Posts Tagged ‘FIFA World Cup 2010

28
Jul
10

7.28.2010 … get to see the Atlanta family today …

Places: Are you settled?

I have lived in New York for 32 years, but it was only in 2000, when I moved downtown, that I finally felt settled in the city.

I feel a calm and security that I did not experience in my decades of residence on the Upper East and Upper West sides. This is not to say I was unhappy or discontent with earlier digs or did not consider the first brownstone apartments and the later and progressively larger prewar spreads as homes – because I did, ever more intensely so as they began to fill with children, animals and the pieces of furniture, like a dining room table or a grand piano, that are the badges of permanent domesticity. And it is fair to say that my respective neighborhoods, each in turn, provoked my interest and allegiance; when I moved a mere seven blocks down Broadway, it involved considerable shifting of routine and considerable disorientation. I did not know until I came to New York how intimately you can relate to your streetscape and how personal and grounding experiencing architecture can be. But until I moved downtown, I didn’t know the nature of my sense of place in the city.

via New York State of Mind – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

film/lit, bookshelf, movies:

Daniel Craig has a new mission. The current star of the James Bond films has signed on for the English-language remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

via Bond star Daniel Craig to star in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ – USATODAY.com.

‎green:  I would rent one!

Want to try out an all-electric car for a few days before you decide to buy? Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going to start renting Nissan Leaf electrics beginning in January.

There will only be 500 initially and they will be dispersed among eight cities: Phoenix; Tucson; Knoxville, Tenn.; Nashville; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. Charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise “hybrid branches” – designated locations that offer hybrids and other environmentally friendly rental options.

via Enterprise to start renting Nissan Leaf electric cars – Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive – USATODAY.com.

culture, friendships, salt:

To anyone paying attention these days, it’s clear that social media — whether Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the countless other modern-day water coolers — are changing the way we live.

Indeed, we might feel as if we are suddenly awash in friends. Yet right before our eyes, we’re also changing the way we conduct relationships. Face-to-face chatting is giving way to texting and messaging; people even prefer these electronic exchanges to, for instance, simply talking on a phone.Smaller circles of friends are being partially eclipsed by Facebook acquaintances routinely numbered in the hundreds. Amid these smaller trends, growing research suggests we could be entering a period of crisis for the entire concept of friendship. Where is all this leading modern-day society? Perhaps to a dark place, one where electronic stimuli slowly replace the joys of human contact.

Of course, we learn how to make friends — or not — in our most formative years, as children. Recent studies on childhood, and how the contemporary life of the child affects friendships, are illuminating. Again, the general mood is one of concern, and a central conclusion often reached relates to a lack of what is called “unstructured time.”

Structured time results from the way an average day is parceled up for our kids — time for school, time for homework, time for music practice, even time for play. Yet too often today, no period is left unstructured. After all, who these days lets his child just wander off down the street? But that is precisely the kind of fallow time so vital for deeper friendships. It’s then that we simply “hang out,” with no tasks, no deadlines and no pressures. It is in those moments that children and adults alike can get to know others for who they are in themselves.

If there is a secret to close friendship, that’s it. Put down the device; engage the person.

Aristotle had an attractive expression to capture the thought: close friends, he observed, “share salt together.” It’s not just that they sit together, passing the salt across the meal table. It’s that they sit with one another across the course of their lives, sharing its savor — its moments, bitter and sweet. “The desire for friendship comes quickly; friendship does not,” Aristotle also remarked. It’s a key insight for an age of instant social connectivity, though one in which we paradoxically have an apparently growing need to be more deeply connected.

via Is true friendship dying away? – USATODAY.com.

weather, Charlotte:  Yesterday, for a brief period, it rained like I have rarely seen it rain … As I said … I am not sure if it is raining cats and dogs (mine are inside) or if the bottom just fell out. I do know that my garage is flooded and my front yard , too, and it is the first time they have flooded in 7 years.

FIFA World Cup 2010:

Some of the record $3 billion brought in by the 2010 World Cup is helping fund a program to develop soccer in Africa. But FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer, hasn’t managed to deliver fully on its pledge.

Despite its name, the 20 Centers for 2010 program will not be completed by the end of this year — or even 2011.

Each of the 20 centers FIFA has committed to build — as part of its pledge to create a positive legacy for the World Cup — must include a soccer field, an educational space and a health care facility. The first Football for Hope Center was completed in Khayelitsha last year.

On the eastern edge of Cape Town, Khayelitsha is one of the largest and most dangerous townships in South Africa. On a recent day, the roads hum with the sound of minibuses and street vendors; a group of men on the sidewalk chant a traditional Xhosa song.

via FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa : NPR.

27
Jul
10

‎7.27.2010 … missing my peeps … even jbt out of state today …

faith, missions, family, Gray: My nephew Gray is in Lesotho on this mission trip.  What a great experience and so great that I can follow from home!

