Posts Tagged ‘SIRI

26
Feb
15

2.26.15 … “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” – Banksy

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 8/40, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Who doesn’t love a Youth Barbecue at a church. You have to think of all those moms and dads, and in this instance, mostly dads, who are up cooking the barbecue through the night the night before. I’ll put it on my calendar to come get a pound of barbecue on Saturday.

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No chimes as I walk in, but the birds are really going at it. I’m mad at myself, again, for not getting some birdseed to leave on the labyrinth. I will make an effort to do this today.

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And now I hear the chimes. I love the snow coming down in the eaves of the chime canopy.

 

The most significant noise in the garden is the sound of the water fountain and a close second is the sound of the drip, drip, drip of the snow and ice falling from the trees as it melts.

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Do you see the little bit of snow left on the cross?

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I hear the sound of the train in the distance. I have heard it before. And I don’t think it’s very far away. But I’m going to have to get a map out and see where the tracks are relative to the church. I really cannot think of where they are.

As I walk I am trying to remember the line from The Sound of Music’s “These are a Few of My favorite Things” that deal with snow. So I ask Siri …

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Here it is:

These are a few of my favorite things. Cream colored ponies … Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters …

And then I walk …

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As I finish my walk, I hear the sound that I had a new text message. So sitting on the bench, I checked my messages then my emails and then Facebook. To my great surprise, a childhood friend who about two years ago back reentered my regular circle of friends, has posted our third grade class picture, E. Rivers Elementary Mrs. Clay’s Third Grade 1968-69, for which I have been looking for ages. It just make me smile.

Mrs. Clay Third Grade E. Rivers

In addition, my son who says I never have a conversation with him without asking what he is going to do next tagged me in a post of this article.  Again, love that boy, and love that he is thinking and moving and making subtle jabs at me … just a little bit.

SKI BUMS GROW UP. THEN THEY START KICKASS BUSINESSES.

The thing is, mountain people, you are awesome business owners. You know about risk. You know about passion. You know about hard work, early mornings, and tenacity. You know about loss and getting slammed. You know how to pick yourself up and try again and again until you succeed. You know how to feel things, with your heart and your head and the pit of your stomach. You might not know about web design or finance or spreadsheets, but you know how to show up, rain or shine, and make shit happen.

You are my favorite type of client, and your experiences will help your business succeed.

Fact.

I see you, with your scars from the knee surgeries or those weird-looking collarbone lumps protruding from your shirt and that wild look in your eyes, and I know what you know. I’ve seen what you’ve seen. And together, we can pretend to fit into normal society. We just have to run our businesses with honor and boldness and as much grace as we can muster.

via Ski Bums Grow Up. Then They Start Kickass Businesses. | Teton Gravity Research.

And then I found a great Banksy today …

Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR

Banksy says about this image:

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

via Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR.

 

 

 

12
Oct
13

10.12.13 … this and that … in honor of boy buddha …

this and that, kith/kin, random: So an unnamed member of my kith/kin family  “mentioned” that I was posting too much.  He/she likes me to string them all together.  Well, I will compromise.  I will post my favorites daily, but will try to post a features page every few days.  This will be the totally random or entertainment  “features” post.  I hope I get my good karma back from my readers.  🙂

This one is funny … who remembers Tilly? Well, the Tilly voice artist is the Siri voice artist, and she recorded the voice 8 years and did not know who it was for until friends recognized her voice.  She now speaks to more than 100 million people through what at the time of the recording was a not-yet-invented phone

 

From Tilly to Siri. Who else remembers Tilly!?!

For the past two years, she’s been a pocket and purse accessory to millions of Americans. She’s starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel. She’s ‘s provided weather forecasts and restaurant tips, been mocked as useless and answered absurd questions about what she’s wearing.

She is Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual “assistant” introduced to the masses with the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011.

Behind this groundbreaking technology there is a real woman. While the ever-secretive Apple has never identified her, all signs indicate that the original voice of Siri in the United States is a voiceover actor who laid down recordings for a client eight years ago. She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone.

Her name is Susan Bennett and she lives in suburban Atlanta.

via ‘I’m the original voice of Siri’ – CNN.com.

Actually my favorite is the oreo ad link posted on twitter during the SuperBowl blackout.  What is your favorite?

How many caught your attention?

There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.

via The Tweets That Will Go Down in Twitter History (with images, tweets) · wsj · Storify.

I’ve posted several times on 3 D printers.  Now technology duplicates art … in 3d. Look at the strokes!

The London based married couple and artist team, with no relation to this Nick Carter, tapped into the burgeoning 3D printing trend to bring Van Goghs beloved bouquet out of the frame and into the real world.The team began by turning the paintings into completely three-dimensional files, then printing them in wax bronze. The process allowed for shocking levels of precision in the translation between brush stroke and sculptural shape.

via Behold, A 3D Printed Sculpture Of Van Goghs Sunflowers.

Selma AL, I Will Dance, Broadway, change, youth, hope:

Dancing isn’t all they do. Check out another video of one RATCo participant, Vinny, doing his thing.

via These Dancing Teens Are Defying Expectations, Statistics, And Maybe A Few Laws Of Physics.

via ▶ I WILL DANCE Official Trailer – YouTube.

