Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times

26
Feb
16

2.26.16 … minerals (healing), vegetable, animal, human, angles and the last one is the unknown (beyond the grasp of the human mind) …

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“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 16/40), Morningstar Lutheran Chapel – Mint Hill NC:

bright sun,

chimes,

chapel with red doors,

old cemetery,

legacy labyrinth in memory of Shannon Kennedy,

 debris on the path

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A new brochure!

“The labyrinth is a spiritual tool meant to awaken us to ourselves into the light that calls from within. In surrendering to the winding path, the soul finds healing and wholeness.”

We are all on the path precisely where we need to be.

It can be a path of prayer, reduce stress, and self knowledge, help us move through transitions in life, quiet the mind, give solace, peace, clarity, celebration, give comfort and solace to the weary soul.

There are three “r”s to walking the labyrinth: releasing as you walk in, receiving in the center, and returning – taking your experience back out into the world.

In the center are six petals. They can stand for many things. One thought is: starting on the left are minerals (healing), vegetable, animal, human, angles and the last one is the unknown (beyond the grasp of the human mind).

 

2.26.16

Potter more,  29 signs,  Hermione and Ron, Harry Potter:  I missed most of the signs …

You may think that this famous romance only kicked off after several years of Hogwarts and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but we like to think the signs were always there…

Source: Pottermore – 29 signs that Hermione liked Ron from the start

Mark Willenbring, Substance Abuse Treatment Begins With Research, The New York Times: 

“Sounds like a prison camp,” Dr. Willenbring said softly, leaning forward in his chair to pass a box of tissues. Continue reading the main story Sign Up for the Science Times Newsletter Every week, we’ll bring you stories that capture the wonders of the human body, nature and the cosmos. He began explaining the neuroscience of alcohol and drug dependence, 60 percent of which, he said, is attributable to a person’s genetic makeup. Listening intently, the young patient seemed relieved at the idea that his previous failures in rehab might reflect more than a lack of will. Dr. Willenbring, 66, has repeated this talk hundreds of times. But while scientifically unassailable, it is not what patients usually hear at addiction treatment centers. Rehabilitation programs largely adhere to the 12-step principles of the 80-year-old Alcoholics Anonymous and its offshoot, Narcotics Anonymous. Addicts have a moral and spiritual defect, they are told; they must abstain from alcohol and drugs and surrender to a higher power to escape substance abuse. This treatment is typically delivered through group therapy led by counselors whose main qualification is their own completion of the program. In some states, drug counselors with only a high school degree may treat patients, according to a 2012 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Dr. Willenbring says he believes this approach ignores the most recent research on the subject, a judgment he is well qualified to make. From 2004 to 2009, he was the director of treatment research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and he oversaw dozens of studies proving the efficacy of medications and new behavioral therapies to treat drinking problems.

Source: For Mark Willenbring, Substance Abuse Treatment Begins With Research – The New York Times

 Yosemite,  Waterfall Firefall, The New York Times, serendipity:

 

For a few weeks in February if the conditions are just right, for about 10 minutes around sunset, one waterfall in Yosemite National Park looks more like its opposite — a firefall. Visitors who flocked to the park this week, many with cameras in tow, have not been disappointed by the glowing transformation of Horsetail Fall, which flows from El Capitan. “In the over 20 years I have been photographing the firefall and leading workshops there in Yosemite, I have never seen a more spectacular one,” said Michael Mariant, a photographer from Morro Bay, Calif., who leads teaching trips to Yosemite. The phenomenon occurs only if there has been enough snow and rain in the Sierra Mountains to fuel the waterfall, if the skies are clear and if the setting sun strikes the water at an angle that creates the illusion of lava.

Source: At Yosemite, a Waterfall Turns Into a Firefall – The New York Times

UNC professor,  credits,  first use of ‘shit happens’, The Daily Tar Heel: 

If you go on Wikipedia and look at ‘shit happens,’ you see my name,” Eble said. It started as a class assignment. Every semester, Eble asks her students to write down new catch phrases on index cards that she collects and compiles into a list.

And on the list from 1983 is first alleged recorded use of “shit happens.” “A female student turned in ‘shit happens,’ and wrote this: ‘When informed that he flunked the test, the guy replied, ‘That shit happens.’’” Although that student remains anonymous, Eble has gained more recognition for coining the phrase than she’d like to take credit for. “This gets brought up every so often,” she said. “Will this never die? I didn’t come up with it — it just so happened that my list was the earliest citation. And now it’s become sort of an urban myth.”

