Posts Tagged ‘Kindle

23
May
13

5.23.13 … On the road again …

Megabus, Spirit Air, Georgia Department of Public Safety,  How the Irish Saved Civilization, bookshelf

On the road again … And the seats are definitely more comfortable on the MegaBus than on Spirit Air!

Except for the 30 minute delay for a “random” Georgia Department of Public Safety inspection, this has been a delightful MegaBus ride. I am reading a Kindle book that I downloaded years ago, How the Irish Saved Civilization. It is way over my head.

How the Irish Saved Civilization, bookshelf, Kindle:  One of the great things about reading on Kindle is that you are able to electronically save your highlights … DENNARD shared from How the Irish Saved Civilization (Hinges of History) by Thomas Cahill

We did lose, at any rate, the spirit of classical civilization. “At certain epochs,” wrote Kenneth Clark in Civilisation, “man has felt conscious of something about himself—body and spirit—which was outside the day-to-day struggle for existence and the night-to-night struggle with fear; and he has felt the need to develop these qualities of thought and feeling so that they might approach as nearly as possible to an ideal of perfection—reason, justice, physical beauty, all of them in equilibrium.

From the fourth century on, instruction in Christianity could even serve as a shortcut to Romanization, as joining the Episcopalians was till recently a shortcut to respectability in America.

Roman Christians assumed this prejudice without examining it. Augustine, in his profundity, realized that the ahistorical Platonic ascent to Wisdom through knowledge and leisured contemplation was unaccomplishable and that it must be replaced by the biblical journey through time—through the life of each man and through the life of the

via Amazon Kindle: A Highlight and Note by DENNARD from How the Irish Saved Civilization Hinges of History.

19
Jan
11

1.19.2011 … finishing up on some bothersome things … then dinner in Davidson …

architecture, Great Recession, professionalism: A really great article …

The cynicism and navel-gazing that infect the field of architecture at this moment—the whining malaise and never-ending complaints of powerlessness and economic hardship and marginalization and irrelevance and on, and on, and on—set me on fire. Not because some of this is not true. Not because I don’t share the difficulties we are all grappling with to build and maintain a business during the most challenging economic conditions in living memory. Not because I don’t appreciate and support the dreams and ambitions and authentically good citizenship that form the cultural foundation of the architectural life. I am infuriated for two reasons: First, there is simply no basis in historical fact that could possibly support a complaint about being an architect—of any kind, in any form—at this moment in history. Second, to the degree that there are problems in architectural practice in America, they are self-inflicted. Architecture is largely irrelevant to the great mass of the world’s population because architects have chosen to be.

via You Can Do Better – Architects – Architect Magazine.

kindle, bookshelf, lists:  If you did not know this you can download samples of new books on Kindle for free.  Best Books of 2010: A Free Literary Sampler – GalleyCat.

google doodles, Paul Cezanne:  Happy birthday, Paul!

.Cézanne's 172nd Birthday

If you go to Google today on pretty much all the versions, Google.com or a localized version of Google, you will find a special Google logo, also known as a Google Doodle. This Google logo is for Paul Cezanne, it is his 172nd birthday today and for the day, Google posted a special logo commemorating his life and work.

He was born today in 1839 and died on October 22, 1906. He was known for his art and painting, specific notable works include Apothose de Delacroix, The Bathers, Mont Sainte-Victoire, Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier, and The Basket of Apples.

The Google Doodle today was actually first painted by a Googler as a real oil painting and then reconstructed in digital format. That is right, they first took out a canvas and oil paints and made this the old fashion way.

via Paul Cézanne Google Logo.

technology, Starbuck, change:  We all knew it was coming …

Futurists have long predicted that one day, shoppers will swipe cellphones instead of credit cards to make purchases. At Starbucks stores nationwide, that is about to become a reality.

On Wednesday, Starbucks plans to announce that customers of the 6,800 stores the company operates in the United States and the 1,000 that are in Target stores will be able to pay for their lattes with their cellphones instead of pulling out cash or a credit card.

