Posts Tagged ‘internships

12
Jul
13

7.12.13 … Davidson College: internships and famous alums …

Davidson College, internships, career prep, Businessweek:

Internships Are a Hot Topic 
Three years ago, Davidson alumni were asked to help students find and secure internships and you responded in a big way, rounding up 117 opportunities for students in the first year and 137 in the program’s second year. If you would like to learn more about or participate in the annual Davidson Internship Challenge, contact the Center for Career Development at 704-894-2132. The challenge has made headlines recently, with national media attention from Businessweek, among others.

—At Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., the Davidson Internship Challenge began three years ago, asking alumni to help students find and secure internships; it surpassed its goal of 100 internships in its first year by 17.

via Many colleges offering more help with career prep – Businessweek.


Famous Alumni, Davidson College:

Just for Fun: Website Ranks Famous Alums
The website ranker.com lists alumni from Davidson who’ve made notable achievements in their fields. We can’t attest to the methodology behind the rankings, but the site might help you pass some time on a slow news day.

Famous Davidson College Alumni/Students

Famous alumni from Davidson College; graduates who have achieved stature in their field. Photos are included in this notable Davidson College alumni list. Prominent alums from this institution include celebrities, politicians, business people, and more. This list of distinguished Davidson College alumni is alphabetical and sortable by column if you need to search by specific criteria. Please note that this directory is not just composed of graduates of this school; you can find any famous people who attended this school for at least a semester here. List is made up of items like Alex Gibbs and Mackey J. McDonald. (105 items)

1 Patricia Cornwell 1956

via Famous Alumni of Davidson College; Graduates and Students of Note.

26
Oct
11

10.26.2011 … Coffee with Bob and Joni … Again we will solve the problems of the world … John is on his way back from Kuwait … 26 hours in Kuwait City … 24 hours travel time each way!

travel, kith/kin:  24 hours to KWI … 26 hours in KC … 24 hours back …and now  eagle landed and is snoozing on the sofa … Poor thing … Off on the early bird to LGA in the AM.

Halloween, cartoons, viral videos:  Now for a little fun …

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Halloween Light Show 2011 – This Is Halloween – YouTube.

Steven Pinker, language, RSA Animate: I love these animated whiteboard videos!  And Steven Pinker is one of my new favorites (thanks katie!) – Language as a Window into Human Nature – YouTube.

RSA Animate Language as a Window into Human Nature – YouTube.

potatoes, food, history, changed the world:  Food history … also interesting …

When potato plants bloom, they send up five-lobed flowers that spangle fields like fat purple stars. By some accounts, Marie Antoinette liked the blossoms so much that she put them in her hair. Her husband, Louis XVI, put one in his buttonhole, inspiring a brief vogue in which the French aristocracy swanned around with potato plants on their clothes. The flowers were part of an attempt to persuade French farmers to plant and French diners to eat this strange new species.

Today the potato is the fifth most important crop worldwide, after wheat, corn, rice and sugar cane. But in the 18th century the tuber was a startling novelty, frightening to some, bewildering to others—part of a global ecological convulsion set off by Christopher Columbus.

About 250 million years ago, the world consisted of a single giant landmass now known as Pangaea. Geological forces broke Pangaea apart, creating the continents and hemispheres familiar today. Over the eons, the separate corners of the earth developed wildly different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’ voyages reknit the seams of Pangaea, to borrow a phrase from Alfred W. Crosby, the historian who first described this process. In what Crosby called the Columbian Exchange, the world’s long-separate ecosystems abruptly collided and mixed in a biological bedlam that underlies much of the history we learn in school. The potato flower in Louis XVI’s buttonhole, a species that had crossed the Atlantic from Peru, was both an emblem of the Columbian Exchange and one of its most important aspects.

Compared with grains, tubers are inherently more productive. If the head of a wheat or rice plant grows too big, the plant will fall over, with fatal results. Growing underground, tubers are not limited by the rest of the plant. In 2008 a Lebanese farmer dug up a potato that weighed nearly 25 pounds. It was bigger than his head.

Many researchers believe that the potato’s arrival in northern Europe spelled an end to famine there. (Corn, another American crop, played a similar but smaller role in southern Europe.) More than that, as the historian William H. McNeill has argued, the potato led to empire: “By feeding rapidly growing populations, [it] permitted a handful of European nations to assert dominion over most of the world between 1750 and 1950.” The potato, in other words, fueled the rise of the West.

Equally important, the European and North American adoption of the potato set the template for modern agriculture—the so-called agro-industrial complex. Not only did the Columbian Exchange carry the potato across the Atlantic, it also brought the world’s first intensive fertilizer: Peruvian guano. And when potatoes fell to the attack of another import, the Colorado potato beetle, panicked farmers turned to the first artificial pesticide: a form of arsenic. Competition to produce ever-more-potent arsenic blends launched the modern pesticide industry. In the 1940s and 1950s, improved crops, high-intensity fertilizers and chemical pesticides created the Green Revolution, the explosion of agricultural productivity that transformed farms from Illinois to Indonesia—and set off a political argument about the food supply that grows more intense by the day.

via How the Potato Changed the World | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine.

‘Inhalable’ Caffeine, inventions: Would you snort one?

Courtesy of AeroShot

Is caffeine addictive? Certainly, it produces tolerance and withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped abruptly. But even though it is the most widely used drug in the world, few caffeine users exhibit signs of serious addiction — namely, compulsive drug-related behaviors despite negative consequences. That could be in part because caffeine is legal and easily and cheaply obtained. Or, it could be because the effects of caffeine use — especially in a hyperefficient society — are generally positive.

So, while previous products, like inhalable aerosolized alcohol, led to bans in multiple states, AeroShot seems more likely to garner praise (especially from employers — and editors).

The new product will hit stores in New York City and Boston in January and will be available online in several weeks, according to Edwards. The retail price is expected to be $2.99 per inhaler — cheaper than a Starbucks latte.

via What We’ve All Been Waiting For: Zero-Calorie, ‘Inhalable’ Caffeine – TIME Healthland.

Moammar Gadhafi, legacy: to many Africans he is a “martyr, benefactor, instigator.”  Leaves a conflicted image.

Moammar Gadhafi’s regime poured tens of billions of dollars into some of Africa’s poorest countries. Even when he came to visit, the eccentric Libyan leader won admiration for handing out money to beggars on the streets.

“Other heads of state just drive past here in their limousines. Gadhafi stopped, pushed away his bodyguards and shook our hands,” said Cherno Diallo, standing Monday beside hundreds of caged birds he sells near a Libyan-funded hotel. “Gadhafi’s death has touched every Malian, every single one of us. We’re all upset.”

Gadhafi backed some of the most brutal rebel leaders and dictators on the continent, but tens of thousands are now gathering at mosques built with his money and are remembering him as an anti-colonial martyr, and as an Arab leader who called himself African.

While Western powers heralded Gadhafi’s demise, many Africans were gathering at mosques built with Gadhafi’s money to mourn the man they consider an anti-imperialist martyr and benefactor.

Critics, though, note this image is at odds with Gadhafi’s history of backing some of Africa’s most brutal rebel leaders and dictators. Gadhafi sent 600 troops to support Uganda’s much-hated Idi Amin in the final throes of his dictatorship.

And Gadhafi-funded rebels supported by former Liberian leader Charles Taylor forcibly recruited children and chopped off limbs of their victims during Sierra Leone’s civil war.

“Is Gadhafi’s life more important than many thousands of people that have been killed during the war in these two countries?” asked one shopkeeper in the tiny West African country of Gambia, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing recrimination.

“Gadhafi was a godfather to many Ugandans,” said Muhammed Kazibala, a head teacher at a Libyan-funded school in the country’s capital.

The Libyan leader also built a palace for one of Uganda’s traditional kingdoms. It was a fitting donation for a man who traveled to African Union summits dressed in a gold-embroidered green robe, flanked by seven men who said they were the “traditional kings of Africa.”

Gadhafi used Libya’s oil wealth to help create the AU in 2002, and also served as its rotating chairman. During the revolt against Gadhafi, the AU condemned NATO airstrikes as evidence mounted that his military was massacring civilians.

Gadhafi’s influence even extended to Africa’s largest economy: The Libyan leader supported the African National Congress when it was fighting racist white rule, and remained close to Nelson Mandela after the anti-apartheid icon became South Africa’s first black president.

via Across Africa, Gadhafi remembered as martyr, benefactor, instigator in the continent’s wars – The Washington Post.

rhinos, South Africa, endangered species: A group of rhinos is called a “crash.”  But why do people destroy animals for human rituals … craziness.