Source: UNC professor credited with first use of ‘shit happens’ :: The Daily Tar Heel

Mussels with White Wine Recipe – Bon Appétit, favorite meals:

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Mussels With White Wine

Spoon some aioli on a piece of toast, dunk it in the broth, and eat it along with the white wine-soaked mussels. Repeat. Ingredients

SERVINGS:

4 Lemon

Aioli

1 large egg yolk

1 garlic clove, finely grated

1 tsp (or more) fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Mussels

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds mussels, debearded, scrubbed

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Sliced country-style bread, toasted (for serving)

Lemon Aioli Whisk egg yolk, garlic, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in vegetable oil, then olive oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until aioli is emulsified. Do Ahead: Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Mussels Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add mussels and 1/2 cup water to pot, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels open (discard any that do not open), 10–12 minutes. Ladle mussels and broth into shallow bowls and top with thyme; serve with bread and lemon aioli. Recipe by Dawn Perry Photograph by Gentl & Hyers

Nutritional Content Calories (kcal) 640 Fat (g) 33 Saturated Fat (g) 5

Source: Mussels with White Wine Recipe – Bon Appétit

Urban birding, David Lindo,  ‘sexy’ pastime, Love Nature:  I have several birding friends.  Now I know it is a  ‘sexy’ pastime’!!

There is a commonly-held idea that there are far fewer bird species to be found in the city than in the countryside. But that’s not your experience, is it? Well it’s not true, full stop. I think people do not expect to see wildlife in urban areas, so they don’t see it. It’s all about opening your mind to the idea of seeing wildlife and to imagine the city as how a bird would see it. So for me, buildings become cliffs and even the trees I see around become scattered woodland and even a small patch of reed bed or a small lake can replicate what you’d find in the outer countryside, so I expect to see the same sort of things—albeit in lesser numbers usually . . . The UK had just under 600 species recorded from whenever they started recording back in the early 1900s and nearly 400 species have been seen in London. So I don’t see being in an urban area as a block to enjoying birds and wildlife.

Source: Urban birding: Expert David Lindo explains how and why to take up this ‘sexy’ pastime | Love Nature

 

 

17
Feb
16

2.17.16 … Warning! never Consider the Labyrinth Either As a Game or as a Selfish Exercise. Walk It Sensibly, Slowly, Without Stopping, And With Awareness of Others …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Labyrinth Walks (Walk 8/40), Chartres Silk Scarf “Finger Labyrinth” @ Home – Charlotte:

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An interesting “walk”  … I saw my scarf from Chartres Cathedral  which I wear every once in a while, and I thought it might be fun.  So I got out my pictures from Chartres Cathedral. Included in my pictures is a short video I took while walking at Chartres.  It was very interesting because I could hear my footsteps in the cathedral.

As I retraced my Chartres walks, I reread the prayer I read as I walked two years ago.

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I also read the information signs that I saw at the Cathedral.  This one was  especially interesting.  IMG_0433

A few pictures from August 2014 …

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DLT

2.17.16

Justice Antonin Scalia, Foundation for Reformed Theology, Dr. James C. Goodloe, funerals: It will be interesting to learn what is said at Justice Scalia’s funeral in light of this letter. Thanks, Bill Wood for sharing.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the following about the funeral of Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and even more about the importance of preaching–especially at a funeral!–preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the eternal life which follows from that. ————————————————————————————–

 

Supreme Court of the United States Washington, D. C. 20543

CHAMBERS OF JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA

September 1, 1998

Dr. James C. Goodloe

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church

1627 Monument Avenue

Richmond, Virginia 23220-2925

Dear Dr. Goodloe:

I looked for you unsuccessfully at the luncheon following the funeral yesterday. I wanted to tell you how reverent and inspiring I found the service that you conducted. In my aging years, I have attended so many funerals of prominent people that I consider myself a connoisseur of the genre. When the deceased and his family are nonbelievers, of course, there is not much to be said except praise for the departed who is no more. But even in Christian services conducted for deceased Christians , I am surprised at how often eulogy is the centerpiece of the service, rather than (as it was in your church) the Resurrection of Christ, and the eternal life which follows from that. I am told that, in Roman Catholic canon law, encomiums at funeral Masses are not permitted—though if that is the rule, I have never seen it observed except in the breach. I have always thought there is much to be said for such a prohibition, not only because it spares from embarrassment or dissembling those of us about whom little good can truthfully be said, but also because, even when the deceased was an admirable person—indeed, especially when the deceased was an admirable person—praise for his virtues can cause us to forget that we are praying for, and giving thanks for, God’s inexplicable mercy to a sinner. (My goodness, that seems more like a Presbyterian thought than a Catholic one!)

