Posts Tagged ‘Kagan Nomination

22
Jul
10

7.22.2010 … degraying is done … quiet time at chez teague (i.e. two bassets and a cat have weasled their way into the ac and onto my bed) …

Apple iPad, LOL:

An enterprising Japanese blogger has transformed his iPad into a virtual sushi platter. It’s a revolutionary idea with one nasty flaw: your iPad might be left with an unwelcome fishy smell.

The first experiment (above) involved turning a less-than-appealing package of supermarket tuna sushi and turning it into something more appetizing. After re-plating the sushi on his iPad, it suddenly became delicious!

via Introducing the iDish | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

archeology, places, history:

British archeologists are calling the discovery of an underground structure next door to the famous Stonehenge columns the biggest find there in five decades.

via Shadow Stonehenge Discovered At Historic Site : NPR.

random, news: “part high-tech Huck Finn”

Even in the age of the search engine, Mr. Harris-Moore seemed untraceable and unknowable, part high-tech Huck Finn, part cunning criminal.

via For ‘Barefoot Bandit,’ Life on the Run Started Early – NYTimes.com.

graphics, entertainment:  FROM MY NIECE … Loving this Dirty Harry typographic poster/video!

Dirty Harry typographic movie poster on the Behance Network.

iPad apps:  Really like this one … and it will only get better.

The stealthy Kleiner Perkins-backed startup called Flipboard has now been revealed to be, as some suspected, a social application for the iPad. The new Flipboard iPad app bills itself as a “social magazine” – that is, one which aggregates status updates, tweets, photos and articles from those you’re connected to on social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook. These updates are beautifully laid out into an easily digestible view which you can flip through with your fingers.

via Flipboard, New “Social” iPad Magazine will be Powered by Semantic Data.

food, sports: disgusting …

The all-you-can-eat food — the nachos, hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, lemonade, sodas and ice cream — that he was entitled to with the purchase of a ticket in the Orioles’ Left Field Club Picnic Perch was that big of a draw.

“It’s an easier walk,” Cavalier said.

The left-field sections at Camden Yards are part of the growing trend of all-you-can-eat style options in major league ballparks. At a cost of $40 per ticket in the section, fans are entitled to a buffet-style choice that includes all the above-mentioned foods and even salad — you know, in case you are feeling guilty.

via All-you-can-eat sections in major leagues expanding – MLB – SI.com.

design, retro:  Like the look … but comments say dangerous.

Italian bespoke appliance manufacturer Meneghini rebuilds old iceboxes with modern fridges inside, an exceedingly winning combo (especially the ones with portholes!). They’re insanely expensive (five figures!), but they’re fun to day-dream about!

via Fridges built from old iceboxes – Boing Boing.

archeology, NYC:

The 18th-century boat unearthed last week at the World Trade Center site is about to make its first journey in more than 200 years.Starting on Monday, archaeologists will dismantle the ship’s crumbling wooden beams and move them to storage to study them further, said Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority.

via 18th-Century Boat to Leave World Trade Center in Pieces Monday – DNAinfo.com.

favorites:  I am a redbox fan.

The DVD rental service Redbox has already helped put Blockbuster on deathwatch notice, and now the company has its sights on the Netflix-dominated segment of the home entertainment market. Though a concrete plan is not worked out, Redbox is looking to the web and figuring out the best online distribution model with which to compete with Netflix and others. According to a report from Bloomberg, it’s not even definite the company will make the digital leap, though they would be stupid not to.

via Redbox Heads Online, Challenges Netflix to a Brawl – Cinematical.

random:

Instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen, there will be “head counselors” when Serena Orgel, 35, and Josh Young, 36, get married this September at Lake Bryn Mawr Camp in Honesdale, Pa. During the weekend festivities, guests will sing songs in a talent show and roast marshmallows at a bonfire. The newlyweds plan to paddle away in a canoe with a “Just Married” sign. Guest attire? “Camp chic,” says the bride-to-be.

via Sleep-Away Camp Weddings – WSJ.com.

Kagan nomination:  done deal

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to endorse Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The final tally was thirteen “aye”s to six “nay”s, with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joining the committee’s twelve Democrats to vote in Kagan’s favor. Today’s editions of USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post all have coverage of this step toward confirmation, as do NPR, Slate, CNN, and Politico. C-SPAN has video coverage of the nearly three-hour committee meeting.

via SCOTUSblog.

Davidson:  Congrats, Annual Fund!

THANK YOU, Davidson alumni, for a remarkable year in supporting the college and the Annual Fund. Together we raised record-breaking dollars, received a record-breaking number of gifts, and… wait for it… we’ve made Davidson NUMBER ONE in the country in Annual Fund participation (this year, 61%).

via Notes From the Alumni Director: Number One. Yes, Number One..

random, Great Recession:

While many communities are fearfully contemplating extensive cuts, Maywood says it is the first city in the nation in the current downturn to take an ax to everyone.

The school crossing guards were let go. Parking enforcement was contracted out, City Hall workers dismissed, street maintenance workers made redundant. The public safety duties of the Police Department were handed over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

At first, people in this poor, long-troubled and heavily Hispanic city southeast of Los Angeles braced for anarchy.

Senior citizens were afraid they would be assaulted as they walked down the street. Parents worried the parks would be shut and their children would have nowhere to safely play. Landlords said their tenants had begun suggesting that without city-run services they would no longer feel obliged to pay rent.

The apocalypse never arrived. In fact, it seems this city was so bad at being a city that outsourcing — so far, at least — is being viewed as an act of municipal genius.

“We don’t want to be the model for other cities to lay off their employees,” said Magdalena Prado, a spokeswoman for the city who works on contract. “But our residents have been somewhat pleased.”

That includes Mayor Ana Rosa Rizo, who was gratified to see her husband get a parking ticket on July 1, hours after the Police Department had been disbanded. The ticket was issued by enforcement clerks for the neighboring city of Bell, which is being paid about $50,000 a month by Maywood to perform various services.

via A City Outsources Everything. Sky Does Not Fall – NYTimes.com.

The President, race issues:

The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted “national conversation” about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation’s subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic.

Instead, the conversation just got dumber.

The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America. Obama’s own, sole foray into the issue of race involved calling a police officer “stupid,” and regretting his own words. Conservative leaders and the NAACP, the venerable civil-rights group, recently engaged in a round of bitter name-calling that left both groups wounded and crying foul. Political correctness continues to reign in parts of the left, and now has a match in the belligerent grievance of conservatives demanding that hair-trigger allegations of racism be proven.

“This is the way race plays out all too often these days — as soon as the accusation of racism is made, good will, the benefit of the doubt, presumption of innocence all go out the window. It’s seen as a virtue to jump to the least charitable conclusion when the issue is race — those who reserve judgment are accused of naivete or complicity,” he said.

Though Obama’s candidacy was widely hailed as a new day for race in America, there were always dissenters, and the Sherrod episode seems to suggest the skeptics had a point. On the right, writer Ramesh Ponnuru warned against freighting Obama with too much racial baggage: “What if Obama becomes our first black president, and he comes to be seen as a failure in office?” he asked, calling the notion that voting for Obama would improve race relations “a risky gamble.”

….

Others believe that Obama’s election, with its implication that America was over its race problem, has paradoxically brought out the bigots.

“People who in the past would have been reluctant to express their feelings [now] feel free to do so,” said David Bositis, a senior research associate at the liberal Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington.

Others say that the current uproar is simply a symptom of the country’s enduring racial obsession – something only the naïve could have expected Obama to banish.

The recent public flaps “tell us that all the talk about post-racialness aside, the race question is still a burning question in American life. People will use it in all sorts of different ways. But it doesn’t surprise me,” said Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy, author of “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”

Blair Kelley, a professor of history at North Carolina State University, put a similar observation more bluntly on Twitter Tuesday in response to this reporter’s inquiry.

“The ‘national conversation on race’ has always been this stupid,” she wrote. “Just much less frequent.”

via So much for that ‘conversation’ on race – Ben Smith – POLITICO.com.

19
Jul
10

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 CNN.com.

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 – CharlotteObserver.com.

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”?

al·right

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 – NYTimes.com.

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 – NYTimes.com.

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 | washingtonpost.com.

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 – USATODAY.com.

06
Jul
10

7.6.2010 hot, hot, hot … happy birthday, Julie! … the molls will be on her way to winter in 4 days … so we are buying tights, jackets, long sleeve shirts, etc. today … very strange …

events: happy birthday, Julie!

culture, science:  Some things seem obvious to me …

“On a practical level this means that the average adolescent has difficulty falling asleep before 11 p.m.,” Dr. Owens said. Teenagers still need slightly more than nine hours of sleep each night, which would call for an ideal wake time of about 8 a.m.

via The Benefits of Starting School Later and Letting Teens Sleep Later – WSJ.com.

language, culture, international:  American English as the international standard … hmmm … Is there American English?  Economist Debates: English: Statements.

The President, Kagan nomination, the Roberts Court, politics:  collision course …

Some advisors counseled caution, but the president opted to criticize the conservative justices in the uncomfortable spotlight of national television as Senate Democrats roared their approval.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is still angered by what he saw as a highly partisan insult to the independent judiciary. The incident put a public spotlight on the deep divide between the Obama White House and the Roberts court, one that could have a profound effect in the years ahead.

The president and congressional Democrats have embarked on an ambitious drive to regulate corporations, banks, health insurers and the energy industry. But the high court, with Roberts increasingly in control, will have the final word on those regulatory laws.

Many legal experts foresee a clash between Obama’s progressive agenda and the conservative court.

Obama chose Kagan for the court believing she could bridge the gap with some of its conservatives. Her mission is to help uphold the laws that Obama and Democrats are pushing through Congress.

During her hearing, Kagan found herself in the odd spot of defending judicial restraint before senators who usually worry aloud about sending a “judicial activist” to the court.

“Can you name for me any economic activity that the federal government cannot regulate under the commerce clause?” asked Sen. John Cornyn (R- Texas).

“I wouldn’t try to,” Kagan replied, emphasizing that the court has long said lawmakers have broad powers to regulate economic activity.

The high court, however, will decide whether making Americans buy health insurance amounts to economic activity.

It may be another year or two before a true challenge to the Obama agenda reaches the Supreme Court.

McConnell, the law professor, said the administration’s broad set of regulatory moves made a clash almost inevitable. “It does not mean the courts are being ‘political,’ ” he said. “It is the way the institutions are designed, to create checks and balances.”

via Obama and Supreme Court may be on collision course – latimes.com.

music, people, life: Since John spotted Ringo in Boston last week … I found this interesting … and yes, I’d like peace and love for my birthday, too.

Rob Shanahan Ringo Starr during this year’s tour with his All Starr Band.

Ever since Ringo Starr vowed, on a well-known cover of Buck Owens’s hit “Act Naturally,” that he’d become “the biggest fool to ever hit the big time,” the renowned rock ’n’ roll drummer has done all right for himself. As a member of the Beatles and as a solo artist, Mr. Starr has sold more than a few records, won some Grammy Awards and even had a minor planet named for him. But on Wednesday Mr. Starr will reach a very special milestone: he turns 70 years old.

via Ringo Starr at 70 – ‘Not Hiding From It, You Know’ – Question – NYTimes.com.

culture, the South, LOL: I enjoyed the article …

So, here we have two Southern boys who made it good. Among other things, they both gave their houses names, they both left this world before their time, and they both recorded You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog. Ok, Faulkner didn’t record Hound Dog, but I have it on good authority that he hummed it a lot, and I think he went to school with one of the Jordanaires.

Although the two men were quite different, they were like identical twins when contrasted with how well their houses compare.

via Graceland vs Rowan Oak by Raymond L. Atkins | LikeTheDew.com.

news, life, FIFA World Cup 2010: Sometimes life is just not fair.

This probably wasn’t the reception he was hoping for.

CNN reports that Brazil’s football coach, Dunga, was fired upon arriving home to Rio de Janeiro after the team’s 2-1 loss to Holland on Friday. Brazil was a favorite for many in World Cup pools and the unexpected loss has hit many football fans hard. Dunga, whose real name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, has been coach since 2006.

via Fiiiiiiired! Brazil Word Cup Coach Loses Game, Then Job – TIME NewsFeed.

economy, travel: If you ever wanted to run … now would be the time.

