Posts Tagged ‘goats

11
Jan
13

1.11.13 … Say what you will about the south … :)

The South:

Photo: I think the sign says it all.

via WUSY US-101

labyrinth walks:

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking.

Well it is 10:15 AM and it is 65° outside. That is way too warm for January. But it makes for very nice “walking and solving”.

Thoughts…

Wearing summer shoes 😦

Long conversation with fellow Davidson grad Carl McPhail who I had never met. We chatted about Davidson and labyrinths etc.

A very nice walk … — at Myers Park Baptist Church on 1.10.13

UNC-CH, AP classes, college admissions:  More  may not be better … Study finds that more AP classes may not be better – University Gazette.

Sliding Doors, movies I own, quotes: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” … james quoting Monty Python in Sliding Doors (1998) – IMDb.

 pop culture, board games, Monopoly, change:

I am partial to the top hat and the dog …

CS Lewis, quotes:

Photo: "Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny."- CS Lewis<br /><br />  post by team Ziglar www.Ziglar.com

via Zig Ziglar.

Steven Colbert, LOL:  He is just so funny … Watch The Colbert Report: Obama’s Failed Second Term online | Free | Hulu.

President Obama is turning out the way white males wanted him to, and Jack Lew’s sloppy signature will make America’s currency a laughingstock.

via Watch The Colbert Report: Obama’s Failed Second Term online | Free | Hulu.

The Barnes Collection, Phladelphia, bucket list:  On my bucket list … Higher now that I’ve seen this PBS special … About | The Barnes Collection | WHYY.

SouthPark – Charlotte,  Victorias Secret, crime:  50 bras … where did she stuff … stash … them?

 employee reported to police that a woman stole 50 assorted bras off a display table near the front of the store sometime between noon and 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

via Police: Thief snags 50 bras from SouthPark Victorias Secret | CharlotteObserver.com.

Wilmette IL, winter: Family builds coolest house in town.  🙂

For your real estate viewing pleasure: building with second floor patio balcony, architecturally daring circular indoor ramp and stunning central great-room in fashionable east Wilmette.

via Family builds coolest house in town – Wilmette Life.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats:  They’re back!

The cure for kudzu? It may be the common goat. Thirty of the persistent ruminants spent time on campus this summer, the latest weapon in davidson’s eff orts to curtail a 3.5-acre stand of kudzu on the cross-country trails. The initiative—completely sustainable!—was the brainchild of Rebecca mckee ’14, who suggested the college adopt “goatscaping” after seeing it work at her high school. kudzu is notoriously pernicious; introduced in the 19th century as an ornamental plant, it can grow up to a foot per day. But the goats’ eff orts were not for naught—in fact, their chomping was so eff ective that the animals were brought back this fall, to attack the kudzu that has re-sprouted since their departure. The hope is that by munching the weed down to the ground before winter, the goats will get closer to the root of the (kudzu) matter, perhaps eradicating the evil vine for good.

.

via Scene and Herd | davidsonjournal

2013 Academy Award Nominations, movies: I have not seen a single one of these … I now have a list! I’ll let you know what i think.

Best motion picture of the year

“Amour” Nominees to be determined

“Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

“Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

“Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

“Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

“Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

“Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

“Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

via 2013 Academy Award Nominations Are Announced (Full List) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Dr. Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven, bookshelf:  I read Dr, Alexander’s book and really enjoyed and would recommend it.

7. Kathy Maloney- Urich: As a Neurosurgeon, if a person is on life support with no brain activity, not breathing on their own, do you believe they are already in heaven?

Yes, the spirit often has left the body before bodily death. In all of my talks with doctors, nurses and families, I urge them to say and act knowing that the spirit of the beloved is potentially aware and present, no matter what the state of the body. They may still be in transit to heaven at that point, but their spirit/soul is freed up, and well.

via Dr. Eben Alexander Answers Your Questions! – Katie Couric.

23
Sep
11

9.23.2011 … ‎lucky me … i get to take two dogs and a cat to the vet and its pouring … cat is MIA right now … and nightime viewing …‎… watched The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) … Why are old movies so slow?

pets, Armstrong Animal Clinic, followup:  It’s a good thing I love my pets and my vets … all animals are healthy … but the bill was $779!  I am getting pet insurance on my next pets.  And why are we talking about adding another to the pack??? Shout out to the best vets in Charlotte … the Drs. Williston at Armstrong Animal Clinic.  We have been seeing them for 26 years … Thank you for great vet care.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), movies, old movies: Why are old movies so slow? Did we not think they were slow way back when?

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Poster

1966 Nominated Oscar

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Richard Burton

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Ted Marshall, Josie MacAvin

via The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) – Awards.

Jenna Huff , Deb Guthmann, high school sports, high school cross-country, sportsmanship, kudos, NC:  sometimes you just need a feel good story.  Kudos to Jenna and Deb!

Eleven months ago, a spontaneous act of good sportsmanship at a girls’ cross country meet in Salisbury transformed a simple race into something bigger.

The ripples from that moment keep widening. Tonight, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Jenna Huff is scheduled to receive a national sportsmanship award from the U.S. Olympic Committee for what she did for Deb Guthmann.

They were bound together last Halloween morning at a regional meet, where Jenna trailed Deb for all but the final few yards of the 3.1-mile race.

As the two approached the finish line – behind the race leaders but well ahead of the majority of runners – Deb still led Jenna.

Then something awful happened. Deb’s right hip basically tore apart. She screamed in pain and stopped.

Jenna had never met Deb and had been taught to pass every runner she could no matter the circumstances.

Instead, Jenna stopped and helped.

“C’mon,” Jenna said she told Deb. “We’re going to run, and we’re going to do it now.”

Jenna took Deb’s left elbow with her right hand and helped her jog the last few yards of the race. Then, at the finish line, she pushed Deb in front of her, reasoning Deb would have beaten her anyway if not for the injury. That act helped Deb’s Waxhaw Cuthbertson team win the regional race and advance to the state meet.

via Act of sportsmanship one that keeps drawing praise | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

death penalty, last meals request, cookbooks, random:  The main part of this story is that Texas Prisons ended special last meals because the inmates facing execution were being unreasonable.  Nothing funny there.  However, I just had to laugh at the last paragraph …

A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky’s Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called “Meals to Die For.”

via Special Last Meals: Texas Prisons End Special Last Meals For Inmates Facing Execution.

cohabiting, culture:  Twenty plus years ago a special friend asked her girlfriends what we thought if her boyfriend moved in with her.  We all twenty-somethings told her the world judges women harsher than men, but that we would not judge her negatively because we knew her. He moved in … and pretty soon they got married and had three kids … happy ending.  This article strikes a chord ….

Is a Bad Idea For Some.

But if you are a young adult who thinks you might want to have kids one day and maybe even get married but you aren’t sure that your current sweetie’s The One, please don’t move in with him or her.

I can hear the grumbling; “How will I know if we’re compatible or not if we don’t live together?” Easy — you know because you’ve spent enough time together as a couple. If you really don’t know if you can live with his smelly socks in the hallway or her panties hanging in the bathroom, then you either haven’t known each other long enough or you haven’t been paying attention. In either case, you’re just not ready to marry. Please, date some more.

Couples rarely split up over socks and underwear; they split because of affairs, alcohol, addictions and abuse. They split because their expectations of marriage differ. And they split because they never should have been together in the first place — probably because they moved in together to see if they could live with the socks and panties while they were ignoring other, much bigger issues.

So what’s so wrong with living with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Let’s forget the studies pointing out the booze (cohabitors drink more), weight (they’re heavier) and happiness (they’re not quite as happy as married couples but they aren’t more miserable, either), because those aren’t the issues. Nor are the results of the latest NMP study, “Why Marriage Matters,” which predicts doom and gloom for the children of cohabiting couples. The NMP has an agenda; it wants to promote marriage. Still, even a recent and presumably agenda-less Pew Study finds similar results, at least when it comes to cohabiting couples’ economic well-being; they’re poorer, and that puts stress on a relationship. A lot of stress.

As a society, we need to pay attention because there are 12 times as many cohabiting couples today as there were in the 1970s.

The real problem with cohabiting is that many couples who enter into it don’t give it a lot of thought; it’s one of those “just kind of happened” things. You like him, he likes you and a few months later you’re jamming your stuff into his closets. And those are the couples who, if they end up “sliding into marriage,” as research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver Scott Stanley would call it, are more likely to divorce at some point.

Commitment is a decision. And if cohabitation is being offered as a replacement to marriage — as the Alternatives to Marriage Project and many sociologists and family psychologists see it — then a little more thought about it needs to happen, especially if you know you want to have kids one day.

