Posts Tagged ‘TMBS

20
Jan
19

1.20.19 … “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, Poetry, RIP, NPR: I will miss her words.

Much-loved poet Mary Oliver died Thursday of lymphoma, at her home in Florida. She was 83. Oliver won many awards for her poems, which often explore the link between nature and the spiritual world; she also won a legion of loyal readers who found both solace and joy in her work.

Oliver got a lot of her ideas for poems during long walks — a habit she developed as a kid growing up in rural Ohio. It was not a happy childhood: She said she was sexually abused and suffered from parental neglect. But as she told NPR in 2012, she found refuge in two great passions that lasted her entire life.

She said, “The two things I loved from a very early age were the natural world and dead poets, [who] were my pals when I was a kid.”

Source: Mary Oliver, Who Believed Poetry ‘Mustn’t Be Fancy,’ Dies At 83 : NPR, https://www.npr.org/2019/01/17/577380646/beloved-poet-mary-oliver-who-believed-poetry-mustn-t-be-fancy-dies-at-83

I have loved reading friends’ favorite Mary Oliver poems that many have posted on Facebook since her death was announced 1.17.

Here is a favorite of mine:

“Morning Poem”:

Every morning

the world

is created.

Under the orange

sticks of the sun

the heaped

ashes of the night

turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches—

and the ponds appear

like black cloth

on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination

alighting everywhere.

And if your spirit

carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead—

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging—

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth

is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies

is a prayer heard and answered

lavishly,

every morning,

whether or not

you have ever dared to be happy,

whether or not

you have ever dared to pray.

And a few from others …

“The Summer Day”:

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Dog Songs”:

You may not agree, you may not care, but

if you are holding this book you should know that of all the sights I love in this world — and there are plenty — very near the top of the list is this one: dogs without leashes.

“The Journey”:

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Painting by Leonid Afremov

via Holland UCC


Meaning of Joy, Katelyn Ohashi, Steph Curry, gymnastics:

Even the  WSJ was impressed!  (And a shout out to Steph to boot!)

An amazing college gymnastics performance by @katelyn_ohashi becomes a viral video because it radiates human joy, writes @jasongay.

This is go­ing to sound pre­ten­tious, but what­ever: I think Ohashi’s rou­tine is a ra­di­ant ex­pres­sion of what it means for a hu­man be­ing to be very, very good at some­thing—and to want to share that with every­one. She projects a con­fi­dence that only great per­form­ers project, whether Olympic cham­pi­ons or con­cert pi­anists, that every eye is upon them. In­stead of shirk­ing from that, in­stead of get­ting rat­tled, Ohashi rushes to­ward the mo­ment. The mo­ment be­comes her.

These in­stances are rare, but they’re re­ally the rea­son why we watch sports, aren’t they? Sure, we come up with all kinds of ra­tio­nal­iza-tions for our sports ob­ses­sions—tra­di­tion, re­gional loy­al­ties, very bad bets on the Min­nesota Vikings—but what truly keeps the au­di­ence com­ing back is the chance that every once in a while, you’ll see a ra­di­ant ex­pres­sion of hu­man great­ness and joy. An Odell Beck­ham Jr. one-handed grab. A Patrick Ma­homes sidearm touch­down pass. Mikaela Shiffrin crush­ing a turn in the gi­ant slalom (Shiffrin’s ab­so­lutely ba­nanas World Cup sea­son is the most un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated sports story of the mo­ment.) A Roger Fed­erer one-handed back­hand down the line. Pretty much every­thing Steph Curry does. Ditto Si­mone Biles.

Student teacher relationships, emotional intelligence: I am forever grateful for teachers I had at E. Rivers Elementary School, Westminster, Davidson College and UGA Law. Those I had relationships stand out. Those I loved I will never forget.

“That unplanned moment illustrated for me the connection between emotional relationships and learning. We used to have this top-down notion that reason was on a teeter-totter with emotion. If you wanted to be rational and think well, you had to suppress those primitive gremlins, the emotions. Teaching consisted of dispassionately downloading knowledge into students’ brains.

Then work by cognitive scientists like Antonio Damasio showed us that emotion is not the opposite of reason; it’s essential to reason. Emotions assign value to things. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t make good decisions.”

Source: Opinion | Students Learn From People They Love – The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opinion/learning-emotion-education.html

TMBS, aging, ageism, happiness is a choice, kith/kin:

I gain something wonderful every week at TMBS. This week, it was the insight from this article…The Joy of Being a Woman in Her 70s … I want to be described like this in 15 years!

The only constant in our lives is change. But if we are growing in wisdom and empathy, we can take the long view. We’ve lived through seven decades of our country’s history, from Truman to Trump. I knew my great-grandmother, and if I live long enough, will meet my great-grandchildren. I will have known seven generations of family. I see where I belong in a long line of Scotch-Irish ancestors. I am alive today only because thousands of generations of resilient homo sapiens managed to procreate and raise their children. I come from, we all come from, resilient stock, or we wouldn’t be here.

By the time we are 70, we have all had more tragedy and more bliss in our lives than we could have foreseen. If we are wise, we realize that we are but one drop in the great river we call life and that it has been a miracle and a privilege to be alive.

Source: NYTimes: The Joy of Being a Woman in Her 70s, https://nyti.ms/2RIcnnk?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Silence, Be Still, Sanctuary for God’s Presence, Paul Bane, Patheos: Great ideas to ponder!

Silence is the sanctuary for God’s presence residing in the depths and recesses of our heart.  In the solitude and quiet, we seek and discover the love of Christ dwelling with us. In the silence, we become still to hear God speaking life to us. Be still and know I am God.

The silence lifts us beyond our internal and external thoughts, and we discover the inward voice of God telling us that we are loved.You and I are daughters, sons and joint heirs of His divine kingdom. Silence is the sanctuary for God’s presence where we discover His unconditional love and never-ending hope for our life.

Source: Silence is the Sanctuary for God’s Presence | Paul Bane, https://www.patheos.com/blogs/mindfulchristianitytoday/2018/08/silence-is-the-sanctuary-for-gods-presence/

1.17.19

The Smithsonian, portraits, Henrietta Lacks, medical miracles – CNN, HeLa cells: I have been fascinated with the story of Henrietta lacks since my oldest son recommended that I read the book outlining her story. I was thrilled to see that she now has a portrait at the Smithsonian. This is old news from May 2018. I need to plan a visit to DC.

This week, the Smithsonian unveiled a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black tobacco farmer who ended up changing the world. Her cells have allowed for advances in cancer treatment, AIDS research, cloning, stem-cell studies and so much more. They traveled to the moon to test the effects of zero gravity, and scientists have sold and purchased them by the billions.

Source: The Smithsonian unveils a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black farmer whose cells led to medical miracles – CNN,

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/health/henrietta-lacks-portrait-smithsonian-tmd/index.html

1.17.19

“Who Will Write Our History“, Holocaust, Auerbach:

Nobility is a luxury for people imprisoned in a way station to annihilation, and the film does include expressions of futility, despair, and outrage at the conduct of fellow Jews. Auerbach worked in a soup kitchen that, some argued, just postponed rather than averted starvation. Another point of debate the archive documents is the proper attitude toward others’s suffering: Is callousness an expression of weakness or strength? 

The writings that were buried under the ghetto, soon to be burned to the ground by German troops, offer as many viewpoints as the people who contributed their words to the project. Together, though, they constitute what one historian calls “one great accusation.”

Queen Victoria, History Extra, funerals: Interesting if you enjoy history …

When Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 on 22 January 1901, it took her family, court and subjects by surprise – very few had been able to contemplate the mortality of the monarch who had ruled over Britain and its empire for almost 64 years. Her death marked the end of the Victorian era. Here, Stewart Richards considers Queen Victoria’s final moments, the chaotic preparations for her state funeral on 2 February 1901, and the secret items placed inside her coffin…

Source: The bizarre funeral of Queen Victoria: how, when and where did she die? – History Extra, https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/queen-victoria-death-funeral-mask-cause/

Westminster Abbey’s Hidden Gallery, Westminster Abbey, London:

They say good things come to those who wait. But if you’ve been waiting to get a glimpse inside Westminster Abbey’s old triforium, you’ve missed a hefty chunk of human history in the process: 700 years, in fact! Luckily, your wait is over, as the hidden gallery opened for public viewing this summer – for the first time since it was built, way back in the 13th century. Patience is a virtue, you know…

Photo: @theattinghamtrust

For many years, the triforium was essentially Westminster’s attic, used as storage space or as a spillover viewing gallery for coronations (one ticket, found during the renovation and now part of the display, was from the 1702 coronation of Queen Anne). It even served as the BBC’s outpost during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, as Richard Dimbleby narrated the affair to a captive TV audience.

Source: Westminster Abbey’s Hidden Gallery: Inside The 700-Year Old Triforium, https://secretldn.com/westminster-abbey-hidden-gallery/

1.14.19

Outer Banks wild horses, RIP, Roamer, tourism ads, Charlotte Observer:

A wild mustang known around the world for being featured prominently in Outer Banks tourism materials has died at the height of his stardom.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced Monday that Roamer, a 15-year-old stallion, died Saturday, just 24 hours after being diagnosed with a tear in his GI tract that led to sepsis.

“People out there know who Roamer is, but may not realize it,” said Meg Puckett, the herd manager for the Corolla wild horses.

He was sort of a legend, on the cover of the tourism fliers and even on billboards. He was an ambassador for the horses.”

Roamer was among the oldest of the herd of nearly 100 horses, and also one of those who could not be easily tamed. He frequently refused to stay fenced into the area reserved for wild horses, and took off to wander among the tourists, Puckett says.

Herd managers eventually had to relocate him to a rehabilitation site operated by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, out of fear he would be hit by an off-road vehicle.

