Posts Tagged ‘slavery

16
Feb
13

2.16.13 … Rainy days. Rainy nights …

Rainy days, Washington Street, lyrics:  Woke up to rain and thought of this tune …

Rainy days. Rainy nights.

Rain falls down and covers the city

 

It falls from fabulous heights.

Covers the streets with its sparkling skin.

via Laurie Anderson – Washington Street Lyrics.

I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster, graphics, icons, Michael Glaser, Fab.com:  I like the original and I think the new one works, too!

via Fab.com | I Love NY Sandy Relief Poster.

President Obama, twitter, I spy:  I love this picture and I think this is a great use of twitter and media.

Twitter / BarackObama: I spy… http://t.co/5KEpqgbA.

Rep. Cohen, Twitter exchange, privacy, public figures,  Rep. Anthony Weiner, SFGate: … salacious …  first: an older elected official tweeted “ilu” to a 24 year old and this is by definition “salacious.”  Thank you, Anthony Weiner.  second: the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner … did the TN Republican Party and its executive director apologize, and  did the TN Republican Party fire their executive director?   This story is worthy of journalistic pursuit …but I think the TN Republican Party’s action are reprehensible.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has revealed he’s the father of the 24-year-old Texas woman he was communicating with on Twitter during the State of the Union in an exchange that led some people to jump to a different conclusion.

Cohen, who has never been married, said Friday that he decided to publicly acknowledge Victoria Brink as his daughter after bloggers and the media tried to make the exchanges appear salacious. Cohen’s message to Brink included a Twitter abbreviation for “I love you.”

“It’s amazing how the minds jumped, and started speaking as if they knew what was going on,” Cohen said. “It should be a real lesson hopefully … not to jump to conclusions.”

After the tweets began to attract public attention and commentary earlier this week, an aide to the 64-year-old Memphis Democrat said he had accidentally exchanged a couple of public tweets with a woman who is the daughter of a friend, but removed them when he realized they weren’t private.

One was sent during the State of the Union speech Tuesday night and the second was sent Wednesday morning, in response to her tweet “(at)RepCohen just saw you on tv!”

Cohen’s tweets ended with “Ilu.” Aide Michael Pagan said the initials stand for “I love you.”

Following the tweets, the Tennessee Republican Party’s executive director issued a news release comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned about two years ago in disgrace after tweeting lewd pictures of himself. Weiner initially claimed a hacker had posted a lewd photo to his Twitter account.

“It is very disappointing that Rep. Cohen would use his official congressional Twitter account … to send personal and unnecessarily revealing messages to college co-eds. Apparently, we have our own Weiner of the South,” party executive director Brent Leatherwood said in the statement released Wednesday.

Cohen said he didn’t learn that Brink was his daughter until three years ago.

via Rep. Cohen: Twitter exchange was with his daughter – SFGate.

Best Buy, price-matching policy,  “Low-Price Guarantee” , The Consumerist:  At Christmas, a Best Buy associate told me to tell the clerk to give me the low price guarantee of an internet competitor which I did not know about.  This makes shopping interesting.  🙂

While Best Buy has yet to confirm or deny rumors about the halving of its return and exchange period, the retailer has announced that it will be launching a price-matching policy that it believes will help keep customers from “showrooming.”

According to a statement from the company, starting March 3 Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee will “price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.”

What it doesn’t say in the statement, but what a Best Buy rep confirmed to Consumerist is that the Low Price Guarantee price match will be valid up to 15 days after the purchase (online or in-stores).

This is important and fits into the reports we’ve gotten from insiders regarding changes to the return policy. See the current price-match policy allows for a price-match request before making a purchase and “during the return and exchange period after your purchase.”

For most items, that period is 30 days, but if Best Buy limits the Low Price Guarantee and returns to 15 days, then it can’t have a customer come in on the 17th day to request a price match, then return the item because the request won’t be granted.

via Best Buy Confirms Price-Matching Policy Change With “Low-Price Guarantee” – The Consumerist.

YA literature, film/lit, TIME.com:

‘Beautiful Creatures’—the movie of which is in theaters Feb. 14—isn’t the only book to feature paranormal beings new to its readers

via Creatures Beautiful…And Not | Casters and Shadowhunters and Aliens, Oh My! 7 Young-Adult-Novel Supernatural Beings Making Their Way to Cinemas | TIME.com.

Harrison Ford,  ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’, Han Solo:  Can he successfully do this?

Harrison Ford Star Wars

Harrison Ford will apparently play Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

That’s the report from Latino Review reporter Umberto “El Mayimbe” Gonzalez, who went on Fox News Latino to break the news that Ford had signed on to appear in the new “Star Wars” film. According to Gonzalez, the deal is “significant.” HuffPost Entertainment has reached out to Ford’s publicist for confirmation, but has not heard back.

UPDATE, 2/15: According to EW.com writer Geoff Boucher, Ford’s deal is not yet complete and it could be “months” before he signs.

via Harrison Ford In ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Han Solo Reportedly Back For New Film.

twitter, vocabulary, BloombergNews:  So,  I pursued the tweet because of its inclusion of the word “labyrinthine.”  I have no idea why the tweeter used the term.

