Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Musser

03
Nov
19

11.3.19 … “In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side.” – Karl Barth

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin, Elizabeth Musser, When I Close My Eyes:

I just returned from 48 hours with some special friends from college. I have been immersed in love and friendship for 48 hours. So today, I chose a quick walk before going with my sister to a book signing for Elizabeth Musser’s new book…

Today is the first day of daylight savings time and I actually slept late feeling completely refreshed and woke up to full daylight. But now at 4:30 as the sun was getting low in the sky, it was time to walk. The light was perfect, and it was a beautiful crisp fall day. As I mentioned, I had just spent a delightful 48 hours with my Davidson College friends at the home of one friend who lives in Gainesville Georgia. As has become a routine, we talked, shared, hugged, encouraged and then went all our separate ways from one end of this country to the other. Every time I spend a weekend with them, my soul is restored.

As for my walk … Birds chirping… I loved the sun playing with the buildings, dancing in the trees … And I saw a sliver of the moon. What is the moon phase today? And then I saw a bed of blooming knock out rises. Do knock out roses forever bloom in the south?

And as for Elizabeth’s talk at the Atlanta History Center, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve read her new book, “When I Close My Eyes“ (https://www.amazon.com/When-Close-My-Eyes-Novel/dp/0764234447) and recommend it. I was talking with someone and they said that they didn’t read Christian literature. Prior to reading Elizabeth’s books, I had not read much if it weren’t veiled in fantasy (think, CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Tolkien, Dante). But what is wrong with being challenged by Christian truths? Because of Elizabeth I have been introduced to another Christian fiction author, Sharon Garlough Brown. In addition, and I assume because I listed Elizabeth’s works as some of my favorites, I now get recommendations for other Christian writers. A funny one was a Christian writer of spy thrillers. When one was free, I actually read it and enjoyed it. Luanda Ehrlich’s Titus Ray Thrillers. I read Book I, “One Night in Tehran.”

And James Howell led me to this quote the other day …

“Light exists as well as shadow. Creation has not only a positive but also a negative side. It belongs to the essence of creaturely nature, and is indeed a mark of its perfection, that it has in fact this negative side. In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side. For all we can tell, may not His creatures praise Him more mightily in humility than in exaltation, in need than in plenty, in fear than in joy? May not we ourselves praise Him more purely on bad days than on good, more surely in sorrow than in rejoicing, more truly in adversity than in progress? If there may be praise of God from the abyss, night and misfortune… how surprised we shall be, and how ashamed of so much unnecessary disquiet and discontent, once we are brought to realize that all creation both as light and shadow, including our own share in it, was laid on Jesus Christ, and that even though we did not see it, while we were shaking our heads that things were not very different, it sang the praise of God just as it was, and was therefore right and perfect.” – Karl Barth

11.3.19

18
Jun
18

6.19.18 … 7 books I love: no explanations, no reviews, just the covers …

Social Media Challenges:

I was nominated to post the covers of 7 books I love: no explanations, no reviews, just the covers. Each time I post a cover, I will invite a friend to take up the challenge as well.

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18
Jun
11

‎6.18.2011 … what a delightful day … reading The Sweetest Thing … watching silly movies (The Green Hornet) from the RedBox… blt for dinner … summer …

politics:  Well, I certainly don’t think the tea party or Sarah Palin are representative of historical conservatives.

… today’s unconservative “conservatism” is a movement held together by cultural resentment and xenophobic panic. Until it wrests free of this trap, it deserves its Palinesque fate: an ideology wrapped in anachronism, and laced with venom.

via “Conservatism Is True.” – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.

slime bags:  At the core of the slime bag is that he is taking advantage of someone who is weaker.

When it comes to powerful men and poor women, the sorry maxim of ancient warfare still holds true: The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.

via Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the Lure of Domestic Affairs | Home Land – WSJ.com.

music, kith/kin:  If a friend refers me to a song and I am not in a hurry, I almost always listen.  I feel connected … YouTube – Sister Sledge – We are Family (1979) (1).

random, lists, food:  OK, I clicked … but who thinks of these things.  Famous Death Row Last Meals.

movies, The Green Hornet, RedBox:  It was bad, but I must admit i laughed … Thank you RedBox for only costing $1.15 (it has gone up!).

Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father’s large company, teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.

via The Green Hornet (2011) – IMDb.

The Sweetest Thing, bookshelf Elizabeth Musser:  Loving it so far …

 

10
Jun
11

6.10.2011 … ‎… and the movie was … The Help … I liked the movie MUCH better than the book. Emma Stone was Skeeter … she was also very good as Wichita in Zombieland, a recent Teague favorite. Thank you, Joni for including me as your guest at the sneak preview!

The Help, film/lit, followup:  I liked the movie better than the book … and I will tell you why.  I felt that a white person could not get the voice of a black person correct.  I did not trust the narrator Skeeter.  When you put it in movie form, I trusted the actresses playing the roles of the blacks and the whites.  Go see the movie when it comes out in August.  It will bring up a lot of good conversation.  Oh, and I found this blog post interesting –  It’s okay not to like The Help « A Critical Review of the novel The Help.  I find myself feeling guilty or at least defensive for not adoring the book.

