Posts Tagged ‘St. Valentine’s Day

16
Feb
11

2.16.2011 … mind is lots of places … Bahrain, Boulder, Charlotte, Atlanta, Naples … technology makes the world smaller.

Uprising in the Middle East, Bahrain:  Unlike Egypt,  where most have a visual picture, albeit ancient, of pyramids and pharaohs, few have much knowledge of Bahrain, ancient or modern.  I only became aware of it beyond its name last year when I met our South African exchange student.  Her family’s primary residence is there because her father is a banker working out of the Middle East, and it is/was considered the safest.  Now the democracy movement has moved there.  I watch … I wish I knew more.  I wish I could understand what is going on and where this is going

Protests in Bahrain entered their third day on Wednesday, as tens of thousands continued to occupy a major intersection in the capital and thousands more marched to mourn a second man killed in Tuesday’s clashes with security forces.

A committee set up by seven opposition groups to coordinate the protests called for a massive demonstration on Saturday, forecasting a gathering of at least 50,000 people.

Crowds massed at the hospital morgue, as the body of the man killed on Tuesday was ferried out on top of a land-cruiser in a coffin covered with green satin. Thousands of men followed the coffin, many holding pictures of the deceased, beating their chests and chanting “God is great” and “Death to the Al Khalifa,” a reference to the country’s ruling family. Security forces remained withdrawn from protest areas, stationed in large battalions around a kilometer away.

At the Pearl roundabout, a central traffic circle in the financial district of the capital which has been claimed by the protesters, more tents and makeshift food stalls sprung up Wednesday, with those who spent the night there in a festive mood. Young men, many carrying Bahraini flags, chanted and danced, while a loudspeaker broadcasted a steady stream of speeches from activists.

The mourners are expected to march to the central roundabout later in the day, further swelling the numbers there.

Bahrain is a tiny, island kingdom in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, best known for its banking prowess and bars that cater to nationals from alcohol-free Saudi Arabia next door. While it pumps little crude itself, its neighbors are some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers.

Its position straddling the Gulf has made it a longtime, strategic ally of Washington. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, though no American warships are actually home-ported here.

via Protests Swell as Bahrain Demonstrators Mourn – WSJ.com.

Bernie Madoff, banking, Great Recession:  Is he getting even?  The NYT Op-Ed piece that follows is a great read even if you do not agree.

Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff said in an interview published online Tuesday that banks and hedge funds were “complicit” in his scheme to fleece victims out of billions of dollars.

Madoff did not name any institutions in his series of interviews with The New York Times but said banks and hedge funds “were complicit in one form or another.” He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.

via Madoff to NY newspaper: Banks ‘complicit’ in fraud – WSJ.com.

The billions that vaporized in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme amounted to a rounding error next to the eye-popping federal bailouts, including those pouring into too-big-to-fail banks wrecked by their own Ponzi schemes of securitization.

via At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back – NYTimes.com.

faith and spirituality:  When anthropologists and psychologists discuss the breakdown of the nuclear family, there is often a comment about the importance of the family meal.  From a spiritual standpoint,  I found this blogpost very interesting.

The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, “Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it,” we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion. That is why a refusal to eat and drink what a host offers is so offensive. It feels like a rejection of an invitation to intimacy.

Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another. Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communion with one another.

via February 16, 2011 – The Intimacy of the Table.

business, mergers, Family Dollar, Howard Levine, Charlotte: I heard a commentator on the radio the other day quip that Charlotte should be renamed “Levine-McColl” (like Winston-Salem?)  because of the importance of these two men and their families.  If the Levine’s sold Family Dollar I do not think it would impact Charlotte like a merger of other local companies … many do not know it is headquartered here …

Mr. Peltz’s Trian Group contacted Family Dollar’s chairman and chief executive, Howard Levine, on Tuesday and said it had amassed a 7.9 percent stake in the retailer, according to the filing. The investment firm has offered to pay between $55 to $60 a share in cash for the rest of the company, valuing Family Dollar at between $7 billion and nearly $7.6 billion.

At the low end of the range, Trian’s offer represents a 25 percent premium over Family Dollar’s Tuesday closing stock price of $43.96. Shares in the company soared more than 30 percent in after-hours trading.

