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.




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