Posts Tagged ‘icons

29
May
13

5.29.13 … bracing for Sandy …

Hurricane Babies, Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Syndrome, NYTimes.com:  

In rural India, sociologists have found links between improved electrical service and declining birthrates. In New York, Hurricane Sandy may have induced the opposite effect. Couples stuck at home for days with the lights out, elevators inoperable, and lobbies deluged may have had more time for romance.

Call it Sandy Syndrome.

Several New York hospitals are bracing for an increase in births during the last weeks of July and early August. That would be about nine months after power failures and floods caused by Hurricane Sandy paralyzed large swaths of the New York metropolitan area and kept couples at home.

The idea that blackouts, whether caused by storms or accidents, lead to a rise in births has become a virtual cliché. But it is not necessarily accurate, according to researchers. “My first instinct is that people are home, they want to be together more and so there’s an increased rate,” said Dr. Michael R. Berman, medical director for labor and delivery at Beth Israel Medical Center. “But after looking at some of the past catastrophes there wasn’t.”

No statistically sound effect on births was found after the 1965 power failure in the Northeast. Nine months after the 2003 blackout in the region, the number of births in New York City actually dipped slightly compared with a year earlier.

A study several years ago in the Journal of Population Economics revealed a mild correlation between more births after minor squalls, but the opposite effect after severe storms like Hurricane Sandy. Other research found that birthrates sometimes rose during a hurricane, possibly the result of anxiety, but not necessarily nine months later. And the number of births in New York often peaks in July.

Still, officials at other local hospitals say that, based on patient due dates, they are anticipating increases of 10 to 30 percent in midsummer births compared with the last year.

via Preparing for Hurricane Babies – NYTimes.com.

Ravinia Music Festival,  lawncierge, chicagotribune.com:

 The Ravinia Festival on Wednesday announced a new private lawn seating area for select concerts this summer. Dubbed “Lawncierge” and described as capturing “the feel of an outdoor VIP lounge,” the $185-per-person seating area is to include lawn furniture, a private wait staff, beverages and all-you-can-eat food from a menu created by Levy Restaurants.

via Ravinia Music Festival introduces lawncierge – chicagotribune.com.

ISS, Soyuz,  Astronauts, Cosmonaut: Godspeed …

NASAs Karen Nyberg, the European Space Agencys Luca Parmitano and Russias Fyodor Yurchikhin are scheduled to launch to space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan onboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship at 4:31 p.m. EDT 2031 GMT, arriving at the space station about six hours later.

via Soyuz Launch Today To Send Astronauts, Cosmonaut To ISS.

Keep Calm & Carry On, icons, Maria Popova,  ‏@brainpicker: 🙂

 Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker 2m

Just when you think the Keep Calm & Carry On meme has run its course, these brilliant bandaids make you smile and nod

via (8) Twitter.

These Keep Calm and Carry On bandaids are by far the most ingenious, for reasons of obvious aptness, play on the beloved meme.<br /><br />
(↬ Quipsologies)

Explore – These Keep Calm and Carry On bandaids are by far….

24
May
13

5.24.13 … Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, architecture, icons: The Brooklyn Bridge turns 130 today!

Brooklyn Bridge Postdlf.jpg

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened for use on May 24, 1883. The opening ceremony was attended by several thousand people and many ships were present in the East Bay for the occasion. President Chester A. Arthur and New York Mayor Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire and were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low when they reached the Brooklyn-side tower. Arthur shook hands with Washington Roebling at the latter’s home, after the ceremony. Roebling was unable to attend the ceremony (and in fact rarely visited the site again), but held a celebratory banquet at his house on the day of the bridge opening. Further festivity included the performance of a band, gunfire from ships, and a fireworks display.[22]

via Brooklyn Bridge – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, David G. McCullough, bookshelf:  I’ll add this to my bookshelf.

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge (Paperback)

David G. McCullough

via The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge:Amazon:Books.

17
Feb
13

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

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

photo

photo 2 photo 1   photo 3

photo 4 photo 5

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

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

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

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

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

and one of his friend’s comment …

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

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

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

LENT

Lent is a time to take the time

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

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

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

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

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

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

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

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

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pen

source: FirstNews

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

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

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

Gateway

Gateway Towers, Singapore

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. News needs to solve problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

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

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

via Festival of Legal Learning.

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

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

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

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

Festival of Legal Learning.

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

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

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

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE ‘VACUUM’ KISS

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

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

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

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

via About Us | StoryCorps.

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

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

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

Explore Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

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

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

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random:

VALUE9.com India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16
Feb
13

2.16.13 … Rainy days. Rainy nights …

Rainy days, Washington Street, lyrics:  Woke up to rain and thought of this tune …

Rainy days. Rainy nights.

Rain falls down and covers the city

 

It falls from fabulous heights.

Covers the streets with its sparkling skin.

via Laurie Anderson – Washington Street Lyrics.

I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster, graphics, icons, Michael Glaser, Fab.com:  I like the original and I think the new one works, too!

via Fab.com | I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster.

President Obama, twitter, I spy:  I love this picture and I think this is a great use of twitter and media.

Twitter / BarackObama: I spy… http://t.co/5KEpqgbA.

Rep. Cohen, Twitter exchange, privacy, public figures,  Rep. Anthony Weiner, SFGate: … salacious …  first: an older elected official tweeted “ilu” to a 24 year old and this is by definition “salacious.”  Thank you, Anthony Weiner.  second: the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner … did the TN Republican Party and its executive director apologize, and  did the TN Republican Party fire their executive director?   This story is worthy of journalistic pursuit …but I think the TN Republican Party’s action are reprehensible.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has revealed he’s the father of the 24-year-old Texas woman he was communicating with on Twitter during the State of the Union in an exchange that led some people to jump to a different conclusion.

Cohen, who has never been married, said Friday that he decided to publicly acknowledge Victoria Brink as his daughter after bloggers and the media tried to make the exchanges appear salacious. Cohen’s message to Brink included a Twitter abbreviation for “I love you.”

“It’s amazing how the minds jumped, and started speaking as if they knew what was going on,” Cohen said. “It should be a real lesson hopefully … not to jump to conclusions.”

After the tweets began to attract public attention and commentary earlier this week, an aide to the 64-year-old Memphis Democrat said he had accidentally exchanged a couple of public tweets with a woman who is the daughter of a friend, but removed them when he realized they weren’t private.

One was sent during the State of the Union speech Tuesday night and the second was sent Wednesday morning, in response to her tweet “(at)RepCohen just saw you on tv!”

Cohen’s tweets ended with “Ilu.” Aide Michael Pagan said the initials stand for “I love you.”

Following the tweets, the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned about two years ago in disgrace after tweeting lewd pictures of himself. Weiner initially claimed a hacker had posted a lewd photo to his Twitter account.

“It is very disappointing that Rep. Cohen would use his official congressional Twitter account … to send personal and unnecessarily revealing messages to college co-eds. Apparently, we have our own Weiner of the South,” party executive director Brent Leatherwood said in the statement released Wednesday.

Cohen said he didn’t learn that Brink was his daughter until three years ago.

via Rep. Cohen: Twitter exchange was with his daughter – SFGate.

Best Buy, price-matching policy,  “Low-Price Guarantee” , The Consumerist:  At Christmas, a Best Buy associate told me to tell the clerk to give me the low price guarantee of an internet competitor which I did not know about.  This makes shopping interesting.  🙂

While Best Buy has yet to confirm or deny rumors about the halving of its return and exchange period, the retailer has announced that it will be launching a price-matching policy that it believes will help keep customers from “showrooming.”

According to a statement from the company, starting March 3 Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee will “price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.”