Black rhino in Kenya

Johannesburg’s bustling O. R. Tambo International Airport is an easy place to get lost in a crowd, and that’s just what a 29-year-old Vietnamese man named Xuan Hoang was hoping to do one day in March last year—just lie low until he could board his flight home. The police dog sniffing the line of passengers didn’t worry him; he’d checked his baggage through to Ho Chi Minh City. But behind the scenes, police were also using X-ray scanners on luggage checked to Vietnam, believed to be the epicenter of a new war on rhinos. And when Hoang’s bag appeared on the screen, they saw the unmistakable shape of rhinoceros horns—six of them, weighing more than 35 pounds and worth up to $500,000 on the black market.

Investigators suspected the contraband might be linked to a poaching incident a few days earlier on a game farm in Limpopo Province, on South Africa’s northern border. “We have learned over time, as soon as a rhino goes down, in the next two or three days the horns will leave the country,” Col. Johan Jooste of South Africa’s national priority crime unit told me when I interviewed him in Pretoria.

You might also wonder why they bother. The orneriness of rhinos is so proverbial that the word for a group of them is not a “herd” but a “crash.” “The first time I saw one I was a 4-year-old in this park. We were in a boat, and it charged the boat,” said Bird. “That’s how aggressive they can be.” Bird now makes his living keeping tabs on the park’s black rhinos and sometimes works by helicopter to catch them for relocation to other protected areas. “They’ll charge helicopters,” he added. “They’ll be running and then after a while, they’ll say, ‘Bugger this,’ and they’ll turn around and run toward you. You can see them actually lift off their front feet as they try to have a go at the helicopter.”

via Defending the Rhino | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine.

twitter, women, Occupy Wall Street:  Where are the women?

Twitter is still the social media outlet of choice for Occupy Wall Street, but new analysis into the #OWS tweets has found a surprising gender imbalance in those who’re talking about the protests: Fewer women seem to be doing so, despite Twitter being a female-dominated service overall.

According to analysis by Attention released yesterday, only 30% of tweets mentioning Occupy Wall Street were from female users, even though over 64% of all Twitter users are believed to be female as a result of a 2010 Pew survey. That number is actually up from where it was a month earlier; by mid-September, fewer than 20% of Occupy Wall Street tweets were from women.

via Why Aren’t Women Tweeting About Occupy Wall Street? – Techland – TIME.com.

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Will Ferrell, FYI:  Never heard of this award … have to look it up.

Actor and comedian Will Ferrell jokingly gives the thumbs-down during his introduction as the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoree at the Kennedy Center in Washington. At left is his wife, Viveca Paulin.

via The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: The red carpet – The Washington Post.

The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

The event is created by the Kennedy Center, and executive producers Mark Krantz, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, and Cappy McGarr. The Kennedy Center established The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in October 1998, and it has been televised annually. Recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009), and Tina Fey (2010).

via The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

Gabrielle Giffords, therapy, Asheville NC:  Must be a pretty good therapist in Asheville!

TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in North Carolina for two weeks of intensive therapy sessions as she continues to recover from a gunshot wound to the head.

Giffords’ office says in a statement Sunday that the Arizona congresswoman is expected to spend time with a therapist who has worked with her in Houston for the last several months and has been extensively involved in her therapy.

Giffords will work with the therapist from Monday through Nov. 4 in Asheville, N.C. No other specifics on her therapy were given.

Her staff says the trip is strictly rehabilitation-related and has been planned for several months. No public appearances or events are scheduled.

Giffords is recovering from a brain injury suffered on Jan. 8 in Tucson. Six people were killed and 13 were wounded, including Giffords.

via Gabrielle Giffords In Intensive Therapy For Two Weeks.

time:

What the second law of thermodynamics has to do with Saint Augustine, landscape art, and graphic novels.

Time is the most fundamental common denominator between our existence and that of everything else, it’s the yardstick by which we measure nearly every aspect of our lives, directly or indirectly, yet its nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of science. Last year, we devoured BBC’s excellent What Is Time? and today we turn to seven essential books that explore the grand question on a deeper, more multidimensional level, spanning everything from quantum physics to philosophy to art.

via 7 cross-disciplinary books to understand time, Steve Jobs in 200 timeless quotes, and more.

Chemistry: A Volatile History, tv, BBC:  I just love the BBC shows!

Now, thanks to the fine folks at BBC Four — who previously pondered such captivating issues as the nature of reality, the age-old tension between science and religion, how music works, and what time really is — you can refresh and enrich your understanding of this complex world with Chemistry: A Volatile History, a fascinating three-part series by theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili, exploring everything from the history of the elements to the rivalries and controversies that bedeviled scientific progress to the latest

via BBC’s Volatile History of Chemistry | Brain Pickings.

Mitchell International Airport, Mitchell International Airport, “recombobulation area”:  I have to ask my Milwaukee friend Donna if she’s utilized the “recombobulation area.”

Taking off your shoes and pulling out your laptop at airport security may leave you feeling discombobulated.

The Mitchell International Airport staff has set up some chairs and a sign just past one of the security checkpoints to help you out.

They’ve labeled it the “recombobulation area.”

Yes, it’s a joke. At airport security.

The sign has been hanging at the Concourse C security checkpoint for about a month. Some passengers get it immediately. Some take a few steps, then laugh. Others look up and say, “Huh?”

“See? You’re getting recombobulated right now,” Melissa Fullmore said Tuesday morning to another traveler who was putting on his belt.

via Airport draws smiles with ‘recombobulation area’ – JSOnline.

gender differences, economic hardship, Great Recession:

Measured in terms of absolute job loss, men bore the brunt of the Great Recession, hence the term “mancession.” On the other hand, men have fared better than women in regaining jobs during the slight rebound sometimes called the recovery.

Interesting comparison, but gender differences in economic hardship reach beyond employment statistics.

Many people – even those who live alone – share a portion of their earnings or devote unpaid hours of work to family members, including children and others who are dependent as result of age, sickness, disability or unemployment. Measures of economic hardship should take responsibility for dependents into account.

Women tend to be more vulnerable in this respect than men, primarily because they are more likely to take both financial and direct responsibility for the care of children.

via Nancy Folbre: The Recession in Pink and Blue – NYTimes.com.

Lake Lanier GA, Atlanta, FYI:  Lake Lanier to within 9 feet of historic low … 😦

Authorities say Lake Lanier has dropped below 1,060 feet above sea level and is now just nine feet above the historic low it reached during Georgia’s devastating drought of 2007-2009.

The lake has been on a downward trend for months now, away from the full pool of 1,071 feet and stirring memories of the drought.

The lake’s historic low water level of 1,051 feet was set on Dec. 26, 2007.

Business owners tell The Times of Gainesville (http://bit.ly/oVGFJi) that the low water level has drained some tourism.

Bob Benson, a lake guide, said there are stumps everywhere sticking out of the water, and many people aren’t going out on the lake.

via Lake Lanier drops to within 9 feet of historic low  | ajc.com.

Aftershock Survival Summit, books, Global Recession:  Not pretty!

At one point, Wiedemer even calls out Ben Bernanke, saying that his “money from heaven will be the path to hell.”

This wasn’t the first time Wiedemer’s predictions hit a nerve. In 2006, he and his team of economists accurately predicted the four-bubble meltdown in the housing, stock, private debt, and consumer spending markets that almost sunk America.

Regardless of his warnings and survival advice, Bernanke and Greenspan were not about to support Wiedemer publicly, nor were the mainstream media.

As the warnings went unheeded, and America suffered the consequences, Wiedemer penned his latest prophetic work, “Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown.”

Once again his contrarian views ruffled feathers and just before the book was publicly released, the publisher yanked the final chapter, deeming it too controversial for newsstand and online outlets such as Amazon.com.

Despite appearances, “Aftershock” is not a book with the singular intention of scaring people, explains DeHoog. “The true value lies in the sound economic survival guidance that people can act on immediately. I was able to read the original version with the ‘unpublished chapter,’ and I think it’s the most crucial in the entire book. After contacting Wiedemer, we [Newsmax] were granted permission to share it with our readers. In fact, viewers of the Aftershock Survival Summit are able to claim a free copy of it.”

In the Aftershock Survival Summit, Wiedemer reveals what the publisher didn’t want you to see. Citing the unthinkable, he provides disturbing evidence and financial charts forecasting 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market collapse, and 100% annual inflation.

“I doubted some of his predictions at first. But then Robert showed me the charts that provided evidence for such disturbing claims,” DeHoog commented.

via Aftershock Survival Summit Predicts the Unthinkable.

coffee, cities, lists:  It seems surprising to me that the home of the chain Starbucks is “the mother ship for coffee-loving AFC voters.”  But I have been there ad it is true!

