Posts Tagged ‘invention

20
Feb
14

2.20.14 … Our central claim is that Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can in fact achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality — but only if they are able to invest a great deal of time and energy in their partnership. If they are not able to do so, their marriage will likely fall short of these new expectations … Marriage, then, has increasingly become an “all or nothing” proposition. …

The All-or-Nothing Marriage, NYTimes.com:

Our central claim is that Americans today have elevated their expectations of marriage and can in fact achieve an unprecedentedly high level of marital quality — but only if they are able to invest a great deal of time and energy in their partnership. If they are not able to do so, their marriage will likely fall short of these new expectations. Indeed, it will fall further short of people’s expectations than at any time in the past.

Marriage, then, has increasingly become an “all or nothing” proposition. This conclusion not only challenges the conventional opposition between marital decline and marital resilience; but it also has implications for policy makers looking to bolster the institution of marriage — and for individual Americans seeking to strengthen their own relationships.

via The All-or-Nothing Marriage – NYTimes.com.

geology, pangea, NYTimes.com:

“This is a true moment of discovery, although somewhat inadvertent,” said Tony Hiss, the author of “The Experience of Place,” a 1990 ode to America’s physical reality. “New York’s deepest and darkest secret, its oldest and most violent and previously only vaguely glimpsed history is finally coming to light — the schist that formed three-quarters of a billion years ago, when colliding continents compressed an ancient ocean; the even more elusive amphibolite, three times harder than concrete, that’s a slow-cooked remnant of islands as big as Japan off the New York shoreline.

“A lot of the theory about what happened down there long, long ago was known, but it had never been seen firsthand by geologists until the multiple sub-Manhattan excavations over the last decade,” Mr. Hiss said.

The application of that theory illustrates why skyscrapers historically sprouted downtown and in Midtown, but not in between. The bedrock — the formidable Manhattan Schist on which their concrete foundations rest — is closest to the surface in those two areas, though, nowadays, the technology exists to build almost anywhere.

“It’s only a matter of what type of foundation you can afford, or are willing to entertain,” said Michael Horodniceanu, the president of the transportation authority’s capital construction arm.

The dank, vast underground caverns carved by monstrous tunnel-boring machines reveal evidence of the land bridge that existed hundreds of millions of years ago, when New York adjoined what is now Morocco, before the continents ruptured, and of the faults and fractures wrought by vast physical upheavals.

“It gives us a small window to refine our maps and get a better understanding of regional geology and of the bedrock that formed in Pangea when the continents collided,” Mr. Jordan, the Parsons geologist, said. “It gives us a chance to document the behavior of Manhattan’s bedrock while advancing tunnels, and to provide a history of tectonic events. Lastly, mapping provides a geological record for posterity and use by future generations.”

via Geologists Glimpse a Heaven Below – NYTimes.com.

Transcend Politics Embrace Humanity, Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, quotes:

Photo: Transcend Politics, Embrace Humanity

robotic pills, medicine, invention:

Robotic pills could replace injectable drugs for chronic conditions such as diabetes. Advancements in scientific research have led to two FDA-approved robotic pills. How they work: http://on.wsj.com/N6p3yY

Humans of New York, discrimination:  This is one of my favorite FB pages. I am amazed at what people share. I hope it is not contrived. I wonder what I would share.

“I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but I’m gay, and I don’t think there’s nearly as much discrimination as people claim. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced discrimination. But it hasn’t been a huge factor in my life. I feel like a lot of people bring discrimination on themselves by getting in people’s faces too much. They like to say: ‘Accept me or else!’ They go around demanding respect as a member of a group, instead of earning respect as an individual. And that sort of behavior invites discrimination. I’ve never demanded respect because I was gay, and I haven’t experienced much discrimination when people find out that I am.”

via Humans of New York.

Jack Perry, community ambassador,  diplomat, Dean Rusk Center, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:  I admit I was wrong.  When Jack Perry came to Davidson, I thought, Davidson needs someone from Davidson … I was so wrong.  RIP, Jack Perry and thank you for raising the bar.

 Shortly after Kuykendall arrived at Davidson in 1984, he hired Perry to run the college’s fledgling international studies venture, named for another Georgian diplomat, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

“When I came, the Dean Rusk program was a name, an aspiration,” Kuykendall said. “But but we needed somebody to lead it.”

Perry put his stamp on the program, which had been started by Kuykendall’s predecessor, Sam Spencer.

“Sam Spencer’s intention was to take (Davidson) from a regional school to a school with a national reputation and a school globally engaged,” said Chris Alexander, current director of the Rusk program.

“The program by its name and by its existence really announced to students and the broader Charlotte community … that an international education is a fundamental part of a liberal arts education.”

Perry ran the program until 1995. Over that time, the percentage of Davidson students who received some kind of international experience rose dramatically. According to Alexander, more than 80 percent of students travel or study abroad during their four years.

via Jack Perry: A community ambassador with a life of diplomacy | CharlotteObserver.com.

schadenfreude: It’s a cruel world … And here I am sharing.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=022_1392441250

Schadenfreude, oh, blessed schadenfreude.

A dad who had gone to pick his kids up from school was waiting in his car when he noticed groups of schoolchildren falling on the icy pathway.

What better way to spend your minutes waiting than filming the series of unfortunate pupils stacking it?

The person who filmed it, known only as Alan, is heard in the six-minute footage doing a bit of a commentary and laughing his socks off.

At one point, he says: ‘I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you.’

When his daughter gets in the car they’re both creasing up and he tells her about the impending falls that he predicts are on the way: ‘Okay watch this kid, I guarantee that he’s going to drill it.’

via School run dad can’t stop laughing at pupils slipping on ice in YouTube video | Metro News.

400 years, mathematics,new class of shapes, Goldberg polyhedra, Ars Technica:

The works of the Greek polymath Plato have kept people busy for millennia. Mathematicians have long pondered Platonic solids, a collection of geometric forms that are highly regular and are frequently found in nature.

