Posts Tagged ‘fads

03
Oct
11

10.3.2011 … Travel Insights … I-85 ATL to CLT …

travel, travel insights, billboards:

  • Gasoline in SC has gone up 7-10 cents since yesterday (with the exception of the $2.929)  … and down 7-10 cents in Charlotte since yesterday … very strange.
  • I think the 16 ounce ribeye at Flying J in north Georgia has been advertised for $9.99 for 100 years.
  • Billboards are more religious and/or politically conservative in SC than any other place I travel.  Do liberals ever “advertise” on billboards
  • What happened to the HOV lanes?  Now they are express toll lanes requiring a Peach Pass …

Amanda Knox, Twitter, LOL:  I am sure she will be happy to get home … but the twitter world is cruel … Fleet Street Fox – ‘Her Life Was Hanging in the Balance’: Top 9 Tweets About the Amanda Knox Verdict – TIME NewsFeed.TwitterLockerbie Bomber, Abdelbeset al-Megrahi, dying secrets:

The truth about the bombing of a PanAm airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 will come out “one day, and hopefully in the near future,” the only man convicted the bombing told Reuters in an interview aired Monday.

“In a few months from now, you will see new facts that will be announced,” Abdelbeset al-Megrahi told Reuters. “I don’t want to speak about that because there are people who are looking after that themselves.”

Al-Megrahi’s comments come about five weeks after CNN’s Nic Roberston visited al-Megrahi’s home, where his family said he was in a coma and near death from terminal prostate cancer.

At the time of his late August visit, Robertson found al-Megrahi in a metal hospital bed, attached to an IV drip and cared for by an elderly woman that the family said was his mother. He was, Robertson said, “paper-thin, his face sallow and sunken.”

“Clearly he is in a better condition than when I saw him a month ago,” Robertson said Monday.

via Convicted Lockerbie bomber says truth will eventually come out – CNN.com.

Netflix, tv, business models:  That’s interesting … ” TV Shows make up at least half of Netflix streaming now.” … definitely is the case at my house.

Netflix may dominate the streaming video market, but theres some surprising good news for Hulu from the MIPCOM conference in Cannes. The streaming video audience seems to be moving firmly in the direction of catching up on television rather than watching movies. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos revealed the information at the conference during a joint keynote address with Miramax CEO Mike Lang, telling the audience that “50% and sometimes 60% of viewing is TV episodes now.”The subject came up when Netflixs move into television production was being discussed; not only has Netflix bought the rights to David Finchers remake of the British drama House of Cards, but the company will also be involved in a new series called Lilyhammer, starring Steven Van Zandt. “That can be mis-perceived as Netflix giving up on movies, which its not,” said Sarandos, “Its just consumers saying what they want.”

via TV Shows Make Up at Least Half of Netflix Streaming Now – Techland – TIME.com.

LOL, fads, planking:  Saw this on Facebook … When Parents Text

DAD: So answer me this… If a person planks in the woods does it matter?

hot chocolate, Ghirardelli Chocolate eat off, Hot Chocolate 15/5K , philanthropy:  Philanthropy made fun …

Sunday at the Bucktown 5K, the super team was out in full effect, with their first fund raising task, a Ghirardelli Chocolate eat off.  For $5, people were given 50 pieces of Ghirardelli Chocolate, if they were able to get all 50 pieces of the chocolate goodness into their mouth, they were entered into a raffle for a free Hot Chocolate 15/5K entry and received a free Hot Chocolate race hat!  The line was huge with people stepping up to take the challenge, eat some great chocolate and help out The Ronald McDonald House.

I have been to a lot of races and have seen a lot of things, but this one little booth had one thing that you don’t see a lot of at events, laughing, smiling, cheering and plain old fun.  It was cool to watch.  Check out the image gallery below to see some of the fun.

via Hot Chocolate Hits The Road! | Pace of Chicago.

Starbucks, Great Recession, jobs, private sector, microfinancing:   You go for it, Starbucks!

Starbucks is not hiring baristas or opening any new stores. (After all, they just finished closing 700 branches.) In a matter of speaking, the 40-year-old corporation is adding another tip jar to its counter, one that collects donations for a new jobs fund they’ve set up with Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of community development financial institutions that offer loans to low income business owners. The program, Create Jobs for U.S.A., is not dissimilar to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign. Donate $5 to the fund and you get a red, white and blue wristband that reads “Indivisible”.

Yes, Starbucks is criticizing the government. “Businesses and business leaders need to do more; we can’t wait for Washington,” the company’s CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters in explaining the coffee company’s inspiration for the program. “I have no interest in politics or political office. I’m just doing this as a private citizen trying to make a difference.”

The microlending technique is the same one they’ve been using for years to support the coffee farmers in third world countries from whom they buy its beans. Starbucks has been operating microlending and microfinance services in countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ethiopia since at least 2004. These types of programs have been shown to both benefit poor entrepreneurs and provide returns for the banks that offer the loans. (Create Jobs for U.S.A. does not bill itself as a not-for-profit project.) However, Starbucks has also drawn criticism in the past for putting its own interests ahead of those of the business they support.

via Starbucks Plans to Save the U.S. Economy – Business – The Atlantic Wire.

25
Sep
11

9.25.2011 …‎ Sitting in a sea of BIG Newton fans at Bank of America Stadium … (OK, we bolted at the half due to the rain deluge … and it was sunny with no sign of rain at home … not a drop) … But nonetheless it was a panther day!

Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton:  Great day to be a Panther fan … Nice to have a QB to cheer for.

The Carolina Panthers slipped up in the rain that pelted Bank of America Stadium in the second quarter Sunday, but they refused to let it rain on their parade, rallying for a 16-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With the large majority of fans having retreated for cover, a defensive gaffe gave Jacksonville a touchdown and a 10-5 lead as the clock expired on an opening half otherwise dominated by the Panthers.

The fans came back when conditions improved after halftime, and so did Carolina. The defense pitched a shutout in the second half, and the offense navigated treacherous field conditions for a game-winning drive capped by tight end Greg Olsen’s 16-yard touchdown catch with 4:20 left.

With that, the Panthers earned their first victory of the season, and Ron Rivera got his first victory as head coach.

via Panthers reign in the rain.

Rin Tin Tin, legends: My dad always talked about Rin Tin Tin …  ‘Yo, Rinty,’

This Rin Tin Tin is heir to a dynasty of celebrity canines. After all, a lot of us still remember “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” on TV back in the 1950s and ’60s.

“The number of people who declared ‘Yo, Rinty,’ which was the sort of signature phrase of the TV show, was heartening, said Susan Orlean – heartening enough to inspire her to write a whole book about the legend of Rin Tin Tin.

“I think he’s a wonderful symbol of something innocently heroic, Orleans said, “a living being who has embodied qualities that we have always thought of as American – of being independent, of being tough and brave.”

It’s a story that may surprise you. Did you know, for instance, that the first Rin Tin Tin was a star in silent movies in the ’20s, celebrated as an athlete AND an actor?

via The legend of Rin Tin Tin – CBS News.

writing, tips, lists:  I like lists … so far I am at #1.

One of the challenges of writing is…writing. Here are some tips that I’ve found most useful for myself, for actually getting words onto the page:

1. Write something every work-day, and preferably, every day;

via The Happiness Project: Thirteen Tips for Actually Getting Some Writing Done..

gLee, Sesame Street, letter G, parody, LOL: Enjoy the  letter G!

Get ready to learn all about the letter ‘G’ with Sue, Rachel, Finn, and er, Mr. Guester. Sesame Street‘s 42nd season premiere airs Monday, and it features a killer parody of Glee that is sure to delight children and parents alike (the episode also includes a significantly more manly parody of The Deadliest Catch, if you balk at musical television but dig puppets)

via Flavorwire » Watch Sesame Street’s Hilarious ‘Glee’ Parody.

Sesame Street: G – YouTube.

cartoon, pirate cartoon, New Yorker, LOL:

Cartoons from the Issue of September 26th, 2011 : The New Yorker.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, heroes, Supreme Court, photo essays:  As a female law student in the 80’s, she was a role model … a hero.

