Posts Tagged ‘Palace Malice

10
Jun
14

6.10.14 … troglo life? …

France’s Cave Homes, Travel | Smithsonian, Tours FR, Loire Valley, Saumur FR, troglo life:  Anyone ever heard of France’s Cave homes? The pastoral care minister at my childhood church, North Avenue in Atlanta, mentioned them when he was visiting my mom on Friday. Sounds fascinating!! They are near Tours FR where Molly will be studying this fall.

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In the morning, I headed toward Saumur on old highway N 952, along the Loire. An hour or so later, I arrived in Saumur—not just where Bonnells live, but the epicenter of troglo life in France. There are hundreds of miles of caves in and around Saumur, some bored into the hillsides, some under the plains. Most are abandoned. Others have been revamped as troglo hotels, restaurants, museums, artist galleries, wineries, farms for mushrooms, silkworms and snails, a rose water distillery and a disco. Even a troglo zoo, where large animals live in open quarries and enclosed caves display bats and other lovers of dim light.

via A Tour of France’s Cave Homes | Travel | Smithsonian.

William Dabney of Virginia, American balloon flyer, D-Day, Omaha Beach,  French Legion of Honor medal, segregated 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion:

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Per Donna Morris … Per Linda Hervieux : William Dabney of Virginia was an American balloon flyer. He landed on Omaha Beach early on D-Day and was lucky to be alive when he got his TNT-armed blimp aloft, protecting our troops from German planes. In June 2009, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal, which he’s wearing in this photo. Until then his unit, the segregated 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, had been forgotten. Rarely are they mentioned in history books and Hollywood has never shown them in a D-Day movie. But they were there, the only black combat troops to land with the white infantry. Since meeting Bill, I’ve been researching a book about his battalion.

Palace Malice, Dogwood Stables, Campbell/Umhau Family, 2013 Belmont Stakes, 2014 $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, kith/kin: Congrats Dogwood Stables, Cot and Ann Campbell, Campbell/Umhau Family!! Pretty extraordinary!

Palace Malice proved his class in the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, winning the second Grade 1 of his career for Dogwood Stables a year after taking the 2013 Belmont Stakes.

Fourth with three furlongs left to go, the 6-5 favorite in a 12-horse field shifted off the rail and split rivals to run down tiring pacesetter Broadway Empire, then put away 2013 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents while driving clear by a length, Romansh came in a half-length back in third.

“It’s pretty extraordinary to have a horse win the Belmont a year ago and come back and win the Met Mile from the No. 1 post carrying 124 pounds and beating last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner,” trainer Todd Pletcher remarked. “In the process, it’s an unbelievable accomplishment.”

Broadway Empire struck out for the early lead in the Met Mile and was tracked with about a one-length advantage by Goldencents, making his first start of the year. A quarter went in :23.01 seconds and a half in :45.76 seconds while 124-pound highweight Palace Malice, getting the rail trip from post 1 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, moved up from seventh race third, then fourth as Romansh made his outside move in pursuit of Goldencents and the leader.

Rounding the turn Palace Malice shifted gears and found running room between horses, easily clearing the tiring Broadway Empire on his inside before digging deep to pass Goldencents to his outside within the furlong grounds. The 4-year-old son of Curlin ran the mile in 1:33.56.

“When I finally got him through, he started running,” Velazquez said. “He was [hesitant to go through]. The room was there, but I kind of have to keep him busy, keep him busy. The spot was there, but he went to jump from one side to the other one and I almost lost my spot. I got after him again, and he finally got through. Once he got through, he started running. [Out of the gate], the first jump was OK and the second jump he kind of grabbed himself a little. He didn’t really bobble, he just stumbled a little bit, just a jump. After that I had to make sure I got him in the race.”

Goldencents’ connections said they were also pleased with their runner, who had not raced since finishing seventh in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack last November.

