Posts Tagged ‘follow-up

04
Jun
14

6.4.14 … post ga primary venting …

I am still in shock over the 5.20 GA Republican Primary … That said, I will repeat a favorite tv quote:

“No, I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and necessity to defend itself against a dangerous world. The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st Century. Most of all, the biggest new requirement-–the only requirement-–is that I have to hate Democrats.”

via The Newsroom Recap – Season 2, Episode 9 – Season Finale | Mediaite.

follow up, Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights:  It is fascinating that people can interpret  the same passage and reconstruct the same history to such different ends.

… no amendment received less attention in the courts in the two centuries following the adoption of the Bill of Rights than the Second, except the Third (which dealt with billeting soldiers in private homes). It used to be known as the “lost amendment,” because hardly anyone ever wrote about it. The assertion that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own and carry a gun for self-defense, rather than the people’s right to form militias for the common defense, first became a feature of American political and legal discourse in the wake of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and only gained prominence in the nineteen-seventies. A milestone in its development came when Orrin Hatch, serving on Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee, became chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hatch commissioned a history of the Second Amendment, resulting in a 1982 report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” which concluded, “What the Subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, American historians who disagreed with the individual and insurrectionist interpretations of the Second Amendment began to take them more seriously when it became clear that a conservative judiciary was taking them seriously, and that a test case would reach the Supreme Court. An important statement of what is generally referred to as the collective-rights interpretation—the idea that what the Second Amendment protects is the people’s collective right to keep and bear arms to form militias for the common defense—is an amicus curiae submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller, signed by fifteen eminent university professors of early American history, including Pauline Maier, Fred Anderson, and Pulitzer Prizes winners Jack Rakove and Alan Taylor. It concludes,

Historians are often asked what the Founders would think about various aspects of contemporary life. Such questions can be tricky to answer. But as historians of the Revolutionary era we are confident at least of this: that the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms, which governments had always regulated when there was “real danger of public injury from individuals.”

The different weight the Court gave to these different interpretations is suggested by its decision in Heller. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, determined that, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

In his remarks before the N.R.A. last week, Gingrich offered a human-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. “A Gingrich presidency,” he said, “will submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet.”

The United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, twice that of the country with the second highest rate, which is Yemen. The United States also has the highest homicide rate of any affluent democracy, nearly four times higher than France or the United Kingdom, six times higher than Germany. In the United States in 2008, guns were involved in two-thirds of all murders. Of interest to many people concerned about these matters, then, is when the debate over the Second Amendment will yield to a debate about violence.

via The Debate Over the Second Amendment : The New Yorker.

“check our white privilege”:

We’re not in an ideal world, of course; we’re in the news cycle. In the above video, when Greta Van Susteren asks Fortgang what “check your privilege” meant, he replies, “I don’t think the people who are saying ‘check your privilege’ really know what it means.”

That’s a bad way to start a dialouge, but it’s how you talk when you’re inhabiting the world of cable news—you claim your ideological opponents don’t understand the words they use, you scoff and gloat your way through two-minute segments until everyone who agrees with you is convinced you’ve won the argument. These “debates” are all empty calories, and the people who publicize them move on to the next thing as soon as they possibly can, because there’s a cycle to feed with anger and elation. Current candidates for outrage include a black teacher suing a school after being mocked for her race, a Republican senate candidate who once worked as a drag queen, and a California school that asked students to write papers about whether the Holocaust actually happened. That’s a lot of privilege to be checked!

The cycle will soon return Fortgang to Princeton, where he and his Weltanschauung will no doubt continue to irritate his peers and where he’ll continue to write things that will one day make him cringe as he looks back on them. Hopefully now that he’s no longer on television he’ll be able to learn something.

via This College Conservative Pissed off the Internet. You’ll Easily Guess What Happened Next | VICE United States.

End of an era, Davidson College, Laundry Service:  There are so many great things about Davidson, but this very quirky one will be sorely missed by its loyal  sons undaunted (and daughters).

Davidson College announced today that it will discontinue free full-service laundry for all students, beginning May 15, 2015. Students will continue to have access to free self-service laundry facilities across campus.

The decision comes at a time when Davidson is aligning its resources to meet educational priorities within the changing landscape of higher education. As a result, the college is reprioritizing the services and amenities it offers to students.

“This transition reflects our vision for Davidson now and into the future,” said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. “We are committed to sustaining what is intrinsic and distinctive to Davidson, while offering new services and programs that prepare and enable Davidson graduates to thrive in a global society.”

In the past year, the college has celebrated the opening of “Studio M,” a new makerspace that fosters technological creativity and exploration, and introduced Africana Studies, an interdisciplinary department. In the next year, the college plans to expand career development offerings to meet growing student interest in career counseling and internship placement as a well as move to a 24/7 library for students.

While the majority of first-year students utilize full laundry service, that rate drops over a student’s time at Davidson. Only about 35 percent of seniors use the free full-service laundry, opting instead to use the free self-service facilities.

The full service laundry facility opened in 1920 and has operated as a free full-service laundry for more than 90 years.

via Plans Announced to Transition to Self-Service Laundry – Davidson College.

A few comments from my fellow alums:

Mistake

Noooooooo. . . Signed, #117

Terrible idea! What’s wrong with tradition??

Nooooooo the horror of it al!!! l #76. How will the students get their flannel shirts to stand up in the corner now????

NOOOOO. After doing a 9-day college tour with my daughter, trying to decide exactly what “made the Dickinson Experience unique,” and concluding that nothing made any of the top schools unique except the Laundry at Davidson, I hate this. Get rid of “graduate-level research.” Everyone has that!

Boo!

It was one of the factors that made my daughter choose Davidson over Vassar (and the weather). She sent me a text this afternoon to let me know. The writer of the story on Davidson.edu would have received a C or worse from Charlie Lloyd, and I was disappointed in President Quillen’s comments. I agree with Anne Lupo – there’s nothing wrong with tradition, and the quirkiness of free laundry as an amenity was pretty neat. Davidson will become less distinctive, as it continues to try to climb up the greasy pole of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Am I cynical to note that the announcement comes at the end of the year, when exams are upon the students, and nobody is liable to protest?

That leaveis a great business opportunity for some enterprising students. Laundry pickup and delivery.

According to the Observer website it cost 400,000 per year to run – only 500 per student. I bet they want the building for another purpose. Did they do dry cleaning on site? Superfund site?

When we were there they added a mandatory $300 per year charge to pay for laundry. If it would only be $500 per year now, that is the best bargain around! Tuition, room and board are up by a factor of 10 since I was there. Laundry up only 67%? Yikes!

Let’s protest!!

Free laundry! What a great battle cry.

I was sorely disappointed to hear this news. I agree with ____ too! What next – self scheduled exams?

Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.:

It was easy in Paris to surrender to the moment. But why? What alchemy transmuted ordinary activities, be it a walk across a bridge or the unwrapping of butter, into a pleasure? My default speed in New York is “hurtle,” yet in Paris I dragged the edge of a fork across an oyster with a care better suited to sliding a bow across a violin.

This was not simply because I was in Paris, though it has long held a kind of magic for many Americans. It was because I was there on my own. In a city that has been perfecting beauty since the reign of Napoleon III, there are innumerable sensual details — patterns, textures, colors, sounds — that can be diluted, even missed, when chattering with someone or collaborating on an itinerary. Alone one becomes acutely aware of the hollow clack of pétanque balls in a park; the patina of Maillol’s bronze “Baigneuse se Coiffant” that makes her look wet even on a cloudless day in the Tuileries; how each of the empty wine bottles beside sidewalk recycling bins is the embodiment of someone’s good time. There is a Paris that deeply rewards the solo traveler.

Indeed, the city has a centuries-old tradition of solo exploration, personified by the flâneur, or stroller. Flânerie is, in its purest form, a goal-less pursuit, though for some it evolved into a purposeful art: Walking and observing became a method of understanding a city, an age. Baudelaire described the flâneur as a passionate spectator, one who was fond of “botanizing on the asphalt,” as the essayist Walter Benjamin would later put it. Typically, it was a man. No longer.

I had taken the book, by Patricia Wentworth, because I recognized the sticker on the cover: Bookcrossing.com, a website that encourages people to read, register and hide books in the world for others to find. For years I had wanted to discover one. Later, when I went on the site to register that I had the book, there was a message from its former, anonymous owner: “This book was not lost,” it said in French, “it was found for a new reader.”

via Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.

Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace), Twitter:

Facts In Your Face @FactsInYourFace  ·  4h

There is a psychological condition when people can’t work, sleep or concentrate because of songs that stick their heads.

via Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace) on Twitter.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, The Bright Cloud of Unknowing, Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org:

Most of us are allowed at least one direct experience of God (within bounds)–something that knocks us for a loop, blows our circuits, calls all our old certainties into question.  Some churches even require you to produce one as proof of your conversion.  But even in congregations that welcome signs and wonders on a regular basis, there seems to be a general consensus that life in Christ means trading in your old certainties for new ones.

Once you emerge from the cloud, you are supposed to be surer than ever what you believe.  You are supposed to know who’s who, what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  You are supposed to have answers to all the important questions, and when you read the Bible you are supposed to know what it means.  You have your Christian decoder ring, now use it!

But what if the point is not to decode the cloud but to enter into it?  What if the whole Bible is less a book of certainties than it is a book of encounters, in which a staggeringly long parade of people run into God, each other, life–and are never the same again?  I mean, what don’t people run into in the Bible?  Not just terrifying clouds and hair-raising voices but also crazy relatives, persistent infertility, armed enemies, and deep depression, along with life-saving strangers, miraculous children, food in the wilderness, and knee-wobbling love.

Whether such biblical encounters come disguised as “good” or “bad,” they have a way of breaking biblical people open, of rearranging what they think they know for sure so that there is room for more divine movement in their lives.  Sometimes the movement involves traveling from one place to another.  Sometimes it means changing their angle on what is true and why.  Sometimes it involves the almost invisible movement of one heart toward another.

Certainties can become casualties in these encounters, or at least those certainties that involve clinging to static notions of who’s who and what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  Those things can shift pretty dramatically inside the cloud of unknowing, where faith has more to do with staying fully present to what is happening right in front of you than with being certain of what it all means.  The meeting–that’s the thing.

There is no way to be sure, but I think Peter sensed that.  When Jesus lit up right in front of him, Peter knew what he was seeing.  The Bible calls it “God’s glory”–the shining cloud that is the sure sign of God’s capital P Presence.  In the Book of Exodus, when Moses climbed Mount Sinai to fetch the tablets of the law, the whole top of the mountain stayed socked in divine cloud cover for six whole days.  In 1 Kings, when Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, a dense cloud filled up that huge place so that the priests could not even see what they were supposed to be doing.  When Ezekiel had his vision of the four living creatures, he saw them in the middle of “a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually.”

That’s what God’s glory looks like, apparently: a big bright cloud–dark and dazzling at the same time–an envelope for the Divine Presence that would blow people away if they looked upon it directly–so God in God’s mercy placed a cloud buffer around it, which both protected the people and made it difficult for them to see inside.

via The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor – The Bright Cloud of Unknowing – Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org.

labyrinths:

Students at Davidson College are well acquainted with stress. Although many have already developed their own tactics to manage anxieties, a new outlet will soon become available for the Davidson community in the form of a labyrinth.

On Sunday evening, in a discussion themed “Life is not Linear,” College Chaplain Robert Spach ’84, Lauren Cunningham ’09 and Dr. Trisha Senterfitt, spoke in the 900 Room about Davidson’s plans to build the stress-reliever.

Guest speaker Senterfitt received her doctorate in Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur and wrote her dissertation on labyrinths.

She claimed that the 180 degree turns made when walking  a labyrinth relieve stress.

For this reason, the benefits of a labyrinth walk exceed those of a standard walk down Main Street.

She suggested that the act of walking a labyrinth engages the right side of the brain, the side that manages creativity and imagination.

In doing this, a balance is created between the right side and the left, which, on hte other hand, is utilized most frequently by the typical college student bogged down by mathematical equations and essays.

Senterfitt cited the success of labyrinths in the treatment of patients with neurological disorders due to this balance in brain function.

Furthermore, she said she believes so firmly in the importance of the labyrinth that her husband constructed one in their backyard.

She finds comfort in walking the labyrinth to reflect, to give thanks and to relax.

Senterfit has lofty goals for the Davidson labyrinth. She envisions some students taking regular meditative walks and others utilizing the structure around more stressful times such as exam period.

Both Senterfitt and Cunningham spoke of how the labyrinth could potentially enhance several disciplines at Davidson.

Math students could explore its geometry, historians could explore its significance in early history and art students could use it in their studies of spatial relations.

Cunningham’s involvement in the project began in the summer of 2007.

The idea of a Davidson labyrinth dawned on her after reading a book that conveyed the author’s moving experience with labyrinths. Cunningham, Spach and Professor Cort Savage met with President Ross to present their idea.

A Labyrinth Committee formed and the community warmly received its proposals.

The labyrinth is expected to positively effect students physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Logistically speaking, the labyrinth will be located in Hobart Park, which is situated between Faculty Drive and the Baker parking lot.

At an estimated 30 feet in diameter, it will be built of concrete.

The labyrinth in Chartes, Cathedral in France serves as the inspiration for its design.

The labyrinth will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its date of completion is unknown and dependant of funding.

The kit used to build the labyrinth and its installation will cost an estimated $30,000.

Approximately two-thirds of the cost has been pledged by the President’s Office and an anonymous donor.

Individual students can help the funding effort by purchasing labyrinth t-shirts and tickets for the Amazing Maize Maze located in Mooresville.

via Labyrinth proposal geared to relieve stress – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Jack and Trisha Senterfitt:  From the article above, I found this couple to be great fun … they remind me of some people I know.

We’re Jack and Trisha Senterfitt, aka Santa and Mrs. Claus, and on March of 2013 we  embarked on a great adventure!  While I retired in 2007 after a career as an attorney, Trisha just retired at the end of March.  She’s a Presbyterian minister who, after 14 years in parish ministry in Atlanta, became the Director of The Craddock Center in Cherry Log, Georgia–an outreach ministry to low income families, primarily focusing on children’s enrichment in north Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.  She loved doing this, but decided last year to retire, so we could travel, spend time seeing this great country and visiting friends everywhere.  So in August of 2012 we found a 2008 Winnebago View in mint condition close to our home and this was the trigger for her to go ahead and retire.

via Happy Times Two: About Us.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork, kayaking/canoeing, Louisville KY:

Comment from one of our visitors over the weekend: “Did the kayak rental today – the four hour trip – had a fabulous experience. It was so exquisite, and so filled with wildlife and nature’s beauty it was hard to believe I was in Metro Louisville. My only regret is that I’ve missed this all my life…up until now! I have a new love: Kayaking at The Parklands. Thank you for enriching our lives.” What a great testimonial for our new paddling rentals through Green Earth Outdoors! Learn how you can experience it for your self, here:

via The Parklands of Floyds Fork.

NBA, Warriors: from a friend who knows mores about sports than I will ever know …

You have got to be kidding me. The Warriors had been a joke for years. Jackson took them to the playoffs two years in a row for the first time in over 20 years. If you listen to the audio, a couple players complained he showed “favoritism” to Steph Curry. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to keep your best player happy. Unbelievable.

 

19
Apr
14

4.19.14 … The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb … and the Pope likes Homeless Jesus …

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, Holy Saturday: Saw this image today, Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22.  I can only say, it struck me off guard.

 

550px-The_Body_of_the_Dead_Christ_in_the_Tomb,_and_a_detail,_by_Hans_Holbein_the_YoungerThe Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb is an oil and tempera on limewood painting created by the German artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22. The work shows a life-size, grotesque depiction of the stretched and unnaturally thin body of Jesus Christ lying in his tomb. Holbein shows the dead Son of God after he has suffered the fate of an ordinary human.

The painting is especially notable for its dramatic dimensions (30.5 cm x 200 cm),[1] and the fact that Christ’s face, hands and feet, as well as the wounds in his torso, are depicted as realistic dead flesh in the early stages of putrefaction. His body is shown as long and emaciated while eyes and mouth are left open.[2]

via The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Philomena, RedBox:  I got lucky! The movie has so many themes consistent with Holy Week, forgiveness, marginalized people, role of the Church, atonement, confession, tragedy … and what if he was obese? 

via ▶ Philomena – Size of Portions – The Weinstein Company – YouTube.

Philomena: “Now we’re getting closer, all these years wondering if Anthony was in trouble or prison or goodness knows where. But as long as I didn’t know I could always turn myself he was happy somewhere and that he was doing all right.”

Martin: “Don’t upset yourself.”

Philomena: “What if he was obese?”

Martin: “Obese?”

Philomena: “I watched this documentary that says a lot of Americans are huge. What if that happened to him?”

Martin: “What on earth makes you think he’d be obese?”

Philomena: “Because of the size of the portions!”

As they learn more about Anthony and draw closer, Philomena wonders about his lifestyle and health. A documentary about obese Americans has her wondering if Anthony is obese, among other things.

via Philomena Movie Quotes.

