Posts Tagged ‘Justice Clarence Thomas

18
Jun
13

6.18.13 … Clarence Thomas Joins Supreme Court’s Liberals in Securing Jury Trial Rights for Criminal Defendants … breath … repeat …

Justice Clarence Thomas,  Supreme Court, Sixth Amendment, Jury Trial Rights for Criminal Defendants:  Will wonders never cease …

Pointing to “the historic role of the jury as an intermediary between the State and criminal defendants,” Justice Thomas declared the judge’s actions to be in violation of Alleyne’s constitutional rights. “The essential Sixth Amendment inquiry is whether a fact is an element of the crime,” Thomas wrote. “When a finding of fact alters the legally prescribed punishment so as to aggravate it, the fact necessarily forms a constituent part of a new offense and must be submitted to the jury.”

via Clarence Thomas Joins Supreme Court’s Liberals in Securing Jury Trial Rights for Criminal Defendants – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

15
Jan
13

1.15.13 … Love the story of Greyfriars Bobby …

public art, man’s best friend, Edinburgh Scotland:  This is one of my favorites!

14th January 1872 – Greyfriars Bobby died on this day. He was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray (Auld Jock), until he died himself on 14th January. A year later, Lady Burdett-Coutts had a statue and fountain erected at the southern end of the George IV Bridge in his honour.

John Gray, who worked for the Edinburgh City Police as a night watchman, and Bobby were inseparable for approximately two years. On 8 February 1858, Gray died of tuberculosis. He was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Bobby, who survived Gray by fourteen years, is said to have spent the rest of his life sitting on his master’s grave. He had his meals at a restaurant beside the graveyard.

In 1867, when it was argued that a dog without an owner should be destroyed, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers—who was also a director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—paid for Bobby’s license, making him the responsibility of the city council. When Bobby died in 1872, he could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it was and remains consecrated ground. He was buried instead just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray’s grave.

More than 200 dancers were performing their version of “Do Re Mi”, in the Central Station of Antwerp. with just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! Those 4 fantastic minutes started the 23 of march 2009, 08:00 AM. It is a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of “The Sound of Music”.

flash mobs, Sound of Music:  This one is old but good!

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp Belgium – YouTube.

Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court:  Justice Thomas speaks!

According to the transcript, he said, “Well — he did not -­-,” followed by laughter. Louisiana’s lawyer then responded, “I would refute that, Justice Thomas.”

What came between? SCOTUSBlog, which had its reporter in the courtroom, tweeted, “Thomas, J. (Yale, JD), speaks: funny at argument—Yale degree could mean lawyer is incompetent, not competent, capital trial counsel.”

Another person present at the oral argument, law student Billy Freeland, tweeted, “Thomas might have cracked, ‘Thats not effective counsel.’ But hard to hear.”

The Supreme Court will release the audio of Monday’s oral argument on Friday.

via Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks After Almost 7 Years Of Silence.

technology, HD Space Camera, ISS, WIRED:

Urthecast is due to begin beaming the view from the ISS by autumn 2013 — the equipment will be finished by the summer, then shipped to Russia and sent to the space station via two Soyuz rockets. Once there, the Russian space agency will install it beneath the ISS and downlink the data to Earth, where it will be published.

via HD Space Camera Will Provide Live Astronaut’s View of Earth From ISS | Wired Science | Wired.com.

01
Nov
11

11.1.2011… Nomaste and happy 18th birthday to Sarah (daughter of RA and Tim) and Scottie (son of Melanie)! … Rabbit, rabbit … never heard of this superstition …

11.1.11: 🙂

Women’s Quest

Welcome to this amazing day of oneness — 11/1/11 — this day will never happen again. Take it in and enjoy being one with every one – Namaste!

via Welcome to this….

superstitions, rabbit…rabbit: No wonder my friend with a British mum knew of this one!

“Rabbit rabbit” is a common British superstition. The most common modern version states that a person should say “rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit”, “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”, “rabbits, rabbits, rabbits”,[1] “rabbit, rabbit” or simply “white rabbits” upon waking on the first day of each new month, and on doing so will receive good luck for the duration of that month. In the United States, the tradition is especially common in Nantucket, Cape Cod other towns within Massachusetts and throughout Vermont, notably in Middlebury and Chester.

[edit]Origins and history

The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, though it has appeared in print at least as early as 1922:

“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, “I thought everybody knew ’Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’—three times, just like that—first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.”[2]

However, some reports place its origins even earlier, into the 1800s. Today it has spread to most of the English-speaking countries of the world, although, like all folklore, determining its exact area of distribution is difficult. This superstition is related to the broader belief in the rabbit or hare being a “lucky” animal, as exhibited in the practice of carrying a rabbit’s foot for luck. Some have also believed it represents jumping into the future and moving ahead with life and happiness.[citation needed]

via Rabbit rabbit – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

architecture, Louisville, real estate market: I was just telling someone that Louisville is more midwestern than southern in architecture … classic southern here!

Kentucky Greek Revival

11/01/11

Price: $2,950,000

Location: Louisville, United States

Type of Home: Detached Home

This house near Cherokee Park in Louisville, Ky., includes a Tuscan-inspired courtyard, as well as a sunroom and a wine room. The current owner designed the interiors, adding a mix of French, English, Chinese, Japanese and contemporary furniture. –Sushil Cheema

Dorothy Cherry says she and her late husband, Wendell Cherry, bought this Greek Revival home in Louisville, Ky., 33 years ago, just a month before they married. ‘I called it my honeymoon cottage,’ Ms. Cherry says. Mr. Cherry, the co-founder of hospital operator Humana, Inc., passed away in 1991 at the age of 55. Photo: John Nation

via Kentucky Greek Revival — Photos, House of the Day – WSJ.com.

Northeastern University (Boston),  regional campus, Charlotte:  Johnson & Wales made sense to me … but why would Northeastern University open a “regional campus” in Charlotte.

Northeastern University of Boston is officially laying down stakes in Charlotte today smack in the middle of the city at Trade and Tryon streets.

It is the venerable private school’s first venture outside Massachusetts, and likely won’t be its last — with campuses planned elsewhere, including in Seattle within a year.

In Charlotte, Northeastern will offer a doctorate in education and eight master’s-level programs tied largely to the region’s financial center. Those offerings will include masters of science degrees in finance, taxation, project management, sports leadership, leadership, education and health informatics.

The school is leasing 14,000 square feet of space in the 20-story 101 Independence Building at Trade and Tryon, including administrative offices on the ground floor near the entrance.

N.C. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and local officials plan to hold a ribbon-cutting this morning for the new uptown Charlotte campus.

via Northeastern University is opening regional campus today | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

‘History of the World in 100 Objects’, British Museum:   I loved following this when they were released daily … might be a good coffee table book.

