Posts Tagged ‘religion


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 –

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

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’ –

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. 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 –

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?  |

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 –

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 –

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  |

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 –

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  |

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 –



‎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 “Here’s the link to Jim Carrey’s spoof of Black Swan. Tutu by Tutu.Com!”  Saturday Night Live – Black Swan – Video –

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 :: :: 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

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 –

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 :: :: Reviews.




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 – 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 –


Feisty Campaigner Drew Sympathy Amid Tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer –



A Political Life Filled With Cruel Reversals

via Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer at 61 – Obituary –

Politics Daily (AOL):

Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace

via Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace.


Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer

via Elizabeth Edwards loses battle with cancer –


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 –

Atlanta Journal – Constitution:

Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy

via Elizabeth Edwards’ legacy: toughness amid tragedy  |

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 –

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 –

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 –

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

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

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 –


11.21.2010 … Bill Wood’s last day at FPC …

First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte: FPC will miss you, the Teague family will miss you and I will miss you.  Thank you, Dr. Wood for 27 years.  You brought me into adulthood in the Presbyterian church and you baptised each of my children into the church (three of 800!)    I can’t wait to see what you will do next. fn.20101121-1

Chicago, architecture: 50 years old … makes me feel old.Marinacity

Monday will mark the 50th anniversary of the official ground-breaking for the great city-within-a-city and its iconic, corncob-shaped towers of concrete.

They were the world’s tallest concrete structures at the time of their completion in the 1960s. And they remain among the most photographed and beloved architectural symbols of Chicago.

Their curvy balconies offer ample space for dinner parties and al fresco romance. In this vertical village, your “neighbor” might be the person you wave to in the tower next door.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

college, applications: Where is this going …

Since I wrote about the early returns on early-admission programs last Friday, the enduring popularity of binding early-decision programs this year has come into increasingly sharper focus.

I note, in scrolling through the nearly three dozen institutions (and counting) represented on the chart above, that binding early submissions to Vanderbilt are up more than 30 percent; those to George Washington are up nearly 20 percent; and that Dartmouth has seen an increase of nearly 14 percent. (Blogger’s disclosure: I am a Dartmouth graduate.)

Bucknell (30 percent); Lehigh (14 percent); and Bowdoin (10 percent) also caught my eye. They join Northwestern (now reporting a 26 percent increase) and the University of Pennsylvania (18 percent), which I wrote about last week.

via College Admissions Advice – The Choice Blog –


Groupon, the Chicago-based Internet company that offers deep discounts on products and services, discovered Friday that a tout from Oprah Winfrey can be too much of a good thing.

After the talk-show host mentioned Groupon on her “Favorite Things” segment Friday morning, the company’s website crashed. Visitors received this message: “We are experiencing unusually high volume on our site right now. Please check back later.”

A Groupon rep said the site was up again by the afternoon.

Winfrey mentioned Groupon’s partnership with Kiva, a microfinancing company that offers small loans to low-income entrepreneurs worldwide. She chose Kiva as one of her “2010 Favorite Things” and noted that a $10 Groupon would buy a $25 Kiva loan.

The Kiva deal is still on: “Whether you give the credit as a gift or make the loan yourself, Groupon and supporting sponsors will add $10 to every $15 purchase, up to $500,000,” the company reports on its site.

via Oprah plug leads to website crash :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State.

Africa, wildlife:

Yet the chances of saving thenorthern white are remote. Short of re-engineering it from frozen samples in the future, the best hope of preserving its genetic stock is to breed the last individuals with southern whites. That means the end of a creature that has probably been distinct for a million years. Indeed, the decline of the African rhino—which includes the black rhino as well as the white—is among the sorriest and most instructive tales in conservation.

When President Theodore Roosevelt came to east Africa in 1909 an estimated 300,000 rhinos roamed the region. Now there are perhaps 2,000. The problem is not that the rhinos are half-blind, lumbering, and often infertile—which they are. It is economic: the ornamental and medicinal value of rhino horn makes it hard for the rhino to pay its way alive.

via Game conservation in Africa: Horns, claws and the bottom line | The Economist.

movies, Disney Princesses, childhood, RIP:  a part of my childhood and most American little girls …

Once upon a time, there was a studio in Burbank that spun classic fairy tales into silver-screen gold.But now the curtain is falling on “princess movies,” which have been a part of Disney Animation’s heritage since the 1937 debut of its first feature film, “Snow White.” The studio’s Wednesday release of “Tangled,” a contemporary retelling of the Rapunzel story, will be the last fairy tale produced by Disney’s animation group for the foreseeable future.

