Posts Tagged ‘religion

23
Jan
16

1.23.16 … Let it freezing rain …

View from front steps …

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Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly: A slightly different perceive …

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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Like This Page · Yesterday ·   Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast clearly visible from the International Space Station! Stay safe! #YearInSpace

Source: (1) Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast… – NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly

CLT weather, freezing rain/sleet/snow, WSOC-TV – PHOTOS:

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PHOTOS: Freezing rain, sleet and snow fell in the region today and viewers sent us hundreds of photos like this one from @EmilyKozel #CLTSnow MORE PHOTOS

Source: WSOC-TV – PHOTOS: Freezing rain, sleet and snow fell in the region…

 geometric drawings, walking: 

Higher Perspective Simon Beck creates incredible geometric drawings by walking in the snow!

Source: (3) Higher Perspective

 Ice Melt: 

easiest way to make the ice melt — The ingredients needed are:

1/2 a gallon of warm water

2 ounces of rubbing alcohol

6 drop of liquid dish detergent

Source: To Make Ice Melt, He Mixes These Three Ingredients. Its Effectiveness Surprised Me!

Cape Winelands , South Africa, travel, The best places to visit in 2016, lists, Business Insider:

The Cape Winelands is where some of the world’s most popular wines are produced, making it an ideal destination for wine tasting. The area’s wineries are lined along some of the most scenic routes, including a historic wine estate that dates back centuries. Enjoy top-notch wine alongside a variety of locally produced cheese, olives, fruit, and organic produce, or try a meal at one of Franschoek’s many acclaimed restaurants.

Source: The best places to visit in 2016 – Business Insider

Sacred Harmony of Geometry,  Sacred Geometry Really Is,  EnergyFanatics.com:

There will come a day when music and its philosophy will become the religion of humanity. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan What Sacred Geometry Really Is Sacred Geometry means literally “The Sacred Measure of the Earth”. But it could also be called “The Blueprint of all Creation”. In reality, Sacred Geometry is a profound spiritual science, which has been taught for thousands of years in spiritual traditions around the world. This is because Sacred Geometry reveals the actual patterns by which Spirit creates our World.1 There are a Ton of esoteric teachings with Sacred Geometry all through them. Yet no one really knew what Sacred Geometry REALLY represented: The segmented BLUEPRINTS to ENERGY; The Mathematical Formula of CREATION. Sacred Geometry represents the Segmented Blueprints of Magnetic Currents & Neutral Particles of Matter.2 One of the most important discoveries of the new quantum physics is that of the holographic nature of the universe. The geometric language of light, that forms the underlying matrix of this hologram, is the alphabet of the new paradigm. The primary infrastructure of all existence is written in the Sacred Geometric language of light. All is light … all is geometry. Sacred Geometry is the ‘graphic code’ that reveals the processes of inherent order underlying all of creation. The mathematical laws of Sacred Geometry govern every system of growth, every motion in the universe, from atomic bonds to spiraling galaxies.3

Source: Sacred Harmony of Geometry: What Sacred Geometry Really Is | EnergyFanatics.com

Remote Year, Travel the World for a Year While You Keep Your Job, Brit +: 

Here’s the deal: You love your work. You love to travel. Unfortunately, you can’t always have the best of both worlds (at least not with out a major career change) – but what about when you can? Enter: Remote Year, a company that will essentially arrange a trip around the world for you while you work remotely.

Source: This Company Will Help You Travel the World for a Year While You Keep Your Job | Brit +

Anshuman Ghosh, @moography, quirky, street photography,  fusion between what was real and what was not, phone framing:“I’ve got crazy ideas in my head when it comes to how I would like to see the world,” says Anshuman Ghosh (@moography), an Indian business developer based in South Africa. He was initially drawn to street photography, but Anshuman wasn’t able to create the world he imagined in his mind — one that was less serious and more quirky. “I wanted to create something that was a fusion between what was real and what was not,” he says. “I came up with this technique I call phone framing.” Anshuman sketches a drawing on paper, cuts it out and aligns everything together to create a seamless visual illusion. “Placing the phone in the picture gives me the freedom to trick my audience into believing the phone is more than something that it is.”

Source: Instagram Blog

Novel’s First Sentence, A Secret History | Electric Literature:

A great first sentence is very important. In a novel, it’s a “promise,” a “handshake,” an “embrace,” a “key.” Great first sentences are celebrated everywhere literature is cherished and mandated everywhere it’s taught. They’re a pleasure and a duty—the “most important sentence in a book,” everyone agrees. But they haven’t always been important. When Daniel Defoe wrote the first English novel, Robinson Crusoe, in 1719, first sentences weren’t important, and so he wrote, “I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.” When Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre in 1847, first sentences still weren’t important, and even so she wrote, “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

Source: In Search of the Novel’s First Sentence: A Secret History | Electric Literature

Neural Algorithm, ‘Paint’ Photos, Van Gogh To Picasso, Bored Panda:

A group of researchers at the University of Tubingen, Germany, have developed an algorithm that can morph an image to resemble a painting in the style of the great masters. Technically called “deep learning” algorithms, they are already in use by companies such as Google for image recognition and other applications. “The system uses neural representations to separate and recombine content and style of arbitrary images, providing a neural algorithm for the creation of artistic images,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “Here we introduce an artificial system based on a Deep Neural Network that creates artistic images of high perceptual quality.” A photograph of apartments by a river in Tubingen, Germany was processed to be stylistically similar to various paintings, including J.M. Turner’s “The Wreck of a Transport Ship,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Source: New Neural Algorithm Can ‘Paint’ Photos In Style Of Any Artist From Van Gogh To Picasso | Bored Panda

Paris, Bookstore Shakespeare &Co., VICE | United States:

George died in 2011 at the age of 98, by which point he had upgraded from a bed in the shop to a flat on the third floor in the same building. I’m living here now, in his former apartment, ostensibly to finish my second novel. But more practically and pressingly, I’m a “homeless wanderer.” People have been asking me how I got this position, whether it was hard to obtain. The short answer is no, and the long answer is yes: I parted ways with a partner I loved, leaving the home where we’d lived together, and lost a contract I was relying on, so I asked Sylvia if I could stay for a while. She said, without question or hesitation, that I could stay for as long as I needed. George called Shakespeare & Company a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore,” and I feel infinitely grateful to George and Sylvia for creating and maintaining a space that prioritizes community.

Source: What It’s Like to Live Inside the Legendary Paris Bookstore Shakespeare & Co. | VICE | United States

Shakespeare, religion, OUPblog: 

In this play, as in others, Shakespeare calls on the ambiguous associations of Catholic figures, images and ideas, as a means of engaging his audience with the problems he frames. He seems to revel in the pleasures of slippery meaning. By flirting with stereotypes and sectarian expectations he makes his audience think more deeply about the difficulties of the plays and their own culture. Whatever Shakespeare’s personal religion was, the religion he put on stage was both playful and probing.

Source: What was Shakespeare’s religion? | OUPblog

03
Apr
13

4.3.13 … a lot of nothing … a few worth reading …

Jimmy Carter, gender equality, religion, Women’s Press: worth reading …

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

via Women’s Press » Blog Archive » Losing my religion for equality…by Jimmy Carter.

Suzy Lee Weiss, To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me, diversity, tiger moms, college application process, WSJ.com:  All I can say is OMG … as a parent I have felt this.  Amazing that this woman wrote it and submitted it for publication and that the WSJ published it.  I view college as one of the most transformative experiences of my life. By demanding so much of our kids before they get there, what is left for college to do?  Another worth reading …

For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it. “Diversity!” I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would’ve been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.

I also probably should have started a fake charity

via Suzy Lee Weiss: To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me – WSJ.com.

Wheres the Beef Stroganoff?, NYT,  sexist obituary,  Twitter, feminism, sexism, Yvonne Brill: wow …

A Twitter avalanche descended on the New York Times Saturday for sexism in an obituary. The Times backed down.  Score one for Twitter and feminism, which, if I’m not completely crazy, just might be rediscovering the voice it left back in the 1970s.

Not that the Times’ Douglas Martin didn’t stick his foot in his mouth. He opened the obituary for gifted rocket scientist Yvonne Brill with the words:

“She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. “The world’s best mom,” her son Matthew said.”

Not until the second paragraph did the obit note that she “was also a brilliant rocket scientist, who in the early 1970s invented a propulsion system to help keep communications satellites from slipping out of their orbits.”

Some were still dissatisfied with that assessment.In the wake of the raging debate ignited by Sheryl Sandbergs “Lean In,” it seems that feminists, both male and female, are waking up and deciding to weigh in on what would otherwise have passed without remark.”The internet just group-edited the NYT,” tweeted Adam Rothstein. “Thats not something that used to happen.”

via Wheres the Beef Stroganoff? NYT Backs Down on Sexist Obit – Yahoo! Movies.

Edward VI, kith/kin:  I call my son, King Me … Edward VI is why …

The boy king Edward VI was crowned on this day in 1547. For those of us interested in Western religion this is a momentous occasion. His father Henry VIII had broken from the Roman church, principally to re-marry. But, he had originally been raised to be a bishop and was in fact theologically sophisticated, and his reformation church was pretty much Catholicism sans pope. With Edward VI being only nine years old, ecclesiastical authority fell to his “advisers,” lurching the church sharply in a Calvinist direction

via A Small Marker in the History of Western Religions.

food, sandwiches, BUTCHER & BEE, Charleston SC, The Bon Appetit Foodist, Bon Appétit: Another list for me to work through …

If you’re not eating a sandwich right now, you’re missing out on the dish of the moment. With practically every chef reimagining old standbys or inventing new ones, there’s a surplus of versions to try, this time with house-cured meats, local pickles, and freshly baked bread. For a taste of just how delicious things have become (when you’re not making your own at home, of course), visit these ten.

BUTCHER & BEE Charleston, SC

Pulled squash with smoked slaw on a hoagie is just one irresistible example of how this forward-thinking spot does some of the most creative takes on the classics in the country.

via 10 Sandwiches You Must Eat Now: The Bon Appetit Foodist: Bon Appétit.

Audrey Hepburn, beauty, icon, fashion, film,  Audrey in Rome, Vanity Fair: Audrey Hepburn is probably my favorite movie icon from my childhood.

 Audrey Hepburn Vanity Fair cover

Hepburn’s iconic look was, according to her son, what she thought of as “a good mixture of defects.” Dotti explains, “She thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast. She would look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful.’ ”

via Audrey Hepburn’s Son: My Mother Never Thought She Was Beautiful | Vanity Fair.