The Career of Sandra Day O’Connor

A look back at the rise and tenure of the first female Supreme Court justice, sworn in thirty years ago, September 25, 1981.

via The Career of Sandra Day O’Connor – Photo Essays – TIME.

Planet Word , books, Stephen Fry: “The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you” – Stephen Fry

Planet Word

“The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you”. (Stephen Fry). From feral children to fairy-tale princesses, secrets codes, invented languages – even a language that was eaten – “Planet Word” uncovers everything you didn’t know you needed to know about how language evolves. Learn the tricks to political propaganda, why we can talk but animals can’t, discover 3,000-year-old clay tablets that discussed beer and impotence and test yourself at textese – do you know your RMEs from your LOLs? Meet the 105-year-old man who invented modern-day Chinese and all but eradicated illiteracy, and find out why language caused the go-light in Japan to be blue. From the dusty scrolls of the past to the unknown digital future, and with (heart) the first graphic to enter the OED, are we already well on our way to a language without words? In a round-the-world trip of a lifetime, discover all this and more as J.P. Davidson travels across our gloriously, endlessly intriguing multilingual Planet Word.

via Planet Word (Book) by J. P. Davidson, et al. (2011): Waterstones.com.

Frank Warren, PostSecret: I am a big fan of PostSecret … although sometimes they are tiring because so many secrets are sexually related … or maybe I am just really boring.

It began simply enough seven years ago, when Germantown resident Frank Warren decided to embark on an experiment: He distributed postcards around the Washington area to complete strangers. Warren inscribed the postcards with the following instructions: “You are invited to anonymously contribute a secret to a group art project. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything—as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before. Be brief. Be legible. Be creative.”

Warren’s initial idea became PostSecret, a Web site which now receives millions of hits a week. The ongoing project fills Warren’s mailbox with hundreds of postcards every week, from which he chooses a few to post on his blog. PostSecret has produced five books to date, and last week Warren launched his newest project: an app for mobile devices. The PostSecret app takes Warren’s project to an entire different level of connectivity, allowing users to create and share secrets on the go. Within three days, the app had processed over 50,000 submitted secrets, and it’s currently the bestselling social networking iPhone app in the country.

via Q&A with Frank Warren, Founder of PostSecret – Capital Comment Blog (washingtonian.com).

Apple, Steve Jobs, business, growth:  Worth reading …

Finding that first market — a few customers willing to pay for your early product — is hard enough. But there’s one thing that may be even harder. And that’s finding the second market. Especially because companies are often so focused on protecting what they already have.

In 1996 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, I was in charge of an industry-recognized channel program for the company that was responsible for growing a $2M business to $180M business in 18 months. By working with a few dedicated partners — some were called “value-added-resellers” and some were national retailers such as Best Buy — Apple was able to grow its sales exponentially.

So, as I went into the full business review, it never occurred to me that Jobs wouldn’t appreciate the channel program. It was the most profitable part of Apple’s business at the time and a needed source of revenue. But Steve’s take on it (in his words, not mine): “Fuck the channel; we don’t need the fuckin’ channel.”

And he was right. Getting to that next growth market takes more than being unhappy with your current results (in this case, abysmal sales margins and underperforming stock), and it takes more than being willing to change. You have to be willing to do what feels unnatural.

As you become successful in something, you develop a feel for how to do it. You know when something is “right.” You’ve built up the equivalent of a hand callus in response to the friction and pressure of what it has taken to get to that first-market success. So, when you try to replicate that in a new context — a second market in this case — all courses of action just feel…off.

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, a good channel strategy made the key difference between a $100M and a $2B company in the tech world. If you had enough money, you could buy distribution and thus sales. The channel, therefore, had a powerful position in relationship to the brand.

via What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Growth – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review.

reality of fiction, naturalism: Very interesting article … “Not only can literary theory (along with art criticism, sociology, and yes, non-naturalistic philosophy) produce knowledge of an important and even fundamental nature, but fiction itself, so breezily dismissed in Professor Rosenberg’s assertions, has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.”

Literature has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.

In his contribution to The Stone last week, Alex Rosenberg posed a defense of naturalism — “the philosophical theory that treats science as our most reliable source of knowledge and scientific method as the most effective route to knowledge” — at the expense of other theoretical endeavors such as, notably, literary theory. To the question of “whether disciplines like literary theory provide real understanding,” Professor Rosenberg’s answer is as unequivocal as it is withering: just like fiction, literary theory can be “fun,” but neither one qualifies as “knowledge.”

Though the works of authors like Sophocles, Dante or Shakespeare certainly provide us with enjoyment, can we really classify what they have produced as “fun”? Are we not giving the Bard and others short shrift when we treat their work merely as entertainment? Does their fictional art not offer insights into human nature as illuminating as many of those the physical sciences have produced?

As a literary theorist, I suppose I could take umbrage at the claim that my own discipline, while fun, doesn’t rise to the level of knowledge. But what I’d actually like to argue goes a little further. Not only can literary theory (along with art criticism, sociology, and yes, non-naturalistic philosophy) produce knowledge of an important and even fundamental nature, but fiction itself, so breezily dismissed in Professor Rosenberg’s assertions, has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.

via ‘Quixote,’ Colbert and the Reality of Fiction – NYTimes.com.

college search, fit:  If I were a high school senior, I would be pulling my hair out.

Not too long ago in my office, I counseled a student distraught because the extensive spring break college tour from which he had just returned hadn’t yielded a discovery of “the right fit.” This seemed to be defined as El Dorado in college form, where everyone would share this young person’s worldview and interests—and the food was great. Each fall counselors have some tough talks with teenagers insistent that super-selective, name-brand colleges are the right fit for them, even if the admission profile of those colleges would suggest otherwise. We also see young people who earnestly struggle to identify the factors that will define fit for them, but who get derailed by “lifestyle” selling points of the colleges, like the ubiquitous gleaming athletic facility with climbing wall, touted in viewbooks and in admission officers’ seemingly interchangeable information sessions. From the student perspective, the Quest for Fit can be elusive, stressful, and frustrating.

There is a popular slogan posted in many college counseling offices: “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” This statement has become a mantra we repeat to families as an antidote to the media-driven obsession with rank, reputation, and prestige. The notion of “fit” or “match” once seemed to offer a metaphorical goal that would lead our conversations to more productive ground—to what my colleague Jeff Durso-Finley calls the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy, College Edition. What college attributes will contribute to your success and give you the support you need to meet your goals? What do you bring to a college community? What are some realistic parameters for your search? Increasingly, though, Fit showed up as a factor in student experiences that were counterproductive to the reflective, student-guided college search we want to support.

A few years ago, I was comparing notes with my colleagues Carl Ahlgren, of Baltimore’s Gilman School, and Jeff Durso-Finley, of The Lawrenceville School, in New Jersey, when we recognized the emergence of the “mid-sized urban school with great school spirit” (or MSUSWGSS) as the Holy Grail of Generation Fit. A by-product of our abuse of Fit, simultaneously one-size-fits-all and highly customized, this perfect college is academic, but fun, not too big, not too small. Its campus is, of course, reminiscent of Hogwarts; its dorms, spacious. The largest cross-section of our counselees described this mythic ideal as their “right fit,” usually assuming it was found in the far off lands where admit rates fall to single digits. Strange as it may seem, this is where Don Quixote rode into the conversation. Quixote’s tasks of knight-errantry are undertaken in the name of his beloved Dulcinea, of whom he proclaims, “all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her.” In fact, he has never seen her and she may or may not even exist; he has heard her name and ascribed attributes; she sounds a lot like the elusive MSUSWGSS.

Our colleague Jennifer Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, once captured the frustration of a conversation about the whole business of Fit when she exclaimed, “Fit happens!” Happily, this tongue-in-cheek phrase nails it. We hope it can become the new counseling office motto, opening our kids to unexpected possibilities and a more authentic, empowering and reflective transition to the next phase of their lives.

via Head Count – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), media, President Obama, politics,  black/race card:  Don’t like or respect Joe Walsh … but I am really tired of the race card being thrown out … from both sides.

