Posts Tagged ‘politics

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And from 1.25.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

From 1.26.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

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04
Nov
13

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

hospitals, ObamaCare:

Many top hospitals are simply opting out of Obamacare.

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

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

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

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

politics, public service, public employees:  Interesting graphic.

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

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

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

19
Oct
13

10.19.13 … followups … women leaders … arial … Tom and the goats …

politics:

October 18, 2013 1:27 PM EDT — Studies suggest women in both the minority and majority parties in Congress are more successful legislators than their male counterparts. Georgetown’s Michele Swers sits down with host Emily Heil to analyze why. (The Washington Post)

via Are women more effective lawmakers? – The Washington Post.

random: So what would I name a child if this was the criteria … Arial

My favorite font is Bodoni, so I used it as my daughter’s middle name.

via In My Home Office: Maira Kalman – WSJ.com

via 1.10.13 “Comparison is the thief of joy.” | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Blessing of the beasts, Pope Francis:  he blessed one!

9.19.13 … “Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.” … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

 

Pope Francis spoke with Forlani as the dog briefly sniffed the pontiffs robe and shoes.Forlani asked that his wife and daughter be blessed, the report stated, then the pope bent down and pet Asià.”[The pope] said, and a special blessing for [your] dog too. He broke the ceremonial rules as my presence on stage with Asià wasnt previously arranged,” Forlani said.When Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name of St. Francis, it was a first for many reasons. Bergoglio was the first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit pope and the first to choose the name Francis.St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, merchants and ecology. Animal lovers around the world took note when the pope chose the name of Fancis, hoping it would be a boon for animal rights.

via Pope Francis, An Advocate For Animals, Bends The Rules To Bless A Guide Dog : News : Nature World News.

Davidson College Class of ’82, Davidson College goats, Tom Marshburn:

Astronaut Tom Marshburn ’82 eleventh from left, daughter Grace and wife Ann took a few minutes out of a busy morning on campus to visit the goats on the XC trails.

via Daybook Davidson.

9.26.13 … GREAT DAY TO BE A CLASS OF ’82 WILDCAT… @AstroMarshburn comes home … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

And this is a nice interview … NASA Astronaut Visits N.C. Hometown | WFAE.

19
Jun
13

6.19.13 … Scandalgate: Do-It-Yourself All-Purpose Presidential Scandal Story :) …

politics, scandalgate, diy:  This one made me chuckle …

So to save all of us some time, we have written a Do-It-Yourself All-Purpose Presidential Scandal Story. You don’t have to fill in the blanks; technology does it for you. All you have to do is choose a president and the sorted/sordid details will fall into place.

via Scandalgate: A DIY, All-Purpose News Story : The Protojournalist : NPR.

02
Jun
13

6.2.13 … Cynicism Poisoning: “It’s always been like this.”

cynicism, politics, Peggy Noonan, IRS scandal, President Obama, well worth reading, WSJ.com:  It’s always been like this … well worth reading.

An inability to make distinctions: “It’s always been like this.” “Presidents are always siccing the IRS on their enemies.” There’s truth in that. We’ve all heard the stories of the president who picked up the phone and said, “Look into this guy,” Richard Nixon most showily. He got clobbered for it. It was one of the articles of impeachment.

But this scandal is different and distinctive. The abuse was systemic—from the sheer number of targets and the extent of each targeting we know many workers had to be involved, many higher-ups, multiple offices. It was ideological and partisan—only those presumed to be of one political view were targeted. It has a single unifying pattern: The most vivid abuses took place in the years leading up to the president’s 2012 re-election effort. And in the end several were trying to cover it all up, including the head of the IRS, who lied to Congress about it, and the head of the tax-exempt unit, Lois Lerner, who managed to lie even in her public acknowledgment of impropriety.

via An Antidote to Cynicism Poisoning – WSJ.com.

20
May
13

5.20.13 … I’d love to walk Paris …

Europe,  walks, Paris,  NYTimes.com: 

5. Paris Promenade

In the 2004 film “Before Sunset,” Jesse, an American (Ethan Hawke), and Celine, a Frenchwoman (Julie Delpy), spend an afternoon traversing Paris as they flirt with love. At one point they ascend a staircase to an elevated park called the Promenade Plantée.

The 2.8-mile-long parkway, inaugurated in 1993, follows the abandoned Vincennes railway line; it was the inspiration for New York City’s High Line. In the film, Mr. Hawke and Ms. Delpy use the staircase midway along the promenade. I prefer to start at the staircase entrance at the promenade’s western end, which rises from the Viaduc des Arts, the red-brick arches filled with boutiques and galleries.

Tunnels, embankments and trenches have been preserved. Benches and trellises have been installed. Wild moss, lichens and bamboo grow wild. Lime, quince, cherry and holly trees, climbing roses and honeysuckle are among the plantings.

Visitors can peek into windows and look down at narrow streets. On the left is the steeple of the St.-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts Church. On the right is a police headquarters decorated with a dozen reproductions of Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave.” (The original sculpture sits in the Louvre.)

For much of the way, the flâneur (stroller) reigns supreme. “The practice of jogging is tolerated to the degree that it does not annoy the walkers,” a sign tells visitors.

At the midway point, the promenade descends to the Jardin de Reuilly, an expanse of grass, trees and statues.

