Posts Tagged ‘me

25
Jan
14

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga …

I am having very strange FB conversations tonight … naked yoga and pilgrimages to Iona … some things just do not fit in the same “space.”

pilgrimages, Iona, sacred spaces, thin places:

I have been pondering pilgrimages … Iona is one of several that intrigue me. Your thoughts?  And some fun conversations … Wow, a

church youth group to Iona next summer. It sounds like a fabulous experience …  And I am very interested to know if the youth group “gets it”, i.e., does it open them up to a “thin place” type experience or is it merely a wonderful time together in a foreign country. My children gained much insight on mission trips regarding world poverty and Christian mission, but I never felt it stimulated “spiritual awakening.” But I did not think my children were ready for that either.

 

Your Invitation to Iona: a sacred place, in time and space.

So I assumed there would be a labyrinth … It is lovely …

It isn’t advertised on a map or in tourist brochures. Our guides knew about this labyrinth constructed in recent years.  Getting there was a walking pilgrimage of sorts. Over an hour each way across the island through lanes, fields and even part of a small golf course.

It is constructed of stones and the grass walkway is full of tiny daisies.  You can’t see it well in the photo, but if you look closely towards the sea, there is another smaller labyrinth.

This is the beach where Columba, the famous Catholic priest and missionary self-exiled himself from Ireland and founded a monastery that flourished during the dark ages and where many people from all over Europe were sent to study. All of this can be easily researched on the internet if you want to learn more.

I can talk about the feeling.  The location is on the southwest part of the island – cliffs on one side and to the right of this photo is the landing place of Columba and his twelve companions.  Pilgrims over many years have brought stones to leave on that portion of the beach, several mounds.  On this day the weather was overcast and there was a slight breeze.  It is a sheltered area and very inviting and unpretentious.  The builders of this labyrinth took great care in the location and also the variety of stones marking the labyrinth could be a book in itself – probably a poetry book as they convey imagery and metaphor.

It is a huge contrast to the Chartres labyrinth, but equally splendid.  I started humming a little tune walking the labyrinth at Chartres and found myself humming it again at Iona.

I first walked the smaller and newer one. In the middle I was inspired to do the movement pattern for the elements I recently learned while at Findhorn. Then I went and explored the beach. There was activity on the next door beach with the mounds of stones and we found out later that Neil Oliver who did the BBC Scotland Series (find it if you can) was filming a piece about coast lines.

Never mind. When I walked the larger labyrinth the experience was one of integration. There is the current pilgrimage, but also family and friends came to mind and locations that have meaning in my life. I thought about the elements and the creatures. I also felt a strong connection with the new Eagle Nest Labyrinth in Surrey.

Then thoughts related to relationship, lineage, life story came to mind. Three threads emerged – one is the ancestry of my family history, one is my current relationships and  story and the third is that other story line, the archetypal one where I might imagine or remember  living in other times and cultures other than those into which I was born.

All three threads are resources worthy of exploration. Perhaps there are more threads I will find along the way.

via Labyrinth Isle of Iona | ON THE MOVE.

coed naked yoga studio, NYC, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Interesting is one way to describe it!!

If you were offended by the transparency of the yoga pants Lululemon recalled last March, stay away from Bold & Naked, the first coed naked yoga studio in New York City.

Owners, Joschi Schwarz and Monika Werner believe that naked yoga allows participants to find a deeper connection with the world around them. When the popularity of Schwarz’s all-male naked yoga classes in Le Male Yoga in Chelsea rose, he opened Bold & Naked with Werner.

The studio offers various combinations of clothed, naked, same sex, and coed classes. And regarding the naked sessions and Tantric Yogassage offered: “If you are looking for an orgasm, you are in the wrong place,” the Bold & Naked website states.

“By shedding their clothes and practicing yoga in the nude, students literally drop the masks and labels they hide behind all day,” the website says. \”Practicing yoga naked frees you from negative feelings about your body and allows you to be more accepting of your physical imperfections.”

via Coed Naked Yoga Studio Opens in NYC | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And now some conversation excerpts …

“what? Ok this is just crazy”

“So many bad thoughts and visuals come to mind–all I can say is NO.”

“coed no less …”

“…downward dog (eeeeeewwwwwww)”

“Just the thought of this is horrifying….”

“Woah!”

“I really doubt that it would free me of negative thoughts of my body image. On the contrary. I already find some coed yoga classes less than desirable.”

“This is just wrong! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, not gross me out”

” I hope the woman in the picture consented to its internet distribution!”

“She must have or else her “child’s pose” would not have been so modestly contained!”

” I love Outside magazine’s postings … but I must admit this one threw me. I am still laughing at the thought.

“Pretty amazing that’s even legal!”

And the studio is called … Bold & Naked … LOL. I wonder if they have anybody horribly out of shape who \”boldly\” ventures in … At least the name warns folks!”

“you can check it out next time you’re here. I think the first class is free. Guessing it’s hot naked bodies with whips, but who knows!”

“Why don’t you go CW and tell me about it first!!”

“Don’t be so judgmental!”

“spiked dog collar optional”

“And it would be impossible for everything to “blade the side wall” during a side plank sorry–it’s the bad visual thing again).”

“you could come incognito and write an amazing article! We could wear those sheer outfits that J-Lo and Beyonce wear that look like you’re naked but you’re actually covered head-to-toe, and wear wigs and fake tattoos, and take on a discreet unpresuming attitude. Ha ha!”

“There is presbyterian minister in our midst. Oh, no … He’s been to Iona recently, maybe his next spiritual awakening will be at B&N. LOL”

” I want to come too. I could have air-brushed abs on my faux-naked outfit.”

“And you could wear your beard and pink wig!!”

“you would be the über cool one,  you might get  a cover story with that hot model look.”

“LOL … I am not sure what do do with this conversation … Add it to my clipping service? I might get bounced.”

” You asked for it–posting a naked yoga story!”

” I actually thought twice before I hit post.”

” Well, they do refer to Iona as “a thin place”! Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not necessarily advocating B&N Yoga…I just recognize that it may be okay for some people…if not me.”

“glad you hit “post”–this has been entertaining!”

“It will disappear …

USIS Fraud Charges, Edward Snowden, TopDailyInfo.com:

The DOJ said that between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks, which was about 40 percent of the total submissions.

“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.

The payments to the firm ranged $95 to $2,500, depending on the type of background investigation. The lawsuit requested for a jury trial and seeks to recover treble damages and penalties.

Through a software known as “Blue Zone,” USIS was able to quickly make an electronic “Review Complete” notation without fully going through the mandated review process, DOJ said.

“By using Blue Zone, USIS was able to substantially increase the number of background investigations that could be dumped in a short time period,” according to the filing.

via USIS Fraud Charges: U.S. Brings Fraud Charges Against Firm That Vetted Edward Snowden | TopDailyInfo.com.

Leo Tolstoy, quotes:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”-Leo Tolstoy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech:

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

“And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”

via DrMartinLutherKingJr.com – Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: Audio, Text And Photographs.

CEO Brian Moynahan, WEF, Davos:

Why do bank CEOs come to Davos?

We come to learn.

Its a chance for all the CEOs of all the institutions across the world to sit across the table …  and have a dialogue.

We come because our clients are here.

via Moynihan Says BofA Trading Consistent Amid Taper: Video – Bloomberg.

“Jerusalem”, cookbooks, NYTimes.com:  A friend is posting recipes from this cookbook.  I’m intrigued.

The first symptoms of “Jerusalem” fever appeared on New Year’s Eve: a friend rushed over at a party, breathless, her eyes bright.