via Disney Animation is closing the book on fairy tales –

random, history: very interesting

With that wax cylinder, the oldest known recording of a spiritual titled for its recurring plea, Mr. Gordon set into motion a strange and revealing process of cultural appropriation, popularization and desecration. “Come By Here,” a song deeply rooted in black Christianity’s vision of a God who intercedes to deliver both solace and justice, by the 1960s became the pallid pop-folk sing-along “Kumbaya.” And “Kumbaya,” in turn, has lately been transformed into snarky shorthand for ridiculing a certain kind of idealism, a quest for common ground.

Conservative Republicans use the term to mock the Obama administration as naïve. Liberals on the left wing of the Democratic Party use it to chastise President Obama for trying to be bipartisan. The president and some of his top aides use it as an example of what they say their policies are not.

via Long Road From ‘Come By Here’ to ‘Kumbaya’ — On Religion –

politics, media, Oh_Please:

Ms. Palin’s search traffic, since the start of 2010, is roughly 16 times that of Mitt Romney, 14 times that of Newt Gingrich, 38 times that of Mike Huckabee, and 87 times that of Mr. Pawlenty. (It is about six times greater than these other four candidates combined.)

Ms. Palin, in fact, draws almost as much search traffic worldwide as the man she would face if she wins the Republican nomination: Barack Obama. And her name is searched for about 30 percent more often than the President’s among Google users in the United States.

via Election Forecasts – FiveThirtyEight Blog –


In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland detail how they caught 38 atoms of anti-hydrogen — the simplest type of antimatter — and stored them for about two-tenths of a second. Sci-fi geeks or mad papal aides shouldn’t celebrate yet, however.

Scientists (Briefly) Trap Elusive Antimatter

An image taken by the ALPHA annihilation detector shows untrapped antihydrogen atoms annihilating on the inner surface of the ALPHA trap. The events are concentrated at the electrode radius of about 22.3 mm.

“[Thirty-eight atoms is] an incredibly small amount,” said Rob Thompson, head of physics and astronomy at Canada’s University of Calgary and one of the paper’s 42 co-authors. “Nothing like what we would need to power ‘Star Trek’s’ Starship Enterprise or even to heat a cup of coffee.”

via Scientists (Briefly) Trap Elusive Antimatter.

bookshelf, Mark Twain:  OK, this sounds interesting.

When editors at the University of California Press pondered the possible demand for “Autobiography of Mark Twain,” a $35, four-pound, 500,000-word doorstopper of a memoir, they kept their expectations modest with a planned print run of 7,500 copies.

“Autobiography of Mark Twain” is a smash hit across the country.

Now it is a smash hit across the country, landing on best-seller lists and going back to press six times, for a total print run — so far — of 275,000. The publisher cannot print copies quickly enough, leaving some bookstores and online retailers stranded without copies just as the holiday shopping season begins.

via Mark Twain’s Autobiography Is Flying Off the Shelves –

fashion:  I never thought about what raven meant …

Audesson says it’s because they believe getting older corresponds to going lighter.

“People also believe in the blonde myth,” says Audesson. “The media has taught us that being blonde makes women feel sexy, hot, attractive, powerful, and men look more at blondes than brunettes. But in reality, what really happens when some women go lighter, is they end up looking washed out, so they don’t wind up with any of those qualities.”

The ideal woman to have dark hair is one with a dark or olive complexion and dark or very light eyes, according to Audesson. Age can be a factor, too. “Younger to middle aged woman look better with very dark hair,” he says. Also, women who are naturally darker — including Hispanics, Asians or Middle Easterners — should lean towards the darker shades of hair color as their natural complexion complements it better.

via Thinking of Going Dark This Winter? Pro Tips for Raven Locks – StyleList.


“With people getting partially molested at checkpoints, all that is going to be a real shock for them,” said Greg Wells, senior vice president of operations at Southwest Airlines. “TSA will create an issue for us. It’s going to slow things down.”

via Will Turkey Day Fliers Cry Foul? –

politics, religion, President Obama:  Interesting analysis

The Wisdom books force readers to face uncomfortable truths. “There is no remembrance of the first things nor of the last things that will be,” says Ecclesiastes. In a footnote, Alter observes: “This is a radical and deeply disturbing idea for the Hebrew imagination, which, on the evidence of many earlier texts, sets such great store in leaving a remembrance, and envisages the wiping out of remembrance as an ultimate curse.”

