Posts Tagged ‘FPC

24
Jun
13

6.24.13 … MegaBus and Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible: SHALOM HAVER … “We’re drawn to written things,” Avner said, explaining the stickers. “We’re still a people of the Book.” …

MegaBus is not as crowded today and a more diverse mix of folks than I have ever seen.  I am sitting at the table, happily connected to the very slow wifi.

My companions at the tables are a female student in a hoodie with a tiny string of pearls and a necklace that says “Michael,” a grandma type who is very tired and a first time rider, a bald-headed younger man in a tawny brown tee shirt with a white steer outline and khakis and a younger matronly type. The last woman wins the best dressed of our group.  I will say that comfortable athletic clothes are the usual outfits.

No one is a chatter box, so I think we are a good group.  🙂

Our driver is a female and she seems in control.

I am reading Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible. I always notice bumper stickers, so this quote from early in the book jumped out at me.

Also, every car had at least one bumper sticker, mostly on political topics, like GIVING UP TERRITORY IS DANGEROUS FOR JEWS, some were emotional, like SHALOM HAVER, or “Good-bye Friend,” which is what President Bill Clinton said at the funeral for slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “We’re drawn to written things,” Avner said, explaining the stickers. “We’re still a people of the Book.”  Feiler, Bruce (2010-09-14). Walking the Bible (P.S.) (p. 51). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

I am reading this book because Bruce Feiler, the author will be at my church in September.

An Evening with Bruce Feiler

via First Presbyterian Church – For Christ In the Heart of Charlotte.

 …

The Willard Lecture Series Presents: An Evening with Bruce Feiler September 29, 2013. 5 pm

Are We in a Holy War? A Way Forward for Jews, Christians, and Muslims Today

At a time when the world is asking how the Arab Spring and the death of Osama bin Laden will reshape our times, Feiler will offer a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of history in the making. Drawing on fifteen years of travels across the region, from Egypt to Israel, Iraq to Iran, Feiler brings his unprecedented experience to the most pressing questions about the Middle East peace and relations among Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide.

The speech will be followed by dinner and a panel discussion with leaders of local communities of faith. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BRUCE FEILER CLICK HERE (http://brucefeiler.com/)

10
Feb
13

2.10.13 … in this world, but not of this world …

FPC, worship, sermon Transfiguration, epiphany,  labyrinth walks, “Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking, Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth:  IMG_5491As I left FPC today (did anyone else notice the tulip trees blooming!), I headed to one of my favorite labyrinths.  I had a heavy heart, despite a very excellent sermon by Kirk Hall about  Transfiguration entitled,  “A Glimpse of Glory.”  I was also quite struck by the affirmation of faith …

We believe Christ gives us and demands of us lives in pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom. Like Christ we may enjoy on our journey all that sustains life and makes it pleasant and beautiful. No more than Christ are we spared the darkness, ambiguity, and threat of life in the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Our confidence and hope for ourselves and other people do not rest in the powers and achievements of this world, but in the coming and hidden presence of God’s kingdom. Christ calls each of us to a life appropriate to that kingdom: to serve as he has served us; to take up our cross, risking the consequences of faithful discipleship; to walk by faith, not by sight, to hope for what we have not seen. (Declaration of Faith, 9.5) http://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf

But even my drive was uplifting …

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IMG_5495  IMG_5493 IMG_5494 

And the walk was wonderful.  I came away feeling much better …

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IMG_5505  IMG_5503 IMG_5504

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IMG_5499 IMG_5500  IMG_5497

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I love the quote of Ms. Alexander painted at the “foot” of the labyrinth.

“With patience persistence and prayer, a God-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit.” – Almetto Howie Alexander 2011

And so this afternoon, I  did a little research on the labyrinth …

.Labyrinth

Activities are often thought of as group-oriented, competitive sports, skill-oriented, performance or even pressure. The labyrinth provides a balancing activity, one which may best be pursued alone, in one’s own time of need, searching, or desire for peace and focus. Experiencing the solace of journey provided by a labyrinth brings peace, healing, and enlightenment — mental health — appropriate for people of any age. The labyrinth itself is a beautiful monument to heritage and history. The spiritual and actual presence of the labyrinth will fulfill the dreams of its founder — a person who spent her life working for her community in education and civil rights — and will offer the benefits and reminders of this continuing journey to the community’s next generations.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

The study, design and installation of labyrinths has become an essential part of my work as an artist. From our research, we believe this may be the first Afro-Centric Labyrinth in the United States. This particular project has all the potential to become a great source of healing and education within the smaller community of Washington Heights as it interacts with the larger community of Charlotte. The unique design pays homage to the nearly lost origins of the labyrinth, and offers each individual the opportunity to metaphorically walk their life’s journey along a pattern that echoes the journey and philosophy of Mrs. Alexander.

— Tom Schulz

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

“Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking:  I also did a little research on the term “solvitur ambulando.” I found this very interesting.

Solvitur ambulando (pron.: /ˈsɒlvɪtər ˌæmbjʊˈlændoʊ/)[1] is a Latin term which means:

it is solved by walking

the problem is solved by a practical experiment

Diogenes of Sinope, also known as “Diogenes the Cynic,” is said to have replied to the argument that motion is unreal by standing up and walking away.

The phrase appears early in Lewis Carroll’s “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”. Achilles uses it to accentuate that he was indeed successful in overtaking Tortoise in their race to empirically test one of Zeno’s paradoxes of motion. This passage also appears in Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

The phrase appears in Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Clouds of Witness”. During the Duke of Denver’s trial before the House of Lords, the Lord High Steward suggests (to laughter) solvitur ambulando to determine whether the decedent crawled or was dragged to a different location, as this was a matter of dispute between the prosecution and the defense.

The phrase is also cited in “Walking” by H.D. Thoreau and in “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin in its first meaning.

The phrase is discussed multiple times and at some length in The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux.

The phrase was the motto of the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society.

via Solvitur ambulando – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Momastery, blog, meme: I loved this graphic and I enjoyed her blog as well.

You’re not screwing it up. Your baby is just completely wicked awesome.

via Momastery.

