Posts Tagged ‘summer

10
Jul
13

7.10.13 … So, Rory’s marrying Darcy :) … On ice in NYC … Bartoli’s great comeback: “I am not a blonde, yes … but have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon?” … “To Marilyn from the Man in the Moon” … and to think I used to HATE garden tomatoes … Mark Twain’s Advice to Little Girls …

Vincent Kartheiser,  Alexis Bledel (aka Rory from “Gilmore Girls):

Cheryl Klein

Mental Disjunctions of the Day: Pete from “Mad Men” is playing Mr. Darcy at the Guthrie. (As Vincent Kartheiser says, “Both have very upper-class upbringing.There’s a certain formality and stiffness that I believe will be carried over.”) Minnesota friends, if you go, I’d love to hear what it’s like! (Bonus Fact: He is now engaged to Alexis Bledel, aka Rory from “Gilmore Girls.”) http://www.vita.mn/arts/214046491.html?page=all

Minneapolis boy Vincent Kartheiser swings from playing neurotic Pete Campbell on “Mad Men” to romantic Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” at the Guthrie.

via Vincent Kartheiser comes home to Guthrie | Vita.mn.

NYC, ice bar, minus 5 ice bar:

After days of sweltering heat, New Yorkers are ready for a cooling off period. The opening of New York Citys first ice bar is providing just that. July 9

via Ice Bar Opens As New York City Swelters – YouTube.

Twitter, sexism, Bartoli, great combacks: 

Twitter / EverydaySexism: Best. Response. Ever. #Bartoli ….

The Real Housewives of NASA Astronauts, America’s first reality TV stars,  NYTimes.com: So was Genie a “cape cookie”?

In your book, you describe the wives of the astronauts as “America’s first reality TV stars.” What do you mean by that?

Their saga, with its countless launch parties, and endless bottles of Champagne, at times seemed less like “The Right Stuff” and more like “The Valley of the Dolls” — or “The Real Housewives of NASA.” After their husbands became astronauts, Life magazine bought the rights to the couples’ “personal stories” for half a million dollars in 1959, so the astronaut families were all thrust into the spotlight. They were constantly exposed to the public, with reporters embedded in their suburban homes in the wonderfully named Houston “space burbs,” near NASA. The wives’ mantra throughout the space race was “Happy, proud and thrilled.” It was their “keep calm and carry on” motto, 1960s style, a way of coping with having their lives turned inside out. The press camped out on their lawns during the missions. They had tea with Jackie [Kennedy] and attended high-society galas. They had to smile perfectly after a Life magazine makeover, balancing their extravagantly lacquered rocket-style hairdos. (If you’ve seen the Slim Aarons photos of the young moms and matrons of Palm Beach, they actually look very astro-wifey.) They banded together to cope with the unique pressures of being married to spacemen — including dealing with absentee husbands constantly tempted by “Cape Cookies,” as the astronaut groupies were known.

Back then, when Jim was on the flight, he sent Marilyn — waiting back on earth — a special gift, a mink jacket from Neiman Marcus that arrived via a chauffeured Rolls-Royce and came with the most romantic card in the universe: “To Marilyn from the Man in the Moon.”

via Fashion Flashback | The Real Housewives of NASA Astronauts – NYTimes.com.

etiquette, deliberate polish: entering a row of seats:  Excuse me …

148_Deliberate Polish

DELIBERATE POLISH: ENTERING A ROW OF SEATS

we answer the eternal conundrum of which way to face, in our latest column on minding your (modern) manners

via deliberate polish: entering a row of seats.

Marinated Cucumbers Onions and Tomatoes, summer, recipes:  Just looks good … and to think I used to HATE garden tomatoes.

Marinated Cucumbers, Onions, and Tomatoes

So yummy and healthy!!

3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

1/4 cup oil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving

To SAVE these Recipe for use later, be sure to click this photo and SHARE so it will store on your personal page.

 

Advice to Little Girls,Mark Twain, 1865 Childrens Book, Brain Pickings:

 

I’m enormously delighted to announce that Advice to Little Girls public library is officially out this week — a true labor of love nearly two years in the making. You might recall a sneak peek from my TED Bookstore selections earlier this year. Grab a copy, enjoy, and share!

via Advice to Little Girls: Young Mark Twains Little-Known, Lovely 1865 Childrens Book | Brain Pickings.

http://www.amazon.com/Advice-Little-Girls-Mark-Twain/dp/1592701299/?tag=braipick-20

07
Jul
13

7.7.13 … another list … frozen novelties … seems appropriate for summer …

frozen novelties, Classic Ice Cream Truck Treats, summer: Summer treats … we called them “frozen novelties.” 🙂

 

Classic Ice Cream Sandwich

Super Twin Cherry Popsicle

Remember the ice cream truck of your childhood, and all of its magical frozen treats? Here they are, from worst to best.

via The Definitive Ranking Of Classic Ice Cream Truck Treats.

27
Jun
13

6.27.13 … Homeland overruns Sacred Space …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Myers Park Baptist Church, Avondale Presbyterian Church:

In case you’re wondering, the TV show Homeland  is being filmed at Myers Park Baptist Church today. They are using MY labyrinth for a food service staging area. I guess they have a different concept of “sacred space” 😦

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So I headed over to Avondale Presbyterian Church.

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Since John and I have been trying to work separately the daily  Sudoku puzzle  in the Charlotte Observer, I brought mine with me and set a timer. I would give myself 20 minutes as a relaxation exercise before entering the labyrinth. Once when I visited my internist he mentioned that sudoku solving was similar to labyrinth walking and its relaxation properties. I, however, find just the opposite today because after 28 minutes, I still had not solved the puzzle 🙂

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For the first time today it really, really feels like summer. It is overcast and windy and muggy. I barely see my shadow. The garden has been recently groomed, but there are a few twigs and small branches on the labyrinth from the windy afternoon showers.

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The chimes are really singing today, most of it is an annoying squeal however. Wish I was understood why … maybe the heat?

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24
Jun
13

6.24.13 … Summer Solstice 2013 and Super Moon: it’s completely coincidental …

Summer Solstice 2013, Super Moon 2013, astronomy, Summer, culture, history: 

This year’s summer solstice also stands out because it will be followed shortly after by the largest “supermoon” of the year. In the early hours of Sunday, June 23, the moon will officially reach its full phase and will be the closest to Earth that it will be all year.

While the astrology-minded might be tempted to see significance in the timing of the two celestial events, there is no connection, said Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

“People draw this connection between [the supermoon] and the summer solstice, but it’s completely coincidental,” he added.

The solstices are the results of Earth’s north-south axis being tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system. This tilt causes different amounts of sunlight to reach different regions of the planet during Earth’s yearlong orbit around the sun.

Adler’s Hammergren said he doesn’t feel too bad about the declining significance of the solstices in modern society.

“Ancient cultures and some modern religions pay very, very close attention to certain natural alignments … and there’s a lot of mysticism and special supernatural significance attached to them,” he said. “The fact that we don’t pay attention to that stuff as much anymore, I think, is a rational thing.”

The University of Arizona’s Holbrook, however, thinks there are certain benefits in keeping the tradition alive.

“Paying attention to the solstices is a way of teaching mathematics, celestial mechanics, and astronomy, culture, and history,” she said. “It is also a pretty good party.”

via Summer Solstice 2013: Why It’s the First Day of Summer.