Various technology and payments companies, including PayPal, Bling Nation, Square, Venmo and now-deceased dot-com start-ups have been experimenting with ways to wean Americans off cash, credit cards or both.

But the introduction of mobile payments in Starbucks stores may be the most mainstream example yet.

via Now at Starbucks: Buy a Latte By Waving Your Phone – NYTimes.com.

followup, education, college:  Everyone has to cover this story … I thought Time’s intro was humorous.

Turns out, students spend more time learning how to master a beer pong than they do completing homework for Psych 101.

via $80,000 For Beer Pong? Report Shows College Students Learn Little During First Two Years (Besides Party Skills) – TIME NewsFeed.

social networks, quora, new:

A New Social Network Where Inquiring Minds Run Wild

If brief communications like Twitter’s 140-character messages, Facebook status updates and text messaging leave you longing for more substantial discourse, you may be in luck. This week, I took a look at Quora, a question-and-answer site that encourages thoughtful—even long-winded—discussions.

Quora (Quora.com) was launched about six months ago by two former Facebook employees who wanted to create a forum where in-depth questions could be posed and answered. Users vote answers up or down according to how good they are, the idea being that the best answers get pushed to the top of the queue by the community of users. Few of these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, one question asks, “What role did social media play with regards to the revolution in Tunisia?” (See here for the answer with the most votes: http://3.ly/8Gqf.)

via Quora Question and Answer Web Site Review | Katherine Boehret | The Digital Solution | AllThingsD.

economics, Great Recession, recovery:  puzzling?  The world does not always respond to our models …

Alone among the world’s economic powers, the United States is suffering through a deep jobs slump that can’t be explained by the rest of the economy’s performance.

The gross domestic product here — the total value of all goods and services — has recovered from the recession better than in Britain, Germany, Japan or Russia. Yet a greatly shrunken group of American workers, working harder and more efficiently, is producing these goods and services.

The unemployment rate is higher in this country than in Britain or Russia and much higher than in Germany or Japan, according to a study of worldwide job markets that Gallup will release on Wednesday. The American jobless rate is also higher than China’s, Gallup found. The European countries with worse unemployment than the United States tend to be those still mired in crisis, like Greece, Ireland and Spain.

Economists are now engaged in a spirited debate, much of it conducted on popular blogs like Marginal Revolution, about the causes of the American jobs slump. Lawrence Katz, a Harvard labor economist, calls the full picture “genuinely puzzling.”

via Jobless Rate Points to Lost Power in Work Force – Economic Scene – NYTimes.com.

emerging nations, India, business models:

MANAGEMENT theorists have fallen in love with India in much the same way that they fell in love with re-engineering fifteen years ago. India is synonymous with rapid growth, frugal innovation and exciting new business models.

I agree with all that (and have promoted it myself). But it is important to remember that India is also a mess.

via Indian sojourn: The messy, non-shining side of India | The Economist.

gardening:  I love the hope of a new year …  Cumberland County Garden Calendar.

history:  I can’t decide what I think of following the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It doesn’t have the same energy and optimism of following the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  What do you think?

Historic Oakland Cemetery

‎150 years ago today, GA seceded from the Union (5th of 11). SC was the first on Dec 12, 1860 and TN was the 11th and final state on June 8, 1861.

via Facebook.

08
Aug
10

8.8.2010 … just skyped with Molls … continues to love life in South Africa … It is now her “second favorite country” … lazy day here … dog days continue and et has been great fun …

snippets from ZA Molly:  Wow.  She had the big Form 5 Formal and had a blast.  She took her CLS friend Will.  They were the only ones “swing” dancing.  I teased her that I assumed she knew not to call it “shagging.”   She got that one … then after party last night … another blast … as she says,  they say, “hectic” weekend.  And about food, we have heard of three things in particular: cook sisters, biltong and  a certain chocolate milk mix which leaves a crunchy crust on top (that I haven’t found yet).  I did find a list of 100 South African foods … I’ll ask her how many she has had.