I’ve been both a “working” and a “stay-at-home” mom so I’ve experienced both sides of the internal and eternal debate moms endure all day, every day. When I worked outside my house, Mommy Guilt rode shotgun with me each morning, chiding me for dropping off my sick boy at day care instead of keeping him home and for rocking him the night before instead of preparing for work. When I got to work each day Mommy Guilt whispered that a good mom would still be at home with her son and when I returned home she’d insist that a better teacher would have stayed at work longer. When I’d visit girlfriends who stayed home, Mommy Guilt would say “See… this lady’s doing it right. Her kids are better off than yours are.” And Mommy Guilt certainly had a lot to say when Chase’s day care provider admitted that he had taken his first steps while I was working. Every night when I finally got Chase to sleep, finished grading papers, and collapsed into the couch, Mommy Guilt would snuggle up next to me and sweetly say “shouldn’t you spend some quality time with your husband instead of checking out?” And finally, before I fell asleep each night, Mommy Guilt would whisper in my ear, “YOU KNOW, THE ONLY WAY YOU’RE GOING TO BE A GOOD MOTHER AND WIFE IS IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB AND STAY HOME.”

And so now I’m a stay-at-home mom. And the thing is that Mommy Guilt stays home with me.

via Momastery.

Davidson College basketball, Nik Cochran, multitasking, live blogging: Another great day to be a Wildcat (fan)!  Congrats to Nik.  I think it is great that I can multitask and pay attention to a game.  I often put on the live blog, even when I am watching a game.

Cochran Hits 1,000 Career Points; Wildcats Roll to Eighth Straight Win

Nik Cochran became the 44th player in program history to hit the 1,000-point plateau and Davidson shot 53.6 percent in a convincing 87-52 victory over Appalachian State in front of 5,090 fans Saturday evening at Belk Arena.

via Davidson College Athletics.

Davidson College Athletics – Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. ASU.

Davidson College, Baker Athletic Center, The Davidsonian:  So many things to be done …

“Baker was designed 25 years ago when athletes had one season of intensive practice and play. Now all sports practice year round,” Jim Murphy, Director of Athletics, explains. “This building [Baker] has had an incredible demand put on it. There are students in this building almost around the clock.”

With additional men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball practice courts, as well as a dance center with two studios, office space, and storage, the extra space will alleviate scheduling constraints, reducing the current inconvenience of athletes missing study groups, regular dinner hours, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to benefiting varsity athletes, this extra space will increase student participation in club and intramural sports by 60%, as well as accommodate an expanding academic and extracurricular dance program.

Not all of the additions will be about scheduling, however. Some are merely ways to improve both the athlete and the spectator experience. The renovation will include new locker rooms, team rooms, film rooms, and administrative offices for men’s and women’s basketball. All athletes will appreciate the expanded Basil Boyd Training room, and students, faculty, and staff will benefit from a new cardio/fitness room, as well as a classroom for health and wellness instruction. Baker currently sees 90,000 patrons annually. A new ticket office with internal and external windows and a new game day entrance facing the parking lot will streamline the spectator experience.

The planned Baker renovations are a reflection of Davidson’s impressive expansion over the past quarter century. “Being able to respond so positively to the growth we’ve seen in the student population is the most exciting aspect of this project,” says Murphy.

via $15 M renovation of Baker slated to begin in April – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Stonewall Riots, President Obama,  1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Christopher Park, public art, legal history, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, 2013 Legal Festival of Learning, hetero-normative society:  Three weeks ago, if you asked me what I knew about the Stonewall Riots, I would not have been able to tell you anything, and when you told me about them, I would have had to admit that I really do not remember ever learning about the event. Well, President Obama referred to the riots in his 1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, I saw the Stonewall Inn on my 1.28.13 tour of Greenwich Village and the statues dedicated to the riots in Christopher Park (the park facing the Inn), and l learned about them in the context of the legal history of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights at the Legal Festival of Learning on 2.9.13 (Same-Sex Relationships: Recent U.S. Developments by Maxine Eichner and Holning S. Lau). Sometimes I am amazed at how un-knowledgeable I am, and wonder if my education will ever be complete. As a lawyer and lover of history, now I at least feel like I can enter into an honest and educated conversation of the topic.”

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I had not witnessed the use of the acronym LGBTQ ….

When most people see the acronym “LGBTQ” they are fairly certain what the first four letters stand for. “L,” of course, stands for “lesbian;” “G” is for gay; “B” stands for “bisexual” and “T” means “transgender.” But the “Q,” which represents the word “queer,” is harder to define.

So what exactly does it mean to be “queer?”

“Personally, I think ‘queer’ encompasses ALL in the community, whereas ‘gay’ is primarily used for only the homosexual male segment of the community,” says Kate Sherry, the editor of Queer Life News. “However, there some of us who do identify strictly as ‘queer’ instead of ‘lesbian’ or ‘trans,’ etc.”

Originally, the word “queer” meant unusual or strange, and later, it became a derogatory term for someone who is gay. At the end of the 20th century, members of the gay community reclaimed the word and in doing so, recycled the meaning once again, this time with the goal of empowerment.

The “grayness” of the word is part of its power because it breaks down the ability to label and categorize lifestyles that unfairly generate hate and oppression. Activists, people who strongly reject traditional gender or sexual identities, or anyone who feel oppressed by the pressure to conform to the heterosexual lifestyle often use the word.

According to Bill Serpe, the executive director of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), “queer” is a catchall word for anyone who is outside the societal norm, not just those who identify themselves as part of the gay community.

“Someone is queer when they have realized that they are not straight, heterosexual or born in the wrong body. Not all people who might fall in this category like being called queer, but would agree that they are living a lifestyle that is different from what is considered the social norm,” says Serpe.

So, can a straight person be queer? Sure. For some, the “Q” stands for “questioning,” which includes people living the straight lifestyle but questioning their sexuality, someone who isn’t sexual at all because they are unsure of their identity or a person who is sexual, but doesn’t fit into any particular box.

“Anyone who feels they don’t or can’t conform to a hetero-normative society are eligible for queer status!” says Sherry.

via OnMilwaukee.com Milwaukee Buzz: What does the “Q” in LGBTQ really mean?.

2013 Northeast Blizzard , Storm Nemo, Nemo memes:  It is amazing th pictures and videos that are coming out of the NE.  Apart of me would love to be there and a part is glad I am looking at tulip tree blossoms! FYI —  10 Things To Know About The Northeast Blizzard. I just love this picture of Beacon Hill from the WSJ …

EASTON, Mass.—A historic blizzard pummeled the Northeast, dumping up to three feet of snow across New England and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in New England.

via Storm Sweeps Through Northeast U.S. – WSJ.com.

