Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage

25
Apr
14

4.25.14 … “Work worth doing.” I like that …

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, quotes, happiness,  The Happiness Project: “Work worth doing.” I like that.

Years ago, when I was a lawyer, I clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor – which was one of those rare, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime work experiences. There are many reasons that I don’t regret law school and my years as a lawyer before becoming a writer, and the chance to work for Justice O’Connor is one of them.

The other day, I was on the phone with the Justice. We were talking about her terrific new site, iCivics, which teaches children about civics, and she’d also visited my website.

“I can tell you what I believe is the secret to a happy life,” she said.

“What’s that, Justice?” I asked. (Sidenote: when you speak directly to a Justice, you address him or her as “Justice” – e.g., “Justice, the cert petitions are here.” This, I always thought, must act as a frequent reminder to them about the value they are supposed to embody!) “What’s your secret?”

“Work worth doing,” she answered firmly.

via The Secret to Happiness, in Three Words, According to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor « The Happiness Project.

Justice John Paul Stevens, marijuana , gay marriage, The Two-Way : NPR, , Six Amendments:  A lot covered here … “he considers himself a conservative.” 

Stevens’ comments are perhaps not particularly surprising. Stevens was, after all, considered part of the court’s liberal wing.

But he was appointed by President Gerald Ford and he considers himself a conservative. Also, just years ago a pronouncement of this kind would have been a bombshell.

Just think back to 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg to the high court.

Nine days later, after Ginsburg admitted that he had smoked marijuana, he asked Reagan to withdraw his nomination.

The 94-year-old Stevens has been making waves recently with a new book, Six Amendments, in which he proposes six changes to the U.S. Constitution.

Among them: the banishment of capital punishment, a limit on the amount of corporate money that can be pumped into elections and a curb on the individual right to bear arms.

Scott also asked Stevens about gay marriage. Stevens says that the dramatic shift in public opinion on that issue gives him confidence that “in due course when people actually think through the issues they’ll be willing to accept the merits of some of my arguments.”

Much more of Scott’s conversation with Stevens will air on Weekend Edition Saturday. Click here to find your NPR member station. We’ll add the as-aired interview to the top of this post on Saturday.

via Retired Justice John Paul Stevens: Marijuana Should Be Legal : The Two-Way : NPR.

“It’s certainly not easy to get the Constitution amended, and perhaps that’s one flaw in the Constitution that I don’t mention in the book,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with USA TODAY in his chambers at the court. Noting his book’s half dozen proposed amendments, he mused, “Maybe I should have had seven.”

Even at 94, he said, “it’s amazing how many interesting things there are to learn about the world.”

via Former justice Stevens wants to change Constitution.

Pangea, 250 Million-Year-Old Piece Of Africa Found In Southeastern US, Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly:

Scientists have known for some time of the presence of a strange band of magnetic rock that stretches from Alabama through Georgia and offshore to the North Carolina coast, but its origin has been debated. The ribbon of rock is buried about 9 to 12 miles below the surface. According to a new study published in the journal Geological Society of America, the fissure, known as the Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly, was created hundreds of millions of years ago when the crusts of Africa and North America were yanked apart like stitches in a piece of cloth.

“There was an attempt to rip away Florida and southern Georgia,” geologist Robert Hatcher, of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, told Discovery. “So you have a failed rift there … There are pieces of crust that started in Africa.”

Crustal rocks keep records of Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetism is stored by minerals, particularly strongly magnetic minerals like magnetite. Scientists can discover important information about plate tectonics, the large-scale motion of Earth’s outermost shell, by determining the source of distinct striped magnetic anomalies – kind of like studying the fingerprints left behind at a crime scene.

Scientists have attributed the Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly to a belt of 200 million-year-old volcanic rocks that were formed around the time the Atlantic Ocean was shaped. The location of the magnetic anomaly is thought to mark the point where North America separated from the rest of the supercontinent Pangaea.

via 250 Million-Year-Old Piece Of Africa Found In Southeastern US, Larger Portions May Still Be Discovered.

Beijing’s Subway Stops, Literally Translated,  China Real Time Report, WSJ, kith/kin, China Bike Trip 2007:  Our bike guides in China referred to one town where we stayed as “safety alarm town.” After reading this blog post and looking at the Beijing Subway map, I’m thinking “safety alarm town” was an accurate translation of the town’s name!

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Earlier this month, a map of Hong Kong’s MTR system with stations’ Chinese names literally translated into English made the rounds on the Internet, featuring such gems as “Permanent Security” (Heng On) and “Bamboo Basket Bay” (Shau Kei Wan).

That map got us at China Real Time wondering about the literal translations of Beijing’s subway station names. We couldn’t fit all 200+ stations, so we narrowed it down to some with the best translations.

It was hard to come up with a good methodology, but in the end we opted to essentially plug individual characters into Baidu translate and see what came out.

Many of the stations, particularly those on Line 2, are named after the capital’s old city gates. Qianmen is, literally, the Front Gate, while Andingmen is the Stability Gate and Tiananmen, which marked the entrance to the Forbidden City and now makes up two stops on Line 1 (east and west), is the Heavenly Peace Gate.

Others are named after the landmarks that dotted the city in its idyllic days before it was built up into endless ring roads of traffic: Dirt Bridge (Tuqiao on the Baotong line off Line 1), Peony Garden (Mudanyuan on Line 10), Cattail Yellow Elm (Puhuangyu on Line 5).

