Posts Tagged ‘new blog

26
Jan
11

1.26.2011 … still raining …

Pinky’s, Amelie, restaurants, Charlotte, followup:  Great lunch with my great friend.  I will say this … I prefer the old Penguin to Pinky’s,  and I highly recommend Amelie’s for coffee and dessert.  However I have heard that the view of Charlotte  on a nice evening is wonderful from Pinky’s … not much on a cold, rainy, wintry day.

World Economic Forum, bucket list: The WEF is 40 years old … I would like to go.  It’s added to my bucket list.

Leaders in business, politics and academia from around the world will gather in Davos, Switzerland, this week to try to rescue the planet. It’s a safe bet that, for the 41st year in a row, they will fail.

Even if it were possible to save the world in five days, the list of global problems just keeps getting longer — to the point where Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, is worried.

Ruben Vardanian, chief executive of Troika Dialog, an investment bank based in Moscow, said that Davos offered a place where people from emerging markets could meet on equal terms with counterparts from the United States and Europe.

“We didn’t go to the same universities, we are not members of the same golf clubs,” Mr. Vardanian said, explaining why Davos was still relevant. “For me, being head of the bank and trying to connect Russia to the Western world, it’s one of the best platforms.”

via Expanded List of Problems Awaits World Leaders at Davos – NYTimes.com.

Global businesses must play a role in raising global living standards, says BT CEO Ian Livingston via video at WEF

YouTube – Ian Livingston CEO BT Group: Globalisation 3.0 World Economic Forum, Davos, 2011.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icaVOPZGUgc]

statistics, economics:  These are amazing statistics.

Which countries match the GDP and population of America’s states?

IT HAS long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies of the world. These days, it would rank eighth, falling between Italy and Brazil on a nominal exchange-rate basis. But how do other American states compare with other countries? Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data reveals some surprises. Who would have thought that, despite years of auto-industry hardship, the economy of Michigan is still the same size as Taiwan’s?

via Comparing US states with countries: US equivalents | The Economist.

technology, culture: interesting … “Maybe it’s because constant digital communication between dates increases a sense of intimacy, and makes even days-old relationships seem longer or more intense.”

Does your heart skip when your phone buzzes with a message from your new flame? If a new survey is to be believed, all those texts and late-night Facebook chats might lead you into the bedroom faster too.

In the survey of 1,200 men and women by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines, nearly 80% of women and 58% of men said they believed that using social media tools with new partners leads to sex sooner, according to a recent Reuters article. (More on Time.com: An Evolutionary Explanation for Altruism: Girls Find It Sexy)

Maybe it’s because constant digital communication between dates increases a sense of intimacy, and makes even days-old relationships seem longer or more intense. Or maybe it’s because lovey-dovey text messages (or sexting, more likely) amps up anticipation and paves the way to the bedroom sooner.

But regardless of what they said they believed about digital communication hastening sex, only 38% of women said they had actually slept a partner sooner than they otherwise would have, because of a textual relationship.

via Survey: Do Texting and Facebook Chatting Ease the Way to Sex? – TIME Healthland.

followup, childhood,Disney Princesses, culture:  I am getting more of her point … it is not so much the fairy tale stories as it is the mass marketing to our girls. Not much different from mass marketing to our children sugary snacks/cereals and obesity.

“It’s not that princesses can’t expand girls’ imaginations,” Orenstein explains. “But in today’s culture, princess starts to turn into something else. It’s not just being the fairest of them all, it’s being the hottest of them all, the most Paris Hilton of them all, the most Kim Kardashian of them all.” Translation: shallow, narcissistic, slutty.

Orenstein is the first to admit she’s not a perfect parent. But her advice to others is to pride yourself on saying no. “People have said to me, ‘Don’t you feel like you’re brainwashing your daughter because you’re not giving her the choice of what she consumes?’ ” Orenstein says. “But there’s not really a choice. Disney isn’t giving you a choice.” Being a princess may seem simple. But raising one takes a whole lot of brains.

via ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’: Are Princesses Bad for Girls’ Self-Esteem? – Newsweek.

economic history, the dollar:

THE dollar’s ascendance to the rank of world’s most important currency is often remembered as having been slow and gradual, mirroring the decline of sterling and Britain’s historic economic dominance. In fact, it was surprisingly swift. From a standing start in 1914, the dollar had overtaken sterling in international importance by 1925. The first world war played a part, but so did a lesser-known factor. America had surpassed Britain as the world’s largest economic power as early as 1870, but it had a stunted financial system: its banks could not open branches abroad, it had no central bank and panics were common. All these things discouraged international use of the dollar.

via The rise and fall of the dollar: Go with the flows | The Economist.

youth, altruism, community service, Davidson: I have not given a swab … but I will.  Be The Match , Archive » Celebrating 20 years of student commitment to saving lives.

redemption, second chances: I do believe in second chances.

Vick has signed his first paid endorsement contract since his release from prison. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Pro Bowl quarterback inked a two-year contract with Unequal Technologies, a provider of the football pads Vick wore most of last season.

via Michael Vick gets first paid endorsement since dogfighting arrest – NFL – SI.com.

faith and spirituality, forgiveness, Henri Nowen:

Forgiveness, the Way to Freedom

To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, “I no longer hold your offense against you” But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the “offended one.” As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God.

via January 26, 2011 – Forgiveness, the Way to Freedom.

new blog, SOTU: Another blog to follow.  I like her style very much … even if I do not agree with her.  She did a nice job on the SOTU speech last night.  Althouse.

Ann Althouse

I’m a law professor… and sometimes I write about law.

via Althouse: law.

public art, change, Charlotte:  I’m mad.  I do not like change.  I find the airport Queen Charlotte amusing and welcoming … she’s certainly not pretty!

Queen Charlotte must find a new home after more than 20 years greeting travelers from a cast stone column at the front of Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s terminal.

Airport Director Jerry Orr says expansion plans for the airport have forced the move of the 16-foot-tall bronze statue from her 25-foot-high perch.

Queens Table — an anonymous group of donors — commissioned the work in the late 1980s from sculptor Raymond Kaskey. That’s the same artist who cast the statues marking the four corners of The Square in uptown (also a donation from the Queens Table).

via Queen Charlotte statue departing from airport terminal | Charlotte Business Journal.

Supreme Court, SOTU, history: After the 2010 SOTU, I am amazed any of the conservative justices are going … and a  little history of this “issue.”

There is little question that the four members of the court’s liberal wing — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen B. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — will attend. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, attended there last year, and he is likely to be on hand again Tuesday night.

And Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has apparently concluded that his distaste for last year’s address, which

he called a “political pep rally,” was not reason enough to stay away. He may have concluded that the court’s reputation as an avowedly apolitical institution would be harmed should only the court’s more liberal justices attend.

via Six Justices to Attend State of the Union – NYTimes.com.

Back in the day when his predecessor, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, stopped attending (he explained his first absence by saying that the speech conflicted with a weekly painting class he was taking) nobody much noticed or cared – one more indication that today’s political world is more complex and more toxic. 

via Thread of the Union – NYTimes.com.

App, IRS: For some reason I am not sure I want the IRS App on my phone … giving the IRS my personal data.

The free IRS2Go phone app, which works with iPhone or Android phones, allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax refund and obtain tax tips.

“As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new ways, we will keep innovating to make it easy for all taxpayers to access helpful information,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement Monday.

via IRS Announces Tax Refund ‘App’ for iPhone – WSJ.com.

Apple:  I am glad I know someone with Apple stock.

The take home message from this report and others is that Apple is thriving. Even with Steve Jobs on a leave of absence, the Cupertino company has a team of executives that are second to none, and they will continue to develop innovative and inspiring products worthy of the Apple name.

via The significance of Apple’s earnings call numbers.

