Posts Tagged ‘gardening

10
Nov
13

11.10.13 … ‏Godspeed, ‏@AstroKarenN! …

‏@AstroKarenN, ISS:   Ever since my classmate was on the ISS, I have loved following the ISS astronauts.  Godspeed, ‏@AstroKarenN!

Karen L. Nyberg

‏@AstroKarenN

Going home! pic.twitter.com/jEuhO1F1EA

via Twitter / AstroKarenN: Going home! http://t.co/jEuhO1F1EA.

Cats in the Cradle-ing, Modern Family:  Just thought this an interesting pop culture reference.

Back on the course, it’s down to the final hole, and Mitchell needs to sink a putt to win the match. Phil likes what Jay has done for him, given that his own father was often too supportive. (PHIL: He even set up my tumbling equipment and wanted to be the loudest voice in the crowd. “Hey everybody! Check out my son’s equipment!”) Jay wishes Mitchell good luck and says he’s proud of him no matter what, but Pepper puts a stop to that. Jay’s Cats in the Cradle-ing him, trying to get Mitch to lose his angry edge. Pepper did the same thing to his Navy SEAL son but not to worry, Mitchell drops that putt in the bottom of the cup. Jay congratulates him and Mitchell believes him when Jay says that he wasn’t Cats in the Cradle-ing him. Jay hates the song, natch, but Phil’s never even heard it so Pepper plays it for them, and the waterworks start. Mitch admits he ought to have golfed with Jay sooner, and Jay admits that he never made the time, and Phil’s so upset about not going to Luke’s play, he skips golfing with his client and runs to the school.

via A Slight at the Opera – Modern Family Wiki.

The 23 Best Nelson Mandela Quotes | Deseret News.

breast cancer awareness month, October 2013: In years past I have enjoyed the competition of individuals,  communities and businesses to raise awareness for breast cancer research.  For some reason, this year was not as interesting … but I got a good chuckle out of this one.

In honor of breast cancer awareness month…mammo grahams.

international geocaching day: A while back it was international geocaching day …

Happy day to my geocaching friends, Mark and J.t.!http://www.dates.abouttravelingtheworld.com/special-holidays/international-geocaching-day/

For adventure-seekers out there, this is for you: International Geocaching Day. Geocaching Day is  a designated day for hunting treasures placed in a cache using Global Positioning System or GPS.

via INTERNATIONAL GEOCACHING DAY 2013 | UNIQUE HOLIDAY.

tv binging, House of Cards: I’ve surrendered … Episode one of the House of Cards ..

yarn bombing, public art: I have seen pics of a few of these … They just make laugh …

Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. by David Smith

Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. | Art News and Events | Rise Art.

Coming soon to a city near you? Yarn Bombing has seen a steady rise in popularity and has been referred to by knitters and police as the polite graffiti. Knitters take their colourful craft out onto the street and cover iconic and ordinary urban objects with multicoloured fuzz.  The trend, known by some as guerrilla knitting aims to brighten up and subvert the everyday in urban environments. Here\’s a few of our favourites:

via Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. | Art News and Events | Rise Art.

The nonprofit\’s display is the latest iteration of the craft trend that\’s been coloring city streets for about a decade; Yarn bombing, the act of crocheting and knitting unexpected pieces for public display. Leanne Prain, author of Yarn Bombing who may have coined the term, says \”bombing\” is a word often used in street art to describe \”something explosive you do really fast,\” like \”spraypaint subway cars\” and now, cover public property in knitting. Hurry and take an iPhone picture, because the pops of woven color go up quickly and have limited life-spans.

via Yarn bombs color streets, strengthen communities.

Cowbell, Burgers That Rock , Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte NC: John ate here recently … mammoth burgers.

From the group behind Mortimer’s and Leroy Fox, Cowbell has an energetic vibe, and it’s riddled with pop-culture references. Portraits of rock icons including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, all by local artists, decorate the walls, along with a rotating collection of vinyl, neon lights, song lyrics, and two flat-screen TVs that play an ever-changing selection of music videos. But the dining area doesn’t feel cheesy or theatrical—instead, it’s swanky and sleek, with dark leather seating and reclaimed wood tables. A large wraparound bar with a striking double herringbone pattern offers additional seating at the back of the restaurant, but the best seat in the house is the large booth right in front, nicknamed the “mob booth,” offering great views of the dining room and the street.

via Cowbell: Burgers That Rock – Charlotte Magazine – June 2013 – Charlotte, NC.

Obamacare, tweet:  Telling …

Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore)

Only fair that Obamacare enrollees have to deal with the same bureaucratic red tape + incompetence as everyone else with private insurance.

baby naming:

Baby naming generally follows a consistent cycle: A name springs up in some region of the U.S.—”Ashley” in the South, “Emily” in the Northeast—sweeps over the country, and falls out of favor nearly as quickly. The big exception to these baby booms and busts is “Jennifer”, which absolutely dominates America for a decade-and-a-half. If youre named Jennifer and you were born between 1970 and 1984, dont worry! Im sure you have a totally cool, unique middle name.

via A Wondrous GIF Shows the Most Popular Baby Names for Girls Since 1960 – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic.

 

really dumbPhoto: David Hall and Glenn Taylor, the two men responsible for toppling a rock formation in Goblin Valley, have been removed from their position as Boy Scout leaders on the Utah National Parks Council. The Council called the actions "reprehensible" and said they violated the Scouting principle of leave no trace.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Do you think they deserved to lose their positions or have things gone too far in response to the toppling incident?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57025473-78/hall-taylor-gailey-leaders.html.cspDavid Hall and Glenn Taylor, the two men responsible for toppling a rock formation in Goblin Valley, have been removed from their position as Boy Scout leaders on the Utah National Parks Council. The Council called the actions “reprehensible” and said they violated the Scouting principle of leave no trace.

Do you think they deserved to lose their positions or have things gone too far in response to the toppling incident?

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57025473-78/hall-taylor-gailey-leaders.html.csp

Jane Austen, quotes:

Jane Austen ‏@DailyJaneAusten 3m

“It is not every man’s fate to marry the woman who loves him best.” ― Jane Austen, Emma

Expand

via Twitter.

gardening, Mulch Madness / Pike Nurseries, diy:

March is a great time to freshen your mulch.

Adding a layer of fresh mulch makes your beds look neat and tidy.

What is mulch? Mulch is a layer of material added to the top of the soil surface in garden beds which is most often pine straw, hardwood mulch, pine bark mulch and cedar, but sometimes stone, pebbles or marble chips are also used.

There are many benefits that mulch provides your garden beds. It is essential to your garden in cooler months because it prevents cold damage by keeping the ground warmer. Year round mulch helps to hold moisture in the ground around your plants and slows down the evaporation rate. Mulch also helps to keep weeds under control.

As mulch breaks down it also add rich organic matter to your garden. Refresh your mulch a couple of times a year. Always keep a layer that is about 1.5 to 2 inches deep.

via Mulch Madness / Pike Nurseries.

worth thinking about, Wes Barry, F3: Fitness Fellowship Faith:

As I ran along the river, I passed numerous people and greeted them.  But on the way back I went by a young woman near tears sitting on a bench obviously in the sifter.  I felt this nudging to stop and ask her if she was okay, but sprinted on.  Then it struck me, the back of my shirt had Fitness, Fellowship and FAITH written on it, as I just turned my back on her in order to keep my min/mile split at a decent pace.

via Gearing Up | F3 – Fitness, Fellowship, Faith.

FoodNetwork, splurge:

Splurge this morning! Fill a halved croissant with chocolate chips and sliced strawberries. Grill in a panini press. #FNMag

via (7) Twitter.

14
May
13

5.14.13 … I must be hungry … cronuts!

Cronuts, Thrillist New York:  decadent 🙂

 

Meet the Cronut

Taste-testing the amazingly delicious croissant-donut hybrid you must try now

via Meet the Cronut – Eat – Thrillist New York.

Brooklyn NY, hipster, NYTimes.com:  🙂

“O, bohemia! There are several ways to react to a culture quake. You can meet it with befuddlement, perhaps wondering how flappers handled the thorny intersection between dancing in fountains and limited dry-cleaning.”

I like this generation of young folk. Their food is terrific, and they find even the most insignificant things “awesome.” I admire their adventuresome quality vis-à-vis fixed-gear bike-riding and their non-prudishness in the face of nudity. Yes, their attention to detail on the fronts of locavorism and beard care can verge on the precious, but I’d much rather have a young Abe Lincoln serve me his roof-grown mâche than I would have an F. Scott Fitzgerald vomit all over my straw boater. Today’s twentysomethings are self-respecting, obvi.

If every youth movement says as much about the status quo as it does about itself, then this new eco-conscious, agrarian-seeming, hair-celebrating nexus of locavorism is maybe telling us that the rest of us need to plunge our fingers into the rich loam of the earth, literally and metaphorically.

via How I Became a Hipster – NYTimes.com.