And then there are the Nemo memes. 🙂

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

Nemo in the Snow | Complex.

Cool Tools, Boing Boing: Just found this  interesting …

We’ve already come up with a lot of ideas for Cool Tools projects, and some are very ambitious. As Kevin said, “Let’s turn Cool Tools into a butterfly, not just a better caterpillar.” That’s a terrific goal to have, and it’s one that can be achieved while staying true to Cool Tools’ original statement of purpose:

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest.

I love learning about what people make and do, and the tools they use. Do you have a tool you love? Tell us about it at Cool Tools.

via Mark joins Cool Tools – Boing Boing.

Mason-Dixon Knitting.

 English grammar,  NFL,  Tweets, Chris Culliver, Wes Welker, 2d graders: 🙂

A class of 2nd Graders show off their corrections to a number of tweets from top NFL sports stars, including this one by San Francisco 49ers' Chris Culliver.

A group of 2nd graders have corrected  a number of NFL tweets; handing out a lesson in spelling and grammar to a number of top NFL stars.

The second grade students from Elmwood Franklin Elementary in Buffalo, N.Y. were given a challenge by faculty at the school to correct the grammar and spelling mistakes in a number of Twitter postings from top NFL players.

The young children went to work on tweets from Chris Culliver, Wes Welker and Titus D Young Sr. on Friday, correcting errors in grammar the stars had made in the world of Twitter.

In one tweet by Chris Culliver in which the San Francisco 49ers player tweeted, “I pray to God I’m never dieing broke”

Chris Culliver has been in the news a lot this week as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans this Sunday for Super Bowl 47.

However, despite the pressure that must be on Culliver in preparing for the big game, the kids were still unforgiving on his spelling and grammar.

via 2nd Graders Correct NFL Tweets: Chris Culliver, Wes Welker Twitter Accounts Given English Lesson.

blogs, knitting:  I don’t knit, but I liked the blog because of the dialogue between the two writers … Mason-Dixon Knitting.

weddings, destination weddings, Travel + Leisure: When I first started hearing about destination weddings (and I will attend my first this spring), I asked my teenage daughter  if she would ever want a “destination wedding” … the beach where she grew up going, for example.  She looked at me like I was crazy … so I was astounded to read this article  …  “For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

“People don’t want their big day to be cookie-cutter,” says Anja Winikka, editor of TheKnot.com, a popular wedding-planning website. “First, the crazy new thing was destination weddings”—which these days represent about 20 percent of ceremonies. “And now, just in the past five years, we’re noticing many more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

via Worlds Strangest Places to Get Married – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

twitter, HuffPostHome:  HuffPostHome … I will not trust you again.  This one was really stupid and definitely not  “one of the coolest things … ever seen.”

HuffPost Home 

@HuffPostHome

This laundry trick is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen huff.to/12BrQFE

05
Feb
13

2.5.13 … I often find myself between a rock and a hard place, but when I do, I am hoping that place is “thin” …

thin places, FPC, TMBS: I have loved this study! But the final article, really made me think about where and how I spend my time …

TRAVEL, like life, is best understood backward but must be experienced forward, to paraphrase Kierkegaard. After decades of wandering, only now does a pattern emerge. I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places.

It is, admittedly, an odd term. One could be forgiven for thinking that thin places describe skinny nations (see Chile) or perhaps cities populated by thin people (see Los Angeles). No, thin places are much deeper than that. They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever.

Travel to thin places does not necessarily lead to anything as grandiose as a “spiritual breakthrough,” whatever that means, but it does disorient. It confuses. We lose our bearings, and find new ones. Or not. Either way, we are jolted out of old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of travel.

It’s not clear who first uttered the term “thin places,” but they almost certainly spoke with an Irish brogue. The ancient pagan Celts, and later, Christians, used the term to describe mesmerizing places like the wind-swept isle of Iona (now part of Scotland) or the rocky peaks of Croagh Patrick. Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.

So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves.

via Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World – NYTimes.com

 Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, favorites, art, TheArtBlab:  One of my favorites … i always go see it when I am in Chicago at The Art Institute, its permanent home.

Artifacts. TheArtBlab.com. Feb. 5. Tues. Famous Favorites in Art.

Georges Seurat (Paris, Dec. 1859-Paris, Mar. 1891) was obsessed with the science of color. The body of work he produced would solidify him as one of the most intellectual artists of his time.

The method of divisionism was the systematic refinement of the broken color of the impressionists. Seurat was seen as the founder of neo-impressionism for having devised a new painting technique based on the divisionism method. He is known for the pointillism technique of painting tiny dots of pure color. The theory behind the placement of pure color side by side, is that from a distance your eye will mix the color

for you.

Well, Mr. Seurat, it worked! But it must have taken forever to paint that way. Un Dimanche a la Grande Jatte (Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte) took two years to paint. It was painted first with regular brush work until the second year when Seurat painted the dots. The piece is is ten feet wide and six feet tall. It hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago and is known as Georges Seurat’s finest painting.

MegaBus, Atlanta, FB, LOL, thin places:  MegaBus to ATL … I am enjoying my almost favorite seat except I am facing backward. Beautiful sunset from the bus.  Love that when I share this my FB friend and childhood friend comments, “She’s trying to make platinum on MegaBus. ” Wouldn’t it be nice if a ride on the bus could be a thin place experience.

silver alert: I saw my first SILVER ALERT last night on 1-77.  i could have guessed what it meant … Silver Alert – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Interesting,  the sign just said SILVER ALERT FOR INFO DIAL 511!!

Apple:  Apple Shows Signs a Major Interface Overhaul Is Coming | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

03
Feb
13

2.3.13 …. Jack is safely in Madrid, hello Hope! … Super Bowl Sunday and the ads … I love the Clydesdales …

Jack, travels, Madrid: Jack is safely in Madrid!  So as the mother of a college grad, I can say I still am restless when my children are in motion.  So I was quite happy to get a text at 9 this morning.  So what’s he doing in Madrid … He’s taking a vacation from Vail Mountain Club for 10 days and visiting a high school friend who  is teaching second graders English and science for year as part of a cultural exchange program.  He is loving his year in Vail, but this worked out for a great vacation.  Now if he will only send me a few pics …

2013 Super Bowl Sunday, football and religion, FPC, kith/kin, 2013 Super Bowl ads, Clydesdales, Dodge Ram,  Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, 2013 Super Bowl blackout, Davidson College – Class of ’82,  Astronaut Tom Marshburn, Baltimore Ravens, SF Forty-Niners, Harbaugh brothers, Downton Abbey:

It was beautiful day in Charlotte … NB: no mention of Super Bowl in FPC prayers …

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A survey released days before the big game shows that more than a quarter of Americans – and about four in 10 evangelicals – think God will help decide the winner of the Super Bowl. So certainly God is rooting for one side or the other, no?

