Northern Lights, GA: My son has seen the Northern Lights in Canada … It’s on my list. Never would have thought I could see them in North Georgia.
A solar storm on Monday led to a rare and impressive overnight display of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, that was seen as far south as north Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
“A big geomagnetic storm caused the rare Aurora this far south,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said.
The website spaceweather.com reported that a coronal mass ejection hit Earth at about 2 p.m. EDT on Monday, sparking the intense geomagnetic storm that left a red hue in the northern sky far south of areas that normally experience the Northern Lights.
The website said that Monday night’s Aurora was seen in more than half of all U.S. states.
“Many observers, especially in the deep South, commented on the pure red color of the lights they saw,” the website said. “These rare all-red auroras sometimes appear during intense geomagnetic storms.”
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Condoleezza Rice, Arab Spring, immigration, education: I really like Rice. Wish I had seen her in Charlotte.
3. The Arab Spring is up there with 9/11 and the global financial crisis as great shocks shaping the world. The average American knows the movement against Middle East dictators is important, but few, we bet, would put that up with 9/11 and the recession.
2. America is wrong to be so anti-immigrant. Immigrants have made this country great, and can continue to do so, she said. A top Russian official boasted to Rice that it had the best minds in technology. “Yes,” Rice said, “unfortunately, they’re all working in Palo Alto and Tel Aviv.” She told the Observer earlier that her biggest regret from her time in the Bush administration was the failure of comprehensive immigration reform to pass. “Sometimes I don’t understand the conversation we’re having about immigration,” she said Tuesday. “When did immigrants become the enemy?”
1. The greatest national security crisis facing the United States? Not al-Qaida. Not Iran. Not North Korea. It’s the crisis in K-12 education.
Supreme Court, Freedom of Speech, social networking, education, MySpace Case:
Blue Mountain School District officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal of a ruling for a student disciplined for a MySpace parody of the middle school principal.
In a petition filed Tuesday and docketed Thursday by the nation’s highest court, district officials asked the court to hear their arguments in favor of overturning the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 13 decision overturning the 2007 suspension of a student identified only as J.S.
The petition asked the court to issue a writ of certiorari, which is the official order indicating that it will hear the case.
By an 8-6 vote, the circuit court ruled that the parodies J.S. and a friend posted were protected by the First Amendment because they were created off school grounds, and that they were unlikely to cause significant disruptions in the school.
faith and spirituality, The Church: “Would we have recognized Jesus as the Christ if we had met him many years ago? Are we able to recognize him today in his body, the Church? We are asked to make a leap of faith. If we dare to do it our eyes will be opened and we will see the glory of God.”
As Jesus was one human person among many, the Church is one organization among many. And just as there may have been people with more attractive appearances than Jesus, there may be many organizations that are a lot better run than the Church. But Jesus is the Christ appearing among us to reveal God’s love, and the Church is his people called together to make his presence visible in today’s world.
Would we have recognized Jesus as the Christ if we had met him many years ago? Are we able to recognize him today in his body, the Church? We are asked to make a leap of faith. If we dare to do it our eyes will be opened and we will see the glory of God.
NFL, Redskins, black fans, DC, history: Redemption story?
Fifty years ago this fall, civil rights groups protested the opening of D.C. Stadium, whose most important tenants — the Washington Redskins — were the last National Football League team to remain segregated. A half-century after many area sports fans boycotted the team for racial reasons, the Redskins have an unrivaled hold on Washington’s black community.
The affinity for the team is seen at Mount Ephraim Baptist Church on fall Sundays, when the Rev. Joseph Gilmore Jr., dismisses his parishioners at 12:30 so he can get situated in his “man cave” before kickoff.
The deep relationship between the Washington area’s black sports fans and the Redskins is supported by a new Washington Post poll , which found that two-thirds of African American fans have a favorable view of the team and four in 10 feel that way “strongly.” Less than half of white fans have an overall favorable view. The racial differences concerning Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner, are even starker. Black fans are fairly evenly divided on Snyder, but 72 percent of white sports fans in the area give Snyder negative marks, compared with 9 percent positive.
zombies, apps, games: Think John needs a Zombie game?
The very concept of escape when it comes to zombies has become, from an entertainment perspective, next to impossible. They’ve saturated media and spread their virus across the public consciousness, and like the shambling hordes themselves, their appearances just keep coming. The outbreak of their pop-cultural contagion is a grim allegory to how things would probably go down if flesh-eaters suddenly invaded more than just our minds and wallets.