What it doesn’t say in the statement, but what a Best Buy rep confirmed to Consumerist is that the Low Price Guarantee price match will be valid up to 15 days after the purchase (online or in-stores).

This is important and fits into the reports we’ve gotten from insiders regarding changes to the return policy. See the current price-match policy allows for a price-match request before making a purchase and “during the return and exchange period after your purchase.”

For most items, that period is 30 days, but if Best Buy limits the Low Price Guarantee and returns to 15 days, then it can’t have a customer come in on the 17th day to request a price match, then return the item because the request won’t be granted.

via Best Buy Confirms Price-Matching Policy Change With “Low-Price Guarantee” – The Consumerist.

YA literature, film/lit, TIME.com:

‘Beautiful Creatures’—the movie of which is in theaters Feb. 14—isn’t the only book to feature paranormal beings new to its readers

via Creatures Beautiful…And Not | Casters and Shadowhunters and Aliens, Oh My! 7 Young-Adult-Novel Supernatural Beings Making Their Way to Cinemas | TIME.com.

Harrison Ford,  ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’, Han Solo:  Can he successfully do this?

Harrison Ford Star Wars

Harrison Ford will apparently play Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

That’s the report from Latino Review reporter Umberto “El Mayimbe” Gonzalez, who went on Fox News Latino to break the news that Ford had signed on to appear in the new “Star Wars” film. According to Gonzalez, the deal is “significant.” HuffPost Entertainment has reached out to Ford’s publicist for confirmation, but has not heard back.

UPDATE, 2/15: According to EW.com writer Geoff Boucher, Ford’s deal is not yet complete and it could be “months” before he signs.

via Harrison Ford In ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Han Solo Reportedly Back For New Film.

twitter, vocabulary, BloombergNews:  So,  I pursued the tweet because of its inclusion of the word “labyrinthine.”  I have no idea why the tweeter used the term.

Bloomberg News ‏@BloombergNews

Salesforce CEO attempts to re-brand labyrinthine sales company | http://bloom.bg/Z3hee7

Definition of LABYRINTHINE

1

: of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth : intricate, involved

2

: of, relating to, affecting, or originating in the internal ear

via Labyrinthine – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Salesforce.com, which makes software to help businesses hone their sales and marketing campaigns, is taking a red pen to its own corporate messaging. For the past couple of years, Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has been pitching prospective customers on becoming “social enterprises,” capitalizing on the buzz around social networking.

In an interview, Benioff revealed his company’s new tagline: “customer companies.” After withdrawing a trademark application for the old brand last year, Benioff plans to formally introduce “customer companies” at a Feb. 26 event at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. The presentation, which he previewed during an interview at his home in San Francisco this month, will include a smattering of everything that’s hot in tech: Facebook, Twitter, iPads, “big data,” self-driving cars and the Nest thermostat.

via Salesforce CEO Benioff Tries Out Some New Material – Bloomberg.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, slavery, legal trials, Dred Scott:  Hands down this was my least favorite lecture/presentation at the Festival, and it was the one I was most interested in from an academic standpoint.

Slave Trials in Virginia and North Carolina, 1830-1834

Alfred L. Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor, UNC School of Law

This talk focuses on two trials in North Carolina: one of a white man who attacked a slave in his custody and another of a slave who killed his overseer. Sandwiched between those two cases, State v. Mann in 1830 and State v. Will in 1834, was the Nat turner rebellion in neighboring virginia. the trials of the turner rebels and suspected rebels in our state, along with the vigilante violence that accompanied the panic, further illustrate the ways that trials functioned to support slavery. They also illustrate how the legal system worked in conjunction with (and sometimes in opposition to) the community to establish and regulate slavery.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

07
Feb
13

2.7.13 … wheels on the bus go round and round … love the MegaBus …

side-dominant science, Left- or Right-Sided, Scientific American: 

What do the brains hemispheres have to do with sidedness? When someone is processing language, one hemisphere is usually working harder than the other. There is also some correlation between the sides we use in our brain and the side we use on our body. This preference to use one side of the body over the other is known as sidedness, laterality or left/right dominance.

via Side-Dominant Science: Are You Left- or Right-Sided?: Scientific American.

vacation, South Africa, Wandering Earl:  Great vacation blog post about a wonderful place!

We all have a bucket list and as I approached a ‘big’ birthday, Derek reminded me that South Africa was always at the top of my list and there was no time like the present. So, thanks to DSA Vacations who planned this excellent itinerary, I got a chance to experience this wonderful country, to meet its friendly people and to have a trip never to be forgotten. And I got to spend this trip with my son…

via Our Vacation to South Africa (by Earl’s mom) – Wandering Earl.

Solidoodle,  3D Printers, technology: 

Welcome to Solidoodle, the next generation of printers that allows you to unleash your creativity in three dimensions — and multiple colors. Turn your imagination into reality — one strand of plastic at a time. Adding layers, the Solidoodle 3D Printer takes your image and transforms it into a real product that you can use.

via Solidoodle | Affordable, Easy-to-Use 3D Printers.

Henry Higgins, education, Standard English, NYTimes.com:

LONDON — A school in northeastern England has opened a can of worms by urging parents to make sure their offspring learn when to use the Queen’s English rather than their distinctive local dialect, if they want to get on in life.

Sacred Heart Primary School in Middlesbrough, in the Teesside region, wants its 5- to 11-year-olds to avoid localisms in their writing and speech and has included a handy guide in a letter to parents.

Examples: Avoid “gizit ere” and stick to “please give me it.” It’s “letter” and “butter,” not “letta” and “butta.” And always say “you”, not “yous,” even when there is more than one person.

“I believe that basic communication skills are essential for life,” Carol Walker, the school’s head teacher, said this week. “We would like to equip our children to go into the world of work and not be disadvantaged.”

She said she was not asking children to change their dialect or accents. But she did not want them to enter the world of work without knowing about standard English.

It sounds like good advice in what careers advisers would call the modern competitive workplace. But some residents feel it is part of a broader trend toward conformity and homogenization.

Academics consulted by The Evening Gazette, the local Teesside newspaper, were broadly supportive of the school’s initiative, while also defending the role of regional dialects.

via Calling Henry Higgins: School Makes a Case for Standard English – NYTimes.com.

pop culture, icons, Keep Calm and Carry On,  YouTube: 

via The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On – YouTube.

Boy Meets World, Ben Savage,  Danielle Fishel, Girl Meets World, Inside TV | EW.com, pop culture, tv:

After playing on-air sweethearts Cory and Topanga for seven seasons, Boy Meets World’s Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, are reigniting their TV relationship for the highly anticipated Disney reboot, Girl Meets World. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, we speak to Savage, Fishel, Girl Meets World exec producer Michael Jacobs and Rowan Blanchard—who was just cast to play Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley—for scoop on the pilot.

Savage and Fishel talked to EW about why they signed on to Girl Meets World, how they feel about working together again, and why they really do feel like a married couple. They also share the story of the text that restarted their (TV) marriage.

via ‘Boy Meets World’ stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel on reuniting for ‘Girl Meets World’ | Inside TV | EW.com.

NCIS, LOL: 

Gibbs tells it like it is, and gets straight to the point.

via NCIS.

collecting, kith/kin:   I collected this hand towel last night … I am trying to figure out how to get the menu/placemat out of the Waffle House.

Photo: For you Carol Lomax Fortenberry! PS I am trying to figure out how to get the menu/placemat out of the Waffle House.

Waffle House, bargains, collecting, kith/kin: $4.05 … And they gave me a place mat when I asked! — at Waffle House.