At the eastern end of the promenade it is a short walk to the National Center of the History of Immigration. Built in neo-Classical style for the 1931 international colonial exhibition, it is now celebrated as an Art Deco-era masterpiece. The interior, with its original marquetry, lighting fixtures, staircases and mosaics, has been frozen in time. Bas-reliefs on the facade by Alfred Janniot celebrate the success of the French empire. It is a brilliant work of propaganda: tropical plants, animals, colonial faces and agricultural and mineral riches extracted from the colonies. France, naturally, is an allegorical figure of abundance at the center. — ELAINE SCIOLINO

via Europe, in 9 Walks – NYTimes.com.

politics,  state governments, G.O.P., NYTimes.com:

Still, the news for Republicans has been reasonably good at the state level, where their candidates have been freer from the partisan dysfunction in Washington.

via In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P. – NYTimes.com.

Constitutional rights, search and seizure, suburbia, DavidsonNews.net:

The citizens of Davidson are lucky to have a close and trusting relationship with our police officers. Our police department has earned its trusted status in our community. Unfortunately, such close relationships between the police and the public do not exist everywhere. Fourth Amendment rights should not depend on your zip code. It can be easy to overlook the loss of the Fourth Amendment freedoms, the simple right to be left alone, when you have never experienced police overreaching. Some citizens feel the sting of being randomly seized far more frequently than they should, not just on a lone day in March at Exit 30.

via Search and seizure in suburbia | DavidsonNews.net.

obituaries, The New York Times, statistics: 

Results: Male obituaries outnumbered female (813 vs. 186), and the mean age of death was higher for males than females (80.4 ± 0.4 vs. 78.8 ± 1.1 years). Younger ages of death were evident in sports players (77.4 years), performers (77.1) and creative workers (78.5), whereas older deaths were seen in military (84.7), business (83.3) and political (82.1) workers. Younger deaths were more often associated with accidents (66.2 years), infection (68.6) and organ-specified cancers (73.0). ‘Old age’ was more often the cited cause of death for philanthropists, academics and doctors, and less often for sportsmen, performers and creatives. Cancer deaths occurred most often in performers and creatives, with lung cancer commonest among performers and least common in professionals.

Conclusion: Fame and achievement in performance-related careers may be earned at the cost of a shorter life expectancy. In such careers, smoking and other risk behaviours may be either causes or effects of success and/or early death.

via Death in The New York Times: the price of fame is a faster flame.

23
Jan
13

1.23.13 … BINGO and congealed salad … great day …

BINGO, Lenbrook, kith/kin, sleep, wellness:  Wednesday night Bingo at Lenbrook.  And despite the fact that my mom fell asleep during the first coverall BINGO game, she won it due to her beloved daughters … teamwork.

 

“Sleep is part of what I call the ‘wellness triangle,’ along with fitness and nutrition,” says Nancy Rothstein, a sleep expert who consults with corporations on the topic. “And when you’re exhausted, you’re less likely to exercise and less likely to eat well. That’s why I put sleep at the top of the triangle.”

via Give It a Rest: Tips for Improving Your Sleep – At Work – WSJ.

Lenbrook, Ladies of Lenbrook, congealed salad: I totally enjoy my time in the place where they still have a “congealed salad of the day.” As always the company is delightful and am looking forward to a day with my mom and dinner and. BINGO with the Ladies of Lenbrook.

weather, global warming, kith/kin:  E wins the high temp award today … Boulder – 64. About the same in Davidson, Vail , Charlotte and Atlanta. A little colder in Louisville!

LOL:

This made us smile today. Window washers at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh dressed up as super heroes ♥ http://ow.ly/h1Kuy

 

NYC, travel,  The High Line, El Anatsui, Big Onion Walking Tours, Greenwich Village:  Heading to NYC next week … Suggestions? I want to walk the High Line Park and find a labyrinth … Other than that I’m pretty open.

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.

via Park Information | The High Line.

 

High Line Art presents Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui’s Broken Bridge II, the largest outdoor installation ever by the artist. A monumental sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, the work will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it. Broken Bridge II will be on view from November 21, 2012 through Summer 2013.

via EL ANATSUI, BROKEN BRIDGE II | The High Line.

Stroll through one of New York’s most picturesque neighborhoods as we explore the unique and legendary home to artists, writers and radicals.   Our walk has a special emphasis on the history and architecture of the Village. Stops could include: Jefferson Market Courthouse, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the “hanging elm”, the Stonewall Inn, and sites associated with Stanford White, Aaron Burr, Edith Wharton, John Sloan, Evelyn Nesbit, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Paine.

via Greenwich Village | Big Onion.

Charlotte,  free history program 2/5/13,   Charlotte On The Cheap:

Interested in learning more about our local history? Here’s a free program on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013. Read on for more details.

The Mecklenburg Historical Association Docents invite visitors who are interested in learning about and sharing history to attend their upcoming program on Tuesday, February 5th, in the Fellowship Hall of Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, West Sugar Creek Road at North Tryon Street.  Refreshments are available at 9:30 a.m.  The business meeting will follow at 10:00, with the program beginning at 11:00.

The program will be presented by Ann and Jim Williams, local historians and reenactors, who have conducted extensive research on three generations of the Davidson family, who made their home at Rural Hill in Huntersville.  From a vast array of primary family papers, family stories, wills, estate papers, court records, etc. they have produced a unified narrative.  The title of the program is “It Ain’t Necessarily So – Rewriting Site History Using Primary Sources.”  This study revealed much about antebellum Mecklenburg County, including some surprises.  Slides will illustrate the talk.

via Free history program 2/5/13 » Charlotte On The Cheap.

Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, Rand Paul, Benghazi Hearings, Politics, truth:  I  try to form educated opinions on political controversies.  But I don’t believe either side anymore.  What is the truth?

