Posts Tagged ‘philanthropy

17
Apr
14

4.17.14 … ” ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our [upscale] neighborhood” … every life has equal value …

‘Homeless Jesus’, neighborhood, DavidsonNews.net, St. Alban’s Square:  I written about this Timothy Schmalz’s work before.  But last weekend it got national attention when it was featured on NPR.  Several Davidson locals posted a February local internet paper article about the reaction of the locals in the paper.  What followed was an interesting discourse on my FB page.  I think you need a little context.  St. Albans Square Neighborhood is small new neighborhood build on the edge of  a small college town but considers it “Old Davidson”.  When it was built, the local Episcopal church built at its center a traditional small town but upscale parish church, moving from what had been a nondescript parish church closer to the center of the town on a residential street. The original church had no physical presence and now it anchors a new but traditional neighborhood.  There is a mix of suburban sprawl and farmland just beyond this community.  There is nothing gritty or urban about it.  So I ask you, humble readers, how would you feel if this was your neighborhood?

Artist Timothy Schmalz’s work is in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson.

(David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

To the editor:

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has placed a sculpture at the entrance to our neighborhood that I think is entirely inappropriate for our neighborhood.

My complaint is not about the art-worthiness or the meaning behind the sculpture. It is about people driving into our beautiful, reasonably upscale neighborhood and seeing an ugly homeless person sleeping on a park bench. It is also about walking by this sculpture at night and passing within inches of the grim reaper. These are the impressions that this sculpture gives. I have stepped over actual homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in New York City and not been as creeped out as I am walking past this sculpture.

If I had submitted this sculpture to our architectural committee to place in front of my house, would it have been approved? Why, then, should we accept this at the entrance of our neighborhood?

In my opinion, the church had no business putting this obviously controversial sculpture out for display to our neighborhood. If they want to display it to their own congregation, then they can relocate it farther in on their property, facing their own internal sidewalk, instead of facing ours.

Resident of St. Alban’s Square

via ‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our neighborhood | DavidsonNews.net.

My Facebook friends responded …

Jerry Dawson doesn’t like the new “Homeless Jesus” sculpture…

It saddens me that Mr. Dawson describes this as a statue of an “Ugly homeless person”. You can’t see the statue’s face. In fact, the only part of the statue’s body that is visible is the feet. The nail holes there are the only giveaway to the statue’s identity. To call this statue “ugly” says more, to me, about the attitude of the author toward the homeless than it does about the statue.

Actually, I would be pleased … to have the reminder of him, who told his followers to minister to ‘the least of these.’

Looks like the sculpture is doing precisely what it was probably designed to do.

So glad this conversation is in the open.

My response is that I can respect Mr. Dawson’s opinion, but I would be proud to have this in my neighborhood as a Christian.  I would love to have it at my downtown Charlotte urban missional Church, but then it would not be nearly so out-of-place.  And that juxtaposition is what makes the sculpture so powerful at St. Alban’s.

But I would embrace the statue right where it is in the Davidson neighborhood.  I would love to take my friends to see it on an evening stroll because it would open up lots of interesting conversation, and I would love to take children to see it because it would introduce them to Jesus beyond Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,  beyond the softened Jesus of Sunday School and “Jesus loves me this I know,” and  beyond urban and international mission trips (with a side adventure to a theme park or a Mexican resort.)  But I also feel strongly that Mr. Dawson’s feelings should be respected.  And that if there is a place closer to the church proper then possibly it should be moved there out of respect for those in the community.

 Paris’ Saint-Chapelle. traveling friends:

E. posted this great pic of an “open” stained glass window yesterday. It was in Paris’ Saint-Chapelle where they were cleaning every piece of stained glass individually.  I just love the irony of the image.

 

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I also love vicariously experiencing the travels of my friends. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your trip with your daughter!!   Godspeed!

And her pic sent me down memory lane …  Rue Cler:  good simple Gallic grub (Definitely not a B- in my opinion) … Amorino gelato …

Two of France’s great cheese shops, La Fromagerie and Marie-Anne Cantin (around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars) are also located here, as are various restaurants, including the popular Tribeca and Café Central.  You can buy wine at Nicolas, or buy specialty epicerie items (including tea, spices, top quality jarred tuna, olive oils and vinegars, etc.) at L’Epicerie Fine (also around the corner on Rue du Champs de Mars).  Finally, if you want dessert there is a terrific gelato place with fruit, chocolate and other rich gelati at Amorino.

via Rue Cler Neighborhood | Best Restaurants in Paris | Le Best of Paris.

 

Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, philanthropy:

In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on the beach and made a big decision: to give their Microsoft wealth back to society. In conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their money away.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she puts into practice the idea that every life has equal value.

via Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done | Talk Video | TED.com.

 

Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist, TED.com: I have only seen a few of his favorites.

Susan Cain

The power of introverts

via Bill Gates: My 13 favorite talks | Playlist | TED.com.

South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis,  ads, Springwise:  Next time I go, I will seek them out!!

In big cities, congested roads mean that public transport is the predominant mode of travel and if residents need to take a car, it’s usually a taxi. The Netherlands’ Hopper has already explored the possibility of eco taxi travel with its one-person electric scooters, and now Mellowcabs is enabling South African citizens to travel for free in its electric cycle cabs that are funded by advertising.

The vehicles have been designed to achieve three goals: free and effective public transport, provide much sought-after advertising hoardings for marketers, and also cut carbon emissions. Each taxi holds up to two passengers and a driver, and customers don’t have to pay to use them. Mellowcabs travel around 120 km a day and have high visibility, including bright white and yellow coverings, meaning they’re both easy for customers to spot and provide a visual platform for advertisers. Each cab also has an on-board tablet providing further advertising opportunities, as well as entertainment for passengers. Since the taxis use electric pedaling, they’re already one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road, but they also take advantage of regenerative braking, which stores energy typically lost when braking and converts it into electricity to power the cab. Enough energy is produced by the cycling that passengers can also charge their phones while they use Mellowcabs.

Could this concept be picked up in your city?

via In South Africa, free-to-use electric cycle taxis are paid for by ads | Springwise.

National Geographic,  interracial relationships, What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, Beauty, PolicyMic:

It’s no secret that interracial relationships are trending upward, and in a matter of years we’ll have Tindered, OKCupid-ed and otherwise sexed ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race.

But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question last October, commissioning Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future.

Here’s how the “average American” will look by the year 2050:

via National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful – PolicyMic.

Twitter find, St. Louis House $16,000:

Sarah Kendzior ‏@sarahkendzior 8m

Six-bedroom home that has belonged to the same St. Louis family since 1906 now selling for $16,000 http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2707-Blair-Ave-Saint-Louis-MO-63106/2936445_zpid/ …

via (4) Twitter

 

2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

Photos

Map

Bird’s Eye

Street View

View larger

For Sale: $16,000

Zestimate®: $19,540

Est. Mortgage:

$62/mo

See current rates on Zillow

Bedrooms:6 beds

Bathrooms:3 baths

Single Family:2,538 sq ft

Lot:3,920 sqft

Year Built:1908

Heating Type:

via 2707 Blair Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106 is For Sale – Zillow.

Einstein on Why We Are Alive, Brain Pickings:

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation:  I loved this from a while back … shows you how our electronic oversimplification can be destructive.

How many times have you heard or muttered that? How many of of us have been frustrated at seeing too many presentations where PowerPoint or other visual aids obscure rather than enhance the point? After one too many bad presentations at a meeting in January 2000, I decided to see if I could do something about it.

via The Making of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.

Speaker Notes

[Transcribed from voice recording by A. Lincoln, 11/18/63]

These are some notes on the Gettysburg meeting. I\’ll whip them into better shape when I can get on to my computer.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

via Summary.

Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls, Denise Dunning:

Globally, 600 million adolescent girls struggle with widespread poverty, limited access to education and health services, and persistent discrimination and violence. Adolescent girls are among the world’s most economically vulnerable groups, significantly more so than adult women or adolescent boys.

The Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute recently launched a global report that explores the factors that influence girls’ economic empowerment, analyzing promising strategies and highlighting recommendations for policymakers, funders and practitioners.

The Adolescent Girls’ Economic Empowerment Report demonstrates that economic empowerment initiatives can be a critical lever for change in adolescent girls’ lives, helping them to gain financial independence, establish good saving habits and improve their future prospects for participation in the labor force.

AGALI’s research identifies six principal factors that contribute to adolescent girls’ economic empowerment. The first is financial capital … Another is human capital, or a girl’s skills and attributes… A third key factor is social capital …

The fourth key element is physical capital, or the goods that make income generation possible. … Beyond a girl’s individual assets, community-level social norms and institutions can create challenges or opportunities for girls’ economic empowerment. Social norms include cultural beliefs regarding early marriage and childbearing, female genital cutting, and other traditional practices relating to girls’ age, gender or ethnicity. Influential institutions include the legal and policy frameworks that protect girls from violence and exploitation, the macroeconomic market structure, and national education and healthcare systems.

AGALI’s report highlights the importance of addressing the different needs and capacities of adolescent girls of varying ages. While adolescent girls around the world share many of the same challenges, a 12-year-old girl is drastically different from her 17-year-old sister. To that end, economic empowerment initiatives must tailor strategies to respond to the differing realities of girls across a range of age brackets, cultural contexts and political frameworks….