Perhaps the clergymen who conduct relatively secular services are moved by a desire not to offend the nonbelievers in attendance—whose numbers tend to increase in proportion to the prominence of the deceased. What a great mistake. Weddings and funerals (but especially funerals) are the principal occasions left in modern America when you can preach the Good News not just to the faithful, but to those who have never really heard it.

Many thanks, Dr. Goodloe, for a service that did honor to Lewis and homage to God. It was a privilege to sit with your congregation. Best regards.

Sincerely, Antonin Scalia

Source: Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the following about… – Foundation for Reformed Theology

Alexander Hamilton,  the looming high court battle:  Excellent article.

Of course, anyone familiar with Hamilton’s personal life might find it odd to invoke him as the standard for extracting extreme partisanship from the political process. His temper was legendary, as were his many long-standing political battles. He clashed with political enemies and often with allies, including George Washington, who made him the first secretary of the treasury. He once nearly came to duel James Monroe. And after a lifetime of petty political disagreements, Hamilton squared off with Aaron Burr in New Jersey in 1804 (Hamilton, in the musical, quips: “Everything is legal in New Jersey). Burr’s shot struck Hamilton between the ribs and the bullet lodged in his spine. He died, excruciatingly, over the next 24 hours. But even the hotheaded Hamilton seemed to understand the nobility to which the republic’s structure, the Constitution he helped write, calls public servants in particular. And there seems no way he would countenance bald, preemptive usurpation of the president’s appointive power. Maybe he’d even borrow, with a twist, from an admonishment Washington’s character offers him in the musical: Obstructing is easy, senators. Governing is harder.

Source: Alexander Hamilton and the looming high court battle

Who Are We?, The New York Times: Very, very well said …

I find this election bizarre for many reasons but none more than this: If I were given a blank sheet of paper and told to write down America’s three greatest sources of strength, they would be “a culture of entrepreneurship,” “an ethic of pluralism” and the “quality of our governing institutions.” And yet I look at the campaign so far and I hear leading candidates trashing all of them.

America didn’t become the richest country in the world by practicing socialism, or the strongest country by denigrating its governing institutions, or the most talent-filled country by stoking fear of immigrants. It got here via the motto “E Pluribus Unum” — Out of Many, One.

Source: Who Are We? – The New York Times

Vulture, Hamilton, Grammys: Can’t wait to see this … Just don’t know when.

[http://youtu.be/2t2jM0Vavh8]

 

Watch the Hamilton the Musical performance at The GRAMMYs, because this will be the closest most of us will ever get to actually seeing the show.

Source: Vulture – Watch the Hamilton Performance At the Grammys, Because…

Doodles Using GPS and a Bicycle, Mental Floss:

Canadian artist Stephen Lund has found a way to stay active and create delightful illustrations at the same time. In order to make maps that form specific shapes and pictures, the athletic doodler rides his bicycle through the streets of Canada, choosing specific routes. Using the Strava app, he records his travels so you can see what he’s created. The results illustrate everything from pop culture characters to animals. Last year, the intrepid artist traveled 22,300 kilometers (13,857 miles). You can see more maps from those journeys on his website, GPS Doodles.

Source: Artist Creates Doodles Using GPS and a Bicycle | Mental Floss

Atlanta, Restaurants, Culinary Greats, The New York Times: A whole list of restaurants for me to try on my visits home. Anyone care to join me?

Getting traction as a great restaurant city has been harder. It has been tough to compete with neighbors like Charleston, S.C., New Orleans or that sexy food upstart, Nashville. As a national food contender, Atlanta never had the culinary firepower or customer base of New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Diners made do with a parade of meals at local or national chains, punctuated by the occasional steak in a pretty room. But now, as the nation’s infatuation with Southern food matures and Atlanta’s recession-battered economy recovers, a city that often looked over its shoulder for culinary validation and inspiration is coming into its own. Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE Where to Eat in AtlantaFEB. 16, 2016 Cookbooks: ‘Root to Leaf,’ a Field Guide to VegetablesMARCH 30, 2015 The Chef: Anne Quatrano: Grandma Burned the Beans: A Lucky BreakJULY 12, 2006 Travel Guide: Atlanta for KidsAPRIL 29, 2015 Over the last couple of years, a record number of new and independent restaurants have opened. Especially in the urban core — what people here call intown Atlanta — veteran chefs and newcomers alike have taken advantage of cheap rents and a growing cadre of good line cooks who don’t feel the need to prove themselves in bigger ponds.