Bloomberg News ‏@BloombergNews

Salesforce CEO attempts to re-brand labyrinthine sales company | http://bloom.bg/Z3hee7

Definition of LABYRINTHINE

1

: of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth : intricate, involved

2

: of, relating to, affecting, or originating in the internal ear

via Labyrinthine – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Salesforce.com, which makes software to help businesses hone their sales and marketing campaigns, is taking a red pen to its own corporate messaging. For the past couple of years, Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has been pitching prospective customers on becoming “social enterprises,” capitalizing on the buzz around social networking.

In an interview, Benioff revealed his company’s new tagline: “customer companies.” After withdrawing a trademark application for the old brand last year, Benioff plans to formally introduce “customer companies” at a Feb. 26 event at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. The presentation, which he previewed during an interview at his home in San Francisco this month, will include a smattering of everything that’s hot in tech: Facebook, Twitter, iPads, “big data,” self-driving cars and the Nest thermostat.

via Salesforce CEO Benioff Tries Out Some New Material – Bloomberg.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, slavery, legal trials, Dred Scott:  Hands down this was my least favorite lecture/presentation at the Festival, and it was the one I was most interested in from an academic standpoint.

Slave Trials in Virginia and North Carolina, 1830-1834

Alfred L. Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor, UNC School of Law

This talk focuses on two trials in North Carolina: one of a white man who attacked a slave in his custody and another of a slave who killed his overseer. Sandwiched between those two cases, State v. Mann in 1830 and State v. Will in 1834, was the Nat turner rebellion in neighboring virginia. the trials of the turner rebels and suspected rebels in our state, along with the vigilante violence that accompanied the panic, further illustrate the ways that trials functioned to support slavery. They also illustrate how the legal system worked in conjunction with (and sometimes in opposition to) the community to establish and regulate slavery.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

20
Nov
11

11.20.2011 … just a regular Sunday … The Widow Mite/Might …

FPC, Roland Purdue, sermon, faith and spirituality, worship, Soren Kierkegaard: Rev. Purdue referenced “Prompters in worship” from Kierkegaard … so I had to look it up.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a great theologian, was born in Copenhagen in the early nineteenth century. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen and then spent two years in Germany before he returned to Copenhagen, where he lived the rest of his life. Although his writings covered many areas of the Christian faith, he was particularly outspoken on the subject of worship.

He was quite critical of many churches whose worship had become “user friendly.” He developed the idea that Christian worship was a drama. He had come to the conviction that many churches also believed that, but that there was an inappropriate redefining of what that meant. What he observed was that in the drama, God was to be the prompter, the liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) had become the actors in the drama and the congregation had become the audience in the drama. An elitist class of leaders had implicitly modeled that they were better equipped to be the performers in this drama and that it was best if those in the congregation just watched as onlookers. This understanding of worship is still maintained and taught in many churches in America today.

Kierkegaard taught that this understanding of our worship of drama was totally wrong. People were taking on the wrong rolls. The liturgical leaders (musicians, readers of the scriptures, preachers and celebrants) were to be the prompters in worship. All of us, the congregation as well as the liturgical leaders are the actors in the drama of worship and God alone is the audience for the drama.

via Soren Kierkegaard – Theologian – Worship is a drama.

culture, Southern culture,  Flannery O’Connor , Eudora Welty, eccentrics, LOL:  I wonder which I am … an O”Connor or Welty eccentric.  I’m definitely Southern!

…  at almost forty, I’m learning being from the South doesn’t make me stupid, it makes me Southern. And I own that, by God. As my friend says, “That which you once mocked, you now embrace.” She usually says that about something like caftans or yard gnomes, but it works here too. I have embraced the Southern Woman inside me and she would like to talk to you about your lack of calling cards. I fully intend to age gracefully into a caftan-wearing, yard gnome-loving, giant beaded necklace-wearing Southern Eccentric Woman…of the Flannery O’Connor persuasion.

I like to classify Southern eccentrics into two groups: Eudora Welty eccentric or Flannery O’Connor eccentric. If you are a Welty eccentric, your sister is called something like Cattie Paw because her name is Katherine and she walks quietly. If you are O’Connor eccentric, your sister is called Trampasaurus Oceanus because she gets around during Fleet Week. Welty eccentrics may leave a family dinner to go sit in the woods and sketch lichen. O’Connor eccentrics leave a family dinner after announcing they’ve ended the affair with the Methodists’ choir director to move to Hilton Head with the Piggly Wiggly produce manager and his spiritual guru.

via Embracing My Inner Flannery by Susan Wilson | LikeTheDew.com.

old news, human trafficking, slavery:  This astounds me … I, too, believe that freedom is a basic human right.

There are 27 million slaves in the world today — more than ever before in human history. Kutcher continued, “One could make an assumption that it’s a global problem. The CIA estimates that there are a million slaves in the US today. I think if Abe knew that, he’d be quite upset.”

A year ago, the couple came to CGI with the intent to educate themselves as much as possible about the issue: the modern day abolition movement. The more they learned about it, however, the more they realized there was no way they could continue living in the world and not do something about it. Among their education, they went on an exploratory trip to the Mexican-US border. Kutcher details one of their encounters, “We met a girl who told us how she was trafficked into the US, taken into a field by her pimp and raped by 30 men on a trash bag. That’s the day we started the DNA Foundation.”

Over the past year, Moore, Kutcher and the DNA Foundation have been gaining momentum and street-cred among the philanthropic, social action and social media communities. This new, holistic campaign takes them one step closer to making their mission — that freedom is a basic human right — a reality.

via Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher Looking for “Real Men” | Demi and Ashton Foundation.

