Posts Tagged ‘Egypt Uprising

06
Mar
11

3.6.2011 … my mac and cheese comfort food maker is now in need of comfort food … what can a one-armed bandit make???

news, identity theft, David Koch, kudos: Can you imagine having your identity stolen for political purposes?  Kudos to Mr. Koch for his philanthropic work.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — More than a thousand miles from the labor tumult in Wisconsin — where his name shows up on the signs of protesters and a liberal blogger impersonating him got through to the governor on the phone and said “gotta crush that union!” — the real David H. Koch was greeted rather more warmly here Friday when he officially opened a new cancer research institute bearing his name.

Mr. Koch and his brother Charles, both No. 5 in Forbes’s list of the richest Americans, are targets of liberal activists.

Mr. Koch, a billionaire who is perhaps best known for his family’s contributions to conservative causes, got a standing ovation from scientists, Nobel laureates and politicians of various political stripes as he opened the new David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he gave $100 million to help build. And in a brief, and rare, interview, Mr. Koch, 70, spoke of his hopes for the new center, his prostate cancer and the prank call heard around the world.

“It’s a case of identity theft,” Mr. Koch said of the call in which the liberal blogger got through to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, drew him out about his plans to weaken unions and posted a recording of the call on the Internet, making news and embarrassing the governor. Mr. Koch, whose company, Koch Industries, had given major campaign support to Governor Walker, among other conservative candidates and causes, added, “I didn’t even know his name before this brouhaha erupted.”

via Cancer Research Before Activism, Koch Brother Says – NYTimes.com.

Middle East Unrest/Awakening, Bahrain, US position:

Protesters here say their dreams of democracy are being thwarted by the United States’ desire to protect a large naval base in Bahrain, by the perception that Shiites reflexively side with Iran, and by the influence of neighboring Saudi Arabia, which analysts say would probably not accept a Shiite-led Bahrain.

Justin Gengler, a former Fulbright scholar in Bahrain, said he did not expect the United States to abandon its support for the Khalifa family, which has run this country for more than two centuries.

“As soon as it looks like the U.S. is not supporting royal families in the gulf region, it starts to raise eyebrows everywhere — in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, in Oman,” Mr. Gengler said. “The U.S. can’t turn its back on the Bahraini royal family without implicitly abandoning the idea of monarchies in the gulf.”

Opposition politicians here are seeking to convince Washington that a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain would not be a threat to regional stability. An elected government would be inherently more stable, said Matar Ebrahim Ali Matar, a Shiite member of Parliament who resigned after the government crackdown.

“The United States should support this wave of democracy — it’s coming,” Mr. Matar said. “If it doesn’t happen this year, it will come in the coming years.”

Under the current political system the lower house of Parliament is elected, but its lawmaking powers are curtailed by an upper house, whose members are appointed by the king, who also has wide-ranging powers to pass decrees.

via Bahrain Protesters Fear Lack of U.S. Support – NYTimes.com.

NYC, random:  interesting take …

New York is a vibrant city, teeming with people at all hours. Enjoy the restaurants and the sights, but be wary of its brutal winters

via Doing business in New York: An abundance of activity | The Economist.

Middle East Unrest/Awakening, Egypt Uprising, pop ups, culture: Pop up kindergarten int the middle of Tahir Square?  Really interesting story …

Did You Know There Was a Pop-Up Kindergarten in Tahrir Square?

Editor’s note: This story of children in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution has a back story we want to share. We saw a photo of kids painting in Tahrir from the BBC with this caption:

“Schools in Cairo have been closed during the protests. But there are so many mothers who want to attend the demonstration that many bring their children here – to a kindergarten organised by the demonstrators.”

Since we couldn’t find more information on this online we asked a few protesters who were actively tweeting if they would send us details. Here is a heartwarming, earnest, and surprisingly gripping account of the uplifting role of children in Tahrir Square during three weeks of revolution. It was sent to GOOD by Mosa’ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing) a pharmacy student in Egypt.

I’m not exactly sure when the kindergarten idea started, but I’d say it became most prominent when the situation in Tahrir got less tense, which was from the second Friday. The first one, January 28, in which people marched from every district in Cairo to Tahrir, was a violent and bloody one. Police used every possible means of suppression from tear gas to live ammunition. Very few families stayed in Tahrir then as it wasn’t safe.

The place was mostly occupied by young men but, still, a few women were present there. The second Friday, the 4th of February, was a festive one. It was after the tense situation in Tahrir cooled for a bit, and the army had finally stepped into the picture, offering protection and keeping the thugs away. The mood stayed like that throughout the week until the decisive Friday, February 11, when Mubarak stepped down and jubilation ensued.

Some of the kids would do their own marches around the square, with people applauding and smiling at them.

So, from this second Friday, the 4th, till a week later, Tahrir was one of the happiest places on earth. The spirits were wonderful throughout, and more people started believing in us. Tahrir was much safer, the thugs’ attacks had stopped. Many factors allowed families to come to Tahrir then. A lot of them would usually come early, spend the day chanting, singing, and enjoying the general mood, then leave before the curfew hours started. There were a few families that stayed, though, and that sparked the idea to create a kindergarten in Tahrir Square.

via A Moving Letter from Egypt About the Role of Children in Tahrir Square – Culture – GOOD.

quotes, dogs, twitter:

Outside of a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend, and inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

via Twitter / @DailyLit: Outside of a dog, a book i ….

20
Feb
11

2.20.2011 … we’ve seen alot today … north and south …

Egypt Uprising, Middle East Unrest, Bahrain, military might:

There comes a moment in the life of almost every repressive regime when leaders — and the military forces that have long kept them in power — must make a choice from which there is usually no turning back: Change or start shooting.

The Legacy of 18 Days in Tahrir Square (February 20, 2011)

Egypt’s military, calculating that it was no longer worth defending an 82-year-old, out-of-touch pharaoh with no palatable successor and no convincing plan for Egypt’s future, ultimately sided with the protesters on the street, at least for Act 1.

In so doing, they ignored the advice of the Saudis, who, in calls to Washington, said that President Hosni Mubarak should open fire if that’s what it took, and that Americans should just stop talking about “universal rights” and back him.

As the contagion of democracy protests spread in the Arab world last week, Bahrain’s far less disciplined forces decided, in effect, that the Saudis, who are their next-door neighbors, were right. They drew two lessons from Egypt: If President Obama calls, hang up. And open fire early.

via When Armies Decide an Uprising’s Fate – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen: 🙂

In this book, Rachel M. Brownstein considers Jane Austen as heroine, moralist, satirist, romantic, woman, and author, along with the changing notions of these categories over time and texts. She finds echoes of many of Austen’s insights and techniques in contemporary Jane-o-mania, a commercially driven, erotically charged popular vogue that aims to preserve and liberate, correct and collaborate with old Jane. Brownstein’s brilliant discussion of the distinctiveness and distinction of the novelist’s genius clarifies the reasons why we read Jane Austen—or why we should read her—and reorients the prevailing view of her work. Reclaiming the rich comedy of Austen while building a new narrative of authorship, Brownstein unpacks the novelist’s fascinating entanglement with her readers and admirers.

via Why Jane Austen?.

Harry Potter, parenting:  Since the HP books and movies were such a big part of my kids childhood, I loved looking back on these images of Harry, Hermione and Ron as they grew up in the movie versions.

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20164501_20440996_20873748,00.html.

culture:  Very interesting perspective …

The paper posits a triangle, with the family, the individual, and the state in the corners, and argues that the Nordic countries prioritise a different dynamic than Germany or the United States. As Bagehot summarises:

Americans favour a Family-Individual axis, this suggests, suspecting the state as a threat to liberty. Germans revere an axis connecting the family and the state, with a smaller role for individual autonomy. In the Nordic countries, they argue, the state and the individual form the dominant alliance. The paper cited, by the way, is entitled: “Pippi Longstocking: The Autonomous Child and the Moral Logic of the Swedish Welfare State”. It hails Pippi (the strongest girl in the world and an anarchic individualist who lives without parents in her own house, with only a monkey, horse, a bag of gold and a strong moral compass for company) as a Nordic archetype.

This framework provides a way to think about how Americans think about the state. My colleague notes below that America has an exceptionally small government, and that the reasons may be historical, cultural, or institutional, or all of the above, and that the causal connections reinforcing the small-state approach would be difficult to untangle. Whatever the causes of America’s underlying moral logic, though, it’s interesting to think how this plays out today. It makes sense that if America posits a strong family-individual axis—as a hedge in the absence of state support, if not in opposition to it—that Americans would be more preoccupied with issues that pertain to individuals and the family, and would drag those issues into the political realm. (This new bill from South Dakota, however, which would make it a “justifiable homicide” if you kill someone to prevent them from killing a fetus, is taking it rather far.)

via Family and the state: The underlying moral logic | The Economist.

gift ideas, whiskey:  We have a few single malt lovers in my family!

Anyone can drink and enjoy booze, but if you really want to know about a certain type of liquor, you’re gonna need to try more than what you’ll find at the local state store.

via 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die | Uncrate.

random, resort living:  Wouldn’t that be fun instead of a golf cart!

Inspired by Audi’s classic racers and based on a limited-edition pedal car model, the rear wheel-drive Type C is powered by a small electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that propels one human — up to 5′ 11″ — at speeds of up to 18 mph, and as far as 15 miles. Sure, it’s not a speedster by any means, but it’s a much sportier way to get around the island than that golf cart you’ve been driving.

via Audi Auto Union Type C E-Tron Study | Uncrate.

