Posts Tagged ‘pop ups

18
Jan
12

1.18.2012 … Yesterday’s Bible Study at FPC was great … then lunch at Mert’s where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good! … New Mantra: “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

FPC, TMBS, Genesis, Mert’s:  Yesterday’s Tuesday Morning Bible Study at FPC continues to be insightful as we study Genesis with Rabbi Sachs’ book … then lunch at Mert’s Heart and Soul Restaurant where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good!

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish

Recipe created by James Bazzelle, chef/owner of Mert’s Heart and Soul, Charlotte, NC.

4 medium catfish

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (fish breading)

1/4 cup white vinegar

Vegetable oil

via Mert’s Restaurant.

culture, mantra, advice:

“Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

Elderly ‘Experts’ Share Life Advice in Cornell Project – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, pop ups, libraries:

Maria Popova @brainpicker Close

Ooh! An entire Flickr stream of miniature pop-up libraries around the world j.mp/yN86cv (HT @shawncalhoun)

.

private equity,  privileges v. profits, 2012 Presidential Election: The Republicans and their in-fighting are just fueling the OWS …

Mitt Romney, the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has brought the rights and wrongs of private equity to the front of U.S. politics. He once ran a private-equity firm, and he has been attacked for it even by fellow conservatives.

This is a new version of an old complaint, and the quality of the discussion is not improving with age. The question to ask about private equity — which involves taking over companies, restructuring them and selling them at a profit — is not whether it creates jobs. It is whether taxpayers should be subsidizing its practitioners’ paychecks.

Many politicians say private equity is rapacious. Not long ago, the same charge was laid against leveraged buyouts, and before that against hostile takeovers. The issue is essentially the same. When control of a company changes hands, are the new owners so intent on short-term profits that they act against the interests of other stakeholders — not just shareholders, but also employees, customers and the wider community?

The current debate has revolved around jobs. Defenders of private equity say the new owners tend to boost employment, and critics say the opposite.

The study concluded that “private equity buy-outs catalyze the creative destruction process.”

Exactly. In a market economy, some companies or industries are shrinking, while others are growing. You can’t have one without the other, and the spur for both kinds of adjustment is profit. Market forces raise living standards not by increasing wages and employment enterprise by enterprise, but by applying capital and labor to the best uses. Private equity, leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers all serve this purpose. To keep managers on their toes, capitalism requires a functioning market for corporate control.

If private equity can succeed without preferences, that’s fine: The more competitive the market for corporate control, the better. Its current mode of operation, though, is largely a symptom of a flawed tax code. The industry’s borrowing is subsidized and so are the generous incomes it pays its staff. These privileges are a problem. The issues its critics choose to emphasize aren’t.

via The Trouble With Private Equity Is Special Privileges Not Profits: View – Bloomberg.

Winnie the Pooh, Americanisms,children’s/YA literature:  Oh, bother … I actually prefer the original … non Disney version …

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The publishers, Parragon, are based in Bath and responded to Weeks’ complaint about the new phrases with this explanation: “[W]e sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.”

While it seems like a fair enough explanation when taken at face value, many critics, both British and American, have joined in the protest, saying that editing out the original language fundamentally changes the work.

More worrying, however, is the recent crop of errors and grammatical mistakes that have appeared in the books and similar children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to Weeks, in the Alice story, the words “all ways” was written as “always” and in another story, whales slap their “tales” rather than their “tails.”

It would seem that this is all a case of some editors stuffing up royally. Oh, excuse us, we’ll rephrase — they messed up big time.

via Oh, Bother: Brits Say Modern Winnie the Pooh Riddled With Americanisms | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

PIPA, SOPA, Internet:  There is a lot more here than many realize …

The video above discusses the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster.

via PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet.

The biggest impact of Wednesday’s blackout may be in the shutdown of the English-language version of Wikipedia, which gets 2.7 billion U.S. visitors per month.

“It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web,” said a statement signed by three of the free encyclopedia’s administrators, with the handles “NuclearWarfare,” “Risker” and “Billinghurst.” They said the decision to shut down the English-language portion of the site, starting at midnight Eastern time, had been made after a virtual discussion that involved 1,800 users.

But already, the momentum of the two controversial bills has been largely halted. Just weeks ago, they seemed on their way to passage, having cleared a Senate committee and garnered bipartisan support in the House.

via SOPA protests shut down Web sites – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, President Obama:  Glad to see someone saw the irony of the acceptance speech at BANK Of AMERICA Stadium!

In another break from tradition, Democrats announced Tuesday that they’re shortening their national convention and moving events to the Charlotte area’s two largest outdoor venues.

Party officials – and even the White House – said the moves are designed to allow President Barack Obama and his campaign to reach a wider audience while energizing supporters at the same time.

The president will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium, replicating his 2008 address at Denver’s Invesco Field.

And in a twist, the party will forgo the convention’s traditional Monday opening and instead entertain tens of thousands that day at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He said the changes won’t reduce the convention’s regional economic impact, which is expected to be at least $150 million. About 5,000 delegates and alternates are still expected to arrive on Saturday or Sunday for the convention.

Though the role of modern conventions has changed dramatically from the days when they actually decided the nominees, the format has changed little. They traditionally span four days. So will the Republican convention in Tampa this August.

“Four days really is an anachronism,” said Washington political analyst Charlie Cook. “There’s arguably not more than one day’s business to do …

“I think the Obama folks like to do things differently for the sake of doing things differently.”

via DNC: Charlotte’s convention to try new twists | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Moving the president’s speech mirrors the playbook the Democrats used in 2008. Obama spoke at the Denver Broncos’ home field after becoming the Democratic nominee, a last-minute move party organizers say allowed more people a chance to attend. The rest of the Denver convention was held at that city’s NBA arena.

Agreements between the Democratic National Convention Committee and both the stadium and the speedway are being negotiated. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panthers and the stadium, said the team will not charge the Democrats rent, but he declined to discuss details beyond that.

“This convention isn’t about political ritual and speeches on the floor, it’s about the American people coming together to commit ourselves and our country to a path that creates more opportunity for all Americans,” said Stephen Kerrigan, national convention chief executive. “And that is why we have decided to make a few changes to meet that goal. President Obama made it clear from Day One that he wanted this convention to be different than in any history and definitely any happening this year.”

via Obama speech moves to BofA Stadium – Charlotte Business Journal.

While Obama and Moynihan seemed to be on good terms a couple of years ago, more recently the president ripped the bank for its ill-fated attempt to hike debit-card fees.

Organizers and other Democrats said Tuesday they have no concerns about links between the president and a Bank of America-named venue.

“We don’t believe there’s any relevance to who the sponsor or the naming rights are handled by to any of the venues that we host convention events in,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic national party. “In particular, this president has a remarkable record not only of rescuing our economy from the precipice of disaster. Now he’s been able to make sure that folks on Main Street aren’t run over by folks on Wall Street.”Wasserman Schultz was referring to the president’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

via Odd couple: BofA, Obama – Charlotte Business Journal.

Bank of America,  CEO Brian Moynihan: Delicate …

Appointed in late 2009 as predecessor Ken Lewis retired, Moynihan, the article says, has had a “delicate” hold on his job. Sources quoted by the paper, apparently close to the board of directors, point to an assessment earlier in his career at BofA that said Moynihan tended to micromanage, struggled with communication and failed to surround himself with experienced advisers.

The article also says those are areas the CEO has targeted for improvement.

An unnamed director told the WSJ that Moynihan’s handling of BofA’s denied dividend increase request last year showed a “very inexperienced team.” And another portion of the report says Moynihan didn’t heed a suggestion by former consumer banking chief Joe Price to study a $5 debit card fee longer before announcing it publicly. That fee, announced in late September, became a public relations nightmare and was cancelled a month later.

A spokesman for BofA told The Wall Street Journal, “We are a less risky, smaller, better capitalized, and more streamlined company since Brian became CEO.”

Moynihan’s vision calls for BofA to continue shrinking both expenses and non-core operations. He has initiated asset sales, capital raises and efficiency initiatives. He has also re-tooled his management team this year, jettisoning Price and brokerage head Sallie Krawcheck, and elevating David Darnell and Tom Montag to co-chief operating officer roles.

Montag openly sought the CEO position before it was given to Moynihan. Darnell is a longtime BofA executive, dating back to Hugh McColl-led BofA and its predecessors in Charlotte.

BofA this week also sought to improve its public image, placing its ad account on review and soliciting new ideas for its marketing efforts.

via WSJ: BofA could retreat, Brian Moynihan’s hold on CEO job ‘delicate’ – Charlotte Business Journal.

bookshelf, books, list:  I found this one interesting. I have most in my house … haven’t read them all.