“We have to do an all-‘Jerusalem’ dinner!” she panted, then immediately called dibs on making the chicken with clementines and arak.

“Jerusalem: A Cookbook” was written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, chefs who grew up on opposite sides of the divided city, Mr. Tamimi in the Arab East, Mr. Ottolenghi in the Jewish West. Both left Israel decades ago, live in London and are hardly celebrity chefs, although Mr. Ottolenghi’s last book, “Plenty,” was admired here among the vegetarian set.

The book’s recipes are traditional in Jerusalem, or loosely inspired by the city, gathering influences from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cooks who live there, with flavors from almost everywhere else: Iran, Poland, Syria, Italy. Many of them have long lists of ingredients, including spices like sumac and za’atar, and are based on vegetables and grains. Chickpeas, lamb, eggplant and eggs turn up over and over again.

via ‘Jerusalem’ Has All the Right Ingredients – NYTimes.com.

global warming,  Forgotten WWI Battle, Peio’s war museum, Motherboard:

The local community has been laboring for years now to reveal the remains of this largely forgotten war. In 2004, Maurizio Vicenzi, a local mountain guide and head of the Peio’s war museum, discovered the bodies of three soldiers hanging upside down from an ice wall at an altitude of 12,000 feet—victims of one the highest front lines in history. Multiple findings followed. In one rare find, a team discovered a hidden ice tunnel, that, after being melted open with huge ventilators, turned out to house an enormous wooden structure used as a transportation station for ammunition and supplies.

All bodies that have since emerged pass through the office of Daniel Gaudio, a forensic anthropologist tasked to trace the identities of the war victims. Despite the fact that in most cases he’s able to extract the DNA from the corpses, he rarely succeeds. They’re missing contextual information, he says, that is necessary to determine the possible whereabouts of the families of the war victims.

To date, more than 80 bodies have appeared from the depths of the glacier. And more will surely follow. On the Italian side alone more than 750,000 soldiers died in battle, according to historian Mark Thompson, author of The White War. Next summer, archeological teams will continue their search for more remains of icy melee. And the bodies are certain to keep on coming—climate change looks certain to continue, even accelerate, the thaw.

For now, it’s winter. Not far from the place where the soldiers were first discovered lies Peio, a ski resort where Italians, Austrians, Germans and Russians are once again sharing the same mountain. They do so more peacefully now.

via Global Warming Is Thawing Out the Frozen Corpses of a Forgotten WWI Battle | Motherboard.

education, teaching, American History, WickedLocal.com, race v. diversity, civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

Unfortunately, the alternative may be that students never learn anything about Bob Moses at all, or about America’s founding contradiction.  “Race has always been at the heart of American History,” Branch said, and a glance at the headlines or the balkanized cafeterias of today’s high schools demonstrates that race – or it’s modernized, diluted form, “diversity,” are as relevant today as ever.  But if we knock U.S. history out of the curriculum and reduce the civil rights struggle to a non-threatening, non-controversial “MLK was a great man who had a dream”  cartoon, how will our children and grandchildren come to understand their country?

via Not teaching history – – WickedLocal.com.

James Cone,  Taylor Branch,  MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality,  YouTube: 

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Theologian James Cone and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch join Bill to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King\’s vision of economic justice in addition to racial equality, and why so little has changed for America\’s most oppressed.

via ▶ James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality – YouTube.

Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden, Garden and Gun, Lincliff, Louisville KY:

Crime novelist and her husband transform the gardens of their 100-year-old Louisville home.

Kinsey Millhone, the spunky protagonist of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, wouldn’t be caught dead spading compost onto a perennial bed. “I hate nature. I really do,” the fictional detective proclaims in F Is for Fugitive. Grafton, who has called Millhone her “alter ego,” admits she once shared those sentiments. How, then, to account for the garden transformation taking place at Grafton’s 1912 estate, Lincliff? Perched above the Ohio River eight miles east of downtown Louisville, the grounds were a vine-tangled mess when Grafton and her husband, Steve Humphrey, bought the place in 2000. Today, the once-crumbling fountain trickles and shimmers, boxwood parterres have been trimmed in-to shape, and a handful of spectacular new features, including an intricate knot garden, grace the property.

Humphrey, a philosophy of physics professor raised in south-central Los Angeles, is an equally unlikely suspect. “We had a tiny yard,” he says. “My father made the kids get up early on Sunday morning and hedge and weed. I never liked yard work, especially when forced to do it at gunpoint.”

The turnaround appears to be the work of professionals, but the couple swears no landscape designers played a part. So whodunit?

Upon further questioning, the truth emerges. “Something clicked when I met Sue,” Humphrey explains. “We rented a house when I was a graduate student at Ohio State, and I planted a vegetable garden. When we bought a house in Santa Barbara, I got into roses. I realized I love creating gardens.”

Grafton has a confession of her own: She’s becoming a garden lover, too. “Steve has taught me a lot about the virtues and benefits of a well-cared-for property,” she says.

Grafton grew up in Louisville but as a young woman, rebellious and burning with ambition, moved to California to become a writer. “When I left the state of Kentucky, it was ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, I’m out of here!’” Grafton says. Decades later, after penning dozens of best sellers, she felt the pull of home. “I’ve been to a lot of places in the world. Coming back here, I realized Kentucky is quite beautiful. I’m proud to be a resident of this state.”

The couple’s original plan to build a house changed when Humphrey, touring a riverfront lot, scaled a hill and glimpsed Lincliff, a long-abandoned stuccoed Georgian Revival mansion. Their real estate agent told them the property was slated to be divided and sold off in small parcels. Smitten, they bought it all.

via Sue Grafton’s Kentucky Garden | Garden and Gun.

emotional intelligence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , Hitler, Atlantic Mobile:

Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence. When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Dr. King demonstrated remarkable skill in managing his own emotions and in sparking emotions that moved his audience to action. As his speechwriter Clarence Jones reflected, King delivered “a perfectly balanced outcry of reason and emotion, of anger and hope. His tone of pained indignation matched that note for note.”

Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language. Practicing his hand gestures and analyzing images of his movements allowed him to become “an absolutely spellbinding public speaker,” says the historian Roger Moorhouse—“it was something he worked very hard on.” His name was Adolf Hitler.

via The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence – Atlantic Mobile.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers: Interesting! From a Davidson Classmate …

This is a great resource. 46,000 sermons from 100 AD to today indexed by scripture verse and author. Amazing. Pick a verse and read a sermon by Augustine or Chrysostom or Luther or Wesley or Barth. Many hundreds of ministers and thousands of sermons. This has been compiled by a patient and friend of mine over the past 20 + years. (He doesn’t sleep much. The product of his insomnia is now available to all of us!) He is talking to a number of seminaries about utilizing this resource. Please pass around to ministers, academics, theologians, Christians, students of the Word, and the intellectually curious. Check out this amazing resource.

46,000+ HISTORIC SERMONS

Indexed by primary Biblical Text for simple Searching

via Classic Sermon Index – Online Sermons by Famous Historic Preachers.

man’s best friend, cats, me: This is so my house … two 12-year old bassets v. one 10-year-old black cat. Cat wins every time!!

via ▶ You Shall Not Pass, Dog – YouTube.

Lucky Charms, Pentatonix, tv ads, commercial,  iconic brands, new technology, YouTube, kith/kin, Atlanta:  And to close … I have been a lifelong fan of the kid cereal Lucky Charms (yes, it is a fact).  So, I was excited to see them using Pentatonix.  But unfortunately, the ad posted is a fail.  It does not do them justice and does not showcase their skill.  The Evolution of Lucky Charms (the second clip) is better. Well, I am glad they are making some money, but the ad really doesn’t showcase their talent.  An an aside, an Atlanta friend is working with Pentatonix on the campaign. He noted, “I think that it is an iconic brand that is looking for new ways to reimagine their advertising through new technology.”  Good point. I think I ‘ll go buy a box of Lucky Charms …

via ▶ Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial – YouTube.

via

▶ Evolution of Lucky Charms (feat. Pentatonix) – YouTube.

