sherman was deemed a “fine energetic boy.”

And two decades before he would earn the nickname “Stonewall,” Thomas J. Jackson’s dreams of a military career got a boost from a man who would help start the Civil War.

Those are some of the tidbits gleaned from more than 115,000 U.S. Military Academy application documents being posted online for the first time by Ancestry.com. The Provo, Utah-based genealogy website said Tuesday that the information can be viewed for free starting Thursday — Veterans Day — through Sunday.

The oldest West Point documents being posted online date to 1805, three years after the academy’s founding, and run through 1866, a year after the Civil War ended. The records and other related documents from that period were culled from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., said Quinton Atkinson, director of content acquisition for Ancestry.com.

The documents represent some 16,000 individuals accepted into the Corps of Cadets, he said. Missing from the collection are the application records of notables such as Edgar Allen Poe, who briefly attended West Point, and Robert E. Lee, who graduated in 1829, Atkinson said.

“These are the rich aspects of the research that you can add to the more fundamental tree-building that family historians do,” Atkinson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “You can understand who these people were.”

via Old West Point applicant letters being put online – Yahoo! News.

random, not quite right: From a Tuesday Morning e-mail.  Just seems interesting that this was not a big seller … take it on the road 🙂

.Take It On The Road - Margaritaville Explorer Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker

public art, food trucks, NYC: OK, Zagat has a food trucks site … and ranks them … street food has come a long way in a very short time.

We’re so excited about the launch of our new Zagat Food Trucks site that we thought we’d give you a primer on some top-notch mobile eateries. These ratings are part of our recently released 2011 New York City Restaurants Survey. The list shows surveyors sure have a sweet tooth – more than half of the trucks listed will help you get your sugar fix. Check out full roundup below, and let us know about your favorites in the comments!

via 8 Best Food Trucks in New York – New York City Restaurant Buzz – Zagat.

BofA:

Bove estimates the BlackRock sale, coupled with paying employee bonuses this year in stock instead of cash, will allow BofA to meet the $3 billion target.

via BofA sells BlackRock stake | Charlotte Business Journal.

Davidson:  Two good articles in the recent Davidson Journal … one about diversity … Is This the Face of Davidson? | davidsonjournal and the other about Davidson’s football history … Davidson & Goliath | davidsonjournal.

college, CU-Boulder, youth, faith: College is a time to experiment.  It is interesting that atheists would want to participate.  Maybe it is that yearning for something more … for God.

Some CU secular students said they are participating in religious activities for reasons other than faith.

via CU secular students participate in religious activities | CU Independent.

public art, history, superlatives:  The last World War I vet … and he’s right there should be a memorial to those vets.

The West Virginia resident is the last of 5 million Americans who served in World War I. He says a memorial doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a monument should be created alongside others commemorating other 20th century conflicts.

Born in 1901, Buckles was 16 when he enlisted but persuaded the Army he was 18. He saw no combat but worked as a driver and warehouse clerk in Europe and helped repatriate German prisoners after the war.

via Last US WWI veteran seeks DC memorial to that war  | ajc.com.

restaurants, Charlotte, followup:  I did not have the tater tot nachos … but I thought it ranked “good enough to go again” … We’ll see how I feel after I try the tater tot nachos … a combination of two of my favorite things.  Review of The Burger Company – The Charlotte Observer.

religion, culture,ethics: Good read …

The psychologists realized that as the speed of life increases, the possibility for ethical choice becomes a rarity: a too-full life limits the capacity to care.

In the tenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Christ commissions the disciples to go out two by two to cure the sick and proclaim the gospel (Luke 10:1-12). This text is paired with the telling of the parable of the Good Samaritan in the second half of the chapter (Luke 10:30-37). The lesson in exhaustion is a lesson for those who are sent.

via Exhaustion ethics | Faith & Leadership.

random, LOL: I like to take pictures of certain things all over the world … never thought of children’s play places and how outrageously funny they could be.  enjoy …

Strange Play: 26 odd pieces of playground equipment

via 26 strange play places – Cheaper Than Therapy.

colleges, GA, education:  Where are they coming from … and when will the peak in enrollment occur?

