Posts Tagged ‘gap year

16
Mar
14

3.16.14 … “I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.” – Emma Watson

The Fall of France, Huguenots, economics, socialism, Edict of Nantes, entrepreneur, taxes:  Very interesting article.  An article like this makes me want to spend some time researching both the modern-day economics and French history.

It’s a stretch, but what is happening today in France is being compared to the revocation of 1685. In that year, Louis XIV, the Sun King who built the Palace of Versailles, revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had protected French Protestants – the Huguenots. Trying to unite his kingdom by a common religion, the king closed churches and persecuted the Huguenots. As a result, nearly 700,000 of them fled France, seeking asylum in England, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and other countries.

The Huguenots, nearly a million strong before 1685, were thought of as the worker bees of France. They left without money, but took with them their many and various skills. They left France with a noticeable brain drain.

Since the arrival of Socialist President François Hollande in 2012, income tax and social security contributions in France have skyrocketed. The top tax rate is 75 percent, and a great many pay in excess of 70 percent.

As a result, there has been a frantic bolt for the border by the very people who create economic growth – business leaders, innovators, creative thinkers, and top executives. They are all leaving France to develop their talents elsewhere.

And it’s a tragedy for such a historically rich country. As they say, the problem with the French is they have no word for entrepreneur. Where is the Richard Branson of France? Where is the Bill Gates?

via The Fall of France.

Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy, ABC News:  A wonderful read.  I would hope I could be the person that says, “Who better than us?”

And at some point, Ryan’s question changed from “Why us?” to “Why NOT us?” After all, we had beautiful life, a wonderful marriage, a daughter we adored and plenty more love to give. Who better than us?

via Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy – ABC News.

‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo,  ISS, Globalnews.ca: I recorded this show Friday night.  As I was watching the news and following twitter I noticed this tweet from fellow Davidsonian.

Thomas H. Marshburn @AstroMarshburn 6m

Watching colleagues Koichi and Rick right now on #LiveFromSpace on the Natl Geo channel. Almost feels like I’m back on-board!

I had not thought that a former ISS resident would watch. So I watched last night.  It was an awesome show.  If  NatGeo reboadcasts the show, watch it!

National Geographic Channel is targeting a subject that’s literally over our heads, bringing it down to Earth in an ambitious two-hour special.

Airing Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific, Live From Space will originate from the International Space Station with American astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata, who’s Japanese, as on-board correspondents.

Veteran reporter Soledad O’Brien will anchor from NASA Mission Control in Houston.

O’Brien said she’s excited about the special, and particularly happy to be hosting Live From Space from a comfortable distance.

via ‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo to air special from the space station – National | Globalnews.ca.

gap year, colleges, Tufts University: Wow … some colleges  offer to pay students to take year off.

Colleges are paying students to take a year off after high school to travel, volunteer or do internships so that students of all income brackets can benefit from “gap years.”

A new program at Tufts University and existing ones at a handful of other schools aim to remove the financial barriers that can keep cash-strapped students from exploring different communities and challenge their comfort zones before jumping right into college.

The gap year program starting this fall at Tufts will pay for housing, airfare and even visa fees, which can often add up to $30,000 or more.

Although gap years are more popular in Europe, they have started to gain traction in the United States. About 40,000 Americans participated in gap year programs in 2013, an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2006, according to data gathered by a nonprofit called the American Gap Year Association.

In 2009, Princeton University began offering applicants gap-year aid based on need. Nearly 100 students have participated, volunteering in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Senegal.

The University of North Carolina offers $7,500 to gap year applicants, while students at Wisconsin’s St. Norbert College can receive financial aid based on need, although airfare isn’t covered.

via College offers to pay students to take year off.

news, media:  news pays …

It has become a water cooler topic, with several social media references to the downed jet that kicked off the popular television series “Lost.”

Cooper’s show, which has averaged 444,000 viewers this year, reached 972,000 people on Wednesday, Nielsen said. On both of the last two nights, Cooper achieved the highly unusual feat of topping Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly among the 25- to 54-year-old age demographic. O’Reilly easily won among viewers of all ages.

So far, the plane story has meant less for Fox and MSNBC, which have a heavier concentration on political stories. Fox’s full-day average of 1.26 million people on Thursday beat the 1.1 million it has been typically drawing this year. MSNBC had 370,000 viewers, lower than its non-Olympic average of 405,000 this year, Nielsen said.

via AOL.com Article – Missing Malaysian Airlines jet nets high ratings on cable news.

Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era, RIP, ABC News:

PHOTO: U.S. Navy sailor Glenn Edward McDuffie kisses a nurse in Times Square in an impromptu moment at the close of World War II, after the surrender of Japan was announced in New York, Aug. 14, 1945.

But his life became more exciting about six years ago when Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson was able to identify him as the young man leaning over the woman in his arms to kiss her.

By taking about 100 pictures of McDuffie using a pillow to pose as he did in the picture taken Aug. 14, 1945, by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gibson said, she was able to match the muscles, ears and other features of the then-80-year-old McDuffie to the young sailor in the original image.

“I was absolutely positive,” Gibson said of the match. “It was perfect.”

The identification remained controversial, partly because other men also claimed to have been the sailor in the image, but also because Life magazine, whose photographer had died years earlier, was unable to confirm that McDuffie was in fact the sailor, noting Eisenstaedt had never gotten names for those in the picture.

Yet for McDuffie, Gibson’s word was enough. A well-respected forensic artist who was in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records for helping police identify more suspects than any other forensic artist, Gibson said McDuffie was ecstatic when she told him the results he had waited 62 years to hear.

And so began a whirlwind lifestyle of going to air shows, gun shows, fundraisers and parties to tell his story. Women would pay $10 to take a picture kissing him on the cheek, Gibson said.

“He would make money and kiss women,” Gibson said. “He had the most glamorous life of any 80 year old.”

via Man Known as Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era Image Dies – ABC News.

Davidson College Alumnus, Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education, Davidson College, Stan Humphries ’90:

Real estate is not rocket science.

Or is it?

Ask Stan Humphries ’90. He’s responsible for Zillow’s “Zestimate,” an estimated market value on every U.S. home, which is integral now to all things real estate-related on the internet since its introduction a few short years ago.

In the late ’80s, Humphries was an aerospace engineering student at Georgia Tech. He loved the academic work, but as time passed he found he did not want to become an engineer after all. He transferred to Davidson, studying political science and economics through an interdisciplinary major, with an eye toward science and technology policy.

The Davidson years were formative, personally and professionally. He met his future wife, Katherine Bagby Humphries ’90.

“It’s not just a cliché, what they say about the liberal arts,” said Humphries. “In my case, it gave me a way of thinking about the world and a critical faculty for thinking about issues and breaking down problems. It also gave me an enlarged worldview in terms of what I should be thinking about. I left Davidson thinking about life being a continual learning exercise.”

via Alumnus Focus: Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education – Davidson College.

Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You?, TopDailyInfo.com:

Banksy, Idris Elba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Elbow are just some of the stars who are supporting the #WithSyria campaign that will see thousands of people across the world, from Moscow to Washington, standing together in a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria on Thursday, March 13.

“#WithSyria,” a stunning animated film, will be shown around the world, from an inflatable cinema in Za’atari Refugee camp in Jordan to the big screen in Times Square, and iconic locations will be bathed in light by candlelit vigils, a Banksy light projection of his famed “girl with a red balloon” — which he has redesigned to feature a young Syrian refugee — and the release of red balloons carrying messages of hope to Syrians.

The #WithSyria coalition is made up of 120 humanitarian and human rights groups from 24 countries, including Save the Children, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Hand in Hand for Syria and the International Rescue Committee. The campaign is calling for urgent action to ensure Syrians in need –- including civilians in areas under siege — can access aid and for the voices of ordinary Syrians to be heard and heeded in reconvened peace talks.

via Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You? (VIDEO) | TopDailyInfo.com.

Ethan Alban,  Karsyn Folds, 2012 Nationals Friday Night, shag dancing, , YouTube:  Mercy, mercy, mercy … One friend say this and noted that  karsyn was leading!  And to that I say, you rock, Bossy Girl!

via ▶ Ethan Alban and Karsyn Folds – 2012 Nationals Friday Night – YouTube.

Apps, Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes, speed reading, Elite Daily:

The reading game is about to change forever. Boston-based software developer Spritz has been in “stealth mode” for three years, tinkering with their program and leasing it out to different ebooks, apps, and other platforms.

Now, Spritz is about to go public with Samsung’s new line of wearable technology.

Other apps have offered up similar types of rapid serial visual presentation to enhance reading speed and convenience on mobile devices in the past.

