Posts Tagged ‘policy

08
Jun
14

6.8.14 … going back to being just random … Can I go back to College …

Words Matter and Student Translators Have “Mercy”, Davidson College, kith/kin: I think this is one of those classes that will stay with the students for their entire life …

Just think about that: In any language, we are indeed at the mercy, at some point, of some translator, somewhere. This night in the Carolina Inn, six Davidson students rose to offer some details of just how.

They worked from across a diverse range of traditions: a wartime radio address delivered by De Gaulle from London; a previously untranslated 1992 Gamoneda poem from Spain; a page of idiosyncratic screenplay from the recent French blockbuster The Intouchables; a ribald Roman comedy by Plautus from the first century B.C.E.; an ambiguous Greek ode by Sappho six centuries before Plautus; and a feminist revolutionary’s poem in Chinese about an early 1900s visit to Japan.

Just as telling as the original readings and translations were the students’ commentary on their projects, collected in a handsome chapbook. A sampling:

• “To complicate matters, cárdenas does not correspond directly to any color in English…. And while I believe that ‘purplish lilies’ is the best option, it still is far from perfect. Alas.” —Peter Bowman ’16, on Antonio Gamoneda’s “Book of the Cold”

via Words Matter, and Student Translators Have “Mercy”.

Senior Art History Majors Study Original Works in Vienna, Davidson College:  Can I go back to college?

At the beginning of each spring semester senior art history majors find out the title of their capstone seminar-the title reveals not only what they’ll be studying, but also where they’ll be traveling. This spring, Professor of Art History Larry Ligo announced to the nine majors that the course would be “The Art and Architecture of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.”

“It’s a significant period not only in terms of painters, but also sculptors and architects,” said Ligo. Artists and architects, including Oskar Kokoschka, Adolf Loos, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner, produced work during this 20-year period from 1890 to 1920. Two major driving forces were the 1897 Secession, during which artists hoped to transition from the traditional ornamental baroque style to a new visual language, and the Wiener Werkstätte, a production community of painters, architects and designers that evolved from the Secession.

Ligo added, “It wasn’t solely a revolutionary time for the visual arts. Freud was developing his ideas in psychology, Wittgenstein in philosophy, and Arthur Schnitzler in theatre.” To explore these subjects further, he invited three outside lecturers to lead class discussions: Professor of History Patricia Tilburg, Professor of Psychology Cole Barton and Professor of Theatre Caroline Weist.

However, the students delivered the majority of class lectures. Ligo said, “Although I designed the course, I wanted the students to take over.” Students were randomly assigned an artist, architect or movement to study in depth throughout the semester and then teach to the class. “The topics are randomly assigned because the course is meant to be a time of discovery rather than learning more about something you already know.”

The students’ individual research culminated in final lectures presented on site in Vienna.

via Senior Art History Majors Study Original Works in Vienna – Davidson College.

Vienna’s chocolate cake war, BBC News, sachertorte, Hotel Sacher or the Demel cafe:  I need to go back to Vienna … 30 years this week.

For many visitors to the Austrian capital, enjoying a slice of delicious sachertorte is an essential thing to do during their stay.

And there are two famous, rival places to go for the cake – Hotel Sacher or the Demel cafe.

“Sacher has been incredibly good at building on their brand, the famous cake, the story line, and, most importantly, maintaining the perception [of being the original]”

Martin Lindstrom, Brand expert

A classic example of a duopoly, the two businesses more than dominate the sachertorte market, both in Austria, and overseas via online sales.

The legal battle, which ran from 1954 to 1963, was centred on which had the right to call its sachertorte the “original” one.

The case was complicated by the fact that the son of the chef credited with inventing the cake, in the 19th Century, had connections to both businesses.

However, eventually an out-of-court settlement was agreed, under which Hotel Sacher became the one that could say it was the original producer of the sachertorte.

via BBC News – Vienna’s chocolate cake war.

Startup Hires “Fake” Mandela Sign-Language Interpreter for Bizarre Ad,  Re/code, can’t make this stuff up, Tel Aviv-based Livelens (which recently raised $2 million for its social live streaming app):

An Israeli startup’s new ad features the “fake” sign-language interpreter from Nelson Mandela’s memorial service — and the company says it pulled him out of a psychiatric hospital to film it.