Platonic solids are generically termed equilateral convex polyhedra. In the millennia since Plato’s time, only two other collections of equilateral convex polyhedra have been found: Archimedean solids (including the truncated icosahedron) and Kepler solids (including rhombic polyhedra). Nearly 400 years after the last class was described, mathematicians claim that they may have now identified a new, fourth class, which they call Goldberg polyhedra. In the process of making this discovery, they think they’ve demonstrated that an infinite number of these solids could exist.

via After 400 years, mathematicians find a new class of shapes | Ars Technica.

Martin Scorsese,  Poland’s Communist-Era Art Films, NPR:  

Martin Scorsese fell in love with Polish movies when he was in college.

“The images have stayed in my head for so many years, since the late ’50s,” he says. “I close my eyes, I see them, especially from Ashes And Diamonds, from The Saragossa Manuscript. They’re very vivid, expressive, immediate.”

The tradition of filmmaking in Poland is as long as the history of filmmaking itself. In fact, a Polish inventor patented a camera before the famed, pioneering Lumiere brothers in France. It’s a tradition that includes the names Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Agnieszka Holland. But unless you spent a lot of time in art house theaters in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, you probably haven’t seen many Polish movies. Now, a new series of 21 films handpicked by Scorsese is beginning a tour of 30 American citie

via Martin Scorsese Takes Poland’s Communist-Era Art Films On The Road : NPR.

bacon: Need I say more?

Photo: Need I say more?

The Piano Guys, Angels We Have Heard on High, youtube:

via ▶ Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs) – ThePianoGuys – YouTube.

Watch this Christmas cover of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” performed by Paul Anderson, Jon Schmidt, Al van der Beek and Steven Sharp Nelson, on one single piano to feel the festive spirit come alive.

via The Piano Guys Will Blow You Away With ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ (VIDEO).

5 Ages Dancing,  YouTube: 

 

Dancers aged 85 ,65, 45, 25 and 5 perform the same sequence: Sage Cowles, Marylee Hardenbergh, Lori Mercil, Erin Simon, and Shelby Keeley.

via ▶ 5 Ages Dancing YouTube sharing – YouTube.

How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night, sleep therapy:

8 hour sleeping is a modern invention.

via How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night.

An Instagram short film:

An Instagram short film on Vimeo

via An Instagram short film.

24
Oct
10

‎10.24.2010 … truly priceless weekend … now home on the redeye …

invention,  culture:

Picking humanity’s 100 greatest gadgets is no easy task. If we were starting from the beginning of humanity itself, the list would actually be a lot easier to compile: the wheel, the lever, the telescope, the syringe, movable type — the roster practically writes itself. But we’re masochists and decided to limit the list to the 100 most influential personal gadgets created since 1923 — the year TIME started publishing.

via How We Chose the All-TIME 100 Gadgets – ALL-TIME 100 Gadgets – TIME.

USA, culture: great article…

A few years later, when I got to America on a college scholarship, I realized that the real American Dream was somewhat different from Dallas. I visited college friends in their hometowns and was struck by the spacious suburban houses and the gleaming appliances — even when their parents had simple, modest jobs. The modern American Dream, for me, was this general prosperity and well-being for the average person. European civilization had produced the great cathedrals of the world. America had the two-car garage. And this middle-class contentment created a country of optimists. Compared with the fatalism and socialist lethargy that was pervasive in India those days, Americans had a sunny attitude toward life that was utterly refreshing.

But when I travel from America to India these days, as I did recently, it’s as if the world has been turned upside down. Indians are brimming with hope and faith in the future. After centuries of stagnation, their economy is on the move, fueling animal spirits and ambition. The whole country feels as if it has been unlocked. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the mood is sour. Americans are glum, dispirited and angry. The middle class, in particular, feels under assault. In a Newsweek poll in September, 63% of Americans said they did not think they would be able to maintain their current standard of living. Perhaps most troubling, Americans are strikingly fatalistic about their prospects. The can-do country is convinced that it can’t.

via Fareed Zakaria on How to Restore the American Dream – TIME.

nature v. nurture:  jack loves artificial red dye … and I loved it during pregnancy (jelly belly red cherry jelly beans, cherry popsicles) … enough said.

What makes us the way we are? Why are some people predisposed to be anxious, overweight or asthmatic? How is it that some of us are prone to heart attacks, diabetes or high blood pressure?

There’s a list of conventional answers to these questions. We are the way we are because it’s in our genes: the DNA we inherited at conception. We turn out the way we do because of our childhood experiences: how we were treated and what we took in, especially during those crucial first three years. Or our health and well-being stem from the lifestyle choices we make as adults: what kind of diet we consume, how much exercise we get.(See 5 pregnancy myths debunked.)

But there’s another powerful source of influence you may not have considered: your life as a fetus. The kind and quantity of nutrition you received in the womb; the pollutants, drugs and infections you were exposed to during gestation; your mother’s health, stress level and state of mind while she was pregnant with you — all these factors shaped you as a baby and a child and continue to affect you to this day.

This is the provocative contention of a field known as fetal origins, whose pioneers assert that the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives, permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. The conditions we encounter in utero, they claim, shape our susceptibility to disease, our appetite and metabolism, our intelligence and temperament. In the literature on the subject, which has exploded over the past 10 years, you can find references to the fetal origins of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness — even of conditions associated with old age like arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline.

via Fetal Origins: How the First Nine Months Shape Your Life – TIME.

college life, culture: just makes me sad …

Police have arrested three men suspected of creating a drug lab in a freshmen dormitory at prestigious Georgetown University in Washington.

D.C. Police spokesman Officer Hugh Carew says investigators found a DMT lab where chemicals could create a hallucinogenic drug. DMT stands for dimethyltryptamine. Officials thought it was a methamphetamine lab earlier Saturday.

Emergency crews responded about 6:15 a.m. after a strange odor was reported. About 400 students were evacuated from Harbin Hall. Seven people were exposed to noxious chemicals, including three students.

via Suspected drug lab found in Georgetown Univ. dorm  | ajc.com.

bookshelf, children’s/YA literature,new blog:  She writes a compelling blog post for this book.

Judging entirely from the cover art, I picked up Plain Kate expecting a charming light British fantasy. That’s what the cover suggested to me — the girl on the cover looks like someone who is having a gently meandering adventure, the sort one could have on the way home from school, even. I expected to enjoy it, but I had no hint that there’d be anything memorable about it.

via bookshelves of doom: Plain Kate — Erin Bow.

college life, kids, Harry Potter, children’s/YA literature:  This does not surprise me one bit!

