Posts Tagged ‘environment

21
Jan
13

1.21.13 2013 Inauguration and MLK Day … Interesting combination …

2013 Inauguration, Edward Lindsey:  Thoughtful words from my brother …

Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition. But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy. One President. One Congress. One Country. United today by more than what divides us. Congratulations, President Barrack Obama. May God bless you and our nation.

via Edward Lindsey.

Photo: Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party  will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition.   But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy.  One President.  One Congress.  One Country.  United today by more than what divides us.  Congratulations, President Barrack Obama.  May God bless you and our nation.

Martin Luther King Jr., quotes, holiday:  Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you dont see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. #martinlutherkingjr

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Photo: Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.,  Brene Brown:  I loved this post by Brene Brown “light, love and martin luther king, jr.” so I am sharing it in full …

 

I used to turn to this quote in the midst of crisis or tragedy (or whenever I was in personal struggle). Now I realize that what started as shared wisdom has become my central prayer and a daily practice for me.

Anger, judgment and blame are go-to emotions for me. This is especially true when I’m tired, anxious, or feeling vulnerable. When I’m not being mindful, I can try to overcome hate with hate. I can drop quickly into resentment and judgment.

When there is darkness in the world, I can slip into the dark place. I can start rehearsing tragedy and let my fear take over. I can turn to blame even though I know that blaming is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort and has nothing to do with holding people accountable.

This incredible wisdom from Martin Luther King has become a prayer to me because it is everything I believe about my faith. I want to stay in love when fear drives me to hate and judgement. I want to practice gratitude and cultivate joy in the darkness. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be afraid or sad or vulnerable, it simply means that reacting to tragedy by living in fear doesn’t create empathy, it breeds more fear.

Here’s to love and light. As an imperfect practice. As a daring prayer. Thank you, Dr. King.

via light, love and martin luther king, jr..

Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, anthropology,  13.7: Cosmos And Culture, NPR, bookshelf:  Another to add to the list …

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, Diamond questions the practice of psychologists who base their claims about human nature entirely on people from WEIRD — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic — societies. In fact, Diamond writes, people in small-scale societies, people who gather and hunt, herd animals or farm, may have figured out better ways than WEIRD ways to treat people, solve social problems and stay healthy.

So far, this sounds pretty much like an embrace of the cross-cultural diversity that we anthropologists work to understand, even to celebrate. So what’s the backlash all about?

via Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Mark Twain, A Biography, quotes, profanity: Interesting … I think I’ll send this to the person in my life who actively uses profanity. 🙂

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Mark Twain, A Biography

via Did Twain use the F-word?.

Downton Abbey, Speakeasy – WSJ:  In case I missed something I love these recaps.:)

What was Branson thinking? What do you think of Robert’s handling of financial matters up to this point? Did Ethel make the right decision?

via ‘Downton Abbey,’ Season 3, Episode 3: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

21+ Students,  drinking preferences, culture, college life, Davidson College:

Though 21-year-old students may drink more nights per week, they rarely feel like they “black-out” or get as drunk as they did when they were younger. It seems that as Davidson students get older, they develop more responsible drinking habits. When students turn 21, alcohol becomes much more accessible at court parties, Martin Court Apartments, and bars, and they thus feel less inclined to pre-game or aggressively drink.

via 21+ Students share drinking preferences – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

sustainability, money, justice, environment, Davidson College:  This is much bigger than I realized …

 

Now leading the sustainability charge at Davidson is Jeff Mittelstadt ’99, who returns to alma mater as the college’s first, full-time director of sustainability. A triple threat with masters’ degrees in environmental management (Duke), in business administration (UNC Chapel Hill) and in journalism and mass communications (UNC Chapel Hill), Mittelstadt likewise takes a three-pronged view of sustainability circa 2013.

 

“It’s a triple bottom line,” he says, “of economic prosperity, social justice, environmental integrity. It’s about not just how they conflict but how they can drive each other.”

 

via Sustainability 3.0: Money, Justice, Environment.

Carl Sandburg, unpublished, guns, poetry, “Revolver”: Very timely …

With the debate over gun control heating up, a retired volunteer at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made a timely find.

Ernie Gullerud, a former professor of social work at the university, came upon a previously unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg titled “A Revolver,” which addresses the issue of guns and violence.