Dead Escape, then, is just another in the zombie ranks, with its only real differentiation being that it looks pretty nice for an iOS game. Interestingly, it’s not a combat game; in fact it only carries a “9+” rating on the App Store. Instead, it takes the familiar third-person horror genre perspective and combines it ever so slightly with a point-and-click adventure approach. This doesn’t always work, however. There’s little fear when the game refers to a zombie as an “obstacle” that you have to “get rid of,” which may involve simply finding an alternate escape route. And the zombies all inexplicably just stand there; a probable cost-cutting measure in the game’s design that makes Dead Escape one of the least thrilling infection scenarios we’ve seen to date.
Japan earthquake/tsunami 2011, followup, photo gallery: Great cleanup. I do not think the US would be nearly as far along.
Last Sunday was the six-month anniversary of the day the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast coast.
Some 20,000 people are dead or missing. More than 800,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed. The disaster crippled businesses, roads and infrastructure. The Japanese Red Cross Society estimates that 400,000 people were displaced.
Half a year later, there are physical signs of progress.
Much of the debris has been cleared away or at least organized into big piles.
Tawakkol Karman, Yemen, Arab Spring:
Tawakkol Karman, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Yemen, says that she is frustrated by what she sees as the “ambiguous” policies of the Obama administration toward the Arab Spring.
On one hand, she says, President Obama has made speeches supporting a transition to democracy in the Arab Middle East, and the administration appears to have backed popular movements for democracy in Tunisia and Egypt.
But in Yemen, Karman said in an interview Thursday, the perception is that the administration still has not detached itself from the authoritarian regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, which it has regarded as an ally in the war against terrorism.
Karman said that she traveled to Washington to make the argument to the Obama administration that it should break definitively with Saleh. It can do this, she said, by taking two steps: supporting the strongman’s referral to the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges and freezing his personal assets and those of his family. The United States adopted both measures in the case of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
“It is the obligation of the international community and the United States as the leader of freedom and democracy to stand on the side of the Yemeni people,” she said. “Saleh’s regime is over. It is just a matter of time. We, the young people, are the future, so it is in your interest to stand with us.”
Three-Line Novels: Precursor to twitter?
Artist, anarchist and literary entrepreneur Félix Fénéon was the one-man Twitter of early 20th-century France. Between May and November of 1906, he wrote 1,220 succinct and near-surrealist three-line reports in the Paris newspaper Le Matin, serving to inform of everything from notable deaths to petty theft to naval expedition disasters. In Illustrated Three-Line Novels: Félix Fénéon, artist Joanna Neborsky captures the best of these enigmatic vignettes in stunning illustrations and collages, inspired by Luc Sante’s English translation of Fénéon’s gems for the New York Review of Books. Sometimes profound, often perplexing, and always prepossessing, these visual snapshots of historical micro-narratives offer a bizarre and beautiful glimpse of a long-gone French era and a man of rare
The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, books: Sounds interesting …
The prison library counter, his new post, attracts con men, minor prophets, ghosts, and an assortment of quirky regulars searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world. There’s an anxious pimp who solicits Steinberg’s help in writing a memoir. A passionate gangster who dreams of hosting a cooking show titled Thug Sizzle. A disgruntled officer who instigates a major feud over a Post-it note. A doomed ex-stripper who asks Steinberg to orchestrate a reunion with her estranged son, himself an inmate. Over time, Steinberg is drawn into the accidental community of outcasts that has formed among his bookshelves — a drama he recounts with heartbreak and humor. But when the struggles of the prison library — between life and death, love and loyalty — become personal, Steinberg is forced to take sides.
Steve Jobs, bookstores, random: Steve is watching …
As you can see by the photo embedded above, bookstore employees photographed Walter Isacsson‘s book in various locations around the store in a playful memorial to the late Apple CEO. What do you think?
RIP, places, lists: Can you guess who is on the list? Rest in Peace (and Mystery): Top 6 Secret Burials – TIME NewsFeed.
Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs: Who will be our net visionary?
