Posts Tagged ‘travel

23
Jan
16

1.23.16 … Let it freezing rain …

View from front steps …

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Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly: A slightly different perceive …

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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Like This Page · Yesterday ·   Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast clearly visible from the International Space Station! Stay safe! #YearInSpace

Source: (1) Massive snowstorm blanketing the East Coast… – NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly

CLT weather, freezing rain/sleet/snow, WSOC-TV – PHOTOS:

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PHOTOS: Freezing rain, sleet and snow fell in the region today and viewers sent us hundreds of photos like this one from @EmilyKozel #CLTSnow MORE PHOTOS

Source: WSOC-TV – PHOTOS: Freezing rain, sleet and snow fell in the region…

 geometric drawings, walking: 

Higher Perspective Simon Beck creates incredible geometric drawings by walking in the snow!

Source: (3) Higher Perspective

 Ice Melt: 

easiest way to make the ice melt — The ingredients needed are:

1/2 a gallon of warm water

2 ounces of rubbing alcohol

6 drop of liquid dish detergent

Source: To Make Ice Melt, He Mixes These Three Ingredients. Its Effectiveness Surprised Me!

Cape Winelands , South Africa, travel, The best places to visit in 2016, lists, Business Insider:

The Cape Winelands is where some of the world’s most popular wines are produced, making it an ideal destination for wine tasting. The area’s wineries are lined along some of the most scenic routes, including a historic wine estate that dates back centuries. Enjoy top-notch wine alongside a variety of locally produced cheese, olives, fruit, and organic produce, or try a meal at one of Franschoek’s many acclaimed restaurants.

Source: The best places to visit in 2016 – Business Insider

Sacred Harmony of Geometry,  Sacred Geometry Really Is,  EnergyFanatics.com:

There will come a day when music and its philosophy will become the religion of humanity. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan What Sacred Geometry Really Is Sacred Geometry means literally “The Sacred Measure of the Earth”. But it could also be called “The Blueprint of all Creation”. In reality, Sacred Geometry is a profound spiritual science, which has been taught for thousands of years in spiritual traditions around the world. This is because Sacred Geometry reveals the actual patterns by which Spirit creates our World.1 There are a Ton of esoteric teachings with Sacred Geometry all through them. Yet no one really knew what Sacred Geometry REALLY represented: The segmented BLUEPRINTS to ENERGY; The Mathematical Formula of CREATION. Sacred Geometry represents the Segmented Blueprints of Magnetic Currents & Neutral Particles of Matter.2 One of the most important discoveries of the new quantum physics is that of the holographic nature of the universe. The geometric language of light, that forms the underlying matrix of this hologram, is the alphabet of the new paradigm. The primary infrastructure of all existence is written in the Sacred Geometric language of light. All is light … all is geometry. Sacred Geometry is the ‘graphic code’ that reveals the processes of inherent order underlying all of creation. The mathematical laws of Sacred Geometry govern every system of growth, every motion in the universe, from atomic bonds to spiraling galaxies.3

Source: Sacred Harmony of Geometry: What Sacred Geometry Really Is | EnergyFanatics.com

Remote Year, Travel the World for a Year While You Keep Your Job, Brit +: 

Here’s the deal: You love your work. You love to travel. Unfortunately, you can’t always have the best of both worlds (at least not with out a major career change) – but what about when you can? Enter: Remote Year, a company that will essentially arrange a trip around the world for you while you work remotely.

Source: This Company Will Help You Travel the World for a Year While You Keep Your Job | Brit +

Anshuman Ghosh, @moography, quirky, street photography,  fusion between what was real and what was not, phone framing:“I’ve got crazy ideas in my head when it comes to how I would like to see the world,” says Anshuman Ghosh (@moography), an Indian business developer based in South Africa. He was initially drawn to street photography, but Anshuman wasn’t able to create the world he imagined in his mind — one that was less serious and more quirky. “I wanted to create something that was a fusion between what was real and what was not,” he says. “I came up with this technique I call phone framing.” Anshuman sketches a drawing on paper, cuts it out and aligns everything together to create a seamless visual illusion. “Placing the phone in the picture gives me the freedom to trick my audience into believing the phone is more than something that it is.”