Like freshman everywhere, Xander Manshel and his Middlebury College classmates found themselves in their first year of college pondering some of life’s biggest mysteries—like how to play Quidditch if you can’t, like Harry Potter, fly?The solution: race around in capes and goggles with broomsticks between your legs, while shooting balls through mounted hula hoops. Their version of the game, first played in 2005, was modeled on matches described in J.K. Rowling’s novels.”Quidditch was this bridge between the fantasy world of the books and the more concrete world of college,” says Mr. Manshel, who has graduated and now teaches English. “For us [playing] was a way to have both.”The Quidditch World Cup will be played in New York in November. NYU student Sarah Landis is hoping her new team will have a home advantage.But now Harry has grown-up—and so has the sport. There are tournaments, new rules and special brooms for competitive play. The “Quidditch World Cup” is moving this year to the Big Apple from Middlebury’s idyllic campus. More than 60 college and high school teams have registered to compete Nov. 13 and 14—up from 20 last year—at a park in Manhattan.

via Harry Potter’s Game Grows Up – WSJ.com.

random, Halloween, culture, holidays: I am kinda partial to the Old Spice guy!

Octomom outfits are so 2009. This year, there’s plenty of pop-culture news worth mining for Halloween-costume glory. TIME takes a look at the getups that are sure to win any costume contest

via Old Spice Guy – The 20 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2010 – TIME

19
Oct
10

10.19.2010 … yesterday would have been my parent’s 58th wedding anniversary … I am glad they tied the knot …

Think Pink, Denver:  I was in Denver last weekend and almost every office building had a big pink ribbon on it … I am going to drive downtown and see if that is true of Charlotte.  It was impressive.

random, culture: None of my children’s names are on the list  nor my nieces or nephews for that matter …

The top ten names for girls were: Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Emily, Olivia, Madison, Sarah, Ashley, Leah and Emma.

For boys: Jayden, Daniel, Ethan, Michael, David, Justin, Matthew, Joshua, Alexander and Christopher.

via Most Popular Baby Names in New York City: Jayden and Isabella Top the List – Metropolis – WSJ.

media, twitter, facebook:  Interesting … Conan O’Brien: King of Social Media | Fast Company.

parenting, colleges:  Good advice … I will neither ask the question of others or answer it without Molly’s permission.  Or at least I will try.

Last December, I wrote a post about secrecy during the college application process. I had come across several parents in my community who felt it was important to keep secret the names of the colleges where their child — who in some cases was not the same year in school as mine — was applying. While I accepted this practice as a sign of our competitive, helicopter-parenting times, it still seemed like a foreign notion to me. When it’s my daughter’s turn, I thought, I’m going to shout it from the rooftops.

It hasn’t exactly turned out that way. Fast forward nearly a year, and I’m the one keeping the secret. I’m not really comfortable with the idea, but it makes more sense to me now. And out of respect for my daughter and her desired privacy, I must oblige.

via Keeping Quiet About a Daughter’s College Choices – NYTimes.com.

LOL, facebook, parenting:

YouTube – SNL 683 (Se 36 Ep 03) Jane Lynch – Damn It, My Mom Is On Facebook Filter.

business, economy, Great Recession:  Business ain’t good at the Crystal Cathedral …

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, an Orange County landmark and megachurch founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday morning.

The cathedral owes about about $7.5 million to unsecured creditors. The bankruptcy filing seeks court protection from its creditors.

Officials at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove announced Monday that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a statement issued Monday, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy filing was a necessity because a “small number of creditors chose to file lawsuits and obtained writ of attachment.”

She said the cathedral also had no choice because a committee of creditors decided not to extend a moratorium to allow continued talks about a payment plan.

“For these reasons, the Ministry now finds it necessary to seek the protection of a Chapter 11,” she said.

The Cathedral, which has been a landmark and a tourist attraction with its glistening glass tower, is now faced with $55 million in debt because of the economy and dwindling contributions. Click here to see a list of known creditors and how much they’re owed.

via Crystal Cathedral files Chapter 11 bankruptcy | cathedral, creditors, bankruptcy – News – The Orange County Register.

economics, water resource management:  Again the greatest economic issue of our lifetime …

A report released today reiterates an often ignored problem–that water isn’t the unlimited resource we often treat it like.

The Johnson Foundation has released a report called “Charting New Waters: a Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges,” which details the necessity in developing water technology, as 36 states expect to be facing water shortages by 2013.

Noting that such shortages will severely undermine the economy, the Foundation also mentions that water use and energy use are intertwined. The Journal Sentinel writes:

“Energy production accounts for over two-fifths of all U.S. water use, meaning a big carbon footprint creates a big water footprint. But it takes prodigious energy to clean and pump water.”

It’s clear that the report is meant to spur change in the water-technology sector in the U.S. in a way that will sufficiently address the problem as well as reducing our carbon footprint–the title of the report says it all. Because while water shortages will take a huge toll on the American economy, it’s also important to keep in mind how dire climate change and the water situation will be throughout the rest of the world in the next few years.

via The New Economy: Water-Driven? – TIME NewsFeed.

restaurants, business, Charlotte: I guess the Phat Burrito is not the Penguin. 🙂

National Restaurant Properties says it will franchise South End’s Phat Burrito restaurant.

The restaurant, known for its California-style Mexican food, will remain the sole Phat Burrito in Charlotte.

National Restaurant Properties, which has 15 brokerages along the East coast, will market the restaurant regionally. A spokeswoman for the company says it hopes to have 10 to 15 franchises open within a year.

Phat Burrito, at 1537 Camden Road, has been open for more than a decade.

via National Restaurant Properties to franchise Phat Burrito | Charlotte Business Journal.

invention:  Electrolux Winner “The Snail” Cooks Without a Stove | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

google doodles: I have to admit that when they had this one, I did not get it … I can be a little slow!

Oct 09, 2010

John Lennon’s 70th Birthday. Courtesy of Yoko Ono Lennon/Bag One Arts, Inc. – (Global)

via Google Doodles: 2010 October – December.

movies, technology:  childish novelty … I just can’t get into them …

The question I want to consider is this: Why are 3-D movies so bad?