.Photo: $4.05 ... And they gave me a placemat when I asked!

yarn bombing, public art, SCAD – The University for Creative Careers, LOL: 

We’ve heard of photo bombing, but yarn bombing? Check out all of the places around Savannah that were ‘yarn bombed’ by fibers student Jamie Lyn Kara.

via SCAD – The University for Creative Careers.

MegaBus: Waiting for my MegaBus to load. And by the way, I paid 50 cents for this RT.

 

 

scientology,  The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, LOLScientology Church Violence – The Colbert Report – 2013-06-02 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

[http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/423602/february-06-2013/scientology-church-violence?xrs=share_copy]

Davidson College Class of 1982, Astronaut Tom Marshburn:  Tom, you are so out there!

25
Jan
13

1.25.13 … wintry mix …

weather:  wintry mix …

labyrinths, labyrinth walks, “Solvitur Ambulando” :  Wintry mix at the Davidson labyrinth today … But very enjoyable first wintry mix walk! Blessings!

 

NYC, labyrinths, The Labyrinth for Contemplation – Battery Park, YouTube: They actually filmed their walk …

The Labyrinth for Contemplation, Battery Park, New York – YouTube.

Jane Austen, Janeites, Pride and Prejudice 200:

In the last 200 years, Austen’s “darling child” has spawned hundreds of literary offspring, making it one of the most frequently adapted novels in history. The novel, which centers on the rocky romance between the spirited, obstinate protagonist Elizabeth Bennet and the proud, taciturn aristocrat Fitzwilliam Darcy, has been through countless parodies, film, TV, stage and Web adaptations and erotic retellings. It has been reimagined as a comic book, a board book for toddlers, mashed up with zombies and remade as a Bollywood musical. Austen acolytes have published hundreds of literary reboots.

Austen wrote anonymously, and died, unmarried, in her creative prime, leaving just six complete novels behind. But from this narrow canon, a vast industry took shape, and today her brand has become more marketable than ever.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ a homage to the illustrious author, Jane Austen.

Now the field’s about to get much more crowded. To mark the 200th anniversary of “Pride and Prejudice” this year, novelists, scholars, biographers and filmmakers are releasing a flood of new homages and critical studies to cash in on the seemingly bottomless appetite for all things Austen. More than a dozen books about the author will hit bookstores in coming months, including a new biography, a book that explores her cult status, two studies of Austen-era England and two books about Austen and economics.

“Austen really is inexhaustible,” says Claudia Johnson, a Princeton University English professor and author of the 2012 book “Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures.” “Each generation tends to think they have discovered her.”

But for die-hard fans like Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems and founder of Urban Decay cosmetics, there will never be enough. Ms. Lerner discovered Austen in college in the 1980s. She has read “Pride and Prejudice” well over 100 times, and “Persuasion” more than 200 times.

When Cisco went public in 1990, Ms. Lerner used part of her fortune to buy Jane Austen’s brother’s estate in Chawton, England. She founded a library there and created her own publishing house, Chawton House Press, an imprint dedicated to publishing books about Austen and other 18th- and 19th-century English women writers.

Chawton House’s first title, released in 2011, was “Second Impressions,” a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice,” which follows Elizabeth and Darcy on a trip through Europe 10 years after their wedding. Ms. Lerner, who wrote it under the pen name Ava Farmer, spent 26 years researching the book. But she still feels the weight of her predecessor.

“I tried really hard, but I read some sentence she wrote, and it’s so much better than mine, it’s crushing,” Ms. Lerner said.

via Austen Power – WSJ.com.

As anyone who’s ever debated the finer points of Colin Firth vs. Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy will tell you, women have a bottomless appetite for the small oeuvre of Jane Austen. Every generation gets the Pride and Prejudice adaptation it deserves, each version performs well and reliably reignites sales of her books. She’s backlash-proof. Now the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice is upon us, and the Wall Street Journal reports that a whole new cast of publishers and producers are lining up to cash in.

Universities are reportedly closing doors to Austen scholars, but Austen mania, and its direct descendants, Twilight mania and Fifty Shades mania, continues to prop up some corners of the dejected publishing industry. First, there are the cross-genre spin-off books: Death Comes to Pemberley (murder-mystery), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (gore-parody), and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (erotic). Then there are the nonfiction homages — What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved, Jane Austen: Game Theorist, and Jane Austen’s Guide to Thrift — all due this year. HarperFiction has commissioned remakes of all of her novels by well-known writers, including Prep author Curtis Sittenfeld.

via Women Will Buy Basically Anything Related to Jane Austen – The Cut.

Sundance Film Festival, “Smashed”, Speakeasy – WSJ:

Last year at the Sundance Film Festival, James Ponsoldt’s second film, “Smashed”—about a couple struggling with alcoholism—won the Special Jury Prize and got picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. This year, Ponsoldt returned to the U.S. dramatic competition with “The Spectacular Now,” a coming-of-age drama starring Shailene Woodley “The Descendents” and breakout star Miles Teller, who won raves for his portrayal of an alcoholic teen.“When I saw his audition I thought he has that John Cusack thing mixed with Elvis mixed with Bill Murray,” says producer Andrew Lauren following a Tuesday screening of the movie.The film’s plot, adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber “500 Days of Summer” centers around Teller’s character, Sutter Keely, a charismatic but often drunk high-school senior—the actor described him as a “sad clown” in a Q&A session—who falls in love with Woodley’s Amy, a brainy type with problems of her own. The film garnered positive reviews: The Daily Beast called it “one of the most poignant and gratifying films of this year’s Sundance” Critics drew comparisons to 1980’s John Hughes films, Cameron Crowe’s classic “Say Anything,” as well as last year’s teen hit, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.””We never looked at [“Perks”] as our model,” says Mr. Lauren, who financed the film for under $5 million, less than a third of the budget of “Perks,” which starred Emma Watson and brought in nearly $30 million globally at the box office. “Hopefully we can have that kind of success.”The film, which was made for an “under $5 million” budget, was among the first features to sell following strong interest from multiple distributors. A24, a new multiplatform player announced that it bought the North American rights to the film on Monday, and has plans to release the movie theatrically this summer.“They think it has commercial viability which is very important to us,” said Mr. Lauren. “They see this as a ‘Garden State’ or a ‘500 Days of Summer’—the type of films that kids are dying to see.” As for the common theme of alcoholism all of Ponsoldt’s three feature films, Mr. Lauren says it is “coincidental.”

via Drunk Boy Meets Nerd Girl Love Story Wins Sundance Raves – Speakeasy – WSJ.

lists, AudibleAudible Essentials | Audible.com.

Vine, Twitter:  6 seconds or less…tweeting chats …

Today, we’re introducing Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.

You can read more about the app on the Vine blog. Vine is currently available on the iPhone and iPod touch. You can download it for free from the App Store. We’re working now to bring it to other platforms, so stay tuned for that.

via Twitter Blog: Vine: A new way to share video.

Valentine’s Day, London:  Sounds like a nice combination. 🙂   Valentine’s Day in London – now.

Milky Way, technology, Maria Popova, @brainpicker:  Astounding zoomable tour of the center of the Milky Way galaxy!

This image is a 1 billion pixel RVB mosaic of the galactic center region (340 millions pixels in each R,V and B color). It shows the region spanning from Sagittarius (with the Milky Way center and M8/M20 area on the left) to Scorpius (with colorful Antares and Rho Ophiuchus region on the right) and cat paw nebula (red nebula at the bottom). This mosaic was assembled from 52 different sky fields made from 1200 individual images and 200 hours total exposure time, final image size is 24000×14000 pixels. The images were taken with a SBIG STL camera + Takahashi FSQ106Ed f/3.6 telescope and NJP160 mount from the clear skies of ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile. This mosaic is one of the three parts of the ESO Gigagalaxy Zoom project together with this incredible whole sky mosaic image by ESO/S.Brunier and this fantastic ESO mosaic image of the Lagoon nebula region.

via Galactic Center Mosaic by Stéphane Guisard/ESO, Los Cielos de Chile.

