Posts Tagged ‘President Obama

05
May
14

5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings …

anthropology, SkyMall, Want A Tour Of The American Psyche? Flip Through SkyMall, NPR:  I love SkyMall, but I must admit I have never bought anything, not one thing.  I’ve mentioned this before … 9.15.2010.

I sometimes thumb through the catalog and wonder what future anthropologists may deduce about life in our times by looking at SkyMall.

They’d find out that we hurt. There are pages of corrective braces, shiatsu leg massagers, reflexology foot massagers, all-day gel seats, while-you-sleep foot relief sleeves and back stretching aids.

They’d also find out that we don’t want to look fat. There are scads of garments that promise to slim, insta-slim, and superslim, maybe while we try to digest the deep-fried pretzel we downed just before boarding.

Travel makes us long for home and pets. There are elevated dog beds — which, by the way, look like something Scarlett O’Hara might sleep in; pet gates — a term that sounds like a White House dog immersed in a scandal; and pet ramps and stairs.

I ordered upholstered pet stairs for our cat, after seeing cunning pictures of cats and dogs in the catalog, strolling on stairs as if touring the National Gallery. I rubbed my cheek on the steps to show our cat they were soft and friendly, but she seems to have now decided they were for me and still jumps on the sofa.

Travel can aggravate our deepest anxieties. Thumb through SkyMall and you’ll see that we don’t know where to store our shoes. We worry about holding on to our hair. We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue in fiberglass resin. We might not be able to imagine where we’d put the statue, but having the $5,000 to spend on it would be nice.

The current catalog shows a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings.

You might wonder who would order such a thing? I’ll let you know — delivery is guaranteed in seven to 10 days.

via Want A Tour Of The American Psyche? Flip Through SkyMall : NPR.

New York City Rescue Mission, homeless, makethemvisible.com: Change how you see the homeless.  makethemvisible.com

via ▶ Have the Homeless Become Invisible? – YouTube.

Published on Apr 22, 2014

In this social experiment, unsuspecting people walked by relatives pretending to be homeless. Would they notice their family members? Or have the homeless become invisible? http://MakeThemVisible.com

To find out more about the New York City Rescue Mission visit http://nycrescue.org/

via ▶ Have the Homeless Become Invisible? – YouTube.

President Obama, Is Barry Whiffing? – NYTimes.com:  I followed a link posted by a liberal friend who agreed with this article.  interesting … ” A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.”

But that being said, you are the American president. And the American president should not perpetually use the word “eventually.” And he should not set a tone of resignation with references to this being a relay race and say he’s willing to take “a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf,” and muse that things may not come “to full fruition on your timetable.”

An American president should never say, as you did to the New Yorker editor, David Remnick, about presidents through history: “We’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.”

Mr. President, I am just trying to get my paragraph right. You need to think bigger.

An American president should never say, as you did Monday in Manila when you got frustrated in a press conference with the Philippine president: “You hit singles; you hit doubles. Every once in a while, we may be able to hit a home run.”

Especially now that we have this scary World War III vibe with the Russians, we expect the president, especially one who ran as Babe Ruth, to hit home runs.

In the immortal words of Earl Weaver, the Hall of Famer who managed the Baltimore Orioles: “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers.” A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.

.via Is Barry Whiffing? – NYTimes.com.

Warren Buffett, Bank of America, BAC:  I think he should have been outraged.  I am.

Mr. Buffett also expressed support for the management of Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.06% , another company in which Berkshire Hathaway owns preferred stock.

Last month, the bank had to reverse course on a stock buyback and dividend-increase plan after miscalculating capital levels. “That error they made does not bother me,” Mr. Buffett said in response to a shareholder question. “It doesn’t change my feeling about Bank of America’s risk management one iota.”

Mr. Buffett invested $5 billion in Bank of America in 2011 in the form of preferred stock that paid 6% a year, and received warrants to purchase 700 million shares as part of that deal. The terms of the preferred stock were renegotiated earlier this year to allow the lender to include it as part of its capital.

The bank was forced to shelve a plan to repurchase shares and boost its dividend for the first time since 2008, after discovering an error that left the lender with $4 billion less in capital than it thought it had.

via Warren Buffett Defends Coke Abstention at Berkshire Meeting – WSJ.com.

Mount St. Helens, LiveScience:  I spent a day touring all the museums near Mt. St. Helens.  It was one of the most interesting of days.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Mount St. Helens is nowhere near another eruption, but new magma is rising underground, heaving the volcano upward and outward by the length of a fingertip, researchers said here today (May 2) at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.