“That’s how he got his name, Roamer,” Puckett said. “He eventually became part of our ‘Meet a Mustang’ program (at the rehab site), which lets people have a more intimate experience meeting the horses.”

Source: Outer Banks wild horse featured in tourism ads dies | Charlotte Observer, 
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article224515940.html

Rich’s, Department Stores, Atlanta GA, Southern Childhood, Southern Living: I loved both Rich’s and Davison’s in Atlanta. My grandmother was a Chin buyer for Davison’s, but I have more memories of Rich’s.

Rich’s

VIA THE GEORGIA TRUST

Atlanta, Georgia

Rich’s, opened in 1867 by Morris Rich, was Atlanta’s premiere department store for all things fashionable and classic. At Christmas, shoppers anticipated the extravagant holiday decorations and gigantic Christmas tree that was displayed on top of a multi-level glass bridge, which was the first of its kind in the city. Eventually, Rich’s fashion show in Atlanta got so big it had to be moved to the Fox Theatre, as its customers were so anxious for a glimpse of next season’s clothes. After 138 years, Rich’s (known then as Rich’s-Macy’s due to its earlier acquisition) ended its era in 2005 and was converted to just “Macy’s.”

Source: Department Stores You’ll Remember From Your Southern Childhood – Southern Living, https://www.southernliving.com/fashion-beauty/vintage-southern-department-stores

j. peterman catalog, John Peterman: what a description! “the gentleman-retailer famously satirized on “Seinfeld,” talks adventuresome fashion, ‘Downton Abbey,” and the value of learning how to ride” … and here is a link to the catalog: https://www.jpeterman.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAsoviBRAoEiwATm8OYDKBL93geNPsO-SZCHPCFSjOdTKDBtrhQNs6IzQKbW8iLOGVkjXuWBoCsRAQAvD_BwE

He has vis­ited at least 80 coun­tries, and when John Pe­ter­man says “vis­ited,” he means it. “That’s not just stop­ping at the air­port to change planes,” said the founder of J. Pe­ter­man Co., the cloth­ing com­pany that’s ac­quired cult sta­tus due to its hand-il­lus­trated cat­a­log and fan­ci­fully nar­ra­tive prod­uct de­scrip­tions that of­ten ref­er­ence far-flung places. At 77, Mr. Pe­ter­man still reg­u­larly sets off from his Lex­ing­ton, Ky., home to des­ti­na­tions like Paris and Buenos Aires. “I’m go­ing out and look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion,” he ex­plained. He in­sists that if you want to find the proper cut of a kilt, you must tramp around Scot­land to find it your­self. Each J. Pe­ter­man item be­gins with a jour­ney.

Source: Remember the J.Peterman Catalog? It’s Still Going Strong and So Is Mr. Peterman, https://www.wsj.com/articles/remember-the-j-peterman-catalog-its-still-going-strong-and-so-is-mr-peterman-11547569560?emailToken=cb5b9d341bc1b8bfb327c13eefd6e907J8TZSiLglM76h3xPZMtnb4IkNrSSHwU05gCkgRCZTCwwoQD12x7zIQ9+byovazWueSq778WhBhr7dfnodqaNC7CpbIZS7hi/1GvtpAxsjm07yWgpm8M93L8ghFn/W/OrG54XYfL0B9VGv6LMrMZRAQ%3D%3D&reflink=article_email_share

Louisville International Airport (Standiford Field (SDF)), Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, Muhammad Ali, Louisville KY:

Ali’s widow Lonnie Ali called the champion a “global citizen,” according to the release, but added “he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”

While the airport’s name will change, its current three-letter International Air Transport Association (IATA) code — SDF — won’t change.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louisville-international-airport-renamed-muhammad-ali-vote-today-2019-01-16/

And I loved this anecdote on Facebook by Dave Kindred …

News that my old town, Louisville, is renaming its airport for Muhammad Ali reminds me of an old story. Flight attendant tells the champ he must buckle his seat belt, to which he says, “Superman don’t need a seat belt.” Flight attendant says, “Superman don’t need a plane” Champ buckles up.

1.15.19

Quotes: Besides the poetry quotes, I pondered these this week …

“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to further progress.”

— Samuel Johnson, Rambler

“It was on a bright day of midwinter, in New York. The little girl who eventually became me, but as yet was neither me nor anybody else in particular, but merely a soft anonymous morsel of humanity—this little girl, who bore my name, was going for a walk with her father. The episode is literally the first thing I can remember about her, and therefore I date the birth of her identity from that day.”

– Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”

― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

— William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

-Herman Melville – from “Moby Dick”

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.

– Martin Luther

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/martin_luther_140721

In the vast abyss before time, self

is not, and soul commingles

with mist, and rock, and light. In time,

soul brings the misty self to be.

Then slow time hardens self to stone

while ever lightening the soul,

till soul can loose its hold of self

and both are free and can return

to vastness and dissolve in light,

the long light after time.

-Ursula K. Le Guin, HOW IT SEEMS TO ME

LOL, Brexit: brexit shouldn’t be funny … but I laughed.


LOL, POTUS, Clemson visits the White House, Govern Shutdown, “The Fast Supper”, #Cofveve #hamberders #Funny #NotFunnyToo:

1.17.19

LOL, POTUS, political cartoons:

I often don’t agree with “God,” but I frequently laugh.

1.18.19

LOL, dog employee of the month:

This is the story about a distribution sales manager who works from home. Michael Reeg from Georgia has a dog Meeka which he considers as a real asset. He considers the dog as a best friend because it doesn’t allow him to feel lonely during work hours. The dog has in a way eased the transition of Michael Reeg to the telecommuting. Meeka is quite punctual. She turns up to the work regardless the presence of Michael. She goes there like every model employee would do for his employer. Meeka is quite enthusiastic for the work, when she finds the door of the office shut, she doesn’t leave for taking a rest. Instead she prefers to sit outside the door. Michael Reeg was interviewed by The Dodo. He said that transitioning to home based work was not an easy thing. He said that it was quiet and devoid of excitement. Thus, according to him, the dog helped him cover that journey.

Source: Man who works from home keeps naming his dog employee of the month, https://www.talkofweb.com/man-who-works-from-home-keeps-naming-his-dog-employee-of-the-month/

15
Jan
19

1.14.19 … “Hiraeth describes a deep, inborn sense of yearning for a home, a feeling, a place or person that is beyond this plane of existence”

FPC – Charlotte, TMBS, vocabulary, word nerd, hireath, thin places: We began our FPC – Charlotte TMBS with a discussion of hiraeth and thin places.

1.8.19

Breadcoins, Cary Umhau, Washington DC:

I’m so excited by this article about Breadcoin. Cary is a co-founder!


Quentin Wilson, 56, uses a “Breadcoin” to buy breakfast Friday from Naomi Banks at the Mission Muffins food truck. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Jeffrey Carter, who is homeless, carried two gold-colored coins in his palm as he approached the Mission Muffins cafe trailer in Northwest Washington to exchange them for a breakfast burrito and apple juice.

The quarter-size coins — each worth $2.20 and inscribed with part of the Lord’s Prayer and an image of wheat — were “Breadcoins,” a new form of currency in the District intended for people in need.

Inspired by the popularity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Breadcoins have circulated in the District since 2016, but they are still relatively unknown. They are an option for people who worry that giving money to those in need might be used to fuel an addiction.

Source: ‘Breadcoin’ is a new currency in D.C. for people in need – The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/11/breadcoin-is-new-currency-dc-people-need/

1.11.19

Kith/kin, UNC-CH, student mental health: For years I have received the DTH daily email. I rarely read it. But today, I clicked on it and there was the daughter of one of my best friends. Nice shout out to e, Eleanor!

Does CAPS' referral system work?

Eleanor Murray, a first-year public policy and global studies major, at the James A. Taylor Building, where Counseling and Psychological Services is located, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  “As someone who did not realize I had mental health issues, it was helpful and resourceful and I felt supported while trying to find a therapist,” Murray says of her experience with CAPS. Murray would recommend CAPS and likes the multiple treatment options offered at CAPS.

Source: Does CAPS’ referral system work? – The Daily Tar Heel, https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2019/01/caps-short-term-therapy-experiences-0114

1.14.19

Georgetown SC, DeBordieu: One of my favorite places …

From surf and sand to sightseeing and beyond, Myrtle Beach is always a good idea. But, when it’s time for a break from the buzz of the Grand Strand, head less than an hour south to Georgetown, one of six towns that make up the Hammock Coast. Here, you’ll have easy access to a multitude of activities, museums, and dining options. Read on for our affordable guide to the highlights of South Carolina’s third oldest city.

Source: Southern Hospitality Meets Modern Style in Georgetown, South Carolina, 
https://www.shermanstravel.com/advice/easy-southern-escapes-georgetown-south-carolina

1.8.19

Coffee Shops, Third Place, Burney’s Sweets and More, New places: Barb and I enjoying this just opened bakery, as in yesterday. And I will go back!

Barb and I were discussing where to meet. I receive a daily email called Charlotte Agenda which had just this day mentioned this new bakery. I had not realized it was it’s second day until they asked if they could take our picture.

Give Burney’s a try! Bakery known for its fried stuffed croissants now open near Uptown – Charlotte Agenda, https://www.charlotteagenda.com/153909/bakery-known-for-its-fried-stuffed-croissants-now-open-near-uptown/

And I think this could be a great “third place.”

I recently read a book by Ray Oldenburg – The Great Good Place – which suggested another happy place candidate, perhaps the most viable of all. The book is scholarly but accessible, an anthropological / sociological analysis of cafés, coffee shops, bars, and other hangouts. The book introduced to me a new term – third place – that made instant sense.