 

Oh my goodness, it’s the best movie I’ve seen in the last five years.  It’s a rather somber movie, although positively holy. I’d go for something more lighthearted for an exhausted Wildcat.

Loved it!

A must see

One of the best talks about forgiveness

Excellent story. Worth watching.

Philomena seems to have broad appeal: men women, protestant, jew, young, old (or at least middle aged) …

The most wrenching scene in the film is when she spots her young son being taken away from the convent by the American couple who adopt him, almost as an afterthought, to be a companion to the young girl they had originally come to claim. (Plot spoilers abound in this article.)

Throughout the film, Mr. Hess remains something of an enigma to the audience, which is why his real-life story may seem so tantalizing to viewers. Yes, there are those artfully staged flashbacks, but Mr. Hess is always “a little out of reach” to quote Mr. Coogan, who plays the journalist who helps Philomena track him down and who was a co-writer of the screenplay.

This was apparently intentional. If you are going to make a movie based on a true story, and if that story centers on a woman’s search to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption, it makes a certain amount of sense not to flesh him out too much.

“We didn’t want to become overly involved in the life of Anthony Lee or Michael Hess,” Mr. Coogan said. “What appealed to me was the search for the son and the tragedy of not being able to see him grow up. That’s how Philomena experienced it; it was just out of reach, just beyond her.”

via Behind ‘Philomena,’ the True Story of Michael Hess – NYTimes.com.

60 MINUTES CLASSICS

THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES

The movie “Philomena,” which opens this week and stars Judi Dench, tells the true story of an unwed, pregnant Irish girl who is sent off to a convent, where her baby is given up for adoption against her will. Years later, as an elderly woman, Philomena tries to find her son.

The convent where Philomena was sent was a “Magdalen Laundry,” one of many convents across Ireland where thousands of girls – pregnant out of wedlock or otherwise deemed morally wayward – were placed by the church or their families. At the laundries, the girls endured harsh, unpaid labor to make restitution for their sins.

Steve Kroft reported on the Magdalen Laundries in 1999, only two years after the last one had closed and when the full story of the laundries was coming to light. “The women had been virtual prisoners,” Steve reported. “Confined behind convent walls for perceived sins of the flesh, condemned to a life of servitude.”

Earlier this year, the Irish government released a report on the laundries. The report acknowledged, for the first time, that the state was directly involved in the laundries, having sent as many as one quarter of the women to these institutions — most of them in their twenties, but at least one as young as age 9.

“The chronicle of the Magdalen Laundries was for many years characterised primarily by secrecy, silence and shame,” the report says. “The psychological impact on these girls was undoubtedly traumatic and lasting.”

via “Philomena” and Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries – CBS News.

And a friend put me on to this … beautiful!

emmylou harris – magdalene laundries

Electoral College, kith/kin: A long time ago on a family vacation, my brother and sister discussed the pros and cons of the electoral college (yes, really). It was a very heated discussion (yes, really). So I always click on news items discussing it and its alternatives. Somehow my childhood never leaves me.

I think, like most colleges, the cost of the EC has become outrageous!

It was the statewide and/or nationwide debate topic when I was in high school. I’m well versed on both sides. Would welcome the opportunity to referee.

Maybe you are the cause of the lifelong debate in our house!! I had to interest in the matter at the time. I really think the Great Electoral College Debate began on a Jekyll beach trip.

I used to ask my dad to explain the Electoral College to me when we were driving on trips and he seemed sleepy. He would get all fired up and it would wake him back up.

Why does that not surprise me about V. Stuart!

Pros/cons of the Electoral College was one of the national debate topics when I was in high school – I never thought I was very convincing when I had to support it.  We also debated unilateral intervention in Vietnam, abortion rights, and the role of the military- industrial complex. I loved debate!

Deadliest Everest Avalanche, adventure travel, Sherpas: This link is a Sype interview with Diana Williams, the wife of a Davidson friend , who is just down from Everest Base Camp. You never think that you might know someone who is at such a phenomenal place. Prayers for the Sherpas who lost their lives and the families and the adventurers who are up there.

[http://bcove.me/4brrdauw]

VIDEO: Deadly Everest Avalanche.

On April 17, at about 6:30 a.m. local time, an avalanche swept down off the west shoulder of Everest and killed 16 climbers. To anybody who’s familiar with Everest climbing, it should come as no surprise that all of the men were Sherpa porters. Sherpas are Everest’s workforce—the literal backbone of the climbing industry there. The men who were struck were either carrying 80-pound loads to Camps 1 and 2, or they were on their way back to Base Camp. Without the hard work of the Sherpa porters, it would be largely impossible for Americans and Europeans with slightly above-average physiology, and well-above-average disposable income, to scale the world’s tallest mountain.

Increasingly, the pinnacle of adventure tourism—the summit of Everest—comes at too steep a cost. In the August 2013 issue, I wrote a story titled “Disposable Man,” about the routinization of Sherpa deaths on Everest. Today’s avalanche was the worst accident in the history of the mountain. Add to this the April 2 death of Sherpa Mingma Tenzing, who was working for the Peak Freaks expedition, as well as at least a dozen serious injuries from the avalanche, and 2014 stands out as the bloodiest year in Everest history— all before most teams have even set foot on the mountain.

Yes, something needs to be done.

via The Value of a Sherpa Life | Mountaineering | OutsideOnline.com.

Homeless Jesus statue,  Timothy Schmalz, audience with an admiring Pope Francis, Toronto Star: The Pope likes Homeless Jesus; no surprise there.  Maybe St. Albans/Davidson should ask him to drop by and see it installed.

 

For two years, it was the sculpture nobody would take: a life-sized Jesus sleeping on a park bench with his bare feet, wounded from his crucifixion, poking out from under a blanket.

But now Jesus the Homeless and its Canadian sculptor have a new fan in the Vatican: Pope Francis.

Timothy Schmalz brought the original wooden model of his sculpture to St. Peter’s Square last Wednesday to present to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. After his weekly general audience, the Pope prayed over the statue and blessed it, Schmalz said.

“It is very, very amazing for a sculptor to have that,” he said. “After, the Vatican officials introduced me to Pope Francis and he said he thought Jesus the Homeless was a beautiful sculpture. So needless to say, I’m very excited about that.”

The model is going to stay in one of the Vatican houses, he said, and he is working to find an outdoor location near St. Peter’s for the full-sized bronze version.

via Homeless Jesus statue gets audience with an admiring Pope Francis | Toronto Star.

clear quartz, follow-up:  I’m trying to figure out what to do with my quartz.  Infuse me with optimism … I like that! 🙂

IMG_9758

Crystal Properties – Clear Quartz

Color: Clear with a glassy look.

Associations:

Associated Crystals: Diamond, white sapphire and white topaz.

Candle Color: Gold.

Chakra: Crown.

Element: Fire.

Flowers & Plants: Golden chrysanthemum, marigold and sunflower.

Herbs – Incenses – Oils: Bay, frankincense, orange and rosemary.

Planet: Sun.

Zodiac: Leo.

Metaphysical Properties & Uses:

Animals: Use clear quartz with old animals to help give them an energy and health boost.

Children: All children should be give a piece of clear quartz to be kept throughout life. It will gradually increase in power and act as their own personal talisman.

Environment: Clear quartz will send environmental healing energy to anywhere it is needed on the planet.

Finance & Prosperity: –

Health & Healing: Clear quartz is almost certainly the most versatile healing crystal there is. It can be used for any cleansing, energizing or healing.

Home: Clear quartz will help your family to live together in harmony. It will also help instill a sense of optimism and purpose when times are difficult.

Love: –

Protection: Clear quartz is protective against negative energy and will transmute it to positive energy.

Psychic: Clear quartz will amplify any healing or psychic power. It is also suitable for channeling angels and spirit guides, and can be used for aura work.

It Is The Stone Of: –

Ritual: –

Work: Clear quartz will infuse everyone with a sense of optimism, even those who are by nature pessimistic.

Other: –

See Our Clear Quartz

via Clear Quartz – Properties – Associations – Uses.

biological clock, reset: I have never been a big camper, but I am definitely in need a of a reset!

10153255_665277280204454_3871675732912470919_n

Inflatable Child Seat Concept, Volvo Cars, YouTube:  Pretty cool.

via Inflatable Child Seat Concept – Volvo Cars – YouTube.

selfie, travel photos:

“The selfie is a new type of travel photo,” explains Dr. Lev Manovich, a professor at CUNY’s Graduate Center and the project coordinator of Selfiecity, an academic investigation into the where and why of the phenomenon. Portraits may have always been integral to travel photography, but the emergence of the two-camera mobile phone means people no longer need a friend or trustworthy stranger to take one.

