Posts Tagged ‘Emotional Intelligence

20
Jan
19

1.20.19 … “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, Poetry, RIP, NPR: I will miss her words.

Much-loved poet Mary Oliver died Thursday of lymphoma, at her home in Florida. She was 83. Oliver won many awards for her poems, which often explore the link between nature and the spiritual world; she also won a legion of loyal readers who found both solace and joy in her work.

Oliver got a lot of her ideas for poems during long walks — a habit she developed as a kid growing up in rural Ohio. It was not a happy childhood: She said she was sexually abused and suffered from parental neglect. But as she told NPR in 2012, she found refuge in two great passions that lasted her entire life.

She said, “The two things I loved from a very early age were the natural world and dead poets, [who] were my pals when I was a kid.”

Source: Mary Oliver, Who Believed Poetry ‘Mustn’t Be Fancy,’ Dies At 83 : NPR, https://www.npr.org/2019/01/17/577380646/beloved-poet-mary-oliver-who-believed-poetry-mustn-t-be-fancy-dies-at-83

I have loved reading friends’ favorite Mary Oliver poems that many have posted on Facebook since her death was announced 1.17.

Here is a favorite of mine:

“Morning Poem”:

Every morning

the world

is created.

Under the orange

sticks of the sun

the heaped

ashes of the night

turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches—

and the ponds appear

like black cloth

on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination

alighting everywhere.

And if your spirit

carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead—

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging—

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth

is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies

is a prayer heard and answered

lavishly,

every morning,

whether or not

you have ever dared to be happy,

whether or not

you have ever dared to pray.

And a few from others …

“The Summer Day”:

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Dog Songs”:

You may not agree, you may not care, but

if you are holding this book you should know that of all the sights I love in this world — and there are plenty — very near the top of the list is this one: dogs without leashes.

“The Journey”:

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Painting by Leonid Afremov

via Holland UCC


Meaning of Joy, Katelyn Ohashi, Steph Curry, gymnastics:

Even the  WSJ was impressed!  (And a shout out to Steph to boot!)

An amazing college gymnastics performance by @katelyn_ohashi becomes a viral video because it radiates human joy, writes @jasongay.

This is go­ing to sound pre­ten­tious, but what­ever: I think Ohashi’s rou­tine is a ra­di­ant ex­pres­sion of what it means for a hu­man be­ing to be very, very good at some­thing—and to want to share that with every­one. She projects a con­fi­dence that only great per­form­ers project, whether Olympic cham­pi­ons or con­cert pi­anists, that every eye is upon them. In­stead of shirk­ing from that, in­stead of get­ting rat­tled, Ohashi rushes to­ward the mo­ment. The mo­ment be­comes her.

These in­stances are rare, but they’re re­ally the rea­son why we watch sports, aren’t they? Sure, we come up with all kinds of ra­tio­nal­iza-tions for our sports ob­ses­sions—tra­di­tion, re­gional loy­al­ties, very bad bets on the Min­nesota Vikings—but what truly keeps the au­di­ence com­ing back is the chance that every once in a while, you’ll see a ra­di­ant ex­pres­sion of hu­man great­ness and joy. An Odell Beck­ham Jr. one-handed grab. A Patrick Ma­homes sidearm touch­down pass. Mikaela Shiffrin crush­ing a turn in the gi­ant slalom (Shiffrin’s ab­so­lutely ba­nanas World Cup sea­son is the most un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated sports story of the mo­ment.) A Roger Fed­erer one-handed back­hand down the line. Pretty much every­thing Steph Curry does. Ditto Si­mone Biles.

Student teacher relationships, emotional intelligence: I am forever grateful for teachers I had at E. Rivers Elementary School, Westminster, Davidson College and UGA Law. Those I had relationships stand out. Those I loved I will never forget.

“That unplanned moment illustrated for me the connection between emotional relationships and learning. We used to have this top-down notion that reason was on a teeter-totter with emotion. If you wanted to be rational and think well, you had to suppress those primitive gremlins, the emotions. Teaching consisted of dispassionately downloading knowledge into students’ brains.

Then work by cognitive scientists like Antonio Damasio showed us that emotion is not the opposite of reason; it’s essential to reason. Emotions assign value to things. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t make good decisions.”

Source: Opinion | Students Learn From People They Love – The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opinion/learning-emotion-education.html

TMBS, aging, ageism, happiness is a choice, kith/kin:

I gain something wonderful every week at TMBS. This week, it was the insight from this article…The Joy of Being a Woman in Her 70s … I want to be described like this in 15 years!

