Posts Tagged ‘National Geographic

17
Apr
14

4.17.14 … ” ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our [upscale] neighborhood” … every life has equal value …

‘Homeless Jesus’, neighborhood, DavidsonNews.net, St. Alban’s Square:  I written about this Timothy Schmalz’s work before.  But last weekend it got national attention when it was featured on NPR.  Several Davidson locals posted a February local internet paper article about the reaction of the locals in the paper.  What followed was an interesting discourse on my FB page.  I think you need a little context.  St. Albans Square Neighborhood is small new neighborhood build on the edge of  a small college town but considers it “Old Davidson”.  When it was built, the local Episcopal church built at its center a traditional small town but upscale parish church, moving from what had been a nondescript parish church closer to the center of the town on a residential street. The original church had no physical presence and now it anchors a new but traditional neighborhood.  There is a mix of suburban sprawl and farmland just beyond this community.  There is nothing gritty or urban about it.  So I ask you, humble readers, how would you feel if this was your neighborhood?

Artist Timothy Schmalz’s work is in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson.

(David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

To the editor:

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has placed a sculpture at the entrance to our neighborhood that I think is entirely inappropriate for our neighborhood.

My complaint is not about the art-worthiness or the meaning behind the sculpture. It is about people driving into our beautiful, reasonably upscale neighborhood and seeing an ugly homeless person sleeping on a park bench. It is also about walking by this sculpture at night and passing within inches of the grim reaper. These are the impressions that this sculpture gives. I have stepped over actual homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in New York City and not been as creeped out as I am walking past this sculpture.

If I had submitted this sculpture to our architectural committee to place in front of my house, would it have been approved? Why, then, should we accept this at the entrance of our neighborhood?

In my opinion, the church had no business putting this obviously controversial sculpture out for display to our neighborhood. If they want to display it to their own congregation, then they can relocate it farther in on their property, facing their own internal sidewalk, instead of facing ours.

Resident of St. Alban’s Square

via ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our neighborhood | DavidsonNews.net.

My Facebook friends responded …

Jerry Dawson doesn’t like the new “Homeless Jesus” sculpture…

It saddens me that Mr. Dawson describes this as a statue of an “Ugly homeless person”. You can’t see the statue’s face. In fact, the only part of the statue’s body that is visible is the feet. The nail holes there are the only giveaway to the statue’s identity. To call this statue “ugly” says more, to me, about the attitude of the author toward the homeless than it does about the statue.

Actually, I would be pleased … to have the reminder of him, who told his followers to minister to ‘the least of these.’

Looks like the sculpture is doing precisely what it was probably designed to do.

So glad this conversation is in the open.

My response is that I can respect Mr. Dawson’s opinion, but I would be proud to have this in my neighborhood as a Christian.  I would love to have it at my downtown Charlotte urban missional Church, but then it would not be nearly so out-of-place.  And that juxtaposition is what makes the sculpture so powerful at St. Alban’s.

But I would embrace the statue right where it is in the Davidson neighborhood.  I would love to take my friends to see it on an evening stroll because it would open up lots of interesting conversation, and I would love to take children to see it because it would introduce them to Jesus beyond Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,  beyond the softened Jesus of Sunday School and “Jesus loves me this I know,” and  beyond urban and international mission trips (with a side adventure to a theme park or a Mexican resort.)  But I also feel strongly that Mr. Dawson’s feelings should be respected.  And that if there is a place closer to the church proper then possibly it should be moved there out of respect for those in the community.

 Paris’ Saint-Chapelle. traveling friends:

E. posted this great pic of an “open” stained glass window yesterday. It was in Paris’ Saint-Chapelle where they were cleaning every piece of stained glass individually.  I just love the irony of the image.

 

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I also love vicariously experiencing the travels of my friends. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your trip with your daughter!!   Godspeed!

And her pic sent me down memory lane …  Rue Cler:  good simple Gallic grub (Definitely not a B- in my opinion) … Amorino gelato …

Two of France’s great cheese shops, La Fromagerie and Marie-Anne Cantin (around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars) are also located here, as are various restaurants, including the popular Tribeca and Café Central.  You can buy wine at Nicolas, or buy specialty epicerie items (including tea, spices, top quality jarred tuna, olive oils and vinegars, etc.) at L’Epicerie Fine (also around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars).  Finally, if you want dessert there is a terrific gelato place with fruit, chocolate and other rich gelati at Amorino.

via Rue Cler Neighborhood | Best Restaurants in Paris | Le Best of Paris.

 

Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, philanthropy:

In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on the beach and made a big decision: to give their Microsoft wealth back to society. In conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their money away.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she puts into practice the idea that every life has equal value.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

 

Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist, TED.com: I have only seen a few of his favorites.

Susan Cain

The power of introverts

via Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist | TED.com.

South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis,  ads, Springwise:  Next time I go, I will seek them out!!

In big cities, congested roads mean that public transport is the predominant mode of travel and if residents need to take a car, it’s usually a taxi. The Netherlands’ Hopper has already explored the possibility of eco taxi travel with its one-person electric scooters, and now Mellowcabs is enabling South African citizens to travel for free in its electric cycle cabs that are funded by advertising.

The vehicles have been designed to achieve three goals: free and effective public transport, provide much sought-after advertising hoardings for marketers, and also cut carbon emissions. Each taxi holds up to two passengers and a driver, and customers don’t have to pay to use them. Mellowcabs travel around 120 km a day and have high visibility, including bright white and yellow coverings, meaning they’re both easy for customers to spot and provide a visual platform for advertisers. Each cab also has an on-board tablet providing further advertising opportunities, as well as entertainment for passengers. Since the taxis use electric pedaling, they’re already one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road, but they also take advantage of regenerative braking, which stores energy typically lost when braking and converts it into electricity to power the cab. Enough energy is produced by the cycling that passengers can also charge their phones while they use Mellowcabs.