The Give Love Mission Team is headed out tonight at 7:30 p.m. It’s a long flight (about 16 hours!). And aside from 6 youth and 10 adults, we have a lot of luggage to get there as well. We’re taking more than 200 blankets to the kids at the Ministry of Insured Salvation Orphanage from the North Avenue kids at Vacation Bible School, guitars, art supplies, and all kinds of goodies. Please pray for safe travels, team unity, and that God would be preparing our hearts for what we’re about to encounter. Be praying for the precious kids we’re about to meet, too!

via North Avenue Missionaries.

education, internships, Davidson:  Davidson, just like most liberal arts colleges, is struggling to incorporate internships into the college experience.

But besides the financial question, students who attend liberal arts colleges can find it’s difficult to get credit for internships, says Lauren Valentino, 22, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., who wrote a thesis on unpaid internships.

“Liberal arts colleges maintain a distinct identity from other institutions through their non-vocational curriculum, which explains why they are less willing than some other universities to grant credit for internships,” Valentino says.

via Unpaid internships can cost — or pay off for — college students – USATODAY.com.

culture, high school: What will I say about my generation in 20 years?

I was witnessing a truth. Within our bodies of 67 or 68 years lived all the people we had ever been or seemed to be. All the success, all the defeat, all the love and fear. We were all here.

We went to Urbana High School between 1956 and 1960. We were the first post-Elvis generation, and one of the last generations of innocence. We were inventing the myth of the American teenager. Our decade would imprint an iconography on American society. We knew nothing of violence and drugs. We looked forward to the future. We were taught well. We were the best class.

via Talking ’bout my generation – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

news, random, LOL, truth – stranger than fiction:  I have seen this story before, but it is definitely one instance where truth is stranger than fiction.

Three street-muggers in Sydney, Aus chased a visiting med student down an alley and took his iPod and phone. Unfortunately for them, the alley they chased him down was next to the local ninja martial arts school, and a student ninja was lurking in the shadows. He got his teacher, and five ninjas stole out into the night and kicked ninjed the muggers’ asses.

via Muggers chase victim into crowd of ass-kicking ninjas – Boing Boing.

history, my nerdiness: I must be a real nerd because I found this article on the history and future of the electrical grid fascinating.

During the Depression, when power lines first electrified rural America, a farmer in Tennessee rose in church one Sunday and said—power companies love this story—”The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.”

via Electrical Grid – National Geographic Magazine.

culture, health:  We aren’t looking so good.  You should read the article …. talks about our generations drug use and unknown interactions with prescribed drugs when we are old …

The generation known as baby boomers may go into old age broke and fat, researchers say.

Particularly, those among the first decade of boomers – now at retirement age or within 10 years of it – may find a combination of unhealthy living and unwise personal finance decisions will leave them in rough shape after age 65.

They may not mind so much, however, because researchers say they also are more likely to be stoned on drugs than either their elders or those younger.

via Some N.C. boomers: Fat and flat broke – CharlotteObserver.com.

news, Charlotte, weather: Definitely hot here.

Charlotte hit 101 degrees on Sunday, a new record for the day, in a summer that so far is the city’s third-hottest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

via 101° – CharlotteObserver.com.

Apple: New Apples?

Will Apple launch new Mac Pros, iMacs, and the Magic Trackpad tomorrow?.

vuvuzelas, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Never thought about who invented them … just assumed they were a plastic version of an ancient african horn … but instead they evolved from a bike horn!

I invented the vuvuzela 35 years ago but, of course, it’s only since the start of the World Cup that it has become quite so well known globally. Whatever people may say about the sound it makes, it has never been so popular. That makes me proud; I see so many visitors taking vuvuzelas home with them, to Europe, South America and beyond.

I know people have complained in the past. One football squad objected to the noise when they played in South Africa, but I think it’s only polite to accept the customs of any country you visit, and this is our culture. Our players expect it and the sound encourages them – it’s the sound of our support. Many people say they don’t like the noise, but I’ve been blowing the vuvuzela for decades now and I’ve never heard of anyone going to hospital or dying because of it.

I approached someone who ran a manufacturing company and he made the first plastic version – a yellow one very much like those you see today. We called them Boogieblasts and sold them at games. I changed the name to vuvuzela in 1992, after Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa was allowed to compete internationally again – the name means three things in Zulu: “welcome”, “unite” and “celebration.”

via Experience: I invented the vuvuzela | Life and style | The Guardian.

FIFA World Cup 2010, marketing: Very interesting. .. Did Nike master the social network marketing and win despite Adidas’ sponsorship?

Two contenders, Adidas and Nike, each have a shot at becoming undisputed market leader when the whistle blows on July 11 and the final game concludes. Coming into 2010, their records show them evenly matched: each is estimated to have earned $1.5-1.7 billion in football merchandise sales in 2008 and 2009, and each controls about a third of the total market.

via The World Cup Brand Winner: Adidas or Nike? – Elie Ofek – HBS Faculty – Harvard Business Review.

culture, followup:  I forgot to include the illustration for Does Language Influence Culture? – WSJ.com …  The Tower of Babel’ by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563.  That illustration really enhanced the article.  Also loved Ann Sheaffer Gibert’s comment:

I came to the same conclusion when I studied Hebrew. Language must shape how our brain works, and different language structures reflect (or cause) different cultural standards.

