Posts Tagged ‘museum exhibits

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

12
Mar
11

‎3.12.2011 … Thinking of E and her happiest of days … Wondering if she stays up for the official changeover to Eleanor Daylight Time …

events, time change, DST, touché titles: “Cosmic courtesy” for you E!

The change is disconcerting. But more unsettling still is the mystery we’d rather not face: If clock time isn’t real, what is time, anyway? We don’t understand time, and we definitely don’t want to admit that our allotment is limited. We just want to get on with our day.

via Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – NYTimes.com.

Then in 2005, Congress granted Americans a cosmic courtesy: a little extra sun.

In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, intended to strengthen the electricity grid and increase domestic fuel production, Congress inserted a section that moved the start of daylight saving time back to the second Sunday in March and the end to the first Sunday in November.

Before 2005, the last major amendment to the Uniform Time Act came in the mid-80s when the start of daylight time was moved back to the first Sunday in April.

Many countries around the world observe some form of “summer time,” but set their dates individually. — March 7, 2008

via Daylight Saving Time – News – Times Topics – The New York Times.

Japan Earthquake/tsunami, facts:  Wow … moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet and shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches.

The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

“At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass,” said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.

via Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet; shifted Earth’s axis – CNN.com.

YouTube, lost and found, photography :  Loved the story … loved the video … But think about it  .. almost no one uses film anymore …

A young New York filmmaker, whose attempt to locate the owner of a canister of film he found in a Brooklyn park during the recent blizzard

turned into an Internet quest, has solved the mystery: She’s young, she’s French, she lives in Paris.

Todd Biebers’ original video, in which he showed the lovely photographs taken around New York City after the snowstorm, drew more than 1 million views, which prompted a second one as he began his quest for the mystery photographer.

Then comes the third, in which he documents his travels to Europe to reconnect with the owner of the film, who found out about his online search, and to meet some of the Europeans who had contacted him during the search.

via New Yorker’s online quest for owner of lost film roll ends in Paris –.

ultra marathons, kith/kin, good to know:  J was thinking about running this one again … Good to know that “An ambulance will not be stationed on the course. There are four major hospitals located within limping distance of the course, on the other side of Lake Shore Drive.”

Aid Stations will have water, Gatorade, Coke, cookies, pretzels, potato chips, candy, fruit, first aid supplies and all the goodies you expect from us. An ambulance will not be stationed on the course. There are four major hospitals located within limping distance of the course, on the other side of Lake Shore Drive . Aid station volunteers and others will be able to call 911 for help if necessary.

via Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race – Information.

YA/children’s literature, Curious George, museum exhibits, San Francisco: If I remember correctly, this exhibit first opened in Skokie.  Very interesting true story …

The Curious George stories were an international hit, allowing for a few cultural variations. In Britain his name is given as Zozo; the publishers thought it would be disrespectful to have a mischievous monkey named after the sitting king. Whatever the case, children around the world were taken with George’s unwitting mischief, and charmed by the cheerful, brightly coloured illustrations. But his story of travel, migration and cultural collision has a paradigmatically American dimension.

Against the backdrop of the Reys’ own dramatic travels, these children’s stories assume a poignant cast. The Reys became American citizens in 1946, and moved to Cambridge, Massachussetts in 1963*. They never talked much about their narrow escape, and even today the story is not widely known. This is perhaps because, despite the direct biographical parallels, the Curious George stories give so little indication of their dark historical backdrop. The outlook is resolutely cheerful. George explores his new world fearlessly, and his confidence is justified. Strangers are kind to him. Authority figures are corrective, not punitive. The inevitable misunderstandings are quickly sorted out and forgiven. He is just a fictional monkey. But those would be good standards to help any newcomer feel at home.

via THE CURIOUS JOURNEY OF CURIOUS GEORGE | More Intelligent Life.

architecture, Easter Island Statues, Miami:  Only in Miami?

CONCEIVED during the boom and taken over by its lenders after the bust, the Icon Brickell has become the most visible symbol of Miami’s property renaissance. The Philippe Starck-designed condominium complex is, depending on taste, either hugely sophisticated or utterly naff. The columns at the base of the building are shaped like Easter Island statues (see picture); tables and chairs sit voguishly in the water of an outdoor pool; the walls of an enormous spa are lined with books wrapped in white paper. It’s seductively ridiculous.

