Posts Tagged ‘knitting

10
Feb
13

2.10.13 … in this world, but not of this world …

FPC, worship, sermon Transfiguration, epiphany,  labyrinth walks, “Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking, Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth:  IMG_5491As I left FPC today (did anyone else notice the tulip trees blooming!), I headed to one of my favorite labyrinths.  I had a heavy heart, despite a very excellent sermon by Kirk Hall about  Transfiguration entitled,  “A Glimpse of Glory.”  I was also quite struck by the affirmation of faith …

We believe Christ gives us and demands of us lives in pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom. Like Christ we may enjoy on our journey all that sustains life and makes it pleasant and beautiful. No more than Christ are we spared the darkness, ambiguity, and threat of life in the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Our confidence and hope for ourselves and other people do not rest in the powers and achievements of this world, but in the coming and hidden presence of God’s kingdom. Christ calls each of us to a life appropriate to that kingdom: to serve as he has served us; to take up our cross, risking the consequences of faithful discipleship; to walk by faith, not by sight, to hope for what we have not seen. (Declaration of Faith, 9.5) http://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf

But even my drive was uplifting …

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IMG_5495  IMG_5493 IMG_5494 

And the walk was wonderful.  I came away feeling much better …

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IMG_5505  IMG_5503 IMG_5504

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IMG_5499 IMG_5500  IMG_5497

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I love the quote of Ms. Alexander painted at the “foot” of the labyrinth.

“With patience persistence and prayer, a God-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit.” – Almetto Howie Alexander 2011

And so this afternoon, I  did a little research on the labyrinth …

.Labyrinth

Activities are often thought of as group-oriented, competitive sports, skill-oriented, performance or even pressure. The labyrinth provides a balancing activity, one which may best be pursued alone, in one’s own time of need, searching, or desire for peace and focus. Experiencing the solace of journey provided by a labyrinth brings peace, healing, and enlightenment — mental health — appropriate for people of any age. The labyrinth itself is a beautiful monument to heritage and history. The spiritual and actual presence of the labyrinth will fulfill the dreams of its founder — a person who spent her life working for her community in education and civil rights — and will offer the benefits and reminders of this continuing journey to the community’s next generations.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

The study, design and installation of labyrinths has become an essential part of my work as an artist. From our research, we believe this may be the first Afro-Centric Labyrinth in the United States. This particular project has all the potential to become a great source of healing and education within the smaller community of Washington Heights as it interacts with the larger community of Charlotte. The unique design pays homage to the nearly lost origins of the labyrinth, and offers each individual the opportunity to metaphorically walk their life’s journey along a pattern that echoes the journey and philosophy of Mrs. Alexander.

— Tom Schulz

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth: The Labyrinth.

“Solvitur ambulando” – it is solved by walking:  I also did a little research on the term “solvitur ambulando.” I found this very interesting.

Solvitur ambulando (pron.: /ˈsɒlvɪtər ˌæmbjʊˈlændoʊ/)[1] is a Latin term which means:

it is solved by walking

the problem is solved by a practical experiment

Diogenes of Sinope, also known as “Diogenes the Cynic,” is said to have replied to the argument that motion is unreal by standing up and walking away.

The phrase appears early in Lewis Carroll’s “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”. Achilles uses it to accentuate that he was indeed successful in overtaking Tortoise in their race to empirically test one of Zeno’s paradoxes of motion. This passage also appears in Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

The phrase appears in Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Clouds of Witness”. During the Duke of Denver’s trial before the House of Lords, the Lord High Steward suggests (to laughter) solvitur ambulando to determine whether the decedent crawled or was dragged to a different location, as this was a matter of dispute between the prosecution and the defense.

The phrase is also cited in “Walking” by H.D. Thoreau and in “The Songlines” by Bruce Chatwin in its first meaning.

The phrase is discussed multiple times and at some length in The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux.

The phrase was the motto of the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society.

via Solvitur ambulando – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Momastery, blog, meme: I loved this graphic and I enjoyed her blog as well.

You’re not screwing it up. Your baby is just completely wicked awesome.

via Momastery.