This year’s NFL championship game, however, is especially challenging for those who like their Christian faith to align with their sports loyalties.

The problem is not that evangelical poster boy Tim Tebow isn’t in the big game; heck, the celebrity quarterback had such a lousy season with the New York Jets that no one knows if Tebow will ever make it back to the pros, much less to the playoffs.

Instead, the heart of this moral conundrum is that both the Ravens and Niners have more than their share of Bible-quoting believers — as well as card-carrying cads. And to make matters worse, the saint and sinner can be the same person.

Take Ray Lewis, Baltimore’s defensive standout and future Hall of Famer.

Not only is Lewis a great player, but he is so outspoken about his Christian faith that Sports Illustrated dubbed him “God’s Linebacker” in a 2006 cover story. Moreover, Lewis is retiring after a 17-year career and a season in which he made an improbable (miraculous?) return from a triceps tear that should have ended his year. Redemption, anyone?

via Ravens or Niners? Christians face a ‘Super’ dilemma | Religion News Service.

I liked having good food and good friends together …

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I thought Alicia Keys was great, Beyonce, too … And I loved the ads.  The Clydesdales rocked;  if I buy a truck, I’ll buy a Dodge Ram … I already knew I liked the Clydesdales ad …

We are thinking that some of our friends might agree… via Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch

Photo: We are thinking that some of our friends might agree...

Awww….what can I say. 🙂

Has a commercial for beer ever made you cry? Watch the Budweiser commercial that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl because it very well might make you tear up!

The spot features the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and chronicles the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer.

The commercial was directed by Ridley Scott‘s son Jake and features a horse that was only born two weeks ago.

FYI: The actor portraying the Clydesdale trainer is Houston native Don Jeanes, who played Neil Armstrong in the movie Transformers.

via Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial: ‘Clydesdales Horses’ (Video) | 2013 Super Bowl Commercials : Just Jared.

But I was blown away by the awesome Dodge Ram ad … I miss Paul Harvey … As my brother says, ” You are a farmer’s granddaughter to the end.”

[I did note the commentary on 2/4 … I am white … and realize this never crossed my mind … but I do wonder about the ad’s creators … they are paid to think about these things. ]

Obviously, a Dodge ad isn’t on the level of the government’s deportation programs or the long-time cognitive dissonance of American immigration policies. But it’s the kind of cultural substrate in which our laws and prejudices grow.

via The Whitewashing of the American Farmer: Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad Edition – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

But  the blackout gave the game drama; and the last half/after the blackout was fun football.  How do people think of this stuff so fast ..

Somewhere in New Orleans

via (1) Camaradas El Barrio.

And a side note, which may only be interesting to a few … but to Davidson  Class of ’82 Tom Marshburn … What did you do for 34 minutes in the dark? .. And did you get to watch the ads, too?

Six astronauts living in space may not have gravity, fresh food or a shower, but there is one Earth necessity they won’t miss Sunday: The Super Bowl.

NASA’s Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will beam the Super Bowl XLVII showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens live to the International Space Station so its astronaut crew can watch the big game along with every other football fan on Earth.

“Yes they are going to watch it this weekend,” NASA spokesman Josh Byerly told SPACE.com in an email. Byerly said Mission Control made a special point on Friday (Feb. 1) of asking the station astronauts if they wanted to catch the game.

“And they said they definitely wanted to see it,” Byerly said.

via Astronauts Are Watching The Super Bowl From Space.

Congrats to the Ravens.  Great almost comeback, Forty-Niners.  And thank you Harbaugh brothers for a great event.

After the Ravens’ 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII, the two met on the field surrounded by a pack of photographers, and the meeting lasted less than seven seconds. As they shook hands, John later said he told his brother, “I love you.” Jim said he responded with, “Congratulations. And that I was proud of him.”

It appeared as if Jim was ready to turn away from the postgame meeting, but John pulled him closer for another moment. Jim then affectionately touched John on the face, and John patted Jim’s chest before they walked away.

“It was a great joy, but it was also the most difficult thing in the world to understand that he is over there,” John said. “I just think that Jim is a great competitor. I just love him, obviously. I think anybody who has a brother can understand what that is all about. … I look up to him in so many ways, and I am hurting for him in that sense.”

via Super Bowl 2013: John and Jim Harbaugh share postgame moment – CBSSports.com.

And as the game wound down, the friends departed, the Teague beasts informed me that they  really didn’t care who won  … they got the sofa …

And I turned on Downton Abbey. 🙂

Lent, LOL, United Methodist Memes:  Thank you,  United Methodist Memes, for this one!

Photo

29
Sep
12

9.29.12 … A great walk despite of the weather …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Montreat Conference Center, FPC:

I am at Montreat enjoining the FPC Community and the friendship and hospitality of Linda.

We ventured out for a labyrinth walk at the Montreat Reservoir and while journeying the labyrinth it began to rain … then pour. It stopped by the time we completed our walk …

A great walk despite of the weather.

18
Jan
12

1.18.2012 … Yesterday’s Bible Study at FPC was great … then lunch at Mert’s where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good! … New Mantra: “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

FPC, TMBS, Genesis, Mert’s:  Yesterday’s Tuesday Morning Bible Study at FPC continues to be insightful as we study Genesis with Rabbi Sachs’ book … then lunch at Mert’s Heart and Soul Restaurant where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good!

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish

Recipe created by James Bazzelle, chef/owner of Mert’s Heart and Soul, Charlotte, NC.

4 medium catfish

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (fish breading)

1/4 cup white vinegar

Vegetable oil

via Mert’s Restaurant.

culture, mantra, advice:

“Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

Elderly ‘Experts’ Share Life Advice in Cornell Project – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, pop ups, libraries:

Maria Popova @brainpicker Close

Ooh! An entire Flickr stream of miniature pop-up libraries around the world j.mp/yN86cv (HT @shawncalhoun)

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private equity,  privileges v. profits, 2012 Presidential Election: The Republicans and their in-fighting are just fueling the OWS …

Mitt Romney, the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has brought the rights and wrongs of private equity to the front of U.S. politics. He once ran a private-equity firm, and he has been attacked for it even by fellow conservatives.