My friend and host for the sneak preview had these things to say … ” I loved it too! It is interesting how many different slants there are in the story and what a good job the movie did with all of them – growing into an adult, changing social mores, being black and white in the sixties south, women and social power, intimidation as a way of reinforcing the status quo, early feminism. Ten people could see it and take away 10 different “big ideas”. I think it will be a big hit… ”

We often acknowledge and argue that our perspectives are different, but I respect her opinion and I agree … I think it will be a big hit.

Three Cups of Tea, bookshelf:  ‎… and I did finally finish Three Cups of Tea!    I enjoyed it very much despite the controversy.

Here are several reasons I like and recommend the book:

1.  epigrams:  The authors do a great job of using epigrams (a quotation set at the beginning of a literary work or one of its divisions to suggest its theme) to reveal their themes.

2. title:  I liked the title and thought it perfect for an understanding of Mortenson’s journey ..

The title “Three Cups of Tea” refers to the way business is done in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The first time you have tea with someone, you are a stranger. Then the second time you are a friend, and the third time you are family (150; ch. 12). This is very important to the story, because Greg feels that he is at home in Asia, so it is his responsibility to build schools for them.

via Adam’s English 10 Blog: Three Cups of Tea Top 10 List.

3. quotes:

“Educate a boy, and your educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.”

— African proverb, quoted by Greg Mortensen in Three Cups of Tea

“Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities, but the girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they’ve learned.”

— Greg Mortensen, Three Cups of Tea

“You can hand out condoms, drop bombs, build roads, or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated a society won’t change.”

— Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea

“I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.”

— Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea

via Good quotes from three cups of tea? 10 points best answer!!2? – Yahoo! Answers.

The Sweetest Thing, Elizabeth Musser, bookshelf: … now to read Elizabeth Musser’s new book The Sweetest Thing!

The Swimming Hole, Davidson NC, places, Davidson College, memory lane:  What a great place … nothing snooty about it … we were members for 6 years!  Happy 50th!  And of course, one of my all time favorite stories as a Davidson College student is of two friends getting arrested for skinny dipping … actually underwear dipping … after hours … along with a professor who had climbed the fence too to talk with them.  They all three had to go to court!

Back in 1960 or even before, Ed and Carol White were visiting friends out of state and heard about their community swimming pool.  Back in Davidson, Ed and Carol gathered Shaw Smith, Bill Ward and Bob Currie in their living room to discuss the possibility of having a community pool in Davidson.  Carol White remembers suggesting the name, “The Swimming Hole,” so people would not think they “were being uppity.”

The pool opened in 1961.  Ed and Carol White’s daughter, Susan, was an early life guard.  Reading the following “pool notes,” it is clear that a group of energetic citizens made the pool a reality … but just who they were and where they met to make this momentous decision?  Like so many events 50 years ago, there seems to be some embellishment of the facts and quite a bit of disagreement about whose living room, den or deck provided space for these early discussions.  No amount of phone calls could shed light on the land purchase (probably from the college), how it was initially financed, or when the construction began.  And just who is Agnes Kuentzel?  Do let us know – but in the meantime, smile and read on…

via The Swimming Hole at 50, and the Class of ’61 | DavidsonNews.net.

Amelie’s, restaurants, the law, trade dress:  One of my favorite places … and from a legal perspective, “trade dress” is an interesting concept. Thank you, NB, for introducing me to Amelie’s.

Fans of Amelie’s, the bakery and hip hangout open 24-7 in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood, have always touted its idiosyncrasies: eclectic décor (those striped walls! those zany light fixtures!) and distinctive offerings (those layered tortes! that salted caramel brownie!).

Now its owners are suing a Florida bakery that opened as an Amelie’s, in partnership with the Charlotte people – but has since renamed itself Sophie’s. The question is: What makes Amelie’s Amelie’s?

Trademarks, trade secrets and something called “trade dress” – essentially the look of a place – are at hand.

Here’s what’s undisputed from both sides: Todd and Carole Binkowski were longtime Amelie’s fans when they lived in Charlotte. When the couple moved to Tampa, they and the Amelie’s owners – Lynn St. Laurent, Bill Lamb and Brenda Ische – agreed to go into partnership to see if an Amelie’s could work in the Hyde Park neighborhood there. People from Amelie’s worked on the new space’s look and food, and it opened in late February.

Then versions diverge.

The Amelie’s owners’ suit says the Binkowskis knew Amelie’s wanted to franchise, while Todd Binkowski said the goal was only to “prove” the business model, and that he did not expect to be treated like a franchisee.

via What makes Amelie’s Amelie’s? | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Heat Burst, weird, weather, random:  Never heard of this one ….

WICHITA, Kansas — Last night Wichita experienced a very rare weather phenomenon known as a “Heat Burst.” At 12:22 a.m. the temperature at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport was 85 degrees. At 12:44 the temperature spiked to 102 degrees. This was a 17 degree increase in only 20 minutes. Winds also gusted between 50 and 60 MPH. The heat burst winds and temperatures rapidly dissipated as they spread across Sedgwick and Southern Butler Counties.

