Posts Tagged ‘innovation

01
Mar
13

3.1.13 … today’s mantra … make stacks purposeful … 3d printing …

housekeeping, clutter, House Beautiful:  today’s mantra … make stacks purposeful …

Make Stacks Purposeful

Making a neat pile of books and magazines will bring order to a coffee table in a matter of minutes. For this Hamptons home, designer David Lawrence created a sophisticated tabletop display by placing flowers and candles atop the books. The fabric on the sofa is Vizir in Indigo from Old World Weavers. Throw pillows by Ralph Lauren.

via How To Clean House Fast – Organizing And Cleaning Clutter Tips – House Beautiful.

3D Printing, innovation, cutting edge, PBS – YouTube:  Again, make stacks purposeful …

So how about those newfangled three-dee printing machines? I guess they’re a thing. But in all seriousness, PBS Off Book’s overview of the current state of 3D printers and their potential is pretty on target. One worry I have is that 3D printers become synonymous with CNC machines, a category that goes beyond the scope of MakerBots and RepRap machines. 3D printers have a great future, but it’s a whole host of different CNC machines (and those working in concert) that will change the world.

via PBS Off Book on 3D Printing – Tested.

48 Hours, Atlanta, National Geographic Traveler:  As an Atlanta native, I don’t even think about the Aquarium as a must see … maybe i should visit next time I am there …

The world’s largest aquarium, sophisticated restaurants, and an eclectic music scene are but a few of the surprises waiting in this peach of a city.

via 48 Hours in Atlanta – National Geographic Traveler.

Stephen Curry, Warriors, Davidson College, kudos,  YouTube: Kudos to Steph … this video is just fun to watch …

Stephen Curry 54 points vs New York Knicks || HD || (Full Highlights) – YouTube.

Stephen Curry’s career night in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. Curry was 18 of 28 shooting, including 11 of 13 from 3-point range. He also had 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. He became just the 13th player to reach the 50-point mark at the arena. His 54 is the third most points scored by a visiting player in Madison Square Garden since 1968, behind Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

via Stephen Curry 54 points vs New York Knicks || HD || (Full Highlights) – YouTube.

ducks, duck walk,  D.C., random:  heartwarming …

Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Harald Olsen, a Korean translator looking for work — “casualty of the sequester,” he says — thought he was about to go home after having lunch with a friend.

Instead, he and three other people helped escort a family of ten ducks a mile through downtown D.C.

It all started as Olsen was “walking from the World Bank building to the Farragut North Metro station,” he says. “I was heading home after lunch. One benefit of unemployment.”

He was waylaid by a mother duck and her nine ducklings, attracting attention in a park on Pennsylvania Avenue — some admiring attention, and some concern; as Olsen wrote on his Reddit post of the photos, one person called the police, and another called the Humane Society.

But before the arrival of any authorities, the ducks got moving. “Kind of like water flowing downhill, the ducks knew which direction they wanted to go,” says Olsen.

via Ducks Walk Through D.C. With A Four-Person Escort (PHOTOS).

Dr. William Marlin,  Case Western Reserve University, Urbanization and the Detective Novel,  Academic Minute, NPR:  Love this show … but often forget to look it up …

The detective novel grew up with public concerns about  modern, urban life, particularly crime.  But crime as a feature of Western life was not  recognized until the rise of large cities in the early 1800s,  the period when a mass reading public appeared.   The new cities were chaotic, without maps,  police, or even named streets.  New city-dwellers were fascinated by and afraid of crime, they vilified and romanticized criminals, as well as the police who fought them.The first writing on urban crime pretended to be documentary, but it was filled with archetypes and plots from preceding fiction, particularly the gothic novel. The idea of detection and the figure of the detective were introduced in the early nineteenth century by a Frenchman, Francois-Eugene Vidocq.   He had been a soldier, smuggler, convict and stoolie, but he also founded the French  “security services” in 1812.

When Vidocq’s Memoirs were published  in 1828, they were immediately popular and translated into English.  Balzac modeled the character of Vautrin  in Le Pere Goriot on  Vidocq , and Victor Hugo did the same with Jean Valjean in Les Misérables .  In England the interest  in “crime stories” blended with a strong, existing genre called the gothic novel.  Its influence accounts for the dark settings, obscure motives, and  brilliant solutions in the genre.  Vidocq also influenced Charles Dickens, who used detail and character for Great Expectations  In the U. S., Edgar Allan Poe  read both  Dickens and  Vidocq.  Then in five stories between 1840 and 1845,  he then laid out the formal detective story.

via Dr. William Marling, Case Western Reserve University – Urbanization and the Detective Novel | WAMC.

lions, rescuer, heartwarming, YouTube:

Pope Benedict, resignation, end of an era, Twitter:  “Romans …salute” … Just don’t think of “Romans” in contemporary terms … I wonder if I would go to my rooftop and wave?

Rachel Donadio — NYT

@RachelDonadio

Romans stand on rooftops waving flags to salute the pope as he flies by helicopter into retirement. sunny here today. nice weather for it.

“Do Not Be Afraid”, Dr. James Howell,  

St. Fr

ancis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix, YouTube:  “Look carefully how you walk” … “walk intentionally” … A theme of mine this Lenten season … for some reason I saved this one during my non blogging year … seemed a good one to post today. “Do Not Be Afraid” Dr. James Howell – YouTube. And during his sermon he mentioned this prayer …

St. Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart.

Give me right faith, sure hope and perfect charity.

Fill me with understanding and knowledge that I may fulfill your command.

via Friar Jack’s E-spirations: St. Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix.

art, Renaissance art, Africans, The Economist:  Something I never thought about … like yesterday, i never thought about Southern art and the Romantic period …

The exhibition ends on a high note with a four-foot tall, gilded-wood statue of Saint Benedict of Palermo. Benedict was born in Sicily to Ethiopian slaves and freed at the age of 18. He became a Franciscan monk and inspired many with his goodness and equanimity. By the early 17th century Benedict was venerated in Italy, Spain and Latin America. He is the patron saint of African-Americans, and churches devoted to his name can be found as far afield as Buenos Aires, Bahía and the Bronx.

Thanks to research that continues to be done by historians and curators such as Ms Spicer, we now know that some of these freed Africans became bakers and gondoliers, mattress makers and courtiers. A few more have been named. However, much still remains to be discovered. Research into the lives of Africans in Renaissance Europe is not finished; in fact, it is only just beginning.

via Africans in the Renaissance: Hue were they? | The Economist.

04
Jun
12

6.4.2011 … 9th anniversary of my father’s death … 50-something birthday of my lifelong friend … RIP, Richard Dawson aka Captain Peter Newkirk … loved hogan’s heroes as a kid … never watched Family Feud (may be a good thing!)

anniversary: Today is one of those strange days, the birthday of one of my closest friends and the 9th anniversary of the death of my dad.  Bittersweet.

innovation, new, coffee: new coffee? …plus 31 others. 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

libraries, blogs, twitter, Salman Rushdie:  ditto,  Mr. Rushdie!  Zadie Smith’s beautiful, important piece about what’s happening to libraries. Please read.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/…

All libraries have a different character and setting. Some are primarily for children or primarily for students, or the general public, primarily full of books or microfilms or digitized material or with a café in the basement or a market out front. Libraries are not failing “because they are libraries.” Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them. Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.

via The North West London Blues by Zadie Smith | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.

economy: “But, for now at least, the outlook is far darker than it seemed to be only a couple of months ago.” via In Economic Deluge, a World That Can’t Bail Together – NYTimes.com.

workplace, misfits, Azberger’s Syndrone:

IN 1956 William Whyte argued in his bestseller, “The Organisation Man”, that companies were so in love with “well-rounded” executives that they fought a “fight against genius”. Today many suffer from the opposite prejudice. Software firms gobble up anti-social geeks. Hedge funds hoover up equally oddball quants. Hollywood bends over backwards to accommodate the whims of creatives. And policymakers look to rule-breaking entrepreneurs to create jobs. Unlike the school playground, the marketplace is kind to misfits.

via Schumpeter: In praise of misfits | The Economist.

17
Jan
12

1.17.2012 … Good morning … post MLK, really beginning of New Year … time to put the resolutions into a effect DAY …

2012 Presidential Election, GOP Primaries, debates, pinnochios: So which is your favorite?

And then there were five….which made for a feisty evening of misstatements. We focused on 11, and may come back for more later in the week. Let’s take them in the order in which they were made.

“As [House] speaker, I came back, working with President Bill Clinton. We passed a very Reagan-like program: less regulation, lower taxes. Unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent. We created 11 million jobs.”

— Newt Gingrich

Former president Clinton would be shocked at this description, since he always credited the 22 million jobs created during his presidency to the deficit-reduction package he narrowly passed early in his tenure without a single GOP vote.

via Fact Checking the Fox News-WSJ debate in South Carolina – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, President Obama, Bank of America Stadium, irony:  Irony here?

President Obama will close out the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September with an acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., party sources told the Charlotte Observer.

via Obama Reportedly to Accept Nomination at BofA Stadium – ABC News.

Face-off With Iran, energy supply, 2012 Presidential Election, President Obama:  Why does this sound vaguely familiar? What do you think President Carter?

Mr. Obama retains two important levers: he can delay sanctions if he determines there is not enough oil in the market, and he can exempt any country that has “significantly reduced its volume of crude oil purchases from Iran.” Administration officials, seeking to preserve flexibility, said they would not quantify “significant.”

An early test of the administration’s approach will come at the end of February, when the law mandates that it cut off private financial institutions that conduct non-oil transactions with Iran’s central bank, except for the sale of food, medicine and medical devices.

Senator Kirk said carrying out the oil sanctions might be less complicated than it appeared, with Saudi Arabia pledging to step up production and with Libya and Iraq both bringing production back online. But the administration’s opposition to the original draft of his legislation, he said, belied the president’s threats to the Iranian government.

