Posts Tagged ‘high-speed rail

15
Feb
11

2.15.2011 … VD is over … next stop President’s Day/Winter Break …

St. Valentine’s Day, history, media, followup:  Yesterday, I jokingly said ..”enough said,” knowing full well I would click and listen to VD stories all day … and I truly enjoyed reading all the history and true life stories this year.  I wonder if the journalists roll their eyes and say, “why me?” when they get the assignment.  Here is a sampling: The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day : NPR, Love Letters that Live On – CBS News Video, History of Valentine’s Day / Academic & Pulse / Audio – Inside Higher Ed.

St. Valentine’s Day, faith and spirituality:  I like it that my favorite Methodist blogger reminds us that love in the Bible is not lust but love in action …

Jesus cares how we live, and in every little corner or life, not just some spiritual zone. Jesus loves. Jesus wants love. Jesus wants what we do to be love in action.

via Myers Park United Methodist Church | Charlotte Methodist Church, Methodist Churches Charlotte NC – Myers Park UMC.

St. Valentine’s Day, The President, LOL:  I agree with the First Lady …

“I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said Tuesday at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.

“So we still find ways to have fun together, and a lot of it is private and personal. But we keep each other smiling and that’s good,” she added.

It also helps that Obama is “very romantic.”

via Michelle Obama: Laugh With Your Valentine – CBS News.

St. Valentine’s Day, me, followup, recipes: A little wine, a little chocolate, a little history, a little love … what more could I ask of a day!  Oh and for me … You had me at triple chocolate … (my husband actually brought me a “sinfully chocolate” mini ice cream cake … )

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

via Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake :: America’s Test Kitchen :: Recipes.

technology, history, our future, faith and spirituality:  very interesting article and very interesting blog post by Jim Miller/Hopelens (my favorite Presbyterian blogger).

Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now. One thing, at least, seems clear: although 3D printing will create winners and losers in the short term, in the long run it will expand the realm of industry—and imagination.

via3D printing: The printed world | The Economist.

So, every player in the orchestra, from the lead number one to the lowliest third violin can be playing a Strad.

So, in a universe with a surfeit of excellence will things be “better?” Will the Stradivarius be noticed when it is common? To excel means to “step beyond” the norm, but if the new normal is perfection, where do we find excellence? Will the palate get sated and then lose its taste. I am reminded of Jesus’ saying about the salt losing its savor. Is Paradise Regained too boring?

Then the agricultural fields of employment were abandoned for the big cities with their demand for hands in the “manufactories.” The additive manufacturing envisioned will need few hands, more brains, and just a couple of fingers.

I wonder if the new 3D technology can print some meaning and purpose. Can it print me love and hope? Can it print peace and justice? Can it print compassion and forgiveness? Can it print me my life?

Additive manufacturing presents huge spiritual challenges and opportunities.

via Print me a life « Hopelens Blog.

Apple:  Even without Steve Jobs, Apple is not stopping … Apple’s Calendar for the Next 6 Months: Apple News, Tips and Reviews «.

urban development, cities, bookshelf:  “our species greatest invention?”   Very interesting take on cities.  You’ll have to read the review … or maybe the book.

For Mr Glaeser, a Harvard economist who grew up in Manhattan, this is a happy prospect. He calls cities “our species’ greatest invention”: proximity makes people more inventive, as bright minds feed off one another; more productive, as scale gives rise to finer degrees of specialisation; and kinder to the planet, as city-dwellers are more likely to go by foot, bus or train than the car-slaves of suburbia and the sticks. He builds a strong case, too, for town-dwelling, drawing on his own research as well as that of other observers of urban life. And although liberally sprinkled with statistics, “Triumph of the City” is no dry work. Mr Glaeser writes lucidly and spares his readers the equations of his trade. This is popular economics of the best sort.

via Urban life: A tale of many cities | The Economist.

green, technology, me:  I have a five year old Bosch … which NEVER gets the dishes clean … I think it is both the BOSCH and the detergent! Great article!

Another Triumph for the Greens

To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.

via Another Triumph for the Greens | The Weekly Standard.

UNC-CH, change:  I hate to say this but I don’t think this is Carolina Blue either … it looks baby blue to me.