No surprise—the home of Starbucks is the mother ship for coffee-loving AFC voters. But there is more than just that familiar logo here—you’ll find plenty of indie coffeehouses all over the city, as well as espresso shacks and carts on street corners and in parking lots. All that caffeine gives the locals an edge, but in a good way: they ranked No. 2 for smartest locals in the AFC. And while colder months seem like a great time to enjoy that hot cup, the Emerald City took last place for winter visits.

via America’s Best Coffee Cities- Page 2 – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

books, media, viral, discourse:  All I can say is interesting …

There is something both ridiculous and refreshing about all this. Ridiculous because 90 percent of Morozov’s criticisms are wildly unfair (and also because, you know, http://bit.ly/AnsweringMrGrumpy)…and refreshing because here is a work of book-bound nonfiction — chock full of claims to be assessed and arguments to be discussed — that is actually being assessed and discussed. In a public forum! Discourse, and everything!

That shouldn’t be an anomaly, but it is. Books both e- and analog — the kind that exist not to tell a tale, but to advance an argument — face a fundamental challenge: The interests of books-as-artifacts and books-as-arguments are, in general, misaligned. Books are great, definitely, at capturing ideas. Books are great at claiming cultural ownership of ideas. Books are great at generating speaking gigs based on ideas. Books are great at getting authors paid for ideas. But books are much, much less great at actually propagating ideas — particularly ideas of the relative nuance that Morozov’s “Internet intellectuals” tend to favor.

Which is a flaw that’s easy to forget, given books’ cultural status. A book deal is a big deal; those who have gotten one will make a point, as they should, of highlighting the achievement. A writer and an author.

via ‘Public Parts’ and its public parts: In a networked world, can a book go viral? » Nieman Journalism Lab.

vertigo farming, Queens NY, organic produce, locavore:  Innovation … got to love it.

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm is at the forefront of urban agriculture in the United States. Operated by four young entrepreneurs on an acre of rooftop in Queens, New York, the farm grows organic produce that is sold to local restaurants, co-ops and farmers markets across New York City. Business is growing quickly, with a second location opening in the Spring of 2012 and booming demand for rooftop vegetables, herbs and honey. To educate urban dwellers about the food systems upon which they rely, the farm hosts regular educational tours, workshops and field trips for schools and community groups.

via World Challenge 2011 – 2011 Finalist – Vertigo Farming.

Condoleezza Rice,  Freedom Agenda, The Freedom War, books: “There is both a moral case and a practical one for the proposition that no man, woman, or child should live in tyranny. Those who excoriated the approach as idealistic or unrealistic missed the point. In the long run, it is authoritarianism that is unstable and unrealistic.”

“We pursued the Freedom Agenda not only because it was right but also because it was necessary,” Rice writes in her book. “There is both a moral case and a practical one for the proposition that no man, woman, or child should live in tyranny. Those who excoriated the approach as idealistic or unrealistic missed the point. In the long run, it is authoritarianism that is unstable and unrealistic.” So there’s no sense dwelling on the final demise of tyrants, whether Gaddafi or, for that matter, Saddam Hussein, whose hanging turned into a hideous spectacle as well. “Time to move on,” says Rice.

But the fascination of Rice’s memoir, and it is fascinating, is less in the broad vision put forth for a more democratic world than in the gritty description of the way decisions were made in the White House and the State Department as the Bush administration sought to adapt to a universe radically changed by Al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States in 2001.

Rice’s account of the immediate aftermath, as seen from inside the halls of the White House, is both vivid and disturbing. The threat of a second wave of attacks was real. The possibility that biological or other weapons might be used seemed imminent: some lunatic had put anthrax in the mail; one report received at the White House said many of the people there might have been poisoned with botulinum toxin; another report said a plot was afoot to disseminate smallpox. The intelligence was rarely definitive, and it took a toll on everyone involved.

Rice is honest enough to say that at one point she was just about burned out. While attending a ceremony on the White House lawn soon after she became secretary of state, she saw an airliner approaching. It was on a normal route to land at Reagan National Airport, but for a few moments she thought it was coming straight toward the executive mansion. “Tomorrow I am going to tell the President that I want to leave at the end of the year,” she thought. “I can’t do this anymore.”

But she soldiered on, and key to Rice’s role was the confidence of the president, who emerges from her book as sharper than the clichés indulged in by his critics, but perhaps too familiar, too folksy with those he likes and relies on.

The wars launched by the Bush administration have cost the United States more than $1 trillion and many thousands of lives. Were they worth it? The Middle East has been a volatile region, with countless wars at countless cost, Rice said as we talked in Stanford. “I don’t think you put a price on a Middle East that will look very different without Saddam Hussein and with movement toward freedom.”

via Condoleezza Rice Memoir: The Freedom War – The Daily Beast.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, book club:  My book club is reading this book this week.  I had never heard of Henrietta Lacks or of the book.  I have not read it and cannot go, but I am intrigued after reading this review.

When Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951), an African-American mother of five who migrated from the tobacco farms of Virginia to poorest neighborhoods of Baltimore, died at the tragic age of 31 from cervical cancer, she didn’t realize she’d be the donor of cells that would create the HeLa immortal cell line — a line that didn’t die after a few cell divisions — making possible some of the most seminal discoveries in modern medicine. Though the tumor tissue was taken with neither her knowledge nor her consent, the HeLa cell was crucial in everything from the first polio vaccine to cancer and AIDS research. To date, scientists have grown more than

via 5 Unsung Heroes Who Shaped Modern Life | Brain Pickings.

Bob Pierpoint, RIP:  Another from a different era of broadcast journalism is dead.  Don’t you love this picture?  Rest in peace, Bob Pierpoint.

Pierpoint_White_House_large.jpg

Bob Pierpoint was a mainstay of CBS News during the golden age of that organization. He was part of the Murrow team and covered the Korean War while in his 20s. He became a White House correspondent during the Eisenhower Administration and stayed on that beat through the time of Jimmy Carter and beyond. It was some time in the 1970s that the picture above, which delighted him, was taken. He was an avid tennis player and had just come from a match on the White House court when he had to do a standup, obviously framed from mid-torso upward. I first saw that picture in Barney Collier’s book Hope and Fear in Washington (The Early Seventies), and I believe it was the jacket photo on Bob’s own book, At the White House. I got it from the collection of his papers at his alma mater, the University of Redlands.

When I was growing up, Bob Pierpoint was the most glamorous product of my home town in California. (That was before Redlands’s own Brian Billick went on to win the Super Bowl, and Landon Donovan became Mr. Soccer USA.) He would come back and tell our public school assemblies what it was like to cover the Kennedy or Johnson Administrations; this was as close as we came to first-hand contact with national politics. He was patient, generous, and non-big-shot-ish in a way I noticed then and admire more in retrospect. He was two days older than my father, and a good friend to my parents and tennis rival to my father when he was in town. When my wife and I first moved to Washington he and his wife Patty served in loco parentis for a while.

He will be remembered, and should be, as a connector to a different, prouder era in broadcast news. But he was also a good friend, husband, and father. Our sympathies to his family.

via Bob Pierpoint – James Fallows – National – The Atlantic.

time: I have always wanted a chiming clock in the house … it keeps you conscious of and accountable for time.

Each hour when my watch, computer, or phone beeps, I stop whatever I’m doing, take a deep breath, and ask myself two questions:

1. Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now?

2. Am I being who I most want to be right now?

At first it seemed counterintuitive to interrupt myself each hour. Aren’t interruptions precisely what we’re trying to avoid? But these one-minute-an-hour interruptions are productive interruptions. They bring us back to doing what, and being who, will make this a successful day.

This isn’t all about staying on plan. Sometimes the beep will ring and I’ll realize that, while I’ve strayed from my calendar, whatever it is I’m working on is what I most need to be doing. In those situations I simply shift items on my calendar so my most important priorities still get done and I make intentional choices about what I will leave undone.

For me, a once-an-hour reminder, one deep breath, and a couple of questions, has made the difference between ending my day frustrated and ending it fulfilled.

via The power of an hourly beep | Daniel Pink.

summer jobs, internships, college, summer camps:  I think there i something here …

For the most part, interns do work that is wholly unrelated to any sort of day-to-day task that full-time employees fulfill. Indeed, not only do most offices give interns mundane tasks that the aforementioned employees would never do, but they are also given tasks that will only be taken over by another intern. In short, interning in any office, regardless of the field, will likely mean you will be performing more secretarial duties than industry-specific ones. Anyone thinking that taking an internship with Goldman Brothers will give him or her a better shot at becoming a full-time employee is misguided. As such, taking an internship for the sake of career advancement is an unwise decision.

