Posts Tagged ‘Desmond Tutu

28
Apr
14

4.28.14 … the profound lifelong bond between brothers and sisters … a childhood memory … paradigm cases …

What Makes Siblings Bond?, NPR:  Lucky to have great siblings … definitely experienced the profound lifelong bond.

via ▶ TEDxAsheville – Jeff Kluger – The hidden power of siblings – YouTube.

Writer Jeff Kluger explores the profound lifelong bond between brothers and sisters, and the influence of birth order, favoritism and sibling rivalry.

About Jeff Kluger

Jeff Kluger is the senior editor of science and technology reporting at Time magazine. He’s the co-author of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. He’s also the author of Splendid Solution, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple), and The Sibling Effect.

via What Makes Siblings Bond? : NPR.

Evans-Cucich House, 308 Peachtree Battle Avenue,  E. Rivers friends, kith/kin:  E. Rivers friends … Did Charlotte S. grow up in this house? Oddly, I know she grew up in an art deco house on Peachtree Battle, and I think this is the only one, and one of a few in Atlanta.   Another E. Rivers friend says, yes! After looking at the blogpost, I swear I remember the refrigerators in the pictures.  Charlotte  lived in Charlotte NC for a while. I saw her 6-7 years ago at a book signing for Elizabeth Musser and then soon thereafter at the Varsity. I would love to ask her what is was like to grow up in this house. Another E. Rivers friend noted that she was “always afraid to go over there!”  Look at the pics .  It was definitely a different kind of house, even without the KKK history.

 

 

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There is one house in Atlanta that I have coveted ever since I was a child. Located on Peachtree Battle Avenue, the Evans-Cucich house is one of the very few Art Deco houses in Atlanta. Before I even knew what Art Deco was, I could tell that this house was unique. It certainly didn’t look like the other the 1920s and 30s-era homes in my neighborhood. Built in 1935 and designed by Atlanta architect A.F.N. Everett, the limestone house has a rather dark past. The original owner of the home, Hiram Evans, was an Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Many of us who are native Atlantans grew up hearing rumors that a tunnel was built underneath Peachtree Battle connecting the Evans house to a fellow Klansman’s house across the street. Then, sometime in the 1980s, I believe, the house was purchased by a man by the name of Cucich. I remember driving by the house in the 1980s and 90s and thinking “Someday, that house will be mine.”

The kitchen’s original refrigerator.

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via The Peak of Chic®: Evans-Cucich House, Peachtree Battle Avenue.

#SFStyle, Penelope Finnie, style, Westminster classmates, SFGate:  Another blast from the past … Doesn’t Penny look great?  She was always timeless and eclectic!

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Penelope Finnie, a painter who lives in Berkeley, also owns three Bittersweet chocolate cafes. She wears a Two Ten Ten Five coat, Faliero Sarti scarf and Mayer Peace Collection pants. Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle | Buy this photo

via #SFStyle: Penelope Finnie’s eclectic, timeless look – SFGate.

N.T. Wright’s  Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _and Why He Matters, work of the kingdom, William Wilberforce, Desmond Tutu, Cicely Saunders, The Beatitudes:  I’ve enjoyed this book, not because it is well written and not because I agree with him, but because I like to evaluate how I got to where I am, whether it be intellectually or spiritually. In his concluding chapter, he mentioned “paradigm cases,” one being Cicely Saunders.  I have never heard of her, but certainly am aware of the rise of hospice care.  So I was interested to research her.

The work of the kingdom, in fact, is summed up pretty well in those Beatitudes. When God wants to change the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners, those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s justice, the peacemakers, and so on. Just as God’s whole style, his chosen way of operating, reflects his generous love, sharing his rule with his human creatures, so the way in which those humans then have to behave if they are to be agents of Jesus’s lordship reflects in its turn the same sense of vulnerable, gentle, but powerful self-giving love. It is because of this that the world has been changed by people like William Wilberforce, campaigning tirelessly to abolish slavery; by Desmond Tutu, working and praying not just to end apartheid, but to end it in such a way as to produce a reconciled, forgiving South Africa; by Cicely Saunders, starting a hospice for terminally ill patients ignored by the medical profession and launching a movement that has, within a generation, spread right around the globe.

These are paradigm cases. Jesus rules the world today not just through his people “behaving themselves,” keeping a code of ethics, and engaging in certain spiritual practices, important though those are. The Beatitudes are much more than a “new rule of life,” as though one could practice them in private, away from the world. Jesus rules the world through those who launch new initiatives that radically challenge the accepted ways of doing things: jubilee projects to remit ridiculous and unpayable debt, housing trusts that provide accommodation for low-income families or homeless people, local and sustainable agricultural projects that care for creation instead of destroying it in the hope of quick profit, and so on. We have domesticated the Christian idea of “good works,” so that it has simply become “the keeping of ethical commands.” In the New Testament, “good works” are what Christians are supposed to be doing in and for the wider community. That is how the sovereignty of Jesus is put into effect.

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters (pp. 218-219). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Cicely Saunders:

Saunders originally set out in 1938 to study politics, philosophy, and economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford. In 1940, she set out to become a student nurse at the Nightingale Training School of London’s St. Thomas’s Hospital (King’s College London). Returning to St Anne’s College after a back injury in 1944, she took a BA in 1945, qualifying as a medical social worker in 1947, and becoming a lady almoner at St Thomas’s hospital.[citation needed]

Relationships[edit]

In 1948 she fell in love with a patient, David Tasma, a Polish-Jewish refugee who, having escaped from the Warsaw ghetto, worked as a waiter; he was dying of cancer. He bequeathed her £500 (equivalent to £13,106 in 2013)[1] to be “a window in your home”.[clarification needed] This donation, which helped germinate the idea which would become St Christopher’s, is memorialized with a plain sheet of glass at the hospice’s entrance. While training for social work, she holidayed with some Christians, and went through a conversion experience. In the late 1940s, Saunders began working part-time at St Luke’s Home for the Dying Poor in Bayswater, and it was partly this which, in 1951, led her to begin study at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School to become a physician. She qualified MBBS in 1957.

Hospice[edit]

A year later, she began working at St Joseph’s Hospice, a Catholic establishment, in Hackney, East London, where she would remain for seven years, researching pain control. There she met a second Pole, Antoni Michniewicz, a patient with whom she fell in love. His death, in 1960, coincided with the death of Saunders’s father, and another friend, and put her into what she later called a state of “pathological grieving”. But she had already decided to set up her own hospice, focused on cancer patients, and said that Michniewicz’s death had shown her that “as the body becomes weaker, so the spirit becomes stronger”.[citation needed]

Saunders claimed that after 11 years of thinking about the project, she had drawn up a comprehensive blueprint and sought finance after reading Psalm 37: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” She succeeded in engaging the support of Albertine Winner, the deputy chief medical officer at the Ministry of Health at the time. Later, Dame Albertine Winner served as Chairwoman of St. Christopher’s. In 1965, Cicely Saunders was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1967, St Christopher’s Hospice, the world’s first purpose-built hospice, was established. The hospice was founded on the principles of combining teaching and clinical research, expert pain and symptom relief with holistic care to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of its patients and those of their family and friends. It was a place where patients could garden, write, talk – and get their hair done. There was always, Saunders would emphasize, so much more to be done, and she did it, as its medical director from 1967, and then, from 1985, as its chairman, a post she occupied until 2000, when she became president.[citation needed]

via Cicely Saunders – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

If Jesus Never Called Himself God_How Did He Become One?, NPR: And to contrast Wright, I saw this on NPR’s website … On why he’s interested in studying Jesus’ transformation

If Jesus had not been declared God by his followers, his followers would’ve remained a sect within Judaism — a small Jewish sect, and if that was the case it would not have attracted a large number of gentiles. If they hadn’t attracted a large number of gentiles, there wouldn’t have been this steady rate of conversion over the first three centuries to Christianity; it would’ve been a small Jewish sect.

If Christianity had not become a sizable minority in the empire, the Roman emperor Constantine almost certainly would not have converted, but then there wouldn’t have been the masses of conversions after Constantine, and Christianity would not have become the state religion of Rome. If that hadn’t happened, it would never have become the dominant religious, cultural, political, social, economic force that it became so that we wouldn’t have even had the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation or modernity as we know it. … It all hinges on this claim the early Christians had that Jesus was God.

via If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One? : NPR.

El Camino gear:  So researching the best gear for a walk, a long walk …

So the first thing you need to know is that I’m a bit… insane about things we buy. I have a sometimes-paralyzing disease that makes me research the crap out of anything I’m going to buy. I have to get “the best” of whatever it is and I have a particular knack for digging through reviews and research to find the right stuff.

Being a software developer that normally translates to technology and electronics… who knew it would also apply to hiking gear?

via Packing for El Camino de Santiago – From the Way.