The University System of Georgia is teaching 311,442 students this fall – a new record for the 35 campuses and an increase of 3.2 percent from last year, Chancellor Erroll Davis said Wednesday.

Some campuses did see a slight drop in enrollment. University of Georgia has 34,677 students – a decrease of .6 percent.

via Georgia colleges set enrollment record  | ajc.com.

education, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Great Recession:  One of the most important characteristics of a community are its schools.  Let’s hope that this recession does not destroy the good in our system.

In a night marked by split votes, angry protests and accusations of racism, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved a sweeping plan to close 10 schools and make other dramatic changes.

In the most controversial item, the board voted 5-4 to close Waddell High and make it the new home for Smith Language Academy, a K-8 magnet. Harding High, which had also been considered as a home for Smith, will turn into a neighborhood school housing many of Waddell’s students, along with the International Baccalaureate magnet now at Harding.

Most other efforts to block or revise the plan failed, often with the board’s only two black members on the losing end of votes.

via Board closes Waddell, saves Harding – CharlotteObserver.com.

public art, Chicago: It seems strange that this installation was only temporary …

The Eye sculpture, the giant blue eyeball that stared down Loop commuters all summer, is shutting for good today.

Crew members are scheduled to break down local sculptor Tony Tasset’s fiberglass sculpture and remove it from Pritzker Park, where it sat as the Chicago Loop Alliance’s inaugural Art Loop installation.

Kavi Gupta Gallery, which counts Tasset on its roster, said Monday it is hoping the sculpture will be back in Chicago by spring.

via The ‘Eye’ blinking out of Chicago for the winter – Chicago Breaking News.

03
Nov
10

11.03.2010 … great visit with Davidson friends last night …

recipes, followup, South Africa: Yesterday we cooked Chicken Tikka Masala Curry with a recipe from our South African exchange student’s mother … a thumb of ginger and a knob of butter … very good … and with the Mrs. Ball’s Chutney … it takes on a unique South African flair … Here is the recipe:

Chicken Tikka Masala Curry

Serves 4 – 6

4 skinless chicken breasts

2 medium onions

1 fresh red chilli

A thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger

Small bunch of fresh coriander (arugula)

Groundnut or vegetable oil

A knob of butter

½ a 283g jar of Patak’s tikka masala curry paste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

200g natural yogurt

A small handful of flaked almonds – can be toasted

1 lemon

Slice the chicken breasts lengthways into 2cm thick strips.  Peel, halve and finely slice the onions.  Finely slice the chilli.  Peel and finely slice the ginger.  Pick the coriander leaves and put to one side, then finely chop the stalks.

Put a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of oil and the butter.  Add the onions, chilli, ginger and coriander stalks and cook for 10 minutes, until softened and golden.  Add the tikka masala curry paste and the strips of chicken.  Stir well to coat everything with the paste and season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and the coconut milk.  Fill one of the empty tins with water, pour into the pan and stir again.  Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.  Check the curry regularly to make sure it’s not drying out and add extra water if necessary.  When the meat is tender and cooked, taste and add a bit more salt and pepper – if needed.

When ready to serve, sprinkle over the almonds and coriander leaves and serve with some lemon wedges. This is lovely served with basmati rice, a green salad, yogurt  – and of course, Mrs Ball’s chutney!!

Enjoy!!

movies, business, NC: This would be an interesting re-use of the old Philip Morris Plant.

