Posts Tagged ‘holidays

14
Mar
15

3.14.15 9:26:53 … Silliness can transport us AROUND many challenges! … I feel EPIC … TO INFINITY AND BEYOND …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 22/40, Myers Park Baptist Church- Charlotte NC:

And for those who know me, I almost missed it. I’ve always said I cannot memorize anything. And certainly not a random series of numbers. In my mind it was 9:56:23… Fortunately I checked at 9:06 this morning… And now I race to the labyrinth:
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I made it and in honor of this epic pi day, at 3.14.15 9:26:53, I walked an 11 circuit unicursive path; in other words, I very intentionally walked in circles. While walking, I considered estimating the distance I walk by calculating the circumference of each of those 11 concentric circles. Not really, but I could!!

The walk … and yes, it is raining …

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I then planned my day around the schedule of five over-average-height men playing with a orange ball whose official dimensions are:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) allows only one official ball: The ball must be the official NBA game ball manufactured by Spalding. The ball is orange in color, 29.5 inches in circumference and weighs 22 ounces (size 7). It must also be inflated to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index…

(Does anyone deflate basketball balls??) Maybe I wil try to calculate the surface area which is approximately SA = 4 π r2.

And to close off the celebration, I will enjoy the lobster pie that my son gave me it as a gift for my birthday.

Some noticed my shirt on FB,  3.14.15 9:26:53 Day of the Century …

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Have I mentioned I am a big kid? …  I actually ordered it for myself about a week ago. I am a silly person. And I don’t think any of my children have the silliness. And I was thinking about it earlier today,  I realize that I probably get it from my very formal white glove grandmother who celebrated every holiday. Interesting where the genes pop up.  As one friend commented … Silliness can transport us AROUND many challenges! (Thank you, Cheryl!)

I hope you have a happy pi day. And happy birthday to Albert Einstein as well.

I feel EPIC  … TO INFINITY AND BEYOND …

And now some background …

Funny, my husband did not know what pi day was. We certainly did not celebrate it in the 60s growing up. However I remember  celebrating it vividly with my children in elementary, middle, and high school, and bringing in pies for the day. Anything for a party. 🙂

In advance of this epic pi day, I did a little research.

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The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium,[5] where Shaw worked as a physicist,[6] with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies.[7] The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.

via http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day

And as I mentioned it is also Einstein’s birthday …. Here is another interesting article with some fun facts about pi and Einstein …

Pi Day Fun Fact: Many of history’s greatest minds have been fascinated by pi. They include Leonardo da Vinci, who attempted to approximate pi, and Isaac Newton, who calculated pi to at least 16 decimal places. (Source: RandomHistory.com)

… Pi Day Fun Fact:  Star Trek’s Mr. Spock knew the value of pi. In the “Wolf in the Fold” TV episode, Spock thwarts an evil entity inside the Enterprise’s computer system by ordering it to “compute to last digit the value of pi,” which can never be computed. (Source: RandomHistory.com)

Pi Day Fun Fact: Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 B.C.) was one of the first scholars to calculate pi. One of the many theories surrounding Archimedes’s death is that when Roman soldiers stormed Syracuse, the passionate mathematician continued his calculations and told them “Do not touch my circles!” which resulted in his beheading. (Source: RandomHistory.com)

via Fascinating Facts About Pi Day & Birthday Boy Albert Einstein – Biography.com.

Einstein wasn’t a big fan of school. Despite some claims, he actually did well in his classes, especially math and science. Einstein, however, didn’t like the way he was taught. He later remarked that “It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom,” according to an article on the American Institute of Physics website.

Einstein had a lifelong passion for music. At the age of six, he took up the violin at his mother’s request. Einstein was quickly won over by classical music, especially the works of Wolfgang Mozart. According to Jürgen Neffe’s Einstein: A Biography, Einstein once said that “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.”

Not only was he a great scientist, Einstein was passionate about social issues. He had been a pacifist during World War I, but he became concerned at the rising anti-Semitism in Germany following the war. He began to speak out in favor of creating a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. Einstein visited the United States in the early 1920s to raise funds for what is now known as Hebrew University. In 1952, he was even invited to become the president of Israel, but he turned the job down.

Einstein also supported the Civil Rights movement in America. In the 1940s, he penned the essay “The Negro Question,” which appeared in Pageant magazine. Einstein wrote that the racial divide in his new homeland (he became a U.S. citizen in 1940) deeply troubled him. “I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.” A member of the NAACP, Einstein considered racism to be the “worst disease” in the country.

via Fascinating Facts About Pi Day & Birthday Boy Albert Einstein – Biography.com.

 

And I will add one more article …

Why do mathematicians care so much about pi? Is it some kind of weird circle fixation? Hardly. The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.

What distinguishes pi from all other numbers is its connection to cycles. For those of us interested in the applications of mathematics to the real world, this makes pi indispensable. Whenever we think about rhythms—processes that repeat periodically, with a fixed tempo, like a pulsing heart or a planet orbiting the sun—we inevitably encounter pi.

In short, pi is woven into our descriptions of the innermost workings of the universe.

via Why Pi Matters – The New Yorker.

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03
Nov
13

11.3.13 … :) …

Edith Head Talks, Audrey Hepburn, Google Doodles:


Edith Head: Google Doodle honors Hollywood legend (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

via ▶ Edith Head Talks about Audrey Hepburn – YouTube.