Source: Instagram Blog

Novel’s First Sentence, A Secret History | Electric Literature:

A great first sentence is very important. In a novel, it’s a “promise,” a “handshake,” an “embrace,” a “key.” Great first sentences are celebrated everywhere literature is cherished and mandated everywhere it’s taught. They’re a pleasure and a duty—the “most important sentence in a book,” everyone agrees. But they haven’t always been important. When Daniel Defoe wrote the first English novel, Robinson Crusoe, in 1719, first sentences weren’t important, and so he wrote, “I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.” When Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre in 1847, first sentences still weren’t important, and even so she wrote, “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

Source: In Search of the Novel’s First Sentence: A Secret History | Electric Literature

Neural Algorithm, ‘Paint’ Photos, Van Gogh To Picasso, Bored Panda:

A group of researchers at the University of Tubingen, Germany, have developed an algorithm that can morph an image to resemble a painting in the style of the great masters. Technically called “deep learning” algorithms, they are already in use by companies such as Google for image recognition and other applications. “The system uses neural representations to separate and recombine content and style of arbitrary images, providing a neural algorithm for the creation of artistic images,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “Here we introduce an artificial system based on a Deep Neural Network that creates artistic images of high perceptual quality.” A photograph of apartments by a river in Tubingen, Germany was processed to be stylistically similar to various paintings, including J.M. Turner’s “The Wreck of a Transport Ship,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” and Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Source: New Neural Algorithm Can ‘Paint’ Photos In Style Of Any Artist From Van Gogh To Picasso | Bored Panda

Paris, Bookstore Shakespeare &Co., VICE | United States:

George died in 2011 at the age of 98, by which point he had upgraded from a bed in the shop to a flat on the third floor in the same building. I’m living here now, in his former apartment, ostensibly to finish my second novel. But more practically and pressingly, I’m a “homeless wanderer.” People have been asking me how I got this position, whether it was hard to obtain. The short answer is no, and the long answer is yes: I parted ways with a partner I loved, leaving the home where we’d lived together, and lost a contract I was relying on, so I asked Sylvia if I could stay for a while. She said, without question or hesitation, that I could stay for as long as I needed. George called Shakespeare & Company a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore,” and I feel infinitely grateful to George and Sylvia for creating and maintaining a space that prioritizes community.

Source: What It’s Like to Live Inside the Legendary Paris Bookstore Shakespeare & Co. | VICE | United States

Shakespeare, religion, OUPblog: 

In this play, as in others, Shakespeare calls on the ambiguous associations of Catholic figures, images and ideas, as a means of engaging his audience with the problems he frames. He seems to revel in the pleasures of slippery meaning. By flirting with stereotypes and sectarian expectations he makes his audience think more deeply about the difficulties of the plays and their own culture. Whatever Shakespeare’s personal religion was, the religion he put on stage was both playful and probing.

Source: What was Shakespeare’s religion? | OUPblog

06
Mar
15

3.6.15 … “The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part” …

The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel: I must have it …

As told on one psychology blog, the inherent urge to travel can be traced back to one gene, which is a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain.

The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part.

In reality, however, those who carry this genetic information typically share one common theme, a history of traveling.

via The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel.

 

35 Most Amazing Restaurants With A View, bucket list, lists, restaurants, travel: 

These places are breathtaking. I’ve just added more places to my bucket list.

via 35 Most Amazing Restaurants With A View. #25 Is INSANE..

 

CSD students video wins C-SPAN honorable mention | DavidsonNews.net, Selective Service System, whether women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men, IMO:  I have always thought that women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men and that all should serve even in peace times.

Community School of Davidson seniors Julia Conlon, Anna DeGrauw, and Zac Halsey have won an Honorable Mention in C-SPAN’s national 2015 StudentCam competition. Julia, Anna, and Zac will walk away with $250 for their documentary, “Selective Service System,” which investigated whether women should be required to register for the US military draft along with men.

via CSD students video wins C-SPAN honorable mention | DavidsonNews.net.

Davidson NC, locally-owned bookstores, At Main Street Books time to turn the page | DavidsonNews.net:  I always stop in …

Main Street Books is opening  a new chapter in downtown Davidson next week.  Longtime owners Barbara Freund and Betty Reinke will stroll off into the sunset and leave the marvelous business of books behind.  As of today (Friday, March 6, 2015) they’ve sold the shop, The good news is that the new managers, Adah Fitzpatrick and Catherine Hamilton-Jenson, will continue to grace our town with reading material and we look forward to getting to know them.