A recent crop of bad press has not stopped U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) from making his usual media rounds this week. On Wednesday, after being named among Congress’s thirteen “most corrupt” representatives, Walsh sat down with the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell to discuss the mainstream media’s alleged “protection” of President Obama, claiming the president’s race protects him from criticism.

Bozell, a conservative talk show host, brought up the Tea Party’s love for African American GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain before accusing the Obama administration of “playing class warfare and race warfare games.” He went on to say that the national media is “aiding and abetting” that agenda, and Walsh agreed, referring to the president as “this guy.”

“This guy pushed every one of the media’s buttons,” Walsh said. “He was liberal, he was different, he was new, he was black. Oh my God, it was the potpourri of everything. They are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to protect him. [The media], I believe, will spout this racist line if some of their colleagues up here aren’t doing it aggressively enough. There is going to be a real desperation.”

via Joe Walsh: Media Will Protect Obama Because He Is Black (VIDEO).

Troy Davis, final words, death penalty:  Troy Davis maintained his innocence in killing of officer … Never a advocate of the death penalty, I can justify it in certain circumstances … but cases like this make more and more actively against it.

Georgia inmate Troy Davis maintained his innocence until the very end, saying he did not kill an off-duty officer in 1989.

Davis made his final statement as he was strapped to a gurney. He was executed at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday. Davis told the family of officer Mark MacPhail that he did not kill their son, father and brother.

He said the incident that happened that night was not his fault and he didn’t have a gun. Davis’ claims of innocence drew worldwide support from hundreds of thousands of people. Courts, however, consistently ruled against him.

via In his final words before execution, Troy Davis maintains his innocence in killing of officer – The Washington Post.

Facebook, social networks, media, marketing: Big Brother is watching …

Facebook, the Web’s biggest social network, is where you go to see what your friends are up to. Now it wants to be a force that shapes what you watch, hear, read and buy.

The company announced new features here on Thursday that could unleash a torrent of updates about what you and your Facebook friends are doing online: Frank is watching “The Hangover,” Jane is listening to Jay-Z, Mark is running a race wearing Nike sneakers, and so forth. That in turn, Facebook and its dozens of partner companies hope, will influence what Frank and Jane and Mark’s friends consume.

via Facebook’s New Strategy to Turn Eyeballs Into Influence – NYTimes.com.

Southern American English, Y’all: It may be ok to say y’all!!  And I never thought that there was a distinct name for my language … Southern American English!

DISCUSSIONS of Texas often turn to an exploration of the American South’s most distinctive regional locution, “y’all.” The common view, among outsiders, is that insofar as “y’all” is from the region specified, it’s also a bit sub-literate and redneck.

That’s a bit snooty. The fact is that “y’all” is pretty useful, as formal English doesn’t have a distinctly plural version of “you.” There is no “yous” (except in places like New York city and New Jersey, sometimes in the form of “youse guys”). This suggests that the referent is usually clear enough in context. But the existence of “y’all,” the related “you-all” and “all-y’all,” and other workarounds like “you guys” and “you lot” show that there is, in fact, room in the market for new second-person plural pronouns. Visitors to Texas typically realize the value of “y’all” within 48 hours.

via Southern American English: Y’all hear this | The Economist.

Navy SEALs, Commanding Officer Capt. Roger Herbert, Davidson College Alums:  Some Davidson friends and I were talking about the Navy SEALs the other night and one friend said that a classmate was head of the recruiting and training (Although he may be retired now.)  So I looked it  … learned a little about the SEALs, too.

In a courtyard known as the Grinder, more than 200 young men are well into a 90-minute, high-intensity workout. They’re dressed in white T-shirts and camouflage pants. A shirtless and heavily tattooed instructor shouts out orders. Other instructors pace up and down the aisles with megaphones — making sure that on push-ups elbows are bent past 90 degrees and chests are hitting the ground. These SEAL recruits are in the last week of “in doc” — the ramp-up to the first phase of formal SEAL training.

This is a scene that makes Commanding Officer Capt. Roger Herbert very happy. He oversees the recruiting and training of future SEALs.

“For the first time in years, I’ve got a full class out there,” he says. “We don’t usually see that. In fact, we have so many people in the class, they’re competing to get into first phase. This is a problem we’ve always wanted.”

It’s especially good news for the SEALs now. The Pentagon wants the force of just over 2,000 SEALs to expand by 500 by the year 2010. Herbert says it’s not going to be easy.

“It’s not just a spigot you can turn on and off,” he explains. “From the day that a guy gets here to the day that I give the guy his trident — the seal insignia — takes 59 weeks minimum, if he makes it through the first pass.”

The SEALs hope this mentoring will help recruits make it through the program, but Captain Herbert says the force will not compromise its standards.

“If we compromise our standards,” he says, “we are putting our troops in jeopardy. We are putting our mission in jeopardy.”

Herbert says the SEALs’ work during wartime is dangerous enough as is. He won’t tell parents of SEALs not to worry. Instead, he says this: “I can promise you he’ll be the best-trained man on the battlefield, the best-led man on the battlefield, the best-equipped man on the battlefield. But ultimately, he’s on the battlefield, and war is an uncertain thing.”

Herbert will disclose nothing about what SEAL commandos are doing overseas. He’ll only say they’re making contributions that Americans would be proud of. To date, 18 SEALs have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

via Navy SEALs Seek to Build Up Their Ranks : NPR.

Draw a Stickman, websites, random:  As one blogger said … what a great way to waste time. 🙂

careers, happiness, kith/kin:  My dad always whistled when he came in from work … he was a pretty happy guy.  He was a stock broker/bond peddler … #9 on the list: financial services sales agents.

Your therapist’s happiness level rises when you visit her couch. Firefighters are delighted to help you get Kitty out of a tree. Sins to confess to your priest or minister? He’s tickled to hear them.

Psychologist, firefighter, and clergy are included in the list of the “10 happiest jobs” based on data collected via the General Social Survey of the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “Since experts say that social interaction drives job satisfaction, it makes sense that clergy are happiest of all,” Christian Science Monitor writes. “Social interaction and helping people [is a] combination that’s tough to beat for job happiness.”

This formula explains why teachers and physical therapists are on the list, but also included are autonomous, creative professions like author and artist, and labor-intensive jobs like operating engineer. “Operating engineers get to play with giant toys like bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, scrapers, motor graders, shovels, derricks, large pumps, and air compressors,” says the Monitor. And, “with more jobs for operating engineers than qualified applicants, no wonder they are happy.” The full list follows:

1. Clergy

2. Firefighters

3. Physical therapists

4. Authors

5. Special education teachers

6. Teachers

7. Artists

8. Psychologists

9. Financial services sales agents

10. Operating engineers

Interestingly, many of the occupations that fall at the bottom of the job-satisfaction list involve information technology, which can create isolating work, notes Forbes:

1. Director of information technology

2. Director of sales and marketing

3. Product manager

4. Senior web developer

5. Technical specialist

6. Electronics technician

7. Law clerk

8. Technical support analyst

9. CNC machinist

10. Marketing manager

Where does your job fall on the happiness scale? Are you bolstered by the helping hand you extend to others or satisfied by what you create—or should you pack it all in and learn to drive a bulldozer?

via Whistle While You Work – The Sweet Pursuit – Utne Reader.

Apple, Samsung, competition, intellectual property:  Samsung … you look pretty stupid.

Consider the wall of apps in this photo of the company’s new shop-in-a-shop in Italy’s Centro Sicilia, which appears to feature not only the iOS icon for Apple’s mobile Safari browser, but the icon for the company’s iOS App Store — three instances of it.

Embarrassing, particularly given Apple’s allegations that Samsung “slavishly” copied the design of its iPhone and iPad devices. It’s hard to imagine there’s a reasonable explanation for this. Samsung phones don’t support iOS apps and I can’t imagine Apple is making the company a version of Safari.

Now it’s possible this was a display left over from some other event or product, but still.

via What Are Apple’s Icons Doing on Samsung’s Wall of Apps? – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

Jennifer Ehle,  “A Gifted Man”,  “Pride & Prejudice”:  Love Jennifer Ehle … I will add “A Gifted Man” to my dvr record list.

