Posts Tagged ‘future

18
Apr
13

4.18.13 … bombs = terrorism … “And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve. “Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic.”

terror, brain science:  “And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve.  ‘Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic.’”

“When people are terrorized, the smartest parts of our brain tend to shut down,” says Dr. Bruce Perry, Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy. (Disclosure:  he and I have written books together).

When the brain is under severe threat, it immediately changes the way it processes information, and starts to prioritize rapid responses. “The normal long pathways through the orbitofrontal cortex, where people evaluate situations in a logical and conscious fashion and [consider] the risks and benefits of different behaviors— that gets short circuited,” says Dr. Eric Hollander, professor of psychiatry at Montefiore/Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York.  Instead, he says, “You have sensory input right through the sensory [regions] and into the amygdala or limbic system.”

Every loud sound suddenly becomes a potential threat, for example, and even mundane circumstances such as a person who avoids eye contact can take on suspicious and ominous meaning and elicit an extreme, alert-ready response. Such informational triage can be essential to surviving traumatic experience, of course.  “Severe threats to well-being activate hard wired circuits in the brain and produce responses that help us survive,” explains Joseph LeDoux, professor of psychology and neuroscience at New York University, “This process is the most important thing for the organism at the moment, and brain resources are monopolized to achieve the goal of coping with the threat.”

But once the immediate threat has passed, this style of thinking can become a hindrance, not a help. “The problem is that often people have these intense reactions and are not able to think about the situation or concept more realistically,” Hollander says.  The fear can become generalized so that ordinary experiences like being in a crowd or seeing a backpack trigger intense anxiety.

And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve.  “Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic,” says Hollander, noting that media coverage that repeats the sounds and images of the events maximizes their impact. The coverage keeps the threat alive and real in people’s minds, and sustains the threat response, despite the fact that the immediate danger has passed. The marathon attacks were particularly damaging, he says, because “All of sudden, there’s trauma associated with what had been a meaningful, communal event.”

It doesn’t help that the most common coping mechanisms can make matters worse. People who live in fear tend to want to sleep, drink alcohol or turn to sedatives to ease their anxiety. But, says Hollander, “It turns out that you are better off staying up than trying to go to sleep.” Sleep tends to consolidate and lay down traumatic memories. And that’s partly why the Israeli army, for example, tries to keep traumatized soldiers awake immediately after a difficult experience and engage them in warm social contact, both of which help reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fortunately, our brains are designed to modulate fear responses and at least 80% of people exposed to a severe traumatic event will not develop PTSD. Studies show that the more support, altruism and connection people share, the lower the risk for the disorder and the easier the recovery. Because such interactions aren’t always easy in the immediate aftermath of a harrowing experience, Hollander is investigating whether medications based on oxytocin— a hormone linked with love and parent/child bonding— might help to ease this connection.

If fear short circuits the brain’s normally logical and reasoned thinking, social support may be important in rerouting those networks back to their normal state. Which is why the selflessness and altruism we see in the wake of terror attacks is often the key to helping us to process and overcome the shock of living through them.

via How Terror Hijacks the Brain | TIME.com.

 terrorism, vocabulary, linguistics:  murky word?

But, in the public discussion, there was already a palpable hunger for the term. “All the right words but one,” was the headline of an analysis by the Defense Media Network. “Only safe assumption: It was terrorism,” another editorial was headlined in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.Within hours of Axelrods remarks, and with no suspects or motive announced, Obama said: “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”In times of tension and uncertainty, words can become malleable vessels — for cultural fears, for political agendas, for ways to make sense of the momentous and the unknown. In 2013 America, the word “terrorism” exists at this ambiguous crossroads. And the opinions youll find about it — this week in particular — often transcend mere linguistics.Obamas conclusion about bombs and terror made perfect sense to Jay Winuk, whose brother, a lawyer and volunteer firefighter, died on September 11, 2001 while trying to evacuate the World Trade Center after it was attacked by fanatical Muslims.”Based on what we know so far, I do consider it an act of terrorism,” Winuk said Wednesday, before news broke of a possible suspect in the case. “I dont know that for me personally, political motivation is part of the equation.””Whoever did this, it seems clear that their intention was to harm, maim, kill innocent people en masse who are going about their normal activity. To me, thats terrorism,” said Winuk, a co-founder of “My Good Deed,” a group that has established 9/11 as a national day of service.

“The problem we have is that the term has been so freighted with politics, it’s taken on a life that it probably really shouldn’t have,” said Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the terrorists responsible for the 1993 Trade Center attack and is now a senior fellow at the National Review Foundation.

Without the context of Fort Hood and Benghazi, McCarthy said, how to define what happened in Boston “would have been a big nothing.” He agrees that the Boston attack was terrorism, noting that the bombs were filled with nails and ball bearings to cause maximum carnage.

And yet, he said: “Terrorism has to have a logical purpose.”

Part of the reason Boston feels like terrorism without knowing the motive is that bombs were used, rather than the guns used in recent mass murders, like the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo.

via Is it ‘terrorism’? Anatomy of a very murky word

comfort, Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto, Love and Hope in the Wake of Boston:  Well said …

 And we didn’t stop hoping yesterday when a moment of victory for runners and spectators was shattered by crude violence. First responders and onlookers alike rushed to the aid of others in the midst of potential danger. My Facebook wall lit up with prayers and cries of hope. In response to casual cruelty, the world reacted with compassion.

Why?

It may be that despite the many instances of malice that seek to tear us apart and to cause us to lose hope what binds us together is stronger. It may be that “love never ends” as the Apostle Paul once wrote to a Corinthian church community fraying at its edges. Love, he said, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7).

This is not the sappy love of pop songs or the fleeting infatuations we incorrectly label as love. This love, true love is at the very core of whom God has made us to be. This is persistent love, love that refuses to give into the cruelties of this world. This is an indefatigable love.

As a Christian, my faith has shown me that God dwells in love, inhabits love, embodies love. This radiant, ever-present love is the source of my hope in times like these.