Porch Dogs, Garden and Gun:  I own a few porch dogs!

 

For eight years, photographer Nell Dickerson traveled across the South taking portraits of dogs committed to the deep-seated tradition of watching the world. Those photographs comprise her latest book, Porch Dogs, which includes sixty pups, from a Basset Hound in Memphis, Tennessee to a Labrador Retriever in Point Clear, Alabama.

via Porch Dogs | Garden and Gun.

dogs, garden/yard:  Love this!

dog or dogs happily romping in the backyard is a classic dog-owner dream. Achieving this, though, takes more thought than just sending your dog out in the yard and hoping for the best. Take the time to make sure your yard provides your dog with the amenities he or she needs and loves. Fortunately, pet-friendly yard amenities are also great for people as well.

via Cue the joyous soundtrack. These pet-friendly landscape and garden ideas will keep your pooch safe, happy and well exercised outdoors.

 divorce , NC, http://www.wsoctv.com:  I thought NC had one of the longest … unbelievable.

State lawmakers are considering making divorces harder to get in North Carolina.Senate Bill 518, dubbed the Healthy Marriage Act, would double the time it takes for a divorce to be granted, and also force couples to undergo counseling.Currently, the state requires a one-year waiting period for divorce, which Susan Huspeth said is already too long.”Why would you force someone to stay in a relationship when theyre unhappy?” she asked.Hudspeth said her marriage of seven years was unhealthy.”The things that theyre requiring during that two-year period, in my personal opinion, should be required pre-marriage — when you apply for a marriage license,” she said.

via Bill would double time it takes for divorce to be granted in NC | www.wsoctv.com.

Lessons from Living in My Ford Fairmont, Jim Cramer, LinkedIn:  I can imagine someone doing this in the 80’s … now … no way.

First, let me suggest that there were some upsides to my situation. Unlike most in a predicament like mine, I was young, unburdened with family and still employed — I had time, friends and paycheck to keep me optimistic. And, I had ended up in this situation while living in L.A. The fabulous weather made it a rare night that I had to break out the bottle of Jack to keep me warm. The endless freeway rest stops gave me many a safe place to catch some zzzs, not that I ever put my weary head on the plastic seat cover without first being sure that I was in reaching distance of the .22 caliber pistol that’s mandatory for car denizens. Plus, I had a job that required me to be out all night, a homicide reporter always at the ready, never too far from home. Living in your car can be very convenient and, yes, inexpensive as your auto insurance can double as your homeowners in a pinch.

via Lessons from Living in My Ford Fairmont | LinkedIn.

01
Feb
13

2.1.13 … “Nobody likes a pity-party-having-ass-woman” …

Oscars, Beasts of the Southern Wild:  Hard to watch, but worth the struggle.  I thought the line … “Nobody likes a pity-party-having-ass-woman” was pivotal … My friend Bob says it so much more elegantly:

Watched “Beasts of the Southern Wild” tonight. Really liked it–challenging, with interesting perspectives on a lot of themes–family, loyalty, community, freedom, mans place in nature. Easy to dismiss as “too out there”, but worth meeting it on its own terms.

via Bob Trobich.

NYC, Jefferson Market Courthouse Library,  New York Womens House of Detention , Greenwich Village, Ethel Rosenberg, Agela Davis, Davidson College: A little followup research to my Big Onion Tour … Very interesting coincidence that Angela Davis will be speaking at Davidson this month.

Ruth E. Collins was the first superintendent at the prison.[9] She embraced the design of the prison, labeling it “a new era in penology”. Her mission was to effect the moral and social rehabilitation of the women in her charge, giving them a chance for “restoration as well as for punishment”. She commissioned a number of art works as part of her mission to uplift the women and treat them all as individuals. Among the Womens House of Detentions most famous inmates were Ethel Rosenberg, Polly Adler, and Evelyn Nesbit.[10][11]In its later years, allegations of racial discrimination, abuse and mistreatment dogged the prison. Angela Davis has been outspoken about the treatment she witnessed.[12] Andrea Dworkins testimony of her assault by two of the prisons doctors led to its eventual closing.[13]

via New York Womens House of Detention – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Davidson College is announcing that noted political activist and academic Angela Davis will present its annual Wearn Lecture on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Davis will speak on the subject “Political Activism and Protest from the 1960s to the Age of Obama” beginning at 8 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall. The talk is open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required.

via Lifelong Activist Angela Davis Will Deliver Davidson’s Wearn Lecture on February 12

Sesame Street, Downton Abbey, Upside Downton Abbey, Downton Arbys, LOL:  And the parodies continue … 🙂

[http://tv.yahoo.com/video/sesame-street-clip-01312-230611944.html]

You know you’ve arrived when “Sesame Street” decides to poke fun at you. So PBS’s red-hot import “Downton Abbey” should consider itself honored when this cute Muppet parody of “Downton” airs during “Sesame’s” upcoming Season 43. The sketch won’t officially air until new episodes resume Monday, February 4 — but we’ve got an exclusive first look at it right here.

via ‘Sesame Street’ takes on ‘Downton Abbey’ with ‘Upside Downton Abbey’ [Exclusive video] – Yahoo! TV.

And here is another …

[http://youtu.be/NMykqW9ibiY]

Downton Arby s – YouTube.

2013 Super Bowl, San Francisco Forty Niners, religion, Grace Cathedral – San Francisco:  Separation of church and … football. Guess not!

Grace Cathedral in SF lit red for the #49ers. Clergy will wear red & gold vestments on Sunday. #QuestforSix

.

 

Oscars, short films, Disney, Paperman, piracy:  As my young friends say … ohmygod its so cute

[http://youtu.be/aTLySbGoMX0]

Paperman – Full Animated Short Film – YouTube.

And one friend asked how it could be posted … answer is

Disney Posts Oscar Nominated “Paperman” Online In Its Entirety

via Disney Posts Oscar Nominated “Paperman” Online In Its Entirety.

 

NYC, Grand Central Terminal – 100th Anniversary:

A century ago, rail travel was at its peak in the U.S., and New York City built the massive Grand Central Terminal to accommodate the growth. Built over 10 years, gradually replacing its predecessor named Grand Central Station, the Grand Central Terminal building officially opened on February 2, 1913. The terminal and the surrounding neighborhood thrived. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, rail travel declined sharply, and Grand Central Terminal fell into disrepair, threatened several times with demolition. The MTA was able to undertake a huge restoration in the 1990s, and Grand Central remains a New York City icon today, 100 years after it first opened. Full entry: http://theatln.tc/14vkguA

via Grand Central Terminal Turns 100.

RIP, Mayor Koch:  I always liked Mayor Koch. Rest in peace …

The grave marker is inscribed with words spoken by Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl before he was killed by militants in Pakistan: “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”

via At Ed Koch’s Grave, Words From WSJ’s Daniel Pearl – Metropolis – WSJ.

cute, photography:  Where the wild things are … So cute!

Photo: SO CUTE !!!!

 

Samsung, LOL, 2013 Super Bowl ads: Agree, Tim. Absolute must see!!!

[http://youtu.be/Xoe5Vjl90-o]

Bear surprises Samsung crew on washing machine shoot – YouTube.

 Paris, Notre Dame:
Photo: © JB Gurliat / Mairie de Paris

Arrivée des nouvelles cloches à Notre-Dame de Paris

Dans le cadre du 850e anniversaire de Notre-Dame de Paris, un nouvel ensemble de neuf cloches est arrivé par convoi exceptionnel à Paris. Revivez en photos l’impressionnante arrivée de Gabriel, Anne-Geneviève, Denis, Etienne et les autres, sous les vivats de la foule.

Plus d’infos : http://bit.ly/11rtQLP

via Arrivée des nouvelles cloches à Notre-Dame de Paris.

 

2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad, The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood” , YouTube: OK … I’m a sap![

 2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood” – YouTube.

 

14
Nov
11

11.14.2011 … Davison College Wildcats v. Richmond Spiders … DC up by 9 at the half … and in the end Wildcats stomp the Spiders. :)

2012 Presidential Election, religion, Mormonism:

A dark truth of American politics in what is still the era of Reagan and the Bushes is that so many do not vote their own economic interests. Rather than living in reality they yield to what oddly are termed “cultural” considerations: moral and spiritual, or so their leaders urge them to believe. Under the banners of flag, cross, fetus, exclusive marriage between men and women, they march onward to their own deepening impoverishment. Much of the Tea Party fervor merely repeats this gladsome frolic.

AS the author of “The American Religion,” I learned a considerable respect for such original spiritual revelations as 19th-century Mormonism and early 20th-century Southern Baptism, admirably re-founded by the subtle theologian Edgar Young Mullins in his “Axioms of Religion.”

A religion becomes a people, as it has for the Jews and the Mormons, partly out of human tenacity inspired by the promise of the blessing of more life, but also through charismatic leadership. What we now call Judaism was essentially created by Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph to meet the needs of a Jewish people mired under Roman occupation in Palestine and elsewhere in the empire. A great sage, Akiva was also a leader of extraordinary charisma, an old man when martyred by the Emperor Hadrian, presumably for inspiring the insurrection of Bar Kokhba that ended at the siege of Bethar.

via Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough? – NYTimes.com.

photos:  Great photos!

November 8, 2011. A sedated black rhino is carried by military helicopter away from a poaching area in the hills of the Eastern Cape in South Africa to a new home 15 miles away. The World Wildlife Fund organized the move of 1,000 rhinos, which are under threat from poachers across Africa because of the market value of their horns.

via TIME Magazine’s Best Pictures of the Week, November 4-November 11 – LightBox.

British humor, American Humor, culture:

It’s often dangerous to generalize, but under threat, I would say that Americans are more “down the line.” They don’t hide their hopes and fears. They applaud ambition and openly reward success. Brits are more comfortable with life’s losers. We embrace the underdog until it’s no longer the underdog.We like to bring authority down a peg or two. Just for the hell of it. Americans say, “have a nice day” whether they mean it or not. Brits are terrified to say this. We tell ourselves it’s because we don’t want to sound insincere but I think it might be for the opposite reason. We don’t want to celebrate anything too soon. Failure and disappointment lurk around every corner. This is due to our upbringing. Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, “it won’t happen for you.”

There’s a received wisdom in the U.K. that Americans don’t get irony. This is of course not true. But what is true is that they don’t use it all the time. It shows up in the smarter comedies but Americans don’t use it as much socially as Brits. We use it as liberally as prepositions in every day speech. We tease our friends. We use sarcasm as a shield and a weapon. We avoid sincerity until it’s absolutely necessary. We mercilessly take the piss out of people we like or dislike basically. And ourselves. This is very important. Our brashness and swagger is laden with equal portions of self-deprecation. This is our license to hand it out.

via Ricky Gervais: Is There a Difference Between British and American Humor | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

Dogwood Farms, Ann and Cot Campbell, kith/kin, kudos:  Cary’s mom and dad … kudos!

Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell (from left) and his wife Anne received a gold tray from Nick Nicholson, president of Keeneland Race Course, to commemorate Dogwood's eighth stakes victory at the Kentucky track.  SPECIAL

The celebration was originally set to honor Aikenite, Dogwood Stable’s 4-year-old colt, for winning a spring race to give the Aiken-based outfit a gold tray from Keeneland Race Course.

.Aikenite won Dogwood’s eighth graded stakes race at Keeneland by rallying in the stretch to win the Commonwealth Stakes in April. Jockey John Velazquez guided Aikenite to his first stakes win by 2 1/4 lengths over Cool Bullet.

Dogwood won its first Keeneland grades stakes race in 1971 with Mrs. Cornwallis in the Alcibiades. Other Dogwood horses to win a gold julep cup from Keeneland include Luge II (Forerunner), Summer Squall (Blue Grass and Fayette Handicap), British Banker (Phoenix Breeders’ Cup), Golden Gale (Beaumont) and Vicarage (Perryville).

The eighth one earned Dogwood the solid gold tray, which the stable proudly displayed at the museum Friday night.

via Cot Campbell honored at hall of fame event | The Augusta Chronicle.

For Campbell, in his tailored role as a racing manager, the 2012 season will dawn with Aikenite at the head of the runners in the existing partnerships. This year, Aikenite, a son of Is It True, won the Commonwealth at Keeneland and the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby Day, and those are the races he will target early next year as well. Campbell knows enough, though, not to heap upon Aikenite disproportionate praise. He has yet to reach the heights of such Dogwood runners as Summer Squall, Southjet, Inlander, Storm Song, Nassipour, Trippi, and Wild Escapade.

“He’s a very satisfying horse,” Campbell said of Aikenite. “A horse with a lovely personality. He’s not going to volunteer anything, but when you do ask him the question he’ll give you the answer. He’s here now in Aiken for a couple months. I was just over giving him some peppermints.”

It was Friday morning, and that evening the Campbells were set to host an open house at the local Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. It was fitting that Aikenite’s victory in the Commonwealth earlier this year was enough to earn Dogwood a special honor from Keeneland, commemorating the stable’s eight graded stakes wins there. A gold tray of some sort was involved, but mostly it was a good excuse for a party. Aiken, pop. 29,494, has a rich tradition as South Carolina’s off season mecca for the Thoroughbred industry, offering a wintertime home to many of the leading stables throughout the history of the sport. Aikenite was named as Campbell’s tribute to Dogwood’s home.

“This is a good town to live in if you’re going to be in any kind of horse business,“ Campbell said. “We’ve invited the entire citizenry of Aiken, and right now it looks like they’re all coming.”

Without much doubt, the evening was destined to end up a tribute to Campbell as well.

“I was going to hold up my announcement about my plans, but I figured hell why not just say what I’ve got to say,” he said.

“To put it kindly, I’m in the twilight of my existence, or maybe the late evening,” Campbell said. “Who knows how long it will go on? I’m fit, I feel great, and I’m having a good time.

via Dogwood leader Cot Campbell eases into semi-retirement at 84 | Daily Racing Form.

Sara Bates, Watson Scholars, Davidson College, D2s, kith/kin, kudos:  A fun blog to follow … daughter of classmates Thomas and Lisa.  Kudos to Sara!

Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow.

via sara bates … watson adventures | Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow..

Joe Paterno, tragedies:  I hate this story …

The best piece about Darío Castrillón Hoyos was written by the Catholic essayist John Zmirak, and his words apply to Joe Paterno as well. Sins committed in the name of a higher good, Zmirak wrote, can “smell and look like lilies. But they flank a coffin. Lying dead and stiff inside that box is natural Justice … what each of us owes the other in an unconditional debt.”

No higher cause can trump that obligation — not a church, and certainly not a football program. And not even a lifetime of heroism can make up for leaving a single child alone, abandoned to evil, weeping in the dark.

via The Devil and Joe Paterno – NYTimes.com.

First, let’s get the language straight. The very last thing that these brave boys and men need is a nation referring to them as victims. They are heroes and survivors. Words matter.

Second, I’m not sure that any of us really know what happened and how it happened. But based on my research, I do know this:

When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, churches, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this pattern.

In an organizational culture where respect and the dignity of individuals are held as the highest values, shame and blame don’t work as management styles. There is no leading by fear. Empathy is a valued asset, accountability is an expectation rather than an exception, and the primal human need for belonging is not used as leverage and social control.

We can’t control the behavior of individuals; however, we can cultivate organizational cultures where behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting what matters most: human beings.

via thoughts on penn state – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Atlanta, Civil War, history, William Sherman, Burning of Atlanta:

I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the 14th, and found that all preparations had been made-Colonel Beckwith, chief commissary, reporting one million two hundred thousand rations in possession of the troops, which was about twenty days’ supply, and he had on hand a good supply of beef-cattle to be driven along on the hoof. Of forage, the supply was limited, being of oats and corn enough for five days, but I knew that within that time we would reach a country well stocked with corn, which had been gathered and stored in cribs, seemingly for our use, by Governor Brown’s militia.

Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, of my staff, had been busy in his special task of destruction. He had a large force at work, had leveled the great depot, round house, and the machine-shops of the Georgia Railroad, and had applied fire to the wreck. One of these machine-shops had been used by the rebels as an arsenal, and in it were stored piles of shot and shell, some of which proved to be loaded, and that night was made hideous by the bursting of shells, whose fragments came uncomfortably, near Judge Lyon’s house, in which I was quartered. The fire also reached the block of stores near the depot, and the heart of the city was in flames all night, but the fire did not reach the parts of Atlanta where the court-house was, or the great mass of dwelling houses.

Atlanta History Center, I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the….

‘Three Cups of Tea, tragedy:  I hate that Greg Mortenson’s story is not true.

The fight over whether mountaineer Greg Mortenson made up portions of “Three Cups of Tea,” his best-selling memoir about building schools in Pakistan, is getting nastier.

On Monday, Jon Krakauer, the climber and author, released online a 75-page story on Mr. Mortenson called “Three Cups of Deceit.” Mr. Krakauer also appeared in CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday, which cast doubt on Mr. Mortenson and the financial management of his charity, Central Asia Institute.

The allegations fall broadly in two categories: That Mr. Mortenson fabricated key elements of “Three Cups of Tea” and a later memoir “Stones into Schools” and that CAI has improperly helped Mr. Mortenson buy and promote his books.

via Were There ‘Three Cups of Deceit’? – India Real Time – WSJ.

DailyLit, The Intellectual Devotional:  Love getting an excerpt every day! DailyLit: The Intellectual Devotional, book by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheim.

‘Stairway To Heaven’, music, history:   Turns 40!!

“Stairway to Heaven.” Those three little words have come to mean so much. Led Zeppelin’s eight-minute classic turns 40 this week, and it still sets the bar for headbanging chutzpah, if not sophisticated songcraft.

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were woodshedding in Wales when they devised their faery-strewn folk-metal psychedelia masterwork. Bassist/arranger John Paul Jones added mood-setting recorders and drummer John Bonham brought his protean thwunk to the game. The song may or may not have borrowed key elements from an instrumental by the American band Spirit, with whom they once toured. But nobody but Zep could have molded those chord progressions into such a masterpiece of excess.

“Stairway to Heaven” set the template for the power ballad and made unwitting J.R.R. Tolkien experts out of listeners who merely intended to get their rocks off. Depending on your view, the song is the greatest achievement of one of history’s most important groups … or rock’s ultimate nightmare, incessantly resurrected by awful cover bands, shrieking karaoke singers and your very drunk uncle who grabbed the microphone at your sister’s wedding reception.

via ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers : The Record : NPR.

meditations, faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

The Fruit of Our Communal LifeOur society encourages individualism.  We are constantly made to believe that everything we think, say, or do, is our personal accomplishment, deserving individual attention.  But as people who belong to the communion of saints, we know that anything of spiritual value is not the result of individual accomplishment but the fruit of a communal life.Whatever we know about God and Gods love; whatever we know about Jesus – his life, death, and resurrection – whatever we know about the Church and its ministry, is not the invention of our minds asking for an award.  It is the knowledge that has come to us through the ages from the people of Israel and the prophets, from Jesus and the saints, and from all who have played roles in the formation of our hearts.  True spiritual knowledge belongs to the communion of saints.

via Daily Meditation: The Fruit of Our Communal Life.

college tuition, student loans, Great Recession:  Makes you think …

The college-bubble argument makes the solution to rising costs seem simple: if people just wake up, the bubble will pop, and reasonable prices will return. It’s much tougher to admit that there is no easy way out. Maybe we need to be willing to spend more and more of our incomes and taxpayer dollars on school, or maybe we need to be willing to pay educators and administrators significantly less, or maybe we need to find ways to make colleges more productive places, which would mean radically changing our idea of what going to college is all about. Until America figures out its priorities, college kids are going to have to keep running just to stand still. ♦

via College Tuition, Student Loans, and Unemployment : The New Yorker.

ADHD, science, brain-function link:

A brain area that helps orchestrate mental activity works overtime in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reflecting the internal struggle to hold more than one thing in mind at a time, neuroscientists reported Sunday.

The scientists used a functional magnetic imaging scanner to track signs of neural activity among 19 affected children and 23 other children who were asked to remember a simple sequence of letters. The scientists discovered that a critical mental control area, called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, worked much harder and, perhaps, less efficiently among children with attention problems.

This fundamental difference in brain function might be an underlying cause of the inattentiveness, impulsivity and focus problems that make it hard for ADHD children to concentrate in the classroom, the scientists said during an annual gathering of 31,000 brain researchers in Washington, D.C.

“Our findings suggest that the function as well as the structure of this brain area is different in children with ADHD,” said Wayne State University biologist Tudor Puiu, who reported the team’s findings Sunday at a conference held by the Society for Neuroscience. “It might explain the cognitive problems we see in the classroom.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, can be diagnosed in preschool-age children as young as 4, according to new treatment guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Jennifer Corbett Dooren has details on Lunch Break.

All told, about two million U.S. children have been diagnosed with attention problems. No one yet understands the basic neurobiology responsible for the mental ailment, which has grown more common since 2003, according to a survey by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

via ADHD: Scientists Probe Brain-Function Link – WSJ.com.