The complex had been largely pre-sold, but when the bottom fell out of the market buyers refused to pay up. Units are now being marketed at heavily reduced prices. Sales, at around 60 units a month, are running at twice the expected level, says one agent. The main source of demand is cash-rich international buyers, most of them from Latin America. Local agents say Venezuelans are the most active buyers, followed by Brazilians.

via A special report on property: A world apart | The Economist.

country v. city, free market, competition: All I know is most town centers die when Wal-Mart moves … what is the long-term effect?

But after reading an anti-Wal-Mart missive from another small business owner, I’ve been wondering: what message do these guys think they’re sending?

I mean, can you imagine a television station running ads asking you to complain to your government about the existence of other channels? Or if every brand of peanut butter on the shelf carried a sticker demanding that other brands of peanut butter be removed?

As a customer at the hardware store, I have to say I was a little insulted. The message couldn’t be more clear—as a business we’re concerned that your decision to seek a better selection of goods at lower prices will force us to close. Actually, I suppose it’s worse than that—we think you, enlightened customer, appreciate the benefits of an uncompetitive business enough to deny others the option to buy from a store with more attractive goods and prices than our own. Honestly, what sort of patron is moved to action by the call to kill off the competition?

via Business: The confidence to compete | The Economist.

travel, Europe, hotels, lists: Let’s go …

In addition to being a discriminating where-to-stay resource, National Geographic Traveler’s 2010 Stay List is an in-a-nutshell look at the geography, history, and architectural styles of five countries whose total acreage is less than California’s. Selections from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales range from humble farmsteads to over-the-top castles.

via Best Hotels in Britain and Ireland — National Geographic Traveler.

photography, history, Statue of Liberty, NYC :

A group of immigrants traveling aboard a ship celebrate as they catch their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York Harbor.

via American Classic: Lady Liberty – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

college basketball, Duke, Seth Curry, kudos:  I thought I could cheer for Duke because of Seth … but I find I can only cheer for Seth.  Kudos, Seth!

On Friday night, Smith’s teammates finished in spectacular fashion while he watched from the bench. Within a span of 46 seconds, Seth Curry drove for a three-point play, made two free throws and passed to Miles Plumlee for a layup as Duke scored seven straight points to stretch its lead to 72-60.

“I was comfortable out there, and I didn’t feel any pressure at all,” Curry said.

via Seth Curry eases Duke’s pain after Nolan Smith injured – CharlotteObserver.com.

Middle East Uprising/Awakening, China, Jasmine Revolution:  China next?

Since late December, Chinese pro-democracy and human-rights activists have watched, cheered and agonized over the events unfolding in the Arab world. There has been a surge of online traffic, with Chinese activists sharing links to blog posts, photos and YouTube videos in order to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East. When Hosni Mubarak stepped down, one Chinese Twitter feed declared, “Today, we’re all Egyptians!”

Online calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China first appeared on Twitter shortly thereafter and were followed by details about the proposed protests on the overseas Chinese Web portal Boxun.com. The calls drew small crowds of onlookers and foreign journalists on Feb. 20 and 27 in designated locations in Beijing and Shanghai, but those who gathered were outnumbered by the police, who dispersed them quickly. Many activists had been warned to stay away; others were forced to go on “sightseeing” trips, put under surveillance or house arrest, or detained.

Still, the events in Tunisia and Egypt were immensely encouraging. As one activist explained to me, “The Middle Eastern protests soundly rejected the claims that countries with Islamic traditions cannot embrace democracy and that people in developing countries only desire material subsistence.” For activists in China, the revolution in the Arab world has rendered obsolete the familiar argument that democracy is unsuited to certain cultures.

The Chinese, especially young people, are no less wired than their Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts, and they are deft at climbing over the “Great Firewall” erected by government censors. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are banned in China, but activists find ways to use them. More important and popular are domestic social-media services like QQ and Sina.com.

via In China, Activists Watch and Cheer the Middle East’s Democracy Wave – WSJ.com.

travel, lists:  I think I am stuck with Calgon … take me away.