Vines, Tribeca, Speakeasy – WSJ:

The Tribeca Film Festival has long been a popular showcase for both new and established filmmakers. Now, its doors have opened to those who Vine.In March, Tribeca unveiled its #6secfilms competition, challenging people to create six-second films using the Twitter video app, Vine. Winners will be announced on April 26 but a shortlist compiled by a panel of jurors has been revealed beforehand. Check out Speakeasy to find out who made it onto the shortlist.In honor of Tribeca’s #6secfilms competition, here are nine artsy and very cool Vines we found.

via 9 Artsy Vines That Could Wow Tribeca – Speakeasy – WSJ.

gardening, raised bed garden, SproutRobot:

The amount of garden space needed to feed a family depends on a number of factors, including crop selection, productivity, diet and eating habits, of course, the size of your household.

One conservative estimate suggests that is takes about 200 square feet of raised garden beds to provide a season’s worth of fresh produce for a single person. By this estimate, a garden 800-1200 square feet should yield enough fruits and vegetables for a family of four.

via HOw do I plant a raised bed garden to feed family of 4 – SproutRobot.

28
Oct
11

10.28.2011 … It’s definitely a tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich kinda day … Happy 125th birthday, Statue of Liberty …

Statue of Liberty, history: Happy 125th birthday!

The Statue of Liberty, which today turns 125, is America’s most versatile icon. The colossus of New York Harbor embodies both abstract principles (freedom, democracy) and the intensely personal yearnings of immigrants who wept beneath her on their way to new American beginnings. Over the years, Lady Liberty has endorsed everything from wafers and war bonds to Budweiser and Barbie. Ronald Reagan called her “everybody’s gal.”

Yet “Liberty Enlightening the World” — her formal name — was not always so beloved. A gift from France, the statue originally reflected French yearnings more than it did American ideals. During the two decades it took to complete the hulking monument, Liberty’s creators struggled mightily to fund their efforts. Most Americans looked on with indifference; some even came to resent the gift — for it came with strings attached.

via The History Page: Liberty belle – WWW.THEDAILY.COM.

Happy 125th birthday, Statue of Liberty – YouTube.

Charlotte, Olympics:  Wouldn’t that be fun …

“We need somebody to embrace that, and let’s try to go get the Olympics,” Harris said.

Harris says Charlotte is much like Atlanta was when they first started trying to be a host city.

“They had a big airport…lots of parallels to Charlotte.  It just takes a long time.”

And he says we already have much of the necessary infrastructure.

“Why not? Why not Charlotte,” asked Morgan.

via Charlotte eyes hosting the Olympics | WCNC.com Charlotte.

October snow,  D.C., weather: YIKES!

Because this is a very dynamic storm system and a slight change in temperatures could mean the difference between no snow and several inches in any given location, this is a low confidence forecast. Even in Washington, D.C. there is an outside chance (15% or so) of 4” of snow.

via Rare October snow likely for D.C.’s north and west suburbs – Capital Weather Gang – The Washington Post.

$16 Muffins, followup:  So glad the muffins came with   fruit, coffee, tea, juice and other pastries.

The $16 muffin that became a reviled symbol of government waste didn’t cost $16 after all.

That’s the new conclusion of Justice Department auditors, who last month had criticized the department for spending $16.80 apiece for the notorious pastries at a conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington.

An audit of the Department of Justice by the Inspector General says that taxpayer money was wasted on overpriced food and drinks. At one conference, the DOJ spent $4200 on 250 muffins–that’s about $16 a muffin. (Sept. 21)

On Friday, acting Justice ­Department Inspector General Cynthia A. Schnedar issued a revised report on the department’s conference expenditures. Her new finding: The muffins were part of a continental breakfast that also included items such as fruit, coffee, tea, juice and other pastries.

The new report does not break out a cost for the muffins alone, but a Hilton spokesman has said the entire breakfast cost $16 per person, including taxes and gratuity.

“The department did not pay $16 per muffin,’’ Schnedar’s office wrote, saying that the office regretted the error and that the original conclusion “brought significant negative publicity to the Department and the Capital Hilton.’’

via Justice Dept.: Muffins weren’t $16 after all – The Washington Post.

education, science, Roy G. Biv, mnemonics:  A friend asked how did you learn the colors o f the spectrum and when.  I knew immediately … ROY G BIV and third grade.

ROYGBIV is an acronym for the visible part of the electromagnetic light spectrum:

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Indigo

Violet

A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colors; the distinct bands are an artifact of human color vision. In ROYGBIV, the colors are arranged in the order of decreasing wavelengths, with red being 650 nm and violet being about 400 nm. The reverse VIBGYOR is used in many Commonwealth countries.

via Roy G. Biv – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

college application essay, anxiety:

Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School, agreed that concise writing was laudable but said the implication of a strict limit was misleading. “I worry about that kid who’s written 530 and thinks he has to cut 30 words,” he said. “It just puts another stage of anxiety in front of these kids.”

via College Application Essay as Haiku? For Some, 500 Words Aren’t Enough – NYTimes.com.

Facebook, ‘Trusted Friends’ Security Feature:  Who you gonna call?

Now you can get back into your Facebook account with a little help from your friends: Facebook just announced a new feature called Trusted Friends, which uses—surprise, surprise—your social network to log you back in if you forget your password.

This is how it works: First, you pick five Facebook friends you trust. If you get locked out, you can arrange it so those friends get a code. Afterwards, call them, collect three of the codes, enter them, and voila—you’re back in business. Facebook likens it “to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation.”

via Facebook Announces New ‘Trusted Friends’ Security Feature – Techland – TIME.com.

5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street, liberal arts education, quotes:  HMMM … don’t quite understand the reference to a liberal arts education.

“5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street … where each week I try to show you the value of a liberal arts education.”

via 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Oct. 28 – TheStreet.

Arab Spring,  Tunisia, Islamist victory, Egypt, Libya:  Arab Spring or Arab instability?

Tunisia’s vote marks the first time that an Islamist party has won a majority in an Arab election since Hamas’ 2006, which resulted in a split of the Palestinian territories between two rival factions. The Arab world’s only other experience with an Islamist win came in Algeria’s 1991 parliamentary race, during which the military swept in to block a full Islamist victory, sparking a bloody 10-year civil war. Ennahda’s sweep in Tunisia is unlikely to yield the same results; most participants and monitors hailed the election’s peaceful and transparent process as a success, and the military has appeared both cooperative and willing to cede power to a civilian government. But the results — and how they came about — will certainly prompt some soul-searching and strategizing across the region.

“The real test now is what happens in the next few weeks,” says Ottaway. Whether Ennahda succeeds in implementing its promise of a broad-based coalition will likely impact the process in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party is poised to capture a sizeable proportion of the votes in the parliamentary race slated for November 28. “In Egypt, there is this great lot of people in the liberal spectrum that are ready to jump into the arms of the military because they are so afraid of the Muslim brotherhood,” Ottaway says. But if Ennahda proves willing to ally with secular parties to form a government, that should alleviate some Egyptian fears. “I think that should show Egyptians that even if the Freedom and Justice party does very well, it doesn’t mean the country is going to become an Islamic republic.”

Either way, the region’s secularists will still have to deal with their own demons. In Egypt where some 40% of the population lives on less than $2 a day and the literacy rate is among the lowest in the Arab world, secular parties and politicians are often regarded as elitist and distant, while Islamist parties have garnered the most success in attracting poor constituents. Tunisia’s secularists suffered from the same affliction. And indeed, it may have been one of the decisive factors that thwarted their success.

via Tunisia’s Islamist Victory: A Lesson for Egypt and Libya — or Not? – TIME.

2012 Presidential Election, GOP, Jon Huntsman, Stephen Colbert, running mates: 🙂

Former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” Monday night and asked host Stephen Colbert — in Mandarin — to be his running mate.

Colbert took the request in stride, saying that it raised concerns because the fact that he has a SuperPAC prohibits him from “coordinating” with any presidential candidate.

via Jon Huntsman: Stephen Colbert, Will You Be My Running Mate? (VIDEO).

agenda, productivity:  Made me think about my own agenda.

Most of the time, if you ask someone about their agenda, it turns out that it involves doing what’s on someone else’s agenda.

… As soon as you turn over your agenda to others, you’re giving up one of the biggest opportunities you have to contribute. Setting an agenda is often as important as checking the boxes.

Obviously, you can’t be part of any system without engaging with other people and their agendas.

But perhaps we’ve absorbed that habit so completely that we’ve ceded all responsibility and in fact don’t even have an agenda any longer…

via Seth’s Blog: Your agenda.

2012 Presidential Election, flat tax,  GOP,  ‘trickle-down economics’:  This piece at least outlines the various GOP flat tax plans …

The flat tax is making a comeback among Republican presidential candidates. But it faces tough opposition in Congress because it tends to favor the rich at the expense of other taxpayers, renewing an old debate about “trickle-down economics.”

Most of the top GOP contenders — Mitt Romney’s an exception — offer a variation of the tax plan in which everyone pays the same rate. Businessman Herman Cain has his 9-9-9 proposal, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled a 20 percent flat tax on income this week. Even Romney foresees a flatter tax system in the future, though he favors something closer to the current setup in the short term.

The idea of a flat tax has long been championed by conservative politicians as being simple and fair. Publisher Steve Forbes made it a centerpiece of his Republican presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. Forbes has endorsed Perry, calling his economic plan “the most exciting plan since (Ronald) Reagan’s.”

via Flat tax makes a comeback among GOP hopefuls, renewing dispute over ‘trickle-down economics’ – The Washington Post.

