Posts Tagged ‘irony


3.6.14 … breakfast at the White House :) … Atlanta Surge … I clip, btw … 1939 ‘Gone With The Wind’ cast party … Let the wild rumpus start!

 White House, Atlanta:  I ventured out for my favorite diner for breakfast … the White House.  My brother eats here so frequently that they bring him his hot tea as he sits down. The waitress recognized my mom. As we left, she said, “goodbye, mamma.” She loved that!

MLB, Atlanta, Turner Field, urban development: Years ago I read an editorial that asserted that a city was only a real city if it had both an AL and a NL team (i.e., Chicago and New York).  Well, this is indeed interesting, but problematic.

If one man gets his way, Turner Field won’t get razed in 2017 after the Atlanta Braves move up to its new Cobb County stadium. Instead, a brand new baseball team – known as, wait for it … the Atlanta Surge – would replace the longtime professional baseball club at the Ted.

The idea for the Surge comes from veteran Atlanta ad exec Mike McDonald, a self-proclaimed lifelong baseball fan, who wants to bring a second Major League Baseball team to metro Atlanta. And he wants the Surge’s slogan to be the following: “Let’s Turner Lemon into Lemonade!”

The AJC’s Tim Tucker, who first reported on the proposal last night, writes from behind the AJC’s paywall:

He has presented the idea to some local politicos and business folks. He has talked to lawyers about how to challenge MLB. He even wrote a letter to the Tampa Bay Rays, asking if they’d be interested in relocating. The Rays haven’t responded and McDonald has decided he’d prefer the fresh start of an expansion team.


McDonald already has a name in mind for the AL team he seeks: the Atlanta Surge, drawn from the city motto Resurgens (Latin for rising again). He envisions the city and county receiving an equity stake in the team in return for use of the venue, and an investor group operating the team with him. He says MLB should waive an expansion fee as a way to settle the damages of the Braves leaving the city limits.

He expects people to “take shots” at his plan and says that is fine.

McDonald believes that Atlanta and Fulton County are “owed” a team for their longstanding financial and emotional investments into the Braves’ franchise. But it’s unlikely the region will land another ball club. There’s not enough demand, according to one expert. Plus, the Braves have exclusive rights from MLB for all home games played in most of the metro region – which could be problematic.

The Atlanta Braves declined to comment on the prospects of the Surge. But at least Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts said the proposal was “a magnificent idea.” That’s a start!

via Goodbye Atlanta Braves, Hello Atlanta Surge? | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

Is History Repeating Itself?, medium, media, clipping services, Time, Buzzfeed, humble beginnings:  People often ask me about my blog and I quip, “I clip.” I really use my site for a filing cabinet.  I call it a “clipping service” because i remember seeing a picture of the POTUS being given a file of newspaper clippings everyday.  I had no idea that this was the term used to describe the humble beginnings of such media giants as Time and Buzzfeed.

Time began as a clipping service in a small office. A group of writers subscribed to a dozen newspapers and summarized the most important stories, rewriting the news in a more digestible format.

BuzzFeed also started as a clipping service in a small office seven years ago. Instead of subscribing to newspapers, we surfed the web (and used technology) to find the most interesting stories and summarized them into a more digestible format. (You can ask Peggy or Scott how it worked in those early days!)

Of course, both Time magazine and BuzzFeed evolved from our respective early days to become much more ambitious. As Time and BuzzFeed emerged from our respective youths, we both expanded into original reporting, commissioned longform features, and built teams of foreign correspondents. In our case, it only took a few years to go from summarizing web trends in our little Chinatown office to reporting from Syria and the Ukraine with local security, body armor, helmets, and satellite phones. And both Time and BuzzFeed grew by creating irresistible lists such as Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and BuzzFeed’s “42 People You Won’t Believe Actually Exist.”

The big breakthrough for Time Inc., the company, came 13 years after the launch of Time, when printing press technology advanced to enable the launch of Life, the pioneering magazine filled with vivid pictures of people and events. It figured out how to cover cheap paper with a glossy coating, making a mass-produced photo magazine economical for the first time and creating a smash hit that enabled aggressive investment in print journalism at Time and photojournalism at Life.

The big breakthrough for BuzzFeed also came after our early clipping service days when smartphones became social and could display vivid pictures and video for the first time. Suddenly our lists, quizzes, and videos could be seen and shared by an audience of billions of connected readers right from their phones. Social and mobile converged, becoming the primary form of distribution for our content. The leverage provided by this massive reach is why we can make aggressive investments in journalism and entertainment. (We are still in the midst of this shift, with mobile, social, and global distribution accelerating faster than ever).

via Is History Repeating Itself? — Medium.

kith/kin, firsts, Atlanta history, 1939  ‘Gone With The Wind’ cast party, On The Market – Curbed Atlanta, Buckhead – Atlanta, irony, Peachtree Heights:  I attended my first cocktail party as an adult (i.e. as an invitee, not an appendage to my parents) at this beautiful and elegant home.   I was 17 and the host was a college freshman that I was friends with in high school.  I remember walking in and thinking that this was what it was like to be an adult.  There is a great deal of irony in that.  But it was great fun to look at the inside photos and relive a moment of my young adulthood.  And  I never knew that I was in the venue of the 1939 ‘Gone With The Wind’ cast party.  Beautiful and elegant home … great memories. And another thing … I don’t remember  knowing that this “neighborhood” was called Peachtree Heights.

Spending $3.25 million in Buckhead would afford you the opportunity to buy this Habersham Road manse, host a kegger and announce to guests, “This is where the 1939 ‘Gone With The Wind’ cast party happened, y’all!” That’s all well and good. But first you’d have to come to terms with the décor, which is fitting for a historic Cooper and Cooper property but is decidedly grandma chic. We haven’t seen this much floral furniture since The Couch-Swing House, another Peachtree Heights estate. Plusses include the mesmerizing spiral staircase and enchanting floral gardens. The home should appeal to well-to-do socialites with AARP Magazine subscriptions, and if history’s any indication, this pad is primed to party.

