Posts Tagged ‘statistics

06
Jul
14

7.6.14 … long story short …

long story short:  OK, why do I “clip”?  Long story short … it’s my filing cabinet.

long story short

Sl. to make a long story short. Okay, long story short: everything that goes up comes down, okay? Then the guy comes over, and—long story short—\”You got a match?\”

See also: long, short, story

via long story short – Idioms – by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia..

So I was looking back over past posts for 7.6 and I found several worthy of reposting.

Umberto Eco, lists, culture, Brain Pickings:  So I said I love lists ….

As a lover and maker of lists, this made my heart sing: In 2009, the great Umberto Eco became a resident at the Louvre, where he chose to focus his studies on “the vertigo of lists,” bringing his poetic observational style to the phenomenon of cataloguing, culling, and collecting. He captured his experience and insights in The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay, where he charts the Western mind’s obsessive impulse for list-making across music, literature and art, an impulse he calls a “giddiness of lists” but demonstrates that, in the right hands

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.”

~ Umberto Eco

via Umberto Eco on Lists and Making Infinity Comprehensible | Brain Pickings.

via 7.6.13 … Umberto Eco on Lists: “The list is the origin of culture.” | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

And when I looked back at this wonderful fire pit,

Third Rock Fire Pit.

Third Rock – Earth and all its glory reveal a fiery inner core through the continents of our planet.

via Third Rock Fire Pit.

I found this (I want one by the way!):

 Marshmallow Roasting Art

via Marshmallow Roasting Art.

 statistics, blogging: Everyday I check to see what has interested “my” readers.  My most popular posts are the “naked yoga” and the Ben Judah version of the “serenity prayer.”

 

Today

Title Views

Home page / Archives 9

7.3.14 … when cultures collide and the result is rollicking laughter, the deep in your belly kind, it’s all good … I would always rather be happy than dignified … 6

7.4.14 … It’s not the 4th of July without TOMATO PIE! … And a history lesson … Happy 200th anniversary, The Star Spangled Banner … What’s Queen Charlotte got to do with anything? … 3

7.5.14 … Summer nights are worth staying up for … 2

7.12.13 … Alto del Perdon Spain: ‘Where meet the path of the wind and the path of the stars” … 1

1.12.13 … all my babies are gone … almost … 1

3.24.14 … Boo, Haman … Oh, and in case you missed it, ALL OF AMERICA IS ELIMINATED … First naked yoga … Now naked pilgrims … 1

1.25.14 … pilgrimages and naked yoga … 1

1.27.2011 … Felt like I was in the blue soup scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary last night. 🙂 1

Total views of posts on your blog 25

And here are a  few new ones … and yes they are random!

It’s A Nice Day For A Flash Wedding, NPR:  Where would I want a pop up wedding?

You’ve heard of pop-up restaurants, flash mobs and other hipster happenings. Now comes a pair of entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C., offering pop-up weddings for those who want to elope, but do it with flair.

Locations are never booked ahead of time, planning is minimal and fingers are crossed that you and your partner don’t get asked to leave before you are pronounced husband and wife, or wife and wife.

PopWed Co., which started last January, procures the wedding license, chooses a creative location, takes the photographs and performs the ceremony.

via It’s A Nice Day For A Flash Wedding : NPR.

fruit pizza, kith/kin: And years ago, I had fruit pizza at the home of my college roommate.  I make it around the 4th of July which is also near her birthday.  Happy birthday!!

251099

 

Fruit Pizza I Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

 

11
Aug
13

8.11.13 … Nate Silver: “He boils what he does — also known as sabermetrics — down to “using data and statistics to try and uncover truth.”

Nate Silver,  ESPN Interview, quotes,  sabermetrics, statistics, truth, predictions, Hillary Clinton:

:

Nate Silver, the man who called the ’08 presidential election in 49 out of 50 states, and the ’12 election in all 50 states, is in fact, not psychic. He’s just right more often than everyone else (up until recently, at the New York Times — and now, at ESPN). He chalks it up to the fact that everyone else is far too distracted by the bullshit — and maybe a little arrogant, too. “People are much too sure of themselves. From decisions to go to war in different countries and market failures to catastrophic weather events and earthquakes. People overestimate how sure they are about what’s going to occur and then learn the hard way [that they don’t].”

He boils what he does — also known as sabermetrics — down to “using data and statistics to try and uncover truth.” Sounds simple enough, but like we said, he’s right a lot. “We’re not trying to magically predict things. We’re just trying to say, look there is a lot of data in the world and we need to distill that down to clarify what we know and what we don’t know — how much uncertainty there is around the problem.” He attributes his success to spotting a flaw in the status quo, being unwilling to compromise, being willing to rock the boat, getting a bit lucky, and being forced to be fearless, from an early age.

Hillary 2016

“Look, you’ve never really had a candidate within her party who was that far ahead. She gets like 70 percent of the votes among democrats. It’s really early for a poll, obviously. But, I think people forget that there were two really compelling democratic candidates in 2008, and one of them had to lose. That doesn’t mean they’re a weak candidate at all. Either Obama or Clinton could’ve won the nomination in almost any other year. For that matter, even the pre-scandal John Edwards would’ve been kind of a traditionally strong candidate. With her Secretary of State credential now, and having Obama working presumably for her instead of against her, it will be very hard to see her losing the nomination. The general election race is different obviously, though.”

via Nate Silver ESPN Interview, Quotes, Pictures.

02
Aug
13

8.2.13 … below average temp … Great Depression hoboes … offshore wind farms … Ponce City Market … John 14 … Birth Scroll … SCOTUSblog …

global warming, statistics: interesting tweet …

discoveryplace ‏@discoveryplace 4m

RT @treehugger: Are you younger than 28? If so, you’ve never lived a month of below average temperature http://goo.gl/n7aIFr

Brookwood Hills, Great Depression, hoboes:  From a childhood friend who along with his dad also grew up in Brookwood Hills, thanks BW…

 My dad grew up in Brookwood Hills, and they went fairly unscathed through the Depression. (grandmother started a telephone answering service to help make ends meet) My dad tells the story though of “hobos” coming through the woods from the railroad tracks into the neighborhood looking for food. My grandmother never turned anyone away who came to their house. Years later, my dad read/heard that the hobos would scratch an “x” somewhere on the door hardware or near it as an indicator to others that the occupant was sympathetic. Dad went and looked, and there was an ‘x” scratched on the handle under the thumb latch on their front door.

federal auctions, future offshore wind farms, The Two-Way, NPR:

A Rhode Island company was the highest bidder in the federal government’s first-ever auction for the right to build an offshore wind farm.

After 11 rounds, Deepwater Wind outbid two other companies for two patches of ocean off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The winning bid was $3.8 million.

Not as many companies participated in the bidding as was expected, but industry representatives and government officials heralded the outcome as a sign that offshore wind power is on its way.

“This sale marks a really historic moment in the clean energy future of this country,” said Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is part of the Interior Department.

The United States has no offshore wind farms, but some industry experts say the fact that there was competition for these leases shows that despite all the setbacks, the offshore wind industry might soon take off.

“The resource is too big to be ignored for very much longer,” says Todd Griset, an attorney who advises clients on ocean energy projects.

via Sold! First Parcels Auctioned For Future Offshore Wind Farms : The Two-Way : NPR.