The problem isn’t merely technical. It’s not the fact that 3-D darkens the screen, or the fact that 3-D effects present spatial depth as visibly layered, as in a pop-up book, that accounts for what’s wrong.

No, the problem with 3-D is conceptual. The whole motivation for 3-D movies is confused. Despite the wild success of Avatar, 3-D movies remain, I think, somewhat like pop-up books themselves, a childish novelty.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

law:  We were in Boulder last weekend and these laws make pedestrians into idiots … but I thought it was always the law.

It looks like Chicago police have a fresh candidate for extending a sting operation that targets drivers who fail to obey a new state law requiring people behind the wheel to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

It’s the Art Institute of Chicago’s new crosswalk between the year-old Modern Wing and Millennium Park. As I reported here Friday, some drivers are respecting the crosswalk’s flashing yellow lights, but others are blowing right through the crosswalk, frightening pedestrians.

When the police select locations for their ticketing blitz next year, the Art institute crosswalk “certainly would be a candidate,” said Brian Steele, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation.

No accidents have been reported yet at the crosswalk. Last year, seven pedestrians were killed while walking in crosswalks in Chicago and more than 1,000 people were injured, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

food, phrases:  I had the best Peking Duck in Beijing/Peking.  I like the phrase “poetics of its place.”  Question for those from Philly … does this apply to Philly cheesesteaks?

Like the Philly cheesesteak, the Peking Duck carries the poetics of its place.

via Made in China — Gourmet Live.

history, The South:  Great story!

Sherman (below) wrote a letter to a superior in Washington, explaining his rationale.

“They [Roswell mills] were very valuable and were burned by my order. They have been engaged almost exclusively in manufacturing cloth for the Confederate Army, and you will observe they were transferred to the English and French flags for safety, but such nonsense cannot deceive me. They were tainted with treason, and such fictitious transfer was an aggravation. I will send all the owners, agents and employees up to Indiana to get rid of them there.”

Union troops rounded up 400 of the Ivy Woolen and Roswell mill workers (a contingent that included 87 men — some soldiers, some deserters), and then added another batch that worked at a mill at Sweetwater Creek, west of Atlanta, for a total of about 600 people. Five hundred were women and children.

Very few had anything do with the caper at the Ivy mill.

Sherman charged the assembly with treason. That included men, women and their children.

“This was the only time in the Civil War that something like this occurred,” said Hitt. “It was newsworthy at the time.”

via The remarkable story of the French flag ruse and imprisoned women and children of Roswell by Phil Gast | LikeTheDew.com.

spirituality, religion:  I believe this …

If you find the concept of a dead loved one greeting you on your deathbed impossible or ridiculous, consider what I finally realized as a parent: You protect your children from household dangers. You hold their hands when they cross the street on their first day of school. You take care of them when they have the flu, and you see them through as many milestones as you can.

Now fast-forward 70 years after you, yourself, have passed away. What if there really is an afterlife and you receive a message that your son or daughter will be dying soon? If you were allowed to go to your child, wouldn’t you?

While death may look like a loss to the living, the last hours of a dying person may very well be filled with fullness rather than emptiness. Sometimes all we can do is embrace the unknown and unexplainable and make our loved ones feel good about their experiences.

Rather, it may be an incredible reunion with those we have loved and lost. It reminds us that God exists and birth is his miracle that carries us into life. A deathbed vision is his miracle that carries us though the transition of death into the next part of our eternity.

via Do the dead greet the dying? – CNN.com.

Santa Monica, places, travel: I’ve been here and not done one thing in this article … guess I need to go back … 36 Hours in Santa Monica, Calif. – NYTimes.com.

writing:  OK, so I loved this article on writing.  The WSJ really has some interesting things.

Look at the King James Bible, that magnificent repository of English at the height of its beauty. The language used to describe the creation of the world is so simple, so direct. “Let there be light, and there was light.” That sentence has immense power precisely because there are no adjectives. If we fiddle about with it, we lose that. “Let there be light, and there was a sort of matutinal,* glowing phenomenon that slowly transfused, etc.” No, that doesn’t work.

And therein lies the problem. The trouble with overwritten prose is that it takes away from the reader the opportunity to imagine a scene. We do not want to be told everything; we want a few brushstrokes, a few carefully chosen adjectives, and then we can do the rest ourselves. It’s Roget’s fault, of course. I blame him and his wretched thesaurus. Put it away.

* of or pertaining to morning; don’t use this word.

via Alexander McCall Smith on Writing Concisely – WSJ.com.

education: As someone who believes in liberal arts, I think this is horrible.

The State University of New York at Albany, a campus with 18,000 students, announced this month that it is getting rid of degree programs in French, Italian, classics, Russian and theater. The university president said the decision was driven by budget cuts and the recognition that relatively few students enrolled in those programs.

SUNY Albany is not alone in cutting humanities departments. While many large universities are promoting majors like information technology as career preparation for jobs, French and classics do not seem to fit that bill.

Should these humanities programs be saved at public universities that are hard pressed to meet the needs of all sorts of students? Are they luxuries that are “nice to have” but not what taxpayers need to support? What’s lost, if anything, if they are eliminated?

via Do Colleges Need French Departments? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

culture, poverty, economics: Worth reading …

For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named.

The reticence was a legacy of the ugly battles that erupted after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant labor secretary in the Johnson administration, introduced the idea of a “culture of poverty” to the public in a startling 1965 report. Although Moynihan didn’t coin the phrase (that distinction belongs to the anthropologist Oscar Lewis), his description of the urban black family as caught in an inescapable “tangle of pathology” of unmarried mothers and welfare dependency was seen as attributing self-perpetuating moral deficiencies to black people, as if blaming them for their own misfortune.

Now, after decades of silence, these scholars are speaking openly about you-know-what, conceding that culture and persistent poverty are enmeshed.

William Julius Wilson, whose pioneering work boldly confronted ghetto life while focusing on economic explanations for persistent poverty, defines culture as the way “individuals in a community develop an understanding of how the world works and make decisions based on that understanding.”