As alluded above, internship experience rarely parallels relevant work experience. Moreover, a student with (all else equal) an internship experience — indeed, even two — will not receive a substantive boost in the hiring process. The dirty secret of the professional world is that everyone knows that internships are vehicles through which companies can unload their undesirables onto unsuspecting college students.

Given this, it is reasonable to conclude that internships provide few potential benefits for their laborious components. Not only are interns wasting time in their respective offices by performing arcane duties, they also are allowing their last free summers to go by the wayside. Indeed, for all intents and purposes, college summers are the last ones for which we will have a legitimate array of choices. Accordingly, students would be well advised to engage in activities that they would enjoy, as opposed to activities that they misguidedly believe will yield long-term benefits. To this end, there are more efficacies in volunteering, working in non-profits or even taking classes than doing an internship. However, the most benefit comes from being a camp counselor.

At my particular summer camp, Four Winds Westward Ho, I have learned many workplace skills that are more relevant than what I could obtain from an internship. For example, at Four Winds, located on tiny Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle, I am fully integrated into the aforementioned professional hierarchy. I am given great responsibility; indeed, I am responsible for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of up to seven children for two four-week sessions.

via Opinion: Skip the internship, go to camp | USA TODAY College.

D.C., Georgetown, urban planning: Shooting itself in the foot?

IMAGINE A CITY telling its largest private employer — one that pays millions in taxes and salaries, strives to hire local residents and voluntarily does community service — that it can’t grow anymore, that it might have to cut back. That seems far-fetched in light of today’s scary economy, but it’s essentially what D.C. officials are telling Georgetown University by insisting it either house all its students or cut back enrollment. The District seems distressingly disinterested in promoting a knowledge-based economy.

Georgetown’s 10-year plan for its 104-acre main campus, the subject of hearings before the D.C. Zoning Commission, would cap the undergraduate population at current levels while increasing graduate students by about 1,000. Enrollment in 2010 was 14,033, of whom 6,652 were undergraduates. The plan is modest: It contains no major new building, no additional parking and an offer to reduce the main campus enrollment by moving some graduate students to satellite locations. Still, adjacent neighborhoods — particularly Burleith and Foxhall — are up in arms, and they seem to have city officials on their side.

via It’s D.C. vs. Georgetown in urban planning – The Washington Post.

Lululemon killing:  Too weird.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday began selecting a jury in the trial of Brittany Norwood, a 29-year-old charged with killing her co-worker in an upscale Bethesda yoga shop.

via Lululemon killing trial begins Monday – Crime Scene – The Washington Post.

social media,  police,  gangs, antisocial side:  Darwin Award?  Why is social media so hard to resist?

Gangs are just following societal trends,” said a federal law enforcement official who spoke about the issue on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss how agents use social media to target gangs. “Facebook and Myspace are now some of their primary methods of communication.”

via Antisocial side of social media helps police track gangs – The Washington Post.

economics, unrest: “… relatively undemocratic governments have historically extended voting rights in order to convince a restive public of the promise of future redistribution. In the West, that is not an option. A bit more growth and a bit less austerity might take the edge off public anger. But if social unrest has its roots in the effects of structural economic changes, a more fundamental societal reckoning may be needed. ”

Growth that undermines existing social institutions and dislocates workers is also likely to generate instability. In China mass migrations associated with rapid catch-up growth and urbanisation are often blamed for causing instability. Instances of “mass disturbances” have risen steadily since 1993, even as the Chinese economy has enjoyed scorching growth. Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard University similarly argues that Egypt’s steps towards economic liberalisation stimulated an appetite for greater opportunity that fuelled discontent with the ruling regime.

Research by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Harvard’s James Robinson finds that relatively undemocratic governments have historically extended voting rights in order to convince a restive public of the promise of future redistribution. In the West, that is not an option. A bit more growth and a bit less austerity might take the edge off public anger. But if social unrest has its roots in the effects of structural economic changes, a more fundamental societal reckoning may be needed. A study by Patricia Justino of the University of Sussex examined inequality and unrest in India and found that redistribution can quell an outcry. That may well be the outcome of the current turmoil, too.

via Economics focus: Unrest in peace | The Economist.

skywatching, Aurora Australis:  Aurora seen from the ISS in Orbit – YouTube.

Check out this awesome video captured from the International Space Station as it flew over the Aurora Australis. Stunning!

via Flying above the Aurora Australis | Go Make Things.

recipes, scrambled eggs, chopsticks:  Scramble with chop sticks!

And last but not least, ditch that fork! Scramble your eggs with a heat-proof spatula, a flat-topped wooden spoon, or for the perfect curd, chopsticks.

via 5 Common Scrambled Eggs Mistakes : BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

31
Aug
11

8.31.2011 … my pets are acting weird … I don’t want to tell them they are a week late …

kith/kin, pets:  They say animals sense big natural events before we do … Well, Bart Lisa and Fitz (2 ten-year old bassets and a black American short-haired cat) are clueless … last week, rather than the two weeks before when we had an earthquake and a hurricane in our region, my animals have been cling-y, bark-y , howl-ly, etc … and nothing.

9/11, prayers:  Some things you just do not think about.  Like a traditional war, there are children who never see their fathers, but here we have a concentration in one area of children without fathers.

They were the smallest victims of 9/11 – not yet even born when they lost their fathers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Today, they are bright and hopeful 9-year-olds who only now are beginning to understand their unique legacy. Their resiliency is proof that life goes on.

“This is something the whole world felt,” says Jill Gartenberg Pila, whose daughter, Jamie, was born six months after 9/11. “As Jamie gets older, she realizes the loss she had was also a loss that affected everyone.”

In many ways, they are typical fifth graders who skateboard, play video games and worry about schoolyard crushes.

Yet they are far from ordinary.

Gabriel Jacobs Dick, 9, releases balloons every 9/11 with messages for Dad to “give him an update on how life is going,” he says. “Mostly it’s like, ‘I miss you.’ ”

September 11 Anniversary, Children of 9/11 : People.com.

Hurricane Irene, Vermont, covered bridges, icons:  Covered bridges are architectural poetry.

Perhaps it’s the simple, humble way that the Bartonsville Covered Bridge seems to say goodbye, bowing first at its far end, then slipping behind the trees while keeping its structure, and its dignity, intact until its peaked roof slips into the Williams River. Perhaps it’s the grief in the voices of the onlookers. We all know that tourists like to take pictures of Vermont’s iconic covered bridges; what this clip shows is the deep affection that Vermonters feel for these structures, and the terrible sense of loss when one disappears. Most bridges are simply crossings, a means from one place to the next. But covered bridges seem like dwellings. They give a sort of permanence to transitions, and impart to the otherwise ordinary act of driving somewhere a special texture and a mystery. Perhaps their claim on the imagination has something to do with that momentous crossing everyone makes, to death.

via News Desk: Requiem for a Covered Bridge : The New Yorker.

Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge collapses into the Williams River in Vermont – YouTube.

Hurricane Irene, quotes:  Some of these are really good …

“Para todos, gracias, por los bomberos, muchas gracias por tu ayuda. Es suficiente?” —Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City

via News Desk: The Crisis in a Nutshell: Floods and FEMA : The New Yorker.

college life, happiness:  I was very surprised by this list. It doesn’t seem that there is much correlation between the “party” schools and the “happiest” schools.

Happiness is subjective, but without a doubt some college campuses make life a little sweeter for students. Newsweek ranks the 25 Happiest Schools in America.

Methodology: To find the happiest schools in the country, Newsweek crunched the numbers for six categories, weighted equally using z-scores (a measure of how close or distant each school is to average): dining, housing, and nightlife grades from College Prowler, the number of sunny days per year, with data from Sperling’s Best Places, student-teacher ratio, and the average indebtedness at graduation, with data from the College Board.

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

… and now the list … surprise anyone?

Happiest Schools

Yale University

Harvard University

Rice University

Stanford University

Bowdoin College

Pitzer College

Occidental College

Colby College

Emory University

University of California-Davis

Southern Methodist University

Rollins College

Hamilton College

University of California-Los Angeles

University of Southern California

Cornell University

Wellesley College

Colorado College

Smith College

James Madison University

Purdue University

Vanderbilt University

Bucknell University

Santa Clara University

University of California-San Diego

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

college, liberal arts, interdisciplinary world: “One has got to be ready to think quick.”

It just goes to show that the liberal arts and sciences have a real, growing, and very practical place in the future of thinking through a day, a career, or a lifetime in today’s increasingly interdisciplinary world. Discrete “skillsets” are great—but least limiting when the person using them understands the big picture of where they came from and what shape they might shift to, next week, year, or decade. One has got to be ready to think quick.

via » Liberal Arts AND Sciences, Mmm’kay? A Sample Davidson Click-fest Offers a Peek To the Future.