The commercial featuring Thamsanqa Jantjie is a stunt from Tel Aviv-based Livelens, which recently raised $2 million for its social livestreaming app.

via Startup Hires “Fake” Mandela Sign-Language Interpreter for Bizarre Ad | Re/code.

VP Joe Biden, ‘Elizabeth Warren-type speech’,   CNN Political Ticker, CNN.com Blogs:  Sometimes I can’t avoid politics …

Biden did not mention his own White House ambitions. But several Democrats at the event were struck by one remark he made about Bill Clinton’s presidency: Three sources there told CNN that Biden said the fraying of middle-class economic security did not begin during President George W. Bush’s terms, but earlier, in the “later years of the Clinton administration.” Biden, of course, could face off against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 if they both decide to run.

Biden’s speech was described, to a person, as “populist.”

“He gave a stem-winding, almost revival-type speech today,” one Democrat said of the vice president. “I have never seen him this good. He was on fire. Sometimes when Joe gives a speech that goes on for 30 minutes, people are kind of drifting off or looking at their watches. But he was more enthused, more passionate. He was a preacher delivering a sermon.”

via Biden delivers ‘Elizabeth Warren-type speech’ at fundraiser – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, The Bright Cloud of Unknowing, Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9): From a while back, but I wanted it in my researchable database …

For those of you who keep the Christian calendar along with the one that says this Sunday is March 2, you know it’s the swing Sunday between the seasons of Epiphany and Lent–the day those who follow Jesus look down at our maps and say, “Uh-oh,” because it is time to turn away from the twinkling stars of Christmas toward the deep wilderness of Lent.  As gloomy as that may sound, it is very good news.  Most of us are so distracted by our gadgets, so busy with our work, so addicted to our pleasures, and so resistant to our depths that a nice long spell in the wilderness is just what we need.

No one can make you go, after all.  But if you’ve been looking for some excuse to head to your own mountaintop and pray, this is it.  If you’ve been looking for some way to trade in your old certainties for new movement in your life, look no further.  This is your chance to enter the cloud of unknowing and listen for whatever it is that God has to say to you.  Tent or no tent, this is your chance to encounter God’s contagious glory, so that a little of that shining rubs off on you.

Today you have heard a story you can take with you when you go.  It tells you that no one has to go up the mountain alone.  It tells you that sometimes things get really scary before they get holy.  Above all, it tells you that there is someone standing in the center of the cloud with you, shining so brightly that you may never be able to wrap your mind around him, but who is worth listening to all the same–because he is God’s beloved, and you are his, and whatever comes next, you are up to it.  Amen.

via The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor – The Bright Cloud of Unknowing – Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org.

Handwriting Analysis of Jane Austen, My Strength and My Song:

jane-austen1

Jane Austen, well-loved author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and others, has beautiful and unique writing that reveals much about her personality.  Click on the image above to view a larger version.  Here are a few of the traits I found in her writing:

1. Rightward Slant – Miss Austen noticeably slants to the right in her cursive.  This is normal for people of highly expressive natures.  She shows her emotions, feels comfortable expressing herself, and demonstrates compassion.  She easily sympathizes with others.

2. Desire for Culture – The lower case ‘d’ (as in ‘Friday’ at the top of the letter) that ends with a stroke high and to the left instead of returning to the baseline indicates a love for elegance, high art, fine dining, literature, and music.

3. Enthusiasm – Miss Austen’s long, rightward ‘t’-bars (as in ‘told’, ‘the’ and ‘weather’ in the first line and many following words) indicate a high level of enthusiasm, especially with regards to her interests.  This is a common trait of very successful people.  Those with this stroke are future-oriented and driven.

4. Independence – Though I said above that Miss Austen likes people and relates well to them, she also has an independent streak that shows up in her ‘y’s that end in a straight stroke below the baseline but do not veer out toward the left (as in ‘Friday’ and ‘My’ at the top).  People with this stroke prefer to get things done on their own, to not need anyone and not be needed in return.  They also do not mind spending time alone and have a need to be away from people now and then.  Not all of Austen’s ‘y’s look like this, so this personality trait would likely have shown up in some situations and not in others.  This can be a desirable trait as it also includes a sense of determination when the ‘y’ is especially heavy and straight.

5. Argumentativeness – The ‘p’ that separates from the stem and reaches high into the middle (and even upper zone) of handwriting reveals an argumentative nature.  Those with this trait might argue just for the fun of it and enjoy good verbal banter.  For examples of this ‘p’, see ‘prevent’ in the second line and ‘opportunity’ in the last line of the first paragraph.