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing over the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility,” said Paul. “I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that.”

“Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable,” he said, referencing Clinton’s comments that she had not read all of the documentation surrounding the attack.

“I think we can understand you’re not reading every cable,” Paul said. He added that he didn’t suspect Clinton of “bad motives” but said that it was a “failure of leadership.”

Clinton responded, “I am the Secretary of State. And the [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) rebuked Paul in the next exchange. “If some people on this committee want to call this tragedy the worst since 9/11, it misunderstands the nature of 4000 plus Americans lost in the War in Iraq under false pretenses.”

via Rand Paul To Hillary Clinton: ‘I Would Have Relieved You Of Your Post’.

Pride & Prejudice 200, Jane Austen, bucket list:

Two hundred years after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s most famous (and arguably her best) novel is as popular as ever. The descriptions of England in Pride and Prejudice and her other novels continue to provide a quintessential image of the country for locals and visitors alike. To celebrate this special anniversary we’ve ‘taken a turn’ around places associated with Austen herself and with her characters which can still be enjoyed today.

via Jane Austen’s England: a traveller’s guide to finding Mr Darcy – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet

Join us as we take a step back in time visiting the haunts of Jane Austen. On this journey we’ll visit the homes and estates of Jane Austen and her family, including Godmersham Park, Chawton House Library, and Chawton Cottage (where Jane Austen wrote her mature masterpieces); tour the seaside towns of Lyme Regis, Ramsgate, and Portsmouth; walk The Cobb; explore Oxford and Winchester; then on to Bath to participate in the beginning of the world famous Jane Austen Festival!

via A Jane Austen Tour: — Seascapes and Landscapes.

travel, adventure travel, bucket list: Cuba!

With 2012 now behind us, we’ve tallied up the Top 12 National Geographic Expeditions of the year based on the number of travelers who joined us, and the list spans the gamut from Alaska to Antarctica, and from wildlife adventures to photography workshops.

via Top 12 Trips of 2012 | Field Notes.

2013 SuperBowl Ads:  You can vote … Coke Chase 2013 Ad – YouTube.

 

 

21
Nov
11

11.21.2011 … Live Blog for Tonight’s Men’s Basketball Game vs. Presbyterian … OK not Duke … not ESPN National TV … But GO CATS! Davidson wins!

Davidson College, Davidson basketball: Live Blog for Friday’s Men’s Basketball Game at Duke … www.davidsonwildcats.com … OK, not Duke … not national tv … but thank you Jean for reminding me that PC beat 20th ranked Cincinnati on Friday!! And now we beat PC …

Thanksgiving, history, President Abraham Lincoln, Civil War: ” A national day of thanksgiving for military success and for the protection of the Union would wed religion, thanksgiving, and the Union war effort. ”

President Lincoln wanted Union supporters to give thanks for the recent successes. He was also aware of faltering enthusiasm for the devastating war and the wavering loyalty of Democrats who were eager to make peace with the Confederates. A national day of thanksgiving for military success and for the protection of the Union would wed religion, thanksgiving, and the Union war effort. So the President declared a national day of thanksgiving.

But the nation’s first national Thanksgiving was not in November. The date President Lincoln set was Thursday, August sixth.

On that day, ministers across the country pointed out that the celebration was most apt, as they listed the signal victories of the U.S. Army and Navy in the past year. It was now clear that it was only a matter of time until the Union won the war, they told their congregations. Their predictions reinforced the war effort, of course, just as Lincoln had almost certainly intended.

While the roots of the national holiday we celebrate lie in the war years, though, the holiday we celebrate does not center on giving thanks for American military victories.

In October 1863, President Lincoln declared the second national day of Thanksgiving. It is this one that we celebrate, and its purpose was much broader than that of the first.

In the past year, Lincoln declared, the nation had been blessed:

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. The needful diversion of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence have not arrested the plow, the shuttle or the ship. The ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect a continuance of years with large increase of freedom.*

The President invited Americans “in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands” to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving.

It is this one, the celebration of peace, order, and prosperity, that became the defining national holiday.

via The Historical Society: The History of National Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: Hmmm … Someone very funny … but who?

Characters at Your Dinner Table

Which fictional character would you like to invite to Thanksgiving (or your next formal dinner)?

via DailyLit Forums: Question of the Week / Characters at Your Dinner Table.

faith and spirituality:  just liked this …

Waiting patiently for God always includes joyful expectation.  Without expectation our waiting can get bogged down in the present.  When we wait in expectation our whole beings are open to be surprised by joy.

All through the Gospels Jesus  tells us to keep awake and stay alert.  And Paul says, “Brothers and sisters … the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe.  The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light” (Romans 13:11-12).   It is this joyful expectation of God’s coming that offers vitality to our lives. The expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us is what allows us to pay full attention to the road on which we are walking.

via Daily Meditation: Waiting in Expectation.

Creature, Andrew Zuckerman, books:  I agree … Exquisite!

In Creature, Zuckerman brings his exquisite signature style, crisp yet tender, to Earth’s beings. With equal parts detail and delight, he captures the spirt of these diverse creatures, from panthers to fruit bats to bald eagles, in a way makes them seem familiar and fresh at once, and altogether breathtaking.

via Animals like you’ve never seen them before, Salvador Dalí’s Alice in Wonderland illustrations circa 1969, and more.

Jon Meacham, Americans, 2012 Presidential Election:  Great essay!  Are we really exceptional? Essay gives brief history and current political implications of our belief.