Norman Rockwell,  ’Coinoisseur’ 1962 ,  Jackson Pollock:

The third painting is by illustrator Norman Rockwell (b 1894 – 1978 New York USA)  ’Coinoisseur’ 1962 – a tribute to Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock (b. 1912 – 1966 USA).  Whilst the painting is sometimes interpreted as a compliment to Pollock – it is also interesting to note the comparison between Rockwell’s illustrative art and the new Modern art of Pollock who was big news in the art scene of 1962.

via The Art of Progress | Echostains Blog.

 

Original \”USS Enterprise reacts to MTV\’s Video Music Awards.\”

via ▶ Captain Kirk watches Miley Cyrus performance – YouTube.

Wallace’s ‘Big Fish’,  Broadway:

“Big Fish” is making a new splash — on Broadway.

Fifteen years ago, Daniel Wallace published his first novel, “Big Fish,” and 10 years ago, the Tim Burton version of the movie by the same title came out. This month the musical, also “Big Fish,” premiered on Broadway.

“I started writing about my father, stories that are drawn from the man my father was, and I mixed it up with the other thing that I was interested in, which is Greek myths,” Wallace said.

Wallace is currently a UNC professor and the director of the creative writing program, and he has written several books since “Big Fish.”

Like the movie and the novel, the musical tells the story of Edward Bloom, a man from a small town in Alabama with a knack for storytelling. The story is one of reconciliation between the dying father, Edward, and his son, Will.

Wallace said the same people who worked on and wrote the musical also worked on and wrote the movie.

“I thought it was a thing that would never, ever happen, so I never took it seriously,” Wallace said.

“The fact that it happened still, it’s stunning to me.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Wallace’s ‘Big Fish’ premieres on Broadway this month.

man’s best friend:

holidays:

12
Dec
11

12.12.2011 … I’m up to my ears in cupcake balls! …

holidays, food – desserts:  I’m up to my ears in cupcake balls! Cake Balls « bakerella.com.

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Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, marketing, Middle East, North Africa:

Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are huge in the Middle East and North Africa, where they account for 55 percent of mobile Internet traffic, according to a new survey by Dubai-based Effective Measure. The iPhone and iPad in particular are doing well, splitting top device honors among the countries covered in the study.

During the month of October, Apple iPhone accounted for 29.6 percent of traffic from mobile devices, with the iPad accounting for 24.1 percent. The iPod touch added another two percent to the total for Apple devices. Apple’s iPhone was the most popular device overall, and the iPad second. RIM’s BlackBerry devices came in third, with 7.6 percent combined.

via Apple devices winning big in the Middle East and North Africa — Apple News, Tips and Reviews.

iPad:  iPad 3 on the way?

Now that Citi analyst Richard Gardner has kicked the rumor mill up a notch for those awaiting the next iPad, the speculation will likely being flying fast and furious.

Digitimes is reporting that the next Apple tablet will be coming out in three to four months — right about in line with Apple’s normal schedule for iPad releases. The Taiwanese tech site, which has a spotty record when it comes to predicting Apple’s next moves, has tapped into its supply line sources once again and reported that Apple will begin cutting back on iPad 2 production ins the first quarter of 2012. Why? To make way for the next generation, of course.

Apple is infamous for the control it exercises over its image — especially its retail stores. Customers often know Apple stores at a glance, since the company’s storefronts often employ the same stark, simple lines as its products while also reflecting the character of their surroundings.

Apple is known for having many successful product launches. But it had some unsuccessful ones too.

The report says that new iPads are expected to reach 9.5 to 9.8 million production units in early 2012.

The rumors could have a negative effect on Apple’s holiday sales, as consumers expecting an iPad3 to come soon may decide not to take the plunge and buy an iPad 2 now.

There was definitely some buyers’ remorse out there when Apple released the iPad 2 last March, adding cameras and slicing down the thickness. And, yes, there are some rumored features for the next iPad that would be nice to have, such as an HD screen and LTE connectivity. But, as is the nature of these kinds of rumors, there’s no guarantee than any of them is accurate.

via Report: New iPad coming this spring – The Washington Post.

 myths, all women’s colleges, lists:

1. We are all major feminists who are concerned with women’s issues

3. For fun, we have late night pillow fights in our underwear

5. We are all lesbians

via Top ten myths about all women’s colleges | USA TODAY College.

Penn State Scandal, Mike McQueary:  Key Witness’ Story Changes …

Mon, Dec 12, 2011 9:00 AM EST – ABC News 2:33 | 4,558 views

Questions raised about Mike McQueary

Penn State Scandal: Key Witness’ Story Changes

Questions raised about Mike McQueary, an eyewitness in the case.

via News Videos – Yahoo!.

‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, movies,  pregnancy handbook, romantic comedy:  Movie adapts pregnancy handbook into romantic comedy … go figure!

Lionsgate has released a trailer for the romantic-comedy adaptation of the pregnancy handbook, What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

We’ve embedded the trailer in the video above–what do you think?

Here’s more from Indiewire: “[Pregnancy] makes Elizabeth Banks hysterical, Dennis Quaid embarassed and Brooklyn Decker…well, she stays hot. Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Jennifer Lopez, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Lennon and Rob Huebel all round out the cast on this one.”

The film reportedly also contains celebrity cameos from Black Eyed Peas musician Taboo, reality starlet Whitney Port and UK singer Cheryl Cole. Director Kirk Jones helmed the project. Heather Hach and Shauna Cross wrote the script. The movie hits theaters in May 2012.

via ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ Trailer Released – GalleyCat.

 La Rochefoucauld, quotes, happiness:

“We are so accustomed to disguising our true nature from others, that we end up disguising it from ourselves.”
 La Rochefoucauld

lawyers, careers, Great Recession, internet, websites, Shpoonkle: A new site lets jobless young lawyers underbid their more-experienced competitors for work! Welcome to Shpoonkle! Where Lawyers and Clients Connect..

