Posts Tagged ‘law

20
Jul
13

7.20.13 … 44 years ago today Mike, Buzz & Neil took us to the Moon. Eternal thanks … outmaneuvered and outsmarted by an aging, slightly overweight golden named Dumbledore … nate to espn … “We were the first ones to see the mosaic in thousands of years. I won’t ever forget that feeling.” … C. S. Lewis on kindness and regret .. Little Golden Books Exhibition … 100 Ideas That Changed Film… iconic movie And TV posters Wedding Invitations …

Man on the Moon, 1sts, anniversaries:   44 years ago today Mike, Buzz & Neil took us to the Moon. What an inspiration … Eternal thanks.

Atlanta, kith/kin, Mellow Mushroom:  A few notes from my visit “home” … It’s a hard day when you are both outmaneuvered and outsmarted by an aging, slightly overweight golden named Dumbledore … We have mellow mushroom in CLT, but it tastes sooo much better in Atlanta. 🙂

law, professionalism, JK Rowling: Very disappointed in my profession …

Rowling continues: “I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”

via J.K. Rowling Law Firm Revealed Her Secret Identity : People.com.

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight Blog,  ESPN, NYTimes.com: Interesting …

“Nate Silver, the statistician who attained national fame for his accurate projections about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, is parting ways with The New York Times and moving his FiveThirtyEight franchise to ESPN, the sports empire controlled by the Walt Disney Company, according to ESPN employees with direct knowledge of his plans.”

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight Blog Is to Join ESPN Staff – NYTimes.com.

 UNC team,  ancient mosaic,  The Daily Tar Heel: “We were the first ones to see the mosaic in thousands of years. I won’t ever forget that feeling.”

contrib_2_jimhaberman

 

Religious studies professor Jodi Magness, who has led the archaeological trip for three years, said though biblical mosaic floors are not uncommon, Samson is a rare motif. Samson is depicted as a giant figure in the mosaic, which relates to later traditions of the hero preserved in Talmudic literature, she said.

Burney said it was exciting to be among the first to rediscover the mosaic after more than two millennia.

“When Dr. Magness realized that we were close to uncovering more mosaics this year, she brought everyone over to that part of the site and let us watch as Orna Cohen, the site conservator, brushed away the last few centimeters of dirt,” Burney said.

“We were the first ones to see the mosaic in thousands of years. I won’t ever forget that feeling.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC team unearths ancient mosaic.

 

C. S. Lewis, quotes, BrainyQuote:

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C. S. Lewis

via C. S. Lewis Quotes – BrainyQuote.

children’s books, Childhood, NMAHs Little Golden Books Exhibition, Smithsonian, Smithsonian Magazine:

“Little Golden Books” at the National Museum of American History| | | SHARE ON REDDITREDDIT | SHARE ON DIGGDIGG | SHARE ON STUMBLEUPONSTUMBLE | SHARE ON EMAILEMAIL | MORE SHARING SERVICESMOREIn 1942, when childrens books were a luxury for most American families, Little Golden Books hit the market at the affordable price of 25 cents each. Colorful, sturdy, and designed for beginning readers, the books with the now-iconic shiny foil spine made reading accessible to all children and, according to American History Museum curator Melodie Sweeney, “represented an enormous shift in thinking about how, where, and what children should read.” The museums Little Golden Books exhibition, on view until January 2014, reveals the series role in larger cultural trends and allows visitors to read classics including The Poky Little Puppy and The Saggy Baggy Elephant in a family-friendly “Book Nook.”

via Relive Your Childhood with NMAHs Little Golden Books Exhibition | New at the Smithsonian | Smithsonian Magazine.

100 Ideas That Changed Film, Brain Pickings, lists:

The impact of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee’s investigation into Communism in HOllywood can never fully be assessed: after all, it’s impossible to assess the caliber of scripts never written and performances never given. Nevertheless, the witch hunt that took place between 1947 and 1952 represents the studio system’s darkest hour.

via 100 Ideas That Changed Film | Brain Pickings.

Awesome Wedding Invitations,  iconic movie And TV posters:  creativity at work …

We have a feeling Siskel and Ebert would have given these wedding invitations two thumbs up.

Southern California couple Joshua and Rachel Watson took inspiration from their favorite films and TV shows when they crafted the invitations for their June 1 wedding. With the help of photographer Jordan Nakamura, the Watsons inserted themselves into posters for films such as, “Casablanca,” “Inception” and “Mad Men,” then sent guests a DVD case with one of the posters as the cover and a CD of their favorite music inside.

Joshua, a photographer, told HuffPost Weddings in an email that he and Rachel, who works in film and television, felt “burnt out” with traditional wedding and engagement photography. “[Traditional photography] seems a little ‘cut-and-pasted’ to us,” he said. “We wanted our engagement and wedding to be the first time we actually collaborated and created something together, and decided to produce this.”

via Awesome Wedding Invitations Mimic Iconic Movie And TV Posters (PHOTOS).

12
Sep
12

9.9.2012 … Football … Oh, my … it may be a long fall …

#FMSphotoaday, Panthers: 

9. “something you do most weekends”

Well, I watch football against my will … Well, not against my will. If the Panthers are away, I am at home on the sofa; if Panthers are at home, Bank of America Stadium, row 5.

My funny friend asked if I wanted her to take a picture of me sleeping. Zzzzzzzz

#FMSphotoaday

Being Green, Viral, FaceBook:  This one hit home …

Being Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f

or future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

via Dennard Lindsey Teague.Photo: Being Green</p><br /> <p>Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. </p><br /> <p>The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." </p><br /> <p>The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f<br /><br /> or future generations." </p><br /> <p>She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled. </p><br /> <p>But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. </p><br /> <p>Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. </p><br /> <p>But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. </p><br /> <p>But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. </p><br /> <p>But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. </p><br /> <p>But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. </p><br /> <p>But we didn't have the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint. </p><br /> <p>But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? </p><br /> <p>Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person. </p><br /> <p>We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

The White House, FLOTUS, Kids’ State Dinner, Kudos:

The challenge: Come up with a healthy lunch recipe that includes all the food groups and tastes delicious. The reward: a once-in-a-lifetime trip to our nation’s capital to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. More than 1,200 creative junior chefs ages 8 to 12 submitted recipes for Epicurious’s first-ever Healthy Lunchtime Challenge contest, and on August 20, 2012, we met the 54 talented winners from across the American states and territories.

via The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner at Epicurious.com.

Bookstores:  Interesting!  Flavorwire » 10 Awesome Bookstores Repurposed from Unused Structures.

News, Public Safety:  Speed Limit Hits 85 MPH on Texas Highway – WSJ.com.

American Chef Corps:  i like this … wouldn’t it be  a great job for a recent grad.

 Clinton is enlisting top-rated chefs from across the nation to join an effort to forge cultural exchanges over the dining table worldwide.