Third places are where people congregate other than work or home. England has pubs, France has cafés, and Austria has coffee houses. Once upon a time in the United States, common third places included country stores, post offices, barber shops, hair salons, soda shops, and taverns.

As described by Oldenburg, third places share common features. First, they are neutral, meaning that all people can come and go without penalty. If you don’t go to your third place for a few days or weeks, your return is greeted with interest and enthusiasm. Contrast that with work or home, where your eventual return after days of absence would be greeted with a pink slip or divorce papers.

Source: Happy Places: Third Places | Psychology Today, 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-good-life/200912/happy-places-third-places

cider v cider, I remember the first time …,

I remember discovering alcoholic cider when I traveled to England with my sis in 1978. I liked it!

In the American state of New Hampshire, the state beverage of apple cider is like unfiltered apple juice. Usually, mulled spices are added, turning it into a spiced, piping hot drink. But in the famed cider-growing region of Britain’s West Country, cider is a fermented, alcoholic beverage. Look further across Europe and you’ll find that America’s version of apple cider is the outlier—cidre in France and sidra in Spain are both akin to British hard cider, rather than the American mulled beverage. So, how did Americans end up with such a unique form of apple cider?

People have been making cider for thousands of years. Wild apples, Malus sylvestris, grew naturally in the ancient British Isles. The Romans encouraged apple cultivation for cider, and when Christian monks established monasteries, they also made the beverage. When European settlers traveled to North America, they took cider with them.

Source: Why Cider Means Something Completely Different in America and Europe – Gastro Obscura, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-is-american-cider-nonalcoholic

1.10.19

Street art, public art, Charlotte NC: And some Charlotte street art … I have a few favorites.

Charlotte’s mural scene is on the rise. Large-scale painting events like Talking Walls Mural Festivaland #nodacanjam help bring local and national artists together to crank out multiple pieces at the same time. And developers and businesses are catching on to the value of investing in public art, as you’ll see in places like South End’s Design Center, as well as at a number of apartment complexes.

The following is a hefty guide to where you can find more than 60 murals around town.

Source: The definitive guide to 60+ Charlotte street murals, mapped – Charlotte Agenda, https://www.charlotteagenda.com/153556/the-definitive-guide-to-60-charlotte-street-murals-mapped/

Neel Reid, Brookwood Hills, Atlanta GA,

Some Neel Reid and Brookwood Hills history for you.

The house is perfectly balanced, and though the facade appears plain at first sight, the bold ornaments draw the eye — the pediment across the front, balanced above a smaller pediment over a wide, ornate doorway topped by a sunken half circle.

These elements tell you the work you are looking at is not by your average architect but by an artist — a poet if you will — a man who brought beauty and precision to everything he touched.

Built in 1922, the house at 14 Palisades Road is the last man standing in a way.

It is one of seven Neel Reid designed just north of Ansley Park, a small settlement of houses designed by one of the South’s preeminent architects before there was a Brookwood Hills, and when Buckhead was several miles north on Peachtree Road.

Source: Brookwood Hills home one of seven originals and the last standing | Opinion | mdjonline.com, https://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/northside_sandy_springs/opinion/brookwood-hills-home-one-of-seven-originals-and-the-last/article_7400e9bc-1495-11e9-9300-cbcd24a794df.html

Longest Shutdown, Peggy Noonan:

I’ll throw in some­thing else I think we agree on. Gov­ern­ing by shut­down is ig­no­rant, cow­ardly and de­struc­tive. It is un­just to the in­no­cent, who are forced to deal with re­duced ser­vices, closed agen­cies and missed pay­checks. It’s dan­ger­ous: Some­thing bad will hap­pen with air se­cu­rity, food in­spec­tion—some­thing. It’s de­mor­al­iz­ing: It makes Amer­ica look in­com­pe­tent in the world, un­sta­ble, like an empty ad­ver­sary and in­ca­pable friend. It harms the de­mo­c­ra­tic spirit be­cause it so vividly tells Amer­i­cans—rubs their faces in it—that they’re pawns in a game as both par­ties pur­sue their self­ish ends.

Source:
End This Stupid Shutdown

1.10.19

Shutdown, Youngstown Steel, SCOTUS, Presidential Powers, US Constitution:

Justice Hugo Black delivered the majority opinion for the Court. Although it was the decision of the majority, it was clear that the Justices were split on a number of issues, as there five concurring opinions entered as well. Justice Black’s decision found for the steel industry, declaring that “[t]he President’s power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. There is no statute that expressly authorizes the President to take possession of property as he did here. Nor is there any act of Congress…from which such a power can be fairly implied.” The Court also found that, “[i]n the framework of our Constitution, the President’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.”

Amongst the concurring opinions, and even compared to the majority opinion, Justice Robert Jackson’s still stands out today as the most useful in assessing the extent of executive power. Justice Jackson rejected strict boundaries between Congressional and Presidential power, and instead divided Presidential authority into three categories of legitimacy. First, and most legitimate, were cases in which “[t]he President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress.” Second, is when Congress has been silent on the issue. And finally, “[w]hen the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb.”

President Truman was shocked by the decision. He immediately ordered the return of the steel mills to their owners, and the workers went on strike right away. The strike lasted more than 50 days. The effect of the Court’s decision limiting Presidential powers, however, has continued to impact executive decision-making throughout our nation’s history.

Source: Youngstown Steel: The Supreme Court stands up to the President – National Constitution Center, https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/youngstown-steel-the-supreme-court-stands-up-to-the-president

1.8.19

Shutdown:

There’s a lot at stake here — much more than just the next craft beer to be discovered and Instagrammed.

What spiritual practices is your congregation taking on in the new year? … such as ….walking a labyrinth … And a shout out to Katie Crowe!

For some, that means a deepening commitment to spiritual practices – to a regular, intentional discipline of taking the time to draw closer to God.

Congregants at First Presbyterian in Conway, Arkansas, learned about various postures for prayer – raising their arms as a passage from Mark’s Gospel was read, to worship God with all their souls.

People both inside and outside of churches are using all sorts of practices – such as centering prayer or walking a labyrinth or using lectio divina to read Scripture. Some have roots in ancient practices of early Christianity. Some involve silence; some seek God’s presence through art or movement.

Some tap into technology – using apps such as Pray as You Go, which draws from Ignatian spirituality and gives folks material to listen to while out for a walk or commuting to work or school.

Practicing a spiritual discipline can be communal work as well.

Quotes: I collect quotes. This is a good place to share a few.

I’m reading the preview chapter of “A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time” by Sarah Arthur.

I love the dedication.

“For my young sons, Micah and Sam. May you tesser well.”

https://media.harpercollinschristian.com/files/z/PDF/LightSoLovely_samptxt.pdf

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

— Ode on a Grecian Urn”

To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Meditating on the Word”

“Manners are what hold a society together .. that and a reliable postal system. Propriety is concern for other people. When that goes out the window the gates of hell are surely opened and ignorance is king”

– Jane Austen

It is an ongoing temptation to think of ourselves as living under a curse. The loss of a friend, an illness, an accident, a natural disaster, a war, or any failure can make us quickly think that we are no good and are being punished. This temptation to think of our lives as full of curses is even greater when all the media present us day after day with stories about human misery.

Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to others. Blessings and curses are always placed in front of us. We are free to choose. God says, Choose the blessings!

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society,

https://henrinouwen.org/resources/daily-meditation/

LOL, Art School of Fish:

28
Apr
14

4.28.14 … the profound lifelong bond between brothers and sisters … a childhood memory … paradigm cases …

What Makes Siblings Bond?, NPR:  Lucky to have great siblings … definitely experienced the profound lifelong bond.

via ▶ TEDxAsheville – Jeff Kluger – The hidden power of siblings – YouTube.

Writer Jeff Kluger explores the profound lifelong bond between brothers and sisters, and the influence of birth order, favoritism and sibling rivalry.

About Jeff Kluger

Jeff Kluger is the senior editor of science and technology reporting at Time magazine. He’s the co-author of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. He’s also the author of Splendid Solution, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple), and The Sibling Effect.

via What Makes Siblings Bond? : NPR.

Evans-Cucich House, 308 Peachtree Battle Avenue,  E. Rivers friends, kith/kin:  E. Rivers friends … Did Charlotte S. grow up in this house? Oddly, I know she grew up in an art deco house on Peachtree Battle, and I think this is the only one, and one of a few in Atlanta.   Another E. Rivers friend says, yes! After looking at the blogpost, I swear I remember the refrigerators in the pictures.  Charlotte  lived in Charlotte NC for a while. I saw her 6-7 years ago at a book signing for Elizabeth Musser and then soon thereafter at the Varsity. I would love to ask her what is was like to grow up in this house. Another E. Rivers friend noted that she was “always afraid to go over there!”  Look at the pics .  It was definitely a different kind of house, even without the KKK history.

 

 

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There is one house in Atlanta that I have coveted ever since I was a child. Located on Peachtree Battle Avenue, the Evans-Cucich house is one of the very few Art Deco houses in Atlanta. Before I even knew what Art Deco was, I could tell that this house was unique. It certainly didn’t look like the other the 1920s and 30s-era homes in my neighborhood. Built in 1935 and designed by Atlanta architect A.F.N. Everett, the limestone house has a rather dark past. The original owner of the home, Hiram Evans, was an Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Many of us who are native Atlantans grew up hearing rumors that a tunnel was built underneath Peachtree Battle connecting the Evans house to a fellow Klansman’s house across the street. Then, sometime in the 1980s, I believe, the house was purchased by a man by the name of Cucich. I remember driving by the house in the 1980s and 90s and thinking “Someday, that house will be mine.”

The kitchen’s original refrigerator.

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via The Peak of Chic®: Evans-Cucich House, Peachtree Battle Avenue.