And this love binds us not because we believe the same things or attend the same church or even because we are citizens of the same nation. This love binds us because we are humans created in the very image of God. In moments of great inhumanity, it is the miracle of God’s love that our true humanity, what most makes us the people God created us to be, crowds out the darkness. In the end, it is our love for another that shines most brightly.

When we heal the wounded, we love one another. When we pray for the grieving, we love one another. When we hope against hope for a better world, we love one another. The perpetrators of violence never succeed as long as love abides.

By this point, we should have stopped the race, given up hope of ever seeing the finish line. We should have counted all our hopes as vanity and delusion.

But we don’t because even on a day like yesterday, love wins. Love always wins.

via Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto: Love and Hope in the Wake of Boston.

Boston Marathon Bombings, history, future, Cognoscenti:

 I asked him how he was feeling. Was there a sense of something being “over” in Boston? He said, “No. I’m angry. I’m angry at the temerity of someone who would do this. But you know what? If they wanted to kill a lot of people they picked the wrong marathon. They picked the wrong city. We must have saved 20 people today just at our hospital. There are five others.”

I don’t know if all the runners will decide to run again next year. But if they do, they will be, to me, as heroic as those farmers years ago in Lexington. And we who live here pledge to be there as well. Screaming our heads off.

As Dr. Medzon said earlier, whoever did this, they picked the wrong marathon. They picked the wrong city.

via Boston Marathon Bombings: Our History Will Be A Guide For The Future | Cognoscenti. 

Boston Marathon bombs, The Washington Post: simple design … <$100.

The bombs that tore through a crowd of spectators at the Boston Marathon could have cost as little as $100 to build and were made of the most ordinary ingredients — so ordinary, in fact, that investigators could face a gargantuan challenge in attempting to use bomb forensics to find the culprit.

Investigators revealed Tuesday that fragments recovered at the blast scene suggest a simple design: a common pressure cooker of the kind found at most discount stores, packed with an explosive and armed with a simple detonator. A final ingredient — a few handfuls of BBs, nails and pellets — helped ensure widespread casualties when the two devices exploded Monday near the race’s finish line, law enforcement officials said.

The devices’ design was immediately recognized by counterterrorism experts as a type touted by al-Qaeda for use by its operatives around the world. Similar devices have been used by terrorists in mass-casualty bombings in numerous countries, from the Middle East to South Asia to North Africa.

via Boston Marathon bombs had simple but harmful design, early clues indicate – The Washington Post.

Pressure-cooker bombs,  do-it-yourself , guardian.co.uk:  easy to make, with simple instructions available on the internet … who needs expensive guns?

 The highlight from the latest FBI briefing on the Boston bombing was the disclosure that pressure-cooker bombs might have been used in the attacks. Such devices are frequently used in trouble spots around the world and the homeland security department has been warning of their potential appearance in the US for almost a decade.Pressure-cooker bombs are relatively easy to make, with simple instructions available on the internet. The attempted Times Square bomber used a similar device in May 2010 in a foiled bid to cause mayhem in New York.

via Pressure-cooker bombs in Boston: lethal do-it-yourself | World news | guardian.co.uk.

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13
Aug
11

‎8.13.2011 … what is the appropriate attire for an evening at the Roller Derby? … I am thinking anything with bra straps showing or without a bra … not my best looks!

Roller Derby, Charlotte, kith/kin:  Oh, what a night … photos 🙂

food, drink, wine, Bordeaus, France, technology:  There are some amazing things going on in the world.

In partnership with the Wine Cooperative Institute (WCI), a company called Geo-Information Services (GIS), a subsidiary of Astrium Services, has offered a service for the past three years called “Œnoview.” The idea is simple: to provide wine growers with a map detailing the vegetative state of their vineyards.

“It helps the winegrower make decisions and save a considerable amount of time,” says Jacques Rousseau, the WCI Group’s director of wine-producing services. “It allows him to have an instant overall view of his vineyard. He can then know the state of his vineyard as if he had scoured the rows one by one.”

This satellite map can determine the uniformity of the ripening process as it takes place in a specific plot of land. The greener the grapes, the stronger the plant surface is; the more red and blue they are, the less developed the vegetation is. From this report, vintner can draw numerous conclusions, including the optimum harvest date.

via In Bordeaux, Harvest Time Means Infrared Spy Satellites – TIME.

Jane Austen, Jane Austen: A Life Revealed, Who Was Jane Austen: The Girl With the Magic Pen 
Children’s/YA literature: Jane Austen: A Life Revealed – Catherine Reef Clarion Books, 2011 and Who Was Jane Austen: The Girl With the Magic Pen – Gill Hornby Short Books, 2005 …

Claimed to be the first biography for teens (more on that later), this 190 page hardcover copy – which I read in e-book format – does not offer many new insights into Jane Austen’s life. However, that is hardly to be expected from a short biography aimed at teens to introduce them to the life and works of Jane Austen. I imagine that, had I been fourteen still, on my first journey into the land of Austen, I would have thoroughly enjoyed such an easy-access guide, to go on learning more about her from there.

via Two Biographies of Jane Austen Meant for a Teen/YA Audience | Iris on Books.

Gill Hornby’s biography reads like a story, instead of a non-fiction account of her life. It makes me think that maybe it was meant to be accessible to even younger readers. And while the choice to write about Austen as if she’s a character herself might give the story a less objective feel, I actually think it worked really well. Especially since in many ways, Austen has become a character in a story to so many fans of her works.

via Two Biographies of Jane Austen Meant for a Teen/YA Audience | Iris on Books.

e-books: How To Price Comparison Shop For eBooks – eBookNewser.

random, Apple, China:  Faux Apple stores?

The hits (and trademark misses) just keep coming out of China, whose authorities now say they’ve uncovered a whopping 22 fake Apple stores—and that’s just in the city of Kunming, where this strange, sordid tale of Apple retail ne’er do wells started.

via Those Chinese Apple Store Knockoffs? China Says It Found 22 More – Techland – TIME.com.

UGA – Between the Hedges, college football, SEC:  What can I say, I’m a dawg at heart.