New Lawyers Hang a Shingle on Shpoonkle, to Some Colleagues’ Chagrin

via Recent Law Graduates Offer Cheap Legal Counsel on Web Site, to Lawyers’ Chagrin – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

websites, cooking, Cooking with Caitlin:  Another fun one…

Cooking with Caitlin (CWC) began Mother’s Day 2007, on Molly’s front porch, over a bowl of cherries. Caitlin was a brand new wife and mom, and had recently returned to Cincinnati having completed culinary school in Chicago. Molly and Kelly also had moved back to Cincinnati recently. Together they hatched a plan to be their own bosses in a food-focused business built around their growing families. The initial idea was simple: catering. A nights-and-weekends company that would give Caitlin the opportunity to play with food, Kelly would plan the parties, Molly would promote the business, and they would come together to make the events happen.

via Cooking with Caitlin.

toys,  retailing, Christmas:  No hit toys … another sign of the Great Recession?

With Christmas less than two weeks away, the toy industry has no runaway hit — leaving many toy shoppers bored and complicating how stores sell holiday inventory.

“We are not seeing people clamor for any single item,” Stephanie Lucy, vice president for toys at Target, said by e-mail.

The hitless season has retailers stocking less, leaning on classic items rather than new ones and possibly discounting less in the final days before Christmas. And with no Tickle Me Elmo or Zhu Zhu Pets to draw crushing crowds to the toy aisles, most retailers are being careful not to get stuck with unsold toys.

“As retailers look at consumer confidence numbers, they are skeptical about consumers’ willingness to spend this holiday season, and they are trying to avoid getting caught with too much inventory,” said Josh Green, chief executive of Panjiva, a supply-chain data company.

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer, Hot Wheels Wall Tracks, Lalaoopsy Silly Hair dolls and some Lego sets are sold out or hard to find in many parts of the country, but that is mainly because of consistent demand rather than growing waves of frenzied shoppers.

via No Hit Toy to Brighten Retailers’ Christmas – NYTimes.com.

Christmas, Go-To Gift, Soul by Ludacris:  Since I have never heard of SOUL … must not be that big of a hit.

SOUL by Ludacris headphones are featured as the perfect gift for the audiophile in Newsweek Magazine‘s December article, “Tech for One, Tech for All: Stocking Stuffers for the Gadget Guru” by Brian Ries.  Along with SOUL he plugs the iPad 2 and Kindle Fire as this season’s go-to gifts.  (on newsstands now)

via Newsweek Magazine’s, “This Season’s Go-To Gift” [feature] | Soul by Ludacris.

science, biology, leaproach:  Yuck … Leaping cockroach discovered!

Cockroach haters beware: scientists have discovered a roach that jumps.

The newly discovered leaproach, which looks like a cockroach but acts like a grasshopper, is described in the journal Biology Letters.

via Leaping Cockroach Discovered – NYTimes.com.

Zoran Milich, NYC, photojournalism, Gothamatic, LIFE :  I love how LIFE has returned on the web!

Gothamatic: 12.12.11 – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

law school, education, practical applications:  Very well written … “The emphasis on practical short-term payoffs has already laid waste to the traditional project of the liberal arts, which may not survive. Is the law next? The law is surely a practice but it is also a subject, and if it ceases to be a subject — ceases to be an object of analysis in classrooms and in law reviews — its practice will be diminished. When a Times editorial declares that “[l]aw is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems” rather than something of interest in its own right, one wants to say more’s the pity.”

This week marks the last sessions of my Yale law school class on law, liberalism and religion. In the course of the semester my students have learned how to read religion clause cases against the background of long-standing debates in philosophy and theology about the relationship between religious imperatives and the obligations of democratic citizenship. They have become adept at recognizing the arguments behind the arguments the justices are making explicitly. They can see how a case ostensibly about vouchers or school prayer or Christmas trees on courthouse steps is really about whether principle or history should inform a court’s decisions. They can see how a case about head coverings or beards in the military (a topic that has surfaced once again) turns on the distinctions set down in John Locke’s “Letter Concerning Toleration” (1689), a tract the justices may never have read. They can see how the majority and dissenting opinions in a free exercise case often reflect a tension between negative and positive liberty as these terms are defined by Isaiah Berlin, an author the justices will likely not have referenced. They can see how the entire history of religion-clause jurisprudence at once illustrates and is an extended critique of John Rawls’s attempt in “Political Liberalism” to devise a form of government that will be fair to religion while at the same time keeping it at arm’s length.

The question asked by an article and an editorial published recently in this newspaper is whether what my students have learned will be of any help to them when they enter practice. At first glance the answer seems to be “no,” if only because Berlin, Locke, Rawls, Hobbes, Kant, Unger and Rorty (writers whose work took up half the semester) are not currency in legal arguments; citing them in front of a court or in a memorandum is likely to be regarded at best as window dressing and at worst as showing off. (Not to mention the fact that few practicing attorneys are likely to be engaging with religion-clause issues anyway.)

In his response to Segal’s essay, Brian Leiter, a professor of law at the University of Chicago, rejects the question of whether what one learns in law school is of any help: “The criterion of scholarly inquiry is whether it makes a contribution to knowledge and understanding, not whether it ‘helps.’” Leiter adds that what he calls “genuine” knowledge often does help with “a host of concrete and practical problems.” But he refuses (rightly, I think) to justify the academic study of law on that basis, for, he explains, “it is the central premise of a research institution that the measure of its achievement is the quality of the scholarship, i.e. its contribution to knowledge — whether of law or biology or literature — not its practical payoff in the short-term.”

