Posts Tagged ‘news

16
Mar
14

3.16.14 … “I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.” – Emma Watson

The Fall of France, Huguenots, economics, socialism, Edict of Nantes, entrepreneur, taxes:  Very interesting article.  An article like this makes me want to spend some time researching both the modern-day economics and French history.

It’s a stretch, but what is happening today in France is being compared to the revocation of 1685. In that year, Louis XIV, the Sun King who built the Palace of Versailles, revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had protected French Protestants – the Huguenots. Trying to unite his kingdom by a common religion, the king closed churches and persecuted the Huguenots. As a result, nearly 700,000 of them fled France, seeking asylum in England, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and other countries.

The Huguenots, nearly a million strong before 1685, were thought of as the worker bees of France. They left without money, but took with them their many and various skills. They left France with a noticeable brain drain.

Since the arrival of Socialist President François Hollande in 2012, income tax and social security contributions in France have skyrocketed. The top tax rate is 75 percent, and a great many pay in excess of 70 percent.

As a result, there has been a frantic bolt for the border by the very people who create economic growth – business leaders, innovators, creative thinkers, and top executives. They are all leaving France to develop their talents elsewhere.

And it’s a tragedy for such a historically rich country. As they say, the problem with the French is they have no word for entrepreneur. Where is the Richard Branson of France? Where is the Bill Gates?

via The Fall of France.

Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy, ABC News:  A wonderful read.  I would hope I could be the person that says, “Who better than us?”

And at some point, Ryan’s question changed from “Why us?” to “Why NOT us?” After all, we had beautiful life, a wonderful marriage, a daughter we adored and plenty more love to give. Who better than us?

via Down Syndrome: A Year of Grief and Joy – ABC News.

‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo,  ISS, Globalnews.ca: I recorded this show Friday night.  As I was watching the news and following twitter I noticed this tweet from fellow Davidsonian.

Thomas H. Marshburn @AstroMarshburn 6m

Watching colleagues Koichi and Rick right now on #LiveFromSpace on the Natl Geo channel. Almost feels like I’m back on-board!

I had not thought that a former ISS resident would watch. So I watched last night.  It was an awesome show.  If  NatGeo reboadcasts the show, watch it!

National Geographic Channel is targeting a subject that’s literally over our heads, bringing it down to Earth in an ambitious two-hour special.

Airing Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific, Live From Space will originate from the International Space Station with American astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata, who’s Japanese, as on-board correspondents.

Veteran reporter Soledad O’Brien will anchor from NASA Mission Control in Houston.

O’Brien said she’s excited about the special, and particularly happy to be hosting Live From Space from a comfortable distance.

via ‘Live From Space’: Nat Geo to air special from the space station – National | Globalnews.ca.

gap year, colleges, Tufts University: Wow … some colleges  offer to pay students to take year off.

Colleges are paying students to take a year off after high school to travel, volunteer or do internships so that students of all income brackets can benefit from “gap years.”

A new program at Tufts University and existing ones at a handful of other schools aim to remove the financial barriers that can keep cash-strapped students from exploring different communities and challenge their comfort zones before jumping right into college.

The gap year program starting this fall at Tufts will pay for housing, airfare and even visa fees, which can often add up to $30,000 or more.

Although gap years are more popular in Europe, they have started to gain traction in the United States. About 40,000 Americans participated in gap year programs in 2013, an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2006, according to data gathered by a nonprofit called the American Gap Year Association.

In 2009, Princeton University began offering applicants gap-year aid based on need. Nearly 100 students have participated, volunteering in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Senegal.

The University of North Carolina offers $7,500 to gap year applicants, while students at Wisconsin’s St. Norbert College can receive financial aid based on need, although airfare isn’t covered.

via College offers to pay students to take year off.

news, media:  news pays …

It has become a water cooler topic, with several social media references to the downed jet that kicked off the popular television series “Lost.”

Cooper’s show, which has averaged 444,000 viewers this year, reached 972,000 people on Wednesday, Nielsen said. On both of the last two nights, Cooper achieved the highly unusual feat of topping Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly among the 25- to 54-year-old age demographic. O’Reilly easily won among viewers of all ages.

So far, the plane story has meant less for Fox and MSNBC, which have a heavier concentration on political stories. Fox’s full-day average of 1.26 million people on Thursday beat the 1.1 million it has been typically drawing this year. MSNBC had 370,000 viewers, lower than its non-Olympic average of 405,000 this year, Nielsen said.

via AOL.com Article – Missing Malaysian Airlines jet nets high ratings on cable news.

Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era, RIP, ABC News:

PHOTO: U.S. Navy sailor Glenn Edward McDuffie kisses a nurse in Times Square in an impromptu moment at the close of World War II, after the surrender of Japan was announced in New York, Aug. 14, 1945.

But his life became more exciting about six years ago when Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson was able to identify him as the young man leaning over the woman in his arms to kiss her.

By taking about 100 pictures of McDuffie using a pillow to pose as he did in the picture taken Aug. 14, 1945, by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gibson said, she was able to match the muscles, ears and other features of the then-80-year-old McDuffie to the young sailor in the original image.

“I was absolutely positive,” Gibson said of the match. “It was perfect.”

The identification remained controversial, partly because other men also claimed to have been the sailor in the image, but also because Life magazine, whose photographer had died years earlier, was unable to confirm that McDuffie was in fact the sailor, noting Eisenstaedt had never gotten names for those in the picture.

Yet for McDuffie, Gibson’s word was enough. A well-respected forensic artist who was in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records for helping police identify more suspects than any other forensic artist, Gibson said McDuffie was ecstatic when she told him the results he had waited 62 years to hear.

And so began a whirlwind lifestyle of going to air shows, gun shows, fundraisers and parties to tell his story. Women would pay $10 to take a picture kissing him on the cheek, Gibson said.

“He would make money and kiss women,” Gibson said. “He had the most glamorous life of any 80 year old.”

via Man Known as Kissing Sailor in WWII-Era Image Dies – ABC News.

Davidson College Alumnus, Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education, Davidson College, Stan Humphries ’90:

Real estate is not rocket science.

Or is it?

Ask Stan Humphries ’90. He’s responsible for Zillow’s “Zestimate,” an estimated market value on every U.S. home, which is integral now to all things real estate-related on the internet since its introduction a few short years ago.

In the late ’80s, Humphries was an aerospace engineering student at Georgia Tech. He loved the academic work, but as time passed he found he did not want to become an engineer after all. He transferred to Davidson, studying political science and economics through an interdisciplinary major, with an eye toward science and technology policy.

The Davidson years were formative, personally and professionally. He met his future wife, Katherine Bagby Humphries ’90.

“It’s not just a cliché, what they say about the liberal arts,” said Humphries. “In my case, it gave me a way of thinking about the world and a critical faculty for thinking about issues and breaking down problems. It also gave me an enlarged worldview in terms of what I should be thinking about. I left Davidson thinking about life being a continual learning exercise.”

via Alumnus Focus: Zillow Chief Economist “Zestimates” the Value of His Liberal Arts Education – Davidson College.

Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You?, TopDailyInfo.com:

Banksy, Idris Elba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Elbow are just some of the stars who are supporting the #WithSyria campaign that will see thousands of people across the world, from Moscow to Washington, standing together in a global vigil to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria on Thursday, March 13.

“#WithSyria,” a stunning animated film, will be shown around the world, from an inflatable cinema in Za’atari Refugee camp in Jordan to the big screen in Times Square, and iconic locations will be bathed in light by candlelit vigils, a Banksy light projection of his famed “girl with a red balloon” — which he has redesigned to feature a young Syrian refugee — and the release of red balloons carrying messages of hope to Syrians.

The #WithSyria coalition is made up of 120 humanitarian and human rights groups from 24 countries, including Save the Children, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Hand in Hand for Syria and the International Rescue Committee. The campaign is calling for urgent action to ensure Syrians in need –- including civilians in areas under siege — can access aid and for the voices of ordinary Syrians to be heard and heeded in reconvened peace talks.

via Banksy Is #WithSyria — Are You? (VIDEO) | TopDailyInfo.com.

Ethan Alban,  Karsyn Folds, 2012 Nationals Friday Night, shag dancing, , YouTube:  Mercy, mercy, mercy … One friend say this and noted that  karsyn was leading!  And to that I say, you rock, Bossy Girl!

via ▶ Ethan Alban and Karsyn Folds – 2012 Nationals Friday Night – YouTube.

Apps, Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes, speed reading, Elite Daily:

The reading game is about to change forever. Boston-based software developer Spritz has been in “stealth mode” for three years, tinkering with their program and leasing it out to different ebooks, apps, and other platforms.

Now, Spritz is about to go public with Samsung’s new line of wearable technology.

Other apps have offered up similar types of rapid serial visual presentation to enhance reading speed and convenience on mobile devices in the past.

However, what Spritz does differently (and brilliantly) is manipulate the format of the words to more appropriately line them up with the eye’s natural motion of reading.

The “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) is slightly left of the center of each word, and is the precise point at which our brain deciphers each jumble of letters.

The unique aspect of Spritz is that it identifies the ORP of each word, makes that letter red and presents all of the ORPs at the same space on the screen.

In this way, our eyes don’t move at all as we see the words, and we can therefore process information instantaneously rather than spend time decoding each word.

via This Insane New App Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes | Elite Daily.

Emma Watson,  Elle Magazine, TopDailyInfo.com:  I like this actress.  I truly hope she has a good her on her shoulders.

“I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me,” she said. “I don’t know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.”

via Emma Watson Reveals Why She’s Jealous Of Other Actresses To Elle Magazine | TopDailyInfo.com.

Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie,  The Wire:  Love this selfie! “Eat your heart out Ellen!”

This selfie is a truly great selfie, and a good reminder that these images existed and were all over the place way before they became a thing we discussed during major news events (or as a way to sell mobile phones.) Basically, as long as there have been cameras.

We’ve always had the impulse to use technology at hand for self reflection: Jerry Saltz noted in his “History of the Selfie” that Van Gogh’s series of self portrait paintings feel really darn selfie-like, a sort of “proto selfie” that has “the same intensity, immediacy, and need to reveal something inner to the outside world in the most vivid way possible.” Professional and amateur photographers have been taking self portraits since the invention of the camera. Add Young Colin Powell to the list of those who did it early, and best.

via Colin Powell’s 60-Year-Old Selfie Is Everything You Could Ever Hope For in a Selfie – The Wire.