Many viewers will forever associate Jennifer Ehle with her career-making role as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice, the sumptuous adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. But the 41-year old actress, the daughter of the actress Rosemary Harris and the writer John Ehle and now a mother of two, has been producing a steady body of work for both the stage and film, since she first donned a curly black wig to play Austen’s outspoken romantic heroine back in 1995. On Broadway, she won a Tony award in 2000 for The Real Thing and another in 2007 for The Coast of Utopia.

Recently, Ehle starred alongside her Darcy, Colin Firth, in The King’s Speech, though the two only shared one brief scene together; she played Lady Catelyn Stark in the original pilot for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but departed the role before it went to series. This month, she’s in Steven Soderbergh’s big-budget germaphobe’s-worst-nightmare flick, Contagion, in which she plays a CDC scientist, and next month she’ll appear as the wife of George Clooney’s politician character in The Ides of March.

Ehle also stars in CBS’s new supernatural/medical/personal journey drama, A Gifted Man, created by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and launching tonight. She plays Anna Paul, the ghost of a free clinic doctor on a mission to improve the character of her arrogant ex-husband, Michael (Patrick Wilson), a brilliant neurosurgeon who has lost his way.

The Daily Beast sat down with Ehle, and in these excerpts we discussed A Gifted Man, why she left Game of Thrones, attachment parenting, why she’s never recognized on the street, and ghost sex.

Why did you decide to do a weekly series now?

Jennifer Ehle: I never thought in a million years that I would do a weekly series. I met Jonathan Demme when I’d auditioned for him for Rachel Getting Married. It hadn’t worked out, but I knew he liked me. Without Patrick being attached to this and Jonathan directing it I don’t think I would have even read it or looked at it. Then I just sort of started taking baby steps because if they’re both seeing something in this then maybe what I see is not an illusion.

via Jennifer Ehle on ‘A Gifted Man,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Pride & Prejudice,’ Colin Firth – The Daily Beast.

New York City Ballet “Ocean’s Kingdom,” Sir Paul McCartney,  ballet, New York City Ballet, costume design,  Stella McCartney:  What a great father daughter collaboration.  Now I need to find a review of the performance … not that I know anything about ballet.

Sir Paul McCartney’s first ballet score has premiered in New York.

Peter Martins, master-in-chief of the New York City Ballet, said it has been one of the greatest collaborations in his career.

Speaking ahead of the premiere, he told BBC arts editor Will Gompertz that the musician was engaged in “every aspect” of the project.

The ballet, choreographed by Martins, tells the story of an underwater romance.

via BBC News – Sir Paul McCartney ‘delivered’ to the ballet world.

When Paul McCartney announced earlier this year that he would create an original score for the New York City Ballet’s “Ocean’s Kingdom,” he had the perfect costume designer in mind—daughter Stella McCartney! The limited-engagement ballet premiered last night at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Stella McCartney, Ocean's Kingdom

Stella McCartney’s Ballet Costumes: See the Sketches! : InStyle.com What’s Right Now.

R.E.M, music:  Love  REM … might actually have to  buy the set … christmas gift for me?

Recently disbanded alt-rock legends R.E.M. will release their first career-spanning retrospective Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 on November 15th. Few details of the set have emerged, but Rolling Stone has confirmed that the compilation will include a handful of tracks recorded this year after the completion of the band’s final album, Collapse Into Now.

Though R.E.M. have released a handful of compilations and hits collections over the years, the material on those sets has always been divided between their IRS Records years, which covers the Chronic Town EP on through Document in 1987, and their Warner Bros. catalog, which includes all of their material from Green through Collapse Into Now. Part Lies, presumably a multi-disc set to cover the sheer volume of the band’s hits, will be the first collection to provide an overview of their entire body of work.

via R.E.M. to Release Career-Spanning Hits Set in November | Music News | Rolling Stone.

“The Problem We All Live With” ,  Norman Rockwell,  paintings, civil rights paintings, kudos:  Since I was only 4 at the time, I never thought about how controversial “The Problem We All Live With” was.  Kudos to Norman Rockwell for using his work to portray this.

With the eyes of the nation this week on civil rights, let’s turn our focus to a painting inspired by a Louisiana event that astonished America when it came out 46 years ago.

In 1964, artist Norman Rockwell, the well-known illustrator of iconic images of the American dream, unveiled the first of his civil rights paintings, “The Problem We All Live With.” It’s very likely you have seen this painting that debuted in a two-page spread in Look magazine. It’s very different from most of Rockwell’s work.

The painting shows a full-length profile of a young black girl in a white dress and tennis shoes on a sidewalk. She’s sandwiched between two pairs of federal marshals. You can’t see the full bodies of the marshals – just from their shoulders to their shoes. Scrawled on a wall that serves as the painting’s background is the nasty word, “Nigger.” Scratched at another place is “K.K.K.” The only vivid color in the piece, marked mostly by its muted grays, tans and yellows, is the carcass of a red tomato. It lay on the ground, splattered just below where it hit the wall.

“The Problem” is a simple, but remarkable work. North Carolina artist Kenneth W. Laird, who did his master’s degree thesis on this and other paintings, calls Rockwell’s piece “arguably the single most important image ever done of an African American in illustration history.”

via Rockwell painting nudged nation by Andy Brack | LikeTheDew.com.

 “All My Children”, soap operas, end of an era, UGA Law School:  41 years … great memory of watching all my children at lunchtime as a first year law student and rushing to get to Louisville to see if Jenny married ???

The long-running soap opera aired its final episode on Friday, ending the show’s 41-year run.

The finale finished with a cliffhanger: It ended with most of the show’s characters gathered at the Chandler house for a party. J.R. lurked outside with a gun and fired it when the screen went black.

Whether anyone was shot could still be revealed – ABC licensed the show to production company Prospect Park, which hopes to keep the show going online and on other “emerging platforms.”

The series, which debuted in 1970, featured Susan Lucci as villain Erica Kane, and helped launch the careers of actors including Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Josh Duhamel, Melissa Leo, Amanda Seyfried, Mischa Barton, Christian Slater and Michelle Trachtenberg.

ABC announced it was pulling the plug on the show back in April, along with the soap opera “One Life to Live,” which will end its run in January.

via “All My Children” ends after 41 years – Celebrity Circuit – CBS News.

“Buffett Rule”, Warren Buffet, taxes, politics:

WHAT percentage of your annual income do you pay in taxes — as much as Warren Buffett’s secretary? If not, what is the likelihood that you will soon?

Wealthy investors and their advisers pondered these questions this week, after President Obama included the “Buffett Rule” in the budget plan he sent to Congress. The rule stipulates that people who make more than $1 million a year should pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-class Americans.

The prospects of the rule ever becoming law are poor — there is strong opposition to it among Republicans in Congress. But some variation is possible. And that prompted David Scott Sloan, co-chairman of private wealth services at the law firm Holland & Knight, to spend his lunch hour earlier this week trying to calculate how much Mr. Buffett’s secretary would have to make to pay a higher percentage of her income than one of the richest men in the world. Assistants to high-powered financiers often make six-figure salaries, which put them in a top tax bracket (and presumably out of the middle class).

But Mr. Sloan gave up. “It’s so nonsensical,” he said. “It’s not rich, poor. It’s source of income.”

As Mr. Buffett explained last month, “What I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office.” His income comes mostly from his investments, which are taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent. His secretary is most likely paid a salary and bonus, which would be taxed as ordinary income, at a rate that goes as high as 35 percent.

Yet behind the entertaining political theater, some complicated tax questions are being raised. Here is a look at a few.

via ‘Buffett Rule’ Is More Complicated Than Politics Suggest – NYTimes.com.

dictionaries, words, culture:   Outrage?  Don’t ususally think of a dictionary as evoking such strong emotions.

But it was widely denounced for what critics viewed as a lax admissions policy: it opened its columns to parvenus like “litterbug” and “wise up,” declined to condemn “ain’t,” and illustrated its definitions with quotations from down-market sources like Ethel Merman and Betty Grable. That was reason enough for The Times to charge that Merriam had “surrendered to the permissive school” and that the dictionary’s “say as you go” approach would surely accelerate the deterioration already apparent in the language. In The New Yorker, Dwight Macdonald wrote that the editors had “made a sop of the solid structure of English,” and in an Atlantic article called “Sabotage in Springfield,” Wilson Follett called the Third a “fighting document” that was “out to destroy . . . every obstinate vestige of linguistic punctilio, every surviving influence that makes for the upholding of standards.” (The dereliction that most appalled Follett was the Third’s refusal to reject “that darling of the advanced libertarians,” the use of “like” as a conjunction.)