For Linda Lea Viken, head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, that would mean a cohabitation agreement. Even if a couple doesn’t end up signing one, at least they’ve been thinking about things like property, spending, saving and — this is a big one — expectations. If you can have unrealistic expectations in a marriage, you can have them living together, too.

Of course, none of this matters if we’re talking about two child-free adults who live together and then split. It’s just a heck of a lot worse if there are kids involved — his kids, her kids, their kids. According to the ATMP, 40 percent of the first babies of single mothers are actually born to cohabiting couples. And some 42 percent of kids will have lived in a cohabiting household before they turn 12 years old.

Still, no one’s pushing for marriage (well, except the NMP), but it you want to live with someone happily and for the long haul you really do need to be committed, especially if you have or want kids. “To me, the biggest issue is commitment not marriage,” says psychologist Joshua Coleman, co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. “A lot of people are opting not to marry, but I wonder what is the context in which you have a child.”

For our most famously cohabiting couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the context seems clear. As Jolie said when asked if she and Pitt will grow old together, “Of course; we wouldn’t have six children if we weren’t absolutely sure of that.”

No one can ever definitively know if a relationship will last, whether married or not. But making a conscious decision to start off that way sure helps.

via Vicki Larson: Why Cohabiting Is a Bad Idea For Some.

Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It, children’s/YA literature:  I loved Siverstein’s poetry with my kids …. and now he has a post mortem (11 years) new book!

Every Thing On It, published eleven years after Shel Silverstein’s death, arrived yesterday. Homework was instantly abandoned. The Girl Who Hates To Read simply had to dive into this collection of 139 poems.

This speaks volumes.

Shel Silverstein’s books are said to be for children 9 to 12. Nonsense. We started reading him when The Girl Who Hates To Read was six, and now we have the full collection. Only Roald Dahl comes close — and he’s a distant second.

What is Silverstein’s appeal?

Simple: He’s not full of the mealy-mouth bullshit that used to pass for children’s books. Starting way back in the ’60s — when Ozzie and Harriet values were finally starting to wither and die everywhere but in kids’ books — he talked to kids with respect. He thought they were smart. And creative. And they needed to be encouraged, not sedated.

via Jesse Kornbluth: Hey, Kids! A Decade After His Death, Shel Silverstein Has a New Book.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry:  I learned a lot from this analysis using debate team analysis as the basis.  Without this new understanding, I agree, anyway:  timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it.

In any debate, contestants must make decisions given their limited amount of time to speak. On Thursday night, Rick Perry made the wrong ones. The Texas governor came across as forced and all over the place — awkward, unsure, with no clear strategy for how to answer questions or when he should go on attack. At one point he tried to fit three attacks on his nearest challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, into one sentence.

In short, Perry misused his time.

Academic competitions set rules and speaking times, and the debate teams I coach cannot change them. Debaters must make argumentative decisions about what they need to say to win. You have to pick and choose your best argument and stick with it. You should have a theme, limit your attacks, clarify your positions. In the presidential debates, the candidates must also do so.

As we have learned by now, these debates are a bit stacked. Front-runners Romney and Perry get more questions, making the job harder for the other candidates. They have to win over voters with less speaking time. Some did well with their limited time at the Florida/Fox News/Google debate in Orlando, others not so much.

via Timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it – CNN.com.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, illegal immigration:

My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals, that you don’t have a heart,” Romney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. “I think if you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

via TRENDING: Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney:  I found this review helpful …

Reporters look at five moments from the debate in Orlando, Fla., and their importance going forward in the Republican race.

via The Caucus | Key Moments From the Debate – Video Library – The New York Times.

2012 Presidential Election, President Obama, Israel, analysis:  Israel is becoming the  key foreign affairs issue … so far neither party is looking very good … “As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.”

A small secret. In writing about the White House or Congress, I always feel completely free to attempt to see things clearly, to consider the evidence, to sift it through experience and knowledge, and then to make a judgment. It may be highly critical, or caustic, even damning. But deep down I always hope I’m wrong—that it isn’t as bad as I say it is, that there is information unknown to me that would explain such and such an act, that there were factors I didn’t know of that make bad decisions suddenly explicable. Or even justifiable.

I note this to make clear the particular importance, for me, of Ron Suskind’s book on the creation of President Obama’s economic policy, “Confidence Men.” If Mr. Suskind is right, I have been wrong in my critiques of the president’s economic policy. None of it was as bad as I said. It was much worse.

The most famous part of the book is the Larry Summers quote that he saw it as a “Home Alone” administration, with no grown-ups in charge. But there’s more than that. Most of us remember the president as in a difficult position from day one: two wars and an economic crash, good luck with that. But Mr. Suskind recasts the picture.

Mr. Obama isn’t as resilient as a Bill Clinton, with his broad spectrum of political gifts and a Rasputin-like ability to emerge undead in spite of the best efforts of his foes. His spectrum of political gifts is more limited. That’s a nice way to put it, isn’t it?

But consider what happened this week in New York.

Mr. Obama’s speech Wednesday at the United Nations was good. It was strong because it was clear, and it was clear because he didn’t rely on the thumping clichés and vapidities he’s lately embraced. When the camera turned to the professionally impassive diplomats in the audience, they seemed to be actually listening.

“It has been a remarkable year,” he said: Moammar Gadhafi on the run, Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali deposed, Osama bin Laden dead. “Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way they will be.” Technology is putting power in the hands of the people, history is tending toward the overthrow of entrenched powers. But “peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart.”

On the Mideast conflict: “The people of Palestine deserve a state of their own.” But the proposed U.N. statehood resolution is a “shortcut” that won’t work: “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Peace can be realized only when both parties acknowledge each other’s legitimate needs: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” Friends of the Palestinians “do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”

“I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress,” the president said. “So am I.” All in all, it was a measured statement at a tense moment. It was meant to defuse tensions, to cool things down.

Contrast it with the words of Rick Perry, who zoomed into New York to make his own Mideast statement the day before the president’s speech. The Obama administration’s policy, the Texas governor said, amounts to “appeasement.” It has encouraged “an ominous act of bad faith.” We are “at the precipice of such a dangerous move” because the Obama administration is “arrogant, misguided and dangerous.” “Moral equivalency” is “a dangerous insult.”

This was meant not to defuse but to inflame. It does not seem to have occurred to Mr. Perry that when you are running for president you have to be big, you have to act as if you’re a broad fellow who understands that when the American president is in a tight spot in the U.N., America is in a tight spot in the U.N. You don’t exploit it for political gain.

Perry competitor Rick Santorum responded: “I’ve forgotten more about Israel than Rick Perry knows about Israel,” he told Politico. Mr. Perry “has never taken a position on any of this stuff before, and [the media is] taking this guy seriously.”

The Israeli newspaper Ha’artez likened Mr. Perry’s remarks to “a pep rally for one of Israel’s right-wing politicians, and a hard-liner at that,” adding that the governor “adopted the rhetoric of Israel’s radical right lock, stock and barrel.”

I’d add only that in his first foreign-policy foray, the GOP front-runner looked like a cheap, base-playing buffoon.

As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.

via Amateur Hour at the White House – WSJ.com.

“The Good Wife” , tv, culture, gender issues, monogamy:  I don’t really like tv’s portrayal of our culture … “there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.”

Are men meant to be monogamous?

Alan Cumming from “The Good Wife” says there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.

via Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

Morgan Freeman, President  Obama, race relations, politics, Tea Party:  Makes you think … I personally had hoped Pres. Obama’s election would be a great leap forward for the U.S.

Morgan Freeman, in an interview to be aired on CNN Friday evening, says that President Obama has made racism worse in America.

Chatting with Piers Morgan, the Oscar-winning actor also blames the Tea Party saying they’re “going to do whatever [they] can to get this black man outta here” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

via Morgan Freeman: Obama Made Racism Worse, Tea Party Will Do ‘Whatever [It] Can To Get This Black Man Outta Here’ | NewsBusters.org.

Troy Davis, capital punishment, understatement, GA:  “Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.”  SETTLED!  Talk about effective use of understatement.

The idea that if you do wrong you get what’s coming to you animates Westerns and crime fiction, both distinctly American genres; small wonder it should find fertile political ground too. But here’s the thing: life is not a movie or a novel. Reality has no obligation to provide us with a clear narrative or villain, and it rarely does.

Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.

Speaker after speaker harped on the same two points, one sound and one largely but not wholly irrelevant. The former, of course, concerned the injustice of the death penalty and the large amount of doubt concerning Mr Davis’s guilt. He was effectively killed on the word of nine people, seven of whom changed their minds. Reports said that Georgia’s parole board, which denied Mr Davis clemency on Monday, split 3-2 on that decision. Eyewitness testimony is profoundly unreliable; that it, and only it, was used to kill someone is unjust on its face and sets a terrible precedent.

