Posts Tagged ‘Harper Lee

22
Feb
16

2.22.16 … ”To become the person we are meant to be we may have to overcome our “stuckness” and our fear of change.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 12/40), Wedgewood Church – Charlotte NC:

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Noisy … A neighbor to this church is power washing something, no, he is using a circular saw. As I said it is very noisy. But it is always noisy at this labyrinth because it is right next to Tyvola Road. And somewhere nearby are train tracks because I hear very loud train horns.  And it is also noisy because the path is made of pebbles. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

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Winter … There is no sign of spring today, and at this labyrinth, there are dead fall leaves on the lawn. And the sky is overcast.

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I wonder if grass would have been cheaper. I really need to create an advice column on what makes for a perfect labyrinth.  One thing for sure is that the path needs to be even so that you don’t lose your balance when walking and and the area needs to be buffered from auditory and visual distractions. SIlence is nice. One basic requirement would be that you could walk barefoot. If you can’t, then there is a problem.

Research Lazarus and Bethany …

Jesus: A Pilgrimage: Chapter 18 – Bethany

Fr. Martin makes another point about this story. He wonders, “Why does Jesus shout?” “John’s Gospel says that Jesus spoke in a phonē megalē, a great voice.” We are used to hearing that God speaks to us quietly and that we need silence to hear Him, but Jesus shouts to Lazarus to “come forth”. Fr. Martin says, “Sometimes, however, God needs to speak more loudly” and that “God may need to get our attention… so that the dead parts of us can hear”. For Fr. Martin, “Lazarus’s tomb became the place to leave behind whatever I no longer needed, whatever kept me from new life”. Jesus last words in the story of Lazarus are “unbind him and let him go”. Jesus wants us to be unbound, and freed from our sins and our past. Our sins bring us to a spiritual death and Jesus wants to bring us back, he wants us to be fully alive. Fr. Martin says “Unbind him, and let him go is an invitation to all of us who are freed from old patterns and unhealthy behaviors. Untie him and let him be who he is meant to be.” To become the person we are meant to be we may have to overcome our “stuckness” and our fear of change. At the end of the chapter Fr. Martin tells us “I asked God to take away everything that kept me from becoming the person God wanted me to be. And I asked God for new life.” Then he left the tomb.

Source: Jesus: A Pilgrimage: Chapter 18 – Bethany

2.22.16

 

Dutch,  George Orwell’s Birthday,  Putting Party Hats On Surveillance Cameras, BuzzFeed News: this is from 2013, but worth a chuckle!

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On Tuesday, surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats to celebrate the 110th birthday of George Orwell, Dutch art duo Front404 explained on their website.

“George Orwell is best known for his book ‘1984’, in which he describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by the surveillance state of Big Brother.”

Source: Dutch Artists Celebrate George Orwell’s Birthday By Putting Party Hats On Surveillance Cameras – BuzzFeed News

French Phrases Hidden in English Words, Mental Floss

Even if you speak French you may never have noticed them.

Source: French Phrases Hidden in English Words | Mental Floss

 

CARTOON, Harper Lee, Scott Stantis, Yellowhammer News:

harper-lee

Longtime Alabama resident Scott Stantis is widely viewed as one of the best — if not the best — editorial cartoonists in the country. At one point he was the staff cartoonist for The Birmingham News. And although he’s now at The Chicago Tribune, which is one of the most high profile jobs in his field, Stantis still flies back to Alabama to get his driver’s license renewed. As long as he keeps coming back home — and cranking out cartoons like the one above — we’ll keep claiming him. Stantis’ latest masterpiece is a tribute to Alabama author Harper Lee, who passed away over the weekend at the age of 89.

Source: CARTOON: This Alabamian’s touching tribute to Harper Lee will warm your heart – Yellowhammer News

 

 

20
Feb
16

2.20.16 … “In the Fullness of Time” …

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Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 11/40), The Cathedral of St. Philip – Atlanta Georgia:

What a difference a day can make.
Today it is 54° and cloudy
And it feels like 45°.

Moisture on the labyrinth

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Production labyrinths … Setting makes all the difference!

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Birds chirping
Windows to the Lanier House

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Bench

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4–7 – 8 breathing … An interesting practice on a labyrinth.
Loud helicopter and loud traffic on Peachtree Road
And I pondered the meaning of “In the Fullness of Time”

1What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forcesa of the world. 4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.b 6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,c Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Source: Galatians 4 NIV

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Pilgrimage and Chartres Labyrinth Walk;

Walk with us (Labyrinth architect and author Gernot Candolini and musician Jennifer Brandon) from Paris to Chartres. Join for the week May 9th – 15th 2016.
Folder and information letter: candolini@tele2.at

 

La Orden Real de Sant Yago,  Pilgrims to Santiago, Tampa’s Ybor City Neighborhood Historic District:

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This interesting sign about La Orden Real de Sant Yago to protect the Pilgrims to Santiago is located in Tampa’s Ybor City Neighborhood. A good reminder of how special the Camino was and still remains. — at Ybor City Historic District.