Gove was naïve to imagine that the dictionary could be purged of all subjective value judgments. Yet the Third wasn’t the radical manifesto critics made it out to be. Mmes. Merman and Grable notwithstanding, its three most frequently cited sources were Shakespeare, the Bible and Milton. And the editors insisted — quaintly, by modern lights — on including only words that had been documented in respectable venues. In a letter responding to the Times editorial, Gove pointed out that “double-dome” had been used by John Mason Brown and Alistair Cooke, and that “finalize” could be found in “highly reputable places” like The New Republic and The Times itself.

Still, the controversy signaled a turning point in Ameri­can attitudes about language. It introduced the words “prescriptivist” and “descriptivist” into the cultural conversation, and fixed the battle lines for the ritualized squabble over standards that persists across media old and new. The keening indignation, the dire prophecies of imminent cultural disintegration — it’s easy to have the impression that little has changed over the past 50 years.

But the furor over Webster’s Third also marked the end of an era. It’s a safe bet that no new dictionary will ever incite a similar uproar, whatever it contains. The dictionary simply doesn’t have the symbolic importance it did a half-­century ago, when critics saw the Third as a capitulation to the despised culture of middlebrow, what Dwight Macdonald called the “tepid ooze of Midcult.” That was probably the last great eructation of cultural snobbery in American public life.

via When a Dictionary Could Outrage – NYTimes.com.

fads,  photo gallery, LIFE:  I really enjoy these LIFE photo galleries … What fads do you remember?  Duncan yo-yos …

Fads. They come and go. Some, like the hula hoop, have a kind of staying power, a certain quirkiness or kitsch that makes us love ’em even more as time goes on. Others definitely have their moment in the sun and then vanish, exiled to the cultural dustbin where so many pet rocks and beanie babies currently reside. In need of a fad refresher? Come take a scroll down memory lane.

via Freaky and Fabulous: A Tour of Fads – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Mitch Daniels, GOP/Republican Party, 2012 Presidential Election, politics:  There is still time …

Daniels, a leading voice within the GOP on the need for radical fiscal reforms in government, disappointed legions of activists by ruling out his own bid for president this year. In town through Tuesday to promote his new book, “Keeping the Republic,” Daniels said he is hoping his views can remain in the conversation and guide the nomination process.

In his remarks Friday, Daniels said he did not watch Thursday night’s GOP debate in Orlando, nor any of the debates, for that matter. It’s his way of dodging a question he’s constantly asked: what he thinks of the current field.

Daniels did say that he would support the GOP nominee, whoever it turns out to be, and he qualified his view that there’s still time for someone else to jump in by saying, “I didn’t say there was a need.”

via Mitch Daniels: There’s still time for more GOP hopefuls – The Washington Post.

college applications, application essay, advice:  Another approach to the essay …

Stanford University’s application for admission includes a prompt directing students to write a letter to their future freshman roommates. The exercise is a good one for all applicants – regardless of their interest in Stanford – as a fun, fresh jumping-off point in the essay writing process, Rebecca Joseph, a professor of education at California State University, said on Friday.

“It’s all about loosening up,” said Ms. Joseph, who was on a panel called “Communicating Stories: Strategies to Help Students Write Powerful College Essays,” part of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors conference in New Orleans.

She quoted various students’ “Dear Roommate” pieces:

“If you want to borrow my music, just ask. If you want to borrow my underwear, just take them.”

“I eat ice cream with a fork, and I drink orange juice right after I brush my teeth just for the sour taste.”

“If you have anything other than a Dodgers poster on the wall, I will tear it down.”

“Using ‘I’ is scary,” Ms. Joseph said, but students must get comfortable with their first-person voice on paper in order to craft successful, resonant essays.

Erica Sanders, an admissions officer at the University of Michigan, stressed that writing style – something students may obsess over – is less important than “psychedelic” three-dimensionality and shows of authentic personality.

“We can fix that a student’s a comma fiend, that they don’t have verb-tense structure,” she said.

via Crafting an Application Essay That ‘Pops’ – NYTimes.com.

grammar, grammatical errors, lists:  Don’t want anybody to look dumb!

One thing blogging and good copywriting share is a conversational style, and that means it’s fine to fracture the occasional rule of proper grammar in order to communicate effectively. Both bloggers and copywriters routinely end sentences with prepositions, dangle a modifier in a purely technical sense, or make liberal use of the ellipsis when an EM dash is the correct choice—all in order to write in the way people actually speak.

But there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility. While we all hope what we have to say is more important than some silly grammatical error, the truth is some people will not subscribe or link to your blog if you make dumb mistakes when you write, and buying from you will be out of the question.

Here are five mistakes to avoid when blogging and writing web copy.

via Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb | Copyblogger.

alumni relations, technology:  

Alumni, analyzed: Collecting and analyzing data on alumni browsing habits—which newsletters they click on, how many times they visit the college’s Web site—can be a big help to fund raisers, write Peter Wylie and John Sammis on the CoolData Blog. They recommend that colleges push back against vendors who are reluctant to provide such data.

via Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Kate Middleton (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), princess school, The Princess Diaries, movies:  Sounds a great deal like Kate Middleton is a real life Mia Thermopolis.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Kate Middleton (ahem, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), is getting some private briefings on Britain’s august national institutions to prepare her for a lifetime of shaking hands royal duties.

It’s been remarkably quiet for Middleton in recent weeks, since she and her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, returned from their tour of Canada and the U.S. But behind the scenes, it transpires that experts in the areas of government, the arts and media have visited St James’s Palace to give the Duchess one-on-one tutorials.

A royal source said, “The Duchess is being briefed on how the State works, getting to know our national institutions better and learning more about organizations such as the arts, the media and the government. It is a process that will carry on for several months but is being done privately.”

NewsFeed was particularly taken by the notion that Middleton is “spending time carrying out private research of her own,” which one might call, you know, reading.

If this comes across as slightly extreme behavior, the Telegraph suggests that the Royal Family (or “The Firm,” as some refer to them) are keen to avoid the mistakes made in the case of William’s late mother, Princess Diana. According to the paper, she “told friends that no forethought had been given to her future role when she married the Prince of Wales, and that Palace staff ‘basically thought I could adapt to being Princess of Wales overnight.'”

To that end, William insisted that a support network be established to guide his bride through the potential pitfalls of public life. We have no doubt that she’ll do just fine, and hope that if we’re ever a player short for a pub quiz team, the Duchess will be available to take part.

via A Royal Education: Kate Middleton Goes to Princess School – TIME NewsFeed.

 Coca-Cola, memorabilia, collecting, UNC-CH, exhibits:  I want to the Stonehenge!

Stephen and Sandra Rich’s collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia began with just a few serving trays.

Now an unknown number of pieces whose dates of origin span more than 100 years make up one of the largest private collections in the country.

The couple, both UNC alumni, will display a portion of their artifacts beginning tonight at the Love House and Hutchins Forum in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Coca-Cola.

Stephen Rich worked as an executive with the Coca-Cola Co. at its headquarters in Atlanta for 30 years.

As an Atlanta native, Rich said he inherited his collecting gene from his mother.

“What company better reflects our country and the south?” he said.

The couple’s memorabilia — including a life-size cutout of Michael Jordan holding a Coke, a 1904 oval plate of the St. Louis World’s Fair and a miniature model of Stonehenge with Coca-Cola products in place of rocks — is housed in their downstairs den.

Stephen said every piece has a story.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Coca-Cola memorabilia to be displayed on UNC campus.

17
Nov
10

‎11.17.2010 … the view out my windows is markedly different today … the leaves are gone from the trees and cover the ground …. it is amazing what a little wind and rain can do …

history, technology: fun

An animated look at a thousand years of European history through changes in the political map. Pity it’s cropped and doesn’t indicate the years. Thanks to Heather Kinsinger for the link.

via The Map Room: Ten Centuries in Five Minutes.

education, design:  All this space and thought about space … we had 4 rows of 6 or 7 desks … are kids getting a better education?

