Posts Tagged ‘salt

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And from 1.25.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

From 1.26.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

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18
Feb
14

2.18.14 … salt and sochi … It was a dark and stormy night …

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

Rachel Ries, Urban-Rural Split,  Ghost of a Gardener, NPR:  Really good NPR segment from Sunday.

Sometimes you need to get away from the thing you love. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to singer Rachel Ries about her new album, Ghost of a Gardener, which she produced after taking a couple years off from music.

via Rachel Ries’ Album Reflects Her Urban-Rural Split : NPR.

via ▶ Rachel Ries ‘Mercy’ – YouTube.

Humans of New York,  Susie’s Senior Dogs:  Loved this …

I’ve got to tell you guys about all the amazing things happening over at Susie’s Senior Dogs. So we started this page on a whim last week, for the purpose of placing old dogs in new homes. (And by we, I mean 95% my girlfriend, and 5% me– let’s be honest.) Nearly 100,000 people “liked” the page in 24 hours.

We’ve posted about 11 dogs so far, and 6 of them have been adopted– from all over the country. It’s just been an incredible success. Almost all of these dogs were ten years or older, and many of them had been in shelters for a long time. Check out these pictures of the pups in their new homes. Remember, these guys were sleeping in cages just last week.

From Left to Right: Nina (13), Fancy (12), and Max (10).

A Wrinkle in Time, favorites:  A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite book of my early reading life. Truly started me on my love of reading path.

Photo: Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L'Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans. </p><br /> <p>To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time</p><br /> <p>To check out the graphic novel adaptation, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-the-graphic-novel</p><br /> <p>To view Out of Print's t-shirt for teens and adults featuring artwork from the novel's first edition 1962 cover, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-t-shirt </p><br /> <p>And, to view the 5-book box set of The Wrinkle In Time Quintet, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/the-wrinkle-in-time-quintet-box-set

“It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.”

Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans.

To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Winnie-the-Pooh, favorites:  And another favorite …

“And then, all of a sudden, Winnie-the-Pooh stopped again, and licked the tip of his nose in a cooling manner, for he was feeling more hot and anxious than ever in his life before.”

On February 13, 1924, Punch magazine published a short poem titled “Teddy Bear” by Alan Alexander Milne, one of the magazine’s editors and a frequent contributor. The poem, inspired by the stuffed teddy bear so dearly beloved by Milne’s four-year-old son Christopher Robin, was included in Milne’s collection of children’s verses, When We Were Very Young, illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard and published later that year. But the bear’s very first appearance in Punch was the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh, which Milne released two years later and which went on to become one of the most timeless children’s books ever written.

In the summer of 1929, the Dominion Gramophone Company set out to capture prominent British authors reading from their work. In this rare recording, Milne reads the third chapter of his classic, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle,” made all the more delightful by his enchantingly melodic voice — please enjoy:

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/a-a-milne-reads-from-winnie-the-pooh

via Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh: A Rare 1929 Recording of A.A. Milne Reading from His Beloved Book | Brain Pickings.

 Buckhead’s  Beltline,  Path400, Parks & Recreation, Curbed Atlanta, multi-use trail:  Another multi-use trail!

DSC_0442-thumb.JPG

Great news for multi-use trail zealots: The first phase of PATH400, a Beltlineian trail that will wend for 5.2 miles through Buckhead parallel to Ga. 400, is set to break ground Feb. 17. Officials are hoping the path will lend Buckhead the same sense of interconnectedness the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has provided neighborhoods east of downtown and Midtown. “PATH400 will be a tremendous asset,” Jim Durrett, executive director of Buckhead CID, said in a press release. “Our community will enjoy new pedestrian access to schools and the local business district, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a greater sense of connectedness. It’s a wise investment for Buckhead.” PATH400’s first phase will be a half-mile stretch from Lenox Road at Tower Place up to Old Ivy Road. Extensions could soon follow.

via Buckhead’s Answer To Beltline Will Break Ground This Month – Parks & Recreation – Curbed Atlanta.

Worth your time …, Molly Wilmer Barker:  Loved this post!

With the recent drug overdose of Philip Seymour, comes up (again) the age-old conversation about whether addition and abuse of drugs and alcohol is the result of a disease or just a really bad habit to overcome…I’ve got a thought that is somewhat unrelated to either, but perhaps worth considering.

Addicts and Alcoholics, with a few years of good, grounded sobriety under their belt, are some of the absolute coolest people on the planet. They have an outlook that carries with it a good dose of humility. Many have been to the depths of their own darkest despair and, through a variety of ways, climbed out, up, through or over, whatever beliefs, obstacles, brain chemistry that bound them to a behavior that dimmed the bold, light-filled people they really are.

The addicts and alcoholics I know…who live daily expressing the humility and gratitude their recovery brings…are also some of the most creative souls on the planet.

One in four people are affected by addiction…either in their own lives or in the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances.

Today, rather than debate the best route to recovery/treatment, I will hold those still suffering…in this space…a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there is hope.

via Molly Wilmer Barker.

 “Le Tricorne”, Picasso: Tapestry travesty.

Most people agree that the fate of “Le Tricorne” rests squarely in Mr. Rosen’s hands. The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

via At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry Hangs on the Edge of Eviction – NYTimes.com.

Stephen Curry,  Bay Area Warriors, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:

Marsten said it’s telling that every Warriors fan seems to know Curry went to Davidson, the small, academically elite college north of Charlotte.

“He’s very proud of his roots, very proud of Davidson. Warriors fans understand about that,” Marsten said. “If you asked them where (Warriors forward) David Lee played, I don’t know that they’d know. And he won two national championships at Florida.”

This works because it’s not an “image.” It’s who Dell and Sonya Curry raised their three kids to be.

via Stephen Curry loves the Bay Area and the Bay Area sure loves him back | CharlotteObserver.com.

Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations, lists, CNN.com:  Very fun!

But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there\’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.

via Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations – CNN.com.

Passing on body hatred, Essential Mums:  A good lesson …

But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”

At first I didn’t understand what you meant.

”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.”

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.

2. Fat is ugly and horrible.

3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

via Passing on body hatred | Essential Mums.

Paris,  Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris,  Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic:  Very cool!

Anyone who wants to make a swimming pool out of an abandoned metro station neglected for 75 years, has definitely got my attention. The ghosts of the Parisian underground could soon be resurrected if city voters play their cards right in the upcoming mayoral elections. Promising candidate, Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet, who would become the first female to ever hold the post in the capital, has released the first sketches of her plans to reclaim the city of light’s abandoned stations.

via Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy

GI Joe, Yahoo News, kith/kin: I always liked to play with my brother’s dolls … and now they are 50. Makes me feel old.

The birthday of what’s called the world’s first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well.

Since Hasbro brought it to the world’s attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace.

via GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50 – Yahoo News.

Nathan Edmondson, alphacomics, @nathanedmondson: I love being able to claim a connection to a graphic artist writer … Second cousin once removed.

Embedded image permalink

Written by @nathanedmondson both Black Widow and Punisher are new tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/OZ2zsKvYEI

via Twitter / alphacomics: Written by @nathanedmondson ….

Future of Transportation, The Atlantic Cities:  world without car ownership …

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that’s just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that’s both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.

In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

via Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car – Eric Jaffe – The Atlantic Cities.

google doodles, Harriet Tubman

Musée Nissim de Camondo,  Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds: Donna Morris took us to Musée Nissim de Camondo … opened up a whole world of interesting historical research!

Richard Harbus for The New York Times

The Musée Nissim de Camondo boasts one of the great collections of 18th-century decorative arts.

It also holds a tragic story. When Camondo died in 1935, he left his mansion and collections to France’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His only condition was that the house be turned into a museum and named after his son, Nissim, who died as a combat pilot for France in World War I.

The family felt protected when the Nazis occupied France. A marble plaque at the entrance to the house states otherwise. It announces that Camondo’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, his last descendants, were deported by the Germans between 1943 and 1944. They died at Auschwitz.

The French government kept its word, turning the house into a museum and naming it after Camondo’s son.

via Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds.

Martin Luther, history:  Today is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.  He was one interesting guy.  Among other things, he introduced congregational singing of hymns …

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. The Emperor Charles V summoned him to the meeting of the Imperial Diet at Worms. There Luther resisted all efforts to make him recant, insisting that he had to be proved in error on the basis of Scripture. The Diet passed an edict calling for the arrest of Luther. Luther’s own prince, the Elector Frederick of Saxony, however, had him spirited away and placed for safekeeping in his castle, the Wartburg.

Here Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

via February 18: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546 | Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

10
Feb
11

2.10.2011 … I am off to a festival … festival of legal learning at UNC … whooppee!

faith and spirituality:  Really liked this post by Brene Brown.

As I look around at the political and social struggle around us, I’m reminded of my own struggle to find/reclaim faith in my life. As a lover of all things certain, I wanted faith to work like an epidural; to numb the pain of vulnerability. As it turned out, my faith ended up being more like a midwife – a nurturing partner who leans into the discomfort with me and whispers “push” and “breathe.”

Faith didn’t make my life less vulnerable, it simply offered to travel with me through the uncertainty.

via faith, doubt and inspiration – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

In a region where the truth and truth-tellers have so long been smothered under the crushing weight of oil, autocracy and religious obscurantism, suddenly the Arab world has a truly free space — a space that Egyptians themselves, not a foreign army, have liberated — and the truth is now gushing out of here like a torrent from a broken hydrant.

And the this is a titanic struggle and negotiation between the tired but still powerful, top-down 1952 Egyptian Army-led revolution and a vibrant, new, but chaotic, 2011, people-led revolution from the bottom-up — which has no guns but enormous legitimacy. I hope the Tahrir Square protesters can get organized enough to negotiate a new constitution with the army. There will be setbacks. But whatever happens, they have changed Egypt.

After we walked from Tahrir Square across the Nile bridge, Professor Mamoun Fandy remarked to me that there is an old Egyptian poem that says: “ ‘The Nile can bend and turn, but what is impossible is that it would ever dry up.’ The same is true of the river of freedom that is loose here now. Maybe you can bend it for a while, or turn it, but it is not going to dry up.”

via Speakers’ Corner on the Nile – NYTimes.com.

quotes, pity quotes, Julia Child:  Love this old article/interview with Julia Child!

The problem with the world right now is that we don’t have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don’t have anyone who’s speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don’t know what’s to become of us.

via Julia Child Interview – Eating Healthy and Smart – Quotes about Diets – Esquire.

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has recovered enough from a bullet to the brain to ask for toast with breakfast.

Few details are available, but Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, confirmed that the congresswoman made the verbal request on Monday when hospital workers at TIRR Memorial Hermann brought her a meal.

“The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process,” Kelly wrote on Facebook. “There are encouraging signs every day, though.”

via Giffords speaks, asking for toast with breakfast – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

health care:  But Gabrielle Giffords costs are fully covered … many are not so fortunate.

What is clear, however, is that her care at one of the country’s top five rehab sites will be paid for through a federal workers compensation program, providing essentially unlimited time and money to help her regain cognitive, physical and social functions.

“What she’s needed, she’s gotten,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, who confirmed to msnbc.com that Giffords’ care after the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and injured 13 will be treated as a workplace injury.

via Brain injury victims struggle to find care – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

restaurants, farm-to-table, Boulder, Salt:  Add Salt to my Boulder list …

In every bite of a dish from Salt, one can taste a medley of flavors that impart more than just the delight of a quality, flavorful meal, but also a dedication to sustaining the ecology and businesses of Boulder.