A heat burst is caused when rain falls into very dry air, high up in the atmosphere. The rain quickly evaporates as it falls through the dry parcel of air and that parcel cools rapidly. This dense mass falls rapidly toward the ground, heating up as it compresses. When this hot ball of air hits the ground it spreads out in every direction creating very strong, warm and dry winds.

About an hour before the heat burst, wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour battered the Wichita metro area. This was due to outflow winds from severe weather south of the city, and not related to the heat burst.

via Wichita experiences rare ‘heat burst’ overnight – KSN TV, Kansas News and Weather.

Leonard Stern, Mad Libs, RIP:  I never knew who created them, or even thought about them, but I loved them as a kid and my daughter still gives her brother one for Christmas every year.

Leonard Stern — a prolific television writer, producer and director — died Tuesday at age 88. Among his credits: a writer for The Honeymooners, Get Smart and McMillan and Wife — to name a few. Yet, his most enduring contribution may not be found in punch lines for the small screen — but rather in blank spaces. Stern co-created the popular word game Mad Libs with fellow comedy writer Roger Price in 1958. At the time of the game’s 50th anniversary, more than 110 million copies reportedly had been sold. Melissa Block and Michele Norris remember Leonard Stern.

via ‘Mad Libs’ Co-Creator Dies at 88 : NPR.

18
May
11

‎5.18.2011 … Having the gutters ripped off your house is a strange and noisy process … and one of those maintenance things that gives you absolutely no pleasure.

Elizabeth Musser, Sweetest Thing, bookshelf, kith/kin:  So excited, my preview copy of Sweetest Thing came yesterday. Its author is childhood friend Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser. Sweetest Thing is set in the 30s. I have loved her earlier historical novels set in Atlanta … can’t wait to start this one.

Elizabeth Musser, Bestselling Author- Entertainment With a Soul.

 adventures, college, kith/kin:  One of my kith children Liza is on this summer’s VOR.  What a great experience … You go, Ninja Girl!

Voice of the Rivers (VOR) is an expedition-based program focused on the interdisciplinary study of a river from its source to its end. Student team members paddle the river and earn six hours of college credit while taking two academic courses and interacting with a variety of leaders and program managers that support the river, media organizations and conservation groups. This summer Brevard College is once again sponsoring the Voice of the Rivers program. From May 15th-June 2nd thirteen Brevard College students and two faculty members will follow the Rappahannock River from the Blue Ridge Mountains near Front Royal, Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay at Deltaville, Virginia. The VOR Team will travel approximately 184 miles by foot, canoe and sea-kayak with primitive camping each night. VOR students—whose majors include Art, Religious Studies, Environmental Science, Exercise Science, Psychology, Business and Organizational Leadership and Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education—will post daily journal entries, photos and videos of their travels and experiences online using Facebook, blogs and the Brevard College Web site.

via Voice of the Rivers 2011.

Georgia politics, kith/kin:  Thankfully my brother turned this down … but man it is a good deal if you have it … I know my husband has earned it from his extensive work travel.

And you were wondering why — unlike you — certain Georgia lawmakers have a smile on their faces when headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

via Your morning jolt: Delta gives upgrades to Casey Cagle, state lawmakers | Political Insider.

travel, transportation, US, kith/kin:  My kith daughters have taken if from DC to Charlotte and it is cheap and OK.  I hope it does not undermine enhanced rail in the US.

BUSINESSWEEK published a big feature earlier this month on the express buses that are taking over city-to-city routes all over America. The bus, apparently, is now America’s fastest-growing way to travel, and you can thank BoltBus, Megabus, and their progenitors—express Chinatown buses like Fung Wah—for the change. Fung Wah and its contemporaries made revolutionary innovations in the bus business. They seem obvious in retrospect, as revolutionary innovations often do: curb-side pickup, express service between big cities, and super-cheap fares that you can buy online. To that, corporate successors like Bolt and Mega added more comfortable seats, cleaner buses, mobile apps, and WiFi. A new way to travel was born.

The problem, as Businessweek’s Ben Austen decribes it, is that express buses have so changed “the way Americans—especially the young—travel” that “they may help kill plans for new railroads.”

via Express buses: Is there a “Megabus effect?” | The Economist.

Charlotte Zoo, Charlotte, Davidson, Davidson College:  Davidson is the name of a turtle donated to the traveling zoo exhibit … Did you know Charlotte is trying to get a zoo?

Turtle

The organizers of the planned Charlotte Zoological Park (CZP) have big ideas about building a high-quality facility where the public can view and learn to appreciate creatures of the wild.

A first step in their plan is a mobile zoo of a few “ambassador animals” who will make educational sorties to area schools and civic groups.

And one of the first ambassadors selected for this duty is an eastern box turtle named “Davidson.”…

CZP is now hoping the college can help acquire other herpetological species for its educational program, including a corn snake and softshell turtle.