Great Recession, Financial Meltdown, compensation:  Doesn’t sound like much has changed … Viewpoints: Has Compensation Changed? – Video Library – The New York Times.

quotes, BSF Isaiah:  From last week’s lesson (Lesson 16), this is my favorite quote:

Isaiah 40

Comfort for God’s People

3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

25
Jan
11

1.25.2011 … Isaiah Study … then lunch with a special friend … focusing on Yahweh Shalom …

followup, ChristCare, faith/spirituality:  Great discussion of I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html … I definitely am in a period of focusing on God as

Jehovah My Peace—Yahweh Shalom. Jesus’ shalom during this process is enabling me to find quiet meadows and waters of rest, especially as my anxious spirit wells up inside me. He speaks words of comfort and hope into my turmoil:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

—Mt. 11:28-30

via Discipleship Journal Archives :: I Am The Good Shepherd.

Jekyll Island GA, travel, GA, Childhood, history:  Saw this today on Facebook and just remember being fascinated by this plastic box that contained an old-fashioned phone where “THE first transcontinental phone call” was made … whatever that was!


This first call was made during the 1915 opening ceremony which consisted of a four-way call between Jekyll Island, Washington D.C., New York City, and San Francisco.

via FIRST Transcontinental Telephone Call – Jekyll Island, Georgia – First of its Kind on Waymarking.com.

Atlanta History Center

On this day in 1915, the first public transcontinental telephone call was placed from Jekyll Island, GA by AT&T president Theodore Vail.

via Facebook.

Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas: I always thought ignorantia juris non excusat (Latin for “ignorance of the law does not excuse” ) … Thomas Says He Erred on Disclosure Forms – NYTimes.com.

culture, Disney Princesses: I think I took the approach that the Barbie/Disney Princess/ pink phase was just that a phase that most girls went through … and would pass.

Orenstein finds one such enlightening explanation in developmental psychology research showing that until as late as age 7, children are convinced that external signs — clothing, hairstyle, favorite color, choice of toys — determine one’s sex. “It makes sense, then, that to ensure you will stay the sex you were born you’d adhere rigidly to the rules as you see them and hope for the best,” she writes. “That’s why 4-year-olds, who are in what is called ‘the inflexible stage,’ become the self- appointed chiefs of the gender police. Suddenly the magnetic lure of the Disney Princesses became more clear to me: developmentally speaking, they were genius, dovetailing with the precise moment that girls need to prove they are girls, when they will latch on to the most exaggerated images their culture offers in order to stridently shore up their femininity.” For a preschool girl, a Cinderella dress is nothing less than an existential insurance policy, a crinolined bulwark to fortify a still-shaky sense of identity.

via Book Review – Cinderella Ate My Daughter – By Peggy Orenstein – NYTimes.com.

new blog: Just discovered this weekly NYT blog on Civil War history … very good.

The story of the Civil War will be told in this series as a weekly roundup and analysis, by Jamie Malanowski, of events making news during the corresponding week 150 years ago. Written as if in real time, this dispatch will, after this week, appear every Monday. Additional essays and observations by other contributors, along with maps, images, diaries and so forth, will be published several times a week. For another perspective on the war, see this op-ed by Tony Horwitz. — The Editors

via DISUNION – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

GA history:  … and this week’s Disunion blog is on Georgia’s decision to secede.  Showdown in Georgia – NYTimes.com.

quotes, Margaret Mitchell:

“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” − Margaret Mitchell.

via http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/pr_view.asp?id=47

Billy Graham, evangelism, Charlotte:  Good article on Billy Graham … he regrets close connections to politics.

“[S]uccess is always dangerous, and we need to be alert and avoid becoming the victims of our own success. Will we influence the world for Christ, or will the world influence us?”

via Billy Graham’s Regret: ‘I Would Have Steered Clear of Politics’.

Supreme Court, LOL, culture: This story analyses Sup. Ct. transcripts to determine which justice has the best sense of humor by the number of “(Laughter.)” responses recorded …

On the other hand, there was surely an intended sting in the best line of the term so far, from the generally dour Justice Alito. In an argument over a law barring the sale of violent video games to minors, Justice Scalia asked what the drafters of the First Amendment thought about government restrictions on depictions of violence.

“I think what Justice Scalia wants to know,” Justice Alito said, “is what James Madison thought about video games.”

“(Laughter.)”

via Study Analyzes Laughs at Supreme Court – NYTimes.com.

Children’s/YA literature, Eric Carle, art history:  I am a big fan of Eric Carle since my son Edward slept with his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the almost two years.  So this book sounds very interesting.

In October, children’s author Eric Carle will publish The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, a book inspired by the work of “banned Expressionist painters” the author first encountered as a student in World War II-era Germany.Although he has written over 70 books, Carle pictured, via is best known for two classic titles: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Scheduled for publication in October 2011, Penguin Young Readers Group’s Philomel imprint has planned a first printing of 300,000 copies.Here’s more from the release: “[The book] is  inspired by the work of the great Expressionist painter Franz Marc, a founder of the artists’ group known as Der Blaue Reiter The Blue Rider, who famously used abstract blue horses in his paintings. Eric Carle’s new book tells the story of an artist who paints the world as he sees it—a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox, a black polar bear. His brilliant new work will captivate and educate readers with its colorful and magical story of Expressionist art and the imaginative leaps of a painter.”

via Eric Carle to Publish Children’s Book Inspired by Formerly Banned Expressionist Art – GalleyCat.

If I had a billion dollars: Enough said, I would buy this old house.

This home on King Street in the historic district was built by ODonnell over the period of 1852-1870. He was building the house for his bride but he took so long finishing the job that his fiancé married another. The home was once lived in by the women who inspired the character of Melanie in Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind. The home has an 18th century Venetian palazzo exterior with a cross-ventilated New York brownstone interior and wide Charleston-style porches. The home has been beautifully restored. Details to swoon for include random width heart pine floors, heavy moldings and ceiling medallions, 11 fireplaces with faux marble mantles, French doors and an antique elevator.

via Historic Patrick ODonnell House Gets Big Price Cut.

08
Jan
11

1.8.2010 … winter, brrr …

followup: So yesterday I asked the question …

Peace Out

1. A slang term telling someone good-bye, used with a hand gesture in which you pound your chest with your fist twice, then give the peace sign.

via Urban Dictionary: peace out.

girlfriends, Davidson, wasabis:  Thank you, Cary, for sharing what we all feel. Cardus – My Peripatetic Posse: Safety in Numbers.

words:

The tech slang “app” was voted the 2010 “Word of the Year” Friday by the American Dialect Society, beating out Cookie Monster’s “nom, nom, nom, nom.”

The shortened slang term for a computer or smart phone application was picked by the linguists group as the word that best sums up the country’s preoccupation last year.

via Word of the Year? “App”! – The Early Show – CBS News.

South Africa, heart-strings:  Why do people/places tug at your hearts so much more after you have been there, met the people?  South Africa – Dozens Die in Flooding – NYTimes.com.

random, mysteries:  Just thought this interesting.

I’d almost given up when I stumbled upon a Literary Gossip column in The Manchester Times for May 14, 1864. The sole identification of Charles Felix had lain there for 146 years, hidden in this single sentence: “It is understood that ‘Velvet Lawn,’ by Charles Felix, the new novel announced by Messrs. Saunders, Otley & Co., is by Mr. Charles Warren Adams, now the sole representative of that firm.”

The author was hiding in plain sight: There was no publisher correspondence with Charles Felix because he didn’t need to write to himself.

A traveler and journalist once best known for a fractious elopement with a relative of Samuel Coleridge, the publisher Charles Warren Adams (1833–1903) bears other hints of his authorship. There’s his law school training, which underlies the novel’s evidentiary process, and a previous book on parlor games — The London Review’s puzzle comparison struck closer than its reviewer realized.

via The Case of the First Mystery Novelist – NYTimes.com

tabloid news, John Edwards:  There is no point where I will feel sorry for Edwards

Either way, it’s almost getting to the point where one could almost, sort of, feel sorry for Edwards. Or at least see some point in the future when they might.

via Edwards Marrying Hunter. Really? – TIME Healthland.

new blog:  Liked this one. Dictionary of Irish Biography.

random:  interesting – Magazines Give Prisoners a Link to World Outside – NYTimes.com.

bookshelf, education:  “THINK of it as an antidote to the electronic era” …

THINK of it as an antidote to the electronic era. For 12 continuous hours last spring, 60 students and teachers at Hamilton College in upstate New York read aloud from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” which spans a dozen volumes.

