Posts Tagged ‘labyrinth


1.25.15 … Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!! …

SkyMall, bankruptcy, WSJ:  Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!!

The company behind the in-flight catalog SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection, a victim of evolving rules and technology that now lets airline passengers keep their smartphones and tablets powered up during flight.

After 25 years selling quirky products like a Darth Vader toaster or a paper towel holder with USB ports, SkyMall LLC is seeking a court supervised sale of its assets, according to papers filed Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

“We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic ‘SkyMall’ brand find a home to continue to operate,” acting Chief Executive Scott Wiley said in a statement Friday.

The company, which started in 1989, fully suspended its retail catalog operation Jan. 16, and also laid off 47 of its 137 employees, according to court papers. SkyMall’s parent company Xhibit Corp. , which acquired the business in 2013, is also seeking Chapter 11 protection.

via SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ.

And I’ve mentioned Skymall before … more than once …  5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

and …

travel, random:  OK, I admit it … while John does the Sudoku puzzles in the magazines, I look through SkyMall to see what ridiculous think I want this trip … and the winner this month is … one or two?

via 6.22.2010 … summer … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

labyrinth, Lauren Artress:

“The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” – Lauren Artress

Jean-Claude Baker (‘Son’ of Josephine Baker), obituaries, “irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life” … I had to think about that one.

He told a few friends last week that he had finished his will, an impressive gesture even for the famously unbridled Jean-Claude Baker, irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life.

Over the nearly three decades since wresting his bustling night spot Chez Josephine from the X-rated morass of West 42nd Street, Mr. Baker — who had been mothered as a destitute teenager in France by the fading erotic stage sensation Josephine Baker — had delivered exhausting bonhomie to celebrity-rich audiences of pre- and post-theater diners.

But at 71 he was finding it increasingly wearisome.

“I’ve been a little bit under the blue weather lately,” he emailed me in late November, on why he had proposed lunch and then gone missing. Last summer, he wrote, “It’s becoming very difficult to keep the dream alive” and “my brain is tired.”

Still, it seemed easy to discount his mood swings.

“He’d been saying for 25 years, ‘I can’t go on, I’m going to kill myself,’ ” said Richard Hunnings, one of Mr. Baker’s oldest friends and general manager of Manhattan Plaza, the artist-friendly rental complex across 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue.

Yet there he was, night after night, in his Shanghai Tang silks, red mandarin outfits and black soutane, embracing patrons, dispensing gigs to needy musicians and leaking juicy self-promotional tidbits to the gossip columns.

Last Thursday morning, he was found dead in his Mercedes that had been running in the enclosed garage of his East Hampton, N.Y., home.

via Jean-Claude Baker, ‘Son’ of Josephine Baker, Is Remembered –

Krista Tippett, Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being: Christmas is troubling in a secular world with family members who have beliefs all over the spectrum.  So I like her conclusion: “As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.”

Here’s what I take seriously. There is something audacious and mysterious and reality-affirming in the assertion that has stayed alive for two thousand years that God took on eyes and ears and hands and feet, hunger and tears and laughter and the flu, joy and pain and gratitude and our terrible, redemptive human need for each other. It’s not provable, but it’s profoundly humanizing and concretely and spiritually exacting. And it’s no less rational — no more crazy — than economic and political myths to which we routinely deliver over our fates in this culture, to our individual and collective detriment.

So here’s what I’m thinking about this Christmas. Recently I followed up on a promise I’ve been making myself for years: to wash and sort and give away all the good clothing my kids have outgrown as they’ve left childhood behind. It’s embarrassing that I never took the time to do this all along. In the course of digging around for where to donate, I stumbled on the site of a charity that works with homeless teenagers. It turns out that they’re not asking in the first instance for all these Levis and good-as-new, cool t-shirts. They’re asking for donations of socks and coats. They’re asking for newly purchased underwear, noting that most of us take for granted our ever-renewable supplies of clean underwear that fits.

I’m not going to buy any presents this year. We will go shopping as a family for these homeless teenagers, and I’ll try to be honest about the equivalent I would spend on my own children on the commercial holy days if I believed in them. I report this in some hope of feeding a little rebellion I sense many of us are quietly tending. But I also make it public to be sure I follow through.

As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.

via Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being.



