Posts Tagged ‘teens

06
Nov
13

11.6.13 … End of a era :( … “Young people’s Internet behavior predicts everybody’s Internet behavior. ” …

Blockbuster, End of a era: End of a era 😦

Blockbuster, once synonymous with video rentals, had encountered a steady decline in business as rental services such as Netflix Inc. NFLX -1.77% and Outerwall Inc. OUTR +1.23% \’s Redbox increasingly cut into its business. More recently, Blockbuster has had to contend with growing streaming and on-demand services that consumers can use without leaving their homes.

Blockbuster tried to compete with its own mail business, but that will end in the middle of December, Dish said. However, Dish said it would retail licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, including its video library, and that it would continue its Blockbuster @Home and On Demand services.

via Dish Network to Close Remaining Blockbuster Stores – WSJ.com.

starbucks spelling, LOL, Tumblr: OK … this is funny.  “starbucks spelling” on tumblr.
Kat

Kat

A collection of misspelled names from the inventors of the \”Frappuccino.\”

via starbucks spelling.

YouTube Challenge,   I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2013 – YouTube, Jimmy Kimmel, LOL:  My cruel father probably would have done this.  🙂

Published on Nov 4, 2013

Once again we asked parents to pull a massive prank on their kids and pretend they ate all of their Halloween candy. Here are the results of this year\’s Halloween Candy YouTube Challenge.

via ▶ YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2013 – YouTube.

Starbucks, Twitter,  Gifting Platform, Fast Company | Business + Innovation:

A tweet can be used to share links, media, and status updates. But could it soon be used to share Starbucks coffee?

That\’s the promise of a new partnership launched today, Monday, by Twitter and Starbucks, which enables gift certificates to be exchanged via tweets. Called the tweet-a-coffee program, the service allows for spur-of-the-moment acts of generosity between friends, with little to no friction: Just tweet at another Twitter user in order to give a $5 digital eGift hassle-free. It\’s certainly a novel marketing tool. But the larger significance here is how companies like Starbucks are gradually beginning to see Twitter as a potential ecommerce platform.

via Starbucks, Twitter Launch Gifting Platform Via Tweets | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street, BBC News:

Although those firings certainly stung, they gave Ms Krawcheck an epiphany – in times of distress, companies react by closing ranks, and diversity, particularly gender diversity, suffers.

“What I saw a thousand times during the downturn was, We’d like to give her that opportunity, but we need to go with the sure thing – we can\’t afford diversity right now,'” she says.

So now, as the boss of 85 Broads, Ms Krawcheck says her goal is to work in a more active way to correct the gender balance at the top.

via BBC News – Sallie Krawcheck: Wall Street boss who was glad to be sacked.

Teens, Facebook,  Cool Anymore, Derek Thompson – The Atlantic:

Programs like Snapchat and other social sites are taking off, and the way these things usually work is that whatever technology teenagers are using today, young adults, and then older adults, will be using tomorrow. Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat: All billion-dollar valuations today, and all got their start among the high school and college crowd. Young people’s Internet behavior predicts everybody’s Internet behavior. The fact that they’re getting bored could mean that Facebook is becoming boring—a dangerous idea for a company that relies on the idle time of average people.

Or it could just mean that Facebook has grown up right in line with its audience.

via If Teens Don’t Think Facebook Is Cool Anymore, Should Facebook Worry? – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic.

Davidson College, Innovative Bio Instruction,   $100,000 Prize, kudos:

Prof. David Botstein, former director of Princetons Lewis-Siegler Institute for Integrative Genomics, announced today that he will donate $100,000 each to Davidson College and three other prestigious academic institutions for innovations in teaching biology. Botstein was one of eleven recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, announced earlier this year by Internet titans Yuri Milner, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki and Mark Zuckerberg. Botstein will share $400,000 of his Breakthrough Award with Davidsons Professor of Biology A. Malcolm Campbell, as well as faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory CSHL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California-San Francisco.\”With these awards, I recognize the successes of these four institutions in the development and delivery of educational programs that are furthering the field of biological research by training the next generation of breakthrough scientists,\” said Botstein. \”I have had the opportunity to participate in the development of these distinct programs and salute the institutions and the program leaders who have achieved the highest standards in science education.\”

via Davidson’s Innovative Bio Instruction Garners $100,000 Prize – Davidson College.

13
Apr
13

4.13.13 … Really? Nathan Deal stays out of integrated prom …

Wilcox Co GA, segregation, race relations, culture, teens, change, followup, GA Gov. Nathan Deal:  This is county of my grandparents … this is one of my homes.  It’s time for change.