Family Dollar’s stock has risen 39 percent over the past 12 months.

via Peltz Offers More Than $7 Billion for Family Dollar – NYTimes.com.

travel, adventure travel:  If money were no object then every vacation would be an adventure for John … but part of the adventure is planning it yourself.

Mr. Robertson creates 15 to 20 trips a year; he also takes the bespoke quality to a new level, having personally accompanied travelers (there’s a maximum of six per trip) on each trip so far. The packages, which start at around $7,000 a person (they can range up to $500,000, since each trip is custom-designed), span all seven continents and range in length from two to 21 days. They also make good use of Mr. Robertson’s wide network. On a recent hunting and whiskey-making getaway, for example, guests stayed at a seaside castle in Scotland that’s not open to the public.

via A New Entrant in Adventure Travel Outfitters – NYTimes.com.

marathons, adventure travel:  John loves Chicago’s, has wanted to run London’s … never thought about Las Vegas’s …

Marathons are popular around the globe, and it’s not uncommon for people to fly great distances to run in one. After all, if you’re going to work that hard, you might as well reward yourself with interesting sites, great pre-race carb-loading and the reward of a champion’s feast afterward. Here are three marathons that are among the best for an all-around great experience.

via Where is the World’s Best Marathon? | Spa & Sport | Four Seasons Magazine.

business, business secrets, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Those who read this “blog” know that I am brand loyal to Apple.  But before Apple, I was brand loyal to only one other company … Coca-Cola … I am an Atlanta girl:  I loved real Coke; I loved that the “secret formula” was locked away in the vault at the Trust Company (now SunTrust); I loved Atlanta’s Anonymous Donor (when everyone knew it was Mr. Woodruff); I pay money to go to the World of Coke … at least once a year;  I have read multiple books about its corporate history … truly.  Is the secret formula now out …

One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: NPR’s “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.

According to the show’s host, Ira Glass, the drink’s secret flavoring component, which was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, is something called “Merchandise 7X.” The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch.

The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area.

Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets in American commerce, steeped in cloak-and-dagger lore. After businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought out Pemberton–who also conjured up cough medicines and blood purifiers, among other things–in 1887 for $2,300, the exact recipe for 7X was placed in the vault in an Atlanta bank. It’s been reported that only two company employees are privy to its ingredients and how they’re mixed at any given time–and that those two aren’t allowed to travel together out of fear that a traveling accident might take both of their lives.

According to company historian Mark Pendergrast, Candler was so paranoid about the recipe leaking out of his proprietary control that he would go through the company mail himself to prevent any employees from seeing invoices that might tip off its ingredients.

“It’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual,” Pendergrast told Glass, “and the formula is kept in a bank vault at Sun Trust, which used to be the Georgia Trust Company.”

via Did NPR’s ‘This American Life’ discover Coke’s secret formula? – Yahoo! News.

economics, St. Valentine’s Day, LOL, UNC-CH:  OK, one last VD post.  I loved this …

This annual event has really become a classic in the economics department,” said Sarah Whitford, executive co-president of the club.

Byrns said he hopes students take away more than a laugh from his lecture, adding that he also wants them to learn to approach love rationally and look at the bigger picture.

“I hope they take away the technique of making themselves better people,” Byrns said.

“I hope they take away that, even though I teach economics, this isn’t all about money. It’s about relationships and what you give the world.”

During his lecture, Byrns said that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, quoting Whitney Houston.

“Giving love is so much harder than receiving love because in order to give love you have to be a whole person,” Byrns said. “Asking and demanding love is a sign that you have issues you need to work through and that love should be a gift.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Ralph Byrns gives last-ever lecture on economics of love.

Apple, iPad: I knew this was coming.  I was not about to buy a magazine every month for full price …

Apple launched a subscription service at the App Store for magazines, newspapers, videos, and music bought through its App Store.

In a move that goes a long way to addressing concerns of many in the magazine and newspaper sectors, Apple said today that publishers will be allowed to set the price and the length of the subscription term. The processing of payments will be Apple’s job and handled within the App Store. Apple will collect 30 percent of the revenue.