· 2878 Habersham Road [Estately]

via For $3.2M, Live Where ‘Gone With The Wind’ Stars Partied – On The Market – Curbed Atlanta.

Davidson Basketball, March Madness 2014, the blog:  Let the wild rumpus start!

The Wildcats provided another good example of how confidence derived from scheduling seems to largely be a myth. They went 4-10 in non-conference play, partly due to games against the likes of Duke, Virginia, and Wichita State, and entered the conference schedule on a five-game losing streak. They proceeded to win 15 of 16 conference games, leading the conference in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Just one of those wins was by single-digits and the loss was by two in overtime. In a normal season, this would have been the most dominant performance by a team relative to its league.

Davidson’s only conference loss was to Elon, who was voted the preseason pick to win the league by the SoCon’s head coaches. I think this was in the same way that Charles Barkley was voted MVP in 1993. People were tired of Davidson winning the conference even though they still figured to be the best team. Elon didn’t do poorly, mind you. But an 11-5 record looks disappointing in comparison to the 13-5 record they had two seasons ago.

via the blog.

Eureka! Plans For Olympia ‘To Match Historical Precedent’?!?, Historic Possibilities – Curbed Atlanta, art deco Walgreens, Coca Cola sign, Atlanta downtown:   I like it!

Surely it’s a mirage, but at first glance, renderings for a proposed revamp of the Olympia Building downtown appear to contain the phrase “To Match Historical Precedent.” Not just once, but with several aspects of the project. In Atlanta. Seriously. A company called CSH-23 Peachtree LLC scooped up the struggling Olympia for $2.2 million last fall, and renderings dated from January suggest the 1930s building could be slated for a Walgreens Pharmacy. The pharmacy’s name would be etched in art deco lettering on a “new black aluminum canopy marquee to match historical precedent,” the plans suggest. New second-floor windows and a tenant blade sign on the side of the building would also reflect the 1930s aesthetic. Could obeying the historical precedent help to set a new precedent for the future?

via Eureka! Plans For Olympia ‘To Match Historical Precedent’?!? – Historic Possibilities – Curbed Atlanta.


3.2.12 … it’s more about the internal than the external …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2012 Labyrinth Walks (Walk –/40), Wedgewood Church – Charlotte NC:

Ash Wednesday, 2.22.2012, to Easter, 4.8.2012.

Another labyrinth … This is my least favorite of the local labyrinths … But I am learning it’s more about the internal than the external. So thank you Wedgewood Baptist for this sacred space!

And a few thoughts on my day …

The Little Dance

Hope to go see the Liittle D in their Little Dance tomorrow 🙂

Sad, but true … I miss Davy Jones … Distinct part of my young girlhood. I was a believer …

Pat Forde (@YahooForde)

3/2/12 9:14 AM

Big night of Little Dance tournament action. Will set the conference finals in OVC and A-Sun. Expect Murray to get a tussle from T.Tech.

Sad, but true … I miss Davy Jones … Distinct part of my young girlhood. I was a believer …

I just saw a remembrance on Bloomberg TV … Day dream believer was 1967 … I was 7 … perfect age to be a believer …

Social media explained … on a whiteboard … there’s irony there

The Rum Diaries … Johnny Depp always plays himself … But otherwise pretty good.


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

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

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

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

— Newt Gingrich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Research Bought, Then Paid For –


12.7.2011 … Remembering Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 … Davidson v. Vandy … behind by 6 … 28 seconds ‎… lost … 87 – 83 … again, respectable …

 Pearl Harbor Day, times they are a chang’in…: Fewer veterans to remember Pearl Harbor Day.

For more than half a century, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gathered here every Dec. 7 to commemorate the attack by the Japanese that drew the United States into World War II. Others stayed closer to home for more intimate regional chapter ceremonies, sharing memories of a day they still remember in searing detail.

But no more. The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association. With a concession to the reality of time — of age, of deteriorating health and death — the association will disband on Dec. 31.

“We had no choice,” said William H. Eckel, 89, who was once the director of the Fourth Division of the survivors’ association, interviewed by telephone from Texas. “Wives and family members have been trying to keep it operating, but they just can’t do it. People are winding up in nursing homes and intensive care places.”

via Fewer Veterans to Remember Pearl Harbor Day –

Sidwell Friends, Pearl Harbor Day, irony:  I just had to laugh … careless error.


A lunch that will live in infamy? That’s what at least one parent at elite Sidwell Friends (yes, Sasha and Malia’s school!) wondered upon seeing what the school cafeteria listed as its “Pearl Harbor Day” menu Wednesday: A heavily Japanese-inspired lineup, including teriyaki chicken and edamame (as well as more generically Asian delicacies like tofu, fried rice, fortune cookies and “oriental noodle salad”). A school rep told us this was just a fluke — not a meal intended to commemorate the 1941 Japanese attack on U.S. forces: The contractor that prepares school lunches randomly assigned an Asian menu to Dec. 7, and the subcontractor that prints the calendars automatically marked Wednesday at Pearl Harbor Day. “It was completely coincidental,” said Ellis Turner, associate head of the school.

via Sidwell Friends’s surprising Pearl Harbor Day menu – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball, Vanderbilt, Steph Curry, Twitter:  Steph tweets the loss … I love it that the NBA lockout reconnected him with te college!

Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)

12/7/11 9:38 PM

Tough loss for Davidson boys. Fought hard to the finish. Hey! In ’08 we lost to UNCC, Western MIchigan, NC St. and 3 top 25′s. Long season


Pinterest:  I haven’t figured out Storify, yet … and now Pinterest.  TIME Magazine (time_magazine) on Pinterest.

