Posts Tagged ‘food – desserts

12
Dec
11

12.12.2011 … I’m up to my ears in cupcake balls! …

holidays, food – desserts:  I’m up to my ears in cupcake balls! Cake Balls « bakerella.com.

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Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, marketing, Middle East, North Africa:

Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are huge in the Middle East and North Africa, where they account for 55 percent of mobile Internet traffic, according to a new survey by Dubai-based Effective Measure. The iPhone and iPad in particular are doing well, splitting top device honors among the countries covered in the study.

During the month of October, Apple iPhone accounted for 29.6 percent of traffic from mobile devices, with the iPad accounting for 24.1 percent. The iPod touch added another two percent to the total for Apple devices. Apple’s iPhone was the most popular device overall, and the iPad second. RIM’s BlackBerry devices came in third, with 7.6 percent combined.

via Apple devices winning big in the Middle East and North Africa — Apple News, Tips and Reviews.

iPad:  iPad 3 on the way?

Now that Citi analyst Richard Gardner has kicked the rumor mill up a notch for those awaiting the next iPad, the speculation will likely being flying fast and furious.

Digitimes is reporting that the next Apple tablet will be coming out in three to four months — right about in line with Apple’s normal schedule for iPad releases. The Taiwanese tech site, which has a spotty record when it comes to predicting Apple’s next moves, has tapped into its supply line sources once again and reported that Apple will begin cutting back on iPad 2 production ins the first quarter of 2012. Why? To make way for the next generation, of course.

Apple is infamous for the control it exercises over its image — especially its retail stores. Customers often know Apple stores at a glance, since the company’s storefronts often employ the same stark, simple lines as its products while also reflecting the character of their surroundings.

Apple is known for having many successful product launches. But it had some unsuccessful ones too.

The report says that new iPads are expected to reach 9.5 to 9.8 million production units in early 2012.

The rumors could have a negative effect on Apple’s holiday sales, as consumers expecting an iPad3 to come soon may decide not to take the plunge and buy an iPad 2 now.

There was definitely some buyers’ remorse out there when Apple released the iPad 2 last March, adding cameras and slicing down the thickness. And, yes, there are some rumored features for the next iPad that would be nice to have, such as an HD screen and LTE connectivity. But, as is the nature of these kinds of rumors, there’s no guarantee than any of them is accurate.

via Report: New iPad coming this spring – The Washington Post.

 myths, all women’s colleges, lists:

1. We are all major feminists who are concerned with women’s issues

3. For fun, we have late night pillow fights in our underwear

5. We are all lesbians

via Top ten myths about all women’s colleges | USA TODAY College.

Penn State Scandal, Mike McQueary:  Key Witness’ Story Changes …

Mon, Dec 12, 2011 9:00 AM EST – ABC News 2:33 | 4,558 views

Questions raised about Mike McQueary

Penn State Scandal: Key Witness’ Story Changes

Questions raised about Mike McQueary, an eyewitness in the case.

via News Videos – Yahoo!.

‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, movies,  pregnancy handbook, romantic comedy:  Movie adapts pregnancy handbook into romantic comedy … go figure!

Lionsgate has released a trailer for the romantic-comedy adaptation of the pregnancy handbook, What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

We’ve embedded the trailer in the video above–what do you think?

Here’s more from Indiewire: “[Pregnancy] makes Elizabeth Banks hysterical, Dennis Quaid embarassed and Brooklyn Decker…well, she stays hot. Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Jennifer Lopez, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Lennon and Rob Huebel all round out the cast on this one.”

The film reportedly also contains celebrity cameos from Black Eyed Peas musician Taboo, reality starlet Whitney Port and UK singer Cheryl Cole. Director Kirk Jones helmed the project. Heather Hach and Shauna Cross wrote the script. The movie hits theaters in May 2012.

via ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ Trailer Released – GalleyCat.

 La Rochefoucauld, quotes, happiness:

“We are so accustomed to disguising our true nature from others, that we end up disguising it from ourselves.”
 La Rochefoucauld

lawyers, careers, Great Recession, internet, websites, Shpoonkle: A new site lets jobless young lawyers underbid their more-experienced competitors for work! Welcome to Shpoonkle! Where Lawyers and Clients Connect..

New Lawyers Hang a Shingle on Shpoonkle, to Some Colleagues’ Chagrin

via Recent Law Graduates Offer Cheap Legal Counsel on Web Site, to Lawyers’ Chagrin – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

websites, cooking, Cooking with Caitlin:  Another fun one…

Cooking with Caitlin (CWC) began Mother’s Day 2007, on Molly’s front porch, over a bowl of cherries. Caitlin was a brand new wife and mom, and had recently returned to Cincinnati having completed culinary school in Chicago. Molly and Kelly also had moved back to Cincinnati recently. Together they hatched a plan to be their own bosses in a food-focused business built around their growing families. The initial idea was simple: catering. A nights-and-weekends company that would give Caitlin the opportunity to play with food, Kelly would plan the parties, Molly would promote the business, and they would come together to make the events happen.

via Cooking with Caitlin.

toys,  retailing, Christmas:  No hit toys … another sign of the Great Recession?

With Christmas less than two weeks away, the toy industry has no runaway hit — leaving many toy shoppers bored and complicating how stores sell holiday inventory.

“We are not seeing people clamor for any single item,” Stephanie Lucy, vice president for toys at Target, said by e-mail.

The hitless season has retailers stocking less, leaning on classic items rather than new ones and possibly discounting less in the final days before Christmas. And with no Tickle Me Elmo or Zhu Zhu Pets to draw crushing crowds to the toy aisles, most retailers are being careful not to get stuck with unsold toys.

“As retailers look at consumer confidence numbers, they are skeptical about consumers’ willingness to spend this holiday season, and they are trying to avoid getting caught with too much inventory,” said Josh Green, chief executive of Panjiva, a supply-chain data company.

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer, Hot Wheels Wall Tracks, Lalaoopsy Silly Hair dolls and some Lego sets are sold out or hard to find in many parts of the country, but that is mainly because of consistent demand rather than growing waves of frenzied shoppers.

via No Hit Toy to Brighten Retailers’ Christmas – NYTimes.com.

Christmas, Go-To Gift, Soul by Ludacris:  Since I have never heard of SOUL … must not be that big of a hit.

SOUL by Ludacris headphones are featured as the perfect gift for the audiophile in Newsweek Magazine‘s December article, “Tech for One, Tech for All: Stocking Stuffers for the Gadget Guru” by Brian Ries.  Along with SOUL he plugs the iPad 2 and Kindle Fire as this season’s go-to gifts.  (on newsstands now)

via Newsweek Magazine’s, “This Season’s Go-To Gift” [feature] | Soul by Ludacris.

science, biology, leaproach:  Yuck … Leaping cockroach discovered!

Cockroach haters beware: scientists have discovered a roach that jumps.

The newly discovered leaproach, which looks like a cockroach but acts like a grasshopper, is described in the journal Biology Letters.

via Leaping Cockroach Discovered – NYTimes.com.

Zoran Milich, NYC, photojournalism, Gothamatic, LIFE :  I love how LIFE has returned on the web!

