Posts Tagged ‘Mark Twain

15
Jul
13

7.15.13 … Chardonnay Pinot Noir, who knew? … MY DOG BURNS … royal babies/special babies … Aparecium! … favorite children’s books …

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 10 Degrees South:  I am not a wine connoisseur, but I enjoyed this South African Chardonnay Pinot Noir. I actually did not know blends of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir existed. I did not like it alone, but it enhanced my South African meal at 10 Degrees South.

Viticulturist’s DetailsA blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from two specific vineyards situated on the gravely Boschendal slopes of the Simonsberg mountain.

via 1685 Chardonnay Pinot Noir | Boschendal.

pets, Mortality Paradox, Mark Twain,  poem, MY DOG BURNS:

Your love for them compels you to let them die with dignity in their own time and not on our time. When their bodies fail them, they are telling you in their own way to let go. I have learned this lesson the hard way when I kept my dog alive (with numerous surgeries and excessive medications) way longer than I should have.

A Dish reader reflects on the moral and emotional turmoil of pet mortality. Pair with John Updike’s heartbreaking poem “Another Dog’s Death” and Fiona Apple’s stirring handwritten letter about her dying dog, and Mark Twain’s little-known verses mourning the loss of his beloved canine companion.

Meanwhile, the Mortality Paradox looms over all of us.

via Explore – Your love for them compels you to let them die….

Here’s the Mark Twain poem referenced above:

Though a far cry from John Updike’s heartbreaking poem about the last days of his dog, Twain’s verses mourning the loss of his beloved canine companion don’t fail to stir:

MY DOG BURNS

No more shall bear beauteous form

Be seen in the raging storm.

No more shall her wondrous tail

Dodge the quickly dropping hail.

She lived a quiet harmless life

In Hartford far from madding strife;

Nor waged no War on peaceful rat

Nor battled with wild fierce tomcat.

No, No, my beloved, dear ’cause dead

What tough thy coat was a brick dust red?

Like a good author, thou was a trusty friend

And thy tail, like his, red to the very end.

via On Loves, Lunacies, and Losses: The Little-Known Poetry of Mark Twain | Brain Pickings.

royal baby, Zoo ATL’s giant panda,  Lun Lun,  labor,  ‏@ajc:  Another fun tweet …

AJC ‏@ajc 31s

No #royalbaby yet, but Zoo ATL’s giant panda Lun Lun is in labor. http://bit.ly/12synyC

via Twitter.

Aparecium!,  J.K. Rowling, ‘Cuckoo’ Mystery Author, @nprbooks, Revealing Charm, Harry Potter Wiki: 

NPR Books ‏@nprbooks 4m

Aparecium! J.K. Rowling Revealed As ‘Cuckoo’ Mystery Author http://n.pr/146o1cT

via (2) Twitter

OK, I had to look up “Aparecium!”

The Revealing Charm[1] (Aparecium) is a charm that forces invisible ink or other hidden messages to appear. It is also possible this spell can be used to make other invisible things reveal themselves. Hermione Granger used this spell on Tom Riddle’s Diary to see if anything could be read. Nothing appeared after she used the spell because that was not the enchantment placed on the book.

via Revealing Charm – Harry Potter Wiki.

Our 7 Favorite Children’s Books, Southeast Psych, lists:  My favorites from my childhood: A Wrinkle in Time, Trixie Belden Series (I read these at the beach when I was in second grade), Peter Rabbit, Harriet the Spy.  And from reading to my children:  Harry Potter Series, A Hole is to Dig, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Where the Wild Things Are, Goodnight Moon, Madeline, A Long Way from Chicago …

When the Harry Potter books splashed into our pop culture as the 20th century closed, I knew that I would love them (I played my share of Dungeons and Dragons as a kid).  But a little voice inside my head kept me from plowing through them- it told me to wait and enjoy them as a father.  My oldest son, now 9, finally expressed interest in HP this year, so off we went- reading them in tandem.  This shared experience has been wonderful, and got me thinking about my all-time favorite children’s books (or should I say, books for the young at heart?).

via Our 7 Favorite Children’s Books | Southeast Psych.

10
Jul
13

7.10.13 … So, Rory’s marrying Darcy :) … On ice in NYC … Bartoli’s great comeback: “I am not a blonde, yes … but have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon?” … “To Marilyn from the Man in the Moon” … and to think I used to HATE garden tomatoes … Mark Twain’s Advice to Little Girls …

Vincent Kartheiser,  Alexis Bledel (aka Rory from “Gilmore Girls):

Cheryl Klein

Mental Disjunctions of the Day: Pete from “Mad Men” is playing Mr. Darcy at the Guthrie. (As Vincent Kartheiser says, “Both have very upper-class upbringing.There’s a certain formality and stiffness that I believe will be carried over.”) Minnesota friends, if you go, I’d love to hear what it’s like! (Bonus Fact: He is now engaged to Alexis Bledel, aka Rory from “Gilmore Girls.”) http://www.vita.mn/arts/214046491.html?page=all

Minneapolis boy Vincent Kartheiser swings from playing neurotic Pete Campbell on “Mad Men” to romantic Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” at the Guthrie.

via Vincent Kartheiser comes home to Guthrie | Vita.mn.