The emphasis on practical short-term payoffs has already laid waste to the traditional project of the liberal arts, which may not survive. Is the law next? The law is surely a practice but it is also a subject, and if it ceases to be a subject — ceases to be an object of analysis in classrooms and in law reviews — its practice will be diminished. When a Times editorial declares that “[l]aw is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems” rather than something of interest in its own right, one wants to say more’s the pity.

via Teaching Law – NYTimes.com

Christmas, Christmas album, Christmas traditions, history:  Love this …

I’m a Christmas music traditionalist. Whereas I happily seek out new bands and explore new music throughout the year (and not just because it’s my job), around the holidays I become so conservative, so unyielding in my song choices — it’s Bing Crosby and Dean Martin or nothing — that the very mention of a contemporary Christmas album confuses and alarms me. Michael Bublé’s new Christmas record? Why don’t you just shave off Santa’s beard while you’re at it.

I just don’t approach Christmas songs the same way that I do regular ones. I’m not looking to broaden my musical horizons with a new rendition of “Jingle Bells.” I just want to listen to the same old songs (and watch the same old movies and drink the same old eggnog) that I always have. I’m probably doing it in a futile attempt to recapture some sense of childhood wonder. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Besides watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TV, that is.

But this year marks the first time that I’ve fallen for a new Christmas collection: A Very She & Him Christmas. The album — which came out in October because bandmembers Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have fallen prey to the diabolical “Christmas creep” marketing machine — is a compilation of classic Christmas tunes that have been stripped down and injected with just the right amount of contrived nostalgia to trick me into into thinking that I’ve been listening to it all my life. Their version of the Beach Boys’ “Little St. Nick” deserves to be a new holiday standard. I’ve finally entered the world of the annual Christmas album and what a big, scary world it is. I have a lot of catching up to do, so I might as well start at the beginning.

Christmas music as we know it today didn’t really get going until the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria married her German cousin, Prince Albert. Suddenly, England had an excuse to adopt all of Germany’s fun Christmas traditions, like that of the decorated tree laden with presents. The customs were also picked up by the United States, which had only recently invented the concept of Santa Claus. All of this newfound holiday cheer helped revive the practice of group caroling. Carols had existed for centuries, though their popularity waxed and waned as different governments and religious movements periodically declared them sinful. (I’m look at you, Puritans). But in the 1800s they finally had their heyday. Between 1840 and 1870, the following carols were written: “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Up on the Housetop,” “Away in a Manger, and “We Three Kings.” Those are just the ones that have stuck around; there are plenty of others that have long been forgotten.

via Music Monday: The Rise of the Christmas Album | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Steve Jobs,  Computer History Museum: Wonderful retrospective!

The “Blue Box” was a simple electronic gizmo that bypassed telephone company billing computers, allowing anyone to make free telephone calls anywhere in the world. The Blue Box was illegal, but the specifications for hacking into the telephone network were published in a telephone company journal and many youngsters with a flair for electronics built them. The “two Steves” had a great deal of fun building and using them for “ethical hacking,” with Wozniak building the kits and Jobs selling them—a pattern which would emerge again and again in the lives of these two innovators. (Wozniak once telephoned the Vatican, pretended to be Henry Kissinger and asked to speak to the Pope—just to see if he could. When someone answered, Woz got scared and hung up.)

via Computer History Museum | Steve Jobs: From Garage to World’s Most Valuable Company.

Illustrated Histories and the American Imagination, 1840-1900, online exhibition:  So much neat stuff out there!

In this online exhibit, explore and contrast the production histories of two mid-19th-century pictorial history projects.

Through interactive graphics, magnified images and text, come to understand the personal agendas and the two-way and three-way collaborations at work in the making of pictorial histories; that is, the relationships among publishers, artists and historians.

via Clio: Picturing the Past – American Illustrated Histories Online Exhibit.

Christmas, Christmas traditions, Christmas feast, recipes, history:  A Victorian Christmas Feast!

“Nothing pushes the nostalgia button at Christmastime more than Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with its warming images of a candlelit tree and Victorian plenitude. Yet prior to the 19th century, Christmas was a very different holiday, and it was only in the Victorian era that our concept of Christmas as a child-centered family holiday arose. After reviewing the evolution of Christmas holidays, we will use 19th-century English cookbooks, such as Charles Francatelli’s The Modern Cook and Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families, to create a groaning board of Victorian delights, including Jerusalem Artichoke Soup; Lobster Fricassée; Baked Goose with Chestnuts; Roasted Filet of Beef à l’Anglaise; Endives with Cream; Christmas Pudding; Gingerbread; and Twelfth Night Cake.”

Cathy continued, “This is upper class food that we’re making tonight, that took a large staff in the kitchen to prepare, with no expenses spared, using the most luxurious ingredients. It’s also infusion cuisine made with expensive stocks, showing the French influence in this period. There’s also a fair amount of cream in many dishes with a touch of cayenne pepper, an influence of the British colonials in India. The French at this time would have just used nutmeg. There were many women cooks in the kitchens of the wealthy in England, and in France there were more men in the kitchens.”

via A Victorian Christmas Feast « Jane Austen’s World.