Slate picked the winner in its Hive contest to design the classroom of the future. Choosing from among 350 entries, it went with a sprawling mega-room with indoor and outdoor components that emphasizes “connection” and was proposed by Seattle-based architects Greg Stack and Natalie Nesmeainova.

via Slate’s Classroom of the Future – Education – GOOD.

design, NYC:  I vote for this one …

GOOD Design Daily: Finalists for New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” – Transportation – GOOD.

fads, food: So cupcakes have gone too far … and now we are going to ruin pie.

Pie had been lurking below the radar in recent years: taking cover during the ice cream trend, perhaps waiting to see which way the macaron tide would turn. (For proof that the cupcake craze has gone too far, consider the new turkey cranberry cupcake with gravy in the batter from Yummy Cupcakes in Los Angeles.)

Suddenly, New York and San Francisco are national centers of pie innovation. In Brooklyn, a pair of sisters from South Dakota are integrating sea salt and caramel into their apple pie and inventing aromatic fillings like cranberry-sage and pear-rosewater. In the East Village, at Momofuku Milk Bar, the pastry chef, Christina Tosi, has transferred the buttery, caramelized flavors of apple pie into a layer cake, with apple filling between the layers and crumbs of pie crust in the frosting.

via Innovative Pies From a New Generation of Bakers – NYTimes.com.

food:  I must be hungry today … because these look really good.

I knew that I wanted to include a hint of sea salt in my caramels. It really balances the sweetness and intensifies the butter taste. But I also wanted to flavor them with something else—something seasonal and unique. Maple syrup fit the bill. A generous half cup infused my caramels with pure, sweet, fall flavor. Each bite is salty, chewy, and full of maple sugar.

via Edible DIY: Maple Syrup Caramels | Serious Eats.

politics, Oh_please!:  I don’t like Rahm Emmanuel.

In a new book, Rahm claims he privately argued to Obama that he shouldn’t pursue bipartisan support for health reform, because it would take too much time, instead insisting that the lesson of Clinton’s failure to pass reform was that it was imperative to put a premium on getting it done quickly. That cuts strongly against the image of Rahm as the chief internal advocate of the White House’s strategy of deal-making and accommodation with Republicans.

via The Plum Line – Rahm: I never believed in bipartisanship.

gLee, tv: It was fun to watch …

In the episode titled ‘The Substitute,’ the Oscar-winning actress will play substitute teacher Holly Holiday who fills in for glee coach Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), while he is out sick. Rumor has it there may also be a romance between Holly and Will.

“I’m very excited,” Gwyneth tells The Boot of her guest-starring ‘Glee’ role. “It was a great, great experience. I loved all the people. It was the most ridiculous character. I play this crazy substitute teacher, and it was great. I was so lucky to get that role.”

via Gwyneth Paltrow Is Filled With ‘Glee’ – The Boot.

technology, education, learning, history: very interesting …

Members of a new generation of digitally savvy humanists argue it is time to stop looking for inspiration in the next political or philosophical “ism” and start exploring how technology is changing our understanding of the liberal arts. This latest frontier is about method, they say, using powerful technologies and vast stores of digitized materials that previous humanities scholars did not have.

via Humanities Scholars Embrace Digital Technology – NYTimes.com.

twitter, RIP, learned something new: … RIP, telegrams.

@HartHanson

Hart Hanson

I have just been informed by @squarechicken that “telegrams” no longer exist. STOP.

via Twitter / Home.

culture, history, products: Thank you, 3M, for 30 great years. How Post-it Notes Have Stuck to Our Culture and History – Newsweek.

Apple:  I hate to say this, but I did not know the Beatles were not on iTunes.

Steve Jobs is nearing the end of his long and winding pursuit of the Beatles catalog.

via Apple Gets Rights to Sell Digital Beatles Music – WSJ.com.

business, design, logos: New term for me … social brand platform.

Simply put, no one really cares about the logo anymore. Today, people are more interested in what a brand can do for them. Great brands are discovering that logos or advertisements are losing relevance, and instead put their efforts into creating social brand platforms that invite participation and create value in authentic and relevant ways. The real reason the Gap logo failed was that it wasn’t backed by any of this; the same goes for Tropicana and the rest.

Social brand platforms require a new way of thinking: a cross between advertising, branding and design. In contrast to static logos and corporate identities where the focus is on control and consistency, social brand platforms have five key characteristics: they’re useful, social, living, layered and curated.

Living

With rare exceptions (notably MTV and Google), logos are static. But social brand platforms are living experiences that take place over time and increase in value as more people participate. The Apple and Android app stores become more valuable as the crowd contributes to these platforms.

via The Real Lesson of the Gap Debacle: Logos Aren’t Key Anymore | Co.Design.

 

22
Sep
10

9.22.2010 … Happy Anniversary, Hugo … peaceful day …

events, anniversaries:  Happy birthday, Hugo!  Oh what a night …

gLee, tv:  I gave gLee’s season opener  a 5/10 … but it is still one of my favorites … this episode was just too negative.

If there was one thing season one of Glee trained us for, it was never to know what was coming next. The show could go from scattershot and goofy to assured and transcendent within a week, from wacky fantasy to heartfelt realism between commercial breaks, in a heady rush as if trying to cram five years of TV into nine months.

So the one thing I was not expecting from its season two premiere was what I saw: a simply solid season-opening episode, neither awful nor amazing, that got us back on our footing and set up some promising storylines for the season.

Glee is a show about mash-ups: combining musical styles in the same performance, combining realistic drama with absurd comedy. If it has an overarching philosophy, it’s that no one has to be just one thing, and that if you think you’ve defined someone, you’re probably wrong. Beiste already looks like a strong example of that. Jones manages to make her intimidating and vulnerable at the same time, so that when Sue mocks her—”Oversized, referring to herself in the third person as an animal”—we see that she’s attacking not just a football version of herself but a distinct person.

Overall, “Audition” wasn’t a hall-of-fame episode (none of the musical numbers really stood out, for instance, and save for the “living in the sewers” comment, no classic Brittany-isms) but it gave the season some emotional grounding before the cavalcade of guest stars that begins next week with Britney Spears. It showed us a Glee that’s not working double-time to give us everything we want all at once, and that’s pretty much what I want from it.

via Glee Watch: Back to School – Tuned In – TIME.com.

fads, South Africa:  As ZA Molly says … this is the South African Vera Bradley …

Durban Designer Lou Harvey, South Africa’s answer to Orla Kiely, is best known for her bags in distinctive designs.

Lou Harvey fabrics are designed, woven and printed locally. The Durban based company was founded in 2002, and her accessory range is produced in her factory in Durban.

The Lou Harvey range includes a large variety of accessories, including laminated bags, coolers, wallets and vanities; as well as an extensive fabric and soft furnishings range. Stocked in over 250 stores throughout South Africa, the Lou Harvey range is also available in other African countries, as well as the USA, UK, and Australia.

via Fashion South Africa: Lou Harvey Bags, Durban.

collectibles, Starbucks, travel, South Africa:  many mornings I have coffee in _______.  Actually it’s in a Starbucks’ mug (often bought at the airport) from some place we have traveled … NYC, Beijing, Dublin, London, Kuwait … But guess what there are no Starbucks’ stores in South Africa … even right after the World Cup.  Does that not amaze anyone but me?

Starbucks Coffee International, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), has entered into a license partnership agreement with Emperica Marketing (Pty), Ltd. to distribute Starbucks Coffee in South Africa through its We Proudly Brew Starbucks® coffee program in the hotel, restaurant catering, hospitality and leisure channels.

via Starbucks arrives in SA – South Africa | Moneyweb.

history, mysteries, Africa, water rights: Interesting both historically and legally …

Two colonial-era agreements give Egypt and Sudan — the downriver countries – the majority claim on the Nile’s waters. But other countries in the Nile Basin — including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia — now want to more equitably share the river.

Yet Egypt and Sudan say they won’t give up a single drop.