“Most of us became interested in reading because of being read to,” says Margaret Thickstun, a professor of English at Hamilton, who will orchestrate another “Milton Marathon” in February. She hopes to condense this one to 10 uninterrupted hours. “These readings revive the notion that poetry is not a private, silent thing you do in a room with a piece of paper,” she says, “but something you actually speak.”

The marathon, or long, read is giving new life to a centuries-old oral tradition. St. Olaf College and the University of Arizona have similarly hosted readings of epic works, start to finish.

In November, the Russian department at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, read aloud all 1,358 pages of “War and Peace” on the 100th year of Tolstoy’s death. It took 24 hours. Kathleen Macfie, a professor of Russian who organized the reading, describes it as a lesson in slowing down: “It’s not part of their generational experience, to share something in real time, face-to-face, in a group.”

She wants to make it an annual tradition. Next time, she will urge students to pack sleeping bags. Some had to nap.

via Marathon Reads – ‘War and Peace’ in 24 Hours – NYTimes.com.

advertising, Architecture, street art, Chicago:  I am not sure about this one …

 

Before and After photos display how purchased advertising would appear on Chicago River Bridges.

 

 

 

Before and After photos display how purchased advertising would appear on Chicago River Bridges.

 

 

Want to slap your corporate logo on one of Chicago’s historic bridge houses while decorating it for the holidays? It’ll cost your company as much as $140,000 a month.

via City sees big bucks in bridge ads – Chicago Sun-Times.

random, coffee, Paris:  Not a coffee connoisseur, never been to Paris … just thought this interesting … and why is the award in English?

Le Bal is just the most exceptional of a new crop of Paris cafes. Recently,the stalwart Le Cafeotheque was joined by Merce and the Muse (1 bis rue Dupuis; 011-33-9-53-14-53-04), which opened in the fashionable northern end of the Marais. Soon Coutume Café (47 rue de Babylone) will be roasting beans in a storefront a short, brisk walk from the Bon Marché. Until construction is completed, there’s a la Marzocco FB-80 set up on a cart in front of a tarp next to the sidewalk.

For the most part, coffee in Paris still sucks so bad, but it’s getting better, and the scene forming around the monthly Frog Fight is a peek into what might be the city’s future. Now, a handful of Paris cafes have good coffee. Depending on who’s behind the bar, the coffee can be great.

via Is Coffee in Paris Getting Better? – NYTimes.com.

holidays, gingerbread:  I wonder what I would make if this was my gift?

15 Cities in Gingerbread  | Mighty Girl.

twitter, food, bacon, random:  Just chuckled because the chinese call ketchup “tomato jam” … I think I may make  some bacon jam.  I love everything bacon!

Puréed bacon + caramelized onions = my new favorite condiment: bacon jam!

via Twitter / @Marthame Sanders: Puréed bacon + caramelized ….

08
Nov
10

‎11.8.2010 … wow, PBS’s Sherlock has my head spinning … now I will have to watch the whole series to figure out what happened … studying forgiveness with my ChristCare group … blessed …

Billy Graham, Charlotte, evangelism:  Happy Birthday, Rev. Graham.  It is hard not to know who Billy Graham is if you live in Charlotte.  I frequently drive down Billy Graham Boulevard (on my way to the airport) and by the Billy Graham Library.  His column appears regularly in our paper.  But on my recent trip to South Africa, Simon, our guide in Kruger,  asked me if I knew Billy Graham … knew in the sense of knew who he was … I said yes and told him that Charlotte, my home, was Rev. Graham’s childhood home and the home of his world-wide ministry.  Simon spent several minutes retelling of his multi-day encounter with Rev. Graham as a guide to him, his family and traveling party.  He was touched by Mr. Graham.  And when Rev. Graham left he gave him his “expensive” animal and plant guide … well used and well-worn now.  He truly touched Simon.  Rev. Graham knew Simon and Simon knew Rev. Graham.  I know Rev. Graham a little better now.  If someone who reads this knows how to get a message to Rev. Graham.  Tell him Simon says hello and thank you.

It will be a quiet celebration today in Montreat, as Billy Graham gathers with family to mark his 92nd birthday.

via Graham still looking to serve the Lord at age 92 – CharlotteObserver.com.

law, copyright, me: I hope I show adequate legal and intellectual respect for the work of others … My blog is a “clipping service.”  The comments are mine.

What makes this story astonishing, really, is that unless it’s an incredibly elaborate hoax, this isn’t some isolated example. This is how this magazine apparently did business for years — and that lends credibility to the idea that Griggs may have honestly thought that she was allowed to just copy whatever she wanted from the Internet. Again, she was crediting the authors. Not always the sources, but at least the writers. It’s a weird head-fake in the direction of treating people fairly, which smells a little bit like — just as she told Gaudio — she actually thought this was fair.

There’s much about this that isn’t known, and it’s important to hold to your skepticism about some of what’s happened since this turned into a meme (for instance, some additional obnoxious responses showed up on Facebook yesterday purporting to be from Griggs, but not everyone thinks they actually were). Griggs hasn’t been heard from directly since all this happened.

Internet justice is always swift and often severe, which can be satisfying at a moment like this if you happen to be a person who creates content. At the same time, it’s a really sobering reminder that in this case, the mob may very well be correct, but what would it have taken to slow it down if it weren’t true?

via The Day The Internet Threw A Righteous Hissyfit About Copyright And Pie : Monkey See : NPR.

bookshelf, quotes, Great Recession: Maybe I will get this book for my kith/kin children …  “All these big institutional investors essentially got sold oregano when they thought they were buying weed,” Taibbi tells NPR’s Guy Raz.

Since then, Taibbi’s columns have been a destination for those trying to understand what happened in the aftermath of the financial meltdown. His new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, tries to make the subject even clearer in the colorful language Taibbi’s readers know well.

“All these big institutional investors essentially got sold oregano when they thought they were buying weed,” Taibbi tells NPR’s Guy Raz.

via ‘Griftopia’: The Financial Crisis Easily Explained : NPR.

LOL. As Seen On TV :  The egg thing reminds me of a scene in Bridget Jones Diary!  An As Seen on TV Thanksgiving: Products that could help.

Facebook, British Monarchy: I “Liked” them …

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has joined Facebook, adding a presence on the world’s most popular social network to the royal family’s accounts on Twitter, photo-sharing site Flickr and YouTube.

The British monarchy‘s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy) does not allow users to “friend” the Queen or to send her messages, but offers updates on royal news and diary events.

via Britain’s Queen Wins 60, 000 Fans on Facebook Debut – NYTimes.com.

parenting, motherhood, culture, me:  I bought into cloth diapers and organic food (but not homemade) … silly me.

In the oscillations of feminism, theories of child-rearing have played a major part. As long as women remain the gender most responsible for children, we are the ones who have the most to lose by accepting the “noble savage” view of parenting, with its ideals of attachment and naturalness. We need to be released from guilt about our children, not further bound by it. We need someone to say: Do the best you can. There are no rules.

via Erica Jong on the Madness of Modern Motherhood – WSJ.com.

If I had a million dollars …:  Just the description makes me want one. 🙂  Canon G Series: The Aspirational Point-and-Shoot | Plugged In – WSJ.com.

business, urban life, pop-ups: As I have said before I want to live in a city big enough to support pop-ups.  They are a modern-day indicia of a BIG city.

The two-year pilot program provides temporary seating platforms for restaurants not eligible for sidewalk cafés licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs because of narrow sidewalks or zoning restrictions.

The owners of Fika Espresso Bar and Bombay’s Restaurant, located near each other on Pearl Street in the Financial District, housed the city’s first pop-up café, which went up in August and is expected to come down in the next two weeks.

The first curbside wooden platform, measuring 6 feet wide by 84 feet long provided space for about 50 chairs and 14 tables, and attracted throngs of lunch goers.

“My business went up by about 14%,” estimated Prashant Bhatt, owner of Bombay’s Restaurant. “If you come at lunch time there’s no place to sit outside.”

