Posts Tagged ‘Halcyon

08
Mar
14

3.8.14 … “And I turned 50, and decided I didn’t like what I was doing. I didn’t like writing about other people’s experiences; I wasn’t ready to give up my own.” …

Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth walks (3/40),  Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:
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I skipped yesterday … two days of walking in a cold winter rain was more than I could take spiritually.
I am in John’s car, which is his father’s car. He was headed to the airport for his international flight yesterday in the pouring rain, and when he came out of his garage at work, the driver-side window would not go back up. We love this car. And I’ll we’ll keep it but I fear it may become a black hole. It’s still a great car.
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As I drove over with my window down :), There was a story about Bread Furst on NPR.  Bread Furst is  Mark Furstenberg’s new Washington DC European artisan bakery.  It is staffed with apprentices and  interns.  Once it is opened, he anticipates selling it to his employees. What a great idea!

Baker, entrepreneur and James Beard award-winning cook Mark Furstenberg is walking proof that it’s never too late for a fresh start.

Even though the Baltimore native is 75 years old, he’s in the midst of constructing a brand new bakery in Washington’s Van Ness neighborhood: Bread Furst.

“75-year-old people don’t generally start businesses,” he says with a laugh. “75-year-old people generally are in Palm Beach or Palm Springs, or some ‘Palm’!”

Bread Furst is expected to offer baked fare to those on Connecticut Ave NW.

A late change of direction

Clearly, Mark Furstenberg is not your average 75-year-old. After all, he didn’t even become a professional baker until his 50s. First he worked for President John F. Kennedy. Then he wrote scripts for ABC News. He even headed a company that manufactured copper tubes.

But in 1988, he says, he had a change of heart

“I was working for the Washington Post,” he recalls. “And I turned 50, and decided I didn’t like what I was doing. I didn’t like writing about other people’s experiences; I wasn’t ready to give up my own.”

via Mark Furstenberg Prepares For New Adventure in Baking With ‘Bread Furst’ | WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

As I mentioned, I am reading Catherine Marshall’s The Helper.  Today’s reading is  “Have you already received him?”  It focuses on the difference between John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism: John’s – repent and receive forgiveness;  Jesus’ provided enabling power for handling life in the present and the future.  “In the new era of the kingdom, It would be God’s spirit in man doing the work.”
Today the birds are chirping, the sunshine is bright with shadows, but since it is not cold, I do not have that chill like the other day.
I was very conscious that as i walked close to center, the circuits are quick and fleeting.  i also realized that once in center that I can stay as long as I like
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I like this description in the book Praying at Every Turn: “Eventually, we met again, this time in the center, no barriers between us, just a peace and tranquility that can only be described as home with God.”
And dinner at Halcyon and dessert at Amelie’s  … with two of my three.  What a nice day for a mom!
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30
Dec
11

12.30.2011 … Mint’s Romare Bearden Exhibit and lunch at Halycon … And then sushi at Koishi … Almost perfect day …

last business day of the year, Romare Bearden, Mint Museum, Charlotte, Halcyon, restaurants – Charlotte:  busy day – PT … Errands … Year end finances (ughhh!) … then downtown for the Romare Bearden Exhibit and lunch at Halcyon … With Molly and Katie, Molly’s camp friend.

 Romare Bearden – my favorite: Meckelenburg Autumn Morning … but I can’t find a copy on the internet … 😦

Halcyon: Local goat cheese plate, trout with very finely ground cheese grits, coffee. … Great 17-year-old girl company …at Halcyon — at Mint museum.  See all our choices below … we recommend each of them.  Excellent!

Campfire Trout

Roasted NC River Trout. Field Succotash

Brown Butter Corn Bread Purée. Pepper Relish

Surf & Earth Salad  –

Viking Village Scallops. Pimiento Cheese Fondue. Wilted Romaine

Spicy Buttermilk. Fried Green Tomatoes. Tomato Jam

 …

Halcyon Quiche  –

House-Crafted Crust. Egg Custard.

Seasonal Goodness. Dressed Greens

via Halcyon Restaurant, Flavors from the Earth – Lunch.

 Koishi Fine Chinese & Sushi Bar: ‎… And sushi … Almost perfect restaurant day … our favorites …

Koishi Signature : deep fried spicy tuna, avocado, special sauce

Cherry Blossom (10 pcs): tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado in soy paper, special sauce

Super Crunchy * : crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, masago, unagi sauce

via Koishi Sushi Bar and Fine Chinese Restaurant –Maki.