Could this concept be picked up in your city?

via In South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis are paid for by ads | Springwise.

National Geographic,  interracial relationships, What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, Beauty, PolicyMic:

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, commissioning Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

via National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful – PolicyMic.

Twitter find, St. Louis House $16,000:

Sarah Kendzior ‏@sarahkendzior 8m

Six-bedroom home that has belonged to the same St. Louis family since 1906 now selling for $16,000 http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2707-Blair-Ave-Saint-Louis-MO-63106/2936445_zpid/ …

via (4) Twitter

 

2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

Photos

Map

Bird’s Eye

Street View

View larger

For Sale: $16,000

Zestimate®: $19,540

Est. Mortgage:

$62/mo

See current rates on Zillow

Bedrooms:6 beds

Bathrooms:3 baths

Single Family:2,538 sq ft

Lot:3,920 sqft

Year Built:1908

Heating Type:

via 2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106 is For Sale – Zillow.

Einstein on Why We Are Alive, Brain Pickings:

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation:  I loved this from a while back … shows you how our electronic oversimplification can be destructive.

How many times have you heard or muttered that? How many of of us have been frustrated at seeing too many presentations where PowerPoint or other visual aids obscure rather than enhance the point? After one too many bad presentations at a meeting in January 2000, I decided to see if I could do something about it.

via The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.

Speaker Notes

[Transcribed from voice recording by A. Lincoln, 11/18/63]

These are some notes on the Gettysburg meeting. I\’ll whip them into better shape when I can get on to my computer.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

via Summary.

Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls, Denise Dunning:

Globally, 600 million adolescent girls struggle with widespread poverty, limited access to education and health services, and persistent discrimination and violence. Adolescent girls are among the world’s most economically vulnerable groups, significantly more so than adult women or adolescent boys.

The Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute recently launched a global report that explores the factors that influence girls’ economic empowerment, analyzing promising strategies and highlighting recommendations for policymakers, funders and practitioners.

The Adolescent Girls’ Economic Empowerment Report demonstrates that economic empowerment initiatives can be a critical lever for change in adolescent girls’ lives, helping them to gain financial independence, establish good saving habits and improve their future prospects for participation in the labor force.

AGALI’s research identifies six principal factors that contribute to adolescent girls’ economic empowerment. The first is financial capital … Another is human capital, or a girl’s skills and attributes… A third key factor is social capital …

The fourth key element is physical capital, or the goods that make income generation possible. … Beyond a girl’s individual assets, community-level social norms and institutions can create challenges or opportunities for girls’ economic empowerment. Social norms include cultural beliefs regarding early marriage and childbearing, female genital cutting, and other traditional practices relating to girls’ age, gender or ethnicity. Influential institutions include the legal and policy frameworks that protect girls from violence and exploitation, the macroeconomic market structure, and national education and healthcare systems.

AGALI’s report highlights the importance of addressing the different needs and capacities of adolescent girls of varying ages. While adolescent girls around the world share many of the same challenges, a 12-year-old girl is drastically different from her 17-year-old sister. To that end, economic empowerment initiatives must tailor strategies to respond to the differing realities of girls across a range of age brackets, cultural contexts and political frameworks….

Although adolescent girls primarily enter the workforce to support their families financially, studies have shown that girls also value the increased mobility, opportunities for friendship and greater autonomy that may come with employment. Therefore, safe and appropriate employment opportunities can strengthen adolescent girls’ economic status, while improving their social welfare and future labor market prospects.

via Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls | Denise Dunning.

 

KBXX 97.9 The Box’s photo: I wasn’t expecting this one!

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living large, kith/kin, 14ers, bckcountry skiing, Breckenridge CO, Quandary Peak: On my first’s recent birthday, I woke up with a smile on my face.  He was packing in and skiing down from Quandary Peak … And I thought: what a way to celebrate 24. Live large, my son!  Unfortunately, living large had to be rescheduled. “We are saving it for next week because of avalanche danger. “. I guess that is life.

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map

QuandaryPeak

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map.

 

 

09
Jun
13

6.9.13 … Jane Goodall: “There’s still a spiritual power there. I can breathe it in.” …

Jane Goodall,  Then & Now, National Geographic, thin places:  I think jane Goodall has found her thin place in Gombe.

Top: Jane Goodall in the 1960s plays with a chimp in Gombe Bottom: Jane Goodall plays with a chimp in Gombe in 2010

Jane is determined to use just about every minute she has working to save chimpanzees and to empower people young and old to do what they can for a better world. The Jane Goodall Institute is helping to mentor a new generation of chimp researchers. She travels to Gombe at least twice a year to “recharge her batteries” and see what her chimpanzees are up to. “When I’m on my own at Gombe now, I can easily recapture how I felt at 26, when all the world was new,” she says. “There’s still a spiritual power there. I can breathe it in.”

Over the course of 50 years Jane has witnessed the lives of three generations of chimpanzees. The dream that she set in motion lives on, and her partnership with National Geographic continues.

via Then & Now — National Geographic.

17
May
13

5.17.13 … very random … let’s meditate on them …

meditation, integrative medicine program: 

unlikely prescription: meditation.

“I recommend five minutes, twice a day, and then gradually increase,” said Aditi Nerurkar, a primary-care doctor and assistant medical director of the Cheng & Tsui Center for Integrative Care, which offers alternative medical treatment at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. “It’s basically the same way I prescribe medicine. I don’t start you on a high dose right away.” She recommends that patients eventually work up to about 20 minutes of meditating, twice a day, for conditions including insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.

