Posts Tagged ‘recommendations

14
Mar
14

3.14.14 … During daylight, we go about our lives …

Life Animated, Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney, NYTimes.com: What an amazing story. I read a lot and often skim to the end after a certain point. No skimming on this one.  I was so amazed by this story, I think I may buy the book, Life Animated, when it comes out.  As one friend noted: “No sidekick gets left behind.” Wonderful.

Owen, with his reliance from an early age on myth and fable, each carrying the clarity of black and white, good and evil, inverts this pyramid. He starts with the moral — beauty lies within, be true to yourself, love conquers all — and tests them in a world colored by shades of gray. It’s the sidekicks who help him navigate that eternal debate, as they often do for the heroes in their movies.

When Owen was 3, his comprehension of spoken words collapsed. That’s clear from every test. But now it seems that as he watched each Disney movie again and again, he was collecting and logging sounds and rhythms, multitrack. Speech, of course, has its own subtle musicality; most of us, focusing on the words and their meanings, don’t hear it. But that’s all he heard for years, words as intonation and cadence, their meanings inscrutable. It was like someone memorizing an Akira Kurosawa movie without knowing Japanese. Then it seems he was slowly learning Japanese — or, rather, spoken English — by using the exaggerated facial expressions of the animated characters, the situations they were in, the way they interacted to help define all those mysterious sounds. That’s what we start to assume; after all, that’s the way babies learn to speak. But this is slightly different because of the way he committed these vast swaths of source material, dozens of Disney movies, to memory. These are stored sounds we can now help him contextualize, with jumping, twirling, sweating, joyous expression, as we just managed with “The Jungle Book.”

So begin the basement sessions. During daylight, we go about our lives. Walt rides his bike to school each morning, back home each afternoon. Cornelia manages the house, the bills, the overloaded schedules of the kids. I am editing and writing for The Journal, putting on my suit and subwaying to the bureau.

via Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney – NYTimes.com.

kith/kin, amenity kits: He trekked east, then he trekked west … this time CLT to IAD to KWI, then KWI to FRA to CLT … It still amazes me how far you can go in a day. And there are perks of having a spouse who travels internationally for business: 5 days, 3 airlines, one nice hotel with 52 hours on the ground … I get 4 “amenity” kits!

Photo: The perks of having a spouse who travels internationally for business. 5 days, 3 airlines, one nice hotel with 52 hours on the ground ... I get 4 "amenity" kits! :)

Jesus in the Perfect Storm by the Rt Revd Prof Dr. N. T. Wright, TMBS, Lent:  So we are studying NT Wright’s Simply Jesus.  As i prepared for class, I found this sermon and enjoyed how it brought the text into Lent …

Who knows what might happen if one of you – ten of you – fifty of you – were to go through this Holy Week praying humbly for the powerful fresh wind of God to blow into that combination of cultural pressure and personal aspiration, so that you might share in the sufferings of the Messiah and come through into the new life he longs to give you? Who knows what God’s power and God’s glory will look like when they steal upon tomorrow’s world from an unexpected angle? If the Son of God is now King of the world, what will that kingdom look like in this next generation?

via Jesus in the Perfect Storm by the Rt Revd Prof Dr. N. T. Wright.

5 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs a Girls Weekend | Abby Draper:  I have the best Girl Weekend group ever!

 While spending time with your significant other, children if applicable, colleagues and acquaintances is wonderful and important, every woman needs a good “girls weekend” every so often, at any age. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate, but a simple few days away from the norm with some women you trust is a special kind of cleanse, especially when you’re going through a tough time.

via 5 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs a Girls Weekend | Abby Draper.

El Camino de Santiago, bucket list:  It’s on my bucket list.

It is hard to walk a 500-mile pilgrimage trail without thinking about religion.

via Being Catholic: For a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime? – Busted Halo.

 five-second food rule, urban legends, research suggests, ScienceDaily:  I feel better …

Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time, according to new research. The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the ‘5 second rule’ — the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. The study, undertaken by final year biology students monitored the transfer of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus from a variety of indoor floor types (carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces) to toast, pasta, biscuit and a sticky sweet when contact was made from 3 to 30 seconds.

via Dropped your toast? Five-second food rule exists, new research suggests — ScienceDaily.

iPod-Based Magic Tricks, TEDTalks:

via ▶ Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods) – YouTube.