“It’s been a strange political journey for the president because he said he was tough on Iran,” Mr. Kirk said.

via Face-Off With Iran Complicates Obama’s Re-election Campaign – NYTimes.com.

bike-sharing programs, GPS data, innovation, NYC:  I love these bike sharing programs … really great that it can produce data which will make travel better.

Here’s one more reason to get excited about the launch of bike-share later this year: the reams of data generated by the GPS units located in every public bicycle. The Department of Transportation will use that data to inform their bike lane planning, commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan revealed last night.

“It’s going to be amazing to have GPS generated data for all these trips,” said Sadik-Khan. “For planning purposes, it’ll be huge.

via Sadik-Khan: Bike-Share GPS Data Will Help Plan NYC Bike Network | Streetsblog New York City.

academic research, open-source, taxpayer rights:  If taxpayers paid for it, they own it. I agree!  Of course there are exceptions … national security, etc.

THROUGH the National Institutes of Health, American taxpayers have long supported research directed at understanding and treating human disease. Since 2009, the results of that research have been available free of charge on the National Library of Medicine’s Web site, allowing the public (patients and physicians, students and teachers) to read about the discoveries their tax dollars paid for.

But a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last month threatens to cripple this site. The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library. If the bill passes, to read the results of federally funded research, most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

This is the latest salvo in a continuing battle between the publishers of biomedical research journals like Cell, Science and The New England Journal of Medicine, which are seeking to protect a valuable franchise, and researchers, librarians and patient advocacy groups seeking to provide open access to publicly funded research.

The bill is backed by the powerful Association of American Publishers and sponsored by Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, and Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. The publishers argue that they add value to the finished product, and that requiring them to provide free access to journal articles within a year of publication denies them their fair compensation. After all, they claim, while the research may be publicly funded, the journals are not.

Rather than rolling back public access, Congress should move to enshrine a simple principle in United States law: if taxpayers paid for it, they own it. This is already the case for scientific papers published by researchers at the N.I.H. campus in Bethesda, Md., whose work, as government employees, has been explicitly excluded from copyright protection since 1976. It would be easy to extend this coverage to all works funded by the federal government.

But it is not just Congress that should act. For too long scientists, libraries and research institutions have supported the publishing status quo out of a combination of tradition and convenience. But the latest effort to overturn the N.I.H.’s public access policy should dispel any remaining illusions that commercial publishers are serving the interests of the scientific community and public.

via Research Bought, Then Paid For – NYTimes.com.

14
Sep
11

9.14.2011 … anticipating the cooler weather … but not for 2 more days!

 Moses, 9/11, sermons, Marthame Sanders: Did not know where he was going here … Nice sermon, Marthame. “Today, I simply want to talk about the wilderness as a place framed by two simple truths: we are never above God’s judgment; and we are never beneath God’s grace.”

These are the stories we long for, where the line between good and evil is clearly marked, where the good triumph, and the evil perish. The good guys get away, and the bad guys are punished. And there is no doubt in our minds that it should be any other way.

How often does life end up being this cut-and-dried?

If we’re not careful, we might chalk this up to a distinction between fact and fantasy: life is tough, full of challenges; the Bible, on the other hand, sure is a nice idea…But when we see things this way, it means we have forgotten the rest of this story: the 400 years of enslavement that came before, and the 40 years of desert wandering that follows.

It’s this last piece which is the focus of our sermon series which begins today, this time in the wilderness. For the Israelites, it was almost like an experiential sorbet of sorts. The slavery of Egypt eventually became a thing of the past, and the land of promise lay just out of reach.

Forty years was enough time for two generations to pass away and two more to come along, meaning that the number of those who experienced both slavery and promise were few, if any. Not even the age-defying Moses got that pleasure, dying on a mountain overlooking where the people were headed.

But what does this Exodus story teach us? As a community of faith, as individuals struggling with what it means to be faithful, how can we connect? We may not be on a physical journey; but is there something that we can learn from this lesson about our own spiritual path and where we find ourselves on it?

Today, I simply want to talk about the wilderness as a place framed by two simple truths: we are never above God’s judgment; and we are never beneath God’s grace.

For some, 9/11 was a day that clarified our call as the most righteous of nations; for others, it was evidence that we are accursed and have strayed from God’s desires. The truth, unfortunately, is not so simple.

I do not believe that God caused or allowed the terrorist attacks, as some would claim. Nor do I believe that God gave us a righteous, holy mission as a result, either, as others would try to convince us. My faith convinces me that God’s mission that day was as God of courageous rescue and as God of the broken heart. And my faith also convinces me that, ten years on, God’s mission for us is still one of courage and compassion.

We all have our own memories. Elizabeth and I were living in a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank. But though we were a world away, we became aware of the attacks probably like many of you did. My mother-in-law called and told us to turn on CNN to see what was happening.

We watched in horror, worried about friends and family living in New York, working in the financial sector. We heard about the attack on the Pentagon and that there were several planes that were unaccounted for, one crashing in a Pennsylvania field. I remember an overwhelming feeling of dread, convinced that there was much more to come, and yet unable to pull away from the lure of the screen.

What was unique about our situation was location, location, location. In the simplified worldview that quickly developed in some corners, we found ourselves on the “wrong side”, and in “enemy territory”. We were Western American Christians living in an Arab Palestinian Muslim majority. But here’s the thing: we never once felt unsafe.

Friends and co-workers, Muslim and Christian alike, came by to offer their condolences. They, too, were concerned that we might have had family at Ground Zero. And they worried that we might begin to see all Arabs, all Muslims, all non-Westerners in a harsh light.

I’m convinced, regardless of location, that we can all learn something from the story of Red Sea partings. This is one of those clear cases where God has chosen sides, favoring the Israelites and disdaining the Egyptians. And yet, notice what the Israelites don’t do, at least not right away: they don’t celebrate. Their reaction to what has happened is not self-righteousness, but, as various translations put it, “awe”; “fear”. It is as though they have seen the mighty power of God and stand before it with mouths agape. They recognize that they have just been the beneficiaries of God’s direct intervention; but they also seem to recognize that this fearsome power could be turned against them.

We are never above God’s judgment.

And what about the Egyptians? Getting to the rest of their story is a bit more complex, since much of the stories of the Hebrew Bible are written with a nationalist lens, with warring between ancient Israel and ancient Egypt. But the most consistent Biblical image of Egypt is not that of slavery and Pharaoh; it is as a place of refuge. Both Abraham and Joseph’s brothers had fled there, seeking – and finding – respite. And as the infant Jesus was threatened with King Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, his parents wisely fled to Egypt where they found safety until Herod was dead and gone.

We are never beneath God’s grace.

via opc blog » Blog Archive » Parting Company.

Goddard College, alternative education, innovation:

Someone like Rod Crossman, at his stage in life and with his professional success, doesn’t often seek a way to reinvent himself. Yet Mr. Crossman—a painter, an assistant professor, and an artist in residence at Indiana Wesleyan University—felt that he was merely churning out pretty work to hang on gallery walls, increasingly feeling a schism between where his career had taken him and where his passion was telling him to go.

“My art practice had become marooned in the place where it was not connected to the world,” he says. “There were issues that my students were facing, and I didn’t think I had the tools to help them navigate those problems. Some of the issues they were facing were just the challenges of the world that we live in.” He wanted an interdisciplinary M.F.A. to reinvigorate his work at Indiana Wesleyan, where he has taught for 30 years.

He found a tiny college in rural Vermont that has blown itself up and emerged anew time and again: Goddard College. The birthplace of some important academic innovations, it has long bucked traditional notions of higher education and, like many experimental colleges, flirted with financial ruin. Its latest transformation may be its most remarkable: Reaching a nadir in its financial health in the early 2000s, it did what many colleges would consider unthinkable. The college shut down its storied, core residential program and adopted its low-residency adult program as its sole campus offering. It has since re-emerged with 10-year accreditation, the highest number of students in decades, money to spend on refurbishing its campus, a new campus in Port Townsend, Wash., and plans to expand its programs to other cities across the country. One administrator put the college’s turnaround in perspective: Today, Goddard is getting a $2-million loan to build a biomass plant, but 10 years ago the college couldn’t have gotten a car loan.

Innovation is the buzzword of higher education these days. People talk about leveraging technology and scaling up, about treating faculty members like hired guns, and about adopting industrial models to bring down costs and ramp up “production.” All of it in a bid to offer more college degrees—more cheaply, more quickly, and some worry, of a lower quality.

None of that is happening here. Goddard faculty members, who do not have tenure but are unionized, seem fiercely devoted to the college. Students say their open-ended studies are among the most rigorous they have ever experienced. And Goddard’s president, Barbara Vacarr, is downright heretical when asked how higher education can scale up and give more Americans college degrees.

via Goddard College’s Unconventional Path to Survival – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Sarah Palin,Doonesbury, political cartoons, 2012 Presidential Election:  If it makes people talk, yes, provided ….

Today’s Sarah Palin/Glen Rice ‘DOONESBURY’ strip: Would you run it? [POLL]

via Today’s Sarah Palin/Glen Rice ‘DOONESBURY’ strip: Would you run it? [POLL] – Comic Riffs – The Washington Post.

Missoni for Target, marketing, fashion, kith/kin:  I have to laugh.  This stuff looks like the crocheted afghans my grandmother made using up old yarn … awful color combinations …

Missoni for Target

Having trouble purchasing Missoni for Target? You’re not alone! After the 400-piece collection finally made its way to Target.comrecord-breaking crowds crashed the siteBut good news—not everything is sold out! As of this posting, there are still quite a few womens’ looks,lingeriekids’ clothes and hair accessories to go around. As for home goods, check back with the site and your local Target store—the retailer isslated to get periodic shipments of Missoni styles through October 22nd. Good luck!

apps, NPR, WFAE, Charlotte:  My local NPR station will have an app!

