Posts Tagged ‘events

06
Feb
13

2.6.13 … I would like to have style … 45 and goofy in Atlanta …

Coco Chanel, quotes, fashion:  

Media

via Fashion fades Coco Chanel wall decal vinyl sticker – Polyvore.

adult play, Spacious:  I personally think this is very funny … What do you think, O Spacious One , Cary Umhau?

Over the more than two decades that 10 middle-aged friends from Spokane, Wash., have been locked in a game of Tag, there have been years when almost nothing happened.

But already this week, ‘It’ has changed hands twice.

The game is live only in February so it resumed late last week. Mike Konesky was ‘It’ heading into this year’s action and he made his move on Sunday.

via In Epic Game of Tag, There’s a New ‘It’ – The Juggle – WSJ.

Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration,  Library of Congress, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, events:

Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust to Commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial at the Library of Congress

An estimated 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives in the Civil War. These deaths permanently transformed the character of American society.

Drew Gilpin Faust, 28th President of Harvard University and Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, will join Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns in exploring this theme on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at noon in the Coolidge Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The event is presented in conjunction with the Library of Congress exhibition “The Civil War in America,” which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the war and runs through June 1, 2013.

As part of the presentation, Burns will feature clips from his PBS documentary “Death and the Civil War,” which was based upon Faust’s book “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” (2008), winner of the Bancroft Prize in 2009 and a finalist for both a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Faust will sign copies of her books immediately following the presentation. Also participating in the presentation will be Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

via Harvard University President to Commemorate the Civil War | News Releases – Library of Congress.

Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, followup, FB, Theartblab.com:  I have funny friends … Follow up to  yesterday’s post.

…the monkey was the answer to a Jeopardy question.

Ferris Bueller likes it too!

Is that Beyonce with the umbrella? it looks like she has a little bedunkadunk in the trunk. He is also a favorite artist of mine.

language,  Indian English, retroflex, The Economist:  I actually have wondered about this.

A FRIEND recently asked me what gives Indian English its unique sound. With 22 constitutionally recognised languages in India, and hundreds more spoken, how is it that many Indians’ English accents sound fairly similar? Part of the answer has to do with a set of sounds used across the country: retroflex consonants.

Indian retroflexes are fun to produce. Curl your tongue back and strike your palate, and you’re in position to articulate one. English distinguishes voiced and unvoiced consonants (the difference between [d] and [t], based on whether the larynx vibrates). Many Indian languages further distinguish consonants by whether a puff of air comes out or not (aspirated or unaspirated). So the retroflex consonants in, for example, Hindi, include ʈ (unvoiced unaspirated), ʈh (unvoiced aspirated), ɖ (voiced unaspirated), and ɖh (voiced aspirated). Most Indian languages also include two more retroflex consonants, ɳ and ʂ. It’s common for Indian English-speakers to substitute retroflex ʈ and ɖ where Western English-speakers use [t] and [d], which Indian languages don’t have. This substitution is part of Indian English’s special sound.

via Language in India: The humble retroflex | The Economist.

African elephants,  Serengeti National Park, ecology, BBC Nature: Having seen theses beasts in South Africa, they are truly sensitive beasts …

Wild African elephants prefer to live in safer, protected areas and become stressed when they leave them.

Scientists have found African elephants living outside Serengeti National Park are more stressed than those within the protected area.

More elephants also choose to live inside the park, suggesting they “know” which areas are safer to live in, and actively avoid humans.

Details are published in the African Journal of Ecology.

Serengeti National Park helps protect animals from threats such as illegal hunting and habitat disturbance.

via BBC Nature – African elephants prefer Serengeti National Park.

New Year’s Resolutions, Starbucks, Atlanta, Brookhaven – the historic neighborhood: I can only have lattes on weekends and they must be skinny. Exception: I can have one if I walk there … 45 and goofy in ATL this morning.Great morning walk to nearby Starbucks and then through my second favorite Atlanta neighborhood, Brookhaven – the historic neighborhood, not the new DeKalb County city.  Oh, And i meant 45 and foggy … Thank you, autocorrect.

real-time advertising,  2013 Super Bowl ads, 2013 Super Bowl blackout, follow-up:  Very interesting …

Sunday’s power outage provided the perfect surprise for brands to pounce on creatively. Tide shrewdly tweeted, “We can’t get your #blackout. But we can get your stains out.” In a dig at their luxury car rival, Audi tweeted, “Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now…” At Mondelēz International, our Oreo brand team and their agency partners sat together in a war room and came up with this gem, which has since been re-tweeted more than 15,000 times:

This was a big, albeit unplanned moment, but the beauty of real-time content is that there’s always something interesting happening in the world, and always an audience who cares about it. The ubiquity of digital technology and mobile devices enables people at far corners of the globe to share moments together, regardless of where they’re located, their economic status, or how old they are. By focusing content development around these shared cultural moments, marketers can transcend the demographics-driven targeting that has for so long defined the industry, reaching more people in a more relevant way.

We saw firsthand the power of tapping into big cultural moments when we celebrated Oreo’s 100th birthday in 2012. We produced 100 consecutive “Daily Twists,” spotlighting global cultural developments, as they happened, through an Oreo lens. Covering everything from LGBT Pride Month to the Mars Rover landing, we were able to join the global conversation with fresh content, and this timeliness nearly tripled the level of consumer engagement compared to the three months prior to the campaign.

via The Power of Real-Time Advertising – B. Bonin Bough – Harvard Business Review.

Atlanta, labyrinth walking, Solvitur Ambulando – It is solved by walking, Lenbrook, kith/kin, The Cathedral of St. Philips, Swan House, Buckhead, Driving Mamma Lindsey, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Dr. Wilf Nicholls:  

So excited I will soon have a new outdoor labyrinth to walk in Atlanta!!   Found this via google from December …

.Photo: Great progress on the outdoor labyrinth!

A fun lunch at the Lenbrook Grill where i caught up with Katherine and her mom, uncle and cousin. She says hello to you, Catherine and Cary.

After lunch, mom and I took a drive. First stop … St. Philip’s where I walked their recently completed labyrinth.

A few notes from my walk … It’s an absolute perfect winter day in Atlanta. It must be 60° and the sky is clear blue.  I have gone over to the Cathedral of St. Philip  and walked their newly completed 11-curcuit labyrinth. There’s something special about walking the labyrinth for the first time. And there is also something special about walking a labyrinth that you know you will walk many times more.

When you know you’re going to walk it many times, you become very observant of the seasons and the plantings and the landscape around you.

This one is by far the most beautiful one that I have walked in the midst of skyscrapers. That is interesting to me because i grew up here, and when i grew up here, there were no skyscrapers.

Again it was an absolutely beautiful walk on an absolutely beautiful day. And I walked barefoot!!

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Then we did our usual riding and telling stories … Driving Mamma Lindsey! We drove by the former home my cousins, the Mauldins, and those of Lillian, Catherine, Roline, Bryna, Lethea and Gregor.

And the gates were open to the Swan House.

And now I am back at Lenbrook listening to the director of The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Dr. Wilf Nicholls. Current topic is rethinking landscape in light of the seasonal drought … Dr. Nicholls was a very good speaker … even though he doesn’t wear pants … he wears trousers (his joke not mine) … New botanical garden director gets ‘acclimatized’ | Online Athens.

A native of London, Nicholls spent the first 22 years of his career as a horticulturist in Vancouver, British Columbia, a temperate Pacific climate that, despite its northern latitude, is only a single zone cooler than our own. Nonetheless, the torrid temperatures that greeted him upon hisarrival in Athens in early September came as something of a shock. “Ninety-five degrees is just stunning!” he says, “But I’ll get acclimatized, I had to get acclimatized from Vancouver to Newfoundland.”

via New botanical garden director gets ‘acclimatized’ | Online Athens.

And a final birthday celebration with my mom and siblings and one in-law!

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Julie Andrews, ‘Sound of Music’ Remake,  Speakeasy: Hmmmm … Why?

Speakeasy asked Andrews what she thought of NBC’s recently-announced plans to redo “The Sound of Music” with country singer Carrie Underwood in the lead role that Andrews helped make famous. We also asked Andrews if she planned to play a part in the remake.

“No, I don’t think I will,” Andrews replied. “Listen—how long ago was it out? 50 something years ago? … So, 48 years, probably time that a remake is allowed. Why not? ‘Cinderella’ has been done, ‘Mary Poppins’ has been put on stage in the theater. It’s all part of the process of those wonderful properties going out and reaching another audience. No, I won’t be in it, but I do endorse everything. I mean why not?”

via Julie Andrews Sounds Off on That ‘Sound of Music’ Remake – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Downton Abbey, Facebook, LOL:

via Downton Abbey Facebook Recap Season 3 Episode 3 | Happy Place.

Lenbrook, kith/kin:  They have cushions in Fine Dining, too … Helps the residents get up easier. 🙂

Monopoly, pop culture, RIP:  A cat?!? RIP, iron …

via A cat?!? RIP, iron ….

Monopoly fans voted in an online contest to add a new cat token to the property-trading game, replacing the iron, toy maker Hasbro Inc. said Wednesday.

Monopoly fans voted in an online contest to add a new cat token to the property-trading game, replacing the iron. George Stahl has details on Markets Hub.

The results were announced after the shoe, wheelbarrow and iron were neck and neck in the final hours of voting that sparked passionate efforts by fans to save their favorite tokens and businesses eager to capitalize on publicity surrounding pieces that represent their products.

via Cat Added to Monopoly’s Token Lineup – WSJ.com.

26
Jun
11

6.26.2011 … somewhere over the rainbow …

music, gay marriage:  See the reference below … I am so behind or don’t attend enough gay rights parades that I just chuckled when I was reminded that this is their theme song.  YouTube – Judy Garland – Somewhere Over The Rainbow – HIGHEST QUALITY Music Video – The Wizard Of Oz, 1939.