FORGOT to plan for a spring break? Haven’t gone skiing yet this year? It’s March, people!

Which means two things: You’re overdue for a break, and it’s not too late to plan one. Even if you just slip away for a weekend.

Want to be on the beach by midafternoon? There are new flights to Destin, Fla., and the Turks and Caicos that are ready to make that happen. Feeling the urge to hit the mountain before the snow melts? Heavy snowfall and spring rates as low as $99 a night are making resorts like Breckenridge, Colo., and Snowbird, Utah, good bargains. Or are poolside cocktails more your style? There are plenty of options in Palm Springs, Calif., where newly renovated hotels are showing off freshened digs.

So, here you go. Whether you want high desert landscapes, powdery slopes or pristine blue water, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. Here are 14 top-notch escapes that require fewer than four hours in either a car or a plane from more than a dozen major cities. Wherever you live, we’ve got you covered.

via 14 Easy Weekend Getaways – NYTimes.com.

faith and spirituality, death and dying, bookshelf, nonfiction:  Sounds interesting …

Just two months shy of his fourth birthday, Colton Burpo, the son of an evangelical pastor in Imperial, Neb., was rushed into emergency surgery with a burst appendix.

Colton Burpo and his father Todd Burpo sign copies of “Heaven Is for Real” in their Imperial, Neb., home.

He woke up with an astonishing story: He had died and gone to heaven, where he met his great-grandfather; the biblical figure Samson; John the Baptist; and Jesus, who had eyes that “were just sort of a sea-blue and they seemed to sparkle,” Colton, now 11 years old, recalled.

Colton’s father, Todd, has turned the boy’s experience into a 163-page book, “Heaven Is for Real,” which has become a sleeper paperback hit of the winter, dominating best-seller lists and selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

via ‘Heaven Is for Real,’ Boy’s Tale, Is Publishing Phenomenon – NYTimes.com.

music, Billy Joel:  Enjoy!  We Didn’t Start The Fire.

faith and spirituality, labyrinths, Charlotte:  I think I would like to do a labyrinth tour of Charlotte.  Anybody interested?

Almetto Howey Alexander was a woman with a dAream.And as she approached artist Tom Schulz that November day in 2007, she knew he was the one who could help her make it come true.The two had never met, but both had come to the center courtyard at Charlotte’s Presbyterian Hospital for the public unveiling of Schulz’s latest labyrinth – a geometric flat surface with a circuitous path that leads to a center and often brings spiritual peace, even transformation, to those who walk it.”I want one of these,” Alexander told Schulz.”One of what?” he asked.”A labyrinth.”Before that first conversation was over, Schulz had said “yes ma’am” to this elderly black woman and to her dream to have a labyrinth – a place of prayer in motion – for her community in northwest Charlotte.Today at 1 p.m., the McCrorey Family YMCA on Beatties Ford Road will unveil the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth. Schulz’s latest concrete creation is an inspirational outside space that measures 40 by 55 feet and combines ancient African symbols with elements from Alexander’s life and philosophy as a teacher, church member and civil rights activist.It’s believed to be the only Afro-centric labyrinth in the United States and, according to officials at the McCrorey Y, the only labyrinth at a YMCA anywhere in the world.

via Her gift to us: A path to peace – CharlotteObserver.com.

 

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11

1.23.2011 … Sunday, Sunday … so nice to have a day of rest …

followup, Jake’s , Charlotte, restaurants/diners:  So we ventured to Jake’s Good Eats for a second visit.  It is an upscale diner … in an old gas station.  The food is interesting.  The friend oysters were very good, but the sautéed spinach underneath was to die for.  The wedge with bleu cheese and bacon was very good … a meal in itself.  And my vegetable plate was quite good.  I could not have downed a full entre after the other two shared items.  I’ll go again … but get there early.  It is worth a 30 minute wait … but not an hour.

Jake’s Good Eats -.

music, classical music, lists:  I am not a music person, but I do consider myself educated … so I laughed when I got to her number 10 and had never heard of him.

I am about to reveal my list, though as those who have been with me on this quest already know, I’ve dropped hints along the way. And the winner, the all-time great, is … Bach!

