Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela

07
Jul
14

7.7.14 … turtles gone awry …

25 Of The Most Creative Sculptures And Statues From Around The World, Bored Panda, Nelson Mandela:  Have I mentioned that I really love fun, interactive, made you think, beautiful, ugly, symbolic, public art?  Nelson Mandela … #11 … that’s my favorite.

9. Black Ghost, Klaipeda, Lithuania

11. Nelson Mandela, South Africa

via 25 Of The Most Creative Sculptures And Statues From Around The World | Bored Panda.

Cross-Charlotte bike trail is proposed, CharlotteObserver.com:

The whirr of bike chains and snap of gear shifts should become more common sounds in parts of Charlotte in coming years.

That’s because the city stands ready to pump up Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s lagging trail network for bicycles. City transportation planners propose to help expand the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and two other greenways into a 30.6-mile bikeway from Cabarrus County to York County, S.C.

The Cross-Charlotte Trail, as it’s called, would advance the Little Sugar Creek Greenway from its northern point at Cordelia Park, near uptown. The multiple-use trail would go through the NoDa arts and entertainment district, join the Toby Creek and Mallard Creek greenways in the UNC Charlotte area and pass south of U.S. 29 to the county line.

via Cross-Charlotte bike trail is proposed | CharlotteObserver.com.

Taylor Swift: Autographs Are Obsolete Because Of Selfies: I had not thought about this!!

The Wall Street Journal’s newest columnist, Taylor Swift — yes, that Taylor Swift — has a message for all you old fogies out there: Autographs are so over.

“I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera,” Swift wrote Monday in her WSJ column on the future of music. She called autographs “obsolete.”

For young people, Instagram followers are “currency,” she argued. And she has a point. Instagram is the most important social network for teens, according to a recent survey by the investment bank Piper Jaffray. How are you suppose to impress your friends with a name scribbled on a piece of paper?

If anyone can tell us what the kids are into, it’s their fearless leader. She’s got 9.7 million Instagram followers, 41.7 million Twitter followers and 66.6 million Facebook “Likes.” (Plus seven Grammys, but who’s counting?)

via Taylor Swift: Autographs Are Obsolete Because Of Selfies.

Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone’s Paparazzi Trick, Vanity Fair:  I like this …

 

While she and husband Adam Shulman were walking their dog, Anne Hathaway decided to pay direct tribute to Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. The couple shielded their faces with signs, and Hathaway’s read:

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield had a great idea! Please check out: http://www.girleffect.org [an organization that empowers young women], http://www.feedingamerica.org [a nonprofit network of domestic food banks], and http://www.worldofchildren.org [a charity geared towards raising awareness for children’s issues].

Stone and Garfield have, on several occasions, endeared themselves to the public in this identical way by thwarting the paparazzi and shining a light on charities that are near and dear to their hearts. As for Hathaway, her earnest enthusiasm, especially around her 2013 Oscar win, has earned her a lot of surprising criticism. In a post-Jennifer Lawrence world, the concept of “genuine likability” vs., say, studio polish, can make or break careers. If Hathaway wanted to model her behavior after anyone in order to gain some of that unfairly elusive “likability” credit from the public, she couldn’t pick a better model than Stone. Be it throwing her heart in a late-night lip-synch battle, or playfully calling out her boyfriend, Garfield, on his sexist ideology, Stone is always a hit. Hathaway, on the other hand, always has to work for it.

Why is it so much harder for Hathaway? It’s impossible to say. But if she’s going to keep on emulating popular actresses we have our fingers crossed for a carefree J.Law stumble, a salty Mila Kunis interview, and some brassy Emma Thompson tomfoolery. But, if not, we suggest Anne just be herself.

via Anne Hathaway Tries to Pull Off Emma Stone’s Paparazzi Trick | Vanity Fair.

MyRecipes.com:  I friend of mine highly recommends this site. MyRecipes.com – Recipes, Dinner Ideas and Menus.

Wheaton College injunction: The Supreme Court just sneakily reversed itself on Hobby Lobby:  “This is an institution, the turtle tells us, that moves slowly, deliberately, and removed from the knee-jerk pace of the political branches.”

The architecture of the U.S. Supreme Court Building is rife with turtles. There are turtles holding up the lampposts in the courtyard and turtles engraved in the stone decor. You can buy turtle coffee mugs at the gift shop. The turtle is said to represent the slow and deliberate pace of justice. This is an institution, the turtle tells us, that moves slowly, deliberately, and removed from the knee-jerk pace of the political branches.

Yet moments before they adjourned for their summer recess, the justices proved they can act quite quickly and recklessly when it comes to violating the terms of a controversial opinion they handed down only days earlier. It’s as if the loaner car the court gave us in the Hobby Lobby ruling broke down mere blocks from the shop.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a “substantial burden” on the religious freedoms of closely-held corporations for the government to require them to provide contraception as part of their employee health care plans. The court didn’t say that the government could never require a company to do something that violated its religious beliefs, but rather that the government had to use the “least restrictive alternative.” That means that if there is a slightly less burdensome way to implement the law, it needs to be used. To prove that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate was not the “least restrictive alternative,” the court pointed to a workaround in the law for nonprofits: If there are religious objections to a medical treatment, third parties will provide coverage to the employees.

It’s the butterfly effect: Any time Wheaton flapped its religious-conscience wings, a woman ends up with an IUD.

Yet in an unsigned emergency order granted Thursday evening, the very same court said that this very same workaround it had just praised was also unconstitutional, that this workaround also burdened the religious freedom of religious employers. Overnight, the cure has become the disease. Having explicitly promised that Hobby Lobby would go no further than Hobby Lobby, the court went back on its word, then skipped town for the summer.

via Wheaton College injunction: The Supreme Court just sneakily reversed itself on Hobby Lobby..

Why turtles?

DSCN1085

— Decorative turtles encircling the base of exterior lamp poles, symbols of the deliberative pace of justice.

via Behind-the-scenes tour reveals Supreme Court traditions, grandeur – CNN.com.

Court architects and planners landed on one creature to symbolize longevity, patience, and the deliberate pace of justice – the turtle. Turtles can be found all throughout the architecture of the building, the gift shop, and around DC. Other symbolic animals include the lion, symbolizing guardianship, the ram for strength, and the owl for wisdom. Try and find the turtles hidden on the building’s façade!

via Hitting the Gavel – Tidbits on Court Traditions | Neal R. Gross and Co., Inc..

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy.

At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”

The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?”

“You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down.”

via Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee: Turtles All the Way Down.

05
Nov
13

11.5.13 … “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” …

Guy Fawkes Day, British history:  Love seeing on twitter the bonfires in London …  “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”

Here is a fun English holiday to celebrate…

On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was found in the cellar of the Houses of Lords with a large amount of gunpowder, while attempting to blow up parliament.