Adobe hardware,  iPad Pen and Ruler,  Personal Tech News – WSJ:

Adobe—the software company that brought the world iconic creative apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign—is forging into hardware. Sometime this year, AdobeADBE -1.44% will bring its first hardware products to market, starting with a digital pen and ruler set built specifically for AppleAAPL -1.11%’s iPad.

“When people hear that Adobe is getting into hardware, for many the first reaction is ‘why?’,” explained Michael Gough, Adobe’s vice president of experience design, at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. “But, this really is within our wheelhouse. We’ve always built creative tools and these products are really just another example of that. This isn’t just another stylus.”

Adobe’s pen currently wears the codename Mighty, while the ruler is going by the name Napoleon—because “it’s a short ruler,” Gough said.

The two products, which Gough demoed at SXSW, as you can see in the video above, are built with clean lines and shod in aluminum and white plastic. They look not mistakenly like something Apple would design.

Adobe

The two devices work in tandem with an iPad drawing app that Adobe is also developing, one that enables the hardware to mimic an architects ruler and wide array of drafting templates—the greenish, flat pieces of plastic you’ve seen if you’ve been down the art aisle in any office supply store.

via Adobe Bets on an iPad Pen and Ruler in Hardware Debut – Personal Tech News – WSJ.

Frat Bros, SeaWorld, OutsideOnline.com: I’m a little worried about the 23-year-old. 😦

At 2 a.m. Thursday, five University of Houston frat brothers allegedly broke into SeaWorld San Antonio in search of ice cream and animals to take pictures with.

Their results were decidedly mixed. According to Huffington Post and San Antonio Express-News reports, the bros climbed a tree near a perimeter fence to enter the park. Once they got in, they embarked on a quest for ice cream. Somewhat surprisingly, the guys were successful, breaking into a storage container and stealing Dippin’ Dots.

That’s when things went awry. As the frat bros searched for animals to pose with, police arrived—they had been called by security guards who spotted the trespassers. Three of the intruders escaped, but authorities apprehended a 23-year-old and an 18-year old, subsequently charging them with criminal trespassing and theft under $500. Police have still not confirmed whether the students obtained the pictures they so fervently sought.

via Frat Bros Break into SeaWorld | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

The Coastal Explorer, Coastal Carolina University, Georgetown SC:  I’ll have to check out the docks next time I’m in Georgetown.

Coastal Carolina University christened their new research vessel, The Coastal Explorer, this afternoon. From her home in the Georgetown Harbor, graduate and PhD students will be doing research of the marine environment of the SE coast.

Quiznos, bankruptcy, Groupon:

Quiznos has filed for bankruptcy: http://on.wsj.com/1kRNEX5

There’s more than $67,000 worth of Quiznos gift certificates out there, plus another $350,670 in Groupons. The sandwich chain says it will honor them.

Credit: Kevin Hagen for The WSJ

12
Aug
13

8.12.13 … Twitter’s turning point as a news entity … the day a plane landed in the Hudson …

twitter, tipping point, news, journalism, tools:  very interesting.

After seven years with Twitter as a part of the social-media ecosystem, we’ve become pretty accustomed by now to the idea that the service functions as a real-time news platform — a cross between a social network and a news-wire staffed by millions of volunteer journalists, reporting on everything from a revolution in Egypt to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Was there a turning point when Twitter stopped being just a plaything for nerds and started becoming a journalistic entity? Co-founder Jack Dorsey says there was: the day an airplane crash-landed in the middle of the Hudson river in 2009.

Dorsey, who famously sketched out the idea for Twitter in 2000, talked to CNBC as part of the network’s recent documentary entitled “The Twitter Revolution,” and described it as the moment when the world started looking at the service as a potential news source rather than just a tech startup with a funny name. “It just changed everything,” he said. “Suddenly the world turned its attention (to us), because we were the source of news — but it wasn’t us, it was this person in the boat, using the service, which was even more amazing.” You can hear more from Dorsey about creating the experience of Twitter at our RoadMap conference in November in San Francisco.

via Jack Dorsey on Twitter’s turning point as a news entity: The day a plane landed in the Hudson — Tech News and Analysis.

17
Feb
13

2.17.13 … I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year …

Charlotte, snow:  I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year.

photo

photo 2 photo 1   photo 3

photo 4 photo 5

history, Lent: So, I am a Pharisee now …

Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Don’t act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.”

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up ones strength and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Josephs Day March 19 and the Annunciation March 25, one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Dont act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.” Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

Wonder what it says about FB that so many people are abstaining from it for Lent?

and one of his friend’s comment …

I’m Betting they cheat and look ..just not commenting.

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.

via Daily Meditation: Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us.

Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being – this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead.

My goal for Lent is to remember this death, and to meditate on it in reverence, humility, and mystery. And to reflect not on the God who rules by power, but a god who leads by love; who identifies with the weak; whose foolishness upsets omniscience; a God who reveals Himself in many ways, who reveals Himself in a first century peasant named Jesus; a God who empties Himself of God, and offers Himself to his enemies in submission and servitude; who is concerned with the plight of widows and orphans, the least among us, and the disadvantaged; who sends Jesus to go after the marginalized and the misunderstood, and to bring back home again those who have been ostracized and forgotten.

I am giving up God for Lent to make room for God. I am prying open my fingers, and letting all of my theological idols crash to the ground. And I am lifting up my empty hands to Heaven in anticipation of God’s arrival, and quietly echoing the unsettling words of Meister Eckhart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

Kneeling in Jerusalem,  Ann Weems, Lent:  Ann Weems’ book  Kneeling in Jerusalem is a great resource during Lent.

LENT

Lent is a time to take the time

to let the power of our faith story take hold of us,

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

a time place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea and listen to his word,

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

a time to ponder and a time to wonder . . .

Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God!

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

clergywear, pastors, stoles, FPC-Charlotte, Lent,  fyi:

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

Of all the questions I have received since arriving as your pastor last September, the most popular has been about what we wear on Sunday during worship.

The name for what we wear around our necks is a “stole.” Stoles are worn by the clergy of many denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

The shape of a stole is reminiscent of a yoke that symbolizes the yoke of Christ, which reminds those of us who wear the stole (and those who see us wearing it) of whom we serve. Stoles are a symbol of ordained ministry – and are often given as gifts to a pastor on his or her ordination to service in the Church.

You may have noticed that the stoles we wear even change colors! The color of our stoles follows the season of the Christian year: purple in Advent and Lent, white in Christmas and Easter, green in ordinary times, and red in Pentecost.

You’ll also notice that the color of our stoles coordinates with the materials that cover both the pulpit and the communion table. These materials are called “paraments.”

Christians follow a different calendar – defined by our salvation history – because as we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are called to live a different kind of life.

Finally, most of your pastors’ stoles have a story – about where they were made or by whom they were given. Feel free to ask us about them sometime!

Pen

source: FirstNews

Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago Forum, bucket list: Thank you CCP for sharing this one.  One day …

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

architecture, I.M. Pei, Gateway Towers, Singapore, optical illusion, Wired.com:  strangely two-dimensional …

Gateway

Gateway Towers, Singapore

Completed in 1990, the trapezoidal shape of I.M. Pei’s Gateway Towers in Singapore create an optical illusion when viewed from certain angles — the 37-story office buildings appear strangely two-dimensional.

via Wired’s Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture | Wired Design | Wired.com.

uncreative writing, language, Digital Age, Brain Pickings:  subversive ..

The rest of Uncreative Writing goes on to explore the history of appropriation in art, the emerging interchangeability between words and images in digital culture, the challenges of defining one’s identity in the vastness of the online environment, and many other pressing facets of what it means to be a writer — or, even more broadly, a creator — in the age of the internet. Complement it with the equally subversive How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

via Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings.

art, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brain Pickings, 

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

Letters From Father Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas books that I shared with my children …  and to a large extent because of Tolkien’s whimsical drawings, I know I would love this edition of The Hobbit.

A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history’s greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer — a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

via Letters From Father Christmas: J.R.R. Tolkien: 0046442512657: Amazon.com: Books.

Obamacare, Uninsurables Program: I thought this was one of the good things about ObamaCare … 😦

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.

“From the beginning (the administration) has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”

via Obamacare ‘Uninsurables’ Program Quietly Winds Down As Funding Dries Up.

news, journalism, mobile journalism, end of an era, Poynter;  “News needs to solve problems” hmmm … ” We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.”

4. News needs to solve problems

A study by Flurry in November found that the news category only accounts for 2 percent of total time spent on mobile apps. Social apps gobble up 26 percent. Facebook alone accounts for 23 percent of all time spent with mobile apps, according to Comscore in December. That beats every news organization’s app combined by a long shot.

As Facebook (and Twitter) grow in time spent – and since both are populated with plenty of news – they’re increasingly competitive with news organizations’ mobile experiences by sheer volume.

As a result, simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

“The key insight from thinking about your business this way is that it is the job, and not the customer or the product, that should be the fundamental unit of analysis,” said Clayton Christensen, David Skok and James Allworth in a Nieman report. “This applies to news as much as it does to any other service.”

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself,” explains Y Combinator’s Paul Graham. “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.”

via 5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago | Poynter..

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Confirmation Process: One of my favorite lectures.  The speaker was a little dry, but I learned a great deal about the confirmation process from nomination to confirmation, vetting both by the White House and the Senate, the role of public relations and media, etc.  Once again, I have confirmed that I am a nerd.

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

Michael J. Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Law and Government, UNC School of Law

this session will explore the nuances of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. The speaker has significant experience in this arena. He advised several senators on the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel Alito Jr., and served as Special Counsel to Chair Patrick Leahy (D-vt.) as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning,  Student Athletes, Penn State, caveat emptor:  You should always be ticked when the presenter starts off telling you that there will be very little about Penn State despite the fact that it is in the title.

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

Barbara J. Osborne, Associate Professor, UNC Department of Exercise & Sport Science

this session will explain the 2012 U.S. Department of education’s Sexual violence guidance. Institutional liability will be discussed using recent situations involving student-athletes at the high school and college level, as well as the Office of Civil Rights’ complaint against Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Festival of Legal Learning.

Life With Dogs: Thank you, EWP,  for sharing this  Life With Dogs’s photo …

this is like one of those old-fashioned fox stoles that my grandmothers used to wear – EWP

Find Rufus Competition, corgies, visitlondon.com:  What is it with the Brits and corgies?

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

For your chance to win a romantic trip to London, use the clues to find Rufus in the map below. Remember, he’s only a little dog, so you might need to zoom in!

via Now See It For Yourself – Find Rufus Competition – visitlondon.com.

translation apps,  Google App,  NYTimes.com:  My husband downloaded an arabic translation app for his next trip to Kuwait.  We’ll see how that goes …

I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf and mute?The answer: yes, though knowing your way around it in advance will help. (United Nations interpreters need not fear for their jobs, at least not yet.) Here, then, are my tips, learned the hard way….