This is a new version of an old complaint, and the quality of the discussion is not improving with age. The question to ask about private equity — which involves taking over companies, restructuring them and selling them at a profit — is not whether it creates jobs. It is whether taxpayers should be subsidizing its practitioners’ paychecks.

Many politicians say private equity is rapacious. Not long ago, the same charge was laid against leveraged buyouts, and before that against hostile takeovers. The issue is essentially the same. When control of a company changes hands, are the new owners so intent on short-term profits that they act against the interests of other stakeholders — not just shareholders, but also employees, customers and the wider community?

The current debate has revolved around jobs. Defenders of private equity say the new owners tend to boost employment, and critics say the opposite.

The study concluded that “private equity buy-outs catalyze the creative destruction process.”

Exactly. In a market economy, some companies or industries are shrinking, while others are growing. You can’t have one without the other, and the spur for both kinds of adjustment is profit. Market forces raise living standards not by increasing wages and employment enterprise by enterprise, but by applying capital and labor to the best uses. Private equity, leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers all serve this purpose. To keep managers on their toes, capitalism requires a functioning market for corporate control.

If private equity can succeed without preferences, that’s fine: The more competitive the market for corporate control, the better. Its current mode of operation, though, is largely a symptom of a flawed tax code. The industry’s borrowing is subsidized and so are the generous incomes it pays its staff. These privileges are a problem. The issues its critics choose to emphasize aren’t.

via The Trouble With Private Equity Is Special Privileges Not Profits: View – Bloomberg.

Winnie the Pooh, Americanisms,children’s/YA literature:  Oh, bother … I actually prefer the original … non Disney version …

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The publishers, Parragon, are based in Bath and responded to Weeks’ complaint about the new phrases with this explanation: “[W]e sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.”

While it seems like a fair enough explanation when taken at face value, many critics, both British and American, have joined in the protest, saying that editing out the original language fundamentally changes the work.

More worrying, however, is the recent crop of errors and grammatical mistakes that have appeared in the books and similar children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to Weeks, in the Alice story, the words “all ways” was written as “always” and in another story, whales slap their “tales” rather than their “tails.”

It would seem that this is all a case of some editors stuffing up royally. Oh, excuse us, we’ll rephrase — they messed up big time.

via Oh, Bother: Brits Say Modern Winnie the Pooh Riddled With Americanisms | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

PIPA, SOPA, Internet:  There is a lot more here than many realize …

The video above discusses the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster.

via PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet.

The biggest impact of Wednesday’s blackout may be in the shutdown of the English-language version of Wikipedia, which gets 2.7 billion U.S. visitors per month.

“It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web,” said a statement signed by three of the free encyclopedia’s administrators, with the handles “NuclearWarfare,” “Risker” and “Billinghurst.” They said the decision to shut down the English-language portion of the site, starting at midnight Eastern time, had been made after a virtual discussion that involved 1,800 users.

But already, the momentum of the two controversial bills has been largely halted. Just weeks ago, they seemed on their way to passage, having cleared a Senate committee and garnered bipartisan support in the House.

via SOPA protests shut down Web sites – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, President Obama:  Glad to see someone saw the irony of the acceptance speech at BANK Of AMERICA Stadium!

In another break from tradition, Democrats announced Tuesday that they’re shortening their national convention and moving events to the Charlotte area’s two largest outdoor venues.

Party officials – and even the White House – said the moves are designed to allow President Barack Obama and his campaign to reach a wider audience while energizing supporters at the same time.

The president will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium, replicating his 2008 address at Denver’s Invesco Field.

And in a twist, the party will forgo the convention’s traditional Monday opening and instead entertain tens of thousands that day at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He said the changes won’t reduce the convention’s regional economic impact, which is expected to be at least $150 million. About 5,000 delegates and alternates are still expected to arrive on Saturday or Sunday for the convention.

Though the role of modern conventions has changed dramatically from the days when they actually decided the nominees, the format has changed little. They traditionally span four days. So will the Republican convention in Tampa this August.

“Four days really is an anachronism,” said Washington political analyst Charlie Cook. “There’s arguably not more than one day’s business to do …

“I think the Obama folks like to do things differently for the sake of doing things differently.”

via DNC: Charlotte’s convention to try new twists | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Moving the president’s speech mirrors the playbook the Democrats used in 2008. Obama spoke at the Denver Broncos’ home field after becoming the Democratic nominee, a last-minute move party organizers say allowed more people a chance to attend. The rest of the Denver convention was held at that city’s NBA arena.

Agreements between the Democratic National Convention Committee and both the stadium and the speedway are being negotiated. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panthers and the stadium, said the team will not charge the Democrats rent, but he declined to discuss details beyond that.

“This convention isn’t about political ritual and speeches on the floor, it’s about the American people coming together to commit ourselves and our country to a path that creates more opportunity for all Americans,” said Stephen Kerrigan, national convention chief executive. “And that is why we have decided to make a few changes to meet that goal. President Obama made it clear from Day One that he wanted this convention to be different than in any history and definitely any happening this year.”

via Obama speech moves to BofA Stadium – Charlotte Business Journal.

While Obama and Moynihan seemed to be on good terms a couple of years ago, more recently the president ripped the bank for its ill-fated attempt to hike debit-card fees.

Organizers and other Democrats said Tuesday they have no concerns about links between the president and a Bank of America-named venue.

“We don’t believe there’s any relevance to who the sponsor or the naming rights are handled by to any of the venues that we host convention events in,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic national party. “In particular, this president has a remarkable record not only of rescuing our economy from the precipice of disaster. Now he’s been able to make sure that folks on Main Street aren’t run over by folks on Wall Street.”Wasserman Schultz was referring to the president’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

via Odd couple: BofA, Obama – Charlotte Business Journal.

Bank of America,  CEO Brian Moynihan: Delicate …

Appointed in late 2009 as predecessor Ken Lewis retired, Moynihan, the article says, has had a “delicate” hold on his job. Sources quoted by the paper, apparently close to the board of directors, point to an assessment earlier in his career at BofA that said Moynihan tended to micromanage, struggled with communication and failed to surround himself with experienced advisers.

The article also says those are areas the CEO has targeted for improvement.