ChristCare, FPC, the bringing of food:  Thank you, thank you, Anne and Doug … You brought enough wonderful comfort food for my little army with leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches!! Love you guys and the care and love you bring to members of FPC and its ChristCare mission.

19
Nov
11

11.19.2011 … Downtown Charlotte tour … first stop CLS Senior art show … sites along Tryon … then Halcyon …

Charlotte, Charlotte Latin School, kith/kin, Jefferson Davis, Civil War History, Halcyon:

A little late to the CLS SENIOR ART EXHIBIT — at Spirit Square.

And then stumbled upon this on S. Tryon …

So here is what happened after he heard the news…

Jefferson Davis Memorial Park

On May 4, 1865, Jefferson Davis arrived in Washington, Georgia (178 miles NE of the Park), where he performed his last duties as President of the Confederate States of America. Shortly thereafter, with a small staff and escort, he departed enroute to the trans-Mississippi Department where, from which vantage point he hoped to negotiate a just peace.

Traveling via Warrenton and Sandersville, he reached Dublin (50 mile NE) about 11 o`clock May 7th, after being joined by his family early that morning. Leaving Dublin, he camped for a few hours near Alligator Creek (30[?] miles NE) and again four miles SE of Eastman (UDC marker at site), then he pushed on toward Abbeville, unaware that the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry (USA) had learned of his passage through Dublin and had begun a pursuit.

On the 8th, after a day of hard rains and boggy roads, his party crossed the Ocmulgee River at Poor Robin Ferry and camped in Abbeville (26 miles SW) and camped a mile N of the town in the present Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park. At dawn on May 10th, his camp was surrounded by men of the 1st Wisconsin and 4th Michigan cavalry regiments (USA) and he became a `state prisoner`, his hopes for a new nation — in which each state would exercise without interference its cherished `Constitutional Rights` — forever dead.

??? Georgia Historical Commission 19??

via Georgia Marker.

And then Halcyon … where John had Greens eggs and ham …

Thanksgiving, food-southern, menus, Hugh Acheson:  Turkey brined in sweet tea. 🙂

“Top Chef” judge and celebrity chef Hugh Acheson is known for reinventing traditional Southern cuisine with a bit of a French twist.

When he’s not dishing culinary advice on “Top Chef,” he’s chef/partner of the Athens, Ga. restaurants Five & Ten and The National, as well as Gosford Wine, and Atlanta eatery Empire State South.

He also has a new cookbook, “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen.”

On “THE Dish,” a different famous chef each week reveals what he or she would have if they could have just one meal. That’s because for us, “THE Dish” is about the moment, the place, and the person you would share it with. It’s about the emotion behind the food, it’s about the conversation and the meal itself. We want to get to know these chefs on a deeper level and hope our viewers will, as well.

RECIPES:

ROASTED SWEET TEA BRINED TURKEY

via Hugh Acheson’s Southern take on Thanksgiving – CBS News.

art, photo mosaic:

Smile-one / Guinness World Records

Containing 137,200 photographs and measuring 1,562.39 square meters (or 16,817.3 square feet), the largest photo mosaic was created in Nagoya, Japan by Smile-one Taichi Masumoto on Nov. 16. And the finished product is pretty cute, too.

via Largest Photo Mosaic | Hula Hoops and Giant Underwear: Eight Odd Feats from Guinness World Records Day | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

Lip Service: The Science of Smiles,  books, psychology, anthropology, biology, medicine, computer science:  Another use for anthropology

Years ago, I did an undergraduate thesis on nonverbal communication and facial expression, a large portion of which revolved around the Duchenne smile — a set of anatomical markers that differentiate an authentic smile from a feigned one. The science of smiles is, of course, far more complex than the mere fake vs. real dichotomy — the universal expression of positive disposition lives on a rich spectrum of micro-expressions and nuances. That’s exactly what Marianne LaFrance explores in Lip Service: Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics — a fascinating new book drawing on the author’s research at Yale and Boston College, alongside a wide array of cross-disciplinary studies from psychology, anthropology, biology, medicine and computer science, to reveal how smiles impact our inter-personal dynamics and our life experience as social beings.

via Lip Service: The Science of Smiles | Brain Pickings.

fashion, Versace, H&M:

High Fashion, Low Cost – Versace comes to H&M

via High Fashion, Low Cost | Video – ABC News.

careers, resumes, virtual badges:  OK, I thought this fascinating …

CLOTH and metal badges have long been worn by Boy Scouts, soldiers and others to show off their accomplishments.

