Posts Tagged ‘home

22
Mar
17

3.22.17 … “For though I claw at empty air and feel Nothing, no embrace, I have not plummeted.”-Denise Levertov

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2017 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 22/40), finger labyrinth created from aerial photo of Serenbe (GA) labyrinth, @home, Charlotte NC:

I have fretted today. I’ll leave it at that.

I am at home and created a finger labyrinth from an aerial photo of the labyrinth at Serenbe. But what made this one good is I listened to the music attached to a you tube clip about Labyrinths (https://youtu.be/4U7y_6XjBIE). And it ended up being a special walk. It removed me for a few minutes from my fretting.

A few things that have crossed my radar this week …

“Suspended” from Evening Train by Denise Levertov

I had grasped God’s garment in the void

But my hand slipped

On the rich silk of it.

The ‘everlasting arms’ my sister loved to remember

Must have upheld my leaden weight

From falling, even so,

For though I claw at empty air and feel

Nothing, no embrace,

I have not plummeted.

From J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis:

There is an ethnic component lurking in the background of my story. In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin – black people, Asians, white privilege. Sometimes these broad categories are useful. But to understand my story, you have to delve into the details.

I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast. Instead, I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty’s the family tradition. Their ancestors were day laborers in the southern slave economy, sharecroppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and mill workers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends and family.

Blessings!

3.22.17

09
Jun
15

6.19.14 … family history …

TBT, kith/kin, special places, home, Hawkinsville GA, Pineview GA, oral history:

All my life when I visited Pineview GA, we would visit nearby Hawkinsville GA, and my grandparents would turn down Merritt St and stop in front of this house. They would say that my grandparents house on Bay Street in Pineview had been built in a hurry to replace a house that looked just like this house that had burned down around 1910. My great grandfather JJ Dennard refused to build another two story house since two of his girls had to jump to safety from the second story balcony. The new house which still stands is one story and all rooms have a door to the outside.

14
Oct
13

10.14.13 … The Zoo is temporarily closed … no, the US brand is temporarily closed …

iconic photos, 2013 Shutdown: this will be the photo of the 2013 Shutdown.  Do you think it was staged?  I don’t. 

It helps that the iconography is simple: kid in an animal hat, zoo bars, Love Locked Out. It also helps that you can’t see the child’s face. The juxtaposition of sign and small body and quasi-narrative situation invites our projections. We assume that the child is forlorn, or that the picture is staged (it’s not), or that the photographer was seeking to make a political point.

View image on Twitter

We think we have seen all of that in this picture, and we begin to discuss the picture as if we had seen those things, and as if the picture had portrayed them. But it turns out – as I realized when I discovered I had overlooked the picture’s subject – that we aren’t really looking. And much of what passes for commentary or dialogue – certainly in the immediate responses to this picture on all of the many Web sites and forums and tweets that have disseminated it – are reactions based on our own shadow-projections. Nowhere is this clearer than in a photograph that doesn’t actually show the face or even the gender of the subject. “Entitled little bastard,” wrote one kind soul on the Web site of the Atlantic: that’s a lot to read into the back side of a kid in a monkey hat.

via I know the sad kid at the Zoo.

mediation, home:  I still plan to build a labyrinth in my home.

Yearning for a place to unplug, meditate and pray, some people are transforming parts of their homes into houses of worship.

These latest spiritual spaces are no longer relegated to a single altar in the corner of the room. Homeowners are creating meditation gardens, yoga and tai chi studios and private chapels. Rather than tacking these spaces on as afterthoughts, architects and builders are incorporating them into home plans from the start.

via There’s No Place Like Om: Meditative Spaces—WSJ Mansion – WSJ.com.

 I have never been a person defined by music, but Kay Mutert added music to my love of labyrinths … makes it a truly sacred and meditative place. 

Kay’s passion is helping others find their inner song. Kay believes the ancient archetype of the labyrinth is right for today’s world as it draws us into an embodied non-verbal experience. She encourages others to deepen their spirituality, letting her love for music and movement speak to the hearts of others.

via Veriditas – Home.

brands, trends, Brand Thinking, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, stuff, Brain Pickings:  Many years ago I read an article by Faith Popcorn on Clicking and this blog post reminded me of that article.  I think I will have to find the book Clicking to figure out why.  

The art of the interview may be nearly obsolete, but a handful of its contemporary masters still hold its fort. One of them is Debbie Millman who, besides being an extraordinary artist and modern-day philosopher, is also a maven of design and branding who has spent nearly a decade interviewing some of today’s most revered designers, writers, artists, anthropologists, and various other thought leaders on her Design Matters radio show, which earned the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2011. Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (public library) is the equally fantastic follow-up to the 2007 anthology How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, culling and synthesizing some of her finest interviews with such admired minds as Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, and Wally Olins

via Brand Thinking: Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, and Other Mavens on How and Why We Define Ourselves Through Stuff | Brain Pickings.

Explore – Seth Godin and other cultural mavens on the….

26
May
13

5.26.13 … just like …

Atlanta, Cut Map, wall art, just like, home: 

Cut Maps are laser cut street maps of the worlds most famous and recognizable cities. These maps are cut from high quality recycled mounting board and framed. You may choose any color combination you wish. The picture shown is Black – on – White.

via Atlanta Cut Map by CutMaps on Etsy.

03
Jan
13

1.3.13 We’ve settled in for a long winter’s nap … “live your life, live your life.”

favorites, authors, Maurice Sendak, atheism:  WOW …

great interview …  “almost certainly I’ll go before you go, so I won’t have to miss you”.

“live your life, live your life.”

An Illustrated Talk With Maurice Sendak (Drawings by Christoph Niemann) – YouTube.

winter, home:  We’ve settled in for a long winter’s nap …These were taken New year’s but they will look like this til spring.  They are hibernating.
Photo: Only the dog in the chair has changed.  :)
Photo: The other basset ... Wild night at Chez Teague. :)
Tolkien, happy birthday, authors:  

 

Tolkien ’bout my generation. Happy Birthday to the master.

Photo: Tolkien 'bout my generation. Happy Birthday to the master.

12 days of Christmas: 

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love sent to me Ten Lords A-leaping. The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God’s name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

via (2) Advent.

waste: cord tacos … I think I can do this cheaper!

5 Pack of Assorted Cord Tacos Uncovet.

Davidson basketball:  Since I promised to report back … First half was fun … 😦

Davidson managed a 29-29 tie at halftime, a testament to its game plan and aggressiveness despite the prolonged absence of center Jake Cohen, who picked up his second foul 2 minutes, 38 seconds into the game and spent most of the half on the bench.

De’Mon Brooks’ relentlessness on the boards (he finished with 12 rebounds) allowed Davidson to stay even through the first 20 minutes but that was as good as it would get for the Wildcats (7-6).

Duke scored the first 12 points of the second half, its offense finally finding a rhythm against the Wildcats’ defense. Cook, Kelly and Thornton were instrumental in the run, which left the Wildcats in an increasingly desperate situation.

The Wildcats, who missed eight of 10 3-point attempts in the first half, found a brief spark in the second but could get no closer than eight.

They will remember the uncommonly high number of point-blank shots they missed against the Blue Devils.

“Coach kept telling us we had to fight for 40 minutes. That stretch in the second half killed us,” said Davidson guard Tyler Kalinoski, who finished with nine points.

via Duke Blue Devils shake Davidson Wildcats; win 67-50 | CharlotteObserver.com.

Georgia,  Cloudland Canyon, bucket list:  This one is close to home …

Pictured: Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Sussman Imaging

.Photo: "Like" this photo if you plan to Explore Georgia in 2013!</p> <p>Pictured: Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia.<br /> Photo Credit: Sussman Imaging

via Explore Georgia

 Starbucks, recycling, not waste:

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, began selling reusable plastic cups for $1 at its U.S. and Canadian stores today.

The white plastic cup has the Starbucks logo on it and holds a tall or grande size drink, Haley Drage, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The Seattle-based brewer already offers a 10-cent discount to its customers who bring in a reusable mug.

Starbucks served 1.9 percent of drinks in customers’ personal tumblers in its global company-owned stores in 2011, according to its latest global responsibility report. It wants to serve 5 percent of beverages in reusable cups by 2015, the report shows.

via Starbucks Sells $1 Reusable Cups at U.S. Locations – Bloomberg

.Starbucks to send 'cliff' message on cups

products I like: 🙂

MUG SOMEONE: Our “And also with y’all” coffee mugs are another way to have serious fun or start The Conversation. They are not on our website yet, but you can order on the phone.

Photo: MUG SOMEONE:  Our "And also with y'all" coffee mugs are another way to have serious fun or start The Conversation.  They are not on our website yet, but you can order on the phone.

Northern Lights, Finland, bucket list:  

Northern Lights Season Is Starting !! Are you Ready ?!!

Renting a glass igloo in Finland to sleep under the Northern Lights.

Aurora season has been in high gear for nearly a month in Abisko, and it looks as though this year could be something very, very special, We are entering the peak of the solar maximum, and if history is any indicator we should see a marked increase in aurora activity.

Photo: Northern Lights Season Is Starting !! Are you Ready ?!!</p> <p>Renting a glass igloo in Finland to sleep under the Northern Lights.</p> <p>Aurora season has been in high gear for nearly a month in Abisko, and it looks as though this year could be something very, very special, We are entering the peak of the solar maximum, and if history is any indicator we should see a marked increase in aurora activity.

25
Oct
11

10.25.2011 … ‎1 scoop Pistachio Gelato with 1 scoop Nutella Gelato on the streets of Paris is possibly one of the most enjoyable dessert experiences I have ever had. 1 scoop of store-bought Pistachio Gelato actually comes pretty close and is a lot cheaper.

home, Ciao Bella Pistachio Gelato:  This stuff is really good … but still not as good as that served at  Amorino in Paris … but you can find it at HT!