NBA basketball:

But the fact is that Griffin jumped over a car and dunked an ally-op thrown from a sunroof; McGee dunked three balls on a single jump; Serge Ibaka dunked after snatching a stuffed animal from the basket with his teeth. These are not meaningful feats, but they are impressive nonetheless. Griffin admitted afterward that he worried about meeting the astronomical expectations. Just think what they will be like next year.

via Once again, Clippers rookie Blake Griffin dunks over high expectations – Lee Jenkins – SI.com.

random, history, WWI: You go girl!

Florence Green, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, was 17 years old when she joined the Women’s Royal Air Force, in the late summer of 1918. Come the 11th day of the 11th month, she was working as a waitress at RAF Marham, when the pilots greeted news of the German surrender by clambering into their planes and bombing nearby RAF Narborough airfield with bags of flour. Narborough, not to be outdone, retaliated with their own daring raid, this time dropping bags of soot.

Yesterday the Air Force marked Mrs Green’s birthday with the delivery of a rather more traditional nature: a cake. At 110, Mrs Green joins a highly exclusive club of “supercentenarians” – only around one in 1,000 of those with a letter from the Queen on the mantelpiece push on to this next landmark.

via Florence, the last Great War veteran in Britain, turns 110 – News, People – The Independent.

green, bicycles, London:  I still have never been able to rent a bike …

Two-thirds of London’s “Boris bikes” have had to undergo repairs in their first six months of operation, new figures on the state of the capital’s fleet of cycles for hire have revealed.

Transport for London (TfL) has disclosed that their repair teams are being called out to fix the rental bikes at the rate of more than 30 every day of the week, as the strain of millions of journeys takes its toll.

via Two-thirds of London’s Boris bikes need repairs – Home News, UK – The Independent.

15
Feb
11

2.15.2011 … VD is over … next stop President’s Day/Winter Break …

St. Valentine’s Day, history, media, followup:  Yesterday, I jokingly said ..”enough said,” knowing full well I would click and listen to VD stories all day … and I truly enjoyed reading all the history and true life stories this year.  I wonder if the journalists roll their eyes and say, “why me?” when they get the assignment.  Here is a sampling: The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day : NPR, Love Letters that Live On – CBS News Video, History of Valentine’s Day / Academic & Pulse / Audio – Inside Higher Ed.

St. Valentine’s Day, faith and spirituality:  I like it that my favorite Methodist blogger reminds us that love in the Bible is not lust but love in action …

Jesus cares how we live, and in every little corner or life, not just some spiritual zone. Jesus loves. Jesus wants love. Jesus wants what we do to be love in action.

via Myers Park United Methodist Church | Charlotte Methodist Church, Methodist Churches Charlotte NC – Myers Park UMC.

St. Valentine’s Day, The President, LOL:  I agree with the First Lady …

“I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said Tuesday at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.

“So we still find ways to have fun together, and a lot of it is private and personal. But we keep each other smiling and that’s good,” she added.

It also helps that Obama is “very romantic.”

via Michelle Obama: Laugh With Your Valentine – CBS News.

St. Valentine’s Day, me, followup, recipes: A little wine, a little chocolate, a little history, a little love … what more could I ask of a day!  Oh and for me … You had me at triple chocolate … (my husband actually brought me a “sinfully chocolate” mini ice cream cake … )

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

via Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake :: America’s Test Kitchen :: Recipes.

technology, history, our future, faith and spirituality:  very interesting article and very interesting blog post by Jim Miller/Hopelens (my favorite Presbyterian blogger).

Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now. One thing, at least, seems clear: although 3D printing will create winners and losers in the short term, in the long run it will expand the realm of industry—and imagination.

via3D printing: The printed world | The Economist.

So, every player in the orchestra, from the lead number one to the lowliest third violin can be playing a Strad.

So, in a universe with a surfeit of excellence will things be “better?” Will the Stradivarius be noticed when it is common? To excel means to “step beyond” the norm, but if the new normal is perfection, where do we find excellence? Will the palate get sated and then lose its taste. I am reminded of Jesus’ saying about the salt losing its savor. Is Paradise Regained too boring?

Then the agricultural fields of employment were abandoned for the big cities with their demand for hands in the “manufactories.” The additive manufacturing envisioned will need few hands, more brains, and just a couple of fingers.

I wonder if the new 3D technology can print some meaning and purpose. Can it print me love and hope? Can it print peace and justice? Can it print compassion and forgiveness? Can it print me my life?

Additive manufacturing presents huge spiritual challenges and opportunities.

via Print me a life « Hopelens Blog.

Apple:  Even without Steve Jobs, Apple is not stopping … Apple’s Calendar for the Next 6 Months: Apple News, Tips and Reviews «.

urban development, cities, bookshelf:  “our species greatest invention?”   Very interesting take on cities.  You’ll have to read the review … or maybe the book.

For Mr Glaeser, a Harvard economist who grew up in Manhattan, this is a happy prospect. He calls cities “our species’ greatest invention”: proximity makes people more inventive, as bright minds feed off one another; more productive, as scale gives rise to finer degrees of specialisation; and kinder to the planet, as city-dwellers are more likely to go by foot, bus or train than the car-slaves of suburbia and the sticks. He builds a strong case, too, for town-dwelling, drawing on his own research as well as that of other observers of urban life. And although liberally sprinkled with statistics, “Triumph of the City” is no dry work. Mr Glaeser writes lucidly and spares his readers the equations of his trade. This is popular economics of the best sort.

via Urban life: A tale of many cities | The Economist.

green, technology, me:  I have a five year old Bosch … which NEVER gets the dishes clean … I think it is both the BOSCH and the detergent! Great article!

Another Triumph for the Greens

To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.

via Another Triumph for the Greens | The Weekly Standard.

UNC-CH, change:  I hate to say this but I don’t think this is Carolina Blue either … it looks baby blue to me.

This year’s senior class can graduate with new gowns designed by Alexander Julian. UNC says the new gowns are a closer match to “true” Carolina blue and are also more environmentally friendly.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Pit Talk : Caps and gowns get a new look from Alexander Julian.

Egypt Uprising, technology, internet, FaceBook, culture: Loved this explanation of social space and public space merging!

But if Friday’s resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak proves nothing else, it is that social media and public space can be complementary, rather than in conflict. The social bonds built in the virtual world can spill over into the physical world–and with such seismic force that they can topple an autocrat.

The revolt is Egypt is said to have begun with the killing of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian businessman who was hauled out of an Internet cafe by plainclothes policemen last June and beaten to death. As the New York Times reported last week, a graphic Facebook page tribute to Said provided an outlet for people’s rage.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

high-speed rail, technology, budgets, politics:  I think we may have missed the boat … train … whatever.

Barack Obama’s just-released budget for fiscal 2012 provides a major boost for transportation and infrastructure spending. Not surprisingly, transportation advocacy groups are praising the proposals, but will they get any traction in a Republican-controlled House that has knives out to cut the federal deficit? Significantly, the budget doesn’t propose raising the federal gas tax to pay for the increases in transportation and infrastructure spending.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

politics, 2012 Election, Newt Gingrich, pithy quotes: He has a lot of “‘splaining to do” to get my vote.  Inconsistencies between political rhetoric and personal life is a big negative for me.  I call it dishonesty.  He may be the king of pithy quotes … read on …

 

Stop, you say, Gingrich may not run for the Republican nomination and even if he does, chances are he won’t win it. But Gingrich says he’ll decide by the end of the month whether to set up an “exploratory committee” to raise money. The recent performances by a parade of prospects at the Conservative Political Action Conference make clear both why he is seriously entertaining the idea and why many Republicans continue to hold him in high regard, despite all.

And for people of a certain age, there is a lot of all: The extramarital affair with a House committee aide who is now his third wife, the personal and political failings that prompted him to leave the speakership and Congress, the inflammatory rhetoric that has made him so polarizing. (To hit a few highlights, he called Sonia Sotomayor racist, claimed Obama has a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” worldview and said that “Woody Allen having non-incest with a non-daughter … fits the Democratic platform perfectly”).

Over the three-day CPAC conference, one 2012 prospect after another brought to mind the word “generic.” The two who broke out of the mold were Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gingrich. Daniels gave a dense and high-minded speech about facing down the “Red Menace” of debt. Gingrich was Gingrich: hurling colorful insults at Obama, Democrats and their policies, flinging out ideas that included replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency and proposing that Obama receive an invitation to be CPAC’s keynote speaker next year – if he meets certain conditions like signing a repeal of his signature health care law.

That led my colleague David Corn to tweet: “Calls on Obama to sign a repeal of #HCR. That’s like calling on Newt to remarry wife No. 1.” Just the type of joke that would dog Gingrich in a presidential campaign.

via Would Women Support Newt Gingrich for President?.

technology, markets:  Scary … we have no idea how to value these companies …

The new high tech-bubble might not be the one you’re thinking of. Measuring the bubble’s size and inner pressure of is a delicate exercise. For today, we’ll consider two sectors: social networks and online media — such as the Huffington Post acquired last week by AOL for a stunning $315m.

via The Traffic Bubble | Monday Note.

gLee, Barbara Streissand, mea culpa:  Doesn’t hurt my feelings if she doesn’t like the show …

Streisand Apologizes: When Barbra Streisand was asked if she would consider an appearance on the hit dramedy at MusiCares ceremony, the “Yentl” star said “Not If I Can Help It.” The singer issued a clarification about her brusque statement on her Web site, saying, in part, “When asked if I would ever appear on ‘Glee,” I should have said, “You never know.” It was wrong to say, “Not if I can help it. What I meant was that I’ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album and starting a new movie.

via Barbra Streisand Clarifies ‘Glee’ Remark; Ken and Barbie Reunite – Speakeasy – WSJ.

websites,  favorites:  I have found a new site and I love it …. The Academic Minute – Inside Higher Ed / The Academic Minute.