20
Aug
11

‎8.20.2011 … Run, Molly, run …

Charlotte Latin School, CLS XC, kith/kin:  Charlotte high school cross-country season began today … Nice 3K at McAlpine Park. Next weekend is Hendersonville …

Charlotte:

That clinking, clanking sound in Charlotte isn’t just America’s largest bank getting richer. It’s the sound of the New South growing. “Charlotte is one of the best-kept secrets in the country,” says Mayor Anthony Foxx, “but in the very near future it’ll be one of the worst-kept.” With the Democratic National Convention descending next fall, bringing 30,000-plus delegates, journalists and other visitors, he’s right.

via Best Value Cities 2011: 2. Charlotte, N.C..

GA politics: 2011 redistricting, kith/kin: He’s right in the thick of it … I honestly believe he has the best interests of the state.  But man, politics are ugly.

The process caused friction among Democrats. Majority Whip Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, and Minority Leader Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, continued their contentious exchange from a committee hearing earlier this week. Lindsey said some Democrats would support the maps but won’t vote for them out of fear of political retribution.

Lindsey displayed on giant screens in the House chamber a copy of an e-mail Abrams sent her caucus warning that a vote in favor of the Republican plan could lead to primary opposition next year.

Democrats, Lindsey said, aren’t publicly supporting the maps “not because these aren’t fair maps, it’s because they’ve been threatened with their political future if they vote for it.”

Abrams said it was not a threat. She also did not back off the message

via Lawmakers approve new political boundaries  | ajc

recipes, summer, tomato pie:  Tomato Pie is the epitome of summer!

tomato-cheddar-pie-484.jpg

With its biscuity buttermilk crust, this rustic pie is our new summertime staple. Let the pie cool for at least one hour before serving.

via Tomato and Cheddar Pie: BA Daily: Blogs : bonappetit.com.

food-drink, random: 

ice cubes

The answers Simone heard from older family members and from strangers in New York’s Russian immigrant–dominated Brighton Beach were all over the place: A Chechen antiques dealer said, “Who knows where that ice came from? It’s probably dirty.” A bar patron posited that ice dilutes a drink, but had no answer for why, then, it shouldn’t be used in water. A Siberian friend pointed out that they are already surrounded by ice for most of the year, and another said maybe it was because they have bad teeth that were sensitive to the cold.

One explanation I’ve heard elsewhere, and which may hold some truth, is that Europeans see ice as taking up valuable real estate in the glass, so that they would feel cheated if they got too much ice and too little beverage. This theory has two problems: It doesn’t explain, again, why water shouldn’t be served with ice, and it doesn’t take into account the fact that one is often served a whole can or bottle of soda, which could then be used to refill the glass. My guess on the first issue is that drinking water with a meal is (or at least was) less common in Europe than here—a Parisian waiter once sarcastically presented my requested water as “Champagne”—and since no one had become accustomed to ice in drinks the preference carried over to water.

The answer that Simone heard that was closest to the truth, I suspect, came from a waitress in a Russian restaurant: “That’s just how it’s always been.” With a question that could never be answered definitively, that seems as good a response as any.

via Why Don’t Other Countries Use Ice Cubes? | Food & Think.

2012 Democratic Convention, Charlotte, legacy:

One way the committee is gathering input from the community is by visiting groups like the chamber and asking, “What should Charlotte’s DNC legacy be?

via Charlotte Chamber.

Generation X, Generation Y, careers, Charlotte, NC:

South End resident Nick Henderson says, “The job market is more focused on us.”

He’s talking about Charlotte’s Generations X & Y.

Henderson says, “You’ve got everything from technology which I’m in now, you know, banking all the way to the music field which is what brought me here.”

The former professional musician now works in IT. He’s part of a young workforce city leaders say is more and more in demand.

Michael Smith is President & CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. He says, “Every city’s going to be fighting for them. We’ve got two baby boomers retiring for every one next generation worker in the workforce.”

Smith says the competition for those younger workers will only grow. But he says, thanks to careful planning, Charlotte is ahead of the curve.

via Charlotte Game Plan In Place To Keep & Attract Young Workers | Charlotte News | Weather | Carolina Panthers | Bobcats | FOX Charlotte | Local News.

parenting, kith/kin: I may have quoted this article before, but I think it is very appropriate for my life.

The next minute she’d be worrying: “But what if I run out of euros? I have dollars, but I can’t use dollars in Brussels!”

“Darling, you simply change them.”

“But — how?”

It wasn’t an unreasonable question, but of course revealed her inexperience. Even when teenagers seem strikingly mature, they still are, in fact, young. Why would any of them necessarily know about those little booths labeled Cambio/Exchange/Wechsel?

As she had prepared for the trip, she seemed to know exactly what she was doing — and what she ought to be packing — until abruptly she’d be at a loss and asking for help.

And suddenly, there she was behind the barrier, out of our reach, amid a crowd of strangers.

via A teenage daughter boards a plane looking like the woman she’ll someday be | Meghan Cox Gurdon | Local | Washington Examiner.

14
Jun
11

6.14.2011 … Safely arrived … now to hit the town running …

MegaBus, followup, imo:  OK, it was cheap and timely … It got me there in 8 hours.  But the quality of your trip depends on a) your bus, b) your driver and c) your fellow passengers.  My first trip ended today at 6:10 am (about 20 minutes early).  My bus was clean but not very comfortable (take a blanket and a pillow), had electrical outlets and wifi that worked.  It also had a DVD player and the driver showed two movies, one at 10:30 pm and the other at 12:15 am.  Since there are no headphones, this was a huge negative.  People also talked loudly on their cellphones until the wee hours of the morning.  Another BIG negative.  But now I know, take a pillow, choose your seatmate carefully (mine was a space invader) and get earplugs. I will do it again … tomorrow … and again for cheap trips to DC.    MegaBus

US National Parks, freebies, summer:  Just so you know …

Get outside this weekend! The US National Parks, the universe and your friends here at Tonic want you to go explore the great outdoors. Why? Because this Saturday is officially the first day of summer and US National Parks have decided to let people into more than 100 parks for free!

via US National Parks will be waving park entry fees this Saturday | Tonic.

random, Davidson, silk purse/sow’s ear:  When is a convenience store not a convenience store? When you call it an “urban market?”  Jury is still out on that one. 🙂

Bob Rusher Jr. describes the business not as a typical convenience store, but as an “urban market.” The site includes the food market, offices, and gasoline pumps under a canopy. And other details stand out, from its prepared foods and ice cream right down to the environmentally friendly car wash out in the parking lot that recycles waste water.

via Rushers bring a different kind of market to Exit 30 | DavidsonNews.net.

politics, conservative v. liberal, definitions:  Interesting article.

Conservatism, he explained, was rooted in reality. Unlike the abstract theories of Marxism and socialism, it started not from an imagined society but from the world as it actually exists. From Aristotle to Edmund Burke, the greatest conservative thinkers have said that to change societies, one must understand them, accept them as they are and help them evolve.

Watching this election campaign, one wonders what has happened to that tradition. Conservatives now espouse ideas drawn from abstract principles with little regard to the realities of America’s present or past. This is a tragedy, because conservatism has an important role to play in modernizing the U.S.

via Party Politics: How Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality – TIME.

12
Jun
11

6.12.2011 … summer wind by Frank Sinatra … I love old Frank Sinatra tunes …

PT, humerus break, followup:  Yesterday, I commented that PT (physical therapy, not poptarts :)) is addictive.  On the days I go to PT I feel better all day … even though it hurts while I am there.  Maybe it is the ice wrap with electrode therapy!  Woo hoo …

slime bags, women in politics, good question:  I wondered the same thing …

There was a collective rolling of the eyes and a distinct sense of “Here we go again” among the women of the House of Representatives last week when yet another male politician, Representative Anthony D. Weiner, confessed his “terrible mistakes” and declared himself “deeply sorry for the pain” he had caused in sexual escapades so adolescent as to almost seem laughable.