John Bosco Suuza, a lawyer for the Ugandan government, says, “Actually when you talk to Egyptians they jokingly — although I’m sure seriously — say, ‘No, no, no, that’s not your water. It’s our water, stored in your country.'”

via Mystery On The Nile: Just Whose River Is It? : NPR.

random, culture, followup:  As I said the other day … takes me back.

The Official Preppy Reboot

Thirty years ago, The Official Preppy Handbook cracked the Wasp code-and went on to become a huge best-seller. In an excerpt from the update, True Prep, the author, along with designer Chip Kidd, covers the inevitable changes that are piercing blissful bubbles from Deer Isle to Jackson Hole.

via The Official Preppy Reboot | Society | Vanity Fair.

culture, social networking, law: Social networking and legal problems/issues don’t mix well.

His observations parallel the results of a survey earlier this year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which found that 66 percent of divorce lawyers cite social networking sites as one of their primary sources of evidence.

Schutz says he’s continually “astonished” by the kind of personal information people are willing to put online, which lawyers like him are always on the lookout for.

He advises people involved in a divorce or a child custody battle to swear off social networking sites until their legal issues have been resolved.

“If what you are engaging in is not appropriate then you shouldn’t be putting it online, or someone like me might use it against you,” he told the station.

via Lawyer Gives Examples of Husbands’ Divorce Cases Undone by Facebook – ABA Journal.

Justice Breyer, The Constitution, The Supreme Court:

Justice Stephen G. Breyer is worried about the public perception that the U.S. Supreme Court is influenced by politics.

Americans “think we’re a group of junior league politicians,” he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. “They think we decide things on the basis of politics. Or, if not politics, on the basis of what we think is good for people, rather than the Constitution. And I think that’s wrong.”

Even when they disagree, “all nine of us think we’re following the same Constitution that was there in 1790,” Breyer told the newspaper.

via Breyer Says Justices Aren’t ‘Junior League Politicians’ – ABA Journal.

economy, culture, cycles:

And there’s plenty of supporting anecdotal evidence in other fields as well. For example, the closing of Circuit City’s stores has led to the rebirth of local, hands-on electronics shops. The bankruptcy of K.B. Toys has allowed some local toy merchants to sneak back in. The fast-fading fortunes of Hollywood Video and Blockbuster have been blessings for neighborhood video stores like the one owned by Tom Tavares in Fall River, Mass. “We just concentrate on making people happy,” he told the Herald News newspaper. “We’re not looking to get rich.”That’s probably a healthy perspective, because as video and books go increasingly digital and more shoppers go online, the crumbs left behind are not much to build on and won’t last forever. But it’s fascinating to watch the pendulum swing.

via Peter Funt: Will the Internet Save Main Street? – WSJ.com.

economy, change:

Dollar stores have shown the biggest spike in shopper visits over the last year out of all the retailers that sell basic consumer goods, according to market research data. Manufacturers are racing to package more affordable versions of products common at those stores, and other budget retailers, feeling the loss of customers, are trying to duplicate their success.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is adding thousands of items to its shelves, including inexpensive ones, and is asking dollar-store suppliers to create small, under-a-dollar packages for its stores, too. In areas with high unemployment, Wal-Mart is grouping together its less than $1 items in a clear challenge to the dollar stores.

via Dollar Stores Scramble to Accommodate Budget-Conscious Shoppers – NYTimes.com.


19
Jul
10

7.19.2010. In case you are wondering, the boys are alright. Jack’s taking a class on medical anthropology and edward is learning his way around Boulder. Harris Teeter is missing the Teagues and our $s, but Safeway likes to see us coming.

fads:  I have 20+ packages for Molly to take to Gateway School, in addition to lots of book and games … I hope the kids like them.

Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com.

golf, vuvuzela, South Africa: Congrats!

The South Africans have a new soundtrack of success. The drone of the vuvuzela has been succeeded by the skirl of the bagpipe.

via Louie Who scores another win for South Africa – CharlotteObserver.com.

bees, beekeeping:  Maybe I’ll get some bees … I want to be a “younger urban woman” … not a middle-aged, pear-shaped, older woman who is losing her memory!

Beekeeping classes from Medina, Ohio, to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and New York are seeing an unexpected shift in enrollment. Numbers are way up as thousands of novices take up the hobby. And who are these new beekeepers? Increasingly, they’re women.

“The surge has really been with younger, urban women,” explains longtime instructor Kim Flottum, who teaches beekeeping in Medina.

Flottum estimates that there are about 100,000 backyard beekeepers across the United States. Exact numbers are hard to pin down. But subscriptions to the publication Bee Culture are on the rise. And when Flottum published a how-to book — An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden — 60,000 people snapped up copies. The book is aimed at making the hobby easier and using more lightweight equipment.

via Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR.

bees, recipes:  Part of the above bee article and the name just made me salivate … think I might try them.

For the muffins I make in my Tiny Desk Kitchen show, I use a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. To bake muffins or cake with honey instead of sugar, America’s Test Kitchen recommends the following formula. Use a 1:1 replacement of honey for sugar. So if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of honey. Now, this will make your batter more liquidy, so to prevent that, reduce other types of liquids in the recipe — like milk, sour cream, juice, yogurt — by 25 percent. But don’t reduce essential fats, such as butter, even if it’s melted, or eggs. You’ll also need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit; cooking with honey tends to make things brown faster.

The chefs at the test kitchen don’t suggest subbing honey for sugar when making cookies; you’ll end up with some soggy little guys.

Makes a dozen muffins

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

2 large eggs

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the yogurt and eggs together in a medium bowl, mix in grated lemon zest. Gently fold the yogurt-egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the melted butter. Mix by hand 1 tablespoon of flour with blueberries, coating them. This prevents the berries from bursting and turning the batter blue when you fold them in. Gently folded in the coated blueberries into the mixture.

3. Use a large ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

via Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR.

Kagan nomination: I don’t think many people care.

More Americans want the Senate to vote for rather than against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but the percentage in favor is less than a majority. Support for Kagan’s confirmation remains essentially the same as it was before her June confirmation hearings.

Typically, support for nominees does not change much after their hearings. Instead, Gallup usually finds increases in the percentage of Americans opposed and decreases in the percentage with no opinion. The percentage without an opinion on the Kagan nomination was the same before and after her hearings, which may indicate these were not widely followed by the average American.

via Americans Favor Confirming Kagan to High Court, 44% to 34%.

vocabulary:  “all right” or “alright”?

al·right

Function: adverb or adjective

Date: 1887

: all right

usage The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing .

via Alright – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

politics, South Carolina: Where is this going …

Fleming, who likes to quote Scripture, compares Greene’s story to “David versus Goliath, placed before the Philistines because of his heart,” Fleming said. “Dreams do come true. He got in it to win it and did what was up to this time unheard of, came from literally nowhere to win.”

via Alvin Greene, South Carolina’s Mystery Senate Candidate, Draws a Crowd.

free speech, tv, gLee:  I hope they don’t go too far and make all tv uncomfortable.

The court said the restrictions on “fleeting expletives” on radio and television violated the First Amendment because the policy, adopted in 2004, was vague and could inhibit free speech.

Will viewers notice a difference? It seems almost quaint to cite the hubbub over the Janet Jackson breast-baring at the 2004 Super Bowl or the trouble Cher got into in 2002 when she uttered a bad word on a live broadcast .

Cable television continues to push the boundaries of what is considered decent, and parents worry more about their children’s Web viewing than they do about an occasional curse word on network TV. After last week’s decision, which may be appealed to the Supreme Court, some critics predicted that networks might push for more provocative content. “Dexter,” a Showtime series about a serial killer, is appearing in reruns on CBS, though heavily edited, and “Glee” has sex scenes to rival the fare on cable.

via Decency Rules on Network TV Versus Cable – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

holidays, movies, graphics, people, South Africa: Watched Invictus in celebration of Mandela Day 2019.  And enjoyed it very much … am working on my 67 minutes!  Don’t you love the graphic … got my attention.

Mandela Day 2010 – Home.

politics, diversity, education, Edward: Poor Edward.  Being President of FFA may have hurt not helped his college applications!