Now the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is putting millions of dollars into a competition to spur interest in a new type of badge — one that people can display not on their clothing but on a Web site, blog or Facebook page while they are looking for a job.

The badges will not replace résumés or transcripts, but they may be a convenient supplement, putting the spotlight on skills that do not necessarily show up in traditional documents — highly specialized computer knowledge, say, or skills learned in the military, in online courses or in after-school programs at museums or libraries.

“The badges can give kids credit for the extraordinary things they are learning outside of school,” as well as being a symbol of lifelong learning for adults, said Connie M. Yowell, director of education grant-making at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.

Prospective employers could click on an e-badge awarded for prowess in Javascript, for example, and see detailed supporting information, including who issued the badge, the criteria and even samples of the work that led to the award.

“The badges are another way to tell the story of who you are and what you know,” Dr. Yowell said.

“What people are learning in school is often not connected to the world of work,” she said. “Badges can fill that gap. They can be a kind of glue to connect informal and formal learning in and out of school.” If valued, they might also inspire students to accomplish new tasks.

To create prototypes of these alternative credentials, MacArthur has started a “Badges for Lifelong Learning” competition that will culminate in March 2012, when the foundation will award a total of $2 million to several dozen winners, Dr. Yowell said.

In addition, the federal Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs will jointly award $25,000 for the best badge concept and prototype that serves veterans seeking jobs.

In preparation for the contest, MacArthur has also given $1 million to the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation to develop a common standard or protocol for the badges.

Developers will use this protocol so that their badges will work across the Web on various platforms, no matter which organization is awarding them, just as e-mail works across the Internet regardless of the particular program used, said Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation in Mountain View, Calif.

“People will be able to take courses at a dozen places, and then put the badges from these different places on their Web site,” he said.

The badges can be verified in several ways. For instance, a badge can include a verification link that makes it possible to check with the issuer about authenticity and status, should the badge have an expiration date.

The Mozilla Foundation supports the development of free software that can be used throughout the Web. It owns the Mozilla Corporation, creator of Firefox, the open source Internet browser.

Mr. Surman’s group tested an early version of the badge system this spring at the School of Webcraft at Peer to Peer University, an online school offering free courses organized by peers, said Erin B. Knight, who works on the badge project for the Mozilla Foundation. Students in the pilot program were awarded badges in Javascript, HTML, teamwork, collaboration and other areas.

Many organizations, including NASA, Intel and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are collaborating with MacArthur in the competition, providing information about their programs and activities that could be the basis for badge awards, said Cathy N. Davidson, a professor at Duke University and co-administrator of the competition.

NASA, for example, has educational programs in robotics for young people that might be suitable content for badges.

Designers have until Jan. 12 to submit their ideas for badge prototypes. Design winners will be paired with content providers to compete for the final awards, Dr. Davidson said.

Independent of the MacArthur contest, one company, TopCoder, in Glastonbury, Conn., has been awarding its own version of digital badges for several years. It holds online programming competitions that offer cash rewards, said Mike Lydon, its chief technology officer. Many of the programs become commercial products that are sold or licensed to customers like I.B.M.

TopCoder competitors who do not win cash awards can still obtain a useful credential, Mr. Lydon said — a digital emblem that, when clicked on, gives statistics about their prowess relative to others. Competitors use screen names that let them preserve their anonymity, but also share scores with prospective employers when the scores are ones they are proud of.

It is an extremely helpful badge to include in job searches, Mr. Lydon said.

“Rather than saying ‘look me up,’ ” he said, “people have this transportable widget at their Web site.”

via Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills – NYTimes.com.

toys, gifts:  I did not think any of these interesting … KidsPost Holiday Toy Test – The Washington Post.

quote, Einstein, Disney, Jobs, Picasso: … ” It’s a real genius to tie art, emotion and technology together.”

I think that Einstein was in a different orbit. Steve was equal to Walt Disney or Pablo Picasso. Disney was probably the closest to Steve. The real genius of these men was that they were able to create an emotional connection with their products. Bob Dylan does the same with music; Picasso with art. It’s a real genius to tie art, emotion and technology together.