A small amount of magma started pooling 2.5 to 3 miles (4 to 5 kilometers) beneath the volcano in 2008, said lead study author Seth Moran, a seismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington state. The depth comes from the pattern of surface swelling, measured with GPS, and from earthquakes triggered by the molten rock pushing upward. GPS units moved away from the center of the volcano by up to 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) between 2008 and 2013. (Imagine that Mount St. Helens’ magma chamber is like a balloon inflating deep beneath the volcano, pushing everything above it out of the way as it fills with a fresh batch of molten rock.) [Gallery: The Incredible Eruption of Mount St. Helens]

“This doesn’t mean it’s getting ready to erupt,” Moran told Live Science’s Our Amazing Planet. “The balloon has inflated, and it could stay inflated for decades. What we can say, is when it is ready to erupt, we will know.”

The observatory tracked a similar refueling pattern beneath Mount St. Helens during the volcano’s quiet period in the 1980s and 1990s, Moran said. However, the earthquakes were deeper during the first quiet period, at about 4 to 5 miles (6 to 8 km) below the surface, and the magma refueled faster, according to the new results.

Digital elevation map of Mount St. Helens, showing the epicenter of earthquakes from 2008 to 2014.

Credit: S. Moran

Scientists keep a close eye on the Washington volcano, which has erupted on and off since its deadly 1980 blast. Studies of past eruptions suggest Mount St. Helens is more likely to spend the next few hundred years rebuilding a beautiful, snowy peak, rather than blowing the countryside to smithereens.

Even so, the signals from the slumbering volcano are a message to be ready for the next eruption, however small, the researchers said.

“We’re like the fire department,” Moran said. “We’ve got to be ready to go.”

via Mount St. Helens Is Recharging: What Rising Magma Means | LiveScience.

Thomas Cook Train Guide, Redbook, Trainspotters, Train Lovers, Timetable, WSJ.com:  I loved this quirky story about quirky people.

But in Oundle, work is full steam ahead. The compilers hope there is enough traction to make their project work.

“Obviously, you can look a journey up on bahn.de in 10 seconds,” said Mr. Potter, referring to the website of the German railways. “But people buy [timetables] just to read them.”

via Trainspotters and Other Train Lovers Take Timetable to Heart – WSJ.com.

Twitter / GeorgiaPics, Atlanta secret:

BmgsbidCcAAAPDN

Beautiful Georgia

‏@GeorgiaPics

An Atlanta secret, 1,000’s of people walk by this world map near Hooters & Hard Rock and never notice it. pic.twitter.com/KKfaY33hmX

via Twitter / GeorgiaPics: An Atlanta secret, 1,000’s ….

Twitter / GeorgiaProblemz: A simpler breakdown of Georgia. …

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Georgia Problemz

‏@GeorgiaProblemz

A simpler breakdown of Georgia. pic.twitter.com/cvZgzRHT6L

via Twitter / GeorgiaProblemz: A simpler breakdown of Georgia. ….

University Of New Hampshire,  National Model For Rape Prevention:

DURHAM, N.H., May 2 (Reuters) – The 1987 gang rape of an 18-year-old University of New Hampshire freshman by three fellow students set then-graduate student Jane Stapleton on a course that could revolutionize the way U.S. colleges and universities handle sexual assaults.

Stapleton helped develop a campus program that aims to eradicate sex assaults – not by focusing on potential victims and assailants, but by making other students aware how bystanders can play a key role in preventing an attack.

New Hampshire is one of three universities chosen to help a White House task force come up with a plan that could be rolled out at colleges across the United States to combat what it called a sex assault “epidemic.”

“Instead of pointing fingers at women as victims or potential victims or men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, it says everybody has a role to play here,” said Stapleton, who is co-director of the Prevention Innovations initiative at UNH.

One in five coeds in the United States falls victim to sexual assault during her student years, studies show, and experts warn that many of the attacks go unreported.

The program, which goes by the acronym SHARPP, runs workshops to teach students practical methods for heading off potential sex attacks, whether it be forming a conga line at a bar to walk an inebriated friend away from unwanted approach or turning on the lights at a party to discourage a sexual advance.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING

The university’s program is one of just a handful in the country to treat reports of rape as confidential, not reporting attacks to the police without the victim’s consent.

That is important since most victims of sex assault that takes place on or around a college campus know their attackers, and that can make them less willing to report the crime, said Maggie Wells, Sharpp’s educational outreach coordinator.

“Part of empowerment is getting the situation back under the victim’s control,” Wells said.

Some victims come forward immediately. And when they do, the program dispatches student volunteers to accompany them to a hospital where staff collect the physical evidence police can use to pursue criminal charges.

