Posts Tagged ‘prayers

24
Nov
11

11.24.2011 … Do you argue politics at your Thanksgiving Dinner? … stuffed, but blessed …

Thanksgiving,  prayers, Lincoln, history: 

Jon Meacham (@jmeacham)

11/24/11 10:24 AM

Lincoln, Thanksgiving 1863, asked prayers for “all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers.”We sd repeat them today.

Rev. James Howell, prayer, Thanksgiving Day 2011: excellent prayer … I must admit  stole heavily from it for my reading at our Thanksgiving table.

O Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good (Psalm 118:1). What shall I render to the Lord for all His bounty? I will lift up the sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and call on the name of the Lord (Psalm 116:17).

via Rev. James Howell: A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day 2011.

Thanksgiving dinner,  political arguments guide, table talk:  🙂

First, a prayer: May your Thanksgiving gathering be the supercommittee of our dreams, which is to say a happy meeting where everyone gets along despite their ideological differences and divides the pie equitably. We recognize, however, that some families are like the actual supercommittee — and the day may end with one faction pouting to Chris Matthews in the guest room after a political debate. In that case, the better prayer is always Loudon Wainwright’s Thanksgiving one: “If I argue with a loved one, Lord, please make me the winner.” In that spirit, we present Slate’s annual guide to this year’s political arguments, so that you might be lightly armed for small skirmishes.

via Thanksgiving dinner political arguments guide – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

Time for the annual family dinner, where you are the behind-the-scenes powerbroker, the resident expert on All Things Beltway — or so your mom told her cousins. What if you’re just a deputy to an assistant to an undersecretary, i.e. intern? Our sixth annual Thanksgiving Talking Points are just smarty-pants enough to wow the hometown crowd. Okay, maybe they’re not technically true — but that never stops presidential candidates.

via The 6th Annual Reliable Source Thanksgiving Talking Points – The Reliable Source – The Washington Post.

TIME, Spotify Playlist, music, Thanksgiving:

In the absence of classic Thanksgiving tunes, I put together a playlist of my own. You can listen to it on TIME’s Spotify account here. There are songs about food (The Kinks’ “Maximum Consumption”), songs about returning home (Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound”) and songs about being thankful for something (Sly & the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” counts, right?). The playlist is an hour long, so while it might not keep you company during the entire time that your turkey is baking — those suckers take forever — it’ll definitely come in handy as you preparing some side dishes. Think of it as TIME’s way of saying thank you for reading.

via TIME Puts Together a Spotify Playlist of Songs to Listen to on Thanksgiving | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, kith/kin: One of my favorite places,Lynn’s Paradise Cafe,  with some favorite people — with Ruth-Ann, Sarah and husband … great way to start Thanksgiving.

apps, 6×7:

Description

For high-quality images, medium-format cameras were the professionals’ choice for years. And many preferred the framing of the 6x7cm format above all. Now 6×7 takes you back to that time, with beautiful, high-resolution images that aren’t quite square – but aren’t too stretched out, either.

via App Store – 6×7.

16
Oct
11

10.16.2011 … worshipped at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte … then Big sis came in for a quick visit …

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, The Wired Word: Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte was great.  I am loving having Rev. Roland Purdue as interim minister … he keeps us thinking … Today he preached on “Paradise Lost: Searching for the Garden of Eden.”  –  ” We already know the way home … ” And  The Wired Word is a great Sunday School class … This week we discussed “World-Changers Steve Jobs and Fred Shuttlesworth Die on Same Day.”  Ultimately it led to a discussion of vocation and whether we believe God has called each of us individually.

kith/kin:  Nothing better than weekend visits with friends and family … Big sis Mary Stewart came for a quick visit  after going to her college reunion … stories of fideles and golden goblets, hole in the wall gang.  Funny thing is we are more alike as we get older … Anyone else noticed that about a sibling?

Occupy Wall Street, GOP, politics, culture:  Interesting that Axelrod says GOP doesn’t get it … if you read each  GOP candidate’s response  Mitt clearly doesn’t get it (or is he merely trying to deal with it … see next section on humor).  I think Axelrod misrepresents the GOP response.

A senior political adviser to President Barack Obama is charging that the Republicans seeking the presidency don’t understand the American public’s pent-up anger over corporate excesses.

David Axelrod tells ABC’s “This Week” that the American people “want a financial system that works on the level. They want to get a fair shake.”

He appeared Sunday, a day after scores of demonstrators protesting corporate business practices were arrested in New York’s Times Square in a confrontation with police.

Axelrod faulted Republicans who have been pushing in Congress to soften or repeal the landmark legislation Obama pushed through last year, tightening regulation of business practices.

Axelrod said he doesn’t believe “any American is impressed” when hearing GOP presidential candidates who want to “roll back Wall St. reform.”

Speaking to small crowd at a retirement community in Florida on Oct. 4, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed an unsympathetic view of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,” he said. Romney declined to comment further when asked about the protests by ABC. His response? “I’m just trying to get myself to occupy the White House.”

via David Axelrod On Occupy Wall Street: GOP Doesn’t Understand Protests, America’s Anger.

jokes, humor, crisis:  Interesting analysis … particularly interesting is that Romney tries the same joke in response to Occupy Wall Street and homelessness …

In June, the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney found himself under attack for a joke he tried to make at a meeting with a group of unemployed people in Tampa, Fla. “I am also unemployed,” Romney announced, insinuating that the job he lacked was the presidency.

His mistake, of course, was to have ignored the very meaning of the economic crisis, including the class-based divisions and anxieties it has aggravated. His statement of identity and identification (“I am also X”) achieved the exact opposite effect, underscoring the unbridgeable gap between the “unemployed” multimillionaire and the out-of-work Floridians. But in a sense, the joke ultimately worked, though not in the way Romney intended: it showed, above all, his own cluelessness. The joke was on him.

The subsequent moralizing responses of Romney’s critics were remarkably uniform. They boiled down to the admonishment that the crisis is not a laughing matter, that poking fun at unemployment is disrespectful to the unemployed, and so forth. But what if, on the contrary, humor and crisis share a common provenance? What if humor invariably germinates in response to a crisis, as a reaction to the excessive splits between us and our social, political or economic reality; or to the divisions within us; or to the rifts within reality itself?

Humor is not, as some believe, a coping strategy or an outlet for the frustrations that cannot be expressed in any other way … or at least it is not just that. At its best, it is the self-consciousness of crisis.

….

How does humor relate to this future and how does it cope with this sentiment? Far from assuaging the anxieties stimulated by the unknown, it is a symbolic device that enables human beings collectively to confront their own finitude and ageing, not to mention the limits of their social, political and economic realities. In the insecure employment (even) of the investment banker and the melting away of savings, we recognize ourselves in the present and, more importantly, in the future, forming, perhaps, a basic bond of solidarity.

Hence: (1) the temporal fissure between the present and the future is the site of the crisis; and (2) humor puts this divide under a symbolic spotlight. But who, exactly, laughs at whom when the temporal structure of the crisis is made visible? Is it the present that laughs at itself? Does it chuckle at its grim future? Or is it our future, laughing at us in the present?

Paraphrasing Martin Heidegger, we might say that the essence of humor is nothing humorous; it is, rather, the separation, variously called “time,” “self-consciousness,” “critique” or “crisis,” of the I from itself and from the world it lives in. When humor responds to a crisis, it reverts back to its own essence, launching a tacit critique that retraces the divisions and contradictions from which the crisis has erupted. But while the essence of humor is nothing humorous, this should not prevent us from having a good, hearty laugh.

via Jokes and Their Relation to Crisis – NYTimes.com.

 genetics, happiness, nature v. nurture:  My mom always said, “money won’t make you happy, but it certainly makes unhappiness easier.”

THE idea that the human personality is a blank slate, to be written upon only by experience, prevailed for most of the second half of the 20th century. Over the past two decades, however, that notion has been undermined. Studies comparing identical with non-identical twins have helped to establish the heritability of many aspects of behaviour, and examination of DNA has uncovered some of the genes responsible. Recent work on both these fronts suggests that happiness is highly heritable.

As any human being knows, many factors govern whether people are happy or unhappy. External circumstances are important: employed people are happier than unemployed ones and better-off people than poor ones. Age has a role, too: the young and the old are happier than the middle-aged. But personality is the single biggest determinant: extroverts are happier than introverts, and confident people happier than anxious ones.

That personality, along with intelligence, is at least partly heritable is becoming increasingly clear; so, presumably, the tendency to be happy or miserable is, to some extent, passed on through DNA. To try to establish just what that extent is, a group of scientists from University College, London; Harvard Medical School; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of Zurich examined over 1,000 pairs of twins from a huge study on the health of American adolescents. In “Genes, Economics and Happiness”, a working paper from the University of Zurich’s Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, they conclude that about a third of the variation in people’s happiness is heritable. That is along the lines of, though a little lower than, previous estimates on the subject.

via The genetics of happiness: Transporter of delight | The Economist.

War on Drugs, drugs, cities:  very interesting piece!

Just as New York and Chicago were the fiercest resisters of Prohibition, big cities are today home to the most vibrant drug markets. As the upper classes began fleeing America’s great cities in the 1930s and taking with them much of the wealth, drugs filled the void, while at the same time deepening exacerbating the urban crisis. The word “brownstone” became a slang term for heroin, perhaps best immortalized in Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 song “Mr. Brownstone,” but also evident in the Velvet Underground’s 1967 song “I’m Waiting for the Man,” where Lou Reed sings about going up to Harlem to meet his dealer, “Up to a brownstone, up three flights of stairs / Everybody’s pinned you, but nobody cares.” The drug trade fueled enormous amounts of crime, further dragging down cities’ reputations and driving out those who could afford to leave.

As with alcohol in the 1920s, when Prohibition was foisted on cities by small towns, today’s anti-drug policies are most popular among white suburban and rural conservatives. Urban voters, who bear the brunt of the damage of America’s misguided drug policies, are more liberal and likely to favor reforms like marijuana legalization and needle exchanges, but just like their predecessors who opposed Prohibition, they are forced to acquiesce to the federal war on drugs. We can even see the same pattern in ultra-liberal Netherlands, where the national government wants to restrict the sale of cannabis to foreigners, against the wishes of Amsterdam (although Rotterdam has not been so tolerant).

It’s no coincidence that Vancouver is both North America’s leader in urbanism and hard drug policy, having fought the Canadian federal government to win the latter distinction. It’s bred “Vancouverism,” a distinct architectural and urbanist genre, and was also the first city on the continent to open a legal supervised injection center, where heroin and cocaine users can shoot up in the presence of medical professionals, safe from the threat of overdose and arrest.