Georgia

The annual August tease: We’re ready to shove aside Alabama, Florida and the rest of the SEC and take over the conference!

Mark Richt has the talent at Georgia — but can the Dawgs put it all together?

The annual fall reality: The Mark Richt expiration date is looming.

The Bulldogs have pretty well underachieved four of the past five years. Yeah, one of those alleged underachievers was a 10-3 team in 2008, but it began the year ranked No. 1 and had the overall No. 1 pick in the NFL draft in Matthew Stafford. That qualifies as underachieving.

The past two years have been so bad that they almost defy description. I’m still trying to figure out how Georgia could be a plus-10 in turnovers in 2010 and still wind up 6-7.

via Florida State Seminoles, Miami Hurricanes, Tennessee Volunteers among annual teases – ESPN.

culture, graphics:  This graphic tells the story …

Getty ImagesHow you rank in society purportedly has a lot to do with how much you care about your fellow man. That’s the gist of “Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm,” a new paper written by University of California psychologists and social scientists published in the academic journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

The authors write that one’s sense of social class—derived mainly from income and education—”exerts broad influences on social thought, emotion, and behavior.” Using various tests that measure empathy, those who perceive themselves among the lower classes demonstrate “heightened vigilance of the social context and an other-focused social orientation.” In other words, poorer, less well-educated individuals tend to notice, and care more about, the people around them. “Upper-class rank perceptions,” on the other hand, “trigger a focus away from the context toward the self, prioritizing self-interest.”

via Study: The Rich Really Are More Selfish | Moneyland | TIME.com.

pc, IBM, end of an era, tablets, quotes, makes you think, future: “These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives,” …

Thirty years ago, Mark Dean was part of the original team that helped usher in a personal computing revolution when Big Blue announced its PC. On the anniversary of that seminal announcement, Dean said it is time to move beyond the PC. (see: Today is the IBM Model 5150’s 30th birthday)

“My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline,” Dean, nowadays the chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa, wrote on a company blog. “But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs.”

Taking note of recent changes reworking the contours of the tech landscape, Dean observed that while PCs are getting replaced, the interesting development action now centers around mobile hardware and social networking connections.

“These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives,” he wrote.

via IBM inventor: PC is dead – CBS News.

Anthropologie, fashion, marketing:  My daughter turned me on to Anthropologie and I love the store for its quirkiness … this video does a good job of explaining its concept.

Color + print steal the show in our newest film, a behind-the-scenes look at our fall collection. Watch and listen as our designers open up about their autumn inspirations and processes.

via Videos Posted by Anthropologie: Color + Print [HD].

USPS, stamps, graphics:  I agree, aren’t they lovely?  Makes me want Valentine’s Day in August.

x2omq.jpg

kabster728 1 day 19 hours ago Twitter

Newest Love stamps — so pretty.

via yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/h0x2omqj Shared by kabster728.

astronomy, meteor shower: Well, I missed it.

Whether you were able or not to view Perseid meteor showers earlier this week, tonight’s peak should still provide a good show despite the interference of this month’s full moon. Moreover, tonight will be a double treat, for coincidentally the International Space Station will be visible (local sky conditions permitting) over much of the U.S. for a short window.

via Perseid meteor shower and International Space Station flyby late tonight – double pleasure – Capital Weather Gang – The Washington Post.

Twitter / @washingtonpost: Have you seen the Perseid ….

Bipolar Dow, stock market, Great Recession, humor, a picture is worth a thousand words:  

The Dow is up almost 200 points today based on news that the Dow hasn’t dropped 400 points today.

FlyoverJoel

August 12, 2011 at 13:17

ReplyRetweet

via 10 hilarious posts about the Dow’s bipolar week – storify.com.

Just the other day (8/10), I posted on FB, “I am tired of the stock market …” Sometimes, pictures are better than words. 🙂  I laughed …

Ravi Joisa’s Photos – Funny Pics.

college search:  

Having a good professor can indelibly affect your college experience, and make you remember facts that most people would forget after a decent period of time. Good teaching, therefore, is one of the most important things a college can offer.

Princeton Review recently named the ten schools in the country with the best professors. All-female Wellesley College topped the list, with engineering school Harvey Mudd coming in second.

via The 10 Colleges With The Best Professors.

college costs, random, Colorado – Boulder:  This is an old story, and I think the kid was silly, but he has a point …

Nic Ramos’s tuition payment this semester weighed 30 pounds.

Why? The University of Colorado-Boulder economics student decided to pay his $14,309.51 charge in $1 bills (and a 50-cent piece, and a penny).

“Just looking at [the bills] really sends a message,” Ramos said in an interview with the Daily Camera.

Ramos, an out-of-state student, wanted to bring awareness to how much an education costs for non-residents and residents alike. Per his calculations, class comes in at $65 an hour.

via Nic Ramos, University Of Colorado Student, Pays Tuition In $1 Bills (VIDEO).

websites, new and interesting:  Here are a few to check out … WhtespaceHappy Blogging Birthday to Me!.

recipes, shrimp salad, cold court-bouillon:  This sounds really good … but does anyone know what cold court-bouillon is?

Using a technique practiced in the 1970s by French chef Michel Guérard, we started cooking our shrimp in a cold court-bouillon (leaving out the white wine, which tasters found overwhelming), then heating the shrimp and liquid to just a near simmer.

via Better Shrimp Salad – Cooks Illustrated

well, here it is …

A court bouillon (literally “short boil”) is an acidulated vegetable stock. The vegetables are cooked with aromatics for a short time to create a flavorful vegetable stock, which has an acid like vinegar or lemon juice added to it. The main purpose of using a court bouillon to cook things in is to preserve their flavor. Instead of leaching the flavor out, as would happen if you used plain water, the osmotic pressure of the vegetable stock keeps flavors in the food being cooked. In addition, the acid firms and whitens the white flesh of fish or poultry. For shellfish like crabs and shrimp, I like to add Old Bay Seafood seasoning. I also use it for lobsters, which I simmer (never boil) for about twenty minutes for chicken lobsters (1 pounders).

via About Court Bouillon.

loyalty memberships/frequent flyers, good advice:

In 2010, the most recent data available, U.S. consumers had a total of more than two billion loyalty memberships—about 18 memberships per household—up 16% from five years ago, according to Cincinnati-based loyalty-marketing company Colloquy. Some 46% of consumers actively use rewards programs, up from 39% in 2006, and about one-third of those are travel and hospitality programs.