Paris, food, events:  Too early for the Teagues, but sounds fun.  Bazarette/bodega = convenience store … Why does it always sound so much nicer in French?

On July 1, the French gastronomic group Le Fooding will be celebrating summer with a butcher, a baker and a macaron maker at their annual Bazarette du Fooding, a collection of food and drink purveyors.

The Paris Bazarette — events in Arles and Biarritz will follow — takes place in conjunction with the Days Off festival, at Cité de la Musique (221 avenue Jean Jaurès) in the 19th Arrondissement.

“Bazarette” loosely translates as “convenience store,” but this is no typical bodega. There will be a D.J., drinks and star purveyors from Paris and farther afield on hand to dish up samples to the crowd.

Breads will be provided by Gontran Cherrier, known for his good and good-looking multi-grain loaves, as well as buns made colorful by squid ink and paprika. Local growers Terroirs d’Avenir will be bringing in organic produce and the Italian grocery Mmmozza! will take care of the cheese. The “Bohemian butcher” Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec (who did a guest stint at the Meat Hook in Brooklyn last fall) will be serving his own house-cured beef.

Sweets will be handled by Maison Charaix from Joyeuse, who craft their macarons according to a 400-year-old recipe. The chef Magnus Nilsson will visit from the Swedish countryside to mix a special barley and almond aperitif.

Advanced reservations are required. They are available starting Tuesday on the Le Fooding Web site; the 15-euro fee (about $22) goes to charity.

via In Paris, a Festival for Food Lovers – NYTimes.com.

apps, journalists, lists:  From  a twitterer that I like …

Holly Tucker (@history_geek)
6/26/11 3:23 AM
Great apps for journalists from @nancyshute iReporter,Fire,Report-it lite, Skype, 1st video,Monle,Hindenberg,Camera+. #wcsj2011

economics, US, managrialist economy:  Actually makes some sense to me …

MARK ROE, a professor at Harvard Law School, asks how capitalist America really is in a stimulating Project Syndicate piece. Mr Roe suggests that the level of state ownership of capital, or the level of government intervention in the economy, may offer a misleading picture of America’s political economy. By these measures, one might infer that America is very capitalist, in the sense that capital largely controls the economy. However, as Mr Roe points out, ownership of capital is often extremely diffuse, spread over many thousands of shareholders. While a scattered body of shareholders collectively own much or most of public corporations, they generally have little control over the firms in which they have a stake. The people with real power are are the class of managers and executives. Mr Roe writes:

American law gives more authority to managers and corporate directors than to shareholders. If shareholders want to tell directors what to do – say, borrow more money and expand the business, or close off the money-losing factory – well, they just can’t. The law is clear: the corporation’s board of directors, not its shareholders, runs the business.

via Corporate power: Managerialist America | The Economist.

website, data base, writers, reading, history:  Now I thought this was fun!

RED is a collection of databases whose aim is to accumulate as much evidence as possible about reading experiences across the world. The search and browse facilities enable you to chart the reading tastes of individual readers as they travel to other countries, and consider how different environments may have affected their reading. You can track the readership of books issued in new editions for new audiences in different countries. Search results are displayed on an interactive map and linked to relevant records in national REDs.

Each national RED offers a range of services to users, including profiles of readers, authors, and titles; tutorials on accessing and analysing evidence; and examples of how scholars have used the database to uncover patterns of reading.

via Reading Experience Database – Home.

travel, tours, DC, green, electric bikes, bike tours:  I would have done this in a heartbeat.  Electric bike tours of DC!

The Monumental Tour starts and ends at the U.S. Marine Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Monument. From there, we follow the bike trail along Marshall Drive toArlingtonNational Cemetery, across Memorial Bridge toLincoln Memorial, past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, around the Constitutional Garden and Lagoon, past National Mall andWorld War II Memorial, in the shadow of Washington Monument.

From there, we cross Independence Avenue under the world-famous cherry blossoms, past the paddle boat dock, towards Jefferson Memorial. We dip south toward East Potomac Park, then return past FDRMemorial and the future site of Martin Luther King Memorial, back past Lincoln Memorial, across Memorial Bridge toward the Women In Military Museum, back on the Marshall Drive trail, up the final hill of Marine Corps Marathon, and back to the U.S. Marine Memorial.

via Pedego DC Tours.

gay marriage, New York, faith and spirituality:  Again, a very complex issue …

The gathering at that apartment was slightly surreal. It appeared to be familiar: handsome young men flirting with each other over sweets and alcohol. But now they had a complex new dimension to navigate through — albeit the kind of calculus that heterosexuals can do in their sleep. Or when they sleep with each other. Or when they wake up and discover who they have slept with. It’s the possibility of marriage, lurking subtly somewhere in one’s head. Imagine all the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that will emerge as that little formula weaves itself into the lives of gay New Yorkers. Soon, we can have the kind of domestic life straight people have. One day, we may no longer even be gay. Just the people next door. No more parades.

But in one very important way, marriage will not quite be marriage even in New York, even 30 days from now when the law goes into effect. That is because the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that entangle the domestic lives of straight people often have another component — religion. And religious institutions have an exemption in the new law from accommodating gay people. It was key to the passage of the legislation.

,,,

I write this as a deeply religious Christian who is pained that the church that otherwise provides me with so much spiritual comfort and joy will never allow me to marry within its walls. Some clerics may be “liberal” enough to turn a blind eye to gay relationships so long as they do not have to recognize them, much less grant them any kind of imprimatur. And, as of now, even in New York, religious institutions cannot be compelled to perform such a simple act of charity.

The state cannot force a church to change its beliefs. Even gay people realize that is wrong. And so, just to remind folks that we’re here we will have to continue to march in our parades and to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Nonetheless, waking up this morning, I was very happy not to be in Kansas anymore.

via Gay Marriage: A Bittersweet Victory? – TIME.

tweet of the day, gay marriage, New York, LOL:  I just had to laugh …

“Alec! Now we can get married!” – Steve Martin to Alec Baldwin, on Twitter.

via Celebrities tweet on N.Y. gay marriage law

Machu Picchu, Peru, history, travel, adventure travel, bucket list:  We went to Peru 25 years ago and chose to visit the Amazon over Machu Picchu … I have always wanted to go back … I want to go back via this route.  Love the comparison of seeing Machu Picchu to seeing the Mona Lisa (in bold)!

The first known American to see Choquequirao was the young Yale history lecturer Hiram Bingham III, in 1909. He was researching a biography of the South American liberator Simón Bolívar when a local prefect he met near Cuzco persuaded him to visit the site. Many believed that the ruins of Choquequirao had once been Vilcabamba, the legendary lost city of the Incas. Bingham didn’t agree, and was mesmerized by the idea of lost cities waiting to be found. Two years later, he returned to Peru in search of Vilcabamba. On July 24, 1911, just days into his expedition, Bingham climbed a 2,000-foot-tall slope and encountered an abandoned stone city of which no record existed. It was Machu Picchu.

This year, which marks the 100th anniversary of Bingham’s achievement, up to a million visitors are expected to visit those ancient ruins — a sharp rise from last year’s roughly 700,000, one of the highest attendance figures ever. Most of those pilgrims will hear the tale of Bingham’s 1911 trip. But few of them will know that the explorer also located several other major sets of Incan ruins, all of which approach his most famous finds in historic significance. After Machu Picchu — where he lingered for only a few hours, convinced that more important discoveries lay ahead — Bingham continued his hunt for vanished Incan sites. His 1911 expedition turned out to be one of the most successful in history. Within a few hundred square miles, he found Vitcos, once an Incan capital, and Espiritu Pampa, the jungle city where the last Incan king is thought to have made his final stand against the Spanish invaders. A year later he returned, and came upon Llactapata, a mysterious satellite town just two miles west of Machu Picchu whose importance is still being decoded.

Today Machu Picchu is a beehive of ongoing archaeological work while elsewhere in the area restoration efforts have progressed slowly, allowing visitors a chance to see ancient history in a form that closely resembles what Bingham encountered.

I wondered if it was still possible to detour from the modern, tourist path and arrive in the same way Bingham had — by taking the scenic route. Aided by John, a 58-year-old Australian expatriate who works with the Cuzco-based adventure outfitter Amazonas Explorer, I assembled a trip to do just that. Rather than start with the most famous ruins, our route began in Cuzco and looped counterclockwise around them, stopping first at the other extraordinary sites. You might call it a backdoor to Machu Picchu.

One’s first view of Machu Picchu is a bit like seeing the Mona Lisa after staring for years at a da Vinci refrigerator magnet. You know exactly what to expect, and at the same time, can’t quite believe that the real thing exceeds the hype. Also like the Mona Lisa, Machu Picchu is more compact than it appears in photos. In less than an hour John and I were able to visit most of the ruins that Bingham saw 100 years ago, in the same order he had encountered them: the cave of the Royal Mausoleum, with its interior walls that seemed to have melted; the perfect curve of the Sun Temple; the titanic structures of the Sacred Plaza, assembled from what Bingham called “blocks of Cyclopean size, higher than a man”; and, at the very top of the main ruins, the enigmatic Intihuatana stone, around which a throng of mystically inclined visitors stood with their hands extended, hoping to absorb any good vibrations radiating from the granite. At noon, when trainloads of day-trippers arrived, John and I took a long walk out to the Sun Gate. We munched on quinoa energy bars and watched tour groups endure stop-and-go traffic up and down Machu Picchu’s ancient stone stairways. At 3 p.m., the Cuzco-bound crowds drained through the exit like water from a tub, and we wandered the main ruins for another two hours before catching the day’s last bus down at 5:30.