The origins of some other stations remain somewhat of a mystery to us at CRT: Puddle of Accumulated Water (Jishuitan on Line 2), Smooth Justice (Shunyi on Line 15) or Cholera Camp (Huoying on Line 8).

Readers, do you have any insight into how some of the more unique station names came about, or did we miss any notable literal translations? (See the actual Beijing subway map here.) Let us know in the comments.

via Beijing’s Subway Stops, Literally Translated – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend 2014 Calendar of Events, “SEASONAL COOKING: SPRING’S BOUNTY”, CHEF CHRIS HALL of Local Three Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, kith/kin, Warm Asparagus Salad, Seared Diver Scallop and Spring Pea Risotto, Mint Strawberry Rhubarb Soup:  What a treat!  And everything was divine!! And I have the recipes if you are feeling adventuresome.  Very good!!

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THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

“SEASONAL COOKING: SPRING’S BOUNTY” COOKING DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF CHRIS HALL of Local Three Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, hosted by culinary expert, cooking instructor and food writer Heidi Billotto – Thursday, April 24, 10:00am at the Sub- Zero/Wolf Showroom at The Design Center, 127 West Worthington Avenue, Suite 180.

Join Chef Hall as he explores the bounty of spring with you and demonstrates the thinking behind and execution of a spring menu. Chef will be cooking: Warm Asparagus Salad; Frisee, Parmesan, Farm Egg, Sourdough, Bacon Vinaigrette; Seared Diver Scallop; Spring Pea Risotto, Roasted Mushrooms, Mint Strawberry Rhubarb Soup; and Vanilla Creme Fresh, Cornbread “Croutons”

via Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend 2014 Calendar of Events

Poem in Your Pocket Day 4.24, Shel Silverstein:  

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Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day . . . Celebrate with Shel Silverstein! Print this poem from WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, carry it in your pocket, and share it with as many people as you can.

Buzz Aldrin, First EVA selfie:

@NASA I believe I get to claim the first EVA selfie from space during my Gemini 12 spacewalk orbiting Earth 17,000 mph. Best. Selfie. Ever.

via Buzz Aldrin’s photo “@NASA I believe I get to claim the first EVA selfie from space during my Gemini 12 spacewalk orbiti…” on WhoSay.

Dinah Fried, “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals”, Monkey See : NPR:

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Du Maurier’s feast is just one of 50 tableaux collected in Fried’s new book, Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals. It’s full of photographs, all shot from above and each one of food — literary food, to be exact. From the watery gruel in Oliver Twist to a grilled mutton kidney in Ulysses to intricate “salads of harlequin designs” in The Great Gatsby, the book is a tribute to the tastes of authors and their readers.

via Interview: Dinah Fried, Author Of “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals” : Monkey See : NPR.

Netflix, real TV, Neflix own ‘cable channel’:

The offer is limited to those who are both a customer of the three cable companies and a subscriber to Netflix. In addition, the technology requires a cable-provided TiVo box. Although consumers can currently buy TiVos from retail stores that come with the Netflix app, until now cable-provided boxes lacked the Netflix functionality. In order to make the deal possible, Netflix said it had to negotiate with some of its content partners to allow streaming on cable boxes. All Americans with service from one of the three cable companies will be eligible for the offering beginning Monday, company officials said.

via Netflix to become real TV and get its own ‘cable channel’ next week.

The Sound of Music Live!: I’ve held back posting this because it was so bad, but I need a place to store the link in case I forget. What were they thinking. 😦  The Sound of Music Live!.

28
Jun
13

6.28.13 … the end of ‘ick’ …

Bert and Ernie,  LGBT rights,  Gay Marriage, The New Yorker, George Takei, DOMA “ick” factor, The Washington Post:  Legally, I get it, and I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling.  But why do I have misgivings … this New Yorker cover and George Takei’s editorial, together made me realize it’s my problem.  But for the sake of families and society, I need to get over my “ick” factor, my “visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar.”

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Forty-four years nearly to the day after drag queens stood their ground against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, sparking rioting in New York City and marking the beginning of America’s gay rights movement, our nation’s highest court at last held that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Amazingly, since Stonewall, the question of LGBT rights has evolved from whether homosexuals should have any place in our society to whether gay and lesbian couples should be accorded equal marital stature.

Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion. Just this March, for example, a young woman at an anti-same-sex-marriage rally in Washington was asked to write down, in her own words, why she was there. Her answer: “I can’t see myself being with a woman. Eww.”

These words are outrageous today, but only because we no longer react with disgust at the notion of the races working and sleeping side by side. Because social mores change with each generation, the “ick” is not particularly effective at preventing changes to our institutions. Importantly, same-sex marriage is supported by a strong majority of young people: A recent Field Poll in California showed that 78 percent of voters under 39 favor marriage equality.

Future generations will shake their heads at how narrow, fearful and ignorant we sounded today debating DOMA. Happily, the majority of our justices understood this and did not permit the “ick” to stick.

via George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ – The Washington Post.

26
Jun
13

6.26.13 … “By August, about 600m people worldwide will live in states/countries with gay marriage”

That’s significant progress in one year …

17
Jun
13

6.17.13 … “durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society” …

gay marriage, same-sex marriage,  marriage equality, durable rights:  First, relevant comparison to abortion rights.  Second, “durable rights”  …

The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn’t reach the court any sooner.

They didn’t want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.

With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.

“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.”

via Why Both Sides Want Gay Marriage Settled By The States : NPR.