“Our philosophy is simple,” Steve Jobs wrote in a statement. “When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.


15
Feb
11

2.15.2011 … VD is over … next stop President’s Day/Winter Break …

St. Valentine’s Day, history, media, followup:  Yesterday, I jokingly said ..”enough said,” knowing full well I would click and listen to VD stories all day … and I truly enjoyed reading all the history and true life stories this year.  I wonder if the journalists roll their eyes and say, “why me?” when they get the assignment.  Here is a sampling: The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day : NPR, Love Letters that Live On – CBS News Video, History of Valentine’s Day / Academic & Pulse / Audio – Inside Higher Ed.

St. Valentine’s Day, faith and spirituality:  I like it that my favorite Methodist blogger reminds us that love in the Bible is not lust but love in action …

Jesus cares how we live, and in every little corner or life, not just some spiritual zone. Jesus loves. Jesus wants love. Jesus wants what we do to be love in action.

via Myers Park United Methodist Church | Charlotte Methodist Church, Methodist Churches Charlotte NC – Myers Park UMC.

St. Valentine’s Day, The President, LOL:  I agree with the First Lady …

“I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said Tuesday at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.

“So we still find ways to have fun together, and a lot of it is private and personal. But we keep each other smiling and that’s good,” she added.

It also helps that Obama is “very romantic.”

via Michelle Obama: Laugh With Your Valentine – CBS News.

St. Valentine’s Day, me, followup, recipes: A little wine, a little chocolate, a little history, a little love … what more could I ask of a day!  Oh and for me … You had me at triple chocolate … (my husband actually brought me a “sinfully chocolate” mini ice cream cake … )

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

via Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake :: America’s Test Kitchen :: Recipes.

technology, history, our future, faith and spirituality:  very interesting article and very interesting blog post by Jim Miller/Hopelens (my favorite Presbyterian blogger).

Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now. One thing, at least, seems clear: although 3D printing will create winners and losers in the short term, in the long run it will expand the realm of industry—and imagination.

via3D printing: The printed world | The Economist.

So, every player in the orchestra, from the lead number one to the lowliest third violin can be playing a Strad.

So, in a universe with a surfeit of excellence will things be “better?” Will the Stradivarius be noticed when it is common? To excel means to “step beyond” the norm, but if the new normal is perfection, where do we find excellence? Will the palate get sated and then lose its taste. I am reminded of Jesus’ saying about the salt losing its savor. Is Paradise Regained too boring?

Then the agricultural fields of employment were abandoned for the big cities with their demand for hands in the “manufactories.” The additive manufacturing envisioned will need few hands, more brains, and just a couple of fingers.

I wonder if the new 3D technology can print some meaning and purpose. Can it print me love and hope? Can it print peace and justice? Can it print compassion and forgiveness? Can it print me my life?

Additive manufacturing presents huge spiritual challenges and opportunities.

via Print me a life « Hopelens Blog.

Apple:  Even without Steve Jobs, Apple is not stopping … Apple’s Calendar for the Next 6 Months: Apple News, Tips and Reviews «.

urban development, cities, bookshelf:  “our species greatest invention?”   Very interesting take on cities.  You’ll have to read the review … or maybe the book.

For Mr Glaeser, a Harvard economist who grew up in Manhattan, this is a happy prospect. He calls cities “our species’ greatest invention”: proximity makes people more inventive, as bright minds feed off one another; more productive, as scale gives rise to finer degrees of specialisation; and kinder to the planet, as city-dwellers are more likely to go by foot, bus or train than the car-slaves of suburbia and the sticks. He builds a strong case, too, for town-dwelling, drawing on his own research as well as that of other observers of urban life. And although liberally sprinkled with statistics, “Triumph of the City” is no dry work. Mr Glaeser writes lucidly and spares his readers the equations of his trade. This is popular economics of the best sort.

via Urban life: A tale of many cities | The Economist.

green, technology, me:  I have a five year old Bosch … which NEVER gets the dishes clean … I think it is both the BOSCH and the detergent! Great article!

Another Triumph for the Greens

To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.

via Another Triumph for the Greens | The Weekly Standard.

UNC-CH, change:  I hate to say this but I don’t think this is Carolina Blue either … it looks baby blue to me.