Bloomers, Harper Lee:

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Bloomers: Many, but not all of you, know that in the way that creative life can often surprise, Harper Lee was one of you. One of us. You might be as surprised as I am that she played a large role in my recent return to the streets of Bloom County– streets inspired by those of Maycomb. When I retired Opus from the Sunday comics some years ago, Harper let me know her displeasure, with all the southern, gracious elegance we knew her for. See the letter below. I’ve waited until her passing to show it. We came to exchange many similar notes… including one in which she grudgingly forgives me for my retirement (irony alert). Imagine my 14 year-old self — freshly savoring the first reading of Mockingbird and sending Miss Lee a fan letter in 1970 — being told about another fan letter returning my way almost 40 years distant. Life is wonderful and strange and wistful and happy at the same time. And I’m happy to share this with all of you today.

Harvard,  Free Online Class, Religious Literacy:

This is one example of the “widespread illiteracy about religion that spans the globe,” said Diane Moore, director of Harvard Divinity School’s Religious Literacy Project to The Huffington Post. To combat this illiteracy, Moore and five other religion professors from Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School and Wellesley College are kicking off a free, online series on world religions open to the masses. The courses are being offered via an online learning platform called edX, which Harvard University launched with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.

Source: Harvard Launches Free Online Class To Promote Religious Literacy

 

Harry Potter’ Films Will Screen With a Live Orchestra, Speakeasy – WSJ:

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has teamed up with CineConce to re-release the original films with their scores performed live for audiences. The first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” will kick things off on June 23 at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts, with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing John Williams’s Oscar-nominated score. Other stops throughout the year include San Diego, Nashville, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Mich. and Silicon Valley, Calif.

Source: ‘Harry Potter’ Films Will Screen With a Live Orchestra – Speakeasy – WSJ

 

Benjamin Franklin in London, History Extra:

Historian and author George Goodwin talks to us about his latest book, Benjamin Franklin in London, in an interview that was recorded at the American Founding Father’s former London home

Source: Benjamin Franklin in London | Podcast | History Extra

Danica Patrick,  Lyft:

NASCAR sweetheart Danica Patrick took on a different kind of driver role right here in the Queen City. While dropping subtle hints to her passengers, Patrick gave a few lucky folks a ride. “My boyfriend thinks I’m a horrible driver… ‘Cause I don’t follow the rules, I drive too fast, I ride too close.” “I try and get like 500 miles in on Sundays, and I try to do it under four hours.” And of course, at the end of their ‘lyft’, Danica revealed herself– and there were selfies.

Source: Danica Patrick gives unsuspecting Charlotteans a ‘Loft

 

People Who Wear Crazy Socks Are Smart And Revolutionary, YourTango, crazy socks:

I think I need to get my husband some new socks. I still remember your red socks at my wedding, cousin Mark!

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Men and women who wear crazy, colorful socks are independent, interesting, and successful, at least according to an article in Elite Daily. These socks can be outrageous colors like chartreuse or neon green, or have gigantic eyes, lobsters, flying pigs, or over-frosted cupcakes all over them — as long as they aren’t a dull brown or blue, they can reveal much about the wearer. People who wear crazy socks are telling the world that they refuse to conform to social trends, boldly displaying their playful personalities and unique sensibilities. They’re leading a revolution against uniforms and decorum.

Source: People Who Wear Crazy Socks Are Smart And Revolutionary | YourTango

‘Firefall’, Yosemite Waterfall Looks Like Lava:

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For a short time every February, when conditions are just right, Horsetail Falls in Yosemite gets transformed by a phenomenon known as “firefall.” When the sunlight hits the water just right, the waterfall looks like molten lava flowing down the side of El Capitan. Photographer Sangeeta Dey was there to see and capture the firefall this year, and her above photo has been going viral. “Every year for two weeks in February, the sun sets at a certain angle and illuminates the waterfall in luminescent orange and red, making it look like a fluid fire,” writes Dey, who also shares her work through Instagram and 500px. “I’ve met photographers who said that they have been coming for 11 years only to see this happen 2 or 3 times.” “When the fall started glowing, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she says. “For 10 minutes, all of us sat there mesmerized by this spectacle. When it ended, a few of us had tears in our eyes. Some people were clapping. And others were just ecstatic to finally get a chance to see it after trying for years.”

Source: Photos of ‘Firefall’, When a Yosemite Waterfall Looks Like Lava

 

 

20
Feb
14

2.20.14 … Our central claim is that Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can in fact achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality — but only if they are able to invest a great deal of time and energy in their partnership. If they are not able to do so, their marriage will likely fall short of these new expectations … Marriage, then, has increasingly become an “all or nothing” proposition. …

The All-or-Nothing Marriage, NYTimes.com:

Our central claim is that Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can in fact achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality — but only if they are able to invest a great deal of time and energy in their partnership. If they are not able to do so, their marriage will likely fall short of these new expectations. Indeed, it will fall further short of people’s expectations than at any time in the past.

