Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve

01
Jan
19

1.1.19 … “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” T.S. Eliot

Memories of First Nights Past, Traditions, New Year’s Eve, Watch Night Services, “The Sound of Music”

As a child I remember my parents would host a small party. Everyone would arrive by 7 and they would have dinner and then they would go to a movie. While they were out, my sister, my brother and I would decorate the house, and then when the adults came back, we would listen to the “adults” cheer in the New Year.

And then there was the year that my dad went down to Rich’s and bought a color tv, our first. There was one condition – it had to be delivered by 5 pm on New Year’s Eve. It was, and we watched the Rose Bowl Parade and whatever bowl game Alabama was playing “in living color.”

As a high school and college student, I would go downtown in Atlanta to the neon Coke sign which was later moved. I remember one year, we were taking Champagne with us and my mother gave me an antique monogrammed linen Champagne “napkin” which was lost in the celebration My mother was not too pleased with me.

One year I was in Louisville for the New Year, and my always industrious now brother in law Bito and his friends decided they needed some money, so they cooked the traditional NYD southern good luck meal and sold them to family and friends.

In the married but before kids period, John and I were visiting Julie and Doug in Thomasville GA. We were going to stay at the “farm” for the night. Julie’s family’s housekeeper had fixed a picnic dinner. It was one of the best meals I ever ate. I know it included quail. The good life.

And then there was San Francisco … Mike and Diane got married in SF on New Year’s Eve. Black tie, etc. … but Diane had kids from her first marriage so there was this wonderful element of whimsy. She had a balloon artist making balloon hats, etc. Happy Anniversary, Mike and Diane!!

After kids, while my parents were in Pineview, I arrived after driving 16+ hours right before midnight (after being pulled for weaving on the last 12 mile stretch from Hawkinsville … cop told me my old clunker van with Illinois plates was suspicious because of all the drug trade) and put the kids to bed. My mom and I went out and watched one of the most beautiful meteor showers I have ever seen.

Another New Year’s Eve during that era, I was driving back from Georgia and the weather was very bad. My friends Ruth Ann and Tim demanded that I stop in Louisville for the night. I yielded to their better judgement. We went sledding at midnight and it was glorious. My kids had not been sledding like that in years since snow was iffy in NC and Chicago is basically flat. The next morning we went to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, a funky Louisville restaurant where folks went in their pajamas on New year’s Day, and Jack, probably 11, asked if he could have lobster with his eggs. Sure … and he loved it!

Other than that I was usually in bed by 11 … watching the tv and keeping an eye out for 3 kids …

And if no one else was around I did a movie marathon of “The Sound of Music” and “When Harry Met Sally”.

So this year, it was a definite “The Sound of Music” night.

I also researched “Watch Night” celebrations. It’s very interesting history and goes back to the Moravians, John Wesley, Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation and the African American religious community. James Howell wrote about it (https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Prayer–Gratitude–Commitment-and-Freedom.html?soid=1104220709083&aid=Cp3gt6SAA94) and I happened upon a Facebook post by Black Girl Loves Jane that I loved (https://www.facebook.com/2069258653390885/posts/2203781883271894/). I’m sure we’d be friends if we ever met!

My “eye that never sleeps” was hard pressed to locate 2 of my 3. Jack slept under the stars in Zion. He sent his guiding friends back to Vegas and opted for a night under the stars and and early morning hike. Don’t worry about him too much, his girlfriend joins him tomorrow for a few days in the Grand Canyon. Molly is enjoying Brooklyn with Peter and a large crew of Davidson pals. She’s done this before. Very 20-something. And Edward has been ringing in the new year watching sports with friends. He was in at midnight and shared a bottle of bubbly with mom. I’m blessed.

And this morning I’ve swapped out my Met calendar, planned my New Year’s Day Meal and done a few odds and ends.

Maybe next year I’ll go to Mount Olive for the midnight GMT pickle drop!
“The New Year’s Eve Pickle descends down the flagpole at the stroke of 7 p.m. midnight – that’s 7 o’clock EST, which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. (That way, we are official, we shout Happy New Year! – and we don’t have to stay up until midnight.)”
Source: New Events – Mt Olive Pickles, 
https://www.mtolivepickles.com/new-events/

I’ve not taken up celebrating Epiphany so I feel free to begin my new diet and enjoy 2019.

¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★

║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ NEW YEAR ☆ 2019

╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ♥¥☆★☆★☆¥♥ ★☆

1.1.19

PS. I love all the NYD memes. I think I’ll just park them here for future reference.

01
Jan
14

1.1.14 … “”We are all children of one heavenly father, we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny

Pope’s New Year’s Message:

“We are all children of one heavenly father, we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny,” Francis said, speaking from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, jammed with tens of thousands of faithful, tourists and Romans.

“This brings a responsibility for each to work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and takes care of one another,” the pope said.

via Pope’s New Year’s Message Stresses Strength, Courage, Hope.

New Years Eve,  Dubai, record fireworks blitz, CNN.com:

New Years fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai set a new world record for largest fireworks display, according to Guinness World Records. The show featured 400,000 pyrotechnics and spanned more than 100 kilometres 62 miles.

via New Years Eve: Dubai sets record in fireworks blitz – CNN.com.

Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns, When Harry Met Sally:

“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”)[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2][3] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

via Auld Lang Syne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

But what does it mean?

via ▶ When Harry Met Sally – Auld Lang Syne – YouTube.

Harry: “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.

“I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?”

Sally: “Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”

And from a FB friend:

I did a wee bit o’ research, and it’s a Burns poem that refers to looking at the past with fondness in spite of not being able to remember the details, hence the reference to “acquaintance” rather than “friend”. A rather appropriate sentiment given how many followers of Burns, if not Burns himself, tend to celebrate(!).

Auld Lang Syne Comic. Re/code, LOL, sad but true:

Auld Lang Syne Comic | Re/code.

Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen:

Expecting a SurpriseEach day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

via Daily Meditation: January 1, 2014 | Daily Meditation by Henri Nouwen.

01
Jan
13

1.1.13 Happy New Year and Salut!

New Year, comet, Downton Abby :  Things to look forward to …

1.1Sky-watchers in Australia ogle comet Lovejoy late last year.  Photograph by John Goldsmith, TWAN

New Comet Discovered—May Become “One of Brightest in History”.

 

… and a final note …

Photo

 

New Year’s Eve:

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=opvBC6kvuZE]

How to say cheers in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, and Japanese – YouTube.

At Chez Teague …

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Other members of the family had more fun …

735070_10151411183919052_1019358985_n

 

destinations, vacations, girlfriends, wasabies: True girlfriends are happy anywhere they are together!   Wasabi love! 🙂

Girlfriend Getaways: Golden Door at Boulders

economy, debt ceiling, fiscal cliff:
Breaking News (@BreakingNews)

12/31/12, 6:17 PM

US officially hits debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says – @postpolitics wapo.st/U1kXe9

 

 … and on that note …

cheers!

 

 
31
Dec
11

12.31.2011 … Meilleurs vœux 2012!

New Year’s Eve, as seen from the car, NC, billboard alert, freaky weather, broccolini, zombies: Morning car ride to SC Outlets …

My question for you … why does Gaffney SC need a Beach Barbecue Restaurant?   Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill.

Only in NC … 🙂

.

My favorite billboard: “now featuring zombie paintball” … Near Charlotte .

It is gorgeous outside … The daffodils are shooting up … John is turning his garden … And what to our eyes did appear …. A very tasty head of broccolini!

twitter favorites, quotes, Brene Brown:

BreneBrown (@BreneBrown)

12/31/11 1:28 PM

What is vulnerability? It sounds like courage and feels like truth.

via 12.31 « Dennard’s Clipping Service.

New Year’s Eve, graphics, Facebook, 1000 words:

Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, New Year’s Eve, YouTube:  What Are You Doing New Years Eve? by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – YouTube.

Mitt Romney, President Obama, historical allusions, 2012 Presidential Election, “let them eat cake”: Come on, Mitt … You need a better quip-writer.

Mitt Romney on Thursday sought to portray President Barack Obama as out of touch with the struggles of everyday Americans — a charge he himself has often faced — by comparing the president to a former French queen who was overthrown during the French Revolution.

“When the president’s characterization of our economy was, ‘It could be worse,’ it reminded me of Marie Antoinette: ‘Let them eat cake,'” Romney said, referring to the infamously dismissive remark toward the poor attributed to the queen.