NBA, Steph Curry:  Yeah … Steph can finish the semester!

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union.

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union. Kevin Clark has details on The News Hub.

Labor talks “completely broke down,” said union Executive Director Billy Hunter. The union said it has begun legal proceedings to dissolve the union, a tactic that would take the dispute to the courts.

“The 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The decision came after a five-hour meeting among player representatives at a New York City hotel. Mr. Hunter said an anti-trust lawsuit should be filed in the next day or two. Union president Derek Fisher said the idea to dissolve was approved in “unanimous fashion.”

Jeffrey Kessler, a union lawyer, said the decision came after the players agreed that “bargaining completely failed” and said the players wanted to assert their antitrust rights.

via Players Reject NBA’s Offer, Begin to Disband Union – WSJ.com.

Jerry Sandusky Scandal/tragedy: 

Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’

via Rock Center with Brian Williams – Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’.

Davison College, Wildcats v. Spiders: Up by 9 at the half … Wildcats stomp the Spiders. 🙂

 

15
Aug
11

8.15.2011 … ET has dry sockets, enough said …

cars, kith/kin:  My mom drove little cars … Opels … maybe that’s why I love the little guys.

With seven inches less wheelbase than a Mini Cooper and tipping the scales at 400 fewer pounds, the 500 is a mighty small car. Yet, I found plenty of room for my six-foot, two-inch frame inside, and the wee Fiat was relatively composed, quiet, and daresay refined on the highway. And the 38-mpg it returned at highway speeds wasn’t too shabby, either, especially compared to the Ford F-150 I’m assigned to drive next.

The 500 isn’t for everybody. There will continue to be a need for larger vehicles for families, contractors, and others. Some will likely insist on driving larger vehicles just because they can, as long as they can afford the fuel. But if the 500 is one example of what to expect as manufacturers work to meet upcoming mileage requirements, the future doesn’t look so bad. It proves that small and affordable doesn’t have to be boring. And down the road, it may be that the Sequoia will be the vehicle drawing looks at stoplights.

via Italian take-out: Fiat 500 is spicier than expected.

Great Recession, taxes v. spending, The Oracle of Omaha:  The Oracle has spoken …

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.

Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

via Stop Coddling the Super-Rich – NYTimes.com.

Normandy, France, D-Day, LIFE:  This is another good LIFE gallery. Before and After D-Day: In Color – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

history, The Civil War, war strategy:

Shortages led to inflation and, as the price of foodstuffs spiked, buying power steadily decreased, by about a sixth during the first year of the conflict. Increases in prices were especially marked in areas close to the front lines,where food distribution was directly affected by the fighting. A typical Southern family’s food bill was $6.65 per month at the time of secession, $68 per month in 1863, and $400 per month in 1864. Indeed, by the spring of 1863, prices for food and dry goods were going up about 10 percent a month. Butter that cost 20 cents a pound when secession was declared commanded seven times as much a year later — and up to 100 times as much in some locales, if it was available at all, during the last year of the war. Untenable prices led to outbursts of civil unrest and incidents, ranging from the looting of supply trains to bread riots in Richmond and other Southern cities.

Before the first summer of the war was over, Southerners had already begun to suffer the effects of shortages imposed by the conflict. Few could conceive, however, just how severe the privations they would ultimately have to endure would become in the months and long years that followed.

via Squeezing the South into Submission – NYTimes.com.

physical media, digital media:  I feel this way every time I go by a former Blockbuster.

The decline and/or demise of once mighty retailers such as Borders, Tower, Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, Suncoast and Virgin Megastores is some of the most tangible evidence of an undeniable, inevitable truth: Physical media are starting to go away. Digital-music downloads and subscription services have already rendered CDs only slightly less quaint than LPs. Streaming video from companies such as Netflix and Amazon is starting to make DVDs — and even Blu-ray — look stale. I still buy more dead-tree books than I have time to read, but my instinctive response when I learn of a new one I might want to buy is usually “Is this available for Kindle?”

via Why I Already Miss Books: A Lament for Physical Media – TIME.

Harry Potter, Pottermore:  Anybody have a Pottermore Beta invite?  Pottermore Insider: Beta testing (and registering for October).

Professor Munakata, comics:  I may have to buy one of these!

Munakata

Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure was serialised last year in Japan and has now been now translated into English. Its star – a portly ethnographer-cum-archaeologist who solves crimes and explains civilisations – is already well known to millions of Japanese readers, who follow his exploits in a series of Hoshino Yukinobu-penned comics. Hoshino’s work is blend of science fiction and thriller, layered with a rich mix of western and Asian myth and history.

If that sounds a bit like Look and Learn, there are pages in the book that seem exactly so, as the professor elaborates on real events, artefacts and characters.

The professor is a staunch supporter of the British Museum. Photograph: British Museum

Munakata is also well-versed in the debate surrounding disputed objects such as the Parthenon marbles, the Rosetta stone, and the Benin bronzes. Meanwhile, the Lewis chessmen are key players in the story.

Munakata is against repatriating these objects, praising the British Museum’s history of collecting, and fostering public access. “I am one of many Japanese scholars,” he says, “who have benefited from that generosity.”

via The British Museum: marbles, murals… and manga! | Books | The Guardian.

religion, class:  Sounds interesting.

Throughout American history, from the antebellum days to contemporary times, class and religion have been repeatedly tied together. Dr. Sean McCloud at UNC Charlotte will join us to talk about his research on the intersection of religion and class across American History and talk about what he thinks the meaning of class is in today’s world, and why it’s important to insert the issue of class into religious study.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

trains, Grand Central Station, Oyster Bar, NYC,  Le Train Bleu , Gare de Lyon, Paris:  One of my most memorable meals was at a restaurant at the Edinburgh train station … chicken cordon bleu … so I may have to try these two to compare “train fare.”

In praise of Grand Central Station’s Oyster Bar and Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon in Paris, “grand invitations to a railway journey, however long or short.”

via The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

international relations, China, US, Pakistan: Peace is a long way off.

In the days after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistan’s intelligence service probably allowed Chinese military engineers to examine the wreckage of a stealth American helicopter that crashed during the operation, according to American officials and others familiar with the classified intelligence assessments.

Such cooperation with China would be provocative, providing further evidence of the depths of Pakistan’s anger over the Bin Laden raid, which was carried out without Pakistan’s approval. The operation, conducted in early May, also set off an escalating tit-for-tat scuffle between American and Pakistani spies.

American spy agencies have concluded that it is likely that Chinese engineers — at the invitation of Pakistani intelligence operatives — took detailed photographs of the severed tail of the Black Hawk helicopter equipped with classified technology designed to elude radar, the officials said. The members of the Navy Seals team who conducted the raid had tried to destroy the helicopter after it crashed at Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, but the tail section of the aircraft remained largely intact.

via U.S. Aides Believe China Examined Stealth Copter – NYTimes.com.

apps, photography, kith/kin, random:  My mother always had me part my hair on the side because she said nobody’s face is the same  on each side.  I think I will avoid this app.

Artist Julian Wolkenstein is keeping a weblog of all the photos folks upload using the app. Here’s the odd thing: The pictures are utterly, completely, and totally frightening (which probably has a lot to do with the crappiness of camera phones). Half the people resemble aliens. The rest could pass for some combination of Jeffrey Dahmer and Herman Munster. Everyone’s rendered ugly in a similar way, and there’s something sort of beautiful about that.

via Crazy App: Which Side of Your Face Is Better Looking? | Co. Design.

09
Mar
11

3.9.2011 … as a lifelong Presbyterian I know little about the religious celebrations associated with Lent … but I enjoyed pancakes last night!

Lent, Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day:

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day ( also known as Shrove Tuesday) is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent. It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes. copyright of projectbritain.com

Why are Pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday?

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

When is Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)?

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday (Easter Day).

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between 3 February and 9 March. (See our Lent page for a visual explanation why Shrove Tuesday is 47 days and not 41 days before Easter)

Why do Christians call the day ‘Shrove Tuesday’?

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. copyright of projectbritain.com

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent. Throughout the United Kingdom, and in other countries too, people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

via Shrove Tuesday 2011 (Pancake Day).

Lent, me: Should I give up something for Lent??  Thanks for the suggestions … And never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer …

 

MP:  If I were you, I would give up tripping on stuff on the floor and breaking limbs. For myself, I am going to give up eating boiled okra
CHS:  found a site that had some great (and funny) ideas. I thought this one was clever: angelmeg said…
“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “

“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “She continues by stating that “This year I tried to give up being judgmental but after three days I had to ammend that to being aware of when I am judgmental and praying for forgivness and the grace to change at that moment ( I am praying constantly, which might turn out not to be a bad thing, but presently is making me a bit sad). This is going to be a long lent.”

here’s the link if you’re interested. http://www.ironiccatholic.com/2008/02/cool-things-to-give-up-during-lent.html

DHD:  I think C is on to something there! My husband made a suggestion for me: sudoku….

Fat Tuesday, International Women’s Day, twitter, LOL:

@lenadunham Lena Dunham

It’s fat tuesday AND international women’s day??? i am receiving mixed messages

via Twitter / Home.

Lent, fasting, social networking, Facebook:

It turns out I’m not the only one considering the social-networking fast. The Wall Street Journal unearthed the Facebook group “Giving up Facebook for Lent,” and a variety of similar groups filled with self-proclaimed addicts who want to test their religious mettle starting on Ash Wednesday. (That’s this Wednesday, folks–two days from now.)There’s just one problem: One Facebook addict’s self-improvement project is another Facebook fan’s snub. A sudden break from your social network–virtual or otherwise–creates a social minefield for anyone concerned with online manners. With more than 175 million active users on Facebook, at least one or two will want to “friend” you in the next 40 days. What to do?

via How to give up Facebook for Lent and keep your friends | Webware – CNET.

gLee, tv:  Family friendly?

A “parental discretion is advised” warning flashes before Glee turned up the heat in “Sexy,” led by the affably game and comically cool substitute teacher Holly Holliday. It’s Gwyneth Paltrow, but mucho, mucho mas sexy.Her second turn as the “I thought you’d never ask?” weirdo sub was infinitely better than her debut in the fall. Back then, she was a puzzle, a loony bin. Here, she’s sly and quick-witted, appropriately adult and seductively saucy in an episode that showcased more of her comedic timing, than her stiff dance skills. All the better for us.via ‘Glee’ Season 2, Episode 15 ‘Sexy’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

science, faith and spirituality: Someday the scientists will find the proof!