Bezos has an opportunity to become a very strong innovator, because there is a vacuum left by the tragic death of Steve Jobs, and I’m sure he sees that as an opportunity. He sees an opportunity and he is going to jump on it. It will be interesting to see the direction he takes Amazon going forward. I’m sure he’s going to continue to surprise us with new features and new products.
nostalgia, ’90s tv, millenials: I can’t stand the 90’s show!!
This summer, some of the television shows that defined the ‘90s started airing again…some simply as reruns, but others as updated versions.
In July, Nickelodeon began airing The ‘90s Are All That, a program beginning at midnight that features popular series from the ‘90s such as All That, Kenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, and Doug. Since TeenNick brought the shows back, they have averaged a 50% ratings increase among viewers 18-34.
On Thursday, Beavis and Butt-Head will make its much-anticipated return to MTV, but with certain revisions. For example, the notorious twosome will now be watching Jersey Shore.
Millennials (those born after 1980 and before 2000), often accused of being lazy and spoiled, are now facing unemployment (even though most are well-educated and highly qualified for positions) and high stress levels. In this time of uncertainty, they find these shows comforting. Experts explain the trend as “instant nostalgia.”
“I guess I have comfort in familiarity I forgot I had,” Margolis said. “Seeing an episode of Kenan and Kel that I hadn’t watched in 10 years, but finding that I remember every single word! It’s the best era of TV because the plots were unrealistic but rooted in real-life issues.”
stink bug invasion, GA: Ughh!
Entomologist Rick Hoebeke tells the Athens Banner-Herald that swarms of brown marmorated stink bugs are probably going to be seeking wintertime refuge inside Georgia homes.
He said the bugs, about a half-inch long, have been known to show up in such numbers that homeowners in Pennsylvania have used buckets and brooms to sweep them off porches.
viral videos, LOL: Jazz for Cows – YouTube.
The “New Hot 5” plays for a herd of cows in Autrans, France. I’ve never seen cows look so enthused.
via Jazz for Cows.
The Royal Society, archives: 60,000 papers online! Issac Newton … Ben Franklin …
60,000 peer-reviewed papers, including the first peer-reviewed scientific research journal in the world, are now available free online. The Royal Society has opened its historical archives to the public. Among the cool stuff you’ll find here: Issac Newton’s first published research paper and Ben Franklin’s write-up about that famous kite experiment. Good luck getting anything accomplished today. Or ever again. —
Occupy Wall Street, violence:
New Post polling shows the Occupy Wall Street movement could be a boon for Democrats in 2012. But violent clashes with the police at Occupy Oakland, along with arrests elsewhere, raise questions about how long the movement can last — and whether its message will be muddled by violence.
Oakland police fire tear gas as they prepare to move in to Frank Ogawa Plaza to disperse Occupy Oakland protesters on Tuesday. (JANE TYSKA – AP)
As police start ousting protesters, a disparate movement — one that has been embraced by many Democratic politicians and labor organizations — is struggling to respond.
Protesters in other cities are worried about suddenly finding themselves in a clash with police. And even if the vast majority of protesters are peaceful, violent provocateurs could tarnish the movement’s image in the eyes of the public.
Just as Democrats tried to tie Republicans to the most extreme tea party activists, the Massachusetts Republican Party is already attacking Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “Matriarch of Mayhem” for saying she helped create an intellectual foundation for the protests.
Storify, social news experience: Interesting concept … social news experience …
Today Storify launched its new editor interface, featuring slicker, easier-to-use tools for fast content curation.
The new foundation flip-flops the search and editor sides of the interface, and places a higher priority on each content curator writing their own text for the story. Photo searches are big and bright, and the results are displayed in a handy gallery format that mimics a slick, white cube art space. The drag-and-drop functionality makes story curation more user-friendly. Previously, Storify didn’t have a logo – now it does. Storify has its own login system now, too.
visual storytelling: These are fun.
Over the past several years, our quest to extract meaning from information has taken us more and more towards the realm of visual storytelling — we’ve used data visualization to reveal hidden patterns about the world, employed animation in engaging kids with important issues, and let infographics distill human emotion. In fact, our very brains are wired for the visual over the textual by way of the pictorial superiority effect.
viral videos, LOL: Contrex – Ma Contrexpérience – 97s – YouTube.
college application process, college major: Good advice on defining yourself.
At the College Board’s annual conference on Wednesday, I listened to an intriguing discussion of how a student’s choice of major may shape her college experience, not to mention her odds of gaining an admission offer in the first place.