6. Diplomacy – Many of Miss Austen’s ‘m’s begin with a hump that is taller than the others.  This is the sign of diplomacy, or the ability to approach even potentially sticky subjects with tact and grace.  This, coupled with the fact that she writes with a rightward slant, leads me to believe that Miss Austen probably had excellent social skills and was good with people.

All this talk about Jane Austen makes me want to pick up a book!  I’m off…

All the best,

Allie

PS – See handwriting analysis of more well-known figures by clicking here!

via Handwriting Analysis of Jane Austen | My Strength and My Song.

Atherton HS- Louisville KY,   Gay Straight Alliance, policy,  transgender controversy:

The controversy comes nearly two weeks after the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued guidance under its Title IX programs extending federal civil-rights protections to transgender students. However, it doesn’t offer specific advice on the use of school facilities.

The issue was brought to Aberli’s attention about a month ago when the freshman student, who was born male but identifies as a female, asked for permission to use the school’s female facilities.

“We have two facilities for all female students to use,” Aberli said. “Initially, the student was allowed to use both facilities. However, in addressing concerns raised by parents and students, I wanted to respond to those concerns, so at this time, the student is only being allowed to use one of the two restrooms.”

The situation has ignited a firestorm among some parents and community members.

Clint Elliott, an attorney with the Christian-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, asked the Jefferson County Board of Education on Monday night on behalf of several parents to overturn Aberli’s decision granting the student access to the girls’ facilities.

“Imagine this scenario — a transgender student, a biological boy who decides that he wants to identify with the female gender, and yet he acknowledges that he has a girlfriend and is sexually attracted to girls,” Elliott said. “Are parents supposed to be OK with allowing such boys to use the girls’ restroom and locker room facilities?”

Elliott argued that Title IX “certainly doesn’t require opening up opposite-sex facilities.”

“(This is) a violation of parents’ rights regarding the oversight of their children and educational environment of their children and it is certainly a violation of a student’s rights to privacy,” he told board members. “What about those girls and their rights to privacy and safety? What about the First Amendment rights of all students?”

Other parents and students have rushed to defend the student.

Lorenna Cooper, a junior at Atherton and a member of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance, said the student is a friend of hers who has “fought exceptionally hard for acceptance.”

via School rethinks policy after transgender controversy.

Facts In Your Face ‏@FactsInYourFace, zip code, acronyms: I guess I should have figured it was an acronym … In my mind I assumed it had something to do with speedy delivery.  🙂

The ‘zip’ in ‘zip code’ stands for ‘zone improvement plan’

via (1) Twitter.

The New York Times ‏@nytimes, N.B.A. fan maps: Interesting …

N.B.A. fan maps. Which team do you cheer for? http://nyti.ms/1sBvhEZ  pic.twitter.com/knWYLsZMUd

via The New York Times (nytimes) on Twitter.

At this point, you might be thinking that we’ve run out of ideas. Not exactly. It’s just that we happen to love maps, and Upshot readers seem to as well. In particular, you spent a lot of time with our interactive map and accompanying article detailing the borders of fandom for Major League baseball based on Facebook likes. The most common question from readers was: What about other sports?

Today, basketball fans can stop wondering.

We’re also able to answer what may have been the second-most common question about the baseball maps: What about Canada? Facebook data shows that the Raptors own Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, but haven’t made many incursions into the United States. Though much of the rest of Canada looks Laker purple on our map, many of those areas are sparsely populated or have the Raptors as a close second.

via Which Team Do You Cheer For? An N.B.A. Fan Map – NYTimes.com.

 

06
Jun
11

‎6.6.2011 … I turned off all my school day alarms this morning … life is good …

summer: If you didn’t figure it out … School’s out!  Hello summer!  By August,  I’ll be excited for fall …  It’s that optimism bias at work. (See yesterday’s post.)

food-Southern, food-drink, Southern sodas, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Growing up in Atlanta, Coke was a Southern soda, albeit one that conquered the world. Later I learned that Pepsi is too.  But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I learned about the rest of these …

What’s your favorite Southern soda? Vote now!

Cheerwine; Salisbury, North Carolina

Bleheim Ginger Ale, Hamer, South Carolina

Sun Drop; Tullahoma, Tennessee

Ale-8-One; Winchester, Kentucky

RC Cola; Columbus, Georgia

Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale; Birmingham, Alabama

via What’s Your Favorite Southern Soda?.