The university offers other remediation options, from moving an assailant out of a victim’s dorm to suspending the attacker from school until the victim graduates, even if that takes years, said Amy Culp, the program’s interim director.

One of the main challenges faced by the program’s staff and 38 student volunteers is overcoming the perception that sex assaults are an inevitable part of college culture.

via University Of New Hampshire Sets National Model For Rape Prevention.

film synopsis, Wizard of Oz:  I chuckled …

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Steve Silberman

‏@stevesilberman

Best film synopsis ever. [By @ShakeNTell] http://goo.gl/7IIcPS  pic.twitter.com/lAFpTpGByk

via Twitter / stevesilberman: Best film synopsis ever. [By ….

12 Literary Spots, London, book lover:  Next time I visit …

A guide to the best (and mostly free) places to channel some of the city’s greatest writers and celebrate their works.

via 12 Literary Spots In London That Every Book Lover Needs To Visit.

And these are my favorites …

4. The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾

6. Sherlock Holmes Museum & Shop

8. Charles Dickens Museum

12.  Shakespeare’s Globe

via 12 Literary Spots In London That Every Book Lover Needs To Visit.

 

 

05
Aug
13

8.5.13 … Ansel Adams on YouTube: What an amazing artist! … Edison Mazda Lamp … random … 1600 Pennsylvania on Zillow … in light of Detroit … Carry In-Carry Out… 6″ mini me … weird twitter …

Ansel Adams, YouTube:  What an amazing artist!

Ansel Adams Reveals His Creative Process in 1958 Documentary

in Art, Film, Photography | February 20th, 2013 2 Comments

Today marks what would be the 111th birthday of Ansel Adams, the American photographer who captured the sublime power of the wilderness, taking iconic images of the American West, most notably in Yosemite Valley. (See photo gallery here.) Original footage documenting the creative life of Ansel Adams is surprisingly hard to come by online. So A/V Geeks and Develop Tube did us all a favor when they revived this 1958 documentary revealing Adams’ technical approach to photography, the cameras and related gear he carried to the field, and his thoughts on the artistic horizons of photography.

Ansel Adams, Photographer (1958) is available at YouTube and Archive.org. It will now appear in the Documentary section of our collection of 500 Free Movies Online.

via Ansel Adams Reveals His Creative Process in 1958 Documentary | Open Culture. 

The Fox Theatre Atlanta, Edison Mazda Lamp: Why “Mazda” lamp? “The name Mazda has nothing to do with today’s popular car maker. Instead, it refers to Ahura Mazda. Mazda is an ancient God of an Iranian religion known as Zoroastrianism. His name means “Lord of Light and Wisdom.”

The Fox Theatre Atlanta

June 26

An amazing piece of Thomas Edison history was recently discovered within the walls of the Fox Theatre. This light bulb, or electric lamp as they were once called, is an “Edison Mazda” lamp.

Even though decades have passed since these kinds of bulbs could be purchased, it still looks much like the light bulbs we use today.

In 1909, General Electric began using the trademarked and registered name, Mazda, for its incandescent light bulbs. The name Mazda has nothing to do with today’s popular car maker. Instead, it refers to Ahura Mazda. Mazda is an ancient God of an Iranian religion known as Zoroastrianism. His name means “Lord of Light and Wisdom.”

For more information on historic theatre restoration please visit http://www.foxtheatreinstitute.org/

via The Fox Theatre Atlanta.

random:

It just occurred to me that I have clothes hanging in my closet that are “vintage.”

President Obama, housing questions,  1600 Pennsylvania, Zillow roundtable, Yahoo! News:  Love this Zillow entry for 1600 Pennsylvania.

Zillow Zestimate for the White House

President Barack Obama lives in a 16-bedroom, 35-bathroom single-family home that would cost nearly $320 million if it were for sale, according to online home-buying site Zillow.com. (Spoiler: It’s not.)

Still, Zillow’s tens of millions of monthly users will be able to settle in Wednesday for an interview with the president — a virtual roundtable focused on housing policy, part of his drive to retake the initiative on economic issues.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff will moderate the event, using questions submitted through a range of social media with the hashtag #AskObamaHousing. Zillow will be looking for especially frequent questions, as well as queries that housing experts think are timely. The White House will not get the questions in advance.

via Obama to take your housing questions in Zillow roundtable – Yahoo! News.

cities , city survival, cities that thrive, Zero Hedge, Detroit:  In light of Detroit …

I doubt that anyone in 1968 predicted Detroit would lose most of its industrial base and half its population over the next 40 years (1970 – 2010). Such a forecast was beyond even the most prescient futurist.