Marriage, then, has increasingly become an “all or nothing” proposition. This conclusion not only challenges the conventional opposition between marital decline and marital resilience; but it also has implications for policy makers looking to bolster the institution of marriage — and for individual Americans seeking to strengthen their own relationships.

via The All-or-Nothing Marriage – NYTimes.com.

geology, pangea, NYTimes.com:

“This is a true moment of discovery, although somewhat inadvertent,” said Tony Hiss, the author of “The Experience of Place,” a 1990 ode to America’s physical reality. “New York’s deepest and darkest secret, its oldest and most violent and previously only vaguely glimpsed history is finally coming to light — the schist that formed three-quarters of a billion years ago, when colliding continents compressed an ancient ocean; the even more elusive amphibolite, three times harder than concrete, that’s a slow-cooked remnant of islands as big as Japan off the New York shoreline.

“A lot of the theory about what happened down there long, long ago was known, but it had never been seen firsthand by geologists until the multiple sub-Manhattan excavations over the last decade,” Mr. Hiss said.

The application of that theory illustrates why skyscrapers historically sprouted downtown and in Midtown, but not in between. The bedrock — the formidable Manhattan Schist on which their concrete foundations rest — is closest to the surface in those two areas, though, nowadays, the technology exists to build almost anywhere.

“It’s only a matter of what type of foundation you can afford, or are willing to entertain,” said Michael Horodniceanu, the president of the transportation authority’s capital construction arm.

The dank, vast underground caverns carved by monstrous tunnel-boring machines reveal evidence of the land bridge that existed hundreds of millions of years ago, when New York adjoined what is now Morocco, before the continents ruptured, and of the faults and fractures wrought by vast physical upheavals.

“It gives us a small window to refine our maps and get a better understanding of regional geology and of the bedrock that formed in Pangea when the continents collided,” Mr. Jordan, the Parsons geologist, said. “It gives us a chance to document the behavior of Manhattan’s bedrock while advancing tunnels, and to provide a history of tectonic events. Lastly, mapping provides a geological record for posterity and use by future generations.”

via Geologists Glimpse a Heaven Below – NYTimes.com.

Transcend Politics Embrace Humanity, Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, quotes:

Photo: Transcend Politics, Embrace Humanity

robotic pills, medicine, invention:

Robotic pills could replace injectable drugs for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Advancements in scientific research have led to two FDA-approved robotic pills. How they work: http://on.wsj.com/N6p3yY

Humans of New York, discrimination:  This is one of my favorite FB pages. I am amazed at what people share. I hope it is not contrived. I wonder what I would share.

“I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but I’m gay, and I don’t think there’s nearly as much discrimination as people claim. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced discrimination. But it hasn’t been a huge factor in my life. I feel like a lot of people bring discrimination on themselves by getting in people’s faces too much. They like to say: ‘Accept me or else!’ They go around demanding respect as a member of a group, instead of earning respect as an individual. And that sort of behavior invites discrimination. I’ve never demanded respect because I was gay, and I haven’t experienced much discrimination when people find out that I am.”

via Humans of New York.

Jack Perry, community ambassador,  diplomat, Dean Rusk Center, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:  I admit I was wrong.  When Jack Perry came to Davidson, I thought, Davidson needs someone from Davidson … I was so wrong.  RIP, Jack Perry and thank you for raising the bar.

 Shortly after Kuykendall arrived at Davidson in 1984, he hired Perry to run the college’s fledgling international studies venture, named for another Georgian diplomat, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

“When I came, the Dean Rusk program was a name, an aspiration,” Kuykendall said. “But but we needed somebody to lead it.”

Perry put his stamp on the program, which had been started by Kuykendall’s predecessor, Sam Spencer.

“Sam Spencer’s intention was to take (Davidson) from a regional school to a school with a national reputation and a school globally engaged,” said Chris Alexander, current director of the Rusk program.

“The program by its name and by its existence really announced to students and the broader Charlotte community … that an international education is a fundamental part of a liberal arts education.”

Perry ran the program until 1995. Over that time, the percentage of Davidson students who received some kind of international experience rose dramatically. According to Alexander, more than 80 percent of students travel or study abroad during their four years.

via Jack Perry: A community ambassador with a life of diplomacy | CharlotteObserver.com.

schadenfreude: It’s a cruel world … And here I am sharing.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=022_1392441250

Schadenfreude, oh, blessed schadenfreude.

A dad who had gone to pick his kids up from school was waiting in his car when he noticed groups of schoolchildren falling on the icy pathway.

What better way to spend your minutes waiting than filming the series of unfortunate pupils stacking it?

The person who filmed it, known only as Alan, is heard in the six-minute footage doing a bit of a commentary and laughing his socks off.

At one point, he says: ‘I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you.’

When his daughter gets in the car they’re both creasing up and he tells her about the impending falls that he predicts are on the way: ‘Okay watch this kid, I guarantee that he’s going to drill it.’

via School run dad can’t stop laughing at pupils slipping on ice in YouTube video | Metro News.