The only constant in our lives is change. But if we are growing in wisdom and empathy, we can take the long view. We’ve lived through seven decades of our country’s history, from Truman to Trump. I knew my great-grandmother, and if I live long enough, will meet my great-grandchildren. I will have known seven generations of family. I see where I belong in a long line of Scotch-Irish ancestors. I am alive today only because thousands of generations of resilient homo sapiens managed to procreate and raise their children. I come from, we all come from, resilient stock, or we wouldn’t be here.

By the time we are 70, we have all had more tragedy and more bliss in our lives than we could have foreseen. If we are wise, we realize that we are but one drop in the great river we call life and that it has been a miracle and a privilege to be alive.

Source: NYTimes: The Joy of Being a Woman in Her 70s, https://nyti.ms/2RIcnnk?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Silence, Be Still, Sanctuary for God’s Presence, Paul Bane, Patheos: Great ideas to ponder!

Silence is the sanctuary for God’s presence residing in the depths and recesses of our heart.  In the solitude and quiet, we seek and discover the love of Christ dwelling with us. In the silence, we become still to hear God speaking life to us. Be still and know I am God.

The silence lifts us beyond our internal and external thoughts, and we discover the inward voice of God telling us that we are loved.You and I are daughters, sons and joint heirs of His divine kingdom. Silence is the sanctuary for God’s presence where we discover His unconditional love and never-ending hope for our life.

Source: Silence is the Sanctuary for God’s Presence | Paul Bane, https://www.patheos.com/blogs/mindfulchristianitytoday/2018/08/silence-is-the-sanctuary-for-gods-presence/

1.17.19

The Smithsonian, portraits, Henrietta Lacks, medical miracles – CNN, HeLa cells: I have been fascinated with the story of Henrietta lacks since my oldest son recommended that I read the book outlining her story. I was thrilled to see that she now has a portrait at the Smithsonian. This is old news from May 2018. I need to plan a visit to DC.

This week, the Smithsonian unveiled a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black tobacco farmer who ended up changing the world. Her cells have allowed for advances in cancer treatment, AIDS research, cloning, stem-cell studies and so much more. They traveled to the moon to test the effects of zero gravity, and scientists have sold and purchased them by the billions.

Source: The Smithsonian unveils a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black farmer whose cells led to medical miracles – CNN,

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/health/henrietta-lacks-portrait-smithsonian-tmd/index.html

1.17.19

“Who Will Write Our History“, Holocaust, Auerbach:

Nobility is a luxury for people imprisoned in a way station to annihilation, and the film does include expressions of futility, despair, and outrage at the conduct of fellow Jews. Auerbach worked in a soup kitchen that, some argued, just postponed rather than averted starvation. Another point of debate the archive documents is the proper attitude toward others’s suffering: Is callousness an expression of weakness or strength? 

The writings that were buried under the ghetto, soon to be burned to the ground by German troops, offer as many viewpoints as the people who contributed their words to the project. Together, though, they constitute what one historian calls “one great accusation.”

Queen Victoria, History Extra, funerals: Interesting if you enjoy history …

When Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 on 22 January 1901, it took her family, court and subjects by surprise – very few had been able to contemplate the mortality of the monarch who had ruled over Britain and its empire for almost 64 years. Her death marked the end of the Victorian era. Here, Stewart Richards considers Queen Victoria’s final moments, the chaotic preparations for her state funeral on 2 February 1901, and the secret items placed inside her coffin…

Source: The bizarre funeral of Queen Victoria: how, when and where did she die? – History Extra, https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/queen-victoria-death-funeral-mask-cause/

Westminster Abbey’s Hidden Gallery, Westminster Abbey, London:

They say good things come to those who wait. But if you’ve been waiting to get a glimpse inside Westminster Abbey’s old triforium, you’ve missed a hefty chunk of human history in the process: 700 years, in fact! Luckily, your wait is over, as the hidden gallery opened for public viewing this summer – for the first time since it was built, way back in the 13th century. Patience is a virtue, you know…

Photo: @theattinghamtrust

For many years, the triforium was essentially Westminster’s attic, used as storage space or as a spillover viewing gallery for coronations (one ticket, found during the renovation and now part of the display, was from the 1702 coronation of Queen Anne). It even served as the BBC’s outpost during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, as Richard Dimbleby narrated the affair to a captive TV audience.

Source: Westminster Abbey’s Hidden Gallery: Inside The 700-Year Old Triforium, https://secretldn.com/westminster-abbey-hidden-gallery/

1.14.19

Outer Banks wild horses, RIP, Roamer, tourism ads, Charlotte Observer:

A wild mustang known around the world for being featured prominently in Outer Banks tourism materials has died at the height of his stardom.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced Monday that Roamer, a 15-year-old stallion, died Saturday, just 24 hours after being diagnosed with a tear in his GI tract that led to sepsis.

“People out there know who Roamer is, but may not realize it,” said Meg Puckett, the herd manager for the Corolla wild horses.

