Posts Tagged ‘slime bags

15
Jul
11

‎7.15.2011 … Who has seen Harry Potter? I must admit I am waiting for the crowds to die down … Molly is going in France. Shes worried it will be in French, but hoping that it will be in English with French subtitles.

Harry Potter, movies, food, Bento box:  Harry Potter seems well liked :), and is viewed as an industry game changer.  I just laughed when I saw 5 HP Bento boxes … I had my first bento box in March … and had never heard of them before … now they are everywhere.

“There was a sea change with Harry Potter,” says Erik Feig, president of worldwide production at Summit Entertainment, which has made the Twilight movies. “The story has a younger protagonist, but the book series and the movies are greatly enjoyed by older people, too. I devoured the first book and gave it to every grown-up I knew. We saw the same thing with Twilight. We did not ghetto-ize it as a young-adult movie. Nor did they with Harry Potter. They drew all audiences. It was an inspiration to us.”

via How ‘Harry Potter’ magically changed films – USATODAY.com.

harrypotterbentoschool.jpg

The New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is today, and the world’s gone mad with Pottermania.

We’re going to miss Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but all good things must come to an end. And since the actors playing these Hogwarts students are adults (my gosh, Daniel Radcliffe has already given up drinking), now is probably a good time to say goodbye (before they all get Botox or join Celebrity Rehab).

In celebration of the movie and the passing of an era, we’ve found the five craziest Harry Potter-related bento boxes (yes, we actually found more than one).

via Five Crazy Harry Potter Bento Boxes – Broward/Palm Beach Restaurants and Dining – Clean Plate Charlie.

Bento (弁当 bentō?)[1] is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or “character bento”. Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon (anime) characters, characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is “oekakiben” or “picture bento”, which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.

via Bento – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 slime bags, John Edwards, great lawyers, Jim Cooney:  He may be a slime bags but he sure can pick a great lawyer.

Jim Cooney, a Charlotte attorney, argued for a later trial date, saying the case was complex and unusual and the sheer volume of documents collected by prosecutors would be overwhelming for his staff to quickly analyze.

Defense lawyers have received 10,000 documents from prosecutors and expect 20,000 more, including campaign e-mails and Internal Revenue Service tax filings.

Prosecutors contend that Edwards violated campaign finance laws by secretly obtaining and using contributions from two wealthy supporters to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2008.

via Judge sets John Edwards’ trial for October | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, anniversaries, icons, Russia, google doodles:  Happy 450th!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is 450 years old today, and Russia is celebrating with a gift from Google: a doodle dedicated to the onion-domed structure.

via Saint Basil’s Cathedral Turns 450 Today With a Google Doodle – Intelligent Travel.

book shelf, Golden Fox, Courtney novels, Wilbur Smith:  On the list … comes highly recommended.

London, 1969 – and the headstrong and beautiful Isabella Courtney dazzles all.Yet the years that follow will test Isabella to the extreme of her endurance. They will be years of hardship and bitter pain, hidden behind the masks of affluence and success. It will be a time in which brother is pitted against brother, as they are drawn into the lair of the golden fox.Golden Fox irresistibly sweeps the reader through the heart of London society, the grandeur of Europe and the searing heat of a divided Africa.Once again, Wilbur Smith combines his unique talents for electric story-telling, meticulous research and compassion for places and their people in a novel of adventure, romantic obsession, deceit and desire, in a world where betrayal demands the ultimate sacrifice…

via Wilbur Smith | The Courtney novels | Golden Fox.

Oprah, marriage, relationships:  Advice sounds a lot like everybody else’s … maybe there is some truth here.

When we fall in love, we see life in Technicolor. We nibble each other’s ears and tell each other everything; our limitations and rigidities melt away. We’re sexier, smarter, funnier, more giving. We feel whole; we’re connected.

But inevitably, things start to go wrong. The veil of illusion falls away, and it turns out your partner has qualities you can’t bear. Even traits you once admired grate on you. Old hurts resurface as you realize your partner cannot or will not love and care for you as promised.

via Marriage Repair Kit – Oprah.com.

food – desserts, Jello:  Two of my three  kids hate jello … so not a favorite.  Can you imagine finding it on a classy menu?

 

 

[SB10001424052702303812104576442181786652882]

Long a cubed dessert of hospital cafeterias, flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of avant-garde chefs and established design studios across the country. Artists are using the wobbly medium to create sculptures of everything from colorful cities to President Barack Obama. They are drawing inspiration from crafters like Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, the British chefs whose projects include a gelatin Buckingham Palace to celebrate the royal wedding.

“It has a ton of structure, and it can be any flavor,” says Ms. Whiteley, whose Disney noggin snagged a creativity prize in the Brooklyn, N.Y., Jell-O Mold Competition. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York provided prizes.

Flavored gelatin is turning up in the work of chefs and food crafters across the country. WSJ’s Anjali Athavaley reports on the wiggly resurgence.

“What was once a dessert of jiggling, artful decadence has now been rendered flat or at most, a wiggling cube,” says the website for the competition, held last month in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Studio Space. “This isn’t good enough for an American icon.”

Part of the appeal of gelatin art is nostalgia. “It’s the wiggly, friendly dessert that everyone loved when they were a kid,” says Michelle Palm, a financial consultant in Edina, Minn., and founder of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, a blog about Jell-O shots, the novelty libation. The site’s most popular shot is the Rainbow Jelly Shooter, which includes vodka and layers of multiflavored gelatin with a cherry in the center. Only three colors of gelatin—red, yellow and blue—are used. Light bends the layers for a rainbow effect.

via Designers Make Sculpting Jell-O Cool – WSJ.com.

twitter, college application:  Interesting …

At the University of Iowa, a good tweet is worth $37,000.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

In an attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills, universities and businesses are asking for essays in 140 characters or less.

That’s the price of a full scholarship, and that’s exactly what a student hopeful can win in a contest the university has dreamed up that takes electronic communication to a new level. The university is asking prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay.

The University of Iowa is joining several others in its attempt to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills — two qualities that today’s Twitter-savvy marketplace demands.

via College offers scholarship for Twitter ‘essay’ – USATODAY.com.

Betty Ford, eulogy, Cokie Roberts, politics:  She was always outspoken … even directing things that need to be said at her funeral.

Cokie Roberts, a commentator on National Public Radio and member of a noted political family, said Ford asked her several years ago to talk about the importance of getting along in politics, recalling a time in Washington when Democrats and Republicans could be friends and partisan politics did not paralyze government.

Roberts’ father, Democrat Hale Boggs, was House majority leader when Ford was minority leader, and Roberts said the families were close.

via Betty Ford eulogized as trailblazer who helped millions – USATODAY.com.

Facebook, divorce:  

More than 80 percent of divorce attorneys recently surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that in the past few years they have witnessed “an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence.” Although it is difficult to definitively establish cause and effect here, it seems likely that the divorce rate among baby boomers has been elevated by the Internet.

Nancy Kalish, a professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, suspects that online connections may lead to growing numbers of what she terms “accidental affairs,” meaning they involve people who don’t set out to have a physical or emotional relationship outside their marriage. Kalish studies couples who reunite after years apart.

Before there was an Internet, when someone wanted to track down a past love, he or she had to go through the effort of locating a friend or relative to make contact. “Unless they were single, divorced or widowed, they just didn’t typically do that,” Kalish told me.

via Facebook Might Be to Blame for Your Divorce: Sheril Kirshenbaum – Bloomberg.

google, internet searches, memory:

Internet searches are making information easy to forget, as more people rely on their computers as a type of “external memory,” a study of Harvard University students found.

About 60 Harvard students were asked to type 40 pieces of trivia, such as “An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain,” into computers, and were told either the information would be saved or erased. People who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember, according to the study published online by the journal Science.

The widely available Internet has made it an instant go-to library where facts and figures are easily found, the researchers said. The study suggests that search engines such as Google Inc. (GOOG), and databases such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN)’s IMDb.com serve as an external “memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves,” they said.

via Google Searches May Influence What People Forget, Test Finds – Bloomberg.

China, real estate, Winnetka:  Compare it to Winnetka prices!

Workers toil by night lights with hoes, carving out the signs for Olympic rings in front of an unfinished 30,000-seat stadium, bulb-shaped gymnasium and swimming complex in a little-known Chinese city.

Loudi, home to 4 million people in Chairman Mao Zedong’s home province of Hunan, is paying for the project with 1.2 billion yuan ($185 million) in bonds, guaranteed by land valued at $1.5 million an acre. That’s about the same as prices in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb that is one of the richest U.S. towns, where the average household earns more than $250,000 a year.

In Loudi, people take home $2,323 annually and there are no Olympics here on any calendar.

via China Cities Value Land at Winnetka Prices With Bonds Seen Toxic – Bloomberg.

apps, National Geographic, photography, France:  Fun, but not great …

National Geographic Traveler and Fotopedia present a dazzling bird’s-eye view of France.

