Posts Tagged ‘Epic Southern Storms 4/27

01
May
11

5.1.2011 … May Day … Special family friend Greg is Home … happy news, prayers answered.

kudos, kith/kin: Congratulations to Greg for coming home from open-heart surgery.  Prayers for a speedy recovery.

random acts of violence, Charlotte, Robert Barber, follow-up:  What strength!

In Charlotte, Barber’s wife, Debbie, said she is still in shock, still expecting her husband to walk in the door. “Everything has a memory,” she said. “I am blessed to have had him in my life and it’s going to be really hard not to have him.”

Holding her youngest son’s hand, and flanked by more than 70 friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers, Debbie Barber on Saturday retraced the steps her husband took on that fateful morning. They walked from the Caribou Coffee on Fairview Road, along tree-shaded Simsbury Road, over a tiny creek, and then turned left onto Mullens Ford Road and up to the spot in the 4500 block where he was slain.

They stood, heads bowed, for a moment of silence and honored a life well lived.

In most murders, the victim and killer know each other, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. In only 14 percent of all cases, they are strangers.

via Struggle to fathom a shocking crime | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, follow-up, University of Alabama:

From the crimson flags in store windows to the hotels that swell on football weekends, this city lives and breathes the University of Alabama. So when a tornado tore through Tuscaloosa this week — killing at least 36 and leaving hundreds homeless a few miles from campus — shock replaced the excitement that was building for graduation.

On Thursday, the university called off the rest of this school year — canceling final exams and the last week of classes, and postponing graduation until August. Although the storm spared the campus itself, the 30,000 students and 5,000 faculty members and staff at the state’s flagship university have felt the toll deeply.

via University of Alabama Devastated by Storms – NYTimes.com.

 You Tube,  flash mob, Apple Store:  Enjoy!

Lemonade Mouth may not be a real band, but that didn’t stopped it from launching a real flash mob.

via Lemonade Mouth Flash Mobs Apple Store – Speakeasy – WSJ.

food-desserts, cupcakes, lists, NYC:  I thought cupcakes were out and pie was in …

8 Best Cupcakes in NYC

Sugar Sweet Sunshine; Photo: Emily Capo

Like some sweet, frosted Energizer Bunny, cupcakes are the baked good that keeps going and going. Other trends come and go – soft-serve ice cream is soooo 2010 – but these cute, tasty treats seem to grow in popularity with each year. We’ve just released our 2011/12 New York City Food Lover’s Guide – read on for reviews and ratings of NYC’s Top Cupcakes.

via 8 Best Cupcakes in NYC from Zagat.

travel,France, movies, film/lit:  OK, I wouldn’t mind tracing Julia’s steps through Paris …

If seeing Julie & Julia has inspired a trip to Paris—or if you’re already going—visiting Julia Child’s haunts will help you experience the city as she did. Some restaurants, markets, and shops below are featured in the movie, such as E. Dehillerin, where she bought kitchen supplies, and Shakespeare & Company, where she thumbed through French cookbooks. Others she writes about in her autobiography, My Life in France.

via Tour Julie & Julia’s Paris: 8 Essential Stops for Your Next Visit | Travel News from Fodor’s Travel Guides.

 Royal Wedding, follow-up, LOL: 

Cartwheeling in Westminster Abbey

A verger at Westminster Abbey has been spotted doing cartwheels down the aisle, suggesting he was very happy the Royal Wedding went smoothly.

The scene was captured by cameras after Catherine Middleton and Prince William had tied the knot, and when most guests had left the building.

The couple were married in front of a congregation of 1,900 people, and an estimated TV audience of two billion watched around the world.

The verger has been named by sources as Ben Sheward.

An Abbey spokesperson said “Like all of us, (he) was very pleased the service had gone according to plan, and was expressing his exuberance.”

It is understood the cartwheeler will not get into trouble over the incident.

via Royal Wedding: Verger At Westminster Abbey Does Cartwheels Down The Aisle | UK News | Sky News.

travel:  Any body used any f these services for bargains? Score a high-end hotel for a mid-tier price – Apr. 29, 2011.

29
Apr
11

‎4.29.2011 … Cary gets the award for the best stateside Royal Wedding partyer. Ask her what s

‎Royal Wedding:  … to awaken at 4 or to dvr … that is the question …. well I dvr’d and began watching a little after 6 … It appears I missed the entrance …

so what was your favorite … the dress , the carriages, the hats, the homily,  the balcony kiss, the second balcony kiss?