In Pamplona, the crisis is expected to take a toll for tourism and nonstop street parties during its weeklong festival of bullfighting made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Hotels used to sell out three to four months before the event – but not this year.

“You can still find good quality rooms going for around euro100 ($125) and vacancies even in some top class hotels, something unheard of four years ago,” said Nacho Calvo of the Navarra Restaurant and Hotel Association.

At the plush, sought-after AC Ciudad de Pamplona hotel, “we have seen fewer foreigners, and this year the absence of Americans is notable, there are hardly any,” said manager Gabriel Pascual.

Bullfighting promoter Luis Miguel Ballesteros two years ago put on 27 or 28 small town bull spectacles in villages with populations ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 people each across the Castilla-Leon region, part of Spain’s historic heartland.

via Can Spanish Bullfighting Survive Bans, Economy? – CBS News.

random:  We call this ninja ping pong 🙂

random, gardening: pretty impressive …YouTube – Mosaïcultures Intenationale de MONTREAL.

05
Jul
10

7.5.2010 Wonderful fourth celebration at the lake with my Charlotte “family”. Great fun to just relax, swim, EAT, talk, share and watch fireworks … thank you Lomax family!

history, gardening, art, practicing what you preach: Because Monticello is such a national treasure, I am glad Jefferson failed personally at what he argued for us nationally/politically.

This seems like clear hypocrisy, but it also points to the deep ambivalence in the American mind between our professed ideals and our economic imperatives. We mistrust wealth, but we simultaneously worship it. Like Jefferson, we idealize the supposed simplicity of rural life, but like him we want our country weekend houses well-stocked with all the modern comforts. And, like him, we’re not willing to to balance the checkbook if means sacrificing what he called “the pursuit of happiness.” We can recognize ourselves in Thomas Jefferson, because his contradictions, and his addictions, are our own.

Less well-known is the fact that Jefferson was also America’s founding home and garden addict, a detail-obsessed improver who designed the perfect dwelling at Monticello, then endlessly remodeled it. He sank huge sums into landscaping his grounds in the latest styles and entertained a constant stream of guests with spreads of heirloom vegetables and fine French wine so lavish as to make an oenophile blush.

In doing so, Jefferson set the standard for the irresponsibly over-leveraged American homeowner, mortgaged to the hilt to enjoy the good life. At his death on July 4, 1826, Jefferson was so deep in debt that everything he owned including his slaves had to be sold.

via Jefferson: our first home, garden addict – CharlotteObserver.com.

facts, culture: very interesting …

Federal data from 2007 says 40 percent of births in America are to unwed mothers, a trend experts say is especially common in middle-class America. In one St. Louis community, the notion of getting married and having children — in that order — seems quaint.

As to what kind of consequences this new concept of marriage will have for the next generation — a group of children who may grow up with several parental figures instead of just two — Becky says she worries about it. Experts say it’s too soon to say what the effects will be. We’ll have to ask these children in 20 years.

via Kids First, Marriage Later — If Ever : NPR.

BP oil crisis, economy:

“THE bad news is we didn’t hit oil,” ran the old wildcatter’s joke. “The good news is we didn’t find gas.” Potentially dangerous and always more difficult to manage than pouring liquid into a barrel, natural gas used to give oil companies a headache. Now gas is dominating the thoughts of Western oil bosses and, increasingly, their firms’ portfolios. Seven of the eight projects Exxon Mobil completed last year were for natural-gas developments. Two of the three it has scheduled for this year are also gas-related. Royal Dutch Shell says that by 2012 half of its output will come from gas. The current high oil price still makes crude the prize for any self-respecting major. But the West’s big oil companies are growing gassier.

via Oil companies’ dash for gas: Vapour trails | The Economist.

art, NYC: I enjoyed this article very much … my conclusion was that Hopper’s work epitomized art … “a collage inside Hopper’s imagination”. Nighthawks is in Chicago at the Art Institure and one of my favorite paintings.  If you are in Chicago … go see it … it is worth a look.

Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, 1942. Oil on canvas; 33 1/8 x 60 in. (84.1 x 152.4 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago

Back home, I dug through my bookshelves and unearthed Gail Levin’s “Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.” The book is autographed by the author — I had gone to hear Ms. Levin read in a bookshop that is now gone — and dated from a time when I was still new to the city and knew it largely, romantically, as a sprawling Hopper painting filled with golden, melancholy light. In the book, Ms. Levin reported that an interviewer wrote that the diner was “based partly on an all-night coffee stand Hopper saw on Greenwich Avenue … ‘only more so,’” and that Hopper himself said: “I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger. Unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.”

Partly. More so. Simplified. The hidden truth became clearer. The diner began to fade. And then I saw it — on every triangular corner, in the candy shop’s cornice and the newsstand’s advertisement for 5-cent cigars, in the bakery’s curved window and the liquor store’s ghostly wedge, in the dark bricks that loom in the background of every Village street.

Over the past years, I’ve watched bakeries, luncheonettes, cobbler shops and much more come tumbling down at an alarming rate, making space for condos and office towers. Now the discovery that the “Nighthawks” diner never existed, except as a collage inside Hopper’s imagination, feels like yet another terrible demolition, though no bricks have fallen.

It seems the longer you live in New York, the more you love a city that has vanished. For those of us well versed in the art of loving what is lost, it’s an easy leap to missing something that was never really there.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Nighthawks Of the Mind – NYTimes.com.

history, NC, OBX:  I almost cried over the Mother Vine … and I had never heard of it … Partly because I love the Outer Banks and its history and lore.

A scuppernong grapevine in Manteo, believed to be 400 years old, is struggling after a utility contractor sprayed it with weed killer. N.C. DIVISION OF TOURISM

For centuries, a massive grapevine has grown on the northern end of Roanoke Island, and long ago came to be called the Mother Vine.

It’s believed to be the nation’s oldest cultivated grapevine.

Cuttings from the vine, which yields sweet scuppernong grapes, helped sprout North Carolina’s wine industry. The vine erupts from the sandy soil in Manteo a gnarly 2 feet thick, and has survivednor’easters, bugs and mildew for maybe 400 years.

Then a utility contractor sprayed it with weedkiller. The Mother Vine is sick.

Jack Wilson, who has owned half the vine for 52 years, noticed a bit of browning in late May. He found more browning the next day.

It turned out that a contractor for Dominion Power had driven through, spraying herbicides to keep vines from engulfing power poles. A tendril of the Mother Vine had touched a pole. Wilson said a neighbor reported that the contractor “sprayed the heck out of everything.”

Grapevine and other experts rushed to the scene. Dominion Power fell on its sword.

“We feel awful this has happened,” said spokesman Chuck Penn. “I mean, you’re talking about an historic icon, 400 years old, and we are really saddened.”

Wine lovers are holding their breath. Scuppernongs, a type of native muscadine, were the first U.S. cultivated wine grapes. They’re the foundation of the state’s 175-year-old wine industry, now seventh largest in the nation.

via Centuries-old N.C. ‘Mother Vin

news, UGA, social responsibility, career, followup:  One mistake, caught, can ruin a career.  That is a hard lesson.  Interesting line … “He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot…”

“He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot,” said Stone, onetime president of the Columbus-area Bulldog Club. He wants Evans dismissed swiftly.

via UGA fans angry, sad over Evans  | ajc.com.

A source has confirmed that Damon Evans and the University of Georgia have reached a negotiated settlement that will result in his resignation as athletic director.

Georgia athletic director Damon Evans leaves a news conference in Athens, Ga., Thursday, July 1, 2010. A state trooper pulled Evans over late Wednesday night for driving erratically. Police said Evans smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test. He was taken to Atlanta’s city jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain a lane. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The resignation is expected to be announced during an 11 a.m. Monday teleconference of the executive committee of the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Evans has been under fire since his DUI arrest Wednesday in Atlanta.

via Source: Evans, UGA reach settlement; resignation to be announced Monday  | ajc.com.

college search:

For seven summers, a group of college counselors from across the country have climbed on bicycles to travel from college to college on an informal, saddle-bound fact-finding mission that I like to think of as the Tour d’Admission.

via College Admissions Advice – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

media, business model: Just interesting …

The freely syndicated articles have ads embedded in them (which you must not adjust if you’re republishing–though the Guardian notes you’re free to have your own ads elsewhere on the page to drive your own monetization efforts). So by republishing the Guardian content, you’re effectively multiplying the newspaper’s advertising footprint … and this is how the publication is hoping to make a success of this bold move. If it finds its articles grabbed and republished many times–a situation that may happen as less and less big-name news articles are freely available–then it’ll be able to charge more fees to its advertising partners.

via Blogs as 21st Century Newsies: The Guardian’s Syndication Experiment | Fast Company.

public art, favorites, Charlotte: Romare Bearden is one of my favorite artists.  And I love public art … so I will be excited to see the part dedicated to Romare Bearden and the relationship with his art.

This conceptual rendering gives an idea how artist Kendall Buster's metal wire sculptures might look once in place at proposed Romare Bearden Park.

Some might say Kendall Buster’s welded metal sculptures resemble hot air balloons.

Others might see flower bulbs turned upside down.

Either way, her design is a winning concept, said Brad Thomas, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Commission.

The commission’s search committee chose Buster over two other finalists to create the sculptures for a proposed uptown park.

The committee chose Buster’s concept design, in part, because she and the park’s landscape architect have both expressed an interest in collaborating to create a setting for the sculptures at Romare Bearden Park.

Buster’s design also would allow visitors to move around and inside the sculptures and experience them in different ways from each location, Thomas said.

“We’re talking about a park environment and creating some interaction with the work of art,” Thomas said. “Kendall took all of those early considerations in and really brought to the table a commission that will serve us well when the park opens and for many years down the road.”

Buster, 55, teaches sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The Yale University graduate has had commissions and exhibitions nationally.

Last week she installed a sculpture at Johns Hopkins University and has another installation planned this summer at the new Indianapolis Museum of Art garden.

In Charlotte, Buster proposed multiple rounded-top sculptures for Bearden Park, currently a parking lot at Church and Third streets.

The park is expected to celebrate the life and work of Bearden, a Charlotte native and renowned 20th-century artist who died in 1988.

Plans call for an art wall and gardens, a theme in some of Bearden’s work. A memory walk will include colorful paving based on one of Bearden’s works.

via Virginia sculptor will build for uptown park – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, entertainment, Davidson ’82:  Saw Knight and Day … honestly a stupid movie … but great entertainment with Bob and Joni … sometimes I just need to be entertained.  And Joni and I got a good laugh during the Running with the Bulls scene, since we have a Davidson ’82 friend who has actually done it …

IMDb Video: Knight and Day: Trailer #2.

vuvuzelas, culture, FIFA World Cup 2010: Got mine … blue … intended to take it to 4th of July party, but forgot … It is Panthers blue … Will John or I dare take it?

With that note of the Exotic Other struck, we could turn to the question of the object’s future. What happens when the World Cup concludes next weekend and a tchotchke diaspora takes shape? After all, it’s “a must-have item” for visiting fans, The National Postof Canada reported, noting that one South African maker of the horns sold about a million of them (for $2.50 each) before matches even got underway. “I love it,” said one German fan quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. “I can see it catching on at games in Europe.” In the U.S., they have already been given out at as a Florida Marlins game promotion. The vuvuzela sound has proliferated in a range of ringtones and smartphone apps.

via Consumed – The Vuvuzela as Cultural Artifact – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court, history, media, politics, Thurgood Marshall legacy: Do you think the media analysis (legal, political, historical, philosophical, cultural, personal) has been more extensive on the last two nominations has been markedly more extensive?

Thankfully, Ms. Kagan appears to have escaped any damage from these attempts to paint her as the second coming of this devilish caricature of her former mentor. But the justice’s own legacy took some hits, and the truth about his record needs to be set straight before this distortion becomes fixed in the public mind.

First, there are the hard numbers. As a lawyer, Marshall argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29. That’s hardly the record of a man operating outside of the legal mainstream. Marshall’s rulings on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals were never overturned by the Supreme Court, and in most of his appellate opinions he joined with the majority of what was then viewed as a conservative circuit. As solicitor general of the U.S. he lost only five of the 14 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

via Juan Williams: The American Conservatism of Thurgood Marshall – WSJ.com.