Yet while Americans accumulate $48 billion in rewards points and miles annually, according to Colloquy, they leave one-third of these unredeemed and at risk of expiring.

via How to Protect Your Rewards – WSJ.com.

Jane Fonda, random:  Years ago I was trying to remember the name of a movie that had Jane Fonda in it, and I went to my favorite movie buff … I concluded the description with, “and Jane Fonda was in it.”  My friend looked at me strangely and said, ” I do not go to movies with Jane Fonda.”  My friend was a West Point grad and had served in Vietnam.  I was too young to remember Jane and her famous picture … but his statement said it all.  I am glad she regrets the picture.  Keep apologizing, Jane … for some it may never be enough.

Jane on that North Vietnam photo: “That picture was a terrible mistake, and I’m prepared to apologize for it until I go to my grave.”

via ‘That Picture Was a Terrible Mistake’: Jane Fonda Sits Down for 10 Questions – TIME NewsFeed.

worldcrunch, technology:  Noticed this note on the Bordeaux wine article above … pretty cool.

This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in Le Monde.

via In Bordeaux, Harvest Time Means Infrared Spy Satellites – TIME.

24
Jan
11

1.24.2011 … coffee with friends then ChristCare where we will discuss I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner

ChristCare, curriculum:  I Am The Good Shepherd  by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html

random, Mark Twain:  New autobiography revives careers for Mark Twain impersonators.  But you have to have the mustache!  Mark Twain Impersonators Gain Popularity – NYTimes.com.

literature, southern literature, Elizabeth Musser, Atlanta:  I am a little miffed they left out our own Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser … given the setting for the photo shoot. Do you think it is because of the genre she writes .. Christian historical fiction …

Is there a book club in America that hasn’t yet thrilled to The Help? Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel has lasted some 22 months on the New York Times hardcover fiction list—and will soon be a DreamWorks movie. “Kitty” Stockett far right, in fact, is leading a new wave of southern female writers who might look like belles but who write fearlessly about the region’s troubled legacies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Typically, these women left the South in their 20s, heading for New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But in time they came home. And they’re now turning Atlanta into the most vibrant new literary scene outside of Brooklyn.

via Belles, Books, And Candor | Culture | Vanity Fair.

movies, memorable phrases:

Have we heard the last (truly memorable) word from Hollywood?

Probably not, but it’s been a while since the movies had everybody parroting a great line.

via We’re missing lines that had us at ‘hello’ – CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, random, products, design, Daniel Pink:  Saw this in the Petco flyer last week … maybe it is just me but I think it is LOL hysterical.  But really it is just a ball … with a design element to humor the humans.  So would you pay $12 for the equivalent of a used tennis ball to the dog?  I wonder if this product meets Daniel Pink’s definition of elegant design?  If you don’t know about Daniel Pink … check out the blog post about him which contains an interview.

Amazon.com: Moody Pet Humunga Stache Ball Dog Toy: Patio, Lawn & Garden.

“Design Thinking is solving problems in elegant ways” – Daniel Pink

via Elegant Design For Your Whole New Mind | Life In Perpetual Beta.

technology, culture, Jane Austen, bookshelf:  Another book that will be getting a great deal of commentary!

What I’m against is a kind of technological promiscuity, where that technology, so perfect in that [Abu Dhabi] circumstance, is the technology you think is perfect for people to bring into a board meeting, when they need to be working on a problem together. In that case it’s not the technology of choice. They’re not physically present with the people they need to bond with and deeply connect with, and need to make very consequential decisions with. I hate the metaphor of addiction: it implies we have to get it away, give it away, wean off. This is great stuff. It’s not heroin. It’s just something we need to learn to use when most appropriate, powerful, and in our best interest.

You mention how when people see the little red light on their BlackBerry, indicating a message has arrived, they feel utterly compelled to grab it. Do you personally experience that compulsion?

I recognize it with my email. Somebody said of email, “It’s the place for hope in life.” It reminds me of how in Jane Austen, carriages are always coming, you’re waiting, it could be Mr. Bingley’s invitation to a ball. There’s some sense that the post is always arriving in Jane Austen. There’s something about email that carries the sense that that’s where the good news will come. I did a hysterical interview with an accountant about why he felt so strongly about his texts. He said he might get a Genius award! I said, “I don’t think they give those to accountants.” And he said, “But you know what I mean.” He was trying to express that anything could happen on email. Anything could happen! I try to figure out what it is that this little red light means to people. I think it’s that place for hope and change and the new, and what can be different, and how things can be what they’re not now. And I think we all want that.

via “Alone Together”: An MIT Professor’s New Book Urges Us to Unplug.

women, politics, stereotypes:  A strong American woman is stereotyped a cowgirl … interesting article.

America has no tales of Amazons or of Atalanta; our national narrative does not chronicle the defeat of an armada by a virgin queen nor a teenage Joan leading her army into battle. American history includes no Cleopatras or Hatshepsuts; no Trung Sisters, who defended Vietnam from the Chinese in the first century; and no Catherines, great or otherwise. The mythos of our founding revolves entirely around fathers, save for the seamstress Betsy Ross and the querulous spouse Abigail Adams.