Amherst College, typewriters, letter writing, college social life:  OK, I loved this one …

At Amherst, 'Clack Clack Clack' Drowns Out 'Thump Thump Thump' 1

Manual typewriters are enjoying a comeback at Amherst College.

Like most American institutions, the college has a thriving party scene, where students who want to socialize can knock back a few drinks and grind the night away to pounding bass lines.

“But we also have a large part of the population who really aren’t inter­ested in dancing in a dark basement,” says Crista Reed, assistant director of student activities. So this fall the college started “Amherst After Dark,” a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. program meant to provide consistent social options for students who want to stay out late and remain sober.

As one of September’s activities, Ms. Reed proposed a “letter-writing social,” hearkening back to her own days as a “slightly dorky undergrad” at Roanoke College who eschewed late-night parties in favor of things like writing letters to relatives and high-school friends. This fall Ms. Reed ordered three manual typewriters, some hand-cut quill pens, stationery, postcards, postage stamps, and even wax cartridges for a hot-glue gun so that students could art­fully seal their letters without using open flames.

She was expecting 150 to 200 students to show up. She drew 350.

“I was elated by the response that Crista got to this event,” says Rohan Mazumdar, a senior physics and economics major. “It’s filled a huge gap.” Mr. Mazumdar says he wrote a letter to a faithful correspondent back in his native India, and a couple of postcards to friends at Amherst.

“A lot of folks were writing to friends,” says Ms. Reed. “We had a lot of international students writing to people back home. And we had a couple people writing to professors, so that was really sweet.”

via At Amherst, ‘Clack Clack Clack’ Drowns Out ‘Thump Thump Thump’ – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Alec Baldwin, AA flight, Twitter, Twitter war:  Alec Baldwin needs to just be quiet for a while.

“On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.”

Baldwin was aboard AA Flight 4, which was delayed an hour, when the “30 Rock” star was booted for not listening to the flight attendant.

Passenger Steve Weiss, who was sitting across the isle from Baldwin, described the scene.

“Apparently he said he was playing a game, but he was actually talking on the phone. She [the flight attendant] was very nice. The door was closed they just announced that they were pulling away from the gate. He got up threw his papers on the floor stormed into the bathroom slammed the door closed, beat on the wall and then came back.”

“He said ‘If you want to kick me off, kick me off.’ He was just crazy, he just flipped out, the guy has problems.”

A crew member who dealt with the hotheaded Hollywood actor said he couldn’t stay on the flight.

via Alec Baldwin thrown off AA flight at LAX for ‘playing game’ on phone –

Christmas, Christmas traditions, Charlie Brown Christmas, tv:  Interesting background story …

“In 1963, I did a documentary on Willie Mays, the world’s best baseball player and one on Charlie Brown, the world’s worst. We sold the Mays documentary, but never sold the Charlie Brown documentary. Three years later, TIME Magazine put the [Peanuts] characters on its cover and we got calls from advertisers and networks asking if we were still thinking of doing an animated show, and that’s what led us to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

We had done a couple of minutes of animation in the documentary but people said, “You can’t have kids who talk like adults.” We had given up, but when Coca-Cola called after the TIME cover they asked if we’d ever thought of doing a Christmas show and I lied and said, “Oh, absolutely.” So they asked us to send them an outline on Monday. I called Schulz on the phone and said, “I think I just sold A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and he said, “What’s that?” and I told him, “It’s something you’re going to write tomorrow.”

via How TIME Saved ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ | Time.



Twitter:  Interestingly, most of the most tweeted stories are not why I follow twitter … Twitter’s 2011 Year in review.

Charlotte, Banktown:  I will be interesting what we are after the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Home to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, NC isn’t New York City, one of my artist friends reminded me the other day. We’re not Los Angeles or San Francisco, not London and we are certainly not Paris. One extremely popular parlor game around these parts, enjoyed particularly by those from the above-referenced burghs or those even further afield, is the blood-sport of city relative comparison. The dissection of what exactly the Queen City is – or more fashionably, what it is NOT – seems to fuel endless discussion amongst those smarter, hipper and infinitely-more-urbane-than-us lowlies here in “Banktown

via, What Charlotte Is Not by Michael J. Solender |

productivity, how to’s:

Not only do unproductive days like this detract from the success of your projects, your team and your organization; they can endanger your own well-being.

We discovered that nothing makes people feel happier and more engaged at work than making meaningful progress on something they care about. We call that the progress principle. But this progress principle has a serious downside: Nothing makes people feel worse than being stalled in their work – and this negative effect is much stronger.

Most often, the cause of an unproductive day is fragmentation – trying to juggle many competing, and usually unexpected, demands on your time. It’s what happens when you’ve worked like crazy all day, and still you have the sense that you haven’t been productive. Sound familiar?

via How to Save an Unproductive Day in 25 Minutes –

Flipboard, iPhone, apps:  I like the iPad app … so I will try the iPhone version.

Now for iPhone

Your (pocket-sized)

social magazine

via Flipboard — Now available on iPhone.

acne:  Very interesting!

Every day, Cassandra Bankson wakes up, washes her face and does a makeup routine that dramatically transforms her looks.The California teen has severe acne. It’s so bad that it covers most of her face,  as well as parts of her neck, chest and back.But Bankson is now able to model, and her shots are picture-perfect. How?Bankson performs a daily makeup makeover, expertly hiding the extensive blemishes that cover her face and neck with a technique that she says she learned after hours of research and practice. She demonstrates her method in a before-and-after YouTube video that’s had more than 2 million views.

via Acne-Scarred Teen Model Undergoes Amazing Daily Makeup Transformation – ABC News.

technology:  Seems short-lived …  Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers …


Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers

Little Printer enables users to set up subscriptions to a range of publications, which it then prints as one miniature newspaper.

via Web-connected printer creates personalized mini newspapers | Springwise.