When Senate Republicans decided to turn the first day of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing into a referendum on her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, they made two big mistakes. The first was tactical: Most Americans just don’t know or care that much about Marshall’s jurisprudential style. When they think of him, they think of him as a lion of the civil rights movement, a guy you name airports after. While deriding him as a “judicial activist” and “results oriented” may have been an attack on his judicial craftsmanship, to most of us it sounded a lot like an insult to his legacy. But the real mistake the GOP made in tethering Kagan to Marshall was that the comparison emphasized the exact point Senate Democrats were attempting to make all week: that the court has a critical function to play when the other two branches of government let the American people down. Democrats made that point with some success. By invoking Marshall over and over again, Republicans really drove it home.

via How Republicans inadvertently made the case for confirming Elena Kagan. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine.

IN her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Elena Kagan cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. as her model of judicial restraint in response to questions from Republican senators who want the court to overturn health care, campaign finance and economic regulations.

Ms. Kagan picked the wrong justice. Holmes was a cold and brutally cynical man who had contempt for the masses and for the progressive laws he voted to uphold. Ms. Kagan would do better to look to the justice whose seat she has been nominated to fill: Louis D. Brandeis. Brandeis, who was succeeded by William O. Douglas and then John Paul Stevens, was not only a great and restrained judge but the most prescient critic of the “curse of bigness” in a time of economic crisis.

Both Holmes and Brandeis were heroes of the Progressive Era, when the constitutional debate eerily anticipated the one that unfolded in the Kagan hearings. Liberals denounced the pro-corporate bias of the conservative Supreme Court, and conservatives countered that only the court could protect economic liberty and personal freedom in the face of an out-of-control regulatory state.

Although Holmes and Brandeis both objected to conservative activist decisions striking down progressive regulations, Holmes, unlike Brandeis, had no personal sympathy for the Progressive movement. An aristocratic nihilist who once told his sister that he loathed “the thick-fingered clowns we call the people,” Holmes believed that judges should vote to uphold virtually all laws, even the ones they hate.

If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, Brandeis will be a far more relevant guide as she grapples with the issues at the center of our current constitutional debates. (Disclosure: I’ve known Ms. Kagan for years and my brother-in-law has been her principal deputy in the solicitor general’s office.)

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Brandeis’s Seat, Kagan’s Responsibility – NYTimes.com.

music, science, philosophy, history: OK, so i am a nerd … but I found this fascinating?

Jay Kennedy tells NPR’s Guy Raz that his discovery was partially luck. Looking at Plato’s works in their original scroll form, he noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music. “The regularity of that pattern was supposed to be noticed by Plato’s readers,” Kennedy says.

Music in ancient Greece was based on a 12-note scale, unlike the eight-note scale of modern Western music. Kennedy posits that Plato deliberately inserted discussions of music every 12 lines to send a secret, musical message.

What Plato couldn’t tell people was that he was a closet Pythagorean. Pythagoras and his followers believed that mathematics and music were the key to the universe.

“Plato’s philosophy shows us one way to combine science and religion,” Kennedy says. “The culture wars we’re having today — about evolution for example — see science and religion as two polarized opposites. Plato’s hidden philosophy shows us that he combined an emphasis on mathematics with an emphasis upon beauty, music, art and divinity. The founder of western culture, in fact wanted us to combine science and religion.

via A Musical Message Discovered In Plato’s Works : NPR.

Davidson:  Great video about Davidson and it’s future … What Should the Core Values of Davidson College Be?.

Two professors and a student spent a large part of the spring semester examining the values that Davidson espouses. They hope that the video they produced illuminates the range of opinions the community holds about those values, as well as demonstrating the value of video as a tool in teaching and learning.

architecture, culture, great headlines: Midlife crisis for a stadium … 15 years?  How old is the Roman Coliseum?  Are million, even billion dollar buildings obsolete in 30 years?  Are buildings  “disposable” today? Are the financing term and the useful life of a building equivalent?

At the ripe old age of 15, Bank of America Stadium remains a pleasant place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Look around the rest of the NFL, though, and it becomes clear how hard it is to keep up with the (Jerry) Joneses, from the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.2 billion palace opened last season to the $1.6 billion stadium the New York Giants and Jets will move into next month.

via Midlife crisis for Carolina Panthers’ BofA Stadium? – Charlotte Business Journal.

BP Oil Spill, opening lines: I bought gas at a BP station … and admittedly I thought that i should punish BP … but really I’m hurting the local owner and myself.  If BP goes bankrupt, nobody wins … gas is gas …

Does that mean I have oil on my hands?

So today I drove into the BP station up the street from my house. There were one or two cars at first. By the time I finished filling my tank the place was packed. And I felt happy about it. Me, the social worker who will go the extra mile for the injured and underdog, me the lover of dolphins, turtles and whales.

Because BP is us. And the owner of my local BP station is a member of my community with a family to support and anguish over the folly of the  parent corporation. (I’ve been there in my lifetime. Have you?)

There was a thank you note taped to each pump at the station this morning, explaining that the station is locally owned and operated. I wanted to go inside and hug somebody.

So let’s stop the scapegoating and the finger pointing and good grief, let’s  stop making this a political event. We’re in this together. Those responsible need to make amends and pay for this mess. They should do time or pay huge fines if there are criminal elements to what happened. But I won’t make my neighbor any more responsible than I am for our country’s squandering of resources. This is our time to come together and do some soul searching about ourselves.

via I Bought Gas at a BP Station Today by Cathleen Hulbert | LikeTheDew.com.

art, DC: Another article on Norman Rockwell’s exhibit to open at the Smithsonian … “American Ideal”  … interesting analysis.

His heyday was the 1940s and early ’50s, when the accumulated sorrows of the Depression and two World Wars imbued Americans with a sense of solidarity and common purpose. “There was a strong sense of loss,” Mr. Spielberg said. “Because not since World War I had America’s mothers lost so many sons. It was an open wound, and Rockwell was part of the healing process.”

As beloved as he was by the public, he suffered the slings of critical derision, especially in the ’50s. The dominant art movements of that era — Abstract Expressionism, Beat poetry and hard bop jazz — devalued craftsmanship in favor of improvisation and the raw, unmediated gesture. Against this backdrop Rockwell was accused of purveying an artificial and squeaky-clean view of America, which remains a criticism of him today.

Rockwell perfected a style of painting that might be called the American Ideal. Instead of taking place in lush European gardens, his playful gatherings are in a diner on Main Street.

At the time he made the comment he could not have imagined that his work would one day be collected by some of the same museums and individuals who also collect Abstract Expressionism. In hindsight it is possible to see Rockwell and Pollock as opposite sides of the same coin: Rockwell exemplifies the American desire for safety and security as much as Pollock exemplifies the opposing need for flight and rebellion.

The current exhibition offers us the chance to step out of the vast marble-white spaces of Washington and into a world where Americans convene in old-fashioned drugstores and barbershops, conducting themselves with a sense of integrity and fair play, with gumption and whimsy. These are qualities one wants to retain as a society, and it is a credit to Rockwell’s subtle, story-weaving imagination that he captured the values we celebrate on Independence Day without ever having done a painting of American flags waving from porches or July skies bursting with fireworks.

via Rockwell Paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – NYTimes.com.

how things work, The President: I found this fascinating. President Obama’s nighthawks: Top officials charged with guarding the nation’s safety.

salt, bookshelf:  I posted my brother in law’s blog entry the other day on salt and found this book review very interesting.  I think I may add salt to my list of topics to follow. 🙂

I read this fine book in bedrock Calistoga, California, while marinating in

a spring of geothermal hot water. Very comforting, especially since Tisdale

reminds me that there is a trace of primordial salt in this pickling brine, to

which I have given back a few drops of my own salt-pinpricks of sweat on my

forehead, spindrift forming on the bridge of my nose. It all makes me feel a

part of something greater. The Good Book, it seems, was right on the mark: I

am the salt of the earth. You too.

via Article: Lot’s Wife: Salt and the Human Condition. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy.

Apple:  I considered buying Apple TV when it first came out … but I couldn’t see that it added anything.  I think I was right.

“I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this hobby gets turned into a business, the TV space is too important to ignore,” Mr. Gartenberg said. ”The TV remains one of the last disconnected devices in the household and everyone is trying to figure it out.”

via Apple Hopes to Re-enter the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

04
Jul
10

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Happy 4th, all!

events, The 4th: Obviously, the 4th of July and one of my favorite events of the year … 4th at the Lake with the Lomaxs/Fortenberrys!

The 4th, Google doodle:


The Google Doodle is fun today … I would love to be a google doodle artist!  It actually moves … just go to Google.

The 4th, food:

“We the people who love cake, in order to bake a more perfect dessert, reestablish the standard that true cake is baked from scratch, ensure the use of natural ingredients, provide for the common consumption of dessert in moderation, promote comfort foods, and secure the blessings of sharing dessert with friends and foe, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United Cakes of America.”

That’s the manifesto of lawyer-turned-baker Warren Brown. In 2002, he gave up his career practicing law and opened Cake Love, a Washington, D.C., bakery guaranteed to tempt the senses.

“People like desserts. You can go crazy with different flavors,” Brown says. “I mean, you bring a cake into the room and everyone’s going to be happy.”

In the past eight years, Brown has opened six more bakeries in the D.C. area and has just released his second cookbook, The United Cakes of America. The book is a culinary tour — full of delectable cakes for every state in the country.

via How To Salute The ‘United Cakes Of America’ : NPR.

Declaration of Independence, wordsmithing:  “Slip”  v. “wordsmithing”?

The Associated Press calls it a “slip.” But I think of the newly discovered evidence that as he drafted the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson  crossed out the word “subjects” and replaced it with “citizens,” in the same way researchers at the Library of Congress see it:

“The correction seems to illuminate an important moment for Jefferson and for a nation on the eve of breaking from monarchical rule: a moment when he reconsidered his choice of words and articulated the recognition that the people of the fledgling United States of America were no longer subjects of any nation, but citizens of an emerging democracy.”

Words do indeed matter, and Jefferson made sure to use the right one.

via July 4th : NPR.

Jane Austen, Miss Manners, The 4th:  Actually how you should always behave …I have already failed on several of these gentle reminders of socially acceptable behavior …

T’is a truth universally acknowledged that one must not lose sight of the rules of civil engagement during alfresco dining, when men’s knobby knees and a lady’s bare feet are as much on display as the refreshments, entertainments, and illuminations.

via Jane Austen Today: How Would Jane Austen Expect One to Behave at a July 4th Picnic?.

quotes, favorites, literature:  loved this article … but why does his very worst opening line happen to be reused as the opening line of my favorite childhood novel!  And of course it is the opening line of Snoopy’s novel …

Good writers must, by their very nature, know what bad writing is. That is the premise of the Edward Bulwer-Lytton contest.

Starting in 1982, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (www.bulwer-lytton.com), a clever and whimsical attempt to find the worst opening line of a novel. Brainchild of Scott Rice, then a student at SJSU, who took it upon himself to find the author of what he considered the worst opening line ever, “It was a dark and stormy night,” the contest has drawn thousands of entries over the years.

via Bad writing by Janet Ward | LikeTheDew.com.

Madeleine L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time begins with this line, and it is indeed the novel’s entire first paragraph.

via It was a dark and stormy night – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

new blog, right up my alley:

Without further ado, here’s what Lee had to say in response to our five:

1. Life for a lawyer who leaves the law is…not as bad as you would think it would be.

2. The hardest thing about being an ex-lawyer is…having to explain to sensible people as to why you left.

3. The best thing about being an ex-lawyer is…no longer having to make billables.

4. The primary misconception about ex-lawyers is…that we remember any law.

5. The main different between my life now and my life as a lawyer is…that I am doing what I want.

via The Ex-Lawyers Club.

news, from bad to worse: But I think the headlines are unfair to Clinton … you have to  read the whole quote.

“He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected,” former President Bill Clinton said of Sen. Robert Byrd.

“And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done come and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians,” he added.

via RealClearPolitics – Video – Clinton Defends Byrd’s KKK Ties: “He Was Trying To Get Elected”.