WFAE App for iPhone and Android

The free WFAE App allows you to listen to all three WFAE live streams, plus pause and rewind the live audio. You can also explore On Demand content, search for your favorite stories, and even bookmark a story for later.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

The South, Southern culture:  “Well, Ma’am, I wasn’t born in the South, but I got here quick as I could.” She backed off only slightly, then muttered as she walked away, “Well, you did the best you could.”

I mentioned the table, especially the beauty of the columns, and inquired about their origin. Immediately, our hostess, the epitome of style, charm, and grace all evening long, turned bitter and sour and full of rancor. I would soon discover why.

She menacingly turned toward me, and with her face tightened down like a vice, said, “That’s all that’s left after they came and burned the courthouse down.” Then her eyes got even bigger. Sensing a foreigner in her midst, in a very cold and accusatory voice she said, “By the way Will, where are you from?”

I said a fast prayer. I needed a save, right here, right now. My prayer was granted. I took a breath and casually replied, “Well, Ma’am, I wasn’t born in the South, but I got here quick as I could.” She backed off only slightly, then muttered as she walked away, “Well, you did the best you could.”

via Southern Traditions: More Than Biscuits & Grits by Will Nelson | LikeTheDew.com.

2012 Presidential Election, journalism, media:  I enjoyed this … noticeable to anyone … I do not like my “news” telling me who to vote for.

LET’S START WITH the long shots. No Republican makes Fox squirm like Ron Paul. The network’s pundits and personalities were obviously defensive about accusations that they had neglected the Iowa Straw Poll’s runner-up. (An easy explanation for their discomfort: Paul acolytes are rabid Fox News viewers.) Neil Cavuto, the host of “Your World,” paused during an interview with Paul to note that he had appeared on his show 28 times since the 2008 election. “You could practically be my co-anchor,” Cavuto gushed. “I wanted to let your people know that we love having you on.”

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were each granted a single, respectful, prime-time interview and were otherwise mercifully left on the cutting-room floor. Herman Cain was invited on Sean Hannity’s show solely to refute comedian Janeane Garofalo’s absurd claim that he was running only to protect the GOP from charges of racism.

Jon Huntsman might welcome this sort of benign neglect. Cavuto began a Huntsman interview by highlighting his microscopic poll ratings and grilling him about his call for “shared sacrifice.” “A lot of Tea Partiers read that, sir, to say, well, maybe they should pay more in taxes,” Cavuto said accusingly. And what Fox commentators had to say about Huntsman behind his back was worse. To Michelle Malkin, a Huntsman profile in a glossy women’s magazine provided evidence of his liberal leanings. Appearing on the midday show “America Live,” she snapped, “The only [Republicans] that these liberal media people think are smart [are] the ones who are trashing conservatives and getting their pictures taken in Vogue magazine by”—she hissed—“Annie Leibovitz.”

When I began this undertaking, I was braced for a bacchanalia of Michele Bachmann coverage. Less than two weeks earlier, she had been the toast of conservatives after winning the Iowa Straw Poll. But I had failed to appreciate just how quickly the enthusiasms of Fox News would shift. Without a major gaffe or gotcha moment, Bachmann was almost entirely absent, like a Red Army general excised from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia after being purged by Joseph Stalin. She was almost never pictured on screen, even though she was on a four-day campaign swing through Florida. When her name came up, it was usually coupled with a glib dismissal of her chances.

Still, it wasn’t hard to infer where the preferences of most Fox personalities lie. Late-night Fox host Greg Gutfeld offered the most memorable summary on “The Five.” “Mitt Romney is like somebody you hook up with periodically until you get serious and you want to meet somebody serious,” he said. “He [is] friends with benefits. And Perry is marriage material.” Yikes.

via The Idiot Box | The New Republic.

science, teaching, YouTube:  These are great!

 minutephysics’s Channel – YouTube.

education, poverty, Purpose Built Communities, East Lake, Atlanta GA: Great article about a great organization!

Residents of Atlanta’s redeveloped East Lake community say the history of their neighborhood is a real-life Cinderella story.

East Lake, once known as “Little Vietnam” to the local police because of its sky-high crime rates, is now a paradigm of community revitalization that serves as a national model for Purpose Built Communities, a consulting group on neighborhood turnarounds that is gaining traction, primarily across the Southeast. Now in East Lake, mixed-income housing is woven between shops, local eateries, schools, a family center, a YMCA, and two golf courses.

Purpose Built Communities, based in Atlanta, grew organically out of the undertaking of East Lake’s revitalization. The nonprofit organization, now officially in its third year, is financed by three philanthropists: Tom Cousins, an Atlanta real estate developer; Julian Robertson, founder of the now-defunct Wall Street hedge fund Tiger Management Corp.; and Warren Buffett, the well-known chairman and chief executive officer of the Berkshire Hathaway corporate holding company.

The group targets communities seemingly locked in a cycle of endless poverty and works with local leaders to reverse a tradition of welfare, joblessness, and nominal education. Now established in six states, the group keeps the advancement of education at the core of its mission with each community it enters and stresses the involvement of local partners, such as universities, banks, and community centers, to help improve local housing, transportation, education, and employment options in its turnaround efforts.

Though the group is not as well known as the Harlem Children’s Zone project, which attempts to transform communities by enveloping families in a net of social and educational services, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited the Purpose Built Communities model in a 2009 keynote speech. He said East Lake and the Harlem Children’s Zone are “crafting similar solutions to the problems of concentrated poverty.”

via Education Week: A Community Approach Helps Transform Atlanta Neighborhood.

“Toddlers & Tiaras”, TLC, tv, over the top:  A three-year old dresses up as the prostitute in Pretty Woman … Has child services been called in … no she wins the pageant.

Last week, a little girl on TLC’s child pageant show, “Toddlers & Tiaras,” donned fake breasts and butt to dress up like Dolly Parton. It seemed pretty inappropriate. But surely it couldn’t get any worse than that. Right?

Enter a 3-year-old dressed up like a fictional prostitute.

Paisley (the show uses only first names) competes in an outfit that Julia Roberts’s character wears in the film “Pretty Woman.” No, not the reformed Vivian Ward who goes to Rodeo Drive and buys some nice dresses and lives happily ever after. The streetwalking version complete with black boots, a mini skirt and a blonde wig.

To be fair, one of the other mothers tells the camera she would “never ever do that to [her] little girl.” So it’s not like there was a gas leak and everyone had lost their minds.

Suddenly, dressing your kid up like Dolly Parton seems reasonable. This episode of “T&T” airs tonight on TLC. Watch the clip below.

via ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ contestant dresses as ‘Pretty Woman’ prostitute – Celebritology 2.0 – The Washington Post.

blogging, WordPress: Thanks WordPress, good to know … 🙂

You used a total of 118 categories and tags. We suggest using 10 or fewer.

via ‹ Dennard’s Clipping Service — WordPress.

Walter Bonatti, mountaineering, RIP:

“The K2 story was a big thorn in his heart,” Ms. Podestà, 77, said in a telephone interview on Thursday while she and family members were taking Mr. Bonatti’s body from Rome to their home in Dubino, a village north of his birthplace, Bergamo, in northern Italy. “He could not believe that, even after all those many years, nobody had apologized or acknowledged the truth. This falseness has left a mark in his life.”

Mr. Bonatti became known as an angry loner who shied away from the bigger expeditions to take on new routes and new peaks his own way, sometimes at great risk.

“Bonatti was just a boy from Bergamo who in a very few years became the best climber in the world,” the mountaineer Reinhold Messner told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday. Mr. Bonatti, he added, had been envied around the world because he was “too ahead of the curve, too alone, too good.”

David Roberts, a journalist who writes about mountaineering, said of Mr. Bonatti in an interview on Wednesday: “If you had a poll of the greatest mountaineers of all time, he might win it. It is that simple.”

via Walter Bonatti, Daring Italian Mountaineer, Dies at 81 – NYTimes.com.

LOL: Sometimes you just need a stupid joke!

One morning, a grandmother was surprised to find that her 7-year-old grandson had made her coffee. Smiling, she choked down the worst cup of her life. When she finished, she found 3 little green army men at the bottom. Puzzled, she asked “Honey, what are these army men doing in my coffee?” Her grandson answered, Like it says on tv, grandma. “The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup”

12
Sep
11

9.12.2011 … to unwind from 9/11, i watched Elizabethtown on Netflix … never seen it … definitely liked it …

9/11 Anniversary, Post 9/11:  Relieved that the anniversary of 9/11 is passed … and we can go on with the new normal.

Elizabethtown, movies: I really enjoyed Elizabethtown … good music … nice way to relax after 9/11 anniversary.

In its trimmed version, “Elizabethtown” is nowhere near one of Crowe’s great films (like “Almost Famous”), but it is sweet and good-hearted and has some real laughs, and we can just about accept Claire’s obsessive romantic behavior because if someone is going to insist that you have to fall in love, there are many possibilities more alarming than Claire.

via Elizabethtown :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

BofA, old news, enough said:  From last week … 30,000, 35,000, 40,000 … but the number keeps changing.  Can you imagine working for BofA?  Oh, I can since John does … this is wearing on the moral.  Enough said.

The Journal said BofA executives met Thursday at Charlotte, North Carolina, where the bank is headquartered, and will gather again Friday to make final decisions on the reductions, putting the finishing touches on five months of work.

Investors are pressing BofA to improve its performance after it lost money in four of the last six quarters and its stock has fallen by half this year.

The Journal said the proposed job cuts may exceed BofA’s last big cutback in 2008 when it called for 30,000 to 35,000 job cuts over three years. That move was triggered by an economic slowdown and the planned takeover of securities firm Merrill Lynch & Co.

