Posts Tagged ‘Jack


2.3.13 …. Jack is safely in Madrid, hello Hope! … Super Bowl Sunday and the ads … I love the Clydesdales …

Jack, travels, Madrid: Jack is safely in Madrid!  So as the mother of a college grad, I can say I still am restless when my children are in motion.  So I was quite happy to get a text at 9 this morning.  So what’s he doing in Madrid … He’s taking a vacation from Vail Mountain Club for 10 days and visiting a high school friend who  is teaching second graders English and science for year as part of a cultural exchange program.  He is loving his year in Vail, but this worked out for a great vacation.  Now if he will only send me a few pics …

2013 Super Bowl Sunday, football and religion, FPC, kith/kin, 2013 Super Bowl ads, Clydesdales, Dodge Ram,  Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, 2013 Super Bowl blackout, Davidson College – Class of ’82,  Astronaut Tom Marshburn, Baltimore Ravens, SF Forty-Niners, Harbaugh brothers, Downton Abbey:

It was beautiful day in Charlotte … NB: no mention of Super Bowl in FPC prayers …


A survey released days before the big game shows that more than a quarter of Americans – and about four in 10 evangelicals – think God will help decide the winner of the Super Bowl. So certainly God is rooting for one side or the other, no?

This year’s NFL championship game, however, is especially challenging for those who like their Christian faith to align with their sports loyalties.

The problem is not that evangelical poster boy Tim Tebow isn’t in the big game; heck, the celebrity quarterback had such a lousy season with the New York Jets that no one knows if Tebow will ever make it back to the pros, much less to the playoffs.

Instead, the heart of this moral conundrum is that both the Ravens and Niners have more than their share of Bible-quoting believers — as well as card-carrying cads. And to make matters worse, the saint and sinner can be the same person.

Take Ray Lewis, Baltimore’s defensive standout and future Hall of Famer.

Not only is Lewis a great player, but he is so outspoken about his Christian faith that Sports Illustrated dubbed him “God’s Linebacker” in a 2006 cover story. Moreover, Lewis is retiring after a 17-year career and a season in which he made an improbable (miraculous?) return from a triceps tear that should have ended his year. Redemption, anyone?

via Ravens or Niners? Christians face a ‘Super’ dilemma | Religion News Service.

I liked having good food and good friends together …


 IMG_5445 IMG_5444 IMG_5442 IMG_5441 IMG_5439 

I thought Alicia Keys was great, Beyonce, too … And I loved the ads.  The Clydesdales rocked;  if I buy a truck, I’ll buy a Dodge Ram … I already knew I liked the Clydesdales ad …

We are thinking that some of our friends might agree… via Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch

Photo: We are thinking that some of our friends might agree...

Awww….what can I say. 🙂

Has a commercial for beer ever made you cry? Watch the Budweiser commercial that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl because it very well might make you tear up!

The spot features the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and chronicles the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer.

The commercial was directed by Ridley Scott‘s son Jake and features a horse that was only born two weeks ago.

FYI: The actor portraying the Clydesdale trainer is Houston native Don Jeanes, who played Neil Armstrong in the movie Transformers.

via Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial: ‘Clydesdales Horses’ (Video) | 2013 Super Bowl Commercials : Just Jared.

But I was blown away by the awesome Dodge Ram ad … I miss Paul Harvey … As my brother says, ” You are a farmer’s granddaughter to the end.”

[I did note the commentary on 2/4 … I am white … and realize this never crossed my mind … but I do wonder about the ad’s creators … they are paid to think about these things. ]

Obviously, a Dodge ad isn’t on the level of the government’s deportation programs or the long-time cognitive dissonance of American immigration policies. But it’s the kind of cultural substrate in which our laws and prejudices grow.

via The Whitewashing of the American Farmer: Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad Edition – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

But  the blackout gave the game drama; and the last half/after the blackout was fun football.  How do people think of this stuff so fast ..

Somewhere in New Orleans

via (1) Camaradas El Barrio.

And a side note, which may only be interesting to a few … but to Davidson  Class of ’82 Tom Marshburn … What did you do for 34 minutes in the dark? .. And did you get to watch the ads, too?