On this day …, Thomas Edison, phonograph, inventions:

On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph.

via Twitter / @LIFE: On this day in 1877, Thoma ….

 …

Play That Old-Timey Music!

Ever since Thomas Edison (pictured) created the phonograph after five days and nights hooking up his ears to rubber tubes, the world’s been grooving to the oldies thanks to the miracle of recorded music. But way before there was ever anything remotely resembling an iPod, listening to a particular recording meant listening to a victrola, gramophone, or phonograph, which could sound awfully staticky to our MP3-spoiled ears. Still, there’s no reason not to break out the old LPs every once in a while and crank up that old-timey music!

via Play That Old-Timey Music! – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

 travel, 1%, first class/business class:  I had no idea about international first class … business class is very nice.

The gap between first class and coach has never been so wide.

Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. Some have bars. One airline has installed showers onboard.

The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.

So as domestic travelers take to the skies for the holiday season, most will be in cramped cabins, their food is likely to be bland and they will have paid for it, along with any fees for slightly more legroom or checked bags.

But even as they have cut back on domestic service, including first-class accommodations, the airlines have been engaged in a global battle for top executives and the superwealthy on their international routes. Though only a privileged few can afford to pay $15,000 to fly first class from New York to Singapore or Sydney, the airlines are betting that the image of luxury they project for the front helps attract passengers to the rest of the plane. That includes a growing business-class section with offerings once solely the preserve of first class.

via Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond – NYTimes.com.

Gugghenheim Museum, apps, Maurizio Cattelan:  I think this is great!

Enjoy unique access to Maurizio Cattelan: All with this interactive, multiplatform app, which features dramatic views of the museum’s unprecedented site-specific installation along with extensive documentation of Cattelan’s artworks, actions, and other projects.

In short videos, filmmaker John Waters introduces the app and its sections. Exhibition curator Nancy Spector offers an illuminating presentation of Cattelan’s oeuvre, while exhibition engineers and artwork conservators offer a behind-the-scenes look at putting the show together.

via Download the App.

quotes, Collette, history:  I liked the quote, but had no idea who Collette was …

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
 Colette

Colette (1873-1954)

Colette was a writer known for her novels in which women were depicted as full sexual beings. Her husband published her first works under his own name. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette married twice and was involved with women and men outside her marriages. One of the most famous adaptations of Colette’s work was the play and movie, Gigi.

via Colette Quotes.

29
Sep
11

9.29.2011 … the Molls overnighted at Davidson … :)

Davidson College, admissions process, kith/kin: There is value in sending a prospect on an overnight. 🙂

Davidson College – Distinctions.

road trip, music playlist, lists:  What’s on you road trip playlist?

And here’s a final playlist:

1. The Rise and Fall of Intelligent Design by Rodney Crowell

2. The Poet Game , sung by Ani DiFranco (written by Greg Brown, an American treasure who deserves more attention than he gets)

3. Sweet is the Melody by Iris DeMent (who, last I heard, was living with Greg Brown)

4. Talkin’ ‘Bout Women, Obviously by Buddy Guy

5. Leonard by Merle Haggard

via Road Trip Day 19: Road Trip Interruptus | Swampland | TIME.com.

TimesCast, media,  video, NYT: Just discovered this daily video broadcast … why am I paying for cable?

President Obama faces a changing electoral landscape; the Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof on Bahrain’s latest crackdown; and Islamists prepare for elections in Egypt and Tunisia.

via TimesCast | September 29, 2011 – Video Library – The New York Times.

Google Wallet:  From Katherine (Boehret WSJ’s The Digital Solution – AllThingsD): “Ironic: Citi sent me a paper letter confirming I was using Google Wallet for paper-free payments”  🙂

Would you rather leave home without your wallet and be penniless all day, or leave your phone at home and be out of touch all day? Many people would rather be penniless. If only phones could be used to pay for things, it would be easier to leave a wallet behind.

Enter Google Wallet, the search engine’s answer to this problem. This mobile app uses a chip in the phone so it can be waved in front of payment stations to buy things. Users set it up by registering a credit card to the phone or loading a Google Prepaid Card with a credit card. A four-digit password enables payment transactions. Google Wallet is rolling out this week to Sprint’s already available, $50 (after $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract) Nexus S 4G phones by way of an Android operating-system software update.

via Katie Reviews Google Wallet – Katherine Boehret – The Digital Solution – AllThingsD.

South Africa, Honeymoon Murder Case:  This murder occurred shortly after I returned from SA last year and it sent chills down my spine.  SA had made great strides in connection with its public image regarding such random acts of violence in connection with ists hosting of the World Cup.  In one fell swoop this brought it right back to where it started … and to know here that it was a hit job by the groom.  Very sad.

British Home Secretary Theresa May approved the extradition of a British businessman to return to South Africa to stand trial for his wife’s murder on their honeymoon last year.

Shrien Dewani, 31, is accused of hiring hit men to kill his 28-year-old bride, Anni Dewani, who was shot and killed last November when the couple’s taxi was hijacked in the Gugulethu township in South Africa, the BBC reports. Dewani, who denies involvement in the murder, was released unharmed during the hijacking, but his bride’s body was later found in the abandoned car.

via British Government Approves Extradition in South Africa Honeymoon Murder Case – TIME NewsFeed.

zombies, tv, AMC , “Walking Dead”:    “Walking Dead” themed talk show… Well, since we haven’t watched  “Walking Dead”, yet, i don’t think I need to watch a   “Walking Dead” themed talk show!