“I’m no judge of what makes a great poem, but this one said so much and so succinctly and to the point. I thought ‘Golly, someone could have written this today,'” said Gullerud, 83.

It’s not clear when Sandburg typed the poem:

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.
 

via Unpublished Carl Sandburg poem about power of guns uncovered at U. of I. library – chicagotribune.com.

07
Aug
10

8.7.2010 … definitely dog days of summer …

summer:

“Dog Days” (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere, they usually fall between early July and early September. In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.

Food, travel, Asheville:  Another rec … Old World Bakery …  “a genuine, wonderful French bakery in Asheville. On Hendersonville Rd at St John Square, Fletcher. Complete with all variety of bread, fruit tarts, petit pain au chocolat, napoleons, etc. yum.” Thanks, Dinah.

Great Recession:  Surprise, surprise … there are differing opinions.

When the latest unemployment figures are announced on Friday, all of Wall Street will be watching. But for Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley and Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, the results will be more than just another marker in an avalanche of data.

Instead, the numbers will be a clue as to which of the two economists is right about where the American economy is headed. Their sharp disagreement over that question adds yet another twist to the fierce rivalry between the firms, Wall Street’s version of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Mr. Hatzius is arguably Wall Street’s most prominent pessimist. He warns that the American economy is poised for a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year. That would send unemployment higher again and raise the risk of deflation. A rare occurrence, deflation can have a devastating effect on a struggling economy as prices and wages fall. He says he may be compelled to downgrade his already anemic growth predictions for the economy.

For months, Mr. Berner has been sticking to a more optimistic forecast, despite growing evidence in favor of Mr. Hatzius’s view. Last week, Mr. Berner was caught by surprise when the federal government reported that the economy grew at a 2..4 percent pace in the second quarter, well below the 3.8 percent he had forecast a month before. Mr. Hatzius came closer to hitting the mark, having projected a 2 percent growth rate.

via 2 Top Economists Differ Sharply on Deflation – NYTimes.com.

invention, bookshelf:  One of my favorite book is Longitude by Dava Sobe. I remember thinking that giving a prize to the discoverer  was really interesting.  But maybe they are more common than I realized.

A CURIOUS cabal gathered recently in a converted warehouse in San Francisco for a private conference. Among them were some of the world’s leading experts in fields ranging from astrophysics and nanotechnology to health and energy. Also attending were entrepreneurs and captains of industry, including Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and Ratan Tata, the head of India’s Tata Group. They were brought together to dream up more challenges for the X Prize Foundation, a charitable group which rewards innovation with cash. On July 29th a new challenge was announced: a $1.4m prize for anyone who can come up with a faster way to clean oil spills from the ocean.

The foundation began with the Ansari X Prize: $10m to the first private-sector group able to fly a reusable spacecraft 100km (62 miles) into space twice within two weeks. It was won in 2004 by a team led by Burt Rutan, a pioneering aerospace engineer, and Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft. Other prizes have followed, including the $10m Progressive Automotive X Prize, for green cars that are capable of achieving at least 100mpg, or its equivalent. Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur who runs the foundation, says he has become convinced that “focused and talented teams in pursuit of a prize and acclaim can change the world.”

This might sound like hyperbole, but other charities, including the Gates Foundation, have been sufficiently impressed to start offering their own prizes. An industry is now growing up around them, with some firms using InnoCentive, an online middleman, to offer prizes to eager problem-solvers. Now governments are becoming keen too. As a result, there is a surge in incentive prizes (see chart).

Lost at sea

Such prizes are not new. The Longitude Prize was set up by the British government in 1714 as a reward for reliable ways for mariners to determine longitude. And in 1795 Napoleon offered a prize to preserve food for his army, which led to the canned food of today. In more recent times incentive prizes have fallen out of favour. Instead, prizes tend to be awarded for past accomplishments—often a long time after the event. As T.S. Eliot remarked after receiving his Nobel prize, it was like getting “a ticket to one’s own funeral”.

Is this a good thing? Prizes used to promote a policy are vulnerable to political jiggery pokery, argues Lee Davis of the Copenhagen Business School. Thomas Kalil, a science adviser to Barack Obama, acknowledges the pitfalls but insists that incentive prizes offered by governments can work if well crafted. Indeed, he argues that the very process of thinking critically about a prize’s objectives sharpens up the bureaucracy’s approach to big problems.