Robert Springall, dean of admissions at Bucknell University, described how he weighs information about an applicant’s intended major, or the lack thereof. Mr. Springall, who brings in about 920 new students each year, said that such information is crucial to meeting a variety of enrollment goals.
“I can’t have 920 students who all want to do the same thing, and I can’t have 920 students who all come in undecided,” he said. “I can’t over-enroll engineering and have no classics majors.”
Such are the demands of shaping a class, an act that one might liken to doing a jigsaw puzzle while balancing on a tightrope. Mr. Springall must ensure that there will be enough—but not too many—students to fill each of the university’s four clusters: arts and humanities, natural and physical sciences, the school of management, and the school of engingeering.
On many campuses, the failure to spread the wealth of students among different disciplines might incur the wrath of faculty members, cause scheduling headaches, and perhaps even jeopardize an institution’s accreditation. Moreover, if a student isn’t interested in, say, engineering on day one of his freshman year, he might have problems getting on the engineering track later.
This is why Mr. Springall looks for applicants whose academic interests are at least somewhat defined. “We’re seeing the importance of starting these conversations at the high-school level and, yes, at the middle-school level,” he said.
Cape Town SA, World Design Capital 2014, kudos: One of my favorite cities in the world!
What is WDC2014?
This prestigious status is designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development.
Cape Town has been named World Design Capital for the year 2014, ahead of fellow short-listed cities, Dublin and Bilbao. The sought-after accolade was awarded to the Mother City this morning at the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress in Taipei.
Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, accepted the award on behalf of Cape Town, South Africa and the African continent.
In her acceptance speech De Lille said: “It is an honour for me to be addressing you here today as mayor of the first African city to be named a World Design Capital. A city belongs to its people and it must be designed for and with them and their communities. For many years, people have been applying innovative solutions to our challenges. They have been using design to transform various aspects of life. But they have often been working without an overarching social goal in mind.
“The World Design Capital bid process and title have helped to bring different initiatives together and have made us realise that design in all its forms, when added together, creates human and city development.
compassion, faith and spirituality, authority:
There is such an enormous hunger for meaning in life, for comfort and consolation, for forgiveness and reconciliation, for restoration and healing, that anyone who has any authority in the Church should constantly be reminded that the best word to characterize religious authority is compassion. Let’s keep looking at Jesus whose authority was expressed in compassion.
Condoleezza Rice, Moammar Gaddafi: So strange …
Rice describes a 2008 meeting between the pair that ended with Gaddafi showing her photos of Rice with world leaders — and the performance of a song he had composed in her honor.
“What was going through my head was ‘How long do I have to sit here and how quickly can I get out of here?’ You know, it was funny because when he said, ‘I have a video for you,’ I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what is this going to be?’ But it was actually just a bunch of pictures of me with Vladimir Putin, me with Hu Jintao,” Rice tells ABC News in an interview set for next week. “And then he said, ‘I have Libya’s best composer, most famous composer write this song for you,’ and it was called ‘Black Flower in the White House.’”
Rice called Gaddafi’s scrapbook “eerie” and labeled the exchange one of the strangest of her tenure.
Asked if the Bush administration grew too close to Gaddafi after he agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction, Rice said no: “I think what we did was to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction, or the most dangerous ones,” she said.
“We weren’t ever really going to get very close to Gaddafi,” Rice added. “And the most important thing was to try and open up this place that had been closed for so long, to get him out of terrorism, to get him away from weapons of mass destruction, to make it a little bit safer. But it’s far preferable that he’s gone.”
charms, fashion – accessories, Anthropologie: I did not think charm bracelets would be popular again … 🙂
faith and spirituality, spiritual master: Who would be mine …
What figure would you choose to be your spiritual master? It might be obvious to you; it might take you some serious reflection. Once you’ve identified a spiritual master, try to learn more about his or her life; think about why you picked that particular figure; and, most important, how to incorporate the lessons of that life into your own life.
For example, when I was annoyed when the woman working next to me at the library kept sighing noisily, I was inspired by St. Thérèse: she tells the story of how she once broke into a sweat at the effort to conquer her annoyance when a fellow nun made maddening clicking noises during evening prayers. I could relate.
I’m curious to know what spiritual masters other people have adopted. Have you found someone whose life or teaching has captivated you? If you’ve identified your spiritual master, please post it—I, and I’m sure other people, would be very interested to see the range of choices.