Although adolescent girls primarily enter the workforce to support their families financially, studies have shown that girls also value the increased mobility, opportunities for friendship and greater autonomy that may come with employment. Therefore, safe and appropriate employment opportunities can strengthen adolescent girls’ economic status, while improving their social welfare and future labor market prospects.

via Ending Global Poverty Starts With 600 Million Adolescent Girls | Denise Dunning.

 

KBXX 97.9 The Box’s photo: I wasn’t expecting this one!

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living large, kith/kin, 14ers, bckcountry skiing, Breckenridge CO, Quandary Peak: On my first’s recent birthday, I woke up with a smile on my face.  He was packing in and skiing down from Quandary Peak … And I thought: what a way to celebrate 24. Live large, my son!  Unfortunately, living large had to be rescheduled. “We are saving it for next week because of avalanche danger. “. I guess that is life.

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map

QuandaryPeak

Summit, Vail and Holy Cross, Quandary Peak Sky Terrain Topographic Recreation Map.

 

 

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.

23
Oct
11

10.23.2011 … wasabi reunion day 2 … home and sushi with Molly — at Koishi Fine Chinese & Sushi Bar.

Davidson College,wasabi, reunions:  So what is a wasabi reunion like … mornings turn to afternoon and we are still in our pjs, sharing, sharing, sharing … loves, likes, movies, books, passions, missions, careers, vocations, families, coffee and more coffee, food  …

Things I learned …, food – gluten-free, vocation, El Hogar Ministries, Inc, Daraja Academy, Nike’s Girl Effect,  Rock the Vonate!, Building Dreams:

  • Gluten-free food can be pretty good and Betsy’s soup is divine … gluten-free?

Spinach-Provolone Soup 

1 28 oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed but not squeezed dry(note:  if I’m strapped for time, I put the frozen spinach in a colander and run hot water over it)

¾ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup butter

6 cups skim milk

6 cups chicken broth

6 T cornstarch mixed thoroughly with some of the milk until smooth

2 cups shredded provolone cheese (I often buy the Italian blend already shredded at Wal Mart—easier)

2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Extra grated cheese and crumbled bacon for topping the soup

  • Puree spinach in food processor and set aside.  If you don’t have a food processor, the soup will still work (you’ll just have chunkier spinach J)
  • Saute onion in melted butter.
  • Add broth, milk, and cornstarch mixture
  • Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens to a thin sauce and begins to bubble (stir frequently).
  • Add the 2 c. grated cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the salt, cayenne pepper, and spinach.
  • Serve as soon as spinach is heated thoroughly.  Garnish each bowl with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.

This makes enough to serve 12.  Enjoy!

  • Pride in a child who is conquering an illness or handicap, pride in an adult who is conquering an illness or handicap …
  • Heartbreak and joy … everyone can and should experience both … Both are better when shared.
  • Finding your vocation … (I am still looking for mine).

… one wasabi’s husband is heading an orphanage in Honduras, and he is happy … he has found his vocation.

The mission of El Hogar Projects is to provide a loving home and education in a Christian environment for abandoned, orphaned and hopelessly poor children, enabling them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive human beings in Honduras.

The mission of El Hogar Ministries, Inc. is to assist in the improvement of social and educational conditions in Honduras, principally by supporting El Hogar Projects. El Hogar Ministries, Inc. raises funds and maintains an office for coordination and communication with North American sponsors, contributors and outreach groups which form a sacred community of service and are the backbone of financial support for the 250 children at the three schools and homes of El Hogar Projects.

via El Hogar’s schools provide a loving home & education for abandoned & orphaned children in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

… another wasabi is on the board of a Kenyan school for girls which  is using Rock the Vonate to raise funds … She taught in Kenya right out of Davidson and always           wanted to find a way back

Girls of Daraja (complete) – YouTube.

Rock the Vonate! Your vonate will help Daraja win a spot with Nike’s Girl Effect: top 6 projects w/highest # of individual donations win. This is an opportunity to get Daraja on the global stage. Daraja Academy is a boarding secondary school for Kenyan girls with top academic scores and exceptional leadership skills but no means to continue their education.The academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services allowing students to focus on academic and personal development.

via Daraja Academy for Exceptional Kenyan Girls – GlobalGiving.

… another wasabi spouse is starting up a mentoring program for SC children of incarcerated parents …

Who We Are

Building Dreams provides mentoring services based on principles of positive youth development to children of incarcerated parents. Started in 2004 in five counties of South Carolina, the Building Dreams program has gradually expanded so that today services are available in eight counties and will soon expand state-wide. Our overarching goal is to develop close, supportive, one-on-one mentoring relationships between trained adult volunteers and eligible children.

via Building Dreams : Public Service : Clemson University : South Carolina.

home, kith/kin: It is wonderful to have a child to share fun and different meals with … Sushi with Molly — at Koishi Sushi Bar and Fine Chinese Restaurant.

travel, technology, iPads:  Another significant impact of a Steve Jobs’ invention … Ipads change economics and speed of hotel wi-fi.  It changes it in my house … “The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said.”

IF, like me, you have been complaining about unusually poor Internet service in hotel rooms lately, the hotels have a good explanation.

Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, which are heavy users of video streaming, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands.

“The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half,” said David W. Garrison, the chief executive of iBAHN, a provider of systems for the hotel and meetings industries.

This means more hotel customers are unhappy with their Internet connections. Hotel owners, meanwhile, who are digging out from a two-year slump caused by the recession, will probably have to invest more money to provide more bandwidth.

For travelers, it may mean still another fee, since hotels will be paying their own Internet bills. Some hotel Internet service providers are proposing a solution that offers tiered Wi-Fi service. The lowest level, suitable for basic Internet requirements like checking e-mail, would be free, but other levels would be priced depending on bandwidth requirements. According to iBAHN, iPads consume four times more Wi-Fi data per month than the average smartphone.

The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said.

via IPads Change Economics, and Speed, of Hotel Wi-Fi-On the Road – NYTimes.com.

2012 Presidential Election, technology, twitter, social networking, GOP:  Is the GOP finally getting up to speed?

President Obama’s image projected from one of the many television screens that hang in Representative Eric Cantor’s office suite, where the president could be seen telling a crowd in North Carolina that he was open to “any serious idea” Republicans offered on jobs.

Within seconds, Brad Dayspring, Mr. Cantor’s Rasputin of retort, was on the case, his fingers ripping across the keyboard as if individually caffeinated. “Obama says he’s open to any “serious #GOP idea,” typed Mr. Dayspring, the aggressive spokesman for Mr. Cantor, the Republican from Virginia who serves as House majority leader, in a message on Twitter. “Here are 15 jobs bills stalled in the Senate to get him started.”

A link from Mr. Cantor’s blog was quickly pasted in, the send button was hit, and Mr. Dayspring sat back slightly in his chair, pleased.

Barely a minute goes by between the time Mr. Obama — or a high-ranking member of his administration — makes a speech, holds a news conference or says something to a talk show host, and a team of young Republican House staffers, fueled by pizza and partisanship, punches back.

It’s a bit of a table turn on Mr. Obama, whose 2008 campaign capitalized on social media in a way that left Republicans bruised and scrambling. Now, after a post-election order from Speaker John A. Boehner that year, House Republicans have embraced Twitter as their karaoke microphone to push their message against the White House bullhorn.

The insta-Tweet has revolutionized rapid response operations that just two years ago relied heavily on cable television, e-mails and news conferences to spread the word of the opposition, which often took a day or two to gain momentum. That time lag could delay the message from taking hold, a result Republicans were eager to undo.

“In the Hill environment, minutes count,” said Mr. Dayspring, whose mad-dash Twitter messaging is supplemented by his colleague Brian Patrick, Mr. Cantor’s blogger and a Twitter expert who is known as Boomer for his ability to pump up Republican crowds.

“It’s far more like a campaign environment now,” Mr. Dayspring said.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama made productive use of Facebook, MySpace and his Web site as tools of outreach and organization. Through social media, money was raised, volunteers were gathered, events were publicized and videos of the candidate went instantly viral. His Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, was flat-footed in the same arena (though he has become a devout Twitter believer since). Out of that experience was born a list of roughly 13 million Twitter users, like the famous Republican mailing lists of the past, this one on steroids.

At a January 2009 retreat, as defeated Republicans licked their wounds, Mr. Boehner told his colleagues that they needed to “think about the potential of new media,” according to a copy of his remarks. He urged members and their staff to immediately get themselves on YouTube and Twitter, as he did. Without control of the House floor, it became the Republicans’ main messaging tool as they mounted their successful push to capture control of the House. Now, it is their weapon of repetition.

Republican House members have more than twice as many followers as their Democratic counterparts — about 1.3 million versus roughly 600,000 — and are far more active on Twitter with more than 157,000 individual Twitter messages, versus roughly 62,000 for Democrats.

“Once Republicans get their act together, they are really good at organizing,” said Andrew Rasiej, the founder of Personal Democracy Media, which studies how technology is changing politics. Republicans in the House are using technology “in order to blunt the power of the White House in a new political media ecology that benefits from speed,” he said.

via The G.O.P.’s Very Rapid Response Team – NYTimes.com.

Spotify, media, journalism, social networking:  Is Spotify where journalism/media and social networking meet?  Like many products it may disappear before I figure it out!