Gothamatic: 12.12.11 – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

law school, education, practical applications:  Very well written … “The emphasis on practical short-term payoffs has already laid waste to the traditional project of the liberal arts, which may not survive. Is the law next? The law is surely a practice but it is also a subject, and if it ceases to be a subject — ceases to be an object of analysis in classrooms and in law reviews — its practice will be diminished. When a Times editorial declares that “[l]aw is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems” rather than something of interest in its own right, one wants to say more’s the pity.”

This week marks the last sessions of my Yale law school class on law, liberalism and religion. In the course of the semester my students have learned how to read religion clause cases against the background of long-standing debates in philosophy and theology about the relationship between religious imperatives and the obligations of democratic citizenship. They have become adept at recognizing the arguments behind the arguments the justices are making explicitly. They can see how a case ostensibly about vouchers or school prayer or Christmas trees on courthouse steps is really about whether principle or history should inform a court’s decisions. They can see how a case about head coverings or beards in the military (a topic that has surfaced once again) turns on the distinctions set down in John Locke’s “Letter Concerning Toleration” (1689), a tract the justices may never have read. They can see how the majority and dissenting opinions in a free exercise case often reflect a tension between negative and positive liberty as these terms are defined by Isaiah Berlin, an author the justices will likely not have referenced. They can see how the entire history of religion-clause jurisprudence at once illustrates and is an extended critique of John Rawls’s attempt in “Political Liberalism” to devise a form of government that will be fair to religion while at the same time keeping it at arm’s length.

The question asked by an article and an editorial published recently in this newspaper is whether what my students have learned will be of any help to them when they enter practice. At first glance the answer seems to be “no,” if only because Berlin, Locke, Rawls, Hobbes, Kant, Unger and Rorty (writers whose work took up half the semester) are not currency in legal arguments; citing them in front of a court or in a memorandum is likely to be regarded at best as window dressing and at worst as showing off. (Not to mention the fact that few practicing attorneys are likely to be engaging with religion-clause issues anyway.)

In his response to Segal’s essay, Brian Leiter, a professor of law at the University of Chicago, rejects the question of whether what one learns in law school is of any help: “The criterion of scholarly inquiry is whether it makes a contribution to knowledge and understanding, not whether it ‘helps.’” Leiter adds that what he calls “genuine” knowledge often does help with “a host of concrete and practical problems.” But he refuses (rightly, I think) to justify the academic study of law on that basis, for, he explains, “it is the central premise of a research institution that the measure of its achievement is the quality of the scholarship, i.e. its contribution to knowledge — whether of law or biology or literature — not its practical payoff in the short-term.”

The emphasis on practical short-term payoffs has already laid waste to the traditional project of the liberal arts, which may not survive. Is the law next? The law is surely a practice but it is also a subject, and if it ceases to be a subject — ceases to be an object of analysis in classrooms and in law reviews — its practice will be diminished. When a Times editorial declares that “[l]aw is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems” rather than something of interest in its own right, one wants to say more’s the pity.

via Teaching Law – NYTimes.com

Christmas, Christmas album, Christmas traditions, history:  Love this …

I’m a Christmas music traditionalist. Whereas I happily seek out new bands and explore new music throughout the year (and not just because it’s my job), around the holidays I become so conservative, so unyielding in my song choices — it’s Bing Crosby and Dean Martin or nothing — that the very mention of a contemporary Christmas album confuses and alarms me. Michael Bublé’s new Christmas record? Why don’t you just shave off Santa’s beard while you’re at it.

I just don’t approach Christmas songs the same way that I do regular ones. I’m not looking to broaden my musical horizons with a new rendition of “Jingle Bells.” I just want to listen to the same old songs (and watch the same old movies and drink the same old eggnog) that I always have. I’m probably doing it in a futile attempt to recapture some sense of childhood wonder. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Besides watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TV, that is.

But this year marks the first time that I’ve fallen for a new Christmas collection: A Very She & Him Christmas. The album — which came out in October because bandmembers Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have fallen prey to the diabolical “Christmas creep” marketing machine — is a compilation of classic Christmas tunes that have been stripped down and injected with just the right amount of contrived nostalgia to trick me into into thinking that I’ve been listening to it all my life. Their version of the Beach Boys’ “Little St. Nick” deserves to be a new holiday standard. I’ve finally entered the world of the annual Christmas album and what a big, scary world it is. I have a lot of catching up to do, so I might as well start at the beginning.

Christmas music as we know it today didn’t really get going until the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria married her German cousin, Prince Albert. Suddenly, England had an excuse to adopt all of Germany’s fun Christmas traditions, like that of the decorated tree laden with presents. The customs were also picked up by the United States, which had only recently invented the concept of Santa Claus. All of this newfound holiday cheer helped revive the practice of group caroling. Carols had existed for centuries, though their popularity waxed and waned as different governments and religious movements periodically declared them sinful. (I’m look at you, Puritans). But in the 1800s they finally had their heyday. Between 1840 and 1870, the following carols were written: “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Up on the Housetop,” “Away in a Manger, and “We Three Kings.” Those are just the ones that have stuck around; there are plenty of others that have long been forgotten.

via Music Monday: The Rise of the Christmas Album | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Steve Jobs,  Computer History Museum: Wonderful retrospective!

The “Blue Box” was a simple electronic gizmo that bypassed telephone company billing computers, allowing anyone to make free telephone calls anywhere in the world. The Blue Box was illegal, but the specifications for hacking into the telephone network were published in a telephone company journal and many youngsters with a flair for electronics built them. The “two Steves” had a great deal of fun building and using them for “ethical hacking,” with Wozniak building the kits and Jobs selling them—a pattern which would emerge again and again in the lives of these two innovators. (Wozniak once telephoned the Vatican, pretended to be Henry Kissinger and asked to speak to the Pope—just to see if he could. When someone answered, Woz got scared and hung up.)

via Computer History Museum | Steve Jobs: From Garage to World’s Most Valuable Company.

Illustrated Histories and the American Imagination, 1840-1900, online exhibition:  So much neat stuff out there!

In this online exhibit, explore and contrast the production histories of two mid-19th-century pictorial history projects.

Through interactive graphics, magnified images and text, come to understand the personal agendas and the two-way and three-way collaborations at work in the making of pictorial histories; that is, the relationships among publishers, artists and historians.

via Clio: Picturing the Past – American Illustrated Histories Online Exhibit.

Christmas, Christmas traditions, Christmas feast, recipes, history:  A Victorian Christmas Feast!

“Nothing pushes the nostalgia button at Christmastime more than Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with its warming images of a candlelit tree and Victorian plenitude. Yet prior to the 19th century, Christmas was a very different holiday, and it was only in the Victorian era that our concept of Christmas as a child-centered family holiday arose. After reviewing the evolution of Christmas holidays, we will use 19th-century English cookbooks, such as Charles Francatelli’s The Modern Cook and Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families, to create a groaning board of Victorian delights, including Jerusalem Artichoke Soup; Lobster Fricassée; Baked Goose with Chestnuts; Roasted Filet of Beef à l’Anglaise; Endives with Cream; Christmas Pudding; Gingerbread; and Twelfth Night Cake.”