Chicago, favorites, bucket list: 100 things to do in Chicago … Chicago Bucket List :: Chicago Sun-Times :: Photo Gallery.

green, Charlotte:

Duke Energy is advising local governments and employers that want to install charging stations. Duke expects about 100 to be ready in its N.C. service territory, most in the Charlotte area, by next summer. Sixty to 80 public stations will go up in its S.C. territory.

The research hub of Raleigh expects about 200 public charging stations. The charging network, to be built over the next two years, will turn the Triangle into a Southeastern testing ground for electric cars. Now, there are fewer than a dozen public recharge outlets in North Carolina.

via Just plug in and drive out: Recharge stations coming – CharlotteObserver.com.

News, NASA:

An unmanned Russian cargo vessel experienced problems during a docking with the International Space Station on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the commander of the orbital station.

The Progress cargo ship “is moving away from us,” Interfax quoted cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov as saying in a communication with Russian mission control outside Moscow. He was quoted as saying the cargo ship was “spinning uncontrollably” and later that it had disappeared from view.

via Russian cargo vessel spins away from space station: report – Yahoo! News.

Apps:

An explosion of smart-phone software has placed an arsenal of trivia at the fingertips of every corner-bar debater, with talking points on sports, politics and how to kill a zombie. Now it is taking on the least trivial topic of all: God.

Marcus Yam/The New York Times

“Fast Facts, Challenges & Tactics” produced by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

“The Atheist Pocket Debater.”

Jason Hagen of Queens has developed an iPhone application for atheists to use in debates.

Publishers of Christian material have begun producing iPhone applications that can cough up quick comebacks and rhetorical strategies for believers who want to fight back against what they view as a new strain of strident atheism. And a competing crop of apps is arming nonbelievers for battle.

via A War of Apps for and Against Belief – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, the Supreme Court: Now goyim … add that to modest, brassy and snarky.

But was Kagan’s shtick helping or hurting her cause? And was it just reinforcing a stereotype among Gentiles — the goyim — of Jews as wisenheimers who all hail from a single neighborhood of limousine liberals known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side?

via Elena Kagan as Jerry Seinfeld? Jewish Humor Charms the Goyim — Again.

education, IB, AP:

The alphabet soup of college admissions is getting more complicated as the International Baccalaureate, or I.B., grows in popularity as an alternative to the better-known Advanced Placement program.

The College Board’s A.P. program, which offers a long menu of single-subject courses, is still by far the most common option for giving students a head start on college work, and a potential edge in admissions.

The lesser-known I.B., a two-year curriculum developed in the 1960s at an international school in Switzerland, first took hold in the United States in private schools. But it is now offered in more than 700 American high schools — more than 90 percent of them public schools — and almost 200 more have begun the long certification process.

via International Program Catches On in U.S. Schools – NYTimes.com.

music: I like Zooey Deschanel.

Actress/singer Zooey Deschanel bonded with songwriter M. Ward when the two collaborated for a movie soundtrack. She had been working on various demo recordings, but had always been too shy to step into the spotlight with her own music. Ward helped flesh out her songs with his distinctive guitar playing and tasteful production, and the result was She and Hims charming debut album. Volume One, was as humble as their name: a shimmering, 1960s throwback that tips its hat to the pop stars and girl groups of yore.The duos bright, introspective tunes had no problems finding an audience — Paste Magazine called it the best album of 2008. Realizing their musical chemistry, they went back to the studio to produce another batch of uplifting songs — 2010s Volume Two. It still captures the dreamy and hopeful energy of their first album, but with richer harmonies and lushly layered instrumentation. Click the link above to hear She and Him on the World Cafe Live stage.

via She And Him, Recorded Live In Concert : NPR.

real estate, walkability, Wilmette, Davidson, Chicago: I have had the privilege of  living in 3 wonderful places with “walkability.”  What a great quality!

“When it came down to it, we weren’t willing to compromise on walkability,”

via A Walker’s Guide to Home Buying – WSJ.com.

03
Jul
10

7.3.2010 … may do something today I have waited 34 years to do …

events, people: A stitch in time saves nine … whatever … enjoyed the article.  Thanks, Ben, for all you pithy sayings.

Paging disconsolately through the almanac, I was floored by the number of supposedly canny old sayings whose meaning completely escaped me. If the mastiff is gentle, why would you even think of biting him by the lip? Why would the wise man walk, not run, when escaping from fire, a woman or an enemy? I’d run. Why would it be better to eat salt with the philosophers of Greece than sugar with the courtiers of Italy? And what was the scientific basis for the conclusion that monkeys, warm with envious spite, their most obliging friends would bite? Was Franklin simply making this stuff up?

via Essay – Ben Franklin Is a Big Fat Idiot – NYTimes.com.

economy, work, law, internships, Davidson: Many colleges/universities (including Davidson) are incorporating internships into their curriculum and the marketplace has responded by giving those with internship experiences jobs, or vice versa.  This is an interesting analysis of the internship culture.

The internship culture has grown markedly in the last two decades. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2008 found that 50 percent of graduating students had held internships, a striking increase from 17 percent in 1992. Forget burger flipping or ice cream scooping — now even high school students seem anxious to obtain a few weeks of summer experience with “real” employers, fearing that colleges will look askance at applicants without substantive professional experience on the students’ lists of summer activities.

As a result, the big-name internship has become coveted capital — a reality that was showcased in the extreme when the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights recently auctioned media internships to help raise money for its cause. The opportunity to work — unpaid — went for some pretty big amounts: $2,900 at Vanity Fair, $9,000 at the Huffington Post — and an eye-popping $42,500 at Vogue.

But the willingness of many young people to sacrifice pay for experience has led a number of states as well as the federal government to take a close look at the legality of hiring young people to work free. In April, the Obama administration issued a fact sheet listing six criteria aimed at preventing employers from violating the Fair Labor Standards Act with their unpaid internship programs. Among the stipulations: that the training the intern receives must be similar to training that can be obtained in an educational setting, that unpaid interns don’t displace a paid employee, and that the employer does not derive any “benefit” from the intern’s work.

via Students Chafe Under Internship Guidelines – NYTimes.com.

culture, law: I have no idea if this guy is right, but I love his blend of literature and history to make his argument. 🙂

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” So begins A Tale of Two Cities, the story of English barrister Sydney Carton, swept up in the currents of the French Revolution. Carton makes the ultimate sacrifice for his client, a French aristocrat, when he switches identities with him and loses his own head to the blade of the guillotine. Both the French and the American revolutionaries rejected traditional values based on monarchy and rule by divine right, which they replaced with values based on democracy and self-determination. The legal profession is experiencing its own version of generational conflict. Lawyers and law firms that want to continue to succeed will need to adopt new styles of communication, accommodate alternative career tracks, and expand mentor programs.

In 399 BC, Socrates went on trial for corrupting the youth of Athens and creating generational conflicts in the city. He questioned the established intellectual class of Athens, the statesmen, poets, and artisans, who thought themselves wise. Socrates proved these prominent Athenians were not wise. When his public questioning made them look foolish, they turned against him and created accusations of wrongdoing. A jury of Athenians found Socrates guilty and sentenced him to death by ingestion of hemlock. Among the next generation of his students was Plato, who together with Aristotle went on to lay the foundations of Western philosophy, logic, math, and science.

There always have been and will continue to be generational differences. The key to overcoming these differences and creating future success within law firms will come from improved communication, deeper understanding of shared values, and the expansion of mentor programs. These activities improve teamwork and encourage adaptation to change, which are necessary steps to building a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

via Wisconsin Lawyer July 2010: Practice Tips: Generational Conflict in the Legal Profession | State Bar of Wisconsin.

people, bookshelf:  I am interested in what some people are reading, but I really, really, do not care what Eliot Spitzer  is reading. Summer Reading Picks From Dan Pink, Seth Godin, Eliot Spitzer, and More | Fast Company.

Kagan nomination: I agree with Justice Marshall’s son … there was no reason to put his father on trial.

If there is to be a new round of battles on those issues, then I suspect that the victory margin would be far greater since legions of Americans of every stripe regard the resolutions of those issues as achievements that make our union more perfect. If there is to be a new round of battles over my father’s jurisprudence, his vision of the role of the courts or his belief in the 14th Amendment, then I like those odds, too. As Kagan, who clerked for my father in the 1987 Supreme Court term, noted this week, my father revered the high court because “his whole life was about seeing the courts take seriously claims that were not taken seriously anyplace else.”

My father appreciated the talent and dedication of his law clerks. While it is true he often referred to them as knuckleheads, it did not matter whether they agreed on all issues. He was grateful for their service and took pleasure in following their accomplishments over the years.

Two former clerks, Ralph K. Winter and Douglas Ginsburg, were nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. Those nominations did not prompt the kind of harsh innuendo to which we have been subjected this week.

A debate this week about judicial activism seems to have revealed only one thing: One person’s activism is another’s adherence to constitutional principle. And to my ear, a progressive jurist sounds far more desirable than a regressive one. But the Kagan hearing is not the proper forum to rehash my father’s work.

Elena Kagan is her own person. If she is confirmed, that is precisely how she will serve her country as an associate justice. I have worked closely with her and know well that she has far too much respect for the rule of law and for the Supreme Court to render decisions by seeking to channel anyone else. Her intellect and integrity are impeccable.

via Thurgood Marshall Jr. – Putting my father, Thurgood Marshall, on trial.

twitter, LOL: I thought this one was pretty funny.  Maybe Conan should just tweet for 30 minutes a day …

Conan O’Brien: I don’t care where LeBron James ends up… As long as it’s not at 11pm on TBS.

via Tweets of the Week: LeBron James Edition – Speakeasy – WSJ.

random, blogs:   This one made no sense to me … Am I crazy?  McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Okay, America: Great Moments in American and Brady Bunch History..

BofA: Another nice article … but really, lots of executives travel extensively and “commute” to the best place for their families.

While continuing to live in the Boston area, he has made regular stops in Charlotte, hobnobbed with officials in Washington, visited with clients and employees around the country and made overseas trips to Russia, China and Europe. On multiple occasions, he has started his day in one city and ended it with a function in another.

Moynihan is making an intentional effort to engage with employees, clients, community leaders and increasingly influential regulators, as the bank looks to recover from the nation’s financial crisis, said a person familiar with the situation. His travels also exemplify the new leader’s well-known energy, often shown by early morning meetings and e-mail messages sent during all hours of the day.

via Bank of America’s Moynihan on the road in first 6 months – CharlotteObserver.com.

people, media: Poor Al (but unfortunately for him, I think everyone always suspected a crack in his holier than thou veneer … guilty until proven innocent) … and once again our media has been scooped by the National Enquirer.

In a piece titled “Al Gore and the Media Protection Racket,” The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord argued that the existence of a police report involving the former vice president was news in itself, and the Tribune should have reported it as such. For the Spectator, it was déjà vu all over again — the magazine was the first publication to name Paula Jones in a 1994 story on then-President Bill Clinton’s sex life.

“And by not publishing what was a verifiable fact — which is to say news — that a police report existed placing one of the most powerful people in the American and global establishment at the scene of a disturbing potential sexual crime, the Tribune signaled on just which side of the power equation it sees itself as sitting,” Lord wrote. “By remaining silent, it was effectively heading off an investigation into Gore’s activities from any manner of other media outlets with more resources at their disposal than those available to a small Oregon paper.”

via Gore story goes mainstream – Keach Hagey – POLITICO.com.

When he opened his White House bid in Carthage, Tenn., Al Gore proclaimed, “I will take my own values of faith and family to the presidency — to build an America that is not only better off, but better.”

via Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Questions of Character.

history, technology: OK, so I thought this one was interesting, too …

Preservation scientists at the Library of Congress have discovered that Thomas Jefferson, even in the act of declaring independence from Britain, had trouble breaking free from monarchial rule.

In an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, the famous founder wrote the word “subjects,” when he referred to the American public. He then erased that word and replaced it with “citizens,” a term he used frequently throughout the final draft.

via Declaration of Dependence? Jefferson Made Slip – CBS News.

food, events: I had something similar at Julie’s 25 years ago … I think I am making it tomorrow for the 4th! Yum.