The Tower of Babel' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563

travel, Ireland:  Really enjoyed this article on Ireland  … hope to go back and it will give me some new insights into what I am seeing.

I have been wandering in a zig-zag way around its country parts, Waterford to Donegal, contemplating the three great quandaries that have obsessed Ireland during my own lifetime: the old, old miseries that arose centuries ago from the interference of the English; the recent hubris and nemesis of economics; the tragic loss of faith and trust in the Roman Catholic church, for centuries the very essence of Irishness.

To my mind there is something transcendental to the charm of the Irish, the very emblem of their national identity. They are no nicer than other peoples, no less bitchy, no less quarrelsome, no less murderous indeed, but without doubt they are, come boom or bust, come faith or disbelief, come peace or war the most charming of nationalities. I cannot make out how deeply they have been affected by the three great communal anxieties that have lately afflicted them, but I can vouch for the fact that in externals, at least, they are just as they always were.

Call it national character, call it community resilience, or call it, most mystically, spiritually and irresistibly of all, simply the luck of the Irish.

via FT.com / Travel – On a journey across Ireland.

RIP:  My friend Eleanor is a friend of Leah … her story is compelling …Leah Siegel, ESPN producer whose struggle with breast cancer inspired thousands, dies at 43 | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News.

faith, followup: I also loved the  Henri Nouwen post that Cary referred to here.  But Cary culls it down to one question … and my list is way too short.

A valid question is “What are the names of the poor whom you interact with?”

via Knowledge Leads to Empathy « Jubilee Year.

children’s/YA literature, faith, history:  I look forward to reading this book by the Pope.

On July 22nd, the Vatican press office announced that Pope Benedict XVI has authored a children’s book entitled, The Friends of Jesus. The twelve friends to the famed Messiah are the Twelve Apostles.

President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Spanish priest Julian Carron, wrote the prologue to the book. He also offers this comment about the publication: “[The Pope] takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus’ first companions were, how they met him and were conquered by him to the point that they never abandoned Him.”

via Pope Benedict XVI to Publish Children’s Book – mediabistro.com: GalleyCat.

politics, The President: Sorry, Mr. President, this seems ridiculous … That is just too much for some face time with you.  And the people who pay such an  exorbitant amount expect something in return.

Chicagoans next week will have the chance to wish President Barack Obama “happy 49th birthday” for $30,400 ($60,800 a couple).

That’s the admission price for a Democratic National Committee “birthday” reception to be held at a the home of real-estate billionaire Neil Bluhm in Obama’s hometown on Aug. 5, the day after his birthday.

via Happy $30,400 birthday, Mr. President – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

tv, gLee: I hope Season 2 is as uniquely fun as Season 1. A ‘Rocky Horror’ Episode, and 9 Other ‘Glee’ Spoilers – Yahoo! TV Blog.

13
Jul
10

7.13.2010 … et will be off in a bit and then it’s just us … I will have no excuses for not doing all the things on my list …

history, Atlanta, oral history:  This is one of my “stories.”  The Atlanta History Center posted this today — “On this day in 1980, Atlanta temperatures reached a record 105° F.” I remember being out with Eleanor one summer night and at 11 pm it was 90 degrees. I bet it was during that heat wave.

icons, places, Pineview:  Clan Morgan of Pineview had a reunion and Lyn Kirksey posted some great pictures of Pineview GA.  These brought back a flood of memories.  I  consider the Pineview GA watertower an icon of my childhood.  Others here are the corner store, the McLeod’s Peanut facility,  and my mother’s cuzzin’s barn … where in the 80s, at Thanksgiving,  we joked we didn’t have an open bar, we had an open barn!  Thank you Lyn for these great pictures!

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music, South Africa:  Maxwell reminded me of a few South African artists … enjoy!

YouTube – lucky dube-together as one.

FIFA World Cup 2010, random:  Whoever thought to ask an octopus???

Call now for your underwater psychic reading.

Whether it’s his affinity for the red and yellow, or just plain genius, sports bettors have found their underwater messiah for future big-ticket games.

With Spain’s 1-0 victory over the Netherlands on Sunday, Paul the octopus showed his ability to perform in the clutch, correctly predicting the World Cup victor.

As for the third-place call? Paul went with Germany — another correct pick — partially to avoid being paella by the end of the tournament.

via Paul the Octopus: The Greatest Underwater Psychic Ever? – TIME NewsFeed.

FIFA World Cup 2010: I agree, SA impressed the world.