For some young black men, Professor Wilson, a Harvard sociologist, said, the world works like this: “If you don’t develop a tough demeanor, you won’t survive. If you have access to weapons, you get them, and if you get into a fight, you have to use them.”

Fuzzy definitions or not, culture is back. This prompted mock surprise from Rep. Woolsey at last spring’s Congressional briefing: “What a concept. Values, norms, beliefs play very important roles in the way people meet the challenges of poverty.”

via Scholars Return to ‘Culture of Poverty’ Ideas – NYTimes.com.

economics, urban development, China:  Fascinating that China has the resources to build possibly a dozen of these ghost towns.

City leaders, cheered on by aggressive developers, had hoped to turn Ordos into a Chinese version of Dubai — transforming vast plots of the arid, Mongolian steppe into a thriving metropolis. They even invested over $1 billion in their visionary project.

But four years after the city government was transplanted to Kangbashi, and with tens of thousands of houses and dozens of office buildings now completed, the 12-square-mile area has been derided in the state-run newspaper China Daily as a “ghost town” monument to excess and misplaced optimism.

Analysts estimate there could be as many as a dozen other Chinese cities just like Ordos, with sprawling ghost town annexes. In the southern city of Kunming, for example, a nearly 40-square-mile area called Chenggong has raised alarms because of similarly deserted roads, high-rises and government offices. And in Tianjin, in the northeast, the city spent lavishly on a huge district festooned with golf courses, hot springs and thousands of villas that are still empty five years after completion.

It might all seem mere nouveau riche folly were it not for China’s national goal of moving hundreds of millions of rural residents to big cities over the next decade, in the hope of creating a large middle class.

But determining whether the Ordos-style expansion and re-engineering of old cities is being driven by smart planning or propelled by speculative madness is a prime challenge for Beijing policy makers.

Fearing inequality and social unrest, China’s national government has struggled to rein in soaring property prices and stem the threat of inflation, even as ambitious local officials continue to draw up blueprints for new megacities.

And if government-run banks balk at providing additional loans to developers, underground, gray-market lenders are only too happy to step in.

via In China, a City With Lots of Buildings, but Few People – NYTimes.com.

health, women’s issues: I actually learned quite a bit from this article.

Researchers have found a group of genes that are linked to when women go through the menopause and so the age when they will stop being fertile.

It is hoped the test, which will cost around £50, will be available within a decade and be eventually able to predict within five years when women will go through the change.

Is 66 too old to have a baby?

“The ultimate goal is one day be able to predict when someone is going through the menopause,” said the study leader Dr Anna Murray from the University of Exeter Peninsula Medical School.

“It is estimated that a woman’s ability to conceive decreases on average 10 years before she starts the menopause.

“We should therefore be able to help them make a decision about when they should be looking to have children.

“These findings are the first stage in developing an easy and relatively inexpensive genetic test which could help the one in 20 women who may be affected by early menopause.”

On average women hit the menopause around the age of 51, but some experience their last period in their 40s and others in their 60s.

Tests for menopause looking at hormone levels are available at the moment but they only work two or three years before women go through it.

via Genetic test could pinpoint when women will go through the menopause – Telegraph.

Apple, Steve Jobs:  Apple is too linked to Steve Jobs.

But the fireworks came midway through the earnings conference call when Jobs joined the line to hail the company’s first $20 billion revenue quarter. He went on and bashed the competition in an oddly head-on fashion not commonly heard from CEOs.

Clearly perturbed by the sudden rise of Google’s Android phones, which outsold iPhones in the second quarter, Jobs took a few jabs at the challengers. He started by boasting that Apple’s iPhone sales surpassed RIM’s BlackBerries, adding: “I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future.”

Jobs went on to critique the Android movement effectively, calling it messy and rife with too many challenges for developers and too many choices for users.

“We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so that the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator,” said Jobs, according to a Macworld transcript.

Jobs then went on to discredit the “avalanche” of tablets set to invade the market. The focus of his criticism was the inferiority of the 7-inch screen, an interesting point given that Apple had plans to introduce its own 7-inch version of the iPad.

via Apple Sinks as Jobs Tosses Barbs – TheStreet.

politics, Great Recession: Another interesting read …

“All politics is local,” said Tip O’Neill years ago, a concept that can be paraphrased over and over. For example, Economy. Education. Religion. War. Crime. And Hunger. Particularly Hunger.

Lots of political leaders have been screaming about last year’s stimulus package, claiming it accomplished nothing except more debt; helped nobody. My son is manager of a food pantry in Austell, right in the center of last year’s devastating floods, but what I’m writing is about hunger, the hunger that impacts millions of families in this richest country in the world.

The hunger faced by millions of citizens who have never asked for assistance before, who lost jobs through no fault of their own, and find themselves living on the edge.

People who live just down the road, or across the street, or in our own neighborhoods. And many of them were helped directly by the stimulus program, in thousands of communities across this nation.

Austell’s Christian Action Mission Program (C.A.M.P.) has held four mass food distributions in the last year, handing out FDA food to anyone who stated that yes, they need help feeding their families. It was first come first serve, with cars lined up hours ahead of time.

via Your Tax Dollars At Work… by Mary Willis Cantrell | LikeTheDew.com.

07
Aug
10

8.7.2010 … definitely dog days of summer …

summer:

“Dog Days” (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere, they usually fall between early July and early September. In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.

Food, travel, Asheville:  Another rec … Old World Bakery …  “a genuine, wonderful French bakery in Asheville. On Hendersonville Rd at St John Square, Fletcher. Complete with all variety of bread, fruit tarts, petit pain au chocolat, napoleons, etc. yum.” Thanks, Dinah.

Great Recession:  Surprise, surprise … there are differing opinions.

When the latest unemployment figures are announced on Friday, all of Wall Street will be watching. But for Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley and Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, the results will be more than just another marker in an avalanche of data.

Instead, the numbers will be a clue as to which of the two economists is right about where the American economy is headed. Their sharp disagreement over that question adds yet another twist to the fierce rivalry between the firms, Wall Street’s version of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Mr. Hatzius is arguably Wall Street’s most prominent pessimist. He warns that the American economy is poised for a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year. That would send unemployment higher again and raise the risk of deflation. A rare occurrence, deflation can have a devastating effect on a struggling economy as prices and wages fall. He says he may be compelled to downgrade his already anemic growth predictions for the economy.