14
Feb
11

2.14.2011 … Happy Saint Valentine’s Day … enough said …

Saint Valentine’s Day, history:

So what’s Saint Valentine’s Day all about and why do we mark its occasion every February 14? That’s hard to pin down, as there are many different stories as to the origins of Valentine’s Day, but like many of the holidays we observe, Valentine’s Day has its roots in paganism.

Actually, hundreds of years before the Church altered the day of love in an attempt to rid it of its pagan roots, Romans practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men’s rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The young men would draw names of teenage girls from a box and whomever the boy chose would be his companion for the remainder of the year.

The Church, of course, didn’t like the pagan festival and so Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the celebration. He did so by filling the box with the names of saints instead of girls and allowing both men and women to draw from the box. The game was to emulate the ways of the saint for the remainder of the year. The Church then found a patron saint by the name of Bishop Valentine for people to celebrate instead of Lupercus.

Bishop Valentine was sent to jail and executed after Claudius II (270 AD) found out he was performing secret marriages. You see, Claudius banned marriage to preserve the number of single men to be soldiers. Claudius, so the story goes, believed that single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine disagreed with Claudius and performed secret weddings until he was found out. He was executed on February 14. It was during his time in jail that he wrote his lover a note and signed it, “From Your Valentine.”

via A Brief History of Valentine’s Day – West Roxbury, MA Patch.

Valentine’s Day, holidays, gifts, food – dessert, chocolate, Charlotte:

The intricate flavors of chocolate and wine linger on your tongue – and often the complex, deep, hidden tastes are subconscious. Make them rise to the surface by mating your chocolate with the perfect wine.

CNN spoke to Sunset wine editor Sara Schneider to figure out what will make the flavors of both sweet treats pop out. We’ll start off with the obvious: dark chocolate goes best with red wine. But beware of pairing the delectable dark chocolate with spicy, acidic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. The bold tannins that give the wine a dry, puckery feeling can be too harsh against the bitter chocolate.

via Wine and Chocolate: A Winning Combo for Valentine’s Day – TIME NewsFeed.

We have a new wine/chocolate bar.  I don’t think I will go today, but it is on my list.

 

 

We are a small, locally-owned and operated wine and chocolate retail store with tasting room. We offer boutique and premium wines from California, the Pacific Northwest, France and other European wine regions plus artisan chocolates made in-house. Step into our shop and you’ll enjoy daily wine tastings, chocolate samples and highly personalized service.

via Petit Philippe – Wine | Chocolate | Tasting Room | Charlotte, NC.

Valentine’s Day, movies, icons, kisses:  Iconic kisses?  What’s your favorite movie kiss … Old movie?  New?  My favorite is not on the list. 🙂

The 25 Most Iconic Movie Kisses – Star Couples – Celebrity – InStyle.

Egypt Uprising, headlines, followup:  I mentioned yesterday that I go to the Newseum website to compare headlines when a big event occurs.  This article does the same thing.  Very interesting … some even humorous …

History unfolded yesterday when after 18 days of protests in Egypt, Mubarak finally stepped down as president after 30 years in power.

The front pages of newspapers in moments like this become part of history itself, so we went through the world’s newspapers today to see the ways they documented this incredible moment.

Of course, some of our favorite covers still came from our colorful local newspapers, like the Daily News’ headline “Hosni Mu Bye-Bye!” and the New York Post’s “That’s A Wrap!” (featuring Mubarak’s head on top of an Egyptian mummy.)

via FRONT PAGE HISTORY: See How Newspapers Around The World Celebrated Egypt’s Freedom.

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles, update: So far so good.

The human brain has what amounts to redundant circuits for some simple tasks, like walking, and it is possible for patients to make rapid progress on those skills and still have trouble with mental work and speaking, doctors said.

“There are backup systems in the brain for the more basic functions that have been around longer in human beings,” said Dr. Jonathan Fellus, the director of the Brain Injury Program at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey. “Conversely, for things such as language, which are uniquely human, it’s a highly specialized and delicate network that doesn’t get reconstructed so easily.”

via Giffords Recovery Is Continuing, Friends Say – NYTimes.com.

Egypt Uprising:

As protesters in Tahrir Square faced off against pro-government forces, they drew a lesson from their counterparts in Tunisia: “Advice to the youth of Egypt: Put vinegar or onion under your scarf for tear gas.”

Cairo, Feb. 3 After more than a week of unrest, anti-Mubarak protesters clashed with supporters of the president for control of Tahrir Square. When confronting the police, the protesters wore armor made of cardboard and Pepsi bottles.

The exchange on Facebook was part of a remarkable two-year collaboration that has given birth to a new force in the Arab world — a pan-Arab youth movement dedicated to spreading democracy in a region without it. Young Egyptian and Tunisian activists brainstormed on the use of technology to evade surveillance, commiserated about torture and traded practical tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricades.

They fused their secular expertise in social networks with a discipline culled from religious movements and combined the energy of soccer fans with the sophistication of surgeons and psychiatrists. Breaking free from older veterans of the Arab political opposition, they relied on tactics of nonviolent resistance channeled from an American scholar through a Serbian youth brigade — but also on marketing tactics borrowed from Silicon Valley.

via A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History – NYTimes.com.

Egypt Uprising, Middle East: Tunisia … Egypt … now Yemen, Bahrain and Algiers.

Mr. Mubarak’s resignation Friday emboldened protesters throughout the Middle East where opposition movements are aggressively calling for political freedom. Security forces and protesters clashed in Yemen and Bahrain on Sunday while thousands of Algerians, defying a ban on protests, flooded a central square in Algiers on Saturday calling for political reform. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank ordered the dismissal of its Cabinet and said it would hold long-delayed parliamentary and presidential elections by September.

Egypt’s cabinet removes Mubarak’s portrait as Israel welcomes news that Egypt will abide by its treaties. Video courtesy of Reuters.

Egyptians continue their celebrations, a day after the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak came to an end. Video courtesy of Reuters.

And in Iran, opposition leaders planned a demonstration on Monday in solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian revolts. The streets of Tehran rocked to the chants of residents shouting “Death to the dictator” and “God is great” Sunday night, according to witnesses and videos posted on Youtube.

via Mideast Unrest Spreads – WSJ.com.

Great Recession, real estate, Great Recovery:  S -L-O-W …

The rolling real estate crash that ravaged Florida and the Southwest is delivering a new wave of distress to communities once thought to be immune — economically diversified cities where the boom was relatively restrained.

In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger price decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix.

Redfin, a real estate brokerage firm based in Seattle, says foot traffic began picking up in the last several weeks. Mortgage rates are rising, which could nudge those who need to buy to make a deal now for fear rates will rise even more.

But whenever the market finally does pick up, all those accidental landlords will want to unload, putting another burden on the market. “So many sellers are waiting in the shadows,” said Redfin’s chief executive, Glenn Kelman. “The inventory is going to expand and expand and expand. I don’t see any basis for significant price increases.”

While almost every economist is expecting another round of price declines for the next few months, many see a gradual leveling off in the second half of the year. Fiserv, the data company that produces the monthly Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, analyzed price trends in 375 communities. About three-quarters of them will be stable by December, Fiserv calculates.

via Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Thought to Be Stable – NYTimes.com.

music, lists:  Fun to see what others think … The ALL-TIME 100 Albums – TIME.

10
Feb
11

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

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

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

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

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

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

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

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

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quotes, happiness quotes:

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

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

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

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

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

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

green:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

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

quotes, random, LOL:

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

via NCIS rerun quote:….

09
Feb
11

2.9.2011 … only my hairdresser knows for sure … otherwise a very random day.

Davidson College, changes: Hooray for another new dorm … congrats to 7 new profs … but no SNU Lake.:(  … Board of Trustees Discusses Building Plans, Tuition Increases and Promotes 7 Professors – The Davidsonian – News.

gLee, Katie Courid, UVA:  Katie Couric went to UVA. I bet that is where she learned the crazy moves like the pretzel!  YouTube – GLEE – Katie Couric is a GLEEk!.

… “We did a little dance. I was supposed to lead, but she ended up leading me around, and showing me all these crazy moves like the pretzel. Shes good. Shes a good little dancer.”  Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester, gLee)

Jules Verne, inventions, birthdays: Happy 183, JV!

Jules Verne 183rd birthday picture: Similar to Jules Verne's imagined Nautilus submarine, the underwater submersible Alvin explores the seafloor.

As made interactively evident by a retro-futuristic Google doodle, Tuesday would have been the 183rd birthday of Jules Verne. Had he lived to see 2011, the French science fiction writer also would have seen many of his fanciful inventions made real—more or less.

In perhaps his most famous novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Verne’s Captain Nemo travels the world’s oceans in a giant electric submarine, the Nautilus—the inspiration for the portholed Jules Verne Google doodle.