Integrative medicine programs including meditation are increasingly showing up at hospitals and clinics across the country. Recent research has found that meditation can lower blood pressure and help patients with chronic illness cope with pain and depression. In a study published last year, meditation sharply reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke among a group of African-Americans with heart disease.

via Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes of Meditation Twice a Day – WSJ.com.

photography,  kith/kin: When great design and family antics catch your eye, capture the memories with photos that tell a story …

After you take the photo, bring it back home and make adjustments to the exposure, saturation and cropping. Read the info about your phone’s camera and practice using different settings. Use fun effects like those on Instagram. Lots of software programs and phone apps can help you make these adjustments, and many are free or low cost. Look into Pro HDR, Magic Shutter, Camera+ and other apps in your phone’s app store. GIMP has free photo retouching software, too.

via When great design and family antics catch your eye, capture the memories with photos that tell a story.

face of God, Christian community, Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen:

 

The Mosaic That Shows Us the Face of God

A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself.

That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say: “I make God visible.” But others who see us together can say: “They make God visible.” Community is where humility and glory touch.

via Daily Meditation: May 3, 2013 | Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen.

Mt. Everest, climbing, Then and Now,  National Geographic:

 A lot has changed since the world’s tallest mountain was first climbed in the 1920s, when climbers donned reindeer fur boots and rusty steel crampons. See the evolution of gear and local culture in this gallery, then learn more in The Call of Everest from National Geographic Books. Next: See Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1953 gear compared to 2012 climber Hilaree O’Neill’s.

via Everest Climbing Gear—Then and Now – National Geographic.

The Avengers, movies,  reviews, Roger Ebert:

 Avengers however do share the same time and space continuum, although in recent years, they’ve been treated in separate, single-superhero movies. One assumes the idle Avengers follow the exploits of the employed ones on the news.

“The Avengers,” much awaited by Marvel comics fans, assembles all of the Avengers in one film: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, the Black Widow and Hawkeye. This is like an all-star game, or the chef’s sampling menu at a fancy restaurant.

viaThe Avengers Movie Review & Film Summary (2012) | Roger Ebert.

scripts, voice-over commentary, Downton Abbey, Poldark, Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two:  Loved this and I had completely forgotten about Poldark!

It may be much of the original cast is now dead most of the principals are, but I’ve listened to and watched a DVD of the 1963 Robert Wise film of Shirley Jackson’s Haunting, where what was left of directors and writers and the cast produced intelligent insightful features and voice-over commentary — I took substantial notes on how the film was made. I suspect Poldark as a film still suffers from its original labeling as “swash-buckling soap opera,” and its not having had a widely-prestigious and single auteur type instead many directors, writers, directors. By contrast, Downton Abbey now has had at least two books The World of, The Chronicles of and the first of three projected scripts produced.

via From the Scripts and Voice-over commentary: Downton Abbey | Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two.

 

16
May
13

5.16.13 … Whoooooooooo ….

Eastern Screech Owl,  Traveler Photo Contest 2013,  National Geographic, kith/kin, Okefenokee Swamp: Really cool pic!  This made me think of Uncle Herb Bennett!

Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl

Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge

Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey.

Location: Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USA

via Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl – Traveler Photo Contest 2013 – National Geographic.

08
Feb
13

2.8.13 … I am a happy nerd …

UNC Festival of Legal Learning, Hotel Siena, Southern Seasons, Weathervane at Southern Seasons, The Siena Hotel,  Chapel Hill NC: I am a happy nerd … Southern Seasons was a treat … as was shrimp and grits at Weathervane at Southern Season. And finally The Siena Hotel beats the Waldorf Astoria … much better toiletries and turn down service with chocolates.

blizzards, 2013 NE blizzard, NYTimes.com:  Hoping all are safe and warm …

Watching the snowfall forecasts from the potent blizzard sweeping into the Northeast we’re at the western edge of the robin’s egg 12-24 inches zone, I can’t help but think back to March, 2010, when we lost power for five days after the Hudson Valley and other regions were paralyzed by several feet of snow.

via Blizzards as Teachers – NYTimes.com.

Downton Abbey, Valentine’s Day, LOL:

basset hounds, kith/kin, vacations, Madrid: Hidden amongst my son’s vacation pictures … 🙂

Photo

donuts/doughnuts, Firecakes, Chicago:  Sounds like voodoo donuts to me!

DONUTSCreative confections in River NorthThe latest addition to Chicago’s coffee-dunking circuit, Firecakes is a small-batch donut shop from the owner of La Madia, rotating a roster of sweetness like Tahitian vanilla glazed, blood orange and raspberry jelly, and Nutella long johns that’ll provide a comfortable home for your (hazel)nuts. Oh, there’s also a maple-glazed pineapple and bacon donut…

Sallie Krawcheck,  Lessons from My Bosses, LinkedIn:

The best: at one firm, the culture was to hire unconventionally, bringing in people with a broad range of backgrounds. The talent we uncovered, where others weren’t looking, could be amazing. In contrast, a couple of CEOs surrounded themselves with a long-tenured “inner circle” and filtered information through them. One of the many reasons for the financial melt-down was the unexamined groupthink that pervaded Wall Street, enabled by senior managers “breathing the same air.”

via Lessons from My Bosses | LinkedIn.

Sallie Krawcheck, bankers, compensation:

Sallie Krawcheck didn’t pull any punches when she was president of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s wealth management unit, and now she’s using her bully pulpit as a LinkedIn blogger to explain why paying bankers in stock is a lousy idea.

In 2013, banks must change the way they compensate their senior executives, Krawcheck (left) argues in her Tuesday blog post, saying that company boards are making a mistake by moving to more equity ownership for senior execs since the 2008 crash. She certainly has an insider’s view of the business: Krawcheck is a veteran not only of BofA, but of Citi Smith Barney and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

“Coming out of the crisis, the national discussion focused on ‘pay them less’ and very little on ‘pay them better,’” writes Krawcheck, who was summarily fired in September 2011 when BOFA Chief Executive Brian Moynihan went public with plans to reorganize the bank’s management and operating units. “Instead, the long-term conventional wisdom that senior executives should be aligned with equity holders remained unexamined: the amount they are paid is often based on stockholder metrics (like ROE), and the form of payment is in increasing proportions of stock.”