On Friday, more than 80 chefs are being inducted into the first American Chef Corps. These food experts could help the State Department prepare meals for visiting dignitaries, travel to U.S. embassies abroad for educational programs with foreign audiences or host culinary experts from around the world in their U.S. kitchens.

via State Department Enlists 1st American Chef Corps To Serve As Culinary Diplomats.

HOPE, law, criminal law:  Stupid …

A New York judge has sentenced artist Shepard Fairey to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service for lying and destroying evidence relevant to the Associated Press’ complaint that he’d used one of its images of Barack Obama as the basis for his iconic “HOPE” poster. Fairey admitted in 2009 he’d “submitted false images and deleted others in the legal proceedings.” He pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in February.

via Shepard Fairey gets probation for actions in AP photo case | Poynter..

culture, women’s movement:  The end of men?

The result, Ms. Rosin painstakingly shows, is virtually a reversal of the psychological landscape of the 1960s and 1970s. Then, men wondered why they should give up freedom and sex for marriage, child care and the burden of financial responsibility; now it is women asking that question. Then, men complained of clinging, freeloading wives; now Ms. Rosin hears repeatedly from women that, in the words of one executive, women should “be very careful about marrying freeloading, bloodsucking parasites.” Then, it was women who tamped down their aspirations, knowing the objective unlikelihood of attaining them; now it’s the men who have “fear of success” and a “why bother?” attitude. Then, if women had casual sex it was to keep the guy happy; now many have casual sex for their own pleasure and to keep from being derailed from their career goals with something “serious.”

via Book Review: The End of Men – WSJ.com.

TS Eliot, poetry: Just liked this one …

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

via I said to my soul, be still and wait without… • literary jukebox.

Things to Ponder:

“To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?”

“Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view . . . we are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.”

via Why emotional excess is necessary to creativity, Hitchens on mortality, the science of why we cry, and more.

ObamaCare, US:  

As the country ages and more than 30 million new patients enter the health care system under the Affordable Care Act, experts predict that soon, there won’t be enough doctors for everyone who wants to see one—a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. To meet the demand, a surging class of almost-but-not-quite-doctors known as physician assistants, are stepping up to fill the M.D.’s shoes.

via The doctor won’t be seeing you now – MarketWatch.

movies, film and lit:  Any you’d like to see?

Still, there are a few literary big-hitters that have yet to make their way to film. Franzen’s “The Corrections” is a prime example – although the National Book Award-winning novel was optioned by Scott Rudin, HBO announced in May of this year that they wouldn’t turn the pilot until a full series.

via Book Movies: 7 Novels That Should Be Adapted.

Downton Abbey:

“Downton Abbey” fans, there’s a new trailer for season 3, which airs on television soon in the U.K. but doesn’t hit these shores until January.via New ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 Trailer Arrives – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Oprah, Twitter, quotes:

“All things are lessons that God would have us learn”. Such a great teaching if you look at your whole life that way.#SuperSoulSunday

28
May
11

‎5.28.2011 … I wonder how many people take the megabus to dc and then stay at the Willard …

travel, transportation, DC:  I am taking the megabus to and from dc … anybody tried it?  Then I will join John who is flying in on US Air 🙂 … and stay at the Willard … anybody stayed there?  Will make for an interesting rendezvous!

labyrinths, Charlotte, quotes:  I enjoyed my Labyrinth Walk #2 at Presbyterian Hospital while waiting for ET to wake from his liver biopsy on 5.26.  Anyone know the source of the quote, “yet also: Be still for healing most likely whispers”?

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“I knew something good could come out of such pain. The new labyrinth will provide a point of focus to help people collect their thoughts during the grieving process,” said Linda Matney, donor and founder of the Jack and Linda Matney Family Foundation.

Dating back to the 14th century, a labyrinth is a geometric, flat surface with winding, circuitous paths. A labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful course. Walking a labyrinth has been effective in reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and breathing rates, in addition to reducing chronic pain. Often people find peace, solace, release and a deep sense of joy as they reach the center of the labyrinth’s circuitous paths.

Designer, Tom Schultz, nationally recognized for his unique labyrinth designs, has patterned the Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth after the 14th Century labyrinth at Chatres Cathedral in France.

The Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth is supported by ongoing financial gifts from the community. In addition to the Labyrinth endowment, fundraising efforts continue for phase II of the labyrinth, projected to include a memorial prayer wall.

“My impetus in creating the labyrinth was to give patient’s families and caregivers the opportunity to focus on a spiritual connection, prayer or whatever could bring peace to each person.”

via New Presbyterian Hospital Labyrinth Puts Caregivers on Path to Peace.

Facebook, twitter, privacy:  Facebook is not my friend … Facebook is not my friend …

 

Attention, humanity: We seem to be suffering from an acute case of stupidity.

There’s a viral misconception making its way through our Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles and injecting itself into our brains. And it’s leading those infected to believe these social sites are looking out for us.

Yesterday, we wondered if Twitter should actually hand over user information to officials when it’s subpoenaed. The day before, a report that even Facebook content marked “Friends-Only” could be used against you in court sent us spiraling into rants about the company’s lack of integrity on issues of user privacy. (The horror!) Well, Facebook’s integrity isn’t on today’s discussion menu. But yours is.

There will never be an easier way to break this to you other than to just say it: Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business. Repeat this to yourself until it begins to sink deep within in your social-loving brain cells. “Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business.”

Laws on Internet activity and speech are just beginning to manifest in court, and nine times out of ten, companies will comply with authorities. (Yes, this means handing over your account’s info.) Some rulings have required Facebook to turn over user password information, other courts have thrown out similar requests. It’s all the more reason to consider what you post online fair game inside our legal system.

Of course, when I say “Facebook,” I really mean every social media site you’ve hitched to your digital identity: Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc. Facebook seems to take the brunt of the backlash because of its size, but that hasn’t changed our silly new idea that all of these companies have our best interests in mind. They don’t. They’re businesses. They want our personal information to dangle in front of advertisers. And no, Facebook isn’t inherently evil for not really giving a damn about you. It’s business.

The problem is that this reality doesn’t fit our modern consumer expectations, which, some would argue could be described as profound laziness. We’re living in the age of blaming companies for everything we don’t like about ourselves. Smoke too much? Blame big tobacco. Eat too much? Blame fast food. Sign up for a website that craves your personal information, then do something stupid? Surely it’s not your fault.

via Facebook, Twitter Aren’t Responsible For Your Online Behavior – Techland – TIME.com.

Apple, music, cloud computing, iCloud:  Well, I for one, hope this works … our family has music spread over to many computers.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this whole online music thing is heating up. First Amazon rolled out its Cloud Player, then Google Music came along, and now Apple is expected to announce its own online music service—the big money’s on something called “iCloud” that’ll be unveiled on June 6th.

The difference between Apple’s offering and offerings from both Amazon and Google is that Apple has apparently gotten the blessing of three of the four major record labels, with the fourth said to be right around the corner. But why should Apple care about playing nice with the record labels when Google and Amazon have already thumbed their noses at the music industry?