#SFStyle, Penelope Finnie, style, Westminster classmates, SFGate:  Another blast from the past … Doesn’t Penny look great?  She was always timeless and eclectic!

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Penelope Finnie, a painter who lives in Berkeley, also owns three Bittersweet chocolate cafes. She wears a Two Ten Ten Five coat, Faliero Sarti scarf and Mayer Peace Collection pants. Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle | Buy this photo

via #SFStyle: Penelope Finnie’s eclectic, timeless look – SFGate.

N.T. Wright’s  Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _and Why He Matters, work of the kingdom, William Wilberforce, Desmond Tutu, Cicely Saunders, The Beatitudes:  I’ve enjoyed this book, not because it is well written and not because I agree with him, but because I like to evaluate how I got to where I am, whether it be intellectually or spiritually. In his concluding chapter, he mentioned “paradigm cases,” one being Cicely Saunders.  I have never heard of her, but certainly am aware of the rise of hospice care.  So I was interested to research her.

The work of the kingdom, in fact, is summed up pretty well in those Beatitudes. When God wants to change the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners, those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s justice, the peacemakers, and so on. Just as God’s whole style, his chosen way of operating, reflects his generous love, sharing his rule with his human creatures, so the way in which those humans then have to behave if they are to be agents of Jesus’s lordship reflects in its turn the same sense of vulnerable, gentle, but powerful self-giving love. It is because of this that the world has been changed by people like William Wilberforce, campaigning tirelessly to abolish slavery; by Desmond Tutu, working and praying not just to end apartheid, but to end it in such a way as to produce a reconciled, forgiving South Africa; by Cicely Saunders, starting a hospice for terminally ill patients ignored by the medical profession and launching a movement that has, within a generation, spread right around the globe.

These are paradigm cases. Jesus rules the world today not just through his people “behaving themselves,” keeping a code of ethics, and engaging in certain spiritual practices, important though those are. The Beatitudes are much more than a “new rule of life,” as though one could practice them in private, away from the world. Jesus rules the world through those who launch new initiatives that radically challenge the accepted ways of doing things: jubilee projects to remit ridiculous and unpayable debt, housing trusts that provide accommodation for low-income families or homeless people, local and sustainable agricultural projects that care for creation instead of destroying it in the hope of quick profit, and so on. We have domesticated the Christian idea of “good works,” so that it has simply become “the keeping of ethical commands.” In the New Testament, “good works” are what Christians are supposed to be doing in and for the wider community. That is how the sovereignty of Jesus is put into effect.

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters (pp. 218-219). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Cicely Saunders:

Saunders originally set out in 1938 to study politics, philosophy, and economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford. In 1940, she set out to become a student nurse at the Nightingale Training School of London’s St. Thomas’s Hospital (King’s College London). Returning to St Anne’s College after a back injury in 1944, she took a BA in 1945, qualifying as a medical social worker in 1947, and becoming a lady almoner at St Thomas’s hospital.[citation needed]

Relationships[edit]

In 1948 she fell in love with a patient, David Tasma, a Polish-Jewish refugee who, having escaped from the Warsaw ghetto, worked as a waiter; he was dying of cancer. He bequeathed her £500 (equivalent to £13,106 in 2013)[1] to be “a window in your home”.[clarification needed] This donation, which helped germinate the idea which would become St Christopher’s, is memorialized with a plain sheet of glass at the hospice’s entrance. While training for social work, she holidayed with some Christians, and went through a conversion experience. In the late 1940s, Saunders began working part-time at St Luke’s Home for the Dying Poor in Bayswater, and it was partly this which, in 1951, led her to begin study at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School to become a physician. She qualified MBBS in 1957.

Hospice[edit]

A year later, she began working at St Joseph’s Hospice, a Catholic establishment, in Hackney, East London, where she would remain for seven years, researching pain control. There she met a second Pole, Antoni Michniewicz, a patient with whom she fell in love. His death, in 1960, coincided with the death of Saunders’s father, and another friend, and put her into what she later called a state of “pathological grieving”. But she had already decided to set up her own hospice, focused on cancer patients, and said that Michniewicz’s death had shown her that “as the body becomes weaker, so the spirit becomes stronger”.[citation needed]

Saunders claimed that after 11 years of thinking about the project, she had drawn up a comprehensive blueprint and sought finance after reading Psalm 37: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” She succeeded in engaging the support of Albertine Winner, the deputy chief medical officer at the Ministry of Health at the time. Later, Dame Albertine Winner served as Chairwoman of St. Christopher’s. In 1965, Cicely Saunders was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1967, St Christopher’s Hospice, the world’s first purpose-built hospice, was established. The hospice was founded on the principles of combining teaching and clinical research, expert pain and symptom relief with holistic care to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of its patients and those of their family and friends. It was a place where patients could garden, write, talk – and get their hair done. There was always, Saunders would emphasize, so much more to be done, and she did it, as its medical director from 1967, and then, from 1985, as its chairman, a post she occupied until 2000, when she became president.[citation needed]

via Cicely Saunders – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

If Jesus Never Called Himself God_How Did He Become One?, NPR: And to contrast Wright, I saw this on NPR’s website … On why he’s interested in studying Jesus’ transformation

If Jesus had not been declared God by his followers, his followers would’ve remained a sect within Judaism — a small Jewish sect, and if that was the case it would not have attracted a large number of gentiles. If they hadn’t attracted a large number of gentiles, there wouldn’t have been this steady rate of conversion over the first three centuries to Christianity; it would’ve been a small Jewish sect.

If Christianity had not become a sizable minority in the empire, the Roman emperor Constantine almost certainly would not have converted, but then there wouldn’t have been the masses of conversions after Constantine, and Christianity would not have become the state religion of Rome. If that hadn’t happened, it would never have become the dominant religious, cultural, political, social, economic force that it became so that we wouldn’t have even had the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation or modernity as we know it. … It all hinges on this claim the early Christians had that Jesus was God.

via If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One? : NPR.

El Camino gear:  So researching the best gear for a walk, a long walk …

So the first thing you need to know is that I’m a bit… insane about things we buy. I have a sometimes-paralyzing disease that makes me research the crap out of anything I’m going to buy. I have to get “the best” of whatever it is and I have a particular knack for digging through reviews and research to find the right stuff.

Being a software developer that normally translates to technology and electronics… who knew it would also apply to hiking gear?

via Packing for El Camino de Santiago – From the Way.

 …

Smith first noted the connection between business and philanthropy in college when he met his idol, millionaire philanthropist Steven Gibson. According to Gibson, the best thing Smith could do if he wanted to be a successful philanthropist was to become an entrepreneur and develop organizational and management skills. Only then should he return to philanthropy. Ten years and two successful startups later, Smith started Cotopaxi.

There’s a clear narrative showing how your purchase helps when you buy from Cotopaxi. “If you buy the India water bottle, you are actually helping someone in India,” Smith said. A key part of this narrative is transparency. “We’ll give you geographic coordinates to the well that’s being drilled. You’ll be able to see images of the villages being helped—you’ll know that you are giving around six months of clean water to someone in need,” Smith said.

via What Gear Companies Do the Most Good for the Planet? | Gear Guy | OutsideOnline.com.

08
Apr
14

4.8.14 … “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of YHWH, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2: 14) …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks,  Almetto Howie Alexander Labyrinth – McCrorey YMCA/Charlotte NC  (29/40):
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What great fun! For the second time in recent days, friends have walked with me on my Lenten labyrinth walks. It is really fun to share the labyrinth.
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This walk followed TMBS and this week we discussed “thin places”. Thin places are places where heaven and earth meet. The labyrinth is such a thin place, both in space, time and matter. They are considered “sacred spaces” and the time you spend is set aside time for walking meditation, i.e., “sacred time.” As for being “sacred matter,” the layout of the labyrinth is considered “sacred geometry” and the use of materials and the incorporation of art  certainly make  it something other than ordinary “stuff.”
This labyrinth makes me think of this passage from N.T. Wright’s Simply Jesus which we discussed in TMBS today:

Again and again the prophets and psalms hint at what we might conceivably have guessed from the story of creation itself: the material world was made to be filled with God’s glory. “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of YHWH, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2: 14). (p. 139)

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It is a transformative experience to walk the labyrinth.

Today was overcast, but you could tell that spring was coming. finally.
IMG_9579
IMG_9581The trees are budding  which  seems very late this year, but make me look forward to next week when they will be in bloom.
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I noticed the red landscaping rocks scattered on the labyrinth from the landscaping beds at the perimeter. I wonder if the wind blew the rocks, or if  children playing spread them. Either way,  their presence makes me smile.  My friend noticed several pennies strewn about.
Blessings.
PS .  I always like to take one word with me from  Almetto Howie Alexander’s quote at the intro to the labyrinth.  Today’s word is  …
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14
Mar
14

3.14.14 … During daylight, we go about our lives …

Life Animated, Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney, NYTimes.com: What an amazing story. I read a lot and often skim to the end after a certain point. No skimming on this one.  I was so amazed by this story, I think I may buy the book, Life Animated, when it comes out.  As one friend noted: “No sidekick gets left behind.” Wonderful.

Owen, with his reliance from an early age on myth and fable, each carrying the clarity of black and white, good and evil, inverts this pyramid. He starts with the moral — beauty lies within, be true to yourself, love conquers all — and tests them in a world colored by shades of gray. It’s the sidekicks who help him navigate that eternal debate, as they often do for the heroes in their movies.