 …

Smith first noted the connection between business and philanthropy in college when he met his idol, millionaire philanthropist Steven Gibson. According to Gibson, the best thing Smith could do if he wanted to be a successful philanthropist was to become an entrepreneur and develop organizational and management skills. Only then should he return to philanthropy. Ten years and two successful startups later, Smith started Cotopaxi.

There’s a clear narrative showing how your purchase helps when you buy from Cotopaxi. “If you buy the India water bottle, you are actually helping someone in India,” Smith said. A key part of this narrative is transparency. “We’ll give you geographic coordinates to the well that’s being drilled. You’ll be able to see images of the villages being helped—you’ll know that you are giving around six months of clean water to someone in need,” Smith said.

via What Gear Companies Do the Most Good for the Planet? | Gear Guy | OutsideOnline.com.

05
Oct
11

10.5 … ‎Off to FPC for a little Jane Austen and her religious perspective as seen in Mansfield Park’s Fanny … RIP Steve Jobs … You’ve changed my world for the better. Price …

Steve Jobs, RIP:  As any readers know, I and my family are big Apple fans.  We “converted” in 2004 … the kids converted in school (I guess they were ambi – os) … but we all prefer Apple products for person computing, phoning (except the Molls who loves her bbm) and entertainment.  So rest in peace, Steve Jobs; you have changed my world for the better.  Thank you.

Others seem to agree … immediately upon the announcement of his death … these articles appeared online.  My favorite …  “Elvis has left the house.”

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” Mr. Cook said in a letter to employees. “We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.”

During his more than three-decade career, Mr. Jobs transformed Silicon Valley as he helped turn the once-sleepy expanse of fruit orchards into the technology industry’s innovation center. In addition to laying the groundwork for the industry alongside others like Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, Mr. Jobs proved the appeal of well-designed products over the power of technology itself and transformed the way people interact with technology.

“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come,” Mr. Gates said in a statement Wednesday.

The most productive chapter in Mr. Jobs’s career occurred near the end of his life, when a nearly unbroken string of successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad changed the PC, electronics and digital-media industries. The way he marketed and sold those products through savvy advertising campaigns and Apple’s retail stores helped turn the company into a pop-culture phenomenon.

At the beginning of that phase, Mr. Jobs described his philosophy as trying to make products that were at “the intersection of art and technology.” In doing so, he turned Apple into the world’s most valuable company with a market value of $350 billion.

via Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder, Is Dead – WSJ.com.

What’s less talked about is what drove Jobs, who died Wednesday at 56.

As with anyone, Jobs’ values were shaped by his upbringing and life experiences. He was born in 1955 in San Francisco and grew up amid the rise of hippie counterculture. Bob Dylan and the Beatles were his two favorite musical acts, and he shared their political leanings, antiestablishment views and, reportedly, youthful experimentation with psychedelic drug usage.

The name of Jobs’ company is said to be inspired by the Beatles’ Apple Corps, which repeatedly sued the electronics maker for trademark infringement until signing an exclusive digital distribution deal with iTunes. Like the Beatles, Jobs took a spiritual retreat to India and regularly walked around his neighborhood and the office barefoot.

Friends, colleagues remember Steve Jobs Wozniak: Jobs made ‘people happy’ 2009: Steve Jobs thanks donor Apple’s passionate pitchman

Traversing India sparked Jobs’ conversion to Buddhism. Kobun Chino, a monk, presided over his wedding to Laurene Powell, a Stanford University MBA.

‘Life is an intelligent thing’

Rebirth is a precept of Buddhism, and Apple experienced rebirth of sorts when Jobs returned, after he was fired, to remake a company that had fallen the verge of bankruptcy.

“I believe life is an intelligent thing, that things aren’t random,” Jobs said in a 1997 interview with Time, providing a glimpse into his complicated belief system that extends well beyond the Buddhist teachings.

Karma is another principle of the religion, but it didn’t appear to be a system Jobs lived by. If he feared karma coming back to bite him, the sentiment wasn’t evident in his public statements about competitors and former colleagues, calling them “bozos” lacking taste. Those who worked for Jobs described him as a tyrant they feared meeting in an elevator.

“You’d be surprised how hard people work around here,” Jobs said in a 2004 interview with Businessweek. “They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while. Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be.”

Some engineers who worked tirelessly on the original Mac emerged from the project estranged from their spouses and children. Jobs’ relentless work ethic may have been shaped by some of his dysfunctional family affairs as well.

Focus and simplicity’

Jobs famously lured John Sculley, the PepsiCo president, to run Apple by saying: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” (They had a permanent falling out when Jobs was booted from Apple.)

via The spiritual side of Steve Jobs – CNN.com.

The Phone Calls

I never knew Steve when he was first at Apple. I wasn’t covering technology then. And I only met him once, briefly, between his stints at the company. But, within days of his return, in 1997, he began calling my house, on Sunday nights, for four or five straight weekends. As a veteran reporter, I understood that part of this was an attempt to flatter me, to get me on the side of a teetering company whose products I had once recommended, but had, more recently, advised readers to avoid.

Yet there was more to the calls than that. They turned into marathon, 90-minute, wide-ranging, off-the-record discussions that revealed to me the stunning breadth of the man. One minute he’d be talking about sweeping ideas for the digital revolution. The next about why Apple’s current products were awful, and how a color, or angle, or curve, or icon was embarrassing.

After the second such call, my wife became annoyed at the intrusion he was making in our weekend. I didn’t.

Later, he’d sometimes call to complain about some reviews, or parts of reviews — though, in truth, I felt very comfortable recommending most of his products for the average, non-techie consumers at whom I aim my columns. (That may have been because they were his target, too.) I knew he would be complaining because he’d start every call by saying “Hi, Walt. I’m not calling to complain about today’s column, but I have some comments, if that’s okay.” I usually disagreed with his comments, but that was okay, too.

The Product Unveilings

Sometimes, not always, he’d invite me in to see certain big products before he unveiled them to the world. He may have done the same with other journalists. We’d meet in a giant boardroom, with just a few of his aides present, and he’d insist — even in private — on covering the new gadgets with cloths and then uncovering them like the showman he was, a gleam in his eye and passion in his voice. We’d then often sit down for a long, long discussion of the present, the future, and general industry gossip.

I still remember the day he showed me the first iPod. I was amazed that a computer company would branch off into music players, but he explained, without giving any specifics away, that he saw Apple as a digital products company, not a computer company. It was the same with the iPhone, the iTunes music store, and later the iPad, which he asked me to his home to see, because he was too ill at the time to go to the office.

The Slides

To my knowledge, the only tech conference Steve Jobs regularly appeared at, the only event he didn’t somehow control, was our D: All Things Digital conference, where he appeared repeatedly for unrehearsed, onstage interviews. We had one rule that really bothered him: We never allowed slides, which were his main presentation tool.

One year, about an hour before his appearance, I was informed that he was backstage preparing dozens of slides, even though I had reminded him a week earlier of the no-slides policy. I asked two of his top aides to tell him he couldn’t use the slides, but they each said they couldn’t do it, that I had to. So, I went backstage and told him the slides were out. Famously prickly, he could have stormed out, refused to go on. And he did try to argue with me. But, when I insisted, he just said “Okay.” And he went on stage without them, and was, as usual, the audience’s favorite speaker.

Ice Water in Hell

For our fifth D conference, both Steve and his longtime rival, the brilliant Bill Gates, surprisingly agreed to a joint appearance, their first extended onstage joint interview ever. But it almost got derailed.

Earlier in the day, before Gates arrived, I did a solo onstage interview with Jobs, and asked him what it was like to be a major Windows developer, since Apple’s iTunes program was by then installed on hundreds of millions of Windows PCs.

He quipped: “It’s like giving a glass of ice water to someone in Hell.” When Gates later arrived and heard about the comment, he was, naturally, enraged, because my partner Kara Swisher and I had assured both men that we hoped to keep the joint session on a high plane.

In a pre-interview meeting, Gates said to Jobs: “So I guess I’m the representative from Hell.” Jobs merely handed Gates a cold bottle of water he was carrying. The tension was broken, and the interview was a triumph, with both men acting like statesmen. When it was over, the audience rose in a standing ovation, some of them in tears.

Ice Water in Hell

For our fifth D conference, both Steve and his longtime rival, the brilliant Bill Gates, surprisingly agreed to a joint appearance, their first extended onstage joint interview ever. But it almost got derailed.

Earlier in the day, before Gates arrived, I did a solo onstage interview with Jobs, and asked him what it was like to be a major Windows developer, since Apple’s iTunes program was by then installed on hundreds of millions of Windows PCs.

He quipped: “It’s like giving a glass of ice water to someone in Hell.” When Gates later arrived and heard about the comment, he was, naturally, enraged, because my partner Kara Swisher and I had assured both men that we hoped to keep the joint session on a high plane.