“We needed a little tuneup,” said Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “This was his first race since he finished seventh in the Cigar. Too bad we couldn’t have a race in between. We did all we could. We’re extremely happy. We ran a great second, so we’re fine. We’re going for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.” Palace Malice returned $4.70, $3.70, and $2.90 while Goldencents paid $5.80 and $4.80. Romansh brought $7.90, while Shakin It Up, Clearly Now, Broadway Empire, Scarly Charly, Declan’s Warrior, Vyjack, Normandy Invasion, Capo Bastone, and Moreno completed the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky by W.S. Farish out of the Royal Anthem mare Palace Rumor, Palace Malice is undefeated in four starts in 2014, all of them graded stakes. He earned an automatic berth to the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park in the Met Mile, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event.

via ESPN Horse Palace Malice takes Met Mile.

California Chrome, 2014 Belmont Stakes, Triple Crown:  Speaking of horses …

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High Museum of Art/Atlanta, 6.3, Elizabeth Musser’s The Swan House:  Childhood friend Elizabeth Musser wrote a wonderful historical novel using this tragedy as the historical backdrop.  It was truly a sad event in the history of Atlanta.

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Fifty-two years ago today, more than 100 Atlantans were killed in an airplane crash outside Paris at Orly Airport. The group had just completed a three-week trip sponsored by the Atlanta Arts Association and were headed home to Atlanta when the crash occurred.

From that tragedy, the Atlanta community came together to create the Memorial Arts Center as a tribute to the people who had long supported the arts in the city. The Woodruff Arts Center of today grew from those beginnings and today is one of the largest arts centers in the world.

In memory of the individuals and families affected by the Orly tragedy, and in recognition of their meaning to all of us associated with the Woodruff Arts Center, we have placed commemorative flowers by the Rodin sculpture on our front lawn today.

via High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

09
Jun
13

6.9.13 … Palace Malice Wins! …

Dogwood Stables, Palace Malice, Cot Campbell, Belmont Stakes 2013, kudos, kith/kin:  Congratulations to Mr. Campbell and the whole family on a great win by Palace Malice at the Belmont Stakes 2012!  I have always loved DS’s silks.  So fun to watch them win one.

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For the second time during this Triple Crown run, Pletcher sent out five horses. He came up short in the Derby five weeks ago, skipped the Preakness and regrouped, and came through at his home track for an owner who has supported him from the start.

“It’s the mother of all great moments, I’ll tell you that,” the 85-year old Campbell said. “I’m proud for Dogwood and proud for my partners, and I’m proud of Todd, one of the greatest horse trainers of all time.”

Sent off at odds of 13-1, Palace Malice returned $29.60, $11.20 and $6.70. Oxbow, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, returned $9.90 and $6.10, and Orb, the 2-1 favorite trained by Shug McGaughey, paid $3.30.

via Palace Malice Wins Belmont Stakes 2013 In New York (VIDEO).

Before Todd Pletcher was a trainer with 200 horses in his stable, millions in his bank account, expensive suits and an exquisite haircut, he was a guy with eight horses who was in desperate need of clients. One of his first was Cot Campbell, a wily old Southerner with an affinity for plaid sports coats and porkpie hats who had pioneered the novel idea that horse ownership did not necessarily have to be exclusive to rich people.

In other words, Campbell was a promoter with a résumé P. T. Barnum would have been proud of. He had been a water ski show master of ceremonies, a sportswriter, an apprentice funeral director and an advertising copywriter before he came up with a plan to syndicate racehorses — to get a few partners who loved the sport to pool their money and have some fun.

He called his outfit Dogwood Stable, and it was successful, but Campbell was looking for a young trainer to take him over the top. In 1996, he chose Pletcher and sent him four horses. On Saturday, leading a heretofore hard-luck colt named Palace Malice by the shank into the sun-splashed winner’s circle of the 145th Belmont Stakes, Campbell, a spry 85, was reminded again that you could do well by doing good.

Wrapping his arm around one of his foundation owners, Pletcher let his eyes wrinkle, a grin crack and some genuine warmth melt his usually stoic face.