One success was NASA’s Lunar Lander prize, which was more cost-effective than the traditional procurement process, says Robert Braun, NASA’s chief technologist. Another example is the agency’s recent prize for the design of a new astronaut’s glove: the winner was not an aerospace firm but an unemployed engineer who has gone on to form a new company.

When the objective is a technological breakthrough, clearly-defined prizes should work well. But there may be limits. Tachi Yamada of the Gates Foundation is a big believer in giving incentive prizes, but gives warning that it can take 15 years or more to bring a new drug to market, and that even AMC’s carrot of $1.5 billion for new vaccines may not be a big enough incentive. No prize could match the $20 billion or so a new blockbuster drug can earn in its lifetime. So, in some cases, says Dr Yamada, “market success is the real prize.”

via Innovation prizes: And the winner is… | The Economist.

green, Made in the USA:

WASHINGTON — The United Steelworkers and two Chinese companies announced Friday that they had signed an agreement assuring that major components of machines for a $1.5 billion wind farm in Texas would be made in the United States.

The deal potentially defuses a conflict over American stimulus dollars being used to subsidize foreign companies.

Without releasing full details, the union said that the steel for the wind towers, enclosures for working parts atop the towers and reinforcing bars for the bases would be sourced in the United States. So will the blades, which are not made of steel but are often made by steelworkers, the union and the two companies said.

via Wind Farm Deal Assures Bigger U.S. Role – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, Bollywood:  I can’t wait!

The fun in Jane Austen’s Emma and its subsequent adaptations has been the relationship dynamics between its characters. Two of the unlikeliest people fall in love; confused folks mistake infatuation for love; friendship remains a vague term.

Even if you have seen the Hollywood adaptation Clueless, you’ll still enjoy Aisha for its expert desi spin on the story. It’s a world where the travelling-to-Mumbai gang may shop on the street but will lunch at The Taj and dine at Tetsuma.

It’s so rare for a film to get it all together: from the story, to the performances, to the atmospherics, to the music and more. This one goes perfectly with the popcorn; don’t miss it.

via Movie Review : Aisha review: This one goes perfectly with the popcorn.

law school, economics,UGA Law:  A senior partner at King & Spalding, Atlanta, advised me to go to UGA over Emory or Vanderbilt.  He said he saw better lawyers coming out of UGA.  I followed his suggestion and saved a lot of money.  I think I got an excellent legal education.

Go to the best law school you get into.

It’s advice that’s been passed down through the ages, from generation to generation. Law is a profession that trades, the thinking goes, on prestige. Clients like prestigious names like Wachtell and Cravath; the wealthiest firms like names like Harvard, Yale and Chicago. Get into one of those schools, and up go your chances of going to a big firm, kicking tail, making partner and grabbing that brass ring.

Or so the conventional wisdom has for decades dictated.

But is it true? In a new paper, UCLA law professor Richard Sander and Brooklyn law professor Jane Yakowitz argue no. “Eliteness” of the school you attended matters much less, they found, than your GPA.

The work is part of a continuing effort to examine preferences and law school, specifically, whether affirmative action actually hurts those it’s most supposed to benefit. Sander has previously argued that minority law students will often do better academically (and on the bar) if they attend a less-competitive school.

As part of that effort, Sander and Yakowitz set out to uncover whether this notion could be applied more broadly. That is, whether someone who finishes at the top of the class at, say, the University of Iowa, might face better career prospects than one who finishes in the middle of the class at, say, a place like Harvard.

via New Study: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s – Law Blog – WSJ.

blogs, happiness:  Thanks, Cary;  I am sitting down and enjoying your blog entry!

So it’s with humility and a certain sense of pleasure in just letting myself be me, instead of being embarrassed that I’m not more athletic or more something or other, that I wear my “Fastest Typist in Camp” award on my favorite charm necklace, a reminder of my nerdy ways and a reminder that nothing’s wasted.

via Nothing’s Wasted: In Defense of Sitting Down « Holy Vernacular.

green, health:  Makes you think … The Story of Cosmetics.

random, tv:  Poor Eddie Munster still looks the same … I always assumed  he was made to look that way … best of luck.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Forty-five years after a Pennsylvania woman sent a fan letter to her favorite TV star, they’ve made a Munster match.