Discover. Savor. Share. Ciao Bella.Following more than a decade of success in New York City, Ciao Bella opened its first San Francisco location 15 years ago on Harrison Street before moving to the famed Ferry Building, as an inaugural tenant in 2003.   To celebrate its Bay Area history and new design, Ciao Bella will highlight flavors that source ingredients from local vendors, such as Pistachio Gelato and Peach Ginger Sorbet.

via Ciao Bella Gelato & Sorbet blog.

Muammar Gaddafi, RIP/End of an Era: … weird, creepy … makes for a good Halloween costume … see next entry. 🙂

Long before his end, Muammar Gaddafi had become the weird, creepy, certainly criminal uncle who showed up, because he was really rich, at reunions of world leaders. He did not begin that way. How a young man from deep poverty in a rural North African town rose to become one of the West’s most intractable foes, and then one of its most critical political and economic partners, is an extraordinary political saga.

Gaddafi was scarcely destined for power. Born in 1942 into a tribal Bedouin family near the coastal town of Sirt, he was raised in a country still digging out from the ravages of World War II and a long struggle against Italian colonialism. The giant oil reserves that lay beneath the Libyan desert were years away from being explored. In fact, Libya was barely a nation at all. Gaddafi was 9 years old when the country finally gained its independence from France and Britain (which administered it jointly after the war’s end) and became a monarchy under King Idris al-Sanusi.

Like many provincial boys with little education, Gaddafi joined the army. He became a captain, then trained at Britain’s elite Sandhurst Academy, before returning home as an officer in the Signal Corps. It was in that position, at just 27, that he led a group of junior officers in a bloodless coup, toppling King Idris and declaring himself colonel. In the museum glorifying Gaddafi’s “people’s revolution,” set within the high stone walls of the fortress in Tripoli’s Green Square, one of the main exhibits was a battered sand-colored jeep with open sides, in which Gaddafi, according to his own legend, rode into the city, victorious on Sept. 1, 1969, to present himself as Libya’s leader to a people hungry for popular leadership.

via The End of Muammar Gaddafi: The Colonel’s Long, Weird Ride – TIME.

Muammar Gaddafi,  Halloween 2011, costumes:

rebecca black

What you’ll need:

• An unruly black wig (or this mask)

• Unkempt mustache and goatee

• Gaudy sheets, drapes or pajamas

• Matching kufi or brimless hat

• Dark, square sunglasses

• Female bodyguards (optional)

via Muammar Gaddafi – The 10 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2011 – TIME.

Vatican, global oversight, economy, supranational authority, global economy:  When has the Vatican been known for democratic and ethical principles?

The Vatican called on Monday for an overhaul of the world’s financial systems, and again proposed establishment of a supranational authority to oversee the global economy, calling it necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok.

In a report issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican argued that “politics — which is responsible for the common good” must be given primacy over the economy and finance, and that existing institutions like the International Monetary Fund had not been responding adequately to global economic problems.

The document grows out of the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns about economic instability and widening inequality of income and wealth around the world, issues that transcend the power of national governments to address on their own.

“The time has come to conceive of institutions with universal competence, now that vital goods shared by the entire human family are at stake, goods which the individual states cannot promote and protect by themselves,” Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the pontifical council, said as he presented the report on Monday. “That is what pushed us.”

The language in the document, which the Vatican refers to as a note, is distinctively strong. “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,” the document states.

The message prompted comparisons with the rallying cries of protest movements that have been challenging the financial world order, like the indignados in Madrid and the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City. Still, Vatican officials said the document was not a manifesto for disaffected dissidents.

via Vatican Calls for Global Oversight of the Economy – NYTimes.com.

Polaroid, Edwin Land,  dreaming, success, inventing, Insisting on the Impossible, books, quotes:

In the fall of 1943, a little girl asked her father why she couldn’t see a photograph immediately after it was taken — a blasphemous proposition in the era’s photographic paradigm. Fortunately, her father happened to be Edwin Land, the iconic inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. So rather than dismissing the question as an impossibility, he took it as a challenge, then made history — in February of 1947, the world’s first Polaroid camera hit stores and unleashed one of the most creative movements in the history of the static image.

via Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land on the 5000 Steps to Success | Brain Pickings.

“If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.”

~ Edwin Land to Polaroid employees, December 23, 1942

via If you dream of something worth doing – benrmatthews.

electric mini cupcake maker, random:  I have been known to buy some useless items … but this tops the cake … no pun intended!

How it actually works: The cupcakes themselves tasted fine, and except for some tunneling where steam created holes, their texture was fine, too. But compared to the 12 minutes it took to bake a full dozen mini cupcakes in the oven, this machine was no time-saver.

Good to know: It cleaned up easily; however, we had to struggle a bit to wash and rinse it without getting the machine too wet.

Best for: It might be fun as an activity with children, but most kids would probably become bored with waiting before the second half-dozen cupcakes are done, and you’d be trapped, baking off the rest of the batter, tiny batch after tiny batch.

Overall: Would we buy this? No. We’ll stick with the oven, where we can bake a couple dozen mini cupcakes in the time it takes this machine to steam seven.

via World’s Fastest Electric Mini Cupcake Maker (It Exists!) | The Feed.

animated short film, greed, Tout Rien (“All Nothing”): Beautiful! Tout Rien animation – YouTube.

But most striking of all are his animated short films. In 1978, his Tout Rien (“All Nothing”), a delicate and pensive 11-minute animated allegory set to the music of Igor Stravinsky about how our human greed is stealing the happiness of our species, earned him an Oscar nomination. It tackles, with remarkable elegance and sensitivity, our tragic tendency towards anthropocentricity in a world we share with countless

via AAll Nothing: Poetic 1978 Animated Allegory about Mankind’s Greed | Brain Pickings.

corporate social responsibility (“csr”), soda companies:  Interesting … flies in the face of csr, don’t you think?

The soda industry hit a new low this year. In 2010, Philadelphia’s mayor and health commissioner had both supported an SSB tax and came within one vote of having the tax passed by the city council. In 2011, when the mayor made it clear he would reintroduce the tax, the industry created an organization called Foundation for a Healthy America, which gave a gift of $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for research and prevention of childhood obesity. Would the hospital accept money from a tobacco company to study anti-smoking programs? The hospital tried to give some of the money to the city to run obesity programs through city health centers, but the mayor refused on the grounds it was funded by the beverage industry.

Over time, the tobacco companies were outed for their dirty tactics and the nation reacted with a series of public policies that cut smoking in half in the U.S. The beverage industry has been successful thus far in fighting off significant taxes through heavy lobbying, questionable tactics, and the attempt to appear public-health minded, but they, too, are likely to be embarrassed as light shines upon them. As they scramble to protect their profits, their actions may ultimately hurt their cause and pave the way for the very government actions they seek to prevent.

via Kelly Brownell on the Dirty Tactics of Soda Companies | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

live and work in the present, lifestyles, universal truths: “Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley?” … Some good things to think about here. “Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.”

For reasons I will explain, I call this process “getting to clear.”

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago from a friend—let’s call him Steve—who worked in multilevel marketing (or sales careers based on recruiting other sellers). He attended a lot of motivational seminars and listened repeatedly to recordings of books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Power of Positive Thinking. For a while he was into Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. As I understood it, the big idea in that book was to remove all your painful memories because they sap your energy and prevent you from being effective and happy.

Steve kept saying that he was “getting to clear,” which is Scientology lingo that meant, more and more, he was fully in the moment, and not only that, the moment was increasingly subject to his mental control. Working from a table outside a shopping mall, Steve could push cellphone accounts on passers-by with a manic, smiling intensity that was almost frightening to behold. He could switch it off, too, like some kind of Tesla-inspired, anti-gravity device, to explain what he was doing so that I could imitate it and earn more commissions.

Reality was something created by our minds, Steve said. Once he was “clear”—and living fully in the present moment—he would be able to “manifest” anything he desired. He said he could visualize customers lining up, and they simply would appear, in greater and greater numbers. In sales, you just have to believe, and then you can have anything you want, developing your mental powers—the will to succeed—by increments.

That belief struck me as odd at the time, and it still does. Sort of like thinking you could learn to fly like Superman by leaping out of airplanes with smaller and smaller parachutes.

On the other hand, some of those ideas seem to descend from respected thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Friedrich Nietzsche. Following Emerson’s gospel of self-reliance, Steve was on his way to becoming an Übermensch among the Willy Lomans. Of course I think that acting like the material world is a mental construct—and that people are manifestations of your will—is going too far, but who can doubt the value of liberating yourself from the past so you can be more effective in the present? Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley? Once you have completed your overdue obligations and done your best to repair the “errata” of your life, as the printer Benjamin Franklin called them, why not embrace the present, completely. As counterculture gurus said back in the ’60s, if you want to be happy, you need to “Be here now!”

But one of my colleagues here at Hope College—let’s call her Natalie (for that, happily, is her name)—said something to me that I’ll never forget: “You can’t spend your career looking forward to doing something else.”

In other words, once September arrives, instead of embracing the academic year, the return of the usual routine, we feel like divers inhaling deeply before a plunge into dark water. We look forward to surfacing with the return of summer, but then summer comes, and we find that nothing has really changed: just a new configuration of responsibilities. It’s never going to be perfect, but you have to find a way to make the most of what you are doing today.

Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.

via ‘Getting to Clear’ – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

TEDxCharlotte, dream makers, risk takers,  bucket list:  To go to a TED presentation is on my short bucket list … who has been?

Every presenter — whatever their particular passion and mission — was inspiring, motivating and engaging. The day was a composite of live speakers, videos, entertainers and art offered to spark deep discussion and connections. In addition to the daylong conference, there is an accompanying art exhibition up through Thursday, Nov. 3 that highlights some dream makers and risk takers in the art world. This show is in the Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins Building and is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

via Dream makers and risk takers come out for TEDxCharlotte | Knight Arts.