NYC, ice bar, minus 5 ice bar:

After days of sweltering heat, New Yorkers are ready for a cooling off period. The opening of New York Citys first ice bar is providing just that. July 9

via Ice Bar Opens As New York City Swelters – YouTube.

Twitter, sexism, Bartoli, great combacks: 

Twitter / EverydaySexism: Best. Response. Ever. #Bartoli ….

The Real Housewives of NASA Astronauts, America’s first reality TV stars,  NYTimes.com: So was Genie a “cape cookie”?

In your book, you describe the wives of the astronauts as “America’s first reality TV stars.” What do you mean by that?

Their saga, with its countless launch parties, and endless bottles of Champagne, at times seemed less like “The Right Stuff” and more like “The Valley of the Dolls” — or “The Real Housewives of NASA.” After their husbands became astronauts, Life magazine bought the rights to the couples’ “personal stories” for half a million dollars in 1959, so the astronaut families were all thrust into the spotlight. They were constantly exposed to the public, with reporters embedded in their suburban homes in the wonderfully named Houston “space burbs,” near NASA. The wives’ mantra throughout the space race was “Happy, proud and thrilled.” It was their “keep calm and carry on” motto, 1960s style, a way of coping with having their lives turned inside out. The press camped out on their lawns during the missions. They had tea with Jackie [Kennedy] and attended high-society galas. They had to smile perfectly after a Life magazine makeover, balancing their extravagantly lacquered rocket-style hairdos. (If you’ve seen the Slim Aarons photos of the young moms and matrons of Palm Beach, they actually look very astro-wifey.) They banded together to cope with the unique pressures of being married to spacemen — including dealing with absentee husbands constantly tempted by “Cape Cookies,” as the astronaut groupies were known.

Back then, when Jim was on the flight, he sent Marilyn — waiting back on earth — a special gift, a mink jacket from Neiman Marcus that arrived via a chauffeured Rolls-Royce and came with the most romantic card in the universe: “To Marilyn from the Man in the Moon.”

via Fashion Flashback | The Real Housewives of NASA Astronauts – NYTimes.com.

etiquette, deliberate polish: entering a row of seats:  Excuse me …

148_Deliberate Polish

DELIBERATE POLISH: ENTERING A ROW OF SEATS

we answer the eternal conundrum of which way to face, in our latest column on minding your (modern) manners

via deliberate polish: entering a row of seats.

Marinated Cucumbers Onions and Tomatoes, summer, recipes:  Just looks good … and to think I used to HATE garden tomatoes.

Marinated Cucumbers, Onions, and Tomatoes

So yummy and healthy!!

3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

1/4 cup oil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving

To SAVE these Recipe for use later, be sure to click this photo and SHARE so it will store on your personal page.

 

Advice to Little Girls,Mark Twain, 1865 Childrens Book, Brain Pickings:

 

I’m enormously delighted to announce that Advice to Little Girls public library is officially out this week — a true labor of love nearly two years in the making. You might recall a sneak peek from my TED Bookstore selections earlier this year. Grab a copy, enjoy, and share!

via Advice to Little Girls: Young Mark Twains Little-Known, Lovely 1865 Childrens Book | Brain Pickings.

http://www.amazon.com/Advice-Little-Girls-Mark-Twain/dp/1592701299/?tag=braipick-20

21
Jan
13

1.21.13 2013 Inauguration and MLK Day … Interesting combination …

2013 Inauguration, Edward Lindsey:  Thoughtful words from my brother …

Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition. But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy. One President. One Congress. One Country. United today by more than what divides us. Congratulations, President Barrack Obama. May God bless you and our nation.

via Edward Lindsey.

Photo: Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party  will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition.   But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy.  One President.  One Congress.  One Country.  United today by more than what divides us.  Congratulations, President Barrack Obama.  May God bless you and our nation.

Martin Luther King Jr., quotes, holiday:  Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you dont see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. #martinlutherkingjr

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Photo: Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.,  Brene Brown:  I loved this post by Brene Brown “light, love and martin luther king, jr.” so I am sharing it in full …

 

I used to turn to this quote in the midst of crisis or tragedy (or whenever I was in personal struggle). Now I realize that what started as shared wisdom has become my central prayer and a daily practice for me.

Anger, judgment and blame are go-to emotions for me. This is especially true when I’m tired, anxious, or feeling vulnerable. When I’m not being mindful, I can try to overcome hate with hate. I can drop quickly into resentment and judgment.

When there is darkness in the world, I can slip into the dark place. I can start rehearsing tragedy and let my fear take over. I can turn to blame even though I know that blaming is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort and has nothing to do with holding people accountable.

This incredible wisdom from Martin Luther King has become a prayer to me because it is everything I believe about my faith. I want to stay in love when fear drives me to hate and judgement. I want to practice gratitude and cultivate joy in the darkness. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be afraid or sad or vulnerable, it simply means that reacting to tragedy by living in fear doesn’t create empathy, it breeds more fear.

Here’s to love and light. As an imperfect practice. As a daring prayer. Thank you, Dr. King.

via light, love and martin luther king, jr..

Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, anthropology,  13.7: Cosmos And Culture, NPR, bookshelf:  Another to add to the list …

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, Diamond questions the practice of psychologists who base their claims about human nature entirely on people from WEIRD — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic — societies. In fact, Diamond writes, people in small-scale societies, people who gather and hunt, herd animals or farm, may have figured out better ways than WEIRD ways to treat people, solve social problems and stay healthy.