South Africa defended itself against criticism about violent crime, disruptive labor strikes and lackluster organization ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Now the country is winning widespread praise after a successful tournament, boosting its ambitions to host other major sporting events.

via South Africa Has Big Goals After Cup Success – WSJ.com.

technology, travel:  interesting

The mobile phone and laptop are not just tools to stay in touch with the office or home anymore. As Mr. Jarvis can attest, a growing number of frequent fliers are using their mobile devices to create an informal travelers’ community in airports and aloft.

via Itineraries – Social Networking Takes Flight – NYTimes.com.

Apple iPhone, icons:  Another icon for our lives … at some point doesn’t “icon/iconic” lose meaning?

On Monday, Consumer Reports, America’s trusted source of product reviews, said it would not recommend the iPhone 4 because of a hardware flaw with its antenna that sometimes resulted in dropped calls. The independent consumer magazine also cast doubt on Apple’s recent explanation that a software bug had caused the widely reported problem. Apple did not return requests for comment.

“It’s iconic, it’s cool, it’s the ‘it’ device and people want it,” said A. M. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

Still Mr. Sacconaghi and other analysts said Apple could eventually suffer from the bad publicity it had received over the antenna problems and for its seemingly contradictory responses.

Apple has promoted the iPhone 4’s innovative design, including its antenna, which is built into a steel band that encases the phone.

via Consumer Reports Says iPhone 4 Has Design Flaw – NYTimes.com.

12
Jul
10

7.12.2010 … a wee bit calmer at our house today … et leaves for Boulder tomorrow … then just jbt and me, 2 dogs and a cat for a spell … and Molly is checked in at St. Anne’s with a roommate from Zambia … can’t wait to skype with her!

media, basketball, King James:  Interesting that the NYT’s Dowd chose to write an op-ed on King James.

After the heady courting, the King changed courts.

And there were such loud howls about betrayal, disloyalty, selfishness, revenge and intrigue that it might have impressed even a Shakespearean court.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Miami’s Hoops Cartel – NYTimes.com.

literature:  Never really liked Flannery O’Connor. but I do like this analysis.

She went to her fridge where she’d written down and stuck under a magnet this quote, from Flannery O’Connor’s book of essays, Mystery and Manners: “Reality is something to which we must be returned at considerable cost,” she read aloud. Then we both made the same pensive grunt people do at poetry readings when they’ve heard an especially good line.

Like all of O’Connor’s work, the meaning of a sentence like that expands over time like a sponge. Mystery and Manners is packed with them. It contains talks about the act of writing, about teaching, about the art of raising peacocks, about the South, and Catholicism. But what I value most when I read these essays is how unbelievably deeply she takes on the task of being human. The shimmer of the unknown and the depth beneath our flaws. Her finest territory is how we wrangle with mystery.

To do this, she blasts us all — she blasts religious people who are acting poorly in the name of religion. She blasts writers who are pretending to say writing is important while only wanting to get published. She blasts all the ways we take shortcuts from meaningful experience, from looking at the world closely and truthfully. Reading her feels chiropractic — she drives to the core, to the big stuff, to the spine, and in this way, she’s asking us, over and over, to be better.

She’s a teacher, a back-cracker, a preacher, a visionary.

via The ‘Mystery And Manners’ Of Flannery O’Connor : NPR.

The Supreme Court: Kennedy will inherit Stevens’ power.  Sounds like politics doesn’t it?

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who already decides whether liberals or conservatives win the Supreme Court’s most closely contested cases, is about to take on an even more influential behind-the-scenes role with the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens.

By virtue of seniority, Kennedy will inherit Stevens’ power to choose the author of some court opinions, an authority that has historically been used – including in as big a case as the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision – to subtly shape a ruling or preserve a tenuous majority.

via AP News: Kennedy’s clout could grow on high court.

FIFA World Cup 2010: Lucky for the insurance industry and the houseboats, NED lost.

The image of tilted houseboats with dozens of supporters hanging off the roof has been indelibly linked in the Dutch psyche and become synonymous with football victory. “No, not again!” screamed a headline in the Dutch national newspaper De Telegraaf July 8, speaking to concerns of damage to houseboats.

Nationale Nederlanden, a unit of the biggest Dutch insurer ING, is already in talks with the city about how to minimize damage to the boats, which range from converted cargo ships to duplex vessels with gardens and patios.

‘Keep Floating’

“We hope, of course, that they’ll keep floating and there will be no damage,” said Stijn Wesselink, a spokesman for Nationale Nederlanden. “Should a boat sink, then the owners will be insured” through the company’s all-in policy, Wesselink said.

via Sinking Amsterdam Houseboats May Dampen World Cup Victory Parade Spirits – Bloomberg.

people, movies: Well, I guess I got it wrong I always thought of Audrey Hepburn as the quintessential American brunette beauty (in contrast to Grace Kelly as the quintessential American blonde beauty)

There are some surprises, too. Hepburn wasn’t a beauty?