In recent days the matter has become a cause for the left-leaning folks at Better Georgia, who have been soliciting lawmakers and others to donate — in part through a Twitter campaign. The idea of funding the prom originated with a Wilcox County African-American Republican named Melvin Everson, so it rankled some on the GOP side that Democrats were making such a fuss. Robinson called the Better Georgia campaign a “silly publicity stunt.”

Also, according to its Facebook page, the integrated prom met its fundraising goal way back on April 5. Additional donations will go to scholarships for the students.

via Nathan Deal stays out of integrated prom | Political Insider | www.ajc.com.

11
Apr
13

4.11.13 … You would hope we had moved beyond this …

Wilcox Co GA, segregation, race relations, culture, teens, change:  This is county of my grandparents … this is one of my homes.  It’s time for change.

Mail Online reports that the school has not broken any civil rights laws because it doesn’t actually sponsor the segregated prom dances – or any prom dance, for that matter. Instead, parents and students are responsible for organizing and funding the private events.

The Wilcox County schools website does not list a prom in its calendar of events, nor is the controversy referenced in their “School News” section.

In the video above, the students report that there has been opposition to their plans. Keela says “I put up posters for the “Integrated Prom” and we’ve had people ripping them down at the school.”

Quanesha describes the reactions that she has met with in response to the integrated prom: “We need to stick with the tradition. This is a traditional thing we don’t need to change and stuff like that, but why? No one can answer my question.”

Rochelle City Councilman Wayne McGuinty told Fox 24 that the Wilcox County High School’s segregated prom is not an accurate representation of his community.

“I think it’s more of the personal opinions of those involved,” said McGuinty. “I don’t think there is an effort made to keep black kids out of the white prom and to keep white kids out of the black prom.”

WSAV reports that there will still be two proms this year. The students said that when they pushed for one prom, the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom that would allow all students to attend but not stop segregated proms.

via Segregated Prom: Wilcox County, Ga. High School Students Set Up First Integrated Prom.

Edward Lindsey

Many of you may have heard about the students in Wilcox County Georgia that are organizing the first integrated prom in their high school’s history. My family comes from Wilcox County and I am proud of these students for standing up for what is right. My Republican friend Melvin J. Everson got the ball rolling on helping to fund this and a Democratic Group Better Georgia is pitching in as well. (Nice to see a little bi partisanship at work.)

Elizabeth and I have given a donation to help them with the expenses of the prom since they are getting no assistance from the school. I hope you will contribute as well.

http://www.facebook.com/IntegratedProm2013/app_208195102528120

via Facebook.

20
Mar
13

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

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

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

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

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

30
Jun
11

‎6.30.2011 … All is well ….

2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney, faith and spirituality:  Why do we think Mormons are quacks? What is different … maybe it is the polygamy thing …

MY COLLEAGUE’S post below got me thinking about Mormons. There’s a significant possibility that 2012 will be the year that America confronts the question of whether a Mormon can be president. It seems like a question with an obvious answer (“I don’t know. Can he?”). But surveys in recent years have consistently found that a large minority of voters are set against the idea, and the prejudice may be even more deeply rooted among a Republican primary electorate that is, as my colleague puts it, “struggling to decide which it hates most—being a Mormon or being sensible.”

I’d like to step back from the question of whether a Mormon can be president to take up a more fundamental query: why don’t people like Mormons? No other faith, save perhaps Islam, catches so much flak in the United States. Even among Americans who aren’t hostile to Mormonism, the default position seems to be scepticism or ridicule rather than anodyne appreciation for the varieties of religious experience. That’s weird. Every other major religion can count on being defended by members of other faiths. Here’s Mitt Romney, for example, in his 2007 speech on faith:

I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims. As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life’s blessings.

Yet Mr Romney doesn’t call out any special aspect of Mormonism; he only says the word once in the speech, and the editorial comment offered is that his faith is “the faith of [his] fathers.” (That’s actually quite similar to Jon Huntsman’s tendency to refer to his “Mormon heritage”.)

via Mormons: They’re here, they’re square, get used to it! | The Economist.

teens, social networking, language, LOL:  Fascinating comparison of texting teens and telegraphing teens.

Shorthand and abbreviations became a popular way to keep the “inside joke” of LOL, or “laughing out loud,” and brb, or “be right back,” within the circle. In time, though, these catchphrases reached a broader audience, losing their cache and exclusivity. As soon as its use became widespread and commercial, the code was no longer “cool.”