Ponce City Market, Atlanta INtown Paper:  I saw the work in progress when I went to Juliannas’:

Three hundred construction workers are onsite daily to keep the mammoth Ponce City Market project on schedule for its late 2014 opening. The transformation of the old Sears/City Hall East property into Atlanta’s version of Seattle’s Pike Place Market or San Francisco’s Pier 39 will ramp up sharply in the fall when 800 to 1,000 workers onsite, according to James Irwin, vice-president of Jamestown Construction and Development.

Driving along Ponce de Leon or North Avenue, there is clearly a hum of activity going on, Irwin said. “We’re working on the surface parking and greenspace that faces North and will lead to the main entrance of the food hall,” he said. “Inside, there’s new electrical, plumbing and elevator work going on.”

via Market Watch: Ponce City Market on schedule for 2014 – Atlanta INtown Paper.

 John 14:  A friend posted this on Facebook.

Improv on the opening of John 14 Don’t let your hearts be troubled, your minds distracted,your hands turn to fists, or your spirits wiltfor lack of music or art,a walk on the shore, or a friend.Believe in the impossible possible grace –God once, God come in Jesus, God coming again.God has a house with a footprint so holy,a floor plan so extensive,there is room for everyone,and all the self-defined interior decoratorsof all the religions of the worldcannot spoil the beauty of its proportions.We try very hard to make reservations.Many of us want to book the chapel,but others only want to sit at a kitchen tablewith grandmothers,or find a bedroom and sleep weariness away.One says, “take me to a balcony whereI can look once again at sunset over the ocean.I promised to meet someone there.”And another, “The conservatory –I’ll see every flower that has become extinct,and let the butterflies rest on me.”“Is there a kennel? I want to find, well …this Jack Russell loved me so muchit turned the sadness away.Or are all the dogs free ranging in heaven,and only a few theologians live in cratesthey built for themselves?”But back to the text …“You say you’ll go and prepare a place,but we don’t know the way.”That was Thomas, speakingfor those of us with GPS for soul.Jesus answered originally …“I am the way and the …”but in the translation of my longing,he stops, looks in our faces,and simply says, “Come home.”

Birth Scroll, William & Kate , The British Royals, The Royals, Royal Baby, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Prince William:  So I wonder if anyone else gets a scroll?

See the Birth Scroll Given to William & Kate

New parents Prince William and Kate were handed a special scroll marking the birth of son Prince George when they left the hospital.

The gift is almost identical to the one made 31 years ago to celebrate William’s birth at the same place – the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, London.

The memento was inscribed by hand, using traditional calligraphic styles and presented in an embossed leather case.

via See the Birth Scroll Given to William & Kate – Babies, The British Royals, The Royals, Royal Baby, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Prince William : People.com.

SCOTUSblog on camera,  Justice William J. Brennan Jr, Geoffrey Stone:

Clerking for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., and the influence of clerks and outside events on the Court during the October Term 1972.

via SCOTUSblog on camera: Geoffrey Stone Part one : SCOTUSblog.

03
Jul
13

7.3.13 … Gettysburg: Burying the hatchet … WSJ Startup of the Year … The Most America-est Hot Dog … Paula Deen … 3-D printing: We’re not far off from ­people being able to print their own gloves or golf balls … American culture and our love of driving …

Battle of Gettysburg, burying the hatchet, reunions, anniversaries, Civil War:  What a nice gesture … would it not be wonderful if the nation really could bury the hatchet?

Mental Floss ‏@mental_floss 37mAt the 50th Gettysburg reunion in 1913, two men purchased a hatchet, walked to the site where their regiments had fought, and buried it.

via 38 Twitter.

Startups, WSJ Startup of the Year, Who’s Who of the #WSJSOTY Startups, The Accelerators – WSJ: Kudos!

The 24 businesses vying for the title of WSJ Startup of the Year are working to influence everything from taste buds to sight-seeing experiences.

Last week, WSJ Startup of the Year kicked off by showcasing the mentors, including Sir Richard Branson and Nina Zagat. This week, we’re takingtime to learn more about each startup through reviewing their self-generated video profiles.

Here’s a brief rundown on the 24 competitors …

via Who’s Who of the #WSJSOTY Startups! – The Accelerators – WSJ.

 

The Most America-est Hot Dog, Boar’s Head tubesteaks,  cornbread batter,  deep-fried, duck fat, peaches & cream slaw,  proprietary chili sauce, mustard, Thrillist Nation:  Once again … out there!

 

The Most American Hot Dog Ever-Say hello to maybe the greatest hot dog ever created

After a grueling day and a half of voting as 16 fierce and delicious competitors fought it out, the truth is mightily apparent: Atlanta’s bearded wonder and Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie has created The Most America-est Hot Dog. It starts with Boar’s Head tubesteaks that get covered in cornbread batter and deep-fried, before getting slapped on a bun that’s been broiled in duck fat, then covered in peaches & cream slaw and his proprietary chili sauce and, to prove he’s really American, mustard.

via The Most America-est Hot Dog winner – Thrillist Nation.

Paula Deen, Motion to Dismiss, standing, Supreme Court, Tal Kopan – POLITICO.com:

The celebrity chef’s lawyers filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the case against her based on standing, citing the court’s ruling on the Proposition 8 case last week, according to news reports.

A woman is suing Deen and her brother for an alleged hostile work environment at one of her restaurants, which included racism and harassment. Deen’s lawyers said Monday in their filing that because the woman is white, she doesn’t have standing before the court to claim she was affected by racism.

The motion cites Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which the Supreme Court ruled last week that the proponents of Prop 8 bringing the appeal to the court weren’t legally able to, as they didn’t have standing.

via Paula Deen pins hopes on Supreme Court – Tal Kopan – POLITICO.com.

3-D printing, outdoor gear, Design and Tech | OutsideOnline.com:  this just interests me …

In many respects, 3-D printing works just like 2-D printing. Guided by a digital blueprint, a 3-D printer deposits layer upon layer of raw material on a flat surface, the same way your ink-jet deposits pigment on ­paper. The difference: the machines squirt out plastics or metals in powder or liquid form. ­Extremely thin layers are ­melted together with lasers or bond as they cool, and the result is a seamless, solid object.

Printers are still mostly ­limited to materials like plastic resin and stainless steel, which don’t offer the quality and performance of, say, carbon fiber. And they can’t come anywhere close to competing with mass-­ production systems that allow companies like Burton to churn out a snowboard binding every two hours. But boutique brands and some geeked-out consumers are already fabricating custom gear via third-party printers. A handful of independent designers have used this formula for accessories like smartphone mounts and ankle braces, and one amateur rider in Germany even printed his own bike-light clamp after a store-bought one didn’t mount properly on his bike.

“We’re not far off from ­people being able to print their own gloves or golf balls,” says Bruce Bradshaw, director of marketing for Stratasys, a 3-D-printing company in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Burton’s Barbieri takes an even more optimistic view: “If you can design it on a computer, you can have it in your hand.”

via Hot Off the Press: How 3-D Printing is Revolutionizing Outdoor Gear | Design and Tech | OutsideOnline.com.

American culture, car driving, statistics, love of driving, Energy Ticker – MarketWatch:

We may have reached a peak in miles driven per person in the U.S., but car ownership may have not yet peaked.

The conclusion is from commodity analyst Matt Smith’s, at Schneider Electric, who distilled two recent reports about driving habits in the U.S., one by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and another by the U.S. PIRG.

Some of the interesting tidbits he gleaned: in 2011, only 67% of young people — 16- to 34-year-olds — had a license, the lowest since 1963. And drivers in that age group drove 23% fewer miles in 2009 than in 2001.