To celebrate parliament (and King James I) being saved, every November 5th in England, an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned on a large bonfire and the evening ends with an extravagant fireworks display.

Now that my family lives in the U.S. we have chosen not to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes… it seems a little strange to explain to our kids when no one else is doing it! We do however eat British foods, like Scotch Eggs, and talk about the political structure of the United Kingdom and how democracies give their citizens a voice. This year I made my girls each a spoon doll of Guy Fawkes.

\”Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!\”

by Helen Bird

via Guy Fawkes | Spoonful.

 kith/kin, baseball, replica bats: An interesting story about an interesting member of my husband’s family!

Rayburn really likes baseball, and he has ever since he was a kid.

“Baseball, I think, was a little bit of an equalizer,” he says. “You didn’t have to be the best looking kid in the class – the best liked in the class, but if you were good, or at least worked hard and tried to be good, you could be an equal on the playing field.”

Credit Austin Ramsey/WKMS News

He’s retired now, but he spent years in real estate, freight and university athletics. And in retirement, he builds baseball bats that resemble those from the game’s early history. He even restores bats – many of which were used in the game’s early history.

Plus,  he single-handedly produces the entire line of bats for one of the nation’s largest classic baseball memorabilia producers  in his garage.

Each day, Rayburn occupies the small shop adjacent his home west of town.

Inside, walls are lined with bats of various shapes and stages of completion. He has a series of new bats with oddly-shaped handles. He says they represent the dead ball era, when a baseball was softer and more emphasis was put on field positions and strategic bunts.

With each new bat, he starts with a three-inch billet of Ash or Maple, which he marks and whittles down on a lathe, carefully carving away excess wood in one-inch increments. As he carves away, using different sized tools, the corrugated form of a bat appears.

via Local Man Brings to Life Replica Baseball Bats from Past | WKMS.

Christmas, The Christmas Scale:  An early Christmas Gift. I may re-gift it in a month!

via ▶ The Christmas Scale – YouTube.

Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, movies:  Add this to my movie list.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant-Chicago,  RIP:  I ate at Charlie Trotter’s once while we lived in Chicago. It was very good, a true culinary dining experience.  I cannot say I would do it again, but I can thank my lovely in-laws for the once in a lifetime experience.   RIP

Trotter burst on the scene in 1987, when the self-taught chef opened Charlie Trotter’s restaurant on Armitage Avenue. In short order, the chef’s intense creativity and never-repeat-a-dish dictum made Trotter’s the most talked-about restaurant in Chicago, and his fame quickly spread throughout the country and beyond.

He was named the country’s Outstanding Chef by James Beard Foundation in 1999; in 2000, Wine Spectator magazine called Trotter’s the best restaurant in the nation. More awards and accolades followed, including a 2002 Beard Award for Outstanding Service; at the time, Trotter called it the award he was most proud to receive, as it represented “a team award.”

The mercurial chef was a stern taskmaster who demanded the absolute best from everyone who worked for him. He was also a man of uncommon generosity, creating the Charlie Trotter Education Foundation to provide scholarships for culinary students. He received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 2012.

“Charlie was an extreme father figure to me when it came to not just cooking, but life, and seeing things in a different way,” said chef Graham Elliot Bowles, one of many famous chefs who worked for Trotter. “I just can’t put into words how saddened I am by all of this. It’s a huge loss, not just personally, but for the culinary world.”

via Charlie Trotter dead: Famed Chicago chef dies – chicagotribune.com.

Just earlier today I posted 11.5.13 … I don’t talk sports that often … but I have to admit I pulled for the Red Sox because I like their fans a wee bit better …  and now I have to take two exceptions:  Davidson Basketball and the Carolina Panthers.

Davidson Wildcats at #4 Duke Blue Devils

Friday November 8, 7PM (ESPNU)

I’m not sure how much a chance Davidson has against Duke, but I\’ve learned to never count out Bob McKillop and his Wildcats. McKillop is one of the few who won\’t \”abandon all hope\” when he enters Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday night.

Though Davidson lost Nik Cochran, Jake Cohen, and others, the Wildcats still return a talented squad who will compete with Elon for a Southern Conference title in their last year in the conference. Leading that veteran laden group is De\’Mon Brooks. Brooks has been the SoCon\’s Player of the Year before and is a two-time SoCon Tournament MVP. The 6\’7 forward averaged nearly 14 points and 6 boards a year ago and is going to need all of that and more against the Blue Devils.

Beyond Brooks, McKillops will rely on the rest of his senior core Chris Czerapowicz, Tyler Kalinowski, and Tom Droney to step up big on Friday.  This may also be the coming out party for Miami (Ohio) transfer Brian Sullivan, who averaged over 10 points per game his freshman year while being named to the All-MAC Freshman team.

Duke is the other Tobacco Road team that struggled a bit in their preseason warm up. The Blue Devils found themselves down to Drury 38-34 Saturday afternoon, but they pulled away in the second half for a 81-65 victory. Freshman Jabari Parker and Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood will be the story for Coach K\’s team. Parker is expected to be a top five pick in the NBA Draft, while Hood is considered among the nation\’s top transfers. Rasheed Sulaimon missed the Blue Devils tune up due to illness, but expect him and Quinn Cook to be firing on all cylinders Friday night in Durham

via Mid-Major Upset Alert: Opening Weekend Trouble on Tobacco Road? – Mid-Major Madness.

Last year I wore red socks inside my boots to the Panthers v. Falcons game … This year I left the red socks at home. I figure the Falcons are a lost cause and I really ought to put my mouth (and socks) where my money is.

2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration: And then I could not pass this one up from last weekend’s GA FL Game:

2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration

via ▶ 2013 Georgia Florida St Simons Island Beach Celebration – YouTube.

Mexican Coke:

Well, fear not, soda snobs. All those reports are wrong.

Monterrey, Mexico-based Arca Continental, which bottles Coca-ColaKO -0.03% in glass bottles for U.S. consumers as part of a nostalgia project that began in 2005, assures that its fizzy pop destined for the U.S. market will continue to be sweetened entirely with cane sugar.

A street vendor carries bottles of soda to customers in Mexico City

That’s not the case for Coke sold in Mexico. The soda chugged in vast quantities by Mexicans has long been sweetened with a mix of high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar. The mix varies, depending on which sweetener is cheaper, with local bottlers aiming to limit HFCS to conserve taste and their relationships with Mexico’s powerful sugar industry.