CZP is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 dedicated to the mission of creating a world-class zoological facility in the Charlotte. The group intends to educate, entertain and inspire people by bringing them face-to-face with wildlife and providing opportunities to participate in animal and habitat conservation.

via “Davidson” the Turtle Will Serve as Public Ambassador for Planned Charlotte Zoological Park

labyrinth, history, health, facts, random:   OK, I am on a labyrinth kick … I wish I had started this movement in the US … it is really a good thing.

What Is A Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are ancient human symbols known to go back at least 3500 years and probably much older. They appeared on most inhabited continents in prehistory, with examples known from North & South America, Africa, Asia and across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. The labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the twelfth & thirteenth centuries. The most famous extant design is the example in the nave floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres outside of Paris. This labyrinth was built of honey colored limestone with marble lines around the year 1200 and is now over 800 years old.

Why Do We Walk Labyrinths?

A labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking meditation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. There are no tricks, choices or dead ends in a labyrinth walk. The same path is used to return to the outside. Combining a number of even older symbols, including the circle, spiral and meander, the labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back out into the everyday world.

Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity (creative, intuitive, imaginative), and can induce or enhance a contemplative or meditative state of mind. It is a tool which can clear the mind, calm our anxieties during periods of transition and stress, guide healing, deepen self-knowledge, enhance creativity, allow for reconciliation, restore feelings of belonging to a community, and lead to personal and spiritual growth.

For many walkers the labyrinth becomes a metaphor for the journey of life: although full of twists and turns, each of us is on a single path through his or her life, and yet each person’s journey is a separate and distinct qualitative experience. In walking labyrinths, modern seekers are emulating and recapturing the pilgrimage tradition of many ancient faiths.

via The Labyrinth Company.

Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute by Dr. Herbert Benson has found that focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson calls the ‘relaxation response’. This effect has significant long-term health benefits, including lower blood pressure and breathing rates, reduced incidents of chronic pain, reduction of insomnia, improved fertility, and many other benefits. Regular meditative practice leads to greater powers of concentration and a sense of control and efficiency in one’s life. Labyrinth walking is among the simplest forms of focused walking meditation, and the demonstrated health benefits have led hundreds of hospitals, health care facilities, and spas to install labyrinths in recent years.

via The Labyrinth Company.

  Sister Margaret, our leader and coordinator shared that the labyrinth can be a representation of one’s life path to the “center,” whatever that center means to a person.  We so often look “up” for the Divine, but the labyrinth teaches us that our path with God is horizontal, and each step is really an opportunity to be in the center in that present moment.  In the labyrinth, there are no dead ends, so one can truly focus on each step rather than looking ahead to plan which turn to take. The path of the labyrinth, like the path of life, does wind and change direction but our purpose is to keep walking it with faith.

via Lessons from the Labyrinth « Yogiclarebear’s Blog.

google doodles, internet traffic:  Found this very interesting.  I for one always research the ones I do not know … and the ones I really like. I good example is the one below … May 9, 2011 – Roger Hargreaves (Wikipedia page is the first result).  I of course had to immediately look it up … I had never heard of Roger Hargreaves.

As far as I know, you can’t convince Google to create a Doodle for you. However, should you get lucky, you better be ready to turn on the bandwidth. All hail the Doodle.

via How Much Traffic Does a Google Doodle Drive? The Data Says, A Ton – Steve Rubel.

Blackbeard, pirates, history, North Carolina, kith/kin:  I love pirates … We teased ET that he was Blackbeard’s child … since his real name was EDward Teach …

The work to retrieve an anchor from the wreck of what is believed to be the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship will begin Thursday off the North Carolina coast, but what’s underneath that artifact is just as interesting to researchers.

The anchor is the second-largest item on the site of what’s believed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge, outsized only by another anchor, project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing said Wednesday. It’s about 13 feet long with arms that are 8 feet across. The other anchor is about 7 inches longer.

The largest exhibit of the shipwreck’s artifacts will be shown starting June 11 at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

In 1717, Blackbeard captured a French slave ship and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard, whose real name was widely believed to be Edward Teach or Thatch, settled in Bath and received a governor’s pardon. Some experts believe he grew bored with land life and returned to piracy.

He was killed by volunteers from the Royal Navy in November 1718 – five months after the ship thought to be Queen Anne’s Revenge sank.

via Blackbeard’s anchor subject of dive off NC coast | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

google, google searches, recipes:  I, too, have searched for banana bread!

Chicken, lasagna, meatloaf and banana bread recipes were also sought after. (Why banana bread? Could there have been a surfeit of bananas browning on kitchen counters the world over?)

via Google’s Most Wanted Recipes – NYTimes.com.

photos, Facebook, technology:  I have been planning to make several book s for years … now they are going to do it for me!

This week, I tested an effort by photo-sharing sites to win back users’ attention: by importing photos from none other than Facebook, itself. With your permission, these sites access your Facebook page’s photos, as well as the pages of any friends who share their Facebook photos with you, and use these images to make photo albums—for online or for the coffee table.