What makes a must-own classic book? After all, there are many kinds of book available. There are the coffee-table books, designed to be flicked through by guests, with their impressive art and embellished covers, and then there are bookshelf books – either novels we’ve read so many times the pages are inked up and torn, or those books we bought on a whim, and really keep meaning to get to whenever we’re not so busy.

Somewhere in between lie the Essential Bookshelf Conversation Starters, those spines that add a touch of class to a room, or might provoke a fascinating conversation. After all, UK newspaper The Daily Mail reported last year that a survey by Lindeman’s wine in the UK showed the average bookshelf was filled with 80 books that the owner hasn’t themselves read.

Don’t get us wrong – these recommendations are also fascinating reading in their own right. But if you’re going to buy hard covers with at least one eye on the opinions of visiting friends and relatives, these are our choices of the titles you really should have on display.

via 12 Books You NEED On Your Bookshelf.

faith and spirituality:

Be Yourself

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

via Daily Meditation: Be Yourself.

René Descartes, Cartesian Theory:  Watched a movie where they discussed Cartesian Theory … Mindwalk (1990) … and I hate to admit that I needed a refresher course.

René Descartes may just be the Thinking Man’s thinking man. More than any other modern philosopher, he is identified with the view that the soul is separate from the body and superior to it—in fact, we refer to this position as Cartesian dualism. The synonymy is so overwhelming, one can imagine him subjected to some hackneyed literary or television treatment wherein he is brought forcibly into the present, only to find success as an advertising executive with his slogan for the Winterman sneaker account that promises “mind over matter.” (For the women’s line: I pink therefore I am.)

Any dualistic theory encounters what is known in philosophy as the mind-body problem: how is it possible for two entirely discrete substances to act in concert and produce what we conceive of as unitary being? Curiously enough, Descartes’ lifelong passion for experimental physiology—which, for him, was just rationalistic epistemology by other means—influenced his answers. He was an avid practitioner of dissection on both human and animal bodies. (Because he believed animals were mindless machines and could not feel pain, he often dissected them while they remained alive.) In his search to discover the differences that distinguish humans and animals from one another as res intelligens and res extensa—that is, intelligent beings and “machines,” respectively—he hit upon the pineal gland, which he found present only in the human brain.

via The Devoted Intellect.

antidepressant v. placebo:

Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in England and author of a 2008 meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine that found little benefit of antidepressants for most patients, is less sanguine about the new study. He characterizes the results as “indeed important,” but says they suggest that “while many people may benefit from antidepressant treatment (although most of them to a degree that is not clinically significant), about 1 in 4 are made worse.”

“What makes this particularly problematic is the fact that we don’t know who these people are,” Kirsch says. “Although placebo may not be a viable treatment option, there are other treatments that on average work as well as antidepressants, [such as] physical exercise and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. As far as we know, these alternatives don’t make people worse.

“This suggests to me that antidepressants should be kept as a last resort, and if a person does not respond to the treatment within a few weeks, it should be discontinued,” says Kirsch.

Krystal agrees that if one-quarter of patients with depression are made worse by antidepressant treatment, “we need to find ways to identify who those people are and find other ways to reach that group of people.”

via New Research on the Antidepressant-Versus-Placebo Debate | Healthland | TIME.com.

technological change, end of an era, RIP, Kodak, Fuji, creative destruction:  I remember the first time I used Fuji film.  I felt like a traitor. And for the second time in two days I run across the term “creative destruction.” (See above in the excerpt on private equity.)

Kodak’s blunder was not like the time when Digital Equipment Corporation, an American computer-maker, failed to spot the significance of personal computers because its managers were dozing in their comfy chairs. It was more like “seeing a tsunami coming and there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Mr Christensen.

Dominant firms in other industries have been killed by smaller shocks, he points out. Of the 316 department-store chains of a few decades ago, only Dayton Hudson has adapted well to the modern world, and only because it started an entirely new business, Target. And that is what creative destruction can do to a business that has changed only gradually—the shops of today would not look alien to time-travellers from 50 years ago, even if their supply chains have changed beyond recognition.

Could Kodak have avoided its current misfortunes? Some say it could have become the equivalent of “Intel Inside” for the smartphone camera—a brand that consumers trust. But Canon and Sony were better placed to achieve that, given their superior intellectual property, and neither has succeeded in doing so.

Unlike people, companies can in theory live for ever. But most die young, because the corporate world, unlike society at large, is a fight to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and survived. Film went from 60% of its profits in 2000 to basically nothing, yet it found new sources of revenue. Kodak, along with many a great company before it, appears simply to have run its course. After 132 years it is poised, like an old photo, to fade away.

via Technological change: The last Kodak moment? | The Economist.

 Apple,   ‘Digitally Destroy’ textbooks:

While MacInnis reiterated his belief that this event should see a new Apple tool for creating iPad textbooks, he told Fortune they weren’t a “GarageBand for e-books” (that phrase was imagined or perhaps misunderstood by Ars) and that the whole thing is actually designed to complement the textbook biz, not breathe Godzilla-style atomic death on it.

Tune in here Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Techland’s full coverage of the event.

via Apple Poised to ‘Digitally Destroy’ Textbooks? Don’t Bet On It | Techland | TIME.com.

apps, Day One (Journal/Diary):  I like this one …

Day One is a micro-journal / diary / text logging application that makes it easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them sync and available in the cloud.

via App Store – Day One (Journal/Diary).

17
Sep
11

9.17.2011 … so fall came yesterday … but not that perfect fall day … dreary … and still dreary today … no pressure, but Senior Day with the Molls at Davidson College :)

Davidson College, Davidson College Senior Day, college search, parenting, kith/kin, kudos.  Kudos to Davidson for a very well done Senior Day.  If you are considering going the next one is in October.  Well worth your child’s and your time.

LOL: The original has been taken down … so glad someone posted it on their blog!

yoga mat for sale. used once. – $1 (bellevue)

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:

11:45a
Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.

11:55a
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.

11:57a
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.

11:58a
The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.

11:59a
Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don’t exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.

12:00p
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.

12:02p
Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.

12:10p
It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other’s body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don’t worry, I’ll mention them later.)

12:26p
It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.

12:33p
It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I’m in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, “for better or worse” is what we committed to so we press on.

12:40p
The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.

12:44p
I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.

12:52p
It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.

12:55p
This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?

1:01p
140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don’t get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!

1:09p
150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed.
I lose consciousness.

1:15p
I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can’t really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.

1:17p
I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it’s voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It’s like juice and cracker time, ok?

1:20p
It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?

1:30p
Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and ‘cool down’ in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.

1:34p
My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. So let’s conservatively say it’s 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.

1:37p
The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day’s turmoil and mental scaring.

1:47p
Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein — effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.

3:47p
Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the “shakes” consume my body.

4:29p
Note to self – check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.

via Hilarious Yoga Mat for Sale Ad on Craigslist.

apps, book app, free, lists:  Number 8 seems inconsitent with the rest of the list. 🙂

iBooks was the most popular free app in the Apple App Store this week, according to research from AppData, Inside Network’s data service that tracks app and developer leaderboards.

Explore these 20 free apps and find out what kind of literary apps succeed in this crowded marketplace. To prepare for Mediabistro’s upcoming Publishing App Expo on December 7-8, we spotlight the top grossing book apps, the top paid Android books apps and the most popular free apps every week.

Below, we’ve listed the top free iOS apps of the week–linking to App Data’s research about each individual app, including historical charts, developer information and download details.

via Top 20 Free Book Apps of the Week – eBookNewser.

President Obama, 2012 Presidential Election, Jewish vote:  Jews are a very small part of the overall population … so why is this a big deal.  Article is right; he has a people problem.

Polling and election results suggest a rising Jewish rebellion against the president. But a closer look reveals that these voters are not behaving any differently from other segments of the electorate.

In the most recent Gallup polling, Obama’s disapproval rating with Jewish voters rose from 32 to 40 percent, and his approval rating sank from 60 to 55 percent.

Viewed one way, these numbers demonstrate that Obama is still more popular with Jews than with the country at-large. Seen another they point to Obama having a serious problem with a loyal constituency.

Clearly, Republicans think its the latter. They point to the president’s controversial May speech on Mideast peace, in which he suggested that an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians should be based on 1967 boundary lines, as well as past rebukes of Israel from Obama.

Then came Tuesday’s special election to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in what by all rights is a solidly Democratic seat. Palestinian statehood became a wedge issue in this district, which has the highest percentage of Orthodox Jewish voters in the country.

But Obama’s position vis-a-vis Israel is not so clear cut. The administration is already planning to veto any United Nations Security Council resolution to recognize Palestinian statehood. Last week, the White House intervened to ensure personnel at the Israeli embassy in Egypt were evacuated safely after protesters attacked the compound — a move that won praise from American Jewish groups.