Advent, Advent Calendars:  OK, this one is funny … .:.The Art of Dancing by Lewis & Luke.:..



10.6.2011 … Great reception at DC … and I am now the proud owner of a piece of Belk Dorm’s slate roof. :)

Davidson College, Dr. Carol Quillen, party favors:  Great reception at DC … and another introduction to the new President Carol Quillen.  She has unbelievable passion for Davidson. And I am now the proud owner of a piece of Belk Dorm’s slate roof. No I did not steal it. It was a party favor! Little did they know that my husband has a long history of roof climbing during his days at the D.  🙂

Steve Jobs, remembrances:  “Pioneer in education,” visionary”  …

THIS. (via via)

curiosity counts – THIS. (via via).

Steve Jobs, whose creativity and creations such as the Macintosh computers, iPhones, and iPads have influenced more than three decades of students and teachers, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 56.

The consumer electronics and computer hardware and software company that Jobs co-founded in 1976, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, has long held devotees within the world of education. It remained relevant in schools as the early Apple I and II’s developed into subsequent lines of desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices that changed both knowledge sharing and knowledge consumption for students and adults alike.

In the less than two years since Jobs stood on stage in his characteristic black mock turtleneck and blue jeans and introduced the iPad, Apple’s tablet computer has exploded on the educational scene. In the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, the iPad surpassed all of Apple’s educational Mac desktop and laptop computer sales combined. Its popularity with classroom teachers, educators have said, is due to a combination of its portability, long battery life, and intuitiveness of use, especially for young students and students with disabilities such as autism.

The iPhone, meanwhile, has helped give rise to an education app culture that has convinced a growing number of educators to advocate allowing students to bring their own mobile computing devices to class as educational tools.

Apple Computer, now Apple Inc., started aggressively marketing its Apple II line of personal computers to K-12 schools in the 1980s. School librarians, who were then frequently the keepers of the technology, embraced its relatively easy use. The first machines used cassettes to run programs, then floppy disks for downloading and saving student files. Macintosh computers followed with more flexible graphic interfaces that became darlings of design classes and student newspapers.

More recently, Apple has continued to manufacture products with education in mind, including its MacBook laptops, which it has continued to produce for educational purchases despite phasing out in other markets.

“Steve Jobs was a true visionary who was one of the first to understand technology’s power to improve teaching and education,” said Jim Steyer, the CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. “From ‘The Kids Can’t Wait,’ to iTunesU, Mr. Jobs always recognized that there were alternative ways for kids to learn using technology.”

Among Jobs’ employees at Apple was Karen Cator, who is now director of the office of education technology at the U.S. Department of Education. She served the director of Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education from 1997 until she was hired by the Education Department in 2009.

via Apple’s Steve Jobs Was a Pioneer in Education Technology – Digital Education – Education Week.

To celebrate his incredible contributions, I thought I’d share my favorite quote from him. It’s about creativity and it’s from a 1996 Wired article.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

When I feel vulnerable about the possibility of failure, I try to remember this quote. I try to remember that vulnerability and connection are the heart of innovation. Maybe the greatest lesson on creativity that I’ve learned from the research is this: When failure is not an option, neither is innovation. Steve Jobs lived that truth.

And, if you haven’t watched Jobs’s Stanford University commencement speech, do it now! It’s all about authenticity and courage.

via steve jobs – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

The supply-demand ratio was so skewed that the store had to ration these exorbitantly priced annual luxuries — one banana and two oranges per person — and people would line up around the block to get them. (Meanwhile, the unworthy apple, Bulgaria’s most ample fruit crop, would sit neglected in the produce aisle at 50 stotinki a kilogram, roughly $0.15 per pound.) The most ambitious parents would camp out in front of the store overnight to make sure they got the bananas and oranges first thing in the morning as they went on sale.

In my lifetime, I’ve only seen such lines twice since — first in front of the Apple Store on June 29, 2007, when the iPhone was released, and then again in April of last year, when the iPad became semi-available. Under Steve Jobs, Apple became the bananas of the West.

This is the true legacy of Steve Jobs. He didn’t just transform technology, design, and entertainment — he transformed our expectations about technology, design, and entertainment. He not only made us eager to line up for the bananas of our time, but also made us willing to step into the Nautilus library of fascination and never want to leave.

via Apple and the Bananas: A Steve Jobs Personal Remembrance | Brain Pickings.

Steve Jobs, Westboro Baptist, iPhones, irony:  iRony! Westboro Baptist Church … can’t they do something with those people???

As usual, it began with an Apple.

But this one was far more tempting — no worms, cleaner lines, admittedly some problems with battery life, but why look a gift apple in the mouth?

And it managed to tempt even the Westboro Baptist Church, the despicable band of publicity hounds who appear at the funerals of all and sundry to urge us to repent, or something. Now they’re planning to picket the funeral of Steve Jobs.

“Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin,” Margie Phelps tweeted — from her iPhone.

That’s iRony for you.

“Gave God no glory & taught sin”?

But coveting Apple products is the original sin. Jobs was hardly breaking ground by making an irresistible Apple that held out the promise of new, untried knowledge. (Did you realize, before downloading this app, that you were naked?)

We tried turning the other cheek. We tried passing laws. None of it worked.

They are the Publicity Whores of Babylon. If Jesus came back to earth no doubt they would protest at his crucifixion that he had not led a godly enough life (what’s he doing with all those prostitutes and tax collectors?). “Get a haircut!” they’d yell. “And spend more time denouncing homosexuality and less time with that namby-pamby other-cheek-turning nonsense!” They are like the folks in the parable who stand at the front of the house of worship and loudly proclaim their own virtue — and we all know what happens to them.