The business owners split the cost of the pop-up café, which they said was slightly more than $10,000 each.

via Pop-Up Cafés to Reappear in 2011 – WSJ.com.

random, men, consumer products, gift ideas:  OK, years ago  (pre-internet) my law associates and I would get into these highly intellectual conversations about certain topics (i.e., is the chocolate milk product Yoohoo or Yahoo … we called a 7-11 to find out).  One topic was why is a man’s “makeup” bag called a “dopp” kit … We found the answer from an older army man … But anyway here is a great Christmas idea for the man  who has everything (and the answer to the question) …

Dopp kit, Il Bisonte; John Allan’s mint conditioner; Sephora travel dental kit; Mason Pearson pocket brush; Kiehl’s Facial Fuel eye de-puffer; Jurlique Chamomile Soothing Mist; Diptyque Tam Dao body lotion; Anthony facial scrub; John Allan’s ocean shampoo; Lightfoot Pure Pine shave creme soap; Marvis Classic Mint travel toothpaste; Clark’s Ultra Rich Lip Balm; The Art of Shaving pure badger brush; Jack Black Double-Duty face moisturizer; Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte soap.

via The Best Ways to Fill Your Dopp Kit – WSJ.com.

Apple, IBM: Good article … two of my favorite stocks.  Like the illustration, too.

Illustration by The New York Times

The two companies have long been cast as polar opposites, even before Apple’s commercial during the 1984 Super Bowl that depicted a female rebel (Apple) striking a blow against a corporate Big Brother (I.B.M.).

Today, Big Blue is seen as a machine — a company that caters to big corporate and government customers and is known for steady improvement and five-year profit plans. Indeed, I.B.M.’s profit rose 12 percent for the third quarter, the 31st consecutive quarter that the company delivered higher earnings. Apple, by contrast, is seen as a consumer-product hit factory that is on a roll.

Yet I.B.M. and Apple can be viewed as the yin and the yang of high-tech innovation, as two companies with more in common than is generally understood. There is a lot of eureka invention and deep science in I.B.M.’s varied businesses, industry experts say. And Apple’s continuing success, they add, is explained in good part by its ability to make innovation a managed system, more machinelike.

via Apple and I.B.M. Aren’t All That Different – NYTimes.com.

Great Recession:  Hope so …

But positive indicators can and do disappoint, so I decided to consult an expert on these matters: Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics. As a reader of economic tea leaves over the last five turbulent years, Mr. Shepherdson has a darn good record. For instance, unlike the throng of economists who failed to see the housing crisis coming, Mr. Shepherdson warned his clients in fall 2005 that real estate would crash and a recession would ensue.

He was early, of course, and now acknowledges that he was not nearly emphatic enough in his warnings. But he was fundamentally right back then and has been consistently on target since. So, I am happy to report that he sees the beginnings of a turn in the economy that could translate to a rise in gross domestic product growth and an improving employment picture in the second half of 2011.

via Forecaster Ian Shepherdson Sees an End to Economic Gloom – NYTimes.com.

random, culture, Charlotte: Enjoy … and let me know if you hear about such an event in Charlotte!

Knight Foundation is funding 1,000 Random Acts of Culture over the next three years. So if you live in any of these eight cities – Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Philadelphia, San Jose, St. Paul and Miami – be on the lookout and have your cellphones ready.

via What a Joyful Noise: 650 Singers Burst into Hallelujah as part of Random Act of Culture | Knight Arts.

random, kith/kin, new blog:  I could so see some of my friends doing this!  On the Road with Honey: Atlanta to Chicago by Kevin Austin | LikeTheDew.com.

media, journalism, boundaries:  I always thought the New Yorker was more literary than political commentary.  They certainly jump right into the fray with their covers!

In his inaugural address in January 2009, President Barack Obama promised a new era of diplomacy in foreign affairs. “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” he said. But, he continued, “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

He didn’t know that he might as well have been speaking to the Republicans.

The November 15, 2010 cover of The New Yorker features Obama offering to shake the hand of Republican congressman John Boehner, who is expected to take over as the next Speaker of the House. Instead of offering his hand to shake in return, Boehner offers Obama his fist.

The illustration is by Barry Blitt and recalls his controversial July 2008 cover for the magazine, which featured Obama wearing a turban and giving a fist bump to Michelle Obama in the Oval Office.

via John Boehner Gives Obama ‘Terrorist Fist Bump’ On New Yorker Cover.

tv, Sherlock Holmes, me: wow, PBS’s Sherlock has my head spinning … now I will have to watch the whole series to figure out what happened …

In with three criminally clever whodunits, A Study in Pink (October 24), The Blind Banker (October 31) and The Great Game (November 7), consulting detective Sherlock Holmes teams up with former army doctor John Watson to solve a dizzying array of crimes with his signature deductive reasoning. From the writers of Doctor Who, Sherlock is co-created and written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

via Masterpiece | Sherlock | PBS.

recipes, chicken, comfort foods:  Roast chicken is one of my favorite “comfort foods.”  I will try this … Rozanne Gold’s “Opinionated Way to Roast a Chicken” | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

The Supreme Court, politics:  great article …

One of the legacies of the pitched battle ten years ago is that voters appreciate now, in a way they did not before Florida 2000, that our elections, like any human endeavor, are fraught with errors. Bush v. Gore thus opened eyes and lowered expectations. Voting in America is guaranteed by law but not in fact. The votes of some simply don’t get counted.

So did the Court lose respect among Americans for its ruling in Bush v. Gore? Did it lose legitimacy? You can argue it both ways and scores of legitimate scholars have gleefully done so. If the Court did lose some credibility, and I think it did, clearly it did not lose enough to generate much of an anti-Court backlash. The Justices are still going strong– witness their landmark corporate speech case this past January in Citizens United. And so are their critics. Bush v. Goredidn’t change the world. The world changed shortly after Bush v. Gore and it’s likely never going to change back.

via Bush v. Gore: The Disputed Election Fades Into History.

architecture, design,Chicago: As my kids say … fail …

Sprucing up a dull city plaza sounds good in theory, but the outcome depends upon the vision of enlightened clients and the talents of skilled designers. Both, unfortunately, are in short supply in the tidy but clinical revamp of the Plaza of the Americas, a small public space whose importance is magnified because it provides one of the few openings along densely-packed North Michigan Avenue.

When it opened in 1965, the plaza possessed a multitude of smaller touches that made it a welcoming public space. Planter boxes filled with shrubs, trees and flowers lent color to the cityscape. The planters had broad ledges where pedestrians were free to sit. Multi-colored lights made the plazas’s fountains sparkle at night. The plaza’s aggregate surface, with its varied hues of crushed stone, was a cut above dull gray concrete.

But flash forward to the first decade of the 21st Century, and the picture looked very different. The aggregate was crumbling and the plaza’s drainage grates were failing. In winter, water would pool up and turn into dangerous sheets of ice. The plaza’s undergirding was deteriorating, too. That raised a simple but contentious question: Who would pay to fix things up?

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

Jane Austen, movies:  Mollywood … Mormon film industry!

Alert Janeite Sylvia M. let us know that a new, modern-set version of S&S, called Scents and Sensibility, is in production for release in 2011. It looks like it is a product of the Mormon film industry, which also produced a modern-set version of P&P a few years back. Not much info available yet about the new movie, but well, hello Brandon.

(Somebody else told us about this–it has something to do with perfume–and we wish they would remind us about it comments! Sorry!)

via AustenBlog.

24
Oct
10

‎10.24.2010 … truly priceless weekend … now home on the redeye …

invention,  culture:

Picking humanity’s 100 greatest gadgets is no easy task. If we were starting from the beginning of humanity itself, the list would actually be a lot easier to compile: the wheel, the lever, the telescope, the syringe, movable type — the roster practically writes itself. But we’re masochists and decided to limit the list to the 100 most influential personal gadgets created since 1923 — the year TIME started publishing.

via How We Chose the All-TIME 100 Gadgets – ALL-TIME 100 Gadgets – TIME.