What if deception is in the eye of the beholder? And what if lies can help us tell the truth? Watch this video and enter into the multimedia world of magician Marco Tempest. Then decide for yourself.

via WATCH: These iPod-Based Magic Tricks Are SO. MUCH. FUN | TEDTalks.

DST, memes:  My house …

Photo: What a difference an hour makes.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on What the Sahara Desert Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life | Brain Pickings: I am glad that they make almost every high school  student studying French read this in French, it is one of my favorites.

In December of 1940, a little more than two years before he created The Little Prince on American soil and four years before he disappeared over North Africa never to return, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry began writing Letter to a Hostage (public library) while waiting in Portugal for admission into the United States, having just escaped his war-torn French homeland — a poignant meditation on the atrocities the World War was inflicting at the scale of the human soul, exploring questions of identity, belonging, empathy, and the life of the spirit amidst death.

One of the most timelessly moving sections of the book, both for its stand-alone wisdom and for its evident legacy as a sandbox for the ideas the beloved author later included in The Little Prince — home, solitude, the stars, the sustenance of the spirit — is the second chapter, written while Saint-Exupéry was traveling aboard the crowded ship that took him from Lisbon to New York

via Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on What the Sahara Desert Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life | Brain Pickings.

39 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time, LOL:

test-answers-that-are-totally-wrong-but-still-genius (19)

These students should get full marks for creativity alone!

via 39 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time..

Charlotte police use dirt bikes to catch criminals, Time Warner Cable News:  I saw my first one just the other day!

CHARLOTTE — Criminals now have one less place to hide in Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department are now using new dirt motorcycles to patrol woods and walking trails in several patrol divisions in Charlotte.

Steele Creek Division Commander Captain Allan Rutledge says his division is currently utilizing two bikes. He says criminals are using wooded areas to allude police. He says since the bikes have been put in use he’s noticed difference.

“The officers picked up the bikes one day when they were first available and 30 minutes later than made their first arrest,” said Rutledge. “They were actually on the way back from the location where they picked the motorcycles up to our division office where they made an arrest for drugs.”

The bikes have been in use for more than a month. Captain Rutledge says more bikes will be purchased in the near future.

via Charlotte police use dirt bikes to catch criminals – Time Warner Cable News.

Art and Human Rights, Anna Deavere Smith,  Robert McDuffie, Grace Cathedral – Calendar Detail: A labyrinth friend posted another link to Grace Cathedral’s page (the home of the US’s most famous labyrinth and Lauren Artress, the labyrinth movement’s advocate in the modern era) … So I clicked on it and was excited to see Camille McDuffie’s husband Robert McDuffie featured in this recent event. So two of my world’s intersect once again.

Art and Human Rights

Guests: Anna Deavere Smith and Robert McDuffie

Interlocutor: The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw

via Grace Cathedral – Calendar Detail.

The Forum: a Conversation with Anna Deavere Smith & Robert McDuffie

Sunday, Mar 9 9:30a to 10:30a

Grace Cathedral

San Francisco, CA

Join the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral, for The Forum with actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith and renowned violinist Robert McDuffie for a conversation on art and human rights within the context of their performance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail. The Forum is a series of lively conversations about art, faith, ethics and the issues of our day with renowned special guests.

Parker J. Palmer, David Ray’s Thanks Robert Frost:

Photo: I ran across this poem the other day, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's a poem about how we relate to the past—a question that's relevant at any age, not least when you're old enough to have more past than future!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The past isn't fixed and frozen in place. Instead, its meaning changes as life unfolds. I once lost a job. At the time, it felt as if I had come to the end of the road. But after a while, I was able to see how that loss helped guide me toward my true life-work. Losing that job was a blessing, not a curse.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>I've made many mistakes and often failed to live up to my aspirations, but I don't need to look back with regret. Instead, I can see all of my mess-ups as humus or compost for the growing I needed to do.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>I love the fact that the word "humus" is related to "humility." The good I do today may well have its roots in something not-so-good I did in the past. Knowing that takes me beyond both the sinkhole of regret and the hot-air balloon of pride.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Regret shuts life down. Humility opens it up. So Robert Frost was right. We CAN have hope for the past as well as the future!