3.2.14 … “Take a seat. it’s a good place to be still. And I promise to say nothing. ” …

Netflix binge, Monarch of the Glen: bingeing on Netflix … no, not House of Cards … Monarch of the Glen … So in a few days I have made it to the midway point of Series 2.  🙂

8th Best British Television Show on Netflix Instant: Monarch of the Glen

Monarch of the Glen is a drama from BBC One. Monarch of the Glen is loosely based on the Highland Novels written by Compton Mackenzie. Monarch of the Glen is about a restaurant owner that returns home when he hears his father is sick. When he arrives home his mother informs him he has inherited his father’s estate and castle and that he must restore order.

via 10 Best British Televlsion Shows on Netflix Instant – Yahoo Voices – 

and I loved this quote … “Take a seat.  it’s a good place to be still.  And I promise to say nothing. ”

Fnac La Défense, Paris, interesting:

Fnac La Défense, an entertainment store in Paris, uses this eye-twisting carpet as a marketing tool. The floor is flat, but visitors might find they have an excuse for hours spent browsing—time slowed down in the store. Sadly, there don’t seem to be videos of customers edging around the store trying to avoid getting sucked into a gravity well, but that is a hole ‘nother story.

Image credit: Alex Kortling


via I fucking love science.

 Veriditas, spirituality, labyrinth, emerging paradigm, Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress:

The labyrinth is undergoing a worldwide resurgence in human consciousness because it orders chaos, encourages our intuitive knowing, enlivens the body, embraces the receptive, feminine archetype and opens the reflective, contemplative world where symbols resonate within. The singular circuitous path offers a clear, profound and shared metaphor for life’s journey, the human pilgrimage we are all on together. Above all, it addresses our soul’s hunger for meaning and to be of service in our struggling world.

Join this Veriditas pilgrimage in Chartres, France to learn more deeply about the labyrinth that is embedded in the floor of Chartres Cathedral since 1201. Discuss the present day spiritual issues with like-minded people, enjoy the medieval village and experience the cathedral at night in a private group ritual that ends with a candlelit labyrinth walk.

via Veriditas – The Spirituality of the Labyrinth: Nurturing the Emerging Paradigm in our Lives with the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress.


8.20.13 … I know a few risk takers … Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s Google Doodle, … LumoBack … Challenging 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule … Lincoln Logs … Braves’ Stadium Waffle House … vanity plate game … Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette … meditation … Mowbyrinth … Ridiculously Interacting with Statues …

troubled teens,  successful entrepreneurs, Real Time Economics – WSJ:  Loved this … I know a few risk takers. 🙂

The economists find that self-employed workers with incorporated businesses were almost three times more likely to engage in illicit and risky activities as youth than were salaried workers. These behaviors include but aren’t limited to shoplifting, marijuana use, playing hooky at school, drug dealing and assault. In addition, the self-employed with incorporated businesses were more educated, more likely to come from high-earning, two-parent families, were more apt to score higher on learning aptitude tests and exhibit greater self-esteem than other employment types. “Of course, you have to be smart,” says Mr. Levine. “But it’s a unique combination of breaking rules and being smart that helps you become an entrepreneur.”

These qualities also have a downside. Risk-taking tendencies in combination with high self-esteem make successful entrepreneurs prone to dangerous lapses in judgement, the Wall Street Journal reported in June, finding that many financial advisers have to keep their entrepreneur clients in check.

But on the whole, entrepreneurship does pay off. The economists find that individuals who left their salaried jobs to start incorporated businesses work more hours but also earn more per hour than other employment types, and those who start successful incorporated enterprises enjoy substantially larger boosts in earnings relative to their own wages as salaried workers. The results show “that entrepreneurship, at the median, pays — and it offers the possibility of comparably enormous returns,” the researchers write.

via Troubled Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger, Google Doodle, quantum mechanics work, technology, Loved this doodle … learned something too.

Google doodle on Erwin Schrodinger

In subsequent years, he repeatedly criticised conventional interpretations of quantum mechanics by using the paradox of what would become known as Schrödinger’s cat. This thought experiment was designed to illustrate what he saw as the problems surrounding application of the conventional, so-called “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics to everyday objects.

Other work focused on different fields of physics, including statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and colour theory. In a celebrated 1944 book, What Is Life?, he turned to the problems of genetics, taking a close look at the phenomenon of life from the point of view of physics.

via Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s Google doodle marks quantum mechanics work | Technology |

gadgets, LumoBack:  I love gadgets …

The Wall Street Journal

The LumoBack is a $150 sensor that straps around your lower waist to track your posture, vibrating whenever you start slouching. Our review:

Would you get this app? What apps do you use to help track your health?

via Facebook.

