Posts Tagged ‘Davidson NC

08
Mar
18

3.8.18 … “a lament on the prison of the past” … As I walked, I thought about what John Hart had said about a strong sense of place being at the center of southern novels. Davidson, the college, the town, and even this Park and its labyrinth, is a part of my character. I guess that makes me Southern …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (24/40), Davidson College Labyrinth and Peace Garden @ Hobart Park, Main Street Books, John Hart’s new book The Hush, Davidson NC:

So, I headed out today on an adventure to Davidson for a book talk and a labyrinth walk. I had noticed that a Davidson alum, John Hart ‘88, was doing a book signing and talk at Main Street Books in Davidson. As I have read three of John’s previous books, I decided that it would be a nice combo event for me today.

Having arrived at Main Street Books, a downtown Davidson staple since I lived there, a few minutes late, I parked in the rear, and entered through the rear door. The rear entrance is a half story up, and as I walked into the book signing and talk, I was looking down on the entire audience with the author’s back to me. I was a wee bit embarrassed, but took my seat next to the alumni director at the college who happens to be a friend.

John’s new book is “The Hush.” He described it as a literary thriller. He talked for about 30 minutes and covered everything from the background of this novel, a recent review describing him as a cross between William Faulkner and Stephen King and this book’s relationship with his previous novels, especially “The Last Child.” He also talked about what makes his work fall in the category of Southern Gothic, including his strong sense of place.

Here is the review he quoted:

A testament to friendship, an exploration of family, a meditation on slavery and its legacy, a lament on the prison of the past — and a grisly and gritty ghost story — “The Hush” displays Hart at his best. With richly imagined characters and depth of ingenuity, Hart forges a thoughtful and disturbing novel, one that delivers shocks in his story and joy in his storytelling.

The author, who splits his time between North Carolina and Virginia, builds on his trademark take on the literary Southern gothic; the result is his most powerful work yet, one that plants a flag at the intersection where William Faulkner and Stephen King meet in unexpected harmony.

Source: Book review (mysteries): ‘The Wife Between Us,’ ‘The Hush,’ ‘The Gate Keeper’ and ‘The Woman in the Water’ | Books and Literature | richmond.com, http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/books/book-review-mysteries-the-wife-between-us-the-hush-the/article_911e45bd-b6a3-5d15-a93d-e42ae797a3b4.html

After his talk, I waited in line, had my picture taken with the author and acquired a signed copy. I’m excited to have a new book to read and will go back and reread or read for the first time his previous 5 novels.

Next up on my adventure was my labyrinth walk at Hobart Park. This park is special to me because when I was at Davidson I enjoyed several picnics here including a graduation picnic with my family and John’s family. That was a long time ago.

As for this labyrinth walk, this labyrinth is a seven circuit abbreviated Chartes labyrinth. Not only do I love Hobart Park and it’s very old stone barbecue, I love this labyrinth, its Asian style bell and the water feature. And, of course, I love the moss. Before I walked, I counted the petals in the rose at the center… There are six :-

The weather is a bit cool, but no complaints.

On the information sign about the labyrinth is this quote: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” — T. S. Eliot

As I walked, I thought about what John Hart had said about a strong sense of place being at the center of southern novels. Davidson, the college, the town, and even this Park and its labyrinth, is a part of my character. I guess that makes me Southern.

A great adventure.

3.8.18

23
Jul
17

7.23.17 … the character of my walk is not as planned.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2017 Labyrinth Walks, Davidson College Labyrinth, Hobart Park, Davidson NC:

A tree that shaded the labyrinth has been cut down. This changes the feel of the park.

And because of the extreme heat and many storms, the labyrinth is littered with dead leaves, walnuts, and small limbs.

So the character of my walk is not as planned.

And Ann, I will never forgive you for pointing out the moss cross. I find myself seeking it and never find the perfect one you found on our walk together.

Blessings.

7.23.17

06
Mar
15

3.6.15 … “The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part” …

The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel: I must have it …

As told on one psychology blog, the inherent urge to travel can be traced back to one gene, which is a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain.

The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part.

In reality, however, those who carry this genetic information typically share one common theme, a history of traveling.

via The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel.

 

35 Most Amazing Restaurants With A View, bucket list, lists, restaurants, travel: 

These places are breathtaking. I’ve just added more places to my bucket list.

via 35 Most Amazing Restaurants With A View. #25 Is INSANE..

 

CSD students video wins C-SPAN honorable mention | DavidsonNews.net, Selective Service System, whether women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men, IMO:  I have always thought that women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men and that all should serve even in peace times.