China, change, role of women, history, Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth:  When you read The Good Earth, did you think about any of this?  Great Article!!!

“Impossible is nothing,” said my Chinese host in March, when I told her the English proverb “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. She had just passed me a plateful of what looked like tiny, shiny, caramel-and-white striped silk purses. They turned out to be sliced pig’s ear, one of many traditional delicacies at a banquet that included fried ants, sea slugs and geese feet.

Of course almost nothing is impossible in a country where acrobats still juggle wooden chairs as if they were feathers or ping-pong balls—and where the gristle and cartilage of a pig’s ear turn up on your plate as an absurdly elegant appetiser.

What makes foreigners gasp and stretch their eyes in China now is the almost inconceivable speed and scale of the changes that, in the past ten years, have swept people off the land like a giant magnet. In 1990 three out of every four people still lived and worked, as they always had done, on farms. More than 40% have now moved to the cities. By 2015, according to an article I read in China Daily, based on a United Nations forecast, half the population will be urbanised.

The creative energy released by this frenetic development is palpable almost as soon as you step off the plane. It comes like a buzz off the people, especially the young women. When I arrived in the university town of Nanjing on my first visit to China in 2007, I spent days on end watching and talking to students, marvelling above all at the confidence, competence and poise of the girls. I was working on a book about Pearl Buck, who grew up in the Chinese countryside before teaching on the Nanjing campus in the 1920s, so I knew a lot about the world of these girls’ grandmothers: a slow-moving world where traffic went by river steamer or canal boat, and the only wheeled vehicle most people ever saw was a wheelbarrow. Girls were shut up at home on reaching puberty with no further access to the outside world, and no voice in their own or their family’s affairs. In traditional households they were forbidden to speak even to their husbands, except behind closed doors in the bedroom at night.

I found similar indignation from polite but insistent students. Didn’t I know how much China had changed, they asked. The modern world had made a clean break with the sad primitive outmoded countryside depicted in “The Good Earth”. Didn’t I realise how little that world had to do with them now? People everywhere wanted to know what I meant by the title of my biography, “Burying the Bones”. I explained that it came from a passage in Buck’s memoirs about how, as a small girl, she made secret grave mounds for tiny dismembered limbs or fragments of skull—the remains of newborn girls thrown out for the dogs to devour—that she found in the tall grass beyond her parents’ back gate.

It seemed to me an image of amnesia, public and private. Heads always nodded in my audience when I said that all of us have bones to bury, things that are never talked about in families, things a whole nation might prefer to forget. People in China now dismiss their ugly memories just as people all over Europe dismissed the Holocaust for many years after the war. “Children can’t bear to remember what happened to their parents,” says Xinran, who recorded the life stories of men and women in their 70s and 80s in “China Witness” (2008), the only one of her books that remains banned today even in translation.

Buck insisted that our grandparents’ world belongs also to us. The past made us what we are now, and we forget it at our peril. At the end of my last talk at Nanjing university, a student pointed out that burying the bones has a further meaning in China, where the dead are traditionally returned to the earth from which they came so that they may find peace. He might have added that it is only when the past has been acknowledged and accepted that it can finally be laid to rest.

via WOMEN IN CHINA: A SOCIAL REVOLUTION | More Intelligent Life.

China, globalization, history:  Another great article.

When the United States took over from Britain as the predominant world power 100 years ago, the transition was like one between brothers — or cousins, at least. And the two countries remain close allies to this day. The rise of China in relation to U.S. predominance presents a somewhat different challenge — with decades of sometimes outright hostility and an ongoing fractious relationship.

As it reemerges as a world power, the question is: Is China’s awakening to be welcomed — or feared?

Some look to the past for clues — all the way back to the 15th century.

Today China’s role in Africa seems to me to be very similar to that of other countries. I see China following, for better, and possibly for worse, an American model of needing to secure energy sources and seeking to do so in a great variety of ways, wherever the energy can be found.”

Six hundred years ago, Zheng He’s treasure ships went out and came back peacefully, partly because China didn’t need anything from outside its own realm. Now it does. How it deals with that search for energy and natural resources could be what decides whether China’s rise will in the end be peaceful or not.

via China’s Rise: A Quest To ‘Hug The World’? : NPR.

business, global markets, globalization, Africa, China, :  Very interesting article about business in Africa.