“Since the face occupies a larger part of the images, these self-portraits may function differently from earlier travel photos,” Manovich continues. “They do not document the travel scene—rather they announce, ‘I was here.’”

And this year, with World Cup mania taking over Brazil, Universal Orlando opening a new section of its Harry Potter mini-park, and Coachella celebrating 15 years of wrecking the minds and bodies (and fashion sense) of music fans, there’s plenty to announce. If Kobe Bryant can have a selfie-off in a Turkish Airlines commercial and Ellen can break Twitter records at the Oscars, then you can surely make your friends and family jealous for months. And if you do it in the Philippines, home to the Selfiest City in the World, you’ll be in good company; Manhattan and Miami trail just behind.

So grab your favorite mobile camera—be it a Canon, iPhone, or GoPro—and get snapping. This year, you don’t want to spare a minute of #FOMO. We’ve even included a few hashtags for you to use along the way.

via 25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

Swan House, Atlanta History Center, Flyworx.co productions, YouTube: New perspective!

via ▶ Swan House – Atlanta History Center – Flyworx.co productions – YouTube.

What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks, Carmine Gallo, Harvard Business Review:

What makes for a great presentation — the kind that compels people’s attention and calls them to action?  TED talks have certainly set a benchmark in recent years: HBR even asked Chris Anderson, the group’s founder, to offer lessons drawn from the three decades he’s run TED’s signature events in an article published last summer.

But experience and intuition are one thing; data and analysis are another. What could one learn by watching the most successful TED talks in recent years (150 hours’ worth), talking to many of the speakers, then running the findings by neuroscientists who study persuasion?  I did just that, and here’s what I learned:

Use emotion. Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk, “We need to talk about an injustice”, received the longest standing ovation in the event’s history. A civil rights attorney who successfully argued and won the Supreme Court case Miller v. Alabama, which prohibits mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder, this is a man who knows how to persuade people.

I divided the content of his talk into Aristotle’s three areas of persuasion. Only 10 percent fell under “ethos” (establishing credibility for the speaker); 25 percent fell into the “logos” category (data, statistics) and a full 65 percent was categorized as “pathos” (emotion, storytelling). In his 18-minute talk, Stevenson told three stories to support his argument. The first was about his grandmother, and when I asked him why he started with it, his answer was simple: “Because everyone has a grandmother.” The story was his way of making an immediate connection with the audience.

Stories that trigger emotion are the ones that best inform, illuminate, inspire, and move people to action. Most everyday workplace conversations are heavy on data and light on stories, yet you need the latter to reinforce your argument. So start incorporating more anecdotes – from your own experience or those about other people, stories and brands (both successes and failures) – into your pitches and presentations.

Be novel. We all like to see and hear something new. One guideline that TED gives its speakers is to avoid “trotting out the usual shtick.” In other words, deliver information that is unique, surprising, or unexpected—novel.

In his 2009 TED presentation on the impact of malaria in African countries, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates shocked his audience when he opened a jar of mosquitoes in the middle of his talk. “Malaria, of course, is transmitted by mosquitoes,” he said. “I brought some here so you can experience this. I’ll let these roam around the auditorium. There’s no reason why only poor people should have the experience.” He reassured his audience that the mosquitoes were not infected – but not until the stunt had grabbed their attention and drawn them into the conversation.

As neuroscientist Dr. A.K. Pradeep confirms, our brains can’t ignore novelty. “They are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out.” Pradeep should know. He’s a pioneer in the area of neuromarketing, studying advertisements, packaging, and design for major brands launching new products.

In the workplace your listener (boss, colleague, sales prospect) is asking him or herself one question: “Is this person teaching me something I don’t know?” So introduce material that’s unexpected, surprising or offers a new and novel solution to an old problem.

Emphasize the visual. Robert Ballard’s 2008 TED talk on his discovery of the Titanic, two and a half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic, contained 57 slides with no words. He showed pictures, images, and animation of life beneath the sea, without one word of text, and the audience loved it. Why did you deliver an entire presentation in pictures? “Because I’m storytelling; not lecturing,” Ballard told me.

Research shows that most of us learn better when information is presented in pictures and text instead of text alone. When ideas are delivered verbally—without pictures—the listener retains about 10% of the content. Add a picture and retention soars to 65%.

For your next PowerPoint presentation, abandon the text blocks and bullet points in favor of more visually intriguing design elements. Show pictures, animations, and images that reinforce your theme. Help people remember your message.

via What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks – Carmine Gallo – Harvard Business Review.

Japan, travel:

Japan: What facts about Japan do foreigners not believe until they come to Japan?

In light of all the comments and feedback I’ve been getting, the one thing about Japan that foreigners do not believe, even if they do come to Japan for a visit, is probably this: It’s a mass of contradictions and hard to pigeonhole; your snap judgement may just be wrong. This may be why you are reading this and why Japan interests you. I addressed this in greater depth in the first half of my answer here: Makiko Itoh’s answer to Japan: What are some of Japan’s best kept secrets?

via (1) Home – Quora.

Divinity Candy Recipe, Garden and Gun, kith/kin: I saw this today as an Easter treat.  It was more a Christmas confection from my memory, but that memory is a good one.

My mother made wonderful divinity, but I also remember the divinity fails if you tried to make it on a rainy day and it would refuse to set.

I like divinity every now and then, but if I’m going to mess with making meringue I’d rather make a Pavlova or just meringues.

I’m going to have to check on Pavlova … that’s a new one for me.

It’s a large – pie sized – meringue. Usually has fresh fruit w/sauce over it.

 

holidays can be particularly tough for homesick Southerners. Her old-fashioned Divinities make a great addition to the Easter table, wherever you are. Meringue clouds studded with hunks of pecan, they’re bound to trigger a few sweet memories, especially among Southerners of a certain age. Feel free to personalize them with your own add-ins—she recommends peanuts, chocolate, or candied fruit.

via Divinity Candy Recipe | Garden and Gun.

J.P. Craven, Davidson College alum, Boston Marathon after trauma, http://www.wsoctv.com:

A group from Davidson College will fly to Boston this weekend to cheer on graduate and baseball alumnus J.P. Craven. Craven was at the finish line waiting for his father to cross when the first blast went off at last year’s marathon.

Craven will be running in the race for a cause.

As Craven gets ready to take on the Boston marathon, he’s going with the support of his former baseball team, classmates and teachers at Davidson.

It’s just some of the support he’s relied on since the bombings. The first explosion knocked him to the ground.

“I realized I was bleeding and realized I had to get out of there, which is when I started running,” Craven said.

Craven found help at a Boston Medical Center tent nearby. A piece of shrapnel had hit him in the head and ear, and another piece was lodged in his nose. He asked medics to call his parents, and his dad, who hadn’t finished the race yet, ran straight there.

via Davidson College alum returns to Boston Marathon after trauma | www.wsoctv.com.

Boobypack,  A Fanny Pack For Your Rack, kickstarter campaigns:  The things you learn from daughters.  One of her friends is interning for tho startup.  🙂

About Boobypack- The one and only fannypack for your rack | Boobypack | A Fanny Pack For Your Rack.

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And from 1.25.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

From 1.26.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

.

19
Feb
14

2.19.14 … “The physical details that carry the story and make it suspenseful and absorbing are also vessels of specific meaning, and together they add up to a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism. Our man is a privileged consumer (just look at all the stuff he has on that boat) whose fate is set in motion by a box full of goods (children’s sneakers, as it happens) accidentally knocked out of circulation” …

Redbox movies, All is Lost: “The film’s script is nearly dialogue-free and only 32 pages long.”  I watched til the end and it was a worthy of my time movie experience, but I can’ say it was entertaining.

Like other tales of survival at sea — a robust literary tradition that includes classic books by Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville — “All Is Lost” manifests a strong allegorical undercurrent. Nothing registers the fragility and contingency of the human presence in the universe quite as starkly as the sight of a small vessel adrift on an endless ocean, and few representations of heroism are as vivid as the spectacle of an individual fighting to master the caprices of wind and water.

But this is not — or not only — a parable of Man against Nature, ready-made for high school term paper analysis. The physical details that carry the story and make it suspenseful and absorbing are also vessels of specific meaning, and together they add up to a fable about the soul of man under global capitalism. Our man is a privileged consumer (just look at all the stuff he has on that boat) whose fate is set in motion by a box full of goods (children’s sneakers, as it happens) accidentally knocked out of circulation.

It is this catastrophe and the man’s desperate efforts to correct it that link “All Is Lost” with “Margin Call,” Mr. Chandor’s excellent first feature. That movie, about an office full of panicky investment bankers dealing with the unfolding financial crisis of 2008, is in many ways the opposite of “All Is Lost.” It takes place almost entirely indoors, and it’s pretty much all talk. But it is also very much concerned with how powerful men react when their sense of control is challenged, and with the vast, invisible system that sustains their illusions.

via ‘All Is Lost,’ With Robert Redford at Sea – NYTimes.com.

