Posts Tagged ‘technology

12
Oct
13

10.12.13 … this and that … in honor of boy buddha …

this and that, kith/kin, random: So an unnamed member of my kith/kin family  “mentioned” that I was posting too much.  He/she likes me to string them all together.  Well, I will compromise.  I will post my favorites daily, but will try to post a features page every few days.  This will be the totally random or entertainment  “features” post.  I hope I get my good karma back from my readers.  🙂

This one is funny … who remembers Tilly? Well, the Tilly voice artist is the Siri voice artist, and she recorded the voice 8 years and did not know who it was for until friends recognized her voice.  She now speaks to more than 100 million people through what at the time of the recording was a not-yet-invented phone

 

From Tilly to Siri. Who else remembers Tilly!?!

For the past two years, she’s been a pocket and purse accessory to millions of Americans. She’s starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel. She’s ‘s provided weather forecasts and restaurant tips, been mocked as useless and answered absurd questions about what she’s wearing.

She is Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual “assistant” introduced to the masses with the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011.

Behind this groundbreaking technology there is a real woman. While the ever-secretive Apple has never identified her, all signs indicate that the original voice of Siri in the United States is a voiceover actor who laid down recordings for a client eight years ago. She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone.

Her name is Susan Bennett and she lives in suburban Atlanta.

via ‘I’m the original voice of Siri’ – CNN.com.

Actually my favorite is the oreo ad link posted on twitter during the SuperBowl blackout.  What is your favorite?

How many caught your attention?

There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.

via The Tweets That Will Go Down in Twitter History (with images, tweets) · wsj · Storify.

I’ve posted several times on 3 D printers.  Now technology duplicates art … in 3d. Look at the strokes!

The London based married couple and artist team, with no relation to this Nick Carter, tapped into the burgeoning 3D printing trend to bring Van Goghs beloved bouquet out of the frame and into the real world.The team began by turning the paintings into completely three-dimensional files, then printing them in wax bronze. The process allowed for shocking levels of precision in the translation between brush stroke and sculptural shape.

via Behold, A 3D Printed Sculpture Of Van Goghs Sunflowers.

Selma AL, I Will Dance, Broadway, change, youth, hope:

Dancing isn’t all they do. Check out another video of one RATCo participant, Vinny, doing his thing.

via These Dancing Teens Are Defying Expectations, Statistics, And Maybe A Few Laws Of Physics.

via ▶ I WILL DANCE Official Trailer – YouTube.

 

That privacy thing … why do they do this??

Is having open-plan bathrooms just the natural extension of our open kitchens and a general global modern-day tendency to open up our living spaces and live in lofts or loftlike spaces? Is it an extension of the idea that bathrooms aren’t just functional necessities but spa-like focal points of our sanctuary-like homes? Or has the erosion of privacy in our public lives just made us all more comfortable being overexposed, even at home?

Rousseau thinks it’s a generational question. “I think with age we look for ways to seduce by modest gestures and by covering ourselves up,” she says. “I don’t see myself proposing an open bathroom to older people; they need much more privacy.”

via Bathrooms without borders: the end of privacy at home?.

Unexpected outcomes, 9.25.13 Pakistani Earthquake:

A very unexpected outcome from a major earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 300 people: The sudden appearance of a small new island off the country’s coast. http://on.wsj.com/18pHqWr

via Facebook.

The magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck Pakistan\’s Baluchistan province created a small island visible off the southern coast. The Pakistani Navy visited the island and captured video of the newly formed landmass. Photo: Getty Images

via Pakistan Quake Toll Rises to at Least 328 – WSJ.com.

This is along the same lines as the tiny libraries or random act of kindness?  Would you take a book?  Would you leave a book?

You happen to be visiting London this summer (or heck maybe you live there), there’s a chance you’ll find books left on the seat of some bus or subway for you. Books on the Underground is a really simple idea: leave a book you love for a stranger to find and ask them to release it back into the world when they are done with it.

A simple sticker on the cover explains the idea to the book’s finder–and karma does the rest.

Pretty lovely idea, no?

via Books on the Underground.

Miss Manners answered this question years ago.  She suggested you simply introduce them with their names.  🙂

What’s the No. 1 debate topic for many cohabitating couples who are over age 50? The labels, they said.

via Living together titles: What do people who live together call each other? – Chicago Tribune.