On the last morning of our trip, still feeling crowd-shy, I asked John if he knew of any place at Machu Picchu that Bingham had seen but that most people never bothered to visit.

“I know just the spot,” he said without hesitating. “Mount Machu Picchu.”

Climbing a 1,640-foot-tall staircase isn’t something I normally do on vacation. But the condor’s-eye view from the top of Mount Machu Picchu, a verdant peak that looms above the ruins, was the sort of thing that compels a man to quote Kipling. Once at its summit, we had views of sacred apus unfolding in all directions; the Urubamba River snaking its way around Machu Picchu, on its way to the Amazon; and even the busy Inca Trail. We were inside the confines of Machu Picchu, and yet, like Bingham a hundred years before, we could appreciate it in peace.

via In Peru, Machu Picchu and Its Sibling Incan Ruins Along the Way – NYTimes.com.

US flag, trivia, history:  So no Betsy Ross, no real meaning to colors (other than same as Union Jack), no daily Pledge of Allegiance in Congress until recently, yes to burning, yes to t-shirts and beach towels …

In other words, when you wear a flag T-shirt or hat while reclining on an American flag beach towel near your American flag camping chair, you are violating the Flag Code. The code, which was drawn up at the first National Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is part of the law of the land. But it is not enforced, nor is it enforceable. It is merely a set of guidelines, letting Americans know what to do — and what not to do — with our red, white and blue national emblem.

There is no Flag Police. You will not be arrested for wearing a flag-embossed T-shirt on Flag Day — or any other day of the year.

via Five myths about the American flag – The Washington Post.

25
Jun
11

6.25.2011 … happy jc is tired and sick … too much fun …. lazy summer day … JBT in Maine enjoying cool and golf … nice …

music, UNC, memory lane:  Couldn’t help noticing a Chi Psi’s posting of YouTube – Devo ” Gut Feeling ” first time in live in 1977. That and “Whip It” …  You guys were fun, but strange!

blog post of note, kith/kin, timelessness, age:  What peers are you referring to Cary?  As always I enjoyed your post!

Sometimes I weird out my peers.  And sometimes I feel lonely and alien at the grown-up table.  Yet I’m of a certain age, which a friend and I recently laughed about meaning that, when there’s such a need, I’m “the one who needs to kill the spider.”

I feel like I’m a part of a caravan of purposeful wanderers, typified by risking, trusting, seeking out rainstorms and dancing, while not eschewing the pain of the world or an honest admission of whatever IS.  I pinch myself when I look through a mental Rolodex at the names and faces of these glorious ones with whom I do life.

Even as I claim my hard-earned status as one of the elders of my “generation,” often called on to lead, I am also often called on to learn from my younger teachers.  We are a generation, co-journeyers.

Here’s to a spacious redrawing of generational boundaries.

via catapult magazine Chosen generation.

Mordecai Scott, CMS, Charlotte, Davidson College, GlobeChangers award, kudos:  Kudos to local and Davidsonian Mordeccai Scott!

Mordecai Scott, a 2006 West Charlotte High School graduate who overcame family hardships to attend Davidson College, received the Jefferson Award for public service earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

He was one of 10 to receive the GlobeChangers award at a Tuesday event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Known as the “Nobel Prize for Public Service,” the awards are presented each year over two days of ceremonies.

Scott was nominated for his efforts to overcome childhood hardships to graduate from college.

Scott, one of eight children, moved frequently between shelters and relatives after his parents divorced. He carried a 0.68 GPA and was on the verge of dropping out when, at age 12, school staff got involved.

With help from the nonprofit group Communities In Schools, Scott began to envision himself attending college. He went on to receive a scholarship from Davidson and graduated in 2010.

via West Charlotte graduate wins national public service award.

2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriole, cars, reviews:  I don’t think I have ever read a more scathing car review.  Sad, it is kinda cute.

In the midst of this automotive banquet, the CrossCabriolet is like a sorbet of mouse scat.

via 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet: A CUV at CrossPurposes With Competence | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com.

food/drink, wine, boxed wine, lists:  Next time I need a box of wine I have a list to try!

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be that all boxed wine was bad. That was easy. Now things are trickier, because a number of producers are actually putting good wine – and sometimes really good wine – into boxes. It’s actually possible to go out there, trade your twenty bucks for a 3 liter (that’s four bottles-worth) box of wine, and end up not only with something you can tolerate, but something you’ll actually enjoy quite a bit.

NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box Chardonnay ($20)

In your face Chardonnay, in an old-school California way: it’s big, ripe, oaky, and luscious. If you like that style, this one’s for you.

via Box wine with serious bang for the buck – Eatocracy – CNN.com Blogs.

FBI, 10 Most Wanted, memory lane:  Does anyone else remember standing at the post office looking at the pictures of the 10 Most Wanted?   I guess people get this info through tv shows and the internet now … but I thought they always looked dark and ominous and almost always men.

With James Bulger’s arrest and Osama bin Laden’s death, there are eight names left on the current FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Who’s left, and just what did these fugitives do?

via The FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’: Two Down, Eight To Go : NPR.

Newt Gingrich, 2012 Presidential Election:  Ah, Newt … it’s two early for two Pinocchios!

The Pinocchio Test

Even at a running length of more than two minutes, Gingrich’s video gives a misleading impression of the Federal Reserve’s explanation of its actions during the economic crisis — and the role of the Dodd-Frank law in forcing those disclosures. His speech gives a clearer view of his critique but that is not an excuse since fewer people will read the speech than see the video.

Two Pinocchios

via Newt Gingrich’s video attack on the Federal Reserve – The Fact Checker – The Washington Post.

Jane Austen, history, Steventon, parenting, cottages:  I never thought about it, but talk about “refrigerator moms” … 18th century mothers of means really did not parent!  Also enjoyed the  discussion of English cottages.

I recently went to Steventon again, the birthplace of Jane Austen and where she spent her formative years until the age of twenty six. Steventon was where she thought she would spend the rest of her life. As soon as she was born she was sent to live with a family in the village. The mother of the household she was sent to became Jane’s wet nurse. Mrs Austen had nothing to do with her children as babies. This might provide an explanation for Jane’s aversion towards her mother as she grew older but it also explains that her attachment to Steventon was not just through her own family and the rectory but it was linked to the wider community and she had very close ties to some of the villagers.

via Steventon and Barton Cottage « Jane Austen’s World.

Andrew Lovedale, Access to Success Foundation, Davidson College, basketball, kudos:  I know I talk about Steph Curry a lot … but another member of the dream team is giving back. Kudos, Andrew Lovedale!

Andrew Lovedale

Access to Success (A2S), the foundation created by former Davidson men’s basketball player Andrew Lovedale to benefit underprivileged children through athletic, education and spiritual programs, is preparing for a pair of firsts:

A trip to Lovedale’s hometown Benin City, Nigeria, from June 27-July 6.

The inaugural “Kicks from ‘Cats: The Andrew Lovedale 5K” walk/run on the Davidson College cross country trail on Sept. 10, 2011.

The Nigeria team includes Lovedale, Davidson College Assistant Sports Information Director Lauren Biggers, former Davidson Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions Morgan Clark, Davidson graduates Claire Asbury (2010) and Eloise Grose (2006) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. employee Lindsay Biggers. They’ll spend 10 days in Lovedale’s hometown of Benin City.

The trip will focus on building long-term partnerships with three schools, an orphanage and a church. The team will also be delivering the basketball shoes raised earlier this year through the Kicks from ‘Cats Shoe Drive, held at the Davidson College men’s basketball game against the College of Charleston on Jan. 29, as well as other sporting equipment and school supplies donated by Lowe’s employees. They’ll also run basketball and volleyball clinics.

via Lovedale foundation plans Nigeria trip, 5K fund-raiser  | Sports.

boodos, new vocabulary:  I had to find the opposite of kudos for the next entry. 😦  And actually there really isn’t one …

Boodos

“Boodos” is the opposite of “Kudos”

via Urban Dictionary: Kudos!.

Anthony’s, restaurants, Atlanta, boodos: I have been to quite a few wedding functions at Anthony’s and they were delightful … Very poorly done, Anthony’s … BOODOS!

Anthony’s, a legendary Atlanta spot for wedding receptions, has closed.

Now dozens of couples say they’re not only out thousands of dollars in deposits, but have no place for their reception.

Valiree Eaton booked her reception last fall. She said when she called to finalize plans for her July 3 wedding, a recording said Anthony’s was out of business. “I’m a bit of a wreck. I’m extremely stressed. Weddings are stressful enough without this,” said Eaton. “I feel like my wedding day has been marred,” she added.

via Reception Hall Leaves Brides-To-Be In Limbo – News Story – WSB Atlanta.

Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth, Pearl Buck in China, book shelf:  Another to add to my bookshelf!  I loved The Good Earth when I read it in high school.  I may re-read it to see what I think now.

Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling

Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman. These days, however, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read in the West or in China) that fascinate readers. In making the case for reappraising Buck’s fiction and her life, award-winning biographer Hilary Spurling transforms Buck from a dreary “lady author” into a woman warrior. Having grown up in China at the subsistence level, as the daughter of a missionary, Buck had firsthand knowledge of war, infanticide and sexual slavery when she entered college as a charity student in Virginia. As Spurling deftly illustrates, that alienation gave Buck her stance as a writer, gracing her with the outsider vision needed to interpret one world to another.

via New In Paperback: June 20-26 : NPR.

news, condolences, adventure travel, tragedy, random:  What a personal tragedy for these two friends.

A man who climbed Everest found the body of his friend who had died hours after conquering the summit only months before.

Rodney Hogg saw the body of his climbing friend Peter Kinloch on a ledge 1,000 ft below the peak as he neared the top of the mountain.