However, what Spritz does differently (and brilliantly) is manipulate the format of the words to more appropriately line them up with the eye’s natural motion of reading.

The “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) is slightly left of the center of each word, and is the precise point at which our brain deciphers each jumble of letters.

The unique aspect of Spritz is that it identifies the ORP of each word, makes that letter red and presents all of the ORPs at the same space on the screen.

In this way, our eyes don’t move at all as we see the words, and we can therefore process information instantaneously rather than spend time decoding each word.

via This Insane New App Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes | Elite Daily.

Emma Watson,  Elle Magazine, TopDailyInfo.com:  I like this actress.  I truly hope she has a good her on her shoulders.

“I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me,” she said. “I don’t know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.”

via Emma Watson Reveals Why She’s Jealous Of Other Actresses To Elle Magazine | TopDailyInfo.com.

Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie,  The Wire:  Love this selfie! “Eat your heart out Ellen!”

This selfie is a truly great selfie, and a good reminder that these images existed and were all over the place way before they became a thing we discussed during major news events (or as a way to sell mobile phones.) Basically, as long as there have been cameras.

We’ve always had the impulse to use technology at hand for self reflection: Jerry Saltz noted in his “History of the Selfie” that Van Gogh’s series of self portrait paintings feel really darn selfie-like, a sort of “proto selfie” that has “the same intensity, immediacy, and need to reveal something inner to the outside world in the most vivid way possible.” Professional and amateur photographers have been taking self portraits since the invention of the camera. Add Young Colin Powell to the list of those who did it early, and best.

via Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie Is Everything You Could Ever Hope For in a Selfie – The Wire.

Adobe hardware,  iPad Pen and Ruler,  Personal Tech News – WSJ:

Adobe—the software company that brought the world iconic creative apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign—is forging into hardware. Sometime this year, AdobeADBE -1.44% will bring its first hardware products to market, starting with a digital pen and ruler set built specifically for AppleAAPL -1.11%’s iPad.

“When people hear that Adobe is getting into hardware, for many the first reaction is ‘why?’,” explained Michael Gough, Adobe’s vice president of experience design, at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. “But, this really is within our wheelhouse. We’ve always built creative tools and these products are really just another example of that. This isn’t just another stylus.”

Adobe’s pen currently wears the codename Mighty, while the ruler is going by the name Napoleon—because “it’s a short ruler,” Gough said.

The two products, which Gough demoed at SXSW, as you can see in the video above, are built with clean lines and shod in aluminum and white plastic. They look not mistakenly like something Apple would design.

Adobe

The two devices work in tandem with an iPad drawing app that Adobe is also developing, one that enables the hardware to mimic an architects ruler and wide array of drafting templates—the greenish, flat pieces of plastic you’ve seen if you’ve been down the art aisle in any office supply store.

via Adobe Bets on an iPad Pen and Ruler in Hardware Debut – Personal Tech News – WSJ.

Frat Bros, SeaWorld, OutsideOnline.com: I’m a little worried about the 23-year-old. 😦

At 2 a.m. Thursday, five University of Houston frat brothers allegedly broke into SeaWorld San Antonio in search of ice cream and animals to take pictures with.

Their results were decidedly mixed. According to Huffington Post and San Antonio Express-News reports, the bros climbed a tree near a perimeter fence to enter the park. Once they got in, they embarked on a quest for ice cream. Somewhat surprisingly, the guys were successful, breaking into a storage container and stealing Dippin’ Dots.

That’s when things went awry. As the frat bros searched for animals to pose with, police arrived—they had been called by security guards who spotted the trespassers. Three of the intruders escaped, but authorities apprehended a 23-year-old and an 18-year old, subsequently charging them with criminal trespassing and theft under $500. Police have still not confirmed whether the students obtained the pictures they so fervently sought.

via Frat Bros Break into SeaWorld | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

The Coastal Explorer, Coastal Carolina University, Georgetown SC:  I’ll have to check out the docks next time I’m in Georgetown.

Coastal Carolina University christened their new research vessel, The Coastal Explorer, this afternoon. From her home in the Georgetown Harbor, graduate and PhD students will be doing research of the marine environment of the SE coast.