Community School of Davidson seniors Julia Conlon, Anna DeGrauw, and Zac Halsey have won an Honorable Mention in C-SPAN’s national 2015 StudentCam competition. Julia, Anna, and Zac will walk away with $250 for their documentary, “Selective Service System,” which investigated whether women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men.

via CSD students video wins C-SPAN honorable mention | DavidsonNews.net.

Davidson NC, locally-owned bookstores, At Main Street Books time to turn the page | DavidsonNews.net:  I always stop in …

Main Street Books is opening  a new chapter in downtown Davidson next week.  Longtime owners Barbara Freund and Betty Reinke will stroll off into the sunset and leave the marvelous business of books behind.  As of today (Friday, March 6, 2015) they’ve sold the shop, The good news is that the new managers, Adah Fitzpatrick and Catherine Hamilton-Jenson, will continue to grace our town with reading material and we look forward to getting to know them.

But for today, we look back on a wonderful 28 years of “turning pages.”  Main Street Books occupies the Archie Brown Building built in 1901 earning it the notoriety of being the oldest building on Main Street.  Back in the 1970’s Mrs. Chester Dale (Harriet) ran The Christian Book Store in this space before splitting the space between “Shalom” Book Store and Marshall Case’s Realty Company.  When Mrs. Dale sold the building to Ed Harris in the mid 1980’s, the main floor was renovated to include air-conditioning and better lighting with the balcony (yes, there was a balcony in the store!) sealed off for separate office space and bathrooms.

Mrs. Dale insisted the building remain a book store and on Town Day, May 2, 1987, her vision was realized as Main Street Books opened its doors with owners Barbara Freund, Joyce Patch and Catherine Hall.  Six months later, Catherine Hall dropped out and eight years later, Joyce Patch “retired” to make room for Betty Reinke.  So for the past 20 years, residents and visitors have found Betty or Barbara at their “perch” by the front door greeting all, making friends from near and far, and selling lots of books.  Barbara worked Tuesday and Thursday; Betty on Monday and Wednesday; and they switched off Fridays and Saturdays.  Dependable subs were Virginia Hundley, Phyllis Young and Sue Toumazou.

via At Main Street Books, time to turn the page | DavidsonNews.net..

Dr. Weil in the Labyrinth, labyrinth walking:

“As to “doing” the labyrinth, the task is simplicity itself. “You just follow the path,” says Dr. Weil. “It takes about 20 minutes.” He says there is no particular mindset one must bring to the experience, but he notes with a smile that “grimly determined to finish it as quickly as possible,” probably isn’t the best way to go. One of Dr. Weil’s favorite activities is watching groups walk the path. “It’s interesting, because they look like planets, with some of them going retrograde,” he says.

But many people walk it alone. Nancy Olmstead, Dr. Weil’s executive assistant, has done so more than 20 times. “When you are done walking, you experience two things that would seem to be contradictory: you feel really relaxed, and really energized,” she says. “There are not too many things in the world that make you feel that way.”

Jace has also walked it many times. “I like the metaphor,” he says. “One path. One entrance. One exit. We all walk it.” As for the doctor himself, “I would say that it is at least relaxing. It’s a nice walk. It is centering.”

One of Dr. Weils favorite activities is watching groups walk the path. “Its interesting, because they look like planets, with some of them going retrograde,” he says.

Because I knew that simply following the path would take me to the exit, I realized I was free to focus on the walk itself. I was amazed to find a strange, beautiful collection of objects lodged between and atop the rocks: a tiny stone Buddha, several glass beads, a quartz crystal. I had missed most of them on the way in; but marveled at all of them on the way out.

“I never quite know how they get there,” says Dr. Weil of the artifacts. “People just leave little gifts.” Gifts indeed. The lesson was clear: Focus on the journey. The destination will take care of itself.

via Dr. Weil in the Labyrinth.

Downton Funk (Uptown Funk / Downton Abbey Mash-Up) – YouTube: 

Downton Funk You Up

Don’t believe me? Just watch…

via ▶ Downton Funk (Uptown Funk / Downton Abbey Mash-Up) – YouTube

YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans | Lisa Parkin:  YA fiction, historical fiction Philadelphiaand written by someone with a great name … and zombie fiction.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard — Its late 1800s in Philadelphia. And zombies are loose in the city. The historical landmarks in the city are fun to pick out…during all the eating of brains.

via YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans | Lisa Parkin.

14 Foodie Terms That Have Lost All Meaning, “artisanal”: I am glad to know what is is supposed to mean.  Enough!!

“Artisanal”

When it first started appearing on menus, it came with the promise of ingredients lovingly transformed by a culinary master. Now, “artisanal” is a descriptor on frozen dinners and canned soup. Those can artisans apprentice for decades!

via 14 Foodie Terms That Have Lost All Meaning.