During that same period, the number of passenger miles traveled on public transportation by 16-to-34-year-olds increased 40%.  As a whole, U.S. residents took nearly 10% more trips via public transportation in 2011 than in 2005.

The number of cars owned peaked in 2008 at 236 million, with the Great Recession likely to blame for the drop in subsequent years. A growing U.S. population, however, “means we will likely see a higher number of vehicles on the road in the future,” Smith writes.

via ‘Peak car’? Americans’ love of driving wanes – Energy Ticker – MarketWatch.

*for you dear brother … I will try the old format once again …

20
May
13

5.20.13 … I’d love to walk Paris …

Europe,  walks, Paris,  NYTimes.com: 

5. Paris Promenade

In the 2004 film “Before Sunset,” Jesse, an American (Ethan Hawke), and Celine, a Frenchwoman (Julie Delpy), spend an afternoon traversing Paris as they flirt with love. At one point they ascend a staircase to an elevated park called the Promenade Plantée.

The 2.8-mile-long parkway, inaugurated in 1993, follows the abandoned Vincennes railway line; it was the inspiration for New York City’s High Line. In the film, Mr. Hawke and Ms. Delpy use the staircase midway along the promenade. I prefer to start at the staircase entrance at the promenade’s western end, which rises from the Viaduc des Arts, the red-brick arches filled with boutiques and galleries.

Tunnels, embankments and trenches have been preserved. Benches and trellises have been installed. Wild moss, lichens and bamboo grow wild. Lime, quince, cherry and holly trees, climbing roses and honeysuckle are among the plantings.

Visitors can peek into windows and look down at narrow streets. On the left is the steeple of the St.-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts Church. On the right is a police headquarters decorated with a dozen reproductions of Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave.” (The original sculpture sits in the Louvre.)

For much of the way, the flâneur (stroller) reigns supreme. “The practice of jogging is tolerated to the degree that it does not annoy the walkers,” a sign tells visitors.

At the midway point, the promenade descends to the Jardin de Reuilly, an expanse of grass, trees and statues.

At the eastern end of the promenade it is a short walk to the National Center of the History of Immigration. Built in neo-Classical style for the 1931 international colonial exhibition, it is now celebrated as an Art Deco-era masterpiece. The interior, with its original marquetry, lighting fixtures, staircases and mosaics, has been frozen in time. Bas-reliefs on the facade by Alfred Janniot celebrate the success of the French empire. It is a brilliant work of propaganda: tropical plants, animals, colonial faces and agricultural and mineral riches extracted from the colonies. France, naturally, is an allegorical figure of abundance at the center. — ELAINE SCIOLINO

via Europe, in 9 Walks – NYTimes.com.

politics,  state governments, G.O.P., NYTimes.com:

Still, the news for Republicans has been reasonably good at the state level, where their candidates have been freer from the partisan dysfunction in Washington.

via In State Governments, Signs of a Healthier G.O.P. – NYTimes.com.

Constitutional rights, search and seizure, suburbia, DavidsonNews.net:

The citizens of Davidson are lucky to have a close and trusting relationship with our police officers. Our police department has earned its trusted status in our community. Unfortunately, such close relationships between the police and the public do not exist everywhere. Fourth Amendment rights should not depend on your zip code. It can be easy to overlook the loss of the Fourth Amendment freedoms, the simple right to be left alone, when you have never experienced police overreaching. Some citizens feel the sting of being randomly seized far more frequently than they should, not just on a lone day in March at Exit 30.

via Search and seizure in suburbia | DavidsonNews.net.

obituaries, The New York Times, statistics: 

Results: Male obituaries outnumbered female (813 vs. 186), and the mean age of death was higher for males than females (80.4 ± 0.4 vs. 78.8 ± 1.1 years). Younger ages of death were evident in sports players (77.4 years), performers (77.1) and creative workers (78.5), whereas older deaths were seen in military (84.7), business (83.3) and political (82.1) workers. Younger deaths were more often associated with accidents (66.2 years), infection (68.6) and organ-specified cancers (73.0). ‘Old age’ was more often the cited cause of death for philanthropists, academics and doctors, and less often for sportsmen, performers and creatives. Cancer deaths occurred most often in performers and creatives, with lung cancer commonest among performers and least common in professionals.

Conclusion: Fame and achievement in performance-related careers may be earned at the cost of a shorter life expectancy. In such careers, smoking and other risk behaviours may be either causes or effects of success and/or early death.

via Death in The New York Times: the price of fame is a faster flame.

20
Mar
13

3.20.13 … long term effects are astounding … teen users did not recover even if they quit in adulthood …

teens,  marijuana, harmless, statistics, US culture, Scientific American:  Does this surprise anyone?

Although teen smoking rates are at a record low, more of them are smoking pot and fewer than ever believe it is bad for them. Data released last December as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future project show that only 44.1 percent of 12th graders believe regular marijuana use is harmful, the lowest level since 1973. That may explain why more than one third of high school seniors tried pot in 2012, and one in 15 smoked it daily.

But pot poses a higher risk for teens than for adults. In August investigators at Duke University and other institutions published the results of a 25-year study suggesting that heavy use among adolescents can do permanent cognitive damage. Subjects who were diagnosed with marijuana dependence as teens and adults suffered IQ declines of up to eight points between the ages of 13 and 38, even after the researchers controlled for other drug dependence, schizophrenia and education. (Abstainers’ IQs rose slightly.) Moreover, the IQs of teen users did not recover even if they quit in adulthood.

via Record Numbers of Teens Think Marijuana Is Harmless: Scientific American.

18
Mar
13

3.18.13 … nothing is typical … carriage before marriage …

culture, US, statistics, unmarried mothers, carriage before marriage , The Wall Street Journal:  Teen motherhood rates are down but 20-somethings are driving America’s all-time high level of unmarried motherhood, now 41% of all births. http://on.wsj.com/YjIrea

Today’s typical unmarried mother is a high-school graduate in her early 20s who may very well be living with her child’s father.

Despite her apparent advantages, however, she faces many of the same problems that we used to associate with her younger sisters. If 30 is the new 20, today’s unmarried 20-somethings are the new teen moms. And the tragic consequences are much the same: children raised in homes that often put them at an enormous disadvantage from the very start of life.

via The New Unmarried Moms – WSJ.com.

 

13
Jan
13

1.13.13 … ooo…oh…ooo…oh…

Nora Ephron, tributes, cultural icons:  OK, It took me a minute to get what was going on … and then I really laughed.

Conceptual artist Rachel Perry Welty recreates Meg Ryan’s soliloquy from Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally in a collage using letters cut from Ephron’s obituary in The New York Times, in one of several visual tributes to cultural icons we lost in 2012.

Conceptual artist Rachel Perry Welty recreates Meg Ryan’s soliloquy from Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally in a collage using letters cut from Ephron’s obituary in The New York Times, in one of several visual tributes to cultural icons we lost in 2012.

via Explore – Conceptual artist Rachel Perry Welty recreates Meg….

Twitter,  AstroMarshburn, Davidson ’82:  My favorite martian, umm,  astronaut, tweets from the ISS!  He also send back pictures.  You rock, Tom!