While the 9th district of New York, where Republican Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin on Tuesday, is only about one-sixth Orthodox, that still makes it the most Orthodox district in the country. Many Turner voters interviewed about the race said it was actually Weprin’s support of same-sex marriage in New York State, not Obama’s policy on Israel, that energized them.

“The Orthodox community is growing faster than any other element of the Jewish community, and what New York’s District 9 proves is when sufficiently motivated they will come out to vote,” said David Pollock of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

So with the growing and more-conservative Orthodox community and Republicans determined to make Israel an issue, Obama might have to worry some about Jewish voters in 2012. But those concerns seem minor when compared to his problems in the rest of the electorate.

via Obama has a people problem, not a Jewish problem – The Washington Post.

Goodreads, book recommendations service : Anybody use Goodreads …  I never post … but do check when a friend posts.

Goodreads is now the Netflix of book recommendations, or at least the company thinks so, seeing as its CEO Otis Chandler said exactly that in a press release announcing Goodreads’ new recommendation engine yesterday.

It’s about time. Founded in 2006, Goodreads has gathered nearly six million users, a plump following for a niche social site, but while six million is a respectable number, the nature of Goodreads’ service requires these users to be fairly active to get much out of it. To grow the audience, Goodreads needed to appeal to a more passive audience. Some may call these people lazy. I prefer to think of them as busy. And yes, I’m one of them.

via Finally, Goodreads Launches Book Recommendations Service – Techland – TIME.com.

‘Life Hacks’, LOL:  OK … new name for redneck solutions …life hacks sound nicer.

Once reserved for computer programmer tricks and shortcuts, “Life Hack” has become a great way to describe the clever/brilliant/ridiculous solutions to everyday dilemmas we see posted online. It’s hard to describe what a life hack really looks like, but let’s just say you know it when you see it.

Take these 17 pictures below, for example. Haven’t you ever struggled to fill a large bucket with water when only a small sink is available? Boom, dust pan solves the problem. Or have you ever wondered how to cool your beer when the refrigerator’s on the fritz? Boom, air conditioner to the rescue.

We’re not saying all these would-be inventors are bound for “As Seen On TV” deals, but a few of these solutions are pretty brilliant.

As for the rest, we’ll let you decide if these “hacks” are truly innovative or just accidents waiting to happen.

via 17 Crazy/Brilliant ‘Life Hacks’ (PHOTOS).

Foursquare, Foursquare city ‘badge’ , Chicago: FourSquare … why do it when you can do the same thing on FaceBook … what am I missing.

Chicago will become the first major city with its own Foursquare city “badge”—earned after “checking in” at five of 20 designated neighborhood attractions—under a tech-savvy plan unveiled Friday to coincide with Social Media Week.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel billed the so-called “Windy City badge” as a way to promote small businesses, keep tabs on the social scene and give people a “greater sense of intimacy” that’s sorely lacking in today’s over-worked, multi-tasking world.

“We today as individuals who are very wired don’t have a level of intimacy,” the mayor told college students from across the Midwest at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood.

“This is an attempt to give us that intimacy and relationship and community building we can’t get any other way as we all get siloed off in our own individual worlds.”

Emanuel, who has his own social media director, will be “checking in” on Foursquare as he hop-scotches across the city.

But in a rare moment of candor, the 51-year-old mayor acknowledged that he was venturing into uncharted waters.

via Chicago checks in for Foursquare city ‘badge’ – Chicago Sun-Times.

Apple, iPhone 5:  In case your interested … Apple’s iPhone 5: delays, cases, Sprint, NFC and more – The Washington Post.

writing, editing, tips:  some more good advice …

For last year’s boot camp, Jan Winburn, CNN.com’s senior editor for enterprise, discussed five questions all writers should ask themselves as they approach each story: Through whose eyes are you telling the story? Who has something at stake? What’s going to happen next? What’s the story really about? Where should the story begin?

If you haven’t read her essay, do it now — it’s chock full of great advice. A key item to note is the difference between reporting and storytelling. A basic news story reports the facts — who, what, when, where, why (the so-called “5 W’s”) and how. A great story gives readers an experience, puts them in the middle of the action, with a character, timeline, scene, motive — all the elements of any great work. Before you start, know what kind of story you’re planning to tell.

via Write it down, make it better: Editing tips – CNN.com

How to edit your way to a can’t-miss story – CNN.com.

cities, urban development, pop-ups, Great Recession:  Now they evidence both creativity and the recession.  I just want to go on a pop-up tour!

Temporary Is the New Permanent

When Toys “R” Us does a pop-up shop one can certainly make a case for the waning effectiveness of the genre. But despite their co-option by hipsters and marketing gurus, the temporary space remains a sharp tool in the urban revitalization kit. Why? As we well know, cities are starved for cash, their workers weary of bureaucratic obstacles and the word “no.” So they welcome the creative, energetic, and financially prudent efforts of grassroots organizations that have seen opportunity in crisis. Vacant lots, abandoned buildings, parking spaces, and even slivers of pavement, have been transformed by prudent partnerships between governments, artists, architects, and designers, and volunteers motivated to improve their own communities. The best of these efforts are designed to enhance daily life not promote product or “lifestyle.”

via Temporary Is the New Permanent – Neighborhoods – The Atlantic Cities.

Tareq Salahi, White House crashers, life stranger than fiction:  Truly, I thought this one was a joke.

“There is no hope or possibility of reconciliation,” Tareq Salahi said, adding that he “has been greatly hurt and disturbed” by Michaele Salahi’s actions.

The couple gained notoriety in 2009 when they crashed a White House state dinner. Michaele Salahi was a cast member of the reality show “Real Housewives of D.C.” last year, but the show was canceled after one season. She was thrown off the reality show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” when it became apparent she wasn’t addicted to anything.

Tareq Salahi said in the court filing that Schon was his wife’s former boyfriend. Schon’s band had played at the couple’s northern Virginia winery, and photos on social networking websites show them partying with the band on several occasions. He also said the band paid for his wife’s travel, accommodations and other expenses.

Tareq Salahi claims he has suffered both emotional and physical harm from his wife’s actions. In addition to being able to stay in their home, he asked the court to ban both parties from harming the value of their assets, threatening or harassing each other

via He stopped believing: White House crasher wants divorce; wife ran off with Journey guitarist – The Washington Post.

Easy-Bake Oven, icons, change:  Can’t they just leave some things alone.  After reading this article, I realize that I probably had one in its first years …. The Easy Bake was introduced in 1963!

E23E02555056900B10254A22312E8E39

This week, Hasbro announced that its iconic Easy-Bake Oven would abandon its nefarious light bulb, a byproduct of toy’s 11th redesign. Understandably, we’re shaken by this news and as you search for blame, point your finger at the environmentally conscious set. As we began to phase out traditional light bulbs for the more energy efficient compact fluorescents, the death of the 100-watt light bulb was imminent – as was our childhood culinary experience. (At least we didn’t let something as frivolous as safety concerns to alter our favorite childhood hazards.) “This gave us a reason to do it completely differently,” Michelle Paolino, a vice president of global brand strategy at Hasbro, told the Associated Press. “We wanted it to look more like a real appliance, not a plastic toy.”

Still, it’s hard to believe that from now on, American youth won’t know what it’s like to learn about cooking (or burn units) by way of plastic ovens and light bulbs. Introduced in 1963, Kenner Inc.’s Easy-Bake Oven was the original chemistry set for confection. Children followed painfully simple cooking instructions – mostly of the “Add water. Stir” variety – to yield miniscule cookies or brownies. The updated version, the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven ($49.99), features a warming unit closer to a traditional oven that can climb to temperatures of about 375 degrees while the outside of oven “remains only warm to the touch,” according to the AP.

via Hasbro’s New Easy-Bake Oven Ditches the Light Bulb – TIME NewsFeed.

Google Wallet:  Enjoy!

2012 Presidential Election, election laws, partisan issues, democrat v. republican: This happens whenever there is power balance shift … and the party out of power whines.

Looking to capitalize on their historic gains last year, Republican lawmakers in several states are rewriting their election laws in ways that could make it more difficult for Democrats to win.

They have curbed early voting, rolled back voting rights for ex-felons and passed stricter voter ID laws. Taken together, the measures could have a significant and negative effect on President Obama’s reelection efforts if they keep young people and minorities away from the polls.

This year, more than 30 states debated changes to their voting laws. A dozen passed more restrictive rules requiring voters to present state-issued photo IDs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, although Democratic governors in four states vetoed them. Florida and Ohio will cut nearly in half the number of days for early voting, and Florida lawmakers reversed rules that had made it easier for former felons to vote.

