Posts Tagged ‘ObamaCare

15
Nov
13

11.15.13 … What I think of politics … from ObamaCare to Maria Belen Chapur … Maybe we should all just watch Watch House of Cards! …

ObamaCare: Last month I completed my family’s 2014 healthcare sign up through my husband’s employer.  I have stewed ove this for a month.  I am ready to let it go … both figuratively and literally.

Our coverage was both more expensive again and less, much less, coverage … Our family paid thousands more in 2013 (one example: I paid $30 for a Prolia osteoporosis shot in 2012; I paid almost $1200 in 2013). I believe that there should be some form of, for lack of a better word, “universal” healthcare. But this is not it. If you are one of those who is pleased, I want to hear you acknowledge that you are pleased. Otherwise, I feel like I have been brutally beaten up and now must pay thousands for the privilege.

Maria Belen Chapur, holiday cards:  And on a more humorous note …

Maria Belen Chapur, the former mistress and current fiancée of garrulous, peripatetic ex–South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, granted an interview to, we assume, the lone publication to ask her for one. In a conversation with Infobae, an “Argentine multimedia company where she writes a column,” according to Politico, Chapur revealed some amusing, somewhat salacious tidbits about her continued relationship with the current South Carolina congressman.

First of all, it’s not about the money. (Psst! Maria: we said “power”—not “money.”) “It’s not about the money,” she said. “I can tell you that a governor makes $108,000 a year and from this you have to deduct a third in taxes, so from this he can’t even pay for private school for his children, without of course help from family or a fortune from before. And on the other hand, in the United States, you go to jail—there’s no bribery. You get compensated in another way.” Thanks to the Draconian no-bribery laws of this terrible nation, Mark Sanford, whose job requires regular votes on issues of public education, can barely afford for his children to attend private school.

But then again, it takes a morally invincible person like Sanford to dedicate his life to a selfless $108,000-per-year profession when he is gaining so little—$108,000 to be specific. As it happens, Mark Sanford is exactly this sort of morally invincible person: the sort of guy who sends a Christmas card to his future mistress even though they were not having sex at that time. Prior to the 2008 commencement of History’s Greatest Love Affair, “it was strictly friendship,” according to Chapur, who had known Sanford, the Petrarch of Beaufort, since 2001. “In fact, I would get a Christmas card with their family photo.” There you have it! “Happy holidays, from my family I am willing to destroy to yours. Love, Mark Sanford.”

via Mark Sanford Question Hour: Sending Your Family Christmas Card to Your Mistress—Do or Don’t? | Vanity Fair.

Maybe we should all just watch Watch House of Cards!

10
Nov
13

11.10.13 … ‏Godspeed, ‏@AstroKarenN! …

‏@AstroKarenN, ISS:   Ever since my classmate was on the ISS, I have loved following the ISS astronauts.  Godspeed, ‏@AstroKarenN!

Karen L. Nyberg

‏@AstroKarenN

Going home! pic.twitter.com/jEuhO1F1EA

via Twitter / AstroKarenN: Going home! http://t.co/jEuhO1F1EA.

Cats in the Cradle-ing, Modern Family:  Just thought this an interesting pop culture reference.

Back on the course, it’s down to the final hole, and Mitchell needs to sink a putt to win the match. Phil likes what Jay has done for him, given that his own father was often too supportive. (PHIL: He even set up my tumbling equipment and wanted to be the loudest voice in the crowd. “Hey everybody! Check out my son’s equipment!”) Jay wishes Mitchell good luck and says he’s proud of him no matter what, but Pepper puts a stop to that. Jay’s Cats in the Cradle-ing him, trying to get Mitch to lose his angry edge. Pepper did the same thing to his Navy SEAL son but not to worry, Mitchell drops that putt in the bottom of the cup. Jay congratulates him and Mitchell believes him when Jay says that he wasn’t Cats in the Cradle-ing him. Jay hates the song, natch, but Phil’s never even heard it so Pepper plays it for them, and the waterworks start. Mitch admits he ought to have golfed with Jay sooner, and Jay admits that he never made the time, and Phil’s so upset about not going to Luke’s play, he skips golfing with his client and runs to the school.

via A Slight at the Opera – Modern Family Wiki.