For months, Mr. Berner has been sticking to a more optimistic forecast, despite growing evidence in favor of Mr. Hatzius’s view. Last week, Mr. Berner was caught by surprise when the federal government reported that the economy grew at a 2..4 percent pace in the second quarter, well below the 3.8 percent he had forecast a month before. Mr. Hatzius came closer to hitting the mark, having projected a 2 percent growth rate.

via 2 Top Economists Differ Sharply on Deflation – NYTimes.com.

invention, bookshelf:  One of my favorite book is Longitude by Dava Sobe. I remember thinking that giving a prize to the discoverer  was really interesting.  But maybe they are more common than I realized.

A CURIOUS cabal gathered recently in a converted warehouse in San Francisco for a private conference. Among them were some of the world’s leading experts in fields ranging from astrophysics and nanotechnology to health and energy. Also attending were entrepreneurs and captains of industry, including Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and Ratan Tata, the head of India’s Tata Group. They were brought together to dream up more challenges for the X Prize Foundation, a charitable group which rewards innovation with cash. On July 29th a new challenge was announced: a $1.4m prize for anyone who can come up with a faster way to clean oil spills from the ocean.

The foundation began with the Ansari X Prize: $10m to the first private-sector group able to fly a reusable spacecraft 100km (62 miles) into space twice within two weeks. It was won in 2004 by a team led by Burt Rutan, a pioneering aerospace engineer, and Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft. Other prizes have followed, including the $10m Progressive Automotive X Prize, for green cars that are capable of achieving at least 100mpg, or its equivalent. Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur who runs the foundation, says he has become convinced that “focused and talented teams in pursuit of a prize and acclaim can change the world.”

This might sound like hyperbole, but other charities, including the Gates Foundation, have been sufficiently impressed to start offering their own prizes. An industry is now growing up around them, with some firms using InnoCentive, an online middleman, to offer prizes to eager problem-solvers. Now governments are becoming keen too. As a result, there is a surge in incentive prizes (see chart).

Lost at sea

Such prizes are not new. The Longitude Prize was set up by the British government in 1714 as a reward for reliable ways for mariners to determine longitude. And in 1795 Napoleon offered a prize to preserve food for his army, which led to the canned food of today. In more recent times incentive prizes have fallen out of favour. Instead, prizes tend to be awarded for past accomplishments—often a long time after the event. As T.S. Eliot remarked after receiving his Nobel prize, it was like getting “a ticket to one’s own funeral”.

Is this a good thing? Prizes used to promote a policy are vulnerable to political jiggery pokery, argues Lee Davis of the Copenhagen Business School. Thomas Kalil, a science adviser to Barack Obama, acknowledges the pitfalls but insists that incentive prizes offered by governments can work if well crafted. Indeed, he argues that the very process of thinking critically about a prize’s objectives sharpens up the bureaucracy’s approach to big problems.

One success was NASA’s Lunar Lander prize, which was more cost-effective than the traditional procurement process, says Robert Braun, NASA’s chief technologist. Another example is the agency’s recent prize for the design of a new astronaut’s glove: the winner was not an aerospace firm but an unemployed engineer who has gone on to form a new company.

When the objective is a technological breakthrough, clearly-defined prizes should work well. But there may be limits. Tachi Yamada of the Gates Foundation is a big believer in giving incentive prizes, but gives warning that it can take 15 years or more to bring a new drug to market, and that even AMC’s carrot of $1.5 billion for new vaccines may not be a big enough incentive. No prize could match the $20 billion or so a new blockbuster drug can earn in its lifetime. So, in some cases, says Dr Yamada, “market success is the real prize.”

via Innovation prizes: And the winner is… | The Economist.

green, Made in the USA:

WASHINGTON — The United Steelworkers and two Chinese companies announced Friday that they had signed an agreement assuring that major components of machines for a $1.5 billion wind farm in Texas would be made in the United States.

The deal potentially defuses a conflict over American stimulus dollars being used to subsidize foreign companies.

Without releasing full details, the union said that the steel for the wind towers, enclosures for working parts atop the towers and reinforcing bars for the bases would be sourced in the United States. So will the blades, which are not made of steel but are often made by steelworkers, the union and the two companies said.

via Wind Farm Deal Assures Bigger U.S. Role – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, Bollywood:  I can’t wait!

The fun in Jane Austen’s Emma and its subsequent adaptations has been the relationship dynamics between its characters. Two of the unlikeliest people fall in love; confused folks mistake infatuation for love; friendship remains a vague term.

Even if you have seen the Hollywood adaptation Clueless, you’ll still enjoy Aisha for its expert desi spin on the story. It’s a world where the travelling-to-Mumbai gang may shop on the street but will lunch at The Taj and dine at Tetsuma.

It’s so rare for a film to get it all together: from the story, to the performances, to the atmospherics, to the music and more. This one goes perfectly with the popcorn; don’t miss it.

via Movie Review : Aisha review: This one goes perfectly with the popcorn.

law school, economics,UGA Law:  A senior partner at King & Spalding, Atlanta, advised me to go to UGA over Emory or Vanderbilt.  He said he saw better lawyers coming out of UGA.  I followed his suggestion and saved a lot of money.  I think I got an excellent legal education.

Go to the best law school you get into.

It’s advice that’s been passed down through the ages, from generation to generation. Law is a profession that trades, the thinking goes, on prestige. Clients like prestigious names like Wachtell and Cravath; the wealthiest firms like names like Harvard, Yale and Chicago. Get into one of those schools, and up go your chances of going to a big firm, kicking tail, making partner and grabbing that brass ring.

Or so the conventional wisdom has for decades dictated.

But is it true? In a new paper, UCLA law professor Richard Sander and Brooklyn law professor Jane Yakowitz argue no. “Eliteness” of the school you attended matters much less, they found, than your GPA.

The work is part of a continuing effort to examine preferences and law school, specifically, whether affirmative action actually hurts those it’s most supposed to benefit. Sander has previously argued that minority law students will often do better academically (and on the bar) if they attend a less-competitive school.