Donna McCall was a 10-year-old with a crush on Butch Patrick, who played boy werewolf Eddie Munster in the mid-’60s sitcom “The Munsters.”

In her letter, she asked Patrick how tall he was because girls at the time were making gum wrapper chains long enough to match the height of their boyfriends. To her delight, the young actor responded and included his height — 5 feet, 4 inches.

Like many childhood projects, however, the wrapper chain wasn’t completed. Decades passed.

via Munster match: ’60s TV star falls for patient fan  | accessAtlanta.

Justice Kagan: If swearing is bad, why is swearing-in good?  Congrats to our new justice.

Elena Kagan will be sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will first administer the Constitutional Oath in a private ceremony in the Justices’ Conference Room attended by members of the Kagan family. The Chief Justice will then administer the Judicial Oath in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Elena Kagan’s family and friends.

via SCOTUSblog » Court statement on Kagan confirmation.

Culture, materialism:

Sheryl Crow gets to the crux of the matter in her song Soak Up The Sun: “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Relatedly, the video The Story of Stuff Project notes that the point of an advertisement is to make you feel bad about what you have.

The notion that material goods don’t bring lasting contentment is hardly some left-wing anti-capitalist rant. The first to leave us with a writings on this perspective were a group of philosophers known as the Stoics, starting with Zeno in the early third century BC and continuing through to the marvelous Marcus Aurelius several centuries later.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Wilmette, Chicago, culture:  Our blocks,  13 hundred block of Ashland and Richmond Lane (we lived on a corner), threw the BEST block parties … nothing like it in the South.   The Ashland party is the first Saturday after the 4th  and Richmond’s is in September … I will drop in some day …

If the words “block party” conjure up images of warm Jell-O, loud neighbors and a smattering of lawn chairs, you’re in for a surprise. Nowadays, neighborhoods are putting together street-wide festivals complete with DJs, outdoor movies, bake-offs and talent contests. Interested in organizing an event without breaking the bank?

via Here’s how to host a 21st century block party :: Mommy on a Shoestring :: PIONEER PRESS ::.

art, Dali:  I have a special affinity for Dali … that was my husband’s grandfather’s “grandfather name” … we saw Dali’s (the artist’s, not the grandfather’s)  art in London and were amazed at the many levels of complexity … Dali: The Late Work | High Museum of Art – Atlanta.

Wilmette, Chicago, flooding:  Chicago is flat … and we lived a mile from the lake … but the storm sewers would overflow and you could end up with a foot of water in your basement.  We lived there 4 years and we thought we were lucky.  Our basement never flooded until the last year … and then twice … amazing.  Now I know why.  Seems like a good use of stimulus funds.

After all, the Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Project (aka TARP) was first announced in 1972. Digging began in 1975. Yet here we are, some 38 years into what has been called the most ambitious public works project since the pyramids, and still we are mopping up basements and dumping mass quantities of you-know-what into Lake Michigan.

I am witness to the latter catastrophe for I live near the North Shore Sanitary Channel in Evanston. After a really heavy cloudburst I’ll walk to a footbridge near my house, look down at this man-made extension of the Chicago River’s North Branch, and watch as the, uh, “effluent” of Chicago’s sewer system rushes north to Wilmette harbor and Lake Michigan.

TARP was supposed to stop this from happening. And maybe some day it will. But as of now, after more than three decades and $5 billion in public expense, The San still has to open those floodgates and dump millions of gallons of sewage into the lake, fouling the water, closing beaches, forcing water treatment plants to jack the chlorine. If they don’t open the gates, or wait too long, the river will overflow and cause serious property damage, not unlike what happened recently to the River City condos south of the Loop.

So what’s taking so long with the big one — the 10.5 billion-gallon reservoir that’s to be located east of LaGrange Road near McCook, the one that’s supposed to alleviate flooding across Cook County from Wilmette to Lemont?

Well, it has been delayed. And delayed again. Why? There are so many reasons it would take a book. But one reason — the one that galls me most — is that our journalism has let us down. The delays have been, by my lights, one of the biggest environmental stories in the Chicago region for the past 20 years. But you’d never know it from what little has been written or broadcast.