Cummins joins a growing number of U.S. companies vying for a stronger foothold on the continent. Caterpillar Inc., the giant maker of construction equipment, is selling more trucks to Mozambique and Zambia. Harley-Davidson Inc. is opening dealerships in Botswana and Mauritius. General Electric Co. has its first aircraft-leasing office in Ghana for Central and West African airlines. Google Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among the dozens of other U.S. companies moving in or expanding.

Until now, “Africa has been just a rounding error for us,” says Brady Southwick, Cummins’s new head of Africa operations.

U.S. companies’ game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent’s economy is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008, fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The middle class is growing, and total household spending now exceeds that of India.

Getting in early to a developing market allows companies to build up strong brands and sales channels that can reap big profits in the long run. That’s what China has done in Africa over the past two decades. It has aggressively promoted trade and investment, courting countries by offering aid in exchange for favorable trade terms. China’s government has provided funds to build a telecommunications network in Ethiopia, the Merowe Dam in Sudan and railways in Libya and Nigeria, among many other projects.

Western European companies, many of which had lingering business interests in Africa from colonial days, also took their eye off the ball. Western Europe’s share of overall trade—the sum of imports and exports—with sub-Saharan Africa dropped to 30% in 2009 from 52% in 1990, according to McKinsey. The share of China and other Asian countries in Africa trade more than doubled to 30% from 14% in the same period, while North America’s share slipped to 13% from 16%.

A few American companies have been entrenched in Africa for decades. Coca-Cola Co. established its first African bottling plant in 1928, in Johannesburg, and its soft drinks now are available throughout the continent.

But many other U.S. companies only now are “starting to wake up to the African opportunity,” says Acha Leke, a Lagos-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute. To succeed, he says, they will need to find good local partners and send in some of their best executives. In the past, he says, some American companies “just sent whoever wanted to go there.”

via U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in African Markets – WSJ.com.

Apple, iCloud, new products, iconic images:  Sounds like this is inevitable … but that for once Apple is behind … I loved the last line: “On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.”  Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck and jeans is an iconic image!

On Monday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce a new product that allows iPhone owners to stream music from their personal iTunes collections to their phones.

Rumormongers say the music will be stored “in the cloud” — tech jargon for “on Apple’s servers” – although the CultOfMac blog claims inside knowledge that Jobs will instead sell customers a personal storage drive that holds the music and does the streaming from home.

Whatever Apple announces, it follows recent offerings from Google and Amazon that offer cloud-based personal music streaming for Android phone users. Both work similarly: You sign up, then download an application to your Mac or PC that uploads your music collection to Google or Amazon’s servers, and keeps it in sync. To play your music on your phone, you install an Android app that’s a music player which connects to your cloud-stored collection to stream it to your phone.

On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.

via Amazon’s and Google’s Cloud Services Compared – NYTimes.com.

Katie Couric, media, change, glass ceiling:  I like Katie Couric.  I wanted her to succeed at CBS and smash the glass ceiling.  But I always thought she was smart and professional, but too perky.  I think she will succeed at ABC, but she’s under the ceiling again.

The negotiations over Ms. Couric’s future in television unfolded over the last few months and involved three of the four broadcast networks, as well as CNN. They also featured top media executives including Mr. Burke, Robert Iger of Disney, Leslie Moonves of CBS and Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner. Perhaps unexpectedly, because Ms. Couric had not succeeded in stemming the long ratings descent at “The CBS Evening News,” she remained something of a hot property.

At a time when Oprah Winfrey, syndicated television’s biggest star, has just left the stage, the courtship of Ms. Couric suggested that the networks, looking to cash in on the enormous revenue potential of syndication, were still willing to make a big bet on stars — even ones like Ms. Couric who have taken their share of blows in the media.

The details of Ms. Couric’s impending deal with ABC have not been disclosed, but as co-owner of the show Ms. Couric will claim a share of the profits. Syndication has such a great financial upside because successful shows make money from both station fees and advertising revenue — and they are generally inexpensive to produce.

via In Pursuit of Couric, ABC Made the Best Pitch – NYTimes.com.

random, local theater, sitcom parodies:  I just laughed …

Welcome to “Gilligan’s Island…of Death.”