Elizabeth Eckford, Hazel Bryan, iconic photos, Civil Rights Movement, history, reconciliation, friendship:  How horrible to be branded in the world’s memory as a person filled with racial hatred … very moving story.

Sometime in 1962 or 1963—no cameras recorded the scene, and she didn’t mark anything down—Hazel, sitting in the trailer in rural Little Rock in which she and her family now lived, picked up the Little Rock directory, and looked under “Eckford.” Then, without telling her husband or pastor or anyone else, she dialed the number. Between sobs, she told Elizabeth that she was that girl, and how sorry she was. Elizabeth was gracious. The conversation lasted a minute, if that. In the South, in the ’60s, how much more did a white girl and a black girl have to say to one another?

Still, Hazel never stopped thinking about the picture and making amends for it. She severed what had been her ironclad ties to an intolerant church. She taught mothering skills to unmarried black women, and took underprivileged black teenagers on field trips. She frequented the black history section at the local Barnes & Noble, buying books by Cornel West and Shelby Steele and the companion volume to Eyes on the Prize. She’d argue with her mother on racial topics, defending relatives who’d intermarried.

Secretly, Hazel always hoped some reporter would track her down and write about how she’d changed. But it didn’t happen on its own, and she did nothing to make it happen. Instead, again and again, there was the picture. Anniversary after anniversary, Martin Luther King Day after Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month after Black History Month, it just kept popping up. The world of race relations was changing, but to the world, she never did.

Finally, on the 40th anniversary of Central’s desegregation in 1997, Will Counts returned to Little Rock and arranged for Elizabeth and Hazel to pose for him again. Hazel was thrilled, Elizabeth, curious. Their first meeting was predictably awkward, but the new picture, showing the two women smiling in front of Central, revealed only the barest hint of that. It all but took over the next day’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and very nearly upstaged President Clinton’s speech the next day, in which he worked in a reference to them both. Soon, a poster-sized version of the picture was available: “Reconciliation,” it said. Everyone rejoiced; Thanks to Elizabeth and Hazel, Little Rock, maligned for 40 years, bathed in instant absolution.

Ultimately, it grew too much for Hazel. She cut off ties with Elizabeth—for her, Sept. 11, 2011 marked another anniversary: 10 years had passed since they’d last spoken—and stopped making public appearances with her. Her interviews with me—granted only with great reluctance—will, she says, be her last. When I asked the two women to pose together one last time (Elizabeth turned 70 last Tuesday; Hazel will in January) Elizabeth agreed; Hazel would not. Hazel was poised to vote for Obama in 2008; after all, even her own mother did. But so deep was her hurt that she found some excuse not to.

So the famous photograph of 1957 takes on additional meaning: the continuing chasm between the races and the great difficulty, even among people of good will, to pull off real racial reconciliation. But shuttling back and forth between them, I could see that for all their harsh words—over the past decade, they’ve only dug in their heels—they still missed one another. Each, I noticed, teared up at references to the other. Perhaps, when no one is looking—or taking any pictures—they’ll yet come together again. And if they can, maybe, so too, can we.

via Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan: What happened to the two girls in the most famous photo of the Civil Rights Era..

global population,  7 Billion Day:  I had no idea we were approaching 7 billion!

My print column examines the numbers underlying the designation by the United Nations of Oct. 31 as 7 Billion Day — the day when the world population will hit that milestone number.

Unlike its approach to the equivalent milestone 12 years and a billion people ago, the U.N. won’t be naming the seven billionth inhabitant of the planet. Instead, the agency is calling for hundreds of newborns to take the mantle, by encouraging all countries to identify their own seven billionth baby. The Canadian magazine Maclean’s recently tracked down Adnan Nevic, the designated No. 6,000,000,000, who receives attention each year on his birthday for his achievement but whose Bosnian family has trouble making ends meet.

Hospitals around the U.S. named competing children as No. 300 million when the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country passed that threshold five years ago. But Census itself stays mum. “Would it be someone born, or an immigrant?” asked Census spokesman Robert Bernstein. “You don’t know which component of change” is responsible for the last bit of population growth.

The world tacked on its most recent billion in as much time as the prior billion, which means the growth rate is slowing, easing some of the fears of Thomas Malthus’s intellectual descendants. And the population milestone isn’t necessarily a one-time-only event: The world could cross back under seven billion if deaths overtakes births. “We may pass that mark several times,” Nico Keilman, a demographic modeler at the University of Oslo, wrote in an email, outlining a morbid scenario. (Keilman has studied the accuracy of past population projections.) “Suppose the world counts exactly seven billion on or around 31 October. Suddenly there is an earthquake or some other natural disaster with many people killed. This may lead to a population less than seven billion. In other words, whereas the U.N. (and others) predict a smooth path for population development, reality is volatile.”

via 7 Billion Day: The Uncertainty of Counting and Projecting Global Population – The Numbers Guy – WSJ.

 The New York Times,  Angry Birds,  corrections: 🙂

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the premise of “Angry Birds,” a popular iPhone game. In the game, slingshots are used to launch birds to destroy pigs and their fortresses, not to shoot down the birds

via Regret the Error» The New York Times offers an amusing Angry Birds correction.

McRib, McDonald’s, cult following, social media:  Just funny!

NEW YORK — The McRib, the elusive sandwich that has inspired a cult-like following, is back.

McDonald’s Corp. announced Monday that the boneless barbecue pork sandwich, usually available in only a few stores at a time, will be sold at all U.S. locations through Nov. 14.

Most of the time, it’s up to local franchises to determine when and if they want to sell the McRib — except in Germany, the only place where it’s available perennially. But McDonald’s said the response was so great last November when it made the McRib available nationally for about three weeks that it decided to bring it back this year. The company, which previously hadn’t sold the McRib nationally since 1994, declined to give specific sales numbers.

The sandwich, which is dressed with onions, pickle slices and barbecue sauce, was introduced nationally in 1982. With 500 calories and 26 grams of fat, it’s slightly trimmer than the Big Mac, which has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat. And just like the Big Mac, the McRib has become a popular McDonald’s offering.

If the McRib is so popular, why not just offer it all the time? McDonald’s likes to stoke the enthusiasm with an aura of transience.

“Bringing it back every so often adds to the excitement,” said Marta Fearon, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director, who added that she’s not sure if the McRib will reappear in stores every fall.

And how can it be called a McRib if it doesn’t have any bones? Said Fearon: “That gives it this quirky sense of humor.”

via The elusive pork sandwich is coming back, briefly; a barbecue without the bones – The Washington Post.

23
Oct
11

10.23.2011 … wasabi reunion day 2 … home and sushi with Molly — at Koishi Fine Chinese & Sushi Bar.

Davidson College,wasabi, reunions:  So what is a wasabi reunion like … mornings turn to afternoon and we are still in our pjs, sharing, sharing, sharing … loves, likes, movies, books, passions, missions, careers, vocations, families, coffee and more coffee, food  …

Things I learned …, food – gluten-free, vocation, El Hogar Ministries, Inc, Daraja Academy, Nike’s Girl Effect,  Rock the Vonate!, Building Dreams:

  • Gluten-free food can be pretty good and Betsy’s soup is divine … gluten-free?

Spinach-Provolone Soup 

1 28 oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed but not squeezed dry(note:  if I’m strapped for time, I put the frozen spinach in a colander and run hot water over it)

¾ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup butter

6 cups skim milk

6 cups chicken broth

6 T cornstarch mixed thoroughly with some of the milk until smooth

2 cups shredded provolone cheese (I often buy the Italian blend already shredded at Wal Mart—easier)

2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Extra grated cheese and crumbled bacon for topping the soup

  • Puree spinach in food processor and set aside.  If you don’t have a food processor, the soup will still work (you’ll just have chunkier spinach J)
  • Saute onion in melted butter.
  • Add broth, milk, and cornstarch mixture
  • Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens to a thin sauce and begins to bubble (stir frequently).
  • Add the 2 c. grated cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the salt, cayenne pepper, and spinach.
  • Serve as soon as spinach is heated thoroughly.  Garnish each bowl with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.

This makes enough to serve 12.  Enjoy!

  • Pride in a child who is conquering an illness or handicap, pride in an adult who is conquering an illness or handicap …
  • Heartbreak and joy … everyone can and should experience both … Both are better when shared.
  • Finding your vocation … (I am still looking for mine).

… one wasabi’s husband is heading an orphanage in Honduras, and he is happy … he has found his vocation.

The mission of El Hogar Projects is to provide a loving home and education in a Christian environment for abandoned, orphaned and hopelessly poor children, enabling them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive human beings in Honduras.

The mission of El Hogar Ministries, Inc. is to assist in the improvement of social and educational conditions in Honduras, principally by supporting El Hogar Projects. El Hogar Ministries, Inc. raises funds and maintains an office for coordination and communication with North American sponsors, contributors and outreach groups which form a sacred community of service and are the backbone of financial support for the 250 children at the three schools and homes of El Hogar Projects.

via El Hogar’s schools provide a loving home & education for abandoned & orphaned children in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

… another wasabi is on the board of a Kenyan school for girls which  is using Rock the Vonate to raise funds … She taught in Kenya right out of Davidson and always           wanted to find a way back

Girls of Daraja (complete) – YouTube.

Rock the Vonate! Your vonate will help Daraja win a spot with Nike’s Girl Effect: top 6 projects w/highest # of individual donations win. This is an opportunity to get Daraja on the global stage. Daraja Academy is a boarding secondary school for Kenyan girls with top academic scores and exceptional leadership skills but no means to continue their education.The academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services allowing students to focus on academic and personal development.

via Daraja Academy for Exceptional Kenyan Girls – GlobalGiving.