Currently Mexico’s largest soft drink bottler, Coca-Cola FemsaKOF.MX -3.25%, uses HFCS to cover 60% of its sweetener needs, CFO Hector Treviño told analysts last month. Mr. Treviño said his bottler is at maximum capacity for HFCS and that, if anything, going forward it will buy more cane sugar—which is very cheap right now. Mexico is the world’s fifth-biggest sugar producer, and domestic bottlers have their own sugar refineries.

via Have No Fear, Your Mexican Coke Will Remain as Sweet as Ever – Corporate Intelligence – WSJ.

 Roman Sculpture, London, archeology, new discoveries: 

Archaeologists excavating at the future site of a 16-story hotel in London have uncovered a 1,800-year-old statue of an eagle with a writhing serpent in its beak.

The statue was carved in limestone from the Cotswolds and stands two feet (65 centimeters) tall. The right wing has broken off from the body, but otherwise the sculpture is intact.

The foundations of a mausoleum were also found at the site. Experts have concluded that the sculpture once adorned the tomb of a Roman-era Londoner, likely a high-ranking official or a prosperous merchant.

via Finest Roman Sculpture Ever Found in London Uncovered.

man’s best friend, corgis: 

In today’s edition of worst possible news ever: corgis — the dogs popular among the entire Internet and, of course, Queen Elizabeth — could soon earn a place on the endangered breed list. The stubby-legged bundles of cuteness are now on Britain Kennel Club’s “at watch” list and are set to be classified as a “vulnerable native breed” by January, AFP reports.

The club said only 241 Pembroke Welsh Corgis were registered this year, and it seems unlikely that they’ll reach the 300 registrations needed to stay off the vulnerable breeds list. The club says this decline correlates with the rise in popularity of smaller foreign breeds, like French bulldogs. (Which, for the record, are really ridiculously cute too.)

The Daily Telegraph, however, blames the decline on a 2007 ban on tail-docking, the practice of cutting off part of the animal’s tail. The Telegraph reports that many breeders say they can’t achieve the desired corgi look without tail-docking, and so many have simply given up on the breed.

So, it’s probably a combination of factors — horrible, terrible, no-good factors — that are coming together to try to wipe out our precious corgis and deprive us of the most divine cuteness the world has ever known.

Of course, it’s the viral content factory BuzzFeed that will probably take this news the hardest, as the site’s business model can be summed up as “mo corgis mo money.”

via Corgis Becoming Endangered: Queen’s Favorite Dog Breed At Risk | TIME.com.

Raymond Loewy, Google Doodle,  “Father of Industrial Design”, TIME.com:

Today’s Google Doodle honors what would have been the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy 1893-1986, often referred to as the “father of industrial design” who ”made products irresistible at a time when nobody really wanted to pay for anything,” as TIME once wrote.He is the man behind the Lucky Strike cigarette pack, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Greyhound bus, the S1 Locomotive, logos for Shell and Exxon, plus the interiors of President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One and NASA’s Apollo and Skylab “orbiters.” When he “streamlined” the Coldspot refrigerator design, sales at Sears went up, illustrating his famous line “between two products equal in price, function, and quality, the better looking will outsell the other.”

via Raymond Loewy Google Doodle Honors the “Father of Industrial Design” | TIME.com.

Moving Dollies, Buckhead’s Randolph-Lucas House, Around Town – Buckhead GA Patch:

On Wednesday morning, the moving dollies arrived onsite at the historic Peachtree Road home that was built in 1924 for Hollins Nicholas Randolph, a great, great grandson of Thomas Jefferson.

Due to the wet weather in Friday\’s forecast, the move will likely not take place this week. But it is coming and soon as foundation work at the Ansley Park locale has continued throughout the month as the attached Youtube video depicts.

For the move, the home will be horizontally split above the first floor, lifted by cranes and then transported on flatbeds. Utility lines will need to be moved temporarily as well.

Every piece of the home, except the kitchen, will be completely renovated and moved to the new location at 78 Peachtree Circle, about two miles away. The kitchen will be updated to a more modern one, but will still complement the home, according to HGTV Front Door.

via Moving Dollies Arrive for Buckhead’s Randolph-Lucas House – Around Town – Buckhead, GA Patch.

60 Signs You Studied Sociology In College:  I learn a lot from my children, so I actually got a few of these.

26. You’ve given up on trying to bridge the “natural science vs social science” divide.

via 60 Signs You Studied Sociology In College.

26
Jun
13

6.26.13 …. Nelson Mandela: learn From his life …

Things You Can Learn From Nelson Mandela’s Life, Nelson Mandela: He is a true hero.

Heidi MacDonald ‏@Comixace 4m

Nelson Mandela on life support. Stop a moment and think about what a true hero does.

published on Jun 25, 2013

For 27 years Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his belief in a free and just society. When he was released in 1990 – he led the charge for a multi-racial democracy and a country where the freedoms of one are the freedoms of all. He became South Africa’s first black president and a world leader in peace and social change.

via 7 Things You Can Learn From Nelson Mandela’s Life – YouTube.

25
Jun
13

6.25.13 … Nelson Mandela: “Mandela shook the hand of every player. He had entered the lion’s den” …

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Springbok rugby team, 1995 Rugby World Cup, game changer:  When I visited SA in 2010, I was amazed at how universally loved and respected Mandala was within SA.  One even commented , “if only he had been younger when he came to power … ”  Obviously there is some irony there.  I have been wondering how to comment on his current illness.  Christiane Amanpour captures the feeling beautifully in this piece.

Eighteen years ago Monday, on June 24, 1995, South Africa’s Springbok rugby team staged a stunning upset to win the Rugby World Cup against the heavily favored New Zealand.But the game was much more than just one day’s win. This was the day Nelson Mandela cemented himself as leader of all South Africans.Elected the year before, democracy was still fragile and the racial divide was still raw. Rugby was an all-white game and Springbok captain Francois Pienaar was its hero. But Mandela enlisted Pienaar’s helps to use this final to unite, instead of divide.Several minutes before the big match began, the great man walked out onto the field wearing the team’s distinctive green and yellow jersey and Pienaar’s number six on his back. Mandela shook the hand of every player.He had entered the lion’s den. The mostly white crowd seemed stunned to see him there of all places. Then a massive chant rumbled through the stadium. “Nelson,” the crowd shouted as their brand new president grinned and waved his rugby cap.And in that brief, shining moment their new, democratically elected president won the allegiance and the hearts of blacks and whites.Later, Pienaar would say that it was Mandela who had won the match for them.

via The game that changed South Africa – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs.

09
Mar
11

3.9.2011 … as a lifelong Presbyterian I know little about the religious celebrations associated with Lent … but I enjoyed pancakes last night!

Lent, Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day:

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day ( also known as Shrove Tuesday) is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent. It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes. copyright of projectbritain.com

Why are Pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday?