I’ve been both a “working” and a “stay-at-home” mom so I’ve experienced both sides of the internal and eternal debate moms endure all day, every day. When I worked outside my house, Mommy Guilt rode shotgun with me each morning, chiding me for dropping off my sick boy at day care instead of keeping him home and for rocking him the night before instead of preparing for work. When I got to work each day Mommy Guilt whispered that a good mom would still be at home with her son and when I returned home she’d insist that a better teacher would have stayed at work longer. When I’d visit girlfriends who stayed home, Mommy Guilt would say “See… this lady’s doing it right. Her kids are better off than yours are.” And Mommy Guilt certainly had a lot to say when Chase’s day care provider admitted that he had taken his first steps while I was working. Every night when I finally got Chase to sleep, finished grading papers, and collapsed into the couch, Mommy Guilt would snuggle up next to me and sweetly say “shouldn’t you spend some quality time with your husband instead of checking out?” And finally, before I fell asleep each night, Mommy Guilt would whisper in my ear, “YOU KNOW, THE ONLY WAY YOU’RE GOING TO BE A GOOD MOTHER AND WIFE IS IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB AND STAY HOME.”

And so now I’m a stay-at-home mom. And the thing is that Mommy Guilt stays home with me.

via Momastery.

Davidson College basketball, Nik Cochran, multitasking, live blogging: Another great day to be a Wildcat (fan)!  Congrats to Nik.  I think it is great that I can multitask and pay attention to a game.  I often put on the live blog, even when I am watching a game.

Cochran Hits 1,000 Career Points; Wildcats Roll to Eighth Straight Win

Nik Cochran became the 44th player in program history to hit the 1,000-point plateau and Davidson shot 53.6 percent in a convincing 87-52 victory over Appalachian State in front of 5,090 fans Saturday evening at Belk Arena.

via Davidson College Athletics.

Davidson College Athletics – Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. ASU.

Davidson College, Baker Athletic Center, The Davidsonian:  So many things to be done …

“Baker was designed 25 years ago when athletes had one season of intensive practice and play. Now all sports practice year round,” Jim Murphy, Director of Athletics, explains. “This building [Baker] has had an incredible demand put on it. There are students in this building almost around the clock.”

With additional men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball practice courts, as well as a dance center with two studios, office space, and storage, the extra space will alleviate scheduling constraints, reducing the current inconvenience of athletes missing study groups, regular dinner hours, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to benefiting varsity athletes, this extra space will increase student participation in club and intramural sports by 60%, as well as accommodate an expanding academic and extracurricular dance program.

Not all of the additions will be about scheduling, however. Some are merely ways to improve both the athlete and the spectator experience. The renovation will include new locker rooms, team rooms, film rooms, and administrative offices for men’s and women’s basketball. All athletes will appreciate the expanded Basil Boyd Training room, and students, faculty, and staff will benefit from a new cardio/fitness room, as well as a classroom for health and wellness instruction. Baker currently sees 90,000 patrons annually. A new ticket office with internal and external windows and a new game day entrance facing the parking lot will streamline the spectator experience.

The planned Baker renovations are a reflection of Davidson’s impressive expansion over the past quarter century. “Being able to respond so positively to the growth we’ve seen in the student population is the most exciting aspect of this project,” says Murphy.

via $15 M renovation of Baker slated to begin in April – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Stonewall Riots, President Obama,  1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Christopher Park, public art, legal history, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, 2013 Legal Festival of Learning, hetero-normative society:  Three weeks ago, if you asked me what I knew about the Stonewall Riots, I would not have been able to tell you anything, and when you told me about them, I would have had to admit that I really do not remember ever learning about the event. Well, President Obama referred to the riots in his 1.21.13 Inauguration Speech, I saw the Stonewall Inn on my 1.28.13 tour of Greenwich Village and the statues dedicated to the riots in Christopher Park (the park facing the Inn), and l learned about them in the context of the legal history of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights at the Legal Festival of Learning on 2.9.13 (Same-Sex Relationships: Recent U.S. Developments by Maxine Eichner and Holning S. Lau). Sometimes I am amazed at how un-knowledgeable I am, and wonder if my education will ever be complete. As a lawyer and lover of history, now I at least feel like I can enter into an honest and educated conversation of the topic.”

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I had not witnessed the use of the acronym LGBTQ ….

When most people see the acronym “LGBTQ” they are fairly certain what the first four letters stand for. “L,” of course, stands for “lesbian;” “G” is for gay; “B” stands for “bisexual” and “T” means “transgender.” But the “Q,” which represents the word “queer,” is harder to define.