Banksy,  Brooklyn Art, Auction, WSJ.com: Follow-up on Banksy … fails to sell. 😦

Banksy, the elusive spray-painter, stenciled a red heart-shaped balloon covered in Band-Aids on a wall at the corner of King and Van Brunt streets in Red Hook in October as part of his monthlong New York “residency.”

The aerosol art was accompanied by an audio guide on Banksy’s website, which explained that it was “obviously an iconic representation of the battle to survive a broken heart.”

Property owners are usually incensed when graffiti vandals strike—often choosing to whitewash the markings. But it is different when the graffiti was painted by Banksy.

The Red Hook building’s owner sold the section of the wall to art dealer Stephan Keszler about a week after Banksy’s work appeared—and now it’ll be on the block at Fine Art Auctions Miami’s second annual street-art exhibition. Mr. Keszler declined to say how much he paid for the work.

Sebastien Laboureau, an expert on street art and principal at MoonStar Fine Arts Advisors, said he estimates the red balloon work will fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

“Very few of Bansky’s walls have been sold at auction,” said Mr. Laboureau, who has supervised the entire exhibition.

FAAM President Frederic Thut said it was mostly new collectors who were interested in buying street art.

“With Banksy, there’s always a very strong political message; they’re very emblematic of the period,” he said, adding that the “vibe” of street art “is like the pop art generation at the end of the ’70s.”

Mr. Thut said about 2,000 people had come through the exhibition by Monday morning and he has received calls from collectors in France, Germany, Russia and China.

That Banksy’s work was almost immediately painted over by another graffiti artist, Omar NYC, means the piece is more important to the street-art scene because it demonstrates the dialogue between street artists, said Mr. Laboureau.

“Banksy has become so successful now that other artists become jealous,” he said.

“We believe Banksy came back and wrote ‘is a jealous little girl’ under Omar NYC’s tag,” he said, “which makes it even more interesting. The street is open to everybody.”

via Banksy Brooklyn Art Goes to Auction – WSJ.com.

Banksy’s “Red Hook Balloon” Fails to Sell at Art Miami | In the Air: Art News & Gossip | ARTINFO.com.

Another aspect that makes Banksy’s persona and his work particularly fascinating to Diehl is his complete rejection of embracing the “celebrity.”

“If he isn’t interested in the celebrity that comes with being who Banksy is, then it’s completely meaningless. Because he’s still a blank to us, unless he embraces the celebrity, it doesn’t mean anything,” Diehl said.

While staying in Los Angeles, Diehl finished up her work on Banksy and while the lecture Thursday will be the first since she’s completed her research, there’s a good chance this topic can take flight into something much more long term.

via Art critic to lecture on Banksy street art.

Most people ignored Banksy – who was disguised as an old man – and his stall. However, three lucky people did make purchases – one of whom was New Zealander Arnika*, who bought two.

“There was a definite feeling, a gut feeling and I like to follow my gut feeling,” she told Campbell Live.

She was thanked by the ‘old man’ by leaning over for a kiss.

“At the time, he just said ‘thank you’. That was the second kiss he’d given me. I [just] stood there for about an hour talking to the man.”

via Kiwi Banksy buyer loans pieces to Canterbury museum – Story – Campbell Live – TV Shows – 3 News.

Bouley Botanical, green,  urban farming, NYC, NYTimes.com: Urban farm to table 🙂

His downtown Eden may look more “After Hours” than “Green Acres,” but he calls it a farm. “A lot of people think urban farming is going to be on some rooftop,” Mr. Bouley said, “but what’s coming is controlled environments.” Carefully tended planters overflow with scores of varieties of herbs, flowers and vegetables: chamomile, fennel, nasturtium, lavender, mustard greens, watercress, creeping savory, pineapple sage. The intoxicating fragrances prompt the chef to imagine soups, sauces, juices and extracts. “Smell that,” he said on a snowy evening, reaching for a white jasmine flower. “What I can do with these things!”

via At Bouley Botanical, Planters Overflow – NYTimes.com.

Calling for an Apology Cease-Fire, NYTimes.com:  I am sorry to say, I agree.

If you’re getting the feeling that I find something profoundly troubling about all this “apology washing,” you’re right. “Sorry” is in a sorry state. My distaste operates on several levels. First, it’s offensive that those issuing cheap apologies actually believe that we believe them, treating them as a “get out of jail free card.” But the transparent “get me out of this mess” declarations we are witnessing are bereft of credibility. They are motivated by strategic plotting, not soul-searching.

I am also offended because there are some authentic, legitimate apologies that are sent forth into the world. But bad apologies drive out good, so that those who take their apologies seriously, and work tirelessly to live up to them, are dismissed along with the drivel.

Apologies can and should be hugely important actions and mechanisms, blessed with enormous power and lasting impact. But they must be two-way exchanges of trust and healing that are open and transparent.

It is because I mourn the loss of the genuine apology that I propose an apology cease-fire.

via Calling for an Apology Cease-Fire – NYTimes.com.

Jon Meacham, mea culpa , executive orders: That must have been a hard one …

On television this morning I was asked about the role of executive orders in American presidential history, and my reply was at best imprecise and at worst just plain wrong. I did not say what I meant to say: that great presidential leadership requires not only executive action but public persuasion and legislative action. It\’s like the old cold-war triad of land, sea, and air military capabilities. The presidents I’ve written about–Jefferson, Jackson, FDR–used executive power, often boldly and to the great consternation of their critics, to advance their agendas. Sometimes that’s the only way to move forward. But these presidents also understood that the longterm success or failure of democratic leadership often turns on shaping public opinion and passing laws, not only on issuing executive orders. Such orders can be good starters but lasting reform usually comes from sustained public and legislative work. (In Lincoln’s case, for example, the anti-slavery project of the Emancipation Proclamation was followed by the passage of the 13th Amendment. Or, in the case of Truman, he in a way began a war on Jim Crow by desegregating the armed services by executive order–a war that ultimately required the landmark laws of 1964 and 1965.) So executive orders are a critical element in statecraft; I was just trying to say that they’re not the only one. In any event, I should have spoken more clearly and with greater care, and I regret that I did neither. Totally my mistake.

via Jon Meacham.

President Obama says Stephen Curry is the best shooter he’s ‘ever seen’,  For The Win: I am still amazed that all the big schools wouldn’t give him a chance, but am so glad they wouldn’t.

TNT’s Charles Barkley had the opportunity to interview President Barack Obama before All-Star Weekend, and the president — an ardent basketball fan — gave his opinion on some of the best players in the game. Obama said that four-time MVP LeBron James has the chance to be “as good as anybody.”

“I’ve never seen somebody that size, that fast, who can jump that high, who’s that strong, who has that much basketball savvy, all in one package,” Obama said.

President Obama also heaped praise on Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, whom Obama called the “best shooter [he’s] ever seen.”

This was Curry’s reaction Saturday night upon hearing the compliment.

via President Obama says Stephen Curry is the best shooter he’s ‘ever seen’ | For The Win.

01
Feb
14

2.1.13 … It sounds like borderline bigotry to say it, but I have “snowboarding friends.” …

Can Snowboarding Be Saved?, Snowboarding | OutsideOnline.com, kith/kin: This is also a follow-up to my article about Alta Resort, 1.19.14 … book jackets and wine labels … :  Definitely a kith/kin issue.

It sounds like borderline bigotry to say it, but I have “snowboarding friends.” In fact, from adulthood on, most of my skiing memories are tied up with snowboarding. Frankly, skiing would be a lot less fun without it. From twin tips and fat skis to better clothing and a more laissez-faire attitude at ski resorts, the advent of snowboarding dramatically altered my once-stale sport. So please trust that I’m not just a hater when I say this: Snowboarding is screwed.

Many a destination resort will admit privately that snowboarding now accounts for less than 15 percent of total revenue. Others have seen snowboard visits cut in half. Sales of snowboarding gear are down dramatically, too, a whopping 29 percent over the past six years. Where did all the snowboarders go? Many are skiing. Others simply quit.

It didn’t really have to be like this. The problem isn’t so much snowboarding, but the snowboarding industry. The sport was invented by humble folk in the Midwest (by a friend’s grandfather) and Vermont (by some older classmates of my wife), but it was adopted by Southern California. Actually it was more of an alien rendition than an adoption. Most snowboarders in places like Maine, Montana, and Colorado have little affiliation with the carefully cultivated image of “action sports.” Then there’s the ageism. Over 30 years old but still get out and shred? The industry lives in absolute dread of you

via Can Snowboarding Be Saved? | Snowboarding | OutsideOnline.com.