The crisp, buttery shortbread base gets a surprise crunch from ground almonds. The tangy buttermilk custard that fills the shell is perfect complement to the abundance of sweet, plump blueberries scattered over the top. The tart is best served soon after it’s assembled, but it’s so delicious that it’s unlikely that there will be a crumb left over.

via Blueberry and Buttermilk Tart and more delicious recipes, smart cooking tips, and video demonstrations on marthastewart.com

advertising, random, billboards: All right, very random … but I saw this  McDonald’s billboard: [Big cup of coffee] “If coffee is Joe, consider this Joseph”  … and although I get that they want me to buy their coffee because it is better … calling it Joseph doesn’t do it for me … so I googled … do you think McDonald’s is taking a religious statement?  I thought that interpretation absurd …

Joe is the slang word for coffe as in “would you like a cup of joe?”

So what mcdonalds have done is basicallly taken the slang term “joe” and discribed it as Joseph…which ties in with the whole religious side of things as Joseph being the Earth Father of Jesus…using the term in that sense they have made the quality of the coffee better…as in the best coffe there is as in the best joseph there is…so to speak!

via What does the Mcdonalds ad, “If coffee is joe, consider this Joseph.” mean? – Yahoo! Answers.

Joseph is the proper form of the name Joe – the impication that the McD product is better or more correct, ie superior.

via What does the Mcdonalds ad, “If coffee is joe, consider this Joseph.” mean? – Yahoo! Answers.

history, technology:  loved this new ability to read an old letter …

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

The contents of a long-illegible letter written by famed 19th century explorer David Livingstone have finally been deciphered, a British university said Friday, nearly 140 years after he wrote of his despair at ever leaving Africa alive.

Researchers say that the letter – which required state of the art imaging techniques to decipher – helps round out the picture of a man traditionally cast as an intrepid Victorian hero, revealing the self-doubt that tormented the missionary-explorer in one of his darkest hours.

“I am terribly knocked up but this is for your own eye only,” Livingstone wrote to close friend Horace Waller in the newly revealed correspondence. “Doubtful if I live to see you again.”

via David Livingstone Letter Deciphered – CBS News.

food- Southern, Charlotte: Fried pickles at the Penguin … very good

YouTube – Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives: The Penguin.

food, Charlotte: I am amazed that my 16 year old can go in and order sushi with confidence.  These are her favorites:

Koishi Signature – deep fried spicy tuna, avocado, special sauce

Cherry Blossom – tempura shrimp, spicy tuna,avocado in soy paper, special sauce

Super Crunchy – crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, masago, unagi sauce

via Koishi Sushi Bar and Fine Chinese Restaurant – Starters.

twitter:  Ok, I laughed at this tweet … but then I thought when I was a teen, I had no interest in vampires stories and didn’t know if anyone was gay and i certainly didn’t judge someone because they would not have sex with me  … our teens are dealing with a lot.

Dear Confused Teen Girls: someone who sparkles and won’t have sex with you isn’t a vampire; it’s a gay guy.

via Twitter / Barbara Haynes: Dear Confused Teen Girls: ….

doing good: I am not sure anyone can combat junk food … that Pandora’s box was opened 50+ years ago.

Oliver’s program to improve nutritional value of school lunches ultimately deterred children from eating school food, Lansley said, and subsequent school efforts to regulate brown bag lunches only prompted parents to give their kids money to make their own food choices, which often meant picking up chips and other junk food at shops outside of school.

via Did Jamie Oliver’s School Lunch Program Make Kids Eat Junk Food? – TIME NewsFeed.

LOL, great headlines, media: Once again got me with the title … The article is pretty funny … but i am beginning to wonder about Time’s NewsFeed … quite a few of the articles that get my attention are because of references to sex.

It was bound to happen. Sex is popular. Snuggies are popular. Why not put the two together?

What is Snuggie sutra you say? It’s sex positions, much like Kama Sutra, except that it incorporates the Snuggie, that loveable, wearable plush blanket with sleeves. Or, as the authors say, “it’s an illustrated guide to sexual positions that are both erotic and warm.”

Speaking of sex: Did you know astronauts aren’t allowed to have any? And, King Tut’s penis is missing…whaaaa?!

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/07/02/snuggie-sex-snuggie-sutra/#ixzz0scZjbznr

via Snuggie + Sex = Snuggie Sutra? – TIME NewsFeed.

people, vocabulary:  Always need to be up on the local South African term for marijuana … “dagga.”  Followup .. charges dropped against Paris.

“She was found in possession of some amount of dagga,” the officer told the AP, using the local term for marijuana. “We don’t know how much. It’s a high profile person, only the top cops are dealing with it.”

via World Cup: Paris Hilton Busted For Pot in South Africa? – TIME NewsFeed.

apps: The US Government has some interesting apps.

More Information About Apps

Government apps provide information when you’re on the go. Find instant notification of recalls to the status of veterans benefits. USA.gov is working hard to make government easy, convenient, and accessible.

via Learn More About Apps: USA.gov.

APPS.

sayings, LOL:  Ok, so my jaw dropped when I read this one.  “He wasn’t a Klansman long enough to get his sheet broke in” …

As politicians and columnists across the country debate the life and legacy of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, the West Virginian’s membership in the Ku Klux Klan has been a sticking point for many. Today’s KKK, though, says Byrd did nothing to warrant such ire.

“He wasn’t a Klansman long enough to get his sheet broke in,” said Travis Pierce, national membership director for the Ku Klux Klan, LLC, one of several groups that uses the KKK name. “It’s much ado about nothing.”

via Robert Byrd: KKK Says Late Senator ‘Wasn’t A Klansman Long Enough To Get His Sheet Broke In’.

Charlotte:  When I moved here 25 years ago, it was always noted that Charlotte had no major university, no law school, no med school, no decent restaurants, no nightlife …  it has come a long way, and continues to develop.

Mark Billings believes it’s possible to establish a four-year medical school in Charlotte as soon as 2015. And the president of Presbyterian Hospital is calling for creation of an alliance of hospital, business and community leaders to make that happen.

“I think if we get everyone in the same room, a lot of the barriers will be eliminated,” he says.

But the biggest barrier may be the one between Billings’ hospital and its chief rival, Carolinas HealthCare System.

Carolinas HealthCare already is working with the UNC System to establish a satellite campus of the UNC School of Medicine in Charlotte. That branch on the Carolinas Medical Center campus would eventually grow to 100 students, with those future physicians completing their final two years of education here.

via Charlotte hospitals have different medical-school agendas – Charlotte Business Journal.

29
Jun
10

6.29.2010 … happy birthday, alex! … sunny day … lots in the news … braves win against the phenom … Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

baseball, Braves, Strasburg: I hope et enjoyed the game!

Stephen Strasburg came to town as the toast of baseball, so dominant through his first four starts that a Washington reporter asked Braves manager Bobby Cox whether the Nationals rookie should be in next month’s All-Star Game.

Cox was diplomatic in his response, but a couple of hours later his Braves delivered a response of a different kind.

After Strasburg sailed through six innings, the Braves knocked him out of the game during a five-run seventh that lifted them to a X-X win against the Nationals in a series opener before an excited crowd of 42,889 at Turner Field.

via Braves, Hudson win duel with phenon Strasburg  | ajc.com.

csr, culture: Another article right in line with some discussions we have been having at our house.

Two-and-a-half years later, Danone teamed up with Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi who later won the Nobel Peace Prize for his microcredit program that lends money to poor entrepreneurs. Mr. Riboud and Mr. Yunus, having met over lunch, set up a joint venture called Grameen Danone Foods Ltd.

The idea was to sell an affordable seven-cent yogurt product called Shokti Doi—which means “strong yogurt.” Fortified with vitamins and minerals, it was to be sold through local women who would peddle it door to door on commission.

For the 54-year old Danone boss, who eschews ties and gets around by scooter, the Shokti Doi initiative was something of a personal mission. His father Antoine, who preceded him as chief executive, had instilled in him an interest in ventures that had a chance to both make money and give a lift to the poor—the “double project”, as he called it.

Within a year, though, Grameen Danone hit a wall: Milk prices soared, factory openings were delayed, and the saleswomen couldn’t earn a living selling yogurt alone. Today, a significant portion of sales of Shokti Doi come from urban stores, not rural villages as planned.

via Danone Expands Its Pantry to Woo the World’s Poor – WSJ.com.

culture, South Africa, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Because of the World Cup and that my daughter will soon spend 9 weeks in SA, I am fascinated with it’s culture, history, problems … and hope.

At moments, as during this first African World Cup, the rainbow shimmers. This was supposed to be the competition of smash-and-grab and of machete attacks. Many stayed away.

The fear merchants, always hard at work, have been proved wrong. German grandmas do not lie savaged on the road to Rustenburg.

Unity has unfurled, calm broken out. Smiles crease black and white faces alike. To the point that the most asked question here is: Will this moving honeymoon last beyond the World Cup?

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Black and the White of It – NYTimes.com.

media:  How often do you read Rolling Stone?  Will you read it more often now?

“Everything was kind of hunky-dory under Clinton,” Mr. Wenner said in a telephone interview last week. “With Bush, between 9/11 and his response to it, he put the country in pretty serious danger. And that kind of got our juices going again.”Rolling Stone’s explosive piece “The Runaway General,” which last week brought a disgraceful end to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s career, was just the latest in a string of articles resonating in the nation’s corridors of power.Its excoriating takedown of Goldman Sachs last summer was one of the most provocative and widely debated pieces of journalism to come out of the financial crisis. In the article, the writer Matt Taibbi described the investment bank as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”And this month, the magazine published a critical take on the Obama administration’s regulation of the oil industry, which started a firestorm on cable news and in the blogosphere. The current issue contains a follow-up on BP’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

via Rolling Stone Back on a Roll With Investigative Articles – NYTimes.com.

RIP: Interesting perspectives from many who knew him well … to me, he was always the old guy in the senate.

Op-Ed Contributors – Robert Byrd, Living History – NYTimes.com.

media:  I don’t produce YouTube videos … but if I did would I pay the fee … I am a rule follower …

You’ve shot the video and edited it down. It’s ready for YouTube. But what about the soundtrack?

Publishing a video with copyrighted music requires a license for the song. And securing that can be a cumbersome task — track down the record label, make a deal — especially for amateurs just looking to post a video of the family vacation.

But on Tuesday, the music licensing company Rumblefish is introducing a service that allows users to buy a license to a copyrighted song for $1.99. For that price, the user gets the full version of the song and can edit it as well.

via Rumblefish to Offer Music for YouTube Users – NYTimes.com.

basketball: A Curry is probably the only thing that could make me watch or, god forbid, pull for Duke.

Blend in Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, plus Andre Dawkins, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and beefed-up Ryan Kelly (232 pounds), and it’s easy to see how the Devils could win their fifth title.

via Despite roster changes, Duke could win it all again – CharlotteObserver.com.

economy, Dublin: The City Center seemed vital and bustling … but John and I got off the map (directionally uninhibited/challenged …by me :)) and we saw the multitude of “for let” signs, the unfinished developments … it is truly a global recession.

Signs of the decline encrust Dublin’s streets. Boisterous crowds still mash onto the cobbles of Temple Bar. Yet farther out, “To Let” posters obscure the hollowed shells of once-vibrant cafes and clothing shops.

Fifteen minutes north of the city center, hulks of empty buildings form stark symbols of why Ireland must now hunker down. At Elm Park, a soaring industrial and residential complex, 700 employees of the German insurer Allianz are the lone occupants of a space designed for thousands.

In the impoverished Ballymun neighborhood, developers began razing slums to make way for new low-income housing. Halfway through the project, the financing dried up, leaving some residents to languish in graffiti-covered concrete skeletons. “Welcome to Hell,” read one of the tamest messages.

via In Ireland, a Picture of the Cost of Austerity – NYTimes.com.

economy, Charlotte, urban development: 30 years ago as a college student, we favored Eastland over South Park … times change … demographics change.

The polished corridors of Eastland Mall, once abuzz with shoppers and cash registers, held only hissing escalators and echoing elevator music Friday. Darkened storefronts lined the hallways.

