Posts Tagged ‘Snippets from ZA Molly


‎8.23.2010 … lunch in Davidson with a John and a potential applicant and family … why is it always so beautiful up there … lots of friends with birthdays …Happy Birthday, Dan, Karen and Doug … working on SA trip …. Rocktail Bay, Cape Town, Kruger and Pietermaritzburg near Molly’s school.

snippets from ZA Molly: Molly is still loving EVERYONE and EVERYTHING about her South African advneture. This weekend she is in Jo’burg with her friend Cally for mid-term break. Callie’s family has a game farm about an hour away and they spent two days there where she saw giraffes (Treetops and Bella who is expecting … 18 mo. gestation period!), zebras, wildebreasts … etc., etc.). The British exchange students flew back today and Molly has really enjoyed getting to know them. As I said, she las loved everyone and everything.

culture, education, terms: Like the term “the littlest redshirts” … did you redshirt your child?   Cultural Studies – The Littlest Redshirts – Postponing Kindergarten –

words, vuvuzella, facebook:

New Dictionary Words

“Vuvuzella” and “defriend” have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

via New Additions to Oxford English Dictionary – ABC News.

iPhone Apps:

Want the perks of satellite radio without having to pay the big subscription fee? There’s an app for that.

The Livio Car Internet Radio app, currently available for iPhone and in the works for Android phones, lets users listen to Internet-only radio stations as well as AM and FM stations from around the world. While you can listen to the radio while out and about with your phone, Livio’s real goal is to have users mount the phone in their cars and use this app in place of their car radio.

via The App that May Destroy Satellite Radio | Technology | Smart Spending | Mainstreet.

literature, RIP: Rest in Peace, Anne Frank Tree.

Known in local vernacular as the “Anne Frank Tree,” the 150-year-old chestnut trunk’s claim to fame was its role in the teenage girl’s Nazi-related plight.

The AP reports that Monday’s Amsterdam storms were strong enough to topple the tree used as a source of solace by Frank during the Nazis’ occupation of the Netherlands. Plagued by fungi and moths for several years, the structure faced several attempts by city officials to order it to the ground.

But with the help of local advocacy efforts, the historic arboreal symbol staved off its opponents, letting nature spell the end of Frank’s emotion-laced setting.

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” Frank wrote in her diary on Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind.”

via Historic Tree With Diary of Anne Frank Ties Felled By Storm – TIME NewsFeed.

college, books, these times they are a changin’:

“Textbooks are just plain boring,” said Short, who is a professor of management at Texas Tech University. He said that standard business textbooks use a lot of disconnected examples and irrelevant stock photos, and he wanted to create something that would be “more like a movie,” that would get the necessary points across while keeping students engaged. Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed was his first attempt at a graphic-novel textbook; it covers, short Says, all the bases of what his students need to learn, while telling a story in panels about a college kid named Atlas and his friends. His adventures continue in Atlas Black: Management Guru?

via Graphic novel replaces business school textbook –

parenting, college:  I see it in myself … but wow … school’s are really having a time with superinvolved parents.

As the latest wave of superinvolved parents delivers its children to college, institutions are building into the day, normally one of high emotion, activities meant to punctuate and speed the separation. It is part of an increasingly complex process, in the age of Skype and twice-daily texts home, in which colleges are urging “Velcro parents” to back off so students can develop independence.

via Students, Welcome to College – Parents, Go Home –

csr, favorite topics: What do you think?

Can companies do well by doing good? Yes—sometimes.

Hear Aneel Karnani, Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M Ross School of Business, discuss why the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is flawed .

But the idea that companies have a responsibility to act in the public interest and will profit from doing so is fundamentally flawed.

Large companies now routinely claim that they aren’t in business just for the profits, that they’re also intent on serving some larger social purpose. They trumpet their efforts to produce healthier foods or more fuel-efficient vehicles, conserve energy and other resources in their operations, or otherwise make the world a better place. Influential institutions like the Academy of Management and the United Nations, among many others, encourage companies to pursue such strategies.

It’s not surprising that this idea has won over so many people—it’s a very appealing proposition. You can have your cake and eat it too!

But it’s an illusion, and a potentially dangerous one.

Very simply, in cases where private profits and public interests are aligned, the idea of corporate social responsibility is irrelevant: Companies that simply do everything they can to boost profits will end up increasing social welfare. In circumstances in which profits and social welfare are in direct opposition, an appeal to corporate social responsibility will almost always be ineffective, because executives are unlikely to act voluntarily in the public interest and against shareholder interests.

via The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility –

food – Southern, gone too far:  OK, yuck!

Cheeseburgers? Mmmmm.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Mmmmm.

A cheeseburger on a grilled Krispy Kreme?


A popular dish on the fair circuit this year is the Krispy Kreme cheeseburger. At the Wisconsin State Fair, which ended Sunday, it sold for $5. For an extra buck, you could add chocolate-covered bacon.