In the beginning — before the beginning, really — Americans have thought of themselves as exceptional, as the new chosen people of God. Either before departing England or en route aboard the Arabella — it is unclear which; the ship arrived in 1630 — John Winthrop, a layman trained as a lawyer, wrote a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity” in which he said “we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world …”

The “city upon a hill” phrase — Winthrop borrowed it from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount — echoes still. (It is interesting to note that only Ronald Reagan could improve on Jesus in terms of communication: it was Reagan who added the modifier “shining” to the image.) In a recent Pew poll, when asked if they agreed with the statement “Our people are not perfect but our culture is superior others,” 49% of Americans said yes, compared to 32% of Britons and 27% of French.

In rough political terms, the Republican presidential field argues that America is a place set apart, a nation with a divinely ordained mission to lead the world. A corollary to the case as it is being put in the 2012 cycle is that President Obama does not believe this. George H.W. Bush leveled the same charge against Michael Dukakis in 1988, claiming that Dukakis thought of the United States as just another country on the roll of the United Nations. The argument is well-suited to reassure voters who are pessimistic about the life of the nation and about the place of America in the world.

We are going to be hearing more about this notion of exceptionalism, possibly far beyond Iowa and New Hampshire and into the general election. So let’s be clear about the history — and the uses and abuses — of the vision of America as an instrument of God’s will on earth.

via Jon Meacham: Are Americans Really Exceptional? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

define: library:  Know one when you see one?  It is very strange that we have trouble defining a library … when until 20 years ago and for the past 2000+ years, that was not a problem.

This week, after tweeting a link to ALA’s President Molly Raphael’s statement regarding the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library in New York City, I became engaged in a conversation on Twitter about what constitutes a library. To me this seems obvious, but I had a hard time coming up with a hard fast definition. I discovered that, like Justice Stewart, I’m of the know-it-when-I-see-it mindset when it comes to identifying it, a library that is. I am not sure I can define it in terms that reconcile with the statement from ALA. If I say the dissolution or destruction of any library is wrong I need a concrete definition for library, because while it may be uncool (and probably illegal) for someone to come into my home and destroy my personal library, I’m not sure that warrants a statement from the ALA President. Let me be clear, I am in complete and total agreement with the statement from ALA. I will happily defend that statement and ALA’s choice to make it. The problem I ran into was defining a library in terms that fit with it. Not just the OWS library but any library of this type. Even after doing some digging (see below) I still didn’t feel like I could offer a succinct definition, not the 140 character kind Twitter requires and probably not even a 140 word one.

For example, the Merriam Webster definition could apply to my private library, well not the morgue part but the rest of it, so that doesn’t work. Ditto for Oxford. The Whole Library Handbook requires that it be “ organized by information professionals or other experts”. So again that would apply to my private library. But this definition also leads us into that whole merry circle of a conversation (or shouting match and snipping remarks) about what constitutes an information professional. I don’t think a collection needs to be organized by an MLS holding person to qualify as a library. You could throw publicly accessible into the definition to rule out my home library because I only begrudging lend books to friends so I’m not about to let the public en masse have access to it. But there are many great libraries not freely available to the public.

via What IS a Library? | Librarian by Day.

travel, business travel, serendipity:  He definitely made lemonade!

Since I like to gather information by talking to people rather than just reading, I’m not one of those fliers who hate talking to seatmates. People are always interested in our work in helping communities build playgrounds, and it’s always great to hear people being so supportive. Most of my seatmates have fond memories of running around outside to play, and they wish more children today had the same opportunity.

You never know where a conversation may lead.

On a flight from Los Angeles to Washington I was seated next to a guy who worked as vice president of operations for a national restaurant chain. We started talking, and I invited him to stop by our offices to see if he had any suggestions for us. He did. And a few months later he became our board chairman. Another time, I got a huge donation, about $20,000, from a fellow passenger I was talking to.

I’ve had a lot of missed flights and canceled flights, just like any other business traveler. I hate when I do it to myself, though.

Since I still have a tough time reading, I always recheck my boarding passes. But I still make mistakes. One time I actually wound up in Sioux Falls, S.D., when I was supposed to be in Sioux City, Iowa. I was dumbfounded. I just rebooked myself back home, and I actually made it, which was great.

Another time I was just so tired I fell asleep at the airport in Tampa, Fla. I guess it was a deep sleep, because when I finally opened my eyes, I discovered I had missed the last flight to Washington. All the nearby hotel rooms were booked. I wound up sleeping at the airport, feeling kind of foolish.

Occasionally, you can turn bad experiences into something positive.

I was headed back to Washington from a conference in Oxford, England, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. Air traffic was canceled. I rarely get to travel with my wife, but she was with me this time.

Instead of trying to get out of Britain, we decided to enjoy it. I got a last-minute reservation at a hotel in Bath and had an unexpected leisurely weekend.

The airline confirmed our seats for a Monday morning flight from London to Washington. But on that Sunday, as we were getting ready to return to London, we learned that was canceled. The next one wasn’t until Friday.

So my wife got on the Internet and found a flat for rent in St. Ives in Cornwall. It was open because the expected tenants were unable to get into the country. The landlord offered a day-by-day rental. The cottage was located right in the middle of an artist colony.

We began our mornings with coastal hikes, and we would buy some fish from a local fisherman on the way back to the flat. We managed to keep up with work for about six hours each day. And at night we just ate our fish, walked around town and were grateful that we could spend some time together.

