Posts Tagged ‘News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com

17
Apr
14

4.17.14 … I watched and it was a great show … but I could not help but thinking that Bubba’s out of his mind, but in a good way …

2014 Masters, Bubba Watson:  I watched and it was a great show … but I could not help but thinking that Bubba’s out of his mind, but in a good way.

104.7 The Fish’s photo: Wow …

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104.7 The Fish

How did UGA grad Bubba Watson celebrate his second Master’s win? With a double date at Waffle House with Judah Smith and their wives! The two co-authored “Jesus Is:Find A New Way to be Human”.

Kevin & Taylor in the Morning — with Josh Chandler and Mark Allen Gustafson.

via 104.7 The Fish.

Odd Thomas (the movie):  In my opinion, Odd Thomas, the movie, is, well, odd.  John liked it.  I think the reviewers generally agree with me.

After reading Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas” on a Vegas vacation, I thought to myself that it would someday make a fun film, perhaps even a franchise (as it has been in book form). Stephen Sommers has proven me wrong.

Odd knows something bad is going to happen. We know Odd is going to stop it. There’s no movie otherwise. And so “Odd Thomas” becomes a film that’s going through the motions with too little character, style, or atmosphere to keep it engaging. Sommers and his team rely on the narrative in Koontz’s book but fail to realize that it’s the character of Odd Thomas—the wisecracking medium who happens to be a fry cook—that made the novel a hit. By surrounding Odd with cheap special effects, wooden supporting performances, and overused camera tricks, they’ve given this once-promising character a fate similar to death—a pretty bad movie.

via Odd Thomas Movie Review & Film Summary (2013) | Roger Ebert.

Passover, Obama White House:  Love this story …

It was also Passover; and three Jewish junior staffers on the campaign realized there was no way they would be able to be with their families. Eric Lesser, Herbie Ziskend, and Arun Chaudhary decided to throw together an impromptu Seder at 9:30 at the end of a long day in what they describe as a ‘dank, windowless, meeting room’ in the Sheraton in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

What they had not anticipated was that Obama would show up.

And so began a tradition of a small group of people celebrating the Passover Seder together, that in 2009 made history as the first Seder to be celebrated in the White House.

The three men have since left the White House, where they worked for a few years following the first Obama campaign, but on Tuesday, April 15th they will again join President Obama at the White House for the annual Seder, just as they have for the last six years.

Lesser, who is a candidate for state senate in hometown of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Ziskend who serves as Chief of Staff to Arianna Huffington at The Huffington Post, and Chaudhary who is a Partner at Revolution Messaging, a communications firm in Washington DC got on the phone with HuffPost Executive Religion Editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush to share exactly how this historic White House Passover tradition began and how it has changed both their lives and the lives of American Jews.

via How Three Jewish Junior Obama Staffers Brought The First Passover Seder To The White House.

The Stupid Hounding of Condi Rice, Rich Lowry – POLITICO Magazine: I am continuously amazed at how horribly blacks who are conservative are treated in America.

If we indulge the conceit here that students determine the future of their lives based on what they hear (assuming they are listening) at commencement speeches, does the Rutgers faculty think Rice will urge graduating students to start “wars of choice” and do “extraordinary renditions”?

via The Stupid Hounding of Condi Rice – Rich Lowry – POLITICO Magazine.

El Camino de Santiago, trivia, St. Francis:  A friend sent me a FB message: Camino trivia…St. Francis walked it barefoot in 1214. I wonder if he solved it.  🙂

 

The exhibition commemorates the tradition of pilgrimage to St. Francis in Santiago de Compostela (1214) and does so through the exhibition of precious artifacts proceeding mainly from Santiago and Galicia. In particular, it reconstructed the cultural and religious background of Compostella of the thirteenth century with a choice of objects that highlight the extraordinary character of the place of encounter between cultures and civilizations. Finds from the Hispano-Moorish and Islamic culture are mixed with precious relics from the Holy Land and objects of the Christian liturgy of the period, setting up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Compostella era.

via El Camino… in Italy?!?!?! | Camino de Santiago Forum.

Little Flowers of St. Francis, a biography of the saint from Assisi composed around 1390, recounts that “Francis’ devotion brought him to St. James of Galicia” — the shrine of the apostle at Santiago de Compostela on the Atlantic coast of Spain, to which pilgrims from all over the world have journeyed for a thousand years. The challenging and uplifting trip on foot through the Pyrenees Mountains was made even more famous in the 2010 film “The Way.”

The pilgrimage of St. Francis to Galicia in 1214 unites two of the most revered saints in Christian history, the patron saints of Spain and Italy, both famous for their travels to spread the faith and both important in the struggles and encounters between Christianity and Islam.

via St. Francis on ‘The Way’ in 1214 – The Arlington Catholic Herald.

Some of you may already know that I recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Throughout history thousands have made this same pilgrimage, including our own St. Francis of Assisi. Presently, our world is very different from when this pilgrimage first began in the ninth century, as are people’s motivations for making it. However, in the end, the purpose remains the same, to visit the Apostolic Tomb of Saint James the Great, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ our Lord.

via Saint Francis of Assisi – Pilgrimage.

8 Incredibly Useful Japanese Words That Have No English Equivalent,  Business Insider: I thought of you, Dan Johnson!

Otsukaresama desu – You’re probably tired, and I think that’s great

via Japanese Words With No English Equivalent – Business Insider.

marathon runners, quadriceps and calf muscle pain, WSJ.com:  I wonder if I should take some  pickle and bitter cherry juice come in on a long walk/hike?

This is where the pickle and bitter cherry juice come in.

Muscles, in addition to hurting because of micro-tears, also stop functioning well and start hurting when they no longer have the proper fuel, experts say.

Running a marathon burns a lot of fuel, especially fluids and salts, which the body loses when it perspires. A dehydrated muscle doesn’t contract well, which is what it needs to do with every step, and it starts to hurt.

Muscles also don’t function well when they don’t have the necessary amount of electrolytes, which conduct electrical impulses that enable muscle cells to contract. Electrolytes are formed from sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium and potassium.

via Why Boston Marathon runners expect quadriceps and calf muscle pain – WSJ.com.

 Hank Aaron,  MLB Jackie Robinson Day 4.15:

When asked by USA TODAY Sports last month why he still keeps those hate letters, Aaron calmly revealed his sentiments.

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record,” he said. “If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go.

“The bigger difference is back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist. Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan.

Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe racism exists in our country. It’s simply camouflaged now. And, yes, he feels sorry for his good friend, President Obama, and the frustrations he endures.