So far, this sounds pretty much like an embrace of the cross-cultural diversity that we anthropologists work to understand, even to celebrate. So what’s the backlash all about?

via Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Mark Twain, A Biography, quotes, profanity: Interesting … I think I’ll send this to the person in my life who actively uses profanity. 🙂

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Mark Twain, A Biography

via Did Twain use the F-word?.

Downton Abbey, Speakeasy – WSJ:  In case I missed something I love these recaps.:)

What was Branson thinking? What do you think of Robert’s handling of financial matters up to this point? Did Ethel make the right decision?

via ‘Downton Abbey,’ Season 3, Episode 3: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

21+ Students,  drinking preferences, culture, college life, Davidson College:

Though 21-year-old students may drink more nights per week, they rarely feel like they “black-out” or get as drunk as they did when they were younger. It seems that as Davidson students get older, they develop more responsible drinking habits. When students turn 21, alcohol becomes much more accessible at court parties, Martin Court Apartments, and bars, and they thus feel less inclined to pre-game or aggressively drink.

via 21+ Students share drinking preferences – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

sustainability, money, justice, environment, Davidson College:  This is much bigger than I realized …

 

Now leading the sustainability charge at Davidson is Jeff Mittelstadt ’99, who returns to alma mater as the college’s first, full-time director of sustainability. A triple threat with masters’ degrees in environmental management (Duke), in business administration (UNC Chapel Hill) and in journalism and mass communications (UNC Chapel Hill), Mittelstadt likewise takes a three-pronged view of sustainability circa 2013.

 

“It’s a triple bottom line,” he says, “of economic prosperity, social justice, environmental integrity. It’s about not just how they conflict but how they can drive each other.”

 

via Sustainability 3.0: Money, Justice, Environment.

Carl Sandburg, unpublished, guns, poetry, “Revolver”: Very timely …

With the debate over gun control heating up, a retired volunteer at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made a timely find.

Ernie Gullerud, a former professor of social work at the university, came upon a previously unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg titled “A Revolver,” which addresses the issue of guns and violence.

“I’m no judge of what makes a great poem, but this one said so much and so succinctly and to the point. I thought ‘Golly, someone could have written this today,'” said Gullerud, 83.

It’s not clear when Sandburg typed the poem:

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.
 

via Unpublished Carl Sandburg poem about power of guns uncovered at U. of I. library – chicagotribune.com.

06
Jan
12

1.6.2012 … We three kings … Enjoy Epiphany, y’all!

Epiphany: So much for the southern Presbyterian in me … And having the tree down by new year’s day … Mine is coming down post epiphany!

Christmas Carols – We Three Kings – YouTube.

college life, stressbusters, massage:  innovative … I sure would love a free massage!

Cardenas is the student coordinator of Stressbusters, a group of undergraduates who provide classmates with a healthy way to manage the pressures of exams, papers, and College life in general. She and her cohorts bring free back rubs to students who have neither the time nor the money for professional massage — or who simply wake up with a stiff neck after huddling over a laptop for 10-12 hours at a stretch — in dorms and Houses across campus.

“Our goal is to bring relaxation and happiness to the Harvard community,” Cardenas said. “We want to alleviate students’ stress and promote the importance of self-care and of being physically and mentally healthy.“

Stressbusters was created in 1996 by Jordan Friedman when he was director of Columbia University’s health education program, and has grown into a national initiative that trains college students in stress prevention and management. The program came to Harvard in 2009 when Jeanne Mahon, director of the University’s Center for Wellness, saw the impact that it was having at other schools. Friedman’s own website claims that Stressbusters “now connects nearly 200,000 students and staff with stress reduction and wellness information” at campuses around the country.

via Calming influence | Harvard Gazette.

epigraphs, literature:  i am fascinated by a writer’s choice of an epigraph.  I really like to look back and figure out why the quote was chosen.

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. — Charles Lamb

(from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

Behind every great fortune there is a crime. — Balzac

(from The Godfather by Mario Puzo)

via Flavorwire » The 25 Greatest Epigraphs in Literature.

Uptown Downstairs Abbey, Red Nose Day, Comic Relief, mashups, LOLUptown Downstairs Abbey Part 1 – YouTube.

apps, Behance Network: Creative Portfolios & Galleries:  Another one to help in my goal for 2012.

Use Behance Network for iPhone to explore millions of creative projects by the world’s top creative talent. The app also offers the ultimate mobile portfolio that seamlessly syncs with your Behance projects.

via App Store – Behance Network: Creative Portfolios & Galleries.

diaries, anthologies, Andy Warhol, Mark Twain, 400 Years of New York Diaries, books:  Sounds interesting …

What Jack Kerouac’s existential divide has to do with earmuffs, 9/11, and Edison’s “mechanical mind.”

For the past four centuries, New York City has been courted, confabulated, and cursed, in public and in private, by the millions of citizens who have called it home. New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009 is a remarkable feat of an anthology by Teresa Carpenter, culled from the archives of libraries, museums, and private collections to reveal a dimensional mosaic portrait of the city through the journal entries of the writers, artists, thinkers, and tourists, both famous and not, who dwelled in its grid over the past 400 years — easily the most dynamic and important depiction of the city since E. B. White’s timeless Here Is New York.