There were funding delays involving Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers; there was local NIMBY resistance to earlier plans to use an already-dug Vulcan Materials quarry, and more recently, to quarrying a new reservoir.

via Flooded basement? Better get used to it – chicagotribune.com.

Great Recession, Flash Crash:  Great analysis of the May Flash Crash … The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake.”

The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake,” Mr. Vasan told several clients.

When the quake hit on the afternoon of May 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest, fastest decline ever, and hundreds of stocks momentarily lost nearly all their value. So many things went wrong, so quickly, that regulators haven’t yet pieced together precisely what happened.

Journal Community

A close examination of the market’s rapid-fire unraveling reveals some new details about what unfolded: Stock-price data from the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic-trading arm, Arca, were so slow that at least three other exchanges simply cut it off from trading. Pricing information became so erratic that at one point shares of Apple Inc. traded at nearly $100,000 apiece. And computer-driven trading models used by many big investors, apparently responding to the same market signals, rushed for the exits at the same time.

via Legacy of the ‘Flash Crash’ – WSJ.com.

Apple, iPad, new blog:  I think Apple has more things coming.  I can’t wait.

Traditionally, first-year medical students are awarded white coats to signify their entry into the medical community. But at an Aug. 6 ceremony, each member of the UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2014 will find an iPad pre-loaded with everything necessary for the first year of course work in their coat pocket.

As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to employ a completely digital, interactive learning environment for entering students, says Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine.

via Macsimum News – Incoming UCI medical students to receive iPads.

random, art, blog:  Would a company consider this fair use  now or stop such use?  Interesting blog, too.

As product marketing manager for Campbell’s, William MacFarland must have been overjoyed with the incredible public reaction to Andy Warhol’s first exhibition as a fine artist in 1962, as present at the gallery was his now world-famous Campbell’s Soup Cans piece: 32 silkscreened portraits, each representing a different variety of the company’s soup product, all arranged in a single line. The work provoked huge debate in all corners of the art world and helped bring the Pop art movement to the masses; all the while holding a certain brand in the limelight.

via Letters of Note: I hear you like Tomato Soup.

health, ADHD, the mind: very interesting.

A team of European researchers recently assessed nearly 8,000 Finnish children and showed that mixed-handed children are at increased risk for linguistic, scholastic and attention-related difficulties. At age eight, mixed-handed kids were about twice as likely to have language and academic difficulties as their peers. By the time the children were 16, they also were twice as likely to have symptoms of ADHD—and their symptoms were more severe than those of right- or left-handed students.Ambidexterity is not causing these problems. Rather “handedness is really a very crude measure of how the brain is working,” says Alina Rodriguez, a clinical psychologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author. In typical brains, language is rooted in the left hemisphere, and net works that control attention are anchored in the right—but brains without a dominant hemisphere may be working and communicating differently.

via Ambidexterity and ADHD: Are They Linked?: Scientific American.

history, architecture, San Francisco:  Listen to the story … a very interesting piece.

When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, it was a story of ‘Man harnessing Nature’ for the greater glory of both. Then the world’s longest suspension span, a feat of engineering several times over, it took 21 years to build and came in under budget. It has hovered ever since like a feather above a vast surge of water pouring into the Pacific. Beautiful and orange, it looks today like it was built yesterday. And somehow, in a world that can seem too jaded for wonder, it still harnesses our dreams.

This hour, On Point: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge.

via The Golden Gate’s Long History | WBUR and NPR – On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

football, NFL:  Game on, Falcons!

Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010

via Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010 – USATODAY.com.

invention, green: I don’t know about this one.

Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling.

via In the Future, Your Refrigerator Will Be Made of Green Jelly | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Apple, bikes, green:  Will it change the gears for me??