He was sort of a legend, on the cover of the tourism fliers and even on billboards. He was an ambassador for the horses.”

Roamer was among the oldest of the herd of nearly 100 horses, and also one of those who could not be easily tamed. He frequently refused to stay fenced into the area reserved for wild horses, and took off to wander among the tourists, Puckett says.

Herd managers eventually had to relocate him to a rehabilitation site operated by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, out of fear he would be hit by an off-road vehicle.

“That’s how he got his name, Roamer,” Puckett said. “He eventually became part of our ‘Meet a Mustang’ program (at the rehab site), which lets people have a more intimate experience meeting the horses.”

Source: Outer Banks wild horse featured in tourism ads dies | Charlotte Observer, 
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article224515940.html

Rich’s, Department Stores, Atlanta GA, Southern Childhood, Southern Living: I loved both Rich’s and Davison’s in Atlanta. My grandmother was a Chin buyer for Davison’s, but I have more memories of Rich’s.

Rich’s

VIA THE GEORGIA TRUST

Atlanta, Georgia

Rich’s, opened in 1867 by Morris Rich, was Atlanta’s premiere department store for all things fashionable and classic. At Christmas, shoppers anticipated the extravagant holiday decorations and gigantic Christmas tree that was displayed on top of a multi-level glass bridge, which was the first of its kind in the city. Eventually, Rich’s fashion show in Atlanta got so big it had to be moved to the Fox Theatre, as its customers were so anxious for a glimpse of next season’s clothes. After 138 years, Rich’s (known then as Rich’s-Macy’s due to its earlier acquisition) ended its era in 2005 and was converted to just “Macy’s.”

Source: Department Stores You’ll Remember From Your Southern Childhood – Southern Living, https://www.southernliving.com/fashion-beauty/vintage-southern-department-stores

j. peterman catalog, John Peterman: what a description! “the gentleman-retailer famously satirized on “Seinfeld,” talks adventuresome fashion, ‘Downton Abbey,” and the value of learning how to ride” … and here is a link to the catalog: https://www.jpeterman.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAsoviBRAoEiwATm8OYDKBL93geNPsO-SZCHPCFSjOdTKDBtrhQNs6IzQKbW8iLOGVkjXuWBoCsRAQAvD_BwE

He has vis­ited at least 80 coun­tries, and when John Pe­ter­man says “vis­ited,” he means it. “That’s not just stop­ping at the air­port to change planes,” said the founder of J. Pe­ter­man Co., the cloth­ing com­pany that’s ac­quired cult sta­tus due to its hand-il­lus­trated cat­a­log and fan­ci­fully nar­ra­tive prod­uct de­scrip­tions that of­ten ref­er­ence far-flung places. At 77, Mr. Pe­ter­man still reg­u­larly sets off from his Lex­ing­ton, Ky., home to des­ti­na­tions like Paris and Buenos Aires. “I’m go­ing out and look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion,” he ex­plained. He in­sists that if you want to find the proper cut of a kilt, you must tramp around Scot­land to find it your­self. Each J. Pe­ter­man item be­gins with a jour­ney.

Source: Remember the J.Peterman Catalog? It’s Still Going Strong and So Is Mr. Peterman, https://www.wsj.com/articles/remember-the-j-peterman-catalog-its-still-going-strong-and-so-is-mr-peterman-11547569560?emailToken=cb5b9d341bc1b8bfb327c13eefd6e907J8TZSiLglM76h3xPZMtnb4IkNrSSHwU05gCkgRCZTCwwoQD12x7zIQ9+byovazWueSq778WhBhr7dfnodqaNC7CpbIZS7hi/1GvtpAxsjm07yWgpm8M93L8ghFn/W/OrG54XYfL0B9VGv6LMrMZRAQ%3D%3D&reflink=article_email_share

Louisville International Airport (Standiford Field (SDF)), Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, Muhammad Ali, Louisville KY:

Ali’s widow Lonnie Ali called the champion a “global citizen,” according to the release, but added “he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”

While the airport’s name will change, its current three-letter International Air Transport Association (IATA) code — SDF — won’t change.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louisville-international-airport-renamed-muhammad-ali-vote-today-2019-01-16/

And I loved this anecdote on Facebook by Dave Kindred …

News that my old town, Louisville, is renaming its airport for Muhammad Ali reminds me of an old story. Flight attendant tells the champ he must buckle his seat belt, to which he says, “Superman don’t need a seat belt.” Flight attendant says, “Superman don’t need a plane” Champ buckles up.

1.15.19

Quotes: Besides the poetry quotes, I pondered these this week …

“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to further progress.”

— Samuel Johnson, Rambler

“It was on a bright day of midwinter, in New York. The little girl who eventually became me, but as yet was neither me nor anybody else in particular, but merely a soft anonymous morsel of humanity—this little girl, who bore my name, was going for a walk with her father. The episode is literally the first thing I can remember about her, and therefore I date the birth of her identity from that day.”

– Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”

― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

— William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

-Herman Melville – from “Moby Dick”

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.

– Martin Luther

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/martin_luther_140721

In the vast abyss before time, self

is not, and soul commingles

with mist, and rock, and light. In time,

soul brings the misty self to be.

Then slow time hardens self to stone

while ever lightening the soul,

till soul can loose its hold of self

and both are free and can return

to vastness and dissolve in light,

the long light after time.

-Ursula K. Le Guin, HOW IT SEEMS TO ME

LOL, Brexit: brexit shouldn’t be funny … but I laughed.


LOL, POTUS, Clemson visits the White House, Govern Shutdown, “The Fast Supper”, #Cofveve #hamberders #Funny #NotFunnyToo:

1.17.19

LOL, POTUS, political cartoons:

I often don’t agree with “God,” but I frequently laugh.

1.18.19

LOL, dog employee of the month:

This is the story about a distribution sales manager who works from home. Michael Reeg from Georgia has a dog Meeka which he considers as a real asset. He considers the dog as a best friend because it doesn’t allow him to feel lonely during work hours. The dog has in a way eased the transition of Michael Reeg to the telecommuting. Meeka is quite punctual. She turns up to the work regardless the presence of Michael. She goes there like every model employee would do for his employer. Meeka is quite enthusiastic for the work, when she finds the door of the office shut, she doesn’t leave for taking a rest. Instead she prefers to sit outside the door. Michael Reeg was interviewed by The Dodo. He said that transitioning to home based work was not an easy thing. He said that it was quiet and devoid of excitement. Thus, according to him, the dog helped him cover that journey.

Source: Man who works from home keeps naming his dog employee of the month, https://www.talkofweb.com/man-who-works-from-home-keeps-naming-his-dog-employee-of-the-month/

25
Jan
14

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga …

I am having very strange FB conversations tonight … naked yoga and pilgrimages to Iona … some things just do not fit in the same “space.”

pilgrimages, Iona, sacred spaces, thin places:

I have been pondering pilgrimages … Iona is one of several that intrigue me. Your thoughts?  And some fun conversations … Wow, a

church youth group to Iona next summer. It sounds like a fabulous experience …  And I am very interested to know if the youth group “gets it”, i.e., does it open them up to a “thin place” type experience or is it merely a wonderful time together in a foreign country. My children gained much insight on mission trips regarding world poverty and Christian mission, but I never felt it stimulated “spiritual awakening.” But I did not think my children were ready for that either.

 

Your Invitation to Iona: a sacred place, in time and space.

So I assumed there would be a labyrinth … It is lovely …

It isn’t advertised on a map or in tourist brochures. Our guides knew about this labyrinth constructed in recent years.  Getting there was a walking pilgrimage of sorts. Over an hour each way across the island through lanes, fields and even part of a small golf course.

It is constructed of stones and the grass walkway is full of tiny daisies.  You can’t see it well in the photo, but if you look closely towards the sea, there is another smaller labyrinth.

This is the beach where Columba, the famous Catholic priest and missionary self-exiled himself from Ireland and founded a monastery that flourished during the dark ages and where many people from all over Europe were sent to study. All of this can be easily researched on the internet if you want to learn more.

I can talk about the feeling.  The location is on the southwest part of the island – cliffs on one side and to the right of this photo is the landing place of Columba and his twelve companions.  Pilgrims over many years have brought stones to leave on that portion of the beach, several mounds.  On this day the weather was overcast and there was a slight breeze.  It is a sheltered area and very inviting and unpretentious.  The builders of this labyrinth took great care in the location and also the variety of stones marking the labyrinth could be a book in itself – probably a poetry book as they convey imagery and metaphor.

It is a huge contrast to the Chartres labyrinth, but equally splendid.  I started humming a little tune walking the labyrinth at Chartres and found myself humming it again at Iona.

I first walked the smaller and newer one. In the middle I was inspired to do the movement pattern for the elements I recently learned while at Findhorn. Then I went and explored the beach. There was activity on the next door beach with the mounds of stones and we found out later that Neil Oliver who did the BBC Scotland Series (find it if you can) was filming a piece about coast lines.

Never mind. When I walked the larger labyrinth the experience was one of integration. There is the current pilgrimage, but also family and friends came to mind and locations that have meaning in my life. I thought about the elements and the creatures. I also felt a strong connection with the new Eagle Nest Labyrinth in Surrey.

Then thoughts related to relationship, lineage, life story came to mind. Three threads emerged – one is the ancestry of my family history, one is my current relationships and  story and the third is that other story line, the archetypal one where I might imagine or remember  living in other times and cultures other than those into which I was born.