Edith Wharton,  Birthday:   11 Reasons The Author Was A Badass. 🙂

The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” might be about Edith Wharton’s family.

Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones. Her family, the Joneses, were a prominent, wealthy New York family. Some historians believe that this idiom may have been originally referring to her family (though there are also other guesses at to where it came from). (This image is Edith Wharton as a child. What a cutie).

She designed and built her own home.

She was great at garden designing and interior designing. She designed and built her home ‘The Mount,’ which is seriously one of the most beautiful buildings we’ve ever seen. Lots of weddings are now held there (hopefully one day that will include mine).

She was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize!

via Edith Wharton Birthday: 11 Reasons The Author Was A Badass.

icons, American products, Made In The U.S.:

Over the past couple of decades, a number of brands have outsourced the production of some of America’s most iconic products to cut down on manufacturing costs. Even America’s greatest past time, baseball, is played with balls stitched together in Costa Rica.

via 12 Iconic American Products That Are No Longer Made In The U.S..

Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City, Sandy:

There are no panaceas or magic bullets. No matter what we do: the tides will continue to come in, and so we have to make our city more resilient in other ways, especially when it comes to our critical infrastructure. New Yorkers have never been shy about taking on big challenges, and taking our destiny into our own hands. I have every confidence that by confronting this challenge head on we will succeed, just as we have so many times before. There is no storm, no fire, no terrorist act, that can destroy the spirit of our city, and keep us from looking forward, envisioning a better tomorrow, and bringing it to life.

via Michael R. Bloomberg: Reshaping New York Citys Future After Sandy.

Out Of Sight (and Outside The Law), Sebstian Junger:  Really good speaker …

Whether covering ground wars, drug wars, or a war on terror, journalists undertake enormous risks to uphold Americans’ right to know what’s done in the name of democracy, revealing the human costs and truths veiled in secrecy. Sebastian Junger (Which Way Is The Front Line From Here?), Jeremy Scahill (Dirty Wars), Peter Bergen (MANHUNT), Shaul Schwarz (Narco Cultura), James Ball (We Steal Secrets), and moderator Stephen Engelberg (ProPublica) walk us through the war zones and the corridors of power.

via Out Of Sight (and Outside The Law) – Festival Program | Sundance Institute.

19
Jan
12

1.19.2011 … To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray …

graying of America, kith/kin, me: To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray … 🙂

faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

Thursday January 19, 2012

Creating Space to Dance Together When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, “Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.” But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to trust that this space allows us to dance together.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space to Dance Together.

Davidson College, terquasquicentennial:  Happy 175, alma mater!

“Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial!” What a great word, terquasquicentennial.

via Daybook Davidson » 1837–2012: Happy New Year! Happy Old Years! Happy… Terquasquicentennial!.

historic church labyrinths, England, travel:  Preparing for my next labyrinth adventure!

The historic labyrinths situated in English cathedrals, churches and chapels mostly date from the late 19th century, a period when renewed interest in labyrinths combined with a wave of church building and restoration during the Victorian era. Only two examples, the splendid gilded roof-boss in St.Mary Redcliffe Church and the tiny labyrinth on the Hereford Mappa Mundi are from the medieval period, when many labyrinths were created in the cathedrals of France and Italy.

Situated largely in the south and east of England, these labyrinths are always a pleasure to visit, located as they are in everything from simple chapels and churches to grand cathedrals. Their construction and design range from the relatively simple to some of the most fascinating examples from their period.

The majority are relatively easy to find, although obviously some are subject to limited opening hours and others will require the finding of a key or caretaker to gain admission. And therein lies the joy of tracking them down. While several are in large towns and cities, a number are beyond the reach of regular public transport and will require some planning to visit.

Within the last few decades, several modern examples have been constructed, most notably at Batheaston (1985), Norwich Cathedral (2000), and the Church of St. Michael, Abingdon (2008)

via Historic Church labyrinths – England.

The Taj Majal, icons, India: On my bucket list …

I think that, for several reasons, the term iconic is very important in any consideration of this edifice.  First, as I previously mentioned, it serves as an iconic demonstration of love.  Second, it serves as a cultural icon.  For much of the world’s population, the Taj Mahal is India.  Third, we associate cultural icons with the Taj.  Lady Di’s 1992 visit to Agra is forever ingrained in our conscience, as a result of her iconic photo in front of the Taj Mahal.   Finally, the representation of the building, in our collective consciousness, is iconic.     When we imagine the Taj Mahal in our mind’s eye, we represent it in one form:  from a distance, straight-on, and from the front.

via The Taj Majal: From a rare angle | Wonders & Marvels.

The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin, culture, RSA Animate:  Lots to think about …

http://dotsub.com/media/cefe3990-0ee4-4617-a3db-f5edf766c189/embed/

Best selling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society. This ‘working location’ is currently open for translation into all languages.via RSA Animate – The Empathic Civilization – 24 Translation(s) | dotSUB.

 Apple, Newton “Scribble Thing”:  …  15 Years Ahead of Its Time …

“Newton was probably 15 years too early,” Sculley told the BBC. “I’m not a technologist. I didn’t have the experience to make that judgment, but we were, I think, right on many of the concepts. The product clearly failed in terms of taking on such an ambitious goal. I think, in hindsight, there is a lot of good legacy there with the Newton. Even if the product itself never survived, the technology did.”

Specifically, ARM, which is still in wide use today.

Said Scully, “ARM not only was the key technology behind the Newton, but it eventually became the key technology behind every mobile device in the world today, including the iPhone and the iPad.”

via Former Apple CEO: Newton “Scribble Thing” 15 Years Ahead of Its Time – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

electric bikes, Pulse, green:

Micah Toll is no stranger to entrepreneurship.

With only five months left until graduation in April, Toll, 22, has spent his days at the University of Pittsburgh like every other student: Going to classes, becoming involved in clubs, hanging out with friends and, oh yeah, starting his own electric bike company called Pulse Motors.

Pulse Motors is a Pittsburgh start up business designed to provide two-wheeled electric vehicles to the students and the public.

“Americans are fed up with the inconveniences of this conventional transportation being expensive, dirty and unreliable,” said Toll. “Now we are simply giving them an alternative in the form of cheap, affordable and fun transportation. It’s a no-brainer.”

Toll grew up in a household surrounded by science. His mother being a nurse and his father a biological oceanographer, science has always played a big part in his life. But while he didn’t evolve a love for biology like his parents, Toll instead took the engineering route and started building things.

via Student entrepreneur Micah Toll pedaling in the right direction | USA TODAY College

….

Developed with a goal of increasing bicycle commuting and creating a class of new transportation, the “Pulse” by industrial designer Timothy Daw is a hybrid bicycle that backs the pedal power with electric propulsion to boost zero-emission commutation with minimum physical efforts. Housing a rechargeable battery system, two 26V lithium-ion batteries for 75 miles of assisted biking, within the rear frame to preserve the aesthetics of the bicycle, the hybrid bike also includes streamlined traffic indicators, headlight and break light to ensure complete safety on cramped city roads. The throttle-controlled 250W motor adds an assisted pedaling experience when biking uphill or into a strong headwind. Moreover, the Pulse folds into a compact size for easy storage and transportation, which makes it a characteristic modern urban vehicle.

via Pulse pedal electric hybrid bicycle ushers in a new class of transportation.

free, The Guggenheim, digital books, free:   65 Modern Art Books Online … FREE!