Embedded image permalink

@AstroMarshburn

Where desert and mountains meet – we’re over the edge of the Gobi.

via Twitter / AstroMarshburn: Where desert and mountains ….

body language, TED Talks: Good to know …

In her TEDTalk (above), social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares an easy way that anyone can change not only others’ perceptions of them, but the way they feel about themselves — spending two minutes “power posing” with their arms or elbows out, their chin lifted and their posture expansive. Cuddy’s research, done in collaboration with Dana Carney, has shown that adopting the body language associated with dominance for just 120 seconds is enough to create a 20 percent increase in testosterone and a 25 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. In other words, adopting these postures makes a person feel more powerful.

via Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

word of the year,  The Economist: #hashtag … really???

Finally, the Word of the Year to beat all words of the year, the word that truly summed up 2012.  Are you ready?

#hashtag

via Word of the year: And the winner is… | The Economist.

Davidson,The Watson Fellowship, 2012-13 Watson Fellows:  I was looking over a friend’s daughters’ blog (sara bates | sara bates … watson adventures) when I wondered if any 2012 Davidson grads received Watsons … The answer is yes … and they are excerpted below.  But If you are interested all of the Watson Fellows are doing amazing things.

Audrey Gyurgyik, Davidson College

Body and Soul: A Holistic Approach to Actor Training

Tibet, Brazil, Serbia, Italy

I will explore the following questions: In what ways does the physical body serve as a vehicle to access emotion, free-flow of impulses, and the subtler soul? How do different cultures explore this notion? And how is this work then translated for or useful to actors- to those interested in effectively communicating the human condition to an audience? I will travel to Tibet, Brazil, Serbia and Italy to learn about different physical-spiritual practices and the ways in which certain theatre companies have incorporated them as an integral part of their creative processes.

via The Watson Fellowship: Our Fellows

Alexis Valauri-Orton, Davidson College

Thinking Outside the Lab: Discovering the Human Toll of Ocean Acidification

Norway, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Peru, Mauritius

Ocean acidification, a consequence of CO2 pollution, threatens reefs and fisheries worldwide. On my Watson, I will live with communities in five countries that are particularly vulnerable to acidification. I will learn how their livelihoods and cultures are dependent upon marine resources, discovering the human stake in this environmental crisis. Each narrative of acidification will be shaped by different dependencies, cultures, and crises, and together they will provide me with a global, human narrative that demands action.

via The Watson Fellowship: Our Fellows.

resolutions, living life in the moment:

Saturday January 5, 2013

Living the Moment to the Fullest

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

via Daily Meditation: Living the Moment to the Fullest.

iPad,  apps: Another best list … I already have most of these … but I thought Paper looked fun.

Below, we’ve got 13 of our absolute favorite apps for iPad and iPad Mini: The essentials, the best of the best. These aren’t the only apps you need for your new Apple tablet, but they are certainly a good start. Let’s get downloading.

Paper (FREE)

Apple’s iPad App of the Year is a content-creation machine, allowing you to draw, take notes, sketch and color in between (or outside of) the lines. Worth a try for any creative types out there, or anyone who wants to use a new iPad or iPad Mini to replace a laptop.

via iPad Mini Apps: The 13 Best Apps That Any New iPad Or iPad Mini Owner Should Download Immediately.

X-Rays, technology,  Davidson College. Davidson College Archives, trivia:

The first X-ray taken at Davidson College by Eben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer. [1896]

The first X-ray taken at Davidson College by Eben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer. [1896]

In January 1896, Dr. Henry Louis Smith, a physics professor at Davidson Colllege, read about Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of x-rays in an associated press bulletin. He realized that Davidson College possessed the right equipment to repeat Roentgen’s experiments. Dr. Smith told his physics class about Roentgen’s discovery of x-rays, and Smith’s planned experiments with them.

Shortly afterwards, three Davidson juniors, eager to test Smith’s theories, snuck into his lab on the evening of January 12, 1896. Eben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer collected various objects to photograph with the x-ray machine: a cadaver finger (taken from the North Carolina Medical College) stuck with two pins and wearing a ring (borrowed from Barringer’s girlfriend); a rubber covered magnifying glass; a pill box containing two 22 cartridges, one pin, two rings, and six Strychnine pills (commonly used by students at that time to stay awake during finals); and an egg that been emptied and had a button placed inside.

via X-Rays | Davidson College Archives & Special Collections.

Audi, technology, robotic valet:  Robotic Valet Overlords!

Audi has built the robotic valet of the future, a car that parks itself. We got to play with it, and it’s freaking amazing.

via We Welcome Our Robotic Valet Overlords | Autopia | Wired.com.

Americans, death age, statistics: Ouch!

Americans live sicker and die younger than people in other wealthy countries — and the gap is getting worse over time, a new report shows.

Men in the USA have shorter lives than men in 16 developed nations. American women also fall near the bottom of the list, living 5.2 fewer years than Japanese women, who live the longest.

Americans “have a long-standing pattern of poorer health that is strikingly consistent and pervasive” over a person’s lifetime, says the report, from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, independent, non-profit groups that advise the federal government on health.

“The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries,” the report says, “but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary.”

via Americans die younger than others in rich nations.

We the People, White House,  Death Star:  I had no idea that the We the People  site existed … enjoyed the tongue in cheek response.

Enemies of the Pentagon will not witness the power of a fully operational battle station anytime soon.

Last month an online petition to the White House site We the People that called for the construction of the Death Star from the “Star Wars” movies surpassed the 25,000 signature threshold required to initiate an official response.

Citing national security and the number of jobs the initiative would create, the petition gained 34,000 signatures.

On Friday Paul Shawcross of the Office of Management and Budget, showed he was up for satire and responded in kind, issuing a tongue-in-cheek address to the demand for a space station capable of obliterating entire planets.

via White House Declines Death Star Undertaking, Cites Budget Constraints – ABC News.

Paris, blogs:  Just liked this one.

Guide to Paris: Insight to the Famed City of Lights

At Aeon Tours, we strive to create walking tours of the famed City of Lights that showcase the many faces of Paris. From her hidden side streets to her iconic international attractions, you can be sure that we have a tour that caters to you. To learn more about us, visit us at AeonTours.com

via Guide to Paris: Insight into the Famed City of Lights.

youtube, video blogs, LOL:  i . 🙂

http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/the-best-fcking-cruise-ship-tour-youll-ever-take?sub=1956541_793702

Greg from Mediocre Films 2 went on a cruise to Hawaii with his family. As a vlogger, he decided to document his voyage.

via The Best F*cking Cruise Ship Tour You’ll Ever Take.

Davidson Basketball:  Another great day ….

Mann hits 20 as Davidson men top Furman, 81-73

via Mann hits 20 as Davidson men top Furman, 81-73 | Sports.

Nordstrom Rack, Psycho Bunny, men’s clothing:  I saw a polo with this weird logo at Nordstrom Rack.   Psycho Bunny …

Interesting brand logo??

Psycho Bunny Regular Fit Piqué Polo | Nordstrom.

devotionals, urban legends:  I am not sure what this is but I found it uplifting.

Photo: One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.</p> <p>He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, th<br /> e donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.</p> <p>A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.</p> <p>As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!</p> <p>MORAL :<br />  Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.</p> <p>Remember the five simple rules to be happy:</p> <p>1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.</p> <p>2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.</p> <p>3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.</p> <p>4. Give more.</p> <p>5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.</p> <p>You have two choices... smile and close this page,<br /> or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson .

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, th

e donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

You have two choices… smile and close this page,

or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson .

via Dennard Lindsey Teague.