“I’m telling you,” said Representative Candice Miller, a Michigan Republican, “every time one of these sex scandals goes, we just look at each other, like, ‘What is it with these guys? Don’t they think they’re going to get caught?’ ”

Ms. Miller’s question raises an intriguing point: Female politicians rarely get caught up in sex scandals. Women in elective office have not, for instance, blubbered about Argentine soul mates (see: Sanford, Mark); been captured on federal wiretaps arranging to meet high-priced call girls (Spitzer, Eliot); resigned in disgrace after their parents paid $96,000 to a paramour’s spouse (Ensign, John)  or, as in the case of Mr. Weiner, blasted lewd self-portraits into cyberspace.

It would be easy to file this under the category of “men behaving badly,” to dismiss it as a testosterone-induced, hard-wired connection between sex and power (powerful men attract women, powerful women repel men). And some might conclude that busy working women don’t have time to cheat. (“While I’m at home changing diapers, I just couldn’t conceive of it,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat, once said.)

But there may be something else at work: Research points to a substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office. Women have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so and, because there are so few of them in politics, are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw — all of which seems to lead to differences in the way they handle their jobs once elected.

via Why Women Don’t Get Caught Up in Sex Scandals – NYTimes.com.

e-mail, technology:  I hope no one thinks I fall in this category …

Three years ago this week, I posted this checklist, in the naive hope that it would eliminate (or perhaps merely reduce) the ridiculous CC-to-all emails about the carpool, the fake-charity forwards, the ALL CAPS yelling and the stupid PR spam.

A guy can hope, can’t he?

Feel free to send this to those that need to read it:

via Seth’s Blog: Email checklist (maybe this time it’ll work!).

music, Frank Sinatra, summer: YouTube – Frank SINATRA – Summer Wind Reprise® 68.

business cards, technology, end of an era:  Yes or no to business cards?  I agree … “I think, culturally, you’re real and you have a real job if you have a business card,” Ms. Trapani said. “There’s something about that card that means you’re kind of official.”

Not everyone has given up tradition. FedEx Office, the office services chain, still sees a “steady growth” in business card sales, a spokeswoman said.

One explanation could be the status attached to the company card. “I think, culturally, you’re real and you have a real job if you have a business card,” Ms. Trapani said. “There’s something about that card that means you’re kind of official.”

Image notwithstanding, the business card has a logistical advantage: universal ease of exchange. Swapping information mid-conversation or in a noisy crowd can be more cumbersome than pressing paper to palm. And not everyone owns a smartphone, or has the same applications for sharing.

The paper business card is evolving to bridge those gaps. The modern card may contain only a name with a Twitter handle; so-called smart cards are emblazoned with quick response (or QR) codes that can be scanned with a smartphone using applications like CardMunch.

The Hashable site integrates social networking functions similar to some of those on Facebook and Twitter along with digital calendars and more versatile features for easier face-to-face sharing. Users can scan QR codes into the Hashable network or, with some phones, exchange contacts by holding phones together (much like the traditional handoff).

It may prove the closest thing to a business-card killer yet. Erick Schonfeld, an editor of TechCrunch, a popular blog, said the ideas behind Hashable seem to be resonating with its users, and that he had stopped using business cards.

via Paperless Business Cards – Noticed – NYTimes.com.

twitter, hashtags, culture:  I am so behind on this one…

With a simple Twitter phrase, #winning, known in the parlance of social media as a hashtag, Mr. Sheen underscored one of the newest ways technology has changed how we communicate.

Hashtags, words or phrases preceded by the # symbol, have been popularized on Twitter as a way for users to organize and search messages. So, for instance, people tweeting about Representative Anthony D. Weiner might add the hashtag #Weinergate to their messages, and those curious about the latest developments in the scandal could simply search for #Weinergate. Or Justin Bieber fans might use #Bieber to find fellow Beliebers.

But already, hashtags have transcended the 140-characters-or-less microblogging platform, and have become a new cultural shorthand, finding their way into chat windows, e-mail and face-to-face conversations.

This year on Super Bowl Sunday, Audi broadcast a new commercial featuring a hashtag, #ProgressIs, that flashed on the screen and urged viewers to complete the “Progress Is” prompt on Twitter for the chance to win a prize. Then, in Canada’s English-language federal election debate in April, Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, set the Canadian Twitterverse aflame when he attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s crime policies, calling them “a hashtag fail.”

To deftly deploy a hashtag, after all, you need to understand the culture, said Susan Herring, a professor of information science and linguistics at Indiana University-Bloomington.

There is also the unofficial Hashtag Mafia, people who flash one another the hashtag sign — crossing their index and middle finger of one hand over the same two fingers of their other hand to create a physical hashtag. #IronicGesture #WeHope

“I have pictures of people actually using the actual hashtag symbol, and it’s like they’re flashing a gang sign, but they’re doing a hashtag,” Ms. Wilcox said. “That gets really geeky.”

Mr. Messina takes a more philosophical, albeit lighthearted, view. “The great thing about hashtags is that anyone can join the Hashtag Mafia by using hashtags,” he said. “You’re not really in the mafia unless you do air hashtags.”

via Hashtags, a New Way for Tweets – Cultural Studies – NYTimes.com.

google doodle, Les Paul, followup:  There are some creative folks out there.

The interactive instrument, created to honor what would have been the 96th birthday of electric guitar legend and innovator Les Paul, was such a hit, Google even gave the doodle an encore and left it up on its website for an extra day.

Not so musically inclined? If your guitar chops are in need of a little tuning, take a few lessons with our quick tutorial on how to master this digital instrument.

Or maybe you already have what it takes to rock out with the best of the best? Here’s a round-up of the best Google guitar licks from around the Web.

via The Les Paul Google Guitar Greatest Hits: Hear The Best Songs (VIDEO).

Leonard Stern, Mad Libs, RIP,  Conan O’Brien, LOL, followup:  OK, Conan is just funny.

Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
6/11/11 4:30 PM
R.I.P. the _________creator of the always__________ Mad Libs.
06
Jun
11

‎6.6.2011 … I turned off all my school day alarms this morning … life is good …

summer: If you didn’t figure it out … School’s out!  Hello summer!  By August,  I’ll be excited for fall …  It’s that optimism bias at work. (See yesterday’s post.)

food-Southern, food-drink, Southern sodas, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Growing up in Atlanta, Coke was a Southern soda, albeit one that conquered the world. Later I learned that Pepsi is too.  But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I learned about the rest of these …

What’s your favorite Southern soda? Vote now!

Cheerwine; Salisbury, North Carolina

Bleheim Ginger Ale, Hamer, South Carolina

Sun Drop; Tullahoma, Tennessee

Ale-8-One; Winchester, Kentucky

RC Cola; Columbus, Georgia

Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale; Birmingham, Alabama

via What’s Your Favorite Southern Soda?.

China, change, role of women, history, Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth:  When you read The Good Earth, did you think about any of this?  Great Article!!!

“Impossible is nothing,” said my Chinese host in March, when I told her the English proverb “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. She had just passed me a plateful of what looked like tiny, shiny, caramel-and-white striped silk purses. They turned out to be sliced pig’s ear, one of many traditional delicacies at a banquet that included fried ants, sea slugs and geese feet.

Of course almost nothing is impossible in a country where acrobats still juggle wooden chairs as if they were feathers or ping-pong balls—and where the gristle and cartilage of a pig’s ear turn up on your plate as an absurdly elegant appetiser.