All that Aaron, 80, ever asked for from baseball is what Robinson desired, a level playing field in management positions. Now, Aaron extends the request to the field itself, where baseball is trying to bring African Americans back to the game.

“When I first started playing, you had a lot of black players in the major leagues,” Aaron said last month. “Now, you don’t have any (7.8%). So what progress have we made? You try to understand, but we’re going backward.”

via As MLB honors Jackie Robinson, can it reverse a trend?.

George Bush’s Paintings, Molly Crabapple – POLITICO Magazine: mediocre …

Bush paints like a freshman art student attempting alla prima, which means doing a whole painting in one sitting. It looks easy but often comes off terribly when done by newbies. As you apply fresh paint strokes, the ones you just did smear hopelessly. All your colors mash to mud. I don’t say this to criticize Bush. I still can’t paint in oils. Waiting for each layer to dry before you do the next is torture—though not the kind Bush is familiar with.

via George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny – Molly Crabapple – POLITICO Magazine.

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art, YouTube:

 

Music: Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma

via ▶ 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art – YouTube.

The Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made., Prantl’s burnt almond cake:  Yummy!

 

Prantl’s burnt almond cake isn’t impressive in height. It’s not made out of chocolate (which is usually a must). And it isn’t trying to push the limits of pastry and redefine what cakes are. It is just a damn good cake — and taking a bite out of one is like reaching into the sky and stuffing a cloud into your mouth.

To say that the burnt almond torte is light and airy doesn’t even begin to describe the texture of this cake. It is beyond that. This cake is so airy it tastes like the idea of a cake, one that can only be tasted in the best of dreams.

Only it does exist in real life — in Pittsburgh, PA, to be exact– and it is frosted with the lightest of buttercreams (of course) and then dressed in candied toasted almonds. The contrast of the sugared almond slivers and the cloud-like cake is EVERYTHING. Oh, and did we mention the thin layer of custard in the middle and the large flakes of sugar on top? This is the kind of cake that will have you belly up to the kitchen counter, forgoing the civility of plates and diving in fingers first.

When Bon Appetit named Pittsburgh the best new food city of 2014, they couldn’t have been more right. Only it’s not because of the surge of hot new restaurants opening up. No, it’s because cakes like this are made there — and it’s time people know about them. If a trip to Pittsburgh is not in the near future, you can still get your hands on this cake because, lucky for you, they deliver.

via Thank You, Pittsburgh, For The Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made.

Peak Beard, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Good to know!

Beards are back, but maybe not for long.

New research suggests that we may have reached “peak beard,” a scenario in which the attractiveness of facial hair begins to decrease. As more people grow beards, their potential partners find the look less becoming.

The new study found that once we reach “peak beard,” the pendulum swings back toward clean-shaven men. To get these results, researchers asked men and women to rank different levels of “beardedness.” Both groups indicated that beards and less-bristled chins were more attractive when they were rare.

“This pattern in preferences is consistent with negative frequency-dependent selection,” researchers wrote.

In other words, your choice to grow a beard isn’t free will at all, but part of a larger evolution-driven trend.

via We May Have Reached “Peak Beard” | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

 

24
Mar
14

3.24.14 … Boo, Haman … Oh, and in case you missed it, ALL OF AMERICA IS ELIMINATED … First naked yoga … Now naked pilgrims …

Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah, Purim Carnival 2014, Wilmette Life: When I lived in Wilmette, a Jewish high school student came and taught Sunday School to elementary age students at our Presbyterian church. He taught on Purim.  It was a very fun day in Sunday School.

Explaining the costumes, games and obstacle courses of Purim Carnival 2014, Rabbi Michael Cohen described the celebration as “the Jewish version of Mardi Gras.”

“We’ve got all these kids dressing up, enjoying themselves, having a good time, it’s a wonderful thing,” said Cohen. “It fills up my heart with joy.”

Purim’s festive tone celebrates the events chronicled in the “Megillat Esther.”

Congregants typically read from the Biblical “Scroll of Esther,” which tells of a villain named Haman who tried to convince the king to kill the Jewish people. Fortunately, a noblewoman named Esther spoke up to save the day.

via Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah Purim Carnival 2014 | Wilmette Life.

Purim, The week’s best photojournalism – The Week:

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men wearing costumes celebrate the holiday of Purim in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
via The week’s best photojournalism – The Week.

 

Modern Art Desserts UK-based, Gustav Klimt: Fun food!

After I wrote about Modern Art Desserts, UK-based Hungarian reader Gabriella Szucs sent me this photo of a brilliant Klimt cake she baked for a cupcake competition in Northampton.

More edible homages to modern art here.

via Explore – After I wrote about Modern Art Desserts, UK-based….

101 Things I Will Teach My Daughters, Thought Catalog:  Loved this!

28. Classy is a relative term.

29. Drink whiskey if you like whiskey.

30. Drink wine if you like wine.

31. Like what you like.

via 101 Things I Will Teach My Daughters | Thought Catalog.

Gus Mayopoulos, Charlotte native, Harvard’s student council: Charlotte Latin graduate Gus Mayopoulos got elected president of the undergraduate council, sort of like the student council, at Harvard … and it all started out as a joke.

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And while that may not sound all that funny – Mayopoulos, 21, the son of Amy Lefkof and Fannie Mae president Tim Mayopoulos, is the kind of well-educated young person who could be expected to hit a high bar for achievement. Still, how it happened is, actually, pretty funny.

First, it wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Mayopoulos ran as vice president on a two-man ticket with his roommate, Sam Clark. Their platform was a joke: A promise to get two-ply toilet paper in the dorms and more tomato basil ravioli soup in the campus dining halls.

“We were irreverent and we were making it distinctly not serious,” admits Mayopoulos, a junior who was home in Charlotte last week on spring break.

Goofing on serious things, he says, is Harvard tradition. After all, the Cambridge, Mass., school is the home of the Harvard Lampoon, and Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Mayopoulos writes for the campus publication Satire V (it spells “veritas” backward) and performs with a comedy troupe, On Thin Ice.

Clark and Mayopoulos, however, ran a well-organized joke campaign, even joining in a public debate.

Then the funny thing started to happen: Their campaign attracted support. It began to look like they might, improbably, win. So they talked it over and decided that if elected, they wouldn’t serve.

“ ‘We started it as a joke and we should end it as a joke,’ ” Mayopoulos says they agreed.

So what happened? They got elected. Clark stepped down. And Gus … well, Gus didn’t.

via Charlotte’s Gus Mayopoulos leads Harvard’s student council | CharlotteObserver.com.