And the burger packs an eye-glazing 1,000 calories, according to the vendor. A regular Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut has 200 calories.

via Krispy Kreme burger with chocolate bacon? –


‎8.9.2010 Jack finishes his class on medical anthropology … what do you bet he pulled an all-nighter … then packs up apartment and moves his gear … then comes home on the redeye … chaos x2 …

movies, travel:  I am a big fan of movies … and I would go see Jane Austen’s England … but I don’t think I would be a “fan on a pilgrimage” to the Dirty Dancy film sites.  Would you?

ROANOKE, Va. — For a handful of Dirty Dancing fans on pilgrimage to Mountain Lake Hotel, something wasn’t right.

Sure, the Giles County retreat has the tour of film locations for the 1987 classic, the “Time of my Life” karaoke event and the Patrick Swayze monument. Yet guests this past weekend said the grass was a little too high, the paint a little too chipped, and the lake — that’s nearly gone.

Hard times have come to the Mountain Lake resort.

via ‘Dirty Dancing’ resort falls on hard times –

Book Club: Next month: The Lonely Polygamist … anyone read it?

Starred Review. A family drama with stinging turns of dark comedy, the latest from Udall (The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint) is a superb performance and as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic. Golden Richards is a polygamist Mormon with four wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business, and a few secrets. He tells his wives that the brothel he’s building in Nevada is actually a senior center, and, more importantly, keeps hidden his burning infatuation with a woman he sees near the job site. Golden, perpetually on edge, has become increasingly isolated from his massive family—given the size of his brood, his solitude is heartbreaking—since the death of one of his children. Meanwhile, his newest and youngest wife, Trish, is wondering if there is more to life than the polygamist lifestyle, and one of his sons, Rusty, after getting the shaft on his birthday, hatches a revenge plot that will have dire consequences. With their world falling apart, will the family find a way to stay together? Udall’s polished storytelling and sterling cast of perfectly realized and flawed characters make this a serious contender for Great American Novel status. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

via The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel (9780393062625): Brady Udall: Books.

children’s/YA lit: Did I mention I reread all of Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s and YA work when i studied for the bar … great stress reliever.

While au fait literary types around town await the buzzed-about new novels from Jonathan Franzen and Nicole Krauss, other former English majors have spent the summer trying to get hold of “Mockingjay,” the third book in Suzanne Collins’s dystopian trilogy, so intensely under wraps that not even reviewers have been allowed a glimpse before its airtight Aug. 24 release. What fate will befall our heroine, Katniss Everdeen? My fellow book club members and I are desperate to know. When will the Capitol fall? And how can Collins possibly top the first two installments, “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire”?

Oh, did I mention? “Mockingjay” is for teenagers. I am well into my 30s.

When Gretchen Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project,” started up her Kidlit book club in 2006, it was a furtive, underground pursuit. “I always knew that I loved children’s literature but had shoved it to the side because it didn’t fit my idea of myself as a sophisticated adult,” Rubin, a former clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, told me. “So I read it on the sly, when I was stressed out. If I found myself rereading ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ it meant I was really anxious.”

via Essay – The Kids’ Books Are All Right –

art, poetry, public art, events: Is the reading of a poem or scripture at a wedding or other public event make it public art?  This poem was read at the Clinton-Mezvinsky weeding.  The history of this poem is very interesting:

Leo Marks’s poem “The Life That I Have,” read as part of Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mezvinsky wedding ceremony, seems on the surface to be the perfect wedding poem. It’s straightforward and employs simple language–easy for the guests to understand and appreciate with one listen–and it comes across as genuinely emotional with its incantatory and almost pleading repetition of “yours and yours and yours.” Here’s the full text of the poem:

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours
And yours

There’s something beautiful and uplifting in seeing Marks’ poem freed from its tragic context and put to its original use as a statement of love and devotion in such a public forum (Clinton and Mezvinsky were apparently unaware of the poem’s history when they selected it). But perhaps now, we should remember the pain and the sacrifice tied to it.

via John Lundberg: The Tragic History Of Chelsea’s Wedding Poem.

happiness:  These are good questions … what are your rules of thumb and are there any conflicts?

My adventures in the lands of happiness research led me to the concept of heuristics. Heuristics are “rules of thumb,” the quick, common sense principles people apply to solve a problem or make a decision. They aren’t “rules for living” that you consciously try to apply; rather, they’re deeply embedded, often unconscious rules that you use to make decisions, answer a question or decide a course of action.

Usually heuristics are useful, though sometimes they lead to cognitive bias. Take the availability heuristic: people predict the likelihood of an event based on how easily they can come up with an example. This is often helpful (is a tornado likely to hit Manhattan?) but sometimes people’s judgment is skewed because the vividness of examples makes an event seem more likely than it actually is. People become very worried about child abduction, say, when in fact, it’s a very rare occurrence.