This year’s senior class can graduate with new gowns designed by Alexander Julian. UNC says the new gowns are a closer match to “true” Carolina blue and are also more environmentally friendly.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Pit Talk : Caps and gowns get a new look from Alexander Julian.

Egypt Uprising, technology, internet, FaceBook, culture: Loved this explanation of social space and public space merging!

But if Friday’s resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak proves nothing else, it is that social media and public space can be complementary, rather than in conflict. The social bonds built in the virtual world can spill over into the physical world–and with such seismic force that they can topple an autocrat.

The revolt is Egypt is said to have begun with the killing of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian businessman who was hauled out of an Internet cafe by plainclothes policemen last June and beaten to death. As the New York Times reported last week, a graphic Facebook page tribute to Said provided an outlet for people’s rage.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

high-speed rail, technology, budgets, politics:  I think we may have missed the boat … train … whatever.

Barack Obama’s just-released budget for fiscal 2012 provides a major boost for transportation and infrastructure spending. Not surprisingly, transportation advocacy groups are praising the proposals, but will they get any traction in a Republican-controlled House that has knives out to cut the federal deficit? Significantly, the budget doesn’t propose raising the federal gas tax to pay for the increases in transportation and infrastructure spending.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

politics, 2012 Election, Newt Gingrich, pithy quotes: He has a lot of “‘splaining to do” to get my vote.  Inconsistencies between political rhetoric and personal life is a big negative for me.  I call it dishonesty.  He may be the king of pithy quotes … read on …

 

Stop, you say, Gingrich may not run for the Republican nomination and even if he does, chances are he won’t win it. But Gingrich says he’ll decide by the end of the month whether to set up an “exploratory committee” to raise money. The recent performances by a parade of prospects at the Conservative Political Action Conference make clear both why he is seriously entertaining the idea and why many Republicans continue to hold him in high regard, despite all.

And for people of a certain age, there is a lot of all: The extramarital affair with a House committee aide who is now his third wife, the personal and political failings that prompted him to leave the speakership and Congress, the inflammatory rhetoric that has made him so polarizing. (To hit a few highlights, he called Sonia Sotomayor racist, claimed Obama has a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” worldview and said that “Woody Allen having non-incest with a non-daughter … fits the Democratic platform perfectly”).

Over the three-day CPAC conference, one 2012 prospect after another brought to mind the word “generic.” The two who broke out of the mold were Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gingrich. Daniels gave a dense and high-minded speech about facing down the “Red Menace” of debt. Gingrich was Gingrich: hurling colorful insults at Obama, Democrats and their policies, flinging out ideas that included replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency and proposing that Obama receive an invitation to be CPAC’s keynote speaker next year – if he meets certain conditions like signing a repeal of his signature health care law.

That led my colleague David Corn to tweet: “Calls on Obama to sign a repeal of #HCR. That’s like calling on Newt to remarry wife No. 1.” Just the type of joke that would dog Gingrich in a presidential campaign.

via Would Women Support Newt Gingrich for President?.

technology, markets:  Scary … we have no idea how to value these companies …

The new high tech-bubble might not be the one you’re thinking of. Measuring the bubble’s size and inner pressure of is a delicate exercise. For today, we’ll consider two sectors: social networks and online media — such as the Huffington Post acquired last week by AOL for a stunning $315m.

via The Traffic Bubble | Monday Note.

gLee, Barbara Streissand, mea culpa:  Doesn’t hurt my feelings if she doesn’t like the show …

Streisand Apologizes: When Barbra Streisand was asked if she would consider an appearance on the hit dramedy at MusiCares ceremony, the “Yentl” star said “Not If I Can Help It.” The singer issued a clarification about her brusque statement on her Web site, saying, in part, “When asked if I would ever appear on ‘Glee,” I should have said, “You never know.” It was wrong to say, “Not if I can help it. What I meant was that I’ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album and starting a new movie.

via Barbra Streisand Clarifies ‘Glee’ Remark; Ken and Barbie Reunite – Speakeasy – WSJ.

websites,  favorites:  I have found a new site and I love it …. The Academic Minute – Inside Higher Ed / The Academic Minute.

10
Feb
11

2.10.2011 … I am off to a festival … festival of legal learning at UNC … whooppee!

faith and spirituality:  Really liked this post by Brene Brown.