 

In recent days, the museum has made 65 art catalogues available online, all free of charge. The catalogues offer an intellectual and visual introduction to the work of Alexander Calder, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele, and Kandinsky. Plus there are other texts (e.g., Masterpieces of Modern Art and Abstract Expressionists Imagists) that tackle meta movements and themes.

Now let me give you a few handy instructions to get you started. 1.) Select a text from the collection. 2.) Click the “Read Catalogue Online” button. 3.) Start reading the book in the pop-up browser, and use the controls at the very bottom of the pop-up browser to move through the book. 4.) If you have any problems accessing these texts, you can find alternate versions on Archive.org, which lets you download books in multiple formats – ePUB, PDF and the rest.

via Free: The Guggenheim Puts 65 Modern Art Books Online | Open Culture.

London, maps, songs:  🙂

Song Map – London remapped in song names

via curiosity counts – Song Map – London remapped in song names   (via).

business, culture, novels:  The smartest people I know are all well-read.

I’ve been a devoted, even fanatical reader of fiction my whole life, but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting time if I spend an evening immersed in Lee Child’s newest thriller, or re-reading The Great Gatsby. Shouldn’t I be plowing through my in-box? Or getting the hang of some new productivity app? Or catching up on my back issues of The Economist? That slight feeling of self-indulgence that haunts me when I’m reading fake stories about fake people is what made me so grateful to stumble on a piece in Scientific American Mind by cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley extolling the practical benefits to be derived particularly from consuming fiction.

Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness. For instance, in fMRI studies of people reading fiction, neuroscientists detect activity in the pre-frontal cortex — a part of the brain involved with setting goals — when the participants read about characters setting a new goal. It turns out that when Henry James, more than a century ago, defended the value of fiction by saying that “a novel is a direct impression of life,” he was more right than he knew.

via The Business Case for Reading Novels – Anne Kreamer – Harvard Business Review.

MLK Memorial, quote, misquote:

Five months ago, in this space, I wrote that something was wrong with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The quotation inscribed on the monument’s left flank had been so badly excerpted that a modest statement of King’s was turned into a boast.

At the time, it wasn’t clear how or why this had happened, but what seemed likely, at least to me, was that nothing would be done about it. Things that are etched in stone seldom are changed, especially in Washington, which is not famous for admitting error, righting wrongs, getting things done in a timely fashion, or getting things done at all.

It turns out I was right about the error but wrong about Washington. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told The Post today that the quote will be corrected. He has given the National Park Service 30 days — because “things only happen when you put a deadline on it” — to consult with the King Memorial Foundation, family members and other interested parties and come up with a more accurate alternative.

“This is important because Dr. King and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America, and we have to make sure that we get it right,” Salazar said.

Some important people who hadn’t seen the quote yet read the op-ed and agreed. The poet Maya Angelou, who knew and worked with King, said the truncated quote made King seem like “an arrogant twit.” Roy Peter Clark, an expert on the use of words, wrote for CNN, “Everything I’ve learned about the language of enshrinement suggests that the inscription on the King monument should be revised.” Martin Luther King III told CNN: “That was not what Dad said.”

Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert noted that it was “to the point. Not Dr. King’s point, but still. Brevity is the soul of saving money on chiseling fees.”

via MLK Memorial’s ‘drum major’ quote will be corrected, Interior secretary says – The Washington Post.

Facebook, personality, me:  The Real Me?

Facebook Logo_150x150.jpg

If you think you’re different on Facebook than you are in real life, you’ve got some explaining to do.

A 2011 study from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Psychology called “Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information” published in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that Facebook users are no different online than they are offline. The study also revealed strong connections between real personality and Facebook-related behavior. Social and personality processes, the study says, accurately mirror non-virtual environments.

via Study: Your Facebook Personality Is The Real You.

blogging, lists, advice:

 Five Ways to Boost Your Blog

What does it take to move your blog up to the next level? Obviously you need a regular supply of useful content to attract readers and keep your audience happy, but here are a few extra tips on increasing interest in your blog in 2012.

via Tech Journal: 5 Ways to Improve Your Blog – India Real Time – WSJ.

16
Jan
12

1.16.2012 … It’s strange that so many businesses do not take MLK Day as a holiday. I had a doctor’s appointment, and the staff was not happy to be there … Blue Monday? How’s it going for you?

MLK Day:  It’s strange that so many businesses do not take MLK Day as a holiday. I had a doctor’s appointment, and the staff was not happy to be there.

Blue Monday:

January is a depressing time for many. The weather’s awful, you get less daylight than a stunted dandelion and your body is struggling to cope with the withdrawal of the depression-alleviating calorific foods, such as chocolate, of the hedonistic festive period. January is one long post-Christmas hangover.

So there are many reasons why someone may feel particularly “down” during January. But every year, much of the media become fixated on a specific day – the third Monday in January – as the most depressing of the year. It has become known as Blue Monday.

This silly claim comes from a ludicrous equation that calculates “debt”, “motivation”, “weather”, “need to take action” and other arbitrary variables that are impossible to quantify and largely incompatible.

True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external. What is extremely unlikely (i.e. impossible) is that there is a reliable set of external factors that cause depression in an entire population at the same time every year.

But that doesn’t stop the equation from popping up every year. Its creator, Dr Cliff Arnall, devised it for a travel firm. He has since admitted that it is meaningless (without actually saying it’s wrong).

via Blue Monday: a depressing day of pseudoscience and humiliation | Science | guardian.co.uk.

networks, knowledge organization:

Manuel Lima, founder of data visualization portal Visual Complexity, author of the indispensable information visualization bible of the same name, and one of the most intelligent people I know, recently gave an excellent talk on the power of networks at the RSA. Using examples that span from the Dewey Decimal System to Wikipedia, Manuel explores the evolving organization of knowledge and information, and the shift from hierarchical structures to distributed lateral networks.

via Manuel Lima on the Power of Knowledge Networks in the Age of Infinite Connectivity | Brain Pickings.

logos, icons:

We often don’t really look at great logos — we just see them and know exactly what they mean, like the shape of a letter or a familiar word that our brains can process so quickly it seems as if it goes straight from image to understanding. Some logos are so ubiquitous that we would never think twice about what they mean or how they came to be, so when we came across this great little video about the PBS logo we decided to take a closer look at some iconic brand markers. Click through to read the stories behind a few of our favorite logos, and perhaps you will look at them a bit more closely in the future.

via Flavorwire » The Stories Behind Great Iconic Logos.

The Genographic Project:

The Genographic Project is seeking to chart new knowledge about the migratory history of the human species by using sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. In this unprecedented and of real-time research effort, the Genographic Project is closing the gaps of what science knows today about humankind’s ancient migration stories.

via The Genographic Project – Human Migration, Population Genetics, Maps, DNA – National Geographic.

online shopping, the Little Guy:  GUILTY …

Giant e-commerce companies like Amazon are acting increasingly like their big-box brethren as they extinguish small competitors with discounted prices, free shipping and easy-to-use apps. Big online retailers had a 19 percent jump in revenue over the holidays versus 2010, while at smaller online retailers growth was just 7 percent.

The little sites are fighting back with some tactics of their own, like preventing price comparisons or offering freebies that an anonymous large site can’t. And in a new twist, they are also exploiting the sympathies of shoppers like Dr. Pollack by encouraging customers to think of them as the digital version of a mom-and-pop shop facing off against Walmart: If you can’t shop close to home, at least shop small.

via Online Shoppers Are Rooting for the Little Guy – NYTimes.com.

South Africa, car guards/valet/hustler, informal economy:  Very noticeable in South Africa and makes Americans very uneasy … you really wonder if you don’t “pay up” then you will be robbed.

