Posts Tagged ‘spring

18
Mar
13

3.18.13 … I would love to be a spring watcher …

science, spring, National Phenology Network, WSJ.com:  I would love to be a spring watcher.

While satellites can capture the global sweep of seasons across an entire hemisphere, there is no substitute for field work when it comes to gauging the local effects of pollution, urban development and greenhouse gases that most scientists say contribute to climate change. The aim is to create a reliable technical daybook of seasonal change that researchers can use to better calculate the response of crops, forecast the onset of allergy seasons and manage wildlife.

Among nature’s most sensitive climate sensors are flowering plants. Long-term botanical records could show trends that yearly swings in seasonal weather don’t, as when unusually warm springs alternate with cooler ones, which has been the U.S. pattern for the past five years.

To enlist an army of observers, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation set up the National Phenology Network in 2007. This year, the network has more than 2,000 people tracking variations among 600 species of plants and animals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. So far, the group has logged almost two million data points through a public online program called Nature’s Notebook and hopes to add an additional million observations this year.

The federal project joins efforts by groups such as Project Budburst, which has collected seasonal data from more than 15,000 volunteers across the country, and an educational project called Journey North, funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which every year mobilizes students in some 6,000 schools to report sightings of migrating birds, butterflies and flowering plants.

“We want to capture the changes day-by-day throughout the seasons,” said geographer Mark Schwartz at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who monitors lilacs at a thousand U.S. locations.

via A Science of Signs of Spring – WSJ.com.

02
Feb
13

2.2.13 … “Spring,” says Queen Charlotte … Happy Lunar New Year!

Groundhog Day, Candlemas, spring, traditions, Queen Charlotte – Charlotte’s Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, LOL:  Who knew … 1. we have our own groundhog, Queen Charlotte and 2. Groundhog Day is associated with Candlemas Day. And what is Candlemas Day?  Anyway … ‘Spring!’ says Queen Charlotte.

The old Candlemas Day tradition says that if the groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, six more weeks of wintry weather are ahead. No shadow means an early spring.

While a hit with the hundreds of children who gathered behind the Nature Museum on Saturday to see her, and despite her apparent prowess on social media, Queen Charlotte hasn’t been quite so spectacular with her weather forecasts.

She predicted six more weeks of winter last year, but the Charlotte area experienced one of the mildest winters on record.

Over the past five years, she’s been correct twice.

But at least she was well-behaved.

via ‘Spring!’ says Queen | CharlotteObserver.com.

For only the 17th time since 1887…Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow. So his forecast: an early Spring! Happy Groundhog Day!

via Twitter / DanSkeldonNBC40: For only the 17th time since ….

Its that time of year…

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Why We Broke Up,  Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman, quotes, bookshelf, YA fiction, quotes, The Why We Broke Up Project, movie – Why We Broke Up : Loving this easy read that is illustrated by Maira Kalman …

… and turned up the music and the night began to begin. – Why We Broke Up, 15.

“It’s not you, it’s me — you’re great.” “I’m so sorry, but this just isn’t working out.” “I think we should see other people.” Whether it was the boy who dumped you in the sandbox for that kid with the bright red fire truck or the girl who abruptly stopped answering your notes during algebra, no one makes it through life without exposure to that miserable condition known as the breakup. And now we have Daniel Handler (who also writes as Lemony Snicket) giving us the lowdown on the rise and fall of one dissolution in particular in “Why We Broke Up.”

via Why We Broke Up – By Daniel Handler. Illustrated by Maira Kalman – Book Review – NYTimes.com.

Would you share your story?  Interesting project …

Why We Broke Up is my new novel, in the form of a long letter from a girl named Min Green to a boy named Ed Slaterton. The letter comes with a box, and inside the box are all of the souvenirs from their love. Each of the items is the subject of a painting by Maira Kalman.

In order to write and illustrate this tale of heartbreak, Maira and I dug deep into our own romantic histories, remembering all of the times we’ve been dumped, particularly by [name redacted] and, in Maira’s case, [name redacted]. It was almost like getting our hearts broken all over again, several times, and it doesn’t seem fair that we would have to do this and you wouldn’t.

This website allows you to share your stories of heartbreak with us, just as we shared ours with you. Our hope is that the Why We Broke Up project will enable all of our heartbreak to reach critical mass, so that, unlike [name redacted], it will never bother us again.

via The Why We Broke Up Project.

Hailee Steinfeld is in final negotiations to join Fox’s comedy Why We Broke Up. The film is an adaptation of a book by Daniel Handler, who also wrote the Lemony Snicket novel series.