Earlier this month, the Charlotte Observer reported that BofA executives were discussing plans to potentially shed 25,000 to 30,000 jobs over the next several years.

BofA had earlier planned to cut 3,500 jobs, its Chief Executive Brian Moynihan had said in a memo to staff on August 18, as it tries to come to grips with $1 trillion of problem home mortgages.

BofA announced a far-reaching reorganization of its senior management team on Tuesday, which included the departure of consumer bank chief Joe Price and wealth management head Sallie Krawcheck.

Banks are shedding jobs worldwide as stricter regulations and a tough second quarter for trading income take their toll on investment banking units in particular.

More than 70,000 staff cuts have been announced this year or are reported to be in the works at U.S. and European banks, some of them to be lost over three or four year programs.

via BofA discussing about 40,000 job cuts: report | Reuters.

Supreme Court, politics, Separation of Powers Clause,The Constitution,: Again, politics is mucking with the notion of separation of powers … Not saying  scrutiny  is not in order ….  “The Democrats singled out three conservative justices -– Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito –- for “alarming reports” of their appearances at politically themed events.”

Article III, Section. 1:

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

via Separation of Powers Under the United States Constitution.

In a letter that is being sent Friday to House Judiciary Committee leaders, 43 Democrats called for a hearing on a bill that would require Supreme Court justices to follow the ethics requirements of the Judicial Conference Code of Conduct in withdrawing from cases where they may have a financial or political conflict. The justices now use the code for “guidance” but are not required to follow it.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, would also require the justices to disclose publicly their reasons for any withdrawal from a case and would set up a process to review possible conflicts if a justice refuses to step aside.

The notion of imposing higher ethics standards on the Supreme Court appears to be gaining momentum among House Democrats and outside legal scholars, but its prospects in the Republican-controlled House are still uncertain.

The bill “would go a long way towards restoring the public’s confidence in the Supreme Court” after several recent controversies, the Democratic lawmakers said in the letter. An advance copy was provided to the New York Times.

The Democrats singled out three conservative justices -– Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito –- for “alarming reports” of their appearances at politically themed events.

Justice Thomas has received the most recent scrutiny not only for his appearances before Republican-backed groups, but also for his acceptance of favors from a prominent conservative contributor in Texas, Harlan Crow, and his wife’s work as an advocate for conservative legal causes.

Conservatives, in turn, have sought to spotlight politically tinged appearances and trips by members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. The Democrats’ letter does not mention any of the liberal justices, however.

via Democrats Seek to Impose Tougher Supreme Court Ethics – NYTimes.com.

President Obama, Presidential Speeches, old news, Great Recession, Unemployment, Jobs Act:  “Such an approach—setting himself up as the grown-up in town—didn’t work for Mr. Obama during the debt-ceiling debate over the summer.”  Also interesting, historically such Presidential Speeches had virtually no effect on the economy.

Throughout his speech, Mr. Obama made repeated references to Republican plans and ideas, and even used a phrase similar to that employed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia when he talked about American’s getting their “fair shake.”

Highlights of the President’s Economic Plan

Payroll tax cut from 6.2% to 3.1% for workers in 2012, up from a 2% reduction this year.

Cost: $175 billion.

Payroll tax cut from 6.2% to 3.1% for employers and eliminated for qualifying new hires in 2012, plus 100% expensing for new investments.

Cost: $70 billion.

Infrastructure investments, including modernizing schools and rehabbing vacant homes, and funding for states to rehire teachers and first responders.

Cost: $140 billion.

Extending unemployment insurance and new programs for jobless.

Cost: $62 billion.

TOTAL: $447 BILLION

At the same time, in a tone that was alternatively demanding and exasperated, he offered a robust defense of the Democratic vision of government and sharply criticized Republicans for their position on taxes and limited government. “Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers,” Mr. Obama said. “But we can help.”

As such, the speech was the latest in a series of efforts by the White House to present the president as above the Washington fray, a strategy designed to appeal to independents the president needs to win reelection but who have been deserting his cause of late.

Such an approach—setting himself up as the grown-up in town—didn’t work for Mr. Obama during the debt-ceiling debate over the summer. While Congress’ approval rating took a greater beating, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Mr. Obama also took a hit. The Journal/NBC poll showed a sharp drop in voters’ confidence that Mr. Obama can achieve his goals.

via Obama Asks Congress for $447 Billion In Cuts, Spending; Tepid GOP Response – WSJ.com.

There have been only seven speeches about economic and business issues before a joint session of Congress since the end of The Great Depression. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed these speeches and found that they had virtually no effect on the economy, despite the detailed proposals.

Of the seven addresses, two were about labor trouble, and both by Harry Truman: One about the railroad strike in 1946, and the other about the steel strike in 1952. Neither speech was effective. The strikes were settled by labor and management irrespective of the speeches. As a matter of fact, the railroad strike ended the day of the president’s speech.

The balance of the speeches addressed different crises such as soaring energy costs, inflation, and recession. Each of these speeches offered specific road maps for economic improvement. While each president gave a broad description of the trouble, most offered a specific set of solutions. Rarely were any of the plans adopted, either because of political opposition or because the problems resolved themselves. In many cases, the economy got worse after the presidential address. It is impossible to trace any recovery to the presidential proposals in almost every case. Those that were enacted into law were so substantially changed by Congress that they barely resembled the presidents’ suggestions.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed all of the presidential addresses to joint sessions of Congress from The Great Depression through the present to identify all those that dealt primarily with the economy.

via How The Seven Biggest Presidential Speeches On The Economy Failed: 24/7 Wall St..

President Obama, foreign policy: “Fact is, President Obama could lead a Navy SEAL team to neutralize al-Qaeda’s Ayman al- Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki, broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, engineer a South Korean buyout of North Korea, take out Iran’s nuclear operation, and resolve Pakistan-India tension — and get little credit in the polls. … That’s because those things don’t create a single job.”

Indeed, barring some truly major overseas event, foreign policy matters may play less of a role in this election than in any in recent memory. The three televised debates have traditionally set aside one focusing on foreign policy matters, but you’d have to wonder whether they will bother this time around — unless it’s a session on foreign trade policy or maybe how isolationist the country should be.

Fact is, President Obama could lead a Navy SEAL team to neutralize al-Qaeda’s Ayman al- Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki, broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, engineer a South Korean buyout of North Korea, take out Iran’s nuclear operation, and resolve Pakistan-India tension — and get little credit in the polls.

That’s because those things don’t create a single job.

Bolton naturally blames Obama for the lack of focus on foreign policy.

“He never raises the issue unless he’s forced to” Bolton said, or when there are big operations such as the demise of Osama bin Laden.

via Does anyone care about foreign policy? – The Washington Post.

Michael S. Hart, RIP, Project Gutenberg, kudos:  Project Gutenberg … what a great idea. Kudos, Mr. Hart and rest in peace.

Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, died in his home on September 6th. He was 64 years old.

Hart, an early pioneer in digital publishing, was involved with eBooks since the early days of computers. He founded Project Gutenberg, one of the largest and longest running online literary projects, and he is also credited with having made the first eBook when he typed the U.S. Declaration of Independence into a computer back in 1971.

via Project Gutenberg Founder Michael S. Hart Has Died – GalleyCat.

bike polo,high school clubs, Myers Park HS, FPC, Charlotte:  Fun! I know a lot of these families … many at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte.

The team is mostly sophomores and juniors with a few freshmen and seniors, both male and female.

They’re a smorgasbord of rowers, soccer players, pole-vaulters and Odyssey of the Mind members.

“It’s a big melting pot,” said founder Harrison Raby’s sister, sophomore Elizabeth, 15. “There’s no judgment ever. Everybody is always accepted. …It’s a brotherhood and a sisterhood.”

Though they’ve come a long way from broken croquet mallets and a soccer ball, the bike polo club still doesn’t get too caught up in the rules. It’s akin to pickup football with less aggression and more laughs.

As any high school club founders know, not all of the 250 students who signed up show up. But as long as a dozen come on Sundays, that’s all they need.

At this year’s “Stampede,” where all the Myers Park clubs set up tables and vie for members, they’re counting on a lot of bike polo hype and some freshmen blood to keep the club alive.

Another goal for this year is to incorporate a service aspect. They’d like to get involved with Burrito Bikers, a small group of people who ride around uptown Charlotte on Sunday mornings, passing out 50 to 70 steaming breakfast burritos and drinks to Charlotte’s homeless.

Working with their friends at South Mecklenburg High, the Myers Park students are also trying to jump-start a South Mecklenburg bike polo team for a little competition.

Says Conway: “It’s a fun time.”

via Polo on bicycles? Yep, new club draws 250.

city v. country, health: Very interesting statistic.

Cities once infamous for pollution, crime, crowding and infectious diseases have cleaned up their act.

“They may have a better educational system,” says Patrick Remington, project director of County Health Rankings, a report published by the University of Wisconsin that ranks more than 3,000 counties nationwide against others in their states.

“They may have more job opportunities,” Remington continued. “All these things come together to make urban areas (and), in particular, suburban communities, healthier than their rural counterparts.”

The report found that 48 percent of the healthiest counties were urban or suburban, while 84 percent of the unhealthiest counties were rural.

via City counties ranked healthier than rural! – CBS News.

Wicked Start, web-based services, start-ups, new business:  I love the innovative ideas.

In my last post, I described a Web-based service called Wicked Start that can bring a measure of automation to the process of getting a new business off the ground. Wicked Start lays out a sort of template for each of 10 major steps in starting a company, suggesting ways to proceed, pointing out what might be overlooked, and offering various resources and advice. I also briefly mentioned a Wicked Start user: Hari Kaur, a yoga instructor who four months ago opened her own jazz-yoga studio in Manhattan, called Hari NYC. Ms. Kaur tried the Web site at the suggestion of one of her yoga students, who just happens to be the founder of Wicked Start, Bryan Janeczko.