I tested Shutterfly Inc.’s new Custom Path for making photo books, which produced a handsome book but didn’t link as smoothly as it should with Facebook. I also tried a beautiful new website called ZangZing that grabs and organizes images from a variety of social networks to create digital albums.

via Photo Books From Facebook, Shutterfly Zing Zang and Custom Path Review | Katherine Boehret | The Digital Solution | AllThingsD.

Meck-Dec Day, anniversaries:

This Friday, May 20th marks the 236 anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, known locally as the Meck Dec. Check out the public library’s page for some history and background.

Davidson, town and college, did not exist until the 62nd anniversary in 1837, but students and townspeople were soon joining the celebrations, either by traveling to Charlotte or hosting events on campus.

via The Davidson College Archives & Special Collections blog — Around the D.

16
Mar
11

3.16.2011 …. Just a normal day … kinda nice …

bookshelf, kith/kin, Westminster, Atlanta: Childhood friend Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser has a new book coming out in June … set in Atlanta in the 1930s … can’t wait.  Click on the link and you can read a few pages …

The Sweetest Thing

Coming in June, 2011

via The Sweetest Thing.

Civil War, history:  This has always bothered me … interesting article.

The Jeffersons, going back to the patriarch, embodied all the contradictions of Upper South slaveholders. The author of the Declaration of Independence was also a founding father of procrastination on slavery. At times Jefferson seemed a determined proponent of abolition. He termed slavery an “assemblage of horrors.” He called “nothing … more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be freed.” Otherwise, he feared that “his people” would free themselves in a slave revolt. He thus winced that “if something is not done, and done soon, we shall be the murderers of our own children.”

But he found emancipating slaves without removing freedmen from the country even more frightening than risking black insurrectionists. In his climactic proposal to effect safe emancipation, presented in 1824, Jefferson suggested a constitutional amendment authorizing the use of profits from federal land sales to free slaves born in the future — and then deport them. But he never urged this plan of delayed emancipation publicly, and he privately shuddered that “we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, or safely let him go.”

via What Would Thomas Jefferson Do About Secession? – NYTimes.com.

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, pets: How they survived …

When the tsunami warnings sounded after the massive earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, Masaki Kikuchi sprinted upstairs to grab his sleeping 12-year-old daughter before racing away to escape the rushing waters.

In the backyard tied to a small shed, Mr. Kikuchi left behind two dogs: Towa, a two-year-old Sheltie and Melody, a one-year-old Golden Retriever. Mr. Kikuchi assumed the giant tsunami that flattened his neighbors’ homes and whisked away their cars probably killed Towa and Melody too.

When he finally got to the house, sidestepping a car that had shifted to block the entrance to the driveway, he could hear the barking.

“I was happy to see them because I had felt badly about leaving them behind,” said Mr. Kikuchi. He gave them water, food and brought them inside after cleaning them up.

via Two Dogs Defy the Wave – WSJ.com.

social media, twitter, advertising: Separating your business life and personal life can be very tricky …

SOCIAL media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been embraced by Madison Avenue as effective new ways to reach consumers. But what happens when behavior on social media is deemed antisocial?

Two large marketers, Aflac and the Chrysler Group, are struggling to answer that uncomfortable question in the wake of incidents that took place within days of each other. The incidents, involving remarks on Twitter that were judged to be tasteless, inappropriate and insensitive, point out some inherent risks of social media.

One challenge is the “amplified effect” of social media, said Ian Schafer, chief executive at Deep Focus, a digital agency in New York, citing how, on Twitter, “you put something out and it can be retweeted thousands of times.”

“It’s an age when anybody can communicate to an audience,” he added. “It didn’t used to be that way.”

The relative newness of that phenomenon, said George E. Belch, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, means “there are people in your company who forget when they post on a blog, on Twitter, on a Facebook page, that it’s out there — and it’s out there at warp speed.”

via Aflac and Chrysler, Turning to Social Media, Hit Trouble – NYTimes.com.

changes, technology:  Funny. I still like to get a person’s card … just something tangible about it, real, not virtual ….

SXSW attracts distinct, and diverse, tribes. With some, my card is indeed a stamp of authenticity. In others, a mark of a time passed. When I’ve met journalists or designers, the business card is still the default. Some cards are plain; others speak to their holders’ personalities through odd trim sizes, quirky color schemes, or clever word play. But in the startup circles I’ve come across, the business card is the badge of the outsider. I had a lovely conversation with two young entrepreneurs from New York and when it was time to part ways, I used that old line: “Here, let me give you my card.” They both paused, looking unsure about whether or not I was serious. Then I saw the understanding wash over them. I was speaking a forgotten language. A business card. How precious. One kindly accepted it anyway. The other craned his neck to copy my email address into his Hashable account and instantly sent me his virtual business card instead. With that small paper rectangle, I’d outed myself as a square.

via The Business Card Is Dead, Long Live the Business Card – Susy Jackson – Our Editors – Harvard Business Review.