Cronut’s humble offspring, The Doughscuit!, The Salt : NPR:  Probably not good for my low carb diet  🙂

I was 10 doughnuts in when I came to Endgrain Restaurant\’s table, and I was in no condition to want or enjoy anything.

But their doughscuit — half doughnut, half biscuit — was transcendent, an impossible mix of doughnut-fried sweetness and crumbly biscuitness. Every last nook of free space in my body was full, and I bought extras. I ate one at home later. The next morning I had more. I\’m not entirely sure I\’m going to finish writing this sentence without going out to get another.

The doughscuit is more humble. It\’s got a hardworking biscuit for a dad, not a fancy croissant. It doesn\’t have the little ® next to its name. All it should have next to its name, forever, is an exclamation point.

via Meet The Cronut’s Humble Offspring: The Doughscuit! : The Salt : NPR.

Jon Stewart, Georgia’s Snowpocalypse, ‘The Weather Channel is Located in Atlanta!’ , Mediaite:

[http://on.cc.com/1fCIAQ8]

On Thursday, The Daily Show tackled the paralyzing snow that struck Atlanta, Georgia, over the week that caused nearly 24-hour traffic jams and resulted in strong criticism for Mayor Kasim Reed and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

Host Jon Stewart played clips of Deal explaining that the lack of preparedness was due to the lack of warning the state had prior to the storm. “Sure, no, I guess that’s probably the case,” Stewart said, “Unless anybody in that room had been watching what I guess you would call the weather.”

“The Weather Channel is located in Atlanta,” Stewart observed. He went on to mock the two elected officials for celebrating their own contributions to the state while the catastrophic storm was unfolding.

Stewart went on to feature a “25-news-box pileup,” in which his own correspondent broadcast live from Georgia with nearly 30 of his colleagues.

via Jon Stewart Lays Into Georgia’s Snowpocalypse: ‘The Weather Channel is Located in Atlanta!’ | Mediaite.

America,Britain, Decline could actually help the middle class, income inequality, Salon.com:

In fact, it was only a year after the Suez debacle that UK Prime Minister Harold MacMillan declared his countrymen had “never had it so good.” Certainly, they had never been richer, healthier or more educated.

And today, even in the midst of economic funk, the UK is an incredibly nicer place to live and work than it was a half-century ago – let alone the height of empire (Dickens anyone?).

Choose your measure of the quality of life – from income and health, to education and minority rights, through freedom to move—things are just so much better than they used to be.

The message is clear: You can have relative decline and absolute progress all at the same time. There is a clear and positive lesson to be learned by the American people from Britain’s imperial retreat.

ACCOUNTING FOR PROGRESS

For example, British life expectancy in the 1870s was around 40 years. After the Second World War, it reached 65 and today it is above 80.

Average incomes in 1870 were a little over $3,000. At the close of the Second World War, GDP per capita was about twice that and today it is about seven times higher than when Queen Victoria doubled as Empress of India.

To be sure, the anachronistic jollity of Britain’s royal family still ensures frequent spots on CNN and Star TV. But in less regal pursuits, the UK has managed to import some decent cooking and the culinary height of a meal out is no longer toad in the hole or spotted dick.

Meanwhile, Britain has emerged as an essential global citizen in areas from development to the environment to peacekeeping. For no good reason beyond the remnants of imperial design, it still has a seat on the UN Security Council and a nuclear arsenal.

via America, take it from Britain: Decline could actually help the middle class – Salon.com.

kith/kin, fortune cookies add ons, genealogy:  At the 21st birthday celebration of my nephew, we laughed at the arrival of the fortune cookies.  We have always added “in bed”  ro the end of the fortune.  The twins add “with a chainsaw” … any other add ons? And Happy 21st birthday to my twin nephews, Charlie and Zack!

And an aside:  I was talking with my SECOND cousin, and she asked her relationship to the twins.  I said second cousin once removed.  I think I am correct.

via http://www.ages-online.com/homepage/learningCenter.cfm

Can an App Improve Vision?, WSJ.com:  interesting

The Ache: In presbyopia, the eye’s lens loses elasticity with age. The ability to focus on near objects deteriorates, resulting in the need for reading glasses.

The Claim: A 12-week, scientifically tested training program, newly available as an iPhone app, uses a technique called perceptual learning to reduce—or even eliminate—the need for reading glasses.

The GlassesOff app provides training meant to help reduce the need for reading glasses. Shown, an exercise to identify which way the E faces. GlassesOff

The Verdict: A 30-person study published in February 2012 in the journal Scientific Reports found that after trying the program—now on sale as an iPhone app called GlassesOff GLSO -3.59% —participants on average could read letters 1.6 times smaller than they could previously. The program is much more likely to show improvement in adults 40 to 60 years old, scientists say.

The self-guided app, launched this week by GlassesOff Inc., starts with a vision test, followed by a personalized training program users employ three times a week for 12 to 15 minutes per session. In one test, users must decide whether an E is facing up, down, right or left. The test gets harder when the E becomes smaller or lower-contrast. At the end of the session, users receive a personalized assessment of how much the app is likely to help them in various tasks, such as reading an article.

The training consists of identifying fuzzy, striped images called Gabor patches, which can be hard to see against a similarly colored backdrop.

The app is free for two or three weeks after a user signs up. To continue using it after that costs $59 for four months. The company, which has offices in Israel and New York, is offering a temporary $10 promotional price. After the initial program, the company offers a personalized maintenance program of one or two sessions per week at extra cost.

via Can an App Improve Vision? – WSJ.com.

Bookends, Origami:   Book Ends provides the largest selection of origami books in the UK … Just in case you need origami books or papers in the UK.

Origami Books

At Book Ends you will find what is probably the largest selection of origami books in the UK – approximately 150 titles. There are books at all levels of difficulty, some written especially for children, others for adult beginners through to highly complex models for experienced folders. We have been the official supplier to the British Origami Society for many years. Many members have published books on origami and we stock all of these along with books from the USA and Japan. In April and September each year, we attend the BOS Conventions where we sell our full range of books and origami papers.

via Bookends: Origami. Book Ends provides the largest selection of origami books in the UK.

Pick A Crystal!, 

 Rawforbeauty:  I picked the green malachite … funny, but I hate green …

 Pick A Crystal! Look at the 6 crystals below

No.2 Green Malachite

If you are attracted to this stone, you are (or are about) to go through a major life transformation. This transformation may be practical, changing the way you live and work, but it also goes much deeper. It is about spiritual evolution, energy blockages in your mind and body from past experiences being untangled and released. You are becoming wiser and in the process learning to truly value yourself. You may find the process unsettling, initially you become more aware of what you don’t want, rather than what you do. That’s fine. First we must acknowledge the need for change, only then can we start to look for alternatives. Malachite is the stone of prosperity and abundance, when you start to look up, luck and fortune are waiting. It can signify the end of destructive romantic relationships and the dawn of pure love. By picking this stone you are unconsciously telling the Universe, ‘I am ready for success. I am ready to lose the negativity. I am ready to be passionate about my life’.

If you’re still a skeptic about crystals, I hope you’re willing to keep an open mind and do some research into them. You will be amazed by what you find. I recommend starting here, by watching The Crystal Movie by Spirit Science.

via Rawforbeauty – Pick A Crystal! Look at the 6 crystals below,….

fyi, diy, bookcasesSee More On Cabinets & Shelving | How to Build a Small Bookcase | This Old House.

Davidson College,   LGBT student life, flag policy, DavidsonNews.net, follow-up:  Another follow-up …

Quillen asked students what obstacles stand in the way of broader visibility for LGBT students. She  explained that while campus culture is the realm of students, the administration will do what it can to make LGBT students feel at home. Many students suggested physical manifestations of the LGBT community, such as an LGBT campus center, LGBT-related art installations or an annual LGBT pride event.

“I would love to move past the point where flags matter, but at the moment we don’t have any other tools for this frustration to be resolved,” said one student.

“I do think we need flags because that’s the first step in the process of getting the building, getting the artwork … we don’t have anything else,” another student explained.

The Committee on Campus and Religious Life will meet in the coming months to discuss alternatives to the college’s current flag policy. Meanwhile, debates about the visibility of the LGBT community at Davidson College will likely continue.

via Campus debates LGBT student life, flag policy | DavidsonNews.net.

On the Square, Tarboro NC, Our State Magazine:  Another reason to visit Eastern NC.  I bet there is a fun inn in the area between On The Square and  Chef & the Farmer in Kinston NC.  As I said before,  Anybody game for a road trip? … 

The restaurant was awarded Wine Spectator magazine’s “Best of” Award of Excellence, making On the Square one of three restaurants east of Greensboro to hold this title. This is quite a feat for a place where a bottle of wine can cost less than $15 and the entrées (fresh fish is the local favorite) are priced so that everyone in town can enjoy them.