I ran across this poem the other day, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s a poem about how we relate to the past—a question that’s relevant at any age, not least when you’re old enough to have more past than future!

The past isn’t fixed and frozen in place. Instead, its meaning changes as life unfolds. I once lost a job. At the time, it felt as if I had come to the end of the road. But after a while, I was able to see how that loss helped guide me toward my true life-work. Losing that job was a blessing, not a curse.

I’ve made many mistakes and often failed to live up to my aspirations, but I don’t need to look back with regret. Instead, I can see all of my mess-ups as humus or compost for the growing I needed to do.

I love the fact that the word “humus” is related to “humility.” The good I do today may well have its roots in something not-so-good I did in the past. Knowing that takes me beyond both the sinkhole of regret and the hot-air balloon of pride.

Regret shuts life down. Humility opens it up. So Robert Frost was right. We CAN have hope for the past as well as the future!

via Parker J. Palmer.

pi day, 10 Pies for Pi Day | Mental Floss: I think pi day is a fun way to introduce kids to math concepts. When did you first hear of pi day? It was when my oldest was in elementary school, late 1990s. So what smart fun teacher thought this up?  Love pi day … so pi day 2015 will be epic.

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.[2]

Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 22⁄7 is a common approximation of π.[3]

The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium,[4] where Shaw worked as a physicist,[5] with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies.[6] The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.[7]

Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies and discussing the significance of the number π.[1] Some schools hold competitions as to which student can recall Pi to the highest number of decimal places.[11][12]

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has often mailed its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day.[13] Starting in 2012, MIT has announced it will post those decisions (privately) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 pm, which they have called “Tau Time”, to honor the rival numbers Pi and Tau equally.[14][15]

The town of Princeton, New Jersey, hosts numerous events in a combined celebration of Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which is also March 14.[16] Einstein lived in Princeton for more than twenty years while working at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to pie eating and recitation contests, there is an annual Einstein look-alike contest.[17]

via Pi Day – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Today is March 14th, often notated as 3-14, so it is Pi Day! It’s a day set aside to pay homage to the ratio of a circle to its diameter. The traditional way to celebrate is to eat a pie. Or bake one. Here are some wonderful Pi Day pies you might try.

via 10 Pies for Pi Day | Mental Floss.

via WETA.

Well, in the U.S. anyway…

via George Takei.

recommendations, restaurants, CharlotteStagioni | Four Seasons of Food | Italian Family Style | Charlotte North Carolina.

15
Nov
11

11.15.2011 … Once again, my humerus is not humorous. :(

humerus break:  My break is once again giving me trouble. Surgery scheduled for 12/29 … bone graft (ICBG).  Once again, my humerus is not humorous. 😦

History, Civil War, Burning of Atlanta:

Atl History Center (@ATLHistCenter)

11/15/11 6:39 PM

Description of the burning of Atlanta. November 15, 1864.

Today the destruction fairly commenced … This P.M. the torch applied … Clouds of heavy smoke rise and hang like pall over doomed city. At night, the grandest and most awful scene… From our rear windows … horizon shows immense and raging fires, lighting up whole heavens… . First bursts of smoke, dense, black volumes, then tongues of flame, then huge waves of fire roll up into the sky: presently the skeletons of great warehouses stand out in relief against and amidst sheets of roaring, blazing, furious flames, — then the angry waves roll less high, and are of deeper color, then sink and cease, and only the fierce glow from the bare and blackened walls … as one fire sinks another rises, further along the horizon, … it is a line of fire and smoke, lurid, angry, dreadful to look upon.

via Atlanta History Center, Today the destruction fairly commenced … This P.M…..

college graduates, failure to launch, adolescent men:  HELP!

Failure to Launch apparently isn’t just a terrible Sarah Jessica Parker movie but an actual phenomenon among young men. Thanks to the sluggish economy and high unemployment rates, more young men across the U.S. are living at home with their parents than in years past.

Of course, much has been made of the increasingly dismal state of today’s young men. But things don’t seem to be picking up, as the Associated Press reports that “[f]ederal statistics show that young men are, for instance, nearly twice as likely to live at home with their parents than young women their age. They’re also less likely to finish college, or to have a job.”