I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at how Wicked Start proved useful to Ms. Kaur, so for this follow-up post I asked her to walk me through some of the steps that the site took her through. Wicked Start’s 10-step program is laid out on a single Web page called “the Road Map.” At the top of the road map is a progress-tracking bar that tells you at a glance how close you’ve come to completing the entire process. Ms. Kaur’s tracker indicates that she’s 60 percent complete. She noted that she had jumped around among the 10 modules in the road map that represent the 10 start-up steps — Wicked Start doesn’t pressure you to do things in order, or to do all the steps, or to do any of the steps in a particular way. But let’s take them in order, anyway.

via Step by Step With an Automated Start-Up – NYTimes.com.

news, random, gumby, criminal acts:  Gumby robber? “San Diego’s KGTV News reported that the clerk told his boss he didn’t know who Gumby was and described the character in the store as a ‘green SpongeBob SquarePants.'”

A person dressed as Gumby walked into a Southern California convenience store, claiming to have a gun and demanding money, but costume trouble and a skeptical clerk thwarted the would-be robber.

In this surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Dept. shows a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropping 27 cents and leaving. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday Sept.5, 2011 at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. (AP Photo/San Diego Police Department)

In this surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Department showing a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropping 27 cents and leaving. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday Sept. .5, 2011 at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. (AP/Photo/Siego Police Department)

Surveillance video shows someone — police think it was a man — in a bulky, green costume and another man entering 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos early Monday.

Gumby demanded money, but the store clerk thought it was a joke and ignored the life-size Claymation character, telling him he was cleaning up and didn’t have time to waste, said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen.

“You don’t think this is a robbery? I have a gun,” the costumed man said, fumbling inside his costume as if trying to retrieve a weapon, Hassen said.

But the green-gloves seemed to get in the way, and rather than pull a gun, he dropped 26 cents on the floor, Hassen said.

The video shows the second man, who came in with the Gumby suspect, but was not dressed as Pokey, walk out of the store.

The costumed character “can’t pick up the money and he can’t get the gun,” Hassen said. So when the other man pulls up in front of the store and honks, the would-be robber runs to the white or silver minivan and takes off, Hassen said.

San Diego’s KGTV News reported that the clerk told his boss he didn’t know who Gumby was and described the character in the store as a “green SpongeBob SquarePants.”

via Gumby calls it a robbery, clerk thinks it’s a joke  | accessAtlanta.

languages, resarch,random:  “Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.”

It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds like it’s being spoken at 200 miles per hour — a storm of alien syllables almost impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.

But how could that be? The dialogue in movies translated from English to Spanish doesn’t whiz by in half the original time, after all, which is what it would have to do if the same lines were being spoken at doubletime. Similarly, Spanish films don’t take four hours to unspool when they’re translated into French. Somewhere among all the languages must be a great equalizer that keeps us conveying information at the same rate even if the speed limits vary from tongue to tongue.

To investigate this puzzle, researchers from the Universite de Lyon recruited 59 male and female volunteers who were native speakers of one of seven common languages — English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish — and one not so common one: Vietnamese. They instructed them all to read 20 different texts, including the one about the housecat and the locked door, into a recorder. All of the volunteers read all 20 passages in their native languages. Any silences that lasted longer than 150 milliseconds were edited out, but the recordings were left otherwise untouched.

The investigators next counted all of the syllables in each of the recordings, and further analyzed how much meaning was packed into each of those syllables. A single syllable word like “bliss,” for example, is rich with meaning — signifying not ordinary happiness but a particularly serene and rapturous kind. The single syllable word “to” is less information-dense. And a single syllabile like the short i sound, as in the word “jubilee,” has no independent meaning at all.

With this raw data in hand, the investigators crunched the numbers together to arrive at two critical values for each language: The average information density for each of its syllables and the average number of syllables spoken per second in ordinary speech. Vietnamese was used as a reference language for the other seven, with its syllables (which are considered by linguists to be very information dense) given an arbitrary value of 1.

For all of the other languages, the researchers discovered, the more data-dense the average syllable is, the fewer of those syllables had to be spoken per second — and the slower the speech thus was. English, with a high information density of .91, is spoken at an average rate of 6.19 syllables per second. Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, was the spoken slowpoke at 5.18 syllables per second. Spanish, with a low-density .63, rips along at a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82. The true speed demon of the group, however, was Japanese, which edges past Spanish at 7.84, thanks to its low density of .49. Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.

via Why Some Languages Sound So Fast – TIME.

education, Flipped Classroom, Knewton, graphics, kith/kin:  I can name several students who would have greatly benefitted by this teaching method!

FLIPPIN’ CLEVER: Lots of people ask how to be a “thought-leader” in a noisy marketplace. Here’s a clever approach: Knewton sponsored a smart infographic about what the “flipped” classroom means. Neat way to galvanize the discussion–and keep Knewton’s name front and center.

via EdSurge: Word Jousts, Groupons For Higher Ed, And The Flipped Classroom | Fast Company.

photography, LIFE, kisses, random:  What’s your favorite?

via The Kisses We Remember – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

The Conspirator, movies, follow-up:  Joni always finds great stuff … Search Lincoln Assassination Papers at Fold3.

innovation, Speakeasy Dollhouse, plays, random:  I can’t quite figure this one out …

Inspired by Lee’s miniature crime scene sets, I have decided to create the scenes from my family mystery using my own handmade sets and dolls. Utilizing evidence from autopsy reports, police records, court documents, and interviews, I have built a dollhouse-sized speakeasy, a hospital room, a child’s bedroom, and a pre-war apartment. I also have begun the process of creating lifelike dolls with moveable limbs to live in these sets. I have been photographing the sets and dolls in order to create a book (with the help of my designer, Brian Azer.) The first half of my story is completely written and needs to be photographed and printed into part one of the two-part series.

via Speakeasy Dollhouse by Cynthia von Buhler — Kickstarter.

gLee, tv:  September 20! In case you care … GLEE – Season 3 Preview – YouTube., GLEE – “Dodgeball” Season 3 Promo (Extended) – YouTubeGlee Exclusive: Meet Emmas Parents – Todays News: Our Take | TVGuide.com.

Space Oddity, children/YA lit, picture books, viral books:

An illustrated version of the 1969 David Bowie song Space Oddity, featuring Major Tom “sitting in a tin can far above the world”, has become a surprise viral sensation.

Canadian illustrator Andrew Kolb conceived of the book as a free PDF to showcase his talents to publishers, featuring colourful, retro illustrations of the astronaut as he rockets away from earth and floats “in a most peculiar way” through space. The ending – “Ground Control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong” – means it is “maybe not necessarily the warmest, cuddliest children’s book,” Kolb has admitted, but he posted it for free on his website in August, rapidly receiving more than 90,000 views, along with demands from fans asking to buy physical copies.

Its popularity follows another recent children’s book internet sensation, the tongue-in-cheek bedtime story Go the Fuck to Sleep, which hit the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller charts months before publication after a pirated PDF took off online.

Unfortunately for Kolb, as well as requests to buy the book, he also received an email from the music group holding the rights to Space Oddity, and has now been forced to take down the PDF and to remove references to the Bowie song from his pictures. Although the Bowie version of the book can still be viewed elsewhere online, on Kolb’s own website it is described merely as a “picture book set in space”, with the proviso that “this is merely a concept and no physical form of this book will be made until all involved approve of the collaboration”.

via Space Oddity picture book is viral hit | Books | guardian.co.uk.

apps, photography, Photo Academy, storytelling, Storify: here are a few I have found that interest me:

 App Store – Photo Academy.

Storify is looking for people who are passionate about the future of storytelling and who believe great stories can change the world. We strongly believe in design thinking and building products focusing on real user needs.

via Create stories using social media – storify.com.

Earlier this summer we launched a few tools to make it easier for developers to create new apps for WordPress.com. Starting today, you can integrate your WordPress.com blog with Feedfabrik and Empire Avenue.

Turn Your Blog Into a Book

Have you ever wanted to publish your own book, or a collection of your favorite blog posts?

Feedfabrik makes it easy to convert your WordPress.com blog into a book format, and even allows you to customize the cover design and book contents. You can order a hard copy of your book, or a digital PDF edition.

To try it out, head over to Feedfabrik, choose Bookfabrik, then select “I’m on WordPress.com.” Receive a 10% discount on all September orders with the code “WORDPRESS-INTRO”.

Grow Your Social Capital Online

Empire Avenue is a Social Stock Market, where your social networking activity and engagement earn you virtual currency and determine your virtual share price. It also helps you discover new people and brands, and allows you to invest virtual currency in their profiles by buying shares on the Social Stock Market.

Along the way you’ll have a bit of fun, make new connections, and learn about social networking and the value of your network! Empire Avenue is completely free and deals in virtual currency. Sign up today to get started.

via Two New Apps for WordPress.com — Blog — WordPress.com.

photography, DSLR, video lessons: 

Color is a powerful tool for expression, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. A while back I accidentally had my camera set to a cooling white balance while shooting outside in a warm afternoon light, and all my pictures had an icy, bright cast that at first bothered me but soon delighted me. I hadn’t thought of the urchins and buoys and things I’d shot as looking any way other than the way I saw them. Yet with a slight change in environment, they would look completely different. I didn’t “correct” the white balance after the fact because it ended up being a unique and interesting take — that I can’t exactly take credit for.

They’re going to have a second tutorial later in the month for post-processing color effects. If you haven’t played with Lightroom or Aperture (to say nothing of Photoshop and the like), you owe it to yourself to give one a try. The versatility of DSLRs made me fall in love with photography all over again, and as nerdy as it sounds, knowing my way around menus and applications was a big part of that.

via Video: Learning About Picture And Color Modes On Your DSLR | TechCrunch.