400 years, mathematics,new class of shapes, Goldberg polyhedra, Ars Technica:

The works of the Greek polymath Plato have kept people busy for millennia. Mathematicians have long pondered Platonic solids, a collection of geometric forms that are highly regular and are frequently found in nature.

Platonic solids are generically termed equilateral convex polyhedra. In the millennia since Plato’s time, only two other collections of equilateral convex polyhedra have been found: Archimedean solids (including the truncated icosahedron) and Kepler solids (including rhombic polyhedra). Nearly 400 years after the last class was described, mathematicians claim that they may have now identified a new, fourth class, which they call Goldberg polyhedra. In the process of making this discovery, they think they’ve demonstrated that an infinite number of these solids could exist.

via After 400 years, mathematicians find a new class of shapes | Ars Technica.

Martin Scorsese,  Poland’s Communist-Era Art Films, NPR:  

Martin Scorsese fell in love with Polish movies when he was in college.

“The images have stayed in my head for so many years, since the late ’50s,” he says. “I close my eyes, I see them, especially from Ashes And Diamonds, from The Saragossa Manuscript. They’re very vivid, expressive, immediate.”

The tradition of filmmaking in Poland is as long as the history of filmmaking itself. In fact, a Polish inventor patented a camera before the famed, pioneering Lumiere brothers in France. It’s a tradition that includes the names Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Agnieszka Holland. But unless you spent a lot of time in art house theaters in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, you probably haven’t seen many Polish movies. Now, a new series of 21 films handpicked by Scorsese is beginning a tour of 30 American citie

via Martin Scorsese Takes Poland’s Communist-Era Art Films On The Road : NPR.

bacon: Need I say more?

Photo: Need I say more?

The Piano Guys, Angels We Have Heard on High, youtube:

via ▶ Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs) – ThePianoGuys – YouTube.

Watch this Christmas cover of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” performed by Paul Anderson, Jon Schmidt, Al van der Beek and Steven Sharp Nelson, on one single piano to feel the festive spirit come alive.

via The Piano Guys Will Blow You Away With ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ (VIDEO).

5 Ages Dancing,  YouTube: 

 

Dancers aged 85 ,65, 45, 25 and 5 perform the same sequence: Sage Cowles, Marylee Hardenbergh, Lori Mercil, Erin Simon, and Shelby Keeley.

via ▶ 5 Ages Dancing YouTube sharing – YouTube.

How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night, sleep therapy:

8 hour sleeping is a modern invention.

via How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night.

An Instagram short film:

An Instagram short film on Vimeo

via An Instagram short film.

24
Jul
13

7.24.13 … To Steal a Mockingbird? …

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, literary agents, legal rights, copyright, To Steal a Mockingbird?, Vanity Fair, kith/kin:  My mom actually remembers Harper Lee from Alabama.  So all my life I have heard about this reclusive one novel Pulitzer Prize winning author.  I also really enjoyed the book and the movie (and the play which I saw in Annapolis MD last fall).

Also loved this on Harper Lee …

[http://www.biography.com/people/harper-lee-9377021/videos]

In high school, Lee developed an interest in English literature. After graduating in 1944, she went to the all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Lee stood apart from the other students—she couldn’t have cared less about fashion, makeup or dating. Instead, she focused on her studies and on her writing. Lee was a member of the literary honor society and the glee club.

Aspiring Writer

Transferring to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Lee was known for being a loner and an individualist. She did make a greater attempt at a social life there, joining a sorority for a while. Pursuing her interest in writing, Lee contributed to the school’s newspaper and its humor magazine, the Rammer Jammer. She eventually became the editor of the Rammer Jammer.

via Harper Lee Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – Biography.com.

This article is fascinating and well worth  your time.

 

To Steal a Mockingbird?

The notoriously private author Harper Lee is now waging a public courtroom battle. Her lawsuit charges that in 2007 her agent, Samuel Pinkus, duped the frail 80-year-old Lee into assigning him the copyright to her only book, To Kill a Mockingbird—then diverted royalties from the beloved 1960 classic. Mark Seal investigates a scandal packed with publishing legends

via To Steal a Mockingbird? | Vanity Fair.

09
Feb
13

2.9.13 … barking dogs …

barking dogs, for the love of dogs, kith/kin, neighbors:  I was out-of-town and my old pups barked way into the night/ morning.  Sometime I forget their shortcomings because I love them.   I feel really bad …

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Maira Kalman, art, quotes,  Brain Pickings:

Kalman echoes Anaïs Nin and adds to history’s finest definitions of art:

There’s a certain freedom to do whatever I want to do, which I guess is the definition of being an artist.