Quiznos, bankruptcy, Groupon:

Quiznos has filed for bankruptcy: http://on.wsj.com/1kRNEX5

There’s more than $67,000 worth of Quiznos gift certificates out there, plus another $350,670 in Groupons. The sandwich chain says it will honor them.

Credit: Kevin Hagen for The WSJ

07
Jan
11

1.7.2011 … what does “peace out” mean? Today, I am just happy to have a little peace.

art, ballet, bookshelf: I asked several friends who are involved in the ballet world and they agree with much about this book’s conclusion.

Perhaps a later history will view all these as the final gutterings of a spent flame. This is no golden age, and several of its ballets are indeed dead. My own main alarm about ballet — not one that troubles Ms. Homans — is that its dependence on pointwork for women and partnering by men proposes a dichotomizing view of the sexes that is at best outmoded and at worst repellently sexist. Nevertheless, this balletgoer testifies that the scene feels brighter than it did 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

via Jennifer Homan’s ‘Apollo’s Angels’ – Critic’s Notebook – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, pop ups:  I am going to one of these if I have to ride the MegaBus to get there!

Mr. Fraser’s novelty, scheduled to open on Jan. 25 for what he estimates will be a nine-month run, is one answer — an especially striking, even eccentric one. It’s called What Happens When, and if the thought were finished and the predicate filled in, it would mention rules being rewritten and assumptions challenged.

Diners, for example, will be expected to set and reset the cutlery on their tables with utensils from drawers beneath. That way Mr. Fraser won’t need as many servers. It will save him money, he said, and translate into fewer intrusions for diners. “You’re visited only at points of the meal when you really need help,” he said.

Rather than woo bigwig investors who might make big-time demands, Mr. Fraser has decided to solicit hundreds of what are essentially contributions, from $5 to $2,500, through a micro-financing Web site, Kickstarter, which helps raise money for creative projects.

It’s an improvisatory approach for an improvisatory time, when chefs are finding all sorts of ways to eliminate overhead, streamline operations, edit out distractions and focus on the cooking, which is the beginning, end and point of it all.

In Chicago, the chef Grant Achatz is preparing to open Next, where diners will buy tickets in advance for an appointed hour and a predetermined menu. The pinpoint planning that allows him will save money on service staff.

Some chefs are hatching pop-up restaurants, which squat for just days or weeks in locations already furnished and equipped. Some are giving meals on wheels a spin.

via Temporary Restaurants – Now You See It, Now You Don’t – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, business models: My favorite restaurant advertises … “Over 245 billion served!”

Sixty. That’s the number of diners a night that chef André Chiang sets as the maximum for a good restaurant. Any more and quality starts to slip, he says.

His Singapore restaurant serves even fewer people than that. André, which opened in October 2010, accommodates just 30 diners each a night.

via Asia’s Restaurants Want Fewer Customers — Scene Asia – Scene Asia – WSJ.

statistics, Congress:  Welcome to the 112th Congress …

The Wall Street Journal examined the list of freshmen and came up with some stats on the 112th Congress:

Average age: 57.4 (down from 58.5 in the 111th Congress)

Blacks: 42 (up from 40)

Hispanics: 26 (down from 27)

Asians: 11 (no change)

Women: 89 (down from 90)

Veterans: 113 (down from 119)

No college degree: 28 (no change)

Attorneys: 202 (down from 203)

Farmers or ranchers: 6 (down from 7)

via 112th Congress: By the Numbers – Washington Wire – WSJ.

travel, budget travel:  I have heard it was just OK.  My kith nieces came home to Charlotte at Christmas on the MegaBus.

First, an overview: This is not your father’s Greyhound. For the most part, the buses are incredibly pleasant, dirt cheap and full of bonuses like free bottled water and electrical outlets by the seats. They run on time from convenient locations, making them practically as fast as airplanes at a fraction of the cost and a microscopic speck of a fraction of the hassle.

THE UPSHOT

The pricing revolution that started out with a few Chinatown buses has now given us a fairly reliable way to travel. Even, occasionally, after a blizzard.

via Frugal Traveler: A Guide to Cheap Buses (Including How to Score $1 Tickets) – NYTimes.com.

spring:  Thinking of spring.  I gave John  a composter for Christmas and maybe I’ll try my hand at  cold frames …How to Make a Simple Cold Frame | eHow.com.

products, advertising:  Are they really making anything new.  Seems like a waste of time and energy.