 

That privacy thing … why do they do this??

Is having open-plan bathrooms just the natural extension of our open kitchens and a general global modern-day tendency to open up our living spaces and live in lofts or loftlike spaces? Is it an extension of the idea that bathrooms aren’t just functional necessities but spa-like focal points of our sanctuary-like homes? Or has the erosion of privacy in our public lives just made us all more comfortable being overexposed, even at home?

Rousseau thinks it’s a generational question. “I think with age we look for ways to seduce by modest gestures and by covering ourselves up,” she says. “I don’t see myself proposing an open bathroom to older people; they need much more privacy.”

via Bathrooms without borders: the end of privacy at home?.

Unexpected outcomes, 9.25.13 Pakistani Earthquake:

A very unexpected outcome from a major earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 300 people: The sudden appearance of a small new island off the country’s coast. http://on.wsj.com/18pHqWr

via Facebook.

The magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck Pakistan\’s Baluchistan province created a small island visible off the southern coast. The Pakistani Navy visited the island and captured video of the newly formed landmass. Photo: Getty Images

via Pakistan Quake Toll Rises to at Least 328 – WSJ.com.

This is along the same lines as the tiny libraries or random act of kindness?  Would you take a book?  Would you leave a book?

You happen to be visiting London this summer (or heck maybe you live there), there’s a chance you’ll find books left on the seat of some bus or subway for you. Books on the Underground is a really simple idea: leave a book you love for a stranger to find and ask them to release it back into the world when they are done with it.

A simple sticker on the cover explains the idea to the book’s finder–and karma does the rest.

Pretty lovely idea, no?

via Books on the Underground.

Miss Manners answered this question years ago.  She suggested you simply introduce them with their names.  🙂

What’s the No. 1 debate topic for many cohabitating couples who are over age 50? The labels, they said.

via Living together titles: What do people who live together call each other? – Chicago Tribune.

Q: What should I say when introducing people whose social status might make other people uncomfortable? For example, unmarried couples living together, or homosexual couples?

Miss Manners says: I don’t want to know what kind of parties you  are throwing where people’s sexual statuses need to be provided with introductions. Just use names.

via Miss Manners on: introductions | Bitch Please, Bitch Thank You.

20
Oct
11

10.20.2011 … after two solid weeks of Davidson pomp and circumstance … it is nice to have my world back to normal … I bet Dr. Quillen feels the same way … Moammar Gadhafi … RIP or Celebrate his overthrow and demise …

Davidson College, pomp and circumstance: “At Davidson as everywhere, time and people march on. A larger sense of purpose remains.”

 

Trustee and Search Committee Chair Kristin Hills Bradberry ’85 quoted a fellow Search Committee member on Quillen: “We saw Davidson fresh and anew through her eyes. She sees the good, the beautiful, the excellent in what we do. She makes us want to share her vision for the potential she sees in us, to be even better.”

At Davidson as everywhere, time and people march on. A larger sense of purpose remains.

via Daybook Davidson » Pomp and Circumstance: Time Marches On, And Sense of Purpose Remains Steadfast.

vacation traditions, kith/kin, empty nesters recipes, crab cakes: I am really jealous … store bought crab cakes from EarthFare are nothing like Joni’s, even if I cook them in butter … and she’s probably having some of the good ones at the beach without me … Oh, and Otis is just fine Molly says …

FPC,  PW CIrcle 11,  Community Culinary School of Charlotte:  The  Community Culinary School of Charlotte is a great place to gather a small group for a meal, learn about a wonderful ministry we have in Charlotte.  I’ll be glad to go on any Thursday it is open.  Any takers?

It’s a gourmet lunch. It’s a party. It’s a celebration of learning valuable culinary skills. It’s BISTRO!.

The Culinary School BISTRO! is held roughly every other Thursday at 1 p.m. while classes are in session. The dates of upcoming BISTRO!s are below.

Preparations for BISTRO! begin many days in advance as students learn culinary skills through preparing foods that will be served at BISTRO! In making everything from simple salads to complex sauces, students learn how to cook, how to present food appealing to the eye, how to make the most of the available food ingredients, how to organize a big event, how to work as a team.

via BISTRO! | Community Culinary School of Charlotte | 704-375-4500.

 

Col. Moammar Gaddafi, RIP, Arab Spring: Col. Moammar Gaddafi comes to a violent end.

For more than 40 years, Col. Moammar Gaddafi was the eccentric, unpredictable and brutal face of Libya, an oil-rich country that became an international pariah. Defiant to the last, he was killed Thursday in Sirte, his home town, eight months after he vowed to die rather than concede defeat to a popular uprising.

It was an ignominious end for Col. Gaddafi, who had managed in his waning years to rehabilitate himself in foreign eyes but then left even supporters appalled and sickened as he unleashed his army against his people in what proved to be a doomed effort to suppress this year’s revolution.

Deposed in August when rebel forces won control of the capital, he was killed in crossfire in Sirte, his loyalists’ last redoubt, after being dragged alive from a sewer culvert where he had taken refuge, said Mahmoud Jibril, the rebel leader who is Libya’s interim prime minister.