But even they can be felled by an Apple.

Thanks once more to Steve Jobs for supplying this brilliant piece of irony.

via Steve Jobs, Westboro Baptist, iPhones and iRony – ComPost – The Washington Post.

Moses, Bible, faith and spirituality, modern applications, Wall Street, Dr. James Howell:  I always enjoy Dr. Howell’s internet discussion series!

Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with 600+ commandments.   Could

Oct 6 (2)

American society be constructed around this divine constitution? Of course, the Israelites lived off the land, and in the Bronze Age; many commandments can’t apply to modern, post-industrialized society. There is also a sternness, an absolute black and whiteness to God’s commands – so we’d lose flexibility, the ability to wriggle out of something via your attorney’s craftiness, or the kind of compromise that seems sane and necessary.

But we also discover an egalitarian impulse, and a downright insistence that the needy be cared for.  Through Moses, God taught holy economics to Israelite farmers, not by saying Reap your land and make all you can! but When you reap, leave gleanings and grapes behind for the poor and the stranger (Leviticus 19:10) – and even more strangely, if somebody owes you money, after so many years you just forget about it, or if you’ve accumulated land, after several years you just give it back to whomever you got it from (Leviticus 24).

We speak of being “bullish” on things economic. But for Moses, it was precisely the golden bull that was the heinous revolt against God (Exodus 32)!

via eMoses – Moses on Wall St.


1.16.2011 UVA, University of Richmond and Monticello ..

travel, college search: molly and I both loved the history and quirkiness of UVA Monticello.  I think that will be a quality that she wants in her college.

politics:  Am traveling today … but am interested  to see his letter.

The decision by Arizona’s best-known statesman, whose own style of speech has grown increasingly heated in recent years, to stay out of the fray has baffled political observers and colleagues alike. “He’s usually on national media all day on a variety of issues, [but] he hasn’t been talking on this one,” says Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, who represents part of Tucson. The congressman isn’t criticizing McCain’s decision, but says the senator’s voice will be needed soon. “It would be helpful for all of us to deal with the question of rhetoric, hyperbole, hate, and anger. McCain has national prominence and prestige and it would be welcome for him to come and help change the tone.”

But McCain has no plans to speak publicly, nor is the possibility even being discussed. “Senator McCain is not trying to politicize this tragedy, period,” says his spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan, who was reached by cellphone at University Medical Center in Tucson, where McCain was visiting doctors, nurses, and victims of the shooting, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Just because he’s been keeping his counsel does not mean, however, that McCain hasn’t been involved. He’s been on the scene since shortly after the shooting, tending to his broken community out of view. He’s not doing it for public consumption, says Buchanan, but for private healing. For a big state, Arizona can feel like a small town, where people know each other by their first names and Washington, DC, feels far away. The incident is a severe personal loss to many leaders there. The late Judge John Roll was a friend of the senator’s; McCain, along with Sen. Jon Kyl, recommended him for the federal bench 20 years ago.

via The Suddenly Quiet McCain – Newsweek.

irony: UPS will not deliver my 50 lb. bucket of salt because of treacherous road conditions …. duh.

Arizona massacre, Tucson, good from evilVolunteers help city try to heal, one bell at a time9-year-old shooting victim’s organs help save child.

tv, Downton Abbey, period dramas: Finally sat down and watched Downton Abbey. 🙂


1.12.2011 snow day #3 … I think we have had enough …

childhood, snow dance/ snow day rituals: When my daughter was little her snow “dance” included sleeping in your pajamas inside-out.  Found this on twitter …

@gretchenrubin – According to my daughter, sleeping with spoon under your pillow brings a school snow day. Never heard that one before. It worked!

I hate to say this, but make sure you have all your spoons in the drawer and your kids are wearing their pajamas as they were meant to be worn … this snow day stuff is getting a little old!  🙂

weather, Charlotte, followup:  John made it to work just fine … only problem was getting into the car …  the lock was frozen on the jeep!

Tens of thousands of Carolinas residents are venturing back onto the roads Wednesday morning, as the recovery continues from a winter storm that has closed schools and turned sidewalks and parking lots into ice rinks.

via Charlotte returns to work, but roads are still icy –

weather:  Snow-calypse … I think last year they claimed a day when snow was on the ground in all 50 states.

After big snow and ice events in the Southeast, Plains, and Midwest this week, 49 out of the 50 states currently have snow on the ground –  yes, even Hawaii, where snow falls in Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea all winter.

The only state that has avoided this icy blast is Florida.  Does that make you want to go on a nice, warm vacation to the Sunshine State?  You’re not alone.

Put another way, that means snow is present in 69.4 percent of the lower 48, which is more than double than December.  This is extremely unusual, though it’s hard to put a date on when this last happened because records aren’t kept on this kind of event.

via Snow present in 49 of the 50 U.S. states – This Just In – Blogs.

Arizona Massacre, 9/11, irony:

A U.S. flag that flew atop the World Trade Center is on its way to Arizona to be displayed at the funeral of the girl killed in Saturdays shooting spree who was born on 9/11.The Arizona Republic reports the 20-by-30-foot flag was the largest to have survived the collapse of the twin towers.Nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green was born the day the towers fell and will be laid to rest Thursday in Tucson.She and five others were killed Saturday in a shooting that wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.A spokesman for the foundation that displays the flag around the country says its with a New York firefighter who hopes to arrive Wednesday, depending on the storm in the Northeast.

via WTC flag to be displayed at girls Ariz. funeral.

restaurants, travel, lists: Worth a plane ride??? 10 Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride – Where to Go 2011 –

statistics, reality, Great Recession:  And now I need to figure out what China’s “Middle Kingdom” syndrome is …

… at least in dollar terms, there is much greater inequality at the very top of the income scale than at the bottom or in the middle. Whether this translates to much greater differences in standards of living at the top is debatable, as an extra $1,000 for a poor family likely makes a much bigger impact on that family’s quality of life than an extra $1,000 for a wealthy family.