Pantomiming and phrasebooks have always worked for you in the past, and are more fun anyway? I hear you. But even if you want to stay old-school, the world is moving on without you. At least once a day during my trip, the Chinese broke out their own translation apps before I had a chance to break out mine. In other words, this train has already left the station. Or, to pick a cliché more appropriate to my trip, you don’t want to miss the boat.

via Lost in Translation? Try a Google App – NYTimes.com.

Carnival Cruise, Triumph Failure, Total PR Fiasco, bathrobes, twitter:  They may have tweeted too fast … bathrobe fiasco!

They may have been stranded aboard a busted cruise ship for five days with little food, broken sewage systems and no heat or air conditioning, but at least they’ll get to keep the bathrobe.

On Friday morning, as more than 3,000 tired and dirty customers finally disembarked from the stranded cruise ship Triumph, @CarnivalCruise tweeted, “Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.”

It was a remarkably tone-deaf finish to a week-long public relations fiasco that began Sunday night when an engine fire crippled the Caribbean-bound ship and set it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop news coverage and social media chatter brought the public vivid images of the fetid conditions aboard the Triumph. Reports from passengers included details about overflowing toilets, hours-long waits to get food and flooded rooms during the five days they were stranded at sea.

via Carnival Cruise Tells Passengers They Can Keep The Bathrobes In Total PR Fiasco.

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers, kith/kin, high school, Westminster Schools, memories, Brain Pickings: I had a friend in high school who got a hold of this.  I never laughed so hard as I did one night … Can anyone guess who possessed this “pamphlet”?

Between Edison’s scandalous footage of the first kiss in cinema in 1896 and Bill Plympton’s quirky animated guide to kissing a century later, the public image of lip-locking underwent some radical transformations. In 1936, the year my grandmother was born, a man named Hugh Morris penned a small illustrated pamphlet titled The Art of Kissing (public library), in which he guided young lovers through the techniques, tricks, and “approved methods of kissing,” including such varieties as “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss,” as well as tips on how to prepare for a kiss and how to approach a girl. Delightfully dated in its assumptions about love, heterosexuality, and marriage, it’s as much a charming time-capsule of a bygone era as it is a sure source of a good chuckle.

THE ‘VACUUM’ KISS

Here you start off by first opening your mouth a trifle just after you have been resting peacefully with closed lips. Indicate to your partner, by brushing her teeth with the tip of your tongue, that you wish for her to do likewise. The moment she responds, instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation, your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In this fashion, in a very short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be the sort of pain that is highly pleasurable. That may sound odd, but nevertheless it is a fact. Pain becomes so excruciating as to become pleasurable.

via The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers | Brain Pickings.

Valentine’s Day memes, follow-up:  Since I was off FB for VD … I enjoyed a belated FB experience this morning.  Some are nice … some,  not so nice …

.

Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day gift, StoryCorps:  I think I’ll suggest this one to my husband for next year.  LOL

Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Grab your sweetheart and head to StoryCorps at the AHC to record your love story! Appointments are available this Saturday! http://ow.ly/hHctG

StoryCorps is pleased to be in partnership with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta.

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

via About Us | StoryCorps.

Downton Abbey, The Dowager Countess, quotes, LOL: : )

‎”I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.”

Georgia, Yumion – the Vidalia Onion, Vidalia GA, kitschy, corporate mascots:  I must admit, I would go out of my way to see Yumion … I have done so to see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and the Famous Idaho® Potato Truck …

Explore Georgia

Be sure to look for Yumion, the Vidalia Onion, when you visit Vidalia, Georgia! http://budurl.com/Vidalia

Tiffanys,  Costco, knockoffs, retail, knockoffs, icons, iconic jewelry, blue boxes, diamond rings,  ABC News:  If I were a bride, I’d be ticked …

Speaking of retail, a wild story. A big fight between tiffany’s and costco. Tiffany’s wants the big box store to knock off the knockoffs, selling fake versions of its iconic jewelry.

Here’s abc’s tanya rivero. Reporter: It’s the little blue box, versus the big box retailer. On valentine’s day, as lovers everywhere snuggled,iffany and co.

Slapped costco with a lawsuit. These pictures allegedly show tiffany koffs inside a california costco. Tiffany sent someone in, bought one of the rings.

They were not made by tiffany. They are not tiffany rings. They have nothing to do with tiffany.

Reporter: Being sold at a fraction of what real tiffany rings cost. Everybody would love a deal on a tiffany ring. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

Tiffany diamonds are never on sale. Reporter: Tiffany alleges costco had been selling the fakes for years. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of engagement rings were sold using the tiffany trademark.

Reporter: A rep for costco told abc news, we will be making no comment on this story as it involves pending litigation. Court papers say an unnamed consumer blew the whistle, contacting a tiffany store to complain. She was offended by the fact that tiffany would be selling engagement rings in costco.

In this particular case, there’s enormous room for confusion among consumers because costco does sell a of big brands at deep discounts. Reporter: Shoppers at tiffany’s flagship store weighed in. You think you’re buying into a brand.

And you find out it’s a rip-off. When you buy a tiffany diamond, you’re buying into the row mant schism and there’s only one place to get it. Costco has removed all tiffany labels.

But tiffany is a suing for additional mary damages. And whether customers will sue remains to be seen. If you have any doubt about a tiffany’s item you own, you can bring it into a tiffany’s store.

They’ll tell you if it’s the real thing. Diamonds are never on sale.

via Tiffanys Battles Costco Over Knock Off Diamond Rings | Video – ABC News.

 weddings,  trends, gold, The Huffington Post:  I am pretty traditional … but  I really like the gold …

Beyond emerald and yellow, one of the fastest growing color trends this year in weddings is gold. For a while, gold had become passé as platinum gained in popularity and silver made a resurgence. However, gold is back, and here to stay. With sequins so popular (we’re on board!), and because this color can be paired with so many options from pink to black and white, all that glitters is GOLD for 2013.

With the help of patterns and rose gold, check out our favorite golden wedding ideas in the gallery.

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

Twitter, David Boreanaz, Playmobil, adult play, random: So if I were to create a scene using playmobil figures, what would I create?

You see my photo!!!! Playmobil Bones!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Zb55U6pA

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random:

VALUE9.com India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

The Marine Corps on Friday unveiled their future mascot. If all goes as planned, Chesty the Recruit will become Private First Class Chesty XIV later this year, replacing Sgt Chesty XIII.

Chesty XIII became one of the most storied dogs in the long history of Marine Corps mascots when he faced off last year with Bravo, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s golden retriever.

As chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, the growling confrontation earned Chesty a promotion to Sergeant and raised the bulldog’s reputation among many of the enlisted and officers at the Marine Corps barracks. But it didn’t sit too well with some of the officer’s wives.

Some of the women viewed Chesty the XIII as crotchety and ill-mannered to guests. (Check out the video here.)

The Marines rolled out the red carpet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thursday night at the Home of the Commandants at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks. Bonnie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, met the latest Chesty Thursday night.

via Marines Roll Out Red Carpet for Chesty the Recruit – Washington Wire – WSJ.

short stories, literary genres, publishing, book industry, NYTimes.com.

The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.

Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.

“It is the culmination of a trend we have seen building for five years,” said Cal Morgan, the editorial director of Harper Perennial Originals, who until last year ran a blog called Fifty-Two Stories, devoted to short fiction. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers very engaged in experimentation.”

via A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling – NYTimes.com.

12
Sep
12

9.9.2012 … Football … Oh, my … it may be a long fall …

#FMSphotoaday, Panthers: 

9. “something you do most weekends”

Well, I watch football against my will … Well, not against my will. If the Panthers are away, I am at home on the sofa; if Panthers are at home, Bank of America Stadium, row 5.

My funny friend asked if I wanted her to take a picture of me sleeping. Zzzzzzzz

#FMSphotoaday

Being Green, Viral, FaceBook:  This one hit home …

Being Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f

or future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

via Dennard Lindsey Teague.Photo: Being Green</p><br /> <p>Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. </p><br /> <p>The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." </p><br /> <p>The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f<br /><br /> or future generations." </p><br /> <p>She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled. </p><br /> <p>But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. </p><br /> <p>Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. </p><br /> <p>But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. </p><br /> <p>But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. </p><br /> <p>But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. </p><br /> <p>Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. </p><br /> <p>But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. </p><br /> <p>But we didn't have the green thing back then. </p><br /> <p>Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint. </p><br /> <p>But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? </p><br /> <p>Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person. </p><br /> <p>We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

The White House, FLOTUS, Kids’ State Dinner, Kudos:

The challenge: Come up with a healthy lunch recipe that includes all the food groups and tastes delicious. The reward: a once-in-a-lifetime trip to our nation’s capital to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. More than 1,200 creative junior chefs ages 8 to 12 submitted recipes for Epicurious’s first-ever Healthy Lunchtime Challenge contest, and on August 20, 2012, we met the 54 talented winners from across the American states and territories.

via The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner at Epicurious.com.

Bookstores:  Interesting!  Flavorwire » 10 Awesome Bookstores Repurposed from Unused Structures.

News, Public Safety:  Speed Limit Hits 85 MPH on Texas Highway – WSJ.com.

American Chef Corps:  i like this … wouldn’t it be  a great job for a recent grad.

 Clinton is enlisting top-rated chefs from across the nation to join an effort to forge cultural exchanges over the dining table worldwide.

On Friday, more than 80 chefs are being inducted into the first American Chef Corps. These food experts could help the State Department prepare meals for visiting dignitaries, travel to U.S. embassies abroad for educational programs with foreign audiences or host culinary experts from around the world in their U.S. kitchens.

via State Department Enlists 1st American Chef Corps To Serve As Culinary Diplomats.

HOPE, law, criminal law:  Stupid …

A New York judge has sentenced artist Shepard Fairey to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service for lying and destroying evidence relevant to the Associated Press’ complaint that he’d used one of its images of Barack Obama as the basis for his iconic “HOPE” poster. Fairey admitted in 2009 he’d “submitted false images and deleted others in the legal proceedings.” He pleaded guilty to criminal contempt in February.

via Shepard Fairey gets probation for actions in AP photo case | Poynter..

culture, women’s movement:  The end of men?