08
Jan
13

1.8.13 Did I say … ROLL TIDE!

BCS Championship, University of Alabama, Notre Dame University, rout:

 A rout is a chaotic and disorderly retreat or withdrawal of troops from a battlefield, resulting in the victory of the opposing party, or following defeat, a collapse of discipline, or poor morale.

via Rout – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

Just seemed right. 🙂

Over the past few weeks, a little nickname for tonight’s Alabama–Notre Dame college-football national title game has gained some traction: “Catholics vs. Cousins.” You see, because Notre Dame is a Catholic school. And Alabama is a backwater that spawns inbreeding, don’t you know? Get it?

via ‘Catholics vs. Cousins’ in Notre Dame–Alabama Football Game | TIME.com.

comfort food, doughnuts, Krispy Kreme:  Kill me now …

Photo: Craving dark chocolate? Introducing our new Dark Chocolate Strawberry and Double Dark Chocolate Doughnuts- http://krispykreme.com/doughnuts.

 – Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Coffee.

 

comfort food, grilled cheese: comfiest?

In terms of comfort food, grilled cheese is the comfiest.

via Grilled Cheese Recipes: 25 Mouthwatering Sandwiches.

corporate social responsibility, bottom line:

We don’t foresee a time in the near future when measures of social performance will be as objective as the measure of long-term financial performance we’ve developed. That said, we will continue to track how CEOs are doing in the two areas, with the aim of encouraging leaders to shine in both.

via Can Companies Both Do Well and Do Good? – Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer – Harvard Business Review.

Downton Abbey, kiss:  Kiss of death?

Later, Matthew goes to her bedroom to smooth things over. Because it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, they talk with a door between them and then share a kiss with their eyes closed. But Mary peeks – will it bring bad luck? Well, her horse-drawn carriage did make it to the chapel and the pair returned safely from their honeymoon in the south of France.

via Downton Abbey Season 3 Premiere – The 5 Best Moments : People.com.

birthdays, statistics: I’m not very common. Two of my three children are not very common. 🙂

A friend posted an interesting data table on my Facebook wall yesterday, which was my birthday. The data listed each day of the year with a ranking for how many babies were born in the United States on each date from 1973 to 1999. Some interesting trends are evident in the data. Apparently, people like to make babies around the winter holiday season because a large proportion of babies are born in September (ours is due Sept. 24, btw).

via How Common Is Your Birthday? | The Daily Viz.

 

06
Sep
11

9.6.2011 ‎… In my day, today was the first day of school … at least when I was little … I think … Just finished Paris Was Ours … would recommend it … next on the stack, The Eyre Affair …

Labor Day, first day of school, history:  I just reprinted her whole history of when, why  and how the Labor Day/School Start changed.

The day after Labor Day is traditionally known as the first day of school. But according to a survey by Market Data Retrieval, 75 percent of American students headed back to class before this week—and that’s been the trend for the last decade. So why do we still associate Labor Day with back-to-school, and should we return to a post-holiday start?

The first public school in the United States, the 376-year-old Boston Latin School, opened on April 23, 1635. But thanks to agrarian society, a spring start to the school year didn’t catch on. Families needed kids to work the fields, which meant that sometimes the first day didn’t happen until October. Although urban areas didn’t have crops to pick, fear of diseases like cholera and scarlet fever made people afraid of staying in sweltering summer classrooms.

During the 20th century, state governments began to standardize the number of days students should be in school, as well as when schools should start. Since most campuses didn’t have air conditioning, opening in August simply wasn’t practical. During the 1940s and ’50s, starting school just after Labor Day, when temperatures were coming down, became common.

By the 1980s, the first day of school began moving into late August as states mandated longer school years. Teachers and parents had also been complaining that a September start meant final exams fell in January, so students had to study over Christmas break. With an earlier start, finals are finished by the time vacation begins.

The advent of No Child Left Behind in 2001 caused the start of school to creep up even further, toward the first week of August. But starting earlier doesn’t give students more time to learn before spring state standardized tests: Districts are not allowed to administer tests before or after a certain number of instruction days have passed.

Now, there’s a growing movement to move school back to a post-Labor Day start, in large part because of economic concerns. Air conditioning schools during the hot summer months isn’t cheap, so cash-strapped districts looking to save money are moving toward starting in September. Public schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma moved their start date from August 19 to the day after Labor Day, “and saved approximately $500,000 through reduced utility costs.”

Tourism boards also advocate for a post-Labor Day start, because starting school on August 8 (as was the case in Memphis, Tennessee this year), means families have less time to take vacations. Hotels, resorts, county fairs, and even the local roller rink take a financial hit from August start dates. Thanks to tourism boosters, states like Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota have enacted laws saying that school can’t begin until after Labor Day. Michigan’s tourism economy has seen a 25 percent boost since the law was passed in 2009.

Earlier start dates also mean high school sports teams begin practicing in hot August weather. Six football players and one assistant coach have already died this summer from heat-related incidents.

So will more states follow suit and move the first day of school back after Labor Day? Not necessarily. Younger generations have grown up starting school in August, so they’re used to it. Advocates are also up against year-round schooling proponents. Given that most parents work full time and struggle to find and pay for child care during the summer, a year-round school schedule may sound pretty appealing.

via Why the Day After Labor Day No Longer Means the First Day of School – Education – GOOD.

Paris Was Ours, bookshelf:  On the recommendation of my mother in law, I read Paris Was Ours.  I should have read it before the trip … but actually it pulled together many observations so it was a useful and enjoyable post-Paris visit read.

Paris Was Ours is a collection of memoirs about the French capital. It answers the question that I, as the book’s editor, asked myself when I first dreamed up the idea: Why of all the places I’ve lived, did Paris affect me the most? For, although I’ve lived in half a dozen cities, this one left the deepest mark.

My book is about the transformative effect of living in Paris — “the world capital of memory and desire,” as the writer Marcelle Clements calls it so indelibly in these pages.

In this volume, thirty-two writers parse their Paris moments.

via About the Book – Paris Was Ours: 32 Writers Reflect on the City of Light.

The Eyre Affair, bookshelf, kith/kin:  intrigued by the opening chapter, I am enjoying The Eyre Affair which comes highly recommended by Joni.  From the author …

Full of surprises and drama that excites no-one but me. It all began back in those Halcyon days of 1988 with two names and a notion scribbled with a pencil on the back of an envelope: Thursday Next and Bowden Cable and someone kidnaps Jane Eyre. Like many ideas of mine it grew and festered in my mind a little like the gunge that you find on refrigerator seals, waiting for the time when It would ripen sufficiently for me to give it life on paper. The first draft was a deadly serious screenplay written on an old typewriter. This ultimately became a short story on a 486 Toshiba running DOS and then lengthened into a serious attempt at a book. By 1993 I had 40,000 words, some of them in the right order – here the book stalled and I wrote another three before returning in 1997, finally arriving at a first draft by new year’s day 1998, this time on an Apple Macintosh PB 190. The story spanned writing technology.

via Beginnings – The Eyre Affair & Thursday Next.

popups, popup theatre, internet, social welfare:  A popup theater that streams from a phone and can be used anywhere … to “deliver entertainment and information into any place, even a neighborhood that may be overlooked or discounted.”

In an effort to demonstrate the expanding opportunities of network coverage, installation artist Aaron James created a pop-up theater designed to play videos directly from users’ smartphones when connected.

The original location of the space existed at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan but has since been moved to a garage space in downtown Detroit.