The actress plays Min, a high school sophomore who enjoys hanging out with friends at their favorite coffee shop. She falls for Ed, a senior and captain of the basketball team, and gets caught up in their roller coaster romance. The story unfolds a few weeks after their break-up, when she drops off a letter and a box of mementos on his porch.

via Hailee Steinfeld Joins Why We Broke Up – MovieWeb.com.

labyrinth walks, “Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking:

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Quick walk to focus on blessings. And think about a few of my friends and family who are in need of blessings.

Chimes playing for the entire walk which is unusual. Their clanging went well with my cold brisk wet walk.

As I left the center I left my yard clogs and walked out sock-footed. One of the most interesting observations was that parts of the brick path were cold and some were warm. And it wasn’t because I was used to it. It seems that one side of the labyrinth was warmer than the other. Much love – d

via (1) Feb 2, 2013.

fireworks, Chambers Lawn, Davidson College, Lunar New Year:  Happy Lunar New Year! Neither John nor I have ever heard of Davidson having such a celebration … love it!  Molly’s roommate was sad because this was the first time she missed the holiday away from home.  She is Asian-American.

Fireworks on Chambers Lawn. Happy Lunar New Year!

source: The Davidsonian

LOL:

Laughed out loud. It’s all true!

via Noble Pig Vineyards.

2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad, The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood” , YouTube: By far my favorite!

2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood” – YouTube.

Paris, Notre-Dame de Paris, bells:  Love this post …

Arrivée des nouvelles cloches à Notre-Dame de Paris

Updated on Friday

Dans le cadre du 850e anniversaire de Notre-Dame de Paris, un nouvel ensemble de neuf cloches est arrivé par convoi exceptionnel à Paris. Revivez en photos l’impressionnante arrivée de Gabriel, Anne-Geneviève, Denis, Etienne et les autres, sous les vivats de la foule.

via Arrivée des nouvelles cloches à Notre-Dame de Paris.

07
Jan
11

1.7.2011 … what does “peace out” mean? Today, I am just happy to have a little peace.

art, ballet, bookshelf: I asked several friends who are involved in the ballet world and they agree with much about this book’s conclusion.

Perhaps a later history will view all these as the final gutterings of a spent flame. This is no golden age, and several of its ballets are indeed dead. My own main alarm about ballet — not one that troubles Ms. Homans — is that its dependence on pointwork for women and partnering by men proposes a dichotomizing view of the sexes that is at best outmoded and at worst repellently sexist. Nevertheless, this balletgoer testifies that the scene feels brighter than it did 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

via Jennifer Homan’s ‘Apollo’s Angels’ – Critic’s Notebook – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, pop ups:  I am going to one of these if I have to ride the MegaBus to get there!

Mr. Fraser’s novelty, scheduled to open on Jan. 25 for what he estimates will be a nine-month run, is one answer — an especially striking, even eccentric one. It’s called What Happens When, and if the thought were finished and the predicate filled in, it would mention rules being rewritten and assumptions challenged.

Diners, for example, will be expected to set and reset the cutlery on their tables with utensils from drawers beneath. That way Mr. Fraser won’t need as many servers. It will save him money, he said, and translate into fewer intrusions for diners. “You’re visited only at points of the meal when you really need help,” he said.

Rather than woo bigwig investors who might make big-time demands, Mr. Fraser has decided to solicit hundreds of what are essentially contributions, from $5 to $2,500, through a micro-financing Web site, Kickstarter, which helps raise money for creative projects.

It’s an improvisatory approach for an improvisatory time, when chefs are finding all sorts of ways to eliminate overhead, streamline operations, edit out distractions and focus on the cooking, which is the beginning, end and point of it all.

In Chicago, the chef Grant Achatz is preparing to open Next, where diners will buy tickets in advance for an appointed hour and a predetermined menu. The pinpoint planning that allows him will save money on service staff.

Some chefs are hatching pop-up restaurants, which squat for just days or weeks in locations already furnished and equipped. Some are giving meals on wheels a spin.

via Temporary Restaurants – Now You See It, Now You Don’t – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, business models: My favorite restaurant advertises … “Over 245 billion served!”

Sixty. That’s the number of diners a night that chef André Chiang sets as the maximum for a good restaurant. Any more and quality starts to slip, he says.