Mr Kinloch, 28, had been attempting the Seven Summits Challenge last year, in which climbers attempt to conquer the highest peak of each continent.

via Climber discovers frozen body of best friend on peak of Everest | Mail Online.

Huguette Clark, RIP, tragedy, random, kudos, boodos:  Sad this woman never seemed to enjoy life and it ends with folks arguing about her money.  Kudos to her for leaving the bulk to the arts.  Boodos to those who won’t allow her to rest in peace.

Huguette Clark, the Montana copper mining heiress who died in New York last month at 104, has left most of her $400 million fortune to the arts – wealth from the Gilded Age that produced the Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts.

According to her will, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Clark gave to Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art a prized Claude Monet water-lily painting not seen by the public since 1925.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is looking into how Clark’s affairs were managed while she spent the last two decades of her life in a hospital, a virtual recluse, people familiar with the probe have said. Before that, she lived in the largest residence on Fifth Avenue – 42 rooms.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.

The daughter of one-time U.S. Sen. William A. Clark left instructions for the creation of a foundation “for the primary purpose of fostering and promoting the arts,” according to the will prepared and signed in 2005, when she was 98.

About $300 million will go for the arts, including the 1907 Monet from his famed “Water Lilies” series, which is worth tens of millions of dollars, said attorney John Dadakis, of the firm Holland & Knight.

via Huguette Clark, Montana Mining Heiress, Leaves NY Fortune To Nurse, The Arts.

weddings, events, food, cakes:  After looking at this collection I feel like the world keeps upping expectations … I loved it when a friend’s daughter family and friends all gathered and baked an assortment of wedding cakes and another friend did the same thing but had wedding pies!  My mom still talks about the aunt that baked hers.  I think these television cake shows have upped the ante.

Not every bride and groom’s wedding cake will be as enormous as that enjoyed by Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton (pictured) — but no matter whether it’s as intricate as a future queen’s or as simple as a cupcake with a heart-shaped candle, every wedding cake is fancy and fabulous.

via Simple as Love – Fabulous and Fancy Wedding Cakes – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

20
Apr
11

4.20.2011 … with two boys in Boulder 4/20 is not my favorite day …

4/20, Boulder, CU:

In Boulder, April flowers not only bring May showers, but also clouds of marijuana smoke over the Norlin Library Quad on 4/20 at 4:20 p.m. Though this event attracts a large group, reactions and views are mixed.

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Washington, D.C., released a letter on 4/20 in 2010, where he referred to these nationwide smoke-outs as “protestivals” happening across the country.

via 4/20 perspectives | CU Independent.

4/20, LOL:  A few more sites for those of you who are just learning about 4/20 (that would be me until Jack went to Boulder …)  Stoner Lingo Decoded: The Super High History of 420 – TIME NewsFeed. … Welcome to Potopia – Newsweek … and a joke ….

When Parents Text

Happy 4/20!

ME: How come harry potter fans dont get a name?! there are trekkies and twihards.

MOM: Pot heads.

via Facebook.

movies, film/lit, The Help:  I hope I respond better to the movie.  My objection to the book is that the author casts a very wide net of condemnation … and I don’t think things were quite so black and white.  But I will definitely go to the movie.  The Help Trailer Released – GalleyCat.

Ayn Rand, politics, Davidson:  I am getting tired of Ayn Rand.  I have some friends who became Randists in college  … it wasn’t pretty. Definitely don’t need a Randist element in the GOP, but obviously we already have it.

Welcome to the Ayn Rand Congress. As I write in a piece for the April 25 issue of the dead-tree magazine, “Rand has always been a lodestar for proponents of limited government.” But never so much as now. Conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck herald her work. Tea Partyers hoist signs that name-check her literary heroes. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chair and GOP man of the moment, has passed out Rand’s novels to staffers and called her the reason he got into politics. Rand’s theory of a two-tiered society — split between the “producers” who shoulder society’s burdens and the “looters” who mooch off their efforts — is one of the strains of thought that animate the Tea Party movement, along with free markets (check), individual liberty (check) and limited government (check). Strands of Rand’s objectivist philosophy are woven through most of Congress’s weighty debates about tax rates and regulations (Alan Greenspan was a Rand protégé), wage scales and social-welfare programs. The 112th Congress has been dominated by apocalyptic debates over fiscal policy; in the last line of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt traces a dollar sign “over the desolate earth.” You could argue that the essential confrontation of this Congress is not between Democrats and Republicans but between people who see income inequality as a major social problem and those who consider it a natural byproduct of an equal-opportunity society.

via Rand Paul Cites Tea Party Prophet Ayn Rand in Congress | Swampland.

news, Fidel Castro:  My generation grew up with classmates whose parents had fled Cuba; I don’t think I ever got what had happened … It is a strange part of our North American/US history … the Cold War and Communism at our back door.

News that Fidel Castro has resigned from the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party isn’t very surprising — slowed by chronic health problems, the 84-year-old has effectively been out of political life since passing over the reins to his brother Raul in 2006. He now looks more familiar to us in a loose track suit than his once iconic military fatigues. (See a terrific photoessay of the Cuban rebels in the jungle over a half century ago.) TIME was there, though, when the bearded revolutionary ousted Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. After the jump: an excerpt from TIME’s gripping Jan. 26, 1959 cover story on Castro’s rise to power.

via Fidel Castro Steps Down from Cuba’s Communist Party Central Committee – Global Spin – TIME.com.

careers, listsFive Best Job Search Sites.

tv, food television shows, lists:  They say we are cooking less and watching food shows more !  Ten food television shows you should be watching – chicagotribune.com.

culture, Tax Day, statistics:  The only thing I get is that we are spending more than we are taking in …

There’s a movement afoot to mail every taxpayer a “taxpayer receipt,” a breakdown of how the government spends its money. The goal is to educate people about where their taxes go, since Americans are famously unaware about such matters.

But as long as we’re talking about educating Americans about fiscal policy, why not start with what they actually pay in taxes, and what they earn, relative to their fellow Americans?

I am constantly amazed by how little Americans know about where they stand in the income and taxing distribution. The latest example is evident in a recent Gallup study, which found that 6 percent of Americans in households earning over $250,000 a year think their taxes are “too low.” Of that same group, 26 percent said their taxes were “about right,” and a whopping 67 percent said their taxes were “too high.”

via Rich People Still Don’t Realize They’re Rich – NYTimes.com.

green, wind farms:  A while back I noted seeing the wind farm in the English Channel, it was an amazing sight.  It will be interesting to view one off our coast.

A federal agency approved a construction and operations plan for the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast, clearing the way for work to begin on America’s first offshore wind farm as early as this fall, Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announced Tuesday.

Approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was required before construction of the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound could get under way.A

via Mass. offshore wind farm approved; Nation’s 1st – CBS News.

art, the law:  This is one combination I was not expecting … “rediscovering art through law.”

Legal Art Gallery » GALLERY.

cars:  I always loved seeing a mini or micro as a child.  Since the intro of the mini cooper they really are no big deal to the current generation …  the vintage ones are down right comical.

Mini- and Micro-Cars Coming To New York Auto Show – Speakeasy – WSJ.

romance, blog posts, Jane Austen: I have followed Cheryl for several years … love her fiance’s proposal.  Oh, to be young again!

And with such a prospect before me, dear reader, I said yes!

The two gentlemen in costume were friends of James’s, unknown to me; James wrote the scripts with all the Jane Austen references to please me, featuring characters with defects (greed and vanity) that would highlight his own suit in turn–“classic literary foils,” he says. He rented the costumes for them from a shop in Midtown.

via Brooklyn Arden.

blog sites, favorites:  Delancey Place is quickly becoming a favorite.

… very simply a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, primarily historical in focus, and will occasionally be controversial. Finally, we hope that the selections will resonate beyond the subject of the book from which they were excerpted.

via home | www.delanceyplace.com | eclectic excerpts delivered to your email every day from editor Richard Vague.

137th Kentucky Derby, Louisville places, events:  It almost time for Derby delirium!  Triple Crown Talk | Derby Delirium | BloodHorse.com Blog Stable.

Google, Google Places:  Trying to figure if this would be useful … Google Places.

health, medicines, lists:  Any surprises here? Chart of the Day: The Top 15 Prescription Drugs in America – Alexis Madrigal – Technology – The Atlantic.

DanielPink, acronoym:  I have to admit I never heard of  TANSTAFL, but it is true …

Daniel Pink

RT @markknoller: Obama quotes old saying acronym TANSTAFL (tahn’-stah-fil): “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

via (31) Twitter / Home.

01
Apr
11

4.1.2011 … It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. – Abraham Lincoln … Happy April Fool’s Day!

April Fool’s Day, history, Civil War: Love this blog entry!

In that pre-Civil War season of strange reports, dubious dispatches and false rumors, the news that day was even odder than usual throughout much of America. The august precincts of the Philadelphia stock exchange, for instance, were rocked with the startling announcement that Secretary of State William H. Seward — widely viewed as the leader in whose hands lay the future of the Union — had suddenly, inexplicably, resigned.

Amid the uncertainty that brokers already felt over the standoff at Fort Sumter and the possibility of impending war, this was the worst news imaginable. For a moment, the prices of securities and commodities teetered on the precipice of a sickening plunge. But then, according to the next day’s Philadelphia Inquirer, the prudent financiers appointed a special committee “to inquire into the truth of the announcement … Of course, the report of said committee was April 1st.” The distinguished gentlemen, in other words, had been pranked.

They were not alone. Throughout 19th-century America, April Fool’s Day — then more commonly known as All Fools Day — was an occasion for hoaxes, merriment and practical jokes. Even the rupture of the Union provided no respite; if anything, anxious citizens seem to have relished the opportunity to break the tension.