The characters in this way-off Broadway send-up are familiar to viewers of the original show, which featured seven castaways stranded on a desert island. All the characters from the sitcom, which ran on CBS for three years in the mid-1960s, but found eternal life in reruns, are there: The Skipper, Mary Ann in pigtails, Ginger in a clingy evening gown. But the plots are darkly twisted. This Gilligan’s Island is the setting for multiple murders. And every character who doesn’t die becomes a suspect.

“If you were trapped on an island for years with a bunch of people you don’t know, you’d want to kill each other,” says Traci Connaughton, who runs Without a Cue Productions, the small Pennsylvania acting company that created this noir version of the show.

It’s all in good fun. But not everyone is amused.

Some of the media conglomerates that own the rights to the shows are cool to the sendups and at least one has expressed copyright complaints.

But Ms. Connaughton says she is undaunted. She says her most immediate problem is getting new material.

“I am running out of TV shows,” she says.

via TV Dinner Theater: Parodies of Old Sitcoms Draw Blood, Crowds – WSJ.com.

medicine, cancer, treatment, technology, miracles, policy:  Change comes fast and change comes slow.

New research is signaling a major shift in how cancer drugs are developed and patients are treated—offering the promise of personalized therapies that reach patients faster and are more effective than other medicines.

Studies show gains from targeting cancer patients more individually. Work at a breast-cancer clinical trial at George Mason University.

At the heart of the change: an emerging ability for researchers to use genetic information to match drugs to the biological drivers of tumors in individuals. Studies released at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology here are helping to support previous findings that personalized medicine—introduced more than a decade ago—is closer to being realized as a weapon to fight cancer.

“A pattern is developing at an accelerated pace where we are able to match genetic information about a tumor to a new agent and get results,” says John Mendelsohn, president of Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.

via Genetic Information Shifts War on Cancer to Personalized Therapies – WSJ.com.

Jane Austen, film/lit, ersatz, words, Mike Ditka, quotes, phantom Bible quotes, technology:  One of the things I love about the computer/internet is that you start one place and in a few clicks a whole world opens up to you.  I went from a blog post on Jane Austen movies with inauthentic quotes and scenes to ersatz  to Mike Ditka to phantom Bible quotes in 2 minutes … great way to start my morning.

“I have been alert for a while now to the danger that Austen film
adaptaptions can be seduce unwary Janeites into believing that certain
scenes and/or lines of dialogue are taken from the novels, when they
have actually been written by the modern screenwriter.

Sometimes the screenwriter’s changes are very well done, and that makes
it harder to spot them as ersatz.”

Definition of ERSATZ: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation—

via Ersatz – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone – milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper – to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler – and the NFL coach – start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

via Actually, that’s not in the Bible – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Gustave Caillebotte , art, Impressionist paintings, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, history:  I get more and more excited about my upcoming trip. 🙂

But because he was a great patron of the arts, Caillebotte’s first-rate art collection became what today is the crux of the Impressionist holdings at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Although for a while, he (or his executors) couldn’t even give the paintings away. “It’s a pity,” Garnot says. “When he offered all [of] the collection to the French state, the minister of fine arts wasn’t pleased at all by the donation. He refused it. He turned them away.”

At the time, the custom was for the state to only accept works by dead painters. But that wasn’t the only reason the paintings were rejected by the state: “You must understand,” Garnot says, “that they didn’t appreciate … the style.” Critics of the day felt the Impressionist works looked hasty, crude and unfinished. There was no place for them in prestigious, official French collections.

Caillebotte died in 1894. Seven years later, after much bickering, wrangling and negotiation, 40 of the 60 paintings in his bequest of Impressionist treasures were accepted by the government of France. Now, more than a century later, the names Renoir, Monet, Sisley — and, yes, Gustave Caillebotte — have become part of the Pantheon of French painting.

via Gustave Caillebotte: Impressions Of A Changing Paris : NPR.

 

travel, bus travel, frugal traveler:  Of course, just as I plan my journey to DC on MegaBus, this comes out ….

On Friday, federal authorities also subpoenaed records of GoToBus.com, TakeTours.com and 2001Bus.com. Those websites, run by a company called Ivy Media Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., sell tickets online for a number of low-fare bus companies, including Sky Express.

Many of the bus companies linked to from GoToBus.com have nearly identical websites. For example, Sky Express, I-95 Coach and Horse Run Tour all use much of the same identical text, such as “We are always thrilled to hear from our customers. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments!”

Tracking operators who resurface under new names is difficult.