27
Feb
13

2.27.13 … If I hate being late, why am I always late …

Van Cliburn, RIP,  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30, YouTube:  What a life!  RIP, Van Cliburn.

Pianist Van Cliburn died Wednesday at the age of 78 in Forth Worth, after battling bone cancer.

In 1958, Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow — he became an international classical music star.

via Van Cliburn Dead at 78: His Great Performances (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 (Van Cliburn) in D minor Op.30 – YouTube.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2013 FPC Charlotte Lenten Devotional, 2013  NAPC Lenten Devotional:

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Beautiful day …  as I opened the car door I hear the chimes ringing softly in the wind.  What a great way to start my walk.
Things I thought about …
From FPC’s Wes Barry:
I had a professor in Seminary say that anytime the word “bread” shows up in scripture we should take notice, because it is by this earthly substance that we are told by our Lord to remember him.  So when God asks us “why spend money on what is not bread,” he is asking us why would we spend our resources on things that do not satisfy?  In the end, it is only Jesus Christ, his body broken for us, which satisfies our longings.
From NAPC’s devotional …
Life is like this; just a little seed of an evil desire can cause us to go down another path. James is encouraging us to endure temptation and to stand the test so that we will receive a blessing beyond our imagination.
And from Henri Nouwen …

Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space for God.

TED Talks, business, Harvard Business Review:

It’s happening right now.

Thousands of very lucky individuals are seated in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center are at TED 2013. TED has become a brand name as they have uploaded their archive of 18-minute presentations from their exclusive annual event to TED.com. Originally available only online, the speeches are now distributed and broadcasted on TV, radio, podcasts and even on Netflix. I have been fortunate to have attended the annual conference since 2008, and I’ve found TED an experience that helps businesspeople unlock a new way to think about the work that we do, where we are going as leaders, and our collective role in the evolution of the world. In the spirit of TED 2013, here are 10 amazing TED Talks that have helped me think differently about what business can be, how to be a better leader, and how to become a better global citizen

via 10 TED Talks to Help You Reimagine Your Business – Mitch Joel – Harvard Business Review.

The Cloisters, The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary, WSJ.com:  I love it that my husband sent this to me. 🙂

Set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, the Cloisters museum and gardens were designed to give visitors the impression they are stepping back in time, wandering through what feels like an old-world monastery.

But as America’s only medieval-art museum approaches its 75th anniversary this spring, its curators are stepping gingerly into the modern world.

This year, the Cloisters will for the first time present a contemporary-art installation. The museum, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is developing new digital content for visitors to view on iPods. And after decades of displaying the same permanent collection, the museum is making a bid to attract return visitors with more special exhibitions, made possible by climate-control improvements in recent years.

Change is a delicate issue at the Cloisters, where curators are looking to draw a broader audience without alienating those who cherish the spot’s timeless quality.

via The Cloisters Opens Up – WSJ.com.

 Vatican, Pope Benedict’s new title, CNN.com, fyi:

Pope Benedict XVI will keep the title “his holiness” once he retires and will be called “pontiff emeritus,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican on Tuesday.

via Vatican reveals Pope Benedict’s new title – CNN.com.

BofA,  Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan, gaffes, Bloomberg:  Worth reading …

“Brian certainly doesn’t show up on anyone’s list of most- admired bankers,” Miller says. “If he’s successful, he will have a lot more stature than is now the case.”

Buffett, who stands to become Bank of America’s largest shareholder, says he has little doubt Moynihan will succeed.

“I’ve been around other companies that have great underlying strengths, where some huge event has gotten them into major trouble,” the 82-year-old billionaire says. “Sometimes, you can make a very good investment when that happens.”

via BofA Affirms Buffett Bet as Moynihan Recovers From Gaffes – Bloomberg.

Colm Toibin,  “Summer of ’38” , The New Yorker, bookshelf:  Colm Toibin: “Summer of ’38” : The New Yorker.

poems,  Rudyard Kipling, NPR:  I love lost works …

Fifty previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, were discovered by Thomas Pinney, an English professor at California State Polytechnic University. The lost works by Kipling, whose most famous poems include “If” and the notorious “White Man’s Burden,” are to be published next month. Kipling was widely derided as an apologist for British colonialism — George Orwell called him “a jingo imperialist” — though he was also a respected novelist who won the Literature Nobel in 1907.

via Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered : The Two-Way : NPR.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren,   Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney, lawsuits:  Ah, intigue in retail …

Lundgren, 60, said Stewart sounded like she was reading from a document prepared by lawyers when they spoke, and that he cut off the conversation when the home goods doyenne claimed her deal with J.C. Penney would be good for Macy’s.

“I think that’s when I hung up,” said Lundgren. “The thought this was going to be good for Macy’s was so far from anything I could comprehend.”

Lundgren said that at the time he considered Stewart a friend, and he has not spoken to her since.

via Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren ‘Shocked And Blown Away’ Over Martha Stewart’s Alliance With J.C. Penney.

Swiss watchmakers, The Economist:  I met someone a few years back whose ex worked with a swiss watchmaker … very interesting …

No one buys a Swiss watch to find out what time it is. The allure is intangible: precise engineering, beautifully displayed. The art of fine watchmaking has all but died out elsewhere, but it thrives in Switzerland. “Swiss-made” has become one of the world’s most valuable brands.

