Posts Tagged ‘globalization

17
Nov
11

11.17.2011 … MARTA Gold Line to Civic Center to Megabus to Charlotte (with a mere 2 hour delay) … WOOHOO! great visit with the mum and sis!

Atlanta, MegaBus, travel, kith/kin: Megabus to Charlotte. WOOHOO! great visit with the mum and sis… Massive traffic jam … This delay is not Megabus’ fault … View from the bus for the last 1/2 hour … 🙂 — at I 85

.

This is what I was trapped in …

A truck driver has been charged in a wreck that completely shutdown Interstate 85 for four hours on Thursday.

Rafael Lopez, 48, of New Jersey, has been charged with driving too fast for conditions, according to Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Bill Rhyne.

The southbound lanes reopened at about 2 p.m., and traffic started to slowly move again. The northbound lanes reopened at about 2:45 p.m.

A truck ran off the road and into the support for an electronic message board used for AMBER alerts and other information that spans all lanes of the interstate. It caused the structure to collapse across the northbound lanes near mile marker 67, according to the Highway Patrol.

via I-85 Reopens; Driver Charged In Wreck – Local News – Greenville, SC – msnbc.com.

A Very Young Dancer, children’s/YA literature, followup:  Having friends in the ballet world I found this interesting …

IN the fall of 1976 “A Very Young Dancer” leaped into the imaginations of a generation of little girls. This children’s book by the photographer Jill Krementz chronicled the day-to-day life of a 10-year-old student from the School of American Ballet, following her to class and through her starring role as Marie in New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” for which she was handpicked by George Balanchine himself. (“George Balanchine’s Nutcracker,” performed by City Ballet, begins its 57th season on Friday at the Koch Theater.)

Stephanie DePierro was profiled at 10 in Jill Krementz’s 1976 photo book “A Very Young Dancer.”

For a time the book’s subject, Stephanie, was perhaps the most famous and easily recognizable ballerina in the world. Young readers wanted to be her. There were bags of fan mail and appearances on “Today,” “Midday Live With Bill Boggs” and a one-hour “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” Christmas special.

For anyone who’s read the classic book, it’s easy to see why it was a best seller. Stephanie’s intensity — her beauty, her dark eyes and her seriousness — draws the reader in. The stark black and white lends some of the photos a Grimm’s fairy tale quality, with a haunted undertow that appeals to girls. And it offers a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the most prestigious ballet academy in the country, which has an almost mystical quality for aspiring ballerinas. (My own daughter is a student there.)

via ‘A Very Young Dancer’ and the Life That Followed – NYTimes.com.

Roget’s Thesaurus, words:  You know what, I must be a real nerd … I love Roget’s Thesaurus, too.

A confession: I love Roget’s Thesaurus. Mine is not a popular position to avow. Most writers I know, asked if they use a thesaurus to discover more interesting vocabulary for their essays or stories, bristle with resistance. Haven’t those who look up “say” in the Thesaurus and consequently force characters to “utter,” “breathe,” “pour forth,” “state,” “declare,” “assert,” “aver,” “relate” “murmur,” “mutter,” or “gasp” ruined countless reading experiences? Haven’t students who looked up “refute” and found “confute” next on the list composed arguments that got off on the wrong track, only to be further derailed when they decided that “apodixis” suited them better than “proof”? Whatever folks think of Stephen King, most would agree with his advice, in On Writing:

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.  This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes . … Make yourself a solemn promise right now that you’ll never use “emolument” when you mean “tip.”

via An Aficionado (Connoisseur, Fan, Devotee, Enthusiast) Speaks

college majors, humanities:

“So, what do you study?”

“I’m an English major and I’m also pre-med.”

Blank stare. Glazed eyes. Crickets. So begins another awkward introduction in the dining hall.

Similar situations are erupting on campuses across the country as a small, but growing number of aspiring doctors choose to major in the humanities or social sciences instead of the usual bio or chem. Last year, nearly a quarter of medical school applicants majored outside the sciences, and for good reason: Nowadays, medical schools don’t care about what you majored in during your undergrad.

Admissions rates are virtually equal for science and non-science majors, and most med schools encourage undergrads to take substantial courses in the humanities to prove that they’re concerned with the human condition, not just the human body.

For pre-med English majors like me, the idea is simple. I want to spend my college days reading Shakespeare; I want to spend my post-college life delivering health care to under-served communities. Why should I have to choose between them?

The possibility of becoming a non-science pre-med is far from obvious to most college students, however.

via Are you pre-med? Major in the humanities | USA TODAY College.

Davidson College, Arab Spring Lecture, William Roebuck:

William Roebuck is director for the Office of Maghreb Affairs in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. His office has been on the front lines, helping shape the U.S. government’s diplomatic response to the momentous developments known as the Arab Spring. His lecture will focus on the wave of revolutionary movements across the Arab World, as well as his recent experiences in Libya. A question and answer session will follow the lecture.

via Davidson College – Arab Spring Lecture.

diets, health: Ooh … t00 many questions!

1““““““`11111Have you tried out a trendy diet plan, such as a juice fast, the 17-Day Diet, Wheat Belly, the Paleo Diet, or the Dukan Diet (a.k.a. the “Kate Middleton Diet”)? Or are you committed to an older weight-loss plan, such as Weight Watchers or South Beach? If you’ve found success with a popular diet—or want to rant about your bad experiences with one—we want to hear from you for an upcoming Gourmet Live feature on the best diets for food lovers. Please cut and paste the following questions and send your answers to gourmetlive@condenast.com.

DIET QUESTIONS:

What is the name of (and any books associated with) the diet you tried?

How did you choose this diet?

What foods and drinks—if any—are you required to give up for the diet?

How would you sum up the other “rules” of the diet in three or four sentences?

How did you feel while on the diet (emotionally and physically)?

How long were you on the diet and did you lose any weight (if so, how much)?

What were the best things about the diet?

What about the worst things about the diet?

Would you recommend this diet to a food loving friend? Why or why not?

Can we quote you by name? If so, please supply your name as you’d like to be listed, and (if you are comfortable with this), your age and gender.

via Have You Tried a Trendy Diet Plan? — Gourmet Live.

food, globalization: “And, as our food supply becomes ever more globalised, I can’t help but imagine that more and more producers of “luxury” foods will seek to make their product even more desirable with reference to a hyper-specific, utterly imaginary atlas of aspirational origins.”

Provenance is a tricky issue. Over the past few years, the names of agricultural regions, villages, and even specific farms have proliferated on urban menus and shelf labels, providing the aspirational consumer with a shorthand guarantee of authenticity, taste, and, often, local origin.The idea is that by listing the farm on which your heirloom tomato was picked, chefs honour growers as the co-producer of flavour; meanwhile, by achieving protected designation of origin (PDO) status, traditional makers of pork pies and prosciutto preserve the geographic context of their product, as well as its artisanal technique and, often, its continued economic viability.For consumers, however, these place names tend to form a more abstract cartography of implied inherent value. I confess to finding it reassuring that the lamb on offer at the restaurant up the street comes from Jamison Farm, even though I have no idea where that is, and I look for San Marzano DOP tomatoes despite the fact that (this is a little embarrassing) I couldn’t point to their carefully protected origin on a map….However, it is the branding geniuses at Marks & Spencer, suppliers of underwear and luxury ready-meals to the UK, who have taken the abstract, yet powerful, geography of food labeling to its logical, imaginary conclusion. While re-reading Sarah Murray’s excellent book, Moveable Feasts (of which more later), I came across this nugget:Sometimes places that are entirely fictional are created to add to the appeal of a food. British chain Marks & Spencer recently introduced “Lochmuir salmon,” despite the fact that Lochmuir cannot be found on a map.Marks & Spencer is refreshingly open on the subject of Lochmuir’s non-existence, with Andrew Mallinson, the company’s “fish expert,” explaining to The Scotsman newspaper that “it is a name chosen by a panel of consumers because it had the most Scottish resonance. It emphasises that the fish is Scottish.”

And, as our food supply becomes ever more globalised, I can’t help but imagine that more and more producers of “luxury” foods will seek to make their product even more desirable with reference to a hyper-specific, utterly imaginary atlas of aspirational origins. Chinese fois gras will come from the French-sounding Beauchâteau, Vietnamese mozzarella will be marketed under the faux-Italian name of San Legaro, and the role of geography in food description — originally intended as a means to reconnect consumers and producers — will end up further disguising the industrial commodity chain while creating an entirely alternate universe, made up of the places that we dream our food comes from.

via The Atlas of Aspirational Origins.

The Vatican, lawsuits,  Benetton,ad campaigns:  Truly bizarre:  world leaders kissing!

The Vatican is promising legal action to stop the distribution of a photo of Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth. The photo is fake, by the way, and is part of a shock-factor advertising campaign by Italian fashion company Benetton that features world leaders getting fresh.

Benedict’s inamorata in the photo is Ahmed Tayeb, leader of Al Azhar in Cairo, Sunni Islam’s most influential institution. Another ad shows President Obama kissing Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The new campaign, as well as the UNHATE Foundation, a new Benetton think tank aimed at, um, communicating love, are part of the company’s social responsibility strategy. Click here for the foundation website and here for slideshow of the ads. WSJ’s Heard on the Runway has more here, and the Journal has a story on the ad campaign here.

The Vatican, however, isn’t feeling the unhate. It said in a statement Thursday its lawyers in Italy and around the world had been instructed to “take the proper legal measures” to stop the use of the photo, even in the media, Reuters reported. And Here‘s a link to the statement in Italian, for what it’s worth. (Prego.)