“This is an emotional one for me,” Pletcher said. “He gave me an opportunity when no one knew who I was.”

For an old horseman and promoter like Campbell, though, the victory eluded measurement by dollar signs. He said he understood that his clock was winding down on the opportunity for big wins like the Belmont. He is not exactly retired, but he has cut his stable in half.

“I don’t want to chase any rabbits I can’t catch,” he said. “I’m in the twilight of my career, if you want to put it euphemistically. I’ve had the most wonderful life a human being could have. And this is quite a chapter of it.”

via Palace Malice, a Long Shot, Wins Belmont Stakes – NYTimes.com.

07
May
13

5.7.13 … more rainbows, kudos, bugs … am I oversharing? :)

FPC Charlotte, Charlotte NC: Beautiful skyline of Charlotte!

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Sports Illustrated, Steph Curry:  Kudos!  🙂

“Honored to be on next issue Sports Illustrated!” – Steph Curry

Dogwood Stable, Cot Campbell,  Palace Malice , blinkers: I wish palace Malice success in the summer season.

 Palace Malice broke alertly all right, but Goldencents to his inside and Itsmyluckyday to his outside were on their toes as well and things became competitive right away. So, as the field passed the finish post for the first time, the Dogwood Stable colt was, surprisingly, vying for the lead. The teletimer flashed 22 2/5 seconds, very fast considering the condition of the sloppy track.

Swinging into the first turn things went from bad to worse.

“The blinkers sharpened him too much,” Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell said. “Mike couldn’t hold him. He said he did everything he could and he still could not apply any restraint.”

By the time Palace Malice straightened for the run down the backstretch, he had covered a half mile in a blazing 45 1/5 seconds and his fate was sealed. He had run the second-fastest half mile (tied with two others) in Derby history, despite the sea of mud.

“He set a suicidal pace and you just can’t do that and win the Kentucky Derby,” Campbell said. “The blinkers were the villain.”

To the casual observer, Palace Malice seemed to be doing fine as he opened a three-length lead down the backside. His three-quarter mile fraction of 1:09 4/5 was tied for the fourth-fastest ever run in a Derby.

via Stable president says blinkers were ‘villain’ for Palace Malice | Mobile Augusta.

parenting, teenagers, church, spiritual v. religious, Mallory McDuff,  God’s Politics Blog,  Sojourners, kith/kin: With my youngest a freshman in college, I am barely on the other side of this battle and am not sure it was worth it.  I sent this to my kids with the request, “Read this one for me … ” They are 23, 21 and 18. I’ll let you if they respond.

In this age when the “spiritual but not religious” seem to have more relevance than churchgoers, it’s easy to wonder why church attendance matters at all.  But I believe that we need common spaces, more grounded than the corner Starbucks, to discern right actions in a world faced with crises like climate change and stark economic disparities.

Our teenagers and our children must shape these sacred spaces where we can grapple with our questions but act in faith through practices of forgiveness, feeding, hospitality, and care of creation. As Diana Butler Bass notes, “Right now, the church does not need to convert the world. The world needs to convert the church.”

I made Maya go to church because we may not know why we are here, but we can pass along a little light to others on the journey. And maybe that’s what we need to create a little heaven on earth.

via Why I Made My Teenager Go to Church – Mallory McDuff | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

East Coast US,  cicadas: Definitely not on my list … but it was a non-event in Charlotte last time, 17 years ago.

Any day now, billions of cicadas with bulging red eyes will crawl out of the earth after 17 years underground and overrun the East Coast. The insects will arrive in such numbers that people from North Carolina to Connecticut will be outnumbered roughly 600-to-1. Maybe more.