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

When is Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)?

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday (Easter Day).

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between 3 February and 9 March. (See our Lent page for a visual explanation why Shrove Tuesday is 47 days and not 41 days before Easter)

Why do Christians call the day ‘Shrove Tuesday’?

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. copyright of projectbritain.com

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent. Throughout the United Kingdom, and in other countries too, people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

via Shrove Tuesday 2011 (Pancake Day).

Lent, me: Should I give up something for Lent??  Thanks for the suggestions … And never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer …

 

MP:  If I were you, I would give up tripping on stuff on the floor and breaking limbs. For myself, I am going to give up eating boiled okra
CHS:  found a site that had some great (and funny) ideas. I thought this one was clever: angelmeg said…
“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “

“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “She continues by stating that “This year I tried to give up being judgmental but after three days I had to ammend that to being aware of when I am judgmental and praying for forgivness and the grace to change at that moment ( I am praying constantly, which might turn out not to be a bad thing, but presently is making me a bit sad). This is going to be a long lent.”

here’s the link if you’re interested. http://www.ironiccatholic.com/2008/02/cool-things-to-give-up-during-lent.html

DHD:  I think C is on to something there! My husband made a suggestion for me: sudoku….

Fat Tuesday, International Women’s Day, twitter, LOL:

@lenadunham Lena Dunham

It’s fat tuesday AND international women’s day??? i am receiving mixed messages

via Twitter / Home.

Lent, fasting, social networking, Facebook:

It turns out I’m not the only one considering the social-networking fast. The Wall Street Journal unearthed the Facebook group “Giving up Facebook for Lent,” and a variety of similar groups filled with self-proclaimed addicts who want to test their religious mettle starting on Ash Wednesday. (That’s this Wednesday, folks–two days from now.)There’s just one problem: One Facebook addict’s self-improvement project is another Facebook fan’s snub. A sudden break from your social network–virtual or otherwise–creates a social minefield for anyone concerned with online manners. With more than 175 million active users on Facebook, at least one or two will want to “friend” you in the next 40 days. What to do?

via How to give up Facebook for Lent and keep your friends | Webware – CNET.

gLee, tv:  Family friendly?

A “parental discretion is advised” warning flashes before Glee turned up the heat in “Sexy,” led by the affably game and comically cool substitute teacher Holly Holliday. It’s Gwyneth Paltrow, but mucho, mucho mas sexy.Her second turn as the “I thought you’d never ask?” weirdo sub was infinitely better than her debut in the fall. Back then, she was a puzzle, a loony bin. Here, she’s sly and quick-witted, appropriately adult and seductively saucy in an episode that showcased more of her comedic timing, than her stiff dance skills. All the better for us.via ‘Glee’ Season 2, Episode 15 ‘Sexy’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

science, faith and spirituality: Someday the scientists will find the proof!

More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences. Hear what they have discovered in this controversial field, as the science of spirituality continues to evolve.

via Is This Your Brain On God? : NPR.

politics, Girl Scouts:  don’t think you should mix the two

.

Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie taxBe prepared, lawmakers.Over the weekend, an e-mail went out to Girl Scout leaders, warning them that HB 385, a bill to rewrite the state tax code, would subject their cookies to a sales tax – and would hit Boy Scout popcorn sales as well:Gov. Nathan Deal holds boxes of Girl Scout cookies as the young women kicked off their sales season last month. Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.comThis significant financial impact would take money away from Girl Scout programs, camp support, financial aid and proceeds from the sale that support troop activities and community service projects……[P]lease contact your State House Representative and State Senator TODAY and express your concern in a courteous, Scout-like manner about our Scouts being taxed. Please reference House Bill 385. Sample letters have been provided on the left to make it easy to copy and paste into your own email. There are sample letters for girls as well as for parents and volunteers.The message appears over the name of Marilyn W. Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

via Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie tax | Political Insider.

education, CMS, The Great Recession: It is going to get worse before it gets

About 560 educators – including teachers, librarians and counselors – face layoffs next year under guidelines the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved Tuesday.Approval of layoff criteria is the first step toward a worst-case 2011 budget scenario that would cut jobs to trim $100 million from the CMS budget. The plan Superintendent Peter Gorman presented Tuesday calls for laying off 395 teachers and 164 education support positions.If the board votes to scale back on Bright Beginnings prekindergarten, those teachers would be added with a separate list of criteria.via CMS to layoff about 560 – CharlotteObserver.com.

politics, religion, Mormonism:  2012 will be interesting …

THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, is in a tizzy now that not one but two of its members, or “saints”, seem about to vie for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (see article) both seem determined to try to test the limits of discrimination.For most of the 181 years since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon, such prominent Mormon candidacies for the highest office would have been unthinkable. Mainstream Protestants, and especially evangelicals, have traditionally considered Mormons a devious cult, not quite Christian and just plain wacky….If both the more pious Mr Romney and the more secular Mr Huntsman, who have been personal rivals in the past, run in the primaries, their Mormonism will become an issue again. A few Mormons may even stoke it themselves. For instance, Glenn Beck, an excitable television host, likes to allude to something called The White Horse prophecy, according to which America’s constitution, deemed to be divinely inspired, will one day “hang like a thread” until Mormon leaders rescue it.But mainstream America may learn to get over its old and unpleasant distrust. The core of Mormon philosophy, says Michael Otterson, the church’s spokesman, is “the idea of self-improvement”. What, after all, could be more American? The church is now waging a large advertising campaign to show the diversity of Mormons in America. “We’re not prepared to be defined by others” any longer, insists Mr Otterson.

via Mormons in politics: When the saints come marching in | The Economist.

Apple, iPhone, changes:

The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. The person said Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also plans to upgrade the iPhone 4.

The new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing talks that are in their preliminary stages, the people familiar with the situation said. Apple had planned for the service to roll out a year earlier.

The new service would give users access to their iTunes libraries from, say, an iPhone or iPad, instead of requiring that the devices be synced by cable with a computer and use space to store the actual files, the people said. The new service likely would be compatible with the iPhone 4, one of the people said.

Some MobileMe features, such as a service that locates lost or stolen iPads and iPhones, already are free.

via Apple Works on Line of Less-Expensive iPhones – WSJ.com.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, The Supreme Court, culture, discrimination:

If walking into such unceasing dialogues has been her greatest challenge, the greatest surprise, even after many years as a judge, “has been how burdened I have felt in the decision-making process because I am part of the final court. I find that the weight of this is greater than I anticipated.” At lower levels, she always knew that one could make a mistake and perhaps the next court would correct it. No more.

via NationalJournal.com – Sonia Sotomayor on Dating, Deciding, and Being the Newest Supreme Court Justice – Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

google, technology, Nelson Mandela: Technology being used for good purposes.