The statement said the ad was “damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers.” It wasn’t clear whether the Vatican intended to sue Benetton directly.

via The Vatican is threatening a legal response Italian fashion company Benetton’s new ad campaign of world leaders kissing – Law Blog – WSJ.

art, photography, Nate Larson, Marni Shindelman, “Geolocation”series: “The images originate as tweets that Larson and Shindelman select for their poignancy, humor or some other quality. They then travel to the places that the tweets were sent from, indentified by GPS coordinates embedded in the messages, and take a picture. The resulting works pair image with words, to sometimes startling effect.” … interesting concept.

Every photograph in Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s “Geolocation”series starts with a caption. But the artists don’t write them themselves.

The images originate as tweets that Larson and Shindelman select for their poignancy, humor or some other quality. They then travel to the places that the tweets were sent from, indentified by GPS coordinates embedded in the messages, and take a picture. The resulting works pair image with words, to sometimes startling effect.

A selection of “Geolocation” images is on view at Montpelier Arts Center. Read my review of the exhibition (whose images are also available in book form), and check out a few of the pictures after the jump.

via Art in focus: Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman – Going Out Gurus – The Washington Post.

Storify:  How Storifying Occupy Wall Street Saved The News … still trying to figure out storify!

In the dead of night on Monday, November 14, Zuccotti Park in New York City was raided by police. In the preceding days, there were crackdowns at several of the major Occupy protests around the country. The effort had apparently been coordinated between cities. Monday night’s actions against the original Occupy Wall Street encampment were stern, heavy enough to bring a decisive end to the protest. But the raid only served to turn up the heat in New York and around the country.

As they have since the Occupation began, people on the ground fired up their smartphones to report the events as they happened, and curators around the Web gathered and retweeted the salient messages. But early on in the raid, mainstream media outlets began reporting that the police were barring their reporters from entering the park. The NYPD even grounded a CBS News helicopter. The night had chilling implications for freedom of the press. But the news got out anyway. The raw power of citizen media – and the future of news envisioned by a site called Storify – thwarted the media blackout.

But for the Monday night raid at Zuccotti Park, and indeed for much of the Occupation, Storify has come into its own as the social news curation tool par excellence. In fact, thanks to the media blackout Monday night, some of the most important news outlets in the country would not have had a story if not for Storify.

In October, it rolled out a brand new editing interface making the tool vastly easier to use. And one week ago, just before the police raided Zuccotti Park, Storify made its move, redesigning its homepage as a destination featuring the most important stories on the social Web. Storify’s vision is no less than a leveling of the media playing field. On the Storify homepage, lifelong and first-time journalists stand side by side.

Damman says this is the perfect demonstration of the Storify redesign. These social media documents are the real story, and the NYPD’s obstruction of credentialed journalists only shows how out of touch the police are. “The police in New York don’t realize that it doesn’t matter to not have journalists on the scene,” Damman says, “because everybody is a reporter. What happened last night shows that they don’t get that.”

“Most of the content comes from the people on the ground, from the 99%.”

via How Storifying Occupy Wall Street Saved The News.

tweet of the day, Steph Curry:  🙂

Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)
11/17/11 8:00 PM
Lol no doubt i have something nice in store RT @sdotcurry: Cmon son! #blood RT @StephenCurry30: Big game tomorrow. What do I wear lol?
Occupy Wall Street:  Do you think OWS reflects the sentiment of  50 % of the country?

The Occupy Wall Street protests continue to spread around the country, highlighting grievances some Americans have about banks, income inequality and a sense that the poor and middle class have been disenfranchised. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that almost half of the public thinks the sentiments at the root of the movement generally reflect the views of most Americans. What are your thoughts about the movement? Do you agree with the protesters’ methods? Please note you must be logged in to post a comment.

via Public Opinion and the Occupy Movement – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

criminal acts, fashion, Marc Jacobs:  Thought this one interesting …

In a case that seems ripe for Sherlock Holmes, Scotland Yard is investigating an alleged theft of samples from designer Marc Jacobs‘s Spring 2012 fashion collection that took place along a posh London Street.

The missing clothes, shoes and handbags were from the collection that the designer showed on his New York runway in September, as well as less-dramatic looks from his so-called pre-collection, according to a person familiar with the situation. Police estimated the value at £40,000, or a little more than $63,000.

Marc Jacobs executives declined to comment.

[JACOBS]ReutersMarc Jacobs had to cancel its planned London ‘press day’ for fashion editors; above, a look from the Spring 2012 collection.

Sales to retailers of the Marc Jacobs collection closed in October, and the loss won’t affect products destined for stores next spring, said the person familiar with the situation. Those items are already being manufactured. What’s more, the brand has duplicates of the samples in New York, the person said.

But as a result of the samples’ disappearance, the Marc Jacobs brand was forced to cancel its planned London “press day” where fashion editors and reporters are invited to view the collections. Press days allow publications to see and select items they may photograph in future issues.

via Marc Jacobs’s Spring Collection Allegedly Stolen in London – WSJ.com.

President Abraham Lincoln, Mormons, history:  Very interesting piece!

On Oct. 20, 1861, a vital piece of the Utah puzzle was solved, as the final lines of a telegraph were strung together, linking the

Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific, through an office in Salt Lake City. On that auspicious occasion, which spoke so loudly of union, Brigham Young remarked,“Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws of our once happy country.” Those were words guaranteed to warm Lincoln’s heart. Two days later, more good news, as General J. Arlington Bennett wrote him to ask if he could recruit 1,000-10,000 Mormons to fight for the Union.

But the question was far from solved, and on Nov. 18, Lincoln attacked the Mormon question in a most Lincolnian way. Instead of ordering an invasion, Lincoln ordered information. Specifically, he asked the Library of Congress to send him a pile of books about Mormonism, so that the aggregator-in-chief could better understand them. These included “The Book of Mormon” in its original 1831 edition, and three other early studies of the Mormons, with extensive, lurid chapters covering their polygamy. For some reason, he also ordered a volume of Victor Hugo, in French, a language he could not read.

Fortified by his reading, Lincoln came to a great decision. And that decision was to do nothing. Sometimes that, too, can be a form of leadership — what Churchill called “a masterly inactivity.”

Typically, Lincoln reached his decision through a homely parable, told to a Mormon emissary:

When I was a boy on the farm in Illinois there was a great deal of timber on the farm which we had to clear away. Occasionally we would come to a log which had fallen down. It was too hard to split, too wet to burn, and too heavy to move, so we plowed around it. You go back and tell Brigham Young that if he will let me alone I will let him alone.

That parable is about as much as we will get in the way of a formal explanation, but it is enough. To his generous store of common sense, we might also add the freshness of Lincoln’s memories of the bloodshed at Nauvoo in 1844, when angry mobs had killed the Mormon leaders, with elected officials standing by and doing nothing. And the centrality of Utah to the grand vision of a transcontinental republic, embraced fully by America’s most western president to date.

30
Aug
11

‎8.30.2011 … doing the little things … servicing cars and inspections … etc.

Apple, tablets, competition: War?

If Apple has to “prepare for war,” she says, they have only themselves to blame. “Product strategists at Apple … fired the first shot” by changing the App Store rules and making it harder for Amazon to sell books on Apple’s devices.

via Forrester: Amazon’s tablet will bury the iPad – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech.

The Help, bookshelf, movie, reviews:  I thoroughly enjoyed this review because of its honesty.

Today I enjoy many friends of all races and I am so grateful that God protected my heart from the hatefulness of prejudice. When I meet someone, I simply see that person. I am not aware of skin color, eye shape, hair texture, I simply see a soul that God loves.

Over the years I have learned that most racial prejudice is rooted in fear and ignorance, and is never rational. I have read somewhere that it is rooted in tribalism and was about maintaining one’s possessions, hunting grounds, or agricultural lands. Differences in dress (costume) signaled the enemy and so people learned to fear those who are different. I have no idea just how correct that theory is, but it at least gives me some rational reason for such an irrational way of thinking.

In closing I highly recommend, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, both book and movie.

via ‘The Help’ by Jack DeJarnette | LikeTheDew.com.


Arab Spring, guessing game:  The world is still in shock …

IN FEBRUARY we put together an index that attempted to predict which Arab regime would be toppled next. At the time Libya seemed rather an unlikely candidate for regime change, even though the index suggested Muammar Qaddafi’s time as Brother-Leader might be numbered. Below is the interactive version of the Shoe Thrower’s Index, set with the weightings we originally chose. Play around with it to explore the factors that created fertile soil for the Arab Spring.

via Daily chart: Return of the shoe throwers | The Economist.

Steve Jobs, Apple, changing the world:  Another interesting article on Steve Jobs.