USA, culture: great article…

A few years later, when I got to America on a college scholarship, I realized that the real American Dream was somewhat different from Dallas. I visited college friends in their hometowns and was struck by the spacious suburban houses and the gleaming appliances — even when their parents had simple, modest jobs. The modern American Dream, for me, was this general prosperity and well-being for the average person. European civilization had produced the great cathedrals of the world. America had the two-car garage. And this middle-class contentment created a country of optimists. Compared with the fatalism and socialist lethargy that was pervasive in India those days, Americans had a sunny attitude toward life that was utterly refreshing.

But when I travel from America to India these days, as I did recently, it’s as if the world has been turned upside down. Indians are brimming with hope and faith in the future. After centuries of stagnation, their economy is on the move, fueling animal spirits and ambition. The whole country feels as if it has been unlocked. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the mood is sour. Americans are glum, dispirited and angry. The middle class, in particular, feels under assault. In a Newsweek poll in September, 63% of Americans said they did not think they would be able to maintain their current standard of living. Perhaps most troubling, Americans are strikingly fatalistic about their prospects. The can-do country is convinced that it can’t.

via Fareed Zakaria on How to Restore the American Dream – TIME.

nature v. nurture:  jack loves artificial red dye … and I loved it during pregnancy (jelly belly red cherry jelly beans, cherry popsicles) … enough said.

What makes us the way we are? Why are some people predisposed to be anxious, overweight or asthmatic? How is it that some of us are prone to heart attacks, diabetes or high blood pressure?

There’s a list of conventional answers to these questions. We are the way we are because it’s in our genes: the DNA we inherited at conception. We turn out the way we do because of our childhood experiences: how we were treated and what we took in, especially during those crucial first three years. Or our health and well-being stem from the lifestyle choices we make as adults: what kind of diet we consume, how much exercise we get.(See 5 pregnancy myths debunked.)

But there’s another powerful source of influence you may not have considered: your life as a fetus. The kind and quantity of nutrition you received in the womb; the pollutants, drugs and infections you were exposed to during gestation; your mother’s health, stress level and state of mind while she was pregnant with you — all these factors shaped you as a baby and a child and continue to affect you to this day.

This is the provocative contention of a field known as fetal origins, whose pioneers assert that the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives, permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. The conditions we encounter in utero, they claim, shape our susceptibility to disease, our appetite and metabolism, our intelligence and temperament. In the literature on the subject, which has exploded over the past 10 years, you can find references to the fetal origins of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness — even of conditions associated with old age like arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline.

via Fetal Origins: How the First Nine Months Shape Your Life – TIME.

college life, culture: just makes me sad …

Police have arrested three men suspected of creating a drug lab in a freshmen dormitory at prestigious Georgetown University in Washington.

D.C. Police spokesman Officer Hugh Carew says investigators found a DMT lab where chemicals could create a hallucinogenic drug. DMT stands for dimethyltryptamine. Officials thought it was a methamphetamine lab earlier Saturday.

Emergency crews responded about 6:15 a.m. after a strange odor was reported. About 400 students were evacuated from Harbin Hall. Seven people were exposed to noxious chemicals, including three students.

via Suspected drug lab found in Georgetown Univ. dorm  | ajc.com.

bookshelf, children’s/YA literature,new blog:  She writes a compelling blog post for this book.

Judging entirely from the cover art, I picked up Plain Kate expecting a charming light British fantasy. That’s what the cover suggested to me — the girl on the cover looks like someone who is having a gently meandering adventure, the sort one could have on the way home from school, even. I expected to enjoy it, but I had no hint that there’d be anything memorable about it.

via bookshelves of doom: Plain Kate — Erin Bow.

college life, kids, Harry Potter, children’s/YA literature:  This does not surprise me one bit!

Like freshman everywhere, Xander Manshel and his Middlebury College classmates found themselves in their first year of college pondering some of life’s biggest mysteries—like how to play Quidditch if you can’t, like Harry Potter, fly?The solution: race around in capes and goggles with broomsticks between your legs, while shooting balls through mounted hula hoops. Their version of the game, first played in 2005, was modeled on matches described in J.K. Rowling’s novels.”Quidditch was this bridge between the fantasy world of the books and the more concrete world of college,” says Mr. Manshel, who has graduated and now teaches English. “For us [playing] was a way to have both.”The Quidditch World Cup will be played in New York in November. NYU student Sarah Landis is hoping her new team will have a home advantage.But now Harry has grown-up—and so has the sport. There are tournaments, new rules and special brooms for competitive play. The “Quidditch World Cup” is moving this year to the Big Apple from Middlebury’s idyllic campus. More than 60 college and high school teams have registered to compete Nov. 13 and 14—up from 20 last year—at a park in Manhattan.

via Harry Potter’s Game Grows Up – WSJ.com.

random, Halloween, culture, holidays: I am kinda partial to the Old Spice guy!

Octomom outfits are so 2009. This year, there’s plenty of pop-culture news worth mining for Halloween-costume glory. TIME takes a look at the getups that are sure to win any costume contest

via Old Spice Guy – The 20 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2010 – TIME

07
Aug
10

8.7.2010 … definitely dog days of summer …

summer:

“Dog Days” (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere, they usually fall between early July and early September. In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.

Food, travel, Asheville:  Another rec … Old World Bakery …  “a genuine, wonderful French bakery in Asheville. On Hendersonville Rd at St John Square, Fletcher. Complete with all variety of bread, fruit tarts, petit pain au chocolat, napoleons, etc. yum.” Thanks, Dinah.

Great Recession:  Surprise, surprise … there are differing opinions.

When the latest unemployment figures are announced on Friday, all of Wall Street will be watching. But for Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley and Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, the results will be more than just another marker in an avalanche of data.

Instead, the numbers will be a clue as to which of the two economists is right about where the American economy is headed. Their sharp disagreement over that question adds yet another twist to the fierce rivalry between the firms, Wall Street’s version of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Mr. Hatzius is arguably Wall Street’s most prominent pessimist. He warns that the American economy is poised for a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year. That would send unemployment higher again and raise the risk of deflation. A rare occurrence, deflation can have a devastating effect on a struggling economy as prices and wages fall. He says he may be compelled to downgrade his already anemic growth predictions for the economy.

For months, Mr. Berner has been sticking to a more optimistic forecast, despite growing evidence in favor of Mr. Hatzius’s view. Last week, Mr. Berner was caught by surprise when the federal government reported that the economy grew at a 2..4 percent pace in the second quarter, well below the 3.8 percent he had forecast a month before. Mr. Hatzius came closer to hitting the mark, having projected a 2 percent growth rate.

via 2 Top Economists Differ Sharply on Deflation – NYTimes.com.

invention, bookshelf:  One of my favorite book is Longitude by Dava Sobe. I remember thinking that giving a prize to the discoverer  was really interesting.  But maybe they are more common than I realized.

A CURIOUS cabal gathered recently in a converted warehouse in San Francisco for a private conference. Among them were some of the world’s leading experts in fields ranging from astrophysics and nanotechnology to health and energy. Also attending were entrepreneurs and captains of industry, including Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and Ratan Tata, the head of India’s Tata Group. They were brought together to dream up more challenges for the X Prize Foundation, a charitable group which rewards innovation with cash. On July 29th a new challenge was announced: a $1.4m prize for anyone who can come up with a faster way to clean oil spills from the ocean.

The foundation began with the Ansari X Prize: $10m to the first private-sector group able to fly a reusable spacecraft 100km (62 miles) into space twice within two weeks. It was won in 2004 by a team led by Burt Rutan, a pioneering aerospace engineer, and Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft. Other prizes have followed, including the $10m Progressive Automotive X Prize, for green cars that are capable of achieving at least 100mpg, or its equivalent. Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur who runs the foundation, says he has become convinced that “focused and talented teams in pursuit of a prize and acclaim can change the world.”

This might sound like hyperbole, but other charities, including the Gates Foundation, have been sufficiently impressed to start offering their own prizes. An industry is now growing up around them, with some firms using InnoCentive, an online middleman, to offer prizes to eager problem-solvers. Now governments are becoming keen too. As a result, there is a surge in incentive prizes (see chart).