He became the first Arab ruler to be slain by his people in the transformative revolt that has come to be known as the Arab Spring, pitting thousands of citizen demonstrators against aging dictators and despots. His downfall followed the toppling of authoritarian rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, who were ousted before protesters took to the streets of eastern Libya in February.

Col. Gaddafi was thought to be 69, although his birth date was not known. At his death, he had been one of the world’s longest-serving rulers.

Many in the international community had long dismissed him as a clown for his quirky behavior. He traveled with an all-female praetorian guard and received guests in a Bedouin tent. But much of his reign was brutal.

via For longtime autocrat, a violent end – The Washington Post.

Condoleezza Rice, Muammar Gaddafi: “And I was very, very glad that we had disarmed him of his most dangerous weapons of mass destruction. There in his bunker, making his last stand, I have no doubt he would have used them.”

There were two reasons for this: one traditional and the other, well, a little disconcerting. Obviously, the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state since 1953 would be a major milestone on the country’s path to inter- national acceptability. But Qaddafi also had a slightly eerie fascination with me personally, asking visitors why his “African princess” wouldn’t visit him.

I decided to ignore the latter and dwell on the former to prepare for the trip. The arrangements were not easy, with all manner of Libyan demands, including that I meet the leader in his tent. Needless to say, I declined the invitation and met him in his formal residence.

The press was fascinated with my trip, and I sat down for an interview with CNN’s Zain Verjee (who often worked with producer Elise Labott on State Department coverage). Zain asked me about my personal impressions of Qaddafi. I remember that I came away from the visit realizing how much Qaddafi lives inside his own head, in a kind of alternate reality. As I watched events unfold in the spring and summer of 2011, I wondered if he even understood fully what was going on around him. And I was very, very glad that we had disarmed him of his most dangerous weapons of mass destruction. There in his bunker, making his last stand, I have no doubt he would have used them.

via Condoleezza Rice Met Muammar Gaddafi: Exclusive Excerpt of ‘No Higher Honor’ – The Daily Beast.

Muammar Gaddafi,   the Top 15 Overthrown, lists:  An ignomious list …

In reality, Gaddafi allowed only a small group — mostly members of his family — to participate in the governing of the country, which, thanks to its oil reserves (the ninth largest known in the world), had amassed enormous wealth. The riches allowed him to rule relatively unchecked until February 2011, when his people had had enough. Spurred by the Arab Spring that had successfully toppled the governments of Tunisia and Egypt, Libyans took to the streets. Gaddafi lashed back with unprecedented violence against his own people while at the same time telling members of the press, “All my people love me.” The resistance kept pushing forward, winning support from NATO forces, which began air strikes on March 19. On Aug. 22, after six months of fighting, the rebel forces claimed the capital city, Tripoli, as their own, formally ending Gaddafi’s regime. But until they captured the man himself, Libyans could not breathe a sigh of relief. That moment came Oct. 20, when Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference, “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”

via Muammar Gaddafi – Top 15 Toppled Dictators – TIME.

40 Lipsticked Virgins, Moammar Gadhafi:  Interesting story about Gadhafi’s bodyguards … old but interesting … another strange aspect of the Colonel.

About 40 lipsticked, bejeweled bodyguards surround the Libyan dictator at all times. They wear designer sunglasses and high heels with their military camouflage. But they’re purported to be trained killers — graduates of an elite military academy in Tripoli that’s solely for women.

Gadhafi established the Tripoli Women’s Military Academy in 1979 as a symbol of women’s emancipation. “I promised my mother to improve the situation of women in Libya,” he reportedly said at the time. His mother, a Bedouin tribeswoman born when Libya was an Italian colony, was illiterate.

 

The academy’s best students are dubbed “revolutionary nuns,” and they never marry and dedicate their lives to the idea of Gadhafi’s 1969 revolution. They’re banned from having sex and swear an oath to protect the Libyan leader until death, if need be. In 1998, a bodyguard named Aisha threw herself on top of Gadhafi when Islamic militants ambushed his motorcade. A barrage of bullets killed her and injured two others, but Gadhafi escaped unharmed.

So while Gadhafi’s all-female crew — and especially their photos — have been featured in many a tongue-in-cheek article in the Western press, they could actually prove powerful in protecting him. Foreign intelligence agents are likely trying already to stealthily chip away at the loyalty of Gadhafi’s elite inner circle. But while diplomats at the U.N. and even some of Gadhafi’s distant relatives have turned on him, there have been no reports of defections from Gadhafi’s all-female bodyguard clan — though the regime would likely try its best to squelch any such publicity.

via 40 Lipsticked Virgins: Moammar Gadhafi’s Best Bet for Survival.

I, Steve, books, quotes: In some ways he is like Ben Franklin … he could turn a great phrase.

On legacy:

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” ~ The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993

An invaluable treasure trove of inspiration and insight, I, Steve captures the essence of one of our era’s greatest hearts, minds, and souls with the candor and precision only self-revelation can unlatch.

via I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words | Brain Pickings.

Meditating Selflessly: Practical Neural Zen, bookshelf:  Just caught my attention.