In a pre-interview meeting, Gates said to Jobs: “So I guess I’m the representative from Hell.” Jobs merely handed Gates a cold bottle of water he was carrying. The tension was broken, and the interview was a triumph, with both men acting like statesmen. When it was over, the audience rose in a standing ovation, some of them in tears.

The Optimist

I have no way of knowing how Steve talked to his team during Apple’s darkest days in 1997 and 1998, when the company was on the brink and he was forced to turn to archrival Microsoft for a rescue. He certainly had a nasty, mercurial side to him, and I expect that, then and later, it emerged inside the company and in dealings with partners and vendors, who tell believable stories about how hard he was to deal with.

But I can honestly say that, in my many conversations with him, the dominant tone he struck was optimism and certainty, both for Apple and for the digital revolution as a whole. Even when he was telling me about his struggles to get the music industry to let him sell digital songs, or griping about competitors, at least in my presence, his tone was always marked by patience and a long-term view. This may have been for my benefit, knowing that I was a journalist, but it was striking nonetheless.

At times in our conversations, when I would criticize the decisions of record labels or phone carriers, he’d surprise me by forcefully disagreeing, explaining how the world looked from their point of view, how hard their jobs were in a time of digital disruption, and how they would come around.

This quality was on display when Apple opened its first retail store. It happened to be in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, near my home. He conducted a press tour for journalists, as proud of the store as a father is of his first child. I commented that, surely, there’d only be a few stores, and asked what Apple knew about retailing.

He looked at me like I was crazy, said there’d be many, many stores, and that the company had spent a year tweaking the layout of the stores, using a mockup at a secret location. I teased him by asking if he, personally, despite his hard duties as CEO, had approved tiny details like the translucency of the glass and the color of the wood.

He said he had, of course.

The Walk

After his liver transplant, while he was recuperating at home in Palo Alto, California, Steve invited me over to catch up on industry events that had transpired during his illness. It turned into a three-hour visit, punctuated by a walk to a nearby park that he insisted we take, despite my nervousness about his frail condition.

He explained that he walked each day, and that each day he set a farther goal for himself, and that, today, the neighborhood park was his goal. As we were walking and talking, he suddenly stopped, not looking well. I begged him to return to the house, noting that I didn’t know CPR and could visualize the headline: “Helpless Reporter Lets Steve Jobs Die on the Sidewalk.”

But he laughed, and refused, and, after a pause, kept heading for the park. We sat on a bench there, talking about life, our families, and our respective illnesses (I had had a heart attack some years earlier). He lectured me about staying healthy. And then we walked back.

Steve Jobs didn’t die that day, to my everlasting relief. But now he really is gone, much too young, and it is the world’s loss.

via The Steve Jobs I Knew – Walt Mossberg – Mossblog – AllThingsD.

But stepping back from the immediate fray, theres something about the blogospheres insistence on the existence of a dramatic addition to the iPhone family that shows how hard its going to be for many of us to let Steve Jobs go.How Apple co-opted the InternetApple iPhone 4S personal assistant: SiriZDNet: iPhone 4S is swell, but pricing is the killer appApple iPhone 4S unveiled roundupIn our imagination, Jobs is still on stage, delighting the house as he extends his dazzling product presentation to include one more thing. But this time around it was Tim Cook as master of ceremonies, up on stage for more than 1.5 hours – which may have struck some as more reminiscent of a meandering Fidel Castro than the lapidary Steve Jobs. Youd think after all that time running through the laundry list of new products, Apple would have had a blockbuster finish, they harrumphed on the Twitter transom. Not this time around.

And then there’s the team at the helm. Cook and Phil Schiller, who delivered the iPhone news on stage, are solid executives with proven track records. It would be out of character and entirely clunky for this duo to pretend to be something that they’re not. So don’t expect them to send thrills up your leg. Ain’t gonna happen. The world is going to have to adjust to the new reality: Apple will continue to make good products but let’s get over it already. Elvis has left the stage.

via Apple hard new reality: Elvis has left the house – CBS News.

Jane Austen,  Mansfield Park,  Fanny Price, Christian Themes in Jane Austen:  Mind was once again expanded … Christ birth story is a Cinderella story (as is Fanny Price), Mary’s comment on the clergy as bores, etc, reflects social attitudes of the times,  …  Thank you Rev. Dr. Tom Currie for a great three-part series on Jane Austen.

Peach Pass, HOT Lanes, I-85 travel:  I noted these on Monday … they really are new. 🙂

Register. Every vehicle that sets a wheel in the toll lane must have a Peach Pass, whether paying the toll or not.

No cash. All tolls are electronic.

Tolled: solo drivers and two-person car pools

Free: car pools of three people or more, transit vehicles, motorcycles, cars with alternative fuel license plates, mass transit

Prohibited: trucks with more than six wheels and/or two axles

To switch from toll-paying to free, or vice versa: You must reset your Peach Pass account by phone or computer at least 15 minutes before you enter the lane. If your switching is regular, you can pre-set certain days or times as paying or nonpaying.

How much: The toll ranges from 10 cents a mile to 90 cents a mile, rising with congestion. The State Road and Tollway Authority can go over 90 cents a mile in special cases.

Don’t: cross the double solid lines. Enter or exit only at the dashed lines.

Fines: A violation can reap both a $25 SRTA fine, which happens electronically and is mailed to the driver, and a police fine of up to $150 from troopers who are patrolling the corridor.

via What to know as I-85 HOT lane opens  | ajc.com.

college life, sophomore return ceremony, traditions:  Freshman convocations are much more elaborate and meaningful now than 30+ years ago, including honor code signing ceremonies, etc. Now some schools are beginning a tradition for sophomores ” to combat “the sophomore slump,” a sort of let-down that may follow a first year filled with fanfare and new experiences.”

You may have heard of freshman convocation – the traditional formal ceremony that kicks off a college career – but what about sophomore convocation?

As the blog Inside Higher Ed reported last week, Duke University held its first-ever ceremony dedicated to welcoming back second-year students this fall.

Its intention was to combat “the sophomore slump,” a sort of let-down that may follow a first year filled with fanfare and new experiences.

As Duke’s dean of undergraduate studies told Inside Higher Ed:

“The sophomore year is a time of transition, where students sometimes do feel like they’re in a slump. They’re not yet necessarily deeply on their track toward whatever their path is, but they’re no longer in that special moment of being the first-year class whom everybody dotes on.”

As Inside Higher Ed pointed out, Duke’s new ceremony had the more privileged goal of reenergizing students, compared to the more practical aim of other schools’ second-year programs: to keep undergraduates from dropping out.

via A Ceremony to Kick off Sophomore Year? – NYTimes.com.

cloud computing, colleges and universities, technology:  It will be interesting if this costs institutions more or less over the long haul.

Internet2 was formed to help colleges wire superfast networks, but now it is shifting attention to the cloud. This morning the group announced that it has brokered discounts with Hewlett-Packard and two other tech companies for computing services, such as renting processor time on high-speed computers over the Internet, to help researchers.

The deals are the first of a new project called Internet2 Net+ Services. The idea is that the group, which counts 235 college members, can negotiate better prices and contract terms than any individual college could. Eleven colleges are running tests of the arrangement, which will be made available to other Internet2 members beginning early next year.

HP’s new CEO, Meg Whitman, addressed Internet2′s member meeting this morning via videoconference to announce her company’s participation in the program. Together with a company called SHI International, HP has agreed to offer a special discount and licensing terms to colleges to buy time on high-speed computers over the Internet. Technically the colleges will sign a contract with Internet2 for the services, which will take an administrative fee in the deal. Internet2 will also handle some of the technology and technical support for the services.

The other company that has signed up to offer cloud services through Internet2 is Box, which provides users with online folders to store and share files. Colleges that buy the service through Internet2 can give every user on their campuses the file folder, which users can access using their existing college logins and passwords. The service will cost colleges about $27,000 per year for small campuses (up to 10,000 accounts) and $350,000 per year for the largest (up to 200,000 accounts).

via Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Facebook, student life, substance abuse:  Using Facebook posts to predict substance abuse problems.  Clearly judgement problems … maybe the two go hand in hand.

College students who post pictures and references to drunkenness are more likely to have a “clinically significant” drinking problem than students who don’t post such references, according to the study, which was sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

For the study – published in the Oct. 3 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine – researchers examined public Facebook profiles of more than 300 undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Washington. The researchers contacted these students and asked them to complete a questionnaire that doctors use to measure a drinking problem.

The profiles were divided into three categories: those without alcohol references, those with references to alcohol but no mention of getting drunk, and those scattered with phrases like “being drunk” and “getting wasted.” Not surprisingly, the students in the last group scored higher on the questionaire. A score of 8 or higher indicates a person is at risk for problem drinking, and these student groups had average scores of 4.6, 6.7, and 9.5 respectively.

via Can Facebook predict problem drinking? What study says – HealthPop – CBS News.

piracy, Somalia, Rachel and Paul Chandler, pirates:  We are not talking Captain Hook … Did you ever think that piracy would be a major news item in our lifetime?  This is a very interesting piece.