IT was a project so audacious that it took 100 curators four years to complete it. The goal: to tell the history of the world through 100 objects culled from the British Museum’s sprawling collections. The result of endless scholarly debates was unveiled, object by chronological object, on a BBC Radio 4 program in early 2010, narrated by Neil MacGregor, director of the museum. Millions of listeners tuned in to hear his colorful stories — so many listeners that the BBC, together with the British Museum, published a hit book of the series, “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” which is being published in the United States on Monday.

via ‘History of the World in 100 Objects,’ From British Museum – NYTimes.com.

Teach for America, college football, Alabama, Coach Saban: “But in spite of this, the Board of Education plans to hire 110 Teach for America teachers over the next three years and put them in schools in poor neighborhoods.  These are recent college graduates, most of whom got degrees in something other than education and will receive a five-week crash course in how to teach before being sent off to work in the city’s most challenging schools.”

But in spite of this, the Board of Education plans to hire 110 Teach for America teachers over the next three years and put them in schools in poor neighborhoods.  These are recent college graduates, most of whom got degrees in something other than education and will receive a five-week crash course in how to teach before being sent off to work in the city’s most challenging schools.”

Anyone who pays attention to education knows that the most persistently poor-performing schools are those in impoverished neighborhoods.  For example, there are nine schools in the Huntsville system where more than 90 percent of students receive free-reduced lunches.  According to an analysis by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, none of these schools have reading and math scores where all grades (three through eight) are equal to or above state average.

By comparison, of the five schools where all grades are above state average, free-reduced lunches range from 4 to 25 percent.

But in spite of this, the Board of Education plans to hire 110 Teach for America teachers over the next three years and put them in schools in poor neighborhoods.  These are recent college graduates, most of whom got degrees in something other than education and will receive a five-week crash course in how to teach before being sent off to work in the city’s most challenging schools.

I don’t believe this is the way Coach Saban thinks.

But this rather convoluted logic is not the only concern raised by hiring Teach for America teachers.

Earlier this year the Board of Education released a substantial number of employees, citing continuing budget concerns as the reason.  Yet in addition to paying the salaries of the TFA teachers, the board will also pay an additional $5,000 per teacher to the TFA organization.

Teachers across the state have just had their pay reduced by the Legislature; Gov. Robert Bentley announced a few days ago that the state’s education budget will be $108 million less next year than in the current year, money for classroom supplies have been slashed to the bone and educators are being asked every day to do more with less.

Yet the Huntsville City Board of Education is considering signing a contract for $550,000 with Teach for America.

What am I missing?

via If football coaches used Teach for America logic – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post.

clocks, time:  I like the art of this one …

Clock for an Acrobat – new clock by Pentagram’s Daniel Weil explores parallels in the way time moves in space and an acrobat’s moves along a wire. Related, 7 ways to understand time.Clock for an Acrobat – new clock by Pentagram’s Daniel Weil explores parallels in the way time moves in space and an acrobat’s moves along a wire.

via curiosity counts – Clock for an Acrobat – new clock by Pentagram’s….

Justice Clarence Thomas, Establishment Clause:  This is a mess … don’t usually agree with Thomas.

Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday said that the U.S. Supreme Courts establishment-clause jurisprudence is “in shambles.”Citing divergent lower-court opinions on the display of crosses, the Ten Commandments, and other religious messages in courthouses, city halls, and public schools, Thomas said “our jurisprudence has confounded the lower courts and rendered the constitutionality of displays of religious imagery on government property anyones guess.””Even if the court does not share my view that the establishment clause restrains only the federal government, and that, even if incorporated [i.e., applied to the states], the clause only prohibits actual legal coercion, the court should be deeply troubled by what its establishment clause jurisprudence has wrought,” Thomas said in a lone dissent from the courts denial of certiorari in Utah Highway Patrol Association v. American Atheists Inc. Case No. 10-1276.The Supreme Court on Oct. 31 refused to hear the case involving white crosses placed on or near spots where members of the Utah Highway Patrol were killed while on duty. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, ruled last year that although the crosses were placed by a private group, their location predominantly on public property conveyed a message that the state of Utah endorsed Christianity.In his 19-page dissent, Thomas referred to a number of school cases that, in his view, reflect confusion or inconsistent application by lower courts of the Supreme Courts rulings under the First Amendments prohibition against government establishment of religion.

via Thomas: Establishment Clause Jurisprudence In Shambles – The School Law Blog – Education Week.

Tricia Rose Burt, fertility challenge:  Interesting …

New Story is Featured National Podcast on The StoryCollider

Vignette from new show Be Fruitful and Multiply begins airing Oct. 31

Just days after completing a successful run of I Will Be Good  at the FringeNYC Encore series, I was asked to perform at The StoryCollider  in Brooklyn. An audience favorite, the story was selected for their national podcast. Tune in here!

At The StoryCollider, all the stories told are about science, some by experts and some by everyday folks. My story  is based on my husband’s and my experience with fertility treatments several years ago. It’s both poignant and funny (well, as funny as invasive medical procedures can be) and is part of my upcoming show, Be Fruitful and Multiply (working title), currently in development. As always, I’d love your feedback — email me  or post your thoughts on my Facebook page.

via New story podcast nationwide!.

 …

The fertility challenge

A 40-year old artist struggles with fertility treatments.

via Tricia Rose Burt: The fertility challenge.

 …

“I’m mostly terrified of two things: One, having a baby and all of the freedom I’ll lose, and two, not having a baby, and all the joy that I will miss.”

via Tricia Rose Burt: The fertility challenge.

You Are Not So Smart: A Field Guide to the Psychology of Our Stupidity, book: Probably need this “field guide.”

We spend most of our lives going around believing we are rational, logical beings who make carefully weighted decisions based on objective facts in stable circumstances. Of course, as both a growing body of research and our own retrospective experience demonstrate, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For the past three years, David McRaney’s cheekily titled yet infinitely intelligent You Are Not So Smart has been one of my favorite smart blogs, tirelessly debunking the many ways in which our minds play tricks on us and the false interpretations we have of those trickeries. This month, YANSS joins my favorite blog-turned-book success stories with You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself — an illuminating and just the right magnitude of uncomfortable almanac of some of the most prevalent and enduring lies we tell ourselves.

The original trailer for the book deals with something the psychology of which we’ve previously explored — procrastination

via You Are Not So Smart: A Field Guide to the Psychology of Our Stupidity | Brain Pickings.

02
Sep
11

9.2.2011 … a little pomp and circumstance … CLS seniors march in their gowns … encouraged to give back …

Charlotte Latin School, Fall Convocation, Seniors, kith/kin:  Being a high school senior is a special time.  CLS does a great job of focusing and celebrating its seniors.

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Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas, Constitutional Law, The Supreme Court, The Tea Party, health care reform:  I read a review of the New Yorker article the other day, which was very good.  The article, although very long, is also very good … read it if it interests you.