Until Google irons out its music licensing issues with the big record labels, its Google Music service (which the Wall Street Journal says is rumored to launch within the next few weeks) probably won’t reach the popularity of the music industry’s latest big thing: Spotify. One thing Google does want to do is emulate Spotify’s social media features, which lets people share public playlists. So, what to do if your friends don’t have the best taste in music? Find someone who does!

Everyone from obsessive music geeks to celebs are sharing their playlists with the masses; Facebook kingpin Mark Zuckerberg really, really likes Green Day while Britney Spears has a thing for other pop legends such as Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. For those looking for something a little more advanced, we recommend adding these seven Spotify users to your people list.

via Snoop Dogg, Sean Parker and 5 More Spotify Users You Should Add Now – Techland – TIME.com.

 iTunesU,  autism:  The access to such high quality information for free is astounding …

The Yale Seminar on Autism and Related Disorders is the United States’ first undergraduate course of its kind. The goal of this series is to make all of the lecture content and supporting materials available online for free for anyone who desires to learn about Autsim Spectrum Disorders. For Yale undergraduates, the class consists of a weekly seminar on diagnosis and assessment, etiology and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism and related disorders of socialization. This collection contains the full video of the course.

via Yale Autism Seminar – Video – Download free content from Yale University on iTunes.

Unreasonable Institute,  social missions, entrepreneurship,  changing the world:  “Entrepreneurs who want to change world have to be a little crazy.”  Great NYT piece on the Unreasonable Institute!

DANIEL EPSTEIN wants to get one thing straight: He is an unreasonable man. Happily, proudly unreasonable. Entrepreneurs who want to change the world, he says, have got to be a little crazy.

Biosense Technologies developed the ToucHb, a device that tests women and children for anemia and is in clinical trials. From left are Sarita Patil, a nurse; Pallavi Janarav; and Biosense’s founders, Myshkin Ingawale and Yogesh Patil.

And so, to foster some practical zaniness, Mr. Epstein is a co-founder of something called the Unreasonable Institute, in Boulder, Colo. For the last two summers, he has helped preside over this academy for entrepreneurs who want to solve social problems and make some money, too.

Part schmooze-fest, part group hug, this six-week program connects entrepreneurs with one another, as well as with executives, investors and thinkers who might help them. Its name derives from a quotation by George Bernard Shaw: “All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” For good measure, Mr. Epstein recently had Unreasonable’s logo tattooed on his derrière.

Welcome to the age of the spreadsheet humanitarian. The central idea of the Unreasonable Institute is that profit-making businesses can sometimes succeed where their nonprofit counterparts might falter. Mr. Epstein, 25, and a serial entrepreneur, says the Unreasonable Institute wants people who are willing to think big, even when skeptics scoff.

The institute conducts its program at a fraternity house it rents at the University of Colorado. The six weeks are intense and communal. Fellows sleep three or so to a room. A chef prepares three in-house meals a day. The fellows dine at a table seating 60, alongside mentors who might include the chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard or the former director of Google.org.

On any given day, the fellows might go on a hike or a bike ride with a potential investor, attend a workshop about building corporate partnerships, or take part in “family pitch night,” when two entrepreneurs present their companies to the rest of the group for feedback. At the end of the program, the fellows travel to San Francisco and pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

Mr. Epstein says market-based solutions are important in spurring economic growth throughout the developing world.

“This is really in contrast to the prevalent model of international aid,” says Cynthia Koening, 33, who attended the program this year. Her company, Wello, based in Rajasthan, India, is aimed at people — most of them women — who must walk long distances to bring drinking water to the home. Her cylinder-shaped product allows women to roll water home from the source rather than carry it on their heads, which can be dangerous and time-consuming.

The institute conducts its program at a fraternity house it rents at the University of Colorado. The six weeks are intense and communal. Fellows sleep three or so to a room. A chef prepares three in-house meals a day. The fellows dine at a table seating 60, alongside mentors who might include the chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard or the former director of Google.org.

On any given day, the fellows might go on a hike or a bike ride with a potential investor, attend a workshop about building corporate partnerships, or take part in “family pitch night,” when two entrepreneurs present their companies to the rest of the group for feedback. At the end of the program, the fellows travel to San Francisco and pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

Mr. Epstein says market-based solutions are important in spurring economic growth throughout the developing world.

“This is really in contrast to the prevalent model of international aid,” says Cynthia Koening, 33, who attended the program this year. Her company, Wello, based in Rajasthan, India, is aimed at people — most of them women — who must walk long distances to bring drinking water to the home. Her cylinder-shaped product allows women to roll water home from the source rather than carry it on their heads, which can be dangerous and time-consuming.

FOR some participants, the institute is just one stop on a kind of social entrepreneurship circuit; they’ve been awarded numerous fellowships, won different business plan competitions and are regular faces at industry conferences. For others, the institute is their first encounter with this scene. This is especially true for many of the 60 percent of fellows who live outside the United States.

By coming to Boulder this year, Mr. Duarte of Mexico, founder of YoRecicolo, which operates recycling programs, was able to meet like-minded people who work on recycling and waste issues. He even received an invitation to speak at a Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York last month. His company has been profitable since last year.

via Unreasonable Institute Teaches New Paths to Social Missions – NYTimes.com.

punctuation, grammar, rhetoric, history, end of an era, graphics:  Just loved this article … I obviously am a fan of the ellipses but use it like a dash …

 How might punctuation now evolve? The dystopian view is that it will vanish. I find this conceivable, though not likely. But we can see harbingers of such change: editorial austerity with commas, the newsroom preference for the period over all other marks, and the taste for visual crispness.

Though it is not unusual to hear calls for new punctuation, the marks proposed tend to cannibalize existing ones. In this vein, you may have encountered the interrobang , which signals excited disbelief.

Such marks are symptoms of an increasing tendency to punctuate for rhetorical rather than grammatical effect. Instead of presenting syntactical and logical relationships, punctuation reproduces the patterns of speech.

One manifestation of this is the advance of the dash. It imitates the jagged urgency of conversation, in which we change direction sharply and with punch. Dashes became common only in the 18th century. Their appeal is visual, their shape dramatic. That’s what a modern, talky style of writing seems to demand.

By contrast, use of the semicolon is dwindling. Although colons were common as early as the 14th century, the semicolon was rare in English books before the 17th century. It has always been regarded as a useful hybrid—a separator that’s also a connector—but it’s a trinket beloved of people who want to show that they went to the right school.

More surprising is the eclipse of the hyphen. Traditionally, it has been used to link two halves of a compound noun and has suggested that a new coinage is on probation. But now the noun is split (fig leaf, hobby horse) or rendered without a hyphen (crybaby, bumblebee). It may be that the hyphen’s last outpost will be in emoticons, where it plays a leading role.

Graphic designers, who favor an uncluttered aesthetic, dislike hyphens. They are also partly responsible for the disappearance of the apostrophe. This little squiggle first appeared in an English text in 1559. Its use has never been completely stable, and today confusion leads to the overcompensation that we see in those handwritten signs. The alternative is not to use apostrophes at all—an act of pragmatism easily mistaken for ignorance.

Defenders of the apostrophe insist that it minimizes ambiguity, but there are few situations in which its omission can lead to real misunderstanding.

The apostrophe is mainly a device for the eye, not the ear. And while I plan to keep handling apostrophes in accordance with the principles I was shown as a child, I am confident that they will either disappear or be reduced to little baubles of orthographic bling.

via Is This the Future of Punctuation!? – WSJ.com.

Occupy Wall Street, capitalism, markets, thongs, V for Vendetta:  “… the Guy Fawkes mask—popularized by the 2006 Natalie Portman film “V for Vendetta”—as a symbol of the fight against corporations.”

The “Occupy” movement may purposefully be trying to resist being branded or labeled with specific messages and demands, but there are already plenty of creative types eager to come up with logos and slogans for the protests—and make some profits while they’re at it. The DIY design site Spreadshirt reports that nearly 200 OWS-related designs have been uploaded by independent craftspeople and are available for purchase on T-shirts, buttons, coffee mugs—and even on thongs and doggie clothing. Hundreds more items are for sale at similar sites such as Zazzle and CafePress. It must be noted that there’s no indication any of the proceeds go to help the protesters. For that matter, it’s highly unlikely that any of this merchandise would even be worn by diehard protesters. But we suppose it could be argued that wearing a 99% baseball hat or an OWS hoodie represents a different kind of support for the movement.

via ‘Occupy Wall Street’ For Sale | Moneyland | How People Are Profiting From Occupy Wall Street | TIME.com.

Hackers and protesters alike have adopted the Guy Fawkes mask—popularized by the 2006 Natalie Portman film “V for Vendetta”—as a symbol of the fight against corporations. Dozens of designs feature the sinister Fawkes mask, including this $19 T-shirt at Spreadshirt.

via ‘Occupy Wall Street’ For Sale | Moneyland | Rise Guy Fawkes T-Shirt | TIME.com.

Occupy Wall Street, journalism, mainstream new media, Jeff Elder:

A Sunday New York Times column helped to focus media coverage on the legitimacy of the movement. At the same time, a news event occurred that received less coverage.

How Seriously Should We Take Occupy Wall Street?

How seriously should we take the Occupy Wall Street movement? It has turned into a global debate, and the main focus of mainstream media coverage of the movement. Much of this dialogue about the legitimacy of the protests can be traced to one newspaper column.

via How One Column Shaped Mainstream News Coverage Of Occupy Wall Street · jeffelder · Storify

the 1%, Occupy Wall Street, American Dream, social mobility, education, philanthropy:  It’s nice someone is looking at the other side of this story … even for a second.