Coming soon to your TV: A zombie talk show.

Let’s Talk Zombies: AMC to Air ‘Walking Dead’-Themed Talk Show – TIME NewsFeed.

Wall Street Journal, advertisements,  commercials:  I don’t think I have ever seen a WSJ ad … I wonder how many people called 1-800-xxx-xxxx … agents are standing by … Actually it is an interesting add … what do you think?

By animating a series of still photographs, and without using a single word of dialogue, The Wall Street Journal moves beyond its traditional business focus to become a vibrant “Everything Journal” in a :30 brand image spot entitled, “Live in the Know,” from agency McGarry Bowen (NYC) and production/design company The Wilderness.

In aggressively moving beyond its traditional black-and-white, business-only format, The Wall Street Journal’s agency asked The Wilderness to produce a spot that embraces its newly expanded editorial focus and use of four-color art throughout, exclusively using still images. Using the masthead the concept was to create a new visual language to present the newspaper as the The ‘Blank’ Street Journal, in which the reader fills in his favorite ‘blank’ subject matter.

via The Wall Street Journal : Live in the Know | scaryideas.com.

moods, Twitter, biological rhythms: When I read this i immediately thought of biorhythms and mood rings from the 70’s. 🙂

However grumpy people are when they wake up, and whether they stumble to their feet in Madrid, Mexico City or Minnetonka, Minn., they tend to brighten by breakfast time and feel their moods taper gradually to a low in the late afternoon, before rallying again near bedtime, a large-scale study of posts on the social media site Twitter found.

Drawing on messages posted by more than two million people in 84 countries, researchers discovered that the emotional tone of people’s messages followed a similar pattern not only through the day but also through the week and the changing seasons. The new analysis suggests that our moods are driven in part by a shared underlying biological rhythm that transcends culture and environment.

via Moods on Twitter Follow Biological Rhythms, Study Finds – NYTimes.com.

slavery, economic analysis, cartography, “Cotton Kingdom”:  Article blended history and economics … very enjoyable.

Te role of maps in visualizing United States Census results is actually a practice that originated 150 years ago, in the crisis between North and South.

An earlier post in this series described the efforts of the Coast Survey to map the distribution of slavery across the South in the summer of 1861. At about the same time, another pathbreaking effort was underway to “measure” the productivity of Southern slavery. The map is not well known, but its creator was none other than Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York’s Central Park and one of the pioneers of American landscape architecture.

Olmsted was already an accomplished journalist when he met Henry Raymond, the editor of the newly established New-York Daily Times (later The New York Times) in the early 1850s. After just five minutes of conversation, Raymond was so impressed that he made Olmsted a special correspondent, and sent him to observe and write about Southern life. For the next several years Olmsted sent back voluminous reports — published in three volumes — of disorder, poverty, inefficiency, backwardness and chaos. We might dismiss these as hopelessly biased Northern observations, yet these accounts gained a wide audience, and challenged the contemporary picture of the cotton south as an economic powerhouse.

Olmsted and Goodloe identified slave labor as the single most damaging influence on the southern economy: it was inefficient, absorbed capital away from reinvestment, and required substantial overhead. Worst of all, the price of slaves drove cotton production — rather than the other way around — and was immune to competition from free labor. Such a system could never generate real prosperity. Even Olmsted’s title, “The Cotton Kingdom,” turned the South Carolina politician James Henry Hammond’s famous phrase — “Cotton is King” — on its head. Instead of a place of wealth and economic superiority, Olmsted found a closed society imprisoned by the crop, unable to advance, diversify or feed its own people. This was entirely an economic — rather than a moral or humanitarian — case against slavery, for the authors were tailoring their case for a British public concerned about their cotton supply.

Olmsted and Goodloe weren’t the first to say that slavery was a doomed system, but they were the first to use cartography to make their case, first to the British, and then to their fellow Americans.

via Mapping the Cotton Kingdom – NYTimes.com.

stereotypes, Christian denominations, LOL:

denomination-interpretation-chart.jpg 1,280×1,280 pixels

Deep Springs College: My friend Bob T. told me about this college … impressive results … but who are the kids that go there … obviously they can get in elite colleges anyway … interesting.

Deep Springs College, a small and storied institution of higher learning set on a cattle ranch in California, is going co-ed.

Founded in 1917, Deep Springs is a highly selective two-year college unlike any other: it enrolls just 26 students, all men, for a two-year regimen of study and toil. Most graduates go on to equally selective four-year colleges. By “equally selective,” I mean Yale.

The college sits on a cattle ranch and alfalfa farm in California’s High Desert and operates “on the belief that manual labor and political deliberation are integral parts of a comprehensive liberal arts education,” according to the web site.

Deep Springs is an ambitious place, intended as a training ground for leaders. Founder L.L. Nunn put it thus: “Great leaders in all ages have sought the desert and heard its voice.”

The admission rate ranges from 6 percent to 15 percent a year. Students who manage to get in attend on a full scholarship worth about $50,000 a year. Over the past 10 years, according to the web site, 16 percent of students went on to Harvard, 13 percent to the University of Chicago, 7 percent to Yale and 7 percent to Brown.

It is probably safe to assume that two years at Deep Springs is, for many lads, a first taste of honest toil.

via A cattle-ranch college for future Yalies goes co-ed – College, Inc. – The Washington Post.

compact SLR cameras, photography:  Perfection?   A toy I would like to have …

 

The Nikon 1 is bigger than the Pentax Q — what isn’t? — but strikes a better balance in the complex price/size/features/sensor size equation.