But the old “poor druggy cities, rich clean suburbs” paradigm is eroding. The suburbs are beginning to see poverty, and rural areas have recently given birth to two bonafide drug trends, OxyContin and methamphetamine. ”Brownstone” is starting to make people think more Park Slope Coop and less dimebags of dope, and attitudes towards drugs are inching in a more liberal direction. Marijuana legalization seems to be on the horizon in California and the West, and hard drug users are at least hearing more rhetoric about being treated less punitively. It remains to be seen how far both urbanism and drug reform will go, but as the two issues dissociate from each other, we may begin to see more rational dialog on both cities and drugs.

via The War on Drugs Is a War on Cities – Forbes.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Susan G. Komen Foundation, “pinking”, prayers, kith/kin:  What should i buy this year? As some of you know I buy something pink that I use everyday for a friend who has experienced breast cancer that year.  I make a point to remember them in a prayer when I use the item.

shop for a cure

Think pink! Shop our favorite fashion, beauty and home finds that donate to Breast Cancer research—and show off your support.

Think pink! Shop our favorite fashion, beauty and home finds that donate to Breast Cancer research—and show off your support.

via Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Susan G. Komen Foundation – Jennifer Aniston – Celebrity – InStyle.

Ameriprise Financial, aggrieved employees: “If you work for the dog food makers, they are probably going to serve you some dog food.”

As for Ameriprise’s 401(k) plan for its employees, there may well be areas where it has broken the rules. But it is hard to have a ton of sympathy for aggrieved employees in one important respect. If you work for the dog food makers, they are probably going to serve you some dog food. And some of it may not be your favorite variety.

via Turning a Lens on Ameriprise Financial – NYTimes.com.

02
Sep
11

9.2.2011 … a little pomp and circumstance … CLS seniors march in their gowns … encouraged to give back …

Charlotte Latin School, Fall Convocation, Seniors, kith/kin:  Being a high school senior is a special time.  CLS does a great job of focusing and celebrating its seniors.

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Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas, Constitutional Law, The Supreme Court, The Tea Party, health care reform:  I read a review of the New Yorker article the other day, which was very good.  The article, although very long, is also very good … read it if it interests you.

It has been, in certain respects, a difficult year for Clarence Thomas. In January, he was compelled to amend several years of the financial-disclosure forms that Supreme Court Justices must file each year. The document requires the Justices to disclose the source of all income earned by their spouses, and Thomas had failed to note that his wife, Virginia, who is known as Ginni, worked as a representative for a Michigan college and at the Heritage Foundation. The following month, seventy-four members of Congress called on Thomas to recuse himself from any legal challenges to President Obama’s health-care reform, because his wife has been an outspoken opponent of the law. At around the same time, Court observers noted the fifth anniversary of the last time that Thomas had asked a question during an oral argument. The confluence of these events produced the kind of public criticism, and even mockery, that Thomas had largely managed to avoid since his tumultuous arrival on the Court, twenty years ago this fall.

These tempests obscure a larger truth about Thomas: that this year has also been, for him, a moment of triumph. In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.

via The Thomases vs. Obama’s Health-Care Plan : The New Yorker.

book clubs, opportunities:  I have pasted the whole article.  What a great opportunity!

Randall: An exceptional book club

Sometimes when you least expect it, life opens a door you never dreamed you’d enter. It’s enough to make you want to wake up each morning just to see what will happen next.

Anything is possible as long as you keep waking up.

Some months ago, a reader of my column (a man I’ve not met but hope to do so) sent me a story from The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer by columnist Kay McSpadden, about an unusual book club that meets each week at the main branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Book clubs are not often called “unusual.” But Turning Pages is exceptional for two reasons: First, most of its members are homeless. Some are housed. Others are in “transition.”

Second, and just as rare, is a very pregnant woman in a purple dress and high heels — a self-described community volunteer who read two years ago about a similar program in Boston, and saw no reason why it couldn’t happen in Charlotte.

Candace Curlin Vance is the kind of friend you want on your side in a fight — fearless and tireless. And, as the folks at Turning Pages have learned, you can count on her to have your back.

Also, she talks faster than most normal people can think, which is handy for getting publishers to donate books.

The same reader who sent me that story suggested to Candace that Turning Pages ought to read “Birdbaths and Paper Cranes,” a collection of columns I published 10 years ago that includes stories set in my home state of North Carolina.

Candace wrote at once to ask how she might obtain 25 copies.

I replied that the book is out of print and, unfortunately, I didn’t have 25 copies. She thanked me anyhow, and that was that.

The next day I found two big boxes of books I didn’t know I had. When I told Candace, she laughed. As a woman of faith and persistence, she has often seen “no” turn into “yes.”

And that’s how I ended up flying to Charlotte last week to meet the members of Turning Pages, who had just finished reading, of all things, my book.

We sat around a big table — different races, genders, backgrounds and walks of life — talking, laughing, eating biscuits from Bojangles’, drinking sweet iced tea. It was very Southern. I never felt more at home.

They asked excellent questions, offered insightful observations and convinced me they’d actually read the book.

One woman, now housed after years of living on the streets, presented me with a gift, a blue-and-white-spattered painting.

“It’s called ‘Falling Water,’ ” she said, smiling. “I signed my name on the back so it will be worth something someday.”

Little did she know how much it was already worth to me.

Afterward, when we’d eaten all the biscuits, shaken all the hands and gone our separate ways, I asked Candace about the future of Turning Pages.

“It’s my baby,” she said. “I really want to see it continue.”

But with another “baby” on the way (her first child is due in October), she hopes someone will step up to fill her high heels.

So do I.

Reading is the great equalizer. A book never asks who we are or what we do or where we sleep at night. It asks only that we read and try to understand.

When we come together with open hearts and open minds to discuss what we’ve read, we discover that we are more alike than we are different.

We create community, a sense of belonging, a sense of home.

We turn the hopeless “no” into the “yes” of possibility.

Anything is possible, as long as we keep reading. Just ask the readers of Turning Pages.

via Randall: An exceptional book club | ScrippsNews.

Michael Vick, second chances, prayers:  I believe in second chances.  But with that kind of money he could so easily fail again.  Prayers …

Vick said that experience and maturity have taught him patience. “You never know what’s going to happen. You just live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunities you’ve been given. You know what kind of talent you have, you know what you can do. You just have to be patient and that’s something I’ve learned over the years and unfortunately while I was away. Everything in life happens for a reason and it taught me patience and I think that’s part of the reason I’m here today. Being patient.”

And Vick knows that the way others see him may never change. It isn’t easy to get past what he did. “I’m just trying to be the best person I can be. I can’t control what people think, their opinions, their perception. That’s personal and that’s for them. The only thing I can control is what I can control and that’s trying to be the best person I can be, the best citizen I can be, the best father I can be. I think that speaks for itself. That’s not by force, that’s by choice. Some things may never change. I may never change in certain facets of my life, but it is what it is.”

via Michael Vick, the $100 million man, says, ‘I never thought this day would come again’ – The Early Lead – The Washington Post.

Romare Bearden, Charlotte NC:  One of my favorite artists.  I love the recognition he is getting on the anniversary of his 100th birthday.

Romare Bearden Turns 100

Charlotte Native and well-known artist Romare Bearden would have been 100 years old this Friday, and to celebrate the artistry and influence of this world-renown, critically praised Charlottean, we’ll be joined by a panel of Bearden experts who will talk about his life, his influences, his art and his legacy here and elsewhere.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

9/11, New World Trade Center:  Worth watching the interactive to see the future of the 9/11 site.

Ground Zero Now – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney : “Scorched earth runs in the family.”  Again, I think he may be senile.

 WHY is it not a surprise to learn that Dick Cheney’s ancestor, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Civil War soldier who marched with Sherman to the sea?

Scorched earth runs in the family.

Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues.

Vice’s new memoir, “In My Time,” veers unpleasantly between spin, insisting he was always right, and score-settling, insisting that anyone who opposed him was wrong.

A person who is always for the use of military force is as doctrinaire and irrelevant as a person who is always opposed to the use of military force.

Cheney shows contempt for Tenet, Colin Powell and Rice, whom he disparages in a sexist way for crying, and condescension for W. when he won’t be guided to the path of most destruction.

He’s churlish about President Obama, who took the hunt for Osama bin Laden off the back burner and actually did what W. promised to do with his little bullhorn — catch the real villain of 9/11.

via Darth Vader Vents – NYTimes.com.

books, digital age:  It’s not over until it’s over …

But let’s not overdo things. Let’s not lose sight of the data we have, and let’s not invent data when we only have anecdotes. And finally, let’s not forget the wonders this new world opens up. Being able to download a book to read instantaneously wherever you are is a thing of wonder, after all (and there is some anecdotal suggestion that people are coming back to books via new digital platforms).

For authors, the chance to reach out to readers, instantly and effectively, is changing the way titles are marketed and delivers a glorious independence that comes with having your own digital presence to curate and to shape. There are new creative opportunities offered by interactive technologies. There is the chance to play in a world where books and stories can be either the private, cherished experience of old or a public, shared conversation with other readers from across the world.

via The death of books has been greatly exaggerated | Books | guardian.co.uk.

Video Time machine, apps:  What year would you pick?

Pick a year and watch specific categories including TV, Music, Advertisements, Trailers, Video Games, Sports, and more!

via App Store – Video Time Machine.

Hurricane Irene, natural disasters, Waffle House, the Waffle House Index: The “Waffle House Index!”

When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

The mobile command center, above, went to Havelock, N.C., during Irene.

“If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said. “That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work.”

via Waffle House Index Measures Hurricane Recovery – WSJ.com.

Life Above All, movies, South Africa:  Adding it to the list.

Life, Above All is the moving story of a 12-year-old South African girl, Chanda (stunningly played by newcomer Khomotso Manyaka), who’s forced to care for her younger siblings while trying to find her mother, who has fled their home in a village near Johannesburg in the face of local prejudice and rumors.

The powerful drama tackles the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa head-on, not just in medical and health terms, but in showing how superstition and gossip can create an atmosphere of secrecy and shame that makes dealing with the issue even more difficult.

(In many ways–its strong, young female protagonist, the way it portrays a small, rural community’s fears and secrets, the sense of hope it still manages to foster–Life, Above All may remind viewers of last year’s Winter’s Bone.)

Based on Allan Stratton’s 2004 novel Chanda’s Secrets, the film is directed by Oliver Schmitz, who was born to and raised in South Africa by German parents. Life, Above All is also the acting debut of 14-year-old Khtomosto Manyaka who was noticed by talent scouts during a choir performance at her high school in Elandsdoorn, South Africa.

via Interview: Life, Above All’s Star Khomotso Manyaka and Director Oliver Schmitz | Redblog.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, lists:

This is the second year in a row that Facebook’s Zuckerberg takes home the crown, which I guess makes him slightly less “new establishment.” Just “establishment” should do.

In any case, keep on winning those magazine awards, Zuck. They’re worth more to you than the errant billion stuffed in your mattress, though I hear $10,000 bills are actually quite soft.

via Mark Zuckerberg is Totally the Establishment, Man – Techland – TIME.com.

libraries, librarians:  I wish I knew one well to nominate.

The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community.

via The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries: Who Loves Their Librarian??.