But now, according to the same AP story, there’s something that can be done about it. Instead of hiring a woman to pose as your son’s girlfriend — as the frazzled parents do in a certain rom-com — send them on a retreat. The Insight camp takes 18 to 23 year-old men and hosts them stay for three or four-month stretches. During that stay, the men are taught and encouraged to make and achieve a series of goals ranging from the (very) basic like getting out of bed to the advanced like finding a job.

But surely, you might be thinking, these boys’ parents must have taught them these sorts of lessons when they were growing up? Well apparently not, and now they’re literally paying for it. A stay at the camp costs $350 a day and most of these young men’s parents are footing the bill.

The whole thing, frankly, sounds more dubious than the plot of the movie which inspired the phenomenon’s name. While NewsFeed can grasp the bleakness of the current job-market and can even appreciate the challenges facing young college graduates, we fail to see how spending thousands of dollars on a retreat teaching you when to go to bed will help your situation. If this doesn’t embody first-world problems, then NewsFeed gives up now.

via Camp Aims to Get Young Men on Their Feet — and Out of Mom’s House | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

Prof. Julio Ramirez,  National Neuroscience Education Award, kudos, McConnell Neighbors:  Kudos to Julio … Honored as First-Ever Undergrad Teacher to Receive National Neuroscience Education Award!

Julio Ramirez, Dickson Professor of Psychology, has become the first-ever undergraduate educator to receive the annual “Award for Education” from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). The award, first presented in 1991, recognizes one individual per year who has “made outstanding contributions to neuroscience education and training.” In earning this honor, Ramirez will be added to a list of prominent past recipients, such as Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel and neurologist Oliver Sachs.

Ramirez said, “I’m still incredulous. The award has always gone to a major figure in research and education, so I didn’t consider that I might get it. I was honored for having been nominated, and when I got the news that I actually won, I was shocked.”

Ramirez served on SfN’s Minority Education and Training Affairs Committee for six years, and is now a member of its Professional Development Committee. The award was presented this past weekend at the organization’s annual national conference held in Washington D.C

via Prof. Ramirez Honored as First-Ever Undergrad Teacher to Receive National Neuroscience Education Award

Facebook, about face: FB restoring “most recent” on news feed.

Facebook has big things planned for the next stage of its development, but is taking a small step back when it comes to its news feed. On Wednesday, Facebook engineering manager Mark Tonkelowitz wrote on a company blog that the social network will again let users sort their news feeds based on what was most recently posted.

via Facebook restoring “most recent” on news feed – The Washington Post.

Peter Schweizer, Throw Them All Out , books congressional corruption:

Throw Them All Out arrives at a moment when the populist anger and resentment of the Tea Party and Occupy movements have melded into a kind of generalized outrage toward a system that seems geared to protect the interests of the few. Schweizer offers some prescriptions, including laws forbidding members of Congress from trading stocks of companies overseen by their committees, but he doesn’t expect what he calls the “permanent political class” to reform itself.

What Schweizer says he does hope is that others will take up his mission—requiring only time, online access, and a willingness to wade through public databases—and eventually crowd-source reform. A Throw Them All Out campaign is an interesting prospect—a movement that both Sarah Palin and Michael Moore could embrace. Schweizer’s motivation and his message could well be a credo that transcends partisan conflict.

“I was troubled,” he says, “by the fact that the political elite gets to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. In the process of researching this book, I came to the conclusion that political party and political philosophy matter a lot less than we think. Washington is a company town, and politics is a business. People wonder why we don’t get more change in Washington, and the reason is that the permanent political class is very comfortable. Business is good.”

via Peter Schweizer’s New Book Blasts Congressional Corruption – The Daily Beast.

women’s issues, NYC:  Loved this article from 1911!

NEW YORK’S REAL LURE FOR WOMEN—OPPORTUNITY; Not the Fascinating Shops, or the Theatres, or the Lobster Palaces, or Bohemia, but the Chance to Win Success Tempts the Majority of Them to the Great City.

via NEW YORK’S REAL LURE FOR WOMEN—OPPORTUNITY – Not the Fascinating Shops, or the Theatres, or the Lobster Palaces, or Bohemia, but the Chance to Win Success Tempts the Majority of Them to the Great City. – Article – NYTimes.com.