Salt is one of the few restaurants in America that has fully immersed itself in the culture of farm-to-table dining, a culinary approach in which restaurants (and family kitchens) get their products from nearby farms, ranches and vendors, instead of ordering them from a corporate third party.

“The term farm-to-table is the shortest distance, the fewest hands, that it takes to get a vegetable from the ground to the table,” said Kevin Kidd, the executive chef at Salt. “It’s the farmer selling it and it going directly to the chef.”

Kidd said the benefits of farm-to-table dining go beyond a kitchen filled with fresh food, but also contribute to a sustainable environment and localized economy.

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvellous things—the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space. I wish there were some way you could have all that and still be reminded of the wild array that we humans are. Instead, it seems like you can watch birds or people, but not both.

via Free Range: On the Wing : The New Yorker.

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ghonim also said it is “no longer the time to negotiate” with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

“There’s a lot of blood now” that has been spilled, he said.

Ghonim played a key role in organizing the protests that have convulsed Egypt for more than two weeks. He was the administrator of a Facebook page that is widely credited with calling the first protest January 25.

“This is not about me,” he said several times during an hour-long and emotional interview in a relative’s Cairo apartment..

He conceded that President Hosni Mubarak has “sacrificed a lot” for Egypt but said the 82-year-old leader represents a system that needs to be replaced. He demanded that Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party be immediately dissolved. He also said, though, that Mubarak should be treated with dignity.

via Egyptian Google exec is ‘ready to die’ for change – CNN.com.

Apps, tv, Bones: So an App to enhance my tv watching of Bones … Of course I will try it, but I did not enjoy tweeting and tv-watching so I probably will not like this.

It’s the Bones hook-up we’ve been waiting for!

In an effort to enhance fans’ viewing experience, Fox has launched the Bones Show Companion, a new iPad app that will automatically synchronize with the current episode as its broadcast in each time zone to provide content that is both wholly unique and pretty freakin’ cool.

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

cookbooks, comic books:  Funny … I think I can figure it out without the graphics!

According to the Strong Buzz, Amanda Cohen, the chef/owner of Dirt Candy, has signed a deal with publisher Clarkson Potter to create a cookbook disguised as a graphic novel.

via The Cookbook as Comic Book | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

random, history, food, foodies: Just read it …

THE ROMAN HISTORIAN Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline. I wonder what he would have thought of The New York Times’ efforts to admit “young idols with cleavers” into America’s pantheon of food-service heroes.

With their swinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers have the raw, emotional appeal of an indie band … “Think about it. What’s sexy?” said Tia Keenan, the fromager at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café and an unabashed butcher fan. “Dangerous is sometimes sexy, and they are generally big guys with knives who are covered in blood.”

That’s Severson again, by the way, and she records no word of dissent in regard to the cheese vendor’s ravings. We are to believe this is a real national trend here. In fact the public perception of butchers has not changed in the slightest, as can easily be confirmed by telling someone that he or she looks like one. “Blankly as a butcher stares,” Auden’s famous line about the moon, will need no explanatory footnote even a century from now.

Whether gluttony is a deadly sin is of course for the religious to decide, and I hope they go easy on the foodies; they’re not all bad. They are certainly single-minded, however, and single-mindedness—even in less obviously selfish forms—is always a littleness of soul.

via The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – Magazine – The Atlantic.

statistics, economics, men v. women:  We still have a long way to go, baby!

Young women are outpacing men in educational attainment and there’s little sign males will make up ground any time soon.

Nearly one in four women had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they reached age 23, compared to just one in seven men, the Labor Department said Wednesday. And while a growing share of professions are expected to require a college education in the future, men don’t appear poised to make up the education gap.

via Women Likely to Continue Outpacing Men in Education – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

A new application being sold on iTunes, “Confession: a Roman Catholic App,” cannot be used as a substitute for confession with a priest, the Vatican said Wednesday. The application was developed by American entrepreneurs with the help of two priests and the blessing of a bishop. It features a questionnaire of sins, and is promoted as a tool both to revive interest in confession and to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament. But some media reports cast the app as a “virtual priest” for Catholics who do not have time for church, prompting the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, to respond, “One cannot speak in any way of ‘confession by iPhone.’ ”

via App Can’t Replace Confession, Vatican Says – NYTimes.com.

Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 300 tweets since my last confession.

Whether you’ve been “borrowing” free Wi-Fi or coveting your neighbor’s avatar — or, heaven forbid, something worse — a new mobile app is designed to help you atone for it.

Lame tech jokes aside, the makers of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” say their software is seriously designed to help believers with the sacrament, and to help those who have left the church take a digital step back home.

Worry not, faithful Catholics: The $1.99 application, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is not intended to replace the confessional. Instead, it’s designed to complement the act of confession, offering a “personal examination of conscience” (password-protected, of course) and a step-by-step guide to sin-confessing.

via New app helps Catholics confess on the go – CNN.com.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, culture: Very interesting article …

More and more Christians choose a church not on the basis of its denomination, but on the basis of more practical matters. Is the nursery easy to find? Do I like the music? Are there support groups for those grappling with addiction?

This trend is a natural extension of the American evangelical experiment. After all, evangelicalism is about the fundamental message of Christianity—the evangel, the gospel, literally the “good news” of God’s kingdom arriving in Jesus Christ—not about denomination building.