A patent filed last year but just uncovered Thursday shows that Apple is at least considering a “Smart Bicycle System” that would use iPods or iPhones to track cyclist data and help teams communicate on the raceway. Similar to Nike + iPod, the small fitness device that recorded a runner’s pace and distance, Apple’s new technology will enable bikers to measure “speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, [and] wind speed,” according to Patently Apple. Clearly, the Smart Bike is squeezing everything it can from Apple’s accelerometers and gyroscopes (which allow the iPhone to track the biker’s exertion, based on acceleration, and altitude, by recording tilt relative to the ground).

via Apple’s “Smart Bike” Could Squash All Other Bike Tech | Co.Design.

random, high risk adventure, RIP:  He planned to ski down K2, but died on the way up.  Rest in peace.

Swedish mountaineer and professional skier Fredrik Ericsson died Friday while trying to summit K2 in Pakistan, his friend David Schipper told CNN in a telephone interview.

The incident occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. as Ericsson was attempting to become the first man to ski from the summit to base camp, said Schipper, who said he learned of the accident on the world’s second-tallest peak in a satellite call from fellow climber Fabrizio Zangrilli.

via Skier Fredrik Ericsson dies in accident on K2 – CNN.com.

environment:  Iceberg is 4x the size of Manhattan!  I love that word “calved”.

A giant ice island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland.

A University of Delaware researcher says the floating ice sheet covers 100 square miles – more than four times the size of New York’s Manhattan Island.

Andreas Muenchow, who is studying the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, said the ice sheet broke off early Thursday. He says the new ice island was discovered by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service.

Not since 1962 has such a large chunk of ice calved in the Arctic, but researchers have noticed cracks in recent months in the floating tongue of the glacier.

via Greenland Iceberg Four Times Bigger Than Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier.

education, travel, Arab world, study abroad:  Our world is getting smaller.  I love that our youth are embracing it.

In what educators are calling the fastest growing study-abroad program, American college students are increasingly choosing to spend their traditional junior year abroad in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, wanting to experience the Arab world beyond America’s borders and viewpoints.

via More Students Choose a Junior-Year Abroad in the Mideast – NYTimes.com.

travel:  I have always thought it would be fun to exchange homes or rent someone’s home in another city.

For frequent Manhattan visitor Ken Velten there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.

The Southern California retiree and his family of up to five have traveled to the Big Apple five times over the past five years, staying a week or two and trading the expense and anonymity of a hotel room for the space and convenience of a rented apartment in Midtown East. But after May 1, when a ban on most New York City apartment rentals under 30 days is scheduled to take effect, Velten probably won’t be back.

via More destinations shut the door on vacation rentals – USATODAY.com.

lists, travel Seattle:  I like lists … Top Things to Do in Seattle, Washington — The Vacation Gals.

travel, First Lady, politics:  She can’t win.  But it is an interesting comparison to Laura Bush’s more modest vacations.

The first lady is paying for her own room, food and transportation, and the friends she brought will pay for theirs as well. But the government picks up security costs, and the image of the president’s wife enjoying a fancy vacation at a luxury resort abroad while Americans lose their jobs back home struck some as ill-timed. European papers are having a field day tracking her entourage, a New York Daily News columnist called her “a modern-day Marie Antoinette” and the blogosphere has been buzzing.

Laura Bush took solo vacations without her husband each year of George W. Bush’s presidency, likewise traveling with her Secret Service detail on a government plane to meet friends for camping and hiking excursions to national parks. But it never generated the sort of furor Mrs. Obama trip’s is causing, at least in part because visiting national parks in the United States is not as politically sensitive.

via First Lady’s Trip to Spain Draws Criticism – NYTimes.com.

14
Jul
10

‎7.14.2010 … talked to the molls … guess what they dont have, but love in South Africa … RANCH DRESSING!

friends, relationships, followup:  What do you think? Are best friends bad for kids?  Who are your friends?

We talked about categories — family, chosen family, neighbors, close male friends, collective friends (i.e. whole groups, some members of which we are closer to than others but generally considering the whole group friends), friends with common experiences (contingency friends, perhaps… from “the kids’ soccer team” or “the PTA,” relationships which sometimes fade when the context does), neighbor friends (people whom we can call to check on the dogs or make sure we turned off the stove).

via Friends for the Journey, or Parts thereof « Holy Vernacular.

green, environment: 7 square miles???