But in 1861, the holiday was — apart from the Seward prank in Philadelphia — still largely free of political overtones. One of the rare exceptions, however, was an editorial in the next morning’s issue of the New York Times. “The 1st of April in each year, is the day of all others by common usage consecrated to folly,” its author noted. “If there are more senseless acts committed within its twenty-four hours than on any other single day of the three hundred and sixty-five, it has a record not much better than James Buchanan’s.”

via Fools of a Long-Ago April – NYTimes.com.

random, kith/kin:  Since I have to wear this brace and sling for six more weeks, John asked me if I was sure I saw a doctor and not a groundhog … 🙂

social media, Jeff Elder, perfect jobs:  If I could have a perfect job it would be as a social media consultant for non-profits.  Jeff Elder was a columnist at our local paper and introduced me to current social media … along with Walt Mossberg at the WSJ (who really deals with hardware and dabbles in social media).  Are you hiring Jeff?

Leaving Lowe’s for smaller and better things

After a year in which my team grew Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Facebook page 700%, I’m leaving the Fortune 50 company to pursue other social media ventures. During a viral promotion around holiday shopping, we made the Lowe’s page the second-fastest-growing page on Facebook — no small feat for an outfit that sells hammers. My team also implemented a customer-service platform on social media that has made Lowe’s responsive and attentive to customer needs. I’m leaving to pursue consulting, speaking, teaching and a startup or two. My departure is voluntary, and not without misgivings. I leave many friends at Lowe’s, and will be forever grateful for my time there. We had a ball, especially when we took the Facebook page viral on two occasions, once gaining 56,000 fans in one day. Interested in connecting or having me speak? (For a while it will be free.) Contact me via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or mrjeffelder at gmail.com.

via Jeff Elder on social media.

Bronx Zoo cobra, twitter, LOL, followup:  This has been a “fun” story to follow and I have loved the Bronx_Zoo_Cobra on twitter … would love to meet the funny person who came up with that one!

As zoo officials had predicted since the snake was discovered missing from its enclosure at the reptile house Friday, the snake was found inside the building. Breheny said the roughly 20-inch-long, pencil-thin black snake had been curled up in a dark corner and was discovered at about 9 a.m. Eastern on Thursday. Bait in the form of wood shavings used by rats, mice and other rodents helped lure the snake from its hiding spot.

“Right now, she’s resting comfortably and securely,” said Breheny, adding that the World of Reptiles, closed since Friday, would be reopened after the snake had been observed for a few days to ensure she was in good health. He also said the zoo would investigate how the snake managed to escape its enclosure, which was in a non-display area of the reptile house.

There was no immediate comment from the person who had been sending messages on Twitter as the snake and whose updates had attracted more than 200,000 followers by Thursday afternoon. According to the tweets, the snake’s last adventure before being recaptured was attending the Yankees’ opening game.

“If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It’s probably nothing,” one of the tweets said.

via Escaped cobra recaptured at Bronx Zoo – latimes.com.

politics, predictions, Mitt Romney:  Goat entrails?

The outlook, then, would seem to be sunny for the future GOP presidental nominee—or it would were the Republicans likely to nominate a strong general-election candidate. Mike Huckabee can’t beat Mr Obama. Tim Pawlenty’s supporters will fall asleep in their cars on the way to the polls. Sarah Palin? Please. But how about Mitt Romney? Nate Silver, the New York Times number-cruncher, makes the case that Mr Romney has a plausible path to the nomination!

This former employee of the Joseph Smith Historical Site and fan of ironic identity politics would like to connect these dots all the way to a Romney triumph. But not only does Mr Romney have Romneycare, Mormonism, and an air of opportunistic artificiality working against him, one wonders whether the polished multi-millionaire will thrill the growing conservative ranks. Digging into the Gallup numbers, Mr Florida and his colleague Charlotta Mellander find that

Conservatism, at least at the state level, appears to be growing stronger. Ironically, this trend is most pronounced in America’s least well-off, least educated, most blue collar, most economically hard-hit states. Conservatism, more and more, is the ideology of the economically left behind. The current economic crisis only appears to have deepened conservatism’s hold on America’s states.

One suspects Mr Romney and his hair might be regarded with some suspicion by the “economically left behind”. However, he does have a reputation for competent management and a mind for money, and seems to me more likely than any other Republican candidate to offer a “clear plan for solving the country’s problems”. A credible Mr Fixit may turn out to appeal to those most hurt by a broken economy. According to one poll, if the election were held today, Mr Obama beats Mr Romney 48% to 41% in Michigan, Mr Romney’s home state. Yet in order to maintain that sort of lead and clinch a second term, Mr Obama either needs to turn his numbers around or get an unelectable gift from Republican primary voters.

via Goat entrails: Is America ready for Romney? | The Economist.

education, religion, NYC:  $32,000+ tuition … not friendly!

When tensions rise at a Quaker meeting, the room is immediately brought to silence — the Quaker form of worship. In recent New York gatherings, when the subject of Friends Seminary comes up, there has been a lot of quiet.

The issue that has hushed the Quakers’ 19th-century meetinghouse near Union Square is whether the church and school, joined for 225 years, should formally part ways.

There are legal advantages to a split. But some church members are also pushing for the separation because they say the school is no longer really Quaker. Among other complaints, they say the school’s $32,870 tuition, selective admissions and private-school culture fly in the face of the signature Quaker credos of simplicity, openness and equality.

“There are a number of Quakers that are concerned, who believe that the school over time has become a rich kids’ school,” said Michael Schlegel, the leader of the trustees of the New York Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the city’s chief Quaker body.

Other secular schools in the city have relationships with religious institutions, but the Quaker meeting, or congregation, and Friends Seminary are especially close. They share buildings, some members of the school’s governing committee come from the meeting, and at least for now they are legally unified.

via N.Y. Quakers May Cut 225-Year-Old Ties With Friends Seminary – NYTimes.com.

politics, 2012 GOP Convention, NC:  It is fun to be in the spotlight.

We love the idea, and North Carolinians of all political stripes should too. But don’t hold your breath. The chances of the GOP moving its convention from Tampa are almost nil. Floyd is just maneuvering to try to put pressure on Florida to back its primary date up and keep South Carolina’s early-state stature.

via The Daily Views: GOP convention in N.C., too?.

YouTube:  I am not sure I get this … but please, please, don’t have the girl who does that “Friday” song!  First-ever national YouTube DigiTour comes to Charlotte Apr 26 | CLT Blog.

Google, internet, Kansas City:  Congratulations, KC … wish it were Charlotte.

Google said it chose Kansas City out of “nearly 1,000 cities” vying for the search giant’s high-speed favor since the company announced in February 2010 that it planned to provide a single community “100 times faster” Internet access. In fact Google says it’s already signed a development agreement with the city, so yes–short of tornados wreaking havoc or someone unleashing swarms of flying monkeys–it’s definitely happening, and the party starts in 2012.

via Google Taps Kansas City for Crazy-Speed Internet – Techland – TIME.com.

politics, redistricting, census:  Really?

North Carolina is losing out on a congressional seat and future tax dollars because so many of its military personnel were deployed during the U.S. Census and counted in population totals for other states, according to an Associated Press review.

The Census counts most troops at the base where they live and work. But for personnel who are deployed overseas, the government tallies them for their home state – often where the service member grew up or has family.

For example, a soldier based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina could list their home as being in Oklahoma because that’s where they were raised. That soldier would be counted in Oklahoma if they were deployed overseas during the Census.

North Carolina officials estimate more than 40,000 troops were deployed from the state’s military bases around the time of the Census one year ago, but only 12,200 of the nation’s overseas military personnel listed North Carolina as their home state, according to Department of Defense data provided to AP.

via The Charlotte Observer : Troop deployments cost NC extra seat in Congress.

college search, alumni relations:

As competition for admission soars, Ivy League colleges that enlist their graduates as interviewers to build loyalty are angering them instead. Admissions deans at Penn in Philadelphia; Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; and Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, say they use alumni interviews to confirm impressions of student applicants, glean details and personalize the process. Frustrated alumni may stop volunteering or reduce their donations, said Doug Ulene, 48, a 20-year volunteer for Brown who now coordinates efforts in southwest Westchester County in suburban New York.

Long-Term Consequence

“If alums start becoming disenchanted with the process and it changes their feelings toward the university, it may end up being a bad thing for the university in the long haul,” Ulene said.

Alumni sign up for interviews to stay connected to their college, to meet high school students in their communities and to try to understand the admissions process for their own children, Ulene said.

While a student’s intelligence may be apparent on paper, a passionate conversation about physics “may be quite powerful in an interaction,” Shaw said.

Stanford has told alumni that few students will win admission, Shaw said. This year, Stanford admitted 7.1 percent of its applicants, the lowest share in the university’s history, said Bob Patterson, director of admission.

Princeton University, which last year interviewed 99 percent of applicants, has tried to change interviewers’ expectations, shifting the focus from “trying to get students in” to being ambassadors for the university, said Janet Rapelye, dean of admission.

Princeton graduate Beth Flaming, 38, met with about 15 students in more than eight years as an alumni interviewer for the school. Only one got in. Flaming, a Chicago lawyer and the mother of two young children, stopped interviewing three years ago.

“I’ve always thought it was an ambassador-type role,” said Flaming. “That being said, what great purpose is being an ambassador to 20,000 people who are not going to get in?”

via Ivy League Alumni Quit Admissions Interviews as Success Slips – Bloomberg.

technology, phones:  Soon we won’t need a wallet …

Microsoft Corp. is working on a version of its Windows Phone software that will let users buy merchandise with a flick of the handset at a checkout counter, two people familiar with the plans said.