2012 DNC, internships:  It will be interesting to see what Charlotte gains from having the DNC.  Summer jobs and internships for college students will be great.

Fall internships with the DNC have been posted!  The deadline for applications is September 12, 2011.

The DNC is seeking self-motivated, results-driven and trainable students for this opportunity. A DNCC intern will have a wide range of responsibilities, such as acting as the first point of contact for a Department head in the offices of the CEO, COO, or Chief of Staff. Interns may assist with special projects in various departments such as Intergovernmental Affairs or Communication and Public Affairs.  They may prepare correspondence, assist staff with requests pertaining to the convention, assist with IT network systems, or help prepare memos as well as research important legal topics.

via Internships with the Democratic National Convention | Office of Career Services Blog.

Warren Buffet, BofA:  I like Buffet, but he is definitely all over the plate these days.

in the 1930s, they called Roosevelt a traitor to his class. Some would say he saved that class. Oddly, Warren Buffett finds himself in a comparable position today. Some would say he’s saving capitalism. Others would most certainly not say that.

The Buffett story du jour is, of course, the $5 billion investment in Bank of America, initially trumpeted as a vote of confidence that will salvage yet another purportedly too-big-to-fail institution. It is, among other things, a powerful example of the obvious intersection of finance and reputation management. From the bank’s perspective, all their reputational initiatives were faltering absent a critical communications tool – namely, a third-party endorsement of significant impact.

“I remain confident that we have the capital and liquidity we need to run our business,” said Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan. “At the same time, I also recognize that a large investment by Warren Buffett is a strong endorsement in our vision and our strategy” [emphasis added]. The New York Times, for one, cited favorable responses by analysts and concluded that the Berkshire Hathaway investment “has helped allay concerns about Bank of America.”

Maybe, but it might not be the best medicine for the Bank of America C-Suite amid prominent headlines like “Brian Moynihan Got Fleeced By Buffett’s BofA Bet.” Nor might it infuse confidence in the bank itself amid conspicuous commentary that features taglines like “Sorry, Warren, Bank of America Still Stinks.”

Importantly, though, this story is not just playing out at a “purely business level.” Most striking in much of the commentary is an unprecedented ambivalence – if not antipathy and distrust – toward Buffett, who has historically played the role of folk hero for Americans of every socio-politicalstripe. The problem with being a folk hero is that your public image has to be clear and simple. You’re a leader among peers from whom every citizen can learn the lessons of success without being made to feel inferior for want of a billion or two in disposable income.

The lesson is that financial communications never occur in a vacuum. They can be driven to an important extent by extrinsic public affairs concerns that directly affect the perceptions of analysts, shareholders, and journalists – who, in turn, influence how transactions are received in the marketplace.

Life is no longer clear and simple for the Sage of Omaha. Welcome to our world, Mr. Buffett.

via A Rorschach Blot Named Warren Buffett: The Sage of Omaha in an Age of Ideology – Forbes.

travel, science, random:  I just wish one airline would try it for a week!

If Fermilab astrophysicist Jason Steffen is right, this could be quite the boon to anyone who has to fly commercially (assuming, that is, you’re not lucky enough to sit in first class or business.)

Steffen invented a model using an algorithm based on the Monte Carlo optimization method used in statistics and mathematics to halve the time it takes to board an airplane. According to Steffen, the best method is to board alternate rows at a time, starting with the window seats on one side, then the other. The people sitting in window seats would be followed by alternate rows of middle seats, then the aisle seats. Another of Steffen’s conclusions: Boarding at random is faster than boarding by blocks.

But he’s still a preacher without a congregation. Although he published his study in the Journal of Air Transport Management in 2008, the airline industry hasn’t taken much notice.

via Physicist claims faster way to board a plane – CBS News.

22
Jul
11

‎7.22.2011 … NYC has no idea there is a recession. Everywhere is construction and the stores are packed. Another thing, men in NY still dark wear suits and ties and polish their beautiful black leather shoes.

NYC: So today I walked along Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue … Here is what I saw … Walk About Town.

 

NYC, public art, Sherman Statue:  As a Georgian, I balked when I saw this statue … Peace?

As with many of the sculptor’s works, the allegorical figure of peace leading Sherman is modeled after Saint-Gaudens’s mistress, Davida Johnson. The pine branch at the horse’s feet represents Sherman’s march through Georgia. Disliking statues looking like “smoke stacks,” Saint-Gaudens had the piece gilded with two layers of gold leaf. A frail Saint-Gaudens attended the unveiling on Memorial Day, 1903, eleven years after the monument was first proposed. “Saint-Gaudens is one of those artists for whom it is worthwhile to wait,” the Saturday Evening Post explained, however, as the successful piece was widely praised.

via Grand Army Plaza Highlights – Sherman Monument : New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.


careers, internships, banking:

While hard work has been customary among young finance workers for years, after-hours benefits once made the long days more palatable. In 2006, a group of JPMorgan Chase interns took a firm-sponsored trip in white Hummer limousines to the trendy NoHo nightclub Butter, where they partied before retiring to swank rooms at the Hudson Hotel, according to a person who was present. The next year Lehman Brothers took interns to Jones Beach for a concert featuring OK Go and the Fray, and Credit Suisse paid for its interns to take gourmet cooking classes, according to former interns at the banks.

Those extravagances are gone, experts say, victims of slashed entertainment budgets and increased sensitivity at banks whose reputations suffered during the financial crisis.

“Banks are trying to be a little bit more sensible,” said Geoff Robinson, head of investment banking at 7city Learning and lead author of “The Complete Intern: Navigating the Investment Banking Maze.” “If you look back three or four years at some of the perks, it’s certainly more economical now.”

via Fewer Perks and More Work for Wall St.’s Summer Interns – NYTimes.com.

digital age, changes, end of an era, USPS: 

It seems the digital revolution is finally set to hit postal mail. Due to an $8.3 billion loss this year, reports USA Today, the days of Saturday mail delivery may be numbered.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe continued to warn us that snail-mail could be limited to a three-days-a-week delivery within 15 years.

When asked about the removal of Saturday mail delivery by USA Today, Donahoe reflected that there is “a much better chance today than a year ago.” The postal services have estimated that by cutting down on Saturday deliveries they could save $3.1 billion a year.

via Postmaster General: Saturday Mail Delivery May Be Doomed – TIME NewsFeed.

kids, end of an era:

Full List

KIDS THESE DAYS

Camera Film

Landline Phones

Real Books

Being Lost

Music Videos on MTV

Walkmans

The Glory Days of Nick at Nite

Tan M&Ms

Czechoslovakia

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator

via Full List – Top 10 Things Today’s Kids Will Never Experience – TIME.

tweets, twitter, searches: Snap Bird – search twitter’s history , The Most Hilarious Tweets About The Heat.

random:  OK, really random!

So how can you win more at rock-paper-scissors? Well, knowing that your opponent will unconsciously be copying you, you can close your eyes to avoid being psyched out yourself. Also, males have a tendency to throw out rock on their first try, so if you’re playing a guy, try closing your eyes and throwing out paper. Science and statistics are on your side! Unless, you know, your opponent reads this post too, then he might try to psych you out by going scissors or something.

via How to Win More at Rock-Paper-Scissors (According to Science) – Techland – TIME.com.

17
May
11

5.17.2011 … seems the world is filled with intrigue today …

Annecy, Talloires, France, small world, kith/kin:  Ran into Cat K. yesterday … and small world … she and John honeymooned in Talloires and Annecy .. now I have some more hotels, etc.  to research.

“In a Cezanne painting”

Nestled in the hollow of a protective massif, Annecy Lake is one of the world’s purest lakes.

A gorgeous place that inspired Paul Cezanne who painted “The Lake of Annecy”.

“Auberge du Père Bise is settled in a unique location that takes all its magnificence with lights’ reflections over the lake. No one could have imagined a better place… More than a splendid location, your eyes and your taste buds will be taken to a new world of pleasure with the cuisine of Sophie Bise.”

“A legendary hotel set on the bay of Talloires”

via → AUBERGE DU PERE BISE TALLOIRES – LUXURY HOTEL ANNECY-OFFICIAL WEBSITE -4 STAR HOTEL LAKE ANNECY PERE BISE.

Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth II, Republic of Ireland, historic firsts, bomb threat:

Brushing aside bomb threats, Queen Elizabeth II embarked on the first visit by a reigning British monarch to the Irish Republic on Tuesday — a visit heavy on symbolism after decades of hostility and mistrust, and protected by some of the tightest security Dubliners could recall.

Hours before she arrived, the Irish Army carried out a controlled explosion of a pipe bomb discovered in a tote bag in the luggage compartment of a bus heading for the capital, police officials said.

