Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Curry

18
Feb
14

2.18.14 … salt and sochi … It was a dark and stormy night …

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

Rachel Ries, Urban-Rural Split,  Ghost of a Gardener, NPR:  Really good NPR segment from Sunday.

Sometimes you need to get away from the thing you love. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to singer Rachel Ries about her new album, Ghost of a Gardener, which she produced after taking a couple years off from music.

via Rachel Ries’ Album Reflects Her Urban-Rural Split : NPR.

via ▶ Rachel Ries ‘Mercy’ – YouTube.

Humans of New York,  Susie’s Senior Dogs:  Loved this …

I’ve got to tell you guys about all the amazing things happening over at Susie’s Senior Dogs. So we started this page on a whim last week, for the purpose of placing old dogs in new homes. (And by we, I mean 95% my girlfriend, and 5% me– let’s be honest.) Nearly 100,000 people “liked” the page in 24 hours.

We’ve posted about 11 dogs so far, and 6 of them have been adopted– from all over the country. It’s just been an incredible success. Almost all of these dogs were ten years or older, and many of them had been in shelters for a long time. Check out these pictures of the pups in their new homes. Remember, these guys were sleeping in cages just last week.

From Left to Right: Nina (13), Fancy (12), and Max (10).

A Wrinkle in Time, favorites:  A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite book of my early reading life. Truly started me on my love of reading path.

Photo: Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L'Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans. </p><br /> <p>To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time</p><br /> <p>To check out the graphic novel adaptation, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-the-graphic-novel</p><br /> <p>To view Out of Print's t-shirt for teens and adults featuring artwork from the novel's first edition 1962 cover, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time-t-shirt </p><br /> <p>And, to view the 5-book box set of The Wrinkle In Time Quintet, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/the-wrinkle-in-time-quintet-box-set

“It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.”

Happy 52nd anniversary to the beloved Mighty Girl classic A Wrinkle in Time! Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel about the adventures in space and time of Meg Murray, her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin has been capturing the imaginations of young readers for generations. In recent years, the novel has also appeared in new forms including a wonderful graphic novel adaptation and on a t-shirt for teen and adult fans.

To learn more about the original novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/a-wrinkle-in-time

Winnie-the-Pooh, favorites:  And another favorite …

“And then, all of a sudden, Winnie-the-Pooh stopped again, and licked the tip of his nose in a cooling manner, for he was feeling more hot and anxious than ever in his life before.”

On February 13, 1924, Punch magazine published a short poem titled “Teddy Bear” by Alan Alexander Milne, one of the magazine’s editors and a frequent contributor. The poem, inspired by the stuffed teddy bear so dearly beloved by Milne’s four-year-old son Christopher Robin, was included in Milne’s collection of children’s verses, When We Were Very Young, illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard and published later that year. But the bear’s very first appearance in Punch was the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh, which Milne released two years later and which went on to become one of the most timeless children’s books ever written.

In the summer of 1929, the Dominion Gramophone Company set out to capture prominent British authors reading from their work. In this rare recording, Milne reads the third chapter of his classic, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle,” made all the more delightful by his enchantingly melodic voice — please enjoy:

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/a-a-milne-reads-from-winnie-the-pooh

via Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh: A Rare 1929 Recording of A.A. Milne Reading from His Beloved Book | Brain Pickings.

 Buckhead’s  Beltline,  Path400, Parks & Recreation, Curbed Atlanta, multi-use trail:  Another multi-use trail!

DSC_0442-thumb.JPG

Great news for multi-use trail zealots: The first phase of PATH400, a Beltlineian trail that will wend for 5.2 miles through Buckhead parallel to Ga. 400, is set to break ground Feb. 17. Officials are hoping the path will lend Buckhead the same sense of interconnectedness the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has provided neighborhoods east of downtown and Midtown. “PATH400 will be a tremendous asset,” Jim Durrett, executive director of Buckhead CID, said in a press release. “Our community will enjoy new pedestrian access to schools and the local business district, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a greater sense of connectedness. It’s a wise investment for Buckhead.” PATH400’s first phase will be a half-mile stretch from Lenox Road at Tower Place up to Old Ivy Road. Extensions could soon follow.

via Buckhead’s Answer To Beltline Will Break Ground This Month – Parks & Recreation – Curbed Atlanta.

Worth your time …, Molly Wilmer Barker:  Loved this post!

With the recent drug overdose of Philip Seymour, comes up (again) the age-old conversation about whether addition and abuse of drugs and alcohol is the result of a disease or just a really bad habit to overcome…I’ve got a thought that is somewhat unrelated to either, but perhaps worth considering.

Addicts and Alcoholics, with a few years of good, grounded sobriety under their belt, are some of the absolute coolest people on the planet. They have an outlook that carries with it a good dose of humility. Many have been to the depths of their own darkest despair and, through a variety of ways, climbed out, up, through or over, whatever beliefs, obstacles, brain chemistry that bound them to a behavior that dimmed the bold, light-filled people they really are.

The addicts and alcoholics I know…who live daily expressing the humility and gratitude their recovery brings…are also some of the most creative souls on the planet.

One in four people are affected by addiction…either in their own lives or in the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances.

Today, rather than debate the best route to recovery/treatment, I will hold those still suffering…in this space…a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there is hope.

via Molly Wilmer Barker.

 “Le Tricorne”, Picasso: Tapestry travesty.

Most people agree that the fate of “Le Tricorne” rests squarely in Mr. Rosen’s hands. The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

via At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry Hangs on the Edge of Eviction – NYTimes.com.

Stephen Curry,  Bay Area Warriors, Davidson College, CharlotteObserver.com:

Marsten said it’s telling that every Warriors fan seems to know Curry went to Davidson, the small, academically elite college north of Charlotte.

“He’s very proud of his roots, very proud of Davidson. Warriors fans understand about that,” Marsten said. “If you asked them where (Warriors forward) David Lee played, I don’t know that they’d know. And he won two national championships at Florida.”

This works because it’s not an “image.” It’s who Dell and Sonya Curry raised their three kids to be.

via Stephen Curry loves the Bay Area and the Bay Area sure loves him back | CharlotteObserver.com.

Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations, lists, CNN.com:  Very fun!

But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there\’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.

via Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations – CNN.com.

Passing on body hatred, Essential Mums:  A good lesson …

But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”

At first I didn’t understand what you meant.

”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.”

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.

2. Fat is ugly and horrible.

3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

via Passing on body hatred | Essential Mums.

Paris,  Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris,  Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic:  Very cool!

Anyone who wants to make a swimming pool out of an abandoned metro station neglected for 75 years, has definitely got my attention. The ghosts of the Parisian underground could soon be resurrected if city voters play their cards right in the upcoming mayoral elections. Promising candidate, Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet, who would become the first female to ever hold the post in the capital, has released the first sketches of her plans to reclaim the city of light’s abandoned stations.

via Metro Makeovers for the Abandoned Stations of Paris | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy

GI Joe, Yahoo News, kith/kin: I always liked to play with my brother’s dolls … and now they are 50. Makes me feel old.

The birthday of what’s called the world’s first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toy maker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well.

Since Hasbro brought it to the world’s attention at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes, some the result of shifts in public sentiment for military-themed toys, others dictated by the marketplace.

via GI Joe, the world’s first action figure, turns 50 – Yahoo News.

Nathan Edmondson, alphacomics, @nathanedmondson: I love being able to claim a connection to a graphic artist writer … Second cousin once removed.

Embedded image permalink

Written by @nathanedmondson both Black Widow and Punisher are new tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/OZ2zsKvYEI

via Twitter / alphacomics: Written by @nathanedmondson ….

Future of Transportation, The Atlantic Cities:  world without car ownership …

If connected vehicle technology becomes mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, the most obvious benefit would be safety. Cars that can tell other cars their speed and position are far less likely to crash. But as David Zax pointed out at Cities earlier this week, that’s just the beginning. Combine connected vehicle technology with intelligent infrastructure and driverless cars and you get a commute that’s both quicker and hands-free. You could even rely on autonomous taxis to chauffeur you from home to work.

In that sense, a world without car crashes may just be the first step to a world without car-ownership.

via Imagine: A World Where Nobody Owns Their Own Car – Eric Jaffe – The Atlantic Cities.

google doodles, Harriet Tubman

Musée Nissim de Camondo,  Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds: Donna Morris took us to Musée Nissim de Camondo … opened up a whole world of interesting historical research!

Richard Harbus for The New York Times

The Musée Nissim de Camondo boasts one of the great collections of 18th-century decorative arts.

It also holds a tragic story. When Camondo died in 1935, he left his mansion and collections to France’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His only condition was that the house be turned into a museum and named after his son, Nissim, who died as a combat pilot for France in World War I.

The family felt protected when the Nazis occupied France. A marble plaque at the entrance to the house states otherwise. It announces that Camondo’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, his last descendants, were deported by the Germans between 1943 and 1944. They died at Auschwitz.

The French government kept its word, turning the house into a museum and naming it after Camondo’s son.

via Letter From France | How to Visit Some of Paris’s Finest Museums but Skip the Crowds.

Martin Luther, history:  Today is the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.  He was one interesting guy.  Among other things, he introduced congregational singing of hymns …

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. The Emperor Charles V summoned him to the meeting of the Imperial Diet at Worms. There Luther resisted all efforts to make him recant, insisting that he had to be proved in error on the basis of Scripture. The Diet passed an edict calling for the arrest of Luther. Luther’s own prince, the Elector Frederick of Saxony, however, had him spirited away and placed for safekeeping in his castle, the Wartburg.

Here Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

via February 18: Martin Luther, Theologian, 1546 | Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.