The 500 square foot cinema space is built of galvanized steel fence pipes and according to James, “is based on the assumption that the Internet can potentially deliver entertainment and information into any place, even a neighborhood that may be overlooked or discounted.”

via Aaron James’ smartphone powered pop-up cinemas « Out ‘N Front.

college, purpose, rethink, kith/kin:  Great article and makes you really think about the purpose.  Also shout out for Joni and Bob’s daughter’s choice St. John’s.  Other than  that he bashes everyone!

1.  Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.

Pick up any college brochure or catalog. Delete the brand names and the map. Can you tell which school it is? While there are outliers (like St. Johns, Deep Springs or Full Sail) most schools aren’t really outliers. They are mass marketers.

Stop for a second and consider the impact of that choice. By emphasizing mass and sameness and rankings, colleges have changed their mission.

This works great in an industrial economy where we can’t churn out standardized students fast enough and where the demand is huge because the premium earned by a college grad dwarfs the cost. But…

Back before the digital revolution, access to information was an issue. The size of the library mattered. One reason to go to college was to get access. Today, that access is worth a lot less. The valuable things people take away from college are interactions with great minds (usually professors who actually teach and actually care) and non-class activities that shape them as people. The question I’d ask: is the money that mass-marketing colleges are spending on marketing themselves and scaling themselves well spent? Are they organizing for changing lives or for ranking high? Does NYU have to get so much bigger? Why?

The solutions are obvious… there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference (start here). Most of these ways, though, aren’t heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team. Things like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school are opening doors for students who are eager to discover the new.

The only people who haven’t gotten the memo are anxious helicopter parents, mass marketing colleges and traditional employers. And all three are waking up and facing new circumstances.

via Seth’s Blog: The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer).

Eleanor Roosevelt, quotes, history, kith/kin:  Molly visited Geneva this summer and learned much about Eleanor Roosevelt and Universal Declaration of Human Rights which she also studied and wrote on last year.  I love this quote …

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Although she had already won international respect and admiration in her role as First Lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would become her greatest legacy. She was without doubt, the most influential member of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.

via Eleanor Roosevelt Biography.

9/11, WSJ 9/12/2011:  I just remember for the next few days being stunned … reading everything I could to figure how why … and how.

Wall Street Journal (@WSJ)
9/5/11 2:19 PM
Here’s a complete copy of The Wall Street Journal on September 12, 2001:http://t.co/vWL5rwL

“You Made A Difference” campaign, teachers, kudos:  As I said the other day, there are many I need to thank.

In recognition of Labor Day, we’d like to draw your attention to a new campaign that focuses on the work that teachers do, and the ubiquity of their influence.

The “You Made A Difference” campaign is an effort to let teachers know how they have made a difference in former students’ lives by allowing those former students to thank their teachers by writing a note or uploading a public video to Facebook or YouTube. The campaign was launched by HuffPost Education blogger Scott Janssen, who in June wrote a post arguing that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake’s Bad Teacher movie wrongly blames the plight and failure of American schools on poor performing teachers.

The post received impassioned responses, and the “You Made A Difference” campaign was born, set in motion, Janssen says, by HuffPost readers. Videos so far have come from entertainment show “Extra” host Jerry Penacoli, comic strip “Speed Bump” creator Dave Coverly and Grammy Award winning producer Narada Michael Walden, just to name a few.

Here are just a selection of videos from the initiative. You can see more on YouTube or submit your own through Facebook.

via ‘You Made A Difference’ Campaign Thanks Teachers.

twitter, HuffPost:  So how many twitter feeds do they follow … and only 7.

Short and Tweet, our weekly series, brings you the newsiest, most buzzworthy tweets of the past seven days. What’s in store this week? Beyonce set off a tweeting frenzy, Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of unredacted cables, Rep. Joe Walsh criticized President Obama and more.

About Short And Tweet: Some tweets make news, and some of those tweets break news. HuffPost Tech’s weekly feature of the top newsmaking tweets of the week showcases both.

via Short And Tweet: The Top 7 Tweets Of The Week.

Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market, food, health, diet, social justice: “To Casey—who plans to add five more buses to his fleet, fanning them out to schools, health clinics, and senior homes—food is a matter of social justice.

But Casey, 45, a grant administrator and father of two young boys, had an idea. With a few other local activists, he raised $40,000 from investors and used it to gut an old municipal bus (purchased from the city for $1). He christened his new wheels Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market. “My goal is to be like the ice cream man, but with fruits and vegetables,” Casey says. “We want people to get as excited about grapes in January as they are about Popsicles in July.”

So far, it’s working. On a recent Monday morning, a crowd of about 70 stood on a street corner in the pounding rain, waiting for their produce to pull up. With its cheerful red siding, the Fresh Moves bus was visible from blocks away. Once inside, customers stocked up on organic tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, collard greens, and more—all priced affordably thanks to a partnership with an organic distributor.

To Casey—who plans to add five more buses to his fleet, fanning them out to schools, health clinics, and senior homes—food is a matter of social justice. “Recently, I watched a 14-year-old boy eat his first apple ever,” he says. “Too often we’re looking for the holy grail, but sometimes it’s the little things, like giving a kid something affordable and healthy to eat.”

via Farmer’s Market on a Bus – Fresh Moves Bus – Oprah.com.

Coca-Cola, sustainability, recycling, design: Only an idea …

coke bottles

It’s pretty ballsy to redesign one of the planet’s most iconic shapes and completely blow it out of the water. Last we checked, Coke’s bottles were some of the most recognizable objects on earth, and so powerful when it came to branding that in 2008, Coke transformed the capsule-like two-liter bottle into the same sexy curves. But dare we say design studentAndrew Kim has created a concept that’s equally powerful, all in the name of sustainability.

via What’s the Square Root of Sustainability? This Coke Bottle | Fast Company – StumbleUpon.

marketing via social networks, Vail:  Bold …

One of the hardest things to do for any company that wants to innovate is to willingly cannibalize a profitable line of business. And yet that’s exactly what Vail Resorts will do this winter when it starts providing photos to its guests for free.

The vacation photo industry is big business. Whether you’re at a marathon, an amusement park, or a resort like Vail, there are always company photographers around to take your picture–crossing the finish line, for example, or going down a water ride–which the company will then sell you for wildly inflated prices. A photo at Vail, for example, costs $35.

And now Vail is saying goodbye to all that. Or at least to a portion of it.

Earlier this year, we told you about EpicMix, Vail’s new system that lets skiers at its six resorts track their ski days and collect online badges for various feats, like skiing certain trails or accumulating a certain amount of vertical feet. Now Vail is adding something new to customers’ EpicMix accounts: digital copies of the photos taken by its hillside photographers.

The photographers will have devices to scan guests’ RFID-enabled lift tickets. Guests can ask then pose for pictures, or request action shots, and the photos will automatically be uploaded to the skiers’ EpicMix accounts (which are also linked to the RFID chips in the lift tickets). Skiers can then either keep the photos there, or post them to Facebook or Twitter.

“Photo sharing has gone crazy,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz tells Fast Company. “To the extent that we can make it easy for our guests to share photos–that is the holy grail of social media.”

Katz says the move is a risk. The company’s photo business brings in a tidy profit. Not as much as lift tickets or food, of course. But more than a rounding error. Meanwhile, data proving the ROI of having customers post about their experiences on places like Facebook remains elusive.

Granted, Vail will only be posting low-resolution versions of the photos to EpicMix. Customers will still have to buy the high-resolution versions if they want nice-looking prints.