If denominationalism simply denotes a “brand” vying for market share, then let denominationalism fall. But many of us believe denominations can represent fidelity to living traditions of local congregations that care about what Jesus cared about—personal conversion, discipleship, mission and community. Perhaps the denominational era has just begun.

via Russell D. Moore: Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? – WSJ.com.

health, health care, globalization, technology, history:  A little history of epidemics and a modern-day use of technology to help detect new viruses …

That’s why it’s so welcome to see the launch of the new Predict project, an online mapping tool that will allow scientists to track outbreaks of animals diseases that could threaten human beings. Funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — and led by a group of institutions, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the innovative new Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI) — the system will monitor data from World Health Organization alerts, news reports, online message boards for epidemiologists, to create a digital map of where animal outbreaks are occurring around the world and where they might threaten human beings.

The consortium was put together in 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic, and the hope is that a better information tracking system will help scientists avoid being caught off guard. As Damien Joly of the WCS told the New York Times:

We strongly believe in public access to the data we collect. It doesn’t do public health much good to collect data and let it sit while it awaits publication.

The Predict tool (download a PDF about the project here) is just the latest indication that the global human health community is finally beginning to take animal disease seriously. That hasn’t always been the case — just compare the vast World Health Organization to its relatively tiny animal counterpart, the World Organization for Animal Health. But nearly 75% of all new, emerging or reemerging diseases affecting human beings in the 21st century originated in animals, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and influenza.

What’s needed is a “one health” approach of the sort pioneered by Nathan Wolfe of the GFVI, who patrols areas in the deep developing world where humans and animals closely overlap. We may not be able to stop the next flu pandemic or new emerging disease as it passed from animals to human beings — but we should know when it happens.

via USAID’s Predict Tool Will Help Scientists Keep Track of Animal Disease Outbreaks—and Protect People – TIME Healthland.

college, heart-strings, Wake Forest University, kudos: What a great story … kudos, Coach Walter!

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.

Both Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed.

“For us, it’s almost like it’s been divine intervention,” Jordan’s father Keith told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday from Atlanta.

Dr. Kenneth Newell, the lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter’s kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.

The school says the recovery time for both the 42-year-old Walter and Jordan is expected to be several months. Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal. Keith Jordan says his son could swing a bat again in 6-8 weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.

via Baseball Coach Donates Kidney to Star Player – CBS News.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

via Twitter / @DailyLit: “Love takes up where knowl ….

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

For his latest novel, Davidson College’s Alan Michael Parker got a big helping of inspiration from The Home Depot.

Parker’s new literary comedy, “Whale Man” (WordFarm; $18), is about a guy who builds a life-sized wooden whale on his mother’s front lawn.

via Davidson professor’s new novel is a whale of a tale – CharlotteObserver.com.

green:

How it works? The station’s ventilation system includes heat exchangers that convert all that excess warmth into hot water. That water is then pumped to the nearby building, where it reportedly reduces energy costs by as much as 25 percent.

via Commuters’ surplus body heat used to warm office building – Springwise.

food, food regulation:  The incredible edible egg is better, but still not incredible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that in its routine reevaluations of the nutritional content of foods, it discovered that domestic chicken eggs — which hadn’t been looked at since 2002 — has had something of a nutritional makeover.

Compared with the egg of 2002, the current-day egg has 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D. A large egg now has 185 mg of cholesterol and 41 IU of Vitamin D, down from 212 mg of cholesterol and up from 18 IU of Vitamin D. It also still contains 70 calories and 6 g of protein. (More on TIME.com: Is School Lunch Making Your Kids Fat?)

via The Updated Egg: Less Cholesterol, But Is It a ‘Healthy’ Food? – TIME Healthland.

The President, USA, high-speed rail:  This may be worthy of federal money in my opinion … may.

U.S. passenger trains are, quite simply, a global laughingstock. Most of them travel at speeds that were common a century ago. Meanwhile, bullet trains have been zipping around Western Europe and East Asia for years, China is building more high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined, and even countries like Morocco and Brazil are getting into the game. “It works everywhere else in the world,” says Alstom Transport vice president Chuck Wochele, whose French firm is one of 30 train manufacturers that have pledged to build or expand U.S. factories if they land high-speed contracts. “Unfortunately, it’s been politicized in the U.S.”

via High-Speed Rail: Obama Pledges $53 Billion for Upgrades – TIME.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

via The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness. Gretchen Rubin.

quotes, random, LOL:

NCIS rerun quote: “Love means never having to read her her Miranda rights.” – Abbie 🙂

via NCIS rerun quote:….

28
Jul
10

7.28.2010 … get to see the Atlanta family today …

Places: Are you settled?

I have lived in New York for 32 years, but it was only in 2000, when I moved downtown, that I finally felt settled in the city.

I feel a calm and security that I did not experience in my decades of residence on the Upper East and Upper West sides. This is not to say I was unhappy or discontent with earlier digs or did not consider the first brownstone apartments and the later and progressively larger prewar spreads as homes – because I did, ever more intensely so as they began to fill with children, animals and the pieces of furniture, like a dining room table or a grand piano, that are the badges of permanent domesticity. And it is fair to say that my respective neighborhoods, each in turn, provoked my interest and allegiance; when I moved a mere seven blocks down Broadway, it involved considerable shifting of routine and considerable disorientation. I did not know until I came to New York how intimately you can relate to your streetscape and how personal and grounding experiencing architecture can be. But until I moved downtown, I didn’t know the nature of my sense of place in the city.

via New York State of Mind – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

film/lit, bookshelf, movies:

Daniel Craig has a new mission. The current star of the James Bond films has signed on for the English-language remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

via Bond star Daniel Craig to star in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ – USATODAY.com.

‎green:  I would rent one!

Want to try out an all-electric car for a few days before you decide to buy? Enterprise Rent-A-Car is going to start renting Nissan Leaf electrics beginning in January.