Cathy continued, “This is upper class food that we’re making tonight, that took a large staff in the kitchen to prepare, with no expenses spared, using the most luxurious ingredients. It’s also infusion cuisine made with expensive stocks, showing the French influence in this period. There’s also a fair amount of cream in many dishes with a touch of cayenne pepper, an influence of the British colonials in India. The French at this time would have just used nutmeg. There were many women cooks in the kitchens of the wealthy in England, and in France there were more men in the kitchens.”

via A Victorian Christmas Feast « Jane Austen’s World.

websites, design, Colossal:
If you haven’t seen Colossal, don’t worry: you will. It’s an art and design blog which is, well, what it says it is. It’s getting mentioned everywhere, including here on Hyperallergic. It so happens that the blog’s creator, Chris Jobson, and I have known each other for years, and we live about three blocks from each other on Chicago’s north side. So I thought I would see if the guy who’s responsible for bringing such cool stuff to the world’s attention would overcome his modesty and talk about himself for a few minutes.via An Interview with Chris Jobson, Creator of the Art and Design Blog Colossal.
 Zombie Borders, Germany, history:  My favorite article of the day … Read on …
Now defunct by just over two decades, the border between the two Germanys already seems like a surreal relic from a much more distant past. Was there really ever a 540-mile Strip of Death separating the two halves, from the Czech border to the Bay of Lübeck? There was – and it was quite hermetical, and very deadly [2] – but today a visitor might be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

These days, the so-called innerdeutsche Grenze is almost completely erased from the landscape, marked only by the occasional memorial placard along the Autobahn. The fences, the spotlights, the guard dogs and the tanks have all been withdrawn. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone. The line that separated the Federal Republic of (West) Germany from the (East) German Democratic Republic is a zombie border: it’s been dead a few times in the past, and that hasn’t stopped it coming back. The line between east and west existed long before the postwar split.

The Iron Curtain that divided Europe (and Germany) is gone. The European Union now includes much of Eastern Europe, and indeed some bits of the former Soviet Union. In Angela Merkel, Germany has its first chancellor raised in the former East Germany. Although many socio-economic indicators for the ex-GDR are still not up to par with the western half of Germany, the border itself has been thoroughly erased from the landscape.

So is that the end of Henry the Fowler’s thousand-year-old border? Maybe not. Erased borders are like phantom limbs – sometimes it feels like they’re still there, even when they’re manifestly not.

via Zombie Borders – NYTimes.com.

11
Dec
11

12.11.2011 … Game face on (but wearing red socks:) ) — with John at Bank of America Stadium … A good day to be a Panthers Fan … until halftime … socks won …

Panthers:   Cold and sunny, playing Atlanta … great day to go to Panther’s stadium … first half rocks …. well, you know the story …

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Donna Morris, Paris, travel, tour guides:  We loved Donna!

Donna Morris, 51, is a professional trip planner in Paris (www.bestfriendinparis.com), where she has lived for five years. Morris is originally from Granite Falls.

via Paris warms during chill winter days | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ , retailing,  at-home sales business, business trends: So I have never been to a Tupperware or Mary Kay Party , but have been to a Pampered Chef … love their stuff.  Love  chocolate … so maybe …

It’s a Party…Literally.

Following the business model of Mary Kay, Tupperware, and other pioneers of home party businesses, DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ products are sold by aspiring entrepreneurs. They provide the impetus for people to then host chocolate tasting parties in their own homes. Invited friends and relatives gather to sample an exclusive line of chocolate products not sold in any store. Who can resist an evening among friends tasting heavenly chocolate treats?

“It doesn’t even feel like selling,” says chocolatier Jill Young. “I don’t have to twist any arms. Even in tough times, people still want to treat themselves to a little chocolate.”

The wide array of DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ products includes ready-to-eat chocolate treats, smoothie and martini mixes, chocolate chai tea, brownie and cookie mixes, baking chocolate, mousse mixes, even special tools for creating decadent desserts and fancy homemade chocolate candies.

Chocolate Is Hot. Home Entertaining Is Cool Again.

Last year 17 billion dollars worth of chocolate was sold in the U.S. and the fastest-growing brand of premium chocolate is DOVE®. !(border right)/files/0002/2312/dove-cupcakes_medium.jpg!Plus, the state of the economy has led to more people entertaining at home today—one more factor that may benefit DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ home sales venture.

via DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ Dips Into At-Home Sales Business in News & Trends on The Food Channel®.

physics, biology, photosynthesis:  This one is over my head!

Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis.

Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it’s been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear.

In an experiment published Dec. 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a connection between coherence — far-flung molecules interacting as one, separated by space but not time — and energy flow is established.

“There was a smoking gun before,” said study co-author Greg Engel of the University of Chicago. “Here we can watch the relationship between coherence and energy transfer. This is the first paper showing that coherence affects the probability of transport. It really does change the chemical dynamics.”

The new findings are the latest in a series that have, piece by piece, promised to expand scientific understanding of photosynthesis, one of life’s fundamental processes. Until a few years ago, it seemed a straightforward piece of chemistry.

via More Evidence Found for Quantum Physics in Photosynthesis | Wired Science | Wired.com.

End Of Ze World, YouTube, viral videos, LOL:  This one I got from my daughter … LOL.

retailing, business trends, chain dollar stores,  drugstores, Great Recession: I must admit  have gone to a dollar store twice in the last week …

The family-run drugstore on Main Street has been dying for decades. Now, the big national chain pharmacies—which helped push those family operations to the brink of extinction—are being surpassed in terms of total locations by dollar stores. What does this say about how people shop nowadays? And about the state of the economy?

One of the hottest retail trends in recent years has been the rise of the dollar store. During a period when many retailers have struggled as a result of consumers scaling back, dollar stores boomed for obvious reasons—one way consumers cut expenses was by spending more time in dollar stores.

Surveys have shown that today’s shoppers are more likely to make purchases in dollar stores lately, and chains such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar have experienced outstanding sales growth as a result.

Riding the wave of newfound popularity and better-than-ever sales figures, dollar stores have naturally been expanding to new locations all over the country.

Now, according to a study by retail research firm Colliers International, dollar store locations outnumber drugstore locations in the U.S. Specifically, Colliers added up the number of locations for four national dollar store chains (Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, 99 Cents Only), and compared that figure to the total number of locations for the country’s three biggest drugstore chains (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens).

via More Chain Dollar Stores Than Drugstores in the U.S., Says Study | Moneyland | TIME.com.

MIT, “Platform Wars”, MBAs, gaming,  free online simulator,  education, teaching methods:  I think this might be fun to try …

Want to learn MBA management skills and strategies for free?  Thanks to “Platform Wars,” a video game simulator created by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, anyone can learn elements of a business school education by portraying an executive at a video game console manufacturer online.

The simulator has been used for the past four years in business management classes taught by professor John Sterman. A user playing an executive Nintendo, for example, might be tasked with figuring out how how to help the Wii beat out competition from Microsoft’s XBox. The ultimate goal is to strategize against your competitor to maximize cumulative profit over 10 years. The player has to make all the applicable decisions to win the market—everything from setting the price of the console to determining the royalties video game makers will pay for the right to produce games for the platform.