16
May
13

5.16.13 … we loved him first …

Stephen Curry, Davidson College, Davidson Basketball:  We loved him first.  Even the old alums knew he was Davidson material.  🙂

Stephen Curry is the hottest thing in the NBA this postseason. But as he steals hearts around the nation, a tiny college town north of Charlotte wants you to know: Davidson loved him first.

“I did not like him ’cause he always beat us,” Reigel tells me. But Curry and his teammates at Davidson, “were great from the moment I stepped on campus.”

Like most people, I was skeptical, too. He’s too good to be true, I often thought. But I’ve tried to find flaws in Curry for nearly six years, and I still can’t. For this story, I went to Thompson and our other teammates Monica Payne and Julia Paquette, all 2010 Davidson grads and close friends of Curry’s since they were freshmen. Payne recounted an incident during finals their junior year when she and Paquette spread out all their materials to study in a classroom in Chambers, the main academic building. At one point they went to the student union for a snack. They came back to an empty room and a note on the whiteboard saying their stuff had been “kidnapped.” The note included a math problem that was supposed to help them solve the mystery. According to Payne, though, the numbers “didn’t add up to anything that made sense.” The women finally found everything in a classroom down the hall. There, they looked out the window and spotted Curry and teammate Steve Rossiter on their bikes.

“He’s such a good guy that the pranks are always so harmless,” Biggers says, laughing. She recalls one occasion when everyone in the sports information office left it briefly, and Curry and Rossiter put everyone’s chairs on top of their desks and scattered media guides and papers on the floor.

Davidson grad and writer Michael Kruse, author of the book Taking the Shot: The Davidson Basketball Moment, posed a key question in the November 2008 issue of Charlotte magazine: “Can Stephen stay Stephen?”

Almost five years later, people close to Steph don’t hesitate to answer with a resounding yes.

via Stephen Curry.

01
Mar
13

3.1.13 … today’s mantra … make stacks purposeful … 3d printing …

housekeeping, clutter, House Beautiful:  today’s mantra … make stacks purposeful …

Make Stacks Purposeful

Making a neat pile of books and magazines will bring order to a coffee table in a matter of minutes. For this Hamptons home, designer David Lawrence created a sophisticated tabletop display by placing flowers and candles atop the books. The fabric on the sofa is Vizir in Indigo from Old World Weavers. Throw pillows by Ralph Lauren.

via How To Clean House Fast – Organizing And Cleaning Clutter Tips – House Beautiful.

3D Printing, innovation, cutting edge, PBS – YouTube:  Again, make stacks purposeful …

So how about those newfangled three-dee printing machines? I guess they’re a thing. But in all seriousness, PBS Off Book’s overview of the current state of 3D printers and their potential is pretty on target. One worry I have is that 3D printers become synonymous with CNC machines, a category that goes beyond the scope of MakerBots and RepRap machines. 3D printers have a great future, but it’s a whole host of different CNC machines (and those working in concert) that will change the world.

via PBS Off Book on 3D Printing – Tested.

48 Hours, Atlanta, National Geographic Traveler:  As an Atlanta native, I don’t even think about the Aquarium as a must see … maybe i should visit next time I am there …

The world’s largest aquarium, sophisticated restaurants, and an eclectic music scene are but a few of the surprises waiting in this peach of a city.

via 48 Hours in Atlanta – National Geographic Traveler.

Stephen Curry, Warriors, Davidson College, kudos,  YouTube: Kudos to Steph … this video is just fun to watch …

Stephen Curry 54 points vs New York Knicks || HD || (Full Highlights) – YouTube.

Stephen Curry’s career night in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. Curry was 18 of 28 shooting, including 11 of 13 from 3-point range. He also had 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. He became just the 13th player to reach the 50-point mark at the arena. His 54 is the third most points scored by a visiting player in Madison Square Garden since 1968, behind Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

via Stephen Curry 54 points vs New York Knicks || HD || (Full Highlights) – YouTube.

ducks, duck walk,  D.C., random:  heartwarming …

Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Harald Olsen, a Korean translator looking for work — “casualty of the sequester,” he says — thought he was about to go home after having lunch with a friend.

Instead, he and three other people helped escort a family of ten ducks a mile through downtown D.C.

It all started as Olsen was “walking from the World Bank building to the Farragut North Metro station,” he says. “I was heading home after lunch. One benefit of unemployment.”

He was waylaid by a mother duck and her nine ducklings, attracting attention in a park on Pennsylvania Avenue — some admiring attention, and some concern; as Olsen wrote on his Reddit post of the photos, one person called the police, and another called the Humane Society.

But before the arrival of any authorities, the ducks got moving. “Kind of like water flowing downhill, the ducks knew which direction they wanted to go,” says Olsen.

via Ducks Walk Through D.C. With A Four-Person Escort (PHOTOS).

Dr. William Marlin,  Case Western Reserve University, Urbanization and the Detective Novel,  Academic Minute, NPR:  Love this show … but often forget to look it up …

The detective novel grew up with public concerns about  modern, urban life, particularly crime.  But crime as a feature of Western life was not  recognized until the rise of large cities in the early 1800s,  the period when a mass reading public appeared.   The new cities were chaotic, without maps,  police, or even named streets.  New city-dwellers were fascinated by and afraid of crime, they vilified and romanticized criminals, as well as the police who fought them.The first writing on urban crime pretended to be documentary, but it was filled with archetypes and plots from preceding fiction, particularly the gothic novel. The idea of detection and the figure of the detective were introduced in the early nineteenth century by a Frenchman, Francois-Eugene Vidocq.   He had been a soldier, smuggler, convict and stoolie, but he also founded the French  “security services” in 1812.

When Vidocq’s Memoirs were published  in 1828, they were immediately popular and translated into English.  Balzac modeled the character of Vautrin  in Le Pere Goriot on  Vidocq , and Victor Hugo did the same with Jean Valjean in Les Misérables .  In England the interest  in “crime stories” blended with a strong, existing genre called the gothic novel.  Its influence accounts for the dark settings, obscure motives, and  brilliant solutions in the genre.  Vidocq also influenced Charles Dickens, who used detail and character for Great Expectations  In the U. S., Edgar Allan Poe  read both  Dickens and  Vidocq.  Then in five stories between 1840 and 1845,  he then laid out the formal detective story.

via Dr. William Marling, Case Western Reserve University – Urbanization and the Detective Novel | WAMC.

lions, rescuer, heartwarming, YouTube:

Pope Benedict, resignation, end of an era, Twitter:  “Romans …salute” … Just don’t think of “Romans” in contemporary terms … I wonder if I would go to my rooftop and wave?

Rachel Donadio — NYT

@RachelDonadio

Romans stand on rooftops waving flags to salute the pope as he flies by helicopter into retirement. sunny here today. nice weather for it.

“Do Not Be Afraid”, Dr. James Howell,  

St. Fr

ancis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix, YouTube:  “Look carefully how you walk” … “walk intentionally” … A theme of mine this Lenten season … for some reason I saved this one during my non blogging year … seemed a good one to post today. “Do Not Be Afraid” Dr. James Howell – YouTube. And during his sermon he mentioned this prayer …

St. Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart.

Give me right faith, sure hope and perfect charity.

Fill me with understanding and knowledge that I may fulfill your command.

via Friar Jack’s E-spirations: St. Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix.

art, Renaissance art, Africans, The Economist:  Something I never thought about … like yesterday, i never thought about Southern art and the Romantic period …

The exhibition ends on a high note with a four-foot tall, gilded-wood statue of Saint Benedict of Palermo. Benedict was born in Sicily to Ethiopian slaves and freed at the age of 18. He became a Franciscan monk and inspired many with his goodness and equanimity. By the early 17th century Benedict was venerated in Italy, Spain and Latin America. He is the patron saint of African-Americans, and churches devoted to his name can be found as far afield as Buenos Aires, Bahía and the Bronx.

Thanks to research that continues to be done by historians and curators such as Ms Spicer, we now know that some of these freed Africans became bakers and gondoliers, mattress makers and courtiers. A few more have been named. However, much still remains to be discovered. Research into the lives of Africans in Renaissance Europe is not finished; in fact, it is only just beginning.

via Africans in the Renaissance: Hue were they? | The Economist.

01
Mar
13

2.28.13 … No matter our age, it seems we are all a little bit scared of the dark …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church:

First, I was scared that the labyrinth would not be well lit. It was well lit. What a relief.
Second, I worried it would be too cold.  It was 42 degrees, a perfect temp.
Third, as I drove up the side street,  the view of downtown was phenomenal.  So i walked to the top of the garden hill (with the cross) and snapped a few shots … I don’t think a picture will capture it,  but here it is …
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I heard the water in the fountain rushing and the chimes ringing.
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My shadow was very long.
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Even though I had no reason to be fearful, I  was because it was dark and I was alone.   I found my heart was racing just a little bit and I walked much faster than I usually walk when I walk a labyrinth.
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My feet were sweating in my garden clogs!!
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Beautiful walk in the shadows of the night.

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And as I walked, my thoughts went to the Barbara Brown Taylor lecture I attended last winter … Darkness …

No matter our age, it seems we are all a little bit scared of the dark.

Taylor pointed out, though, that in the original story of creation, it was darkness that provided the backdrop for God’s creation of the light…the story says that darkness covered the face of the deep as God stepped up with God’s divine paintbrush to paint the first stroke; darkness was there as a canvas when God began.

And, recounting stories of a smoky underground jazz club where she worked nights while putting herself through seminary, Taylor pointed out that there is a whole other world that happens after dark, a world that many of us never get to see.

She said we need darkness, not only for the life-giving REM cycles that happen in the dark, but for walking outside under a blanket of stars, far enough away from the big city that we can see clearly the Little Dipper and Cassiopeia and Orion, and in seeing the stars clearly through the darkness can, from time to time, see our own lives with a clarity we were missing before.