Wall Poems, public art, Charlotte NC:  I noticed this “wall poem” today for the first time.   One thing I love about Charlotte is its public art.  This poem  by A.R. Ammons on the Dandelion Deli is the first of a series and was installed in 2013.  There are now two.  I wonder what poem will pop up next?

 

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The first wall poem, completed April 2013

via The Wall Poems of Charlotte – Home.

“The necessity for poetry is one of the most fundamental traits of the human race.”

– Amy Lowell

The Wall Poems of Charlotte are murals that bring poetry to the people, all of whom deserve access to it and to whom it belongs.

The project celebrates NC’s literary heritage: All poems are by North Carolina writers. And it heralds the creative career programs at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), whose Advertising + Graphic Design students design the murals.

Over time, the wall poems will make up a walking tour based on the Leiden Walls in Holland, where 101 poems large and small grace city buildings for residents and tourists to discover and enjoy.

via About – The Wall Poems of Charlotte.

G7/G8, Putin, Ukraine/Crimea invasion:

The leaders are trying to isolate Russia politically and economically, but the suspension also aimed to bruise Putin’s ago. He cares about Russia’s prestige and standing on the world stage, administration officials said, so his exclusion from the group should sting.

via G-7 countries to skip Russian summit – Carrie Budoff Brown – POLITICO.com.

 Goethe, Psychology of Color and Emotion, Brain Pickings:

goethe_colorwheel

One of Goethe’s most radical points was a refutation of Newton’s ideas about the color spectrum, suggesting instead that darkness is an active ingredient rather than the mere passive absence of light.

…light and darkness, brightness and obscurity, or if a more general expression is preferred, light and its absence, are necessary to the production of colour… Colour itself is a degree of darkness.

But perhaps his most fascinating theories explore the psychological impact of different colors on mood and emotion — ideas derived by the poet’s intuition, which are part entertaining accounts bordering on superstition, part

prescient insights corroborated by hard science some two centuries later, and part purely

via Goethe on the Psychology of Color and Emotion | Brain Pickings.

recipes, artichokes: 11 Recipes for Artichokes, Both Fresh and Jarred

Naked Tourists,  Machu Picchu, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: First naked yoga … Now naked pilgrims!

naked-machu-picchu_fe

Peruvian officials are cracking down on naked tourism at Machu Picchu after three separate incidents this month. Four Americans were detained for stripping down and taking photos on March 14, and similar incidents occurred with both Canadian and Australian tourists earlier this month.
“There are places in the world that people can get naked, but not all places are for getting undressed,” Alfredo Atayupanqui, the director of archaeological resources for Peru’s Ministry of Culture, told CNN.
An Israeli man has taken naked tourism to new heights by creating a website called My Naked Trip, in which he shares his naked photos from around the world, including his visit to Machu Picchu.
In Peru, officials are not amused by the rise of nudity at the country’s premiere travel destination. Regulations are expected to tighten, according to the Peruvian Times.
via Naked Tourists Hit Machu Picchu | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament, Billion Buffett Perfect NCAA Bracket, March Madness: Did anyone think that no entry would survive the first (actually) second) round?

UPDATE: Memphis won. ALL OF AMERICA IS ELIMINATED.
via Billion Buffett Perfect NCAA Bracket: These 6 Entries Left | SportsGrid.

MLB Memes:

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March 21
How we ALL feel about our brackets right about now
from @rileybreck — with Terry Williams.

Girl Scout Cookies, Thin Mints, first world problems: It makes my life all the more difficult that thin mints freeze perfectly and taste even better frozen. So just when you least need them, they are there waiting in the perfect state. #firstworldproblems

easter eggs, easter tree, The week’s best photojournalism, The Week:

German pensioner Volker Kraft adds Easter eggs to his apple tree in the eastern German town of Saalfeld. Each year since 1965, Volker and his wife Christa have spent up to two weeks decorating the tree with their collection of 10,000 hand-painted eggs. (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)
via The week’s best photojournalism – The Week.

Lance Dodes,  ‘The Sober Truth’, NPR:

Since its founding in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous has become part of the fabric of American society. AA and the many 12-step groups it inspired have become the country’s go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These recovery programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors and widely praised by reformed addicts.

Dr. Lance Dodes sees a big problem with that. The psychiatrist has spent more than 20 years studying and treating addiction. His latest book on the subject is The Sober Truth: Debunking The Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs And The Rehab Industry.

Dodes tells NPR’s Arun Rath that 12-step recovery simply doesn’t work, despite anecdotes about success.

“We hear from the people who do well; we don’t hear from the people who don’t do well,” he says.

via Author Interview: Lance Dodes, Author Of ‘The Sober Truth’ : NPR.

Fred Rogers, quotes, March 20: The Neighborhood is such a great place. And the sweater, just love the sweater.

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“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Fred Rogers, born on this day in 1928.

Donna Leon, mystery series, Venice: I  just got a recommendation for this author from one of my mom’s friends at Lenbrook. Her mysteries are set in Venice. Any one read her books? The official site for author Donna Leon.

23
Mar
14

3.23.14 … Keep Calm and Keep Walking …

2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks, Grace Cathedral San Francisco: I get tired of the modifications to this iconic British sign … but I like this one.

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Liked · March 20

http://www.gracecathedral.org/lent #lent

Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast Or Never At All? : NPR:  As I have said before, I had an idyllic childhood in Brookwood Hills Atlanta.  I heard this  on NPR. I too wonder if we don’t fantasize how much better it was when we were children?

On the cover of the April issue of The Atlantic there’s a picture of a boy who could be 6 or 7. He’s looking to the right toward an adult, whose hand he’s holding. He’s also wearing a helmet and knee pads. And — for further protection — he has a pillow strapped to his torso.

Hanna Rosin says when kids do things that feel risky on a playground, it allows them to conquer a fear and gain independence.

In an interview with All Things Considered, Rosin tells host Robert Siegel that she had long wondered why statistics show that today’s parents both work more and spend more time with their children than previous generations. She says it has to do with the lack of independence people allow their children these days.

“What’s happened now is we’ve swung way too far in the other direction such that we’ve become preoccupied with safety, and that’s really having an effect on the culture of childhood so that we’re stripping children of their independence, of their ability to take risks, which are key to a happy childhood,” she says.

You can read highlights from the conversation below.

via Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast Or Never At All? : NPR.

Son Of God Movie, “Diogo Morgado Puts the Carnal in Incarnate But Was Jesus Really A Babe?” The Daily Beast: Speaking of Jesus … With my mom — watching Son Of God at CineBistro at Town Brookhaven.   I found no time to consider whether the actor was a “babe.” Both my mother and I were overwhelmed by the gruesome aspects of the film. We realize that death by crucifixion is by its nature gruesome.