Six astronauts living in space may not have gravity, fresh food or a shower, but there is one Earth necessity they won’t miss Sunday: The Super Bowl.

NASA’s Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will beam the Super Bowl XLVII showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens live to the International Space Station so its astronaut crew can watch the big game along with every other football fan on Earth.

“Yes they are going to watch it this weekend,” NASA spokesman Josh Byerly told in an email. Byerly said Mission Control made a special point on Friday (Feb. 1) of asking the station astronauts if they wanted to catch the game.

“And they said they definitely wanted to see it,” Byerly said.

via Astronauts Are Watching The Super Bowl From Space.

Congrats to the Ravens.  Great almost comeback, Forty-Niners.  And thank you Harbaugh brothers for a great event.

After the Ravens’ 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII, the two met on the field surrounded by a pack of photographers, and the meeting lasted less than seven seconds. As they shook hands, John later said he told his brother, “I love you.” Jim said he responded with, “Congratulations. And that I was proud of him.”

It appeared as if Jim was ready to turn away from the postgame meeting, but John pulled him closer for another moment. Jim then affectionately touched John on the face, and John patted Jim’s chest before they walked away.

“It was a great joy, but it was also the most difficult thing in the world to understand that he is over there,” John said. “I just think that Jim is a great competitor. I just love him, obviously. I think anybody who has a brother can understand what that is all about. … I look up to him in so many ways, and I am hurting for him in that sense.”

via Super Bowl 2013: John and Jim Harbaugh share postgame moment –

And as the game wound down, the friends departed, the Teague beasts informed me that they  really didn’t care who won  … they got the sofa …

And I turned on Downton Abbey. 🙂

Lent, LOL, United Methodist Memes:  Thank you,  United Methodist Memes, for this one!



‎9.28.2010 … BSF Isaiah today … then JBT back from Kuwait …

architecture, Chicago:  Architecture makes a difference.  Wouldn’t you like to go to this school?

The bright new charter high school rises next to the scene of a senseless inner-city killing — a 17-year-old girl, chatting with a friend on her cell phone, shot dead in 2008 after two men argued on a CTA bus.

The $20 million school is a legacy of the late Gary Comer, the innovative founder of the Lands’ End clothing empire, who grew up in the Grand Crossing neighborhood and never forgot it.

Like a neighboring youth center that also bears Comer’s name, the school is a beacon of optimism for an area that needs it.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

GOP Contract, random, graphic: Love the illustration …

The long awaited sequel to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On America,” is out. Here are cliff notes. A summary of sorts inspired by Cliff Hillegrass’ original, but written for the lemmings expected to be led and fall from the cliff.

via Pledge to America: the cliff notes by Lee Leslie |


President Barack Obama said Monday that he would like to extend the school year and raise teacher pay to help improve the U.S. education system.

Mr. Obama, in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” said students around the world usually go to school for a month longer each year than children in the U.S. Such a difference, he said, gives those students an advantage and gives their countries an economic edge.

via Obama Advocates Longer School Year, Higher Teacher Pay –

education:  Agree.

The U.S. is endangering the American dream by failing to educate its children.

Arianna appeared on MSNBC Monday to discuss the issues facing the nation’s deteriorating educational system and explained why learning is key to the American middle class–the focus of her new book “Third World America.”

“Education has always been the springboard to the middle class,” Arianna said. “The ability to learn, to be able to get a good job, was at the heart of the upward mobility that was the essence of the American dream. And that’s no longer the case.”

Arianna went on to explain that that a third of students are not graduating from high school.

Host Andrea Mitchell echoed Arianna’s concern and cited more disturbing figures. In Korea, Finland, and Singapore 100% of teachers come from the top third of university graduates. In the United states, just 23% come from the top third.

Despite the negative statistics, Arianna told Mitchell that she is hopeful the country can turn around its schools.

“There seems to be a tipping point… this is a ‘beyond left or right’ issue. And you have liberals and conservatives agreeing that we need to bring a sense of urgency to what’s happening. We have the media really engaged…. We have this amazing movie ‘Waiting For Superman’ that captures the fact… that getting a good education has become a game of chance.”

via HuffPost TV: Arianna: ‘Getting A Good Education Has Become A Game Of Chance’ (VIDEO).

business, travel, Charlotte:  Hooray for Charlotte!