“If you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed, if you have to show a picture ID to get on an airplane, you should show a picture ID when you vote,” Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said in the spring when she signed the bill into law in South Carolina.

via Republicans rewriting state election laws in ways that could hurt Democrat – The Washington Post.

students, work-study jobs, education, random:  I think I would have died …

Some student jobs aren’t just about the money.

Curtis Adams discovered that on his third day working in the morgue at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center this summer, when a doctor handed him a cadaver’s intestine to clean out.

“You’re so excited thinking they gave you this important task to do,” he says. But as he snipped off the end of the intestine with a pair of scissors, Mr. Adams saw—and smelled—exactly what he had gotten himself into. “It was a trap,” he says. “I realized that was my initiation.”

His boss, Lawrence C. Nichols, a professor of pathology and chief of the medical center’s autopsy service, confirms Mr. Adams’s assessment: “You usually can only get someone to do that voluntarily once.”

For most students, a campus job means a gig like reshelving library books or swiping student ID’s in the dining hall—time-honored paths to a little extra cash for books and beer. But for a select few like Mr. Adams, the job itself is the payoff, the rare work-study or university-sponsored position that warrants a double take on a résumé and rewards its taker in bizarre stories and befuddled inquiries from friends and family. So you do what, exactly?

via Feed a Lemur, Castrate a Calf: the Real Value of Some Unusual Student Jobs – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cities, neighborhoods, change, Brooklyn NY, diversity:  Rapid change … but are we adapting?

“Forty years ago, we wouldn’t have a cow foot,” Mr. Savarese said, pointing to a bucket of them. Goat meat, oxtail, Jamaican curry powder — these are the gradual changes that have allowed Michael’s to stay open as so many of its neighbors have closed to make way for wig stores and West Indian bakeries.

“We’re the last one,” Mr. Savarese said, slicing into a side of beef.

In a city where Jewish neighborhoods turn Puerto Rican, then African and then something else, Mr. Savarese belongs to the sparse ranks of holdouts who have held firm amid the city’s churn, even as newcomers have remade the streets around them. They dig in for many reasons: love of place, loyalty, optimism or sheer stubbornness. Nostalgia grounds some, inertia others. But all of them can still imagine, as they look out on their reshaped blocks, the neighbors and businesses that left decades ago.

At Michael’s, a woman carrying two shopping bags pushed open the door on a recent afternoon and asked, in a Caribbean lilt, for the price of the oxtail. It was $6.29 a pound, she was told. “Lord have mercy,” she said, backing out the door.

Mr. Savarese’s disparate tribe of holdouts includes an Irish bar owner in Brooklyn’s version of Chinatown, an artist hanging on in a zone of shoppers and tourists, and a drum maker who still creates them by hand. Taken together, they offer a twist on New York’s famous promise of reinvention. Theirs are stories of staying put.

“I call it the die-hard effect,” said Joseph J. Salvo, the director of the population division of the Department of City Planning. “There are people who will not leave. Irrespective of the change that is occurring, they regard that as their home.”

via The Last Holdouts in Changing City Neighborhoods – NYTimes.com.

Pat Robertson,  gaffes, faith and spirituality:  Personally, I think this is more than a gaffe.

To a minister like Robertson, marriage is empowered by the almighty himself as the holiest of institutions. It is the most unbreakable of bonds, well, except in one case. Calling Alzheimer’s disease a “kind of death,” in a Sept. 13 700 Club broadcast, Robertson advised a man whose wife is suffering from the incurable, degenerative disease to “divorce her and start all over again.” Unsurprisingly, the clip has gone viral and, like the many Robertson gaffes before it, prompted condemnation from others in the faith-based community.

via In Health, But Not Always in Sickness – Top 10 Pat Robertson Gaffes – TIME.

travel, photography:  Some good advice …

Capture the photo not taken on your next vacation, and you’re guaranteed to make a memory. Like a bottle of “Dandelion Wine,” it is an image that encapsulates your escape in a single frame. It can become a point of pride on the wall, or an image you look to when a case of the Mondays threatens to overwhelm.

So often, the camera becomes an afterthought in the suitcase. Think of it as a traveling companion, one to share every second of your adventure with. From the most exotic location to your favorite escape in the next town over, the world is full of photographic potential. And I promise you, “every, every inch” of it has not been photographed.

via How to take amazing travel photos – CNN.com.

LOL, old jokes, kith/kin:  Some jokes you just never give up …

In bed … 🙂

 

14
Aug
11

‎8.14.2011 … getting organized … and caught up on my “service” …

Olmsted, environmentalist:  I have a friend driving the BRP for the first time.  I wonder if he knows that Olmsted played a role by preserving the Pisgah Nation Forest.

Best known for crafting urban spaces – New York’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace – Olmsted was also deeply involved in saving wild places.

Helping preserve Yosemite is one of his greatest accomplishments. Beginning in 1864 – at a time when only a few hundred non-Native Americans had ever set foot in the valley – Olmsted made a series of visits. He was awestruck by the epic scenery, but also recognized how easily the place could be spoiled.

In 1865, Schuyler Colfax, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, embarked on a cross-country journey with a visit to Yosemite slated as the highlight. Speaker Colfax was accompanied by a number of journalists. As it happens, Olmsted saw a mention in a paper about Colfax’s planned Yosemite visit. He arranged to meet up with the party to act as a guide. Olmsted also drafted an 8,000-word treatise about Yosemite.

In 1906, Yosemite became a national park, thanks to the tireless efforts of naturalist John Muir. But Olmsted gets credit for being one of the first people to call for the valley’s preservation. Olmsted, the pioneering environmentalist, also helped preserve Niagara Falls and the vast Pisgah forest in North Carolina.

via Olmsted, The Environmentalist.

pop-ups, H&M, WaterAid:  Still haven’t visited a really creative pop-up!

H&M has already appeared on our virtual pages once before for its innovative partnership with fashion blogger Elin Kling, but recently we found cause to cover the Swedish clothing retailer again. The topic this time? A pop-up store H&M recently ran in the Netherlands to benefit global charity WaterAid.

H&M has been collaborating with WaterAid since 2002, including an initiative every summer whereby the retailer sells an exclusive bikini or — this year — a whole beachwear collection dedicated to the effort, with 10 percent of proceeds donated toward providing safe water and sanitation to developing countries. This year, however, H&M took its support a step further by opening a pop-up beach store for two days in The Hague’s popular Scheveningen seaside resort. A variety of essentials for men, women and kids from H&M’s “Beachwear in Shades of Blue” line were available at the shipping container-style shop on the beach, and a full 25 percent of the sales proceeds went directly to WaterAid, according to a report on the Superfuture blog.

There’s no shortage of seasonal opportunities for pop-up retail, and H&M’s charitable focus makes the deal even sweeter. Other retailers around the globe: how can you make the most of summer to demonstrate your own corporate generosity?

via Pop-up beach store benefits global water charity | Springwise.

Statue of Livberty, NYC, LIFE:  I am really enjoying the LIFE photo galleries. American Classic: Lady Liberty – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Constitution, States Rights: 

I know states’ rights advocates revere the 10th Amendment. But when the word “states” appears in the Constitution, it typically is part of a compound word, “United States,” or refers to how the states and their people will be represented in the national government. We learned it in elementary school: The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation to create a stronger federal government, not a weak confederate government. Perry’s view was rejected in 1787 and again in 1865.

We praise our Founders annually for revolting against royal rule and for creating an exceptionally durable system of self-government. We can wreck that system if we forget our Founders’ purpose of creating a representative form of national authority robust enough to secure the public good. It is still perfectly capable of doing that. But if we pretend we are living in Boston in 1773, we will draw all the wrong conclusions and make some remarkably foolish choices.

via What our Declaration really said – The Washington Post.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril, Moulin Rouge, Paris, muses:  I really learned a great deal on my Paris Walks tour of Montmartre … and so enjoyed this article yesterday in the WSJ.

[lautrec]

After the Moulin Rouge hired Avril in 1889, Lautrec painted her constantly. Some of his angular and unconventional depictions were used on posters to promote her performances.The Avril posters “made Lautrec famous as well,” Ms. Ireson says. “They were advertising the performance, but they were also advertising the artist himself.”

Unlike many artist-muse relationships, theirs is not thought to have escalated into romance, though that might have been to Lautrec’s chagrin. He was known to be positively giddy whenever she was around. His late biographer, Thadée Natanson, who knew both Lautrec and Avril, once described the artist as something of an “amorous alcoholic” in her presence.

via Jane Avril and Toulouse-Lautrec at the Courtauld – WSJ.com.

politics, millennials:  Thanks, Joni, for this great article.  I am not sure I want to turn over power to the Harry potter Generation … but I do have great hope in our children.