12
Jan
14

1.12.14 … A lot of Downton and a little Maimonides … and some in between …

me, MegaBus, Atlanta:

So a few things … I really do prefer the bus.  Atlanta traffic is a nightmare.  Downton Abbey viewing party with my family is great fun.

Downton Abbey, Sillybubs, Downton Abbey Viewing Party:  So during my visit, we had a DA Viewing Party:  Our menu was deviled eggs (according to the internet, very Edwardian!), roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and sticky toffee pudding.  I had to explaint o Mollu that the pudding was not pudding, but moist cake.  Why do the Brits do that? And if I had paid attention I would have done syllabubs which I always spelled sillybubs.  🙂 And btw, we had sillybub in South Georgia when I was growing up.

Syllabubs and possets are English dairy dishes which probably first evolved during the sixteenth century. Syllabubs were made from cream and wine and were served cold. Possets were frothy spiced custards made with cream, wine and eggs and were usually served hot. Because they were cold, syllabubs could be served in delicate glass pots without any fear of the glass cracking. On the other hand, piping hot possets had to be consumed from much more durable ceramic pots, like those illustrated on the right.

via Syllabubs.

Eric Stevens, 23, of Rochester, New York, loves Downton Abbey. How much does he love Downton Abbey?

So much that when he found there was no existing Downton Abbey Lego set, he built one for his girlfriend as a Christmas present.

via Man Creates Adorable Downton Abbey Lego Set for His Girlfriend : People.com Mobile.

Molly Wilmer Barker, Running Mates USA, Girls on the Run, fathers: Excellent post by Molly Wilmer Barker!

For some reason, I had a hard time loving my dad. He wasn’t around…when I was a little girl. My mom struggling, with her own demons, was completely unavailable to mother even herself, much less me. Unsure and poorly equipped, my dad simply disappeared. He emotionally and physically checked out. He lost himself in his work and his political life…he lost himself out there and I often questioned, as many kids do, whether I did something to push him away.

But now, I recognize that my father is fast becoming one of my greatest teachers.  My anger or lack of understanding for him has gently slipped away in these recent weeks.  How liberating to see him as a man…a man simply doing his best to deal with life on life’s terms.  I don’t know specifically what drove him to work so hard, to serve others with such persistence, but I do know that he, like me, you, my son and daughter share this experience we call being human.

If I’m honest with you….really honest to the point of revealing something I’ve been a bit ashamed to admit but can do so now with tenderness and understanding of myself, the anger I’ve had for my dad has spilled over into other areas of my life: my work in the early years, my marriages, my personal relationships, my own need at times to escape or seek the love from others I felt lacking from my Dad and also from self…but thanks to this new project and the wonderful people I’ve met in the process of working on it, I’m recognizing that the boxes we allow  to confine us aren’t restricted only to women.  Men have them too and as limited as I often allow myself to feel by our culture’s female stereotypes, the shackles that restrain men are as powerful and debilitating as those that restrain us.

I only now  beginning to understand and gently accept his humanness…the pull he felt to be a man, a father, provide for his family and how scary it might have been watching your child suffer…feeling unequipped because you were…because men after all, at least in his generation were supposed to be strong, capable and completely stoic and sufficient.

via Running Mates USA – My Father.

Northern Lights, aurora borealis,  bucket list, CO: I saw this post from Jack. Since seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list, I would love to be in CO last week.  Unfortunately, it snowed that night.

 Aurora Borealis seen in Greenland.

It seems the entire state is abuzz about going towards the light.

The Northern Lights may still be visible in Colorado Thursday evening, but as darkness fell skygazers tried to remain optimistic amid forecasts that clouds might block the view or that the solar storm that causes the lights might not have been as intense as predicted.

Any chance to see the the aurora borealis as far south as Colorado is very rare. And the possibility comes thanks to impeccable timing, said Joe Kunches, a forecaster with the federal Space Weather Prediction Center.

via Northern Lights show still possible in Colorado after sundown – The Denver Post.

Chicago, snow in the city, LOL:

<img class="aligncenter" alt="Working on some KNIGHT Dibs… </p><br /><br /><br />
<p>(don’t worry, I’ll show myself out)</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>—via rhyank” src=”http://31.media.tumblr.com/92ac26dbf9e3667b76e80d0235b2b3bd/tumblr_mz2cxmYR4x1qgkpcgo1_1280.jpg&#8221; />Jan 8, 201411 notes #chicago #dibs #chicagodibs #snow #parking

So, some asshat parks in the spot you clearly shoveled out and dibs-ed with a lawn chair — do you A) slash his tires, B) light his car on fire, or C) write a passive-aggressive note that makes him feel really terrible? You think it\’s the car-on-fire thing, but you\’re not totally sure, are you? Thankfully, the fine folks at the Chicago Dibs Tumblr are, which\’s why we hit them up to help us put together an official rule sheet for every Chicagoan\’s favorite spot-saving pastime.

via Chicago Parking Dibs – The Unwritten Rules – Thrillist Chicago.

Calendar, Barbara Brown Taylor, Myers Park Baptist Church,  October 17-19 2014:  Calendar item!

A little preview of Barbara Brown Taylor, coming to MPBC October 17-19, 2014!

“Reverence may take all kinds of forms, depending on what it is that awakens awe in you by reminding you of your true size… Nature is full of things bigger and more powerful than human beings, including but not limited to night skies, oceans, thunderstorms, deserts, grizzly bears, earthquakes, and rain-swollen rivers. But size is not everything. Properly attended to, even a salt marsh mosquito is capable of evoking reverence. See those white and black striped stockings on legs thinner than a needle? Where in those legs is there room for knees? And yet see how they bend, as the bug lowers herself to your flesh. Soon you and she will be blood kin. Your itch is the price of her life. Swat her if you must, but not without telling her she is beautiful first.”

from An Altar in the World, p. 22

Save the date for Barbara Brown Taylor at MPBC, October 17-19, 2014!

via Myers Park Baptist Church.

Christie Controversy,  Political Scandals,  Washington Wire – WSJ:  I.m waiting for the memes.

In this case, as Slate’s John Dickerson notes, there already was a sense that Gov. Christie could be a bit of a bully.That means that it’s harder for the politician at the controversy’s center to skirt around it because it fits into a perception for which the groundwork already was laid in voters’ minds. Thus, it was hard for President Bill Clinton to move past the Monica Lewinsky scandal because it played directly into a pre-existing perception that he was a little loose on the marital fidelity front. Similarly, Republican candidate Mitt Romney was deeply damaged by comments suggesting he didn’t care about the opinions of 47% of Americans who didn’t like his economic policies because those comments, however fairly or unfairly they were characterized, seemed to confirm a sense among many voters that he was a bit of a wealthy elitist.

via The Christie Controversy and Lessons on What Feeds Political Scandals – Washington Wire – WSJ

 Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal, Book Review, WSJ.com:

Scholars often divide Maimonides intellectual work in two: first, his efforts at codifying Jewish law, which previously existed mainly in the vast and often unresolved legal discussions in the 63 tractates of the Talmud; second, his philosophical writing that reconciles the science of his time with his Jewish and by extension, all monotheistic faith. Mr. Halbertals achievement here is that he presents these two projects as a single one: a bold attempt by Maimonides to make sense of faith for an educated audience in an advanced civilization.

via Book Review: Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal – WSJ.com.