The bus was traveling from Ballina in the west of Ireland toward Dublin and the device was found in Maynooth, 40 miles from Dublin. About 30 passengers had left the bus when it was stopped and searched, apparently after a tip by an informant, the police said.

via Bomb Found in Ireland Hours Before Queen Arrives – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden Death:  Article reads like a spy novel …  AP sources: Raiders knew mission a one-shot deal  | ajc.com.

art galleries, Paris, culture, travel:  Several articles here … am getting excited about Paris!

Every spring art galleries in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, long famed as home to artists, writers and musicians, open their doors to the public, in a block party called Art Saint-Germain-des-Pres. With what might be the highest concentration of galleries in the world, it’s an ideal area to find a variety of art, from primitive to contemporary and sculpture and painting to photography, jewelry and antiques. This year’s event, from May 19 to 22, will include at least 60 galleries. As an example of the event’s breadth, La Galerie Artco-France will show works by the Surrealist René Magritte and La Galerie Frédéric Got Fine Art photographs by Elliott Erwitt.

via An Art-Themed Block Party in Paris – NYTimes.com.

Over the first few days of April, the Art Paris fair draws crowds of collectors to the Grand Palais exhibition hall. This year the organizers are offering an additional attraction: Les Nuits Parisiennes, an evening art stroll on April 1 and 2 that links 15 art installations in nine locations across the city center.

“We wanted to make art more accessible, to create an emotional encounter that everyone can appreciate,” said Marie-Ann Yemsi, one of two young curators who conceived and put together the program.

“We wanted to show art in another way, other than in a white cube gallery or museum space — to let the artists’ imagination play with the city,” added her partner, Agnes Violeau.

via Seeing Art in Paris as the Sun Sets – NYTimes.com.

“The Book Club” is a party that occurs on the last Wednesday of every month at newly refurbished Le Carmen cafe and bar. The event has one simple rule: bring a book, and make sure to swap it by the end of the night. Forget keys or clothes, this is a more modern way to meet people, the event founder Rosa Rankin-Gee believes. “Books don’t spill,” she said. “They are pocketable, holdable, durable, lovely and say so much about the person who brought them.” The next event is scheduled for May 25.

The venue (22, rue de Douai; 33-1-45-26-50-00; http://www.Le-carmen.fr) is a 19th-century private mansion once inhabitedΩ by Georges Bizet, where he supposedly wrote the opera of the same name. The space, with its ornate moldings and plush velvet seats, recreates the ambience of “the literary salons of yesteryear, but brings them up to date,” said Ms. Rankin-Gee. “And democratizes them, in a sense, because just by turning up with a book, every single person contributes.” The atmosphere is rounded out by a selection of retro cocktails and live piano music.

The Book Club goes hand in hand with an upcoming arts journal called A Tale of Three Cities, to be released soon.

via At Monthly Paris Gathering, Swapping Conversation and Books – NYTimes.com.

iPad, Apps, libraries, New York Public Library:   I always loved the NY Public library’s Reference book … that should be an app … but i will enjoy this, too.

Now, the New York Public Library has created a new iPad app that bring the library’s research collections into “the palms of the public’s hand,” as library officials put it in a statement released Tuesday. “Biblion: The Boundless Library” is the name for a series of apps available on Apple’s tablet computer that highlight different elements in the library’s collection. It was developed by the library and the design firm Potion.

via New York Public Library Launches iPad App – NYTimes.com.

Forbidden City, China, Jasmine Revolution:  Love the intrigue here …

For 600 years, the Forbidden City, with its vermilion walls, labyrinthine passageways and sloping tiled roofs, has stood in the heart of Beijing as the ultimate symbol of power, the inner sanctum from which authority emanates across a vast land.

It is the last place one would imagine as a base for the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party.

Yet, photographs have circulated on the Internet over the last few days that seem to hint at exactly that. On Friday, officials in charge of management of the Forbidden City handed two ceremonial banners to local police officers to congratulate them on nabbing a thief who had stolen curios from an exhibition at the ancient palace earlier this month. The slogan on one of the banners said: “To shake the great strength and prosperity of the motherland, and to safeguard the stability of the capital.”

The treasonous slogan instantly set the Chinese Internet aflutter, spreading as quickly as court gossip.

Barring the possibility of a secret revolutionary cabal inside the palace, the problem has to do with a common headache in Mandarin Chinese: homonyms. The pronunciation of the word for “shake” – han, with a falling tone – is exactly the same as that for “guard,” even though the written characters are different. In other words, the first phrase should have read to “to guard” rather than “to shake.”

Embarrassingly, no officials at the ceremony seemed to notice the gaffe. Ji Tianbin, vice-director of the Forbidden City, handed out the banner, and Fu Zhenghua, head of the Beijing police, was in attendance.

By Monday, photos of the ceremony had ignited derision across the Internet. Many Chinese mocked the bad grammar of the person had designed the banner, and Chinese news organizations demanded an explanation.

The management office issued a brief apology on its microblog on Monday: The banners had been designed by the security department, it said, and no official had examined them “due to a lack of time.”

It added that the security department had defended the mistake and had refused to apologize. Officials have “investigated the incident and criticized and educated the security department,” the managers said.

Even more scandalous is talk that a luxury private club has been established in the Jianfu Pavilion, a part of the Forbidden City that has been restored through monies from a preservation fund in Hong Kong. The club’s membership, supposedly limited to 500 people, costs one million renminbi each, or $154,000, according to a microblog posting last week by Rui Chenggang, an anchor for China Central Television. Officials at the Forbidden City quickly denied the existence of any such club, but Beijing News reported on Sunday that an opening ceremony had already been held.

Chang Lingxing, a spokesman for Forbidden City, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the management office had hired a private company, the Beijing Forbidden City Culture Development Company, to organize lectures and salons. Instead, the company had started handing out “membership sign-up forms.” The management office has told the company to stop, according to a written statement.

One microblog post making the rounds succinctly sums up the three humiliations: “The Forbidden City: the commercial company sold memberships without the officials’ permission; the security department printed the banner without the officials’ approval; the thief stole the exhibits without the officials’ approval!”

But perhaps one should not underestimate the enduring nature of the building. Geremie R. Barme, the prominent Australian scholar of China, wrote this in his book on the history of the Forbidden City: “While its buildings were subject to decay and change, the China of secretive politics, rigid political codes and autocratic behavior continued to exert an influence far beyond the walls of the former palace.”

via Embarrassments Mount at China’s Forbidden City – NYTimes.com.

Davidson College, changes:  New dorms … to accommodate growth to 2000!

Davidson College officials will be at the Design Review Board Wednesday, May 18, seeking final approval for a new 5-story dormitory that will house 250 students as the college boosts enrollment from the current 1,800 to 2,000 in the coming years. The Town of Davidson planning staff is recommending approval of the plan.

The new building would be completed by fall 2012. College officials weren’t sure Monday how much the building would cost. They said they’re still negotiating contracts with construction and design firms.

The new brick building will be designed to fit in with the college’s existing “Neo-Georgian” residential architecture. It would have one 5-story and one 4-story wing, connected by a 1 1/2-story entrance.

The building also would have a fitness center and a meeting space.

via College seeks design approval for new dorm | Real Estate.

Steph Curry, Davidson College:  Steph does others things besides play basketball beautifully … and his business ventures are with his Davidson friends … makes you realize that he was truly integrated into the college.

Stephen Curry becomes a video star today.

A former Davidson All-American, he is working with two of his former teammates, Dan Nelms and Steve Rossiter, in launching a website (www.amzini.com) designed to raise awareness of the many social networking sites available online.

Curry will be featured in two videos shot this year in San Francisco with the intention of drawing more people – and their videos – to the site.

“The idea is there are all these different social opportunities out there that people aren’t aware of,” said Nelms, president of Amzini Enterprises LLC.

via Curry & Co. launch website | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Charlotte, The Charlotte Observer, media, anniversaries, kudos:  Kudos and happy 125th The Charlotte Observer!

Happy 125th birthday to The Charlotte Observer, a newspaper that first began telling Charlotte’s story when it was yet a dream.

Along the way, the Observer has put forward some dreams of its own, helping to shape our region in significant ways. Some will say for the better, others for the worse, depending on a particular issue or outcome. But there is no denying that the place where we live today is a blended legacy of an aspiring city and its newspaper.

That legacy continues now as Charlotte shakes off a devastating collapse of the banking industry and the Observer rewires itself for the digital age. Neither job will be easy, which makes it an especially good time to remember how far both have come.

via A part of your world, every day for 125 years | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Apple, iPhone:  Maybe not a 5 … but an upgraded 4.