Source: Atlanta Pulls a Chair to the Table for Culinary Greats – The New York Times

Hymns Mash-Up, “How Great Thou Art”/”It Is Well”/ “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”,  Christian Music Video:

How Great Thou Art” “It Is Well” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

Source: Hymns Mash-Up “HoAw Great Thou Art” “It Is Well” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” – Christian Music Video

Stephen Curry Halfcourt Shot, NBA 2016 All Star Game:

Source: NBA on TNT – Stephen Curry Halfcourt Shot

Neil Reid, 14 Atlanta architects you should know about,  www.myajc.com: I did not know a friend’s childhood home was a Neil Reid! So many fun memories there.

Neel Reid (1885-1926): Reid was the first name in residential architecture in the early 20th century. His early career took him many places, including stints in Atlanta and Europe. After settling in Atlanta in 1909, his firm quickly found its niche in designing mansions in a variety of styles – often taking inspiration from places Reid saw in Europe. His name is practically a brand in Buckhead. Check out: the Shelton-Walden House (pictured); the Muse’s Building; Butler Street YMCA. (Special to the AJC)

Source: 14 Atlanta architects you should know about | www.myajc.com

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences, grammar, childhood memories,  NPR Ed : NPR:  I loved doing this in elementary school.

When you think about a sentence, you usually think about words — not lines. But sentence diagramming brings geometry into grammar. If you weren’t taught to diagram a sentence, this might sound a little zany. But the practice has a long — and controversial — history in U.S. schools. And while it was once commonplace, many people today don’t even know what it is. So let’s start with the basics. “It’s a fairly simple idea,” says Kitty Burns Florey, the author of Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences. “I like to call it a picture of language. It really does draw a picture of what language looks like.”

Source: A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences : NPR Ed : NPR

 

16
Feb
16

2.16.16 … “tonight’s episode was devoted to bringing out the puppy in everyone” …

Image-1“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Labyrinth Walks (Walk 7/40), Pewter Finger Labyrinth @ Home – Charlotte: No one said I had to walk a full size labyrinth.  Let your fingers do the walking …

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 ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6/Episode 7: Crash and Burn, The New York Times:  Send in the puppies!

 

Send in the puppies! Oh, I know, Abbots, there was only one flesh-and-blood pooch on view: an aww-inspiring yellow lab who will henceforth bear the name Tiaa in the hope that no terrorist group lays claim to it. (As any imbecile could tell you, Tiaa was the wife of Amenhotep II.) But I couldn’t escape the feeling that tonight’s episode was devoted to bringing out the puppy in everyone.

Source: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6, Episode 7: Crash and Burn – The New York Times

 

Sharon UMC – Charlotte church,  “Holy Land”, Story | WJZY

A Charlotte church is trying to turn its land into apartments, restaurants, and even a hotel, but theyre not actually going anywhere. The congregation plans to stay put on the land and let all that development go up around them.The City of Charlotte’s City Council had a public hearing Monday night to re-zone Sharon United Methodist Churchs seven-acre property in the SouthPark area and turn it into “mixed-use development.”

The building would be torn down, and a new church would be built, so that the congregation can make way for all the other new neighbors. Senior Pastor Kyle Thompson said, “We’re not here to be a fortress walled off from the community. We’re here to be in and among people trying to share the love of God with them.”

Charlotte church redeveloping “Holy Land”Thompson said the concept of turning church property into “mixed-use development” is the first of its kind in the Southeast and perhaps the United States.Thompson said, “Things have just built up around us, and we find ourselves in a different community, and so we’re trying to adjust to that.”

Source: Charlotte church redeveloping “Holy Land” – Story | WJZY

Daily Overview,   Hoover Dam: This is one of my favorite websites and I loved today’s post … Hoover Dam!

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Daily Overview Page

Hoover Dam is a 726-foot high, 1,244-foot wide concrete arch-gravity dam located on the Colorado River at the border of Arizona and Nevada. Constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression, a workforce of approximately 20,000 poured a total of 4.36 million cubic yards of concrete to complete the structure. That is enough concrete to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York City. 36°0′56″N 114°44′16″W

Source: Daily Overview – Hoover Dam is a 726-foot high, 1,244-foot wide…

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG, quotes: Another favorite from the internet today … K12744144_548123298702883_3535158997842440966_n

 

Krispy Kreme, Betty Crocker, Krispy Kreme Cake Mix with Original Doughnut Glaze:  Really!