Microsoft plans to include mobile-payment technology in new versions of its operating system for smartphones as part of an effort to narrow Google Inc.’s lead in handset software, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the features aren’t public. The first devices boasting these features may be released this year, the people said.

via Microsoft Is Said to Plan Mobile Payments in Phone Software – Businessweek.

Supreme Court, gender gap:

A gender gap emerged at the U.S. Supreme Court as the court’s three female justices tussled with their male colleagues over a nationwide discrimination suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan all voiced at least qualified support yesterday for the class-action suit, which claims women across the country were victimized by Wal-Mart’s practice of letting local managers make subjective decisions about pay and promotions. The dispute marks the first gender-bias case the court has considered with three women on the bench.

The three took the lead in questioning Wal-Mart’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous. Ginsburg spoke about how corporate decision- makers tend to hire people like themselves, while Sotomayor endorsed the use of statistical analysis in discrimination cases. Kagan balked when Boutrous said the workers’ case was based on an “incoherent theory.”

“I guess I’m just a little bit confused as to why excessive subjectivity is not a policy that can be alleged” as the basis of a job-discrimination suit, said Kagan, the newest justice.

Their queries put them at odds with Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, who questioned whether the women had pointed to a corporate policy that violated their rights under the main federal job-bias law, known as Title VII. The justices are considering whether potentially a million female employees at Wal-Mart have enough in common to warrant allowing a single nationwide suit against the company.

via Wal-Mart Discrimination Dispute Reveals Gender Gap at the U.S. High Court – Bloomberg.

business ethics, Berkshire Hathaway:

David Sokol, long considered by outsiders to be the most likely candidate to succeed Warren Buffett, resigned from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. after purchasing shares of a company he suggested Mr. Buffett buy.

Mr. Buffett, Berkshire’s chief executive and chairman, said in a statement Wednesday that Mr. Sokol had told him he owned shares in the chemical company, Lubrizol Corp., when they first discussed the deal in January. Mr. Buffett said “neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful” and weren’t a factor in his decision to resign.

via Berkshire’s Sokol Quits After Lubrizol Share Purchases – WSJ.com.

education, GA, kith/kin, Edward Lindsey:  Tough decision for tough times.

The Legislature may be on the verge of giving Gov. Nathan Deal the power to remove members of the Atlanta Board of Education should the school system lose its accreditation this summer.

Not exactly what Mayor Kasim Reed was looking for – but something like it.

A bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Majority Whip Ed Lindsey and Democrat Kathy Ashe, both of Atlanta, was attached Tuesday to SB 79 by the House Education Committee.

Early this year, when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the Atlanta school system on probation because of a CRCT cheating scandal and board infighting, Deal discovered that current board members – in the Atlanta system and elsewhere – had been grandfathered in by 2010 legislation allowing the governor to take over local school systems.

This month, Reed said he had approached members of the Legislature about giving the mayor of Atlanta the power to replace school board members – but Republicans balked, saying such a move would require a constitutional amendment.

via Move afoot to let Nathan Deal to replace Atlanta school board | Political Insider.

events, April Fool’s Day:  like or dislike?

Last year on April Fool’s Day, Google changed its name to “Topeka” for the day, so it’s a likely spot to look for a new joke this year. Have fun on April Fool’s Day 2011 this Friday. And feel free to share tips in the Comments.

via Around the Web, tips for April Fool’s Day – USATODAY.com.

technology, big or little:

Indeed, the explosive growth of mobile — 1.6 billion mobile phones were sold in 2010, according to researcher Gartner — shows how important mobile optimization is for Web businesses. But most companies have yet to take the plunge. Google says 79% of its largest ad customers don’t have a mobile-optimized site.

STORY: How to create a mobile website

VIDEO: Talking Tech — Google exec on mobile sites’ advantages

That’s created something of a cottage industry of developers to take Web destinations mobile.

The crush of mobile consumers requires either creating a new site entirely or adjusting the content so it can be viewed on smartphones and tablets. That also means ditching the Adobe Flash software used across many image-heavy sites, as Flash isn’t supported by Apple on iPads and iPhones.

The move to mobile versions has become increasingly important with GPS phones and location-based searches. That’s because when people search on a smartphone, one out of three times they are looking for something local, says Spero. If a business’ site comes up difficult to navigate or view, people move on to the next.

via More companies shrink sites for iPad, other devices – USATODAY.com.

maternity tourists, 14th Amendment:

For months, officials say, the house was home to “maternity tourists,” in this case, women from China who had paid tens of thousands of dollars to deliver their babies in the United States, making the infants automatic American citizens. Officials shut down the home, sending the 10 mothers who had been living there with their babies to nearby motels.

“These were not women living in squalor — it was a well taken care of place and clean, but there were a lot of women and babies,” said Clayton Anderson, a city inspector who shut down the house on March 9. “I have never seen anything like this before. We really couldn’t determine the exact number of people living there.”

For the last year, the debate over birthright citizenship has raged across the country, with some political leaders calling for an end to the 14th Amendment, which gives automatic citizenship to any baby born in the United States. Much of the debate has focused on immigrants entering illegally from poor countries in Latin America. But in this case the women were not only relatively wealthy, but also here legally on tourist visas. Most of them, officials say, have already returned to China with their American babies.

Immigration experts say it is impossible to know precisely how widespread “maternity tourism” is. Businesses in China, Mexico and South Korea advertise packages that arrange for doctors, insurance and postpartum care. And the Marmara, a Turkish-owned hotel on the Upper East Side in New York City, has advertised monthlong “baby stays” that come with a stroller.

via Officials Close ‘Maternity Tourism’ House in California – NYTimes.com.

Wal-Mart, Aldi, discounters, business models:

While Wal-Mart revives its plans to get into New York City, a giant German retailer has slipped in relatively unnoticed.

Estimates are that Aldi, a privately held, nonunion chain, has more than 8,000 stores worldwide and 1,000 in the United States.

In February, with virtually no opposition — a Queens politician even showed up at the grand opening in Rego Park, Queens — a discount retailer called Aldi opened its first store in the city, and plans to open a second one, in the Bronx, later this year.

After decades spent fleeing cities for the strip malls and boulevards of the suburbs, grocers and discount retailers are doing an about-face. Target plans to open its first smaller, city-size store in Seattle next year, and Wal-Mart announced recently that it would build “hundreds” of smaller, mostly urban stores in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Aldi has quietly been setting up its shops in cities around the country.

“They’re not only doing the small format more rapidly, but they’re getting into the urban areas more rapidly than either Wal-Mart Express or the city Targets,” said Craig Johnson, president of the consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. “Even though the company’s headquartered in Germany, they’ve opened up a New York store quicker than Wal-Mart has.”

via Where Wal-Mart Failed, Aldi Succeeds – NYTimes.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball, kudos: Praise for a great program.

Once again, we’re in the midst of March Madness, and once again there’s little mention of how successful, or not, each school rates academically.

Many alternative brackets based on academic performance show Davidson College as the ultimate winner. The school made it to the Elite Eight a few years back, which is amazing, given the challenges faced by today’s student-athletes and those recruiting and coaching them.

The remarkable thing about Davidson’s success is that for more than 20 years, under head basketball coach Bob McKillop’s leadership, it’s had a player graduation rate of 100 percent. These players are not given any slack or treated any differently than any other Davidson student.

Davidson is a fine example of how great leadership can make a huge difference in the lives of these young men. It’s a shame that so many of the other academic institutions fail to follow suit.

via Correspondent of the Day | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

faith and spirituality: Love wins!

Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan and, especially via his many slick DVDs, one of America’s most popular evangelical teachers, has caused a stir. His recent book, Love Wins, makes the case, staggering to evangelicals but nobody else, that the argument in favor of Hell and eternal damnation seems to fly in the face of the claims that God’s love is unconditional and that mercy is His primary attribute. Bell has opened himself to charges of being a universalist or (even worse?) no different from a “mainline” preacher.

I do no want to go on about Bell. He is well capable of defending himself. Rather, I mention this little hubbub to introduce an exegetical conundrum.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are usually referred to as the “synoptic” gospels, meaning that they can be “looked at together.” They are often printed in vertical parallel columns. For centuries it has been known that there is some kind of close relationship, verbal and structural, amongst these three gospels. This relationship has been coyly referred to as “the synoptic problem.” What accounts for this relationship? How extensive? The standard solution to the problem (by no means universally but very broadly accepted amongst New Testament scholars) is the so-called three-source solution. This argues that Mark was written first, that Matthew and Luke had access to Mark, while in turn using an otherwise unknown source, Q, for about 250 verses of sayings of Jesus, while each of them (Matthew and Luke) also had access to a source unique to each.

This not-us-so-against-us voice is the voice of all fundamentalism everywhere, not just religious or even Christian, but political and ideological, emotional and social as well. It is what will drive us along the pathway to oblivion. People of faith, and all people of good will, must still this voice wherever it is heard by overwhelming it with the power of love.

Yes, love wins if by that we mean, only love wins.

via Love wins « Hopelens Blog.

14
Mar
11

3.14159 … oops … 3.14.2011 … Happy pi day!

events, pi day, recipes, apple pie:  And below I have selected what i think looks like a pretty good pi day recipe!

Celebrate Pi Day!

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

via Pi Day.

A simple, old-fashioned dessert called apple pandowdy promises apple pie appeal with none of the fuss. Is it time for an apple pie makeover?

via Rethinking Apple Pie – Cooks Illustrated.

internet, Groupon, new:  I have fallen in love with Groupons … it is a great way to learn about local restaurants and new products ….   i saw this today … didn’t buy it … but  thought about it … Dali Decals Deal of the Day | Groupon Charlotte.