The tech-community’s hunch is that a new iPhone will be unveiled in the fall and rolled out in time for the holidays.

via New ‘iPhone 4S’ might come to Sprint, T-Mobile – CNN.com.

college basketball, Pat Forde: Already thinking basketball … It is my favorite college sport.  Ten things I can’t wait to see in 2011-12 college basketball season – ESPN.

college, internships, first jobs:  More and more,  it appears the key to that first job is an internship.

Even though companies say that, on average, they’ll hire 19% more new graduates this year than they did in 2010, some graduates might find that a good portion of companies’ incoming classes are already filled.

That’s because companies say that nearly 40% of this year’s entry-level positions will be filled by former interns, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

via Interns Get a Head Start for Jobs – WSJ.com.

27
Jul
10

‎7.27.2010 … missing my peeps … even jbt out of state today …

faith, missions, family, Gray: My nephew Gray is in Lesotho on this mission trip.  What a great experience and so great that I can follow from home!

The Give Love Mission Team is headed out tonight at 7:30 p.m. It’s a long flight (about 16 hours!). And aside from 6 youth and 10 adults, we have a lot of luggage to get there as well. We’re taking more than 200 blankets to the kids at the Ministry of Insured Salvation Orphanage from the North Avenue kids at Vacation Bible School, guitars, art supplies, and all kinds of goodies. Please pray for safe travels, team unity, and that God would be preparing our hearts for what we’re about to encounter. Be praying for the precious kids we’re about to meet, too!

via North Avenue Missionaries.

education, internships, Davidson:  Davidson, just like most liberal arts colleges, is struggling to incorporate internships into the college experience.

But besides the financial question, students who attend liberal arts colleges can find it’s difficult to get credit for internships, says Lauren Valentino, 22, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., who wrote a thesis on unpaid internships.

“Liberal arts colleges maintain a distinct identity from other institutions through their non-vocational curriculum, which explains why they are less willing than some other universities to grant credit for internships,” Valentino says.

via Unpaid internships can cost — or pay off for — college students – USATODAY.com.

culture, high school: What will I say about my generation in 20 years?

I was witnessing a truth. Within our bodies of 67 or 68 years lived all the people we had ever been or seemed to be. All the success, all the defeat, all the love and fear. We were all here.

We went to Urbana High School between 1956 and 1960. We were the first post-Elvis generation, and one of the last generations of innocence. We were inventing the myth of the American teenager. Our decade would imprint an iconography on American society. We knew nothing of violence and drugs. We looked forward to the future. We were taught well. We were the best class.

via Talking ’bout my generation – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

news, random, LOL, truth – stranger than fiction:  I have seen this story before, but it is definitely one instance where truth is stranger than fiction.

Three street-muggers in Sydney, Aus chased a visiting med student down an alley and took his iPod and phone. Unfortunately for them, the alley they chased him down was next to the local ninja martial arts school, and a student ninja was lurking in the shadows. He got his teacher, and five ninjas stole out into the night and kicked ninjed the muggers’ asses.

via Muggers chase victim into crowd of ass-kicking ninjas – Boing Boing.

history, my nerdiness: I must be a real nerd because I found this article on the history and future of the electrical grid fascinating.

During the Depression, when power lines first electrified rural America, a farmer in Tennessee rose in church one Sunday and said—power companies love this story—”The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.”

via Electrical Grid – National Geographic Magazine.

culture, health:  We aren’t looking so good.  You should read the article …. talks about our generations drug use and unknown interactions with prescribed drugs when we are old …

The generation known as baby boomers may go into old age broke and fat, researchers say.

Particularly, those among the first decade of boomers – now at retirement age or within 10 years of it – may find a combination of unhealthy living and unwise personal finance decisions will leave them in rough shape after age 65.

They may not mind so much, however, because researchers say they also are more likely to be stoned on drugs than either their elders or those younger.

via Some N.C. boomers: Fat and flat broke – CharlotteObserver.com.

news, Charlotte, weather: Definitely hot here.

Charlotte hit 101 degrees on Sunday, a new record for the day, in a summer that so far is the city’s third-hottest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

via 101° – CharlotteObserver.com.

Apple: New Apples?

Will Apple launch new Mac Pros, iMacs, and the Magic Trackpad tomorrow?.

vuvuzelas, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Never thought about who invented them … just assumed they were a plastic version of an ancient african horn … but instead they evolved from a bike horn!

I invented the vuvuzela 35 years ago but, of course, it’s only since the start of the World Cup that it has become quite so well known globally. Whatever people may say about the sound it makes, it has never been so popular. That makes me proud; I see so many visitors taking vuvuzelas home with them, to Europe, South America and beyond.

I know people have complained in the past. One football squad objected to the noise when they played in South Africa, but I think it’s only polite to accept the customs of any country you visit, and this is our culture. Our players expect it and the sound encourages them – it’s the sound of our support. Many people say they don’t like the noise, but I’ve been blowing the vuvuzela for decades now and I’ve never heard of anyone going to hospital or dying because of it.

I approached someone who ran a manufacturing company and he made the first plastic version – a yellow one very much like those you see today. We called them Boogieblasts and sold them at games. I changed the name to vuvuzela in 1992, after Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa was allowed to compete internationally again – the name means three things in Zulu: “welcome”, “unite” and “celebration.”

via Experience: I invented the vuvuzela | Life and style | The Guardian.

FIFA World Cup 2010, marketing: Very interesting. .. Did Nike master the social network marketing and win despite Adidas’ sponsorship?

Two contenders, Adidas and Nike, each have a shot at becoming undisputed market leader when the whistle blows on July 11 and the final game concludes. Coming into 2010, their records show them evenly matched: each is estimated to have earned $1.5-1.7 billion in football merchandise sales in 2008 and 2009, and each controls about a third of the total market.

via The World Cup Brand Winner: Adidas or Nike? – Elie Ofek – HBS Faculty – Harvard Business Review.

culture, followup:  I forgot to include the illustration for Does Language Influence Culture? – WSJ.com …  The Tower of Babel’ by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563.  That illustration really enhanced the article.  Also loved Ann Sheaffer Gibert’s comment:

I came to the same conclusion when I studied Hebrew. Language must shape how our brain works, and different language structures reflect (or cause) different cultural standards.

The Tower of Babel' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563

travel, Ireland:  Really enjoyed this article on Ireland  … hope to go back and it will give me some new insights into what I am seeing.

I have been wandering in a zig-zag way around its country parts, Waterford to Donegal, contemplating the three great quandaries that have obsessed Ireland during my own lifetime: the old, old miseries that arose centuries ago from the interference of the English; the recent hubris and nemesis of economics; the tragic loss of faith and trust in the Roman Catholic church, for centuries the very essence of Irishness.

To my mind there is something transcendental to the charm of the Irish, the very emblem of their national identity. They are no nicer than other peoples, no less bitchy, no less quarrelsome, no less murderous indeed, but without doubt they are, come boom or bust, come faith or disbelief, come peace or war the most charming of nationalities. I cannot make out how deeply they have been affected by the three great communal anxieties that have lately afflicted them, but I can vouch for the fact that in externals, at least, they are just as they always were.

Call it national character, call it community resilience, or call it, most mystically, spiritually and irresistibly of all, simply the luck of the Irish.

via FT.com / Travel – On a journey across Ireland.

RIP:  My friend Eleanor is a friend of Leah … her story is compelling …Leah Siegel, ESPN producer whose struggle with breast cancer inspired thousands, dies at 43 | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News.

faith, followup: I also loved the  Henri Nouwen post that Cary referred to here.  But Cary culls it down to one question … and my list is way too short.

A valid question is “What are the names of the poor whom you interact with?”

via Knowledge Leads to Empathy « Jubilee Year.

children’s/YA literature, faith, history:  I look forward to reading this book by the Pope.

On July 22nd, the Vatican press office announced that Pope Benedict XVI has authored a children’s book entitled, The Friends of Jesus. The twelve friends to the famed Messiah are the Twelve Apostles.

President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Spanish priest Julian Carron, wrote the prologue to the book. He also offers this comment about the publication: “[The Pope] takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus’ first companions were, how they met him and were conquered by him to the point that they never abandoned Him.”

via Pope Benedict XVI to Publish Children’s Book – mediabistro.com: GalleyCat.

politics, The President: Sorry, Mr. President, this seems ridiculous … That is just too much for some face time with you.  And the people who pay such an  exorbitant amount expect something in return.

Chicagoans next week will have the chance to wish President Barack Obama “happy 49th birthday” for $30,400 ($60,800 a couple).

That’s the admission price for a Democratic National Committee “birthday” reception to be held at a the home of real-estate billionaire Neil Bluhm in Obama’s hometown on Aug. 5, the day after his birthday.

via Happy $30,400 birthday, Mr. President – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

tv, gLee: I hope Season 2 is as uniquely fun as Season 1. A ‘Rocky Horror’ Episode, and 9 Other ‘Glee’ Spoilers – Yahoo! TV Blog.