“Platform Wars” proved to be so popular at the business school that in late November, MIT—the home of the renowned OpenCourseWare program—decided to make the simulator available to the public on the MIT Sloane Teaching Innovation Resources website. Users can play as an individual or as a class. To fully equip gamers, Sterman is also providing free case studies and video explanations for both students and teachers.

Platform markets “are increasingly common in settings besides video games,” so Sterman says that the skills users can learn through Platform Wars are “applicable in many markets.” Figuring out how to ensure your product’s price, features, and complementary products stay competitive is in every business’ best interests. After all, we all know what happened in the real-world platform war between VHS and Betamax.

via MBA by Gaming: MIT Launches Free Online Simulator – Education – GOOD.

Consumer Reports:  Going Strong at 75 … “It has more than six times as many digital subscribers as The Wall Street Journal, the leader among newspapers.”

BORN in 1936, Consumer Reports had a very happy 75th birthday this year. Its business has never been better.

Well, “business” is not the right word, as there are no profits or losses to track: it’s a nonprofit. But the magazine and Web site generated $182 million in revenue in the 2011 fiscal year, which ended May 31. That pays for a lot of professional testing — of cars and trucks, washers and dryers, televisions, children’s car seats, mattresses, treadmills and cellphone plans — all told, more than 3,600 products and services a year.

Consumer Reports started its Web site in 1997; by 2001, it had 557,000 subscribers. That number has grown to 3.3 million this year, an increase of nearly 500 percent in 10 years. It has more than six times as many digital subscribers as The Wall Street Journal, the leader among newspapers.

via Consumer Reports, Going Strong at 75 — Digital Domain – NYTimes.com.

 BBC Sleep Profiler, health and wellness:  I did pretty well for my age … 🙂

Your sleep is fairly well optimised, scoring 57 %.

You said you have a problem with sleep, but you are not very sleepy during the day, which indicates your body is probably getting the sleep it needs. Quality of sleep is more important than quantity. There’s room to improve your score. You may find your personalised advice below useful.

Body and Health

You can expect to sleep less at night now you are older.

Now that you’re over 50, your natural sleep pattern has changed. You may find yourself napping during the day but sleeping less at night. In reality, you’re sleeping as much as you need to, but at different times of the day.

via BBC – Science & Nature – Human Body and Mind – Sleep Profiler.

 ‘New Year’s Eve’, ensemble romantic comedy, box office , holiday movies, Great Recession:  Why the downturn at the box office and what’s an ensemble romantic comedy, one that throws ever romantic comedy star in it …

“New Year’s Eve” came early to the multiplex this year, but couldn’t help the film industry escape its lowest-earning weekend of the year.

In total, all films at the box office grossed $76 million this weekend, a 17.2% drop from the same weekend last year. It was the lowest weekend take since Sept of 2008.

Leading the tepid pack was “New Year’s Eve,” an ensemble romantic comedy starring Halle Berry and Michelle Pfeiffer in supporting roles. Made for a budget in the low $50 million range and distributed by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Pictures, the film grossed $13.7 million from 3,505 theaters according to early estimates, below the studio’s expectations.

The weekend’s new limited release films, meanwhile, got off to solid starts. “Young Adult,” a dark comedy starring Charlize Theron as YA book novelist, earned $320,000 from eight theaters in five cities. The $12 million film is being released by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, which will open the film wide on Dec. 16 to 1,000 locations.

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a well-reviewed adaptation of the John le Carre novel starring Gary Oldman, grossed $300,737 from four theaters, giving it a high per-screen average of $75,184. The thriller, which is being released by Comcast Corp’s Focus Features, will expand to four new markets and seven theaters next week.

via ‘New Year’s Eve’ Tops the Weekend Box Office – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Tweet of the Day, Post Secret, libraries:

PostSecret (@postsecret)

12/11/11 1:51 PM

“I work in a library. Today I heard a mom tell her child to be quiet because the ‘books are sleeping’. I wanted to give her a high-five!”

food – desserts, food – art, baking, random, gingerbread typewriter:

Patti from Baked Ideas made this amazing edible gingerbread typewriter for benefit of City Harvest, and it is displayed at NYC’s Parker Meridien Hotel.

via Gingerbread typewriter is entirely edible – Boing Boing.

UNC – Charlotte,  Davidson College Davidson, Davidson basketball:  We did not even look like the same team.  I hope it wasn’t just the effect of having Curry around … now that he’s back to the NBA.

Javarris Barnett opened the door to a Charlotte 49ers victory.

The rest of his teammates then slammed it shut on the Davidson Wildcats.

Barnett made five 3-pointers – four during a key second-half run – as the Charlotte 49ers reclaimed the Hornet’s Nest Trophy with a convincing 84-61 victory over rival Davidson on Saturday night.

In as much as Barnett’s long-range bombs broke open a tight game in the 49ers’ favor, it was Charlotte’s unrelenting, stifling defense that provided the opportunity.

“We were down one at halftime and we said we needed to come out and punch them in the mouth, and I think we held them scoreless the first four minutes,” said Barnett, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

via Barnett, Charlotte 49ers leave no doubt in win over Davidson | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

06
Nov
11

11.6.2011… Please come to Boston …

Boston, travel, Mandarin Oriental, Max Brenner:   After a morning flight, we arrived at the  Mandarin Oriental Hotel Boston – A Back Bay Luxury 5 Star Hotel Accommodation. … very nice.  And after John went to the AFP, we blew off Bill and went to Max Brenner … very interesting food and story … and you could definitely smell the chocolate at the door!

Untitled Page.

 

Boston: 10 Things to Do — Introduction – TIME

 

There are a few prerequisites when considering a trip to Boston. First, don’t go in February. This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating, not only because the winters are indeed so miserable, but because the other seasons are so immensely enjoyable. Spring and Fall are gloriously verdant and the summers are breezy and temperate.

 

Second, plan to visit at least some of the same sites you would if you were chaperoning an 8th-grade civics class. You are, after all, in Boston, the City on the Hill, the Cradle of Liberty, and so on and so forth, thus there’s no point or pride in avoiding historic landmarks. Conveniently, many are nestled among the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, areas with cobblestone streets and colonial-era architecture that you would want to wander even if you didn’t feel obligated to do so.

 

And third, don’t compare it to New York City, at least not unfavorably. Bostonians spend considerable energy trying to prove their city is not inferior to Manhattan, whether in national influence, cultural offerings or American League baseball franchises. The truth is, Boston is not at all like New York, and that’s a good thing. The largest city in New England is compact, clean and easily navigable. With a population of only 600,000, Boston is best appreciated as a small city with a hyper-educated populace, an astonishing number of Dunkin’ Donuts, and an artistic and historical importance far surpassing its relative size. Here are some ways to weave the past with the present.

 

via Introduction — Printout — TIME.

blissmobox, marketing:  Interesting idea …

discover what’s better

exceptional organic & eco-friendly products delivered right to your door, once-a-month

via blissmobox – Discover what’s better.

Biblical blunders, White House,  President Obama:  … God Wants Jobs Bill …

It was a blunder of biblical proportions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney invoked scripture Wednesday to back up President Barack Obama’s suggestion that God wants policymakers to get busy and create more jobs.

Carney said Obama was trying to make the point that “we have it within our capacity to do the things to help the American people.”

“I believe the phrase from the Bible is, `The Lord helps those who help themselves,'” Carney said.