Southwest Airlines Co. gets more exposure to existing markets like New York and Boston, and it can get into smaller markets it doesn’t already serve.

AirTran operates daily flights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to a number of markets, but it is unclear whether Southwest will continue that operation. In recent years, some passengers regularly have driven from Charlotte to the Raleigh area, which is served by Southwest, so they can take advantage of that company’s lower fares.

via Southwest buys AirTran; Charlotte impact? –

weather:  113 in September in LA!

Los Angeles, California,  has broken the all-time record high temperature of  112F with a temperature of 113F at 12:15pm PDT.  Their temperature could rise more through the afternoon.

via Los Angeles breaks record high temperature – This Just In – Blogs.

education, followup:  Here is a public school that does pretty well with this test … still only 4%.  40 New Trier High School seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events —

RIP, random:

A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday.

Police in West Yorkshire said Monday that James Heselden and a Segway were found in the River Wharfe near Boston Spa, in northern England. Police said a member of the public had reported seeing a man fall over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Paraskos/Hesco/PA Wire)

The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was prounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.

Police said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of London.

via Segway owner dies after falling off river cliff  |

CU, boys, green:  I think this is a great idea … CU students rent cars while helping the environment | CU Independent.

Wilmette, restaurants:  Enjoy! Five Guys looking to open in Wilmette — Wilmette & Kenilworth news, photos and events —

literature:  I thought this was both interesting and funny.  I personally love GWTW, but do not think it ranks with the ones he wants to omit.

News item from the Boston Globe:

“…Universities are full of trendy English professors who don’t read Shakespeare for the beauty of the poetry or its peerless insights into human nature. The point is to uncover the oppression that’s supposed to define Western culture: the racism, ‘patriarchy,’ and imperialism that must lurk beneath the surface of everything written by those ‘dead white males.’ (The latest book from University of Pennsylvania professor emerita Phyllis Rackin, for example, investigates how ‘Macbeth’ contributed to the ‘domestication of women.’)”

I don’t believe for an instant that the Western literary canon should be changed to accommodate social and political agendas. Aesthetics shaped the canon in the beginning and should continue to shape it. Besides, art pressed into the service of a cause becomes propaganda, the aims of which are very different from those of art.

Yes, the canon’s shapers were mainly men, mainly white, mainly European, and, like all men, not without bias. But nowhere have I seen evidence that any work was admitted to the canon for any reason except that it was believed to be an outstanding work of serious intent.

But this should not be construed to mean that the Western canon is sacrosanct. It isn’t, nor should it be. Time changes everything, including the pertinence of art, and esthetic distance can reveal that a work’s admission to the canon might have been hasty or at the very least is ripe for review. Some inferior works also sneaked into the canon as companions of superior relatives. Any critic who believes, for instance, that all of Dickens’ novels are co-equal in quality simply hasn’t been paying attention.

Anyhow, of esteemed works in general, here are some nominations, purely random, for either demotion in the ranks or outright discharge from the canon (no pun).

via Great books — or not so great? by Robert Lamb |

news, random, LOL:

Wichita police are looking for thieves that stole a Little Debbie van and littered a road with empty snack cake boxes.

Police say the truck was stolen around 4 o’clock this morning from the the Walmart at Pawnee and Broadway.

The truck was later found at the canal route and Douglas St. in the canal with a trail of empty snack cake boxes littering the road to the south.

Police are still looking for the suspects. The van was returned to its owner.

via Thieves with snack attack steal Little Debbie van – Local news – Wichita, KS – News –

tv, movies:  I am not a watcher of Oprah’s show … but I love the Sound of Music … so maybe I will watch …

Oprah’s ‘Sound of Music’: The hills are alive with the sound of…Oprah? Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is set to reunite the stars of the film “The Sound of Music.” The entire cast, which includes Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, will visit the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Oct. 29. While Andrews is not expected to sing, the Von Trapp Children, a group that features members of the real family portrayed in the musical, will perform on the program. [AP]

via Wyclef Hospitalized; Katy Perry on ‘The Simpsons’; Oprah Reunites ‘Sound of Music’ Cast – Speakeasy – WSJ.

archeology, anthropology, history, Jack: I love seeing what Jack can do with his major!