There will only be 500 initially and they will be dispersed among eight cities: Phoenix; Tucson; Knoxville, Tenn.; Nashville; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. Charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise “hybrid branches” – designated locations that offer hybrids and other environmentally friendly rental options.

via Enterprise to start renting Nissan Leaf electric cars – Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive – USATODAY.com.

culture, friendships, salt:

To anyone paying attention these days, it’s clear that social media — whether Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the countless other modern-day water coolers — are changing the way we live.

Indeed, we might feel as if we are suddenly awash in friends. Yet right before our eyes, we’re also changing the way we conduct relationships. Face-to-face chatting is giving way to texting and messaging; people even prefer these electronic exchanges to, for instance, simply talking on a phone.Smaller circles of friends are being partially eclipsed by Facebook acquaintances routinely numbered in the hundreds. Amid these smaller trends, growing research suggests we could be entering a period of crisis for the entire concept of friendship. Where is all this leading modern-day society? Perhaps to a dark place, one where electronic stimuli slowly replace the joys of human contact.

Of course, we learn how to make friends — or not — in our most formative years, as children. Recent studies on childhood, and how the contemporary life of the child affects friendships, are illuminating. Again, the general mood is one of concern, and a central conclusion often reached relates to a lack of what is called “unstructured time.”

Structured time results from the way an average day is parceled up for our kids — time for school, time for homework, time for music practice, even time for play. Yet too often today, no period is left unstructured. After all, who these days lets his child just wander off down the street? But that is precisely the kind of fallow time so vital for deeper friendships. It’s then that we simply “hang out,” with no tasks, no deadlines and no pressures. It is in those moments that children and adults alike can get to know others for who they are in themselves.

If there is a secret to close friendship, that’s it. Put down the device; engage the person.

Aristotle had an attractive expression to capture the thought: close friends, he observed, “share salt together.” It’s not just that they sit together, passing the salt across the meal table. It’s that they sit with one another across the course of their lives, sharing its savor — its moments, bitter and sweet. “The desire for friendship comes quickly; friendship does not,” Aristotle also remarked. It’s a key insight for an age of instant social connectivity, though one in which we paradoxically have an apparently growing need to be more deeply connected.

via Is true friendship dying away? – USATODAY.com.

weather, Charlotte:  Yesterday, for a brief period, it rained like I have rarely seen it rain … As I said … I am not sure if it is raining cats and dogs (mine are inside) or if the bottom just fell out. I do know that my garage is flooded and my front yard , too, and it is the first time they have flooded in 7 years.

FIFA World Cup 2010:

Some of the record $3 billion brought in by the 2010 World Cup is helping fund a program to develop soccer in Africa. But FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer, hasn’t managed to deliver fully on its pledge.

Despite its name, the 20 Centers for 2010 program will not be completed by the end of this year — or even 2011.

Each of the 20 centers FIFA has committed to build — as part of its pledge to create a positive legacy for the World Cup — must include a soccer field, an educational space and a health care facility. The first Football for Hope Center was completed in Khayelitsha last year.

On the eastern edge of Cape Town, Khayelitsha is one of the largest and most dangerous townships in South Africa. On a recent day, the roads hum with the sound of minibuses and street vendors; a group of men on the sidewalk chant a traditional Xhosa song.

via FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa : NPR.

05
Jul
10

7.5.2010 Wonderful fourth celebration at the lake with my Charlotte “family”. Great fun to just relax, swim, EAT, talk, share and watch fireworks … thank you Lomax family!

history, gardening, art, practicing what you preach: Because Monticello is such a national treasure, I am glad Jefferson failed personally at what he argued for us nationally/politically.

This seems like clear hypocrisy, but it also points to the deep ambivalence in the American mind between our professed ideals and our economic imperatives. We mistrust wealth, but we simultaneously worship it. Like Jefferson, we idealize the supposed simplicity of rural life, but like him we want our country weekend houses well-stocked with all the modern comforts. And, like him, we’re not willing to to balance the checkbook if means sacrificing what he called “the pursuit of happiness.” We can recognize ourselves in Thomas Jefferson, because his contradictions, and his addictions, are our own.

Less well-known is the fact that Jefferson was also America’s founding home and garden addict, a detail-obsessed improver who designed the perfect dwelling at Monticello, then endlessly remodeled it. He sank huge sums into landscaping his grounds in the latest styles and entertained a constant stream of guests with spreads of heirloom vegetables and fine French wine so lavish as to make an oenophile blush.

In doing so, Jefferson set the standard for the irresponsibly over-leveraged American homeowner, mortgaged to the hilt to enjoy the good life. At his death on July 4, 1826, Jefferson was so deep in debt that everything he owned including his slaves had to be sold.

via Jefferson: our first home, garden addict – CharlotteObserver.com.

facts, culture: very interesting …

Federal data from 2007 says 40 percent of births in America are to unwed mothers, a trend experts say is especially common in middle-class America. In one St. Louis community, the notion of getting married and having children — in that order — seems quaint.

As to what kind of consequences this new concept of marriage will have for the next generation — a group of children who may grow up with several parental figures instead of just two — Becky says she worries about it. Experts say it’s too soon to say what the effects will be. We’ll have to ask these children in 20 years.

via Kids First, Marriage Later — If Ever : NPR.

BP oil crisis, economy:

“THE bad news is we didn’t hit oil,” ran the old wildcatter’s joke. “The good news is we didn’t find gas.” Potentially dangerous and always more difficult to manage than pouring liquid into a barrel, natural gas used to give oil companies a headache. Now gas is dominating the thoughts of Western oil bosses and, increasingly, their firms’ portfolios. Seven of the eight projects Exxon Mobil completed last year were for natural-gas developments. Two of the three it has scheduled for this year are also gas-related. Royal Dutch Shell says that by 2012 half of its output will come from gas. The current high oil price still makes crude the prize for any self-respecting major. But the West’s big oil companies are growing gassier.

via Oil companies’ dash for gas: Vapour trails | The Economist.

art, NYC: I enjoyed this article very much … my conclusion was that Hopper’s work epitomized art … “a collage inside Hopper’s imagination”. Nighthawks is in Chicago at the Art Institure and one of my favorite paintings.  If you are in Chicago … go see it … it is worth a look.

Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, 1942. Oil on canvas; 33 1/8 x 60 in. (84.1 x 152.4 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago

Back home, I dug through my bookshelves and unearthed Gail Levin’s “Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.” The book is autographed by the author — I had gone to hear Ms. Levin read in a bookshop that is now gone — and dated from a time when I was still new to the city and knew it largely, romantically, as a sprawling Hopper painting filled with golden, melancholy light. In the book, Ms. Levin reported that an interviewer wrote that the diner was “based partly on an all-night coffee stand Hopper saw on Greenwich Avenue … ‘only more so,’” and that Hopper himself said: “I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger. Unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.”

Partly. More so. Simplified. The hidden truth became clearer. The diner began to fade. And then I saw it — on every triangular corner, in the candy shop’s cornice and the newsstand’s advertisement for 5-cent cigars, in the bakery’s curved window and the liquor store’s ghostly wedge, in the dark bricks that loom in the background of every Village street.

Over the past years, I’ve watched bakeries, luncheonettes, cobbler shops and much more come tumbling down at an alarming rate, making space for condos and office towers. Now the discovery that the “Nighthawks” diner never existed, except as a collage inside Hopper’s imagination, feels like yet another terrible demolition, though no bricks have fallen.

It seems the longer you live in New York, the more you love a city that has vanished. For those of us well versed in the art of loving what is lost, it’s an easy leap to missing something that was never really there.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Nighthawks Of the Mind – NYTimes.com.

history, NC, OBX:  I almost cried over the Mother Vine … and I had never heard of it … Partly because I love the Outer Banks and its history and lore.

A scuppernong grapevine in Manteo, believed to be 400 years old, is struggling after a utility contractor sprayed it with weed killer. N.C. DIVISION OF TOURISM

For centuries, a massive grapevine has grown on the northern end of Roanoke Island, and long ago came to be called the Mother Vine.

It’s believed to be the nation’s oldest cultivated grapevine.

Cuttings from the vine, which yields sweet scuppernong grapes, helped sprout North Carolina’s wine industry. The vine erupts from the sandy soil in Manteo a gnarly 2 feet thick, and has survivednor’easters, bugs and mildew for maybe 400 years.

Then a utility contractor sprayed it with weedkiller. The Mother Vine is sick.

Jack Wilson, who has owned half the vine for 52 years, noticed a bit of browning in late May. He found more browning the next day.

It turned out that a contractor for Dominion Power had driven through, spraying herbicides to keep vines from engulfing power poles. A tendril of the Mother Vine had touched a pole. Wilson said a neighbor reported that the contractor “sprayed the heck out of everything.”

Grapevine and other experts rushed to the scene. Dominion Power fell on its sword.

“We feel awful this has happened,” said spokesman Chuck Penn. “I mean, you’re talking about an historic icon, 400 years old, and we are really saddened.”

Wine lovers are holding their breath. Scuppernongs, a type of native muscadine, were the first U.S. cultivated wine grapes. They’re the foundation of the state’s 175-year-old wine industry, now seventh largest in the nation.

via Centuries-old N.C. ‘Mother Vin

news, UGA, social responsibility, career, followup:  One mistake, caught, can ruin a career.  That is a hard lesson.  Interesting line … “He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot…”

“He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot,” said Stone, onetime president of the Columbus-area Bulldog Club. He wants Evans dismissed swiftly.

via UGA fans angry, sad over Evans  | ajc.com.

A source has confirmed that Damon Evans and the University of Georgia have reached a negotiated settlement that will result in his resignation as athletic director.

Georgia athletic director Damon Evans leaves a news conference in Athens, Ga., Thursday, July 1, 2010. A state trooper pulled Evans over late Wednesday night for driving erratically. Police said Evans smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test. He was taken to Atlanta’s city jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain a lane. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The resignation is expected to be announced during an 11 a.m. Monday teleconference of the executive committee of the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Evans has been under fire since his DUI arrest Wednesday in Atlanta.

via Source: Evans, UGA reach settlement; resignation to be announced Monday  | ajc.com.

college search:

For seven summers, a group of college counselors from across the country have climbed on bicycles to travel from college to college on an informal, saddle-bound fact-finding mission that I like to think of as the Tour d’Admission.

via College Admissions Advice – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

media, business model: Just interesting …

The freely syndicated articles have ads embedded in them (which you must not adjust if you’re republishing–though the Guardian notes you’re free to have your own ads elsewhere on the page to drive your own monetization efforts). So by republishing the Guardian content, you’re effectively multiplying the newspaper’s advertising footprint … and this is how the publication is hoping to make a success of this bold move. If it finds its articles grabbed and republished many times–a situation that may happen as less and less big-name news articles are freely available–then it’ll be able to charge more fees to its advertising partners.

via Blogs as 21st Century Newsies: The Guardian’s Syndication Experiment | Fast Company.

public art, favorites, Charlotte: Romare Bearden is one of my favorite artists.  And I love public art … so I will be excited to see the part dedicated to Romare Bearden and the relationship with his art.

This conceptual rendering gives an idea how artist Kendall Buster's metal wire sculptures might look once in place at proposed Romare Bearden Park.

Some might say Kendall Buster’s welded metal sculptures resemble hot air balloons.

Others might see flower bulbs turned upside down.

Either way, her design is a winning concept, said Brad Thomas, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Commission.

The commission’s search committee chose Buster over two other finalists to create the sculptures for a proposed uptown park.