That was the case earlier this year when a crop of abbreviations common to texting and email were included in the Oxford English Dictionary, legitimizing the language shift caused by rapid-fire, text-based communications.

In this sense, the adoption of a discarded language makes perfect sense, to keep texting’s cachet among teens exclusive. And linguists are pleased that dying languages are helping teens communicate, keeping the languages alive in the process.

“This really strengthens the use of the language,” said Herrera, who is pleased to find this naturally occurring, albeit somewhat unconventional, solution to the problem of dying native tongues.

In fact, according to Dr. Gregory Anderson, young people need to be the ones reviving a dying language. The director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Salem, Oregon, says that somewhere between the ages of six and 25, people make a definitive decision whether or not to say to stay or break with a language.

A letter from Philadelphia to Boston might take a couple weeks, so in that respect the telegram, which was used to convey important military and political information, was invaluable. Historians today researching the early 1900s rely heavily on telegrams to piece together important events, much as modern historians are using Twitter, for example, to put together a timeline of the Arab Spring events.

Something as simple as text messaging can draw young people’s attention back to the languages of their elders, and projects like the YouTube channel’s “Enduring Voices” can inspire others to learn ancestral tongues to produce hip-hop music. Connections between both the past and present echo from the old fashioned telegram tapping out on Morse code from a century back, to texting in another type of code entirely today.

via ITTO: Teenagers Revive Dead Languages Through Texting – Mobiledia.

college, economics, data:  Interesting data, interesting analysis.

Thanks to a new Web site made available today by the Department of Education, families can compare the various costs of particular colleges and universities, as well as the trends in that pricing, according to an article in The Times by my colleague Tamar Lewin.

via A New Web Site Aims to Help Families Compare Tuition – NYTimes.com.

book shelf, faith and spirituality, Genesis, marriage, James Howell:  Enjoyed James’ analysis of Genesis 2.

June 30

eGenesis 2 – a partner fit   “On New Years Eve, 1967, the knowledge that I did love Thanne pitched me headlong into a crisis wherein I suffered a blindness, from which I arose – married.”  So goes Walter Wangerins first sentence in As for Me and my House, which I rank as the truest, most moving, funniest, and most helpful book on marriage in print.  Wangerin, a Lutheran pastor and superb writer, tells of his relationship with Thanne, and it is honest, nothing sugar-coated or idyllic, sharing the typical difficulties with candor, good humor, and greatest of all – hope.   His recipe for a successful marriage?  Not having fun or shared hobbies or even stellar communication, but forgiveness, truthfulness, dependability, sharing the work of survival, talking and listening, giving and volunteering – which not surprisingly sounds like wise counsel for friendships, coworkers, families and neighbors.   Why mention Wangerin during our series on Genesis?  As for Me and my House includes a fascinating reflection on Genesis 2 – when Adam names all the animals, but none of them is a “fit” for him until Eve is created:  “Beasts of burden conform to their owners desires, bearing loads, but this sort of creature is not fit for a spouse.  Birds fulfill the aesthetic side of our nature, beautiful in plumage, thrilling in song – but neither is a spouse fit only to be a beautiful object.  Cattle are considered personal property – but a spouse was never meant to be.  The slow may make up speed by riding horses, the weak may make up strength by driving oxen.  The blind use dogs.  The thirsty milk cows.  But that purpose completing ones self by gaining the talents of another human is not fitting for a marriage, and is dangerous, for it reduces the spouses role to that of an animal – something to be used.  Only one being was intended to dominate in a marriage, but that one was neither of the partners.  It was the creator himself – God.”   The only One intended to dominate any relationship would be God – although the form of that domination is humble service, giving life, fostering hope, an unquenchable love that seeks us relentlessly, not treating us as property but we the holy beloved.James

via eGenesis 2 – a partner fit.

30
Jun
10

6.30.2010 … as of tomorrow, my youngest will be driving … times they are a changing …. … what do you remember about turning 16? … the end is near, in two parts (Harry Potter) … John saw Ringo Starr in a restaurant in Boston the other night … have you ever seen someone famous/infamous … I’ve met and/or seen a few politicians … but other than that … nada

food – Southern:  This is going too far … bet they don’t have these in Colorado.

The doughnuts will be packed with Cheerwine-infused crème and topped with a chocolate icing and a healthy dose of red and white sprinkles, said Tom Barbitta, vice president of marketing for Cheerwine.

via Cheerwine-infused Krispy Kremes to hit stores – CharlotteObserver.com.

vuvuzelas, sports, FIFA World Cup:  I am searching for mine now … 4th of July vuvuzela, anyone?