I realized that I have my own idiosyncratic collection of “heuristics” for making decisions and setting priorities. Well, maybe these don’t fit the precise definition of “heuristics” — but they’re rules of thumb I apply when deciding what to think or how to act, mostly without quite realizing that I’m using them. They flicker through my brain so quickly that I had to make a real effort to detect them, but I identified a handful:

My children are my most important priority.

Exercise every day.

People don’t notice my mistakes and flaws as much as I think.

My husband is my top priority.

“Yes” comes right away; “no” never comes.

via Gretchen Rubin: Reconsider the Rules of Thumb You Use in Everyday Life.

Apple,iPad, iPhone:

Apple is rumored to be planning an event to announce a new iPod touch and iOS 4 for iPad on August 16—earlier than the traditional September iPod event.

via Apple is rumored to be planning an event to announce a new iPod touch and iOS 4 for iPad on August 16—earlier than the traditional September iPod event..

food, travel, NYC:  PopTarts are a staple at our house … frosted brown sugar cinnamon, please … I bet John pops his head in here on his next visit to new york.

James Estrin/The New York Times

Now the Pop-Tarts brand is demanding some attention for itself, and it is doing so with a store on one of the world’s most attention-grabbing stages, Times Square.

Its promoters are calling it Pop-Tarts World. Inside, one can find a cafe selling Pop-Tarts “sushi,” an hourly light show that simulates the look of frosting, a create-your-own-variety-pack vending machine.

Pop-Tarts were introduced by Kellogg’s in 1964 to compete with a similar product from Post called Country Squares. The Kellogg’s version took off, in part because of its name, which reflected the growing Pop Art movement.

There is no 100-foot sign, but Pop-Tarts is wrapping its 50-foot storefront in Pop-Tarts branding, and taking over the six-story billboard above the store. “It gives them a visibility that they can’t get anywhere else,” Ms. Consolo said.

via Pop-Tarts Brand Plants Its Times Square Flag –

Snippets from ZA Molly:  Molly and friends at the Form 5 Formal.  Many of the St. Anne’s girls have their dresses custom-made … Beautiful girls. I look forward to meeting them in September!

– and –  food:  I found the chocolate milk drink.  I think we will be bringing cans of this back for friends. 🙂

Milo is added to hot or cold milk to make a malted chocolate beverage. It does not dissolve in cold milk, and so retains the gritty texture of its raw state. Milo can be stirred into steamed milk or hot water to make a drink akin to hot chocolate or cocoa. Another possible use is making a normal cup of cold Milo and microwaving it for approximately 40–60 seconds. This gives the Milo drink a biscuity cover on top.

via Milo drink – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


8.8.2010 … just skyped with Molls … continues to love life in South Africa … It is now her “second favorite country” … lazy day here … dog days continue and et has been great fun …

snippets from ZA Molly:  Wow.  She had the big Form 5 Formal and had a blast.  She took her CLS friend Will.  They were the only ones “swing” dancing.  I teased her that I assumed she knew not to call it “shagging.”   She got that one … then after party last night … another blast … as she says,  they say, “hectic” weekend.  And about food, we have heard of three things in particular: cook sisters, biltong and  a certain chocolate milk mix which leaves a crunchy crust on top (that I haven’t found yet).  I did find a list of 100 South African foods … I’ll ask her how many she has had.

As any South African visitor will have noticed, my blog’s name is somewhat of a pun – if you happen to understand Afrikaans! Back home in SA we have a sweet pastry known as a “koeksister” (literally translated as “cake sizzler” and pronounced “cook-sister”). The name comes form the Dutch koek (cake) and sissen (sizzle) – presumable a reference to the sizzling sound they make when being deep fried. It is one of the few things which, despite the huge South African population in London, I have not seen in mainstream stores. This is not to say that someone, somewhere is not producing them in England – I just have not come across them.

via Koeksisters – what’s in a name? – Cook sister!.

South Africans (and Zimbabweans) have known it for years – and it seems that the rest of the world is finally coming around to our way of thinking. Check out this brief article in today’s Metro newspaper:

“Parents trying to soothe their teething babies are turning to air-dried spiced meat. Butcher Henry Viviers can hardly keep up with the demand for his biltong speciality at his shop in Brighton. Most of the demand is coming from expat Zimbabweans but British mothers and fathers are now catching on. ‘When children were teething the first thing we’d give them is a piece of biltong,’ he said. ‘Some English think it’s unhealthy but it’s not.’”

via Biltong – it’s what makes us South African! – Cook sister!.

— and — Here is the list: Cook sister!: South African food.

quotes: Funny — why are we always rudest when we are in a hurry?

“Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

via The Happiness Project.

movies, lists:  Do you have a favorite? Mine may be Dirty Dancing …

From the swingin’ days of Astaire to one happening twist contest, we take a look back at our 10 favorite dance scenes of all time. Read on and then let us know what dance scenes get you moving.

via Best Dance Scenes: 10 Swingin’ Movie Moments | Inside Movies.

Justice Kagan: Interesting … sworn in twice … constitutional and one for judges … and why is the one prescribed by the Constitution private?

She was sworn in twice Saturday by Mr. Roberts—reciting one oath as prescribed by the Constitution during a ceremony in a conference room at the court with only her family present. Ms. Kagan then recited a second oath, taken by judges, with her family and friends and reporters present.

via Kagan to Be Sworn In as Justice –

giving, great ideas, libraries: I like this one … where in Charlotte?  Maybe the bus depot?

No old phone booth close by? Don’t worry. A book booth can work just about anywhere. Take over an unused newspaper dispenser or ask a local business for some of their sidewalk space or an old bench. Be sure to find a place where people already linger, meet, or hang out. And keep it tidy. “You wouldn’t really want anyone to leave a box of books on the ground,” says Inouye. ”Then it starts looking messy. It’s like the broken window mindset. You want it to look neat and presentable and inviting so that it maintains a level of usefulness and involvement.”

via How To: Turn a Payphone Into a Library – Walking Distance – GOOD.

tv, cooking:  I never thought about the resources for a period drama.

Mmmm. . . beef a la king. Doesn’t it summon more 1960s’ food cred than the mention of chicken kiev during “Mad Men’s” season premiere?

For me, it does. I’m old enough to remember several kinds of a la kings landing on the family table. Plus, I recently made the Peg Bracken dish, overcome with curiosity – as in, what were we thinking, tastewise? The recipe’s in the 50th anniversary reissue of “The I Hate to Cook Book” (Grand Central, $22.99), and I would be happy to point you in the direction of just about any other goop-on-a-shingle instead.

I’ll get to that in a bit. Bracken begins her introduction with: “Some women, it is said, like to cook. This book is not for them.” This could be one of her few pronouncements that didn’t hold up over time. I enjoyed the read, for its nostalgia and a high quotient of grinning while turning pages. Dried onion soup mix on a pot roast – yep, my mom made that. Truth be told, I even served it (just once) to the man I married.

via All We Can Eat – ‘I Hate to Cook’: Kitchen companion to ‘Mad Men’.

materialism, consumerism, economy, Great Recession:  I suggest reading this one …. obviously since I excerpted almost the whole thing!

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn’t happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the “work-spend treadmill.”

So one day she stepped off.

Inspired by books and blog entries about living simply, Ms. Strobel and her husband, Logan Smith, both 31, began donating some of their belongings to charity. As the months passed, out went stacks of sweaters, shoes, books, pots and pans, even the television after a trial separation during which it was relegated to a closet. Eventually, they got rid of their cars, too. Emboldened by a Web site that challenges consumers to live with just 100 personal items, Ms. Strobel winnowed down her wardrobe and toiletries to precisely that number.

Her mother called her crazy.

Today, three years after Ms. Strobel and Mr. Smith began downsizing, they live in Portland, Ore., in a spare, 400-square-foot studio with a nice-sized kitchen. Mr. Smith is completing a doctorate in physiology; Ms. Strobel happily works from home as a Web designer and freelance writer. She owns four plates, three pairs of shoes and two pots. With Mr. Smith in his final weeks of school, Ms. Strobel’s income of about $24,000 a year covers their bills. They are still car-free but have bikes. One other thing they no longer have: $30,000 of debt.

Ms. Strobel’s mother is impressed. Now the couple have money to travel and to contribute to the education funds of nieces and nephews. And because their debt is paid off, Ms. Strobel works fewer hours, giving her time to be outdoors, and to volunteer, which she does about four hours a week for a nonprofit outreach program called Living Yoga.

“The idea that you need to go bigger to be happy is false,” she says. “I really believe that the acquisition of material goods doesn’t bring about happiness.”

While Ms. Strobel and her husband overhauled their spending habits before the recession, legions of other consumers have since had to reconsider their own lifestyles, bringing a major shift in the nation’s consumption patterns.

“We’re moving from a conspicuous consumption — which is ‘buy without regard’ — to a calculated consumption,” says Marshal Cohen, an analyst at the NPD Group, the retailing research and consulting firm.

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“  ‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich. Her own take on the subject is in a paper she wrote with colleagues at Harvard and the University of Virginia: “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right.” (The Journal of Consumer Psychology plans to publish it in a coming issue.)

One major finding is that spending money for an experience — concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco — produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“  ‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich. Her own take on the subject is in a paper she wrote with colleagues at Harvard and the University of Virginia: “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right.” (The Journal of Consumer Psychology plans to publish it in a coming issue.)