01
Sep
13

9.1.13 … in Davidson NC, it only takes one middle schooler to spark a move to end digital divide! …

E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide), Franny Millen, Davidson NC, Davidson Elementary School, Davidson College, President Carol Quillen, community, leadership: What a nice article about Franny!! Kudos to Franny and her parents, Eileen Keeley and Pat Millen! Davidson friends … note the author of the article. 🙂

“Dad, how do kids without the Internet do their homework?” For Franny Millen, then a sixth-grade student at Bailey Middle School in Cornelius, the digital divide posed a threat to educational opportunity in her neighborhood school. And from Franny’s standpoint, it had to go.

Franny’s leadership inspired a town, a school system, The Ada Jenkins Center, Lowe’s, and Davidson College to join together and accomplish in six months what others across this nation claim cannot be done. E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide) launched in January. Last week, more than 50 families for the first time gained home Internet access, ownership of a computer, and free ongoing technical support – Davidson Elementary School’s digital divide is officially history.

E2D demonstrates how a single voice can mobilize individuals and organizations from different sectors to achieve together what none could do alone. And E2D is rapidly expanding its reach.

One “no” early on could have ended E2D before it began. One “the problem is too big,” or “one school does not matter,” or “this can’t scale,” and E2D would never have happened.

Instead, what began as a single heartfelt question is inspiring a cross-sector collaboration in which public school districts, businesses, CBOs, and colleges will join together to create equality of opportunity – opportunities to learn, to work, to lead, to connect and to build community – through the power of technology.

Davidson College is proud to be a partner in this effort. Our primary purpose – to lead in service of something larger than ourselves – obligates us to convene public/private partnerships and to collaborate across ideological and institutional boundaries to confront our society’s greatest challenges.

via How one middle schooler sparked a move to end digital divide | CharlotteObserver.com.

15
May
13

5.15.13 … Spacious Places …

spacious places, Cary Umhau, kith/kin: I loved this blog post by dear friend Cary Umhau.  In the post, Cary asked her readers to list the potentially meaningful places in their past and the first thoughts that came to mind. Here goes …

Pineview GA:  grandparents, farm, southern cooking, front porches

Brookwood Hills (Atlanta GA): childhood, the Pool, best friends

Atlanta: home

Chicago: favorite North American city

Davidson NC: Davidson College, John, wasabies …

Westervelt Cabin: the mountains, cheap wine, many laughs, creek swimming, ultimate in relaxing

DeBordieu: beach, Easter, Thanksgiving, Teagues, Providence, family

Ashland Ave: neighbors

And there are places that tug at my heart that I have visited only for a few moments … Lake Toxaway, London, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Zermatt, Jackson Hole WY, Beijing, The Great Wall, Dublin, Cape Town SA, Annecy and Talloires, Honfleur, Mont St. Michel, Chartres and Paris.

So here is Cary’s post in full  that prompted this reminiscing …

“Of the people in my past, fading faces in a waking dream. And though they never seem to last very long, there are faces I remember from the places in my past…. Sometimes I can laugh and cry, and I can’t remember why, but I still love those good times gone by. Hold on to them close or let them go…,” sings James Taylor in his wistful paean to “good times gone by.”

It’s true. You too, I imagine. We collect people, we remember places. Some of them last; others fade away. But it all forms us.

What if you listed all the places in your past, at least the potentially meaningful ones, and then you simply reacted to each one by writing the first thing that comes to mind? I promise you’d have a little personal history, truer than anything you could conjure up if asked to tell a chronological or accurate story of where you’ve come from.

What places in your past have made you who you are today? What’s happening now, in the present moment, that is choosing the road to your future? Is this thing, this life, going where you want it to end up?

“Hold on to (it) close or let (it) go.”

via Places in My Past | SPACIOUS.

29
Mar
13

3.29.13 … clean it like the queen of England is visiting! …

Lent, Room for Debate – NYTimes.com:

Lent is a promise to walk with Jesus even into the desert. It is a trusting willingness to put our hand in his at all times, no matter what it requires, to go with him into the wilderness or onto the cross. Lent is about our relationship with Christ; and that relationship, like our ordinary relationships with other people, has seasons of trial and deprivation as well as seasons of joy. Lent allows us to say “yes” to all those seasons. It echoes Ruth’s pledge to her mother-in-law, Naomi: “Whither thou goest, I will go.”