Spicing up boring old American baseball — one vuvuzela at a time.

At a home game June 19, the Florida Marlins debuted vuvuzela-style plastic horns. They were a hit with fans, the players? Not so much. “I can’t tell you how awful it was,” said center fielder Cody Ross.

The good news? After the World Cup ends you can mourn its loss by blowing into a vuvuzuela forlornly. The bad news? That annoying, head ache-inducing killer bee sound? It seems it’s here to stay.

via They Live: Vuvuzela Coming Soon, to a Sporting Event Near You – TIME NewsFeed.

blogs: OK, 35 best blogs … I have heard of 10 and been to 2 … I am on this computer a lot … who finds this stuff?

From the savvy to the satirical, the eye-opening to the jaw-dropping, TIME makes its annual picks of the blogs we can’t live without

via Zenhabits – Best Blogs of 2010 – TIME.

education, twitter, literature: importance of conciseness … and they actually have college courses on the literary art of twitter!  where?

Twitter critics all seem to forget the old adage: less is more.

If you’re anti-twitter because you just “don’t care what someone had for breakfast,” then maybe you’re still missing the point.

At least according to Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News, who says that twitter isn’t just a place for frivolous updates or random links. He says there’s actual literary value in keeping things 140 characters and less.

And he has a point.

Writers, poets and editors have long known the importance of conciseness. As Vognar points out, it takes a lot more skill to make a salient point in 140 characters than it does with dozens of needless words.

And that’s where Twitter’s literary value really shows. Not in the reading of tweets—which can of course be consumed rather quickly—but in the writing. To write a pithy, interesting tweet, time after time, takes discipline (what exactly are you trying to say), self-editing (it’s difficult to stay under the character limit), and an appreciation for language (which words are absolutely necessary).

Time’s own James Poniewozik made similar observations recently, pointing to past literary giants who “would have killed on Twitter.” (Alexander Pope in this case).

From the Twitter novel to the Twitter short story to the Twitter humorists, there is a strong case for how, when done right, Twitter allows writers to use a new form of technology to sharpen the old writing rules.

Twitter is all about what you make of it. And like all forms of literature, sometimes it takes a bit of effort to find the masterpieces (that is, until they actually have introductory college courses on the literary art of Twitter). So when you find something worthwhile, please make sure to retweet.

via Twit Lit 101: How Twitter Is Redefining Writing – TIME NewsFeed.

health, Colorado: This is scary … maybe my boys have the right idea.

Take a look at this map. See that blue state in a sea of red and purple hues? It’s Colorado, the only state in the union with an adult obesity rate below 20%. (”Just” 19.1% of its residents are obese.)

We’re talking obesity here — defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, or about 180-plus pounds for a 5′5″ person — not merely overweight (defined as a BMI of between 25 and 30).

via Colorado Now the Only State With Obesity Rate Less Than 20% – Health Blog – WSJ.

Apple apps, philosophy: Since John and I met in an 8 am philosophy class, I am a little light in that area … so I downloaded this app and made it though about 3 sentences in the first article and glazed over … I am not meant to be a philosopher …

We’re a little way off from a handheld Deep Thought, but since life and meaning continue to perplex, a new philosophy application for smart phones might be the next best thing. AskPhilosophers.org — a popular online resource for questions philosophical — has launched an app — AskPhil —for iPhones, iPods and Android phones.

Alexander George, a professor of philosophy at Amherst College, launched AskPhilosophers.org in 2005 (he discusses the site in his post for The Stone, “The Difficulty of Philosophy”). He describes the AskPhil app in an Amherst press release: “When philosophical questions occur to people away from their desks or computer screens they’ll now have the opportunity through their mobile devices to see quickly whether other people have already asked that question and whether it’s received interesting responses.”

via Philosophy App – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

colleges, parenting, teens: I am so guilty of some of these … Reacting to One College’s Advice for Parents – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

news, movies, fact/fiction: Yesterday we met a real life Jason Borne, today a real life Bond girl …

Her Facebook page’s address contains the more Russian first name “Anya” instead of the Americanized “Anna” and is adorned with glamorous, suggestive self-portraits. Many of them are being republished today in the tabloids, with captions calling Chapman a “femme fatale” with a “Victoria’s Secret body.”

via Spy Ring’s ‘Femme Fatale’ Anna Chapman Conjures Bond Girl Image.

Also check out … Deep Inside Alleged Russian Spies’ Tech and Techniques | Fast Company.

Charlotte, culture, LOL: Just plain out funny … “weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.”

