Posts Tagged ‘high school

20
Sep
13

9.20.13 … I love Texans, but I learned: don’t mess with Texans! (And I don’t get the mum thing) :) …

Texans, mums, high school:  Don’t mess with Texans!   I made fun of a friend who posted a picture of their daughter with the homecoming mum thing … they did not understand why it was so funny to me.

3. If you had/have a collection of mums

Image Via The Christys

I don’t know exactly how the Mum thing started in Texas, but it’s definitely a big deal. So big in fact that there are folks who call themselves professional Mum makers in a lot of Texas towns and mum making supplies at stores all over our state.

Via Texas Barbee Doll

Status in High Schools in Texas is based on how big of a mum you got. It’s a fact. The bigger and crazier the better. Heck, there are some that have flashing lights and make sounds!

4. You can’t believe that people outside of Texas don’t do the mum/corsage thing

I remember the first time I found out that people in other states didn’t do the Homecoming Mum thing I was floored. I grew up assuming that everyone did it. The truth is, it’s basically just a Texas thing. In fact, there are people that have moved here from out of state and are still baffled by it. Crazy right?

via 16 Signs You Went To School In Texas.

A few comments from Texas friends …

I have been here TEN years now…. and I can say for sure that TEXAS IS A STATE OF MIND! LOL

 I was glad that my girls thought the mums were pretty awful when they were in Texas high schools!

17
Feb
13

2.17.13 … I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year …

Charlotte, snow:  I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year.

photo

photo 2 photo 1   photo 3

photo 4 photo 5

history, Lent: So, I am a Pharisee now …

Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Don’t act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.”

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up ones strength and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Josephs Day March 19 and the Annunciation March 25, one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Dont act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.” Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

Wonder what it says about FB that so many people are abstaining from it for Lent?

and one of his friend’s comment …

I’m Betting they cheat and look ..just not commenting.

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.

via Daily Meditation: Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us.

Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being – this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead.

My goal for Lent is to remember this death, and to meditate on it in reverence, humility, and mystery. And to reflect not on the God who rules by power, but a god who leads by love; who identifies with the weak; whose foolishness upsets omniscience; a God who reveals Himself in many ways, who reveals Himself in a first century peasant named Jesus; a God who empties Himself of God, and offers Himself to his enemies in submission and servitude; who is concerned with the plight of widows and orphans, the least among us, and the disadvantaged; who sends Jesus to go after the marginalized and the misunderstood, and to bring back home again those who have been ostracized and forgotten.

I am giving up God for Lent to make room for God. I am prying open my fingers, and letting all of my theological idols crash to the ground. And I am lifting up my empty hands to Heaven in anticipation of God’s arrival, and quietly echoing the unsettling words of Meister Eckhart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

Kneeling in Jerusalem,  Ann Weems, Lent:  Ann Weems’ book  Kneeling in Jerusalem is a great resource during Lent.

LENT

Lent is a time to take the time

to let the power of our faith story take hold of us,

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

a time place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea and listen to his word,

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

a time to ponder and a time to wonder . . .

Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God!

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

clergywear, pastors, stoles, FPC-Charlotte, Lent,  fyi:

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

Of all the questions I have received since arriving as your pastor last September, the most popular has been about what we wear on Sunday during worship.

The name for what we wear around our necks is a “stole.” Stoles are worn by the clergy of many denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

The shape of a stole is reminiscent of a yoke that symbolizes the yoke of Christ, which reminds those of us who wear the stole (and those who see us wearing it) of whom we serve. Stoles are a symbol of ordained ministry – and are often given as gifts to a pastor on his or her ordination to service in the Church.

You may have noticed that the stoles we wear even change colors! The color of our stoles follows the season of the Christian year: purple in Advent and Lent, white in Christmas and Easter, green in ordinary times, and red in Pentecost.

You’ll also notice that the color of our stoles coordinates with the materials that cover both the pulpit and the communion table. These materials are called “paraments.”

Christians follow a different calendar – defined by our salvation history – because as we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are called to live a different kind of life.

Finally, most of your pastors’ stoles have a story – about where they were made or by whom they were given. Feel free to ask us about them sometime!

Pen

source: FirstNews

Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago Forum, bucket list: Thank you CCP for sharing this one.  One day …

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

architecture, I.M. Pei, Gateway Towers, Singapore, optical illusion, Wired.com:  strangely two-dimensional …

Gateway

Gateway Towers, Singapore

Completed in 1990, the trapezoidal shape of I.M. Pei’s Gateway Towers in Singapore create an optical illusion when viewed from certain angles — the 37-story office buildings appear strangely two-dimensional.

via Wired’s Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture | Wired Design | Wired.com.

uncreative writing, language, Digital Age, Brain Pickings:  subversive ..

The rest of Uncreative Writing goes on to explore the history of appropriation in art, the emerging interchangeability between words and images in digital culture, the challenges of defining one’s identity in the vastness of the online environment, and many other pressing facets of what it means to be a writer — or, even more broadly, a creator — in the age of the internet. Complement it with the equally subversive How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

via Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings.

art, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brain Pickings, 

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

Letters From Father Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas books that I shared with my children …  and to a large extent because of Tolkien’s whimsical drawings, I know I would love this edition of The Hobbit.

A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history’s greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer — a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

via Letters From Father Christmas: J.R.R. Tolkien: 0046442512657: Amazon.com: Books.

Obamacare, Uninsurables Program: I thought this was one of the good things about ObamaCare … 😦

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.

“From the beginning (the administration) has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”

via Obamacare ‘Uninsurables’ Program Quietly Winds Down As Funding Dries Up.

news, journalism, mobile journalism, end of an era, Poynter;  “News needs to solve problems” hmmm … ” We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.”

4. News needs to solve problems

A study by Flurry in November found that the news category only accounts for 2 percent of total time spent on mobile apps. Social apps gobble up 26 percent. Facebook alone accounts for 23 percent of all time spent with mobile apps, according to Comscore in December. That beats every news organization’s app combined by a long shot.

As Facebook (and Twitter) grow in time spent – and since both are populated with plenty of news – they’re increasingly competitive with news organizations’ mobile experiences by sheer volume.

As a result, simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

“The key insight from thinking about your business this way is that it is the job, and not the customer or the product, that should be the fundamental unit of analysis,” said Clayton Christensen, David Skok and James Allworth in a Nieman report. “This applies to news as much as it does to any other service.”

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself,” explains Y Combinator’s Paul Graham. “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.”

via 5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago | Poynter..

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Confirmation Process: One of my favorite lectures.  The speaker was a little dry, but I learned a great deal about the confirmation process from nomination to confirmation, vetting both by the White House and the Senate, the role of public relations and media, etc.  Once again, I have confirmed that I am a nerd.

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

Michael J. Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Law and Government, UNC School of Law

this session will explore the nuances of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. The speaker has significant experience in this arena. He advised several senators on the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel Alito Jr., and served as Special Counsel to Chair Patrick Leahy (D-vt.) as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning,  Student Athletes, Penn State, caveat emptor:  You should always be ticked when the presenter starts off telling you that there will be very little about Penn State despite the fact that it is in the title.