We know the world, and each other, better because of him. With his Apple Mac he managed, in the words of Walt Whitman, to “unscrew the locks from the doors.” He precipitated an enlightenment. But as with the dazzling light of many great inventions, unexpected shadows were created—the greatest of which is an eroding of privacy, now verging on a total loss of solitude. Beware of darkness.
In public appearances in recent years, Jobs has been thinner, whittled to his essence, and yet somehow this seemed to emphasize his elasticity and endurance, a metonym for his ever-thinner, ever-more-adaptable machines. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” Jobs said toward the end of the Stanford speech. “Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important?.?.?.?There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Facebook, daily deals:  I never saw anything I wanted to buy.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to metro Atlantans: Facebook is ending its “deals” program.The daily-deal type offerings promoted spas, horseback riding trips and the typical restaurant discounts — many times for large groups of people — through the current Facebook platform.Although Facebook hasn’t announced a reason for dumping “deals,” speculation includes consumer deal fatigue. When I wrote a column on Facebook in May, I had trouble finding anyone who’d actually bought a Facebook deal here in Atlanta, one of the five test markets.According to media sources, the demise of “deals” won’t affect Facebook’s location-based “check-in deals.”What’s your go-to daily deal source? Are there any underdogs you think offer better discounts?
physics, God particle, Big Bang: Big question!
CERN’s statement said new results, which updated findings that caused excitement at a scientific gathering in Grenoble last month, “show that the elusive Higgs particle, if it exists, is running out of places to hide.”Under what is known as the Standard Model of physics, the boson, which was named after British physicist Peter Higgs and is sometimes know as the God particle, is posited as having been the agent that gave mass and energy to matter just after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.For some scientists, the Higgs remains the simplest explanation of how matter got mass. It remains unclear what could replace it as an explanation. “We know something is missing; we simply don’t quite know what this new something might be,” wrote CERN blogger Pauline Gagnon.
book clubs, technology: Video chat with an author!
Skype made book club headlines today as one author used the video chat service to visit book clubs around the country.If you want to have an author speak to your book club through video chat, check out our Authors Who Visit Book Clubs list to find nearly 1,000 writers–simply explore the “Video Chat” category to find a video-friendly author in your favorite genre. Read our Host a Virtual Book Club on Facebook, Skype or Google article for more tools.Here’s more from Reuters: “Nine book clubs across the United States took part in an hour-long discussion earlier this month with Meg Wolitzer, the best-selling author of the ‘The Ten-Year Nap,’ in what is thought to be the first coast-to-coast virtual book club with multiple participants.” (Image via)
food, locavore, globalization:  Interesting historical analysis of the local food movement.
The foods we consider local are results of a globalization process that has been in full swing for more than five centuries, ever since Columbus landed in the New World. Suddenly all the continents were linked, mixing plants and animals that had evolved separately since the breakup of the ancient supercontinent Pangaea.What resulted, Mr. Mann argues in his fascinating new book, “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created,” was a new epoch in human life, the Homogenocene. This age of homogeneity was brought on by the creation of a world-spanning economic system as crops, worms, parasites and people traveled among Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia — the Columbian Exchange, as it was dubbed by the geographer Alfred W. Crosby.“The Columbian Exchange,” Mr. Mann writes, “is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in the United States, chocolates in Switzerland and chili peppers in Thailand. To ecologists, the Columbian Exchange is arguably the most important event since the death of the dinosaurs.”
Meanwhile, people in Europe were reaping nutritional benefits from the Columbian Exchange. Europeans’ diets improved radically from the introduction of potatoes and what Mr. Mann calls the first green revolution: the widespread use of fertilizer, made possible by the importing of guano from Peru.As always, there were trade-offs. In China, the introduction of maize and sweet potatoes to the highlands provided vital sustenance — and erosion that flooded rice paddies. A ship carrying guano fertilizer to Europe was probably also the source of the organism that blighted the potato crops in Europe and led to the great famine in Ireland in the 1840s.Mr. Mann has come to sympathize with both sides in the debate over globalization. The opponents of globalization correctly realize that trade produces unpredictable and destructive consequences for the environment and for society, he says, but globalization also leads to more and better food, better health, longer life and other benefits that affluent Western locavores take for granted.
“People in Brazil still talk bitterly about the Brits stealing their rubber seeds and planting them in Asia,” Mr. Mann said. “Brazilians will denounce this horrible ‘bio-piracy’ while they’re standing in front of fields of bananas and coffee — plants that originated in Africa.” Two other leading crops in Brazil, soybeans and sugar, he noted, are from Asia.“But if your concern is to produce the maximum amount of food possible for the lowest cost, which is a serious concern around the world for people who aren’t middle-class foodies like me, this seems like a crazy luxury. It doesn’t make sense for my aesthetic preference to be elevated to a moral imperative.”
BofA:
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan bought himself some breathing room as the bank agreed to sell more than $8 billion of China Construction Bank Corp. stock, its second multibillion-dollar deal in a week.Shares rose 8% Monday, adding to a rally following a deal Thursday for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to buy $5 billion worth of Bank of America stock. Since the Buffett deal, the Charlotte, N.C., lender has regained $14 billion of market value.
Like its competitors, Bank of America has struggled to make up revenue lost to a stagnant economy and tighter rules on fees.But Bank of America faces additional worries because of its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled California lender that is the source of many bad mortgages now plaguing the bank.Construction on the Hong Kong headquarters of CCB takes place in front of the Bank of America Tower.”No one really knows the capital hole that sits there,” said Mr. Miller, the bank analyst for FBR Capital Markets.Shareholders, he said, could get more comfortable about that exposure if a judge rules that an $8.5 billion settlement the Bank of America reached with a group of mortgage-bond investors is fair and can move forward. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday joined the parties objecting to that proposed agreement.
faith and spirituality:  Like this article!
Polkinghorne doesn’t know for sure that there is a God. And yet, when he was at the top of his game in physics at Cambridge in 1979, he left the laboratory studying one unseen reality for the seminary to study another unseen reality. He became a priest in the Anglican Church. In addition to believing that quarks exist, he believes in a God who is driven by love to continuously create a world that is beautiful. For him, the theories that have God in them work. But he doesn’t really know for sure. And he’s OK with that.
Religious belief in the modern age doesn’t seem to hold much room for uncertainty or doubt. In November of last year, I took Polkinghorne to the Creation Museum in Santee, Calif., to see how he would react to a hall dedicated to certainty. The museum organizers are certain that there was a six-day, 24-hour creation, that there was a literal Adam and Eve, that Darwin and Hitler belonged on the same wall of genetic engineers, and that evolution is a hoax. Polkinghorne stopped at a display that said the Bible has no record of death until Adam and Eve’s sin. (Apparently even animals lived forever before the humans ate the apple.) Polkinghorne gazed at what appeared to be the museum’s certainty and said to me, “The Bible may not have a record of it, but there is plenty of evidence in the fossil record.” Motivating evidence changes one’s beliefs. Or at least it can if we aren’t holding on to our certainty too tightly.
It may be OK, finally, for people to admit that they don’t know things for sure — whether it’s about quarks, light, God or the best way forward for the nation’s economy.At 80, Polkinghorne doesn’t let his own doubts keep him from believing, any more than he let his doubts about quantum physics keep him from solving problems. He still prays, still celebrates the Eucharist, still believes in some kind of life eternal.As for belief in God, “It’s a reasonable position, but not a knock-down argument,” he said. “It’s strong enough to bet my life on it. Just as Polanyi bet his life on his belief, knowing that it might not be true, I give my life to it, but I’m not certain. Sometimes I’m wrong.”
cycling, green, NYC:

But, white gloves or no, bike storage tends to be easier to find in new buildings, whether condo or rental. As of 2009 most new buildings, including multifamily residential, have been required by the city to provide some bike storage. (Offering it is also a relatively inexpensive way for a developer to gain points toward LEED certification, which measures a building’s environmental impact.)

“It adds to the general tone of the building,” said Shaun Osher, the founder of the brokerage CORE, who kept his rusty bike on the fire escape when he first moved to New York City 20 years ago. “It’s one less thing you have to worry about in your apartment.”

In most buildings, however, either the service is free or the fee is nominal, maybe $10 a month. That small sum is mostly intended to discourage the leaving of unused and unusable bikes in storage ad infinitum, rather than to raise revenue.

“When you’re paying top dollar for a home,” said Mr. Kliegerman of Halstead, “you wouldn’t expect to pay to hang your bike on a wall.”

Many New Yorkers, of course, do surrender chunks of their living rooms to their two-wheelers. And they make do.

“People find all kinds of creative solutions,” said Richard Hamilton, a senior vice president aof Halstead Property. “I’ve seen bike pulleys that get them off the floor. In my old apartment, we put up hooks and hung them. Or you could lean it against the wall. And then it falls on you. And then you cuss.”

via The Bicycle Muscles In – NYTimes.com.

NASA, space station:  I hope this problem can be solved.
Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed.This photograph from May shows the International Space Station and the space shuttle Endeavour docked on the left.Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit.Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station.“We’re going to do what’s the safest for the crew and for the space station, which is a very big investment of our governments,” said Michael T. Suffredini, manager of the space station program for NASA, during a news conference on Monday. “Our job is, as stewards of the government, to protect that investment, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”The $100 billion station has been continuously occupied for over a decade.Last Wednesday, an unmanned Russian cargo ship known as the Progress, which was carrying three tons of supplies to the space station, crashed in Siberia. Telemetry from the rocket indicated that a drop of fuel pressure led its computer to shut down the third-stage engine prematurely five and a half minutes into flight.
apps, translators, travel:  May have to try this next time I travel to a non-English speaking country.
Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time! PLEASE NOTE: Language packs must be purchased from within the app. Use Word Lens on vacation, business travel, and just for fun.
Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, quotes:  The more I read the more I like Powell and the less I like Cheney.
But I got some new favorite Powell quotes this weekend, when he went on “Face the Nation” to talk about Dick Cheney’s charming new book. “I think Dick overshot the runway,” Powell said, with the “cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the Administration.” One of the many things that bothered Powell was Cheney’s complaint that he didn’t support the President:Well, who went to the United Nations and, regrettably, with a lot of false information? It was me. It wasn’t Mr. Cheney.Cheney was peddling the false information—does that count? Schieffer said afterward that Powell struck him as “truly, I think, offended about what he read in this book…. “Interior lines of communication,” “another block away,” “everybody needs a shoulder,” “he would do the same for me”—real knowledge of war, street smarts, human sympathy, and humility: four qualities that “the lone cowboy,” if he ever had them, fatally lacked in his all too influential Vice-Presidency, and now again in his memoir. There will be more to say about that—and particularly about Cheney’s expressed desire for waterboarding. (He seems to be the sort of man who, told that he li torture ved in a city on a fjord, would start babbling about how well worked for the Vikings.) Does being a lone cowboy mean losing all sense of shame?via Close Read: Colin Powell and the Lone Cowboy : The New Yorker.
Steve Jobs, Apple, philanthropy:  I have often wondered about this …

In 2006, in a scathing column in Wired, Leander Kahney, author of “Inside Steve’s Brain,” wrote: “Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.”