Q: What should I say when introducing people whose social status might make other people uncomfortable? For example, unmarried couples living together, or homosexual couples?

Miss Manners says: I don’t want to know what kind of parties you  are throwing where people’s sexual statuses need to be provided with introductions. Just use names.

via Miss Manners on: introductions | Bitch Please, Bitch Thank You.

20
Aug
13

8.20.13 … I know a few risk takers … Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s Google Doodle, … LumoBack … Challenging 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule … Lincoln Logs … Braves’ Stadium Waffle House … vanity plate game … Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette … meditation … Mowbyrinth … Ridiculously Interacting with Statues …

troubled teens,  successful entrepreneurs, Real Time Economics – WSJ:  Loved this … I know a few risk takers. 🙂

The economists find that self-employed workers with incorporated businesses were almost three times more likely to engage in illicit and risky activities as youth than were salaried workers. These behaviors include but aren’t limited to shoplifting, marijuana use, playing hooky at school, drug dealing and assault. In addition, the self-employed with incorporated businesses were more educated, more likely to come from high-earning, two-parent families, were more apt to score higher on learning aptitude tests and exhibit greater self-esteem than other employment types. “Of course, you have to be smart,” says Mr. Levine. “But it’s a unique combination of breaking rules and being smart that helps you become an entrepreneur.”

These qualities also have a downside. Risk-taking tendencies in combination with high self-esteem make successful entrepreneurs prone to dangerous lapses in judgement, the Wall Street Journal reported in June, finding that many financial advisers have to keep their entrepreneur clients in check.

But on the whole, entrepreneurship does pay off. The economists find that individuals who left their salaried jobs to start incorporated businesses work more hours but also earn more per hour than other employment types, and those who start successful incorporated enterprises enjoy substantially larger boosts in earnings relative to their own wages as salaried workers. The results show “that entrepreneurship, at the median, pays — and it offers the possibility of comparably enormous returns,” the researchers write.

via Troubled Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger, Google Doodle, quantum mechanics work, technology, theguardian.com: Loved this doodle … learned something too.

Google doodle on Erwin Schrodinger

In subsequent years, he repeatedly criticised conventional interpretations of quantum mechanics by using the paradox of what would become known as Schrödinger’s cat. This thought experiment was designed to illustrate what he saw as the problems surrounding application of the conventional, so-called “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics to everyday objects.

Other work focused on different fields of physics, including statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and colour theory. In a celebrated 1944 book, What Is Life?, he turned to the problems of genetics, taking a close look at the phenomenon of life from the point of view of physics.

via Physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s Google doodle marks quantum mechanics work | Technology | theguardian.com.

gadgets, LumoBack:  I love gadgets …

The Wall Street Journal

The LumoBack is a $150 sensor that straps around your lower waist to track your posture, vibrating whenever you start slouching. Our review: http://on.wsj.com/1d6LFZ6

Would you get this app? What apps do you use to help track your health?

via Facebook.

Davidson College, Davidson Basketball, 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule:   Challenging!  We’ll get a chance to prove ourselves …

In addition to non-conference games with Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and 2013 Final Four participant Wichita State, Davidson’s 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule will include an appearance in the Charleston Classic, as announced by head coach Bob McKillop Tuesday.

via Davidson College Athletics – Davidson Unveils Challenging 2013-14 Men’s Basketball Schedule.

Lincoln Logs,  Mental Floss (@mental_floss):   In the back of my mind I knew this …

Mental Floss (@mental_floss)

8/13/13, 10:02 AM

Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.

Braves’ Stadium, Waffle House:  I love Waffle House!

On July 26, the Atlanta Braves opened a Waffle House at Turner Field , their home stadium. So what's happened since?

Last month, the Atlanta Braves became the first major league team with a Waffle House concession stand at their stadium. A lot has happened since that Waffle House opened.

posted on August 6, 2013 at 4:42pm EDT

Dan Oshinsky

BuzzFeed Staff

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On July 26, the Atlanta Braves opened a Waffle House at Turner Field, their home stadium. So what’s happened since?

via 14 Things That Have Happened Since A Waffle House Opened In The Braves’ Stadium.

vanity plate game: From George Takei’s photo …

Photo: Let's play the vanity plate game. This clever one you should get in 5 seconds. No liking otherwise...and no giving it away.

August 15

Let’s play the vanity plate game. This clever one you should get in 5 seconds. No liking otherwise…and no giving it away.

Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette, recipe, Pillsbury.com: yum …

Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette

Blogger Lana Stuart of Never Enough Thyme celebrates the start of grilling season with this easy-to-make freeform galette using Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust.SavePrintEmailReviewAddToGroceryList+

via Grilled Pineapple Berry Basil Galette recipe from Pillsbury.com.

mindfulness meditation:

Mindfulness meditation is essentially cognitive fitness with a humanist face.

Great read on how meditation works. Pair with a lesson in mindfulness from Sherlock Holmes.

via Explore – Mindfulness meditation is essentially cognitive….

How Meditation Works, Liz Kulze – The Atlantic:

 And yet, people are doing it. Millions of them, whether as part of a medical treatment, in group classes, or alone in the privacy of their homes. But like with regular juicing or weekly acupuncture appointments, the question isn’t whether beneficial physiological change is possible, but rather, how far can such change go to help us?

It goes without saying that some time to ourselves, quietly sitting and slowly breathing, will prove to calm us down after a stressful day, but when it comes to life’s most mentally taxing episodes — death, disaster, disease — how much good can mindfulness meditation really do?

via How Meditation Works – Liz Kulze – The Atlantic.

labyrinth,  back yard, Mowbyrinth:  Shared by a friend on FB. 🙂

Michelle Hiskey

Follow · 15 hours ago via iOS

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a labyrinth in our back yard. Mowbyrinth by Ben Smith!

People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures], public art, interaction:  My kids hate it when I pose or even worse make them pose with statues. Some of these are really fun. 🙂

People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures]

via People Ridiculously Interacting with Statues [19 Pictures] – 9 Laughs.

04
Aug
13

8.4.13 … fogcatchers … “But the chasm between rich and poor has never been so clear as during our visit to Flor de Amancay. I thought of the manicured lawns of Miraflores that teem with bright flowers and palm trees, with their legions of landscapers and conspicuous irrigation. Confronting water scarcity in Lima will mean addressing this gap.” …

fogcatchers, technology, Lima Peru, Peruvians Without Water, Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics:  I visited Lima many years ago and the slums were overwhelming.   It’s amazing that fogcatcher technology could be transformative.

Lima’s is a climate where hot coastal air mixes with cool winds off the Pacific to create dense fog. Though this may sound like San Francisco, the city is almost as dry as Cairo. Lima’s annual rainfall barely reaches 11 millimeters and usually falls as a chilly light mist Peruvians call garúa. But in a few hilltop neighborhoods, smart engineering is pulling water out of thick foggy air. Rodas and his neighbors trap close to 600 gallons of water every night between April and December. This means forty-two people in Flor de Amancay can draw water from cisterns filled by the fogcatchers. Though it’s not potable, they use it for washing clothes, to bathe, and to grow zucchini, potatoes, and squash.

To get up close to Flor de Amancay’s fogcatchers, we have to ask for permission. “Since we’ve handed the whole fogcatcher project over to them, we can’t just barge in here anytime we like,” explains Angela Nestarez, a social worker at a community center-cum-clinic-cum-school at the foot of the hill. She found the financing, delivered the materials, and helped train the locals how to build the structures. We knock on the plywood door of one of the community matriarchs. After a moment, a boy in a Barcelona jersey and dirty shorts pulls open the knobless door. “My mother says you can go ahead,” he says and disappears back into the darkness.

The fogcatchers are difficult to make out at first, but I soon spot them on the ridge, standing like towering soccer goals in the mid-morning haze. Their construction is simple: thick green plastic netting six meters wide by four meters tall is stretched between wooden posts that are anchored into the hillside with cement. A plastic gutter runs along the bottom of the net to collect dripping water and send it into a 7,500-gallon concrete holding tank. It can either be stored there—helpful during the fogless summer—or diverted into above-ground cisterns closer to Flor de Amancay’s houses for more immediate use. The entire system, which was helped put in place by Nestarez and her outreach center, is now run by the ten families to whom she handed off the project. They built the fogcatchers and storage and delivery system—with tutelage from visiting engineers—and have free reign over when to use the water they catch and who in their community they can give it to.