Mormons, culture:  Mormon ways to be hip??

But the boundaries of Mormon style are expanding. The highly visible “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign (the subject of a major push on television, billboards, the subway and the Internet) seeks to quash strait-laced stereotypes by showing off a cool, diverse set of Mormons, including, besides Mr. Flowers, a leather-clad Harley aficionado, knit-cap-wearing professional skateboarder and an R & B singer with a shaved head.

It’s not just in ads sponsored by the church. On college campuses, city streets and countless style blogs, a young generation of Mormons has adopted a fashion-forward urban aesthetic (geek-chic glasses, designer labels and plenty of vintage) that wouldn’t look out of place at a Bushwick party.

“There used to be a bias against being ‘cool’ in the Mormon world,” said Kendra Smoot, 31, a prop stylist who does work for Lucky and Martha Stewart, and who can be seen sporting Sartorialist-inflected ensembles on Smoot, a blog she runs with her husband, Seth Smoot, a photographer. Ten years ago, when she was a student at Brigham Young University, “there was absolutely zero fashion sense, myself included,” she said. “Now when I go back to visit, the kids there look really cool.

“I think there’s an acceptance now that you can look current and interesting but still uphold the values of the Mormon religion,” she added.

There are limits, however. According to guidelines on dress and grooming on the church’s official Web site, Mormons are discouraged from wearing immodest clothing, including “short shorts and skirts,” “tight clothing” and “shirts that do not cover the stomach.” They should “avoid extremes in clothing, appearance and hairstyle” and not “disfigure” themselves “with tattoos or body piercings.”

Those strictures can be a challenge for members of the creative class who feel the lure of scruffy, bohemian chic.

via Young Mormons Find Ways to Be Hip – NYTimes.com.

antiques, vintage sterling silver, kith/kin: Was talking with a cousin about some heirloom silver.  I have no idea how to value … thought this might be an interesting resource.

Antique & Vintage Sterling Silver for your table and bar

via Antique and Vintage Sterling Silver | Sterling Silver Hallmarks | Silver Magpies Home.

economic theory,  economic complexity, economic growth:  Worth reading …

Two economists, Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard and Cesar Hidalgo of MIT, have just released their 364-page “Atlas of Economic Complexity,” which claims to be the best model yet for predicting how much nations will grow in the future. So what’s the secret?

As it turns out, the authors argue, the best way to tell how rich a country will get isn’t by looking at things like political institutions, or the rule of law, or even education levels. Nope, it’s far better to look at what they call a country’s “collective knowledge.” That means looking, primarily, at how many different products a country creates — and particularly how many unique products a country makes, things that no other countries are making (say, medical-imaging devices). For example, the authors note that Pakistan and Singapore both export a similar number of types of products. But Singapore’s exports tend to be relatively rarer on the world stage than Pakistan’s, and the country’s much richer as a result.

via Is ‘complexity’ the key to economic growth? – The Washington Post.

Halloween Weekend, London, travel:  London can be eerie!

There’s more to the dark side of the English capital’s history than that of the Tower of London. Around Halloween the city will come alive (so to speak) with the dead, as ghosts, ghouls and witches take to the streets for a weekend of spine-chilling revelries, from Oct. 29 to 31.

via On Halloween Weekend, Exploring London’s Scary Side – NYTimes.com.

Muammar Gaddafi,  Third World Solidarity, Pan – Africa, followup:  I had no idea he had tried to create a United States of Africa and he was crowned  “king of kings!”

One of the more farcical moments in a reign steeped in the bizarre, Muammar Gaddafi’s 2008 coronation as the “king of kings” of Africa was an elaborate ceremony attended by a couple hundred African royals. From a mock throne, wielding a gleaming scepter, Gaddafi urged greater African unity, calling on the formation of a “United States of Africa” with a common army and currency. The dignitaries, mostly traditional chieftains or petty royals with only symbolic power, seemed happy enough to play along with yet another megalomaniacal Gaddafi spectacle.

Yet Gaddafi’s international legacy deserves more analysis. Spurned by many Arab states who had no time for his pan-Arabist posturing, Gaddafi had turned to Africa in recent years with a vast fund of his petro-wealth — some $5 billion — that he distributed as largesse throughout the continent. It won him the presidency of the African Union in 2009, though neither his attempt to extend his tenure nor calls for a more integrated federation met any success. But, after years of fomenting insurgencies, abetting militant action and grooming ideological pet projects around the world, Gaddafi’s pan-Africanism has left a mark. A report by the International Crisis Group, a New York and Brussels-based think tank, sums up the immediate effect of his exit from the scene:

Due to the length of his reign, his influence abroad and strong patronage politics, Qaddafi’s shadow will continue to be felt in Libya and neighbouring countries. The upheavals that preceded and followed his fall have created new and potential problems, including massive displacement of populations; tribal tensions within Libya and racist attacks against nationals of sub-Saharan countries; a possible resurgence of Islamism; and the proliferation of fighters and weapons.

Despite such chaos, Gaddafi still commands sympathy in sub-Saharan Africa. His pan-Africanism and support of liberation struggles against colonial rule won him the loyalty of Nelson Mandela. For all the evil that he may have perpetrated, there’s a larger narrative of justice on whose side he’s still somewhat on: that of Third World solidarity, a sentiment that once wove much of the developing world together during the Cold War.

via Gaddafi Now Dead, Has Third World Solidarity Died with Him? – Global Spin – TIME.com.

HOT lane, Atlanta, GA, travel, followup:  Has this worked other places … or does it work if installed  at HOT lanes at the beginning and not as conversion from HOV lanes … or is it just too early to tell.

Driving with two commuters, one in the HOT lanes, the other in the regular lanes, yielded dramatically different experiences. But one thing was the same: Both commuters said that, as far as they can see, the opening of the project has cost them without benefiting them.

via HOT lane unhappiness: Some drivers say congestion worse  | ajc.com.

green, South African, recycled rugby balls, job creation: another good green idea …

TOUCH in South Africa is training unemployed seamstresses to make rugby balls from recycled materials, addressing the problems of waste and unemployment simultaneously.

via Upcycled South African rugby balls create jobs and clean up streets | Springwise.

tv, cultural history,  Lauren Zalaznick, TED:  My grandmother called it the “idiot box,” too!

From the intricate balance of moral ambiguity and inspiration, humor and judgement, to the normative shifts scripted television can ignite, to the evolving ideals of motherhood, Zalaznick illustrates not only how history has shaped the medium, but also how the medium itself is shaping cultural history.

via The Conscience of Television: Lauren Zalaznick at TED | Brain Pickings.

Lauren Zalaznick: The conscience of television – YouTube.

Coca-Cola, polar bears, white Coke Cans, WWF, branding, kudos:  Coke and polar bears … an unlikely pair … kudos to Coke!

So perhaps it’s a measure of the company’s dedication to the environment that Coca-Cola has decided to change the color of its iconic cans for the holiday season—white, to draw attention to the plight of the polar bear. Coke and the environmental group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have joined together to promote the Arctic Home project, which will involve turning 1.4 billion Coke cans white, emblazoned with the image of a mother polar bear and her cubs pawing through the Arctic. There will also be white bottle caps on other Coke branded drinks, all running from the beginning of November to February. “In 125 years we’ve never changed the color of the Coke can,” says Katie Bayne, president and GM of Coca-Cola Sparking Beverages. “We really see this as a bold gesture.”

Bold gestures are exactly what the polar bears needs. There’s a reason the planet’s largest land carnivores have emerged as the symbols of climate change—perhaps no species is more directly impacted by warming temperatures than the polar bear. They depend on Arctic sea ice as a major habitat and hunting ground, but sea ice is vanishing rapidly, shrinking to its second-lowest level on record this past summer. As the ice melts, polar bears are forced to swim further and further for food—and some, especially young cubs, simply won’t make it. “We’re watching the ice shrink in front of our eyes, and if there is no ice, there are no bears,” says Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of WWF. “The polar bears need our help.”

via Coke and WWF Work Together to Save the Polar Bears in the Arctic – Ecocentric – TIME.com.

gardening, deer:  The deer devoured my impatiens!!

Occasionally Severely Damaged:  Impatiens, Fall Mums

via Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance: Home, Lawn & Garden.

college application process,  QuestBridge National College Match program, college scholarships:  I had never heard of this until recently when Molly found it on a questionnaire at UVA.  If you are low-income and gifted you should take a look.

For high-achieving students from low-income families, attending a top-tier college can feel completely out of reach. But it doesn’t have to be.

The National College Match program looks for students who have achieved excellence in school, and whose families face economic challenges. Then it matches those students with elite colleges that are prepared to offer full scholarships to these talented kids.

Participating schools include Amherst, Dartmouth, Brown, Emory, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and more — 31 highly respected universities in all.

High-school seniors are invited to apply now. The application deadline is Sept. 30, 2011, and the application process requires a good bit of documentation, along with three essays, so best to get started now. The good news? With just one application, students can be considered for scholarships to up to eight schools.

via Full scholarships to elite colleges for high achieving, low income students « Gifted Atlanta.