Americans used to believe in social mobility regardless of the hand you’re dealt. Ten years ago, polls showed that about two thirds believed “people are rewarded for intelligence and skill,” the highest percentage across 27 countries surveyed. Fewer than a fifth thought that “coming from a wealthy family is essential [or] very important to getting ahead.” Such views made Americans more tolerant than Europeans and Canadians of inequality and more suspicious of government attempts to reduce it.

Yet the hardships of the Great Recession may be changing that, giving an unexpected resonance to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Falling wages and rising unemployment are making us appreciate what we ignored during the good times. Social mobility is actually lower in the U.S. than in most other developed countries—and falling.

Academic studies show that if a child is born into the poorest quintile (20 percent) of the U.S. population, his chance of making it into the top decile (10 percent) is around 1 in 20, whereas a kid born into the top quintile has a better than 40 percent chance. On average, then, a father’s earnings are a pretty good predictor of his son’s earnings. This is less true in Europe or Canada. What’s more, American social mobility has declined markedly in the past 30 years.

The right answer is to promote the kind of diversity and competition that already make the American university system the world’s best. And one highly effective way of doing this is by setting up more charter schools—publicly funded but independently run and union-free. The performance of the Success Charter Network speaks for itself. In New York City’s public schools, 60 percent of third, fourth, and fifth graders passed their math exams last year. The figure at Harlem Success was 94 percent.

The American Dream is about social mobility, not enforced equality. It’s about competition, not public monopoly. It’s also about philanthropy, not confiscatory taxation.

I’ll cheer up even more when I hear those words at a Republican presidential debate. Or maybe next week we should just tell the candidates to shut up and play poker.

via Yes, Wall Street Helps the Poor – The Daily Beast.

Arab Spring, Libya, Gadhafi’s death, democracy, transition: “Clinton said a democratic Libya should begin with the rule of law and accountability, as well as unity and reconciliation. She called investigating Gadhafi’s death a part of that process.”

Obama said the U.S. looks forward to working with officials as they prepare for free and fair elections.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she supported calls for an investigation into Gadhafi’s death as part of Libya’s transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Gadhafi was captured wounded but alive in his hometown of Sirte. Bloody images of Gadhafi being taunted and beaten by his captors have raised questions about whether he was killed in crossfire, as suggested by government officials, or was executed.

Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview aired Sunday that she backs a proposal for the United Nations to investigate Gadhafi’s death and for Libya’s Transitional National Council to look into the circumstances.

Clinton said a democratic Libya should begin with the rule of law and accountability, as well as unity and reconciliation. She called investigating Gadhafi’s death a part of that process.

via News from The Associated Press.

03
Oct
11

10.3.2011 … Travel Insights … I-85 ATL to CLT …

travel, travel insights, billboards:

  • Gasoline in SC has gone up 7-10 cents since yesterday (with the exception of the $2.929)  … and down 7-10 cents in Charlotte since yesterday … very strange.
  • I think the 16 ounce ribeye at Flying J in north Georgia has been advertised for $9.99 for 100 years.
  • Billboards are more religious and/or politically conservative in SC than any other place I travel.  Do liberals ever “advertise” on billboards
  • What happened to the HOV lanes?  Now they are express toll lanes requiring a Peach Pass …

Amanda Knox, Twitter, LOL:  I am sure she will be happy to get home … but the twitter world is cruel … Fleet Street Fox – ‘Her Life Was Hanging in the Balance’: Top 9 Tweets About the Amanda Knox Verdict – TIME NewsFeed.TwitterLockerbie Bomber, Abdelbeset al-Megrahi, dying secrets:

The truth about the bombing of a PanAm airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 will come out “one day, and hopefully in the near future,” the only man convicted the bombing told Reuters in an interview aired Monday.

“In a few months from now, you will see new facts that will be announced,” Abdelbeset al-Megrahi told Reuters. “I don’t want to speak about that because there are people who are looking after that themselves.”

Al-Megrahi’s comments come about five weeks after CNN’s Nic Roberston visited al-Megrahi’s home, where his family said he was in a coma and near death from terminal prostate cancer.

At the time of his late August visit, Robertson found al-Megrahi in a metal hospital bed, attached to an IV drip and cared for by an elderly woman that the family said was his mother. He was, Robertson said, “paper-thin, his face sallow and sunken.”

“Clearly he is in a better condition than when I saw him a month ago,” Robertson said Monday.

via Convicted Lockerbie bomber says truth will eventually come out – CNN.com.

Netflix, tv, business models:  That’s interesting … ” TV Shows make up at least half of Netflix streaming now.” … definitely is the case at my house.

Netflix may dominate the streaming video market, but theres some surprising good news for Hulu from the MIPCOM conference in Cannes. The streaming video audience seems to be moving firmly in the direction of catching up on television rather than watching movies. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos revealed the information at the conference during a joint keynote address with Miramax CEO Mike Lang, telling the audience that “50% and sometimes 60% of viewing is TV episodes now.”The subject came up when Netflixs move into television production was being discussed; not only has Netflix bought the rights to David Finchers remake of the British drama House of Cards, but the company will also be involved in a new series called Lilyhammer, starring Steven Van Zandt. “That can be mis-perceived as Netflix giving up on movies, which its not,” said Sarandos, “Its just consumers saying what they want.”

via TV Shows Make Up at Least Half of Netflix Streaming Now – Techland – TIME.com.

LOL, fads, planking:  Saw this on Facebook … When Parents Text

DAD: So answer me this… If a person planks in the woods does it matter?

hot chocolate, Ghirardelli Chocolate eat off, Hot Chocolate 15/5K , philanthropy:  Philanthropy made fun …

Sunday at the Bucktown 5K, the super team was out in full effect, with their first fund raising task, a Ghirardelli Chocolate eat off.  For $5, people were given 50 pieces of Ghirardelli Chocolate, if they were able to get all 50 pieces of the chocolate goodness into their mouth, they were entered into a raffle for a free Hot Chocolate 15/5K entry and received a free Hot Chocolate race hat!  The line was huge with people stepping up to take the challenge, eat some great chocolate and help out The Ronald McDonald House.

I have been to a lot of races and have seen a lot of things, but this one little booth had one thing that you don’t see a lot of at events, laughing, smiling, cheering and plain old fun.  It was cool to watch.  Check out the image gallery below to see some of the fun.

via Hot Chocolate Hits The Road! | Pace of Chicago.

Starbucks, Great Recession, jobs, private sector, microfinancing:   You go for it, Starbucks!

Starbucks is not hiring baristas or opening any new stores. (After all, they just finished closing 700 branches.) In a matter of speaking, the 40-year-old corporation is adding another tip jar to its counter, one that collects donations for a new jobs fund they’ve set up with Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of community development financial institutions that offer loans to low income business owners. The program, Create Jobs for U.S.A., is not dissimilar to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign. Donate $5 to the fund and you get a red, white and blue wristband that reads “Indivisible”.

Yes, Starbucks is criticizing the government. “Businesses and business leaders need to do more; we can’t wait for Washington,” the company’s CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters in explaining the coffee company’s inspiration for the program. “I have no interest in politics or political office. I’m just doing this as a private citizen trying to make a difference.”

The microlending technique is the same one they’ve been using for years to support the coffee farmers in third world countries from whom they buy its beans. Starbucks has been operating microlending and microfinance services in countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ethiopia since at least 2004. These types of programs have been shown to both benefit poor entrepreneurs and provide returns for the banks that offer the loans. (Create Jobs for U.S.A. does not bill itself as a not-for-profit project.) However, Starbucks has also drawn criticism in the past for putting its own interests ahead of those of the business they support.

via Starbucks Plans to Save the U.S. Economy – Business – The Atlantic Wire.

10
Sep
11

9.10.2011 … watched THE WORST movie last night … glad it was a redbox night … contemplating the 9/11 anniversary.

The President, USA Today editorial, 9/11:  Unity … that is one that describes the days and weeks following 9.11.2001.  But what also jumped out at me from his editorial is that Barack Obama was barely on the political spectrum 10 years ago.

Like every American, I’ll never forget how I heard the terrible news, on the car radio on my way to work in Chicago. Yet like a lot of younger Americans, our daughters have no memory of that day. Malia was just 3; Sasha was an infant. As they’ve grown, Michelle and I faced the same challenge as other parents in deciding how to talk with our children about 9/11.

One of the things we’ve told them is that the worst terrorist attack in American history also brought out the best in our country. Firefighters, police and first responders rushed into danger to save others. Americans came together in candlelight vigils, in our houses of worship and on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Volunteers lined up to give blood and drove across the country to lend a hand. Schoolchildren donated their savings. Communities, faith groups and businesses collected food and clothing. We were united, as Americans.

This is the true spirit of America we must reclaim this anniversary — the ordinary goodness and patriotism of the American people and the unity that we needed to move forward together, as one nation.

via Obama: Let’s reclaim the post-9/11 unity – USATODAY.com.

Bending All the Rules, movies, caveat emptor:  Sometimes a title catches your attention and you think that sounds cute.  It was not worth the $1.15 or my time to watch it … now that is bad!

Madden 12, video games, Great Recession:  We have an economy that produces entertainment.  No wonder we are in a recession.