19
Jan
12

1.19.2011 … To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray …

graying of America, kith/kin, me: To be (gray) or not to be … that is the question … went with medium ash brown … but added streaks … my acknowledgment of the gray … 🙂

faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

Thursday January 19, 2012

Creating Space to Dance Together When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, “Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.” But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to trust that this space allows us to dance together.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space to Dance Together.

Davidson College, terquasquicentennial:  Happy 175, alma mater!

“Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial! Terquasquicentennial!” What a great word, terquasquicentennial.

via Daybook Davidson » 1837–2012: Happy New Year! Happy Old Years! Happy… Terquasquicentennial!.

historic church labyrinths, England, travel:  Preparing for my next labyrinth adventure!

The historic labyrinths situated in English cathedrals, churches and chapels mostly date from the late 19th century, a period when renewed interest in labyrinths combined with a wave of church building and restoration during the Victorian era. Only two examples, the splendid gilded roof-boss in St.Mary Redcliffe Church and the tiny labyrinth on the Hereford Mappa Mundi are from the medieval period, when many labyrinths were created in the cathedrals of France and Italy.

Situated largely in the south and east of England, these labyrinths are always a pleasure to visit, located as they are in everything from simple chapels and churches to grand cathedrals. Their construction and design range from the relatively simple to some of the most fascinating examples from their period.

The majority are relatively easy to find, although obviously some are subject to limited opening hours and others will require the finding of a key or caretaker to gain admission. And therein lies the joy of tracking them down. While several are in large towns and cities, a number are beyond the reach of regular public transport and will require some planning to visit.

Within the last few decades, several modern examples have been constructed, most notably at Batheaston (1985), Norwich Cathedral (2000), and the Church of St. Michael, Abingdon (2008)

via Historic Church labyrinths – England.

The Taj Majal, icons, India: On my bucket list …

I think that, for several reasons, the term iconic is very important in any consideration of this edifice.  First, as I previously mentioned, it serves as an iconic demonstration of love.  Second, it serves as a cultural icon.  For much of the world’s population, the Taj Mahal is India.  Third, we associate cultural icons with the Taj.  Lady Di’s 1992 visit to Agra is forever ingrained in our conscience, as a result of her iconic photo in front of the Taj Mahal.   Finally, the representation of the building, in our collective consciousness, is iconic.     When we imagine the Taj Mahal in our mind’s eye, we represent it in one form:  from a distance, straight-on, and from the front.

via The Taj Majal: From a rare angle | Wonders & Marvels.

The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin, culture, RSA Animate:  Lots to think about …

http://dotsub.com/media/cefe3990-0ee4-4617-a3db-f5edf766c189/embed/

Best selling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society. This ‘working location’ is currently open for translation into all languages.via RSA Animate – The Empathic Civilization – 24 Translation(s) | dotSUB.

 Apple, Newton “Scribble Thing”:  …  15 Years Ahead of Its Time …

“Newton was probably 15 years too early,” Sculley told the BBC. “I’m not a technologist. I didn’t have the experience to make that judgment, but we were, I think, right on many of the concepts. The product clearly failed in terms of taking on such an ambitious goal. I think, in hindsight, there is a lot of good legacy there with the Newton. Even if the product itself never survived, the technology did.”

Specifically, ARM, which is still in wide use today.

Said Scully, “ARM not only was the key technology behind the Newton, but it eventually became the key technology behind every mobile device in the world today, including the iPhone and the iPad.”

via Former Apple CEO: Newton “Scribble Thing” 15 Years Ahead of Its Time – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

electric bikes, Pulse, green:

Micah Toll is no stranger to entrepreneurship.

With only five months left until graduation in April, Toll, 22, has spent his days at the University of Pittsburgh like every other student: Going to classes, becoming involved in clubs, hanging out with friends and, oh yeah, starting his own electric bike company called Pulse Motors.

Pulse Motors is a Pittsburgh start up business designed to provide two-wheeled electric vehicles to the students and the public.

“Americans are fed up with the inconveniences of this conventional transportation being expensive, dirty and unreliable,” said Toll. “Now we are simply giving them an alternative in the form of cheap, affordable and fun transportation. It’s a no-brainer.”

Toll grew up in a household surrounded by science. His mother being a nurse and his father a biological oceanographer, science has always played a big part in his life. But while he didn’t evolve a love for biology like his parents, Toll instead took the engineering route and started building things.

via Student entrepreneur Micah Toll pedaling in the right direction | USA TODAY College

….

Developed with a goal of increasing bicycle commuting and creating a class of new transportation, the “Pulse” by industrial designer Timothy Daw is a hybrid bicycle that backs the pedal power with electric propulsion to boost zero-emission commutation with minimum physical efforts. Housing a rechargeable battery system, two 26V lithium-ion batteries for 75 miles of assisted biking, within the rear frame to preserve the aesthetics of the bicycle, the hybrid bike also includes streamlined traffic indicators, headlight and break light to ensure complete safety on cramped city roads. The throttle-controlled 250W motor adds an assisted pedaling experience when biking uphill or into a strong headwind. Moreover, the Pulse folds into a compact size for easy storage and transportation, which makes it a characteristic modern urban vehicle.

via Pulse pedal electric hybrid bicycle ushers in a new class of transportation.

free, The Guggenheim, digital books, free:   65 Modern Art Books Online … FREE!

 

In recent days, the museum has made 65 art catalogues available online, all free of charge. The catalogues offer an intellectual and visual introduction to the work of Alexander Calder, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Gustav Klimt & Egon Schiele, and Kandinsky. Plus there are other texts (e.g., Masterpieces of Modern Art and Abstract Expressionists Imagists) that tackle meta movements and themes.

Now let me give you a few handy instructions to get you started. 1.) Select a text from the collection. 2.) Click the “Read Catalogue Online” button. 3.) Start reading the book in the pop-up browser, and use the controls at the very bottom of the pop-up browser to move through the book. 4.) If you have any problems accessing these texts, you can find alternate versions on Archive.org, which lets you download books in multiple formats – ePUB, PDF and the rest.

via Free: The Guggenheim Puts 65 Modern Art Books Online | Open Culture.

London, maps, songs:  🙂

Song Map – London remapped in song names

via curiosity counts – Song Map – London remapped in song names   (via).

business, culture, novels:  The smartest people I know are all well-read.

I’ve been a devoted, even fanatical reader of fiction my whole life, but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting time if I spend an evening immersed in Lee Child’s newest thriller, or re-reading The Great Gatsby. Shouldn’t I be plowing through my in-box? Or getting the hang of some new productivity app? Or catching up on my back issues of The Economist? That slight feeling of self-indulgence that haunts me when I’m reading fake stories about fake people is what made me so grateful to stumble on a piece in Scientific American Mind by cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley extolling the practical benefits to be derived particularly from consuming fiction.

Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness. For instance, in fMRI studies of people reading fiction, neuroscientists detect activity in the pre-frontal cortex — a part of the brain involved with setting goals — when the participants read about characters setting a new goal. It turns out that when Henry James, more than a century ago, defended the value of fiction by saying that “a novel is a direct impression of life,” he was more right than he knew.

via The Business Case for Reading Novels – Anne Kreamer – Harvard Business Review.

MLK Memorial, quote, misquote:

Five months ago, in this space, I wrote that something was wrong with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The quotation inscribed on the monument’s left flank had been so badly excerpted that a modest statement of King’s was turned into a boast.