Congressional watchdogs found in 2009 that nearly 10 percent of interstate bus operators who have federal permits revoked for safety violations quickly resume business by reopening under new names.

On August 8, 2008, a bus carrying a group on a religious pilgrimage crashed in Sherman, Texas, killing 17 people.

The carrier was a reincarnation of a company ordered out of service two months earlier. It re-registered using the same mail and email addresses.

The problem of unraveling who is responsible for operations of closely linked bus lines isn’t new. In 2005, the government noted how hard it is to disentangle the web of relationships and said it was cracking down on low-cost carriers for safety violations.

via Low-fare bus industry faces more scrutiny | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

John Edwards, slime bags, criminal law:  Don’t like the guy … I am beginning to think I never like VP candidates from either party.  Was with some trial lawyers and their thought was Edwards is so good at this, he will probably get off … Interesting thought to me is by having the plea bargaining in the national press, he, in effect, is admitting to some level of criminal culpability.  What do you think?

Edwards and his lawyers were concerned. They wanted the ability to at least argue to a judge for alternatives, such as a halfway house, weekend releases, home arrest or some other arrangement that would allow Edwards time to be with his school-age children. He is a single parent since his wife, Elizabeth, died in December.

But the way the possible plea deal was structured, the Edwards lawyers believed they would be muzzled from advocating at all about Edwards’ confinement before a judge, according to multiple people who were involved in the negotiations. Those sources described the plea negotiations in detail on a condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

It was the last significant issue to be resolved for a plea. If Edwards didn’t agree, he would be indicted on multiple felony charges.

Edwards, 57, understood the risk. As a successful trial lawyer, he had sometimes spurned offers of settlements to take his chances with a jury, often winning big judgments. Would he do that again?

The clock was ticking.

Edwards, just as he had refused to do in cases for his clients, would not accept a deal. For now, he would gamble on motions to a judge to dismiss the charges. And, if necessary, a jury.

via Edwards dealing went to the wire | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

history, medicine, midwifery, kith/kin:  Because one of my best friends is a CNM, I find midwifery interesting.  I enjoyed this tidbit of history in this book review.

Colonial Midwifery began with the Mayflower’s journey in 1620. Bridget Lee Fuller delivered three babies during the two months long voyage and continued practice as a midwife in Plymouth for 44 years until her death in 1664. In addition, it is documented that one birth took place aboard the Arabella by a midwife that was brought on board from the Jewel. (1)

via Colonial Midwifery.

Carl Sandburg, goats, public art, random, followup:  NB: THIS IS A PROPOSED STATUE …

 

 

Goat, or no goat for statue?

The plan to put a statue of Carl Sandburg in Public Square has stirred a great deal of public debate. A deal breaker for some critics is the inclusion of a goat next to a standing Sandburg. It’s been well-documented that Sandburg and his wife admired goats which they raised on their North Carolina farm.

City reporter Eric Timmons, who has done several stories detailing the statue, received an e-mail Tuesday from Shannon Nelson of Alabama. Shannon asked, “Carl Sanburg (sic) owned Toggenburg dairy Goats, as his most famous Toggenburg doe “Puritan Jons Jennifer” held the world record in 1960 for the DHIA 305 continuous days of 5,750 lbs. Why was his most famous doe not put on the statue with him?

“This was a big thing in the goat world, especially for the smallest of all dairy goat breed of Toggenburgs, and just think ‘she belonged to Carl Sanburg’. I think the statue is a wonderful idea. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.”

Asked where she heard about the Sandburg/goat statue, Shannon said, “I read about the article on a goat group I’m on.”

Who knew … a goat group?

via Goats and Carl Sandburg; Public Square history; Bunker Links “open” – Galesburg, IL – The Register-Mail.

28
Mar
11

3.28.2011 home … at 1 am … Spring Break is over … now I need a break!

random, zoos, snakes:  Reminds me of Harry Potter …

An Egyptian cobra was still on the loose at the Bronx Zoo Sunday after slithering out of its enclosure Friday afternoon.

Zoo keepers shut down the Reptile House “until further notice” to look for the venomous 20-inch snake. Officials said the cobra’s reclusive nature meant it posed little danger to the public.

Visitors to the Bronx Zoo were unfazed on Sunday afternoon after hearing that a venomous Egyptian cobra was missing from its enclosure in the Reptile House.