“This is not a time to be talking about, ‘It could be worse.’ It’s a time to recognize that things should be better,” Romney said during an interview on his campaign bus with The Huffington Post. “And the president’s policies have failed the American people, have led to 25 million people still being out of work. He didn’t cause the recession, but he has made it deeper and has made the recovery more tepid and the pain last longer.”

via Mitt Romney: President Obama Out Of Touch Like Marie Antoinette.

Christmas cards,Vimeo, Group Hug, kudos:  Great video card!

 Christmas Card to Friends

A friend of mine, Grant Harold, sent me a song he wrote for Chrismas this year, and I liked its simple message. So I rang my friend Nathan Deceasar and asked if he wanted to join me in turning it into a card for friends. Grant and Nathan and I call our little trio “Group Hug”

I hope these holidays have been a time that you’ve gotten to share with people you love.

———————-

Song: Christmas Is Free.

Christmas Card to Friends on Vimeo on Vimeo

 

 

April Uprising, acts of courage, Egypt, Wedad Demerdash:  One person … one act of courage.

And, according to one reading of the events that unfolded, it all began with a little-known act of courage on the part of a matronly, middle-aged millworker who wears a head scarf and was inspired to act because she couldn’t afford to buy meat for her family.

It was she who helped organize the initial strike by disgruntled workers in December 2006 that culminated in a nationwide call for a work stoppage on April 6, 2008. The date inspired the 6th of April Facebook group, which was used to rally the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in January.

When the men of the mill balked at joining the banned strike action, she seized the initiative and led her female co-workers out into the factory grounds. Chanting “Where are the men? Here are the women,” they marched around the mill until the men were shamed into joining them. After three days, the workers won.

Amid the upheaval of the past year, the part labor played in the birth of the revolution has been largely forgotten. But workers joined the revolutionaries in the square in February and have continued to stage strikes throughout the year, taking on a far greater role in Egypt, with its strong industrial base, than labor has in other countries where uprisings have taken place.

The strikes continue to this day, and although they have been eclipsed by the far-better-publicized demonstrations in Tahrir Square, future Egyptian governments will need to address at least some of the demands of an increasingly organized labor movement if the country’s unrest is to be tamed.

This is the story of Wedad Demerdash, 44, a mother of four and, perhaps, the original revolutionary.

via An act of courage that launched a revolution – The Washington Post.

Maurice Sendak,  children’s/YA literature, Where the Wid Things Are, creativity:  Very interesting interview … Sendak is definitely a curmudgeon!

There are very few creators alive today truly worthy of being called “creative genius.” Children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, beloved for Where The Wild Things Are and other gems, is certainly one of them. This affectionate 5-minute micro-documentary from Tate Modern zooms in on the iconic creator, uncompromising and idiosyncratic and brilliant as ever at the age of 83, to reveal the creatively restless and lovably grumpy workings of his heart and mind.

My books are really books that are impressed and in love with the memory of comics and how important they were to me as a child… I didn’t live near any famous person, I didn’t see Michelangelo go to work in the morning. I just lived in Brooklyn, where everything was ordinary — and yet, enticing and exciting and bewildering. The magic of childhood, the strangeness of childhood, the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see…”

via Inside Maurice Sendak’s Idiosyncratic, Infinitely Creative Mind | Brain Pickings.

TateShots: Maurice Sendak – YouTube.

Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry, recipes, Sunday Supper:  Next Week, maybe!

Our all time favorite, showstopper, the thing we crave all year and makes our mouths water is….

The Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry …. I am not kidding… You have not lived until you try this amazing soup.  You don’t just eat it like regular Soup, you have to break up the buttery croissant topping and fold it into the Soup.  When mixed with the chunks of shrimp and the creamy soup….It really is that good!

via Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry for a Special #SundaySupper « Family Foodie.

Apostrophe Protection Society, grammar, kith/kin:  I am always fighting with my kids on this … now a resource!

The Apostrophe Protection Society was started in 2001 by John Richards, now its Chairman, with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language.

The rules concerning the use of apostrophes in written English are very simple:

1. They are used to denote a missing letter or letters, for example:

I can’t instead of I cannot

I don’t instead of I do not

it’s instead of it is

2. They are used to denote possession, for example:

the dog’s bone

the company’s logo

Jones’s bakery (but Joneses’ bakery if owned by more than one Jones)

… but please note that its, which is usually used as a possessive adjective (like our, his etc), does not take an apostrophe:

the dog ate its bone and we ate our dinner

… however, if there are two or more dogs, companies or Joneses in our example, the apostrophe comes after the ‘s’:

the dogs’ bones

the companies’ logos

Joneses’ bakeries

3. Apostrophes are NEVER ever used to denote plurals!  Common examples of such abuse (all seen in real life!) are:

Banana’s for sale which of course should read Bananas for sale

Menu’s printed to order which should read Menus printed to order

MOT’s at this garage which should read MOTs at this garage

1000’s of bargains here! which should read 1000s of bargains here!