We need the darkness, she says.  Without it, we can’t hope to see the light.

via 12 | November | 2012 | Talk With the Preacher.

Peace and grace …

Henri Nouwen:  Loved this one today …

We are afraid of emptiness. Spinoza speaks about our “horror vacui,” our horrendous fear of vacancy. We like to occupy-fill up-every empty time and space. We want to be occupied. And if we are not occupied we easily become preoccupied; that is, we fill the empty spaces before we have even reached them. We fill them with our worries, saying, “But what if …”

It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives. Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen. It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance. God wants to dwell in our emptiness. But as long as we are afraid of God and God’s actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God. Let’s pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love.

via Daily Meditation: Letting Go of Our Fear of God.

Southern art, Romantic Spirits Exhibition, Garden and Gun:

Romantic Spirits, a companion exhibit to the book by the same name, will run from March 7 through May 26 at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. From there, it will travel to the Spartanburg Art Museum in South Carolina and the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.

via Romantic Spirits Exhibition | Garden and Gun.

Jennifer Lawrence,  Oscars Interview,  Jack Nicholson , ABC News:  So what does Jack Nicholson have to  do with anything … I’ll be waiting …

Lawrence had just described her big win: “I feel like I can’t even remember. It’s kind of an insane moment and it was just really exciting. It was really just shocking.  It was the first time I’ve ever felt, like, actual shock.”

Out of nowhere, Nicholson, 75, walked into the interview and said to Lawrence, “You did such a beautiful job. I didn’t mean to cross into your interview but I had to congratulate you.”

“You’re being really rude,” Lawrence, 22, joked after thanking him.

They gushed over each others’ movies and said goodbye.

He exited and the actress shouted, “Oh my God,” putting her hands in her face. “Is he still there?”

“I’ll be waiting,” said Nicholson, who popped his head back into the interview as a surprise.

via Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscars Interview Interrupted by Jack Nicholson – ABC News.

Pope Benedict XVI, Twitter, WSJ.com: Tweets Gone, But Not Forgotten …

Along with his papal authority, Pope Benedict XVI relinquishes his twitter handle. WSJ’s Jason Bellini has the story of his not-infallible tweeting career.

via Video – Pope Benedict XVI’s Tweets Gone, But Not Forgotten – WSJ.com.

NBA records, Davidson College,  Stephen Curry, kudos:  Kudos, Steph!

NEW YORK — Stephen Curry rose for another jumper, and by then even the Knicks probably figured it would go in.

Curry had hardly missed in a scintillating second half of the NBA’s most electric performance this season, the crowd cheering even before the ball left his hands.

Felton’s blocked shot led to J.R. Smith’s tiebreaking basket with 1:10 left, and the Knicks overcame Curry’s NBA season-high 54 points to beat the Golden State Warriors 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Curry was 18 of 28 from the field, finishing one 3-pointer shy of the NBA record with 11 in 13 attempts, in a performance that had the crowd hanging on his every shot. But the Knicks and Felton finally stopped him with 1:28 to play and the score tied at 105.

“My main thing is to keep playing. Like I said, once a guy gets it going like that, there’s nothing I can really do. I’ve still got to stay in my mindset, still play my game, and I was still able to come up with some big plays at the end,” Felton said. “We all came up with some big plays to get that win.”

via Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks – Recap – February 27, 2013 – ESPN.

Lasso, slippers,  Gaspard Tiné-Berès & Ruben Valensi, Kickstarter:  They are so cute!

Each Lasso slipper is made from a single piece of felt, with a leather sole. The flat pattern is shaped simply by sewing the provided lace through the corresponding precut holes. They are delivered flat-packed with laces of your choice and only take a few minutes to assemble.

So we started to look for a manufacturer and found the Sellerie Parisienne, at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges in the Parisian suburbs, a social enterprise that provides work opportunities for people with special needs. It offered all the skills needed to manufacture, package and ship Lasso to the customer. The die was cast! It took a lot more discussions, coffees, pints, sewing and sweat to establish Lasso: a young, social and responsible brand.

Nike must be smacking their corporate heads that they didn’t think of this first. The Lasso Slipper is essentially the simplest concept of a shoe, with sturdy material and a laces holding it all together — much like a pre-sole version of Nike’s Footscape.

via Lasso Slipper: A Flat-Pack Wool-Felt Slipper You Can Assemble Yourself | The Crosby Press – BETA.

Pope Benedict, resignation

BBC News (UK) @BBCNews

Pope on resignation: “I took this step in full awareness of its gravity” but “with profound serenity of spirit”. LIVE

bbc.in/YYiuP6

Chiditarod,  Shopping Cart Race, Chicago’s Urban Iditarod & Epic Food Drive:  Fun …

Dress Up. Cause Chaos. DO GOOD.

Chiditarod Shopping Cart Race

Chiditarod (think Iditarod) is Chicago’s Epic Urban Iditarod. A charity food drive, beauty pageant, costumed shopping cart race, talent show, fundraiser and chaos generator all in one. And probably the world’s largest mobile food drive, benefitting the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

via Chiditarod Shopping Cart Race | Chicago’s Urban Iditarod & Epic Food Drive.

TEDTalks, food:  have I mentioned how much I enjoy TED …

Five of the conference’s most palatable PowerPoints

via TED’s Most Gluttonous – Drink – Thrillist Nation.

Sir Ravi The Juggler, Stanford Student,  Rubik’s Cube, juggling, NPR,  YouTube, random:  very random …

 

Sir Ravi The Juggler – YouTube.

Bowles-Simpson II. The Sequester , Forbes:  We shall see …

Simpson and Bowles, who chaired a 2010 White House deficit reduction panel, presented a broad framework aimed at reducing the debt to “below” 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 10 years. The debt/GDP ratio has become a favorite new target for both Democrats and Republicans though, naturally, they disagree on what it should be.

Many Democrats and some progressives want to aim for about 73 percent of GDP, which is what it is today. Many Republicans and other deficit hawks are shooting for about 60 percent, which was the upper bound of member state deficits set by the creators of the Eurozone (not that it’s done them much good). For context, the Congressional Budget Office figures that under the most likely fiscal scenario, th

via Bowles-Simpson II: A New Plan To Avoid The Sequester – Forbes.

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Oct
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10.2.2011 … I just saw regular unleaded gasoline for $2.92 in Spartanburg South Carolina … Mamma’ s birthday #85 has been celebrated and it was a grand event …

kith/kin: Mamma’ s birthday #85 has been celebrated and it was a grand event.  Prime at Lenox Square was a great choice.  Great to be with the siblings and my wonderful eighty-something mom.  She has the best mind I know.  And we did not discuss the Braves.

gasoline prices, travel: I just saw regular unleaded gasoline for $2.92 in Spartanburg South Carolina.

Occupy Wall Street Movement, bankers v. revolutionaries, Wall Street v. Main Street:  I hard on NPR that this movement was the liberal’s tea party before it gt politicized.

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has taken over a park in Manhattan’s financial district and turned it into a revolutionary camp. Hundreds of young people chant slogans against “banksters” or corporate tycoons. Occasionally, a few even pull off their clothes, which always draws news cameras.

“Occupy Wall Street” was initially treated as a joke, but after a couple of weeks it’s gaining traction. The crowds are still tiny by protest standards — mostly in the hundreds, swelling during periodic marches — but similar occupations are bubbling up in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. David Paterson, the former New York governor, dropped by, and labor unions are lending increasing support.

I tweeted that the protest reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and that raised eyebrows. True, no bullets are whizzing around, and the movement won’t unseat any dictators. But there is the same cohort of alienated young people, and the same savvy use of Twitter and other social media to recruit more participants. Most of all, there’s a similar tide of youthful frustration with a political and economic system that protesters regard as broken, corrupt, unresponsive and unaccountable.

“This was absolutely inspired by Tahrir Square, by the Arab Spring movement,” said Tyler Combelic, 27, a Web designer from Brooklyn who is a spokesman for the occupiers. “Enough is enough!”

via The Bankers and the Revolutionaries – NYTimes.com.

Anwar al Awlaki, justified killing, war on terror, slippery slopes:  This killing of  a US citizen is going to be debated … “due process in war.”

Anwar al Awlaki’s rise from American-born cleric to key terror plotter had put him atop the U.S. terror “hit list.” Under the code name Objective Troy, intelligence tracked Awlaki for months near his hideout in Yemen.

Early Friday, a CIA drone found its target.

The Washington Post reports that a secret Justice Department memo sanctioned the killing of Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who became an al Qaeda propagandist and operational leader.

The document followed a review by senior administration lawyers of the legal issues raised by the lethal targeting of a U.S. citizen. Administration officials told the Post that there was no dissent about the legality of the killing.

The administration has faced criticism – and a legal challenge – over its targeting of Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents. The memorandum may represent an attempt to resolve a legal debate over whether a U.S. president can order the killing of American citizens.

With regard to the killing as a counter-terrorism measure, the memo deems, in the words of one officials, “due process in war.”

The killing of a U.S. jihadist

“The administration has tried to make very clear that this was an act of self-defense, that Awlaki was part of not only al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, but he was the external operations chief. He was ongoing in his plotting against American citizens – not only having done so in the past, but continuing to do so in an imminent way,” said CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate.

“So based on the rules of self-defense, based on the principles that we’re at war with al Qaeda and the fact that he was a part of the group, self-professed, all of that suggests that it’s lawful and appropriate to go after him and to kill him,” Zarate said.

When asked if the drone attack against a U.S. citizen – in effect, execution without trial – sets a precedent, Zarate said, “It’s a good question – you run the risk of a slippery slope here. I think people are asking very appropriate questions about what the limits of the government’s power can be in terms of going after Americans who are part of al Qaeda, and we’ve seen in the recent past that Americans have formed more and more part of the al Qaeda network – not just Anwar al-Awlaki, but others. There are important questions to ask about what the process is and what the procedures are to determine who is an imminent danger to the United States.”

via Justice memo authorized killing of Al-Awlaki – CBS News.