All three threads are resources worthy of exploration. Perhaps there are more threads I will find along the way.

via Labyrinth Isle of Iona | ON THE MOVE.

coed naked yoga studio, NYC, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Interesting is one way to describe it!!

If you were offended by the transparency of the yoga pants Lululemon recalled last March, stay away from Bold & Naked, the first coed naked yoga studio in New York City.

Owners, Joschi Schwarz and Monika Werner believe that naked yoga allows participants to find a deeper connection with the world around them. When the popularity of Schwarz’s all-male naked yoga classes in Le Male Yoga in Chelsea rose, he opened Bold & Naked with Werner.

The studio offers various combinations of clothed, naked, same sex, and coed classes. And regarding the naked sessions and Tantric Yogassage offered: “If you are looking for an orgasm, you are in the wrong place,” the Bold & Naked website states.

“By shedding their clothes and practicing yoga in the nude, students literally drop the masks and labels they hide behind all day,” the website says. \”Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows you to be more accepting of your physical imperfections.”

via Coed Naked Yoga Studio Opens in NYC | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And now some conversation excerpts …

“what? Ok this is just crazy”

“So many bad thoughts and visuals come to mind–all I can say is NO.”

“coed no less …”

“…downward dog (eeeeeewwwwwww)”

“Just the thought of this is horrifying….”

“Woah!”

“I really doubt that it would free me of negative thoughts of my body image. On the contrary. I already find some coed yoga classes less than desirable.”

“This is just wrong! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, not gross me out”

” I hope the woman in the picture consented to its internet distribution!”

“She must have or else her “child’s pose” would not have been so modestly contained!”

” I love Outside magazine’s postings … but I must admit this one threw me. I am still laughing at the thought.

“Pretty amazing that’s even legal!”

And the studio is called … Bold & Naked … LOL. I wonder if they have anybody horribly out of shape who \”boldly\” ventures in … At least the name warns folks!”

“you can check it out next time you’re here. I think the first class is free. Guessing it’s hot naked bodies with whips, but who knows!”

“Why don’t you go CW and tell me about it first!!”

“Don’t be so judgmental!”

“spiked dog collar optional”

“And it would be impossible for everything to “blade the side wall” during a side plank sorry–it’s the bad visual thing again).”

“you could come incognito and write an amazing article! We could wear those sheer outfits that J-Lo and Beyonce wear that look like you’re naked but you’re actually covered head-to-toe, and wear wigs and fake tattoos, and take on a discreet unpresuming attitude. Ha ha!”

“There is presbyterian minister in our midst. Oh, no … He’s been to Iona recently, maybe his next spiritual awakening will be at B&N. LOL”

” I want to come too. I could have air-brushed abs on my faux-naked outfit.”

“And you could wear your beard and pink wig!!”

“you would be the über cool one,  you might get  a cover story with that hot model look.”

“LOL … I am not sure what do do with this conversation … Add it to my clipping service? I might get bounced.”

” You asked for it–posting a naked yoga story!”

” I actually thought twice before I hit post.”

” Well, they do refer to Iona as “a thin place”! Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not necessarily advocating B&N Yoga…I just recognize that it may be okay for some people…if not me.”

“glad you hit “post”–this has been entertaining!”

“It will disappear …

USIS Fraud Charges, Edward Snowden, TopDailyInfo.com:

The DOJ said that between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks, which was about 40 percent of the total submissions.

“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.

The payments to the firm ranged $95 to $2,500, depending on the type of background investigation. The lawsuit requested for a jury trial and seeks to recover treble damages and penalties.

Through a software known as “Blue Zone,” USIS was able to quickly make an electronic “Review Complete” notation without fully going through the mandated review process, DOJ said.

“By using Blue Zone, USIS was able to substantially increase the number of background investigations that could be dumped in a short time period,” according to the filing.

via USIS Fraud Charges: U.S. Brings Fraud Charges Against Firm That Vetted Edward Snowden | TopDailyInfo.com.

Leo Tolstoy, quotes:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”-Leo Tolstoy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech:

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

“And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”

via DrMartinLutherKingJr.com – Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: Audio, Text And Photographs.

CEO Brian Moynahan, WEF, Davos:

Why do bank CEOs come to Davos?

We come to learn.

Its a chance for all the CEOs of all the institutions across the world to sit across the table …  and have a dialogue.

We come because our clients are here.

via Moynihan Says BofA Trading Consistent Amid Taper: Video – Bloomberg.

“Jerusalem”, cookbooks, NYTimes.com:  A friend is posting recipes from this cookbook.  I’m intrigued.

The first symptoms of “Jerusalem” fever appeared on New Year’s Eve: a friend rushed over at a party, breathless, her eyes bright.

“We have to do an all-‘Jerusalem’ dinner!” she panted, then immediately called dibs on making the chicken with clementines and arak.