 Maria Popova, 1984, A Bave New World, infographics: As stated by Maria Popova (@brainpicker) in her 11/14 tweet … “It’s a sad day when 1984 vs. Brave New World is reduced to an infographic… “
Future fight! world-shaker:  Orwell vs. Huxley
short film, The Man with the Beautiful Eyes:

A gang of kids find a strange house with an overgrown garden where they play. Only once do they meet the man who lives there, a dead-beat alcoholic with a free and easy spirit who welcomes them. The children see him as a romantic character in stark contrast to their neurotically house proud parents.

A collaboration between Animator Jonathan Hodgson and Illustrator Jonny Hannah.

via The Man with the Beautiful Eyes on Vimeo.

breast cancer awareness, Evelyn Lauder, creator of pink ribbon, kudos:  Kudos to Mrs. Lauder and her pink ribbon.  She started a movement that continues today.

In her long career as an executive at cosmetics giant Estee Lauder Cos., the company founded by her mother-in-law, Lauder worked with many shades of red, peach, bronze and even blues, but pink was the one hue that changed her life.

In 1992, Lauder worked with her friend Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of Self magazine, to create the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness. It started small with Lauder and her husband, Leonard, largely financing the little bows given to women at department store makeup counters to remind them about breast exams.

That grew into fundraising products, congressional designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and $330 million in donations — $50 million from Estee Lauder and its partners — to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which Lauder also started.

That money helped establish the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, which opened in 2009.

Lauder died Saturday at her Manhattan home from complications of nongenetic ovarian cancer. She was 75.

Just last month, she reminisced about the early days of the breast cancer campaign. When it launched, it was so little known that some people thought it symbolized AIDS awareness.

via Evelyn Lauder, Creator of Breast Cancer’s Pink Ribbon, Dies at 75 – TIME Healthland.

Daniel Pink, email newsletters, recommendations, lists:

One reason I like writing email newsletters is that I also like reading them. Last month, a few folks asked me which e-newsletters I regularly read — not the ones I subscribe to, but those I actually read.

Here, in alphabetical order, are my top five:

1. ArtsJournal – A fascinating roundup of stories on media, publishing, visual art, music, and the world of ideas. Daily and weekly.

2. NBER Digest – Brief but comprehensive summaries of the most interesting and important new economics papers. Monthly.

3. SmartBrief on Workforce – For HR nerds only, this e-zine has lots of great links about talent, organizational behavior, and management. Daily.

4. Springwise – An amazing roundup of new business ideas and surprising business models from around the world. Daily and weekly.

5. Very Short List – A book, a film, a DVD, a TV show, an album that you probably haven’t heard of and probably should. Daily.

via 5 email newsletters worth reading | Daniel Pink.

Occupy Harvard, 1%:

Don’t occupy the Yard. Occupy the libraries. Occupy the classrooms. You have just four years to devote to actually getting a grip on some small portion of the vast array of human knowledge. Do not spend any of them in a tent, surrounded by other people who have no better ideas than you, “engaging in dialogue.” It smells peculiar there, and you could be in a red-brick building next to a bust of John Adams, learning something. If you actually want to come up with a way to remedy the injustice, it is the only thing to do.

via Why Occupy Harvard – ComPost – The Washington Post.

Spotify, writing, music, lists:

Many National Novel Writing Month writers depend on music to keep working during the literary marathon.

To help keep you motivated, we’ve rounded up five great NaNoWriMo playlists we discovered on Spotify. Just follow the links below to access hours and hours of free writing music.

1. Kimberly Golden Malmgren’s List

2. Kaella’s List

3. Kendall Laszakovits’ List

4. Amanda E Ringqvist’s List

5. Andréa Solin’s List

As an extra bonus, follow this Spotify link to listen to “The NaNoWriMo Song” by All Caps.

This is our fourteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

via Listen to Spotify: NaNoWriMo Tip #14 – GalleyCat.

Supreme Court, power, Health care law:

That’s a lesson for today. The current swing vote, of course, is Anthony Kennedy, and it is difficult to imagine health care being upheld without his support. Kennedy is an ethical and honorable man, but there’s no doubt that he, too, follows the news. All the Justices do. The case will be argued next February or March, when all of us will have a better idea of whether President Obama will be reëlected. If Obama looks like a lame duck at that point, it will be a lot easier for the Justices to dismantle his signal achievement; if Obama looks like a winner, some on the Court may think twice about picking this particular fight with him.