08
Sep
11

9.8.2011 … Last week … “let me in, it is too hot” … this week … “let me in, it is too cool” … and now … “let me out, it’s sunny and just right” – Goldibassets, Bart and Lisa, two 10-year-old bassets.

fall:  Bassets are loving it … they can ride in the car with me again … which usually means a “loving it” trip to McDonald’s as well.

Romare Bearden, Charlotte, A. Zachary Smith III:  I am so enjoying sharing in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth Charlotte’s native son Romare Bearden.  Thank you Zach Smith for introducing me to this wonderful artist 25 years ago.

Join us as we celebrate one of Mecklenburg County’s greatest artists in a film series dedicated to Romare Bearden; hosted by our award-winning film series guru, Sam Shapiro of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

What started as a Summer Film Series has become a year-long venture into bringing the world of film history to various audiences and last year won Creative Loafing’s Best of Charlotte Award for Best Film Series.

There will be Bearden celebrations and art exhibits around town throughout the fall and winter, including a major retrospective of his work opening at the Mint Museum in September. In partnership with the Mint, the Library will be screening a three part series focusing on Bearden, his art and his influence on music. Among them will be documentaries about the Harlem Renaissance, a 20th century movement.  All of these screenings also include a brief talk by Shapiro.

Funds raised for this series will be used to secure screening rights, produce and promote each series, and acquire much needed material on these topics for our collection.

Budget Breakdown:   Movie Rights: The rights to show these movies will cost $400. Promotional Materials: To ensure we have a great crowd we will need posters and a few advertisements that will cost $400. DVDs and Other Check Out Materials: We want the film series experience to be that our guests can take home and show their friends so we will spend $500 buying materials to support this effort. $156 will go to processing fees on the site

Total – $1,456

via Project Detail | power2give.

2012 Presidential Campaign, Jon Meacham, twitter: I forgot to watch … but JM sums it up …

@jmeacham

Jon Meacham

About that cheering last night: Obama seems bloodless, and the GOP is bloodthirsty.

via Jon Meacham (jmeacham) on Twitter.

medical marijuana, DC, LOL:  I am sorry … but having two boys in Boulder where medical marijuana is legal, I am used to it, make that not shocked by it,  in CO or CA, but I still  cannot imagine it on the east coast.

Gone is the sound technician who wanted to sell cannabis-infused cupcakes. And gone is the hydroponics supply store owner who once named a strain of pot after the Potomac River. They are among at least a dozen would-be medical marijuana entrepreneurs who took themselves out of the running because they found the city’s regulations too restrictive or the start-up costs too high. And in the past week, at least five more dropped out because of a recent change in the regulations that they fear increases the likelihood of federal prosecution.

The contenders that remain range from medical-cannabis veterans to complete novices whose qualifications for cultivation consist of “a green thumb.”

Many have gone the A-Team route and gathered an assortment of people with different specialities: doctor, CPA, horticulturist.

One of the most polished entrants is the nonprofit Abatin Wellness Center, the brainchild of former television talk show host Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis and has long supported legalizing medical marijuana. Abatin opened a dispensary in Sacramento this year that one reviewer dubbed “the Neiman Marcus of Marijuana.”

Intent on expanding eastward, Abatin hired veteran lobbyist and longtime Marion Barry lawyer Frederick Cooke Jr. to represent it in the District. In July, Cooke escorted Williams around the Wilson Building to meet local pols.

Williams said he hopes an Abatin outpost in Washington will help change perceptions about medical marijuana on Capitol Hill. He agrees with critics who complain that in some parts of the country, loose regulation has turned medical marijuana into little more than state-sanctioned drug dealing.

via D.C. approves more than 50 to apply for medical marijuana licenses – The Washington Post.

diet, health mental health:  I should never be depressed … these are all my favorites.

In recent years, carbohydrates have become the enemy in certain types of diets. “People are cutting out carbs completely,” Villacorta says, who suggests that rather than avoiding all carbs, you should simply choose the right ones — whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables. These carbs are digested more slowly than refined carbs, which cause your blood sugar to quickly rise and drop, leading to fatigue. Including healthy carbohydrates in your diet is important because they help increase levels of serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps relay messages from one area of the brain to another — which makes you feel more relaxed.

Nutrients to Improve Mood

Other healthy food-mood partners include:

Omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel and in ground flaxseed, canola oil, and some nuts such as walnuts. Research is still ongoing, Villacorta says, but some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate symptoms of depression. You can also take fish oil in capsules. “There are psychiatrists who prescribe fish oil as an adjunctive treatment for depression,” Wong says. “I’ve had a few people report to me that it helped improve their mood.”

Vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 is found in fish, such as salmon and trout, and in fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals. B12 is also available as a vitamin supplement. Good sources of folate (another B vitamin) are dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, citrus fruits, beans, almonds, dairy products, and fortified breakfast cereals. Researchers believe that these two B vitamins help break down the amino acid homocysteine, which is being investigated for a possible link to depression when in high levels.

Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and increases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. “I recommend dark chocolate to all my clients,” Villacorta says. “If you can eat just one or two small pieces a day, it’s good for you.” But be sure to stop there — a serving of only 1.5 ounces has also been shown to be heart-healthy, but eating the whole bar may cause you to pack on extra pounds.

via The Right Foods for Managing Depression – Major Depression Resource Center – Everyday Health.

USA, international relations, politics, global spin, post-American world:  I don’t even like the term “Post-American World”

Most Europeans – 54% — want to see strong American leadership, according to a new Transatlantic Trends poll out Sept. 14. And a whopping 85% of Americans want their country to lead the world. Certainly, if you listen to the GOP field of U.S. presidential wannabes, American exceptionalism has been on the decline and should be a priority. To their mind, America should always be No. 1.

But, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’s 2011 Review of World Affairs, out Tuesday, America’s interest in leading the world is at the lowest point since before Sept. 11. “The U.S. approach to international crises in the medium term will be shaped by the country’s war fatigue,” John Chipman, the institute’s director, told reporters in London at the report’s unveiling. “‘Abroad’ has become a synonym for ‘quagmire’ in the American political consciousness. ‘Home’ is the priority for which most political capital must be spent.” Traditionally, second-term presidents have focused more on foreign policy. Given the economic climate, President Obama has been forced to focus much of his attentions inward, and it remains to be seen whether he’s been successful enough to win a second term. A decade of two protracted and expensive wars have worn thin on the world’s only superpower.

via Many in the West Don’t Want a Post-American World – Global Spin – TIME.com.

marriage, mental health problems, marrying young, twitter:  The twitter link said women who marry “young” suffer mental health problems.

@TIMENewsFeed

TIME NewsFeed

Getting married young is linked to psychological problems later, study finds | ti.me/pGRp6o

via TIME NewsFeed (TIMENewsFeed) on Twitter.

I thought I married young at 24 … uh-oh … they meant under 18, i.e., children who marry!  Glad I don’t qualify … I have enough risk factors as it is!

A new study has found that girls who marry before they’re 18 are more likely to suffer from mental health problems later on.

The research, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, found that women who were married as children — defined as 17 or younger by the study — were more likely to suffer from problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug addiction. The researchers, led by Dr. Yann Le Strat, discovered the connection by looking at data from more than 18,000 women from across the United States and determining how old they had been when they were first married (if they married at all) and whether or not they suffered from long or short-term psychiatric problems.

via Study: Getting Married Before Age 18 Linked to Psychological Problems – TIME NewsFeed.

brainwave controllers, science, innovation, TED:  Humans are amazing!

THE idea of moving objects with the power of the mind has fascinated mankind for millennia. At first it was the province of gods, then sorcerers and witches. In the late 19th century psychokinesis, as the trick then came to be known, became a legitimate object of study, as part of the nascent field of parapsychology, before falling into disrepute in the arch-rationalist 20th century. Since the 1990s, however, it has seen something of a revival, under a more scientifically acceptable guise.

There is nothing particularly magical about moving things with thoughts. Human beings perform the feat every time they move a limb, or breathe, by sending electrical impulses to appropriate muscles. If these electrical signals could be detected and interpreted, the argument goes, there is in principle no reason why they could not be used to steer objects other than the thinker’s own body. Indeed, over the past two decades brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) which use electrodes implanted in the skull have enabled paralysed patients to control computer cursors, robotic arms and wheelchairs.

Now, though, non-invasive BCIs, where electrodes sit on the scalp instead of burrowing through it, are finally becoming a realistic alternative to the complicated surgical procedure that implants necessitate. Electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity along the scalp, has long been used clinically to diagnose epilepsy, comas and brain death, and as a research tool in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Last year an Austrian company called Guger Technologies released a system that uses EEG to allow paralysed patients to type. The system highlights letters one by one on a grid. When the desired letter comes up an EEG headset picks up the brain activity associated with recognising it. At five to ten characters per minute the process is slow and laborious, but it offers patients a way to communicate with others. The device can also be used to attract a minder’s attention, to get a computer to read out a text or to send commands to external devices such as a TV.

As might be expected, not everyone shares the enthusiasm for supplanting mankind’s traditional, arm’s length relationship with technology with a deeper, BCI-mediated sort. Jens Clausen, a medical ethicist at Tübingen University, warns that excessive use of BCI for gaming could alter brain activity in ways that conventional gaming does not, and that as yet are poorly understood. And blurring the distinction between thinking about an act and actually performing it raises some tricky moral and philosophical questions.

Yet as it stands, the technology seems poised for a period of rapid development which both the needy and thrill-seekers are bound to greet with cheers. As Tan Le, co-founder of Emotiv, the headset-maker, told the TED conference last year, “We are only really scratching the surface of what is possible.” Those scratches are, however, getting deeper all the time.

via Brainwave controllers: Put your thinking cap on | The Economist.