The result, Ms. Rosin painstakingly shows, is virtually a reversal of the psychological landscape of the 1960s and 1970s. Then, men wondered why they should give up freedom and sex for marriage, child care and the burden of financial responsibility; now it is women asking that question. Then, men complained of clinging, freeloading wives; now Ms. Rosin hears repeatedly from women that, in the words of one executive, women should “be very careful about marrying freeloading, bloodsucking parasites.” Then, it was women who tamped down their aspirations, knowing the objective unlikelihood of attaining them; now it’s the men who have “fear of success” and a “why bother?” attitude. Then, if women had casual sex it was to keep the guy happy; now many have casual sex for their own pleasure and to keep from being derailed from their career goals with something “serious.”

via Book Review: The End of Men – WSJ.com.

TS Eliot, poetry: Just liked this one …

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

via I said to my soul, be still and wait without… • literary jukebox.

Things to Ponder:

“To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?”

“Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view . . . we are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.”

via Why emotional excess is necessary to creativity, Hitchens on mortality, the science of why we cry, and more.

ObamaCare, US:  

As the country ages and more than 30 million new patients enter the health care system under the Affordable Care Act, experts predict that soon, there won’t be enough doctors for everyone who wants to see one—a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. To meet the demand, a surging class of almost-but-not-quite-doctors known as physician assistants, are stepping up to fill the M.D.’s shoes.

via The doctor won’t be seeing you now – MarketWatch.

movies, film and lit:  Any you’d like to see?

Still, there are a few literary big-hitters that have yet to make their way to film. Franzen’s “The Corrections” is a prime example – although the National Book Award-winning novel was optioned by Scott Rudin, HBO announced in May of this year that they wouldn’t turn the pilot until a full series.

via Book Movies: 7 Novels That Should Be Adapted.

Downton Abbey:

“Downton Abbey” fans, there’s a new trailer for season 3, which airs on television soon in the U.K. but doesn’t hit these shores until January.via New ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 Trailer Arrives – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Oprah, Twitter, quotes:

“All things are lessons that God would have us learn”. Such a great teaching if you look at your whole life that way.#SuperSoulSunday

12
Oct
11

10.12.2011 … 6 am flight to Charlotte … busy day … great trip …

GOP Primaries, journalism, fact checking:  OK, I really like it when the fact checkers go to work. Fact Checking the Post-Bloomberg debate – The Fact Checker – The Washington PostRepublican New Hampshire Debate Fact Check – NYTimes.com.

Fall, tradition, news, random:  How embarrassing!

Authorities in Massachusetts say a family that got lost in a seven-acre corn maze called 911 for help, apparently taking advantage of the police department’s motto that says “We Want To Be Bothered.”

The maze at Connors Farm in Danvers has pathways totaling seven-miles long and can take up to an hour to navigate.

A police officer and his dog entered the maze with a farm manager on Columbus Day to search for the disoriented father, mother and two children, including a three-weeks-old infant. The family didn’t realize they had almost made their way out and were just 25 feet from the street.

It took the search party about 10 minutes to find the family. They were helped by a police dispatcher who stayed on the phone with the caller and asked the couple to yell for help to enable those looking for them to identify their location.

“Never again!” the woman is heard telling the dispatcher on police tapes. “We thought this would be fun, instead it’s a nightmare.”

via Family lost in Mass. corn maze calls 911 for help  | accessAtlanta.

technology, digital media, textbooks, education: Tailoring textbooks …

For his marketing course at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Daniel Flint wanted his students to read a white paper on public relations, a couple of case studies, an industry report, and a chapter of a forthcoming book.

So he created a textbook with just that—more than 100 pages of material in one customized package for his students.

Mr. Flint, a professor of marketing at the university, used a new build-your-own-textbook service called AcademicPub, which arranged payment of royalties and compiled the material for publication. His students were given three options for buying the book: Download a digital edition for $14.95, get it in paperback for $27, or go for the hardcover for $45.

The companies that make traditional textbooks have been increasing their custom-publishing offerings as well. Just last year, McGraw-Hill Higher Education unveiled Create, a Web service that lets professors pick passages from thousands of the company’s textbooks, as well as law and business case studies, to make a customized edition. “We think the more all this becomes digital, the more people will want to customize,” Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, told The Chronicle at the time. “And we want to be able to do that.”

Macmillan Publishers has its own build-a-textbook service, too, called DynamicBooks, which offers instructors the chance to add their own material to the company’s titles. DynamicBooks also gives professors $1 for each student who uses a customized copy.

Traditional publishers still customize printed books, too. Melonie D. Rasmussen, a professor of mathematics at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, in Washington, recently used a copyrighted statistics textbook for which she didn’t need all the chapters. So she contacted the publisher and asked for a shorter, cheaper book. “And they’ve been willing to do that,” she said.

Ms. Rasmussen is also part of the state’s Open Course Library project, and she has been using open content for years, but so far she is part of a small minority.

The question now is whether customization could move into the mainstream, ending the one-size-fits-all model of textbook publishing.

via New Digital Tools Let Professors Tailor Their Own Textbooks – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Lucifer Effect, psychology:

This vintage stunt from a 1962 episode of Candid Camera makes for a good laugh. But it also captures something important about human psychology — something that social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, famous for his Stanford Prison Experiment, describes on a website related to his 2007 book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. He writes:

One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt’s ingenious Candid Camera programs is “Face The Rear.” An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces.

Often times, the mindless submission to group norms has entirely innocuous results. But, in other cases, it can lead to “good people engaging in evil actions.” Witness what happened within the controlled environment of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Or, worse, the devastating abuses at Abu Ghraib, which brought otherwise average people to commit atrocious acts. For more read The Lucifer Effect.

via The Power of Conformity | Open Culture.

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, frenemies:

In 1997, Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld in Boston. It was one of his first public appearances after returning to the ailing company he’d left more than a decade earlier. Halfway through his presentation, he dropped a bombshell: Apple was teaming up with Microsoft. The audience of Apple fans jeered and booed. Microsoft was Apple’s archenemy; Bill Gates was evil incarnate. There wasn’t a worse partner for Apple. Gates appeared at the event via satellite, his face looming high over Jobs like Big Brother in Apple’s iconic 1984 TV ad.

It seemed an unlikely match, but in fact Jobs and Gates went way back. They met in the early ’80s, when Gates was one of the first software developers for the Macintosh. As Gates noted while paying tribute to Jobs after his death, they would go on to spend half their professional lives in each other’s orbit. They even went on double dates together.

Gates was an early evangelist of the Mac and enthusiastically boosted the platform. Jobs was so pleased, he lent Gates a prototype machine to work on. Gates called it SAND (Steve’s Amazing New Device). Soon, though, both companies were suing each other over copyright issues. The lawsuits led to nearly a decade of acrimony, insults, and taunts.

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste,” Jobs once said. “I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.”

After Jobs died, Gates was one of the first to eulogize him. “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago and have been colleagues, competitors, and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” he said in a statement. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”

via The Best of Frenemies – The Daily Beast

children, development, depression, anxiety:  What are we doing to our kids …

An article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Play details not only how much children’s play time has declined, but how this lack of play affects emotional development, leading to the rise of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention and self control.

“Since about 1955 … children’s free play has been continually declining, at least partly because adults have exerted ever-increasing control over children’s activities,” says the author Peter Gray, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (emeritus) at Boston College. Gray defines “free play” as play a child undertakes him- or her-self and which is self-directed and an end in itself, rather than part of some organized activity.

Gray describes this kind of unstructured, freely-chosen play as a testing ground for life. It provides critical life experiences without which young children cannot develop into confident and competent adults. Gray’s article is meant to serve as a wake-up call regarding the effects of lost play, and he believes that lack of childhood free play time is a huge loss that must be addressed for the sake of our children and society.

via All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed – Esther Entin – Life – The Atlantic.

Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy,  strip search, jailhouse dignity:  Shuffling of the court …

WASHINGTON — There was so much talk of anal cavities at the Supreme Court Wednesday morning that Justice Antonin Scalia asked, “You want us to write an opinion that only applies to squatting and coughing?” The comment provoked groans in the courtroom. But the groans could have just as easily applied to oral argument itself in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, which did more to confuse than enlighten the justices about the constitutionality of a jail’s routine strip-searching of all newly admitted arrestees, regardless of the gravity of their alleged offense.

In 2005, Albert Florence and his family were driving to his mother-in-law’s house when police pulled the car over. He was arrested, handcuffed and carted off to jail — all because a New Jersey county had failed to scrub from its system a civil contempt order for failure to pay a fine that he had since paid in full.

Upon his entry to the jail, Florence was instructed to open his mouth, take off his clothes, lift and rotate his genitals, and shower in front of an officer. Six days later, he was transferred to another facility where he went through a similar search, except this time it was conducted with other detainees present and he was asked to squat and cough.

When Florence was finally released a week after his arrest, he sued the facilities and their officers, arguing that they had violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches.

At this point, Kennedy tipped his hand. “It seems to me that your rule imperils individual dignity in a way that the blanket rule does not,” he said, referring to the policies of the New Jersey county jails who strip-searched every arrestee regardless of suspicion.

“Dignity” is Kennedy’s guiding light on the Court, and he will vote for whatever side respects the individual’s dignity the most. And according to Kennedy, Goldstein’s rule, which would be applied on a detainee-by-detainee basis, might lead to strip-searches “based on the person’s race” or other arbitrary and constitutionally forbidden affronts to personal dignity.

via Supreme Court Strip Search: Justice Kennedy May Be Swing Vote On Jailhouse Dignity.

economy, peanut butter:  I can deal with peanut butter price hikes more than gasoline.

How about just a jelly sandwich? A peanut shortage means that food manufacturers are paying roughly double what they paid for peanuts last year. In the coming weeks, that price increase is expected to be passed along to consumers in the form of peanut butter that’s 25% to 40% more expensive.

The problem started last spring, when many farmers in states such as Georgia and Texas decided to plant cotton rather than peanuts—because cotton was selling at record-high prices at the time. Over the summer, according to a story published in the Kansas City Star, drought and disease hurt the peanuts that were planted, resulting in a small harvest.

While the peanut supply has dropped, demand has risen over the past few years because, as every frugal mom and bare-bones-budget college student knows, peanut butter is a much cheaper source of protein than meat.

Soon, though, peanut butter won’t be quite as good a bargain. The wholesale price of peanuts has soared from $450 a ton to $1,150 per ton, and the net result will be much more expensive jars of peanut butter lining supermarket aisles

via Prepare to Shell Out: Peanut Butter Price Hike Coming | Moneyland | TIME.com.

War on Terror, news:  Bold plot on US soil …

The alleged plot to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil would represent, if proven, a significant escalation of a long-running covert struggle between Iran and the West that has included industrial sabotage, terrorist bombings and the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists.