New CD’s just in! which should read New CDs just in!

Buy your Xmas tree’s here! which should read Buy your Xmas trees here!

via Apostrophe Protection Society.

just liked this, gift ideas, maps, historyCassini Maps – Keyword Product Search | Personalised Historical Map Place Mats & Coasters.

11
Dec
11

12.11.2011 … Game face on (but wearing red socks:) ) — with John at Bank of America Stadium … A good day to be a Panthers Fan … until halftime … socks won …

Panthers:   Cold and sunny, playing Atlanta … great day to go to Panther’s stadium … first half rocks …. well, you know the story …

.

Donna Morris, Paris, travel, tour guides:  We loved Donna!

Donna Morris, 51, is a professional trip planner in Paris (www.bestfriendinparis.com), where she has lived for five years. Morris is originally from Granite Falls.

via Paris warms during chill winter days | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ , retailing,  at-home sales business, business trends: So I have never been to a Tupperware or Mary Kay Party , but have been to a Pampered Chef … love their stuff.  Love  chocolate … so maybe …

It’s a Party…Literally.

Following the business model of Mary Kay, Tupperware, and other pioneers of home party businesses, DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ products are sold by aspiring entrepreneurs. They provide the impetus for people to then host chocolate tasting parties in their own homes. Invited friends and relatives gather to sample an exclusive line of chocolate products not sold in any store. Who can resist an evening among friends tasting heavenly chocolate treats?

“It doesn’t even feel like selling,” says chocolatier Jill Young. “I don’t have to twist any arms. Even in tough times, people still want to treat themselves to a little chocolate.”

The wide array of DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ products includes ready-to-eat chocolate treats, smoothie and martini mixes, chocolate chai tea, brownie and cookie mixes, baking chocolate, mousse mixes, even special tools for creating decadent desserts and fancy homemade chocolate candies.

Chocolate Is Hot. Home Entertaining Is Cool Again.

Last year 17 billion dollars worth of chocolate was sold in the U.S. and the fastest-growing brand of premium chocolate is DOVE®. !(border right)/files/0002/2312/dove-cupcakes_medium.jpg!Plus, the state of the economy has led to more people entertaining at home today—one more factor that may benefit DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ home sales venture.

via DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ Dips Into At-Home Sales Business in News & Trends on The Food Channel®.

physics, biology, photosynthesis:  This one is over my head!

Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis.

Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it’s been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear.

In an experiment published Dec. 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a connection between coherence — far-flung molecules interacting as one, separated by space but not time — and energy flow is established.

“There was a smoking gun before,” said study co-author Greg Engel of the University of Chicago. “Here we can watch the relationship between coherence and energy transfer. This is the first paper showing that coherence affects the probability of transport. It really does change the chemical dynamics.”

The new findings are the latest in a series that have, piece by piece, promised to expand scientific understanding of photosynthesis, one of life’s fundamental processes. Until a few years ago, it seemed a straightforward piece of chemistry.

via More Evidence Found for Quantum Physics in Photosynthesis | Wired Science | Wired.com.

End Of Ze World, YouTube, viral videos, LOL:  This one I got from my daughter … LOL.

retailing, business trends, chain dollar stores,  drugstores, Great Recession: I must admit  have gone to a dollar store twice in the last week …

The family-run drugstore on Main Street has been dying for decades. Now, the big national chain pharmacies—which helped push those family operations to the brink of extinction—are being surpassed in terms of total locations by dollar stores. What does this say about how people shop nowadays? And about the state of the economy?

One of the hottest retail trends in recent years has been the rise of the dollar store. During a period when many retailers have struggled as a result of consumers scaling back, dollar stores boomed for obvious reasons—one way consumers cut expenses was by spending more time in dollar stores.

Surveys have shown that today’s shoppers are more likely to make purchases in dollar stores lately, and chains such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar have experienced outstanding sales growth as a result.