 

She continues, “We respond not as traditional issue-driven constituencies, but look for the nuances that reflect our own complex life experiences. We accept as fact that since people are different, not everyone will or should make the same choice when faced with an important life decision. Strident political alternatives come across as unrealistic and out of touch.”

Another young professional in Washington says she and her friends also shy away from absolutist thinking. “Women shouldn’t wait until the third trimester to have an abortion,” she says emphatically, “but should we have a law banning it? No. Should every medical provider be obligated to perform abortions? Also, no.”

In 2007 William A. Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, asked 20-somethings what they considered the top qualities necessary to be an adult. Four out of five rated becoming less self-oriented, and developing greater consideration for others, among the top four of 16 possible answers.

Will they be as generous in the future if the economy continues to decline? Will the level-headed among them become inspired to run for public office and, once there, offer fresh ideas on how to govern in a collaborative manner? We must hope so.

via End political gridlock: Put a Millennial in charge – CNN.com.

2012 Presidential Election, Michelle Bachmann, Francis Schaeffer, “How Should We Then Live?,” Westminster:  Wow … this story scares me.  One interesting note – at my high school, we were requred to watch the Schaeffer series referenced for a senior Christian ethics class.  I have re-read the book in recently years beause the 5 part series has haunted my take on ethics … I plan to re-read it again.

The transformation of Michele Bachmann from Tea Party insurgent and cable-news Pasionaria to serious Republican contender in the 2012 Presidential race was nearly complete by late June, when she boarded a Dassault Falcon 900, in Dulles, Virginia, and headed toward the caucus grounds of Iowa. The leased, fourteen-seat corporate jet was to serve as Bachmann’s campaign hub for the next few days, and, before the plane took off, her press secretary, Alice Stewart, announced to the six travelling chroniclers that there was one important rule. “I know everything is on the record these days,” Stewart said, “but please just don’t broadcast images of her in her casual clothes.”

Later that year, they experienced a second life-altering event: they watched a series of films by the evangelist and theologian Francis Schaeffer called “How Should We Then Live?”

Schaeffer, who ran a mission in the Swiss Alps known as L’Abri (“the shelter”), opposed liberal trends in theology. One of the most influential evangelical thinkers of the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, he has been credited with getting a generation of Christians involved in politics. Schaeffer’s film series consists of ten episodes tracing the influence of Christianity on Western art and culture, from ancient Rome to Roe v. Wade. In the films, Schaeffer—who has a white goatee and is dressed in a shearling coat and mountain climber’s knickers—condemns the influence of the Italian Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Darwin, secular humanism, and postmodernism. He repeatedly reminds viewers of the “inerrancy” of the Bible and the necessity of a Biblical world view. “There is only one real solution, and that’s right back where the early church was,” Schaeffer tells his audience. “The early church believed that only the Bible was the final authority. What these people really believed and what gave them their whole strength was in the truth of the Bible as the absolute infallible word of God.”

The first five installments of the series are something of an art-history and philosophy course. The iconic image from the early episodes is Schaeffer standing on a raised platform next to Michelangelo’s “David” and explaining why, for all its beauty, Renaissance art represented a dangerous turn away from a God-centered world and toward a blasphemous, human-centered world. But the film shifts in the second half. In the sixth episode, a mysterious man in a fake mustache drives around in a white van and furtively pours chemicals into a city’s water supply, while Schaeffer speculates about the possibility that the U.S. government is controlling its citizens by means of psychotropic drugs. The final two episodes of the series deal with abortion and the perils of genetic engineering.

Schaeffer died in 1984. I asked his son Frank, who directed the movies—and who has since left the evangelical movement and become a novelist—about the change in tone. He told me that it all had to do with Roe v. Wade, which was decided by the Supreme Court while the film was being made. “Those first episodes are what Francis Schaeffer is doing while he was sitting in Switzerland having nice discussions with people who came through to find Jesus and talk about culture and art,” he said. But then the Roe decision came, and “it wasn’t a theory anymore. Now ‘they’ are killing babies. Then everything started getting unhinged. It wasn’t just that we disagreed with the Supreme Court; it’s that they’re evil. It isn’t just that the federal government may be taking too much power; now they are abusing it. We had been warning that humanism followed to its logical conclusion without Biblical absolutes is going to go into terrible places, and, look, it’s happening right before our very eyes. Once that happens, everything becomes a kind of holy war, and if not an actual conspiracy then conspiracy-like.”

Francis Schaeffer instructed his followers and students at L’Abri that the Bible was not just a book but “the total truth.” He was a major contributor to the school of thought now known as Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26, where man is urged to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Sara Diamond, who has written several books about evangelical movements in America, has succinctly defined the philosophy that resulted from Schaeffer’s interpretation: “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”

In 1981, three years before he died, Schaeffer published “A Christian Manifesto,” a guide for Christian activism, in which he argues for the violent overthrow of the government if Roe v. Wade isn’t reversed. In his movie, Schaeffer warned that America’s descent into tyranny would not look like Hitler’s or Stalin’s; it would probably be guided stealthily, by “a manipulative, authoritarian élite.”

Today, one of the leading proponents of Schaeffer’s version of Dominionism is Nancy Pearcey, a former student of his and a prominent creationist. Her 2004 book, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity,” teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.”

via The Transformation of Michele Bachmann : The New Yorker.

slutwalks, society, culture:  In theory, the “sluts” are right … but tell that to the woman or adolescent who is raped and it could have been avoided.

Jarvis, along with crowds of protesters, had taken to the streets to march in what was dubbed a SlutWalk. The march, organized by Jarvis and Sonya Barnett, was spurred by the comments of Toronto constable Michael Sanguinetti, who told a group of students in a safety class that women “should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” In response to the constable’s remark — and the implication that women’s actions, not the actions of rapists, lead to sexual assault — SlutWalk was born.

via Will SlutWalks Change the Meaning of the Word ‘Slut’? – TIME.

Sandra Day O’connor, iCivics:  SDO’C is one of myheroes.  I continue tpo be impressed with her commitment to our society.

Mario and Luigi save princesses. Lara Croft raids tombs. And then there’s Chuck Freepress, a computer-game constitutional lawyer—created by retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor—who scores courtroom victories and boasts a heroic knowledge of the First Amendment.

O’Connor’s unlikely venture into the videogame world may not have produced a Resident Evil–level blockbuster, but so far it has hooked kids in 12,000 classrooms across the U.S. on a selection of civics-themed games—now played more than 2 million times. The goal: revive the teaching of civics in American schools to help prepare the next generation of kids to participate as citizens in a democracy.

As O’Connor points out, America’s public schools were founded in part to prepare kids for citizenship, not just college and career. “That was the theory, and schools followed it until recently,” she told NEWSWEEK. “Now our schools aren’t supporting it anymore. And I think that’s dangerous.”

Indeed, fewer than half of Americans can list all three branches of government, yet three in four can name all of the Three Stooges. High-school seniors today know less about the country than their peers did five years ago, according to the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress’s civics report card. And only 29 states require high-school students to take a civics or government course.

via Sandra Day O’Connor on Her American Civics Videogame – Newsweek.

Less than half of the public can name a single Supreme Court justice. But more than 80 percent of Americans know Michael Jackson sang “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

Thankfully, the Internet can be leveraged to update civics education in the digital age. At its best, the web is much more than just a source of information—it can be a powerful platform for students to exchange and debate ideas about what’s going on in their communities. And it is a vital vehicle for organizing political activities and finding government assistance.

A number of organizations are leading the way to producing the next generation of civics instruction. iCivics, founded by Justice O’Connor, offers web-based education projects and an array of interactive games and activities that students can use in class or at home. Students can assume the role of a Supreme Court justice and help decide a school dress-code case. Or they might learn how a new immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen by guiding them through the naturalization process. iCivics also provides outlets for students to engage in real-world civics efforts and support community projects founded by their peers from across the country.

Students continue to need opportunities to learn and experience civics in their offline communities as well. When Education Secretary Arne Duncan was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, he worked closely with the Mikva Challenge, which seeks to move beyond your grandmother’s civics to what it calls “action civics.”

via iCivics: Sandra Day O’Connor and Arne Duncan on Civics Education Online – The Daily Beast.

Grove Park Inn, culture, pets:  I guess the Grove Park is going after the European jet set … or the European jet set wannabees. 🙂

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa announced last week it’s opening its doors to four-legged guests, with a new section of pet-friendly rooms and even doggie room service with dishes like Meat Woof and Chicken Pup Pie.

Rooms open to pets have been set aside in the inn’s Vanderbilt Wing, and there’s a pet walking area nearby. Meanwhile, the resort says it has a variety of trails and walking routes for exercising.

via Grove Park Inn opens doors to 4-legged guests  | Pets.

wine, Rosé, food – drink:  i enjoyed Rosé in Paris and my guide Donna Morris (Best Friend in Paris France – great guide if you need one) explained to me that this is what the French drink in summer.  I felt great being in the know … and the WSJ agrees.