When Owen was 3, his comprehension of spoken words collapsed. That’s clear from every test. But now it seems that as he watched each Disney movie again and again, he was collecting and logging sounds and rhythms, multitrack. Speech, of course, has its own subtle musicality; most of us, focusing on the words and their meanings, don’t hear it. But that’s all he heard for years, words as intonation and cadence, their meanings inscrutable. It was like someone memorizing an Akira Kurosawa movie without knowing Japanese. Then it seems he was slowly learning Japanese — or, rather, spoken English — by using the exaggerated facial expressions of the animated characters, the situations they were in, the way they interacted to help define all those mysterious sounds. That’s what we start to assume; after all, that’s the way babies learn to speak. But this is slightly different because of the way he committed these vast swaths of source material, dozens of Disney movies, to memory. These are stored sounds we can now help him contextualize, with jumping, twirling, sweating, joyous expression, as we just managed with “The Jungle Book.”

So begin the basement sessions. During daylight, we go about our lives. Walt rides his bike to school each morning, back home each afternoon. Cornelia manages the house, the bills, the overloaded schedules of the kids. I am editing and writing for The Journal, putting on my suit and subwaying to the bureau.

via Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney – NYTimes.com.

kith/kin, amenity kits: He trekked east, then he trekked west … this time CLT to IAD to KWI, then KWI to FRA to CLT … It still amazes me how far you can go in a day. And there are perks of having a spouse who travels internationally for business: 5 days, 3 airlines, one nice hotel with 52 hours on the ground … I get 4 “amenity” kits!

Photo: The perks of having a spouse who travels internationally for business. 5 days, 3 airlines, one nice hotel with 52 hours on the ground ... I get 4 "amenity" kits! :)

Jesus in the Perfect Storm by the Rt Revd Prof Dr. N. T. Wright, TMBS, Lent:  So we are studying NT Wright’s Simply Jesus.  As i prepared for class, I found this sermon and enjoyed how it brought the text into Lent …

Who knows what might happen if one of you – ten of you – fifty of you – were to go through this Holy Week praying humbly for the powerful fresh wind of God to blow into that combination of cultural pressure and personal aspiration, so that you might share in the sufferings of the Messiah and come through into the new life he longs to give you? Who knows what God’s power and God’s glory will look like when they steal upon tomorrow’s world from an unexpected angle? If the Son of God is now King of the world, what will that kingdom look like in this next generation?

via Jesus in the Perfect Storm by the Rt Revd Prof Dr. N. T. Wright.

5 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs a Girls Weekend | Abby Draper:  I have the best Girl Weekend group ever!

 While spending time with your significant other, children if applicable, colleagues and acquaintances is wonderful and important, every woman needs a good “girls weekend” every so often, at any age. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate, but a simple few days away from the norm with some women you trust is a special kind of cleanse, especially when you’re going through a tough time.

via 5 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs a Girls Weekend | Abby Draper.

El Camino de Santiago, bucket list:  It’s on my bucket list.

It is hard to walk a 500-mile pilgrimage trail without thinking about religion.

via Being Catholic: For a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime? – Busted Halo.

 five-second food rule, urban legends, research suggests, ScienceDaily:  I feel better …

Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is left for longer periods of time, according to new research. The findings suggest there may be some scientific basis to the ‘5 second rule’ — the urban myth about it being fine to eat food that has only had contact with the floor for five seconds or less. The study, undertaken by final year biology students monitored the transfer of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus from a variety of indoor floor types (carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces) to toast, pasta, biscuit and a sticky sweet when contact was made from 3 to 30 seconds.

via Dropped your toast? Five-second food rule exists, new research suggests — ScienceDaily.

iPod-Based Magic Tricks, TEDTalks:

via ▶ Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods) – YouTube.

What if deception is in the eye of the beholder? And what if lies can help us tell the truth? Watch this video and enter into the multimedia world of magician Marco Tempest. Then decide for yourself.

via WATCH: These iPod-Based Magic Tricks Are SO. MUCH. FUN | TEDTalks.

DST, memes:  My house …

Photo: What a difference an hour makes.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on What the Sahara Desert Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life | Brain Pickings: I am glad that they make almost every high school  student studying French read this in French, it is one of my favorites.

In December of 1940, a little more than two years before he created The Little Prince on American soil and four years before he disappeared over North Africa never to return, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry began writing Letter to a Hostage (public library) while waiting in Portugal for admission into the United States, having just escaped his war-torn French homeland — a poignant meditation on the atrocities the World War was inflicting at the scale of the human soul, exploring questions of identity, belonging, empathy, and the life of the spirit amidst death.

One of the most timelessly moving sections of the book, both for its stand-alone wisdom and for its evident legacy as a sandbox for the ideas the beloved author later included in The Little Prince — home, solitude, the stars, the sustenance of the spirit — is the second chapter, written while Saint-Exupéry was traveling aboard the crowded ship that took him from Lisbon to New York

via Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on What the Sahara Desert Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life | Brain Pickings.

39 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time, LOL:

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These students should get full marks for creativity alone!

via 39 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time..

Charlotte police use dirt bikes to catch criminals, Time Warner Cable News:  I saw my first one just the other day!

CHARLOTTE — Criminals now have one less place to hide in Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department are now using new dirt motorcycles to patrol woods and walking trails in several patrol divisions in Charlotte.

Steele Creek Division Commander Captain Allan Rutledge says his division is currently utilizing two bikes. He says criminals are using wooded areas to allude police. He says since the bikes have been put in use he’s noticed difference.

“The officers picked up the bikes one day when they were first available and 30 minutes later than made their first arrest,” said Rutledge. “They were actually on the way back from the location where they picked the motorcycles up to our division office where they made an arrest for drugs.”

The bikes have been in use for more than a month. Captain Rutledge says more bikes will be purchased in the near future.

via Charlotte police use dirt bikes to catch criminals – Time Warner Cable News.

Art and Human Rights, Anna Deavere Smith,  Robert McDuffie, Grace Cathedral – Calendar Detail: A labyrinth friend posted another link to Grace Cathedral’s page (the home of the US’s most famous labyrinth and Lauren Artress, the labyrinth movement’s advocate in the modern era) … So I clicked on it and was excited to see Camille McDuffie’s husband Robert McDuffie featured in this recent event. So two of my world’s intersect once again.

Art and Human Rights

Guests: Anna Deavere Smith and Robert McDuffie

Interlocutor: The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw

via Grace Cathedral – Calendar Detail.

The Forum: a Conversation with Anna Deavere Smith & Robert McDuffie

Sunday, Mar 9 9:30a to 10:30a

Grace Cathedral

San Francisco, CA

Join the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral, for The Forum with actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith and renowned violinist Robert McDuffie for a conversation on art and human rights within the context of their performance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail. The Forum is a series of lively conversations about art, faith, ethics and the issues of our day with renowned special guests.

Parker J. Palmer, David Ray’s Thanks Robert Frost:

Photo: I ran across this poem the other day, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's a poem about how we relate to the past—a question that's relevant at any age, not least when you're old enough to have more past than future!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The past isn't fixed and frozen in place. Instead, its meaning changes as life unfolds. I once lost a job. At the time, it felt as if I had come to the end of the road. But after a while, I was able to see how that loss helped guide me toward my true life-work. Losing that job was a blessing, not a curse.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>I've made many mistakes and often failed to live up to my aspirations, but I don't need to look back with regret. Instead, I can see all of my mess-ups as humus or compost for the growing I needed to do.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>I love the fact that the word "humus" is related to "humility." The good I do today may well have its roots in something not-so-good I did in the past. Knowing that takes me beyond both the sinkhole of regret and the hot-air balloon of pride.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Regret shuts life down. Humility opens it up. So Robert Frost was right. We CAN have hope for the past as well as the future!

I ran across this poem the other day, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s a poem about how we relate to the past—a question that’s relevant at any age, not least when you’re old enough to have more past than future!

The past isn’t fixed and frozen in place. Instead, its meaning changes as life unfolds. I once lost a job. At the time, it felt as if I had come to the end of the road. But after a while, I was able to see how that loss helped guide me toward my true life-work. Losing that job was a blessing, not a curse.

I’ve made many mistakes and often failed to live up to my aspirations, but I don’t need to look back with regret. Instead, I can see all of my mess-ups as humus or compost for the growing I needed to do.

I love the fact that the word “humus” is related to “humility.” The good I do today may well have its roots in something not-so-good I did in the past. Knowing that takes me beyond both the sinkhole of regret and the hot-air balloon of pride.

Regret shuts life down. Humility opens it up. So Robert Frost was right. We CAN have hope for the past as well as the future!

via Parker J. Palmer.

pi day, 10 Pies for Pi Day | Mental Floss: I think pi day is a fun way to introduce kids to math concepts. When did you first hear of pi day? It was when my oldest was in elementary school, late 1990s. So what smart fun teacher thought this up?  Love pi day … so pi day 2015 will be epic.

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.[2]

Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 22⁄7 is a common approximation of π.[3]

The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium,[4] where Shaw worked as a physicist,[5] with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies.[6] The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.[7]

Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies and discussing the significance of the number π.[1] Some schools hold competitions as to which student can recall Pi to the highest number of decimal places.[11][12]

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has often mailed its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day.[13] Starting in 2012, MIT has announced it will post those decisions (privately) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 pm, which they have called “Tau Time”, to honor the rival numbers Pi and Tau equally.[14][15]

The town of Princeton, New Jersey, hosts numerous events in a combined celebration of Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which is also March 14.[16] Einstein lived in Princeton for more than twenty years while working at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to pie eating and recitation contests, there is an annual Einstein look-alike contest.[17]

via Pi Day – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Today is March 14th, often notated as 3-14, so it is Pi Day! It’s a day set aside to pay homage to the ratio of a circle to its diameter. The traditional way to celebrate is to eat a pie. Or bake one. Here are some wonderful Pi Day pies you might try.

via 10 Pies for Pi Day | Mental Floss.

via WETA.