“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” was written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, chefs who grew up on opposite sides of the divided city, Mr. Tamimi in the Arab East, Mr. Ottolenghi in the Jewish West. Both left Israel decades ago, live in London and are hardly celebrity chefs, although Mr. Ottolenghi’s last book, “Plenty,” was admired here among the vegetarian set.

The book’s recipes are traditional in Jerusalem, or loosely inspired by the city, gathering influences from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cooks who live there, with flavors from almost everywhere else: Iran, Poland, Syria, Italy. Many of them have long lists of ingredients, including spices like sumac and za’atar, and are based on vegetables and grains. Chickpeas, lamb, eggplant and eggs turn up over and over again.

via ‘Jerusalem’ Has All the Right Ingredients – NYTimes.com.

global warming,  Forgotten WWI Battle, Peio’s war museum, Motherboard:

The local community has been laboring for years now to reveal the remains of this largely forgotten war. In 2004, Maurizio Vicenzi, a local mountain guide and head of the Peio’s war museum, discovered the bodies of three soldiers hanging upside down from an ice wall at an altitude of 12,000 feet—victims of one the highest front lines in history. Multiple findings followed. In one rare find, a team discovered a hidden ice tunnel, that, after being melted open with huge ventilators, turned out to house an enormous wooden structure used as a transportation station for ammunition and supplies.

All bodies that have since emerged pass through the office of Daniel Gaudio, a forensic anthropologist tasked to trace the identities of the war victims. Despite the fact that in most cases he’s able to extract the DNA from the corpses, he rarely succeeds. They’re missing contextual information, he says, that is necessary to determine the possible whereabouts of the families of the war victims.

To date, more than 80 bodies have appeared from the depths of the glacier. And more will surely follow. On the Italian side alone more than 750,000 soldiers died in battle, according to historian Mark Thompson, author of The White War. Next summer, archeological teams will continue their search for more remains of icy melee. And the bodies are certain to keep on coming—climate change looks certain to continue, even accelerate, the thaw.

For now, it’s winter. Not far from the place where the soldiers were first discovered lies Peio, a ski resort where Italians, Austrians, Germans and Russians are once again sharing the same mountain. They do so more peacefully now.

via Global Warming Is Thawing Out the Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle | Motherboard.

education, teaching, American History, WickedLocal.com, race v. diversity, civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

Unfortunately, the alternative may be that students never learn anything about Bob Moses at all, or about America’s founding contradiction.  “Race has always been at the heart of American History,” Branch said, and a glance at the headlines or the balkanized cafeterias of today’s high schools demonstrates that race – or it’s modernized, diluted form, “diversity,” are as relevant today as ever.  But if we knock U.S. history out of the curriculum and reduce the civil rights struggle to a non-threatening, non-controversial “MLK was a great man who had a dream”  cartoon, how will our children and grandchildren come to understand their country?

via Not teaching history – – WickedLocal.com.

James Cone,  Taylor Branch,  MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality,  YouTube: 

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Theologian James Cone and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch join Bill to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King\’s vision of economic justice in addition to racial equality, and why so little has changed for America\’s most oppressed.

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden, Garden and Gun, Lincliff, Louisville KY:

Crime novelist and her husband transform the gardens of their 100-year-old Louisville home.

Kinsey Millhone, the spunky protagonist of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, wouldn’t be caught dead spading compost onto a perennial bed. “I hate nature. I really do,” the fictional detective proclaims in F Is for Fugitive. Grafton, who has called Millhone her “alter ego,” admits she once shared those sentiments. How, then, to account for the garden transformation taking place at Grafton’s 1912 estate, Lincliff? Perched above the Ohio River eight miles east of downtown Louisville, the grounds were a vine-tangled mess when Grafton and her husband, Steve Humphrey, bought the place in 2000. Today, the once-crumbling fountain trickles and shimmers, boxwood parterres have been trimmed in-to shape, and a handful of spectacular new features, including an intricate knot garden, grace the property.

Humphrey, a philosophy of physics professor raised in south-central Los Angeles, is an equally unlikely suspect. “We had a tiny yard,” he says. “My father made the kids get up early on Sunday morning and hedge and weed. I never liked yard work, especially when forced to do it at gunpoint.”

The turnaround appears to be the work of professionals, but the couple swears no landscape designers played a part. So whodunit?

Upon further questioning, the truth emerges. “Something clicked when I met Sue,” Humphrey explains. “We rented a house when I was a graduate student at Ohio State, and I planted a vegetable garden. When we bought a house in Santa Barbara, I got into roses. I realized I love creating gardens.”

Grafton has a confession of her own: She’s becoming a garden lover, too. “Steve has taught me a lot about the virtues and benefits of a well-cared-for property,” she says.