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

Barbara J. Osborne, Associate Professor, UNC Department of Exercise & Sport Science

this session will explain the 2012 U.S. Department of education’s Sexual violence guidance. Institutional liability will be discussed using recent situations involving student-athletes at the high school and college level, as well as the Office of Civil Rights’ complaint against Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Festival of Legal Learning.

Life With Dogs: Thank you, EWP,  for sharing this  Life With Dogs’s photo …

this is like one of those old-fashioned fox stoles that my grandmothers used to wear – EWP

Find Rufus Competition, corgies, visitlondon.com:  What is it with the Brits and corgies?

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

For your chance to win a romantic trip to London, use the clues to find Rufus in the map below. Remember, he’s only a little dog, so you might need to zoom in!

via Now See It For Yourself – Find Rufus Competition – visitlondon.com.

translation apps,  Google App,  NYTimes.com:  My husband downloaded an arabic translation app for his next trip to Kuwait.  We’ll see how that goes …

I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf and mute?The answer: yes, though knowing your way around it in advance will help. (United Nations interpreters need not fear for their jobs, at least not yet.) Here, then, are my tips, learned the hard way….

Pantomiming and phrasebooks have always worked for you in the past, and are more fun anyway? I hear you. But even if you want to stay old-school, the world is moving on without you. At least once a day during my trip, the Chinese broke out their own translation apps before I had a chance to break out mine. In other words, this train has already left the station. Or, to pick a cliché more appropriate to my trip, you don’t want to miss the boat.

via Lost in Translation? Try a Google App – NYTimes.com.

Carnival Cruise, Triumph Failure, Total PR Fiasco, bathrobes, twitter:  They may have tweeted too fast … bathrobe fiasco!

They may have been stranded aboard a busted cruise ship for five days with little food, broken sewage systems and no heat or air conditioning, but at least they’ll get to keep the bathrobe.

On Friday morning, as more than 3,000 tired and dirty customers finally disembarked from the stranded cruise ship Triumph, @CarnivalCruise tweeted, “Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.”

It was a remarkably tone-deaf finish to a week-long public relations fiasco that began Sunday night when an engine fire crippled the Caribbean-bound ship and set it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop news coverage and social media chatter brought the public vivid images of the fetid conditions aboard the Triumph. Reports from passengers included details about overflowing toilets, hours-long waits to get food and flooded rooms during the five days they were stranded at sea.

via Carnival Cruise Tells Passengers They Can Keep The Bathrobes In Total PR Fiasco.

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers, kith/kin, high school, Westminster Schools, memories, Brain Pickings: I had a friend in high school who got a hold of this.  I never laughed so hard as I did one night … Can anyone guess who possessed this “pamphlet”?

Between Edison’s scandalous footage of the first kiss in cinema in 1896 and Bill Plympton’s quirky animated guide to kissing a century later, the public image of lip-locking underwent some radical transformations. In 1936, the year my grandmother was born, a man named Hugh Morris penned a small illustrated pamphlet titled The Art of Kissing (public library), in which he guided young lovers through the techniques, tricks, and “approved methods of kissing,” including such varieties as “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss,” as well as tips on how to prepare for a kiss and how to approach a girl. Delightfully dated in its assumptions about love, heterosexuality, and marriage, it’s as much a charming time-capsule of a bygone era as it is a sure source of a good chuckle.

THE ‘VACUUM’ KISS

Here you start off by first opening your mouth a trifle just after you have been resting peacefully with closed lips. Indicate to your partner, by brushing her teeth with the tip of your tongue, that you wish for her to do likewise. The moment she responds, instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation, your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In this fashion, in a very short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be the sort of pain that is highly pleasurable. That may sound odd, but nevertheless it is a fact. Pain becomes so excruciating as to become pleasurable.

via The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers | Brain Pickings.

Valentine’s Day memes, follow-up:  Since I was off FB for VD … I enjoyed a belated FB experience this morning.  Some are nice … some,  not so nice …

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Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day gift, StoryCorps:  I think I’ll suggest this one to my husband for next year.  LOL

Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Grab your sweetheart and head to StoryCorps at the AHC to record your love story! Appointments are available this Saturday! http://ow.ly/hHctG

StoryCorps is pleased to be in partnership with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta.

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

via About Us | StoryCorps.

Downton Abbey, The Dowager Countess, quotes, LOL: : )

‎”I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.”

Georgia, Yumion – the Vidalia Onion, Vidalia GA, kitschy, corporate mascots:  I must admit, I would go out of my way to see Yumion … I have done so to see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and the Famous Idaho® Potato Truck …

Explore Georgia

Be sure to look for Yumion, the Vidalia Onion, when you visit Vidalia, Georgia! http://budurl.com/Vidalia

Tiffanys,  Costco, knockoffs, retail, knockoffs, icons, iconic jewelry, blue boxes, diamond rings,  ABC News:  If I were a bride, I’d be ticked …

Speaking of retail, a wild story. A big fight between tiffany’s and costco. Tiffany’s wants the big box store to knock off the knockoffs, selling fake versions of its iconic jewelry.

Here’s abc’s tanya rivero. Reporter: It’s the little blue box, versus the big box retailer. On valentine’s day, as lovers everywhere snuggled,iffany and co.

Slapped costco with a lawsuit. These pictures allegedly show tiffany koffs inside a california costco. Tiffany sent someone in, bought one of the rings.

They were not made by tiffany. They are not tiffany rings. They have nothing to do with tiffany.

Reporter: Being sold at a fraction of what real tiffany rings cost. Everybody would love a deal on a tiffany ring. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

Tiffany diamonds are never on sale. Reporter: Tiffany alleges costco had been selling the fakes for years. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of engagement rings were sold using the tiffany trademark.

Reporter: A rep for costco told abc news, we will be making no comment on this story as it involves pending litigation. Court papers say an unnamed consumer blew the whistle, contacting a tiffany store to complain. She was offended by the fact that tiffany would be selling engagement rings in costco.

In this particular case, there’s enormous room for confusion among consumers because costco does sell a of big brands at deep discounts. Reporter: Shoppers at tiffany’s flagship store weighed in. You think you’re buying into a brand.

And you find out it’s a rip-off. When you buy a tiffany diamond, you’re buying into the row mant schism and there’s only one place to get it. Costco has removed all tiffany labels.

But tiffany is a suing for additional mary damages. And whether customers will sue remains to be seen. If you have any doubt about a tiffany’s item you own, you can bring it into a tiffany’s store.

They’ll tell you if it’s the real thing. Diamonds are never on sale.

via Tiffanys Battles Costco Over Knock Off Diamond Rings | Video – ABC News.

 weddings,  trends, gold, The Huffington Post:  I am pretty traditional … but  I really like the gold …

Beyond emerald and yellow, one of the fastest growing color trends this year in weddings is gold. For a while, gold had become passé as platinum gained in popularity and silver made a resurgence. However, gold is back, and here to stay. With sequins so popular (we’re on board!), and because this color can be paired with so many options from pink to black and white, all that glitters is GOLD for 2013.

With the help of patterns and rose gold, check out our favorite golden wedding ideas in the gallery.

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

Twitter, David Boreanaz, Playmobil, adult play, random: So if I were to create a scene using playmobil figures, what would I create?