8 Jules Verne Inventions That Came True (Pictures).

business, csr, politics, Mitt Romney:  It’s interesting that this article seems to support indirectly that  the bottom line is the only that that should govern corporate decision-making.

But there does seem to be a method to Marriott’s madness. Politico’s Ben Smith explains that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a presumptive candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, recently left the Marriott board. The chain’s owners are “longtime Romney supporters”, Mr Smith notes. And social conservatives, apparently, hit Mr Romney hard on the porn “issue” during the ex-governor’s 2008 campaign for the GOP nomination. (One critic called Mr Romney a “major pornographer.”) So in some sense, Mr Smith argues, Marriott appears to be doing Mr Romney a “costly favor.” Then again:

Another person familiar with the workings of the industry, though, cast doubt on the connection: The in-room movie business has been hit hard by wifi, Netflix, iPads, and laptops, and the structure of contracts with providers could well have made it a solid economic decision.

Labour unions, at least, seem convinced that Marriott is throwing Mr Romney a bone. Eddie Vale, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, emailed reporters last week to mock the Marriott-Romney-smut connection (via Mr Smith):

Now when it comes to folks who actually work for a living—and negotiating on their wages, benefits, etc—we always hear the mantra ‘we must maximize revenue and value for the shareholders’. Interesting how this pillar of corporate philosophy seems to have gone right out the window when it comes to helping their billionaire buddy’s presidential campaign.

Are Mr Vale and Mr Smith on to something? Or is Marriott just making a normal business decision?

via Hotel pornography: Marriott, Mitt Romney, and porn | The Economist.

pets, inventions: Funny, but if my dogs figured this thing out, they would be FAT!  Amazon.com: The Amazing Treat Machine Interactive Dog Toy: Kitchen & Dining.

urban planning, Jane Jacobs, Davidson College, kith/kin:  Ran across this and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed Jane Jacobs work as a student and talking about her works with my husband’s grandfather, Dali Walte

The 2011 Jane Jacobs Medal Nomination Form

Thank you for your interest in the 2011 Jane Jacobs Medal. Please fill out the form below to submit your nomination. The Jane Jacobs Medal will be given each year to two living individuals – one for Lifetime Leadership and the other for New Ideas and Activism – whose creative vision for the urban environment has greatly contributed to the vitality of New York City and who exemplify the following values and ideas:

* Open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city

* Challenge traditional assumptions and conventional thinking

* Advance a creative use of neighborhood knowledge

* Promote Jacobsean principles of dynamism, density, diversity and equity

* Take a common-sense approach to solving complex problems

* Generate new principles for the way we think about development and preservation in New York City

* Demonstrate activism and innovative cross-disciplinary thinking

* Provide leadership in solving common problems

* Generate creative uses of the urban environment

* Make New York City a place of hope and expectation that attracts new people and new ideas.

via Jane Jacobs Medal :: The Rockefeller Foundation.

random, politics, kith/kin: I read this and it just reminded me of my father’s friendships with many “liberals”; he was conservative.  They were able to remain love and respect for each other despite very different political and social views.  Why does this not seem possible now?  The death of Daniel Bell, sociologist of capitalism: Daniel Bell, non-neocon | The Economist.

travel, Hollywood, Los Angeles, history: I would so do this!

As he drove he shared a little history of the Hollywoodand area. It was established as a housing development in early 1920s and specialized in building storybook fantasy houses: castles, Tudor homes, and the like. The Hollywood sign was erected as an advertisement for the development project and read “Hollywoodland.” It was meant to stay up for just a year, but people liked it and it soon became a symbol for the motion picture industry, not just the housing development. The neighborhood has been the home of many famous folks, including Aldous Huxley, Bugsy Siegel, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Swanson, and James M. Cain.

via Hiking up the outdoor staircases of Hollywoodland – Boing Boing.

business, groupon:  Same article as above … but this tidbit included … anyone tried Groupon, yet?  I have and have been very pleased.

But then he offered a deal on a Groupon-like site I can’t remember which one and 1700 people signed up for tours. Now he’s very busy, conducting 2-3 tours per day.

via Hiking up the outdoor staircases of Hollywoodland – Boing Boing.

iPad, Apple:  OK, I want one …

Apple Inc. has started manufacturing a new version of its iPad tablet computer with a built-in camera and faster processor, said people familiar with the matter.

The new iPad will be thinner and lighter than the first model, these people said. It will have at least one camera on the front of the device for features like video-conferencing, but the resolution of the display will be similar to the first iPad, these people said. It will also have more memory and a more powerful graphics processor, they said.

..The one feature in the new iPad that may disappoint consumers will be the lack of significant improvement in the resolution of the device’s display. People familiar with the situation said Apple has had trouble improving the display technology, in part because of the iPad screen’s larger size compared with the iPhone.

via Apple’s New iPad in Production – WSJ.com.

Internet:  I have put up the white flag …

That the reality of machines can outpace the imagination of magic, and in so short a time, does tend to lend weight to the claim that the technological shifts in communication we’re living with are unprecedented. It isn’t just that we’ve lived one technological revolution among many; it’s that our technological revolution is the big social revolution that we live with. The past twenty years have seen a revolution less in morals, which have remained mostly static, than in means: you could already say “fuck” on HBO back in the eighties; the change has been our ability to tweet or IM or text it. The set subject of our novelists is information; the set obsession of our dons is what it does to our intelligence.

via How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker.

Super Bowl XLV, advertising, Detroit:  As I said this was my favorite.  I am glad it was successful.

If you haven’t seen the two-minute commercial that Chrysler Group LLC ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday, it’s worth taking a look.

The spot, featuring a brief appearance by Detroit-based rapper Eminem, has gone viral, racking up more than 3.5 million views on YouTube and occupying hours of sports-talk time on radio stations across the country. According to market researchers who tracked the impact of Super Bowl commercials, the Chrysler ad sparked a dramatic spike in online shopping for the company’s models.

via Eminem Super Bowl Ad Sparks Lasting Buzz For Chrysler – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Supreme Court, Constitutional Law, health care, Justice Kennedy, Justice Sotomayor, Justice Kagan:  Good question …

Maybe it all does come down to whether Justice Kennedy eats chicken or fish for dinner one evening in 2012. But isn’t it a little presumptuous, perhaps even a mite sexist, to suppose we already know the minds of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, and that nothing anyone might write or say from now through the time the question is considered by the Supreme Court could change them?

via Judges and ideology: Telepathic Supreme Court vote counting | The Economist.

culture, Lindsay Lohan:  She was so cute in Parent Trap. Enough said.

The actress Lindsay Lohan can now add the prospect of a grand theft charge to her legal woes.

via Lohan Faces Felony Theft Charge – NYTimes.com.

politics, Egypt Uprising, The President, President Bush:  Another interesting perspective …

That possibility now faces Mr Obama as the old order in Egypt changes. What if the new one eventually delivers the greatest of the Arab nations into the patient hands of a hostile Muslim Brotherhood? That fear gives even some neocons pause. And such questions will continue to plague America for as long as it aspires to be both a superpower and a champion of democracy and self-determination. It is a riddle to which neither Mr Bush nor Mr Obama nor any president has found a neat answer.

via Lexington: Was George Bush right? | The Economist.

random, internet auctions:  I get this spam all the time.  It is nice to have it explained.

Anybody who has a computer and an Internet connection has probably seen ads touting deals like those above. They come from “penny auction” sites, a Web phenomenon that has spurred hundreds of start-ups over the past year.

As consumers eager for deals help fuel the rise of these sites, consumer advocates stress the adage, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Users can actually spend hundreds of dollars on these sites without winning a thing.

Penny auctions, believed to have started in Europe, operate very differently from other auction sites such as eBay.

via Penny auctions promise savings, overlook downsides – USATODAY.com.

green, wind farms: The first picture is of the wind farm in the English Channel.  I flew over it in September and it is truly massive.  I had no idea how big an area they covered or how big the “wind mills” are.

The world’s largest offshore wind farm officially opened today in the English Channel 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) from Foreness Point, off England’s southeast coast.

Owned and operated by the Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm has 100 turbines and covers an area of 35 square kilometers (13.5 square miles).

Boat cruises past the new Thanet wind farm in the English Channel. (Photo courtesy Vattenfall)

With 300 megawatts of generating capacity, the wind farm will generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 200,000 British households.

via World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in English Channel.

green, wind farms, USA:  So it will be interesting to see them off the US coast.

The Interior Department said it will expedite environmental reviews for four wind projects off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. This spring, it expects to identify other wind energy areas off Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the South Atlantic region, notably North Carolina.

“This initiative will spur the type of innovation that will help us create new jobs, build a clean energy future and compete and win in the technologies of the 21st century,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in the announcement, which notes President Obama’s goal of generating 80% of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

Wind advocates called for a streamlined process after it took eight years for the Cape Wind project off Cape Cod, Mass., to obtain a lease as the nation’s first offshore wind farm. That project faced opposition from Indian tribes, some environmentalists and residents, who argued it threatened marine life and ruined ocean views.

Salazar said the wind farms identified Monday — all off major tourist destinations, including Atlantic City, N.J.; Ocean City, Md.; and Virginia Beach, Va. — would be 10 to 20 miles offshore so they shouldn’t mar vacationers’ views, according to the Associated Press.

via Obama fast-tracks Mid-Atlantic offshore wind energy – Green House – USATODAY.com.

 

08
Feb
11

2.8.2011 … great day … BSF … Isaiah is really interesting … and lunch with an old friend.

college, culture, Great Recession:  The economy is changing drinking by college freshman.  Very interesting.