In the popular imagination, Swiss watches are made by craftsmen at tiny firms nestled in Alpine villages. In fact, the industry is dominated by one big firm. The Swatch Group’s stable of brands Breguet, Blancpain, Omega and a dozen others generated watch and jewellery sales of SFr7.3 billion in 2012. That is up by 15.6% over the previous year and accounts for one-third of all sales of Swiss watches. In January Swatch announced the purchase of Harry Winston, an American jeweller which also makes watches in Geneva.

via Swiss watchmakers: Time is money | The Economist.

YMCA, ballene:  I attended my second ballene class in a month … I like it!

Ballene: A unique blend of core, strength and flexibility exercises using the stability ball

via Exercise Class

gay marriage, GOP, NYTimes.com:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”

Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.

via Prominent Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com.

Secretary of State John Kerry,  Free Speech, only in America, NYTimes.com: “In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid.”  If you want to see the clip … Kerry Defends American Liberties.

In a robust defense of free speech during a meeting with young Germans in Berlin on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry explained just how far the limits of tolerance extend in blunt terms. “In America,” the country’s top diplomat explained, “you have a right to be stupid.”

That remark, at a forum hosted by the United States Embassy in Berlin, went completely unmentioned in German newspaper and television reports on the event, but it was gleefully seized upon by Mr. Kerry’s critics back home, and bored journalists everywhere, hungry for a gaffe.

via ‘In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid,’ Kerry Says in Defense of Free Speech – NYTimes.com.

North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Frank M. Eldridge:  I spent a day with Frank while my mother was having surgery in 2008.  What a blessing he is to NAPC … and what an accomplishment  … by title alone …

Name with titles: Hon. Rev. Dr. Frank M. Eldridge, Sr., JD, LL.M., M. Div., Th.M., Associate for Congregational Care, Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

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via North Avenue Presbyterian young adults, Who’s Who at NAPC?.

Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech, marriage, truth:  I thought this deconstruction of his speech very interesting …

Did you see Ben Affleck’s speech accepting the Best Picture award last night? If not, he made a moving and authentic statement about marriage. Read more about it here.

The part that has people in a tizzy is this:

I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.

The criticism centers around this statement as lacking in cuteness, and focusing on the negative. It wasn’t the “right forum” for this type of declaration, it was a possible indicator that “something is wrong” in the marriage, he should have just stuck to “I love you and adore you and you’re perfect” — basically whining that a major Hollywood star was uncomfortably honest about his relationship and said overly blunt things about marriage in one of the most public forums on the planet.

Anyone who actually agrees with the above criticism doesn’t get marriage.

A fundamental reality of human relationships is that two people are not meant to be in a single monogamous partnership for all eternity (or even until the end of their lives). Humans crave sexual novelty. We get bored. We lose interest after just two years. We find our intimacy crushed by the weight of daily routines. Marriage is a voluntary commitment that flies in the face of all scientific research and human evolution.

We enter this voluntary (some say insane, and they’re not entirely wrong) pact because we do a cost-benefit analysis and decide that the benefits of getting married (or otherwise partnering for life) outweigh the potential costs — breakups, emotional pain, financial disarray, the list goes on. We make just about the biggest emotional leap of faith a person can make, because we think, feel, and hope that the rewards will be great.

via Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech Revealed A Truth About Marriage.

The Silver Linings Playbook, bookshelf, film/lit:  I need to read the book and see the movie!

Paper or Plastic, games, icebreakers, app:  There’s an app for that?

Paper or Plastic App | A Simple Game to Break the Ice.

Kayla loves the moon, YouTube: Endearing .. to the tune of 300,000 hits in the first week!

That doesn’t make her attempts any less endearing.

In this swoon-worthy YouTube video, the pink-clad, stuffed-animal-toting toddler converses with her dad, who encourages her to reach for the moon before eventually agreeing with her that it’s a lost cause, and she should say “goodbye.”

Since being uploaded on Friday, the clip — which denmoff77 posted alongside links to the Lunar and Planetary Institute and its moon-themed site, MyMoonspace.com — has racked up almost 300,000 views.

via Kayla Loves The Moon So Much, She Wants To Catch It (VIDEO).

@amandapalmer, human connection, mutual dignity of gift economies,  TED2013, Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker:  I can’t wait to watch this 2013 TEDTalk.

Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker

“Asking makes you vulnerable.” @amandapalmer makes a beautiful case for the human connection and mutual dignity of gift economies #TED2013

via (73) Twitter.

bikes, cycling, training, Bicycling MagazineIndoor Bike Trainer Tips, Tricks & Strategies | Bicycling Magazine.

26
Jun
11

6.26.2011 … somewhere over the rainbow …

music, gay marriage:  See the reference below … I am so behind or don’t attend enough gay rights parades that I just chuckled when I was reminded that this is their theme song.  YouTube – Judy Garland – Somewhere Over The Rainbow – HIGHEST QUALITY Music Video – The Wizard Of Oz, 1939.

Paris, food, events:  Too early for the Teagues, but sounds fun.  Bazarette/bodega = convenience store … Why does it always sound so much nicer in French?

On July 1, the French gastronomic group Le Fooding will be celebrating summer with a butcher, a baker and a macaron maker at their annual Bazarette du Fooding, a collection of food and drink purveyors.

The Paris Bazarette — events in Arles and Biarritz will follow — takes place in conjunction with the Days Off festival, at Cité de la Musique (221 avenue Jean Jaurès) in the 19th Arrondissement.

“Bazarette” loosely translates as “convenience store,” but this is no typical bodega. There will be a D.J., drinks and star purveyors from Paris and farther afield on hand to dish up samples to the crowd.