The offering of high-style dining at these prices ensures that On the Square remains a place where reservations are recommended. But Southern hospitality dictates that, reservation or not, diners will be greeted warmly and accommodated promptly, often by Inez herself. Monday through Friday at lunch and Thursday through Saturday for dinner, Inez and Stephen relish the chance to share good food, fine wine, and the company of friends.

You could say it’s their supper club.

On the Square

115 East Saint James Street

Tarboro, N.C. 27886

(252) 823-8268

via On the Square | Our State Magazine.

Classic 18th Century Paintings, photography of children, Slightly Viral:  Wouldn’t that be fun to do with your 4 year olds? And I agree with my friend,  ” She is so expressive with just her eyes…amazing for a little girl.

Bill Gekas is an Australian photographer with a love for classic paintings.  But last year Gekas took his love a bit farther and decided to recreate the classics through photography…using his gorgeous 5-year old daughter as the subject.

And the outcome is, well, take a look for yourself…

It’s not easy to get a small child to look natural in an 18th century scene…

via At First I Thought These Were Classic 18th Century Paintings…Then I Took A Closer Look. Wow! | Slightly Viral.

30
Jan
14

1.30.14 … “Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog.” – Oprah

Oprah, Her Dog Sophie, greatest teachers, man’s best friend, purest love:

Oprah is a woman who loves her dogs. She’s had 21 pups in her adult life — including 11 at one time. “Nothing makes me happier than being with my dogs,” she says. In the above video from “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” we look back at the incredible bond she’s experienced with her animals.

“Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog,” Oprah says.

Though she loved them all, “Oprah Show” fans will remember one special cocker spaniel who rarely left Oprah’s side. “One of my greatest teachers is my dog, Sophie,” Oprah says. “Sophie lived for 13 years and came to work with me every day. Was there for every show, was backstage at the Oscars, at the Emmys, was waiting in the car if I went to the gynecologist.”

Solomon, Oprah’s other cocker spaniel, also went with her everywhere — but Sophie would cling even closer, as the pooch would get separation anxiety whenever Oprah left the room.

Sadly, Sophie died on March 10, 2008. “It wasn’t until she passed away that I really understood the depth of my love for her,” Oprah says. “Because I learned from a show we did many years ago with Gary Zukav that there are big souls and little souls. And Sophie was a little soul – just a little soul, but had a great impact on my life. And when I lost her is when I realized that nobody on earth had ever loved me like that little dog.”

via Oprah Remembers Her Dog Sophie As One Of Her Greatest Teachers (VIDEO).

college education, college financing,  The Daily Beast, The War Room:  INSANE! My daughter and I were talking about the price of Davidson, when I went, 1978, and today. The numbers in this article are fairly accurate.

Since 1978 the price of college has increased in absolute dollars by 1120 percent, more than any other good or service in the U.S. economy. (For example, the cost of food has increased by just 244 percent and healthcare by 601 percent in the same period). A widely cited study by Richard Arum, Academically Adrift, concludes that 36 percent of college students show no significant gains in learning over the course of their four years in college. Indeed, 68 percent of students at public colleges and universities fail to graduate in four years. And in 2012, over 50 percent of graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

via The Price of College Has Increased 1120 Percent Since 1978, So Is It Worth It? – The Daily Beast.

And a friend sent me this and it makes some very good points!

The plain fact of the matter is this:

1. Certain colleges are a complete waste of time and money.

2. Certain majors are not only a waste of time and money, but risk making you stupider for having studied them.

3. Certain kids just shouldn’t go to college at all. They don’t like it, they’re not good at it, and they’re going to hate it.

via Stupid college tricks: should you go to college? | The War Room.

random, sperm donors, when worlds collide:  What a great story!

So Mikayla, a San Diego native, messaged Emily right away, suggesting they room together. It was too late; Emily already had a roommate. But the girls friended each other on Facebook anyway.

Then on Father’s Day, Mikayla posted a glib Facebook status. “Thank you Colombian sperm donor, for one of my X chromosomes.”

“That’s odd,” thought Emily, whose parents also had selected a donor of Colombian heritage.

She responded by writing, “Not to be creepy. But kinda think we could have same donor.”

The idea was so far-fetched that neither gave it much thought, they said. But when the girls arrived at Tulane in the fall, they met and jokingly referred to each other as “sister.”

They were placed in the same dormitory, one floor apart, and both landed parts in the same theater production, “The Vagina Monologues.” Throughout the first semester, they said hello in the stairwell but were more acquaintances than friends.

Then, over Thanksgiving break, both freshmen were part of a larger group of Tulane students that didn’t go home. They ended up at the Gonzales outlet mall, as part of a Black Friday shopping trip. Each spent the day shopping with their own friends, then discovered on the bus ride home that they’d bought the same sweater in different colors.

The similarities continued to pile up.

They both sleeptalk and sleepwalk — so much so that their parents used to put an extra lock on the door at night, for fear they’d walk outside. And back in the early 1990s, their parents had gone to the same place, California Cryobank, and selected a Colombian sperm donor with an interest in theater out of hundreds of potential candidates for insemination.

via Genes that fit: Tulane freshmen discover shared sperm-donor dad | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

character counts, deviations from gender norms, double standards, shame on you:  It’s not the little white lie, it’s that she left her husband after he paid off her loans.  And yes there are double standards, but I try to hold both sexes to the same standards.  Shame on you, Wendy Davis.

Now the question is whether Slater’s sexist narrative will hurt Wendy Davis’ chances. It’s hard to imagine that there are many Texans who were considering voting for a pro-choice Democrat but would be too scandalized by her deviations from gender norms to vote for her now. The biggest obstacle that Davis faces—that she’s a Democrat in a solidly red state—hasn’t changed a bit. And the fact that the attacks on her are getting so shrill suggests that perhaps Republicans are really beginning to fear she has a chance.

via Wayne Slater paints Wendy Davis as a gold-digger and a bad mother in the Dallas Morning News..

And a little of my conversation …

I don’t know…regardless of party affiliation …people don’t like it when one is loose with the truth. She has been loose with the truth. Her one big thing is abortion.

“Loose with the truth”? She was separated at 19 and divorced at 21, rather than divorced at 19. And she “only” lived in a trailer for a few months. And she got help paying for law school. That’s the best they got. I don’t think she will win, but she just raised $12 million and the TX Repubs are scared s**tless.

The Republicans just might tear each other appart in the primaries, leaving whichever candidate wins vunerable. The attacks on one area congressman have already started, without any mention of who is running against him.

 This may be setting her up for a US House run in 2016. The districts have been heavily gerrymandered, but there still are some Democratic districts.

She is undoubtedly intelligent, attractive and came from modest means. Why couldn’t that be enough? Why have to “exaggerate” the true circumstances of her life just to get some easy to remember narrative (divorced teen mom who pulled HERself up to make it through Ha rvard Law all alone). After decades of being told ‘it takes a village’

…why can’t the true narrative of her life be enough? We should celebrate that she was able to surpass 2 of the 3 biggest causes for women to be in poverty (teen mom, no degree) to become an attorney and state office holder. So she had help, that’s great!

I guess she is a natural blonde………

yoga,  Doga,  Secret Yoga, follow-up, London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes, Completely London Blog: As a follow up to my “naked coed yoga’ article … Doga and Secret Yoga!  Those Brits … They have a better idea shen it comes to yoga.

Doga

Your dog + yoga = doga. Yes, we’re serious. Classes with Swiss instructor Mahny involve four-legged friends in your yoga practice to help you both relax. Expect mediation, stretching and gentle poses, whether you’re lifting your Chihuahua for a sun salutation or using your Labrador as a yogic bolster. And lots of jokes from your friends about the downward dog. SW6

Secret Yoga Club

Rather than a weekly drop-in, serious yoga fans might want to treat themselves to this pop-up/fitness hybrid. Held at clandestine venues across London – Secret Yoga Club provides a dynamic hour-long Jivamukti flow class, a Savasana (the relaxation bit at the end) serenaded by a singer and a three-course vegan menu. They say: ‘leave with a soul full of joy and a tummy full of goodness’. We say: ‘Sign us up!’. Find their weekly classes here.

via London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes | Completely London Blog.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

olympic uniforms ralph lauren ugly review nbc today showThe U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!

Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!

decades-long mystery, seemingly random letters: I loved this FB post!

” This is cool not only because it is a prayer (oops, spoiler alert!), but because it demonstrates what can happen when we share, collaborate compassionately, and lend our minds and time to others in need. Surely that must be among the highest callings and most ardent lessons we can know or share? Surely.”