More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences. Hear what they have discovered in this controversial field, as the science of spirituality continues to evolve.

via Is This Your Brain On God? : NPR.

politics, Girl Scouts:  don’t think you should mix the two

.

Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie taxBe prepared, lawmakers.Over the weekend, an e-mail went out to Girl Scout leaders, warning them that HB 385, a bill to rewrite the state tax code, would subject their cookies to a sales tax – and would hit Boy Scout popcorn sales as well:Gov. Nathan Deal holds boxes of Girl Scout cookies as the young women kicked off their sales season last month. Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.comThis significant financial impact would take money away from Girl Scout programs, camp support, financial aid and proceeds from the sale that support troop activities and community service projects……[P]lease contact your State House Representative and State Senator TODAY and express your concern in a courteous, Scout-like manner about our Scouts being taxed. Please reference House Bill 385. Sample letters have been provided on the left to make it easy to copy and paste into your own email. There are sample letters for girls as well as for parents and volunteers.The message appears over the name of Marilyn W. Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

via Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie tax | Political Insider.

education, CMS, The Great Recession: It is going to get worse before it gets

About 560 educators – including teachers, librarians and counselors – face layoffs next year under guidelines the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved Tuesday.Approval of layoff criteria is the first step toward a worst-case 2011 budget scenario that would cut jobs to trim $100 million from the CMS budget. The plan Superintendent Peter Gorman presented Tuesday calls for laying off 395 teachers and 164 education support positions.If the board votes to scale back on Bright Beginnings prekindergarten, those teachers would be added with a separate list of criteria.via CMS to layoff about 560 – CharlotteObserver.com.

politics, religion, Mormonism:  2012 will be interesting …

THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, is in a tizzy now that not one but two of its members, or “saints”, seem about to vie for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (see article) both seem determined to try to test the limits of discrimination.For most of the 181 years since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon, such prominent Mormon candidacies for the highest office would have been unthinkable. Mainstream Protestants, and especially evangelicals, have traditionally considered Mormons a devious cult, not quite Christian and just plain wacky….If both the more pious Mr Romney and the more secular Mr Huntsman, who have been personal rivals in the past, run in the primaries, their Mormonism will become an issue again. A few Mormons may even stoke it themselves. For instance, Glenn Beck, an excitable television host, likes to allude to something called The White Horse prophecy, according to which America’s constitution, deemed to be divinely inspired, will one day “hang like a thread” until Mormon leaders rescue it.But mainstream America may learn to get over its old and unpleasant distrust. The core of Mormon philosophy, says Michael Otterson, the church’s spokesman, is “the idea of self-improvement”. What, after all, could be more American? The church is now waging a large advertising campaign to show the diversity of Mormons in America. “We’re not prepared to be defined by others” any longer, insists Mr Otterson.

via Mormons in politics: When the saints come marching in | The Economist.

Apple, iPhone, changes:

The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. The person said Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also plans to upgrade the iPhone 4.

The new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing talks that are in their preliminary stages, the people familiar with the situation said. Apple had planned for the service to roll out a year earlier.

The new service would give users access to their iTunes libraries from, say, an iPhone or iPad, instead of requiring that the devices be synced by cable with a computer and use space to store the actual files, the people said. The new service likely would be compatible with the iPhone 4, one of the people said.

Some MobileMe features, such as a service that locates lost or stolen iPads and iPhones, already are free.

via Apple Works on Line of Less-Expensive iPhones – WSJ.com.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, The Supreme Court, culture, discrimination:

If walking into such unceasing dialogues has been her greatest challenge, the greatest surprise, even after many years as a judge, “has been how burdened I have felt in the decision-making process because I am part of the final court. I find that the weight of this is greater than I anticipated.” At lower levels, she always knew that one could make a mistake and perhaps the next court would correct it. No more.

via NationalJournal.com – Sonia Sotomayor on Dating, Deciding, and Being the Newest Supreme Court Justice – Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

google, technology, Nelson Mandela: Technology being used for good purposes.

Backed by global-search-giant Google Inc., the foundation of aging South African leader Nelson Mandela is putting thousands of documents on the Internet, from a 1977 letter smuggled out of prison to his membership cards in the Methodist Church.

Google said Tuesday that it was providing a $1.25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to help preserve a trove of photographs, letters, calendars and journals through digital technology.The $1.25 million grant is seen as a possible stepping stone to a broader relationship with Mr. Mandela’s foundation, which is now disseminating digital bursts of his memorabilia through its website (www.nelsonmandela.org). Google is already helping the website with indexing, but it would also like to provide the search technology that will allow people around the world to troll through the life of the anti-apartheid icon.

“Google wants to help bring the world’s historical heritage online, and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information,” said Luke Mckend, Google’s South Africa country manager.

via Google to Help Mandela Put Memorabilia Online – WSJ.com.

South Africa, Post-Apartheid:  Similar struggles in the US ...

As a young engineer in South Africa’s apartheid era, Sandile Zungu was once asked by a white subordinate to use a separate toilet. As a businessman in the post-apartheid era of black empowerment, company doors of all kinds have opened to him.

In little over a decade, the 44-year old has amassed a fortune by building a broad portfolio of business investments, from financial services to pest control. African art adorns his office walls in Johannesburg’s swank Sandton business district, and he drives a black Mercedes sedan to meetings, even if it means traveling a dusty road to a gold mine.

But mounting criticism of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policy that has made that possible is pulling Mr. Zungu and other black moguls into a national debate over how to right history’s wrongs without upending business in Africa’s largest economy.

BEE, as the policy is widely known, reaches across industries, compelling domestic and multinational companies operating here to meet such benchmarks as black ownership, skills training and development in poor communities. Ford Motor Co. last month said it plans to build a center to support black-owned, automobile-parts suppliers. Microsoft Corp. last year announced a $65 million program to cultivate young, black software developers. And Belgium’s Rezidor Hotel Group AB, which operates such brands as Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts, expanded a partnership with black-owned South African enterprise Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Critics, however, say BEE too often rewards people who are already successful. The Economic Development Ministry in November deemed BEE largely a failure, saying it focuses too much on deal making and not enough on supporting new entrepreneurs and creating jobs in a country where it estimates unemployment is 40% for people between 16 and 30 years old.

via Black Empowerment Roils South Africa – WSJ.com.

faith and spirituality, travel, theme parks, KY: Oh, my!

In Kentucky, there are plans for a religious theme park, which has the support of the governor despite critics who say the state shouldn’t give tax breaks for religious purposes.

The park’s centerpiece will be a replica of Noah’s Ark, a wooden boat longer than a football field. Other attractions include a first-century Middle Eastern Village, a Tower of Babel and a Walled City. When Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear announced Kentucky’s support last December for the “Ark Encounter,” he touted the economic impact.

“This is a $150 million investment that is projected to create nearly 900 jobs, including almost 550 full-time jobs,” Beshear says.

via Kentucky Governor Hopes Tourists Will Come Two-By-Two To Noah’s Ark Park : NPR.

water resource management, states’ rights, GA:

A panel of judges on Wednesday appeared disinclined to let stand a ruling in the tri-state water dispute that, should it come to pass, could have catastrophic consequences for the metro region.

People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

The judges for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals indicated they wanted to send the case back and order the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Buford Dam, to make a final determination of how much water from Lake Lanier can be used to meet metro Atlanta’s needs.

At issue is a July 2009 ruling from Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who found it was illegal for the corps to draw water from Lake Lanier to meet the needs of 3 million metro residents. Magnuson set a July 2012 deadline for Georgia, Alabama and Florida to work out a resolution. Otherwise, the judge said, metro Atlanta would only be allowed to take the same amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when the population was a fraction of its current size.

via Judges appear disinclined to let water ruling stand  | ajc.com.

college, marketing, random:

Big consumer-products companies are going back to school.

Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push.

Universities, in some cases, receive funding or proprietary consumer data from companies for their research. Students get experience they can display on their résumés, and add lively classes to the usual mix of lectures and written exams.

“We are helping students to go out and get hired,” says Randy Hlavac, an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School. “They’ve done the work.”

The partnerships are emerging as businesses are scurrying to bolster their ability to engage with their customers on the Web by using Facebook, Twitter and the like.

via Big Brands Sponsor College Classes to get Social-Media Help – WSJ.com.

autos, green: New green offerings from Toyota …

Toyota Motor Corp. next month will broaden its range of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles with a wagon and minivan as it looks to meet a long-term goal of selling a million of the fuel-efficient cars a year.

Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker by volume, said it will launch a hybrid five-seat wagon and seven-seat minivan based on the power train of its Prius hybrid. The minivan will be the company’s first lithium battery-powered hybrid model.

via Toyota Plans Hybrid Wagon, Minivan – WSJ.com.

04
Mar
11

3.4.2011 … very quickly tiring of typing with my non-dominant hand. As EWP says, “You need a minion!”

science, medicine technology: Science, medicine, technology … the ultimate merger of the three … what next?

Anthony Atala printed a real kidney when speaking on the stage at TED in Long Beach, Calif. Thursday.

Since 2006, the surgeon from the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine has been performing transplants not using human organs, but organs grown in his lab and now experimenting with the next level of possibility – creating organs using a 3-D printer.”

“It’s like baking a cake,” said Atala.

Well, it’s not that simple.

Atala attempted to explain the process as follows: scanners take a 3D image of a kidney that needs to be replaced and a tissue sample the size of half a postage stamp is then used to begin the computerized process. The 3D organ printer then works layer-by-layer to build the replacement kidney using the patient’s own tissue.

via Organs made with a printer – On The Scene With Shira Lazar – CBS News.

civil rights, history, Charles Jones:  I heard Charles Jones speak last night … he was a hoot taking about very serious stuff.

At seventy-three, one can hardly say Charles Jones is retired. In 2008 he appeared in a cameo role in the film Gospel Hill, alongside actors Danny Glover and Angela Basset. He serves as the chairperson for the Biddleville/Smallwood/Five Points Neighborhood Association and continues to travel and lecture about his involvement in the civil-rights movement. “I may be getting older,” Jones says with a gleam in his eyes. “But I’m still out there getting it done on my end, and I still care about all the people.”

In his role as neighborhood chairperson, Jones sees a bright future for the area he’s called home for more than sixty years. “Our goal is to make this a community where all people can live together. Black, white, gay, straight. We want to recapture that cohesive concern people used to have for each other.

“We looked out for each other back then, and I think we can still do that today.”

via Stumbling Across a Hero – Charlotte Magazine – February 2011 – Charlotte, NC.

culture, family, changes:  We often had Sunday dinner, but not always.  My kids have had Bojangles on the way home from church.