Scientists even have a horror-movie name for the infestation: Brood II. But as ominous as that sounds, the insects are harmless. They won’t hurt you or other animals. At worst, they might damage a few saplings or young shrubs. Mostly they will blanket certain pockets of the region, though lots of people won’t ever see them.

via East about to be overrun by billions of cicadas.

oversharing, WSJ.com: Oversharing … probably guilty …

Ever share too much information—and you weren’t even tipsy? I call it BYB—Blabbing Your Business. It’s happening a lot these days thanks to reality TV and social media sites, where it’s perfectly normal for people to share every single detail of their lives, no matter how mundane or personal. In the culture we live in, it’s hard to remember that some things should be private.

via What Makes People Overshare? – WSJ.com.

04
May
13

5.4.13 … Derby Time!

Kentucky Derby 2013, Palace Malice, Dogwood Stables: It’s 5 o’clock, and I am ready for Palace Malice to run!  They are talking about him right now … They said if he takes to the wet track like his father/Sire then he’s got a good chance. I’ll be looking for the Campbell crowd (Cary Campbell Umhau and Lila Campbell))!!  Go, PM, Go.

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13
Apr
13

4.13.13 … Palace Malice to Louisville … woohoo! …

Palace Malice, Dogwood Farms, Blue Grass at Keeneland, Kentucky Derby:  To Louisville!  I do enjoy a personal relationship with a horse  … 🙂

Java’s War broke poorly from the starting gate and raced at the very back of the field through the first half mile but made a strong move down the center of the track to pass Palace Malice in the final strides to win the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. Charming Kitten finished third while Rydilluc held on for fourth.

via Blue Grass Stakes 2013 Results: Java’s War Drops In From The Clouds – And Down The Stretch They Come.

20
Feb
13

2.20.13 … diamond hydrangeas …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church:

Well, nature played a funny trick on me today. It was absolutely perfect day this morning sunshine. The trick was but I did not realize how cold it was.
I walked with my friend Cheryl who I met at the labyrinth conference hosted by Avondale Presbyterian Church last April when Lauren Artress spoke. Cheryl and I have walked several times since we met.  She is supporting me in my quest to walk labyrinths during Lent. We walked last week, and again this week. We hope to walk again next week.
Cheryl had arrived a few minutes before I did.  When I entered the Sacred Garden, I immediately was drawn to the dead hydrangea bushes. Cheryl had already seen them.  These bushes were so beautiful all last summer and into the fall. They are one of the Southern flowering bushes that I love because my grandmother had two blue ones right next to her back door … great memories.
But these dead ones, and I mean really dead, were  absolutely gorgeous this morning because the dew/frost  had frozen as tiny droplets in the brown/dead flowers.  In the morning light the frozen droplets  looked like tiny diamonds.  I had never seen anything like it …
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As we approached the labyrinth,  we both noticed the same frozen droplets on a tree overlooking the labyrinth.  Cheryl and I talked a few minutes before walking. I realized that I had a great deal of angst surrounding events going on in my personal life. It was nice just to talk about them and then cathartic to give them up as I walked. I think it helped to express them out loud to another human being prior to walking. Thanks, Cheryl.
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After my walk, I commented  to Cheryl that I had learned several things about labyrinths this last week that I had not known before.  These include …
1. The first Christian labyrinth is in Algeria and was built around 400 BC. This I learned from the brochure at Sardis Baptist Church.  Here is  little info on that labyrinth for you:

Labyrinths—their history and their mystery—are featured in St. Anthony Messenger’s August cover story, “Labyrinths: The Inward Journey.” Author and labyrinth enthusiast Gerilyn Wartonick Herold writes of these spiral patterns and how they have aided the faith journeys of many Christians over the centuries. After July 20, the article will be found at: AmericanCatholic.org.

Labyrinths are not a new phenomenon. Archaeologists believe they date back 4,500 years, though no physical evidence survives. Different versions of the spiral pattern have been discovered in Egypt, India, Russia and Peru. The first Christian labyrinth, discovered in the fourth century Basilica of Reparatus in Orleansville, Algeria, contains the words “Sancta Eclesia” inscribed in the middle, indicating its use for religious purposes.

Labyrinths can vary greatly in design. The shapes range from circular to square, spade or octagonal. They may be simple or complex and span from 13 to 44 feet. All are designed with a single meandering path that leads to the center.