— The New York Times’ Nick Bilton has a great one-on-one interview with Walter Isaacson, author of the highly anticipated Steve Jobs biography

via curiosity counts – I think that Einstein was in a different orbit…..

‘sleep texting’:  Oh, my …

Doctors are seeing more cases of sleep deprived patients who are sleep texting.

Sleep expert Dr. Marcus Schmidt tells WTHR-TV that sleep deprivation can trigger common motor behaviors during sleep, including reaching for the phone when it goes off. Schmidt suggests keeping your cell phone away from the bed while you are sleeping, maybe even in another room.

Schmidt admits the phenomenon is new, so there isn’t a lot of empirical data to go with it.

via Doctors noting increase in ‘sleep texting’ | KING5.com Seattle.

graphics, web typeface:  for the real computer nerds …

There are those points in every interactive designer’s career when he becomes fed up with producing the same set of graphics all over again for every website he designs. It could be the social network icons, gallery arrows or any number of his «signature» butterflies for the footer of each of his projects. Similar for interactive developers that have to slice the same GIFs and PNGs each time art-director asks them to.

Until now. We want creative people to spend time on creative things. So we came up with the typeface that includes all frequently used iconographics and symbols. Although, the idea is not hot-baked — Webdings and Windings have been around for quite a time — all of them have a lot of unnecessary and sometimes actually scary symbols.

Web Symbols is a set of vector html-compliant typefaces, so it might be used in any size, color and browser (okey, mostly — but IE7 for sure).

via Web Symbols typeface.

street art, 3D street art: 🙂

3D pavement art: 3D painting by Joe Hill at Canary Wharf

3D street art around the world – in pictures

British artist Joe Hill’s creation has broken records for the longest and largest surface area 3D painting, according to Guinness Book of World Records. We take a look at some other great examples of 3D street paintings, from crevasses in Ireland to shark-infested waters in China

via 3D street art around the world – in pictures | Art and design | guardian.co.uk.

movies, holiday movies, kids’ movies:  I have heard that Hugo is good … mixed on the Muppets.

T he weeks between Thanksgiving and the new year provide lots of opportunities to go to the movies, and this year is no different. Here’s a look at some films made for kids that might be worth an outing for the entire family.

“Happy Feet Two”

“Arthur Christmas”

“Hugo”

“The Muppets”

“The Adventures of Tintin”

via Family-friendly movies for the holidays – The Washington Post.

15
Jan
11

1.15.2011 … MLK weekend … plan to travel north tomorrow … hope the snow/ice is melted!

culture, politics:  David Brooks takes a different approach to our current lack of civility.

But over the past few decades, people have lost a sense of their own sinfulness. Children are raised amid a chorus of applause. Politics has become less about institutional restraint and more about giving voters whatever they want at that second. Joe DiMaggio didn’t ostentatiously admire his own home runs, but now athletes routinely celebrate themselves as part of the self-branding process.

So, of course, you get narcissists who believe they or members of their party possess direct access to the truth. Of course you get people who prefer monologue to dialogue. Of course you get people who detest politics because it frustrates their ability to get 100 percent of what they want. Of course you get people who gravitate toward the like-minded and loathe their political opponents. They feel no need for balance and correction.

Beneath all the other things that have contributed to polarization and the loss of civility, the most important is this: The roots of modesty have been carved away.

via Tree of Failure – NYTimes.com.

culture, politics, quotes:  The David Brooks’ op-ed piece closed with this Reinhold Niebuhr quote:

In a famous passage, Reinhold Niebuhr put it best: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. … Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”

via Tree of Failure – NYTimes.com.

faith, prayer:  This makes me think of Jill Bolte Taylor’s A Stroke of Insight.

Prayer is the bridge between our conscious and unconscious lives. Often there is a large abyss between our thoughts, words, and actions, and the many images that emerge in our daydreams and night dreams. To pray is to connect these two sides of our lives by going to the place where God dwells. Prayer is “soul work” because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one and where God is with us in the most intimate way.

Thus, we must pray without ceasing so that we can become truly whole and holy.

via January 15, 2011 – Building Inner Bridges.

random, astrology, science:  I am a Capricorn?  No, no I am an Aquarius … a water carrier … a balancer ..