Occupy Wall Street, ‘Getting Arrested’ app, LOL:
Occupy Wall Street protesters now have a free app to alert others if they’re about to be arrested.
The Daily News (http://nydn.us/uIbKWq ) says the creator of the “I’m Getting Arrested” app is Jason Van Anden, a Brooklyn software developer. It’s available at Android Market.
Van Anden is working to make it available on iPhone.
Here’s how it works: Users write a text message in advance and program a list of recipients. As they’re about to be arrested, users can hit one button and alert everyone on their list.
thermostat, Nest Labs: Remake of the lowly thermostat …
Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive who led iPod and iPhone development from 2001 to 2009, helped transform consumer products used by millions of people. Next up: the humble household thermostat.
The device’s temperature is set by moving its outer ring.
A boring wall fixture and an unlikely target for innovation? Not to Mr. Fadell, his team of 100 computer hardware and software experts and the venture capitalists backing his Silicon Valley start-up, Nest Labs.
They see the conventional thermostat as a dumb switch that can be changed into a clever digital assistant that saves homeowners money and reduces energy consumption and pollution.
“We’ve built the world’s first learning thermostat — a thermostat for the iPhone generation,” Mr. Fadell said.
Nest Labs, based in Palo Alto, Calif., and founded last year, is announcing its offering on Tuesday, and plans to begin shipping the $249 thermostat by the middle of November.
Outsiders who have tried out the product are impressed by its stylish design, ease of use and advanced features, like motion-tracking sensors that detect whether people are present and adjust room temperatures accordingly. But it remains to be seen whether consumers and contractors will pay more for a high-tech thermostat, when good enough has been good enough for decades.
Steve Jobs, textbook market, education: “[T]he Apple co-founder was “somewhat dismissive” of technology’s ability to transform education.”
“Jobs had his sights set on textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform,” says a passage in the new book, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. It notes that Jobs said he had met with several major textbook publishers, including Pearson. It appears that his primary focus was on the K-12 textbook market. “The process by which states certify textbooks is corrupt,” Mr. Jobs is quoted as saying. “But if we can make the textbooks free, and they come with the iPad, then they don’t have to be certified. The crappy economy at the state level will last for a decade, and we can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money.”
Mr. Jobs was less keen on the power of his products to change other aspects of education, according to the book. Rupert Murdoch said that during a dinner he had with Mr. Jobs recently, the Apple co-founder was “somewhat dismissive” of technology’s ability to transform education.
Davidson College, college basketball, SoCon: Hoping for a good season.
The Davidson men’s basketball team has been picked to win the Southern Conference South Division by the league’s 12 head coaches, the conference announced today, and juniors Jake Cohen and JP Kuhlman were named to the preseason all-conference team.
Davidson earned 10 first-place votes and finished the balloting with 65 points in the South Division. College of Charleston earned the final two first-place votes and finished with 56 points. Georgia Southern was tabbed third (42) ahead of Furman (34). Wofford (32) was selected fifth with The Citadel (17) rounding out the South Division.
Jackson Pollock, “Dripped”, animated homage:
Abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, his distinctive art, his volatile personality and and his unusual creative process the subject of much curiosity and debate. Dripped is a wonderful and beautifully animated French short film by director Léo Verrier, paying homage to the great artist. Set in 1950s New York, the film follows Pollock’s ecstatic, passionate quest for truth, beauty and art as he finds the creative voice that catapulted him to the top of the art world — a mid-week treat of the finest kind
BONES, season 7: next week …
“Do I want to tell you this?” Hanson questioned. “No, there will not be a time jump after the baby is born. We will continue on. There’s no time jump. We’re going to see it through as a cohesive story from the time we come back in the beginning of the season to the end of the season. There will be no time jumps.”
But that doesn’t mean the lab will be sans Brennan for any sort of traditional maternity leave.
“Do you think Brennan would take maternity leave?” he laughed. “I don’t consider a couple days [away] a time jump…the audience should not feel a time jump [when she comes back to work].”
Looking forward to the episodes airing in 2012, Hanson teased that in addition to the return of the new serial killer, Booth and Brennan will be struggling to figure out the latest shift in their relationship.