Caiaphas, ossuary, archeology, history, Biblical figures:

An ancient burial box recovered from antiquities looters three years ago contains a mysterious inscription that could reveal the home of the family of the figure Caiaphas, who is infamous for his involvement in the biblical story of the crucifixion of Jesus.

The burial box, also called an ossuary, was discovered in 1990, but the inscription was just recently verified as legitimate (and not the result of forgers trying to increase an artifact’s value) by Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University and Boaz Zissu of Bar Ilan University. The box is made of limestone, is covered in decorative rosettes and has an inscription.

In the Bible story of Jesus’ crucifixion, a Jewish high priest named Caiaphas is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus.

What is special about the inscription on this ossuary is that the deceased is named within the context of three generations; the inscription also includes a potential residence.

via Ossurary turns up new clues to Caiaphas – CBS News.

green, electric cars, electrical vehicle charging stations, Davidson NC: Filler Up!

Electric vehicles could become a viable option for motorists in the coming years, but not without a place to charge up. Add South Main Square to the list of places to plug in. Thanks to a federal stimulus grant awarded through the state of North Carolina, the South Main Street shopping center is getting one of the region’s first electric vehicle charging stations.

“It’s Davidson’s first electric vehicle charging station that will be available for public use,” said Kathleen Rose, who owns South Main Square and also runs the Project for Innovation, Energy & Sustainability (PiES), a “green” business incubator based there. Ms. Rose worked with Raleigh-based Praxis Technologies to bring the charging station to Davidson.

via Drive an electric? Fill ‘er up at South Main Square | DavidsonNews.net.

9/11 anniversary, Where Were You When?:  

Sept. 11, 2011, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Washington Post wants to know how the attacks may have affected your life and your views. In what ways do the attacks still resonate? How have the attacks affected your way of seeing the world? We’ll take your submissions and consider using them as part of an anniversary project on the impact of Sept. 11. Please include your age, as well as where you lived when the attacks occurred and where you are now.

via Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary: Share your story – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post.

Bones:

literary locations, Book Map, Google Maps:  Where would I like to go?

Ever wish you could visit the locations in your favorite novels?

In our new Book Maps feature, we will interview an author or biographer about locations in their book. We will also create a special Google Map about the interview so you can take a walking or driving tour through the book in real life. Email GalleyCat if you have other Book Map suggestions.

For our first installment, we asked Joe Woodward to share the places where novelist Nathanael West lived and worked in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Woodward took us on a book tour of Alive Inside the Wreck: A Biography of Nathanael West. The Google Map is embedded above–click on the blue pins for more details about a specific location.

via Book Map: Nathanael West & Los Angeles – GalleyCat.

food, recipes, lamb, rosemary:

The new Minimalist videos will return next week. For now, here’s one from 2008 with an elegantly casual recipe for lamb and figs grilled on rosemary skewers.

via Grilled Lamb on Rosemary Skewers – Video – The Minimalist – NYTimes.com.

The new Minimalist videos will return next week. For now, here’s one from 2008 with an elegantly casual recipe for lamb and figs grilled on rosemary skewers.

social networks, Newseum, twitter: I found this one on twitter …
Newseum (@Newseum)
9/1/11 3:59 PM
Great infographic on the development of social networks.http://t.co/5gtWh9p

However, the great writer who has really been portrayed this way most frequently in recent times is one who hasn’t yet been visited by the jaunty Gallifrean: Jane Austen. Both in the film Becoming Jane and the TV movie Miss Austen Regrets, Austen was depicted as a waspish cynical tomboy, clever with words if not so clever with men: a sort of Regency Sue Perkins. In the TV movie, there was a greater stab at complexity, as the character grew bitter with age – an Elizabeth Bennett who never nabs Mr Darcy – but in both there was, I would hazard, an incipient underlying sexism, based on the notion that Austen’s work was underpinned by her own failures in love.

Because here’s the thing about Jane Austen. She was a very great genius. She is possibly the greatest genius in the history of English literature, arguably greater than Shakespeare. And her achievement is not that much to do with love, although that was her subject matter. It’s to do with technique. Before her there are three strands in English fiction: the somewhat mental, directly-reader-addressing semi-oral romps of Nashe and Sterne and Fielding; the sensationalist Gothic work of Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe; and the romances of Eliza Haywood and Fanny Burney.

However great these writers are, none could be read now and considered modern. When Austen gets into her stride, which she does very quickly with Sense and Sensibility, suddenly, you have all the key modern realist devices: ironic narration; controlled point of view; structural unity; transparency of focus; ensemble characterisation; fixed arenas of time and place; and, most importantly, the giving-up of the fantastical in favour of a notion that art should represent life as it is actually lived in all its wonderful ordinariness. She is the first person, as John Updike put it: “to give the mundane its beautiful due”, and her work leads to Updike as much as it does to George Eliot.

I have no idea how a mainly home-educated rector’s daughter came by all that, but I know that imagining her as a kind of acerbic spinster flattens out this genius. It becomes all about the subject matter and not at all about the huge creative advance her work represents. When the Tardis does land in Hampshire in 1815, I imagine there will be witty banter between Jane and the Doctor and some men in britches; if it’s still David Tennant there might even be some flirtation, perhaps a sad, chaste goodbye. But what there should be is a moment when he says “I’m 900 years old, I’ve got a brain the size of a planet, and I’ve still no idea how you single-handedly created the modern English novel”. At which point Jane Austen will rip off her bonnet to reveal the tiny figure of Davros, king of the daleks, sitting in a small glass dome in her skull.duhduhduhduhduh, duhduhduhduh, duhduhduhduhduh,weeeoooo…weee-weeooo…

via David Baddiel wonders what Dr Who would make of Jane Austen – Times Online.

Jane Austen: 

All of them point to Austen’s inimitable humor, incisive observations of human nature and unwavering moral stance that make her works still relevant two hundred years later today.

via Why We Read Jane Austen.

Children’s/YA literature, Gretchen Rubin:  This list has quite a few that I am not familiar with …

If you want some ideas of books to read, for a group or just for yourself, here are a few of my favorites. It pains me to list so few! But this is a good start.

Because they’re already so widely known, I’m not going to list some very obvious ones, like the Harry Potter books, the Narnia books, the The Lord of the Rings books, or my beloved Little House books.

The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman

The Silver Crown, Robert O’Brien

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Half Magic, Edward Eager

The Second Mrs. Gioconda, E. L. Konigsberg

Black and Blue Magic, Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright

Graceling, Kristin Cashore

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, Peter Cameron

Greengage Summer, Rumer Godden

This list represents a big range — some are meant for ten-year-olds, some for seventeen-year-olds. But they are all so good that they can be enjoyed by an adult.

via The Happiness Project: Looking for Some Reading Suggestions in Children’s or Young-Adult Literature?.

Manitoba, Canada, polar bears, travel:  I think I would like to see the polar bears.

The iconic polar bear is a must-see for every wildlife lover and Churchill, Manitoba is the best place in the world to see them! Each fall, hundreds of polar bears naturally migrate through this cozy northern town and it is easier than you think to get there. Don’t miss out on these special offers for October and November, 2011 which include limited-time* promotions.

via Travel Manitoba: Polar Bears.

fashion, coats:  Glad we are moving away from the puff stuff.

But the fall runway collections made a fairly convincing case for rethinking the role of outerwear in our wardrobes. Designers like Vera Wang, Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra put parkas front and center in their shows, while hybrid styles of bombers, blanket coats, ponchos, peacoats, toggle coats and toppers appeared just about everywhere else. It was as if the fashion world was making a collective stand against those ubiquitous puffer jackets that make most of us look as if we’re wearing bubble wrap. “You can have on whatever you want underneath, but this year the coat is the statement piece,” said Tanya Spivey, the executive vice president for design and merchandising at Andrew Marc, a division of the apparel conglomerate G-III that makes coats for companies like Calvin Klein, Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole. That said, there are a lot of coats to sort out. And since it has been a while since some common outerwear lingo has been put to use, here is a little refresher course.

via A Field Guide to Outerwear – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

31
Aug
11

8.31.2011 … my pets are acting weird … I don’t want to tell them they are a week late …

kith/kin, pets:  They say animals sense big natural events before we do … Well, Bart Lisa and Fitz (2 ten-year old bassets and a black American short-haired cat) are clueless … last week, rather than the two weeks before when we had an earthquake and a hurricane in our region, my animals have been cling-y, bark-y , howl-ly, etc … and nothing.

9/11, prayers:  Some things you just do not think about.  Like a traditional war, there are children who never see their fathers, but here we have a concentration in one area of children without fathers.

They were the smallest victims of 9/11 – not yet even born when they lost their fathers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Today, they are bright and hopeful 9-year-olds who only now are beginning to understand their unique legacy. Their resiliency is proof that life goes on.

“This is something the whole world felt,” says Jill Gartenberg Pila, whose daughter, Jamie, was born six months after 9/11. “As Jamie gets older, she realizes the loss she had was also a loss that affected everyone.”

In many ways, they are typical fifth graders who skateboard, play video games and worry about schoolyard crushes.

Yet they are far from ordinary.

Gabriel Jacobs Dick, 9, releases balloons every 9/11 with messages for Dad to “give him an update on how life is going,” he says. “Mostly it’s like, ‘I miss you.’ ”

September 11 Anniversary, Children of 9/11 : People.com.

Hurricane Irene, Vermont, covered bridges, icons:  Covered bridges are architectural poetry.

Perhaps it’s the simple, humble way that the Bartonsville Covered Bridge seems to say goodbye, bowing first at its far end, then slipping behind the trees while keeping its structure, and its dignity, intact until its peaked roof slips into the Williams River. Perhaps it’s the grief in the voices of the onlookers. We all know that tourists like to take pictures of Vermont’s iconic covered bridges; what this clip shows is the deep affection that Vermonters feel for these structures, and the terrible sense of loss when one disappears. Most bridges are simply crossings, a means from one place to the next. But covered bridges seem like dwellings. They give a sort of permanence to transitions, and impart to the otherwise ordinary act of driving somewhere a special texture and a mystery. Perhaps their claim on the imagination has something to do with that momentous crossing everyone makes, to death.

via News Desk: Requiem for a Covered Bridge : The New Yorker.

Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge collapses into the Williams River in Vermont – YouTube.

Hurricane Irene, quotes:  Some of these are really good …

“Para todos, gracias, por los bomberos, muchas gracias por tu ayuda. Es suficiente?” —Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City

via News Desk: The Crisis in a Nutshell: Floods and FEMA : The New Yorker.

college life, happiness:  I was very surprised by this list. It doesn’t seem that there is much correlation between the “party” schools and the “happiest” schools.

Happiness is subjective, but without a doubt some college campuses make life a little sweeter for students. Newsweek ranks the 25 Happiest Schools in America.