And yet, and yet. All is not lost, which should give the president some hope amid the shadows, and should keep the Republicans from thinking that their own course will now be unimpeded. “And I saw that wisdom surpasses folly as light surpasses darkness,” says Ecclesiastes. “The wise man has eyes in his head, and the fool goes in darkness.” The world will never bend itself totally to our purposes, but Job’s example offers us some hope: endure in tribulation, and perhaps all may be well.

via Obama and the Book of Job – Essay –

inspiration:  I just liked this … tgif + a celebration giveaway – my blog – Ordinary Courage.


history, Gettysburg AddressSeven Score and Seven Years Ago: What You Don’t Know About the Gettysburg Address – TIME NewsFeed.

politics, media, fair is fair:

Joe Scarborough, a co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” was briefly suspended Friday after Politico uncovered donations he had made to political candidates.

Mr. Scarborough’s donations to friends and family members totaled $4,000. His suspension will keep him off “Morning Joe” for two days.

Those donations were a violation of a policy at MSNBC and its parent, NBC News, which prohibits political contributions without advance approval. That prohibition also ensnared Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s highest-rated host, earlier this month, after the same publication reported that he had donated to three candidates. Mr. Olbermann’s donations were all made this year, and they totaled $7,200. Those donations prompted a two-day suspension of Mr. Olbermann — and a rash of criticism of the policy.

via Joe Scarborough Suspended For Two Days For Political Donations –


‎11.11.2010 … happy veteran’s day … and the bassets are winning again …

technology, culture, change: I have a vivid memory from 2007 of a man riding a bicycle smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone in the rural China.

More than 4 billion of the 6 billion people on earth now have a cell phone, with a quarter of those owners getting one in just the last two years. And many are using them, in a giant global experiment, to change the way life is lived, from Manhattan to Ouagadougou.

The phones now allow Masai tribesmen in Kenya to bank the proceeds from selling cattle; Iranian protesters to organize in secret; North Koreans to communicate with the outside world; Afghan villagers to alert Coalition soldiers to Taliban forces; insurgents to blow up roadside bombs in Iraq; and charities to see, in real time, when HIV drugs run out in the middle of Malawi.

via How the Cell Phone Is Changing the World – Newsweek.

economics, RIP: Rest in Peace, Mr. Isard.  I did not know this specialized multidisciplinary area of study existed.

Walter Isard, an economist who founded the field of regional science, inspiring social scientists to study the relationships between such factors as geography, migration and land use in local or regional economies, died on Saturday at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his son Peter.

In the 1940s Professor Isard (pronounced EYE-zard) found common cause with other economists searching for a more sophisticated way to measure and understand economic activity on a smaller-than-national scale.

Deeply influenced by the German economists who developed location theory — the study of geographic location as a prime factor in economic development — he began lobbying for an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing local and regional economies.

Typically, a specialist in regional science might study the factors causing a particular industry to be located in a particular place, how the arrival or departure of a company affects a region, or how internal migration influences regional economic activity.

The core concepts of regional science were developed and propagated through the Regional Science Association (since 1989 the Regional Science Association International) and the Journal of Regional Science, both of which Professor Isard founded in the 1950s.

via Walter Isard, Father of Regional Science, Dies at 91 –

history, ancestry, research:  Fascinating … but I don’t think anyone in my family went there … until now … my nephew Harman is there …

Years before leading his vastly outnumbered troops to their doom at Little Bighorn, a young George Armstrong Custer was described as accurate in math.

Nearly 30 years before his March to the Sea laid waste to a large swath of Georgia, William Tecumseh Sherman was deemed a “fine energetic boy.”

And two decades before he would earn the nickname “Stonewall,” Thomas J. Jackson’s dreams of a military career got a boost from a man who would help start the Civil War.

Those are some of the tidbits gleaned from more than 115,000 U.S. Military Academy application documents being posted online for the first time by The Provo, Utah-based genealogy website said Tuesday that the information can be viewed for free starting Thursday — Veterans Day — through Sunday.