“The personal stuff will be how does a couple have a child, work together and deal with each other, while maintaining the fact that we’re a murder show,” Hanson said. “We’re still going to solve a murder each week. So it’s going to be a murder show each week, for that segment of the audience, and we’re going to see how are they going to [balance their relationship]. That’s what the last 7 [or so] episodes of the season will be. How does that work [for them]?”
Pink flash mob, Breast Cancer Awareness:
A pink flash mob broke out in Reston Town Center to raise breast cancer awareness this weekend.
About 100 people, decked out in pink T-shirts emblazoned with the words “In It Because I Care,” danced for about three minutes to promote breast cancer awareness month and the 2012 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Megabus, Atlanta: Already have two overnights booked. Yeah!!
Starting Nov. 16, it plans to begin daily departures from a curbside bus stop at the Civic Center MARTA station in downtown Atlanta to Birmingham, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Gainesville, Fla., Jacksonville, Knoxville, Memphis, Mobile, Montgomery, Nashville and Orlando.
The company, like other new-fangled exp
college application process, scholarship: More good advice … Have to search for the left-handedness one!
The key to getting a scholarship is research. Start with your guidance counselor and college financial aid offices. Beyond traditional scholarships for academic achievement, there are literally thousands of special and unusual scholarships out there, each with its own requirements.
These scholarships may emphasize community service, leadership or work experience. Others are for students with very specific interests and talents. The Vegetarian Resource Group offers $5000 each to two students who promote vegetarianism in their school and community; the American Association of Candy Technologists offers $5000 to one lucky student interested in a career in the candy industry. There are even scholarships for left handedness, twins, knitters and skateboarders.
Make sure to do your homework; look at all the details. Pick those scholarships that match your interests and qualifications. Proofread your application. Then, proofread it again. And most importantly, don’t miss the deadline!
John McCarthy, RIP, artificial intelligence: Rest in Peace, John McCarthy … you sound like a phenomenal person.
He remained an independent thinker throughout his life. Some years ago, one of his daughters presented him with a license plate bearing one of his favorite aphorisms: “Do the arithmetic or be doomed to talk nonsense.”
RT @aaltman82 Amy Winehouse’s alcohol poisoning is poetically rendered by coroner as “death by misadventure.” Brits do have a way with words
public colleges, economy:
Tuition increases at public colleges have been a source of concern across the country as states grapple with budget cuts, and “there’s a tendency to look at national numbers,” said Sandy Baum, an independent policy analyst for the College Board and an author of the reports, who also contributes to a Chronicle blog. Yet, she said, the price increases facing students vary significantly from state to state. In Connecticut and South Carolina, for example, tuition at public four-year colleges grew by only about 2.5 percent; and in Montana and North Dakota, tuition and fees at public two-year colleges grew by less than 2 percent.
Apple, Maiden NC, solar farm, green, kudos: Kudos, Apple!
The Charlotte Observer and the Hickory Daily Record report that Apple is clearing about 100 acres of land to build a solar farm adjacent to their Maiden, NC data center.
random, art, NYC: Very weird … performance artist gives birth in museum.
Marni Kotak has given birth to her first child — inside a New York City art gallery.
The 36-year-old performance artist gave birth to a healthy 9-pound, 2-ounce, and 21-inch-long baby boy at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. Kotak had set up a home-birth center at the gallery, turning her space into a brightly decorated bedroom with ocean blue walls and photo-imprinted pillows.
“Baby X” was born at 10:17 a.m., according to a statement from the museum.
Litfy, e-books: free e-books …
Read all the novels you want, anywhere, anytime, on any device, for free.
GOP, war on science and reason: Great intro … LOL
Last month, Washington Post columnist Steve Pearlstein wrote that if you wanted to come up with a bumper sticker that defined the Republican Party’s platform it would be this: “Repeal the 20th century. Vote GOP.” With their unrelenting attempts to slash Social Security, end Medicare and Medicaid and destroy the social safety net, Republicans are, indeed, on a quest of reversal. But they have set their sights on an even bolder course than Pearlstein acknowledges in his column: It’s not just the 20th century they have targeted for repeal; it’s the 18th and 19th too.
Great Recession, unemployment, careers:
Everybody’s heard the complaints about recruiting lately.
Even with unemployment hovering around 9%, companies are grousing that they can’t find skilled workers, and filling a job can take months of hunting.
Employers are quick to lay blame. Schools aren’t giving kids the right kind of training. The government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants. The list goes on and on.