It has been, in certain respects, a difficult year for Clarence Thomas. In January, he was compelled to amend several years of the financial-disclosure forms that Supreme Court Justices must file each year. The document requires the Justices to disclose the source of all income earned by their spouses, and Thomas had failed to note that his wife, Virginia, who is known as Ginni, worked as a representative for a Michigan college and at the Heritage Foundation. The following month, seventy-four members of Congress called on Thomas to recuse himself from any legal challenges to President Obama’s health-care reform, because his wife has been an outspoken opponent of the law. At around the same time, Court observers noted the fifth anniversary of the last time that Thomas had asked a question during an oral argument. The confluence of these events produced the kind of public criticism, and even mockery, that Thomas had largely managed to avoid since his tumultuous arrival on the Court, twenty years ago this fall.

These tempests obscure a larger truth about Thomas: that this year has also been, for him, a moment of triumph. In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.

via The Thomases vs. Obama’s Health-Care Plan : The New Yorker.

book clubs, opportunities:  I have pasted the whole article.  What a great opportunity!

Randall: An exceptional book club

Sometimes when you least expect it, life opens a door you never dreamed you’d enter. It’s enough to make you want to wake up each morning just to see what will happen next.

Anything is possible as long as you keep waking up.

Some months ago, a reader of my column (a man I’ve not met but hope to do so) sent me a story from The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer by columnist Kay McSpadden, about an unusual book club that meets each week at the main branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Book clubs are not often called “unusual.” But Turning Pages is exceptional for two reasons: First, most of its members are homeless. Some are housed. Others are in “transition.”

Second, and just as rare, is a very pregnant woman in a purple dress and high heels — a self-described community volunteer who read two years ago about a similar program in Boston, and saw no reason why it couldn’t happen in Charlotte.

Candace Curlin Vance is the kind of friend you want on your side in a fight — fearless and tireless. And, as the folks at Turning Pages have learned, you can count on her to have your back.

Also, she talks faster than most normal people can think, which is handy for getting publishers to donate books.

The same reader who sent me that story suggested to Candace that Turning Pages ought to read “Birdbaths and Paper Cranes,” a collection of columns I published 10 years ago that includes stories set in my home state of North Carolina.

Candace wrote at once to ask how she might obtain 25 copies.

I replied that the book is out of print and, unfortunately, I didn’t have 25 copies. She thanked me anyhow, and that was that.

The next day I found two big boxes of books I didn’t know I had. When I told Candace, she laughed. As a woman of faith and persistence, she has often seen “no” turn into “yes.”

And that’s how I ended up flying to Charlotte last week to meet the members of Turning Pages, who had just finished reading, of all things, my book.

We sat around a big table — different races, genders, backgrounds and walks of life — talking, laughing, eating biscuits from Bojangles’, drinking sweet iced tea. It was very Southern. I never felt more at home.

They asked excellent questions, offered insightful observations and convinced me they’d actually read the book.

One woman, now housed after years of living on the streets, presented me with a gift, a blue-and-white-spattered painting.

“It’s called ‘Falling Water,’ ” she said, smiling. “I signed my name on the back so it will be worth something someday.”

Little did she know how much it was already worth to me.

Afterward, when we’d eaten all the biscuits, shaken all the hands and gone our separate ways, I asked Candace about the future of Turning Pages.

“It’s my baby,” she said. “I really want to see it continue.”

But with another “baby” on the way (her first child is due in October), she hopes someone will step up to fill her high heels.

So do I.

Reading is the great equalizer. A book never asks who we are or what we do or where we sleep at night. It asks only that we read and try to understand.

When we come together with open hearts and open minds to discuss what we’ve read, we discover that we are more alike than we are different.

We create community, a sense of belonging, a sense of home.

We turn the hopeless “no” into the “yes” of possibility.

Anything is possible, as long as we keep reading. Just ask the readers of Turning Pages.

via Randall: An exceptional book club | ScrippsNews.

Michael Vick, second chances, prayers:  I believe in second chances.  But with that kind of money he could so easily fail again.  Prayers …

Vick said that experience and maturity have taught him patience. “You never know what’s going to happen. You just live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunities you’ve been given. You know what kind of talent you have, you know what you can do. You just have to be patient and that’s something I’ve learned over the years and unfortunately while I was away. Everything in life happens for a reason and it taught me patience and I think that’s part of the reason I’m here today. Being patient.”

And Vick knows that the way others see him may never change. It isn’t easy to get past what he did. “I’m just trying to be the best person I can be. I can’t control what people think, their opinions, their perception. That’s personal and that’s for them. The only thing I can control is what I can control and that’s trying to be the best person I can be, the best citizen I can be, the best father I can be. I think that speaks for itself. That’s not by force, that’s by choice. Some things may never change. I may never change in certain facets of my life, but it is what it is.”

via Michael Vick, the $100 million man, says, ‘I never thought this day would come again’ – The Early Lead – The Washington Post.

Romare Bearden, Charlotte NC:  One of my favorite artists.  I love the recognition he is getting on the anniversary of his 100th birthday.

Romare Bearden Turns 100

Charlotte Native and well-known artist Romare Bearden would have been 100 years old this Friday, and to celebrate the artistry and influence of this world-renown, critically praised Charlottean, we’ll be joined by a panel of Bearden experts who will talk about his life, his influences, his art and his legacy here and elsewhere.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

9/11, New World Trade Center:  Worth watching the interactive to see the future of the 9/11 site.

Ground Zero Now – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney : “Scorched earth runs in the family.”  Again, I think he may be senile.

 WHY is it not a surprise to learn that Dick Cheney’s ancestor, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Civil War soldier who marched with Sherman to the sea?

Scorched earth runs in the family.

Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues.

Vice’s new memoir, “In My Time,” veers unpleasantly between spin, insisting he was always right, and score-settling, insisting that anyone who opposed him was wrong.

A person who is always for the use of military force is as doctrinaire and irrelevant as a person who is always opposed to the use of military force.

Cheney shows contempt for Tenet, Colin Powell and Rice, whom he disparages in a sexist way for crying, and condescension for W. when he won’t be guided to the path of most destruction.

He’s churlish about President Obama, who took the hunt for Osama bin Laden off the back burner and actually did what W. promised to do with his little bullhorn — catch the real villain of 9/11.

via Darth Vader Vents – NYTimes.com.

books, digital age:  It’s not over until it’s over …

But let’s not overdo things. Let’s not lose sight of the data we have, and let’s not invent data when we only have anecdotes. And finally, let’s not forget the wonders this new world opens up. Being able to download a book to read instantaneously wherever you are is a thing of wonder, after all (and there is some anecdotal suggestion that people are coming back to books via new digital platforms).

For authors, the chance to reach out to readers, instantly and effectively, is changing the way titles are marketed and delivers a glorious independence that comes with having your own digital presence to curate and to shape. There are new creative opportunities offered by interactive technologies. There is the chance to play in a world where books and stories can be either the private, cherished experience of old or a public, shared conversation with other readers from across the world.

via The death of books has been greatly exaggerated | Books | guardian.co.uk.

Video Time machine, apps:  What year would you pick?