The tough economy appears to be having a sobering effect — literally — on incoming college freshmen. Some new surveys of high school students suggest increasing numbers are beginning college as teetotalers.

* More incoming college freshmen have abstained from alcohol, polls find.

Outside the Classroom, an organization that provides alcohol education training at colleges, finds that since 2006, the percentage of incoming freshmen who abstain from alcohol has jumped from 38% to 62%.

“It’s a demographic trend among students,” CEO Brandon Busteed says. His organization surveys about a third of freshmen entering four-year universities and colleges each year.

Why the number of teetotaling 18-year-olds is up isn’t clear. Busteed says the economy is a big reason. Students “are taking (college) more seriously because they realize it’s their future,” he says.

via Polls: Young non-drinkers up in down economy – USATODAY.com.

Super Bowl XLV, National Anthem, Christina Aguilera, flubs:  I can’t criticize.  My third grade music teacher gave me an f on a report card because I could not memorize it.

Christina Aguilera’s lyric malfunction on Super Bowl Sunday scored plenty of Internet ire and water-cooler debate Monday, leaving the five-time Grammy winner the latest celebrity skewered for muffing the national anthem.

Christina Aguilera’s flub of the national anthem at Sunday’s Super Bowl has become a national item of discussion.The Star-Spangled Banner has stumped plenty of singers, and a recent Harris Poll found that two-thirds of Americans don’t know the lyrics. But the song has been especially embarrassing for high-profile entertainers.

via Christina Aguilera is not alone in anthem flub club – USATODAY.com.

media, journalism, Keith Olbermann:  That did not take long …

Former MSNBC television personality Keith Olbermann, who departed the cable news network in January, is expected to announce on Tuesday that he’s joining the public affairs channel Current TV, The New York Times reports.

Because Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC includes a clause that prohibits him from joining another TV outlet for an undetermined amount of time, it’s not clear when he’d be starting at Current TV. But it appears that the move has been in the works for some time. According to the Times, the Internet domain name TheOlbermannShow.com was registered two days before his on-air announcement that he was leaving MSNBC.

Olbermann’s arrival could boost Current TV’s profile. The cable channel, which counts former vice president Al Gore among its founders, is currently only available in about 60 million homes.

Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC came after he’d brought big ratings — and big controversy — to the network. The former ESPN sports anchor’s nightly Countdown show was by far MSNBC’s biggest ratings draw, but in November he was suspended for making political contributions to candidates in Kentucky and Arizona.

via Report: Keith Olbermann to join Current TV – USATODAY.com.

Bible, culture, sex:  Interesting.

Yet in a democracy, even those who speak “heresies” are allowed a voice. And whether readers accept Coogan’s and Knust’s interpretations, the authors are justified in their insistence that a population so divided over questions of sex and sexual morality cannot—should not—cede the field without exploring first what the Bible actually says. The eminent Bible historian Elaine Pagels agrees. To read the Bible and reflect on it “is to realize that we have not a series of answers, but a lot of questions.”

via What the Bible Really Says About Sex – Newsweek.

psychiatry/psychology, anxiety:  I can’t imagine being addicted to feeling anxious …

“Some people,” he adds, “get addicted to feeling anxious because that’s the state that they’ve always known. If they feel a sense of calm, they get bored; they feel empty inside. They want to feel anxious.” Notice he didn’t say “like.”

via Why Some People Choose Anxiety – Newsweek.

Super Bowl XLV:  He will never live this one down …

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC) — Last week a hospital in Pittsburgh wrapped their newborns with “Terrible Towels” and placed Steeler caps on their heads.

It is time to meet their opponent.

The babies of Saint Vincent hospital in Green Bay were wrapped in “Titletown Towels” and Packers fleece blankets.

Of course, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without their very own Cheesehead.

The real game is Sunday in Arlington, Texas when the Packers and Steelers tangle in Super Bowl XLV.

via WCSH6.com | Portland, ME | Green Bay hospital outfits new arrivals in Packers gear.

Great Recession, marriage, USA:

Americans without a college degree bore the brunt of the recent recession, and so did their marriages, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Virginia.

The “Survey of Marital Generosity,” conducted on behalf of U-Va.’s Marriage Project, found that 29 percent of couples reported that the economic downturn had put financial stress on their marriages.

At the same time, about a third of the couples surveyed said the recession had prompted them to work harder on saving their marriage – a finding that the report’s author described as one of two “silver linings” to the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression. It’s unclear whether those couples might have had more stable marriages to begin with.

via Study shows recession has weighed heavily on American marriages.

architecture, recycle, Eero Saarinen, NYC:  I think it looks like the Jetsons.  I am not sure I want to stay at a boutique hotel at the airport … but someone might.

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An airline terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport that started as a jet-age architectural icon but has become a security-age relic could be reopened as a boutique hotel.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking for developers to turn the vacant Trans World Airlines Flight Center into the centerpiece of a small, high-end hotel that would allow the agency to reopen the terminal and recoup some of the money it spent restoring it.

The long-vacant TWA terminal would be part of a boutique hotel under the Port Authority’s plan.

The curving, winged terminal opened in 1962 at what was then Idlewild Airport. It became a symbol of the glamour of air travel. Its designer, Eero Saarinen, is considered a master of midcentury modernist architecture. Among his other works are St. Louis’s Gateway Arch and Manhattan’s CBS headquarters.

via Hotel Plan Set for Ghost Terminal – WSJ.com.

quotes:

“There can be no joy in living without joy in work.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas

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

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim, news:  I had a sneaking suspicion that this was big …

Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive for the Middle East, is free following his release by Egyptian authorities 12 days after he disappeared in Cairo.

Ghonim, 30, an Egyptian based in Dubai, sobbed throughout an emotional TV interview with Dream 2 TV. He said he was not tortured, was treated with respect and was surprised to be branded a traitor by security forces.

“This is the revolution of the youth of the Internet and now the revolution of all Egyptians,” he said. “Anyone with good intentions is the traitor.”

Google declined to comment except to issue a statement: “It is a huge relief that Wael Ghonim has been released. We send our best wishes to him and his family.”

via Egypt releases activist, Google executive – USATODAY.com.

Wael Ghonim is talkative and confident, just like many in the new generation of Arabs out to change their world — and prosper in it — by way of technology. He has pointed out that Norway, so much smaller than the Mideast in population, had more indigenous language content on the web. There was so much room to grow. “We live in a digital age, and it is important that the Arab world takes advantage of this new medium,” Ghonim told an Abu Dhabi paper.

I’ve met him briefly on a couple of occasions here in Dubai, where the expatriate Egyptian lived and worked as Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa. Slim and sanding a little more than average height, Ghonim, 30, is typical of the new guard: speaking English with an American accent but audibly Arab when he pronounces Arabic words. He is at ease in both worlds. (See TIME’s special report “The Middle East in Revolt.”)

But, in spite of his career achievements and comfortable life, he also chose to be part of a hidden, more dangerous world — one in which he sought to activate change in his homeland. After he returned to Egypt, that work would thrust him into prison for more than 10 days and, when he emerged, he was suddenly hailed by some as the leader of the faceless group of youthful revolutionaries credited with getting the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak off the ground.

via Egypt’s New Hero: Can Google Activist Wael Ghonim Overthrow Mubarak? – TIME.

quotes, BSF, Bible:  My favorite from this week’s BSF lesson, Isaiah 41 … and I have to say I really enjoyed this week’s lesson.

8 “But you, Israel, my servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

you descendants of Abraham my friend,

9 I took you from the ends of the earth,

from its farthest corners I called you.

I said, ‘You are my servant’;

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

via Isaiah 41 – Passage Lookup – New International Version, ©2010 – BibleGateway.com.

06
Feb
11

2.6.2011 … Super Bowl XLV … gLee … great day …

Why I do this…: There are a lot of reasons I started to do this “blog”.  Among them was that I did not want to bore my facebook friends with all my posts or send around e-mails to everyone who I thought had similar interests.  I have been doing this about a year now … and I love it when someone sends me a link that they think will interest me because it means that they read it and that they may, to some extent, share that interest.  It also keeps a dialogue going.  So thank you Elizabeth for the link to the Nashville native who is teaching in Cairo … see below

Egypt Uprising, blogposts: This young man’s perspective is very interesting.

Yesterday morning an angry man confronted me only one hundred meters from my apartment, yelling at me for being an agnahbee (foreigner). This is the first time that I have felt a serious threat directed at me since all of this began. Last night, the new prime minster and vice president of Egypt gave speeches about the crisis. Both referred to ambiguous foreign elements that have played a role in exacerbating the crisis. This morning men attempted to take a friend of mine living in the wealthy island neighborhood of Zamalek to the police as he tried to cross the bridge into downtown on the way to Tahrir Square. Several hotels where journalists are staying have been broken into and ransacked by the pro-government thugs. It seems that anti-foreign feelings are beginning to be presented by more than just the thugs acting on orders from the government.

The mood in Cairo has shifted abruptly. The consensus among Egyptians supporting the movement for democratic reforms and the end of Mubarak’s regime has been weakened by the burdens of the struggle—no work and limited food. Mubarak’s small concessions seem to have placated the least resolved of the protesters. The government’s strategy to divide the people and sow uncertainty seems to be working. The joyous mood of Tuesday’s peaceful demonstrations has disappeared and in its place an angry suspicion of foreigners is creeping in. It is no longer safe for me to remain in Cairo as I had hoped. It seems that it was naive of me to expect that I would be able to in the first place.