This journey inward appeals to many people. Julie McAfee, a nondenominational Christian, has grown quite fond of walking labyrinths. “The labyrinth really gives me a sense of God,” she says. “The message for me is that God is present.”

via American Catholic | Press Room | Labyrinths: Exploring Their History and Mystery.

2. Mini – Chartres labyrinths, of which there are many, have two circuits that are 360° circuit. A true  Chartres has no is no circuit longer than 180°.  It’s very interesting,  and I think goes to my dissatisfaction walking the mini –  Chartres  because they go  too fast,  and if you can have a long circuit like that then it quickens your pace noticeably.
The walk was great and so far I am enjoying my daily walks.
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Blessings!

NASA, International Space Station, Astronaut  Tom Marshburn:  Oh, no ….

Communication was restored less than three hours later, Byerly said”Weve got our command and control back,” he said.Station commander Kevin Ford was able to briefly radio Moscow while the station was flying over Russia.Normally, NASA communicates with and sends commands to the station from Houston, via three communications satellites that transmit voice, video and data. Such interruptions have happened a few times in the past, the space agency said.If there is no crisis going on, losing communication with the ground “is not a terrible thing,” said former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who was on the Russian space station Mir during a dangerous fire in 1997. “You feel pretty confident up there that you can handle it. Youre flying the spacecraft.”Not only should this boost the confidence of the station crew, its good training for any eventual mission to Mars because there will be times when communications is down or difficult during the much farther voyage, Linenger said.In the past few weeks the space station had been purposely simulating communications delays and downtimes to see how activity could work for a future Mars mission, Byerly said. This was not part of those tests, but may prove useful, he said.

via NASA & International Space Station Regain Contact, Officials Say.

exercise, WSJ.com:  I knew there was a reason …

Hard-Wired to Hate Exercise? – WSJ.com.

street paving, random, technology:  When we lived in Wilmette, the village redid our street, i.e., they took up all the original brick, dug down six feet, replaced all the sewer and water pipes, then relayed the original brick street.  It took 5 months … I wonder if this machine could have helped?

STREET PAVING: A ‘Tiger-Stone’ paved a road in IJmuiden, Netherlands, Tuesday. The Dutch-made machine uses gravity and an electric motor to lay stone and brick roads and is capable of laying 300 square meters (about 360 square yards) of road a day.

via Photos of the Day: Feb. 19 – WSJ.com.

Tolstoy, quotes, families:

…  old quote from Tolstoy: Happy families are all alike. Unhappy families have kids under five or teenagers.

via Explore – This reminds me of the old quote from Tolstoy:….

CIA, Cyber war,  Amanpour, CNN.com:  It is scary how vulnerable we are …

Sanger and two colleagues reported in the New York Times on Tuesday that a secretive unit of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military, is responsible for most of the many Chinese cyber attacks on U.S. corporations and infrastructure.“This is, diplomatically, I think one of the most complicated problems out there,” Sanger said. “The fact that your adversary would know that you could get into their systems and turn them on or off at any time – whether it was cell phones or air traffic control or whatever – might well affect your future behavior. So it doesn’t mean that they’re going to do it, or there’s out-and-out war, but it does mean that they have a capability to do this by remote control.” The New York Times reported last month that the newspaper was the victim of Chinese hackers – brought on, they believe, by a report on the finances of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.An internet security firm hired by the paper to investigate that attack has released a new report on Chinese hacking, and that report alleges the deep involvement of the Chinese military.In fact, the security company, Mandiant, says that the attacks originate from a single 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai.“It’s got thousands of people working in it,” Sanger said. His colleague, David Barboza visited the site, but was not allowed inside.The Chinese government hotly denies all the allegations in the Mandiant report, calling them “baseless,” “irresponsible and unprofessional.”“If it’s not coming from this building,” Sanger said, “then you’ve got to believe it’s coming from the noodle shops and restaurants that surround this building.”Chad Sweet, a former CIA and Homeland Security official who now runs his own global security firm, said that the standoff between the U.S. and China envisages a bleak future.“We’re essentially facing a new Cold War – a cyber Cold War,” he told Amanpour. “The destructive capacity is equal to that of a nuclear warhead… But what makes it more sinister than the nuclear age is that there’s no easily identifiable plume.”In other words, it is very difficult to attribute a cyber attack to a source or exact retribution.

via Fmr. CIA official: Cyber war ‘more sinister than nuclear age’ – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs.