As I look around at the political and social struggle around us, I’m reminded of my own struggle to find/reclaim faith in my life. As a lover of all things certain, I wanted faith to work like an epidural; to numb the pain of vulnerability. As it turned out, my faith ended up being more like a midwife – a nurturing partner who leans into the discomfort with me and whispers “push” and “breathe.”

Faith didn’t make my life less vulnerable, it simply offered to travel with me through the uncertainty.

via faith, doubt and inspiration – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

In a region where the truth and truth-tellers have so long been smothered under the crushing weight of oil, autocracy and religious obscurantism, suddenly the Arab world has a truly free space — a space that Egyptians themselves, not a foreign army, have liberated — and the truth is now gushing out of here like a torrent from a broken hydrant.

And the this is a titanic struggle and negotiation between the tired but still powerful, top-down 1952 Egyptian Army-led revolution and a vibrant, new, but chaotic, 2011, people-led revolution from the bottom-up — which has no guns but enormous legitimacy. I hope the Tahrir Square protesters can get organized enough to negotiate a new constitution with the army. There will be setbacks. But whatever happens, they have changed Egypt.

After we walked from Tahrir Square across the Nile bridge, Professor Mamoun Fandy remarked to me that there is an old Egyptian poem that says: “ ‘The Nile can bend and turn, but what is impossible is that it would ever dry up.’ The same is true of the river of freedom that is loose here now. Maybe you can bend it for a while, or turn it, but it is not going to dry up.”

via Speakers’ Corner on the Nile – NYTimes.com.

quotes, pity quotes, Julia Child:  Love this old article/interview with Julia Child!

The problem with the world right now is that we don’t have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don’t have anyone who’s speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don’t know what’s to become of us.

via Julia Child Interview – Eating Healthy and Smart – Quotes about Diets – Esquire.

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has recovered enough from a bullet to the brain to ask for toast with breakfast.

Few details are available, but Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, confirmed that the congresswoman made the verbal request on Monday when hospital workers at TIRR Memorial Hermann brought her a meal.

“The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process,” Kelly wrote on Facebook. “There are encouraging signs every day, though.”

via Giffords speaks, asking for toast with breakfast – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

health care:  But Gabrielle Giffords costs are fully covered … many are not so fortunate.

What is clear, however, is that her care at one of the country’s top five rehab sites will be paid for through a federal workers compensation program, providing essentially unlimited time and money to help her regain cognitive, physical and social functions.

“What she’s needed, she’s gotten,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, who confirmed to msnbc.com that Giffords’ care after the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and injured 13 will be treated as a workplace injury.

via Brain injury victims struggle to find care – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

restaurants, farm-to-table, Boulder, Salt:  Add Salt to my Boulder list …

In every bite of a dish from Salt, one can taste a medley of flavors that impart more than just the delight of a quality, flavorful meal, but also a dedication to sustaining the ecology and businesses of Boulder.

Salt is one of the few restaurants in America that has fully immersed itself in the culture of farm-to-table dining, a culinary approach in which restaurants (and family kitchens) get their products from nearby farms, ranches and vendors, instead of ordering them from a corporate third party.

“The term farm-to-table is the shortest distance, the fewest hands, that it takes to get a vegetable from the ground to the table,” said Kevin Kidd, the executive chef at Salt. “It’s the farmer selling it and it going directly to the chef.”

Kidd said the benefits of farm-to-table dining go beyond a kitchen filled with fresh food, but also contribute to a sustainable environment and localized economy.

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvellous things—the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space. I wish there were some way you could have all that and still be reminded of the wild array that we humans are. Instead, it seems like you can watch birds or people, but not both.

via Free Range: On the Wing : The New Yorker.

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ghonim also said it is “no longer the time to negotiate” with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

“There’s a lot of blood now” that has been spilled, he said.

Ghonim played a key role in organizing the protests that have convulsed Egypt for more than two weeks. He was the administrator of a Facebook page that is widely credited with calling the first protest January 25.

“This is not about me,” he said several times during an hour-long and emotional interview in a relative’s Cairo apartment..

He conceded that President Hosni Mubarak has “sacrificed a lot” for Egypt but said the 82-year-old leader represents a system that needs to be replaced. He demanded that Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party be immediately dissolved. He also said, though, that Mubarak should be treated with dignity.

via Egyptian Google exec is ‘ready to die’ for change – CNN.com.