This year’s senior class can graduate with new gowns designed by Alexander Julian. UNC says the new gowns are a closer match to “true” Carolina blue and are also more environmentally friendly.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Pit Talk : Caps and gowns get a new look from Alexander Julian.

Egypt Uprising, technology, internet, FaceBook, culture: Loved this explanation of social space and public space merging!

But if Friday’s resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak proves nothing else, it is that social media and public space can be complementary, rather than in conflict. The social bonds built in the virtual world can spill over into the physical world–and with such seismic force that they can topple an autocrat.

The revolt is Egypt is said to have begun with the killing of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian businessman who was hauled out of an Internet cafe by plainclothes policemen last June and beaten to death. As the New York Times reported last week, a graphic Facebook page tribute to Said provided an outlet for people’s rage.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

high-speed rail, technology, budgets, politics:  I think we may have missed the boat … train … whatever.

Barack Obama’s just-released budget for fiscal 2012 provides a major boost for transportation and infrastructure spending. Not surprisingly, transportation advocacy groups are praising the proposals, but will they get any traction in a Republican-controlled House that has knives out to cut the federal deficit? Significantly, the budget doesn’t propose raising the federal gas tax to pay for the increases in transportation and infrastructure spending.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

politics, 2012 Election, Newt Gingrich, pithy quotes: He has a lot of “‘splaining to do” to get my vote.  Inconsistencies between political rhetoric and personal life is a big negative for me.  I call it dishonesty.  He may be the king of pithy quotes … read on …

 

Stop, you say, Gingrich may not run for the Republican nomination and even if he does, chances are he won’t win it. But Gingrich says he’ll decide by the end of the month whether to set up an “exploratory committee” to raise money. The recent performances by a parade of prospects at the Conservative Political Action Conference make clear both why he is seriously entertaining the idea and why many Republicans continue to hold him in high regard, despite all.

And for people of a certain age, there is a lot of all: The extramarital affair with a House committee aide who is now his third wife, the personal and political failings that prompted him to leave the speakership and Congress, the inflammatory rhetoric that has made him so polarizing. (To hit a few highlights, he called Sonia Sotomayor racist, claimed Obama has a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” worldview and said that “Woody Allen having non-incest with a non-daughter … fits the Democratic platform perfectly”).

Over the three-day CPAC conference, one 2012 prospect after another brought to mind the word “generic.” The two who broke out of the mold were Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gingrich. Daniels gave a dense and high-minded speech about facing down the “Red Menace” of debt. Gingrich was Gingrich: hurling colorful insults at Obama, Democrats and their policies, flinging out ideas that included replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency and proposing that Obama receive an invitation to be CPAC’s keynote speaker next year – if he meets certain conditions like signing a repeal of his signature health care law.

That led my colleague David Corn to tweet: “Calls on Obama to sign a repeal of #HCR. That’s like calling on Newt to remarry wife No. 1.” Just the type of joke that would dog Gingrich in a presidential campaign.

via Would Women Support Newt Gingrich for President?.

technology, markets:  Scary … we have no idea how to value these companies …

The new high tech-bubble might not be the one you’re thinking of. Measuring the bubble’s size and inner pressure of is a delicate exercise. For today, we’ll consider two sectors: social networks and online media — such as the Huffington Post acquired last week by AOL for a stunning $315m.

via The Traffic Bubble | Monday Note.

gLee, Barbara Streissand, mea culpa:  Doesn’t hurt my feelings if she doesn’t like the show …

Streisand Apologizes: When Barbra Streisand was asked if she would consider an appearance on the hit dramedy at MusiCares ceremony, the “Yentl” star said “Not If I Can Help It.” The singer issued a clarification about her brusque statement on her Web site, saying, in part, “When asked if I would ever appear on ‘Glee,” I should have said, “You never know.” It was wrong to say, “Not if I can help it. What I meant was that I’ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album and starting a new movie.

via Barbra Streisand Clarifies ‘Glee’ Remark; Ken and Barbie Reunite – Speakeasy – WSJ.

websites,  favorites:  I have found a new site and I love it …. The Academic Minute – Inside Higher Ed / The Academic Minute.




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