Davidson College, Davidson Basketball, 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule:   Challenging!  We’ll get a chance to prove ourselves …

In addition to non-conference games with Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and 2013 Final Four participant Wichita State, Davidson’s 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule will include an appearance in the Charleston Classic, as announced by head coach Bob McKillop Tuesday.

via Davidson College Athletics – Davidson Unveils Challenging 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule.

Lincoln Logs,  Mental Floss (@mental_floss):   In the back of my mind I knew this …

Mental Floss (@mental_floss)

8/13/13, 10:02 AM

Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.

Braves’ Stadium, Waffle House:  I love Waffle House!

On July 26, the Atlanta Braves opened a Waffle House at Turner Field , their home stadium. So what's happened since?

Last month, the Atlanta Braves became the first major league team with a Waffle House concession stand at their stadium. A lot has happened since that Waffle House opened.

posted on August 6, 2013 at 4:42pm EDT

Dan Oshinsky

BuzzFeed Staff

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On July 26, the Atlanta Braves opened a Waffle House at Turner Field, their home stadium. So what’s happened since?

via 14 Things That Have Happened Since A Waffle House Opened In The Braves’ Stadium.

vanity plate game: From George Takei’s photo …

Photo: Let's play the vanity plate game. This clever one you should get in 5 seconds. No liking otherwise...and no giving it away.

August 15

Let’s play the vanity plate game. This clever one you should get in 5 seconds. No liking otherwise…and no giving it away.

Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette, recipe, yum …

Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette

Blogger Lana Stuart of Never Enough Thyme celebrates the start of grilling season with this easy-to-make freeform galette using Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust.SavePrintEmailReviewAddToGroceryList+

via Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette recipe from

mindfulness meditation:

Mindfulness meditation is essentially cognitive fitness with a humanist face.

Great read on how meditation works. Pair with a lesson in mindfulness from Sherlock Holmes.

via Explore – Mindfulness meditation is essentially cognitive….

How Meditation Works, Liz Kulze – The Atlantic:

 And yet, people are doing it. Millions of them, whether as part of a medical treatment, in group classes, or alone in the privacy of their homes. But like with regular juicing or weekly acupuncture appointments, the question isn’t whether beneficial physiological change is possible, but rather, how far can such change go to help us?

It goes without saying that some time to ourselves, quietly sitting and slowly breathing, will prove to calm us down after a stressful day, but when it comes to life’s most mentally taxing episodes — death, disaster, disease — how much good can mindfulness meditation really do?

via How Meditation Works – Liz Kulze – The Atlantic.

labyrinth,  back yard, Mowbyrinth:  Shared by a friend on FB. 🙂

Michelle Hiskey

Follow · 15 hours ago via iOS

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a labyrinth in our back yard. Mowbyrinth by Ben Smith!

People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures], public art, interaction:  My kids hate it when I pose or even worse make them pose with statues. Some of these are really fun. 🙂

People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures]

via People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures] – 9 Laughs.


8.7.13 … The Opt-Out Generation … me, me, me … So who was the first to cite twitter in an academic paper? … a little research on Churchill and Lawrence … Kudos to ‘NewsHour’ … Banksy and unintended consequences … Twyla’s 50-state labyrinth journey … Henrietta Lacks: I hope this privacy agreement brings closure to the family … heartbreaker: Two-Year-Old Best Man

The Opt-Out Generation, That’s me, that’s me … Article is worth reading.