At the time, it wasn’t clear how or why this had happened, but what seemed likely, at least to me, was that nothing would be done about it. Things that are etched in stone seldom are changed, especially in Washington, which is not famous for admitting error, righting wrongs, getting things done in a timely fashion, or getting things done at all.

It turns out I was right about the error but wrong about Washington. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told The Post today that the quote will be corrected. He has given the National Park Service 30 days — because “things only happen when you put a deadline on it” — to consult with the King Memorial Foundation, family members and other interested parties and come up with a more accurate alternative.

“This is important because Dr. King and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America, and we have to make sure that we get it right,” Salazar said.

Some important people who hadn’t seen the quote yet read the op-ed and agreed. The poet Maya Angelou, who knew and worked with King, said the truncated quote made King seem like “an arrogant twit.” Roy Peter Clark, an expert on the use of words, wrote for CNN, “Everything I’ve learned about the language of enshrinement suggests that the inscription on the King monument should be revised.” Martin Luther King III told CNN: “That was not what Dad said.”

Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert noted that it was “to the point. Not Dr. King’s point, but still. Brevity is the soul of saving money on chiseling fees.”

via MLK Memorial’s ‘drum major’ quote will be corrected, Interior secretary says – The Washington Post.

Facebook, personality, me:  The Real Me?

Facebook Logo_150x150.jpg

If you think you’re different on Facebook than you are in real life, you’ve got some explaining to do.

A 2011 study from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Psychology called “Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information” published in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that Facebook users are no different online than they are offline. The study also revealed strong connections between real personality and Facebook-related behavior. Social and personality processes, the study says, accurately mirror non-virtual environments.

via Study: Your Facebook Personality Is The Real You.

blogging, lists, advice:

 Five Ways to Boost Your Blog

What does it take to move your blog up to the next level? Obviously you need a regular supply of useful content to attract readers and keep your audience happy, but here are a few extra tips on increasing interest in your blog in 2012.

via Tech Journal: 5 Ways to Improve Your Blog – India Real Time – WSJ.

10
Oct
11

10.10.2011 … day 3 of road trip … morning walk in the Berkshires … Williams … Amherst … on to ME …

road trip, college search, MA, Great Barrington MA, Williams College, Amherst College, ME:  Early Morning walk/run around Manfield Lake, Great Barrington, MA.  Some fun photos …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And my favorite … crosswalk at Great Barrington near a park. Stop, look, wave!Crosswalk at Great Barrington near a park. Stop, look, wave!

Williams College:

 

 

 

Established in 1793 with funds bequeathed by Colonel Ephraim Williams, the college is private, residential, and liberal arts, with graduate programs in the history of art and in development economics. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 2,000 students.

via Fast Facts About Williams | Office of Communications.

Our take …  Most impressed with the tutorial program and loved the the campus and its setting in the Berkshires … and the non-supporting columns on the art gallery!

Amherst:

Since its founding in 1821, Amherst College has become one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, enrolling some 1,700 talented, energetic and diverse young men and women. This section of the Web site provides a general introduction to the college.

via About Amherst | Amherst College.

The church could seat around 600 worshippers. But by the 1940s, it had fallen on hard times. Membership had dwindled to six. Sunday services were poorly attended. Mandatory chapel now took place in Johnson Chapel. In 1949, the Amherst Board of Trustees decided, by a one-vote margin, to raze the College Church to make way for the Mead. (Hayden says that landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. picked the Mead’s location. Interestingly, Olmsted’s father and namesake had sited the church.) The trustees, however, also voted to keep the steeple—“for reasons of sentiment,” they said.

via The First War Memorial | Amherst College.

Our take … pristine campus, beautiful view, Robert Frost, war memorial, old church steeple is retained as art, great academics … not quite sure about 5 college consortium or the large size of the community.

The church could seat around 600 worshippers. But by the 1940s, it had fallen on hard times. Membership had dwindled to six. Sunday services were poorly attended. Mandatory chapel now took place in Johnson Chapel. In 1949, the Amherst Board of Trustees decided, by a one-vote margin, to raze the College Church to make way for the Mead. (Hayden says that landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. picked the Mead’s location. Interestingly, Olmsted’s father and namesake had sited the church.) The trustees, however, also voted to keep the steeple—“for reasons of sentiment,” they said.

via The First War Memorial | Amherst College.

 

Stearns Steeple and Mead Art Building, Amherst...

Image via Wikipedia

 

science, medical miracles: Wow, body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk!  “It would be just like a car … only a little tighter.”

In demonstrating the feasibility of their ideas on nonhuman primates first, Nicolelis said the team is starting with approaches that are fundamentally simple. He added that when the experiments move to a human, he or she will not only learn quickly how to initiate and repeat movements using thought alone, but the prosthetic should interface so seamlessly with the intelligent human brain that the patient will begin to see the prosthetic as a natural extension of himself or herself.

“We are trying to provide the patient a new body, and we believe the patient’s brain will assimilate the new body as part of the sense of self of the patient,” Nicolelis said. “It would be just like a car … only a little tighter.”

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-brain-machine-20111006,0,7089239.story.

Operation Wall Street:  Another take …

At this point, protest is the message: income inequality is grinding down that middle class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters, most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.

The jobless rate for college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.6 percent over the past year; for young high school graduates, the average is 21.6 percent. Those figures do not reflect graduates who are working but in low-paying jobs that do not even require diplomas. Such poor prospects in the early years of a career portend a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings — the very definition of downward mobility.

via Protesters Against Wall Street – NYTimes.com.

Hall of Femmes, online projects, icons: The Female Icons …

After spending some time in the creative industry, Swedish design duo Hjärta Smärta (“Heart Pain”) observed that there weren’t nearly enough female design role models at the forefront of our cultural awareness. So they started Hall of Femmes, an online project (alas, in Swedish) highlighting female designers and art directors who have significantly influenced creative culture. In 2009, the pair traveled to New York to interview some of these design icons as the basis for a series of books and soon thereafter they published four of these volumes honoring female

via Hall of Femmes: The Female Icons of Graphic Design | Brain Pickings.

 

18
Jul
11

‎7.18.2011 … early morning drive from ATL .. then PT … and now HP …

Harry Potter, movies:  Definitely, a HP day!  Harry Potter premiere photos from Twitter – storify.comMagical Recap: The Harry Potter Saga in 5 Minutes – Video – TIME.com.

Harry Potter, movies, Draco Malfoy: 🙂

Tom Felton is just happy to have all of his hair. After a decade of dyeing it platinum blond to play Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films, he’s finally been allowed to stay off the bleach.  He doesn’t have to religiously wear sunscreen, either, now that he’s no longer required to have ghostly white skin.

Speakeasy caught up with Felton a day before the New York premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” the final film in the series.  Check out the video below to hear Felton’s thoughts on playing the villain to Daniel Radcliffe’s Bond, whether Draco truly gets redemption and why he’s happy with the length of the last film.

via Tom Felton On Playing Draco Malfoy: The Boy Who Hated Harry Potter – Speakeasy – WSJ

literature, travel, Harry Potter, Harry Potter Generation:  Where would you like to go?  Hogwarts was a favorite.  An aside, several cllerages market themselves to the Harry Potter Generation as being “like” Hogwarts … i.e. Sewanee, Kenyon, Yale …

Given that this is the season of travel, I thought I’d highlight responses to a recent creative challenge that asked which fictional place (from a novel or story) would you want to go this summer.

via DailyLit Readers’ (Fictional) Summer Destinations « DailyLit Blog.

 

Harry Potter, Children’s/YA literature: The fact that some call the children of the 90’s the Harry Potter Generation speaks as to its classic nature.  Quality literature is a different discussion.