 Son of God is in theaters now! This major motion picture event brings the story of Jesus’ life to audiences of all kinds through compelling …

The Clifton Chronicles series, Jeffrey Archer, book series:  Goodreads | The Clifton Chronicles series by Jeffrey Archer.

Benjamin Franklin, quotes, Will Rodgers, death and taxes:  I like this twist on the Benjamin Franklin quote.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Letter to Jean Baptiste Le Roy, 13 Nov. 1789

via Benjamin Franklin Quotes.

Dog,  $1.9 Million, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com, conspicuous consumption, Tibetan mastiffs: Wow!  Many years ago we had a Saint Bernard.  A friend quipped that we should have named him Thorstein.  I’ll let you figure that one out.

In what might be the most expensive dog sale ever, a property developer paid 12 million yuan—or $1.9 million—for a Tibetan mastiff puppy on Wednesday.

He acquired the one-year-old golden-haired mastiff at a “luxury pet” fair Tuesday in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, according to the Qianjiang Evening News.

“They have lion’s blood and are top-of-the-range mastiff studs,” the dog’s breeder, Zhang Gengyun, told the paper. Another of his red-haired pups sold for six million yuan, he added.

Tibetan mastiffs, which are enormous and sometimes ferocious, bear a passing resemblance to lions—if you squint. They’re now a prized status symbol among China’s elite, causing prices to skyrocket.

via Dog Sells for $1.9 Million | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Elizabeth Kiss, Rhodes Scholars: Great day to be a Wildcat! Check out #13 …

13. Elizabeth Kiss is an American academic and educator. She is the eighth president of Agnes Scott College, a liberal arts college for women in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, she was the Nannerl E. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. She specialises in moral and political philosophy and has published on a number of topics, including moral judgement and education, human rights, ethnic conflict and nationalism, and feminist debates about rights and justice. As a Rhodes Scholar, she studied for a BPhil and DPhil in Philosophy.

via 13 Famous Rhodes Women — The Rhodes Project.

bloody Mary, garnish:  Garnish, lately, has been getting out of control … This reminds me of the bloody mary I “shared” with my son in Vail.

Photo: Garnish, lately, has been getting out of control.

Garnish, lately, has been getting out of control.

“The bacon bloody mary was HUGE and included a stick of bacon that tasted like it was soaked in maple syrup.” in 16 reviews

via Westside Cafe and Market – Vail, CO | Yelp.

 Basset hound clown car, YouTube, kith/kin:  Several people sent this one to me.  I wonder why?  🙂

Basset hound clown car…incredible!

via ▶ Basset hound clown car…incredible! – YouTube.

Is this a dog house, or a clown car?

Watch the video above to see the first Basset Hound “magic trick” you’ve probably ever seen. Just when you think it isn’t possible for any more dogs to appear, another one comes running out of that teeny, tiny, little dog house.

We know what you’re thinking: what sorcery is this?

via Basset Hounds Keep Magically Appearing From This Tiny Dog House And It’s Ridiculous.

Poggio Mirteto, Lenten Abstinence : NPR:

Every year, Poggio Mirteto thumbs its nose at Lenten austerity and instead celebrates the Carnevalone Liberato, or Freedom Festival, commemorating the day it shed the yoke of papal authority in 1861.

The town of Poggio Mirteto fills with costumed revelers during the folk tradition of “Carnevalone Liberato,” a celebration of liberation from the Papal States.

via Tiny Italian Town Thumbs Its Nose At Lenten Abstinence : NPR.

 New Yorker cartoon, Paul Noth, Jackson Pollock, kith/kin: Another one today that reminded me of my son.  Jack taught me  taught me to appreciate Pollock and with whom i love to enjoy sushi. I realize that there is a difference between “appreciating ” Pollock and “liking” Pollock.   Jack did his high school “senior exit project” on Pollock. I learned so much and learned to “appreciate” Pollock.

A cartoon by Paul Noth. Take a look at more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/NnSj43

Shooter Jobs, LOL, too soon:  i got reprimanded for reposting this because it was too soon.  It was.  It may always be too soon.  I am amazed at the quick wit of some people.

Shooter Jobs

March 19

09
Mar
14

3.9.14 … Oh, well … the things we do for the tennis players and golfers in this world! … and kudos to SAE (I never thought I would be saying that) … and March Madness is officially over for me :( …

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DST, Daylight Savings Time, kith/kin:  I have friends who can’t wait for this day and bemoan standard time.  I truly prefer standard time, but maybe that is because I am more productive in the morning.  Oh, well … the things we do for the tennis players and golfers in this world!

Daylight Savings Time at Stonehenge

We’re talking about a tradition that was started by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 because he was interested in conserving candles.

And that’s only if you assume he was being serious. He’s credited with coming up with the idea as a joke.

It was popularized by William Willett, who had a very confusing plan for how to implement it. Really, the only reason the U.S. adopted it was so that President Woodrow Wilson, an avid golf enthusiast, could get more hours on the green.

OK, sure, and to conserve coal during WWI. There’s no argument that DST worked during WWI and WWII. But bayonets were also considered effective weapons once upon a time.

For crissakes, Willett is the great great grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin—isn’t that reason enough to end this?

The other man who is credited with the proposal is New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson in 1895—of course, the reason he was in favor of it was so he could study insects longer during daylight hours.

So really, the only reason we have DST is because of a perverse interest in insect culture and unabashed SELFISHNESS, and the most lingering legacy of DST is the fact you get the song “Yellow” stuck in your head and hate yourself for singing along. Basically.

DST was designed to give people more time in sunlight, and ostensibly to conserve energy—but many prominent studies have proven we get little if any benefits from the practice. A U.S. Department of Transportation study in the 1970s concluded that total electricity savings associated with daylight saving time amounted to about 1 percent in the spring and fall months—and that was offset by the increase in air-conditioner use.

A more recent study in 2006 found similar results, which was noted by two academics wrote a NYT Op-Ed piece in 2008. They argued that not only is there little scientific proof that this reduces energy consumption—it’s actually more wasteful than not. And super annoying, which we already knew.

via 22 Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Needs To Be Abolished: Gothamist.

Miles O’Brien:  My daughter came home telling this story about Miles O’Brien and then several friends posted on this.  Very brave.

You know, being a one-man band is — comes with its own set of risks. Being a journalist comes with its own set of risks. But I suspect if we had been talking about this before the accident, we would be thinking about perhaps a trip to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant or a war zone.