Royal Wedding copycats, shanzhai (山寨) culture, China:

The British aren’t the only ones who can put on a royal wedding.

On April 18, a Chinese couple in Nanjing organized a regal celebration for themselves complete with British-like ceremonial garb (including the famous Beefeater-style hats), a horse-drawn carriage for the procession and an archway of swords, according to the Associated Press. Total price: more than 50,000 yuan (US$7,600).

That’s a bargain, of course, compared to the estimated cost of the real royal wedding on Friday—the range is broad and starts at 20 million pounds (US$33 million)– of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Of course, that figure includes the costs of the wedding itself, as well as the price of security and street cleaning. And the couple’s horse-drawn carriage will have five horses; the Chinese couple’s carriage in Nanjing had just one.

The ceremony was that latest manifestation of China’s shanzhai (山寨) culture – a tradition of deliberately cheap fakery that has produced comically bad knock-offs of everything from iPhones to television shows, even pandas.

As with most things shanhzai, the Chinese wedding didn’t go off smoothly. The wedding parade of 50 people, a dozen cars and the horse-drawn carriage hit a glitch, according to reports, when firecrackers – a traditional element of any Chinese celebration – went off prematurely. The horse got rattled and handlers had to step in to calm it down.

via Latest China Knock-off: The Royal Wedding – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

TED, favorites:  I love the TED videos … do you have a favorite?

Robotics, pianos, brains — these are the lectures TEDsters love most. Which ones have you seen? And which have yet to touch you?

via Greatest Hits of TED Videos | Fast Company.

movies, horror/scary movies:  Well, it’s good to know that I don’t need a scary movie to feel alive …

This nerve-racking opening sequence of the Scream franchise, like many other iconic scary movie scenes, has the same physical effect on everyone who sees it. Your brain and body react as if you were the one answering the phone. The haunting images and sounds on screen signal the release of fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline and cortisol. As though you were running away from the masked murderer yourself, your heart rate and breathing speed up, your energy levels soar, and your senses sharpen.

The result: You literally feel more alive.

“Certain people tend to seek experiences that make them feel with all of their fibers,” says Lawrence Rubin, PhD, a psychologist in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Referred to as Big T (for thrill) personalities, these types value uncertainty, novelty, and curiosity when making decisions.

via Fear Factor: Why We Love Scary Movies – Emotional Health – Everyday Health.

movies, movie characters:  I must not like anxiety either … because I really don’t like movies with central characters who display anxiety.

Anxiety on the Silver Screen

Anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses can add tension, drama, and sometimes even laughs to films.

via Anxiety on the Silver Screen – EverydayHealth.com.

Charlotte, pollution, The Daily:  Well the iPad daily doesn’t allow me to “clip” … big negative.  But this is about Charlotte …. #10 in pollution!!

– WWW.THEDAILY.COM.

2010 Democratic national Convention, Dan Murrey, Davidson College, kudos:  Congratulations to Dr. Murrey on his new position … Davidson grad 🙂

Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Dan Murrey on Thursday was named executive director of the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee in preparation for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx made the appointment, and said the city is eager to make the most of the convention.

“We have done our homework and we’re now ready to get going. We are building a leadership team that will assure Charlotte, our region and the entire state of North Carolina make the most of this unprecedented opportunity,” Mayor Foxx said in an announcement on the official host committee site, charlottein2012.com.

Dr. Murrey is a former at-large Mecklenburg County Commissioner and surgeon at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, where he also serves as CEO. He also received a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In a press release Thursday he said: “I’m humbled and excited about the opportunity to show the rest of the world why we love living and working in this city, state and region.”

“My job is twofold: to work closely with the Democratic National Committee and our local partners to host a successful convention and to create an inclusive and interactive environment so all residents of our region have an opportunity to play host to visitors from around the world,” Dr. Murrey said.

via Dan Murrey to chair DNC 2012 host committee | DavidsonNews.net.