 “We are often presented with stimuli but remain unaware. Zen, which means meditation, allows humans to become mindful-attentively aware of reality. In his newest book, Meditating Selflessly: Practical Neural Zen, Dr. James Austin, one of the world’s outstanding neurologists, explains how the brain mediates these meditation activities and how these activities alter the brain. Using language that can be understood by all, Austin teaches the fortunate readers of this book about the biological basis of the important changes brought about by this ancient but still current process of enlightenment.”–Kenneth M. Heilman, M.D., James E. Rooks Jr. Distinguished Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine

via Amazon.com: Meditating Selflessly: Practical Neural Zen (9780262015875): James H. Austin: Books.

college, college costs:  Good question … Why is college so expensive?

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written before about the networking wonders and creative collaborations that can happen via online forums.  We have written extensively about creating an online presence that is positive and professional.  In online interactions, we meet people from different disciplines in various parts of the world, and we connect because we share interests and goals.  With all the good, though, there can be a negative side to online activity.  As positive and as good as online connections can be, it’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that what we write is a part of our larger online persona, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.

Unfortunately, fatigue and stress can allow us—as professional educators—to become a little lax in our online practices, particularly when it concerns students.  It’s easy to commiserate with like-minded professionals on Twitter, for example, and complain about the student who is always late to class or a conference, or the one who has plagiarized, or the one who can’t write as we think she should, or the one who always has an excuse why he can’t submit his work on time.  We can be irritated at students’ sometimes immature behavior, or we can sometimes feel responsible for that student’s lack of understanding of course content.  We sometimes take students’ actions personally.  If we work with sometimes hundreds of students each semester, frustration can a part of our job.  Sometimes, those frustrations can bubble to the surface and they erupt on social networking sites.

We might think we are writing to a group of our closest online friends who will understand the context of our complaints , but it’s impossible to know—with any certainty—who might be reading those online words.  But our actual audience could include those very students we criticize.

via ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Anthropologie, art, purses, fashion:  My daughter turned me on to Anthropologie and I have to admit I love their accessiories and home furnishings.

 

With that I want to give Anthropologie props for fearlessly incorporating different mediums of art with fashion. Each of these bags are SO different- Anthro never ceases to amaze & inspire!!

via Artfully pursed » Pearls for Paper.

Supreme Court, health care case:  Interesting discussion of procedure  and moving this case along.

The Obama administration and challengers of the president’s health care overhaul are pushing for Supreme Court consideration of the law in late March, judging by the speed with which they are filing legal papers.

Parties in a high court case rarely submit legal briefs before their deadline, and often ask for extensions. But this week, the administration, the 26 states that have joined in opposition to the law and the association of small businesses that also wants the law struck down filed their briefs more than a week before they were due.

Having the case argued in March, instead of April, would give the justices an extra month to write their opinions in what is expected to be the most significant Supreme Court case in recent years.

Legal scholars have complained that the justices do not do their best work when faced with resolving complicated legal issues between the final arguments in April and the term’s end in late June. The justices themselves have recognized the problem by trying to have more cases argued early

via Supreme Court Health Care Case May Be Headed For March Start.

Auburn tree poisoning, criminal acts:  You have to wonder about a 63 year old man pulling a college prank.

Updyke, 63, appeared in court briefly with his new attorney, Everett Wess of Birmingham.

Updyke sat quietly in the court room, and did not make any statements.

He was indicted in May on two counts of criminal mischief, two counts of desecrating a venerable object and two counts of a state law that includes making it unlawful to damage, vandalize or steal any property on or from an animal or crop facility.

Updyke has requested that the charges be reduced to misdemeanors, saying that the state of Alabama “has explicitly set the value of an oak tree” at $20, which would be below the level for a felony. The judge has not yet ruled on that request.

His trial was originally scheduled for the Oct. 31 docket, but Lee County District Attorney Robbie Treese said there were three capital trials approaching that would stretch the resources of his department. Wess had no objection to pushing back the court dates.

via Man charged in Auburn tree poisoning gets new lawyer, court date  | ajc.com.

twitter, educating girls in Africa:  This twitter post just got my attention …

Maria Popova (@brainpicker)
10/20/11 3:57 PM
“850,000 girls in Kenya miss school because they don’t have sanitary pads.” #PopTech2011 Social Innovation Fellow@ZanaAfrica

political cartoons, Coca-Cola, Pepsi:  I live in a Coke bubble … but this political cartoon rings so true for Atlantans and Coke … I just had to laugh.  I guess in the Coke version, he would get fired for testing negative for Coke!

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political cartoons, Occupy Wall Street, kith/kin: ‎:( … Remember I’m married to a banker …

October 9, 2011

Siri,  tips,  iPhone 4S Virtual Assistant:  I want one …

In a phone with lots of evolutionary qualities, Siri is the iPhone 4S’s most revolutionary feature. Simply by speaking to this virtual assistant, you can set reminders, send text messages, look up information and schedule meetings.

But with a bit of extra effort, Siri can do even more.

via Siri Tricks and Tips: Do More with the iPhone 4S Virtual Assistant – Techland – TIME.com.

Siri, iPhone 4s:  Sounds like a stupid mistake … siri works even when phones are locked.

Siri, the personal assistant on the iPhone has been the top selling point of Apple’s new iPhone 4S. But Graham Cluley, security researcher for Sophos, pointed out that Siri works from a locked screen. That means that users who don’t pay attention to their settings could be putting themselves at risk.