But forced to pick only one more composer, I’m going with Bartok. In an earlier piece I made my case for Bartok, as an ethnomusicologist whose work has empowered generations of subsequent composers to incorporate folk music and classical traditions from whatever culture into their works, and as a formidable modernist who in the face of Schoenberg’s breathtaking formulations showed another way, forging a language that was an amalgam of tonality, unorthodox scales and atonal wanderings.

via The Greatest Composers – A Top 10 List – NYTimes.com.

Julio J. Ramirez, Davidson, kudos: To former neighbor Julio, kudos!

Julio J. Ramirez, the R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of a the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Ramirez will receive the award next Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will make the presentation. Ramirez will deliver a 10-minute talk on that occasion about his 30 years of involving students in his research on recovery from brain injury and his national efforts to promote neuroscience education and research.

via Obama honors Prof. Ramirez for mentoring | DavidsonNews.net.

Civil War Sesquicentennial, education, history, research:  We are only in the first weeks … It will be interesting to see how I/we feel after retracing this history in 5 years.

Over the next four years Americans will be reminded of and engage in debates about every aspect of a war that fundamentally transformed the nation and that set us on a path we are still working to come to terms with. America went through the same process at the centennial. What’s different this time around is the focus on race and slavery, both of which have the potential to divide Americans and obscure the boundaries between the present and the past; that, and the ability for anyone to access millions of pages of information about the war, its causes and consequences through the Internet.

via Teaching Civil War History 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Silent Sam, public art, UNC-CH, Civil War, history, icons:   I remember first encountering Silent Sam and hearing the tale of why he is silent (read on … ).  I laughed and went on.  I never knew he was memorializing the Civil War veterans who attended UNC.  I am sure all the current students will know his history as calls to topple him are made.  A compromise needs to be made.  He is a university icon.  Maybe it is time to publicly remember slavery and teach to understand the war by all students.

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war… their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South — when the ‘bottom rail was on top’ all over the Southern states, and today, as a consequence, the purist strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”

Carr then proudly recounted his contribution to Reconstruction’s racial violence:

“100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”

This disturbing past is part of our beloved institution’s history. All paths forward carry their own perils. Destroying the monument erases an uncomfortable past, but to ignore its connections to racial ideologies that barred African Americans from UNC until the 1950s is equally problematic. Even new interpretive signs would stir debates on what to include. These debates are healthy. As we near the Civil War’s sesquicentennial discussions over the meaning of our past ensures a more informed public. This I celebrate.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Why Silent Sam was built: A historian’s perspective.

It is silent because the figure wears no cartridge box for ammunition,[2] but legend has it he fires his gun every time a virgin walks by; since supposedly “no one” on campus is a virgin, he never fires his gun, hence why he is known to be “silent.”

via Silent Sam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Erected in 1913 as a monument to the 321 alumni of the University who died in the Civil War and all students who joined the Confederate Army, this statue is known by students as Silent Sam. The university continued operation during the Civil War, thanks to President Swain’s reliance on wounded veterans and men who were exempt from military service. Although the soldier holds a rifle, it is silent because he wears no cartridge box for ammunition.

via Landmarks | Silent Sam | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

childhood, Disney Princesses, end of an era, RIP, Bruno Bettelheim, followup, :  Still think this is sad that our society has outgrown the princess fairy tales.  I am sure followers of Bruno Bettelheim would say the stories were never about happy endings … but still for a generation who grew up with the films and who raised its children on the films it is a sad end.

Tangled, Disney’s latest fairy tale movie, was shut out at the Golden Globe Awards last weekend. Nominated for two — Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (“I See the Light”) — the retooled Rapunzel story won neither.

The critical shunning could be construed as a key indicator: Fairy tale movies have fallen on hard times. In fact, around Thanksgiving, the Walt Disney Co. revealed it has no plans to make another animated fairy tale.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Disney’s fairy tales. What do we tell the children? Kissed frogs don’t turn into princes, wicked stepsisters win out, glass slippers just won’t fit. And what colorful icons will we silkscreen all over kids’ pillows and lunchboxes?

via The Fairy Tale Struggles To Live Happily Ever After : NPR.