An unnamed director told the WSJ that Moynihan’s handling of BofA’s denied dividend increase request last year showed a “very inexperienced team.” And another portion of the report says Moynihan didn’t heed a suggestion by former consumer banking chief Joe Price to study a $5 debit card fee longer before announcing it publicly. That fee, announced in late September, became a public relations nightmare and was cancelled a month later.

A spokesman for BofA told The Wall Street Journal, “We are a less risky, smaller, better capitalized, and more streamlined company since Brian became CEO.”

Moynihan’s vision calls for BofA to continue shrinking both expenses and non-core operations. He has initiated asset sales, capital raises and efficiency initiatives. He has also re-tooled his management team this year, jettisoning Price and brokerage head Sallie Krawcheck, and elevating David Darnell and Tom Montag to co-chief operating officer roles.

Montag openly sought the CEO position before it was given to Moynihan. Darnell is a longtime BofA executive, dating back to Hugh McColl-led BofA and its predecessors in Charlotte.

BofA this week also sought to improve its public image, placing its ad account on review and soliciting new ideas for its marketing efforts.

via WSJ: BofA could retreat, Brian Moynihan’s hold on CEO job ‘delicate’ – Charlotte Business Journal.

bookshelf, books, list:  I found this one interesting. I have most in my house … haven’t read them all.

What makes a must-own classic book? After all, there are many kinds of book available. There are the coffee-table books, designed to be flicked through by guests, with their impressive art and embellished covers, and then there are bookshelf books – either novels we’ve read so many times the pages are inked up and torn, or those books we bought on a whim, and really keep meaning to get to whenever we’re not so busy.

Somewhere in between lie the Essential Bookshelf Conversation Starters, those spines that add a touch of class to a room, or might provoke a fascinating conversation. After all, UK newspaper The Daily Mail reported last year that a survey by Lindeman’s wine in the UK showed the average bookshelf was filled with 80 books that the owner hasn’t themselves read.

Don’t get us wrong – these recommendations are also fascinating reading in their own right. But if you’re going to buy hard covers with at least one eye on the opinions of visiting friends and relatives, these are our choices of the titles you really should have on display.

via 12 Books You NEED On Your Bookshelf.

faith and spirituality:

Be Yourself

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

via Daily Meditation: Be Yourself.

René Descartes, Cartesian Theory:  Watched a movie where they discussed Cartesian Theory … Mindwalk (1990) … and I hate to admit that I needed a refresher course.

René Descartes may just be the Thinking Man’s thinking man. More than any other modern philosopher, he is identified with the view that the soul is separate from the body and superior to it—in fact, we refer to this position as Cartesian dualism. The synonymy is so overwhelming, one can imagine him subjected to some hackneyed literary or television treatment wherein he is brought forcibly into the present, only to find success as an advertising executive with his slogan for the Winterman sneaker account that promises “mind over matter.” (For the women’s line: I pink therefore I am.)

Any dualistic theory encounters what is known in philosophy as the mind-body problem: how is it possible for two entirely discrete substances to act in concert and produce what we conceive of as unitary being? Curiously enough, Descartes’ lifelong passion for experimental physiology—which, for him, was just rationalistic epistemology by other means—influenced his answers. He was an avid practitioner of dissection on both human and animal bodies. (Because he believed animals were mindless machines and could not feel pain, he often dissected them while they remained alive.) In his search to discover the differences that distinguish humans and animals from one another as res intelligens and res extensa—that is, intelligent beings and “machines,” respectively—he hit upon the pineal gland, which he found present only in the human brain.

via The Devoted Intellect.

antidepressant v. placebo:

Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in England and author of a 2008 meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine that found little benefit of antidepressants for most patients, is less sanguine about the new study. He characterizes the results as “indeed important,” but says they suggest that “while many people may benefit from antidepressant treatment (although most of them to a degree that is not clinically significant), about 1 in 4 are made worse.”

“What makes this particularly problematic is the fact that we don’t know who these people are,” Kirsch says. “Although placebo may not be a viable treatment option, there are other treatments that on average work as well as antidepressants, [such as] physical exercise and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. As far as we know, these alternatives don’t make people worse.

“This suggests to me that antidepressants should be kept as a last resort, and if a person does not respond to the treatment within a few weeks, it should be discontinued,” says Kirsch.

Krystal agrees that if one-quarter of patients with depression are made worse by antidepressant treatment, “we need to find ways to identify who those people are and find other ways to reach that group of people.”

via New Research on the Antidepressant-Versus-Placebo Debate | Healthland | TIME.com.

technological change, end of an era, RIP, Kodak, Fuji, creative destruction:  I remember the first time I used Fuji film.  I felt like a traitor. And for the second time in two days I run across the term “creative destruction.” (See above in the excerpt on private equity.)

Kodak’s blunder was not like the time when Digital Equipment Corporation, an American computer-maker, failed to spot the significance of personal computers because its managers were dozing in their comfy chairs. It was more like “seeing a tsunami coming and there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Mr Christensen.

Dominant firms in other industries have been killed by smaller shocks, he points out. Of the 316 department-store chains of a few decades ago, only Dayton Hudson has adapted well to the modern world, and only because it started an entirely new business, Target. And that is what creative destruction can do to a business that has changed only gradually—the shops of today would not look alien to time-travellers from 50 years ago, even if their supply chains have changed beyond recognition.

Could Kodak have avoided its current misfortunes? Some say it could have become the equivalent of “Intel Inside” for the smartphone camera—a brand that consumers trust. But Canon and Sony were better placed to achieve that, given their superior intellectual property, and neither has succeeded in doing so.

Unlike people, companies can in theory live for ever. But most die young, because the corporate world, unlike society at large, is a fight to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and survived. Film went from 60% of its profits in 2000 to basically nothing, yet it found new sources of revenue. Kodak, along with many a great company before it, appears simply to have run its course. After 132 years it is poised, like an old photo, to fade away.

via Technological change: The last Kodak moment? | The Economist.

 Apple,   ‘Digitally Destroy’ textbooks:

While MacInnis reiterated his belief that this event should see a new Apple tool for creating iPad textbooks, he told Fortune they weren’t a “GarageBand for e-books” (that phrase was imagined or perhaps misunderstood by Ars) and that the whole thing is actually designed to complement the textbook biz, not breathe Godzilla-style atomic death on it.