24
Jan
11

1.24.2011 … coffee with friends then ChristCare where we will discuss I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner

ChristCare, curriculum:  I Am The Good Shepherd  by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html

random, Mark Twain:  New autobiography revives careers for Mark Twain impersonators.  But you have to have the mustache!  Mark Twain Impersonators Gain Popularity – NYTimes.com.

literature, southern literature, Elizabeth Musser, Atlanta:  I am a little miffed they left out our own Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser … given the setting for the photo shoot. Do you think it is because of the genre she writes .. Christian historical fiction …

Is there a book club in America that hasn’t yet thrilled to The Help? Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel has lasted some 22 months on the New York Times hardcover fiction list—and will soon be a DreamWorks movie. “Kitty” Stockett far right, in fact, is leading a new wave of southern female writers who might look like belles but who write fearlessly about the region’s troubled legacies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Typically, these women left the South in their 20s, heading for New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But in time they came home. And they’re now turning Atlanta into the most vibrant new literary scene outside of Brooklyn.

via Belles, Books, And Candor | Culture | Vanity Fair.

movies, memorable phrases:

Have we heard the last (truly memorable) word from Hollywood?

Probably not, but it’s been a while since the movies had everybody parroting a great line.

via We’re missing lines that had us at ‘hello’ – CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, random, products, design, Daniel Pink:  Saw this in the Petco flyer last week … maybe it is just me but I think it is LOL hysterical.  But really it is just a ball … with a design element to humor the humans.  So would you pay $12 for the equivalent of a used tennis ball to the dog?  I wonder if this product meets Daniel Pink’s definition of elegant design?  If you don’t know about Daniel Pink … check out the blog post about him which contains an interview.

Amazon.com: Moody Pet Humunga Stache Ball Dog Toy: Patio, Lawn & Garden.

“Design Thinking is solving problems in elegant ways” – Daniel Pink

via Elegant Design For Your Whole New Mind | Life In Perpetual Beta.

technology, culture, Jane Austen, bookshelf:  Another book that will be getting a great deal of commentary!

What I’m against is a kind of technological promiscuity, where that technology, so perfect in that [Abu Dhabi] circumstance, is the technology you think is perfect for people to bring into a board meeting, when they need to be working on a problem together. In that case it’s not the technology of choice. They’re not physically present with the people they need to bond with and deeply connect with, and need to make very consequential decisions with. I hate the metaphor of addiction: it implies we have to get it away, give it away, wean off. This is great stuff. It’s not heroin. It’s just something we need to learn to use when most appropriate, powerful, and in our best interest.

You mention how when people see the little red light on their BlackBerry, indicating a message has arrived, they feel utterly compelled to grab it. Do you personally experience that compulsion?

I recognize it with my email. Somebody said of email, “It’s the place for hope in life.” It reminds me of how in Jane Austen, carriages are always coming, you’re waiting, it could be Mr. Bingley’s invitation to a ball. There’s some sense that the post is always arriving in Jane Austen. There’s something about email that carries the sense that that’s where the good news will come. I did a hysterical interview with an accountant about why he felt so strongly about his texts. He said he might get a Genius award! I said, “I don’t think they give those to accountants.” And he said, “But you know what I mean.” He was trying to express that anything could happen on email. Anything could happen! I try to figure out what it is that this little red light means to people. I think it’s that place for hope and change and the new, and what can be different, and how things can be what they’re not now. And I think we all want that.

via “Alone Together”: An MIT Professor’s New Book Urges Us to Unplug.

women, politics, stereotypes:  A strong American woman is stereotyped a cowgirl … interesting article.

America has no tales of Amazons or of Atalanta; our national narrative does not chronicle the defeat of an armada by a virgin queen nor a teenage Joan leading her army into battle. American history includes no Cleopatras or Hatshepsuts; no Trung Sisters, who defended Vietnam from the Chinese in the first century; and no Catherines, great or otherwise. The mythos of our founding revolves entirely around fathers, save for the seamstress Betsy Ross and the querulous spouse Abigail Adams.

What we do have, to serve as the foundational fantasy of female strength and individualism we’ve agreed upon as embodying American power, are cowgirls: Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, the outlaws, frontier women and pioneers who pushed West, shot sharp, talked tough and sometimes drew blood. Frontier womanhood has emerged as one of the only historically American models of aspirational femininity available to girls — passive princesses and graceful ballerinas not being native to this land — and one of the only blueprints for commanding female comportment in which they are regularly encouraged to invest or to mimic.

via Only Cowgirls Run for Office – NYTimes.com.

blogposts, economy, Great Recession, future, quotes, Mark Twain:  Again, my favorite Presbyterian minister blogger takes two articles I noted and pulls them together to say what I wish I had said … I wish I had his quick mind!  And of course he quotes my favorite … Mark Twain. Thanks, Jim

Mark Twain said it best:

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Religious people know this to be true. I am not referring to resurrection (a dimension of Christian faith, for sure) but to religious belief as a general phenomenon. Belief is a dynamic reality. It impacts attitude, instills confidence, generates hope, impels certain actions. Of these there is not a lot of confidence and hope to be found in the usual portrait of our country’s health these days. If you believe we are dying, die we will. The truth is very different though.