As part of that effort, Sander and Yakowitz set out to uncover whether this notion could be applied more broadly. That is, whether someone who finishes at the top of the class at, say, the University of Iowa, might face better career prospects than one who finishes in the middle of the class at, say, a place like Harvard.

via New Study: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s – Law Blog – WSJ.

blogs, happiness:  Thanks, Cary;  I am sitting down and enjoying your blog entry!

So it’s with humility and a certain sense of pleasure in just letting myself be me, instead of being embarrassed that I’m not more athletic or more something or other, that I wear my “Fastest Typist in Camp” award on my favorite charm necklace, a reminder of my nerdy ways and a reminder that nothing’s wasted.

via Nothing’s Wasted: In Defense of Sitting Down « Holy Vernacular.

green, health:  Makes you think … The Story of Cosmetics.

random, tv:  Poor Eddie Munster still looks the same … I always assumed  he was made to look that way … best of luck.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Forty-five years after a Pennsylvania woman sent a fan letter to her favorite TV star, they’ve made a Munster match.

Donna McCall was a 10-year-old with a crush on Butch Patrick, who played boy werewolf Eddie Munster in the mid-’60s sitcom “The Munsters.”

In her letter, she asked Patrick how tall he was because girls at the time were making gum wrapper chains long enough to match the height of their boyfriends. To her delight, the young actor responded and included his height — 5 feet, 4 inches.

Like many childhood projects, however, the wrapper chain wasn’t completed. Decades passed.

via Munster match: ’60s TV star falls for patient fan  | accessAtlanta.

Justice Kagan: If swearing is bad, why is swearing-in good?  Congrats to our new justice.

Elena Kagan will be sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will first administer the Constitutional Oath in a private ceremony in the Justices’ Conference Room attended by members of the Kagan family. The Chief Justice will then administer the Judicial Oath in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Elena Kagan’s family and friends.

via SCOTUSblog » Court statement on Kagan confirmation.

Culture, materialism:

Sheryl Crow gets to the crux of the matter in her song Soak Up The Sun: “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Relatedly, the video The Story of Stuff Project notes that the point of an advertisement is to make you feel bad about what you have.

The notion that material goods don’t bring lasting contentment is hardly some left-wing anti-capitalist rant. The first to leave us with a writings on this perspective were a group of philosophers known as the Stoics, starting with Zeno in the early third century BC and continuing through to the marvelous Marcus Aurelius several centuries later.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Wilmette, Chicago, culture:  Our blocks,  13 hundred block of Ashland and Richmond Lane (we lived on a corner), threw the BEST block parties … nothing like it in the South.   The Ashland party is the first Saturday after the 4th  and Richmond’s is in September … I will drop in some day …

If the words “block party” conjure up images of warm Jell-O, loud neighbors and a smattering of lawn chairs, you’re in for a surprise. Nowadays, neighborhoods are putting together street-wide festivals complete with DJs, outdoor movies, bake-offs and talent contests. Interested in organizing an event without breaking the bank?

via Here’s how to host a 21st century block party :: Mommy on a Shoestring :: PIONEER PRESS ::.

art, Dali:  I have a special affinity for Dali … that was my husband’s grandfather’s “grandfather name” … we saw Dali’s (the artist’s, not the grandfather’s)  art in London and were amazed at the many levels of complexity … Dali: The Late Work | High Museum of Art – Atlanta.

Wilmette, Chicago, flooding:  Chicago is flat … and we lived a mile from the lake … but the storm sewers would overflow and you could end up with a foot of water in your basement.  We lived there 4 years and we thought we were lucky.  Our basement never flooded until the last year … and then twice … amazing.  Now I know why.  Seems like a good use of stimulus funds.

After all, the Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Project (aka TARP) was first announced in 1972. Digging began in 1975. Yet here we are, some 38 years into what has been called the most ambitious public works project since the pyramids, and still we are mopping up basements and dumping mass quantities of you-know-what into Lake Michigan.

I am witness to the latter catastrophe for I live near the North Shore Sanitary Channel in Evanston. After a really heavy cloudburst I’ll walk to a footbridge near my house, look down at this man-made extension of the Chicago River’s North Branch, and watch as the, uh, “effluent” of Chicago’s sewer system rushes north to Wilmette harbor and Lake Michigan.

TARP was supposed to stop this from happening. And maybe some day it will. But as of now, after more than three decades and $5 billion in public expense, The San still has to open those floodgates and dump millions of gallons of sewage into the lake, fouling the water, closing beaches, forcing water treatment plants to jack the chlorine. If they don’t open the gates, or wait too long, the river will overflow and cause serious property damage, not unlike what happened recently to the River City condos south of the Loop.

So what’s taking so long with the big one — the 10.5 billion-gallon reservoir that’s to be located east of LaGrange Road near McCook, the one that’s supposed to alleviate flooding across Cook County from Wilmette to Lemont?

Well, it has been delayed. And delayed again. Why? There are so many reasons it would take a book. But one reason — the one that galls me most — is that our journalism has let us down. The delays have been, by my lights, one of the biggest environmental stories in the Chicago region for the past 20 years. But you’d never know it from what little has been written or broadcast.

There were funding delays involving Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers; there was local NIMBY resistance to earlier plans to use an already-dug Vulcan Materials quarry, and more recently, to quarrying a new reservoir.

via Flooded basement? Better get used to it – chicagotribune.com.

Great Recession, Flash Crash:  Great analysis of the May Flash Crash … The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake.”

The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake,” Mr. Vasan told several clients.

When the quake hit on the afternoon of May 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest, fastest decline ever, and hundreds of stocks momentarily lost nearly all their value. So many things went wrong, so quickly, that regulators haven’t yet pieced together precisely what happened.

Journal Community

A close examination of the market’s rapid-fire unraveling reveals some new details about what unfolded: Stock-price data from the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic-trading arm, Arca, were so slow that at least three other exchanges simply cut it off from trading. Pricing information became so erratic that at one point shares of Apple Inc. traded at nearly $100,000 apiece. And computer-driven trading models used by many big investors, apparently responding to the same market signals, rushed for the exits at the same time.

via Legacy of the ‘Flash Crash’ – WSJ.com.

Apple, iPad, new blog:  I think Apple has more things coming.  I can’t wait.