“I really thought it was what I had to do to save my marriage,” she said. But the tensions in her marriage didn’t improve. The couple’s long-term issues of anger, jealousy and control got worse as O’Donnel’s dependency grew and a sense of personal dislocation set in. Without a salary or an independent work identity, her self-confidence plummeted. “I felt like such a loser,” she said. “I poured myself into the kids and soccer. I didn’t know how to deal with the downtime. I did all the volunteering, ran the auctions. It was my way of coping.” Five years after leaving her Oracle job, O’Donnel began volunteering for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit group devoted to girls’ emotional empowerment and physical well-being, and was eventually hired part time, at low pay. She loved the work. The organization’s message, about respecting yourself and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you, resonated with her. “I started feeling very devalued when I was with him,” O’Donnel said of her husband, “but when I was doing all this nonprofit stuff, I felt great.” … The culture of motherhood, post-recession, had altered considerably, too. The women of the opt-out revolution left the work force at a time when the prevailing ideas about motherhood idealized full-time, round-the-clock, child-centered devotion. In 2000, for example, with the economy strong and books like “Surrendering to Motherhood,” a memoir about the “liberation” of giving up work to stay home, setting the tone for the aspirational mothering style of the day, almost 40 percent of respondents to the General Social Survey told researchers they believed a mother’s working was harmful to her children (an increase of eight percentage points since 1994). But by 2010, with recovery from the “mancession” slow and a record 40 percent of mothers functioning as family breadwinners, fully 75 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work.” And after decades of well-publicized academic inquiry into the effects of maternal separation and the dangers of day care, a new generation of social scientists was publishing research on the negative effects of excessive mothering: more depression and worse general health among mothers, according to the American Psychological Association. I wondered if these changes affected the women who opted out years ago. Had they found the “escape hatch” from the rat race that one of Belkin’s interviewees said she was after? Were they able, as a vast majority said they had planned, to transition back into the work force? Or had they, as the author Leslie Bennetts predicted in her 2007 book, “The Feminine Mistake,” come to see that, by making themselves financially dependent upon their men — particularly at a time when no man could depend upon his job — they had made a colossal error? The 22 women I interviewed, for the most part, told me that the perils of leaving the work force were counterbalanced by the pleasures of being able to experience motherhood on their own terms. A certain number of these women — the superelite, you might say, the most well-off, with the highest-value name-brand educational credentials and powerful and well-connected social networks — found jobs easily after extended periods at home. These jobs generally paid less than their previous careers and were less prestigious. But the women found the work more interesting, socially conscious and family-friendly than their old high-powered positions. via The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In –

Twitter, MLA , citations: So who was the first to cite twitter in an academic paper?

meghugs meghugs 3 Aug English major nerd alert: MLA has officially devised a standard way to cite a tweet in an academic paper. via Twitter / meghugs: English major nerd alert: MLA ….

TE Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, Winston Churchill:  Thanks, Bob … I had to divert myself to do a little research on Churchill and Lawrence.  🙂

Bob:  Upon Lawrence’s death in 1935, Winston Churchill said “I fear whatever our need, we shall never see his like again”. Sunday at 8:01pm · Unlike · 1

Born into a privileged British family, Churchill had a colorful career as a soldier and war correspondent before he entered politics as a member of parliament. When Lawrence publicly refused to accept his gallantry medals Churchill realized the deep discontent among Arabs. Churchill first encountered T.E. Lawrence after World War I when, as Colonial Secretary, he was charged with making a new and more just settlement in the Middle East. He determined to assemble the best and brightest of Britain’s Middle East experts. Despite Lawrence’s maverick reputation Churchill could not overlook his vast knowledge of the Arabs and their needs. Churchill persuaded Lawrence back into public service in 1921 with a special post in the Colonial office. Lawrence had enormous respect for Churchill and genuinely believed they could repair the injury done to the Arabs at the Paris Peace Conference, stabilize the region and remove British armed forces. The Cairo Conference set out to achieve this end and resulted in Feisal being given a Kingdom in Iraq and his brother the throne of neighboring Transjordan. Lawrence later wrote: “In Winston’s 1922 settlement of the Middle East the Arabs obtained all that in my opinion they had been promised by Great Britain, in any sphere in which we were free to act”. The pair remained in contact until Lawrence’s death in 1935 when Churchill headed the list of notable mourners. He said of Lawrence: “I fear whatever our need we shall never see his like again.” Churchill went on to lead his country through the darkest hours of World War II as both Prime Minister and Minister of Defense between 1940-1945. He returned for a second term in 1951, was knighted in 1953 and resigned as Prime Minister in 1955. Churchill remained in politics until 1964, dying a few short months later at the grand old age of 90. via Lawrence of Arabia . Winston Churchill | PBS.

‘NewsHour’,  First Female Anchor Team, kudos,  Kudos to ‘NewsHour’ not so much because it has appointed two women but because it has appointed two excellent women.

The PBS “NewsHour,” which was co-anchored for decades by the two men who created it, will soon be co-anchored by two women. PBS announced on Tuesday that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff would take over the nightly newscast in September, putting an end to the rotating anchor format that has been in effect for several years. Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff will also share the managing-editor responsibilities for the program. via ‘NewsHour’ Appoints First Female Anchor Team –

Banksy, kudos, unintended consequences, ARTINFO:  I like it that Banksy took responsibility for his unintended consequences.

