Posts Tagged ‘tragedy

14
Nov
11

11.14.2011 … Davison College Wildcats v. Richmond Spiders … DC up by 9 at the half … and in the end Wildcats stomp the Spiders. :)

2012 Presidential Election, religion, Mormonism:

A dark truth of American politics in what is still the era of Reagan and the Bushes is that so many do not vote their own economic interests. Rather than living in reality they yield to what oddly are termed “cultural” considerations: moral and spiritual, or so their leaders urge them to believe. Under the banners of flag, cross, fetus, exclusive marriage between men and women, they march onward to their own deepening impoverishment. Much of the Tea Party fervor merely repeats this gladsome frolic.

AS the author of “The American Religion,” I learned a considerable respect for such original spiritual revelations as 19th-century Mormonism and early 20th-century Southern Baptism, admirably re-founded by the subtle theologian Edgar Young Mullins in his “Axioms of Religion.”

A religion becomes a people, as it has for the Jews and the Mormons, partly out of human tenacity inspired by the promise of the blessing of more life, but also through charismatic leadership. What we now call Judaism was essentially created by Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph to meet the needs of a Jewish people mired under Roman occupation in Palestine and elsewhere in the empire. A great sage, Akiva was also a leader of extraordinary charisma, an old man when martyred by the Emperor Hadrian, presumably for inspiring the insurrection of Bar Kokhba that ended at the siege of Bethar.

via Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough? – NYTimes.com.

photos:  Great photos!

November 8, 2011. A sedated black rhino is carried by military helicopter away from a poaching area in the hills of the Eastern Cape in South Africa to a new home 15 miles away. The World Wildlife Fund organized the move of 1,000 rhinos, which are under threat from poachers across Africa because of the market value of their horns.

via TIME Magazine’s Best Pictures of the Week, November 4-November 11 – LightBox.

British humor, American Humor, culture:

It’s often dangerous to generalize, but under threat, I would say that Americans are more “down the line.” They don’t hide their hopes and fears. They applaud ambition and openly reward success. Brits are more comfortable with life’s losers. We embrace the underdog until it’s no longer the underdog.We like to bring authority down a peg or two. Just for the hell of it. Americans say, “have a nice day” whether they mean it or not. Brits are terrified to say this. We tell ourselves it’s because we don’t want to sound insincere but I think it might be for the opposite reason. We don’t want to celebrate anything too soon. Failure and disappointment lurk around every corner. This is due to our upbringing. Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, “it won’t happen for you.”

There’s a received wisdom in the U.K. that Americans don’t get irony. This is of course not true. But what is true is that they don’t use it all the time. It shows up in the smarter comedies but Americans don’t use it as much socially as Brits. We use it as liberally as prepositions in every day speech. We tease our friends. We use sarcasm as a shield and a weapon. We avoid sincerity until it’s absolutely necessary. We mercilessly take the piss out of people we like or dislike basically. And ourselves. This is very important. Our brashness and swagger is laden with equal portions of self-deprecation. This is our license to hand it out.

via Ricky Gervais: Is There a Difference Between British and American Humor | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

Dogwood Farms, Ann and Cot Campbell, kith/kin, kudos:  Cary’s mom and dad … kudos!

Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell (from left) and his wife Anne received a gold tray from Nick Nicholson, president of Keeneland Race Course, to commemorate Dogwood's eighth stakes victory at the Kentucky track.  SPECIAL

The celebration was originally set to honor Aikenite, Dogwood Stable’s 4-year-old colt, for winning a spring race to give the Aiken-based outfit a gold tray from Keeneland Race Course.

.Aikenite won Dogwood’s eighth graded stakes race at Keeneland by rallying in the stretch to win the Commonwealth Stakes in April. Jockey John Velazquez guided Aikenite to his first stakes win by 2 1/4 lengths over Cool Bullet.

Dogwood won its first Keeneland grades stakes race in 1971 with Mrs. Cornwallis in the Alcibiades. Other Dogwood horses to win a gold julep cup from Keeneland include Luge II (Forerunner), Summer Squall (Blue Grass and Fayette Handicap), British Banker (Phoenix Breeders’ Cup), Golden Gale (Beaumont) and Vicarage (Perryville).

The eighth one earned Dogwood the solid gold tray, which the stable proudly displayed at the museum Friday night.

via Cot Campbell honored at hall of fame event | The Augusta Chronicle.

For Campbell, in his tailored role as a racing manager, the 2012 season will dawn with Aikenite at the head of the runners in the existing partnerships. This year, Aikenite, a son of Is It True, won the Commonwealth at Keeneland and the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby Day, and those are the races he will target early next year as well. Campbell knows enough, though, not to heap upon Aikenite disproportionate praise. He has yet to reach the heights of such Dogwood runners as Summer Squall, Southjet, Inlander, Storm Song, Nassipour, Trippi, and Wild Escapade.

“He’s a very satisfying horse,” Campbell said of Aikenite. “A horse with a lovely personality. He’s not going to volunteer anything, but when you do ask him the question he’ll give you the answer. He’s here now in Aiken for a couple months. I was just over giving him some peppermints.”