Life will test our love; Lent allows us to promise, each year, that we will try to hold on.

via Lent Is Not Supposed to Benefit You – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

bathroom , Queen of England, Photo Gallery – Yahoo!, LOL: 

How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England

This Alabama family’s bathroom is now fit for a queen, thanks to one mom’s sarcastic note to her son. When 21-year-old Caleb B. saw the note to tidy the bathroom “like the Queen of England is visiting,” he decided to respond just as sarcastically as he was asked. Caleb not only scrubbed the royal room from top to bottom, but also adorned it with a hand-drawn flag of England, and left an assortment of tea on the counter for the Queen to enjoy. “My mom bursted out laughing when she opened the bathroom door,” Caleb told ABCNews.com. “She thought it was great.” Apparently the social media world also got a kick out of it, as the photos he posted have more than 518,000 views on Imgur and began trending on Reddit .

via How to Clean Your Bathroom for the Queen of England | Photo Gallery – Yahoo!.

South Africa,  Brics era, FT.com:  

Nowhere does the celebratory mood of the past decade, which inspired this motley group to launch the Brics summits, feel more absent than in South Africa. With its gross domestic product growing at a pace of 2.5 per cent, South Africa is on track to finish the year as one of the slowest economies in Africa.

This is an ironic turn. When The Economist called Africa the “hopeless continent” at the start of the millennium, South Africa seemed to offer a single bright spot. It brought debts and inflation under control, creating the stability required for growth. Now, it is stuck, and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya, are growing twice as fast.

The ruling African National Congress is relying heavily on a “liberation dividend” to remain in office. Many South Africans have understandably ugly memories of apartheid and still embrace ANC leaders as authors of freedom, even if they are also the architects of stagnation. Yet the problems of inequality and unemployment are as acute as when the ANC promised “economic justice” two decades ago.

via South Africa should forget the Brics era – FT.com.

Ice Climbing, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, Iceland: 

Picture of Tim Emmett climbing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, Icelandvia Extreme Photo of the Week — National Geographic.

Davidson College, Humanities, 50th anniversary:

“Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar.”             —Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

In a time when death has been moving prominently in my circles on campus and beyond, I found some strange, hard comfort in reporting and writing a 50th-anniversary story about the college’s Humanities Program, which for me felt so full of life and memory as I approached my own half-century marker.

“Humes” was born the same year I was, so the program and I were both 18 when I ventured unsuspectingly into a Gilgamesh lecture in September 1981. Two very academic years later, I emerged with a deep sense of the broad sweep of my own Western culture in the world. It was a very personal and at the same time a very universal view of things as they are. A broad, deep view represents perhaps the essence of the liberal arts—the word “liberal” springing from the root word for “freedom” and the word “art” harking back to “fit together, join.” Thirty years on, I still subscribe to this very personal, very universal view of humanity through the humanities.

via Thanks for These Four, And So Much More.

Davidson NC, Cornelius NC, Carolina Cones,  DavidsonNews.net:

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t limit myself to post-dental nirvana. I treat myself regularly to this Cornelius treasure, as I know so many of us out there do. What a wonderful example of small town, local goodness. Where else can you pick out a potted plant, peruse the selection of frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors, and watch a model train circle above your head?

via Winter’s over, Carolina Cones is back!  | DavidsonNews.net Guide.

Christianity, Non-Believers,  Shane Claibourne, Esquire: 

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

via Shane Claiborne – Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claibourne – Esquire.

Marriage Equality Symbol, Facebook: 

 

via 17 Different Versions Of The Marriage Equality Symbol For Your Facebook Page.

baseball:

In 2003, there was only one pitcher who threw at least 25 pitches 100 mph or faster. In 2012, there were seven. Pitchers are throwing faster than ever before. Here’s why: http://on.wsj.com/14BH2Us

via Facebook.

Not only does this save time for the crew, stuffed as they are in the cramped Soyuz, but since the Russian capsule can fly autonomously in orbit for only about four days, the shorter commute means more fuel, oxygen and other supplies can be conserved for a possible emergency.

via Commute From Earth To Space Station Just Got Shorter : The Two-Way : NPR.

Paris à la bonne heure – Vidéo Dailymotion.

A Journey Together – NEXT Church.

Disconnect: A New Movie Sounds the Alarm About Our Hyper-Connected Lives | LinkedIn.

DOMA, Thomas Jefferson:

This is the Jefferson Memorial, if any were wondering what the Founding Fathers might say today as the Supreme Court considers the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Under DOMA, passed 17 years ago, same-sex couples who are legally married in their home states are denied federal benefits offered to opposite-sex married couples.

There are over 1,000 such benefits, such as tax savings, Social Security payments and medical and family leave.

via Facebook.