As any South African visitor will have noticed, my blog’s name is somewhat of a pun – if you happen to understand Afrikaans! Back home in SA we have a sweet pastry known as a “koeksister” (literally translated as “cake sizzler” and pronounced “cook-sister”). The name comes form the Dutch koek (cake) and sissen (sizzle) – presumable a reference to the sizzling sound they make when being deep fried. It is one of the few things which, despite the huge South African population in London, I have not seen in mainstream stores. This is not to say that someone, somewhere is not producing them in England – I just have not come across them.

via Koeksisters – what’s in a name? – Cook sister!.

South Africans (and Zimbabweans) have known it for years – and it seems that the rest of the world is finally coming around to our way of thinking. Check out this brief article in today’s Metro newspaper:

“Parents trying to soothe their teething babies are turning to air-dried spiced meat. Butcher Henry Viviers can hardly keep up with the demand for his biltong speciality at his shop in Brighton. Most of the demand is coming from expat Zimbabweans but British mothers and fathers are now catching on. ‘When children were teething the first thing we’d give them is a piece of biltong,’ he said. ‘Some English think it’s unhealthy but it’s not.’”

via Biltong – it’s what makes us South African! – Cook sister!.

— and — Here is the list: Cook sister!: South African food.

quotes: Funny — why are we always rudest when we are in a hurry?

“Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

via The Happiness Project.

movies, lists:  Do you have a favorite? Mine may be Dirty Dancing …

From the swingin’ days of Astaire to one happening twist contest, we take a look back at our 10 favorite dance scenes of all time. Read on and then let us know what dance scenes get you moving.

via Best Dance Scenes: 10 Swingin’ Movie Moments | Inside Movies.

Justice Kagan: Interesting … sworn in twice … constitutional and one for judges … and why is the one prescribed by the Constitution private?

She was sworn in twice Saturday by Mr. Roberts—reciting one oath as prescribed by the Constitution during a ceremony in a conference room at the court with only her family present. Ms. Kagan then recited a second oath, taken by judges, with her family and friends and reporters present.

via Kagan to Be Sworn In as Justice – WSJ.com.

giving, great ideas, libraries: I like this one … where in Charlotte?  Maybe the bus depot?

No old phone booth close by? Don’t worry. A book booth can work just about anywhere. Take over an unused newspaper dispenser or ask a local business for some of their sidewalk space or an old bench. Be sure to find a place where people already linger, meet, or hang out. And keep it tidy. “You wouldn’t really want anyone to leave a box of books on the ground,” says Inouye. ”Then it starts looking messy. It’s like the broken window mindset. You want it to look neat and presentable and inviting so that it maintains a level of usefulness and involvement.”

via How To: Turn a Payphone Into a Library – Walking Distance – GOOD.

tv, cooking:  I never thought about the resources for a period drama.

Mmmm. . . beef a la king. Doesn’t it summon more 1960s’ food cred than the mention of chicken kiev during “Mad Men’s” season premiere?

For me, it does. I’m old enough to remember several kinds of a la kings landing on the family table. Plus, I recently made the Peg Bracken dish, overcome with curiosity – as in, what were we thinking, tastewise? The recipe’s in the 50th anniversary reissue of “The I Hate to Cook Book” (Grand Central, $22.99), and I would be happy to point you in the direction of just about any other goop-on-a-shingle instead.

I’ll get to that in a bit. Bracken begins her introduction with: “Some women, it is said, like to cook. This book is not for them.” This could be one of her few pronouncements that didn’t hold up over time. I enjoyed the read, for its nostalgia and a high quotient of grinning while turning pages. Dried onion soup mix on a pot roast – yep, my mom made that. Truth be told, I even served it (just once) to the man I married.

via All We Can Eat – ‘I Hate to Cook’: Kitchen companion to ‘Mad Men’.

materialism, consumerism, economy, Great Recession:  I suggest reading this one …. obviously since I excerpted almost the whole thing!