… another wasabi spouse is starting up a mentoring program for SC children of incarcerated parents …

Who We Are

Building Dreams provides mentoring services based on principles of positive youth development to children of incarcerated parents. Started in 2004 in five counties of South Carolina, the Building Dreams program has gradually expanded so that today services are available in eight counties and will soon expand state-wide. Our overarching goal is to develop close, supportive, one-on-one mentoring relationships between trained adult volunteers and eligible children.

via Building Dreams : Public Service : Clemson University : South Carolina.

home, kith/kin: It is wonderful to have a child to share fun and different meals with … Sushi with Molly — at Koishi Sushi Bar and Fine Chinese Restaurant.

travel, technology, iPads:  Another significant impact of a Steve Jobs’ invention … Ipads change economics and speed of hotel wi-fi.  It changes it in my house … “The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said.”

IF, like me, you have been complaining about unusually poor Internet service in hotel rooms lately, the hotels have a good explanation.

Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, which are heavy users of video streaming, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands.

“The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half,” said David W. Garrison, the chief executive of iBAHN, a provider of systems for the hotel and meetings industries.

This means more hotel customers are unhappy with their Internet connections. Hotel owners, meanwhile, who are digging out from a two-year slump caused by the recession, will probably have to invest more money to provide more bandwidth.

For travelers, it may mean still another fee, since hotels will be paying their own Internet bills. Some hotel Internet service providers are proposing a solution that offers tiered Wi-Fi service. The lowest level, suitable for basic Internet requirements like checking e-mail, would be free, but other levels would be priced depending on bandwidth requirements. According to iBAHN, iPads consume four times more Wi-Fi data per month than the average smartphone.

The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said.

via IPads Change Economics, and Speed, of Hotel Wi-Fi-On the Road – NYTimes.com.

2012 Presidential Election, technology, twitter, social networking, GOP:  Is the GOP finally getting up to speed?

President Obama’s image projected from one of the many television screens that hang in Representative Eric Cantor’s office suite, where the president could be seen telling a crowd in North Carolina that he was open to “any serious idea” Republicans offered on jobs.

Within seconds, Brad Dayspring, Mr. Cantor’s Rasputin of retort, was on the case, his fingers ripping across the keyboard as if individually caffeinated. “Obama says he’s open to any “serious #GOP idea,” typed Mr. Dayspring, the aggressive spokesman for Mr. Cantor, the Republican from Virginia who serves as House majority leader, in a message on Twitter. “Here are 15 jobs bills stalled in the Senate to get him started.”

A link from Mr. Cantor’s blog was quickly pasted in, the send button was hit, and Mr. Dayspring sat back slightly in his chair, pleased.

Barely a minute goes by between the time Mr. Obama — or a high-ranking member of his administration — makes a speech, holds a news conference or says something to a talk show host, and a team of young Republican House staffers, fueled by pizza and partisanship, punches back.

It’s a bit of a table turn on Mr. Obama, whose 2008 campaign capitalized on social media in a way that left Republicans bruised and scrambling. Now, after a post-election order from Speaker John A. Boehner that year, House Republicans have embraced Twitter as their karaoke microphone to push their message against the White House bullhorn.

The insta-Tweet has revolutionized rapid response operations that just two years ago relied heavily on cable television, e-mails and news conferences to spread the word of the opposition, which often took a day or two to gain momentum. That time lag could delay the message from taking hold, a result Republicans were eager to undo.

“In the Hill environment, minutes count,” said Mr. Dayspring, whose mad-dash Twitter messaging is supplemented by his colleague Brian Patrick, Mr. Cantor’s blogger and a Twitter expert who is known as Boomer for his ability to pump up Republican crowds.

“It’s far more like a campaign environment now,” Mr. Dayspring said.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama made productive use of Facebook, MySpace and his Web site as tools of outreach and organization. Through social media, money was raised, volunteers were gathered, events were publicized and videos of the candidate went instantly viral. His Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, was flat-footed in the same arena (though he has become a devout Twitter believer since). Out of that experience was born a list of roughly 13 million Twitter users, like the famous Republican mailing lists of the past, this one on steroids.

At a January 2009 retreat, as defeated Republicans licked their wounds, Mr. Boehner told his colleagues that they needed to “think about the potential of new media,” according to a copy of his remarks. He urged members and their staff to immediately get themselves on YouTube and Twitter, as he did. Without control of the House floor, it became the Republicans’ main messaging tool as they mounted their successful push to capture control of the House. Now, it is their weapon of repetition.

Republican House members have more than twice as many followers as their Democratic counterparts — about 1.3 million versus roughly 600,000 — and are far more active on Twitter with more than 157,000 individual Twitter messages, versus roughly 62,000 for Democrats.

“Once Republicans get their act together, they are really good at organizing,” said Andrew Rasiej, the founder of Personal Democracy Media, which studies how technology is changing politics. Republicans in the House are using technology “in order to blunt the power of the White House in a new political media ecology that benefits from speed,” he said.

via The G.O.P.’s Very Rapid Response Team – NYTimes.com.

Spotify, media, journalism, social networking:  Is Spotify where journalism/media and social networking meet?  Like many products it may disappear before I figure it out!

Until Google irons out its music licensing issues with the big record labels, its Google Music service (which the Wall Street Journal says is rumored to launch within the next few weeks) probably won’t reach the popularity of the music industry’s latest big thing: Spotify. One thing Google does want to do is emulate Spotify’s social media features, which lets people share public playlists. So, what to do if your friends don’t have the best taste in music? Find someone who does!

Everyone from obsessive music geeks to celebs are sharing their playlists with the masses; Facebook kingpin Mark Zuckerberg really, really likes Green Day while Britney Spears has a thing for other pop legends such as Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. For those looking for something a little more advanced, we recommend adding these seven Spotify users to your people list.

via Snoop Dogg, Sean Parker and 5 More Spotify Users You Should Add Now – Techland – TIME.com.

 iTunesU,  autism:  The access to such high quality information for free is astounding …

The Yale Seminar on Autism and Related Disorders is the United States’ first undergraduate course of its kind. The goal of this series is to make all of the lecture content and supporting materials available online for free for anyone who desires to learn about Autsim Spectrum Disorders. For Yale undergraduates, the class consists of a weekly seminar on diagnosis and assessment, etiology and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism and related disorders of socialization. This collection contains the full video of the course.

via Yale Autism Seminar – Video – Download free content from Yale University on iTunes.

Unreasonable Institute,  social missions, entrepreneurship,  changing the world:  “Entrepreneurs who want to change world have to be a little crazy.”  Great NYT piece on the Unreasonable Institute!

DANIEL EPSTEIN wants to get one thing straight: He is an unreasonable man. Happily, proudly unreasonable. Entrepreneurs who want to change the world, he says, have got to be a little crazy.

Biosense Technologies developed the ToucHb, a device that tests women and children for anemia and is in clinical trials. From left are Sarita Patil, a nurse; Pallavi Janarav; and Biosense’s founders, Myshkin Ingawale and Yogesh Patil.

And so, to foster some practical zaniness, Mr. Epstein is a co-founder of something called the Unreasonable Institute, in Boulder, Colo. For the last two summers, he has helped preside over this academy for entrepreneurs who want to solve social problems and make some money, too.

Part schmooze-fest, part group hug, this six-week program connects entrepreneurs with one another, as well as with executives, investors and thinkers who might help them. Its name derives from a quotation by George Bernard Shaw: “All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” For good measure, Mr. Epstein recently had Unreasonable’s logo tattooed on his derrière.

Welcome to the age of the spreadsheet humanitarian. The central idea of the Unreasonable Institute is that profit-making businesses can sometimes succeed where their nonprofit counterparts might falter. Mr. Epstein, 25, and a serial entrepreneur, says the Unreasonable Institute wants people who are willing to think big, even when skeptics scoff.

The institute conducts its program at a fraternity house it rents at the University of Colorado. The six weeks are intense and communal. Fellows sleep three or so to a room. A chef prepares three in-house meals a day. The fellows dine at a table seating 60, alongside mentors who might include the chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard or the former director of Google.org.

On any given day, the fellows might go on a hike or a bike ride with a potential investor, attend a workshop about building corporate partnerships, or take part in “family pitch night,” when two entrepreneurs present their companies to the rest of the group for feedback. At the end of the program, the fellows travel to San Francisco and pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

Mr. Epstein says market-based solutions are important in spurring economic growth throughout the developing world.

“This is really in contrast to the prevalent model of international aid,” says Cynthia Koening, 33, who attended the program this year. Her company, Wello, based in Rajasthan, India, is aimed at people — most of them women — who must walk long distances to bring drinking water to the home. Her cylinder-shaped product allows women to roll water home from the source rather than carry it on their heads, which can be dangerous and time-consuming.

The institute conducts its program at a fraternity house it rents at the University of Colorado. The six weeks are intense and communal. Fellows sleep three or so to a room. A chef prepares three in-house meals a day. The fellows dine at a table seating 60, alongside mentors who might include the chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard or the former director of Google.org.

On any given day, the fellows might go on a hike or a bike ride with a potential investor, attend a workshop about building corporate partnerships, or take part in “family pitch night,” when two entrepreneurs present their companies to the rest of the group for feedback. At the end of the program, the fellows travel to San Francisco and pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

Mr. Epstein says market-based solutions are important in spurring economic growth throughout the developing world.

“This is really in contrast to the prevalent model of international aid,” says Cynthia Koening, 33, who attended the program this year. Her company, Wello, based in Rajasthan, India, is aimed at people — most of them women — who must walk long distances to bring drinking water to the home. Her cylinder-shaped product allows women to roll water home from the source rather than carry it on their heads, which can be dangerous and time-consuming.

FOR some participants, the institute is just one stop on a kind of social entrepreneurship circuit; they’ve been awarded numerous fellowships, won different business plan competitions and are regular faces at industry conferences. For others, the institute is their first encounter with this scene. This is especially true for many of the 60 percent of fellows who live outside the United States.