Abel Cruz, founder of the non-profit Peruvians Without Water, has led marches in Lima demanding equal access to water. “But we were protesting for so long about the need for the city to give these people water that we never stopped to think about how we could make our own,” Cruz tells me. So when the German organization Alimón e.V. came to Peru in 2006 with plans for a pilot project to harvest fogwater, he got onboard. Working with Alimón and other NGOs, Cruz helped with pilot studies, calculated optimal orientation and installation specifics, and then trained locals how to build the fogcatchers. He’s installed dozens above Lima’s shantytowns. Cruz recently secured $20,000 in funding from USAID to build twenty fogcatchers, and with more funding he hopes to grow that number to 200. On the taxi ride up to Flor de Amancay, Cruz was giddy as he pointed out tanker trucks and dozens of houses that had been built within the last month, some upon the steepest grading I had ever seen.

Despite the difficulties he faces in his small neighborhood of Flor de Amancay, Frank Rodas is genuinely hopeful. He’s an optimistic teenager, proud of the place that’s been home for the last four years since moving from Cajamarca, a provincial city 800 kilometers away. The training he’s received from NGO engineers on building the fogcatchers has made Rodas ambitious—he has big plans for Flor de Amancay. “I want this to be green year-round,” he says, gesturing up towards the ridgeline. “If we get enough fogcatchers up here, these hills would look great. They could even be a tourist attraction.”

Mine is an abiding relationship with Lima. My mother was born here and I’ve been to the city many times. But the chasm between rich and poor has never been so clear as during our visit to Flor de Amancay. I thought of the manicured lawns of Miraflores that teem with bright flowers and palm trees, with their legions of landscapers and conspicuous irrigation. Confronting water scarcity in Lima will mean addressing this gap. And soon.

via Aleszu Bajak: Catching Fog in Lima – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics.

25
May
13

5.25.13 … random and/or interesting or both …

NYC Subway,  Riders’ Quirks,  Studies, Sophie Blackall, NYTimes.com: I love to take pictures of people on subways … they often do not like it, but no one has ever asked me to delete a picture. I also love it that the poster above the passengers is by Sophie Blackall, the artist commissioned for NYC subsway which I have commented on before.

The decisions arrive with each approaching train, testing the hard-won instincts of the New York City subway rider — world-weary, antisocial and at all times strategic.

Riders on the A train in Manhattan on Monday. A study shows that some prefer to stand, even when seats are available.

Stand, or sit in a crowded row, brushing thighs with strangers?

Surrender a seat to a shuffling elder, or pretend not to notice his buckling knees? Remain in the same seat throughout the ride, or contend for a more desired seat near a door?

Now, the daily seating calculations of subway riders have been recorded for academic use, as part of an observational study conducted by researchers of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. A draft of their report, published on the Web site of the Transportation Research Board, drew on data collected over three weeks in late winter 2012.

Some of the findings might seem intuitive to the veteran subway rider, even if the rationale is not.

When a subway car has more passengers than seats, the study found that an average of 10 percent or more of the seats were not taken. And even when a subway car is less than half-filled, the authors found that a small percentage of riders would inevitably choose to stand.

via Subway Riders’ Quirks Studied – NYTimes.com.

3D food printer, technology, NASA,  world hunger, Fox News: interesting …

3d-printer-schematic.jpg

A schematic diagram shows how a 3D printer for food would work. (SMRC)

NASA has announced it is to fund construction of the world’s first ever 3D food printer.

The American space company has given a $125,000 grant to mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, who has already designed the machine. And the space agency hopes it will eventually be able to provide food for astronauts on long-distance journeys through space.

Some commentators also say the design is just as exciting for Earth-dwellers, as the machines could eventually become a standard kitchen appliance. Families would then be able to simply print off their dinner, rather than spend time preparing it.

Once it is up and running, Contractor will test the machine by trying to print a pizza, which was an obvious choice due to its flat shape.

The dough will be printed first, then the tomato base, then the “protein-layer” topping.

3D printing hit headlines recently when a group of American anarchists created a 3D printed gun and published the designs globally, allowing anyone with a 3D printer to create a firearm.

..

‘We eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.’

– Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor

via NASA to fund world’s first 3D food printer | Fox News.

Gilmore Girls, Madeleine Albright, kith/kin: One if my favorite episodes is this one with Madeleine Albright.

Photo: It's finally Friday, whew! Kick off your shoes and snuggle up with a pal. How do you plan on celebrating this three day weekend?

It was a dream in which Madeline’s character (herself) was recounting Rory’s birth instead of her mother who always does the same thing

via Gilmore Girls.

The Princess Bride, kith/kin: This one’s for my niece (happy birthday by the way!)

via The Princess Bride.