It also would reflect a radical shift in tactics for a country that usually prefers to leave its dirty work to proxies.

Two people have been charged with conspiracy to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. A federal criminal complaint in New York says the two conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction and have ties to Iran. (Oct. 11)

The Obama administration on Tuesday directly accused Iran and its elite Quds Force of backing the alleged attempt to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, using hit men from a Mexican drug gang. The allegation plunged U.S.-Iranian relations into crisis and sent U.S. officials scrambling in search of new punitive measures to impose against a country that has already been hit with multiple rounds of sanctions.

via Alleged plot is uncharacteristically bold – The Washington Post.

Francis Bacon,  Rembrandt, art:  Inspiration … dark inspiration.

IN 1962 Irving Penn, an American photographer, went to visit Francis Bacon at his studio in London to make a portrait of him. The photograph he took shows Bacon clasping the front of his dark shirt and gazing up and away. Hanging on the wall behind his right shoulder, bent and creased and covered in paint, is a reproduction of a sombre, unfinished painting by Rembrandt, “Self-portrait with Beret” (pictured), from about 1659.

Bacon’s debt to Rembrandt’s self-portraits is the subject of “Irrational Marks”, the first show at Ordovas, a new gallery on Savile Row in London. Pilar Ordovás, the gallery’s owner is something of an art-world wunderkind, responsible for the sale of Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” for £21m in 2008. She has also managed Gagosian in London, and handled the estate of Valerie Beeston, who worked with Francis Bacon at the Marlborough Gallery. This exhibition shows intent: to put on contemplative considered exhibitions, as well as to be an art boutique with commercial clout.

The exhibition is tiny and tightly focused. On the ground floor there are just six works by Bacon, including two triptychs, along with the Rembrandt painting he liked so much and Penn’s photograph. Downstairs in the basement are three working documents from Bacon’s studio—all reproductions of Rembrandt self-portraits—and a short excerpt from “Sunday Night Francis Bacon”, a film from 1966 in which the painter speaks to David Sylvester, an art critic.

Bacon revered “Self-portrait with Beret”. It is an exercise in shadow and texture. The rough ruddiness of Rembrandt’s ageing cheek is no more than a patch of vertical lines scratched into the paint; his coarsened and wrinkled forehead crafted from layers of thick impasto in pale yellow and mottled red. Sections are left unpainted, allowing the ground colour to contrast with the brown pigments in a play of light and dark. But it was the eyes that fascinated Bacon. In the interview with Sylvester he says “If you analyse it, you will see that there are hardly any sockets to the eyes, that it is almost completely anti-illustrational.”

via Bacon and Rembrandt: Dark moments of self-appraisal | The Economist.

tragedy, news:   Man who served 10 presidents dies in his own squalor … tragedy.

The District’s Office of the Inspector General is looking into whether city agencies could have done more to prevent the death of Theodoric C. James Jr., the longtime White House employee whose friends and family had for months tried to get him help.

James, who had served under every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, had been showing signs of instability for about two years before he was found dead Aug. 1 inside his home during a brutal heat wave. He had stopped bathing. He wore the same tattered and fetid clothing. He went to the bathroom in buckets on the front porch of his Northwest Washington home.

Concerned that James, 71, was a threat to himself, his family and neighbors called every city agency they could think of, including Adult Protective Services, the Department of Mental Health, council members and the mayor’s office.

But James repeatedly turned the city’s social workers away, saying he did not want help.

via Squalid death of man who served 10 presidents being examined by District’s IG – The Washington Post.

Oprah Winfrey, Lifeclass:  Anybody watched a Lifeclass?

Oprah’s Lifeclass Tonight at 8/7c on OWN

In tonight’s lesson, Oprah talks to Cybil Shepherd and more women about aging and beauty. It’s time to apply their learning to your own life. And, tune in Friday for a live webcast at 9/8c.

via Oprah Winfrey’s Official Website – Live Your Best Life – Oprah.com.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

You can use iCloud to synchronize your data, including music and photos, across your Apple devices.

The ability to edit photos right on the phone. This includes red-eye removal, cropping and auto enhancement of whole pictures.

iMessage, a new, free text-messaging service exclusive to users of iOS 5. It detects whether you are using the new system and routes a text message over the Internet instead of using the standard cellphone text services. It allows group messaging and notifies users when messages are read and/or delivered.

Built-in Twitter support. Without adding a Twitter app, you can tweet directly from within functions like photos, maps, the browser and YouTube.

Notifications of alerts, messages and dates can be gathered together in a drop-down panel, or can appear briefly at the top of the screen instead of displaying one at a time in a box that blocks your screen.

There’s quick access to the camera, by simply double-clicking the home button, even if the phone is asleep. And you can use the volume up button as a shutter button.

On the iPad, the browser has tabs, and you can split and move the onscreen keyboard to make thumb typing easier.

You can create customized typing shortcuts, such as “tks” for “thanks.”

In Mail, you can now format words so they appear in bold, italics or underlined.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

via New Apple Software Adds Features to Older Phones – Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret – Mossblog – AllThingsD.

interior design,  blogs, lists:  Some new blogs to check out … need some help in the intereior design area.

Our Editor-in-chief, Cynthia Bogart, has been asked to moderate a panel speaking at the D & D Building  (The Decorating & Design Building ) in New York City tomorrow at 1 pm at the  Koroseal Showroom.

The panel consists of four very good interior designers who also happen to blog.  Why is that great?  These pro’s  – all of them, are BLOGGING.  Blogging means they are sharing their personal likes, dislikes and information you would otherwise only learn if you were talking to them in person.    These particular four are generating original interesting information.  They were chosen very carefully for this panel because they are considered trendsetters.  In other words, they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening.

via Four Great Interior Design Blogs That Will Inspire You!.

travel, fall, empty nesters, lists:  Can’t wait or fall trips when we are empty nesters!

Cooler temperatures, striking colors, smaller crowds—autumn is the perfect time to travel, and here are ten of the best fall trips, picked by National Geographic Traveler editors. Where do you want to go this fall? Share your travel plans—real or ideal—below

via Best Fall Trips 2011 — National Geographic.

18
Sep
11

9.18.2011 … Worship at FPC was great … I love it when the sermon stretches me …

on this day, The Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta, kith/kin: My great grandfather, JJ Denard, attended the Exposition, and my sister has a copy of his pass which had his picture on it.  Send it to me MS 🙂

 September 18, 1895

The Cotton States and International Exposition opened in Atlanta.

via Atlanta History Center, September 18, 1895.

The 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
U.S. President Cleveland

The most ambitious of the city’s cotton expositions was staged in 1895. Its goals were to foster trade between southern states and South American nations as well as to show the products and facilities of the region to the rest of the nation and to Europe. These objectives found expression in the official name of the event—the Cotton States and International Exposition. There were exhibits by six states and special buildings featuring the accomplishments of women and blacks. Also showcased was the latest technology in transportation, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and other fields. Amusements such as the “Phoenix Wheel” and an early version of the motion picture were set up as part of a midway to attract visitors.

On opening day, September 18, military bands played, followed by speeches from political, business, and other leaders, including the prominent African American educator Booker T. Washington. In a speech that came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech and that was greeted enthusiastically by white advocates of the New South, Washington did not challenge

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition

the prevailing ideas of segregation held by advocates of the New South; putting aside all claims to political power and social equality, he urged blacks to make progress as agricultural and industrial laborers. In spite of lavish promotion, fewer than 800,000 attended the three-month exposition, which was plagued by constant financial problems. The Cotton States Exposition did showcase Atlanta as a regional business center and helped to attract investment. Although most of the 1895 exposition’s buildings were torn down so that the materials could be sold for scrap, the city eventually purchased the grounds, which became the present-day Piedmont Park.

via New Georgia Encyclopedia: Cotton Expositions in Atlanta.

animals, lifelong love:  Just watch it …

Elephants Reunited After 20 Years

via Elephants Reunited After 20 Years.

USPS, stamps: Earthscapes are beautiful.  Am I the only one that loves commemorative stamps?

The U.S. Postal Service plans to release a set of 15 “forever” stamps in October 2012 that will celebrate the American landscape. The set, called Earthscapes, features aerial photographs of a variety of scenes.

via USPS stamps: Earthscapes – The Washington Post.

DC earthquake , natural disasters, National Cathedral, earthquake damage, DC:  Why so much damage? “It is made of stone, and it is very, very tall.”

When a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Washington area last month, what seemed like one of the city’s strongest buildings turned out to have some of the worst damage: the National Cathedral.

Several slender carved pinnacles on top of the cathedral, which are 45 feet tall, were cracked or damaged. “It’s hard to see, but a lot of them just rotated,” said Joe Alonso, who manages the cathedral’s stonework.

One four-ton section of a pinnacle fell onto the roof of the cathedral’s 301-foot-tall central tower, as did several finials, which are pieces at the very top of a pinnacle. All the pinnacles on the main tower will have to be removed and fixed, Alonso said.

Why the cathedral?

Throughout the city, the damage caused by the earthquake was fairly mild. But the cathedral is different from your house in two important ways: It is made of stone, and it is very, very tall. Both of those factors exaggerated the impact of the shaking earth. The Washington Monument, another tall stone structure, was also damaged by the quake.

“The cathedral is a big, heavy building, and it’s stiff — it’s not made to be flexible,” said Bill Leith, a seismologist (earthquake scientist) with the U.S. Geological Survey. “Modern skyscrapers and steel buildings are made to be flexible . . . and not be damaged” by most quakes. Work on the cathedral began in 1907 and was completed in 1990.

via Earthquake damage at the National Cathedral will take years to repair – The Washington Post.

pop ups, NYC:

The Blue Bottle setup is temporary — there’s a pipsqueak GS3 for espresso drinks, a drip bar for brewed coffee – but it’s a preview of things to come. Blue Bottle signed a lease for the room and will open a coffee shop later this year to be designed by Hiromi Tsuruta and Swee Phuah, the team behind Design & Construction Resources. Tsuruta and Phuah are known for elegant minimalism executed with slender budgets: the two are behind Blue Bottle’s coffee shop and roaster in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where cheap floorboards are used to great effect as wall paneling, and the Blue Bottle kiosk on the High Line, which is down the block and up a flight a stairs from Milk Studios. The plans for the loading dock call for a stripped-down room, a serene space on a street heavily trafficked with forklifts and Town Cars.

via Ristretto | Some Coffee in Your Milk – NYTimes.com.

2012 Presidential Election, politics, libertarianism, health care:  Was any one else shocked during this part of the debate?