Their strike zone is now more than two million square miles of water, which is virtually impossible to patrol. Jay Bahadur, author of a new book, “The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World,” likens the international naval efforts to “a losing game of Whac-a-Mole.”

After Somalia’s central government collapsed 20 years ago, the 1,900-mile coastline became an unpatrolled free-for-all, with foreign fishing trawlers descending to scoop up Somalia’s rich stocks of tuna, shark, whitefish, lobster and deep-water shrimp. With no authorities to fear, the fishing boats were especially unscrupulous and used heavy steel drag nets that wiped out the marine habitat for years. Somali piracy was born when disgruntled fishermen armed themselves and started attacking the foreign trawlers. They soon realized they could attack any ship and get a ransom for holding the crew hostage.

“In the beginning, the pirates had a lot of support,” explained Kayse Maxamed, a Somali who works in mental health in Bristol and who organized a “Save the Chandlers” rally in front of a mosque in early 2010. “Everybody liked them. They represented the Somali Navy.

via Taken by Pirates – NYTimes.com.

Spices and Tease, retail, NYC:  OK, so I like the name. 🙂

Bruno Benzacken and François Athea are cousins from a family that has been in the spice business in Europe since 1933. They came to New York eight years ago and began selling spices and teas at street fairs. Now they have graduated to a store on the Upper West Side, colorful in its array of several dozen spices, teas and blends and just as alluring for the aromas that waft from the displays. Tall canisters hold various sugars (right), and downstairs there are more spices and teas, along with assorted salts, peppers and pepper mixtures; Provençal products, including soaps; and various gadgets for grinding spices and preparing tea. They serve tea and pastries as well.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Mr. Benzacken and Mr. Athea (above) expect to open this month in Grand Central Market in Grand Central Terminal, at the stand formerly occupied by Penzeys.

Spices and Tease, 2580 Broadway (97th Street); (347) 470-8327; spicesandtease.com.

via Spices, Sugars, Teas – A Blast for the Senses – NYTimes.com.

iPhone 4S:  Overshadowed somewhat by the death of Steve Jobs. Spec Spat: Apple iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4 – Techland – TIME.com.

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry:  “It underlines the fear in the Republican camp that none of the candidates already in the field looks completely certain to beat even an economy-shackled Mr Obama.”

First, the man whose big advantage over the too-slick Mr Romney was supposed to be the authenticity of his conservatism has somehow managed to let his rivals paint him as a cringing liberal. He stands accused of allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay the lower, subsidised in-state tuition fees at Texas’s public universities, and of ordering Texas to inflict what Michele Bachmann, the congresswoman from Minnesota who has appointed herself Joan of Arc in this campaign, calls “a government injection” on “innocent little 12-year-old girls”.

Mr Perry pleads mitigation. In the case of the university fees he says he was handicapped by the possession of a heart (why punish the children of illegal immigrants for their parents’ actions?). As for the injection, he hoped the HPV vaccine would save more women from cervical cancer. But no hint of leniency towards illegal immigrants goes unpunished by a certain sort of Republican activist, so the star of the Lone Star candidate is waning. The unexpected winner of the Florida straw poll, held soon after the Orlando debate, was Herman Cain, a fiery black Baptist preacher and former boss of Godfather’s Pizza.

In theory, Mr Perry has ample time to recover. Straw polls do not count for much; a mere six weeks ago Mrs Bachmann was basking in her own victory in the Ames straw poll in Iowa, only to be eclipsed as soon as Mr Perry made his late eruption into the race. And although the Texan has so far fumbled his attempt to hurt Mr Romney by identifying him, accurately, as the governor who introduced an early form of “Obamacare” into Massachusetts, he will have plenty more chances to do better: the candidates will next debate in New Hampshire in mid-October.

However, proving himself to be a more conservative conservative than Mr Romney is no longer Mr Perry’s most urgent task, because allowing himself to be outflanked from the right was only the smaller of his two recent setbacks. His bigger problem now is that he has lost his aura as an effective campaigner.

It underlines the fear in the Republican camp that none of the candidates already in the field looks completely certain to beat even an economy-shackled Mr Obama.

Democrats for Perry

Except, perhaps, for the patient Mr Romney. Interestingly, there are Democrats who say quietly that they are no less disappointed than conservatives by Mr Perry’s recent mistakes. That is because Mr Perry’s errors make it likelier that the Republicans will settle for Mr Romney; and Mr Romney, a centrist who everyone knows is only masquerading as a conservative until the primaries are over, might actually go on to beat Mr Obama in the general. The great flip-flopper does not convince the conservative base. He does not excite much of the wider electorate either. But nor does he scare them. And with the economy the way it is, that may be all it takes to win the White House in 2012.

via Lexington: Open goal, useless strikers | The Economist.

 How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, Emily Post’s Etiquette, Emily Post:  Updates for the modern age?

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which turns 75 this year, has sold more than 30 million copies and continues to be a best seller. The book, a paean to integrity, good humor and warmth in the name of amicable capitalism, is as wholesome as a Norman Rockwell painting. It exists alongside Dr. Spock’s child-rearing guide, Strunk and White’s volume on literary style and Fannie Farmer’s cookbook as a classic expression of the American impulse toward self-improvement and reinvention. Testimonials to its effectiveness abound. It’s said that the only diploma that hangs in Warren Buffett’s office is his certificate from Dale Carnegie Training.

The book’s essential admonitions — be a good listener, admit faults quickly and emphatically, and smile more often, among them — are timeless. They need updating about as much as Hank Williams’s songs do.

Yet now comes Dale Carnegie and Associates Inc., which offers leadership and public speaking classes, with the news that it has rewritten and reissued Carnegie’s book for the laptop generation under the title “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age,” written with Brent Cole. It’s not the only advice classic that’s been updated this fall for the era of Facebook and Google Plus. There’s a new edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette” as well, which bears the forward-looking subtitle “Manners for a New World.”

Both books offer sensible new advice about being a polite e-mailer and navigating the pitfalls of Twitter. But while it’s hard to blame those charged with caring for the Dale Carnegie and Emily Post brands for wanting them to remain relevant, attempts to tweak favorites are fraught with peril. And “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age” in particular is such a radical — and radically hapless — retooling of Dale Carnegie’s text that it feels almost like an act of brand suicide.

via Dale Carnegie and Emily Post for the Twitter Age – NYTimes.com.

Occupy Wall Street, culture:  An interesting take on the 99 percent …

These are not rants against the system. They’re not anarchist manifestos. They’re not calls for a revolution. They’re small stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it. Or, worse, they have tens of thousands in debt to show for it.

“I am a 28 year old female with debt that had to give up her apartment + pet because I have no money and I owe over $30,000.”

College debt shows up a lot in these stories, actually. It’s more insistently present than housing debt, or even unemployment. That might speak to the fact that the protests tilt towards the young. But it also speaks, I think, to the fact that college debt represents a special sort of betrayal. We told you that the way to get ahead in America was to get educated. You did it. And now you find yourself in the same place, but buried under debt. You were lied to.

“Married mother of 3. Lost my job in 2009. My family lost our health insurance, our savings, our home, and our good credit. After 16 months, I found a job — with a 90 mile commute and a 25 percent pay cut. After gas, tolls, daycare, and the cost of health insurance, i was paying so my kids had access to health care.”

Let’s be clear. This isn’t really the 99 percent. If you’re in the 85th percentile, for instance, your household is making more than $100,000, and you’re probably doing okay. If you’re in the 95th percentile, your household is making more than $150,000. But then, these protests really aren’t about Wall Street, either. There’s not a lot of evidence that these people want a class war, or even particularly punitive measures on the rich. The only thing that’s clear from their missives is that they want the economy to start working for them, too.

But this is why I’m taking Occupy Wall Street — or, perhaps more specifically, the ‘We Are The 99 Percent’ movement — seriously. There are a lot of people who are getting an unusually raw deal right now. There is a small group of people who are getting an unusually good deal right now. That doesn’t sound to me like a stable equilibrium.

The organizers of Occupy Wall Street are fighting to upend the system. But what gives their movement the potential for power and potency is the masses who just want the system to work the way they were promised it would work. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans are really struggling. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans want a revolution. It’s that 99 percent of Americans sense that the fundamental bargain of our economy — work hard, play by the rules, get ahead — has been broken, and they want to see it restored.

via Who are the 99 percent? – The Washington Post.

post-graduation, careers:

How about you? Do you think higher education needs to change to accommodate the ongoing job decline by providing career help to graduate students?  Please leave your comments and suggestions below.

via ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, places, names, racism:  I am from the South and have roots in the Deep South.  I cannot think of any offensive place names …

The revelation that Rick Perry’s family leased a hunting camp commonly known in rural Texas by a little-known racial epithet raises these questions: How many such places exist and where are they?