1 %-er, Occupy Wall Street:  Trying to understand all sides of this issue … ” But financial professionals are only the third-biggest slice of the 1 percent. Executives of nonfinancial companies make up the largest share of 1 percenters. What maneuvers do they use to secure their advantage and protect themselves from any conceivable concession to the 99 percent?  Sometimes they find that manipulating the legal process meets their needs most efficiently.

One of the chief complaints emerging from the 99 percenters camped in New York City and around the world is the sense that the top 1 percent have gotten away with something—that no amount of malfeasance on their part could endanger their status.

The movement began, of course, on Wall Street, where this phenomenon is glaringly typified. By now, the chutzpah of the bankers, who are batting away even the gentlest attempts to regulate their behavior after they ruined the economy and got trillions in taxpayer bailouts, is well-known.

But financial professionals are only the third-biggest slice of the 1 percent. Executives of nonfinancial companies make up the largest share of 1 percenters. What maneuvers do they use to secure their advantage and protect themselves from any conceivable concession to the 99 percent?

Sometimes they find that manipulating the legal process meets their needs most efficiently. Take, for example, the recent eviscerations of class-action lawsuits. When Wal-Mart v. Dukes was before the Supreme Court earlier this year, big businesses rushed to the defense of the company. The megastore, run by the Walton family—one of the wealthiest in the world, with a collective fortune of $90 billion—was being sued by a class-action group of women charging gender discrimination at stores nationwide. The US Chamber of Commerce’s litigation center filed an amicus brief on the company’s behalf, as did a wide array of large corporations, from Altria to Bank of America to General Electric.

The Court decided against the women, saying they must sue individually and cannot act as a class in action against Walmart. The legal logic the justices applied limited many class-action suits going forward and means that “the bigger the company, the more varied and decentralized its job practices, the less likely it will have to face a class-action claim,” according to longtime Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston.

via How to Be a 1 Percenter | The Nation.

Storify:  Still trying to figure this one out?  Maybe if I keep clipping I will actually try it. 🙂

You’ll notice a new look, stronger foundation, better tools for collecting media from around the web, and great new ways to organize your story.

Welcome to the new Storify editor interface. We’ve taken your feedback and have rebuilt Storify on a stronger foundation with some cool new features, a new logo, and a new look.

via New Storify Editor Interface Rolls Out – With StoryPad Tool For Gathering And Sharing Media · storify · Storify.

19
Jan
11

1.19.2011 … finishing up on some bothersome things … then dinner in Davidson …

architecture, Great Recession, professionalism: A really great article …

The cynicism and navel-gazing that infect the field of architecture at this moment—the whining malaise and never-ending complaints of powerlessness and economic hardship and marginalization and irrelevance and on, and on, and on—set me on fire. Not because some of this is not true. Not because I don’t share the difficulties we are all grappling with to build and maintain a business during the most challenging economic conditions in living memory. Not because I don’t appreciate and support the dreams and ambitions and authentically good citizenship that form the cultural foundation of the architectural life. I am infuriated for two reasons: First, there is simply no basis in historical fact that could possibly support a complaint about being an architect—of any kind, in any form—at this moment in history. Second, to the degree that there are problems in architectural practice in America, they are self-inflicted. Architecture is largely irrelevant to the great mass of the world’s population because architects have chosen to be.

via You Can Do Better – Architects – Architect Magazine.

kindle, bookshelf, lists:  If you did not know this you can download samples of new books on Kindle for free.  Best Books of 2010: A Free Literary Sampler – GalleyCat.

google doodles, Paul Cezanne:  Happy birthday, Paul!

.Cézanne's 172nd Birthday

If you go to Google today on pretty much all the versions, Google.com or a localized version of Google, you will find a special Google logo, also known as a Google Doodle. This Google logo is for Paul Cezanne, it is his 172nd birthday today and for the day, Google posted a special logo commemorating his life and work.

He was born today in 1839 and died on October 22, 1906. He was known for his art and painting, specific notable works include Apothose de Delacroix, The Bathers, Mont Sainte-Victoire, Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier, and The Basket of Apples.

The Google Doodle today was actually first painted by a Googler as a real oil painting and then reconstructed in digital format. That is right, they first took out a canvas and oil paints and made this the old fashion way.

via Paul Cézanne Google Logo.

technology, Starbuck, change:  We all knew it was coming …

Futurists have long predicted that one day, shoppers will swipe cellphones instead of credit cards to make purchases. At Starbucks stores nationwide, that is about to become a reality.

On Wednesday, Starbucks plans to announce that customers of the 6,800 stores the company operates in the United States and the 1,000 that are in Target stores will be able to pay for their lattes with their cellphones instead of pulling out cash or a credit card.

Various technology and payments companies, including PayPal, Bling Nation, Square, Venmo and now-deceased dot-com start-ups have been experimenting with ways to wean Americans off cash, credit cards or both.

But the introduction of mobile payments in Starbucks stores may be the most mainstream example yet.

via Now at Starbucks: Buy a Latte By Waving Your Phone – NYTimes.com.

followup, education, college:  Everyone has to cover this story … I thought Time’s intro was humorous.

Turns out, students spend more time learning how to master a beer pong than they do completing homework for Psych 101.

via $80,000 For Beer Pong? Report Shows College Students Learn Little During First Two Years (Besides Party Skills) – TIME NewsFeed.

social networks, quora, new:

A New Social Network Where Inquiring Minds Run Wild

If brief communications like Twitter’s 140-character messages, Facebook status updates and text messaging leave you longing for more substantial discourse, you may be in luck. This week, I took a look at Quora, a question-and-answer site that encourages thoughtful—even long-winded—discussions.

Quora (Quora.com) was launched about six months ago by two former Facebook employees who wanted to create a forum where in-depth questions could be posed and answered. Users vote answers up or down according to how good they are, the idea being that the best answers get pushed to the top of the queue by the community of users. Few of these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, one question asks, “What role did social media play with regards to the revolution in Tunisia?” (See here for the answer with the most votes: http://3.ly/8Gqf.)

via Quora Question and Answer Web Site Review | Katherine Boehret | The Digital Solution | AllThingsD.

economics, Great Recession, recovery:  puzzling?  The world does not always respond to our models …

Alone among the world’s economic powers, the United States is suffering through a deep jobs slump that can’t be explained by the rest of the economy’s performance.

The gross domestic product here — the total value of all goods and services — has recovered from the recession better than in Britain, Germany, Japan or Russia. Yet a greatly shrunken group of American workers, working harder and more efficiently, is producing these goods and services.

The unemployment rate is higher in this country than in Britain or Russia and much higher than in Germany or Japan, according to a study of worldwide job markets that Gallup will release on Wednesday. The American jobless rate is also higher than China’s, Gallup found. The European countries with worse unemployment than the United States tend to be those still mired in crisis, like Greece, Ireland and Spain.

Economists are now engaged in a spirited debate, much of it conducted on popular blogs like Marginal Revolution, about the causes of the American jobs slump. Lawrence Katz, a Harvard labor economist, calls the full picture “genuinely puzzling.”

via Jobless Rate Points to Lost Power in Work Force – Economic Scene – NYTimes.com.

emerging nations, India, business models:

MANAGEMENT theorists have fallen in love with India in much the same way that they fell in love with re-engineering fifteen years ago. India is synonymous with rapid growth, frugal innovation and exciting new business models.

I agree with all that (and have promoted it myself). But it is important to remember that India is also a mess.

via Indian sojourn: The messy, non-shining side of India | The Economist.

gardening:  I love the hope of a new year …  Cumberland County Garden Calendar.

history:  I can’t decide what I think of following the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It doesn’t have the same energy and optimism of following the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  What do you think?

Historic Oakland Cemetery

‎150 years ago today, GA seceded from the Union (5th of 11). SC was the first on Dec 12, 1860 and TN was the 11th and final state on June 8, 1861.

via Facebook.

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.

18
Nov
10

11.18.2010 … beautiful day in Carolina …

Christmas, business, advertising, change:  This was one of my favorite things about Christmas … going downtown to see the Christmas windows.  We took our kids in Chicago and they loved it too … very magical.  Most kids will never have that experience.  Some change I do not like.

Many department stores are competing to add high-tech special effects to their holiday displays this season. Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s are among the big stores deploying computer-assisted animation, projection shows and interactive features to amp up the drama. The goal is to grab the attention of consumers accustomed to the fast pace, interactivity and sophisticated effects of smartphones and videogames.

Retailers’ holiday window decorations date back to the late 19th century, when stores began using large plate-glass windows to showcase their wares, according to William L. Bird Jr., author of the 2007 book “Holidays on Display.” Christmas-themed sets were powered by spring mechanisms, steam and eventually electrical power. Department stores’ downtown displays became free entertainment destinations that families took annual pilgrimages to see.

via Designing Holiday Windows 2.0 – WSJ.com.

Davidson basketball: Let the games begin … I hope to hear “Sweet Caroline ,” soon.