It was Friday morning, and that evening the Campbells were set to host an open house at the local Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. It was fitting that Aikenite’s victory in the Commonwealth earlier this year was enough to earn Dogwood a special honor from Keeneland, commemorating the stable’s eight graded stakes wins there. A gold tray of some sort was involved, but mostly it was a good excuse for a party. Aiken, pop. 29,494, has a rich tradition as South Carolina’s off season mecca for the Thoroughbred industry, offering a wintertime home to many of the leading stables throughout the history of the sport. Aikenite was named as Campbell’s tribute to Dogwood’s home.

“This is a good town to live in if you’re going to be in any kind of horse business,“ Campbell said. “We’ve invited the entire citizenry of Aiken, and right now it looks like they’re all coming.”

Without much doubt, the evening was destined to end up a tribute to Campbell as well.

“I was going to hold up my announcement about my plans, but I figured hell why not just say what I’ve got to say,” he said.

“To put it kindly, I’m in the twilight of my existence, or maybe the late evening,” Campbell said. “Who knows how long it will go on? I’m fit, I feel great, and I’m having a good time.

via Dogwood leader Cot Campbell eases into semi-retirement at 84 | Daily Racing Form.

Sara Bates, Watson Scholars, Davidson College, D2s, kith/kin, kudos:  A fun blog to follow … daughter of classmates Thomas and Lisa.  Kudos to Sara!

Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow.

via sara bates … watson adventures | Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow..

Joe Paterno, tragedies:  I hate this story …

The best piece about Darío Castrillón Hoyos was written by the Catholic essayist John Zmirak, and his words apply to Joe Paterno as well. Sins committed in the name of a higher good, Zmirak wrote, can “smell and look like lilies. But they flank a coffin. Lying dead and stiff inside that box is natural Justice … what each of us owes the other in an unconditional debt.”

No higher cause can trump that obligation — not a church, and certainly not a football program. And not even a lifetime of heroism can make up for leaving a single child alone, abandoned to evil, weeping in the dark.

via The Devil and Joe Paterno – NYTimes.com.

First, let’s get the language straight. The very last thing that these brave boys and men need is a nation referring to them as victims. They are heroes and survivors. Words matter.

Second, I’m not sure that any of us really know what happened and how it happened. But based on my research, I do know this:

When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, churches, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this pattern.

In an organizational culture where respect and the dignity of individuals are held as the highest values, shame and blame don’t work as management styles. There is no leading by fear. Empathy is a valued asset, accountability is an expectation rather than an exception, and the primal human need for belonging is not used as leverage and social control.

We can’t control the behavior of individuals; however, we can cultivate organizational cultures where behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting what matters most: human beings.

via thoughts on penn state – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Atlanta, Civil War, history, William Sherman, Burning of Atlanta:

I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the 14th, and found that all preparations had been made-Colonel Beckwith, chief commissary, reporting one million two hundred thousand rations in possession of the troops, which was about twenty days’ supply, and he had on hand a good supply of beef-cattle to be driven along on the hoof. Of forage, the supply was limited, being of oats and corn enough for five days, but I knew that within that time we would reach a country well stocked with corn, which had been gathered and stored in cribs, seemingly for our use, by Governor Brown’s militia.

Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, of my staff, had been busy in his special task of destruction. He had a large force at work, had leveled the great depot, round house, and the machine-shops of the Georgia Railroad, and had applied fire to the wreck. One of these machine-shops had been used by the rebels as an arsenal, and in it were stored piles of shot and shell, some of which proved to be loaded, and that night was made hideous by the bursting of shells, whose fragments came uncomfortably, near Judge Lyon’s house, in which I was quartered. The fire also reached the block of stores near the depot, and the heart of the city was in flames all night, but the fire did not reach the parts of Atlanta where the court-house was, or the great mass of dwelling houses.

Atlanta History Center, I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the….

‘Three Cups of Tea, tragedy:  I hate that Greg Mortenson’s story is not true.

The fight over whether mountaineer Greg Mortenson made up portions of “Three Cups of Tea,” his best-selling memoir about building schools in Pakistan, is getting nastier.

On Monday, Jon Krakauer, the climber and author, released online a 75-page story on Mr. Mortenson called “Three Cups of Deceit.” Mr. Krakauer also appeared in CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday, which cast doubt on Mr. Mortenson and the financial management of his charity, Central Asia Institute.

The allegations fall broadly in two categories: That Mr. Mortenson fabricated key elements of “Three Cups of Tea” and a later memoir “Stones into Schools” and that CAI has improperly helped Mr. Mortenson buy and promote his books.

via Were There ‘Three Cups of Deceit’? – India Real Time – WSJ.

DailyLit, The Intellectual Devotional:  Love getting an excerpt every day! DailyLit: The Intellectual Devotional, book by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheim.

‘Stairway To Heaven’, music, history:   Turns 40!!