The largely irrelevant point concerned the large numbers of supporters Mr Davis had around the world. We were told that rallies were held in Europe and across America, that hundreds of thousands of people had signed petitions, that death-penalty supporters such as Bob Barr and William Sessions (a former Georgia congressman and a former FBI director) and luminaries such as Jimmy Carter and the pope all opposed Mr Davis’s execution. But the problem with Georgia’s decision to kill Mr Davis is not that it’s unpopular; it’s that it was wrong.

When it was all over, Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Church, where Martin Luther King preached, said, “This is one of those moments when the nation is called to examine itself and ask, ‘Is this who we are?'” It seems that it is, alas.

via Capital punishment: A death in Georgia | The Economist.

President Obama, Jobs Bill, ” A Bridge To Nowhere”, 2012 Presidential Election:  Is the jobs bill nothing more than a first swing at the 2012 election … “This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.”

“It’s a short-lived fix,” he says. “I mean, the guys will be working on the bridge for a couple years, and then they’re out of work again.”

The truth is, construction on the Brent Spence Bridge would not begin right away even if the bill passes tomorrow. The White House says it never claimed this project was shovel-ready. One reason it was chosen was its political symbolism.

The Brent Spence connects House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky. On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said it would be great to fix this bridge, but the president’s jobs bill won’t get it done.

“Don’t patronize us by implying that if we pass the second stimulus, that bridges will get fixed right away,” McConnell said. “The American people heard the same thing when the administration was selling the first stimulus.”

But small-business owner Jeffrey McClorey says the first stimulus really helped this community. He runs Bromwell’s Fireplace and Art Gallery, which calls itself the oldest business in Cincinnati. He says the first stimulus helped spur a mixed-use condo development along the river, called The Banks.

“There’s 300 new families living down at The Banks, and more coming. And those people are buying products from me and other people downtown and in the region,” McClorey says. “And it also benefits and helps to repopulate the city center, which I think is very important.”

This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.

via Obama’s Jobs Bill Pitch: A Bridge To Nowhere? : NPR.

“How I Met Your Mother”, tv, Katie Holmes,  “Slutty Pumpkin”, random, LOL:  OK, I watch some shows because my kids watch them.  I admit I have grown to love “How I Met Your Mother” and look forward to Season 7 and Katie Holmes as the “slutty pumpkin.”

Shockers abound in Season 7 of “How I Met Your Mother.”

Just days after the season premiere return of Season 1’s cupcake girl, Victoria (Ashley Williams), the identity of the elusive “Slutty Pumpkin” has been revealed.

First reported by Vulture, the elusive character first mentioned in Season 1 will appear this year in the form of Katie Holmes.

“Katie is a lovely and talented actress,” co-creator Craig Thomas tells Vulture, “which is why we’ve saved for her perhaps the most classily named character in our show’s history.”

“The Slutty Pumpkin,” also the name of the series’ sixth episode, was a potential love interest Ted (Josh Radnor) met at a 2001 Halloween party and never saw again. She’s since been mentioned several times — and cannot possibly be the mother.

via ‘How I Met Your Mother’ revelation: Katie Holmes is the ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ – chicagotribune.com.

Michael Warner, public lectures, UNC-CH, evangelical Christianity: ” Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.”

When one thinks of evangelical Christianity, “nation-shaping” is not the first concept to come to mind.

But Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.

Warner defined evangelicalism as a “transnational movement” that focuses on converting strangers. The movement is loud and unafraid to adapt to technology, he said.

He focused on the rise of evangelical Christians as a “counter public” in America from the late 18th century until the mid-1970s, which he claimed was the turning point for modern evangelicalism.

He discussed early American evangelical publications created for the purpose of converting readers, including “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” a sermon delivered in the 1740s by theologian Jonathan Edwards.

“The idea of evangelicalism follows the assumption that a reading of these texts anywhere by anyone leads to a conversion,” Warner said. “To read it is to imagine a spectacular conversion happening somewhere.”

“Free speech created a very special kind of culture,” he said.

Many students attended as part of their “Introduction to Fiction” class, said John Weeks, a junior psychology and political science double major.

“The religious discussion relates to the theme in the book we’re studying, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle,” said Tara Jeffries, a freshman journalism major.

“I enjoyed the references to American history and how the Puritanical religious views shaped the country,” Jeffries said. “His analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon and the way he deconstructed it were especially interesting.”

The lecture was part of the Critical Speaker Series of UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Yale professor lectures on social importance of evangelical Christianity.

Silent Sam, public monuments, Real Silent Sam movement, UNC-CH, history, traditions:  I clipped about silent Sam before.  It is difficult … should it go … I will say I was very moved by The Unsung Founders Memorial.  I am interested to see how this plays out.  My opinion is that it should stay and be a reminder of a history that you cannot deny … but be a discussion point.

0919_silentsam_sweeney

The statue in McCorkle Place has again sparked community-wide debate about the implications of having a monument to the Confederacy so prominently placed on campus.

But despite outrage from some, the monument has never been seriously threatened, at least during the past few decades.

Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said he has heard of no formal petition to remove the statue in his 31 years at the University.

On Sept. 1, a group called the Real Silent Sam movement, composed of concerned community members and students, held a protest to attract attention to the statue’s history.

Senior Will McInerney, a member of the movement, said the group wants to start a discussion about monuments with racist backgrounds.

University officials said they support the students’ right to protest the statue.

“I do fully support robust and earnest dialogue about this and similar issues, and I fully support student’s rights to raise this issue before the university community,” said Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs.

About 10 years ago, University officials heard from a senior class that wanted to commemorate another aspect of UNC’s history.

The Unsung Founders Memorial — the stone table situated less than 100 yards away from Silent Sam — was erected in 2005 by the graduating class of 2002 in memory of enslaved African-Americans who helped to build the University.

David Owens, chairman of UNC’s building and grounds committee, said careful considerations were made about the placement of the Unsung Founders monument.

“Silent Sam was the second monument to be placed inside the sidewalks at McCorkle Place,” Owens said, adding that the first was the burial site for Joseph Caldwell, the University’s first president, who was also a slaveowner.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Real Silent Sam movement holds protest focused on statue’s history.

Sebastian Junger, Reynolds Lecture, Davidson College:  Great lecture … “He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: ‘And then there’s Congress.’”

His talk touched on themes recounted in his books “War,” “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire.”

He describes his time embedded with an military unit in Iraq. We all almost died, he said. Soldiers come to know that “you die or survive because of a random set of circumstances. … It’s meaningless,” he said. “It really torments these guys.”

The horrors and meaninglessness of war create problems when veterans return. On the battlefield, they come to know brotherhood and loyalty. For brotherhood, he said, all that’s required is that you value others’ lives above your own. “It’s there in the platoon,” and soldiers know they all can be brave.

That accords them respect that is hard to find in civilian life, Mr. Junger said. In combat, “every 19 year old can be encased in all the respect he can ever want.”

Once back home, they miss that and find they lack the same sense of purpose. In response to a question after his talk, he said as a nation, our goal for veterans should be to make them feel necessary. “A hug is great,” he said, but we need to ensure they have a purpose.

He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: “And then there’s Congress.”

Mr. Junger also recounted the death of his friend, collaborator and photojournalist Timothy Hetherington, with whom he made the award-winning documentary “Restrepo,” about Afghanistan. After they appeared at the Academy Awards ceremony to received an award for the film, Mr. Hetherington headed off to cover the civil unrest in Libya. There, he was killed by a mortar shell.

As Mr. Junger mourned, a friend emailed him. Apologizing for being so blunt, he told Mr. Junger that he and Mr. Hetherington had come closer than most to capturing the meaning of war. “The central truth of war is not that you might die, it’s that you’re guaranteed to lose your brothers,” the friend wrote. Now you understand, the friend said.

via At Davidson, Junger talks about war and its meaning | DavidsonNews.net.

Freshman Cake Race, Davidson College, traditions, goats, followup:  A Davidson tradition is the freshman cake race … I just saw this and loved its creativity … someone made a kudzu eating goat cake!

Today’s Freshman Cake Race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Baker Sports Complex has inspired people all over town. One of the college’s crack strategic planning analysts, Janet Werner, was so moved by the college’s summer goat story that she confected this decorative entry, complete with tiny goat on top of kudzu fondant:

Not Baaaad!

And irrepressible math prof Tim Chartier concocted a real Wildcat paw/M&M cake on his computer, then brought it to life in the kitchen.

via Daybook Davidson.

Davidson College,  first night down, college life, student life, traditions, change:  Change is hard .. What college tradition would you be upset about if the college changd or banned it?

In 2009, First Night Down was officially renamed the Opening of the Court. Related events were moved from a Friday to a Monday in an effort to deemphasize drinking and encourage Patterson Court houses to better present their unique qualities to first year students. These changes, however, failed to achieve their desired effect.