The product, called Purex Complete Crystals Softener, is being billed as “a purer way to get laundry that smells clean and fresh for weeks.” It is making its way this month onto the shelves of American grocery, drug and mass-merchandise stores, priced around $4 to $7 for a 28-ounce package that can be used for 32 loads of laundry.

A campaign for the new softener is to be introduced next month by Energy BBDO, the agency that created the ads to introduce Purex Complete 3-in-1. The budget is being estimated at $40 million to $50 million.

via Laundry Products Put Into Yet Another Form – NYTimes.com.

college, youth, gap year:  I have heard great things from a few people about the value of this.

Burnout from the competitive pressure of high school or a desire “to find out more about themselves,” are the top two reasons students take gap years, says a survey of 280 people who did so by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson, co-authors of a forthcoming guidebook on the topic. To benefit, a student should be able to set worthwhile goals, says Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, a gap-year consultant in Princeton, N.J. Those who take a year off just to procrastinate on college applications or party nonstop aren’t likely to gain much. In fact, Haigler advises having students apply to college before starting a gap year, then ask to defer admission.

Weary of the college admissions race during his senior year of high school, one Illinois student says his gap year in a wilderness training program, then a cultural-immersion program in Nepal, turned him around academically. After enrolling the next year in college, he posted his best grades ever, competed on a mock-trial team and edited a campus literary magazine.

via Is a ‘Gap Year’ Right for Your Family? – The Juggle – WSJ.

culture, online dating: Why does online dating just seem creepy to me?

FOR the lovelorn, the new year can be an unhappy time, as they cast envious glances in the direction of lovey-dovey couples at the season’s parties. For online-dating agencies, it is a golden opportunity, as people who have spent the holidays ruminating over unsatisfactory or non-existent love lives log on in their thousands, hoping to find romance—ideally before February 14th. “The period between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day is our busiest six weeks of the year,” explains Sam Yagan, the boss of OkCupid, a big American dating site.

via Online dating: Love at first byte | The Economist.

random:  I was just talking about this with my kids the other day. You’re Out: 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade PHOTOS.

innovation, consumer products, autos, green:  By the time I buy one, it will all be pretty easy!

Powermat, founded in Israel in 2007, says automotive applications have long been part of its plan. Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine says besides cordlessly recharging portable electronics, the system can be used with special cups to keep coffee hot and soft drinks cold. “We want every car in GM to have this wireless charging system to help consumers charge everything they have without the hassle of plugs,” he said.

But the larger opportunity might be recharging the batteries of electric cars without having to plug them in. Poliakine says Powermat has already demonstrated the capability. It holds the prospect of being able to park an electric car atop a charging mat at a shopping center, office, airport or at home and have it wireless recharged. “It is part of this whole vision,” he says. He declined to estimate how soon such a technology might be rolled out.

The best application for such cordless charging would be public stations, says Chelsea Sexton, an electric-car activist who was among the first to receive a Volt for long-term testing.

via GM-Powermat deal turns cars into cordless chargers – USATODAY.com.

random, lottery: I always buy a ticket when it gets high … but the Curse scares me … Do you think you could handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame?

Curse of the lottery

Some winners don’t live happily ever after. The so-called lottery curse, popularized by the corpulent character “Hurley” on ABC’s show “Lost,” has ruined at least a dozen winners over the years who couldn’t handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame.

The most infamous case is that of Andrew “Jack” Whittaker, a construction company owner from West Virginia who won $315 million from Powerball in 2002.

Already a millionaire before he won the lottery, Whittaker pledged part of the winnings to his church.

But it all went downhill from there, according to published reports.

Whittaker’s post-lottery problems are said to have included lawsuits, divorce, drunk driving, the theft of a cash-stuffed briefcase in a strip club, and the untimely deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

via Mega Millions $355 million jackpot is dream to many – Jan. 4, 2011.

Apple:  Ah, Apple … groundbreaking again.

The technology-industry analysts Macworld spoke with seem to feel that Apple is making a savvy move in bringing the success of the iOS App store to the Mac, suggesting that it’s a strategy that opens open another difference between the Mac and PCs running Windows.

“It’s groundbreaking,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. “I think this will be more than just an experiment—I think it’ll be quite successful within the Apple community. Those who are familiar with the Mac way of doing things will easily accept this, and probably embrace it.

via Mac App Store opens with more than 1,000 apps | Software | Macworld.

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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