Former President Bill Clinton, President Obama, history:  They always say history repeats itself.  I am amazed how Bill Clinton seems to keep himself in the press. … “vigorous defense of President Barack Obama against what he calls the same anti-government stance he faced during his campaign and presidency.”

Bill Clinton is using the 20th anniversary of the launch of his presidential bid to offer a vigorous defense of President Barack Obama against what he calls the same anti-government stance he faced during his campaign and presidency.

Clinton told a crowd of about 5,000 people gathered outside the Old State House Museum in downtown Little Rock that Obama faces a different set of challenges than he did in 1992. But Clinton says Obama faces the same debate over the role of government.

Clinton spoke at an event marking the anniversary of his 1991 announcement that he’d run for president. He told the crowd that he decided to run because he believed the country needed a new kind of politics and a new economics.

via Clinton: Obama faces same debate from ’92 bid – CBS News.

Groupon, deal sites, marketing:   “Fading allure?”

Shopping coupons have a long history, and they will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in local merchants’ efforts to attract customers. But what has become apparent is a basic contradiction at the heart of the daily deals industry on the Internet.

The consumers were being told: You will never pay full price again. The merchants were hearing: You are going to get new customers who will stick around and pay full price. Disappointment was inevitable.

Some entrepreneurs are questioning the entire premise of the industry. Jasper Malcolmson, co-founder of the deal site Bloomspot, compares the basic deal offer with lenders’ marketing subprime loans during the housing boom.

Even worse from the merchants’ point of view, the popularity of the coupon sites fed a relentless bargain-hunting mentality among customers that did not use them. “Every day, we get an e-mail or phone call saying, Can we match someone else’s price?” said Ms. Bengel of Wellpath. “We’re not Wal-Mart.”

And the long-term reputation of the merchant may be at risk, according to a new study by researchers at Boston University and Harvard that analyzed thousands of Groupon and Living Social deals. The researchers found that fans of daily deals were on average hard to please. After they ate at the restaurant or visited the spa, they went on Yelp and grumbled about it. This pulled down the average Yelp rating by as much as half a point.

“Offering a Groupon puts a merchant’s reputation at risk,” said John Byers, a professor of computer science at Boston University who worked on the project. “The audience being reached may be more critical,” he said, “than their typical audience or have a more tenuous fit with the merchant.”

Even Amazon, the retailing juggernaut, has found quick riches are elusive. Its response in New York has been tepid. A subscription to The New York Observer had 84 takers, as did a “Sex and the City” tour. A Latin cooking class attracted 61 people, an Asian bistro 109.

Kevin Walters, manager of the Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Club on Third Avenue in Manhattan, said he was “very, very surprised” to sell only 77 deals through Amazon. “It should have been huge,” he said. Amazon declined to comment.

Despite the lackluster response, Mr. Walters will probably try another coupon. “I’m in East Harlem,” he said. “If the rest of the economy is shaky, then East Harlem is depressed. One way or another, I need to get people here.”

via Deal Sites Have Fading Allure for Merchants – NYTimes.com.

John F. Kennedy, Cold War, bomb shelters, Peanut Island, FL, history: I have toured the shelter for Congress at the Greenbriar and it was very interesting.  If I were nearby, i would probably go see this one.

President John F. Kennedy, who was facing a series of nail-biting face-offs with the Soviets, even recommended a fallout shelter for all Americans “as rapidly as possible” in an October 1961 speech. Two months later, Kennedy was presented with his own top-secret tropical bomb shelter off Palm Beach, Fla., on an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.

Few even know it is here, but some area residents believe that the bunker is a must-see attraction that could put Peanut Island, a manmade islet, on the map.

Termed the “Detachment Hotel” in documents, the fallout shelter here was built by Navy Seabees in less than two weeks at the end of December 1961 and sits a short stroll from a rambling colonial-style house that doubled as a United States Coast Guard station. Deftly camouflaged by trees, it was hard to spot. If people asked, they would be told it was a munitions depot, nothing more. Kennedy visited the bunker twice during a drill.

“The government never declared it existed until 1974,” said Anthony Miller, a member of the executive board of the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, a nonprofit organization that leases part of the land on Peanut Island and runs a charter school and gives tours of the bunker and the former Coast Guard station. “But it was the worst-kept secret in Palm Beach.”

With the Soviets intent on shipping nuclear warheads to nearby Cuba, Kennedy was assured a radiation-proof haven a mere five-minute helicopter hop from his oceanfront winter home on millionaire’s row in Palm Beach. Peanut Island sits just between Palm Beach and its ritzy companion, Singer Island. It was intended to be used as a terminal for shipping peanut oil; that never happened, but the name stuck.

To ensure the president’s safety during the summer, when he visited the Kennedy compound on Hyannis Port, Mass., a sister shelter was built on Nantucket Island in 1961; it has never been open to the public.

The Florida bunker, which fell into disrepair in the 1990s, was cleaned up and has been open for tours since 1999, shortly after the museum leased the land. Buried under layers of concrete and built with quarter-inch-thick walls of steel and lead, the bunker looks like something out of the television show “Lost.”

via For Kennedy, a Secret Shelter Was a Cold War Camelot – NYTimes.com.

Gov. Mitt Romney, politics, political strategy, 2012 Presidential Election:  Maybe his strategy is to play both sides … and to me closing loopholes seems like a fair way to solve the tax shortfall because loopholes are usually geared to a special interest group.

Much of the business community in Massachusetts was puzzled. Mitt Romney, a Republican with high-caliber corporate credentials, had run for governor pledging to sweep aside barriers to business and act as the state’s “top salesman.”

Gov. Mitt Romney in 2005. By the next year, he was in campaign mode and had scaled back a plan to close tax loopholes.

But just a few months after Mr. Romney took office in 2003, what he delivered seemed anything but friendly to the C.E.O. crowd: a bill to financial firms for what they saw as $110 million in new corporate taxes — and a promise of more to come.

“How could he do this to businesses as a business guy?” Joe Casey, then a top executive at a Massachusetts bank, Seacoast Financial, recalled asking colleagues whose companies had to pay up after the Romney administration closed a tax loophole. “It was very aggressive, and it was a surprise.”

For the next three years, the Romney administration relentlessly scoured the tax code for more loopholes, extracting hundreds of millions of corporate dollars to help close budget gaps in a state with a struggling economy. It was only after Mr. Romney was gearing up in 2005 for a possible White House bid that he backed away from some of his most assertive tax enforcement proposals amid intensifying complaints from local companies and conservative antitax groups in Washington.

Much of the business community in Massachusetts was puzzled. Mitt Romney, a Republican with high-caliber corporate credentials, had run for governor pledging to sweep aside barriers to business and act as the state’s “top salesman.”

Gov. Mitt Romney in 2005. By the next year, he was in campaign mode and had scaled back a plan to close tax loopholes.

But just a few months after Mr. Romney took office in 2003, what he delivered seemed anything but friendly to the C.E.O. crowd: a bill to financial firms for what they saw as $110 million in new corporate taxes — and a promise of more to come.

“How could he do this to businesses as a business guy?” Joe Casey, then a top executive at a Massachusetts bank, Seacoast Financial, recalled asking colleagues whose companies had to pay up after the Romney administration closed a tax loophole. “It was very aggressive, and it was a surprise.”

For the next three years, the Romney administration relentlessly scoured the tax code for more loopholes, extracting hundreds of millions of corporate dollars to help close budget gaps in a state with a struggling economy. It was only after Mr. Romney was gearing up in 2005 for a possible White House bid that he backed away from some of his most assertive tax enforcement proposals amid intensifying complaints from local companies and conservative antitax groups in Washington.

via Romney’s Strategies as Governor Bucked His C.E.O. Image – NYTimes.com.

culture, Great Recession, waste, Halloween:  Halloween used to a home-made holiday … a sheet and a pillowcase … $& Billion???

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans plan to spend $6.9 billion this year for Halloween. To put that number into context, the same NRF survey found that Americans planned to spend $3.3 billion as recently as 2005.

This biggest chunk of this money — $2.5 billion of it — will go to costumes. Of that total, a little more than $300 million will be spent on costumes for pets. We’ll also drop $2 billion on candy and just under that on decorations.

This year isn’t an anomaly, either. Halloween spending did decline in 2009, when it dropped by about $1 billion to $4.8 billion. But by last year, it had bounced back to $5.8 billion.

via Now That’s Creepy: Americans Will Blow $7 Billion on Halloween | Moneyland | TIME.com.

NYT, food, drink, media:  I actually enjoyed this interactive issue and especially this article on food cravings.

This Food and Drink Issue of the magazine — the fourth annual — is full of questions. I have two of my own, and they’re the same questions I’ve been asking myself since I began cooking 40 years ago. How can food change my life? And how can food change the world?

I grew up during a time when the awareness of the quality of food was practically nil. It’s true that in the ’50s and even the ’60s people still cooked, even if much of the food was “convenient,” like Jell-O mold or tuna tetrazzini. It’s also true that pigs were still raised on farms, most vegetables were seasonal and hyperprocessed junk hadn’t yet achieved hegemony. But back then we took the good stuff for granted and never thought it would get anything but better.

The ’70s and ’80s were a more optimistic era, because cooking was in the news and the American food revolution was in full swing. It turned out, though, that it wasn’t a revolution but a civil war. Our side featured good people arguing for real, mostly simple cooking done with fresh, well- raised ingredients, a retreat from convenience and overly fancy stuff and a return to the basics. Arrayed against us in this fight — a struggle for the American palate and ultimately the global diet — was Big Food, spreading like the Blob.