You see my photo!!!! Playmobil Bones!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Zb55U6pA

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random:

VALUE9.com India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

The Marine Corps on Friday unveiled their future mascot. If all goes as planned, Chesty the Recruit will become Private First Class Chesty XIV later this year, replacing Sgt Chesty XIII.

Chesty XIII became one of the most storied dogs in the long history of Marine Corps mascots when he faced off last year with Bravo, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s golden retriever.

As chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, the growling confrontation earned Chesty a promotion to Sergeant and raised the bulldog’s reputation among many of the enlisted and officers at the Marine Corps barracks. But it didn’t sit too well with some of the officer’s wives.

Some of the women viewed Chesty the XIII as crotchety and ill-mannered to guests. (Check out the video here.)

The Marines rolled out the red carpet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thursday night at the Home of the Commandants at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks. Bonnie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, met the latest Chesty Thursday night.

via Marines Roll Out Red Carpet for Chesty the Recruit – Washington Wire – WSJ.

short stories, literary genres, publishing, book industry, NYTimes.com.

The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.

Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.

“It is the culmination of a trend we have seen building for five years,” said Cal Morgan, the editorial director of Harper Perennial Originals, who until last year ran a blog called Fifty-Two Stories, devoted to short fiction. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers very engaged in experimentation.”

via A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling – NYTimes.com.

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.

12
May
11

5.12.2011 … Happy birthday not so prime husband 51 is NOT a prime number! … but you are definitely prime in every other way …

culture, psychology, fear of failure:  Interesting …

While failure may be an integral prerequisite for true innovation, the fact remains that most of us harbor a deathly fear of it — the same psychological mechanisms that drive our severe aversion to being wrong, only amplified. That fear is the theme of this year’s student work exhibition at Stockholm’s Berghs School of Communication and, to launch it, they asked some of today’s most beloved creators — artists, designers, writers — to share their experiences and thoughts on the subject. While intended as advice for design students, these simple yet important insights are relevant to just about anyone with a beating heart and a head full of ideas — a much-needed reminder of what we all rationally know but have such a hard time internalizing emotionally.

via Famous Creators on the Fear of Failure | Brain Pickings.

consumers, material things, Great Recession:  It’s good I always liked Target and Costco!

Bentleys and Hermès bags are selling again. Yet the wealthiest Americans are emerging from the financial downturn as different consumers than they were.

Lyndie Benson says she now mentally calculates the “price per wear” of designer clothing. As the wife of saxophonist Kenny G, Ms. Benson, a photographer, can afford what she wants. She used to make a lot of impulse purchases, she says. But when shopping in Malibu, Calif., recently, she stopped herself before buying a gray Morgane Le Fay suit she’d tried on. “I walked outside and thought, ‘Hmmm, I don’t really love it that much,’ ” she says with contentment.

A number of surveys released in the past six weeks suggest Ms. Benson’s new selectiveness is widespread among the wealthiest Americans. Though many of these people might seem unscathed by the financial crisis—they didn’t lose their homes, jobs or retirement savings—they were deeply affected by what took place around them. “If you’re conscious at all, it just seeps in,” Ms. Benson says.

via Post-Recession, the Rich Are Different – WSJ.com.

photography, organization: Overwhelming is right!

It’s easy to post your photos on Facebook. What’s not so easy is managing them—organizing all your digital files so that you can find individual pictures without scrolling through hundreds.

Bradly Treadaway, digital media coordinator and faculty member at the International Center of Photography in New York, knows how overwhelming the task can be. He recently digitized about 5,000 printed photos and slides from his family, some of which date back 180 years. Developing a system for managing your photos is “like learning a new language,” he says.

The key to staying organized is doing a lot of work up front to sort and label the photos when you first transfer them from camera to computer. Mr. Treadaway keeps his main collection on a hard drive, rather than in a Web-based archive, because he feels that photo-management programs for computers offer more choices for how to edit, share and retain the photos.

Mr. Treadaway uses Adobe Photoshop Lightroom; for nonprofessionals, he suggests programs like iPhoto or the desktop version of Google’s Picasa.

via Make Organizing Your Photos a Snap – WSJ.com.

food, favorites, recipes:  Pasta Primavera is one of those dishes that I still remember how good it tasted the first time I had it ….

Pasta primavera, which means “springtime pasta,” is an American invention — at least as American as, say, fettuccine Alfredo. It first appeared on the menu at Le Cirque in the 1970s, and Sirio Maccioni, that restaurant’s owner, not only takes credit for it but was also quoted in 1991 in The Times saying, “It seemed like a good idea and people still like it.”

But with all due respect to Mr. Maccioni, is pasta primavera still a good idea? Which is to say, pasta tossed with every vegetable under the sun, spring or not — broccoli, tomatoes, peas, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans, you name it — and enough cream to smother any hint of freshness? I’m all in favor of pasta with vegetables, but I want to be able to taste them. And I want them to be prepared thoughtfully.

via Mark Bittman – The Pasta Primavera Remix – NYTimes.com.

food, Paris, blog posts:  Fun post from Gourmet Live – App Exclusive: French Women Heart Frites. And Nine More Parisian Lies — Gourmet Live.

high school, testing, SAT, Apps:  I may utilize this list …

Apps that help teenagers study for the SAT (or, for those not living on either coast, the ACT) are improving, as traditional test-prep businesses like Princeton Review and Kaplan refine their mobile software to compete with start-ups.

Several to consider on this front include Princeton Review’s SAT Score Quest for iPad (free) and SAT Vocab Challenge for iPhone ($5), Kaplan SAT Flashcubes (free) and SAT Connect ($10 for Apple). For math, Adapster ($10 on Apple) is designed nicely.

via New and Better Apps Help Students Study for SAT – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, twitter:  Tweeting for a missing snake is one thing … this one disturbs me.  Let him rest in peace, wherever he is.

In the days after Osama bin Laden was killed, a number of anonymous parodists created fake bin Laden Twitter accounts, tweeting what they called excerpts from the terrorists’ journal, his thoughts as a ghost, and observations from his new residence in hell.

via Osama bin Laden tweets from the dead – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

tv, soap operas, end of an era:  I loved watching soaps when I visited my grandparents in the summer … and in law school.  I wonder if my children even know what a soap opera is?

In today’s Academic Minute, Quinnipiac University’s Paul Janensch discusses the radio roots of a rapidly disappearing entertainment genre, the soap opera. Janensch is emeritus professor of journalism at Quinnipiac.

via Demise of Soap Operas / Academic & Pulse / Audio – Inside Higher Ed.

iPhone Lite: Rumors, rumors, rumors …

These are all tweaks that would significantly reduce the production price without necessarily degrading the user experience (particularly relevant is the smaller memory, which means the phones would benefit from Apple’s overhaul of MobileMe, widely expected to be cloud-centric). A drop in price like this would let Apple sell an iPhone Lite at a knock-down price, much as it has done previously with earlier edition iPhones, without necessarily fragmenting its platform, and enabling it to scoop up more of the low-end market that it’s partially ceded to Android.

via More Evidence That An iPhone Lite Is En Route | Fast Company.

iPhone Apps, neighborhood watch, Brookwood Hills:  Beware kids … when we started a neighborhood watch in Brookwood Hills in the 70s, our block volunteer was the wonderful “old maid” across the street. Well, a college girl was home for the summer … she loved about ten houses down … her parents were out of town … and her boyfriend would come stay every night and leave his car in front of Ms. Mackie’s house … guess what she did … she called the police!