His Singapore restaurant serves even fewer people than that. André, which opened in October 2010, accommodates just 30 diners each a night.

via Asia’s Restaurants Want Fewer Customers — Scene Asia – Scene Asia – WSJ.

statistics, Congress:  Welcome to the 112th Congress …

The Wall Street Journal examined the list of freshmen and came up with some stats on the 112th Congress:

Average age: 57.4 (down from 58.5 in the 111th Congress)

Blacks: 42 (up from 40)

Hispanics: 26 (down from 27)

Asians: 11 (no change)

Women: 89 (down from 90)

Veterans: 113 (down from 119)

No college degree: 28 (no change)

Attorneys: 202 (down from 203)

Farmers or ranchers: 6 (down from 7)

via 112th Congress: By the Numbers – Washington Wire – WSJ.

travel, budget travel:  I have heard it was just OK.  My kith nieces came home to Charlotte at Christmas on the MegaBus.

First, an overview: This is not your father’s Greyhound. For the most part, the buses are incredibly pleasant, dirt cheap and full of bonuses like free bottled water and electrical outlets by the seats. They run on time from convenient locations, making them practically as fast as airplanes at a fraction of the cost and a microscopic speck of a fraction of the hassle.

THE UPSHOT

The pricing revolution that started out with a few Chinatown buses has now given us a fairly reliable way to travel. Even, occasionally, after a blizzard.

via Frugal Traveler: A Guide to Cheap Buses (Including How to Score $1 Tickets) – NYTimes.com.

spring:  Thinking of spring.  I gave John  a composter for Christmas and maybe I’ll try my hand at  cold frames …How to Make a Simple Cold Frame | eHow.com.

products, advertising:  Are they really making anything new.  Seems like a waste of time and energy.

The product, called Purex Complete Crystals Softener, is being billed as “a purer way to get laundry that smells clean and fresh for weeks.” It is making its way this month onto the shelves of American grocery, drug and mass-merchandise stores, priced around $4 to $7 for a 28-ounce package that can be used for 32 loads of laundry.

A campaign for the new softener is to be introduced next month by Energy BBDO, the agency that created the ads to introduce Purex Complete 3-in-1. The budget is being estimated at $40 million to $50 million.

via Laundry Products Put Into Yet Another Form – NYTimes.com.

college, youth, gap year:  I have heard great things from a few people about the value of this.

Burnout from the competitive pressure of high school or a desire “to find out more about themselves,” are the top two reasons students take gap years, says a survey of 280 people who did so by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson, co-authors of a forthcoming guidebook on the topic. To benefit, a student should be able to set worthwhile goals, says Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, a gap-year consultant in Princeton, N.J. Those who take a year off just to procrastinate on college applications or party nonstop aren’t likely to gain much. In fact, Haigler advises having students apply to college before starting a gap year, then ask to defer admission.

Weary of the college admissions race during his senior year of high school, one Illinois student says his gap year in a wilderness training program, then a cultural-immersion program in Nepal, turned him around academically. After enrolling the next year in college, he posted his best grades ever, competed on a mock-trial team and edited a campus literary magazine.

via Is a ‘Gap Year’ Right for Your Family? – The Juggle – WSJ.

culture, online dating: Why does online dating just seem creepy to me?

FOR the lovelorn, the new year can be an unhappy time, as they cast envious glances in the direction of lovey-dovey couples at the season’s parties. For online-dating agencies, it is a golden opportunity, as people who have spent the holidays ruminating over unsatisfactory or non-existent love lives log on in their thousands, hoping to find romance—ideally before February 14th. “The period between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day is our busiest six weeks of the year,” explains Sam Yagan, the boss of OkCupid, a big American dating site.

via Online dating: Love at first byte | The Economist.

random:  I was just talking about this with my kids the other day. You’re Out: 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade PHOTOS.

innovation, consumer products, autos, green:  By the time I buy one, it will all be pretty easy!

Powermat, founded in Israel in 2007, says automotive applications have long been part of its plan. Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine says besides cordlessly recharging portable electronics, the system can be used with special cups to keep coffee hot and soft drinks cold. “We want every car in GM to have this wireless charging system to help consumers charge everything they have without the hassle of plugs,” he said.

But the larger opportunity might be recharging the batteries of electric cars without having to plug them in. Poliakine says Powermat has already demonstrated the capability. It holds the prospect of being able to park an electric car atop a charging mat at a shopping center, office, airport or at home and have it wireless recharged. “It is part of this whole vision,” he says. He declined to estimate how soon such a technology might be rolled out.