And the creation of complex, sophisticated relationships is a rare thing in the world. As Professor Dunn and her colleagues Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson point out in their forthcoming paper, only termites, naked mole rats and certain insects like ants and bees construct social networks as complex as those of human beings. In that elite little club, humans are the only ones who shop.

AT the height of the recession in 2008, Wal-Mart Stores realized that consumers were “cocooning” — vacationing in their yards, eating more dinners at home, organizing family game nights. So it responded by grouping items in its stores that would turn any den into an at-home movie theater or transform a backyard into a slice of the Catskills. Wal-Mart wasn’t just selling barbecues and board games. It was selling experiences.

“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers,” says Amy Lester, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, “and know that they have a set amount to spend and need to juggle to meet that amount.”

One reason that paying for experiences gives us longer-lasting happiness is that we can reminisce about them, researchers say. That’s true for even the most middling of experiences. That trip to Rome during which you waited in endless lines, broke your camera and argued with your spouse will typically be airbrushed with “rosy recollection,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Once upon a time, with roots that go back to medieval marketplaces featuring stalls that functioned as stores, shopping offered a way to connect socially, as Ms. Liebmann and others have pointed out. But over the last decade, retailing came to be about one thing: unbridled acquisition, epitomized by big-box stores where the mantra was “stack ’em high and let ’em fly” and online transactions that required no social interaction at all — you didn’t even have to leave your home.

The recession, however, may force retailers to become reacquainted with shopping’s historical roots.

Mr. Belic says his documentary shows that “the one single trait that’s common among every single person who is happy is strong relationships.”

Buying luxury goods, conversely, tends to be an endless cycle of one-upmanship, in which the neighbors have a fancy new car and — bingo! — now you want one, too, scholars say. A study published in June in Psychological Science by Ms. Dunn and others found that wealth interfered with people’s ability to savor positive emotions and experiences, because having an embarrassment of riches reduced the ability to reap enjoyment from life’s smaller everyday pleasures, like eating a chocolate bar.

Alternatively, spending money on an event, like camping or a wine tasting with friends, leaves people less likely to compare their experiences with those of others — and, therefore, happier.

She rejects the idea that happiness has to be an either-or proposition. Some days, you want a trip, she says; other days, you want a Tom Ford handbag.

MS. STROBEL — our heroine who moved into the 400-square foot apartment — is now an advocate of simple living, writing in her spare time about her own life choices at

“My lifestyle now would not be possible if I still had a huge two-bedroom apartment filled to the gills with stuff, two cars, and 30 grand in debt,” she says.

“Give away some of your stuff,” she advises. “See how it feels.”

via Consumers Find Ways to Spend Less and Find Happiness –

travel, Boston:  I may go to Boston for 36 hours … any ideas?

BOSTON is known for its bricks and brownstones, but the city is starting to take on a glossier, more modern sheen. With the completion of the $15 billion Big Dig, downtown now stretches unimpeded to the harbor, making Boston feel like a whole new city. History abounds, of course — Faneuil Hall still stands, Paul Revere is still buried at the Granary Burying Ground — but it is now joined by a high-tech exuberance, modern parks and a reclaimed harbor. Revere would not recognize it.

via 36 Hours – Boston –

iPad, Kindle: Definitely prefer the iPad.

Many people thought that the Kindle’s price must drop below $100 to excite the hesitant buyer. But consumers aren’t waiting for that deal. The two new Kindle models, which are to start shipping on Aug. 27, are already back-ordered, and orders submitted today will be shipped still later.

This doesn’t settle the long-term question of Kindle’s mass-market appeal amid multipurpose tablets, which will become lighter and less expensive. Sure, Amazon can talk of a future 20th-generation Kindle. But unless it’s brave enough to reveal Kindle’s actual sales numbers, it sounds as if it’s whistling past the graveyard. Dedicated word processors, purpose-built machines of the 1970s, had a good run of about 10 years.

via Digital Domain – Kindle vs. iPad – Specialist Against Multitasker –

technology, e-books:

The physical book is dead, according to Negroponte. He said he realizes that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to accept. But you just have to think about film and music. In the 1980s, the writing was on the wall that physical film was going to die, even though companies like Kodak were in denial. He then asked people to think about their youth with music. It was all physical then. Now everything has changed.

via Nicholas Negroponte: The Physical Book Is Dead In 5 Years.

family, Great Recession, retirement:  This is definitely an issue at our house.  One of the side effects of the Great Recession that many do not realize.  Family Value: The Risks of Retirement Communities –

individual rights, art, people:

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: Why on earth did Mr. Wiesel, of all people, threaten to drop the big one on Ms. Margolin and Theater J? Not only is he prominent and admired, but he is also a celebrated human-rights advocate who has famously declared that “indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.” Yet he has proved himself utterly indifferent to the rights of a serious artist and a well-regarded theater company to make art as they see fit, merely because their art portrays him in a way he doesn’t like. I wouldn’t go so far as to call that hypocritical—not quite—but I have no doubt that it’s unworthy of a great man who ought to know better.

via Elie Wiesel Shuts Down Deb Margolin’s Imagining Madoff at Washington’s Theater J | Sightings by Terry Teachout –


‎8.6.2010 … helping JBT on some projects … enjoying the sweet sounds of a sleeping son … a peer will be a grandmother … yeah for her and hallelujah it’s not me … mine are certainly not “adults” yet … :) … … and surprise lunch with husband and brother-in-law Gary at the Penguin … what a nice surprise!