It’s not the only instance of becoming the virtual. Home Elephant bills itself as “the world’s first app for neighbors to connect.” It serves as a sort of virtual neighborhood watch.

via Mister Rogers’ App | Fast Company.

libraries, architecture, University of Chicago:  UofC’s new library does from the outside what a library is intended to do … opens up the world to the user.

The library’s reading room, which sits directly beneath the building’s curving dome of steel and glass, will be open to university students, faculty and staff. But books and other printed materials won’t be moved to the library’s underground storage area until next fall. The dedication of the library won’t happen until October.

via Cityscapes: Reading room of Jahn’s U. of C. Mansueto Library to open next week.

To Kill a Mockingbird, movies, bookshelf,  Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird, 
documentary:

Fifty years after it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, filmmaker Mary Murphy’s documentary explores the continued influence of “To Kill a Mockingbird” through interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Wally Lamb, as well as author Harper Lee’s family and friends.

via The Real Story Behind ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – Speakeasy – WSJ.

guerilla improv/spontaneous musicals, new term:  “Guerilla improv”  … don’t you just love the term.

Guerrilla improv troupe Improv Everywhere struck again last month at GEL Conference, the annual gathering of tech/social media/business voices in New York City.

With the help of GEL founder Mark Hurst, the covert entertainers pulled off one of their signature “Spontaneous Musicals” at the top of Twirlr founder John Reynolds’ presentation. Just as he tells the audience to politely turn off their mobile devices, a man suddenly rises and begins singing about the audacity of the request.

via ‘Gotta Share’ The Musical: Improv Everywhere Strikes Again At GEL Conference (VIDEO).

Coca-Cola, culture, quotes:  “Coke ‘started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. … A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.'”

The 125th anniversary of the first Coca-Cola sold — on May 8, 1886, for 5 cents — has inspired the release of “Coca-Cola,” a collection of images of the beverage, in realms real and imagined, from Assouline. Arguably the world’s most ubiquitous brand, the jolly red logo has been pasted on just about every susceptible surface on the planet, and this book serves to remind us youngsters of the breadth and endurance of its appeal, just in case it wasn’t already stitched into the fabric of our pop culture psyches. Indeed, at times, “Coca-Cola” seems less a birthday tribute to the stamina of a yummy, fizzy black taste with mysterious origins and more a tribute to several generations of successful advertising. And let’s not forget its importance as a symbol of what’s great about our republic. As Andy Warhol, no stranger to ubiquity or commercialism, contests on Page 8, Coke “started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. … A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.”

via Pop Culture – NYTimes.com.

Three Cups of Tea, bookshelf:  Lots of discussion … I am reading it now … it is a good book … sad that it is fabricated.

With the first cup of tea, you are a stranger. With the second cup of tea, you are an honored guest. With the third cup of tea, you become family. This Balti proverb lends Greg Mortenson’s book, Three Cups of Tea, its name. But with a class action lawsuit filed against him in early May following investigations by writer John Krakauer and 60 Minutes, what is needed now is three cups of compassion.

The story of Greg Mortenson’s journey in his first book, Three Cups of Tea, tells the story of a young man listening and learning from those in a distant valley in Pakistan and the good that came from it. Krakauer in his Three Cups of Deceit tells how this story of a heart in the right place has been prettied up for publication and followed with financial mismanagement, as well as building schools in places unprepared to begin educating students in the buildings. As we act on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 that we are to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, we must not lose sight of those in developing nations as fellow members of the Body of Christ with gifts to offer and wisdom born of a deeper understanding of the local geography, weather, and culture. We must learn from each other and work together, not merely applying a solution from elsewhere, even another valley in the same mountains, to a new setting unthinkingly.

via Episcopal News Service – COMMENTARY.

The one thing in this story that makes me eternally grateful

is that we still have a 60 Minutes and New York Times doing investigative reporting and practicing real journalism. In an era where opinion-spewing and celebrity-swooning routinely pass for news, it’s good to know a few people are out there doing the hard work of covering–and uncovering–things we need to know.

via Three cups of humility. | What Gives 365.

consumerism, material things:  OK, I like this iPad case … in case you want to get me a present. 🙂

Image of iPad case in red and white gingham wool

Thrillist.com.

alcoholism, recovery, AA:  Very interesting …

But I believe that when people are in positions of power related to addictions — treatment providers, policy makers, etc. — it’s imperative that they be transparent about their associations and connections. It’s fine to be anonymous about your own path to recovery when you are the only one being affected, but it’s not appropriate when you seek to influence public health or policy.

via Taking the ‘Anonymous’ Out of AA: Should Recovering Addicts Come Out of the Closet? – – TIME Healthland.

ObL Family: 

But at the end, his rosy portrayal of being married to jihad was sorely tested. His family must have driven him nuts. During his last days in Abbottabad, Pakistan, bin Laden had to contend with three wives and 17 noisy children under one roof. He had no escape from the din, save for furtive pacing around the garden late at night or vanishing into his so-called Command and Control Center, a dank, windowless room. Swathed against the Himalayan chill in a woolen shawl, he recorded rants that displayed an ever widening disconnect with the daily grind of terrorism: his last oddball offerings were on climate change and capitalism.

via Big Love: Bin Laden Tried to Keep Wives Separate but Equal – TIME.

2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney, healthcare, states’ rights:

Mitt Romney says last year’s Democratic-passed health care law is a federal government takeover of health delivery. But he says his somewhat similar Massachusetts law was right for his state.

The likely Republican presidential candidate on Thursday defended the law enacted in 2006 when he was Massachusetts governor. Both the state and federal laws require people to obtain health insurance.

Romney said his program was a state solution to a state problem. He said the Obama-backed law is a power-grab by the federal government to impose a one-size-fits-all plan on all 50 states.

via Mitt Romney Tackling Health Care Vulnerability.

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May
11

5.11.2011 … birthday eve at Chez T … Loved this description from ABC: “The Real Housewives of Abbottabad” …

food, kith/kin:  My sister served this last year … when I heard about it I acted like a 5-year old … i.e. YUCK … but it is very good and I think I will serve it tonight!

Watermelon and tomato are two fruits that complement each another in an unusual way. When you cut up and combine them, their distinctions become a little blurry and each masquerades as the other. The tomato’s acidity becomes tamed, as does the melon’s sweetness; their juices mingle, and even their flesh seems to meld.

via Recipe of the Day: Watermelon and Tomato Salad – NYTimes.com.

gLee, tv, Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, pop culture:  Last night’s episode didn’t work too well for me … but I find it interesting how ” Rebecca Black’s inane, idiotic autotuned song ‘Friday'” is making its way through pop culture.