 

It’s available in two models: the J1, intended for the general user (available in white, black, silver, red or pink for $650 with a 3X zoom lens); and the V1, intended for advanced hobbyists (black, $900 with 3X lens). The V1 adds an electronic eyepiece viewfinder and a few more perks.

 

The headline here is speed. These cameras are tricked out with enough computing power to launch a rocket. They can perform stunts like taking 10 shots a second, refocusing all the way, or 60 shots a second without refocusing.

 

They focus faster than any camera Nikon has ever made. They easily create slow-motion video, containing as many as 1,200 frames a second, although at a tiny frame size.

 

Get this: You can even snap a full-resolution still photo while you’re recording video, without leaving a blink or a gap in the movie. Nikon believes, as do I, that that’s a first in the history of consumer cameras, and it’s unbelievably useful.

 

The sensor inside is a new design. At 0.62 inch, it’s much bigger than a pocket camera’s, but not as big as the sensor in a Micro Four Thirds camera (0.89 inch), let alone a real S.L.R. (1.2 inches or larger).

 

The photos are generally very good, but you can easily tell they didn’t come from an S.L.R. For example, the Nikon 1 too easily “blows out” the brightest parts of the scene, and muddies up the darkest parts.

 

That would still present an irresistible tradeoff if it weren’t for a couple of truly idiotic design elements. First, the mode dial has only four positions — Auto, Movie, Best Shot and Motion Snapshot — and two of them are wasted.

 

The Best Shot mode takes 20 photos in one second, then throws away all but what it considers the best five, based on focus, blur and so on. The Motion Snapshot mode captures a one-second slow-motion movie and adds cheesy music to it.

 

But dedicating two of the mode dial’s precious four positions to these rarely used gimmicks is a criminal splurge. Meanwhile, if you want to adjust the shutter speed or aperture, you have to dive deeply into the labyrinth of on-screen menus. Bring bread crumbs.

 

And another thing. There’s a dedicated movie start/stop button, but it doesn’t work except in Movie mode! What’s the point of a Movie button if you have to change modes to use it?

 

Three lenses are already available for the Nikon 1 — an f/2.8 nonzooming pancake lens, the 3X zoom (the film equivalent of a 27-71 mm lens) and a telephoto lens (81-297 mm equivalent). There’s also an enormous 10X zoom intended for video.

 

The Nikon 1’s 1080p videos are spectacular in general (it smoothly refocuses and re-exposes while filming); but when you add the 10X lens and its smooth “power zoom” button, your Nikon 1 becomes an actual camcorder.

 

Nikon will also offer an adapter that lets you use any existing F-mount Nikon lens with your camera. It might look a little silly on such a tiny body, but it’ll work.

 

Both the Pentax Q and the Nikon 1 are important experiments. Both demonstrate that the camera industry has, at last, given up the meaningless race to cram more megapixels onto a sensor — and moved into more important pursuits, like better photos and smaller cameras.

 

Unfortunately, both cameras are also flawed in their own special ways. Yes, the world’s camera engineers have finally brought us the pocket S.L.R. But perfection continues to elude them.

 

via 2 Compact Cameras Move Closer to Perfection – David Pogue – NYTimes.com.

mea culpa, science: Another interesting piece … the science behind saying you’re sorry.  The piece did not mention Tiger … but his mea culpa was a major fail.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ recent effort to address customer anger follows an all-too-familiar script. A public figure or institution commits an offense, and then offers an apology to fix it.

Yet as we see over and over again, our reactions to even the most direct and explicit mea culpas can differ markedly from one incident to another.

For instance, before his more recent infidelity troubles, Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of sexually harassing several women during his 2003 gubernatorial campaign. He apologized and subsequently won that election. In contrast, former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner apologized in June 2011 for his involvement in a sexting scandal. He was heckled, called a “pervert,” and soon resigned from office.

What makes one apology succeed and another fail? A growing body of research is trying to understand this very question. The psychology behind saying you’re sorry is proliferating rapidly, and there are still many questions to answer. However, it already offers some important lessons that help explain why some acts of contrition work—while others don’t.

Apologies are a double-edged sword. By signaling repentance and an effort to repair the problem, they’re beneficial. But they’re also harmful because they confirm that blame is actually deserved. When making an apology, then, the benefits should outweigh the cost. There is little harm in offering an apology if it’s already obvious that you are guilty. But there’s also little benefit if you fail to make it clear that the offense won’t recur.

Many people assume that if you make the apology more direct, sincere and explicit, people will think you won’t do it again. And they may be partly correct. However, research has shown that a host of other factors often exert far more drastic effects on an apology’s reception than how sincere people think it is.

Here’s just one example, based on research my colleagues and I have done. It turns out that an apology’s effectiveness depends largely on whether the offense is thought to be intentional or a mistake. People are often willing to discount a poor decision if it’s the result of a mistake; they believe its causes will be corrected. But if it’s thought to be intentional, people tend to place little faith in the idea that the flaw will be corrected. This is important because many offenses can be construed either way, and would-be apologizers often fail to account for people’s perception before they respond.

via The science behind saying you’re sorry – The Washington Post.

college admissions, college crisis, internet solutions: A Match.com for Higher Ed?  Lots of good insight in this piece.