Complement with Kalman on identity, happiness and existence and the difference between thinking and feeling, then treat yourself to some of her marvelous, unassumingly profound books — you can’t go wrong with The Principles of Uncertainty and Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World).

via Maira Kalman on Art and the Power of Not Thinking | Brain Pickings.

blogs, Jane Austen:  New resource — The Everything Austen Daily.

coffee foam art: 🙂

One of the perks of visiting your local coffee shops!

via The 40 Most Amazing Examples Of Coffee Foam Art.

memes, Marco Polo, childhood:

Poor fellow. To think this is what most will know his name by…

Annie Dillard, winter, memes, Brain Pickings:

This particular excerpt from the essay “Footfalls In A Blue Ridge Winter”, a celebration of winter originally published in the February 1974 issue of — of all places — Sports Illustrated, manages to capture in some 200 words just about everything that’s magical and poetic about life, innocence, curiosity, presence, and even the memes that permeate the Internet, a kind of vision for the currency of the web long before the web as we know it existed.

via Annie Dillard on Winter, Memes, and Living with Wonder | Brain Pickings.

NYT, WSJ, WashPost, NY Post, photography, journalism, Poynter:

 

It’s not unusual for a single image to dominate a news event. But it is unusual for the same photo to be prominently featured on four major newspapers. Reuters photojournalist Brian Snyder captured the front page image (shown below) in Boston on Friday, as the storm was arriving. Only the New York Post uses the name ‘Nemo’ to refer to the blizzard that has dumped several feet of snow in the northeast and left thousands without power. || Related: New York Times, Wall Street Journal drop paywalls for storm coverage | How Wall Street Journal, NPR are using RebelMouse for storm coverage, Fashion Week

via Same photo appears on front pages of NYT, WSJ, WashPost, NY Post | Poynter..

China, architecture, copycats, WSJ.com:

In Beijing, the new Wangjing SOHO complex, a trio of curvy office buildings designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, is slowly rising in the smog-filled skyline. Meanwhile, 1,000 miles south, a set of two buildings is going up—and the design looks just like Ms. Hadid’s, say the backers of the Beijing complex.

The other development company has denied copying the design and coined a slogan about its project. “Never meant to copy,” reads a pitch posted on the firm’s official microblog. “Only want to surpass.”

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Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

BONJOUR CHINA | An Eiffel Tower looms over a road in Hebei province.

That motto could be the mantra for China’s massive movement in architectural mimicry. To show they are making it big, the Chinese have turned to faking it big.

via In Chinese Buildings, a Copycat Craze – WSJ.com.

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, Harper Lee, nonfiction narrative, literary genres, WSJ.com:  This entire article is fascinating …

The notes show that when Mr. Capote and his assistant, novelist Harper Lee, traveled to Garden City in the winter of 1960, Mr. Dewey gave them exclusive access to the Clutter files for a week. Mr. Dewey also granted them private interviews with the arrested killers after he had told the media that no such interviews would be granted, according to Charles J. Shields, who studied the Capote archives for his 2006 biography of Miss Lee, “Mockingbird.”

via Capote Classic ‘In Cold Blood’ Tainted by Long-Lost Files – WSJ.com.

Berta Soler, Cuba, dissidents, Ladies In White, freedom to travel:  Change is coming.  i was very moved by this story.

HAVANA — Cuban authorities granted a passport Friday to the leader of a protest group that received the European Union’s top human rights prize in 2005, even as another, lesser-known dissident reported being told she will not be allowed to leave the country.

Berta Soler, the most prominent member of the Ladies in White, picked up her new passport in the morning and said she plans to make a long-delayed trip to Europe to pick up the EU’s Sakharov award, something she has been unable to do until now because she was denied an exit visa.

The 50-year-old exit visa requirement, which was often denied to the likes of doctors, military officers and dissidents, has been abolished under travel reform that took effect Jan. 14.

Soler said she would contact EU officials to schedule a date, and she’s also hoping to visit Spain and attend two April human rights conferences in Panama and Germany.

“I have many invitations to different places,” she told The Associated Press, holding up her new passport.

The Ladies in White formed a decade ago to press for the release of their husbands, 75 dissidents imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown. All 75 have since been freed, and the Ladies have refocused their message on demanding political change, with almost completely new membership. Soler is one of the few original members still active in the group.

via Berta Soler, Leader Of Cuban Dissident Group ‘Ladies In White,’ Receives Passport To Travel.

China, culture, boyfriend rentals, Chinese New Year,  The Wedding Date , Valentine’s Day ,  ABC News:  Reminded me of The Wedding Date … but then thought of the social and family pressure that must exist to cause this to be significant enough of a business that it received US news coverage.

Renting out boyfriends and girlfriends is a new business in China. With the Chinese New Year approaching, the whole country has begun its massive annual migration, with millions of people struggling to get home. For the many young Chinese who work away from their hometowns, this is the one time of year when they can spend a week or two at home with their families. Besides visiting relatives and friends, it’s also the perfect time to show what you have achieved in the past year. For many young people, that means bringing home a potential mate or spouse to introduce to your family.