The short answer is all across the country, not only in people’s memories, but also listed as such on maps, mostly in rural areas, according to a scholar who studies place names.

Controversy continues for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry after his guests insisted they saw a rock bearing the name of a racial slur when Perry took them hunting at his family’s camp. (Oct. 3)

The small Texas town of Paint Creek has no post office, no grocery store, and no claim to fame – until now. Dean Reynolds takes a tour of Paint Creek, the town where Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry grew up. (Sept. 19)

Mark Monmonier, a geographer at Syracuse University, says that the three most offensive place names that can still be found on some maps are “nigger,” “jap” and “squaw.” This is mainly because during the first half of the 1900s, topographers were sent out to name and measure geographic locations and relied on local input.

Those names, some offensive, were then codified in federal maps and served as a snapshot of colloquial language and racial attitudes, Monmonier said.

In Perry’s case, the Post reported that the current Texas governor and 2012 presidential candidate hosted lawmakers and others at a West Texas hunting camp at the entrance of which, for some period of time, was a stone on which was painted the word “Niggerhead.” The Perry camp says the stone was painted over in 1983, but the Post accounts from seven different people tell a different story.

A search of the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) turned up at least 24 names from Alaska to New York of lakes, creeks, points and capes that once bore the name “Niggerhead,” but have since been changed, in some cases to names like “Negrohead.” Perry’s hunting ranch was apparently never mapped and is not part of the database.

via Offensive place names once dotted the U.S. landscape – The Washington Post.

President Obama, White House policy, debt collection, cell phones:  Political suicide?

To the dismay of consumer groups and the discomfort of Democrats, President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.

The change “is expected to provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely instead on cellphones,” the administration wrote recently. The little-noticed recommendation would apply only to cases in which money is owed the government, and is tucked into the mammoth $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan the president submitted to Congress.

Despite the claim, the administration has not yet developed an estimate of how much the government would collect, and critics reject the logic behind the recommendation.

“Enabling robo-calls (to cellphones) is just going to lead to more harassment and abuse, and it’s not going to help the government collect more money,” said Lauren Saunders of the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center. “People aren’t paying their student loans because they can’t find a job.”

via Obama Plan Includes Measure To Make It Easier For Debt Collectors To Call Cellphones.

The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, South Africa, China, international politics:  This seems like a silly statement to make by the South Africans … then I am not an international relations/politics expert.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, scrapped plans on Tuesday to attend the 80th birthday celebration of a fellow Nobel laureate, Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, after the host government did not grant his visa request.

Critics viewed the South African government’s behavior as a capitulation to China, one of South Africa’s most important economic partners and a strong opponent of the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese authorities consider subversive.

A statement by the Dalai Lama’s office in New Delhi said he and his entourage had expected to visit South Africa from Thursday to Oct. 14, had submitted visa applications at the end of August and had submitted their passports two weeks ago. His agenda included the Oct. 6 birthday of Archbishop Tutu and a number of public talks.

However, his office said in a statement, “Since the South African government seems to find it inconvenient to issue a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness has decided to call off this visit to South Africa.”

The statement did not address the question of why South Africa did not grant the visa, and the South African Embassy in New Delhi did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But officials in South Africa said they followed normal procedures in reviewing the visa request.

via Dalai Lama’s Visa Request Is Denied by South Africa – NYTimes.com.

pirates, Blackbeard, archeology:  Dead historical pirates are more interesting/entertaining than those living. 🙂

Much of North Carolina’s coast is still recovering from Hurricane Irene, but the storm left the sunken remains of Blackbeard’s ship largely untouched.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reports ( http://bit.ly/oDoAPW) that a new expedition this week to the site of the Queen Anne’s Revenge has found the shipwreck weathered the storm fairly well.

Project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing says a sand berm near the site seems to help protect it from storms.

The four-week expedition this fall aims to recover one of the ship’s largest cannons, along with cannon balls and other artifacts.

The ship lies in shallow waters off the Atlantic coast where it sank in 1718, just five months before Blackbeard was killed in a battle at Ocracoke Inlet. The wreck was discovered in 1996.

via Expedition starts at NC site of Blackbeard’s ship – KansasCity.com.

“Playboy Club”, tv:  Cable vs. network tv?  Just seemed like a stupid idea to me.

Playboy Club founder Hugh Hefner weighed in on NBC’s decision to scrub “The Playboy Club” from its primetime schedule owing to lousy ratings.

“I’m sorry NBC’s ‘The Playboy Club’ didn’t find it’s audience,” he tweeted, adding, “ It should have been on cable, aimed at a more adult audience.”

ORIGINAL POST: Those of you wondering what NBC was thinking of when it put its new 60’s-set drama, “Playboy Club” into the intense Monday at 10 competition opposite both ABC’s “Castle” and CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O,” we have an answer!

The season’s first cancellation.

NBC is putting Brian Williams new newsmag — the oddly named “Rock Center with Brian Williams” into ther hour starting Oct. 31, according to an industry source.

via Hugh Hefner: ‘Playboy Club’ shoulda been on cable [Updated] – The TV 

“Glee”, tv:  “Asian F”  … much better episode …

Grading on a curve, this latest Glee episode would be graded an “Asian F,” too — that is an “A-minus.” Mike Chang, Sr. would not be too happy about that.

But we all should be glad that “Glee’s” sophomoric slumber last year has awakened to a new season featuring intricate storylines that make you root for the underdogs. This time, it’s for Brittany, Mike Chang and Mercedes.

All three took star turns, despite running into heavy opposition. Brittany ratchets up her candidacy for senior class president against Kurt with a stellar performance of Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” as an energetic flash mob pep rally. It was reminiscent of a Spice Girls music video. If only Posh could have shaken her moneymaker like that.

via ‘Glee’ Season 3, Episode 3, ‘Asian F’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Supreme Court, Justice Scalia, death penalty debate:  There has got to be a better solution for the death penalty appeals process.  Or just get rid of the death penalty.

“There has to be some local counsel that does work,” Sotomayor said to Garre. In response to that comment as well as Scalia’s continued badgering, Garre noted that “the state itself must not have viewed Butler as a meaningful player, because when the default at issue in this case occurred, the state sent a letter … to Mr. Maples directly on death row” rather than to his local counsel.

That prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to wonder how much local counsel would “have to do to put him in a position where he was in fact representing Maples.”

“Your case, it seems to me,” Roberts said to Garre, “turns critically on Butler’s role.”

And it was over this matter that Scalia broke from the rest of the justices (except, of course, Justice Clarence Thomas, who is fast approaching his sixth year of silence at oral argument). For Scalia, the local attorney remained Maples’ lawyer no matter how hands-off he was in the case. Consequently, Scalia considered the lawyer’s failure to appeal to be fairly imputed to Maples.

The case was apparently not as simple for his colleagues. Justice Stephen Breyer, for example, telegraphed his sympathy for Maples. He said that the prosecutor in the case would have known that “one, [Maples is] represented by counsel in New York; two, they didn’t get the notice; three, the local attorney isn’t going to do anything; and conclusion, they likely knew that he didn’t get the notice,” yet the prosecutor pressed to keep Maples out of court anyway.

Scalia interjected, “Do we know that [the prosecutor] knew all of those facts?” And Garre replied, “No, Justice Scalia.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy then asked for statistics, for Alabama or the nation, on how many capital cases are not appealed. Given that such cases are virtually always appealed, the justice seemed to be implying that the local attorney would have done something had he actually considered himself Maples’ lawyer.

Scalia again jumped in, this time to note that Maples did appeal his conviction and that the case before the Court involved post-conviction hearings. But Kennedy brushed away Scalia’s nitpicking, refining the question to “how often an appeal is abandoned or not pursued in this kind of case.”

And when Garre suggested the justices send the case back to the lower court to flesh out what Kagan called a “skimpy” factual record, Scalia countered, “You should have gotten the facts in the first place. If the record doesn’t show the things that you need to show to get this case reversed, the case should not be reversed.”

For all his efforts to maintain control of the message during Garre’s presentation, Scalia, who celebrates the start of his 25th year on the Supreme Court this week, could not keep a grip through the Alabama solicitor general’s stumbling half-hour argument. But it was not for want of trying. Right from the start, Scalia sought to save John Neiman from himself in the face of aggressive questioning by Roberts, Kagan and Ginsburg.

Justice Samuel Alito then signaled his disappointment with Alabama. Alito asked Neiman why he was “pushing the Court to consider rules that would have far-reaching effect,” such as a new constitutional requirement that court clerks follow up on letters they send to losing lawyers who may or may not appeal adverse decisions. Why not, Alito wondered with considerable astonishment, “just consent” to allow Maples’ attorneys to file an out-of-time appeal?

via Death Row Debate: Justice Scalia Stands Alone As Supreme Court Hears Case Of Mailroom Mix-up.