websites, design, Colossal:
If you haven’t seen Colossal, don’t worry: you will. It’s an art and design blog which is, well, what it says it is. It’s getting mentioned everywhere, including here on Hyperallergic. It so happens that the blog’s creator, Chris Jobson, and I have known each other for years, and we live about three blocks from each other on Chicago’s north side. So I thought I would see if the guy who’s responsible for bringing such cool stuff to the world’s attention would overcome his modesty and talk about himself for a few minutes.via An Interview with Chris Jobson, Creator of the Art and Design Blog Colossal.
 Zombie Borders, Germany, history:  My favorite article of the day … Read on …
Now defunct by just over two decades, the border between the two Germanys already seems like a surreal relic from a much more distant past. Was there really ever a 540-mile Strip of Death separating the two halves, from the Czech border to the Bay of Lübeck? There was – and it was quite hermetical, and very deadly [2] – but today a visitor might be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

These days, the so-called innerdeutsche Grenze is almost completely erased from the landscape, marked only by the occasional memorial placard along the Autobahn. The fences, the spotlights, the guard dogs and the tanks have all been withdrawn. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone. The line that separated the Federal Republic of (West) Germany from the (East) German Democratic Republic is a zombie border: it’s been dead a few times in the past, and that hasn’t stopped it coming back. The line between east and west existed long before the postwar split.

The Iron Curtain that divided Europe (and Germany) is gone. The European Union now includes much of Eastern Europe, and indeed some bits of the former Soviet Union. In Angela Merkel, Germany has its first chancellor raised in the former East Germany. Although many socio-economic indicators for the ex-GDR are still not up to par with the western half of Germany, the border itself has been thoroughly erased from the landscape.

So is that the end of Henry the Fowler’s thousand-year-old border? Maybe not. Erased borders are like phantom limbs – sometimes it feels like they’re still there, even when they’re manifestly not.

via Zombie Borders – NYTimes.com.

16
Nov
11

11.16.2011 … On the megabus :) — at I 85 … mega-glad that I made it safely to mega-ATL … and safely to Lenbrook for Veggie plate including vegetarian egg rolls and then bingo … Nice evening with the Lenboook ladies — with Mary-Stewart and Mamma at lenbrook square.

Megabus, Atlanta, bingo, kith/kin:  First day of Megabus service to Atlanta … a little slow … but arrived safely and had a great visit with the Mom.

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via http://stageus.megabus.com/routemap.aspx

holidays, photos, tips: Get Creative! … I am certainly glad imperfection is perfectly OK!!

Imperfection Is Perfectly Okay

Capturing a technically good image takes a lot of learning and practice. That said, I like to grab seasonal shots even in their imperfection — like this scene through a bus window during a New York City downpour on Central Park West. Shoot as many pictures as you want, because with digital — unlike when I started shooting two decades ago — there’s no film to process, and you’re not burning through a lot of film (or through your wallet) every time you take a dozen photos. Mind you, the downside is that you might not think through your shots as clearly as you do when you have to manually focus and change film cartridges every 36 pictures.

via Holiday Photo Tips: Get Creative! – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

college students, human memory, learning:  Great article…

I expect that most of us can identify personally with the connection between cues and memories. The power of cues helps explain why a particular song may remind you of a memorable afternoon in Paris, or why, for me, the smell of stale beer always draws up vivid memories of my first-year dorm room.

Further reflection is likely to yield more-intellectual examples. One long afternoon over winter break in my sophomore year in college, I sat in a chair in my parents’ living room and had my life changed by Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. Whenever I sat in that chair, for many years afterward, detailed memories of O’Neill’s play and its impact on my life would return to me. And I can walk into certain classrooms on my campus and immediately recall formative experiences I had in my development as a teacher.

But while we may be able to draw up endless examples of how our minds have created such connections between learned information and the contextual cues that accompanied our first encounter with that information, those examples don’t translate very easily—as Miller points out—into concrete pedagogical practice.

If it turns out that the greatest memory challenge our students face is retrieving information from their long-term memories when they need it to perform on exams and assignments, and if that retrieval ability depends on the use of contextual cues during the information-encoding process, what does that mean for our job description as teachers? Do we have any control over the cues that accompany the encoding of information in our students’ brains? Can we help them develop effective cues?

via Teaching and Human Memory, Part I – Do Your Job Better – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

NBA lockout, college hoops, Pat Forde:  Enjoyed this article!

A long-lost friend is knocking on your front door, sports fan.

Open up and let him in.

Look who’s there – it’s college basketball. You remember him – used to be a lot of fun to be around, especially in March. Amid the more serious entities on the sporting cocktail circuit – college and pro football, the NBA, Major League Baseball – he was the life of the party. A weeknight at the gym (or just watching on TV) was always a good time.

The return of UNC’s Harrison Barnes and others is among the many reasons college basketball is flying high so far this season.

Then the old friend got wayward. He became irresponsible, with scandals cropping up constantly. He hung around sketchy characters – greasy third parties who attached themselves to star players. And then even the stars themselves became transient properties, just passing through on their way to the NBA, never sticking around long enough to develop a bond with the fans.

After a while, the product just wasn’t very good – not the players, not the teams. As problems kept surfacing, the credibility went the way of boxing. And all those other sports looked like better alternatives.

College basketball hit the skids.

But like the prodigal son and Britney Spears, college hoops is back after some rough years. And not looking too bad.

This is the chance to reacquaint with your old friend, sports fan. What else are you going to do, watch the NBA?

That league appears intent on alienating its fan base with a prolonged lockout that could eradicate the entire season. Already, 26 percent of the games have been canceled. The players union and ownership are at the breaking point. So is the faith of the customers.

You won’t see LeBron and Kobe and Dirk on Friday nights anytime soon – maybe not until next fall. So if you love hoops, what’s the alternative?

Let in your old friend.

The college game still has tremendous problems – cheating, hypocrisy and a corrosive cult-of-the-coach mentality among them. But this 2011-12 season is college hoops’ big chance to regain its seat at American sports’ main table.