The 23 Best Nelson Mandela Quotes | Deseret News.

breast cancer awareness month, October 2013: In years past I have enjoyed the competition of individuals,  communities and businesses to raise awareness for breast cancer research.  For some reason, this year was not as interesting … but I got a good chuckle out of this one.

In honor of breast cancer awareness month…mammo grahams.

international geocaching day: A while back it was international geocaching day …

Happy day to my geocaching friends, Mark and J.t.!http://www.dates.abouttravelingtheworld.com/special-holidays/international-geocaching-day/

For adventure-seekers out there, this is for you: International Geocaching Day. Geocaching Day is  a designated day for hunting treasures placed in a cache using Global Positioning System or GPS.

via INTERNATIONAL GEOCACHING DAY 2013 | UNIQUE HOLIDAY.

tv binging, House of Cards: I’ve surrendered … Episode one of the House of Cards ..

yarn bombing, public art: I have seen pics of a few of these … They just make laugh …

Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. by David Smith

Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. | Art News and Events | Rise Art.

Coming soon to a city near you? Yarn Bombing has seen a steady rise in popularity and has been referred to by knitters and police as the polite graffiti. Knitters take their colourful craft out onto the street and cover iconic and ordinary urban objects with multicoloured fuzz.  The trend, known by some as guerrilla knitting aims to brighten up and subvert the everyday in urban environments. Here\’s a few of our favourites:

via Granny Friendly Graffiti? Yarn Bombing takes over. | Art News and Events | Rise Art.

The nonprofit\’s display is the latest iteration of the craft trend that\’s been coloring city streets for about a decade; Yarn bombing, the act of crocheting and knitting unexpected pieces for public display. Leanne Prain, author of Yarn Bombing who may have coined the term, says \”bombing\” is a word often used in street art to describe \”something explosive you do really fast,\” like \”spraypaint subway cars\” and now, cover public property in knitting. Hurry and take an iPhone picture, because the pops of woven color go up quickly and have limited life-spans.

via Yarn bombs color streets, strengthen communities.

Cowbell, Burgers That Rock , Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte NC: John ate here recently … mammoth burgers.

From the group behind Mortimer’s and Leroy Fox, Cowbell has an energetic vibe, and it’s riddled with pop-culture references. Portraits of rock icons including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, all by local artists, decorate the walls, along with a rotating collection of vinyl, neon lights, song lyrics, and two flat-screen TVs that play an ever-changing selection of music videos. But the dining area doesn’t feel cheesy or theatrical—instead, it’s swanky and sleek, with dark leather seating and reclaimed wood tables. A large wraparound bar with a striking double herringbone pattern offers additional seating at the back of the restaurant, but the best seat in the house is the large booth right in front, nicknamed the “mob booth,” offering great views of the dining room and the street.

via Cowbell: Burgers That Rock – Charlotte Magazine – June 2013 – Charlotte, NC.

Obamacare, tweet:  Telling …

Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore)

Only fair that Obamacare enrollees have to deal with the same bureaucratic red tape + incompetence as everyone else with private insurance.

baby naming:

Baby naming generally follows a consistent cycle: A name springs up in some region of the U.S.—”Ashley” in the South, “Emily” in the Northeast—sweeps over the country, and falls out of favor nearly as quickly. The big exception to these baby booms and busts is “Jennifer”, which absolutely dominates America for a decade-and-a-half. If youre named Jennifer and you were born between 1970 and 1984, dont worry! Im sure you have a totally cool, unique middle name.

via A Wondrous GIF Shows the Most Popular Baby Names for Girls Since 1960 – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic.