Riding the wave of newfound popularity and better-than-ever sales figures, dollar stores have naturally been expanding to new locations all over the country.

Now, according to a study by retail research firm Colliers International, dollar store locations outnumber drugstore locations in the U.S. Specifically, Colliers added up the number of locations for four national dollar store chains (Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, 99 Cents Only), and compared that figure to the total number of locations for the country’s three biggest drugstore chains (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens).

via More Chain Dollar Stores Than Drugstores in the U.S., Says Study | Moneyland | TIME.com.

MIT, “Platform Wars”, MBAs, gaming,  free online simulator,  education, teaching methods:  I think this might be fun to try …

Want to learn MBA management skills and strategies for free?  Thanks to “Platform Wars,” a video game simulator created by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, anyone can learn elements of a business school education by portraying an executive at a video game console manufacturer online.

The simulator has been used for the past four years in business management classes taught by professor John Sterman. A user playing an executive Nintendo, for example, might be tasked with figuring out how how to help the Wii beat out competition from Microsoft’s XBox. The ultimate goal is to strategize against your competitor to maximize cumulative profit over 10 years. The player has to make all the applicable decisions to win the market—everything from setting the price of the console to determining the royalties video game makers will pay for the right to produce games for the platform.

“Platform Wars” proved to be so popular at the business school that in late November, MIT—the home of the renowned OpenCourseWare program—decided to make the simulator available to the public on the MIT Sloane Teaching Innovation Resources website. Users can play as an individual or as a class. To fully equip gamers, Sterman is also providing free case studies and video explanations for both students and teachers.

Platform markets “are increasingly common in settings besides video games,” so Sterman says that the skills users can learn through Platform Wars are “applicable in many markets.” Figuring out how to ensure your product’s price, features, and complementary products stay competitive is in every business’ best interests. After all, we all know what happened in the real-world platform war between VHS and Betamax.

via MBA by Gaming: MIT Launches Free Online Simulator – Education – GOOD.

Consumer Reports:  Going Strong at 75 … “It has more than six times as many digital subscribers as The Wall Street Journal, the leader among newspapers.”

BORN in 1936, Consumer Reports had a very happy 75th birthday this year. Its business has never been better.

Well, “business” is not the right word, as there are no profits or losses to track: it’s a nonprofit. But the magazine and Web site generated $182 million in revenue in the 2011 fiscal year, which ended May 31. That pays for a lot of professional testing — of cars and trucks, washers and dryers, televisions, children’s car seats, mattresses, treadmills and cellphone plans — all told, more than 3,600 products and services a year.

Consumer Reports started its Web site in 1997; by 2001, it had 557,000 subscribers. That number has grown to 3.3 million this year, an increase of nearly 500 percent in 10 years. It has more than six times as many digital subscribers as The Wall Street Journal, the leader among newspapers.

via Consumer Reports, Going Strong at 75 — Digital Domain – NYTimes.com.

 BBC Sleep Profiler, health and wellness:  I did pretty well for my age … 🙂

Your sleep is fairly well optimised, scoring 57 %.

You said you have a problem with sleep, but you are not very sleepy during the day, which indicates your body is probably getting the sleep it needs. Quality of sleep is more important than quantity. There’s room to improve your score. You may find your personalised advice below useful.

Body and Health

You can expect to sleep less at night now you are older.

Now that you’re over 50, your natural sleep pattern has changed. You may find yourself napping during the day but sleeping less at night. In reality, you’re sleeping as much as you need to, but at different times of the day.

via BBC – Science & Nature – Human Body and Mind – Sleep Profiler.

 ‘New Year’s Eve’, ensemble romantic comedy, box office , holiday movies, Great Recession:  Why the downturn at the box office and what’s an ensemble romantic comedy, one that throws ever romantic comedy star in it …

“New Year’s Eve” came early to the multiplex this year, but couldn’t help the film industry escape its lowest-earning weekend of the year.

In total, all films at the box office grossed $76 million this weekend, a 17.2% drop from the same weekend last year. It was the lowest weekend take since Sept of 2008.

Leading the tepid pack was “New Year’s Eve,” an ensemble romantic comedy starring Halle Berry and Michelle Pfeiffer in supporting roles. Made for a budget in the low $50 million range and distributed by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Pictures, the film grossed $13.7 million from 3,505 theaters according to early estimates, below the studio’s expectations.