“Stairway to Heaven.” Those three little words have come to mean so much. Led Zeppelin’s eight-minute classic turns 40 this week, and it still sets the bar for headbanging chutzpah, if not sophisticated songcraft.

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were woodshedding in Wales when they devised their faery-strewn folk-metal psychedelia masterwork. Bassist/arranger John Paul Jones added mood-setting recorders and drummer John Bonham brought his protean thwunk to the game. The song may or may not have borrowed key elements from an instrumental by the American band Spirit, with whom they once toured. But nobody but Zep could have molded those chord progressions into such a masterpiece of excess.

“Stairway to Heaven” set the template for the power ballad and made unwitting J.R.R. Tolkien experts out of listeners who merely intended to get their rocks off. Depending on your view, the song is the greatest achievement of one of history’s most important groups … or rock’s ultimate nightmare, incessantly resurrected by awful cover bands, shrieking karaoke singers and your very drunk uncle who grabbed the microphone at your sister’s wedding reception.

via ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers : The Record : NPR.

meditations, faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

The Fruit of Our Communal LifeOur society encourages individualism.  We are constantly made to believe that everything we think, say, or do, is our personal accomplishment, deserving individual attention.  But as people who belong to the communion of saints, we know that anything of spiritual value is not the result of individual accomplishment but the fruit of a communal life.Whatever we know about God and Gods love; whatever we know about Jesus – his life, death, and resurrection – whatever we know about the Church and its ministry, is not the invention of our minds asking for an award.  It is the knowledge that has come to us through the ages from the people of Israel and the prophets, from Jesus and the saints, and from all who have played roles in the formation of our hearts.  True spiritual knowledge belongs to the communion of saints.

via Daily Meditation: The Fruit of Our Communal Life.

college tuition, student loans, Great Recession:  Makes you think …

The college-bubble argument makes the solution to rising costs seem simple: if people just wake up, the bubble will pop, and reasonable prices will return. It’s much tougher to admit that there is no easy way out. Maybe we need to be willing to spend more and more of our incomes and taxpayer dollars on school, or maybe we need to be willing to pay educators and administrators significantly less, or maybe we need to find ways to make colleges more productive places, which would mean radically changing our idea of what going to college is all about. Until America figures out its priorities, college kids are going to have to keep running just to stand still. ♦

via College Tuition, Student Loans, and Unemployment : The New Yorker.

ADHD, science, brain-function link:

A brain area that helps orchestrate mental activity works overtime in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reflecting the internal struggle to hold more than one thing in mind at a time, neuroscientists reported Sunday.

The scientists used a functional magnetic imaging scanner to track signs of neural activity among 19 affected children and 23 other children who were asked to remember a simple sequence of letters. The scientists discovered that a critical mental control area, called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, worked much harder and, perhaps, less efficiently among children with attention problems.

This fundamental difference in brain function might be an underlying cause of the inattentiveness, impulsivity and focus problems that make it hard for ADHD children to concentrate in the classroom, the scientists said during an annual gathering of 31,000 brain researchers in Washington, D.C.

“Our findings suggest that the function as well as the structure of this brain area is different in children with ADHD,” said Wayne State University biologist Tudor Puiu, who reported the team’s findings Sunday at a conference held by the Society for Neuroscience. “It might explain the cognitive problems we see in the classroom.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, can be diagnosed in preschool-age children as young as 4, according to new treatment guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Jennifer Corbett Dooren has details on Lunch Break.

All told, about two million U.S. children have been diagnosed with attention problems. No one yet understands the basic neurobiology responsible for the mental ailment, which has grown more common since 2003, according to a survey by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

via ADHD: Scientists Probe Brain-Function Link – WSJ.com.

NBA, Steph Curry:  Yeah … Steph can finish the semester!

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union.

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union. Kevin Clark has details on The News Hub.

Labor talks “completely broke down,” said union Executive Director Billy Hunter. The union said it has begun legal proceedings to dissolve the union, a tactic that would take the dispute to the courts.

“The 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The decision came after a five-hour meeting among player representatives at a New York City hotel. Mr. Hunter said an anti-trust lawsuit should be filed in the next day or two. Union president Derek Fisher said the idea to dissolve was approved in “unanimous fashion.”

Jeffrey Kessler, a union lawyer, said the decision came after the players agreed that “bargaining completely failed” and said the players wanted to assert their antitrust rights.

via Players Reject NBA’s Offer, Begin to Disband Union – WSJ.com.

Jerry Sandusky Scandal/tragedy: 

Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’

via Rock Center with Brian Williams – Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’.

Davison College, Wildcats v. Spiders: Up by 9 at the half … Wildcats stomp the Spiders. 🙂

 

12
Oct
11

10.12.2011 … 6 am flight to Charlotte … busy day … great trip …

GOP Primaries, journalism, fact checking:  OK, I really like it when the fact checkers go to work. Fact Checking the Post-Bloomberg debate – The Fact Checker – The Washington PostRepublican New Hampshire Debate Fact Check – NYTimes.com.

Fall, tradition, news, random:  How embarrassing!