By coming to Boulder this year, Mr. Duarte of Mexico, founder of YoRecicolo, which operates recycling programs, was able to meet like-minded people who work on recycling and waste issues. He even received an invitation to speak at a Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York last month. His company has been profitable since last year.

via Unreasonable Institute Teaches New Paths to Social Missions – NYTimes.com.

punctuation, grammar, rhetoric, history, end of an era, graphics:  Just loved this article … I obviously am a fan of the ellipses but use it like a dash …

 How might punctuation now evolve? The dystopian view is that it will vanish. I find this conceivable, though not likely. But we can see harbingers of such change: editorial austerity with commas, the newsroom preference for the period over all other marks, and the taste for visual crispness.

Though it is not unusual to hear calls for new punctuation, the marks proposed tend to cannibalize existing ones. In this vein, you may have encountered the interrobang , which signals excited disbelief.

Such marks are symptoms of an increasing tendency to punctuate for rhetorical rather than grammatical effect. Instead of presenting syntactical and logical relationships, punctuation reproduces the patterns of speech.

One manifestation of this is the advance of the dash. It imitates the jagged urgency of conversation, in which we change direction sharply and with punch. Dashes became common only in the 18th century. Their appeal is visual, their shape dramatic. That’s what a modern, talky style of writing seems to demand.

By contrast, use of the semicolon is dwindling. Although colons were common as early as the 14th century, the semicolon was rare in English books before the 17th century. It has always been regarded as a useful hybrid—a separator that’s also a connector—but it’s a trinket beloved of people who want to show that they went to the right school.

More surprising is the eclipse of the hyphen. Traditionally, it has been used to link two halves of a compound noun and has suggested that a new coinage is on probation. But now the noun is split (fig leaf, hobby horse) or rendered without a hyphen (crybaby, bumblebee). It may be that the hyphen’s last outpost will be in emoticons, where it plays a leading role.

Graphic designers, who favor an uncluttered aesthetic, dislike hyphens. They are also partly responsible for the disappearance of the apostrophe. This little squiggle first appeared in an English text in 1559. Its use has never been completely stable, and today confusion leads to the overcompensation that we see in those handwritten signs. The alternative is not to use apostrophes at all—an act of pragmatism easily mistaken for ignorance.

Defenders of the apostrophe insist that it minimizes ambiguity, but there are few situations in which its omission can lead to real misunderstanding.

The apostrophe is mainly a device for the eye, not the ear. And while I plan to keep handling apostrophes in accordance with the principles I was shown as a child, I am confident that they will either disappear or be reduced to little baubles of orthographic bling.

via Is This the Future of Punctuation!? – WSJ.com.

Occupy Wall Street, capitalism, markets, thongs, V for Vendetta:  “… the Guy Fawkes mask—popularized by the 2006 Natalie Portman film “V for Vendetta”—as a symbol of the fight against corporations.”

The “Occupy” movement may purposefully be trying to resist being branded or labeled with specific messages and demands, but there are already plenty of creative types eager to come up with logos and slogans for the protests—and make some profits while they’re at it. The DIY design site Spreadshirt reports that nearly 200 OWS-related designs have been uploaded by independent craftspeople and are available for purchase on T-shirts, buttons, coffee mugs—and even on thongs and doggie clothing. Hundreds more items are for sale at similar sites such as Zazzle and CafePress. It must be noted that there’s no indication any of the proceeds go to help the protesters. For that matter, it’s highly unlikely that any of this merchandise would even be worn by diehard protesters. But we suppose it could be argued that wearing a 99% baseball hat or an OWS hoodie represents a different kind of support for the movement.

via ‘Occupy Wall Street’ For Sale | Moneyland | How People Are Profiting From Occupy Wall Street | TIME.com.

Hackers and protesters alike have adopted the Guy Fawkes mask—popularized by the 2006 Natalie Portman film “V for Vendetta”—as a symbol of the fight against corporations. Dozens of designs feature the sinister Fawkes mask, including this $19 T-shirt at Spreadshirt.

via ‘Occupy Wall Street’ For Sale | Moneyland | Rise Guy Fawkes T-Shirt | TIME.com.

Occupy Wall Street, journalism, mainstream new media, Jeff Elder:

A Sunday New York Times column helped to focus media coverage on the legitimacy of the movement. At the same time, a news event occurred that received less coverage.

How Seriously Should We Take Occupy Wall Street?

How seriously should we take the Occupy Wall Street movement? It has turned into a global debate, and the main focus of mainstream media coverage of the movement. Much of this dialogue about the legitimacy of the protests can be traced to one newspaper column.

via How One Column Shaped Mainstream News Coverage Of Occupy Wall Street · jeffelder · Storify

the 1%, Occupy Wall Street, American Dream, social mobility, education, philanthropy:  It’s nice someone is looking at the other side of this story … even for a second.

Americans used to believe in social mobility regardless of the hand you’re dealt. Ten years ago, polls showed that about two thirds believed “people are rewarded for intelligence and skill,” the highest percentage across 27 countries surveyed. Fewer than a fifth thought that “coming from a wealthy family is essential [or] very important to getting ahead.” Such views made Americans more tolerant than Europeans and Canadians of inequality and more suspicious of government attempts to reduce it.

Yet the hardships of the Great Recession may be changing that, giving an unexpected resonance to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Falling wages and rising unemployment are making us appreciate what we ignored during the good times. Social mobility is actually lower in the U.S. than in most other developed countries—and falling.

Academic studies show that if a child is born into the poorest quintile (20 percent) of the U.S. population, his chance of making it into the top decile (10 percent) is around 1 in 20, whereas a kid born into the top quintile has a better than 40 percent chance. On average, then, a father’s earnings are a pretty good predictor of his son’s earnings. This is less true in Europe or Canada. What’s more, American social mobility has declined markedly in the past 30 years.

The right answer is to promote the kind of diversity and competition that already make the American university system the world’s best. And one highly effective way of doing this is by setting up more charter schools—publicly funded but independently run and union-free. The performance of the Success Charter Network speaks for itself. In New York City’s public schools, 60 percent of third, fourth, and fifth graders passed their math exams last year. The figure at Harlem Success was 94 percent.

The American Dream is about social mobility, not enforced equality. It’s about competition, not public monopoly. It’s also about philanthropy, not confiscatory taxation.

I’ll cheer up even more when I hear those words at a Republican presidential debate. Or maybe next week we should just tell the candidates to shut up and play poker.

via Yes, Wall Street Helps the Poor – The Daily Beast.

Arab Spring, Libya, Gadhafi’s death, democracy, transition: “Clinton said a democratic Libya should begin with the rule of law and accountability, as well as unity and reconciliation. She called investigating Gadhafi’s death a part of that process.”

Obama said the U.S. looks forward to working with officials as they prepare for free and fair elections.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she supported calls for an investigation into Gadhafi’s death as part of Libya’s transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Gadhafi was captured wounded but alive in his hometown of Sirte. Bloody images of Gadhafi being taunted and beaten by his captors have raised questions about whether he was killed in crossfire, as suggested by government officials, or was executed.

Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview aired Sunday that she backs a proposal for the United Nations to investigate Gadhafi’s death and for Libya’s Transitional National Council to look into the circumstances.

Clinton said a democratic Libya should begin with the rule of law and accountability, as well as unity and reconciliation. She called investigating Gadhafi’s death a part of that process.

via News from The Associated Press.

28
Aug
11

8.28.2011 ‎… Have i mentioned that the man can cook … :)‎… Heading to Amelie’s to see if American-made French macaroons are worthy of the drive … Scratch that, Amelie’s is always worth the drive :)

home, food, kith/kin, Amelie’s, Charlotte, macaroons:  Last night John tried an old favorite (which I buy frozen) Chicken Cordon Bleu.  The kids actually rebel and call it Chicken Cordon Bleh … well, homemade by Chef JBT is definitely better.  And then today Molls and I headed to  Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe for macaroons … they were good … but not as good as Parisian macaroons … pistachio was definitely better than raspberry.  I guess we are still on a French food kick. 🙂

Dr. Martin Luther King, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA):  I have never been a great fan of John Lewis.  I respect what he did during the civil rights movement, but in some ways he historically has ignored his white constituents in Atlanta … not completely, but that is another issue.  Nor have I ever thought he spoke well … too vituperative. But his commentary here is excellent.  And even if you do not agree, this is worth reading because it sums up MLK’s dream.

Among those leaders, I know he would take a special interest in President Obama — not only because he is the first African-American to sit in the Oval Office, but because Dr. King recognized the power of one man to transform a nation. He would say that the president has the capacity to unify America, to bring us together as one people, one family, one house.  He would say that a leader has the ability to inspire people to greatness, but that to do so he must be daring, courageous and unafraid to demonstrate what he is made of.

As a minister, never elected to any public office, Dr. King would tell this young leader that it is his moral obligation to use his power and influence to help those who have been left out and left behind.  …

Dr. King would say that a Nobel Peace Prize winner can and must find a way to demonstrate that he is a man of peace, a man of love and non-violence.

He would say that Obama’s election represents a significant step toward laying down the burden of race, but that this task is not yet complete. The election of 2008 was a major down payment on Dr. King’s dream, but it did not fulfill it. When one member of Congress calls the president a “tar baby” on a radio show and when another cries out “You lie!” during a State of the Union address, it is more than clear that we still do not understand the need to respect human dignity despite our differences.

Dr. King would tell this young president to do what he can to end discrimination based on race, color, religious faith and sexual orientation. He would say that righteous work makes its own way. … The people of this country recognize when a leader is trying to do what is right. Take a stand, he would say. Go with your gut. Let the people of this country see that you are fighting for them and they will have your back.

There will be opposition, and it might become ugly. … He often quoted the notion that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” And the reason it does is because of the central goodness of humankind.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that once people heard the truth, their tendency to bend toward what is right would pave the way for goodness to prevail. And it still can.

via What would MLK say to President Obama? – The Washington Post.

Libya Uprising, Qaddafi, Middle East stability, NATO:  Getting your arms around all the issues in the April Sring is very difficult.  This article is helpful with regard to Libya.