The weekend’s new limited release films, meanwhile, got off to solid starts. “Young Adult,” a dark comedy starring Charlize Theron as YA book novelist, earned $320,000 from eight theaters in five cities. The $12 million film is being released by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, which will open the film wide on Dec. 16 to 1,000 locations.

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a well-reviewed adaptation of the John le Carre novel starring Gary Oldman, grossed $300,737 from four theaters, giving it a high per-screen average of $75,184. The thriller, which is being released by Comcast Corp’s Focus Features, will expand to four new markets and seven theaters next week.

via ‘New Year’s Eve’ Tops the Weekend Box Office – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Tweet of the Day, Post Secret, libraries:

PostSecret (@postsecret)

12/11/11 1:51 PM

“I work in a library. Today I heard a mom tell her child to be quiet because the ‘books are sleeping’. I wanted to give her a high-five!”

food – desserts, food – art, baking, random, gingerbread typewriter:

Patti from Baked Ideas made this amazing edible gingerbread typewriter for benefit of City Harvest, and it is displayed at NYC’s Parker Meridien Hotel.

via Gingerbread typewriter is entirely edible – Boing Boing.

UNC – Charlotte,  Davidson College Davidson, Davidson basketball:  We did not even look like the same team.  I hope it wasn’t just the effect of having Curry around … now that he’s back to the NBA.

Javarris Barnett opened the door to a Charlotte 49ers victory.

The rest of his teammates then slammed it shut on the Davidson Wildcats.

Barnett made five 3-pointers – four during a key second-half run – as the Charlotte 49ers reclaimed the Hornet’s Nest Trophy with a convincing 84-61 victory over rival Davidson on Saturday night.

In as much as Barnett’s long-range bombs broke open a tight game in the 49ers’ favor, it was Charlotte’s unrelenting, stifling defense that provided the opportunity.

“We were down one at halftime and we said we needed to come out and punch them in the mouth, and I think we held them scoreless the first four minutes,” said Barnett, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

via Barnett, Charlotte 49ers leave no doubt in win over Davidson | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

01
Jan
11

1.1.11 … Happy MMXI!

New Year’s Eve, holidays, history, NYC:

The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square occurred in 1904, just after the New York Times had relocated to a new building in what had been known as Longacre Square. Publisher Adolph Ochs had successfully pushed for a renaming of the district, and the triangular area where the new building sat at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway, and 42nd Streets has since then been known as Times Square.

That year Ochs sponsored a party to beat all parties to celebrate the new location. An all-day street festival was capped off with a fireworks display, and there were thought to have been 200,000 people in attendance. The Times continued to sponsor a New Year’s Eve event in the area, and New Yorkers soon began going to Times Square instead of ringing in the new year at Trinity Church as had been the previous custom.

A few years later the city banned the use of fireworks, and that led to the creation of a new tradition. At first, Ochs’ team developed a creative use of lights. At the end of 1905, lights were configured to read “1906” and these electric lights flashed from the tower of the Times building, reportedly visible from miles away. The Times tower was also festooned with electric streamers that lighted the building’s four corners.

But the creative thinkers were still at work.

via Kate Kelly: The Times Square Ball Drop and the Story Behind It.

CSR: The Year in CSR: The Four Trends of 2010 | Fast Company.

random: government regulation, Chicago: “bird-friendly construction for all new city buildings.” … why?  “Highland Park is in the flight path of a number of migrating birds that like to follow the Lake Michigan shoreline”

The city council in the northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park will soon consider a proposal to require bird-friendly construction for all new city buildings.

City officials tell the Chicago Tribune that if the new law is passed, all future public buildings would be required to incorporate bird-safe architecture that’s designed to lower the number of bird collisions with buildings.

Private developers would not be affected, but Highland Park Director of Community Development Michael Blue says he hopes the city’s example would influence them as well.

Bird-friendly architecture includes curved windows and awnings, which have been shown to lower the incidences of bird collisions with buildings.

Highland Park is in the flight path of a number of migrating birds that like to follow the Lake Michigan shoreline

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

random, Disney: “”interactive cakes,” cakes equipped with miniature projectors that can produce simulations of landscapes and, naturally, Disney characters.”

According to tech blog Gizmodo, Disney has been awarded a patent for so-called “interactive cakes,” cakes equipped with miniature projectors that can produce simulations of landscapes and, naturally, Disney characters.