But Katz says it’s intuitive that the new program should return results.

“The holy grail of social media is to get your most loyal and most passionate consumers to start becoming advocates for your product,” he says. “The question is: How do you authentically get your consumers to go out and broadcast for your brand?”

Last season, the approximately 100,000 Vail guests who activated their EpicMix accounts posted about 275,000 updates–like the badges they’d earned–to Facebook and Twitter.

“We think the photos will take that and multiply it geometrically,” Katz says.

via Vail Cannibalizes Its Own Photo Business In The Name Of Sharing | Fast Company.

vacation, leaders:  haven’t read Ms. Kanter’s article … but this summary was pretty good and very valid … makes me rethink my exhausting vacations I drag my husband on. 🙂

Rosabeth Moss Kanter has an excellent post up on the HBR Blog titled Should Leaders Go on Vacation? Recently, I’ve seen plenty of commentary in the popular press (especially Fox News articles) about the inappropriateness of leaders taking vacation. Kanter does a nice job of dissecting the dynamics around leaders going on vacation and suggests the leader address five questions in the context of the vacation.

What is the vacation narrative?

What is the vacation timing?

What is the rest of the team doing?

Are there continuity, backup, and contingency plans?

What is the vacation symbolism?

I’m a huge believer in the importance of vacations for leaders, entrepreneurs, and everyone else. I work extremely hard–usually 70+ hours a week. This is simply not sustainable, at least for me at age 45, over a period of time longer than about three months. I eventually burn out, get tired and cranky, become less effective, and get sick. Vacations are a way for me to recharge, build my energy back, explore some different things, spend extended and uninterrupted time with the most important person in my life (Amy), and just chill out. This vacation usually takes the form of a Qx Vacation that is off the grid which is now well known to everyone who works with me.

Amy and I ordinarily spend the month of July at our house in Homer, Alaska. While this isn’t “a vacation”, it’s a change of context that has become a very important part of our routine. I work while I’m there, am completely connected and available, but have a very different life tempo. And–most importantly–zero travel.

This summer we spent July in Paris. We both love Paris and went there to just “live.” We rented an apartment in the 8th, ran in the local park, shopped at the Monoprix down the block, ate lunch at all of the nearby restaurants, and had some amazing meals out. But mostly we just hung out, worked remotely, and spent time together.

I’ve had a fantasy about renting a house in the Tuscan countryside and spending a month in Tuscany for many years. We decided to do it this summer and we turned our month in Alaska into two months in Europe. However, rather than travel around and be tourists, we just lived. We had plenty of friends visit, but we spent the days exercising (I ran a lot), reading, writing, and working.

I plan to write at least one post about what I learned in my “summer in Europe” after I return to the U.S. next week. It has been an amazing experience, especially since I was completely connected to my regular work, yet was able to observe a lot of activity from a distance and reflect on what I really thought was going on.

In the mean time, if you are a leader, entrepreneur, or anyone else, I hope you read Kanter’s post and think hard about both the value of time away and the expectation-setting around it. Life is short–make sure you live it.

via Reinventing Vacations For A Mobile Era | Fast Company.

Great Recession, changes: I took nearly 50 years to forget the Depression … and I am the result.  I wonder if our children are getting the same lessons that their grand parents and great grandparents learned in the 20’s and 30’s.

Americans are saving more, paying down mortgages, reducing credit card debt, moving to cheaper housing, working at unpalatable jobs and postponing retirement.

“This underscores the increasing numbers of people who believe they have to take bigger, more long-term action,” said Michelle Peluso, global consumer chief marketing and Internet officer for Citibank parent company Citigroup.

More people say the economy has changed forever how they think about and handle money. A survey done by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for Citibank shows more people believe the economic realities of life have changed foreve — 57 percent in the survey released on Aug. 31, up steadily from 51 percent nearly a year ago.

Three and a half years after the Great Recession began and in the middle of a tumultuous summer as Congress haggled over the nation’s debt crisis and the economy continued to crawl, consumer confidence plunged in August to its lowest level since April 2009. And while personal spending was up, the data show much of the increase went to pay for higher-priced gas and food.

The price of gasoline is up 35 percent — about a dollar a gallon — from a year ago.

“When you are paying $25 more a week in cash for gasoline, that’s coming right out of your income,” said Britt Beemer, president of America’s Research Group, a Charleston, S.C., analysis firm that tracks consumer spending.

via Consumers permanently committing to thriftiness, saving – Chicago Sun-Times.

US Postal Service, changes, end of an era:  My post office has let go  7 of 17 carriers.  My mail now arrives at after 6 pm.

Already, the threats from the USPS have mounted up: Closing one in 10 USPS locations—that equals about 3,700 jobs for those keeping score at home. Canceling Saturday delivery and slashing one-fifth of its workforce—again, the numbers are staggering at 120,000 workers. But the biggest threat came from the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, who tells the Times, “Our situation is extremely serious. If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.”

Closing down shop? That’s the reality facing the agency. The USPS already owes over $9 billion and with revenues continually shrinking due to high internet usage for everything from correspondence, catalogs and bill payments and costs still pushing higher, there’s no light at the end of the postal service tunnel. The agency has handled 22% fewer pieces of mail the past year versus five years ago, and experts predict that figure only to worsen.

Cue the politicians. With labor unions at the heart of the issue—USPS contracts include a no-layoffs clause for a staff that enjoys a screaming-great healthcare benefit package and accounts for 80% of all USPS expenses, far outpacing the ratio for the UPS (53%) and FedEx (just 32%)—Congress will continue the debate on what to do with the government-monitored agency on Tuesday.

via Canceled Mail: Could the U.S. Postal Service Really Close? – TIME NewsFeed.

Apple, bungles:  I can’t believe they did it again!

San Francisco police officers helped Apple Inc. investigators look for a missing iPhone prototype that was left in a city restaurant in July, the police chief said, the second time in two years the company has lost an unreleased smartphone.

Police Chief Greg Suhr told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/oOfTi1 ) that four plainclothes officers accompanied two Apple investigators who searched a San Francisco home for the iPhone prototype.

Apple employees who contacted the department asking for help finding a lost item conducted the house search after asking the resident’s permission, and the officers did not enter the home, according to police.

Apple tracked the smartphone to the home using GPS technology, but the gadget wasn’t found there, said Lt. Troy Dangerfield.

Apple officials have declined to comment on the case.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is reportedly planning to release a new version of its popular iPhone this fall.

The SF Weekly newspaper reported that Sergio Calderon, who lives in the home, said he believed all six people were police officers and would not have let the two investigators inside if he knew they worked for Apple.

via San Francisco police help search for lost iPhone  | ajc.com.

Netflix:  I, too, begrudge them!

We can’t begrudge anyone who feels Netflix is no longer the great deal it used to be, but the loss of Starz and the circumstances surrounding the split, serve as a stark reminder of the tough realities that prompted Netflix to raise its prices in the first place.

Under the current, soon-to-expire agreement with Starz, Netflix paid $30 million per year for the right to stream the movie channel’s content. Negotiations to renew that contract reportedly broke down even after Netflix offered a $300 million-a-year deal. Starz reportedly insisted that Netflix introduce a tiered subscription service so subscribers who wanted to see Starz movies and TV shows (including Sony and Disney films) would have to pay more than $8 a month. Evidently Netflix refused to hike subscription prices more than it already had.