To some extent, it matters little whether scholars label the series high-quality literature; millions of people around the globe consider the book to be a good read. And as doctoral student Todd Ide suggests, one need only look at the amount of scholarly work in the form of presentations, articles, chapters and books with a Harry Potter focus to see the impact of the series on literary scholarship.

But can we equate popularity and passion with quality? Phil Nel voices the sentiment of many when he asserts, “Rowling is gifted at inventing a carefully imagined parallel universe, great at creating character, and a skilled crafter of plots.” On the other hand, Jeffrey Canton compares the series to other works of fantasy and finds it lacking in craft.

“Every time I read Alice in Wonderland, I am astounded by Carroll’s text — that’s what I don’t find in Rowling — some fabulous moments but overall — it’s a great son et lumiere show but that’s all it is.”

One of the most interesting discussions centers on the community of readers. Some have suggested that though reading is often a solitary experience, many of us read Harry Potter as part of a community, discussing, interacting, writing fan fiction. Rowling has seemed acutely aware of her audience and has interacted with that community of readers increasingly through the text as the series went on. (Ebony Elizabeth Thomas)

In fact, with Harry set to move onto the recently announced Pottermore, the series will soon be at the forefront of digital social media.

via Is Harry Potter classic children’s literature? – College, Inc. – The Washington Post.

cars, green:

THE first Fisker Karma, a luxury four-seater high-performance electric car, will be delivered to its first customer, one Leonardo di Caprio, on July 21st. The Hollywood film star will find that unlike other electric cars, the Karma has been designed to be driven like a conventional combustion-engined vehicle, but also with the ability to change its character and use electricity for a different driving style.

via Electric cars: Karma chameleon | The Economist.

Jane Austen:

It’s been 200 years since readers first met the serious-minded Elinor Dashwood, heroine of Jane Austen’s first published novel, “Sense and Sensibility.” Austen-mania got off to a slow start, as the four books published during her lifetime were anonymous. But it has made up for time lost. Now, Austen is a superstar. Films, sequels, prequels and updated versions of her books bring her plots (and her life) to readers and moviegoers. And then there is the work of the academics: She was heartbroken by an Irishman — no, she was gay; she was conservative — no, she was a feminist. We love her; we hate her; we can’t agree about her; we know we should read her. Myths about her abound, but there are some truths we should universally acknowledge.

via Five myths about Jane Austen – The Washington Post.

cars, Mercury Villager, me:  I just saw a mercury villager,  green with gold trim husband, just like the one I drove for  10 years.  The woman inside looked very hot and  tired and had windows rolled down; I assume the a/c is no longer working. My Villager was a great car,  10 years 200,000. Just seeing her made me think of the many miles traveled together!

weather, derecho, vocabulary:  Wicked weather … new word.

The line of storms contained all of the characteristics of a derecho, defined as a widespread, long-lived windstorm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers and storms.

High winds at about 18,000 feet energized the fast-moving storms that ripped through Chicago Monday morning. (Twisterdata.com) The derecho was energized by very strong high altitude winds of 60-70 mph and abundant low level moisture. Its impacts extended well beyond Chicago. AccuWeather’s Henry Margusity tweeted as of 11 a.m. that the storms have traveled 425 miles, produced almost 200 wind damage reports, and caused more than a million power outages. As of 11:30 a.m., the storms stretched from around Lansing, Michigan to Fort Wayne, Indiana. The storms are likely to affect Detroit, Ann Arbor and Toledo Ohio through early this afternoon with the potential for damaging winds.

 

via Chicago blasted by violent line of thunderstorms, known as derecho – Capital Weather Gang – The Washington Post.

05
May
11

5.5.2011 … cinco de mayo … and the testing begins …

parenting, empty nesters, women’s issues, me:

As far as I can tell, my own generation of mothers doesn’t really do the empty nest thing, no matter how large the hole left behind and no matter how pressing the grief. Unlike our mothers, we generally don’t go back to school to finally launch careers or, like our grandmothers, embrace the newly won status of matron and then grandmother. Unlike past generations, today’s middle-agers typically started their careers before marriage and motherhood. As for our wardrobe choices, my own concession to aging mainly involves wearing low-heeled shoes, but otherwise, like practically every woman I know, I continue to dress like I did in my student days. You know the uniform: jeans and a T-shirt or blouse, with clogs or sneakers or sandals.

There are other reasons we don’t stop to realize that we’re fretting over our empty nests. With the endless options for instant communications, we’re able to check in with the kids, or vice versa, on an embarrassingly regular basis. When my eldest went off to college four years ago, a friend of mine who was a year ahead of me in the kid-launching game reassured me. Don’t worry, he said: His wife and their college-age son “text at least once a day.” Another friend, whose eldest is studying abroad, told me that she regularly talks to him. “I can Skype daily without any big buildup or pressure that this is the big, expensive, long-distance call,” she said. “It’s easy to communicate, and it doesn’t cost anything.”

via Women on the Verge of an Empty Nest – Ideas Market – WSJ.

Swan House, Atlanta, places, kith/kin:  My father’s close friend grew up in the Swan House.  I can’t look at a picture of the house without smiling …. great stories …

Swan House.

education, public education, Atlanta:  A new high school for Buckhead ….

Atlanta Public Schools finalized this week the purchase of a 56-acre site in northwest Atlanta for the city’s new Buckhead-area high school. Final cost of the purchase totaled $55.3 million.

The site, at the former IBM complex on Northside Parkway, will replace North Atlanta High School on Northside Drive. The new school is scheduled to open in August 2013. The North Atlanta campus will then be converted into a second middle school in Buckhead, relieving an overcrowded Sutton Middle School on Powers Ferry Road near Chastain Park.

via APS finalizes land deal for new Buckhead high school  | ajc.com.

science, Albert Einstein, kudos: … Scientists affirmed “his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.”

The longest experiment in space physics began with three men in a university swimming pool arguing about Einstein. It ended Wednesday, after 52 years and $750 million, with scientists affirming his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.

Called Gravity Probe B, the exotic experiment measured how the revolving mass of Earth imperceptibly twists the fabric of space in a test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. By one finding, the distortion amounts to 1.1 inches off true across the 24,900-mile circumference of Earth.

via Researchers Spent $750 million—and 52 Years—Affirming Theory of Relativity – WSJ.com.

food/drink, beer, George Washington: 🙂

We cannot tell a lie: Even George Washington needed to take the edge off sometimes.

The founding father and first president of the republic was a man of the people when it came to his drink of preference. His “Notebook as a Virginia Colonel,” dated from 1757, includes a handwritten recipe for “small beer.”

George Washington’s recipe for “small beer”. For a larger version, scroll to the end of this post.

That recipe, along with many of Washington’s other papers, is part of the New York Public Library’s collection. This month, the library is partnering with Shmaltz Brewing Company to recreate a modern version of the porter, to celebrate the centennial of its Stephen A. Schwarzman building.

Just 15 gallons will be brewed and offered for tasting. Local brewers Peter Taylor and Josh Knowlton have taken the liberty of tweaking the recipe, which the NYPL has dubbed “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”

The brewers made batches of the beer, one with molasses — which Washington used — and one without, substituting malted barley for the fermentable sugar.

“Back then, they didn’t really have quite the same understanding of brewing science that we do now,” said Josh Knowlton.

Of Washington’s beer, “it’s pretty light, pretty dry, medium-bodied but roasty,” Knowlton said. “We used some roasted malts in there so it’s definitely got some of a roasted, chocolaty, little bit of a coffee flavor.”

via New York Public Library’s Tasty Treasure: George Washington’s Beer – Metropolis – WSJ.

news, Charlotte, Uptown power outage:  John and I have lived and worked in Charlotte for almost 30 years … power outage with no weather cause.