At sporting events and concerts, shopping malls and pub crawls, they are a ubiquitous breed: self-appointed car guards who direct drivers into parking spaces and ask for money in exchange for watching the vehicles while the drivers are gone.

The car guards are part of South Africa’s informal economy, which provides work for about 2.1 million people, more than 16 percent of the labor force, a crucial sector in a country where the official unemployment rate is 25 percent. The informal economy includes windshield washers and prostitutes, peddlers of squishy balls and exfoliators, people who cannot find official jobs as well as people who do not want them.

But car guarding, which requires little overhead and whose success depends largely on energetic enterprise, has proved a strong draw for young men with little prospect of a formal job. Offering a semblance of security in a crime-racked city, the entrepreneurs have found a ready market and a decent, tax-free income.

via South African Car Guards, Part Valet, Part Hustler – NYTimes.com.

04
Jan
12

1.4.2012 … Iowa pig whisker … “The Brady Bunch” margin … ITSO

 Iowa Caucuses, 2012 Presidential Election, tweets:

AJC @ajc Close

Romney edges Santorum by an Iowa pig whisker. bit.ly/A06P6b

Jeff Elder @JeffElder Close

Unbelievable: Romney wins Iowa Caucus by EIGHT votes. He just won by a margin of “The Brady Bunch.” #iacaucus

The Washington Post @washingtonpost Close

Rick Perry spent more than $300 per vote in #Iowa; Santorum, only 73 cents wapo.st/zEltYa

Steve Jobs, Apple, action figures, icons:  Weird and expensive!

How long should you wait to cash in on the likeness of a universally beloved and recently deceased innovator? Just a few months, apparently, because Chinese company In Icons is looking to ship a disturbingly ultra-realistic 12-inch Steve Jobs action figure for $99 starting in February.

Accessories, no surprise, include Jobs’ standard uniform: glasses, black turtleneck sweater, jeans and New Balance sneakers. The action figure also comes with a “One more thing” backdrop so you can stage your very own mini product launch, although the to-scale iPad, iPhone 4 and first-ever Mac will cost you extra. The red apples (one with a bite taken out of it) should come in handy for any photo shoots you decide to set up in your living room.

via Chinese Company Selling Eerily Realistic Steve Jobs Action Figure | Techland | TIME.com.

careers, connectivity, lifestyle, culture, anxiety, ITSO:  I don’t work (outside the home), and I allow myself to be anxious that I might miss something in my world.

Now I know we’re all supposed to be grown-ups and switching off should be a simple enough decision, but the fact is addictions to BlackBerries and other hand-held devices are powerful and nobody expects addicts to self-administer the right medicine without some help. The Volkswagen decision reflects growing evidence of stress-related burnout tied to employees’ inability to separate their working and private lives now that developed societies live in a 24/7 paroxysm of connection.

Employee burnout has become an issue in socially conscious Germany — the object of a Spiegel cover story following the resignation in September of a prominent Bundesliga soccer coach, Ralf Rangnick of Schalke, who complained of exhaustion. A Volkswagen spokesman in Wolfsburg told Bloomberg News the company had to balance the benefits of round-the-clock access to staff with protecting their private lives.

Inside those German private lives, I’d wager, couples are experiencing the now near-universal irritation of finding conversations interrupted by a familiar glance toward the little screen, or conversations deadened by the state of near-permanent distraction from their immediate surroundings in which people live. Device-related marital rows must now be running close to back-seat driving and how to raise the kids as the leading cause of domestic discord.

Connectivity aids productivity. It can also be counterproductive by generating that contemporary state of anxiety in which focus on any activity is interrupted by the irresistible urge to check e-mail or texts; whose absence can in turn provoke the compounded anxiety of feeling unloved or unwanted just because the in-box is empty for a nanosecond; whose onset can in turn induce the super-aggravated anxiety that is linked to low self-esteem and poor performance.

Inhabiting one place — that is to be fully absorbed by and focused on one’s surroundings rather than living in some diffuse cyberlocation composed of the different strands of a device-driven existence — is a fast-dwindling ability. This in turn generates a paradox: People have never traveled as much but at the same time been less able to appreciate the difference between here and there.

To be permanently switched on is also to switch off to what takes time to be seen. A lot of good ideas, as well as some of life’s deeper satisfactions, can get lost that way.

Inability to switch off (ITSO) is a modern curse.

It’s the start of a new year, a time for resolutions. To each his own, but I know this: Nobody will ever lie on his or her deathbed and say: “I should have kept my device on longer.”

via A Time to Tune Out – NYTimes.com.

New Year’s Resolutions, journaling, blogging, Maira Kalman:  This is my resolution … I so admire maira kalman’s illustrated op-eds that I have decided that this is where I want to go with my creative efforts in 2012 … wish me luck.

The Creative Artist’s Journal

– Draw all the images and designs you’ve always said, ‘someday I’ll start to draw’. Doodle, jot ideas down, plan the new layout of your dream kitchen!

– Write all of the poetry you’ve kept stored up in your soul or just a sentence that might inspire you later on to write your masterpiece!

– Write or illustrate the things you dream about doing. It will be fun to look back later to see if you made them come true!

Go to Amazon.com for Artist’s Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures. The perfect guide to becoming a creative Journalista. In addition, log on to author, Cathy Johnson’s website, where she will jump start your creativity.

via http://thedailybasics.visibli.com/share/98se11

Tim Tebow, t-shirts, culture, faith and spirituality:  I will be interested to see how this one sells … Our culture would rather “worship” a player’s hair/moustache by wearing a t-shirt than wear this one … just a guess …

“Every Time Tebow Scores An Angel Gets Its Wings”

via Tebow T-Shirt Time | Thrillist.

 

15
Oct
11

10.15.2011 … RIP, Dr. Partin, a most beloved Davidson professor … and missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Dr. Malcolm Partin, RIP, Davidson College faculty:  So many friends consider Dr. Partin their favorite Davidson professor.  Rest in peace, Dr. Partin. I never had Dr.Partin but his  “Catherine the Great” lecture was well-known in Davidson lore  … and everyone would try to get in to hear it.  I listened in once.  🙂

During the funeral service, the Rev. Jody Seymour had reminded us all of Malcolm’s insistence that people made history, not social forces like the economy and political ideology. And the people in attendance to celebrate Malcolm today at Davidson United Methodist Church were a living history of Davidson.

It is tempting to think in a crowd like this of the Davidson of yore—”old Davidson” as someone else in the receiving line said. It is a comforting thought, in its way, attached as it is to more youthful days. Look, over there are Sam and Ava and John and Missy and Will and Sue and Hansford and Earl and Leland…. Of course, Leland. I’ve never laughed as much as I did when Malcolm and Leland would get on a roll. I hear Leland laughing even now in the receiving line, sharing happy memories of his friend with all who reach out to shake his own hand.

This is a solid group of good people, I think, and I’m honored to be in it. And when I back up a few steps (away from some very delicious homemade cookies), I see that there is no real distinction here of old or new. Just flow, here we all are right now. You never jump in the same river twice, and that. Someone is always arriving or leaving. It is Davidson in its terquasquicentennial glory, the Davidson of people who’ve gone before for nearly 175 years and who are here now and who are yet to come here, that matters….

via Daybook Davidson » Malcolm Overstreet Partin: May 24, 1936–October 12, 2011.