Breads will be provided by Gontran Cherrier, known for his good and good-looking multi-grain loaves, as well as buns made colorful by squid ink and paprika. Local growers Terroirs d’Avenir will be bringing in organic produce and the Italian grocery Mmmozza! will take care of the cheese. The “Bohemian butcher” Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec (who did a guest stint at the Meat Hook in Brooklyn last fall) will be serving his own house-cured beef.

Sweets will be handled by Maison Charaix from Joyeuse, who craft their macarons according to a 400-year-old recipe. The chef Magnus Nilsson will visit from the Swedish countryside to mix a special barley and almond aperitif.

Advanced reservations are required. They are available starting Tuesday on the Le Fooding Web site; the 15-euro fee (about $22) goes to charity.

via In Paris, a Festival for Food Lovers – NYTimes.com.

apps, journalists, lists:  From  a twitterer that I like …

Holly Tucker (@history_geek)
6/26/11 3:23 AM
Great apps for journalists from @nancyshute iReporter,Fire,Report-it lite, Skype, 1st video,Monle,Hindenberg,Camera+. #wcsj2011

economics, US, managrialist economy:  Actually makes some sense to me …

MARK ROE, a professor at Harvard Law School, asks how capitalist America really is in a stimulating Project Syndicate piece. Mr Roe suggests that the level of state ownership of capital, or the level of government intervention in the economy, may offer a misleading picture of America’s political economy. By these measures, one might infer that America is very capitalist, in the sense that capital largely controls the economy. However, as Mr Roe points out, ownership of capital is often extremely diffuse, spread over many thousands of shareholders. While a scattered body of shareholders collectively own much or most of public corporations, they generally have little control over the firms in which they have a stake. The people with real power are are the class of managers and executives. Mr Roe writes:

American law gives more authority to managers and corporate directors than to shareholders. If shareholders want to tell directors what to do – say, borrow more money and expand the business, or close off the money-losing factory – well, they just can’t. The law is clear: the corporation’s board of directors, not its shareholders, runs the business.

via Corporate power: Managerialist America | The Economist.

website, data base, writers, reading, history:  Now I thought this was fun!

RED is a collection of databases whose aim is to accumulate as much evidence as possible about reading experiences across the world. The search and browse facilities enable you to chart the reading tastes of individual readers as they travel to other countries, and consider how different environments may have affected their reading. You can track the readership of books issued in new editions for new audiences in different countries. Search results are displayed on an interactive map and linked to relevant records in national REDs.

Each national RED offers a range of services to users, including profiles of readers, authors, and titles; tutorials on accessing and analysing evidence; and examples of how scholars have used the database to uncover patterns of reading.

via Reading Experience Database – Home.

travel, tours, DC, green, electric bikes, bike tours:  I would have done this in a heartbeat.  Electric bike tours of DC!

The Monumental Tour starts and ends at the U.S. Marine Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Monument. From there, we follow the bike trail along Marshall Drive toArlingtonNational Cemetery, across Memorial Bridge toLincoln Memorial, past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, around the Constitutional Garden and Lagoon, past National Mall andWorld War II Memorial, in the shadow of Washington Monument.

From there, we cross Independence Avenue under the world-famous cherry blossoms, past the paddle boat dock, towards Jefferson Memorial. We dip south toward East Potomac Park, then return past FDRMemorial and the future site of Martin Luther King Memorial, back past Lincoln Memorial, across Memorial Bridge toward the Women In Military Museum, back on the Marshall Drive trail, up the final hill of Marine Corps Marathon, and back to the U.S. Marine Memorial.

via Pedego DC Tours.

gay marriage, New York, faith and spirituality:  Again, a very complex issue …

The gathering at that apartment was slightly surreal. It appeared to be familiar: handsome young men flirting with each other over sweets and alcohol. But now they had a complex new dimension to navigate through — albeit the kind of calculus that heterosexuals can do in their sleep. Or when they sleep with each other. Or when they wake up and discover who they have slept with. It’s the possibility of marriage, lurking subtly somewhere in one’s head. Imagine all the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that will emerge as that little formula weaves itself into the lives of gay New Yorkers. Soon, we can have the kind of domestic life straight people have. One day, we may no longer even be gay. Just the people next door. No more parades.

But in one very important way, marriage will not quite be marriage even in New York, even 30 days from now when the law goes into effect. That is because the psycho-sexual-financial-commercial-legal dramas that entangle the domestic lives of straight people often have another component — religion. And religious institutions have an exemption in the new law from accommodating gay people. It was key to the passage of the legislation.

,,,

I write this as a deeply religious Christian who is pained that the church that otherwise provides me with so much spiritual comfort and joy will never allow me to marry within its walls. Some clerics may be “liberal” enough to turn a blind eye to gay relationships so long as they do not have to recognize them, much less grant them any kind of imprimatur. And, as of now, even in New York, religious institutions cannot be compelled to perform such a simple act of charity.

The state cannot force a church to change its beliefs. Even gay people realize that is wrong. And so, just to remind folks that we’re here we will have to continue to march in our parades and to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Nonetheless, waking up this morning, I was very happy not to be in Kansas anymore.

via Gay Marriage: A Bittersweet Victory? – TIME.

tweet of the day, gay marriage, New York, LOL:  I just had to laugh …

“Alec! Now we can get married!” – Steve Martin to Alec Baldwin, on Twitter.

via Celebrities tweet on N.Y. gay marriage law

Machu Picchu, Peru, history, travel, adventure travel, bucket list:  We went to Peru 25 years ago and chose to visit the Amazon over Machu Picchu … I have always wanted to go back … I want to go back via this route.  Love the comparison of seeing Machu Picchu to seeing the Mona Lisa (in bold)!