But cultural biases seem to be at work as well. Nieli highlights one of the study’s more remarkable findings: while most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.”

Among the highly educated and liberal, meanwhile, the lack of contact with rural, working-class America generates all sorts of wild anxieties about what’s being plotted in the heartland. In the Bush years, liberals fretted about a looming evangelical theocracy. In the age of the Tea Parties, they see crypto-Klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs everywhere they look.

This cultural divide has been widening for years, and bridging it is beyond any institution’s power. But it’s a problem admissions officers at top-tier colleges might want to keep in mind when they’re assembling their freshman classes.

If such universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there’s more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more R.O.T.C. cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Roots Of White Anxiety – NYTimes.com.

politics, post 9-11: Wow …

“I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview. “The complexity of this system defies description.”

The result, he added, is that it’s impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. “Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste,” Vines said. “We consequently can’t effectively assess whether it is making us more safe.”

via A hidden world, growing beyond control | washingtonpost.com.

education, Wilmette:  From my experience with a large urban public, most electives are a complete waste.  I said most, not all … but this one at New Trier in suburban Chicago looks really useful.

New Trier teacher Joshua Wood’s 32 architecture students were tasked with designing an eco-friendly house. And while the houses may never be constructed on the lot, the students still took their class project seriously. To prepare for the design process, many students went to the property and took pictures, Robin Baugher said.

“We wanted to have the property be an inspiration, and those kids took off,” Baugher said.

The students first sketched out designs, then used a software program and put together a presentation board and implemented a 3-D house to make it look as realistic as possible, said Wood. More than 200 New Trier faculty members voted on the top 10 designs.

via New Trier class designs eco-friendly homes :: News :: PIONEER PRESS :: Winnetka Talk.

Jane Austen, anniversaries:  July 18 was the 193rd anniversary of the death of ane Austen.

I find her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh’s interpretation from his A Memoir of Jane Austen simple and touching. Even though it is not elaborate or detailed, it is the only version from the view point of someone who actually knew her, and I find that unique and invaluable.

Throughout her illness she was nursed by her sister, often assisted by her sister-in-law, my mother. Both were with her when she died. Two of her brothers, who were clergymen, lived near enough to Winchester to be in frequent attendance, and to administer the services suitable for a Christian’s death-bed. While she used the language of hope to her correspondents, she was fully aware of her danger, though not appalled by it. It is true that there was much to attach her to life. She was happy in her family; she was just beginning to feel confidence in her own success; and, no doubt, the exercise of her great talents was an enjoyment in itself. We may well believe that she would gladly have lived longer; but she was enabled without dismay or complaint to prepare for death. She was a humble, believing Christian.

via Reflections upon Jane Austen’s death, July 18, 1817: “her talents, her virtues, and her engaging manners” « Austenprose.

Children’s/YA literature:  Three generations of girls in my family have enjoyed Nancy.

80 years, Nancy Drew has captured our imagination and our spirit for mystery as we have read and collected the many treasured volumes of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series by Carolyn Keene. Whether it is her instinctive talent for sleuthing, her compassion for those in need of her help, or her strong determination to succeed in solving the most baffling mysteries, Nancy Drew has that enduring timeless quality that keeps us turning the pages time and time again.

via The Nancy Drew Sleuth Unofficial Website.

places, archeology, London, Jack: Since my oldest’s interests have moved to anthropology/archeology … might as well get some idea of what he can do with his life.

In the middle of London, a plot of earth is dug across with trenches and studded with old bricks. If the world of theater ever has hallowed ground, this is it.

It’s the site of London’s first theater, where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed and where the Bard himself once trod the boards.

Archaeologists who have been digging here since 2008 have uncovered a section of outer wall and floor surface from the building, completed in 1576 and known simply as The Theatre — whose timbers were later used to build The Globe theater.

via London theater site is hallowed ground for Shakespeare fans – USATODAY.com.

10
Jul
10

‎7.10.2010 … and she’s off … in 26 hours she will be in Durban, S.A. … Godspeed, Molly Teague ….

Davidson, bookshelf: I love this … alums and friends of Davidson reading the same book as Davidson freshmen!

Our first book is also this year’s first-year reading selection, Here, Bullet, by Brian Turner, a soldier-poet and veteran of Iraq. Get a copy today, then stay tuned to this space for more information and discussion questions from guest moderators from the Davidson faculty and alumni body.

via Welcome to the Book Club! |.

culture, education, Princeton Senior Thesis: Very interesting …

What began as a senior thesis paper has since grown into a $180 million organization that this fall will send 4,500 of the best college graduates in the country to 100 of the lowest-performing urban and rural school districts. A few months ago, Teach for America (TFA) received an applicant pool that Morgan Stanley recruiters would drool over. Their 46,000 applicants included 12% of all Ivy League seniors, 7% of the graduating class of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and 6% from U.C. Berkeley. A quarter of all black seniors at Ivy League schools and a fifth of Latinos applied to be teachers in the 2010 corps. It is, I’m told by some recent grads, one of the coolest things you can do after college.

via Naomi Schaefer Riley: The Weekend Interview with Wendy Kopp – WSJ.com.

favorites, vocabulary: I love Mark Twain and find this very interesting. “unexpurgated?”

But in his unexpurgated autobiography, whose first volume is about to be published a century after his death, a very different Twain emerges, more pointedly political and willing to play the role of the angry prophet.

via Mark Twain’s Unexpurgated Autobiography – NYTimes.com.

definition of unexpurgated

ADJECTIVE FORMAL  /ʌnˈekspərˌɡeɪtəd/

without any offensive words or images being removed

via unexpurgated – definition of unexpurgated, by Macmillan Dictionary: Free English Dictionary Online and Thesaurus..

green:

To put that into perspective, comparable energy savings would be achieved if 800 employees traveled to work using public transportation over the summer instead of commuting by private automobile. (Although the latter would be unlikely in car-crazed Italy!)

The larger point of the summer tradition is consciousness-raising — “to contribute to building awareness about the energy consumption associated with the use of air conditioners during the summer months,” as the company puts it.

via Might We Do as the Romans Do? – Green Blog – NYTimes.com.

sports, King James:  I am glad the hype is over … interesting tax analysis.

So does that mean he will get to avoid paying state income taxes, and thereby save a few million?

Not exactly. Most states have what are known as “nonresident income taxes.” These require people to pay income taxes for any days they spend working in a given state, even if they do not live there. In other words, if you cross a state border to make a sales call, or meet with a client, or play a professional sports game, chances are you probably owe income taxes in that state.

If it sounds like such taxes are hard to collect, they are. Looking to grab every penny they can, some cash-strapped states are upping their enforcement efforts of such nonresident taxes. Still, states are more likely to enforce these taxes when it comes to athletes and entertainers, whose interstate travel for games and performances are public knowledge.

That’s one reason these taxes are nicknamed “jock taxes“: Athletes can end up filing tax returns in several dozen different states to comply with such laws.

So just because Mr. James will not be paying state income taxes to Florida does not  mean he will not be paying state income taxes anywhere. He will likely still end up paying the taxmen in whichever states he plays away games next season, on whatever portion of his annual salary he technically earns while working in those states.

via LeBron James and Taxes – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com.

….     and why do you think this blog post is illustrated with New Coke … tarnished brand?

Rather, I’m talking about the hit that James may have taken to his reputation for what looks to be an extremely unpopular decision.

via FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: Did LeBron James Just Cost Himself $150 Million?.

fads: I wonder how long this one will be around?  Anybody buying Silly Bandz?  I heard that someone was now making them themed to colleges … UNC in particular.

Still, there are skeptics who think the Silly Bandz brand isn’t strong enough to last. In order to draw a new wave of children, a product needs to change the way they play, says Gary Cross, professor of modern history at Penn State who specializes in consumption, childhood and leisure issues.

via Silly Bandz Seek to Stretch Popularity – WSJ.com.

“It’s not clear in what way [Silly Bandz] are transformative,” he says. “Fads that are built around schools and peer association have been around a long, long time and those things have come and gone.”

24
Apr
10

One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein Week Ending 4.24.2010

Continue reading ‘One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein Week Ending 4.24.2010’




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