Pick a year and watch specific categories including TV, Music, Advertisements, Trailers, Video Games, Sports, and more!

via App Store – Video Time Machine.

Hurricane Irene, natural disasters, Waffle House, the Waffle House Index: The “Waffle House Index!”

When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

The mobile command center, above, went to Havelock, N.C., during Irene.

“If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said. “That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work.”

via Waffle House Index Measures Hurricane Recovery – WSJ.com.

Life Above All, movies, South Africa:  Adding it to the list.

Life, Above All is the moving story of a 12-year-old South African girl, Chanda (stunningly played by newcomer Khomotso Manyaka), who’s forced to care for her younger siblings while trying to find her mother, who has fled their home in a village near Johannesburg in the face of local prejudice and rumors.

The powerful drama tackles the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa head-on, not just in medical and health terms, but in showing how superstition and gossip can create an atmosphere of secrecy and shame that makes dealing with the issue even more difficult.

(In many ways–its strong, young female protagonist, the way it portrays a small, rural community’s fears and secrets, the sense of hope it still manages to foster–Life, Above All may remind viewers of last year’s Winter’s Bone.)

Based on Allan Stratton’s 2004 novel Chanda’s Secrets, the film is directed by Oliver Schmitz, who was born to and raised in South Africa by German parents. Life, Above All is also the acting debut of 14-year-old Khtomosto Manyaka who was noticed by talent scouts during a choir performance at her high school in Elandsdoorn, South Africa.

via Interview: Life, Above All’s Star Khomotso Manyaka and Director Oliver Schmitz | Redblog.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, lists:

This is the second year in a row that Facebook’s Zuckerberg takes home the crown, which I guess makes him slightly less “new establishment.” Just “establishment” should do.

In any case, keep on winning those magazine awards, Zuck. They’re worth more to you than the errant billion stuffed in your mattress, though I hear $10,000 bills are actually quite soft.

via Mark Zuckerberg is Totally the Establishment, Man – Techland – TIME.com.

libraries, librarians:  I wish I knew one well to nominate.

The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community.

via The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries: Who Loves Their Librarian??.

Caiaphas, ossuary, archeology, history, Biblical figures:

An ancient burial box recovered from antiquities looters three years ago contains a mysterious inscription that could reveal the home of the family of the figure Caiaphas, who is infamous for his involvement in the biblical story of the crucifixion of Jesus.

The burial box, also called an ossuary, was discovered in 1990, but the inscription was just recently verified as legitimate (and not the result of forgers trying to increase an artifact’s value) by Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University and Boaz Zissu of Bar Ilan University. The box is made of limestone, is covered in decorative rosettes and has an inscription.

In the Bible story of Jesus’ crucifixion, a Jewish high priest named Caiaphas is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus.

What is special about the inscription on this ossuary is that the deceased is named within the context of three generations; the inscription also includes a potential residence.

via Ossurary turns up new clues to Caiaphas – CBS News.

green, electric cars, electrical vehicle charging stations, Davidson NC: Filler Up!

Electric vehicles could become a viable option for motorists in the coming years, but not without a place to charge up. Add South Main Square to the list of places to plug in. Thanks to a federal stimulus grant awarded through the state of North Carolina, the South Main Street shopping center is getting one of the region’s first electric vehicle charging stations.

“It’s Davidson’s first electric vehicle charging station that will be available for public use,” said Kathleen Rose, who owns South Main Square and also runs the Project for Innovation, Energy & Sustainability (PiES), a “green” business incubator based there. Ms. Rose worked with Raleigh-based Praxis Technologies to bring the charging station to Davidson.

via Drive an electric? Fill ‘er up at South Main Square | DavidsonNews.net.

9/11 anniversary, Where Were You When?:  

Sept. 11, 2011, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Washington Post wants to know how the attacks may have affected your life and your views. In what ways do the attacks still resonate? How have the attacks affected your way of seeing the world? We’ll take your submissions and consider using them as part of an anniversary project on the impact of Sept. 11. Please include your age, as well as where you lived when the attacks occurred and where you are now.

via Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary: Share your story – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post.

Bones:

literary locations, Book Map, Google Maps:  Where would I like to go?

Ever wish you could visit the locations in your favorite novels?

In our new Book Maps feature, we will interview an author or biographer about locations in their book. We will also create a special Google Map about the interview so you can take a walking or driving tour through the book in real life. Email GalleyCat if you have other Book Map suggestions.

For our first installment, we asked Joe Woodward to share the places where novelist Nathanael West lived and worked in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Woodward took us on a book tour of Alive Inside the Wreck: A Biography of Nathanael West. The Google Map is embedded above–click on the blue pins for more details about a specific location.

via Book Map: Nathanael West & Los Angeles – GalleyCat.

food, recipes, lamb, rosemary:

The new Minimalist videos will return next week. For now, here’s one from 2008 with an elegantly casual recipe for lamb and figs grilled on rosemary skewers.

via Grilled Lamb on Rosemary Skewers – Video – The Minimalist – NYTimes.com.

The new Minimalist videos will return next week. For now, here’s one from 2008 with an elegantly casual recipe for lamb and figs grilled on rosemary skewers.

social networks, Newseum, twitter: I found this one on twitter …
Newseum (@Newseum)
9/1/11 3:59 PM
Great infographic on the development of social networks.http://t.co/5gtWh9p

However, the great writer who has really been portrayed this way most frequently in recent times is one who hasn’t yet been visited by the jaunty Gallifrean: Jane Austen. Both in the film Becoming Jane and the TV movie Miss Austen Regrets, Austen was depicted as a waspish cynical tomboy, clever with words if not so clever with men: a sort of Regency Sue Perkins. In the TV movie, there was a greater stab at complexity, as the character grew bitter with age – an Elizabeth Bennett who never nabs Mr Darcy – but in both there was, I would hazard, an incipient underlying sexism, based on the notion that Austen’s work was underpinned by her own failures in love.

Because here’s the thing about Jane Austen. She was a very great genius. She is possibly the greatest genius in the history of English literature, arguably greater than Shakespeare. And her achievement is not that much to do with love, although that was her subject matter. It’s to do with technique. Before her there are three strands in English fiction: the somewhat mental, directly-reader-addressing semi-oral romps of Nashe and Sterne and Fielding; the sensationalist Gothic work of Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe; and the romances of Eliza Haywood and Fanny Burney.

However great these writers are, none could be read now and considered modern. When Austen gets into her stride, which she does very quickly with Sense and Sensibility, suddenly, you have all the key modern realist devices: ironic narration; controlled point of view; structural unity; transparency of focus; ensemble characterisation; fixed arenas of time and place; and, most importantly, the giving-up of the fantastical in favour of a notion that art should represent life as it is actually lived in all its wonderful ordinariness. She is the first person, as John Updike put it: “to give the mundane its beautiful due”, and her work leads to Updike as much as it does to George Eliot.