The oldest West Point documents being posted online date to 1805, three years after the academy’s founding, and run through 1866, a year after the Civil War ended. The records and other related documents from that period were culled from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., said Quinton Atkinson, director of content acquisition for

The documents represent some 16,000 individuals accepted into the Corps of Cadets, he said. Missing from the collection are the application records of notables such as Edgar Allen Poe, who briefly attended West Point, and Robert E. Lee, who graduated in 1829, Atkinson said.

“These are the rich aspects of the research that you can add to the more fundamental tree-building that family historians do,” Atkinson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “You can understand who these people were.”

via Old West Point applicant letters being put online – Yahoo! News.

random, not quite right: From a Tuesday Morning e-mail.  Just seems interesting that this was not a big seller … take it on the road 🙂

.Take It On The Road - Margaritaville Explorer Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker

public art, food trucks, NYC: OK, Zagat has a food trucks site … and ranks them … street food has come a long way in a very short time.

We’re so excited about the launch of our new Zagat Food Trucks site that we thought we’d give you a primer on some top-notch mobile eateries. These ratings are part of our recently released 2011 New York City Restaurants Survey. The list shows surveyors sure have a sweet tooth – more than half of the trucks listed will help you get your sugar fix. Check out full roundup below, and let us know about your favorites in the comments!

via 8 Best Food Trucks in New York – New York City Restaurant Buzz – Zagat.


Bove estimates the BlackRock sale, coupled with paying employee bonuses this year in stock instead of cash, will allow BofA to meet the $3 billion target.

via BofA sells BlackRock stake | Charlotte Business Journal.

Davidson:  Two good articles in the recent Davidson Journal … one about diversity … Is This the Face of Davidson? | davidsonjournal and the other about Davidson’s football history … Davidson & Goliath | davidsonjournal.

college, CU-Boulder, youth, faith: College is a time to experiment.  It is interesting that atheists would want to participate.  Maybe it is that yearning for something more … for God.

Some CU secular students said they are participating in religious activities for reasons other than faith.

via CU secular students participate in religious activities | CU Independent.

public art, history, superlatives:  The last World War I vet … and he’s right there should be a memorial to those vets.

The West Virginia resident is the last of 5 million Americans who served in World War I. He says a memorial doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a monument should be created alongside others commemorating other 20th century conflicts.

Born in 1901, Buckles was 16 when he enlisted but persuaded the Army he was 18. He saw no combat but worked as a driver and warehouse clerk in Europe and helped repatriate German prisoners after the war.

via Last US WWI veteran seeks DC memorial to that war  |

restaurants, Charlotte, followup:  I did not have the tater tot nachos … but I thought it ranked “good enough to go again” … We’ll see how I feel after I try the tater tot nachos … a combination of two of my favorite things.  Review of The Burger Company – The Charlotte Observer.

religion, culture,ethics: Good read …

The psychologists realized that as the speed of life increases, the possibility for ethical choice becomes a rarity: a too-full life limits the capacity to care.

In the tenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Christ commissions the disciples to go out two by two to cure the sick and proclaim the gospel (Luke 10:1-12). This text is paired with the telling of the parable of the Good Samaritan in the second half of the chapter (Luke 10:30-37). The lesson in exhaustion is a lesson for those who are sent.

via Exhaustion ethics | Faith & Leadership.

random, LOL: I like to take pictures of certain things all over the world … never thought of children’s play places and how outrageously funny they could be.  enjoy …

Strange Play: 26 odd pieces of playground equipment

via 26 strange play places – Cheaper Than Therapy.

colleges, GA, education:  Where are they coming from … and when will the peak in enrollment occur?

The University System of Georgia is teaching 311,442 students this fall – a new record for the 35 campuses and an increase of 3.2 percent from last year, Chancellor Erroll Davis said Wednesday.

Some campuses did see a slight drop in enrollment. University of Georgia has 34,677 students – a decrease of .6 percent.

via Georgia colleges set enrollment record  |

education, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Great Recession:  One of the most important characteristics of a community are its schools.  Let’s hope that this recession does not destroy the good in our system.

In a night marked by split votes, angry protests and accusations of racism, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved a sweeping plan to close 10 schools and make other dramatic changes.

In the most controversial item, the board voted 5-4 to close Waddell High and make it the new home for Smith Language Academy, a K-8 magnet. Harding High, which had also been considered as a home for Smith, will turn into a neighborhood school housing many of Waddell’s students, along with the International Baccalaureate magnet now at Harding.