Civil War, history, statistics, technology:  Interesting … I am amazed half of Americans have any concept of states’ rights.  But read the article, the use of modern technology to go through data in fascinating.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center reports that nearly half of Americans identify states’ rights as the primary cause of the Civil War. This is a remarkable finding, because virtually all American textbooks and prominent historians emphasize slavery, as they have for decades. Even more striking, the poll shows young people put more stock in the states’ rights explanation than older people. The 38 percent of Americans who believe slavery was mainly to blame find themselves losing ground.

Of course, there’s no denying that states’ rights played an important role as the language of secession. But how might historians convey a more precise, comparative sense of the role slavery played in the states’ decision to secede? New computer-assisted techniques allow historians to draw clearer conclusions from immense amounts of data, including newspapers, public records and legislative proceedings. And few states left behind a better, more information-rich record of their secession debates than Virginia.

via The Causes of the Civil War, 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, follow-up:

Residents of Alabama, Mississippi and four other Southern states picked through their splintered communities Thursday as state and federal authorities mobilized to clean up and rebuild after scores of powerful tornadoes killed nearly 300 people in the most deadly storm cluster to hit the nation in 37 years.

The funnel clouds traveled as fast 60 miles per hour, destroying homes and property across six states over two days. Twisters blew apart churches in the small rural town of Smithville, Miss., flattened homes in the tidy suburbs of Birmingham, Ala., smashed poultry barns, uprooted power poles and flung cars wildly about.

The region was “hit and hit and hit again,” said Melissa McDonald of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

via Deadly Tornadoes Slam Alabama, South, Killing Hundreds – WSJ.com.

iPhone, marketing: White iPhone … finally!

“Finally” is the headline on Apple’s homepage today announcing the arrival of the white iPhone. It’s Apple poking fun at itself for a long, drawn-out techno failure, and indicates how it’s spun the affair into incredibly positive PR.

via The Great White iPhone: How Apple Spun A Tech Fail Into A PR Win | Fast Company.

Apps, Philadelphia: Philly, Philly … are you that corrupt?

Philadelphia residents have a new weapon for fighting municipal corruption: An iPhone app that lets them send photos and video of money-wasting city employees directly to the controller’s office.

via Philadelphia Launches Anti-Corruption iPhone App | Fast Company.

28
Apr
11

4.28.2011 … Prayers for those in the path of the Southern Storms of near-epic proportions … Charlotte was bypassed, again.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, natural disasters/acts of God, weather, prayers:  Why do we call natural disasters “acts of God?”  Prayers for the people impacted and for a quick clean up and recovery.

Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 247 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where 162 people perished, said Yasamie August, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

The storms are being compared to the “super outbreak” of tornadoes April 3 and 4, 1974, Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said Thursday. In that period, 148 tornadoes were reported in 13 states, and 330 people died. States affected were Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

via Southern storms: ‘I don’t know how anyone survived’ – CNN.com.

France, travel, recommendations:  Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I am keeping a list … keep the recs coming.  From today …

Harper Lee, bookshelf, biography, Southern literature:  Harper Lee was at Alabama at the same time as my mother … she was shy … everyone was “shocked” when her book came out and won the Pulitzer Prize.  It sounds like she was shocked, too!  It will be interesting to see why she has never published another novel.  I clipped about Ms. Lee yesterday, her 85th birthday, and a year ago.  She is a very interesting literary “character.”

After winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 debut novel, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee talked excitedly of her plans to carry on writing and become “the Jane Austen of south Alabama”. Yet she was never published again for reasons unknown.

Her reaction to the book’s success was “one of sheer numbness”, she said in her 1964 interview. “It was like being hit over the head and knocked cold,” she admitted.

“You see, I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird … I hoped for a little but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

Yet she also spoke of wanting to write a series of novels chronicling small-town life. Friends say she continues to work on her ageing typewriter, raising the possibility that there are books waiting to be published – perhaps after her death.

The biography will also throw light on Lee’s friendship with Capote, her childhood next door neighbour. The pair worked together on Capote’s 1966 ‘true crime’ book ‘In Cold Blood’, but fell out for reasons unexplained. It has been claimed that Lee was hurt by Capote’s failure to give her full credit for her research.

via Harper Lee to disclose why she stopped writing after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – Telegraph.

Royal Wedding, fashion, game-changers:  “But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.”  — So many of my friends who married after Princess Diana now laugh about their puffy sleeved wedding gowns!  I personally was saved from the fashion disaster in retrospect … but my dear bridesmaids were not … they had the big puffy sleeves!