Claiming that she herself and the rest of the banking world now know that their business is unlike any other, Krawcheck then goes on to list her top 10 reasons paying bank executives in more stock is “a bad idea.” (See No. 10 on the list, where Krawcheck name-checks her former firm.)

10. Look at the evidence. Naming names, Krawcheck points out that the biggest CEO equity holders in 2007 were at Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Countrywide. As she puts it: “‘Nuff said.”

via Sallie Krawcheck: Top 10 Reasons It’s Bad to Pay Bankers in Stock.

Iceland, Family Trip, vacations, bucket list,  National Geographic:  I’m scheming …

Iceland is one of the warmest cold countries you’ll find—especially so toward children. It seems everywhere you look there are pram-pushing moms and blond-haired kids swarming the capital of Reykjavik. The big hit for children (and adults) will be the city’s 18 mostly open-air geothermal pools (82–109°F); most also have slides and fountains. Use a pool visit to introduce the concept of renewable resources. Iceland is on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a belt of mountains and rift valleys where periodic eruptions widen the ocean floor. One of the world’s most tectonically volatile places, it feeds more than 200 volcanoes and 600 hot springs and heats 85 percent of Iceland’s homes. Add to this energy produced by the nation’s rivers and streams, and the country essentially gets all its electricity from nature.

via Iceland’s Ring Road: Best Family Trip — National Geographic.

 Yoda, Star Wars, Stuart Freeborn, The Two-Way : NPR: Funny, I think he looks a little like Yoda.

Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98

via Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98 : The Two-Way : NPR.

Fashion Week 2013, WSJ.comFashion Week 2013 – WSJ.com.

Star Trek, William Shatner, ISS, Twitter:  kinda cool …

Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise called up an astronaut in space today for a cosmic conversation that began on Twitter and warped all the way into space.

Actor William Shatner, who famously portrayed Kirk in the original science fiction TV show “Star Trek,” called the International Space Station today (Feb. 7) to ask real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield what life is like on a spaceship.

On Jan. 3, 2013, Commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency started tweeting with William Shatner, “Captain Kirk” of the original Star trek series, and with other Star Trek cast members, plus one very famous real spaceflyer.

“I’m so moved to be able to speak to you for this brief moment,” Shatner told the astronaut via phone.

You can see a video of Shatner’s call to the space station here.

Hadfield, representing the Canadian Space Agency, is serving a five-month tour on the football field-sized space station orbiting Earth. Last month, he and Shatner struck up a virtual conversation on Twitter when the actor wrote, “@Cmdr_Hadfield Are you tweeting from space?”

Eventually, their conversation pulled in other “Star Trek” notables like George Takei (who played Hikaru Sulu), Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock).

Today, Shatner and Hadfield connected in real time for a chat about life in space, and life on the stage.

via ‘Star Trek’ Actor William Shatner Calls Astronaut in Space (Video) | Space.com.

Corby Kummer, 15-Course Tasting Menu, Eleven Madison Park, Vanity Fair:  Wow …

As part of his strenuous, on-the-ground reporting for his recent Vanity Fair article about “totalitarian” chefs and their increasingly elaborate tasting menus, “Tyranny—It’s What’s for Dinner,” author Corby Kummer endured a five-hour, 15-course meal at Eleven Madison Park, the Manhattan restaurant owned by chef Daniel Humm. Here is Kummer’s course-by-course, or round-by-round, report, along with the approximate time each course was served.

via Foodies Gone Wild: Corby Kummer’s Annotated, 15-Course Tasting Menu from Eleven Madison Park | Vanity Fair.

 

09
Sep
11

9.9.2011 … John’s trail name is No Sweat … watching an old NG special on the AT … what should mine be?

Appalachian Trail, trail names, National Geographic, Netflix: Streaming Netflix and watching a apecial on the AT.  John’s dream is to hike it … he will, and he already has his trail name …”No Sweat” … I can’t imagine what mine will be …

education, college, reading, empathy:

Researchers from the University at Buffalo gave 140 undergraduates passages from either Meyer’s Twilight or JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to read, with the vampire group delving into an extract in which Edward Cullen tells his teenage love interest Bella what it is like to be a vampire, and the wizardly readers getting a section in which Harry and his cohorts are “sorted” into Hogwarts houses.

The candidates then went through a series of tests, in which they categorised “me” words (myself, mine) and “wizard” words (wand, broomstick, spells, potions) by pressing one key when they appeared on the screen, and “not me” words (they, theirs) and “vampire” words (blood, undead, fangs, bitten) by pressing another key, with the test then reversed. The study’s authors, Dr Shira Gabriel and Ariana Young, expected them to respond more quickly to the “me” words when they were linked to the book they had just read.

Gabriel and Young then applied what they dubbed the Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation Scale, which saw the students asked questions designed to measure their identification with the worlds they had been reading about – including “How long could you go without sleep?”, “How sharp are your teeth?” and “Do you think, if you tried really hard, you might be able to make an object move just using the power of your mind?” Their moods, life satisfaction, and absorption into the stories were then measured.