“Her legs were too long, her waist was too small, her feet were too big and so were her eyes, nose and the two gaping nostrils in it,” writes Wasson. “When she smiled she revealed a mouth that swallowed up her face and a row of jagged teeth that wouldn’t look too good in close-ups…”

And then there’s Hepburn’s “virginity” to deal with. Her character was anything but and in the puritanical late ’50s, nice girls did not sleep around. Did the movie set the stage for the free-sex ’60s?

You be the judge. Just remember what Ms. Golightly believed: Nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s.

via ‘Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.’ shows another side of Hepburn, ‘Tiffany’s’ – USATODAY.com.

basketball, Davidson, Steph Curry:

Natural, like knowing without thinking or having to be bailed out by a scripted play.

via Curry taking the next step – CharlotteObserver.com.

11
Jul
10

‎7.11.2010 … Molly is safely in Durban, S.A. … lost one bag … so she has shoes a pillow and supplies for a project at a Gateway Christian School (http://www.projectgateway.co.za/Gateway_Christian_School.html) … hopefully bag #2 will arrive soon. Thanks for your prayers! Neat thing is, for this first day, I know that she will be watching the World Cup at the same time we are watching … how cool is that!

followup: … For those of you who have asked …While there, Molly  will be attending a 133 year-old girl’s boarding school, St. Anne’s (http://www.stannes.co.za/intro.htm). So she will be seeing many facets of South Africa.

Just got a note from the family that picked Molly up in Durban today … “We have got your gorgeous children safely in hand.  A little hic cup with luggage but as we speak been delivered to our home by S AA .They have showered and eaten and we have dropped them at the fan park to meet up with fellow students.  We will fetch right after game and tuck them into bed”  … Am I being a bad parent because I am jealous?

This is where Molly is for the final game … Fan Parks : Soccer World Cup : Hotels Durban : FIFAWorldCup.Durban.gov.za.

FIFA World Cup 2010, travel: Oh, to be young again …

Will Connors

HALFWAY BETWEEN CAPE TOWN AND JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — For this group of dedicated Dutch soccer fans, the road to the World Cup finals is 14,000 miles long.

It bypasses elephant crossings in Botswana, a sandstorm in Egypt and a rat-infested river in Sudan. After driving through 15 countries, the road took its toll: 50 new shock absorbers, dozens of flat tires, five new engines and four severed romances, including one divorce. There was even a death in Malawi.

Some of the remaining Dutch fans who drove from Amsterdam to South Africa celebrate Friday as they near Johannesburg and the World Cup final.

Only a handful of ruddy young Dutch fans remain from the original 44. They are now making their way from Cape Town to Johannesburg for the soccer World Cup championship, between Netherlands and Spain, in the final stretch of a long, mostly happy journey overland through Africa.

via Long Road Traveled for Some Dutch Fans – WSJ.com.

culture, politics, South Africa, FIFA World Cup 2010: These articles are fascinating to me … I can’t wait and see the followup.

Rejoice, the Beloved Country, toot your own vuvuzela.

Whether Holland or Spain is crowned soccer’s champions Sunday, South Africans consider themselves the winners of the 2010 World Cup. “We wanted to show Africa could do it,” President Jacob Zuma told a lunch crowd of investors Tuesday, “to challenge all the stereotypes.”

From Mr. Zuma on down comes the message that South Africa must not squander the warm vibes and new confidence. Greece felt good after the 2004 Olympics; look what happened later. Here the stakes go beyond recouping the 40 billion rand ($5.2 billion) it cost to put on this show. Will South Africa build up a free market democracy, or will cronyism, corruption and poor governance take it down the road to a failed state?

Though in many ways a case apart from the rest of Africa, success or failure here will aid or impede the continent’s awakening. Its financial, physical and intellectual infrastructure make South Africa the natural gateway to this frontier market of 900 million people.

“Nation-building is a process,” says Ms. Zille, “it is not an event.” After this World Cup, “we might swing back a little but not all the way back.”

via Matthew Kaminski: South Africa: After the Vuvuzelas Go Quiet – WSJ.com.

On Saturday, a day before Spain and the Netherlands, two nations that have never won the World Cup, were to meet in the final, Danny Jordaan spoke of South Africa as the first African nation to hold the earth’s most important sports event.

His homeland has a word, Ubuntu, that means we are all interconnected, said Jordaan, who grew up under segregation, as a man of mixed ancestry.

“People don’t want to trust Africa,” Blatter said two years ago. “That is wrong. Africa has given so much not only to football but to the whole world. Someday, something should come back. So let’s have this World Cup. Let’s celebrate Africa. Why not?”

Blatter has said some loopy things in his time, but he followed through on his talk about the “moral responsibility” to hold a World Cup in South Africa. Blatter did not quote John Donne, but Danny Jordaan did. In a World Cup of firsts, that seemed only right.

via Sports of The Times – Celebrating South Africa and a Job Done Well – NYTimes.com.

local culture, Portland, alluring titles, Jane Austen:  OK, the title got me  (and thank you Eleanor for giving me a title for “alluring” titles … but it does play well into the article.  enjoy.