The toppling of Colonel Qaddafi—no matter whether he is eventually tried, killed or exiled—will be a boon to the Middle East and Western powers that supported the rebels. The implications for Libya itself are less clear and in part depend on whether Qaddafi loyalists will disperse and keep their weapons or agree to disarm. To become a rule-based democracy—the stated goal of all the various rebel groups—Libya must avoid an Iraqi-style insurgency, as well as disputes among the new rulers.

Helpfully, Libya has no sectarian divide. Its society is relatively homogeneous but grievances abound after four decades of oppression. Revenge killings loom, as well as tribal conflicts and large-scale looting, given the lack of physical security at the moment. The fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan showed that a temporary power vacuum can lead to long-term instability and undermine the formation of a functioning state.

The impact of Libya’s liberation on the rest of the Arab world looks clearer. What counts there is the dethronement of a tyrant. It will lift spirits in Syria, where another reformist revolt is under way. It will also give renewed drive to Egyptians and Tunisians who toppled their dictators several months ago but have since been grappling with constitutional change. Libya will inject new momentum into the Arab spring—raising hopes that decades of stagnation and repression can be ended.

Libya will have an impact on NATO too. The military alliance that faced down the Red Army might have been expected to crush the clumsy forces of Colonel Qaddafi in days. Instead it took five months of fighting and 17,000 air sorties. An embarrassment for NATO? Not at all. The alliance has had a good war so far (who said “stalemate” not long ago?) and is winning the best kind of victory given the circumstances: one achieved mostly by Libyans themselves. Rebels entered the capital without a single Western soldier visible on the ground (though there were some special forces). NATO air attacks, as well as weapons supplied by friendly Gulf states, aided the rebels. But they alone manned trenches, which will give them added legitimacy in months to come.

via End-game in Libya: Going, going… | The Economist.

Neil Gaiman, heroes, LOL, twitter:  Never meet your heroes!  But this goy got a retweet by his hero!

Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself)
8/28/11 12:41 PM
Very funny… RT “@barryhutchison: Blog post about meeting @neilhimself at @edinbookshop last night:http://t.co/3QHUgm3

You might not have heard of Neil Gaiman. At least, you might not have heard of him if you’re deaf and blind, and have spent the last 20 years living in a ditch. On the moon. Just in case this describes you, here’s a quick summary of his career. Much more detailed information can be found on Wikipedia. You can also read Neil’s blog.

Neil Gaiman is very busy man. He has written adult novels, children’s novels, graphic novels, short stories and picture books. He has also written movie screenplays and scripts for TV programmes, most notably BABYLON 5 and DOCTOR WHO, as well as his own original series, NEVERWHERE, for the BBC.

It was only during the three hour drive home that I realised I’d made a mess of the little message I’d written to him inside the book. I thanked him for inspiring me to become an author myself. At least, that’s what I meant to write, but I’m pretty sure in my semi-coherent state I actually thanked him for ‘encouraging’ me to become an author, as if he himself had popped round my house back in the late 80s/early 90s and personally egged me on. After reading that, I’ll be surprised if he bothers going any further.

And that, I think, is why they say you should never meet your heroes. You’ll only end up making a dick of yourself if you do.

via Meeting Neil Gaiman | BarryHutchison.com.

Hurricane Irene, twitter, quotes:  Harsh! Re: NY … NC got in the way …

CNN Video (@CNNVideo)
8/28/11 12:31 PM
New Yorkers should be thanking the state of North Carolina for a weakened #Irene. Chad Myers explains. Video:http://t.co/oS3971b
WSJ Greater New York (@WSJNY)
8/28/11 11:56 AM
“A wet day in London seems worse than this.” Tourists in Times Square react to Irene:http://t.co/bjUJG2h
Eric Holthaus (@wxrisk)
8/28/11 10:40 AM
Def historic. first landfalling TS or Hurr in 5 boroughs since 1893. @rap584 So was #Irene of “historical proportions” as we were told?

Apple, iPad, tablet market:  I like my iPad …

More than anything else, the announcement showed that the firm had finally seen the light about the tablet market—namely, that there is no such thing.

What exists instead is a rip-roaring market for iPads. Tablets based on Google’s Android, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS, Microsoft’s Windows, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry operating systems—have failed dismally to capture consumers’ hearts and minds the way Apple has with its iconic iPad.

You only have to look at the numbers. Apple’s share of the tablet market is over 61% and growing, while all the Android tablets together make up barely 30% and are being squeezed. According to Strategy Analytics of Newton, Massachusetts, Windows tablets account for 4.6% and Research in Motion’s 3.3%. Sooner or later, the rest of the iPad wannabees are going to realise that, just because Apple has a runaway success on its hands, they cannot charge Apple prices for their hastily developed me-too products and expect consumers to clamour for them.

via Tablet computers: Difference Engine: Reality dawns | The Economist.

Paris, France, guides, private guides, Donna Morris:  Small is good; private is better … I found this website and it looked wonderful – France…Off the Beaten Path.  I will give a BIG plug for our private guide in Paris, Donna Morris.  If you need a great way to get oriented, give her a call … Best Friend in Paris France.

World of Coca-Cola, Asa Candler, business cards, end of an era, random:  Are business cards on the way out … I loved seing this old card of Asa Candler … and had not realized business cards had been around since the 1890s or before.

Twitpic – Share photos and videos on Twitter.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former Vice President Dick Cheney:  I like Colin Powell; I do not like Dick Cheney … enough said.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that former Vice President Dick Cheney took “cheap shots” in his forthcoming memoir, and that he was taking his aggressive promotional techniques “a bit too far.”

Powell, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” targeted Cheney’s claim that the book, “In My Time,” would “make heads explode.”

“My head isn’t exploding, I haven’t noticed any other heads exploding in Washington, D.C.,” Powell pointed out. “From what I’ve read in the newspapers and seen on television it’s essentially a rehash of events of seven or eight years ago.”

In fact, Powell suggested, the most notable thing about the book was Mr. Cheney’s characterization of it.

“What really sort of got my attention was this way in which he characterized it: it’s going to cause heads to explode,” he said. “That’s quite a visual. And in fact, it’s the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist, or the kind of headline you might see one of the supermarket tabloids write. It’s not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former Vice President of the United States of America.”

He added: “I think Dick overshot the runway.”

Powell also took issue with Cheney’s claim that, during his tenure as Secretary of State, he declined to fully present his positions to former President George W. Bush.

“Mr. Cheney may forget that I’m the one who said to President Bush, ‘If you break it you own it,'” Powell said, referencing the administration’s actions in Iraq. “I gave the president my best advice.”

via Powell: Cheney “overshot the runway” in book – CBS News.

green, electric cars, standards:

Indeed, charging the car’s battery pack at home, or topping up at the office or shopping mall, will work fine for most drivers. But what about trips that are beyond the range of a single battery charge? Couldn’t a driver in need simply pull up to a charging kiosk and plug in for a rapid refill?

It’s not that simple.

Sure, there are already public charging stations in service, and new ones are coming online daily. But those typically take several hours to fully replenish a battery.

As a result, the ability for quick battery boosts — using a compatible direct current fast charger, the Leaf can refill to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes — could potentially become an important point of differentiation among electric models.

But the availability of fast charging points has in part been held up by the lack of an agreement among automakers on a universal method for fast charging — or even on a single electrical connector. Today’s prevalent D.C. fast-charge systems are built to a standard developed in Japan by Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru in conjunction with Tokyo Electric Power.

Called Chademo, which translates roughly to “charge and move,” it uses a connector that is different from the plugs in most electric cars. As a result, a Chademo-compatible car like the Nissan Leaf requires two separate sockets.

Overcoming the limitation of a short driving range is vital to achieving acceptance by consumers who want uncompromised, do-everything vehicles. The potential solutions all have drawbacks. Larger batteries are expensive and saddle the car with added weight. An onboard generator turned by a gasoline engine, as used in the Volt plug-in hybrid and similar future models, are another possible solution, but such systems add cost and pounds — and compromise the emissions-free image that attracts consumers to electric cars in the first place.

via Electric-Car Makers’ Quest – One Plug to Charge Them All – NYTimes.com.

27
Jun
11

‎6.27.2011 … I just paid $4.99 for 4 Dewey’s oatmeal cream-filled cookie sandwiches … you know like Little Debbies … these were significantly better, but I think you can get a dozen Little Debbie’s for $1.29 … FYI Dewey’s is the Winston-Salem Moravian cookie/butter sugar cake bakery … Rule of Life: Never go to the grocery hungry …

music, kith/kin:  Today’s selection is from my second cousin …

Beyonce’s Single Ladies, only I’m putting other words to it for whatever it is I am doing. Like I look down at my foster dog Chuckie and start singing to him “Mister Chuckalucks, Mister Chuckalucks”  — YouTube – Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).

food – Southern, Moravian, Winston-Salem, Dewey’s: I learned to love Dewey’s sugar cake because one of my favorite lawyers, a Winston-Salem native, brought them back to all the folks at the firm for Christmas … now they sell them year-round at the Harris Teeter.  They really are good … but stay away from the 500 calorie oatmeal cream-filled cookie cakes. Dewey’s / Home

 Davidson College, goats, kudzu, followup:  i know you really wanted an update …

Those goats are still at it, feasting on all the kudzu out on the Davidson College cross country trail. Resident Louise Mazur was biking on the trail Sunday afternoon and send this photo and the note below. Meanwhile, you can go visit the goats yourself on July 9, in a nature outing organized by the World of Wonder program of Davidson Lands Conservancy. Details below.

Two weeks ago, Davidson College sent a rented herd of goats out onto its back campus to help with an overgrowth of kudzu. The goats are expected to eradicate it all – right down to the dirt. (See June 14, 2011, “Davidson College’s new employees.”)