Kagan Nomination/Justice Kagan:  I wonder if she will travel to Paris to get her lace collars  … which I love … where can a woman justice get a good collar for her robe!  Congratulations to our new justice.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Elena Kagan on a 63-37 vote to become an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, with a handful of Republicans joining almost all Democrats in making her the fourth woman to

via Senate Confirms Supreme Court Nominee Kagan –

Kalman visits with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“I think, move over Jane Austen as my imaginary best friend forever. Make room for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who would have gone to my high school for music, if her parents had let her. Whose favorite artist is Matisse. (I rest my case.) Who went on to study law because she wanted to combat the forces of injustice (McCarthyism) and graduated tied for first in her class at Columbia Law School, but could not get hired as a lawyer.”

Cancer is a distraction, the real work must go on, Kalman says of Justice Ginsburg. So the author moves on, detailing pleasures (simple and not so) that carry through the whole of a person’s life, help in its most challenging moments, and define the person just as much as all the big stuff.

Find Kalman’s full column, May It Please the Court, here.

(We couldn’t resist and so grabbed a screen shot of one of those pleasures – Justice Ginsburg’s lace collars, as rendered by Kalman.

via Maira Kalman’s Pursuit of Happiness: The Supreme Court and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

technology, RIP: I tried to figure it out and figure a use for it in my technology life … just didn’t do anything for me.

As you may have heard, Google Wave is dead. But why is it dead? Google CEO Eric Schmidt took some time today after his panel at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA to answer that.When BBC reporter Maggie Shiels asked about the reasons behind the product’s demise, Schmidt noted that Google liked the UI and a lot of the technology behind the product, but it simply to take off. “We try things,” he said. “Remember, we celebrate our failures. This is a company where it’s absolutely okay to try something that’s very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that,” he continued.

via Schmidt Talks Wave’s Death: “We Celebrate Our Failures.” [Video]

food, travel, Asheville:  My in-laws are planing a weekend of family in Asheville … so far we have recommendations for  Corner Kitchen, Pisgah Inn, 12 Bones Smokehouse, Red Stag Grill at the Bohemian Hotel and Zambra.   Anybody have a few more ideas?  Here’s what I found on the internet …

Welcome to Asheville, NC—the home of the world’s only Foodtopian Society. Visit a city where food is the centerpiece of daily life with 12 farmers markets, nearly 250 independent restaurants and a bevy of local breweries.

Start planning your visit to Asheville today by learning more about local flavors, farm-to-table dining, and Asheville food experts. Book your food vacation now!

via Foodtopian Society | Foodtopian Society.

-and  – Biltmore Village Tour – Walking Food Tour.

snippets from ZA Molly, Family, GoGo/Sandra, language, culture:  Molly is in South Africa, and when a friend saw a post card from her grandmother GoGo, she asked Molly if she knew that gogo was Zulu for grandmother … Molly did not know … and GoGo did not know it either. She got the grandmother name because Jack, the first grandchild, called her that when he was 18 months old … she liked it (much better than “granny”) and so it has been her name ever since. It makes you wonder if there is not some universal core language that we all share.

Gogo is Zulu for Grandmother.

Lovelight has formed an alliance called GOGO ~

Grandmother’s Organized in Global Oneness.

via Volunteer Opportunities & GOGO Alliance.


‎8.2.2010 … end of our trial empty nest is approaching … it was fun :) … but looking forward to two weeks of nest chaos …


The book maintains that it’s a waste of money to spend $250,000 on a bachelor’s degree from top universities such as Harvard and Yale, Reuters reports. Co-authors Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus say the cost of an undergraduate degree has doubled in real dollars in the span of one generation, but the education is not twice as good.”All undergraduate education should be a liberal arts education where you think about the enduring ideas and issues of the human condition,” Hacker told Reuters. “After that, go on to law school or study dentistry—you have plenty of time.”Hacker, who teaches at Queens College in New York, calls undergraduate business classes “just a charade” in which “19-year-olds play as if they are chief executives of General Electric.” He also targets as unnecessary vocational classes in ornamental horticulture, poultry science and ceramic engineering.Reuters summarizes some of the book’s undergrad recommendations, including:• Arizona State University, for its vibrancy.• Kentucky’s Berea College, for its free tuition and 10-1 student-faculty ratio.• Notre Dame, for promoting concern for the common good .• Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for its good treatment of part-time teaching staff.The book is Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money And Failing Our Kids—And What We Can Do About It.

via Higher Ed Book Author: Get a Liberal Arts Education, Consider Law School – ABA Journal.

snippets from ZA Molly: Last weekend she went to the races.  I think she had a blast.  As she said, “I think it is like the Kentucky Derby of Africa”.   Vodacom Durban July.