He engaged students with anecdotes and insights, inviting them to join him in discovery of two centuries of triumphs and tragedies that ultimately helped explain their own circumstance in history. He began one segment by saying, “Dig in your heels now, because we’re about to tackle the ‘Eastern Question’ in all its dreadful splendor…”

The benevolent dictatorship of his classroom was balanced by his behavior outside that personal domain. Students stopped by his office regularly in the afternoons for conversation and help, and he frequently dined with them. “He’s a friend an confidant who takes time to know you as a person, and not just as a student,” wrote one admirer.

via Davidson College News Archives.

empty nesters, kith/kin:  I hate experiencing the empty nest vicariously! Missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Constitution, Second Amendment, Gene Weingarten: Enjoyed Weingarten rewrite of the Second Amendment … look forward to reading more of his rewrites!

The old version: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What a mess! It’s got mangled syntax, extraneous punctuation, and, above all, mealy-mouthed caveats and qualifiers. If you are going to allow arms, allow arms.

My new Second Amendment:

“You have the right to bear arms, including but not limited to handguns, tommy guns, assault rifles, bazookas, zip guns, grease guns, blunderbusses, howitzers, flamethrowers, grapeshot cannons, shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles, medieval-style catapults that can launch a putrifying, disease-ridden horse carcass over a castle wall, and Al Pacino’s ‘lil’ fren’ from ‘Scarface.’ This amendment should not be construed to rule out ordinarily, non-lethal devices that might be weaponized, such as plowshares, pitchforks, and handheld, riled-up roosters.”

via Gene Weingarten: Get me rewrite – The Washington Post.

history, Great Depression, Great Recession:  Is history repeating itself?

Toward the end of his book, Allen sums up the mood of the country. By 1939, people were weary of hard economic times, but they were also weary of Roosevelt’s endless experiments. Many modern historians believe that Roosevelt’s biggest problem was not that he’d done too much, but that he’d done too little — that the Depression required a response bigger than even Roosevelt’s New Deal. Implicitly, Allen agrees with that.

Still, he writes, “Despite all the miseries of the Depression and the recurrent fears of new economic decline and of war, the bulk of the American people had not yet quite lost their basic asset of hopefulness.”

He concludes: “A nation tried in a long ordeal had not yet lost heart.” When our current long ordeal finally ends, will we be able to say the same?

via The 1930s Sure Sound Familiar – NYTimes.com.

The Phantom Tollbooth, children’s/YA literature:  Did you like The Phantom Tollboth?  It’s 50!

It’s a commonplace of scholarship to insist that children’s literature came of age when it began to break away from the authoritarian model of the moralizing allegory. Yet “The Phantom Tollbooth” is an old-fashioned moralizing allegory, with a symbolic point at every turn. Milo finds that the strange land on the other side of the tollbooth is sundered between words and numbers, between the land of Azaz the Unabridged, the King of Dictionopolis, and his brother the Mathemagician, the ruler of Digitopolis. The only way to reunite the kingdoms is for someone—why not Milo?—to scale the Mountains of Ignorance, defeat the demons, and release the banished princesses of Rhyme and Reason from their prison. (They were banished because they refused to choose between words and numbers, thereby infuriating the kings.) Along the way, each new experience makes funny and concrete some familiar idea or turn of speech: Milo jumps to Conclusions, a crowded island; grows drowsy in the Doldrums; and finds that you can swim in the Sea of Knowledge for hours and not get wet. The book is made magical by Juster’s and Feiffer’s gift for transforming abstract philosophical ideas into unforgettable images. The thinnest fat man in the world turns out to be the fattest thin man; we see them both. We meet the fractional boy, divided in the middle of his smile, who is the “.58 child” in the average American family of 2.58 children. The tone of the book is at once antic and professorial, as if a very smart middle-aged academic were working his way through an absurd and elaborate parable for his kids. The reality is that when Juster wrote “The Phantom Tollbooth” he was a young architect in Brooklyn, just out of the Navy, unmarried and childless, and with no particular background in writing or teaching, working out a series of jokes and joys for himself alone.

via Norton Juster’s “The Phantom Tollbooth” at 50 : The New Yorker.

Breast Cancer Awareness, “pinking of America”:  Too much media hype  … does it do any good?  Actually pinking seems far less pervasive this year here in Charlotte.

THE Dallas Cowboys just got “pinked.”

And not just the Cowboys. The entire Cowboys Stadium here. Pink is everywhere: around the goalposts, in the crowd, on the players’ cleats, towels and wristbands.

In case you haven’t noticed, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the entire nation gets painted pink. This is also when “pink” becomes more than a color: It becomes, for better or worse, a verb.

In marketing circles, “to pink” means to link a brand or a product or even the entire National Football League to one of the most successful charity campaigns of all time. Like it or not — and some people don’t like it at all — the pinking of America has become a multibillion-dollar business, a marketing, merchandising and fund-raising opportunity that is almost unrivaled in scope. There are pink-ribbon car tires, pink-ribbon clogs, pink eyelash curlers — the list goes on.

via In the Breast Cancer Fight, the Pinking of America – NYTimes.com.

piracy:  Modern piracy is not glamorous … makes you rethink 18th century piracy.

SOMALI pirates can be persistent. They have attacked the Maersk Alabama, a container ship owned by an American subsidiary of Denmark’s Maersk Line, no fewer than five times, most recently in May. In the first attack, in 2009, the captain was held hostage until the US Navy rescued him. Then Maersk put private armed guards on the ship. Since then, it has successfully repelled all boarders.

Maersk says it is only arming a few ships plying the pirate-infested waters off East Africa. But the practice is spreading rapidly among shipping firms despite the cost, which can run to $100,000 per voyage for a four-man team. That is because the number of attacks, off Somalia and elsewhere, has kept growing despite the strengthening of naval patrols (see chart). The European Union’s NAVFOR task-force, NATO warships and other navies patrol the waters off Somalia, but this has only pushed the pirates out into the open ocean, extending their attack zone towards India’s coast and as far south as Mozambique’s. This has forced the shipping industry, its insurers, and the national and international authorities that oversee them to accept that private armed guards are a necessity.

viaPiracy: Prepare to repel boarders | The Economist.

politics, what ifs …:

Hillary Clinton is going to swap jobs with Joe Biden at some point between now and the 2012 election, okay? I can just tell.

Yes, I understand that I should rightly be embarrassed for making this claim. But no, it’s not because of the obvious fact that both Biden and Clinton have repeatedly claimed that they want no part of such a swap, or that there isn’t any indication that the White House would do such a thing, or that even if the White House and Biden and Clinton wanted to it would be treated by the media as a fundamental sign of desperation and by their opponents as a sign of weakness. It’s not because of the unambiguous absence of any compelling reason to make a change like this. And it has nothing to do with the fact that such a change-up would not result in a single needle being moved in the White House’s favor.

via Here Are Some Thoughts I Had For America!: This Week In Pundit Pontifications.

iPhone 4S, SIRI, LOL: OK I laughed … Shit That Siri Says STSS

violence, Christianity:  Interesting analysis … an issue that has come up several times recently.

There was a simple lesson we learned that day: skepticism is good; because life is far more interesting and complex than our assumptions would have us believe, especially those assumptions about other people.

But at a deeper level, what we learned was our faith is a resource, the deepest of deep wells. It is not only a tool for coping with difficulties, but it provides some sense of both meaning and direction.

That is where I’d like to address the question for this panel today. And as a way to talk about what Christianity says about peace, I’d like to do so from the side by answering this question: What is the Christian response to violence?

There are typically two answers to this question from the Christian tradition that many of us would be familiar with.

First, there is what is known as the “just war” theory, first developed in a Christian sense by St. Augustine in the 4th and 5th centuries. Without going into too much detail, it is the theological rationale that there is such a thing as permissible violence, but within a very clearly prescribed set of circumstances that limit behavior during war and also limit the reasons for going to war. In short, the good must outweigh the bad.

Second, there is pacifism, which roots itself in Christ’s teaching to “turn the other cheek”. It had its proponents in the early church, and has continued as a Christian way of thought. We know it best in the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who employed it as both a strategy and a way of life.