The opportunity is there, and the product should be good enough to take advantage of that opportunity.

The talent on the floor – individually and from a team perspective – is as good as it’s been since 2008 at least.

When Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller of North Carolina, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Terrence Jones of Kentucky all said no to the NBA draft and came back to school, the game got a jolt of star power. Casual fans who like watching pro-level talent perform have something to tune into.

The return of those players helped guarantee that the Tar Heels, Buckeyes and Wildcats all would be better than they were last year. In fact, all three programs are probably better than any team was last year.

Let’s face it: if the talent level weren’t massively down in 2010-11, we wouldn’t have had both Virginia Commonwealth and Butler in the Final Four. They were great stories, not great teams. We wouldn’t have had the ninth-place team in the Big East (Connecticut) winning the national title while scoring 109 points in two games – the lowest Final Four total for the national champion since 1946.

When that fetid Final Four ended with Jim Calhoun – facing personal NCAA sanctions for violations within his program – holding up the national championship trophy after a weekend of horrible hoops, college basketball might have reached its nadir.

Now the game is climbing back up.

via NBA lockout opens door for college hoops – College Basketball – Rivals.com.

The Insanely Great History of Apple, posters, infographics: pretty cool …

The Insanely Great History of Apple is a cool new poster from PopChartLabs.com, where you can purchase the $25, 18”x24” poster for yourself (and many other great ones).

The world’s most comprehensive mapping of Apple products, this print shows every computer released by Apple in the last thirty years, from the original Mac through the MacBook Air. Products are sorted according to type, including the connections between various form factors which have arisen as Apple has invented—and reinvented—insanely great products.

via Cool Infographics – Blog – The Insanely Great History of Apple.

 college students, “Occupy Generation”, Occupy Wall Street:  Passing of the mantle?

As of today, Occupations are occurring in nearly 500 cities worldwide, according to Occupy Wall Street’s website. The protests have already been successful in one sense. The country is talking about ‘income inequality’ like never before. Since the protests began, the media has used the term 400% more this week than the week before the Occupation began according to a Politico metric.

So then, what next? In the words of Tom Hayden: “What happens next will be a collective judgment based on what they’ve been through. History awaits their decision.”

The country is waiting on these young people to act. They wanted to start a conversation, and they did. The question remains how they will be able to fix anything.

Will they form a political movement or continue changing the system from the outside? Will leadership emerge or will the difficult process of leaderless general assemblies succeed without it?

The answer might be found in Iowa. On January 4th, 2012, Occupiers from around the country will travel to Iowa to demonstrate at the First-In-The-Nation caucus. That is, if they can get organized. Much like Chicago, the cameras will be rolling in Iowa starting in early December. The demonstrators have a chance to affect the grassroots political process in historic fashion, if they are willing to engage it at all.

via Passing the mantle: The new Occupation Generation | USA TODAY College.

Benetton, advertising, controversial advertising: Benetton has the Pope kissing an imam, and Obama kissing Hugo Chavez in ad campaign. Doesn’t make me want to buy their clothes …

“Twenty-five years ago, Italian fashion label Benetton rode its controversial “United Colors of Benetton” ad campaign to global fame,” write the Journal’s Christina Passariello and Jennifer Clark.

Now, after having lost speed to competitors such as Inditex’s Zara and Hennes & Mauritz’s H&M, Benetton is trying for a second publicity coup.

On Wednesday, the house unveiled its first major brand advertising campaign in more than a decade, titled “Unhate.”

The images are of global leaders kissing: U.S. President Barack Obama locks lips with China’s Hu Jintao and with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.

A picture of the Pope embracing one of Islam’s leading figures, Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, was hung from a bridge near the Vatican early Wednesday.

Alessandro Benetton anticipated that this ad would be the most controversial. “We could be excommunicated,” he said, only half-joking.

via Benetton’s Controversial Ad Campaigns, Featuring Obama, Chavez and the Pope – Heard on the Runway – WSJ.

Maria Popova, theoatmeal.com:  Another find from Maria Popova … Old but gold – top tweets illustrated …

I drew some tweets – The Oatmeal.

Coco-Cola, Arctic Home Coke Commercial, WWF, csr:   Protect the polar bears  … nice ad … but is this csr or just an advertising ploy.

This is the Arctic. This vast area of tundra, jagged peaks and frozen seas is the only place where the polar bear can live, hunt and breed. And it needs our help. Check this out, then join us at ArcticHome.com to learn about these amazing animals through video, pictures and bear facts from World Wildlife Fund. Together, we can help make sure the polar bear has a place to call home. http://CokeURL.com/ArcticHome

via Arctic Home Coke Commercial | Protect the Polar Bears – YouTube.

Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, “journey for enlightenment”:

I don’t think it was just a question of liking him. I admired him, respected him, and found him unbelievably compelling even though he’s not your usual role model. I mean, he wasn’t the sweetest person I’ve ever met. But he was certainly the most interesting and, in some ways, mesmerizing person I’ve met.

SQ: If Jobs hadn’t been successful, would people still admire him?

WI: I tried to make it all come together in the book, which is the passionate perfectionism that causes him to be hard-driving and not put up with things that he considered mediocre. It’s what led him to create great products, but also to gather around him a loyal and talented team. So, to say that you can separate that passion for perfection and that demanding nature from the fact that he kept driving them like crazy to make the iPod perfect, is wrong. His personality is integrated into his success just like Apple products have the software and the hardware integrated with one another.

via Steve Jobs’s ‘journey for enlightenment’ – Under God – The Washington Post.