What makes foreigners gasp and stretch their eyes in China now is the almost inconceivable speed and scale of the changes that, in the past ten years, have swept people off the land like a giant magnet. In 1990 three out of every four people still lived and worked, as they always had done, on farms. More than 40% have now moved to the cities. By 2015, according to an article I read in China Daily, based on a United Nations forecast, half the population will be urbanised.

The creative energy released by this frenetic development is palpable almost as soon as you step off the plane. It comes like a buzz off the people, especially the young women. When I arrived in the university town of Nanjing on my first visit to China in 2007, I spent days on end watching and talking to students, marvelling above all at the confidence, competence and poise of the girls. I was working on a book about Pearl Buck, who grew up in the Chinese countryside before teaching on the Nanjing campus in the 1920s, so I knew a lot about the world of these girls’ grandmothers: a slow-moving world where traffic went by river steamer or canal boat, and the only wheeled vehicle most people ever saw was a wheelbarrow. Girls were shut up at home on reaching puberty with no further access to the outside world, and no voice in their own or their family’s affairs. In traditional households they were forbidden to speak even to their husbands, except behind closed doors in the bedroom at night.

I found similar indignation from polite but insistent students. Didn’t I know how much China had changed, they asked. The modern world had made a clean break with the sad primitive outmoded countryside depicted in “The Good Earth”. Didn’t I realise how little that world had to do with them now? People everywhere wanted to know what I meant by the title of my biography, “Burying the Bones”. I explained that it came from a passage in Buck’s memoirs about how, as a small girl, she made secret grave mounds for tiny dismembered limbs or fragments of skull—the remains of newborn girls thrown out for the dogs to devour—that she found in the tall grass beyond her parents’ back gate.

It seemed to me an image of amnesia, public and private. Heads always nodded in my audience when I said that all of us have bones to bury, things that are never talked about in families, things a whole nation might prefer to forget. People in China now dismiss their ugly memories just as people all over Europe dismissed the Holocaust for many years after the war. “Children can’t bear to remember what happened to their parents,” says Xinran, who recorded the life stories of men and women in their 70s and 80s in “China Witness” (2008), the only one of her books that remains banned today even in translation.

Buck insisted that our grandparents’ world belongs also to us. The past made us what we are now, and we forget it at our peril. At the end of my last talk at Nanjing university, a student pointed out that burying the bones has a further meaning in China, where the dead are traditionally returned to the earth from which they came so that they may find peace. He might have added that it is only when the past has been acknowledged and accepted that it can finally be laid to rest.

via WOMEN IN CHINA: A SOCIAL REVOLUTION | More Intelligent Life.

China, globalization, history:  Another great article.

When the United States took over from Britain as the predominant world power 100 years ago, the transition was like one between brothers — or cousins, at least. And the two countries remain close allies to this day. The rise of China in relation to U.S. predominance presents a somewhat different challenge — with decades of sometimes outright hostility and an ongoing fractious relationship.

As it reemerges as a world power, the question is: Is China’s awakening to be welcomed — or feared?

Some look to the past for clues — all the way back to the 15th century.

Today China’s role in Africa seems to me to be very similar to that of other countries. I see China following, for better, and possibly for worse, an American model of needing to secure energy sources and seeking to do so in a great variety of ways, wherever the energy can be found.”

Six hundred years ago, Zheng He’s treasure ships went out and came back peacefully, partly because China didn’t need anything from outside its own realm. Now it does. How it deals with that search for energy and natural resources could be what decides whether China’s rise will in the end be peaceful or not.

via China’s Rise: A Quest To ‘Hug The World’? : NPR.

business, global markets, globalization, Africa, China, :  Very interesting article about business in Africa.

Cummins joins a growing number of U.S. companies vying for a stronger foothold on the continent. Caterpillar Inc., the giant maker of construction equipment, is selling more trucks to Mozambique and Zambia. Harley-Davidson Inc. is opening dealerships in Botswana and Mauritius. General Electric Co. has its first aircraft-leasing office in Ghana for Central and West African airlines. Google Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among the dozens of other U.S. companies moving in or expanding.

Until now, “Africa has been just a rounding error for us,” says Brady Southwick, Cummins’s new head of Africa operations.

U.S. companies’ game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent’s economy is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008, fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The middle class is growing, and total household spending now exceeds that of India.

Getting in early to a developing market allows companies to build up strong brands and sales channels that can reap big profits in the long run. That’s what China has done in Africa over the past two decades. It has aggressively promoted trade and investment, courting countries by offering aid in exchange for favorable trade terms. China’s government has provided funds to build a telecommunications network in Ethiopia, the Merowe Dam in Sudan and railways in Libya and Nigeria, among many other projects.

Western European companies, many of which had lingering business interests in Africa from colonial days, also took their eye off the ball. Western Europe’s share of overall trade—the sum of imports and exports—with sub-Saharan Africa dropped to 30% in 2009 from 52% in 1990, according to McKinsey. The share of China and other Asian countries in Africa trade more than doubled to 30% from 14% in the same period, while North America’s share slipped to 13% from 16%.

A few American companies have been entrenched in Africa for decades. Coca-Cola Co. established its first African bottling plant in 1928, in Johannesburg, and its soft drinks now are available throughout the continent.

But many other U.S. companies only now are “starting to wake up to the African opportunity,” says Acha Leke, a Lagos-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute. To succeed, he says, they will need to find good local partners and send in some of their best executives. In the past, he says, some American companies “just sent whoever wanted to go there.”

via U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in African Markets – WSJ.com.

Apple, iCloud, new products, iconic images:  Sounds like this is inevitable … but that for once Apple is behind … I loved the last line: “On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.”  Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck and jeans is an iconic image!

On Monday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce a new product that allows iPhone owners to stream music from their personal iTunes collections to their phones.

Rumormongers say the music will be stored “in the cloud” — tech jargon for “on Apple’s servers” – although the CultOfMac blog claims inside knowledge that Jobs will instead sell customers a personal storage drive that holds the music and does the streaming from home.

Whatever Apple announces, it follows recent offerings from Google and Amazon that offer cloud-based personal music streaming for Android phone users. Both work similarly: You sign up, then download an application to your Mac or PC that uploads your music collection to Google or Amazon’s servers, and keeps it in sync. To play your music on your phone, you install an Android app that’s a music player which connects to your cloud-stored collection to stream it to your phone.

On Monday, unless Jobs pulls another magic trick out of his jeans pocket, you’ll have alternatives.

via Amazon’s and Google’s Cloud Services Compared – NYTimes.com.

Katie Couric, media, change, glass ceiling:  I like Katie Couric.  I wanted her to succeed at CBS and smash the glass ceiling.  But I always thought she was smart and professional, but too perky.  I think she will succeed at ABC, but she’s under the ceiling again.

The negotiations over Ms. Couric’s future in television unfolded over the last few months and involved three of the four broadcast networks, as well as CNN. They also featured top media executives including Mr. Burke, Robert Iger of Disney, Leslie Moonves of CBS and Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner. Perhaps unexpectedly, because Ms. Couric had not succeeded in stemming the long ratings descent at “The CBS Evening News,” she remained something of a hot property.

At a time when Oprah Winfrey, syndicated television’s biggest star, has just left the stage, the courtship of Ms. Couric suggested that the networks, looking to cash in on the enormous revenue potential of syndication, were still willing to make a big bet on stars — even ones like Ms. Couric who have taken their share of blows in the media.