Lost at sea

Such prizes are not new. The Longitude Prize was set up by the British government in 1714 as a reward for reliable ways for mariners to determine longitude. And in 1795 Napoleon offered a prize to preserve food for his army, which led to the canned food of today. In more recent times incentive prizes have fallen out of favour. Instead, prizes tend to be awarded for past accomplishments—often a long time after the event. As T.S. Eliot remarked after receiving his Nobel prize, it was like getting “a ticket to one’s own funeral”.

Is this a good thing? Prizes used to promote a policy are vulnerable to political jiggery pokery, argues Lee Davis of the Copenhagen Business School. Thomas Kalil, a science adviser to Barack Obama, acknowledges the pitfalls but insists that incentive prizes offered by governments can work if well crafted. Indeed, he argues that the very process of thinking critically about a prize’s objectives sharpens up the bureaucracy’s approach to big problems.

One success was NASA’s Lunar Lander prize, which was more cost-effective than the traditional procurement process, says Robert Braun, NASA’s chief technologist. Another example is the agency’s recent prize for the design of a new astronaut’s glove: the winner was not an aerospace firm but an unemployed engineer who has gone on to form a new company.

When the objective is a technological breakthrough, clearly-defined prizes should work well. But there may be limits. Tachi Yamada of the Gates Foundation is a big believer in giving incentive prizes, but gives warning that it can take 15 years or more to bring a new drug to market, and that even AMC’s carrot of $1.5 billion for new vaccines may not be a big enough incentive. No prize could match the $20 billion or so a new blockbuster drug can earn in its lifetime. So, in some cases, says Dr Yamada, “market success is the real prize.”

via Innovation prizes: And the winner is… | The Economist.

green, Made in the USA:

WASHINGTON — The United Steelworkers and two Chinese companies announced Friday that they had signed an agreement assuring that major components of machines for a $1.5 billion wind farm in Texas would be made in the United States.

The deal potentially defuses a conflict over American stimulus dollars being used to subsidize foreign companies.

Without releasing full details, the union said that the steel for the wind towers, enclosures for working parts atop the towers and reinforcing bars for the bases would be sourced in the United States. So will the blades, which are not made of steel but are often made by steelworkers, the union and the two companies said.

via Wind Farm Deal Assures Bigger U.S. Role – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, Bollywood:  I can’t wait!

The fun in Jane Austen’s Emma and its subsequent adaptations has been the relationship dynamics between its characters. Two of the unlikeliest people fall in love; confused folks mistake infatuation for love; friendship remains a vague term.

Even if you have seen the Hollywood adaptation Clueless, you’ll still enjoy Aisha for its expert desi spin on the story. It’s a world where the travelling-to-Mumbai gang may shop on the street but will lunch at The Taj and dine at Tetsuma.

It’s so rare for a film to get it all together: from the story, to the performances, to the atmospherics, to the music and more. This one goes perfectly with the popcorn; don’t miss it.

via Movie Review : Aisha review: This one goes perfectly with the popcorn.

law school, economics,UGA Law:  A senior partner at King & Spalding, Atlanta, advised me to go to UGA over Emory or Vanderbilt.  He said he saw better lawyers coming out of UGA.  I followed his suggestion and saved a lot of money.  I think I got an excellent legal education.

Go to the best law school you get into.

It’s advice that’s been passed down through the ages, from generation to generation. Law is a profession that trades, the thinking goes, on prestige. Clients like prestigious names like Wachtell and Cravath; the wealthiest firms like names like Harvard, Yale and Chicago. Get into one of those schools, and up go your chances of going to a big firm, kicking tail, making partner and grabbing that brass ring.

Or so the conventional wisdom has for decades dictated.

But is it true? In a new paper, UCLA law professor Richard Sander and Brooklyn law professor Jane Yakowitz argue no. “Eliteness” of the school you attended matters much less, they found, than your GPA.

The work is part of a continuing effort to examine preferences and law school, specifically, whether affirmative action actually hurts those it’s most supposed to benefit. Sander has previously argued that minority law students will often do better academically (and on the bar) if they attend a less-competitive school.

As part of that effort, Sander and Yakowitz set out to uncover whether this notion could be applied more broadly. That is, whether someone who finishes at the top of the class at, say, the University of Iowa, might face better career prospects than one who finishes in the middle of the class at, say, a place like Harvard.

via New Study: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s – Law Blog – WSJ.

blogs, happiness:  Thanks, Cary;  I am sitting down and enjoying your blog entry!

So it’s with humility and a certain sense of pleasure in just letting myself be me, instead of being embarrassed that I’m not more athletic or more something or other, that I wear my “Fastest Typist in Camp” award on my favorite charm necklace, a reminder of my nerdy ways and a reminder that nothing’s wasted.

via Nothing’s Wasted: In Defense of Sitting Down « Holy Vernacular.

green, health:  Makes you think … The Story of Cosmetics.

random, tv:  Poor Eddie Munster still looks the same … I always assumed  he was made to look that way … best of luck.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Forty-five years after a Pennsylvania woman sent a fan letter to her favorite TV star, they’ve made a Munster match.

Donna McCall was a 10-year-old with a crush on Butch Patrick, who played boy werewolf Eddie Munster in the mid-’60s sitcom “The Munsters.”

In her letter, she asked Patrick how tall he was because girls at the time were making gum wrapper chains long enough to match the height of their boyfriends. To her delight, the young actor responded and included his height — 5 feet, 4 inches.

Like many childhood projects, however, the wrapper chain wasn’t completed. Decades passed.

via Munster match: ’60s TV star falls for patient fan  | accessAtlanta.

Justice Kagan: If swearing is bad, why is swearing-in good?  Congrats to our new justice.

Elena Kagan will be sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will first administer the Constitutional Oath in a private ceremony in the Justices’ Conference Room attended by members of the Kagan family. The Chief Justice will then administer the Judicial Oath in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Elena Kagan’s family and friends.

via SCOTUSblog » Court statement on Kagan confirmation.

Culture, materialism:

Sheryl Crow gets to the crux of the matter in her song Soak Up The Sun: “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Relatedly, the video The Story of Stuff Project notes that the point of an advertisement is to make you feel bad about what you have.

The notion that material goods don’t bring lasting contentment is hardly some left-wing anti-capitalist rant. The first to leave us with a writings on this perspective were a group of philosophers known as the Stoics, starting with Zeno in the early third century BC and continuing through to the marvelous Marcus Aurelius several centuries later.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Wilmette, Chicago, culture:  Our blocks,  13 hundred block of Ashland and Richmond Lane (we lived on a corner), threw the BEST block parties … nothing like it in the South.   The Ashland party is the first Saturday after the 4th  and Richmond’s is in September … I will drop in some day …

If the words “block party” conjure up images of warm Jell-O, loud neighbors and a smattering of lawn chairs, you’re in for a surprise. Nowadays, neighborhoods are putting together street-wide festivals complete with DJs, outdoor movies, bake-offs and talent contests. Interested in organizing an event without breaking the bank?

via Here’s how to host a 21st century block party :: Mommy on a Shoestring :: PIONEER PRESS ::.

art, Dali:  I have a special affinity for Dali … that was my husband’s grandfather’s “grandfather name” … we saw Dali’s (the artist’s, not the grandfather’s)  art in London and were amazed at the many levels of complexity … Dali: The Late Work | High Museum of Art – Atlanta.

Wilmette, Chicago, flooding:  Chicago is flat … and we lived a mile from the lake … but the storm sewers would overflow and you could end up with a foot of water in your basement.  We lived there 4 years and we thought we were lucky.  Our basement never flooded until the last year … and then twice … amazing.  Now I know why.  Seems like a good use of stimulus funds.

After all, the Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Project (aka TARP) was first announced in 1972. Digging began in 1975. Yet here we are, some 38 years into what has been called the most ambitious public works project since the pyramids, and still we are mopping up basements and dumping mass quantities of you-know-what into Lake Michigan.