If what Businessweek is reporting turns out to be accurate, Apple’s service will behave differently than Google’s and Amazon’s in that you won’t have to actually upload your entire music collection to Apple’s servers.

via Apple’s Online Music Locker: A Great Idea (That’s 10+ Years Old) – Techland – TIME.com.

Groupon, jobs, creative writing:  I actually thought about applying for a job as a Groupon writer …

Groupon has nothing so special. It offers discounts on products and services, something that Internet start-up companies have tried to develop as a business model many times before, with minimal success. Groupon’s breakthrough sprang not just from the deals but from an ingredient that was both unlikely and ephemeral: words.

Words are not much valued on the Internet, perhaps because it features so many of them. Newspapers and magazines might have gained vast new audiences online but still can’t recoup the costs from their Web operations of producing the material.

Groupon borrowed some tools and terms from journalism, softened the traditional heavy hand of advertising, added some banter and attitude and married the result to a discounted deal. It has managed, at least for the moment, to make words pay.

IN 177 North American cities and neighborhoods, 31 million people see one of the hundreds of daily deals that Ms. Handler and her colleagues write, and so many of them take the horseback ride or splurge on the spa or have dinner at the restaurant or sign up for the kayak tour that Groupon is raking in more than a billion dollars a year from these featured businesses and is already profitable.

There used to be a name for marketing things to clumps of people by blasting messages at them: spam. People despised it so much it nearly killed e-mail. The great achievement of Groupon — a blend of “group” and “coupon” — is to have reformulated spam into something benign, even ingratiating.

via Groupon Counts on Writers and Editors to Build Its Audience – NYTimes.com.

Experience is a plus, but not necessarily required if you have compelling samples. We’ll work with anyone who can write succinctly, persuasively, and intelligently. Groupon writers are held not only to a high quality standard, but must also show a willingness and ability to generate a high volume of copy on a daily basis. Fast typing and web savvy are critical. Salary is $37K and includes full benefits. For the right candidate, Groupon will pay a relocation allowance.

via Groupon Jobs.

international politics, G8, economics: G8 irrelevant?

 

And that’s not a bad thing because, as a global conclave, the G-8 has become almost entirely irrelevant. It was originally formed in 1975, in the wake of an alarming international oil crisis, as a forum for the West’s greatest economies to meet and steer global policy without the burdensome nuisance of the U.N. or other more democratic international institutions. For a long time, the annual summit seemed the place from which the world was truly governed — a resurrection of an older Western imperial guard (plus Japan). Not surprisingly, it was hated by many. Just a decade ago, the G-8 summit in Genoa was the site of truly epic scenes of rioting and mayhem as anti-globalization protesters attempted to storm the gathering, targeting what they thought was the progenitor of all the world’s capitalistic injustices. Fast forward ten years later: at Deauville, there was greater fury in the waves of the placid English Channel. How things have changed.

 

In the age of the BRICs — a Goldman Sachs monicker that has stuck for the combined rising clout of Brazil, Russia, India and China — it’s not controversial to suggest the G-8 has gone past its shelf-life. President Obama has already hailed the G-20, where all the BRICs are in attendance (only Russia is in the G-8), as the “premier forum for global economic coordination.” (Incidentally, the G-20 is also meeting in France later this year, in Cannes.) Sensing the change in the winds, then Brazilian President Lula da Silva declared in 2009 that the G-8 “doesn’t have any reason to exist.” By any metric, he’s right: the G-8 no longer accommodates the world’s biggest or most dynamic economies; the G-8 no longer accounts for all the world’s nuclear weapons; the G-8 doesn’t speak for any particular identity or values — with Russia in the fold, it’s hardly a champion of democracy. So what is it for?

 

via Why the G-8 Should Never Meet Again – Global Spin – TIME.com.

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  I think I used the term slime bag … This writer uses “pond scum” and  “jerk, even on an Edwardsian scale” … but asks a fair question …  did he commit a crime?  Part of me hopes yes … but his family has suffered immeasurably, and if he didn’t, then let the man just wallow in his sin.

As far as I’m concerned, John Edwards is pond scum. Last I checked, that’s not a crime.

We can stipulate, I think, to the pond scum part. The man cheated on his wife — and defended himself by noting that her cancer was in remission at the time. Even after the affair was disclosed, Edwards lied about whether he fathered a daughter with the woman. He had a loyal aide falsely claim paternity and turned to wealthy friends to support the woman.

But being a jerk, even on an Edwardsian scale, is not a felony, which is what federal prosecutors have been pursuing for more than two years. The original theory of the case was that Edwards misused campaign funds to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter. That would have been a serious matter, except the theory fizzled.

Some prosecutors would have stopped there. The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, George Holding, did not.

The current case against Edwards, the one for which he is on the verge of being indicted, rests on a novel and expansive reading of what constitutes a campaign contribution.

The crux of the case is that during the 2008 campaign, Edwards, directly or indirectly, approached two of his biggest financial backers, the late trial lawyer Fred Baron and heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, to solicit financial support for Hunter. Baron and Mellon, motivated at least in part by a desire to fuel Edwards’s presidential ambitions, anted up, to the tune of more than $750,000.

Was that a contribution to the Edwards campaign, in which case it would be illegal because it was not reported as such and exceeded the allowable contribution limits? That’s a stretch.

via John Edwards: A jerk, not a felon – The Washington Post.

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  New tag … slime bags … Go for it US Justice Department.

via 2011 May 26 « Dennard’s Clipping Service.

business, data, technology, changes:  Data and harnessing that data is changing business … a whole new world.

As usual, the reality of the digital age is outpacing fiction. Last year people stored enough data to fill 60,000 Libraries of Congress. The world’s 4 billion mobile-phone users (12% of whom own smartphones) have turned themselves into data-streams. YouTube claims to receive 24 hours of video every minute. Manufacturers have embedded 30m sensors into their products, converting mute bits of metal into data-generating nodes in the internet of things. The number of smartphones is increasing by 20% a year and the number of sensors by 30%.

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has no Borges-like qualms about the value of all these data. In a suitably fact-packed new report, “Big data: the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity”, MGI argues that data are becoming a factor of production, like physical or human capital. Companies that can harness big data will trample data-incompetents. Data equity, to coin a phrase, will become as important as brand equity. MGI insists that this is not just idle futurology: businesses are already adapting to big data.

Companies are assembling more detailed pictures of their customers than ever before. Tesco, a British retailer, collects 1.5 billion nuggets of data every month and uses them to adjust prices and promotions. Williams-Sonoma, an American retailer, uses its knowledge of its 60m customers (which includes such details as their income and the value of their houses) to produce different iterations of its catalogue. Amazon, an online retailer, has claimed that 30% of its sales are generated by its recommendation engine (“you may also like”). The mobile revolution adds a new dimension to customer-targeting. Companies such as America’s Placecast are developing technologies that allow them to track potential consumers and send them enticing offers when they get within a few yards of a Starbucks.

via Schumpeter: Building with big data | The Economist.

Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, crime and law, constitutional law, cruel and unusual punishment:  This is a serious problem, and one that will not go away.  We are fortunate to have a constitution that respects human dignity, even that of criminals.

So it was no surprise that Mr Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 decision by the court this week that orders California to reduce its prison overcrowding. Full capacity is defined as one inmate per cell, which in California currently means 80,000 prisoners. But California’s prisons have at times housed twice as many, with inmates stacked in bunk beds in gymnasiums. At the moment, the prisons are about 175% full. The court order requires that ratio to go down to a slightly less egregious 137.5% within two years.

Overcrowding has meant not only more violence but woefully inadequate health and mental care, with more deaths and suicides. “When are you going to avoid or get around people sitting in their faeces for days in a dazed state?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor testily demanded of a lawyer representing California last November. Mr Kennedy, in his opinion this week, referred to an inmate who had been held “in a cage for nearly 24 hours, standing in a pool of his own urine, unresponsive and nearly catatonic.”

Such conditions are, in Mr Kennedy’s words, “incompatible with the concept of human dignity” and amount to unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment”. The four judges who are considered liberal agreed; the four conservatives did not. For Justice Samuel Alito, the case was a matter not of dignity but of public safety. The decision, he said, will force California to release “46,000 criminals—the equivalent of three army divisions”.

via Prison overcrowding: A win for dignity | The Economist.

random, Widespread Panic, John Bell, energy room, Clarksville GA, places:  I need an energy room!

Clad in jeans and cowboy boots, musician John “JB” Bell reclined in a green fabric and metal chair on a Saturday morning, surrounded by 16 computers sitting on shelves about a foot from the ceiling. The computer screens glowed blue behind multicolored static, generating so much heat air-conditioning was needed to cool the room.

A Wellness Center at Home

When he’s not on tour, musician John “JB” Bell of the southern rock jam band Widespread Panic spends much of his time at a home in Clarkesville, Ga., a tiny mountain town.

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Jeff Herr for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Bell seeks balance at his 1912 white colonial that he’s turned into a holistic wellness center.

Mr. Bell, 49, said he spends a few hours every night and day he’s home in this “energy room,” working on lyrics, reading, thinking or sleeping. He says the energy generated by the computers creates an “uplifting vibe very similar to the feeling when the band improvises into new territory, and the audience seems to be right there alongside you.” His wife Laura, 48, said, “We joke it’s the new way of catching a buzz.”

Come January, when Widespread Panic will take a break for at least a year, Mr. Bell plans to spend most of his time gardening and hanging out in Clarkesville. “Keeping your life balanced is very nurturing to music. The band can’t be my total identity. I still enjoy being on the road. It is still fulfilling,” he said. “But here it is more working in the garden, hanging out with Laura and working on music at a leisurely pace. I like to let songs come to me at their own pace. I try to stay calm about it.”

Fans do occasionally track Mr. Bell down at his house. When they do, Mrs. Bell quickly ushers them into the energy room.

“It turns the focus on them instead of John. It’s disarming to them,” she said. The Bells charge $44 for a two-hour session in the room, but said they don’t make a profit from the wellness center. Rates at the clinic are sliding scale depending on financial need, and most customers are from the local community.

Most members of Widespread Panic haven’t been to the house—and only their tour manager, Steve Lopez, is enthusiastic about the energy room. Recently, when on the road, Mr. Lopez and Mr. Bell spent time in an energy room in Hollywood. “We need it. There are times when our work makes us really stressed out,” Mr. Lopez said.

via The Georgia Home of Widespread Panic Lead Singer and Guitarist John ‘JB’ Bell – WSJ.com.

random, sports, quotes: OK, I like this quote: “‘a “gaffe” in Washington as “when a politician tells the truth.'”

My friend and mentor Michael Kinsley defined a “gaffe” in Washington as “when a politician tells the truth.” In my profile of Fred Wilpon, the Mets’ chief executive, this week, he apparently made several gaffes in describing several of his players. Wilpon said David Wright is “a very good player, not a superstar”; Carlos Beltran is “sixty-five to seventy per cent” of the player he was; Jose Reyes has had a lot of injuries:

“He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money,” Wilpon said, referring to the Red Sox’ signing of the former Tampa Bay player to a seven-year, $142-million contract. “He’s had everything wrong with him,” Wilpon said of Reyes. “He won’t get it.”

In the Kinsley tradition, though, all Wilpon did was tell the truth.

I spend more of my time covering law and politics than I do writing about sports. Both fields have changed dramatically in recent years, largely for the better. Sportswriting used to be cheerleading; political journalism used to be stenography. (I generalize.) But both fields demand candor no less from our subjects than from us journalists. Wilpon shouldn’t be criticized for delivering it.

via The Sporting Scene: Honest About the Mets : The New Yorker.

Blackbeard, anthropology, pirates:  I love pirate lore …

Dead men tell no tales, but the sea does, as shown Friday when an anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard’s flagship.

An expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted the nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Crews were working in just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.

via Anchor from Blackbeard ship recovered – CNN.com.

causes, Jeff McGonnell, Davidson, ultramarathons, kudos, kith/kin:  You go, Jeff … but I think you are a little crazy!

 

Don’t be alarmed if you see Davidson resident Jeff McGonnell running nonstop circles around the Green on Friday and Saturday, June 4-5. He hasn’t lost his mind. He’ll be running for 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for the Batten Disease Support and Research Association.

 

The event, sponsored by the Town of Davidson and BirdNest Music, is called “24 hour Loopy for a Cause.”

 

McGonnell will be running a pre-determined loop on the Green, seven loops being equal to one mile. He hopes to run around 100 miles in the 24 hours.

 

While he runs, there will be live music. Musicians scheduled to play include Billy Jones, Rick Spreitzer, Rusty Knox, Rob McHale and more. There will also be food, games and other fun activities for kids.

 

McGonnell has been an ultra runner for more than 20 years, competing in more than 150 races longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). For the right donation, this serious runner will run in a dress juggling pineapples and whistling pop tunes. Anyone can join in a few laps of the run for a small donation.

 

via He’ll run 24 hours on the Green, for a good cause  | DavidsonNews.net Guide.

music, technology, innovations, Mall music, Bluebrain, DC: Bluebrain launches ‘location-aware album’ … very cool.  I may add this to my next DC experience.

If a melody on the new Bluebrain album doesn’t move you, keep walking.

On Saturday, the Washington-based band of brothers, Hays and Ryan Holladay, will release what has been dubbed the world’s first location-aware album — an app designed for smartphones that uses Global Positioning System technology to trigger different swaths of electro-pop based on physical location. Titled “The National Mall,” the app-album can be heard only in Washington by iPhone-toting listeners strolling around the monuments and museums.

Sounds geeky, right? It is. But like the most fantastic collisions of music and technology, it feels magical. And in an iPod era, where bite-size MP3s have threatened to vanquish the traditional album format, Bluebrain is helping redefine what an album can actually be. Somewhere, Sgt. Pepper is smiling.