A motion picture and entertainment enterprise is asking for Cabarrus County’s help in creating a 2,500-employee film- and music-production facility at the former Philip Morris USA site in Concord.Elevating Entertainment Motion Pictures and Lamon Records Corp. want to build an operation called Carolina USA Performance Park at the shuttered cigarette plant.“The possibilities are endless,” Dave Moody, president and chief executive of the two Nashville, Tenn.-based companies, says in a news release.

via Philip Morris site targeted for film/music facility | Charlotte Business Journal.

politics, media: Do you think Chris Matthews regrets that he ever said that …

A combative Chris Matthews accuses Rep. Michele Bachmann R-MN of being “hypnotized” and under a “trance.”Bachmann says were out of this “nightmare” and “were thrilled.””I think people are thrilling tonight, I imagine that thrill is maybe not quite so tingly on your leg anymore, Im not sure anymore,” Rep. Bachmann told Matthews.After the interview, a purple-faced Matthews said “I never used that word” and called Bachmann a moron

via RealClearPolitics – Video – Bachmann To MSNBCs Matthews: That Thrill Isnt Tingly Anymore.

recipes, favorites: Baked eggs « Baking Between Cities.

elections, history:

Political parties organized gangs of supporters to move from state to state to vote in close elections. So in 1845, Congress established a uniform Election Day for the offices of president and vice president – the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

For a society in which most people lived on farms, November was a good month to vote. The harvest was in, and snow hadn’t yet closed the roads. Why Tuesday? Records of lawmaker debate show that officials thought Sunday wouldn’t work, because many people were in church. Monday wouldn’t work, because most polling places were in county seats, and folks from outlying areas could not always get there in time.

Tuesday was the earliest day everybody could make it into town. So Tuesday it was. Congress similarly standardized congressional elections in 1872.

via Election Day 2010: Why we always vote on Tuesdays – CSMonitor.com.

NASA, technology, election: I assume their votes were not lost in space ..

Three Americans have cast their ballots from the most remote polling station in the solar system – the International Space Station, soaring 220 miles above the earth.

Navy Capt. Scott Kelly, U.S. Army Col. Douglas Wheelock and physicist Shannon Walker used a special “secure line” to the Johnson Space Center, which relayed the votes to the astronauts’ respective home counties.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to exercise our right as U.S. citizens to vote from the International Space Station,” said Kelly, who said he voted on Sunday.

via Astronauts beam votes home – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

perspective, culture, CU- Boulder:

Despite the different topics presented, both speakers encouraged the idea of human action to conserve and save the planet.

“We don’t have a problem with economics or technology,” Balog said. “To solve this global issue, we need to fix our problem with perception.”

via National Geographic Visits CU | CU Independent.

bookshelf, favorites: I loved her columns and so I will probably love this collection.

And the Pursuit of Happiness, Kalman’s graphic diary of the year 2009, finds her in a more celebratory, optimistic mood as she heads down to Washington, D.C., for President Obama’s inauguration — an optimism that feels sadly beleaguered less than two years later. But Kalman, who emigrated with her Russian-Jewish parents to New York from Tel Aviv in 1954 at the age of 5, chooses to focus on the positive in her yearlong exploration of American history and government as they relate in particular to happiness.

via In Hard Times, The Tenacious ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ : NPR.

followup, All Saint’s Day: .

.. and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen. (from MGU)

02
Sep
10

‎9.2.2010 … since John travels a ton for the bank … I thought this would be a great time to use up the “frequent fryers” :) … well, no business class … no CLT to JFK to JNB to DUR … so we are flying economy in the middle section in the back of the bus … CLT to MUN to LHR to JNB to DUR with a 7 hour layover at LHR … no kidding ..

followup, public art, Chicago:

Dutchie Caray OK with Harry’s statue move – Chicago Breaking Sports.

me: And not to worry, I am sitting in the BMI airport “club” at Heathrow … well-fed, well-snacked, well-hydrated and well-hooked in!

Apple:  In case you didn’t know, i love Apple 🙂

FaceTime is Apple’s software and protocol for video chatting between devices. There’s no setting the phone up by creating a username or logging in; you can just try to start a video conversation with someone, and if the person has an iPhone 4 and is on Wi-Fi, it will work. There’s nothing fancy about the software; it’s just a straightforward video conversation, but that’s all it needs to be. It does what it needs to perfectly.

via Why Apple’s FaceTime Is a Huge Opportunity – NYTimes.com.

technology:  What’s in your wallet?  Mine looks like this one … I can’t wait for this technology.