Chalkboard :: Dali Wall Decals.

favorites, recipes, French Onion Soup:  I have loved Cook’s Illustrated ever since Zach Smith left an early issue in the break room and they had brining turkey recipe for the November issue … which we still do twenty years later … this sounds really good to me!

Sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, will make this recipe overly sweet. Be patient when caramelizing the onions in step 2; the entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes. Use broiler-safe crocks and keep the rim of the bowls 4 to 5 inches from the heating element to obtain a proper gratinée of melted, bubbly cheese. If using ordinary soup bowls, sprinkle the toasted bread slices with Gruyère and return them to the broiler until the cheese melts, then float them on top of the soup. We prefer Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Pacific Beef Broth. For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.

via Best French Onion Soup – Cooks Illustrated.

ice cream, follow-up, Jeni’s, artisan foods, Charlotte:  The other day I mentioned Jeni’s … 3.10.2011 … If they call it “artisan,” I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both … « Dennard’s Clipping Service. … Well the only place in NC tat has Jeni’s is Dean & DeLuca at Phillips Place … very close to my house … so I stole away for a secret dessert for the evening and they had two flavors … I was not in a brave/adventurous/artisan mood … next time …

RIESLING POACHED PEAR SORBET

The striking aroma, pure flavor and delicate, buttery texture of whole poached Bartlett pears in perfect harmony with sweet Riesling wine. One of Jeni’s Signature Flavors, it’s completely refreshing every day of the year.

via Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Buy Now / Swanky Sorbets / Made in Columbus Ohio.

Olive Oil with Sea-Salted Pepitas

Sicilian single-estate olive oil. Sea salted pumpkin seeds. Jeni has just returned from Sicily where she helped press the very oil that flavors this grassy, verdant ice cream. Very clean, bright notes with the nutty crunch of toasted, sea salted pepitas. The combination of high-caliber olive oil, butterfat and cream melts in your mouth and opens up beautifully. A graceful tribute to Old World flavors.

via Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Flavors / Seasonal / Made in Columbus Ohio.

March Madness, fundraisers, great ideas, Chicago:  OK, I want a t-shirt ….

It’s Draft Madness! Don’t sit on the bench and miss the best event in town. Join the Young Professionals of Chicago and ChicagoBIGTEN alumni for a night of basketball and brews at the hottest venue in Chicago – Public House. For only $10, attendees will receive complimentary appetizers and drink specials, as well as a $10 gift certificate to Public House to use on your next visit!

For an additional $15 ($25 total), you will also get a t-shirt (tanktop for girls) to show your spirit around town. These shirts are sweet (click here for a picture)! Just include your gender and t-shirt size in the comment section of the registration form. Space is limited, and this event will sell out – get your ticket today!

Additional information: 64 Teams. 64 Beers. Public House introduces its beer centric March Madness concept. 64 beers will be randomly paired with each of the 64 March Madness teams. As teams accelerate, the price of the beer goes down. Prices will decrease proportionate to the beers price. All beer and team pairing will be chosen at random at “The Draft of Drafts”.

Draft “hosts” will be invited from participating schools to “draft their draft”. Many of these hosts either graduated from, played for or have a personal connection to the schools they’re representing. This will ensure the draft picks are chosen fairly and the draft can’t be manipulated in any way. Once a draft is chosen, the host will assign that beer to its partner team.

Celebrity draft hosts include:

Ryan Johnson (Chicago Blackhawks) – University of Arizona

Jason Franklin (Founder/President Sportiqe apparel) – University of Wisconsin

Ed Swiderski (former star of ABCs the bachelor) – Michigan State

Jarrett Payton (host of the Jarrett Payton Show) – Duke

Lindsey Schendel & Leah Berman (Loop Rock Girls 2010 & 2011)

Cameron Croft (President of the ChicagoBIGTEN) – Illinois

Jackie Kaweck (VP Gibson Consulting) – Florida

Ryan Preuett (VP of the ChicagoBIGTEN) – Michigan

Laura Faith – Purdue

Anderson Bell (CEO FanFueled.com) – Georgetown

Best of all, it’s for a great cause. 100% of apparel sales and entrance to the draft ($10) will benefit Alumni for Public Schools (http://facebook.com/APSChicago ) thanks to generous donations from our sponsors:

Gibson Consulting Group – looking for top talent interested in a consulting career

Goose Island 312

Sportiqe Apparel

Stella Artois

Event brought to you by: Public House, Chicago BIGTEN Alumni, Young Professionals of Chicago and Alumni for Public Schools.

via Draft Madness » Young Professionals of Chicago – Networking, Professional Development, Volunteerism.

quotes:

“Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
— Psalms 34: 12-14

health, diet, coffee:  Even smelling it is good for you!

There’s no need to feel guilty about your morning cuppa joe. On the contrary: Women who drink a cup or more of coffee daily have up to a 25 percent lower stroke risk than those who sip the dark stuff less often, according to a new study reported today in the journal Stroke. Researchers followed nearly 35,000 women ages 49 to 83 for an average of 10 years and found the reduced risk held up even after accounting for such factors as BMI, high blood pressure, diabetes risk, and smoking habits — indicating that coffee’s stroke-lowering ability was independent of these known heart disease risk factors.

But this study is hardly the first one touting good news for java junkies. “Coffee is incredibly rich in antioxidants, which are responsible for many of its health benefits,” says Joy Bauer, RD, nutrition and health expert for Everyday Health and The Today Show. Its caffeine content may also play a protective role in some health conditions, but many of coffee’s health perks hold up whether you go for decaf or regular.

Beyond lowering stroke risk, you may be surprised to learn that coffee can also decrease your odds of developing the following health issues:

1. Diabetes. Women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee daily were nearly 60 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers, UCLA researchers found. The beverage is rich in the minerals magnesium and chromium, which may help control blood sugar levels.

2. Skin cancer. Rutgers University researchers found that when sunburnt mice drank caffeinated water and then exercised in a running wheel, their risk of developing skin cancer decreased. The caffeine-and-cardio combo caused damaged skin cells to die before they had a chance to become cancerous, explain study authors. Capping off your sweat session with a cup of coffee (iced works too) may help protect your skin from sun damage.

3. Stress. You know how the mere aroma of a rich French roast seems to wake you up on a sluggish morning? Turns out that whiff can help minimize the effects of too little sleep on your body. Researchers found that when stressed-out, sleep-deprived rats simply smelled coffee, it triggered gene activity known to protect nerve cells from stress-related damage.

4. Cavities. Although this doesn’t mean you can ditch your dental floss, coffee may even help fight cavities. According to research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, coffee’s compound trigonelline (responsible for its flavor and aroma) has antibacterial properties that may keep cavity-causing germs, such as Streptococcus mutans, from invading tooth enamel.

5. Parkinson’s disease. Here’s some good news if Parkinson’s disease runs in your family: People with a family history who drank coffee were less likely to develop the debilitating neurological disease, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers. Although scientists are still trying to understand why, evidence suggests that the caffeine in coffee (as well as caffeinated tea) may act on a gene called GRIN2A to help lower risk.

6. Breast cancer. Women who drank boiled Scandinavian coffee, which is similar to stronger French press or Turkish or Greek varieties, more than four times a day had a reduced risk of breast cancer compared to women who had it less than once a day, found a study in the journal Cancer Causes & Control. An important point: Because the coffee wasn’t filtered, it contained up to 80 times as many coffee-specific fatty acids, which have been linked to slower growth of cancerous cells.

7. Heart disease. Dutch researchers found that people who drank coffee in moderation — two to four cups a day — lowered their heart disease risk by 20 percent, compared to those who had more or fewer cups. Coffee’s antioxidants may have a protective effect, says Keri M. Gans, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

8. Head and neck cancers. Although some of the data on coffee’s cancer-fighting capabilities have been mixed, Italian researchers found that the caffeinated kind guards against head and neck cancers. Compared with coffee abstainers, those who drank about four or more cups daily reduced their risk of certain mouth and throat cancers by nearly 40 percent.

via 9 Healthy Reasons to Indulge Your Coffee Cravings – Diet and Nutrition Center – Everyday Health.

12
Mar
11

‎3.12.2011 … Thinking of E and her happiest of days … Wondering if she stays up for the official changeover to Eleanor Daylight Time …

events, time change, DST, touché titles: “Cosmic courtesy” for you E!

The change is disconcerting. But more unsettling still is the mystery we’d rather not face: If clock time isn’t real, what is time, anyway? We don’t understand time, and we definitely don’t want to admit that our allotment is limited. We just want to get on with our day.

via Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – NYTimes.com.

Then in 2005, Congress granted Americans a cosmic courtesy: a little extra sun.

In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, intended to strengthen the electricity grid and increase domestic fuel production, Congress inserted a section that moved the start of daylight saving time back to the second Sunday in March and the end to the first Sunday in November.

Before 2005, the last major amendment to the Uniform Time Act came in the mid-80s when the start of daylight time was moved back to the first Sunday in April.

Many countries around the world observe some form of “summer time,” but set their dates individually. — March 7, 2008

via Daylight Saving Time – News – Times Topics – The New York Times.

Japan Earthquake/tsunami, facts:  Wow … moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet and shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches.

The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

“At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass,” said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.

via Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet; shifted Earth’s axis – CNN.com.

YouTube, lost and found, photography :  Loved the story … loved the video … But think about it  .. almost no one uses film anymore …

A young New York filmmaker, whose attempt to locate the owner of a canister of film he found in a Brooklyn park during the recent blizzard

turned into an Internet quest, has solved the mystery: She’s young, she’s French, she lives in Paris.

Todd Biebers’ original video, in which he showed the lovely photographs taken around New York City after the snowstorm, drew more than 1 million views, which prompted a second one as he began his quest for the mystery photographer.