So, you’ve spent your whole life happily smug in your star sign. You’re a fish! Swimming in two directions! You’re intuitive, imaginative, unworldly! And then today’s Web is aflame with the news: You are not a Pisces. You are an Aquarius. Your star sign has been wrong your whole life. All along, you’ve been a freaking water carrier. This is not cool.

According to Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, cool or not, it’s written in the stars. Star signs were created some 2,000 years ago by tracking where the sun was in the sky each month. However, the moon’s gravitational pull has slowly moved the Earth in its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment, reports the Minnesota Star Tribune. Now, during what we think as the month of Pisces, the sun is actually in the sign of Aries.

The new dates would therefore be:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11

Pisces: March 11-April 18

Aries: April 18-May 13

Taurus: May 13-June 21

Gemini: June 21-July 20

Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

via BlogPost – New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet.

college, college application process, elite schools:

Harvard, has received  nearly 35,000 applications from high school seniors seeking admission to the next freshman class — an increase of nearly 15 percent over last year and more than 50 percent since four years ago, according to statistics released by Harvard today.

If last year’s admissions process is any guide, fewer than 10 percent will be offered admission.

What is fueling this increase, which is being mirrored, yet again, at other highly selective private colleges? In Harvard’s case, at least part of the answer surely lies in the sweeteners it has added to its financial aid packages in recent years.

As many other colleges, private and public, are struggling to meet demand for scholarships, Harvard requires “no contribution from families with annual incomes below $60,000,” according to today’s release, “and asks, on average, no more than 10 percent of income from families with typical assets who make up to $180,000.”

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

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, NASA, politics:  Unique relationship between our space program and our federal government … “it marked Giffords as the only lawmaker ever to watch a spouse launched into space.”

NASA’s selection Thursday of a backup commander for astronaut Mark Kelly served as a reminder that the shooting in Tucson affected another community nearly as much as Capitol Hill — the one affiliated with America’s manned space programs.

For critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and Kelly had become the first couple of space exploration, a unique, high-profile team that took to the national stage as some of the most critical decisions in the history of U.S. human spaceflight were on the agenda.

The partnership between the lawmaker and the space shuttle commander, who had been scheduled to lead a flight in April, added a glamorous sheen to a venture whose luster had dimmed. But more important, the relationship between the two had significant political and policy implications as the nation undertook its first major debate over manned spaceflight since the end of the Apollo program that sent Americans to the moon.

The marriage between Giffords, a rising political star, and Kelly, a veteran of three space shuttle missions and a decorated Navy combat pilot, took place just months after she was first sworn in as a House member in 2007, and it marked Giffords as the only lawmaker ever to watch a spouse launched into space.

“It gave her an insider’s view of the space program and gave her an opportunity to really know a different side of the space program than any of us ever had an opportunity to know,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a close friend of Giffords and Kelly, told POLITICO on Tuesday.

via The astronaut by her side – Kasie Hunt – POLITICO.com.

pirates, Blackbeard, kith/kin:  New discoveries … and by the way, we used to tease our son Edward Teague that he was descended from Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard)!

But archaeologists now suspect theyve found one more clue behind the pirates menace: what could very well be Blackbeards sword, or at least part of it. National Geographic published photos released by a team that has for over a decade been excavating the Queen Annes Revenge, which was Blackbeards flagship until it ran aground in an inlet off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. These include fragments of a gilded hilt and pommel, possibly of French design Blackbeards ship was a retrofitted French merchant vessel. The shipwreck has been worked on since 1997.

via Blackbeard’s Sword, Found! Archaeologists Discover Pirate Treasure Off North Carolina Coast – TIME NewsFeed.

restaurants, farm to table, Charlotte, Halcyon:  Had lunch at Halcyon on 1/14 … excellent …  will go again!

2010 turned out, with a rush in the last months, to be a decent new-restaurant year – as unlikely a prospect as that seemed a year ago. Here are the ones that opened that year that I found best, in no particular order, along with a list of the ones I’m most excited about that are slated to open in 2011.