RIP, Davidson: Rest in Peace, Mary Booth. I have great memories of you at Hot Springs, NC in the mid 80s. What a delight it was to spend a weekend with you. You lived, loved, laughed and danced.  I will remember you and those weekends forever. Mary Brooks Booth – Obits –

The Press, politics: I am not sure we ever grow up …. fighting over chairs!

“The board … has agreed, by consensus, to move The Associated Press to the front row, center seat in the James S. Brady Briefing Room [Helen’s seat]. The board further agreed to move Fox News to the front row seat previously occupied by AP, and relocate NPR into the second row seat previously held by Fox, next to Bloomberg News. … The board received requests from Bloomberg and NPR in addition to Fox … But the board ultimately was persuaded by Fox’s length of service and commitment to the White House television pool. The board also made a series of adjustments to the larger seating chart, including the addition of a new seat for the foreign press pool. These deliberations mark the third time in four years the board has tackled this issue, and we urge members to view seating room changes as an ongoing process that will be revisited again as our industry evolves. … [T]he board member from NPR [Don Gonyea] abstained from debate.”

AP takes Thomas seat, Fox moves up – Print View.

pets, tv: Poor, Cesar!  Dog Training: Animal Experts Debunk the Alpha-Dog Myth – TIME.

literature,  events:… and how could I forget … belated (July 31) Happy Birthday wishes to Harry Potter!

July 31, 2010 — For the fans of Harry Potter, they probably think the young lad is in her teens. However, according to the books, the fictional character has turned the ripe age of 30 but doesnt look a day over 29. The birthday today has many Potter fans celebrating the opportunity to acknowledge a character they dearly love.

via Happy Birthday Harry Potter: Fictional Character turns 30 today: JK Rowling birthday today too.

my children: … and the answer to the Lucky Charms mystery … not my silly 16-year- old daughter … but the somber 18-year-old son! you never know! And how did he let me know … he sent me a picture … from his phone … I hope he never becomes a burglar … he would probably have pictures on his phone of all his jobs!

Next time I will tell him … “Don’t Steal Me Lucky Charms”

art, poetry, blogs:

A haiku a day
Would it bore you to your death
if I wrote a few?

My friend Andrew has embarked on a noble mission, to write a haiku every day for a year, chronicling the foibles of life in seventeen poignant syllables.

In this age of overwhelming bloviating, his zen-like approach to the news of the day is a quaint, reflective and usually quite humorous way to absorb the culture crashing down upon us.

Like putting prose into twitter, the snippets of wisdom, often twisting at the end, encapsulate ideas into neat packages of words.

Visit his site, HaikuLounge and contribute your own take on life. I have found it quite cathartic to distill thoughts into this lovely structure of syllables. An octopus correctly picks the world cup winner and Andrew is inspired:

Now I’ve seen it all:

A psychic cephalopod

Picks World Cup winners

via A Haiku a Day by Billy Howard |


‎8.1.2010 … I can’t believe it is August … strange no beach trip this year … kids are out and about the world … so beach trip no longer needs to be or can be “right before school starts” … changes …

snippets from ZA Molly: Molly loved her morning at Gateway School on Friday.  I love to hear joy and love in a 16-year old’s voice. She truly was moved by this mission and I can see her working with them in the future.

Project Gateway is based in an old prison in the city of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. In 1992 it was converted into a centre for several church based projects. Through these projects, the Church is reaching out, meeting people in their crisis need, and empowering them to be self sufficient.

Given the alarming statistics surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic, poverty and unemployment levels and the vulnerability of certain groups within our society, we aim to run effective and dynamic programmes, providing salt and light to the world, changing lives and impacting communities.

For more information about a specific project based at Project Gateway, click one of the projects below or choose another option from the side panel.

via Project Gateway – South Africa, Church based charity, combating poverty, HIV/AIDS,empowering local people through education and training.

random:  Doesn’t every kid wonder if they were switched at birth?

Two years back, Dimas Aliprandi and Elton Plaster didn’t know of each other’s existence. Then they learned they had been accidentally switched at birth more than 20 years ago.

The discovery didn’t bring bitterness or recrimination. Rather, it led to the creation of a bigger family.