Methodology: To find the happiest schools in the country, Newsweek crunched the numbers for six categories, weighted equally using z-scores (a measure of how close or distant each school is to average): dining, housing, and nightlife grades from College Prowler, the number of sunny days per year, with data from Sperling’s Best Places, student-teacher ratio, and the average indebtedness at graduation, with data from the College Board.

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

… and now the list … surprise anyone?

Happiest Schools

Yale University

Harvard University

Rice University

Stanford University

Bowdoin College

Pitzer College

Occidental College

Colby College

Emory University

University of California-Davis

Southern Methodist University

Rollins College

Hamilton College

University of California-Los Angeles

University of Southern California

Cornell University

Wellesley College

Colorado College

Smith College

James Madison University

Purdue University

Vanderbilt University

Bucknell University

Santa Clara University

University of California-San Diego

via College Rankings 2011: Happiest Schools – The Daily Beast.

college, liberal arts, interdisciplinary world: “One has got to be ready to think quick.”

It just goes to show that the liberal arts and sciences have a real, growing, and very practical place in the future of thinking through a day, a career, or a lifetime in today’s increasingly interdisciplinary world. Discrete “skillsets” are great—but least limiting when the person using them understands the big picture of where they came from and what shape they might shift to, next week, year, or decade. One has got to be ready to think quick.

via » Liberal Arts AND Sciences, Mmm’kay? A Sample Davidson Click-fest Offers a Peek To the Future.

2012 DNC, internships:  It will be interesting to see what Charlotte gains from having the DNC.  Summer jobs and internships for college students will be great.

Fall internships with the DNC have been posted!  The deadline for applications is September 12, 2011.

The DNC is seeking self-motivated, results-driven and trainable students for this opportunity. A DNCC intern will have a wide range of responsibilities, such as acting as the first point of contact for a Department head in the offices of the CEO, COO, or Chief of Staff. Interns may assist with special projects in various departments such as Intergovernmental Affairs or Communication and Public Affairs.  They may prepare correspondence, assist staff with requests pertaining to the convention, assist with IT network systems, or help prepare memos as well as research important legal topics.

via Internships with the Democratic National Convention | Office of Career Services Blog.

Warren Buffet, BofA:  I like Buffet, but he is definitely all over the plate these days.

in the 1930s, they called Roosevelt a traitor to his class. Some would say he saved that class. Oddly, Warren Buffett finds himself in a comparable position today. Some would say he’s saving capitalism. Others would most certainly not say that.

The Buffett story du jour is, of course, the $5 billion investment in Bank of America, initially trumpeted as a vote of confidence that will salvage yet another purportedly too-big-to-fail institution. It is, among other things, a powerful example of the obvious intersection of finance and reputation management. From the bank’s perspective, all their reputational initiatives were faltering absent a critical communications tool – namely, a third-party endorsement of significant impact.

“I remain confident that we have the capital and liquidity we need to run our business,” said Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan. “At the same time, I also recognize that a large investment by Warren Buffett is a strong endorsement in our vision and our strategy” [emphasis added]. The New York Times, for one, cited favorable responses by analysts and concluded that the Berkshire Hathaway investment “has helped allay concerns about Bank of America.”

Maybe, but it might not be the best medicine for the Bank of America C-Suite amid prominent headlines like “Brian Moynihan Got Fleeced By Buffett’s BofA Bet.” Nor might it infuse confidence in the bank itself amid conspicuous commentary that features taglines like “Sorry, Warren, Bank of America Still Stinks.”

Importantly, though, this story is not just playing out at a “purely business level.” Most striking in much of the commentary is an unprecedented ambivalence – if not antipathy and distrust – toward Buffett, who has historically played the role of folk hero for Americans of every socio-politicalstripe. The problem with being a folk hero is that your public image has to be clear and simple. You’re a leader among peers from whom every citizen can learn the lessons of success without being made to feel inferior for want of a billion or two in disposable income.

The lesson is that financial communications never occur in a vacuum. They can be driven to an important extent by extrinsic public affairs concerns that directly affect the perceptions of analysts, shareholders, and journalists – who, in turn, influence how transactions are received in the marketplace.

Life is no longer clear and simple for the Sage of Omaha. Welcome to our world, Mr. Buffett.

via A Rorschach Blot Named Warren Buffett: The Sage of Omaha in an Age of Ideology – Forbes.

travel, science, random:  I just wish one airline would try it for a week!

If Fermilab astrophysicist Jason Steffen is right, this could be quite the boon to anyone who has to fly commercially (assuming, that is, you’re not lucky enough to sit in first class or business.)

Steffen invented a model using an algorithm based on the Monte Carlo optimization method used in statistics and mathematics to halve the time it takes to board an airplane. According to Steffen, the best method is to board alternate rows at a time, starting with the window seats on one side, then the other. The people sitting in window seats would be followed by alternate rows of middle seats, then the aisle seats. Another of Steffen’s conclusions: Boarding at random is faster than boarding by blocks.

But he’s still a preacher without a congregation. Although he published his study in the Journal of Air Transport Management in 2008, the airline industry hasn’t taken much notice.

via Physicist claims faster way to board a plane – CBS News.

13
Jul
11

‎7.13.2011 … Water bill 6 x the usual (as in $550!)… You think we’d have a broken main … But no, just broken irrigation pipes … praying for an adjustment …

water bill, City of Charlotte, prayers:  I think they will work with me … but you can imagine my shock!

chefs, shilling, new words/phrases:  Shilling doesn’t sound very nice, does it?

Ferran Adrià working for Pepsi? Nate Appleman cooking for Chipotle? What’s up with all these high-end chefs aligning with mainstream corporate sponsors? Thanks to the influence of reality TV and the celeb-chef phenomenon, chef shilling has been on the rise lately. Which begs the question – has the food-TV monster turned some famous chefs into sellouts? Here’s a list of the most shocking chef shills in recent years. What do you think – should accomplished professional chefs be plugging Diet Coke and toothpaste? Let us know in the comments.

via The 5 Most Shocking Celebrity Chef Shills | Zagat

A shill, plant or stooge is a person who helps a person or organization without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with that person or organization. Shill typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) that he or she is secretly working for. The person or group that hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed). Shills are often employed by confidence artists

via Shill – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

cooking, Big Green Egg, Atlanta:  We own one … never use it.  My brother-in-law owns one … it’s in a storage warehouse.  They are made in Atlanta, and there are some who swear by them.  John heard about them and just had to have one 🙂 … it has never been worth all the effort.

When I lived in Atlanta in the late 1980s, I learned to cook Thanksgiving turkeys, Fourth of July pork shoulders, and Sunday night burgers on the Big Green Egg. When I moved to Oxford, Miss. in 1995, I had to leave my Egg behind. It wouldn’t fit in the moving truck.When my mother in law, Marley Hobbs, age 88, moved two doors down a couple years ago, she saved enough room in her moving truck for her Egg. Of late, I’ve been borrowing hers more frequently, while pondering the purchase of a Primo, one of those glossy black oblong models. Sure, they’re expensive. But, after reporting my story on them, I want one more than ever.

via Do You Use a Big Green Egg? – NYTimes.com.

quotes, Gretchen Rubin, Ralph Waldo Emerson:  Got this from Gretchen’s Happiness blog.  Sometimes we talk about famous people who are known by one name (Cher, Madonna) … how many are known by three?

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.”
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

technology, things past, history, morse code:  I found this one fun.

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. — It has been a little more than a decade since the last of the nation’s commercial Morse code radio stations officially went off the air, as new technology sank a system that had been a lingua franca of maritime communication since before the Titanic.

But like transmissions that continue to travel through the cosmos long after their original senders are gone, there are some things that refuse to die. And on Tuesday, several outposts of Morse code blazed to life again, if only for a night, with the help of a group of enthusiasts bent on preserving what they call “the music of Morse,” one key tap at a time.

The occasion was an annual radio reboot known as the Night of Nights, held every year on the anniversary of the last Morse code broadcast from a coastal California station in 1999, which included a traditional sign-off (“We wish you fair winds and following seas”) and more than a few teary-eyed former radio operators.

On Tuesday, though, some of those old key men were back on the job, broadcasting from the former headquarters of a marine Morse station in Northern California, KPH, and joined on air by two other stations outside Seattle and in Mobile, Ala., all to honor a system that linked the world long before the Internet, e-mail and Twitter.

via For a Night Each Year, the Airwaves Buzz With Morse Code – NYTimes.com.

 fashion, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, change:  I wore pantyhose daily while I worked (until 1999) … now no one wears them.  I think women look unprofessional without them.  Maybe the Royals will bring back pantyhose … at least for professional or formal situations.

Kate Middleton, Nude PantyhoseCatherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton are fans of the nude pantyhose! Thanks to the sisters, sales of the hosiery have spiked nearly 85 percent in England, The Telegraph reports. Buckingham Palace enforces a strict dress code for women—they must wear stockings and closed-toed shoes, and royals like Queen Elizabeth,Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie all slip them on when they’re out. The look is also practical, as pantyhose provide extra warmth on chilly nights and a layer of protection against the sun.

http://news.instyle.com/2011/07/13/kate-middleton-pippa-middleton-nude-pantyhose/.

iPad, apps, Tweed:

Tweed presents you with a list of links to new articles, blog posts or anything else posted by your friends and people you follow on Twitter as well as our own curated lists of people we read and follow.

via Tweed: The Twitter app that’s just for links..

iPad, apps, StumbleUpon:   

When the iPad was launched, people across the geek-o-sphere condemned it as a dumb chunk of glass “for consumption only” – a tool incapable of facilitating content creation and possibly a threat to the future of human creativity. “The iPad is an attractive, thoughtfully designed, deeply cynical thing,” wrote Alex Payne. “[If] I had an iPad rather than a real computer as a kid, I’d never be a programmer today.”

That may very well be, but the new iPad app that popular web exploration network StumbleUpon released this week goes a long way towards compensating for whatever risks to creativity that the device poses. If you’ve got an iPad, I think it’s a must-have app. That’s true for everyone, including for kids.

via StumbleUpon for iPad: Like a Magic Carpet Ride for Your Brain.

Harry Potter stars, Emma Watson, Letterman:  This is silly. She is 21.

“Do you drink at all? Do you use controlled substances?” Letterman asked the 21-year-old actress.

Things get a little more uncomfortable after that, as Letterman begins to talk about spirits. And not the kind that fly around Hogwarts.

via On ‘Letterman,’ Harry Potter Star Emma Watson Talks About Getting Drunk – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Netflix, digital media, end of an era:  I have been a Netflix fan for many years … This is a big price increase that takes away the flexibility that I have enjoyed.  I may cancel and see what I think.

Netflix Inc. NFLX -2.69% said Tuesday that it would no longer offer unlimited plans that include both streaming and DVDs by mail. Users must now either subscribe to a stream-only plan, a DVD-only plan, or a combined plan. The unlimited streaming plan will remain at $7.99 a month. The price for obtaining both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99).

via Netflix separates DVD, streaming plans – MarketWatch.