2011 Nobel prize for physics: Supernovas expanding … makes my brain hurt.

THIS year’s Nobel prize for physics was awarded for what was, in a sense literally, the biggest discovery ever made in physics—that the universe is not only expanding (which had been known since the 1920s), but that the rate of expansion is increasing. Something, in other words, is actively pushing it apart.

This was worked out by two groups who, in the 1990s, were studying exploding stars called supernovae. One was the Supernova Cosmology Project, at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Saul Perlmutter. The other was the High-z Supernova Search Team, an international project led by Brian Schmidt and involving Adam Riess, both of Harvard University. It is these three gentlemen who have shared the prize.

Supernovae come in various types. One particular sort, though, known as type Ia supernovae, always explode with about the same energy and are therefore equally bright. That means they can be used to estimate quite precisely how far away they (and thus the galaxy they inhabit) are. In addition, the speed at which an object such as a star or galaxy is moving away from Earth, because of the expansion of the universe, can be worked out from its red-shift. This is a fall in the frequency of its light towards the red end of the spectrum. It is caused by the Doppler effect (something similar happens when a police car or fire engine with its siren blaring drives past you, and the pitch of the sound suddenly drops).

What both groups found was that the light from distant supernovae was fainter than predicted. In other words, the supernovae were further away than their red-shifts indicated they should be, based on the existing model of the universe. Something, then, was pushing space itself apart.

via The 2011 Nobel prize for physics: Expanding horizons | The Economist.

Civil War, history, war, boy soldiers: My great-grandfather, JJ Dennard, went to war at 16 and spent most of the war at imprisoned at Point Lookout MD.  I don’t think it was adventurous or  glorious experience.  But is war ever?

With hopes of adventure and glory, tens of thousands of boys under the age of 18 answered the call of the Civil War, many of them rushing to join Union and Confederate troops in the earliest days of battle. Both sides had recruitment rules that barred underage men from enlisting, but that didn’t stop those who wanted to be part of the action: some enlisted without their parents’ permission and lied about their ages or bargained with recruiters for a trial period, while others joined along with their older brothers and fathers whose partisan passions overwhelmed their parental senses. Most of the youngest boys became drummers, messengers and orderlies, but thousands of others fought alongside the men.

As each side scrambled to get troops into the field in the early days of the war, many of these boys went to battle with just a few weeks of training. It didn’t take long for them to understand what they’d gotten themselves into. Elisha Stockwell Jr., from Alma, Wis., was 15 when he enlisted. After the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, he wrote, “I want to say, as we lay there and the shells were flying over us, my thoughts went back to my home, and I thought what a foolish boy I was to run away and get into such a mess as I was in. I would have been glad to have seen my father coming after me.”

via The Boys of War – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton, IAC, board of directors, corporate governance:  With all that has happened in this Great Recession, a public company should get the best talent on its board … not a celebrity, albeit a bright one who has very good connections.

Chelsea Clinton as a corporate director? Really?

Ms. Clinton was appointed last week to the board of IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet media conglomerate controlled by Barry Diller.

For her efforts, Ms. Clinton will be paid about $300,000 a year in cash and incentive stock awards. Not bad for a 31-year-old in graduate school.

Is IAC also getting a good deal, or is this another eye-rolling celebrity appointment?

Ms. Clinton appears to be a smart, capable individual. She worked in her 20s at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and at a hedge fund run by a loyal Clinton donor. She is now working at New York University and pursuing a doctorate at Oxford. Ms. Clinton appears to be level-headed, despite growing up in the limelight. She is also popular — her wedding last year was one of the social events of the year.

But let’s be real. Ms. Clinton has this position only because she is the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current secretary of state. This is clearly an appointment made because of who she is, not what she has done, one that defies American conceptions of meritocracy. Even most celebrity directors earn their way to such celebrity — sort of.

In fairness, while the reasons for the appointment are suspect, that does not mean Ms. Clinton cannot be a good, even great, board member. But questions raised by her selection speak to the larger issue of what types of directors should be on boards.

In the past, boards were too often passive instruments of the chief executive, and often included celebrities. Some examples: Sidney Poitier (the Walt Disney Company), Evander Holyfield (the Coca-Cola Bottling Company), Tommy Lasorda (Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon), Lance Armstrong (the Morgans Hotel Group) and O.J. Simpson (Infinity Broadcasting). Mr. Simpson actually served on Infinity’s audit committee, the body responsible for supervising a company’s auditors.

via Handicapping IAC’s Investment in Chelsea Clinton – NYTimes.com.

New South, Mayor Foxx, Charlotte NC, 2012 Democratic National Convention, Davidson Alumni:  Interesting article about mayor Foxx and the spotlight he will be under next year.

The 40-year-old Foxx, who has a 2011 re-election race to win on the way to acting as a convention host, noted parallel “life stories” that he and Obama share. “Even though he grew up in a vastly different part of the country and the world,” said Foxx of Obama, “he was essentially raised by a single mother just as I was and was heavily influenced by his grandparents, as I was.

“There was a ‘Greatest Generation’ element that greatly influenced both of us,” Foxx said. He thinks that’s important, “when the country and our city have been put through the wringer in a lot of ways” on issues from the economy to foreign policy. “There is a resilience built into me, having lived with people who had to struggle through the Great Depression and through the Second World War.”

What Foxx didn’t immediately mention is that both are African-American elected officials, a fact that’s both obvious and beside the point. At 50, Obama is the more experienced generational leader to Foxx and his occasional conversational partners such as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., both 42 years old.

As Foxx and his city prepare to host the Democratic convention, they represent a confluence of race, place and politics in the New South.

via The New South: Where Obama, Race and Politics Meet.

Rick Perry, 2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, race issues:  Can’t we find a Southern politician for the national stage without a history of racism?

They recall, for instance, Perry’s first foray into statewide politics 21 years ago, when he defeated an incumbent agriculture commissioner in part by running a television ad that showed his opponent standing alongside Jesse Jackson.

Many black leaders thought the ad was an intentional appeal to racist white voters, and they held a news conference to protest it. The ad displayed headlines alleging that Perry’s opponent, Democrat Jim Hightower, mismanaged his agency. It also featured a seemingly discordant video of Hightower appearing with Jackson, then a leading figure in the Democratic Party whom Hightower had endorsed for president two years earlier.

“That was a very bad period here, as the Republicans were trying to drive Democratic swing voters to the Republican Party,” said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “There was a lot of race-baiting in Texas in that period — race-baiting that would be a lot harder to get away with now.”

At the 1990 news conference, Ellis and others accused Perry (and his then campaign strategist, Karl Rove) of using the ad to turn white voters against High­tower.

“There’s a certain segment here that’s still going to respond to that,” said Hightower, who now writes a column and hosts a radio program in Austin. “It’s the same folks who don’t like Barack Obama. Besides legitimate reasons not to like him, there are some people who just don’t want a black president and do not consider that legitimate. So that was an easy play for Rove and Perry.”

Perry’s spokesman, Ray Sullivan, said, “The 1990 TV ad truthfully highlighted Mr. High­tower’s role in the ’88 presidential campaign and truthfully demonstrated his very liberal politics to Texas general election voters.”

‘It was time for inclusion’

Ellis and other leaders gave Perry credit for cultivating good working relationships with African American politicians, citing as an example his attendance at an annual fundraiser for minority scholarships.

Many also defended a governor who has a strong record appointing minorities to state boards and positions. Over 10 years in office, 9 percent of Perry’s 5,741 appointments have been African Americans, and 15 percent have been Hispanics, according to his campaign. That puts Perry slightly ahead of his predecessor, George W. Bush (with 9 percent African Americans and 13 percent Hispanics) and slightly behind the governor before that, Democrat Ann Richards (13 percent African Americans and 18 percent Hispanics).

via Perry built complicated record on matters of race – The Washington Post.

The South, culture, migration:  A conservative article with some interesting points.

Having disposed of the economic arguments, I knew that one big question lurked: “Okay, Lee, but what’s it like living with a bunch of slow-talking, gun-toting, Bible-thumping racists?”

My friends didn’t use those exact words, but I knew it’s what they were thinking. I knew because I thought the same thing about the South before I moved here. Most of what we Yankees know about the South comes from TV and movies. Think Hee-Haw meets Mississippi Burning meets The Help and you get the picture.

via Southern Like Me – Lee Habeeb – National Review Online.

What caused this migration of capital — the human, industrial, and political varieties? Ask transplanted business owners and they’ll tell you they like investing in states where union bosses and trial lawyers don’t run the show, and where tax burdens are low. They also want a work force that is affordable and well-trained. And that doesn’t see them as the enemy.

In short, policy matters. So, too, does culture.