Yet Mr. Jobs has always been upfront about where he has chosen to focus. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 1993 , he said, “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

Let’s hope Mr. Jobs has many more years to make wonderful things — and perhaps to inspire his legions of admirers to give.

Despite accumulating an estimated $8.3 billion fortune through his holdings in Apple and a 7.4 percent stake in Disney (through the sale of Pixar), there is no public record of Mr. Jobs giving money to charity. He is not a member of the Giving Pledge, the organization founded by Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates to persuade the nation’s wealthiest families to pledge to give away at least half their fortunes. (He declined to participate, according to people briefed on the matter.) Nor is there a hospital wing or an academic building with his name on it.

None of this is meant to judge Mr. Jobs. I have long been a huge admirer of Mr. Jobs and consider him the da Vinci of our time. Before writing this column, I had reservations about even raising the issue given his ill health, and frankly, because of the enormous positive impact his products have had by improving the lives of millions of people through technology.

via The Mystery of Steve Jobs’s Public Giving – NYTimes.com.

06
Jun
11

‎6.6.2011 … I turned off all my school day alarms this morning … life is good …

summer: If you didn’t figure it out … School’s out!  Hello summer!  By August,  I’ll be excited for fall …  It’s that optimism bias at work. (See yesterday’s post.)

food-Southern, food-drink, Southern sodas, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Growing up in Atlanta, Coke was a Southern soda, albeit one that conquered the world. Later I learned that Pepsi is too.  But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I learned about the rest of these …

What’s your favorite Southern soda? Vote now!

Cheerwine; Salisbury, North Carolina

Bleheim Ginger Ale, Hamer, South Carolina

Sun Drop; Tullahoma, Tennessee

Ale-8-One; Winchester, Kentucky

RC Cola; Columbus, Georgia

Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale; Birmingham, Alabama

via What’s Your Favorite Southern Soda?.

China, change, role of women, history, Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth:  When you read The Good Earth, did you think about any of this?  Great Article!!!

“Impossible is nothing,” said my Chinese host in March, when I told her the English proverb “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. She had just passed me a plateful of what looked like tiny, shiny, caramel-and-white striped silk purses. They turned out to be sliced pig’s ear, one of many traditional delicacies at a banquet that included fried ants, sea slugs and geese feet.

Of course almost nothing is impossible in a country where acrobats still juggle wooden chairs as if they were feathers or ping-pong balls—and where the gristle and cartilage of a pig’s ear turn up on your plate as an absurdly elegant appetiser.

What makes foreigners gasp and stretch their eyes in China now is the almost inconceivable speed and scale of the changes that, in the past ten years, have swept people off the land like a giant magnet. In 1990 three out of every four people still lived and worked, as they always had done, on farms. More than 40% have now moved to the cities. By 2015, according to an article I read in China Daily, based on a United Nations forecast, half the population will be urbanised.

The creative energy released by this frenetic development is palpable almost as soon as you step off the plane. It comes like a buzz off the people, especially the young women. When I arrived in the university town of Nanjing on my first visit to China in 2007, I spent days on end watching and talking to students, marvelling above all at the confidence, competence and poise of the girls. I was working on a book about Pearl Buck, who grew up in the Chinese countryside before teaching on the Nanjing campus in the 1920s, so I knew a lot about the world of these girls’ grandmothers: a slow-moving world where traffic went by river steamer or canal boat, and the only wheeled vehicle most people ever saw was a wheelbarrow. Girls were shut up at home on reaching puberty with no further access to the outside world, and no voice in their own or their family’s affairs. In traditional households they were forbidden to speak even to their husbands, except behind closed doors in the bedroom at night.

I found similar indignation from polite but insistent students. Didn’t I know how much China had changed, they asked. The modern world had made a clean break with the sad primitive outmoded countryside depicted in “The Good Earth”. Didn’t I realise how little that world had to do with them now? People everywhere wanted to know what I meant by the title of my biography, “Burying the Bones”. I explained that it came from a passage in Buck’s memoirs about how, as a small girl, she made secret grave mounds for tiny dismembered limbs or fragments of skull—the remains of newborn girls thrown out for the dogs to devour—that she found in the tall grass beyond her parents’ back gate.

It seemed to me an image of amnesia, public and private. Heads always nodded in my audience when I said that all of us have bones to bury, things that are never talked about in families, things a whole nation might prefer to forget. People in China now dismiss their ugly memories just as people all over Europe dismissed the Holocaust for many years after the war. “Children can’t bear to remember what happened to their parents,” says Xinran, who recorded the life stories of men and women in their 70s and 80s in “China Witness” (2008), the only one of her books that remains banned today even in translation.

Buck insisted that our grandparents’ world belongs also to us. The past made us what we are now, and we forget it at our peril. At the end of my last talk at Nanjing university, a student pointed out that burying the bones has a further meaning in China, where the dead are traditionally returned to the earth from which they came so that they may find peace. He might have added that it is only when the past has been acknowledged and accepted that it can finally be laid to rest.

via WOMEN IN CHINA: A SOCIAL REVOLUTION | More Intelligent Life.

China, globalization, history:  Another great article.

When the United States took over from Britain as the predominant world power 100 years ago, the transition was like one between brothers — or cousins, at least. And the two countries remain close allies to this day. The rise of China in relation to U.S. predominance presents a somewhat different challenge — with decades of sometimes outright hostility and an ongoing fractious relationship.

As it reemerges as a world power, the question is: Is China’s awakening to be welcomed — or feared?

Some look to the past for clues — all the way back to the 15th century.

Today China’s role in Africa seems to me to be very similar to that of other countries. I see China following, for better, and possibly for worse, an American model of needing to secure energy sources and seeking to do so in a great variety of ways, wherever the energy can be found.”

Six hundred years ago, Zheng He’s treasure ships went out and came back peacefully, partly because China didn’t need anything from outside its own realm. Now it does. How it deals with that search for energy and natural resources could be what decides whether China’s rise will in the end be peaceful or not.

via China’s Rise: A Quest To ‘Hug The World’? : NPR.

business, global markets, globalization, Africa, China, :  Very interesting article about business in Africa.

Cummins joins a growing number of U.S. companies vying for a stronger foothold on the continent. Caterpillar Inc., the giant maker of construction equipment, is selling more trucks to Mozambique and Zambia. Harley-Davidson Inc. is opening dealerships in Botswana and Mauritius. General Electric Co. has its first aircraft-leasing office in Ghana for Central and West African airlines. Google Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among the dozens of other U.S. companies moving in or expanding.

Until now, “Africa has been just a rounding error for us,” says Brady Southwick, Cummins’s new head of Africa operations.

U.S. companies’ game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent’s economy is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008, fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The middle class is growing, and total household spending now exceeds that of India.

Getting in early to a developing market allows companies to build up strong brands and sales channels that can reap big profits in the long run. That’s what China has done in Africa over the past two decades. It has aggressively promoted trade and investment, courting countries by offering aid in exchange for favorable trade terms. China’s government has provided funds to build a telecommunications network in Ethiopia, the Merowe Dam in Sudan and railways in Libya and Nigeria, among many other projects.

Western European companies, many of which had lingering business interests in Africa from colonial days, also took their eye off the ball. Western Europe’s share of overall trade—the sum of imports and exports—with sub-Saharan Africa dropped to 30% in 2009 from 52% in 1990, according to McKinsey. The share of China and other Asian countries in Africa trade more than doubled to 30% from 14% in the same period, while North America’s share slipped to 13% from 16%.

A few American companies have been entrenched in Africa for decades. Coca-Cola Co. established its first African bottling plant in 1928, in Johannesburg, and its soft drinks now are available throughout the continent.

But many other U.S. companies only now are “starting to wake up to the African opportunity,” says Acha Leke, a Lagos-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute. To succeed, he says, they will need to find good local partners and send in some of their best executives. In the past, he says, some American companies “just sent whoever wanted to go there.”

via U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in African Markets – WSJ.com.

Apple, iCloud, new products, iconic images:  Sounds like this is inevitable … but that for once Apple is behind … I loved the last line: “On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.”  Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck and jeans is an iconic image!

On Monday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce a new product that allows iPhone owners to stream music from their personal iTunes collections to their phones.

Rumormongers say the music will be stored “in the cloud” — tech jargon for “on Apple’s servers” – although the CultOfMac blog claims inside knowledge that Jobs will instead sell customers a personal storage drive that holds the music and does the streaming from home.