14
Jul
10

‎7.14.2010 … talked to the molls … guess what they dont have, but love in South Africa … RANCH DRESSING!

friends, relationships, followup:  What do you think? Are best friends bad for kids?  Who are your friends?

We talked about categories — family, chosen family, neighbors, close male friends, collective friends (i.e. whole groups, some members of which we are closer to than others but generally considering the whole group friends), friends with common experiences (contingency friends, perhaps… from “the kids’ soccer team” or “the PTA,” relationships which sometimes fade when the context does), neighbor friends (people whom we can call to check on the dogs or make sure we turned off the stove).

via Friends for the Journey, or Parts thereof « Holy Vernacular.

green, environment: 7 square miles???

Seven-square miles of a Greenland glacier broke up on July 6 and 7, moving the edge of the glacier a mile inland in one day, the furthest inland it has ever been observed. While such calving of glaciers isn’t rare, seeing it happen at high resolution by satellite in almost real time is.

via Big chunk of Greenland glacier breaks off – Science Fair: Science and Space News – USATODAY.com.

food, garden, travel, vocabulary:  When we were in China in ’07, at one point we were starving for western junk food, and our guides ordered french fries … 5 huge orders … and then asked if we would like tomato jam with that … when we realized they were asking if we wanted ketchup, we broke out laughing.

Tonight with our bountiful tomato harvest, we will make our first batch of tomato jam! Recipe – Tomato Jam – Recipe – NYTimes.com.

culture, families:  They ask hard questions some times.

Doctors, and the parents who look to them for advice, need a way to integrate their standards of honesty with what we know about preventing substance abuse — and with new research that makes it clear we know a lot more today than anyone did when we were young. (Which may help explain some of the dumb decisions made by so many of us, including me.)

In particular, scientists understand much more about the neurobiology of the teenage brain and the risks of experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence. While we used to think the brain was relatively mature by 16 or 18, in fact it is still developing into the mid-20s.

“If the way it’s presented is, ‘This is risky, and I hope that you don’t have to touch the hot stove to find out you get burned,’ they don’t have to take the same chance.”

And finally, after all the cautions and the anxieties, it’s essential to come back to the positives — “always remembering to notice the good about your child,” Dr. Williams said.

After all, the most important message a parent can give is not about the mistakes that can derail a child, but about the joys of finding your way.

Tell your child, in Dr. Simkin’s words, that “I would prefer you to work on finding your passion, finding what in life you want to do” — and celebrate that potential.

And for that very reason, Dr. Williams said, “I would like them to have every brain cell they can have.”

The Press:  I think this goes too far.

We have entered a momentous period in the history of the American press. The invention of new communications technologies—especially the Internet—is transforming the human capacity to speak, perhaps as monumentally as the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. This is facilitating the largest and fastest expansion of global economic growth in human history. Free speech and a free press are essential to a dynamic economy.

This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let’s demonstrate great journalism’s essential role in a free and dynamic society.

via Lee Bollinger: Journalism Needs Government Help – WSJ.com.

culture, families:  Toxic children … even the name is unsettling.

“The central pitch of any child psychiatrist now is that the illness is often in the child and that the family responses may aggravate the scene but not wholly create it,” said my colleague Dr. Theodore Shapiro, a child psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The era of ‘there are no bad children, only bad parents’ is gone.”

I recall one patient who told me that she had given up trying to have a relationship with her 24-year-old daughter, whose relentless criticism she could no longer bear. “I still love and miss her,” she said sadly. “But I really don’t like her.”

For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.

via Mind – Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds – NYTimes.com.

education, culture:

“I have to assume that in every class, someone will do it,” he said. “It doesn’t stop them if you say, ‘This is plagiarism. I won’t accept it.’ I have to tell them that it is a failing offense and could lead me to file a complaint with the university, which could lead to them being put on probation or being asked to leave.”

Not everyone who gets caught knows enough about what they did to be remorseful. Recently, for example, a student who plagiarized a sizable chunk of a paper essentially told my friend to keep his shirt on, that what he’d done was no big deal. Beyond that, the student said, he would be ashamed to go home to the family with an F.

As my friend sees it: “This represents a shift away from the view of education as the process of intellectual engagement through which we learn to think critically and toward the view of education as mere training. In training, you are trying to find the right answer at any cost, not trying to improve your mind.”

This habit of mind is already pervasive in the culture and will be difficult to roll back. But parents, teachers and policy makers need to understand that this is not just a matter of personal style or generational expression. It’s a question of whether we can preserve the methods through which education at its best teaches people to think critically and originally.

via Editorial Observer – Cutting and Pasting – A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name) – NYTimes.com.

fashion, technology:

But savvy competitors grasped how significant the Web would be for trend spotting and grabbed market share. Worth Global Style Network, known as WGSN, was founded in 1998 and now boasts 36,000 unique users. It sped up fashion forecasting with “up-to-the-minute information with no time delay” from a network of 200 trendspotters around the world, says Sally Lohan, the company’s West Coast content director.

Another rival, Stylesight, founded in 2004, has image banks and customizable trend analyses available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish.

Fashion bloggers, who spot local trends around the world and post new photos constantly, also help retail buyers, and they do it free of charge. “It is very easy to find out what’s going on in Shanghai and Tokyo with a click of a mouse,” says Bloomingdale’s fashion director Stephanie Solomon, who says she looks to Tobe not for ideas, but rather for confirmation of her own fashion hunches. For example, she says she placed big bets for spring 2010 on nautical stripes long before Tobe weighed in on the trend (and she was relieved to see that Tobe confirmed her instincts).

via Trend Forecaster Tobe Report Gets Trendy Again – WSJ.com.

Apple iPhone: Up until the iPhone 4 flap, buying Apple was a no-brainer.

That’s just astounding. The folks at Nokia, RIM, etc., should hang their heads in shame.

via You Can’t Appreciate How Completely Apple Has Humiliated The Cellphone Industry Until You See These Charts.

technology, business, Great Recession:

That is the hope of an increasing number of investors who are turning to the science of artificial intelligence to make investment decisions.

With artificial intelligence, programmers don’t just set up computers to make decisions in response to certain inputs. They attempt to enable the systems to learn from decisions, and adapt. Most investors trying the approach are using “machine learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer program analyzes huge chunks of data and makes predictions about the future. It is used by tech companies such as Google Inc. to match Web searches with results and NetFlix Inc. to predict which movies users are likely to rent.

via ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Gains Fans Among Investors – WSJ.com.

Davidson, education internships:  Davidson is supporting 20 research projects this summer.  What a great thing! And what a great internship!

Allison’s research project aims to answer the question: Can a business corporation, as an entity that is distinct from the employees, shareholders, and other members that compose it, be held morally responsible for its actions? More specifically, she is addressing the role of corporate structure (e.g. its written policies, unwritten corporate culture, etc.) in defining the corporation’s moral status.

via » Research at Davidson: Allison Drutchas.

Two days later I was sporting an official badge, revising policy manuals, performing employee housing inspections, and passing Ambassador Thorne on the compound. I have made courtesy calls to the head of each embassy section, and enjoyed meetings with the ambassadors of the Tri-Mission (because Rome is the home to an unusual case of three independent US Embassies: Italy, the Holy See, and the UN).

I have had the unique pleasure of exploring Villa Taverna, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and I have gone days speaking only Italian because all but two officers in my section are locally-employed Italians. This weekend I will have the opportunity to assist in the visit of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and on Monday I will have a private tour of the French Embassy, which contains many Michelangelo works.

There appears to be no end for me to the surprises at the Ambasciata Americana! For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering a career with the US Foreign Service. Ciao a tutti e tanti abbracci!

via Good Call! |.

health, alternative medicine:

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

Stress reduction is one factor. But scientists also chalk it up to phytoncides, the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects and which also seem to benefit humans.

via Really? – The Claim – Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity – Question – NYTimes.com.

food, random:

Would I recommend it? Reservedly, yes, but mostly because afterward you can honestly say you’ve eaten a burger made out of bacon, and not many people can say that. If you don’t care about the “honor” of it, I suggest sharing it with at least one other person, because it’s not likely you’ll actually want to eat more than half. I suggest uncured bacon so the salt doesn’t make your blood pressure spike. Cook it the way I did unless you want it to bathe in its own fat as it cooks. Oh, yes, and wash it down with something with a bite to it, because otherwise the taste of the bacon fat will likely overwhelm your palate.

via The Great Bacon Odyssey: Bacon, the Other Crispy Brown Meat | GeekDad | Wired.com.




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