Four decades is not that long a time period, and our inability to predict large-scale trends over that time frame reveals intrinsic limitations in forecasting.

Nonetheless, the dramatic decline of Detroit and other industrial cities makes me wonder if there are dynamics that we can identify that could enable us to predict which cities will thrive and which will decay.

Here is my semi-random list of potentially decisive urban dynamics:

1. Since most people live in cities, global trends that appear abstract from 40,000 feet manifest in cities.

2. Single-industry cities are highly vulnerable to disruption if that one industry declines.

3. Cities that are dependent on highly centralized institutions and industries are more vulnerable to disruption that cities with a broad base of smaller, decentralized employers and sectors.

4. Cities that depend on highly centralized employers attract people seeking to become employees; cities that are not dominated by centralized organizations but foster rapidly growing decentralized sectors are more likely to attract entrepreneurial talent and capital.

5. The cities’ primary industries must pull in profits and capital from the nation and world.

6. Highly centralized industries with rigid hierarchies, local political control and vertical supply chains do not foster the same entrepreneurial spirit and ecosystem as decentralized, fragmented industries that are still open financially and politically to competition and cooperation.

7. Rigidly controlled, centralized dominant political and financial organizations cannot foster the complex ecosystem of innovators and risk-takers that generate new wealth.

8. The Ratchet Effect is key: it is easy to expand payrolls, land area, benefits and pensions as the tax base and tax revenues expand; it is essentially politically impossible to shrink payrolls, benefits and pensions as the tax base shrinks and tax revenues decline.

9. Cities with dynamic ecosystems of mobile knowledge workers, innovators, risk-takers and mobile capital will tend to attract these same wealth creators from less dynamic and opportunistic cities and towns, in effect poaching the most potentially productive people and capital from 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities.

Here is a relevant quote from the above article on the poaching of capital and human capital by major cities:

As metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou become black holes for resources, medium and small-sized cites have encountered difficulties in their development. “The most frustrating part about Tianjin [an industrial city an hour southeast of Beijing] is that we don’t own the resources that commonly exist in first-tier cities – good resources are all taken by Beijing.”

10. Cities that offer cost-effective good governance are attractive to non-elite productive people; cities that skim wealth via corruption and do not provide efficient services offer disincentives to productive people who have a choice of where they live.

11. Wealth is not just the financial wealth of the residents or the tax revenues generated by the tax base. Social and human capital, and the networks that enable flows of information, talent and capital are critical types of capital. We can adapt Bob Dylan’s line here: “Those cities not busy being born are busy dying.”

12. Cities are ultimately constructed not just of infrastructure and political policy but of incentives and disincentives and individuals who respond to those inputs. In this view, the infrastructure of transit, parks, libraries, etc. and non-material policies and cultural-economic zeitgeist create the incentives and disincentives that people respond to.

Cities that offer incentives–most importantly, a healthy ecosystem of like-minded people–to innovators, risk-takers and mobile capital to fund new enterprises will generate a self-reinforcing feedback loop that attracts more productive people and wealth. Those cities that centralize cartels and political elites who naturally suppress competition as a threat to their control are vulnerable to systemic decay as the disincentives to the most productive overwhelm the self-liquidating incentives of rigid, sclerotic, centralized hierarchies.

The one thing we can safely predict is that technological and social innovations will continue to arise and disrupt the Status Quo. If cities are like ecosystems, then we can see that cities that are static monocultures are much more prone to decay and collapse than cities that encourage a complex wealth of competing and cooperating enterprises and networks.

Perhaps these dynamics apply not just to cities but to entire nations.

via Guest Post: Which Cities Will Survive/Thrive? | Zero Hedge.

National Park Visitors, Carry In-Carry Out, WSJ.com:

There are 55 fewer trash cans at one national park in D.C. as park rangers ask visitors to carry out their own garbage. http://on.wsj.com/13Aonau

The idea behind project ‘Carry In-Carry Out’ is to free up the park service’s trash haulers to pursue beautification projects, such as flower planting.

Do you think the park’s priority should be beautification or maintenance? Are you willing to carry out your trash?

National Park Service chief groundskeeper Anthony Migliaccio piloted his utility vehicle down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, surveying the good, the bad and the ugly in the government’s new effort to get visitors to do something that doesn’t come naturally: haul away their own garbage.

Along the parkway’s main stem—a lush, tree-lined Virginia roadway that runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to the forests of Turkey Run Park—there are now 55 fewer garbage cans. In their place are signs informing people that they are now expected to tote away their half-eaten hot dogs, soiled paper plates, crushed soda cans and the like.