Netflix has seen tremendous growth since its launch, attracting more than 25 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. But the breakdown of the Starz deal is a reminder that success comes at a cost, in the form of increased competition and soaring licensing fees demanded by studios.

via Netflix Shows It’s on Your Side – TheStreet.

college, statistics:  Another area where we have bungled our  global advantage …

4. Only 0.4 percent of undergraduates attend one of the Ivy League schools. This confirms my long-held belief that way too much attention is paid to these eight institutions.

[Read about the Ivy League earnings myth.]

5. Twenty three percent of full-time undergrads, who are 24 or younger, work 20 hours or more a week.

6. Asian students (12 percent) are the least likely to work 20 or more hours a week.

7. About 9 percent of students attend flagship universities and other state institutions that conduct intensive research.

8. Seventy three percent of students attend all types of public colleges and universities.

9. Just 16 percent of students attend private nonprofit colleges and universities.

via 20 Surprising Higher Education Facts – The College Solution (usnews.com).

college, technology:  I never saw a clicker until I dropped my oldest off at Boulder. 🙂

As soon as the handheld gadgets called “clickers” hit the University of Colorado at Boulder, Douglas Duncan saw cheating.

The astronomy instructor and director of the Fiske Planetarium was observing a colleague’s physics class in 2002, when the university introduced the electronic devices that students use to respond to in-class questions. He glanced at the first row and saw a student with four clickers spread out before him. It turned out that only one was his—the rest belonged to his sleeping roommates.

The student was planning to help his absentee classmates by “clicking in” for the sleepers to mark them present. The physics professor had to tell the student that what he was doing was cheating.

Clickers—and the cheating problems that accompany them—have become a lot more common since that day, many instructors say. Today, more than 1,000 colleges in the United States use the devices, which look like TV remotes.

At Boulder alone, about 20,000 clickers are in use among the university’s 30,000 students. In addition to using them to take attendance, professors pose multiple-choice questions during class, students click answers, and software instantly projects the responses as charts at the front of the room. Particularly in large classes, that lets instructors assess student comprehension in a matter of seconds.

But the system can be abused. Students purchase remotes and register the devices in their names. Those who choose not to attend large classes can simply ask friends to bring along their clickers and get whatever credit the instructor assigns for showing up.

And he, like Mr. Bruff, believes that the devices have real advantages. The interactivity of clickers outweighs the hassle of monitoring students and keeping of fresh batteries on hand, Mr. Hamilton says.

By specifically outlining for students how clicker cheating violates academic honor codes, Mr. Bruff says, universities can clarify the situation for students and bolster professors’ positions. “The instructor can point to the honor code—the university has decided that this counts as cheating, so it’s not just me being a tough guy. It’s that this is commonly accepted as inappropriate,” he says.

That kind of clarity works, says Mr. Duncan. At Boulder, the student-enforced honor code takes a strong stance against all forms of cheating. It’s one reason that, since the first physics class he watched, he has used clickers for nearly a decade and has caught students cheating only twice.

“You need to make very, very clear with the students,” he says, “what is considered legitimate.”

via Cheating Is Now Only a Click Away, So Professors Reduce Incentive – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

9/11, natural disasters/acts of God:  I agree the impact can be far worse and more widespread … but intentional acts of terrorists have a very different psychological impact on our nation than natural disasters.  Does it change how we feel when we refer to natural disasters as “acts of God”?

Paul Stockton, the Pentagon’s point man for security in the homeland, plans for the kind of apocalyptic events that could forever change the lives of millions of Americans. Assistant Secretary of Defense Stockton, a lifelong academic who speaks passionate jargon, calls them “complex catastrophes” with “cascading effects,” and, like Sept. 11, 2001, these new tragedies could have gut–wrenching social and political consequences. Yet the horrors he’s preparing for are far bigger than 9/11: tens of thousands of people killed, the economy devastated, national security gravely compromised. And the terrorist who will be responsible for these atrocities is Mother Nature. Stockton’s yardstick for cataclysms is not “worse than 9/11,” it is “disasters even more severe than Hurricane Katrina.”

via Time to Brace for the Next 9/11 – The Daily Beast.

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), US House of Representatives , politics:  Just read the whole thing …

The reason is that Cooper is the House’s conscience, a lonely voice for civility in this ugly era. He remembers when compromise was not a dirty word and politicians put country ahead of party. And he’s not afraid to talk about it. “We’ve gone from Brigadoon to Lord of the Flies,” he likes to say.

I first heard him lament the state of Congress during one of those “get Elizabeth Warren” hearings held earlier this year. When it was Cooper’s turn to question her, he turned instead to the Republicans. “This Congress is viewed as dysfunctional,” he said, “and this alleged hearing is one of the reasons why. It too easily degenerates into a partisan food fight.” He pleaded with the junior members to change their mean-spirited ways before they became ingrained.

With Congress back in session this week — and the mean-spirited wrangling about to begin anew — I thought it would be useful to ask Cooper how Congress became so dysfunctional. His answer surprised me. He said almost nothing about the Tea Party. Instead, he focused on the internal dynamics of Congress itself.

To Cooper, the true villain is not the Tea Party; it’s Newt Gingrich. In the 1980s, when Tip O’Neill was speaker of the House, “Congress was functional,” Cooper told me. “Committees worked. Tip saw his role as speaker of the whole House, not just the Democrats.”

via The Last Moderate – NYTimes.com.

home economics, science, education, health, kith/kin, St. Anne’s Diocesan College (Hilton SA):  Molly took home ec in SA. She said it was fun and more like science.  As a matter of fact she learned some of the same information that she learned in her AP bio class and learned to cook a few things.

Today we remember only the stereotypes about home economics, while forgetting the movement’s crucial lessons on healthy eating and cooking.

Too many Americans simply don’t know how to cook. Our diets, consisting of highly processed foods made cheaply outside the home thanks to subsidized corn and soy, have contributed to an enormous health crisis. More than half of all adults and more than a third of all children are overweight or obese. Chronic diseases associated with weight gain, like heart disease and diabetes, are hobbling more and more Americans.

In the last decade, many cities and states have tried — and generally failed — to tax junk food or to ban the use of food stamps to buy soda. Clearly, many people are leery of any governmental steps to promote healthy eating; Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity has inspired right-wing panic about a secret food police.

But what if the government put the tools of obesity prevention in the hands of children themselves, by teaching them how to cook?

My first brush with home economics, as a seventh grader in a North Carolina public school two decades ago, was grim. The most sophisticated cooking we did was opening a can of pre-made biscuit dough, sticking our thumbs in the center of each raw biscuit to make a hole, and then handing them over to the teacher, who dipped them in hot grease to make doughnuts.

Cooking classes for public school students need not be so utterly stripped of content, or so cynical about students’ abilities to cook and enjoy high-quality food.

A year later, my father’s job took our family to Wales, where I attended, for a few months, a large school in a mid-size industrial city. There, students brought ingredients from home and learned to follow recipes, some simple and some not-so-simple, eventually making vegetable soups and meat and potato pies from scratch. It was the first time I had ever really cooked anything. I remember that it was fun, and with an instructor standing by, it wasn’t hard. Those were deeply empowering lessons, ones that stuck with me when I first started cooking for myself in earnest after college.

In the midst of contracting school budgets and test-oriented curricula, the idea of reviving home economics as part of a broad offensive against obesity might sound outlandish. But teaching cooking — real cooking — in public schools could help address a host of problems facing Americans today. The history of home economics shows it’s possible.

via Revive Home Economics Classes to Fight Obesity – NYTimes.com.




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