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves | Video on TED.com.

Odessa Sloan Hunsucker, RIP, Davidson College:  Davidsonians loved the staff at the college.  This obituary  made me think of The Help and wondered if the staff knew how much we loved them.  They blessed our lives. Rest in peace, Odessa Sloan Hunsucker. You had a full life.

Mrs. Hunsucker was born July 1, 1911, in Davidson and attended schools in Davidson and Statesville. She married John Baxter Hunsucker (1905-1967) and together they moved to New Jersey and New England, where they lived and worked for many years.

After her husband’s death, Mrs. Hunsucker moved back to Davidson and built a home on Lakeside Avenue, where she lived until 2007. At the time of her death, she was living in a nursing home in Mooresville. In July, she celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.

In Davidson, she was active in Reeves Temple AME Zion Church, where she was a former trustee board member, a class leader, deaconess, senior choir member and a member of the Missionary Society and Lay Council. She also was a member of the Progressives Club.

Odessa Sloan Hunsucker celebrated her 100th birthday with friends in July 2011.

She worked many years as a cook at Davidson College fraternities PKA and Emanon and later was employed by the Howie family.

She is survived by a niece, Angela Sloan, of Clinton, Md.; and two cousins, Mable Torrence of Davidson and Ruth Crosby of Charlotte.

She also leaves behind many friends, including Lela Johnson of Davidson, who assisted her for many years. “She was a sweet person, and she loved everybody,” Mrs. Johnson recalled. “She was a fun person to be with. She loved to crochet, and she loved to cook.”

via Odessa Sloan Hunsucker, 100 | Obituaries.

 The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, bookshelf, corporate history, economics, kith/kin, Atlanta:  Very interesting how the great corporations rise (and fall) coincide with our economic history.  As a kid in Atlanta, we had the Peachtree Battle A&P (where I went with my dad on Saturdays to get all the OA gossip) and a few Colonials and then the hold out independents (the one I remember was near Brookwood Station) which all disappeared by the late 60s.   What do you remember?

Enter the A&P. The company, which originally focused on the tea market, opened its first small grocery store in 1912. Unlike traditional mom-and-pop stores, the A&P had no telephone, no credit lines and no delivery options. They also had lower prices.

“People figured out they could save money by shopping there,” says Levinson. “It stocked only items that were fast-sellers, so it wasn’t stuck with an inventory of products no one was buying. It had limited hours. It had a single employee. … They found a way to sell groceries cheaper. … Within eight years, this approach turned their company into the largest retailer in the world.”

By 1930, the Hartford family, which owned A&P, had opened up almost 16,000 more stores. The stores themselves also expanded in both size and selection.


In a new book, Levinson explains how local mom-and-pop stores — with their limited selections, high prices and nonstandard packaging — paved the way for national chains like the A&P to swoop in and dominate the grocery industry. His book The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America chronicles the rise (and fall) of the discount grocery chain that was once one of the largest businesses in America. Levinson tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies that it was no coincidence that a national chain replaced the corner store.

“People get misty-eyed at the thought of the independent store — maybe it had some unique product, maybe we had more choices than we have today — but the truth was exactly the opposite,” he says. “Most of these stores had a very limited selection. They had no unique products at all. … [Shoppers] would have to go to two or three different grocery stories in their neighborhood if they wanted different type of goods, plus the butcher, the baker, and the fruit and vegetable store. … The consumer’s choices were pretty constrained.”

State laws were passed to force manufacturers to sell to all stores at the same price and to tax merchants with multiple stores in a case. An antitrust suit was also filed against the A&P, claiming that it had become a food monopoly because it controlled all aspects of manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling. But the movement lost steam in the late 1930s, when the economy started to pick up.

“By late 1939, unemployment was starting to fall, prices were starting to rise,” he says. “And you had full employment in World War II. The fate of mom-and-pop merchants was not the political issue that it had been during the Depression. After the war, you had huge changes in American society — and people liked the idea of shopping at a larger store … and they didn’t like being told that they were supposed to do business with a little independent grocer who didn’t offer them many choices.”

via How The A&P Changed The Way We Shop : NPR.

blogging, what i think about most: This wordpress feature intrigues me because some surprise me …

Apple Apps architecture art Atlanta bookshelf Charlotte Chicago college culture Davidson Davidson College education Facebook faith and spirituality followup food gLee Great Recession green health history icons Jane Austen kith/kin kudos lists LOL media movies music news NYC places politics quotes random religion restaurants RIP South Africa technology travel tv

via Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Newseum, Newseum Student Advisory Team, DC, Carol Harman:  If I were an “opinionated, engaging and informed middle and high school students,” I would love this.  Unfortunately I do not qualify. 🙂  But if you are in the DC area and have kids in this age group … what a great opportunity.  The Newseum is one of my favorites.  Thank you Carol Harman for suggesting I visit!

Join the 2011-2012 Newseum Student Advisory Team

We are looking for opinionated, engaging and informed middle and high school students to participate in the Newseum Student Advisory Team. The advisory team’s role is to (a) serve as the Newseum’s student ambassadors and (b) provide feedback on the development of interactive exhibits, videos and programs in the Newseum.

Students who participate will be given a package of tickets to the Newseum. Verification of volunteer hours will be provided. Team members must be able to attend required meetings once a month at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Interested students should submit a completed application, including a 250-word essay, describing why you would like to be a part of the team, and one letter of reference from a faculty or community member by Sept. 16, 2011.

Completed applications can be submitted by mail, fax or electronically to:

Newseum Education Department

555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20001

Phone: 202/292-6650; Fax: 202/292-6665

E-mail: educationprograms@newseum.org

Download the new member application

Key Dates:

Finalists will be notified via email by Sept. 24, 2011. Finalists are required to interview with members of the Newseum Education Department and current Student Advisory Team members before joining the team.

The first meeting will be Thursday, Oct.13, 2011, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents are required to attend this introductory meeting with their students.

via Newseum | Resources for Students.

17
Apr
11

‎4.17.2011 … Palm Sunday … Beautiful day …

Lent, Palm Sunday, faith and spirituality:  Saw Palm Sunday in a different light this year …

So we are a long way from our prettified Church images of children in pastel outfits singing the hymn: “Tell me the stories of Jesus… Into the city I’d follow, waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand.”  Interestingly, the mounting tension of Palm Sunday was captured pretty well in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar’s catchy song, “Hosanna, Heysanna.”

via Palm Sunday – read Mark 11:1-11.

faith and spirituality: 

It was the worst news I could get as an atheist: my agnostic wife had decided to become a Christian. Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was “divorce.”

I thought she was going to turn into a self-righteous holy roller. But over the following months, I was intrigued by the positive changes in her character and values. Finally, I decided to take my journalism and legal training (I was legal editor of the Chicago Tribune) and systematically investigate whether there was any credibility to Christianity.

Maybe, I figured, I could extricate her from this cult.

I quickly determined that the alleged resurrection of Jesus was the key. Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.

For nearly two years, I explored the minutia of the historical data on whether Easter was myth or reality. I didn’t merely accept the New Testament at face value; I was determined only to consider facts that were well-supported historically. As my investigation unfolded, my atheism began to buckle.

Was Jesus really executed? In my opinion, the evidence is so strong that even atheist historianGerd Lüdemann said his death by crucifixion was “indisputable.”

Was Jesus’ tomb empty? Scholar William Lane Craig points out that its location was known to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if it hadn’t been empty, it would have been impossible for a movement founded on the resurrection to have exploded into existence in the same city where Jesus had been publicly executed just a few weeks before.

Besides, even Jesus’ opponents implicitly admitted the tomb was vacant by saying that his body had been stolen. But nobody had a motive for taking the body, especially the disciples. They wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs’ deaths if they knew this was all a lie.

Did anyone see Jesus alive again? I have identified at least eight ancient sources, both inside and outside the New Testament, that in my view confirm the apostles’ conviction that they encountered the resurrected Christ. Repeatedly, these sources stood strong when I tried to discredit them.

Could these encounters have been hallucinations? No way, experts told me. Hallucinations occur in individual brains, like dreams, yet, according to the Bible, Jesus appeared to groups of people on three different occasions – including 500 at once!

Was this some other sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.

Neither was primed for a vision, yet each saw the risen Jesus and later died proclaiming he had appeared to him. Besides, if these were visions, the body would still have been in the tomb.

Was the resurrection simply the recasting of ancient mythology, akin to the fanciful tales of Osiris or Mithras? If you want to see a historian laugh out loud, bring up that kind of pop-culture nonsense.

One by one, my objections evaporated. I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.

In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter, I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.

And that’s why I’m now celebrating my 30th Easter as a Christian. Not because of wishful thinking, the fear of death, or the need for a psychological crutch, but because of the facts.

via How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Maira Kalman, exhibits, NYC:  Another reason to go to NYC!

For anyone planning a trip to New York City over the upcoming holidays–or already there: Make sure you visit Maira Kalman’s quirkily charming, provocative exhibit, Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), at the beautiful Jewish Museum, up until July 31, 2011. The museum sells quite a bit of Mairana, as I call it, so while you’re there you can buy have a shower curtain imprinted with her famous New Yorker cover of the Stans of New York City, all her books, and a bag for your loot, printed with her painting of the famous 1939 poster produced by the British government at the outset of World War II: Keep Calm and Carry On.

Sometimes I think of Maira as having been a co-Mom, even though I didn’t meet her until my boys were past toddlerhood. Over the years–well into their years–I read them her Max stories over and over again; they couldn’t hear them often enough. Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman, Max Makes a Milion, Max in Hollywood, Ooh-La-La: Max in Love (in Paris of course)–they are among our cherished possessions.