The USA remains a genuine heavyweight. Time to start fighting like one. Fighting, that is, not with anyone, but against despair and resignation.

“It ain’t over till it’s over” and it ain’t over!

via Not dead yet « Hopelens Blog.

blogpost, media, religion, prayers: So my other favorite Presbyterian minister blogger … the younger … nails this one in my opinion.  I will use his prayer this week!  Thanks, Marthame!

There are those who say that the church is in the midst of a historical moment unlike any since the Protestant Reformation. And just as the “new media” of the printing press made Martin Luther possible, our world is being changed daily by new technologies and new ways of communicating. Is it time for the church to, dare I say, “change”?

In some ways, we have been standing by the shore, doing what our ancestors have taught us, faithfully tossing our nets into the sea, pulling in a catch, and doing it all over again. And as uprooting as it might be, maybe we need to listen for that voice of Jesus telling us to leave all that behind.

Time for a Change.

NYC, change, travel:  Maybe I better get there soon!

CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof.It continues: That diner on the corner for decades — closed. The beer garden down the street — now a Starbucks. The block once home to clusters of independent businesses — thriving as a big-box store.

And last month, another piece of the old New York slipped away with the demise of the city’s Off-Track Betting parlors. It’s enough to make old-school New Yorkers bristle.

Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York — the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America — has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable.

“What draws people to New York is its uniqueness. So when something goes, people feel sad about it,” says Suzanne Wasserman, director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York.

“I think that’s also part of the New York character,” she says, “that ‘Things were better when …'”

Change is constant, and few cities change faster than New York. But at what cost? Where is the line between progress and lost distinctiveness?

via As edgy NYC disappears, does its character go too?  | ajc.com.

gardens:  I friend told me about this.  I am putting it on my 2011 calendar for November!  Thanks, Maxwell for the idea.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden

Begin with a container. Plant an array of bulbs in layers now, and flowers will appear at intervals throughout spring. Think of the tiny irises as appetizers to the season, followed by the grape hyacinths. Next, delight in miniature narcissus. Build up to a feast of large daffodils. Then, as the icing on the cake, finish with a topping of violas that bloom from fall through late spring. The best part is that prep time takes less than 30 minutes.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden – SouthernLiving.com.

Norwich England, Great Britain, sense of place, travel, bucket list:  OK, so I loved Norwich from this article.  It seems to have a real sense of place.  I am adding it to my list.  How could you not be intriqued by a place described as a book lovers/writers paradise  and this ““I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.””

Norwich, a two-hour train ride northeast from London, has increasingly become a refuge for writers fleeing the hectic pace of the capital’s publishing scene. At first glance it appears to be just another charming medieval town, with a fantastically preserved castle and a 900-year-old cathedral. But look a little deeper and you’ll notice the wellspring of author readings and literary festivals, featuring recent talks by Booker Prize winners like John Banville and Penelope Lively.

The comfy cafes within the town’s narrow old lanes are full of aspiring writers pecking away at laptops, dreaming of becoming the next Ian McEwan or Kazuo Ishiguro, both of whom got their start here at the University of East Anglia’s esteemed creative writing master’s program.

Mr. Ishiguro was so struck by Norwich and its surrounding county that he used it as inspiration for his 2005 novel “Never Let Me Go” (though the book was actually set in East Sussex, the 2010 movie adaptation was largely filmed in Norfolk County, home to Norwich). “I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.”

via Norwich, England, a Book-Lover’s Town – NYTimes.com.

green:  I knew it was coming.  Duke Power is giving customers a dozen bulbs for free.  I am interested to see if they really cut my bill.

The brightest bulb in most homes for more than a century is fading toward darkness this year as California turns out the light on the century-old incandescent.

Beginning Jan. 1, the state began phasing out certain energy-sucking bulbs, federal standards the rest of the country will enact next year.

Manufacturers will no longer make the traditional 100-watt bulb and stores will eventually sell out of current supplies. Consumers will have to choose from more efficient bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs.

“These standards will help cut our nation’s electric bill by over $10 billion a year and will save the equivalent electricity as 30 large power plants,” said Noah Horowitz a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That translates into a whole lot less global warming pollution being emitted.”

The change is part of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act that President George Bush signed in 2007, to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. California was allowed to adopt the national standard one year earlier.

via It’s lights out for the incandescent bulb in Calif  | ajc.com.

branding, advertising, Starbucks: just interesting …

The rise of the affluent society has left people with lots of time and talent to spare, Mr Shirky argues. For decades they squandered this cognitive surplus watching television. Today, thanks to the internet, they can also channel it into more productive pursuits.

For a surprising number of people these productive pursuits involve worrying about companies’ logos. Howard Schultz, the boss of Starbucks, recently announced that his company would mark its 40th anniversary this March by changing its logo a bit. The words “Starbucks” and “coffee” will disappear. And the mermaid, or siren, will be freed from her circle.