In 2011, while in Los Angeles promoting his documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” the shadowy British street artist Banksy tagged a vaguely elephantine water tank near the Pacific Coast Highway with the sentence “This Looks a Bit Like an Elephant.” Unbeknown to him, the abandoned tank had been serving as a makeshift home for Tachowa Covington, and the attention brought by the famous artist’s stencil forced him to abandon his home of seven years.


via Capturing Banksy

“I watched it for a month or so,” Covington told the Independent, recounting his discovery of the tank after it was abandoned in 2004. “Eventually, I climbed inside and saw that it was empty. I thought, ‘Wow. This would be a cool place to make a house.’ I picked it as a sanctuary, a place to kick back, to be close to God and to the ocean.” A choreographer and dancer, and a former escort and Michael Jackson impersonator originally from Sacramento, Covington became friendly with the local police, who didn’t bother him, and even had his mail delivered to the tank. “People left me alone because they thought it was an empty tank and I was just climbing up there with a sleeping bag,” he told the Independent. “But I was building inside the whole time.” By the time February 21, 2011 rolled around, he had installed a generator and security cameras, and was lobbying to secure squatter rights to the tank. That’s the night he heard to people moving around outside his home. “I looked out of the hatch, and there were two guys there,” he told the Independent. “I asked what they were doing, and one of them said, ‘We’re just making a joke’. I climbed down the ladder, looked at the writing, and I said, ‘Hey, that looks pretty cool!’ I introduced myself, and the English dude told me his name was Banksy. I didn’t know who he was, so I didn’t think twice about it.” Less than two weeks later, after buying the tank directly from the city of Los Angeles, the owners of the design firm Mint Currency had it removed by crane and trucked away, leaving Covington just 16 hours to gather his possessions and vacate his home of seven years. That’s when Banksy stepped in to help the man he’d inadvertently left homeless, giving him enough money to find an apartment and pay his bills for a full year. “He helped me so fast, I didn’t have to spend a single day more on the streets. It was like a miracle,” Covington said. “There ain’t no better man than Banksy… He was an angel to me. He helped me more than anybody helped me in my life.” Recently, the artist’s money ran out, and Covington was forced to move back to the hillside where his water tank home once stood while he waits for state-supported housing to become available. In the meantime, his story has inspired a new play, “Banksy: The Room in the Elephant” — which debuts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this week — and a forthcoming documentary. via Banksy Gave a Man Whose Home He Tagged Enough Money To Live for a Year | ARTINFO.

labyrinth, journeys, 

New York City Reflections: Join My Journey:

Godspeed on your walks!

My journey began on May 18, 2012. My goal is to complete it by April 30, 2014. As with any journey, but particularly this one, it began with a single step.  A step into a labyrinth. Anne Hornstein’s labyrinth on Miramar Beach, Florida.  It was the first state of 50 that I will visit.  All outdoor labyrinths, grounded in the earth.  All created by women. Since Florida, I have visited a labyrinth in 20 states.  Nineteen built in yards. One on a beach.  Each with a story.  I have walked each labyrinth except the one in New Jersey, made unwalkable by Hurricane Irene. (Bianca Franchi has since rebuilt it.)  I have listened to each woman’s story. The idea came from, well, who knows where.  That mysterious Voice that sneaks up on you from “out of the blue,” or as a needling nudge that elbows you at 2:00 am and won’t go back to sleep. “You love to write.  You love labyrinths.  Write about labyrinths, one in every state.” An ambitious Voice to be sure! For those of you unfamiliar with the labyrinth, it is an ancient design consisting of one path that leads from an entrance on the outer edge, in a circuitous way, to the center and back out.

Not a maze

No confusion

One way in

One way out

“It is a walking meditation.  A tool to quiet the mind, reduce stress, open the heart.” (Lauren Artress) via New York City Reflections: Join My Journey.

Welcome! Thank you for reading my blog about our first (now second) year in New York City! In addition to my NYC experiences, I’m in the process of making a 50-state labyrinth journey, which will end in April 2014. I invite you to share these exciting adventures and everything in between! All the best, Twylla via New York City Reflections: Join My Journey.