It will close Wednesday – 35 years after its debut as the region’s premier retail destination. Though a Houston company last week bought the core of the 1.1million-square-foot shopping center with the hope of reinventing it, the old Eastland is almost certainly finished. A new identity, a new look, a new name could take its place.

via Why Eastland went from bustling to bust – CharlotteObserver.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court: modest … how does that mix with snarky and brassy?

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan sought Monday to counter assertions by conservatives that she was a liberal activist with an agenda, promising to be a modest jurist, respectful of the “often messy” democratic process.

Ms. Kagan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the court’s role should be “a modest one, properly deferential to the decisions of the American people and their elected representatives,” in her first comments since her nomination.

She added, “The court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people.”

via Kagan Hearings Get Under Way – WSJ.com.

R(etire) in Peace, Supreme Court: Justice Stevens you will be missed … even your bow ties.

Bowtie-wearing lawyers and spectators dotted the U.S. Supreme Court chamber on Monday, a nod to retiring justice John Paul Stevens and his signature neckwear.

Stevens, 90, officially retires Tuesday, the first day of the Supreme Court’s summer recess.

“If I have overstayed my welcome, it is because this is such a unique and wonderful job,” said Stevens, who on his retirement will be the third-longest serving justice.

via John Paul Stevens Retires From Supreme Court, Bow Tie-Clad Lawyers Say Goodbye.

media, politics:

On most cable newscasts, the people who are writing new financial regulations are called congressmen. But on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” on MSNBC, some are called “banksters.”

Dylan Ratigan says that the financial overhaul bill is “nothing more than window dressing.”

That term, a twist on gangsters, tells viewers a lot about Mr. Ratigan, a financial news apostate who has transformed himself into an outspoken opponent of too-big-to-fail banks and the politicians whom he calls their servants. In the recent fight over financial reform, he lent a megaphone to people who wanted an end to “too big to fail,” and he called on viewers to lobby the Senators in his imaginary Bankster Party.

All this from a man who, until recently, hosted a stock-picking show on CNBC, the cable personification of Wall Street. Now Mr. Ratigan, who labels himself a taxpayer advocate, rails against the “vampire” banks who “have assumed control of our government.”

“It’s like being the guy who was running the casino, and then having an awakening and realizing that the casino is what’s killing the country,” Mr. Ratigan said in an interview last week.

via A Business Journalist Turned Anti-Banker – NYTimes.com.

parenting, culture, teens: Fine line … most parents almost can’t win …  except the perfect ones …

Kids whose parents are either too strict or too lenient may be more likely to engage in binge drinking, according to a new study out of Brigham Young University.

Researchers found parenting style doesn’t make a difference in whether or not your kid will try alcohol, but it does affect the relationship teens have with adult beverages.

The Los Angeles Times reports that of 5,000 teens surveyed, those who had the healthiest relationship with alcohol also had parents who strike a balance between watchful and loving.

via Parenting Style an Influence on Teen Drinking, Study Says – ParentDish.

great headlines:  Just had to read about a real life jason Bourne!

Detectives are focusing on the contents of four computer hard drives in hopes of unraveling the case of the so-called “real-life Jason Bourne,” an ex-con who sparked a six-week international manhunt after police found his Los Angeles luxury loft stocked with loaded weapons, counterfeit bills and photos documenting his changing appearance.

via Brian Alexik, ‘Real-Life Jason Bourne,’ Mystifies Detectives.

culture, women’s issues: No class ceiling … but I don’t particularly like beer.

“We have found that females often are more sensitive about the levels of flavor in beer,” says Barry Axcell, SABMiller’s chief brewer. Women trained as tasters outshine their male counterparts, he says.

If practice makes perfect, men should have the clear edge in beer tasting, since they account for 72.8% of the world’s beer sales, according to market-research firm Datamonitor Group. But SABMiller, which makes Pilsner Urquell, Peroni and Grolsch in addition to Miller and Coors brands, says its empirical evidence shows that females are the superior sex when it comes to detecting such undesirable chemicals as 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which makes beer “skunky.”

via No Glass Ceiling for the Best Job in Whole World – WSJ.com.

media, culture: After seeing the picture, I scared to go find the video!

Last week, Mr. Wilson released a spoof of Gaga’s “Alejandro,” a video that has been generating attention because of its religious overtones, this time as sung by Old Lady Gaga. The character is played by comedian Jackie Hoffman and the act involves tubes of Fixodent, walkers and granny panties.

via Jackie Hoffman a Hit as Old Lady Gaga – WSJ.com.

work, culture: … more seamless blend of work and life …hmmm

Over the past couple of decades, a new way of working and a new kind of workplace have evolved. It began in Silicon Valley, where companies ceded a certain degree of autonomy to knowledge workers, recognizing that too much rigidity could stifle creative output. Khakis and shirtsleeves replaced gray flannel suits. And 9 to 5 sometimes became 9 to 9 or 11 to 1 in the morning. But the time was broken up by espresso runs and bike rides, or ultimate Frisbee games during lunch.

The trend has spread to the point that our lifestyles and our work styles are becoming increasingly blurred. Though my factory-worker father might not have believed it, those people you see hunched over their laptops in coffee shops and thumbing instant messages on their BlackBerrys as they walk through the park are actually working.

This new way of work has given rise to what the sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls “third places” — the Starbucks where we go not just to drink coffee but also to send an e-mail; the hotel lobby where we take a meeting; or the local library where we write a report, edit a document or revise a business plan.

Increasingly, places are supplanting plants — corporate headquarters and factories — as the principal social and economic organizing units of our time. There are several reasons for this.

Mass migration from farms to urban centers generated new prosperity after the Long Depression of 1873-79. The expanding suburbs underpinned the great economic boom of the 1950s and 60s. We are now at the cusp of another such far-reaching movement — with the magnetic pull of urban centers strengthening our economy and leading to a more seamless blending of work and life.

via Preoccupations – The Urban Lands of Opportunity – NYTimes.com.

culture, annoyances: Ranks at the top of my list!

IN a recent Consumer Reports survey about everyday annoyances, with 10 being “annoys you tremendously,” respondents rated the failure to get a human being on a customer service line an 8.6, second only to hidden fees (8.9) and more irritating than spam e-mail (7.5) and inaccurate meteorologists (4.3), which was at the bottom of the list.

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

icons:  Does anyone know where this DAWG statue is … I assume in Athens?

annoyances, culture:

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

vocabulary, random, music:  Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm,[1] is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind, put colloquially as “music being stuck in one’s head.”

via Earworm – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

OK, so here is mine ….

culture, teens, children: a little troubling, but worth reading …

Everyone warns parents about the drama of the teen years—the self-righteous tears, slamming doors, inexplicable fashion choices, appalling romances.

But what happens when typical teen angst starts to look like something much darker and more troubling? How can parents tell if a moody teenager is simply normal—or is spinning out of control? This may be one of the most difficult dilemmas parents will ever face.

via Worried About a Moody Teen? – WSJ.com.

blogs: I like this new blog.

About Johnson

In this blog, named for the dictionary-maker Samuel Johnson, our correspondents write about the effects that the use (and sometimes abuse) of language have on politics, society and culture around the world

That said, a lot of meetings are still bilingual, and the English spoken in Euro-Brussels has some quirks that come directly from French. One of my favourites is the word “normally”, which is a real marker for speakers of Euro-English, including native English speakers who have been in the city a long time. The adverb is a false friend, with “normally” and “normalement” carrying subtly different meanings in English and French.

via Johnson | The Economist.

26
Jun
10

6.26.2010 … still hot … Lovely to have my girl home (she absolutely adored camp, AGAIN.) …

travel, Dublin, literature, random: OK … so the doubledecker tour bus driver told us to look for this in the crypt!

While visiting the Crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, you will come across a unique artifact in the church’s history. The mummified remains of a cat and a rat are on display. The theory is the cat chased the mouse into an organ pipe and both became stuck.

The existence of the mummified remains of the duo struck a chord with James Joyce and he made reference to them in his, also unique, novel “Finnegan’s Wake.”

The sign at Christ Church Cathedral reads:

THE CAT & THE RAT

The one, presumably chasing the other, became trapped in an organ pipe in the 1850s and were mummified. They are referred to in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake” where someone is described as being “…As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ…”

via The Cat and the Rat of Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin, Ireland – Weird Story Locations on Waymarking.com.

friendship, culture, faith: Cary and I have been having a great dialogue about friendships and faith … this seemed to fit our discussion.

When the flesh – the lived human experience – becomes word, community can develop. When we say, “Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met,” we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.

via June 26, 2010 – A Courageous Life.

science, medicine:

In the long run, it seems likely that the genomic revolution will pay off. But no one can be sure. Even if the genetic roots of some major diseases are identified, there is no guarantee that treatments can be found. The task facing science and industry in coming decades is as at least as challenging as the original deciphering of the human genome.

via Editorial – The Genome, 10 Years Later – NYTimes.com.

Charlotte, history, end of an era:

Thompson, 88, of Charlotte, was grocery shopping for the last time at Reid’s in uptown Friday, as the store plans to close at 8 p.m. today.

The original store opened in Myers Park on Providence Road in 1928, in a building a few doors down from the Manor Theatre. Reid’s in Seventh Street Station uptown opened in 1998. The owner says Reid’s will reappear but wasn’t specific.

via Loyal customers say goodbye to Reid’s – CharlotteObserver.com.

culture:

Women make up only 17 percent of political leaders today, and the White House Project’s most recent research, “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership,” shows that across 10 sectors of American culture, women on average are only 18 percent of its leaders. If the full range of health, economic and safety options is not supported by the women who advance, then they will pull the ladder up behind them.

via Letters – Today’s Feminist – A Different Breed? – NYTimes.com.

Apple Apps:

They set out to build a game that included a rabbit jumping up a screen trying to collect carrots. They soon realized that a collection of doodles they had sketched out to test the game were visually fun. And so Doodle Jump was born.

On Friday, the two brothers announced that Doodle Jump, which sells for 99 cents in the iTunes store, has now sold more than five million copies. Although Apple doesn’t disclose competitor numbers, the brothers believe this is the first iOS4 application to reach the five million download mark.

via Doodle Jump Reaches Five Million Downloads – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

politics, the President:

In this environment, the rage against Obama for not doing more, now, faster, becomes at least somewhat understandable. It’s not that he hasn’t done a great deal for liberals during his 18 months in office. It’s that liberalism itself may be running out of time.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Agony of the Liberals – NYTimes.com.

Apple:

Companies like Google and Adobe have accused Apple of unfairly using its clout to exclude their technologies from the iPhone and iPad. And some application developers are fretting under Apple’s tight control of those devices, even though many of them built their fortunes on the popular gadgets.

But perhaps in the clearest sign that Apple has emerged as an industry superpower, government regulators are beginning to scrutinize its every move.

via Is Apple a Victim of Sour Grapes? – NYTimes.com.

architecture, Chicago:

Amid the neo-Gothic quads of the University of Chicago, Helmut Jahn’s futuristic domed library is getting ready for take-off.

Here’s a sneak peek from Tribune photographer William DeShazer, who attended a hard-hat tour this week.

The building, known as the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library and located next to the Regenstein Library (left), flaunts a steel-lattice dome that will shelter aboveground uses including a grand reading room.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

architecture, the economy, Louisville: Design looks interesting … financing?

In an effort to help jumpstart the financing of the stalled Museum Plaza skyscraper, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said the state will apply for a $100 million federal loan typically associated with creating jobs for low-income residents.

Beshear made the announcement Friday morning at the Museum Plaza construction site near Seventh and Main streets.

Beshear called the loan effort a “first step” to help advance the project but cautioned that there’s no certainty that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will approve it.

via Museum Plaza developers seek $100 million HUD loan | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal.

design, food/wine:


A box of wine is portable, but not classy. Stemware is classy, but not portable. But in a stroke of mad genius, inventor James Nash has combined the two to revolutionize drinking on the go. Cheers! Meet the Tulip.

via Single Serving Wine Glass Drowns Your Multiple Sorrows.

Kagan nomination: Interesting analysis … A Second Chance for Joshua – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

The Supreme Court, followup: Like I said, a conservative becomes a liberal and a liberal can become a conservative.