Rosé has long been the summer beverage of choice for fashionable diners in Cannes and Saint-Tropez, but Americans have yet to fully embrace it.

One of the reasons for the dubious reputation of rosé may be that many drinkers remember the sweet blush wines and so-called White Zinfandels which were so popular in the 1970s and ’80s. Remember Sutter Home White Zinfandel? Technically it was a rosé and it was kind of sickly sweet, unlike the pink wines of southern France.

Nearby on the North Fork of Long Island, Paula and Michael Croteaux operate Croteaux Vineyards, which may be the only vineyard in the U.S. devoted entirely to rosé, creating some six different cuvées from different clones of Merlot. The Manhattan refugees bought their 18th-century farm in Southold, N.Y., in the early 1990s. “We’d have people coming by our place and saying, ‘I feel like I’m in Provence,’ ” Mr. Croteaux says. “And when we thought about planting vines, rosé seemed like a great fit based on the lifestyle out here on the east end.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to the Hamptons or Provence to experience the incomparable pleasure of a cold rosé on a hot summer day.

via Rosé Wines for Summer | Jay McInerney on Wine – WSJ.com.

30
Apr
11

4.30.2011 … the day after … the dress … the hats … the kiss … the second kiss … made for a fun day on Friday …

Royal Wedding, the dress, Embroidering Royalty, history:  Interesting history …

If clothes make the man … consider Henry VIII. In one famous image of him he’s absolutely encrusted in gold, and jewels. In Henry’s day, you wore your wealth. It was embroidered onto your doublet … pounds and pounds of it, if you were king – by law, the only man in England allowed to wear this much finery.

Lucy Worsley, chief curator for England’s historic royal palaces, showed Teichner Hampton Court Palace, one of Henry’s sixty (sixty!) palaces. “He had loads of palaces,” Worlsey said.

“He always looked forward to coming here, ’cause this is the place that he came for hunting, holidays and honeymoons. It was a pleasure palace,” she said.

Southwest of London along the River Thames, Hampton Court is where Henry VIII plotted his divorces and multiple remarriages – and where, according to a letter written at the time, he himself (yes, Henry VIII) may have taken up embroidery.

“The way it’s written, you could read it as though he was actually doing the embroidery,” said Dr. Susan Kay-Williams.

via Embroidering royalty – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

Royal Wedding, hats:  And the winner is ...

From Princess Beatrice’s giant sculpted bow, to Victoria Beckham’s spiky alien antenna, the royal wedding featured headwear so wacky it would put Lady Gaga to shame.

via Mad Hatters: 13 Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hats – Photo Essays – TIME.

Royal Wedding, LOLKeep Calm, Harry is Still Single Posters at AllPosters.com.


Zombies: So if you are tired of the wedding … a little more on zombies …

The flesh-hungry undead, often in the form of ghouls and vampires, have been a fixture of world mythology dating at least since The Epic of Gilgamesh,[2] in which the goddess Ishtar promises:I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,and will let the dead go up to eat the living!And the dead will outnumber the living![2]One Thousand and One Nights is another early piece of literature to reference ghouls. A prime example is the story “The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib” from Nights vol. 6, in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous ghouls, enslaves them, and converts them to Islam.[3]Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, while not a zombie novel proper, prefigures many 20th century ideas about zombies in that the resurrection of the dead is portrayed as a scientific process rather than a mystical one, and that the resurrected dead are degraded and more violent than their living selves. Frankenstein, published in 1818, has its roots in European folklore,[4] whose tales of vengeful dead also informed the evolution of the modern conception of vampires as well as zombies. Later notable 19th century stories about the avenging undead included Ambrose Bierces “The Death of Halpin Frayser”, and various Gothic Romanticism tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Though their works couldnt be properly considered zombie fiction, the supernatural tales of Bierce and Poe would prove influential on later undead-themed writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, by Lovecrafts own admission.[5]

via Zombies in popular culture.

Apps, Roadify:

It is easy to see how Roadify could be useful. But it is the kind of service that gets better as more people sign up, and it has not reached critical mass. It is not uncommon to click on, say, the E train at Queens Plaza, only to find an update saying the station is crowded — from six hours earlier. There is also some development work to be done: More than 20 bus lines have yet to be entered into the database, meaning that if you live in many parts of Queens you’re out of luck. And the subway information is arranged by line, not by station. Trying to decide which train to take from Times Square? You have to check each line individually. Roadify is also largely nonfunctional underground, a serious shortcoming for something you want to use on the subway.

via Roadify Turns to Commuters for News on the Commute – NYTimes.com.

fashion, clothing, preppy clothing, Tommy Hilfiger, pop-ups:  Ok, the only thing I want at ths pop-up is the wind vane … look closely!  I never realized that my favorite 4 footed friend was “preppy”.

Prep Squad – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, popular culture: 🙂

Sometimes I feel like everything I know about life I learned by reading Jane Austen. The funny thing is, I never wanted to read her in the first place. I was 26, a pompous young graduate student who preferred to associate himself with the big, masculine modernist heroes: James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov. Jane Austen? She was for girls. But when I had to read her for a course, I found out what an idiot I had been. Not just about her, I mean, but about everything. In other words, how much I had to learn about life. So I let her teach me. In A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, I talk about the lessons I learned and how I learned them.

via Bill Deresiewicz: 12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Jane Austen (PHOTOS).

Great Recession:  Great Recession or Great Depression II?

The Two-Track Recovery (or ‘Depression’?)

By CATHERINE RAMPELL

Despite what the gross domestic product report released Thursday shows, nearly a third of Americans believe the country is in a depression, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, conducted April 20-23, found that 29 percent of Americans thought the economy was in a depression, and an additional 26 percent thought it was in a recession.

The recession technically ended nearly two years ago, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Some of the disconnect between expert and popular views may be due to semantics. To economists, the words “recession” and “expansion” refer to a change in economic activity — that is, which direction is the economy moving in. But most laypeople who hear these terms probably think of the level of economic activity — that is, does the economy feel healthy or not.

via The Two-Track Recovery (or ‘Depression’?) – NYTimes.com.

06
Mar
11

3.6.2011 … my mac and cheese comfort food maker is now in need of comfort food … what can a one-armed bandit make???

news, identity theft, David Koch, kudos: Can you imagine having your identity stolen for political purposes?  Kudos to Mr. Koch for his philanthropic work.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — More than a thousand miles from the labor tumult in Wisconsin — where his name shows up on the signs of protesters and a liberal blogger impersonating him got through to the governor on the phone and said “gotta crush that union!” — the real David H. Koch was greeted rather more warmly here Friday when he officially opened a new cancer research institute bearing his name.

Mr. Koch and his brother Charles, both No. 5 in Forbes’s list of the richest Americans, are targets of liberal activists.

Mr. Koch, a billionaire who is perhaps best known for his family’s contributions to conservative causes, got a standing ovation from scientists, Nobel laureates and politicians of various political stripes as he opened the new David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he gave $100 million to help build. And in a brief, and rare, interview, Mr. Koch, 70, spoke of his hopes for the new center, his prostate cancer and the prank call heard around the world.

“It’s a case of identity theft,” Mr. Koch said of the call in which the liberal blogger got through to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, drew him out about his plans to weaken unions and posted a recording of the call on the Internet, making news and embarrassing the governor. Mr. Koch, whose company, Koch Industries, had given major campaign support to Governor Walker, among other conservative candidates and causes, added, “I didn’t even know his name before this brouhaha erupted.”

via Cancer Research Before Activism, Koch Brother Says – NYTimes.com.

Middle East Unrest/Awakening, Bahrain, US position:

Protesters here say their dreams of democracy are being thwarted by the United States’ desire to protect a large naval base in Bahrain, by the perception that Shiites reflexively side with Iran, and by the influence of neighboring Saudi Arabia, which analysts say would probably not accept a Shiite-led Bahrain.

Justin Gengler, a former Fulbright scholar in Bahrain, said he did not expect the United States to abandon its support for the Khalifa family, which has run this country for more than two centuries.

“As soon as it looks like the U.S. is not supporting royal families in the gulf region, it starts to raise eyebrows everywhere — in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, in Oman,” Mr. Gengler said. “The U.S. can’t turn its back on the Bahraini royal family without implicitly abandoning the idea of monarchies in the gulf.”

Opposition politicians here are seeking to convince Washington that a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain would not be a threat to regional stability. An elected government would be inherently more stable, said Matar Ebrahim Ali Matar, a Shiite member of Parliament who resigned after the government crackdown.