NIH,  privacy agreement,  Henrietta Lacks’ family, The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a classic.  I hope this privacy agreement brings closure to the family.

“The main issue was the privacy concern,” says Lacks’ grandson, David Lacks Jr. “Right now we are in the early stages of genomic science or genomic medicine and we don’t know what is going to come down the road in the future.” The new agreement requires NIH-funded researchers to use a “controlled-access” database of the HeLA cell genome, governed by a panel that contains Lacks family members, still living today in Baltimore. The agency is also asking biomedical researchers not funded by NIH to abide by the agreement as a matter of scientific ethics. Noting that he has used HeLa cells in his own lab, Collins stated that more steps need to be taken to protect privacy rights of genetic sample donors in the future — even those not made famous by a best-selling book. “Frankly the science has moved faster than the consent process, and maybe it is time to catch up,” Collins said in a telephone briefing on the agreement Wednesday. A related study in the journal, led by Andrew Adey of the University of Washington in Seattle, reports on the identification and location of the human papilloma virus genes inserted into the HeLA cell gene map that caused them to become cancerous. Collins called the study an important step in understanding what made the HeLa cancer cells so deadly to Lacks — and also made the cells so resilient in the lab. Collins drove up to Baltimore to talk the agreement over with members of the Lacks family. “That wasn’t lost on the family,” says author Skloot, who helped set up the meetings with the NIH and family members, and listened to the discussions. “This was the first time in history that scientists really took this kind of time with the family in a really open and transparent way.” via NIH makes privacy agreement with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Two-Year-Old Best Man Dies Two Days After His Parents Marry,  This one is a heartbreaker.

A toddler who served as the best man at his parents’ wedding over the weekend, died Monday due to complications associated with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder, the Today Show reports. Logan Stevenson had been suffering from leukemia and malignant tumors on his kidneys since December 2011. When doctors recently told his parents, Christine Swidorsky and Sean Stevenson, that their son only had a few weeks to live, the couple decided to get married this past Saturday instead of next July, as they had planned, so that their son could be there. During a backyard wedding at the family’s home in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, east of Pittsburgh, the terminally-ill boy, dressed in a tan, pinstripe suit and orange shirt, held his favorite teddy bear while his mother carried him down the aisle before passing him off to his grandmother. Being all together as a family was “a dream come true,” Swidorsky told NBC’s WPXI. via Two-Year-Old Best Man Dies Two Days After His Parents Marry |


1.18.13 … shotcakes … poptarts … lobster, shrimp, oysters, wedge salad, filet oscar, coconut cake …

ShotCakes:  OK, so on every other street corner are signboards for    …

ShotCakes© is founded on a simple concept: combining a fresh baked cupcake with creamy soft serve ice cream. By utilizing its patented & revolutionary ice cream technology, ShotCakes© is able to serve its customers ice cream cupcakes, baked fresh and filled fresh!



Boston, Walking/T Tours, Flour Bakery:   I always start at Flour … and now there is a new one in Back Bay … 131 Clarendon Street Boston MA 02116.  I prefer the feel of the Farnsworth Street location which I have visited plenty of times before. I am hopeful that the homemade pop tarts are just as good. The sun is streaming, and I’m looking out the window. There are beautiful but almost dead flowers.  Did I mention the homemade poptarts are HUGE! — at Flour.

Photo: Did I mention they are HUGE!

Boston, Walking/T Tours, Financial District, Robert Burns, public art, dogs:  Okay, I had to stop by Starbucks to recharge the miserable iPhone five, and recalculate my path to the labyrinth. On my way I look over and see some public art, a statue of Burns with his dog. I am both a big fan of public art as well as public art that contains dogs. So here’s a picture. And by the way, I am surrounded by pigeons chirping or whatever they do. — at Downtown Boston.