Tune in here Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Techland’s full coverage of the event.

via Apple Poised to ‘Digitally Destroy’ Textbooks? Don’t Bet On It | Techland | TIME.com.

apps, Day One (Journal/Diary):  I like this one …

Day One is a micro-journal / diary / text logging application that makes it easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them sync and available in the cloud.

via App Store – Day One (Journal/Diary).

15
Jan
12

1.15.2012 … FPC was spot on today … Enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School and Worship … Lots to ponder … great start to my week. MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

FPC, worship, Wired Word Sunday School, Psalm 139, Bonhoeffer, MLK, Hymn 400 – When we are living: FPC was spot on today.  We are lucky to have such wonderful ministers on staff.  I enjoyed Wired Word Sunday School where we discussed In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews and Worship, especially Katie Crowe’s sermon “Known.”  Both gave me lots to ponder … great start to my week.

Wired Word: Great discussion of duty to enemies in light of “In Time of U.S.-Iran Tension, U.S. Navy Rescues Two Iranian Crews.”

From Katie’s sermon “Known:”

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.

Excuse me, have we met?

Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the Life of Jesus in others. The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness.

via Bonhoeffer on “Confessing Sins One to Another”… : www.JesusLifeTogether.com.

MLK: “I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”

Incredible?  Even though known God invites us to salvation … God is going to do great things with your life I can’t wait to see it

And finally Hymn 400: When we are living …

Across this wide world, we shall always find
Those who are crying with no peace of mind,
But when we help them, or when we feed them,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.

MLK birthday: MLK’s actual birthday is today. I remember Atlanta’s first holiday well.  It was my first year in private school and I did not get the holiday, but my brother in public school. My parents surprised me that morning and said … you don’t have to go to school either … I had my 4 canines pulled for braces … Pain and enslavement of my teeth …

kith/kin, Charlotte Latin School:  Molly in CLS Admission’s ad in today’s paper. 🙂 We loved that they chose her given that she loves CLS so much.  Great experience … great education.

 

Federal Reserve, economics:  The Fed is much lke the Supreme Court.  We are always amazed that is is a collection of human beings, not  machine.  And sometimes they don’t get it right.

The transcripts of the 2006 meetings, released after a standard five-year delay, clearly show some of the nation’s pre-eminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with shepherding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.

“It’s embarrassing for the Fed,” said Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “You see an awareness that the housing market is starting to crumble, and you see a lack of awareness of the connection between the housing market and financial markets.”

“It’s also embarrassing for economics,” he continued. “My strong guess is that if we had a transcript of any other economist, there would be at least as much fodder.”

Many of the officials who appear in the transcripts have since spoken publicly about the Fed’s failings in the years before the crisis. But the transcripts provide a raw and detailed account of those errors as they were made. Evidence of problems in the housing market accumulated at each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets policy for the central bank.

For a famously private institution known for its cryptic, formulaic statements, the meeting transcripts offer a rare glimpse of senior officials in relatively unguarded conversation, somewhat akin to the tapes that some presidents have made in the Oval Office. The Fed officials exchange jokes, gossip about people who are not present, and speak much more frankly about the economy and policy than they did in the public remarks that they made contemporaneously.

The results are unlikely to burnish any of their reputations, inasmuch as they could not see the widening cracks beneath their feet. But the Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, appears as the most consistent voice of warning that problems in the housing market could have broader consequences.

The general consensus on the board, summarized by Mr. Geithner, was that problems in the housing market had few broader ramifications. “We just don’t see troubling signs yet of collateral damage, and we are not expecting much,” he said at the September meeting.

Mr. Bernanke initially agreed, telling colleagues at his first meeting as chairman, in March, “I think we are unlikely to see growth being derailed by the housing market.”

As the year rolled along, however, Mr. Bernanke increasingly took the view that his colleagues were too sanguine.

”I don’t have quite as much confidence as some people around the table that there will be no spillover effect,” he said.

via Inside the Fed in 2006 – A Coming Crisis, and Banter – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, zombies, zombify, poetry, Maya Angelou:

Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf)
1/13/12 2:49 PM
I could quote entire stanzas of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” as #zombiepoetry …but that poem is too awesome to zombify!

Winter in London, travel, London, chocolatiers:  Going to London for my late January birthday …. Melt may be on my list!

Have a Hot Chocolate

When you’re out and about in the cold, blood sugar levels can plummet, resulting in classic kiddy temper tantrums! Boost their energy levels and put a smile on their faces with a steaming mug of delicious hot chocolate. Try Notting Hill chocolatiers, Melt for a serious dose of cocoa. They also run a children’s hour where young chocoholics can have a crack at making their own chocolate treats. Yum!

via Family: Tips on Enjoying the Best of Winter in London – Visit London.

About Melt

Melt is a fantastic chocolatier on Ledbury Road selling delicious chocolates. Damian, the chocolate specialist and pastry chef, has fifteen years experience working in Michelin starred restaurants around the world.

via Melt – Places To Go in London – Visit London.

30
Dec
11

12.30.2011 … Mint’s Romare Bearden Exhibit and lunch at Halycon … And then sushi at Koishi … Almost perfect day …

last business day of the year, Romare Bearden, Mint Museum, Charlotte, Halcyon, restaurants – Charlotte:  busy day – PT … Errands … Year end finances (ughhh!) … then downtown for the Romare Bearden Exhibit and lunch at Halcyon … With Molly and Katie, Molly’s camp friend.

 Romare Bearden – my favorite: Meckelenburg Autumn Morning … but I can’t find a copy on the internet … 😦

Halcyon: Local goat cheese plate, trout with very finely ground cheese grits, coffee. … Great 17-year-old girl company …at Halcyon — at Mint museum.  See all our choices below … we recommend each of them.  Excellent!

Campfire Trout

Roasted NC River Trout. Field Succotash

Brown Butter Corn Bread Purée. Pepper Relish

Surf & Earth Salad  –

Viking Village Scallops. Pimiento Cheese Fondue. Wilted Romaine

Spicy Buttermilk. Fried Green Tomatoes. Tomato Jam

 …

Halcyon Quiche  –

House-Crafted Crust. Egg Custard.

Seasonal Goodness. Dressed Greens

via Halcyon Restaurant, Flavors from the Earth – Lunch.

 Koishi Fine Chinese & Sushi Bar: ‎… And sushi … Almost perfect restaurant day … our favorites …

Koishi Signature : deep fried spicy tuna, avocado, special sauce

Cherry Blossom (10 pcs): tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado in soy paper, special sauce

Super Crunchy * : crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, masago, unagi sauce

via Koishi Sushi Bar and Fine Chinese Restaurant –Maki.