Today, the two 25-year-olds are living and working together with both sets of parents growing vegetables and coffee on a small farm in southeastern Brazil.

via Brazilians Switched at Birth Work, Live Together – CBS News.

movies, history:

Movies, History, and Books for Kids.

gardening, green:

Even though many of us grew up not realizing it, Holly’s a hooker.

“In ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ all of a sudden — because it was Audrey who was doing it — living alone, going out, looking fabulous and getting a little drunk didn’t look so bad anymore,” Wasson writes. “Being single actually seemed shame-free. It seemed fun.” So, as a haute hooker, Audrey Hepburn was a fairy godmother, not only to feminism but to the prevailing ethos that style and cool trump all.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Mad Men and Bad Girls –

gardening, green:

For hundreds of years plant explorers have traveled the globe to bring back unusual things you can grow in your yard. And gardeners and the plant industry have a long, storied history of crossbreeding to create new plants. Shunning everything but native plants cuts a gardener off from so much of the fascinating variety in nature—and getting closer to nature seems to be one of the main points of the hobby.

via Weekend Gardener: Politically Incorrect Gardening –

real estate:  There was a barn house that I saw 25 years ago outside Chagrin Falls … I have always dreamed of living there.


$2.45 million

A four-bedroom, five-bathroom home on 72 acres in a rural community 120 miles north of New York City.

DETAILS: The 2008-built house is made of two sections, one farmhouse-like structure and one built to look like a barn, which are connected by a glass atrium entryway.

BARN-STYLE: The barn-style side of the house is set up for entertaining with a great room and a second kitchen. There’s farm-like fencing around the swimming pool.

via Relative Values: Barn-Style Homes –


‎7.30.2010 …. homeward bound … detour … home tomorrow ..

Snippets from ZA Molly: Just got off the phone with Molly and her box came … everyone loved Reese’s peanut butter cups, CLS  and Davidson tshirts, silly bandz and ranch dressing! She went to the Gateway School (with Will from CLS) this morning and was inspired by the extent of the mission and will be going back.  This afternoon she is a participant in an athletics meeting (i.e., a track meet) … then down to Durban for the races tomorrow.

random: My coffee name is “Molly” … when Molly was little it always made her smile.  Coffee Aliases Give Cup of ‘Joe’ New Meaning : NPR.

green, Chicago: So when will Charlotte and Atlanta get these?

It’s not every day that you can stroll down a Chicago sidewalk and think you’ve been magically zapped to Paris.

But I was cruising down Ohio Street Thursday when — zut alors! There was a row of rental-bike docks that looked a lot like Paris’ famous Velib’ stations.

Half a dozen guys were fiddling with the machines, making sure everything would work on Friday when Chicago debuts its first city bike-share program.

via Rent-a-bikes are a slice of Paris in Chicago –

literature, faith, religion:  Interesting … but title is misleading.

The “Interview with a Vampire” author, who wrote a book about her spirituality titled “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession” in 2008, said Wednesday that she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.”

Rice wrote, “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

Rice then added another post explaining her decision on Thursday:

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me,” Rice wrote. “But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

via Anne Rice leaves Christianity – The Marquee Blog – Blogs.

art, photography, mysteries:

The great Ansel Adams negatives debate began Tuesday, when the first reports surfaced touting Fresno resident Rick Norsigian’s accidental discovery of the images. He says he picked them up at a garage sale for just $45 some 10 years ago and kept them under a pool table until he recently decided to have them appraised.

And although a handful of esteemed photography and art experts have testified as to their authenticity, many others, including Ansel’s own grandson, were never so sure. In fact, Matthew Adams recently told AOL News in an exclusive interview that he thought it was “irresponsible” and “inaccurate” to claim the negatives were long-lost works by his grandfather.

Has the debate finally been settled? Have a look for yourself at an excellent composite comparison of the two images in question, available at PetaPixel.

via Woman From Oakland, Calif., Claims to Have Solved Ansel Adams Mystery Once and For All.

architecture, culture:

But the most unfortunate development in the postmodern period was that the commercial mainstream figured out how to appropriate historic styles to its own ends. Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971, with its Main Street and Frontierland, was only the most obvious example. These cookie-cutter, sentimental simulacrums of the past, without the dirt and diversity of real history, became a tool for branding and product placement. Though Disney did later commission hotels from Graves and Stern, whose buildings were more inventively designed.

Postmodern design, at home and downtown, fueled a fairy tale view of history that in turn abetted this desire for getting and spending. It stimulated the economy, but its glance backward merely obscured social fissures and helped us ignore looming economic risks. The verdict on postmodernism isn’t all negative, though: It led to the preservation of numerous public buildings; it made architecture fun again, and it gave the next generation of architects something to react against, just as Venturi, Moore and Stern had done vis-a-vis modernism in the late ’60s.

via When Less Was No Longer More – Opinionator Blog –

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