Following on the heels of our popular “Dreams of Burma” app that we launched last month, today we announce the release of another brand new photo app, “Above France.”  Our new app takes you on a spectacular aerial journey across the country in over 2,000 photos with interactive maps, slideshows, and wallpapers.

via Above France, A New Photo App – Intelligent Travel.

11
Jul
11

‎7.11.2011 PT and dentist in one morning … anxiety attack … :(

anxiety, dentists:  Actually the modern-day dentist is not so bad … but still it is engrained in me to be anxious.

consumer market, China, KFC:  Interesting thought … Chinese consumers … and very interesting as to why KFC is so successful.

Some Western consumer-goods firms that are also-rans at home do surprisingly well in China. Back in America, Kentucky Fried Chicken KFC, part of Yum! Brands is dwarfed by McDonald’s. In China it has 3,300 restaurants—more than three times as many as its rival—and opens a new one each day. The secret of its popularity is local managers with the freedom to adapt KFC’s offerings to the Chinese palate. That means fewer bargain buckets of wings and more congee, a rice porridge with pork, pickles or mushrooms.

Bernstein could have added: beware. The rules in China are still being written. Different arms of government may interpret them differently (see next article). And if someone in power changes his mind, there is not much you can do about it.

Will the Chinese government allow Nestlé to buy Hsu Fu Chi? In 2009 it rejected a $2.4 billion bid by Coca-Cola to buy Huiyan Juice Group, a drinks firm, for no apparent reason. Analysts say that this is unlikely to happen again, however. “The company is not strategically important and together Nestlé and Hsu Fu Chi would control only about 5% of the market,” says Jon Cox at Kepler Capital Markets in Zurich. As the world’s largest chocolate-maker Nestlé has high hopes for a market of more than a billion people who currently eat shamefully little chocolate.

Much could go wrong. Many economists think Chinese households save too much. Some fear a property bubble or a banking crisis. The risks of selling consumer goods in China are immense. But so is the opportunity cost of staying away.

via Consumer goods: The mystery of the Chinese consumer | The Economist.

tv, Bones:  Love Bones … can’t wait for next fall.

If you think Bones’ seventh season is just going to be about diaper-changing and nap time, think again: The show is introducing a new villain, TVGuide.com has learned.

“This is someone who is an extremely odd and fearless foe,” executive producer Stephan Nathan tells us, comparing the character to such past serial killers as Gormogon and The Gravedigger. “Only he’s going to be much more of a 21st-century, tech-savvy foe.”

Fox announced last week that Bones won’t premiere until Nov. 3, which will allow the network to air six episodes in the fall before star Emily Deschanel takes her maternity leave. Nathan says those six episodes will primarily focus on expectant parents Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Deschanel) preparing to raise their child together, but they will also introduce the new killer, who will take a while to subdue.

via Bones Exclusive: Who’s the New Gravedigger? – Today’s News: Our Take | TVGuide.com.

Civil War, history, journalism, Frank Law Olmsted:  I found this a very interesting historical tidbit.

Frederick Law Olmsted is rightly remembered as an eminent landscape architect, but in 1861 it was his work as a journalist and an administrator that brought him acclaim.

In February of that year, he agreed to edit his three earlier volumes, “A Journey in the Seaboard States” (1856), “A Journey Through Texas” (1857) and “A Journey in the Back Country” (1860) and reissue them as a two-volume work titled “The Cotton Kingdom: A Traveller’s Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American Slaves States.”

The idea came from his London publisher, who assumed that the secession crisis would create great interest in such a work in England; Olmsted’s New York publisher quickly agreed. There was reason to believe they were right: one influential journalist and admirer later concluded that Olmsted’s writing “was more powerful and convincing than ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’” While that overstates the case, the book drew a wide readership keen to learn about the nature of Southern society.

via Frederick Law Olmsted’s Writing About the South – NYTimes.com.

ethics, business:  I was always told if I wasn’t willing to put my name on it, then I shouldn’t send it out.

Put your name on it

Is there a simpler way to improve quality and responsiveness?

If you can’t sign it, don’t ship it.

Easy to say, hard to do. Many people choose to work for a big organization precisely so they can avoid signing much of anything.

via Seth’s Blog: Put your name on it.

slime bags, perp walk:  I never thought about how they did this in other countries … but now that I am thinking about it, it does give the impression of guilt.

IT WAS one thing for the French public to hear that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been arrested. It was quite another to see him grim-faced, handcuffed and in the custody of New York detectives. To Americans, this was just the “perp walk”.

This practice gives the newspapers and television images for stories and lets police and prosecutors show off the big game they bagged. J. Edgar Hoover, first head of the FBI, paraded arrested mobsters before the cameras. Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s assassin, was killed during a perp walk. It was a favourite tactic of Rudy Giuliani when he was a federal prosecutor.

If she means adversarial, she is correct. American trials pit two lawyers and two narratives against each other; a jury decides which is more plausible. The French have juries only in the most serious cases (including rape). Defendants lack fifth-amendment protections. Adversarialism may mean Mr Strauss-Kahn was roughed up in a way he would not have been in France; but it also meant that, when his accuser was found to be unreliable, the case began to collapse.

Hence a final argument against perp walks: they can be risky for prosecutors. Contrary to many French objections, Cyrus Vance, Manhattan’s district attorney, has behaved well. He dealt fast with a serious allegation against a rich suspect who was about to leave the country for one with which America has only a limited extradition treaty. He also moved quickly when the case against that suspect began crumbling. As for pictures of Mr Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs, the French may see a famous politician treated like a common criminal. Mr Vance—and the New York voters who elect him—may see another high-profile suspect whom he failed to convict.

via America’s judicial system: That guilty look | The Economist.

LinkedIn, social networking:  Are you on?  Do you use it?  I am on … don’t use it except to monitor the postings by Davidson grads.

Professional networking service LinkedIn blasted through the 100-million-user mark in March, making it even more powerful for finding a job, keeping up with colleagues and promoting your resume.

LinkedIn is growing so quickly, it’s adding a new member each second. As the size of its network grows, LinkedIn is steadily getting more useful. But how are people really using the fast-growing service? Researchers at Lab 42 asked 500 LinkedIn users that question and many more, and came up with a variety of answers in this infographic.

Among the fun facts they uncovered: We found it interesting the way top level executives use the service in vastly different ways from entry-level workers. Let us know in the comments how you like to use LinkedIn, or if you don’t use the service, why not?

via How Are People Really Using LinkedIn? [INFOGRAPHIC].

Betty Ford, obituaries, RIP:  Rest in peace, Betty Ford:  When I think of you I think of courage and your hair … 🙂

Honesty in marriage, like in politics, can be a gift or a weapon. Betty Ford’s husband Jerry loved her fizzy candor, her firm commitment when she believed in something and her refusal to pretend when she didn’t. She wore a mood ring, but that was redundant; she wasn’t one to hide an attitude anyway, any more than she’d hide how much her psychiatrist had helped her or what she thought of her children’s sex lives or which of her breasts was removed by doctors when she got cancer. So as the U.S. wrestled with the role it wanted women to play, she marched with Betty Friedan in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. As the political stars realigned for a generation around Roe, she called the court’s abortion ruling “a great, great decision.” As the trauma of Vietnam lingered, she discussed amnesty for draft dodgers. When after six weeks in office she discovered the cancer, she bared her pain in public. She was unlike any other First Lady and yet perfectly suited to her time — 29 months in the White House, during which America was catching its breath and checking its pulse to see if basic institutions and assumptions could survive the shock of the Nixon presidency. Her long combat against addiction brought all kinds of suffering out of the shadows. When she died Friday, July 8, at the age of 93, America lost one of its most unlikely and unmatched healers.

via In Memory: Betty Ford, Former First Lady, Clinic Founder – TIME.

Apple, iPhone:  low-cost version … I’m ok with that.

Citing a source that has been reliable in the past, the report says Apple will introduce both a revamped iPhone 5 and a low-price iPhone that could work with prepaid networks.

The site’s Seth Weintraub is quick to point out that Apple already has two models of the iPhone on the market — the 3GS and the iPhone 4 — but writes that he believes the cheaper phone won’t simply be the iPhone 4 with slashed pricetag. The cheaper model, he thinks, could look more like the iPod Touch, which is also expected to get a refresh this fall.

via Apple will launch low-end iPhone this fall, report says – Faster Forward – The Washington Post.

 

 

06
Jul
11

‎7.6.2011 Beantown!

Boston, travel, Flour Bakery, bakeries, trolley tours, history,  music, Neptune Oyster, restaurants, quotes, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Revere House, St. Stephens’ Church, Revere Mall, Old North Church, First Church of Christ Scientists,  Mapparium,  Beacon Hill Bistro, kith/kin, Facebook, Chihuly, Museum of Fine Arts,  Copley’s Watson and the Shark, education, generation gap, Davidson College, slime bags, sports, lists …


Well, Boston was great today.  After asking the concierge for three recommendations – best tour trolley, best bakery and best lobster roll … I had a great day touring by myself, followed by a great visit with Julia and Jimmy.