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn’t happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the “work-spend treadmill.”

So one day she stepped off.

Inspired by books and blog entries about living simply, Ms. Strobel and her husband, Logan Smith, both 31, began donating some of their belongings to charity. As the months passed, out went stacks of sweaters, shoes, books, pots and pans, even the television after a trial separation during which it was relegated to a closet. Eventually, they got rid of their cars, too. Emboldened by a Web site that challenges consumers to live with just 100 personal items, Ms. Strobel winnowed down her wardrobe and toiletries to precisely that number.

Her mother called her crazy.

Today, three years after Ms. Strobel and Mr. Smith began downsizing, they live in Portland, Ore., in a spare, 400-square-foot studio with a nice-sized kitchen. Mr. Smith is completing a doctorate in physiology; Ms. Strobel happily works from home as a Web designer and freelance writer. She owns four plates, three pairs of shoes and two pots. With Mr. Smith in his final weeks of school, Ms. Strobel’s income of about $24,000 a year covers their bills. They are still car-free but have bikes. One other thing they no longer have: $30,000 of debt.

Ms. Strobel’s mother is impressed. Now the couple have money to travel and to contribute to the education funds of nieces and nephews. And because their debt is paid off, Ms. Strobel works fewer hours, giving her time to be outdoors, and to volunteer, which she does about four hours a week for a nonprofit outreach program called Living Yoga.

“The idea that you need to go bigger to be happy is false,” she says. “I really believe that the acquisition of material goods doesn’t bring about happiness.”

While Ms. Strobel and her husband overhauled their spending habits before the recession, legions of other consumers have since had to reconsider their own lifestyles, bringing a major shift in the nation’s consumption patterns.

“We’re moving from a conspicuous consumption — which is ‘buy without regard’ — to a calculated consumption,” says Marshal Cohen, an analyst at the NPD Group, the retailing research and consulting firm.

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“  ‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich. Her own take on the subject is in a paper she wrote with colleagues at Harvard and the University of Virginia: “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right.” (The Journal of Consumer Psychology plans to publish it in a coming issue.)

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“  ‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich. Her own take on the subject is in a paper she wrote with colleagues at Harvard and the University of Virginia: “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right.” (The Journal of Consumer Psychology plans to publish it in a coming issue.)

And the creation of complex, sophisticated relationships is a rare thing in the world. As Professor Dunn and her colleagues Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson point out in their forthcoming paper, only termites, naked mole rats and certain insects like ants and bees construct social networks as complex as those of human beings. In that elite little club, humans are the only ones who shop.

AT the height of the recession in 2008, Wal-Mart Stores realized that consumers were “cocooning” — vacationing in their yards, eating more dinners at home, organizing family game nights. So it responded by grouping items in its stores that would turn any den into an at-home movie theater or transform a backyard into a slice of the Catskills. Wal-Mart wasn’t just selling barbecues and board games. It was selling experiences.

“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers,” says Amy Lester, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, “and know that they have a set amount to spend and need to juggle to meet that amount.”

One reason that paying for experiences gives us longer-lasting happiness is that we can reminisce about them, researchers say. That’s true for even the most middling of experiences. That trip to Rome during which you waited in endless lines, broke your camera and argued with your spouse will typically be airbrushed with “rosy recollection,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Once upon a time, with roots that go back to medieval marketplaces featuring stalls that functioned as stores, shopping offered a way to connect socially, as Ms. Liebmann and others have pointed out. But over the last decade, retailing came to be about one thing: unbridled acquisition, epitomized by big-box stores where the mantra was “stack ’em high and let ’em fly” and online transactions that required no social interaction at all — you didn’t even have to leave your home.