Backed by global-search-giant Google Inc., the foundation of aging South African leader Nelson Mandela is putting thousands of documents on the Internet, from a 1977 letter smuggled out of prison to his membership cards in the Methodist Church.

Google said Tuesday that it was providing a $1.25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to help preserve a trove of photographs, letters, calendars and journals through digital technology.The $1.25 million grant is seen as a possible stepping stone to a broader relationship with Mr. Mandela’s foundation, which is now disseminating digital bursts of his memorabilia through its website (www.nelsonmandela.org). Google is already helping the website with indexing, but it would also like to provide the search technology that will allow people around the world to troll through the life of the anti-apartheid icon.

“Google wants to help bring the world’s historical heritage online, and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information,” said Luke Mckend, Google’s South Africa country manager.

via Google to Help Mandela Put Memorabilia Online – WSJ.com.

South Africa, Post-Apartheid:  Similar struggles in the US ...

As a young engineer in South Africa’s apartheid era, Sandile Zungu was once asked by a white subordinate to use a separate toilet. As a businessman in the post-apartheid era of black empowerment, company doors of all kinds have opened to him.

In little over a decade, the 44-year old has amassed a fortune by building a broad portfolio of business investments, from financial services to pest control. African art adorns his office walls in Johannesburg’s swank Sandton business district, and he drives a black Mercedes sedan to meetings, even if it means traveling a dusty road to a gold mine.

But mounting criticism of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policy that has made that possible is pulling Mr. Zungu and other black moguls into a national debate over how to right history’s wrongs without upending business in Africa’s largest economy.

BEE, as the policy is widely known, reaches across industries, compelling domestic and multinational companies operating here to meet such benchmarks as black ownership, skills training and development in poor communities. Ford Motor Co. last month said it plans to build a center to support black-owned, automobile-parts suppliers. Microsoft Corp. last year announced a $65 million program to cultivate young, black software developers. And Belgium’s Rezidor Hotel Group AB, which operates such brands as Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts, expanded a partnership with black-owned South African enterprise Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Critics, however, say BEE too often rewards people who are already successful. The Economic Development Ministry in November deemed BEE largely a failure, saying it focuses too much on deal making and not enough on supporting new entrepreneurs and creating jobs in a country where it estimates unemployment is 40% for people between 16 and 30 years old.

via Black Empowerment Roils South Africa – WSJ.com.

faith and spirituality, travel, theme parks, KY: Oh, my!

In Kentucky, there are plans for a religious theme park, which has the support of the governor despite critics who say the state shouldn’t give tax breaks for religious purposes.

The park’s centerpiece will be a replica of Noah’s Ark, a wooden boat longer than a football field. Other attractions include a first-century Middle Eastern Village, a Tower of Babel and a Walled City. When Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear announced Kentucky’s support last December for the “Ark Encounter,” he touted the economic impact.

“This is a $150 million investment that is projected to create nearly 900 jobs, including almost 550 full-time jobs,” Beshear says.

via Kentucky Governor Hopes Tourists Will Come Two-By-Two To Noah’s Ark Park : NPR.

water resource management, states’ rights, GA:

A panel of judges on Wednesday appeared disinclined to let stand a ruling in the tri-state water dispute that, should it come to pass, could have catastrophic consequences for the metro region.

People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

The judges for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals indicated they wanted to send the case back and order the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Buford Dam, to make a final determination of how much water from Lake Lanier can be used to meet metro Atlanta’s needs.

At issue is a July 2009 ruling from Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who found it was illegal for the corps to draw water from Lake Lanier to meet the needs of 3 million metro residents. Magnuson set a July 2012 deadline for Georgia, Alabama and Florida to work out a resolution. Otherwise, the judge said, metro Atlanta would only be allowed to take the same amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when the population was a fraction of its current size.

via Judges appear disinclined to let water ruling stand  | ajc.com.

college, marketing, random:

Big consumer-products companies are going back to school.

Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push.

Universities, in some cases, receive funding or proprietary consumer data from companies for their research. Students get experience they can display on their résumés, and add lively classes to the usual mix of lectures and written exams.

“We are helping students to go out and get hired,” says Randy Hlavac, an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School. “They’ve done the work.”

The partnerships are emerging as businesses are scurrying to bolster their ability to engage with their customers on the Web by using Facebook, Twitter and the like.

via Big Brands Sponsor College Classes to get Social-Media Help – WSJ.com.

autos, green: New green offerings from Toyota …

Toyota Motor Corp. next month will broaden its range of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles with a wagon and minivan as it looks to meet a long-term goal of selling a million of the fuel-efficient cars a year.

Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker by volume, said it will launch a hybrid five-seat wagon and seven-seat minivan based on the power train of its Prius hybrid. The minivan will be the company’s first lithium battery-powered hybrid model.

via Toyota Plans Hybrid Wagon, Minivan – WSJ.com.

04
Feb
11

2.4.2011 …. 35 and raining … winter in the South like I remember it!

winter, The South:  I prefer snow to rain … 🙂 .. “singing in the rain” … but I agree with Tim … least favorite weather ..

NASA, Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords, prayers: Godspeed, Mark Kelly!  And Prayers for a continued miraculous recovery, Gabrielle Giffords!

“I am looking forward to rejoining my crew members and finishing our training for the mission,” said Mr. Kelly. “We have been preparing for more than 18 months, and we will be ready to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Sepectrometer to the International Space Station and compete the other objectives of the flight.”

via Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband Mark Kelly to Command NASA Shuttle | Politically Illustrated.

followup, tweets, Chinese new year, politically correct:  So is it incorrect to say Chinese New Year?

@BarackObama

I send my best wishes for peace, prosperity, and good health to all who celebrate the Lunar New Year across the U.S. and around the world.

via Twitter / @Barack Obama: I send my best wishes for ….

community service, boy scouts, Loaves & Fishes, tweets, tomorrow 2/5:

Trying to gather a record 10,800 grocery bags of donated food in one morning (at an estimated 10 pounds per bag) would pretty much take a battalion of men and a convoy of SUVs.

But that’s the goal of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from St. Matthew Catholic Church, for Saturday’s Scouting for Food drive to benefit Loaves & Fishes.

via Events & News – Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry – Groceries for Neighbors in Need – Charlotte, NC.

Scouting for Food is tomorrow! Please don’t rain!

via Loaves & Fishes (loavesfishesnc) on Twitter.

tweets, LOL: My brother-in-law sent me this one. 

12:22 PM Jan 29th: Slipped on ice last night. Out of commission. Meds in control. Strange political dreams. And SpongeBob makes sense.

via Larry Sabato (larrysabato) on Twitter.