To a great extent, that’s what happened with George W. Bush in the Supreme Court, especially when it came to the central events of his Presidency, the war on terror and the Iraq war. The Court did make a series of measured rulings against Bush on the issue of the detainees at Guantánamo when he was facing reëlection in 2004, but the Justices, especially Kennedy, really turned on him when the war went south. The Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2007) and Boumediene (2008) cases clearly owe something of their contemptuous tone to the failed nature of the Bush Presidency. Like voters, the Justices smell weakness, and respect strength. No one likes a loser.

Recent auguries have looked promising for the fate of health care in the Supreme Court. As challenges to the law have worked their way through the lower courts, political form has mostly held; judges appointed by Democratic Presidents have tended to uphold the law, and judges named by Republicans have voted it down. But two recent exceptions to that rule have certainly drawn the attention of the Justices. Jeffrey Sutton, a former law clerk to Antonin Scalia, wrote the opinion upholding the law in the Sixth Circuit, and Laurence Silbermann, a widely respected conservative, wrote a powerful endorsement of its constitutionality in the D.C. Circuit.

It all goes to show that sometimes (often) you don’t need a law degree to know how the Supreme Court is going to vote—just know which way the wind is blowing.

via Comment: Power in the Court : The New Yorker.

cookbook: The Paris 1906 cookbook is out today: every dish, every recipe, 200+ photos. Only $4.99. @iBookstore exclusive:iTunes.com/NextRestaurant

28
Apr
11

4.28.2011 … Prayers for those in the path of the Southern Storms of near-epic proportions … Charlotte was bypassed, again.

Epic Southern Storms 4/27, natural disasters/acts of God, weather, prayers:  Why do we call natural disasters “acts of God?”  Prayers for the people impacted and for a quick clean up and recovery.

Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 247 people in six states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where 162 people perished, said Yasamie August, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

The storms are being compared to the “super outbreak” of tornadoes April 3 and 4, 1974, Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said Thursday. In that period, 148 tornadoes were reported in 13 states, and 330 people died. States affected were Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

via Southern storms: ‘I don’t know how anyone survived’ – CNN.com.

France, travel, recommendations:  Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I am keeping a list … keep the recs coming.  From today …

Harper Lee, bookshelf, biography, Southern literature:  Harper Lee was at Alabama at the same time as my mother … she was shy … everyone was “shocked” when her book came out and won the Pulitzer Prize.  It sounds like she was shocked, too!  It will be interesting to see why she has never published another novel.  I clipped about Ms. Lee yesterday, her 85th birthday, and a year ago.  She is a very interesting literary “character.”

After winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 debut novel, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee talked excitedly of her plans to carry on writing and become “the Jane Austen of south Alabama”. Yet she was never published again for reasons unknown.

Her reaction to the book’s success was “one of sheer numbness”, she said in her 1964 interview. “It was like being hit over the head and knocked cold,” she admitted.

“You see, I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird … I hoped for a little but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

Yet she also spoke of wanting to write a series of novels chronicling small-town life. Friends say she continues to work on her ageing typewriter, raising the possibility that there are books waiting to be published – perhaps after her death.

The biography will also throw light on Lee’s friendship with Capote, her childhood next door neighbour. The pair worked together on Capote’s 1966 ‘true crime’ book ‘In Cold Blood’, but fell out for reasons unexplained. It has been claimed that Lee was hurt by Capote’s failure to give her full credit for her research.

via Harper Lee to disclose why she stopped writing after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – Telegraph.

Royal Wedding, fashion, game-changers:  “But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.”  — So many of my friends who married after Princess Diana now laugh about their puffy sleeved wedding gowns!  I personally was saved from the fashion disaster in retrospect … but my dear bridesmaids were not … they had the big puffy sleeves!

WHEN Kate Middleton strides down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday, millions of Americans watching at home will be transfixed by her gown.