Mike and Louise Mazur stopped to see their progress Sunday, and Ms. Mazur sent this note:

Mike and I were riding bikes on the trail Sunday afternoon and wanted to send you an updated picture of the dog and the goats!  The goats are making quite a lot of progress!

via Photo of the Day: The goat watcher  | DavidsonNews.net.

movie, animated films, lists:  Pinocchio is the list makers all time favorite … we are not on the same wavelength …

They’ve enthralled or terrified generations of kids, and now they’re giant worldwide blockbusters. So what are the best animated features of all time? Using an obscure system of weights and measures, TIME movie critic Richard Corliss has compiled and annotated the countdown, from No. 25 (Lady and the Tramp) to No. 1 (see for yourself). Are your favorites on the list? Let the great debate commence; we know it’ll be animated.

via Pinocchio, 1940 – The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films – TIME.

Supreme Court, random, social networking:  Of course, they don’t tweet …

Asked how the Supreme Court has dealt with the risks, “I sit down with incoming clerks at the beginning of the year — as soon as we get back — and go through a number of things they have to be aware of, and that’s one of them,” Roberts said referring to the use of social media on the job. “I tell them that they obviously shouldn’t be tweeting about what they’re doing — whether they have Web sites or whatever.”

“I also appreciate that it’s a generational thing, and the idea of not being connected in a particular way can be problematic for them,” Roberts said, adding that different members of the court have varying levels of affinity for social media. “I don’t think any of us have a Facebook page or tweet, whatever that is,” he went on to light laughter.

But the Court is not a building full of technological luddites. “Technology is making inroads, I mean we are — we find when we’re traveling it’s easier to have, some of us, briefs on some of the products where you can have them electronically available, carrying them,” said Roberts holding his hands up as if he was holding a tablet.

Roberts also acknowledged that, for the courts, new technology also presents a challenge in terms of its impact on the law itself, saying “It’s going to be a great challenge both in a substantitive area and for many of us to try and keep up with new technology.”

via Chief Justice John Roberts: ‘I don’t think any of us…tweet, whatever that is’ – Ideas@Innovations – The Washington Post.

food, Durham, places:  OK, I will stop by Durham and try out its rejuvenated downtown.

“The rejuvenation, it spread like wildfire,” Mr. Filippini added. “It’s almost like you can hear the heartbeat of Durham right in that couple-block area.”

via Durham Dining – Pies, Panini and Barbecue – NYTimes.com.

travel, food:  No, excerpt here … I thought this article silly.  Pack Your Own Food for Your Next Flight – NYTimes.com.

President Bill Clinton, Great Recession:  You know I am still amazed that Pres. Clinton was able to salvage his dignity.  Article is worth reading.

14 WAYS TO PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK

Next week in Chicago, the Clinton Global Initiative will focus on America for the first time, inviting business and political leaders to make specific commitments in support of the former president’s jobs blueprint, which he details below.

via It’s Still the Economy, Stupid – Newsweek.

personal finance, Great Recession, retirement:  The increase of borrowing from retirement accounts is staggering …

Debt is always risky. And this debt carries the extra risk that you could have to pay it off at the very time when you aren’t earning a salary. If you leave or lose your job you must have a feasible means of immediately paying off the loan.

“Take only the minimum you need, not the maximum you can get,” says Ms. Hess. Your loan should fund an asset of enduring value, advises Prof. Madrian: “If you have to leave your job, you can’t sell the vacation to pay off your loan.” Don’t take a loan of last resort to splurge at a resort.

via The Intelligent Investor: The Case for Raiding Your 401(k) – WSJ.com.

college, advice:  Another article that I thought lame … I do not know a kid who has ever boned up on foreign language the summer before going to college.

Brush up on a foreign language. At many colleges, the biggest single requirement is two years of a foreign language. Many freshmen have had a smattering (or more) of some foreign language in high school, whether it be Spanish or French, or for the more enterprising, and global-minded, Mandarin or Arabic. Whatever the case, the summer before college is an excellent time to get ahead on your language skills. If travel abroad is in your plans, pick a country that speaks the language you’re working on; if Spanish is your intended tongue, volunteer work in most communities can put you in a situation where Spanish is routinely spoken.

For the electronic-minded, there is a wealth of foreign-language programming on the Internet. For example, livemocha, where, the site says, you can chat for free with over 10 million native speakers in nearly 40 languages; the various “pod” sites — ChinesePod, FrenchPod, SpanishPod, and ItalianPod – where you’ll find over 1,000 podcasts, with review, practice and reinforcement; and radiolingua, where you’ll find the popular CoffeeBreakSpanish and CoffeeBreakFrench podcasts as well as the One-Minute podcasts in, among other languages, Irish, Polish, Russian and even Luxembourgish.

via A Pre-College Summer To-Do List – NYTimes.com.

education:  Bottom line – education matters.  Great article.

ALMOST a century ago, the United States decided to make high school nearly universal. Around the same time, much of Europe decided that universal high school was a waste. Not everybody, European intellectuals argued, should go to high school.

It’s clear who made the right decision. The educated American masses helped create the American century, as the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz have written. The new ranks of high school graduates made factories more efficient and new industries possible.

Today, we are having an updated version of the same debate. Television, newspapers and blogs are filled with the case against college for the masses: It saddles students with debt; it does not guarantee a good job; it isn’t necessary for many jobs. Not everybody, the skeptics say, should go to college.

The argument has the lure of counterintuition and does have grains of truth. Too many teenagers aren’t ready to do college-level work. Ultimately, though, the case against mass education is no better than it was a century ago.

The evidence is overwhelming that college is a better investment for most graduates than in the past. A new study even shows that a bachelor’s degree pays off for jobs that don’t require one: secretaries, plumbers and cashiers. And, beyond money, education seems to make people happier and healthier.

Then there are the skeptics themselves, the professors, journalists and others who say college is overrated. They, of course, have degrees and often spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to expensive colleges.

I don’t doubt that the skeptics are well meaning. But, in the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.

via College Degrees Are Valuable Even for Careers That Don’t Require Them – NYTimes.com.

GA politics, random:  Is someone just asking for a fight …

Georgia car tags may be about to get a dose of religion. The state Department of Revenue on Friday posted images of the eight semi-finalist entries in its competition to design a new look for your back bumper.

Three of those eight incorporate “In God We Trust” – the same motto found on U.S. currency:

Online voting concludes July 8. The three license plates garnering the most votes will be presented to Gov. Nathan Deal. There the selection process gets foggy – the press release merely says the winner will be announced July 15.

But if a car tag bearing the word “God” makes it to the finals, it’s hard to imagine a Republican politician who would want to be seen rejecting it.

Still, if a declaration of faith is inevitable, we would at least suggest adding an asterisk, followed in small print with this:

“*All others must provide proof of legal U.S. residency.”

via Your morning jolt: Georgia car tag nominees and ‘In God We Trust’ | Political Insider.

culture, home:  I found this interesting … they go to find their old world at a  Starbucks.

Before Abed Ellafdi emigrated from Rabat, Morocco, to Northern Virginia six years ago, a friend gave him a tip: When you get to America, go to the Starbucks at Skyline.

From afar, there is nothing remarkable about this Starbucks in a Falls Church strip mall a couple of miles west of Interstate 395. Situated between an Einstein Bros. Bagels and an Office Depot in an area known as Skyline, it faces a vast parking lot, beyond which is another strip mall, that soulless landmark of American commercial culture.

But come closer and enter a world where Moroccans talk soccer scores, Egyptians discuss revolution and Somalis argue over politics, all in a coffee chain store that has become an unlikely hangout for immigrants seeking the flavor of home.

After long days working as cab drivers, construction workers, scientists and business owners, they fill the outdoor seats each evening, mimicking old world cafes where men unwind and catch up over backgammon, hookahs and endless cups of coffee.

“It’s really part of our culture, to come to the café and talk about the events that happen,” said Ellafdi, an energetic 31-year-old who works in construction and lives in Alexandria. “As Muslims we don’t drink, we don’t

via Immigrants gather at a Starbucks in Northern Virginia for a taste of home – The Washington Post.

movies, movie scores, Bernard Herrmann: I had actually never heard o f him … but look at the list of his scores.  Pretty impressive.

June 29, 2011 marks the centenary of the birth of Bernard Herrmann, one of America’s most innovative and influential composers. He is best known for his film scores for such classics as “Citizen Kane,” “Vertigo,” “Psycho” and “Taxi Driver” – music that forever changed the way we listen to movies.

His collaborations with directors Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese are landmarks in cinema. And while the fiery and temperamental artist became a pariah to many in the Hollywood film industry (he was infamously fired by Hitchcock for refusing to write “pop” music that would sell records), Herrmann’s work is among the most revered and imitated in films today.

Herrmann also contributed substantially to radio drama and music broadcasts for nearly two decades at CBS, including his original work with Orson Welles for “Mercury Theater on the Air,” and his compositions for Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.”

via Bernard Herrmann at 100 – Celebrity Circuit – CBS News.

art, public art, random acts of culture, Charlotte, Davidson:  Didn’t know we had a funded Random Acts of Culture Series in Charlotte.  I wish I had been at the Davidson Farmers’ Market last Saturday!

 

Shoppers at the Davidson Farmer’s Market got a bonus with their local berries, meats and veggies Saturday morning: a menu of arias and duets by singers from Opera Carolina. The surprise performance was one of a series of “Random Acts of Culture” organized by the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte.

The Arts & Science Council received a $30,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for the Random Acts of Culture series. They’ve also brought performances to other farmer’s markets in the region as well as shopping malls and corporate office towers.

“These performances are part of taking classical performances out of their normal venue and getting them into the street where people are,” said Ben Kubie, a community program director of of the ASC.