The Boiling Frog Syndrome, follow-up, Mind Boggling Stories – Quora:

What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water. But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.

We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to face. There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action. If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. We have to decide when to jump. Let us jump while we still have the strength.

via The Boiling Frog Syndrome – Mind Boggling Stories – Quora.

David Petraeus, public relations, Vanity Fair:  Philandering ex-head of CIA … can he overcome the moniker …

Philandering former C.I.A. director David Petraeus apologized for cheating on his wife “in a speech to veterans at the University of Southern California, his first public address since the scandal,” The Hill reports. He also revealed that he deeply regrets schtupping his biographer: “Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret—and apologize for—the circumstances that led to my resignation from the C.I.A. and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.” No worries, it’s cool, the audience, which did not include the woman to whom he made marital vows, probably thought.

Petraeus also has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal in which he, spoiler alert, does not address sleeping with a woman whose jealously issues, frankly, sound like they require more maintenance than a 30-something-year marriage. The op-ed concerns the professional difficulties of many veterans after returning home, and reading it is like the moral equivalent of a Hail Mary after the sin of so closely and hungrily following the grotesque sex scandal for all those months.

via David Petraeus: the Public Relations Comeback Beginneth! | Vanity Fair.

The former members of our armed forces have done their part to ensure Americas national security, often sacrificing greatly in the process. Now it is our turn to do our part to help them build promising futures for themselves and their families.Gen. Petraeus U.S. Army, Ret. commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as director of the CIA. He is a senior adviser to American Corporate Partners. Mr. Goodfriend, a retired investment banker, is founder/chairman of American Corporate Partners. https://acp-advisornet.org

via David Petraeus and Sidney Goodfriend: Training Veterans for Their Next Mission – WSJ.com.

travel, hidden places, Paris, sewers:

After writing Hidden Cities, I’ve gotten asked one question more than any other: some variation of “so – I’d love to see a part of a city that’s hidden and secret and unknown, but also, you know, safely and legally.” It doesn’t really work like that (in today’s day and age, excursions that are safe, legal, and interesting enough to be found in major publications usually don’t stay hidden and secret for too long), but there are a few off-the-beaten path destinations around the world where you can see the forgotten corners, hidden infrastructure, and underground tunnels of some of the great cities of the world in a safe and legal way – but also get your feet slightly dirtier than your average tourist. 10 of my favorites are:

1. Le Musée des Égouts de Paris (Paris Sewer Museum) – A wonderful, up-close way to see one of the most significant engineering accomplishments of the 19th century. Descend into the bowels of the city, and walk alongside an active part of the Parisian sewer system. The entrance can be found across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, on the Quai d’Orsay near the Pont de l’Alma

via 10 Hidden Places Around the World.

24
Sep
11

9.24.2011 ‎… nice visit with Jimbo, Joni and Bob, and John … then off to Davidson to see Moneyball in it’s great movie theater and Moneyball was great …

Davidson NC, movie, places:  Davidson has a fun movie theater … worth the drive for a date night!  10 best new places, uptown and beyond – Our Town Cinemas

Moneyball, movies, baseball, music:  Moneyball was great fun … even had sentimental chick flick theme in the subplot.And I loved the daughter’s song …

When Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts attends home games at Wrigley Field, he spends part of the day hearing from fans who have endured more than a century without a World Series Championship.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than 1 million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday,starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane. Matthew Futterman on Lunch Break discusses how the book changed the game.

He must endure inevitable questions about “Moneyball,” Michael Lewis’s 2003 best seller about baseball’s statistical revolution. Fans used to ask owners when they’re going to trade for a starting pitcher; now they beg for a computer whiz to swoop in and save the franchise.

“It comes up all the time,” says Mr. Ricketts, whose family bought the Cubs two years ago. “The fans hope that the decisions made on the baseball side are made with the evidence at hand.” He doesn’t mind at all: he’s pushing for more such analysis himself.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than one million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday, starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane.

“Moneyball” allowed the business world to see sports in terms of strategic tools, especially in environments where resources are scarce and innovation becomes a requirement.

“It’s about how to price assets, and that’s something that’s germane whether you’re running Chrysler or Goldman Sachs or the Oakland A’s,” says George Will, the political columnist and author of the baseball book “Men at Work.”

Beyond that, “Moneyball” celebrated measurements at exactly the time when computers and simple programs were exponentially increasing the speed at which the educated working public could analyze data and hold everyone from second basemen to third-grade teachers accountable for their results.

John Challenger, principal of the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, remembers reading “Moneyball” for the first time, then going out and buying copies for each of his top managers. In his view, this was the first book to coherently address the issue of finding the key measurements that will help you run your business, the kind of data that a company like General Electric sought tirelessly for decades.