George Orwell, writing, motivation, creation, Brain Pickings: Why do you write?

I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

(i) Sheer egoism. …

(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. …

(iii) Historical impulse. …

(iv) Political purpose. …

It can be seen how these various impulses must war against one another, and how they must fluctuate from person to person and from time to time.

via Why I Write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation | Brain Pickings.

Palace Malice,  Dogwood Farms, Derby Fever:  Always fun to have a horse to watch …

Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.20 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center Sunday morning in preparation for his upcoming appearance in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the move has Dogwood president Cot Campbell looking ebulliently forward to the final local prep for the 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30.

“I’m a New Orleans boy – I was born there and it’s going to be great coming back there,” said Campbell, speaking from his South Carolina headquarters. “I also came back there in the early ‘50s to work for an advertising agency there, but I haven’t been back for a few years now. We’ll have about seven people in our party besides me and we’ll be getting in Friday morning. It’s a wonderful town with a wonderful race track and a lot of wonderful people live there.

“We’re starting to get into a very exciting time of year,” said Campbell. “With all the Kentucky Derby preps coming up around the country everybody in the nation starts to get interested in horse racing and I think that’s a wonderful thing for our sport.

via Sunday Notes: Palace Malice Giving Dogwood Derby Fever | Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Louisville, Ohio River, NYTimes.com:  Interesting that this bridge story was significant enough to merit coverage by the NYT …

Although friction about some aspects of the project still reverberates, including over its tolls and environmental impact, construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the two new bridges linking Kentucky and southern Indiana are expected to open in 2016.

“If we didn’t build this, we would become the bottleneck for the Southeastern United States,” said Chad Carlton, the project spokesman. “We think it could become the shape of things to come for infrastructure across Middle America.”

About $1 billion of the project will be financed by the two states, mostly through gas taxes. There is some federal support, although not much, reflecting a nationwide trend of dwindling federal money for state transportation projects. Tolls over the next 40 years are expected to generate around $10 billion.

“There’s not a major bridge project in the country that doesn’t involve the use of tolls and other creative financing mechanisms,” Gov. Steven L. Beshear of Kentucky said in an interview. “The project will employ thousands, and it’s going to let the metropolitan areas of Kentucky and southern Indiana grow much faster and help jobs grow much faster.”

The project comes at a time when some cities are moving in the opposite direction, dismantling downtown bridges and expressways in favor of public transportation.

Hank V. Savitch, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, said that while some cities were shifting away from accommodating cars, Louisville’s project signaled a declaration of faith in suburban-style growth.

via Like the Ohio River, a Bridge Project Divides a Community – NYTimes.com.

man’s best friend, YouTube, LOL: 🙂

you will love this dog – YouTube.

internet addiction, the Mail Online:  The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site … what makes theMail online the most “ruthlessly addictive site?

During the average workday, I allow myself to take a couple “Internet breaks,” little bursts of Tumblr and Gawker and other forms of web candy that tug at my attention span like a needy kid. There’s one web threshold I never step over on a weekday, though: the Mail Online. The online outlet of the British tabloid is a one-way ticket to an hours-long surfing spree of celebrity gossip and moral outrage. It’s not web candy–this is web crack.

via 4 Lessons From The Web’s Most Ruthlessly Addictive Site | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

mobile phones, sleep:  Guilty …

Most people who own iPhones use them as their alarm clock — making it all too easy to check email one last time before falling asleep and hard to ever feel unplugged from work and social networks.