Then comes the third, in which he documents his travels to Europe to reconnect with the owner of the film, who found out about his online search, and to meet some of the Europeans who had contacted him during the search.

via New Yorker’s online quest for owner of lost film roll ends in Paris –.

ultra marathons, kith/kin, good to know:  J was thinking about running this one again … Good to know that “An ambulance will not be stationed on the course. There are four major hospitals located within limping distance of the course, on the other side of Lake Shore Drive.”

Aid Stations will have water, Gatorade, Coke, cookies, pretzels, potato chips, candy, fruit, first aid supplies and all the goodies you expect from us. An ambulance will not be stationed on the course. There are four major hospitals located within limping distance of the course, on the other side of Lake Shore Drive . Aid station volunteers and others will be able to call 911 for help if necessary.

via Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race – Information.

YA/children’s literature, Curious George, museum exhibits, San Francisco: If I remember correctly, this exhibit first opened in Skokie.  Very interesting true story …

The Curious George stories were an international hit, allowing for a few cultural variations. In Britain his name is given as Zozo; the publishers thought it would be disrespectful to have a mischievous monkey named after the sitting king. Whatever the case, children around the world were taken with George’s unwitting mischief, and charmed by the cheerful, brightly coloured illustrations. But his story of travel, migration and cultural collision has a paradigmatically American dimension.

Against the backdrop of the Reys’ own dramatic travels, these children’s stories assume a poignant cast. The Reys became American citizens in 1946, and moved to Cambridge, Massachussetts in 1963*. They never talked much about their narrow escape, and even today the story is not widely known. This is perhaps because, despite the direct biographical parallels, the Curious George stories give so little indication of their dark historical backdrop. The outlook is resolutely cheerful. George explores his new world fearlessly, and his confidence is justified. Strangers are kind to him. Authority figures are corrective, not punitive. The inevitable misunderstandings are quickly sorted out and forgiven. He is just a fictional monkey. But those would be good standards to help any newcomer feel at home.

via THE CURIOUS JOURNEY OF CURIOUS GEORGE | More Intelligent Life.

architecture, Easter Island Statues, Miami:  Only in Miami?

CONCEIVED during the boom and taken over by its lenders after the bust, the Icon Brickell has become the most visible symbol of Miami’s property renaissance. The Philippe Starck-designed condominium complex is, depending on taste, either hugely sophisticated or utterly naff. The columns at the base of the building are shaped like Easter Island statues (see picture); tables and chairs sit voguishly in the water of an outdoor pool; the walls of an enormous spa are lined with books wrapped in white paper. It’s seductively ridiculous.

The complex had been largely pre-sold, but when the bottom fell out of the market buyers refused to pay up. Units are now being marketed at heavily reduced prices. Sales, at around 60 units a month, are running at twice the expected level, says one agent. The main source of demand is cash-rich international buyers, most of them from Latin America. Local agents say Venezuelans are the most active buyers, followed by Brazilians.

via A special report on property: A world apart | The Economist.

country v. city, free market, competition: All I know is most town centers die when Wal-Mart moves … what is the long-term effect?

But after reading an anti-Wal-Mart missive from another small business owner, I’ve been wondering: what message do these guys think they’re sending?

I mean, can you imagine a television station running ads asking you to complain to your government about the existence of other channels? Or if every brand of peanut butter on the shelf carried a sticker demanding that other brands of peanut butter be removed?

As a customer at the hardware store, I have to say I was a little insulted. The message couldn’t be more clear—as a business we’re concerned that your decision to seek a better selection of goods at lower prices will force us to close. Actually, I suppose it’s worse than that—we think you, enlightened customer, appreciate the benefits of an uncompetitive business enough to deny others the option to buy from a store with more attractive goods and prices than our own. Honestly, what sort of patron is moved to action by the call to kill off the competition?

via Business: The confidence to compete | The Economist.

travel, Europe, hotels, lists: Let’s go …

In addition to being a discriminating where-to-stay resource, National Geographic Traveler’s 2010 Stay List is an in-a-nutshell look at the geography, history, and architectural styles of five countries whose total acreage is less than California’s. Selections from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales range from humble farmsteads to over-the-top castles.

via Best Hotels in Britain and Ireland — National Geographic Traveler.

photography, history, Statue of Liberty, NYC :

A group of immigrants traveling aboard a ship celebrate as they catch their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York Harbor.

via American Classic: Lady Liberty – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

college basketball, Duke, Seth Curry, kudos:  I thought I could cheer for Duke because of Seth … but I find I can only cheer for Seth.  Kudos, Seth!

On Friday night, Smith’s teammates finished in spectacular fashion while he watched from the bench. Within a span of 46 seconds, Seth Curry drove for a three-point play, made two free throws and passed to Miles Plumlee for a layup as Duke scored seven straight points to stretch its lead to 72-60.

“I was comfortable out there, and I didn’t feel any pressure at all,” Curry said.

via Seth Curry eases Duke’s pain after Nolan Smith injured – CharlotteObserver.com.

Middle East Uprising/Awakening, China, Jasmine Revolution:  China next?

Since late December, Chinese pro-democracy and human-rights activists have watched, cheered and agonized over the events unfolding in the Arab world. There has been a surge of online traffic, with Chinese activists sharing links to blog posts, photos and YouTube videos in order to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East. When Hosni Mubarak stepped down, one Chinese Twitter feed declared, “Today, we’re all Egyptians!”

Online calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China first appeared on Twitter shortly thereafter and were followed by details about the proposed protests on the overseas Chinese Web portal Boxun.com. The calls drew small crowds of onlookers and foreign journalists on Feb. 20 and 27 in designated locations in Beijing and Shanghai, but those who gathered were outnumbered by the police, who dispersed them quickly. Many activists had been warned to stay away; others were forced to go on “sightseeing” trips, put under surveillance or house arrest, or detained.

Still, the events in Tunisia and Egypt were immensely encouraging. As one activist explained to me, “The Middle Eastern protests soundly rejected the claims that countries with Islamic traditions cannot embrace democracy and that people in developing countries only desire material subsistence.” For activists in China, the revolution in the Arab world has rendered obsolete the familiar argument that democracy is unsuited to certain cultures.

The Chinese, especially young people, are no less wired than their Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts, and they are deft at climbing over the “Great Firewall” erected by government censors. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are banned in China, but activists find ways to use them. More important and popular are domestic social-media services like QQ and Sina.com.

via In China, Activists Watch and Cheer the Middle East’s Democracy Wave – WSJ.com.

travel, lists:  I think I am stuck with Calgon … take me away.

FORGOT to plan for a spring break? Haven’t gone skiing yet this year? It’s March, people!

Which means two things: You’re overdue for a break, and it’s not too late to plan one. Even if you just slip away for a weekend.

Want to be on the beach by midafternoon? There are new flights to Destin, Fla., and the Turks and Caicos that are ready to make that happen. Feeling the urge to hit the mountain before the snow melts? Heavy snowfall and spring rates as low as $99 a night are making resorts like Breckenridge, Colo., and Snowbird, Utah, good bargains. Or are poolside cocktails more your style? There are plenty of options in Palm Springs, Calif., where newly renovated hotels are showing off freshened digs.

So, here you go. Whether you want high desert landscapes, powdery slopes or pristine blue water, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. Here are 14 top-notch escapes that require fewer than four hours in either a car or a plane from more than a dozen major cities. Wherever you live, we’ve got you covered.

via 14 Easy Weekend Getaways – NYTimes.com.

faith and spirituality, death and dying, bookshelf, nonfiction:  Sounds interesting …

Just two months shy of his fourth birthday, Colton Burpo, the son of an evangelical pastor in Imperial, Neb., was rushed into emergency surgery with a burst appendix.

Colton Burpo and his father Todd Burpo sign copies of “Heaven Is for Real” in their Imperial, Neb., home.

He woke up with an astonishing story: He had died and gone to heaven, where he met his great-grandfather; the biblical figure Samson; John the Baptist; and Jesus, who had eyes that “were just sort of a sea-blue and they seemed to sparkle,” Colton, now 11 years old, recalled.

Colton’s father, Todd, has turned the boy’s experience into a 163-page book, “Heaven Is for Real,” which has become a sleeper paperback hit of the winter, dominating best-seller lists and selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

via ‘Heaven Is for Real,’ Boy’s Tale, Is Publishing Phenomenon – NYTimes.com.

music, Billy Joel:  Enjoy!  We Didn’t Start The Fire.

faith and spirituality, labyrinths, Charlotte:  I think I would like to do a labyrinth tour of Charlotte.  Anybody interested?

Almetto Howey Alexander was a woman with a dAream.And as she approached artist Tom Schulz that November day in 2007, she knew he was the one who could help her make it come true.The two had never met, but both had come to the center courtyard at Charlotte’s Presbyterian Hospital for the public unveiling of Schulz’s latest labyrinth – a geometric flat surface with a circuitous path that leads to a center and often brings spiritual peace, even transformation, to those who walk it.”I want one of these,” Alexander told Schulz.”One of what?” he asked.”A labyrinth.”Before that first conversation was over, Schulz had said “yes ma’am” to this elderly black woman and to her dream to have a labyrinth – a place of prayer in motion – for her community in northwest Charlotte.Today at 1 p.m., the McCrorey Family YMCA on Beatties Ford Road will unveil the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth. Schulz’s latest concrete creation is an inspirational outside space that measures 40 by 55 feet and combines ancient African symbols with elements from Alexander’s life and philosophy as a teacher, church member and civil rights activist.It’s believed to be the only Afro-centric labyrinth in the United States and, according to officials at the McCrorey Y, the only labyrinth at a YMCA anywhere in the world.

via Her gift to us: A path to peace – CharlotteObserver.com.

 




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