Traditionally, first-year medical students are awarded white coats to signify their entry into the medical community. But at an Aug. 6 ceremony, each member of the UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2014 will find an iPad pre-loaded with everything necessary for the first year of course work in their coat pocket.

As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to employ a completely digital, interactive learning environment for entering students, says Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine.

via Macsimum News – Incoming UCI medical students to receive iPads.

random, art, blog:  Would a company consider this fair use  now or stop such use?  Interesting blog, too.

As product marketing manager for Campbell’s, William MacFarland must have been overjoyed with the incredible public reaction to Andy Warhol’s first exhibition as a fine artist in 1962, as present at the gallery was his now world-famous Campbell’s Soup Cans piece: 32 silkscreened portraits, each representing a different variety of the company’s soup product, all arranged in a single line. The work provoked huge debate in all corners of the art world and helped bring the Pop art movement to the masses; all the while holding a certain brand in the limelight.

via Letters of Note: I hear you like Tomato Soup.

health, ADHD, the mind: very interesting.

A team of European researchers recently assessed nearly 8,000 Finnish children and showed that mixed-handed children are at increased risk for linguistic, scholastic and attention-related difficulties. At age eight, mixed-handed kids were about twice as likely to have language and academic difficulties as their peers. By the time the children were 16, they also were twice as likely to have symptoms of ADHD—and their symptoms were more severe than those of right- or left-handed students.Ambidexterity is not causing these problems. Rather “handedness is really a very crude measure of how the brain is working,” says Alina Rodriguez, a clinical psychologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author. In typical brains, language is rooted in the left hemisphere, and net works that control attention are anchored in the right—but brains without a dominant hemisphere may be working and communicating differently.

via Ambidexterity and ADHD: Are They Linked?: Scientific American.

history, architecture, San Francisco:  Listen to the story … a very interesting piece.

When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, it was a story of ‘Man harnessing Nature’ for the greater glory of both. Then the world’s longest suspension span, a feat of engineering several times over, it took 21 years to build and came in under budget. It has hovered ever since like a feather above a vast surge of water pouring into the Pacific. Beautiful and orange, it looks today like it was built yesterday. And somehow, in a world that can seem too jaded for wonder, it still harnesses our dreams.

This hour, On Point: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge.

via The Golden Gate’s Long History | WBUR and NPR – On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

football, NFL:  Game on, Falcons!

Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010

via Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010 – USATODAY.com.

invention, green: I don’t know about this one.

Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling.

via In the Future, Your Refrigerator Will Be Made of Green Jelly | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Apple, bikes, green:  Will it change the gears for me??

A patent filed last year but just uncovered Thursday shows that Apple is at least considering a “Smart Bicycle System” that would use iPods or iPhones to track cyclist data and help teams communicate on the raceway. Similar to Nike + iPod, the small fitness device that recorded a runner’s pace and distance, Apple’s new technology will enable bikers to measure “speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, [and] wind speed,” according to Patently Apple. Clearly, the Smart Bike is squeezing everything it can from Apple’s accelerometers and gyroscopes (which allow the iPhone to track the biker’s exertion, based on acceleration, and altitude, by recording tilt relative to the ground).

via Apple’s “Smart Bike” Could Squash All Other Bike Tech | Co.Design.

random, high risk adventure, RIP:  He planned to ski down K2, but died on the way up.  Rest in peace.

Swedish mountaineer and professional skier Fredrik Ericsson died Friday while trying to summit K2 in Pakistan, his friend David Schipper told CNN in a telephone interview.

The incident occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. as Ericsson was attempting to become the first man to ski from the summit to base camp, said Schipper, who said he learned of the accident on the world’s second-tallest peak in a satellite call from fellow climber Fabrizio Zangrilli.

via Skier Fredrik Ericsson dies in accident on K2 – CNN.com.

environment:  Iceberg is 4x the size of Manhattan!  I love that word “calved”.

A giant ice island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland.

A University of Delaware researcher says the floating ice sheet covers 100 square miles – more than four times the size of New York’s Manhattan Island.

Andreas Muenchow, who is studying the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, said the ice sheet broke off early Thursday. He says the new ice island was discovered by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service.

Not since 1962 has such a large chunk of ice calved in the Arctic, but researchers have noticed cracks in recent months in the floating tongue of the glacier.

via Greenland Iceberg Four Times Bigger Than Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier.

education, travel, Arab world, study abroad:  Our world is getting smaller.  I love that our youth are embracing it.

In what educators are calling the fastest growing study-abroad program, American college students are increasingly choosing to spend their traditional junior year abroad in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, wanting to experience the Arab world beyond America’s borders and viewpoints.

via More Students Choose a Junior-Year Abroad in the Mideast – NYTimes.com.

travel:  I have always thought it would be fun to exchange homes or rent someone’s home in another city.

For frequent Manhattan visitor Ken Velten there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.

The Southern California retiree and his family of up to five have traveled to the Big Apple five times over the past five years, staying a week or two and trading the expense and anonymity of a hotel room for the space and convenience of a rented apartment in Midtown East. But after May 1, when a ban on most New York City apartment rentals under 30 days is scheduled to take effect, Velten probably won’t be back.

via More destinations shut the door on vacation rentals – USATODAY.com.

lists, travel Seattle:  I like lists … Top Things to Do in Seattle, Washington — The Vacation Gals.

travel, First Lady, politics:  She can’t win.  But it is an interesting comparison to Laura Bush’s more modest vacations.

The first lady is paying for her own room, food and transportation, and the friends she brought will pay for theirs as well. But the government picks up security costs, and the image of the president’s wife enjoying a fancy vacation at a luxury resort abroad while Americans lose their jobs back home struck some as ill-timed. European papers are having a field day tracking her entourage, a New York Daily News columnist called her “a modern-day Marie Antoinette” and the blogosphere has been buzzing.

Laura Bush took solo vacations without her husband each year of George W. Bush’s presidency, likewise traveling with her Secret Service detail on a government plane to meet friends for camping and hiking excursions to national parks. But it never generated the sort of furor Mrs. Obama trip’s is causing, at least in part because visiting national parks in the United States is not as politically sensitive.

via First Lady’s Trip to Spain Draws Criticism – NYTimes.com.




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