In addition to work on the Southeast United States and Caribbean, Dawdy has produced insightful studies of New Orleans from its establishment as a French colony to the present day. In Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans (2008), she integrates the intellectual life of the community with the story of the adventurers, entrepreneurs, and smugglers who resisted governance, providing a markedly expanded narrative of the colonial dynamics and structure of the region. Her recent fieldwork in New Orleans, concentrating on the former site of the Rising Sun Hotel and St. Antoine’s Garden behind St. Louis Cathedral, is the largest archaeological excavation undertaken to date in the French Quarter. These two sites are an important part of her current project: an exploration of the connections between aesthetics and social life. Complementing her academic work, Dawdy has also been a vocal advocate for historical preservation.

via Shannon Lee Dawdy – MacArthur Foundation.

travel, Swaziland, politics, history:  One of the more interesting 24 hours in my life was spent here …

RENOWNED as Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Swaziland has been in a state of emergency for the past 37 years. Political parties are banned, critics are systematically arrested and beaten up by police and freedom of expression is severely curtailed. Ministers, judges and local chiefs are all appointed by the king, Mswati III. While he and his 13 wives flaunt their opulence, most of his 1.2m subjects struggle to survive. More than one in four is HIV positive—the highest infection rate in the world.

Yet the pretty little mountainous kingdom, locked into the north-east corner of South Africa, is better known for its annual traditional reed dance, where bare-breasted virgins parade their beauty before their toga-clad king, than for its human-rights abuses. There may be the odd suspicious death in custody, but there have been no mass killings, as in Myanmar or Sudan. It does not have any big deposits of gold, diamonds or oil to covet; most of its wealth comes from sugar cane. So why should anyone care?

via The sorry state of Swaziland: A boiling pot | The Economist.

education: Interesting…

Public education in our cities runs the gamut from world class to depressingly lacking. What is clear across the spectrum is that educating our youth is an enormous cost, often one too great to be shouldered by a city alone. Here’s how the largest school districts in the country are funded and how they spend that money.

via Education 101 – Cities – GOOD.

movies, fashion: Work clothes need some improvement.  So i hope so …

The fashion world, however, is already seeking to capitalize on Gordon Gekko’s new look, the Wall Street Journal reports. The original movie popularized contrast-collar shirts, suspenders and French cuffs. The new movie features handmade shoes, tailored vests, clear eyeglass frames, pocket-watch chains and custom suits.

via New ‘Wall Street’ Movie May Do More to Help Wardrobes than Harm Reputations – News – ABA Journal.

science:  Isn’t it great when modern technology proves a theory.

In everyday life, these time fluctuations are tiny. But now, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., have measured them with unprecedented accuracy.

James Chin-Wen Chou and his colleagues used a pair of atomic clocks to demonstrate the relativistic changes. These clocks are based on the vibrations of an aluminum atom that’s missing an electron. In one experiment, one of the clocks was 33 centimeters above the other. The higher clock experienced a slightly smaller tug of gravity, and ticked more slowly than the lower clock. In another experiment, one of the clocks moved at approximately 20 miles an hour compared with the other.

via Researchers Produce Data Demonstrating Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity : NPR.


8.11.2010 …. so fun to talk anthropology with jack … et leaves for the long drive on Friday …

quotes:  From my friend Ann … may apply to my boys as well.  Mark Twain said “Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education.”

education, anthropology, Jack:  Jack came home from CU today having just completed a course in medical anthropology.  He highly recommends this book … Righteous Dopefiend.  Although he thought it might be too rough, too real, for me, I am thilled that he is that excited about a class.  I was an econ major and I never came home talking about my econ courses … some professors, yes, but not the courses.