Whatever happened to Sunday dinner – where did it go?  Was it packed up in the attic, along with the iced tea spoons, damask tablecloths, lace doilies, and sherbert dishes?  Deposited in the cedar closet with the short white gloves, petticoats, and fox fur stoles?  Truth be told, I believe it is buried under the shade trees in the cemetery where the women who cooked it now lie.

… We continue to try to make family connections on Sundays.  I always call my mother in Savannah, and my daughter always calls us from college in Chapel Hill.  But now Sunday afternoon is more of a lonesome time–quiet and spare.  And I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t even know how to make gravy.

via The Days of Rice and Gravy by Kathleen Brewin Lewis | LikeTheDew.com.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, history:

In a well-known burst of ebullience, Jane Austen once called Pride and Prejudice “my own darling Child.” Yet, in 1811, after agreeing to guarantee Thomas Egerton against losses on the printing of what, as far as she then knew, might be her only published novel, Austen chose to stake her literary reputation –and her fortune – not on First Impressions (as Pride and Prejudice was then known), but on the more recently completed Sense and Sensibility. Though profits from Sense and Sensibility eventually covered expenses and earned its author a respectable sum, it is rarely cited as a favorite among Austen fans, and critics and scholars often find it problematic.

Join us in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s “problem child” and exploring issues which have intrigued, amused, and puzzled readers since its first appearance in the bookshops and circulating libraries of the day.

via Register for our Spring Super-Regional Gala Spring Meeting, May 14 & 15, 2011 – Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest (JASNA-SW).

culture, France:  This one was interesting!

I think I can explain the appeal of the bread machine. French people are attracted to novelties and although they haven’t reached SkyMall-style proportions—you won’t see any uvula sterilizers or Big Foot lurking in the Luxembourg Gardens, things like tabletop machines that make raclette (when a regular skillet does the same thing), a toaster that sits high on stilts so the toast drops out of the bottom, requiring twice the usual amount of room (a real boon for space-challenged Parisian kitchens…), and serving food in bite-sized amuses-bouches resting in spoons or teensy-tiny casseroles, make folks smile with delight.

via The French Bread Machine | David Lebovitz.

movies, music,lists:  I do like Singin’ in the Rain …

Singin’ in the Rain is best known for Gene Kelly’s splash-filled dance scene to the title song, which, according to legend, Kelly filmed in one take while fighting off a 103-degree fever. While the scene is one of the most memorable and joyful in cinema history, the film also includes a number of songs that are too often overlooked. “Make ‘Em Laugh,” a goofy ode to slapstick comedy, will get stuck in your head. The big-band number “All I Do Is Dream of You” is equally catchy, and “Good Morning” is a classic song involving incredibly quick tap dancing. But the title song of the film is so good, it’s forgivable if you’ve forgotten about the rest.

via Singin’ in the Rain, 1952 – The 25 Best Movie Sound Tracks – TIME.

ridiculous, news:

We all like Thin Mints, but one Florida resident took her love of Girl Scout cookies a little too far. When Hersha Howard found that someone had been eating her cookies, she woke her roommate up and accused her of stealing them. That’s when things got ugly:

They argued and [police] deputies say that it turned physical with Howard chasing her roommate with scissors and hitting her repeatedly with a board and then a sign.

Howard was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Sadly, they don’t serve Girl Scout cookies in jail. [Huff Post]

via Girl Scout Cookie Fight Leads to Assault Charges – Zagat.

faith and spirituality, religion, bookshelf:  I am interested to both read the Pope’s book and the debate that follows.

The Pope’s statements have been broadly welcomed by Jewish organizations. “It deepens and gives historians context crucial in having the doctrine expressed in [the documents from the Second Vatican Council] translated down to the pews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement. “Pope Benedict has rejected the previous teachings and perversions that have helped to foster and reinforce anti-Semitism through the centuries.” On Thursday, Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, called on the Pope to take a step further, reinforcing what he’s written in an official letter, or encyclical. “Many in the Catholic world have continued to espouse ideas of Jewish guilt,” Lauder said in a statement. “Refuting their fallacious arguments in a personal book, whilst right, is probably insufficient. This must become official church doctrine, from top to bottom.”

via Pope: Jews Not to Blame for Jesus’ Death: Why It Matters – TIME.

24
Jan
11

1.24.2011 … coffee with friends then ChristCare where we will discuss I Am The Good Shepherd by Stan Kellner

ChristCare, curriculum:  I Am The Good Shepherd  by Stan Kellner – http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust/IAM/Shepherd.html

random, Mark Twain:  New autobiography revives careers for Mark Twain impersonators.  But you have to have the mustache!  Mark Twain Impersonators Gain Popularity – NYTimes.com.

literature, southern literature, Elizabeth Musser, Atlanta:  I am a little miffed they left out our own Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser … given the setting for the photo shoot. Do you think it is because of the genre she writes .. Christian historical fiction …

Is there a book club in America that hasn’t yet thrilled to The Help? Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel has lasted some 22 months on the New York Times hardcover fiction list—and will soon be a DreamWorks movie. “Kitty” Stockett far right, in fact, is leading a new wave of southern female writers who might look like belles but who write fearlessly about the region’s troubled legacies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Typically, these women left the South in their 20s, heading for New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But in time they came home. And they’re now turning Atlanta into the most vibrant new literary scene outside of Brooklyn.

via Belles, Books, And Candor | Culture | Vanity Fair.

movies, memorable phrases:

Have we heard the last (truly memorable) word from Hollywood?

Probably not, but it’s been a while since the movies had everybody parroting a great line.

via We’re missing lines that had us at ‘hello’ – CharlotteObserver.com.

LOL, random, products, design, Daniel Pink:  Saw this in the Petco flyer last week … maybe it is just me but I think it is LOL hysterical.  But really it is just a ball … with a design element to humor the humans.  So would you pay $12 for the equivalent of a used tennis ball to the dog?  I wonder if this product meets Daniel Pink’s definition of elegant design?  If you don’t know about Daniel Pink … check out the blog post about him which contains an interview.

Amazon.com: Moody Pet Humunga Stache Ball Dog Toy: Patio, Lawn & Garden.

“Design Thinking is solving problems in elegant ways” – Daniel Pink

via Elegant Design For Your Whole New Mind | Life In Perpetual Beta.

technology, culture, Jane Austen, bookshelf:  Another book that will be getting a great deal of commentary!

What I’m against is a kind of technological promiscuity, where that technology, so perfect in that [Abu Dhabi] circumstance, is the technology you think is perfect for people to bring into a board meeting, when they need to be working on a problem together. In that case it’s not the technology of choice. They’re not physically present with the people they need to bond with and deeply connect with, and need to make very consequential decisions with. I hate the metaphor of addiction: it implies we have to get it away, give it away, wean off. This is great stuff. It’s not heroin. It’s just something we need to learn to use when most appropriate, powerful, and in our best interest.

You mention how when people see the little red light on their BlackBerry, indicating a message has arrived, they feel utterly compelled to grab it. Do you personally experience that compulsion?

I recognize it with my email. Somebody said of email, “It’s the place for hope in life.” It reminds me of how in Jane Austen, carriages are always coming, you’re waiting, it could be Mr. Bingley’s invitation to a ball. There’s some sense that the post is always arriving in Jane Austen. There’s something about email that carries the sense that that’s where the good news will come. I did a hysterical interview with an accountant about why he felt so strongly about his texts. He said he might get a Genius award! I said, “I don’t think they give those to accountants.” And he said, “But you know what I mean.” He was trying to express that anything could happen on email. Anything could happen! I try to figure out what it is that this little red light means to people. I think it’s that place for hope and change and the new, and what can be different, and how things can be what they’re not now. And I think we all want that.

via “Alone Together”: An MIT Professor’s New Book Urges Us to Unplug.

women, politics, stereotypes:  A strong American woman is stereotyped a cowgirl … interesting article.

America has no tales of Amazons or of Atalanta; our national narrative does not chronicle the defeat of an armada by a virgin queen nor a teenage Joan leading her army into battle. American history includes no Cleopatras or Hatshepsuts; no Trung Sisters, who defended Vietnam from the Chinese in the first century; and no Catherines, great or otherwise. The mythos of our founding revolves entirely around fathers, save for the seamstress Betsy Ross and the querulous spouse Abigail Adams.

What we do have, to serve as the foundational fantasy of female strength and individualism we’ve agreed upon as embodying American power, are cowgirls: Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, the outlaws, frontier women and pioneers who pushed West, shot sharp, talked tough and sometimes drew blood. Frontier womanhood has emerged as one of the only historically American models of aspirational femininity available to girls — passive princesses and graceful ballerinas not being native to this land — and one of the only blueprints for commanding female comportment in which they are regularly encouraged to invest or to mimic.

via Only Cowgirls Run for Office – NYTimes.com.

blogposts, economy, Great Recession, future, quotes, Mark Twain:  Again, my favorite Presbyterian minister blogger takes two articles I noted and pulls them together to say what I wish I had said … I wish I had his quick mind!  And of course he quotes my favorite … Mark Twain. Thanks, Jim

Mark Twain said it best:

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Religious people know this to be true. I am not referring to resurrection (a dimension of Christian faith, for sure) but to religious belief as a general phenomenon. Belief is a dynamic reality. It impacts attitude, instills confidence, generates hope, impels certain actions. Of these there is not a lot of confidence and hope to be found in the usual portrait of our country’s health these days. If you believe we are dying, die we will. The truth is very different though.

The USA remains a genuine heavyweight. Time to start fighting like one. Fighting, that is, not with anyone, but against despair and resignation.

“It ain’t over till it’s over” and it ain’t over!

via Not dead yet « Hopelens Blog.

blogpost, media, religion, prayers: So my other favorite Presbyterian minister blogger … the younger … nails this one in my opinion.  I will use his prayer this week!  Thanks, Marthame!

There are those who say that the church is in the midst of a historical moment unlike any since the Protestant Reformation. And just as the “new media” of the printing press made Martin Luther possible, our world is being changed daily by new technologies and new ways of communicating. Is it time for the church to, dare I say, “change”?

In some ways, we have been standing by the shore, doing what our ancestors have taught us, faithfully tossing our nets into the sea, pulling in a catch, and doing it all over again. And as uprooting as it might be, maybe we need to listen for that voice of Jesus telling us to leave all that behind.

Time for a Change.

NYC, change, travel:  Maybe I better get there soon!

CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof.It continues: That diner on the corner for decades — closed. The beer garden down the street — now a Starbucks. The block once home to clusters of independent businesses — thriving as a big-box store.