This year, administrators from Student Life and Patterson Court chose to completely eliminate First Night Down, a decision that also precipitated a new set of recruitment rules for Patterson Court organizations.

Students were informed of this change on Aug. 15 in an email from Patterson Court Council President Lee Dorsey ’12. Dorsey attributed the decision to a year-long conversation involving the Patterson Court Council, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Police, Counseling and Student Health Center, the Union and the Residence Life Office.

Dorsey stated in the email that the event had lost its original focus and needed to better maintain its primary purpose: “to provide first-year students a comprehensive and welcoming experience, and to favorably introduce the pillars of our Patterson Court organizations and the Patterson Court Council to the outside community.”

In eliminating a formal opening date, Dorsey said that they hoped to “diffuse a frequently stressful and intense environment.”

Current students have mixed feelings about the decision. Krista Catafago ’14, a member of the last class to have a First Night Down, said, “As a freshman, I kind of resented the first night down rule, but as a sophomore, I’m able to understand the reasoning behind it. That being said, I think including students from all years from the very beginning has made the court more fun.”

Ace Coumas ’14 felt more strongly about the loss of the tradition. “I wouldn’t have known my [freshman] hall as well as I do today had First Night Down not existed,” he said. Though Meg Shamburger, Patterson Court Advisor, previously told The Davidsonian that she felt students were more upset about the changes to recruitment than the elimination of First Night Down, Coumas disagreed.

“A tradition has been stripped from Davidson College. It is certainly different. Of all the changes that have been dropped on returning students this year, this is the one that I am most concerned about,” he said.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Anne Wills ’88, Associate Professor of Religion, also suggests that First Night Down may have meant more to recent classes. “As a historian, I would have to point to this occasion as yet another recent invention/innovation that has disguised itself as an ancient (or at least generations-old) tradition,” she said.

Though First Night Down may not have left as great an imprint on the memories of Davidson’s older graduates, the loss is more strongly felt among current students and recent alumni. This loss of tradition reflects the larger goals of the administration to overhaul Patterson Court culture. The measure is officially a “preliminary solution to a long-term concern,” though it remains to be seen what steps will be taken next.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

$16 Muffins, government waste,  Justice Department, oversight:  I am glad there were no $16 Muffins, but it does show you how we can get overhyped by phrases … and the bottom line is there is a lot of waste.

There was a whole host of over-priced items: $5 meatballs, $7.50 beef canapes, $8 coffees. But the sound-byte everyone took from the story was the $16 muffin.

Journalists and auditors arrived at the startling price when they discovered that 250 muffins at a hotel conference had cost the Department $4,200. Many were outraged, and pointed to the muffins as a prime example of governmental waste. Senator Chuck Grassley even said that whoever was responsible should be fired. Obama, for his part, seems to be complying. Obama Foodorama reports that POTUS has ordered a systematic review of all conference spending, and put Vice President Biden in charge of oversight.

It sounds like the new oversight is worth it; the government undoubtedly wastes a lot of money on catering and hospitality. But there’s a fantastic irony at the heart of the entire story. Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum has a great explanation of why the $16 muffins didn’t really cost $16. The calculation was based on the invoice price of the muffins — which included overhead and service charges for the use of the conference space.

UPDATE: Peter Yost of the Associated Press just wrote a story denouncing the idea of the $16 muffin as well; interviews with Hilton indicate that the apparent $16 price included free drinks, service and fruit. Here’s the full AP story:

via $16 Muffins, Which May Not Be Real, Get Justice Department In Trouble.

college search, virtual campus tours:  Anybody found these useful?

Virtual campus tours have been an active part of the higher ed web space for over a decade. Designed as the online sibling to the physical campus tour, they have the potential to reach prospective students and have a major impact on the recruitment process. Yet despite this great potential, the vast majority of virtual campus tours in existence today are disappointing, at best.

via Virtual Campus Tours | Higher Ed Live.

1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, history, Atlanta, followup:  I posted the anniversary of the Epositions’s opening a week ago.  I have always been fascinated it because my great-grandfather JJ Dennard, a Georgia state legislator, attended.  His ticket/pass with his photograph on it (remember 1895!) was always in a drawer in my grandparents home.  My sister has it now.  It just fascinated me.  So here is a little history for you.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
U.S. President Cleveland

The most ambitious of the city’s cotton expositions was staged in 1895. Its goals were to foster trade between southern states and South American nations as well as to show the products and facilities of the region to the rest of the nation and to Europe. These objectives found expression in the official name of the event—the Cotton States and International Exposition. There were exhibits by six states and special buildings featuring the accomplishments of women and blacks. Also showcased was the latest technology in transportation, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and other fields. Amusements such as the “Phoenix Wheel” and an early version of the motion picture were set up as part of a midway to attract visitors.

On opening day, September 18, military bands played, followed by speeches from political, business, and other leaders, including the prominent African American educator Booker T. Washington. In a speech that came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech and that was greeted enthusiastically by white advocates of the New South, Washington did not challenge

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition

the prevailing ideas of segregation held by advocates of the New South; putting aside all claims to political power and social equality, he urged blacks to make progress as agricultural and industrial laborers. In spite of lavish promotion, fewer than 800,000 attended the three-month exposition, which was plagued by constant financial problems. The Cotton States Exposition did showcase Atlanta as a regional business center and helped to attract investment. Although most of the 1895 exposition’s buildings were torn down so that the materials could be sold for scrap, the city eventually purchased the grounds, which became the present-day Piedmont Park.

via New Georgia Encyclopedia: Cotton Expositions in Atlanta.

BofA,  Countrywide, bankruptcy, business ethics:  I am a big supporter of  Bank of America (my spouse has worded for BofA or a predecessor for his entire career).   But passing the Countrywide debacle off on the American people bothers me.  However, BofA took a huge hit with Merrill Lynch for the country … and has taken huge hits with countrywide already … Opinions?

The threat of a Countrywide bankruptcy is a “nuclear” option that Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan could use as leverage against plaintiffs seeking refunds on bad mortgages, said analyst Mike Mayo of Credit Agricole Securities USA. … “If the losses become so great, how can Bank of America at least not discuss internally the relative tradeoff of a Countrywide bankruptcy?” Mayo, who has an “underperform” rating on the bank, said in an interview. “And if you pull out the bazooka, you’d better be prepared to use it.”

via Report: Bank of America could consider Countrywide bankruptcy – Charlotte Business Journal.

Facebook, changes:  I do not get too upset about Facebook changes … but some pretty creative people do …

14
Jul
11

7.14.2011 … Happy Bastille Day …

France, Bastille Day, kith/kin:  Molly was excited to celebrate Bastille Day … but then Tufts did not give them holiday!

Davidson College, goats, update:  The kudzu eating goats are trying to stay cool. 🙂

goats cooling off in troughs at Davidson

Man, it’s hot out there. What do you do? Climb into your water trough, of course. Madelyn Mills of South Street in Davidson captured these kudzu-eating goats doing just that the other day out on the cross-country course at Davidson College.

via Beating the heat, a kind act, report from the Philippines | DavidsonNews.net.

Apple, Davidson, Davidson College:  I wondered what those folks not within an easy drive to an Apple store did … now I know … Good luck with your new venture.

As more people switch to Apple computers and devices, demand for related sales and service is expanding. To Davidson’s Drew Crawford, that spelled an opportunity. The Davidson College grad and owner of Wooden Stone has carved out a corner of his South Main Street gallery for a new Apple retail counter and service center called Computer Tree.

The shop will have a grand opening Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an “Apple festival” including games, refreshments, and the start of a raffle that will give away an iPad 2 and benefit Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.

Computer Tree will sell most Apple computers and devices, except the iPhone, and offer local service, repairs and training. The shop’s experts include Mr. Crawford himself, who recently received Apple certifications. They’ll also be targeting local businesses and home users for consulting, installation, home networking and other services.

via Computer Tree opens – an Apple Store in Davidson | DavidsonNews.net.

food-drink, bubble tea:  From me on 7/5  …

One of the more intriguing parts of the meal was the Bubble Tea. The bubbles were very soft gummi like black candies at the bottom. Weird. The peach infused green tea was excellent.

via 7.5.2011 … travel to Boston … then dinner in Chinatown … at a Vietnamese restaurant. « Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Now I know the “bubbles” are tapioca pearls.  I wonder where you get tapioca pearls?

bubble-tea.gif 340×330 pixels.

tweets, Luke Russert, journalism, US debt limit, politics:  Some think Luke Russert, Tim Russert’s son, has been given special privileges.  His tweets yesterday were certainly the most interesting.