Several years ago my boss, Arianna Huffington, passed out from exhaustion after staying up late to catch up on work. She banged her head on the way down and ended up with five stitches — and became what she calls a “sleep evangelist.” Now she leaves her phone charging in another room when she goes to bed and encourages friends to do the same.

“I sent all my friends the same Christmas gift — a Pottery Barn alarm clock — so they could stop using the excuse that they needed their very tempting iPhone by their bed to wake them up in the morning,” she said.

via How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep (INFOGRAPHIC).

Downton Abbey:  🙂  Personally, I think we all would look a little better in Edwardian garb …

Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham)

Hugh Bonneville looks a lot more relaxed when he’s not in character as “Downton’s” Lord Grantham. Maybe that Edwardian ascot is tied a little too tight.

C S Lewis, Narnia, Speakeasy: Some interesting thoughts on CS Lewis …

C.S. Lewis’s death was – understandably – overshadowed because it happened on the same day as one of the most traumatic events of the last century, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Lewis is a good case of someone who hasn’t been well served by some of his admirers: we can get the false impression that he is of interest only to a particular kind of conservative Christian.  When I admitted to some of my friends that I was publishing a book about Lewis, there were some raised eyebrows: wasn’t he a misogynist/fundamentalist/ homophobe?  Didn’t his books reinforce a cerebral and narrow dogmatism?  Isn’t he at best just a bit too – well, English and tweedy?

At the heart of his thinking and writing, both in his imaginative books of fiction and in his more concept-heavy works, lies one recurring theme.  We are so successful in telling ourselves stories about ourselves that it takes a major revolution to expose us fully to the truth.  And we are so successful at conjuring and nourishing our own pictures of what makes us happy that we miss actual joy when it taps us on the shoulder.  I can’t think of any other modern religious writer who diagnoses so accurately our habits of self-deception.  Two of his works, “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce” analyze ruthlessly what it might be like to be stuck in a position of systematic denial of reality – being forever incapable of seeing what’s in front of our noses.  This is Hell, says Lewis.  But his genius is to make this analysis memorably comic as well as tragic.

Here and in other works (including the three science fiction novels he wrote), the target is often the idea that we could live in a totally managed world.  Long before the ecological crisis was recognized, he castigated those who thought of “colonizing” space so that we needn’t worry about polluting and exhausting the earth’s resources.  He presents a world where animals and humans actually talk to each other, where community extends to the whole environment – and a world where death is not the worst thing that can happen.  We love the world best when we know we can’t ‘have’ it for ever for ourselves – something that St Augustine and Shakespeare would have understood perfectly – not to mention Czeslaw Milosz, with his book, “Proud to be a Mammal.”

That’s part of what makes Lewis more than a knee-jerk modern conservative – that richly skeptical and amused perspective, resting on deep cultural reserves which teach us that the world is both wonderful and fragile.  Deny this and you lose all chance of enjoying your real humanity.  Lewis’s God wants us to be spiritually settled as physical beings, not to think either that all our important hopes are material or that we just need to get through earth quickly so as to get to Heaven sooner.

Sit light, then, to some of the 1940’s or 1950’s attitudes – though he is no worse than most and better than many in much of what he writes about women or even gay people.  His world is both a lighter and also a more morally challenging one than a lot of what we find in religious writing, liberal or conservative, these days.  He is still able to reacquaint us with the meaning of joy and the strange excitement of honesty.

via Why You Can’t Get to Narnia By Turning Left or Right – Speakeasy – WSJ.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards:  All the reasons not to be … in one hour …

Lawyers on Nonprofit Boards

Marty Martin, Martin Law Firm

Nonprofit boards are in the news because of high profile failures with nonprofit boards of directors and management. Lawyers frequently are asked to serve on nonprofit boards of directors, but with limited substantive background in the law related to nonprofit organizations. Using a case study, the class will discuss legal and ethical issues that confront the lawyer serving on a nonprofit board of directors.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

mobile phones, unlimited phone plan, Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD:  Every member of my family has an iPhone … I might as well give AT&T my first child … I would love options …