“People thought it was crazy,” Mr. Challenger said of GE’s approach. “Moneyball” gave everybody a way to understand and think about it, and everybody finally got it.”

via Baseball After Moneyball – WSJ.com.

Lenka – The Show (With Lyrics) – YouTube.

education, early achievers:   I have seen this happen … there must be a solution.

The study, “Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?,” builds on a previous report from Fordham that suggests nationwide policies aimed at making schools more accountable for improving low-performing students’ achievement are hurting the brightest students. That 2008 report found that from 2000 to 2007, achievement for students who were the highest performers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was flat, while the lowest-performing students improved dramatically.

Unlike NAEP, which compares different cohorts of students, the MAP data analyzed for the Fordham study compared individual students with themselves.

The new study also found that while some high-achieving students faltered, other students developed into high performers as they got older, although those students were likely to have scored between the 50th and 80th percentiles in the first place. In addition, many of the initially high-achieving students whose test scores fell below the 90th percentile after a few years didn’t fall far. Many scored in the 70th percentile or higher years later.

Role of NCLB Law

The Fordham authors also acknowledge that the idea that all high-achieving students will remain that way indefinitely is “naive, … just as it’s naive to expect 100 percent of students to reach ‘proficient,’ ” which is the mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act. Signed into law in 2002, No Child Left Behind is the current version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Reauthorization of the ESEA is stalled in Congress. Later this week, President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a package of waivers that would give states wiggle room on some of the current law’s requirements.

via Education Week: Early Achievers Losing Ground, Study Finds.

knitting, Martha Stewart:   Some people compare knitting to yoga.  Maybe I will let Martha teach me to knit.

The Basics of Knitting

Learn how to knit your own mittens, hats, scarves, and more. Here we take you through the step-by-step instructions and teach you how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off.

There are two basic knitting styles, the English method and the German/Continental method, but the only real difference lies in how the yarn is held.

With the English method, the working yarn is held in the right hand; with the German/Continental method, it is held in the left. While both methods produce equally fine results, here we use the German/Continental method.

via The Basics of Knitting – How to Knit – Knitting – MarthaStewart.com.

“Le Lac Annecy”,  Paul Cezanne, painting, art, Talloires FR:  I was thinking about Talloires last night and researched Cezanne’s painting.  Learned something new …

Richard Verdi (in Cézanne) has described this painting, simple in form but highly complex in its prismatic colours, ‘with no two strokes of blue or green appearing exactly the same in size hue or direction’. Verdi notes, for example, that ‘while house and château on the distant shore are clearly delineated, the landscape around them appears in an inchoate state, as though still awaiting further resolution.’ This illustrates a general feature of the artist’s approach: rather than distinguishing foreground from background through the degree of detail applied to forms, Cézanne concentrated attention on objects at different points in space. While Cézanne saw in this his difficulty in realizing the full complexity of nature, the result was paintings that have ‘an unparalleled vitality and lay bare the formative process of painting as few other works of art do.’

via Some Landscapes: Lac d’Annecy.

Twitter, restaurants, foodies, Zagat:  Zagat, you are crazy … who is going to follow 140 restaurants and foodies.

Not sure who to follow in the foodie Twitterverse? Check out our indispensable guide to 140 must-read accounts, including chefs, food media and restaurants.

via Who to Follow on Twitter: 140 Restaurants and Foodies | Zagat.

food trucks: I only know of one food truck in Charlotte, and it is not crazy-looking.  Like pop-up stores, we are just not on the cutting edge.  🙂

Some food-truck proprietors have gone beyond the norm with design, creating totally wacky vehicles from which to dole out their grub. And we don’t just mean a friendly coat of paint or a cute awning – some sport elaborate murals and sculptures, and one even resembles the animal served on its menu.

via The 8 Craziest-Looking Food Trucks | Zagat.

foursquare, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, social networking:   OK … Still want to know why I would use foursquare???  What does KK doughnuts get …

All of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s Tips

Here are all of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s insider Tips. Whip up a List of the best ones, so you can experience the world through their eyes.

via foursquare :: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts :: Tips.

Eve’s Diary, book, Mark Twain, Banned Books Week:  I wonder if our public library has any banned books?

Trustees of the Charlton Public Library lifted the 1906 ban earlier this week of “Eve’s Diary,” Twain’s satirical version of the Adam and Eve story, said Cheryl Hansen, the library’s director.

Two paperback copies were made available at the library in central Massachusetts on Thursday and, within hours, one of them was in a reader’s hands, she said.