In an ingenious touch, Carpenter arranges the entries by day of the year, rather than chronologically, which brings to the foreground certain common patterns of daily life that appear to shape our experience of the city, be it in 1697 or 1976. At its heart, however, the collection exudes a certain unflinching quality of the city, unshakable solid ground that stands tenacious beneath the tempestuous weather patterns of great wars and great loves and great losses that swirl over.

Every century produces a diarist who laments, ‘This is the worst catastrophe ever to befall New York!’ Surely it seems that way at the moment. The city takes the blow, catches its breath, then moves along to the insistent rhythm of the tides. New York, as it emerges from these pages, is by turns a wicket city, a compassionate city, a muscular city, a vulnerable city, an artistic wonder, an aesthetic disaster, but forever a resilient city — and one loved fiercely by its inhabitants.” ~ Teresa Carpenter

via From Andy Warhol to Mark Twain, 400 Years of New York Diaries | Brain Pickings.

iPad, solutions:  Should I try this … converting dvds to show on my iPad …

BreneBrown (@BreneBrown)

1/6/12 8:39 PM

I’ll try. RT @dpitkin: Install HandBrake to convert them to files and AirVideo to stream and convert them for your iPad, it works awesome!

 

24
Sep
11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Baseball After Moneyball – WSJ.com.

Lenka – The Show (With Lyrics) – YouTube.

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

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

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

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

Role of NCLB Law

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

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

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

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

The Basics of Knitting

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Some Landscapes: Lac d’Annecy.

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

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

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

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

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

via The 8 Craziest-Looking Food Trucks | Zagat.

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

All of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’s Tips

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

via foursquare :: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts :: Tips.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[SBtongue1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An anomaly is a mild way of putting it.

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

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

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

Physicists not involved in the experiment have been understandably skeptical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06
Feb
11

2.6.2011 … Super Bowl XLV … gLee … great day …

Why I do this…: There are a lot of reasons I started to do this “blog”.  Among them was that I did not want to bore my facebook friends with all my posts or send around e-mails to everyone who I thought had similar interests.  I have been doing this about a year now … and I love it when someone sends me a link that they think will interest me because it means that they read it and that they may, to some extent, share that interest.  It also keeps a dialogue going.  So thank you Elizabeth for the link to the Nashville native who is teaching in Cairo … see below

Egypt Uprising, blogposts: This young man’s perspective is very interesting.

Yesterday morning an angry man confronted me only one hundred meters from my apartment, yelling at me for being an agnahbee (foreigner). This is the first time that I have felt a serious threat directed at me since all of this began. Last night, the new prime minster and vice president of Egypt gave speeches about the crisis. Both referred to ambiguous foreign elements that have played a role in exacerbating the crisis. This morning men attempted to take a friend of mine living in the wealthy island neighborhood of Zamalek to the police as he tried to cross the bridge into downtown on the way to Tahrir Square. Several hotels where journalists are staying have been broken into and ransacked by the pro-government thugs. It seems that anti-foreign feelings are beginning to be presented by more than just the thugs acting on orders from the government.

The mood in Cairo has shifted abruptly. The consensus among Egyptians supporting the movement for democratic reforms and the end of Mubarak’s regime has been weakened by the burdens of the struggle—no work and limited food. Mubarak’s small concessions seem to have placated the least resolved of the protesters. The government’s strategy to divide the people and sow uncertainty seems to be working. The joyous mood of Tuesday’s peaceful demonstrations has disappeared and in its place an angry suspicion of foreigners is creeping in. It is no longer safe for me to remain in Cairo as I had hoped. It seems that it was naive of me to expect that I would be able to in the first place.

Though I am no longer in Cairo, I travel with the people in Tahrir Square on my mind and close to my heart. There is nothing I can

via ReadAbroad: Egyptian Protests–Departing from Cairo, Accepting Naivety.

Super Bowl XLV, Charlie Peprah:  Great story … you must read the whole thing …

“I think Charlie takes right after my dad,” she said, adding, “He would have been so proud of him.”

via To Super Bowl via Ghana – Charlie Peprah and Family’s Journey – NYTimes.com.

Super Bowl XLV, The White House, The President, Bill O’Reilly: OK, I would be happy to be bipartisan for a few hours!  Comments about O’Reilly’s 12 minute interview are very interesting … protocol … respect for the office.  I personally think it should carry over into how he is treated in the media in general … not just in person.

And no, the guests won’t be grouped based on the team they’re rooting for. With a renewed Obama push for bipartisanship, I’m told “the whole point is to bring people together.”

via Obama Super Bowl Bash Has Pols, Jennifer Lopez, but First a Pre-game O’Reilly Interview.

Super Bowl XLV, advertising:

Forget the regular refrain of, “Are you ready for some football?” When it comes to the showpiece game of the year, isn’t it all about the advertisements?

via Looking at the Buzz Behind this Year’s Super Bowl Ads – TIME NewsFeed.

UNC, basketball: What can I say … this makes no sense. Drew clicks Heels – North Carolina – NewsObserver.com.

LOLYouTube – We Wish.

travel, London, lists: 10 ways to cheer up if you’re sad in London – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet.

World Economic Forum, class issue, followup, bucket list: Davos seems like the perfect mix of people wanting to come together to do the right thing for the world.  I guess there will always be a divide.