Most other efforts to block or revise the plan failed, often with the board’s only two black members on the losing end of votes.

via Board closes Waddell, saves Harding –

public art, Chicago: It seems strange that this installation was only temporary …

The Eye sculpture, the giant blue eyeball that stared down Loop commuters all summer, is shutting for good today.

Crew members are scheduled to break down local sculptor Tony Tasset’s fiberglass sculpture and remove it from Pritzker Park, where it sat as the Chicago Loop Alliance’s inaugural Art Loop installation.

Kavi Gupta Gallery, which counts Tasset on its roster, said Monday it is hoping the sculpture will be back in Chicago by spring.

via The ‘Eye’ blinking out of Chicago for the winter – Chicago Breaking News.


11.01.2010 … the human heart is restless … until it finds rest in God …

bookshelf, faith: I am reading a book that many of the PW Circles at FPC are reading: Faith, Doubt, and Courage in 15 Great People of Faith: And What We Can Learn from Them .  So far I am learning a great deal and am fascinated by the faith walk of each  … The human heart is restless … until it finds rest in God … refers to Augustine of Hippo (Chapter III).

All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, holidays, me: Growing up in Atlanta as a Presbyterian, I never heard of either All Saints Day or Day of the Dead … so when we moved to Wilmette and the kids learned about Day of the Dead (with an altar to the dead and candy skulls, etc.) and our PCUSA minister who grew up Lutheran and Episcopalian introduced other protestant traditions my faith practices and interests became more multi-denominational … so here is a little history for you.  And today I am thinking of those who have found rest with God.

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is observed in Mexico on All Saints Day, November 1 and All Souls Day, November 2nd. Altars are lovingly decorated with photos of the deceased, their favorite foods and drinks, flowers and candy. Customs vary throughout different parts of Mexico, but the country as a whole faithfully celebrates the holiday.

The illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) created the famous skeleton dressed as a high-society lady now known as La Catrina and universally recognized as the reigning queen of Dia de los Muertos.

The origins of this unique holiday can be traced back thousands of years to Aztec culture. There are also similar holidays in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

via Holly Cara Price: Mexico’s Day of the Dead – A Unique Celebration of Life (PHOTOS).

More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.

It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate.

via Day of the Dead history.

Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos – El Dia de los Muertos –

food, food trucks: Doesn’t this ruin the unique and local aspects of the food truck movement?

Food franchises are taking to the road.

A small but growing number of chains—such as Cousins Submarines Inc., Tasti D-Lite LLC and Toppers Pizza Inc.—are following in the tire tracks of those local food-truck businesses popping up on city streets around the U.S. Many brick-and-mortar eateries have added mobile units in recent years, and more are expected to do the same, including national brands.

“By the end of next year, you’ll begin to see some big brands rolling this out,” says Robert Stidham, president of Franchise Dynamics LLC, a Homewood, Ill., company that helps businesses develop franchises. Mr. Stidham says he’s been involved in “serious” discussions with about a half-dozen national food franchises on strategies for going mobile. He declined to name specific chains.

via Big Chains Try Food Trucks –

culture, psychology: Seems like a no brainer to me …

Alcohol ranks “most harmful” among a list of 20 drugs — beating out crack and heroin — according to study results released by a British medical journal.

A panel of experts weighed the physical, psychological and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Sunday.

via Study: Alcohol ‘most harmful drug,’ followed by crack and heroin –

media, politics: I am beginning to think media and politics should not mix.

In the station’s statement, Mr. Bever said many elements of the Miller campaign’s analysis of the recording was incorrect including its “interpretation of conversation snippets.”

“The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd,” he said. “The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”

He added, “Have we had internal discussions about the level of professionalism we need to bring to our conversations, internally and externally? Of course we have, this is a lesson to learn from.”

via Phone Recording Sets Off Firestorm in Alaska – Washington Wire – WSJ.

adventure: This ruins the adventure …

Without a Starbucks positioned near the world’s most daunting summit, how can a climber stay in touch with the web?

Private telecom firm Ncell is on its way to solving the 21st-century quandary. Reuters reports that the company has launched Nepal’s inaugural 3G amenities at the foot of Mount Everest, spurring a stronger connection for the thousands of outdoors enthusiasts that visit each year.

The New York Daily News adds that there will be seven 3G bases in the area, allowing for both wireless Internet and video calls via smartphone devices. Up until this development, the onus was on individual climbers to supply their own satellite equipment.

via High Speed Internet Debuts Atop Mount Everest – TIME NewsFeed.

culture, religion, wasabies, blog posts:  This blog post struck me because I am blessed with a group of friends that have allowed me to change.