 

Source: Krispy Kreme Cake Mix with Original Doughnut Glaze – Betty Crocker

 

 

20
May
13

5.20.13 … I’d love to walk Paris …

Europe,  walks, Paris,  NYTimes.com: 

5. Paris Promenade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

via Europe, in 9 Walks – NYTimes.com.

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

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

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

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

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

via Search and seizure in suburbia | DavidsonNews.net.

obituaries, The New York Times, statistics: 

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

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

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

25
Oct
11

10.25.2011 … ‎1 scoop Pistachio Gelato with 1 scoop Nutella Gelato on the streets of Paris is possibly one of the most enjoyable dessert experiences I have ever had. 1 scoop of store-bought Pistachio Gelato actually comes pretty close and is a lot cheaper.

home, Ciao Bella Pistachio Gelato:  This stuff is really good … but still not as good as that served at  Amorino in Paris … but you can find it at HT!

Discover. Savor. Share. Ciao Bella.Following more than a decade of success in New York City, Ciao Bella opened its first San Francisco location 15 years ago on Harrison Street before moving to the famed Ferry Building, as an inaugural tenant in 2003.   To celebrate its Bay Area history and new design, Ciao Bella will highlight flavors that source ingredients from local vendors, such as Pistachio Gelato and Peach Ginger Sorbet.

via Ciao Bella Gelato & Sorbet blog.

Muammar Gaddafi, RIP/End of an Era: … weird, creepy … makes for a good Halloween costume … see next entry. 🙂

Long before his end, Muammar Gaddafi had become the weird, creepy, certainly criminal uncle who showed up, because he was really rich, at reunions of world leaders. He did not begin that way. How a young man from deep poverty in a rural North African town rose to become one of the West’s most intractable foes, and then one of its most critical political and economic partners, is an extraordinary political saga.

Gaddafi was scarcely destined for power. Born in 1942 into a tribal Bedouin family near the coastal town of Sirt, he was raised in a country still digging out from the ravages of World War II and a long struggle against Italian colonialism. The giant oil reserves that lay beneath the Libyan desert were years away from being explored. In fact, Libya was barely a nation at all. Gaddafi was 9 years old when the country finally gained its independence from France and Britain (which administered it jointly after the war’s end) and became a monarchy under King Idris al-Sanusi.

Like many provincial boys with little education, Gaddafi joined the army. He became a captain, then trained at Britain’s elite Sandhurst Academy, before returning home as an officer in the Signal Corps. It was in that position, at just 27, that he led a group of junior officers in a bloodless coup, toppling King Idris and declaring himself colonel. In the museum glorifying Gaddafi’s “people’s revolution,” set within the high stone walls of the fortress in Tripoli’s Green Square, one of the main exhibits was a battered sand-colored jeep with open sides, in which Gaddafi, according to his own legend, rode into the city, victorious on Sept. 1, 1969, to present himself as Libya’s leader to a people hungry for popular leadership.

via The End of Muammar Gaddafi: The Colonel’s Long, Weird Ride – TIME.

Muammar Gaddafi,  Halloween 2011, costumes:

rebecca black

What you’ll need:

• An unruly black wig (or this mask)

• Unkempt mustache and goatee

• Gaudy sheets, drapes or pajamas

• Matching kufi or brimless hat

• Dark, square sunglasses

• Female bodyguards (optional)

via Muammar Gaddafi – The 10 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2011 – TIME.

Vatican, global oversight, economy, supranational authority, global economy:  When has the Vatican been known for democratic and ethical principles?

The Vatican called on Monday for an overhaul of the world’s financial systems, and again proposed establishment of a supranational authority to oversee the global economy, calling it necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok.

In a report issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican argued that “politics — which is responsible for the common good” must be given primacy over the economy and finance, and that existing institutions like the International Monetary Fund had not been responding adequately to global economic problems.

The document grows out of the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns about economic instability and widening inequality of income and wealth around the world, issues that transcend the power of national governments to address on their own.

“The time has come to conceive of institutions with universal competence, now that vital goods shared by the entire human family are at stake, goods which the individual states cannot promote and protect by themselves,” Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the pontifical council, said as he presented the report on Monday. “That is what pushed us.”