Observations:

1. Flour Bakery is truly a great bakery … First bakery made pop tart for me … :),

Our mission at Flour is simple: We are incredibly passionate about sharing the pure pleasure that mouth-watering pastries and foods and warm hospitality can bring into your life.  We love what we do and even more we love sharing it with you.  We hope to see you soon!

via Flour Bakery, 12 Farnsworth Street Boston MA | 1595 Washington Street Boston MA | 190 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA.

2. Old Town Tour trolley … Mr. Kelly, former 4th grade history teacher, was great.  I stayed on for the whole 15 stop circuit … then did hop on, hop off in the afternoon … and of course there was some appropriate music coordinated with a few of the stops!

YouTube – Dave Loggins – Please Come To Boston – 1974 – DJ Single ‏.

YouTube – Cheers full theme song (with subtitiles) ‏.

 

3.  Lobster Roll at Neptune Oyster … $25 … very good … probably worth it!  I had lobster, not oysters, but I love the Hemingway quote on their website.

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and make plans. - A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

Neptune Oyster – 63 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02110.

4. Sights – Paul Revere House, St. Stephens’ Church, Revere Mall, Old North Church, First Church of Christ Scientists and Mapparium.

Since 1935, more than 10 million people have traversed the thirty-foot glass bridge that spans the Mapparium, taking visitors to a unique spot: the middle of the world.

This world-famous, three-story, painted-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Library. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

via Mapparium® | The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

5. Dinner … first alone with Julia at Beacon Hill Bistro (excellent) and then  Jimmy and family friend Regan Pluck … Julia and Jimmy are  not on FB so I made a special shout to all Atlanta friends … especially Rebecca, Penny, Molly, Len Al, Jeanne, Eleanor, Susie, Roline, Thomas, Elizabeth … Just want you to know she is thinking about you!  Maybe soon she will join Facebook.

6. … and finally Museum of Fine Arts with Julia and Jimmy and Regan Pluck.  First stop, the absolutely beautiful Chihuly | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then we scurried around to see the must sees at the museum and I jumped when I saw Copley’s Watson and the Shark.

72 x 90 1/4

Image via Wikipedia

Watson and the Shark – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I had recently had a FB conversation on the painting and could not remember the details … so I posted the painted and loved chatting with Cathy, Nan, Anne  and Becky …

Catherine: i’d say! I’d rather face a dog bite than a shark bite any day!

Dennard : Shark stole his clothes first.

Catherine Siewick ‎” Brook Watson was a 14-year-old orphan serving as a crew member on his uncle’s trading ship. While swimming alone, he suffered

Nan: You and I had a running conversation about this painting.

Dennard: Well I saw it last night!

Dennard: I turned around and it was right there … very cruel painting.

Nan: Very.

Anne:  What was it doing in Boston? It used to terrify me when I went to the museum in WDC as a child – National Gallery.

Dennard:  Don’t know. It appeared to be permanently there.

Becky:  SCARY!!!!

Anne: OK, if Wikepedia can be trusted: Copley produced three versions. The original is in the National Gallery of Art in WDC, a replica he painted for himself is in the Fine Arts Museum in Boston and a third, which is smaller with a more vertical composition, is in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Dennard: Very interesting. Thank you anne!

And now my usual clips …

education, generation gap, Davidson College:  I loved this article.  I have the same discussions with my children.

In an online age, truth is more unbundled than ever. That makes higher education more important than ever.

For smart twenty-somethings and their intellectual fellow travelers, ideas are in the ascendant. Progressively freed from their moorings in books or college courses, ideas are increasingly encountered on their own, without the mediating force of a received authority like a professor, a presenter, or an author. When students like Adam access ideas, they evaluate them quickly for acceptance or rejection.

That is not to say they no longer see synthesis, careful argument, and good judgment as relevant to reaching conclusions. Of course they do. But the pendulum of young people’s attention is swinging toward ideas à la carte.

The consequences for higher education are significant. The pendulum swing enables great creativity—not to mention individualism. At the same time, for students to manage ideas successfully, they need guidance in developing their capacities for argument and judgment. Such guidance is neither easily given nor easily received, but it is essential.

The increasing accessibility of ideas is more of a progression than a rupture. Just as Socrates worried about the written word’s effects on oral culture, and the church feared that Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press would undermine its authority, today we worry about the quality of online information. Technology, certainly, has always been a driving force. Thanks to Google, we engage ideas in remarkable variety: facts, images, and melodies; recipes and background tracks; Wikipedia entries and tweets. Thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter, our methods of accessing and disseminating ideas continue to multiply.

As I saw in Adam, the change in convention from reverence to pragmatism has an intellectual parallel: good-enough researching. As a way of knowing, good-enough researching is now as established as reading the heavens for portents was in antiquity, or listening to experts on TV only a few years ago. As we search the Web, we make hundreds of quick judgments about whether the ideas we receive are good enough to use. But what is good enough?

At Davidson College, therefore, over the past several years we have questioned disciplines, their boundaries, and their methods and evidence, both at the level of the overall curriculum and at the level of individual courses. My own proposal to help students filter ideas is that we teach them a simple principle: A necessary part of making an argument is the investigation of potential opposition. At a minimum, every writer or speaker should take one step beyond listing sources, to determine whether the assertions cited are subject to reasonable challenge, and to consider whether those challenges merit further review.

Take the phenomenon of using Wiki pedia as a research source. Although we have heard much debate about whether Wikipedia is a suitable resource, the question is still open—and still a thorn in the side of many faculty members. What about approaching the question differently? Wikipedia recently came up as a discussion topic in my section of an interdisciplinary first-year course in the humanities. One student observed that Wikipedia should be considered a fair source of information because it represents a consensus view of a large population. I was suddenly on the edge of my chair. Here was a teachable moment, and I felt that I should have been better prepared.

What that student deserved from me, and what students deserve from me in the future, is not only a response, but also a model of how to approach an issue. What are possible opinions about the utility of the resource, beyond conventional wisdom? What sort of evidence for those sometimes opposing ideas would be compelling? Right or wrong answers may often be elusive, but we cannot avoid confronting the oppositions. Mathematicians have implicit checks against error. Students in other disciplines need such methods as well.

My proposal’s deceptive simplicity hides the difficulty of putting it into practice. It does not admit to uniform application. From high school to graduate school, every level will have its own standards for how to investigate the ideas and arguments of others. And the proposal is no substitute for nuanced, intellectual judgment. It’s just a starting point in meeting the challenge of deciding what is good enough when ideas are newly ascendant.

via Ideas in the Ascendant – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

slime bags, sports, lists:  Not a list anyone wants to be on … and only one female … Tonya Harding.  Not a good day for Roger … he’s at the top of the list.

Baseball star Roger Clemens is on trial in D.C. on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs during his 23-second career.

via Roger Clemens – Top 10 Disgraced Athletes – TIME.

05
Jul
11

7.5.2011 … travel to Boston … then dinner in Chinatown … at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Boston, travel, Pho Hoa, restaurants, Chinatown, Zagat Review, InterContinental Boston, hotels, history, architecture:  John and I ventured into Chinatown to have Vietnamese comfort foodfood at his  favorite dive … Pho Hoa.  (Maxwell:  “I believe I saw a drag queen use that name one time- Faux Ho.”)  John had sweet and sour soup and spring rolls, and I had rice in a clay pot with chicken and shrimp. … Both very good.  One of the more intriqguing parts of the meal was the Bubble Tea. The bubbles were very soft gummi like black candies at the bottom. Weird. The peach infused green tea was excellent. The ambiance was a little lacking … piped in radio music … SoundHound – F**k You by Cee Lo Green. (Eleanor : “Couldn’t ask for finah music…”; Liz: “charming”).  Zagat gave it a good review … I think they have reviewed every restaurant in Boston!

However our hotel, the InterContinental made up for it … beautiful from the outside … The historic tall ships were the inspiration for the hotel and once I was told, I could see it. 🙂 And the site of the hotel was 1/2 block from the real tea party.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I do have one question: Boston InterContinental … Why do I need a pass thru to the bath?

Al Capone, Atlanta:  Al Capone served part of his sentence in the Atlanta Penitentiary.  I learned recently that his family rented a very nice home in Druid Hills during this period, around the corner from my great grandparents.  Anyone else heard that?

“To be 27 years of age and own Chicago, and run that whole empire, that’s one helluva mind, and one helluva desire, do you know what I mean?” said Graham. “And a passion to achieve.”

Capone achieved all of it with a splash of style. The best clothes, the biggest cars, and more.

“The big difference is that Capone talked to the media and really welcomed the spotlight, so that people heard more about him,” said Eig.

But away from the spotlight …

“If you had a butcher shop and you weren’t paying your contribution to the local protection association, the first thing is you’d get a broke window,” said Eig. “The next thing is you might get a pineapple – a homemade bomb, hand grenade equivalent which would cause not only a broken window, but some fire damage.”

“So a brick, a hand grenade …” said Reynolds.