Published by the journal Psychological Science, the study found that participants who read the Harry Potter chapters self-identified as wizards, whereas participants who read the Twilight chapter self-identified as vampires. And “belonging” to these fictional communities actually provided the same mood and life satisfaction people get from affiliations with real-life groups. “The current research suggests that books give readers more than an opportunity to tune out and submerge themselves in fantasy worlds. Books provide the opportunity for social connection and the blissful calm that comes from becoming a part of something larger than oneself for a precious, fleeting moment,” Gabriel and Young write.

via Reading fiction ‘improves empathy’, study finds | Books | guardian.co.uk.

youth, culture, tattoo remorse:

The Rise of Tattoo Remorse: Heavy Cost to Erase What’s Often an Impulse Decision

Most fads are relatively harmless, inexpensive, and, by their very nature, short-lived. Tattoos, however, have become remarkably trendy at the same time they’re as long-lasting as purchases get. If and when you have that sweet $80 tattoo you got on a whim in college removed because it now looks silly, the procedure will wind up being far more painful (“like getting burnt with hot baking grease”) and way more expensive ($3,600!) than when you got tattooed in the first place.

The Boston Globe recently profiled a few of the many tattooed Americans who regret their decisions to go under the needle and now just wish their skin was ink-free. According to a 2008 poll, 16% of the inked suffer from “tattoo remorse,” and the number of people electing to have tattoos removed—like the number of people choosing to get tattoos, by no coincidence—has been on the rise in recent years. In 2009, there were 61,535 surgical procedures performed to remove tattoos.

That doesn’t necessarily mean 61,535 tattoos were actually removed that year. In some cases, it takes 15 or more sessions to remove a single tattoo. Each of these sessions can be an ordeal. In order to scare his kids away from getting tattoos, actor Mark Wahlberg had them observe when a few of his tattoos were removed. This is how Wahlberg described the experience:

“It’s like getting burnt with hot baking grease,” he told Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” in February. “There’s blood coming up, it looks like somebody welded your skin. Hopefully that will deter them.”

Of all the tattoos that can be later regretted, perhaps none is worse than the name of one’s ex. One 25-year-old student told the Globe that, naturally, he wished he didn’t have the name of his now ex-girlfriend (Kate) tattooed on his buttocks:

“I was in love,” he explained, a warm smile spreading across his face as he recalled how he felt when he impulsively went to the tattoo parlor. Now? The smile disappeared. “It reminds me of her.”

And obviously not in a good way. Talk about a pain in the butt.

Some tattoos don’t age well for other reasons. The 31-year-old marketing director described in the story’s introduction got her ankle tattoo—a Chinese symbol supposed to symbolize a warrior and scholar—when it seemed like the cool thing to do in college. Later, she found out the mark translated as something like “mud pie.” Embarrassed—because the mark was basically meaningless, and because the tattoo was a mismatch for the professional world she now worked in—she wound up spending $3,600 to have the tattoo removed over the course of two years.

via The Rise of Tattoo Remorse: Heavy Cost to Erase What’s Often an Impulse Decision | Moneyland | TIME.com.

word clouds, President Obama, Obama’s 2011 Jobs Speech:  Some sites won’t let me exerpt … “Obama’s 2011 Jobs Speech” by Justin Wolfers

mobile cloud:  Storm clouds brewing!

Apple iCloud. Google Music. Amazon Cloud Drive. Microsoft SkyDrive and Office 365. OnLive. Dropbox. Jungle Disk. These are just a few of the many new services promising to let consumers access their music, pictures, videos, games, documents and other files anywhere, anytime, from any device via wireless networks. In theory, these services offer a bright future for consumers, especially those who value convenience and want access to all their content no matter where they are.

But in reality, there are dark storm clouds brewing. These mobile “cloud” services won’t happen without radiofrequency spectrum, a natural resource that is quickly becoming scarcer because of outdated regulatory and technological spectrum access methods.

via Will spectrum scarcity sink wireless access to content in the cloud? — Broadband News and Analysis.

Apple, iOS 5 , iPhone 5:  Can they top themselves again …

The new build has several additional features enabled including Facetime over 3G and the speech-to-text features that we have previously talked about.

The carrier partners have been instructed to test Facetime over 3G extensively, raising hopes that iPhone users will soon be able to use Facetime anywhere they have a data connection. This doesn’t mean that we will be seeing Facetime 3G in the final release, of course, but it does mean that carriers are at least being encouraged to test it on their networks.

This build of iOS 5 is said to be a newer one than the one available to developers currently, which is beta 7. Currently, Facetime must be used over WiFi connections only, limiting its usage as you are normally around a computer when you’re on WiFi and can use higher quality services like Skype.

Apple’s new speech-to-text feature is also said to be in the build as well. This feature, which we have seen referred to as ‘Dictation’ internally, allows users to tap a microphone button and speak into the iPhone, which will transcribe the voice into text passages. This feature apparently works very much like Android’s speech-to-text and is said to be ‘very polished, quick and accurate’. This was initially thought to coincide with a system-wide ‘Assistant’ feature that would act much like fellow Nuance partner Siri’s capabilities.

via Apple’s carrier partners get ‘near-final’ build of iOS 5 with speech and Facetime 3G – TNW Apple.

Facebook, helpful hints:

For all of Facebook’s popularity, many of its users are still nervous about how to maintain their privacy on the network. Google’s rival social network, called Google+, answered the call for easier sharing control: Each post clearly shows which groups of friends will see it, and these groups are privately named by users.

This week I’ll dig into the latest updates on Facebook, which aim to ease the process of controlling one’s profile and privacy. An upcoming Facebook developer conference in two weeks is expected to reveal additional changes.

via Facebook Updates Help Users Share Better With Others – Katherine Boehret – The Digital Solution – AllThingsD.

business class, travel: Service is the key. 🙂

This all sounds like very nice stuff. The Consumerist blog says all the fancy stuff “hearken[s] back to the day of luxury carriers like Pan Am and the high-end airlines favored by international business travelers.” But do business travellers really care that much about this sort of thing? The main complaint many flyers have about big American carriers is that their service is rotten, not that their goodie bags are insufficiently stocked. Amenities are an important part of the service experience. But they’re not as important as making sure your customers get where they are going on time and happy.

via First class on American Airlines: Classing up first class | The Economist.