The details of Ms. Couric’s impending deal with ABC have not been disclosed, but as co-owner of the show Ms. Couric will claim a share of the profits. Syndication has such a great financial upside because successful shows make money from both station fees and advertising revenue — and they are generally inexpensive to produce.

via In Pursuit of Couric, ABC Made the Best Pitch – NYTimes.com.

random, local theater, sitcom parodies:  I just laughed …

Welcome to “Gilligan’s Island…of Death.”

The characters in this way-off Broadway send-up are familiar to viewers of the original show, which featured seven castaways stranded on a desert island. All the characters from the sitcom, which ran on CBS for three years in the mid-1960s, but found eternal life in reruns, are there: The Skipper, Mary Ann in pigtails, Ginger in a clingy evening gown. But the plots are darkly twisted. This Gilligan’s Island is the setting for multiple murders. And every character who doesn’t die becomes a suspect.

“If you were trapped on an island for years with a bunch of people you don’t know, you’d want to kill each other,” says Traci Connaughton, who runs Without a Cue Productions, the small Pennsylvania acting company that created this noir version of the show.

It’s all in good fun. But not everyone is amused.

Some of the media conglomerates that own the rights to the shows are cool to the sendups and at least one has expressed copyright complaints.

But Ms. Connaughton says she is undaunted. She says her most immediate problem is getting new material.

“I am running out of TV shows,” she says.

via TV Dinner Theater: Parodies of Old Sitcoms Draw Blood, Crowds – WSJ.com.

medicine, cancer, treatment, technology, miracles, policy:  Change comes fast and change comes slow.

New research is signaling a major shift in how cancer drugs are developed and patients are treated—offering the promise of personalized therapies that reach patients faster and are more effective than other medicines.

Studies show gains from targeting cancer patients more individually. Work at a breast-cancer clinical trial at George Mason University.

At the heart of the change: an emerging ability for researchers to use genetic information to match drugs to the biological drivers of tumors in individuals. Studies released at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology here are helping to support previous findings that personalized medicine—introduced more than a decade ago—is closer to being realized as a weapon to fight cancer.

“A pattern is developing at an accelerated pace where we are able to match genetic information about a tumor to a new agent and get results,” says John Mendelsohn, president of Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.

via Genetic Information Shifts War on Cancer to Personalized Therapies – WSJ.com.

Jane Austen, film/lit, ersatz, words, Mike Ditka, quotes, phantom Bible quotes, technology:  One of the things I love about the computer/internet is that you start one place and in a few clicks a whole world opens up to you.  I went from a blog post on Jane Austen movies with inauthentic quotes and scenes to ersatz  to Mike Ditka to phantom Bible quotes in 2 minutes … great way to start my morning.

“I have been alert for a while now to the danger that Austen film
adaptaptions can be seduce unwary Janeites into believing that certain
scenes and/or lines of dialogue are taken from the novels, when they
have actually been written by the modern screenwriter.

Sometimes the screenwriter’s changes are very well done, and that makes
it harder to spot them as ersatz.”

Definition of ERSATZ: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation—

via Ersatz – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone – milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper – to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler – and the NFL coach – start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

via Actually, that’s not in the Bible – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Gustave Caillebotte , art, Impressionist paintings, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, history:  I get more and more excited about my upcoming trip. 🙂

But because he was a great patron of the arts, Caillebotte’s first-rate art collection became what today is the crux of the Impressionist holdings at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Although for a while, he (or his executors) couldn’t even give the paintings away. “It’s a pity,” Garnot says. “When he offered all [of] the collection to the French state, the minister of fine arts wasn’t pleased at all by the donation. He refused it. He turned them away.”

At the time, the custom was for the state to only accept works by dead painters. But that wasn’t the only reason the paintings were rejected by the state: “You must understand,” Garnot says, “that they didn’t appreciate … the style.” Critics of the day felt the Impressionist works looked hasty, crude and unfinished. There was no place for them in prestigious, official French collections.

Caillebotte died in 1894. Seven years later, after much bickering, wrangling and negotiation, 40 of the 60 paintings in his bequest of Impressionist treasures were accepted by the government of France. Now, more than a century later, the names Renoir, Monet, Sisley — and, yes, Gustave Caillebotte — have become part of the Pantheon of French painting.

via Gustave Caillebotte: Impressions Of A Changing Paris : NPR.

 

travel, bus travel, frugal traveler:  Of course, just as I plan my journey to DC on MegaBus, this comes out ….

On Friday, federal authorities also subpoenaed records of GoToBus.com, TakeTours.com and 2001Bus.com. Those websites, run by a company called Ivy Media Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., sell tickets online for a number of low-fare bus companies, including Sky Express.

Many of the bus companies linked to from GoToBus.com have nearly identical websites. For example, Sky Express, I-95 Coach and Horse Run Tour all use much of the same identical text, such as “We are always thrilled to hear from our customers. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments!”

Tracking operators who resurface under new names is difficult.

Congressional watchdogs found in 2009 that nearly 10 percent of interstate bus operators who have federal permits revoked for safety violations quickly resume business by reopening under new names.

On August 8, 2008, a bus carrying a group on a religious pilgrimage crashed in Sherman, Texas, killing 17 people.

The carrier was a reincarnation of a company ordered out of service two months earlier. It re-registered using the same mail and email addresses.

The problem of unraveling who is responsible for operations of closely linked bus lines isn’t new. In 2005, the government noted how hard it is to disentangle the web of relationships and said it was cracking down on low-cost carriers for safety violations.

via Low-fare bus industry faces more scrutiny | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

John Edwards, slime bags, criminal law:  Don’t like the guy … I am beginning to think I never like VP candidates from either party.  Was with some trial lawyers and their thought was Edwards is so good at this, he will probably get off … Interesting thought to me is by having the plea bargaining in the national press, he, in effect, is admitting to some level of criminal culpability.  What do you think?

Edwards and his lawyers were concerned. They wanted the ability to at least argue to a judge for alternatives, such as a halfway house, weekend releases, home arrest or some other arrangement that would allow Edwards time to be with his school-age children. He is a single parent since his wife, Elizabeth, died in December.

But the way the possible plea deal was structured, the Edwards lawyers believed they would be muzzled from advocating at all about Edwards’ confinement before a judge, according to multiple people who were involved in the negotiations. Those sources described the plea negotiations in detail on a condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

It was the last significant issue to be resolved for a plea. If Edwards didn’t agree, he would be indicted on multiple felony charges.

Edwards, 57, understood the risk. As a successful trial lawyer, he had sometimes spurned offers of settlements to take his chances with a jury, often winning big judgments. Would he do that again?

The clock was ticking.

Edwards, just as he had refused to do in cases for his clients, would not accept a deal. For now, he would gamble on motions to a judge to dismiss the charges. And, if necessary, a jury.

via Edwards dealing went to the wire | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

history, medicine, midwifery, kith/kin:  Because one of my best friends is a CNM, I find midwifery interesting.  I enjoyed this tidbit of history in this book review.

Colonial Midwifery began with the Mayflower’s journey in 1620. Bridget Lee Fuller delivered three babies during the two months long voyage and continued practice as a midwife in Plymouth for 44 years until her death in 1664. In addition, it is documented that one birth took place aboard the Arabella by a midwife that was brought on board from the Jewel. (1)

via Colonial Midwifery.

Carl Sandburg, goats, public art, random, followup:  NB: THIS IS A PROPOSED STATUE …

 

 

Goat, or no goat for statue?

The plan to put a statue of Carl Sandburg in Public Square has stirred a great deal of public debate. A deal breaker for some critics is the inclusion of a goat next to a standing Sandburg. It’s been well-documented that Sandburg and his wife admired goats which they raised on their North Carolina farm.