This powerful study immerses the reader in the world of homelessness and drug addiction in the contemporary United States. For over a decade Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg followed a social network of two dozen heroin injectors and crack smokers on the streets of San Francisco, accompanying them as they scrambled to generate income through burglary, panhandling, recycling, and day labor.

via Righteous Dopefiend : Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg – University of California Press.

cities, urban renewal, Syracuse:

But recently, in numbers not yet statistically measurable but clearly evident at the ground level, they’ve been coming back to the city, first as a trickle, and now by the hundreds. In some ways it’s a part of the natural ebb and flow of urban demographics. But it is also the result of a new attitude among the city’s leadership, one that admits the failure of the re-industrialization efforts of the last decades and instead invents ways to attract new types of residents and keep current ones from leaving. Call it urban renewal 2.0, gentrification on a citywide scale.

Mr. Destito, for example, grew up in nearby Rome, a small city at the foothills of the Adirondacks. He wanted a bigger city to settle in, so he traveled the country for three years, working in different places and observing what he found appealing in each one — places like Nashville, Denver and Atlanta, many of them “bustling with activity where you could be alone or with people, hang out in parks, ride a bike, find an arts community,” he said.

Eventually, he realized, why not Syracuse? Its low cost of living would let him work less and enjoy life more. Most important, it offered the chance to make a visible impact on a community, something that would be much harder to do in a bustling metropolis. “I saw the potential, the opportunity to recreate some of what it once had,” he said. “I saw interesting things happening and I wanted to be part of it.”

via Rebirth of a City – Opinionator Blog –

movies, list:  Another list … Photos: The Best Dance Movies Ever – Newsweek.

Davidson: A new logo???

At Fan Day Saturday, see Wildcat logo’s new look | Sports.

random, LOL:  girl quits job on dry erase board exposes farmville boss called her hopa theCHIVE.

legal, copyright:

Jennifer Caleshu of the Bay Area Discovery Museum send this “copyright caution” (interesting that it’s not a “warning”) from a course reader in her Haas MBA program:

COPYRIGHT CAUTION: As you know, copyright protection of original intellectual property is a big deal, particularly to the content authors and publishers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that unauthorized copying or sharing of files, passwords, or access is prohibited. Bluntly, this activity is illegal. As with most things in life, it’s best to just do the right thing.

via Emotionally intelligent copyright notice | Daniel Pink.

philosophy, religion:

Well, unless you’re Buzz Lightyear, we know that’s impossible; you can’t go beyond what has no end. But the representation of infinity, or the reality of it, makes for some very complex reasoning.

In 1450, Nicholas of Cusa (c. 1401-1464), Bishop of Brixen (Bressanone, Italy), claimed in his De Docta Ignorantia (“On Learned Ignorance”) that wisdom lies in the impossibility of the finite human mind to understand the infinity of God, in whom all opposites are combined.

via To Infinity And Beyond : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

banking, Charlotte:  Right in BofA’s backyard!

Fifth Third Bank is finding opportunity in Bank of America Corp.’s backyard.

Fifth Third plans to open a new retail branch and private banking office in the ground floor of the Fifth Third Center, a building owned by BofA that was renamed when Fifth Third moved its N.C. corporate offices uptown this spring. The ground-floor space was occupied by Zink American Kitchen, which closed last week.

via Fifth Third branching out – Charlotte Business Journal.

end of an Era:  very sad …

Sea Island Co., operator of the famed Georgia coastal resort since the 1920s, will file for bankruptcy protection today and announce a deal to sell most of its assets, according to the company’s top executive.

The buyers are investment firms Oaktree Capital Management, of Los Angeles, and Avenue Capital Group, of New York, Sea Island Chairman Bill Jones III said in an e-mail late Tuesday to residents of the resort’s gated community.

via Sea Island Co. to file Chapter 11, sell properties  |

advertising, As Seen on TV:  Don’t you just want to order this junk sometimes!

A Bottle Top is a small, plastic cone-with-a-cap that turns the top of your soda can into the top of a soda bottle. It’s a charming little product that solves a problem you didn’t know you had.

I don’t like pressing my lips to an aluminum can, which produces a lingering metallic taste. Soda cans slosh around and spill in the car. An open can loses its fizz, and my kitchen always seems littered with half full (of is it half empty?) cans.

via Bottle Top review: An invention you didn’t know you needed.

college: OK, this is going too far …

This year’s version of the Common Application was due to be posted online around 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1 — it wound up going up a few minutes earlier — and I wondered: How soon had the first application been sent in, by whom and why?