23
Jun
11

‎6.23.2011 … Final day/night for MAD at camp as JC … I don’t think she will ever wash another dish. :)

music, kith/kin:  From Bob … “There are some voices that are simply meant to sing together. When these three sing together, it far exceeds any of them individually. I could listen to this song for hours.” YouTube – Crosby Stills Nash – Southern Cross.

Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Pottermore, media, followup:  I hope she can keep another generation enthralled (and I define that to mean a 7 year-old will persevere through a 700 page book!) … YouTube – JKRowlingAnnounces’s Channel ‏.

natural disasters, tornadoes, Louisville, kith/kin, prayers:  Why am I so touched when animals are involved …

At least five barns were damaged and horses were running loose Wednesday at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, after a powerful storm that spawned tornadoes blew through Louisville.

Officials have no immediate reports of injuries to humans or horses.

The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down near the famed track and the University of Louisville campus about 8:10 p.m. EDT. Though no races are run on Wednesdays, there was simulcasting of races elsewhere, so people were there, said track President Kevin Flanery.

via Tornado hits Louisville near Churchill Downs – Sports- NBC Sports.

Paris, Hotel de Nice, hotels:  I just loved the opening image for this small modest hotel …

 Accueil.

education, history:  I enjoyed this article and found that I agree … learning history “today involves the retention of decontextualized historical facts.” I learn best and my children learn best when we experience history and share those experiences.

We make much of bad test results and idiotic answers to civics questions from the young Americans Jay Leno stops on Los Angeles street corners. It’s fun, but it is also misleading. We are promoting what Paxton calls “the false notion that the biggest problem facing history students today involves the retention of decontextualized historical facts.”

He and Wineburg, both education professors, say we should decide what history is worth knowing and teach it well. “The thousand-page behemoths that we call textbooks violate every principle of human memory that we know of,” Wineburg said.

Emphasizing reading and devoting more school hours to comprehension of the language no matter what the topic might give us the skills to develop an interest in public affairs. Many critics say the subject of history has suffered because schools are giving more time to reading and math. Why then, asks Wineburg, were the students who were most improved on the NAEP history test in fourth grade, where the concentration on reading and math has been greatest?

Even if we haven’t remembered our country’s history so well in the last century, we have learned to appreciate it, and act accordingly. This July 4, that’s worth celebrating.

via Is knowing history so important? – Class Struggle – The Washington Post.

writing, blogging, social media, Jeff Elder:  A class … I am actually thinking about taking it …

OMG! Writing for social media??? LOL. Actually, there are many opportunities developing for writers to develop their craft on Facebook, blogs, even Twitter. The best part? You have a captive audience that is immediately engaged. As companies, nonprofits, small business and other groups launch web sites and social media sites, content is desperately needed.

via WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA.

culture, kindness, Gretchen Rubin, blog posts of note:  Just the other day, I excerpted an article about what not to say to a person who is ill … and today I find this post from Gretchen Rubin about what to say/not to say to a person divorcing.  I think we all have problems with this and we are detached from our teachers … our families, our churches and we no longer learn how to handle being kind.  Isn’t that really what it is all about.

A while back, I read a New York magazine article by Katie Roiphe, The Great Escape, in which Roiphe discusses her friends’ reaction to the news of her divorce. Bottom line: she’s annoyed that they’re acting as though she’s going through some terrible tragedy, when in fact, she feels fine — if anything, she feels freed and relieved.

It’s an interesting article on many levels, but the thing that struck me was – zoikes! If I were her friend, I’m sure I’d be saying all the wrong things, too.

So what’s the right thing to say?

via The Happiness Project: Tips for talking to someone about an impending divorce: dos and don’ts.

cities, psychology, mental health:  I love big cities … maybe I am crazy!

This may come as no surprise to residents of New York City and other big urban centers: Living there can be bad for your mental health.

Now researchers have found a possible reason why. Imaging scans show that in city dwellers or people who grew up in urban areas, certain areas of the brain react more vigorously to stress. That may help explain how city life can boost the risks of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, researchers said.

Previous research has found that growing up in a big city raises the risk of schizophrenia. And there’s some evidence that city dwellers are at heightened risk for mood and anxiety disorders, although the evidence is mixed.

In any case, the volunteers scanned in the new study were healthy, and experts said that while the city-rural differences in brain activity were intriguing, the results fall short of establishing a firm tie to mental illness.

via Big city got you down? Stress study may show why  | ajc.com.

gender issues, Great Recession, workforce:  I think this is very interesting.  I wonder how this shift in workforce gender balance compares to WWII.

In part, labor experts pin this trend on a recession that disproportionately affected male-centered industries such as manufacturing and construction, but this tells only some of the story. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, men moved toward being the minority in a number of professions they had long dominated.

This was particularly prevalent in professions requiring advanced degrees. Medical scientists, for example, who typically need a Ph.D. to work in labs or at pharmaceutical companies, experienced one of the biggest changes in gender makeup of any profession. In 2000, the majority of those who worked in the profession (54%) were men, but by last year just 46% of medical scientists were men.

Likewise, the percentage of male veterinarians declined from nearly 70% in 2000 to about 44% last year, making this the profession with the single greatest shift in the proportion of men to women, according to an analysis of the BLS data.

Much of the changing gender balance, experts argue, can be traced to the early 1970s, when more women began pursuing college degrees and full-time careers.

“Young women in elementary and middle school began to look around and realize that they were going to be in the labor force for a substantial part of their lifetimes and therefore needed to concentrate more on professions that were better investments,” said Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University.

via Behind the Rise of Women in the Work Force – TheStreet.

cities, lifestyles, culture, Baby Boomers, Brookwood Hills, Atlanta, Wilmette, Chicago, small house movement:  I loved growing up in a neighborhood where our home was no more than 2500 sq feet and the neighborhood was our yard.  My children’s favorite of their 3 homes is the smallest, our Wilmette home.  I think my generation, the Baby Boomers, have really gone awry on the big house status symbol.  A house does not make a home.  My daughter says she never wants a “big house.”

Places like Hilton Head, with water adjacency and nice climates, are in high demand, and land values are insane. In the case of Hilton Head, which was developed in 1970 on what had been a mosquito- and alligator-infested swampy barrier island, land value has leaped from nearly zero to now unaffordable. The first batch of houses built here might have been normal-sized, but in the ten years that I’ve been coming here on occasion, I’ve seen them replaced by new ones that are enormous. About five years ago, we rented a house right on the beach that was arena-sized. We loved being right on the ocean, so we asked the owner if we could reserve time for the next year. No, he said, it wouldn’t be possible; he was tearing the house down. Why? To build a bigger one on the same lot. We saw the finished product a few years later: it looked like a house with severe edema, swollen to bursting, built to the very edge of the property line.

My husband and I built our house in New York about five years ago, and right before we began, I fell under the spell of the small-house movement; I had dozens of Post-Its in my copy of “The Not-So-Big House” marking author Sarah Susanka’s recommendations for designing a house that was efficient and inviting without being pointlessly gigantic. It’s not really such a new idea. A few weeks ago, I stayed for a night in the Penfield House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s an amazing place, with a jazzy sort of geometry. It’s also quite small (even though, as it happens, the owner, Louis Penfield, was six foot eight, and had actually wondered whether Wright could make a house that would work for a person his size). But the house is big enough. Everything is ingeniously designed to make use of all available space, and the floor-to-ceiling living room windows make it feel like there is only a thin skin between you and the outdoors, which gives the illusion of spaciousness. It’s a great house—that is, in the sense of the word “great” meaning an impressive accomplishment, rather than “large.”

Oversized houses, like oversized cars, seem to be a particularly American fixation. In many other countries, the land available is so limited and the cost of building so high that most people wouldn’t even consider building a Hilton Head-style jumbo. And the expense—in economic and environmental terms—of heating and cooling these places is vast. What’s funny is that these mega-mansions are so often located somewhere people go because they want to enjoy the natural environment. The house we had wanted to rent again had very little land around it when we rented it. Now, in its bulked-up state, the outdoor space is a narrow margin of sand and grass, not even wide enough to walk on.

via Free Range: The Too-Big House : The New Yorker.

reading, education, St. John’s College, Great Books Program, kith/kin:  St. John’s is a wonderful place.  My kith daughter is there and thrives.  Interesting is that she always loved to read (in contrast to this student) … but I think it is the type of education that suits a very gifted and creative mind.

As long as nobody had assigned the book, I could stick with it. I didn’t know what I was reading. I didn’t really know how to read. Reading messed with my brain in an unaccountable way. It made me happy; or something. I copied out the first paragraph of Annie Dillard’s “An American Childhood” on my bedroom’s dormer wall. The book was a present from an ace teacher, a literary evangelist in classy shoes, who also flunked me, of course, with good reason. Even to myself I was a lost cause.

Early senior year, a girl in homeroom passed me a brochure that a college had sent her. The college’s curriculum was an outrage. No electives. Not a single book in the seminar list by a living author. However, no tests. No grades, unless you asked to see them. No textbooks—I was confused. In place of an astronomy manual, you would read Copernicus. No books about Aristotle, just Aristotle. Like, you would read book-books. The Great Books, so called, though I had never heard of most of them. It was akin to taking holy orders, but the school—St. John’s College—had been secular for three hundred years. In place of praying, you read. My loneliness was toxic; the future was coleslaw, mop water; the college stood on a desert mountain slope in Santa Fe, New Mexico, fifteen hundred miles from home; I could never get into such a school; my parents couldn’t pay a dollar. And I loved this whole perverse and beautiful idea. I would scrap everything (or so I usefully believed) and go to that place and ask them to let me in. It felt like a vocation. It was a vocation.

In retrospect, I was a sad little boy and a standard-issue, shiftless, egotistical, dejected teen-ager. Everything was going to hell, and then these strangers let me come to their school and showed me how to read. All things considered, every year since has been a more intense and enigmatic joy. ♦

via Salvatore Scibona: “Where I Learned to Read” : The New Yorker.

Camp Illahee, kith/kin, end of an era:  As MAD  is ending her session as a JC, I am sad.  Nine years at Illahee have been a wonderful experience for her and something she will always cherish.  If you want a recommendation for an all girls camp, please contact me.  It has truly been a “heavenly world.”

In the Cherokee language, Illahee means “heavenly world.” This idea expresses the very best of what campers, counselors and staff create for a remarkable few weeks every summer.

For ninety years, Camp Illahee has given girls the opportunity to explore their interests, seek new adventures and forge friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

via Camp Illahee | A Summer Camp for Girls in Brevard, North Carolina.

22
Jun
11

6.22.2011 … hot … woke up to an im picture of the sunrise at camp from Molls … what a great way to wake up!

Camp Illahee, kith/kin: Sunrise at Camp Illahee

music, kith/kin, Davidson College, memory lane:  I am sure this is dating me, but this is my group of girlfriend’s favorite song from freshman year.  YouTube – September by. Earth, Wind and Fire.