Newspapers and magazines like to pick on excitable parents over-prepping their children for college. This would be a wonderful problem for the rest of the country to have.

It’s an article of faith among the striving classes that college admissions has become a Thunderdome-style tournament from which a chosen few emerge to enjoy lives of guaranteed privilege. Media outlets make a lot money stoking the flames of anxiety among the college-bound. A devoted New York Times reader could be forgiven for thinking the typical American teenager spends his or her seventeenth year doing nothing but studying for AP tests and fretting about impressing the personal-essay readers at Swarthmore and Brown.

In truth, the college admissions frenzy is limited to a relative handful of privileged students, as I wrote in a story for the Washington Monthly’s annual college issue. This is a problem. As a nation, we need far more students to be caught up in the college admissions market–but in a completely different way.

Unfortunately, the closest, cheapest college is often a bad choice. In 2009, more than 320 four-year colleges and universities reported six-year graduation rates below 30 percent. At community colleges, the average three-year graduation rate is 16 percent. While much ink is spilled denouncing terrible K-12 schools, pundits and politicians seem less willing to admit that a not-insignificant number of public colleges also suffer from the same problems of incompetence, mediocrity, and inadequate funding. Add the more recent phenomenon of some (although by no means all) for-profit colleges loading up students with debt by selling overpriced online degrees, and it’s clear that all students need help choosing the right college, not just the privileged few.

Indeed, the stakes are arguably much higher for a first-generation student picking among open-access institutions of wildly varying quality than for a wealthy suburban kid whose worst-case scenario is an expensive private school. Without a better-functioning higher market, we’ll continue to lose ground to foreign competitors that have eclipsed America in producing college graduates in recent years.

The existing admissions system is also remarkably archaic. To a large extent, it still involves students submitting pieces of paper (or electronic copies of pieces of paper) containing information about grades, test scores, high-school profiles, essays, and personal recommendations. Colleges then apply a few crude filters, like a minimum SAT threshold or whether the student’s parents are rich, and consider the remaining applicants via a “holistic” process of decision-by-committee. Because the information isn’t stored in a database, it’s hard to perform post hoc analyses to see if the “yea” and “nay” decisions were good ones. The fact that most students drop out of or transfer from the first college they choose suggests that many are not.

Traditional students will probably be least affected by all of this. Harvard will always be Harvard. But for everyone else, a vigorous, technology-driven higher education marketplace can’t come soon enough.

via Our Best Weapon Against the College Crisis: A Match.com for Higher Ed – Kevin Carey – Business – The Atlantic.

mass transit, Charlotte, Red Line (Charlotte-to-Mooresville mass transit line), CATS, Charlotte NC, innovative funding: John and I always said we would move back to Davidson if they built the Red Line!  The funding would be based on a dual usage line —  both passenger and freight rail service.

According to the blog, a Red Line Task Force subcommittee has come up with an idea that state transportation official Paul Morris says is unique — use the Charlotte-to-Mooresville line for both passenger and freight rail service. The plan also calls for CATS to join with the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson to tax revenues from new development along the line.

via New idea for North transit line? | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

MLB, wild card, Braves, quotes: he must not be a Braves fan. 🙂 “What that was, quite simply, was the best day of regular-season baseball the game has ever seen.”

(STEVE NESIUS – REUTERS) At one point Wednesday night, the final night of the baseball calendar, there were four games being contested to decide the two wild cards, and in three of them the situations were as follows: In Baltimore, a 3-2 game in the seventh inning; in St. Petersburg, Fla., a 7-7 game in the 10th; in Atlanta, a 3-3 game in the 12th.

I am tasked with looking forward today (I think the matchups are Yankees-Tigers and Rangers-Rays in the AL, and Phillies-Cardinals and Brewers-Diamondbacks in the NL). I have a playoff preview to write, and predictions to get wrong. But it is impossible not to spend a few hours looking back first.

via Wild-card race: Baseball’s greatest regular-season finish – Baseball Insider – The Washington Post.

Apple, iPod, kith/kin, RIP:  My boys still have their original iPods … what a great product.  RIP, iPod.

Apple makes the most sought after gadgets on the planet, but they may be about to pull the plug on one that helped get the revolution rolling.

Classic is just another way to say outdated.

Rumor has it that the iPod Classic (and iPod Shuffle) may be discontinued.

Apple sells millions of iPods, but the Classic and Shuffle don’t have touchscreens, which are the interface of the present and future.

CNET’s Crave gadget blog notes there’s no mention of iPod news in the upcoming Oct. 4 Apple press conference, where details of the iPhone 5 will be announced.

The iPod first appeared 10 years ago … a long time in tech circles … and Apple would rather folks buy an iPhone (or iTouch) than an iPod, which contributed a mere 8 percent of the company’s revenue.

Crave has a great Steve Jobs quote: ”Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”

The iPod Classic can hold 120 gigabytes of music … which I think is really good, but probably not enough to keep it from going the way of the Walkman.

via Apple to pull plug on iPod? | News To Me with George Mathis.

Civil War, refugee box,  General  Sherman, evacuation of Atlanta, history:  Interesting that your valuables could be put in one box …

Before Sherman ordered the evacuation of Atlanta, thousands of civilians living outside the city had begun to refugee South. As the Union army approached in June 1864, the Archibald Smith family fled from their home in Roswell, GA. They packed their belongings in this box, painted their address across the top, and made their way to Valdosta, GA, to stay with relatives. They would not return to Roswell until 1866. Today their home is museum and is open to the public.

via Atlanta History Center, Civil War Refugee Box.