Robert Burns was a poet 1759-1796 in Scotland. He was known worldwide for his own poems, and the folk songs that he collected and sometimes adapted. His most famous song is “Auld Lang Syne.”One of his poems was, “The Twa Dogs”, which is about the differences between living rich and poor in Scotland. Though the poem is not about his dog, “Luath”, the description of one of the dogs in the poem is his dog. He named his dog after Cucullins dog in Ossians Fingal–Luath means “swift” or “fleet” in Gaelic.The statue was made in 1920 by Henry H. Kitson and was erected in the Fenway section of Boston before it was moved to its present location in the Financial District.

via Robert Burns and His Shepherd Dog, “Luath” – Boston, MA – Dog Statues on

Boston, Walking/T Tours, Labyrinth, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Armenian Heritage Park:  The labyrinth in the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (On top of the big dig, I think) and  is a key feature of Armenian Heritage Park located on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway between Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Christopher Columbus Park. The labyrinth is a full Chartres type labyrinth, which makes me very, very happy. I think that there is a fountain in the middle as well as a fountain on the Armenian statue. Around the perimeter of the labyrinth are additional features – in each quadrant a stone walk – art , science, commerce and service. The dedication on the sculpture reads as follows:

Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts have offered hope and refuge for immigrants seeking to begin new lives. This park is a gift to the people of the Commonwealth and the City of Boston from the Armenian-American community of Massachusetts. The sculpture is offered in honor of the one and one million victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915 – 1923. May it stand in remembrance of all genocides that have followed, and celebrate the diversity of the communities that have re-formed in the safety of these shores.

Boston, Walking/T Tours:  Did I mention it was 21°.    My iPhone touchscreen does not work even with the special touchscreen gloves when it is that cold. And after a long walk to the South station, i took at the redline to the green line. The green line feels like you’ve walked back 50 years. It sounds like it too. Anyway, I always love experiencing the past. Don’t even have to go to a museum for it here. Along the way, I saw a fire call box, a pay phone, a woman listening/rocking out to “Single Ladies” (via earbuds … very loudly) and a convenience kiosk right next to the green line tracks. My hands are almost thawed so back out I go …

Boston, Smith And Wollensky: I can’t believe … whatever … Dinner: lobster, shrimp, oysters, wedge salad, filet oscar, coconut cake  — at Smith And Wollensky.

Dave Barry, quotes, coffee:  Just liked this one …



1.7.2012 … Rest in Peace, Nancy Wells Johnson … There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember … Another labyrinth walk at the African American themed labyrinth at Charlotte’s McCorey YMCA … The Debt …

Nancy Wells Johnson, RIP, Celebration of Life, rosemary, Shakespeare:

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember …

from Hamlet

Quote given with a sprig of rosemary at the celebration of life of Nancy Wells Johnson.


labyrinth, Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth:  Very nice labyrinth … and unique.  Another labyrinth walk at the African-American themed labyrinth at Charlotte’s McCorey YMCA.

With patience persistence and prayer, a god-filled spirit can bring a seed to fruit. – Almetto Howey Alexander 2011

In 2002, Almetto Howey Alexander — a lifelong educator who served her community and received repeated recognition for her efforts for civil rights — was first inspired to build a labyrinth in her neighborhood of Washington Heights in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Having spoken with people who benefited from the healing, focus, spiritual meditation and peace of mind engendered by walking a labyrinth, she searched for a way to bring this source of peace to her community. She sought help in bringing her vision to fruition, reaching to the people she had always served and to other community leaders with whom she had worked.

Response from The McCrorey Family YMCA was enthusiastic, resulting in approval to install a labyrinth at its location on Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In November 2007, Almetto Alexander attended the opening of the Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth Courtyard, where she met Tom Schulz, the artist who designed and built the labyrinth and prayerwall located at Presbyterian Hospital’s center courtyard.

Mrs. Alexander established the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth Foundation to raise the funds to build the labyrinth and its surrounding environment as a gift to her community. Although we still have a way to go inraising the funds (see “donate” for a current report), we are making progress and invite you to be part of it! There are many ways to donate and treat yourself to a representation of this important project in culture and history.

via Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth.

French, YouTube, LOL:  I’m not even good at faking it!  How To Fake French – YouTube.

The Debt, movies:  very enjoyable …

friendship, faith and spirituality:

The Gift of Friendship

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts a human being can receive. It is a bond beyond common goals, common interests, or common histories. It is a bond stronger than sexual union can create, deeper than a shared fate can solidify, and even more intimate than the bonds of marriage or community. Friendship is being with the other in joy and sorrow, even when we cannot increase the joy or decrease the sorrow. It is a unity of souls that gives nobility and sincerity to love. Friendship makes all of life shine brightly. Blessed are those who lay down their lives for their friends.

via Daily Meditation: The Gift of Friendship.

media, print media, digital media, design:  Maybe not gone yet ….