The committee chose Buster’s concept design, in part, because she and the park’s landscape architect have both expressed an interest in collaborating to create a setting for the sculptures at Romare Bearden Park.

Buster’s design also would allow visitors to move around and inside the sculptures and experience them in different ways from each location, Thomas said.

“We’re talking about a park environment and creating some interaction with the work of art,” Thomas said. “Kendall took all of those early considerations in and really brought to the table a commission that will serve us well when the park opens and for many years down the road.”

Buster, 55, teaches sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The Yale University graduate has had commissions and exhibitions nationally.

Last week she installed a sculpture at Johns Hopkins University and has another installation planned this summer at the new Indianapolis Museum of Art garden.

In Charlotte, Buster proposed multiple rounded-top sculptures for Bearden Park, currently a parking lot at Church and Third streets.

The park is expected to celebrate the life and work of Bearden, a Charlotte native and renowned 20th-century artist who died in 1988.

Plans call for an art wall and gardens, a theme in some of Bearden’s work. A memory walk will include colorful paving based on one of Bearden’s works.

via Virginia sculptor will build for uptown park – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, entertainment, Davidson ’82:  Saw Knight and Day … honestly a stupid movie … but great entertainment with Bob and Joni … sometimes I just need to be entertained.  And Joni and I got a good laugh during the Running with the Bulls scene, since we have a Davidson ’82 friend who has actually done it …

IMDb Video: Knight and Day: Trailer #2.

vuvuzelas, culture, FIFA World Cup 2010: Got mine … blue … intended to take it to 4th of July party, but forgot … It is Panthers blue … Will John or I dare take it?

With that note of the Exotic Other struck, we could turn to the question of the object’s future. What happens when the World Cup concludes next weekend and a tchotchke diaspora takes shape? After all, it’s “a must-have item” for visiting fans, The National Postof Canada reported, noting that one South African maker of the horns sold about a million of them (for $2.50 each) before matches even got underway. “I love it,” said one German fan quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. “I can see it catching on at games in Europe.” In the U.S., they have already been given out at as a Florida Marlins game promotion. The vuvuzela sound has proliferated in a range of ringtones and smartphone apps.

via Consumed – The Vuvuzela as Cultural Artifact – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court, history, media, politics, Thurgood Marshall legacy: Do you think the media analysis (legal, political, historical, philosophical, cultural, personal) has been more extensive on the last two nominations has been markedly more extensive?

Thankfully, Ms. Kagan appears to have escaped any damage from these attempts to paint her as the second coming of this devilish caricature of her former mentor. But the justice’s own legacy took some hits, and the truth about his record needs to be set straight before this distortion becomes fixed in the public mind.

First, there are the hard numbers. As a lawyer, Marshall argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29. That’s hardly the record of a man operating outside of the legal mainstream. Marshall’s rulings on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals were never overturned by the Supreme Court, and in most of his appellate opinions he joined with the majority of what was then viewed as a conservative circuit. As solicitor general of the U.S. he lost only five of the 14 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

via Juan Williams: The American Conservatism of Thurgood Marshall – WSJ.com.

When Senate Republicans decided to turn the first day of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing into a referendum on her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, they made two big mistakes. The first was tactical: Most Americans just don’t know or care that much about Marshall’s jurisprudential style. When they think of him, they think of him as a lion of the civil rights movement, a guy you name airports after. While deriding him as a “judicial activist” and “results oriented” may have been an attack on his judicial craftsmanship, to most of us it sounded a lot like an insult to his legacy. But the real mistake the GOP made in tethering Kagan to Marshall was that the comparison emphasized the exact point Senate Democrats were attempting to make all week: that the court has a critical function to play when the other two branches of government let the American people down. Democrats made that point with some success. By invoking Marshall over and over again, Republicans really drove it home.

via How Republicans inadvertently made the case for confirming Elena Kagan. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine.

IN her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Elena Kagan cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. as her model of judicial restraint in response to questions from Republican senators who want the court to overturn health care, campaign finance and economic regulations.

Ms. Kagan picked the wrong justice. Holmes was a cold and brutally cynical man who had contempt for the masses and for the progressive laws he voted to uphold. Ms. Kagan would do better to look to the justice whose seat she has been nominated to fill: Louis D. Brandeis. Brandeis, who was succeeded by William O. Douglas and then John Paul Stevens, was not only a great and restrained judge but the most prescient critic of the “curse of bigness” in a time of economic crisis.

Both Holmes and Brandeis were heroes of the Progressive Era, when the constitutional debate eerily anticipated the one that unfolded in the Kagan hearings. Liberals denounced the pro-corporate bias of the conservative Supreme Court, and conservatives countered that only the court could protect economic liberty and personal freedom in the face of an out-of-control regulatory state.

Although Holmes and Brandeis both objected to conservative activist decisions striking down progressive regulations, Holmes, unlike Brandeis, had no personal sympathy for the Progressive movement. An aristocratic nihilist who once told his sister that he loathed “the thick-fingered clowns we call the people,” Holmes believed that judges should vote to uphold virtually all laws, even the ones they hate.

If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, Brandeis will be a far more relevant guide as she grapples with the issues at the center of our current constitutional debates. (Disclosure: I’ve known Ms. Kagan for years and my brother-in-law has been her principal deputy in the solicitor general’s office.)

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Brandeis’s Seat, Kagan’s Responsibility – NYTimes.com.

music, science, philosophy, history: OK, so i am a nerd … but I found this fascinating?

Jay Kennedy tells NPR’s Guy Raz that his discovery was partially luck. Looking at Plato’s works in their original scroll form, he noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music. “The regularity of that pattern was supposed to be noticed by Plato’s readers,” Kennedy says.