What we do have, to serve as the foundational fantasy of female strength and individualism we’ve agreed upon as embodying American power, are cowgirls: Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, the outlaws, frontier women and pioneers who pushed West, shot sharp, talked tough and sometimes drew blood. Frontier womanhood has emerged as one of the only historically American models of aspirational femininity available to girls — passive princesses and graceful ballerinas not being native to this land — and one of the only blueprints for commanding female comportment in which they are regularly encouraged to invest or to mimic.

via Only Cowgirls Run for Office – NYTimes.com.

blogposts, economy, Great Recession, future, quotes, Mark Twain:  Again, my favorite Presbyterian minister blogger takes two articles I noted and pulls them together to say what I wish I had said … I wish I had his quick mind!  And of course he quotes my favorite … Mark Twain. Thanks, Jim

Mark Twain said it best:

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Religious people know this to be true. I am not referring to resurrection (a dimension of Christian faith, for sure) but to religious belief as a general phenomenon. Belief is a dynamic reality. It impacts attitude, instills confidence, generates hope, impels certain actions. Of these there is not a lot of confidence and hope to be found in the usual portrait of our country’s health these days. If you believe we are dying, die we will. The truth is very different though.

The USA remains a genuine heavyweight. Time to start fighting like one. Fighting, that is, not with anyone, but against despair and resignation.

“It ain’t over till it’s over” and it ain’t over!

via Not dead yet « Hopelens Blog.

blogpost, media, religion, prayers: So my other favorite Presbyterian minister blogger … the younger … nails this one in my opinion.  I will use his prayer this week!  Thanks, Marthame!

There are those who say that the church is in the midst of a historical moment unlike any since the Protestant Reformation. And just as the “new media” of the printing press made Martin Luther possible, our world is being changed daily by new technologies and new ways of communicating. Is it time for the church to, dare I say, “change”?

In some ways, we have been standing by the shore, doing what our ancestors have taught us, faithfully tossing our nets into the sea, pulling in a catch, and doing it all over again. And as uprooting as it might be, maybe we need to listen for that voice of Jesus telling us to leave all that behind.

Time for a Change.

NYC, change, travel:  Maybe I better get there soon!

CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof.It continues: That diner on the corner for decades — closed. The beer garden down the street — now a Starbucks. The block once home to clusters of independent businesses — thriving as a big-box store.

And last month, another piece of the old New York slipped away with the demise of the city’s Off-Track Betting parlors. It’s enough to make old-school New Yorkers bristle.

Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York — the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America — has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable.

“What draws people to New York is its uniqueness. So when something goes, people feel sad about it,” says Suzanne Wasserman, director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York.

“I think that’s also part of the New York character,” she says, “that ‘Things were better when …'”

Change is constant, and few cities change faster than New York. But at what cost? Where is the line between progress and lost distinctiveness?

via As edgy NYC disappears, does its character go too?  | ajc.com.

gardens:  I friend told me about this.  I am putting it on my 2011 calendar for November!  Thanks, Maxwell for the idea.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden

Begin with a container. Plant an array of bulbs in layers now, and flowers will appear at intervals throughout spring. Think of the tiny irises as appetizers to the season, followed by the grape hyacinths. Next, delight in miniature narcissus. Build up to a feast of large daffodils. Then, as the icing on the cake, finish with a topping of violas that bloom from fall through late spring. The best part is that prep time takes less than 30 minutes.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden – SouthernLiving.com.

Norwich England, Great Britain, sense of place, travel, bucket list:  OK, so I loved Norwich from this article.  It seems to have a real sense of place.  I am adding it to my list.  How could you not be intriqued by a place described as a book lovers/writers paradise  and this ““I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.””

Norwich, a two-hour train ride northeast from London, has increasingly become a refuge for writers fleeing the hectic pace of the capital’s publishing scene. At first glance it appears to be just another charming medieval town, with a fantastically preserved castle and a 900-year-old cathedral. But look a little deeper and you’ll notice the wellspring of author readings and literary festivals, featuring recent talks by Booker Prize winners like John Banville and Penelope Lively.

The comfy cafes within the town’s narrow old lanes are full of aspiring writers pecking away at laptops, dreaming of becoming the next Ian McEwan or Kazuo Ishiguro, both of whom got their start here at the University of East Anglia’s esteemed creative writing master’s program.

Mr. Ishiguro was so struck by Norwich and its surrounding county that he used it as inspiration for his 2005 novel “Never Let Me Go” (though the book was actually set in East Sussex, the 2010 movie adaptation was largely filmed in Norfolk County, home to Norwich). “I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.”

via Norwich, England, a Book-Lover’s Town – NYTimes.com.

green:  I knew it was coming.  Duke Power is giving customers a dozen bulbs for free.  I am interested to see if they really cut my bill.

The brightest bulb in most homes for more than a century is fading toward darkness this year as California turns out the light on the century-old incandescent.

Beginning Jan. 1, the state began phasing out certain energy-sucking bulbs, federal standards the rest of the country will enact next year.

Manufacturers will no longer make the traditional 100-watt bulb and stores will eventually sell out of current supplies. Consumers will have to choose from more efficient bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs.

“These standards will help cut our nation’s electric bill by over $10 billion a year and will save the equivalent electricity as 30 large power plants,” said Noah Horowitz a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That translates into a whole lot less global warming pollution being emitted.”

The change is part of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act that President George Bush signed in 2007, to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. California was allowed to adopt the national standard one year earlier.

via It’s lights out for the incandescent bulb in Calif  | ajc.com.

branding, advertising, Starbucks: just interesting …

The rise of the affluent society has left people with lots of time and talent to spare, Mr Shirky argues. For decades they squandered this cognitive surplus watching television. Today, thanks to the internet, they can also channel it into more productive pursuits.

For a surprising number of people these productive pursuits involve worrying about companies’ logos. Howard Schultz, the boss of Starbucks, recently announced that his company would mark its 40th anniversary this March by changing its logo a bit. The words “Starbucks” and “coffee” will disappear. And the mermaid, or siren, will be freed from her circle.

Starbucks wants to join the small club of companies that are so recognisable they can rely on nothing but a symbol: Nike and its swoosh; McDonald’s and its golden arches; Playboy and its bunny; Apple and its apple. The danger is that it will join the much larger class of companies that have tried to change their logos only to be forced to backtrack by an electronic lynch mob.

via Schumpeter: Logoland | The Economist.

quotes, Reynolds Price, RIP:  Given his recent death, I think  a quote from Reynolds Price is appropriate.