With the Iwo Jima statue in the background, a sign at the Marine Corps Memorial explains Trash Free Parks, with complimentary bags.

The idea behind project Carry In-Carry Out, explained Mr. Migliaccio, is to free up the park service’s trash haulers to pursue more noble beautification projects, such as flower planting.

But training the masses to stuff their own refuse back into their cars, purses and strollers is causing something of a stink.

On a recent day, one lonely can in a busy park overflowed with visitors’ refuse. Meanwhile, a nearby dispenser of free plastic trash bags—each printed with a plea for folks to retain their own waste—remained full.

via National-Park Visitors Are Asked to Take Their Trash With Them – WSJ.com.

3-D Printed Version of Yourself, mini me, Wired Design | Wired.com: I’m with you, FB friend  … one of me is probably quite sufficient … But still wondering what I would do with a 6″ mini me …

Using the latest in 360-degree scanning and 3-D printing technologies, Twinkind, a new company based in Hamburg, Germany, will turn you, your loved ones, or your pets into a marvelously detailed little statues. It might seem a bit gimmicky if the results weren’t so stunning. The final figurines, which can range in size from roughly 6″ (around $300) to 13″ (around $1,700), are strikingly, maybe even a little unsettlingly realistic, capturing everything from poses and facial expressions down to hair styles and the folds in clothes, all in full, faithful color.

via For $300, You Can Buy a Stunning 3-D Printed Version of Yourself | Wired Design | Wired.com.

Twitter Inc., Weird Twitter, The Daily Dot: weird …

In what you’d have to call a journalistic coup for any news service, The Wall Street Journal has, at long last, gotten Twitter Inc. to comment on the heady subculture known as Weird Twitter.

Weird Twitter, for the uninitiated, refers to a loose confederation of Twitter users who use the social network as a platform for experimental verbiage: satire, poetry, collage, the absurd—all are included. In its push for an eclectic and overdeveloped aestheticism, it resembles a 21st-century branch of Dada.

Simply put, Weird Twitter is pushing the envelope in ways that do not necessarily align with Twitter’s best financial interests. Take the whole sponsored posts angle, for instance: that’s the type of corporate leaching that brings out the quiet anarchist in some people. As the WSJ explains:

Ryan Woodsmall, a 34-year-old information-technology worker in St. Louis., hates promoted tweets. When he notices one from, say, Wal-Mart or Bank of America, in his feed, he will reply to the tweet or retweet it after editing the tweet to insert misspelled words or other flourishes that he hopes will reflect poorly on the brand. He also does this because he hopes it will drive up the cost of advertising for the brand.

“It’s just fractions of pennies and it’s juvenile, but it’s still satisfying,” says Mr. Woodsmall.

That satisfaction may not have much basis in reality, however. According to Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser, the company has an algorithm in place to ensure advertisers never pay for “insincere” engagement—meaning cubicle warriors like Woodsmall would have to get more creative in their disruptions.

That’s not the part that hurts most about Prosser’s comments, however. In the article, he also framed Weird Twitter’s protests, attitude, and policy of self-selection as “the eternal battle people have over hipsterdom.” Ouch. Meanwhile, another employee, John Manoogian III, defended Weird Twitter as “just regular people trying to reclaim the platform with ironic, meta-humor.”

Hard to know which comment Weird Twitter would be more offended by.

via The Daily Dot – Twitter Inc. finally comments on Weird Twitter.

02
Aug
13

8.2.13 … Bookish TV Characters: Rory Gilmore and Lisa Simpson … a very generous JK Rowling … pressure cookers, backpacks, quinoa, true story, wow … top 20 paintings @the Guggenheim, New York … rethinking Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign slaps … and finally Blender Gazpacho …

13 Bookish TV Characters, Rory Gilmore,  Lisa Simpson, lists: I love Rory’s 339  books.  But i found the fact that Lisa references neil Gaiman even more fun.    🙂

We know you may not associate reading with TV, but after we came across this Rory Gimore (of “Gilmore Girls”) reading list challenge, we couldn’t help but doing so. Rory was seen reading a whopping 339 books on the series.

via 13 Bookish TV Characters (VIDEO).

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson is a total book nerd. She even gets to talk to Neil Gaiman in “The Simpsons” episode “The Book Job.”

via 13 Bookish TV Characters (VIDEO).

JK Rowling, identity case,  legal settlements:  Seems very generous on Ms.  Rowling’s part.