“Maybe a baseball bat to the head, to the knee,” said Eig. “And then finally, you know, if you still didn’t get the message, somebody might get killed.”

While that sort of thing went on, Capone would likely be out on the town. The Green Mill cocktail lounge was a favorite haunt. “I’m guessing he didn’t have to pay for his own drinks

Owner Dave Jemilo tends bar nowadays at the Green Mill – right above a subterranean escape route used by gangsters. He showed us the tunnels: “You went this way, you’re under the street. And then it was boarded up. Then you go down this way and there’s a whole other set of tunnels.”

“So this was pretty elaborate,” said Reynolds. “I mean they were serious about escaping.”

via In search of the real Al Capone – CBS News.

slime bags, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, prosecution of sex crimes, justice:  Makes you think real hard about how to serve justice in these situations …

SO what’s the moral of this Manhattan immorality tale?

That the French are always right, even when their hauteur is irritating?

They were right about Iraq and America’s rush to war. And they may be right about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and America’s rush to judgment.

In both cases, French credibility was undermined, so we resisted seeing things from their point of view.

They say it is roughly analogous — not in terms of the maid’s sexual history but her record of veracity — to a case in which a prostitute is raped. It’s hard to prosecute, and the perp can often get away with it.

The upright-looking Vance is not like the scoundrel prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case. He did not ignore evidence that was contrary to the case prosecutors were trying to build. It just took several weeks, after they tried to deny DSK bail and after they indicted him, to do a thorough investigation.

via When a Predator Collides With a Fabricator – NYTimes.com.

Great Recession, executive compensation:  23%???

Brace yourself.

The final figures show that the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009. The earlier study had put the median pay at a none-too-shabby $9.6 million, up 12 percent.

Total C.E.O. pay hasn’t quite returned to its heady, prerecession levels — but it certainly seems headed there. Despite the soft economy, weak home prices and persistently high unemployment, some top executives are already making more than they were before the economy soured.

via Executive Pay at Big Companies Rose 23% Last Year – NYTimes.com.

twitter, TweetScan:  But what will I do with my 140 character tweets?  I don’t think I will win any awards or even a favorite of the day!

Using the amazing tool TweetScan, you can actually generate an archive of all your tweets that goes back to the olden days of December 2007. Follow this link to create your own archive–a fascinating look at your microblogging evolution.

AllTwitter explained the service: “You can choose whether to view just your old tweets, or include and one or more of the following: @replies, your friends’ tweets, your followers’ tweets, direct messages, or favorite tweets. Your tweets are presented in a “TiddlyWiki” format, which means you can make notes and edit the pages. This service is great for an at-a-glance view of your older tweets, or if you want to review your tweet strategy in more detail.”

via How To Read Your Old Tweets – GalleyCat.

politics:  🙂

Bill Clinton says he called Vice President Joe Biden after last month’s “golf summit” and said he must have thrown the game to lose to President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Obama and Boehner each won $2 from Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

“I called Joe Biden, who’s the best golfer in the foursome, and carded an 89,” Clinton told the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday evening.

“I said, ‘Joe, I don’t mind if you go to funerals. I don’t mind if have to do go to budget [talks]. But, you know, no vice president should have to throw a golf game to make America a better place.’ [laughter] And he proceeded to swear to me he didn’t throw it.”

via Bill Clinton teases Joe Biden on golf summit – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

Great Recession, foreclosure, loan restructuring:  Wow, I’ll be happy to give BofA my number.

As millions of Americans struggle in foreclosure with little hope of relief, big banks are going to borrowers who are not even in default and cutting their debt or easing the mortgage terms, sometimes with no questions asked.

Last year, JPMorgan Chase cut in half what Rula Giosmas owed on her condominium in Miami.

Two of the nation’s biggest lenders, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are quietly modifying loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who have not asked for help but whom the banks deem to be at special risk.

Rula Giosmas is one of the beneficiaries. Last year she received a letter from Chase saying it was cutting in half the amount she owed on her condominium.

Ms. Giosmas, who lives in Miami, was not in default on her $300,000 loan. She did not understand why she would receive this gift — although she wasted no time in taking it.

Banks are proactively overhauling loans for borrowers like Ms. Giosmas who have so-called pay option adjustable rate mortgages, which were popular in the wild late stages of the housing boom but which banks now view as potentially troublesome.

Before Chase shaved $150,000 off her mortgage, Ms. Giosmas owed much more on her place than it was worth. It was a fate she shared with a quarter of all homeowners with mortgages across the nation. Being underwater, as it is called, can prevent these owners from moving and taking new jobs, and places the households at greater risk of foreclosure.

via Banks Easing Terms or Debt on Some Option ARM Loans – NYTimes.com.

sex crimes, prosecution, slime bags: Thorny issue …

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was arrested hours after the allegation and resigned from the IMF, was ordered released from home confinement in Manhattan on Friday. But the district attorney’s office has not moved to dismiss the rape case.

“She said it happened, and he’s sort of a pompous guy with a reputation . . . for grabbing women, so they thought, well, of course, it must have happened,” Greenspun said. He said police generally spend too little time investigating such cases before making arrests, especially when the suspects are prominent men.

A housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel accused the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund of attacking her. In a July 1 court hearing, the sexual-assault case appeared to shift in his favor.

Prosecutors have serious questions about the credibility of a hotel housekeeper who has accused former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her, a person familiar with the case said Thursday. (July 1)

Even if Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys have information about his accuser that they could use in court to cast doubt on her veracity, prosecutors have a “moral obligation” to proceed with the case if they believe that the woman is being truthful, said lawyer Mai Fernandez, director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

“You could have Attila the Hun come to you and say he’s a victim, and the truth of the matter is, in this particular case, he may be,” Fernandez said.

“You have to look first at the evidence that’s directly related to the case at hand,” she added. “The victim? Well, everybody has a past. None of us is without sin. There’s always something that a defense lawyer can use to tarnish your reputation.”

via In sex-crime cases, credibility a thorny issue – The Washington Post.

tweet of the day, misleading headlines:  Why is this misleading … look who is modeling the sexy mommy jeans … not your average mom …

InStyle (@InStyle)7/3/11 5:00 AMSexy mom jeans…they do exist!http://ht.ly/5vmLW

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20190744_20360203,00.html?xid=twitter-momjeans.

Nicole Kidman


tweet of the day:  Actually, this is a few days ago …

Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
6/30/11 12:13 PM Is it me, or do people on Segway scooters look pre-wedgied?

18
Jun
11

‎6.18.2011 … what a delightful day … reading The Sweetest Thing … watching silly movies (The Green Hornet) from the RedBox… blt for dinner … summer …

politics:  Well, I certainly don’t think the tea party or Sarah Palin are representative of historical conservatives.

… today’s unconservative “conservatism” is a movement held together by cultural resentment and xenophobic panic. Until it wrests free of this trap, it deserves its Palinesque fate: an ideology wrapped in anachronism, and laced with venom.

via “Conservatism Is True.” – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.

slime bags:  At the core of the slime bag is that he is taking advantage of someone who is weaker.

When it comes to powerful men and poor women, the sorry maxim of ancient warfare still holds true: The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.

via Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the Lure of Domestic Affairs | Home Land – WSJ.com.

music, kith/kin:  If a friend refers me to a song and I am not in a hurry, I almost always listen.  I feel connected … YouTube – Sister Sledge – We are Family (1979) (1).

random, lists, food:  OK, I clicked … but who thinks of these things.  Famous Death Row Last Meals.

movies, The Green Hornet, RedBox:  It was bad, but I must admit i laughed … Thank you RedBox for only costing $1.15 (it has gone up!).

Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father’s large company, teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.

via The Green Hornet (2011) – IMDb.

The Sweetest Thing, bookshelf Elizabeth Musser:  Loving it so far …

 

17
Jun
11

‎6.17.2011 … now to get this unhumerous humerus to heal … always good to have goals.

pranks, culture, Charlotte, CMS:  there is no such thing as a prank anymore.  Myers Park graduation prank nets lifetime ban | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Dorothy Parker, quotes, telegrams, things no more:  “I can’t look you in the voice.” … Don’t you just love that.  Strange that telegrams no longer exist …

Anyone who has ever hit a wall whilst writing will find it difficult not to empathise with the dejected words of Dorothy Parker in this telegram, sent in 1945 to her editor, Pascal Covici. Such was her frustration, Parker couldn’t even bring herself to ring him and explain.

via Letters of Note: I can’t look you in the voice.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL, followup:  The Goats again.  This blogger is quicker than I am …”Cud Zoo!”  And he has pictures of their handiwork.

Speaking of pickings, I’ve been out twice already since Monday to check on our friendly neighborhood ruminants—it’s a real cud zoo out there!—and in 48 hours they had taken a full acre-plus of knee-high kudzu down to ankle height. Thirty goats each eating 12+ pounds of kudzu a day. Wow. I’m going to hoof it out there daily for a few weeks to get some time-lapsed pictures to post. Stay tuned!