10
Mar
13

3.10.13 … I think I could ponder my calling and being nonjudgmental at The Oyster Box … I wonder if they have a Brightbox …

The Oyster Box Hotel & Spa, Durban SA, bucket list:  I saw this on facebook (Rooms with a View, I think).   I think I will add The Oyster Box to my bucket list …

 

From the moment the Oyster Box opened its doors in 1947 the hotel rapidly became one of Africa’s best loved and most distinguished hotels. The combination of colonial charm, impeccable service, lush tropical gardens and breathtaking seaside setting swiftly gained it a reputation that was legendary the world over.

This iconic landmark has been lovingly refurbished to offer guests a vibrantly contemporary experience, whilst still evoking feelings, memories, and the warm nostalgia of days gone by. Meticulous attention to detail ensures that former guests will be delighted to discover the old glory has not just been retained, but carefully enhanced. All of the warm hospitality and gracious elegance which guests so fondly remember are harmoniously blended with a wealth of modern facilities and contemporary touches to satisfy today’s most discerning of tourist, business person and honeymoon couple.

The Oyster Box, like its famous lighthouse, once again acts as a beacon of exceptional hospitality, luxurious accommodation and personal service unmatched in all Africa and the world at large.

via About Oyster Box Hotel & Spa | Boutique Hotel Durban.

Lenten devotionals, callings,  nonjudgmental life:

Here the word call becomes important.  We are not called to save the world, solve all problems, and help all people.  But we each have our own unique call, in our families, in our work, in our world.  We have to keep asking God to help us see clearly what our call is and to give us the strength to live out that call with trust.  Then we will discover that our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time.

via Daily Meditation: Our Unique Call.

Towards a Nonjudgmental life

One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices.  Sometimes we aren’t even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are.  We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in colour, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.

Strangers, people different than we are, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility.  They make us lose our sense of security just by being “other.”  Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at “those other persons” as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in being human is an expression of the immense richness of God’s heart.  Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.

via Daily Meditation: Towards a Nonjudgmental life.

technology, Brightbox Mobile Charging Services, Travel + Leisure:  What will they think of next …

Hotels have always found ways to draw in the locals—be it with rooftop cocktails or easily accessible bathrooms in the lobbies. Up next? Public charging stations that allow you to plug in your phone for some quick juice on the go courtesy of new company, Brightbox. The devices, shown above, are popping up in Sheraton and Andaz hotels, to name a few.

Of course, there are outlets available in most hotels’ common areas, but Brightbox is a bit different since you don’t need your own power cord and Brightbox lets you lock your phone in a secure box that emits a bright light once your device is fully powered. (Hence the name.) What you do while you wait is up to you. We won’t judge if you just end up back at the bar.

via Tech Thursday: Brightbox Mobile Charging Services – Carry On | Travel + Leisure.

22
Feb
13

2.22.13 … more than a cake …

retro, Tunnel of Fudge Cake,  Bake-Off® Contest, Pillsbury.com, kith/kin:  Saw this list of bests .. and the #2 Nordic Ware bundt pan just brought back a flood of memories … And btw, everything about these two lists makes me feel old … 🙂

Go Retro: Top 10 Desserts – Bread Pudding to Chocolate Eclairs.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

This recipe, arguably the recipe most closely identified with the Bake-Off® Contest, mysteriously develops a “tunnel of fudge” filling as it bakes. Don’t scrimp on the nuts, or it won’t work!

Bake-Off® Contest 17, 1966
Ella Helfrich
Houston, Texas

via Tunnel of Fudge Cake Recipe from Pillsbury.com.

Moss Covered Easter Eggs,  threadowl, Etsy, Easter:  Like them …

Set of 4 Large Moss Covered Easter Eggs

Add a touch of natural greenery to your home’s spring decor, Easter celebrations, or other parties with beautiful handcrafted moss eggs. Use as center pieces or embellishment in vases and bowls.

These larger size Moss Eggs look amazing grouped together as a center piece on tables, and as decoration on fireplace mantels!

via Set of 4 Large Moss Covered Easter Eggs by threadowl on Etsy.

Sallie Krawcheck,  2012 Alumni Forum,  YouTube:  Worth  watching … makeup 🙂

via Sallie Krawcheck ’87 | SEVEN Talk at the 2012 Alumni Forum – YouTube.

trapped, manhole, criminal acts,  wsoctv.com: This man could have died …

Fifty manhole covers have been stolen so far this year in Gastonia.

via Man rescued after being trapped in manhole for 12 hours | www.wsoctv.com.