10
Nov
11

11.10.2011 … Early morning public transportation to Logan … Gotta love the Big Dig …. back home to the Queen City … then led a church group on labyrinth walk at Avondale Pres. in the rain … very good day but ugly weather …

Boston, public transportation, Big Dig, mouse whisperer: Well, I had an 8 am flight so John and I headed to the green line … then red line … the silver line (through the Big Dig), and for something like $1.60 I was at the airport in 40 minutes.  No complaints!  And see the man with the yellow hat … he caught a mouse with his foot  and let him go … everybody watched and smiled …

Charlotte, public art, Queen Charlotte:   back home to the Queen City … Don’t you just love the gorgeous Queen Charlotte welcoming you home!  🙂
labyrinth, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Charlotte:  Led a church group on labyrinth walk at Avondale Pres. in the rain … very good day but ugly weather  …

 

Boston, retailing, holidays, Nordstrom:  I was in Boston and Lord & Taylor dressed their windows for Christmas “tis the Season” Wednesday night (11/9) and the Salvation Army was out with their kettles already!!  Happy Thanksgiving…

In support of the contrarian among retailers … I think I will make a special effort to shop at Nordstrom … I always like contrarians … So I loved this floating around the net …

Like a contrarian reindeer in Santa’s fleet, Seattle-based department store Nordstrom is bucking the holiday trend to start sales early this year. Setting itself apart from the myriad retailers that have insisted on forcing the public to start thinking about Christmas before letting daylight savings, let alone Halloween, pass, Nordstrom is sticking to the traditional Black Friday date that was once used to kick off the holiday season.

With the economy being what it is, Americans are planning to spend less this year — and with the buyer’s market we’re in, stores are bending over backward to bring in as much business as possible. As such, welcome to Black November.

Holiday sales have already started online and at brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart and Barnes & Noble. Amazon offered some simple logic for its early-bird behavior, saying, “Black Friday isn’t until the day after Thanksgiving, but since you’re here already, looking for Black Friday deals, we thought we’d get the deals going a little early.”

“We won’t be decking our halls until Nov. 25,” says Nordstrom. “We just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.” Some holiday merchandise goes on sale early, but it’s largely confined to decor, like Christmas ornaments.

Nordstrom’s self-circumscribed holiday “rhythm,” falling on the far more patient side of the department store aisle, may prove a detriment to its bottom line, especially with shoppers already trending toward discounters this year. According to Accenture’s annual consumer holiday shopping study, 93% percent of consumers are motivated by deals and 73% will make their first stop discount retailers.

via Nordstrom Waits Alone For The Holidays | The Daily Feed | Minyanville.com.

 Boston Public Library, 9/11 Poster:  This was framed in the lobby of the BPL … 

Original Edition Flag of Honor Poster preview | Flag of Honor/Flag of Heroes Project.

Charlotte, fall leaves, ginkgo trees:  Magnificent!  From Daniel’s post and the reason I took the photos below of the gingko trees … not sure if a daneurism or not …

“One of the more splendid fall displays is the shimmering gold Gingko tree. Gingko is the Japanese word for gold…and also bank. Take note of the Gingko trees display…it’ll be gone before you know it!”

03
Nov
11

11.3.2011 … November is the month of Thanksgiving, right? …

Thanksgiving, culture, holidays:  What is wrong with our culture that we cannot celebrate each holiday in due course …

tv, Wizard of Oz, childhood memories, kith/kin: Watching the WofO taught me that grown men can cry .. My fun dad always teared up when we watched ! …  Anybody else remember the excitement around the annual tv showing of a classic movie … the Wizard of Oz or the Sound of Music for example.  Video players, streaming movies, owning movies have changed all that.

pic.twitter.com/fg3t83Fy

 On November 3, 1956, Wizard of Oz debuted on television and became an instant hit: Famous Animals Through the Years – Timeline – LIFE

Camp Wolf Trail Series, American Girl Series,  children’s/YA literature:  American Girl books for boys?  Maybe similar to Hardy Boys v. Nancy Drew …

 Valerie Tripp, the author behind the American Girl stories that give life to the crazy popular (and insanely expensive) dolls, has turned her gaze on a new demographic: yup, boys.

While the new Boys Camp series won’t fall in line with the traditional way publishers market to boys with plenty of science fiction, action and toughness, the series won’t go entirely frilly, either. But a few tears won’t be out of the question. And talking about expectations and life in a real way will certainly stay on the table.

While the American Girl series went historical with its treatment of the characters, the guy-focused series follows a group of cabin mates at modern-day Camp Wolf Trail, a riff off of a real summer camp in Maryland, according to the Washington Post.

A Tripp-penned book revolves around an Indian-American boy struggling with whether he should keep playing a sport he has grown up in his entire life, while another book discusses how one boy struggles with feeling shy and out of place.

With six books planned so far by a handful of female authors, the group hopes to get the concept going either by self-publishing or catching the interest of a publishing house. Of course, the real test will be if these authors can spark the interest of the boys they want to capture. We don’t see a line of popular dolls following.

via American Boys to Get an ‘American Girl’ Series of Their Own – TIME NewsFeed.

Amazon, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library:  So I have an old first generation Kindle … I will check this out.

Today Amazon opened the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, allowing Amazon Prime members to rent up to one digital book per month with no due date. The library includes 5,000 titles, ranging from three books by Michael Lewis to Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games trilogy to Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants.

The library books can only be read on Amazon Kindle devices: the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire–excluding readers on mobile devices and rival tablets. Customers can sign up for the $79-a-year Amazon Prime membership to access the library.

via Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Unveiled – GalleyCat.