1978 was also the year that Maurice and managers Cavallo and Ruffalo worked out a deal for the launch of a new record label called The American Recording Company (ARC), to be distributed through CBS and the creation of a recording studio, George Massenburg/ARC also called “The Complex” in West Los Angeles. The year ended with another hit single, “September”, which was added to the quintuple platinum compilation album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, and was released November 23, 1978, just four days before Thanksgiving.

via Earth, Wind & Fire – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

movies, Louisville, Gill Holland, Jr., Davidson College, UNC, kudos:  I knew he had to be related to one of my all time favorite Davidson profs … Gil Holland.  Kudos, GHjr.

Gill Holland, who owns the Green Building on East Market Street and has helped to bring new businesses to that neighborhood in recent years, is the film’s producer. Holland and his production company, The Group Entertainment, had three movies at the Sundance festival this year. But this is the first movie he has made in Louisville.

“The pressure’s on,” Holland said. “It’s got to be good.”

Holland hopes to premiere “Tan Lines” at next year’s Flyover Film Festival and to have a theatrical release in autumn 2012.

via Louisville has a starring role in Gill Holland’s indie tennis movie | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.

Great Recession, healthcare, desperation, followup:  This is getting international attention …

A middle-aged man with no criminal record walks into a Gastonia bank on June 9 and slips a teller a note demanding $1 – and medical treatment.

Then he sits down and waits for police.

James Richard Verone’s story has captured national attention and made front pages in papers as far away as England, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said Tuesday.

Verone, 59, was charged with larceny from a person after he entered the RBC Centura Bank on South New Hope Road and handed the teller note demanding $1.

“It’s a bad situation when someone who’s been law-abiding all his life falls on hard times and feels like he has to commit a crime to get health care,” Cloninger said. “It’s tragic.”

via Gastonia’s $1 bandit gets major coverage | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

cities, disease, healthcare, health scares:  I am reading a book about the modern city and our future.  One of the continuing issues with cities is the spread of disease.

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever after it claimed the life of at least one child while infecting thousands of others in the city and elsewhere in China.

A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl died from the illness late last month while a five-year-old boy in the city died Tuesday morning from what health authorities said was a “very likely” a case of scarlet fever.

Hong Kong authorities have recorded 40 new cases in the past few days, pushing the total number to 459 so far this year, the highest annual total in the city and more than three times the figure for the whole of 2010.

The boy — who also had chicken pox — developed a fever last Wednesday and was admitted to hospital on Sunday with symptoms of the illness.

“We are facing an epidemic because the bacteria that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in this region — not only in Hong Kong but in mainland China and Macau.”

Hong Kong radio station RTHK reported that 49 people had contracted the illness in Macau, a former Portuguese colony about an hour by ferry from Hong Kong, with nine taken to hospital but no fatalities.

Tsang said Tuesday that more than 9,000 people had been infected so far this year in mainland China, doubling the average figure in recent years. He did not say if there were any fatal cases.

“Scarlet fever is in its peak season and may continue to be widespread for a prolonged period of time, possibly the whole summer,” Tsang said.

Local scientists said the outbreak may be linked to a deadly new strain of the disease which could make it more contagious than in the past.

A unique gene fragment was present in the bacteria’s genome “which might contribute to increased transmissibility of this strain,” said a health protection centre statement, released late Monday.

Scarlet fever mainly affects children between the ages of two and eight. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, rashes and a “strawberry coloured” tongue, and usually subside within 48 hours with appropriate antibiotic treatment.

The new strain, discovered by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, appears to be resistant to antibiotics traditionally used to fight the illness.

via Hong Kong declares scarlet fever outbreak – Channel NewsAsia.

health, sleep, insomnia, kith/kin:  I think i may get Edward a hammock. 🙂

Napping in a hammock is one of the more delightful tasks of summer, and Swiss researchers say they now know why.

The gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster, and they sleep deeper. Those changes in brain activity may inspire new ways to help insomniacs, the researchers say.

Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva rigged up a bed so it would sway gently from side to side every four seconds, considerably slower than the pendulum on a cuckoo clock. “This rocking is very gentle, very smooth, oscillating every four seconds,” Sophie Schwartz, a professor of neurology who led the study, told Shots. “It’s not like rocking like you would see some mothers rocking their babies, it’s more gentle.”

A dozen adult research subjects napped on the bed for 45 minutes while scalp electrodes recorded brain activity. During one nap the bed swayed; for another, it was stationary.

The scientists weren’t too surprised to find that people fell asleep faster when the bed rocked. But they were surprised at the big difference that rocking made in brain activity.

Rocking increased the length of N2 sleep, a form of non-REM sleep that takes up about half of a good night’s rest. It also increased slow oscillations and “sleep spindles.” Sleep spindles are brief bursts of brain activity, which look like sudden up-and-down scribbles on an electroencephalogram.

That ability is important in recovery from stroke, and the researchers say that rocking while sleeping should be tested on people with strokes or other brain injuries. Rocking is “changing things in your brain,” Schwartz says.

The Swiss scientists are eager to try the rocking bed on night-time sleepers, to see if it might help with insomnia and other common sleep disorders. But Shots readers may not want to wait for those results, and instead head directly to the back yard and their own time-tested research tool, the hammock.

via Why Hammocks Make Sleep Easier, Deeper : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

global issues, statistics, slavery, definitions:  Staggering … ““The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

Slavery still exists. Of that there isn’t much dispute, if any. But how widespread is what many experts call modern-day slavery?

Estimates range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars.

The International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on, among other things, labor rights, put the number at a “minimum estimate” of 12.3 million in a 2005 report.

Kevin Bales, a sociologist who serves as a consultant to the United Nations and has authored several books about modern-day slavery, estimated the number was 27 million people in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.” The book was published in 1999.

There is yet another estimate. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on trafficking at Harvard University and also an author, recently told CNN that his calculations put the range between 24 million and 32 million. That number was current as of the end of 2006, he said.

There are several reasons behind the variance in numbers, said Ben Skinner, who published a book about modern-day slavery – “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery.”

“There are two big problems with the count,” Skinner, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, said during a telephone interview. “The first is that the people we are counting are, by definition, a hidden population.

“The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

via The challenges of counting a ‘hidden population’ – The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery – CNN.com Blogs.

draught, South Georgia, prayers:  This is where my grandparents farmed.  Amazing record low river levels.  Worthy of prayers..

The U.S. Geological Survey says the levels of south Georgia’s waterways have fallen to record lows.

Gauges on the Flint River showed the average depth of the river at 1.31 feet Friday, and discharge from the river was at 606 cubic feet per second. That number compares to a maximum output of 17,500 cubic feet in 1965 and a minimum average output of 715 cubic feet in 2000.

Brian McCallum, assistant director of the USGS Georgia Water Science Center, says data from Friday shows all of the waterways in South Georgia set record lows.

He says the drought in Georgia is becoming more severe.

McCallum says the diminished rainfall does not allow the natural restoration of underground water and forces farmers to use more water from waterways for irrigation.

via S. Georgia waterways hurt by drought  | ajc.com.

Steph Curry, basketball, people, followup, Davidson College, blessings/best wishes:  Like I have said before, what a great kid.

I spent part of Monday with Stephen Curry, the former Davidson star who has a big summer going on. Curry was part of the Curry Celebrity Classic at River Run Golf Club in Davidson today — the charity event that is raising $40,000 for the Ada Jenkins Center this year.

Curry, 23, isn’t playing golf today, as his right ankle is in encased in a cast due to offseason ankle surgery. He goes into a walking boot next Monday. He had nagging ankle problems most of the 2010-11 season but expects to be 100 percent for his third season (assuming there is a 2011-12 NBA season — labor strife looms).

On a more life-changing note, Curry will get married July 30th to Ayesha Alexander. She grew up in Charlotte as well — the two met in a church youth group when she was 14 and he was 15. They have dated for the past three years.

via Scott Says …: Curry getting married, rehabbing ankle.

YouTube, LOL: Enjoy … YouTube – Incredible eyebrow control by young golf fan.

education, legislation, NC, CMS:  The State has voted to add 5 days to the school calendar … talk about a last minute mess.

The state legislature slipped a summer surprise into the budget bill: Students are slated to spend five more days in school next year, a total of 185.

School districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, are scrambling to figure out the new mandate for a calendar that’s already been approved with 180 days.

John Tate, a state school board member from Charlotte, said even he was trying to figure out what the new requirement means. Tate says he’s a strong supporter of more class time for kids, once pushing to add five days per year, with additional pay for teachers, until the state hit a 200-day calendar.

But by yanking workdays that teachers use to build their skills, he said, “it’s a little bit of a shell game.” He said the state board will discuss how to deal with the waiver in July. Tate’s interpretation: To get a waiver, districts must show kids would benefit more from the teacher training than they would from five more days in school.

Mary McCray, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, said Monday she hopes CMS will make that argument. She said students benefit from teacher training such as CMS’ ongoing summer teachers institute: “We get an extensive amount of ideas and information that we can transfer into our classrooms.”

via Legislature adds five days to school year for N.C. students | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

health, skin cancer, media, Brene Brown, blog posts of note:   From one of my favorite bloggers, this message is important …

My dear friend Ali Edwards told me about this video and it really spoke to me.

Like Ali, Steve and I were both swimmers. In fact, we met coaching swimming and life guarding. Even though that was 24 years ago, we still live in the pool during the summer. We both have family histories of skin cancer so we’re very careful about sun protection and we’re trying to teach our kids good habits.

I hope you’ll take a look at this powerful video and share it with someone you love – especially a teen or tween.

via hello sunshine – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

The video is powerful … spread it …

YouTube – Dear 16-year-old Me.

education, private education, costs, NYC:  Amazing that people can afford this …

The Riverdale Country School will charge $40,450 for high-school students in the coming year, the first time a New York private school has topped $40,000 in annual tuition.

Tuition at New York City schools has long outpaced the national average. This past year, national median tuition for 12th grade was $21,695, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. In New York City, it was $35,475.

via Private School Tuition Bill Tops $40,000 – WSJ.com.

26
May
11

‎5.26.2011 Restoration Day … house has gutters going up … and ET has biopsy to hopefully show restoration to full health!

Davidson College, Agnes Scott College, grants, college learning, kudos:  Kudos to two fine colleges for enhancing the learning of its students.

Davidson College will share a $200,000, two-year grant with Agnes Scott College from The Teagle Foundation to develop strategies for improved student learning. Davidson will focus on helping first-generation college students, while Agnes Scott seeks to support students in overcoming hurdles encountered in pursuing degrees in math and science.

About 40 of the 500 students in Davidson’s latest entering class were first-generation students.

“Without a family history of college attendance, these students may have difficulty navigating the college experience during their first year,” said Verna Case, associate dean of teaching, learning and research at Davidson. “The Teagle grant will enable us to assess their needs early on and provide assistance to help them achieve academically.”

via Teagle Grant Will Boost Learning Strategies at Davidson and Agnes Scott

Facebook, law:  Be careful what you post … Caveat FBor …

Be careful what you post on your Facebook account, because it might end up being used against you in a court of law. This isn’t another case where someone else may be claiming that anything and everything that you post online is fair game in terms of copyright, however.