This royal theme, while fine for street-sign logos, is an absolute manly-man disaster, public relations-wise. Mention royalty and people instantly think of Prince Charles.

Our honor springs from one of those surveys ranking various towns – which surveyors never bother to visit – on oddball criteria. Sponsored by the snack food Combos, the nation’s 50 biggest cities were weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.

And we won. Baltimore, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, well-muscled manly-man hotbeds if ever there were, are left in our dust.

Ridiculous.

We’re such a manly-man city that:

Our top tourist attraction is an outlet mall.

We cancel school because it might snow.

Our prostitution ring was called “Hush-Hush.”

Panthers receiver Steve Smith breaks his arm playing flag football.

Tryon Street, our main drag, has three art museums, but you can’t get a tattoo anywhere.

via Real men don’t do Charlotte – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, marketing: The end is near … in two parts … The trailer is pretty good … so Thanksgiving 2010 will have a fun movie … and July 2011 … way to build things up.

YouTube – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Official HD.

blogs: Another pretty good blog …Girls, God and the Good Life.

blogs, summer: I really like this blog I found yesterday … amazing what is out there … and the $1.69 cheery limeade drink at TAco Bell is pretty good too!

Sonic Strawberry Limeade is summer beverage perfection. The ice is perfect. The fizzy sweet-tartness is perfect. The juicy bits of strawberry that sneak up the straw to surprise your taste buds are perfect. The ice is perfect. The fresh lime wedge and strawberry chunks left in the bottom of the cup are perfect. And did I mention the ice? It’s the perfect size, the perfect shape, and the perfect softness for ADA-approved crunching. It’s the ice all other ice dreams of becoming but never will. Sonic Strawberry Limeade is a delectable treat from the first sip to the last bits of berry you scrape off the side of the cup with your straw, if you’re unladylike enough to do that sort of thing. A finger works, too.

Better still, it’s half price from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Happy Hour indeed! For one dollah and nine cent you can purchase a 16 oz mini-vacation in beverage heaven. So, what are you waiting for? By my clock, you still have ten minutes to get there.

via The View From Here.

RIP, icons: “most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II” … goodbye, Ms. Shain … I think every woman would have loved to have been the recipient of that random kiss …

It’s perhaps the most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II, and the nurse who made it possible, Edith Shain, is dead at 91.

via ‘Kissing Nurse’ From Famous World War II Photograph Dies – TIME NewsFeed.

history, archeology, alluring titles:  Come on, with a title like “Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? ” you have to find out!

Did someone sabotage the Egyptian king’s mummy to hide his less-than endowed genitalia? A new report from The New Scientist presents the possibility of a anatomical conspiracy.

Earlier this year, scientists speculated the cause of famed King Tutankhamen’s death to be due to a bone disorder and a bad case of malaria, but just last week a group of German researchers overruled that diagnosis. Instead, they say the 19-year-old pharaoh suffered from sickle-cell anemia, a genetic abnormality in red blood cells that ultimately causes organ failure.

While researching the new prognosis for The New Scientist,journalist Jo Marchant uncovered another proposed ailment of Tut’s. A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that Tut could also have suffered from Antley-Bixler syndrome, a genetic mutation that yields strange physical effects, such as elongated skulls and even under-developed genitalia. (Some researchers support the theory and use artistic depictions of Tut and his relatives, often show with elongated faces, as proof.)

Egypt’s chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass dismisses the theory, claiming that Tut was, in fact, well-developed. However, as Marchant points out, Tut’s penis is no longer attached to the body. After some digging, Marchant was able to confirm that the king’s genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning the postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times. Interestingly, Tut’s penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy.

This evidence has lead some, including Marchant to believe that Tut’s penis was swapped sometime after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from embarrassment of the locker room variety, even in the afterlife.

via Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? – TIME NewsFeed.

quotes:

“To do good, you actually have to DO something.”

Yvon Chouinard

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.

unique, philanthropy, doing good: I am fascinated by this project.

Back in March, I spent two weeks writing about some of the 36 young entrepreneurs who were each trying to raise $6,500 to get to the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder. This 10-week business incubator is designed to give these dauntingly brilliant, inspired, energetic and committed young innovators the tools to get their big ideas off the ground & out in the world where they can do some huge good.

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.

29
Jun
10

6.29.2010 … happy birthday, alex! … sunny day … lots in the news … braves win against the phenom … Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

baseball, Braves, Strasburg: I hope et enjoyed the game!