Though I am no longer in Cairo, I travel with the people in Tahrir Square on my mind and close to my heart. There is nothing I can

via ReadAbroad: Egyptian Protests–Departing from Cairo, Accepting Naivety.

Super Bowl XLV, Charlie Peprah:  Great story … you must read the whole thing …

“I think Charlie takes right after my dad,” she said, adding, “He would have been so proud of him.”

via To Super Bowl via Ghana – Charlie Peprah and Family’s Journey – NYTimes.com.

Super Bowl XLV, The White House, The President, Bill O’Reilly: OK, I would be happy to be bipartisan for a few hours!  Comments about O’Reilly’s 12 minute interview are very interesting … protocol … respect for the office.  I personally think it should carry over into how he is treated in the media in general … not just in person.

And no, the guests won’t be grouped based on the team they’re rooting for. With a renewed Obama push for bipartisanship, I’m told “the whole point is to bring people together.”

via Obama Super Bowl Bash Has Pols, Jennifer Lopez, but First a Pre-game O’Reilly Interview.

Super Bowl XLV, advertising:

Forget the regular refrain of, “Are you ready for some football?” When it comes to the showpiece game of the year, isn’t it all about the advertisements?

via Looking at the Buzz Behind this Year’s Super Bowl Ads – TIME NewsFeed.

UNC, basketball: What can I say … this makes no sense. Drew clicks Heels – North Carolina – NewsObserver.com.

LOLYouTube – We Wish.

travel, London, lists: 10 ways to cheer up if you’re sad in London – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet.

World Economic Forum, class issue, followup, bucket list: Davos seems like the perfect mix of people wanting to come together to do the right thing for the world.  I guess there will always be a divide.

WAS this the year when class came to Davos? To many outsiders, the event reeks of privilege, but from the inside its spirit has long attempted to be egalitarian. The bespectacled figure clumping along in the snow in his ski jacket could on closer inspection turn out to be a billionaire, a green campaigner, central banker or a politician. Yet somehow each year the divisions grow. Ever more of the plutocrats seem to travel by limousine, rather than foot. (The telltale indicator of status remains footwear: the more impractical the shoe, the clearer it is that the owner has arrived by car). There seems to be more queue-jumping by the powerful. Security is the obvious excuse: police kept a herd of freezing people outside one hotel for close to half an hour on the pretext that a Russian politician (and his courtly motorcade) might, just might, appear.

Class is also part of the conversation this year, especially in the Anglo-Saxon business world. There is a growing realisation that the pain is disproportionately hitting the bottom of society, an acknowledgement that it is not going to change soon—and, perhaps more selfishly, a worry that it will result in a backlash of some sort. Thus British businesspeople, especially those with consumer businesses, fret what will happen when governments cuts begin to bite in northern towns where many households depend on the state (either through benefits or as an employer). But the biggest worry is in America.

via Davos diary: Class consciousness comes to Davos | The Economist.

FaceBook, novel uses, random: Modern day uses of technology … So next time you find something .. put it on FaceBook …

“TRYING to find the owner of a red Pentax camera I found on the corner of 34th and 7th Ave in NYC. With your help, I hope to find the camera owner and return this camera to him/her.”

Adelyn Zhou posted this message on her Facebook page on Thursday, January 27th, minutes after picking up a stray digital device in New York’s garment district. She added a selection of 13 snapshots from the camera, showing a hotel logo (but no name), a room number, the room’s interior, and a bunch of companions. Ms Zhou then tagged the photo album with some of her own friends, hoping someone might recognise something (or, less probably, somebody) that could help identify the owner.

Barely an hour later, her wall and message box were crammed with comments, suggestions—and the name of the hotel. An enterprising friend had discovered it through a Google map search of the garment district. Three hours on, the camera was back with its rightful owner, a grateful 16-year-old French tourist who was staying at the New Yorker Hotel, a stone’s throw away from where the camera had been found. (The tips kept coming for another few days—one amateur sleuth, for instance, accurately identified the hotel by its décor.)

In 2008, a website called IFoundYourCamera.net was set up in Winnipeg, Canada, with the express purpose of aiding similar searches. Honest finders of lost cameras post photos on the site, along with information on where and when it was found. About 30 cameras have been returned to their owners since the launch of the site, according to Matt Preprost, its founder. That is about 10% of the searches initiated on the site, which now gets thousands of visits each week.

The idea is noble, and clever, but it needs scale for the true potential of network effects to kick in. So, Ms Zhou plumped instead for Facebook which, with its 500m registered users, is more than just a social network. It is the world’s ultimate lost and found.

via Crowdsourced lost and found: Lostandfoundbook | The Economist.

icons, politics, lists: interesting list …

Feb. 6 marks the 100th birthday of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Few political figures in recent memory have matched the Gipper’s charisma or enduring appeal. We look at other world leaders whose legacies have stood the test of time

via Mohandas Gandhi – Top 25 Political Icons – TIME.

quotes, twitter, Mark Twain:  In case you were wondering, twitter is one of my best sources.

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old ~ #MarkTwain

via Twitter / @Jane Austen LIVES: When your friends begin to ….

twitter, random, LOL:

According to twitoaster.com the Starbucks cup tweet from yesterday was 5th most popular tweet throughout twitter for the day.

via Twitter / @PostSecret: According to twitoaster.co ….

twitter, libraries:

public libraries are not “middle class pleasure.” They are a universal good & a lifeline to people who can’t afford books. #saveourlibraries

via Twitter / @rosamundi: public libraries are not ” ….

twitter: There is a website that keeps list of the most popular tweets … tweet, tweet …

Most popular Tweets of the week (1 to 20) Ranking the 100 most replied and/or retweeted tweets this week, worldwide. To discourage “cheating”, this list is ordered by distinct users (i.e. 10 replies from the same user will count for 1, not for 10). Congratulations if one of your tweets made this Top 100 😉

via Most popular Tweets of the week.

csf, faith and spirituality:  Can a corporation have and maintain a Christian purpose?

Considering Chick-fil-A’s conservative Christian mission, perhaps the most striking feature of the recent controversy is how unusual it is for the company. As the chain continues to grow, they may find it more difficult to avoid the culture war.

via Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on restaurant’s Christian DNA – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

BofA, misleading headlines, banking, journalism:  The headline of this story only mentions BofA  …  JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup Inc  and Wells Fargo & Co are all co-defendants … others are still appealing … I think they should get credit for moving forward … this makes them look like the big bad wolf …

The largest U.S. bank by assets is among the more than two dozen U.S., Canadian and European lenders named as defendants in the class-action litigation, which in 2009 consolidated lawsuits filed across the country.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) are among the other defendants named in the case, court records show.

Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace in an email said the bank has already changed its overdraft practices, eliminating fees for debit transactions and significantly lowering fees for customers who overdraw excessively.

She also said the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender has “fully accrued funds” to cover the settlement.

via B of A to pay $410 million to settle overdraft lawsuit | Reuters.

globalization, multiculturalism:  Interesting …

Faced with growing alarm about Islamic militants who have made Britain one of Europe’s most active bases for terrorist plots, Prime Minister David Cameron has mounted an attack on the country’s decades-old policy of “multiculturalism,” saying it has encouraged “segregated communities” where Islamic extremism can thrive.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich on Saturday, Mr. Cameron condemned what he called the “hands-off tolerance” in Britain and other European nations that had encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups “to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

via Cameron Criticizes ‘Multiculturalism’ in Britain – NYTimes.com.

05
Feb
11

2.5.2011 … crazy husband running uwharrie … still cold and wet …

ultra marathons, kith/kin: Look where crazy John is today!

40-Mile @ 7:00a / 20-Mile @ 8:00a / 8-Mile @ 9:00a

Thanks for your interest in the Uwharrie Mountain Run: challenging, winter, single-track trail runs of 8, 20, and 40 miles in central North Carolina’s Uwharrie National Forest. Rocks, roots, creeks, cookies, and handmade pottery awards make Uwharrie a perennial favorite among both recreational and elite trail runners. Join us in February for a chilly, hilly good time!

via Uwharrie Mountain Run.

 

random, photography, Atlanta, great views:

Atlanta History Center – Ever wonder what the city of Atlanta looks like from the top of the State Capitol Dome? For hi-res version, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckramer/5335024616/sizes/o/in/photostream/

via Facebook.

Egypt Uprising, Constitutional Law:  An interesting dilemma.

This would no doubt disappoint those who want to put Mr. Mubarak on the next plane to Saudi Arabia, but there are two risks associated with his leaving so abruptly. The first is that the demonstrations might diminish or dissipate, leaving Mr. ElBaradei and his coalition trying to negotiate with the military or Vice President Omar Suleiman without the force of the crowds behind them.The second risk stems from the Egyptian Constitution, which gives the power to dissolve Parliament and call new elections only to an elected president. Mr. Mubarak’s successor, as an acting president, would be specifically prohibited from getting the parliamentary elections under way. A new Parliament is crucial to democratic reform, because only Parliament has the power to defang the Egyptian presidency, stripping it of its dictatorial powers through constitutional amendment. The current Parliament — bought and paid for by Mr. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party — is not fit for that task.

via An Exit Plan for Mubarak – NYTimes.com.