Let the Games Begin! Day 1 of the fourth annual Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off is finally here. Davidson and West Virginia will get the party started at 12:30, followed by Nebraska vs. Vanderbilt at 2:30 p.m. Both games are on ESPNU

via Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

politics, business: interesting …

Still, the omission – let’s call it a “No-bama” — does seem to be a curious lapse considering that Buffett supported Obama in the 2008 elections and after. When people criticized Obama for not moving quickly enough to revive the economy, Buffett publicly called for patience on financial recovery. On the eve of the presidential election, Obama penned his own thank-you letter of sorts, saying he was “proud” to have the support of Buffett and other business leaders. Is this relationship unequal?

The mid-term election “shellacking” delivered to Obama and the Democrats – his words – was at least in part owed to opponents’ efforts to badge the financial bailouts as an Obama intervention, whether that was a fair characterization or not. So in this case, is Obama getting zero credit for the government’s financial rescue and all of the blame?

via Is Warren Buffett’s ‘Thank You’ to America a Dis to Obama? – Deal Journal – WSJ.

special needs, gLee: gLee effect … I like this story … watch the video clip!

The Sparkle Effect was created by cheerleading coaches in Iowa. The idea is to allow those with special needs the opportunity to cheer side-by-side with their peers. Some young ladies are showing us how it works here in the Twin Cities.

via The Sparkle Effect at Anoka High School.

high school, football, Westminster: I like this story, too.

Hardin is spending his senior season serving as the school’s first-ever “student assistant coach” after having his playing career abruptly end last year because of a severe concussion.

“This is my way of staying connected to football, the sport I’ve loved so much for as long as I can remember,” Hardin said. “It has been awful not being able to play. It changed the direction of everything in my life. So I’m very thankful to the coaches for allowing to me to still be a part of the program.”

via Westminster football standout switches to coaching after concussion No. 7 | Prep Zone: High School Sports.

Davidson, kudos:  Kudos to Professor Shaw.  I would love to nominate several professors from classes that I took over 28 years ago … I am still talking about quite a few Davidson classes … the Emergence of Professions, Urban Development, History of Economic Thought … to name a few.

He was nominated without his knowledge by Alex Pitsinos, a 2010 Davidson graduate in economics who took Shaw’s course as a sophomore. It was his first political science course at Davidson, and made a big impression. Pitsinos said, “I had a lot of great courses at Davidson, but none other affected me and my friends to the point that we were still talking about them in our senior year.”

“Foundations of Liberalism” examines the different interpretations of the liberal tradition-from John Locke in the seventeenth century to John Rawls in the twentieth. Shaw begins by explaining that all current American political movements are “liberal” in the sense of sharing a fundamental commitment to the core liberal values of individual rights, political democracy, toleration and economic liberty.

via Liberal? Conservative? Award Recognizes Professor Shaw’s Course for Its Unbiased Examination of Both

Kruger, South Africa, places:  I loved where we stayed … but this looks pretty cool.

With the black mamba tutorial over, a Land Rover delivers me to the base of an ancient Leadwood tree, home of the only treehouse at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve. It’s dead and bone dry, its scraggly branches curl against a darkening sky like the fingers of a fairy-tale witch. Thirty feet up, a two-tiered platform abuts the tree—bed and dining table on top, chemical flush toilet below. The large bed is shrouded in mosquito netting and a small dining table is set for dinner. An insulated cooler stores the evening meal, morning breakfast and your choice of wine or beer. At the foot of the bed are extra blankets to ward off the night cold and a two-way radio to call for help.

The family-owned property dates back four generations to Guy Aubrey Chalkley, a Virginian gold miner turned stockbroker who bought it in 1933. Mr. Chalkley had arrived in South Africa in search of gold and to hunt big game, but his descendants say he became an early conservationist.

Today, Lion Sands shares a porous river border with Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s biggest game reserves. The Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo—are in abundance, as are wildebeest, wild dogs and warthogs. Tawny Eagles hunt from the sky while packs of hyena skulk for prey through thorny underbrush.

via A Treehouse Night at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa – WSJ.com.

gardening, locavore:  I will gladly barter my yard for produce. 🙂

But James Lucal in Seattle has them all beat. He not only brings home the local produce, he got a local to grow it for him directly outside his home. And yet he spent almost nothing for this luxury, and lifted not so much as a trowel to make it happen.

Welcome to “urban sharecropping,” the hippest, most hardcore new way to eat local. In the latest twist in the farm-to-table movement, homeowners who lack free time or gardening skills are teaming up with would-be farmers who lack backyards. Around the country, a new crop of match-makers are helping the two groups find each other and make arrangements that enable both sides to share resources and grow their own food.

via The Rise of the Lazy Locavore – WSJ.com.

gift ideas, food – Southern, books, me: I love cookbooks (especially Southern cookbooks), but I hate to cook.   Cookbooks with a Southern Twist.

gift ideas: I like this one … Holiday CD to benefit Atlanta Humane Society | Atlanta INtown Paper.

food, kith/kin, my dad:  My dad’s hamburgers are still my favorite … “Lindsey Burgers”  They contained both fat and butter …

Most of the chefs make a big deal about the kind of meat served at their restaurants. Mr. Lagasse blends ground chuck, short rib and brisket; others promote their Angus, Kobe or grass-fed beef. Some beef experts say the main secret behind tasty celebrity-chef burgers is simple: They pile on the fat, whether from beef patties with 30% fat content or from patties basted in butter. That alone may make their burgers delicious at a time when supermarket ground beef may contain as little as 8% fat.

via Burger Chains of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Hubert Keller, Marcus Samuelsson and Other Celebrity Chefs – WSJ.com.

water resource management, NC, SC:

“Today is a beautiful day, a gorgeous day for a settlement concept to be proposed to you,” S.C. Deputy Attorney General Bob Cook told the bi-state commission. “I’m here to tell you today that the settlement concept is not only a better result, but it’s a fair resolution for both states.”

The deal is built from a compact that a 70-member stakeholder group from both states previously crafted and signed in August 2006. That pact, called the Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement, is required for the renewal of Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp.’s (NYSE:DUK) 50-year federal license to use the Catawba to generate electricity. The renewal is still pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The new settlement deal places strict drought protocols on any entity that pulls water from one of Duke Energy’s reservoirs along the river.

via Settlement reached in N.C.-S.C. water war | Charlotte Business Journal.

Bones, tv: My other favorite show …‘Bones’ exclusive: A proposal in February! (Plus, scoop on the Brennan-centric and sniper episodes) | EW.com.

01
Aug
10

‎8.1.2010 … I can’t believe it is August … strange no beach trip this year … kids are out and about the world … so beach trip no longer needs to be or can be “right before school starts” … changes …

snippets from ZA Molly: Molly loved her morning at Gateway School on Friday.  I love to hear joy and love in a 16-year old’s voice. She truly was moved by this mission and I can see her working with them in the future.

Project Gateway is based in an old prison in the city of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. In 1992 it was converted into a centre for several church based projects. Through these projects, the Church is reaching out, meeting people in their crisis need, and empowering them to be self sufficient.

Given the alarming statistics surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic, poverty and unemployment levels and the vulnerability of certain groups within our society, we aim to run effective and dynamic programmes, providing salt and light to the world, changing lives and impacting communities.

For more information about a specific project based at Project Gateway, click one of the projects below or choose another option from the side panel.

via Project Gateway – South Africa, Church based charity, combating poverty, HIV/AIDS,empowering local people through education and training.

random:  Doesn’t every kid wonder if they were switched at birth?

Two years back, Dimas Aliprandi and Elton Plaster didn’t know of each other’s existence. Then they learned they had been accidentally switched at birth more than 20 years ago.

The discovery didn’t bring bitterness or recrimination. Rather, it led to the creation of a bigger family.

Today, the two 25-year-olds are living and working together with both sets of parents growing vegetables and coffee on a small farm in southeastern Brazil.

via Brazilians Switched at Birth Work, Live Together – CBS News.

movies, history:

Movies, History, and Books for Kids.

gardening, green:

Even though many of us grew up not realizing it, Holly’s a hooker.

“In ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ all of a sudden — because it was Audrey who was doing it — living alone, going out, looking fabulous and getting a little drunk didn’t look so bad anymore,” Wasson writes. “Being single actually seemed shame-free. It seemed fun.” So, as a haute hooker, Audrey Hepburn was a fairy godmother, not only to feminism but to the prevailing ethos that style and cool trump all.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Mad Men and Bad Girls – NYTimes.com.

gardening, green:

For hundreds of years plant explorers have traveled the globe to bring back unusual things you can grow in your yard. And gardeners and the plant industry have a long, storied history of crossbreeding to create new plants. Shunning everything but native plants cuts a gardener off from so much of the fascinating variety in nature—and getting closer to nature seems to be one of the main points of the hobby.

via Weekend Gardener: Politically Incorrect Gardening – WSJ.com.

real estate:  There was a barn house that I saw 25 years ago outside Chagrin Falls … I have always dreamed of living there.

AUSTERLITZ, N.Y.

$2.45 million

A four-bedroom, five-bathroom home on 72 acres in a rural community 120 miles north of New York City.

DETAILS: The 2008-built house is made of two sections, one farmhouse-like structure and one built to look like a barn, which are connected by a glass atrium entryway.