ChristCare, FPC, the bringing of food:  Thank you, thank you, Anne and Doug … You brought enough wonderful comfort food for my little army with leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches!! Love you guys and the care and love you bring to members of FPC and its ChristCare mission.

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

20
Nov
11

11.20.2011 … just a regular Sunday … The Widow Mite/Might …

FPC, Roland Purdue, sermon, faith and spirituality, worship, Soren Kierkegaard: Rev. Purdue referenced “Prompters in worship” from Kierkegaard … so I had to look it up.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a great theologian, was born in Copenhagen in the early nineteenth century. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen and then spent two years in Germany before he returned to Copenhagen, where he lived the rest of his life. Although his writings covered many areas of the Christian faith, he was particularly outspoken on the subject of worship.

He was quite critical of many churches whose worship had become “user friendly.” He developed the idea that Christian worship was a drama. He had come to the conviction that many churches also believed that, but that there was an inappropriate redefining of what that meant. What he observed was that in the drama, God was to be the prompter, the liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) had become the actors in the drama and the congregation had become the audience in the drama. An elitist class of leaders had implicitly modeled that they were better equipped to be the performers in this drama and that it was best if those in the congregation just watched as onlookers. This understanding of worship is still maintained and taught in many churches in America today.

Kierkegaard taught that this understanding of our worship of drama was totally wrong. People were taking on the wrong rolls. The liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) were to be the prompters in worship. All of us, the congregation as well as the liturgical leaders are the actors in the drama of worship and God alone is the audience for the drama.

via Soren Kierkegaard – Theologian – Worship is a drama.

culture, Southern culture,  Flannery O’Connor , Eudora Welty, eccentrics, LOL:  I wonder which I am … an O”Connor or Welty eccentric.  I’m definitely Southern!

…  at almost forty, I’m learning being from the South doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me Southern. And I own that, by God. As my friend says, “That which you once mocked, you now embrace.” She usually says that about something like caftans or yard gnomes, but it works here too. I have embraced the Southern Woman inside me and she would like to talk to you about your lack of calling cards. I fully intend to age gracefully into a caftan-wearing, yard gnome-loving, giant beaded necklace-wearing Southern Eccentric Woman…of the Flannery O’Connor persuasion.

I like to classify Southern eccentrics into two groups: Eudora Welty eccentric or Flannery O’Connor eccentric. If you are a Welty eccentric, your sister is called something like Cattie Paw because her name is Katherine and she walks quietly. If you are O’Connor eccentric, your sister is called Trampasaurus Oceanus because she gets around during Fleet Week. Welty eccentrics may leave a family dinner to go sit in the woods and sketch lichen. O’Connor eccentrics leave a family dinner after announcing they’ve ended the affair with the Methodists’ choir director to move to Hilton Head with the Piggly Wiggly produce manager and his spiritual guru.

via Embracing My Inner Flannery by Susan Wilson | LikeTheDew.com.

old news, human trafficking, slavery:  This astounds me … I, too, believe that freedom is a basic human right.

There are 27 million slaves in the world today — more than ever before in human history. Kutcher continued, “One could make an assumption that it’s a global problem. The CIA estimates that there are a million slaves in the US today. I think if Abe knew that, he’d be quite upset.”

A year ago, the couple came to CGI with the intent to educate themselves as much as possible about the issue: the modern day abolition movement. The more they learned about it, however, the more they realized there was no way they could continue living in the world and not do something about it. Among their education, they went on an exploratory trip to the Mexican-US border. Kutcher details one of their encounters, “We met a girl who told us how she was trafficked into the US, taken into a field by her pimp and raped by 30 men on a trash bag. That’s the day we started the DNA Foundation.”

Over the past year, Moore, Kutcher and the DNA Foundation have been gaining momentum and street-cred among the philanthropic, social action and social media communities. This new, holistic campaign takes them one step closer to making their mission — that freedom is a basic human right — a reality.

via Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher Looking for “Real Men” | Demi and Ashton Foundation.

On this day …, Thomas Edison, phonograph, inventions:

On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph.

via Twitter / @LIFE: On this day in 1877, Thoma ….

 …

Play That Old-Timey Music!

Ever since Thomas Edison (pictured) created the phonograph after five days and nights hooking up his ears to rubber tubes, the world’s been grooving to the oldies thanks to the miracle of recorded music. But way before there was ever anything remotely resembling an iPod, listening to a particular recording meant listening to a victrola, gramophone, or phonograph, which could sound awfully staticky to our MP3-spoiled ears. Still, there’s no reason not to break out the old LPs every once in a while and crank up that old-timey music!

via Play That Old-Timey Music! – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

 travel, 1%, first class/business class:  I had no idea about international first class … business class is very nice.

The gap between first class and coach has never been so wide.

Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. Some have bars. One airline has installed showers onboard.

The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.

So as domestic travelers take to the skies for the holiday season, most will be in cramped cabins, their food is likely to be bland and they will have paid for it, along with any fees for slightly more legroom or checked bags.

But even as they have cut back on domestic service, including first-class accommodations, the airlines have been engaged in a global battle for top executives and the superwealthy on their international routes. Though only a privileged few can afford to pay $15,000 to fly first class from New York to Singapore or Sydney, the airlines are betting that the image of luxury they project for the front helps attract passengers to the rest of the plane. That includes a growing business-class section with offerings once solely the preserve of first class.

via Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond – NYTimes.com.

Gugghenheim Museum, apps, Maurizio Cattelan:  I think this is great!

Enjoy unique access to Maurizio Cattelan: All with this interactive, multiplatform app, which features dramatic views of the museum’s unprecedented site-specific installation along with extensive documentation of Cattelan’s artworks, actions, and other projects.

In short videos, filmmaker John Waters introduces the app and its sections. Exhibition curator Nancy Spector offers an illuminating presentation of Cattelan’s oeuvre, while exhibition engineers and artwork conservators offer a behind-the-scenes look at putting the show together.

via Download the App.

quotes, Collette, history:  I liked the quote, but had no idea who Collette was …

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
 Colette

Colette (1873-1954)

Colette was a writer known for her novels in which women were depicted as full sexual beings. Her husband published her first works under his own name. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette married twice and was involved with women and men outside her marriages. One of the most famous adaptations of Colette’s work was the play and movie, Gigi.

via Colette Quotes.




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