Musically, the pair set out to compose electronic soundscapes that would embellish that sense of aesthetic weirdness, divorcing, they hoped, many of the iconic vistas from their historical and cultural associations in the process.

“There’s this giant obelisk in the middle of a lawn,” Ryan says. “If you don’t think of that as a George Washington Monument, it’s just a really crazy-looking thing.”

Approach that crazy-looking thing while listening to “The National Mall,” and you’ll hear a keyboard weep. Get closer and digital cellos begin to trace a regal melody. Closer. There’s percussion. Keep going. The volume creeps up. The drums push toward anarchy. Walk right up to the monument, press your hand against the cool, smooth stone and listen, as if the obelisk were a giant radio needle receiving some riotous transmission from deep space.

It’s truly magical.

Remember to wear good headphones. And comfortable walking shoes.

via Bluebrain’s ‘The National Mall’: The first location-aware album – The Washington Post.

travel, NYC, lists:  Don’t you just love the term al fresco … makes me want to go to NYC and enjoy the out of doors … the NY way!

Now that the season has made it acceptable to wear cutoff shots and visibly sweat through your shirt, it’s time to take eating and drinking into the great outdoors. So whether it be on a sidewalk, a rooftop, or a beach, we’ve got you covered for the restaurants and bars with killer outdoor spaces. To kick off this weekend’s unofficial start of summer, here’s what opened earlier this spring, what’s opening this weekend, and what’s coming in the very near future. Have a happy Memorial Day, and see you Tuesday!

via Take It Outside: 42 Great Places for Going Alfresco This Summer — Grub Street New York.

26
May
11

‎5.26.2011 Restoration Day … house has gutters going up … and ET has biopsy to hopefully show restoration to full health!

Davidson College, Agnes Scott College, grants, college learning, kudos:  Kudos to two fine colleges for enhancing the learning of its students.

Davidson College will share a $200,000, two-year grant with Agnes Scott College from The Teagle Foundation to develop strategies for improved student learning. Davidson will focus on helping first-generation college students, while Agnes Scott seeks to support students in overcoming hurdles encountered in pursuing degrees in math and science.

About 40 of the 500 students in Davidson’s latest entering class were first-generation students.

“Without a family history of college attendance, these students may have difficulty navigating the college experience during their first year,” said Verna Case, associate dean of teaching, learning and research at Davidson. “The Teagle grant will enable us to assess their needs early on and provide assistance to help them achieve academically.”

via Teagle Grant Will Boost Learning Strategies at Davidson and Agnes Scott

Facebook, law:  Be careful what you post … Caveat FBor …

Be careful what you post on your Facebook account, because it might end up being used against you in a court of law. This isn’t another case where someone else may be claiming that anything and everything that you post online is fair game in terms of copyright, however.

Instead, there’s the possibility that you might end up as your own worst enemy in any future lawsuits as opposing counsels use your Facebook updates or photos to prove their case – whether or not they’re normally available for public viewing.

San Francisco-based lawyer Eric Sinrod writes about what he calls “a judicial willingness to compel the disclosure of Facebook material to the other side in litigation” over at FindLaw, noting that “in at least one case, McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, the court ordered that disclosure of the Facebook password of one of the parties so that access could be gained by the other side to the relevant Facebook account.”

This isn’t always the case; Sinrod also mentions another case, Piccolo v. Paterson, where the court refused a similar request – although, as he points out, this may have been because similar evidence was available already.

But there is something disturbing about the lengths to which even “private” information can be made public if the court decides that it’s necessary. The moral of this story may, in the end, be that you shouldn’t put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world, Friends-Only or not.

via Even Your ‘Friends Only’ Facebook Material Can Be Used in Court – Techland – TIME.com.

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  New tag … slime bags … Go for it US Justice Department.

The U.S. Justice Department has given prosecutors the go-ahead to seek an indictment against former U.S. Senator and two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, according to multiple broadcast reports.

via Report: Prosecution of John Edwards OK’d | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

green, cars, jealous, Chevy Volt:  I really want an electric car … just like the idea. So if GM or Volvo …or anyone else wants a tester in Charlotte, PICK ME!

A battery powers the Volt, which Motor Trend magazine named its 2011 Car of the Year. The four-passenger car can go 38 miles on a fully charged battery, Hanley said. The battery is recharged by plugging it into a standard 120-volt household outlet. Hanley recharged her Volt each night via an outlet in her garage.

The Volt, however, also can run on gasoline when the battery’s charge is used up.

“Once the battery is depleted, the (gas-powered) engine will kick in, and act as a generator” to power the electric motor, General Motors spokesman Tony Macrito said.

“You can go another 300-plus miles” with the gas in the 9-gallon tank, Macrito said.

The car switched to gas power “a few times when I had to go downtown,” Hanley said. The Volt made the switch seamlessly, she said.

“I wondered if it was going to start knocking like a jalopy, with black fumes coming out, but there was no discernible difference.” The car was “zippy,” Hanley said, with a smooth ride.

The dashboard display made it easy to figure out whether she was using the battery or gas.

“I am just excited they have this new technology, especially now when Chicago has the highest gas prices in the county,” Hanley said. “I think it’s a relevant topic for people who care about oil dependency and the environment.”

via Winnetka woman gets a shot with the Chevrolet Volt –.

Restoration Day, prayers, organ donations, Landon Powell, kith/kin:  Well, today is the day we find out if ET’s liver has returned to full health … prayers.  ET’s doctor is very hopeful he will be in full remission and that will be an end to it … However, please consider organ donation.  There are many who are not fortunate and need your healthy organs.

In partnership with the non-profit organization Donate Life South Carolina, in 2010 A’s catcher Landon Powell founded the Donors on the Diamond charity event to promote organ donation in South Carolina.

The mission of Donate Life South Carolina is to increase the supply of organs and tissues for transplantation and provide assistance for South Carolina transplant recipients with hopes that one day an organ or tissue will be available for every South Carolinian in need of a transplant.

Prior to reaching the Major Leagues, Powell recovered from two ACL knee surgeries in three short years in which he was a recipient of ligaments from tissue donations. In January of 2009, Powell was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a rare liver disease with no known cure. The disease can be controlled with medication, but Powell will need a liver transplant at some point in his life.

Because of this, organ and tissue donation has become very important to Landon and his family and this was the driving factor in his involvement of raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.

via Landon Powell’s Donors on the Diamond | oaklandathletics.com: Community.

06
May
11

5.6.2011 …it seems Osama bin Laden got my attention today … and cardinals …

Stephen Curry, Davidson College, Davidson basketball, NBA, kudos: Well, he went to Davidson …

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced today.

Curry (Pacific) was one of six divisional winners, which included Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin (Southeast), Chicago’s Luol Deng (Central), New Jersey’s Deron Williams (Atlantic), Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge (Northwest), and San Antonio’s George Hill (Southwest).