So what exactly does it mean to be “queer?”

“Personally, I think ‘queer’ encompasses ALL in the community, whereas ‘gay’ is primarily used for only the homosexual male segment of the community,” says Kate Sherry, the editor of Queer Life News. “However, there some of us who do identify strictly as ‘queer’ instead of ‘lesbian’ or ‘trans,’ etc.”

Originally, the word “queer” meant unusual or strange, and later, it became a derogatory term for someone who is gay. At the end of the 20th century, members of the gay community reclaimed the word and in doing so, recycled the meaning once again, this time with the goal of empowerment.

The “grayness” of the word is part of its power because it breaks down the ability to label and categorize lifestyles that unfairly generate hate and oppression. Activists, people who strongly reject traditional gender or sexual identities, or anyone who feel oppressed by the pressure to conform to the heterosexual lifestyle often use the word.

According to Bill Serpe, the executive director of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), “queer” is a catchall word for anyone who is outside the societal norm, not just those who identify themselves as part of the gay community.

“Someone is queer when they have realized that they are not straight, heterosexual or born in the wrong body. Not all people who might fall in this category like being called queer, but would agree that they are living a lifestyle that is different from what is considered the social norm,” says Serpe.

So, can a straight person be queer? Sure. For some, the “Q” stands for “questioning,” which includes people living the straight lifestyle but questioning their sexuality, someone who isn’t sexual at all because they are unsure of their identity or a person who is sexual, but doesn’t fit into any particular box.

“Anyone who feels they don’t or can’t conform to a hetero-normative society are eligible for queer status!” says Sherry.

via OnMilwaukee.com Milwaukee Buzz: What does the “Q” in LGBTQ really mean?.

2013 Northeast Blizzard , Storm Nemo, Nemo memes:  It is amazing th pictures and videos that are coming out of the NE.  Apart of me would love to be there and a part is glad I am looking at tulip tree blossoms! FYI —  10 Things To Know About The Northeast Blizzard. I just love this picture of Beacon Hill from the WSJ …

EASTON, Mass.—A historic blizzard pummeled the Northeast, dumping up to three feet of snow across New England and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in New England.

via Storm Sweeps Through Northeast U.S. – WSJ.com.

And then there are the Nemo memes. 🙂

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

The 15 Funniest Blizzard Nemo Memes

Nemo in the Snow | Complex.

Cool Tools, Boing Boing: Just found this  interesting …

We’ve already come up with a lot of ideas for Cool Tools projects, and some are very ambitious. As Kevin said, “Let’s turn Cool Tools into a butterfly, not just a better caterpillar.” That’s a terrific goal to have, and it’s one that can be achieved while staying true to Cool Tools’ original statement of purpose:

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest.

I love learning about what people make and do, and the tools they use. Do you have a tool you love? Tell us about it at Cool Tools.

via Mark joins Cool Tools – Boing Boing.

Mason-Dixon Knitting.

 English grammar,  NFL,  Tweets, Chris Culliver, Wes Welker, 2d graders: 🙂

A class of 2nd Graders show off their corrections to a number of tweets from top NFL sports stars, including this one by San Francisco 49ers' Chris Culliver.

A group of 2nd graders have corrected  a number of NFL tweets; handing out a lesson in spelling and grammar to a number of top NFL stars.

The second grade students from Elmwood Franklin Elementary in Buffalo, N.Y. were given a challenge by faculty at the school to correct the grammar and spelling mistakes in a number of Twitter postings from top NFL players.

The young children went to work on tweets from Chris Culliver, Wes Welker and Titus D Young Sr. on Friday, correcting errors in grammar the stars had made in the world of Twitter.

In one tweet by Chris Culliver in which the San Francisco 49ers player tweeted, “I pray to God I’m never dieing broke”

Chris Culliver has been in the news a lot this week as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans this Sunday for Super Bowl 47.