WHEN Kate Middleton strides down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday, millions of Americans watching at home will be transfixed by her gown.

Mr. O’Neill, the creative director of Theia, a bridal house in Manhattan, expects that Ms. Middleton’s dress (or a much more affordable version of it) will be coveted by brides-to-be on this side of the Atlantic. So sure is he, in fact, that he has already designed, and plans to sell, a gown he thinks will emulate her choice. Slender and long-sleeved, its decorously scooped neckline encrusted with crystals and silver bullion thread, it will boast a five-foot train.

“We’re calling it the Kate,” Mr. O’Neill said. “It’s very precious, very regal and suited to a princess, if only in my head.”

Not every bridal designer is so farsighted — or so brashly confident. But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.

via Designers Wait to Copy Kate Middleton’s Dress – NYTimes.com.

Royal Wedding, Royal Family, monarchy, culture, media:  Will you watch …

Still, it got me thinking. The children singing are now in their late thirties and perhaps most of them now have children of an age to be in primary school. I wonder if any of them are singing wedding songs. I slightly doubt it. The Times reports that David Cameron’s invitation to Her Majesty’s subjects to arrange community street parties has met with a disappointing response, and it’s hard not to feel that pride in the monarchy, as an unquestioning habit of mind, is on the wane. In 1981, it was different: plenty of people were still alive who had been born in the reign of Queen Victoria; shillings and florins, left over from before decimalization, still circulated as legal tender. To read through British newspapers from the week before the 1981 Royal Wedding is to enter a more deferent era.

Compared to an event like the funeral of the Queen Mother—where all the pageantry is retrospective and everyone gets to wallow in a century’s worth of nostalgia—a wedding is risky. Weddings are all about the future and monarchies, let’s face it, are all about the past.

It’s estimated that nearly a third of the planet will be watching the wedding on Friday. This strikes me as a bit awful. I don’t know whether the viewers will be drawn by an old-fashioned atavistic fixation with tradition or from a new-fashioned fixation with celebrity and sensation, but either way it can’t be healthy. I shan’t be watching, or singing.

via News Desk: Don’t Let’s Watch the Royal Wedding : The New Yorker.

Royal Wedding, random, LOL, Facebook:  OK  …. I am Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton …  Listen out for my name … 🙂

In honor of the big wedding tomorrow, use your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Let’s do this! Post yours here. Then cut and paste it into your status.

Regards,

Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton

iPhone, marketing:  I am sure there is money in the why …

SAN FRANCISCO — You may not know it, but if you carry a smart phone in your pocket, you are probably doing unpaid work for Apple or Google — and helping them

As those two companies battle for dominance in mobile computing, they have increasingly been using their customers’ phones as sensors to collect data about nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Google and Apple use this data to improve the accuracy of everything on the phone that uses location. That includes maps and navigation services, but also advertising aimed at people in a particular spot — a potentially huge business that is just getting off the ground. In fact, the information has become so valuable that the companies have been willing to push the envelope on privacy to collect it.

via Location Data From Phones Is Valuable for Ads – NYTimes.com.

technology, RIP, typewriters, corrections:  Well Fox says not so fast …

Nostalgic newspaper reports around the globe lamented the death of the typewriter recently, as Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce announced its intentions to pull the plug on its Mumbai factory.

After decades of use and trillions of typed characters, the typewriter appeared to have written its own swan song.

Not so fast.

Despite the surge in popularity of PCs, and their smaller digital cousins the iPads, the typewriter is far from dead, said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec. So forget Godrej: Swintec seems to be the last typewriter maker in operation.

“Typewriters are alive and well,” Michael told FoxNews.com. Most big offices need a typewriter or two or three to do some special jobs — special forms, multipart forms. Some places need to have typewriters to do original forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, things like that.”

“These are things that need to be done,” Michael said. Swintec makes its own typewriters, though the company doesn’t manufacture in the United States.

“They’re made off-shore, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia,” Michael tod FoxNews.com. “But they all ultimately end up here in New Jersey.” And just like Godrej, which specialized in sales to government agencies, there’s an industry keeping Swintec’s production lines rolling: prisons.

via Don’t Believe the Type! World’s Last Typewriter Maker Alive and Well in NJ – FoxNews.com.




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