In The Uses of Enchantment (1976), his prize-winning treatise on the uses of fairy tales in the child’s upbringing, Bettelheim poignantly described how the child’s imagination is served by romantic stories, especially those told to the child and, in the telling, elaborated by the child’s freely created variations. Again, Bettelheim emphasized the collaboration of parent and child in sharing fairy tales to enhance the child’s developing sensibilities. The child needs not only those coping skills that are fostered by didactic parents, but also, Bettelheim wrote, a moral education communicated not through abstract (ethical) concepts but through fairy tales that deal with what is tangibly right and therefore meaningful. He likened the child’s understanding of fairy tales to the psychological insights gained long ago by poets. The German poet Schiller wrote: ‘Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.’10

As in so many of his works, the foundation for Bettelheim’s thesis that fairy tales foster the child’s developing mind and provide a forum for emotional expression rested primarily on the application of psychoanalysis to childhood education. True to the subject, Bettelheim whimsically discussed some of the most difficult psychoanalytic concepts in clear, amusing and fanciful language, rendering his thesis accessible to contemporary parents. Conspicuously oedipal themes in fairy tales are brought forth for the reader to consider. The power of Bettelheim’s writing resides in his ability to illuminate concepts that are obvious to psychoanalysts but remain obscure to parents without explication. A little girl’s conflict with her mother is narrated in ‘Cinderella’ by the device of having the child’s mother portrayed as the wicked stepmother. Such a theme resonates with a girl’s feeling of helplessness which is then overcome by the ‘good mother,’ a fairy godmother, who rescues Cinderella and supports her in her aspirations to meet the prince. Bettelheim also highlighted the importance of sibling rivalry in the family and in the Cinderella story, which depicts beautiful but shy Cinderella helpless at the hands of her stepsisters. This, too, is resolved by the rescuing fairy godmother, a resolution that every little girl deeply appreciates. Bettelheim hoped that as parent and child together understood the deeper meaning of these stories, the parent and the child would bond in mutual enjoyment.

http://www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/ThinkersPdf/bettelhe.pdf

random, video, NAPC, Atlanta:  Well this is an interesting way to teach a group of dull Presbyterians about their leaders and leadership! I’m a North Avenue Officer.

news, media, Keith Olberman:  So in the end does it just come down to money?

This was all Keith’s choice. He has several times over the years said that he wants out of his contract. He never meant it until this year. He started lawyers negotiating twice this year. He stopped them in the spring. Then, about a month ago with the guidance of his new ICM team and a new LA manager (who were making zero $ on his current deal), he once again said he wanted to leave and this time they negotiated the full package.

via NEW DETAILS: “MSNBC And Keith Olbermann Have Ended Their Contract”; Lefty MSNBC About To Make Right Turn? – Deadline.com.

“I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I’ve been told–that this is going to be the last edition of your show,” Olbermann said. “You go directly to the scene from the movie ‘Network’ complete with the pajamas and the raincoat.”

via Keith Olbermann’s Parting Words on MSNBC (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Arizona Massacre, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, rehabilitation:  So much hope … but I would hate to be in the spotlight.

Instead of doctors making you well, rehab means “teaching you how to help yourself” to get your life back, said Dr. William Donovan, a former medical director of the rehab hospital who still works there part-time.

It’s frustrating when your muscles and mind won’t work the way you want them to. Emotional challenges, post-traumatic stress and physical problems like seizures, headaches and infections loom as risks that could complicate her recovery.

via Rep. Gabrielle Giffords ‘More Alert,’ Says Dr. Gerard Francisco.

random, viral videos, lawsuits, YouTube:  I am sure this has happened before.  But the security guard did nothing to help her and posted the embarrassing video on YouTube. Do you think it really never crossed the guard’s mind that this was not appropriate? … unkind? … reflective on him or her that he/she was not doing their job?

But their lack of action has opened the floodgates. Sitting next to Marrero on GMA was her attorney, James Polyak. “We plan to hold all responsible parties accountable,” he said, for letting the video out, and will at the very least request an apology from the security team.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of the monstrous Mall of America.)