It was hardly a fair fight: we were naïve, optimistic and unprepared, armed with spatulas, good food and journalism. The bad guys had nuclear weapons like scientific marketing and advertising, billions of dollars and, worst of all, government support.

via The Food & Drink Issue – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

But can cravings for sweet or salt or fat be classified as actually, legitimately addictive? The processed-food industry doesn’t much like the A-word, preferring its own coinage: craveability. With financing from the World Sugar Research Organization, whose sponsors include Coca-Cola, the Welsh psychology professor David Benton has argued that food cravings do not meet the technical requirements of addiction. (Among other examples, fasting — the food equivalent of needing a hit — doesn’t result in enhanced cravings.) The American Beverage Association paid for a 2006 review that makes a similar argument about caffeine. While some may ingest the stimulant to suppress withdrawal symptoms, the study declared, caffeine “does no harm to the individual or to society, and its users are not compelled to consume it.”

The junk-food industry may have a point. Dr. Nora D. Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says that drugs can set off brain responses that are far more powerful than those caused by even the most luscious food. On the other hand, she notes, “clearly, processed sugar in certain individuals can produce these compulsive patterns of intake.” The difficulty of trying to kick a food habit, however, is that you can’t just go cold turkey from all food. Still, the best strategy for the afflicted, according to Volkow, is to mimic drug programs and completely avoid foods that cause the most trouble. “Don’t try to limit yourself to two Oreo cookies, because if the reward is very potent, no matter how good your intentions are, you are not going to be able to control it.”

via The Food & Drink Issue – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.

Former President  Bill Clinton, Back to Work, books:   Everybody want in on the solution …

“Back to Work” addresses the subject Mr Obama has been weakest with: job creation. Mr Clinton sounds some classic themes from the 1990s with a bit of fashionable greenery flown in. The private and public sector should be partners, not antagonists: anti-government rhetoric may be good for politics (and TV ratings) but it is bad for policy-making. A modern economy requires a government that is active but smart rather than one that is active but driven by vested interests. But the blurb also promises some “specific recommendations” on how to put people back to work and create new businesses—and even double America’s exports. It is impossible to judge whether this is just flannel or serious argument until the book is released next month. It is also far easier to make recommendations from the comfort of retirement than it is to govern. But a president who presided over America’s Indian summer—a period of sustained growth and disciplined government—should at least have something to say to a new generation of politicians who live in a far stormier time.

via Bill Clinton’s “Back to Work”: Missing Bill | The Economist.

architectural styles, polls: Well, how well do you know your architectural styles?

Colonial-style houses are best-sellers in the Washington area, comprising 40 percent of all home sales in the area.

How do you know if your house is one of those, and why does it matter?

As Susan Straight reports in this week’s Real Estate section, “real estate professionals say that knowing your Colonial from your Federal- and Tudor-style home really matters when it comes to buying and selling. That’s because certain styles are more popular than others, and a home’s style can factor into its resale value, agents say.”

via How well do you know your architectural styles? – Post User Polls – The Washington Post.

street art, websites, lists: From a postsecret tweet: Street Anatomy,   Wooster Collective and  Banksy – Outdoors.

NBA lockout,Stephen Curry, Davidson College:  You go Steph …

It was an awkward moment, that first day of class at history of education, when the professor did a roll call.

“Wendell Curry?”

“Actually, my name is Wardell,” the student replied. “But people call me Stephen.”

And with that, any hope of blending in was also history. The other students, mostly freshmen, stared and pointed because this was not your usual Davidson classmate.

via NBA lockout opens door for Stephen Curry’s education | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

business, management, lists:  The Ten Things Only Bad Managers Say  … this one struck me … most big firms close off access to such sites on the internet.  I agree that if they require you to be accessible 24/7, you should be allowed a little freedom 9-5 in exchange.

I won’t have you on eBay/ESPN/Facebook/etc. while you’re on the clock.

Decent managers have figured out that there is no clock, not for white-collar knowledge workers, anyway. Knowledge workers live, sleep, and eat their jobs. Their e-mail inboxes fill up just as fast after 5:00 p.m. as they do before. Their work is never done, and it’s never going to be done. That’s O.K. Employees get together in the office during the daytime hours to do a lot of the work together, and then they go home and try to live their lives in the small spaces of time remaining. If they need a mental break during the day, they can go on PeopleofWalmart.com or Failblog.org without fear of managerial reprisal. We are not robots. We need to stop and shake off the corporate cobwebs every now and then. If a person is sitting in the corner staring up at the ceiling, you could be watching him daydream—or watching him come up with your next million-dollar product idea. (Or doing both things at once.)

via Ten Things Only Bad Managers Say – BusinessWeek.

bike messengers, culture,  NYC, random:  You never know what you will find …

The scene, more reminiscent of a garage-band festival than a bicycle event, captured the spirit of the East Coast Messenger Stage Race, Mr. Horse’s hastily arranged, informal competition for a small group of hardy riders — mostly bicycle messengers — from across the country. The five-day race, through a tangled network of roads from Boston to Washington, was the latest project for Mr. Horse, a competitive cyclist and bike advocate who has emerged in recent years as one of the best-known figures in the city’s brigade of professional messengers.

Mr. Horse, 29, has raced against a sport utility vehicle from Harlem to Brooklyn in a Web advertisement for Mercedes-Benz, worked as a producer and cameraman on a reality series about bicycle messengers for the Travel Channel and performed stunts for more than two months for “Premium Rush,” a bike-centered action movie to be released next year. He has won national and international messenger competitions, as well as sponsorship deals with Red Bull, Oakley sunglasses and the urban bike-wear company Outlier.

But there is a paradox at work here: just as corporate brands and Hollywood try to harness the increasing visibility of urban cycling through its most recognizable character, the grease-grizzled New York City messenger, that subculture is dwindling in the face of higher-tech competition.

The contradictions don’t end there — what kind of grunt job garners brand sponsorships? — but such is the changing state of the messenger’s role as it has morphed from job to lifestyle. The Stage Race, too, is more about messengering as a rugged cowboy ideal than as an efficient way to shuttle important documents between corporate offices. Surely, few — if any — have sent a package from Boston to Washington by bicycle.

Amid this shift, Mr. Horse has become a symbol for a group that prides itself on standing apart.

via The Bike Messenger Goes Hollywood as a Culture Dwindles – NYTimes.com.

David Gerbi – “revolutionary Jew”,  Libya, synagogue, post- Arab Spring, restoration, history: “What Qaddafi tried to do is to eliminate the memory of us. He tried to eliminate the amazing language. He tried to eliminate the religion of the Jewish people,” said Gerbi, whose family fled to Italy when he was 12. “I want bring our legacy back, I want to give a chance to the Jewish of Libya to come back.”

David Gerbi is a 56-year-old psychoanalyst, but to Libyan rebels he was the “revolutionary Jew.” He returned to his homeland after 44 years in exile to help oust Muammar Qaddafi, and to take on what may be an even more challenging mission.

That job began Sunday, when he took a sledgehammer to a concrete wall. Behind it: the door to Tripoli’s crumbling main synagogue, unused since Qaddafi expelled Libya’s small Jewish community early in his decades-long rule.

Gerbi knocked down the wall, said a prayer and cried.

“What Qaddafi tried to do is to eliminate the memory of us. He tried to eliminate the amazing language. He tried to eliminate the religion of the Jewish people,” said Gerbi, whose family fled to Italy when he was 12. “I want bring our legacy back, I want to give a chance to the Jewish of Libya to come back.”

The Star of David is still visible inside and outside the peach-colored Dar al-Bishi synagogue in Tripoli’s walled Old City. An empty ark where Torah scrolls were once kept still reads “Shema Israel” — “Hear, O Israel” — in faded Hebrew. But graffiti is painted on the walls, and the floor and upper chambers are covered in garbage — plastic water bottles, clothes, mattresses, drug paraphernalia and dead pigeon carcasses.

via Libyan “revolutionary Jew” to restore synagogue – CBS News.

cities, urban development, homebuilding, suburbs:  Very interest article about homebuilding and what need to happen with the next generation of homes…

While we obsess over the new in terms of what we keep in our houses — the ever-increasing speed and functionality of our Smartphones, entertainment options built into refrigerators, sophisticated devices that monitor, analyze and report on our sleep cycles, even the superior technology of the running shoes we put on before heading out the flimsy fiberboard door — we’re incredibly undemanding of the houses themselves. These continue to be built the same way they have for over a century, and usually not as well. Walls and windows are thin, materials cheap, design (and I use the term loosely) not well-considered. The building process is a protracted affair, taking far too long and creating embarrassing amounts of building waste (over 50 percent of all waste produced in the United States, in fact).

Then there’s a company like Blu Homes, which has demonstrated a clear commitment to merging housing and high tech — to the tune of a $25 million investment, in fact. They recognized the tremendous inefficiencies in home-building and have developed 3D technology that allows for personal customization (clients can click a mouse to alter floor plans, choose green features and select finishes), as well as a proprietary building process and innovative steel-framing technology that allows their homes, as their Web site explains, “to be built to the highest aesthetic and environmental standards and be delivered quickly and economically nationwide.”

But following a long line of V.C. types dabbling in housing, Blu has set its sights on a small slice of an already niche market — high-end modern prefab, which accounts for maybe half of a percent of the less than 5 percent of architect-designed homes in the country. Devoting this much R&D and software development to so few homes feels akin to installing a $250,000 solar array on a garden shed. Why not devote that energy to transforming cookie-cutter developer homes?

Chang writes, “The disconnection between the rising diversity of housing needs and the monotony of housing production speaks to the tenacity of the postwar American dream — the enduring allure of the detached house with front lawn and backyard patio — as well as to the profitability of catering to these aspirations.”