But I believe that the real culprits are the employers themselves.
With an abundance of workers to choose from, employers are demanding more of job candidates than ever before. They want prospective workers to be able to fill a role right away, without any training or ramp-up time.
In other words, to get a job, you have to have that job already. It’s a Catch-22 situation for workers—and it’s hurting companies and the economy.
philosophy: Just read it … times have changed?
For years I have been making use of a plane crash example to illustrate the moral distinction between killing people and letting people die and the results have always been the same, at least until this past week. Before getting to that, I will briefly present the examples.
I usually open my discussion of utilitarianism by noting that people tend to have utilitarian intuitions in many cases, such as those involving emergency medial treatment. My stock example is as follows:
“Imagine that you are the only available doctor on an island when a plane crashes with six people on board. You have no idea who these people are-they literally fell from the sky. Examining the people, you know that if you try to save the badly injured pilot, you will lose 3-4 of the others for sure. But, if you allow the pilot to die, you are certain you can save at least four of the passengers, maybe even five. What do you do?”
As you might suspect, everyone always says something like “save the five because five is more than one.”
When transitioning to my discussion of rule-deontology, I make the point that sometimes our intuitions seem to steer us away from just the consequences to also considering the action itself. To illustrate this intuition, I change the story just a bit:
“Imagine that you are the only available doctor on an island when a plane crashes with five people on board. You have no idea who these people are-they literally fell from the sky. To save them, you need a lot of blood and you need it fast. Coincidentally, Ted the hermit has come in for his yearly checkup. Ted has no friends or relatives and no one checks up on him. By a truly amazing coincidence Ted’s blood type means that he can donate to all five people. Unfortunately, getting enough blood to save all five will kill Ted. What do you do?”
For years, my students have said that killing Ted even to save five people would be wrong and I fully expected my current students to give the same answer. But, rather than the usual “that would be wrong”, I was met with silence. So, I asked again and two students said that they’d drain Ted. When I said that this was the first class that ever said that, the reply was “times have changed.”
I’m not quite sure what the significance of this might be, but it was certainly interesting.
Princess Bride, movies: Not my favorite movie but I found this “history” interesting. ‘Princess Bride’: An Oral History | Inside Movies | EW.com.
war crimes, Moammar Gaddafi: This will be interesting.
Gaddafi’s family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alliance’s alleged role in his death, the family’s lawyer said.
Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Gaddafi’s regime and now represents his family, told AFP news agency on Wednesday that a complaint would be filed with the Hague-based ICC because NATO’s attack on the convoy led directly to his death.
“The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC’s Rome Statute,” he said.
He said he could not yet say when the complaint would be filed, but said it would target both NATO executive bodies and the leaders of alliance member states.
Robert J. Zimmer, liberal arts education:
And yet, in a roundabout, academic fashion, the university president did imply that liberal arts skills are both translatable and necessary to all things in life.
“Not all students want or need the same education,” Mr. Zimmer said. “But even students who are being trained in a very particular area will have to confront the issue of how what they’re doing connects to what others are doing.”
He then went on to define liberal arts learning as, among other things, an education in “how to integrate multiple perspectives.”
Mr. Zimmer warned against viewing the workplace as a “collection of buckets or isolated specializations,” and he emphasized the interconnectedness of different fields and skills.
“There are arguments about the value of liberal arts education. Tuition costs are a major concern. There are financial and political pressures on institutions to show immediate value,” Mr. Zimmer conceded.
But, ultimately, he said, such concerns should not obscure the mission of liberal arts institutions: “to help students lead fuller lives and be better citizens.”
At the conclusion of Mr. Zimmer’s remarks, an audience member jumped up and asked, “People who were products of liberal arts educations at the best institutions in the country led us into the Iraq war. How do you explain that?”
“Not everybody agrees on what to do,” Mr. Zimmer responded. “It’s a good question.”
income gap, poverty, The South, Atlanta:
Atlanta has widest income gap between rich and poor of all the major U.S. cities, the U.S. Census reported on Wednesday. New Orleans ranked second, followed by the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. …
Rounding out the list of 10 big cities with the largest gaps between high and low income are Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville, all in Florida; Athens, Ga.; New York; Dallas; and Baton Rouge, La.
Cities in the South seem to have more than their share of inequality, don’t they? Maybe, this kind of thing happens when you’re pro-business, anti-union workers?