I know the volcano really disrupted air travel for so many people. But I still look back at that time as one of the best business trips I ever had.

via One of the Best Business Trips, Courtesy of Iceland’s Volcano – NYTimes.com.

careers, hiring, elite firms, elite schools:  Just read the whole article … How Elite Firms Hire: The Inside Story, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

Big results:

1. Most applications practically go straight in the trash.

Because professionals balanced recruitment responsibilities with full-time client work, they often screened resumes while commuting to and from the office and client sites; in trains, planes, and taxis; frequently late at night and over take out… [E]valuators tended to do so very rapidly, typically bypassing cover letters (only about fifteen percent reported even looking at them) and transcripts and reported spending between 10 s to 4 min per resume.

2. Evaluators have a lot of slack.

[M]ost firms did not have a standard resume scoring rubric that they used to make interview decisions, evaluators reported “going down the page” from top to bottom, focusing on the pieces of resume data they personally believed were the most important “signals” of candidate quality. (emphasis mine)

In fact, evaluators explicitly select candidates similar to themselves in school rank, grades, etc.  For example:

[R]oughly one-third of evaluators did not use educational prestige as a signal. One of the

primary differences between these two groups was their own educational history, with those who had attended “top” schools being more likely to use educational prestige as a screen than those who had attended other types of selective institutions.

3. Super-elite credentials matter much more than your academic record:

[E]valuators drew strong distinctions between top four universities, schools that I term the super-elite, and other types of selective colleges and universities. So-called “public Ivies” such as University of Michigan and Berkeley were not considered elite or even prestigious…

4. Super-elite schools matter because they’re strong signals, not because they’re better at building human capital:

Evaluators relied so intensely on “school” as a criterion of evaluation not because they believed that the content of elite curricula better prepared students for life in their firms – in fact, evaluators tended to believe that elite and, in particular, super-elite instruction was “too abstract,” “overly theoretical,” or even “useless” compared to the more “practical” and “relevant” training offered at “lesser” institutions…

[I]t was not the content of an elite education that employers valued but rather the perceived rigor of these institutions’ admissions processes. According to this logic,

the more prestigious a school, the higher its “bar” for admission, and thus the “smarter” its student body.

[…]

In addition to being an indicator of potential intellectual deficits, the decision to go to a lesser known school (because it was typically perceived by evaluators as a “choice”) was often perceived to be evidence of moral failings, such as faulty judgment or a lack of foresight on the part of a student.

5. At least in this elite sample, I’m totally wrong to think that extracurriculars don’t matter:

[E]valuators believed that the most attractive and enjoyable coworkers and candidates would be those who had strong extracurricular “passions.” They also believed that involvement in activities outside of the classroom was evidence of superior social

skill; they assumed a lack of involvement was a signal of social deficiencies… By contrast, those without significant extracurricular experiences or those who participated in activities that were primarily academically or pre-professionally oriented were perceived to be “boring,” “tools,” “bookworms,” or “nerds” who might turn out to be “corporate drones” if hired.

But they have to be the right kind of extracurriculars.  You have to signal that you’re not signaling!

Across the board, they privileged activities that were motivated by “personal” rather than “professional” interest, even when activities were directly related to work within their industry (e.g., investing, consulting, legal clinic clubs) because the latter were believed to serve the instrumental purpose of “looking good” to recruiters and were suspected of being “resume filler” or “padding” rather than evidence of genuine “passion,” “commitment,” and “well-roundedness.”

Don’t imagine, though, that you should merely follow your bliss:

[T]hey differentiated being a varsity college athlete, preferably one that was also a national or Olympic champion, versus playing intramurals; having traveled the globe with a world-renowned orchestra as opposed to playing with a school chamber group; and having reached the summit of Everest or Kilimanjaro versus recreational hiking. The former activities were evidence of “true accomplishment” and dedication, whereas the latter were described as things that “anyone could do.”

6. Grades do matter somewhat, but mostly as a cut-off.  They’re a signal of work ethic more than IQ:

[M]ost evaluators did not believe that grades were an indicator of intelligence. Rather, they provided a straightforward and “fair” way to rank candidates, particularly those within a given school… [G]rades were used to measure a candidate’s moral qualities. An attorney (Asian-American, male), believed that grades were an indication of a candidate’s coping skills, “It tells me how they can handle stress; if they’d had their feet to the flames before. If they’ve gotten good grades at a very competitive school, they’re probably pretty sharp and can take care of themselves.”

If labor economists want to understand how real-world labor markets actually work, these are the kinds of pieces they’ll be reading – and eventually writing.

via How Elite Firms Hire: The Inside Story, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

 Gang of Six, Super Committee (joint congressional deficit reduction committee), budget, politics, Washington:  …

As the joint congressional deficit reduction committee consummated its super flop Monday, the Senate Gang of Six plan remained as a possible alternative.

Rick Santorum: Says the unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.4 percent and over 10 percent for noncollege-educated.

The bipartisan group, which includes Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss, produced a framework for $4 trillion in deficit reduction this summer that includes both increased tax revenues and cuts to entitlement plans – but never produced a formal bill.

Last week the members of the gang joined dozens of allies in Congress to ask the supercommittee to consider their plan and said they could provide an alternative bill if the supercommittee failed. Chambliss said last week a bill could be ready “in short order.” He was in Afghanistan on Monday and unavailable for comment.

As the co-chairs of the 12-member supercommittee issued a statement declaring they were unable to reach a consensus, several senators said Congress’ next step should be to stage a vote on the framework put forth by the Gang of Six and President Barack Obama’s debt commission. There was no official word from the six on their plans, though in a statement one of the group members, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he would “continue to push for a bipartisan agreement.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wrote a letter to the president and Congressional leaders formally requesting a vote on a $4 trillion package. Others announcing their support for the Gang of Six route Monday included Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The effort faces institutional hurdles, as leaders in the House and Senate never embraced the gang’s work.