Chang sees this moment — with millions of houses now in foreclosure, many deteriorating or abandoned — as one to seize, and I couldn’t agree more. It is possible, he considers, that once the economy revives we will simply return to home-building-as-usual:

But right now we have an opportunity to rethink suburban housing: to make it responsive not to dated demographics and wishful economics but rather to the actual needs of a diversifying and dynamic population — not only to the so-called traditional households but also to the growing ranks of those who prefer to rent rather than buy, who either can’t afford or don’t want a 2,000-square-foot-plus detached house, who are retired and living on fixed incomes and maybe driving less, who want granny or nanny flats, who want to pay less for utilities and reduce their carbon footprint, and so on.

Housing can’t be equated with high-tech: a home is, or was, a long-term investment not beholden to the dizzying speeds of change and innovation that drive say, Apple, which must continually reinvent and redefine its product to meet consumer demand. But housing is woefully behind the times, and now it needs to see opportunity in crisis, not wait it out by launching pop-up shops and interactive Web sites that empower consumers to such revolutionary things as customizing bathroom tile and kitchen backsplashes.

We’re beyond the point of a fresh coat of paint and a new sales pitch. If we’re going to continue to hold on to the single-family home, we need to transform it. There is a demand for smaller, more energy-efficient homes in less car-dependent neighborhoods; all aspects of the industry, from designers to lenders to planners to consumers, should meet it. In this era of anti-government fervor, subsidizing the American Dream isn’t an option; transforming it is the only one we’ve got.

via Shifting the Suburban Paradigm – NYTimes.com.

cities, photo gallery:  Great photo gallery/slide show of a city and its geometry, as seen from above … unfortunately I can’t pull the pictures.

“New York reveals itself only at a certain height, a certain distance, a certain speed!” Jean-Paul Sartre wrote a half-century ago, before the city grew even higher. The ideal perch, Sartre suggested, is not at the pedestrian’s height, distance or speed, but in the sky. Here, benches and mounds of shrubbery combine to form an urban oasis of curlicues, now being redesigned, at the Jacob K. Javits Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

via City Geometry, Seen From Above – Slide Show – NYTimes.com.

Supreme Court , 2011 term, criminal cases,  First Amendment cases:  It will be an interesting year.

“The docket seems to be changing,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told reporters at a judicial conference in August.

“A lot of big civil cases are going to arbitration,” he said. “I don’t see as many of the big civil cases.”

Still, the shift in focus toward criminal and First Amendment cases will soon be obscured if, as expected, the justices agree to hear a challenge to the 2010 health care overhaul law. That case promises to be a once-in-a-generation blockbuster.

In the meantime, the justices will hear an extraordinary set of cases that together amount to a project that could overhaul almost every part of the criminal justice system.

The court will decide whether the police need a warrant to use advanced technology to track suspects, whether jails may strip-search people arrested for even the most minor offenses, whether defendants have a right to competent lawyers to help them decide whether to plead guilty, when eyewitness evidence may be used at trial, and what should happen when prosecutors withhold evidence.

“The Supreme Court has positioned itself to improve the quality of the criminal justice process from beginning to end,” said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University.

The court will continue its intense engagement with the First Amendment. But where earlier cases involved quirky issues like dog fights, funeral protests and the Seven Aphorisms of a fringe church called Summum, the marquee First Amendment cases this term involve issues of sweep and consequence.

In one, the court will rule on whether the government may ban swearing and nudity on broadcast television. In another, the justices will decide for the first time whether there is a “ministerial exception” to employment laws that allows religious institutions to discriminate in ways others employers cannot.

The health care case is not the only juggernaut looming on the horizon. In the next term or two, the court may well address same-sex marriage, affirmative action and illegal immigration. For now, the justices are focused on criminal cases, especially ones concerning the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a fair trial.

via Supreme Court Turns to Criminal and First Amendment Cases – NYTimes.com.

Google, advertising, developing countries, Global economy, internet access, corporate social responsibility, India:  OK, Google doe they need internet access before clean water, medicine, healthy supply of food?

LIKE the travelling fairs that still roam India, a snazzy white bus trundles along the subcontinent’s B-roads, stopping in small towns for a few days at a time and inviting locals into another world. But in place of tightrope-walking girls and performing monkeys, its main attraction is access to the internet. For some visitors, it is their first time online.

The Google Internet bus is a free, mobile cybercafe dreamed up by the search giant and run in association with BSNL, a large state-owned internet service provider (ISP). It has covered over 43,000km and passed through 120 towns in 11 states since it hit the road on February 3rd, 2009. Google estimates that 1.6m people have been offered their first online experience as a result. Of those, 100,000 have signed up for an internet connection of their own. Like a high-school drug dealer, though admittedly less nefarious, the idea is to hook them young and keep them coming back. In return for its efforts, Google says it gains a better understanding of their needs. That, in turn, lets it develop products for the potentially huge local market.

via Internet in developing countries: Hailing the Google bus | The Economist.

iPhone, psychology, love, addiction:  OK, I love my iPhone, literally.

WITH Apple widely expected to release its iPhone 5 on Tuesday, Apple addicts across the world are getting ready for their latest fix.

But should we really characterize the intense consumer devotion to the iPhone as an addiction? A recent experiment that I carried out using neuroimaging technology suggests that drug-related terms like “addiction” and “fix” aren’t as scientifically accurate as a word we use to describe our most cherished personal relationships. That word is “love.”

As a branding consultant, I have followed Apple from its early days as a cult brand to its position today as one of the most valuable, widely admired companies on earth. A few years back, I conducted an experiment to examine the similarities between some of the world’s strongest brands and the world’s greatest religions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tests, my team looked at subjects’ brain activity as they viewed consumer images involving brands like Apple and Harley-Davidson and religious images like rosary beads and a photo of the pope. We found that the brain activity was uncannily similar when viewing both types of imagery.

This past summer, I gathered a group of 20 babies between the ages of 14 and 20 months. I handed each one a BlackBerry. No sooner had the babies grasped the phones than they swiped their little fingers across the screens as if they were iPhones, seemingly expecting the screens to come to life. It appears that a whole new generation is being primed to navigate the world of electronics in a ritualized, Apple-approved way.

Earlier this year, I carried out an fMRI experiment to find out whether iPhones were really, truly addictive, no less so than alcohol, cocaine, shopping or video games. In conjunction with the San Diego-based firm MindSign Neuromarketing, I enlisted eight men and eight women between the ages of 18 and 25. Our 16 subjects were exposed separately to audio and to video of a ringing and vibrating iPhone.

In each instance, the results showed activation in both the audio and visual cortices of the subjects’ brains. In other words, when they were exposed to the video, our subjects’ brains didn’t just see the vibrating iPhone, they “heard” it, too; and when they were exposed to the audio, they also “saw” it. This powerful cross-sensory phenomenon is known as synesthesia.

But most striking of all was the flurry of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion. The subjects’ brains responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member.

In short, the subjects didn’t demonstrate the classic brain-based signs of addiction. Instead, they loved their iPhones.

As we embrace new technology that does everything but kiss us on the mouth, we risk cutting ourselves off from human interaction. For many, the iPhone has become a best friend, partner, lifeline, companion and, yes, even a Valentine. The man or woman we love most may be seated across from us in a romantic Paris bistro, but his or her 8GB, 16GB or 32GB rival lies in wait inside our pockets and purses.

My best advice? Shut off your iPhone, order some good Champagne and find love and compassion the old-fashioned way.

via You Love Your iPhone. Literally. – NYTimes.com.

Paying the Grace Forward, Kent Matlock, culture, Jerry Richardson, Denny’s, kudos: I don’t think this side of the story has been told.  Kudos to Mr. Matlock for telling this story.

Dr. Gloster bestowed his grace on me. Early in our careers, we all have people who are kind and considerate to us, and I learned to treasure them for two reasons: They’re rare, and their actions inspire you to pay that grace forward.

In the early 1980s, I was an advertising manager at Georgia-Pacific. I had worked for a few ad agencies before that, and wanted to return to that side of the industry. I couldn’t find a job with an agency, however, so I decided to start my own. My mother, Jean, who had taught accounting, joined me a few years later as our accountant. At the time we started, minority companies in Atlanta often partnered with larger organizations, which gave the smaller companies more opportunities. We experienced much of our growth that way.

My mother taught me loyalty, and I learned several lessons from clients. Jerry Richardson, C.E.O. of the restaurant company TW Services, then parent of Denny’s, taught me about doing the right thing. We were working on crisis communications for Denny’s after it was accused of racial discrimination in the early 1990s. Jerry didn’t just write checks to settle lawsuits; he asked me what the company could do to improve its practices. He instituted a thorough review and worked with the N.A.A.C.P. on new corporate policies.

Some people criticized me and called me names for working with Denny’s, but Jerry taught me never to let anyone define you. We emerged as an even stronger firm, and Denny’s is still here today.

via Matlock Advertising’s Chief, on Paying the Grace Forward – NYTimes.com.

Bruce Ivins, anthrax mail suspect, Kappa Kappa Gamma – UNC Chapter:  I was in KKG at UNC in the late 70s … very strange. “Strange sorority fixation was link that led to anthrax suspect.”

The Kappa connection

Haigwood had met Bruce Ivins in the mid-1970s during graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She recalled his incessant questions about her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Having joined the sorority as an undergraduate, Haigwood stayed involved as the adult adviser at the UNC chapter. Ivins, she says, always asked her for information about Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Nancy Haigwood says Bruce Ivins was obsessed with her sorority.

“Every time I talked to him, nearly, he would mention it,” says Haigwood. “And finally I said, ‘You know, Bruce, that’s enough!'”

Ivins’ obsession with Haigwood and her sorority continued years after they graduated from UNC. Ivins had started his job at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases — USAMRIID — at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in 1980. Haigwood, too, was living and working in suburban Washington.