That bit of lyric from Rebecca Black’s inane, idiotic autotuned song “Friday” got a treatment so … darn good and infectious that you just have to tip your hat to Artie, Sam and Puck for starting prom night jumpin’. They lit up the crowd, simultaneously mocking and honoring the vapidness of a YouTube pop anthem. Artie’s rap made it more legit.

via ‘Glee,’ Season 2, Episode 20, ‘Prom Queen’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – W

fashion, Kate Middleton:  I am not a huge fashion person … I have my uniform … but I like this column where they tell you where to find a celebrity’s outfit …

Where did Kate Middleton go for her first public appearance since Wedding Weekend? Grocery shopping! The newlywed grabbed some necessities at her local Waitrose supermarket in Anglesey, Wales last week, where she topped off her skinny black jeans and white sweater with acozy cashmere shawl by knitwear brand Minnie RosePeople reports. Similar styles by the designer are available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $280 and The Girls Room for $298. The new Duchess of Cambridge also trotted to the store in a pair of brown patent crocodile ballet flats by British footwear company London SoleThe $165 “Pirouette” shoes feature fabric lining and working drawstrings, and are currently in stock atLondonSole.com

via http://news.instyle.com/2011/05/10/kate-middleton-grocery-shopping/.

travel, in-flight entertainment: Something new …

TWO massive pieces of news from the giddy world of in-flight entertainment. Firstly, passengers flying with American Airlines (AA) may soon be able to stream films and TV shows from an in-flight library direct to their own Wi-Fi-enabled media players. Rather than watch on the sometimes rather poky players embedded in the seat in front, they can enjoy “The Fast and the Furious” on the larger screens of their laptops and iPads. AA is testing the technology on two planes, but it could be rolled out across more flights in the autumn if the Federal Aviation Administration is happy.

Elsewhere in the sky, Singapore Airlines has launched its new e-Magazine. Twenty publications, including Bloomberg Businessweek and Elle, have been made available for perusal via the in-flight entertainment systems on the carrier’s Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER services. This roll-out follows a successful trial with three of Singapore Airlines’ in-house magazines. The future plan is to serve even more magazines on more flights.

via In-flight entertainment: Entertaining improvements | The Economist.

high school, superlatives, questions:  Were you most likely to succeed?  What do you think?  Any long-term impact?

Schools Shunning Senior Polls

An estimated 1 in 4 high-school senior classes this month are conducting the ritual pre-graduation vote to choose one or two members “most likely to succeed.” But the trend may not last much longer.

Schools are veering away from senior-class “superlatives” polls. Kelly Furnas, executive director of the Journalism Education Association at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., estimates that about 25% of high-school yearbooks still name one or more students “most likely to succeed,” down from about 75% two decades ago. One reason, says Mike Hiestand, an attorney in Ferndale, Wash., and legal consultant to the nonprofit Student Press Law Center, Arlington, Va., is that some labels, such as “worst reputation” or “most likely to have a conversation with himself,” can raise legal concerns about damaging students’ future prospects.

via ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Burden – WSJ.com.

iPhone, Apps:  I already have this App … now I know something to do with it.

Google’s “Goggles” app does many things, all of which revolve around using your phone to take a picture of something. Google then analyzes that picture using dark magic known as image recognition and returns relevant information to you. Take a photo of a famous piece of artwork, for instance, and you’ll get information about its artist, its value and so on.

One of the more useful features is Goggles’ ability to capture images of business cards and, with the latest version of the Android app, parse the relevant information from a particular card and add it under the appropriate headings of a new contact entry.

via Google Goggles’ Business Card Recognition Works like a Dream – Techland – TIME.com.

fifty-somethings, health, Dave Barry:  Good incentive to just do it.

And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking “Dancing Queen! Feel the beat from the tambourine . . .”

. . . and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that it was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

But my point is this: In addition to being a pathetic medical weenie, I was a complete moron. For more than a decade I avoided getting a procedure that was, essentially, nothing. There was no pain and, except for the MoviPrep, no discomfort. I was risking my life for nothing.

via Dave Barry: A journey into my colon — and yours – Dave Barry – MiamiHerald.com.

google doodles, Martha Graham, dance, arts:  Loved this one …

The line. The leap. The leg kick. It is arguably the most elegant Google Doodle yet.

The folks at Google celebrate what would have been pioneering dancer/choreographer Martha Graham’s 117th birthday with a beguiling short animation by “motiongrapher” Ryan Woodward .

via GOOGLE DOODLE: Today’s animation celebrates dance pioneer Martha Graham – Comic Riffs – The Washington Post.

natural disasters, flooding, history, lists:  None of the historical floods impacted my areas …. but interesting to think about what you remember of the ones in your lifetime.

In light of the current flooding of the Mississippi River, TIME’s Kayla Webley spoke to Robert Holmes, a flood expert with the U.S. Geological Survey, about some of the largest floods in America’s history

via Mississippi River, 1927 – Top 10 Historic U.S. Floods – TIME.

Albert Einstein,  scientists, people, icons:  Don’t you just want to hug him … great article … read on.

He was the embodiment of pure intellect, the bumbling professor with the German accent, a comic cliche in a thousand films. Instantly recognizable, like Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, Albert Einstein’s shaggy-haired visage was as familiar to ordinary people as to the matrons who fluttered about him in salons from Berlin to Hollywood. Yet he was unfathomably profound–the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.

World War II, Einstein became even more outspoken. Besides campaigning for a ban on nuclear weaponry, he denounced McCarthyism and pleaded for an end to bigotry and racism. Coming as they did at the height of the cold war, the haloed professor’s pronouncements seemed well meaning if naive; Life magazine listed Einstein as one of this country’s 50 prominent “dupes and fellow travelers.” Says Cassidy: “He had a straight moral sense that others could not always see, even other moral people.” Harvard physicist and historian Gerald Holton adds, “If Einstein’s ideas are really naive, the world is really in pretty bad shape.” Rather it seems to him that Einstein’s humane and democratic instincts are “an ideal political model for the 21st century,” embodying the very best of this century as well as our highest hopes for the next. What more could we ask of a man to personify the past 100 years?

via Albert Einstein (1879-1955) — Printout — TIME.

nature, astronomy, news:  Might have to get up early and look …

It was the Mayans — or maybe the Romans or the Greeks or the Sumerians — who called the shot this time, evidently on a day Nostradamus phoned in sick. Apparently, a rogue planet named Nibiru (which frankly sounds more like a new Honda than a new world) is headed our way, with a cosmic crack-up set for next year. No matter who’s behind the current prediction, there are enough people ready to spread and believe in this kind of end-of-the-world hooey that you have to wonder if the earth isn’t starting to take things personally.

Regrettably, the Nibiru yarn got a boost in recent days with the very real announcement that an alignment of several of the very real planets will be taking place this month, offering a fleeting treat for stargazers willing to get up before sunrise and take a look. Even this genuine cosmic phenomenon, however, may be a bit less than it appears.

Beginning today and lasting for a few weeks, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Mars will be visible in the early morning sky, aligned roughly along the ecliptic — or the path the sun travels throughout the day. Uranus and Neptune, much fainter but there all the same, should be visible through binoculars. What gives the end-of-the-worlders shivers is that just such a configuration is supposed to occur on Dec. 21, 2012, and contribute in some unspecified way to the demolition of the planet. But what makes that especially nonsensical — apart from the fact that it’s, you know, nonsense — is that astronomers say no remotely similar alignment will occur next year.

via Six Planets Will Be Aligning, but the Earth Will Not End – TIME.