“Snakes are incredible escape artists no matter what you do,” said Frank Indiviglio, who worked at the zoo for two decades and now writes a blog about reptiles at thatpetplace.com. Still, he said, the cobra would likely have a hard time getting out of the Reptile House. “It’s not going to be the kind of thing where there’s a snake out running down Southern Boulevard.”

Egyptian cobras, like many ground-dwelling snakes, crave confined spaces, said Susan Barnard, a longtime reptile curator at Atlanta’s zoo and the author of the “Reptile Keeper’s Handbook.”

via Snake Escape Makes Zoo Squirm – WSJ.com.

travel, Seattle:  Second favorite N. American City!  And I love these articles … I should write them.  36 Hours in Seattle – NYTimes.com.

March Madness 2011:  As I said before, I am out …

Of 5.9 million brackets predicting the men’s college-basketball tournament filled out by ESPN.com users, 192 brackets — or about one in 31,000 — correctly predicted Butler and Virginia Commonwealth would meet in the Final Four. What’s remarkable isn’t that so few people picked the matchup; it’s that so many did.

Shelvin Mack and Butler have advanced to the Final Four again, in an even bigger surprise than last year.

That isn’t meant as a slight on the teams’ accomplishments this March. Both undoubtedly have earned their trip to Houston next weekend. Butler knocked off the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 seeds in the southeast region on its way to the national semifinals. VCU took out the Nos. 1, 3 and 6 seeds in the southwest — after playing its way into the final 64 by beating USC in a play-in game; the Rams remain the only team in tournament history to win another game after winning a play-in game. Butler has impressed by prevailing in close games, while VCU has been more impressive by beating USC and its next two opponents by double digits.

via 2011 NCAA Tournament: Counting the Ways Butler and VCU Defied the Odds – The Daily Fix – WSJ.

glee, Simon CowellYouTube – THE X FACTOR – Simon talks GLEE.

technology, iPad, business model, contracts, change:

Ms. Witmer said she thought some of the resistance by channel owners stemmed from a lack of understanding of the technology. “In fairness, truthfully, to all the executives in this industry that are trying to run businesses that are part of this ecosystem, it is exhausting — exhausting — keeping up with everything that is changing rapidly,” she said.

via Time Warner Ad Campaign Defends Streaming to iPad – NYTimes.com.

state law, state budgets, welfare of children, Bill Gates, TED:

In theory, all states but one (Vermont) must balance their budget. But that’s “a pretense”, said Mr Gates. Instead, states cook their books with accounting tricks that would make the guys at Enron blush. Using California as his example, Mr Gates walked his audience through asset sales, deferred payments, revenue securitisations and other gimmicks. California spends several times as much as Microsoft or Google, he showed. But whereas armies of analysts study these companies, hardly anybody really looks at the states.

And yet, the states and municipalities have—or lack—the money that is supposed to fund the schools and universities which are meant to produce the employers and taxpayers of the future. “We need to care about state budgets,” said Mr Gates, because they are failing America’s children.

via State budgets matter: Even Bill says so | The Economist.

policy, Libya, Khamis Gadhafi:  Amazing tidbit …

The monthlong internship was sponsored by AECOM, a global engineering and design company based in Los Angeles, and with the assistance of the State Department.

AECOM has business dealings with Libya.

Khamis traveled from coast to coast meeting with high-tech companies, universities and defense contractors. His itinerary included stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado, Chicago, Houston, Washington and New York City.

Khamis left the U.S. for Libya on February 17.

Paul Gennaro, the senior vice president and chief communications officer for AECOM, issued a statement saying, “The educational internship, which consisted of publicly available information, was aligned with our efforts to improve quality of life, specifically in Libya, where we were advancing public infrastructure such as access to clean water; quality housing; safe and efficient roads and bridges; reliable and affordable energy; and related projects that create jobs and opportunity.”

Gennaro said the company was “shocked and outraged” to learn of Khamis’ role in the Libyan crisis. “We were aware of the student’s family relationship, but we were not informed of any military connection whatsoever,” Gennaro said. It was the company’s understanding that Khamis was an MBA student from an accredited university in Spain. “The student was positioned to help oversee improvements in Libya’s quality of life and infrastructure initiatives, which the country had been advancing since 2007,” he said. The U.S. State Department was aware of and approved all the meetings, Gennaro said.

via Gadhafi son was on U.S. internship until crisis – CNN.com.




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