Users are able to lock up Siri with a passcode by going into their security settings and turning the feature off without passcode authentication. But by default, anyone could pick up an iPhone 4S, hold down the home button and ask Siri a questions such as, “What is my home address?” and the assistant will display that information.

via Siri works even when phones are locked – The Washington Post.

education, digital district, Mooresville NC:  Amid the failures of Charlotte’s CMS, just up the road in the next county is a school district receiving national attention.

Yes, 1-to-1 laptop programs have become increasingly popular across the country, along the way drawing criticism that the results of those efforts are not justifying the substantial investments. But the Mooresville district, which in its fourth 1-to-1 year has stretched its program to reach all students in grades 3-12, appears to be a model of how to do it right, and in a community whose roots are more akin to Mayberry than the state’s Research Triangle region.

Since the digital conversion began, the district has seen an improvement of 20 percentage points—from 68 percent to 88 percent—in the portion of its students who scored “proficient” on all core-subject state exams, in the subjects of reading, math, and science. Six of eight schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, up from two of seven schools during the conversion’s first year. And its 2010-11 graduation rate rose to 91 percent, up 14 percentage points from four years ago.

All of those gains have occurred while the district sat at 99th of the state’s 115 districts in per-pupil funding, at $7,463 a year, as of last spring, not including about 10 percent of the budget that comes from funds for capital outlays, before- and after-school programs, and child-nutrition programs. And while Mooresville’s population is by no means impoverished, the gains came during an economic downturn that has seen the proportion of the district’s students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch rise from 31 percent to 40 percent since 2007-08.

Staunch opponents of assessment-driven education may dispute the merit of some of Mooresville’s success. But other educators are asking how the district’s approach differs from that of less successful 1-to-1 initiatives, why it’s working, whether it can be replicated, and if it’s worth the sacrifices to do so.

Mooresville’s district leaders stress the reason for their success, in their eyes, is that their 1-to-1 implementation made up just a part of a districtwide reform to make teaching and learning more contemporary. And while the district hosts monthly open houses to welcome visitors interested in following the model, the leaders of Mooresville’s conversion say only districts with leaders who see budget and procedural restrictions as obstacles to be conquered, not feared, are capable of pulling it off.

“We have visitors all the time,” says Scott Smith, the district’s chief technology officer, who was hired by Superintendent Mark Edwards during the conversion’s planning phase in 2007. “When they leave, we’re like, ‘Yeah, they can do it,’ or ‘No, they can’t do it, because they have the wrong person in charge.’ ”

Higher Expectations for Teachers

via Education Week: Building the Digital District.

Apps, Beat the Traffic+ :  My Garmin broke several weeks ago and I tried Garmin’s On Demand app … I don’t think I will purchae another Garmin.  I may try this one for free next …

Currently the app supports 34 major cities or metropolitan areas, and picks up construction, accident, or weather-related problems that might bring your trip to a grinding halt. The only catch is that these extra features, though initially free for two weeks, cost $19.99 a year after your trial period has expired. However, you can still access all the features available in “plus” with the free app — albeit without the personalization.

The bottom line. Whether you’re a “plus” subscriber or not, though, Beat the Traffic is a pretty worthwhile app if you’re an iPhone user who spends a lot of time behind the wheel.

via Beat the Traffic+ Review | Mac|Life.

15
Oct
11

10.15.2011 … RIP, Dr. Partin, a most beloved Davidson professor … and missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Dr. Malcolm Partin, RIP, Davidson College faculty:  So many friends consider Dr. Partin their favorite Davidson professor.  Rest in peace, Dr. Partin. I never had Dr.Partin but his  “Catherine the Great” lecture was well-known in Davidson lore  … and everyone would try to get in to hear it.  I listened in once.  🙂

During the funeral service, the Rev. Jody Seymour had reminded us all of Malcolm’s insistence that people made history, not social forces like the economy and political ideology. And the people in attendance to celebrate Malcolm today at Davidson United Methodist Church were a living history of Davidson.

It is tempting to think in a crowd like this of the Davidson of yore—”old Davidson” as someone else in the receiving line said. It is a comforting thought, in its way, attached as it is to more youthful days. Look, over there are Sam and Ava and John and Missy and Will and Sue and Hansford and Earl and Leland…. Of course, Leland. I’ve never laughed as much as I did when Malcolm and Leland would get on a roll. I hear Leland laughing even now in the receiving line, sharing happy memories of his friend with all who reach out to shake his own hand.

This is a solid group of good people, I think, and I’m honored to be in it. And when I back up a few steps (away from some very delicious homemade cookies), I see that there is no real distinction here of old or new. Just flow, here we all are right now. You never jump in the same river twice, and that. Someone is always arriving or leaving. It is Davidson in its terquasquicentennial glory, the Davidson of people who’ve gone before for nearly 175 years and who are here now and who are yet to come here, that matters….

via Daybook Davidson » Malcolm Overstreet Partin: May 24, 1936–October 12, 2011.