Well, in the U.S. anyway…

via George Takei.

recommendations, restaurants, CharlotteStagioni | Four Seasons of Food | Italian Family Style | Charlotte North Carolina.

25
Feb
14

2.25.14 … “Is that American for hello?” …

‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show, The Daily Beast: It wasn’t THAT bad. I’ll admit that I didn’t particularly like Cora’s brother, the character or the actor, and that I’m not a fan of her mother, the character AND Shirley McClain as the actress portraying her. So I was  disappointed with the finale primarily because of  the American relatives.

That was quite a ridiculous season of Downton Abbey, now wasn’t it? What happened to the formerly addictive, splendid, elegant costume drama?

Season four of Downton Abbey, which concluded Sunday night, was all about acceptance. It was about accepting the death of two major characters and the need—for us and the residents of Downton—to move on. Accepting the budding love between a white heiress and a black singer. Accepting the conception of a child out of love—and out of wedlock. And, most of all, accepting the fact that Downton Abbey is a shell of the seductively elegant costume soap opera we all became so addicted to four years ago.

That’s because there’s one thing Downton Abbey refuses to accept is the very thing that’s the supposed to be the crux of the whole damned show: change.

via ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show – The Daily Beast.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter, Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward, TIME.com:

On the show, Lady Rose has the opportunity to rub elbows with the Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, who eventually came to the throne in 1936 — and his lover, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The story’s main arc is set into motion when a letter from the Prince to Freda is stolen by a no-good card sharp hanging around the Crawleys. If he leaks the letter to the international press, it could cause a scandal, which sends Rose and Robert into detective mode.

As it turns out, there was correspondence between the Prince and Freda — as described in the book Letters from a Prince: Edward, Prince of Wales, to Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The socialite daughter of a rich businessman, she was already married when she met the Prince, but her marriage wasn’t in good shape. In 1918, the Prince began to send her the first of what would be many letters.

Though their romance ended abruptly in 1934 when the Prince began his relationship with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he would eventually give up the throne, the Prince of Wales didn’t exactly hide his feelings. Take, for example, one missive from June of 1919: “Darling darling beloved little Fredie,” he begins, “This is only just a teeny weeny little scrawl to catch the last post sweetheart and to tell you how fearfully madly I’m loving you this afternoon angel and looking forward to 4:30 tomorrow. Although I only said all this about 12 hrs ago I can’t help saying it all again this afternoon only I mean it even more sweetheart!!”

via Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter | TIME.com.

TMBS, N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _ and Why He Matters: Starting the next book for TMBS … I think I would like his dad. And I still don’t know what “eschatology” means, and I’ve looked it up at least 10 times.

“This is the first book I have written since the death of my beloved father, at the age of ninety-one. Having read little or no theology or biblical scholarship until his mid-sixties, when I started writing, he then read everything I wrote within days of its publication and frequently telephoned me to tell me what he thought about it. I cherish some of his comments. “I’ve looked up ‘eschatology’ three times in the dictionary,” he once complained, “and I keep forgetting what it means.” When my big book on the resurrection came out, he read it, all 700 pages, in three days, commenting that he had really started to enjoy it after about page 600. Presumably, with the end in sight, he was starting to experience hope as well as reading about it. Particularly with my popular writings, I now realize that he was always part of the “target audience” of which I was subconsciously aware. Writing a book like this feels different now that he’s not there to read it. In any case, though I hope he learned a few things from me, this book— particularly its concluding chapter— hints at some of the many things I learned from him. As I grieve his passing, I dedicate this book to his memory with gratitude, love, and, yes, hope.’

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

9/11, man’s best friend, Daisy, Medal of Honor of New York City:  teary eyed …

Juliette Guidara

Follow · February 20 near Nahant, MA

James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy.

After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love.

She darted away into the darkened hallway.

Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later,

Daisy comes back along with James’ boss, Who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112

On her first run of the building, she leads James, James’ boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building.

But she wasn’t through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James’ wishes she ran back in the building.

On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses.

James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears.

Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. “She led us right to the people, before she got injured” the fireman explained.

Her final run saved another 273 lives. She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.

Daisy is the first civilian Canine to win the Medal of Honor of New York City.

Pass it on to all animal lovers

via Juliette Guidara.

Humans of New York, NYPL:  Almost every post is insightful … read the follow-up, too.

Photo: "You want to photograph me eating chicken?"<br /><br /><br /> "Yep."<br /><br /><br /> "Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."<br /><br /><br /> "What's that?"<br /><br /><br /> "I work at this library.  And before that, I was coming here for twenty years.  It's my favorite place in the world.  As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world.  Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library.  As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library.  When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe.  Now read that back to me."

“You want to photograph me eating chicken?”

“Yep.”

“Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message.”

“What’s that?”

“I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me.”

via Humans of New York.

Because of all the attention of this morning’s library post, I thought it’d only be fair to post the NYPL’s response. I’m quoting four points that they’ve asked me to clarify:

*The man says “I work at this Library.” Ends up, he doesn’t “work” for the library in the sense of being an employee. He is probably doing his work at the library (millions do each year!). We fear the confusion might make people think he is offering his opinion as an employee.

*The vast majority of research books will remain on the site (in far superior storage conditions)

*None of the public spaces he and others enjoy will change, and we’ll be returning a circulating collection to this main library (it had one for its first 70 years).

*This plan will be greatly expanding access to the library. The renovation will allow all New Yorkers–scholars, students, educators, immigrants, job-seekers– to take advantage of this beautiful building and its world-class collections.

Obviously the issue is more complex than soundbites from either side, so feel free to educate yourself further and form your own opinion:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=NYPL+renovation+debate

via Humans of New York.

indie bookstore, LOL:

Photo: Awesome indie bookstore displays FTW.</p><br /><br /> <p>Nice job, Blue Willow Bookshop.

Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased, Salon.com: Overwhelmed by this statement …

Abortion for black women has always been a revolutionary rejection of patriarchy, white supremacy and forced systems of oppression. The great scholars Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis have explained that throughout slavery and into the 20th century, self-abortion through herbal remedies, hangers, hatpins and pencils were a way out of slavery and poverty. Our ancestors fought hard to refuse to carry the children of their master rapists and rear another generation of slaves, even when it meant that “barren” women were deemed worthless chattel and sold between plantations. From generation to generation, stories and recipes were passed down to ensure that women weren’t forced to carry pregnancies they never desired or weren’t able to carry healthily. For as many powerful women that raised children in the worst conditions imaginable, so there were those who refused.

via Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased – Salon.com.

RIP Harold Ramis: The good are always taken from us too soon!

Photo: The good are always taken from us too soon!<br /><br /><br /> RIP Harold Ramis

North Korea Cloaked in Darkness, Korea Real Time, WSJ, satellite images, picture paints a thousand words, darkness:

One of the most stunning—and revealing—photos ever taken of North Korea was a 2002 satellite image of the peninsula at night, shown by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon briefing.

The photo showed the lights of South Korean conurbations, and even large clusters of fishing boats, in stark contrast to an almost entirely black North Korea. Other than a small spot of light in the showcase capital Pyongyang and the outline of the country, North Korea wouldn’t have been visible at all.

“South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea isdark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

via North Korea Cloaked in Darkness – Korea Real Time – WSJ.

Upinspire, This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked, secret lives: What a great story:  Upinspire – This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked..

13 Things Mentally Strong People Dont Do, lists: Good list …

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

06
May
13

5.6.13 … back at it …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking,  Sharon Baptist Church – Charlotte NC: I call this my Walmart labyrinth. I call it my Walmart labyrinth because I’m not particularly fond of it, but it is on my route to the super Walmart. So here I am  today enjoying this very odd cool May day, the second such day in a row. And I’ll make an attempt at solving. Blessings.

image_5

image-17 image-12 image-14

image-16 image-15 image-18

image 

Colbert Busch, Mark Sanford,  Nate Silver, SC 1st Congressional District, NYTimes.com:  Really enjoy Nate Silver’s analysis.  So from his analysis, it seems the only reason for a Republican to vote for via Colbert Busch is to punish Sanford.

… even if Ms. Colbert Busch does win on Tuesday, how long might she be able to hold on to such a solidly Republican seat?If recent history is any guide, not that long.Since 1997 which is as far back as records of special elections go on history.house.gov, candidates who won a special election in a district carried by the opposing political party in the preceding presidential election have had fleeting tenures in Congress.There have been 59 special elections since 1997, and just 14 candidates have carried districts that leaned away from their political party a Republican representing a Democratic-leaning seat or vice versa. Of those 14, 13 no longer hold those seats.1 The lone exception is Representative Ron Barber, who won a full term in Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District in 2012 after winning a special election to replace former Representative Gabrielle Giffords.Most of those 14 special election upsets occurred in districts that are less partisan than South Carolina’s first district.

via Colbert Busch Might Win, but Could She Last? – NYTimes.com.

Niall Ferguson, John Maynard Keynes:  Rewriting history, giant leaps …

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson has apologized after suggesting that John Maynard Keynes’ economic theories were influenced by the fact that he was gay and childless, and therefore was unconcerned with the welfare of future generations. He wrote, “First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried.” Ferguson tends to court controversy — his 2012 book Civilization:The West and the Rest was widely seen as an apology for Western colonialism.

via Book News: Harper Lee Says Literary Agent Exploited Her Health : The Two-Way : NPR.

Thin Places,  TMBS, FPC-Charlotte, NYTimes.com:  A friend shared this on FB and I thought it worth mentioning again.

 So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves.

via Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World – NYTimes.com.

We used the concept of “thin places” to anchor a week of a FPC bible study I attend and included this article.  Here is the outline of our discussion:

“Thin Places” Feb. 5: This Tuesday we will wrap up our Epiphany study with a look at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36). In Barbara Brown Taylor’s sermon about the Transfiguration, she refers “thin places”.