City reporter Eric Timmons, who has done several stories detailing the statue, received an e-mail Tuesday from Shannon Nelson of Alabama. Shannon asked, “Carl Sanburg (sic) owned Toggenburg dairy Goats, as his most famous Toggenburg doe “Puritan Jons Jennifer” held the world record in 1960 for the DHIA 305 continuous days of 5,750 lbs. Why was his most famous doe not put on the statue with him?

“This was a big thing in the goat world, especially for the smallest of all dairy goat breed of Toggenburgs, and just think ‘she belonged to Carl Sanburg’. I think the statue is a wonderful idea. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.”

Asked where she heard about the Sandburg/goat statue, Shannon said, “I read about the article on a goat group I’m on.”

Who knew … a goat group?

via Goats and Carl Sandburg; Public Square history; Bunker Links “open” – Galesburg, IL – The Register-Mail.

24
May
11

5.24.2011 … hot, hot, hot …

things I hate:  OK, I love my cat, more like Molly’s cat.  His name is Fitz for Fitzwilliam Darcy.  He is a charming short-haired black American cat … but today he is the cat from hell … he delivered to my early morning doorstep a bunny … still alive with broken legs and holes in his neck and ears … I just wanted to cry.

summer, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald:

YouTube – Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald-Summertime.

urban development, ghost towns, China:  Amazing waste …

Vast cities are being built across China at a rate of ten a year, but they remain almost uninhabited ghost towns. It’s estimated there are 64 million empty apartments.

via YouTube – China’s Ghost Cities.

green, wind power:  Probably not enough wind in Charlotte …

The manufacturer of the Honeywell WT6500 claims the wind turbine can provide roughly one-third of an average home’s electricity needs in areas with wind speeds of 10-to-12 miles-per-hour, like in Yonkers. The turbine, which cost $7,000 at Ace Hardware uninstalled, is just one of the rooftop-mounted wind power systems designed for homes. And it qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit as well as a net-metering program that lets you sell excess energy back to your local utility

But before you throw caution to the wind, there are some things to consider. Most importantly, do you get enough wind and can your roof support a turbine and the associated stress? Some municipalities also restrict their use so do your homework. Here’s some help.

via Turbine tests: Should you try and catch the wind?.

Davidson, Davidson College, places:  You should drive up there … it really is a slice of heaven.

A half hour outside of Charlotte’s city limits lies Davidson — half college town, half historic haven for those looking for a relaxing Saturday. Main Street offers a quaint stretch sprinkled with a book shop, vintage record store, and coffee house—not to mention a whole host of cute eateries beckoning townies and travelers alike.

via Davidson – Charlotte, NC.

07
Aug
10

8.7.2010 … definitely dog days of summer …

summer:

“Dog Days” (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere, they usually fall between early July and early September. In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.

Food, travel, Asheville:  Another rec … Old World Bakery …  “a genuine, wonderful French bakery in Asheville. On Hendersonville Rd at St John Square, Fletcher. Complete with all variety of bread, fruit tarts, petit pain au chocolat, napoleons, etc. yum.” Thanks, Dinah.

Great Recession:  Surprise, surprise … there are differing opinions.

When the latest unemployment figures are announced on Friday, all of Wall Street will be watching. But for Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley and Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, the results will be more than just another marker in an avalanche of data.

Instead, the numbers will be a clue as to which of the two economists is right about where the American economy is headed. Their sharp disagreement over that question adds yet another twist to the fierce rivalry between the firms, Wall Street’s version of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Mr. Hatzius is arguably Wall Street’s most prominent pessimist. He warns that the American economy is poised for a sharp slowdown in the second half of the year. That would send unemployment higher again and raise the risk of deflation. A rare occurrence, deflation can have a devastating effect on a struggling economy as prices and wages fall. He says he may be compelled to downgrade his already anemic growth predictions for the economy.

For months, Mr. Berner has been sticking to a more optimistic forecast, despite growing evidence in favor of Mr. Hatzius’s view. Last week, Mr. Berner was caught by surprise when the federal government reported that the economy grew at a 2..4 percent pace in the second quarter, well below the 3.8 percent he had forecast a month before. Mr. Hatzius came closer to hitting the mark, having projected a 2 percent growth rate.

via 2 Top Economists Differ Sharply on Deflation – NYTimes.com.

invention, bookshelf:  One of my favorite book is Longitude by Dava Sobe. I remember thinking that giving a prize to the discoverer  was really interesting.  But maybe they are more common than I realized.

A CURIOUS cabal gathered recently in a converted warehouse in San Francisco for a private conference. Among them were some of the world’s leading experts in fields ranging from astrophysics and nanotechnology to health and energy. Also attending were entrepreneurs and captains of industry, including Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and Ratan Tata, the head of India’s Tata Group. They were brought together to dream up more challenges for the X Prize Foundation, a charitable group which rewards innovation with cash. On July 29th a new challenge was announced: a $1.4m prize for anyone who can come up with a faster way to clean oil spills from the ocean.

The foundation began with the Ansari X Prize: $10m to the first private-sector group able to fly a reusable spacecraft 100km (62 miles) into space twice within two weeks. It was won in 2004 by a team led by Burt Rutan, a pioneering aerospace engineer, and Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft. Other prizes have followed, including the $10m Progressive Automotive X Prize, for green cars that are capable of achieving at least 100mpg, or its equivalent. Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur who runs the foundation, says he has become convinced that “focused and talented teams in pursuit of a prize and acclaim can change the world.”

This might sound like hyperbole, but other charities, including the Gates Foundation, have been sufficiently impressed to start offering their own prizes. An industry is now growing up around them, with some firms using InnoCentive, an online middleman, to offer prizes to eager problem-solvers. Now governments are becoming keen too. As a result, there is a surge in incentive prizes (see chart).

Lost at sea

Such prizes are not new. The Longitude Prize was set up by the British government in 1714 as a reward for reliable ways for mariners to determine longitude. And in 1795 Napoleon offered a prize to preserve food for his army, which led to the canned food of today. In more recent times incentive prizes have fallen out of favour. Instead, prizes tend to be awarded for past accomplishments—often a long time after the event. As T.S. Eliot remarked after receiving his Nobel prize, it was like getting “a ticket to one’s own funeral”.

Is this a good thing? Prizes used to promote a policy are vulnerable to political jiggery pokery, argues Lee Davis of the Copenhagen Business School. Thomas Kalil, a science adviser to Barack Obama, acknowledges the pitfalls but insists that incentive prizes offered by governments can work if well crafted. Indeed, he argues that the very process of thinking critically about a prize’s objectives sharpens up the bureaucracy’s approach to big problems.

One success was NASA’s Lunar Lander prize, which was more cost-effective than the traditional procurement process, says Robert Braun, NASA’s chief technologist. Another example is the agency’s recent prize for the design of a new astronaut’s glove: the winner was not an aerospace firm but an unemployed engineer who has gone on to form a new company.

When the objective is a technological breakthrough, clearly-defined prizes should work well. But there may be limits. Tachi Yamada of the Gates Foundation is a big believer in giving incentive prizes, but gives warning that it can take 15 years or more to bring a new drug to market, and that even AMC’s carrot of $1.5 billion for new vaccines may not be a big enough incentive. No prize could match the $20 billion or so a new blockbuster drug can earn in its lifetime. So, in some cases, says Dr Yamada, “market success is the real prize.”

via Innovation prizes: And the winner is… | The Economist.

green, Made in the USA:

WASHINGTON — The United Steelworkers and two Chinese companies announced Friday that they had signed an agreement assuring that major components of machines for a $1.5 billion wind farm in Texas would be made in the United States.