Duke Energy has restored power after an outage in uptown Charlotte that impacted a portion of Bank of America Plaza.A number of employees told the Observer that the power went out around midday at the Bank of America Plaza building.Duke Energy reported about 230 power outages in Mecklenburg County, most of them near Center City.The company also said more than 100 customers near the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets were without power.Duke Energys website showed that power was restored to the area by 4:30 p.m. Officials have not yet said what caused the outage.

via Power restored in uptown Charlotte | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

food:  Yuck …

What is often in shredded cheese besides cheese?

Powdered cellulose: minuscule pieces of wood pulp or other plant fibers that coat the cheese and keep it from clumping by blocking out moisture.

Cellulose can improve the texture of packaged food products, including bottled chocolate milk shakes.

One of an array of factory-made additives, cellulose is increasingly used by the processed-food industry, producers say. Food-product makers use it to thicken or stabilize foods, replace fat and boost fiber content, and cut the need for ingredients like oil or flour, which are getting more expensive.

Cellulose products, gums and fibers allow food manufactures to offer white bread with high dietary fiber content, low-fat ice cream that still feels creamy on the tongue, and allow cooks to sprinkle cheese over their dinner without taking time to shred.

via Packaged-Food Producers Increasingly Turn to Cellulose – WSJ.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror, man’s best friend:  Didn’t realize they used dogs in this capacity.

While many Americans are anxious to meet and commend the team of Navy SEALs who raided the compound in Abottabad, Pakistan, and killed Usama bin Laden, one team member would be happy just to receive a doggie treat.

Among the commandos was a heroic canine – a bomb-sniffing dog who was attached to a team member as the SEALs were lowered from a Black Hawk helicopter into bin Laden’s hideout, The Sun reports.

The four-legged soldier has not yet been identified, but some speculate the breed was either a Belgian Malinois or German shepherd, a breed used frequently in raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The dogs are well-protected in these dangerous situations, armed with ballistic body armor, protective gear to shield against bullets and shrapnel, and infrared night-sight cameras that provide crucial feedback to troops and warn of potential ambushes, The Sun reports.

There are currently 600 dogs serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ensign Brynn Olsen of U.S. Central Command told the New York Times. In 2008, Gen. David Petraeus, current U.S. commander in charge of Afghanistan and soon to be CIA director, called for an increase in the number of dogs used by the military.

via Military Dog Used in Bin Laden Compound Raid – FoxNews.com.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Actually I am tired of this …

Steve King was the first member of Congress to float the inevitable question. “Wonder what President Obama thinks of waterboarding now?” the Iowa Republican tweeted shortly after Obama announced the death of the world’s most infamous terrorist. In the days since, even as they maintain the tacit truce that bans partisan potshots in the wake of bin Laden’s killing, Capitol Hill Republicans have advanced the idea that Bush-era “enhanced-interrogation techniques” were responsible for the tip that led intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.

At least two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have made this claim. “The information that eventually led us to this compound was the direct result of enhanced interrogations; one can conclude if we had not used enhanced interrogations, we would not have come to yesterday’s action,” North Carolina Senator Richard Burr told CNBC Tuesday.

via Republicans Split Over Waterboarding’s Role in bin Laden’s Death | Swampland.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Why didn’t they suspect?

ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.

The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging — along with deep skepticism that authorities didn’t know they were there.

Although the house is large, it was unclear how three dozen people could have lived there with any degree of comfort.

via Bin Laden’s neighbors noticed unusual things – CBS News.

food, North Carolina:  North Carolina … sweet potatoes???

.Fodmap

The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More

23
Apr
11

‎4.23.2011 … random act of violence in my own neighborhood … booking flights to France … any recs for places, restaurants or hotels in France?

random acts of violence, murder, South Charlotte, Charlotte, RIP, prayers, reverse 911, me:  Prayers for the Barber family; rest in peace, Robert Barber, respected health care executive. I just this week added  the “random acts of violence” category, and now such an act, this time murder, occurred 1/2 mile from my house, along my daily walking path, in the neighborhood next to mine.  We received two “reverse 911” calls.  When they come in the caller ID says “Char Meck Emer Serv” .. and of course you think, OMG, who is hurt? But usually they are about a missing elderly person with Alzheimer’s.  This time it was announcing an “assault’ around the corner with a suspect armed and fleeing on foot.  Only later do you find out it is a murder … Senseless…why?

The shooting happened around 10:15 a.m. in the 4500 block of Mullens Ford Road, off Carmel Road, not far from Charlotte Country Day School.Police said Barber, 64, was gunned down as he walked from a nearby business to his home, which was about two miles away from where he was killed.Police searched for the gunman using a helicopter and canine units, but no one had been arrested late Friday. The crime shocked residents of the Foxcroft East neighborhood, where Barbers covered body lay near a curb as police investigated.The shooting scene – in an area of townhouses, two-story homes, neatly trimmed lawns and walking paths – is about a mile east of SouthPark mall.

According to reports, Barber and his wife stopped Friday morning not far from where he was killed – at Caribou Coffee on Fairview Road. His wife drove to work, and Barber decided to walk home.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots, and some residents told Observer news partner WCNC-TV that the shooting happened during a robbery.

Police issued two “Reverse 911” calls to residents in the area, alerting them to the assault and the search under way. Investigators talked to neighbors, and police said some residents were taken to police headquarters for questioning.

via Health care executive slain in S. Charlotte neighborhood | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

France, Tailloires, Lyons, Chauvet, Mont St. Michel, Paris:  Tailloires, Lyons, Chauvet, Mont St. Michel … ideas we are considering … and, of course, Paris  … would love more ideas!!

Talloires is located south of Geneva, Switzerland, on Lake Annecy and 13 km (8.1 mi) from the local “prefecture” Annecy, near the border of Italy. The town is situated in the French Alps, along a bay on the east side of the lake.

via Talloires – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Lyon was founded on the Fourvière hill as a Roman colony in 43 BC by Munatius Plancus, a lieutenant of Caesar, on the site of a Gaulish hill-fort settlement called Lug[o]dunon, from the Celtic god Lugus (‘Light’, cognate with Old Irish Lugh, Modern Irish Lú) and dúnon (hill-fort). Lyon was first named Lugdunum meaning the “hill of lights” or “the hill of crows”. Lug was equated by the Romans to Mercury.

via Lyon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The oldest known cave art is that of Chauvet in France, the paintings of which may be 32,000 years old according to radiocarbon dating, and date back to 30,000 BCE (Upper Paleolithic).[4] Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era and question this age.[5]

via Cave painting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. Its inhabitants are called Honfleurais.

It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind, forming the école de Honfleur (Honfleur school) which contributed to the appearance of the Impressionist movement. The Sainte-Catherine church, which has a bell-tower separate from the principal building, is the largest church made out of wood in France.

via Honfleur – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide. This connection has been compromised by several developments. Over the centuries, the coastal flats have been polderised to create pasture. Thus the distance between the shore and the south coast of Mont-Saint-Michel has decreased. The Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the flow of water and thereby encouraging a silting-up of the bay. In 1879, the land bridge was fortified into a true causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt around the mount.

On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a €164 million project (Projet Mont-Saint-Michel)[1] to build a hydraulic dam using the waters of the river Couesnon and of tides to help remove the accumulated silt deposited by the rising tides, and to make Mont-Saint-Michel an island again. It was projected to be completed by 2012.[2]

via Mont Saint-Michel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

photography, computer art, iPhone , iPhone art, NYC: Loved this use of the iPhone!