29
May
11

5.29-30.2011 … Happy Memorial Day Weekend … staycation for me …

Memorial Day, holidays, staycations, Atlanta, favorites:  Well, I am  having a Charlotte staycation which, by the way, is not on the list.  But oddly just about every other favorite US city is on it … Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Chicago …  I will have to make do with Charlotte.

A staycation here could include a visit to Oakland Cemetery followed by a cold beer on a rooftop patio, shopping on the Westside followed by cheap eats, chilling with Coca Cola, hanging in the Botanical Gardens, or (heaven forbid) working up a sweat on the Silver Comet Trail. Our local Atlantan’s staycation plans showed her that she could stay in Atlanta but feel like she was a million miles away… without spending a million dollars to get there!

via Six Great Cities, Six Great Staycations – weather.com.

Robert McDuffie, people, Macon GA, Westminster: Saw that the GA Music Hall of Fame is closing down.  On its website is this advertisement for an exhibit on Macon GA artists.  I think the violinist in the picture is Macon native Bobby McDuffie , Camille’s husband.  Small world.

Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

bookshelf, lists:  Well, I have heard of very few of these … the list came recommended to me.  I’ll give you my list tomorrow …. Books for the Beach.

essays, love:  I liked David Mark Simpson entry “What is Carved in Stone,”  a runner-up in the Modern Love college essay contest.  Enjoy!

Every day for the next two weeks, we scraped our way up the cliffs of our two-bar plateau. It may not have been the same as carving a petroglyph, but the three-hour journey required a kind of resoluteness. It was exhausting and dangerous. And it left ample time to ponder if the climb was worth making.

via Modern Love – What Is Carved in Stone – NYTimes.com.

Facebook, twitter, social network, addictions:  I fail the test … and my children will tell you that.  Maybe I will set myself free this summer …

Q: Do you ever feel the urge to pull out your smartphone while someone else is making a point in a conversation?

Q: Have you ever realized that you were texting or checking your e-mail while your child was telling you about her day at school?

Q: Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook?

Q: Does a flashing red light on your BlackBerry make your heart flutter?

Q: Are you spending time with your spouse or significant other without talking to each other because you’re each immersed in a different device?

If you answered yes to at least a couple of these questions, you’re among the millions of Americans being overrun by technology.

via The Digital Diet: How to break free of your smartphone and other gadgets – The Washington Post.

food, vegetarian food, lists, kith/kin:  We have a family friend who is vegetarian so I always keep a box of veggie burgers on hand.  After several years, I have grown to like them myself.  Our favorite brand, Morningstar, is not even on the list.  What do they know? Taste Test: 10 Veggie Burgers for Grilling – KitchenDaily.

Davidson IB, Davidson, CMS,  magnet schools, education, Charlotte:  I still do not understand how CMS could shut down what is considered one of the best magnet schools in the country … amazing.

They bonded over shovels.

It was a Friday in March, a day off for students. Parents and kids from two middle schools, Davidson IB and J.M. Alexander, met on the Alexander campus. They were partners in an arranged marriage. Davidson was closing at the end of the school year. Alexander would take Davidson’s students and faculty. Nobody was thrilled about it.

Back in the fall, when the school board made the decision, the feelings were bare and raw. Davidson families blasted the board for killing off one of the best magnet schools in America. Alexander families got mad at the idea that their school didn’t measure up. Board member Rhonda Lennon said Davidson parents seemed unwilling to send their kids to school with poor black students. Davidson parents threatened to walk away from CMS.

Now, a few months afterward, everyone had calmed down. But the relationships still needed tending. The principals of both schools thought sprucing up the Alexander campus might be the way to spruce up the mood.

via Starting with a clean slate – together | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

news, for the love of money:  She buried him in the flower garden to collect his social security, and no one noticed for 15 years!!!

When police found the body of Ruth Huber Bostic last year in the living room of her southeast Raleigh home, her neighbors noted that they hadn’t seen her husband, David Ellis Bostic, in a while.

As in a decade or more.

via Flower bed hid man’s grave | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

commencement speeches, kith/kin, lists:  OK, they failed to mentioned my brothers’s speech at E. Rivers Elementary School … 2011’s Best Commencement Speeches – Galleries – The Daily Beast.

Picasso, muses, art:  Be honest, have you ever heard of an artist’s muse who was happy?

 

 

At Picasso’s death in 1973, an abstract sculpture of Marie-Therese holding a lantern was placed over his grave:

“Why do you think he wanted that sculpture on his grave?” Mason asked.

“I think he saw Marie-Therese as his real wife,’ Richardson said. “And she was the one person of all the women in his life who’d given him the most love, the most understanding.”

Fifty years after their first meeting, Marie-Therese took her own life.

For the muse, there was no living without the artist.

via Picasso and his mistress, his muse – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney:  Interesting analysis of Mitt and this “early” campaign speech.

THE principal themes of Mitt Romney’s speech here in Des Moines earlier this afternoon were that America’s economy remains a wreck because Barack Obama’s a rank amateur whose woeful inexperience, ignorance of the requirements of a robust economy, and faintly un-American taste for the public-policy fashions in Europe, has created a climate of economic uncertainty that has retarded recovery. Speaking before a small crowd beneath antique airplanes suspended in the atrium of the State of Iowa Historical Museum, an effortfully cheerful Mr Romney assayed an early version of a stump speech I imagine will become a staple of his campaign for the Republican nomination, once it “officially” begins some time next week in New Hampshire.

via Mitt Romney in Iowa: All-pro, all-American | The Economist.

Niagara Falls, travel bucket list:  Well, I love these articles… 36 hours in ______ … and Niagara Falls is on my list.  36 Hours in Niagara Falls – NYTimes.com.




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