That application, to New York University, was submitted by Cree Bautista, 17, who is entering his senior year at Pflugerville High School outside of Austin, Tex. The time? About 3:30 a.m., only hours after the form went up.

via The First Common Application for the Class of ‘15 – The Choice Blog –


7.19.2010. In case you are wondering, the boys are alright. Jack’s taking a class on medical anthropology and edward is learning his way around Boulder. Harris Teeter is missing the Teagues and our $s, but Safeway likes to see us coming.

fads:  I have 20+ packages for Molly to take to Gateway School, in addition to lots of book and games … I hope the kids like them.

Video – Breaking News Videos from

golf, vuvuzela, South Africa: Congrats!

The South Africans have a new soundtrack of success. The drone of the vuvuzela has been succeeded by the skirl of the bagpipe.

via Louie Who scores another win for South Africa –

bees, beekeeping:  Maybe I’ll get some bees … I want to be a “younger urban woman” … not a middle-aged, pear-shaped, older woman who is losing her memory!

Beekeeping classes from Medina, Ohio, to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and New York are seeing an unexpected shift in enrollment. Numbers are way up as thousands of novices take up the hobby. And who are these new beekeepers? Increasingly, they’re women.

“The surge has really been with younger, urban women,” explains longtime instructor Kim Flottum, who teaches beekeeping in Medina.

Flottum estimates that there are about 100,000 backyard beekeepers across the United States. Exact numbers are hard to pin down. But subscriptions to the publication Bee Culture are on the rise. And when Flottum published a how-to book — An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden — 60,000 people snapped up copies. The book is aimed at making the hobby easier and using more lightweight equipment.

via Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR.

bees, recipes:  Part of the above bee article and the name just made me salivate … think I might try them.

For the muffins I make in my Tiny Desk Kitchen show, I use a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. To bake muffins or cake with honey instead of sugar, America’s Test Kitchen recommends the following formula. Use a 1:1 replacement of honey for sugar. So if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of honey. Now, this will make your batter more liquidy, so to prevent that, reduce other types of liquids in the recipe — like milk, sour cream, juice, yogurt — by 25 percent. But don’t reduce essential fats, such as butter, even if it’s melted, or eggs. You’ll also need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit; cooking with honey tends to make things brown faster.

The chefs at the test kitchen don’t suggest subbing honey for sugar when making cookies; you’ll end up with some soggy little guys.

Makes a dozen muffins

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

2 large eggs

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the yogurt and eggs together in a medium bowl, mix in grated lemon zest. Gently fold the yogurt-egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the melted butter. Mix by hand 1 tablespoon of flour with blueberries, coating them. This prevents the berries from bursting and turning the batter blue when you fold them in. Gently folded in the coated blueberries into the mixture.

3. Use a large ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

via Healing Honey And The Beekeeping Craze : NPR.

Kagan nomination: I don’t think many people care.

More Americans want the Senate to vote for rather than against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but the percentage in favor is less than a majority. Support for Kagan’s confirmation remains essentially the same as it was before her June confirmation hearings.

Typically, support for nominees does not change much after their hearings. Instead, Gallup usually finds increases in the percentage of Americans opposed and decreases in the percentage with no opinion. The percentage without an opinion on the Kagan nomination was the same before and after her hearings, which may indicate these were not widely followed by the average American.

via Americans Favor Confirming Kagan to High Court, 44% to 34%.

vocabulary:  “all right” or “alright”?


Function: adverb or adjective

Date: 1887

: all right

usage The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing .

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

politics, South Carolina: Where is this going …

Fleming, who likes to quote Scripture, compares Greene’s story to “David versus Goliath, placed before the Philistines because of his heart,” Fleming said. “Dreams do come true. He got in it to win it and did what was up to this time unheard of, came from literally nowhere to win.”

via Alvin Greene, South Carolina’s Mystery Senate Candidate, Draws a Crowd.

free speech, tv, gLee:  I hope they don’t go too far and make all tv uncomfortable.