Gao told ABC News that the market for rental boyfriends is much bigger than rental girlfriends. The pressure to get married weighs heavy on the shoulders of many Chinese women. Even state media refers to single women above age 27 as “leftover women.” The 26th birthday of a daughter rings like an alarm bell for many anxious Chinese parents.

Gao owns two online stores selling flowers through Taobao.com. He has recruited nine young men between the ages of 26 and 32 who he considers suitably masculine to rent out as boyfriends.

via Boyfriend Rentals Boom During Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day – ABC News.

tea, UK, Earl Grey, British estates, Boston.com: fascinating … but I would have assumed it had never been grown in Britain.  🙂

An estate owned by descendants of the 19th century British aristocrat for whom Earl Grey tea was named is turning history on its head by selling English tea to China. The Tregothnan estate in the southwestern English county of Cornwall started selling tea from its tiny plantation in 2005 and last year produced about 10 tons of tea and infusions. Current owners (and residents) of Tregothnan, Evelyn and Katharine Boscawen think they’ve found a niche to exploit in exporting English tea to China and India. The long history of immersing tea leaves in hot water for a refreshing drink is not lost on the Boscawens. By the Victorian Era, taking tea had become a regular ritual at almost every level of society from elaborate afternoon tea for the rich in country houses to tea and gruel for the working poor as depicted by Charles Dickens.Tregothnan has projected 2013 sales to be $3.14 million, a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the world’s largest black tea exporter, Kenya, predicting $1.33 billion in sales for 2013.

via Tea Time – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

28
Apr
11

4.28.2011 … Prayers for those in the path of the Southern Storms of near-epic proportions … Charlotte was bypassed, again.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, natural disasters/acts of God, weather, prayers:  Why do we call natural disasters “acts of God?”  Prayers for the people impacted and for a quick clean up and recovery.

Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 247 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where 162 people perished, said Yasamie August, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

The storms are being compared to the “super outbreak” of tornadoes April 3 and 4, 1974, Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said Thursday. In that period, 148 tornadoes were reported in 13 states, and 330 people died. States affected were Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

via Southern storms: ‘I don’t know how anyone survived’ – CNN.com.

France, travel, recommendations:  Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I am keeping a list … keep the recs coming.  From today …

Harper Lee, bookshelf, biography, Southern literature:  Harper Lee was at Alabama at the same time as my mother … she was shy … everyone was “shocked” when her book came out and won the Pulitzer Prize.  It sounds like she was shocked, too!  It will be interesting to see why she has never published another novel.  I clipped about Ms. Lee yesterday, her 85th birthday, and a year ago.  She is a very interesting literary “character.”

After winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 debut novel, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee talked excitedly of her plans to carry on writing and become “the Jane Austen of south Alabama”. Yet she was never published again for reasons unknown.

Her reaction to the book’s success was “one of sheer numbness”, she said in her 1964 interview. “It was like being hit over the head and knocked cold,” she admitted.

“You see, I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird … I hoped for a little but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

Yet she also spoke of wanting to write a series of novels chronicling small-town life. Friends say she continues to work on her ageing typewriter, raising the possibility that there are books waiting to be published – perhaps after her death.

The biography will also throw light on Lee’s friendship with Capote, her childhood next door neighbour. The pair worked together on Capote’s 1966 ‘true crime’ book ‘In Cold Blood’, but fell out for reasons unexplained. It has been claimed that Lee was hurt by Capote’s failure to give her full credit for her research.

via Harper Lee to disclose why she stopped writing after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – Telegraph.

Royal Wedding, fashion, game-changers:  “But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.”  — So many of my friends who married after Princess Diana now laugh about their puffy sleeved wedding gowns!  I personally was saved from the fashion disaster in retrospect … but my dear bridesmaids were not … they had the big puffy sleeves!

WHEN Kate Middleton strides down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday, millions of Americans watching at home will be transfixed by her gown.

Mr. O’Neill, the creative director of Theia, a bridal house in Manhattan, expects that Ms. Middleton’s dress (or a much more affordable version of it) will be coveted by brides-to-be on this side of the Atlantic. So sure is he, in fact, that he has already designed, and plans to sell, a gown he thinks will emulate her choice. Slender and long-sleeved, its decorously scooped neckline encrusted with crystals and silver bullion thread, it will boast a five-foot train.

“We’re calling it the Kate,” Mr. O’Neill said. “It’s very precious, very regal and suited to a princess, if only in my head.”

Not every bridal designer is so farsighted — or so brashly confident. But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.

via Designers Wait to Copy Kate Middleton’s Dress – NYTimes.com.

Royal Wedding, Royal Family, monarchy, culture, media:  Will you watch …

Still, it got me thinking. The children singing are now in their late thirties and perhaps most of them now have children of an age to be in primary school. I wonder if any of them are singing wedding songs. I slightly doubt it. The Times reports that David Cameron’s invitation to Her Majesty’s subjects to arrange community street parties has met with a disappointing response, and it’s hard not to feel that pride in the monarchy, as an unquestioning habit of mind, is on the wane. In 1981, it was different: plenty of people were still alive who had been born in the reign of Queen Victoria; shillings and florins, left over from before decimalization, still circulated as legal tender. To read through British newspapers from the week before the 1981 Royal Wedding is to enter a more deferent era.