The language in the document, which the Vatican refers to as a note, is distinctively strong. “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,” the document states.

The message prompted comparisons with the rallying cries of protest movements that have been challenging the financial world order, like the indignados in Madrid and the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City. Still, Vatican officials said the document was not a manifesto for disaffected dissidents.

via Vatican Calls for Global Oversight of the Economy – NYTimes.com.

Polaroid, Edwin Land,  dreaming, success, inventing, Insisting on the Impossible, books, quotes:

In the fall of 1943, a little girl asked her father why she couldn’t see a photograph immediately after it was taken — a blasphemous proposition in the era’s photographic paradigm. Fortunately, her father happened to be Edwin Land, the iconic inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. So rather than dismissing the question as an impossibility, he took it as a challenge, then made history — in February of 1947, the world’s first Polaroid camera hit stores and unleashed one of the most creative movements in the history of the static image.

via Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land on the 5000 Steps to Success | Brain Pickings.

“If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.”

~ Edwin Land to Polaroid employees, December 23, 1942

via If you dream of something worth doing – benrmatthews.

electric mini cupcake maker, random:  I have been known to buy some useless items … but this tops the cake … no pun intended!

How it actually works: The cupcakes themselves tasted fine, and except for some tunneling where steam created holes, their texture was fine, too. But compared to the 12 minutes it took to bake a full dozen mini cupcakes in the oven, this machine was no time-saver.

Good to know: It cleaned up easily; however, we had to struggle a bit to wash and rinse it without getting the machine too wet.

Best for: It might be fun as an activity with children, but most kids would probably become bored with waiting before the second half-dozen cupcakes are done, and you’d be trapped, baking off the rest of the batter, tiny batch after tiny batch.

Overall: Would we buy this? No. We’ll stick with the oven, where we can bake a couple dozen mini cupcakes in the time it takes this machine to steam seven.

via World’s Fastest Electric Mini Cupcake Maker (It Exists!) | The Feed.

animated short film, greed, Tout Rien (“All Nothing”): Beautiful! Tout Rien animation – YouTube.

But most striking of all are his animated short films. In 1978, his Tout Rien (“All Nothing”), a delicate and pensive 11-minute animated allegory set to the music of Igor Stravinsky about how our human greed is stealing the happiness of our species, earned him an Oscar nomination. It tackles, with remarkable elegance and sensitivity, our tragic tendency towards anthropocentricity in a world we share with countless

via AAll Nothing: Poetic 1978 Animated Allegory about Mankind’s Greed | Brain Pickings.

corporate social responsibility (“csr”), soda companies:  Interesting … flies in the face of csr, don’t you think?

The soda industry hit a new low this year. In 2010, Philadelphia’s mayor and health commissioner had both supported an SSB tax and came within one vote of having the tax passed by the city council. In 2011, when the mayor made it clear he would reintroduce the tax, the industry created an organization called Foundation for a Healthy America, which gave a gift of $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for research and prevention of childhood obesity. Would the hospital accept money from a tobacco company to study anti-smoking programs? The hospital tried to give some of the money to the city to run obesity programs through city health centers, but the mayor refused on the grounds it was funded by the beverage industry.

Over time, the tobacco companies were outed for their dirty tactics and the nation reacted with a series of public policies that cut smoking in half in the U.S. The beverage industry has been successful thus far in fighting off significant taxes through heavy lobbying, questionable tactics, and the attempt to appear public-health minded, but they, too, are likely to be embarrassed as light shines upon them. As they scramble to protect their profits, their actions may ultimately hurt their cause and pave the way for the very government actions they seek to prevent.

via Kelly Brownell on the Dirty Tactics of Soda Companies | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

live and work in the present, lifestyles, universal truths: “Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley?” … Some good things to think about here. “Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.”

For reasons I will explain, I call this process “getting to clear.”

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago from a friend—let’s call him Steve—who worked in multilevel marketing (or sales careers based on recruiting other sellers). He attended a lot of motivational seminars and listened repeatedly to recordings of books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Power of Positive Thinking. For a while he was into Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. As I understood it, the big idea in that book was to remove all your painful memories because they sap your energy and prevent you from being effective and happy.

Steve kept saying that he was “getting to clear,” which is Scientology lingo that meant, more and more, he was fully in the moment, and not only that, the moment was increasingly subject to his mental control. Working from a table outside a shopping mall, Steve could push cellphone accounts on passers-by with a manic, smiling intensity that was almost frightening to behold. He could switch it off, too, like some kind of Tesla-inspired, anti-gravity device, to explain what he was doing so that I could imitate it and earn more commissions.