The court said the restrictions on “fleeting expletives” on radio and television violated the First Amendment because the policy, adopted in 2004, was vague and could inhibit free speech.

Will viewers notice a difference? It seems almost quaint to cite the hubbub over the Janet Jackson breast-baring at the 2004 Super Bowl or the trouble Cher got into in 2002 when she uttered a bad word on a live broadcast .

Cable television continues to push the boundaries of what is considered decent, and parents worry more about their children’s Web viewing than they do about an occasional curse word on network TV. After last week’s decision, which may be appealed to the Supreme Court, some critics predicted that networks might push for more provocative content. “Dexter,” a Showtime series about a serial killer, is appearing in reruns on CBS, though heavily edited, and “Glee” has sex scenes to rival the fare on cable.

via Decency Rules on Network TV Versus Cable – Room for Debate –

holidays, movies, graphics, people, South Africa: Watched Invictus in celebration of Mandela Day 2019.  And enjoyed it very much … am working on my 67 minutes!  Don’t you love the graphic … got my attention.

Mandela Day 2010 – Home.

politics, diversity, education, Edward: Poor Edward.  Being President of FFA may have hurt not helped his college applications!

But cultural biases seem to be at work as well. Nieli highlights one of the study’s more remarkable findings: while most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.”

Among the highly educated and liberal, meanwhile, the lack of contact with rural, working-class America generates all sorts of wild anxieties about what’s being plotted in the heartland. In the Bush years, liberals fretted about a looming evangelical theocracy. In the age of the Tea Parties, they see crypto-Klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs everywhere they look.

This cultural divide has been widening for years, and bridging it is beyond any institution’s power. But it’s a problem admissions officers at top-tier colleges might want to keep in mind when they’re assembling their freshman classes.

If such universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there’s more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more R.O.T.C. cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Roots Of White Anxiety –

politics, post 9-11: Wow …

“I’m not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities,” he said in an interview. “The complexity of this system defies description.”

The result, he added, is that it’s impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and all these activities. “Because it lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness and waste,” Vines said. “We consequently can’t effectively assess whether it is making us more safe.”

via A hidden world, growing beyond control |

education, Wilmette:  From my experience with a large urban public, most electives are a complete waste.  I said most, not all … but this one at New Trier in suburban Chicago looks really useful.

New Trier teacher Joshua Wood’s 32 architecture students were tasked with designing an eco-friendly house. And while the houses may never be constructed on the lot, the students still took their class project seriously. To prepare for the design process, many students went to the property and took pictures, Robin Baugher said.

“We wanted to have the property be an inspiration, and those kids took off,” Baugher said.

The students first sketched out designs, then used a software program and put together a presentation board and implemented a 3-D house to make it look as realistic as possible, said Wood. More than 200 New Trier faculty members voted on the top 10 designs.

via New Trier class designs eco-friendly homes :: News :: PIONEER PRESS :: Winnetka Talk.

Jane Austen, anniversaries:  July 18 was the 193rd anniversary of the death of ane Austen.

I find her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh’s interpretation from his A Memoir of Jane Austen simple and touching. Even though it is not elaborate or detailed, it is the only version from the view point of someone who actually knew her, and I find that unique and invaluable.

Throughout her illness she was nursed by her sister, often assisted by her sister-in-law, my mother. Both were with her when she died. Two of her brothers, who were clergymen, lived near enough to Winchester to be in frequent attendance, and to administer the services suitable for a Christian’s death-bed. While she used the language of hope to her correspondents, she was fully aware of her danger, though not appalled by it. It is true that there was much to attach her to life. She was happy in her family; she was just beginning to feel confidence in her own success; and, no doubt, the exercise of her great talents was an enjoyment in itself. We may well believe that she would gladly have lived longer; but she was enabled without dismay or complaint to prepare for death. She was a humble, believing Christian.

via Reflections upon Jane Austen’s death, July 18, 1817: “her talents, her virtues, and her engaging manners” « Austenprose.

Children’s/YA literature:  Three generations of girls in my family have enjoyed Nancy.