Well, no, not really.

A White House transcript of Carney’s briefing issued later in the day included the disclaimer: “This common phrase does not appear in the Bible.”

Obama started the debate earlier in the day when he took note of House action reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the country’s motto.

“I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work,” the president said.

via Biblical Blunder At White House After Obama Said God Wants Jobs Bill.

kith/kin:  We had such a great time … love my wasabies.

 

FEMA Infographic,  U.S. natural disasters:  Sometimes seeing things in a graphic can really make an impression.

 

FEMA Infographic on U.S. Natural Disasters spending #sorrymothernature – DigitalSurgeons.com.

China, bicycles, bike share:

Last month, southern China’s Zhongshan city for the first time filled its streets with 4,000 public bicycles, which citizens can ride free of charge for up to an hour. To further fuel the sharing, the city also built an online platform that gives citizens real-time information on where the closest docking station is and how many bicycles are available.

This is one of numerous bike-sharing programs that are quickly growing in an attempt to unsnarl China’s traffic problems. Program promoters are also having to wrestle with financial barriers as well as a hostile environment that has developed for bikers in cities that used to have millions of them. The goal is to try to get back to days when the streets weren’t gridlocked and when the majority of vehicles didn’t create emissions.

Bike sharing started in Amsterdam as early as 1965. The concept then spread around the globe in cities including London and Washington. But Chinese cities, which joined this trend only a few years ago, are installing their networks at an unprecedented speed.

via Car-Clogged Chinese Cities Encourage a Return to Bicycles: Scientific American.

The Ancient Book of Myth and War, books:  Another interesting book …

Now, The Ancient Book of Myth and War has magically reappeared on Amazon, where we were able to snag a copy for under $75. Needless to say, the book is an absolute gem worth every penny — a collection of stunning experiments in shape and color exploring the strange and wonderful world of mythology and legend throughout the history of the world. (As Amazon reviewer J. Brodsky eloquently puts it, “The only point to be made here, is that you simply must do yourself a favor and buy this art gallery they call a book.”)

via The Ancient Book of Myth and War | Brain Pickings.

 The Influencing Machine, books, history, media:

One of the coolest and most charming book releases of this year, The Influencing Machine is a graphic novel about the media, its history, and its many maladies — think The Information meets The Medium is the Massage meets Everything Explained Through Flowcharts. Written by Brooke Gladstone, longtime host of NPR’s excellent On the Media, and illustrated by cartoonist Josh Neufeld, The Influencing Machine takes a refreshingly alternative approach to the age-old issue of why we disparage and distrust the news. And as the book quickly makes clear, it has always been thus.

Tracing the origins of modern journalism back about 2,000 years to the Mayans — “publicists” generating “some primordial P.R.” — Gladstone and Neufeld walk through our journalistic roots in the cultures of ancient Rome, Britain, and Revolutionary and early America. With this as background, the book then dives into our contemporary media condition, tracing how we got from Caesar’s Acta Diurna to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

via The Influencing Machine: A Brief Visual History of the Media | Brain Pickings.

 SO & SO, journal:  So what is a “wandering interneteer?”

A short-form journal for the wandering interneteer Issue 1

via SO & SO Issue 1 – A short-form journal for the wandering interneteer.

Twitter Stories, website:  Worth checking out …

Twitter has launched an innovative new website called “Twitter Stories” that showcases stories of tweets that have powerfully affected someone or something.

Though Twitter has become knowing for playing an integral role in world-changing events including this year’s Egyptian uprising and the Japanese earthquake, the site typically focuses more on personal stories from individuals, both famous and not.

The new site is designed to showcase these stories.

“Read about a single Tweet that helped save a bookstore from going out of business; an athlete who took a hundred of his followers out to a crab dinner; and, Japanese fishermen who use Twitter to sell their catch before returning to shore,” Twitter wrote as an introduction to the blog. “Each story reminds us of the humanity behind Tweets that make the world smaller.”

via Twitter Stories: New Site Highlights Action-Inspiring Tweets – ABC News.

2012 Presidential Election, Condoleezza Rice, Herman Cain, “race card” :  Good advice, Condi!

Rice: Cain shouldn’t play the “race card”

November 1, 2011 12:47 PM

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells CBS News that Herman Cain should not play the “race card,” during an interview with Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell on “The Early Show.”

via Rice: Cain shouldn’t play the “race card” – CBS News Video.

 Fort Monroe National Monument, Civil War, history:

One night 150 years ago, in May 1861, three Virginia slaves crept away from their master under cover of darkness, stole a boat and escaped across the James River to a Union-held fortress. By the laws of both the United States and the new Confederacy, these men were not people but property: without rights, without citizenship, without even legal names.

This afternoon at the White House, the fugitives and their exploit were honored in a setting they could never have dreamt of: The Oval Office. There, President Obama signed an executive order declaring Fort Monroe, Va., the site of their escape, a national monument, placing it alongside such icons as the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty. I was present for the signing, and as I stood behind the president watching him set his pen to paper, I couldn’t help thinking that the three men — Shepard Mallory, Frank Baker and James Townsend — had just completed a journey that carried them across a far greater distance than those few miles across a river.

But today, for the first time during his presidency, Mr. Obama used his executive power to create a new national park. Fort Monroe National Monument, as it is called, will commemorate both the end of slavery and its beginning — since, by an eerie coincidence, the first slave ship to arrive in the 13 colonies landed at that spot in 1619. A grassroots effort by local and state officials and citizen activists overcame the reluctance of some critics to add a new unit to the underfinanced National Park Service at a moment of economic austerity.

Fort Monroe, the president said as he prepared to sign the order, “was the site of the first slave ships to land in the New World. But then in the Civil War, almost 250 years later, Fort Monroe also became a refuge for slaves that were escaping from the South, and helped to create the environment in which Abraham Lincoln was able to sign that document up there.” Mr. Obama pointed to a framed, autographed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation hanging opposite his desk, not far from a portrait of Lincoln.

via In the Oval Office, a Passage to Freedom – NYTimes.com.

hunger, global problems, global solutions:

On Friday, I wrote about how people in Dhobley, Somalia, are getting emergency food despite a guerrilla war that is keeping out aid workers ― and food.  Instead of trucking in sacks of food, World Concern and its partner, the African Rescue Committee, distribute  vouchers that people in Dhobley use to buy what they need from local merchants.

The vast majority of food aid still comes in the form of sacks of grain ― a policy protected by entrenched interests.

Many countries that donate emergency food aid are moving away from shipping bags of food and toward using vouchers or other methods for local purchase.  (The World Concern program is financed by Canada Foodgrains Bank and the Canadian government.)   The United Nations World Food Program is also using cash, vouchers and electronic transfers ― often by cell phone ― when circumstances allow.   Vouchers solve many of the serious problems that have always plagued in-kind food aid:  food can get to the hungry quickly; there are no transport or storage costs; it works in dangerous situations; it allows recipients to buy the food they want and increases the welcome for refugees and contributes to the local economy.  Aid is multiplied as it helps not only recipients, but merchants.  For example, Catholic Relief Services responded to floods in Benin with a program that gives villagers vouchers they can use to buy grains, legumes and oil from local small vendors ― usually women who sell tiny quantities of goods in outdoor markets.  Without the voucher business, these women would be almost as poor as their new customers.

via How to Feed the Hungry, Faster – NYTimes.com.