A comprehensive website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball features detailed and frequently updated analysis for elections across the country. The Crystal Ball keeps tabs on presidential elections, along with every Senate and gubernatorial race, as well as the tightest campaigns for the House.

via Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball » About.

man caves, ESPN:  Loved this article …

In part because it’s rarely discussed in mixed company, ESPN may be the most under-acknowledged media powerhouse in the United States. Since its debut in 1979, ESPN has ridden round-the-clock highlights, live events and testosterone-infused commentary into a 3D juggernaut of television, radio, print and digital that arguably constitutes the single greatest cultural force in male identity today.

Consider these facts: ESPN is the third-rated network on cable, according to Nielsen ratings. Half of all Americans, age 12 to 64, encounter one of its platforms every week, the network’s research shows. That figure includes two-thirds of men age 18 to 34, who stay an average of 56 minutes a day. Your husband, your neighbor, your boss may be spending one hour a day on ESPN. That loyalty adds up. ESPN’s revenues last year totaled $8.65 billion, according to Morgan Stanley, making up 23 percent of the total revenues of its parent, the Walt Disney Company.

“Nothing reaches men like sports,” said Michael Wilbon, a co-host on ESPN for “Pardon the Interruption,” “and nothing has branded sports like ESPN.”

The height of the new jock vanity is ESPN’s infatuation with male bodies. Commentators drool over other men’s abs, thighs and guns. ESPN The Magazine’s response to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is its Body issue, which features entirely naked men (and some women). The magazine even sells posters of the Knick superstar Amar’e Stoudemire dunking nude or the United States soccer goalie Tim Howard diving au naturel.

All of this talk of New Manhood does have an undercurrent of Old Manhood: how women are treated. On the one hand, ESPN deserves credit, after decades of negligence, for finally featuring women. “When I first started doing sports,” said Dana Jacobson, a co-host of “First Take,” “my dad said, ‘I think you’re really good, but I’d still rather watch a guy.’ After a couple of years, he finally changed his mind. And he’s not alone.”

But women are still the company’s sore spot. The network has experienced a rash of scandals involving sexual misconduct, workplace affairs and inappropriate language that at times makes ESPN the subject of as much gossip and lawsuits as the athletes it covers. This pink cloud has made covering the misconduct of superstars, like the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, more challenging.

“I would hope that if we really are reaching that many young men,” Ms. Beadle said, “that we make sure we send a message.” She loved “celebrating the great stuff,” she said, but became upset “when you hear one dumb story after another about what men are doing.”

“Sometimes I think we don’t report those stories as much as other companies because of our relationship,” she said. “I want to make sure we don’t always make those guys heroes. What happens is that for the 17-, 18-year-old kid, the message is that he’s good at a sport, so it doesn’t matter how much of a pig he is.”

In a world where men do everything fast, from driving to parenting to flipping channels, ESPN is one place that forces them to stop, respect the clock at the center of most games, and connect to the men in their past. ESPN is the ultimate time machine. It takes men back to their boyhoods, and delivers them back to their sons, all in just under an hour.

via Dominating the Man Cave – This Life – NYTimes.com.

James Joyce, LOL:  Happy belated (2-2)birthday, Jim! Frank Delaney: Re: Joyce, Episode 34. The Re: Joyce Rap.

Jane Austen, icons:

It also led to an outcry of “Why now?” In a blink, Austen was everywhere on the silver screen. After a dry spell that lasted more than a half century, we were hit with three films hit in just two years. (The third being the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring ‘Emma.’) ‘Jane Austen in Hollywood’ discusses how Time Magazine ran a headline asking: “Sick of Jane Austen yet?” Wall Street declared the mania to be “cash driven.” Her immediate impact was so far-reaching, in fact, that ‘Austen in Hollywood’ details how the Socialist Workers’ Party Marxism ’96 Conference featured a session on “what is so great” about the author. Austen had become not only a cinematic icon, but also a social force to be reckoned with.

Essentially, it seems that Austen offers enough of any world that either the most conservative and traditional figure, or the most liberally modern-minded one, can thrive in Austen’s writing. Those who yearn for traditional values cling to the notions of romance and place — the quest to find love, financial security and someone with the appropriate lifestyle. For the more progressively minded, Austen offers an alternative glimpse of women during a time when they had little freedom, her pen having created a diverse roster of heroines, even if they were all romance-minded. To quite firmly grasp moviegoers on both sides of the spectrum, Austen becomes just about the most relevant creative source for women there is today.

Austen’s worlds are rife with diverse females, yes, from the mirth of Emma Woodhouse to the strict decorum of Elinor Dashwood. But they’re always so focused on their men and lives, that it’s easy to be pushed away. Yet we must remember our modern sensibilities, and also the wry commentary Austen — a woman who never experienced this literary love — relays. The women ultimately fit into society, but they also hint at something more, while chastising the world they must live in.

Austen’s women are completely foreign, yet ultimately relatable.

Are we clinging to the past? Does Austen offer a sense of release? Why is Jane Austen so beloved today?

via Girls on Film: Why Is Jane Austen So Popular Today? – Moviefone.

health, research, ALS, progress:

This imprecision has hindered the search for drugs that could slow or block the disease’s progress. But now a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center here has won a $1 million prize — reportedly the largest ever for meeting a specific challenge in medical research — for developing a reliable way to quantify the small muscular changes that signal progressive deterioration.

The winner, Dr. Seward Rutkove, showed that his method could cut in half the cost of clinical trials to screen potential drugs for the disease, said Melanie Leitner, chief scientific officer of Prize4Life, the nonprofit group that created the competition.

via $1 Million Prize to Inventor of a Tracker for A.L.S., Lou Gehrig’s Disease – NYTimes.com.

media, new terms:  blogazine!

An online daily blogazine on Home Style, Life Style & You Style! Editor is Better Homes & Gardens Field Editor, Cynthia Bogart. (We’re not a BHG affiliate)

The THE DAILY BASICS Daily.

recycle:  loved the creativity here.

Just when you thought there were no uses for wire coat hangers other than for angling to get your locked car door open or using it to coax a wooden spoon out from under the stove, the creative folks at Anthropologie took a fantastical swipe at that perception.

via The Elegant Thrifter: Vintage and Thrift Shopping, Decorating and Entertaining with Elegant Flair: Reuse & Repurpose: Yes to Wire Coat Hangers.

economy, The Great Recession, parallel universes:  2011 and 1983 …

The unemployment rate declined four-tenths of a percentage point in one month. There had not been a monthly decline that large in many years, but economists were unimpressed. After all, the decline was caused in no small part by a surprising reduction in the labor force, which could be an indication that more workers were discouraged and no longer looking. That would hardly be an encouraging development.