Downton Abbey,  One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful, YouTube: 🙂

Downton Abbey Perform One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful – YouTube.

coffee shops, productivity, scientific reason,  University of British Columbia, background noise, creativity, abstract thinking, technology:  I like coffee shops … maybe I should try to work while I am there.

If you’ve always found that you do your best work in coffee shops, you’ll be happy to learn that there’s a scientific reason for it. Last year, researchers at the University of British Columbia discovered that moderate levels of steady background noise (at approximately 70 decibels) actually spur creativity and abstract thinking better than silence. Heading to the local coffee shop isn’t always an option, of course, but with headphones, these eight ambient noise apps do an excellent job of delivering a similar audio experience, regardless of your surroundings.

via AppLife.

labyrinth walking, Christianity, neopagan, New Age, Women of Grace:  This one is loaded … Maybe they should try walking one …

However, the labyrinths in use today are not even remotely associated with these Christian labyrinths. Today’s version was popularized by an Episcopalian canon and New Age devotee named Lauren Artress who describes walking a labyrinth as a “way to find healing, self-knowledge and our soul assignments and to continue weaving the Web of Creation.”

In her writings about the labyrinth, Artress reveals her feminist disdain for the God of the Bible. Instead, she refers to “the Source,” “the Sacred,” and “the God within,” which she claims has been “destroyed through centuries of patriarchal domination, through fears of creativity and of the traits associated with the feminine.” Artress says she prefers this “Source” to the transcendent God “out there” who “keeps track of whether we follow the rules.”

She also says that Jesus as the Christ is too often not helpful because he is closely tied to the patriarchy. Instead, she calls people to the more inclusive “Father and Mother God” and “The Greening Power of God, the Holy Spirit in all Her mystery,” who is found in the “power of The Divine within.”

Artress openly admits that neopagan journalist and Wiccan priestess, Margot Adler (author of Drawing Down the Moon) and New Ager Jean Houston, one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement, influenced her modern labyrinth movement.

Such a firm New Age foundation certainly explains why the emphasis for labyrinth walkers is always upon the self rather than on God.

Knowing the belief system of the creator of the modern labyrinth movement hardly makes this so-called “meditation tool” very appealing to Christians. But this doesn’t stop retreat centers in need of the Christian market from presenting the labyrinth in ways that will appeal to them.

For instance, some try to “Christianize” it by using terms associated with the Christian mystical tradition although the meanings are radically different (something that is never explained to the walker!).

For instance, the three stages of a typical labyrinth walk are referred to as the purgation, illumination and unitive stages, all of which have meaning in the Catholic mystical tradition. But purgation doesn’t mean turning away from sin and embracing the gospel as it does in Christianity; it means “letting go of the details of your life.” Illumination means to “receive what is there for you to receive” rather than the Catholic concept of illumination which is a new closeness to God after a deeper conversion. The unitive stage in labyrinth language is when one “is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world” not achieving transforming union with God as is taught in the Catholic tradition.

Other retreat centers simply present their labyrinths to the faithful in terms so nebulous no one can figure out what it is, such as this snippet from a retreat center’s website: “When you stand at the threshold of the labyrinth, you stand at the threshold of your own consciousness, ready to step from the exterior to your own interior space, that interior space being represented by the labyrinth.”

via Should you walk the labyrinth? | Women of Grace.

21
Feb
13

2.21.13 … labyrinthine evolution … “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious …

labyrinths, history, labyrinthine evolution, Loyola University Chicago: “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious … and why have a chosen this as my Lenten Practice two years in a row?

Simply put, eleven was seen as a stigmatized number from the time of Saint Augustine of Hippo and throughout much of the Middle Ages because it signified the fallen nature of humanity.  Eleven was perceived as equating to sin and dissonance with God, being one more than the Commandments yet one short of the Apostles.  Eleven, like humanity, was flawed.[3]  Despite this corrupted number, the enlarged labyrinths were geometrically perfect.  During the Middle Ages the cosmos, as a product of God, was seen as being without flaw and as such the circle symbolized divine unity for it has no beginning nor end.[4]

Having been enlarged to become perfectly circular, there was still one more significant alteration to labyrinths which made them entirely Christian, and that was the superimposition of the Cross.[5]  Around the year 900 CE, an otherwise nameless monk probably from the Benedictine monastery of Auxerre, ingeniously placed the cross within the confines of the labyrinth.[6]  He accomplished this by dividing the full circles into halves and quarters.