“Normally the reaction goes from surprise to delight, and the opera is great for that, because it’s very interactive,” Mr. Kubie said.

via Farmer’s market surprise: Opera with your tomatoes  | DavidsonNews.net.

doodles, art, Netflix:  I would have never thought to doodle on a Netflix return envelope … 🙂

Admit it, you’ve done it. You’ve taken a Sharpie to a Netflix envelope and doodled the heck out of it. Not just once, but a multitude of times. You’ve then imagined the expression of the postal worker as the envelope passed through their hands, all with a wide grin on your face. Here are some fun examples of people who publicly admit to doing just that.

Don’t be shy, share your doodled Netflix envelopes with us, email editor{at}doodlersanonymous{dot}com and don’t forget to attach a link and name for proper credit.

via Blog: Netflix Envelope Doodles – Doodlers Anonymous.

10
Jan
11

1.10.2011 … hopes fulfilled … snow day! … 11am – moment of silence for Arizona victims …

Arizona Massacre, moment of silence: I am not usually watching tv during the day, but I found it emotional and binding to watch the President and First lady come out of the White House and observe a moment of silence.

“Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives. It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart.”

The President will observe the moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn. The moment of silence will be pooled press.

Today, the President has signed a proclamation calling for flags to be flown at half-staff.

Also, the planned trip by the President to Schenectady, New York, on Tuesday, January 11, to the General Electric energy division is postponed. The trip is expected to be rescheduled.

via President Obama Calls for Moment of Silence for Victims of Shooting in Tucson, Arizona | The White House.

moment of silence, history:

The idea for a Remembrance Day silence was first suggested by Australian journalist Edward George Honey in a letter to The Times in May 1919. He was thinking of a five-minute silence but that was thought too long. One minute was deemed too short.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_of_silence

followup, weather, Charlotte:  Yesterday I was hoping for –*–*–*–*–*–*.  Sometimes you get what you wish for!

Snow started about 3:30 a.m. and came down heavily for several hours before lessening after daybreak. Forecasters say snow will fall intermittently much of this afternoon before changing to sleet by sunset and eventually to freezing drizzle later tonight.

“We expect another 2 to 4 inches of snow today in the Piedmont,” Anthony Sturey, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said late Monday morning.

Jen Thompson, of the N.C. Department of Transportation, said road crews are working to gets roads in better shape but are contending with continuing snowfall and temperatures in the lower 20s.

“We’re still working to get bare pavement exposed,” Thompson said.

The storm has not spared places that typically do not see wintry precipitation.

Up to 5 inches of snow fell in the Columbia area, and from 4 to 6 inches accumulated in the sandhills corridor from Florence to Fayetteville. Freezing rain also fell Monday morning in Charleston.

via Major winter storm could bring 6 to 9 inches to Charlotte area – CharlotteObserver.com.

sports, skiing/snow boarding. equipment:  Looking for recommendations for helmets for my boys.  Any suggestions?

One of a new breed of helmets that can be used for skiing, skating and biking. It comes with a removable liner so it will keep you warm in winter but cool in summer. £74.95, http://www.bernunlimited.com/Home

via FT.com / Pursuits – Kitbag: snowboarding.

architecture, home, heritage, culture:  Loved this article … makes you really think about the purpose of a house … is it for today or tomorrow?

The very idea of heritage is, of course, modernist. It indicates a consciousness of our place outside – or beyond – history, as super-historic rather than as a seamless part of it. The relentless neophilism of contemporary design, the obsession with innovation and originality, makes for a very curious situation. For instance, in the midst of a severe energy crisis our buildings are built to last only a generation or so. Something has gone wrong with our idea of architecture.

For the past four centuries, the architecture of the house – whether it was a palace, a country retreat or an urban terrace – drove the architecture of the era. It was the ultimate expression of architectural form, an embodiment of culture and aspiration.

There are traditional houses and there are self-consciously innovative houses, trying very hard to become a work of original genius. Both claim to be the ideal way to create a piece of heritage by either being explicitly of their time, or explicitly of all time.

Tom Emerson, though, sees the real interest in the gap in between the two. “All our work is about continuity as a means of contextualising,” he says, “but there is a tension between abstraction and familiarity which makes it easier to subvert an idea and make it original and striking.” Which is exactly what he’s done with the slightly, almost unsettlingly familiar – if altogether striking – form of Mines Park.

Is there an effort to make it an eternal building rooted in a culture of landscape and vernacular – even though it is so resolutely modern? “It’s the wider culture which in time will decide what it will incorporate into heritage. You can’t second guess what values will be in the future and architects would be better employed refining their work rather than trying to ensure their own legacy.”

via FT.com / House & Home – How to build heritage.

movies:  I thought Country Strong fun … but obviously NPR was a little more critical.

Then again, Paltrow’s casting is only the most conspicuous of several curious elements at the heart of Country Strong, an earnest but misguided drama about the treacherous intersection of love and fame. Here’s another one: Of the four lead actors — Paltrow, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester and Tim McGraw — the one who’s a bona fide, arena-filling country music superstar (McGraw) is the only one who doesn’t get to sing, at least not until a duet over the closing credits. The others acquit themselves well enough onstage, but writer-director Shana Feste doesn’t show much of an interest in getting the details of the country world right, and the inauthenticity leaves her cliches exposed.

via ‘Country Strong’ – Love In The Limelight, Fitfully Illuminated : NPR.

travel, lists, bucket list:  Now I could go for this!

Classic cars in the Highlands

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-type with a long weekend driving one of the iconic sports cars through the Highlands of Scotland. You pick up a red E-type in Edinburgh, then spend three days driving, staying at pre-booked hotels along the way. The trip is available from April to mid-October.

via FT.com / Travel – The hottest new trips for 2011.

travel, Peter Pan:  This looks like fun … but probably not on my list because there are so many other places to go first.  Still love the idea!

So far there are only three of these treehouses in the UK, all at Sherwood, though Center Parcs plans more at its other sites (Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire). It seems a bit of a gamble: they do not come cheap, and I wonder whether people with that much disposable income might not opt instead to jet off somewhere hot. But for those who live in the UK, there’s a lot to be said for avoiding the hassles of flights and airports, especially with children in tow; and the quality of service and accommodation was world-class.

via FT.com / Travel – High style in Robin’s hood.

ChristCare, faith:  Loved this article that we were going to discuss at ChristCare today.

Above all, look to Jesus as your good shepherd. He will never leave you or forsake you. He isn’t some wishy-washy hired hand who runs off at the first sign of trouble (Jn 10:11-13). No, Jesus is the good shepherd who is in it for the long haul. He loves you with an everlasting love. He is “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pe 2:25). Today, trust Him with your whole life.

via Discipleship Journal Archives :: I Am The Good Shepherd.

political cartoons: I liked this one.  What do you think it means?

The week ahead: Inspecting Iran | The Economist.

LOL, improv, YouTube:  OK … I am going to check YouTube now … interesting that WSJ posted this.

This Sunday afternoon, if the NFL isn’t really your bag, consider joining several thousand New Yorkers who plan to nonchalantly ride the train in their underwear as part of the 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride.

View Full Image

Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal

Improv Everywhere’s Charlie Tod

The event is organized by the trouble-making collective Improv Everywhere, who were responsible for the people freezing in unison in Grand Central Station, a stunt whose Youtube video garnered more than 24 million hits. Of course the “improv” in their name belies the coordination involved: The No Pants Subway Ride is global, with planned, pantless counterparts in 47 cities world-wide, even ones without subways. In El Paso, they take to buses, and in Minneapolis, to the Mall of America tram.

via An Interview With the Organizer of No Pants Subway Ride – WSJ.com.

-and here it is … YouTube – No Pants Subway Ride 2011 Part 1 New York, Manhattan.

parentingWhy Chinese Mothers Are Superior – WSJ.com.

random, incredulous: Lawyer F. Lee Bailey Says Evidence Shows O.J. Simpson Innocent in Murders.

lists, travel, bucket list:  Some great places on this list.  The 41 Places to Go in 2011 – NYTimes.com.

Arizona Massacre, media:

“All the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that.”

But we all swim in the same American cultural soup, all 300 million or so of us. And until now, not one person had decided to do what Jared Lee Loughner is accused of doing. Whether it’s one guy or several behind the attack, if Loughner was the shooter, we already know he was a seriously disturbed and irrational young man.

In a world where ordinary people can easily gain access to extraordinary power, events like these are, sadly, inevitable. And make no mistake, during most of the long sweep of human history the power of a semiautomatic handgun would have been considered truly extraordinary.

But as long as events like these remain exceedingly rare, our reaction should be measured and not emotional.

I’m not minimizing what happened. This was one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in American history. But put it in this context: if Saturday was an average day, about 100 people were killed in car wrecks on American roads. Are you planning therefore to armor your car or change your approach to driving?

via The Arizona Massacre Was Insane — Our Reaction Should Be Measured.

-and-

On behalf of NPR News, I apologize for this mistake to the family of Rep. Giffords, to the families of everyone affected by the shootings, to our listeners and to our readers.

Already all of us at NPR News have been reminded of the challenges and professional responsibilities of reporting on fast-breaking news at a time and in an environment where information and misinformation move at light speed. We learn, we redouble our efforts and dedication and move forward with our best efforts for the millions who rely on us every day.

via Editor’s Note: On NPR’s Giffords Coverage : NPR.

LOL, tv:  I may have to watch since I have watched ESPN’s Sports Center for years … against my will, as the mother of two boys.

To The Onion, the satirical newspaper and Web site, “SportsCenter’s” quotidian elements offer a rich target for extreme parody. The result, a half-hour weekly program called “Onion SportsDome,” starts a 10-episode run on Comedy Central on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m., preceding “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”

Will Graham, an executive producer and director of the series, said, “The fun part is there are 36 channels of ESPN running 24 hours a day, a whole world of sports media that is cultish and ripe to mock.” He added, “The goal is for people passing it or watching it in a bar to think that it’s real coverage.”

via Onion Hopes ‘SportsCenter’ Parody Leaves Viewers Saying Boo-Yah – NYTimes.com.




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