Okay. That’s weird enough. But, how would the cakes be interactive? When cutting a slice or using specially coded utensils, the projectors might instantly create a special effect. For example, Captain Hook might instantly appear and draw his sword as one approaches the cake with a knife.

via Dawn of the Interactive Cake | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

iPad apps, lists:  The 7 Most Innovative iPad Apps of 2010 | Slideshows. ,iPhone App Helps You Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions This Time | Fast Company, The Top Ten iPhone (and Android) Apps of 2010 – Digits – WSJ.

bookshelf, Children’s/YA lit:

If you were in the market this season for a book that would appeal to a teenager, you probably noticed that the young adult sections in bookstores and on bestsellers lists were filled with titles bearing dark and scary themes.

Whether it’s Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games” trilogy or James Paterson’s “Maximum Ride” series, the popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction doesn’t seem to be abating.

via The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

-and-

Oh, To Be Young: The Year’s Best Teen Reads : NPR.

NBA basketball, Stephen Curry, Charlotte:  Most there were probably pleased to have the Warriors win.  That is how strong the love is for Curry in Charlotte.

Between Ellis and Charlottean Stephen Curry (24 points on 10-of-17 shooting), the Warriors scored with exceptional ease much of this game. Golden State shot 49 percent to the Bobcats’ 42 percent. But the Warriors never scored again after Ellis’ layup with 1 minute, 20 seconds left, and that should have allowed the Bobcats to steal this one.

This is what you call a teaching moment, following Silas’ first loss in three games as Larry Brown’s replacement.

“I think he was looking to penetrate, but (the Warriors) were really crowded” around him, Silas said of Jackson’s last shot.

“We called for a specific set, then didn’t get into that set. We need to point it out in practice, so next time they’ll know what to do.”

via Curry, Warriors hold off Bobcats – CharlotteObserver.com.

politics, VP Joe Biden:  Biden the linchpin?

Vice President Joe Biden is a career politician who has spent virtually his entire adult life in Washington politics — seemingly the antithesis of Barack Obama’s hope-and-change message.

Yet with a new political order in Washington, the success of Obama’s presidency hinges more and more on the negotiating skills and political instincts of his No. 2.

Facing a revived Republican Party, the White House is expected to increasingly deploy Biden as a presidential surrogate to find compromises and coax reluctant lawmakers into crossing party lines. Even Biden’s penchant for veering off message is being reevaluated inside the White House as a bridge to ordinary voters who appreciate blunt talk.

A model for Biden’s role in the next session of Congress was the recent passage of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Biden, who built a reputation as a foreign policy expert during his 36 years in the Senate, prevailed in an internal White House debate over whether to press for ratification in the lame-duck session.

via Biden is a linchpin of Obama’s presidency – chicagotribune.com.

Christmas music, music, lists:  I must like lists … it is interesting to see what others think is best or worthy. Christmas Playlist 2010 | CU Independent.

health, obesity: “Rich foods work much like heroin on the brain, making it hard to stop eating them.”

It seems so simple: Too much food and not enough activity make people fat.

But the actual processes that create and perpetuate that imbalance are proving to be astoundingly complex.

Biology, physiology, psychology, genetics and environment figure in the obesity equation to varying degrees. Scientists across North Carolina and beyond are trying to understand how, in recent decades, the population has bloated to a point that lean people are a minority.

“There is no simple answer,” said Bernard Fuemmeler, a Duke University researcher who is studying the mind-body link in obesity. “People tend to think that it may be willpower or just a lack of control. And these may be reasons, but not explanations for what is driving the epidemic.”

In their quest to find explanations, researchers across the state – at Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and East Carolina universities – are discovering or are building upon findings that prove just how intractable a foe fat can be:

Rich foods work much like heroin on the brain, making it hard to stop eating them.

via Your body is thwarting your weight-loss efforts – CharlotteObserver.com.

bookshelf, lists:  More lists … Best Books Of 2010: The Complete List : NPR., Book Club Picks: Give ‘Em Something To Talk About : NPR.

real estate, I.M. Pei, Chicago, Great Recession, Great Recovery?:

The John Hancock Tower in Boston was a 62-story glass emblem of the commercial real estate market’s collapse, so its sale—for $930 million—could be a sign that the market for office buildings is picking up again.

Boston Properties Inc., the largest U.S. office real investment trust, is the new owner of New England’s tallest building in a deal announced late Wednesday. The REIT paid $289.5 million in cash and assumed $640.5 million in debt, Bloomberg reports.