Stephen Strasburg came to town as the toast of baseball, so dominant through his first four starts that a Washington reporter asked Braves manager Bobby Cox whether the Nationals rookie should be in next month’s All-Star Game.

Cox was diplomatic in his response, but a couple of hours later his Braves delivered a response of a different kind.

After Strasburg sailed through six innings, the Braves knocked him out of the game during a five-run seventh that lifted them to a X-X win against the Nationals in a series opener before an excited crowd of 42,889 at Turner Field.

via Braves, Hudson win duel with phenon Strasburg  | ajc.com.

csr, culture: Another article right in line with some discussions we have been having at our house.

Two-and-a-half years later, Danone teamed up with Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi who later won the Nobel Peace Prize for his microcredit program that lends money to poor entrepreneurs. Mr. Riboud and Mr. Yunus, having met over lunch, set up a joint venture called Grameen Danone Foods Ltd.

The idea was to sell an affordable seven-cent yogurt product called Shokti Doi—which means “strong yogurt.” Fortified with vitamins and minerals, it was to be sold through local women who would peddle it door to door on commission.

For the 54-year old Danone boss, who eschews ties and gets around by scooter, the Shokti Doi initiative was something of a personal mission. His father Antoine, who preceded him as chief executive, had instilled in him an interest in ventures that had a chance to both make money and give a lift to the poor—the “double project”, as he called it.

Within a year, though, Grameen Danone hit a wall: Milk prices soared, factory openings were delayed, and the saleswomen couldn’t earn a living selling yogurt alone. Today, a significant portion of sales of Shokti Doi come from urban stores, not rural villages as planned.

via Danone Expands Its Pantry to Woo the World’s Poor – WSJ.com.

culture, South Africa, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Because of the World Cup and that my daughter will soon spend 9 weeks in SA, I am fascinated with it’s culture, history, problems … and hope.

At moments, as during this first African World Cup, the rainbow shimmers. This was supposed to be the competition of smash-and-grab and of machete attacks. Many stayed away.

The fear merchants, always hard at work, have been proved wrong. German grandmas do not lie savaged on the road to Rustenburg.

Unity has unfurled, calm broken out. Smiles crease black and white faces alike. To the point that the most asked question here is: Will this moving honeymoon last beyond the World Cup?

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Black and the White of It – NYTimes.com.

media:  How often do you read Rolling Stone?  Will you read it more often now?

“Everything was kind of hunky-dory under Clinton,” Mr. Wenner said in a telephone interview last week. “With Bush, between 9/11 and his response to it, he put the country in pretty serious danger. And that kind of got our juices going again.”Rolling Stone’s explosive piece “The Runaway General,” which last week brought a disgraceful end to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s career, was just the latest in a string of articles resonating in the nation’s corridors of power.Its excoriating takedown of Goldman Sachs last summer was one of the most provocative and widely debated pieces of journalism to come out of the financial crisis. In the article, the writer Matt Taibbi described the investment bank as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”And this month, the magazine published a critical take on the Obama administration’s regulation of the oil industry, which started a firestorm on cable news and in the blogosphere. The current issue contains a follow-up on BP’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

via Rolling Stone Back on a Roll With Investigative Articles – NYTimes.com.

RIP: Interesting perspectives from many who knew him well … to me, he was always the old guy in the senate.

Op-Ed Contributors – Robert Byrd, Living History – NYTimes.com.

media:  I don’t produce YouTube videos … but if I did would I pay the fee … I am a rule follower …

You’ve shot the video and edited it down. It’s ready for YouTube. But what about the soundtrack?

Publishing a video with copyrighted music requires a license for the song. And securing that can be a cumbersome task — track down the record label, make a deal — especially for amateurs just looking to post a video of the family vacation.

But on Tuesday, the music licensing company Rumblefish is introducing a service that allows users to buy a license to a copyrighted song for $1.99. For that price, the user gets the full version of the song and can edit it as well.

via Rumblefish to Offer Music for YouTube Users – NYTimes.com.

basketball: A Curry is probably the only thing that could make me watch or, god forbid, pull for Duke.

Blend in Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, plus Andre Dawkins, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and beefed-up Ryan Kelly (232 pounds), and it’s easy to see how the Devils could win their fifth title.

via Despite roster changes, Duke could win it all again – CharlotteObserver.com.

economy, Dublin: The City Center seemed vital and bustling … but John and I got off the map (directionally uninhibited/challenged …by me :)) and we saw the multitude of “for let” signs, the unfinished developments … it is truly a global recession.

Signs of the decline encrust Dublin’s streets. Boisterous crowds still mash onto the cobbles of Temple Bar. Yet farther out, “To Let” posters obscure the hollowed shells of once-vibrant cafes and clothing shops.