“Being elitist about it is kind of counterproductive,” said Erik Gage, 21, the band’s lead singer, who noted that he loves living in Portland. “You can argue about it, but I think one of the most important things about localism is getting along with the locals.”

If you can figure out who they are.

via Portland Journal – The Pride and Prejudice of ‘Local’ – NYTimes.com.

food, travel, public art: I think street food is public art … available to everyone (well, almost everyone) … at least the aromas are available to everyone.  Of the thirteen listed here, I have only been to two and never eaten any street food … I think I will make street food a part of my travels … but is the article’s conclusion, “How do you know if the food is safe? Just follow the crowds, ” good advice?

You don’t need to dine in fine restaurants to experience the most authentic local cuisine. Spend small and eat big at street stalls, food carts, and curb-friendly venues in these 11 cities.

How do you know if the food is safe? Just follow the crowds.

via The World’s Best Street Food: 11 Top Cities Slideshow at Frommer’s.

random, history, world health, learned something new:  For Molly’s trip she had to get Malaria medicine.  So of course this article caught my eye.  It is very interesting from many perspectives.  So I learned a lot … but right off the bat I learned why we use the term “dog days of summer”  which I have to admit I never knew.

The Romans called malaria the “rage of the Dog Star,” since its fever and chills so often arrived during the caniculares dies, the dog days of summer, when Sirius disappeared in the glow of the sun. To avoid it, ancient Romans built their grand villas high in the hills, fled the mosquito-ridden wetlands that encircled Rome, and prayed for relief at temples dedicated to the fever goddess, Febris.

via The Tenacious Buzz of Malaria – WSJ.com.

random, NYC:

Twice a week, the vacant playground at the corner of Chrystie and Broome streets comes alive with the sounds of plastic scraping asphalt and clicking bicycle wheels. Whooping and cheering and cigarette smoke waft up from the sideline, while grown men and women pump around on bicycles swinging homemade mallets. They crash into walls and each other. The blood and bruises on knees and elbows are afterthoughts.

Though bicycle polo—which is exactly what it sounds like—was not born here, the Pit is its mecca. The one place every player wants to experience. Like Rucker Park is to streetballers and Pebble Beach is to golfers.

via Bike Polo Regulars Gather in The Pit – WSJ.com.

education, creativity: very interesting …

In the 50 years since Schwarzrock and the others took their tests, scholars—first led by Torrance, now his colleague, Garnet Millar—have been tracking the children, recording every patent earned, every business founded, every research paper published, and every grant awarded. They tallied the books, dances, radio shows, art exhibitions, software programs, advertising campaigns, hardware innovations, music compositions, public policies (written or implemented), leadership positions, invited lectures, and buildings designed.

Nobody would argue that Torrance’s tasks, which have become the gold standard in creativity assessment, measure creativity perfectly. What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.

Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test—a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist—has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.

Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike. Fortunately, the science can help: we know the steps to lead that elusive muse right to our doors.

via The Creativity Crisis – Newsweek.

culture, education, colleges, Davidson, cardboard in my shoes:  After leaving Davidson in 1982, there was massive capital spending, and everyone who visits says it looks like a country club … which they say about every college, public or private, if I read this article accurately.  We didn’t have air-conditioned dorms, bricked walkways, climbing walls, new gym, new student center, suite dorms (with air-conditioning).  But we did have laundry service, 😉 … Is it excess or progress?

But the trend toward increased spending on nonacademic areas prevailed across the higher education spectrum, with public and private, elite and community colleges increasing expenditures more for student services than for instruction, the report said.

The student services category can include spending on career counseling and financial aid offices, but also on intramural athletics and student centers.

“This is the country-clubization of the American university,” said Richard K. Vedder, a professor at Ohio University who studies the economics of higher education. “A lot of it is for great athletic centers and spectacular student union buildings. In the zeal to get students, they are going after them on the basis of recreational amenities.”

On average, spending on instruction increased 22 percent over the decade at private research universities, about the same as tuition, but 36 percent for student services and 36 percent for institutional support, a category that includes general administration, legal services and public relations, the study said.

via Share of College Spending for Recreation Is Rising – NYTimes.com.

culture, technology, internet: This makes me wonder about me!

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I’m haunted by that scene in 2001. What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike pleading with the astronaut—“I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m afraid”—and its final reversion to what can only be called a state of innocence. HAL’s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm. In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

via Is Google Making Us Stupid? – Magazine – The Atlantic.

culture, education, our children:  This makes you wonder about our generation of children.

Recently, book publishers got some good news. Researchers gave 852 disadvantaged students 12 books (of their own choosing) to take home at the end of the school year. They did this for three successive years.

Then the researchers, led by Richard Allington of the University of Tennessee, looked at those students’ test scores. They found that the students who brought the books home had significantly higher reading scores than other students. These students were less affected by the “summer slide” — the decline that especially afflicts lower-income students during the vacation months. In fact, just having those 12 books seemed to have as much positive effect as attending summer school.