The first known American to see Choquequirao was the young Yale history lecturer Hiram Bingham III, in 1909. He was researching a biography of the South American liberator Simón Bolívar when a local prefect he met near Cuzco persuaded him to visit the site. Many believed that the ruins of Choquequirao had once been Vilcabamba, the legendary lost city of the Incas. Bingham didn’t agree, and was mesmerized by the idea of lost cities waiting to be found. Two years later, he returned to Peru in search of Vilcabamba. On July 24, 1911, just days into his expedition, Bingham climbed a 2,000-foot-tall slope and encountered an abandoned stone city of which no record existed. It was Machu Picchu.

This year, which marks the 100th anniversary of Bingham’s achievement, up to a million visitors are expected to visit those ancient ruins — a sharp rise from last year’s roughly 700,000, one of the highest attendance figures ever. Most of those pilgrims will hear the tale of Bingham’s 1911 trip. But few of them will know that the explorer also located several other major sets of Incan ruins, all of which approach his most famous finds in historic significance. After Machu Picchu — where he lingered for only a few hours, convinced that more important discoveries lay ahead — Bingham continued his hunt for vanished Incan sites. His 1911 expedition turned out to be one of the most successful in history. Within a few hundred square miles, he found Vitcos, once an Incan capital, and Espiritu Pampa, the jungle city where the last Incan king is thought to have made his final stand against the Spanish invaders. A year later he returned, and came upon Llactapata, a mysterious satellite town just two miles west of Machu Picchu whose importance is still being decoded.

Today Machu Picchu is a beehive of ongoing archaeological work while elsewhere in the area restoration efforts have progressed slowly, allowing visitors a chance to see ancient history in a form that closely resembles what Bingham encountered.

I wondered if it was still possible to detour from the modern, tourist path and arrive in the same way Bingham had — by taking the scenic route. Aided by John, a 58-year-old Australian expatriate who works with the Cuzco-based adventure outfitter Amazonas Explorer, I assembled a trip to do just that. Rather than start with the most famous ruins, our route began in Cuzco and looped counterclockwise around them, stopping first at the other extraordinary sites. You might call it a backdoor to Machu Picchu.

One’s first view of Machu Picchu is a bit like seeing the Mona Lisa after staring for years at a da Vinci refrigerator magnet. You know exactly what to expect, and at the same time, can’t quite believe that the real thing exceeds the hype. Also like the Mona Lisa, Machu Picchu is more compact than it appears in photos. In less than an hour John and I were able to visit most of the ruins that Bingham saw 100 years ago, in the same order he had encountered them: the cave of the Royal Mausoleum, with its interior walls that seemed to have melted; the perfect curve of the Sun Temple; the titanic structures of the Sacred Plaza, assembled from what Bingham called “blocks of Cyclopean size, higher than a man”; and, at the very top of the main ruins, the enigmatic Intihuatana stone, around which a throng of mystically inclined visitors stood with their hands extended, hoping to absorb any good vibrations radiating from the granite. At noon, when trainloads of day-trippers arrived, John and I took a long walk out to the Sun Gate. We munched on quinoa energy bars and watched tour groups endure stop-and-go traffic up and down Machu Picchu’s ancient stone stairways. At 3 p.m., the Cuzco-bound crowds drained through the exit like water from a tub, and we wandered the main ruins for another two hours before catching the day’s last bus down at 5:30.

On the last morning of our trip, still feeling crowd-shy, I asked John if he knew of any place at Machu Picchu that Bingham had seen but that most people never bothered to visit.

“I know just the spot,” he said without hesitating. “Mount Machu Picchu.”

Climbing a 1,640-foot-tall staircase isn’t something I normally do on vacation. But the condor’s-eye view from the top of Mount Machu Picchu, a verdant peak that looms above the ruins, was the sort of thing that compels a man to quote Kipling. Once at its summit, we had views of sacred apus unfolding in all directions; the Urubamba River snaking its way around Machu Picchu, on its way to the Amazon; and even the busy Inca Trail. We were inside the confines of Machu Picchu, and yet, like Bingham a hundred years before, we could appreciate it in peace.

via In Peru, Machu Picchu and Its Sibling Incan Ruins Along the Way – NYTimes.com.

US flag, trivia, history:  So no Betsy Ross, no real meaning to colors (other than same as Union Jack), no daily Pledge of Allegiance in Congress until recently, yes to burning, yes to t-shirts and beach towels …

In other words, when you wear a flag T-shirt or hat while reclining on an American flag beach towel near your American flag camping chair, you are violating the Flag Code. The code, which was drawn up at the first National Flag Conference in Washington in 1923, is part of the law of the land. But it is not enforced, nor is it enforceable. It is merely a set of guidelines, letting Americans know what to do — and what not to do — with our red, white and blue national emblem.

There is no Flag Police. You will not be arrested for wearing a flag-embossed T-shirt on Flag Day — or any other day of the year.

via Five myths about the American flag – The Washington Post.

10
Aug
10

8.10.2010 … Jack’s flying in on the redeye …

yesterday:  In celebration of 8-9-10,  John and I had a delightful lunch with the Trobichs  at the Cabo Fish Taco in NODA.

advertising, billboards, blogging, random:  So why am I posting this?  Because of all my clippings, the one about the McDonald’s billboard -[Big cup of coffee] “If coffee is Joe, consider this Joseph” ,  has generated the most hits.