In 2008, his campaign manager, a healthy-but-uninsured 49-year-old, died from pneumonia and left his family with $400,000 in medical debt.

I want to be delicate in how I write this post. Kent Snyder was a friend of Paul’s, and a remarkable organizer on behalf of the causes he believed in. His early death was tragic. But I want to make a policy observation that applies to millions of cases just like Snyder’s.

Health-care services are somewhat unique in that they’re a rare form of consumption that you often get and get charged for, even if you haven’t asked for them. If you collapse on a street, an ambulance will rush you to a hospital. If you get into a car accident, you’ll wake up in intensive care. If you start suffering from dementia, your family will ask the doctors to help you.

Perhaps you would have preferred that it was otherwise. Perhaps you believe so deeply in personal responsibility that you would sacrifice your life to demonstrate that individuals must suffer for their bad decisions. But it may not be up to you, and whether you get billed or your family gets billed or society gets billed, someone will pay the bill.

It’s all well and good to say personal responsibility is the bedrock of liberty, but even the hardest of libertarians has always understood that there are places where your person ends and mine begins. Generally, we think of this in terms of violent intrusion or property transgressions. But in health care, it has to do with compassion.

We are a decent society, and we do not want to look in people’s pockets for an insurance card when they fall to the floor with chest pains. If we’re not going to look in their pockets, however, we need some answer for who pays when they wake up — or, God forbid, after they stop breathing — in the hospital. And though it sounds nice to say that charities will pick up the slack, any hospital system in America will tell you that even with Medicare and Medicaid assuming much of the burden for the most intractable and expensive cases, charities are not capable of or interested in fully compensating the medical system for the services needed by the un- or underinsured.

via Why libertarianism fails in health care – The Washington Post.

 Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, 9/11, follow-up:  Wow, this gives the story another perspective.

When we chronicled the little-told Sept. 11 history of Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, one of the first fighter pilots in the air over Washington that morning, we knew that she and Col. Marc Sasseville had been ordered airborne out of fear that a hijacked plane was heading to the capital. We knew that in the scramble, they had to launch without live ammunition or missiles. We knew they were prepared to ram that 757, at the likely cost of their own lives as well as those of everyone on board.

The Washington Post’s Anqoinette Crosby talks with reporter Steve Hendrix about one of the first fighter pilots to scramble after the attacks of Sept. 11. With no ordinance on board her jet, she was faced with the possibility of ramming her plane into one of the hijacked passenger jets.

With solemn gestures, Americans across the country mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon in Virginia, the World Trade Center in New York and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pa..

What we didn’t know until Penney’s mother e-mailed us, with a request to mail a copy of the story to her in Colorado, was this additional Penney-family fact about that day: “We were thankful that Heather was able to put her emotions aside and not even consider that her father might have been flying on United 93,” Stephanie Penney said as an aside in her e-mail.

How’s that?

“Yes, John [Penney] was a captain for United Airlines at that time,” she elaborated later by phone. “He flew 757s and had been flying trips into and out of the East Coast the month before. Heather would not have known for sure that her dad wasn’t the captain on United 93.”

No, Heather Penney hadn’t mentioned that the extraordinary “kamikaze mission” she was ready to execute that day might well have been directed at a plane that carried the man who had once tucked her in, driven her to school and taught her to love fast airplanes.

via F-16 pilot was ready to down plane her father piloted on 9/11 – The Washington Post.

zombie genre, movies, Shaun of the Dead:  Anyone heard of this one? Maybe I will get it from Netflix before I give up the DVD service.

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British romantic zombie comedy directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and written by Pegg and Wright. Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get some kind of focus in his life as he deals with his girlfriend, his mother and stepfather. At the same time, he has to cope with an apocalyptic uprising of zombies.

The film is the first of what Pegg and Wright call their Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy with Hot Fuzz (2007) as the second and The World’s End (TBA) as the third.[1

via Shaun of the Dead – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

James Carville, advice, President Obama:  I don’t like Carville, but I do like his candor.

This is what I would say to President Barack Obama: The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed.

via What should the White House do? Panic! – CNN.com.

NASA, Deep Space Exploration System:  The dream continues.

NASA is ready to move forward with the development of the Space Launch System — an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. The Space Launch System will give the nation a safe, affordable and sustainable means of reaching beyond our current limits and opening up new discoveries from the unique vantage point of space.

via NASA – NASA Announces Design for New Deep Space Exploration System.

apps, photography, Smilebox:

Description

Snap photos and instantly make them memorable by personalizing them with stickers, swipes, captions and frames. Then share with family and friends – and enjoy their reactions!

via App Store – Smilebox.

books, bookstores, changes:

Few people will mourn publishers’ losses from increased price competition and new technology like e-readers. The question is whether these trends undermine the quality of books which are being published, by breaking a business model that has let firms focus on variety and range. Publishers have good reason to shiver at the decline of traditional bookshops. To fund the discovery and promotion of new authors, they have relied on books that sell steadily over a number of years. Yet mass retailers stock a few hundred new blockbusters.

At first sight there is no reason for concern. New works are abundant—40% more titles came out in Britain in 2010 than in 2001. But this obscures a starker trend: “mid-list” titles are selling in smaller numbers in America and Britain. This matters for cultural life, because most literary fiction and serious non-fiction falls into that bracket and much of it could become uneconomical to publish.

via Bookselling: Spine chilling | The Economist.

Go Red For Women ™:  Go Red For Women ™ presents: ‘Just a Little Heart Attack’ – YouTube.

time banks, communities, NYC:  

The two families met because of a bank — a time bank, where the unit of currency is not a dollar, but an hour.  When you join a time bank, you indicate what services you might be able to offer others: financial planning, computer de-bugging, handyman repairs, housecleaning, child care, clothing alterations, cooking, taking someone to a doctor’s appointment on the bus, visiting the homebound or English conversation. People teach Mandarin and yoga and sushi-making. Castillo-Vélez earns a credit for each hour she spends tutoring José.  She spends the credits on art classes.

A time bank is a way to make a small town out of a big city.

Time banks — more than 300 of them — exist in 23 countries.  The largest one in New York City is the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Community Connections TimeBank.

It has more than 2,000 members and is most active in three places — Upper Manhattan (Washington Heights and Inwood), Lower Manhattan (Battery Park City, Chinatown and the Lower East Side) and parts of Brooklyn (Sunset Park and Bay Ridge).    Members come from all over New York City, but exchanges are easiest when people live in the same neighborhood — like Castillo-Vélez and José.

There is something old fashioned about a time bank.  Home repair, child care, visiting shut-ins and taking someone to the doctor are now often commercial transactions; a time bank is a return to an era where neighbors did these tasks for each other.  But a time bank is also something radical.  It throws out the logic of the market — in a time bank, all work has equal value.  A 90-year-old can contribute on an equal basis with a 30 year old.  Accompanying someone to the doctor is as valuable as Web design.

The idea comes from Edgar Cahn, a legendary anti-poverty activist.  (Cahn and his late wife, Jean Camper Cahn, established the Antioch School of Law to train advocates for the poor, and were instrumental in founding the federal Legal Services Corporation.)  In his book “No More Useless People,” Cahn writes that time banks were a response to cuts in social programs during the Reagan years.   Cahn wrote: “If we can’t have more of that kind of money, why can’t we create a new kind of money to put people and problems together?”

Time banks also owe much of their development to Ana Miyares, who in the 1980s gave up a lucrative position in international banking to join the time bank movement in its infancy. She has founded time banks in various countries, and today is the manager of the Visiting Nurse Service’s time bank. Miyares sees time banking a little differently than Cahn does.  “I would like to see social justice — but in a different way, using social capital, energizing social capital to be responsible citizens,” she said.

via Where All Work Is Created Equal – NYTimes.com.

Coca-Cola, advertising icons, twitter: 🙂

Doc Pemberton (@docpemberton)
9/15/11 8:00 PM
My polar bear roommate has been pacing for days. He was nominated for The Advertising Walk of Fame & needs your votes!http://t.co/ixYDz81q

Pick Your Favorite Advertising Icon.

news, heroes, motor cycling accident:  Watch the video … there are still heroes!

CBS News correspondent John Blackstone spoke with Wright’s girlfriend, Michelle Fredrickson. She said there is no doubt he’ll ride again.

“We couldn’t stop him if we wanted to,” she said Thursday. If the accident didn’t put him off motorcycles, “nothing will.”

Wright said he was aware of the entire accident, from when he started to slide under the BMW to the moment people pulled him to safety. He vividly recalled the color of the shirt worn by a rescuer, who was talking to him during “the scariest moment, when I didn’t know if I would live or be paralyzed.”

Wright, who hasn’t yet spoken to any of his rescuers, said they need to get used to being called heroes.

“That car could have blown up at any time,” Wright said. “They’re very brave.”

Wright has multiple fractures in his right leg and pelvis, burns on his feet and a “pretty gnarly road rash.” But he didn’t suffer any head injuries, and doctors said he will likely make a full recovery within a few months.

via Biker pulled from fiery wreck thanks “heroes” – CBS News.

recipes, Egg Rolls:  These are good – Best Egg Rolls Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

USPS, history:  🙂

The troubled Postal Service — facing losses that may top $10 million by the end of the month — proposed new cost cutting measures Thursday, including the closing or consolidation of more than 250 processing facilities and the slashing of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Letters of Note, a Web site that gathers interesting letters throughout history, gave some insight today on how far the USPS has come from its good old days. (Read: late 19th and early 20th century.)

For one, post offices were open seven days a week until 1912. Religious leaders put the kibosh on the Sunday post when post offices became busier than churches.

Even better, there was this: At least two children were sent by parcel post service after it was introduced in 1913. The children rode with railway and city carriers, with stamps attached to their clothing, to their destination.

When the Postmaster General found out about the young cargo, he was furious, and on June 13, 1920, the U.S. Postal Service ruled that children may not be sent via parcel post.

via Postal Service proposes cost cutting measures, a far cry from its healthy early days – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

app,  education and outreach app, UN: 

The United Nations is launching its first education and outreach app for the iPhone on Thursday in an effort to streamline its mobile presence and encourage users to take action on key global issues.

Aaron Sherinian, a UN Foundation spokesman, said that point of the app, called UN Foundation, is to help users “learn, act and share.”

The app pulls in information from the UN’s many social media feeds and campaigns and combines that with social media aspects and action items — such as ways to donate money to your pet causes — all in one place.

Users can organize feeds by region (e.g., Latin America or Africa) or by issue for a more tailored experience, and easily share news they see with their friends. The app will also incorporate elements of gaming, with a daily photo scramble called “Pieces of Peace” that will feature a photo related to a UN Foundation issue.

via United Nations to launch app for education, action – Faster Forward – The Washington Post.