WAS this the year when class came to Davos? To many outsiders, the event reeks of privilege, but from the inside its spirit has long attempted to be egalitarian. The bespectacled figure clumping along in the snow in his ski jacket could on closer inspection turn out to be a billionaire, a green campaigner, central banker or a politician. Yet somehow each year the divisions grow. Ever more of the plutocrats seem to travel by limousine, rather than foot. (The telltale indicator of status remains footwear: the more impractical the shoe, the clearer it is that the owner has arrived by car). There seems to be more queue-jumping by the powerful. Security is the obvious excuse: police kept a herd of freezing people outside one hotel for close to half an hour on the pretext that a Russian politician (and his courtly motorcade) might, just might, appear.

Class is also part of the conversation this year, especially in the Anglo-Saxon business world. There is a growing realisation that the pain is disproportionately hitting the bottom of society, an acknowledgement that it is not going to change soon—and, perhaps more selfishly, a worry that it will result in a backlash of some sort. Thus British businesspeople, especially those with consumer businesses, fret what will happen when governments cuts begin to bite in northern towns where many households depend on the state (either through benefits or as an employer). But the biggest worry is in America.

via Davos diary: Class consciousness comes to Davos | The Economist.

FaceBook, novel uses, random: Modern day uses of technology … So next time you find something .. put it on FaceBook …

“TRYING to find the owner of a red Pentax camera I found on the corner of 34th and 7th Ave in NYC. With your help, I hope to find the camera owner and return this camera to him/her.”

Adelyn Zhou posted this message on her Facebook page on Thursday, January 27th, minutes after picking up a stray digital device in New York’s garment district. She added a selection of 13 snapshots from the camera, showing a hotel logo (but no name), a room number, the room’s interior, and a bunch of companions. Ms Zhou then tagged the photo album with some of her own friends, hoping someone might recognise something (or, less probably, somebody) that could help identify the owner.

Barely an hour later, her wall and message box were crammed with comments, suggestions—and the name of the hotel. An enterprising friend had discovered it through a Google map search of the garment district. Three hours on, the camera was back with its rightful owner, a grateful 16-year-old French tourist who was staying at the New Yorker Hotel, a stone’s throw away from where the camera had been found. (The tips kept coming for another few days—one amateur sleuth, for instance, accurately identified the hotel by its décor.)

In 2008, a website called IFoundYourCamera.net was set up in Winnipeg, Canada, with the express purpose of aiding similar searches. Honest finders of lost cameras post photos on the site, along with information on where and when it was found. About 30 cameras have been returned to their owners since the launch of the site, according to Matt Preprost, its founder. That is about 10% of the searches initiated on the site, which now gets thousands of visits each week.

The idea is noble, and clever, but it needs scale for the true potential of network effects to kick in. So, Ms Zhou plumped instead for Facebook which, with its 500m registered users, is more than just a social network. It is the world’s ultimate lost and found.

via Crowdsourced lost and found: Lostandfoundbook | The Economist.

icons, politics, lists: interesting list …

Feb. 6 marks the 100th birthday of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Few political figures in recent memory have matched the Gipper’s charisma or enduring appeal. We look at other world leaders whose legacies have stood the test of time

via Mohandas Gandhi – Top 25 Political Icons – TIME.

quotes, twitter, Mark Twain:  In case you were wondering, twitter is one of my best sources.

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old ~ #MarkTwain

via Twitter / @Jane Austen LIVES: When your friends begin to ….

twitter, random, LOL:

According to twitoaster.com the Starbucks cup tweet from yesterday was 5th most popular tweet throughout twitter for the day.

via Twitter / @PostSecret: According to twitoaster.co ….

twitter, libraries:

public libraries are not “middle class pleasure.” They are a universal good & a lifeline to people who can’t afford books. #saveourlibraries

via Twitter / @rosamundi: public libraries are not ” ….

twitter: There is a website that keeps list of the most popular tweets … tweet, tweet …

Most popular Tweets of the week (1 to 20) Ranking the 100 most replied and/or retweeted tweets this week, worldwide. To discourage “cheating”, this list is ordered by distinct users (i.e. 10 replies from the same user will count for 1, not for 10). Congratulations if one of your tweets made this Top 100 😉

via Most popular Tweets of the week.

csf, faith and spirituality:  Can a corporation have and maintain a Christian purpose?

Considering Chick-fil-A’s conservative Christian mission, perhaps the most striking feature of the recent controversy is how unusual it is for the company. As the chain continues to grow, they may find it more difficult to avoid the culture war.

via Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on restaurant’s Christian DNA – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

BofA, misleading headlines, banking, journalism:  The headline of this story only mentions BofA  …  JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup Inc  and Wells Fargo & Co are all co-defendants … others are still appealing … I think they should get credit for moving forward … this makes them look like the big bad wolf …

The largest U.S. bank by assets is among the more than two dozen U.S., Canadian and European lenders named as defendants in the class-action litigation, which in 2009 consolidated lawsuits filed across the country.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) are among the other defendants named in the case, court records show.

Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace in an email said the bank has already changed its overdraft practices, eliminating fees for debit transactions and significantly lowering fees for customers who overdraw excessively.