“My understanding is they’re nowhere near having legislative language,” Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote in an email Monday. “We don’t schedule votes for hypothetical plans.”

via Gang of Six plan could be alternative to failed supercommittee  | ajc.com.

02
Nov
11

11.2.2011 … Today is All Souls’ Day …

All Soul’s Day:

Jon Meacham

Today is All Souls’ Day. A special word of prayer for those who have fallen in America’s battles: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

via Today is All Souls’….

college students, careers, Apple, study abroad, kith/kin:  I think my molls has something like this in the back of her mind.

Students who benefit most from international studies are the ones who immerse in the culture and take advantage of educational opportunities. Lane focused hard on his business education while he lived with a host family and tried to speak Spanish the majority of the time.

Lane, a senior economics major at Santa Clara University in California, went to Madrid during the fall 2010 semester. He arrived at a time when Spain and a handful of other countries were experiencing budget deficit troubles.

Lane saw strikes and demonstrations in response to the country’s economic turmoil. He particularly remembers the Spaniard’s opposition to Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero during the National Day Parade, which is held annually in October. The Spanish whistled when Zapatero came through the procession, which is equivalent to an American booing, Lane said.

“It was interesting to be in class and talk about the economic crisis and then be able to go out and see a parade that weekend where people are demonstrating because they can’t find jobs,” Lane said.

Three weeks before Lane started studying in Madrid, he took a pre-trial seminar across Europe that allowed him to tour large corporations — like Airbus, Heineken and Mercedes — and government institutions — such as the World Trade Organization, the UN and the European Central Bank. Some of the companies were located in France, Germany, Switzerland and Amsterdam.

Lane remembers his experience at a Mercedes truck manufacturing plant in Germany. Lane saw how the vehicles were made and later ate lunch with the plant workers.

“We talked about labor unions and what their working conditions were like,” Lane said. “It fascinated me how much workers said they were taken care of and were paid. Workers seemed satisfied.”

During his interview for a 2011 summer internship with Apple, Lane was able to show the company how he understood the global impacts of a corporation. He landed the internship and has since been invited to join the finance team full-time after he graduates in June 2012.

via Student lands job with Apple after studying abroad | USA TODAY College.

pollution,  evolution, environmental stress:

IT IS not often that biologists have a chance to watch natural selection in action. The best-known cases—the evolution of resistance to antibiotics in bacteria and to pesticides in insects—are responses to deliberate changes people have made in the environment of the creatures concerned. But mankind has caused lots of accidental changes as well, and these also offer opportunities to study evolution.

Recently, two groups of researchers, one at New York University (NYU) and the other at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, have taken advantage of one of these changes to look at how fish evolve in response to environmental stress. The stress in question is pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These chemicals—widely used in the middle decades of the 20th century to manufacture electrical insulation, coolants, sealants and plasticisers—often ended up dumped in lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Eventually, such dumping was banned (in America, this happened in 1977). But PCBs are persistent chemicals, and their effects are felt even today. In particular, they disrupt the immune systems of animals such as fish, cause hormonal imbalances and promote tumours.

As is the way of evolution, however, some fish species have developed resistance to PCB poisoning. Isaac Wirgin, at NYU, and Mark Hahn, at Woods Hole, have been studying PCB-resistant fish, to see how they do it. After that, the two researchers will be able to look at how these populations evolve yet again as the environment is cleaned up.

via Pollution and evolution: Waters of change | The Economist.

U.S. Senate, classified information, politics, media:  A good secret goes a long way in politics.  But abusing power for self gain is a character issue … I always say character matters.

Could it be that senators are so enamored by the siren song of a cable-news hit or maybe an evening news network slot, if the state secret they let slip was juicy enough! that they would be unable to muzzle themselves?It’s unlikely. Even the loosest-lipped senators and those most entranced by TV cameras paging Sen. Chuck Schumer have managed to keep sensitive details under wraps. The only slip in recent memory was in 2002 when Sen. Richard Shelby divulged some information he’d gleaned in a classified briefing. Shelby told reporters about two messages the U.S. had intercepted the day before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — but which weren’t translated until the day after the attacks. The leak kicked off FBI and Justice Department investigations, as well as some serious grief from a ticked-off White House.And since when was a TV camera and a clip-on microphone a recipe for truth serum?Besides which, it seems that the concerns about leakage were unfounded. Turns out, the meeting wasn’t all that sexy.After the briefing, Sen. Susan Collins told a few reporters that she didn’t get what the cloak-and-dagger act was all about. “I didn’t hear anything earth-shattering,” she said, according to our colleague Felicia Sonmez. “It was a very useful briefing, but it was one of those briefings where I wonder why it’s top secret.”“We have those occasionally,” Collins added with a laugh.

via Senate classified briefing: can they be trusted not to spill the beans? – In the Loop – The Washington Post.

American college students, study abroad:  Again, I can see my molls in this article.

Ms. Morell suggested that fundamental economic incentives were motivating American applicants to explore extended study abroad. “With the rising costs of university education in the U.S., European-based campuses are attractive, affordable alternatives,” she said.

Indeed, for 2011-2012, tuition at St. Louis University’s Madrid campus is listed at roughly $10,000 less than tuition at the school’s home campus in Missouri.