12
Sep
11

9.12.2011 … to unwind from 9/11, i watched Elizabethtown on Netflix … never seen it … definitely liked it …

9/11 Anniversary, Post 9/11:  Relieved that the anniversary of 9/11 is passed … and we can go on with the new normal.

Elizabethtown, movies: I really enjoyed Elizabethtown … good music … nice way to relax after 9/11 anniversary.

In its trimmed version, “Elizabethtown” is nowhere near one of Crowe’s great films (like “Almost Famous”), but it is sweet and good-hearted and has some real laughs, and we can just about accept Claire’s obsessive romantic behavior because if someone is going to insist that you have to fall in love, there are many possibilities more alarming than Claire.

via Elizabethtown :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

BofA, old news, enough said:  From last week … 30,000, 35,000, 40,000 … but the number keeps changing.  Can you imagine working for BofA?  Oh, I can since John does … this is wearing on the moral.  Enough said.

The Journal said BofA executives met Thursday at Charlotte, North Carolina, where the bank is headquartered, and will gather again Friday to make final decisions on the reductions, putting the finishing touches on five months of work.

Investors are pressing BofA to improve its performance after it lost money in four of the last six quarters and its stock has fallen by half this year.

The Journal said the proposed job cuts may exceed BofA’s last big cutback in 2008 when it called for 30,000 to 35,000 job cuts over three years. That move was triggered by an economic slowdown and the planned takeover of securities firm Merrill Lynch & Co.

Earlier this month, the Charlotte Observer reported that BofA executives were discussing plans to potentially shed 25,000 to 30,000 jobs over the next several years.

BofA had earlier planned to cut 3,500 jobs, its Chief Executive Brian Moynihan had said in a memo to staff on August 18, as it tries to come to grips with $1 trillion of problem home mortgages.

BofA announced a far-reaching reorganization of its senior management team on Tuesday, which included the departure of consumer bank chief Joe Price and wealth management head Sallie Krawcheck.

Banks are shedding jobs worldwide as stricter regulations and a tough second quarter for trading income take their toll on investment banking units in particular.

More than 70,000 staff cuts have been announced this year or are reported to be in the works at U.S. and European banks, some of them to be lost over three or four year programs.

via BofA discussing about 40,000 job cuts: report | Reuters.

Supreme Court, politics, Separation of Powers Clause,The Constitution,: Again, politics is mucking with the notion of separation of powers … Not saying  scrutiny  is not in order ….  “The Democrats singled out three conservative justices -– Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito –- for “alarming reports” of their appearances at politically themed events.”

Article III, Section. 1:

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

via Separation of Powers Under the United States Constitution.

In a letter that is being sent Friday to House Judiciary Committee leaders, 43 Democrats called for a hearing on a bill that would require Supreme Court justices to follow the ethics requirements of the Judicial Conference Code of Conduct in withdrawing from cases where they may have a financial or political conflict. The justices now use the code for “guidance” but are not required to follow it.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, would also require the justices to disclose publicly their reasons for any withdrawal from a case and would set up a process to review possible conflicts if a justice refuses to step aside.

The notion of imposing higher ethics standards on the Supreme Court appears to be gaining momentum among House Democrats and outside legal scholars, but its prospects in the Republican-controlled House are still uncertain.

The bill “would go a long way towards restoring the public’s confidence in the Supreme Court” after several recent controversies, the Democratic lawmakers said in the letter. An advance copy was provided to the New York Times.

The Democrats singled out three conservative justices -– Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito –- for “alarming reports” of their appearances at politically themed events.

Justice Thomas has received the most recent scrutiny not only for his appearances before Republican-backed groups, but also for his acceptance of favors from a prominent conservative contributor in Texas, Harlan Crow, and his wife’s work as an advocate for conservative legal causes.

Conservatives, in turn, have sought to spotlight politically tinged appearances and trips by members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. The Democrats’ letter does not mention any of the liberal justices, however.

via Democrats Seek to Impose Tougher Supreme Court Ethics – NYTimes.com.

President Obama, Presidential Speeches, old news, Great Recession, Unemployment, Jobs Act:  “Such an approach—setting himself up as the grown-up in town—didn’t work for Mr. Obama during the debt-ceiling debate over the summer.”  Also interesting, historically such Presidential Speeches had virtually no effect on the economy.

Throughout his speech, Mr. Obama made repeated references to Republican plans and ideas, and even used a phrase similar to that employed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia when he talked about American’s getting their “fair shake.”

Highlights of the President’s Economic Plan

Payroll tax cut from 6.2% to 3.1% for workers in 2012, up from a 2% reduction this year.

Cost: $175 billion.

Payroll tax cut from 6.2% to 3.1% for employers and eliminated for qualifying new hires in 2012, plus 100% expensing for new investments.

Cost: $70 billion.

Infrastructure investments, including modernizing schools and rehabbing vacant homes, and funding for states to rehire teachers and first responders.

Cost: $140 billion.

Extending unemployment insurance and new programs for jobless.

Cost: $62 billion.

TOTAL: $447 BILLION

At the same time, in a tone that was alternatively demanding and exasperated, he offered a robust defense of the Democratic vision of government and sharply criticized Republicans for their position on taxes and limited government. “Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers,” Mr. Obama said. “But we can help.”

As such, the speech was the latest in a series of efforts by the White House to present the president as above the Washington fray, a strategy designed to appeal to independents the president needs to win reelection but who have been deserting his cause of late.

Such an approach—setting himself up as the grown-up in town—didn’t work for Mr. Obama during the debt-ceiling debate over the summer. While Congress’ approval rating took a greater beating, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Mr. Obama also took a hit. The Journal/NBC poll showed a sharp drop in voters’ confidence that Mr. Obama can achieve his goals.

via Obama Asks Congress for $447 Billion In Cuts, Spending; Tepid GOP Response – WSJ.com.

There have been only seven speeches about economic and business issues before a joint session of Congress since the end of The Great Depression. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed these speeches and found that they had virtually no effect on the economy, despite the detailed proposals.

Of the seven addresses, two were about labor trouble, and both by Harry Truman: One about the railroad strike in 1946, and the other about the steel strike in 1952. Neither speech was effective. The strikes were settled by labor and management irrespective of the speeches. As a matter of fact, the railroad strike ended the day of the president’s speech.

The balance of the speeches addressed different crises such as soaring energy costs, inflation, and recession. Each of these speeches offered specific road maps for economic improvement. While each president gave a broad description of the trouble, most offered a specific set of solutions. Rarely were any of the plans adopted, either because of political opposition or because the problems resolved themselves. In many cases, the economy got worse after the presidential address. It is impossible to trace any recovery to the presidential proposals in almost every case. Those that were enacted into law were so substantially changed by Congress that they barely resembled the presidents’ suggestions.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed all of the presidential addresses to joint sessions of Congress from The Great Depression through the present to identify all those that dealt primarily with the economy.

via How The Seven Biggest Presidential Speeches On The Economy Failed: 24/7 Wall St..

President Obama, foreign policy: “Fact is, President Obama could lead a Navy SEAL team to neutralize al-Qaeda’s Ayman al- Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki, broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, engineer a South Korean buyout of North Korea, take out Iran’s nuclear operation, and resolve Pakistan-India tension — and get little credit in the polls. … That’s because those things don’t create a single job.”

Indeed, barring some truly major overseas event, foreign policy matters may play less of a role in this election than in any in recent memory. The three televised debates have traditionally set aside one focusing on foreign policy matters, but you’d have to wonder whether they will bother this time around — unless it’s a session on foreign trade policy or maybe how isolationist the country should be.

Fact is, President Obama could lead a Navy SEAL team to neutralize al-Qaeda’s Ayman al- Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki, broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, engineer a South Korean buyout of North Korea, take out Iran’s nuclear operation, and resolve Pakistan-India tension — and get little credit in the polls.

That’s because those things don’t create a single job.

Bolton naturally blames Obama for the lack of focus on foreign policy.

“He never raises the issue unless he’s forced to” Bolton said, or when there are big operations such as the demise of Osama bin Laden.

via Does anyone care about foreign policy? – The Washington Post.

Michael S. Hart, RIP, Project Gutenberg, kudos:  Project Gutenberg … what a great idea. Kudos, Mr. Hart and rest in peace.

Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, died in his home on September 6th. He was 64 years old.

Hart, an early pioneer in digital publishing, was involved with eBooks since the early days of computers. He founded Project Gutenberg, one of the largest and longest running online literary projects, and he is also credited with having made the first eBook when he typed the U.S. Declaration of Independence into a computer back in 1971.

via Project Gutenberg Founder Michael S. Hart Has Died – GalleyCat.

bike polo,high school clubs, Myers Park HS, FPC, Charlotte:  Fun! I know a lot of these families … many at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte.

The team is mostly sophomores and juniors with a few freshmen and seniors, both male and female.

They’re a smorgasbord of rowers, soccer players, pole-vaulters and Odyssey of the Mind members.

“It’s a big melting pot,” said founder Harrison Raby’s sister, sophomore Elizabeth, 15. “There’s no judgment ever. Everybody is always accepted. …It’s a brotherhood and a sisterhood.”

Though they’ve come a long way from broken croquet mallets and a soccer ball, the bike polo club still doesn’t get too caught up in the rules. It’s akin to pickup football with less aggression and more laughs.

As any high school club founders know, not all of the 250 students who signed up show up. But as long as a dozen come on Sundays, that’s all they need.

At this year’s “Stampede,” where all the Myers Park clubs set up tables and vie for members, they’re counting on a lot of bike polo hype and some freshmen blood to keep the club alive.

Another goal for this year is to incorporate a service aspect. They’d like to get involved with Burrito Bikers, a small group of people who ride around uptown Charlotte on Sunday mornings, passing out 50 to 70 steaming breakfast burritos and drinks to Charlotte’s homeless.

Working with their friends at South Mecklenburg High, the Myers Park students are also trying to jump-start a South Mecklenburg bike polo team for a little competition.

Says Conway: “It’s a fun time.”

via Polo on bicycles? Yep, new club draws 250.

city v. country, health: Very interesting statistic.

Cities once infamous for pollution, crime, crowding and infectious diseases have cleaned up their act.

“They may have a better educational system,” says Patrick Remington, project director of County Health Rankings, a report published by the University of Wisconsin that ranks more than 3,000 counties nationwide against others in their states.

“They may have more job opportunities,” Remington continued. “All these things come together to make urban areas (and), in particular, suburban communities, healthier than their rural counterparts.”