I am witness to the latter catastrophe for I live near the North Shore Sanitary Channel in Evanston. After a really heavy cloudburst I’ll walk to a footbridge near my house, look down at this man-made extension of the Chicago River’s North Branch, and watch as the, uh, “effluent” of Chicago’s sewer system rushes north to Wilmette harbor and Lake Michigan.

TARP was supposed to stop this from happening. And maybe some day it will. But as of now, after more than three decades and $5 billion in public expense, The San still has to open those floodgates and dump millions of gallons of sewage into the lake, fouling the water, closing beaches, forcing water treatment plants to jack the chlorine. If they don’t open the gates, or wait too long, the river will overflow and cause serious property damage, not unlike what happened recently to the River City condos south of the Loop.

So what’s taking so long with the big one — the 10.5 billion-gallon reservoir that’s to be located east of LaGrange Road near McCook, the one that’s supposed to alleviate flooding across Cook County from Wilmette to Lemont?

Well, it has been delayed. And delayed again. Why? There are so many reasons it would take a book. But one reason — the one that galls me most — is that our journalism has let us down. The delays have been, by my lights, one of the biggest environmental stories in the Chicago region for the past 20 years. But you’d never know it from what little has been written or broadcast.

There were funding delays involving Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers; there was local NIMBY resistance to earlier plans to use an already-dug Vulcan Materials quarry, and more recently, to quarrying a new reservoir.

via Flooded basement? Better get used to it – chicagotribune.com.

Great Recession, Flash Crash:  Great analysis of the May Flash Crash … The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake.”

The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake,” Mr. Vasan told several clients.

When the quake hit on the afternoon of May 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest, fastest decline ever, and hundreds of stocks momentarily lost nearly all their value. So many things went wrong, so quickly, that regulators haven’t yet pieced together precisely what happened.

Journal Community

A close examination of the market’s rapid-fire unraveling reveals some new details about what unfolded: Stock-price data from the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic-trading arm, Arca, were so slow that at least three other exchanges simply cut it off from trading. Pricing information became so erratic that at one point shares of Apple Inc. traded at nearly $100,000 apiece. And computer-driven trading models used by many big investors, apparently responding to the same market signals, rushed for the exits at the same time.

via Legacy of the ‘Flash Crash’ – WSJ.com.

Apple, iPad, new blog:  I think Apple has more things coming.  I can’t wait.

Traditionally, first-year medical students are awarded white coats to signify their entry into the medical community. But at an Aug. 6 ceremony, each member of the UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2014 will find an iPad pre-loaded with everything necessary for the first year of course work in their coat pocket.

As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to employ a completely digital, interactive learning environment for entering students, says Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine.

via Macsimum News – Incoming UCI medical students to receive iPads.

random, art, blog:  Would a company consider this fair use  now or stop such use?  Interesting blog, too.

As product marketing manager for Campbell’s, William MacFarland must have been overjoyed with the incredible public reaction to Andy Warhol’s first exhibition as a fine artist in 1962, as present at the gallery was his now world-famous Campbell’s Soup Cans piece: 32 silkscreened portraits, each representing a different variety of the company’s soup product, all arranged in a single line. The work provoked huge debate in all corners of the art world and helped bring the Pop art movement to the masses; all the while holding a certain brand in the limelight.

via Letters of Note: I hear you like Tomato Soup.

health, ADHD, the mind: very interesting.

A team of European researchers recently assessed nearly 8,000 Finnish children and showed that mixed-handed children are at increased risk for linguistic, scholastic and attention-related difficulties. At age eight, mixed-handed kids were about twice as likely to have language and academic difficulties as their peers. By the time the children were 16, they also were twice as likely to have symptoms of ADHD—and their symptoms were more severe than those of right- or left-handed students.Ambidexterity is not causing these problems. Rather “handedness is really a very crude measure of how the brain is working,” says Alina Rodriguez, a clinical psychologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author. In typical brains, language is rooted in the left hemisphere, and net works that control attention are anchored in the right—but brains without a dominant hemisphere may be working and communicating differently.

via Ambidexterity and ADHD: Are They Linked?: Scientific American.

history, architecture, San Francisco:  Listen to the story … a very interesting piece.

When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, it was a story of ‘Man harnessing Nature’ for the greater glory of both. Then the world’s longest suspension span, a feat of engineering several times over, it took 21 years to build and came in under budget. It has hovered ever since like a feather above a vast surge of water pouring into the Pacific. Beautiful and orange, it looks today like it was built yesterday. And somehow, in a world that can seem too jaded for wonder, it still harnesses our dreams.

This hour, On Point: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge.

via The Golden Gate’s Long History | WBUR and NPR – On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

football, NFL:  Game on, Falcons!

Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010

via Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010 – USATODAY.com.

invention, green: I don’t know about this one.

Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling.

via In the Future, Your Refrigerator Will Be Made of Green Jelly | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Apple, bikes, green:  Will it change the gears for me??

A patent filed last year but just uncovered Thursday shows that Apple is at least considering a “Smart Bicycle System” that would use iPods or iPhones to track cyclist data and help teams communicate on the raceway. Similar to Nike + iPod, the small fitness device that recorded a runner’s pace and distance, Apple’s new technology will enable bikers to measure “speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, [and] wind speed,” according to Patently Apple. Clearly, the Smart Bike is squeezing everything it can from Apple’s accelerometers and gyroscopes (which allow the iPhone to track the biker’s exertion, based on acceleration, and altitude, by recording tilt relative to the ground).

via Apple’s “Smart Bike” Could Squash All Other Bike Tech | Co.Design.

random, high risk adventure, RIP:  He planned to ski down K2, but died on the way up.  Rest in peace.

Swedish mountaineer and professional skier Fredrik Ericsson died Friday while trying to summit K2 in Pakistan, his friend David Schipper told CNN in a telephone interview.

The incident occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. as Ericsson was attempting to become the first man to ski from the summit to base camp, said Schipper, who said he learned of the accident on the world’s second-tallest peak in a satellite call from fellow climber Fabrizio Zangrilli.

via Skier Fredrik Ericsson dies in accident on K2 – CNN.com.

environment:  Iceberg is 4x the size of Manhattan!  I love that word “calved”.

A giant ice island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland.

A University of Delaware researcher says the floating ice sheet covers 100 square miles – more than four times the size of New York’s Manhattan Island.

Andreas Muenchow, who is studying the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, said the ice sheet broke off early Thursday. He says the new ice island was discovered by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service.

Not since 1962 has such a large chunk of ice calved in the Arctic, but researchers have noticed cracks in recent months in the floating tongue of the glacier.

via Greenland Iceberg Four Times Bigger Than Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier.

education, travel, Arab world, study abroad:  Our world is getting smaller.  I love that our youth are embracing it.

In what educators are calling the fastest growing study-abroad program, American college students are increasingly choosing to spend their traditional junior year abroad in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, wanting to experience the Arab world beyond America’s borders and viewpoints.

via More Students Choose a Junior-Year Abroad in the Mideast – NYTimes.com.

travel:  I have always thought it would be fun to exchange homes or rent someone’s home in another city.

For frequent Manhattan visitor Ken Velten there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.

The Southern California retiree and his family of up to five have traveled to the Big Apple five times over the past five years, staying a week or two and trading the expense and anonymity of a hotel room for the space and convenience of a rented apartment in Midtown East. But after May 1, when a ban on most New York City apartment rentals under 30 days is scheduled to take effect, Velten probably won’t be back.

via More destinations shut the door on vacation rentals – USATODAY.com.

lists, travel Seattle:  I like lists … Top Things to Do in Seattle, Washington — The Vacation Gals.

travel, First Lady, politics:  She can’t win.  But it is an interesting comparison to Laura Bush’s more modest vacations.

The first lady is paying for her own room, food and transportation, and the friends she brought will pay for theirs as well. But the government picks up security costs, and the image of the president’s wife enjoying a fancy vacation at a luxury resort abroad while Americans lose their jobs back home struck some as ill-timed. European papers are having a field day tracking her entourage, a New York Daily News columnist called her “a modern-day Marie Antoinette” and the blogosphere has been buzzing.