Monty Python, philosophy:  I love really intellectual humor … but only if I get it.

From dead parrots to The Meaning of Life, Monty Python covered a lot of territory. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, the Pythons made a habit of weaving arcane intellectual references into the silliest of sketches. A classic example is “Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion Visit Jean-Paul Sartre,” (above) from episode 27 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

via Monty Python’s Flying Philosophy | Open Culture.

The Hobbit, art, J.R.R. Tolkien:  I love Tolkien’s art!  His illustrated Letters from Father Christmas are on of my favorites!

In October of 1936, J.R.R. Tolkien delivered to his publisher the manuscript of what would become one of the most celebrated fantasy books of all time. In September of the following year, The Hobbit made its debut, with 20 or so original drawings, two maps, and a cover painting by Tolkien himself. But it turns out the author created more than 100 illustrations, recently uncovered amidst Tolkien’s papers, digitized by Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and freshly released in Art of the Hobbit — a magnificent volume celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit with 110 beautiful, many never-before-seen illustrations by Tolkien, ranging from pencil sketches to ink line drawings to watercolors. It’s a fine addition to our favorite peeks inside the sketchbooks of great creators and digitization projects in the humanities, and a priceless piece of literary history.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

macarons, food – desserts:  Now if John reads this, he would know to bring me macarons!

 

THE macaron is the anti-cupcake.

A cupcake comforts. A macaron teases. Dainty, nearly weightless, it leaves you hungrier than you were before. It is but a prelude to other pleasures. Your slacker boyfriend gives you a cupcake; your lover gives you macarons.

via Airy Macarons — NYC — Review – NYTimes.com.

 

 

15
Jul
11

‎7.15.2011 … Who has seen Harry Potter? I must admit I am waiting for the crowds to die down … Molly is going in France. Shes worried it will be in French, but hoping that it will be in English with French subtitles.

Harry Potter, movies, food, Bento box:  Harry Potter seems well liked :), and is viewed as an industry game changer.  I just laughed when I saw 5 HP Bento boxes … I had my first bento box in March … and had never heard of them before … now they are everywhere.

“There was a sea change with Harry Potter,” says Erik Feig, president of worldwide production at Summit Entertainment, which has made the Twilight movies. “The story has a younger protagonist, but the book series and the movies are greatly enjoyed by older people, too. I devoured the first book and gave it to every grown-up I knew. We saw the same thing with Twilight. We did not ghetto-ize it as a young-adult movie. Nor did they with Harry Potter. They drew all audiences. It was an inspiration to us.”

via How ‘Harry Potter’ magically changed films – USATODAY.com.

harrypotterbentoschool.jpg

The New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is today, and the world’s gone mad with Pottermania.

We’re going to miss Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but all good things must come to an end. And since the actors playing these Hogwarts students are adults (my gosh, Daniel Radcliffe has already given up drinking), now is probably a good time to say goodbye (before they all get Botox or join Celebrity Rehab).

In celebration of the movie and the passing of an era, we’ve found the five craziest Harry Potter-related bento boxes (yes, we actually found more than one).

via Five Crazy Harry Potter Bento Boxes – Broward/Palm Beach Restaurants and Dining – Clean Plate Charlie.

Bento (弁当 bentō?)[1] is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or “character bento”. Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon (anime) characters, characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is “oekakiben” or “picture bento”, which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.

via Bento – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 slime bags, John Edwards, great lawyers, Jim Cooney:  He may be a slime bags but he sure can pick a great lawyer.

Jim Cooney, a Charlotte attorney, argued for a later trial date, saying the case was complex and unusual and the sheer volume of documents collected by prosecutors would be overwhelming for his staff to quickly analyze.

Defense lawyers have received 10,000 documents from prosecutors and expect 20,000 more, including campaign e-mails and Internal Revenue Service tax filings.

Prosecutors contend that Edwards violated campaign finance laws by secretly obtaining and using contributions from two wealthy supporters to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2008.

via Judge sets John Edwards’ trial for October | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, anniversaries, icons, Russia, google doodles:  Happy 450th!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is 450 years old today, and Russia is celebrating with a gift from Google: a doodle dedicated to the onion-domed structure.

via Saint Basil’s Cathedral Turns 450 Today With a Google Doodle – Intelligent Travel.

book shelf, Golden Fox, Courtney novels, Wilbur Smith:  On the list … comes highly recommended.

London, 1969 – and the headstrong and beautiful Isabella Courtney dazzles all.Yet the years that follow will test Isabella to the extreme of her endurance. They will be years of hardship and bitter pain, hidden behind the masks of affluence and success. It will be a time in which brother is pitted against brother, as they are drawn into the lair of the golden fox.Golden Fox irresistibly sweeps the reader through the heart of London society, the grandeur of Europe and the searing heat of a divided Africa.Once again, Wilbur Smith combines his unique talents for electric story-telling, meticulous research and compassion for places and their people in a novel of adventure, romantic obsession, deceit and desire, in a world where betrayal demands the ultimate sacrifice…

via Wilbur Smith | The Courtney novels | Golden Fox.

Oprah, marriage, relationships:  Advice sounds a lot like everybody else’s … maybe there is some truth here.

When we fall in love, we see life in Technicolor. We nibble each other’s ears and tell each other everything; our limitations and rigidities melt away. We’re sexier, smarter, funnier, more giving. We feel whole; we’re connected.

But inevitably, things start to go wrong. The veil of illusion falls away, and it turns out your partner has qualities you can’t bear. Even traits you once admired grate on you. Old hurts resurface as you realize your partner cannot or will not love and care for you as promised.

via Marriage Repair Kit – Oprah.com.

food – desserts, Jello:  Two of my three  kids hate jello … so not a favorite.  Can you imagine finding it on a classy menu?

 

 

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Long a cubed dessert of hospital cafeterias, flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of avant-garde chefs and established design studios across the country. Artists are using the wobbly medium to create sculptures of everything from colorful cities to President Barack Obama. They are drawing inspiration from crafters like Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, the British chefs whose projects include a gelatin Buckingham Palace to celebrate the royal wedding.

“It has a ton of structure, and it can be any flavor,” says Ms. Whiteley, whose Disney noggin snagged a creativity prize in the Brooklyn, N.Y., Jell-O Mold Competition. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York provided prizes.

Flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of chefs and food crafters across the country. WSJ’s Anjali Athavaley reports on the wiggly resurgence.

“What was once a dessert of jiggling, artful decadence has now been rendered flat or at most, a wiggling cube,” says the website for the competition, held last month in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Studio Space. “This isn’t good enough for an American icon.”

Part of the appeal of gelatin art is nostalgia. “It’s the wiggly, friendly dessert that everyone loved when they were a kid,” says Michelle Palm, a financial consultant in Edina, Minn., and founder of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, a blog about Jell-O shots, the novelty libation. The site’s most popular shot is the Rainbow Jelly Shooter, which includes vodka and layers of multiflavored gelatin with a cherry in the center. Only three colors of gelatin—red, yellow and blue—are used. Light bends the layers for a rainbow effect.

via Designers Make Sculpting Jell-O Cool – WSJ.com.

twitter, college application:  Interesting …

At the University of Iowa, a good tweet is worth $37,000.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

That’s the price of a full scholarship, and that’s exactly what a student hopeful can win in a contest the university has dreamed up that takes electronic communication to a new level. The university is asking prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay.