Seven-square miles of a Greenland glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, moving the edge of the glacier a mile inland in one day, the furthest inland it has ever been observed. While such calving of glaciers isn’t rare, seeing it happen at high resolution by satellite in almost real time is.

via Big chunk of Greenland glacier breaks off – Science Fair: Science and Space News – USATODAY.com.

food, garden, travel, vocabulary:  When we were in China in ’07, at one point we were starving for western junk food, and our guides ordered french fries … 5 huge orders … and then asked if we would like tomato jam with that … when we realized they were asking if we wanted ketchup, we broke out laughing.

Tonight with our bountiful tomato harvest, we will make our first batch of tomato jam! Recipe – Tomato Jam – Recipe – NYTimes.com.

culture, families:  They ask hard questions some times.

Doctors, and the parents who look to them for advice, need a way to integrate their standards of honesty with what we know about preventing substance abuse — and with new research that makes it clear we know a lot more today than anyone did when we were young. (Which may help explain some of the dumb decisions made by so many of us, including me.)

In particular, scientists understand much more about the neurobiology of the teenage brain and the risks of experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence. While we used to think the brain was relatively mature by 16 or 18, in fact it is still developing into the mid-20s.

“If the way it’s presented is, ‘This is risky, and I hope that you don’t have to touch the hot stove to find out you get burned,’ they don’t have to take the same chance.”

And finally, after all the cautions and the anxieties, it’s essential to come back to the positives — “always remembering to notice the good about your child,” Dr. Williams said.

After all, the most important message a parent can give is not about the mistakes that can derail a child, but about the joys of finding your way.

Tell your child, in Dr. Simkin’s words, that “I would prefer you to work on finding your passion, finding what in life you want to do” — and celebrate that potential.

And for that very reason, Dr. Williams said, “I would like them to have every brain cell they can have.”

The Press:  I think this goes too far.

We have entered a momentous period in the history of the American press. The invention of new communications technologies—especially the Internet—is transforming the human capacity to speak, perhaps as monumentally as the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. This is facilitating the largest and fastest expansion of global economic growth in human history. Free speech and a free press are essential to a dynamic economy.

This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let’s demonstrate great journalism’s essential role in a free and dynamic society.

via Lee Bollinger: Journalism Needs Government Help – WSJ.com.

culture, families:  Toxic children … even the name is unsettling.

“The central pitch of any child psychiatrist now is that the illness is often in the child and that the family responses may aggravate the scene but not wholly create it,” said my colleague Dr. Theodore Shapiro, a child psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The era of ‘there are no bad children, only bad parents’ is gone.”

I recall one patient who told me that she had given up trying to have a relationship with her 24-year-old daughter, whose relentless criticism she could no longer bear. “I still love and miss her,” she said sadly. “But I really don’t like her.”

For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.

via Mind – Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds – NYTimes.com.

education, culture:

“I have to assume that in every class, someone will do it,” he said. “It doesn’t stop them if you say, ‘This is plagiarism. I won’t accept it.’ I have to tell them that it is a failing offense and could lead me to file a complaint with the university, which could lead to them being put on probation or being asked to leave.”

Not everyone who gets caught knows enough about what they did to be remorseful. Recently, for example, a student who plagiarized a sizable chunk of a paper essentially told my friend to keep his shirt on, that what he’d done was no big deal. Beyond that, the student said, he would be ashamed to go home to the family with an F.

As my friend sees it: “This represents a shift away from the view of education as the process of intellectual engagement through which we learn to think critically and toward the view of education as mere training. In training, you are trying to find the right answer at any cost, not trying to improve your mind.”

This habit of mind is already pervasive in the culture and will be difficult to roll back. But parents, teachers and policy makers need to understand that this is not just a matter of personal style or generational expression. It’s a question of whether we can preserve the methods through which education at its best teaches people to think critically and originally.

via Editorial Observer – Cutting and Pasting – A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name) – NYTimes.com.

fashion, technology:

But savvy competitors grasped how significant the Web would be for trend spotting and grabbed market share. Worth Global Style Network, known as WGSN, was founded in 1998 and now boasts 36,000 unique users. It sped up fashion forecasting with “up-to-the-minute information with no time delay” from a network of 200 trendspotters around the world, says Sally Lohan, the company’s West Coast content director.

Another rival, Stylesight, founded in 2004, has image banks and customizable trend analyses available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish.