He engaged students with anecdotes and insights, inviting them to join him in discovery of two centuries of triumphs and tragedies that ultimately helped explain their own circumstance in history. He began one segment by saying, “Dig in your heels now, because we’re about to tackle the ‘Eastern Question’ in all its dreadful splendor…”

The benevolent dictatorship of his classroom was balanced by his behavior outside that personal domain. Students stopped by his office regularly in the afternoons for conversation and help, and he frequently dined with them. “He’s a friend an confidant who takes time to know you as a person, and not just as a student,” wrote one admirer.

via Davidson College News Archives.

empty nesters, kith/kin:  I hate experiencing the empty nest vicariously! Missing my prematurely empty-nester friends Bob and Joni … not fair you get a fall week at the beach without us!

Constitution, Second Amendment, Gene Weingarten: Enjoyed Weingarten rewrite of the Second Amendment … look forward to reading more of his rewrites!

The old version: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What a mess! It’s got mangled syntax, extraneous punctuation, and, above all, mealy-mouthed caveats and qualifiers. If you are going to allow arms, allow arms.

My new Second Amendment:

“You have the right to bear arms, including but not limited to handguns, tommy guns, assault rifles, bazookas, zip guns, grease guns, blunderbusses, howitzers, flamethrowers, grapeshot cannons, shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles, medieval-style catapults that can launch a putrifying, disease-ridden horse carcass over a castle wall, and Al Pacino’s ‘lil’ fren’ from ‘Scarface.’ This amendment should not be construed to rule out ordinarily, non-lethal devices that might be weaponized, such as plowshares, pitchforks, and handheld, riled-up roosters.”

via Gene Weingarten: Get me rewrite – The Washington Post.

history, Great Depression, Great Recession:  Is history repeating itself?

Toward the end of his book, Allen sums up the mood of the country. By 1939, people were weary of hard economic times, but they were also weary of Roosevelt’s endless experiments. Many modern historians believe that Roosevelt’s biggest problem was not that he’d done too much, but that he’d done too little — that the Depression required a response bigger than even Roosevelt’s New Deal. Implicitly, Allen agrees with that.

Still, he writes, “Despite all the miseries of the Depression and the recurrent fears of new economic decline and of war, the bulk of the American people had not yet quite lost their basic asset of hopefulness.”

He concludes: “A nation tried in a long ordeal had not yet lost heart.” When our current long ordeal finally ends, will we be able to say the same?

via The 1930s Sure Sound Familiar – NYTimes.com.

The Phantom Tollbooth, children’s/YA literature:  Did you like The Phantom Tollboth?  It’s 50!

It’s a commonplace of scholarship to insist that children’s literature came of age when it began to break away from the authoritarian model of the moralizing allegory. Yet “The Phantom Tollbooth” is an old-fashioned moralizing allegory, with a symbolic point at every turn. Milo finds that the strange land on the other side of the tollbooth is sundered between words and numbers, between the land of Azaz the Unabridged, the King of Dictionopolis, and his brother the Mathemagician, the ruler of Digitopolis. The only way to reunite the kingdoms is for someone—why not Milo?—to scale the Mountains of Ignorance, defeat the demons, and release the banished princesses of Rhyme and Reason from their prison. (They were banished because they refused to choose between words and numbers, thereby infuriating the kings.) Along the way, each new experience makes funny and concrete some familiar idea or turn of speech: Milo jumps to Conclusions, a crowded island; grows drowsy in the Doldrums; and finds that you can swim in the Sea of Knowledge for hours and not get wet. The book is made magical by Juster’s and Feiffer’s gift for transforming abstract philosophical ideas into unforgettable images. The thinnest fat man in the world turns out to be the fattest thin man; we see them both. We meet the fractional boy, divided in the middle of his smile, who is the “.58 child” in the average American family of 2.58 children. The tone of the book is at once antic and professorial, as if a very smart middle-aged academic were working his way through an absurd and elaborate parable for his kids. The reality is that when Juster wrote “The Phantom Tollbooth” he was a young architect in Brooklyn, just out of the Navy, unmarried and childless, and with no particular background in writing or teaching, working out a series of jokes and joys for himself alone.

via Norton Juster’s “The Phantom Tollbooth” at 50 : The New Yorker.

Breast Cancer Awareness, “pinking of America”:  Too much media hype  … does it do any good?  Actually pinking seems far less pervasive this year here in Charlotte.

THE Dallas Cowboys just got “pinked.”

And not just the Cowboys. The entire Cowboys Stadium here. Pink is everywhere: around the goalposts, in the crowd, on the players’ cleats, towels and wristbands.

In case you haven’t noticed, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the entire nation gets painted pink. This is also when “pink” becomes more than a color: It becomes, for better or worse, a verb.

In marketing circles, “to pink” means to link a brand or a product or even the entire National Football League to one of the most successful charity campaigns of all time. Like it or not — and some people don’t like it at all — the pinking of America has become a multibillion-dollar business, a marketing, merchandising and fund-raising opportunity that is almost unrivaled in scope. There are pink-ribbon car tires, pink-ribbon clogs, pink eyelash curlers — the list goes on.

via In the Breast Cancer Fight, the Pinking of America – NYTimes.com.

piracy:  Modern piracy is not glamorous … makes you rethink 18th century piracy.

SOMALI pirates can be persistent. They have attacked the Maersk Alabama, a container ship owned by an American subsidiary of Denmark’s Maersk Line, no fewer than five times, most recently in May. In the first attack, in 2009, the captain was held hostage until the US Navy rescued him. Then Maersk put private armed guards on the ship. Since then, it has successfully repelled all boarders.