Still, when evaluating their own incomes, most families are trying to keep up with the Joneses: they envy the wealthier neighbor whose lifestyle they aim to match. And in dollar terms, the rich are falling far shorter of their respective Joneses than the middle-income and lower-income are.

So when the 95th-percentilers think of their incomes in the context of what their richer neighbors are earning, this cohort doesn’t feel very rich. (Indeed, the gap between the rich and the very rich has been growing in the last few decades. Exactly why the gap has been growing is unclear, but has likely been influenced by a combination of tax policy, deregulation and technological advances that allow people to control more capital.)

It is perhaps no wonder, then, that so many people who are statistically rich call themselves “upper middle” or even “middle class.” They are much, much richer than lots of poor people, but also much, much poorer than some very visibly rich people. From their perspective, they truly are in the middle. It’s the income version of China’s “Middle Kingdom” syndrome.

via Why So Many Rich People Don’t Feel Very Rich –

terms, history, China’s Middle Kingdom Syndrome:

An October article in the online edition of the U.S.-based ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine claimed that Beijing has abandoned its philosophy of a “peaceful rise”. It argues that China is harking back to a Sino-centric view of the world where it sits atop the political hierarchy and other sovereign states are seen as lesser entities in deference to the Middle Kingdom.

via Growing China Worries Neighbours – IPS

students, education, law school, Great Recession:  sobering ..

Mr. Wallerstein, who can’t afford to pay down interest and thus watches the outstanding loan balance grow, is in roughly the same financial hell as people who bought more home than they could afford during the real estate boom. But creditors can’t foreclose on him because he didn’t spend the money on a house.

He spent it on a law degree. And from every angle, this now looks like a catastrophic investment.

Well, every angle except one: the view from law schools. To judge from data that law schools collect, and which is published in the closely parsed U.S. News and World Report annual rankings, the prospects of young doctors of jurisprudence are downright rosy.

In reality, and based on every other source of information, Mr. Wallerstein and a generation of J.D.’s face the grimmest job market in decades. Since 2008, some 15,000 attorney and legal-staff jobs at large firms have vanished, according to a Northwestern Law study. Associates have been laid off, partners nudged out the door and recruitment programs have been scaled back or eliminated.

“You’re beginning your legal education at an institution that is engaging in the kind of disreputable practices that we would be incredibly disappointed to discover our graduates engaging in,” he says. “What we have here is powder keg, and if law schools don’t solve this problem, there will be a day when the Federal Trade Commission, or some plaintiff’s lawyer, shows up and says ‘This looks like illegal deception.’”

via For Law School Graduates, Debts if Not Job Offers –

random, coffee shops, laws and regulations, NYC, you have to be kidding:

The brown trilby Mr. Penix wears when pulling shots at Everyman Espresso, the tiny coffee bar he owns, is more than just an expression of personal style. He sees it as a necessity.Line 6A of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Food Service Establishment Inspection Worksheet says, “Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared” is a “critical offense,” a five-point violation, the same as having evidence of live rats or cooking partly frozen chicken.The health department says the rule applies to anyone who extensively handles food. But Mr. Penix said Everyman was cited in 2009 for having a worker “making espresso without a proper hair restraint” and other coffee bars say they’ve had similar citations. Cooks wear hats; waiters don’t. Neither do bartenders. Baristas say they’re being singled out for enforcement, something the department denies.

via Crowns for Kings and Queens of Coffee Bars –

politics, vitriol:  Blood libel?  Even the op-ed pieces are using language that is scary.

The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors—”lock and load”—and talked about “targeting” opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffordss district on a list of congressional districts “bullseyed” for primary challenges. When Democrats use language like this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obamas famous remark, in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”—its just evidence of high spirits, apparently. But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate.Theres a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesnt derive from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source.

via Glenn Reynolds: The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel –

terms, history, blood libel:  OK, I had to look it up.

Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) refers to a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims have—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise. A few of these have been even canonized as saints.

In Jewish lore, blood libels were the impetus for the creation in the 16th century of the Golem of Prague by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel. Many popes have either directly or indirectly condemned the blood accusation, and no pope has ever sanctioned it.[7] These libels have persisted among some segments of Christians to the present time, and recently Muslims as well.

via Blood libel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

education, CMS, Charlotte, Great Recession:  These cuts are indeed devastating and will have a long-term impact on our community.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman on Tuesday recommended cutting more than 1,500 jobs – including hundreds of teachers and assistants – to bridge a $100 million budget gap.

His plan also calls for saving money by lengthening the day at schools around the county, and by cutting more than a thousand children from the Bright Beginnings preschool program.

He stressed that his proposals marked only the staff’s “best thinking” at this point, given current projections about shrinking state and federal dollars.

“These cuts are absolutely devastating to the work of CMS,” Gorman said. “These cuts… are going to detrimentally impact that lives of our students.”

via ‘Devastating’ cuts could end 1,500 CMS jobs –


12.13.2010 … exams for the kids … work for John … lunch for me with my ChristCare group … I got the better deal!

Christmas, tv:  I do love the Christmas movies and specials?  What’s your favorite?  Best Classic Holiday TV Specials.

college, our kids, culture, parenting:  I would like to see this.  I believe we are putting our kids under way too much pressure.

With no advertising and little news media attention, “Race to Nowhere” has become a must-see movie in communities where the kindergarten-to-Harvard steeplechase is most competitive.