Consider that the two great “liberal” justices who retired from the Supreme Court most recently — David Souter in the spring of 2009 and John Paul Stevens a year later — were conservatives. Not only were both appointed by Republican presidents, but both also subscribed loosely to the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” With a handful of exceptions, neither favored identifying new constitutional rights where none existed before. Their status as liberals came from the fact that, as the court on which they served tilted to the right, they held their ground as moderate Republicans, consistently voting to sustain the constitutional rights that were discovered by the Supreme Court before they were on it.

via Magazine Preview – Imagining a Liberal Court – NYTimes.com.

quotes:

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act — George Orwell

via Al Fin.

history, Davidson:

It is known now as the Town Green but in 1920 the lawn at the corner of Main and Concord held tennis courts. Those courts provided a perfect place for a Chautuaqua tent.  The Chautauqua movement started in the 1870s as summer camps, the traveling version started in 1904 and lasted into the mid-1920s.

Davidson hosted its first Chautauqua in September 1920. The September 17, 1920 Davidsonian reported that “A group of representative citizens of Davidson have brought this Chautuaqua to Davidson without profit to themselves, for all proceeds go to a worthy local charity. The main committee was mostly comprised of local businessmen and faculty but several local men and women participated as well. Lester Hannah and Hugh Hovis served on the mill division committee. Mrs. P. A. Stough chaired the Cornelius subcommittee, Miss Lizzie Young headed the ticket committee for “the section of town north of Scofield corner” [corner of Main and Depot], Mrs. T.E. Lothery and Rev. Mr. Woolsy headed the ticket committee for the “section of town from Carter’s Garage on the east side of South Main Street, and Mrs. L. R. Brady headed the ticket committee from Carter’s Garage on the West Side of South Main Street.  Mrs. L. E. Johnston, Mrs. W.R. Grey and Miss Carraway made up the committee for the children’s hour.

via Let Me Entertain You – Around the D.

culture, technology: And to think we just had CB radios to raise a quick crowd … now called a flash mob …

Flash mobs are increasingly common, as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy for anyone to summon large crowds. It’s designed as harmless social networking fun: a group of people come together at a set time and place, perform some unusual act in unison, and then disperse.

A group called Charlotte Flash Mob has more than 700 people listed as members on its Facebook page. In April, the group planned to celebrate International Pillow Fight Day by holding its own pillow fight at Freedom Park, according to its Twitter page.

Despite their benign origins, police say the spontaneous crowds they attract can be a problem, especially when word spreads so widely through social networks that the groups turn out in huge numbers. Last month, for instance, when N.C. State students marked the start of finals week with a flash mob, as many as 3,500 people showed up. About 35 officers blocked off intersections as they moved toward the Capitol. Police eventually told them to disperse.

Kee said police are asking that teens keep safety in mind when they consider using social networks to organize “manhunt” games or flash mobs – especially at night or in neighborhoods.

“It was a poor choice,” he said of the time and place for Tuesday’s game. “It’s enough of a concern to us that we want to get the word out … Somebody could get hurt.”

via Huntersville police concerned about ‘flash mobs’ chaos – CharlotteObserver.com.

23
Jun
10

6.23.2010 … REALLY hot … Happy birthday, Hollis! … say a prayer for ET’s front tooth today … Go USA! … Am lucky to have had an army of BFFs in my life, thank you.

places, good eats, Wilmette, (our) children:  Thank you Wilmette friends for introducing us to Irvings.  It is a fun part of our family story.

A Wilmette hot dog stand is celebrating its 35th anniversary by giving out free T-shirts with every order of $10 or more.

Irving’s for Red Hot Lovers, 3207 Lake Ave., opened in 1975. It’s still owned by the same family.

via Hot dog! Irving’s celebrates 35 years :: News :: PIONEER PRESS :: Wilmette Life.

culture, BFFs:  I have been blessed with “best” friends from every stage of my life … and at 50 I know these people because when I see them again … sometimes after 10 years … I immediately know that I am with a trusted friend.  I hope the psychologists do not overthink this one and destroy these relationships for children (and adults).

Still, school officials admit they watch close friendships carefully for adverse effects. “When two children discover a special bond between them, we honor that bond, provided that neither child overtly or covertly excludes or rejects others,” said Jan Mooney, a psychologist at the Town School, a nursery through eighth grade private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “However, the bottom line is that if we find a best friend pairing to be destructive to either child, or to others in the classroom, we will not hesitate to separate children and to work with the children and their parents to ensure healthier relationships in the future.”

via The End of the Best Friend – NYTimes.com.

I am also on the BFF bandwagon, and cannot imagine my life without the grace of girlfriends plus – “heart friends” in the phrase favored by my bestie Mary Monnat, the first person I met our freshman year at Notre Dame, and the one who held my hand and made me laugh as they wheeled me in for my mastectomy. (OK, the drugs might also have had something to do with that.) When I saw Mary a couple of weeks ago at our college reunion, I was reminded that 30 years on, a stroll with her is still the emotional equivalent of about 1,000 hours of yoga. There are half a dozen other women I consider sisters – some of whom I might seem to have little in common with, because friendships on that level are as mysterious and spiritual as any romantic connection, and yes, often a lot more durable.

via In Defense of Best Friends.

summerPoison Ivy: Complaints and Treatments – WSJ.com.

music, culture, Athens (GA):  I lived for three years in DAWG Town and really enjoyed its music life with my law school friends.  While there, I never realized that it was special….I thought every college town had a REM!

It was the epicenter for bands like Pylon, Love Tractor, Guadalcanal Diary (okay, they were technically from Marietta). In devouring every article I could find in Rolling Stone, it seemed all the groups got along and everyone was welcoming and friendly—a collage of arty types who had an air of being courtly Southern gentlemen and women. R.E.M. was on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, but instead of talking trash about them, most of the community was thrilled. When I finally made it to Athens for the first time in April of 1990, my visit coincided with the legendary 40 Watt Club’s opening in their current home in a former Furniture Mart building on West Washington Street. “If the 40 Watt ever closes,” says Patterson Hood, the Drive-By Truckers frontman and unofficial Athens musical mayor, “I’ll put a for-sale sign in my yard.” I couldn’t get into the Pylon show, but after begging and pleading (and flashing my Minnesota driver’s license), I was let in to see the garage rockers Flat Duo Jets. The club was heaving with

via Dawg Town.

economy, culture, Chicago:  Another article that shows our culture’s indices of success is conspicuous consumption.  I have to admit, I don’t want to see Payless Shoes on the Magnificent Mile.

Those statistics, even if they fell during the economic downturn, are enough to entice big chains to the Mag Mile with showcase stores. And the chains that are expanding these days are more often off-price outlets and discount retailers.

The world’s most prominent shopping streets reflect how consumers shop, according to WSL’s Corlett. And given that the economic downturn took a toll on luxury retailers, it is no surprise that discount chains such as Forever 21 and Payless ShoeSource are as at home on North Michigan Avenue as Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Indeed, one out of three affluent consumers say that while they have money to spend, they don’t want to spend as much as they used to, according to WSL Strategic Retail’s 2010 report on how Americans shop.

“What we’re seeing is part of a national movement,” Corlett said. “This is a post-recession cultural shift. Income doesn’t really matter so much anymore in terms of your attitude toward spending.

“The affluent are as conscious of frivolous spending as middle- and lower-income shoppers.”

via Mag mile vacancy rates: Mag Mile on the mend – chicagotribune.com.

economy, culture:  I hope that the indicator of economic recover is not conspicuous consumption.   And i like caviar …

To be sure, lavish, conspicuous consumption is still mostly out of style, replaced by in-home, smaller soirees, said Mark Maynard-Parisi, managing director of operations for Union Square Events.

Does that mean that serving champagne and caviar still seems gauche?

Not quite. For an upcoming party it “will be the first time we’ve served caviar in a year,” said Mr. Maynard-Parisi. “I hope it’s a harbinger for things to come.”

via Small Servings in Style – WSJ.com.

culture, feel good story, immigration:  As we tighten immigration, I hope we don’t forget social justice issues.   Sometimes, you have to do what is right.

Mr. Gutierrez had gotten to the other side of slavery, climbing a ladder of second chances.

More than a decade ago, he was part of the nameless, unseen cast of a horror story. Lured from Mexico on promises of prosperity, he and 56 other people lived as prisoners in two row houses in Queens. By day, they sold key chains and miniature screwdriver kits in the subways, at airports, on roadsides. At night, they turned over every penny to the bosses of the houses.

via About New York – Descent Into Slavery, and a Ladder to Another Life – NYTimes.com.

politics, the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor, Kagan Nomination:

Supreme Court Justices are known by the company they keep, and yesterday’s decisions provided a valuable window into the kind of jurisprudence President Obama favors in his nominees. In an unusual hat trick, the Justices overturned three rulings by the notoriously liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—and in each case Sonia Sotomayor was among the dissenters.

Implication: A Supreme Court crafted in Justice Sotomayor’s image would transform the Ninth Circuit’s oft-overturned jurisprudence into the law of the land. That’s worth pondering as Senators head into next week’s confirmation hearings on Mr. Obama’s second nominee, Elena Kagan.

via The Sotomayor Precedent – WSJ.com.

media, The President:

There are a couple of reasons for this lack of proportion, none of which is particularly new, but which bear noting. One is a supply-and-demand problem. Cable television and the Internet create an endless demand for commentary and analysis, but there is a necessarily limited supply of interesting things to say or write. Another is related: because there is so much out there, the instant-analysis genre favors self-assurance and sometimes hyperbole. I know of what I speak: in the magazine and on television and radio, I have occasionally offered quick, ill-formed opinions that I regret. Having the courage to say you do not know the answer to a question is perhaps the beginning of wisdom.

Criticism is a crucial thing (the lifeblood of democracy, the fuel of freedom—choose your noble phrase), but the problem is that there are many more carpers than critics. The fact that anybody can say anything does not mean that anything anybody says is worth hearing. Is this an elitist view? Probably, but I am not arguing for even the remotest limitation on what people can say. The beauty of democracy and the wonder of the digital public square is that more people can express themselves more freely to more eyes and ears than at any other time in history. Such liberation is to be celebrated and honored and defended. With power, though, comes responsibility, for all of us. We can learn, I think, from Maddow—sigh when you think you should sigh, but then have the courage to be constructive.

via Criticism in an Age of Disproportion – Newsweek.

law, law school, economy: Not all law schools are equal … so grades alone cannot be a benchmark … This grade inflation makes grades mean virtually nothing.  A recruiter must do his/her homework to understand what the grades mean.

In the last two years, at least 10 law schools have deliberately changed their grading systems to make them more lenient. These include law schools like New York University and Georgetown, as well as Golden Gate University and Tulane University, which just announced the change this month. Some recruiters at law firms keep track of these changes and consider them when interviewing, and some do not.

Law schools seem to view higher grades as one way to rescue their students from the tough economic climate — and perhaps more to the point, to protect their own reputations and rankings. Once able to practically guarantee gainful employment to thousands of students every year, the schools are now fielding complaints from more and more unemployed graduates, frequently drowning in student debt.

via In Law Schools, Grades Go Up, Just Like That – NYTimes.com.

technology, archeology, icons, religion: amazing what they can find in the catacombs.

Twenty-first century laser technology has opened a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank, musty catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the apostles Peter and Paul.

Vatican officials unveiled the paintings Tuesday, discovered along with the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew in an underground burial chamber beneath an office building on a busy street in a working-class Rome neighborhood.

via Lasers uncover first icons of Saints Peter and Paul – CharlotteObserver.com.

Apple iPhone: OK … maybe I want a new one … sorry, first generation … but the 2 cameras seems really cool … New iPhone Keeps Apple Top of Class – WSJ.com.

faith:  Sometimes I just need a reminder …

Words That Become Flesh

Words are important. Without them our actions lose meaning. And without meaning we cannot live. Words can offer perspective, insight, understanding, and vision. Words can bring consolation, comfort, encouragement and hope. Words can take away fear, isolation, shame, and guilt. Words can reconcile, unite, forgive, and heal. Words can bring peace and joy, inner freedom and deep gratitude. Words, in short, can carry love on their wings. A word of love can be the greatest act of love. That is because when our words become flesh in our own lives and the lives of others, we can change the world.

Jesus is the word made flesh. In him speaking and acting were one.

via June 22, 2010 – Words That Become Flesh.

colleges, Davidson: No surprise!  Next year … No. 1!