80 years, Nancy Drew has captured our imagination and our spirit for mystery as we have read and collected the many treasured volumes of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series by Carolyn Keene. Whether it is her instinctive talent for sleuthing, her compassion for those in need of her help, or her strong determination to succeed in solving the most baffling mysteries, Nancy Drew has that enduring timeless quality that keeps us turning the pages time and time again.

via The Nancy Drew Sleuth Unofficial Website.

places, archeology, London, Jack: Since my oldest’s interests have moved to anthropology/archeology … might as well get some idea of what he can do with his life.

In the middle of London, a plot of earth is dug across with trenches and studded with old bricks. If the world of theater ever has hallowed ground, this is it.

It’s the site of London’s first theater, where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed and where the Bard himself once trod the boards.

Archaeologists who have been digging here since 2008 have uncovered a section of outer wall and floor surface from the building, completed in 1576 and known simply as The Theatre — whose timbers were later used to build The Globe theater.

via London theater site is hallowed ground for Shakespeare fans –


7.18.2010 … the empty nest days are going rapidly … oh, no! waiting to skype with Molly … I missed the call yesterday …

skype, Molly, followup: Just got off the phone with Molls.  Skyping is wonderful!!!

people, basketball, end of an era: This just breaks my heart.

It has been an open secret for months among people close to North Carolina basketball: Dean Smith, the legendary Tar Heels coach, is facing health issues. Smith, who’s 79, is an intensely private man. But rumors about his condition spun so out of control, a school spokesman had to confirm last week that Smith is still alive.

Asked if she could put a specific name on his condition, Smith’s wife, Linnea, said in an exclusive interview Saturday: “It is a complex medical diagnosis. … It’s in a category of progressive memory disorders, and we’re staying away from labels.”

via Dean Smith’s disorder doesn’t diminish legendary UNC coach’s spirit –

travel: This sounds like fun!

A bottle of Bordeaux was breathing; other amenities included a pantry stocked with cereal, milk and yogurt. I also had a phone number to call if I needed dinner recommendations or, perhaps, extra shower gel. But I was happy sitting at the window, nodding at my new neighbors as they wheeled their bikes onto the street and headed into the cafe-lined Marais.

Hotel guests pay handsomely for such perks, but I wasn’t in a hotel. Nor was I in some vacation rental. I was in the home of Julien Szeps, a 26-year-old chef whom I met through a new kind of short-term rental service called And the studio apartment was only 65 euros a night, about $80 at $1.23 to the euro. Not bad for an entire apartment with a full kitchen and bathroom, less than 10 minutes by foot from the Louvre.

While AirBnB is the largest of these new services, it isn’t the only one. A half-dozen upstarts have emerged in the last two years — with names like and — offering the convenience of a hotel, the comforts of a home and the price tag of an up-market hostel. Call them social B&B networks, or maybe peer-to-peer hotels. Despite the confusing legal issues in many cities surrounding subletting, these new short-term rentals are making inroads into the hospitality industry, with hundreds of thousands of listings across the globe; there are over 3,500 short-term rentals in New York State alone.

via Europe Without Hotels –

children’s literature, Jack, oral history: Every time I hear the Owl and the Pussycat I become sentimental.  jack, at 4 and in a Montessori school, had to memorize and recite this poem … he did a great job … and I will not forget such terms as “runcible spoon”.  Do you know what one is?

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A Prairie Home Companion for July 17, 2010 | American Public Media.

BP Oil Spill:

The capped well was estimated to be gushing between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf, beginning shortly after the April 20 blast aboard Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon rig, which BP had leased to drill a well in its Macondo prospect.

The spill, now one of the largest in U.S. history, has had a severe impact on fishing and tourism along the Gulf Coast. BP has paid more than $200 million in damage claims to residents and businesses, and has set up a $20 billion fund to pay for damages related to the spill.

Mr. Suttles said that as of Sunday morning, the well’s pressure was at 6,778 pounds per square inch, and rising at a rate of 1 or 2 psi per hour. The pressure reading, which has climbed more slowly than expected, is a sign that the reservoir is partially depleted.

Mr. Suttles reported the presence of bubbles in the area being monitored. He said that BP does not believe the bubbles are related to hydrocarbons, but they’re being closely watched, he said.

via BP Cap to Get Continued Testing –

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