Grafton grew up in Louisville but as a young woman, rebellious and burning with ambition, moved to California to become a writer. “When I left the state of Kentucky, it was ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, I’m out of here!’” Grafton says. Decades later, after penning dozens of best sellers, she felt the pull of home. “I’ve been to a lot of places in the world. Coming back here, I realized Kentucky is quite beautiful. I’m proud to be a resident of this state.”

The couple’s original plan to build a house changed when Humphrey, touring a riverfront lot, scaled a hill and glimpsed Lincliff, a long-abandoned stuccoed Georgian Revival mansion. Their real estate agent told them the property was slated to be divided and sold off in small parcels. Smitten, they bought it all.

via Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden | Garden and Gun.

emotional intelligence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , Hitler, Atlantic Mobile:

Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence. When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Dr. King demonstrated remarkable skill in managing his own emotions and in sparking emotions that moved his audience to action. As his speechwriter Clarence Jones reflected, King delivered “a perfectly balanced outcry of reason and emotion, of anger and hope. His tone of pained indignation matched that note for note.”

Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language. Practicing his hand gestures and analyzing images of his movements allowed him to become “an absolutely spellbinding public speaker,” says the historian Roger Moorhouse—“it was something he worked very hard on.” His name was Adolf Hitler.

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers: Interesting! From a Davidson Classmate …

This is a great resource. 46,000 sermons from 100 AD to today indexed by scripture verse and author. Amazing. Pick a verse and read a sermon by Augustine or Chrysostom or Luther or Wesley or Barth. Many hundreds of ministers and thousands of sermons. This has been compiled by a patient and friend of mine over the past 20 + years. (He doesn’t sleep much. The product of his insomnia is now available to all of us!) He is talking to a number of seminaries about utilizing this resource. Please pass around to ministers, academics, theologians, Christians, students of the Word, and the intellectually curious. Check out this amazing resource.

46,000+ HISTORIC SERMONS

Indexed by primary Biblical Text for simple Searching

via Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers.

man’s best friend, cats, me: This is so my house … two 12-year old bassets v. one 10-year-old black cat. Cat wins every time!!

via ▶ You Shall Not Pass, Dog – YouTube.

Lucky Charms, Pentatonix, tv ads, commercial,  iconic brands, new technology, YouTube, kith/kin, Atlanta:  And to close … I have been a lifelong fan of the kid cereal Lucky Charms (yes, it is a fact).  So, I was excited to see them using Pentatonix.  But unfortunately, the ad posted is a fail.  It does not do them justice and does not showcase their skill.  The Evolution of Lucky Charms (the second clip) is better. Well, I am glad they are making some money, but the ad really doesn’t showcase their talent.  An an aside, an Atlanta friend is working with Pentatonix on the campaign. He noted, “I think that it is an iconic brand that is looking for new ways to reimagine their advertising through new technology.”  Good point. I think I ‘ll go buy a box of Lucky Charms …

via ▶ Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial – YouTube.

via

▶ Evolution of Lucky Charms (feat. Pentatonix) – YouTube.

06
Jan
14

1.6.14 … A few Epiphanies and a Polar Vortex … Happy Epiphany, BTW … God Bless!

Epiphany:  Every year I love the posts of this FB Page Advent!

January 6th is Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal”. On this day we as the body of Christ are reminded of our mission to seek to as best we can to be used by God to “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. With this we end the 12 days of Christmas and celebration of the Christmas Advent season. Next year we will start again. Hope this was a blessing to you. God bless!

via Advent – January 6th is Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to….

… and another good one from James Howell:

Usually I think of the word “Epiphany” in terms of looking up – to a star, a light in God’s immense sky; or perhaps we think of the dawn, the bright sun peering over the horizon, or a light bulb going off in your head.

But perhaps for there to be a real epiphany, a real revelation and discovery in our lives, we need to look down, deep, beneath the surface – like the iceberg, the bulk of the thing hidden, dangerous, very real even if unnoticed. Much of our life is lived on the surface – and sadly our religious life often is limited to some nice, observable acts: I go to church, say a quick prayer, volunteer once in a while, occasionally read my Bible.

But it’s only the tip of the iceberg; the bulk of my life remains untouched, submerged – and I may not even be familiar with the depth of my own life! But it’s down there. God is keenly interested in that submerged, unaddressed life. “Lord, you have searched me and known me” (Psalm 139:1).

Our goals in this series (and in life!)? To grow in emotional health, real compassion for others, to break free from destructive patterns, and be filled with grace; we can embrace weakness, accept the surprising gift of our limitations, learn to resolve conflicts, and forgive.

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

holiday traditions, winter, paperwhite narcissus, kith/kin:

So if I stage it right, I have blooms from mid December to mid February. I friend who is not on FB gave me paper whites when I was in 8th grade. It has been a favorite winter and Christmas tradition ever since. Thanks, Marty!