Luke Russert (@LukeRussert)
7/13/11 7:32 PM

Cantor: “The president told me, ‘Eric don’t call my bluff, you know I’m going to take this to the American people. He then walked out.”.

Luke Russert (@LukeRussert)

7/13/11 8:00 PM
Dem Aide, no walk out: Cantor rudely interrupted POTUS 3 times to advocate for short-term debt ceiling increases while BO was wrapping mtg

survey says, stress, women’s issues, India:

As women around the world enjoy broader opportunities and expanding roles, they’re also experiencing one other increase in their lives — stress.

In one of their latest reports, Women of Tomorrow, Nielsen released stats that revealed where the most stressed-out women in the world reside, and how they behave in consequence.

Reuters also finds that women around the world were largely more stressed than those of the past, but also found that women in emerging economic and social markets were more stressed than those in developed countries. “While women in emerging markets see tremendous growth in the opportunities for their daughters, a plateau of hope is evident in developed countries,” said Susan Whiting, Nielsen’s vice chair, in a statement.

The results of the polls showed that an astounding 87% of Indian women claim feeling stressed most of the time, with an additional 82% asserting they had insufficient time to relax.

via Study: Indian Women Are the Most Stressed on Earth – TIME NewsFeed.

France, photography, culture:  I enjoyed this LIFE gallery on France and French culture.  LIFE Goes to France: The Culture – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Apple, MacBook, news:  I love the rumors …

The white MacBook, which sports a unibody polycarbonate (in other words, plastic) frame, was last updated in mid-2010. It currently sports a 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy screen (1280 by 800 pixel resolution, just like the 13-inch MacBook Pro), 2GB of system memory (expandable to 8GB), a 2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo and Nvidia’s GeForce 320M graphics card with 256MB video memory.

What’s likely in the new white MacBook? Thunderbolt, of course. Probably a Sandy Bridge processor of some sort. Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro sports a 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, so it’s reasonable to suspect a dual-core equivalent, maybe clocked at 2.0 or 2.2 GHz. We’ll probably also see a shift to the slower Intel HD Graphics 3000 or AMD Radeon 6000M series video card—a real bummer for older Nvidia GeForce 320M MacBook owners (the latter’s the reason I skipped Apple’s last MacBook Pro refresh in February 2011).

And who knows, perhaps Apple will finally drop the price on this thing. $999 still seems like $100-$200 too much for what’s essentially a cheapo plastic version of the in-every-way-superior only $200 pricier 13-inch MacBook Pro.

If you’re instead looking for something like a Mac Mini, it looks like that’s happening, too, with three new models appearing “soon” and classified “best,” “better,” and “ultimate.” No word on what they’ll include, though faster latest-family processors are a given.

And don’t forget Apple’s ballyhooed MacBook Air update, still very much on track, though whether any of this stuff manifests at OS X Lion’s digital-exclusive launch (supposedly tomorrow) remains to be seen.

via New White MacBook and Mac Minis Soon, Not Mac Pros – Techland – TIME.com.

Glee, changes:  We will survive. 🙂

Brace yourselves, Gleeks.

Glee exec producer Ryan Murphy just told The Hollywood Reporter that not only will Rachel, Finn and Kurt graduate from McKinley High at the end of the upcoming third season, but all three of their portrayers — Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer — are “not going to be back at all for Season 4.”

That’s right, kids. He said At. All.

via Glee Shocker: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer Not Returning For Season 4 – TVLine – TVLine.

faith and spirituality:  I actually think about what it means to be blessed quite often … I think this sums it up nicely.  What do you think?

Being Blessed

Jesus is the Blessed One.  When Jesus was baptised in the Jordan river a voice came from heaven saying:  “You are my Son, the Beloved;  my favour rests on you” (Mark 1:11).  This was the blessing that sustained Jesus during his life.  Whatever happened to him – praise or blame – he clung to his blessing; he always remembered that he was the favourite child of God.

Jesus came into the world to share that blessing with us.  He came to open our ears to the voice that also says to us, “You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter, my favour rests on you .”  When we can hear that voice, trust in it, and always remember it, especially during dark times, we can live our lives as God’s blessed children and find the strength to share that blessing with others.

via Daily Meditation for July 14, 2011.

Google, Google+, Facebook:  OK, I’ll admit it,  I want an invitation …

Google, the most popular Web site on earth, is worried about the second-most popular site. That, of course, would be Facebook.

Why else would Google keep trying, over and over again, to create a social network of the same type? Orkut, Jaiku, Wave, Buzz — Google has lobbed forth one fizzled flop after another.

And now there’s Google+. It’s the latest Google “we wanna be Facebook” project. The difference is, this one’s got a real shot.

Instead of throwing open its doors with a big splash, as it did with the hopelessly confusing Wave and the privacy-challenged Buzz, Google is letting Google+ seep into the world virally. You can’t yet just go sign up; you have to be invited by someone who’s already a member.

Even so, Google+ already has millions of members. That’s not quite 750 million (Facebook’s current tally), but watch out for the network effect.

At first, Google+ looks like a shameless Facebook duplicate. There’s a place for you to make Posts (your thoughts and news, like Facebook’s Wall); there’s a Stream (an endless scrolling page of your friends’ posts, like Facebook’s News Feed); and even a little +1 button (a clone of Facebook’s Like button), which may be where Google+ gets its peculiar name.

But there’s one towering, brilliant difference: Circles.

via Google+ Gets a Leg Up on Facebook – NYTimes.com.

Royals, Prince Albert and Charlene:  I feel sorry for these people …

Prince Albert and Charlene’s trip to South Africa was publicly labeled as a honeymoon, but the pair have spent little time alone together since arriving last week.

The couple hosted a wedding party at the luxury Oyster Box hotel on Umhlanga beach before mingling at multiple cocktail parties and formal events alongside Olympic officials in town for the committee’s week-long annual conference that took Albert away from his new bride.

The formal body language and tepid affection displayed by the royals on their honeymoon matches what was seen at the couple’s royal wedding in Monaco.

Wittstock was in tears throughout the wedding ceremony, while her husband looked on, and Prince Albert had to formally ask his bride for a kiss, a request caught on camera for the world to see.

Royal watchers commented Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene, as Wittstock is now formally known, looked more like “Her Miserable Highness” than a blushing new bride.

In South Africa, Wittstock left Albert behind in Durban to travel to Cape Town to tour a series of charity projects with the country’s leaders.

via Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock Slept Apart on Honeymoon, Palace Confirms – ABC News.

Harry Potter:  Can’t wait to go …

After seven earlier films reaching back a decade, the Harry Potter saga comes to a solid and satisfying conclusion in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” The finale conjures up enough awe and solemnity to serve as an appropriate finale and a dramatic contrast to the lighthearted (relative) innocence of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” all those magical years ago.

Harry, Hermione and Ron are grown up now, and Harry has even grown the facial stubble required of all epic heroes. The time has come for him to face Lord Voldemort in their final showdown, and their conflict is staged in a series of special effects sequences containing power and conviction. I am still not sure what the bolts discharged by magic wands actually consist of, but never mind. They look wicked and lethal.

via Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

Jane Austen:

Jane Austen‘s unpublished manuscript for a novel called The Watsons will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in London tomorrow.

The manuscript is handwritten by Austen and includes the work alongside her notes and edits. While New York’s Morgan Library and Museum owns the first 12 pages of the work, the rest of the unfinished manuscript will be included in the auction. The Sotheby’s listing describes the pages as loose but kept together in a box. The listing reads: “in total 68 pages plus 6 blanks (these being the versos of the three inserted leaves and the final three pages of the final section), housed in collector’s folding box…”.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the manuscript is expected to fetch between $330,000 and $490,000.

via Jane Austen Manuscript Up For Auction – GalleyCat.

food-drink, tea, Harney & Sons, shilling:  If I were someone who could “shill,”  I would shill for Harney & Sons pomegranate oolong tea!

Harney & Sons has been in the business of gourmet tea for over 25 years. We make our teas for the enjoyment of our customers and take pride in meeting and exceeding their expectations from every cup of tea. Our selection is large, and includes many customer favorites including green tea, black tea, and white tea

via Tea – Gourmet Tea & Fine Teas From Harney & Sons.