The deal potentially defuses a conflict over American stimulus dollars being used to subsidize foreign companies.

Without releasing full details, the union said that the steel for the wind towers, enclosures for working parts atop the towers and reinforcing bars for the bases would be sourced in the United States. So will the blades, which are not made of steel but are often made by steelworkers, the union and the two companies said.

via Wind Farm Deal Assures Bigger U.S. Role – NYTimes.com.

Jane Austen, Bollywood:  I can’t wait!

The fun in Jane Austen’s Emma and its subsequent adaptations has been the relationship dynamics between its characters. Two of the unlikeliest people fall in love; confused folks mistake infatuation for love; friendship remains a vague term.

Even if you have seen the Hollywood adaptation Clueless, you’ll still enjoy Aisha for its expert desi spin on the story. It’s a world where the travelling-to-Mumbai gang may shop on the street but will lunch at The Taj and dine at Tetsuma.

It’s so rare for a film to get it all together: from the story, to the performances, to the atmospherics, to the music and more. This one goes perfectly with the popcorn; don’t miss it.

via Movie Review : Aisha review: This one goes perfectly with the popcorn.

law school, economics,UGA Law:  A senior partner at King & Spalding, Atlanta, advised me to go to UGA over Emory or Vanderbilt.  He said he saw better lawyers coming out of UGA.  I followed his suggestion and saved a lot of money.  I think I got an excellent legal education.

Go to the best law school you get into.

It’s advice that’s been passed down through the ages, from generation to generation. Law is a profession that trades, the thinking goes, on prestige. Clients like prestigious names like Wachtell and Cravath; the wealthiest firms like names like Harvard, Yale and Chicago. Get into one of those schools, and up go your chances of going to a big firm, kicking tail, making partner and grabbing that brass ring.

Or so the conventional wisdom has for decades dictated.

But is it true? In a new paper, UCLA law professor Richard Sander and Brooklyn law professor Jane Yakowitz argue no. “Eliteness” of the school you attended matters much less, they found, than your GPA.

The work is part of a continuing effort to examine preferences and law school, specifically, whether affirmative action actually hurts those it’s most supposed to benefit. Sander has previously argued that minority law students will often do better academically (and on the bar) if they attend a less-competitive school.

As part of that effort, Sander and Yakowitz set out to uncover whether this notion could be applied more broadly. That is, whether someone who finishes at the top of the class at, say, the University of Iowa, might face better career prospects than one who finishes in the middle of the class at, say, a place like Harvard.

via New Study: Forget the Rankings, Just Bring Home Straight A’s – Law Blog – WSJ.

blogs, happiness:  Thanks, Cary;  I am sitting down and enjoying your blog entry!

So it’s with humility and a certain sense of pleasure in just letting myself be me, instead of being embarrassed that I’m not more athletic or more something or other, that I wear my “Fastest Typist in Camp” award on my favorite charm necklace, a reminder of my nerdy ways and a reminder that nothing’s wasted.

via Nothing’s Wasted: In Defense of Sitting Down « Holy Vernacular.

green, health:  Makes you think … The Story of Cosmetics.

random, tv:  Poor Eddie Munster still looks the same … I always assumed  he was made to look that way … best of luck.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Forty-five years after a Pennsylvania woman sent a fan letter to her favorite TV star, they’ve made a Munster match.

Donna McCall was a 10-year-old with a crush on Butch Patrick, who played boy werewolf Eddie Munster in the mid-’60s sitcom “The Munsters.”

In her letter, she asked Patrick how tall he was because girls at the time were making gum wrapper chains long enough to match the height of their boyfriends. To her delight, the young actor responded and included his height — 5 feet, 4 inches.

Like many childhood projects, however, the wrapper chain wasn’t completed. Decades passed.

via Munster match: ’60s TV star falls for patient fan  | accessAtlanta.

Justice Kagan: If swearing is bad, why is swearing-in good?  Congrats to our new justice.

Elena Kagan will be sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will first administer the Constitutional Oath in a private ceremony in the Justices’ Conference Room attended by members of the Kagan family. The Chief Justice will then administer the Judicial Oath in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Elena Kagan’s family and friends.

via SCOTUSblog » Court statement on Kagan confirmation.

Culture, materialism:

Sheryl Crow gets to the crux of the matter in her song Soak Up The Sun: “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Relatedly, the video The Story of Stuff Project notes that the point of an advertisement is to make you feel bad about what you have.

The notion that material goods don’t bring lasting contentment is hardly some left-wing anti-capitalist rant. The first to leave us with a writings on this perspective were a group of philosophers known as the Stoics, starting with Zeno in the early third century BC and continuing through to the marvelous Marcus Aurelius several centuries later.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Wilmette, Chicago, culture:  Our blocks,  13 hundred block of Ashland and Richmond Lane (we lived on a corner), threw the BEST block parties … nothing like it in the South.   The Ashland party is the first Saturday after the 4th  and Richmond’s is in September … I will drop in some day …

If the words “block party” conjure up images of warm Jell-O, loud neighbors and a smattering of lawn chairs, you’re in for a surprise. Nowadays, neighborhoods are putting together street-wide festivals complete with DJs, outdoor movies, bake-offs and talent contests. Interested in organizing an event without breaking the bank?

via Here’s how to host a 21st century block party :: Mommy on a Shoestring :: PIONEER PRESS ::.

art, Dali:  I have a special affinity for Dali … that was my husband’s grandfather’s “grandfather name” … we saw Dali’s (the artist’s, not the grandfather’s)  art in London and were amazed at the many levels of complexity … Dali: The Late Work | High Museum of Art – Atlanta.

Wilmette, Chicago, flooding:  Chicago is flat … and we lived a mile from the lake … but the storm sewers would overflow and you could end up with a foot of water in your basement.  We lived there 4 years and we thought we were lucky.  Our basement never flooded until the last year … and then twice … amazing.  Now I know why.  Seems like a good use of stimulus funds.

After all, the Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Project (aka TARP) was first announced in 1972. Digging began in 1975. Yet here we are, some 38 years into what has been called the most ambitious public works project since the pyramids, and still we are mopping up basements and dumping mass quantities of you-know-what into Lake Michigan.

I am witness to the latter catastrophe for I live near the North Shore Sanitary Channel in Evanston. After a really heavy cloudburst I’ll walk to a footbridge near my house, look down at this man-made extension of the Chicago River’s North Branch, and watch as the, uh, “effluent” of Chicago’s sewer system rushes north to Wilmette harbor and Lake Michigan.

TARP was supposed to stop this from happening. And maybe some day it will. But as of now, after more than three decades and $5 billion in public expense, The San still has to open those floodgates and dump millions of gallons of sewage into the lake, fouling the water, closing beaches, forcing water treatment plants to jack the chlorine. If they don’t open the gates, or wait too long, the river will overflow and cause serious property damage, not unlike what happened recently to the River City condos south of the Loop.

So what’s taking so long with the big one — the 10.5 billion-gallon reservoir that’s to be located east of LaGrange Road near McCook, the one that’s supposed to alleviate flooding across Cook County from Wilmette to Lemont?

Well, it has been delayed. And delayed again. Why? There are so many reasons it would take a book. But one reason — the one that galls me most — is that our journalism has let us down. The delays have been, by my lights, one of the biggest environmental stories in the Chicago region for the past 20 years. But you’d never know it from what little has been written or broadcast.