“I think there’ll be a lot of interest in taking it out,” Hansen added, saying the unanimous vote to lift the ban came just in time for Banned Books Week, which begins on Saturday.

A library trustee learned about the ban from a local newspaper article and last year tracked down a first edition of the book, which will be on display through next week, she said.

via Library lifts 1906 ban on Mark Twain book | Reuters.

Palestine, U.N. Statehood Bid, 2012 Presidential Election, foreign affairs:   This really is going to be the 2012 Presidential Election foreign affairs issue.

Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the U.N. Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of troubled negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would re-energize their quest for an independent homeland.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hands over a formal letter for Palestine to be admitted as a state to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Earlier in the week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an intense, U.S.-led effort to sway him from the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as planned.

“We’re going without any hesitation and continuing despite all the pressures,” Mr. Abbas told members of the Palestinian diaspora at a hotel in New York on Thursday night. “We seek to achieve our right and we want our independent state.” Shortly before noon on Friday, Mr. Ban’s spokesman tweeted, “President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General UNSG.”

In his letter to Mr. Ban accompanying the application, Mr. Abbas asked the U.N. chief to immediately forward the request for full U.N. membership to the Security Council and the General Assembly, according to a top aide. The General Assembly will likely be asked to approve a more-modest status upgrade if the bid in the council founders as expected.

via Palestinians Submit U.N. Statehood Bid – WSJ.com.

Wall Street Banks, BofA:  I am getting tired of words like “bruising.”  I can’t tell you how much this thrills me … “Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.”

Third-quarter revenue expectations at six big U.S. banks—Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman and Morgan—have fallen 7% since midyear, according to analysts surveyed by data provider FactSet Research Systems. That is the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The banks’ pain has widespread implications on Wall Street and across the country. Weaker banks will likely lend less, pressuring an economy already flirting with recession. Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.

via Wall Street Banks Taking a Bruising – WSJ.com.

Cure Bad Breath,  YouTube, marketing, Wal-Mart:   OK, I might check out  “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?”  🙂

Can a YouTube video bring in big business? If it goes viral, it just might.

On Tuesday, Provo, Utah-based Orabrush Inc. announced its flagship product – a tongue cleaner – would be carried in 3,500 of Wal-Mart Inc.’s 3,800 U.S. stores thanks to a social-media campaign launched two years ago.

[SBtongue1]

Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, Jeffrey Harmon, (left) and Robert Wagstaff, the company’s founder, watch YouTube videos.>

Orabrush initially marketed its tongue cleaners directly to consumers with a TV infomercial in mid-2008, according to founder Bob Wagstaff, who invented the product. But the strategy didn’t perform well.

“We spent $40,000 on it and sold practically nothing,” says the 76-year-old, who next cold-called several large retailers, asking them to carry the product, to no avail.

Unsure why his efforts failed, Mr. Wagstaff approached a marketing professor at Brigham Young University about his dilemma. The professor agreed to let Mr. Wagstaff solicit students for suggestions on how to get the word out. One student suggested creating a YouTube video and volunteered to take up the task. Mr. Wagstaff accepted the offer, which resulted in a comedic two-minute video that cost about $500 to make. It quickly went viral and a series of related videos also made by the same student, now Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, followed soon after.

Today, the company has its own YouTube channel that boasts more than 39 million views and 160,000 subscribers, who get alerts whenever a new video is posted to it. The channel, called Cure Bad Breath, is the third most popular YouTube channel behind OldSpice (No. 1) Apple (No. 2), according to Vidstax.com, a Web-analytics firm. Orabrush also has nearly 300,000 fans on Facebook, which the company uses to promote its videos.

Cure Bad Breath features 88 original shorts, all comedies, with titles like “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?” The company’s more recent videos are slicker than the originals and cost more to produce — between $3,000 and $5,000, says Orabrush’s CEO, Jeff Davis. Most of the actors in them are college students and recent graduates, which are also the company’s biggest customers.

Wal-Mart didn’t base its decision to stock the tongue cleaner on Orabrush’s YouTube popularity, says Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, but she notes the company’s YouTube videos likely raised its profile among consumers.

via How a Start-Up Landed Shelf Space at Wal-Mart – WSJ.com.

physics, light speed limit,  Albert Einstein, 1905 special theory of relativity: Just when we think we understand the world  ” … appears to violate the laws of nature as we know them.”

Physicists on the team that measured particles traveling faster than light said Friday they were as surprised as their skeptics about the results, which appear to violate the laws of nature as we know them.

Hundreds of scientists packed an auditorium at one of the world’s foremost laboratories on the Swiss-French border to hear how a subatomic particle, the neutrino, was found to have outrun light and confounded the theories of Albert Einstein.