27
Jun
11

‎6.27.2011 … I just paid $4.99 for 4 Dewey’s oatmeal cream-filled cookie sandwiches … you know like Little Debbies … these were significantly better, but I think you can get a dozen Little Debbie’s for $1.29 … FYI Dewey’s is the Winston-Salem Moravian cookie/butter sugar cake bakery … Rule of Life: Never go to the grocery hungry …

music, kith/kin:  Today’s selection is from my second cousin …

Beyonce’s Single Ladies, only I’m putting other words to it for whatever it is I am doing. Like I look down at my foster dog Chuckie and start singing to him “Mister Chuckalucks, Mister Chuckalucks”  — YouTube – Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).

food – Southern, Moravian, Winston-Salem, Dewey’s: I learned to love Dewey’s sugar cake because one of my favorite lawyers, a Winston-Salem native, brought them back to all the folks at the firm for Christmas … now they sell them year-round at the Harris Teeter.  They really are good … but stay away from the 500 calorie oatmeal cream-filled cookie cakes. Dewey’s / Home

 Davidson College, goats, kudzu, followup:  i know you really wanted an update …

Those goats are still at it, feasting on all the kudzu out on the Davidson College cross country trail. Resident Louise Mazur was biking on the trail Sunday afternoon and send this photo and the note below. Meanwhile, you can go visit the goats yourself on July 9, in a nature outing organized by the World of Wonder program of Davidson Lands Conservancy. Details below.

Two weeks ago, Davidson College sent a rented herd of goats out onto its back campus to help with an overgrowth of kudzu. The goats are expected to eradicate it all – right down to the dirt. (See June 14, 2011, “Davidson College’s new employees.”)

Mike and Louise Mazur stopped to see their progress Sunday, and Ms. Mazur sent this note:

Mike and I were riding bikes on the trail Sunday afternoon and wanted to send you an updated picture of the dog and the goats!  The goats are making quite a lot of progress!

via Photo of the Day: The goat watcher  | DavidsonNews.net.

movie, animated films, lists:  Pinocchio is the list makers all time favorite … we are not on the same wavelength …

They’ve enthralled or terrified generations of kids, and now they’re giant worldwide blockbusters. So what are the best animated features of all time? Using an obscure system of weights and measures, TIME movie critic Richard Corliss has compiled and annotated the countdown, from No. 25 (Lady and the Tramp) to No. 1 (see for yourself). Are your favorites on the list? Let the great debate commence; we know it’ll be animated.

via Pinocchio, 1940 – The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films – TIME.

Supreme Court, random, social networking:  Of course, they don’t tweet …

Asked how the Supreme Court has dealt with the risks, “I sit down with incoming clerks at the beginning of the year — as soon as we get back — and go through a number of things they have to be aware of, and that’s one of them,” Roberts said referring to the use of social media on the job. “I tell them that they obviously shouldn’t be tweeting about what they’re doing — whether they have Web sites or whatever.”

“I also appreciate that it’s a generational thing, and the idea of not being connected in a particular way can be problematic for them,” Roberts said, adding that different members of the court have varying levels of affinity for social media. “I don’t think any of us have a Facebook page or tweet, whatever that is,” he went on to light laughter.

But the Court is not a building full of technological luddites. “Technology is making inroads, I mean we are — we find when we’re traveling it’s easier to have, some of us, briefs on some of the products where you can have them electronically available, carrying them,” said Roberts holding his hands up as if he was holding a tablet.

Roberts also acknowledged that, for the courts, new technology also presents a challenge in terms of its impact on the law itself, saying “It’s going to be a great challenge both in a substantitive area and for many of us to try and keep up with new technology.”

via Chief Justice John Roberts: ‘I don’t think any of us…tweet, whatever that is’ – Ideas@Innovations – The Washington Post.

food, Durham, places:  OK, I will stop by Durham and try out its rejuvenated downtown.

“The rejuvenation, it spread like wildfire,” Mr. Filippini added. “It’s almost like you can hear the heartbeat of Durham right in that couple-block area.”

via Durham Dining – Pies, Panini and Barbecue – NYTimes.com.

travel, food:  No, excerpt here … I thought this article silly.  Pack Your Own Food for Your Next Flight – NYTimes.com.

President Bill Clinton, Great Recession:  You know I am still amazed that Pres. Clinton was able to salvage his dignity.  Article is worth reading.

14 WAYS TO PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK

Next week in Chicago, the Clinton Global Initiative will focus on America for the first time, inviting business and political leaders to make specific commitments in support of the former president’s jobs blueprint, which he details below.

via It’s Still the Economy, Stupid – Newsweek.

personal finance, Great Recession, retirement:  The increase of borrowing from retirement accounts is staggering …

Debt is always risky. And this debt carries the extra risk that you could have to pay it off at the very time when you aren’t earning a salary. If you leave or lose your job you must have a feasible means of immediately paying off the loan.

“Take only the minimum you need, not the maximum you can get,” says Ms. Hess. Your loan should fund an asset of enduring value, advises Prof. Madrian: “If you have to leave your job, you can’t sell the vacation to pay off your loan.” Don’t take a loan of last resort to splurge at a resort.

via The Intelligent Investor: The Case for Raiding Your 401(k) – WSJ.com.

college, advice:  Another article that I thought lame … I do not know a kid who has ever boned up on foreign language the summer before going to college.

Brush up on a foreign language. At many colleges, the biggest single requirement is two years of a foreign language. Many freshmen have had a smattering (or more) of some foreign language in high school, whether it be Spanish or French, or for the more enterprising, and global-minded, Mandarin or Arabic. Whatever the case, the summer before college is an excellent time to get ahead on your language skills. If travel abroad is in your plans, pick a country that speaks the language you’re working on; if Spanish is your intended tongue, volunteer work in most communities can put you in a situation where Spanish is routinely spoken.

For the electronic-minded, there is a wealth of foreign-language programming on the Internet. For example, livemocha, where, the site says, you can chat for free with over 10 million native speakers in nearly 40 languages; the various “pod” sites — ChinesePod, FrenchPod, SpanishPod, and ItalianPod – where you’ll find over 1,000 podcasts, with review, practice and reinforcement; and radiolingua, where you’ll find the popular CoffeeBreakSpanish and CoffeeBreakFrench podcasts as well as the One-Minute podcasts in, among other languages, Irish, Polish, Russian and even Luxembourgish.

via A Pre-College Summer To-Do List – NYTimes.com.

education:  Bottom line – education matters.  Great article.

ALMOST a century ago, the United States decided to make high school nearly universal. Around the same time, much of Europe decided that universal high school was a waste. Not everybody, European intellectuals argued, should go to high school.

It’s clear who made the right decision. The educated American masses helped create the American century, as the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz have written. The new ranks of high school graduates made factories more efficient and new industries possible.

Today, we are having an updated version of the same debate. Television, newspapers and blogs are filled with the case against college for the masses: It saddles students with debt; it does not guarantee a good job; it isn’t necessary for many jobs. Not everybody, the skeptics say, should go to college.

The argument has the lure of counterintuition and does have grains of truth. Too many teenagers aren’t ready to do college-level work. Ultimately, though, the case against mass education is no better than it was a century ago.

The evidence is overwhelming that college is a better investment for most graduates than in the past. A new study even shows that a bachelor’s degree pays off for jobs that don’t require one: secretaries, plumbers and cashiers. And, beyond money, education seems to make people happier and healthier.

Then there are the skeptics themselves, the professors, journalists and others who say college is overrated. They, of course, have degrees and often spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to expensive colleges.

I don’t doubt that the skeptics are well meaning. But, in the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.

via College Degrees Are Valuable Even for Careers That Don’t Require Them – NYTimes.com.

GA politics, random:  Is someone just asking for a fight …

Georgia car tags may be about to get a dose of religion. The state Department of Revenue on Friday posted images of the eight semi-finalist entries in its competition to design a new look for your back bumper.

Three of those eight incorporate “In God We Trust” – the same motto found on U.S. currency:

Online voting concludes July 8. The three license plates garnering the most votes will be presented to Gov. Nathan Deal. There the selection process gets foggy – the press release merely says the winner will be announced July 15.

But if a car tag bearing the word “God” makes it to the finals, it’s hard to imagine a Republican politician who would want to be seen rejecting it.

Still, if a declaration of faith is inevitable, we would at least suggest adding an asterisk, followed in small print with this:

“*All others must provide proof of legal U.S. residency.”

via Your morning jolt: Georgia car tag nominees and ‘In God We Trust’ | Political Insider.

culture, home:  I found this interesting … they go to find their old world at a  Starbucks.

Before Abed Ellafdi emigrated from Rabat, Morocco, to Northern Virginia six years ago, a friend gave him a tip: When you get to America, go to the Starbucks at Skyline.

From afar, there is nothing remarkable about this Starbucks in a Falls Church strip mall a couple of miles west of Interstate 395. Situated between an Einstein Bros. Bagels and an Office Depot in an area known as Skyline, it faces a vast parking lot, beyond which is another strip mall, that soulless landmark of American commercial culture.

But come closer and enter a world where Moroccans talk soccer scores, Egyptians discuss revolution and Somalis argue over politics, all in a coffee chain store that has become an unlikely hangout for immigrants seeking the flavor of home.