Late note: Just went out there for Day Three pictures. Impressive results so far, but when the goats move across the road to a more extensive infestation, they’ll really have their work cud out for them!

via Cud Zoo on the Cross-Country Trails, dba Ecological Preserve

President Obama, Father’s Day, The First Family, parenting, LOL, privacy:  Sorry I thought this a strange post.  The second part was quite quite funny… what father of girls would not like to have their daughters surrounded by men with guns!  However, the first part I thought  a slight invasion of their privacy.  What do you think?

In a pre-Father’s Day interview Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” – President Barack Obama makes it clear that the First Lady is done having children – even if he might like to add a son to the family.   Asked if he ever thought of having a son, Mr. Obama was quick to tell Robin Roberts:  “You know, you act as if this is a decision of mine. This really isn’t.”

He said wife Michelle makes it clear to him that he did not carry ten pounds in his belly.

“I think what Michelle’s general view is, we’re done.”

With eldest daughter Malia about to become a teenager next month, Mr. Obama said he’s glad he has “men with guns” around his daughters and said it’s an incentive to run for re-election.

He said it means his daughters will never get in a car with a boy who had a beer.

In the interview, Mr. Obama also said that compared to his childhood and family, wife Michelle grew up in a family he likens to “Leave It To Beaver.”

via Obama: Don’t expect any White House babies – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

pain, therapy, medicine, drugs, science, pharmacology:  I’m all in for new treatments for pain!

Pain Therapeutics will be the stock to watch in the coming week.

via The Next Big Thing In Biotech: Pain Therapeutics PTIE – TheStreet TV.

slime bags, history: Very interesting walk through history of reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct by men.

The conventional answer is that when it comes to sex, a certain kind of man, no matter how intelligent, doesn’t think at all; he just acts. Somehow a need for sexual conquest, female adulation and illicit and risky liaisons seems to go along with drive, ambition and confidence in the “alpha male.” And even if we denounce him and hound him from office, we tend to accept the idea that power accentuates the lusty nature of men.

This conception of masculinity is relatively new, however. For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery. Late antique and Roman writers, like Plutarch, lauded men for their ability to resist sexual temptation and control bodily desire through force of will and intellect. Too much sex was thought to weaken men: a late-15th-century poem mocks an otherwise respectable but overly sexually active burgess who has “wasted and spent” his “substance” until there is “naught left but empty skin and bone.”

But in the face of recent revelations about the reckless and self-indulgent sexual conduct of so many of our elected officials, it may be worth recalling that sexual restraint rather than sexual prowess was once the measure of a man.

How and why have we moved so far from this ideal? Why do so many powerful men take sexual risks that destroy their families and careers? Contemporary worship of youth is one explanation: rather than shunning the idea of childishness, many adults, male and female, now spend much of their time clinging to an illusory and endless adolescence. The ability to be a “player” well into middle age thus becomes a point of pride, rather than shame, for the modern man. Perhaps the erosion of men’s exclusive status as breadwinners and heads of households also figures in: when one no longer “rules the household,” there may be less motivation for or satisfaction in “ruling oneself.”

But in the face of recent headlines I find myself less inclined to analyze or excuse current mores than to echo medieval ones. The critics of Pedro II of Aragon would have turned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s own words against him and his kind: Who are the girlie men now?

via Anthony Weiner and the Manly Men of Yore – NYTimes.com.

history, David McCullough, education:  Oh, great … another area where we are failing our kids!

‘We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, “I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don’t know.” Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. “It’s shocking.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task.

One problem is personnel. “People who come out of college with a degree in education and not a degree in a subject are severely handicapped in their capacity to teach effectively,” Mr. McCullough argues. “Because they’re often assigned to teach subjects about which they know little or nothing.” The great teachers love what they’re teaching, he says, and “you can’t love something you don’t know anymore than you can love someone you don’t know.”

Another problem is method. “History is often taught in categories—women’s history, African American history, environmental history—so that many of the students have no sense of chronology. They have no idea what followed what.”

What’s more, many textbooks have become “so politically correct as to be comic. Very minor characters that are currently fashionable are given considerable space, whereas people of major consequence farther back”—such as, say, Thomas Edison—”are given very little space or none at all.”

Mr. McCullough advises us to concentrate on grade school. “Grade school children, as we all know, can learn a foreign language in a flash,” he says. “They can learn anything in a flash. The brain at that stage in life is like a sponge. And one of the ways they get it is through art: drawing, making things out of clay, constructing models, and dramatic productions. If you play the part of Abigail Adams or Johnny Appleseed in a fourth-grade play, you’re never going to forget it as long as you live.”

via The Weekend Interview With David McCullough: Don’t Know Much About History – WSJ.com.

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, more:  ??

What does it all mean? Fans will hope that Rowling will be putting pen to paper (or writing method of her choosing) and continue the Potter story ad infinitum (no, Potter fans, that’s not a spell). Rowling has said she’s uncertain whether she’d write another Potter book, but the term “Pottermore” is supposedly the last patent she recorded, back in July 2009.

Some believe that an encyclopedia could be on tap, but will that be enough to satisfy the insatiable demands of the passionate fanbase, who are currently counting down the days to the July 15 release of the last ever movie?

via Harry Potter Fans Salivate Over J.K. Rowling’s New Site, ‘Pottermore’ – TIME NewsFeed.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, miracles:  She is still in my prayers … her recovery continues to be miraculous.

In the long run, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords should flourish from returning to a home life with her husband. But in the days and weeks ahead, she and her family will have to make difficult adjustments to this new phase in her recovery.

While Giffords gets used to living outside a hospital for the first time in more than six months, her family – especially her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly – will learn to care for a person who still has significant cognitive and physical problems caused by a devastating gunshot wound to the head.

“It’s really an emotional roller-coaster,” said Dr. Richard Riggs, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The 41-year-old lawmaker left the hospital on Wednesday and moved to her husband’s home in a Houston suburb not far from the Johnson Space Center.

via Gabrielle Giffords Home; Mark Kelly: ‘Great To Have Her Out Of Hospital’.

13
Jun
11

6.13.2011 … Megabus anxiety :)

 MegaBus anxiety 🙂 … That will be me in a few hours!

labyrinths, Charlotte:  Labyrinth walk #3 – Wedgewood Baptist on Tyvola … Beginning to understand that the setting is not as important as the state of mind …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

culture, Rep. Anthony Weiner,  slime bags, internet, twitter:  So far the internet is a big problem for slime bags … and these men are supposed to be savvy and smart.

For a Generation Xer born 34 years before Google, Anthony Weiner seemed to have a younger man’s knack for Internet culture. In merely 20 months using Twitter, the virtual social club that now has more than 200 million participants, Weiner managed to interest some 77,000 people in subscribing to his dispatches, jokes and provocations on topics ranging from hockey to finance to Israel’s borders.

Weiner, whose trafficking in vulgar online communiqués may have ruined his political career, may not deserve to stay married. But he should not be pilloried forever. He was a skilled and even advanced Twitter player, whose politics and erotic life, like those of so many Americans under 40, were centered in digital culture. At a time when political analysts like James Carville, who said recently on CNN that he’d never seen Twitter, flaunt their ignorance of the Internet, we need more thoroughly digital minds — even if, like all minds, they periodically turn dirty — in public life.

Twitter handsomely rewards those with a capacity for risk and an aptitude for the social sciences, especially economics, game theory, psychology and sociology.

In the days immediately after the Weiner revelations, according to the statisticians at TweetCongress, posts by Republicans went down 27 percent, while posts from Democrats dropped 29 percent. That’s too bad. In Weiner’s apologia speech, he urged the media not to blame social media for his personal and sexual habits. We shouldn’t. There’s nothing intrinsically immoral about Twitter. It doesn’t have to be given up like drugs. But people who use Twitter do need to improve their skills, and, more than ever, we need people who understand the massive new online game, like Anthony Weiner, to help explain it all to us.

via Anthony Weiner and the Game of Twitter – NYTimes.com.

time, psychology: Interesting article …

But you don’t have to hide out in a cave for a couple of months to warp time, it happens to us all the time. Our experience of time is flexible; it depends on attention, motivation, the emotions and more.

The last words on time come from two great thinkers; first Albert Einstein:

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

And finally, Douglas Adams:

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

via 10 Ways Our Minds Warp Time — PsyBlog.

culture, kindness:  I found this article thought provoking.  I find that I often say the wrong thing.

But as my friend’s query suggested, some gestures were more helpful than others, and a few were downright annoying. So at the risk of offending some well-meaning people, here are Six Things You Should Never Say to a Friend (or Relative or Colleague) Who’s Sick. And Four Things You Can Always Say.

via What to Say to Someone Who’s Sick – This Life – NYTimes.com.