But while economics may favor the trend, Celeste Schenck, president of the American University of Paris, thinks a larger force is at work. She attributed the increased American interest in international schooling to modern-day intercultural connectedness. “Today’s students increasingly think of themselves as citizens of the world,” she said. “They’re what some call ‘third culture kids’.”

via American Students Gaze Across the Atlantic and See College – NYTimes.com.

17
Oct
11

10.17.2011 … ChristCare in the morning … DC for the inaugural gala in the evening … let the festivities begin …

FPC, ChristCare, Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast: I have been involved with ChristCare for two years.  It is a small group ministry.  My group is a multigenerational women’s group, and I love the women.  We are currently studying Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast.  And for our session today the author Dr. Lee Stoffel joined us.

via Amazon.com: Believing the impossible before breakfast (9780804222464): Ernest Lee Stoffel: Books.

It made for interesting and lively conversation.  Among other things we discussed the the role of a minister … including prophetic ministers, and the tenets of Protestantism:

Very basically, Protestantism (coming from the Latin word protestari to protest) refers to religions formed after the Reformation during sixteenth century Europe. These groups rejected the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, beginning with Henry VIII, and his daughter Elizabeth, I in the sixteenth century. The Roman Catholic Church had also fallen into gross corruption. Protestants believe that the Bible is their only source of authority and inspiration, unlike the Roman Catholic Church, The Eastern Rite Religions and other Orthodox religions who believe that their tradition of belief is equal to the Bible. They also reject the notion of “Apostolic Succession” which is the belief of the Roman Catholic Church eg. the pope is the direct descendent of Saint Peter who is believed by them, to have been by appointed by Jesus. The sacramental nature of the clergy is also rejected by Protestants. This means that any person who enters the ranks of the clergy does so by the laying on of hands by the higher clergy who are believed to be descended from Jesus’ apostles.

Other religious groups to form following the Reformation are Lutheranism, Methodism, the Baptist church, Presbyterianism and Calvinism.

via What are the basic tenets of Protestantism.

Great discussion ladies!

Davidson College, Dr. Carol Quillen:  ‎Black tie Inaugural Gala honoring Dr. Carol Quillen was great fun … and Dr. Quillen had fun with this one last night at her inaugural gala … Jake Keator Scores Game-Winning Goal For Davidson Over No. 2 UNC – YouTube … Tom Ross was in attendance!

Steph Curry, Davidson College: The new normal … a gift to Davidson to have had him .. and a gift to him that he can be just a normal student.

“[It was disappointing] for him to be one season away, one year away from completing his college experience,” she says. “Finish what you start, son. You just don’t know what’s in the future.”

But before leaving school, Curry vowed to finish his degree by taking courses during the offseason. With the labor disputes pushing the NBA season back by at least two weeks, Curry is now making good on his promise, and has landed back on Davidson’s campus. If he gets far enough in his classes before the end of the lockout, Curry will be able to continue studying remotely to earn credits towards graduation.

“There’s nothing special about his being in the class at all,” says one of Curry’s professors, Rick Gay. “He acts like a regular student. He shows up, does his work, participates in class discussion, and so he’s just a normal student in the class.”

via NBA’s Stephen Curry Hits The Books … Again | Only A Game.

Occupy Wall Street:  OWS reflects among other things the failure of our legislators …

Income gains at the top would not be as worrisome as they are if the middle class and the poor were also gaining. But working-age households saw their real income decline in the first decade of this century. The recession and its aftermath have only accelerated the decline.

Research shows that such extreme inequality correlates to a host of ills, including lower levels of educational attainment, poorer health and less public investment. It also skews political power, because policy almost invariably reflects the views of upper-income Americans versus those of lower-income Americans.

No wonder then that Occupy Wall Street has become a magnet for discontent. There are plenty of policy goals to address the grievances of the protesters — including lasting foreclosure relief, a financial transactions tax, greater legal protection for workers’ rights, and more progressive taxation. The country needs a shift in the emphasis of public policy from protecting the banks to fostering full employment, including public spending for job creation and development of a strong, long-term strategy to increase domestic manufacturing.

It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That’s the job of the nation’s leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.

via Protesters Against Wall Street – NYTimes.com.

social media, philanthropy, Loaves and Fishes:  A very worthy cause …

| Embrace Charlotte.

culture, court, decorum/etiquette:  You know some people really do not know these things … was it always this way?Olivia Walker says she wore this black outfit to DeKalb County Recorders Court on Tuesday.

A woman was not allowed to enter a DeKalb County court because officials decided her skirt was too short, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Channel 2 Action News Olivia Walker says she wore this black outfit to DeKalb County Recorders Court on Tuesday.Brothers die in DeKalb crash

Olivia Walker wore a black outfit to DeKalb County Recorders Court on Tuesday for a hearing for a speeding ticket. She said she was told at the entrance that she was violating the dress code.

“My bra was showing a little bit, so naturally I assumed this is what it was for,” she told Channel 2. She then left and put on a jacket.

But apparently, the skirt was the problem.

Sheriff’s deputies referred to the posted rules and told Walker that her miniskirt was not permitted, the report said. She contended that her skirt was slightly above the knee and could be pulled down to below the knee.

She was not allowed to proceed and is worried about the result of missing her court date.

“I don’t know if they’re going to stop me and say there’s a warrant out for your arrest because you didn’t show up to court,” she told Channel 2. “I don’t have a piece of paper stating that you can come back at a certain time. I don’t have anything.”

She is trying to contact the court about the situation.

via Woman denied entry into court because of skirt  | ajc.com.

St. John’s College,  education, kith/kin: One of the happiest students I know is Alex my kith daughter.  She adores this place!