U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 21 percent in August to $649 million, according to market researcher NPD Group, partly because the popular “Madden NFL 12” released later in the month than usual.

via Late ‘Madden’ saps August video game sales  | ajc.com.

careers, assessment, current generation:  Instant feedback … instant gratification … hmmm

With many younger workers used to instant feedback—from text messages to Facebook and Twitter updates—annual reviews seem too few and far between. So companies are adopting quarterly, weekly or even daily feedback sessions.

Not surprisingly, Facebook Inc. exemplifies the trend. The social network’s 2,000 employees are encouraged to solicit and give small nuggets of feedback regularly, after meetings, presentations and projects. “You don’t have to schedule time with someone. It’s a 45-second conversation—’How did that go? What could be done better?” says Lori Goler, the Palo Alto, Calif., social-networking company’s vice president of human resources. More formal reviews happen twice a year.

For most companies, employee reviews are still an annual rite of passage. Some 51% of companies conduct formal performance reviews annually, while 41% of firms do semi-annual appraisals, according to a 2011 survey of 500 companies by the Corporate Executive Board Co., a research and advisory firm.

And increasing frequency may not make much of a difference if the performance appraisals are ineffective to begin with, say some. One academic review of more than 600 employee-feedback studies found that two-thirds of appraisals had zero or even negative effects on employee performance after the feedback was given. “Why is doing something stupid more often better than doing something stupid once a year?” asks Samuel A. Culbert, a professor at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and the co-author of the book “Get Rid of the Performance Review!”

via Once-a-Year Review? Try Weekly, Daily… – WSJ.com.

Google, Zagat, mergers: Zagat used to be special.  Our law firm gave them as gifts to clients that travelled to NY frequently.  Will access to it via Google devalue it?

Zagat, whose pocket-sized maroon books rate restaurants, hotels and other local attractions with the help of 350,000 contributors world-wide, has a small online presence compared to Yelp Inc. and other review sites. The reviews and ratings it has accumulated are expected to be integrated with Google Places and Google Maps services, which provide people with information about local businesses through desktop PCs as well as mobile devices.

Google, Mountain View, Calif., is trying to make money by getting local businesses to spend money on Web ads—its main source of revenue—or offer special discounts to Google’s users via Google Offers, among other things. Zagat’s information also could be useful to Google’s planned online travel-search service.

Ms. Mayer and Zagat co-founders Nina and Tim Zagat said on Thursday they planned to continue printing the Zagat’s pocket guides for now, and implied that Zagat’s 30-point rating scale would live on under Google.

via Google Paid $125 Million for Zagat – WSJ.com.

Jacqueline Kennedy, oral history, politics: I am taping this one …

The comments offer a glimpse of a complex series of relationships that shaped 1960s Washington. Webs of loyalties and ambitions tangled Hoover’s FBI, Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, Rev. King’s civil rights crusade, and President Kennedy ambitious domestic agenda — with Jacqueline Kennedy overhearing much of it.

food – seasonal, fall:  The change in seasons are so much fun when it brings new smell and tastes into the house.

Cooking Melangery provides a double whammy of fall flavor with her recipe for Turkey Meatballs and Borscht (pictured above).

One whiff of Gourmade at Home’s Pumpkin Muffins will automatically put you in the autumn spirit.

Cooking in Sens packs on the protein with her  hearty recipe for Lamb Shanks with Les Mogettes de Vendee.

5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventure’s  Fennel and Apple Gratin, with its sweet and savory flavor, is the perfect post-summer side.

Versatile risotto gets a fall spin with Delicieux’s Pumpkin and Baby Spinach Risotto.

Brownie Bites’ warm and hearty Vegetable Beef Stew will keep the cold weather at bay.

Swapna’s Cuisine slices her potatoes paper thin in this version of a Baked Potato served with corn.

via Weekly Roundup: Hearty Fall Favorites — Gourmet Live.

Facebook v. Google+:  Since I cannot get a google+ invite, I have no idea which I prefer.  😦

Screenshots posted to Twitter indicate that Facebook is testing smart friends lists that will automatically let users sort their social networking contacts by category. The features is similar to Google+ Circles, which has been a major draw for the new social network.

The feature seems to offer three pre-sorted list recommendations — co-workers, classmates and friends who live nearby.

via Facebook reportedly testing smart friends lists – The Washington Post.

UGA, students, philanthropy, Great Recession, kudos:  Something I never thought about – college student hunger.

A student group at the University of Georgia has opened a food pantry on the campus in Athens.

UGA senior Abbey Warren says it’s also open to UGA staffers who may be having trouble feeding themselves or their families. Warren is on a student committee that’s been working for more than a year to get the food pantry launched.

Warren said nearly two dozen student organizations have joined together to start the pantry and keep it going.

“There really is a need on campus,” volunteer Mae Brennan told the newspaper.

That’s especially true lately, said Alan Campbell, assistant vice president for student affairs and head of UGA Student Support Services.

“We have quite a number of students who are struggling to get by right now,” Campbell said.

Campbell sees students whose parents have lost their jobs, students with expensive health costs for themselves or their families, even homeless students. And like other people struggling financially, some students sometimes have to make a choice between buying medicine doctors prescribe or buying food, he told the newspaper.

via UGA students open food pantry for students, staff  | ajc.com.

BofA, massive layoffs, restructuring:

The recent executive shakeup at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC – News) followed by reports of massive layoffs at the bank may leave you wondering what the turmoil means for you – either as a client of the banking colossus and Merrill Lynch, the brokerage firm it owns, or as a shareholder.

As experts ponder these moves – which include the departure of Sallie Krawcheck, head of the bank’s wealth management unit and Merrill’s public face – they see a rocky period in the days ahead for the company’s shareholders, but not necessarily its clients.

via What the Bank of America shake-up means for you – Yahoo! Finance.

03
Sep
11

9.3.2011 … New (to me) restaurant Dish tonight … then we’ll see what the Redbox has in stock …oh, oh …. And then we saw …. a stretch … Truck!

Dish, restaurants, comfort food, Charlotte: Dish was good comfort food.  I enjoyed tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich!

“Dish is a disarmingly unpretentious kind of joint you immediately warm to as though it were your mama’s or grandma’s kitchen. The menu is one you can afford with food you grew up on. Best of all, if you are lucky enough to live in this neighborhood, Dish is a place you can walk to, and walk into knowing you will see people you know.”

– Creative Loafing

via Welcome to Dish.

random, LOL, Charlotte: we saw a stretch truck! Only in Charlotte.  Unfortunately, it was gone before I could get a pic.

The Beaver movies, review, controversy:  Anyone seen the Beaver?  My take –  definitely not uplifting … funny, but in a dark way … I of course researched a couple of questions as I watched.  Interestingly, I researched more than I usually do.  Maybe because of the troubling themes or the dark and slightly bizarre nature of the film.

1: Is it Michael Caine’s voice for the beaver?

Can you talk about the importance of the beaver’s voice? Gibson’s voice [as the beaver] could almost be swapped out by Michael Caine.

He’s not quite as slow as Caine, but we wanted him to have a very deliberate and distinct voice, because he’s Walter’s coping mechanism, but at some point the coping mechanism he’s using begins killing him.

via SXSW: Interview with Jodie Foster for The Beaver | Lost In Reviews.

2) Why did Jodie Foster use Mel Gibson?

And that stance applies to her latest movie, The Beaver, a dramedy directed by Foster and starring Mel Gibson as an emotionally comatose man wielding a hand puppet. In the film, which expands to more theaters this weekend after an underwhelming box-office performance in limited release, Gibson plays a father and toy company owner who comes to life with the help of an obnoxious furry appendage who orders Gibson’s near-catatonic Walter to get over himself . Active both behind and in front of the camera, Foster plays his patient yet ultimately frustrated wife.

The odd little movie was already topically a tough sell — and that was before Gibson’s misbehaving overshadowed anything a Hollywood screenwriter could cook up. Foster was aware, before the movie opened, that it was “not for everyone. I don’t really make movies that have to be for everyone. I was really moved by a movie that talked about so many incredibly deep things, and things that touched me about family and sadness and loneliness. It’s the movie I really wanted to make,” she says, adding ruefully that “it’s been a weird path.”

No kidding. Foster is, of course, referring to her star’s notorious image implosion as Gibson made headlines for vitriolic, threatening voice-mails left to his former girlfriend and the mother of infant daughter Lucia. That, coupled with the anti-Semitic comments he made after his 2006 arrest for drunken driving, has made him Hollywood’s actor non grata and seemingly left audiences unable to separate the man from the respected actor. Gibson has retreated from the public eye, leaving Foster to speak on his behalf and promote their film.

“He has a weird mouth. As we know, he says anything that comes out of his head,” she says.

Not that Foster has appointed herself Gibson’s apologist or one-woman PR machine. “I’m not defending him. I can’t defend what he does. He has to defend what he does,” Foster says. “He’s an excellent actor. He’s a great friend. He’s someone I love. When you love somebody, you don’t just run away from them when they’re struggling. I will always be there.”

via Jodie Foster talks for ‘The Beaver,’ Mel Gibson – USATODAY.com.

3) Any relationship to Leave it to Beaver?