Maersk says it is only arming a few ships plying the pirate-infested waters off East Africa. But the practice is spreading rapidly among shipping firms despite the cost, which can run to $100,000 per voyage for a four-man team. That is because the number of attacks, off Somalia and elsewhere, has kept growing despite the strengthening of naval patrols (see chart). The European Union’s NAVFOR task-force, NATO warships and other navies patrol the waters off Somalia, but this has only pushed the pirates out into the open ocean, extending their attack zone towards India’s coast and as far south as Mozambique’s. This has forced the shipping industry, its insurers, and the national and international authorities that oversee them to accept that private armed guards are a necessity.

viaPiracy: Prepare to repel boarders | The Economist.

politics, what ifs …:

Hillary Clinton is going to swap jobs with Joe Biden at some point between now and the 2012 election, okay? I can just tell.

Yes, I understand that I should rightly be embarrassed for making this claim. But no, it’s not because of the obvious fact that both Biden and Clinton have repeatedly claimed that they want no part of such a swap, or that there isn’t any indication that the White House would do such a thing, or that even if the White House and Biden and Clinton wanted to it would be treated by the media as a fundamental sign of desperation and by their opponents as a sign of weakness. It’s not because of the unambiguous absence of any compelling reason to make a change like this. And it has nothing to do with the fact that such a change-up would not result in a single needle being moved in the White House’s favor.

via Here Are Some Thoughts I Had For America!: This Week In Pundit Pontifications.

iPhone 4S, SIRI, LOL: OK I laughed … Shit That Siri Says STSS

violence, Christianity:  Interesting analysis … an issue that has come up several times recently.

There was a simple lesson we learned that day: skepticism is good; because life is far more interesting and complex than our assumptions would have us believe, especially those assumptions about other people.

But at a deeper level, what we learned was our faith is a resource, the deepest of deep wells. It is not only a tool for coping with difficulties, but it provides some sense of both meaning and direction.

That is where I’d like to address the question for this panel today. And as a way to talk about what Christianity says about peace, I’d like to do so from the side by answering this question: What is the Christian response to violence?

There are typically two answers to this question from the Christian tradition that many of us would be familiar with.

First, there is what is known as the “just war” theory, first developed in a Christian sense by St. Augustine in the 4th and 5th centuries. Without going into too much detail, it is the theological rationale that there is such a thing as permissible violence, but within a very clearly prescribed set of circumstances that limit behavior during war and also limit the reasons for going to war. In short, the good must outweigh the bad.

Second, there is pacifism, which roots itself in Christ’s teaching to “turn the other cheek”. It had its proponents in the early church, and has continued as a Christian way of thought. We know it best in the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who employed it as both a strategy and a way of life.

But in both cases, what is not an option is revenge. It is not a Christian value. There is no justification, from a Christian perspective, for getting even.

Listen carefully to Jesus’ response to the crowd: “Do you think these suffered in this way because they were worse sinners? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.”

In that, I hear Jesus issuing a warning: lives lived without repentance – without the humility and honesty of acknowledging wrongdoing – are destined for tragedy. And not in the sense that either Falwell or Robertson might believe.

Repentance is, after all, a turning to face God. It is a shining of light on that which is shrouded in darkness. It is painful, but it is restorative. Before anything else, there is the need to confront our brokenness, our imperfections, the evil we harbor within ourselves. And repentance is not confined to the individual. It is a collective responsibility. How are we complicit? How do we participate in systems which allow violence to flourish?

It is my conviction that it is the asking of these difficult questions that begins the Christian path to peace. It is the moral consequences of the answers that give us direction.

via What Is the Christian Response to Violence? Reflections for an Interfaith Panel « i feast therefore i am.

Louisville KY, river cities:  I love this description of Louisville!

I love cities on rivers. They always remind me of the great Raymond Carver poem, Where Water Comes Together With Other Water … and the lines “I love the places where water comes together with other water… They stand out in my mind like holy places. . .”

The mighty Ohio River from our hotel room

Louisville isn’t quite holy, but it is a quiet, likeable city of beautiful old brick facades, lots of fountains, and the KFC Yum! stadium, picturesquely situated on the banks on the mighty Ohio. Our hotel room overlooks the river, where we can watch coal barges floating by, loaded up with great mounds of black grit. When I drove in Monday night, I missed my turn and ended up driving across the river into what I thought was Ohio but was actually Indiana (and yes, I am directionally and geographically challenged).

via My new Kentucky home. | What Gives 365.

‘The Rosie Show”: I am not sure I will ever like Rosie again … she just got mean and ugly …

On the premiere of her show on Monday, Ms. O’Donnell performed a mock cabaret number with her own lyrics to “The Night Chicago Died.” (“Remember my problems on ‘The View’/I told Hasselbeck a thing or two.”)

She also discussed rehab with Mr. Brand, a former drug addict, and breast cancer with Ms. Sykes, who caught hers early and is in full recovery. But serious issues don’t get in the way of what Ms. O’Donnell does best: amiable, free-floating conversation that seems unscripted and unpretentious.