Reality was something created by our minds, Steve said. Once he was “clear”—and living fully in the present moment—he would be able to “manifest” anything he desired. He said he could visualize customers lining up, and they simply would appear, in greater and greater numbers. In sales, you just have to believe, and then you can have anything you want, developing your mental powers—the will to succeed—by increments.

That belief struck me as odd at the time, and it still does. Sort of like thinking you could learn to fly like Superman by leaping out of airplanes with smaller and smaller parachutes.

On the other hand, some of those ideas seem to descend from respected thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Friedrich Nietzsche. Following Emerson’s gospel of self-reliance, Steve was on his way to becoming an Übermensch among the Willy Lomans. Of course I think that acting like the material world is a mental construct—and that people are manifestations of your will—is going too far, but who can doubt the value of liberating yourself from the past so you can be more effective in the present? Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley? Once you have completed your overdue obligations and done your best to repair the “errata” of your life, as the printer Benjamin Franklin called them, why not embrace the present, completely. As counterculture gurus said back in the ’60s, if you want to be happy, you need to “Be here now!”

But one of my colleagues here at Hope College—let’s call her Natalie (for that, happily, is her name)—said something to me that I’ll never forget: “You can’t spend your career looking forward to doing something else.”

In other words, once September arrives, instead of embracing the academic year, the return of the usual routine, we feel like divers inhaling deeply before a plunge into dark water. We look forward to surfacing with the return of summer, but then summer comes, and we find that nothing has really changed: just a new configuration of responsibilities. It’s never going to be perfect, but you have to find a way to make the most of what you are doing today.

Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.

via ‘Getting to Clear’ – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

TEDxCharlotte, dream makers, risk takers,  bucket list:  To go to a TED presentation is on my short bucket list … who has been?

Every presenter — whatever their particular passion and mission — was inspiring, motivating and engaging. The day was a composite of live speakers, videos, entertainers and art offered to spark deep discussion and connections. In addition to the daylong conference, there is an accompanying art exhibition up through Thursday, Nov. 3 that highlights some dream makers and risk takers in the art world. This show is in the Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins Building and is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

via Dream makers and risk takers come out for TEDxCharlotte | Knight Arts.

Elizabeth Eckford, Hazel Bryan, iconic photos, Civil Rights Movement, history, reconciliation, friendship:  How horrible to be branded in the world’s memory as a person filled with racial hatred … very moving story.

Sometime in 1962 or 1963—no cameras recorded the scene, and she didn’t mark anything down—Hazel, sitting in the trailer in rural Little Rock in which she and her family now lived, picked up the Little Rock directory, and looked under “Eckford.” Then, without telling her husband or pastor or anyone else, she dialed the number. Between sobs, she told Elizabeth that she was that girl, and how sorry she was. Elizabeth was gracious. The conversation lasted a minute, if that. In the South, in the ’60s, how much more did a white girl and a black girl have to say to one another?

Still, Hazel never stopped thinking about the picture and making amends for it. She severed what had been her ironclad ties to an intolerant church. She taught mothering skills to unmarried black women, and took underprivileged black teenagers on field trips. She frequented the black history section at the local Barnes & Noble, buying books by Cornel West and Shelby Steele and the companion volume to Eyes on the Prize. She’d argue with her mother on racial topics, defending relatives who’d intermarried.

Secretly, Hazel always hoped some reporter would track her down and write about how she’d changed. But it didn’t happen on its own, and she did nothing to make it happen. Instead, again and again, there was the picture. Anniversary after anniversary, Martin Luther King Day after Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month after Black History Month, it just kept popping up. The world of race relations was changing, but to the world, she never did.

Finally, on the 40th anniversary of Central’s desegregation in 1997, Will Counts returned to Little Rock and arranged for Elizabeth and Hazel to pose for him again. Hazel was thrilled, Elizabeth, curious. Their first meeting was predictably awkward, but the new picture, showing the two women smiling in front of Central, revealed only the barest hint of that. It all but took over the next day’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and very nearly upstaged President Clinton’s speech the next day, in which he worked in a reference to them both. Soon, a poster-sized version of the picture was available: “Reconciliation,” it said. Everyone rejoiced; Thanks to Elizabeth and Hazel, Little Rock, maligned for 40 years, bathed in instant absolution.