Apps, tv, Bones: So an App to enhance my tv watching of Bones … Of course I will try it, but I did not enjoy tweeting and tv-watching so I probably will not like this.

It’s the Bones hook-up we’ve been waiting for!

In an effort to enhance fans’ viewing experience, Fox has launched the Bones Show Companion, a new iPad app that will automatically synchronize with the current episode as its broadcast in each time zone to provide content that is both wholly unique and pretty freakin’ cool.

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

cookbooks, comic books:  Funny … I think I can figure it out without the graphics!

According to the Strong Buzz, Amanda Cohen, the chef/owner of Dirt Candy, has signed a deal with publisher Clarkson Potter to create a cookbook disguised as a graphic novel.

via The Cookbook as Comic Book | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

random, history, food, foodies: Just read it …

THE ROMAN HISTORIAN Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline. I wonder what he would have thought of The New York Times’ efforts to admit “young idols with cleavers” into America’s pantheon of food-service heroes.

With their swinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers have the raw, emotional appeal of an indie band … “Think about it. What’s sexy?” said Tia Keenan, the fromager at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café and an unabashed butcher fan. “Dangerous is sometimes sexy, and they are generally big guys with knives who are covered in blood.”

That’s Severson again, by the way, and she records no word of dissent in regard to the cheese vendor’s ravings. We are to believe this is a real national trend here. In fact the public perception of butchers has not changed in the slightest, as can easily be confirmed by telling someone that he or she looks like one. “Blankly as a butcher stares,” Auden’s famous line about the moon, will need no explanatory footnote even a century from now.

Whether gluttony is a deadly sin is of course for the religious to decide, and I hope they go easy on the foodies; they’re not all bad. They are certainly single-minded, however, and single-mindedness—even in less obviously selfish forms—is always a littleness of soul.

via The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – Magazine – The Atlantic.

statistics, economics, men v. women:  We still have a long way to go, baby!

Young women are outpacing men in educational attainment and there’s little sign males will make up ground any time soon.

Nearly one in four women had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they reached age 23, compared to just one in seven men, the Labor Department said Wednesday. And while a growing share of professions are expected to require a college education in the future, men don’t appear poised to make up the education gap.

via Women Likely to Continue Outpacing Men in Education – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

A new application being sold on iTunes, “Confession: a Roman Catholic App,” cannot be used as a substitute for confession with a priest, the Vatican said Wednesday. The application was developed by American entrepreneurs with the help of two priests and the blessing of a bishop. It features a questionnaire of sins, and is promoted as a tool both to revive interest in confession and to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament. But some media reports cast the app as a “virtual priest” for Catholics who do not have time for church, prompting the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, to respond, “One cannot speak in any way of ‘confession by iPhone.’ ”

via App Can’t Replace Confession, Vatican Says – NYTimes.com.

Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 300 tweets since my last confession.

Whether you’ve been “borrowing” free Wi-Fi or coveting your neighbor’s avatar — or, heaven forbid, something worse — a new mobile app is designed to help you atone for it.

Lame tech jokes aside, the makers of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” say their software is seriously designed to help believers with the sacrament, and to help those who have left the church take a digital step back home.

Worry not, faithful Catholics: The $1.99 application, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is not intended to replace the confessional. Instead, it’s designed to complement the act of confession, offering a “personal examination of conscience” (password-protected, of course) and a step-by-step guide to sin-confessing.

via New app helps Catholics confess on the go – CNN.com.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, culture: Very interesting article …

More and more Christians choose a church not on the basis of its denomination, but on the basis of more practical matters. Is the nursery easy to find? Do I like the music? Are there support groups for those grappling with addiction?

This trend is a natural extension of the American evangelical experiment. After all, evangelicalism is about the fundamental message of Christianity—the evangel, the gospel, literally the “good news” of God’s kingdom arriving in Jesus Christ—not about denomination building.