“The United States should support this wave of democracy — it’s coming,” Mr. Matar said. “If it doesn’t happen this year, it will come in the coming years.”

Under the current political system the lower house of Parliament is elected, but its lawmaking powers are curtailed by an upper house, whose members are appointed by the king, who also has wide-ranging powers to pass decrees.

via Bahrain Protesters Fear Lack of U.S. Support – NYTimes.com.

NYC, random:  interesting take …

New York is a vibrant city, teeming with people at all hours. Enjoy the restaurants and the sights, but be wary of its brutal winters

via Doing business in New York: An abundance of activity | The Economist.

Middle East Unrest/Awakening, Egypt Uprising, pop ups, culture: Pop up kindergarten int the middle of Tahir Square?  Really interesting story …

Did You Know There Was a Pop-Up Kindergarten in Tahrir Square?

Editor’s note: This story of children in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution has a back story we want to share. We saw a photo of kids painting in Tahrir from the BBC with this caption:

“Schools in Cairo have been closed during the protests. But there are so many mothers who want to attend the demonstration that many bring their children here – to a kindergarten organised by the demonstrators.”

Since we couldn’t find more information on this online we asked a few protesters who were actively tweeting if they would send us details. Here is a heartwarming, earnest, and surprisingly gripping account of the uplifting role of children in Tahrir Square during three weeks of revolution. It was sent to GOOD by Mosa’ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing) a pharmacy student in Egypt.

I’m not exactly sure when the kindergarten idea started, but I’d say it became most prominent when the situation in Tahrir got less tense, which was from the second Friday. The first one, January 28, in which people marched from every district in Cairo to Tahrir, was a violent and bloody one. Police used every possible means of suppression from tear gas to live ammunition. Very few families stayed in Tahrir then as it wasn’t safe.

The place was mostly occupied by young men but, still, a few women were present there. The second Friday, the 4th of February, was a festive one. It was after the tense situation in Tahrir cooled for a bit, and the army had finally stepped into the picture, offering protection and keeping the thugs away. The mood stayed like that throughout the week until the decisive Friday, February 11, when Mubarak stepped down and jubilation ensued.

Some of the kids would do their own marches around the square, with people applauding and smiling at them.

So, from this second Friday, the 4th, till a week later, Tahrir was one of the happiest places on earth. The spirits were wonderful throughout, and more people started believing in us. Tahrir was much safer, the thugs’ attacks had stopped. Many factors allowed families to come to Tahrir then. A lot of them would usually come early, spend the day chanting, singing, and enjoying the general mood, then leave before the curfew hours started. There were a few families that stayed, though, and that sparked the idea to create a kindergarten in Tahrir Square.

via A Moving Letter from Egypt About the Role of Children in Tahrir Square – Culture – GOOD.

quotes, dogs, twitter:

Outside of a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend, and inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

via Twitter / @DailyLit: Outside of a dog, a book i ….

17
Jan
11

1.17.2011 MLK Day … visiting W&L … strange place to be on MLK Day.

college search, W&L: loved the look and feel of W&L … but a very strange place to be on MLK Day.  UVA has that walk back in time to antebellum days as well … and Monticello … an interesting legacy.

education, college:  disturbing …

In the book, and in an accompanying study being released Tuesday, the authors followed more than 2,300 undergraduates at two dozen universities, and concluded that 45 percent “demonstrated no significant gains in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and written communications during the first two years of college.”

The universities are not identified — the authors only say they represent “a wide range” of the nation’s approximately 2,000 four-year institutions — but the yardstick against which such judgments are made is the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test that is essay-based and open-ended. (It is worth noting that in measuring broad analytic and problem-solving skills, the exam does not assess how much students concentrating in particular majors — physics or psychology, for example — have learned in their respective fields of study.)

via How Much Do College Students Learn, and Study? – NYTimes.com.

Sen. McCain, The President, politics: Sen McCain took the high road  here.

The president appropriately disputed the injurious suggestion that some participants in our political debates were responsible for a depraved man’s inhumanity. He asked us all to conduct ourselves in those debates in a manner that would not disillusion an innocent child’s hopeful patriotism. I agree wholeheartedly with these sentiments. We should respect the sincerity of the convictions that enliven our debates but also the mutual purpose that we and all preceding generations of Americans serve: a better country; stronger, more prosperous and just than the one we inherited.

We Americans have different opinions on how best to serve that noble purpose. We need not pretend otherwise or be timid in our advocacy of the means we believe will achieve it. But we should be mindful as we argue about our differences that so much more unites than divides us. We should also note that our differences, when compared withthose in many, if not most, other countries, are smaller than we sometimes imagine them to be.

It does not ask too much of human nature to have the empathy to understand how wrong an injury that is or appreciate how strong a need someone would feel to defend him or herself against such a slur. Even to perceive it in the context of its supposed political effect and not as the claim of the human heart to the dignity we are enjoined by God and our founding ideals to respect in one another is unworthy of us, and our understanding of America’s meaning.

There are too many occasions when we lack that empathy and mutual respect on all sides of our politics, and in the media. But it is not beyond us to do better; to behave more modestly and courteously and respectfully toward one another; to make progress toward the ideal that beckons all humanity: to treat one another as we would wish to be treated.

We are Americans and fellow human beings, and that shared distinction is so much more important than the disputes that invigorate our noisy, rough-and-tumble political culture. That is what I heard the president say on Wednesday evening. I commend and thank him for it.

via .: United States Senator John McCain :: Press Office :..

education, apartheid, South Africa:

The lingering legacy of apartheid

Even though public schooling was desegregated in 1994, the vast majority of poor black children continue to go to severely deprived, overwhelmingly black schools. Two-thirds of state schools have no library or computer; 90% have no science laboratory; more than half of all pupils either have no text books or have to share them. Whites, by contrast, together with a small but growing contingent from the black middle class, send their children to the former all-white “Model C” state schools, with their far superior facilities, or, increasingly, to a private school.

Since 1994 the number of pupils attending independent schools has more than doubled to around 500,000 (4% of the total school population); six out of ten are black. Tuition fees, over a quarter subsidised by the state, range from a modest 1,600 rand ($230) to a hefty 80,000 rand a year. Many parents think it worth it. Class sizes are generally half those in state schools, the teachers are better qualified and the success rate a lot higher. More than 90% of private-school pupils can expect to get their matric, compared with just 30% of state-school pupils. The former Model C schools boast a similar success rate.

President Jacob Zuma has promised to make education his priority. Money is not the main problem: education already gobbles up about 20% of the government’s budget, representing over 5% of GDP. But attitudes, particularly those of the teachers, who are heavily unionised, will have to change. Angie Motshekga, the schools minister, admits that the system is largely “in crisis” and will take 20 years to fix. Others fear it may need longer.

via South African schools: E for education | The Economist.

restaurants, food trucks, innovation, change:  Maybe more than a fad?

“We’re seeing demand for customization based on specific menus or food concepts, which may mean installing a pizza oven or a baking oven for cupcakes,” said Richard Gomez, customer sales engineer and plant controller at AA Cater Truck, the largest food truck manufacturer in the country. “There’s also a lot more emphasis on marketing and graphics. Trucks used to be just white, but now customers want to make their trucks look like celebrities.”

Founded in 1965, AA Cater Truck operates from a sprawling facility here in central Los Angeles, where the food trucks are designed, built, financed, sold and serviced.

A sister company, Hivco, a manufacturer of the delivery vehicles known as step vans, operates under the same roof. New vehicles arrive at the plant as stripped-down chassis assemblies that include wheels, a drivetrain, a steering wheel, a dashboard, a driver’s seat — and nothing more.

via Food Trucks Now Tailored to the Chefs Inside – NYTimes.com.

pop-ups, NYC:  Now this is interesting … a pop-up park!

As New York continues to get hit by blizzards, city dwellers longing for a picnic without the risk of frostbite can head downtown to the OpenHouse Gallery at 201 Mulberry Street, where a pop-up park opened on January 8. The gallery has been converted into an indoor park with fake grass, rocks, trees, a pond, and bird sounds.

While there’s not enough room to toss around a frisbee, park-goers can play bocce ball and croquet or attend a daily yoga session from 12-1 ($15 suggested donation). There’s also a seesaw for the kids.

via New Yorkers take shelter from winter in a downtown pop-up park on Shine.

economy, Great Recession, economics:

And in fact, that’s just what the Fed has done since late August, and so far the policy seems to be working—though it stands to reason that it would work faster if the Fed did more.

I know many economists don’t buy this view of the crisis, including some Keynesians. They argue, for instance, that with so much excess capacity in the economy, no interest rate will induce private investment, and so direct government spending is needed to create the demand and the inflation necessary to clear the economy. Others, obviously, hew closer to a more structural view of the crisis, in which major reforms are required, rather than monetary or fiscal policy. No one, clearly, considers the matter settled.

