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.
New York City Rescue Mission, homeless, makethemvisible.com: Change how you see the homeless. makethemvisible.com
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/
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Twitter / GeorgiaPics, Atlanta secret:
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
Twitter / GeorgiaProblemz: A simpler breakdown of Georgia. …
A simpler breakdown of Georgia. pic.twitter.com/cvZgzRHT6L
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.
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.
film synopsis, Wizard of Oz: I chuckled …
Best film synopsis ever. [By @ShakeNTell] http://goo.gl/7IIcPS pic.twitter.com/lAFpTpGByk
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.
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