The other Beav, as insomniac devotees of nostalgia TV may recall, was the youngest son of the Cleavers, a television brood who smiled through “Leave It to Beaver” in the late 1950s and early ’60s. Like other postwar shows it enshrined a traditional nuclear family, with a full-time homemaker mom and dad with an outside job. The family in “The Beaver” is more off kilter: mom, Meredith (Ms. Foster), designs roller coasters out of her home office, and dad is, well, bonkers. But Meredith still performs her motherly role, pretty much as June Cleaver did a half-century ago. Only now, in the Age of Dysfunction, she smiles through the tears, even when her husband brings his creepy handy helper into their conjugal bed.

Is the puppet a totem of the Cleavers and constructed fantasies of family? Probably not, though imagining that’s the case makes “The Beaver” more interesting to watch. As written by Kyle Killen, the film adheres to a gnawingly familiar arc in which an unhappy family suffers, learns from its pain (the script is a veritable lesson plan) and comes together because, well, they’re family. That’s a nice idea. Even so, it’s hard not to believe that everyone, the children and audience included, might have been happier if Meredith had institutionalized Walter. He’d still get to keep his therapy puppet, and Mr. Gibson would still be able to deliver a gesturally and vocally persuasive performance as the man with two heads, one meat and one cloth.

via ‘The Beaver’ With Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster – Review – NYTimes.com.

4) Reviews: My take –  worthy of a redbox rental … definitely not uplifting … funny, but in a dark way.  Other Reviews?  Most definitely panned.

The Beaver might have been interesting if it was boldly, defiantly, autobiographical – with Gibson holding a toy Adolf Hitler puppet. Or if it was about a stressed beaver with a Gibson puppet.

Instead we have a standard-issue indie-quirk picture which draws laborious parallels between the mixed-up middle youth grownups and their teenage offspring: Gibson’s adolescent son, who worries about turning out like his appalling dad, makes money writing other people’s class papers in their style – ventriloquising them, in fact – and he too is alienated from his emotions.

Kyle Killen’s script is pretty similar in feel to Alan Ball’s screenplay for American Beauty and its themes of midlife crisis and absurdity have a little of movies such as Being There and Network. And of course the creepy hand-puppet gaining, as it were, the upper hand, must inevitably remind the audience of Michael Redgrave in Cavalcanti’s Dead of Night.

In each case, the situation’s power surely consists in the leading character having some compelling vulnerability, or some genuine hurt or need, which endows the resulting dysfunction with dramatic meaning and force. And Gibson’s character, tellingly, hasn’t really done anything bad, apart from generally suffer from grouchy middle-aged depression. The person who really should be depressed is his wife (played by Foster herself) who has the quirky job of roller-coaster designer, but is landed with a blandly written role.

The Beaver might not have been bad if it was acted with some subtlety and realism and something approaching a sense of humour. Well, Gibson will have to get his teeth into something else.

via Cannes 2011 review: The Beaver | Film | The Guardian.

Maybe Ms. Foster thought she was doing Mr. Gibson a favor by showing that he could play a troubled man who simply needs help. The problem is that, as an actor, Mr. Gibson doesn’t do normal anymore and is at his best playing men on the verge, as in “Edge of Darkness,” a thriller about a cop hunting his daughter’s murderer. It was a suitably blunt character for an actor who has become a blunt instrument and has a lock on loony tuners and angry patriarchs. That should make Walter a fine fit for Mr. Gibson, except that there’s no there there to the character, just a puppet with a bad attitude and good timing. A raggedy rage-aholic, it steals the show, handily. Take away his puppet, and the man disappears.

via ‘The Beaver’ With Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster – Review – NYTimes.com.

Steve Jobs, philanthropy, journalism, followup:  After the NYT published a rather scathing report of Steve Job’s lack of philanthropy, I found Bono’s response enlightening … and wonder why the NYT report missed this.

As a founder of (Product)RED, I’d like to point out that Apple’s contribution to our fight against AIDS in Africa has been invaluable. Through the sale of (RED) products, Apple has been (RED)’s largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — giving tens of millions of dollars that have transformed the lives of more than two million Africans through H.I.V. testing, treatment and counseling. This is serious and significant. And Apple’s involvement has encouraged other companies to step up.

Steve Jobs said when we first approached him about (RED), “There is nothing better than the chance to save lives.”

I’m proud to know him; he’s a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he’s been extremely busy, that doesn’t mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things. You don’t have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn’t do things by halves.

BONO

Dublin, Sept. 1, 2011

via Bono Praises Steve Jobs as Generous and ‘Poetic’ – NYTimes.com.

9/11:  Some very powerful videos here.  9/11 aftermath: Eerie subway tour – The Washington Post.

Great Recession, Keynesian economics, End of an Era:  Some great articles about how we got to this place and where we go next?  I don’t necessarily agree, but I think they are worth reading.

It is self-evident that conventional economics has failed, completely, utterly and totally. The two competing cargo cults of tax cuts/trickle-down and borrow-and-spend stimulus coupled with monetary manipulation have failed to restore advanced Capitalism’s vigor, not just in America, but everywhere.

Conventional econometrics is clueless about the root causes of advanced finance-based Capitalism’s ills. To really understand what’s going on beneath the surface, we must return to “discredited” non-quant models of economics: for example, Marx’s critique of monopoly/cartel, finance-dominated advanced Capitalism. (“Capitalism” is capitalized here to distinguish it from “primitive capitalism.”)

All those fancy equation-based econometrics that supposedly model human behavior have failed because they are fundamentally and purposefully superficial: they are incapable of understanding deeper dynamics that don’t fit the ruling political-economy conventions.

Marx predicted a crisis of advanced Capitalism based on the rising imbalance of capital and labor in finance-dominated Capitalism. The basic Marxist context is history, not morality, and so the Marxist critique is light on blaming the rich for Capitalism’s core ills and heavy on the inevitability of larger historic forces.

In other words, what’s wrong with advanced Capitalism cannot be fixed by taxing the super-wealthy at the same rate we self-employed pay (40% basic Federal rate), though that would certainly be a fair and just step in the right direction. Advanced Capitalism’s ills run much deeper than superficial “class warfare” models in which the “solution” is to redistribute wealth from the top down the pyramid.

This redistributive “socialist” flavor of advanced Capitalism has bought time–the crisis of the 1930s was staved off for 70 years–but now redistribution as a saving strategy has reached its limits.

via charles hugh smith-Marx, Labor’s Dwindling Share of the Economy and the Crisis of Advanced Capitalism.

The Keynesian pump-priming of Mr. Bush and the pump-flooding of Mr. Obama have been unmitigated disasters. The inescapable reality is that the government cannot create wealth and every dollar it spends must be taken from the private sector, which can. As Ayn Rand wrote, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”Martha’s Vineyard is a great place to avoid reality, but our president is well-rested now and ready to try his luck once more with a big-government stimulus program. This from the man who famously said, “We’ve got a big hole that we’re digging ourselves out of.” Please, just stop digging. Instead, give Americans themselves a chance to stimulate our economy.Entrepreneurs will create the jobs and reignite the economy if the government will create a predictable business climate and then just get out of the way. Start by eliminating every chokehold the government has on the economy. Make the Bush tax cuts permanent (until fair flat-tax reform can be enacted). Repeal Dodd-Frank. Suspend Sarbanes-Oxley until it can be reformed. Repeal Obamacare. Institute an immediate moratorium on new government regulations and take a machete (not a scalpel) to the current Federal Register. And finally, stow the destructive and divisive class-warfare language that is unbecoming of an American president.

In short, allow Americans to be Americans once more.

via WOLF: Prosperity starts with Americans, not Uncle Sam – Washington Times.

What’s worse – at least in Obamaworld – is that I, like most physicians, have two jobs: I’m also responsible for a business that creates jobs and employs some great Americans. This despite our government’s burdensome taxes, regulations and licenses, which already have created formidable obstacles to entrepreneurial success. You don’t believe me? Try launching a company or getting a new drug approved. Heck, try starting a lemonade stand. As if these barriers weren’t enough already, Obamanomics increases taxes, regulatory burdens and uncertainties that weigh heavily on each new hire. And yet I stubbornly ignore the president’s incentives by keeping many good people employed. In my defense, however, medical practices today have to hire their own in-house bureaucracies just to cope with the demands of Washington’s bureaucracies. You might think it would be nice if health care money went to, you know, health care, but don’t be naive – your government knows best.

Embarrassingly, I must confess that I balance my own budget, both personal and professional. I realize that’s anathema to Obamanomics, but I just can’t escape my vice of fiscal sanity. What’s more, even though there’s “shovel-ready” money to be had from “Obama’s stash,” I stubbornly insist on paying my own bills. This sometimes leads to difficult choices: I’m the only doctor in America, for example, who drives a car officially declared a “clunker” by his own cousin-in-chief, but I’m from the branch of the family that doesn’t believe in spending money you don’t have – plus, I love my SUV. Still, the undeniable reality is that according to the Obama way of thinking, I obviously sabotaged our economy when I undercut the stimulus and its related gimmicks like “Cash for Clunkers” by refusing to participate in the giveaways.

Worst of all, however, I have become the single greatest impediment to Americans’ prosperity in Obamaworld: a high-wage earner. That I clawed my way toward the American dream with humbling jobs since the age of 12, volunteered for a grinding decade of medical training and lived more of my adult years deep in the bottom rungs of incomes than the top, I know now, is no excuse. Obamanomics is about spreading the wealth, not creating it. In my defense, wildly increased taxes, stifling malpractice insurance and even steep medical school loans have worked wonders to erase the gains. Still, Mr. Obama claims that families earning more than $250,000 a year are “millionaires and billionaires.” Who knew? Those tax-free corporate jets can’t be far behind.