There were funding delays involving Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers; there was local NIMBY resistance to earlier plans to use an already-dug Vulcan Materials quarry, and more recently, to quarrying a new reservoir.

via Flooded basement? Better get used to it – chicagotribune.com.

Great Recession, Flash Crash:  Great analysis of the May Flash Crash … The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake.”

The funds were acting like “a dog that growls before an earthquake,” Mr. Vasan told several clients.

When the quake hit on the afternoon of May 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest, fastest decline ever, and hundreds of stocks momentarily lost nearly all their value. So many things went wrong, so quickly, that regulators haven’t yet pieced together precisely what happened.

Journal Community

A close examination of the market’s rapid-fire unraveling reveals some new details about what unfolded: Stock-price data from the New York Stock Exchange’s electronic-trading arm, Arca, were so slow that at least three other exchanges simply cut it off from trading. Pricing information became so erratic that at one point shares of Apple Inc. traded at nearly $100,000 apiece. And computer-driven trading models used by many big investors, apparently responding to the same market signals, rushed for the exits at the same time.

via Legacy of the ‘Flash Crash’ – WSJ.com.

Apple, iPad, new blog:  I think Apple has more things coming.  I can’t wait.

Traditionally, first-year medical students are awarded white coats to signify their entry into the medical community. But at an Aug. 6 ceremony, each member of the UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2014 will find an iPad pre-loaded with everything necessary for the first year of course work in their coat pocket.

As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to employ a completely digital, interactive learning environment for entering students, says Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine.

via Macsimum News – Incoming UCI medical students to receive iPads.

random, art, blog:  Would a company consider this fair use  now or stop such use?  Interesting blog, too.

As product marketing manager for Campbell’s, William MacFarland must have been overjoyed with the incredible public reaction to Andy Warhol’s first exhibition as a fine artist in 1962, as present at the gallery was his now world-famous Campbell’s Soup Cans piece: 32 silkscreened portraits, each representing a different variety of the company’s soup product, all arranged in a single line. The work provoked huge debate in all corners of the art world and helped bring the Pop art movement to the masses; all the while holding a certain brand in the limelight.

via Letters of Note: I hear you like Tomato Soup.

health, ADHD, the mind: very interesting.

A team of European researchers recently assessed nearly 8,000 Finnish children and showed that mixed-handed children are at increased risk for linguistic, scholastic and attention-related difficulties. At age eight, mixed-handed kids were about twice as likely to have language and academic difficulties as their peers. By the time the children were 16, they also were twice as likely to have symptoms of ADHD—and their symptoms were more severe than those of right- or left-handed students.Ambidexterity is not causing these problems. Rather “handedness is really a very crude measure of how the brain is working,” says Alina Rodriguez, a clinical psychologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author. In typical brains, language is rooted in the left hemisphere, and net works that control attention are anchored in the right—but brains without a dominant hemisphere may be working and communicating differently.

via Ambidexterity and ADHD: Are They Linked?: Scientific American.

history, architecture, San Francisco:  Listen to the story … a very interesting piece.

When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, it was a story of ‘Man harnessing Nature’ for the greater glory of both. Then the world’s longest suspension span, a feat of engineering several times over, it took 21 years to build and came in under budget. It has hovered ever since like a feather above a vast surge of water pouring into the Pacific. Beautiful and orange, it looks today like it was built yesterday. And somehow, in a world that can seem too jaded for wonder, it still harnesses our dreams.

This hour, On Point: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge.

via The Golden Gate’s Long History | WBUR and NPR – On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

football, NFL:  Game on, Falcons!

Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010

via Talented Falcons could lurk as the NFL’s surprise team of 2010 – USATODAY.com.

invention, green: I don’t know about this one.

Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors, draws and a motor 90% of the appliance is solely given over to its intended purpose. At the same time, all food, drink and cooled products are readily available, odours are contained, and items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable – it can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling.

via In the Future, Your Refrigerator Will Be Made of Green Jelly | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Apple, bikes, green:  Will it change the gears for me??

A patent filed last year but just uncovered Thursday shows that Apple is at least considering a “Smart Bicycle System” that would use iPods or iPhones to track cyclist data and help teams communicate on the raceway. Similar to Nike + iPod, the small fitness device that recorded a runner’s pace and distance, Apple’s new technology will enable bikers to measure “speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, [and] wind speed,” according to Patently Apple. Clearly, the Smart Bike is squeezing everything it can from Apple’s accelerometers and gyroscopes (which allow the iPhone to track the biker’s exertion, based on acceleration, and altitude, by recording tilt relative to the ground).

via Apple’s “Smart Bike” Could Squash All Other Bike Tech | Co.Design.

random, high risk adventure, RIP:  He planned to ski down K2, but died on the way up.  Rest in peace.

Swedish mountaineer and professional skier Fredrik Ericsson died Friday while trying to summit K2 in Pakistan, his friend David Schipper told CNN in a telephone interview.

The incident occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. as Ericsson was attempting to become the first man to ski from the summit to base camp, said Schipper, who said he learned of the accident on the world’s second-tallest peak in a satellite call from fellow climber Fabrizio Zangrilli.

via Skier Fredrik Ericsson dies in accident on K2 – CNN.com.

environment:  Iceberg is 4x the size of Manhattan!  I love that word “calved”.

A giant ice island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland.

A University of Delaware researcher says the floating ice sheet covers 100 square miles – more than four times the size of New York’s Manhattan Island.

Andreas Muenchow, who is studying the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, said the ice sheet broke off early Thursday. He says the new ice island was discovered by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service.

Not since 1962 has such a large chunk of ice calved in the Arctic, but researchers have noticed cracks in recent months in the floating tongue of the glacier.

via Greenland Iceberg Four Times Bigger Than Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier.

education, travel, Arab world, study abroad:  Our world is getting smaller.  I love that our youth are embracing it.

In what educators are calling the fastest growing study-abroad program, American college students are increasingly choosing to spend their traditional junior year abroad in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, wanting to experience the Arab world beyond America’s borders and viewpoints.

via More Students Choose a Junior-Year Abroad in the Mideast – NYTimes.com.

travel:  I have always thought it would be fun to exchange homes or rent someone’s home in another city.

For frequent Manhattan visitor Ken Velten there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.

The Southern California retiree and his family of up to five have traveled to the Big Apple five times over the past five years, staying a week or two and trading the expense and anonymity of a hotel room for the space and convenience of a rented apartment in Midtown East. But after May 1, when a ban on most New York City apartment rentals under 30 days is scheduled to take effect, Velten probably won’t be back.

via More destinations shut the door on vacation rentals – USATODAY.com.

lists, travel Seattle:  I like lists … Top Things to Do in Seattle, Washington — The Vacation Gals.

travel, First Lady, politics:  She can’t win.  But it is an interesting comparison to Laura Bush’s more modest vacations.

The first lady is paying for her own room, food and transportation, and the friends she brought will pay for theirs as well. But the government picks up security costs, and the image of the president’s wife enjoying a fancy vacation at a luxury resort abroad while Americans lose their jobs back home struck some as ill-timed. European papers are having a field day tracking her entourage, a New York Daily News columnist called her “a modern-day Marie Antoinette” and the blogosphere has been buzzing.

Laura Bush took solo vacations without her husband each year of George W. Bush’s presidency, likewise traveling with her Secret Service detail on a government plane to meet friends for camping and hiking excursions to national parks. But it never generated the sort of furor Mrs. Obama trip’s is causing, at least in part because visiting national parks in the United States is not as politically sensitive.

via First Lady’s Trip to Spain Draws Criticism – NYTimes.com.




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