Ultimately, it grew too much for Hazel. She cut off ties with Elizabeth—for her, Sept. 11, 2011 marked another anniversary: 10 years had passed since they’d last spoken—and stopped making public appearances with her. Her interviews with me—granted only with great reluctance—will, she says, be her last. When I asked the two women to pose together one last time (Elizabeth turned 70 last Tuesday; Hazel will in January) Elizabeth agreed; Hazel would not. Hazel was poised to vote for Obama in 2008; after all, even her own mother did. But so deep was her hurt that she found some excuse not to.

So the famous photograph of 1957 takes on additional meaning: the continuing chasm between the races and the great difficulty, even among people of good will, to pull off real racial reconciliation. But shuttling back and forth between them, I could see that for all their harsh words—over the past decade, they’ve only dug in their heels—they still missed one another. Each, I noticed, teared up at references to the other. Perhaps, when no one is looking—or taking any pictures—they’ll yet come together again. And if they can, maybe, so too, can we.

via Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan: What happened to the two girls in the most famous photo of the Civil Rights Era..

global population,  7 Billion Day:  I had no idea we were approaching 7 billion!

My print column examines the numbers underlying the designation by the United Nations of Oct. 31 as 7 Billion Day — the day when the world population will hit that milestone number.

Unlike its approach to the equivalent milestone 12 years and a billion people ago, the U.N. won’t be naming the seven billionth inhabitant of the planet. Instead, the agency is calling for hundreds of newborns to take the mantle, by encouraging all countries to identify their own seven billionth baby. The Canadian magazine Maclean’s recently tracked down Adnan Nevic, the designated No. 6,000,000,000, who receives attention each year on his birthday for his achievement but whose Bosnian family has trouble making ends meet.

Hospitals around the U.S. named competing children as No. 300 million when the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country passed that threshold five years ago. But Census itself stays mum. “Would it be someone born, or an immigrant?” asked Census spokesman Robert Bernstein. “You don’t know which component of change” is responsible for the last bit of population growth.

The world tacked on its most recent billion in as much time as the prior billion, which means the growth rate is slowing, easing some of the fears of Thomas Malthus’s intellectual descendants. And the population milestone isn’t necessarily a one-time-only event: The world could cross back under seven billion if deaths overtakes births. “We may pass that mark several times,” Nico Keilman, a demographic modeler at the University of Oslo, wrote in an email, outlining a morbid scenario. (Keilman has studied the accuracy of past population projections.) “Suppose the world counts exactly seven billion on or around 31 October. Suddenly there is an earthquake or some other natural disaster with many people killed. This may lead to a population less than seven billion. In other words, whereas the U.N. (and others) predict a smooth path for population development, reality is volatile.”

via 7 Billion Day: The Uncertainty of Counting and Projecting Global Population – The Numbers Guy – WSJ.

 The New York Times,  Angry Birds,  corrections: 🙂

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the premise of “Angry Birds,” a popular iPhone game. In the game, slingshots are used to launch birds to destroy pigs and their fortresses, not to shoot down the birds

via Regret the Error» The New York Times offers an amusing Angry Birds correction.

McRib, McDonald’s, cult following, social media:  Just funny!

NEW YORK — The McRib, the elusive sandwich that has inspired a cult-like following, is back.

McDonald’s Corp. announced Monday that the boneless barbecue pork sandwich, usually available in only a few stores at a time, will be sold at all U.S. locations through Nov. 14.

Most of the time, it’s up to local franchises to determine when and if they want to sell the McRib — except in Germany, the only place where it’s available perennially. But McDonald’s said the response was so great last November when it made the McRib available nationally for about three weeks that it decided to bring it back this year. The company, which previously hadn’t sold the McRib nationally since 1994, declined to give specific sales numbers.

The sandwich, which is dressed with onions, pickle slices and barbecue sauce, was introduced nationally in 1982. With 500 calories and 26 grams of fat, it’s slightly trimmer than the Big Mac, which has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat. And just like the Big Mac, the McRib has become a popular McDonald’s offering.

If the McRib is so popular, why not just offer it all the time? McDonald’s likes to stoke the enthusiasm with an aura of transience.

“Bringing it back every so often adds to the excitement,” said Marta Fearon, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director, who added that she’s not sure if the McRib will reappear in stores every fall.

And how can it be called a McRib if it doesn’t have any bones? Said Fearon: “That gives it this quirky sense of humor.”

via The elusive pork sandwich is coming back, briefly; a barbecue without the bones – The Washington Post.




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