BARN-STYLE: The barn-style side of the house is set up for entertaining with a great room and a second kitchen. There’s farm-like fencing around the swimming pool.

via Relative Values: Barn-Style Homes – WSJ.com.

06
Jul
10

7.6.2010 hot, hot, hot … happy birthday, Julie! … the molls will be on her way to winter in 4 days … so we are buying tights, jackets, long sleeve shirts, etc. today … very strange …

events: happy birthday, Julie!

culture, science:  Some things seem obvious to me …

“On a practical level this means that the average adolescent has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m.,” Dr. Owens said. Teenagers still need slightly more than nine hours of sleep each night, which would call for an ideal wake time of about 8 a.m.

via The Benefits of Starting School Later and Letting Teens Sleep Later – WSJ.com.

language, culture, international:  American English as the international standard … hmmm … Is there American English?  Economist Debates: English: Statements.

The President, Kagan nomination, the Roberts Court, politics:  collision course …

Some advisors counseled caution, but the president opted to criticize the conservative justices in the uncomfortable spotlight of national television as Senate Democrats roared their approval.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is still angered by what he saw as a highly partisan insult to the independent judiciary. The incident put a public spotlight on the deep divide between the Obama White House and the Roberts court, one that could have a profound effect in the years ahead.

The president and congressional Democrats have embarked on an ambitious drive to regulate corporations, banks, health insurers and the energy industry. But the high court, with Roberts increasingly in control, will have the final word on those regulatory laws.

Many legal experts foresee a clash between Obama’s progressive agenda and the conservative court.

Obama chose Kagan for the court believing she could bridge the gap with some of its conservatives. Her mission is to help uphold the laws that Obama and Democrats are pushing through Congress.

During her hearing, Kagan found herself in the odd spot of defending judicial restraint before senators who usually worry aloud about sending a “judicial activist” to the court.

“Can you name for me any economic activity that the federal government cannot regulate under the commerce clause?” asked Sen. John Cornyn (R- Texas).

“I wouldn’t try to,” Kagan replied, emphasizing that the court has long said lawmakers have broad powers to regulate economic activity.

The high court, however, will decide whether making Americans buy health insurance amounts to economic activity.

It may be another year or two before a true challenge to the Obama agenda reaches the Supreme Court.

McConnell, the law professor, said the administration’s broad set of regulatory moves made a clash almost inevitable. “It does not mean the courts are being ‘political,’ ” he said. “It is the way the institutions are designed, to create checks and balances.”

via Obama and Supreme Court may be on collision course – latimes.com.

music, people, life: Since John spotted Ringo in Boston last week … I found this interesting … and yes, I’d like peace and love for my birthday, too.

Rob Shanahan Ringo Starr during this year’s tour with his All Starr Band.

Ever since Ringo Starr vowed, on a well-known cover of Buck Owens’s hit “Act Naturally,” that he’d become “the biggest fool to ever hit the big time,” the renowned rock ’n’ roll drummer has done all right for himself. As a member of the Beatles and as a solo artist, Mr. Starr has sold more than a few records, won some Grammy Awards and even had a minor planet named for him. But on Wednesday Mr. Starr will reach a very special milestone: he turns 70 years old.

via Ringo Starr at 70 – ‘Not Hiding From It, You Know’ – Question – NYTimes.com.

culture, the South, LOL: I enjoyed the article …

So, here we have two Southern boys who made it good. Among other things, they both gave their houses names, they both left this world before their time, and they both recorded You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog. Ok, Faulkner didn’t record Hound Dog, but I have it on good authority that he hummed it a lot, and I think he went to school with one of the Jordanaires.

Although the two men were quite different, they were like identical twins when contrasted with how well their houses compare.

via Graceland vs Rowan Oak by Raymond L. Atkins | LikeTheDew.com.

news, life, FIFA World Cup 2010: Sometimes life is just not fair.

This probably wasn’t the reception he was hoping for.

CNN reports that Brazil’s football coach, Dunga, was fired upon arriving home to Rio de Janeiro after the team’s 2-1 loss to Holland on Friday. Brazil was a favorite for many in World Cup pools and the unexpected loss has hit many football fans hard. Dunga, whose real name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, has been coach since 2006.

via Fiiiiiiired! Brazil Word Cup Coach Loses Game, Then Job – TIME NewsFeed.

economy, travel: If you ever wanted to run … now would be the time.

In Pamplona, the crisis is expected to take a toll for tourism and nonstop street parties during its weeklong festival of bullfighting made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Hotels used to sell out three to four months before the event – but not this year.

“You can still find good quality rooms going for around euro100 ($125) and vacancies even in some top class hotels, something unheard of four years ago,” said Nacho Calvo of the Navarra Restaurant and Hotel Association.

At the plush, sought-after AC Ciudad de Pamplona hotel, “we have seen fewer foreigners, and this year the absence of Americans is notable, there are hardly any,” said manager Gabriel Pascual.

Bullfighting promoter Luis Miguel Ballesteros two years ago put on 27 or 28 small town bull spectacles in villages with populations ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 people each across the Castilla-Leon region, part of Spain’s historic heartland.

via Can Spanish Bullfighting Survive Bans, Economy? – CBS News.

random:  We call this ninja ping pong 🙂

random, gardening: pretty impressive …YouTube – Mosaïcultures Intenationale de MONTREAL.

05
Jul
10

7.5.2010 Wonderful fourth celebration at the lake with my Charlotte “family”. Great fun to just relax, swim, EAT, talk, share and watch fireworks … thank you Lomax family!

history, gardening, art, practicing what you preach: Because Monticello is such a national treasure, I am glad Jefferson failed personally at what he argued for us nationally/politically.

This seems like clear hypocrisy, but it also points to the deep ambivalence in the American mind between our professed ideals and our economic imperatives. We mistrust wealth, but we simultaneously worship it. Like Jefferson, we idealize the supposed simplicity of rural life, but like him we want our country weekend houses well-stocked with all the modern comforts. And, like him, we’re not willing to to balance the checkbook if means sacrificing what he called “the pursuit of happiness.” We can recognize ourselves in Thomas Jefferson, because his contradictions, and his addictions, are our own.

Less well-known is the fact that Jefferson was also America’s founding home and garden addict, a detail-obsessed improver who designed the perfect dwelling at Monticello, then endlessly remodeled it. He sank huge sums into landscaping his grounds in the latest styles and entertained a constant stream of guests with spreads of heirloom vegetables and fine French wine so lavish as to make an oenophile blush.

In doing so, Jefferson set the standard for the irresponsibly over-leveraged American homeowner, mortgaged to the hilt to enjoy the good life. At his death on July 4, 1826, Jefferson was so deep in debt that everything he owned including his slaves had to be sold.

via Jefferson: our first home, garden addict – CharlotteObserver.com.

facts, culture: very interesting …

Federal data from 2007 says 40 percent of births in America are to unwed mothers, a trend experts say is especially common in middle-class America. In one St. Louis community, the notion of getting married and having children — in that order — seems quaint.

As to what kind of consequences this new concept of marriage will have for the next generation — a group of children who may grow up with several parental figures instead of just two — Becky says she worries about it. Experts say it’s too soon to say what the effects will be. We’ll have to ask these children in 20 years.

via Kids First, Marriage Later — If Ever : NPR.

BP oil crisis, economy:

“THE bad news is we didn’t hit oil,” ran the old wildcatter’s joke. “The good news is we didn’t find gas.” Potentially dangerous and always more difficult to manage than pouring liquid into a barrel, natural gas used to give oil companies a headache. Now gas is dominating the thoughts of Western oil bosses and, increasingly, their firms’ portfolios. Seven of the eight projects Exxon Mobil completed last year were for natural-gas developments. Two of the three it has scheduled for this year are also gas-related. Royal Dutch Shell says that by 2012 half of its output will come from gas. The current high oil price still makes crude the prize for any self-respecting major. But the West’s big oil companies are growing gassier.

via Oil companies’ dash for gas: Vapour trails | The Economist.

art, NYC: I enjoyed this article very much … my conclusion was that Hopper’s work epitomized art … “a collage inside Hopper’s imagination”. Nighthawks is in Chicago at the Art Institure and one of my favorite paintings.  If you are in Chicago … go see it … it is worth a look.

Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, 1942. Oil on canvas; 33 1/8 x 60 in. (84.1 x 152.4 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago

Back home, I dug through my bookshelves and unearthed Gail Levin’s “Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.” The book is autographed by the author — I had gone to hear Ms. Levin read in a bookshop that is now gone — and dated from a time when I was still new to the city and knew it largely, romantically, as a sprawling Hopper painting filled with golden, melancholy light. In the book, Ms. Levin reported that an interviewer wrote that the diner was “based partly on an all-night coffee stand Hopper saw on Greenwich Avenue … ‘only more so,’” and that Hopper himself said: “I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger. Unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.”

Partly. More so. Simplified. The hidden truth became clearer. The diner began to fade. And then I saw it — on every triangular corner, in the candy shop’s cornice and the newsstand’s advertisement for 5-cent cigars, in the bakery’s curved window and the liquor store’s ghostly wedge, in the dark bricks that loom in the background of every Village street.