The recession, however, may force retailers to become reacquainted with shopping’s historical roots.

Mr. Belic says his documentary shows that “the one single trait that’s common among every single person who is happy is strong relationships.”

Buying luxury goods, conversely, tends to be an endless cycle of one-upmanship, in which the neighbors have a fancy new car and — bingo! — now you want one, too, scholars say. A study published in June in Psychological Science by Ms. Dunn and others found that wealth interfered with people’s ability to savor positive emotions and experiences, because having an embarrassment of riches reduced the ability to reap enjoyment from life’s smaller everyday pleasures, like eating a chocolate bar.

Alternatively, spending money on an event, like camping or a wine tasting with friends, leaves people less likely to compare their experiences with those of others — and, therefore, happier.

She rejects the idea that happiness has to be an either-or proposition. Some days, you want a trip, she says; other days, you want a Tom Ford handbag.

MS. STROBEL — our heroine who moved into the 400-square foot apartment — is now an advocate of simple living, writing in her spare time about her own life choices at Rowdykittens.com.

“My lifestyle now would not be possible if I still had a huge two-bedroom apartment filled to the gills with stuff, two cars, and 30 grand in debt,” she says.

“Give away some of your stuff,” she advises. “See how it feels.”

via Consumers Find Ways to Spend Less and Find Happiness – NYTimes.com.

travel, Boston:  I may go to Boston for 36 hours … any ideas?

BOSTON is known for its bricks and brownstones, but the city is starting to take on a glossier, more modern sheen. With the completion of the $15 billion Big Dig, downtown now stretches unimpeded to the harbor, making Boston feel like a whole new city. History abounds, of course — Faneuil Hall still stands, Paul Revere is still buried at the Granary Burying Ground — but it is now joined by a high-tech exuberance, modern parks and a reclaimed harbor. Revere would not recognize it.

via 36 Hours – Boston – NYTimes.com.

iPad, Kindle: Definitely prefer the iPad.

Many people thought that the Kindle’s price must drop below $100 to excite the hesitant buyer. But consumers aren’t waiting for that deal. The two new Kindle models, which are to start shipping on Aug. 27, are already back-ordered, and orders submitted today will be shipped still later.

This doesn’t settle the long-term question of Kindle’s mass-market appeal amid multipurpose tablets, which will become lighter and less expensive. Sure, Amazon can talk of a future 20th-generation Kindle. But unless it’s brave enough to reveal Kindle’s actual sales numbers, it sounds as if it’s whistling past the graveyard. Dedicated word processors, purpose-built machines of the 1970s, had a good run of about 10 years.

via Digital Domain – Kindle vs. iPad – Specialist Against Multitasker – NYTimes.com.

technology, e-books:

The physical book is dead, according to Negroponte. He said he realizes that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to accept. But you just have to think about film and music. In the 1980s, the writing was on the wall that physical film was going to die, even though companies like Kodak were in denial. He then asked people to think about their youth with music. It was all physical then. Now everything has changed.

via Nicholas Negroponte: The Physical Book Is Dead In 5 Years.

family, Great Recession, retirement:  This is definitely an issue at our house.  One of the side effects of the Great Recession that many do not realize.  Family Value: The Risks of Retirement Communities – WSJ.com.

individual rights, art, people:

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: Why on earth did Mr. Wiesel, of all people, threaten to drop the big one on Ms. Margolin and Theater J? Not only is he prominent and admired, but he is also a celebrated human-rights advocate who has famously declared that “indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.” Yet he has proved himself utterly indifferent to the rights of a serious artist and a well-regarded theater company to make art as they see fit, merely because their art portrays him in a way he doesn’t like. I wouldn’t go so far as to call that hypocritical—not quite—but I have no doubt that it’s unworthy of a great man who ought to know better.

via Elie Wiesel Shuts Down Deb Margolin’s Imagining Madoff at Washington’s Theater J | Sightings by Terry Teachout – WSJ.com.




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