With its sinful eleven tracks and the incorporation of the Cross, the labyrinth in Western Europe not only looked Christian, but became truly Christian, symbolizing important aspects of the faith.[9]   When the labyrinth was finally put back into stone, the two regions which would build them most extensively would be found in Northern France and Northern and Central Italy. Click on either to find examples from each country!

via labyrinthine evolution: Loyola University Chicago.

pomegranates: Love pomegranates!

.

via Uses of pomegranates

ailurophobia, The Cat-Hater’s Handbook, Tomi Ungerer, Brain Pickings:

I learned a new word … and I found two used copies, one for each of my favorite ailurophes!

An ailurophobe’s delight circa 1982

via The Cat-Hater’s Handbook: A Subversive Vintage Gem Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer | Brain Pickings.

Paula Broadwell, CharlotteObserver.com, local news:  Because I can drive by her house, I really hate this story … I feel sorry for her children and husband.  I feel sorry for her … Human beings do such stupid things.

Paula Broadwell’s promotion in the Army Reserves has been revoked by military officials because of the investigation into whether she might have been storing classified information at her Charlotte home without permission, according to a report Thursday by CNN.

Broadwell became a national figure last year after her affair with David Petraeus, director of the CIA and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, became public. Broadwell, 40, had co-authored a book on Petraeus.

CNN’s story says an unnamed military official said Broadwell’s promotion from major to lieutenant colonel, which had been approved last August, has been revoked until the investigation has been completed.

via Paula Broadwell’s promotion revoked, CNN says | CharlotteObserver.com.

MINI Backflip [Landed], YouTube:  I find myself holding my breath … even though I know the mini made it …

The French champion skier and stuntman Guerlain Chicherit took the death-defying backflip challenge and nailed it in the hills of Tignes, France. The Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV was modified enough to make the flip and land without falling apart. This is the first time a backflip such as this has been pulled off. 360 degrees in anything that heavy is a tall task. There is less of a chance I can do this myself,  jumping off a diving board.

via MINI Backflip [Landed] | Guerlain Chicherit | The Crosby Press – BETA

Wray Herbert,  order, disorder, chaos, creativity, good, evil:  God created the world out of chaos … so can we …

Vohs wanted first off to explore the effects of order and disorder on socially desirable behaviors, so in the first experiment she looked at healthy eating and charitable giving. These are both things that, by common agreement, are good. She recruited volunteers and, unknown to them, had some work in a tidy room and the others in a messy space. They filled out questionnaires that weren’t really relevant to the study, and afterward were given the opportunity to donate privately to charity — specifically, to help pay for toys and books that would be given to children. Then, as they were departing, they were offered the choice of an apple or chocolate.

The results were unambiguous. Those who had been working in an orderly workspace were more generous. Not only were they more likely to donate anything to the kids, collectively they donated more than twice as much money to the charity. They were also more likely to make the healthy food choice.

The results confirmed what Vohs had predicted. As described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, the volunteers who worked in the untidy room were much more creative overall, and they also produced more “highly creative” ideas. In other words, they were more likely to break away from tradition, order and convention in their thinking. In a third study, those in a messy environment were more likely to select an option labeled “new” over one labeled “classic” — further supporting the link between order and tradition, disorder and novel thinking.

Taken together, these findings challenge the well-entrenched view of order and disorder as too simplistic. It’s misleading to conclude that messiness promotes wild, harmful and morally suspect behavior, or that order leads to honesty and goodness. A more nuanced view would add that disorder also inspires breaking from tradition, which can lead to fresh insight, and that order is linked to playing it safe. Vohs concludes with the example of Albert Einstein, who famously quipped: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

via Wray Herbert: What a Mess: Chaos and Creativity.