The sellers, Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, had bought the building for $661 million.

Designed by I.M. Pei, the sleek office building literally halved in value after Broadway Partners, led by young entrepreneur Scott Lawlor, bought it for $1.3 billion and then defaulted on a portion of the loan in January 2009, as what had been a booming market went bust. Because Lehman Brothers was a big lender and buyer in the commercial real estate market, its collapse a few months earlier had a domino effect.

via John Hancock Tower Sells For 930 Million In Symbolic Deal – The Business Blotter – Portfolio.com.

baby boomers, retirement:

It may be hard to believe, but the generation that transformed America as it came of age in the 1960s is now entering its senior years.

“There are 7,000 boomers a day who will be turning 65 in 2011, which is a significant birthday for sure,” says Steve Cone, executive vice president of AARP.

Sixty-five used to be the age when Americans stopped working, kicked back and embarked on serious leisure to make up for all those decades of the daily grind. But just like with every other stage of life they’ve gone through, baby boomers are expected to transform how we think about “retirement.”

Leading the way will be couples like Stephanie and Stan Zirkin. She will turn 65 on May 14; he’s already 65, not officially a boomer, but, as he puts it, “close enough.”

via Boomers Take The ‘Retire’ Out Of Retirement : NPR.

The Supreme Court: I agree …

WASHINGTON—Chief Justice John Roberts decried the partisan warfare that has slowed the appointment of federal judges to a crawl, writing in his year-end report Friday that political gamesmanship on Capitol Hill has left some courts burdened with “extraordinary caseloads.””Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes,” the chief justice wrote. He called on Congress and the president “to find a long-term solution to this recurring problem.”The chief justice, a 2005 appointee of former President George W. Bush, took no position on any specific nominee, nor did he identify lawmakers by name in the annual report, which customarily includes figures on the court system’s workload and a plea for more money.But while styled as a condemnation of both parties, in practical terms the message was a knock against Senate Republicans, who have fought to minimize the imprint President Barack Obama leaves on the federal bench.

via Chief Justice Decries Brawling Over Judicial Nominees – WSJ.com.

random, music, street art:

The snow and subway stress have been no match for cellist Dale Henderson this week. In fact, with more straphangers waiting longer for trains, he’s had an easier time accomplishing his mission: sharing Bach’s cello suites with as many people as possible.

“There was incredible density,” Mr. Henderson said after playing in the Times Square station on Wednesday night. “It felt really good.”

Mr. Henderson, 34, has been performing in the city’s subways for about two years, but it’s not technically busking because he no longer accepts money in exchange for the music. “It always felt bad to be doing it for money,” he said. “People will insist. They say, ‘Just take the money.’ I don’t know why.”

via Subway Cellist Brings Music to the Masses – WSJ.com.

culture:  This reminded me of my cousins taking friends from Atlanta down to Pineview, GA, to learn how to rock on the front porch!


“We’re all overstimulated,” said Ms. Lee. “I think it’s important to stop all that for a while and see what several hours of being bored really feels like.”

via Boredom Enthusiasts Discover the Pleasures of Understimulation – WSJ.com.

history, pardons, Billy the Kid, random: Sorry, Billy.

The iconic outlaw Billy the Kid will not receive a posthumous pardon after all, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced Friday, his last day in office.

Stephanie Simon explains why New Mexico may give Billy The Kid a pardon for a crime he committed in 1879. Plus, President Obama may cut corporate taxes and why 2010 was turbulent for airline travelers.

Mr. Richardson had been considering whether to give the Kid a pardon based on sketchy, but plausible, historical evidence that the gun-slinging, cattle-rustling, sheriff-shooting outlaw had been promised clemency by the territorial governor in the 1880s, Lew Wallace.

Historians had produced several newspaper articles from the time quoting Mr. Wallace as saying that he had promised to wipe clean a murder charge against the Kid in return for his testimony against three men in an unrelated killing.

But in the end, “the governor just felt there wasn’t enough conclusive proof,” said Eric Witt, deputy chief of staff for Mr. Richardson. “He takes the power of the pardon very seriously.”

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Mr. Richardson explained further.

“The romanticism appealed to me but the facts and the evidence did not support it,” Mr. Richardson said.

via Old West Outlaw Billy the Kid Fails to Win a Pardon – WSJ.com.




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