Steph Curry, Davidson College, random:  Go Steph!  Curry Nails Full Court Shot | NBC Bay Area.

math, predictions, random, Davidson College:  Here’s a good one if your child is double majoring in math and physics … How math helped ESPN’s X Games predictions | DavidsonNews.net.

Super Bowl XLV:  this one is going to be interesting.

“I’m shivvverrrrring—this is ridddiiccccullllous,” Donald Driver said, teeth chattering.

It was the Media Day frolic for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium, and the 36-year-old Green Bay Packers wide receiver was hunched in a white windbreaker, blowing on his hands, struggling to stay warm. A blast of snow and ice had rocked the region, and even inside Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s climate-controlled $1.2 billion football Xanadu, it felt chilly. Mr. Driver’s interview table sat near a drafty runway, and as he took questions, he didn’t look like a composed veteran. He looked like a guy who really didn’t want to go ice-fishing.

via Super Bowl Notes: Clay Matthews Jr., Troy Polamalu, Jerry Jones – WSJ.com.

YouTube – How To: Not Look Stupid At A Super Bowl Party.

Egyptian Uprising, missing persons, news:

A Google executive who has gone missing in Egypt has been “symbolically” named the spokesman for an opposition group, in an attempt to free him from being held by Egyptian authorities, CBS News reports.

Wael Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the middle east, flew into Egypt last week to participate in the demonstrations against the government. At some point he went missing, and one of his last tweets ominously read, “we are all ready to die.”

The Egyptian government will not comment on whether it has Ghonim or not, but many suspect he is being held.

The demonstration where he Ghonim may have been captured was organized “largely” by the April 6 movement, CBS News reports. The April 6 movement is a youth movement in Egypt formed almost three years ago.

via Google Exec Who Went Missing In Egypt Now A Spokesman For Opposition Group (GOOG).

iPhone, media, game changers:

The New York Times will provide reporters with the Apple iPhone 4 to record and upload videos via an Aspera App to the paper’s server. The first staffer to use the device was Andrew Ross Sorkin who used it for his Davos coverage.

In the clip, the Sorkin’s stand-up was shot by colleague Peter Lattman. The audio is surprisingly good.

In this interview with Beet.TV, Ann Derry, Editorial Director for Video and Television, characterizes the Apple phone as a “game changer” for the paper’s video news gathering operations.

via Beet.TV: New York Times Staffer Using Apple iPhone 4 for Video News Gathering, “A Huge Game Changer” Says Paper’s Video Chief.

04
Feb
11

2.4.2011 …. 35 and raining … winter in the South like I remember it!

winter, The South:  I prefer snow to rain … 🙂 .. “singing in the rain” … but I agree with Tim … least favorite weather ..

NASA, Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords, prayers: Godspeed, Mark Kelly!  And Prayers for a continued miraculous recovery, Gabrielle Giffords!

“I am looking forward to rejoining my crew members and finishing our training for the mission,” said Mr. Kelly. “We have been preparing for more than 18 months, and we will be ready to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Sepectrometer to the International Space Station and compete the other objectives of the flight.”

via Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband Mark Kelly to Command NASA Shuttle | Politically Illustrated.

followup, tweets, Chinese new year, politically correct:  So is it incorrect to say Chinese New Year?

@BarackObama

I send my best wishes for peace, prosperity, and good health to all who celebrate the Lunar New Year across the U.S. and around the world.

via Twitter / @Barack Obama: I send my best wishes for ….

community service, boy scouts, Loaves & Fishes, tweets, tomorrow 2/5:

Trying to gather a record 10,800 grocery bags of donated food in one morning (at an estimated 10 pounds per bag) would pretty much take a battalion of men and a convoy of SUVs.

But that’s the goal of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from St. Matthew Catholic Church, for Saturday’s Scouting for Food drive to benefit Loaves & Fishes.

via Events & News – Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry – Groceries for Neighbors in Need – Charlotte, NC.

Scouting for Food is tomorrow! Please don’t rain!

via Loaves & Fishes (loavesfishesnc) on Twitter.

tweets, LOL: My brother-in-law sent me this one. 

12:22 PM Jan 29th: Slipped on ice last night. Out of commission. Meds in control. Strange political dreams. And SpongeBob makes sense.

via Larry Sabato (larrysabato) on Twitter.

A comprehensive website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball features detailed and frequently updated analysis for elections across the country. The Crystal Ball keeps tabs on presidential elections, along with every Senate and gubernatorial race, as well as the tightest campaigns for the House.

via Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball » About.

man caves, ESPN:  Loved this article …

In part because it’s rarely discussed in mixed company, ESPN may be the most under-acknowledged media powerhouse in the United States. Since its debut in 1979, ESPN has ridden round-the-clock highlights, live events and testosterone-infused commentary into a 3D juggernaut of television, radio, print and digital that arguably constitutes the single greatest cultural force in male identity today.

Consider these facts: ESPN is the third-rated network on cable, according to Nielsen ratings. Half of all Americans, age 12 to 64, encounter one of its platforms every week, the network’s research shows. That figure includes two-thirds of men age 18 to 34, who stay an average of 56 minutes a day. Your husband, your neighbor, your boss may be spending one hour a day on ESPN. That loyalty adds up. ESPN’s revenues last year totaled $8.65 billion, according to Morgan Stanley, making up 23 percent of the total revenues of its parent, the Walt Disney Company.

“Nothing reaches men like sports,” said Michael Wilbon, a co-host on ESPN for “Pardon the Interruption,” “and nothing has branded sports like ESPN.”

The height of the new jock vanity is ESPN’s infatuation with male bodies. Commentators drool over other men’s abs, thighs and guns. ESPN The Magazine’s response to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is its Body issue, which features entirely naked men (and some women). The magazine even sells posters of the Knick superstar Amar’e Stoudemire dunking nude or the United States soccer goalie Tim Howard diving au naturel.

All of this talk of New Manhood does have an undercurrent of Old Manhood: how women are treated. On the one hand, ESPN deserves credit, after decades of negligence, for finally featuring women. “When I first started doing sports,” said Dana Jacobson, a co-host of “First Take,” “my dad said, ‘I think you’re really good, but I’d still rather watch a guy.’ After a couple of years, he finally changed his mind. And he’s not alone.”

But women are still the company’s sore spot. The network has experienced a rash of scandals involving sexual misconduct, workplace affairs and inappropriate language that at times makes ESPN the subject of as much gossip and lawsuits as the athletes it covers. This pink cloud has made covering the misconduct of superstars, like the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, more challenging.

“I would hope that if we really are reaching that many young men,” Ms. Beadle said, “that we make sure we send a message.” She loved “celebrating the great stuff,” she said, but became upset “when you hear one dumb story after another about what men are doing.”

“Sometimes I think we don’t report those stories as much as other companies because of our relationship,” she said. “I want to make sure we don’t always make those guys heroes. What happens is that for the 17-, 18-year-old kid, the message is that he’s good at a sport, so it doesn’t matter how much of a pig he is.”

In a world where men do everything fast, from driving to parenting to flipping channels, ESPN is one place that forces them to stop, respect the clock at the center of most games, and connect to the men in their past. ESPN is the ultimate time machine. It takes men back to their boyhoods, and delivers them back to their sons, all in just under an hour.

via Dominating the Man Cave – This Life – NYTimes.com.

James Joyce, LOL:  Happy belated (2-2)birthday, Jim! Frank Delaney: Re: Joyce, Episode 34. The Re: Joyce Rap.

Jane Austen, icons:

It also led to an outcry of “Why now?” In a blink, Austen was everywhere on the silver screen. After a dry spell that lasted more than a half century, we were hit with three films hit in just two years. (The third being the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring ‘Emma.’) ‘Jane Austen in Hollywood’ discusses how Time Magazine ran a headline asking: “Sick of Jane Austen yet?” Wall Street declared the mania to be “cash driven.” Her immediate impact was so far-reaching, in fact, that ‘Austen in Hollywood’ details how the Socialist Workers’ Party Marxism ’96 Conference featured a session on “what is so great” about the author. Austen had become not only a cinematic icon, but also a social force to be reckoned with.

Essentially, it seems that Austen offers enough of any world that either the most conservative and traditional figure, or the most liberally modern-minded one, can thrive in Austen’s writing. Those who yearn for traditional values cling to the notions of romance and place — the quest to find love, financial security and someone with the appropriate lifestyle. For the more progressively minded, Austen offers an alternative glimpse of women during a time when they had little freedom, her pen having created a diverse roster of heroines, even if they were all romance-minded. To quite firmly grasp moviegoers on both sides of the spectrum, Austen becomes just about the most relevant creative source for women there is today.

Austen’s worlds are rife with diverse females, yes, from the mirth of Emma Woodhouse to the strict decorum of Elinor Dashwood. But they’re always so focused on their men and lives, that it’s easy to be pushed away. Yet we must remember our modern sensibilities, and also the wry commentary Austen — a woman who never experienced this literary love — relays. The women ultimately fit into society, but they also hint at something more, while chastising the world they must live in.

Austen’s women are completely foreign, yet ultimately relatable.

Are we clinging to the past? Does Austen offer a sense of release? Why is Jane Austen so beloved today?

via Girls on Film: Why Is Jane Austen So Popular Today? – Moviefone.

health, research, ALS, progress:

This imprecision has hindered the search for drugs that could slow or block the disease’s progress. But now a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center here has won a $1 million prize — reportedly the largest ever for meeting a specific challenge in medical research — for developing a reliable way to quantify the small muscular changes that signal progressive deterioration.