Curry received 88 first-place votes (2,445 total points) of a possible 347. The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Curry to Habitat For Humanity East Bay, which uses volunteers to build affordable homes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

via WARRIORS: Stephen Curry Wins 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

faith and spirituality, favorite blogs, Davidson College, kith/kin:  I love the cardinal guest post by college friend Diane on college friend Cary’s blog, a favorite of mine. I don’t have a great redbird story other than I have always been told to wish on a cardinal because it will bring you good luck.  Read on …

Yesterday I requested “cardinal stories” from readers, since several told me (in response to a post on hope on Tuesday) that they’d had cardinal encounters recently (what’s going on?)  So for the next couple of days, I’ll stick with the cardinal theme.

Here’s a post from a college friend, Diane Cooper.  Let me tell you a little about her first:

Diane Cooper is the mother of four children, including sweet David Cooper, her seventeen-year-old son who died suddenly two years ago from Athlete Sudden Cardiac Arrest while rowing with his crew team at McCallie School in Chattanooga.

via Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper « Holy Vernacular.

Let us always make sure that it is protected and never take it for granted. Whenever you see a cardinal, smile and say, “Thank you!” You have received one of the ultimate blessings of Nature.

via The ultimate backyard bird | Backyard Birder | a Chron.com blog.

Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama, photography:  As they say a picture is worth a thousand words … I enjoyed this insightful analysis of this picture.

President Barack Obama and his national security team watch updates on the mission to capture Osama bin Laden on Sunday.

Most commentators have focused on the historic nature of the photo: Obama staring at the screen with a grim intensity; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, covering her mouth to repress her reaction — the epicenter of U.S. military power hunting down its most hated foe.

But look deeper and that photo becomes historic in a more subtle way. It’s a snapshot of how much this nation’s attitudes about race, women and presidential swagger are changing, several scholars and historians say.


“The photo is visually suggestive of a new American landscape that we’re still crossing into,” says Saladin Ambar, a political science professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

“When Obama was elected, there were some people who thought that we had crossed a racial threshold,” Ambar says. “What his presidency is revealing is that there are many crossings.”

via What ‘Situation Room Photo’ reveals about us – CNN.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, OBL’s family: Never understood the concept of mail order bride … do you think she loved him …

While little is known about Bin Laden’s daughter, his wife, Amal, “was a kind of mail-order teenage bride from Yemen, whom he married while living in Afghanistan during the 1990s, according to the account of bin Laden’s former Yemeni bodyguard,” according to Steve Coll, the author of “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.”

….

Although it is far from clear what will happen to Bin Laden’s surviving family members in Pakistan, or if we will ever hear directly from them about what they saw when the American commandos shot Osama bin Laden, his wife, Amal, did speak to the media at least once. In March 2002, she granted an interview to Al Majalla, a Saudi magazine in London, which was reprinted by The Guardian.

In the interview, she explained that, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, her husband had arranged for her to be transported from Afghanistan with her children and handed over to Pakistani authorities. On that occasion, she was, reportedly, allowed to return to Yemen.

via Left Behind: Bin Laden’s Wife and Daughter – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, law:  Can you imagine what a nightmare of a bar exam question this would be???

International law recognizes a country’s inherent right to act in self-defense, and it makes no distinction between vindicating these rights through a drone strike or through a boots-on-the-ground operation. Administration officials have described the raid as a “kill or capture” mission and asserted that the SEALs would have taken Osama bin Laden alive had he surrendered and presented no threat to U.S. personnel or the others in the compound that night. This, according to official accounts, did not happen.

Much has been made of the disclosure that Osama bin Laden was unarmed, but this, too, is irrelevant in determining whether the operation was lawful. The SEALs entered the compound on a war footing, in the middle of the night, prepared to encounter hostile fire in what they believed to be the enemy leader’s hideout. They reported that they became embroiled in a firefight once inside; they had no way of knowing whether Osama bin Laden himself was armed. Even if he had signaled surrender, there is no reason to believe that danger had evaporated. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday: “From a Navy SEAL perspective, you had to believe that this guy was a walking IED,” prepared to blow up himself and those around him or possibly to detonate an explosive that would have engulfed the entire house.

It is easy in the light of day to second-guess decisions made in the heat of war. It is particularly easy for those who refuse to acknowledge that war in the first place. Based on information released by the administration, the covert military operation that brought down the most wanted terrorist in the world appears to have been gutsy and well executed. It was also lawful.

via In killing Osama bin Laden, U.S. had the law on its side – The Washington Post.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Amazing …

The SEALs did the shooting inside bin Laden’s compound, but an elite Army unit called Task Force 160 flew them there and back, and the pilot of one of the Blackhawk helicopters may have been the difference between success and failure, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The SEALs were about to fast rope into the courtyard in front of bin Laden’s house when the Blackhawk lost lift. Imagine what would have happened if it had crashed into the courtyard with all its SEALs still aboard.

Chris Marvin doesn’t have to imagine. It happened to him in Afghanistan.

“How close did he come? As close as any helicopter pilot can, maybe closer,” said Marvin, “but he had or she had the talent and skill level to land the aircraft safely and let everybody off without injuries.”

via Blackhawk pilot’s quick thinking credited in raid – CBS News.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Anatomy of a Raid: Osama bin Laden’s Final Moments – Video – TIME.com.

27
Apr
11

4.27.2011 … waiting for the midwestern storms to move east …

British Monarchy, Prince Charles, Prince William, journalism, media, tabloid news:  I enjoy the history and heraldry of the Royal Family, but it just seems “so yesterday” … tabloid news not real news.  Is their story really worthy of our major news outlets …

Prince William and Kate Middleton will exchange vows Friday in a ceremony expected to be watched by almost a third of the planet. But if the story that day will be of a prince and his bride, another will also be playing out behind the scenes: a tale of two kings.

William’s popularity is helping reinvent the monarchy here, with his marriage to a glamorous bride cementing the easy-mannered 28-year-old’s image as the perfect 21st-century king. Yet even as he becomes the single greatest key to ensuring the future of the House of Windsor, many here say William is in danger of overshadowing his far less popular father, Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne.

Streets in London were sealed off so that hundreds of troops from the city’s Wellington and Hyde Park Barracks could hold a dress rehearsal for the royal wedding on the procession route. (April 27)

How did William and Kate meet? Which princess married — and then divorced — an Olympic medalist? Whose wedding gown was adorned with 20,00 pearls? Test your knowledge!

At stake, royal watchers say, is the public standing of the British monarchy, which during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed virtually unwavering support. Yet despite a relatively successful campaign to improve Charles’s image, an Ipsos Mori poll last week showed a greater percentage calling for William to leapfrog Charles to the throne than at any point since the 1997 death of Charles’s ex-wife and William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Forty-six percent of respondents now say Charles should step aside.

via In Britain, Prince William threatens to eclipse his father, Prince Charles – The Washington Post.

Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton, fashion, icons:  She looks pretty good … but if you look back prior to the engagement, she looks like a beautiful commoner.  She’s going to have a little help now with the transformation into a fashion icon.

She’s not even a princess yet, but Kate Middleton, the future bride of Prince William, is already being held up around the world as a fashion plate. Designers are scampering to imitate the dresses she wears, and fashionistas debate the meaning of her latest hat. When it turned out that the ruffled silk blouse Middleton wore in her engagement photos was no longer being sold, the Whistles store obligingly brought the style back.

via Kate Middleton: The Fashions – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Twitter, parenting:  Favorite of the day … I hope i am not a lawnmower parent … helicopter parent at least sounds more glamorous.

Word Spy

lawnmower parent n. A parent who smooths his or her children’s paths through life by solving their problems for them. http://wspy.ws/lawnm

via (39) Twitter / Home.

law, ethics, politics, King & Spalding, Atlanta:  Sometimes politics and lawyering don’t mix.

This week, the law firm hired by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, withdrew from the case in the wake of criticism from gay-rights groups. Paul Clement, a former solicitor general and a highly regarded litigator, who was to be the lead counsel on the case, resigned from the firm, King & Spalding, in protest. King & Spalding issued a bland statement saying it was dropping the case because it hadn’t adequately vetted the contract. It looks more like a cave-in to pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and other groups that warned King & Spalding that it could have trouble recruiting and retaining lawyers if it persisted in defending DOMA, a job the firm took on after the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer be doing so itself.

Now, the activists can certainly demand whatever they want, and it’s easy to understand their chagrin. DOMA is a discriminatory piece of legislation, made even more problematic by its disrespect for laws enacted by the states: it prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages that are legal in the states in which they occurred.

But giving in to pressure to rid yourself of a controversial client is never a good idea in our system. It sets a bad precedent and carries an unfortunate whiff of McCarthyite groupthink. The Los Angeles Times had it right when it editorialized that it understood the outrage,

But the suggestion that it’s shameful for Clement or his firm to do so misunderstands the adversarial process. For one thing, with sharp-witted counsel on both sides making the strongest possible arguments, it is more likely that justice will be done. For another, a lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible.

Clement will take up the defense of DOMA at his new firm, Bancroft P.L.L.C., which presumably is prepared for the disapproval that might come its way, and won’t back out. Maybe gay-rights groups can now return to making the strongest possible affirmative case for marriage equality, instead of trying to put its opponents out of commission.

via News Desk: Why DOMA Deserves A Lawyer : The New Yorker.

First Presbyterian Church, Rev. Roland Purdue:  Easter joke …. Rev Purdue does like to hear his congregation laugh!

So our interim minister today related a story that he often sees people he kind of knows but isn’t sure, since he travels a lot between churches. After service one day , he sees a woman he thinks he knows, so he he approaches her and says ” You look like Helen Brown,” to which she replied ” And you don’t look so good in black either!”

culture, gender issues, economics, traditions, marriage:  Name changing seems to be an expensive tradition.

FORGET ABOUT cash-stuffed wedding envelopes. A Dutch study suggests a way for brides to pick up an extra half million dollars by doing nothing–specifically, by not changing their names. Women who kept their maiden names were judged to be more professional than married-name doppelgangers and proved more likely to win a job, according to the research. They also attracted higher pay.

If the study results have real-world implications—and more on some limitations of the research in a moment—then as this season’s brides ponder a name-change, they might consider not only their shifting sentiments but economic realities.

via Are Maiden Names Really Worth $500,000? – SmartMoney.com.

Harper Lee, good stories, Jon Meacham, quotes:

Jon Meacham author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship (2004) said in an interview about Harper Lee for the book Scout, Atticus & Boo:

“I was with Harper Lee once in Sewanee, Tennessee, a couple of years ago at an occasion where Winston Churchill’s daughter and Miss Lee were receiving honorary degrees from the University of the South. At one of the events, the recipient stands up and says how they got to be where they are, and when Harper Lee stood up, she simply looked at Churchill’s daughter, Mary Soames, and said, “I would like to thank Lady Soames for everything, because if her father had not done what he did, I wouldn’t have been able to write anything at all.” And then she sat down. It was one of the most remarkably gracious things I have ever seen.”

via The Character of an Author – Nelle Harper Lee | Authors Say the Darndest Things.

Harper Lee, birthdays, 4/26, favorite posts, Jon Meacham:

It’s Harper Lee’s 85th birthday. Everyone who has ever wondered What Would Atticus Do? should raise a glass and drink to Miss Lee tonight.

via Jon Meacham./Facebook

Google Doodle birthdays, 4/26, John James Audubon:  I like this one …

Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon!

Google Doodle

via Google Doodle: Happy Bird-day, John James Audubon! – TIME NewsFeed.

Donald Trump, politics, balders:

A threat to the fledgling presidential campaign of Donald Trump emerged today, as a group of activists charged that Mr. Trump is not eligible to hold the nation’s highest office because his hair does not originate from the U.S.

The group, who call themselves “Balders,” claim that the hair-like substance that crowns Mr. Trump’s head is from a foreign country, which would mean that the candidate is less than one hundred percent American.

“Time and time again, Donald Trump has refused to produce a certificate of authenticity for his hair,” said Leeann Selwyn, a leading Balder.  “This is tantamount to a comb-over of the truth.”

via Trump Dogged By Rumors His Hair is Not From U.S. « Borowitz Report.

26
Apr
11

4.26.2011 … 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl … an event we hoped would never repeat itself …

random acts of violence, Robert Barber, prayers:  Truly random .. truly senseless … Prayers for comfort for  his wife and family as they go through the  grieving/mourning process.  As I mentioned he and his wife go to my church, but I do not know them … but  a good friend is their neighbor and they own puppies from a litter of the Barbers’ golden.  So not only well-respected in the business world, heavily involved in the community and church,  but dog people, too.  Prayers to the accused and his family too … their lives have been changed forever by a senseless random act.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe said Monday that Chauncey Sterling was looking for a victim to rob Friday morning when he allegedly fatally shot hospital executive Robert Barber on a south Charlotte residential street.

Sterling, 18, was arrested Sunday night in his hometown of Rock Hill and charged in Barber’s murder.

“We believe it was a random act that started as a robbery,” Monroe said during a midday news conference Monday at police headquarters in Charlotte. “Mr. Barber was an innocent victim.”

via Teen arrested in killing of Charlotte executive | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Easter, follow-up, Pentecost:

   Luke’s very first sentence tips us off to where he’s going, how the very first Christians conceived of themselves, and what God is calling us to do today:  I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up (Acts 1:1).  Jesus began to do certain things – and so whatever his agenda had been, this became their script, their to-do list, their vision of the rest of their lives.

Easter isn’t a season that passes.  The mind-boggling fact of Jesus’ resurrection means we are forever attached to him; we find meaning and purpose insofar as we mimic him, and enact what he began to do.