Osama bin Laden’s death, ObL family, moral issues:  Like I said … great international law exam/bar question

The sons of Osama bin Laden have issued a statement that accuses the U.S. of violating international law by killing an unarmed man and dumping his body in the ocean.

via Osama Bin Laden Son Omar: U.S. Broke Law in Killing Their Father – ABC News.

Osama bin Laden’s death, ObL family:  “The Real Housewives of Abbottabad”  – interesting short piece on his wives. VIDEO: Osama Bin Laden’s Widows to Come Forward – ABC News.

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Apr
11

4.26.2011 … 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl … an event we hoped would never repeat itself …

random acts of violence, Robert Barber, prayers:  Truly random .. truly senseless … Prayers for comfort for  his wife and family as they go through the  grieving/mourning process.  As I mentioned he and his wife go to my church, but I do not know them … but  a good friend is their neighbor and they own puppies from a litter of the Barbers’ golden.  So not only well-respected in the business world, heavily involved in the community and church,  but dog people, too.  Prayers to the accused and his family too … their lives have been changed forever by a senseless random act.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe said Monday that Chauncey Sterling was looking for a victim to rob Friday morning when he allegedly fatally shot hospital executive Robert Barber on a south Charlotte residential street.

Sterling, 18, was arrested Sunday night in his hometown of Rock Hill and charged in Barber’s murder.

“We believe it was a random act that started as a robbery,” Monroe said during a midday news conference Monday at police headquarters in Charlotte. “Mr. Barber was an innocent victim.”

via Teen arrested in killing of Charlotte executive | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Easter, follow-up, Pentecost:

   Luke’s very first sentence tips us off to where he’s going, how the very first Christians conceived of themselves, and what God is calling us to do today:  I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up (Acts 1:1).  Jesus began to do certain things – and so whatever his agenda had been, this became their script, their to-do list, their vision of the rest of their lives.

Easter isn’t a season that passes.  The mind-boggling fact of Jesus’ resurrection means we are forever attached to him; we find meaning and purpose insofar as we mimic him, and enact what he began to do.

Our problem?  We ignore Jesus, or never bother finding out what he began to do; or worse, we do whatever we prefer, we get busy with our pet projects, and try to glue Jesus on the outside of what isn’t of Jesus at all!  God is merciful when we do this – but we can do better, far better.

via All Jesus began to do – read Acts 1:1-5.

Japan Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl:  I mentioned to my daughter that japan’s disaster had been upgraded to a 7, the same as Chernobyl.  She did not know what Chernobyl was … I guess they did not cover that in World History.  I’ll have to ask her if she has heard of Three Mile Island.

Tuesday, April 26 is the 25th anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident. It set in motion events that today still significantly affect Ukraine. A special video from Gary Lee, who was on the ground in Chernobyl during the disaster, looks back at that time:

Following the recent earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Chernobyl accident and its aftermath have a particular importance this year. As the Washington Post’s Will Englund reported, “The significance of Chernobyl for Japan lies in the question of what happens next. Even if the scope of contamination is smaller, Fukushima will demand of the Japanese a commitment of unforeseeable dimensions.”

via Chernobyl 25 years later – A lesson for Japan – The Washington Post.

RIP, typewriters, technology:  No more typewriters … 😦

It’s an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce – the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.

via Godrej and Boyce: World’s last typewriter factory closes its doors in Mumbai | Mail Online.

Zombie literature, kith/kin:  J is on a zombie kick.  Any suggestions?  He has read the two by Max Brooks.

Famed horror novelist Stephen King has mined the zombie theme, first with 1990’s “Home Delivery”, written for the aforementioned Book of the Dead compilation and detailing a small town’s attempt to defend itself from a classic zombie outbreak. In 2006 King published Cell, which concerns a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide zombie outbreak, created by “The Pulse”, a global electromagnetic phenomenon that turns the world’s cellular phone users into bloodthirsty, zombie-like maniacs. Cell was a number-one bestseller upon its release[39]

Aside from Cell, the most well-known current work of zombie fiction is 2006’s World War Z by Max Brooks, which was an immediate hit upon its release and a New York Times bestseller.[40] Brooks had previously authored the cult hit The Zombie Survival Guide, an exhaustively researched, zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides published in 2003.[1] Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because:

Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race…. Zombies are slate wipers.

via Zombies in popular culture.

Zombies, culture, science: … Any connection?

An airborne virus is rapidly turning people into zombies. Two-thirds of humanity has been wiped out. Scientists desperately look for a cure, even as their own brains deteriorate and the disease robs them of what we consider life.

Relax, it’s only fiction — at least, for now. This apocalyptic scenario frames the new novel “The Zombie Autopsies” by Dr. Steven Schlozman, a child psychiatrist who holds positions at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Program in Child Psychiatry.

You might not expect someone with those credentials to take zombies seriously, but it turns out the undead are a great way to explore real-world health issues: why certain nasty diseases can destroy the brain, how global pandemics create chaos and fear, and what should be done about people infected with a highly contagious and incurable lethal illness.

“One of the things zombie novels do is they bring up all these existential concerns that happen in medicine all the time: How do you define what’s alive?” says Schlozman, who has been known to bounce between zombie fan conventions and academic meetings.

“When is it appropriate to say someone’s ‘as-good-as-dead,’ which is an awful, difficult decision?”

via Inside zombie brains: Sci-fi teaches science – CNN.com.

street art, graffiti:  Fun to run across one of  these …

Amazing 3-D chalk guy.

law, pc, law firms, King & Spalding, legal ethics:  I guess K&S found the risk outweighed the rewards of this representation.  Is political correctness a reason for withdrawal?

The Atlanta law firm King & Spalding on Monday filed a motion to withdraw from its participation in defending the Defense of Marriage Act, prompting the immediate resignation of high-profile partner Paul Clement.

The law firm had come under fire from gay rights groups when partner Clement agreed to defend the law for Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. The act defines marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.

“Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal,” Robert D. Hays Jr., the firm’s chairman said.  “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”

Clement, the head of King & Spalding’s national appellate practice, was to be paid $520 an hour for his representation. He once served as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush.  The Obama administration has said it will no longer defend the law in court.

via King & Spalding no longer defending Defense of Marriage Act  | ajc.com.

education,  high school, grade inflation, misleading course titles = inflation:  Interesting insight.

“Like the misleading drink labels, course titles may bear little relationship to what students have actually learned,” said Dr. Mellor, who has analyzed course completion, test records and other student data in Texas “We see students taking more and more advanced courses, but still not performing well on end-of-course exams.”

The 2009 results — the most recent available — of the federal test that measures change in achievement levels over decades showed that the nation’s 17-year-olds were scoring no higher in reading and math than in 1973. SAT scores have dropped or flat-lined, too, since 2000.

via As High School Course Titles Become Inflated, Test Scores Fail to Follow – NYTimes.com.

cover art, Royal Wedding:  OK, I liked this one.

The image that was chosen is a variant on that last idea, but, rather than “doing it,” Prince William and Kate Middleton are “in a perfect pose, with shame and embarrassment. They’re aghast.” Blitt adds, “Prince Charles is great to draw and so is the Queen. Those people are already caricatures.”

via News Desk: Cover Story: Royals in Bed : The New Yorker.