“… what I still ask for daily – for life as long as I have work to do, and work as long as I have life.” — Reynolds Price, A Whole New Life

In A Whole New Life, however, he steps from behind that roster of achievements to present us with a more personal story, a narrative as intimate and compelling as any work of the imagination. In 1984, a large cancer was discovered in his spinal cord (“The tumor was pencil-thick and gray-colored, ten inches long from my neck-hair downward”). Here, for the first time, Price recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction (one American in three will experience some from of cancer). He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and the radiation that temporarily arrests it (but hurries his loss of control of his lower body); the occasionally comic trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; two further radical surgeries; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; an eventual discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life. Beyond the particulars of pain and mortal illness, larger concerns surface here — a determination to get on with the human interaction that is so much a part of this writer’s much-loved work, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, the return to his prolific work, and the “now appalling, now astonishing grace of God.” A Whole New Life offers more than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation; it offers honest insight, realistic encouragement and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or who know someone who does or will.

via A whole new life – Google Books.

green, design, wildlife:  Special provisions for the bears cougars, bobcats, elk and deer …

At a picturesque spot in the mountains near the ski resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, Colo., two streams of traffic converge: people driving east and west on Interstate 70, and animals — black bears, cougars, bobcats, elk and deer — headed north and south to feed and mate. When they collide, the animal is almost always killed and the vehicle badly damaged, even if the driver is lucky enough to escape injury.

The obvious solution is a bridge or a tunnel for the animals, but how do you build one they will use?

via Contest Seeks to Avert Collisions With Animals on I-70 in Colorado – NYTimes.com.

politics, GA politics, David Ralston-GA House Speaker, really stupid:  Since I often comment on the really stupid things we do in our youth, why is it that our politicians are the next group of people who do really stupid things?

House Speaker David Ralston and his family spent part of Thanksgiving week in Europe on a $17,000 economic development mission paid for by lobbyists interested in building a high-speed train line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Commonwealth Research Associates, a D.C.-based consulting firm, paid for the trip, which also included Ralston’s chief of staff Spiro Amburn and his spouse, to Germany and the Netherlands the week of Nov. 21-27, according to records filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.

The trip was the most expensive single expenditure reported by a lobbyist since at least 2005.

via Ralston, staff and families took $17,000 lobbyist-funded trip to Germany  | ajc.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, The Supreme Court, Separation of Powers:  Haven’t decided what I think of this other than I would like to be there.  Do you have an opinion?  Is this appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, described just last week by a Washington law professor as “the first real celebrity justice” for his controversial public pronouncements, will come to Capitol Hill on Monday to lecture about constitutional law to some earnest members of the House of Representatives. He was invited to do so by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party activist in Congress, as part of her effort to educate lawmakers about the nation’s founding legal documents.

Although Justice Scalia has been criticized in some quarters for accepting the invitation, it is not unreasonable of him to consider the opportunity to speak face-to-face with his interbranch partners as a rare and welcome one. And although many observers see the effort as a partisan ploy between and among conservative ideologues, there are plenty of nonpartisan things Professor Scalia can lecture about. For example:

via Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan.

South Africa:  11 official languages is very difficult … interesting to watch how this is resolved.

UNDER the 1996 constitution, all 11 of South Africa’s official languages “must enjoy parity of esteem and be treated equitably”. In practice English, the mother tongue of just 8% of the people, increasingly dominates all the others. Its hegemony may even threaten the long-term survival of the country’s African languages, spoken as the mother tongue of 80% of South Africans, despite the government’s repeated promises to promote and protect indigenous languages and culture.

Under apartheid, there were just two official languages, English and Afrikaans, a variant of Dutch with a dash of French, German, Khoisan (spoken by so-called Bushmen and Hottentots), Malay and Portuguese. Pre-colonial African languages were relegated to the black townships and tribal “homelands”. Even there, English was often chosen as the medium of education in preference to the inhabitants’ mother tongues. Black South Africans increasingly rejected Afrikaans as the language of the main oppressor; English was a symbol of advancement and prestige.

Today, 16 years after the advent of black-majority rule, English reigns supreme. Not only is it the medium of business, finance, science and the internet, but also of government, education, broadcasting, the press, advertising, street signs, consumer products and the music industry. For such things Afrikaans is also occasionally used, especially in the Western Cape province, but almost never an African tongue. The country’s Zulu-speaking president, Jacob Zuma, makes all his speeches in English. Parliamentary debates are in English. Even the instructions on bottles of prescription drugs come only in English or Afrikaans.

via South Africa’s languages: Tongues under threat | The Economist.

followup, Keith Olbermann, media:  Seems there is a lot behind the curtains …

One NBC News executive said on Sunday: “Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.”

via Years of Strife Caught Up With Olbermann at MSNBC – NYTimes.com.

 

22
Nov
10

11.22.2010 … the boys are back in town …

First Presbyterian Church, end of an era, Dr. Bill Wood, followup:  Nice article in the local paper … but does show both sides of his legacy.

Members of First Presbyterian may have been saying goodbye to their spiritual leader of 27 years, but Charlotte was also witnessing the retirement of a minister who had long been a community leader.

Wood, 67, worked with business leaders – many of them Presbyterian – and other clergy to open centers for the city’s homeless. He filled his 2-block church campus with schools and programs for children. He commissioned a fresco of the Good Samaritan by artist Ben Long that has become an uptown landmark. And he chaired the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library board when ImaginOn, the children’s library and theater, was built.

jAnd in 2004, Wood made headlines with his quotable response to Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James’ comment that urban blacks “live in a moral sewer.”

“There are a few moral sewers in south Charlotte as well,” Wood told the commissioners, referring to James’ district.

via Wood leaves legacy of growth, outreach at First Presbyterian – CharlotteObserver.com.

Where were you when?, history, anniversaries:  I was 3. I do not remember anything other than my sister telling me what she remembered.