The report found that 48 percent of the healthiest counties were urban or suburban, while 84 percent of the unhealthiest counties were rural.

via City counties ranked healthier than rural! – CBS News.

Wicked Start, web-based services, start-ups, new business:  I love the innovative ideas.

In my last post, I described a Web-based service called Wicked Start that can bring a measure of automation to the process of getting a new business off the ground. Wicked Start lays out a sort of template for each of 10 major steps in starting a company, suggesting ways to proceed, pointing out what might be overlooked, and offering various resources and advice. I also briefly mentioned a Wicked Start user: Hari Kaur, a yoga instructor who four months ago opened her own jazz-yoga studio in Manhattan, called Hari NYC. Ms. Kaur tried the Web site at the suggestion of one of her yoga students, who just happens to be the founder of Wicked Start, Bryan Janeczko.

I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at how Wicked Start proved useful to Ms. Kaur, so for this follow-up post I asked her to walk me through some of the steps that the site took her through. Wicked Start’s 10-step program is laid out on a single Web page called “the Road Map.” At the top of the road map is a progress-tracking bar that tells you at a glance how close you’ve come to completing the entire process. Ms. Kaur’s tracker indicates that she’s 60 percent complete. She noted that she had jumped around among the 10 modules in the road map that represent the 10 start-up steps — Wicked Start doesn’t pressure you to do things in order, or to do all the steps, or to do any of the steps in a particular way. But let’s take them in order, anyway.

via Step by Step With an Automated Start-Up – NYTimes.com.

news, random, gumby, criminal acts:  Gumby robber? “San Diego’s KGTV News reported that the clerk told his boss he didn’t know who Gumby was and described the character in the store as a ‘green SpongeBob SquarePants.'”

A person dressed as Gumby walked into a Southern California convenience store, claiming to have a gun and demanding money, but costume trouble and a skeptical clerk thwarted the would-be robber.

In this surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Dept. shows a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropping 27 cents and leaving. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday Sept.5, 2011 at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. (AP Photo/San Diego Police Department)

In this surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Department showing a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropping 27 cents and leaving. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday Sept. .5, 2011 at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. (AP/Photo/Siego Police Department)

Surveillance video shows someone — police think it was a man — in a bulky, green costume and another man entering 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos early Monday.

Gumby demanded money, but the store clerk thought it was a joke and ignored the life-size Claymation character, telling him he was cleaning up and didn’t have time to waste, said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen.

“You don’t think this is a robbery? I have a gun,” the costumed man said, fumbling inside his costume as if trying to retrieve a weapon, Hassen said.

But the green-gloves seemed to get in the way, and rather than pull a gun, he dropped 26 cents on the floor, Hassen said.

The video shows the second man, who came in with the Gumby suspect, but was not dressed as Pokey, walk out of the store.

The costumed character “can’t pick up the money and he can’t get the gun,” Hassen said. So when the other man pulls up in front of the store and honks, the would-be robber runs to the white or silver minivan and takes off, Hassen said.

San Diego’s KGTV News reported that the clerk told his boss he didn’t know who Gumby was and described the character in the store as a “green SpongeBob SquarePants.”

via Gumby calls it a robbery, clerk thinks it’s a joke  | accessAtlanta.

languages, resarch,random:  “Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.”

It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds like it’s being spoken at 200 miles per hour — a storm of alien syllables almost impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.

But how could that be? The dialogue in movies translated from English to Spanish doesn’t whiz by in half the original time, after all, which is what it would have to do if the same lines were being spoken at doubletime. Similarly, Spanish films don’t take four hours to unspool when they’re translated into French. Somewhere among all the languages must be a great equalizer that keeps us conveying information at the same rate even if the speed limits vary from tongue to tongue.

To investigate this puzzle, researchers from the Universite de Lyon recruited 59 male and female volunteers who were native speakers of one of seven common languages — English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish — and one not so common one: Vietnamese. They instructed them all to read 20 different texts, including the one about the housecat and the locked door, into a recorder. All of the volunteers read all 20 passages in their native languages. Any silences that lasted longer than 150 milliseconds were edited out, but the recordings were left otherwise untouched.

The investigators next counted all of the syllables in each of the recordings, and further analyzed how much meaning was packed into each of those syllables. A single syllable word like “bliss,” for example, is rich with meaning — signifying not ordinary happiness but a particularly serene and rapturous kind. The single syllable word “to” is less information-dense. And a single syllabile like the short i sound, as in the word “jubilee,” has no independent meaning at all.

With this raw data in hand, the investigators crunched the numbers together to arrive at two critical values for each language: The average information density for each of its syllables and the average number of syllables spoken per second in ordinary speech. Vietnamese was used as a reference language for the other seven, with its syllables (which are considered by linguists to be very information dense) given an arbitrary value of 1.

For all of the other languages, the researchers discovered, the more data-dense the average syllable is, the fewer of those syllables had to be spoken per second — and the slower the speech thus was. English, with a high information density of .91, is spoken at an average rate of 6.19 syllables per second. Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, was the spoken slowpoke at 5.18 syllables per second. Spanish, with a low-density .63, rips along at a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82. The true speed demon of the group, however, was Japanese, which edges past Spanish at 7.84, thanks to its low density of .49. Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.

via Why Some Languages Sound So Fast – TIME.

education, Flipped Classroom, Knewton, graphics, kith/kin:  I can name several students who would have greatly benefitted by this teaching method!

FLIPPIN’ CLEVER: Lots of people ask how to be a “thought-leader” in a noisy marketplace. Here’s a clever approach: Knewton sponsored a smart infographic about what the “flipped” classroom means. Neat way to galvanize the discussion–and keep Knewton’s name front and center.

via EdSurge: Word Jousts, Groupons For Higher Ed, And The Flipped Classroom | Fast Company.

photography, LIFE, kisses, random:  What’s your favorite?

via The Kisses We Remember – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

The Conspirator, movies, follow-up:  Joni always finds great stuff … Search Lincoln Assassination Papers at Fold3.

innovation, Speakeasy Dollhouse, plays, random:  I can’t quite figure this one out …

Inspired by Lee’s miniature crime scene sets, I have decided to create the scenes from my family mystery using my own handmade sets and dolls. Utilizing evidence from autopsy reports, police records, court documents, and interviews, I have built a dollhouse-sized speakeasy, a hospital room, a child’s bedroom, and a pre-war apartment. I also have begun the process of creating lifelike dolls with moveable limbs to live in these sets. I have been photographing the sets and dolls in order to create a book (with the help of my designer, Brian Azer.) The first half of my story is completely written and needs to be photographed and printed into part one of the two-part series.

via Speakeasy Dollhouse by Cynthia von Buhler — Kickstarter.

gLee, tv:  September 20! In case you care … GLEE – Season 3 Preview – YouTube., GLEE – “Dodgeball” Season 3 Promo (Extended) – YouTubeGlee Exclusive: Meet Emmas Parents – Todays News: Our Take | TVGuide.com.

Space Oddity, children/YA lit, picture books, viral books:

An illustrated version of the 1969 David Bowie song Space Oddity, featuring Major Tom “sitting in a tin can far above the world”, has become a surprise viral sensation.

Canadian illustrator Andrew Kolb conceived of the book as a free PDF to showcase his talents to publishers, featuring colourful, retro illustrations of the astronaut as he rockets away from earth and floats “in a most peculiar way” through space. The ending – “Ground Control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong” – means it is “maybe not necessarily the warmest, cuddliest children’s book,” Kolb has admitted, but he posted it for free on his website in August, rapidly receiving more than 90,000 views, along with demands from fans asking to buy physical copies.

Its popularity follows another recent children’s book internet sensation, the tongue-in-cheek bedtime story Go the Fuck to Sleep, which hit the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller charts months before publication after a pirated PDF took off online.

Unfortunately for Kolb, as well as requests to buy the book, he also received an email from the music group holding the rights to Space Oddity, and has now been forced to take down the PDF and to remove references to the Bowie song from his pictures. Although the Bowie version of the book can still be viewed elsewhere online, on Kolb’s own website it is described merely as a “picture book set in space”, with the proviso that “this is merely a concept and no physical form of this book will be made until all involved approve of the collaboration”.

via Space Oddity picture book is viral hit | Books | guardian.co.uk.

apps, photography, Photo Academy, storytelling, Storify: here are a few I have found that interest me:

 App Store – Photo Academy.

Storify is looking for people who are passionate about the future of storytelling and who believe great stories can change the world. We strongly believe in design thinking and building products focusing on real user needs.

via Create stories using social media – storify.com.

Earlier this summer we launched a few tools to make it easier for developers to create new apps for WordPress.com. Starting today, you can integrate your WordPress.com blog with Feedfabrik and Empire Avenue.

Turn Your Blog Into a Book

Have you ever wanted to publish your own book, or a collection of your favorite blog posts?

Feedfabrik makes it easy to convert your WordPress.com blog into a book format, and even allows you to customize the cover design and book contents. You can order a hard copy of your book, or a digital PDF edition.

To try it out, head over to Feedfabrik, choose Bookfabrik, then select “I’m on WordPress.com.” Receive a 10% discount on all September orders with the code “WORDPRESS-INTRO”.

Grow Your Social Capital Online

Empire Avenue is a Social Stock Market, where your social networking activity and engagement earn you virtual currency and determine your virtual share price. It also helps you discover new people and brands, and allows you to invest virtual currency in their profiles by buying shares on the Social Stock Market.

Along the way you’ll have a bit of fun, make new connections, and learn about social networking and the value of your network! Empire Avenue is completely free and deals in virtual currency. Sign up today to get started.

via Two New Apps for WordPress.com — Blog — WordPress.com.

photography, DSLR, video lessons: 

Color is a powerful tool for expression, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. A while back I accidentally had my camera set to a cooling white balance while shooting outside in a warm afternoon light, and all my pictures had an icy, bright cast that at first bothered me but soon delighted me. I hadn’t thought of the urchins and buoys and things I’d shot as looking any way other than the way I saw them. Yet with a slight change in environment, they would look completely different. I didn’t “correct” the white balance after the fact because it ended up being a unique and interesting take — that I can’t exactly take credit for.

They’re going to have a second tutorial later in the month for post-processing color effects. If you haven’t played with Lightroom or Aperture (to say nothing of Photoshop and the like), you owe it to yourself to give one a try. The versatility of DSLRs made me fall in love with photography all over again, and as nerdy as it sounds, knowing my way around menus and applications was a big part of that.

via Video: Learning About Picture And Color Modes On Your DSLR | TechCrunch.




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