Our problem?  We ignore Jesus, or never bother finding out what he began to do; or worse, we do whatever we prefer, we get busy with our pet projects, and try to glue Jesus on the outside of what isn’t of Jesus at all!  God is merciful when we do this – but we can do better, far better.

via All Jesus began to do – read Acts 1:1-5.

Japan Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl:  I mentioned to my daughter that japan’s disaster had been upgraded to a 7, the same as Chernobyl.  She did not know what Chernobyl was … I guess they did not cover that in World History.  I’ll have to ask her if she has heard of Three Mile Island.

Tuesday, April 26 is the 25th anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident. It set in motion events that today still significantly affect Ukraine. A special video from Gary Lee, who was on the ground in Chernobyl during the disaster, looks back at that time:

Following the recent earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Chernobyl accident and its aftermath have a particular importance this year. As the Washington Post’s Will Englund reported, “The significance of Chernobyl for Japan lies in the question of what happens next. Even if the scope of contamination is smaller, Fukushima will demand of the Japanese a commitment of unforeseeable dimensions.”

via Chernobyl 25 years later – A lesson for Japan – The Washington Post.

RIP, typewriters, technology:  No more typewriters … 😦

It’s an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce – the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.

via Godrej and Boyce: World’s last typewriter factory closes its doors in Mumbai | Mail Online.

Zombie literature, kith/kin:  J is on a zombie kick.  Any suggestions?  He has read the two by Max Brooks.

Famed horror novelist Stephen King has mined the zombie theme, first with 1990’s “Home Delivery”, written for the aforementioned Book of the Dead compilation and detailing a small town’s attempt to defend itself from a classic zombie outbreak. In 2006 King published Cell, which concerns a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide zombie outbreak, created by “The Pulse”, a global electromagnetic phenomenon that turns the world’s cellular phone users into bloodthirsty, zombie-like maniacs. Cell was a number-one bestseller upon its release[39]

Aside from Cell, the most well-known current work of zombie fiction is 2006’s World War Z by Max Brooks, which was an immediate hit upon its release and a New York Times bestseller.[40] Brooks had previously authored the cult hit The Zombie Survival Guide, an exhaustively researched, zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides published in 2003.[1] Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because:

Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race…. Zombies are slate wipers.

via Zombies in popular culture.

Zombies, culture, science: … Any connection?

An airborne virus is rapidly turning people into zombies. Two-thirds of humanity has been wiped out. Scientists desperately look for a cure, even as their own brains deteriorate and the disease robs them of what we consider life.

Relax, it’s only fiction — at least, for now. This apocalyptic scenario frames the new novel “The Zombie Autopsies” by Dr. Steven Schlozman, a child psychiatrist who holds positions at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Program in Child Psychiatry.

You might not expect someone with those credentials to take zombies seriously, but it turns out the undead are a great way to explore real-world health issues: why certain nasty diseases can destroy the brain, how global pandemics create chaos and fear, and what should be done about people infected with a highly contagious and incurable lethal illness.

“One of the things zombie novels do is they bring up all these existential concerns that happen in medicine all the time: How do you define what’s alive?” says Schlozman, who has been known to bounce between zombie fan conventions and academic meetings.

“When is it appropriate to say someone’s ‘as-good-as-dead,’ which is an awful, difficult decision?”

via Inside zombie brains: Sci-fi teaches science – CNN.com.

street art, graffiti:  Fun to run across one of  these …

Amazing 3-D chalk guy.

law, pc, law firms, King & Spalding, legal ethics:  I guess K&S found the risk outweighed the rewards of this representation.  Is political correctness a reason for withdrawal?

The Atlanta law firm King & Spalding on Monday filed a motion to withdraw from its participation in defending the Defense of Marriage Act, prompting the immediate resignation of high-profile partner Paul Clement.

The law firm had come under fire from gay rights groups when partner Clement agreed to defend the law for Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives. The act defines marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.

“Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal,” Robert D. Hays Jr., the firm’s chairman said.  “In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.”

Clement, the head of King & Spalding’s national appellate practice, was to be paid $520 an hour for his representation. He once served as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush.  The Obama administration has said it will no longer defend the law in court.

via King & Spalding no longer defending Defense of Marriage Act  | ajc.com.

education,  high school, grade inflation, misleading course titles = inflation:  Interesting insight.

“Like the misleading drink labels, course titles may bear little relationship to what students have actually learned,” said Dr. Mellor, who has analyzed course completion, test records and other student data in Texas “We see students taking more and more advanced courses, but still not performing well on end-of-course exams.”

The 2009 results — the most recent available — of the federal test that measures change in achievement levels over decades showed that the nation’s 17-year-olds were scoring no higher in reading and math than in 1973. SAT scores have dropped or flat-lined, too, since 2000.

via As High School Course Titles Become Inflated, Test Scores Fail to Follow – NYTimes.com.

cover art, Royal Wedding:  OK, I liked this one.

The image that was chosen is a variant on that last idea, but, rather than “doing it,” Prince William and Kate Middleton are “in a perfect pose, with shame and embarrassment. They’re aghast.” Blitt adds, “Prince Charles is great to draw and so is the Queen. Those people are already caricatures.”

via News Desk: Cover Story: Royals in Bed : The New Yorker.

Davidson, Davidson College:  For the past 25 years Davidson has moved the college back on the central campus.  They moved the student PO, they improved food service so not much need to go downtown, etc.  Now there is a move to reconnect the students with the town.  As it should be … a college town.

The college’s purchase and plans for the building have major implications for both downtown Davidson and the college, business owners and others said.

A 10-year facilities master plan approved by Davidson Trustees a year ago called for relocating the college bookstore operation off campus. A report outlining that plan noted the success of the Cats on Main apparel and souvenir store at 131 Main St. and suggested expanding it.

Cats on Main opened in 2009 at 131 N. Main St., next door to the BB&T building. The college plans to consolidate the successful shop into an expanded college bookstore in the BB&T building. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

Cats on Main currently leases a storefront in a block of buildings owned by Dr. Tom Clark and Joe Poteat, the men behind Cairn Studio. Cairn formerly operated the Tom Clark Museum in the current Cats on Main space, showing off the company’s gnome figurines. That store’s lease ends in July 2012 and its operations will be combined with the new college bookstore at 137 N. Main St. in August 2012, in time for the start of the school year.

After the college moves the bookstore downtown, it plans to renovate the bookstore’s current space in the Alvarez College Union for “student services.”

via College buys BB&T bldg. for $1.25M, to put bookstore there | DavidsonNews.net.

politics, Great Recession, partisan politics, class war:  Grim scenario …

So the Ryan plan worsens our trillion-dollar structural deficit and the Obama plan amounts to small potatoes, at best. Worse, we are about to descend into class war because the Obama plan picks on the rich when it should be pushing tax increases for all, while the Ryan plan attacks the poor when it should be addressing middle-class entitlements and defense.

In the real world, however, the global bond market is already rumbling — and around the corner, a fiscal conflagration surely lies.

via The Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness – NYTimes.com.




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