I have no idea how a mainly home-educated rector’s daughter came by all that, but I know that imagining her as a kind of acerbic spinster flattens out this genius. It becomes all about the subject matter and not at all about the huge creative advance her work represents. When the Tardis does land in Hampshire in 1815, I imagine there will be witty banter between Jane and the Doctor and some men in britches; if it’s still David Tennant there might even be some flirtation, perhaps a sad, chaste goodbye. But what there should be is a moment when he says “I’m 900 years old, I’ve got a brain the size of a planet, and I’ve still no idea how you single-handedly created the modern English novel”. At which point Jane Austen will rip off her bonnet to reveal the tiny figure of Davros, king of the daleks, sitting in a small glass dome in her skull.duhduhduhduhduh, duhduhduhduh, duhduhduhduhduh,weeeoooo…weee-weeooo…

via David Baddiel wonders what Dr Who would make of Jane Austen – Times Online.

Jane Austen: 

All of them point to Austen’s inimitable humor, incisive observations of human nature and unwavering moral stance that make her works still relevant two hundred years later today.

via Why We Read Jane Austen.

Children’s/YA literature, Gretchen Rubin:  This list has quite a few that I am not familiar with …

If you want some ideas of books to read, for a group or just for yourself, here are a few of my favorites. It pains me to list so few! But this is a good start.

Because they’re already so widely known, I’m not going to list some very obvious ones, like the Harry Potter books, the Narnia books, the The Lord of the Rings books, or my beloved Little House books.

The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman

The Silver Crown, Robert O’Brien

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Half Magic, Edward Eager

The Second Mrs. Gioconda, E. L. Konigsberg

Black and Blue Magic, Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright

Graceling, Kristin Cashore

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, Peter Cameron

Greengage Summer, Rumer Godden

This list represents a big range — some are meant for ten-year-olds, some for seventeen-year-olds. But they are all so good that they can be enjoyed by an adult.

via The Happiness Project: Looking for Some Reading Suggestions in Children’s or Young-Adult Literature?.

Manitoba, Canada, polar bears, travel:  I think I would like to see the polar bears.

The iconic polar bear is a must-see for every wildlife lover and Churchill, Manitoba is the best place in the world to see them! Each fall, hundreds of polar bears naturally migrate through this cozy northern town and it is easier than you think to get there. Don’t miss out on these special offers for October and November, 2011 which include limited-time* promotions.

via Travel Manitoba: Polar Bears.

fashion, coats:  Glad we are moving away from the puff stuff.

But the fall runway collections made a fairly convincing case for rethinking the role of outerwear in our wardrobes. Designers like Vera Wang, Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra put parkas front and center in their shows, while hybrid styles of bombers, blanket coats, ponchos, peacoats, toggle coats and toppers appeared just about everywhere else. It was as if the fashion world was making a collective stand against those ubiquitous puffer jackets that make most of us look as if we’re wearing bubble wrap. “You can have on whatever you want underneath, but this year the coat is the statement piece,” said Tanya Spivey, the executive vice president for design and merchandising at Andrew Marc, a division of the apparel conglomerate G-III that makes coats for companies like Calvin Klein, Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole. That said, there are a lot of coats to sort out. And since it has been a while since some common outerwear lingo has been put to use, here is a little refresher course.

via A Field Guide to Outerwear – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

29
Aug
11

‎8.29.2011 … Settling in to a Fall routine …

9/11, 9/11 Remembrances – 10 years, President George W. Bush, Where Were You When …Bush Recollects Ground Zero: “It Was Like Walking Into Hell….There Was A Palpable Blood Lust.” – YouTube.

Davidson College, Davidson Basketball, Steph Curry:  Welcome home!

The NBA: just helping make dreams come true, even when it’s clogging up news feeds with stodgy non-updates about a lockout that’s as bleak as this weekend’s beach weather along the Jersey shore.

Curry is back on campus and registered as a full-time undergraduate, taking three classes. The school’s most recognizable commuter student lives approximately 30 minutes away, just outside of Charlotte.

“I’ve had a couple of run-ins already where some kids are a little star-struck,” Curry said.

It’s an intangible gift he can give back to the community that he was largely responsible for invigorating. After Davidson’s Elite Eight run in 2008, applications for the school skyrocketed. Enrollment increased by 300 students, which is large considering Davidson’s undergraduate numbers flirt with the 2,000 mark. Suddenly, there was a housing crisis on campus, which led to two new dormitories.

“I have always wanted to finish since I left,” Curry said. “I made a promise to myself to finish at some point. Once the lockout was looming, I thought about it. It was my idea, and coach McKillop was very helpful to reaching out to professors and get a plan back together.”

It speaks to the tone of the lockout and the NBA’s foggy future for the rest of 2011. Why else would Curry go through the trouble of enrolling at Davidson and committing himself to being a full-time student?

“I’m very optimistic about a deal getting done, it’s just the way the talks have gone so far, I want to be as productive as possible,” he said.

If the improbable happens and the NBA season does start on time or gets going before Curry’s course load comes to an end this semester, there are allowances at the university that Curry could utilize. He would be able to finish up his work from Oakland and send it in.

So, what does Stephen Curry need to take in order to move toward earning his degree? The history of education, medical sociology and research on his senior thesis will be taking up his weekday mornings and afternoons in the coming months. Once he completes those at the end of this semester, he’ll have three more credits to finish, plus his senior thesis, which he said he plans on writing next summer.

He’s already developing a routine. McKillop said Curry stopped at his office in between classes Thursday, just to say “Hi.”

His weekdays go roughly something like this:

• At 7:30 a.m., he has ankle rehab in a suburb of Charlotte. Curry had surgery at the end of May, and said he’ll be ready to get on the court and play competitively in a few weeks. “I’m not so far behind that I wouldn’t be ready if the season were ready to go in [October],” Curry said.

• After his rehab he makes sure to stop at Chick-fil-A. It’s arguably the most important part of his day.

• From there, it’s about a 40-minute drive to Davidson.

• He works out for a few minutes before his late-morning/early-afternoon classes.

• He then stops in to see McKillop, gets in some more shooting or weight-lifting workouts, then heads home to see his wife later in the afternoon.

• Mondays and Wednesdays are one class; Tuesdays and Thursdays, a double-dip.

The turn of events also presents an opportunity to be a student assistant for the basketball team.

via Curry reconnects with Davidson for degree, more, during lockout – NCAA Division I Mens Basketball – CBSSports.com.

Moses, Bible, vocation:  I am still listening for my vocation!

I know their sufferings, and have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, to bring them up to a land flowing with milk and honey. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people.” But Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” He said, “I will be with you.” Moses said, “What is your name?” God said, “I am who I am. This is my name forever” (Exodus 3).Moses is quite literally minding his business when God surprises him with a startling vocation. We may look forward to “vacation,” but God is all about “vocation,” calling us into active duty, for God and for the community. When God “calls” people in the Bible, there is a noticeable pattern. God calls. The one who hears, and is stunned by the divine encounter, is at a loss for words. God proposes a plan. The mere mortal objects, and usually with good reason – but God reassures. The God of the Bible seems far more interested in availability than in ability. In fact, God at times seems to prefer disability to ability. Moses is often thought of as having a stutter, but Exodus only says “I am not eloquent” – and what shepherd could expect to be eloquent in the courts of Pharaoh?