And, sometimes, it’s the heavy case filled with gear that you need to be careful of. And that’s what I found.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, it landed on your arm. You eventually got to the hospital.

MILES O’BRIEN: Yes.

It began as a bruise. And it just got a lot worse after about a day or so. And the pain got worse. And it — there was swelling. And it got me increasingly nervous when I saw some discoloration and ultimately some numbness in my hand. And when that happened, I knew I couldn’t deny it any longer. I had to get some medical help.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And by the time you saw a doctor, they pretty quickly identified it, you said, as acute compartment syndrome.

via Miles O’Brien on moving forward after an accident led to amputation.

Deadliest U.S. Fraternity Scraps Pledging for New Members, , SAE, Bloomberg, college life, young adults:  My daughter came in and told me about this as well.  It makes you think again aout what we are doing as parents.  We are putting them in harm’s way.  Has it gotten that much worse in 35 years?  This action by a fraternity says yes. Kudos to SAE for doing the right thing.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said it would ban pledging, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its recruits and its reputation.

SAE announced today what it called a “historic decision” to eliminate pledging, typically a months-long induction period featuring secret rituals. During pledging, recruits have been subject to forced drinking, paddling and other abuse. At least 10 deaths since 2006 have been linked to hazing, alcohol or drugs at SAE events, more than at any other fraternity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

SAE becomes one of only a handful of about 75 national fraternities — and perhaps the most prominent — to eliminate pledging. The ban, which takes effect Sunday, may spur broader change among Greek organizations, fraternity and college officials said. There have been more than 60 fraternity-related deaths since 2005. Many victims were freshman pledges, considered the most vulnerable because many are away from home for the first time.

via Deadliest U.S. Fraternity Scraps Pledging for New Members – Bloomberg.

Facebook,Cheryl Klein, Lent 2014 :  I’ve been a friend of  Cheryl’s on FB for several years.  I think I initially found her because she wrote about Jane Austen and then I loved reading her tales as a young editor in NY (she worked on the Harry Potter books) … but I loved where she took me today for Lent 2014 …

I’m keeping Lent this year through a calendar you can see on my blog — but if you’re interested in Lent too, what I really want you to read is this lovely sermon by Nadia Bolz-Weber (from whose church I borrowed the Lenten calendar). “There’s no shame in the truth that our lives on earth will all end and that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. It’s not depressing. What’s depressing is the desperation of trying to pretend otherwise.”

via Facebook.

No week in recent history has this been as real to me as now.  Yesterday I stood in a small restaurant on 6th ave and preached at the funeral of a 29 year old who took his own life. A man I’d never met.  I don’t generally agree to do weddings and funerals of those who are not a part of this church. But Billy was queer and an artist and suffered from bi-polar and addiction so it felt like he could have belonged to us. So I stood and spoke of love and Jesus. And I looked his mother in the eyes and said that God is always present in love and in suffering. And that God was present both the moment Billy entered this world and the moment Billy left this world.

We are dust and to dust we return.

I did not know yesterday that today, 19 hours after standing in a funeral of one child I would stand in the birth room of another. Less than a day after preaching about love and suffering and Jesus I held Duffy and Charlie’s baby Willa in my arms and thanked God for brand new life.

Then her parents asked for ashes. For them and for Zane and baby Willa too. I pressed ever so gently into her brow, onto this brand new skin that had only been exposed to air for a few precious hours, and said that even she, full of beauty and hope and just hours from her mother’s womb, even she will return– return to dust and the very heart of God.

And then I knew. I knew more than any other Ash Wednesday in my life, that the promises of baptism and funerals, the promises of birth and death are so totally wrapped up together. For we come from God and to God we shall go. And that Oh my Gosh is there so much that gets in the way of that simple truth.  And it is times like funerals when all the other BS just doesn’t matter anymore.

via Ash Wednesday Sermon on Truth, Dust, Babies, and Funerals.

Europe’s E-Bike Boom, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:

The e-bike boom has counteracted wishes from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pushed for Germans to own a million electric cars by 2020. The big pros to purchasing e-bikes? If electricity runs out, riders can always revert to “classic” pedaling. Plus, the e-bikes plug into normal wall sockets.

While cyclists may malign the bikes, they’re not just electrified vehicles for the lazy. The motors on e-bikes only kick in when riders begin pedaling, and with a force equivalent to the rider’s efforts. The bioelectrical hybrid feels less like a motorized vehicle and more like an invisible hand providing a little help. Computers on the bikes also provide riders with data about speed and battery use.

E-bikes have already taken over China, where 30 million are sold every year. The bikes have their drawbacks—they’re expensive, and they’re heavy for commuters who need to carry them—but that hasn’t stopped investors.

If you’re considering getting a Beamer, you might want to hold off a little longer—the iconic car company is working on a collection of e-bikes.

via Europe’s E-Bike Boom | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

March Madness 2014, Southern Conference: Former Davidson ‘waterboy’ makes a different kind of splash, Brian Sullivan, CharlotteObserver.com:  great story about a Davidson player.  Unfortunately Davidson just got knocked out of the tournament.  march Madness is over for me …

Last year for the 2013 Southern Conference basketball tournament, Brian Sullivan got in his car and drove by himself to Asheville.

Once there, he became a waterboy for the Davidson basketball team. Although technically a member of that Wildcats squad, Sullivan was a transfer from Miami (Ohio) sitting out the season. In order to replace a team manager as one of the people seated on the Davidson bench, he had to earn his keep.

“I was the waterboy, and I was pretty darn good at it,” Sullivan said. “People have no idea how tough a job that is. Everyone’s got their own name on their water bottles. You’ve got to keep up with who’s in the game and have your five water bottles ready for them when the timeouts come. And actually the hardest part is picking them up. Players just drink and put the bottle down, and you have to run through and pick them all up. I was so into the games, I’d lose track of whose bottle was where.”

Sullivan cheerfully admits he looked like he belonged as a team manager. At 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, he is undersized even for the Southern Conference.

“Oh yeah, I passed the waterboy test,” Sullivan said. “No one was looking at me going, ‘That kid has to be a player.’ ”

But what a player he is.

Sullivan goes to Asheville again this weekend for Davidson’s last appearance in the Southern Conference tournament, which begins Friday (Davidson won’t play until Saturday). Sullivan will ride the team bus this time as a sophomore who is the second-leading scorer for the No. 1 seed, a player averaging 13.5 points per game.

via Southern Conference: Former Davidson ‘waterboy’ makes a different kind of splash | CharlotteObserver.com.

The Debate Over Juice Cleanses and Toxin Removal, WSJ.com.