Authorities in Massachusetts say a family that got lost in a seven-acre corn maze called 911 for help, apparently taking advantage of the police department’s motto that says “We Want To Be Bothered.”

The maze at Connors Farm in Danvers has pathways totaling seven-miles long and can take up to an hour to navigate.

A police officer and his dog entered the maze with a farm manager on Columbus Day to search for the disoriented father, mother and two children, including a three-weeks-old infant. The family didn’t realize they had almost made their way out and were just 25 feet from the street.

It took the search party about 10 minutes to find the family. They were helped by a police dispatcher who stayed on the phone with the caller and asked the couple to yell for help to enable those looking for them to identify their location.

“Never again!” the woman is heard telling the dispatcher on police tapes. “We thought this would be fun, instead it’s a nightmare.”

via Family lost in Mass. corn maze calls 911 for help  | accessAtlanta.

technology, digital media, textbooks, education: Tailoring textbooks …

For his marketing course at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Daniel Flint wanted his students to read a white paper on public relations, a couple of case studies, an industry report, and a chapter of a forthcoming book.

So he created a textbook with just that—more than 100 pages of material in one customized package for his students.

Mr. Flint, a professor of marketing at the university, used a new build-your-own-textbook service called AcademicPub, which arranged payment of royalties and compiled the material for publication. His students were given three options for buying the book: Download a digital edition for $14.95, get it in paperback for $27, or go for the hardcover for $45.

The companies that make traditional textbooks have been increasing their custom-publishing offerings as well. Just last year, McGraw-Hill Higher Education unveiled Create, a Web service that lets professors pick passages from thousands of the company’s textbooks, as well as law and business case studies, to make a customized edition. “We think the more all this becomes digital, the more people will want to customize,” Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, told The Chronicle at the time. “And we want to be able to do that.”

Macmillan Publishers has its own build-a-textbook service, too, called DynamicBooks, which offers instructors the chance to add their own material to the company’s titles. DynamicBooks also gives professors $1 for each student who uses a customized copy.

Traditional publishers still customize printed books, too. Melonie D. Rasmussen, a professor of mathematics at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, in Washington, recently used a copyrighted statistics textbook for which she didn’t need all the chapters. So she contacted the publisher and asked for a shorter, cheaper book. “And they’ve been willing to do that,” she said.

Ms. Rasmussen is also part of the state’s Open Course Library project, and she has been using open content for years, but so far she is part of a small minority.

The question now is whether customization could move into the mainstream, ending the one-size-fits-all model of textbook publishing.

via New Digital Tools Let Professors Tailor Their Own Textbooks – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Lucifer Effect, psychology:

This vintage stunt from a 1962 episode of Candid Camera makes for a good laugh. But it also captures something important about human psychology — something that social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, famous for his Stanford Prison Experiment, describes on a website related to his 2007 book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. He writes:

One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt’s ingenious Candid Camera programs is “Face The Rear.” An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces.

Often times, the mindless submission to group norms has entirely innocuous results. But, in other cases, it can lead to “good people engaging in evil actions.” Witness what happened within the controlled environment of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Or, worse, the devastating abuses at Abu Ghraib, which brought otherwise average people to commit atrocious acts. For more read The Lucifer Effect.

via The Power of Conformity | Open Culture.

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, frenemies:

In 1997, Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld in Boston. It was one of his first public appearances after returning to the ailing company he’d left more than a decade earlier. Halfway through his presentation, he dropped a bombshell: Apple was teaming up with Microsoft. The audience of Apple fans jeered and booed. Microsoft was Apple’s archenemy; Bill Gates was evil incarnate. There wasn’t a worse partner for Apple. Gates appeared at the event via satellite, his face looming high over Jobs like Big Brother in Apple’s iconic 1984 TV ad.

It seemed an unlikely match, but in fact Jobs and Gates went way back. They met in the early ’80s, when Gates was one of the first software developers for the Macintosh. As Gates noted while paying tribute to Jobs after his death, they would go on to spend half their professional lives in each other’s orbit. They even went on double dates together.

Gates was an early evangelist of the Mac and enthusiastically boosted the platform. Jobs was so pleased, he lent Gates a prototype machine to work on. Gates called it SAND (Steve’s Amazing New Device). Soon, though, both companies were suing each other over copyright issues. The lawsuits led to nearly a decade of acrimony, insults, and taunts.

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste,” Jobs once said. “I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.”

After Jobs died, Gates was one of the first to eulogize him. “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago and have been colleagues, competitors, and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” he said in a statement. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”

via The Best of Frenemies – The Daily Beast

children, development, depression, anxiety:  What are we doing to our kids …

An article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Play details not only how much children’s play time has declined, but how this lack of play affects emotional development, leading to the rise of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention and self control.

“Since about 1955 … children’s free play has been continually declining, at least partly because adults have exerted ever-increasing control over children’s activities,” says the author Peter Gray, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (emeritus) at Boston College. Gray defines “free play” as play a child undertakes him- or her-self and which is self-directed and an end in itself, rather than part of some organized activity.