Perhaps the best assessment of a college is by the quality of its teachers. College-rankings mecca U.S. News and World Report scored schools solely on the strength of their instructors and came up with several lists, two of which we’ve highlighted here — the best national universities for undergraduate teaching and the best liberal arts schools for undergraduate teaching.

via Colleges With The BEST Teachers (PHOTOS).

Davidson College isn’t only about college basketball and Stephen Curry. It’s also the third-highest ranked liberal arts school for teaching.

via Colleges With The BEST Teachers (PHOTOS).

LOL, texting: Maybe I should send one a day to my kids … who can remember all ten?

Here in text shorthand are the 10 commandments as they may appear on modern Moses’ cellphone.

via If God Had Texted the Ten Commandments | Funny Stuff | Reader’s Digest.

Supreme Court, Kagan Nomination:  I don’t mind snarky, brassy … but foul language is a sign of immaturity, insecurity, lack of control  and lack of respect.  Thumbs down for Kagan on this one.

Maybe e-mails are the window into a Supreme Court nominee’s soul. On Friday, the Clinton Presidential Library released the contents of Elena Kagan’s inbox from 1995 to 1999, when she was working in the Clinton administration. A team of NEWSWEEK reporters sifted through tens of thousands of pages. Our verdict? The U.S. solicitor general comes across as humorous, hardworking, opinionated, and astute, alternately demanding of her colleagues and fulsome with her praise. She is also prescient: on separate occasions, she predicts a coming “gay/lesbian firestorm” and warns of mutinies from “Nader types.” Nor is she afraid to use the F word..

via Elena Kagan’s White House Inbox – Newsweek.

technology, culture, kids:  No surprise here …

Text messaging has far eclipsed e-mail and instant messaging as college students’ favored way of staying in touch, according to a new study that finds that 97 percent of students now send and receive text messages, while only about a quarter of them use e-mail or instant messaging.

Ball State journalism professor Michael Hanley, who surveyed 5,500 students for the study, also found that smart phones now account for 49 percent of mobile communication devices on college campuses. That’s up more than 10 percent since just October.

Hanley says that, except for studying, students are quickly leaving computers and e-mail behind. He says college students’ hectic lifestyles are behind their embrace of smart phones and texting. AP

via Survey: College kids are text-crazed :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Technology.

tv, people, twitter: Didn’t realize Booth’s dad on Bones was played by Pa Walton!

Happy birthday to Ralph Waite! The former Pa Walton & current Hank Booth is 82 years young today. @HartHanson @squarechicken

via Twitter / Mickey Boggs: Happy birthday to Ralph Wa ….

twitter, glee, movies: Never heard of Election???   But laughed at “Reese Witherfork” … maybe I can find it on netflix.

Watching the movie Election with Reese Witherfork for the first time to see why #Glee has been getting compared to this.

via Twitter / Glee Podcast: Watching the movie Electio ….

media, family, iPad apps: I associate Gourmet with my dad … so now I will enjoy it and think of him in a new medium.

Can a shuttered magazine find a new life on the iPad?

Gourmet Live, a free iPad app, will include both archival and new content.

That’s what Conde Nast is hoping. On Tuesday, the company announced it would resurrect Gourmet magazine, the celebrated food and travel publication the company discontinued in October, as an iPad application called Gourmet Live.

“We closed the magazine last fall but we did not close the brand,” said Robert Sauerberg, president of consumer marketing at Conde Nast, at a media event in New York on Tuesday.

Gourmet Live, which the company said would be made available free, is slated to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. The application will largely draw from the magazine’s staggering collection of recipes, food essays and photographs but will also include some new content.

via Gourmet Magazine Revived for the iPad – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

facebook, tv, people, good headline/title:  I vote Julia!  And now the new Cooking Network will rebroadcast her classics … do you think this would have happened with out Powell’s Julie and Julia, which was generally panned.

Facebook fans, we love you! We asked you which chef, real or fictional, alive or dead, you’d most like to set a place for at your dinner table. More than 3,000 of you wrote back!

Lots of you chose butter-loving French food maven Julia Child, like fan Jessica Conaway, who writes: “Julia Child hands down…She never called herself a chef, but she was still a pioneer.” Her hypothetical datebook may be full up, but you can hang in the kitchen with Julia every weekday on our brand-new sister station, Cooking Channel.

via The FN Dish » Archive » Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?.

America’s favorite chef and cooking teacher shares her ageless techniques and recipes in the classic series The French Chef and Julia Child & Company. Tune in to these well-loved series and rediscover why Julia is and always will be the Grand Dame of the Kitchen

via Julia Child : Julia Child : Cooking Channel.

21
Jun
10

6.21.2010 … up early to pick Edward up at the airport … came in on the redeye … screaming cat- do you think he was mad that we left him? … relaxing on the porch BEFORE it gets hot … and happy birthday Cindy! … Enjoy the Summer Solstice …

events: Happy Birthday Cindy … Summer Solstice  (i.e. first day of summer!) …

“It means a lot to us … being British and following our pagan roots,” said Victoria Campbell, who watched on, wearing a pair of white angel’s wings and had a mass of multicolored flowers in her hair. The 29-year-old Londoner, who works in the finance industry, also said that “getting away from the city” was a major draw.

“It is stunning,” said Stewart Dyer, a 43-year-old National Health Service worker and dancer on his first trip to the solstice celebration. “To actually be able to dance amongst the stones, to be able to touch the stones, to be that close to such an ancient monument is unbelievable.”

via Summer Solstice Celebrated at Stonehenge – CBS News.

…. google doodles

South Africa, vuvuzela, FIFA World Cup 2010, politics: I thought this a great op-ed piece.

The vuvuzela carries powerful symbolism. Rugby, the traditional sporting stronghold of the white Afrikaner, has shunned it. Soccer, dominated by blacks, has embraced it. Yet today Afrikaners flock into black Soweto to watch rugby and whites and blacks both carry their vuvuzelas into World Cup games.

I’m sorry, French players will have to suffer their headaches: these are not minor political miracles. As one comic here tweeted: “After one weekend Europe wants to ban the vuvuzela — if only they’d acted this fast when banning slavery!”

The other day I was talking to a distant relative, an economist named Andrew Levy. He said: “I don’t fear for my life, and that’s the miracle of South Africa. I say hello to a black in the street and he’ll say hello to me in a friendly way. I know I might get killed in the course of a robbery, not because I’m white, not because they hate me, but because there’s poverty. I’m a patriot in the end. I love this country’s beauty. And when I see the unity and good will the World Cup has created, I believe we can succeed.”

via Op-Ed Columnist – Freedom’s Blaring Horn – NYTimes.com.

art:  I just love the old polaroids my grandmother used to take … don’t think anyone would buy one.

Mr. Adams’s breathtaking images of national parks and areas of the American West made him the most widely recognized landscape photographer of the 20th century. But few are aware of his unique connection with the Polaroid brand.

Mr. Adams met the founder and inventor of Polaroid, Edwin Land, in 1948—the same year Polaroid products hit store shelves. One year later, Mr. Land hired Mr. Adams as a consultant to the company. As time passed, Mr. Land would look to the photographer for help in building Polaroid’s corporate collection. In turn, Mr. Adams approached his friends and contemporaries in the art world, obtaining works made with both Polaroid and non-Polaroid materials from, among others, Dorothea Lange and Imogen Cunningham.

via Instant Nostalgia For a Lost Art – WSJ.com.

random, culture: My dreams are very 20th century!  What about yours?

Instead of a horse and carriage, a modern dreamer might dream of a fuel-efficient hybrid car zipping past gridlock traffic in a HOV lane. Instead of penning a letter with a quill, you might dream of sitting in an Internet cafe emailing a friend. Instead of surfing the ocean blue, you might dream of surfing the Web and meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right on Match.com. Understanding the symbolism behind these 21st-century words will help you keep up with your dreams that are trying desperately to keep up with you!

via 10 Most Popular 21st-Century Dream Symbols — And What They Mean – Lemondrop.com.

medicine:  Scary article in light of recent experiences.

Fortunately, his delirium was discovered very quickly and he made a very good recovery, Dr. Pacheco said. “But,” he said, “delirium is very disruptive for the patient, family, hospital caregivers.”

As Mr. Kaplan understated later, “It was a lot of unpleasantness.”

via Hallucinations in Hospital Pose Risk to the Elderly – NYTimes.com.

science, medicine: I bought into to the genomic revolution … both figuratively and literally.  I still think it will pay off.

Now, 10 years later, a sobering realization has set in. Decoding the genome has led to stunning advances in scientific knowledge and DNA-processing technologies but it has done relatively little to improve medical treatments or human health.

In the long run, it seems likely that the genomic revolution will pay off. But no one can be sure. Even if the genetic roots of some major diseases are identified, there is no guarantee that treatments can be found. The task facing science and industry in coming decades is as at least as challenging as the original deciphering of the human genome.

via Editorial – The Genome, 10 Years Later – NYTimes.com.

The Supreme Court, Kagan Nomination: brassy, snarkiness … Oh, I like her!  Although not a fan of Mitch McConnell, I agree that she must be able to “put aside her personal and political beliefs, and impartially apply the law, rather than be a rubber stamp for the Obama or any other administration.”  History is on  her side.  You never know what a justice will do once appointed.

More old documents unveiled are offering more fresh signs that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was an eager, tough-talking political player while working as a lawyer in the Clinton White House.

In one e-mail, she criticizes one of President Bill Clinton’s most important speeches as “presumptuous.”

Apparent snarkiness sometimes invaded her messages. When trying with great effort for days to coordinate who would attend a big meeting of officials on various domestic matters, Kagan noted that then-Attorney General Janet Reno would appear. “The AG is coming. After talking to me a bit, her scheduler announced that it sounded as if the meeting ‘wouldn’t be a waste of time,'” she wrote on January 28, 1997. “Pressure’s on.”

“We must be convinced that someone who has spent the better part of her career as a political advisor, policy advocate, and academic — rather than as a legal practitioner or a judge — can put aside her personal and political beliefs, and impartially apply the law, rather than be a rubber stamp for the Obama or any other administration,” said Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, in a floor speech Friday. “The Clinton library documents make it harder — not easier– to believe that Ms. Kagan could make that necessary transition.”

via Editorial – The Genome, 10 Years Later – NYTimes.com.

New York, marketing: Ironic is right.  But I might go find it to see if it works.

“The whole idea was to do this kind of ironic statement of lining the building with storefronts that would be reminiscent of independent businesses,” says Ron Pompei, creative director of Pompei A.D., which designed the store, slated to open in August. “It’s the story about the streets of New York as they once were.”

via Commercial Property Briefs: Urban Outfitters’ Chic Storefronts – WSJ.com.

bookshelf, Jane Austen, alluring titles: Given that I collect cookbooks and don’t cook … I am intrigued by the book’s  title.   I, however, want to know on what authority this reviewer gets to name this author “he present-day Jane Austen”?

Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Goodman is the present-day Jane Austen and does not disappoint in her latest novel, set in the dot-com bubble of the ’90s. A great book for a serious reader or someone just needing a good read for vacation.

via 5 picks from a Charlotte bookstore owner – CharlotteObserver.com.

places, New York, teenagers, culture: What was that park called that we hung out when we were in high school?  And I have never seen a “40” …

One of the first things Tess Gostfrand and Julia Monk did when they got home from college last month was to head out to Central Park’s Great Lawn. “The kids look like they’re 13,” they marveled, sounding middle-age rather than 20 and 19, respectively. “They’re 9 years old,” they joked, “and they’re drinking a 40” (referring, of course, to a bottle or can holding that many ounces of beer or malt liquor).

Over the last decade or so—nobody can say for exactly how long, but it’s since the Great Lawn was reseeded in 1995 (it was basically a dust bowl in my era)—frequent, even daily, attendance at the 55-acre field has become New York City’s most popular unstructured and unsupervised after-school program for private high schoolers. The majestic space provides a reliable respite from the pressures of AP courses, SAT tutors, and having to get into a name college. Indeed, hanging out on the Great Lawn has virtually become a rite of passage.

via Central Park: The Teen Place to be Seen – WSJ.com.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 618 other followers

November 2020
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930