Marrero’s outcry has already made waves within the mall staff. According to the Reading (Pa.) Eagle, the Berkshire Mall security guard who posted the video has been fired. (via ABC News)

via Woman Falls in Fountain While Texting: Yes, She’s Real. And Mad. And Suing – TIME NewsFeed.

truth, friendship, relationships, Jane Austen, Davidson friends:  Ah, Jane once again subtly revealing the truth. This reminded me of my friend Cary’s recent article about our Davidson friend group gatherings.  I think one of the core requirements is that you tell the truth about yourself.

Truth is a very dangerous commodity. It is like a very sharp knife. You will kill or wound someone with truth more easily than you will cut the cords of ignorance with it. Truth often hurts; sometimes the hurt is necessary. A friend of mine used to say, “The truth will set you free, but it will make you miserable first.” In order for wounds to be healing wounds, they must be both given and received in a context of love and trust. Emma may often disagree with Mr. Knightly, but she never doubts his concern for her and her father.

via Holy Nativity Orthodox Church: Who’ll Tell Emma The Truth?.

heartbreak, Alzheimer’s, personal stories: Jan’s Story: Love and Early-Onset Alzheimer’s – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

college students, Duke:  Duke is getting nailed for what has been happening on college campuses forever.  The women should know better; the men should know better.  “Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part.” Stupid … and these kids are supposed to be the best and the brightest.

Some Duke University student activists hope to end a long-held practice where female students are plied with booze and encouraged to cozy up to new fraternity recruits.

It happens at “progressive” parties, generally held at the end of rush, the period during which fraternities and sororities evaluate prospective members. At Duke, the latest rush period concludes next weekend.

Female students are invited to be hosts at these fraternity parties. The Duke Chronicle student newspaper reported this week that the women’s tasks at the parties can range “from bartending to providing sexual favors.” The women often dress provocatively and are stationed in party rooms bearing such themes as “spring break” and “school girls,” critics say.

Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part. A new group, the Greek Women’s Initiative, recently held a forum examining the issue, and petitions seeking to end the practice have garnered about 800 signatures.

via ‘Progressive’ Duke parties under scrutiny – CharlotteObserver.com.

random, literature, museum exhibits, Morgan Library, NYC:  Diaries are interesting.  I would like to see this exhibit at  the Morgan.

“I have tried to keep diaries before,” John Steinbeck writes in a giant ledger book filled with his methodical script, “but they didn’t work out because of the necessity to be honest.”

via ‘The Diary’ at the Morgan Library – Review – NYTimes.com.

random, politics, Congress, man cave:  I never thought about where freshman members of congress lived.  But if you think about it they have just spent a ton of money and are only assured of two years.  Man Cave in the office??

“I probably got it as good as a man cave can be,” Walberg said.

Down the hall, freshman Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois, is still figuring out how to manage his nights. He sleeps on a couch.

“I think it’s important that we show we don’t live here, we are not creatures of this town,” Walsh told us. “There’s so much to do the next two years, I don’t want to be distracted with another place. I don’t want to have to think about an apartment.”

Walsh, Walberg and nearly two dozen of their colleagues are part of a trend that may have reached a historic high point.

A CBS News survey of all freshmen members of the U.S House of Representatives has found that at least 21 of the 96 members are sleeping in their office – that’s 19 of the 87 new Republicans and 2 of the 9 new Democrats.

The reasons range from making a symbolic statement that they are not part of Washington, proving they are fiscal conservatives, and just saving money.

They sleep on air mattresses, cots, couches, and rollaway beds.

via One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices – CBS Evening News – CBS News.

Arizona Massacre, emotional injuries, prayers:  Keep them in your prayers.

They cried together. They promised one another to seek professional help. And they said they would remain in frequent touch. When Mr. Green drove by with his son the other day, Ms. Hileman vowed that there would be more backyard water gun fights.

In a certain sense, Ms. Hileman sees herself, along with Ms. Giffords, as the third corner of a triangle — she wanted Christina to know that she, too, could become the kind of woman who emanated intelligence and pizazz.

“Christina and I were doing exactly what we wanted to do,” Ms. Hileman said. “We weren’t dragging somebody to the movies. We were happy. Some idiot decided to rain on my parade.”

via Tucson Shooting Survivors Struggle With ‘What If?’ – NYTimes.com.




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