Gray describes this kind of unstructured, freely-chosen play as a testing ground for life. It provides critical life experiences without which young children cannot develop into confident and competent adults. Gray’s article is meant to serve as a wake-up call regarding the effects of lost play, and he believes that lack of childhood free play time is a huge loss that must be addressed for the sake of our children and society.

via All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed – Esther Entin – Life – The Atlantic.

Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy,  strip search, jailhouse dignity:  Shuffling of the court …

WASHINGTON — There was so much talk of anal cavities at the Supreme Court Wednesday morning that Justice Antonin Scalia asked, “You want us to write an opinion that only applies to squatting and coughing?” The comment provoked groans in the courtroom. But the groans could have just as easily applied to oral argument itself in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, which did more to confuse than enlighten the justices about the constitutionality of a jail’s routine strip-searching of all newly admitted arrestees, regardless of the gravity of their alleged offense.

In 2005, Albert Florence and his family were driving to his mother-in-law’s house when police pulled the car over. He was arrested, handcuffed and carted off to jail — all because a New Jersey county had failed to scrub from its system a civil contempt order for failure to pay a fine that he had since paid in full.

Upon his entry to the jail, Florence was instructed to open his mouth, take off his clothes, lift and rotate his genitals, and shower in front of an officer. Six days later, he was transferred to another facility where he went through a similar search, except this time it was conducted with other detainees present and he was asked to squat and cough.

When Florence was finally released a week after his arrest, he sued the facilities and their officers, arguing that they had violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches.

At this point, Kennedy tipped his hand. “It seems to me that your rule imperils individual dignity in a way that the blanket rule does not,” he said, referring to the policies of the New Jersey county jails who strip-searched every arrestee regardless of suspicion.

“Dignity” is Kennedy’s guiding light on the Court, and he will vote for whatever side respects the individual’s dignity the most. And according to Kennedy, Goldstein’s rule, which would be applied on a detainee-by-detainee basis, might lead to strip-searches “based on the person’s race” or other arbitrary and constitutionally forbidden affronts to personal dignity.

via Supreme Court Strip Search: Justice Kennedy May Be Swing Vote On Jailhouse Dignity.

economy, peanut butter:  I can deal with peanut butter price hikes more than gasoline.

How about just a jelly sandwich? A peanut shortage means that food manufacturers are paying roughly double what they paid for peanuts last year. In the coming weeks, that price increase is expected to be passed along to consumers in the form of peanut butter that’s 25% to 40% more expensive.

The problem started last spring, when many farmers in states such as Georgia and Texas decided to plant cotton rather than peanuts—because cotton was selling at record-high prices at the time. Over the summer, according to a story published in the Kansas City Star, drought and disease hurt the peanuts that were planted, resulting in a small harvest.

While the peanut supply has dropped, demand has risen over the past few years because, as every frugal mom and bare-bones-budget college student knows, peanut butter is a much cheaper source of protein than meat.

Soon, though, peanut butter won’t be quite as good a bargain. The wholesale price of peanuts has soared from $450 a ton to $1,150 per ton, and the net result will be much more expensive jars of peanut butter lining supermarket aisles

via Prepare to Shell Out: Peanut Butter Price Hike Coming | Moneyland | TIME.com.

War on Terror, news:  Bold plot on US soil …

The alleged plot to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil would represent, if proven, a significant escalation of a long-running covert struggle between Iran and the West that has included industrial sabotage, terrorist bombings and the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists.

It also would reflect a radical shift in tactics for a country that usually prefers to leave its dirty work to proxies.

Two people have been charged with conspiracy to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. A federal criminal complaint in New York says the two conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction and have ties to Iran. (Oct. 11)

The Obama administration on Tuesday directly accused Iran and its elite Quds Force of backing the alleged attempt to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, using hit men from a Mexican drug gang. The allegation plunged U.S.-Iranian relations into crisis and sent U.S. officials scrambling in search of new punitive measures to impose against a country that has already been hit with multiple rounds of sanctions.

via Alleged plot is uncharacteristically bold – The Washington Post.

Francis Bacon,  Rembrandt, art:  Inspiration … dark inspiration.

IN 1962 Irving Penn, an American photographer, went to visit Francis Bacon at his studio in London to make a portrait of him. The photograph he took shows Bacon clasping the front of his dark shirt and gazing up and away. Hanging on the wall behind his right shoulder, bent and creased and covered in paint, is a reproduction of a sombre, unfinished painting by Rembrandt, “Self-portrait with Beret” (pictured), from about 1659.

Bacon’s debt to Rembrandt’s self-portraits is the subject of “Irrational Marks”, the first show at Ordovas, a new gallery on Savile Row in London. Pilar Ordovás, the gallery’s owner is something of an art-world wunderkind, responsible for the sale of Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” for £21m in 2008. She has also managed Gagosian in London, and handled the estate of Valerie Beeston, who worked with Francis Bacon at the Marlborough Gallery. This exhibition shows intent: to put on contemplative considered exhibitions, as well as to be an art boutique with commercial clout.