Nike, shoes, Back to the Future, movies:  Belated tie-in?

In 2015, Marty McFly slipped on a pair of Nike Air Power Laces, white-and-gray high-tops with teal specks and wrap-around ankle straps, which self-fastened electronically. Now, four years earlier, Nike is going Back To The Future (er, forward to the past) to re-release the movie’s famous sneakers–and from what we’ve seen, the 2011 Nike MAGs, as they’re called, are as slick as the DeLorean DMC-12 they arrived in.

via Nike Unveils MAG, Marty McFly’s Kicks From Back To The Future II | Co. Design.

health, exercise, swimming:  I have always thought I would like some lessons.

When you break it down, swimming has a high potential for embarrassment. It requires us to show grace, coordination and strength—all without the security of clothing. This didn’t seem to bother us back when we worked as lifeguards at the YMCA or as splash-happy counselors at Camp Good Times. But over the years, without regular access to a pool or a pond, many of us have grown tentative in the water.

It’s worth rebuilding our confidence, though, because swimming offers a total-body workout like no other. And as many athletes are discovering, this non-impact activity is an excellent alternative for joints that have become stiff from years’ worth of pavement-pounding. It can help us feel weightless—and even ageless. “The water doesn’t know what age you are when you jump in,” said Dara Torres, who at 41 was the oldest woman ever to make the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. “So why not?”

While complete novices are best served by a class or private instruction, some lapsed swimmers just need a little push. We asked two professional coaches for advice on getting back in the swim.

via Advice for Nervous Swimmers – How to Swim if You Haven’t in a While – Oprah.com

Plato, Atlantis, archeology, fact v. fiction:  “His ideas about divine versus human nature, ideal societies, the gradual corruption of human society—these ideas are all found in many of his works. Atlantis was a different vehicle to get at some of his favorite themes.”

If the writing of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato had not contained so much truth about the human condition, his name would have been forgotten centuries ago.

But one of his most famous stories—the cataclysmic destruction of the ancient civilization of Atlantis—is almost certainly false. So why is this story still repeated more than 2,300 years after Plato’s death?

“It’s a story that captures the imagination,” says James Romm, a professor of classics at Bard College in Annandale, New York. “It’s a great myth. It has a lot of elements that people love to fantasize about.”

Plato told the story of Atlantis around 360 B.C. The founders of Atlantis, he said, were half god and half human. They created a utopian civilization and became a great naval power. Their home was made up of concentric islands separated by wide moats and linked by a canal that penetrated to the center. The lush islands contained gold, silver, and other precious metals and supported an abundance of rare, exotic wildlife. There was a great capital city on the central island.

….

Romm believes Plato created the story of Atlantis to convey some of his philosophical theories. “He was dealing with a number of issues, themes that run throughout his work,” he says. “His ideas about divine versus human nature, ideal societies, the gradual corruption of human society—these ideas are all found in many of his works. Atlantis was a different vehicle to get at some of his favorite themes.”

The legend of Atlantis is a story about a moral, spiritual people who lived in a highly advanced, utopian civilization. But they became greedy, petty, and “morally bankrupt,” and the gods “became angry because the people had lost their way and turned to immoral pursuits,” Orser says.

As punishment, he says, the gods sent “one terrible night of fire and earthquakes” that caused Atlantis to sink into the sea.

via Atlantis Legend — National Geographic.

Blackbeard, The Queen Anne’s Revenge, Beaufort NC, history, archeology:  I love this stuff …

After 15 years of uncertainty, a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina has been confirmed as that of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard, state officials say.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge grounded on a sandbar near Beaufort (see map) in 1718, nine years after the town had been established. Blackbeard and his crew abandoned the ship and survived.

Until recently, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources emphasized that the wreck, discovered in 1995, was “thought to be” the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Now, after a comprehensive review of the evidence, those same officials are sure it’s the ship sailed by one of history’s fiercest and most colorful pirates.

“There was not one aha moment,” said Claire Aubel, public relations coordinator for the North Carolina Maritime Museums. “There was a collection of moments and a deduction based on the evidence.”

via Blackbeard’s Ship Confirmed off North Carolina.

astronomy, new planet: Most earth-like … only 36 light years away!

A new planet found about 36 light-years away could be one of the most Earthlike worlds yet—if it has enough clouds, a new study says.

The unpoetically named HD85512b was discovered orbiting an orange dwarf star in the constellation Vela. Astronomers found the planet using the European Southern Observatory’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS, instrument in Chile.

Radial velocity is a planet-hunting technique that looks for wobbles in a star’s light, which can indicate the gravitational tugs of orbiting worlds.

The HARPS data show that the planet is 3.6 times the mass of Earth, and the new world orbits its parent star at just the right distance for water to be liquid on the planet’s surface—a trait scientists believe is crucial for life as we know it.

via New Planet May Be Among Most Earthlike—Weather Permitting.

photography, apps, kith/kin:  My favorite professional photographer Mark Fortenberry likes Hipstamatic.  I am still learning.

Learn more about a few of my favorite photo apps in the gallery above.

And once you’re hooked, keep up with the latest and greatest at iPhoneography.com or push your creative edge with The Art of iPhoneography, both great resources for mobile creativity.

via Artsy Travel Photos? There’s an App for That – Intelligent Travel.

Dancing with the Stars, tv, Chaz Bono:  Now this will be interesting …

Although he may have something to prove, Chaz, however couldn’t be more beloved by his fellow contestants and the dancers who have all dubbed him a ‘very cool dude.’

via Chaz Bono ‘struggling with rehearsals because he lacks rhythm’ | Mail Online.

education, technology, iPads: 

School districts across the country are plunking down major cash for iPads—even for kindergarten classrooms—but there hasn’t been much research about whether using them actually boosts student achievement. So James Harmon, a veteran English teacher from the Cleveland area, decided to conduct his own experiment (PDF). His finding? His students learned better with the aid of iPads—if used correctly.