Laura Bush took solo vacations without her husband each year of George W. Bush’s presidency, likewise traveling with her Secret Service detail on a government plane to meet friends for camping and hiking excursions to national parks. But it never generated the sort of furor Mrs. Obama trip’s is causing, at least in part because visiting national parks in the United States is not as politically sensitive.

via First Lady’s Trip to Spain Draws Criticism – NYTimes.com.

04
Jul
10

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Happy 4th, all!

events, The 4th: Obviously, the 4th of July and one of my favorite events of the year … 4th at the Lake with the Lomaxs/Fortenberrys!

The 4th, Google doodle:


The Google Doodle is fun today … I would love to be a google doodle artist!  It actually moves … just go to Google.

The 4th, food:

“We the people who love cake, in order to bake a more perfect dessert, reestablish the standard that true cake is baked from scratch, ensure the use of natural ingredients, provide for the common consumption of dessert in moderation, promote comfort foods, and secure the blessings of sharing dessert with friends and foe, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United Cakes of America.”

That’s the manifesto of lawyer-turned-baker Warren Brown. In 2002, he gave up his career practicing law and opened Cake Love, a Washington, D.C., bakery guaranteed to tempt the senses.

“People like desserts. You can go crazy with different flavors,” Brown says. “I mean, you bring a cake into the room and everyone’s going to be happy.”

In the past eight years, Brown has opened six more bakeries in the D.C. area and has just released his second cookbook, The United Cakes of America. The book is a culinary tour — full of delectable cakes for every state in the country.

via How To Salute The ‘United Cakes Of America’ : NPR.

Declaration of Independence, wordsmithing:  “Slip”  v. “wordsmithing”?

The Associated Press calls it a “slip.” But I think of the newly discovered evidence that as he drafted the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson  crossed out the word “subjects” and replaced it with “citizens,” in the same way researchers at the Library of Congress see it:

“The correction seems to illuminate an important moment for Jefferson and for a nation on the eve of breaking from monarchical rule: a moment when he reconsidered his choice of words and articulated the recognition that the people of the fledgling United States of America were no longer subjects of any nation, but citizens of an emerging democracy.”

Words do indeed matter, and Jefferson made sure to use the right one.

via July 4th : NPR.

Jane Austen, Miss Manners, The 4th:  Actually how you should always behave …I have already failed on several of these gentle reminders of socially acceptable behavior …

T’is a truth universally acknowledged that one must not lose sight of the rules of civil engagement during alfresco dining, when men’s knobby knees and a lady’s bare feet are as much on display as the refreshments, entertainments, and illuminations.

via Jane Austen Today: How Would Jane Austen Expect One to Behave at a July 4th Picnic?.

quotes, favorites, literature:  loved this article … but why does his very worst opening line happen to be reused as the opening line of my favorite childhood novel!  And of course it is the opening line of Snoopy’s novel …

Good writers must, by their very nature, know what bad writing is. That is the premise of the Edward Bulwer-Lytton contest.

Starting in 1982, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (www.bulwer-lytton.com), a clever and whimsical attempt to find the worst opening line of a novel. Brainchild of Scott Rice, then a student at SJSU, who took it upon himself to find the author of what he considered the worst opening line ever, “It was a dark and stormy night,” the contest has drawn thousands of entries over the years.

via Bad writing by Janet Ward | LikeTheDew.com.

Madeleine L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time begins with this line, and it is indeed the novel’s entire first paragraph.

via It was a dark and stormy night – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

new blog, right up my alley:

Without further ado, here’s what Lee had to say in response to our five:

1. Life for a lawyer who leaves the law is…not as bad as you would think it would be.

2. The hardest thing about being an ex-lawyer is…having to explain to sensible people as to why you left.

3. The best thing about being an ex-lawyer is…no longer having to make billables.

4. The primary misconception about ex-lawyers is…that we remember any law.

5. The main different between my life now and my life as a lawyer is…that I am doing what I want.

via The Ex-Lawyers Club.

news, from bad to worse: But I think the headlines are unfair to Clinton … you have to  read the whole quote.

“He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected,” former President Bill Clinton said of Sen. Robert Byrd.

“And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done come and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians,” he added.

via RealClearPolitics – Video – Clinton Defends Byrd’s KKK Ties: “He Was Trying To Get Elected”.

Chicago, favorites, bucket list: 100 things to do in Chicago … Chicago Bucket List :: Chicago Sun-Times :: Photo Gallery.

green, Charlotte:

Duke Energy is advising local governments and employers that want to install charging stations. Duke expects about 100 to be ready in its N.C. service territory, most in the Charlotte area, by next summer. Sixty to 80 public stations will go up in its S.C. territory.

The research hub of Raleigh expects about 200 public charging stations. The charging network, to be built over the next two years, will turn the Triangle into a Southeastern testing ground for electric cars. Now, there are fewer than a dozen public recharge outlets in North Carolina.

via Just plug in and drive out: Recharge stations coming – CharlotteObserver.com.

News, NASA:

An unmanned Russian cargo vessel experienced problems during a docking with the International Space Station on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the commander of the orbital station.

The Progress cargo ship “is moving away from us,” Interfax quoted cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov as saying in a communication with Russian mission control outside Moscow. He was quoted as saying the cargo ship was “spinning uncontrollably” and later that it had disappeared from view.

via Russian cargo vessel spins away from space station: report – Yahoo! News.

Apps:

An explosion of smart-phone software has placed an arsenal of trivia at the fingertips of every corner-bar debater, with talking points on sports, politics and how to kill a zombie. Now it is taking on the least trivial topic of all: God.

Marcus Yam/The New York Times

“Fast Facts, Challenges & Tactics” produced by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

“The Atheist Pocket Debater.”

Jason Hagen of Queens has developed an iPhone application for atheists to use in debates.

Publishers of Christian material have begun producing iPhone applications that can cough up quick comebacks and rhetorical strategies for believers who want to fight back against what they view as a new strain of strident atheism. And a competing crop of apps is arming nonbelievers for battle.

via A War of Apps for and Against Belief – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, the Supreme Court: Now goyim … add that to modest, brassy and snarky.

But was Kagan’s shtick helping or hurting her cause? And was it just reinforcing a stereotype among Gentiles — the goyim — of Jews as wisenheimers who all hail from a single neighborhood of limousine liberals known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side?

via Elena Kagan as Jerry Seinfeld? Jewish Humor Charms the Goyim — Again.

education, IB, AP:

The alphabet soup of college admissions is getting more complicated as the International Baccalaureate, or I.B., grows in popularity as an alternative to the better-known Advanced Placement program.

The College Board’s A.P. program, which offers a long menu of single-subject courses, is still by far the most common option for giving students a head start on college work, and a potential edge in admissions.

The lesser-known I.B., a two-year curriculum developed in the 1960s at an international school in Switzerland, first took hold in the United States in private schools. But it is now offered in more than 700 American high schools — more than 90 percent of them public schools — and almost 200 more have begun the long certification process.

via International Program Catches On in U.S. Schools – NYTimes.com.

music: I like Zooey Deschanel.

Actress/singer Zooey Deschanel bonded with songwriter M. Ward when the two collaborated for a movie soundtrack. She had been working on various demo recordings, but had always been too shy to step into the spotlight with her own music. Ward helped flesh out her songs with his distinctive guitar playing and tasteful production, and the result was She and Hims charming debut album. Volume One, was as humble as their name: a shimmering, 1960s throwback that tips its hat to the pop stars and girl groups of yore.The duos bright, introspective tunes had no problems finding an audience — Paste Magazine called it the best album of 2008. Realizing their musical chemistry, they went back to the studio to produce another batch of uplifting songs — 2010s Volume Two. It still captures the dreamy and hopeful energy of their first album, but with richer harmonies and lushly layered instrumentation. Click the link above to hear She and Him on the World Cafe Live stage.

via She And Him, Recorded Live In Concert : NPR.

real estate, walkability, Wilmette, Davidson, Chicago: I have had the privilege of  living in 3 wonderful places with “walkability.”  What a great quality!

“When it came down to it, we weren’t willing to compromise on walkability,”

via A Walker’s Guide to Home Buying – WSJ.com.




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