Over the past years, I’ve watched bakeries, luncheonettes, cobbler shops and much more come tumbling down at an alarming rate, making space for condos and office towers. Now the discovery that the “Nighthawks” diner never existed, except as a collage inside Hopper’s imagination, feels like yet another terrible demolition, though no bricks have fallen.

It seems the longer you live in New York, the more you love a city that has vanished. For those of us well versed in the art of loving what is lost, it’s an easy leap to missing something that was never really there.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Nighthawks Of the Mind – NYTimes.com.

history, NC, OBX:  I almost cried over the Mother Vine … and I had never heard of it … Partly because I love the Outer Banks and its history and lore.

A scuppernong grapevine in Manteo, believed to be 400 years old, is struggling after a utility contractor sprayed it with weed killer. N.C. DIVISION OF TOURISM

For centuries, a massive grapevine has grown on the northern end of Roanoke Island, and long ago came to be called the Mother Vine.

It’s believed to be the nation’s oldest cultivated grapevine.

Cuttings from the vine, which yields sweet scuppernong grapes, helped sprout North Carolina’s wine industry. The vine erupts from the sandy soil in Manteo a gnarly 2 feet thick, and has survivednor’easters, bugs and mildew for maybe 400 years.

Then a utility contractor sprayed it with weedkiller. The Mother Vine is sick.

Jack Wilson, who has owned half the vine for 52 years, noticed a bit of browning in late May. He found more browning the next day.

It turned out that a contractor for Dominion Power had driven through, spraying herbicides to keep vines from engulfing power poles. A tendril of the Mother Vine had touched a pole. Wilson said a neighbor reported that the contractor “sprayed the heck out of everything.”

Grapevine and other experts rushed to the scene. Dominion Power fell on its sword.

“We feel awful this has happened,” said spokesman Chuck Penn. “I mean, you’re talking about an historic icon, 400 years old, and we are really saddened.”

Wine lovers are holding their breath. Scuppernongs, a type of native muscadine, were the first U.S. cultivated wine grapes. They’re the foundation of the state’s 175-year-old wine industry, now seventh largest in the nation.

via Centuries-old N.C. ‘Mother Vin

news, UGA, social responsibility, career, followup:  One mistake, caught, can ruin a career.  That is a hard lesson.  Interesting line … “He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot…”

“He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot,” said Stone, onetime president of the Columbus-area Bulldog Club. He wants Evans dismissed swiftly.

via UGA fans angry, sad over Evans  | ajc.com.

A source has confirmed that Damon Evans and the University of Georgia have reached a negotiated settlement that will result in his resignation as athletic director.

Georgia athletic director Damon Evans leaves a news conference in Athens, Ga., Thursday, July 1, 2010. A state trooper pulled Evans over late Wednesday night for driving erratically. Police said Evans smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test. He was taken to Atlanta’s city jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain a lane. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The resignation is expected to be announced during an 11 a.m. Monday teleconference of the executive committee of the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Evans has been under fire since his DUI arrest Wednesday in Atlanta.

via Source: Evans, UGA reach settlement; resignation to be announced Monday  | ajc.com.

college search:

For seven summers, a group of college counselors from across the country have climbed on bicycles to travel from college to college on an informal, saddle-bound fact-finding mission that I like to think of as the Tour d’Admission.

via College Admissions Advice – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

media, business model: Just interesting …

The freely syndicated articles have ads embedded in them (which you must not adjust if you’re republishing–though the Guardian notes you’re free to have your own ads elsewhere on the page to drive your own monetization efforts). So by republishing the Guardian content, you’re effectively multiplying the newspaper’s advertising footprint … and this is how the publication is hoping to make a success of this bold move. If it finds its articles grabbed and republished many times–a situation that may happen as less and less big-name news articles are freely available–then it’ll be able to charge more fees to its advertising partners.

via Blogs as 21st Century Newsies: The Guardian’s Syndication Experiment | Fast Company.

public art, favorites, Charlotte: Romare Bearden is one of my favorite artists.  And I love public art … so I will be excited to see the part dedicated to Romare Bearden and the relationship with his art.

This conceptual rendering gives an idea how artist Kendall Buster's metal wire sculptures might look once in place at proposed Romare Bearden Park.

Some might say Kendall Buster’s welded metal sculptures resemble hot air balloons.

Others might see flower bulbs turned upside down.

Either way, her design is a winning concept, said Brad Thomas, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Commission.

The commission’s search committee chose Buster over two other finalists to create the sculptures for a proposed uptown park.

The committee chose Buster’s concept design, in part, because she and the park’s landscape architect have both expressed an interest in collaborating to create a setting for the sculptures at Romare Bearden Park.

Buster’s design also would allow visitors to move around and inside the sculptures and experience them in different ways from each location, Thomas said.

“We’re talking about a park environment and creating some interaction with the work of art,” Thomas said. “Kendall took all of those early considerations in and really brought to the table a commission that will serve us well when the park opens and for many years down the road.”

Buster, 55, teaches sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The Yale University graduate has had commissions and exhibitions nationally.

Last week she installed a sculpture at Johns Hopkins University and has another installation planned this summer at the new Indianapolis Museum of Art garden.

In Charlotte, Buster proposed multiple rounded-top sculptures for Bearden Park, currently a parking lot at Church and Third streets.

The park is expected to celebrate the life and work of Bearden, a Charlotte native and renowned 20th-century artist who died in 1988.

Plans call for an art wall and gardens, a theme in some of Bearden’s work. A memory walk will include colorful paving based on one of Bearden’s works.

via Virginia sculptor will build for uptown park – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, entertainment, Davidson ’82:  Saw Knight and Day … honestly a stupid movie … but great entertainment with Bob and Joni … sometimes I just need to be entertained.  And Joni and I got a good laugh during the Running with the Bulls scene, since we have a Davidson ’82 friend who has actually done it …

IMDb Video: Knight and Day: Trailer #2.

vuvuzelas, culture, FIFA World Cup 2010: Got mine … blue … intended to take it to 4th of July party, but forgot … It is Panthers blue … Will John or I dare take it?

With that note of the Exotic Other struck, we could turn to the question of the object’s future. What happens when the World Cup concludes next weekend and a tchotchke diaspora takes shape? After all, it’s “a must-have item” for visiting fans, The National Postof Canada reported, noting that one South African maker of the horns sold about a million of them (for $2.50 each) before matches even got underway. “I love it,” said one German fan quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. “I can see it catching on at games in Europe.” In the U.S., they have already been given out at as a Florida Marlins game promotion. The vuvuzela sound has proliferated in a range of ringtones and smartphone apps.

via Consumed – The Vuvuzela as Cultural Artifact – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court, history, media, politics, Thurgood Marshall legacy: Do you think the media analysis (legal, political, historical, philosophical, cultural, personal) has been more extensive on the last two nominations has been markedly more extensive?

Thankfully, Ms. Kagan appears to have escaped any damage from these attempts to paint her as the second coming of this devilish caricature of her former mentor. But the justice’s own legacy took some hits, and the truth about his record needs to be set straight before this distortion becomes fixed in the public mind.

First, there are the hard numbers. As a lawyer, Marshall argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29. That’s hardly the record of a man operating outside of the legal mainstream. Marshall’s rulings on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals were never overturned by the Supreme Court, and in most of his appellate opinions he joined with the majority of what was then viewed as a conservative circuit. As solicitor general of the U.S. he lost only five of the 14 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

via Juan Williams: The American Conservatism of Thurgood Marshall – WSJ.com.

When Senate Republicans decided to turn the first day of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing into a referendum on her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, they made two big mistakes. The first was tactical: Most Americans just don’t know or care that much about Marshall’s jurisprudential style. When they think of him, they think of him as a lion of the civil rights movement, a guy you name airports after. While deriding him as a “judicial activist” and “results oriented” may have been an attack on his judicial craftsmanship, to most of us it sounded a lot like an insult to his legacy. But the real mistake the GOP made in tethering Kagan to Marshall was that the comparison emphasized the exact point Senate Democrats were attempting to make all week: that the court has a critical function to play when the other two branches of government let the American people down. Democrats made that point with some success. By invoking Marshall over and over again, Republicans really drove it home.

via How Republicans inadvertently made the case for confirming Elena Kagan. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine.

IN her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Elena Kagan cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. as her model of judicial restraint in response to questions from Republican senators who want the court to overturn health care, campaign finance and economic regulations.

Ms. Kagan picked the wrong justice. Holmes was a cold and brutally cynical man who had contempt for the masses and for the progressive laws he voted to uphold. Ms. Kagan would do better to look to the justice whose seat she has been nominated to fill: Louis D. Brandeis. Brandeis, who was succeeded by William O. Douglas and then John Paul Stevens, was not only a great and restrained judge but the most prescient critic of the “curse of bigness” in a time of economic crisis.

Both Holmes and Brandeis were heroes of the Progressive Era, when the constitutional debate eerily anticipated the one that unfolded in the Kagan hearings. Liberals denounced the pro-corporate bias of the conservative Supreme Court, and conservatives countered that only the court could protect economic liberty and personal freedom in the face of an out-of-control regulatory state.