U.S. Postal Service, clothing line, TIME.com:  It worries me that I know some folks that might actually buy and wear this …:)

Postal service workers may stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have style. Soon everyone will be able to dress like a postal worker seven days a week.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is launching a clothing and accessory line called “Rain Heat & Snow,” due out in department and specialty stores nationwide in 2014. According to a news release, the name is meant to signify resilience — inspired by the agency’s unofficial motto “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

via U.S. Postal Service to Launch Clothing Line | TIME.com.

kith/kin, restaurants,  Atlanta, Yahoo! News:  Reading this list is like walking down memory lane … with my dad.  I’ve actually never been to Greenwood … but I will add it to my list … all the others I have regularly frequented during my lifetime …

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta

As you might have guessed, Colonnade is best known for its Southern dishes. That means fried chicken, beef ribs, and chicken-fried steak. Then we hit the sides, and there are about 30 of them each day. From apple sauce to mac and cheese, and it wouldn’t be a Southern favorite if it didn’t have that staple, fried okra.

As is tradition in the South, a basket of yeast rolls and cornbread muffins comes with your meal. Also a tradition, the servers are well-trained and attentive, and the atmosphere is relaxing and positive.

The Varsity

61 North Ave., Atlanta

It’s nothing fancy, and part of the building standing today is the original structure. The food is addicting in a good sort of way. Naked dogs, burgers, onion rings, and frosted oranges — the menu is pretty simple, but nerve-racking when it comes time to make that decision.

“We are what we are,” said Gordon Muir, whose grandfather, Frank Gordy, opened the restaurant after going to school at nearby Georgia Tech. “The food hasn’t changed.”

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

224 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta

Mary Mac’s Tea Room represents the “old guard” of Atlanta’s restaurants, and they do it well. …

Like The Varsity, Mary Mac’s is one of those “must eat” places when in Atlanta. Unlike The Varsity, Mary Mac’s offers comfort food with fresh cooked vegetables, and that includes the likes of picked beets and something called pot liquor, which apparently is the droppings from all the cooking going on in the kitchen. The servers will bring you some so you can dip your cornbread or muffin in for a special treat.

At Mary Mac’s, there is a pencil on every table, and you fill out your own order. Is that tradition in the South?

Greenwood’s Restaurant

1087 Green St., Roswell

“Greenwood’s was doing farm-to-table before farm-to-table was cool,” stated Melissa Libby of the popular Atlanta blog Atlanta Dish.

via A Look at Some of the Oldest Restaurants Around Atlanta – Yahoo! News

President Obama, media, the liberal press, technology, POLITICO.com:  Just thought this an interesting read …

President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.

Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.

The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

via Behind the Curtain: Obama, the puppet master – POLITICO.com.

Obamacare layoffs:  I saw a nasty post on FB where an employer fired employees who had voted for Obama …

Firing workers based on political affiliation may land employers in hot water. “It’s possible that employees could have some protection under various laws that exist,” said Risa Lieberwitz, professor of labor and employment law at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Federal law offers fines and imprisonment for anyone who “intimidates, threatens, coerces” someone “for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, several employers sent notices to workers urging them to vote for Romney, or warning of potential problems if Obama won. Courts would have to determine whether such letters constitute “intimidation.” The Supreme Court specifically protected employers’ rights to distribute political information to workers in its Citizens United decision.

Retaliation for a vote may not qualify as intimidation. But employers who fire workers or cut their hours based on their vote could face additional legal threats from a few state and local laws, which specifically ban retaliating against employees based on their voting preferences.

via Obamacare Layoffs: Georgia Businessman Claims He Fired Workers Because Obama Won.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, law blogging, blawging:  Enjoyed this session … don’t like the term “blawging” …

Law Blogging in the 21st Century

Tamar R. Birckhead, Associate Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

You are an expert in your field and you’d like to start a legal blog. this session will explore how to use social media to establish your presence in the blogosphere.

Festival of Legal Learning.

kitchen islands, design, WSJ.com:  thinking about my next kitchen …

[D]

Once-concealed preliminaries to a formal dinner, food prep and cooking are now the main event. It’s part of the fun for guests to mingle around the hostess-chef and help out. In this context, the island becomes “a stage where you perform cooking in front of your friends,” says Elizabeth C. Cromley, author of “The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating and the Architecture of American Houses.”

“I call it the lighthouse,” says Joseph Tralongo, lead designer at Leeds Custom Design, in West Palm Beach, Fla. “When someone walks into the kitchen, they immediately gravitate towards leaning or touching or putting their stuff on the island. It’s like a law of nature.” And the island is a design element that helps balance interior space—especially in a big, open home. “It keeps everything in scale,” Mr. Tralongo says.

via Kitchen Islands Get More Built-In Appliances, Storage and Features – WSJ.com.

 




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