Perhaps it’s something more personal. Maybe it’s shaking off histories of a family of origin, throwing aside an addiction or an abusive past; no longer hooked by the things that used to hook; no longer responding in predictable, even destructive, patterns. Why? Because somehow, somewhere along the way we changed.

Have you ever been in that situation where you run into an old friend, somebody who predates a significant change in your life, and they want to act like everything’s just the same, that nothing has moved on in the intervening years? Say, the two of you used to “tear it up” back in the day. It’s almost like you’ve grown up, and they haven’t, and they still want to go out like it’s those college days all over again.

Or maybe you’re home with family for the holidays, and they all remind you of the time you hit your sister in the head with a baseball bat because she was supposed to be the catcher and got too close, or that you once got her in trouble by writing her name on the table in her handwriting, or they think they’ve got you pegged because they remember that you used to sneak around curfew by always spending the night at Eric’s house because he didn’t have a curfew…Hypothetically speaking, of course.

It is often with our families that we are most aware of the ways we’ve changed. They still want to treat you like the irresponsible, messy, tempered child you once were. It’s almost like they’re a puzzle in search of that missing piece. But you’re different now, and you no longer “fit” the way you once did.

Transformed Communities.

Halloween, DC, twitter: Do they really have trick-or-treating on embassy row? … from a Post Secret tweet


Leaving soon for Embassy Row in Washington, DC to trick-or-treat with the family. I hear the chocolate from the Belgium Embassy is the best.

via Twitter / Home.

Halloween, me:

… we had 5 trick-or-treaters … That may be all … Very hard for someone who grew up in Brookwood Hills and who lived in Davidson and Wilmette … Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and very few street lights. 😦


‎10.31.2010 … Happy Halloween … fed my soul at worship … fed by body at Amelie’s …

Halloween, holidays, google doodle :  Happy Halloween!  Gotta love the Scooby Doo Halloween doodle!

travel, restaurants, places, Boulder: A few more suggestions … my boys went to Pizzeria Basta and absolutely loved it.  Next time …

Boulder has won just about every shiny happy lifestyle award a city can: Healthiest, Most Educated, Most Bicycle-Friendly—the list goes on. And this year, it can add one more: Bon Appétit’s Foodiest Town in America.

… I have more questions to ask him, but I have to stop and walk. Finally, a pint of Left Hand Brewing Company lager and a few pizzas (one with house-made sausage and mozzarella and another with seasonal local potatoes and goat cheese) from Pizzeria Basta come to the rescue.

via America’s Foodiest Town 2010: Boulder, Colorado.

Davidson, kudos:  Dr. Murphy gave a very inspiring talk at Davidson’s convocation yesterday.

A Davidson College alumnus who organized a medical mission to Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake will speak at the college’s fall convocation Oct. 30.

Dr. Greg Murphy, a 1985 graduate who now works as an urologist and general surgeon in Greenville, N.C., has conducted short-term medical missions in developing countries for 20 years. But Murphy said he never seen such a dire situation as Haiti, and two weeks after the quake, he and 15 other medical personnel he recruited began seeing patients at St. Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

via Physician who served in Haiti speaking at Davidson convocation | Huntersville Herald.

technology, the Cloud: Coming next …

Moving beyond mere Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the company is positioning Windows Azure as a Platform-as-a-Service offering: a comprehensive set of development tools, services, and management systems to allow developers to concentrate on creating available, scalable applications.

Over the next 12-18 months, a raft of new functionality will be rolled out to Windows Azure customers. These features will both make it easier to move existing applications into the cloud, and enhance the services available to cloud-hosted applications.

The company believes that putting applications into the cloud will often be a multistage process. Initially, the applications will run unmodified, which will remove patching and maintenance burdens, but not take advantage of any cloud-specific functionality.

Over time, the applications will be updated and modified to start to take advantage of some of the additional capabilities that the Windows Azure platform has to offer.