More than 1,100 attended a screening last week at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill. About 500 saw it at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan in November. It has been shown to a roomful of fathers at Pixar during lunch hour and twice to employees at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Google.

All 325 seats in the auditorium of New Canaan Country School in Connecticut were filled during a screening for parents last Thursday night. Francie Irvine, the assistant head of school, said, “Our parents’ association president called me and said, ‘My sister just saw this in California and we have to, have to, have to have it here.’ ”

The film portrays the pressures when schools pile on hours of homework and coaches turn sports into year-round obligations. Left somewhat unexamined is the role of parents whose high expectations contribute the most pressure of all.

“Everyone expects us to be superheroes,” one high school senior in the film says.

Another tells of borrowing her friends’ prescription for Adderall to juggle her many commitments. “It’s hard to be the vice president of your class, play on the soccer team and do homework,” she says.

via Parents Embrace ‘Race to Nowhere,’ on Pressures of School –

and –

A new documentary, “Race to Nowhere,” looks at the pressures being put on high school students to build their résumés with Advance Placement classes and athletic accomplishments to improve their chances of acceptance at elite colleges and universities. The film captures the angst of boys who drop out of high school because of the pressure, girls who suffer stress-induced insomnia and students forced to cheat their way through classes.

Room for Debate: Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

The film is hitting a nerve among parents across the country who are worried about the levels of stress that their children are experiencing, beginning even in elementary school. What can schools — and parents — do to turn down the heat?

via Stress and the High School Student – Room for Debate –

apps, lists:  Two lists to try: 1) Apps For Foodies To Drool Over : NPR and 2) Best Shopping Apps to Save Your Time, Money and Sanity.

philanthropy:  Now this is a project I would like to get involved with.

“Students come together to study the social needs of their communities and then spot a local charity that is addressing a particular problem,” Ms. Schecter says. Students then compete to have the best presentation in front of judges to win money to award to their chosen charity.

Ms. Schecter says projects like these shouldn’t be targeted only to children of affluent backgrounds.

Her program “works regardless of geography, and it has been successful in affluent or middle-class schools. Even kids with poorer backgrounds have taken part in the program and have gained skills that they then carry for life,” she says.

It is too early to say for sure whether such programs will encourage a shift in the way future generations approach philanthropy, but some seem to think they will.

“I think we will see a generation of more socially engaged individuals,” says Alex Reynolds of the Institute for Philanthropy, a provider of donor education for wealthy individuals. “Pupils are being entrusted with real money, which empowers them to have a major impact on real people’s lives.”

via New Programs Teach Kids About Charitable Giving –

yesterday, me: Due to events beyond my control, I did not make it to the Taizi Service … Next year!

Christmas, tv, me:  Enough of Pigpen, you say … this author attributes a “classic” line to Pigpen.  I shall wear my new pin proudly!

N is for Nativity, a key part of the Christmas play Lucy invites Charlie Brown to direct, although, at the helm, C.B. continues to get little respect from the gang, including Snoopy, who boos him. One highlight: Pig Pen as the innkeeper, who promises Charlie Brown and his assistant, Lucy, “In spite of my outward appearance, I shall try to run a neat inn.”

via ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’: Celebrating 45 Years of the Classic Holiday Special.

astronomy, science, bookshelf: Did it bother you when they changed Pluto to a non-planet?

Astronomer Mike Brown didn’t mean to kill Pluto — or so he claims.

Brown says the ex-ninth planet was just collateral damage in his search for the 10th. The story of that search — and the subsequent demotion of Pluto that raised the ire of elementary school students everywhere — is in his new book, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming.

Brown tells Weekend Edition Sunday’s Liane Hansen that he had been searching the night sky for years, trying to find the elusive “Planet X.”

Scientists had speculated for decades that there might be another heavenly body floating far out in the solar system. Brown says he knew what he was looking for, just not whether it actually existed.

via Killer Confesses To Pluto’s Murder In Tell-All Book : NPR.

irony, music, favorites, facebook:  

I posted YouTube – Bright Lights Big City by Jimmy Reed on Facebook on Saturday and a friend immediately asked if it had anything to do with the John Edwards connection (the day of the posting was the day of Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral).  I posted it because I happen to like the song … it’s in Sweet Home Alabama … and it was on my mind.  So what is the John Edwards connection?  Read on …

4) She was in some book, right? I don’t have time to read a whole long book.

No problem!

In 1988, Bright Lights, Big City author Jay McInerney published his third novel, Story of My Life. The protagonist was Alison Poole, an “ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year old.” McInerney based Poole on his ex-girlfriend… Lisa Druck.

The Poole character also appeared in Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, where she was sexually assaulted by the evil Patrick Bateman. Whether it’s real life or fiction, Rielle seems to be drawn to sociopaths.

via Rielle Hunter FAQ | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.



11.04.2010 … rain … more curmudgeon-y basset antics …

technology, documentary, urban living, culture: OK, so this interested me.

HIGHRISE/Out My Window is a brand-new interactive documentary. It features first-person stories from 13 cities internationally, with an eclectic soundtrack, exploring the experience of life in the concrete highrise – the most common built form of the last century.

Designed to be experienced online, the project launches the viewer inside a 360-degree panorama, into an almost game-like environment. Toronto-based documentary maker Katerina Cizek directed the project largely via Skype, Facebook and email, in a collaborative process with photographers, journalists, architects, researchers, activists, digital developers and artists from around the world. The credit list rivals a feature film.

via Interactive documentary set in highrises around the world – Boing Boing.

oral history, my dad: My dad always threatened this on my brother and said his mother did this…

1940’s advice: “To cure boys of the habit of not keeping shirttails tucked in, sew an edging of lace around the bottom of the lad’s shirt. There’ll be no more shirttails showing.”

via Weird 1940s advice for moms who want their boys to tuck in their shirts – Boing Boing.