Whatever Apple announces, it follows recent offerings from Google and Amazon that offer cloud-based personal music streaming for Android phone users. Both work similarly: You sign up, then download an application to your Mac or PC that uploads your music collection to Google or Amazon’s servers, and keeps it in sync. To play your music on your phone, you install an Android app that’s a music player which connects to your cloud-stored collection to stream it to your phone.

On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.

via Amazon’s and Google’s Cloud Services Compared – NYTimes.com.

Katie Couric, media, change, glass ceiling:  I like Katie Couric.  I wanted her to succeed at CBS and smash the glass ceiling.  But I always thought she was smart and professional, but too perky.  I think she will succeed at ABC, but she’s under the ceiling again.

The negotiations over Ms. Couric’s future in television unfolded over the last few months and involved three of the four broadcast networks, as well as CNN. They also featured top media executives including Mr. Burke, Robert Iger of Disney, Leslie Moonves of CBS and Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner. Perhaps unexpectedly, because Ms. Couric had not succeeded in stemming the long ratings descent at “The CBS Evening News,” she remained something of a hot property.

At a time when Oprah Winfrey, syndicated television’s biggest star, has just left the stage, the courtship of Ms. Couric suggested that the networks, looking to cash in on the enormous revenue potential of syndication, were still willing to make a big bet on stars — even ones like Ms. Couric who have taken their share of blows in the media.

The details of Ms. Couric’s impending deal with ABC have not been disclosed, but as co-owner of the show Ms. Couric will claim a share of the profits. Syndication has such a great financial upside because successful shows make money from both station fees and advertising revenue — and they are generally inexpensive to produce.

via In Pursuit of Couric, ABC Made the Best Pitch – NYTimes.com.

random, local theater, sitcom parodies:  I just laughed …

Welcome to “Gilligan’s Island…of Death.”

The characters in this way-off Broadway send-up are familiar to viewers of the original show, which featured seven castaways stranded on a desert island. All the characters from the sitcom, which ran on CBS for three years in the mid-1960s, but found eternal life in reruns, are there: The Skipper, Mary Ann in pigtails, Ginger in a clingy evening gown. But the plots are darkly twisted. This Gilligan’s Island is the setting for multiple murders. And every character who doesn’t die becomes a suspect.

“If you were trapped on an island for years with a bunch of people you don’t know, you’d want to kill each other,” says Traci Connaughton, who runs Without a Cue Productions, the small Pennsylvania acting company that created this noir version of the show.

It’s all in good fun. But not everyone is amused.

Some of the media conglomerates that own the rights to the shows are cool to the sendups and at least one has expressed copyright complaints.

But Ms. Connaughton says she is undaunted. She says her most immediate problem is getting new material.

“I am running out of TV shows,” she says.

via TV Dinner Theater: Parodies of Old Sitcoms Draw Blood, Crowds – WSJ.com.

medicine, cancer, treatment, technology, miracles, policy:  Change comes fast and change comes slow.

New research is signaling a major shift in how cancer drugs are developed and patients are treated—offering the promise of personalized therapies that reach patients faster and are more effective than other medicines.

Studies show gains from targeting cancer patients more individually. Work at a breast-cancer clinical trial at George Mason University.

At the heart of the change: an emerging ability for researchers to use genetic information to match drugs to the biological drivers of tumors in individuals. Studies released at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology here are helping to support previous findings that personalized medicine—introduced more than a decade ago—is closer to being realized as a weapon to fight cancer.

“A pattern is developing at an accelerated pace where we are able to match genetic information about a tumor to a new agent and get results,” says John Mendelsohn, president of Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.

via Genetic Information Shifts War on Cancer to Personalized Therapies – WSJ.com.

Jane Austen, film/lit, ersatz, words, Mike Ditka, quotes, phantom Bible quotes, technology:  One of the things I love about the computer/internet is that you start one place and in a few clicks a whole world opens up to you.  I went from a blog post on Jane Austen movies with inauthentic quotes and scenes to ersatz  to Mike Ditka to phantom Bible quotes in 2 minutes … great way to start my morning.

“I have been alert for a while now to the danger that Austen film
adaptaptions can be seduce unwary Janeites into believing that certain
scenes and/or lines of dialogue are taken from the novels, when they
have actually been written by the modern screenwriter.

Sometimes the screenwriter’s changes are very well done, and that makes
it harder to spot them as ersatz.”

Definition of ERSATZ: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation—

via Ersatz – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone – milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper – to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler – and the NFL coach – start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

via Actually, that’s not in the Bible – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Gustave Caillebotte , art, Impressionist paintings, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, history:  I get more and more excited about my upcoming trip. 🙂

But because he was a great patron of the arts, Caillebotte’s first-rate art collection became what today is the crux of the Impressionist holdings at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Although for a while, he (or his executors) couldn’t even give the paintings away. “It’s a pity,” Garnot says. “When he offered all [of] the collection to the French state, the minister of fine arts wasn’t pleased at all by the donation. He refused it. He turned them away.”

At the time, the custom was for the state to only accept works by dead painters. But that wasn’t the only reason the paintings were rejected by the state: “You must understand,” Garnot says, “that they didn’t appreciate … the style.” Critics of the day felt the Impressionist works looked hasty, crude and unfinished. There was no place for them in prestigious, official French collections.

Caillebotte died in 1894. Seven years later, after much bickering, wrangling and negotiation, 40 of the 60 paintings in his bequest of Impressionist treasures were accepted by the government of France. Now, more than a century later, the names Renoir, Monet, Sisley — and, yes, Gustave Caillebotte — have become part of the Pantheon of French painting.

via Gustave Caillebotte: Impressions Of A Changing Paris : NPR.

 

travel, bus travel, frugal traveler:  Of course, just as I plan my journey to DC on MegaBus, this comes out ….

On Friday, federal authorities also subpoenaed records of GoToBus.com, TakeTours.com and 2001Bus.com. Those websites, run by a company called Ivy Media Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., sell tickets online for a number of low-fare bus companies, including Sky Express.

Many of the bus companies linked to from GoToBus.com have nearly identical websites. For example, Sky Express, I-95 Coach and Horse Run Tour all use much of the same identical text, such as “We are always thrilled to hear from our customers. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments!”

Tracking operators who resurface under new names is difficult.

Congressional watchdogs found in 2009 that nearly 10 percent of interstate bus operators who have federal permits revoked for safety violations quickly resume business by reopening under new names.

On August 8, 2008, a bus carrying a group on a religious pilgrimage crashed in Sherman, Texas, killing 17 people.

The carrier was a reincarnation of a company ordered out of service two months earlier. It re-registered using the same mail and email addresses.

The problem of unraveling who is responsible for operations of closely linked bus lines isn’t new. In 2005, the government noted how hard it is to disentangle the web of relationships and said it was cracking down on low-cost carriers for safety violations.

via Low-fare bus industry faces more scrutiny | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

John Edwards, slime bags, criminal law:  Don’t like the guy … I am beginning to think I never like VP candidates from either party.  Was with some trial lawyers and their thought was Edwards is so good at this, he will probably get off … Interesting thought to me is by having the plea bargaining in the national press, he, in effect, is admitting to some level of criminal culpability.  What do you think?

Edwards and his lawyers were concerned. They wanted the ability to at least argue to a judge for alternatives, such as a halfway house, weekend releases, home arrest or some other arrangement that would allow Edwards time to be with his school-age children. He is a single parent since his wife, Elizabeth, died in December.

But the way the possible plea deal was structured, the Edwards lawyers believed they would be muzzled from advocating at all about Edwards’ confinement before a judge, according to multiple people who were involved in the negotiations. Those sources described the plea negotiations in detail on a condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

It was the last significant issue to be resolved for a plea. If Edwards didn’t agree, he would be indicted on multiple felony charges.

Edwards, 57, understood the risk. As a successful trial lawyer, he had sometimes spurned offers of settlements to take his chances with a jury, often winning big judgments. Would he do that again?

The clock was ticking.

Edwards, just as he had refused to do in cases for his clients, would not accept a deal. For now, he would gamble on motions to a judge to dismiss the charges. And, if necessary, a jury.

via Edwards dealing went to the wire | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

history, medicine, midwifery, kith/kin:  Because one of my best friends is a CNM, I find midwifery interesting.  I enjoyed this tidbit of history in this book review.

Colonial Midwifery began with the Mayflower’s journey in 1620. Bridget Lee Fuller delivered three babies during the two months long voyage and continued practice as a midwife in Plymouth for 44 years until her death in 1664. In addition, it is documented that one birth took place aboard the Arabella by a midwife that was brought on board from the Jewel. (1)

via Colonial Midwifery.

Carl Sandburg, goats, public art, random, followup:  NB: THIS IS A PROPOSED STATUE …

 

 

Goat, or no goat for statue?

The plan to put a statue of Carl Sandburg in Public Square has stirred a great deal of public debate. A deal breaker for some critics is the inclusion of a goat next to a standing Sandburg. It’s been well-documented that Sandburg and his wife admired goats which they raised on their North Carolina farm.

City reporter Eric Timmons, who has done several stories detailing the statue, received an e-mail Tuesday from Shannon Nelson of Alabama. Shannon asked, “Carl Sanburg (sic) owned Toggenburg dairy Goats, as his most famous Toggenburg doe “Puritan Jons Jennifer” held the world record in 1960 for the DHIA 305 continuous days of 5,750 lbs. Why was his most famous doe not put on the statue with him?

“This was a big thing in the goat world, especially for the smallest of all dairy goat breed of Toggenburgs, and just think ‘she belonged to Carl Sanburg’. I think the statue is a wonderful idea. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.”