McDonald’s. posted its biggest monthly increase of a key U.S. sales figure in more than a year on Monday, saying its new fruit smoothies and frappes were a hit with customers during a hot and steamy July.

via Smoothies, coffee spike McDonald’s July sales – USATODAY.com.

kith/kin, Harman, Carson:  The kids are growing up!

Congratulations to nephew Harman and his 2014 USMA classmates for completing their six week basic training today. I swear it’s Harman smiling at 2:40/3:07!! Congratulations, Harman!!

– and – Carson is at preseason camp at Villanova.

new ideas: I agree …  I did something similar … a homemade version for jack’s 5th grade teacher in Wilmette.  All the kid’s came in and recorded whatever they wanted … some just told her what a great year they had had; some read a poem; one played the violin.  It was great.  i wonder of she still has it?  VoiceQuilt Recorded Messages and Voice Memories Are A Unique Gift.

movies:  My brother said this was a great movie.  I think I will study the chart before I go.  😉

Sure, Inception may have been great, but didn’t you feel like it was the kind of movie where you needed a chart to keep things straight (well, another one)?

via How To Understand Inception, In One Easy Chart – Techland – TIME.com.

travel, Orlando, Wizarding World:  I’d go.

No question, the Wizarding World is a hit. That’s clear from all the blogs grousing about the hours visitors can spend waiting to get on a ride or even to be admitted into Potterland. Some of the shops are so small that crowds often must line up outside just to buy stuff. (Guests staying at Universal hotels get into the park an hour before the official opening. Or you can just wait for an off-peak month in the fall.)

But even if you don’t have time for the Forbidden Journey, you can get the full Potter experience just walking around, admiring the evocative precision of the decor, immersing yourself in Hogsmeade. Here, as at Disney, the park is the ride. And the Wizarding World is one fabulous trip.

via Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – TIME.

sports, golf, people:  I feel sorry for Tiger.  He really screwed up.

Tiger Woods has never looked worse.

via Tiger Woods Plays Worst Finish Ever As Pro.

globalization, legal careers: I am glad I am not in law school now …

America and American lawyers are less and less at the center of the legal universe, he said. “Even before the crash, many would argue that London had become the center of the economic world. How far east or south will it go? Shanghai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo or all of the above?”

Governments are investing in law and legal innovation as an export item. China and India have both created transnational law schools in which students are trained in English about U.S. and international law. The school in China even plans to seek ABA accreditation so its graduates can take the bar in any U.S. state, he said.

“We’re facing a different kind of competition. We used to think of the quality of legal services was measured by inputs, like where a lawyer went to law school or how much time was put into the matter,” Wilkins said. “Now people are looking at outputs—how much value was delivered.”

via Harvard Prof Sees Legal Profession in Turmoil – ABA Journal.

technology, education:  My children were at the forefront of computers and education and now they are at the forefront of e-books and education.  they have been lab rats for their whole lives.

Compared with traditional textbooks, the iPad and other devices for reading digital bookshave the potential to save on textbook costs in the long term, to provide students with more and better information faster, and — no small matter — to lighten the typical college student’s backpack.

Yet the track record on campus so far for e-readers has been bumpy. Early trials of the Kindle DX, for example, drewcomplaints from students about clunky highlighting of text and slow refresh rates. Princeton and George Washington universities this spring found the iPad caused network problems. Federal officials in June cautioned colleges to hold off on using e-readers in the classroom unless the technology can accommodate disabled students.

Though many of those problems are being or have been addressed, some of the most tech-savvy students aren’t quite ready to endorse the devices for academic use. And some educational psychologists suggest the dizzying array of options and choices offered by the ever-evolving technology may be making it harder to learn rather than easier.

Publishers, meanwhile, have big ideas for personalizing student learning. “That’s the great promise,” says Don Kilburn, president of Pearson Learning Solutions, a publisher of education materials.

More glitches are perhaps inevitable. But the technological advances “represent very real potential to remake education for the better,” says Kaplan’s Olson. “The potential for the textbook to come alive with interactivity … will make the next several years of e-book innovation fascinating to watch.”

via Back to school: Do kids learn as well on iPads, e-books? – USATODAY.com.

culture, law, religion, gay marriage:  I struggle with this one.  I think this article highlights many of the issues, whether I agree or not, and is thus very helpful in my own analysis.

So what are gay marriage’s opponents really defending, if not some universal, biologically inevitable institution? It’s a particular vision of marriage, rooted in a particular tradition, that establishes a particular sexual ideal.

This ideal holds up the commitment to lifelong fidelity and support by two sexually different human beings — a commitment that involves the mutual surrender, arguably, of their reproductive self-interest — as a uniquely admirable kind of relationship. It holds up the domestic life that can be created only by such unions, in which children grow up in intimate contact with both of their biological parents, as a uniquely admirable approach to child-rearing. And recognizing the difficulty of achieving these goals, it surrounds wedlock with a distinctive set of rituals, sanctions and taboos.

The point of this ideal is not that other relationships have no value, or that only nuclear families can rear children successfully. Rather, it’s that lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support.

In this landscape, gay-marriage critics who fret about a slippery slope to polygamy miss the point. Americans already have a kind of postmodern polygamy available to them. It’s just spread over the course of a lifetime, rather than concentrated in a “Big Love”-style menage.