My first “Where were you when?” event is probably the first moon walk.

Forty-seven years later, it all seems part of another world defined by black-and-white television, the black-and-white certainties of the Cold War and black-and-white racial relations. Even if he had served two full terms as president, JFK (born in 1917 and afflicted with Addison’s disease) almost certainly would be long dead by now. Few remain who were close to John Kennedy (aside from his daughter, Caroline) following the deaths of Ted Kennedy last year and “ask not” speechwriter Ted Sorensen three weeks ago.

Today’s Americans – no matter what age – have become hardened by the shock of wrenching events from the 9/11 attacks to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and the shooting of Ronald Reagan. But for teenagers born after World War II, this was not how it was supposed to be in 1963. Assassination meant John Wilkes Booth and Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at the theater.

via JFK Assassination Anniversary: Eternal Flame Flickers but Still Burns.

gardening, urban farming:  New term … “urban farming.”

Growing food in dense cities like New York might seem like an oxymoron, but why shouldn’t we grow food right next to our plates to reduce the waste? Today, most Americans live in urban areas. And as the population densities have shifted around the country, we should re-examine backyards. They can be more than places to relax; they can be places to grow vegetables.

There are more than 10,000 acres of unused land in New York City, according to the Department of Planning, and 1,500 of those acres are in Brooklyn. On top of that, there are countless privately owned sunny backyards. Farming 36 backyards in Crown Heights or Bay Ridge is the equivalent to farming an acre. In other words, Brooklyn is ripe for decentralized urban farming.

via Is Decentralized Urban Farming the Future of food? – Food – GOOD.

water resource management, history: very interesting.

This tension between Western states was anticipated by John Wesley Powell, the great frontier explorer and head surveyor of the West for the federal government back in the 1880s. (You might remember him from history class as the one-armed maniac who lead the first European American expedition down the then-ferocious Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.)

Powell saw that water management—mostly for irrigation—would be a pivotal issue throughout the arid Southwest, one that state governments would be wrestling with forever. So he proposed state boundaries based on watershed, as seen on his map below.

via John Wesley Powell’s Watershed States Map – Environment – GOOD.

random, culture, habits:  Cell phones = 21st century cigaraettes?

And while it’s unlikely that the negative effects of cell phones are anywhere close to those of smoking, it does raise the question: Will our grandchildren look at us talking on our cell phones the moment our plane touches down, or while sitting in the doctors office, with the same mix of nostalgia and moral superiority that we feel toward those dated characters on Mad Men?

via Are Cell Phones the Cigarettes of the 21st Century? – Health – GOOD.

google street view, random, public art:  Does this constitute “public art?”

Google’s Street View feature has captured private moments before, but “Street with a View” is the first example of public art we’ve seen that was designed specifically to be documented by Google’s roving cameras, and viewed online through Street View.

For “Street with a View,” artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley enlisted the help of a full cast of artists and performers to set up a series of tableaux—including a parade, a sword fight, a rooftop escape, and a perplexing giant chicken—along Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They then invited Google to drive through the scene and immortalize it in its Street View feature.

via The Most Exciting Street in the World – Design – GOOD.

blogs, favorites, quotes:  Ordinary Courage may be my new favorite blog … and I like her quote of the week and this passage about TGIF ..

Quote of the week:

“Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.”

— Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

via quote of the week  – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

-and-

T.G.I.F is based on my theory on twinkle-lighting. I think twinkle lights are so universally loved because they are the perfect metaphor for joy. In our culture we’re taught to believe that joy and happiness should be a constant. They’re not.

Joy is glorious precisely because it comes in moments – mostly ordinary moments. Most of us tend to miss out on those bursts of heart-light because we’re so busy chasing down “the extraordinary light” or we’re too afraid to enjoy them because we know that they are fleeting.

A joyful life is not a “flood light” of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration.

via itiwjm read-along – chapter 3 tgif – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

random:  OK, I am a sap, but I love the things … Welcome Back – Heathrow Airport (T-Mobile).

Jane AustenJuvenile Jane: Radio 4 discovers the ‘sexy and surreal’ tales of a young Jane Austen – Telegraph.

churches, music, history, Charlotte:  I think I will make it a point to go to a service at St. Perter’s.  It is a lovely church.

Carolinas Medical Center. The Urban Ministry Center. Thompson Child and Family Focus.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church founded all three – beginning when it started Charlotte’s first hospital, which grew into CMC. This weekend, the 176-year-old parish makes a new contribution to Charlotte life. This one could outlast them all.

It weighs 10 tons. It reaches up to embrace the rose window at the sanctuary’s rear. It can be as stirring as the fieriest minister.

The church’s new pipe organ actually could drown out the minister if the player saw fit. After all, its message is supposed to reach beyond the church’s walls.

“When we come together for worship,” says the Rev. David Pittman, the church’s rector, “what we’re there for is to offer to God our very best. That includes the music. The organ will make that offering of praise … the best we can offer.”

The organ – which replaces one from the 1930s – is the crowning feature of a yearlong renovation of the sanctuary. St. Peter’s will introduce the instrument with a pair of concerts tonight and Sunday afternoon by Janette Fishell, professor of organ at Indiana University. The dedication service is Sunday morning.

via 10 tons of pipe dreams – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, NC, Great Recession:

North Carolina is giving low-income students more than $210 million in grants this year to help them go to state community colleges and universities.

But that money is likely to slow to a trickle in the near future, when families may need it most.

Of the $210 million, only about $34 million is a sure thing that state leaders can count on; it’s money reserved for scholarships from state lottery proceeds.

The rest will be hard to come by, particularly because North Carolina’s largest single source for financial aid – the state’s escheats fund of unclaimed property – is nearly tapped out.

About 90,000 to 100,000 low- to middle-income students now receive state grants, which do not have to be repaid. Most students also take on loans to pay for tuition, room, food and books. The state grants are layered on to other forms of financial aid, including the federal Pell Grant for low-income students and other grants and loans provided by universities.

via College aid pool for N.C. students is running low – CharlotteObserver.com.