And last month, another piece of the old New York slipped away with the demise of the city’s Off-Track Betting parlors. It’s enough to make old-school New Yorkers bristle.

Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York — the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America — has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable.

“What draws people to New York is its uniqueness. So when something goes, people feel sad about it,” says Suzanne Wasserman, director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York.

“I think that’s also part of the New York character,” she says, “that ‘Things were better when …'”

Change is constant, and few cities change faster than New York. But at what cost? Where is the line between progress and lost distinctiveness?

via As edgy NYC disappears, does its character go too?  | ajc.com.

gardens:  I friend told me about this.  I am putting it on my 2011 calendar for November!  Thanks, Maxwell for the idea.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden

Begin with a container. Plant an array of bulbs in layers now, and flowers will appear at intervals throughout spring. Think of the tiny irises as appetizers to the season, followed by the grape hyacinths. Next, delight in miniature narcissus. Build up to a feast of large daffodils. Then, as the icing on the cake, finish with a topping of violas that bloom from fall through late spring. The best part is that prep time takes less than 30 minutes.

Instant Miniature Bulb Garden – SouthernLiving.com.

Norwich England, Great Britain, sense of place, travel, bucket list:  OK, so I loved Norwich from this article.  It seems to have a real sense of place.  I am adding it to my list.  How could you not be intriqued by a place described as a book lovers/writers paradise  and this ““I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.””

Norwich, a two-hour train ride northeast from London, has increasingly become a refuge for writers fleeing the hectic pace of the capital’s publishing scene. At first glance it appears to be just another charming medieval town, with a fantastically preserved castle and a 900-year-old cathedral. But look a little deeper and you’ll notice the wellspring of author readings and literary festivals, featuring recent talks by Booker Prize winners like John Banville and Penelope Lively.

The comfy cafes within the town’s narrow old lanes are full of aspiring writers pecking away at laptops, dreaming of becoming the next Ian McEwan or Kazuo Ishiguro, both of whom got their start here at the University of East Anglia’s esteemed creative writing master’s program.

Mr. Ishiguro was so struck by Norwich and its surrounding county that he used it as inspiration for his 2005 novel “Never Let Me Go” (though the book was actually set in East Sussex, the 2010 movie adaptation was largely filmed in Norfolk County, home to Norwich). “I love the emptiness and the atmosphere,” he said. “The scenery is quite unique. There is that feeling of being in a lost corner.”

via Norwich, England, a Book-Lover’s Town – NYTimes.com.

green:  I knew it was coming.  Duke Power is giving customers a dozen bulbs for free.  I am interested to see if they really cut my bill.

The brightest bulb in most homes for more than a century is fading toward darkness this year as California turns out the light on the century-old incandescent.

Beginning Jan. 1, the state began phasing out certain energy-sucking bulbs, federal standards the rest of the country will enact next year.

Manufacturers will no longer make the traditional 100-watt bulb and stores will eventually sell out of current supplies. Consumers will have to choose from more efficient bulbs that use no more than 72 watts, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs.

“These standards will help cut our nation’s electric bill by over $10 billion a year and will save the equivalent electricity as 30 large power plants,” said Noah Horowitz a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That translates into a whole lot less global warming pollution being emitted.”

The change is part of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act that President George Bush signed in 2007, to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. California was allowed to adopt the national standard one year earlier.

via It’s lights out for the incandescent bulb in Calif  | ajc.com.

branding, advertising, Starbucks: just interesting …

The rise of the affluent society has left people with lots of time and talent to spare, Mr Shirky argues. For decades they squandered this cognitive surplus watching television. Today, thanks to the internet, they can also channel it into more productive pursuits.

For a surprising number of people these productive pursuits involve worrying about companies’ logos. Howard Schultz, the boss of Starbucks, recently announced that his company would mark its 40th anniversary this March by changing its logo a bit. The words “Starbucks” and “coffee” will disappear. And the mermaid, or siren, will be freed from her circle.

Starbucks wants to join the small club of companies that are so recognisable they can rely on nothing but a symbol: Nike and its swoosh; McDonald’s and its golden arches; Playboy and its bunny; Apple and its apple. The danger is that it will join the much larger class of companies that have tried to change their logos only to be forced to backtrack by an electronic lynch mob.

via Schumpeter: Logoland | The Economist.

quotes, Reynolds Price, RIP:  Given his recent death, I think  a quote from Reynolds Price is appropriate.

“… what I still ask for daily – for life as long as I have work to do, and work as long as I have life.” — Reynolds Price, A Whole New Life

In A Whole New Life, however, he steps from behind that roster of achievements to present us with a more personal story, a narrative as intimate and compelling as any work of the imagination. In 1984, a large cancer was discovered in his spinal cord (“The tumor was pencil-thick and gray-colored, ten inches long from my neck-hair downward”). Here, for the first time, Price recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction (one American in three will experience some from of cancer). He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and the radiation that temporarily arrests it (but hurries his loss of control of his lower body); the occasionally comic trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; two further radical surgeries; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; an eventual discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life. Beyond the particulars of pain and mortal illness, larger concerns surface here — a determination to get on with the human interaction that is so much a part of this writer’s much-loved work, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, the return to his prolific work, and the “now appalling, now astonishing grace of God.” A Whole New Life offers more than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation; it offers honest insight, realistic encouragement and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or who know someone who does or will.

via A whole new life – Google Books.

green, design, wildlife:  Special provisions for the bears cougars, bobcats, elk and deer …

At a picturesque spot in the mountains near the ski resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, Colo., two streams of traffic converge: people driving east and west on Interstate 70, and animals — black bears, cougars, bobcats, elk and deer — headed north and south to feed and mate. When they collide, the animal is almost always killed and the vehicle badly damaged, even if the driver is lucky enough to escape injury.

The obvious solution is a bridge or a tunnel for the animals, but how do you build one they will use?

via Contest Seeks to Avert Collisions With Animals on I-70 in Colorado – NYTimes.com.

politics, GA politics, David Ralston-GA House Speaker, really stupid:  Since I often comment on the really stupid things we do in our youth, why is it that our politicians are the next group of people who do really stupid things?

House Speaker David Ralston and his family spent part of Thanksgiving week in Europe on a $17,000 economic development mission paid for by lobbyists interested in building a high-speed train line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Commonwealth Research Associates, a D.C.-based consulting firm, paid for the trip, which also included Ralston’s chief of staff Spiro Amburn and his spouse, to Germany and the Netherlands the week of Nov. 21-27, according to records filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.

The trip was the most expensive single expenditure reported by a lobbyist since at least 2005.

via Ralston, staff and families took $17,000 lobbyist-funded trip to Germany  | ajc.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, The Supreme Court, Separation of Powers:  Haven’t decided what I think of this other than I would like to be there.  Do you have an opinion?  Is this appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, described just last week by a Washington law professor as “the first real celebrity justice” for his controversial public pronouncements, will come to Capitol Hill on Monday to lecture about constitutional law to some earnest members of the House of Representatives. He was invited to do so by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party activist in Congress, as part of her effort to educate lawmakers about the nation’s founding legal documents.

Although Justice Scalia has been criticized in some quarters for accepting the invitation, it is not unreasonable of him to consider the opportunity to speak face-to-face with his interbranch partners as a rare and welcome one. And although many observers see the effort as a partisan ploy between and among conservative ideologues, there are plenty of nonpartisan things Professor Scalia can lecture about. For example:

via Professor Scalia Comes to Capitol Hill: Here Is His Constitutional Lesson Plan.

South Africa:  11 official languages is very difficult … interesting to watch how this is resolved.

UNDER the 1996 constitution, all 11 of South Africa’s official languages “must enjoy parity of esteem and be treated equitably”. In practice English, the mother tongue of just 8% of the people, increasingly dominates all the others. Its hegemony may even threaten the long-term survival of the country’s African languages, spoken as the mother tongue of 80% of South Africans, despite the government’s repeated promises to promote and protect indigenous languages and culture.

Under apartheid, there were just two official languages, English and Afrikaans, a variant of Dutch with a dash of French, German, Khoisan (spoken by so-called Bushmen and Hottentots), Malay and Portuguese. Pre-colonial African languages were relegated to the black townships and tribal “homelands”. Even there, English was often chosen as the medium of education in preference to the inhabitants’ mother tongues. Black South Africans increasingly rejected Afrikaans as the language of the main oppressor; English was a symbol of advancement and prestige.

Today, 16 years after the advent of black-majority rule, English reigns supreme. Not only is it the medium of business, finance, science and the internet, but also of government, education, broadcasting, the press, advertising, street signs, consumer products and the music industry. For such things Afrikaans is also occasionally used, especially in the Western Cape province, but almost never an African tongue. The country’s Zulu-speaking president, Jacob Zuma, makes all his speeches in English. Parliamentary debates are in English. Even the instructions on bottles of prescription drugs come only in English or Afrikaans.

via South Africa’s languages: Tongues under threat | The Economist.

followup, Keith Olbermann, media:  Seems there is a lot behind the curtains …

One NBC News executive said on Sunday: “Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.”

via Years of Strife Caught Up With Olbermann at MSNBC – NYTimes.com.

 

09
Jan
11

‎1.9.2011 … trying to digest the Arizona massacre … planning my week … but hoping for snow!

followup, words, Davidson:  From yesterday’s post about Cary’s article:

peripatetic |ˌperipəˈtetik|adjective1 traveling from place to place, esp. working or based in various places for relatively short periods : the peripatetic nature of military life.

and yes, the essence of our reunions is …

It’s not a place to be right; it’s a place to be loved.

via Cardus – My Peripatetic Posse: Safety in Numbers.

LOL, art, ballet, kith/kin: From my friend Claudia who owns tutu.com: “Here’s the link to Jim Carrey’s spoof of Black Swan. Tutu by Tutu.Com!”  Saturday Night Live – Black Swan – Video – NBC.com.

movies:  Watched Inception last night … Maybe too many levels for me.  John thinks it may be the next Matrix.  Ebert seems to agree.

If you’ve seen any advertising at all for the film, you know that its architecture has a way of disregarding gravity. Buildings tilt. Streets coil. Characters float. This is all explained in the narrative. The movie is a perplexing labyrinth without a simple through-line, and is sure to inspire truly endless analysis on the web.

The movies often seem to come from the recycling bin these days: Sequels, remakes, franchises. “Inception” does a difficult thing. It is wholly original, cut from new cloth, and yet structured with action movie basics so it feels like it makes more sense than (quite possibly) it does. I thought there was a hole in “Memento:” How does a man with short-term memory loss remember he has short-term memory loss? Maybe there’s a hole in “Inception” too, but I can’t find it. Christopher Nolan reinvented “Batman.” This time he isn’t reinventing anything. Yet few directors will attempt to recycle “Inception.” I think when Nolan left the labyrinth, he threw away the map.

via Inception :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

Arizona massacre, Congresswoman Giffords, media, religion:  Great question … who will speak of the soul?