Harmon’s experiment began at the start of the last school year when the school district provided his school, Euclid High, with a set of 24 iPads. The school serves a population that’s majority black and low-income, and Harmon knew that traditional approaches to teaching reading and writing weren’t working. His gut instinct was that the iPads would help the school’s English teachers find new, creative approaches to teaching the content, but he also wanted to justify asking for more iPads with data-based evidence.

So Harmon divided the sophomore class into two groups, one iPad-free control group, and one that had access to the tablets at school. For consistency, he also ensured that all three sophomore English teachers taught the same curriculum. According to his experiment’s end-of-year data, students with access to an iPad were more likely to pass both the reading and writing sections of the state standardized test.

via Teacher’s iPad Experiment Shows Possibilities for Classroom Technology – Education – GOOD.

education, learning styles, edupunks:  Ar you an edupunk?  education, no … learning journey!

It’s the best of times and the worst of times to be a learner. College tuition has doubled in the past decade, while the options for learning online and independently keep expanding: you can take a free Stanford class with 100,000 other students, hop on YouTube to find an instructional video, or ask a question on Twitter or Quora and share your work on a forum like Github or Behance. Anya Kamenetz’s new free ebook The Edupunks’ Guide is all about the many paths that learners are taking in this new world. So we teamed up with her to find out: are you an edupunk?

the THEME

Three-quarters of students don’t fit the traditional mold of straight-from-high-school-four-years-of-college-first-job. We want to see a real learning journey: online and real-world resources and communities you’ve found, classes, internships, conferences, jobs, dead ends or wrong turns, and the person or people who really made a difference in getting you where you are today (or where you hope to be).

the OBJECTIVE

Doodle a map of your most important learning experiences. Show us what it’s like to learn outside the traditional academic model.

the REQUIREMENTS

Submit your entry here. We will accept submissions through Sunday, September 11. Check back on to see the slideshow and vote on your favorite. The winner will receive a GOOD T-shirt and see their infographic displayed on GOOD.is.

via Project: Doodle Your Learning Journey – Education – GOOD.

small business, internet, etsy:

In anticipation of Hello Etsy, a summit on small business and sustainability, we teamed up with Etsy to ask you which local businesses you love. We received tons of great submissions celebrating small businesses across the world.

via Submissions: Which Small Businesses Do You Love? – Culture – GOOD.

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‎7.15.2011 … Who has seen Harry Potter? I must admit I am waiting for the crowds to die down … Molly is going in France. Shes worried it will be in French, but hoping that it will be in English with French subtitles.

Harry Potter, movies, food, Bento box:  Harry Potter seems well liked :), and is viewed as an industry game changer.  I just laughed when I saw 5 HP Bento boxes … I had my first bento box in March … and had never heard of them before … now they are everywhere.

“There was a sea change with Harry Potter,” says Erik Feig, president of worldwide production at Summit Entertainment, which has made the Twilight movies. “The story has a younger protagonist, but the book series and the movies are greatly enjoyed by older people, too. I devoured the first book and gave it to every grown-up I knew. We saw the same thing with Twilight. We did not ghetto-ize it as a young-adult movie. Nor did they with Harry Potter. They drew all audiences. It was an inspiration to us.”

via How ‘Harry Potter’ magically changed films – USATODAY.com.

harrypotterbentoschool.jpg

The New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is today, and the world’s gone mad with Pottermania.

We’re going to miss Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but all good things must come to an end. And since the actors playing these Hogwarts students are adults (my gosh, Daniel Radcliffe has already given up drinking), now is probably a good time to say goodbye (before they all get Botox or join Celebrity Rehab).

In celebration of the movie and the passing of an era, we’ve found the five craziest Harry Potter-related bento boxes (yes, we actually found more than one).

via Five Crazy Harry Potter Bento Boxes – Broward/Palm Beach Restaurants and Dining – Clean Plate Charlie.

Bento (弁当 bentō?)[1] is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or “character bento”. Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon (anime) characters, characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is “oekakiben” or “picture bento”, which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.

via Bento – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 slime bags, John Edwards, great lawyers, Jim Cooney:  He may be a slime bags but he sure can pick a great lawyer.

Jim Cooney, a Charlotte attorney, argued for a later trial date, saying the case was complex and unusual and the sheer volume of documents collected by prosecutors would be overwhelming for his staff to quickly analyze.

Defense lawyers have received 10,000 documents from prosecutors and expect 20,000 more, including campaign e-mails and Internal Revenue Service tax filings.

Prosecutors contend that Edwards violated campaign finance laws by secretly obtaining and using contributions from two wealthy supporters to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2008.

via Judge sets John Edwards’ trial for October | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, anniversaries, icons, Russia, google doodles:  Happy 450th!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is 450 years old today, and Russia is celebrating with a gift from Google: a doodle dedicated to the onion-domed structure.

via Saint Basil’s Cathedral Turns 450 Today With a Google Doodle – Intelligent Travel.

book shelf, Golden Fox, Courtney novels, Wilbur Smith:  On the list … comes highly recommended.

London, 1969 – and the headstrong and beautiful Isabella Courtney dazzles all.Yet the years that follow will test Isabella to the extreme of her endurance. They will be years of hardship and bitter pain, hidden behind the masks of affluence and success. It will be a time in which brother is pitted against brother, as they are drawn into the lair of the golden fox.Golden Fox irresistibly sweeps the reader through the heart of London society, the grandeur of Europe and the searing heat of a divided Africa.Once again, Wilbur Smith combines his unique talents for electric story-telling, meticulous research and compassion for places and their people in a novel of adventure, romantic obsession, deceit and desire, in a world where betrayal demands the ultimate sacrifice…

via Wilbur Smith | The Courtney novels | Golden Fox.