 

really dumbPhoto: David Hall and Glenn Taylor, the two men responsible for toppling a rock formation in Goblin Valley, have been removed from their position as Boy Scout leaders on the Utah National Parks Council. The Council called the actions "reprehensible" and said they violated the Scouting principle of leave no trace.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Do you think they deserved to lose their positions or have things gone too far in response to the toppling incident?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57025473-78/hall-taylor-gailey-leaders.html.cspDavid Hall and Glenn Taylor, the two men responsible for toppling a rock formation in Goblin Valley, have been removed from their position as Boy Scout leaders on the Utah National Parks Council. The Council called the actions “reprehensible” and said they violated the Scouting principle of leave no trace.

Do you think they deserved to lose their positions or have things gone too far in response to the toppling incident?

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57025473-78/hall-taylor-gailey-leaders.html.csp

Jane Austen, quotes:

Jane Austen ‏@DailyJaneAusten 3m

“It is not every man’s fate to marry the woman who loves him best.” ― Jane Austen, Emma

Expand

via Twitter.

gardening, Mulch Madness / Pike Nurseries, diy:

March is a great time to freshen your mulch.

Adding a layer of fresh mulch makes your beds look neat and tidy.

What is mulch? Mulch is a layer of material added to the top of the soil surface in garden beds which is most often pine straw, hardwood mulch, pine bark mulch and cedar, but sometimes stone, pebbles or marble chips are also used.

There are many benefits that mulch provides your garden beds. It is essential to your garden in cooler months because it prevents cold damage by keeping the ground warmer. Year round mulch helps to hold moisture in the ground around your plants and slows down the evaporation rate. Mulch also helps to keep weeds under control.

As mulch breaks down it also add rich organic matter to your garden. Refresh your mulch a couple of times a year. Always keep a layer that is about 1.5 to 2 inches deep.

via Mulch Madness / Pike Nurseries.

worth thinking about, Wes Barry, F3: Fitness Fellowship Faith:

As I ran along the river, I passed numerous people and greeted them.  But on the way back I went by a young woman near tears sitting on a bench obviously in the sifter.  I felt this nudging to stop and ask her if she was okay, but sprinted on.  Then it struck me, the back of my shirt had Fitness, Fellowship and FAITH written on it, as I just turned my back on her in order to keep my min/mile split at a decent pace.

via Gearing Up | F3 – Fitness, Fellowship, Faith.

FoodNetwork, splurge:

Splurge this morning! Fill a halved croissant with chocolate chips and sliced strawberries. Grill in a panini press. #FNMag

via (7) Twitter.

04
Nov
13

11.4.13 … “When you raise a generation to believe that throwing a ball is more important than fulfilling their civic duty to make informed decisions, you allow charlatans to sell their lies to the public unchallenged.” …

hospitals, ObamaCare:

Many top hospitals are simply opting out of Obamacare.

Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities. For example, fourth-ranked Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio.

And that\’s not because their exchanges don\’t offer options. Both Ohio and California have a dozen insurance companies on their exchanges, yet two of the states\’ premier hospitals – Cleveland Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – have only one company in their respective networks.

A few, like No. 1-rated Johns Hopkins in Maryland, are mandated under state law to accept all insurance companies. Other than that, the hospital with the largest number of insurance companies is University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland with just four. Fully 11 of the 18 hospitals had just one or two carriers.

via Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare – US News and World Report.

politics, public service, public employees:  Interesting graphic.

This is why intelligence and knowledge is disparaged in the country that reached the Moon. These days, intellectuals are mocked as “faggy” and unmanly as if brute strength somehow contributed to the technical prowess, economic agility and innovation that made America a superpower.

This is why our politics are a disaster. When you raise a generation to believe that throwing a ball is more important than fulfilling their civic duty to make informed decisions, you allow charlatans to sell their lies to the public unchallenged.

via Everything Wrong With America In One Simple Image (INFOGRAPHIC).

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




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