Starbucks wants to join the small club of companies that are so recognisable they can rely on nothing but a symbol: Nike and its swoosh; McDonald’s and its golden arches; Playboy and its bunny; Apple and its apple. The danger is that it will join the much larger class of companies that have tried to change their logos only to be forced to backtrack by an electronic lynch mob.

via Schumpeter: Logoland | The Economist.

quotes, Reynolds Price, RIP:  Given his recent death, I think  a quote from Reynolds Price is appropriate.

“… what I still ask for daily – for life as long as I have work to do, and work as long as I have life.” — Reynolds Price, A Whole New Life

In A Whole New Life, however, he steps from behind that roster of achievements to present us with a more personal story, a narrative as intimate and compelling as any work of the imagination. In 1984, a large cancer was discovered in his spinal cord (“The tumor was pencil-thick and gray-colored, ten inches long from my neck-hair downward”). Here, for the first time, Price recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction (one American in three will experience some from of cancer). He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and the radiation that temporarily arrests it (but hurries his loss of control of his lower body); the occasionally comic trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; two further radical surgeries; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; an eventual discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life. Beyond the particulars of pain and mortal illness, larger concerns surface here — a determination to get on with the human interaction that is so much a part of this writer’s much-loved work, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, the return to his prolific work, and the “now appalling, now astonishing grace of God.” A Whole New Life offers more than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation; it offers honest insight, realistic encouragement and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or who know someone who does or will.

via A whole new life – Google Books.

green, design, wildlife:  Special provisions for the bears cougars, bobcats, elk and deer …

At a picturesque spot in the mountains near the ski resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, Colo., two streams of traffic converge: people driving east and west on Interstate 70, and animals — black bears, cougars, bobcats, elk and deer — headed north and south to feed and mate. When they collide, the animal is almost always killed and the vehicle badly damaged, even if the driver is lucky enough to escape injury.

The obvious solution is a bridge or a tunnel for the animals, but how do you build one they will use?

via Contest Seeks to Avert Collisions With Animals on I-70 in Colorado – NYTimes.com.

politics, GA politics, David Ralston-GA House Speaker, really stupid:  Since I often comment on the really stupid things we do in our youth, why is it that our politicians are the next group of people who do really stupid things?

House Speaker David Ralston and his family spent part of Thanksgiving week in Europe on a $17,000 economic development mission paid for by lobbyists interested in building a high-speed train line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Commonwealth Research Associates, a D.C.-based consulting firm, paid for the trip, which also included Ralston’s chief of staff Spiro Amburn and his spouse, to Germany and the Netherlands the week of Nov. 21-27, according to records filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.

The trip was the most expensive single expenditure reported by a lobbyist since at least 2005.

via Ralston, staff and families took $17,000 lobbyist-funded trip to Germany  | ajc.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, The Supreme Court, Separation of Powers:  Haven’t decided what I think of this other than I would like to be there.  Do you have an opinion?  Is this appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, described just last week by a Washington law professor as “the first real celebrity justice” for his controversial public pronouncements, will come to Capitol Hill on Monday to lecture about constitutional law to some earnest members of the House of Representatives. He was invited to do so by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party activist in Congress, as part of her effort to educate lawmakers about the nation’s founding legal documents.

Although Justice Scalia has been criticized in some quarters for accepting the invitation, it is not unreasonable of him to consider the opportunity to speak face-to-face with his interbranch partners as a rare and welcome one. And although many observers see the effort as a partisan ploy between and among conservative ideologues, there are plenty of nonpartisan things Professor Scalia can lecture about. For example:

via Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan.

South Africa:  11 official languages is very difficult … interesting to watch how this is resolved.

UNDER the 1996 constitution, all 11 of South Africa’s official languages “must enjoy parity of esteem and be treated equitably”. In practice English, the mother tongue of just 8% of the people, increasingly dominates all the others. Its hegemony may even threaten the long-term survival of the country’s African languages, spoken as the mother tongue of 80% of South Africans, despite the government’s repeated promises to promote and protect indigenous languages and culture.

Under apartheid, there were just two official languages, English and Afrikaans, a variant of Dutch with a dash of French, German, Khoisan (spoken by so-called Bushmen and Hottentots), Malay and Portuguese. Pre-colonial African languages were relegated to the black townships and tribal “homelands”. Even there, English was often chosen as the medium of education in preference to the inhabitants’ mother tongues. Black South Africans increasingly rejected Afrikaans as the language of the main oppressor; English was a symbol of advancement and prestige.

Today, 16 years after the advent of black-majority rule, English reigns supreme. Not only is it the medium of business, finance, science and the internet, but also of government, education, broadcasting, the press, advertising, street signs, consumer products and the music industry. For such things Afrikaans is also occasionally used, especially in the Western Cape province, but almost never an African tongue. The country’s Zulu-speaking president, Jacob Zuma, makes all his speeches in English. Parliamentary debates are in English. Even the instructions on bottles of prescription drugs come only in English or Afrikaans.

via South Africa’s languages: Tongues under threat | The Economist.

followup, Keith Olbermann, media:  Seems there is a lot behind the curtains …

One NBC News executive said on Sunday: “Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.”

via Years of Strife Caught Up With Olbermann at MSNBC – NYTimes.com.

 




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