22
Jun
11

6.22.2011 … hot … woke up to an im picture of the sunrise at camp from Molls … what a great way to wake up!

Camp Illahee, kith/kin: Sunrise at Camp Illahee

music, kith/kin, Davidson College, memory lane:  I am sure this is dating me, but this is my group of girlfriend’s favorite song from freshman year.  YouTube – September by. Earth, Wind and Fire.

1978 was also the year that Maurice and managers Cavallo and Ruffalo worked out a deal for the launch of a new record label called The American Recording Company (ARC), to be distributed through CBS and the creation of a recording studio, George Massenburg/ARC also called “The Complex” in West Los Angeles. The year ended with another hit single, “September”, which was added to the quintuple platinum compilation album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, and was released November 23, 1978, just four days before Thanksgiving.

via Earth, Wind & Fire – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

movies, Louisville, Gill Holland, Jr., Davidson College, UNC, kudos:  I knew he had to be related to one of my all time favorite Davidson profs … Gil Holland.  Kudos, GHjr.

Gill Holland, who owns the Green Building on East Market Street and has helped to bring new businesses to that neighborhood in recent years, is the film’s producer. Holland and his production company, The Group Entertainment, had three movies at the Sundance festival this year. But this is the first movie he has made in Louisville.

“The pressure’s on,” Holland said. “It’s got to be good.”

Holland hopes to premiere “Tan Lines” at next year’s Flyover Film Festival and to have a theatrical release in autumn 2012.

via Louisville has a starring role in Gill Holland’s indie tennis movie | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.

Great Recession, healthcare, desperation, followup:  This is getting international attention …

A middle-aged man with no criminal record walks into a Gastonia bank on June 9 and slips a teller a note demanding $1 – and medical treatment.

Then he sits down and waits for police.

James Richard Verone’s story has captured national attention and made front pages in papers as far away as England, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said Tuesday.

Verone, 59, was charged with larceny from a person after he entered the RBC Centura Bank on South New Hope Road and handed the teller note demanding $1.

“It’s a bad situation when someone who’s been law-abiding all his life falls on hard times and feels like he has to commit a crime to get health care,” Cloninger said. “It’s tragic.”

via Gastonia’s $1 bandit gets major coverage | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

cities, disease, healthcare, health scares:  I am reading a book about the modern city and our future.  One of the continuing issues with cities is the spread of disease.

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever after it claimed the life of at least one child while infecting thousands of others in the city and elsewhere in China.

A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl died from the illness late last month while a five-year-old boy in the city died Tuesday morning from what health authorities said was a “very likely” a case of scarlet fever.

Hong Kong authorities have recorded 40 new cases in the past few days, pushing the total number to 459 so far this year, the highest annual total in the city and more than three times the figure for the whole of 2010.

The boy — who also had chicken pox — developed a fever last Wednesday and was admitted to hospital on Sunday with symptoms of the illness.

“We are facing an epidemic because the bacteria that is causing scarlet fever is widely circulating in this region — not only in Hong Kong but in mainland China and Macau.”

Hong Kong radio station RTHK reported that 49 people had contracted the illness in Macau, a former Portuguese colony about an hour by ferry from Hong Kong, with nine taken to hospital but no fatalities.

Tsang said Tuesday that more than 9,000 people had been infected so far this year in mainland China, doubling the average figure in recent years. He did not say if there were any fatal cases.

“Scarlet fever is in its peak season and may continue to be widespread for a prolonged period of time, possibly the whole summer,” Tsang said.

Local scientists said the outbreak may be linked to a deadly new strain of the disease which could make it more contagious than in the past.

A unique gene fragment was present in the bacteria’s genome “which might contribute to increased transmissibility of this strain,” said a health protection centre statement, released late Monday.

Scarlet fever mainly affects children between the ages of two and eight. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, rashes and a “strawberry coloured” tongue, and usually subside within 48 hours with appropriate antibiotic treatment.

The new strain, discovered by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, appears to be resistant to antibiotics traditionally used to fight the illness.

via Hong Kong declares scarlet fever outbreak – Channel NewsAsia.

health, sleep, insomnia, kith/kin:  I think i may get Edward a hammock. 🙂

Napping in a hammock is one of the more delightful tasks of summer, and Swiss researchers say they now know why.

The gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster, and they sleep deeper. Those changes in brain activity may inspire new ways to help insomniacs, the researchers say.

Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva rigged up a bed so it would sway gently from side to side every four seconds, considerably slower than the pendulum on a cuckoo clock. “This rocking is very gentle, very smooth, oscillating every four seconds,” Sophie Schwartz, a professor of neurology who led the study, told Shots. “It’s not like rocking like you would see some mothers rocking their babies, it’s more gentle.”

A dozen adult research subjects napped on the bed for 45 minutes while scalp electrodes recorded brain activity. During one nap the bed swayed; for another, it was stationary.

The scientists weren’t too surprised to find that people fell asleep faster when the bed rocked. But they were surprised at the big difference that rocking made in brain activity.

Rocking increased the length of N2 sleep, a form of non-REM sleep that takes up about half of a good night’s rest. It also increased slow oscillations and “sleep spindles.” Sleep spindles are brief bursts of brain activity, which look like sudden up-and-down scribbles on an electroencephalogram.