But the law firm Russells, which has done work for Rowling, acknowledged that one of its partners had let the information slip to his wife’s best friend, who tweeted it to a Sunday Times columnist.

Rowling sued the lawyer and the friend. Her attorney, Jenny Afia, told Britain’s High Court on Wednesday that Rowling had been left “angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed.”

“As a reflection of their regret for breach of the claimant’s confidence, including frustrating the claimant’s ability to continue to write anonymously under the name Robert Galbraith, the defendants are here today to apologize publicly to the claimant,” Afia said.

�Russells agreed to reimburse Rowling’s legal costs and to make a “substantial” donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families.

Rowling also said she was donating all royalties from the book for the next three years to the charity.

via JK Rowling Identity Case Settled Outside Of Court.

pressure cookers, backpacks, quinoa, true story, wow:

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.

via pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my! — writing out loud — Medium.

lists,  top 20 paintings,  the Guggenheim, New York:  I have never been to the Guggenheim.  Now I will have a must see list in hand.

The top 20 paintings at the Guggenheim in New York

TONY delves into the museum’s collection to pick the top 20 works from its enviable holdings of Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

via The top 20 paintings at the Guggenheim in New York.

Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign slaps,  President Obama,  POLITICO.com:  I have wondered what she thinks …

But some of Clinton’s most memorable ‘08 shots at Obama have had resonance far beyond the short shelf life of the standard campaign hit parade: her mockery of his vow to transform Washington in his own image, her cry of “elitism” and her skepticism about his managerial chops echo today in the form of GOP attacks and the lingering doubts of some in his own party.

Clinton’s campaign attacks on Obama may have been an exaggerated version of reality, but in retrospect they were illuminating, in the way a hand grenade provides a flash of light before going boom.

Former Clinton staffers didn’t want to be within a mile of this story. (“I’m hanging up now,” said one top ’08 campaign aide cheerfully before the line went dead.) But several more intrepid ex-aides pointed to one quote in particular: a Clinton broadside delivered in Toledo, Ohio, on Feb. 24, 2008, that represented her most stinging attack on Obama’s core hope-and-change message.

via Hillary Clinton’s 2008 slaps still sting President Obama – Glenn Thrush – POLITICO.com.

Blender Gazpacho,  NYTimes.com:  Made some gazpacho last week … this recipe yields a soup that is way too orange.

In a classic gazpacho all of these vegetables except the tomatoes are cut into fine dice and served as accompaniments to the puréed tomato base. In this version, I blend everything together into what is essentially a tangy, pungent vegetable smoothie. You can serve this in glasses or in bowls. I like the tarragon garnish.

via Blender Gazpacho With Celery, Carrot, Cucumber and Red Pepper – NYTimes.com.

17
Jul
13

7.17.13 … A few more on Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman: “Trials, for better or worse, are not morality plays.” … President Obama: “The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy … We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.” … Rev. Tony Lee: a call for the United States to be born again and backlash… worst defense’s opening statement ever brings shame to Shakespeare’s Macbeth … Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘I Live In A Country That Makes Me Wish My Sons Away’… W.E.B. Du Bois: “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.” … Martin Luther King Jr. Hoodie Image Honoring Trayvon Martin

self-defense, quotes: 

“Trials, for better or worse, are not morality plays.”

via In Zimmerman Case, Self-Defense Was Hard to Topple – NYTimes.com.

President Obama, statements:  I did not think it appropriate for the President to “weigh in” as he did at the beginning of this tragedy.  I think this statement was appropriate.

President Obama released a statement a day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

via Obama calls for calm reflection after Zimmerman verd – WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC.

Hoodie Sunday, Rev. Tony Lee @ Community of Hope (outside of Washington, D.C),  a call for the United States to be born again:  Funny, I don’t like the term “born again” in reference to a Christian.  I think it is redundant.  But maybe its use in this context and in the Christian context is to place an emphasis on the very nature of what the United States is.

Lee is preaching on the topic “Where Do We Go From Here,” in which he uses the Martin Luther King Jr. speech of the same title.

“I wanted Martin speaking on Martin,” the pastor said in a phone conversation with The Huffington Post. “When King gave that speech, he was speaking to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and so he was using a Christian framework to talk about systemic problems with the United States. And King ends that speech with a call for the United States to be born again.”

Lee’s scripture lesson is about the stoning of Stephen, a young man who is considered an early martyr for the Christian faith.

“There has always been backlash, there was backlash with the early Christian movement with the killing of Stephen, but there in the crowd witnessing was Saul who later became Paul,” Lee explained. “We have seen great movement forward in America, but there is always backlash. We just cannot use this as an excuse, but as a motivation to keep moving forward. There is a great pain but there continue to be seeds of hope that our nation that can be born again.

via Trayvon Martin ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict Sparks Hoodie Sunday At Black Churches.