After long days working as cab drivers, construction workers, scientists and business owners, they fill the outdoor seats each evening, mimicking old world cafes where men unwind and catch up over backgammon, hookahs and endless cups of coffee.

“It’s really part of our culture, to come to the café and talk about the events that happen,” said Ellafdi, an energetic 31-year-old who works in construction and lives in Alexandria. “As Muslims we don’t drink, we don’t

via Immigrants gather at a Starbucks in Northern Virginia for a taste of home – The Washington Post.

movies, movie scores, Bernard Herrmann: I had actually never heard o f him … but look at the list of his scores.  Pretty impressive.

June 29, 2011 marks the centenary of the birth of Bernard Herrmann, one of America’s most innovative and influential composers. He is best known for his film scores for such classics as “Citizen Kane,” “Vertigo,” “Psycho” and “Taxi Driver” – music that forever changed the way we listen to movies.

His collaborations with directors Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese are landmarks in cinema. And while the fiery and temperamental artist became a pariah to many in the Hollywood film industry (he was infamously fired by Hitchcock for refusing to write “pop” music that would sell records), Herrmann’s work is among the most revered and imitated in films today.

Herrmann also contributed substantially to radio drama and music broadcasts for nearly two decades at CBS, including his original work with Orson Welles for “Mercury Theater on the Air,” and his compositions for Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.”

via Bernard Herrmann at 100 – Celebrity Circuit – CBS News.

art, public art, random acts of culture, Charlotte, Davidson:  Didn’t know we had a funded Random Acts of Culture Series in Charlotte.  I wish I had been at the Davidson Farmers’ Market last Saturday!

 

Shoppers at the Davidson Farmer’s Market got a bonus with their local berries, meats and veggies Saturday morning: a menu of arias and duets by singers from Opera Carolina. The surprise performance was one of a series of “Random Acts of Culture” organized by the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte.

The Arts & Science Council received a $30,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for the Random Acts of Culture series. They’ve also brought performances to other farmer’s markets in the region as well as shopping malls and corporate office towers.

“These performances are part of taking classical performances out of their normal venue and getting them into the street where people are,” said Ben Kubie, a community program director of of the ASC.

“Normally the reaction goes from surprise to delight, and the opera is great for that, because it’s very interactive,” Mr. Kubie said.

via Farmer’s market surprise: Opera with your tomatoes  | DavidsonNews.net.

doodles, art, Netflix:  I would have never thought to doodle on a Netflix return envelope … 🙂

Admit it, you’ve done it. You’ve taken a Sharpie to a Netflix envelope and doodled the heck out of it. Not just once, but a multitude of times. You’ve then imagined the expression of the postal worker as the envelope passed through their hands, all with a wide grin on your face. Here are some fun examples of people who publicly admit to doing just that.

Don’t be shy, share your doodled Netflix envelopes with us, email editor{at}doodlersanonymous{dot}com and don’t forget to attach a link and name for proper credit.

via Blog: Netflix Envelope Doodles – Doodlers Anonymous.

20
Jun
11

‎6.20.2011 … finished The Sweetest Thing … a little PT … good start to a lovely day ..

music, kith/kin:  Another recommendation from a friend.  Enjoy! YouTube – The Hottest Cole Porter – Harry Reser plays Let’s Misbehave, 1928.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL, followup: Another take on the goats …

Runners on the cross-country trail at Davidson College found a furry surprise Saturday in woods once crawling with kudzu.

There in a clearing stood 30 goats in an area that looked freshly mowed.

But no mower had cut the nearly one-acre patch of ground.

The goats had done the job – eating as much as 20 pounds of kudzu per animal per day since they went to work last week.

“On Monday, this side of the trail looked exactly like that side,” said Charles Jolly, pointing at chest-high kudzu as far as you could see.

via Hungry goats are a vine solution at Davidson | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

food-desserts, Jello, LOL:  Upscale Jello?  Looks fun!

Are you entertaining this 4th of July? I stumbled onto the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen over the weekend thanks to Mochatini. Talk about cool, Summertime F-U-N. These sophisticated Jello Shot Recipes are absolutely brilliant. The photographs are incredibly beautiful. The question is: should I make the cucumber-lime margarita, the Paloma Cocktail, or the Cosmopolitan jelly shots first?

via Jello Shot Recipes: Summertime Entertaining | ABCD Design Sketch Book | milestones in life set the tone.

faith and spirituality, Rob Bell, Love Wins, Southern Baptists:  Do you struggle with this?  Is it a black and white issue?

Southern Baptists say hell is an “eternal, conscious punishment” for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell.

Citing Bell’s book “Love Wins,” the resolution announced Wednesday urges Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.”

Several leaders during the Baptists’ two-day meeting in Phoenix coupled warnings about hell with pleas for evangelism – especially in areas where there are no churches or missionaries.

“Is hell real? Is hell forever? Did God really say sinners would perish in eternal torment forever and ever?” asked pastor and author David Platt of Birmingham, Ala. “Oh, readers of Rob Bell and others like him, listen very carefully be very cautious, when anyone says, ‘Did God really say this?'”

via After controversy, Baptists affirm belief in ‘eternal’ hell | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Steph Curry, basketball, Davidson College, community involvement:  I just like the kid …

Professional basketball player Stephen Curry will be the guest speaker at the first local Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) rally June 20.

Jay and Amy Poag in January helped start the Lake Norman chapter of the national FCA organization “in an effort to give the young athletes of our community a way to stay connected while furthering their Christian walk,” Jay Poag said in an email.

Over the last few months, the group has held monthly “workouts,” which are group community service activities. On Monday, the group plans its first “rally,” a community gathering for fun and fellowship.

Hosted by Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, the rally will include games, live music and food, and Stephen Curry will be the guest speaker.

“Our end result is to try and help build our youth into effective Christian role models so that they can take the spirit of our group back into their schools to form what we call ‘huddles,’” which are weekly meetings for bible study and prayer, Mr. Poag said in an email.

WANT TO GO?

The event will be held on the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church front lawn from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 20. Admission is free.

via Stephen Curry to speak at Christian Athletes rally Mon.  | Sports.

teen pregnancy, college, Belmont Abbey College, Room at the Inn, firsts:  … the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility for single pregnant women …

It was a summer of romance and fear.

A bittersweet mix that cast a long shadow through the years. One that Debbie Capen, 37, of Charlotte will remember today at the groundbreaking for what is believed the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility for single pregnant women.

The home is being built on the campus of Belmont Abbey College and will be run by the Charlotte-based Catholic nonprofit Room at the Inn, a safe haven for single pregnant women. The organization’s outreach programs and offices will remain in Charlotte.

During today’s ceremony, Capen will recall the summer she was a rising sophomore at Winthrop University and waiting tables at North Myrtle Beach restaurants.

A fling with a handsome beach service worker stirred images of sailing off together on his catamaran. But the dream faded when she became pregnant. Afraid to tell her mother and worried about the possibility of having to drop out of college, she couldn’t find an adult who understood.

via College maternity center is a first | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Edward Lindsey, Atlanta Public Schools, kith/kin:  Very bold and very controversial.  But sometimes that is what is needed.

ATLANTA, GA (WABE) – On Monday, June 20th, the Atlanta Board of Education will hold another critical meeting. Among the agenda items this time: the new state law (SB 79), which sets up a process that could end with the ouster of the entire Board. Some sources have told WABE the Board could decide to challenge the new law, in one way or another. WABE’s Denis O’Hayer spoke with Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), who wrote the board review language into the new law. © Copyright 2011, WABE

via WABE: Could Atlanta School Board Challenge New State Law?: A Conversation with Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) (2011-06-17).

 

17
Jun
11

6.16.2011 … home … great 48 hours in DC … Megabus return was MUCH better …

Washington DC, sights, The Willard, hotels, kith/kin, MegaBus, followup:  OK, the Willard is really nice … and for some history … it was there (at the old Willard) that the last attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution between the States prior to the Civil War.   After a great night I had breakfast in the Senator’s Dining Room with my cousin, Charlie Harman, who is chief of staff for Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).  It was quite enjoyable to be at the center of power.  I then toured the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the American History Museum of the Smithsonian (and yes I did see Julia Child’s kitchen!) …. after all that I took a night tour of the monuments … and then returned to Charlotte on the MegaBus … much better return .. I picked my seat mate and no movies!

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history, generation gap:  To think that some would not understand  where the “gate” term originated.

Newseum

Now that the “Weinergate” scandal has come to a close, let’s remember how the “gate” term originated. Thirty-nine…

via (3) Twitter / Home.

Kyle Johnson, Jr., sports, tennis, high school, Charlotte, kith/kin, kudos:  Kudos, Kyle, Jr.  Can’t wait for #4 in 2012.