Fifteen minutes north of the city center, hulks of empty buildings form stark symbols of why Ireland must now hunker down. At Elm Park, a soaring industrial and residential complex, 700 employees of the German insurer Allianz are the lone occupants of a space designed for thousands.

In the impoverished Ballymun neighborhood, developers began razing slums to make way for new low-income housing. Halfway through the project, the financing dried up, leaving some residents to languish in graffiti-covered concrete skeletons. “Welcome to Hell,” read one of the tamest messages.

via In Ireland, a Picture of the Cost of Austerity – NYTimes.com.

economy, Charlotte, urban development: 30 years ago as a college student, we favored Eastland over South Park … times change … demographics change.

The polished corridors of Eastland Mall, once abuzz with shoppers and cash registers, held only hissing escalators and echoing elevator music Friday. Darkened storefronts lined the hallways.

It will close Wednesday – 35 years after its debut as the region’s premier retail destination. Though a Houston company last week bought the core of the 1.1million-square-foot shopping center with the hope of reinventing it, the old Eastland is almost certainly finished. A new identity, a new look, a new name could take its place.

via Why Eastland went from bustling to bust – CharlotteObserver.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court: modest … how does that mix with snarky and brassy?

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan sought Monday to counter assertions by conservatives that she was a liberal activist with an agenda, promising to be a modest jurist, respectful of the “often messy” democratic process.

Ms. Kagan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the court’s role should be “a modest one, properly deferential to the decisions of the American people and their elected representatives,” in her first comments since her nomination.

She added, “The court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people.”

via Kagan Hearings Get Under Way – WSJ.com.

R(etire) in Peace, Supreme Court: Justice Stevens you will be missed … even your bow ties.

Bowtie-wearing lawyers and spectators dotted the U.S. Supreme Court chamber on Monday, a nod to retiring justice John Paul Stevens and his signature neckwear.

Stevens, 90, officially retires Tuesday, the first day of the Supreme Court’s summer recess.

“If I have overstayed my welcome, it is because this is such a unique and wonderful job,” said Stevens, who on his retirement will be the third-longest serving justice.

via John Paul Stevens Retires From Supreme Court, Bow Tie-Clad Lawyers Say Goodbye.

media, politics:

On most cable newscasts, the people who are writing new financial regulations are called congressmen. But on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” on MSNBC, some are called “banksters.”

Dylan Ratigan says that the financial overhaul bill is “nothing more than window dressing.”

That term, a twist on gangsters, tells viewers a lot about Mr. Ratigan, a financial news apostate who has transformed himself into an outspoken opponent of too-big-to-fail banks and the politicians whom he calls their servants. In the recent fight over financial reform, he lent a megaphone to people who wanted an end to “too big to fail,” and he called on viewers to lobby the Senators in his imaginary Bankster Party.

All this from a man who, until recently, hosted a stock-picking show on CNBC, the cable personification of Wall Street. Now Mr. Ratigan, who labels himself a taxpayer advocate, rails against the “vampire” banks who “have assumed control of our government.”

“It’s like being the guy who was running the casino, and then having an awakening and realizing that the casino is what’s killing the country,” Mr. Ratigan said in an interview last week.

via A Business Journalist Turned Anti-Banker – NYTimes.com.

parenting, culture, teens: Fine line … most parents almost can’t win …  except the perfect ones …

Kids whose parents are either too strict or too lenient may be more likely to engage in binge drinking, according to a new study out of Brigham Young University.

Researchers found parenting style doesn’t make a difference in whether or not your kid will try alcohol, but it does affect the relationship teens have with adult beverages.

The Los Angeles Times reports that of 5,000 teens surveyed, those who had the healthiest relationship with alcohol also had parents who strike a balance between watchful and loving.

via Parenting Style an Influence on Teen Drinking, Study Says – ParentDish.

great headlines:  Just had to read about a real life jason Bourne!

Detectives are focusing on the contents of four computer hard drives in hopes of unraveling the case of the so-called “real-life Jason Bourne,” an ex-con who sparked a six-week international manhunt after police found his Los Angeles luxury loft stocked with loaded weapons, counterfeit bills and photos documenting his changing appearance.

via Brian Alexik, ‘Real-Life Jason Bourne,’ Mystifies Detectives.

culture, women’s issues: No class ceiling … but I don’t particularly like beer.

“We have found that females often are more sensitive about the levels of flavor in beer,” says Barry Axcell, SABMiller’s chief brewer. Women trained as tasters outshine their male counterparts, he says.