So I read  Martin Luther King Jr. speech “Where Do We Go From Here,”  and once again I am very impressed with the man … many lines worthy of quoting …

Now, we’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on. What has happened is that we have had it wrong and confused in our own country, and this has led Negro Americans in the past to seek their goals through power devoid of love and conscience.

via Martin Luther King Speech – Where do we go from here.

worsts, criminal trials, defense’s opening statement, Shakespeare, Macbeth, Don West:  I am not a trial lawyer, but this had to be the WORST defense’s opening statement EVER.  When I saw the replay, my mouth dropped.  What was he thinking???

The defense’s opening statement began with a knock-knock joke intended to show how difficult it was to select a jury in a case that has nationwide attention.

“Knock. Knock,” said defense attorney Don West.

“Who is there?”

“George Zimmerman.”

“George Zimmerman who?”

“All right, good. You’re on the jury.”

West went on to state that “there are no monsters” in the case and asserted that Zimmerman only shot Martin because he was being brutally attacked.

via Obama calls for calm reflection after Zimmerman verd – WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC.

Knock-knock joke:

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a porter intended for comic relief delivers a twenty-line monologue and satire that references events of the time. While following the “knock knock, who’s there?” pattern, it is performed entirely by one character with knocks from off-stage. The porter (drunk in most performances but hungover in the original) pretends he is the porter to the gates of hell and welcomes sinners of different professions:

(Macbeth, Act II, scene iii)

Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enough about you, here you’ll sweat for ‘t.

(this is a joke referring to a price drop in crops, as well as a joke about the heat in hell)

Knock, knock! Who’s there, in th’ other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.

(this passage is believed to be a reference to a trial of the Jesuits who were charged with equivocation speaking unclearly or speaking with double meaning)

Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor. Here you may roast your goose.

(the tailor is accused of stealing cloth while making breeches, this is a joke about a fashion trend in Shakespearian times, also a pun for roasting the tailor’s iron with the heat of hell)

via Knock-knock joke – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Melissa Harris-Perry, W.E.B. Du Bois, quotes: Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘I Live In A Country That Makes Me Wish My Sons Away’ … W.E.B. Du Bois: “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.”

Melissa Harris-Perry shared a very personal response to the George Zimmerman verdict on Sunday, telling viewers that she felt “relief” at her ultrasound when she found out she was giving birth to a daughter instead of a son.

On Saturday, Zimmerman was cleared of all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. The MSNBC host devoted her show on Sunday to the verdict. “I will never forget… the relief I felt at my 20 week ultrasound when they told me it was a girl,” Harris-Perry recalled on Sunday. “And last night, I thought, I live in a country that makes me wish my sons away, wish that they don’t exist, because it’s not safe.”

Panelists Jelani Cobb and Joy Reid nodded in agreement. Later, Harris-Perry quoted W.E.B. Du Bois in a monologue, asking, “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.”

The MSNBC host has spoken out about Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by Zimmerman, numerous times since last February. She reacted to the news of Zimmerman’s verdict when it broke on Saturday night. “In this moment, black families are holding their sons and daughters closer to them,” she said. “A verdict which… feels very much as though it is saying it is acceptable, it is ok, to kill an unarmed African-American child who has committed no crime.”

via Melissa Harris-Perry On George Zimmerman Verdict: ‘I Live In A Country That Makes Me Wish My Sons Away’ (VIDEO).

In Case You Missed It, Here’s What You May Not Realize About The Whole Trayvon Martin Thing … I don’t agree that this is what this case is about, and I don’t agree that the federal government should “make this a civil rights case,” but I do think many citizens  and many in the press have used this case to bring to light some truths about our US culture.  And I love the MLK hoodie icon.

It’s about the awful laws that helped make this something Zimmerman could get away with. It’s about how the awful “Stand Your Ground” laws really help white people, yet really hurt people of color. It’s about the awful thing this famous dad has to tell his son to make sure he doesn’t get shot. It’s about the woman who got 20 years for shooting her gun in the air to protect her children. It’s about the awful turning point we had in protecting voters rights in 2013. It’s about the insane and awful stuff we forget happened decades ago. It’s about the awful state of our priorities. It’s about the awful racial profiling that people of all colors do. It’s about all the awful misperceptions that some people have about entire races of people.

Trayvon was a kid, like a lot of kids, with his own issues. He wasn’t a saint. He was your average teenager. But it wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t. Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished much more in his life, but to many people in this country, he could have been just another black guy in a hoodie. Things have to change.