However, despite the pressure that must be on Culliver in preparing for the big game, the kids were still unforgiving on his spelling and grammar.

via 2nd Graders Correct NFL Tweets: Chris Culliver, Wes Welker Twitter Accounts Given English Lesson.

blogs, knitting:  I don’t knit, but I liked the blog because of the dialogue between the two writers … Mason-Dixon Knitting.

weddings, destination weddings, Travel + Leisure: When I first started hearing about destination weddings (and I will attend my first this spring), I asked my teenage daughter  if she would ever want a “destination wedding” … the beach where she grew up going, for example.  She looked at me like I was crazy … so I was astounded to read this article  …  “For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

“People don’t want their big day to be cookie-cutter,” says Anja Winikka, editor of TheKnot.com, a popular wedding-planning website. “First, the crazy new thing was destination weddings”—which these days represent about 20 percent of ceremonies. “And now, just in the past five years, we’re noticing many more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”

via Worlds Strangest Places to Get Married – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

twitter, HuffPostHome:  HuffPostHome … I will not trust you again.  This one was really stupid and definitely not  “one of the coolest things … ever seen.”

HuffPost Home 

@HuffPostHome

This laundry trick is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen huff.to/12BrQFE

24
Sep
11

9.24.2011 ‎… nice visit with Jimbo, Joni and Bob, and John … then off to Davidson to see Moneyball in it’s great movie theater and Moneyball was great …

Davidson NC, movie, places:  Davidson has a fun movie theater … worth the drive for a date night!  10 best new places, uptown and beyond – Our Town Cinemas

Moneyball, movies, baseball, music:  Moneyball was great fun … even had sentimental chick flick theme in the subplot.And I loved the daughter’s song …

When Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts attends home games at Wrigley Field, he spends part of the day hearing from fans who have endured more than a century without a World Series Championship.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than 1 million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday,starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane. Matthew Futterman on Lunch Break discusses how the book changed the game.

He must endure inevitable questions about “Moneyball,” Michael Lewis’s 2003 best seller about baseball’s statistical revolution. Fans used to ask owners when they’re going to trade for a starting pitcher; now they beg for a computer whiz to swoop in and save the franchise.

“It comes up all the time,” says Mr. Ricketts, whose family bought the Cubs two years ago. “The fans hope that the decisions made on the baseball side are made with the evidence at hand.” He doesn’t mind at all: he’s pushing for more such analysis himself.

“Moneyball” the book sold more than one million copies. “Moneyball” the movie opens Friday, starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s iconoclastic general manager Billy Beane.

“Moneyball” allowed the business world to see sports in terms of strategic tools, especially in environments where resources are scarce and innovation becomes a requirement.

“It’s about how to price assets, and that’s something that’s germane whether you’re running Chrysler or Goldman Sachs or the Oakland A’s,” says George Will, the political columnist and author of the baseball book “Men at Work.”

Beyond that, “Moneyball” celebrated measurements at exactly the time when computers and simple programs were exponentially increasing the speed at which the educated working public could analyze data and hold everyone from second basemen to third-grade teachers accountable for their results.

John Challenger, principal of the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, remembers reading “Moneyball” for the first time, then going out and buying copies for each of his top managers. In his view, this was the first book to coherently address the issue of finding the key measurements that will help you run your business, the kind of data that a company like General Electric sought tirelessly for decades.

“People thought it was crazy,” Mr. Challenger said of GE’s approach. “Moneyball” gave everybody a way to understand and think about it, and everybody finally got it.”

via Baseball After Moneyball – WSJ.com.

Lenka – The Show (With Lyrics) – YouTube.

education, early achievers:   I have seen this happen … there must be a solution.

The study, “Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?,” builds on a previous report from Fordham that suggests nationwide policies aimed at making schools more accountable for improving low-performing students’ achievement are hurting the brightest students. That 2008 report found that from 2000 to 2007, achievement for students who were the highest performers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was flat, while the lowest-performing students improved dramatically.

Unlike NAEP, which compares different cohorts of students, the MAP data analyzed for the Fordham study compared individual students with themselves.

The new study also found that while some high-achieving students faltered, other students developed into high performers as they got older, although those students were likely to have scored between the 50th and 80th percentiles in the first place. In addition, many of the initially high-achieving students whose test scores fell below the 90th percentile after a few years didn’t fall far. Many scored in the 70th percentile or higher years later.