Mr. O’Neill, the creative director of Theia, a bridal house in Manhattan, expects that Ms. Middleton’s dress (or a much more affordable version of it) will be coveted by brides-to-be on this side of the Atlantic. So sure is he, in fact, that he has already designed, and plans to sell, a gown he thinks will emulate her choice. Slender and long-sleeved, its decorously scooped neckline encrusted with crystals and silver bullion thread, it will boast a five-foot train.

“We’re calling it the Kate,” Mr. O’Neill said. “It’s very precious, very regal and suited to a princess, if only in my head.”

Not every bridal designer is so farsighted — or so brashly confident. But many believe that Ms. Middleton’s dress, like the bouffant gown Princess Diana wore in 1981, will be a game changer, inspiring replicas or adaptations at every level of the marketplace, some within weeks or even days of its debut.

via Designers Wait to Copy Kate Middleton’s Dress – NYTimes.com.

Royal Wedding, Royal Family, monarchy, culture, media:  Will you watch …

Still, it got me thinking. The children singing are now in their late thirties and perhaps most of them now have children of an age to be in primary school. I wonder if any of them are singing wedding songs. I slightly doubt it. The Times reports that David Cameron’s invitation to Her Majesty’s subjects to arrange community street parties has met with a disappointing response, and it’s hard not to feel that pride in the monarchy, as an unquestioning habit of mind, is on the wane. In 1981, it was different: plenty of people were still alive who had been born in the reign of Queen Victoria; shillings and florins, left over from before decimalization, still circulated as legal tender. To read through British newspapers from the week before the 1981 Royal Wedding is to enter a more deferent era.

Compared to an event like the funeral of the Queen Mother—where all the pageantry is retrospective and everyone gets to wallow in a century’s worth of nostalgia—a wedding is risky. Weddings are all about the future and monarchies, let’s face it, are all about the past.

It’s estimated that nearly a third of the planet will be watching the wedding on Friday. This strikes me as a bit awful. I don’t know whether the viewers will be drawn by an old-fashioned atavistic fixation with tradition or from a new-fashioned fixation with celebrity and sensation, but either way it can’t be healthy. I shan’t be watching, or singing.

via News Desk: Don’t Let’s Watch the Royal Wedding : The New Yorker.

Royal Wedding, random, LOL, Facebook:  OK  …. I am Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton …  Listen out for my name … 🙂

In honor of the big wedding tomorrow, use your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Let’s do this! Post yours here. Then cut and paste it into your status.

Regards,

Lady Matibel Bo of Brighton

iPhone, marketing:  I am sure there is money in the why …

SAN FRANCISCO — You may not know it, but if you carry a smart phone in your pocket, you are probably doing unpaid work for Apple or Google — and helping them

As those two companies battle for dominance in mobile computing, they have increasingly been using their customers’ phones as sensors to collect data about nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots.

Google and Apple use this data to improve the accuracy of everything on the phone that uses location. That includes maps and navigation services, but also advertising aimed at people in a particular spot — a potentially huge business that is just getting off the ground. In fact, the information has become so valuable that the companies have been willing to push the envelope on privacy to collect it.

via Location Data From Phones Is Valuable for Ads – NYTimes.com.

technology, RIP, typewriters, corrections:  Well Fox says not so fast …

Nostalgic newspaper reports around the globe lamented the death of the typewriter recently, as Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce announced its intentions to pull the plug on its Mumbai factory.

After decades of use and trillions of typed characters, the typewriter appeared to have written its own swan song.

Not so fast.

Despite the surge in popularity of PCs, and their smaller digital cousins the iPads, the typewriter is far from dead, said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec. So forget Godrej: Swintec seems to be the last typewriter maker in operation.

“Typewriters are alive and well,” Michael told FoxNews.com. Most big offices need a typewriter or two or three to do some special jobs — special forms, multipart forms. Some places need to have typewriters to do original forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, things like that.”

“These are things that need to be done,” Michael said. Swintec makes its own typewriters, though the company doesn’t manufacture in the United States.

“They’re made off-shore, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia,” Michael tod FoxNews.com. “But they all ultimately end up here in New Jersey.” And just like Godrej, which specialized in sales to government agencies, there’s an industry keeping Swintec’s production lines rolling: prisons.

via Don’t Believe the Type! World’s Last Typewriter Maker Alive and Well in NJ – FoxNews.com.




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