Asked where she heard about the Sandburg/goat statue, Shannon said, “I read about the article on a goat group I’m on.”

Who knew … a goat group?

via Goats and Carl Sandburg; Public Square history; Bunker Links “open” – Galesburg, IL – The Register-Mail.

30
Mar
11

3.30.2011 … Definitely a year in reverse … March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb … joke … Can’t wait to see what April brings …

old sayings, quotes:

The old saying goes “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” due to the fact that the month generally starts unsettled and chilly, while the end of the month typically turns milder as spring begins.

This saying looks to be opposite for March 2011 since just over four weeks ago, the month came in like a lamb with quiet weather across the eastern half of the country. High pressure was in control of the weather, bringing near- to slightly above-normal temperatures to residents living along the I-95 corridor.

To round out the month, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a winter storm to track up the East Coast, effectively sending March out like a lion this year.

A disturbance currently moving inland over the Pacific Northwest will track into the Plains states by Wednesday before diving into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

via March may roar out like a lion | NJ.com.

Chicago, Cubs:  I was in Chicago last weekend at a wedding and of course the bride was a Cubs fan and the groom was a White Sox fan … had to be mentioned!  But saw this today and loved it … always hope!  I am a Cubs fan, btw.

Join the Heckler and Rick Telander for their celebration of the Cubs inevitable march to World Series glory (…) and get down on $2 Old Styles, a free buffet, and giveaways of Cubs tickets and rooftop passes, so you’ll have absolutely no hassle getting up to the best place to throw yourself off.

via Next Year Day | Thrillist.

random, apps, guys vs. girls:  I am not sure I care … but guys are into cars … funny.

In many ways cars are better than girlfriends — you can get in whenever you want, they don’t complain when you take their tops off, and spare tires are actually a plus. To follow up on old flames that could be covered in them, hit up Check My Ride.

A recently launched social network affiliated with a major auto data company, Check My Ride lets you build and share a comprehensive personal vehicle history and check up on old whips using their “Where in the World is My Car?” tool, not to be confused with the Dude Where’s My Car? tool, as no one cares where Stifler is (spoiler alert: it’s rehab). Start by building a detailed history of your vehicles (age when purchased, year/make/model/color, year sold, etc.), including awesome road trips you took, how many miles you put on, and “why [it] was memorable”; once complete, it’ll calculate the total mileage you’ve accrued since you started driving and generate a bar graph timeline of your life in terms of car ownership, which will be low if you’re wont to take “bar graph” literally. Next, enter a VIN into the car-finder widget (powered by AutoCheck) to see deets on an old whip’s current whereabouts, including a GMap with connected pins showing the places it’s been registered since you ditched it, unless you literally ditched it, in which case, um…it’s in a ditch.

via Check My Ride | Thrillist.

aging, parents, happiness, culture:  85 is the happiness peak … Well, my mom should be in a good mood come October!

Traditional wisdom states that our younger years are the best of our lives, with the milestone of 40 meaning we are “over the hill” and already on the wane.

But in fact satisfaction and optimism steadily increase after middle age, easily eclipsing the earlier years and peaking as late as the eighties, according to research.

An easing of the responsibilities of middle age combined with maturity and the ability to focus on the things we enjoy combine to make old age far more enjoyable than one might expect.

This is greatly increased by having good health, a stable income and good relationships with family and friends, according to scientists.

Lewis Wolpert, emeritus professor of biology at University College London, who explained the findings in a new book called You’re Looking Very Well, said most people were “averagely happy” in their teens and twenties, declining until early middle age as they try to support a family and a career.

He added: “But then, from the mid-forties, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late seventies or eighties.”

A study published by the American National Academy of Sciences, based on a survey of 341,000 people, found that enjoyment of life dwindled throughout early adulthood but began an upward trend in the late forties, and continued to increase until reaching a peak at 85.

via Happiness peaks in our eighties – Telegraph.

Apps, lists: I really like a few of these and look forward to trying others … Top 10 Apps That Will Change Your Life – WSJ.com.

9/11, Muslim Community Center, update:  Why is this a regional story?  We were just talking about this in Chicago … seems it should be national?

Two co-founders of the plan to build a Muslim community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan have begun exploring a new, and possibly competing, project: an interfaith cultural center that they said might be located at the currently proposed site, two blocks from ground zero, or elsewhere in the neighborhood.Daisy Khan, the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, said on Tuesday that she and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, two co-founders whose involvement in the controversial community center plan was curtailed this year after a falling out with their real estate partner, might develop a new project that was “larger in concept” than what is now proposed at 51 Park Place.The new project would be interfaith in character, rather than predominantly Islamic, she said, and it would include a center for inter-religious conflict resolution.

On Tuesday, Ms. Khan said that since last summer, she and her husband had been meeting privately with family members of 9/11 victims and first responders in an effort to understand the source of some of the opposition to the original idea. She said that as a result of those meetings, the story of the 9/11 families “will be housed in our center.”

via Planned Downtown Mosque Could Become an Interfaith Center – NYTimes.com.

museums, trends, change, globalization:  Everything trends toward sameness … even museums.

But the relocation of the Barnes is about more than the dismantling of a single museum. It also marks the end of an era in American cultural history. Over the past 15 or so years, some of the most original and idiosyncratic art institutions in the country — the Barnes, the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston — have embarked on major expansions to modernize (and in some cases, to generate more revenue), significantly transforming their identities.

All three museums, each built by a wealthy eccentric, once represented intensely personal visions. All were conceived as alternatives to the offerings of the elite cultural establishment. And by the time the Barnes completes its move, all will have been remade into slick, corporate artistic institutions of a sort that their founders no doubt would have deplored.

Yet even more striking is what these transformations suggest about what we’ve become as a culture. The three museums’ iconoclastic collectors, and the institutions they built, embodied an America that still embraced an ideal of stubborn individualism. That spirit is now mostly gone, a victim of institutional conventions and corporate boards, and by a desire for mainstream acceptance that has displaced a willingness to break rules.

via Eccentricity Gives Way to Uniformity in Museums – NYTimes.com.

Davidson College, D2s (Children of Davidson friends@Davidson): Look at the D2s – Boyce and Betsy – being role models!

Davidson College seniors shared their experiences with Davidson Day School students recently. They are (from left): Bryan Droll, Rayna McKenzie, Boyce Whitesides and Betsy Lyles.

Four Davidson College seniors fielded questions about dorm rooms, study habits and what to expect from the food from high school students at Davidson Day during the private school’s second “College Life 101″ presentation last week.The 45-minute forum focused on transitioning from high school to college. Davidson College students included Betsy Lyles, who grew up in Davidson and is an English major at the local college. She was joined: Bryan Droll, a psychology major from Duluth, Ga.; Rayna McKenzie, a philosophy major from New York City; and Boyce Whitesides, a religion major from Wilmington, N.C.“The purpose of College Life 101 is to help our students become more prepared to adjust to college,” said Stacy Allen, Davidson Day’s college counselor. “They hear a lot from us but it’s different when what they’re hearing comes from a college student who is actually living the college experience.”

via Davidson seniors give a college preview at Davidson Day | DavidsonNews.net.

10
Mar
11

3.10.2011 … If they call it “artisan,” I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

Lent: I like the discipline idea of Lent .. rather than the giving up … But I will do both … I will give up using my right arm (it will heal much more quickly) and will discipline myself to pray rather than complain or be judgmental.  I am not giving up ice cream … read on … 🙂

foods – desserts, artisan foods, ice cream:  If they call it “artisan,”  I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

You’ve heard this story before: tiny company makes wonderful product using method alien to evil corporate rival; tiny company vows to keep at it even if it never makes a dime. There’s usually a twee, antiquarian sensibility about it, maybe you grow a handlebar moustache and print a label with an ancient letterpress. Painstakingly (and conspicuously) sourced ingredients, laborious production methods and most importantly a supportive circle of buyers — preferably in somewhere like Brooklyn or Portland, Ore. — completes the picture. There’s just one universal law: you can’t be expected to make any real money. As a recent article in food-snob bible Edible Brooklyn boasted of its subjects, “none of these entrepreneurs is looking to be the next Mrs. Fields or Ben & Jerry’s. Part of what sets this artisan boomlet apart from other start-ups is that the goal is to make a living — not a killing.” Real profit, in this narrative, needs be ceded to the corporations.

Jeni Britton Bauer, on the other hand, has never done anything but work on ice cream, think about ice cream and take ice cream to places where it has never gone. If she can become a success, and it looks like she can, there may yet be hope for all those tiny, perfect products — the micro-distilled spirits, the handmade cheeses, the bean-to-bar chocolates — that currently exist only in gourmet ghettos. After all, there was a time when gelato was unknown in America’s supermarkets too.

via In Ohio Ice Cream Chain’s Success, Hope for Other Artisans – TIME.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Made in Columbus Ohio.

globalization, USA, Fareed Zakaria: “The Rise of the Rest” … I think this is one of the best articles  I have read in a while.

Despite the hyped talk of China’s rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate. But these are snapshots of where we are right now. The decisions that created today’s growth — decisions about education, infrastructure and the like — were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world and generous immigration policies. Look at some underlying measures today, and you will wonder about the future. (Watch TIME’s video “Why Cities Are Key to American Success in the 21st Century.”)

The following rankings come from various lists, but they all tell the same story. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades). We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment. Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy. American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization, we’re 27th in life expectancy, 18th in diabetes and first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more. There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they’re not ones we usually brag about. We have the most guns. We have the most crime among rich countries. And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.