Microsoft is building Windows Azure into an extremely complete cloud platform. Windows Azure currently takes quite a high-level approach to cloud services: applications have limited access to the underlying operating system, and software that requires Administrator installation isn’t usable.

via Future of Windows Azure — platform is the service –

food, restaurants, Charlotte: Amelie’s Bakery was very good!  Charlotte NC :: Amelie’s French Bakery :: Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe.

tv, movies, James Bond: ‎… Bond Weekend on TNT … What more could a girl want … (followup — so far I have only watched 2)

facebook, internet, religion, things past, Westminster:  Friday I asked Westminster friends on FB if they remember reading/watching Francis Schaeffer’s How then Should We Live in Christian Ethics senior year?  The answers varied … from we had senior ethics? … to  memories of other books we read , memories of the teachers (cute Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Eastham) and papers written … No one else remembers watching the videos … Do you remember them?  YouTube – How Should We Then Live 10#1.

lists:  I like lists … but I can see why Ebert doesn’t.  Why Roger Ebert Loathes Top 10 Film Lists –

history, literature: Bill Wood referenced Girolamo Savonarola and the 15th century “bonfire of the vanities.”  I really hate it when I have completely missed a literary reference.

Girolamo Savonarola (21 September 1452, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna – 23 May 1498, Florence) was an Italian Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and hostility to the Renaissance. He vehemently preached against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time, and his main opponent was Rodrigo Borgia, who was Pope Alexander VI from 1492, through Savonarola’s death, to 1503.

via Girolamo Savonarola.

After Charles VIII of France invaded Florence in 1494, the ruling Medici were overthrown and Savonarola emerged as the new leader of the city, combining in himself the role of secular leader and priest. He set up a republic in Florence. Characterizing it as a “Christian and religious Republic,” one of its first acts was to make sodomy, previously punishable by fine, into a capital offence. Homosexuality had previously been tolerated in the city, and many homosexuals from the elite now chose to leave Florence. His chief enemies were the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI, who issued numerous restraints against him, all of which were ignored.

Painting of Savonarola’s execution in the Piazza della Signoria.

In 1497, he and his followers carried out the Bonfire of the Vanities. They sent boys from door to door collecting items associated with moral laxity: mirrors, cosmetics, lewd pictures, pagan books, immoral sculptures (which he wanted to be transformed into statues of the saints and modest depictions of biblical scenes), gaming tables, chess pieces, lutes and other musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets, and burnt them all in a large pile in the Piazza della Signoria of Florence.[2] Many fine Florentine Renaissance artworks were lost in Savonarola’s notorious bonfires — including paintings by Sandro Botticelli, which he is alleged to have thrown into the fires himself.[3]

Florence soon became tired of Savonarola because of the city’s continual political and economic miseries partially derived from Savonarola’s opposition to trading and making money. When a Franciscan preacher challenged him to a trial by fire in the city centre and he declined, his following began to dissipate.

During his Ascension Day sermon on May 4, 1497, bands of youths rioted, and the riot became a revolt: dancing and singing taverns reopened, and men again dared to gamble publicly.

via Girolamo Savonarola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

As a metaphor, Tom Wolfe used the 15th century event and ritual as the title for his 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and its film adaptation.

via Bonfire of the Vanities – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

education, literature, film/lit:  Sometimes it is the really odd classes that stay with a preson their whole life.

Students in the course write essays and blog about such movies as 28 Days Later and Night of the Living Dead and books such as the Jane Austen send-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.

“The course looks at what fears about society and ideology are expressed in zombie fiction,” Rivers says, “such as becoming part of a society where the individual ceases to exist, or what zombies, who persuade us to become them by consuming us, have to say about persuasion and identification.”

One student, Rohit Mukherjee (NHS’12), wrote about how in movies and books, zombies kill people just because they are different.

“At our core, we possess the same force of destruction as the zombie masses,” Mukherjee wrote. “No virus led the Hutu masses to hack their Tutsi neighbors to death … their rage was intrinsic.”

via Georgetown University: Students Attack Tough Subjects Through Zombies.

museums, NYC:  I would like to see this museum one day …

McKim Building Reopening

The Morgan’s landmark 1906 building by McKim, Mead and White closed in early June for the first extensive restoration of its interior spaces in more than one hundred years. The building will reopen to the public on Saturday, October 30 with a full slate of special activities and we invite you to join us to mark the occasion.

The afternoon’s festivities will begin with a welcome and talk about the McKim building project and the Morgan collections by director William M. Griswold. Throughout the day, musicians, including the New-Trad Octet, a New Orleans-style band exploring the roots of early American music, will perform. Docents will be on hand to provide visitors with historical insight into the Morgan’s architecture. All events are included with admission to the Morgan.

via The Morgan Library & Museum – Public Programs – McKim Building Reopening.

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May 2020