“To our great surprise we found an anomaly,” said Antonio Ereditato, who participated in the experiment and speaks on behalf of the team.

An anomaly is a mild way of putting it.

Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen, according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity. The speed of light — 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second) — has long been considered a cosmic speed limit.

The team — a collaboration between France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research and Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory — fired a neutrino beam 454 miles (730 kilometers) underground from Geneva to Italy.

They found it traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than light. That’s sixty billionth of a second, a time no human brain could register.

Physicists not involved in the experiment have been understandably skeptical.

Alvaro De Rujula, a theoretical physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside Geneva from where the neutron beam was fired, said he blamed the readings on a so-far undetected human error.

If not, and it’s a big if, the door would be opened to some wild possibilities.

The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

But Ereditato and his team are wary of letting such science fiction story lines keep them up at night.

“We will continue our studies and we will wait patiently for the confirmation,” he told the AP. “Everybody is free to do what they want: to think, to claim, to dream.”

He added: “I’m not going to tell you my dreams.”

via Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet – WSJ.com.

NBA lockout, Steph Curry:  What is bad for the NBA is good for Davidson … the longer the lockout, the closer Steph is to a Davidson degree.

The NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached a new labor deal with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

NBA.com’s schedule page, which has a banner across the top listing the number of games on each day, was changed Friday morning to read “0 Games” for each date until Oct. 16, when there are four games.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The cancellations were expected after the latest meeting between owners and players Thursday ended without a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides still hope the entire regular season, scheduled to begin Nov. 1, can be saved.

The NBA has lost games to a work stoppage only once, when the 1998-99 season was reduced to a 50-game schedule.

via NBA postpones camps, cancels 43 preseason games – ESPN.

Davidson College, vandalism,  community bike program, honor code:  Very disappointing … you would think Davidson would be the perfect place for a community bike program.

The system was convenient for those who did not have bikes on campus, or who were unexpectedly running late to class. They were also a pleasant surprise to many, who found them sitting outside their dorm, the library, the Union or on Chambers lawn. The bikes did not have to be locked up or left in a secure location, which made them extremely convenient.

Of course since the bikes were limited in number, completely public and in high demand, they were never in one place for long. This inconvenience aside, the program was in place for many years here, and many other campuses across the country maintain similar programs.

Why was such a useful and popular program discontinued? Unfortunately, it appears that the strong Davidson sense of honor and responsibility wavered when it came to these bikes.

“They were stolen, damaged and some were even thrown off of buildings,” Jeannie Kinnett ’12 said. “Since there were no repercussions for damaging them, and no way to ensure their maintenance, the Activities Tax Council decided that funding them this year would not be worth it since they would be trashed anyway.”

There were efforts by Davidson Outdoors and other organizations to improve student treatment of the bikes, but this was largely ineffective. They were being damaged and stolen faster than they could be repaired or replaced.

“I once found one on the side of the road on Main Street,” Samanvitha Sridhar ’14 said. “I tried to ride it, but the tires were completely deflated, so I fell. It was pretty awful, and after that, I avoided the bikes because they all seemed to be in bad condition or broken.” One bike was even found in a drug bust.

Though Davidson students take great pride in their honor code, it is difficult to enforce any sort of regulation on the treatment of public property that changes hands on an hourly basis. Ironically, the program’s initial success was due to the honor code, which has now become its downfall.

Many students are not happy about the end of the program. “While I understand why the decision was made to end the community bikes program, I think that it was a useful resource for many students and I’m sad to see it go.” Denton Baird ’14 said.

Perhaps one day the community bikes program will be reinstituted, perhaps not. Either way, it brings to light the fact that, though the Honor Code is a source of pride for every Davidson student, when tested at least a few students take advantage of the benefits it affords. Our community is also accessible to a wider public that does not share our mutual pact.

via Theft, vandalism kill community bike program – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Duke Energy, green energy:  Buying energy or energy credits … very complicated.

Carolinas is seeking bids from companies that produce power from wind projects to sell the electricity and credits to Duke to help it meet state renewable-energy requirements.

Duke filed its long-range power-generation plan with state regulators this month. The plan calls for an increased reliance on wind power in the early years of the 20-year plan. About 12% of the renewable energy Duke provides by 2015 is expected to come from wind projects.

This is the first request Duke has made for bids from wind producers since filing that plan. The company says that power or credits will have to come from projects 50 megawatts to 300 megawatt in size. And the proposals must offer a minimum of 60,000-megawatt hours annually.

via Duke Energy asks for bids to sell wind power – Charlotte Business Journal.




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