She also said the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender has “fully accrued funds” to cover the settlement.

via B of A to pay $410 million to settle overdraft lawsuit | Reuters.

globalization, multiculturalism:  Interesting …

Faced with growing alarm about Islamic militants who have made Britain one of Europe’s most active bases for terrorist plots, Prime Minister David Cameron has mounted an attack on the country’s decades-old policy of “multiculturalism,” saying it has encouraged “segregated communities” where Islamic extremism can thrive.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich on Saturday, Mr. Cameron condemned what he called the “hands-off tolerance” in Britain and other European nations that had encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups “to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

via Cameron Criticizes ‘Multiculturalism’ in Britain – NYTimes.com.

24
Jan
11

1.24.2011 … coffee with friends then ChristCare where we will discuss I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner

ChristCare, curriculum:  I Am The Good Shepherd  by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html

random, Mark Twain:  New autobiography revives careers for Mark Twain impersonators.  But you have to have the mustache!  Mark Twain Impersonators Gain Popularity – NYTimes.com.

literature, southern literature, Elizabeth Musser, Atlanta:  I am a little miffed they left out our own Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser … given the setting for the photo shoot. Do you think it is because of the genre she writes .. Christian historical fiction …

Is there a book club in America that hasn’t yet thrilled to The Help? Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel has lasted some 22 months on the New York Times hardcover fiction list—and will soon be a DreamWorks movie. “Kitty” Stockett far right, in fact, is leading a new wave of southern female writers who might look like belles but who write fearlessly about the region’s troubled legacies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Typically, these women left the South in their 20s, heading for New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But in time they came home. And they’re now turning Atlanta into the most vibrant new literary scene outside of Brooklyn.

via Belles, Books, And Candor | Culture | Vanity Fair.

movies, memorable phrases:

Have we heard the last (truly memorable) word from Hollywood?

Probably not, but it’s been a while since the movies had everybody parroting a great line.

via We’re missing lines that had us at ‘hello’ – CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, random, products, design, Daniel Pink:  Saw this in the Petco flyer last week … maybe it is just me but I think it is LOL hysterical.  But really it is just a ball … with a design element to humor the humans.  So would you pay $12 for the equivalent of a used tennis ball to the dog?  I wonder if this product meets Daniel Pink’s definition of elegant design?  If you don’t know about Daniel Pink … check out the blog post about him which contains an interview.

Amazon.com: Moody Pet Humunga Stache Ball Dog Toy: Patio, Lawn & Garden.

“Design Thinking is solving problems in elegant ways” – Daniel Pink

via Elegant Design For Your Whole New Mind | Life In Perpetual Beta.

technology, culture, Jane Austen, bookshelf:  Another book that will be getting a great deal of commentary!

What I’m against is a kind of technological promiscuity, where that technology, so perfect in that [Abu Dhabi] circumstance, is the technology you think is perfect for people to bring into a board meeting, when they need to be working on a problem together. In that case it’s not the technology of choice. They’re not physically present with the people they need to bond with and deeply connect with, and need to make very consequential decisions with. I hate the metaphor of addiction: it implies we have to get it away, give it away, wean off. This is great stuff. It’s not heroin. It’s just something we need to learn to use when most appropriate, powerful, and in our best interest.

You mention how when people see the little red light on their BlackBerry, indicating a message has arrived, they feel utterly compelled to grab it. Do you personally experience that compulsion?

I recognize it with my email. Somebody said of email, “It’s the place for hope in life.” It reminds me of how in Jane Austen, carriages are always coming, you’re waiting, it could be Mr. Bingley’s invitation to a ball. There’s some sense that the post is always arriving in Jane Austen. There’s something about email that carries the sense that that’s where the good news will come. I did a hysterical interview with an accountant about why he felt so strongly about his texts. He said he might get a Genius award! I said, “I don’t think they give those to accountants.” And he said, “But you know what I mean.” He was trying to express that anything could happen on email. Anything could happen! I try to figure out what it is that this little red light means to people. I think it’s that place for hope and change and the new, and what can be different, and how things can be what they’re not now. And I think we all want that.

via “Alone Together”: An MIT Professor’s New Book Urges Us to Unplug.

women, politics, stereotypes:  A strong American woman is stereotyped a cowgirl … interesting article.

America has no tales of Amazons or of Atalanta; our national narrative does not chronicle the defeat of an armada by a virgin queen nor a teenage Joan leading her army into battle. American history includes no Cleopatras or Hatshepsuts; no Trung Sisters, who defended Vietnam from the Chinese in the first century; and no Catherines, great or otherwise. The mythos of our founding revolves entirely around fathers, save for the seamstress Betsy Ross and the querulous spouse Abigail Adams.

What we do have, to serve as the foundational fantasy of female strength and individualism we’ve agreed upon as embodying American power, are cowgirls: Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, the outlaws, frontier women and pioneers who pushed West, shot sharp, talked tough and sometimes drew blood. Frontier womanhood has emerged as one of the only historically American models of aspirational femininity available to girls — passive princesses and graceful ballerinas not being native to this land — and one of the only blueprints for commanding female comportment in which they are regularly encouraged to invest or to mimic.

via Only Cowgirls Run for Office – NYTimes.com.

blogposts, economy, Great Recession, future, quotes, Mark Twain:  Again, my favorite Presbyterian minister blogger takes two articles I noted and pulls them together to say what I wish I had said … I wish I had his quick mind!  And of course he quotes my favorite … Mark Twain. Thanks, Jim

Mark Twain said it best:

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Religious people know this to be true. I am not referring to resurrection (a dimension of Christian faith, for sure) but to religious belief as a general phenomenon. Belief is a dynamic reality. It impacts attitude, instills confidence, generates hope, impels certain actions. Of these there is not a lot of confidence and hope to be found in the usual portrait of our country’s health these days. If you believe we are dying, die we will. The truth is very different though.