Compared to an event like the funeral of the Queen Mother—where all the pageantry is retrospective and everyone gets to wallow in a century’s worth of nostalgia—a wedding is risky. Weddings are all about the future and monarchies, let’s face it, are all about the past.

It’s estimated that nearly a third of the planet will be watching the wedding on Friday. This strikes me as a bit awful. I don’t know whether the viewers will be drawn by an old-fashioned atavistic fixation with tradition or from a new-fashioned fixation with celebrity and sensation, but either way it can’t be healthy. I shan’t be watching, or singing.

via News Desk: Don’t Let’s Watch the Royal Wedding : The New Yorker.

Royal Wedding, random, LOL, Facebook:  OK  …. I am Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton …  Listen out for my name … 🙂

In honor of the big wedding tomorrow, use your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Let’s do this! Post yours here. Then cut and paste it into your status.

Regards,

Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton

iPhone, marketing:  I am sure there is money in the why …

SAN FRANCISCO — You may not know it, but if you carry a smart phone in your pocket, you are probably doing unpaid work for Apple or Google — and helping them

As those two companies battle for dominance in mobile computing, they have increasingly been using their customers’ phones as sensors to collect data about nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Google and Apple use this data to improve the accuracy of everything on the phone that uses location. That includes maps and navigation services, but also advertising aimed at people in a particular spot — a potentially huge business that is just getting off the ground. In fact, the information has become so valuable that the companies have been willing to push the envelope on privacy to collect it.

via Location Data From Phones Is Valuable for Ads – NYTimes.com.

technology, RIP, typewriters, corrections:  Well Fox says not so fast …

Nostalgic newspaper reports around the globe lamented the death of the typewriter recently, as Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce announced its intentions to pull the plug on its Mumbai factory.

After decades of use and trillions of typed characters, the typewriter appeared to have written its own swan song.

Not so fast.

Despite the surge in popularity of PCs, and their smaller digital cousins the iPads, the typewriter is far from dead, said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec. So forget Godrej: Swintec seems to be the last typewriter maker in operation.

“Typewriters are alive and well,” Michael told FoxNews.com. Most big offices need a typewriter or two or three to do some special jobs — special forms, multipart forms. Some places need to have typewriters to do original forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, things like that.”

“These are things that need to be done,” Michael said. Swintec makes its own typewriters, though the company doesn’t manufacture in the United States.

“They’re made off-shore, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia,” Michael tod FoxNews.com. “But they all ultimately end up here in New Jersey.” And just like Godrej, which specialized in sales to government agencies, there’s an industry keeping Swintec’s production lines rolling: prisons.

via Don’t Believe the Type! World’s Last Typewriter Maker Alive and Well in NJ – FoxNews.com.

27
Apr
11

4.27.2011 … waiting for the midwestern storms to move east …

British Monarchy, Prince Charles, Prince William, journalism, media, tabloid news:  I enjoy the history and heraldry of the Royal Family, but it just seems “so yesterday” … tabloid news not real news.  Is their story really worthy of our major news outlets …

Prince William and Kate Middleton will exchange vows Friday in a ceremony expected to be watched by almost a third of the planet. But if the story that day will be of a prince and his bride, another will also be playing out behind the scenes: a tale of two kings.

William’s popularity is helping reinvent the monarchy here, with his marriage to a glamorous bride cementing the easy-mannered 28-year-old’s image as the perfect 21st-century king. Yet even as he becomes the single greatest key to ensuring the future of the House of Windsor, many here say William is in danger of overshadowing his far less popular father, Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne.

Streets in London were sealed off so that hundreds of troops from the city’s Wellington and Hyde Park Barracks could hold a dress rehearsal for the royal wedding on the procession route. (April 27)

How did William and Kate meet? Which princess married — and then divorced — an Olympic medalist? Whose wedding gown was adorned with 20,00 pearls? Test your knowledge!

At stake, royal watchers say, is the public standing of the British monarchy, which during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed virtually unwavering support. Yet despite a relatively successful campaign to improve Charles’s image, an Ipsos Mori poll last week showed a greater percentage calling for William to leapfrog Charles to the throne than at any point since the 1997 death of Charles’s ex-wife and William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Forty-six percent of respondents now say Charles should step aside.

via In Britain, Prince William threatens to eclipse his father, Prince Charles – The Washington Post.

Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton, fashion, icons:  She looks pretty good … but if you look back prior to the engagement, she looks like a beautiful commoner.  She’s going to have a little help now with the transformation into a fashion icon.

She’s not even a princess yet, but Kate Middleton, the future bride of Prince William, is already being held up around the world as a fashion plate. Designers are scampering to imitate the dresses she wears, and fashionistas debate the meaning of her latest hat. When it turned out that the ruffled silk blouse Middleton wore in her engagement photos was no longer being sold, the Whistles store obligingly brought the style back.

via Kate Middleton: The Fashions – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Twitter, parenting:  Favorite of the day … I hope i am not a lawnmower parent … helicopter parent at least sounds more glamorous.