President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. Bush in January 1983, when the unemployment rate fell to 10.4 percent from 10.8 percent, the first decline that large in five years.

Anyway, it was said, the unemployment rate is based on a survey of only 60,000 households, some of whom cannot be reached in any given month. It can be volatile, so you should not pay much attention to it. The president took heart from the figures, but critics said there was no real improvement.

The above describes what happened a month ago, when the unemployment rate for December came in at 9.4 percent. It was the first time in more than 11 years that the rate had declined that much in a single month, but the headline in The Chicago Tribune read, “U.S. jobs picture gets darker; Unemployment rate dips, but only because workers apparently are giving up.”

As it happened, those paragraphs also describe the situation 28 years ago. In January 1983, with President Ronald Reagan reeling from his large setback in the midterm elections the previous November, the unemployment rate fell to 10.4 percent from 10.8 percent. It was the first such decline in five years, but few thought it significant.

via From 1983, Hints of Strong Job Growth in 2011 – NYTimes.com.

blog, food, recipes: Another interesting blog/column

Providence Journal: A nice wrap-up of Super Bowl recipes from food sections around the nation. – Sam Sifton

via What We’re Reading – NYTimes.com.

college, students, The Beatles:  Always something fun on the ecollege scene.

A new class at Syracuse University this semester offers students probably the closest thing to a history lesson from Paul or Ringo. “The Beatles” (course number RAE 400) is a dive into the band’s impact on business, technology and culture, featuring guest lecturers with first-hand knowledge of the Fab Four and their empire.

The class kicked off last week with speaker Peter Asher, whose resume includes talent scouting for Apple Records, the label launched by the Beatles in 1968. Back then, Asher brought a young James Taylor to the label and produced his debut album. His lecture touched on the strengths and weaknesses of the label as a business, but he also doled out some choice “I-was-there-when” nuggets. Example: his memory of being the first non-Beatle to hear “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” when McCartney and Lennon worked up the song in the basement room used by Asher’s mother as an oboe studio.

via Meet the Beatles — For Two College Credits – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Egypt Uprising:  Another perspective … Naïveté on Egypt Is Dangerous. – By Kathryn Jean Lopez – The Corner – National Review Online.

media, icons, Nelson Mandela, South Africa, prayers:  Prayers for a quick and peaceful recovery.

As rumors of Mr. Mandela’s death echoed across the Internet, media coverage intensified. Ms. Wiener says some in the media were accused of being “vultures” in their coverage.

She and others disagree. “The truth is … in a way, Mandela belongs to the country. That’s why everyone was so concerned; they wanted to know because they were family,” said Ms. Wiener.

The outcry over poor communication subsided when Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe held a press conference with Mr. Mandela’s doctor a few days after he was admitted to hospital, assuring members of the public that there was “no reason to panic” but also admitting that communication could’ve been better.

Given Mr. Mandela’s revered political status, his retirement from public life in 2004—five years after he stepped down from the presidency—was difficult for a country that had grown accustomed to seeing him at public events in brightly colored shirts, occasionally dancing and often telling humorous anecdotes.

“Somehow, he’s become that god to South Africans,” said Ndivhuho Mafela, a journalist for local news channel e.tv. “He’s become an avatar of ours. [In] everything, we refer to him, saying ‘Are these his ideals? Are we not going wrong?’ He’s something we can no longer explain in words. The only word that can explain it is just ‘Mandela.'”

Mr. Mafela laughed and pointed to Mr. Mandela’s house, which is painted in a bright mustard color, partially hidden by large high walls. “One cannot stop hoping to see him standing there and saying, ‘Hi!'”

via Stakeout Mandela: Media Vigil for Aging South African Icon – WSJ.com.

teenagers, culture, risk-taking, science:

In studies at Temple University, psychologists used functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on 40 teenagers and adults to determine if there are differences in brain activity when adolescents are alone versus with their friends. The findings suggest that teenage peer pressure has a distinct effect on brain signals involving risk and reward, helping to explain why young people are more likely to misbehave and take risks when their friends are watching.

For parents, the study data reinforce the notion that groups of teenagers need close supervision.

“All of us who have very good kids know they’ve done really dumb things when they’ve been with their friends,” Dr. Steinberg said. “The lesson is that if you have a kid whom you think of as very mature and able to exercise good judgment, based on your observations when he or she is alone or with you, that doesn’t necessarily generalize to how he or she will behave in a group of friends without adults around. Parents should be aware of that.”

via Teenagers, Friends and Bad Decisions – NYTimes.com.

quotes:  From one of my favorite writers who sends a quote a day … The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness …

“Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”
Sarah Bernhardt

technology, White House:  Seems strange that the White House could lose it e-mail service ...

Shortly before 8 a.m. the unclassified e-mail system that top advisers and the president himself rely on to communicate with each other went dark.

Reporters left hanging by unanswered e-mails were told of the blackout by a press assistant who said, “If you need to get in touch with anyone, you have to go up and see them because e-mail is down.”

At 11:54, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer made a formal announcement via Twitter.

“FYI: WH unclassified e-mail went down shortly before 8 AM.’ he tweeted. “Verizon is working to solve the problem. Pool reports will be avail in press office.”

Not long after that an overhead intercom system sounded out a familiar announcement to those who worked in the White House during the dark ages. Pool reports, normally sent around electronically, were available on paper.

That’s how it went for several hours. The podium where spokesman Robert Gibbs normally stands during his briefings was carpeted with pool reports and a transcript of an earlier gaggle by Gibbs aboard Air Force One.

via White House e-mail blackout – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

Super Bowl  XLV, random:

For the first time since the game’s inception, both teams playing in the Super Bowl lack cheerleading squads. The Steelers stopped having cheerleaders in 1970, and the Packers got rid of their cheerleaders in 1988 after market research indicated they didn’t mean much to fans.

via The Super Bowl Without Cheerleaders: How Will We Know To Cheer? – TIME NewsFeed.

internet, Egypt Uprising:  Could our government cut us off?  Good question.

It seemed so easy for Egypt. Just order a shutdown of the country’s internet connections and — bam — it happens.

But is such an authoritarian action transferable? Could the U.S. government shut down American internet connections? And is it possible for the global internet to be toppled?

Technically, yes, internet experts said Wednesday, shortly after Egypt’s government restored internet connections there as violent political protests continued. But it’s highly unlikely.

“Could you break the internet? Yeah. Can you shut it down? No. Shutting down the entire internet would be pretty much impossible at this point,” said Jim Cowie, co-founder of Renesys, an worldwide internet tracker.