The exhibition is tiny and tightly focused. On the ground floor there are just six works by Bacon, including two triptychs, along with the Rembrandt painting he liked so much and Penn’s photograph. Downstairs in the basement are three working documents from Bacon’s studio—all reproductions of Rembrandt self-portraits—and a short excerpt from “Sunday Night Francis Bacon”, a film from 1966 in which the painter speaks to David Sylvester, an art critic.

Bacon revered “Self-portrait with Beret”. It is an exercise in shadow and texture. The rough ruddiness of Rembrandt’s ageing cheek is no more than a patch of vertical lines scratched into the paint; his coarsened and wrinkled forehead crafted from layers of thick impasto in pale yellow and mottled red. Sections are left unpainted, allowing the ground colour to contrast with the brown pigments in a play of light and dark. But it was the eyes that fascinated Bacon. In the interview with Sylvester he says “If you analyse it, you will see that there are hardly any sockets to the eyes, that it is almost completely anti-illustrational.”

via Bacon and Rembrandt: Dark moments of self-appraisal | The Economist.

tragedy, news:   Man who served 10 presidents dies in his own squalor … tragedy.

The District’s Office of the Inspector General is looking into whether city agencies could have done more to prevent the death of Theodoric C. James Jr., the longtime White House employee whose friends and family had for months tried to get him help.

James, who had served under every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, had been showing signs of instability for about two years before he was found dead Aug. 1 inside his home during a brutal heat wave. He had stopped bathing. He wore the same tattered and fetid clothing. He went to the bathroom in buckets on the front porch of his Northwest Washington home.

Concerned that James, 71, was a threat to himself, his family and neighbors called every city agency they could think of, including Adult Protective Services, the Department of Mental Health, council members and the mayor’s office.

But James repeatedly turned the city’s social workers away, saying he did not want help.

via Squalid death of man who served 10 presidents being examined by District’s IG – The Washington Post.

Oprah Winfrey, Lifeclass:  Anybody watched a Lifeclass?

Oprah’s Lifeclass Tonight at 8/7c on OWN

In tonight’s lesson, Oprah talks to Cybil Shepherd and more women about aging and beauty. It’s time to apply their learning to your own life. And, tune in Friday for a live webcast at 9/8c.

via Oprah Winfrey’s Official Website – Live Your Best Life – Oprah.com.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

You can use iCloud to synchronize your data, including music and photos, across your Apple devices.

The ability to edit photos right on the phone. This includes red-eye removal, cropping and auto enhancement of whole pictures.

iMessage, a new, free text-messaging service exclusive to users of iOS 5. It detects whether you are using the new system and routes a text message over the Internet instead of using the standard cellphone text services. It allows group messaging and notifies users when messages are read and/or delivered.

Built-in Twitter support. Without adding a Twitter app, you can tweet directly from within functions like photos, maps, the browser and YouTube.

Notifications of alerts, messages and dates can be gathered together in a drop-down panel, or can appear briefly at the top of the screen instead of displaying one at a time in a box that blocks your screen.

There’s quick access to the camera, by simply double-clicking the home button, even if the phone is asleep. And you can use the volume up button as a shutter button.

On the iPad, the browser has tabs, and you can split and move the onscreen keyboard to make thumb typing easier.

You can create customized typing shortcuts, such as “tks” for “thanks.”

In Mail, you can now format words so they appear in bold, italics or underlined.

Apple iOS5 software:  Upgrading … definitely …

via New Apple Software Adds Features to Older Phones – Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret – Mossblog – AllThingsD.

interior design,  blogs, lists:  Some new blogs to check out … need some help in the intereior design area.

Our Editor-in-chief, Cynthia Bogart, has been asked to moderate a panel speaking at the D & D Building  (The Decorating & Design Building ) in New York City tomorrow at 1 pm at the  Koroseal Showroom.

The panel consists of four very good interior designers who also happen to blog.  Why is that great?  These pro’s  – all of them, are BLOGGING.  Blogging means they are sharing their personal likes, dislikes and information you would otherwise only learn if you were talking to them in person.    These particular four are generating original interesting information.  They were chosen very carefully for this panel because they are considered trendsetters.  In other words, they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening.

via Four Great Interior Design Blogs That Will Inspire You!.

travel, fall, empty nesters, lists:  Can’t wait or fall trips when we are empty nesters!

Cooler temperatures, striking colors, smaller crowds—autumn is the perfect time to travel, and here are ten of the best fall trips, picked by National Geographic Traveler editors. Where do you want to go this fall? Share your travel plans—real or ideal—below

via Best Fall Trips 2011 — National Geographic.

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6.25.2011 … happy jc is tired and sick … too much fun …. lazy summer day … JBT in Maine enjoying cool and golf … nice …

music, UNC, memory lane:  Couldn’t help noticing a Chi Psi’s posting of YouTube – Devo ” Gut Feeling ” first time in live in 1977. That and “Whip It” …  You guys were fun, but strange!

blog post of note, kith/kin, timelessness, age:  What peers are you referring to Cary?  As always I enjoyed your post!