This term, originating in Celtic spirituality, refers to a place in which the boundary between the holy and the ordinary becomes very thin. It has come to describe both sacred and secular spaces as shown in the following two articles.

Thin Places of Faith Dr. Karyn L.Wiseman – Huffington Post Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer Eric Weiner – NYT

Think about when and where those places have occurred in your life and how you might re-create these spaces day to day. Moving from Discovering Christ to Practicing the Discipleship of Christ, these encounters with the holy can help deepen our Lenten experiences. As noted in a sermon by Rev. Nicholas Lang, “Christian practices—what we do here in this sacred space—have as their central purpose to provide the possibility for us to encounter a thin place where our hearts are opened.” We’ll spend some time on Tuesday discussing these glimpses through the “cracked doors… where God is a palpable presence” (Taylor p. 58).

The Rustbelt Almanac, Louisville:  I am very interested in the Rust Belt and its people, so I will take a look at The Rustbelt Almanac—A New Quarterly About Industrious People,  Louisville is this odd, but charming, mixture of The South and the Rust Belt.

WHY THE RUST BELT?

America’s Rust Belt is the sprawling region stretching from the Northeast across the Midwest, and into parts of the Upper South – most notably characterized by a vast void left by manufacturing industries that once dominated the economic landscape, but have long since gone by the wayside. While industry may have moved elsewhere, the work-ethic has not. The region is home to countless industrious people; artists, craftsman, laborers, entrepreneurs – Makers. That same void left by industry is the reason the region has such unimaginable potential for growth: there is room for the folks who want to take risks and start something new.

via About — Rustbelt Almanac.

19
Mar
13

3.19.13 … the “capable wife” … she can laugh at the days to come …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, All Saints Episcopal Church -Gastonia  NC: 

IMG_6701

I was excited to have a new labyrinth to walk today. I found it via the worldwide labyrinth locator.
The labyrinth at All Saints Episcopal Church  is a stone paver labyrinth, 6 circuit, with a Chartres – like pattern. It has rosemary and pots of pansies at its edge.  There is a community garden ready to be planted behind the labyrinth.    It will be fun to watch this one grow and develop over time. So much potential!
IMG_6705
 IMG_6711 IMG_6710 IMG_6708
IMG_6704  IMG_6703
   IMG_6712  IMG_6706
IMG_6718 IMG_6714
 IMG_6716 IMG_6713 IMG_6715
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My thoughts are on the “Capable Wife”  found in Proverbs 31:10 – 31  which was discussed at TMBS at midday today.  I especially liked v. 25-26, 30-31, but only after our discussion:

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

05
Feb
13

2.5.13 … I often find myself between a rock and a hard place, but when I do, I am hoping that place is “thin” …

thin places, FPC, TMBS: I have loved this study! But the final article, really made me think about where and how I spend my time …

TRAVEL, like life, is best understood backward but must be experienced forward, to paraphrase Kierkegaard. After decades of wandering, only now does a pattern emerge. I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places.

It is, admittedly, an odd term. One could be forgiven for thinking that thin places describe skinny nations (see Chile) or perhaps cities populated by thin people (see Los Angeles). No, thin places are much deeper than that. They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever.

Travel to thin places does not necessarily lead to anything as grandiose as a “spiritual breakthrough,” whatever that means, but it does disorient. It confuses. We lose our bearings, and find new ones. Or not. Either way, we are jolted out of old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of travel.

It’s not clear who first uttered the term “thin places,” but they almost certainly spoke with an Irish brogue. The ancient pagan Celts, and later, Christians, used the term to describe mesmerizing places like the wind-swept isle of Iona (now part of Scotland) or the rocky peaks of Croagh Patrick. Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.

So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves.

via Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World – NYTimes.com

 Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, favorites, art, TheArtBlab:  One of my favorites … i always go see it when I am in Chicago at The Art Institute, its permanent home.

Artifacts. TheArtBlab.com. Feb. 5. Tues. Famous Favorites in Art.

Georges Seurat (Paris, Dec. 1859-Paris, Mar. 1891) was obsessed with the science of color. The body of work he produced would solidify him as one of the most intellectual artists of his time.

The method of divisionism was the systematic refinement of the broken color of the impressionists. Seurat was seen as the founder of neo-impressionism for having devised a new painting technique based on the divisionism method. He is known for the pointillism technique of painting tiny dots of pure color. The theory behind the placement of pure color side by side, is that from a distance your eye will mix the color

for you.

Well, Mr. Seurat, it worked! But it must have taken forever to paint that way. Un Dimanche a la Grande Jatte (Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte) took two years to paint. It was painted first with regular brush work until the second year when Seurat painted the dots. The piece is is ten feet wide and six feet tall. It hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago and is known as Georges Seurat’s finest painting.

MegaBus, Atlanta, FB, LOL, thin places:  MegaBus to ATL … I am enjoying my almost favorite seat except I am facing backward. Beautiful sunset from the bus.  Love that when I share this my FB friend and childhood friend comments, “She’s trying to make platinum on MegaBus. ” Wouldn’t it be nice if a ride on the bus could be a thin place experience.

silver alert: I saw my first SILVER ALERT last night on 1-77.  i could have guessed what it meant … Silver Alert – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Interesting,  the sign just said SILVER ALERT FOR INFO DIAL 511!!

Apple:  Apple Shows Signs a Major Interface Overhaul Is Coming | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

18
Jan
12

1.18.2012 … Yesterday’s Bible Study at FPC was great … then lunch at Mert’s where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good! … New Mantra: “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

FPC, TMBS, Genesis, Mert’s:  Yesterday’s Tuesday Morning Bible Study at FPC continues to be insightful as we study Genesis with Rabbi Sachs’ book … then lunch at Mert’s Heart and Soul Restaurant where my date John stood me up … Catfish was good!

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish

Recipe created by James Bazzelle, chef/owner of Mert’s Heart and Soul, Charlotte, NC.

4 medium catfish

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (fish breading)

1/4 cup white vinegar

Vegetable oil

via Mert’s Restaurant.

culture, mantra, advice:

“Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

Elderly ‘Experts’ Share Life Advice in Cornell Project – NYTimes.com.

tweet of the day, pop ups, libraries:

Maria Popova @brainpicker Close

Ooh! An entire Flickr stream of miniature pop-up libraries around the world j.mp/yN86cv (HT @shawncalhoun)

.

private equity,  privileges v. profits, 2012 Presidential Election: The Republicans and their in-fighting are just fueling the OWS …

Mitt Romney, the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, has brought the rights and wrongs of private equity to the front of U.S. politics. He once ran a private-equity firm, and he has been attacked for it even by fellow conservatives.

This is a new version of an old complaint, and the quality of the discussion is not improving with age. The question to ask about private equity — which involves taking over companies, restructuring them and selling them at a profit — is not whether it creates jobs. It is whether taxpayers should be subsidizing its practitioners’ paychecks.

Many politicians say private equity is rapacious. Not long ago, the same charge was laid against leveraged buyouts, and before that against hostile takeovers. The issue is essentially the same. When control of a company changes hands, are the new owners so intent on short-term profits that they act against the interests of other stakeholders — not just shareholders, but also employees, customers and the wider community?

The current debate has revolved around jobs. Defenders of private equity say the new owners tend to boost employment, and critics say the opposite.

The study concluded that “private equity buy-outs catalyze the creative destruction process.”

Exactly. In a market economy, some companies or industries are shrinking, while others are growing. You can’t have one without the other, and the spur for both kinds of adjustment is profit. Market forces raise living standards not by increasing wages and employment enterprise by enterprise, but by applying capital and labor to the best uses. Private equity, leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers all serve this purpose. To keep managers on their toes, capitalism requires a functioning market for corporate control.

If private equity can succeed without preferences, that’s fine: The more competitive the market for corporate control, the better. Its current mode of operation, though, is largely a symptom of a flawed tax code. The industry’s borrowing is subsidized and so are the generous incomes it pays its staff. These privileges are a problem. The issues its critics choose to emphasize aren’t.

via The Trouble With Private Equity Is Special Privileges Not Profits: View – Bloomberg.

Winnie the Pooh, Americanisms,children’s/YA literature:  Oh, bother … I actually prefer the original … non Disney version …

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The publishers, Parragon, are based in Bath and responded to Weeks’ complaint about the new phrases with this explanation: “[W]e sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.”

While it seems like a fair enough explanation when taken at face value, many critics, both British and American, have joined in the protest, saying that editing out the original language fundamentally changes the work.

More worrying, however, is the recent crop of errors and grammatical mistakes that have appeared in the books and similar children’s stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to Weeks, in the Alice story, the words “all ways” was written as “always” and in another story, whales slap their “tales” rather than their “tails.”

It would seem that this is all a case of some editors stuffing up royally. Oh, excuse us, we’ll rephrase — they messed up big time.

via Oh, Bother: Brits Say Modern Winnie the Pooh Riddled With Americanisms | NewsFeed | TIME.com.

PIPA, SOPA, Internet:  There is a lot more here than many realize …

The video above discusses the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster.

via PROTECT IP Act Breaks the Internet.

The biggest impact of Wednesday’s blackout may be in the shutdown of the English-language version of Wikipedia, which gets 2.7 billion U.S. visitors per month.

“It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web,” said a statement signed by three of the free encyclopedia’s administrators, with the handles “NuclearWarfare,” “Risker” and “Billinghurst.” They said the decision to shut down the English-language portion of the site, starting at midnight Eastern time, had been made after a virtual discussion that involved 1,800 users.

But already, the momentum of the two controversial bills has been largely halted. Just weeks ago, they seemed on their way to passage, having cleared a Senate committee and garnered bipartisan support in the House.

via SOPA protests shut down Web sites – The Washington Post.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, President Obama:  Glad to see someone saw the irony of the acceptance speech at BANK Of AMERICA Stadium!