God’s assignments often are staggering in scope, and costly to us. Robert McAfee Brown said, “Moses ducks and weaves in every possible way to avoid the body blow of the assignment.” Yet God is persistent, and is able to overcome every objection, able to use us in spite of our inability, precisely through our inability.

Notice Moses is not out looking for God. He’s been on the run from God and his destiny for some time! And: God does not relate to Moses so he can have warm, religious feelings and continue on his way. Moses is called into the thick of difficulties, to be God’s representative on behalf of disadvantaged people, even at the point where religion and politics meet, and wage battle with each other.

And what better biography could we have of the nature of God? “I have heard my people’s cry; I know their suffering; I am coming to deliver them, and to bless them.”

via eMoses – Burning Bush.

Justice Clarence Thomas, Virginia Thomas, Constitutional Law, The Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin, literary allusions:  This is just a review of Toobin’s article … I’ll tell you what I think after I read the article.

Jeffrey Toobin’s gripping, must-read profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the New Yorker gives readers new insight into what Sauron must have felt: Toobin argues that the only Black man in public life that liberals could safely mock and despise may be on the point of bringing the Blue Empire down.

In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.

If Toobin’s revionist take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work.

Toobin is less interested in exploring why liberal America has been so blind for so long to the force of Clarence Thomas’ intellect than in understanding just what Thomas has achieved in his lonely trek across the wastes of Mordor.  And what he finds is that Thomas has been pioneering the techniques and the ideas that could not only lead to the court rejecting all or part of President Obama’s health legislation; the ideas and strategies Thomas has developed could conceivably topple the constitutionality of the post New Deal state.

It’s hard to argue with Toobin that Thomas has moved the ball down field in his quest for a new era of constitutional jurisprudence.  Sauron’s tower is probably not going to fall right away, but for the first time, progressives are beginning to see credible scenarios which could change the rules of the game.

Jeffrey Toobin is announcing to the liberal world that Clarence Thomas has morphed from a comic figure of fun to a determined super-villain who might reverse seventy years of liberal dominance of the federal bench and turn the clock back to 1930 if not 1789.

The fantasy is still far fetched, and it is notoriously hard for political movements to get and hold power long enough to shift the balance on the Supreme Court, but that Thomas has accomplished as much as he has shows how far the country has drifted from the old days when liberals were confident that the Supreme Court would find new ways to fit its judicial philosophy to the demands of the blue social model.

They can no longer count on that; the consequences could be extreme.

via New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom | Via Meadia.

2012 Presidential Election, Michelle Bachmann:  I am already tired of this woman.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Team Bachmann says the line wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

“Obviously she was saying it in jest,” campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart told TPM.

via Michele Bachmann: Earthquake, Irene Were A Wake Up Call From God For Politicians | TPMDC.

The Help, movies, bookshelf, reviews, racism:  To a large extent  I agree with this woman … but I thought the black actresses in the movie added authenticity.  But she nails it “they question whether she [a white woman] is capable of telling that particular story.”  Also, “Cultures function and persist by consensus.” And this is where I am left … I belief that my Southern white family is good … at what point does the sin of a culture become my sin.

To some extent, they have been angry that the movie is based on a novel by a white woman, Kathryn Stockett, and they question whether she is capable of telling that particular story. Some have also complained that the movie reinforces stereotypes about black Southern households. The black heroines speak with a dialect that disturbs some viewers; the audience never sees an intact black household, and a black man’s abuse of his wife is all the more chilling because we never see him, only the pots he hurls and the scars he leaves.

One maid’s close bond with the white toddler she cares for has been decried as a re-enactment of the misconception that maids nurtured their white charges while denigrating their own black offspring.

Not all blacks are unmoved by “The Help.” Indeed, among my friends, relatives and colleagues a wide range of views have been shared, including comments that some of us might want to establish a support group for strong black women who liked “The Help.”

This movie deploys the standard formula. With one possible exception, the white women are remarkably unlikable, and not just because of their racism. Like the housewives portrayed in reality television shows, the housewives of Jackson treat each other, their parents and their husbands with total callousness. In short, they are bad people, therefore they are racists.

There’s a problem, though, with that message. To suggest that bad people were racist implies that good people were not.

Cultures function and persist by consensus. In Jackson and other bastions of the Jim Crow South, the pervasive notion, among poor whites and rich, that blacks were unworthy of full citizenship was as unquestioned as the sanctity of church on Sunday. “The Help” tells a compelling and gripping story, but it fails to tell that one.

I have dim recollections of watching Dr. King in 1963, with the black maid who raised me — my mother. If my father wasn’t in the room, he was working to make sure there would be opportunities in my future. I have benefited enormously from their hard work and from the shift that American culture has undergone as the scaffolding of discrimination was dismantled.

via Dangerous White Stereotypes – NYTimes.com.

The Holy Land Experience, Orlando FL, Disney, faith and spirituality, Facts Stranger Than Fiction…:  Anybody been?  I haven’t, but I do have a few thoughts: 1) reminds me of PTL, 2) disneyfies the Biblical stories, and 3) monetarily competes with “theme parks.” Just doesn’t work for me … I don’t want my kids comparing faith with fiction … Jesus with Harry Potter or Moses with Dumbledore.

 

The Holy Land Experience is a living biblical museum and park that brings the world of the Bible alive!

It combines the sights and sounds of the biblical world in a unique and interactive way unlike anywhere else! To appreciate everything there is to do at The Holy Land Experience, you will want to plan to spend a full day with us.

via Exhibits – The Holy Land Experience.

23
Feb
11

2.23.2011 … Leaving on a jet plane … But know when I’ll be back again … :)

random, pets, Senator Teddy Kennedy:  OK, I just liked this op-ed piece.  🙂

My feelings on this assignment were conflicted, to say the least. On the one hand, I was impersonating a dog. On the other, I was heartened by the warmth that people from so many other states felt for the senator from mine.

In time I found a strange satisfaction in writing back to these puppy-crazed children, one that I never got from answering the office phones. None of Splash’s correspondents cared about or even knew Senator Kennedy’s position on the estate tax, or whether he’d invoke cloture on a resolution to incrementally finance the defense budget. In fact, a simple “Woof!” seemed to be all the constituent outreach they needed to be assured that the senator was on their side.

Of course Senator Kennedy demonstrated his loyalty to the youth of America in many ways. He pushed to finance Pell grants for college scholarships and to ensure all children were covered by health insurance, and fought to lower the voting age to 18.