Davidson, Davidson College:  For the past 25 years Davidson has moved the college back on the central campus.  They moved the student PO, they improved food service so not much need to go downtown, etc.  Now there is a move to reconnect the students with the town.  As it should be … a college town.

The college’s purchase and plans for the building have major implications for both downtown Davidson and the college, business owners and others said.

A 10-year facilities master plan approved by Davidson Trustees a year ago called for relocating the college bookstore operation off campus. A report outlining that plan noted the success of the Cats on Main apparel and souvenir store at 131 Main St. and suggested expanding it.

Cats on Main opened in 2009 at 131 N. Main St., next door to the BB&T building. The college plans to consolidate the successful shop into an expanded college bookstore in the BB&T building. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

Cats on Main currently leases a storefront in a block of buildings owned by Dr. Tom Clark and Joe Poteat, the men behind Cairn Studio. Cairn formerly operated the Tom Clark Museum in the current Cats on Main space, showing off the company’s gnome figurines. That store’s lease ends in July 2012 and its operations will be combined with the new college bookstore at 137 N. Main St. in August 2012, in time for the start of the school year.

After the college moves the bookstore downtown, it plans to renovate the bookstore’s current space in the Alvarez College Union for “student services.”

via College buys BB&T bldg. for $1.25M, to put bookstore there | DavidsonNews.net.

politics, Great Recession, partisan politics, class war:  Grim scenario …

So the Ryan plan worsens our trillion-dollar structural deficit and the Obama plan amounts to small potatoes, at best. Worse, we are about to descend into class war because the Obama plan picks on the rich when it should be pushing tax increases for all, while the Ryan plan attacks the poor when it should be addressing middle-class entitlements and defense.

In the real world, however, the global bond market is already rumbling — and around the corner, a fiscal conflagration surely lies.

via The Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness – NYTimes.com.

20
Jan
11

1.20.2011 global connections at Davidson … sometimes it is fun to be back in school …

Davidson, globalization:  Attended a gathering at Davidson with John on Global Connections and so enjoyed being in the educational environment.  We heard from Chris Alexander on Tunisia, Shelly Ridder on China, a student panel of 4 current students (2 international students currently at Davidson and 2 US students who recently returned from India and Syria, respectively) and skyped with a student in the Dominican Republic and another in Egypt.  Fascinating.

Williams’ commitment to the best possible study-abroad experience for every student is front and center, especially now: this year’s campus theme is “Global Connections.”

via Global Connections | davidsonjournal.

… Here is a list of the topics I encountered at this gathering:

  1. Tunisia and it’s recent turmoil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisia
  2. McWorld
    The two axial principles of our age — tribalism and globalism — clash at every point except one: they may both be threatening to democracy by Benjamin R. Barber
    http://www.globalissues.org/print/article/374
  3. clash of civilizations … http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/48950/samuel-p-huntington/the-clash-of-civilizations
  4. Devolution of rights
  5. Wars of necessity v. Wars of choice
  6. Minutization, transnational travel, communication
  7. Warmaking values: great moral good v great moral evil (language of religion) or non religious. We use language of religion.
  8. Privatized predatory corruption.
  9. Power Transition theory … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_transition_theory
  10. Rising Power Theory … http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0034.pdf
  11. MIddle Kingdom Syndrome …

Some even say that the restoration of an international order where the Middle Kingdom gains supremacy in the region and beyond is on the agenda of the Chinese leadership.

An October article in the online edition of the U.S.-based ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine claimed that Beijing has abandoned its philosophy of a “peaceful rise”. It argues that China is harking back to a Sino-centric view of the world where it sits atop the political hierarchy and other sovereign states are seen as lesser entities in deference to the Middle Kingdom.

Disquiet about the revival of a Sino-centric mentality among the Chinese ruling elite has surfaced even in hardcore nationalistic media outlets like China’s ‘Global Times’ newspaper.

“China’s success is the result of reform and opening up but success has not brought a more open mind. On the contrary, it has caused the return of a self-centred ideology,” said a signed opinion piece on Oct. 11. “The cultures around China have, historically, worried about being engulfed by other powerful civilisations. Now they feel uncomfortable with …China’s over- emphasis on its own civilisation,” it said.

via Growing China Worries Neighbours – IPS ipsnews.net.

… and John and I kept looking around the room wondering if maybe the next college president was sitting with us.  🙂

Apps: While at Davidson I took notes on my iPad.  I think I will get this App and try it next time I am in that environment.

PaperDesk for iPad ($1.99)

If you want a fully featured do-everything inking app, PaperDesk for iPad is the one for you. It has all of the basic features you’d expect to find in an inking app, such as five different paper types, plus a rainbow of ink color choices and full control over brightness, opacity, and pen size. But there’s a lot more to PaperDesk than that: it allows you to combine text, sketches, and audio recordings on the same page. That means that you can record your class lectures and take notes at the same time!

This app also solves the problem I mentioned with Penultimate, because it slightly shrinks the drawing area and minimizes the toolbar when in landscape mode. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it greatly reduces the amount of scrolling necessary while still offering a large drawing surface.

You can sync your notes with myPaperDesk.com, ensuring that all of your notes will always be accessible. Notes can also be shared via email. At just $1.99 for the full version in the App Store, this is a must-buy app for anyone who takes notes by hand. If you’re still not sure, a free lite version is available, which limits you to three notebooks.

via Best Student Organizer and Notetaking Apps for the iPad.

college, application process, UNC-CH:  Using the Common App increases applications 15-20 percent!

More than 400 universities currently use the Common Application in an effort to simplify the college admissions process.

“It allows the student to fill out an application one time and then to choose the colleges among those members of the group to submit the application to,” said Barbara Polk, deputy director of undergraduate admissions.

UNC would expect an increase of 15 to 20 percent in total applicants if the Common Application were enacted, Polk said, adding that peer institutions such as the University of Virginia and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor experienced similar increases when they adopted the application.

Triangle-area schools such as Duke University and Meredith College in Raleigh have already adopted the Common Application.

“Most of the top-tier colleges in the country use the Common Application, and we’re one of the few that don’t,” Polk said. “That isn’t necessarily good for the positioning of the University.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC may switch to the Common Application.

education, Davidson:  Interesting history of courses at Davidson.

In the spring of 1911, the college issued a new college catalog – one that contained a small but significant shift. The course listings for 1909-1901o catalog included a heading for Mental and Moral Philosophy.  The new catalog listed Philosophy and Psychology.

The name change signals a shift in ideas about classical education and the acceptance of new academic fields. Davidson College had offered a course in Mental Philosophy since its beginnings, usually offered only to seniors and as part of a collection of “philosophies”–moral, natural, mechanical, and mental -using readings from classical authors to explain the wonders of the natural world and humankind.  Three years earlier, the February 1908 catalog carried the first listing for a class in Biology.  Seven years earlier than that (taking us back to 1901), the college had its first president with a Ph.D.

via From Mental Philosophy to Psychology — Around the D.

iPhone:  Edward has been holding out for a white one.

You probably hear a rumor about the white iPhone 4 once a week, but it seems this time the news might be true. Macrumors has received a screenshot of what supposedly is a Best Buy inventory database showing that the mythical product will be available in stock February 27, just in time for a late Valentine’s Day present. It could be a well thought out prank, but the SKU and model numbers match the ones that Best Buy issued when the white iPhone was available for pre-order last year before Apple delayed the release.

via Best Buy: Nothing To Share or Announce This Time About White iPhone 4 – Techland – TIME.com.

media, technology, changes: It’s definitely changed how and when I read.