Of course, I’m not alone. Tens of millions of Americans are frustrating the socialist aspirations of this president simply by getting up each morning and going to work. You know who you are. You’re not just suckers, you’re saboteurs. Barack Obama would prefer we all be wards of the state rather than active producers. How else can you explain the incentives he champions: endless jobless benefits, cradle-to-grave welfare handouts, “tax cuts” for non-taxpayers, and on and on. Thus proclaims the president who himself raked in a cool $7.2 million over the past two years, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” The key word there is “you.”

Obamanomics hasn’t failed America; we’ve failed it. We refused to become the wards of the state as it demands. I cling (though not bitterly) to my belief that America would be better served if Barack Obama concentrated more on spreading my work ethic than my wealth. I now realize that by serving my community rather than organizing it, by creating jobs and wealth and by holding dear the American dream, I have sabotaged Obamanomics. I hope America will forgive me.

via WOLF: I’m exactly what’s wrong with Barack Obama’s America – Washington Times.

teaching,teachers, professions, culture, Mrs. Clay, E. Rivers School, The Westminster Schools, kudos:  I found myself bashing teachers at dinner last night … then I read this and I said to myself … thank you, Mrs. Clay (E. Rivers School, Atlanta) for teaching me in 1968 that  I can be race-blind, and thank you, The Westminster Schools for establishing a very high standard and meeting it with the gift of so many great teachers.  I need to write my own thank you essay.  Add that to the list.

But how do we expect to entice the best and brightest to become teachers when we keep tearing the profession down? We take the people who so desperately want to make a difference that they enter a field where they know that they’ll be overworked and underpaid, and we scapegoat them as the cause of a societywide failure.

A March report by the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that one of the differences between the United States and countries with high-performing school systems was: “The teaching profession in the U.S. does not have the same high status as it once did, nor does it compare with the status teachers enjoy in the world’s best-performing economies.”

The report highlights two examples of this diminished status:

• “According to a 2005 National Education Association report, nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years teaching; they cite poor working conditions and low pay as the chief reason.”

• “High school teachers in the U.S. work longer hours (approximately 50 hours, according to the N.E.A.), and yet the U.S. devotes a far lower proportion than the average O.E.C.D. country does to teacher salaries.”

via In Honor of Teachers – NYTimes.com.

Stonehenge, archeology, new discoveries,Digging for Britain, tv:   I am fascinated with Stonehenge.  I will have a new show to watch – Digging for Britain.

Prof Darvill said: “It’s a little piece of keyhole surgery into an important monument, but it has actually lived up to our expectations perfectly.”

The area has many springs, which may have been associated with ritual healing in prehistoric times – and their existence may be the reason why these particular stones were quarried for another monument so far away.

Prof Wainwright said: “The important thing is that we have a ceremonial monument here that is earlier than the passage grave.

“We have obviously got a very important person who may have been responsible for the impetus for these stones to be transported.

“It can be compared directly with the first Stonehenge, so for the first time we have a direct link between Carn Menyn – where the bluestones came from – and Stonehenge, in the form of this ceremonial monument.”

A new series of BBC Two’s Digging for Britain begins at 21:00 on Friday, 9 September.

via BBC News – Tomb found at Stonehenge quarry site.

Michael Vickers, Al Qaeda, counterterrorism, CIA:   “I just want to kill those guys,” Mr. Vickers likes to say in meetings at the Pentagon, with a grin. … Mr. Vickers’s preoccupation — “my life,” he says — is dismantling Al Qaeda. I guess you have to think like that to do what he does … I would think it would have both an emotional and spiritual toll on him.

Every day, Michael G. Vickers gets an update on how many in Al Qaeda’s senior leadership the United States has removed from the battlefield, and lately there has been much to report. Al Qaeda’s No. 2 died in a C.I.A. drone strike late last month, another senior commander was taken out in June, and the Navy Seals made history when they dispatched Osama bin Laden in May.Enlarge This Image

Michael G. Vickers, once a Green Beret and a C.I.A. operative, helped persuade a cautious Robert M. Gates, then the defense secretary, to go along with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

“I just want to kill those guys,” Mr. Vickers likes to say in meetings at the Pentagon, with a grin.

Mr. Vickers’s preoccupation — “my life,” he says — is dismantling Al Qaeda. Underneath an owlish exterior, he is an ex-Green Beret and former C.I.A. operative with an exotic past. His title is under secretary of defense for intelligence, and he has risen to become one of the top counterterrorism officials in Washington.

As covert American wars — in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — continue in the second decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, so will the questions of legality, morality and risk that go along with them.

via A Man Behind the Hunt for Al Qaeda – NYTimes.com.

30
Aug
11

‎8.30.2011 … doing the little things … servicing cars and inspections … etc.

Apple, tablets, competition: War?

If Apple has to “prepare for war,” she says, they have only themselves to blame. “Product strategists at Apple … fired the first shot” by changing the App Store rules and making it harder for Amazon to sell books on Apple’s devices.

via Forrester: Amazon’s tablet will bury the iPad – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech.

The Help, bookshelf, movie, reviews:  I thoroughly enjoyed this review because of its honesty.

Today I enjoy many friends of all races and I am so grateful that God protected my heart from the hatefulness of prejudice. When I meet someone, I simply see that person. I am not aware of skin color, eye shape, hair texture, I simply see a soul that God loves.

Over the years I have learned that most racial prejudice is rooted in fear and ignorance, and is never rational. I have read somewhere that it is rooted in tribalism and was about maintaining one’s possessions, hunting grounds, or agricultural lands. Differences in dress (costume) signaled the enemy and so people learned to fear those who are different. I have no idea just how correct that theory is, but it at least gives me some rational reason for such an irrational way of thinking.

In closing I highly recommend, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, both book and movie.

via ‘The Help’ by Jack DeJarnette | LikeTheDew.com.


Arab Spring, guessing game:  The world is still in shock …

IN FEBRUARY we put together an index that attempted to predict which Arab regime would be toppled next. At the time Libya seemed rather an unlikely candidate for regime change, even though the index suggested Muammar Qaddafi’s time as Brother-Leader might be numbered. Below is the interactive version of the Shoe Thrower’s Index, set with the weightings we originally chose. Play around with it to explore the factors that created fertile soil for the Arab Spring.

via Daily chart: Return of the shoe throwers | The Economist.

Steve Jobs, Apple, changing the world:  Another interesting article on Steve Jobs.