Today would have been Senator Kennedy’s 79th birthday. In December, Splash died, a little more than a year after his master. Reading that sad news, I remembered the “liberal lion” sitting at his desk while Splash slobbered away on a grimy tennis ball in the corner. It was an image that had soothed nervous interns and disarmed even Kennedy’s fiercest critics in Congress. Then I remembered the letters to Splash, and I realized those children felt the same way that I had as a kid in Boston, and still do — that we were all a small part of the Kennedy family.

via My Life as a Dog – NYTimes.com.

Justice Clarence Thomas, The Supreme Court: With all due respect, I just do not understand this one …

His “just say nothing” approach harkens back to a time many decades ago, when justices spoke very rarely at public sessions, allowing lawyers to argue their case for hours, sometimes days on end, without interruption. Arguments today are a rapid-fire question-and-answer free-for-all, with the court peppering attorneys standing before them with hypotheticals, precedents, and their own personal views on the case at hand. Thomas alone refuses to jump into the fray.

Legal blogs and various commentators have been busy the past few weeks leading up the dubious anniversary, wondering what Thomas’ silence means for the court itself, in its broader decision-making process. Written opinions remain the main way the court expresses its precedent-setting power, but oral arguments can serve an important function — helping to focus an appeal’s flaws along the fringes of constitutional limits, an exercise for the benefit of the public and the justices themselves. These public sessions are often an ideal way to test often novel legal theories and to help a justice answer any lingering issues that prove decisive in the opinion-writing process to follow.

Thomas does occasionally speak from the bench, when announcing opinions he has written, but before arguments commence. Off the bench, especially in friendly audiences, the justice can be gregarious, fun, inquisitive, and often self-reflective. He has a booming voice, and his hearty laugh is easily recognizable.

“This is a person who is remarkably at peace with himself,” said David Rivkin, a conservative attorney and longtime friend of Thomas, “a person who is very comfortable with himself — probably much more so than is typical for many people in Washington, at his level of position.”

via Justice Thomas quietly marks an anniversary – CNN.com.

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago, politics:  I don’t like Rahm Emanuel.  Sorry, Chicago.  Just seems like more of Chicago’s dirty politics.

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago on Tuesday, the Associated Press projected, easily overwhelming five rivals to take the helm of the nation’s third-largest city as it prepares to chart a new course without the retiring Richard M. Daley.

Rahm Emanuel sat with family members as he awaited election returns at his rally in Chicago.

With 86 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Emanuel was trouncing five opponents with 55 percent of the vote to avoid an April runoff. Mr. Emanuel needed more than 50 percent of the vote to win.

via Emanuel Elected Chicago Mayor – WSJ.com.

Middle East Uprising, Libya:  The Economist called it “The Awakening” … And in the second article, the picture of Gadhafi looks like a mechanical fortune-teller in a machine to me …

THE people of the Middle East have long despaired about the possibility of change. They have felt doomed: doomed to live under strongmen who have hoarded their wealth and beaten down dissent; doomed to have as an alternative only the Islamists who have imposed their harsh beliefs—and beaten down dissent. In some places, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, the autocrats and the Islamists have merged into one. But nowhere has a people had a wholly free choice in how they are ruled. And the West has surrendered to this despair too, assuming that only the strongmen could hold back the extremists.

Two months ago a Tunisian fruit-seller called Muhammad Bouazizi set fire to these preconceptions when, in despair over bullying officials and the lack of work, he drenched himself in petrol and struck a match. Tunisians and, later, Egyptians took to the streets. Almost miraculously, the people overwhelmed the strongmen who had oppressed them for decades. In the past few days tens of thousands have marched in Tehran, braving beatings and arrest. In tiny Bahrain men have died as the security forces sprayed protesters with rubber bullets and smothered them in tear gas. In Libya crowds have risen up against a fearsome dictator. Jordan is sullen, Algeria unstable and Yemen seething (see article).

via The Arab world: The awakening | The Economist.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, the pro-Gadhafi forces said they were surrendering for good.

Locals said they identified several among them as foreign because of their features and accents; the accounts these fighters gave under interrogation, placed them as from Chad, Niger and other sub-Saharan African countries.

The Libyan soldiers will be handed over to their tribal leaders, Baida rebel leaders said. The foreign fighters will face a jury of local notables on Wednesday.

The fate of others may have already been determined, grimly. Earlier Tuesday in Sidi Burana, an Egyptian town on the border with Libya, Egyptian workers fleeing back home showed thumb-drive and cell-phone videos with pictures of what they said were captured pro-government mercenaries being viciously beaten in Baida. One video showed a dark skinned man, who the Egyptian workers said was a mercenary from Chad, being beaten to death. Another video showed what they said were mutilated mercenary corpses.

via Dictator Gadhafi Loses Grip in Libya – WSJ.com.

ebooks, libraries, digital media, apps:  Interesting.

Actually checking out a book, takes very little time. After all, these files contain only text, not large video or audio files. Since I had trouble finding books to download, I settled on a romance novel featured on OverDrive’s homepage titled “Hawk’s Way: Rebels” by Joan Johnston. It took less than 30 seconds to download to my iPad.

Once downloaded, books looked fine on the iPad and Dell Streak. The screen’s brightness can be adjusted using an on-screen slider and a handy navigation strip at the bottom of each page shows where you are in a book and how many pages remain in the currently opened chapter. Publishers can set the number of font sizes to which text can be adjusted. And with the app, text can’t be displayed like pages in a real book (with two columns of text on two pages opened in front of you) when the tablet is held horizontally.

OverDrive doesn’t enable synchronizing of material across multiple devices, like Amazon’s Kindle app does with Whispersync. So if I download a book on my iPad in the OverDrive app, I can’t open that book on an Android phone or desktop using OverDrive.

OverDrive serves more than 13,000 libraries with a catalog of 400,000 titles from 1,000 publishers, but it’s possible your library may not use this system (check OverDrive.com for participating libraries). The spokesman said the company plans an app for the BlackBerry by June and hopes to enable wireless downloads on other devices in the future.

via A Review of the OverDrive App for Borrowing eBooks – WSJ.com.

twitter, pirates, fact v. fiction, RIP:  Twitter line for Mr. Wood’s article just struck me.  Who would have thought that the pirates would be a force on the modern-day world stage.  Prayers for the families of the victims.

It takes more than Peter Pan to fight Captain Hook in the real world. by David Wood

Four American Sailors Shot Dead by Somali Pirates.

President Eisenhower, checks and balances, government, politics:

Unwarranted Influence also recaptures Eisenhower’s troubled second term, and his sense of urgency about distilling his political legacy and giving some final, informed counsel to the American people. That counsel, delivered in January 1961, stressed the need for balance, a key virtue in Eisenhower’s thinking. Above all, it sought to demonstrate the need for a wise balance between American liberties and national security, a tug of war that troubles the country even to this day.

In Eisenhower’s view, the military-industrial complex posed a grave risk to the checks and balances of the American government. It was a controversial thought at the time, and it still is. As Ledbetter’s book shows, Eisenhower’s words still speak to us, a full half century after he left office—an impact few other political speeches can claim.

via Eisenhower’s History-Changing Speech – Newsweek.

words, history:  OK?