Dr. Hyman’s latest book, “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet,” published in February, recommends avoiding all sugar, grains, dairy products, legumes, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods. Instead, followers consume a fruit-and-protein shake in the morning, then vegetables and lean protein for lunch and dinner.

He also suggests they take a long list of supplements and drink water with PGX, a form of fiber that expands in the stomach, before every meal. The combination resets the metabolism and cleans out the digestive system, Dr. Hyman says. He has also argued that a detox bath with Epsom salts each night helps remove heavy metals through the skin and reduces stress.

Liver specialists say that up to 20% of adults have some form of fatty liver disease, in which excess fat in the liver leads to inflammation, scar tissue and eventually liver failure. Some cases are due to alcohol abuse. Genetics, hepatitis, autoimmune disease and medication use also play a role. It isn’t clear whether fatty liver causes obesity or vice versa.

Many cleanse aficionados are health-conscious anyway. They say periodically restricting their intake helps reboot their system. “It breaks your relationship with food,” says Anne Pollack, a former chief investment officer at a large insurance company, who does a detox twice a year for three weeks with a nutrition counselor. She gives up all wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, chicken, red meat and alcohol and eats only brown rice, fruits, green vegetables, salmon and supplements such as milk thistle. After that, she says, “I have an amazing amount of energy. My skin is soft. My hair is shiny and my nails grow like crazy.”

Some packaged juice cleanses contain considerable amounts of sugar, leading some proponents to grind up their own fruit and vegetable concoctions at home. Some nutritionists recommend using a blender rather than a juicer to retain more pulp, because a liquid diet without fiber can slow down digestion. That’s partly why some juice cleanses advise using a colon cleanse before and after to fully flush out the intestinal tract.

Most gastroenterologists, however, advise against using supplements, laxatives, enemas and irrigation devices that purport to remove accumulated waste clogging up the colon. It seldom exists, doctors say, and would-be detoxers can become constipated by using laxatives too often.

Keeping the digestive tract moving normally is another reason many experts say simply eating more fruit and vegetables makes more sense than a drastic temporary regimen. New York nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix calls it “clean eating.” She advises: “Skip the cleanse. Have your green smoothie as a snack in the afternoon and then skip the vending machine.”

via The Debate Over Juice Cleanses and Toxin Removal – WSJ.com.

Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers for Nutella Day!: I must be hungry …

Chocolate covered Nutella and Peanut butter Ritz crackers 7488 R

Yay! Today is “World Nutella Day 2010” – a day to celebrate, get creative with, and most importantly, EAT Nutella!

Being in love with the salty/sweet taste sensation, these crackers are totally awesome! I’ve seen them with peanut butter, and one of my favourite things to eat is Nutella spread onto Ritz crackers. So why not have both – and then cover it in white chocolate. I don’t need to say anymore!

via Cherrapeno: Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers for Nutella Day!.

 1 World Trade Center, TIME’s View From The Top Of NYC, TIME:  Spectacular …

THE TOP OF AMERICA

After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view

via 1 World Trade Center: TIME’s View From The Top Of NYC – TIME.

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And from 1.25.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

From 1.26.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

.

30
Jan
14

1.30.14 … “Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog.” – Oprah

Oprah, Her Dog Sophie, greatest teachers, man’s best friend, purest love:

Oprah is a woman who loves her dogs. She’s had 21 pups in her adult life — including 11 at one time. “Nothing makes me happier than being with my dogs,” she says. In the above video from “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” we look back at the incredible bond she’s experienced with her animals.

“Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love — the love of God, really, I imagine that’s what God’s love feels like — is the love that comes from your dog,” Oprah says.

Though she loved them all, “Oprah Show” fans will remember one special cocker spaniel who rarely left Oprah’s side. “One of my greatest teachers is my dog, Sophie,” Oprah says. “Sophie lived for 13 years and came to work with me every day. Was there for every show, was backstage at the Oscars, at the Emmys, was waiting in the car if I went to the gynecologist.”

Solomon, Oprah’s other cocker spaniel, also went with her everywhere — but Sophie would cling even closer, as the pooch would get separation anxiety whenever Oprah left the room.

Sadly, Sophie died on March 10, 2008. “It wasn’t until she passed away that I really understood the depth of my love for her,” Oprah says. “Because I learned from a show we did many years ago with Gary Zukav that there are big souls and little souls. And Sophie was a little soul – just a little soul, but had a great impact on my life. And when I lost her is when I realized that nobody on earth had ever loved me like that little dog.”

via Oprah Remembers Her Dog Sophie As One Of Her Greatest Teachers (VIDEO).

college education, college financing,  The Daily Beast, The War Room:  INSANE! My daughter and I were talking about the price of Davidson, when I went, 1978, and today. The numbers in this article are fairly accurate.

Since 1978 the price of college has increased in absolute dollars by 1120 percent, more than any other good or service in the U.S. economy. (For example, the cost of food has increased by just 244 percent and healthcare by 601 percent in the same period). A widely cited study by Richard Arum, Academically Adrift, concludes that 36 percent of college students show no significant gains in learning over the course of their four years in college. Indeed, 68 percent of students at public colleges and universities fail to graduate in four years. And in 2012, over 50 percent of graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

via The Price of College Has Increased 1120 Percent Since 1978, So Is It Worth It? – The Daily Beast.

And a friend sent me this and it makes some very good points!

The plain fact of the matter is this:

1. Certain colleges are a complete waste of time and money.

2. Certain majors are not only a waste of time and money, but risk making you stupider for having studied them.

3. Certain kids just shouldn’t go to college at all. They don’t like it, they’re not good at it, and they’re going to hate it.

via Stupid college tricks: should you go to college? | The War Room.

random, sperm donors, when worlds collide:  What a great story!

So Mikayla, a San Diego native, messaged Emily right away, suggesting they room together. It was too late; Emily already had a roommate. But the girls friended each other on Facebook anyway.

Then on Father’s Day, Mikayla posted a glib Facebook status. “Thank you Colombian sperm donor, for one of my X chromosomes.”

“That’s odd,” thought Emily, whose parents also had selected a donor of Colombian heritage.

She responded by writing, “Not to be creepy. But kinda think we could have same donor.”

The idea was so far-fetched that neither gave it much thought, they said. But when the girls arrived at Tulane in the fall, they met and jokingly referred to each other as “sister.”

They were placed in the same dormitory, one floor apart, and both landed parts in the same theater production, “The Vagina Monologues.” Throughout the first semester, they said hello in the stairwell but were more acquaintances than friends.