12
Jun
11

6.12.2011 … summer wind by Frank Sinatra … I love old Frank Sinatra tunes …

PT, humerus break, followup:  Yesterday, I commented that PT (physical therapy, not poptarts :)) is addictive.  On the days I go to PT I feel better all day … even though it hurts while I am there.  Maybe it is the ice wrap with electrode therapy!  Woo hoo …

slime bags, women in politics, good question:  I wondered the same thing …

There was a collective rolling of the eyes and a distinct sense of “Here we go again” among the women of the House of Representatives last week when yet another male politician, Representative Anthony D. Weiner, confessed his “terrible mistakes” and declared himself “deeply sorry for the pain” he had caused in sexual escapades so adolescent as to almost seem laughable.

“I’m telling you,” said Representative Candice Miller, a Michigan Republican, “every time one of these sex scandals goes, we just look at each other, like, ‘What is it with these guys? Don’t they think they’re going to get caught?’ ”

Ms. Miller’s question raises an intriguing point: Female politicians rarely get caught up in sex scandals. Women in elective office have not, for instance, blubbered about Argentine soul mates (see: Sanford, Mark); been captured on federal wiretaps arranging to meet high-priced call girls (Spitzer, Eliot); resigned in disgrace after their parents paid $96,000 to a paramour’s spouse (Ensign, John)  or, as in the case of Mr. Weiner, blasted lewd self-portraits into cyberspace.

It would be easy to file this under the category of “men behaving badly,” to dismiss it as a testosterone-induced, hard-wired connection between sex and power (powerful men attract women, powerful women repel men). And some might conclude that busy working women don’t have time to cheat. (“While I’m at home changing diapers, I just couldn’t conceive of it,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat, once said.)

But there may be something else at work: Research points to a substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office. Women have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so and, because there are so few of them in politics, are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw — all of which seems to lead to differences in the way they handle their jobs once elected.

via Why Women Don’t Get Caught Up in Sex Scandals – NYTimes.com.

e-mail, technology:  I hope no one thinks I fall in this category …

Three years ago this week, I posted this checklist, in the naive hope that it would eliminate (or perhaps merely reduce) the ridiculous CC-to-all emails about the carpool, the fake-charity forwards, the ALL CAPS yelling and the stupid PR spam.

A guy can hope, can’t he?

Feel free to send this to those that need to read it:

via Seth’s Blog: Email checklist (maybe this time it’ll work!).

music, Frank Sinatra, summer: YouTube – Frank SINATRA – Summer Wind Reprise® 68.

business cards, technology, end of an era:  Yes or no to business cards?  I agree … “I think, culturally, you’re real and you have a real job if you have a business card,” Ms. Trapani said. “There’s something about that card that means you’re kind of official.”

Not everyone has given up tradition. FedEx Office, the office services chain, still sees a “steady growth” in business card sales, a spokeswoman said.

One explanation could be the status attached to the company card. “I think, culturally, you’re real and you have a real job if you have a business card,” Ms. Trapani said. “There’s something about that card that means you’re kind of official.”

Image notwithstanding, the business card has a logistical advantage: universal ease of exchange. Swapping information mid-conversation or in a noisy crowd can be more cumbersome than pressing paper to palm. And not everyone owns a smartphone, or has the same applications for sharing.

The paper business card is evolving to bridge those gaps. The modern card may contain only a name with a Twitter handle; so-called smart cards are emblazoned with quick response (or QR) codes that can be scanned with a smartphone using applications like CardMunch.

The Hashable site integrates social networking functions similar to some of those on Facebook and Twitter along with digital calendars and more versatile features for easier face-to-face sharing. Users can scan QR codes into the Hashable network or, with some phones, exchange contacts by holding phones together (much like the traditional handoff).

It may prove the closest thing to a business-card killer yet. Erick Schonfeld, an editor of TechCrunch, a popular blog, said the ideas behind Hashable seem to be resonating with its users, and that he had stopped using business cards.

via Paperless Business Cards – Noticed – NYTimes.com.

twitter, hashtags, culture:  I am so behind on this one…

With a simple Twitter phrase, #winning, known in the parlance of social media as a hashtag, Mr. Sheen underscored one of the newest ways technology has changed how we communicate.

Hashtags, words or phrases preceded by the # symbol, have been popularized on Twitter as a way for users to organize and search messages. So, for instance, people tweeting about Representative Anthony D. Weiner might add the hashtag #Weinergate to their messages, and those curious about the latest developments in the scandal could simply search for #Weinergate. Or Justin Bieber fans might use #Bieber to find fellow Beliebers.

But already, hashtags have transcended the 140-characters-or-less microblogging platform, and have become a new cultural shorthand, finding their way into chat windows, e-mail and face-to-face conversations.

This year on Super Bowl Sunday, Audi broadcast a new commercial featuring a hashtag, #ProgressIs, that flashed on the screen and urged viewers to complete the “Progress Is” prompt on Twitter for the chance to win a prize. Then, in Canada’s English-language federal election debate in April, Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, set the Canadian Twitterverse aflame when he attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s crime policies, calling them “a hashtag fail.”

To deftly deploy a hashtag, after all, you need to understand the culture, said Susan Herring, a professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University-Bloomington.

There is also the unofficial Hashtag Mafia, people who flash one another the hashtag sign — crossing their index and middle finger of one hand over the same two fingers of their other hand to create a physical hashtag. #IronicGesture #WeHope

“I have pictures of people actually using the actual hashtag symbol, and it’s like they’re flashing a gang sign, but they’re doing a hashtag,” Ms. Wilcox said. “That gets really geeky.”

Mr. Messina takes a more philosophical, albeit lighthearted, view. “The great thing about hashtags is that anyone can join the Hashtag Mafia by using hashtags,” he said. “You’re not really in the mafia unless you do air hashtags.”

via Hashtags, a New Way for Tweets – Cultural Studies – NYTimes.com.

google doodle, Les Paul, followup:  There are some creative folks out there.

The interactive instrument, created to honor what would have been the 96th birthday of electric guitar legend and innovator Les Paul, was such a hit, Google even gave the doodle an encore and left it up on its website for an extra day.

Not so musically inclined? If your guitar chops are in need of a little tuning, take a few lessons with our quick tutorial on how to master this digital instrument.

Or maybe you already have what it takes to rock out with the best of the best? Here’s a round-up of the best Google guitar licks from around the Web.

via The Les Paul Google Guitar Greatest Hits: Hear The Best Songs (VIDEO).

Leonard Stern, Mad Libs, RIP,  Conan O’Brien, LOL, followup:  OK, Conan is just funny.

Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
6/11/11 4:30 PM
R.I.P. the _________creator of the always__________ Mad Libs.
11
Jun
11

6.11.2011 … can you get addicted to PT?

quotes, Gandhi, Coca-Cola:  It’s funny when a brand links itself to a state of mind.  Happiness and Coke don’t exactly work for me … but the folks at Coke keep at it.  Can you think of another example?  I think Jello pudding and funny … from the days when Bill Cosby was their sponsor.   From the Coke twitter feed ….

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Gandhi

France, travel, blogs:  Found this blog today and loved it … Southern Fried French. “A South Carolinian’s beau-dacious new life, living and cooking in a medieval château.”

radio, public radio, words, sayings:  John was traveling and discovered this public radio show which is not carried in Charlotte.  We have now downloaded a few and listened.  It is fun if you like words/sayings.

A Way with Words, public radio's lively language call-in show, hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett.

You Bet Your Sweet Bippy (full episode)

Why do some puns strike us as clever, while others are plain old groaners? Martha and Grant puzzle over this question. Also, the difference between baggage and luggage, a royal word quiz, the “egg” in egg on, what to call someone who doesn’t eat fish or seafood, Hawaiian riddles, and why we say “You bet your sweet bippy!”

via A Way with Words, public radio’s show about words and language and how we use them.

art, censorship:  Interesting question … when can our public museums legitimately censor art?  Is not choosing it for display/purchase censorship?

Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone, creators of the one-month-only Museum of Censored Art, have received the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for intellectual freedom by the American Library Association, one of the most well-known anti-censorship organizations in the country.

The museum was responsible for showcasing the censored film, “A Fire in My Belly,” by gay artist David Wojnarowicz. The video was originally a part of the gay and lesbian art exhibition “Hide/Seek” at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and contains an 11-second segment that shows ants running on a crucifix.

via Creators of Museum of Censored Art receive intellectual-freedom award – The Washington Post.

Michael Vick, people, kudos, commencement speech:  Kudos, Michael Vick for turning your life around.

In the minutes before giving his first commencement speech, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick professed to be more nervous than before a football game.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick answers a question in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, he says that he uses Unequal Technologies EXO Skeleton products

He had nothing to worry about. A lovingly raucous crowd of several hundred cheered Vick throughout his remarks Friday to graduates of the alternative Camelot high schools at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

The fact that he surprised a pair of students with $5,000 college scholarships didn’t hurt either.

The theme of redemption proved to be the heart of the connection between the ex-con NFL superstar and the 450 graduates. Camelot’s six campuses in Philadelphia serve about 1,800 students with emotional, disciplinary or academic problems.

In speeches during Friday’s ceremony and in a private meeting with Vick before the big event, several graduates spoke of rebounding from previous troubles or poor choices to earn a diploma with the second chance they were given at Camelot.

via Michael Vick surprises 2 grads with scholarships  | ajc.com.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” , movies, anniversaries:  Wow… 25 years … that makes me feel old.