This ancient teaching method could be making a comeback well beyond St. John’s two campuses. Some education reformers assert that teachers as early as elementary school should lecture less at the blackboard while students silently take notes — the sage-on-the-stage model, as some call it — and foster more discussion and collaboration among smaller groups. It is a strategy that is particularly popular among schools that use technology to allow students to learn at their own pace.

Still, not even the most rabid reformer has suggested that biology be taught by social theorists, or Marx by mathematicians. That philosophy will continue to belong to a school whose president has joyfully declared, “We don’t have departmental politics — we don’t have departments!”

Anthony T. Grafton, a professor of history at Princeton and president of the American Historical Association, said he appreciated the approach.

“There’s no question that people are becoming more specialized — it’s natural for scholars to cover a narrow field in great depth rather than many at the same time,” he said. “I admire how St. John’s does it. It sounds both fun and scary.”

via St. John’s College Puts Emphasis on What Teachers Don’t Know – NYTimes.com.

post-its art,  Steve Jobs, RIP:   4001 post-its for Steve Jobs – YouTube.

Steve Jobs:  Secular prophet?

No company combined simplicity and hiddenness better than Apple under Mr. Jobs’s leadership. Apple made technology not for geeks but for cool people—and ordinary people. It made products that worked, beautifully, without fuss and with great style. They improved markedly, unmistakably, from one generation to the next—not in the way geeks wanted technology to improve, with ever longer lists of features (I’m looking at you, Microsoft Word) and technical specifications, but in simplicity. Press the single button on the face of the iPad and, whether you are 5 or 95, you can begin using it with almost no instruction. It has no manual. You cannot open it up to see its inner workings even if you want to. No geeks required—or allowed. The iPad offers its blessings to ordinary mortals.

via Steve Jobs, the Secular Prophet – WSJ.com.

Davidson College, college students, summer programs,  archaeology:  Such great experiences!

Davidson students Will Milvaney ’14 and Austin Raymond ’13 joined Becker on the Gabii Project, a University of Michigan excavation located near Rome. Milvaney and Raymond participated in all facets of the excavation, including scientific excavation, environmental sampling, and post-excavation processing of pottery and other artifacts. In addition, the students assisted Becker and Professor of Chemistry Ruth Beeston in the collection of X-ray fluorescence data. They also enjoyed weekly lectures, and took part in field trips to other sites duringtheir six weeks in the country.

Classics major Mackenzie Heglar ’12 worked on Davidson’s Athienou Archaeological Project in Cyprus under the direction of Professor of Classics Michael Toumazou, who founded the project in 1990 and leads it every summer. There were four other current and former Davidson students on the site (Elissa Hagans ’13, Anne McPherson ’11, Molly Verlin ’11, and Alexandra Olivia Tait ’09), as well as students from other institutions.

Renee Zemlock, a UNC Charlotte senior and second degree student currently studying applied anthropology, will speak at “Tales from the Trenches” about her participation on two paleoindian sites and one prehistoric site within the Lubbock Lake Landmark in North Texas.

FUTURE AIA PROGRAMS

Below is the schedule for the remaining AIA programs this school year. All of these lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Semans Lecture Hall of the Belk Visual Arts Center at Davidson College. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information contact Hilary Becker, 704-894-2318 or hibecker@davidson.edu.

November 15. Professors Becker and Beeston will discuss their investigation of an ancient pigment shop in Rome.

February 15, 2012. Coastal Carolina Professor Cheryl Ward will discuss the construction of ancient Egyptian ships.

March 13, 2012. Warren-Wilson College Professor David Moore will talk about Native American chiefs and Spanish armies in the 16th-century North Carolina Piedmont.

April 18, 2012. DePaul University Professor Morag Kersel will speak about “The Lure of the Relic: Collecting the Holy Land.”

via College students to report on summer archaeology trips Wed. | DavidsonNews.net.

GOP, politics, Great Recession, “Rabbit-Hole” economics:  Have to admit the title got my attention … will have to think about what he actually says …

But that’s history. What do the Republicans want to do now? In particular, what do they want to do about unemployment?

Well, they want to fire Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve — not for doing too little, which is a case one can make, but for doing too much. So they’re obviously not proposing any job-creation action via monetary policy.

Incidentally, during Tuesday’s debate, Mitt Romney named Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw as one of his advisers. How many Republicans know that Mr. Mankiw at least used to advocate — correctly, in my view — deliberate inflation by the Fed to solve our economic woes?

So, no monetary relief. What else? Well, the Cheshire Cat-like Rick Perry — he seems to be fading out, bit by bit, until only the hair remains — claimed, implausibly, that he could create 1.2 million jobs in the energy sector. Mr. Romney, meanwhile, called for permanent tax cuts — basically, let’s replay the Bush years! And Herman Cain? Oh, never mind.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the disappearance of budget deficits as a major concern for Republicans once they start talking about tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?

It’s all pretty funny. But it’s also, as I said, terrifying.

The Great Recession should have been a huge wake-up call. Nothing like this was supposed to be possible in the modern world. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be engaged in serious soul-searching, asking how much of what he or she thought was true actually isn’t.

But the G.O.P. has responded to the crisis not by rethinking its dogma but by adopting an even cruder version of that dogma, becoming a caricature of itself. During the debate, the hosts played a clip of Ronald Reagan calling for increased revenue; today, no politician hoping to get anywhere in Reagan’s party would dare say such a thing.

It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party, one that already has the power to block anything the president proposes — and which may soon control the whole government.

via Rabbit-Hole Economics – NYTimes.com.




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