The USA remains a genuine heavyweight. Time to start fighting like one. Fighting, that is, not with anyone, but against despair and resignation.

“It ain’t over till it’s over” and it ain’t over!

via Not dead yet « Hopelens Blog.

blogpost, media, religion, prayers: So my other favorite Presbyterian minister blogger … the younger … nails this one in my opinion.  I will use his prayer this week!  Thanks, Marthame!

There are those who say that the church is in the midst of a historical moment unlike any since the Protestant Reformation. And just as the “new media” of the printing press made Martin Luther possible, our world is being changed daily by new technologies and new ways of communicating. Is it time for the church to, dare I say, “change”?

In some ways, we have been standing by the shore, doing what our ancestors have taught us, faithfully tossing our nets into the sea, pulling in a catch, and doing it all over again. And as uprooting as it might be, maybe we need to listen for that voice of Jesus telling us to leave all that behind.

Time for a Change.

NYC, change, travel:  Maybe I better get there soon!

CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof.It continues: That diner on the corner for decades — closed. The beer garden down the street — now a Starbucks. The block once home to clusters of independent businesses — thriving as a big-box store.

And last month, another piece of the old New York slipped away with the demise of the city’s Off-Track Betting parlors. It’s enough to make old-school New Yorkers bristle.

Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York — the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America — has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable.

“What draws people to New York is its uniqueness. So when something goes, people feel sad about it,” says Suzanne Wasserman, director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York.

“I think that’s also part of the New York character,” she says, “that ‘Things were better when …'”

Change is constant, and few cities change faster than New York. But at what cost? Where is the line between progress and lost distinctiveness?

via As edgy NYC disappears, does its character go too?  | ajc.com.

gardens:  I friend told me about this.  I am putting it on my 2011 calendar for November!  Thanks, Maxwell for the idea.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden

Begin with a container. Plant an array of bulbs in layers now, and flowers will appear at intervals throughout spring. Think of the tiny irises as appetizers to the season, followed by the grape hyacinths. Next, delight in miniature narcissus. Build up to a feast of large daffodils. Then, as the icing on the cake, finish with a topping of violas that bloom from fall through late spring. The best part is that prep time takes less than 30 minutes.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden – SouthernLiving.com.

Norwich England, Great Britain, sense of place, travel, bucket list:  OK, so I loved Norwich from this article.  It seems to have a real sense of place.  I am adding it to my list.  How could you not be intriqued by a place described as a book lovers/writers paradise  and this ““I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.””

Norwich, a two-hour train ride northeast from London, has increasingly become a refuge for writers fleeing the hectic pace of the capital’s publishing scene. At first glance it appears to be just another charming medieval town, with a fantastically preserved castle and a 900-year-old cathedral. But look a little deeper and you’ll notice the wellspring of author readings and literary festivals, featuring recent talks by Booker Prize winners like John Banville and Penelope Lively.

The comfy cafes within the town’s narrow old lanes are full of aspiring writers pecking away at laptops, dreaming of becoming the next Ian McEwan or Kazuo Ishiguro, both of whom got their start here at the University of East Anglia’s esteemed creative writing master’s program.

Mr. Ishiguro was so struck by Norwich and its surrounding county that he used it as inspiration for his 2005 novel “Never Let Me Go” (though the book was actually set in East Sussex, the 2010 movie adaptation was largely filmed in Norfolk County, home to Norwich). “I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.”

via Norwich, England, a Book-Lover’s Town – NYTimes.com.

green:  I knew it was coming.  Duke Power is giving customers a dozen bulbs for free.  I am interested to see if they really cut my bill.

The brightest bulb in most homes for more than a century is fading toward darkness this year as California turns out the light on the century-old incandescent.

Beginning Jan. 1, the state began phasing out certain energy-sucking bulbs, federal standards the rest of the country will enact next year.

Manufacturers will no longer make the traditional 100-watt bulb and stores will eventually sell out of current supplies. Consumers will have to choose from more efficient bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs.

“These standards will help cut our nation’s electric bill by over $10 billion a year and will save the equivalent electricity as 30 large power plants,” said Noah Horowitz a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That translates into a whole lot less global warming pollution being emitted.”

The change is part of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act that President George Bush signed in 2007, to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. California was allowed to adopt the national standard one year earlier.

via It’s lights out for the incandescent bulb in Calif  | ajc.com.

branding, advertising, Starbucks: just interesting …

The rise of the affluent society has left people with lots of time and talent to spare, Mr Shirky argues. For decades they squandered this cognitive surplus watching television. Today, thanks to the internet, they can also channel it into more productive pursuits.

For a surprising number of people these productive pursuits involve worrying about companies’ logos. Howard Schultz, the boss of Starbucks, recently announced that his company would mark its 40th anniversary this March by changing its logo a bit. The words “Starbucks” and “coffee” will disappear. And the mermaid, or siren, will be freed from her circle.