It’s quite a story, actually. Americans, black and white alike, are moving in record numbers to a part of the country where taxes are low, unions are irrelevant, and people love their guns and their faith. And yet we have heard hardly a peep about this great migration from our nation’s public intellectuals.

Why? Because their ideological prejudices won’t permit them to admit the obvious. They’d prefer to focus their research on the pre-1970s South because they are more comfortable with — and more invested in — that old narrative, while this new one marches on right under their noses. And their keyboards.

And so it is with a sense of puzzlement that this Jersey boy turned Mississippian watches the decision making of President Obama. Millions of Americans may have voted for him in 2008, but millions have been voting with their feet, and he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in understanding why.

He should ask Americans like me who’ve moved South why we did it. And he should be especially interested in understanding why African Americans are fleeing his home city of Chicago for the South, too.

If he dared to ask, he’d learn that we are all fleeing liberalism and chasing economic freedom, just as our immigrant parents and grandparents did.

But he won’t bother asking. Our ideological academic-in-chief is content to expand the size and scope of the federal government and ignore the successes of our economic laboratories known as the states. He is pursuing 1960s-style policies that got us Detroit, while ignoring those that got us 21st-century Dallas.

In the downtown square of Oxford sits a bronze statue of our most famous storyteller, William Faulkner. “The past is never dead,” he once famously wrote. “In fact, it’s not even past.”

That line has great depth, but in an important sense it’s not quite right.

It turns out that white Yankee migrants like me, African American migrants from Chicago, and businessmen owners in Illinois and around the world, see something in the South that novelists, journalists, academics, and our current president cannot.

The future.

via Southern Like Me – Lee Habeeb – National Review Online.

Zombies, movies, Redbox:  Who knew … so many Zombie movies in the Redbox … We loved Zombieland!

More undead fun from redbox:

Zombieland (available in select areas)

REC 2

Quarantine 2: Terminal

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (sometimes zombies can be your friend!)

Husk

Forget Me Not

via Zombie 101: 5 Things You Need to Know About The Walking Dead | Redblog.

blogging:  this was my 500th post.  I hope you have enjoyed the ride as much as I have … It has proven to be a great resource for me. Thank you, “gentle readers”!

15
Oct
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10.15.2010 … Thinking Pink all week … taking molls and liv to Colorado … You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply …

Think Pink, White House: I think the WH looks great in pink!

 

 

THE White House became the ‘Pink House’ today in a visible show of support for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The presidential mansion was bathed in a rosy hue by coloured spotlights for one night only, drawing a crowd of tourists, as soon as dusk fell.

October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month every year, by public service groups, medical professionals and government agencies that combine to promote awareness of the disease.

The American Cancer Society says about 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women will be diagnosed this year and nearly 40,000 women will die from the disease.

via White House goes pink for breast cancer | Herald Sun.

lyrics, places, Colorado, kith/kin: Can’t wait to show Molls and Liv Colorado for the first time … and I always think of my brother when I think of John Denver and this song …

And the Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply

Rocky mountain high

via Rocky Mountain High Lyrics by John Denver.

random, college, Harry Potter, children’s/YA literature:  .. lives… breathes.. HP … I wonder what her roommate thinks?  U. of C. senior lives, breathes Harry Potter :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State.

food, my kids, South Africa: My kids would beg to differ … Mott’s Original for them.  Very interesting … applesauce is not a staple in South Africa … or pbj for that matter.

Imagine our surprise when we tasted seven brands from the daunting array of styles crowding the shelves (“natural,“ ”original,” and ”home style,” to name but a few)—and found that our runaway favorite contains sucralose, the same artificial sweetener in Splenda.

via Applesauce – Cooks Illustrated.

gLee, tv: It was a good scene.

The crucial scene involves Sue talking about how she used to pray for God to help cure her sister with Down Syndrome, but since he never responded, she stopped believing. Murphy said that he didn’t care if audiences agreed or disagreed with the sentiment, but he did want to start a conversation and invite people to not be afraid of discussing serious issues in the open.

via ‘Glee’ Co-Creator Ryan Murphy on the Show’s Music, His Favorite Scene, and Guest Star Gwyneth Paltrow – Speakeasy – WSJ.

water resource management, followup:

For a year now, Lake Lanier – which reached devastating levels caused by drought – has maintained “full pool.” 1

via Atlanta News, Sports, Atlanta Weather, Business News | ajc.com.

Desmond Tutu, people, apartheid, history, South Africa:

Despite such heavy thoughts, Tutu smiled frequently. He peppered his conversation with hopeful statements about cultivating “a culture that respects human rights.” South Africa’s “apartheid was not the last word,” he said. He still believed people from diverse backgrounds can ultimately weld themselves together and work together as a society. One of the best lessons of his life, he said, is that “there are some extraordinary people in the world.” He remained, in short, hopeful.

via Desmond Tutu: ‘Apartheid was not the last word’ by Keith Graham | LikeTheDew.com.

Desmond Tutu, people, religion, history, South Africa, 2010 FIFA World Cup: Loved this interview … even the quote about Milo …Molly loves Milo!

Even when it comes to religion, Archbishop Desmond Tutu can’t resist a joke. He begins his interview with a prayer then, asking an assistant for a milky cup of Milo, says: “If you put any water, you are not going to heaven.”

That in spite of all the horror of injustice and oppression, and the sense that those who perpetrate evil tend to appear invincible, the texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good and laughter and justice will prevail. In the end, the perpetrators of injustice or oppression, the ones who strut the stage of the world often seemingly unbeatable — there is no doubt at all that they will bite the dust. (Laughs) Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!”
Anyone who was not thrilled by the World Cup needs to go see their psychiatrist. The pride. The amount of people flying the flag. It was just crazy! We have shown the world. We have shown ourselves. We can meet deadlines. We build state of the art stadiums. We can actually control crime. We have got the ability. We [can] make every South African proud [and] feel they matter. One has a great, great exhilaration about the possibilities. [Then there are] the young people in our country. They take your breath away. Man! They really can make this country hum. The sky is the limit now. So I am excited about that. My sense is that we are a scintillating success waiting to happen.

via Retiring from Public Life, Desmond Tutu Reflects on God, Forgiveness and South Africa’s Future – TIME.

culture, media: Another woman thrown into the spotlight by a philandering husband … but why is this an occasion to bash Jenny Sanford.

Marta Salinas, the Chilean miner’s wife who stayed home to watch her husband Yonni Barrios’ miraculous rescue on TV (so he could greet his mistress), out-classed Jenny Sanford in the cheated-on-wife category. Senora Salinas’ husband was the 21st in the line of men who one by one came up a straw tube Wednesday to a very different world than the one they tunneled away from last August.

Television crews, book agents, long lost family members and a watching world were there to greet them. Their extraordinary grace after spending more than two months trapped half a mile underground (the first 17 days with no contact from above), and the order, mutual trust, cooperation and respect they apparently maintained among themselves in their cavern, epitomized the complete civilized inverse of Lord of the Flies social behavior.

Apparently that dignity extended to their families. Barrios’ wife of 28 years told the New York Times, “He has another companion,” and added, “I’m happy for him, and if he remakes his life, good for him.”

via Wronged Wife of Chilean Miner Out-Classes Jenny Sanford.

history, random: punch drunk …

punch is misunderstood. It has a serious, largely unappreciated pedigree, flagged by cameos in the 18th- and 19th-century novels of Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray and Henry Fielding, Mr. Wondrich said.

To reintroduce and redeem it as something less blandly sugary and fizzy — as something nobler and better — than what most of us typically encounter is the mission he has taken on, and who better for it? His interest in history runs as deep as his thirst for beverage experiences on the banks of the mainstream, and he has the handsomest punch ladle I’ve ever laid eyes on, more than 200 years old, with a whalebone handle. He got it on eBay two years ago, and it perfectly suits him. Mr. Wondrich himself looks vintage, his bushy trademark goatee less an ironic statement than a slightly dandyish nod to the chin topiary of yesteryear.

The above punch bona fides, along with many others, are on eloquent display in his new book, “Punch,” to be published by Perigee on Nov. 2. In his fetchingly wonky way, Mr. Wondrich, 49, has given the book not just a subtitle, “The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl,” but also a sub-subtitle, “An Anecdotal History of the Original Monarch of Mixed Drinks, With More Than Forty Historic Recipes, Fully Annotated, and a Complete Course in the Lost Art of Compounding Punch.” I quote it in its entirety because it describes “Punch” as succinctly as I could.

As in one of his previous books, “Imbibe!,” a highly regarded look at the American cocktail pioneer Jerry Thomas, Mr. Wondrich trots out staggering amounts of research, producing a work of sociology and anthropology as much as mixology. But this one has a bit of a hurdle to clear.

All this fuss over … punch?