If you agree, I’d love it if you shared this. Then you could sign the NAACP petition asking the Justice Department to make this a civil rights case. And if you do share it, ask your community: “How the hell do we fix the underlying problems that made this all happen?” I really would love a tangible answer that can move us toward making things actually better.

via In Case You Missed It, Here’s What You May Not Realize About The Whole Trayvon Martin Thing.

Martin Luther King Jr. Hoodie Image, Nikkolas Smith:

APRIL 4TH, 1968

by Nikkolas Smith

The Dream will never die. It is more powerful than fear or violence. It can never be swindled away or destroyed. It is one of Love, and therefore timeless.

via The Gun Show | April 4th, 1968 by Nikkolas Smith.

The image appears to be the work of artist Nikkolas Smith.

The hoodie 17-year-old Martin was wearing the night he was killed became a symbol of the movement to see justice done early on in the case, with celebrities, pastors, politicians and even sports teams tweeting and Instagramming powerful images of themselves donning hooded sweatshirts.

The hoodie remained an enduring symbol of support for Trayvon throughout the trial and in the wake of the verdict. On the Sunday morning after Zimmerman’s acquittal, black pastors honored the teen with “Hoodie Sunday,” wearing hooded sweatshirts and spreading an uplifting message to their congregants.

Zimmerman, 29, was charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the teen in February 2012. He was found not guilty on Saturday evening.

via Martin Luther King Jr. Hoodie Image Honoring Trayvon Martin Takes Internet By Storm (PHOTO).

29
Jun
13

6.29.13 … Door of No Return: “What interest me primarily is probing the Door of No Return as consciousness. The door casts a haunting spell on personal and collective consciousness in the Diaspora. Black experience in any modern city or town in the Americas is a haunting.”

President Obama, Goree Island Senegal, Door of No Return,  memorials, history, slave trade:  Great photo …

President Barack Obama looks out of the "door of no return" during a tour of Goree Island. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

When President Obama visited Senegal’s Goree Island on Thursday, pausing for a moment to gaze West across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Door of No Return,” a famous symbol of the slave trade, you could almost hear the echoes of a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that he often cites: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.Obama, speaking to reporters after the rare moment of solemnity, said it had been “very powerful” for him to see the world-famous site, which helped him “fully appreciate the magnitude of the slave trade” and “get a sense in an intimate way” of the hardships slaves faced. He called the trip a reminder that “we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the defense of human rights.”

Dionne Brand, a Canadian poet and novelist who often writes about race, explored the symbolic power of Goree’s sites at length in a 2002 book on identity and history, “A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging.” She wrote that the door, whatever its role in past centuries, is today “a place to return to, a way of being” for people, like her, struggling to confront the role of slavery in her family’s past. Dionne writes, in a passage that might have resonated with Obama as he looked through the door and over the Atlantic:

The door signifies the historical moment which colours all moments in the Diaspora. It accounts for the ways we observe and are observed as people, whether it’s through the lens of social injustice or the lens of human accomplishments. The doors exists as an absence. A thing in fact which we do not know about, a place we do not know. Yet it exists as the ground we walk. Every gesture our bodies make somehow gestures toward this door. What interest me primarily is probing the Door of No Return as consciousness. The door casts a haunting spell on personal and collective consciousness in the Diaspora. Black experience in any modern city or town in the Americas is a haunting. One enters a room and history follows; one enters a room and history precedes. History is already seated in the chair in the empty room when one arrives. Where one stands in a society seems always related to this historical experience. Where one can be observed is relative to that history. All human efforts seem to emanate from this door.

via What Obama really saw at the ‘Door of No Return,’ a disputed memorial to the slave trade.

24
Jun
13

6.24.13 … Obama’s Insider Threat Program: sweeping in its reach … “Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States ” …

Insider Threat Program, President Obama, leaks, espionage:  I am such a moderate, i try to find justification in both sides behavior.  “unprecedented,” “sweeping,” “espionage “… “Hammer this fact home . . . ”

President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.

via Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S. | McClatchy.

19
Jun
13

6.19.13 … Barack and Vladimir — in 8 photos … worth a flip …

 

AP photo.

The G-8 summit in northern Ireland is over.  And, while there was plenty of policy discussed – and you should read all about it – our lasting memory of the gathering will be the awkward body language between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference on Monday.

While we could have posted 100 of our favorite pictures from the duo’s press conference (not kidding) we managed to narrow it down to just eight. Let the awkwardness flow over you.

via The story of Barack and Vladimir — in 8 photos.




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