The University of Iowa is joining several others in its attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills — two qualities that today’s Twitter-savvy marketplace demands.

via College offers scholarship for Twitter ‘essay’ – USATODAY.com.

Betty Ford, eulogy, Cokie Roberts, politics:  She was always outspoken … even directing things that need to be said at her funeral.

Cokie Roberts, a commentator on National Public Radio and member of a noted political family, said Ford asked her several years ago to talk about the importance of getting along in politics, recalling a time in Washington when Democrats and Republicans could be friends and partisan politics did not paralyze government.

Roberts’ father, Democrat Hale Boggs, was House majority leader when Ford was minority leader, and Roberts said the families were close.

via Betty Ford eulogized as trailblazer who helped millions – USATODAY.com.

Facebook, divorce:  

More than 80 percent of divorce attorneys recently surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that in the past few years they have witnessed “an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence.” Although it is difficult to definitively establish cause and effect here, it seems likely that the divorce rate among baby boomers has been elevated by the Internet.

Nancy Kalish, a professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, suspects that online connections may lead to growing numbers of what she terms “accidental affairs,” meaning they involve people who don’t set out to have a physical or emotional relationship outside their marriage. Kalish studies couples who reunite after years apart.

Before there was an Internet, when someone wanted to track down a past love, he or she had to go through the effort of locating a friend or relative to make contact. “Unless they were single, divorced or widowed, they just didn’t typically do that,” Kalish told me.

via Facebook Might Be to Blame for Your Divorce: Sheril Kirshenbaum – Bloomberg.

google, internet searches, memory:

Internet searches are making information easy to forget, as more people rely on their computers as a type of “external memory,” a study of Harvard University students found.

About 60 Harvard students were asked to type 40 pieces of trivia, such as “An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain,” into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased. People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.

The widely available Internet has made it an instant go-to library where facts and figures are easily found, the researchers said. The study suggests that search engines such as Google Inc. (GOOG), and databases such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN)’s IMDb.com serve as an external “memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” they said.

via Google Searches May Influence What People Forget, Test Finds – Bloomberg.

China, real estate, Winnetka:  Compare it to Winnetka prices!

Workers toil by night lights with hoes, carving out the signs for Olympic rings in front of an unfinished 30,000-seat stadium, bulb-shaped gymnasium and swimming complex in a little-known Chinese city.

Loudi, home to 4 million people in Chairman Mao Zedong’s home province of Hunan, is paying for the project with 1.2 billion yuan ($185 million) in bonds, guaranteed by land valued at $1.5 million an acre. That’s about the same as prices in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb that is one of the richest U.S. towns, where the average household earns more than $250,000 a year.

In Loudi, people take home $2,323 annually and there are no Olympics here on any calendar.

via China Cities Value Land at Winnetka Prices With Bonds Seen Toxic – Bloomberg.

apps, National Geographic, photography, France:  Fun, but not great …

National Geographic Traveler and Fotopedia present a dazzling bird’s-eye view of France.

Following on the heels of our popular “Dreams of Burma” app that we launched last month, today we announce the release of another brand new photo app, “Above France.”  Our new app takes you on a spectacular aerial journey across the country in over 2,000 photos with interactive maps, slideshows, and wallpapers.

via Above France, A New Photo App – Intelligent Travel.

20
Jun
11

‎6.20.2011 … finished The Sweetest Thing … a little PT … good start to a lovely day ..

music, kith/kin:  Another recommendation from a friend.  Enjoy! YouTube – The Hottest Cole Porter – Harry Reser plays Let’s Misbehave, 1928.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL, followup: Another take on the goats …

Runners on the cross-country trail at Davidson College found a furry surprise Saturday in woods once crawling with kudzu.

There in a clearing stood 30 goats in an area that looked freshly mowed.

But no mower had cut the nearly one-acre patch of ground.

The goats had done the job – eating as much as 20 pounds of kudzu per animal per day since they went to work last week.

“On Monday, this side of the trail looked exactly like that side,” said Charles Jolly, pointing at chest-high kudzu as far as you could see.

via Hungry goats are a vine solution at Davidson | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

food-desserts, Jello, LOL:  Upscale Jello?  Looks fun!

Are you entertaining this 4th of July? I stumbled onto the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen over the weekend thanks to Mochatini. Talk about cool, Summertime F-U-N. These sophisticated Jello Shot Recipes are absolutely brilliant. The photographs are incredibly beautiful. The question is: should I make the cucumber-lime margarita, the Paloma Cocktail, or the Cosmopolitan jelly shots first?

via Jello Shot Recipes: Summertime Entertaining | ABCD Design Sketch Book | milestones in life set the tone.

faith and spirituality, Rob Bell, Love Wins, Southern Baptists:  Do you struggle with this?  Is it a black and white issue?

Southern Baptists say hell is an “eternal, conscious punishment” for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell.

Citing Bell’s book “Love Wins,” the resolution announced Wednesday urges Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.”

Several leaders during the Baptists’ two-day meeting in Phoenix coupled warnings about hell with pleas for evangelism – especially in areas where there are no churches or missionaries.

“Is hell real? Is hell forever? Did God really say sinners would perish in eternal torment forever and ever?” asked pastor and author David Platt of Birmingham, Ala. “Oh, readers of Rob Bell and others like him, listen very carefully be very cautious, when anyone says, ‘Did God really say this?'”

via After controversy, Baptists affirm belief in ‘eternal’ hell | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Steph Curry, basketball, Davidson College, community involvement:  I just like the kid …

Professional basketball player Stephen Curry will be the guest speaker at the first local Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) rally June 20.

Jay and Amy Poag in January helped start the Lake Norman chapter of the national FCA organization “in an effort to give the young athletes of our community a way to stay connected while furthering their Christian walk,” Jay Poag said in an email.

Over the last few months, the group has held monthly “workouts,” which are group community service activities. On Monday, the group plans its first “rally,” a community gathering for fun and fellowship.

Hosted by Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, the rally will include games, live music and food, and Stephen Curry will be the guest speaker.

“Our end result is to try and help build our youth into effective Christian role models so that they can take the spirit of our group back into their schools to form what we call ‘huddles,’” which are weekly meetings for bible study and prayer, Mr. Poag said in an email.

WANT TO GO?

The event will be held on the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church front lawn from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 20. Admission is free.

via Stephen Curry to speak at Christian Athletes rally Mon.  | Sports.

teen pregnancy, college, Belmont Abbey College, Room at the Inn, firsts:  … the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility for single pregnant women …

It was a summer of romance and fear.

A bittersweet mix that cast a long shadow through the years. One that Debbie Capen, 37, of Charlotte will remember today at the groundbreaking for what is believed the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility for single pregnant women.

The home is being built on the campus of Belmont Abbey College and will be run by the Charlotte-based Catholic nonprofit Room at the Inn, a safe haven for single pregnant women. The organization’s outreach programs and offices will remain in Charlotte.