“The Rosie Show” is an OWN program that doesn’t ask viewers to look inside themselves; it just entices them to watch.

via ‘The Rosie Show’ and ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass’ on OWN – NYTimes.com.

White House, President Obama, BlackBerry messages,  Solyndra, Executive Privilege:  New area … blackberry communications … Solyndra is getting bigger …

President Barack Obama won’t be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders that they should still be happy with the trove of Solyndra-related documents they’re getting from federal agencies including DOE, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget.

But Ruemmler said the investigators’ request for all internal White House communications about Solyndra — dating back to the first day of the Obama administration — “implicates long-standing and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Obama had to fight his lawyers just to be able to become the first president to use a BlackBerry, and so far no one has successfully gotten access to the messages.

via White House won’t turn over Obama’s BlackBerry messages on Solyndra – Darren Samuelsohn – POLITICO.com.

Google, Steve Yegge,  “Jerry Maguire moment”:

I’m not sure if Yegge interrupted his fervent writing spree to assume yoga positions, as Jerry Maguire did, but his memo about Google+ shook the tech community as much as Maguire’s memo shook the fictional sports agency world.

The only difference: Yegge does not seem in danger of being fired and forced to start up his own tech company with a spunky sidekick/secretary. (At least not yet). But his missive left me cheering for Yegge, imaging a Hollywood symphony swelling to a crescendo when I reached the final line: “But we’ve gotta start doing this right.”

To recap for the non-tech-obsessed: An engineer at Google, Yegge poured out his angst about the struggling Google+ on Google+. His diatribe was meant for Google employees only, but even Yegge can’t figure out how to use the platform and he mistakenly made it public. He took it down, but nothing dies on the Internet, so copies are still posted all over Google+. (He also has an archive of long posts around the Web, most amusingly “Stevey’s Drunken Blog Rants” about his time at Amazon.)

His Google+ post is a fascinating glimpse inside the world of one of the largest tech companies. It’s long, but worth reading — even if you don’t understand half the tech jargon (I write about the Internet, and there were parts I stumbled over). By the time you reach the end, you’ll be cheering for Yegge too.

While there’s plenty for the tech crowd to enjoy (especially the inside gossip on Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, or “Dread Pirate Bezos,” in Yegge’s words), what stuck out to me were the simple rules he laid out for thinking about how a company should be run.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say, for all his complaints about the company, Yegge does a pretty great job making Google seem like an incredible place to work.

via Google engineer Steve Yegge has his Jerry Maguire moment – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

 ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out, Web: Way too public to me.

LIKE a lot of people who post videos of themselves on YouTube, Kristina Cecil wants the world to know a few personal facts:

She is an avid hiker.

She is a Minnesota Vikings fan.

She is a member of the United States Air Force, which is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to serve in the military.

And she is gay.

“It’s really nice to say that now, because the whole ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been repealed,” Ms. Cecil, a 22-year-old with short-cropped blond hair and a tattoo on her right arm, said excitedly to the camera. “I’m just really happy to say that I’m gay, and I’m an American airman.”

Ms. Cecil’s on-screen declaration, shot in her disheveled bedroom, is one among a wave of coming-out videos posted by gay soldiers on YouTube in recent weeks. With National Coming Out Day this past Tuesday, less than a month after the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed, the genre of military coming-out videos gained force this week.

via After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Coming Out on the Web – NYTimes.com.

Philip Johnson, Glass House, architecture, design, icons, bucket list: Glass House is on my bucket list … but isn’t a glass house counterintuitive to the idea of a house?

The architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House is one of the most important icons of modern architecture. For nearly five decades, Johnson and the art collector David Whitney lived in the 47-acre grounds in New Canaan, CT, sculpting the landscape and adding new buildings.

In 2007, two years after both men had died, the site opened up to the public as a National Trust Historic Site.

via Is Philip Johnson’s Glass House The Most Beautifully Designed House In The World?

social media ads, politics:  clicks = votes ….

The other problem with television: Live viewers are diminishing rapidly. A recent poll by the advertising company SAY Media reported that one in three voters had not seen any live television during the previous week. And politicians want to go where the conversation is.

Romney, for example, records short video messages and pushes them out on social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube. “You need to have digital embassies on every one of those sites,” Moffatt said.

Whether this form of advertising will be effective, or whether it will fall prey to the same arguments Malcolm Gladwell made about the efficacy of social media influencing world events (he disowned Twitter’s role in the Arab Spring), remains to be seen. There have been no major studies proving the success of online political advertising.

And in social media, all users — not just politicians — wield influence. New tools are allowing voters to tout their favored politicians. Votizen launched an endorsement tool last month on Twitter and Facebook to help people publicly vouch for candidates — and solicit their friends to get behind them.

via Will clicks on social media ads translate into votes? – The Washington Post.

pictograms, graphic design, Jesus, LOL:  Famous lives in minimalist pictograms!  Even, Jesus!

From Milan-based creative agency H-57 comes this brilliant series of minimalist pictogram posters for the life-and-times of famous characters, both fictional and historical, from Darth Vader to Marie Antoinette to Jesus — part Isotype, part Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, part something entirely and ingeniously its own.

via From Darth Vader to Jesus: Famous Lives in Minimalist Pictograms | Brain Pickings.




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