But I found the Hall-Shimer view (or, at any rate, the view that lies midway between them) to be compelling. I think they’ve hit on an important aspect of the continuing failure of the American economy to get back to normal.

via Labour markets: Really unemployed | The Economist.

 

07
Jan
11

1.7.2011 … what does “peace out” mean? Today, I am just happy to have a little peace.

art, ballet, bookshelf: I asked several friends who are involved in the ballet world and they agree with much about this book’s conclusion.

Perhaps a later history will view all these as the final gutterings of a spent flame. This is no golden age, and several of its ballets are indeed dead. My own main alarm about ballet — not one that troubles Ms. Homans — is that its dependence on pointwork for women and partnering by men proposes a dichotomizing view of the sexes that is at best outmoded and at worst repellently sexist. Nevertheless, this balletgoer testifies that the scene feels brighter than it did 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

via Jennifer Homan’s ‘Apollo’s Angels’ – Critic’s Notebook – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, pop ups:  I am going to one of these if I have to ride the MegaBus to get there!

Mr. Fraser’s novelty, scheduled to open on Jan. 25 for what he estimates will be a nine-month run, is one answer — an especially striking, even eccentric one. It’s called What Happens When, and if the thought were finished and the predicate filled in, it would mention rules being rewritten and assumptions challenged.

Diners, for example, will be expected to set and reset the cutlery on their tables with utensils from drawers beneath. That way Mr. Fraser won’t need as many servers. It will save him money, he said, and translate into fewer intrusions for diners. “You’re visited only at points of the meal when you really need help,” he said.

Rather than woo bigwig investors who might make big-time demands, Mr. Fraser has decided to solicit hundreds of what are essentially contributions, from $5 to $2,500, through a micro-financing Web site, Kickstarter, which helps raise money for creative projects.

It’s an improvisatory approach for an improvisatory time, when chefs are finding all sorts of ways to eliminate overhead, streamline operations, edit out distractions and focus on the cooking, which is the beginning, end and point of it all.

In Chicago, the chef Grant Achatz is preparing to open Next, where diners will buy tickets in advance for an appointed hour and a predetermined menu. The pinpoint planning that allows him will save money on service staff.

Some chefs are hatching pop-up restaurants, which squat for just days or weeks in locations already furnished and equipped. Some are giving meals on wheels a spin.

via Temporary Restaurants – Now You See It, Now You Don’t – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, business models: My favorite restaurant advertises … “Over 245 billion served!”

Sixty. That’s the number of diners a night that chef André Chiang sets as the maximum for a good restaurant. Any more and quality starts to slip, he says.

His Singapore restaurant serves even fewer people than that. André, which opened in October 2010, accommodates just 30 diners each a night.

via Asia’s Restaurants Want Fewer Customers — Scene Asia – Scene Asia – WSJ.

statistics, Congress:  Welcome to the 112th Congress …

The Wall Street Journal examined the list of freshmen and came up with some stats on the 112th Congress:

Average age: 57.4 (down from 58.5 in the 111th Congress)

Blacks: 42 (up from 40)

Hispanics: 26 (down from 27)

Asians: 11 (no change)

Women: 89 (down from 90)

Veterans: 113 (down from 119)

No college degree: 28 (no change)

Attorneys: 202 (down from 203)

Farmers or ranchers: 6 (down from 7)

via 112th Congress: By the Numbers – Washington Wire – WSJ.

travel, budget travel:  I have heard it was just OK.  My kith nieces came home to Charlotte at Christmas on the MegaBus.

First, an overview: This is not your father’s Greyhound. For the most part, the buses are incredibly pleasant, dirt cheap and full of bonuses like free bottled water and electrical outlets by the seats. They run on time from convenient locations, making them practically as fast as airplanes at a fraction of the cost and a microscopic speck of a fraction of the hassle.

THE UPSHOT

The pricing revolution that started out with a few Chinatown buses has now given us a fairly reliable way to travel. Even, occasionally, after a blizzard.

via Frugal Traveler: A Guide to Cheap Buses (Including How to Score $1 Tickets) – NYTimes.com.

spring:  Thinking of spring.  I gave John  a composter for Christmas and maybe I’ll try my hand at  cold frames …How to Make a Simple Cold Frame | eHow.com.

products, advertising:  Are they really making anything new.  Seems like a waste of time and energy.

The product, called Purex Complete Crystals Softener, is being billed as “a purer way to get laundry that smells clean and fresh for weeks.” It is making its way this month onto the shelves of American grocery, drug and mass-merchandise stores, priced around $4 to $7 for a 28-ounce package that can be used for 32 loads of laundry.

A campaign for the new softener is to be introduced next month by Energy BBDO, the agency that created the ads to introduce Purex Complete 3-in-1. The budget is being estimated at $40 million to $50 million.

via Laundry Products Put Into Yet Another Form – NYTimes.com.

college, youth, gap year:  I have heard great things from a few people about the value of this.

Burnout from the competitive pressure of high school or a desire “to find out more about themselves,” are the top two reasons students take gap years, says a survey of 280 people who did so by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson, co-authors of a forthcoming guidebook on the topic. To benefit, a student should be able to set worthwhile goals, says Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, a gap-year consultant in Princeton, N.J. Those who take a year off just to procrastinate on college applications or party nonstop aren’t likely to gain much. In fact, Haigler advises having students apply to college before starting a gap year, then ask to defer admission.

Weary of the college admissions race during his senior year of high school, one Illinois student says his gap year in a wilderness training program, then a cultural-immersion program in Nepal, turned him around academically. After enrolling the next year in college, he posted his best grades ever, competed on a mock-trial team and edited a campus literary magazine.

via Is a ‘Gap Year’ Right for Your Family? – The Juggle – WSJ.

culture, online dating: Why does online dating just seem creepy to me?

FOR the lovelorn, the new year can be an unhappy time, as they cast envious glances in the direction of lovey-dovey couples at the season’s parties. For online-dating agencies, it is a golden opportunity, as people who have spent the holidays ruminating over unsatisfactory or non-existent love lives log on in their thousands, hoping to find romance—ideally before February 14th. “The period between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day is our busiest six weeks of the year,” explains Sam Yagan, the boss of OkCupid, a big American dating site.

via Online dating: Love at first byte | The Economist.

random:  I was just talking about this with my kids the other day. You’re Out: 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade PHOTOS.

innovation, consumer products, autos, green:  By the time I buy one, it will all be pretty easy!

Powermat, founded in Israel in 2007, says automotive applications have long been part of its plan. Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine says besides cordlessly recharging portable electronics, the system can be used with special cups to keep coffee hot and soft drinks cold. “We want every car in GM to have this wireless charging system to help consumers charge everything they have without the hassle of plugs,” he said.

But the larger opportunity might be recharging the batteries of electric cars without having to plug them in. Poliakine says Powermat has already demonstrated the capability. It holds the prospect of being able to park an electric car atop a charging mat at a shopping center, office, airport or at home and have it wireless recharged. “It is part of this whole vision,” he says. He declined to estimate how soon such a technology might be rolled out.

The best application for such cordless charging would be public stations, says Chelsea Sexton, an electric-car activist who was among the first to receive a Volt for long-term testing.

via GM-Powermat deal turns cars into cordless chargers – USATODAY.com.

random, lottery: I always buy a ticket when it gets high … but the Curse scares me … Do you think you could handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame?

Curse of the lottery

Some winners don’t live happily ever after. The so-called lottery curse, popularized by the corpulent character “Hurley” on ABC’s show “Lost,” has ruined at least a dozen winners over the years who couldn’t handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame.

The most infamous case is that of Andrew “Jack” Whittaker, a construction company owner from West Virginia who won $315 million from Powerball in 2002.

Already a millionaire before he won the lottery, Whittaker pledged part of the winnings to his church.

But it all went downhill from there, according to published reports.

Whittaker’s post-lottery problems are said to have included lawsuits, divorce, drunk driving, the theft of a cash-stuffed briefcase in a strip club, and the untimely deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

via Mega Millions $355 million jackpot is dream to many – Jan. 4, 2011.

Apple:  Ah, Apple … groundbreaking again.

The technology-industry analysts Macworld spoke with seem to feel that Apple is making a savvy move in bringing the success of the iOS App store to the Mac, suggesting that it’s a strategy that opens open another difference between the Mac and PCs running Windows.

“It’s groundbreaking,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. “I think this will be more than just an experiment—I think it’ll be quite successful within the Apple community. Those who are familiar with the Mac way of doing things will easily accept this, and probably embrace it.

via Mac App Store opens with more than 1,000 apps | Software | Macworld.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 620 other followers

June 2019
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30