If practice makes perfect, men should have the clear edge in beer tasting, since they account for 72.8% of the world’s beer sales, according to market-research firm Datamonitor Group. But SABMiller, which makes Pilsner Urquell, Peroni and Grolsch in addition to Miller and Coors brands, says its empirical evidence shows that females are the superior sex when it comes to detecting such undesirable chemicals as 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which makes beer “skunky.”

via No Glass Ceiling for the Best Job in Whole World – WSJ.com.

media, culture: After seeing the picture, I scared to go find the video!

Last week, Mr. Wilson released a spoof of Gaga’s “Alejandro,” a video that has been generating attention because of its religious overtones, this time as sung by Old Lady Gaga. The character is played by comedian Jackie Hoffman and the act involves tubes of Fixodent, walkers and granny panties.

via Jackie Hoffman a Hit as Old Lady Gaga – WSJ.com.

work, culture: … more seamless blend of work and life …hmmm

Over the past couple of decades, a new way of working and a new kind of workplace have evolved. It began in Silicon Valley, where companies ceded a certain degree of autonomy to knowledge workers, recognizing that too much rigidity could stifle creative output. Khakis and shirtsleeves replaced gray flannel suits. And 9 to 5 sometimes became 9 to 9 or 11 to 1 in the morning. But the time was broken up by espresso runs and bike rides, or ultimate Frisbee games during lunch.

The trend has spread to the point that our lifestyles and our work styles are becoming increasingly blurred. Though my factory-worker father might not have believed it, those people you see hunched over their laptops in coffee shops and thumbing instant messages on their BlackBerrys as they walk through the park are actually working.

This new way of work has given rise to what the sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls “third places” — the Starbucks where we go not just to drink coffee but also to send an e-mail; the hotel lobby where we take a meeting; or the local library where we write a report, edit a document or revise a business plan.

Increasingly, places are supplanting plants — corporate headquarters and factories — as the principal social and economic organizing units of our time. There are several reasons for this.

Mass migration from farms to urban centers generated new prosperity after the Long Depression of 1873-79. The expanding suburbs underpinned the great economic boom of the 1950s and 60s. We are now at the cusp of another such far-reaching movement — with the magnetic pull of urban centers strengthening our economy and leading to a more seamless blending of work and life.

via Preoccupations – The Urban Lands of Opportunity – NYTimes.com.

culture, annoyances: Ranks at the top of my list!

IN a recent Consumer Reports survey about everyday annoyances, with 10 being “annoys you tremendously,” respondents rated the failure to get a human being on a customer service line an 8.6, second only to hidden fees (8.9) and more irritating than spam e-mail (7.5) and inaccurate meteorologists (4.3), which was at the bottom of the list.

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

icons:  Does anyone know where this DAWG statue is … I assume in Athens?

annoyances, culture:

The Web site lets consumers hang up when put on hold; later they are called when a service representative is available.

A new company, LucyPhone, is offering a solution: when put on hold, users can hang up, and are then called back when a customer service representative finally picks up. On the free service’s Web site, LucyPhone.com, users type in a customer service number (or click on one of many stored on the site), as well as their own. The company also has submitted a free iPhone application to Apple, which it expects to be approved soon.

via Advertising – An Escape Hatch From Being Stranded on Hold – NYTimes.com.

vocabulary, random, music:  Do you have a favorite earworm … or is that an oxymoron?

Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm,[1] is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind, put colloquially as “music being stuck in one’s head.”

via Earworm – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

OK, so here is mine ….

culture, teens, children: a little troubling, but worth reading …

Everyone warns parents about the drama of the teen years—the self-righteous tears, slamming doors, inexplicable fashion choices, appalling romances.

But what happens when typical teen angst starts to look like something much darker and more troubling? How can parents tell if a moody teenager is simply normal—or is spinning out of control? This may be one of the most difficult dilemmas parents will ever face.

via Worried About a Moody Teen? – WSJ.com.

blogs: I like this new blog.

About Johnson

In this blog, named for the dictionary-maker Samuel Johnson, our correspondents write about the effects that the use (and sometimes abuse) of language have on politics, society and culture around the world

That said, a lot of meetings are still bilingual, and the English spoken in Euro-Brussels has some quirks that come directly from French. One of my favourites is the word “normally”, which is a real marker for speakers of Euro-English, including native English speakers who have been in the city a long time. The adverb is a false friend, with “normally” and “normalement” carrying subtly different meanings in English and French.

via Johnson | The Economist.




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