In another break from tradition, Democrats announced Tuesday that they’re shortening their national convention and moving events to the Charlotte area’s two largest outdoor venues.

Party officials – and even the White House – said the moves are designed to allow President Barack Obama and his campaign to reach a wider audience while energizing supporters at the same time.

The president will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium, replicating his 2008 address at Denver’s Invesco Field.

And in a twist, the party will forgo the convention’s traditional Monday opening and instead entertain tens of thousands that day at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He said the changes won’t reduce the convention’s regional economic impact, which is expected to be at least $150 million. About 5,000 delegates and alternates are still expected to arrive on Saturday or Sunday for the convention.

Though the role of modern conventions has changed dramatically from the days when they actually decided the nominees, the format has changed little. They traditionally span four days. So will the Republican convention in Tampa this August.

“Four days really is an anachronism,” said Washington political analyst Charlie Cook. “There’s arguably not more than one day’s business to do …

“I think the Obama folks like to do things differently for the sake of doing things differently.”

via DNC: Charlotte’s convention to try new twists | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

Moving the president’s speech mirrors the playbook the Democrats used in 2008. Obama spoke at the Denver Broncos’ home field after becoming the Democratic nominee, a last-minute move party organizers say allowed more people a chance to attend. The rest of the Denver convention was held at that city’s NBA arena.

Agreements between the Democratic National Convention Committee and both the stadium and the speedway are being negotiated. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Panthers and the stadium, said the team will not charge the Democrats rent, but he declined to discuss details beyond that.

“This convention isn’t about political ritual and speeches on the floor, it’s about the American people coming together to commit ourselves and our country to a path that creates more opportunity for all Americans,” said Stephen Kerrigan, national convention chief executive. “And that is why we have decided to make a few changes to meet that goal. President Obama made it clear from Day One that he wanted this convention to be different than in any history and definitely any happening this year.”

via Obama speech moves to BofA Stadium – Charlotte Business Journal.

While Obama and Moynihan seemed to be on good terms a couple of years ago, more recently the president ripped the bank for its ill-fated attempt to hike debit-card fees.

Organizers and other Democrats said Tuesday they have no concerns about links between the president and a Bank of America-named venue.

“We don’t believe there’s any relevance to who the sponsor or the naming rights are handled by to any of the venues that we host convention events in,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic national party. “In particular, this president has a remarkable record not only of rescuing our economy from the precipice of disaster. Now he’s been able to make sure that folks on Main Street aren’t run over by folks on Wall Street.”Wasserman Schultz was referring to the president’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

via Odd couple: BofA, Obama – Charlotte Business Journal.

Bank of America,  CEO Brian Moynihan: Delicate …

Appointed in late 2009 as predecessor Ken Lewis retired, Moynihan, the article says, has had a “delicate” hold on his job. Sources quoted by the paper, apparently close to the board of directors, point to an assessment earlier in his career at BofA that said Moynihan tended to micromanage, struggled with communication and failed to surround himself with experienced advisers.

The article also says those are areas the CEO has targeted for improvement.

An unnamed director told the WSJ that Moynihan’s handling of BofA’s denied dividend increase request last year showed a “very inexperienced team.” And another portion of the report says Moynihan didn’t heed a suggestion by former consumer banking chief Joe Price to study a $5 debit card fee longer before announcing it publicly. That fee, announced in late September, became a public relations nightmare and was cancelled a month later.

A spokesman for BofA told The Wall Street Journal, “We are a less risky, smaller, better capitalized, and more streamlined company since Brian became CEO.”

Moynihan’s vision calls for BofA to continue shrinking both expenses and non-core operations. He has initiated asset sales, capital raises and efficiency initiatives. He has also re-tooled his management team this year, jettisoning Price and brokerage head Sallie Krawcheck, and elevating David Darnell and Tom Montag to co-chief operating officer roles.

Montag openly sought the CEO position before it was given to Moynihan. Darnell is a longtime BofA executive, dating back to Hugh McColl-led BofA and its predecessors in Charlotte.

BofA this week also sought to improve its public image, placing its ad account on review and soliciting new ideas for its marketing efforts.

via WSJ: BofA could retreat, Brian Moynihan’s hold on CEO job ‘delicate’ – Charlotte Business Journal.

bookshelf, books, list:  I found this one interesting. I have most in my house … haven’t read them all.

What makes a must-own classic book? After all, there are many kinds of book available. There are the coffee-table books, designed to be flicked through by guests, with their impressive art and embellished covers, and then there are bookshelf books – either novels we’ve read so many times the pages are inked up and torn, or those books we bought on a whim, and really keep meaning to get to whenever we’re not so busy.

Somewhere in between lie the Essential Bookshelf Conversation Starters, those spines that add a touch of class to a room, or might provoke a fascinating conversation. After all, UK newspaper The Daily Mail reported last year that a survey by Lindeman’s wine in the UK showed the average bookshelf was filled with 80 books that the owner hasn’t themselves read.

Don’t get us wrong – these recommendations are also fascinating reading in their own right. But if you’re going to buy hard covers with at least one eye on the opinions of visiting friends and relatives, these are our choices of the titles you really should have on display.

via 12 Books You NEED On Your Bookshelf.

faith and spirituality:

Be Yourself

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

via Daily Meditation: Be Yourself.

René Descartes, Cartesian Theory:  Watched a movie where they discussed Cartesian Theory … Mindwalk (1990) … and I hate to admit that I needed a refresher course.

René Descartes may just be the Thinking Man’s thinking man. More than any other modern philosopher, he is identified with the view that the soul is separate from the body and superior to it—in fact, we refer to this position as Cartesian dualism. The synonymy is so overwhelming, one can imagine him subjected to some hackneyed literary or television treatment wherein he is brought forcibly into the present, only to find success as an advertising executive with his slogan for the Winterman sneaker account that promises “mind over matter.” (For the women’s line: I pink therefore I am.)

Any dualistic theory encounters what is known in philosophy as the mind-body problem: how is it possible for two entirely discrete substances to act in concert and produce what we conceive of as unitary being? Curiously enough, Descartes’ lifelong passion for experimental physiology—which, for him, was just rationalistic epistemology by other means—influenced his answers. He was an avid practitioner of dissection on both human and animal bodies. (Because he believed animals were mindless machines and could not feel pain, he often dissected them while they remained alive.) In his search to discover the differences that distinguish humans and animals from one another as res intelligens and res extensa—that is, intelligent beings and “machines,” respectively—he hit upon the pineal gland, which he found present only in the human brain.

via The Devoted Intellect.

antidepressant v. placebo:

Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in England and author of a 2008 meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine that found little benefit of antidepressants for most patients, is less sanguine about the new study. He characterizes the results as “indeed important,” but says they suggest that “while many people may benefit from antidepressant treatment (although most of them to a degree that is not clinically significant), about 1 in 4 are made worse.”

“What makes this particularly problematic is the fact that we don’t know who these people are,” Kirsch says. “Although placebo may not be a viable treatment option, there are other treatments that on average work as well as antidepressants, [such as] physical exercise and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. As far as we know, these alternatives don’t make people worse.

“This suggests to me that antidepressants should be kept as a last resort, and if a person does not respond to the treatment within a few weeks, it should be discontinued,” says Kirsch.

Krystal agrees that if one-quarter of patients with depression are made worse by antidepressant treatment, “we need to find ways to identify who those people are and find other ways to reach that group of people.”

via New Research on the Antidepressant-Versus-Placebo Debate | Healthland | TIME.com.

technological change, end of an era, RIP, Kodak, Fuji, creative destruction:  I remember the first time I used Fuji film.  I felt like a traitor. And for the second time in two days I run across the term “creative destruction.” (See above in the excerpt on private equity.)

Kodak’s blunder was not like the time when Digital Equipment Corporation, an American computer-maker, failed to spot the significance of personal computers because its managers were dozing in their comfy chairs. It was more like “seeing a tsunami coming and there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Mr Christensen.

Dominant firms in other industries have been killed by smaller shocks, he points out. Of the 316 department-store chains of a few decades ago, only Dayton Hudson has adapted well to the modern world, and only because it started an entirely new business, Target. And that is what creative destruction can do to a business that has changed only gradually—the shops of today would not look alien to time-travellers from 50 years ago, even if their supply chains have changed beyond recognition.

Could Kodak have avoided its current misfortunes? Some say it could have become the equivalent of “Intel Inside” for the smartphone camera—a brand that consumers trust. But Canon and Sony were better placed to achieve that, given their superior intellectual property, and neither has succeeded in doing so.

Unlike people, companies can in theory live for ever. But most die young, because the corporate world, unlike society at large, is a fight to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and survived. Film went from 60% of its profits in 2000 to basically nothing, yet it found new sources of revenue. Kodak, along with many a great company before it, appears simply to have run its course. After 132 years it is poised, like an old photo, to fade away.

via Technological change: The last Kodak moment? | The Economist.

 Apple,   ‘Digitally Destroy’ textbooks:

While MacInnis reiterated his belief that this event should see a new Apple tool for creating iPad textbooks, he told Fortune they weren’t a “GarageBand for e-books” (that phrase was imagined or perhaps misunderstood by Ars) and that the whole thing is actually designed to complement the textbook biz, not breathe Godzilla-style atomic death on it.

Tune in here Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Techland’s full coverage of the event.

via Apple Poised to ‘Digitally Destroy’ Textbooks? Don’t Bet On It | Techland | TIME.com.

apps, Day One (Journal/Diary):  I like this one …

Day One is a micro-journal / diary / text logging application that makes it easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them sync and available in the cloud.

via App Store – Day One (Journal/Diary).




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