If I had a million dollars, fashion: OK, I love Audrey Hepburn’s style and anything Chanel or Kate Spade

The spring ’11 lookbook can be best described as what Audrey Hepburn might wear while romping around with a rainbow. Lloyd’s masterful design avoids looking too kitschy, pairing punchy red, pink, and neon lime with neutral shades and modernized classic shapes. Accessories include color-blocked straw hats, chanel-esque tweed garden purses and pineapple-themed clutches. Some of our faves include the delicate neon sandals, and the chiclet inspired necklace that begs to be worn on our spring vacation to the Maldives. Delish times ten!

via New Kate Spade Accessories- Kate Spade’s Spring 2011 Lookbook.

colleges, Davidson: Davidson did well … The 11 Best-Value Liberal Arts Colleges: Kiplinger List.

politics, NC:  Since I am more keyed in to GA politics than NC, I missed this.

Republicans made history on Election Day as they seized control of North Carolina’s legislature for the first time in more than a century.

via GOP wins control of N.C. General Assembly –

irony, travel, blog posts: “Road trip”  … “superlatives”  … some iron there …   Road Trip Superlatives « Holy Vernacular.

random, irony, fair and balanced, blog posts: I thought this one ironic as well …

Via the BB Submitterator, jimmosk says: “Since I did the same thing for Glenn Beck‘s rally [see “Can you spot a non-white person at the Glenn Beck Rally?”], fairness demands I ask the same thing about this one, which while somewhat more diverse still seemed to me more than 95% white. I had a fantastic time at it, and am glad I was there even if I increased its whiteness, but it still struck me as less than representative of the diversity of America. Link to *huge* panorama.”

via Can you spot a non-white person at the Rally to Restore Sanity? – Boing Boing.


6.14.2010 … relaxing with my mom in town … JT off to Boston … and happy birthday to Betsy T.!

events:  happy birthday to Betsy T.!

bookshelf, too much information:

The Emperors of China (starting from the 6th century BC and lasting until the overthrow of the Emperor and declaration of the republic of China in 1912 AD) used Eunuchs and shrouded themselves in mystery in order to maintain power over their empire. Access to the emperor in Imperial China was limited to his closest advisors, concubines, and the eunuchs. Other than the emperor himself, eunuchs were the only men allowed to live in the Forbidden City.*

via Wonders & Marvels — A Community for Curious Minds who love History, its Odd Stories, and Good Reads.

media, The President, irony:

The former constitutional lawyer now in the White House understands that the press has a role in the democracy. But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling. So he ends up regarding scribes as intrusive, conveying a distaste for what he sees as the fundamental unseriousness of a press driven by blog-around-the-clock deadlines.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Obama and the Media – Isn’t It Ironic? –

BP Oil Spill: I do agree that there is some collective responsibility.

“I’d like to join in on the blame game that has come to define our national approach to the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t BP’s or Transocean’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s my fault. I’m the one to blame and I’m sorry. It’s my fault because I haven’t digested the world’s in-your-face hints that maybe I ought to think about the future and change the unsustainable way I live my life. If the geopolitical, economic, and technological shifts of the 1990s didn’t do it; if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 didn’t do it; if the current economic crisis didn’t do it; perhaps this oil spill will be the catalyst for me, as a citizen, to wean myself off of my petroleum-based lifestyle. ‘Citizen’ is the key word. It’s what we do as individuals that count. For those on the left, government regulation will not solve this problem. Government’s role should be to create an environment of opportunity that taps into the innovation and entrepreneurialism that define us as Americans. For those on the right, if you want less government and taxes, then decide what you’ll give up and what you’ll contribute. Here’s the bottom line: If we want to end our oil addiction, we, as citizens, need to pony up: bike to work, plant a garden, do something. So again, the oil spill is my fault. I’m sorry. I haven’t done my part. Now I have to convince my wife to give up her S.U.V. Mark Mykleby.”

via Op-Ed Columnist – This Time Is Different –

literature, BP Oil Spill, great headlines:

A specially outfitted ship ventures into deep ocean waters in search of oil, increasingly difficult to find. Lines of authority aboard the ship become tangled. Ambition outstrips ability. The unpredictable forces of nature rear up, and death and destruction follow in their wake. “Some fell flat on their faces,” an eyewitness reported of the stricken crew. “Through the breach, they heard the waters pour.”

The words could well have been spoken by a survivor of the doomed oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April, killing 11 men and leading to the largest oil spill in United States history. But they come instead, of course, from that wordy, wayward Manhattanite we know as Ishmael, whose own doomed vessel, the whaler Pequod, sailed only through the pages of “Moby-Dick.”

“Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.” — “Moby-Dick”

via The Ahab Parallax – ‘Moby Dick’ and the Spill –

THOSE of us left off the guest list could only fantasize about Rush Limbaugh’s nuptials last weekend. Now cruising into marriage No. 4 — an impressive total for a guy not quite 60 — Rush staged a lavish luau at the Breakers in Palm Beach. The revelers included what some might regard as the Rat Pack from hell — Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, James Carville and Clarence Thomas.

It’s not news that same-sex marriage is a settled issue for most young people. But the growing adult acceptance of unconventional family models can be found in the phenomenon of “Glee,” the prime-time hit on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, no less, that unexpectedly became this year’s most watched new scripted series on television for the 18-to-49 demographic. “Glee” recounts the lives of students in a hypercompetitive show choir at an Ohio high school, and it’s addictive for many reasons that have nothing to do with sexual politics. But what’s exceptional is the way it mashes up different kinds of American families from week to week much as it mashes up musical genres ranging from vintage rock to hip-hop to Lady Gaga to show tunes in its performance sequences.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Two Weddings, a Divorce and ‘Glee’ –

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July 2020