Role of NCLB Law

The Fordham authors also acknowledge that the idea that all high-achieving students will remain that way indefinitely is “naive, … just as it’s naive to expect 100 percent of students to reach ‘proficient,’ ” which is the mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act. Signed into law in 2002, No Child Left Behind is the current version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Reauthorization of the ESEA is stalled in Congress. Later this week, President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a package of waivers that would give states wiggle room on some of the current law’s requirements.

via Education Week: Early Achievers Losing Ground, Study Finds.

knitting, Martha Stewart:   Some people compare knitting to yoga.  Maybe I will let Martha teach me to knit.

The Basics of Knitting

Learn how to knit your own mittens, hats, scarves, and more. Here we take you through the step-by-step instructions and teach you how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off.

There are two basic knitting styles, the English method and the German/Continental method, but the only real difference lies in how the yarn is held.

With the English method, the working yarn is held in the right hand; with the German/Continental method, it is held in the left. While both methods produce equally fine results, here we use the German/Continental method.

via The Basics of Knitting – How to Knit – Knitting – MarthaStewart.com.

“Le Lac Annecy”,  Paul Cezanne, painting, art, Talloires FR:  I was thinking about Talloires last night and researched Cezanne’s painting.  Learned something new …

Richard Verdi (in Cézanne) has described this painting, simple in form but highly complex in its prismatic colours, ‘with no two strokes of blue or green appearing exactly the same in size hue or direction’. Verdi notes, for example, that ‘while house and château on the distant shore are clearly delineated, the landscape around them appears in an inchoate state, as though still awaiting further resolution.’ This illustrates a general feature of the artist’s approach: rather than distinguishing foreground from background through the degree of detail applied to forms, Cézanne concentrated attention on objects at different points in space. While Cézanne saw in this his difficulty in realizing the full complexity of nature, the result was paintings that have ‘an unparalleled vitality and lay bare the formative process of painting as few other works of art do.’

via Some Landscapes: Lac d’Annecy.

Twitter, restaurants, foodies, Zagat:  Zagat, you are crazy … who is going to follow 140 restaurants and foodies.

Not sure who to follow in the foodie Twitterverse? Check out our indispensable guide to 140 must-read accounts, including chefs, food media and restaurants.

via Who to Follow on Twitter: 140 Restaurants and Foodies | Zagat.

food trucks: I only know of one food truck in Charlotte, and it is not crazy-looking.  Like pop-up stores, we are just not on the cutting edge.  🙂

Some food-truck proprietors have gone beyond the norm with design, creating totally wacky vehicles from which to dole out their grub. And we don’t just mean a friendly coat of paint or a cute awning – some sport elaborate murals and sculptures, and one even resembles the animal served on its menu.

via The 8 Craziest-Looking Food Trucks | Zagat.

foursquare, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, social networking:   OK … Still want to know why I would use foursquare???  What does KK doughnuts get …

All of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s Tips

Here are all of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s insider Tips. Whip up a List of the best ones, so you can experience the world through their eyes.

via foursquare :: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts :: Tips.

Eve’s Diary, book, Mark Twain, Banned Books Week:  I wonder if our public library has any banned books?

Trustees of the Charlton Public Library lifted the 1906 ban earlier this week of “Eve’s Diary,” Twain’s satirical version of the Adam and Eve story, said Cheryl Hansen, the library’s director.

Two paperback copies were made available at the library in central Massachusetts on Thursday and, within hours, one of them was in a reader’s hands, she said.

“I think there’ll be a lot of interest in taking it out,” Hansen added, saying the unanimous vote to lift the ban came just in time for Banned Books Week, which begins on Saturday.

A library trustee learned about the ban from a local newspaper article and last year tracked down a first edition of the book, which will be on display through next week, she said.

via Library lifts 1906 ban on Mark Twain book | Reuters.

Palestine, U.N. Statehood Bid, 2012 Presidential Election, foreign affairs:   This really is going to be the 2012 Presidential Election foreign affairs issue.

Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the U.N. Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of troubled negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would re-energize their quest for an independent homeland.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hands over a formal letter for Palestine to be admitted as a state to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Earlier in the week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an intense, U.S.-led effort to sway him from the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as planned.

“We’re going without any hesitation and continuing despite all the pressures,” Mr. Abbas told members of the Palestinian diaspora at a hotel in New York on Thursday night. “We seek to achieve our right and we want our independent state.” Shortly before noon on Friday, Mr. Ban’s spokesman tweeted, “President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General UNSG.”