The changes we are currently debating amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But reducing funds for things like education, scientific research, air-traffic control, NASA, infrastructure and alternative energy will not produce much in savings, and it will hurt the economy’s long-term growth. It would happen at the very moment that countries from Germany to South Korea to China are making large investments in education, science, technology and infrastructure. We are cutting investments and subsidizing consumption — exactly the opposite of what are the main drivers of economic growth.

It’s not that our democracy doesn’t work; it’s that it works only too well. American politics is now hyperresponsive to constituents’ interests. And all those interests are dedicated to preserving the past rather than investing for the future.

The founders loved America, but they also understood that it was a work in progress, an unfinished enterprise that would constantly be in need of change, adjustment and repair. For most of our history, we have become rich while remaining restless. Rather than resting on our laurels, we have feared getting fat and lazy. And that has been our greatest strength. In the past, worrying about decline has helped us avert that very condition. Let’s hope it does so today.

via U.S. Decline in Global Arena: Is America No Longer No. 1? – TIME.

YA/children’s lit, Shel Silverstein, bookshelf:  I may have to buy it just for the memories!

Nearly a dozen years after his death, Shel Silverstein will once again hit the shelves with a new book of poems called Everything On It.

Silverstein gained fame for penning children’s classics like The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic. Members of his family selected the poems and illustrations in Everything On It from his archives, and took care to make sure the content echoed his past work.

via Posthumous Poems: New Shel Silverstein Book Hits Stores in September – TIME NewsFeed.

Facebook, technology, culture, Good Samaritan, suicide prevention: If it saves lives … but …

Facebook is launching a system that allows users to report friends who they think may be contemplating suicide.

The feature is being run in conjunction with Samaritans, which said several people had used it during a test phase.

Anyone worried about a friend can fill out a form, detailing their concerns, which is passed to the social networking site’s moderators.

It follows reports of several cases where Facebook users announced their intention to commit suicide online.

The reporting page asks for the address (URL) of the Facebook page where the messages are posted, the full name of the user and details of any networks they are members of.

Suicide-related alerts will be escalated to the highest level, for attention by Facebook’s user operations team.

via BBC News – Facebook adds Samaritans suicide risk alert system.

news, South Africa, hate crimes, new terms:  corrective rape?

Gaika is a rarity in South Africa, indeed in all of Africa, as an openly gay woman. And since her attack, which took place in 2009, she has become something of an icon in the battle against the South African phenomenon called “corrective rape.” Virtually unknown to the rest of the world at the time of Gaika’s ordeal, corrective rape has since become a hot issue. Through online campaigns, nearly a million people have joined local activists in demanding that the South African government recognize corrective rape as a hate crime. But with so few cases of homophobic violence resulting in trials — and of those, almost none ending in conviction — the activists have a long fight ahead of them.

via South Africa’s Corrective Rape: Activists Battle Violence – TIME.

28
Feb
11

2.28.2011 … long day comes to an end with rain … the cat and dog type …

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

Middle East Uprising/Awakening, Al Qaeda:  Interesting …

For nearly two decades, the leaders of Al Qaeda have denounced the Arab world’s dictators as heretics and puppets of the West and called for their downfall. Now, people in country after country have risen to topple their leaders — and Al Qaeda has played absolutely no role.

In fact, the motley opposition movements that have appeared so suddenly and proved so powerful have shunned the two central tenets of the Qaeda credo: murderous violence and religious fanaticism. The demonstrators have used force defensively, treated Islam as an afterthought and embraced democracy, which is anathema to Osama bin Laden and his followers.

So for Al Qaeda — and perhaps no less for the American policies that have been built around the threat it poses — the democratic revolutions that have gripped the world’s attention present a crossroads. Will the terrorist network shrivel slowly to irrelevance? Or will it find a way to exploit the chaos produced by political upheaval and the disappointment that will inevitably follow hopes now raised so high?

via Al Qaeda Finds Itself at a Crossroads – News Analysis – NYTimes.com.

Facebook, apps:  I think status is ridiculous …

Facebook Breakup Notifier, a new app for the site, is super simple — and will probably be super popular.

It lets users pick certain friends whose relationship status they’d like to monitor. If one of those relationships changes, the user gets notified by e-mail.

Theoretically, the app could be used by friends who just want to keep up with the love lives of their buddies so they can be there with a pint of ice cream and a shoulder to cry on when things go sour.

Theoretically.

As of last week, there could be more relationship statuses changing than usual. Facebook added “in a civil union” and “in a domestic partnership” to its list of options.

via Facebook app lets you stalk — er, monitor relationships – CNN.com.

history, WWI, RIP:  Rest in peace, Mr. Buckles … last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I

He was repeatedly rejected by military recruiters and got into uniform at 16 after lying about his age. But Frank Buckles would later become the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died of natural causes Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. He was 110.

Buckles had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in the nation’s capital.

via Last U.S. World War I Veteran Dies at 110 – NYTimes.com.

natural disasters, NC, OBX:  So what is the right answer?

Rising seas probably played a role in the erosion gnawing at much of the East Coast over the past century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says. As the seas start to rise faster, it warns, erosion will only get worse.A state science panel expects sea level on the N.C. coast to rise 1 meter by 2100. The low, flat northeastern shore, including the Outer Banks, is among the nations most vulnerable places.

State legislators took up the fight last week, with a bill that critics say would upset the uneasy balance between development and nature.

The bill would allow terminal groins, which jut into the sea like fingers, trapping sand along inlets. Groins could stabilize the eroding ends of barrier islands, including the tony enclaves of Bald Head Island and private Figure Eight Island near Wilmington.

But while groins stop erosion on one side, they can magnify it on the other. North Carolina and Oregon are the only two states that forbid hard structures such as seawalls and groins, which may protect property at the expense of a natural beach. State policy holds beaches in trust for public use.

via As North Carolina beaches erode, debate rises – CharlotteObserver.com.

technology, changes, RIP:  Rest in peace, e-mail?

Teens’ taste for texting also reflects their affinity for communication efficiency. For instance, text messaging with friends is a convenient way to check in, while they might pick up the phone for an in-depth conversation or send a more formal e-mail to a teacher.

“There’s a utility in the way that teens choose to interact with each other,” Lenhart told Discovery News. “They pick the method that works best for them at the moment, and teens are just more likely than older adults to choose a wider variety of tools to use, and that’s what’s really different.”

At the same time, younger people haven’t quite mastered a cohesive e-communication etiquette, which can present challenges in the classroom and elsewhere with text messaging or social networking on the sly.

via Is E-mail Dead? : Discovery News.

globalization, energy v. food:  Conundrum …

World ethanol production increased fivefold between 2000 and 2010 but would have to rise a lot further to meet all the targets. The FAO reckons that, if this were to happen (which seems unlikely), it would divert a tenth of the world’s cereal output from food to fuels. Alternatively, if food-crop production were to remain stable, a huge amount of extra land would be needed for the fuels, or food prices would rise by anything from 15-40%, which would have dreadful consequences.

via A special report on feeding the world: Plagued by politics | The Economist.

natural disasters, earthquake, New Zealand:  Prayers …

New Zealand police are evacuating 60 properties in exclusive Christchurch suburbs after cracks appeared in cliffs above the houses.

via World News Australia – Residents evacuated from NZ suburbs.

Middle East Uprising/Awakening, Oman:

Oman, the normally quiet sultanate along the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, joined the wave of two-month-old political protests shaking the Arab world on Sunday, as hundreds of demonstrators clashed with the riot police in the northeast port city of Sohar. Oman’s state news agency, ONA, said two protesters were killed.

Shortly after the violence, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has led oil-rich Oman for the past 40 years, gave orders to create 50,000 jobs, ONA reported. He also ordered that the equivalent of $386 a month be given every job seeker.

Governments in several gulf countries have announced reforms and financial assistance in recent days in an attempt to curb public anger. Calls for huge demonstrations on March 4 went out on social networking sites, calling on people to take to the streets in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

via Oman Protests Leave 2 Dead in Clashes With Police – NYTimes.com.

travel, coffee shops, lists:  I am a Starbucks girl (which flies in the face of my love for local eateries) .  Surprise, surprise, Seattle was #1 … but Savannah was #7 …

Like a lot of people, Novak loves seeking out coffee places when he’s traveling. A good coffee place can be like a life raft: familiar offerings, comfortable chairs, and maybe even free Wi-Fi. “I prefer the local, non-chain shops because of the variety,” Novak says, “but I just want a place to relax and get a feel for the local atmosphere, away from the tourist zones.”

No doubt, charming places like Steps of Rome helped San Francisco land in the top 3 of America’s best coffee cities, according to this year’s America’s Favorite Cities survey from Travel + Leisure.

Granted, when Starbucks and other chains reign in so many shopping centers and office-building lobbies, it may be hard to imagine how one city’s coffee scene is much better or different than any other anymore. But when we looked at the survey’s top 20 results, we found several towns with great historic districts that still offer a unique café culture.

Other winners boast plenty of independent coffeehouses—such as Portland, OR, which took the silver medal position. “Portland has more neighborhood places to get really good coffee than almost anywhere in the country,” says Matt Lounsbury, the director of operations for Portland-based Stumptown Coffee.

New York City and San Francisco were also in the Top 10, though their coffee cultures can be a little more fast-paced. These days you’re likely to find new coffee places that are truly bars: stools up against a counter, great for espresso lovers who just want a quick shot before they move on.