Sometimes I weird out my peers.  And sometimes I feel lonely and alien at the grown-up table.  Yet I’m of a certain age, which a friend and I recently laughed about meaning that, when there’s such a need, I’m “the one who needs to kill the spider.”

I feel like I’m a part of a caravan of purposeful wanderers, typified by risking, trusting, seeking out rainstorms and dancing, while not eschewing the pain of the world or an honest admission of whatever IS.  I pinch myself when I look through a mental Rolodex at the names and faces of these glorious ones with whom I do life.

Even as I claim my hard-earned status as one of the elders of my “generation,” often called on to lead, I am also often called on to learn from my younger teachers.  We are a generation, co-journeyers.

Here’s to a spacious redrawing of generational boundaries.

via catapult magazine Chosen generation.

Mordecai Scott, CMS, Charlotte, Davidson College, GlobeChangers award, kudos:  Kudos to local and Davidsonian Mordeccai Scott!

Mordecai Scott, a 2006 West Charlotte High School graduate who overcame family hardships to attend Davidson College, received the Jefferson Award for public service earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

He was one of 10 to receive the GlobeChangers award at a Tuesday event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Known as the “Nobel Prize for Public Service,” the awards are presented each year over two days of ceremonies.

Scott was nominated for his efforts to overcome childhood hardships to graduate from college.

Scott, one of eight children, moved frequently between shelters and relatives after his parents divorced. He carried a 0.68 GPA and was on the verge of dropping out when, at age 12, school staff got involved.

With help from the nonprofit group Communities In Schools, Scott began to envision himself attending college. He went on to receive a scholarship from Davidson and graduated in 2010.

via West Charlotte graduate wins national public service award.

2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriole, cars, reviews:  I don’t think I have ever read a more scathing car review.  Sad, it is kinda cute.

In the midst of this automotive banquet, the CrossCabriolet is like a sorbet of mouse scat.

via 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet: A CUV at CrossPurposes With Competence | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com.

food/drink, wine, boxed wine, lists:  Next time I need a box of wine I have a list to try!

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be that all boxed wine was bad. That was easy. Now things are trickier, because a number of producers are actually putting good wine – and sometimes really good wine – into boxes. It’s actually possible to go out there, trade your twenty bucks for a 3 liter (that’s four bottles-worth) box of wine, and end up not only with something you can tolerate, but something you’ll actually enjoy quite a bit.

NV Pepperwood Grove Big Green Box Chardonnay ($20)

In your face Chardonnay, in an old-school California way: it’s big, ripe, oaky, and luscious. If you like that style, this one’s for you.

via Box wine with serious bang for the buck – Eatocracy – CNN.com Blogs.

FBI, 10 Most Wanted, memory lane:  Does anyone else remember standing at the post office looking at the pictures of the 10 Most Wanted?   I guess people get this info through tv shows and the internet now … but I thought they always looked dark and ominous and almost always men.

With James Bulger’s arrest and Osama bin Laden’s death, there are eight names left on the current FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Who’s left, and just what did these fugitives do?

via The FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’: Two Down, Eight To Go : NPR.

Newt Gingrich, 2012 Presidential Election:  Ah, Newt … it’s two early for two Pinocchios!

The Pinocchio Test

Even at a running length of more than two minutes, Gingrich’s video gives a misleading impression of the Federal Reserve’s explanation of its actions during the economic crisis — and the role of the Dodd-Frank law in forcing those disclosures. His speech gives a clearer view of his critique but that is not an excuse since fewer people will read the speech than see the video.

Two Pinocchios

via Newt Gingrich’s video attack on the Federal Reserve – The Fact Checker – The Washington Post.

Jane Austen, history, Steventon, parenting, cottages:  I never thought about it, but talk about “refrigerator moms” … 18th century mothers of means really did not parent!  Also enjoyed the  discussion of English cottages.

I recently went to Steventon again, the birthplace of Jane Austen and where she spent her formative years until the age of twenty six. Steventon was where she thought she would spend the rest of her life. As soon as she was born she was sent to live with a family in the village. The mother of the household she was sent to became Jane’s wet nurse. Mrs Austen had nothing to do with her children as babies. This might provide an explanation for Jane’s aversion towards her mother as she grew older but it also explains that her attachment to Steventon was not just through her own family and the rectory but it was linked to the wider community and she had very close ties to some of the villagers.

via Steventon and Barton Cottage « Jane Austen’s World.

Andrew Lovedale, Access to Success Foundation, Davidson College, basketball, kudos:  I know I talk about Steph Curry a lot … but another member of the dream team is giving back. Kudos, Andrew Lovedale!

Andrew Lovedale

Access to Success (A2S), the foundation created by former Davidson men’s basketball player Andrew Lovedale to benefit underprivileged children through athletic, education and spiritual programs, is preparing for a pair of firsts:

A trip to Lovedale’s hometown Benin City, Nigeria, from June 27-July 6.