Photo: So if I stage it right, I have blooms from mid December to mid February.  I friend who is not on FB gave me paper whites when I was in 8th grade. It has been a favorite winter and Christmas tradition ever since.  Thanks, Marty!

 Polar Vortex:

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus just posted this insane video of him turning boiling water into snow.

Shot in Viroqua, WI, near La Crosse, it was -21°F with a wind chill of -51°F.

via Watch Boiling Water Turn Into Snow – Business Insider.

via ▶ Boiling water vs extreme cold – YouTube.

What is a polar vortex? What distinguishes it?

The polar vortex, as it sounds, is circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counterclockwise direction — a polar low-pressure system.  These winds tend to keep the bitter cold air locked in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not a single storm. On occasion, this vortex can become distorted and dip much farther south than you would normally find it, allowing cold air to spill southward.

Photos: Winter weather grips U.S.

How frequently does this polar vortex distortion occur?

The upper-level winds that make up the polar vortex change in intensity from time to time. When those winds decrease significantly, it can allow the vortex to become distorted, and the result is a jet stream that plunges deep into southern latitudes, bringing the cold, dense Arctic air spilling down with it. This oscillation is known as the Arctic Oscillation and it can switch from a positive phase to negative phase a few times per year. This oscillation — namely the negative phase where the polar winds are weaker — tends to lead to major cold air outbreaks in one or more regions of the planet.

via Frigid air from the North Pole: What’s this polar vortex? – CNN.com.

Photo: Be nice to the poor guy.

Definitely … we are just mostly missing the Polar Vortex … on a relative basis …  Sorry.

.Photo: Definitely ... we are just missing the cold front.  Sorry. :)

Emotional Intelligence: Interesting.

Shining a light on this dark side of emotional intelligence is one mission of a research team led by University College London professor Martin Kilduff. According to these experts, emotional intelligence helps people disguise one set of emotions while expressing another for personal gain. Emotionally intelligent people “intentionally shape their emotions to fabricate favorable impressions of themselves,” Professor Kilduff’s team writes. “The strategic disguise of one’s own emotions and the manipulation of others’ emotions for strategic ends are behaviors evident not only on Shakespeare’s stage but also in the offices and corridors where power and influence are traded.”

Thanks to more rigorous research methods, there is growing recognition that emotional intelligence—like any skill—can be used for good or evil. So if we’re going to teach emotional intelligence in schools and develop it at work, we need to consider the values that go along with it and where it’s actually useful. As Professor Kilduff and colleagues put it, it is high time that emotional intelligence is “pried away from its association with desirable moral qualities.”

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

wine, Trader Joe’s, Two Buck Chuck,  Thrillist Nation: Potentially useful info? Ok, not really …

Whether you were throwing a dinner for people you felt compelled to not impress, or just hate paying $2.01 and up for literally anything, at some point you’ve likely been in a position to load up a shopping cart with a crapload of Two-Buck Chuck, pray nobody from church sees you, and party down.

Here’s the thing, though: some of it’s actually pretty damn good, and could easily be sold as Nine-to-Eleven-Buck Chuck without anyone being the wiser.

So we brought in two devoted tasters to blindly drink eight different types of Charles Shaw Blend, hit us with detailed notes, and determine 1) which bottles are totally palatable and even enjoyable, and 2) which should be avoided as if they were made by Chuck Woolery, who, it turns out, makes terrible wine.

HOW MANY THEY GOT RIGHT

Sommelier: 4/8

Girlfriend: 3/8

THE FINAL SCORES, FROM BEST TO WORST

Merlot: 8

Chardonnay: 7.5

Shiraz: 7.75

Cabernet Sauvignon: 7.25

Pinot Grigio: 6

Nouveau: 3

Sauvignon Blanc: 2.5

White Zinfandel: Technically 1, but not really even.

via Wines Under 5 Dollars at Trader Joe’s – Cheap Wine – Thrillist Nation.

A Mighty Girl, Jeannette Piccard, NASA: I follow A Mighty Girl on FB.  It is one of my favorite sites!  I would love to be a “mighty girl”!

Following the famous flight, Jeannette Piccard went on to work with NASA, acting as a consultant and speaking publicly about the space program from 1964 to 1970. At age 79, in 1974, she also fulfilled a childhood dream when she became an ordained Episcopal priest as one of the Philadelphia Eleven, a group of eleven women who were ordained as the first female priests in the Episcopal Church.

Piccard’s spirit of adventure is best summed up in this quote to her father, when he asked her why she wanted to fly: “There are many reasons, some of them so deep-seated emotionally as to be very difficult of expression. Possibly the simplest explanation is that we started along this road… and I cannot stop until I have won.”

via (2) A Mighty Girl.




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