1. Halcyon. A craft- (rather than art-) inspired spot in the new Mint Museum uptown, it has dubbed its style “Farm House Chic” and emphasizes a seasonal menu relying on area products. Chef Marc Jacksina continues to tinker with the menus; the spot opened at Thanksgiving. But the look is breathtaking, and to offer cold pan duck? It’s a great start.

via Charlotte’s best new restaurants of 2010 – CharlotteObserver.com.

restaurants, Charlotte, The Penguin, The Diamond:

Now, for 2011, I’m anticipating:

The much-rumored filling of several available spaces, including (but hardly limited to) uptown and the north, plus bursts of activity in south Charlotte. For example, if leases go through, look for:

Delta’s to go into the former G.W. Fins space on North Tryon Street, opening in June with a live-music supper club kind of vibe (R&B and jazz) and a menu duplicating the New Jersey original, with Cajun and other Southern fare.

AZN Restaurant, spun from a Florida original by the folks who also have Silk in Atlanta, to go into a new spot in Piedmont Town Center; it’s a Chinese-Japanese-Thai-Korean-Vietnamese-sushi concept.

The Diamond. This home cooking spot in Plaza Midwood, the revamping of a Charlotte classic, is slated to open this month, I’m told. It might. I – along with a legion of others, if one looks at Facebook – am ready!

And, it follows logically, the Penguin: It will be fascinating to see what happens when this storied landmark burger-etc. place reopens under new management, as it is slated to do Saturday. Those who followed the neighborhood-classic throwdown know that emotions run high about these last two places and that loyalties are at stake, not just foodstuffs.

Barbecue from longtime Charlotte restaurateur Frank Scibelli in Plaza Midwood – and though chef Jim Noble has his hands full between his Rooster’s and King’s Kitchen, I’m going to continue to keep an eye on his love of barbecue and where that might go.

via Charlotte’s best new restaurants of 2010 – CharlotteObserver.com.

The President, politics, culture, kudos:  Well done, Mr. President.

I begin grouchily to underscore the sincerity of the praise that follows. About a third of the way through, the speech took on real meaning and momentum, and by the end it was very good, maybe great. The speech had a proper height. It was large-spirited and dealt with big things. It was adroit and without rancor. The president didn’t mourn, he inspirited.

The heart of Mr. Obama’s speech asked a question. The lives of those who died, and the actions of the heroes of the day, pose a challenge. What is required of us now, how do we honor them?

Here, deftly, he addressed the destructive media debate that followed the tragedy. But he approached the subject with compassion and sympathy. It is human nature to try to explain things to ourselves, to “try and impose some order on the chaos,” to say this happened because of that. And so we debate, and consider causes and motivations. Much of this is good, but not all. “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized,” we are too eager to lay to blame “at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do.” It is important that we talk to each other “in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” Scripture tells us “that there is evil in the world.” We don’t know what triggered the attack, but “what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other.”

Lack of civility did not cause this tragedy, but “only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make [the victims] proud.”

In saying this, the president took the air out of all the accusations and counter accusations. By the end of the speech they were yesterday’s story.

via Obama Rises to the Challenge – WSJ.com.

followup, weather, Wilmette, Chicago: I had forgotten about the post snow icy crust … Reminds me of my Chicago days!

travel, adventure, South Africa, new terms, kloofing:  Since John never reads this I do not have to fear him seeing this … otherwise I think I might be doing it for my 30th!  Actually it looks kinda fun.

A kloof, in the South African language of Afrikaans, is a canyon. And kloofing is the sport of going up and down them, usually down. Attached to a rope and climbing harness, kloofers may walk backwards off a 150-foot cliff; straddle a rush of whitewater down a mossy embankment; or leap into chilly pools fed by waterfalls.

My guide into the world of kloofing was Teuns Kok, a 40-year-old professional transport planner. Mr. Kok specializes in making urban walkways safe and accessible for school children and the handicapped. The same principle applies when he goes kloofing in South Africa’s rugged mountains.

In 2001, Mr. Kok and a few friends pioneered a route down Ostrich Kloof, outside the South African wine-making capital of Stellenbosch, where he lives. He has since guided select groups of friends and visitors down the kloof’s hidden waterfalls and shady gullies—but they must be willing to entrust their lives to his ropes, makeshift anchor points and route planning.

The extreme sport of kloofing involves climbing up mountains and, typically, leaning back over the abyss and rappelling back down into steep canyons, or “kloofs,” with lots of water.

In other countries, including the U.S., kloofing is known as “canyoneering.” But South Africa’s sandstone domes and verdant scrubland give the sport its own natural draws. It now has an avid following.

via Kloofing: Between a Rock and a Waterfall – WSJ.com.




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