A typical smartphone costs around $200, but it’s usually shackled to a two-year contract that often costs $70 or more monthly and includes limits on data consumption, voice minutes and texts. Even prepaid smartphones, without a contract, can cost $30 to $50 a month and carry limits.But I’ve been testing an Android smartphone from an upstart carrier that charges just $19 a month for unlimited data, voice and texts—with no contract. That’s right: $19 a month, unlimited.Motorola’s Defy XT is the only phone that works with Republic’s network.This carrier is called Republic Wireless, a private firm in Raleigh, N.C., which launched its service in December. The sole phone that works with the company’s technology is a Motorola model, the Defy XT. The phone costs $249—partly to help offset the low monthly price.

via For $19, An Unlimited Phone Plan, Some Flaws – Walt Mossberg – Personal Technology – AllThingsD.

Cynaps, Thrillist Nation:  I like this one.  But I don’t wear hats …

CynapsBone-conducting headphones discreetly hidden in a hat

via Cynaps – Own – Thrillist Nation.

 

LOL:

Whew, scientific proof. What a relief to learn this !

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was ? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

Thank goodness for studies like this. It’s not our age, it’s that damn door !

Antarctic penguins,  New Zealand:  Awww ..

The original "Happy Feet" ready for release aboard The New Zealand research vessel Tangaroa in Aug. 2011.

Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’

via Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition ‘Touch And Go’ : The Two-Way : NPR.

millionaires, philanthropy, The Technology Chronicles, disease, cure, kudos: You rock, nerds!

A group of tech and investment luminaries gathered on Wednesday to announce the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, a competition for the biology research community to develop cures to the world’s toughest diseases and solve the life science’s most complicated problems.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Art Levinson, chairman of both Apple and Genentech, Anne Wojcicki, genetic mapping startup 23andMe co-founder (and wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin) and investment guru Yuri Milner sat alongside one another to announce the new $3 million cash prizes.

via Tech heavyweights announce million dollar prizes for curing diseases | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog.

Mophie Juice Pack Helium,  iPhone 5, TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Unfortunately, I need one …

During the time that I owned my iPhone 4 and 4S, those phones spent most of their lives in a Mophie Juice Pack Air. That battery pack got me through some of those scary situations where I had spent a couple of hours geocaching, making calls and sending texts, only to find that I was down to 5 percent of charge capacity and was nowhere near a power outlet. So when the iPhone 5 came out last fall, my first thought for a case was a Mophie product. It took a few months, but now the Mophie Juice Pack Helium (US$79.95) is available to protect and power the iPhone 5.

via Review: Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Bottles Up Glass Water Bottle, design:  It’s a water bottle,  stupid … but a very pretty one … $34.95 at Amazon …

it’s art.

Our challenge was to blend beauty + utility. We’ve created an everyday object that combines the magic and clarity of glass with sophisticated, practical design.

via BottlesUp Glass – Your Reusable Glass Bottle Resource – Reusable Water Bottles.

Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander MD, consciousness, Life Beyond Death:  I read his book … very interesting …

Can science and spirituality co-exist? Are we more than we appear to be in this physical universe? Does any part of us survive death? Is there a God? Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Proof of Heaven, was certain the answer to these questions was “No,” until something he had thought was impossible happened to him: a transcendental Near-Death Experience.  While in a near-fatal coma in 2008, Dr. Alexander entered a realm of unconditional love and profound awareness of the nature of the universe, populated by angelic beings and a resonant, omnipotent and omniscient presence that he called “Om” (and whom many would call God). This radiant state of total acceptance of who we are, says Dr. Alexander, is our birthright, and we can tap into it from this earthly plane. Now fully recovered and determined to share his experience with the world, Dr. Alexander offers this four-part online course, the first of its kind, courtesy of Sounds True.

via Next Steps in the Proof of Heaven: Delving into the Mysteries of Consciousness | Life Beyond Death.




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