But most important, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” gave us permission, for 103 minutes, to take the cinematic equivalent of a joy ride in a candy-apple Ferrari. And that’s why then and now, it continues to resonate. And that’s also why, in honor of its 25th birthday, I’ve made this list of “Bueller”-related contibutions to pop culture.

via ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and its 25 contributions to pop culture lore – Celebritology 2.0 – The Washington Post

Facebook, gotcha, news, the law, random:  Very strange story and weird precedent to be setting …

A woman pretended to be a 17-year-old to draw out incriminating evidence from her ex-husband via Facebook. But an investigation after his arrest showed that he was the true online mastermind. Oh, the e-intrigue!

According to the Smoking Gun, 29-year-old Angela Voelkert created a fake account for 17-year-old “Jessica Studebaker,” complete with a trashily attractive photo, and friended her ex-husband. Then, in an attempt to gain information she could use against him in a custody battle, she chatted him up. He said he put a GPS tracking device on his ex-wife’s car, the more easily to monitor her every move. And he told “Jessica” that “you should find someone at your school…that would put a cap in her ass for $10,000.” He had plans to “take care of” old Angela, he said. Heavily based on the exchanges, the FBI arrested 38-year-old David Voelkert on Friday, but did he ever have a surprise for them.

Suspecting it was Angela all along, David Voelkert had gotten a notarized affidavit shortly after Jessica came online. In it, he said that he believed this was not a real person but rather his ex-wife or someone she knows. He said he was engaging with this person and lying in order to gain proof that his ex-wife was tampering with his personal life, proof he would then use himself in court. “In no way do I have plans to leave with my children or do any harm to Angela Dawn Voelkert or anyone else,” he wrote above the Indiana notary’s stamp. He then kept one copy and gave another to a relative for backup.

The timeline worked, his affidavit coming days before he said anything incriminating. The notary was interviewed, the document authenticated, and his case was dismissed. Situations like this are why the phrase “Oh, snap!” was invented.

via Digital Detectives: Custody Battle Leads to Facebook Double-Sting – TIME NewsFeed.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, slime bags:  I really don’t like having the tag “slime bags” … and that I am using it almost daily for different men.

Weiner’s online interactions with the student had drawn the attention of some conservative bloggers in recent days. FoxNews.com said one of its reporters was at the house when the officers arrived.

Weiner spokeswoman Risa Heller confirmed that the congressman communicated with the 17-year-old, adding in an e-mail, “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”

The report cites sources close to the student as saying that the 17-year-old began following Weiner on Twitter after hearing him speak during a trip to Washington on April 1.

That was the day that Weiner took to the House floor to mock Republicans in the ongoing debate over avoiding a government shutdown; the New York Democrat read from a children’s book, “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” which describes the process by which a bill becomes a law. The House was considering a Republican-sponsored bill aimed at keeping the government running even if the Senate did not pass a funding measure of its own.

Weiner sent the student a direct message via Twitter about two weeks later, according to FoxNews.com’s sources.

via Del. police reportedly asking about teenager’s interaction with Weiner – 2chambers – The Washington Post.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, slime bags, the media:  Interesting … and awkward.

But as anyone who has squirmed while watching Eliot Spitzer discuss the latest political sex scandals on CNN knows, there is such a thing as having too much skin in the game. ¶ The former New York governor’s evening show, “In the Arena,” plus his candid interviews for “Client 9,” a documentary about the 2008 prostitution scandal that led to his resignation, should have put his own downfall firmly in the rearview mirror. But that’s a difficult feat when you’re in the news business — and the news is all about sex and politics. A review of Spitzer’s coverage of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and the congressman’s tweets, denials and admissions shows that the governor’s past has an awkward habit of intruding:

via Awkward: Eliot Spitzer covers the Weiner scandal – The Washington Post.

random, thoroughbred race horses, names, kith/kin:  I used to laugh as my college roommate whose family owns Dogwood Farms would come up with names … DF had some kind of naming contest.

Every year, America’s horse racing governing body, the Jockey Club, receives about 60,000 Thoroughbred name requests to approve or reject. Roughly one-third don’t make the cut, either because they’re already taken — a name can only be awarded once a decade — or they’re deemed obscene. That still leaves tens of thousands of often wonderful, surprising, and just plain head-scratching names. Herein, a few.

Mine That Bird

His father was Birdstone, his mother was Mining My Own. Winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2009, sadly his branch of the Bird line will come to an end with his passing, as Mine That Bird is a gelding.

via Weird, Wonderful Horse Names – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

food trucks, food, DC, websites, Apps:  I may try this App for lunch next week …  Food Truck Fiesta – a real-time automated DC food truck tracker with commentary.

websites, business, entrepreneurial ideas:

What is Springwise?

Helped by a network of 15,000 spotters, Springwise editors scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds.

via Springwise | New business ideas, trends and innovation.

children’s/YA literature, lists:  How many have you read?  Kids’ Classic Summer Reading on DailyLit (Part 2: Grades 7 and 8) « DailyLit Blog.

Garden and Gun, magazines:  When I first saw Garden and Gun I thought those two don’t go together … it is now one of my favorites.

Just went on a magnolia binge. I spent the weekend in Tennessee, courtesy of my friends at the splendid magazine Garden and Gun. Quite a title. It has an odd, family resonance for me–as my father is a Southerner. He grew up in Kentucky. He is a great shot (clays, not animals), and he taught me to garden. So how could I not be drawn to a magazine by that name, especially when it is beautifully edited, art-directed, and produced. Award-winning, too. Sid Evans is an excellent editor.

via Slow Love Life: GARDEN AND GUN, MAGNOLIAS AND ABSINTHE, AT BLACKBERRY FARM.

09
Jun
11

6.9.2011 … get to go to a sneak preview today … and happy LVII, big sis …

movies, sneak previews, film/lit: I’ll tell you about it tomorrow … but I read the book (hint).

google doodles:  You know I love a good google doodle!

When unveiling a classic Doodle, Google sure knows to pick ’em.

In terms of interactivity, Google has designed what is arguably its coolest home-page logo yet — surpassing even its Pac-Man banner and the colorful and initially mysterious “Google Balls.”

Today, the California company offers an animated Doodle you can strum and share — a gift of music entirely befitting a birthday celebration for the legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul.

The pioneering designer of the solid-body, “rounded sound” electric guitar, who died in August of 2009, would have been 96 today.

Today, thanks to Google, the trill isn’t gone.

You can hit the record button (near the bottom of the second “g” in Google), pluck a tune — then send the URL of your recorded music to other people, who can even “duet” with your recording.

via LES PAUL: Today’s great Playable ‘Google Doodle’ Guitar marks legend’s 96th birthday (*Pluck it for yourself) – Comic Riffs – The Washington Post.

John Edwards, slime bags, Cate Edwards, family:  Blood is thicker than water … but I feel sorry for Cate Edwards, a very attractive, smart woman.  Her father has placed a horrible burden on her.

But those in the Edwards inner circle knew that Cate, 29, was stepping into a familiar role, one that she has filled for half of her young life.
The night before the court appearance, Ms. Edwards, a lawyer like Mr. Edwards and her mother, Elizabeth, was at her father’s side as he planned his legal strategy with his defense team at their home near Chapel Hill. She and her father had just returned from her little brother’s baseball game.
“She’s a sounding board for John,” said a person familiar with the meeting that night.
“Cate sticks with her dad,” said Glenn Bergenfield, a close friend of the family who introduced Elizabeth to John when they were all in law school together and is godfather to their young son.
“Despite all the things that have happened, she wants her father to succeed and her family to stay together,” Mr. Bergenfield said. “It’s not any more complicated than that.”
At the courthouse, Ms. Edwards, a graduate of Harvard Law School, appeared composed. She has come by her strength the hard way, having coped with more than her share of pain, much of it on the public stage.
Fifteen years ago, when she was barely a teenager, her 16-year-old brother, Wade, was thrown from a car and killed on his way to the family beach house. For two years, her mother later wrote, Cate slept on two chairs pushed together in her parents’ room, but she emerged as the glue that would hold the family together.
That experience laid the foundation for her to face the cascade of crises that would follow: her father’s political losses, the revelations that he had an affair and a child with his campaign videographer while he was running for president in 2008, her mother’s public and prolonged battle with breast cancer, and then in December, her mother’s death.
via For Cate Edwards, a Recurring Role as Family Glue – NYTimes.com.

random, wedding gifts, lists:  This 1950s list was still pretty common into the early 80’s … now the couple just wants cash.

 

Crystal glassware 
Flatware 
Vacuum cleaner 
Toaster 
Steam iron 
Pots and pans 
Electric fry pan 
Pressure cooker 
Electric broiler 
Cookbook

Top Wedding Gifts – WSJ.com.

recipes, eggs:  I am not so sure I want my dinner meal with a poached egg on top.  But I am willing to try it.