Danny Miller, the 31-year-old managing director of cutting-edge publishers the Church of London, surveys the completed pages. They capture a love of print that runs through his company’s illustrated film magazine Little White Lies and its surf, snow and skate bimonthly Huck. That passion is so infectious, digital giants like Google and Sony PlayStation have asked Miller’s team to help them make statements in this supposedly moribund medium. “Print certainly isn’t dead,” Miller says. “It’s just that you have to work harder and make something better and more beautiful for it to get noticed.”

The best place to feel the buzz of the new print scene is Printout, a regular event held at London’s Book Club bar that attracts a large crowd of 20-somethings in vintage glasses and skinny jeans. Speakers share tips on distribution and when to quit your day job. The event is organized by blogger Leslie and Steve Watson, founder of Stack, which sends subscribers a different new mag each month — from Dubai’s stereotype-defying style guide Brownbook to Melbourne’s quirky Wooden Toy Quarterly.

New York City will soon have its own Printout-style event organized by Jamin Brophy-Warren of Kill Screen magazine and Andrew Losowsky, Huffington Post books editor and Stack America’s curator. Losowsky is also planning magCulture exhibitions with Leslie for New Delhi and other cities. The Internet, he says, has simply forced would-be publishers to think harder. “It’s the best thing that ever happened because it means print can now focus on what it does well.”

via Think Ink: Why Print is Being Embraced By Designers – TIME.


11.10.2011 … Early morning public transportation to Logan … Gotta love the Big Dig …. back home to the Queen City … then led a church group on labyrinth walk at Avondale Pres. in the rain … very good day but ugly weather …

Boston, public transportation, Big Dig, mouse whisperer: Well, I had an 8 am flight so John and I headed to the green line … then red line … the silver line (through the Big Dig), and for something like $1.60 I was at the airport in 40 minutes.  No complaints!  And see the man with the yellow hat … he caught a mouse with his foot  and let him go … everybody watched and smiled …

Charlotte, public art, Queen Charlotte:   back home to the Queen City … Don’t you just love the gorgeous Queen Charlotte welcoming you home!  🙂
labyrinth, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Charlotte:  Led a church group on labyrinth walk at Avondale Pres. in the rain … very good day but ugly weather  …


Boston, retailing, holidays, Nordstrom:  I was in Boston and Lord & Taylor dressed their windows for Christmas “tis the Season” Wednesday night (11/9) and the Salvation Army was out with their kettles already!!  Happy Thanksgiving…

In support of the contrarian among retailers … I think I will make a special effort to shop at Nordstrom … I always like contrarians … So I loved this floating around the net …

Like a contrarian reindeer in Santa’s fleet, Seattle-based department store Nordstrom is bucking the holiday trend to start sales early this year. Setting itself apart from the myriad retailers that have insisted on forcing the public to start thinking about Christmas before letting daylight savings, let alone Halloween, pass, Nordstrom is sticking to the traditional Black Friday date that was once used to kick off the holiday season.

With the economy being what it is, Americans are planning to spend less this year — and with the buyer’s market we’re in, stores are bending over backward to bring in as much business as possible. As such, welcome to Black November.

Holiday sales have already started online and at brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart and Barnes & Noble. Amazon offered some simple logic for its early-bird behavior, saying, “Black Friday isn’t until the day after Thanksgiving, but since you’re here already, looking for Black Friday deals, we thought we’d get the deals going a little early.”

“We won’t be decking our halls until Nov. 25,” says Nordstrom. “We just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.” Some holiday merchandise goes on sale early, but it’s largely confined to decor, like Christmas ornaments.

Nordstrom’s self-circumscribed holiday “rhythm,” falling on the far more patient side of the department store aisle, may prove a detriment to its bottom line, especially with shoppers already trending toward discounters this year. According to Accenture’s annual consumer holiday shopping study, 93% percent of consumers are motivated by deals and 73% will make their first stop discount retailers.

via Nordstrom Waits Alone For The Holidays | The Daily Feed |

 Boston Public Library, 9/11 Poster:  This was framed in the lobby of the BPL … 

Original Edition Flag of Honor Poster preview | Flag of Honor/Flag of Heroes Project.

Charlotte, fall leaves, ginkgo trees:  Magnificent!  From Daniel’s post and the reason I took the photos below of the gingko trees … not sure if a daneurism or not …

“One of the more splendid fall displays is the shimmering gold Gingko tree. Gingko is the Japanese word for gold…and also bank. Take note of the Gingko trees display…it’ll be gone before you know it!”

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May 2020