If denominationalism simply denotes a “brand” vying for market share, then let denominationalism fall. But many of us believe denominations can represent fidelity to living traditions of local congregations that care about what Jesus cared about—personal conversion, discipleship, mission and community. Perhaps the denominational era has just begun.

via Russell D. Moore: Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? – WSJ.com.

health, health care, globalization, technology, history:  A little history of epidemics and a modern-day use of technology to help detect new viruses …

That’s why it’s so welcome to see the launch of the new Predict project, an online mapping tool that will allow scientists to track outbreaks of animals diseases that could threaten human beings. Funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — and led by a group of institutions, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the innovative new Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI) — the system will monitor data from World Health Organization alerts, news reports, online message boards for epidemiologists, to create a digital map of where animal outbreaks are occurring around the world and where they might threaten human beings.

The consortium was put together in 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic, and the hope is that a better information tracking system will help scientists avoid being caught off guard. As Damien Joly of the WCS told the New York Times:

We strongly believe in public access to the data we collect. It doesn’t do public health much good to collect data and let it sit while it awaits publication.

The Predict tool (download a PDF about the project here) is just the latest indication that the global human health community is finally beginning to take animal disease seriously. That hasn’t always been the case — just compare the vast World Health Organization to its relatively tiny animal counterpart, the World Organization for Animal Health. But nearly 75% of all new, emerging or reemerging diseases affecting human beings in the 21st century originated in animals, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and influenza.

What’s needed is a “one health” approach of the sort pioneered by Nathan Wolfe of the GFVI, who patrols areas in the deep developing world where humans and animals closely overlap. We may not be able to stop the next flu pandemic or new emerging disease as it passed from animals to human beings — but we should know when it happens.

via USAID’s Predict Tool Will Help Scientists Keep Track of Animal Disease Outbreaks—and Protect People – TIME Healthland.

college, heart-strings, Wake Forest University, kudos: What a great story … kudos, Coach Walter!

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.

Both Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed.

“For us, it’s almost like it’s been divine intervention,” Jordan’s father Keith told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday from Atlanta.

Dr. Kenneth Newell, the lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter’s kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.

The school says the recovery time for both the 42-year-old Walter and Jordan is expected to be several months. Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal. Keith Jordan says his son could swing a bat again in 6-8 weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.

via Baseball Coach Donates Kidney to Star Player – CBS News.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

via Twitter / @DailyLit: “Love takes up where knowl ….

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

For his latest novel, Davidson College’s Alan Michael Parker got a big helping of inspiration from The Home Depot.

Parker’s new literary comedy, “Whale Man” (WordFarm; $18), is about a guy who builds a life-sized wooden whale on his mother’s front lawn.

via Davidson professor’s new novel is a whale of a tale – CharlotteObserver.com.

green:

How it works? The station’s ventilation system includes heat exchangers that convert all that excess warmth into hot water. That water is then pumped to the nearby building, where it reportedly reduces energy costs by as much as 25 percent.

via Commuters’ surplus body heat used to warm office building – Springwise.

food, food regulation:  The incredible edible egg is better, but still not incredible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that in its routine reevaluations of the nutritional content of foods, it discovered that domestic chicken eggs — which hadn’t been looked at since 2002 — has had something of a nutritional makeover.

Compared with the egg of 2002, the current-day egg has 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D. A large egg now has 185 mg of cholesterol and 41 IU of Vitamin D, down from 212 mg of cholesterol and up from 18 IU of Vitamin D. It also still contains 70 calories and 6 g of protein. (More on TIME.com: Is School Lunch Making Your Kids Fat?)

via The Updated Egg: Less Cholesterol, But Is It a ‘Healthy’ Food? – TIME Healthland.

The President, USA, high-speed rail:  This may be worthy of federal money in my opinion … may.

U.S. passenger trains are, quite simply, a global laughingstock. Most of them travel at speeds that were common a century ago. Meanwhile, bullet trains have been zipping around Western Europe and East Asia for years, China is building more high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined, and even countries like Morocco and Brazil are getting into the game. “It works everywhere else in the world,” says Alstom Transport vice president Chuck Wochele, whose French firm is one of 30 train manufacturers that have pledged to build or expand U.S. factories if they land high-speed contracts. “Unfortunately, it’s been politicized in the U.S.”

via High-Speed Rail: Obama Pledges $53 Billion for Upgrades – TIME.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

via The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness. Gretchen Rubin.

quotes, random, LOL:

NCIS rerun quote: “Love means never having to read her her Miranda rights.” – Abbie 🙂

via NCIS rerun quote:….




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