This study, along with many others, illustrates the tremendous power of books. We already knew, from research in 27 countries, that kids who grow up in a home with 500 books stay in school longer and do better. This new study suggests that introducing books into homes that may not have them also produces significant educational gains.

These different cultures foster different types of learning. The great essayist Joseph Epstein once distinguished between being well informed, being hip and being cultivated. The Internet helps you become well informed — knowledgeable about current events, the latest controversies and important trends. The Internet also helps you become hip — to learn about what’s going on, as Epstein writes, “in those lively waters outside the boring mainstream.”

But the literary world is still better at helping you become cultivated, mastering significant things of lasting import. To learn these sorts of things, you have to defer to greater minds than your own. You have to take the time to immerse yourself in a great writer’s world. You have to respect the authority of the teacher.

Right now, the literary world is better at encouraging this kind of identity. The Internet culture may produce better conversationalists, but the literary culture still produces better students.

It’s better at distinguishing the important from the unimportant, and making the important more prestigious.

Perhaps that will change. Already, more “old-fashioned” outposts are opening up across the Web. It could be that the real debate will not be books versus the Internet but how to build an Internet counterculture that will better attract people to serious learning.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Medium Is the Medium – NYTimes.com.

children’s/YA literature:  I think I may have to read this book … it intrigues me!

Some children’s books seem only really right when read aloud, at bedtime. Perhaps it’s because certain stories require a calm, undistracted time to achieve their effect of untethering children from the here-and-now and of stirring their imaginations in hazy, indefinable ways. Such is definitely the case with “The Storyteller’s Secrets,” a series of tales (in verse) within a tale (in prose) by the British writer Tony Mitton.

via Children’s Books: ‘The Storyteller’s Secrets’ – WSJ.com.

literature, The South, oral history:  Do you think To Kill A Mockingbird is the greatest American novel, greatest Southern novel?  my mom knew of Harper Lee at Alabama and she says everyone’s jaw dropped when the novel came out and one the Pulitzer Prize.  I think she was as reclusive at Alabama at 21 as she has been as an adult world-renowned writer.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee!

via To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Celebration.

politics, South Carolina, The South:  Just furthering the notion that SC and the South , in general, are another world …

“They didn’t pit the world against the terrorist, they pit the world against me,” he said. “The foreign terrorist had it made, and I didn’t.”

In the course of a two-hour interview, Mr. Greene, 32, returned repeatedly to this subject, but he offered no help in deciphering its meaning. He declined to discuss why he might not have been promoted and why he was discharged involuntarily. Military records are private, and Mr. Greene said he would not make his public.

But the interview offered a glimpse into the psyche of an enigmatic man who was catapulted from obscurity onto the national stage a month ago when he won the primary for the Democratic nomination for the Senate. He will face Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican, and Tom Clements of the Green Party in November.

via Enigmatic Jobless Man Prepares Senate Campaign in South Carolina – NYTimes.com.

design: Enjoyed this article very much.  Grand Designs for Cooper-Hewitt’s Future – WSJ.com.


07
Jul
10

7.7.2010 … gearing up for battle with South African Airways … How dare they reschedule molls’ last leg … maybe because it is during the finals of the World Cup … hmmmm …

followup, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Well …I again have flights for the Molls … after 3 1/2 hours on the phone … and they really tried to help, but the bottom line is that South African Airlines cancelled her last leg because there was a better economic use of the plane in light of the World Cup.

BofA: Grit and ambition … and luck …

The split capped the 50-year-old Mr. Moynihan’s long climb to the top of the nation’s largest bank in assets. It also underscored his biggest challenge: overcoming doubts that he was the right choice for the job. At several points in his career, Mr. Moynihan’s grit and ambition, which earned him powerful support, got a major boost because he was the last man standing.

via How BofA CEO Survived Board Split – WSJ.com.

Apple Apps: Another list … My 5 favorite iPhone apps | Daniel Pink.

FIFA World Cup 2010:  I do like it that the Netherlands has  an historical reason for their ungodly orange uniforms.

Prince of Orange is a title of nobility, originally associated with the Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France.

It is carried by members of the House of Orange-Nassau, as heirs to the crown of the Netherlands, and is also seen carried by the pretenders by members of the House of Hohenzollern. It is currently carried by Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (Orange-Nassau), Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (Hohenzollern) and Guy, Marquis de Mailly-Neslé, Prince d’Orange.

via Prince of Orange – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

random: 🙂

hon·ey laun·der·ing (noun): Fraud involving trade in Chinese honey to skirt U.S. taxes.

via hon·ey laun·der·ing | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

quotes:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

06
Jul
10

7.6.2010 hot, hot, hot … happy birthday, Julie! … the molls will be on her way to winter in 4 days … so we are buying tights, jackets, long sleeve shirts, etc. today … very strange …

events: happy birthday, Julie!

culture, science:  Some things seem obvious to me …

“On a practical level this means that the average adolescent has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m.,” Dr. Owens said. Teenagers still need slightly more than nine hours of sleep each night, which would call for an ideal wake time of about 8 a.m.

via The Benefits of Starting School Later and Letting Teens Sleep Later – WSJ.com.

language, culture, international:  American English as the international standard … hmmm … Is there American English?  Economist Debates: English: Statements.