Yesterday afternoon, a woman seeking help with a decades-old family mystery posted a thread on Ask Metafilter titled “Decoding cancer-addled ramblings”:

My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn’t get anywhere.

The index cards appear to just be a random series of letters, and had confounded the poster’s family for years. But it only took Metafilter 15 minutes to at least partially decipher them. User harperpitt quickly realized she was using the first letters of words, and that she was, in fact, writing prayers:

AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc

via Ask Metafilter: A decades-long mystery over a series of index cards with seemingly random letters was solved..

Facebook, predictions,  Princeton’s Demise, Digits – WSJ:

After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook’s demise, Facebook has responded with its own “research” predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu

Photo: After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook's demise, Facebook has responded with its own "research" predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu</p><br /> <p>Credit: Facebook

On Thursday, Facebook went a step further with its own mock academic research. “Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all,” wrote Mike Develin, a data scientist at Facebook.

Develin said he analyzed various data points, including the percentage of queries on Google Scholar matching the query “Princeton.” Develin’s research showed the percentage had dropped dramatically since 2000, an “alarming” number, he wrote.

“In keeping with the scientific principle ‘correlation equals causation,’ our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely,” Develin wrote.

The paper authors could not immediately be reached.

Facebook’s posting Thursday ends on an ominous note. “While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet–Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left.”

via Facebook Responds by Predicting Princeton’s Demise – Digits – WSJ.

Maria Tallchief, the first Native American prima ballerina, Mighty Girls:  Interesting history from the art world.

Photo: Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, "Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva." </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine's ballet "Firebird." This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>There are two wonderful books for young readers about her life: "Who Is Maria Tallchief" for ages 8 to 12 (http://www.amightygirl.com/who-is-maria-tallchief) and "Tallchief: American's Prima Ballerina" for ages 4 to 9 (http://www.amightygirl.com/tallchief-america-s-prima-ballerina).</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>She is also one of several women role models featured in the picture book “Every-Day Dress-up” for ages 3 to 8 at http://www.amightygirl.com/every-day-dress-up</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief is also highlighted in our blog post, "A Celebration of Native American and Aboriginal Mighty Girls for Native American Heritage Month," at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=5226</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>For more stories of girls and women in dance and the arts, visit our "Creative Arts" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/creative-arts</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>To learn more about Tallchief's life, the NY Times released an excellent tribute to her following her death last year at http://tinyurl.com/bul6zyo

Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, “Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva.”

Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine’s ballet “Firebird.” This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88.

Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life, Breakthru films, feature-length painted animation, YouTube, new technology:  very cool concept …

Concept trailer for the new production from Oscar-winning studio Breakthru films, a feature-length painted animation. A murder mystery about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh told through revealing interviews with the characters from van Gogh’s own paintings.

via ▶ Loving Vincent – Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life – YouTube.

22
Jan
14

1.22.14 … respect urban solitude …

fake London Underground signs, ruddy genius, British humor/twisted British humor thing, Prosign:  Well, some of my friends missed the British humor.  I, however, laughed, especially at the second one.  If my sister sees that one, remember “railroaditis?” Well, now we know, it is “respecting urban solitude.”  🙂

Someone has made fake London Underground signs, and whoever did it is a ruddy genius.

via Prosign – cool stuff we’ve done and seen • Someone has made fake London Underground signs, and whoever did it is a ruddy genius..

A few comments …  

Is this supposed to be funny? Are people not reading?

Funny in a very odd (possibly British) sort of way. And I assume that part of the humor is that most don’t read the signs because they ride everyday

Still scary

very funny–but then I’ve got that twisted British humor thing!

Yep, so British!

Contemplative Spirituality, Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute for  Spiritual Formation:  I am actually taking one of their online courses.  Although courses have been offered at my church, I am not one to participate in a live session.  maybe after I take the online course I will not feel so awkward.

Each of these ways can be an authentic expression of love. The Way of the True, for example, seeks to deepen love through understanding: “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). For people drawn toward this quality, loving God and neighbor involves intimate knowing and clear understanding. They are interested in theology, philosophy and psychology. They enjoy thought-provoking sermons and are interested in discerning the accurate meanings of scripture. While this path often relies heavily on intellectual understanding, it also includes openness to intuitive insight and inspired realization.

The Way of the Good expresses love through action, doing the righteous thing, seeking to be of service and to promote justice: \”…just as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me” (Matt 25:40). People attracted to this quality express their love of God and neighbor by helping the poor, visiting the sick, peacemaking and social action. They have a strong concern for morality, though they may differ widely in the values they hold. In church they are drawn to mission groups and other volunteer services. In scripture, they tend to look for moral guidelines and calls to action.

The Way of the Beautiful experiences love in the form of feelings and devotion: “As a deer longs for running streams, so my soul longs for you, O God” (Ps 42:1). People drawn to this way are especially responsive to the sensory and emotional dimensions of the spiritual life. For them, love of God and neighbor is associated with passion, empathy and intimacy. They are concerned with direct, sensed experience of relationship with God and others and are drawn to praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. They especially appreciate the aesthetic and inspirational aspects of worship and the moving, heartfelt passages of scripture.

It is assumed that as a person grows in the spiritual life, these paths come together in an integrated whole. Even then, though, a person is likely to be more drawn to one way than to the others. Further, the expressions of a person\’s love are likely to change with deepening life experience. One way of understanding the process of growth in love was proposed by the twelfth-century monk Bernard of Clairvaux.3

via What is Contemplative Spirituality?.

Wanderlust: A History of Walking,  Rebecca Solnit, walking, pilgrimages:  Ran across this book in my research the other day … “profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture.”

Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction-from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton’s Nadja-finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world

via Wanderlust: A History of Walking: Rebecca Solnit: 9780140286014: Amazon.com: Books.

A recent tweet, marriage advice:

Sammy Rhodes ‏@sammyrhodes 24 Dec

One of the best ways to prepare for marriage is to wait 15 minutes in your car before going anywhere.

NFL Super Bowl 2014, “The People’s Diva”,  soprano Renée Fleming, national anthem, Classical KUSC:

The NFL has just announced that “The People’s Diva,” soprano Renée Fleming, will become the first opera star ever to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Viewers can expect to enjoy to solid intonation, minimal improvisatory ornamentation, excellent vowel placement, and when she goes for the high note at the end, she’ll actually hit it. -Brian

And the conversation …

Alex met her at the WPAS event at the Supreme Court. She was far more excited at meeting Ms. Fleming than she was any of the justices, I believe.

Very cool. I would love to meet any of the justices. I have my favorites, but any. However, I think it wonderful that Alex got to meet both a few justices and a opera diva at one event.

I get so tired of butchered national anthems. How many syllables can someone coax out of “banner yet waved”? Look forward to this one.

Christ the Redeemer, follow-up, lightning damage:  That was quick!

Workers begin repairing damage to the Christ the Redeemer statue caused by recent lightning storms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: http://on.wsj.com/1aqGVzB

 Photo: Workers begin repairing damage to the Christ the Redeemer statue caused by recent lightning storms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: http://on.wsj.com/1aqGVzB</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Credit: EPA

Workers climbed to dizzying heights on Tuesday to begin repairing damage to the Christ the Redeemer statue caused by recent lightning storms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The right thumb was chipped during a storm last week, and its right middle finger and a spot on its head were damaged last month.

Officials say they will place more lightning rods on the statue in an effort to prevent future damage. The statue will remain open to the public during the repairs.

via Climbing to Great Heights Above Rio – Photo Journal – WSJ.

 Downton Night, Downton Abbey: Looks good to me:

Why not share how you enjoy your Downton Night and see how others spend theirs on our Downton Nights Pinterest board?

grammar:

Photo: <3 Vote for Grammarly to win a Crunchie. Vote for unlimited ice cream. <3 http://crunchies2013.techcrunch.com/voted/?ODozOQ==  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>You can vote daily until 1/26.

And from a Lovett friend … I am sure her Latin teacher would be proud!

Seize the weird foreigner; he is a counterfeiter who has forfeited his leisure! (credit goes to Mrs. Wells, my fabulous Latin teacher for five years!)

Broccoli-Cheese Soup, The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond, recipesBroccoli-Cheese Soup | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Best Paint Color for Doors, Colorful Front Doors, House Beautiful: We had a red door growing up … I am considering painting my door … ideas?

Insta Ideas: 7 Statement-Making Front Doors

Set the tone for your home with a welcoming front door paint color. Here, some of our favorite tastemakers on Instagram share inspiration.

via Best Paint Color for Doors – Colorful Front Doors – House Beautiful.




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