The best application for such cordless charging would be public stations, says Chelsea Sexton, an electric-car activist who was among the first to receive a Volt for long-term testing.

via GM-Powermat deal turns cars into cordless chargers – USATODAY.com.

random, lottery: I always buy a ticket when it gets high … but the Curse scares me … Do you think you could handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame?

Curse of the lottery

Some winners don’t live happily ever after. The so-called lottery curse, popularized by the corpulent character “Hurley” on ABC’s show “Lost,” has ruined at least a dozen winners over the years who couldn’t handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame.

The most infamous case is that of Andrew “Jack” Whittaker, a construction company owner from West Virginia who won $315 million from Powerball in 2002.

Already a millionaire before he won the lottery, Whittaker pledged part of the winnings to his church.

But it all went downhill from there, according to published reports.

Whittaker’s post-lottery problems are said to have included lawsuits, divorce, drunk driving, the theft of a cash-stuffed briefcase in a strip club, and the untimely deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

via Mega Millions $355 million jackpot is dream to many – Jan. 4, 2011.

Apple:  Ah, Apple … groundbreaking again.

The technology-industry analysts Macworld spoke with seem to feel that Apple is making a savvy move in bringing the success of the iOS App store to the Mac, suggesting that it’s a strategy that opens open another difference between the Mac and PCs running Windows.

“It’s groundbreaking,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. “I think this will be more than just an experiment—I think it’ll be quite successful within the Apple community. Those who are familiar with the Mac way of doing things will easily accept this, and probably embrace it.

via Mac App Store opens with more than 1,000 apps | Software | Macworld.

27
Mar
10

“History doesn’t repeat itself–but it often rhymes.” – Week Ending 3.27.2010

3.26.2010  beautiful day … march madness continues, Ann and Rob’s birthdays … reading …

March Madness: The answer was no … but love the nerdiness of this article.  Can Cornell Top Kentucky? It’s A Matter Of Style : NPR.

politics, health care reform:

‘And so when you walk into that ballot box, remember that it was my Democratic opponent who favored providing Viagra to pedophiles.”

That isn’t a campaign line any American has heard yet, but give it a few hours. The Senate this week took up its “reconciliation” bill, with its final changes to the law the president signed Tuesday. It wasn’t so much reconciliation as reckoning.

Democrats only got their ObamaCare victory by breaking every rule, and that was always going to come at a price. To lever the health bill through the House, Democrats used the arcane process of reconciliation. It got them a win, but it also meant Senate Democrats this week had to endure the political equivalent of water-boarding.

via Kim Strassel: The Senate Reckoning – WSJ.com.

politics: I really hate politics …

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took out a full-page advertisement in Friday’s Boston Globe to rip Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown for suggesting she might run against him in 2012.

via Rachel Maddow: Scott Brown ‘made this up’ – Jessica Taylor – POLITICO.com.

firsts, places:

What’s the best thing to do with an old airplane hangar? Why, turn it into a giant trampoline park, of course

via San Francisco Airplane Hangar Transformed Into Trampoline Park | Sustainability | Fast Compan

random, Atlanta: Oops!

Marietta police are trying to determine how hundreds of pounds of marijuana ended up at bakery warehouse Friday morning.

via Marijuana shipped to Marietta bakery  | ajc.com.

music, art: Art history lesson … to music!

How do you add a little culture to pop music? How about a music video that apes a dozen classic works of art? Franco-American band Hold Your Horses has released the most cultured video we’ve seen a while with their clip for “70 Million.” How many paintings can you name?

via Hold Your Horses Art Video 70 Million – Video – The Daily Beast.

book club: Tonight is book club, and I have barely started Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Apple iPad:

First up: the freebie. Since the iPad supports the open standard epub format, we had assumed that there would be some way to get public domain books onto the device–and a screenshot of the iBookstore confirms that not only will it be possible, but, as reported by AppAdvice, Apple is simply popping the free catalog from Project Gutenberg into the store.

via Apple iPad’s iBookstore to Carry 30,000 Free Public Domain Books, Challenge Kindle on Bestseller Price | Dan’s FC Blog | Fast Company.

design:


The design for the outdoor memorial, selected by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission and unveiled Thursday for a site just south of the National Mall, calls for monumental columns and large memorial tapestries of woven stainless steel that will portray images from the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life.

via Cityscapes: Gehry’s design concept for Eisenhower memorial unveiled.

places: We are planning a weekend with John’s parents … Naples looks fun! A Weekend in Naples, Fla. – NYTimes.com.

Continue reading ‘“History doesn’t repeat itself–but it often rhymes.” – Week Ending 3.27.2010′




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