As a grown up, I’ve returned many times to the pages of The Principles of Uncertainty. Many people got to know Maira through her blog, And the Pursuit of Happiness, for the New York Times. I heard Maira lecture recently at the museum; she said that she was smitten with Lincoln, though Franklin’s face is on the cover of her collection of those blog posts. She feels she would have made Lincoln a much better wife than that crazy Mary Todd.

via Slow Love Life: MAIRA KALMAN EXHIBIT IN NYC.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, Bible, translations:

Christianity, needless to say, is awash in translated variety, a trend begun in the middle of the 20th century as new translation upon new translation flowed from the publishing houses in search not only for a final replacement of the King James Version, but also of soaring profits. Meaning became unrelated to the sounds. Hebrew and Greek are even no longer ordination requirements for clergy in many Christian denominations. The Word is divorced from the words in the original languages. A preacher of the Word no longer needs to be able to read the words! This accounts, I believe, for much of the slide into emotive Gnosticism, today’s heresy of choice, which declares, “I am saved by what I know and I know only what I feel.” (This can be heard in the soppy, “I am so in love with Jesus.” Yuck.) Everyone, and anyone, can be an expert about feelings. Meaning, divorced from the sounds, finds its roots “wherever.”

All this is by way of an introduction of a consideration, to be offered in my next post, of the pending arrival in English-speaking Catholicism of a new translation of the Missal. Much is at stake, as I hope to show.

via Hopelens Blog.

Davidson, Dean Rusk, random:  Great story about Dean Rusk and Davidson.

The title comes from a chapter in Dean Rusk’s As I Saw It (Norton, 1990)–the chapter about his student years at Davidson College.  I had not read the chapter before and at the urging of an alumnus, finally pulled the book off the library shelf.

The Bank of Davidson a few years after Rusk graduated

Rusk writes with humor -and honesty about his experiences.  He claims the “poor man” title …

via Poor Man’s Princeton — Around the D.

Alexander Hamilton, history, tv:  Might have to watch this PBS show …

ALEXANDER HAMILTON was never president. Indeed, he probably could not have been, for he was the only founding father born outside of what became the United States. (I can’t imagine that the Caribbean hell hole called Nevis where Hamilton, an illegitimate child, was born even issued birth certificates. Birthers?)

By contrast, three of the men who cast Hamilton’s life into relief were presidents:

George Washington, who was Hamilton’s aegis for much of his career,

James Madison, who began as Hamilton’s intellectual ally in writing the Federalist Papers but later turned into Hamilton’s enemy, and

Thomas Jefferson, who, with Madison, became the ideological and personal antithesis to Hamilton in the early years of the nation.

Perhaps this is why many of us know less about Hamilton than about these others. For a strong case can be made that Hamilton was in many ways the most “soulful” of the founders and the one with the most nuanced and farsighted vision for America. Indeed, America today almost certainly—as futile as this thought experiment admittedly is—conforms to Hamilton’s vision much more than to Jefferson’s.

America is a cosmopolitan, commercial and industrial place (as Hamilton envisioned), not an agrarian land of yeoman farmers untouched by the corrupting influence of banks and brokers (as Jefferson wanted). It has long since banned slavery, as Hamilton always thought it should, but as Jefferson and Madison, among other southerners, dared not contemplate.

Indeed, a list of Hamilton’s legacies—first Treasury secretary, founder of  “Wall Street” and American central banking, founder of the Coast Guard, visionary of capitalism and governmental checks and balances—inevitably shortchanges his overall impact. In everything but title he really was America’s first and most important prime minister.

So I was thrilled to watch a new documentary about Hamilton that finally gives the man his due. To be aired on PBS on April 11th, “Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton” by Michael Pack and Richard Brookhiser (who also did “Rediscovering George Washington”) brings the man to life in some creatively contemporary ways.

via Alexander Hamilton: Hamiltonian America | The Economist.

graphics, advertising:  

In 2010 Old Spice dominated the airwaves and the Internet with its slick new brand of sexy, funny ads. That’s why Wieden+Kennedy, the ad agency behind these unforgettable spots, made our list of Most Innovative Companies.

Now we bring to you, in striking comics format, The Amazingly True Tale of the Old Spice Campaign.

via The Amazingly True Tale of the Old Spice Campaign | Slideshows.

innovation:  I would have one of these if I had not given up soda … forever …

WHEN NIKE executive Daniel Birnbaum became CEO of the sleepy 104-year-old SodaStream International in 2007, his kids were less than thrilled. “My 12-year-old was in tears. Nike was part of his identity,” says Birnbaum, a Queens, New York, native. “Here I was going to this company that people did not know existed, and it was not exactly the most proud place to work.” Birnbaum has since transformed the “aerating liquid apparatus” company into a sexy soda-maker brand taking over granite countertops across the globe. After a year in which the Israel-based company surpassed $150 million in revenue, gained distribution in 4,000 U.S. retail stores, and had a hot IPO, FAST COMPANY talked to Birnbaum about saving energy, why Coke and Pepsi should be nervous, and actress Tori Spelling’s (water) drinking problem.

via SodaStream’s DIY Pepsi Machine | Fast Company.

politics, Gang of Six:

Perhaps more troublesome for Mr. Chambliss have been critics at home like Erick Erickson, a conservative blogger, Atlanta radio talk-show host and CNN contributor. “Is Saxby Chambliss Becoming a Democrat?” Mr. Erickson asked in a recent blog post.

For many actual Democrats, Mr. Chambliss remains negatively defined by his 2002 defeat of Senator Max Cleland, a triple-amputee veteran of Vietnam, after a campaign that included an ad picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama bin Laden. Mr. Chambliss’s work on the Gang of Six has done as much as anything to soften attitudes.

via ‘Gang of Six’ in the Senate Seeking a Plan on Debt – NYTimes.com.

technology, art, 3D imaging:

Ron van der Ende must have the patience of a Torah scribe. His artwork, shown above, might vaguely resemble a photograph or at least a damn good paint by numbers, but it’s actually made entirely out of reclaimed wood veneers — each an astonishingly scant 3 millimeters thick.

All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job.

It gets crazier. All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job; Van der Ende, who hails from the Netherlands, doesn’t use a lick of extra pigment. Instead, he hoards wood the way a painter collects paint tubes, stalking the dumpsters of Rotterdam for doors, cupboards, planks — whatever he can find. That way, he’s always got plenty of colors on hand. (On the rare occasion he can’t find the right color, he visits a warehouse near Rotterdam that stores more than 7,000 old doors. “An afternoon in there with a good flashlight will usually get me exactly what I need,” he tells Co. in an email.)

via Dumpster Diving Artist Creates Trippy 3-D Drawings From Wood Scraps [Slideshow] | Co.Design.

productivity, creativity:

By framing the making of creativity as a game that takes place inside a playground of our own making, we widen the conversation about innovation and design dramatically.

via Nussbaum: 3 Reasons You Should Treat Creativity Like A Game | Co.Design.

innovation:  I need these tires … we always have flats!

Bicycle tire tubes need to stay firmly inflated against the inner surface of the tires themselves to ensure safe, rugged riding. But in the unlucky event of a puncture, that same pressure will only stretch the hole wider — even when it’s closed with sealant. Michelin’s new line of ProTek Max inner tubes employ a radical design to avoid this problem: The air pressure inside actually compresses a puncture closed, instead of blowing it further open.

via Michelin’s Self-Healing Bike Tires Ensure Flats Never Happen | Co.Design.

movies, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Objectivism:  The movie is being universally canned …

The 1957 tome which champions Objectivism–Rand’s controversial philosophy–has managed to find its way to the big-screen despite numerous challenges along the way. But at last, thanks to John Aglialoro, who bought the rights to the book in 1992 and has been trying to get it on-screen ever since, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is here.

(More on TIME.com: Wanna marry an Objectivist? See the Ayn Rand fan dating site)

And so far, critics aren’t liking it. Here is just a sample of what critics are saying about the film adaptation:

via Sorry, Objectivists: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Movie Gets Pummeled By Critics – TIME NewsFeed.

IT’S April 15th, tax day! (But not this year; this year, it’s Emancipation Day, which is worth observing if anything is.) And probably not coincidentally, the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s widely-loved and loathed novel “Atlas Shrugged” opens today at theatres nationwide. So what could be more appropriate and entertainingly polarising than a discussion of Ayn Rand’s views on taxation?

Ayn Rand’s position on government finance is unusual, to say the least. Rand was not an anarchist and believed in the possibility of a legitimate state, but did not believe in taxation. This left her in the odd and almost certainly untenable position of advocating a minimal state financed voluntarily. In her essay “Government Financing in a Free Society”, Rand wrote:

In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary. Since the proper services of a government—the police, the armed forces, the law courts—are demonstrably needed by individual citizens and affect their interests directly, the citizens would (and should) be willing to pay for such services, as they pay for insurance.

This is faintly ridiculous. From one side, the libertarian anarchist will agree that people are willing to pay for these services, but that a government monopoly in their provision will lead only to inefficiency and abuse. From the other side, the liberal statist will defend the government provision of the public goods Rand mentions, but will quite rightly argue that Rand seems not to grasp perhaps the main reason government coercion is needed, especially if one believes, as Rand does, that individuals ought to act in their rational self-interest.

via Taxes and government: Ayn Rand on tax day | The Economist.

The film version being released to theatres today is updated to modern times, but the underlying theme is as timely as ever. It was produced on a tiny $20 million budget, and whether the other parts are completed most likely depends upon whether Part I can sell enough movie tickets and DVDs (and cable rights etc.) to keep the momentum going.

Leftist media outlets are using a mixture of ridicule and silence in order to minimise the impact of the film on the general public. Young minds (and superficial minds) in particular tend to be overly influenced by what is seen as “hot” or “the in thing.”

via Al Fin.




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