Even for coffee snobs, though, good coffee is an affordable luxury. “It’s a rare surprise to find a shop that makes a passable espresso,” says Novak. “But that’s the fun of finding new shops—to occasionally find that gem that makes me want to return.”

via America’s Best Coffee Cities – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

politics, skeletons:

Gov. Mitch Daniels R-Ind. is known as a strong fiscal conservative, a top selling point for a potential presidential run. But before he was governor, Daniels was the first budget director for President Bush during a time when the country went from a budget surplus to a budget deficit, and it’s likely that he’ll have to explain how that fits with the philosophy he touts should he decide to jump into the Republican field in 2012.

via Mitch Daniels: Don’t Focus On My Time As Bush’s Budget Director.

autos, China, Great Recession:  Next bubble?

When Stefan Jacoby, the chief executive of Volvo, turned up in China on Friday, it was yet another sign of where the action is in the auto industry these days. But some people are starting to wonder whether there is a little too much action.

Mr. Jacoby was in Beijing to announce plans to build a new factory in China, with the goal of selling 200,000 vehicles there by 2015 — an ambitious target, considering that Volvo sold only 374,000 cars worldwide last year.

Volvo’s plans are a logical step for a company, formerly owned by Ford, that is now in Chinese hands. But they are also part of an industrywide rush for a share of the exploding Chinese market. Even General Motors now sells more cars in China than in the United States.

China is also helping to drive the development of electric cars and giving car companies more confidence that they can invest in the new technology and find a market.

With pollution already a grave problem in some cities, carmakers expect the Chinese authorities to put restrictions on gasoline vehicles that would not apply to cars that produced no tailpipe emissions. The European manufacturers also fear that Chinese companies like BYD will get a big lead in battery technology.

via Carmakers’ Rush to China Could Fuel Another Bubble – NYTimes.com.

Academy Awards, Cher, fashion, lists:  Who still remembers this lovely Cher costume?

Cher Turns the Oscars Into a Costume Party, 1986

Cher Turns the Oscars Into a Costume Party, 1986

 

Said Cher to the audience: “As you can see, I did receive my Academy booklet on how to dress like a serious actress.” She would wear another theatrical Bob Mackie creation in ’87, when she won Best Actress for Moonstruck.

 

via Classic Oscar Photos: The 1980s – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

19
Feb
11

2.19.2010 … continuing the tour of mid-atlantic colleges … our tour guides all seem happy :)

education, Teach for America, USA: Very interesting analysis … ET has met some TFA teachers and noted that they feel unprepared.  Several teach math with absolutely no background in math … or teaching.

According to the petition,

“few TFA teachers remain in the classroom beyond TFA’s two-year requirement, depriving our children of experienced educators. These are bold injustices in a perpetually unfair education system that denies our children the critical resources they deserve and need to reach their full potential. The status quo educational inequity that assigns well-prepared teachers to middle class and wealthy white children and inadequately prepared teachers to our children must end.”

Undeniably, part of what’s kept Teach For America going over the past 20 years is the ability to cultivate achievement-oriented individuals who are committed to keeping student achievement front and center. Improving its training is surely going to be a part of how the organization prioritizes its students in the 21st century. But if Teach For America stepped up and took the lead in the national conversation about race, class, and education—if it used its considerable influence to challenge how school districts decide which teachers get funneled to certain schools—now that would be something spectacular.

via Teach For America’s Model: Does It Need to Change? – Education – GOOD.

college, drugs, parenting:  One negative of decriminalizing or social acceptance of “a little pot” is that the risk-takers move up the risk ladder.

Thanks to recent high profile narcotics busts at the universities of Georgetown, Columbia, and Cornell, word is out that students at elite private schools aren’t just smoking a little pot. They’re using (and dealing) hard drugs like heroin—and they’re getting arrested for it.

via Breaking: Ivy League College Students Use Hard Drugs – Education – GOOD.

economics, world markets:  Coffee is the second most important legally traded commodity.

While you might think of coffee as merely a good caffeinated drink, the seeds of the Coffea plant represent the second most important legally traded commodity, following oil, in terms of dollar value, writes Mark Pendergast in Uncommon Grounds. Consequently, these beans mean a lot to some 25 million farmers in developing countries.

via Map: Where Are the World’s Coffee Drinkers? – Food – GOOD.

culture, multiculturalism, globalization, parenting:  I really enjoyed this analysis and agree it is very difficult to raise children open to multiculturalism in our culture.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron just reignited the debate on “multiculturalism,” joining ranks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Sarkozy by declaring their multicultural policies a “failure.” As a U.S. passport carrying, multilingual, daughter of immigrants, and as a mother of aspiring global citizens, such a defeat felt like a kick in the gut. In my travels speaking to diverse audiences on gaining a global perspective and the tools contained in my book, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, I’ve seen quite the opposite: individuals of varied backgrounds coming together to raise beautiful families, make friends across cultural and ideological lines, and take tangible steps toward building a better world for their children.

Upon closer review, David Cameron’s justification for the failure of multiculturalism seemed reasonable: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream.” Speaking specifically of radical Muslim youth, Cameron argued this resulted in marginalization, rootlessness, and “behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.”

Like most words that end in “-ism,” the policy of multiculturalism divided people rather than it building connections among them. Unity and diversity became mutually exclusive. This resulted in too many immigrants not gaining opportunities to move into better neighborhoods, attend those schools, or marry outside their confined groups. That version of “multiculturalism” resulted in ghettoization, produced a violently radicalized youth, and served as a excuse for racism; that version of “multiculturalism” is a failure.

via How to Save Multiculturalism – Education – GOOD.

politics, stereotypes:  Also interesting … as well as the comments.

I find Mr Sumner’s typology quite congenial probably because I have Mr Sumner’s politics, more or less, and his way of carving up the ideological space places us where we see ourselves: as “pragmatic libertarians” leaning a bit more toward “progressive idealism” than “dogmatic libertarianism”. That said, there is something troubling about the lack of parallelism in Mr Sumner’s scheme. While conservatism and progressivism both have “idealistic” and “corrupt” variants, libertarianism is only “dogmatic” and “pragmatic”. I think the ideological influence but electoral insignificance of libertarianism goes some way toward justifying its different treatment. But I wouldn’t want to leave out the possibility of conservatism and progressivism that is pragmatic in the sense of pursuing conservative and progressive values through practical, empirically-tested means, and not in the “corrupt” sense of catering to the electoral interests of a partisan faction.

via Picturing politics: Sumner’s wheel of ideology | The Economist.

history, China, bookshelf:  In 2007, my family visited the Chengde Mountain Resort.  As I walked through this summer palace with our guide, he read to me many of the signs that were not translated into English and I was struck by how many times he read the word “humiliation”.  I commented the other day that  it would be like walking through a US historical site and repeatedly commenting on our humiliation. This book review puts perspective on why the Chinese did this (and possibly why the signs were not translated into English and others glorifying China’s dynastic history were translated).

AS NUMEROUS museums across China testify, the country dwells on its past in order to justify the present. A common theme is that of the “national humiliation” China says it suffered from the mid-19th century until the Communist Party came to power in 1949. To help prove that the party created a “new China” and has the right to rule it, schoolchildren are made to tramp around exhibits showing how foreigners scrambled to dismember China, how they poisoned it with opium, bullied (and sometimes butchered) its people and looted its treasures.

As far as it goes, this outline of what happened is true enough, though opium was commonly used by the Chinese elite before the British started peddling their own produce from India. But the party forbids exploration of anything that might blur this picture. One taboo area is what Chinese nationalists at the time saw as the foreign nature of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing, which collapsed in 1911. Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary who helped topple it, held the ethnic Manchus who controlled the dynasty in more contempt than the Westerners who had forcibly set up colonial enclaves, the Russians who had carved off part of Manchuria, or the Japanese who had taken Taiwan after a war in 1895. To keep the story simple, the party prefers to view the Manchus as Chinese.

In his history of the foreign scramble for China, Robert Bickers of Bristol University looks mainly at the story of west European and, to a lesser extent, American interaction with the country. The Japanese and Russian strands of this hugely complex tale of an evolving nation-state are picked out in less detail. The anglophone actors take centre stage—rightly, perhaps, at first, given the pioneering role played by the British in China’s history of humiliation. Mr Bickers takes 1832 as his starting point, the year when British ships sailed north from the Canton delta, carrying pamphlets, textiles and opium.

via 19th-century China: Clashing with the foreign devils | The Economist.

Middle East Unrest:  good country by country summary …

Unrest has spread across the Middle East and North Africa. Here’s a look at what has happened — and what is happening — in various countries:

via Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa — country by country – CNN.com.

history, GWTW, Atlanta, kith/kin:  Every time a new picture or footage is found I search for a 12-year-old boy in a boy scout uniform “holding the ropes” for Clark Gable and shaking his hand.  🙂

The color film is a rarity for its time, shot in 1939 during the three-day celebration surrounding the release of the movie Gone with the Wind.

“It was made on 16mm Kodachrome film. And some of that film is of pretty lasting quality,” said Paul Crater of the Atlanta History Center.

The Atlanta History Center uploaded the film to YouTube a few weeks ago. It features the Loew’s Grand Theatre — which was destroyed by fire in 1978. The Georgia Pacific tower stands in its place now. Shot by a furniture store executive with a taste for expensive cameras, it’s an archival piece that stayed mostly under wraps for 70 years.

via New / Old Footage Unearthed of 1939 Atlanta GWTW Premiere – 11Alive.com | WXIA | Atlanta, GA.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 624 other followers

November 2018
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930