Cowie spoke of the internet as if it were a giant, adaptable worm.

“The funny thing about the internet is even if you break it in half, the two halves will function as [separate] internets,” he said.

via Could the U.S. shut down the internet? – CNN.com.

music, culture, urban legends, Joshua Bell:  This is not an urban legend but it is old news, but still very entertaining.

“It was the most astonishing thing I’ve ever seen in Washington,” Furukawa says. “Joshua Bell was standing there playing at rush hour, and people were not stopping, and not even looking, and some were flipping quarters at him! Quarters! I wouldn’t do that to anybody. I was thinking, Omigosh, what kind of a city do I live in that this could happen?”

When it was over, Furukawa introduced herself to Bell, and tossed in a twenty. Not counting that — it was tainted by recognition — the final haul for his 43 minutes of playing was $32.17. Yes, some people gave pennies.

“Actually,” Bell said with a laugh, “that’s not so bad, considering. That’s 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn’t have to pay an agent.”

These days, at L’Enfant Plaza, lotto ticket sales remain brisk. Musicians still show up from time to time, and they still tick off Edna Souza. Joshua Bell’s latest album, “The Voice of the Violin,” has received the usual critical acclaim. (“Delicate urgency.” “Masterful intimacy.” “Unfailingly exquisite.” “A musical summit.” “. . . will make your heart thump and weep at the same time.”)

Bell headed off on a concert tour of European capitals. But he is back in the States this week. He has to be. On Tuesday, he will be accepting the Avery Fisher prize, recognizing the Flop of L’Enfant Plaza as the best classical musician in America.

via Pearls Before Breakfast – washingtonpost.com.

27
Jan
11

1.27.2011 … Felt like I was in the blue soup scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary last night. :)

metaphorically speaking, movies, me, recipes: So why did I feel like I was in the blue soup scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary last night.? Well …. I was cooking pecan encrusted trout over sautéed cabbage and red peppers with an orange/ wine/ cream sauce. Everything was measured and laid out … Ready for cooking and assembly. I left to run an errand and John came in, called and offered to start cooking. And there the problem began. He never follows a recipe and he threw all the sauce ingredients in the pot. No, boil the wine, orange juice etc down to 1/2 cup, strain, add butter piece by piece then stir in cream. You get the picture. BTW, it was actually quite good. But the sauce was not a cream sauce.  Here is the recipe:  Pecan-Crusted Trout with Orange-Rosemary Butter Sauce Recipe at Epicurious.com.

 

random, literary figures, Ayn Rand, politics:  Don’t know if it is true, but interesting nonetheless …

Critics of Social Security and Medicare frequently invoke the words and ideals of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, one of the fiercest critics of federal insurance programs. But a little-known fact is that Ayn Rand herself collected Social Security. She may also have received Medicare benefits.

via Ayn Rand Received Social Security, Medicare | Patia Stephens ~ Missoula, Montana.

random, restaurants, health:  😦 Check Out The Awesome Meals You Can Buy At McDonald’s Around The World.

college, students:

The emotional health of college freshmen — who feel buffeted by the recession and stressed by the pressures of high school — has declined to the lowest level since an annual survey of incoming students started collecting data 25 years ago.

In the survey, “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010,” involving more than 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges, the percentage of students rating themselves as “below average” in emotional health rose. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who said their emotional health was above average fell to 52 percent. It was 64 percent in 1985.

Every year, women had a less positive view of their emotional health than men, and that gap has widened.

Campus counselors say the survey results are the latest evidence of what they see every day in their offices — students who are depressed, under stress and using psychiatric medication, prescribed even before they came to college.

via College Freshmen Stress Levels High, Survey Finds – NYTimes.com.

people, Nelson Mandela:  Get well soon.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s night in the hospital has reignited speculation about his health, illustrating his pull over a country where he helped end white-minority rule and usher in a new democratic beginning.

The 92-year-old anti-apartheid activist was admitted Wednesday to a Johannesburg hospital and was still there Thursday for tests, according to statements. His stay drew a stream of well-wishers and provoked official jabs at the South African media for covering it so intensely.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, his official charity, called the tests “routine.” The foundation added that Mr. Mandela was in “no danger and is in good spirits.” The African National Congress, the party that was once banned in South Africa and later helped Mr. Mandela win the 1994 presidential elections, appealed to the media to refrain from “unfounded and unwarranted speculation.” South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma, who was in Davos attending the World Economic Forum, asked that Mr. Mandela’s family be given “space to support him in privacy.”

via In Hospital, Mandela Draws a Crowd – WSJ.com.

random: My favorite states have these qualities: the lowest teacher pay,  the most sickly, the highest cancer rate and  the most robberies.

 

Why Your State Sucks: The Great American Map of Fail – TIME NewsFeed.

FPC:  Our interim pastor introduced himself with these words.  I think I will like him.  Welcome, Roland!

I expect and hope to preach as well as I can. It is probably
my greatest expectation as an interim, just as it was for over forty years as a called and installed pastor. But let me warn you (that word runs together; it is not spelled w-a-m; rather it is spelled w-a-r-n). I rarely preach a three point sermon. Most of my sermons do not have a point at all. That is not an attempt at humor. I am serious.
Rather than points one, two and three, I attempt to let the movement of the text push and pull the oral sermon along. The sermon has been written out in full manuscript form a couple of weeks before the preaching event. However, the written manuscript has been left in the office I occupy temporarily. I strive to be alive to and aware of the movement within the worshipping congregation as well as the text. Plus a lot takes place in the life of our world between the finishing and preaching of a sermon. And I trust we will be interacting to one another on intellectual and emotional levels.
Someone once asked me if I would begin summarizing the sermon as I finish the sermonmic effort. I do not do summaries. Summaries take all the lingering and whispering of God’s Spirit off to somewhere else. I expect you to finish  the sermon on the way home, at work the next day, or sometime much later on. You do your own summaries and finish the sermon in the best way you can to deepen your faith.
That is one of my expectations. What’s yours?

Roland

via the January 30, 2011 First News  First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

The Reverend Roland P. Perdue III

Interim Senior Minister

Email: rperdue@ firstpres-charlotte.org

The Rev. Roland P. Perdue III grew up in Georgia and now calls Texas home, but he has strong ties to North Carolina. He and his wife, Jane, met while they attended UNC-Chapel Hill. After graduating from Columbia Seminar, Pastor Perdue served as Solo Pastor, Campus Pastor and Senior Pastor for congregations in Georgia, Texas, Florida and Michigan. Over the past 10 years, he has served as Interim Senior Minister for a variety of congregations including Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, and most recently, White Memorial Presbyterian in Raleigh.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.




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

Join 618 other followers

May 2020
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31