The winner, Dr. Seward Rutkove, showed that his method could cut in half the cost of clinical trials to screen potential drugs for the disease, said Melanie Leitner, chief scientific officer of Prize4Life, the nonprofit group that created the competition.

via $1 Million Prize to Inventor of a Tracker for A.L.S., Lou Gehrig’s Disease – NYTimes.com.

media, new terms:  blogazine!

An online daily blogazine on Home Style, Life Style & You Style! Editor is Better Homes & Gardens Field Editor, Cynthia Bogart. (We’re not a BHG affiliate)

The THE DAILY BASICS Daily.

recycle:  loved the creativity here.

Just when you thought there were no uses for wire coat hangers other than for angling to get your locked car door open or using it to coax a wooden spoon out from under the stove, the creative folks at Anthropologie took a fantastical swipe at that perception.

via The Elegant Thrifter: Vintage and Thrift Shopping, Decorating and Entertaining with Elegant Flair: Reuse & Repurpose: Yes to Wire Coat Hangers.

economy, The Great Recession, parallel universes:  2011 and 1983 …

The unemployment rate declined four-tenths of a percentage point in one month. There had not been a monthly decline that large in many years, but economists were unimpressed. After all, the decline was caused in no small part by a surprising reduction in the labor force, which could be an indication that more workers were discouraged and no longer looking. That would hardly be an encouraging development.

President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. Bush in January 1983, when the unemployment rate fell to 10.4 percent from 10.8 percent, the first decline that large in five years.

Anyway, it was said, the unemployment rate is based on a survey of only 60,000 households, some of whom cannot be reached in any given month. It can be volatile, so you should not pay much attention to it. The president took heart from the figures, but critics said there was no real improvement.

The above describes what happened a month ago, when the unemployment rate for December came in at 9.4 percent. It was the first time in more than 11 years that the rate had declined that much in a single month, but the headline in The Chicago Tribune read, “U.S. jobs picture gets darker; Unemployment rate dips, but only because workers apparently are giving up.”

As it happened, those paragraphs also describe the situation 28 years ago. In January 1983, with President Ronald Reagan reeling from his large setback in the midterm elections the previous November, the unemployment rate fell to 10.4 percent from 10.8 percent. It was the first such decline in five years, but few thought it significant.

via From 1983, Hints of Strong Job Growth in 2011 – NYTimes.com.

blog, food, recipes: Another interesting blog/column

Providence Journal: A nice wrap-up of Super Bowl recipes from food sections around the nation. – Sam Sifton

via What We’re Reading – NYTimes.com.

college, students, The Beatles:  Always something fun on the ecollege scene.

A new class at Syracuse University this semester offers students probably the closest thing to a history lesson from Paul or Ringo. “The Beatles” (course number RAE 400) is a dive into the band’s impact on business, technology and culture, featuring guest lecturers with first-hand knowledge of the Fab Four and their empire.

The class kicked off last week with speaker Peter Asher, whose resume includes talent scouting for Apple Records, the label launched by the Beatles in 1968. Back then, Asher brought a young James Taylor to the label and produced his debut album. His lecture touched on the strengths and weaknesses of the label as a business, but he also doled out some choice “I-was-there-when” nuggets. Example: his memory of being the first non-Beatle to hear “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” when McCartney and Lennon worked up the song in the basement room used by Asher’s mother as an oboe studio.

via Meet the Beatles — For Two College Credits – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Egypt Uprising:  Another perspective … Naïveté on Egypt Is Dangerous. – By Kathryn Jean Lopez – The Corner – National Review Online.

media, icons, Nelson Mandela, South Africa, prayers:  Prayers for a quick and peaceful recovery.

As rumors of Mr. Mandela’s death echoed across the Internet, media coverage intensified. Ms. Wiener says some in the media were accused of being “vultures” in their coverage.

She and others disagree. “The truth is … in a way, Mandela belongs to the country. That’s why everyone was so concerned; they wanted to know because they were family,” said Ms. Wiener.

The outcry over poor communication subsided when Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe held a press conference with Mr. Mandela’s doctor a few days after he was admitted to hospital, assuring members of the public that there was “no reason to panic” but also admitting that communication could’ve been better.

Given Mr. Mandela’s revered political status, his retirement from public life in 2004—five years after he stepped down from the presidency—was difficult for a country that had grown accustomed to seeing him at public events in brightly colored shirts, occasionally dancing and often telling humorous anecdotes.

“Somehow, he’s become that god to South Africans,” said Ndivhuho Mafela, a journalist for local news channel e.tv. “He’s become an avatar of ours. [In] everything, we refer to him, saying ‘Are these his ideals? Are we not going wrong?’ He’s something we can no longer explain in words. The only word that can explain it is just ‘Mandela.'”

Mr. Mafela laughed and pointed to Mr. Mandela’s house, which is painted in a bright mustard color, partially hidden by large high walls. “One cannot stop hoping to see him standing there and saying, ‘Hi!'”

via Stakeout Mandela: Media Vigil for Aging South African Icon – WSJ.com.

teenagers, culture, risk-taking, science:

In studies at Temple University, psychologists used functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on 40 teenagers and adults to determine if there are differences in brain activity when adolescents are alone versus with their friends. The findings suggest that teenage peer pressure has a distinct effect on brain signals involving risk and reward, helping to explain why young people are more likely to misbehave and take risks when their friends are watching.

For parents, the study data reinforce the notion that groups of teenagers need close supervision.

“All of us who have very good kids know they’ve done really dumb things when they’ve been with their friends,” Dr. Steinberg said. “The lesson is that if you have a kid whom you think of as very mature and able to exercise good judgment, based on your observations when he or she is alone or with you, that doesn’t necessarily generalize to how he or she will behave in a group of friends without adults around. Parents should be aware of that.”

via Teenagers, Friends and Bad Decisions – NYTimes.com.

quotes:  From one of my favorite writers who sends a quote a day … The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness …

“Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”
Sarah Bernhardt

technology, White House:  Seems strange that the White House could lose it e-mail service ...

Shortly before 8 a.m. the unclassified e-mail system that top advisers and the president himself rely on to communicate with each other went dark.

Reporters left hanging by unanswered e-mails were told of the blackout by a press assistant who said, “If you need to get in touch with anyone, you have to go up and see them because e-mail is down.”

At 11:54, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer made a formal announcement via Twitter.

“FYI: WH unclassified e-mail went down shortly before 8 AM.’ he tweeted. “Verizon is working to solve the problem. Pool reports will be avail in press office.”

Not long after that an overhead intercom system sounded out a familiar announcement to those who worked in the White House during the dark ages. Pool reports, normally sent around electronically, were available on paper.

That’s how it went for several hours. The podium where spokesman Robert Gibbs normally stands during his briefings was carpeted with pool reports and a transcript of an earlier gaggle by Gibbs aboard Air Force One.

via White House e-mail blackout – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

Super Bowl  XLV, random:

For the first time since the game’s inception, both teams playing in the Super Bowl lack cheerleading squads. The Steelers stopped having cheerleaders in 1970, and the Packers got rid of their cheerleaders in 1988 after market research indicated they didn’t mean much to fans.

via The Super Bowl Without Cheerleaders: How Will We Know To Cheer? – TIME NewsFeed.

internet, Egypt Uprising:  Could our government cut us off?  Good question.

It seemed so easy for Egypt. Just order a shutdown of the country’s internet connections and — bam — it happens.

But is such an authoritarian action transferable? Could the U.S. government shut down American internet connections? And is it possible for the global internet to be toppled?

Technically, yes, internet experts said Wednesday, shortly after Egypt’s government restored internet connections there as violent political protests continued. But it’s highly unlikely.

“Could you break the internet? Yeah. Can you shut it down? No. Shutting down the entire internet would be pretty much impossible at this point,” said Jim Cowie, co-founder of Renesys, an worldwide internet tracker.

Cowie spoke of the internet as if it were a giant, adaptable worm.

“The funny thing about the internet is even if you break it in half, the two halves will function as [separate] internets,” he said.

via Could the U.S. shut down the internet? – CNN.com.

music, culture, urban legends, Joshua Bell:  This is not an urban legend but it is old news, but still very entertaining.

“It was the most astonishing thing I’ve ever seen in Washington,” Furukawa says. “Joshua Bell was standing there playing at rush hour, and people were not stopping, and not even looking, and some were flipping quarters at him! Quarters! I wouldn’t do that to anybody. I was thinking, Omigosh, what kind of a city do I live in that this could happen?”

When it was over, Furukawa introduced herself to Bell, and tossed in a twenty. Not counting that — it was tainted by recognition — the final haul for his 43 minutes of playing was $32.17. Yes, some people gave pennies.

“Actually,” Bell said with a laugh, “that’s not so bad, considering. That’s 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn’t have to pay an agent.”

These days, at L’Enfant Plaza, lotto ticket sales remain brisk. Musicians still show up from time to time, and they still tick off Edna Souza. Joshua Bell’s latest album, “The Voice of the Violin,” has received the usual critical acclaim. (“Delicate urgency.” “Masterful intimacy.” “Unfailingly exquisite.” “A musical summit.” “. . . will make your heart thump and weep at the same time.”)

Bell headed off on a concert tour of European capitals. But he is back in the States this week. He has to be. On Tuesday, he will be accepting the Avery Fisher prize, recognizing the Flop of L’Enfant Plaza as the best classical musician in America.

via Pearls Before Breakfast – washingtonpost.com.




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