One day in 1982, she came home to find her sidewalk, fence and car spray-painted with red graffiti: “K K Γ” — the Greek letters of her sorority.

“Because of the Kappa connection, I immediately thought of Bruce Ivins,” Haigwood said.

via Strange sorority fixation was link that led to anthrax suspect – CNN.com.

headlines, War on Terror, drones, modern warfare: That one jumped out at me …

Wall Photos.

06
May
11

5.6.2011 …it seems Osama bin Laden got my attention today … and cardinals …

Stephen Curry, Davidson College, Davidson basketball, NBA, kudos: Well, he went to Davidson …

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced today.

Curry (Pacific) was one of six divisional winners, which included Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin (Southeast), Chicago’s Luol Deng (Central), New Jersey’s Deron Williams (Atlantic), Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge (Northwest), and San Antonio’s George Hill (Southwest).

Curry received 88 first-place votes (2,445 total points) of a possible 347. The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Curry to Habitat For Humanity East Bay, which uses volunteers to build affordable homes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

via WARRIORS: Stephen Curry Wins 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

faith and spirituality, favorite blogs, Davidson College, kith/kin:  I love the cardinal guest post by college friend Diane on college friend Cary’s blog, a favorite of mine. I don’t have a great redbird story other than I have always been told to wish on a cardinal because it will bring you good luck.  Read on …

Yesterday I requested “cardinal stories” from readers, since several told me (in response to a post on hope on Tuesday) that they’d had cardinal encounters recently (what’s going on?)  So for the next couple of days, I’ll stick with the cardinal theme.

Here’s a post from a college friend, Diane Cooper.  Let me tell you a little about her first:

Diane Cooper is the mother of four children, including sweet David Cooper, her seventeen-year-old son who died suddenly two years ago from Athlete Sudden Cardiac Arrest while rowing with his crew team at McCallie School in Chattanooga.

via Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper « Holy Vernacular.

Let us always make sure that it is protected and never take it for granted. Whenever you see a cardinal, smile and say, “Thank you!” You have received one of the ultimate blessings of Nature.

via The ultimate backyard bird | Backyard Birder | a Chron.com blog.

Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama, photography:  As they say a picture is worth a thousand words … I enjoyed this insightful analysis of this picture.

President Barack Obama and his national security team watch updates on the mission to capture Osama bin Laden on Sunday.

Most commentators have focused on the historic nature of the photo: Obama staring at the screen with a grim intensity; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, covering her mouth to repress her reaction — the epicenter of U.S. military power hunting down its most hated foe.

But look deeper and that photo becomes historic in a more subtle way. It’s a snapshot of how much this nation’s attitudes about race, women and presidential swagger are changing, several scholars and historians say.


“The photo is visually suggestive of a new American landscape that we’re still crossing into,” says Saladin Ambar, a political science professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

“When Obama was elected, there were some people who thought that we had crossed a racial threshold,” Ambar says. “What his presidency is revealing is that there are many crossings.”

via What ‘Situation Room Photo’ reveals about us – CNN.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, OBL’s family: Never understood the concept of mail order bride … do you think she loved him …

While little is known about Bin Laden’s daughter, his wife, Amal, “was a kind of mail-order teenage bride from Yemen, whom he married while living in Afghanistan during the 1990s, according to the account of bin Laden’s former Yemeni bodyguard,” according to Steve Coll, the author of “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.”

….

Although it is far from clear what will happen to Bin Laden’s surviving family members in Pakistan, or if we will ever hear directly from them about what they saw when the American commandos shot Osama bin Laden, his wife, Amal, did speak to the media at least once. In March 2002, she granted an interview to Al Majalla, a Saudi magazine in London, which was reprinted by The Guardian.

In the interview, she explained that, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, her husband had arranged for her to be transported from Afghanistan with her children and handed over to Pakistani authorities. On that occasion, she was, reportedly, allowed to return to Yemen.

via Left Behind: Bin Laden’s Wife and Daughter – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, law:  Can you imagine what a nightmare of a bar exam question this would be???

International law recognizes a country’s inherent right to act in self-defense, and it makes no distinction between vindicating these rights through a drone strike or through a boots-on-the-ground operation. Administration officials have described the raid as a “kill or capture” mission and asserted that the SEALs would have taken Osama bin Laden alive had he surrendered and presented no threat to U.S. personnel or the others in the compound that night. This, according to official accounts, did not happen.

Much has been made of the disclosure that Osama bin Laden was unarmed, but this, too, is irrelevant in determining whether the operation was lawful. The SEALs entered the compound on a war footing, in the middle of the night, prepared to encounter hostile fire in what they believed to be the enemy leader’s hideout. They reported that they became embroiled in a firefight once inside; they had no way of knowing whether Osama bin Laden himself was armed. Even if he had signaled surrender, there is no reason to believe that danger had evaporated. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday: “From a Navy SEAL perspective, you had to believe that this guy was a walking IED,” prepared to blow up himself and those around him or possibly to detonate an explosive that would have engulfed the entire house.

It is easy in the light of day to second-guess decisions made in the heat of war. It is particularly easy for those who refuse to acknowledge that war in the first place. Based on information released by the administration, the covert military operation that brought down the most wanted terrorist in the world appears to have been gutsy and well executed. It was also lawful.

via In killing Osama bin Laden, U.S. had the law on its side – The Washington Post.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Amazing …

The SEALs did the shooting inside bin Laden’s compound, but an elite Army unit called Task Force 160 flew them there and back, and the pilot of one of the Blackhawk helicopters may have been the difference between success and failure, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The SEALs were about to fast rope into the courtyard in front of bin Laden’s house when the Blackhawk lost lift. Imagine what would have happened if it had crashed into the courtyard with all its SEALs still aboard.

Chris Marvin doesn’t have to imagine. It happened to him in Afghanistan.

“How close did he come? As close as any helicopter pilot can, maybe closer,” said Marvin, “but he had or she had the talent and skill level to land the aircraft safely and let everybody off without injuries.”

via Blackhawk pilot’s quick thinking credited in raid – CBS News.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Anatomy of a Raid: Osama bin Laden’s Final Moments – Video – TIME.com.

13
Feb
11

2.13.2011 … a day of Rest … great Sunday School and Worship at FPC …

headlines, Newseum, websites, DC: On my last visit to DC, I visited the Newseum … a great place in DC.  It was the day after President Obama had made his conciliatory speech to the muslims in Cairo.  It was fascinating to see how papers around the country and around the wold covered the story.  I now check their website whenever there is a big story.  So with Mubarek’s resignation, I checked again.  Newseum | Today’s Front Pages | Top Ten.

Apple, iPhone, MobileMe: Mini iPhones!  Free MobileMe!

Apple also is exploring a major revamp of its MobileMe online storage service, the people familiar with the matter said. The service, which lets users store data in a central location and synchronize their calendars and contacts among computers and other devices, currently has an individual annual subscription fee of $99. Apple is considering making MobileMe a free service that would serve as a “locker” for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos, eliminating the need for devices to carry a lot of memory, the people familiar with the situation said.

The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. The person said Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also plans to upgrade the iPhone 4.

The new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing talks that are in their preliminary stages, the people familiar with the situation said. Apple had planned for the service to be available a year earlier.

via Apple Works on Line of Less-Expensive iPhones – WSJ.com.

health and fitness, strength training: I am starting strength training tomorrow!

Historically, strength training was limited to athletes, but in the last 20 years, its popularity has spread to the general public, said Jeffrey Potteiger, an exercise physiologist at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. “One can argue that if you don’t do some resistance training through your lifespan, you’re missing out on some benefits, especially as you get older or battle weight gain,” he said.

When we hit middle age, muscle mass gradually diminishes by up to about 1% a year in a process called sarcopenia. Women also are in danger of losing bone mass as they age, especially after the onset of menopause. Some studies have shown that moderate to intense strength training not only builds skeletal muscle but increases bone density as well.

via Strength training benefits more than muscles – latimes.com.

comfort zones, Brene Brown:  I had great conversations with a friend about stepping out of my comfort zones during the next phase of life … teaching Bible classes in India, doing work for the IJM (see below), traveling to emerging countries, pushing myself physically …

Choosing to leave our comfort zones is hard enough. But being forced out is even more difficult. And that is happening all too frequently, with jobs and entire professions disappearing.How do we cope with that? A. J. Schuler, a business consultant who has written about resistance to change, advised finding a core group of people — just two or three was enough — who would listen and understand how difficult this was.“I call that a personal life board, like a board of directors,” he said. “You need to obtain prior permission to just talk.”The advice on accepting change is pretty obvious, but difficult to carry out, he said, so “you can get down on yourself because you see yourself as stagnant. You need people who won’t get frustrated with that.”Ms. Brown, who as part of her research interviewed a large number of men affected by the recession in 2009, agreed. “I think the biggest mistake people make is not acknowledging fear and uncertainty.”Second, realize that you need to give yourself time and space to mourn your loss, Mr. Schuler said.Finally, he said, create a plan to find new opportunities regularly and keep working that plan. “That way you take some control back in an environment that feels out of control.”

“It’s an uncomfortable feeling imagining how much we love someone,” she said.

We all know people who seem to feel most happy being unhappy — always complaining or worrying about something. That’s their comfort zone.