Printed media used to allow us to read in the places we found most comfortable.  When you imagine yourself reading the newspaper it’s probably in your favorite chair, at the breakfast table, or at the cafe with an orange mocha frappuccino in your hand.

Unfortunately, as news and media moves online, it moves us away from these places and into our desk chairs.  Even worse, consuming content is no longer on our own schedule.  The flood of content disrupts us all day as if we have an maniacal paperboy throwing new editions on our doorstep every 15 seconds.

However, after studying Read It Later’s own data, it seems that this trend is being reversed.  I’ve found that as devices become more mobile, it’s not only changing where we read, but when.  Today, I’d like to show you some of the data behind this movement.

via Is Mobile Affecting When We Read? « Read It Later Blog.

Apple:  I hate to admit it but I am part of the cult.

The difference, and the reason for the near-hysteria and the mammoth market reaction, is that Apple isn’t just any old stock, it is the quintessential cult stock. One of the reasons that Apple is a cult stock is what we’re seeing today: an unhealthy obsession with its founder and CEO.

Now don’t get me wrong. I share the high regard that everybody seems to have for Steve Jobs, just as I understand why the company’s products seem to engender such fanatical, cult-like loyalty. He is certainly one of the truly outstanding figures of our time, and his products are said to be pretty darn good too.

The cult factor, however, is something that is beyond the control of this or any company. Shareholders need to get a grip. They need to realize that, whether the company says so or not, the CEO of this company may very well be a very sick man. They also need to realize that even if they aren’t cultists themselves, this company has a fanatical following, and that its share price is subject to rapid and severe movement — particularly, as happened today, when the reason is Steve Jobs.

via Apple’s Cult Factor Emerges as Drawback – Newsweek.

etiquette, politics, diplomacy:

But what to do with the Clintons, Bill and Hillary?

Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived for the State Dinner.Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived for the State Dinner.

Should the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, be listed as the invited guest, with Mr. Clinton as her “plus one”?

Or does that honor automatically go to former presidents, with Mrs. Clinton as the tag-along?

Alas, neither would do. And so the pair are simply listed separately:

The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, Secretary of State; the Honorable William J. Clinton, former President of the United States.

Ah, diplomacy.

via The Etiquette of Inviting Two Clintons – NYTimes.com.

csr, globalization, business models: Interesting perspective.

COMPANY towns used to be common in the West. The Cadburys and Rowntrees built them in England, as did William Hesketh Lever, founder of what is now Unilever. At one point the United States had more than 3,000 of them. They were particularly popular in the South and West, and in the mining and lumber industries. But they have long since disappeared, destroyed by the motorcar, the cult of corporate focus, and the general maturing of the economy.

As so often, what is dying in the West is surviving or being reborn in the emerging world. New company towns are being constructed from nothing, most notably in China. And old ones are being given a new lease of life. But even with all this new activity Jamshedpur, the corporate headquarters of Tata Steel and home of its biggest steel plant, continues to lead the pack.

The Western doctrine of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) has also given the founder’s very Victorian vision a new lease of life.

via Company towns: The universal provider | The Economist.

technology, viruses, history:

Has it been 25 years already? Jump in the Wayback Machine and check out this TIME article that details the first ever PC virus.

Brothers Amjad and Basit Alvi of Lahore, Pakistan ran a neighborhood computer shop specializing in PC repair and software sales. After Amjad caught wind that one of the programs he’d written was being pirated, he leaked copies containing “a self-replicating program that would ‘infect’ an unauthorized user’s computer, disrupt his operations and force him to contact Amjad for repairs,” according to the article.

And with that, the first PC virus was born. It was January of 1986.

via Happy Birthday, Jerk: First PC Virus Born 25 Years Ago – Techland – TIME.com.

random, literature, end of an era, RIP: Rest in Peace, Poe Toaster!

 

Culture

The Man Who Leaves Roses on Edgar Allan Poe’s Grave Every Year Has Disappeared

One of the best pieces of arcana of American letters is the man known as the “Poe Toaster.” Every year on January 19 (Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday), the toaster appears in the Baltimore graveyard where the author is buried and leaves a half-empty bottle of cognac and four roses. No one knows his identity or his motives. Last year, for the first time in 60 years, the mysterious man did not show up. Last night, he failed to show up again, leaving many to think that the tradition is now over.

I like to imagine the sons of the Poe Toaster feeling incredible guilt and meeting some sad punishment for not carrying out their father’s legacy, as would befit people tied up in a Poe story. As is, you have to imagine the impostors will continue. Perhaps we can anoint one of them the new Poe Toaster, as this tradition is simply too poignant for us to give up. And, really, the poor soul needs his cognac.

via Poe Toaster a No Show in 2011 – Culture – GOOD.

technology, business:  I tried to buy one …

And on Wednesday LivingSocial is making waves with a deal for another major, national retailer; it is selling $20 Amazon.com gift cards for $10.

But LivingSocial’s Amazon discount has an unusual wrinkle. Unlike with other deals, LivingSocial might be losing money selling the Amazon coupons.

Typically, retailers sell the coupons directly to consumers for the discounted price, and LivingSocial takes a cut, generally 30 percent. But for this deal, LivingSocial bought the gift cards from Amazon and is selling them itself.

LivingSocial declined to say how much it paid Amazon for the gift cards. Amazon also said it would not disclose the terms of the deal.

If LivingSocial paid Amazon $20, then LivingSocial is absorbing the losses. If it paid Amazon less, then Amazon is losing money.

via LivingSocial Gets Attention for Amazon Discount – NYTimes.com.

random, technology: toasters … and the winner is a Kalorik Aqua 2-Slice Toaster … a brand I have never heard of!

Today, even the simplest toasters come with fancy features like digital countdown timers, bagel buttons, “hi-lift” levers to remove hot toast, and defrost functions. But have more than 80 years of innovations accomplished the basic goal of producing golden-brown toast, fast? We gathered seven 2-slot toasters priced from $30 to almost $70 and tested them on bagels, toaster pastries, frozen waffles, and, above all, bread.

Two of the toasters couldn’t even fit a slice of our favorite supermarket white bread, Arnold. We had to bend the bread to make it fit, scorching it on the side where the slice curved too closely to the heat. When we tried turning the slices to their short sides, the last inch stuck out.

via Two-Slot Toasters – Cooks Illustrated.

high school, education, parochial schools, Charlotte:  When parachochial schools are closing down in many parts of the country, Charlotte’s diocese  is adding a new high school.  Definitely refects the changing character of Charlotte.

The new Christ the King Catholic High School, which is scheduled to open this fall at a temporary location in Huntersville, will host a meeting Thursday to update families on progress on the new school.Newly hired project director Daniel Dolan will lead the meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. at St. Therese Catholic Church, on Brawley School Road in Mooresville.The new school will be run by the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. Mr. Dolan came to the diocese recently after many years of service to the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Richmond and Arlington, Va.

via New Catholic H.S. hosts meeting Thursday | DavidsonNews.net.

 




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