Instead, there’s the possibility that you might end up as your own worst enemy in any future lawsuits as opposing counsels use your Facebook updates or photos to prove their case – whether or not they’re normally available for public viewing.

San Francisco-based lawyer Eric Sinrod writes about what he calls “a judicial willingness to compel the disclosure of Facebook material to the other side in litigation” over at FindLaw, noting that “in at least one case, McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, the court ordered that disclosure of the Facebook password of one of the parties so that access could be gained by the other side to the relevant Facebook account.”

This isn’t always the case; Sinrod also mentions another case, Piccolo v. Paterson, where the court refused a similar request – although, as he points out, this may have been because similar evidence was available already.

But there is something disturbing about the lengths to which even “private” information can be made public if the court decides that it’s necessary. The moral of this story may, in the end, be that you shouldn’t put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world, Friends-Only or not.

via Even Your ‘Friends Only’ Facebook Material Can Be Used in Court – Techland – TIME.com.

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  New tag … slime bags … Go for it US Justice Department.

The U.S. Justice Department has given prosecutors the go-ahead to seek an indictment against former U.S. Senator and two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, according to multiple broadcast reports.

via Report: Prosecution of John Edwards OK’d | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

green, cars, jealous, Chevy Volt:  I really want an electric car … just like the idea. So if GM or Volvo …or anyone else wants a tester in Charlotte, PICK ME!

A battery powers the Volt, which Motor Trend magazine named its 2011 Car of the Year. The four-passenger car can go 38 miles on a fully charged battery, Hanley said. The battery is recharged by plugging it into a standard 120-volt household outlet. Hanley recharged her Volt each night via an outlet in her garage.

The Volt, however, also can run on gasoline when the battery’s charge is used up.

“Once the battery is depleted, the (gas-powered) engine will kick in, and act as a generator” to power the electric motor, General Motors spokesman Tony Macrito said.

“You can go another 300-plus miles” with the gas in the 9-gallon tank, Macrito said.

The car switched to gas power “a few times when I had to go downtown,” Hanley said. The Volt made the switch seamlessly, she said.

“I wondered if it was going to start knocking like a jalopy, with black fumes coming out, but there was no discernible difference.” The car was “zippy,” Hanley said, with a smooth ride.

The dashboard display made it easy to figure out whether she was using the battery or gas.

“I am just excited they have this new technology, especially now when Chicago has the highest gas prices in the county,” Hanley said. “I think it’s a relevant topic for people who care about oil dependency and the environment.”

via Winnetka woman gets a shot with the Chevrolet Volt –.

Restoration Day, prayers, organ donations, Landon Powell, kith/kin:  Well, today is the day we find out if ET’s liver has returned to full health … prayers.  ET’s doctor is very hopeful he will be in full remission and that will be an end to it … However, please consider organ donation.  There are many who are not fortunate and need your healthy organs.

In partnership with the non-profit organization Donate Life South Carolina, in 2010 A’s catcher Landon Powell founded the Donors on the Diamond charity event to promote organ donation in South Carolina.

The mission of Donate Life South Carolina is to increase the supply of organs and tissues for transplantation and provide assistance for South Carolina transplant recipients with hopes that one day an organ or tissue will be available for every South Carolinian in need of a transplant.

Prior to reaching the Major Leagues, Powell recovered from two ACL knee surgeries in three short years in which he was a recipient of ligaments from tissue donations. In January of 2009, Powell was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a rare liver disease with no known cure. The disease can be controlled with medication, but Powell will need a liver transplant at some point in his life.

Because of this, organ and tissue donation has become very important to Landon and his family and this was the driving factor in his involvement of raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.

via Landon Powell’s Donors on the Diamond | oaklandathletics.com: Community.

10
May
11

5.10.2010 … not feeling very newsy today …

natural disasters, flooding, Mississippi River, Memphis, prayers, follow-up:

As the swollen Mississippi River continues to rush downstream, flood-level water is heading directly for some Louisiana communities still recovering from last year’s devastating oil spill and possibly forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate. Many neighborhoods of Memphis, Tenn., remain submerged in dirty, debris-strewn and reptile-infested water.

The National Weather Service said the Mississippi River has reached 47.85 feet, according to the Associated Press.

The river will continue to press against Memphis levees for at least the next few days, officials said. The Mississippi there has swollen to six times its average width.

via Mississippi River Flooding 2011: River Cresting, Louisiana Prepares for Rising Waters – ABC News.

random, words, lairs, lists:  Doesn’t the word “lair” just sound evil?

Top 10 Evil Lairs
For years, the accepted wisdom was that Osama bin Laden was holed up in a cave along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It turns out he was living in a rather large, heavily armed house in an affluent town outside Islamabad. With his Abbottabad house being carefully examined, TIME takes a look at the horrible hideouts of other evildoers

via Hitler’s Bunker – Top 10 Evil Lairs – TIME.

Malcolm X, digital media, libraries: interesting …

That the documents were in digital format, and I would be viewing them on a Web site, made the exercise seem a bit extraordinary. Can’t you just send me a link? I asked.

But there was a reason that I had to be invited there. The Malcolm X Multimedia Study Project was created by the late Prof. Manning Marable, whose new “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was published last month, days after the author died of lung disease. The material I would be viewing was largely constructed around the earlier, more famous book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley, who died in 1992. While Columbia may have permission to share a digital version of the original copyrighted book within its campus, they certainly didn’t have permission to share it with the world.

There was another reason that it seemed fitting that I was entering a library with columns and names like Homer and Cicero inscribed above the entrance to click on a computer and open a Web browser: the brilliant online project I was viewing was slowly disintegrating, like so much parchment.

In the biography, which reached No. 3 on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, Professor Marable argues that the famous autobiography overstated Malcolm X’s past life of crime before joining the Nation of Islam and failed to discuss his political evolution toward political organizing after leaving the Nation.

And so the multimedia project — containing F.B.I. and New York Police Department files on Malcolm X, photographs, interviews with scholars and hundreds of detailed descriptions of important people, places, ideas and themes in his life is built around the autobiography.

When he considers the dust settling on the project he worked on for so many years, Mr. Ali recalled that Mr. Marable was aware that there was a danger that the project would be the proverbial tree falling in the forest that no one heard.

“That is the nature of the project, a combination of technological change — the need to update the site — and issues of copyright,” he said in an interview. There may be inexpensive ways of avoiding “total bit-rot” by moving the media to a more modern format, said A. Maurice Matiz, the director of technology at the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, which worked with Mr. Marable to create the Malcolm X Project.

And some of the material that Mr. Marable or Columbia University produced can be migrated to an open site. Mr. Ali said he would try to get permission to share the tapes of four classes of Mr. Marable’s that reflect the themes that he developed in the book.

“He didn’t use technology but understood the value of it,” Mr. Ali said, adding that Professor Marable never read e-mail on a computer, but had an assistant print it out and enter his reply. “He had a sacred relationship with paper.”

via A Digital Review of ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ – NYTimes.com.

colleges, safety schools:

Spring is finally here in Colorado. The sun is back and with it, the flowers and songbirds. It’s an auspicious feeling as I make my final choices that will guide the beginning of the rest of my life. Senior year is almost over, A.P. exams are close at hand, and all of my classes are winding down into review.

Most significantly, I’ve made my college decision. After a full year of agonizing internal debate, I know what my plan is.

I will be attending Colorado University at Boulder next year — a college that  initially was my safety school, but has since begun to feel a lot like home. Money was the first factor that led me to this decision.

C.U. will be about $15,000 a year less than U.S.C., and $30,000 less than Carnegie Mellon or Cornell. However, the more I think about attending C.U., the happier I am with my decision.

via The Price Tag of a ‘Safety’ School Enhances Its Allure – NYTimes.com.

Apple, baseball:  what do they have in common … read on …

Could it be that Apple is more popular than America’s national sport?

The company is certainly more profitable than professional baseball. Apple’s revenue for fiscal year 2010 was $65.2 billion, $9.8 billion from the Apple stores alone, compared with the MLB’s total revenue of $7 billion.

And as the chart above shows, visitors to the Apple stores — which will celebrate their 10th anniversary next week — overtook attendance at Major League Baseball stadiums in 2006 and never looked back.

via Is Apple more popular than baseball? – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech.

movies, The King’s Speech, Colin Firth, life imitates art: He trained himself to stutter and now sometimes he can’t stop … life imitates art.

The King's Speech

He perfected the speech impediment while preparing for his Oscar-winning role. Now it appears he’s having trouble parting with it.

Colin Firth was stammer-free throughout his humorous yet humble acceptance speech for the Best Actor Academy Award. But old habits die hard, it seems. Speaking to British magazine WestSide, he explained that he sometimes lapses into the stammer he developed particularly for the movie.

“You can probably hear even from this interview, there are moments when it’s quite infectious,” Firth told the magazine. “You find yourself doing it and if I start thinking about it, the worse it gets. If nothing else it’s an insight in to what it feels like.”

via Life Imitates Art: Colin Firth Struggles to Shake King’s Speech Stammer – TIME NewsFeed.

google doodles, Roger Hargreaves, children’s/YA literature: 16 different ones … and I have never heard of the books or the author!

Google has created sixteen Mr. Men and Little Miss-themed Google Doodles in celebration of author/illustrator Roger Hargreaves‘ 76th birthday. As an extra bonus, the doodles change each time the Google page is reloaded.

via Roger Hargreaves Gets Google Doodle for Mr. Men & Little Miss Books – GalleyCat.

09
May
11

5.9.2011 … The flooding Mississippi R. is 3 miles wide at Memphis … I can’t imagine … prayers …

natural disasters, flooding, Mississippi River, Memphis, prayers:  

At a late Sunday afternoon press briefing, Col. Vernon Reichling of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the Mississippi River in Memphis, usually a half-mile wide, now measures 3 miles across. Reichling said he expected the river to crest Tuesday at 48 feet, just below the record set in 1937 of 48.7 feet; it is the first time the Mississippi River has exceeded even 41 feet since that record 1937 flood.

via Sunday flood updates: River now 3 miles across in Memphis » The Commercial Appeal.

Jasmine Revolution, China:

The clampdown is concentrated on foreign groups or activities that have significant ties to foreign governments, run prominent outreach programs, encourage free speech or promote Internet freedom.

Senior Chinese officials appear to believe that the United States in particular helped set off and sustain the uprisings that toppled dictators in the Arab world. In mid-February, messages appeared on the Chinese Internet calling for people to hold similar protests across the nation. Some of the people spreading word of the so-called Jasmine Revolution are Chinese who live overseas.