Fashion bloggers, who spot local trends around the world and post new photos constantly, also help retail buyers, and they do it free of charge. “It is very easy to find out what’s going on in Shanghai and Tokyo with a click of a mouse,” says Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon, who says she looks to Tobe not for ideas, but rather for confirmation of her own fashion hunches. For example, she says she placed big bets for spring 2010 on nautical stripes long before Tobe weighed in on the trend (and she was relieved to see that Tobe confirmed her instincts).

via Trend Forecaster Tobe Report Gets Trendy Again – WSJ.com.

Apple iPhone: Up until the iPhone 4 flap, buying Apple was a no-brainer.

That’s just astounding. The folks at Nokia, RIM, etc., should hang their heads in shame.

via You Can’t Appreciate How Completely Apple Has Humiliated The Cellphone Industry Until You See These Charts.

technology, business, Great Recession:

That is the hope of an increasing number of investors who are turning to the science of artificial intelligence to make investment decisions.

With artificial intelligence, programmers don’t just set up computers to make decisions in response to certain inputs. They attempt to enable the systems to learn from decisions, and adapt. Most investors trying the approach are using “machine learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer program analyzes huge chunks of data and makes predictions about the future. It is used by tech companies such as Google Inc. to match Web searches with results and NetFlix Inc. to predict which movies users are likely to rent.

via ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Gains Fans Among Investors – WSJ.com.

Davidson, education internships:  Davidson is supporting 20 research projects this summer.  What a great thing! And what a great internship!

Allison’s research project aims to answer the question: Can a business corporation, as an entity that is distinct from the employees, shareholders, and other members that compose it, be held morally responsible for its actions? More specifically, she is addressing the role of corporate structure (e.g. its written policies, unwritten corporate culture, etc.) in defining the corporation’s moral status.

via » Research at Davidson: Allison Drutchas.

Two days later I was sporting an official badge, revising policy manuals, performing employee housing inspections, and passing Ambassador Thorne on the compound. I have made courtesy calls to the head of each embassy section, and enjoyed meetings with the ambassadors of the Tri-Mission (because Rome is the home to an unusual case of three independent US Embassies: Italy, the Holy See, and the UN).

I have had the unique pleasure of exploring Villa Taverna, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and I have gone days speaking only Italian because all but two officers in my section are locally-employed Italians. This weekend I will have the opportunity to assist in the visit of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and on Monday I will have a private tour of the French Embassy, which contains many Michelangelo works.

There appears to be no end for me to the surprises at the Ambasciata Americana! For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering a career with the US Foreign Service. Ciao a tutti e tanti abbracci!

via Good Call! |.

health, alternative medicine:

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

Stress reduction is one factor. But scientists also chalk it up to phytoncides, the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects and which also seem to benefit humans.

via Really? – The Claim – Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity – Question – NYTimes.com.

food, random:

Would I recommend it? Reservedly, yes, but mostly because afterward you can honestly say you’ve eaten a burger made out of bacon, and not many people can say that. If you don’t care about the “honor” of it, I suggest sharing it with at least one other person, because it’s not likely you’ll actually want to eat more than half. I suggest uncured bacon so the salt doesn’t make your blood pressure spike. Cook it the way I did unless you want it to bathe in its own fat as it cooks. Oh, yes, and wash it down with something with a bite to it, because otherwise the taste of the bacon fat will likely overwhelm your palate.

via The Great Bacon Odyssey: Bacon, the Other Crispy Brown Meat | GeekDad | Wired.com.

22
May
10

“An activist court is a court that makes a decision you don’t like” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy … Week ending 5.22.2010

May 16-22, 2010 Continue reading ‘“An activist court is a court that makes a decision you don’t like” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy … Week ending 5.22.2010’

15
May
10

Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running! … -Forest Gump … week ending 5.15.2010

Week of June 9 – 15, 2010

Continue reading ‘Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running! … -Forest Gump … week ending 5.15.2010′

01
May
10

you say goodbye and i say hello … hello, hello … i don’t know why you say goodbye, i say hello … hello, hello – The Beatles week ending 5.1.2010

Continue reading ‘you say goodbye and i say hello … hello, hello … i don’t know why you say goodbye, i say hello … hello, hello – The Beatles week ending 5.1.2010′




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