Although Holmes and Brandeis both objected to conservative activist decisions striking down progressive regulations, Holmes, unlike Brandeis, had no personal sympathy for the Progressive movement. An aristocratic nihilist who once told his sister that he loathed “the thick-fingered clowns we call the people,” Holmes believed that judges should vote to uphold virtually all laws, even the ones they hate.

If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, Brandeis will be a far more relevant guide as she grapples with the issues at the center of our current constitutional debates. (Disclosure: I’ve known Ms. Kagan for years and my brother-in-law has been her principal deputy in the solicitor general’s office.)

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Brandeis’s Seat, Kagan’s Responsibility – NYTimes.com.

music, science, philosophy, history: OK, so i am a nerd … but I found this fascinating?

Jay Kennedy tells NPR’s Guy Raz that his discovery was partially luck. Looking at Plato’s works in their original scroll form, he noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music. “The regularity of that pattern was supposed to be noticed by Plato’s readers,” Kennedy says.

Music in ancient Greece was based on a 12-note scale, unlike the eight-note scale of modern Western music. Kennedy posits that Plato deliberately inserted discussions of music every 12 lines to send a secret, musical message.

What Plato couldn’t tell people was that he was a closet Pythagorean. Pythagoras and his followers believed that mathematics and music were the key to the universe.

“Plato’s philosophy shows us one way to combine science and religion,” Kennedy says. “The culture wars we’re having today — about evolution for example — see science and religion as two polarized opposites. Plato’s hidden philosophy shows us that he combined an emphasis on mathematics with an emphasis upon beauty, music, art and divinity. The founder of western culture, in fact wanted us to combine science and religion.

via A Musical Message Discovered In Plato’s Works : NPR.

Davidson:  Great video about Davidson and it’s future … What Should the Core Values of Davidson College Be?.

Two professors and a student spent a large part of the spring semester examining the values that Davidson espouses. They hope that the video they produced illuminates the range of opinions the community holds about those values, as well as demonstrating the value of video as a tool in teaching and learning.

architecture, culture, great headlines: Midlife crisis for a stadium … 15 years?  How old is the Roman Coliseum?  Are million, even billion dollar buildings obsolete in 30 years?  Are buildings  “disposable” today? Are the financing term and the useful life of a building equivalent?

At the ripe old age of 15, Bank of America Stadium remains a pleasant place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Look around the rest of the NFL, though, and it becomes clear how hard it is to keep up with the (Jerry) Joneses, from the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.2 billion palace opened last season to the $1.6 billion stadium the New York Giants and Jets will move into next month.

via Midlife crisis for Carolina Panthers’ BofA Stadium? – Charlotte Business Journal.

BP Oil Spill, opening lines: I bought gas at a BP station … and admittedly I thought that i should punish BP … but really I’m hurting the local owner and myself.  If BP goes bankrupt, nobody wins … gas is gas …

Does that mean I have oil on my hands?

So today I drove into the BP station up the street from my house. There were one or two cars at first. By the time I finished filling my tank the place was packed. And I felt happy about it. Me, the social worker who will go the extra mile for the injured and underdog, me the lover of dolphins, turtles and whales.

Because BP is us. And the owner of my local BP station is a member of my community with a family to support and anguish over the folly of the  parent corporation. (I’ve been there in my lifetime. Have you?)

There was a thank you note taped to each pump at the station this morning, explaining that the station is locally owned and operated. I wanted to go inside and hug somebody.

So let’s stop the scapegoating and the finger pointing and good grief, let’s  stop making this a political event. We’re in this together. Those responsible need to make amends and pay for this mess. They should do time or pay huge fines if there are criminal elements to what happened. But I won’t make my neighbor any more responsible than I am for our country’s squandering of resources. This is our time to come together and do some soul searching about ourselves.

via I Bought Gas at a BP Station Today by Cathleen Hulbert | LikeTheDew.com.

art, DC: Another article on Norman Rockwell’s exhibit to open at the Smithsonian … “American Ideal”  … interesting analysis.

His heyday was the 1940s and early ’50s, when the accumulated sorrows of the Depression and two World Wars imbued Americans with a sense of solidarity and common purpose. “There was a strong sense of loss,” Mr. Spielberg said. “Because not since World War I had America’s mothers lost so many sons. It was an open wound, and Rockwell was part of the healing process.”

As beloved as he was by the public, he suffered the slings of critical derision, especially in the ’50s. The dominant art movements of that era — Abstract Expressionism, Beat poetry and hard bop jazz — devalued craftsmanship in favor of improvisation and the raw, unmediated gesture. Against this backdrop Rockwell was accused of purveying an artificial and squeaky-clean view of America, which remains a criticism of him today.

Rockwell perfected a style of painting that might be called the American Ideal. Instead of taking place in lush European gardens, his playful gatherings are in a diner on Main Street.

At the time he made the comment he could not have imagined that his work would one day be collected by some of the same museums and individuals who also collect Abstract Expressionism. In hindsight it is possible to see Rockwell and Pollock as opposite sides of the same coin: Rockwell exemplifies the American desire for safety and security as much as Pollock exemplifies the opposing need for flight and rebellion.

The current exhibition offers us the chance to step out of the vast marble-white spaces of Washington and into a world where Americans convene in old-fashioned drugstores and barbershops, conducting themselves with a sense of integrity and fair play, with gumption and whimsy. These are qualities one wants to retain as a society, and it is a credit to Rockwell’s subtle, story-weaving imagination that he captured the values we celebrate on Independence Day without ever having done a painting of American flags waving from porches or July skies bursting with fireworks.

via Rockwell Paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – NYTimes.com.

how things work, The President: I found this fascinating. President Obama’s nighthawks: Top officials charged with guarding the nation’s safety.

salt, bookshelf:  I posted my brother in law’s blog entry the other day on salt and found this book review very interesting.  I think I may add salt to my list of topics to follow. 🙂

I read this fine book in bedrock Calistoga, California, while marinating in

a spring of geothermal hot water. Very comforting, especially since Tisdale

reminds me that there is a trace of primordial salt in this pickling brine, to

which I have given back a few drops of my own salt-pinpricks of sweat on my

forehead, spindrift forming on the bridge of my nose. It all makes me feel a

part of something greater. The Good Book, it seems, was right on the mark: I

am the salt of the earth. You too.

via Article: Lot’s Wife: Salt and the Human Condition. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy.

Apple:  I considered buying Apple TV when it first came out … but I couldn’t see that it added anything.  I think I was right.

“I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this hobby gets turned into a business, the TV space is too important to ignore,” Mr. Gartenberg said. ”The TV remains one of the last disconnected devices in the household and everyone is trying to figure it out.”

via Apple Hopes to Re-enter the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

10
Jun
10

6.10.2010 … getting ready for graduation … off to Atlanta to pick up my mom … and celebrate the big sis’ bday …

city life, gardening: We have a great “urban garden” at our house … if we could just keep Bambi, Peter and their 2 Hush Puppy friends out of the tomatoes …

Urban gardening is something that never ceases to amaze.  Walking around Capitol Hill and seeing the ingenuity people display to grow their tomatoes and pumpkins in tiny and otherwise inhospitable spaces is not just a thing of beauty but a real triumph over the grim barrenness of the city.

via Learning a Love of Good Food at the Watkins Teaching Kitchen.

bees, technology: really?

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world’s harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world – the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon – which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe – was beginning to hit Britain as well.

via Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? – Nature, Environment – The Independent.

garden, local eats, Charlotte:  Anybody been?  Poplar Ridge Farm – Organic CSA – Charlotte, NC.

literature, places, DC: Maybe you should buy it, Cary? Politics and Prose bookstore to be put up for sale.

history, style:  It’s funny, I just found these really cute handmade shoes on etsy and they look a lot like the these!

About 5,500 years ago someone in the mountains of Armenia put his best foot forward in what is now the oldest leather shoe ever found.

It’ll never be confused with a penny loafer or a track shoe, but the well-preserved footwear was made of a single piece of leather, laced up the front and back, researchers reported Wednesday in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.

via Scientists Find 5,500-Year-Old Preserved Shoe In Cave : NPR.

Etsy shoes … 🙂

Apple iPad: Uh, oh …

Apple has suffered another embarrassment. A security breach has exposed iPad owners including dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians. They—and every other buyer of the cellular-enabled tablet—could be vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking.

via Apple’s Worst Security Breach: 114,000 iPad Owners Exposed.

culture, cooking, tv: I so agree, Cary!

So really, let’s admit what we’re after.  Not another way to do “Gazpacho for a Crowd.”  Not another “Easy Summer Picnic Menu.”  Not even “Perfect Margaritas Every Time.”  But people to have fun with, relaxing repasts, the safety of being with people who know and love us.

via Cooking Shows vs. Cooking « Holy Vernacular.

culture, law, Supreme Court, women’s issues:

“Recent grads shouldn’t get their hearts set on ‘having it all,’ ” Wu says. “The practice of law is demanding—exceedingly so. It is next to impossible to balance a full-time legal career with marriage, children and regular trips to the gym. It’s no coincidence that the two women most recently nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court—now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor and nominee/U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan—are unmarried and childless.”

via Partner Advises Women Law Grads to Value Adversity, Get Real About Balance – News – ABA Journal.




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