Music in ancient Greece was based on a 12-note scale, unlike the eight-note scale of modern Western music. Kennedy posits that Plato deliberately inserted discussions of music every 12 lines to send a secret, musical message.

What Plato couldn’t tell people was that he was a closet Pythagorean. Pythagoras and his followers believed that mathematics and music were the key to the universe.

“Plato’s philosophy shows us one way to combine science and religion,” Kennedy says. “The culture wars we’re having today — about evolution for example — see science and religion as two polarized opposites. Plato’s hidden philosophy shows us that he combined an emphasis on mathematics with an emphasis upon beauty, music, art and divinity. The founder of western culture, in fact wanted us to combine science and religion.

via A Musical Message Discovered In Plato’s Works : NPR.

Davidson:  Great video about Davidson and it’s future … What Should the Core Values of Davidson College Be?.

Two professors and a student spent a large part of the spring semester examining the values that Davidson espouses. They hope that the video they produced illuminates the range of opinions the community holds about those values, as well as demonstrating the value of video as a tool in teaching and learning.

architecture, culture, great headlines: Midlife crisis for a stadium … 15 years?  How old is the Roman Coliseum?  Are million, even billion dollar buildings obsolete in 30 years?  Are buildings  “disposable” today? Are the financing term and the useful life of a building equivalent?

At the ripe old age of 15, Bank of America Stadium remains a pleasant place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Look around the rest of the NFL, though, and it becomes clear how hard it is to keep up with the (Jerry) Joneses, from the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.2 billion palace opened last season to the $1.6 billion stadium the New York Giants and Jets will move into next month.

via Midlife crisis for Carolina Panthers’ BofA Stadium? – Charlotte Business Journal.

BP Oil Spill, opening lines: I bought gas at a BP station … and admittedly I thought that i should punish BP … but really I’m hurting the local owner and myself.  If BP goes bankrupt, nobody wins … gas is gas …

Does that mean I have oil on my hands?

So today I drove into the BP station up the street from my house. There were one or two cars at first. By the time I finished filling my tank the place was packed. And I felt happy about it. Me, the social worker who will go the extra mile for the injured and underdog, me the lover of dolphins, turtles and whales.

Because BP is us. And the owner of my local BP station is a member of my community with a family to support and anguish over the folly of the  parent corporation. (I’ve been there in my lifetime. Have you?)

There was a thank you note taped to each pump at the station this morning, explaining that the station is locally owned and operated. I wanted to go inside and hug somebody.

So let’s stop the scapegoating and the finger pointing and good grief, let’s  stop making this a political event. We’re in this together. Those responsible need to make amends and pay for this mess. They should do time or pay huge fines if there are criminal elements to what happened. But I won’t make my neighbor any more responsible than I am for our country’s squandering of resources. This is our time to come together and do some soul searching about ourselves.

via I Bought Gas at a BP Station Today by Cathleen Hulbert | LikeTheDew.com.

art, DC: Another article on Norman Rockwell’s exhibit to open at the Smithsonian … “American Ideal”  … interesting analysis.

His heyday was the 1940s and early ’50s, when the accumulated sorrows of the Depression and two World Wars imbued Americans with a sense of solidarity and common purpose. “There was a strong sense of loss,” Mr. Spielberg said. “Because not since World War I had America’s mothers lost so many sons. It was an open wound, and Rockwell was part of the healing process.”

As beloved as he was by the public, he suffered the slings of critical derision, especially in the ’50s. The dominant art movements of that era — Abstract Expressionism, Beat poetry and hard bop jazz — devalued craftsmanship in favor of improvisation and the raw, unmediated gesture. Against this backdrop Rockwell was accused of purveying an artificial and squeaky-clean view of America, which remains a criticism of him today.

Rockwell perfected a style of painting that might be called the American Ideal. Instead of taking place in lush European gardens, his playful gatherings are in a diner on Main Street.

At the time he made the comment he could not have imagined that his work would one day be collected by some of the same museums and individuals who also collect Abstract Expressionism. In hindsight it is possible to see Rockwell and Pollock as opposite sides of the same coin: Rockwell exemplifies the American desire for safety and security as much as Pollock exemplifies the opposing need for flight and rebellion.

The current exhibition offers us the chance to step out of the vast marble-white spaces of Washington and into a world where Americans convene in old-fashioned drugstores and barbershops, conducting themselves with a sense of integrity and fair play, with gumption and whimsy. These are qualities one wants to retain as a society, and it is a credit to Rockwell’s subtle, story-weaving imagination that he captured the values we celebrate on Independence Day without ever having done a painting of American flags waving from porches or July skies bursting with fireworks.

via Rockwell Paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – NYTimes.com.

how things work, The President: I found this fascinating. President Obama’s nighthawks: Top officials charged with guarding the nation’s safety.

salt, bookshelf:  I posted my brother in law’s blog entry the other day on salt and found this book review very interesting.  I think I may add salt to my list of topics to follow. 🙂

I read this fine book in bedrock Calistoga, California, while marinating in

a spring of geothermal hot water. Very comforting, especially since Tisdale

reminds me that there is a trace of primordial salt in this pickling brine, to

which I have given back a few drops of my own salt-pinpricks of sweat on my

forehead, spindrift forming on the bridge of my nose. It all makes me feel a

part of something greater. The Good Book, it seems, was right on the mark: I

am the salt of the earth. You too.

via Article: Lot’s Wife: Salt and the Human Condition. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy.

Apple:  I considered buying Apple TV when it first came out … but I couldn’t see that it added anything.  I think I was right.

“I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this hobby gets turned into a business, the TV space is too important to ignore,” Mr. Gartenberg said. ”The TV remains one of the last disconnected devices in the household and everyone is trying to figure it out.”

via Apple Hopes to Re-enter the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.




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