Obviously the approach worked as Johnson finished the season with a 24-1 overall record and defended his state title for a second time, beating Western Alamance’s Eric Greene, 7-6, 7-5 on May 14. For his effort, Johnson earned the title of South Charlotte Weekly’s Boys Tennis Player of the Year for the third consecutive time.

Johnson’s third title means he has a chance to be the first male athlete in N.C. public-school history to win a singles title in each of his four seasons if he can repeat his title run again next spring as a senior. But before that record could even became a possibility worth mentioning, Johnson had to take care of business this season.

via Johnson focused on being the state’s best | South Charlotte Weekly.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL:  Goats …. I may have to drive up and see this!

Davidson College is renting 30 goats to solve a kudzu problem at the school’s popular cross country paths.

The goats arrived Monday and will eat the kudzu for about two months.

“Kudzu has taken over. You can see it in the trees,” said Cheryl Searcy with Wells Farm Weed Management.  They are providing the goats.

Kudzu is a weed known for camouflaging anything in its path. College crews cut the kudzu on the school’s walking and jogging trails on Monday.  By Friday, officials say the trails were covered and it has caused people to trip, fall and skin their knees.

The goats ate Monday morning before arriving at Davidson College.  It didn’t matter.  They just kept eating and eating and eating.

The goats will eat 12-18 pounds of kudzu a day.  Their mission is to chomp over five acres of Davidson College kudzu down to size.

“You’re going to be shocked, I’m telling you,” Searcy said.

Davidson College is spending $3,000 to rent the goats

via Local college rents goats to fight kudzu problem | WCNC.com Charlotte.

Southern Food, Chick-fil-a, marketing, LOL:  I was getting PT this morning and the therapists were talking about how much they LOVE Chick-fil-a.  I just laughed when I saw this.

Enjoy some pre-Cow Appreciation Day fun in Washington, D.C. during Running of the Cows!

On July 7th, more than 40 cows will stampede through the streets of Washington, D.C. traveling via open-top bus and converging upon public spaces across the city to give out FREE Chicken Sandwiches, and distribute bovine-themed stickers, headbands, masks and other prizes!

via Washington, D.C. – Running of the Cows.

17
Jun
11

‎6.17.2011 … now to get this unhumerous humerus to heal … always good to have goals.

pranks, culture, Charlotte, CMS:  there is no such thing as a prank anymore.  Myers Park graduation prank nets lifetime ban | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Dorothy Parker, quotes, telegrams, things no more:  “I can’t look you in the voice.” … Don’t you just love that.  Strange that telegrams no longer exist …

Anyone who has ever hit a wall whilst writing will find it difficult not to empathise with the dejected words of Dorothy Parker in this telegram, sent in 1945 to her editor, Pascal Covici. Such was her frustration, Parker couldn’t even bring herself to ring him and explain.

via Letters of Note: I can’t look you in the voice.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL, followup:  The Goats again.  This blogger is quicker than I am …”Cud Zoo!”  And he has pictures of their handiwork.

Speaking of pickings, I’ve been out twice already since Monday to check on our friendly neighborhood ruminants—it’s a real cud zoo out there!—and in 48 hours they had taken a full acre-plus of knee-high kudzu down to ankle height. Thirty goats each eating 12+ pounds of kudzu a day. Wow. I’m going to hoof it out there daily for a few weeks to get some time-lapsed pictures to post. Stay tuned!

Late note: Just went out there for Day Three pictures. Impressive results so far, but when the goats move across the road to a more extensive infestation, they’ll really have their work cud out for them!

via Cud Zoo on the Cross-Country Trails, dba Ecological Preserve

President Obama, Father’s Day, The First Family, parenting, LOL, privacy:  Sorry I thought this a strange post.  The second part was quite quite funny… what father of girls would not like to have their daughters surrounded by men with guns!  However, the first part I thought  a slight invasion of their privacy.  What do you think?

In a pre-Father’s Day interview Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” – President Barack Obama makes it clear that the First Lady is done having children – even if he might like to add a son to the family.   Asked if he ever thought of having a son, Mr. Obama was quick to tell Robin Roberts:  “You know, you act as if this is a decision of mine. This really isn’t.”

He said wife Michelle makes it clear to him that he did not carry ten pounds in his belly.

“I think what Michelle’s general view is, we’re done.”

With eldest daughter Malia about to become a teenager next month, Mr. Obama said he’s glad he has “men with guns” around his daughters and said it’s an incentive to run for re-election.

He said it means his daughters will never get in a car with a boy who had a beer.

In the interview, Mr. Obama also said that compared to his childhood and family, wife Michelle grew up in a family he likens to “Leave It To Beaver.”

via Obama: Don’t expect any White House babies – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

pain, therapy, medicine, drugs, science, pharmacology:  I’m all in for new treatments for pain!

Pain Therapeutics will be the stock to watch in the coming week.

via The Next Big Thing In Biotech: Pain Therapeutics PTIE – TheStreet TV.

slime bags, history: Very interesting walk through history of reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct by men.

The conventional answer is that when it comes to sex, a certain kind of man, no matter how intelligent, doesn’t think at all; he just acts. Somehow a need for sexual conquest, female adulation and illicit and risky liaisons seems to go along with drive, ambition and confidence in the “alpha male.” And even if we denounce him and hound him from office, we tend to accept the idea that power accentuates the lusty nature of men.

This conception of masculinity is relatively new, however. For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery. Late antique and Roman writers, like Plutarch, lauded men for their ability to resist sexual temptation and control bodily desire through force of will and intellect. Too much sex was thought to weaken men: a late-15th-century poem mocks an otherwise respectable but overly sexually active burgess who has “wasted and spent” his “substance” until there is “naught left but empty skin and bone.”

But in the face of recent revelations about the reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct of so many of our elected officials, it may be worth recalling that sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.

How and why have we moved so far from this ideal? Why do so many powerful men take sexual risks that destroy their families and careers? Contemporary worship of youth is one explanation: rather than shunning the idea of childishness, many adults, male and female, now spend much of their time clinging to an illusory and endless adolescence. The ability to be a “player” well into middle age thus becomes a point of pride, rather than shame, for the modern man. Perhaps the erosion of men’s exclusive status as breadwinners and heads of households also figures in: when one no longer “rules the household,” there may be less motivation for or satisfaction in “ruling oneself.”

But in the face of recent headlines I find myself less inclined to analyze or excuse current mores than to echo medieval ones. The critics of Pedro II of Aragon would have turned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s own words against him and his kind: Who are the girlie men now?

via Anthony Weiner and the Manly Men of Yore – NYTimes.com.

history, David McCullough, education:  Oh, great … another area where we are failing our kids!

‘We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, “I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don’t know.” Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. “It’s shocking.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

Another problem is method. “History is often taught in categories—women’s history, African American history, environmental history—so that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what.”

What’s more, many textbooks have become “so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence farther back”—such as, say, Thomas Edison—”are given very little space or none at all.”

Mr. McCullough advises us to concentrate on grade school. “Grade school children, as we all know, can learn a foreign language in a flash,” he says. “They can learn anything in a flash. The brain at that stage in life is like a sponge. And one of the ways they get it is through art: drawing, making things out of clay, constructing models, and dramatic productions. If you play the part of Abigail Adams or Johnny Appleseed in a fourth-grade play, you’re never going to forget it as long as you live.”

via The Weekend Interview With David McCullough: Don’t Know Much About History – WSJ.com.

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, more:  ??

What does it all mean? Fans will hope that Rowling will be putting pen to paper (or writing method of her choosing) and continue the Potter story ad infinitum (no, Potter fans, that’s not a spell). Rowling has said she’s uncertain whether she’d write another Potter book, but the term “Pottermore” is supposedly the last patent she recorded, back in July 2009.

Some believe that an encyclopedia could be on tap, but will that be enough to satisfy the insatiable demands of the passionate fanbase, who are currently counting down the days to the July 15 release of the last ever movie?

via Harry Potter Fans Salivate Over J.K. Rowling’s New Site, ‘Pottermore’ – TIME NewsFeed.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, miracles:  She is still in my prayers … her recovery continues to be miraculous.

In the long run, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords should flourish from returning to a home life with her husband. But in the days and weeks ahead, she and her family will have to make difficult adjustments to this new phase in her recovery.

While Giffords gets used to living outside a hospital for the first time in more than six months, her family – especially her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly – will learn to care for a person who still has significant cognitive and physical problems caused by a devastating gunshot wound to the head.

“It’s really an emotional roller-coaster,” said Dr. Richard Riggs, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The 41-year-old lawmaker left the hospital on Wednesday and moved to her husband’s home in a Houston suburb not far from the Johnson Space Center.

via Gabrielle Giffords Home; Mark Kelly: ‘Great To Have Her Out Of Hospital’.




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