Then, over Thanksgiving break, both freshmen were part of a larger group of Tulane students that didn’t go home. They ended up at the Gonzales outlet mall, as part of a Black Friday shopping trip. Each spent the day shopping with their own friends, then discovered on the bus ride home that they’d bought the same sweater in different colors.

The similarities continued to pile up.

They both sleeptalk and sleepwalk — so much so that their parents used to put an extra lock on the door at night, for fear they’d walk outside. And back in the early 1990s, their parents had gone to the same place, California Cryobank, and selected a Colombian sperm donor with an interest in theater out of hundreds of potential candidates for insemination.

via Genes that fit: Tulane freshmen discover shared sperm-donor dad | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

character counts, deviations from gender norms, double standards, shame on you:  It’s not the little white lie, it’s that she left her husband after he paid off her loans.  And yes there are double standards, but I try to hold both sexes to the same standards.  Shame on you, Wendy Davis.

Now the question is whether Slater’s sexist narrative will hurt Wendy Davis’ chances. It’s hard to imagine that there are many Texans who were considering voting for a pro-choice Democrat but would be too scandalized by her deviations from gender norms to vote for her now. The biggest obstacle that Davis faces—that she’s a Democrat in a solidly red state—hasn’t changed a bit. And the fact that the attacks on her are getting so shrill suggests that perhaps Republicans are really beginning to fear she has a chance.

via Wayne Slater paints Wendy Davis as a gold-digger and a bad mother in the Dallas Morning News..

And a little of my conversation …

I don’t know…regardless of party affiliation …people don’t like it when one is loose with the truth. She has been loose with the truth. Her one big thing is abortion.

“Loose with the truth”? She was separated at 19 and divorced at 21, rather than divorced at 19. And she “only” lived in a trailer for a few months. And she got help paying for law school. That’s the best they got. I don’t think she will win, but she just raised $12 million and the TX Repubs are scared s**tless.

The Republicans just might tear each other appart in the primaries, leaving whichever candidate wins vunerable. The attacks on one area congressman have already started, without any mention of who is running against him.

 This may be setting her up for a US House run in 2016. The districts have been heavily gerrymandered, but there still are some Democratic districts.

She is undoubtedly intelligent, attractive and came from modest means. Why couldn’t that be enough? Why have to “exaggerate” the true circumstances of her life just to get some easy to remember narrative (divorced teen mom who pulled HERself up to make it through Ha rvard Law all alone). After decades of being told ‘it takes a village’

…why can’t the true narrative of her life be enough? We should celebrate that she was able to surpass 2 of the 3 biggest causes for women to be in poverty (teen mom, no degree) to become an attorney and state office holder. So she had help, that’s great!

I guess she is a natural blonde………

yoga,  Doga,  Secret Yoga, follow-up, London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes, Completely London Blog: As a follow up to my “naked coed yoga’ article … Doga and Secret Yoga!  Those Brits … They have a better idea shen it comes to yoga.

Doga

Your dog + yoga = doga. Yes, we’re serious. Classes with Swiss instructor Mahny involve four-legged friends in your yoga practice to help you both relax. Expect mediation, stretching and gentle poses, whether you’re lifting your Chihuahua for a sun salutation or using your Labrador as a yogic bolster. And lots of jokes from your friends about the downward dog. SW6

Secret Yoga Club

Rather than a weekly drop-in, serious yoga fans might want to treat themselves to this pop-up/fitness hybrid. Held at clandestine venues across London – Secret Yoga Club provides a dynamic hour-long Jivamukti flow class, a Savasana (the relaxation bit at the end) serenaded by a singer and a three-course vegan menu. They say: ‘leave with a soul full of joy and a tummy full of goodness’. We say: ‘Sign us up!’. Find their weekly classes here.

via London’s Most Curious Yoga Classes | Completely London Blog.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

olympic uniforms ralph lauren ugly review nbc today showThe U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!

Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!

decades-long mystery, seemingly random letters: I loved this FB post!

” This is cool not only because it is a prayer (oops, spoiler alert!), but because it demonstrates what can happen when we share, collaborate compassionately, and lend our minds and time to others in need. Surely that must be among the highest callings and most ardent lessons we can know or share? Surely.”

Yesterday afternoon, a woman seeking help with a decades-old family mystery posted a thread on Ask Metafilter titled “Decoding cancer-addled ramblings”:

My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn’t get anywhere.

The index cards appear to just be a random series of letters, and had confounded the poster’s family for years. But it only took Metafilter 15 minutes to at least partially decipher them. User harperpitt quickly realized she was using the first letters of words, and that she was, in fact, writing prayers:

AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc

via Ask Metafilter: A decades-long mystery over a series of index cards with seemingly random letters was solved..

Facebook, predictions,  Princeton’s Demise, Digits – WSJ:

After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook’s demise, Facebook has responded with its own “research” predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu

Photo: After a Princeton University study came out predicting Facebook's demise, Facebook has responded with its own "research" predicting the downfall of Princeton: http://on.wsj.com/M47gZu</p><br /> <p>Credit: Facebook

On Thursday, Facebook went a step further with its own mock academic research. “Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all,” wrote Mike Develin, a data scientist at Facebook.

Develin said he analyzed various data points, including the percentage of queries on Google Scholar matching the query “Princeton.” Develin’s research showed the percentage had dropped dramatically since 2000, an “alarming” number, he wrote.

“In keeping with the scientific principle ‘correlation equals causation,’ our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely,” Develin wrote.

The paper authors could not immediately be reached.

Facebook’s posting Thursday ends on an ominous note. “While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet–Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left.”

via Facebook Responds by Predicting Princeton’s Demise – Digits – WSJ.

Maria Tallchief, the first Native American prima ballerina, Mighty Girls:  Interesting history from the art world.

Photo: Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, "Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva." </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine's ballet "Firebird." This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>There are two wonderful books for young readers about her life: "Who Is Maria Tallchief" for ages 8 to 12 (http://www.amightygirl.com/who-is-maria-tallchief) and "Tallchief: American's Prima Ballerina" for ages 4 to 9 (http://www.amightygirl.com/tallchief-america-s-prima-ballerina).</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>She is also one of several women role models featured in the picture book “Every-Day Dress-up” for ages 3 to 8 at http://www.amightygirl.com/every-day-dress-up</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Tallchief is also highlighted in our blog post, "A Celebration of Native American and Aboriginal Mighty Girls for Native American Heritage Month," at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=5226</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>For more stories of girls and women in dance and the arts, visit our "Creative Arts" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/creative-arts</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>To learn more about Tallchief's life, the NY Times released an excellent tribute to her following her death last year at http://tinyurl.com/bul6zyo

Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Tallchief, the first Native American to become a prima ballerina, was born in 1925. One of the most acclaimed ballerinas of the 20th century, Tallchief grew up on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. As noted in a NY Times tribute to her, “Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva.”