The Japanese call it osaifu keitai (cell-phone wallet). Flash your phone virtually anywhere you go for almost any purchase and it’s automatically logged into a digital expense report. Eat frequently at McDonald’s? Tap your phone to pay and your all-in-one debit card/receipt tracker/loyalty program may instantly offer you 10% off.

Today, if you want to enjoy these benefits, you have to go to Japan. But after years of talk, wireless carriers, banks, startups, and handset makers are now actively working to transform Americans’ cell phones into mobile wallets. The goal: to snag a share of the processing fees associated with the $3.2 trillion in annual retail credit-card charges, and to turn the $1.2 trillion in cash and check spending into digital transactions.

via Your Smartphone Will Soon Double as Your Wallet | Fast Company.

architecture, design, Great Recession: Sign of the times …

With no mega-skyscrapers or dazzling cultural centers on the immediate horizon, the fall season signals how much things have changed since the building boom went bust. The emphasis is no longer on “look-at-me” icons. Instead, it’s on connective tissue—designs that stitch together disparate parts of the urban fabric or form new fabric where there is none now.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

movies, Bollywood, Jane Austen:  So I guess Chadha’s Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice was not a hit.  🙂

It’s got a light, Bollywood-type feel to it, but it could easily slide from the amusing to the ridiculous. We like the fact that it’s directed by Gurinder Chadha, who also directed the blockbuster “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002) but hasn’t had a hit as big since then. Check out the trailer. Is Chadha back in “Beckham” territory again?

via ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ Trailer: Bending It Like Beckham Again – Speakeasy – WSJ.

digital media, these times they are a changin’, CU – Boulder:

CU-BOULDER COMMITTEE TO STUDY FUTURE OF

JOURNALISM COURSE AND DEGREE OFFERINGS

The University of Colorado at Boulder today announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider the structure and organization of a new interdisciplinary academic program of information and communication technology.

“We want to strategically realign resources and strengths currently existing on the CU-Boulder campus to ensure that course and degree offerings meet the needs of students, the labor market, our campus mission and the communications needs of a rapidly changing global society,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “News and communications transmission as well as the role of the press and journalism in a democratic society are changing at a tremendous pace. We must change with it.”

via Journalism school programs to be discontinued | CU Independent.

public art, Chicago:  What pieces of public art are “Meet me at _______” art for you?

Marybeth Young had made plans to meet a friend Wednesday at the Harry Caray statue outside Wrigley Field, on the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue. But when she got there, Caray was gone.

“I am surprised they moved it so quickly,” Young said. But she wasn’t worried. “I am a Chicagoan, I know what’s going on.”

The statue, a popular landmark for people to meet at before games, was moved last week to its new location outside the entrance to the Bud Light Bleachers on the corner of Waveland Avenue and Sheffield. Next Tuesday, Caray’s former home will be taken over by a statue of Hall of Fame Cubs outfielder Billy Williams.

via Harry Caray statue rededicated at Wrigley Field – chicagotribune.com.

economics, women:  This stat took me aback …

The earning power of young single women has surpassed that of their male peers in metropolitan areas around the U.S., a shift that is being driven by the growing ranks of women who attend college and move on to high-earning jobs.

via Young, Single Women Earn More Than Male Peers – WSJ.com.

graphics, blogs, children/YA lit, NYC,  travel:  Saw a blurb about this blog in the airplane magazine and had to look it up.  He made a children’s book form his blog.  Loved many o his other blog posts … but thought his most recent was SO spot on for my day! … see below!

During the cold and dark Berlin winter days, I spend a lot of time with my boys in their room. And as I look at the toys scattered on the floor, my mind inevitably wanders back to New York.

via I LEGO N.Y. – NYTimes.com.

A visual diary documenting a flight from New York to Berlin (with a layover in London).

via Red Eye – NYTimes.com.

prayers, weather: Prayers for the US east coast.

Earl menaces N.C. coast: ‘It will be close’

via Charlotte news, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, weather, traffic, sports, banking, North Carolina, real estate, jobs, cars | CharlotteObserver.com.

random:  Wistful Thinking – A Comic History of the Cocktail – Photo Gallery – LIFE.




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