If this newer order completely vanquishes the older marital ideal, then gay marriage will become not only acceptable but morally necessary. The lifelong commitment of a gay couple is more impressive than the serial monogamy of straights. And a culture in which weddings are optional celebrations of romantic love, only tangentially connected to procreation, has no business discriminating against the love of homosexuals.

But if we just accept this shift, we’re giving up on one of the great ideas of Western civilization: the celebration of lifelong heterosexual monogamy as a unique and indispensable estate. That ideal is still worth honoring, and still worth striving to preserve. And preserving it ultimately requires some public acknowledgment that heterosexual unions and gay relationships are different: similar in emotional commitment, but distinct both in their challenges and their potential fruit.

But based on Judge Walker’s logic — which suggests that any such distinction is bigoted and un-American — I don’t think a society that declares gay marriage to be a fundamental right will be capable of even entertaining this idea.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Marriage Ideal – NYTimes.com.

education:  This highlights some very serious issues about college education in America.

If you have a child in college, or are planning to send one there soon, Craig Brandon has a message for you: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

“The Five-Year Party” provides the most vivid portrait of college life since Tom Wolfe’s 2004 novel, “I Am Charlotte Simmons.” The difference is that it isn’t fiction. The alcohol-soaked, sex-saturated, drug-infested campuses that Mr. Brandon writes about are real. His book is a roadmap for parents on how to steer clear of the worst of them.

…Repealing Ferpa might be the best place to start: The adults who pay the bills need to know what is happening to their kids on campus.

via Book review: The Five-Year Party – WSJ.com.

e-books, literature, technology:  End of the Gutenberg era?

In the hit 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail,” Meg Ryan’s independent bookstore couldn’t compete with the big chain-store competitor. Underdog-rooting moviegoers couldn’t have known how lucky the independent stores were, having enjoyed so many decades of being the only booksellers. The megastores, which became dominant in the 1980s, have been undermined by technology in less than a generation.

Still, Mr. Ross, now a literary agent, is optimistic. He points to “new competitive pressure among e-book companies to get better deals for authors.” The multimedia e-book, he says, “means a lot of potential for creativity,” changing what it means to be a book.

At a time when distracting digital technologies threaten to reduce people’s attention span, it may take an evolution in the art form of a book to retain our interest in long-form story telling. Books that combine text with other media could be more informative and perhaps lead to a new kind of literature.

It’s ideas that count, not how they’re transmitted. Independent bookstores gave way to chains, which are fast giving way to Web-based retailers. At least for now, the printed book will live alongside the e-book. These are new pages in the history of the book, whose final chapters are yet to be written.

via From Gutenberg to Zoobert – WSJ.com.

teenagers, girls, health:  Very obvious to any mom of a girl.

Hitting puberty at a young age can be confusing and distressing, Herman-Giddens says.

It also increases the odds that girls will develop low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression. Girls who hit puberty sooner are more likely to attempt suicide and to have earlier sexual activity. As adults, these women are at greater risk for breast and endometrial cancers, possibly because they have a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen

via Early puberty for girls is raising health concerns – USATODAY.com.

freedom of religion, Ground Zero mosque:  Another good article to help define the issues on a difficult question.

The much larger issue that this center raises is, of course, of freedom of religion in America. Much has been written about this, and I would only urge people to read Michael Bloomberg’s speech on the subject last week. Bloomberg’s eloquent, brave, and carefully reasoned address should become required reading in every civics classroom in America. It probably will.

Bloomberg’s speech stands in stark contrast to the bizarre decision of the Anti-Defamation League to publicly side with those urging that the center be moved. The ADL’s mission statement says it seeks “to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.” But Abraham Foxman, the head of the ADL, explained that we must all respect the feelings of the 9/11 families, even if they are prejudiced feelings. “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted,” he said. First, the 9/11 families have mixed views on this mosque. There were, after all, dozens of Muslims killed at the World Trade Center. Do their feelings count? But more important, does Foxman believe that bigotry is OK if people think they’re victims? Does the anguish of Palestinians, then, entitle them to be anti-Semitic?

via Fareed Zakaria: Build the Ground Zero Mosque – Newsweek.

cities, Detroit, Great Recession:  Will Detroit be the first great American city to disappear?

The Ruins of Detroit

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last decade or so, it’s nearly impossible that you haven’t heard of the Motor City’s dramatic decline. The Ruins of Detroit ($125) is a 200-page photographic tour through some of the city’s now-decrepit landmarks, interspersed with looks at near-downtown residences that have been trashed, abandoned, and in some cases destroyed completely. It’s quite sad, but on the other hand, it provides plenty of hope for the possible PS3 title Fallout: Detroit 2015.

via The Ruins of Detroit.

religion:  So another article that makes you think …

Why religion? In the face of pogroms and pedophiles, crusades and coverups, why indeed?

Religious Americans have answered the question variously. Worship is one answer. Millions gather each week to acknowledge their higher power. The chance to experience community is another. Healthy congregations are more than civic clubs. They are surrogate families. The opportunity to serve others also comes to mind. Americans feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the homeless largely through religious organizations. Yet as important as community, worship and service are, I am convinced that religion’s greatest contribution to society is even greater.

Religion makes us want to live.

Here’s the point: I think religion makes it easier to be decent. The positive core values, mutual accountability and constant striving for self-improvement help one to be a better person. And I want to be a better person. Not because I’m afraid of God. Because I’m grateful for another trip around the sun and, like a good house guest, want to leave this place in better shape than I found it.

via Why do we need religion? – USATODAY.com.




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