Much of American public commentary takes place on television, via the Internet, and through social networks.  We already know what form the analysis of the assassination attempt will be.  Everyone will say what a tragedy it is.  Then commentators will take sides.  Those on the left will blame the Tea Party’s violent rhetoric and “Second Amendment solutions.”  Those on the right will blame irresponsible individuals and Socialism.  Progressives will call for more gun control; conservatives will say more people should carry guns. Everyone will have some sort of spin that benefits their party, their platform, and their policies.

But who will speak of the soul?

via Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: Speaking for the Soul – Christianity for the Rest of Us.

consumer products, made in the USAMade in USA: 10 Great Products Still Made Here (Slide 1 of 10) – CBS MoneyWatch.com.

restaurants, Penguin, Pinky’s, Charlotte:  Good friends and loyal old Penguin fans have tried Pinky’s and in some ways liked it better … menu, view … now I need to try both!  The Penguin ready to fry again – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies: Country Strong was pretty good …

But “Country Strong” is a throwback, a pure, heartfelt exercise in ’50s social melodrama, using such stock elements as a depressed heroine, her manipulating husband, an ambivalent Other Man, and tapping her toe impatiently in the wings, young Eve Harrington eager to swoop in and gnaw the heroine’s courage from her bones.

via Country Strong :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.

 

 

08
Dec
10

12.08.2010 … enjoying the bright cold of an early winter day …

Advent:  For about 10 years we have had an advent wreath on our dinner table which we light most nights and read the Christmas cards that came for the day as well as a passage from an advent book. Late this year, we just started two nights ago, and last night I just played a piece from the Unapologetically Episcopalian FB page … Elizabeth Poston – Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (1784).

Of course it wasn’t one of our ususal Presbyterian hymns so when Molly and John gave me a strange look, I quipped that I would put on Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Christmas Song.  And I did!

In response to this post on FB, a friend sent me a great Advent resource from her home church in Atlanta.  Advent Calendar 2010.  Enjoy!

RIP, news, media, headlines, obituaries, Elizabeth Edwards, :  Is Elizabeth Edwards death news justifying headlines that are at best merely factual … but more often titilating/demeaning or an obituary where the wording should be respectful?  I go for the latter. What do you think?

CNN This Just In Blog:

Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer

via Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer – This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

The Huffington Post – (Note first word is Ariana):

Arianna On Elizabeth Edwards’ Passing, Strength And Legacy

via HuffPost TV: Arianna On Elizabeth Edwards’ Passing, Strength And Legacy.

WSJ – Front Page Blurb in In Today’s Paper Column:

Died: Elizabeth Edwards, 61, campaigner and adviser whose battle with cancer and family travails drew sympathy.

via In Today’s Paper – WSJ.com.

WSJ:

Feisty Campaigner Drew Sympathy Amid Tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer – WSJ.com.

NYT:

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, 1949-2010

A Political Life Filled With Cruel Reversals

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer at 61 – Obituary – NYTimes.com.

Politics Daily (AOL):

Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace

via Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace.

CNN:

Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer

via Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer – CNN.com.

NPR:

Elizabeth Edwards: Resilience Remembered

via Elizabeth Edwards: Resilience Remembered : NPR.

Chicago Tribune:

Elizabeth Edwards dies at 61; wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the year her husband ran for vice president with John F. Kerry. The couple’s marriage unraveled years later when it was revealed that John Edwards was having an affair with a campaign videographer.

via Obituary: Elizabeth Edwards dies at 61; wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards – chicagotribune.com.

Atlanta Journal – Constitution:

Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy  | ajc.com.

Charlotte Observer:

Death is a quiet closing to a full and public life for Elizabeth Edwards

She won admiration for resilience amid illness, infidelity

via Death is a quiet closing to a full and public life for Elizabeth Edwards – CharlotteObserver.com.

The Daily Tarheel:

Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer

Was wife of John Edwards, UNC alumna, local business owner

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Elizabeth Edwards dies after battle with cancer.

facebook, Elizabeth Edwards:  FB allowed Elizabeth to control her own last words to the public.

Edwards also posted the following to her Facebook page:

“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,”  she wrote. “We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”

via A Look Into Elizabeth Edwards’ Facebook Post on Her Worsening Cancer Condition – Mike Isaac – Social Medium – Forbes.

religion, faith:  I really liked this entry from the Nouwen site today.

God’s Timeless Time

There is no “after” after death. Words like after and before belong to our mortal life, our life in time and space. Death frees us from the boundaries of chronology and brings us into God’s “time,” which is timeless. Speculations about the afterlife, therefore, are little more than just that: speculations. Beyond death there is no “first” and “later,” no “here” and “there,” no “past,” “present,” or “future.” God is all in all. The end of time, the resurrection of the body, and the glorious coming again of Jesus are no longer separated by time for those who are no longer in time.For us who still live in time, it is important not to act as if the new life in Christ is something we can comprehend or explain. God’s heart and mind are greater than ours. All that is asked of us is trust.

via December 6, 2010 – God’s Timeless Time.

random anniversaries, music: Today is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. I truly enjoyed his music.  Do you think John Lennon’s death is an event that warrants the questions, “Do you remember where you were when John Lennon died?”

YouTube – Imagine – John Lennon. — Don’t agree with the words … but sounds beautiful …

architecture, Chicago: good question …

In one of these essays, “New York, New York: Pluralism and Its Possibilities,” first published in 1979, Stern writes of New York’s place as a center of ideas–a nexus of distinguished architecture schools, journals, museums and newspaper criticism that no other American city could match. He goes on:

“One comes to New York to see architecture being made, and not so much to see it. How different from Chicago, where the products of Mies’s talents and those of his followers are everywhere to be seen. Chicago is like Detroit or Hollywood–the product and the place are one; architecture is Chicago’s dominant plastic art, just as film is Holywood’s chief artistic product; they are company towns, urban villages grown up to produce and market one or two things. New York is a metropolis, a world capital; architecture is dreamed here, realized everywhere.

Did Stern correctly characterize Chicago in 1979? And now, 31 years and a host of changes later, where is he right and where is he off base?

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

architecture, Chicago:  I was so looking forward to the Spire.  What is the last great skyscraper built in the US?

The Spire is so over

Irish developer Garrett Kelleher has lost control of the site on which he hoped to build architect Santiago Calatrava’s design for a twisting, 2,000-foot skyscraper, The Tribune’s Mary Ellen Podmolik reports.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

apps, art, Paris: Brushes is one of my favorite iPad/iphone apps.  Now there is a whole art exhibit done with the apps.  I want to go!

David Hockney thinks his current exhibition may be the first one that’s ever been 100 percent e-mailed to a gallery. The 73-year-old artist is standing in the space in question — the Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent Foundation in Paris — trying to talk about the works, when his iPhone rings.

via In Paris, A Display From David Hockney’s Pixelated Period : NPR.

Davidson:  Davidson sports … intentional, holistic, communal  … Don’t you love those words.

Fully one-quarter of Davidson’s 1,900 students are varsity athletes, and a preponderance of the student body practice some intramural sport, from crew to flickerball. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of brawny senior Wildcat hoopsters coaching a first-year flickerball practice on Chambers Lawn.

As has been well-documented in the “hoops and books” publicity surrounding our recent run to the Elite Eight, Davidson College is intentional and holistic in how it treats sports: as an integral part of the college experience, for athletes as well as for non-athletes. That makes for a strong sense of communal investment in the Wildcats’ seasons that is well worth witnessing.

via » A Different Kind of Sports Fan.

Apple:  I hope so.  I have a mobile me account primarily for the syncing … It needs some work.

Steve Jobs: MobileMe to ‘Get A Lot Better’ Next Year

Apple’s “MobileMe” service costs $99 per year and isn’t justifying its price with at least one user, who e-mailed Steve Jobs directly to complain. Jobs’ response: “It will get a lot better in 2011.” Sent from his iPhone.

Source: MacRumors

via TechFast: Google’s Notebook, Steve Jobs’ E-mail, and More – Techland – TIME.com.

news, college, stupid: How to screw your life up …

Each of the five students in the apparently well-coordinated network allegedly specialized in selling a certain type of drug, authorities said. During a five-month investigation, undercover New York Police Department officers made 31 purchases from the students, totaling nearly $11,000, said Bridget Brennan, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor.

According to Ms. Brennan, the sales took place in the common areas or bedrooms of three fraternities and two dorms and involved the peddling of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, Adderall and LSD, the latter of which was sometimes used to lace Altoids or Sweet Tarts candy.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the bust was the biggest at a college “in recent memory.” He said the investigation began after a tip from a confidential source. A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case said at least one student came forward to police with information about the narcotics exchange at the school.

via Columbia Drug Bust ‘Operation Ivy League’ Snares Five – WSJ.com.

apps, NYCBroadway by iPhone: TKTS Launches App – Metropolis – WSJ.

NYC, travel:  Ten Things Not to Do in New York City in Hot Spots on Concierge.com.

gLee:  I always wonder about the guys playing the instruments … why they are not ever characters. So I found this amusing. … Brad Ellis: ‘Glee’s’ Piano Man, Perfectly Happy With The Silent Treatment : Monkey See : NPR.

Apple: OK, Mac — does that make me “a spendthrift fetishist?”

PC or Mac? It’s the longest-running question in personal technology — along with the Mac itself, the debate turns 27 next month — and probably the most contentious one. A small but noisy percentage of computer owners consist of people who aren’t content to pick a computing platform and leave it at that. Instead, they question the IQ and/or taste of anyone who makes a buying decision different from their own. Hence the classic stereotypes: the Windows user as a clueless sucker for punishment, and the Mac fan as a spendthrift fetishist. (Apple has fanned the flames with PC-bashing ads for years, and Microsoft has gotten snarky about Macs in some recent commercials.)

via PC vs. Mac Holiday Shopping: Which Computer Type Is Best? – TIME.

technology, iPhones, Charlotte:  So I have the worst cell phone service in a major metropolitan area AND I use the worst carrier!

Consumer Reports, the influential product review publication, says AT&T Inc. is again the worst-rated cellular service provider in the U.S., a blow to the carrier’s effort to rehabilitate its network and reputation.

via Consumer Reports Says AT&T ‘Worst-Rated’ U.S. Carrier – WSJ.com.




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