The inaugural “Kicks from ‘Cats: The Andrew Lovedale 5K” walk/run on the Davidson College cross country trail on Sept. 10, 2011.

The Nigeria team includes Lovedale, Davidson College Assistant Sports Information Director Lauren Biggers, former Davidson Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions Morgan Clark, Davidson graduates Claire Asbury (2010) and Eloise Grose (2006) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. employee Lindsay Biggers. They’ll spend 10 days in Lovedale’s hometown of Benin City.

The trip will focus on building long-term partnerships with three schools, an orphanage and a church. The team will also be delivering the basketball shoes raised earlier this year through the Kicks from ‘Cats Shoe Drive, held at the Davidson College men’s basketball game against the College of Charleston on Jan. 29, as well as other sporting equipment and school supplies donated by Lowe’s employees. They’ll also run basketball and volleyball clinics.

via Lovedale foundation plans Nigeria trip, 5K fund-raiser  | Sports.

boodos, new vocabulary:  I had to find the opposite of kudos for the next entry. 😦  And actually there really isn’t one …

Boodos

“Boodos” is the opposite of “Kudos”

via Urban Dictionary: Kudos!.

Anthony’s, restaurants, Atlanta, boodos: I have been to quite a few wedding functions at Anthony’s and they were delightful … Very poorly done, Anthony’s … BOODOS!

Anthony’s, a legendary Atlanta spot for wedding receptions, has closed.

Now dozens of couples say they’re not only out thousands of dollars in deposits, but have no place for their reception.

Valiree Eaton booked her reception last fall. She said when she called to finalize plans for her July 3 wedding, a recording said Anthony’s was out of business. “I’m a bit of a wreck. I’m extremely stressed. Weddings are stressful enough without this,” said Eaton. “I feel like my wedding day has been marred,” she added.

via Reception Hall Leaves Brides-To-Be In Limbo – News Story – WSB Atlanta.

Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth, Pearl Buck in China, book shelf:  Another to add to my bookshelf!  I loved The Good Earth when I read it in high school.  I may re-read it to see what I think now.

Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling

Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman. These days, however, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read in the West or in China) that fascinate readers. In making the case for reappraising Buck’s fiction and her life, award-winning biographer Hilary Spurling transforms Buck from a dreary “lady author” into a woman warrior. Having grown up in China at the subsistence level, as the daughter of a missionary, Buck had firsthand knowledge of war, infanticide and sexual slavery when she entered college as a charity student in Virginia. As Spurling deftly illustrates, that alienation gave Buck her stance as a writer, gracing her with the outsider vision needed to interpret one world to another.

via New In Paperback: June 20-26 : NPR.

news, condolences, adventure travel, tragedy, random:  What a personal tragedy for these two friends.

A man who climbed Everest found the body of his friend who had died hours after conquering the summit only months before.

Rodney Hogg saw the body of his climbing friend Peter Kinloch on a ledge 1,000 ft below the peak as he neared the top of the mountain.

Mr Kinloch, 28, had been attempting the Seven Summits Challenge last year, in which climbers attempt to conquer the highest peak of each continent.

via Climber discovers frozen body of best friend on peak of Everest | Mail Online.

Huguette Clark, RIP, tragedy, random, kudos, boodos:  Sad this woman never seemed to enjoy life and it ends with folks arguing about her money.  Kudos to her for leaving the bulk to the arts.  Boodos to those who won’t allow her to rest in peace.

Huguette Clark, the Montana copper mining heiress who died in New York last month at 104, has left most of her $400 million fortune to the arts – wealth from the Gilded Age that produced the Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts.

According to her will, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Clark gave to Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art a prized Claude Monet water-lily painting not seen by the public since 1925.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is looking into how Clark’s affairs were managed while she spent the last two decades of her life in a hospital, a virtual recluse, people familiar with the probe have said. Before that, she lived in the largest residence on Fifth Avenue – 42 rooms.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the probe.

The daughter of one-time U.S. Sen. William A. Clark left instructions for the creation of a foundation “for the primary purpose of fostering and promoting the arts,” according to the will prepared and signed in 2005, when she was 98.

About $300 million will go for the arts, including the 1907 Monet from his famed “Water Lilies” series, which is worth tens of millions of dollars, said attorney John Dadakis, of the firm Holland & Knight.

via Huguette Clark, Montana Mining Heiress, Leaves NY Fortune To Nurse, The Arts.

weddings, events, food, cakes:  After looking at this collection I feel like the world keeps upping expectations … I loved it when a friend’s daughter family and friends all gathered and baked an assortment of wedding cakes and another friend did the same thing but had wedding pies!  My mom still talks about the aunt that baked hers.  I think these television cake shows have upped the ante.

Not every bride and groom’s wedding cake will be as enormous as that enjoyed by Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton (pictured) — but no matter whether it’s as intricate as a future queen’s or as simple as a cupcake with a heart-shaped candle, every wedding cake is fancy and fabulous.

via Simple as Love – Fabulous and Fancy Wedding Cakes – Photo Gallery – LIFE.




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