Davidson basketball:  ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Sweet Caroline… Good times never seemed so good ! ♪♫•*¨*• .¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫  … Davidson 64 – Western KY 51!  (Aside – from Lisa –  … Puerto Rico Tip Off Tourney Results: UNC 1 win- 2 losses. Davidson 2 wins- 1 loss. 🙂  )

Jordan Downing has already earned a nickname from his coach: The Microwave.

“He heats up pretty quick,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said.

JP Kuhlman had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Downing scored big baskets off the bench to lead Davidson to a 64-51 win over Western Kentucky on Sunday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.

via Davidson defeats Western Kentucky 64-51 – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, Myers Park HS, UNC-CH, Rhodes Scholarship, kudos:  Kudos to Paul and his family and to all the people and organizations that supported him to win this great honor.

Steven “Paul” Shorkey Jr., a UNC Chapel Hill senior from Charlotte, was one of 32 Americans awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, the university announced today.

Shorkey, 21, a 2007 Myers Park High graduate, is the only North Carolinian to win the Rhodes this year. He’s a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC, where he’s double majoring in business administration and psychology.

via Charlotte student wins Rhodes Scholarship – CharlotteObserver.com.

technology, Charlotte: dead last among 27 metro areas, no kudos here …

A call-quality survey J.D. Power and Associates conducted of more than 26,000 customers this year showed the Queen City finishing dead last among 27 metro areas.

Which prompts a simple question from frustrated Charlotte cell phone owners: Why?

The major carriers, battling for supremacy over a $150 billion-a-year industry, aren’t talking – at least not in the kind of detail necessary to pinpoint the answer. Private media research firms like J.D. Power and Nielsen have the data but won’t share it, at least partly because they market their information to carriers.

And government regulators have so little insight into call quality that, if they sought to study Charlotte’s networks, they would need to buy the private firms’ data.

Still, clues have emerged in a series of interviews and site visits the Observer conducted in recent weeks. The list of culprits appears to include:

Charlotte’s growth, which has strained carriers’ networks and staff. The increasing use of bandwidth-hogging smart phones hasn’t helped, either.

So many cell sites are being built or upgraded that call quality suffers during the wave of construction.

And in some areas, there simply may not be enough towers.

via Can you hear me now? Sorry, Charlotte callers – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, kids, gap year:  I think it seems like a great idea.  More U.S. students taking ‘gap year’ break – Travel – Travel Tips – msnbc.com.

history, future, China: So much for the thought that we were going global … this article just suggests the axis is changing.

chinacover

“We are the masters now.” That was certainly the refrain that I kept hearing in my head when I was in China two weeks ago. It wasn’t so much the glitzy, Olympic-quality party I attended in the Tai Miao Temple, next to the Forbidden City, that made this impression. The displays of bell ringing, martial arts and all-girl drumming are the kind of thing that Western visitors expect. It was

It was the understated but unmistakable self-confidence of the economists I met that told me something had changed in relations between China and the West.

One of them, Cheng Siwei, explained over dinner China’s plan to become a leader in green energy technology. Between swigs of rice wine, Xia Bin, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, outlined the need for a thorough privatization program, “including even the Great Hall of the People.” And in faultless English, David Li of Tsinghua University confessed his dissatisfaction with the quality of Chinese Ph.D.s.

You could not ask for smarter people with whom to discuss the two most interesting questions in economic history today: Why did the West come to dominate not only China but the rest of the world in the five centuries after the Forbidden City was built? And is that period of Western dominance now finally coming to an end?

via The Return of China – WSJ.com.

movie, Harry Potter:  Love the quote: “The key to this franchise is 18-34 year olds and their aging process.”

Warner Bros. executives credit an audience that has grown up on “Harry Potter” with the success of the decade-long series.

“The key to this franchise is 18-34 year olds and their aging process,” says Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “When we first started ‘Harry Potter’ and cast 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, parents drove their 10-year-olds to see the movies. Today, those same kids are now driving themselves to the midnight shows.”

Roughly 10 percent of the first film’s audience was 18-34 year olds, adds Mr. Fellman. By contrast, that age group composed 25% of the audience for “Deathly Hallows.”

via ‘Potter’ Charms Aging Audience – WSJ.com.

history, Oh_Please, kumbaya:  There are lots of myths in history … why do we have to ruin this one … and besides it may well be true.  Tea Party, go away!

Forget what you learned about the first Thanksgiving being a celebration of a bountiful harvest, or an expression of gratitude to the Indians who helped the Pilgrims through those harsh first months in an unfamiliar land. In the Tea Party view of the holiday, the first settlers were actually early socialists. They realized the error of their collectivist ways and embraced capitalism, producing a bumper year, upon which they decided that it was only right to celebrate the glory of the free market and private property.Historians quibble with this interpretation. But the story, related by libertarians and conservatives for years, has taken on new life over the last year among Tea Party audiences, who revere early American history, and hunger for any argument against what they believe is the big-government takeover of the United States.It has made Thanksgiving another proxy in the debate over health care and entitlement spending, and placed it alongside the New Deal and the Constitution on the platter of historical items picked apart by competing narratives.

There are other debates about Thanksgiving — whether the first was in Jamestown, Va., or Plymouth, Mass.; whether it was intended as a religious holiday or not. But broadly, the version passed on to generations of American schoolchildren holds that the settlers who had arrived in the New World on the Mayflower in 1620 were celebrating the next year’s good harvest, sharing in the bounty with Squanto and their other Indian friends, who had taught them how to hunt and farm on new terrain.

All very kumbaya, say Tea Party historians, but missing the economics lesson within.

William Hogeland, the author of “Inventing American History,” agreed. “Across the political spectrum, there’s a tendency to grab a hold of some historical incident and yoke it to a current agenda,” he said. “It doesn’t always mean there’s no connection, but often things are presented as historical first, rather than as part of the agenda first.”

via Thanksgiving and the Tea Party – NYTimes.com.

boys, me, music: OK, so my boys came in on the redeye this am and this is the song in my head … YouTube – Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town.




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