One message called for Chinese to protest on Feb. 20 at a McDonald’s outlet on Wangfujing, a popular shopping street in Beijing, and the government became concerned when Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who was then the American ambassador to China, appeared that afternoon outside the restaurant.

Embassy officials said Mr. Huntsman, who left his job at the end of April, was not aware of the calls for a protest, but the Chinese government quickly began canceling outreach activities sponsored by the American Embassy. That included one-time appearances by Mr. Huntsman in Chinese cities and regularly scheduled education programs in which American officials meet with Chinese students, according to interviews with foreigners and Chinese.

“The cynic in me believes that, given the likely timing of this decision and of the onset of the Egyptian protests, this is not really about money or the value of international conferences, but about minimizing extended face-to-face dialogues with foreigners who might share ideas that were ‘bu shufu,’ ” said one American involved in cultural events, using the Chinese phrase for “discomforting.”

Foreign journalists have also faced unusually direct harassment from security officials. Starting in late February, scores of journalists were warned about their coverage and visited at their homes.

In meetings in February and March with one American journalist, security officers tried to make the case that American officials, together with foreign journalists and others with ties overseas, were conspiring to stir up chaos in China. They talked about the appearance of Mr. Huntsman at the McDonald’s on Feb. 20, and they mentioned a meeting that he held with foreign journalists at the embassy on March 10, citing them as proof of the United States’ hand in fanning the flames of revolution.

via China Blames Foreigners for Trying to Foment Unrest – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden death, Dalai Lama, moral issues, forgiveness:

But the Dalai Lama’s camp responded almost immediately, claiming this was not at all the gist of his remarks, emphasizing his appeal for us to distinguish between “the action” and “the actor” and stressing that, as a fellow human being, even bin Laden deserves our compassion and forgiveness. But, he stressed, “forgiveness doesn’t mean forget [sic] what happened.”

via Dalai Lama: Osama bin Laden Deserves Compassion – Global Spin – TIME.com.

Osama bin Laden death, Maureen Down, moral issues: Know where she stands … “We have nothing to apologize for.”

But within days, Naval Seal-gazing shifted to navel-gazing.

There was the bad comedy of solipsistic Republicans with wounded egos trying to make it about how right they were and whinging that George W. Bush was due more credit. Their attempt to renew the debate about torture is itself torture.

W. preferred to sulk in his Dallas tent rather than join President Obama at ground zero in a duet that would have certainly united the country.

Whereas the intelligence work that led to the destruction of Bin Laden was begun in the Bush administration, the cache of schemes taken from Osama’s Pakistan house debunked the fanciful narrative that the Bush crew pushed: that Osama was stuck in a cave unable to communicate, increasingly irrelevant and a mere symbol, rather than operational. Osama, in fact, was at the helm, spending his days whipping up bloody schemes to kill more Americans.

The really insane assumption behind some of the second-guessing is that killing Osama somehow makes us like Osama, as if all killing is the same.

Only fools or knaves would argue that we could fight Al Qaeda’s violence non-violently.

President Obama was prepared to take a life not only to avenge American lives already taken but to deter the same killer from taking any more. Aside from Bin Laden’s plotting, his survival and his legend were inspirations for more murder.

If stealth bombers had dropped dozens of 2,000-pound bombs and wiped out everyone, no one would have been debating whether Osama was armed. The president chose the riskiest option presented to him, but one that spared nearly all the women and children at the compound, and anyone in the vicinity.

Unlike Osama, the Navy Seals took great care not to harm civilians — they shot Bin Laden’s youngest wife in the leg and carried two young girls out of harm’s way before killing Osama.

Morally and operationally, this was counterterrorism at its finest.

We have nothing to apologize for.

via Killing Evil Doesn’t Make Us Evil – NYTimes.com.

Paris, France, travel, lists, Question:  Anything else YOU think should be on the list?

From impassioned revolutionaries and ostentatious royals to the world of ancient Gaul, the history of Paris is filled with drama, intrigue and excitement. Thus, it is of little surprise that this is not only one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic cities, but that it is also brimming with fantastic historic sites. The following are our top ten historic sites of Paris.

via Top Ten Historic Sites of Paris.

travel, lists, places, hotels:

Location, location, location. This real estate mantra is something to live by when seeking out the perfect hotel. For history buffs, a hotel setting can be key to a stay.

From balcony panoramas of World Heritage sites to hidden ancient baths in the basement, some hotels have that little something extra to really immerse their guests in history. So, where can one find these perfect places from which to enjoy the sites of cultures past?

We asked our friends at historical travel website Historvius.com to put together a selection of just some of the very best hotels for history lovers.

via 15 Great Hotels For History Lovers (PHOTOS) – AOL Travel News.

Harvard Initiative, Advanced Education:  This seems exciting to me …

In short, the program represents a new, “third stage” in higher education, says Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the initiative’s co-founder and director, and one of the three Harvard professors who in 2005 first envisioned a wider role for the nation’s colleges and universities. Such institutions have long launched young adults into the world from undergraduate and graduate/professional programs. Now, she says, these schools need to do the same for older adults.

Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, works on his project for getting ‘excess’ food to the hungry with Prof. Fernando Reimers, a co-chairman of Harvard’s leadership program.

“Clearly, we need additional leaders to take on social challenges—and here we have this large population of adults leaving first careers who are going to live for another 20 or 30 years,” Prof. Kanter says. Higher education “can be the resource that gives these individuals the skills and direction they need.”

For now, the Harvard initiative remains small: About 20 to 30 fellows a year take part. That said, Prof. Kanter expects the program to grow steadily—and, ideally, to be replicated at schools across the country.

Indeed, the initiative is a “sign of things to come,” says Marc Freedman, chief executive of Civic Ventures, a San Francisco nonprofit focused on expanding the contributions of older Americans. Already, he notes, a growing number of resources—community colleges, webinars, alumni groups and life coaches, among others—are helping the 50-plus crowd transition into jobs and careers in the social-service and nonprofit arenas.

Eventually, these multiple pathways, Mr. Freedman adds, will “enable individuals in the second half of life to move seamlessly from ‘what’s last’ to ‘what’s next.’ ”

That platform could soon be adopted elsewhere. A meeting in Miami in June will give other schools a chance to learn about Harvard’s model for educating advanced leaders, Prof. Kanter says. She likens the effort to the growth of the nation’s business schools, which began to appear at the turn of the 20th century and are now a familiar part of the academic landscape.

“We think someday this will be a stage of higher education that many colleges and universities will want to have,” Prof. Kanter says. “We want to make this a movement.”

via It’s Not Too Late to Go to Harvard – WSJ.com.

bookshelf, Three Cups of Tea:  Well, I have had this book next to my bed for several years … Nothing like controversy to make me fish it out and begin.

Greg Mortenson, author of the bestseller “Three Cups of Tea,” was sued for fraud on Friday in a class-action case accusing him of fabricating much of his story to promote the book and his Montana-based charity.

The lawsuit comes nearly four weeks after Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute (CAI) came under fire in an expose aired on the CBS television news program “60 Minutes,” which sparked an investigation by the Montana attorney general.

The “60 Minutes” report challenged the credibility of biographical details in Mortenson’s memoir and said his institute, founded to build schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was largely being used to promote the book.

via Lawsuit accuses Three Cups of Tea author of fraud | Reuters.

Paris, Jim Haynes, Sunday Dinner, kith/kin:  I am jealous … a good friend is going next Sunday … when she told me about it … and I looked it up … I remember this Jim Haynes’ NPR interview.  I can’t wait to hear about it.

Every week for the past 30 years, I’ve hosted a Sunday dinner in my home in Paris. People, including total strangers, call or e-mail to book a spot. I hold the salon in my atelier, which used to be a sculpture studio. The first 50 or 60 people who call may come, and twice that many when the weather is nice and we can overflow into the garden.

Every Sunday a different friend prepares a feast. Last week it was a philosophy student from Lisbon, and next week a dear friend from London will cook.

People from all corners of the world come to break bread together, to meet, to talk, connect and often become friends. All ages, nationalities, races, professions gather here, and since there is no organized seating, the opportunity for mingling couldn’t be better. I love the randomness.

I believe in introducing people to people.

via Jim Haynes.

How to make the gods laugh: tell them your plans! Nevertheless I hope the future includes my continuing to live here in my Paris atelier, travelling to see friends, writing newsletters and books, hosting friends, organizing the Sunday dinners, and enjoying every minute of life. For me, happiness is an intellectual concept, and I decided years ago to be happy. In spite of (and because of) everything, I love life. It has been good to me, and I hope that I have been good to it.

via Jim Haynes.

137th Kentucky Derby, Pat Forde: “The Derby almost always has a jarring plot twist or two. But this was an all-timer.” … read on …

Instead, the hugely accomplished Velazquez wound up riding the colt that would take him to his first Derby victory after years of heartache. And just like that, the 37-year-old Albarado — who won a stakes race Saturday on the Derby undercard — wound up watching his mount surge to glory on the home stretch with a complete stranger on his back.

The Derby almost always has a jarring plot twist or two. But this was an all-timer.

“The proper thing to do is to congratulate Graham and Johnny,” said Albarado, who has won many big races but never the Derby. “Johnny rode a great race. But you get taken off the day before? It’s kind of sad.”

One jockey’s sadness became another jockey’s elation. Velazquez has himself been bruised by the Derby gods, losing top-shelf contenders the week of the race three straight years. Before Uncle Mo there was Eskendereya, the likely heavy favorite in 2010 who was scratched just days before the Derby, and before that was Quality Road, scratched the Monday of Derby week with a hoof injury.

via Robby Albarado and John Velazquez: A tale of two jockeys at the Kentucky Derby – ESPN.

Boulder, places, happiness, Gretchen Rubin, kith/kin:  My two boys would agree … it is a wonderful place …

He says where he lives is a huge component of his happiness. “I lived in San Francisco, lived in Miami, New York City, Chicago, and I just think that this community, for me and what I wanted to do, it just fit.”

“This community” is Boulder, Colorado, where Dave – who owns a restaurant called (what else?) Happy – is far from the only one mainlining the vibe of well-being.

“There’s an energy here you just don’t feel in other places,” said one resident, Sean.

Ingrid Asmus wouldn’t walk her dog Strider anywhere else.

“Up there the spring beauties are blooming and the bluebells are out and the sand lilies are starting to come out,” she remarked. And she’s only five minutes from downtown.

If happiness is a state of mind, then Boulder is its capital.

What Gretchen re-discovered is the wisdom of that old saying: Happiness is a journey, not a destination, and one best guided by daily … incremental changes in lifestyle… with one above all:

“Ancient philosophers and contemporary researchers agree that maybe the key the happiness, if you had to pick just one thing, is strong relationships with other people,” she said. “So take the trip to see your sister’s new baby, go to the reunion, throw a party. Connections – anything that’s going to make you feel more connected with other people is going to add to your happiness.”

via The pursuit of happiness – CBS News.

LOL:

YouTube – Most interesting thing I ever saw done to a dog..mp4.




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