In his letter to Mr. Ban accompanying the application, Mr. Abbas asked the U.N. chief to immediately forward the request for full U.N. membership to the Security Council and the General Assembly, according to a top aide. The General Assembly will likely be asked to approve a more-modest status upgrade if the bid in the council founders as expected.

via Palestinians Submit U.N. Statehood Bid – WSJ.com.

Wall Street Banks, BofA:  I am getting tired of words like “bruising.”  I can’t tell you how much this thrills me … “Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.”

Third-quarter revenue expectations at six big U.S. banks—Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman and Morgan—have fallen 7% since midyear, according to analysts surveyed by data provider FactSet Research Systems. That is the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The banks’ pain has widespread implications on Wall Street and across the country. Weaker banks will likely lend less, pressuring an economy already flirting with recession. Bankers’ bonus checks, which fund everything from second homes to private school educations, are expected to plummet, in some cases to zero.

via Wall Street Banks Taking a Bruising – WSJ.com.

Cure Bad Breath,  YouTube, marketing, Wal-Mart:   OK, I might check out  “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?”  🙂

Can a YouTube video bring in big business? If it goes viral, it just might.

On Tuesday, Provo, Utah-based Orabrush Inc. announced its flagship product – a tongue cleaner – would be carried in 3,500 of Wal-Mart Inc.’s 3,800 U.S. stores thanks to a social-media campaign launched two years ago.

[SBtongue1]

Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, Jeffrey Harmon, (left) and Robert Wagstaff, the company’s founder, watch YouTube videos.>

Orabrush initially marketed its tongue cleaners directly to consumers with a TV infomercial in mid-2008, according to founder Bob Wagstaff, who invented the product. But the strategy didn’t perform well.

“We spent $40,000 on it and sold practically nothing,” says the 76-year-old, who next cold-called several large retailers, asking them to carry the product, to no avail.

Unsure why his efforts failed, Mr. Wagstaff approached a marketing professor at Brigham Young University about his dilemma. The professor agreed to let Mr. Wagstaff solicit students for suggestions on how to get the word out. One student suggested creating a YouTube video and volunteered to take up the task. Mr. Wagstaff accepted the offer, which resulted in a comedic two-minute video that cost about $500 to make. It quickly went viral and a series of related videos also made by the same student, now Orabrush’s chief marketing officer, followed soon after.

Today, the company has its own YouTube channel that boasts more than 39 million views and 160,000 subscribers, who get alerts whenever a new video is posted to it. The channel, called Cure Bad Breath, is the third most popular YouTube channel behind OldSpice (No. 1) Apple (No. 2), according to Vidstax.com, a Web-analytics firm. Orabrush also has nearly 300,000 fans on Facebook, which the company uses to promote its videos.

Cure Bad Breath features 88 original shorts, all comedies, with titles like “Diary of a Dirty Tongue,” “World’s Biggest Tongue,” and “Is Your Tongue Kissable? Does Your Breath Stink?” The company’s more recent videos are slicker than the originals and cost more to produce — between $3,000 and $5,000, says Orabrush’s CEO, Jeff Davis. Most of the actors in them are college students and recent graduates, which are also the company’s biggest customers.

Wal-Mart didn’t base its decision to stock the tongue cleaner on Orabrush’s YouTube popularity, says Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, but she notes the company’s YouTube videos likely raised its profile among consumers.

via How a Start-Up Landed Shelf Space at Wal-Mart – WSJ.com.

physics, light speed limit,  Albert Einstein, 1905 special theory of relativity: Just when we think we understand the world  ” … appears to violate the laws of nature as we know them.”

Physicists on the team that measured particles traveling faster than light said Friday they were as surprised as their skeptics about the results, which appear to violate the laws of nature as we know them.

Hundreds of scientists packed an auditorium at one of the world’s foremost laboratories on the Swiss-French border to hear how a subatomic particle, the neutrino, was found to have outrun light and confounded the theories of Albert Einstein.

“To our great surprise we found an anomaly,” said Antonio Ereditato, who participated in the experiment and speaks on behalf of the team.

An anomaly is a mild way of putting it.

Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen, according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity. The speed of light — 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second) — has long been considered a cosmic speed limit.