The President, Kagan nomination, the Roberts Court, politics:  collision course …

Some advisors counseled caution, but the president opted to criticize the conservative justices in the uncomfortable spotlight of national television as Senate Democrats roared their approval.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is still angered by what he saw as a highly partisan insult to the independent judiciary. The incident put a public spotlight on the deep divide between the Obama White House and the Roberts court, one that could have a profound effect in the years ahead.

The president and congressional Democrats have embarked on an ambitious drive to regulate corporations, banks, health insurers and the energy industry. But the high court, with Roberts increasingly in control, will have the final word on those regulatory laws.

Many legal experts foresee a clash between Obama’s progressive agenda and the conservative court.

Obama chose Kagan for the court believing she could bridge the gap with some of its conservatives. Her mission is to help uphold the laws that Obama and Democrats are pushing through Congress.

During her hearing, Kagan found herself in the odd spot of defending judicial restraint before senators who usually worry aloud about sending a “judicial activist” to the court.

“Can you name for me any economic activity that the federal government cannot regulate under the commerce clause?” asked Sen. John Cornyn (R- Texas).

“I wouldn’t try to,” Kagan replied, emphasizing that the court has long said lawmakers have broad powers to regulate economic activity.

The high court, however, will decide whether making Americans buy health insurance amounts to economic activity.

It may be another year or two before a true challenge to the Obama agenda reaches the Supreme Court.

McConnell, the law professor, said the administration’s broad set of regulatory moves made a clash almost inevitable. “It does not mean the courts are being ‘political,’ ” he said. “It is the way the institutions are designed, to create checks and balances.”

via Obama and Supreme Court may be on collision course – latimes.com.

music, people, life: Since John spotted Ringo in Boston last week … I found this interesting … and yes, I’d like peace and love for my birthday, too.

Rob Shanahan Ringo Starr during this year’s tour with his All Starr Band.

Ever since Ringo Starr vowed, on a well-known cover of Buck Owens’s hit “Act Naturally,” that he’d become “the biggest fool to ever hit the big time,” the renowned rock ’n’ roll drummer has done all right for himself. As a member of the Beatles and as a solo artist, Mr. Starr has sold more than a few records, won some Grammy Awards and even had a minor planet named for him. But on Wednesday Mr. Starr will reach a very special milestone: he turns 70 years old.

via Ringo Starr at 70 – ‘Not Hiding From It, You Know’ – Question – NYTimes.com.

culture, the South, LOL: I enjoyed the article …

So, here we have two Southern boys who made it good. Among other things, they both gave their houses names, they both left this world before their time, and they both recorded You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog. Ok, Faulkner didn’t record Hound Dog, but I have it on good authority that he hummed it a lot, and I think he went to school with one of the Jordanaires.

Although the two men were quite different, they were like identical twins when contrasted with how well their houses compare.

via Graceland vs Rowan Oak by Raymond L. Atkins | LikeTheDew.com.

news, life, FIFA World Cup 2010: Sometimes life is just not fair.

This probably wasn’t the reception he was hoping for.

CNN reports that Brazil’s football coach, Dunga, was fired upon arriving home to Rio de Janeiro after the team’s 2-1 loss to Holland on Friday. Brazil was a favorite for many in World Cup pools and the unexpected loss has hit many football fans hard. Dunga, whose real name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, has been coach since 2006.

via Fiiiiiiired! Brazil Word Cup Coach Loses Game, Then Job – TIME NewsFeed.

economy, travel: If you ever wanted to run … now would be the time.

In Pamplona, the crisis is expected to take a toll for tourism and nonstop street parties during its weeklong festival of bullfighting made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Hotels used to sell out three to four months before the event – but not this year.

“You can still find good quality rooms going for around euro100 ($125) and vacancies even in some top class hotels, something unheard of four years ago,” said Nacho Calvo of the Navarra Restaurant and Hotel Association.

At the plush, sought-after AC Ciudad de Pamplona hotel, “we have seen fewer foreigners, and this year the absence of Americans is notable, there are hardly any,” said manager Gabriel Pascual.

Bullfighting promoter Luis Miguel Ballesteros two years ago put on 27 or 28 small town bull spectacles in villages with populations ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 people each across the Castilla-Leon region, part of Spain’s historic heartland.

via Can Spanish Bullfighting Survive Bans, Economy? – CBS News.

random:  We call this ninja ping pong 🙂

random, gardening: pretty impressive …YouTube – Mosaïcultures Intenationale de MONTREAL.




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