“Spring City” was photographed entirely by exploiting a neat quirk of the camera on my two-year-old iPhone. Shaking the phone vigorously while taking pictures in bright light will produce wonderfully rubbery, fun-house-mirror effects. Turning these still images into a movie required taking over 4,000 of them, wiggling the camera each time. The jiggling, jello-like movement is the sum of the differences between the the distortions. The resulting film becomes a big wiggly dance when set to Shay Lynch’s mambo.

While gathering the images for this film I spent a lot of time on various street corners, looking a little nuts, shaking my phone furiously at the city. Not a single person asked what I was doing. Of course, many people were busy looking at their own phones, but I think a lot of behavior that would have seemed eccentric not long ago now seems normal once you spot the phone in hand or ear. I’m all for the convergence of media in our pocket devices these days, but I’m still surprised when my camera rings while I’m shooting something and someone wants to talk on it.

via ‘Spring City’ – NYTimes.com.

South Africa, ethics, photography, photojournalism, documentary movies, Tribeca Film Festival: Unsettling use of the camera …

It is an indelible portrait of African despair: an emaciated little girl collapses to her knees from hunger. Her forehead and palms press against the ground in an apparent final act of prostration. In the background, a vulture awaits its carrion. In May 1994, 14 months after capturing the image of a famine stricken child crawling toward a U.N. food camp in Sudan, photographer Kevin Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. Three months later, Carter drove to the Braamfontein Spruit river in Johannesburg, an area he used to play as a child, taped one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe, ran the other end into the passenger-side window, and took his own life.

The cast of “The Bang Bang Club”.

The image became a symbol of African suffering, but it also emerged as one of the most controversial in the history of photojournalism, addressing issues of complicity. By Carter’s own admission, he waited 20 minutes, focusing and refocusing his lens on the scene, hoping the vulture would spread its wings. When it didn’t, Carter snapped the photograph and chased the bird away, but did not help the girl. The St. Petersburg Times went so far as to say, “the photographer adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene.” Afterward, Carter retreated to the shade of a tree, lit a cigarette, spoke to God, and cried. “He was depressed afterward,” fellow photographer João Silva told Time. “He kept saying he wanted to hug his daughter.”

While Carter’s image is the most famous, currently taught in journalism school ethics classes across the country, it’s just one of many impactful photos taken by The Bang Bang Club, the name given to a group of four fearless photographers—Carter, Silva, Greg Marinovich, and Ken Oosterbroek—who captured the brutality of South African apartheid between 1990 and 1994. In 2000, Marinovich and Silva published the book, The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots From a Hidden War, that documented their apartheid experiences, and the tome has been adapted into a feature film by South African documentary filmmaker Steven Silver, starring Ryan Phillippe as Marinovich, Taylor Kitsch as Carter, and Neels Van Jaarsveld as Silva.

via The Bang Bang Club: Tribeca’s Harrowing Film About War Photographers – The Daily Beast.

Jane Austen, games, puzzles, random: Everything Jane!

For those addicted to brain teasers and Jane Austen, I have the prefect diversion for you. The Puzzle Society™ has assembled this tidy Pocket Posh® edition of crosswords, quizzes, word searches, codewords and more, all inspired by Jane Austen, her novels and her world.

Challenge your knowledge of “our” Jane in this compact pocket edition wrapped in a beautiful Renaissance rose pattern cover design, bound by elastic band closure with smooth rounded edges. Slip it in your purse, backpack or brief case Janeites with the assurance that you will expand your knowledge and appreciation of our favorite author while on the go.

via Laurel (Lake Stevens, WA)’s review of Pocket Posh Jane Austen: 100 Puzzles Quizzes.

Bible, KJV, history:  Another good article on the history of the KJV.

From the start, the King James Bible was intended to be not a literary creation but rather a political and theological compromise between the established church and the growing Puritan movement. What the king cared about was clarity, simplicity, doctrinal orthodoxy. The translators worked hard on that, going back to the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, and yet they also spent a lot of time tweaking the English text in the interest of euphony and musicality. Time and again the language seems to slip almost unconsciously into iambic pentameter — this was the age of Shakespeare, commentators are always reminding us — and right from the beginning the translators embraced the principles of repetition and the dramatic pause: “In the beginning God created the Heauen, and the Earth. And the earth was without forme, and voyd, and darkenesse was vpon the face of the deepe: and the Spirit of God mooued vpon the face of the waters.”

The influence of the King James Bible is so great that the list of idioms from it that have slipped into everyday speech, taking such deep root that we use them all the time without any awareness of their biblical origin, is practically endless: sour grapes; fatted calf; salt of the earth; drop in a bucket; skin of one’s teeth; apple of one’s eye; girded loins; feet of clay; whited sepulchers; filthy lucre; pearls before swine; fly in the ointment; fight the good fight; eat, drink and be merry.

Not everyone prefers a God who talks like a pal or a guidance counselor. Even some of us who are nonbelievers want a God who speaketh like — well, God. The great achievement of the King James translators is to have arrived at a language that is both ordinary and heightened, that rings in the ear and lingers in the mind. And that all 54 of them were able to agree on every phrase, every comma, without sounding as gassy and evasive as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, is little short of amazing, in itself proof of something like divine inspiration.

via Why the King James Bible Endures – NYTimes.com.

social networking, tracking, technology:

Through these and other cellphone research projects, scientists are able to pinpoint “influencers,” the people most likely to make others change their minds. The data can predict with uncanny accuracy where people are likely to be at any given time in the future. Cellphone companies are already using these techniques to predict—based on a customer’s social circle of friends—which people are most likely to defect to other carriers.

A wave of ambitious social-network experiments is underway in the U.S. and Europe to track our movements, probe our relationships and, ultimately, affect the individual choices we all make. WSJ’s Robert Lee Hotz reports.

The data can reveal subtle symptoms of mental illness, foretell movements in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and chart the spread of political ideas as they move through a community much like a contagious virus, research shows. In Belgium, researchers say, cellphone data exposed a cultural split that is driving a historic political crisis there.

And back at MIT, scientists who tracked student cellphones during the latest presidential election were able to deduce that two people were talking about politics, even though the researchers didn’t know the content of the conversation. By analyzing changes in movement and communication patterns, researchers could also detect flu symptoms before the students themselves realized they were getting sick.

via The Really Smart Phone – WSJ.com.

movies, Bible, film/lit, faith and spirituality: This is a good article about movies of the Jesus story …

DeMille concluded his account of Wallner’s visit by writing: “If I felt that this film was my work, it would be intolerably vain and presumptuous to quote such stories from the hundreds like them that I could quote. But all we did in ‘The King of Kings,’ all I have striven to do in any of my Biblical pictures, was to translate into another medium, the medium of sight and sound, the words of the Bible.”

Millions world-wide will celebrate Easter this weekend with the proclamation, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!” Knowing this has inspired men and women throughout the ages to claim the words of St. Paul, “that you may know what is the hope of His calling . . . the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.” A resurrection hope found not only in film, but in the lives of those that follow.

via John A. Murray: The Gospel According to Hollywood – WSJ.com.

Easter, bookshelf, lists: Recommendations for books on the Passion of Christ …

Jon Meacham

A little late, but maybe for next year. I think three of the best books on the Passion are N.T. Wright’s “The Resurrection of the Son of God”: Paula Fredriksen’s “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”; and Raymond E. Brown’s two-volume “Death of the Messiah.” They are all amazing, and take most of us well beyond what we think we know.

via Facebook.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 629 other followers

May 2017
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031