Tallchief kept her name and made her mark throughout the dance world, dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from its founding in 1947 through 1965. She is pictured here in the title role of George Balanchine’s ballet “Firebird.” This dance legend passed away this past April at the age of 88.

Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life, Breakthru films, feature-length painted animation, YouTube, new technology:  very cool concept …

Concept trailer for the new production from Oscar-winning studio Breakthru films, a feature-length painted animation. A murder mystery about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh told through revealing interviews with the characters from van Gogh’s own paintings.

via ▶ Loving Vincent – Van Gogh’s paintings brought to life – YouTube.

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Jan
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1.26.14 … schadenfreude and Justin Bieber … that’s the only explanation, but do we really care about a spoiled kid? …

schadenfreude, Justin Bieber:  That’s the only explanation … otherwise who cares?

Schadenfreude i/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/ German: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə] is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.[1] This word is a loanword from German. The literal English translation is Harm-Joy. It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It is also borrowed by some other languages.

via Schadenfreude – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute, contemplative prayer, online courses:  I am taking my first online course.  It’s on contemplative prayer.  So far, I am enjoying it.  It goes nicely with my labyrinth walking and my interest in theological studies.  

via Resources Page – Contemplative-Living of Shalem Institute.

blogging, kith/kin, How Do You Sleep At Night?:  One of my favoorite people has started a blog.  He is always thoughtful, careful with his words, demanding intellectually and challenging in a good way.  So here’s his intro … How Do You Sleep At Night?

The title of this blog comes from a question that all criminal defense lawyers hear at some point in their lives, and to which I was subjected (along with several insults and ill-wishes upon me and my family) today on, of all places, Facebook. An individual convicted of a homicide in PA involving a toddler is apparently up for parole, and a person who was outraged by this characterized the individual’s defense attorney as a “slimeball”. I foolishly inquired as to why the attorney was a “slimeball”, and was quickly informed that it was because he had done his job and represented his client as best he could. I then, even more foolishly, responded that this was also my line of work, and if that made me a “slimeball”, oh well. It was then that a nice person whom I\’ve never met asked me the question of my sleeping habits, suggested that perhaps bad things should happen to members of my family (boy, would that teach me) and informed me that I made them ill. They also informed me that my “fat wallet” was not worth being a “slimeball”. The “fat wallet” comment was especially hilarious since, as I said, I represent mostly indigent clients and get paid an hourly rate lower than any plumber or other repairman who comes to your house.

So, how do I sleep at night? Usually just fine, thanks. I really and truly believe what we were taught about the Bill of Rights and stuff…you know, that everyone is presumed innocent, that no one should go to jail unless the State can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, that everyone (yeah, everyone) is entitled to a lawyer (preferably one who knows what the hell they’re doing) and a vigorous defense, and, ESPECIALLY, that if you make sure that the system gives the worst of the worst a fair trial then the system as a whole works better for everyone. I’ve met a lot of people along the way. Some who have done really terrible things. But I’ll tell you a secret. I can count on one hand the number of folks I’ve represented who were just flat-out bad people. Most got to where they were through combinations of factors. Part of my job is to try and get judges and juries to see that. Sometimes I can. Often I can’t.

That’s how this little venture got its name. I’ll post about stuff that comes up in my cases and other legal matters going on around the country. As a forewarning, I can get a little blunt and am not afraid to curse if the spirit moves me. If you want to comment, have at it….for those that know me, you already know I like to argue.

via How Do You Sleep At Night?: About the title—and other stuff.

 Twitter,  BofA_News, tweeting habits, WEF, Davos: Just interesting to think about …

Comparing the tweeting habits of #Davos attendees. Tech Pioneers – early risers or night owls? #WEF14:   pic.twitter.com/e2OPKFiLo4

via Twitter / BofA_News: Comparing the tweeting habits ….

Oatmeal, 9 Common Mistakes, Bon Appétit:  Good advice.  I love oatmeal and grits for breakfast in winter.  These are good suggestions!

Oatmeal is the classic “healthy” breakfast—but chances are, you’ve had a disappointing bowl of it at some point in your life. Perhaps you’ve pondered if there was more to morning life than this sad, gray, gluey bowl of semi-warm oats while dreaming of a hot, gooey egg and cheese sandwich. Or wished it was just a little hotter, a little creamier, a little more fun.

Guess what? Oatmeal doesn’t have to be this way. Our test kitchen editors Alison Roman and Dawn Perry love a good bowl of oatmeal, as long as it’s done right. We talked to them about the mistakes people are making when they make this hot breakfast cereal—and if you avoid them, you might even pass up that egg sandwich for a fragrant, steamy bowl of the healthy stuff.

via How Not to Ruin Oatmeal: 9 Common Mistakes – Bon Appétit.

cats, Smart News:  Cats, according to new research, recognize their owner’s voice. They just can’t be bothered to react to it … No suprise there …

Cats, according to new research, recognize their owner’s voice. They just can’t be bothered to react to it.

Researchers in Japan arrived at this conclusion after performing experiments with twenty house cats. They played recordings of the cats’ owners’ calling to their pets in whatever cat-talk voice they typically used. They also played recordings of three strangers calling to the cats, using the same words.

To quantify the cats’ reactions, the researchers recorded how often cats moved their head, tail, paws or ears, or whether they meowed or dilated their pupils. While the cats showed a significantly greater response to their owners calling their names than to strangers doing so, they did not bother to get up in either instance, the researchers found.

via Cats Recognize Their Owner’s Voice But Choose to Ignore It | Smart News.

“Ephemeral Stream” by Elizabeth Willis, poem-a-day:  I liked this one.

Ephemeral Stream

by Elizabeth Willis

This is the way water

thinks about the desert.

The way the thought of water

gives you something

to stumble on. A ghost river.

A sentence trailing off

toward lower ground.

A finger pointing

at the rest of the show.

I wanted to read it.

I wanted to write a poem

and call it “Ephemeral Stream”

and dedicate it to you

because you made of this

imaginary creek

a hole so deep

it looked like a green eye

taking in the storm,

a poem interrupted

by forgiveness.

It’s not over yet.

A dream can spend

all night fighting off

the morning. Let me

start again. A stream

may be a branch or a beck,

a crick or kill or lick,

a syke, a runnel. It pours

through a corridor. The door

is open. The keys

are on the dashboard.

via Ephemeral Stream- Poets.org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

via No Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.




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