Oprah, marriage, relationships:  Advice sounds a lot like everybody else’s … maybe there is some truth here.

When we fall in love, we see life in Technicolor. We nibble each other’s ears and tell each other everything; our limitations and rigidities melt away. We’re sexier, smarter, funnier, more giving. We feel whole; we’re connected.

But inevitably, things start to go wrong. The veil of illusion falls away, and it turns out your partner has qualities you can’t bear. Even traits you once admired grate on you. Old hurts resurface as you realize your partner cannot or will not love and care for you as promised.

via Marriage Repair Kit – Oprah.com.

food – desserts, Jello:  Two of my three  kids hate jello … so not a favorite.  Can you imagine finding it on a classy menu?

 

 

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Long a cubed dessert of hospital cafeterias, flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of avant-garde chefs and established design studios across the country. Artists are using the wobbly medium to create sculptures of everything from colorful cities to President Barack Obama. They are drawing inspiration from crafters like Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, the British chefs whose projects include a gelatin Buckingham Palace to celebrate the royal wedding.

“It has a ton of structure, and it can be any flavor,” says Ms. Whiteley, whose Disney noggin snagged a creativity prize in the Brooklyn, N.Y., Jell-O Mold Competition. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York provided prizes.

Flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of chefs and food crafters across the country. WSJ’s Anjali Athavaley reports on the wiggly resurgence.

“What was once a dessert of jiggling, artful decadence has now been rendered flat or at most, a wiggling cube,” says the website for the competition, held last month in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Studio Space. “This isn’t good enough for an American icon.”

Part of the appeal of gelatin art is nostalgia. “It’s the wiggly, friendly dessert that everyone loved when they were a kid,” says Michelle Palm, a financial consultant in Edina, Minn., and founder of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, a blog about Jell-O shots, the novelty libation. The site’s most popular shot is the Rainbow Jelly Shooter, which includes vodka and layers of multiflavored gelatin with a cherry in the center. Only three colors of gelatin—red, yellow and blue—are used. Light bends the layers for a rainbow effect.

via Designers Make Sculpting Jell-O Cool – WSJ.com.

twitter, college application:  Interesting …

At the University of Iowa, a good tweet is worth $37,000.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

That’s the price of a full scholarship, and that’s exactly what a student hopeful can win in a contest the university has dreamed up that takes electronic communication to a new level. The university is asking prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay.

The University of Iowa is joining several others in its attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills — two qualities that today’s Twitter-savvy marketplace demands.

via College offers scholarship for Twitter ‘essay’ – USATODAY.com.

Betty Ford, eulogy, Cokie Roberts, politics:  She was always outspoken … even directing things that need to be said at her funeral.

Cokie Roberts, a commentator on National Public Radio and member of a noted political family, said Ford asked her several years ago to talk about the importance of getting along in politics, recalling a time in Washington when Democrats and Republicans could be friends and partisan politics did not paralyze government.

Roberts’ father, Democrat Hale Boggs, was House majority leader when Ford was minority leader, and Roberts said the families were close.

via Betty Ford eulogized as trailblazer who helped millions – USATODAY.com.

Facebook, divorce:  

More than 80 percent of divorce attorneys recently surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that in the past few years they have witnessed “an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence.” Although it is difficult to definitively establish cause and effect here, it seems likely that the divorce rate among baby boomers has been elevated by the Internet.

Nancy Kalish, a professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, suspects that online connections may lead to growing numbers of what she terms “accidental affairs,” meaning they involve people who don’t set out to have a physical or emotional relationship outside their marriage. Kalish studies couples who reunite after years apart.

Before there was an Internet, when someone wanted to track down a past love, he or she had to go through the effort of locating a friend or relative to make contact. “Unless they were single, divorced or widowed, they just didn’t typically do that,” Kalish told me.

via Facebook Might Be to Blame for Your Divorce: Sheril Kirshenbaum – Bloomberg.

google, internet searches, memory:

Internet searches are making information easy to forget, as more people rely on their computers as a type of “external memory,” a study of Harvard University students found.

About 60 Harvard students were asked to type 40 pieces of trivia, such as “An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain,” into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased. People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.

The widely available Internet has made it an instant go-to library where facts and figures are easily found, the researchers said. The study suggests that search engines such as Google Inc. (GOOG), and databases such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN)’s IMDb.com serve as an external “memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” they said.

via Google Searches May Influence What People Forget, Test Finds – Bloomberg.

China, real estate, Winnetka:  Compare it to Winnetka prices!

Workers toil by night lights with hoes, carving out the signs for Olympic rings in front of an unfinished 30,000-seat stadium, bulb-shaped gymnasium and swimming complex in a little-known Chinese city.

Loudi, home to 4 million people in Chairman Mao Zedong’s home province of Hunan, is paying for the project with 1.2 billion yuan ($185 million) in bonds, guaranteed by land valued at $1.5 million an acre. That’s about the same as prices in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb that is one of the richest U.S. towns, where the average household earns more than $250,000 a year.

In Loudi, people take home $2,323 annually and there are no Olympics here on any calendar.

via China Cities Value Land at Winnetka Prices With Bonds Seen Toxic – Bloomberg.

apps, National Geographic, photography, France:  Fun, but not great …

National Geographic Traveler and Fotopedia present a dazzling bird’s-eye view of France.

Following on the heels of our popular “Dreams of Burma” app that we launched last month, today we announce the release of another brand new photo app, “Above France.”  Our new app takes you on a spectacular aerial journey across the country in over 2,000 photos with interactive maps, slideshows, and wallpapers.

via Above France, A New Photo App – Intelligent Travel.




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