The Boston Morning Post, in the midst of a long paragraph, as “o.k. (all correct)”.

How this weak joke survived at all, instead of vanishing like its counterparts, is a matter of lucky coincidence involving the American presidential election of 1840.

One candidate was nicknamed Old Kinderhook, and there was a false tale that a previous American president couldn’t spell properly and thus would approve documents with an “OK”, thinking it was the abbreviation for “all correct”.

Within a decade, people began actually marking OK on documents and using OK on the telegraph to signal that all was well. So OK had found its niche, being easy to say or write and also distinctive enough to be clear.

But there was still only restricted use of OK. The misspelled abbreviation may have implied illiteracy to some, and OK was generally avoided in anything but business contexts, or in fictional dialogue by characters deemed to be rustic or illiterate.

Indeed, by and large American writers of fiction avoided OK altogether, even those like Mark Twain who freely used slang.

But in the 20th Century OK moved from margin to mainstream, gradually becoming a staple of nearly everyone’s conversation, no longer looked on as illiterate or slang.

Its true origin was gradually forgotten. OK used such familiar sounds that speakers of other languages, hearing it, could rethink it as an expression or abbreviation in their own language.

via BBC News – How ‘OK’ took over the world.

25
Jan
11

1.25.2011 … Isaiah Study … then lunch with a special friend … focusing on Yahweh Shalom …

followup, ChristCare, faith/spirituality:  Great discussion of I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html … I definitely am in a period of focusing on God as

Jehovah My Peace—Yahweh Shalom. Jesus’ shalom during this process is enabling me to find quiet meadows and waters of rest, especially as my anxious spirit wells up inside me. He speaks words of comfort and hope into my turmoil:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

—Mt. 11:28-30

via Discipleship Journal Archives :: I Am The Good Shepherd.

Jekyll Island GA, travel, GA, Childhood, history:  Saw this today on Facebook and just remember being fascinated by this plastic box that contained an old-fashioned phone where “THE first transcontinental phone call” was made … whatever that was!


This first call was made during the 1915 opening ceremony which consisted of a four-way call between Jekyll Island, Washington D.C., New York City, and San Francisco.

via FIRST Transcontinental Telephone Call – Jekyll Island, Georgia – First of its Kind on Waymarking.com.

Atlanta History Center

On this day in 1915, the first public transcontinental telephone call was placed from Jekyll Island, GA by AT&T president Theodore Vail.

via Facebook.

Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas: I always thought ignorantia juris non excusat (Latin for “ignorance of the law does not excuse” ) … Thomas Says He Erred on Disclosure Forms – NYTimes.com.

culture, Disney Princesses: I think I took the approach that the Barbie/Disney Princess/ pink phase was just that a phase that most girls went through … and would pass.

Orenstein finds one such enlightening explanation in developmental psychology research showing that until as late as age 7, children are convinced that external signs — clothing, hairstyle, favorite color, choice of toys — determine one’s sex. “It makes sense, then, that to ensure you will stay the sex you were born you’d adhere rigidly to the rules as you see them and hope for the best,” she writes. “That’s why 4-year-olds, who are in what is called ‘the inflexible stage,’ become the self- appointed chiefs of the gender police. Suddenly the magnetic lure of the Disney Princesses became more clear to me: developmentally speaking, they were genius, dovetailing with the precise moment that girls need to prove they are girls, when they will latch on to the most exaggerated images their culture offers in order to stridently shore up their femininity.” For a preschool girl, a Cinderella dress is nothing less than an existential insurance policy, a crinolined bulwark to fortify a still-shaky sense of identity.

via Book Review – Cinderella Ate My Daughter – By Peggy Orenstein – NYTimes.com.

new blog: Just discovered this weekly NYT blog on Civil War history … very good.

The story of the Civil War will be told in this series as a weekly roundup and analysis, by Jamie Malanowski, of events making news during the corresponding week 150 years ago. Written as if in real time, this dispatch will, after this week, appear every Monday. Additional essays and observations by other contributors, along with maps, images, diaries and so forth, will be published several times a week. For another perspective on the war, see this op-ed by Tony Horwitz. — The Editors

via DISUNION – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

GA history:  … and this week’s Disunion blog is on Georgia’s decision to secede.  Showdown in Georgia – NYTimes.com.

quotes, Margaret Mitchell:

“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” − Margaret Mitchell.

via http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/pr_view.asp?id=47

Billy Graham, evangelism, Charlotte:  Good article on Billy Graham … he regrets close connections to politics.

“[S]uccess is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us?”

via Billy Graham’s Regret: ‘I Would Have Steered Clear of Politics’.

Supreme Court, LOL, culture: This story analyses Sup. Ct. transcripts to determine which justice has the best sense of humor by the number of “(Laughter.)” responses recorded …

On the other hand, there was surely an intended sting in the best line of the term so far, from the generally dour Justice Alito. In an argument over a law barring the sale of violent video games to minors, Justice Scalia asked what the drafters of the First Amendment thought about government restrictions on depictions of violence.

“I think what Justice Scalia wants to know,” Justice Alito said, “is what James Madison thought about video games.”

“(Laughter.)”

via Study Analyzes Laughs at Supreme Court – NYTimes.com.

Children’s/YA literature, Eric Carle, art history:  I am a big fan of Eric Carle since my son Edward slept with his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the almost two years.  So this book sounds very interesting.

In October, children’s author Eric Carle will publish The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, a book inspired by the work of “banned Expressionist painters” the author first encountered as a student in World War II-era Germany.Although he has written over 70 books, Carle pictured, via is best known for two classic titles: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Scheduled for publication in October 2011, Penguin Young Readers Group’s Philomel imprint has planned a first printing of 300,000 copies.Here’s more from the release: “[The book] is  inspired by the work of the great Expressionist painter Franz Marc, a founder of the artists’ group known as Der Blaue Reiter The Blue Rider, who famously used abstract blue horses in his paintings. Eric Carle’s new book tells the story of an artist who paints the world as he sees it—a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox, a black polar bear. His brilliant new work will captivate and educate readers with its colorful and magical story of Expressionist art and the imaginative leaps of a painter.”

via Eric Carle to Publish Children’s Book Inspired by Formerly Banned Expressionist Art – GalleyCat.

If I had a billion dollars: Enough said, I would buy this old house.

This home on King Street in the historic district was built by ODonnell over the period of 1852-1870. He was building the house for his bride but he took so long finishing the job that his fiancé married another. The home was once lived in by the women who inspired the character of Melanie in Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind. The home has an 18th century Venetian palazzo exterior with a cross-ventilated New York brownstone interior and wide Charleston-style porches. The home has been beautifully restored. Details to swoon for include random width heart pine floors, heavy moldings and ceiling medallions, 11 fireplaces with faux marble mantles, French doors and an antique elevator.

via Historic Patrick ODonnell House Gets Big Price Cut.




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