Starbucks wants to join the small club of companies that are so recognisable they can rely on nothing but a symbol: Nike and its swoosh; McDonald’s and its golden arches; Playboy and its bunny; Apple and its apple. The danger is that it will join the much larger class of companies that have tried to change their logos only to be forced to backtrack by an electronic lynch mob.

via Schumpeter: Logoland | The Economist.

quotes, Reynolds Price, RIP:  Given his recent death, I think  a quote from Reynolds Price is appropriate.

“… what I still ask for daily – for life as long as I have work to do, and work as long as I have life.” — Reynolds Price, A Whole New Life

In A Whole New Life, however, he steps from behind that roster of achievements to present us with a more personal story, a narrative as intimate and compelling as any work of the imagination. In 1984, a large cancer was discovered in his spinal cord (“The tumor was pencil-thick and gray-colored, ten inches long from my neck-hair downward”). Here, for the first time, Price recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction (one American in three will experience some from of cancer). He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and the radiation that temporarily arrests it (but hurries his loss of control of his lower body); the occasionally comic trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; two further radical surgeries; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; an eventual discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life. Beyond the particulars of pain and mortal illness, larger concerns surface here — a determination to get on with the human interaction that is so much a part of this writer’s much-loved work, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, the return to his prolific work, and the “now appalling, now astonishing grace of God.” A Whole New Life offers more than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation; it offers honest insight, realistic encouragement and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or who know someone who does or will.

via A whole new life – Google Books.

green, design, wildlife:  Special provisions for the bears cougars, bobcats, elk and deer …

At a picturesque spot in the mountains near the ski resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, Colo., two streams of traffic converge: people driving east and west on Interstate 70, and animals — black bears, cougars, bobcats, elk and deer — headed north and south to feed and mate. When they collide, the animal is almost always killed and the vehicle badly damaged, even if the driver is lucky enough to escape injury.

The obvious solution is a bridge or a tunnel for the animals, but how do you build one they will use?

via Contest Seeks to Avert Collisions With Animals on I-70 in Colorado – NYTimes.com.

politics, GA politics, David Ralston-GA House Speaker, really stupid:  Since I often comment on the really stupid things we do in our youth, why is it that our politicians are the next group of people who do really stupid things?

House Speaker David Ralston and his family spent part of Thanksgiving week in Europe on a $17,000 economic development mission paid for by lobbyists interested in building a high-speed train line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Commonwealth Research Associates, a D.C.-based consulting firm, paid for the trip, which also included Ralston’s chief of staff Spiro Amburn and his spouse, to Germany and the Netherlands the week of Nov. 21-27, according to records filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.

The trip was the most expensive single expenditure reported by a lobbyist since at least 2005.

via Ralston, staff and families took $17,000 lobbyist-funded trip to Germany  | ajc.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, The Supreme Court, Separation of Powers:  Haven’t decided what I think of this other than I would like to be there.  Do you have an opinion?  Is this appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, described just last week by a Washington law professor as “the first real celebrity justice” for his controversial public pronouncements, will come to Capitol Hill on Monday to lecture about constitutional law to some earnest members of the House of Representatives. He was invited to do so by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party activist in Congress, as part of her effort to educate lawmakers about the nation’s founding legal documents.

Although Justice Scalia has been criticized in some quarters for accepting the invitation, it is not unreasonable of him to consider the opportunity to speak face-to-face with his interbranch partners as a rare and welcome one. And although many observers see the effort as a partisan ploy between and among conservative ideologues, there are plenty of nonpartisan things Professor Scalia can lecture about. For example:

via Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan.

South Africa:  11 official languages is very difficult … interesting to watch how this is resolved.

UNDER the 1996 constitution, all 11 of South Africa’s official languages “must enjoy parity of esteem and be treated equitably”. In practice English, the mother tongue of just 8% of the people, increasingly dominates all the others. Its hegemony may even threaten the long-term survival of the country’s African languages, spoken as the mother tongue of 80% of South Africans, despite the government’s repeated promises to promote and protect indigenous languages and culture.

Under apartheid, there were just two official languages, English and Afrikaans, a variant of Dutch with a dash of French, German, Khoisan (spoken by so-called Bushmen and Hottentots), Malay and Portuguese. Pre-colonial African languages were relegated to the black townships and tribal “homelands”. Even there, English was often chosen as the medium of education in preference to the inhabitants’ mother tongues. Black South Africans increasingly rejected Afrikaans as the language of the main oppressor; English was a symbol of advancement and prestige.

Today, 16 years after the advent of black-majority rule, English reigns supreme. Not only is it the medium of business, finance, science and the internet, but also of government, education, broadcasting, the press, advertising, street signs, consumer products and the music industry. For such things Afrikaans is also occasionally used, especially in the Western Cape province, but almost never an African tongue. The country’s Zulu-speaking president, Jacob Zuma, makes all his speeches in English. Parliamentary debates are in English. Even the instructions on bottles of prescription drugs come only in English or Afrikaans.

via South Africa’s languages: Tongues under threat | The Economist.

followup, Keith Olbermann, media:  Seems there is a lot behind the curtains …

One NBC News executive said on Sunday: “Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.”

via Years of Strife Caught Up With Olbermann at MSNBC – NYTimes.com.

 




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