Mr. Wondrich admitted that not too many years ago, he also thought of it “as a category without respect — and not deserving of it. Punch was either stupidly frilly or stupidly basic.”

via The Tipsy Diaries – Punch, the Drink of Dickens, Redeemed – NYTimes.com.

mascots, The South, pc-ness:  I love it when there is a reason for a mascot … so Old Miss choose a bear to replace their very politically incorrect Colonel Reb … why the bear … read on …

Colonel Reb, meet your replacement.

A decision by the University of Mississippi to replace Colonel Reb, the school’s longtime mascot, with the Rebel Black Bear is meeting some resistance.

Colonel Reb was formerly the University of Mississippi’s mascot.

On Thursday, the University of Mississippi announced the successor to its former mascot, a white-goateed, cane-toting Southern plantation owner that many have criticized as racist and anachronistic. The new mascot? The Rebel Black Bear.

Supporters of the old mascot were quick to find flaws. For one, an artist’s design shows a brown bear, not a black one. The animal was chosen based on the short story “The Bear” by William Faulkner, himself a former student, in which a bear is killed. Not exactly inspiring on the football field. And how original is a bear mascot?

via Ole Miss Resolves One Mascot Controversy and Creates Another – NYTimes.com.

pop ups, business model, NYC:  Again, I love this idea of a pop up business … but this one is only around for three weeks … not fair!

Waris Ahluwalia–best known for his appearances in Wes Anderson films and for his self-made “House of Waris” jewelry brand–has launched a pop-up tea room in New York City, open for only ten days.

“I always knew I would do tea,” Waris tells Fast Company. And he finally got the chance when he issued the House of Waris Design Challenge–the winner of which was Swiss architect, Christian Wassmann–and then took over a temporary pop-up space under the New York City High Line and created the House of Waris Tea Room. It serves Darjeeling tea, biscuits from England, and of course hosts Playboy parties. As for the tea itself? “I brought to market a product in three weeks,” says Waris, implying just how entrepreneurial the actor really is.

via Wes Anderson’s Waris Ahluwalia Pops Up a Tea Room Under NYC High Line | Fast Company.

education, science: Do you engage in free choice science learning?  Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Much of my information derives from an excellent article in the American Scientist by John Falk and Lynn Dierking. They present studies showing that school is not where most Americans learn most of their science. Instead, knowledge is acquired via what is called informal science education or free-choice science learning. And while Falk and Dierking stress that current efforts to improve formal science education should be pursued with vigor, they lift up the imperative to also maximize opportunities for adults to pursue inherent levels of curiosity relating to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

So how do Americans engage in free-choice science learning?

Studies indicate a variety of sources. Adults may be pursuing a hobby, like gardening or tropical fish or star gazing, and devour relevant information. They may take their children to science museums and zoos and pick up information and curiosity in the process. They may be afficionados of NOVA or Discovery Channel. They may consult the internet when they — or family members — incur a disease or when a disaster like the Gulf oil spill occurs, seeking to better understand what’s going on. They may bookmark 13.7 or Chet Raymo or Carl Zimmer or Kahn or Seed and avail themselves of scientists’ attempts to make their passions accessible. They may frequent a science café.

via Stronger And Smarter: Informal Science Learning In Rural American Libraries : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

random, writing, history: Interesting thought … does a good editor check these things today?

Betsy, Peggy, and Sally all strike me as common 18th century names, but Linda really does not. However, it was a very common name when Johnny Tremain was written (1944), so I have a feeling that’s how it snuck in. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the author for including what seems like such an anachronism in an otherwise well-researched book, but I did learn something important from her slipup: Always be conscious of what you name your characters, even the minor ones.

People’s names and how they’re chosen say a lot about a given culture, and giving your characters names that accurately reflect the time period you’re writing about is another way to make your setting richer. Were names chosen from the Bible? From words that have positive connotations in that culture’s native language? Look at inscriptions, censuses, birth and baptismal records. (And if your novel takes place in 20th century America, the Social Security Administration has lists of the 1000 most popular baby names for every year since 1880.) But please, don’t take a name that’s popular today and give it to a Puritan child – unless it’s that rare name that can survive the ages.

via Wonders & Marvels — A Community for Curious Minds who love History, its Odd Stories, and Good Reads.

restaurants, business models: One of my favorite restaurants, Panera, is trying a slightly different business model?  What would you pay, more or less?

Around 4,000 people a week visit the restaurant, which is operated as a non-profit entity under the brand Panera Cares. About 65% pay the recommended amount. The remainder are roughly divided between over-payers and those who pay less or nothing. An attempt by cynics working in a nearby courthouse to break the system by paying pennies for an armful of sandwiches and soups was blocked by limiting the offer to one meal per person in the restaurant. The store is close to breaking even. There are plans to open more “shared responsibility” restaurants soon, including one in Detroit—albeit in the sort of neighbourhood where many people should be able to afford the full asking price.

via Fast-food restaurants: Dough rising | The Economist.

advertising, twitter, facebook: Do you follow any companies or products?  I follow the airlines on twitter and a few on fb …

HOW much attention is a big annual conference for marketers paying to the growing importance of social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help reach consumers? Well, speakers are saying “fans,” “like” and “hash tag” almost as often as “touch points,” “benchmark” and “prioritize.”

But if the results of a survey taken during the opening general session of the conference on Thursday are projectable on a large scale, marketers may still need some schooling on the dos and don’ts of social media. Asked to describe how its use has affected sales, 13 percent replied that they did not use social media at all. Eleven percent said sales had increased a lot, 34 percent said sales increased “some” and 42 percent said they had seen no change.

The success of the “Smell like a man, man” campaign for Old Spice was fueled by its acceptance in social media, Mr. Pritchard said, listing examples like the 140 million times that video clips for Old Spice — official ones created by the company and parodies created by consumers — had been viewed on YouTube.

The brand’s followers on Twitter increased by 2,700 percent, he added; they now total almost 120,000.

The currency the campaign has earned in social media has pushed it into the popular culture. Mr. Pritchard showed the audience a spoof that was recently introduced by Sesame Workshop in which Grover suggests that his young viewers “smell like a monster on Sesame Street.”

The Coca-Cola Company, which already has several feeds on Twitter, plans to soon add another, Joseph V. Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, said in an interview before his speech on Thursday.

The new feed will be for company news, he said, joining, among others, one for the Coca-Cola brand (twitter.com/CocaCola), one for the exhibit at corporate headquarters (twitter.com/WorldofCocaCola) and one written in the voice of Dr. John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola (twitter.com/docpemberton).

via Advertising – Marketers Compare Notes on Using Social Media – NYTimes.com.

history:  Can you guess what the 100th item was? BBC – A History of the World: Neil MacGregor unveils the 100th object.

creativity, business, motivation: what would you do?

What we should be is inspired by the model of the MacArthur awards. If you’re in management, any slack time you give a talented employee to pursue an idea is a mini “genius grant.” It doesn’t have to be a half-million dollars — a chunk of release time might suffice. The key, really, is the signal that such creativity is valued and the recognition that people tend to come up with great stuff when they’re allowed to take an occasional flyer.

I’m curious to hear from HBR readers how creativity is cultivated in the ranks of their organizations. Does your management give out anything resembling a genius grant? And here’s what I’m most curious to hear: if you got one — say half a million to build on your past work and push it into interesting new territory — what would you do?

via Award Your Own Genius Grants – Julia Kirby – Our Editors – Harvard Business Review.

business models, economy, csr: socially responsible giant?

Wal-Mart has made a push to show it is a socially responsible giant; it now, for instance, offers better health benefits than most of its retail rivals, and is requiring suppliers to limit their carbon emissions. Yet Wal-Mart has struggled at cracking the big cities amid stiff opposition from organized labor—even as its archrival, Target Corp., and other big-box chains such as Best Buy Co. make a steady march into urban areas with similar products, stores and nonunion workers.

via Wal-Mart to Go Smaller in U.S. – WSJ.com.

architecture, design, movies:  Three of my favorite topics all rolled into one.

The first US film festival celebrating the creative spirit of architecture and design will feature a dynamic selection of feature length films, documentaries and shorts.

via Architecture and Design Film Festival.

Molly, family, idiosyncracies, kith/kin, history: Molly used to drive me crazy asking the question, “So who was the first person on the highway?”

On this day in 1915, Atlanta welcomed the Dixie Highway Motorcade, the first group of tourists to use the newly completed Dixie Highway.

via Facebook | Atlanta History Center.

Apps:  So what do you think an augmented reality app is? 🙂  Four Augmented Reality Apps You Actually Want on Your iPhone | Mac|Life.

resources, libraries, kudos, Charlotte:  Nice resource, although dated, PLCMC!  Hornets’ Nest.

random, nicknames, Charlotte: Can you think of any others?

The Queen City, The QC, Crown Town, and The Hornet’s Nest are all nicknames for Charlotte, North Carolina, US.

via Charlotte, NC: “The Hornet’s Nest” :: Try Handmade.




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