We know the world, and each other, better because of him. With his Apple Mac he managed, in the words of Walt Whitman, to “unscrew the locks from the doors.” He precipitated an enlightenment. But as with the dazzling light of many great inventions, unexpected shadows were created—the greatest of which is an eroding of privacy, now verging on a total loss of solitude. Beware of darkness.
In public appearances in recent years, Jobs has been thinner, whittled to his essence, and yet somehow this seemed to emphasize his elasticity and endurance, a metonym for his ever-thinner, ever-more-adaptable machines. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” Jobs said toward the end of the Stanford speech. “Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important?.?.?.?There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Facebook, daily deals:  I never saw anything I wanted to buy.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to metro Atlantans: Facebook is ending its “deals” program.The daily-deal type offerings promoted spas, horseback riding trips and the typical restaurant discounts — many times for large groups of people — through the current Facebook platform.Although Facebook hasn’t announced a reason for dumping “deals,” speculation includes consumer deal fatigue. When I wrote a column on Facebook in May, I had trouble finding anyone who’d actually bought a Facebook deal here in Atlanta, one of the five test markets.According to media sources, the demise of “deals” won’t affect Facebook’s location-based “check-in deals.”What’s your go-to daily deal source? Are there any underdogs you think offer better discounts?
physics, God particle, Big Bang: Big question!
CERN’s statement said new results, which updated findings that caused excitement at a scientific gathering in Grenoble last month, “show that the elusive Higgs particle, if it exists, is running out of places to hide.”Under what is known as the Standard Model of physics, the boson, which was named after British physicist Peter Higgs and is sometimes know as the God particle, is posited as having been the agent that gave mass and energy to matter just after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.For some scientists, the Higgs remains the simplest explanation of how matter got mass. It remains unclear what could replace it as an explanation. “We know something is missing; we simply don’t quite know what this new something might be,” wrote CERN blogger Pauline Gagnon.
book clubs, technology: Video chat with an author!
Skype made book club headlines today as one author used the video chat service to visit book clubs around the country.If you want to have an author speak to your book club through video chat, check out our Authors Who Visit Book Clubs list to find nearly 1,000 writers–simply explore the “Video Chat” category to find a video-friendly author in your favorite genre. Read our Host a Virtual Book Club on Facebook, Skype or Google article for more tools.Here’s more from Reuters: “Nine book clubs across the United States took part in an hour-long discussion earlier this month with Meg Wolitzer, the best-selling author of the ‘The Ten-Year Nap,’ in what is thought to be the first coast-to-coast virtual book club with multiple participants.” (Image via)
food, locavore, globalization:  Interesting historical analysis of the local food movement.
The foods we consider local are results of a globalization process that has been in full swing for more than five centuries, ever since Columbus landed in the New World. Suddenly all the continents were linked, mixing plants and animals that had evolved separately since the breakup of the ancient supercontinent Pangaea.What resulted, Mr. Mann argues in his fascinating new book, “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created,” was a new epoch in human life, the Homogenocene. This age of homogeneity was brought on by the creation of a world-spanning economic system as crops, worms, parasites and people traveled among Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia — the Columbian Exchange, as it was dubbed by the geographer Alfred W. Crosby.“The Columbian Exchange,” Mr. Mann writes, “is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in the United States, chocolates in Switzerland and chili peppers in Thailand. To ecologists, the Columbian Exchange is arguably the most important event since the death of the dinosaurs.”
Meanwhile, people in Europe were reaping nutritional benefits from the Columbian Exchange. Europeans’ diets improved radically from the introduction of potatoes and what Mr. Mann calls the first green revolution: the widespread use of fertilizer, made possible by the importing of guano from Peru.As always, there were trade-offs. In China, the introduction of maize and sweet potatoes to the highlands provided vital sustenance — and erosion that flooded rice paddies. A ship carrying guano fertilizer to Europe was probably also the source of the organism that blighted the potato crops in Europe and led to the great famine in Ireland in the 1840s.Mr. Mann has come to sympathize with both sides in the debate over globalization. The opponents of globalization correctly realize that trade produces unpredictable and destructive consequences for the environment and for society, he says, but globalization also leads to more and better food, better health, longer life and other benefits that affluent Western locavores take for granted.
“People in Brazil still talk bitterly about the Brits stealing their rubber seeds and planting them in Asia,” Mr. Mann said. “Brazilians will denounce this horrible ‘bio-piracy’ while they’re standing in front of fields of bananas and coffee — plants that originated in Africa.” Two other leading crops in Brazil, soybeans and sugar, he noted, are from Asia.“But if your concern is to produce the maximum amount of food possible for the lowest cost, which is a serious concern around the world for people who aren’t middle-class foodies like me, this seems like a crazy luxury. It doesn’t make sense for my aesthetic preference to be elevated to a moral imperative.”
BofA:
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan bought himself some breathing room as the bank agreed to sell more than $8 billion of China Construction Bank Corp. stock, its second multibillion-dollar deal in a week.Shares rose 8% Monday, adding to a rally following a deal Thursday for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to buy $5 billion worth of Bank of America stock. Since the Buffett deal, the Charlotte, N.C., lender has regained $14 billion of market value.
Like its competitors, Bank of America has struggled to make up revenue lost to a stagnant economy and tighter rules on fees.But Bank of America faces additional worries because of its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled California lender that is the source of many bad mortgages now plaguing the bank.Construction on the Hong Kong headquarters of CCB takes place in front of the Bank of America Tower.”No one really knows the capital hole that sits there,” said Mr. Miller, the bank analyst for FBR Capital Markets.Shareholders, he said, could get more comfortable about that exposure if a judge rules that an $8.5 billion settlement the Bank of America reached with a group of mortgage-bond investors is fair and can move forward. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday joined the parties objecting to that proposed agreement.
faith and spirituality:  Like this article!
Polkinghorne doesn’t know for sure that there is a God. And yet, when he was at the top of his game in physics at Cambridge in 1979, he left the laboratory studying one unseen reality for the seminary to study another unseen reality. He became a priest in the Anglican Church. In addition to believing that quarks exist, he believes in a God who is driven by love to continuously create a world that is beautiful. For him, the theories that have God in them work. But he doesn’t really know for sure. And he’s OK with that.
Religious belief in the modern age doesn’t seem to hold much room for uncertainty or doubt. In November of last year, I took Polkinghorne to the Creation Museum in Santee, Calif., to see how he would react to a hall dedicated to certainty. The museum organizers are certain that there was a six-day, 24-hour creation, that there was a literal Adam and Eve, that Darwin and Hitler belonged on the same wall of genetic engineers, and that evolution is a hoax. Polkinghorne stopped at a display that said the Bible has no record of death until Adam and Eve’s sin. (Apparently even animals lived forever before the humans ate the apple.) Polkinghorne gazed at what appeared to be the museum’s certainty and said to me, “The Bible may not have a record of it, but there is plenty of evidence in the fossil record.” Motivating evidence changes one’s beliefs. Or at least it can if we aren’t holding on to our certainty too tightly.
It may be OK, finally, for people to admit that they don’t know things for sure — whether it’s about quarks, light, God or the best way forward for the nation’s economy.At 80, Polkinghorne doesn’t let his own doubts keep him from believing, any more than he let his doubts about quantum physics keep him from solving problems. He still prays, still celebrates the Eucharist, still believes in some kind of life eternal.As for belief in God, “It’s a reasonable position, but not a knock-down argument,” he said. “It’s strong enough to bet my life on it. Just as Polanyi bet his life on his belief, knowing that it might not be true, I give my life to it, but I’m not certain. Sometimes I’m wrong.”
cycling, green, NYC:

But, white gloves or no, bike storage tends to be easier to find in new buildings, whether condo or rental. As of 2009 most new buildings, including multifamily residential, have been required by the city to provide some bike storage. (Offering it is also a relatively inexpensive way for a developer to gain points toward LEED certification, which measures a building’s environmental impact.)

“It adds to the general tone of the building,” said Shaun Osher, the founder of the brokerage CORE, who kept his rusty bike on the fire escape when he first moved to New York City 20 years ago. “It’s one less thing you have to worry about in your apartment.”

In most buildings, however, either the service is free or the fee is nominal, maybe $10 a month. That small sum is mostly intended to discourage the leaving of unused and unusable bikes in storage ad infinitum, rather than to raise revenue.

“When you’re paying top dollar for a home,” said Mr. Kliegerman of Halstead, “you wouldn’t expect to pay to hang your bike on a wall.”

Many New Yorkers, of course, do surrender chunks of their living rooms to their two-wheelers. And they make do.

“People find all kinds of creative solutions,” said Richard Hamilton, a senior vice president aof Halstead Property. “I’ve seen bike pulleys that get them off the floor. In my old apartment, we put up hooks and hung them. Or you could lean it against the wall. And then it falls on you. And then you cuss.”

via The Bicycle Muscles In – NYTimes.com.

NASA, space station:  I hope this problem can be solved.
Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed.This photograph from May shows the International Space Station and the space shuttle Endeavour docked on the left.Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit.Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station.“We’re going to do what’s the safest for the crew and for the space station, which is a very big investment of our governments,” said Michael T. Suffredini, manager of the space station program for NASA, during a news conference on Monday. “Our job is, as stewards of the government, to protect that investment, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”The $100 billion station has been continuously occupied for over a decade.Last Wednesday, an unmanned Russian cargo ship known as the Progress, which was carrying three tons of supplies to the space station, crashed in Siberia. Telemetry from the rocket indicated that a drop of fuel pressure led its computer to shut down the third-stage engine prematurely five and a half minutes into flight.
apps, translators, travel:  May have to try this next time I travel to a non-English speaking country.
Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time! PLEASE NOTE: Language packs must be purchased from within the app. Use Word Lens on vacation, business travel, and just for fun.
Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, quotes:  The more I read the more I like Powell and the less I like Cheney.
But I got some new favorite Powell quotes this weekend, when he went on “Face the Nation” to talk about Dick Cheney’s charming new book. “I think Dick overshot the runway,” Powell said, with the “cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the Administration.” One of the many things that bothered Powell was Cheney’s complaint that he didn’t support the President:Well, who went to the United Nations and, regrettably, with a lot of false information? It was me. It wasn’t Mr. Cheney.Cheney was peddling the false information—does that count? Schieffer said afterward that Powell struck him as “truly, I think, offended about what he read in this book…. “Interior lines of communication,” “another block away,” “everybody needs a shoulder,” “he would do the same for me”—real knowledge of war, street smarts, human sympathy, and humility: four qualities that “the lone cowboy,” if he ever had them, fatally lacked in his all too influential Vice-Presidency, and now again in his memoir. There will be more to say about that—and particularly about Cheney’s expressed desire for waterboarding. (He seems to be the sort of man who, told that he li torture ved in a city on a fjord, would start babbling about how well worked for the Vikings.) Does being a lone cowboy mean losing all sense of shame?via Close Read: Colin Powell and the Lone Cowboy : The New Yorker.
Steve Jobs, Apple, philanthropy:  I have often wondered about this …

In 2006, in a scathing column in Wired, Leander Kahney, author of “Inside Steve’s Brain,” wrote: “Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.”

Yet Mr. Jobs has always been upfront about where he has chosen to focus. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 1993 , he said, “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

Let’s hope Mr. Jobs has many more years to make wonderful things — and perhaps to inspire his legions of admirers to give.

Despite accumulating an estimated $8.3 billion fortune through his holdings in Apple and a 7.4 percent stake in Disney (through the sale of Pixar), there is no public record of Mr. Jobs giving money to charity. He is not a member of the Giving Pledge, the organization founded by Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates to persuade the nation’s wealthiest families to pledge to give away at least half their fortunes. (He declined to participate, according to people briefed on the matter.) Nor is there a hospital wing or an academic building with his name on it.

None of this is meant to judge Mr. Jobs. I have long been a huge admirer of Mr. Jobs and consider him the da Vinci of our time. Before writing this column, I had reservations about even raising the issue given his ill health, and frankly, because of the enormous positive impact his products have had by improving the lives of millions of people through technology.

via The Mystery of Steve Jobs’s Public Giving – NYTimes.com.




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