The team — a collaboration between France’s National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research and Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory — fired a neutrino beam 454 miles (730 kilometers) underground from Geneva to Italy.

They found it traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than light. That’s sixty billionth of a second, a time no human brain could register.

Physicists not involved in the experiment have been understandably skeptical.

Alvaro De Rujula, a theoretical physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside Geneva from where the neutron beam was fired, said he blamed the readings on a so-far undetected human error.

If not, and it’s a big if, the door would be opened to some wild possibilities.

The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

But Ereditato and his team are wary of letting such science fiction story lines keep them up at night.

“We will continue our studies and we will wait patiently for the confirmation,” he told the AP. “Everybody is free to do what they want: to think, to claim, to dream.”

He added: “I’m not going to tell you my dreams.”

via Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet – WSJ.com.

NBA lockout, Steph Curry:  What is bad for the NBA is good for Davidson … the longer the lockout, the closer Steph is to a Davidson degree.

The NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached a new labor deal with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

NBA.com’s schedule page, which has a banner across the top listing the number of games on each day, was changed Friday morning to read “0 Games” for each date until Oct. 16, when there are four games.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The cancellations were expected after the latest meeting between owners and players Thursday ended without a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides still hope the entire regular season, scheduled to begin Nov. 1, can be saved.

The NBA has lost games to a work stoppage only once, when the 1998-99 season was reduced to a 50-game schedule.

via NBA postpones camps, cancels 43 preseason games – ESPN.

Davidson College, vandalism,  community bike program, honor code:  Very disappointing … you would think Davidson would be the perfect place for a community bike program.

The system was convenient for those who did not have bikes on campus, or who were unexpectedly running late to class. They were also a pleasant surprise to many, who found them sitting outside their dorm, the library, the Union or on Chambers lawn. The bikes did not have to be locked up or left in a secure location, which made them extremely convenient.

Of course since the bikes were limited in number, completely public and in high demand, they were never in one place for long. This inconvenience aside, the program was in place for many years here, and many other campuses across the country maintain similar programs.

Why was such a useful and popular program discontinued? Unfortunately, it appears that the strong Davidson sense of honor and responsibility wavered when it came to these bikes.

“They were stolen, damaged and some were even thrown off of buildings,” Jeannie Kinnett ’12 said. “Since there were no repercussions for damaging them, and no way to ensure their maintenance, the Activities Tax Council decided that funding them this year would not be worth it since they would be trashed anyway.”

There were efforts by Davidson Outdoors and other organizations to improve student treatment of the bikes, but this was largely ineffective. They were being damaged and stolen faster than they could be repaired or replaced.

“I once found one on the side of the road on Main Street,” Samanvitha Sridhar ’14 said. “I tried to ride it, but the tires were completely deflated, so I fell. It was pretty awful, and after that, I avoided the bikes because they all seemed to be in bad condition or broken.” One bike was even found in a drug bust.

Though Davidson students take great pride in their honor code, it is difficult to enforce any sort of regulation on the treatment of public property that changes hands on an hourly basis. Ironically, the program’s initial success was due to the honor code, which has now become its downfall.

Many students are not happy about the end of the program. “While I understand why the decision was made to end the community bikes program, I think that it was a useful resource for many students and I’m sad to see it go.” Denton Baird ’14 said.

Perhaps one day the community bikes program will be reinstituted, perhaps not. Either way, it brings to light the fact that, though the Honor Code is a source of pride for every Davidson student, when tested at least a few students take advantage of the benefits it affords. Our community is also accessible to a wider public that does not share our mutual pact.

via Theft, vandalism kill community bike program – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Duke Energy, green energy:  Buying energy or energy credits … very complicated.

Carolinas is seeking bids from companies that produce power from wind projects to sell the electricity and credits to Duke to help it meet state renewable-energy requirements.

Duke filed its long-range power-generation plan with state regulators this month. The plan calls for an increased reliance on wind power in the early years of the 20-year plan. About 12% of the renewable energy Duke provides by 2015 is expected to come from wind projects.

This is the first request Duke has made for bids from wind producers since filing that plan. The company says that power or credits will have to come from projects 50 megawatts to 300 megawatt in size. And the proposals must offer a minimum of 60,000-megawatt hours annually.

via Duke Energy asks for bids to sell wind power – Charlotte Business Journal.




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