During today’s ceremony, Capen will recall the summer she was a rising sophomore at Winthrop University and waiting tables at North Myrtle Beach restaurants.

A fling with a handsome beach service worker stirred images of sailing off together on his catamaran. But the dream faded when she became pregnant. Afraid to tell her mother and worried about the possibility of having to drop out of college, she couldn’t find an adult who understood.

via College maternity center is a first | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Edward Lindsey, Atlanta Public Schools, kith/kin:  Very bold and very controversial.  But sometimes that is what is needed.

ATLANTA, GA (WABE) – On Monday, June 20th, the Atlanta Board of Education will hold another critical meeting. Among the agenda items this time: the new state law (SB 79), which sets up a process that could end with the ouster of the entire Board. Some sources have told WABE the Board could decide to challenge the new law, in one way or another. WABE’s Denis O’Hayer spoke with Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), who wrote the board review language into the new law. © Copyright 2011, WABE

via WABE: Could Atlanta School Board Challenge New State Law?: A Conversation with Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) (2011-06-17).

 

03
Jun
11

‎6.3.2011 … SUMMER! … Did anyone get a free doughnut today?

… School is out for all the chillen at chez T …

 

health, diet, government food chart:

Whatever you do, don’t call it a pie chart.

The Obama administration is about to ditch the food pyramid, that symbol of healthy eating for the last two decades. In its place officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables.

The circular plate, which will be unveiled Thursday, is meant to give consumers a fast, easily grasped reminder of the basics of a healthy diet. It consists of four colored sections, for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, according to several people who have been briefed on the change. Beside the plate is a smaller circle for dairy, suggesting a glass of low-fat milk or perhaps a yogurt cup.

via Food Pyramid Being Replaced With Plate-Shaped Logo – NYTimes.com.

careers, alternate careers, banking:  So, do they take fifty-somethings …

Former Merrill Lynch & Co. banker Mike Howe is moving to New York to help bored finance workers escape Wall Street for far-flung jobs and adventures, from Mongolian venture capital to African charities.

The 26-year-old former money manager is opening U.K. startup recruitment website Escape the City Ltd. in the U.S. next month. The company has attracted more than 30,000 members since founders Rob Symington, 27, and Dom Jackman, 28, quit consulting firm Ernst & Young in 2009.

“Escape the City was created specifically to help talented people escape from unfulfilling corporate jobs after we realized that our own feelings of misery and frustration at work were shared by a lot of people,” Symington said in an interview in London. “We stumbled upon a business opportunity by following a hunch about job dissatisfaction to its logical conclusion.”

via Ex-Banker Wants You to Trade Wall Street ‘Misery’ for Mongolia – Bloomberg.

iPad apps, music, lists:  Music apps for you …

You name it, you can probably play it on the iPad. That’s the genius of the blank slate: All it takes is an app, and your iPad can be just about anything musical, such as a guitar, a keyboard, a drum machine, some sheet music or a beatbox.

Heck, if you wanted to, you could replace your recording studio or create an entire rock band with nothing more than an iPad and a suite of apps. (Though you probably won’t get lucky nearly as much as a traditional rock star.) And if cranking tunes out of a tablet isn’t your thing, there’s a host of neat, interactive apps that teach you how to play real instruments.

From synthesizers to loop creators, sheet-music readers to recording tools, here are some of the coolest iPad apps for musicians we’ve found in the App Store.

via 9 iPad Music Apps to Rock Your World | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

food-desserts, freebies:  

The nation’s largest donut (or doughnut) chains are doing their part for National Donut Day.

Giving away FREE DONUTS.

Both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme will be giving away free donuts tomorrow in order to celebrate the ‘holiday,’ in an almost too good to be true fashion. Both chains have taken to Facebook to promote the event, Krispy Kreme listing it on their main page, while Dunkin’ Donuts has created an entire event page for the day.

via National Donut Day 2011: Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme Giving Away Free Donuts June 3 (LOCATIONS).

movies, zombies:  Another one for our crew.  After Zombieland I have high standards!

 

Ever think there just aren’t enough musical numbers in zombie films? Or love stories for that matter?

New indie flick Rigamortis: A Zombie Love Story delivers plenty of both, bringing together the disparate worlds of Glee and gore in a 40-minute blast you can watch online for free. (See the first part above; the second and third segments are below.)

Inspired by Joss Whedon’s web hit Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the zombie musical was made with $25,000 in donations and investments as well as a lot of freely given time and equipment. The creators hope to show that it’s possible to make a quality picture outside the studio system, said Jenny Stolte, the film’s co-writer–producer and cinematographer.

via Rigamortis Boasts Best Dancing Zombies Since ‘Thriller’ | Underwire | Wired.com.

urban planning, design:  Thought this very interesting.

Looking to Monty Python skits to invent scenarios (the Attention Clinic) is a fun approach for a weekend installation — but for more lasting changes, there’s plenty of “material” to pull from the residents themselves. Rather than a heavy-handed approach, the Open House explorations suggest a role design can play, at a more localized level. In this first attempt many came up short, and revealed a degree of naivete to larger issues — but the instinct to draw out latent social and economic potentials, was spot on. What’s exciting about this approach: is the potential to align with the “bottom up” Home Depot-style retrofit culture already prevalent, and enhance it via the new ideas and expertise that designers can offer.

via David Glick: Can Architects Fix The Suburbs? Designers Visit Long Island To Find Out.

Sarah Palin, quotes:  I just don’t like the woman …

Sarah Palin was mysteriously out of the spotlight for a few months, but this week she’s driven her way back into the news cycle — on a tour bus traveling across America for as-yet-undefined reasons. And as grating as Palin’s brand of thin-skinned straight shooting can be, we’re happy to see another cycle of flubs, gaffes and misstatements before the ride is over.

via 11 Sarah Palin Quotes Presented By Teenage Girls (PICTURES).

Coca-Cola, history:  DENIED

A Spanish town claims that the most famous soft drink in the world was invented not by an Atlanta-based pharmacist, but in a 126-year-old liquor factory across the Atlantic, Public Radio International reports.

Town of Ayelo resident JuanJo Mica, fourth-generation operator of the Fabrica de Liquores, or the Liquor Factory, says that his family’s invention, Cola-Coca, is the “real thing.”

“My great-great uncle took his cola coca syrup to America that same year, 1884, and won a prize at a fair in Philadelphia,” he said. “Supposedly, the Americans tried it, liked it and two years later their soft drink, Coca-Cola, was born.”

If the Mica family elders did in fact whip up the dark syrupy beverage in 1884, that would put the Ayelo concoction two years ahead of John Pemberton, the pharmacist popula

via Coca Cola Invented In Spain? Town Of Ayelo Claims It Created Soft Drink.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 You Tube,  flash mob, Apple Store:  Enjoy!

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

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

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

8 Best Cupcakes in NYC

Sugar Sweet Sunshine; Photo: Emily Capo

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

via 8 Best Cupcakes in NYC from Zagat.

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

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

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

 Royal Wedding, follow-up, LOL: 

Cartwheeling in Westminster Abbey

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

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

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

The verger has been named by sources as Ben Sheward.

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

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

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

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




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