So being slightly uncomfortable, whether or not by choice, can push us to achieve goals we never thought we could. But it’s important to remember that we don’t need to challenge ourselves and be productive all the time. It’s good to step out of our comfort zone. But it’s also good to be able to go back in.

via Tiptoeing Out of One’s Comfort Zone and of Course, Back In – NYTimes.com.

internet, Craigslist, politics, really stupid:  Has anything good come from personal ads on Craigslist? Ex-Rep. Chris Lee, Wife in Retreat While Craigslist Ad-Placer Yesha Callahan Speaks Out.

internet, Groupon: This behavior really makes you think about Groupons …

Groupon has canceled a voucher for $40 worth of flowers from FTD for $20 early after customers called it a scam, CNN reports. Groupon customers were directed to a different Web site, where prices were higher than at the regular Web site. Because of the well-documented confusion, FTD set up a hotline for those who bought the deal. FTD also altered terms of the deal, so that it could be combined with other offers. The snafu comes a day after Groupon decided to cancel its Super Bowl commercials, which some found offensive.

via Groupon Cancels Voucher Early After Customers Call It a Scam | Tricia Duryee | eMoney | AllThingsD.

economics, economists:  Who would you include on your list?

First among them is Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago, whose book “Fault Lines” argues that rising inequality led governments to facilitate credit growth, contributing to the crisis. Robert Shiller of Yale University has long warned of the dangers of irrational exuberance, and urges colleagues to consider “animal spirits” in assessing economic fluctuations. Kenneth Rogoff’s work on debt bubbles with Carmen Reinhart placed the crisis in an 800-year continuum of borrowing and collapse: his papers have earned the most academic citations of the table-toppers in our poll. Barry Eichengreen has written excellent works on the history of the gold standard and the danger of fixed-exchange-rate regimes. Nouriel Roubini earned the nickname “Dr Doom” for warning of an impending global crash.

via Influential economists: The contemporary Keynes | The Economist.

Super Bowl XLV, advertising:  OK, this one was REALLY cute. YouTube – Volkswagen Commercial: The Force.

 

hymns, FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, race:  Last Sunday, 2/6, Rev. Purdue introduced me to a hymn I had never heard.  It is beautiful.  Have you ever sung this one?

1 O God, we bear the imprint of your face:

The colors of our skin are Your design,

And what we have of beauty in our race

As man or woman, You alone define,

Who stretched a living fabric on our frame

And gave to each a language and a name.

 

2 Where we are torn and pulled apart by hate

Because our race, our skin is not the same;

While we are judged unequal by the state

And victims made because we own our name,

Humanity reduced to little worth,

Dishonored is Your living face on earth.

 

3 O God, we share the image of your Son

Whose flesh and blood are ours, whatever skin,

In His humanity we find our own,

And in his family our proper kin:

Christ is the brother we still crucify,

His love the language we must learn, or die.

via Presbyterian Hymnal 385: O God, we bear the imprint of Your face | Hymnary.org.

anthropology, race: In light of the hymn above, I found this interesting.

Dr. Jonathan Marks, an Anthropologist at UNC Charlotte, says that humans are far more alike than different and that race is not a biological concept; it is a social, political and economic construct. Dr. Marks is working with Discovery Place on a new exhibit exploring the Science of Race. We’ll learn about the exhibit and the facts behind race and human variation with Dr. Marks and Discovery Place CEO, John Mackay.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

random, Disney, marketing: Disney is so pervasive, I really prefer to leave the littlest ones out of their reach.

Late last month, the company quietly began pressing its newest priority, Disney Baby, in 580 maternity hospitals in the United States. A representative visits a new mother and offers a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a variation of the classic Onesie.

In bedside demonstrations, the bilingual representatives extol the product’s bells and whistles — extra soft! durable! better sizing! — and ask mothers to sign up for e-mail alerts from DisneyBaby.com. More than 200,000 bodysuits will be given away by May, when Amazon.com is set to begin selling 85 styles for a starting price of $9.99 for two; Nordstrom and Target will follow with more Disney Baby items, including hats.

via Disney Looks to the Cradle to Expand Business – NYTimes.com.

Super Bowl XLV, technology:  Where will it end?  Do we really need a $ 40 million, world’s largest, high-definition video screen?

The stadium’s most visible piece of tech is what’s billed as the world’s largest high-definition video screen: a $40 million, 600-ton video board with 25,000 square feet of displays. It’s 72 feet tall and 160 feet long.

via Sunday’s Super Bowl the most high-tech ever – CNN.com.

random, Chinese New Year, history: It’s definitely time to jump start our economy … so let’s hope the year of the rabbit holds true.

Each year – according to the Chinese zodiac – is associated with an animal. It’s based on a legend: that Buddha once sent a call to animals to come celebrate the new year. Twelve animals responded. Every year – based on a 12-year cycle – is named after one of those 12 animals, and is believed to echo the traits of that animal. The coming year is the Year of the Rabbit – so it’s a year for you, like a rabbit, to jump ahead.

via Use Year of the Rabbit to jump ahead in business – USATODAY.com.

Stephen Curry: Go Steph!

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a finalist to compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star Saturday in Los Angeles, and fans can help send him there. For the first time, the NBA and Taco Bell are giving fans the opportunity to determine participants in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge as part of the “Choose Your Squad” program. In addition to adding a fan vote, the 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge will feature an expanded field from four to five participants. Beginning today and running through 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 14, fans can log on to NBA.com/chooseyoursquad to choose from among eight players to determine four of the five participants in the 2011 event in Los Angeles. The players taking part in the “Choose Your Squad” vote include:

via WARRIORS: Stephen Curry Named Finalist to Compete in 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

Challenger Tragedy, NASA, followup: This is a great Time video reflecting on the Tragedy and President Reagan’s very moving response.  The Challenger Tragedy and the Mourner in Chief – Video – TIME.com.

random:  Eight shots seems like a little too much in one 12 ounce can …

 

A Panama-based liquor company is producing whisky in a can. The company, Scottish Spirits, is the first to put straight whisky in a can, and it’s being promoted as an option for outdoor venues, as it’s light-weight and recyclable. Also because people at outdoor venues want to drink lots of whisky?

Scottish Spirits suggests splitting it between three people, because it’s the size of a regular beer can. Seriously: it’s twelve ounces, or eight shots worth of whisky. Which is a lot for a container that’s not resealable.

Twelve ounces. Eight Shots. One can. >>>

Also, oddly, Scottish Spirits makes an alcohol-free whisky aimed at Muslim customers. We’re not really sure why anyone would want to drink alcohol-free whisky, either.

via Scotch Whisky in a Can Contains Eight Shots of Liquor – Novelty Beverages – Eater National.

new products, food – desserts, street vendors, King of Pops, Atlanta, kith/kin: My good friend A is the cousin to the Carse brothers … owners and proprietors of the King of Pops! Anybody tried them?

Although Steven posts his ever-changing menus on Twitter and Facebook, some pops lovers who aren’t hip to social media fail to check before driving to the “the corner.” “Some people like the idea of our changing up flavors, some, well… I don’t know if I would use the word angry, but they’re not happy when they get there,” Steven says. So he tries to keep fan favorites–Chocolate Sea Salt, Blackberry Mojito, and Banana Puddin’–in the rotation. (Steven’s favorite flavors are Pear Cardamom–“I always get stuck on the newest one being my favorite”–and Blueberry Lemongrass.) We tried to get the Chocolate Sea Salt recipe, but there’s a special ingredient that, after putting their heads together, the brothers Carse decided they couldn’t bear to reveal.

via How to Make the King of Pops’ Banana Puddin’ Ice Pops: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

IJM:  A friend introduced me to the IJM.  What an exciting organizations.  In my next life, maybe I can do some work for them.

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.

via International Justice Mission – IJM Home.

Herb Jackson, Herb Jackson NY Exhibit, Davidson College, NYC, teaching, followup, kudos: Kudos, again, to herb Jackson both for his new exhibit but even more for his gift to Davidson College and its students … 42 years of teaching.

Jackson, whose work can be found at museums around the world and has had over 150 solo-exhibitions, is finally returning to NYC. Opening on February 17th at the Claire Oliver Gallery, Firestorm in the Teahouse will not only mark Jackson’s long-awaited return but also provide his admirers with the chance to see his newest, incredible paintings.

I chatted with the artist about his return to NYC, what it was like to be part of Donald Kuspit’s iconic exhibition of contemporary American art in the Soviet Union and his attempts at teaching me how to paint. Yep, that’s right, yours truly once had the honor of being taught by one of America’s most talented living artists. Too bad I really was a hopeless case…

Liv: Let’s start at the beginning, our at least of how I met you. What made you decide to become a studio art professor?

Herb Jackson: I always felt drawn to teaching, perhaps because I remember and still experience the wonder that comes from making art. To see the germination of a visual idea and then watch its growth, development and change in the hands and mind of a young person is a special privilege that I have enjoyed, and I hope honored, for 42 years.

via Interview with Herb Jackson.

business, psychology, motivation: Interesting statistic here.

With the permission of the university, Grant and his team randomly divided the call centre representatives into three groups. For a few days, before they made calls, people in the first group read brief stories from previous employees about the personal benefits of working in the job – how they developed communication skills and sales know-how that later helped them in their careers.

The second group also read stories before hitting the phones, but theirs were from people who had received scholarships from the funds raised and who described how the money had improved their lives. The aim of these stories was to remind workers of the purpose of their efforts.

The third group was the control group; they read nothing before dialling for dollars. Participants were also told not to discuss what they’d read with the recipients of their calls. Then a month later, Grant measured the performance of the three groups.

The people in the first group, who’d been reminded of the personal benefit of working in a call centre, did no better than those in the control group. Both groups earned about the same number of weekly pledges and raised the same amount of money as they had in the weeks before the experiment.

However, the people in the second group – who took a moment to consider the significance of their work and its effect on others’ lives – raised more than twice as much money, in twice as many pledges, as they had in previous weeks and significantly more than their counterparts in the other two groups.

In other words, reminding employees about that missing W – the “why” – doubled their performance.

via Think Tank: Have you ever asked yourself why you’re in business? – Telegraph.

lists, cookbooks:  My 10 Favorite Cookbooks Plus an Exclusive Offer from Barnes & Noble « Christopher Kimball Blog.

 




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