But in both cases, what is not an option is revenge. It is not a Christian value. There is no justification, from a Christian perspective, for getting even.

Listen carefully to Jesus’ response to the crowd: “Do you think these suffered in this way because they were worse sinners? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.”

In that, I hear Jesus issuing a warning: lives lived without repentance – without the humility and honesty of acknowledging wrongdoing – are destined for tragedy. And not in the sense that either Falwell or Robertson might believe.

Repentance is, after all, a turning to face God. It is a shining of light on that which is shrouded in darkness. It is painful, but it is restorative. Before anything else, there is the need to confront our brokenness, our imperfections, the evil we harbor within ourselves. And repentance is not confined to the individual. It is a collective responsibility. How are we complicit? How do we participate in systems which allow violence to flourish?

It is my conviction that it is the asking of these difficult questions that begins the Christian path to peace. It is the moral consequences of the answers that give us direction.

via What Is the Christian Response to Violence? Reflections for an Interfaith Panel « i feast therefore i am.

Louisville KY, river cities:  I love this description of Louisville!

I love cities on rivers. They always remind me of the great Raymond Carver poem, Where Water Comes Together With Other Water … and the lines “I love the places where water comes together with other water… They stand out in my mind like holy places. . .”

The mighty Ohio River from our hotel room

Louisville isn’t quite holy, but it is a quiet, likeable city of beautiful old brick facades, lots of fountains, and the KFC Yum! stadium, picturesquely situated on the banks on the mighty Ohio. Our hotel room overlooks the river, where we can watch coal barges floating by, loaded up with great mounds of black grit. When I drove in Monday night, I missed my turn and ended up driving across the river into what I thought was Ohio but was actually Indiana (and yes, I am directionally and geographically challenged).

via My new Kentucky home. | What Gives 365.

‘The Rosie Show”: I am not sure I will ever like Rosie again … she just got mean and ugly …

On the premiere of her show on Monday, Ms. O’Donnell performed a mock cabaret number with her own lyrics to “The Night Chicago Died.” (“Remember my problems on ‘The View’/I told Hasselbeck a thing or two.”)

She also discussed rehab with Mr. Brand, a former drug addict, and breast cancer with Ms. Sykes, who caught hers early and is in full recovery. But serious issues don’t get in the way of what Ms. O’Donnell does best: amiable, free-floating conversation that seems unscripted and unpretentious.

“The Rosie Show” is an OWN program that doesn’t ask viewers to look inside themselves; it just entices them to watch.

via ‘The Rosie Show’ and ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass’ on OWN – NYTimes.com.

White House, President Obama, BlackBerry messages,  Solyndra, Executive Privilege:  New area … blackberry communications … Solyndra is getting bigger …

President Barack Obama won’t be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders that they should still be happy with the trove of Solyndra-related documents they’re getting from federal agencies including DOE, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget.

But Ruemmler said the investigators’ request for all internal White House communications about Solyndra — dating back to the first day of the Obama administration — “implicates long-standing and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Obama had to fight his lawyers just to be able to become the first president to use a BlackBerry, and so far no one has successfully gotten access to the messages.

via White House won’t turn over Obama’s BlackBerry messages on Solyndra – Darren Samuelsohn – POLITICO.com.

Google, Steve Yegge,  “Jerry Maguire moment”:

I’m not sure if Yegge interrupted his fervent writing spree to assume yoga positions, as Jerry Maguire did, but his memo about Google+ shook the tech community as much as Maguire’s memo shook the fictional sports agency world.

The only difference: Yegge does not seem in danger of being fired and forced to start up his own tech company with a spunky sidekick/secretary. (At least not yet). But his missive left me cheering for Yegge, imaging a Hollywood symphony swelling to a crescendo when I reached the final line: “But we’ve gotta start doing this right.”

To recap for the non-tech-obsessed: An engineer at Google, Yegge poured out his angst about the struggling Google+ on Google+. His diatribe was meant for Google employees only, but even Yegge can’t figure out how to use the platform and he mistakenly made it public. He took it down, but nothing dies on the Internet, so copies are still posted all over Google+. (He also has an archive of long posts around the Web, most amusingly “Stevey’s Drunken Blog Rants” about his time at Amazon.)

His Google+ post is a fascinating glimpse inside the world of one of the largest tech companies. It’s long, but worth reading — even if you don’t understand half the tech jargon (I write about the Internet, and there were parts I stumbled over). By the time you reach the end, you’ll be cheering for Yegge too.

While there’s plenty for the tech crowd to enjoy (especially the inside gossip on Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, or “Dread Pirate Bezos,” in Yegge’s words), what stuck out to me were the simple rules he laid out for thinking about how a company should be run.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say, for all his complaints about the company, Yegge does a pretty great job making Google seem like an incredible place to work.

via Google engineer Steve Yegge has his Jerry Maguire moment – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

 ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out, Web: Way too public to me.

LIKE a lot of people who post videos of themselves on YouTube, Kristina Cecil wants the world to know a few personal facts:

She is an avid hiker.

She is a Minnesota Vikings fan.

She is a member of the United States Air Force, which is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to serve in the military.

And she is gay.

“It’s really nice to say that now, because the whole ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been repealed,” Ms. Cecil, a 22-year-old with short-cropped blond hair and a tattoo on her right arm, said excitedly to the camera. “I’m just really happy to say that I’m gay, and I’m an American airman.”

Ms. Cecil’s on-screen declaration, shot in her disheveled bedroom, is one among a wave of coming-out videos posted by gay soldiers on YouTube in recent weeks. With National Coming Out Day this past Tuesday, less than a month after the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed, the genre of military coming-out videos gained force this week.

via After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out on the Web – NYTimes.com.

Philip Johnson, Glass House, architecture, design, icons, bucket list: Glass House is on my bucket list … but isn’t a glass house counterintuitive to the idea of a house?

The architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House is one of the most important icons of modern architecture. For nearly five decades, Johnson and the art collector David Whitney lived in the 47-acre grounds in New Canaan, CT, sculpting the landscape and adding new buildings.

In 2007, two years after both men had died, the site opened up to the public as a National Trust Historic Site.

via Is Philip Johnson’s Glass House The Most Beautifully Designed House In The World?

social media ads, politics:  clicks = votes ….

The other problem with television: Live viewers are diminishing rapidly. A recent poll by the advertising company SAY Media reported that one in three voters had not seen any live television during the previous week. And politicians want to go where the conversation is.

Romney, for example, records short video messages and pushes them out on social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube. “You need to have digital embassies on every one of those sites,” Moffatt said.

Whether this form of advertising will be effective, or whether it will fall prey to the same arguments Malcolm Gladwell made about the efficacy of social media influencing world events (he disowned Twitter’s role in the Arab Spring), remains to be seen. There have been no major studies proving the success of online political advertising.

And in social media, all users — not just politicians — wield influence. New tools are allowing voters to tout their favored politicians. Votizen launched an endorsement tool last month on Twitter and Facebook to help people publicly vouch for candidates — and solicit their friends to get behind them.

via Will clicks on social media ads translate into votes? – The Washington Post.

pictograms, graphic design, Jesus, LOL:  Famous lives in minimalist pictograms!  Even, Jesus!

From Milan-based creative agency H-57 comes this brilliant series of minimalist pictogram posters for the life-and-times of famous characters, both fictional and historical, from Darth Vader to Marie Antoinette to Jesus — part Isotype, part Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, part something entirely and ingeniously its own.

via From Darth Vader to Jesus: Famous Lives in Minimalist Pictograms | Brain Pickings.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 618 other followers

November 2020
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930