Basically, you can throw a perfectly poached egg on top of most any dish and we’re in. But on top of a creamy bowl of risotto, studded with chunks of bacon and sweet leeks? Forget it. Game over. That’s probably why the Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg from our April issue did so well in bloggers’ kitchens.

via Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

Jane Austen, random, YouTubeYouTube – Pride & Prejudice in 100 Seconds.

 

action sports, Nike, marketing:  Action sports are a special niche … it will be interesting to see how Nike does?

MOVE over, Michael Jordan: here comes P-Rod.

In an attempt to leave no sport unmarketed, Nike, the sports apparel manufacturer, will begin the next phase of its current “Just Do It” campaign with a focus on action sports like skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing.

The new campaign, called “The Chosen,” is Nike’s largest effort at moving into action sports, and will feature athletes like the skateboarder Paul Rodriguez (or P-Rod), the surfer Laura Enever and the snowboarder Danny Kass.

“When we looked at action sports, we saw a unique consumer segment that was underserved in terms of product innovation,” Mark G. Parker, Nike’s chief executive and president, said at a shareholder meeting in May.

Action sports are a $390 million business for Nike, and executives hope that figure doubles over the next five years. Nike’s biggest competitors in the youth-oriented action sports arena include brands like Quiksilver, O’Neill, Volcom and Billabong.

Big brands that want to enter the action sports market have to contend with the somewhat insular culture of certain sports and with the athletes’ loyalty to smaller, edgier brands. For the last few years, Nike has been on a steady mission to penetrate the market by creating sub-brands like Nike 6.0 and buying smaller brands like Hurley.

And they seem to be getting it right.

via Nike’s New Campaign Focuses on Action Sports – NYTimes.com.

Paris, sewer tour – Paris, places, guides:  Anybody been on the Paris Sewer Tour?  Have a favorite guide?  I take recommendations.

Some of the best sights in Paris are the ones underground- the catacombs of Paris, the Paris Crypt, and the Paris Sewers. The Paris Sewers provide people with something really different, and a little bit stinky, to see while in Paris.Paris is a big city with a very long history. From its early days as a Roman outpost though modern times, the city has had to deal with waste. How would they handle waste from millions of people? In ancient times, it wasn’t a problem. The population wasn’t large enough yet to create any real pollution, so everything went into the River Seine.However, as the city grew, more waste went into the Seine and, by the late middle ages, the river was simply too polluted, and something needed to be done. Beginning in 1370, the city started building sewers and drains. Back then, people just threw their waste onto the street where it just sort of stayed. This was a common practice all over Europe up until the 19th century. In fact, part of the reason women begin carrying those little parasols in the late 18th/19th century was to protect themselves from falling… debris.

via Unusual Place of the Month: The Paris Sewers – Nomadic Matts Travel Site.

Bas Bleu – City Cool Notes – Paris.

science, periodic chart:  Something new …

They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but theyve gained immortality in chemistry: Two new elements have been added to the periodic table.RSS Feed Get Science News From The New York Times »The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. Theyre called elements 114 and 116 for now — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.Youre not likely to run into any of this stuff. Scientists make them in labs by smashing atoms of other elements together to create the new ones.”Our experiments last for many weeks, and typically, we make an atom every week or so,” said chemist Ken Moody of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, whos part of the discovery team.In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in just a fraction of a second, Moody said.

via Two New Elements Added to Periodic Table – NYTimes.com.

shopping, marketing, Target:  I still prefer it to Walmart.

The chain that made it trendy to shop for low-priced designer clothing and mod lamps while picking up detergent and toothpaste has been struggling to gain back its pre-recession sales strength.

Target shoppers are stocking up on toilet paper and foodstuffs, but the stores are having a hard time enticing customers to spend money on stylish clothing and home goods—which are more profitable and make up more than 40% of annual sales. It was these apparel and decorating items—mixing mass with class—that set Target apart and allowed it to be one of the few discount chains to thrive against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s relentlessly low prices.

via Has Target Lost Its Cachet? – WSJ.com.

Apple, Steve Jobs, iSpaceship:  Well, it will be iconic.

Apple wants to build a new corporate headquarters that, in Chief Executive Steve Jobs’s own words, looks “a little like a spaceship.”

A day after the company unveiled its new Web-based service iCloud, Mr. Jobs spoke at a Cupertino, Calif., city council meeting to pitch plans for a new Apple corporate campus on 150 acres of land, much of which used to belong to Hewlett-Packard.

“Apple has grown like a weed,” said Mr. Jobs, as he explained how the company’s current Cupertino headquarters only holds about a quarter of the 12,000 employees it has in the area.

via Steve Jobs’s Latest Project: iSpaceship – Digits – WSJ.

YA fiction:  Too dark? Realistic?  I find it too weird … but maybe I better take another look.

 How dark is contemporary fiction for teens? Darker than when you were a child, my dear: So dark that kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things in novels directed, broadly speaking, at children from the ages of 12 to 18.

Pathologies that went undescribed in print 40 years ago, that were still only sparingly outlined a generation ago, are now spelled out in stomach-clenching detail. Profanity that would get a song or movie branded with a parental warning is, in young-adult novels, so commonplace that most reviewers do not even remark upon it.

If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is. There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.

So it may be that the book industry’s ever-more-appalling offerings for adolescent readers spring from a desperate desire to keep books relevant for the young. Still, everyone does not share the same objectives. The book business exists to sell books; parents exist to rear children, and oughtn’t be daunted by cries of censorship. No family is obliged to acquiesce when publishers use the vehicle of fundamental free-expression principles to try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children’s lives.

via Book Review: Young Adult Fiction – WSJ.com.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal ran a piece claiming that fiction at least nominally aimed at readers under 18 — young adult or “YA” fiction, that is — is entirely too dark. Calling out the books about kids who cut themselves or suffer abuse right alongside the books with abundant profanity in them, it laments the fact that young readers will be “surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.”

Unsurprisingly, the commentary has come under intense criticism — it’s not in any way a new complaint, and every response to it points that out, along with plenty of other problems.

But as easy as it is to tear the piece apart — for its complete failure to acknowledge V.C. Andrews, who was writing books with incest and rape themes in the 1980s and is the go-to choice for adults my age who want to talk about the screwed-up YA fiction they read, if nothing else — I’m more intrigued by the aspirational nature of the quaint but sad idea that teenagers, if you don’t give them The Hunger Games, can be effectively surrounded by images of joy and beauty.

via Seeing Teenagers As We Wish They Were: The Debate Over YA Fiction : Monkey See : NPR.

technology, security, cyber attacks:  We live in a changing world.

These jobs aren’t being pulled off by kids fooling around, or even by the criminals who steal credit-card numbers. “You’re looking at nation-state capability actors,” says Herbert Thompson, a computer-security consultant and professor of computer science at Columbia University.

With digital attacks becoming rampant, the computer nerds who work for the good guys to thwart such incursions have become the new Navy SEALs—elite commandos who can carry out sophisticated operations on the battlefield of cyberspace. The enemies they’re battling slip into computer systems to steal information or wreak havoc and then slip out without being detected. The services of these commandos, both to attack and defend, are becoming increasingly vital to top militaries around the world.

China just admitted it has organized a cyber-commando unit called the Blue Army. Officially its role is to defend China’s systems from intruders. Here in the U.S., a new report from the Pentagon warns potential enemies that the U.S. may consider cyberattacks to be acts of war and might retaliate with conventional weapons. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” an unnamed military official told The Wall Street Journal.

via Tech Report: The Hacker Wars – Newsweek.

Dr. Peter Gorman, CMS, Charlotte:  Bad timing, Peter.

Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent Dr. Peter Gorman announced his resignation during a news conference this afternoon.

Gorman says he has accepted a position with News Corporation in a newly formed education division.  Gorman will be named Senior Vice President and work with school districts to implement the division’s programs, as well as review their integrity and effectiveness, according to a news release.

Gorman made the surprise announcementduring a scheduled meeting to discuss budget cuts at the Government Center in uptown.

“I’m thrilled to join News Corporation, and to work with someone of Joel’s caliber, and the rest of his team, to transform the educational system through digital technology and other means,” said Dr. Gorman said in a CMS news release. “News Corporation has a reputation for leading significant change across many industries, and I look forward to what lies ahead for the education sector.”

via Gorman resigns as CMS superintendent | WCNC.com Charlotte.

random, Happy Father’s Day, superlatives:  OK, this guy is nuts … I hope his 16 year old son has a sense of humor …

Dad Waving At The Bus

Meet Dale Price, a stay-at-home father of three from American Fork, Utah, who dressed up in 180 different, wacky costumes to wave to his 16-year-old son’s school bus every morning. For 170 days, he greeted the passing bus in almost every costume imaginable. He also wasn’t afraid to cross dress, pictured here on Day 160 as Batgirl. (Dale Price)

via Most Embarrassing Dad? Dad Waves at Son on School Bus, Dressed in 170 Costumes | Photos – ABC News.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 617 other followers

August 2020
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031