That ability is important in recovery from stroke, and the researchers say that rocking while sleeping should be tested on people with strokes or other brain injuries. Rocking is “changing things in your brain,” Schwartz says.

The Swiss scientists are eager to try the rocking bed on night-time sleepers, to see if it might help with insomnia and other common sleep disorders. But Shots readers may not want to wait for those results, and instead head directly to the back yard and their own time-tested research tool, the hammock.

via Why Hammocks Make Sleep Easier, Deeper : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

global issues, statistics, slavery, definitions:  Staggering … ““The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

Slavery still exists. Of that there isn’t much dispute, if any. But how widespread is what many experts call modern-day slavery?

Estimates range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars.

The International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on, among other things, labor rights, put the number at a “minimum estimate” of 12.3 million in a 2005 report.

Kevin Bales, a sociologist who serves as a consultant to the United Nations and has authored several books about modern-day slavery, estimated the number was 27 million people in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.” The book was published in 1999.

There is yet another estimate. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on trafficking at Harvard University and also an author, recently told CNN that his calculations put the range between 24 million and 32 million. That number was current as of the end of 2006, he said.

There are several reasons behind the variance in numbers, said Ben Skinner, who published a book about modern-day slavery – “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery.”

“There are two big problems with the count,” Skinner, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, said during a telephone interview. “The first is that the people we are counting are, by definition, a hidden population.

“The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”

via The challenges of counting a ‘hidden population’ – The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery – CNN.com Blogs.

draught, South Georgia, prayers:  This is where my grandparents farmed.  Amazing record low river levels.  Worthy of prayers..

The U.S. Geological Survey says the levels of south Georgia’s waterways have fallen to record lows.

Gauges on the Flint River showed the average depth of the river at 1.31 feet Friday, and discharge from the river was at 606 cubic feet per second. That number compares to a maximum output of 17,500 cubic feet in 1965 and a minimum average output of 715 cubic feet in 2000.

Brian McCallum, assistant director of the USGS Georgia Water Science Center, says data from Friday shows all of the waterways in South Georgia set record lows.

He says the drought in Georgia is becoming more severe.

McCallum says the diminished rainfall does not allow the natural restoration of underground water and forces farmers to use more water from waterways for irrigation.

via S. Georgia waterways hurt by drought  | ajc.com.

Steph Curry, basketball, people, followup, Davidson College, blessings/best wishes:  Like I have said before, what a great kid.

I spent part of Monday with Stephen Curry, the former Davidson star who has a big summer going on. Curry was part of the Curry Celebrity Classic at River Run Golf Club in Davidson today — the charity event that is raising $40,000 for the Ada Jenkins Center this year.

Curry, 23, isn’t playing golf today, as his right ankle is in encased in a cast due to offseason ankle surgery. He goes into a walking boot next Monday. He had nagging ankle problems most of the 2010-11 season but expects to be 100 percent for his third season (assuming there is a 2011-12 NBA season — labor strife looms).

On a more life-changing note, Curry will get married July 30th to Ayesha Alexander. She grew up in Charlotte as well — the two met in a church youth group when she was 14 and he was 15. They have dated for the past three years.

via Scott Says …: Curry getting married, rehabbing ankle.

YouTube, LOL: Enjoy … YouTube – Incredible eyebrow control by young golf fan.

education, legislation, NC, CMS:  The State has voted to add 5 days to the school calendar … talk about a last minute mess.

The state legislature slipped a summer surprise into the budget bill: Students are slated to spend five more days in school next year, a total of 185.

School districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, are scrambling to figure out the new mandate for a calendar that’s already been approved with 180 days.

John Tate, a state school board member from Charlotte, said even he was trying to figure out what the new requirement means. Tate says he’s a strong supporter of more class time for kids, once pushing to add five days per year, with additional pay for teachers, until the state hit a 200-day calendar.

But by yanking workdays that teachers use to build their skills, he said, “it’s a little bit of a shell game.” He said the state board will discuss how to deal with the waiver in July. Tate’s interpretation: To get a waiver, districts must show kids would benefit more from the teacher training than they would from five more days in school.

Mary McCray, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, said Monday she hopes CMS will make that argument. She said students benefit from teacher training such as CMS’ ongoing summer teachers institute: “We get an extensive amount of ideas and information that we can transfer into our classrooms.”

via Legislature adds five days to school year for N.C. students | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

health, skin cancer, media, Brene Brown, blog posts of note:   From one of my favorite bloggers, this message is important …

My dear friend Ali Edwards told me about this video and it really spoke to me.

Like Ali, Steve and I were both swimmers. In fact, we met coaching swimming and life guarding. Even though that was 24 years ago, we still live in the pool during the summer. We both have family histories of skin cancer so we’re very careful about sun protection and we’re trying to teach our kids good habits.

I hope you’ll take a look at this powerful video and share it with someone you love – especially a teen or tween.

via hello sunshine – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

The video is powerful … spread it …

YouTube – Dear 16-year-old Me.

education, private education, costs, NYC:  Amazing that people can afford this …

The Riverdale Country School will charge $40,450 for high-school students in the coming year, the first time a New York private school has topped $40,000 in annual tuition.

Tuition at New York City schools has long outpaced the national average. This past year, national median tuition for 12th grade was $21,695, according to the National Association of Independent Schools. In New York City, it was $35,475.

via Private School Tuition Bill Tops $40,000 – WSJ.com.




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