Word Spy

lawnmower parent n. A parent who smooths his or her children’s paths through life by solving their problems for them. http://wspy.ws/lawnm

via (39) Twitter / Home.

law, ethics, politics, King & Spalding, Atlanta:  Sometimes politics and lawyering don’t mix.

This week, the law firm hired by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, withdrew from the case in the wake of criticism from gay-rights groups. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general and a highly regarded litigator, who was to be the lead counsel on the case, resigned from the firm, King & Spalding, in protest. King & Spalding issued a bland statement saying it was dropping the case because it hadn’t adequately vetted the contract. It looks more like a cave-in to pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and other groups that warned King & Spalding that it could have trouble recruiting and retaining lawyers if it persisted in defending DOMA, a job the firm took on after the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer be doing so itself.

Now, the activists can certainly demand whatever they want, and it’s easy to understand their chagrin. DOMA is a discriminatory piece of legislation, made even more problematic by its disrespect for laws enacted by the states: it prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages that are legal in the states in which they occurred.

But giving in to pressure to rid yourself of a controversial client is never a good idea in our system. It sets a bad precedent and carries an unfortunate whiff of McCarthyite groupthink. The Los Angeles Times had it right when it editorialized that it understood the outrage,

But the suggestion that it’s shameful for Clement or his firm to do so misunderstands the adversarial process. For one thing, with sharp-witted counsel on both sides making the strongest possible arguments, it is more likely that justice will be done. For another, a lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible.

Clement will take up the defense of DOMA at his new firm, Bancroft P.L.L.C., which presumably is prepared for the disapproval that might come its way, and won’t back out. Maybe gay-rights groups can now return to making the strongest possible affirmative case for marriage equality, instead of trying to put its opponents out of commission.

via News Desk: Why DOMA Deserves A Lawyer : The New Yorker.

First Presbyterian Church, Rev. Roland Purdue:  Easter joke …. Rev Purdue does like to hear his congregation laugh!

So our interim minister today related a story that he often sees people he kind of knows but isn’t sure, since he travels a lot between churches. After service one day , he sees a woman he thinks he knows, so he he approaches her and says ” You look like Helen Brown,” to which she replied ” And you don’t look so good in black either!”

culture, gender issues, economics, traditions, marriage:  Name changing seems to be an expensive tradition.

FORGET ABOUT cash-stuffed wedding envelopes. A Dutch study suggests a way for brides to pick up an extra half million dollars by doing nothing–specifically, by not changing their names. Women who kept their maiden names were judged to be more professional than married-name doppelgangers and proved more likely to win a job, according to the research. They also attracted higher pay.

If the study results have real-world implications—and more on some limitations of the research in a moment—then as this season’s brides ponder a name-change, they might consider not only their shifting sentiments but economic realities.

via Are Maiden Names Really Worth $500,000? – SmartMoney.com.

Harper Lee, good stories, Jon Meacham, quotes:

Jon Meacham author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship (2004) said in an interview about Harper Lee for the book Scout, Atticus & Boo:

“I was with Harper Lee once in Sewanee, Tennessee, a couple of years ago at an occasion where Winston Churchill’s daughter and Miss Lee were receiving honorary degrees from the University of the South. At one of the events, the recipient stands up and says how they got to be where they are, and when Harper Lee stood up, she simply looked at Churchill’s daughter, Mary Soames, and said, “I would like to thank Lady Soames for everything, because if her father had not done what he did, I wouldn’t have been able to write anything at all.” And then she sat down. It was one of the most remarkably gracious things I have ever seen.”

via The Character of an Author – Nelle Harper Lee | Authors Say the Darndest Things.

Harper Lee, birthdays, 4/26, favorite posts, Jon Meacham:

It’s Harper Lee’s 85th birthday. Everyone who has ever wondered What Would Atticus Do? should raise a glass and drink to Miss Lee tonight.

via Jon Meacham./Facebook

Google Doodle birthdays, 4/26, John James Audubon:  I like this one …

Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon!

Google Doodle

via Google Doodle: Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon! – TIME NewsFeed.

Donald Trump, politics, balders:

A threat to the fledgling presidential campaign of Donald Trump emerged today, as a group of activists charged that Mr. Trump is not eligible to hold the nation’s highest office because his hair does not originate from the U.S.

The group, who call themselves “Balders,” claim that the hair-like substance that crowns Mr. Trump’s head is from a foreign country, which would mean that the candidate is less than one hundred percent American.

“Time and time again, Donald Trump has refused to produce a certificate of authenticity for his hair,” said Leeann Selwyn, a leading Balder.  “This is tantamount to a comb-over of the truth.”

via Trump Dogged By Rumors His Hair is Not From U.S. « Borowitz Report.




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