But for today, we look back on a wonderful 28 years of “turning pages.”  Main Street Books occupies the Archie Brown Building built in 1901 earning it the notoriety of being the oldest building on Main Street.  Back in the 1970’s Mrs. Chester Dale (Harriet) ran The Christian Book Store in this space before splitting the space between “Shalom” Book Store and Marshall Case’s Realty Company.  When Mrs. Dale sold the building to Ed Harris in the mid 1980’s, the main floor was renovated to include air-conditioning and better lighting with the balcony (yes, there was a balcony in the store!) sealed off for separate office space and bathrooms.

Mrs. Dale insisted the building remain a book store and on Town Day, May 2, 1987, her vision was realized as Main Street Books opened its doors with owners Barbara Freund, Joyce Patch and Catherine Hall.  Six months later, Catherine Hall dropped out and eight years later, Joyce Patch “retired” to make room for Betty Reinke.  So for the past 20 years, residents and visitors have found Betty or Barbara at their “perch” by the front door greeting all, making friends from near and far, and selling lots of books.  Barbara worked Tuesday and Thursday; Betty on Monday and Wednesday; and they switched off Fridays and Saturdays.  Dependable subs were Virginia Hundley, Phyllis Young and Sue Toumazou.

via At Main Street Books, time to turn the page | DavidsonNews.net..

Dr. Weil in the Labyrinth, labyrinth walking:

“As to “doing” the labyrinth, the task is simplicity itself. “You just follow the path,” says Dr. Weil. “It takes about 20 minutes.” He says there is no particular mindset one must bring to the experience, but he notes with a smile that “grimly determined to finish it as quickly as possible,” probably isn’t the best way to go. One of Dr. Weil’s favorite activities is watching groups walk the path. “It’s interesting, because they look like planets, with some of them going retrograde,” he says.

But many people walk it alone. Nancy Olmstead, Dr. Weil’s executive assistant, has done so more than 20 times. “When you are done walking, you experience two things that would seem to be contradictory: you feel really relaxed, and really energized,” she says. “There are not too many things in the world that make you feel that way.”

Jace has also walked it many times. “I like the metaphor,” he says. “One path. One entrance. One exit. We all walk it.” As for the doctor himself, “I would say that it is at least relaxing. It’s a nice walk. It is centering.”

One of Dr. Weils favorite activities is watching groups walk the path. “Its interesting, because they look like planets, with some of them going retrograde,” he says.

Because I knew that simply following the path would take me to the exit, I realized I was free to focus on the walk itself. I was amazed to find a strange, beautiful collection of objects lodged between and atop the rocks: a tiny stone Buddha, several glass beads, a quartz crystal. I had missed most of them on the way in; but marveled at all of them on the way out.

“I never quite know how they get there,” says Dr. Weil of the artifacts. “People just leave little gifts.” Gifts indeed. The lesson was clear: Focus on the journey. The destination will take care of itself.

via Dr. Weil in the Labyrinth.

Downton Funk (Uptown Funk / Downton Abbey Mash-Up) – YouTube: 

Downton Funk You Up

Don’t believe me? Just watch…

via ▶ Downton Funk (Uptown Funk / Downton Abbey Mash-Up) – YouTube

YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans | Lisa Parkin:  YA fiction, historical fiction Philadelphiaand written by someone with a great name … and zombie fiction.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard — Its late 1800s in Philadelphia. And zombies are loose in the city. The historical landmarks in the city are fun to pick out…during all the eating of brains.

via YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans | Lisa Parkin.

14 Foodie Terms That Have Lost All Meaning, “artisanal”: I am glad to know what is is supposed to mean.  Enough!!

“Artisanal”

When it first started appearing on menus, it came with the promise of ingredients lovingly transformed by a culinary master. Now, “artisanal” is a descriptor on frozen dinners and canned soup. Those can artisans apprentice for decades!

via 14 Foodie Terms That Have Lost All Meaning.

19
Apr
14

4.19.14 … The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb … and the Pope likes Homeless Jesus …

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, Holy Saturday: Saw this image today, Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22.  I can only say, it struck me off guard.

 

550px-The_Body_of_the_Dead_Christ_in_the_Tomb,_and_a_detail,_by_Hans_Holbein_the_YoungerThe Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb is an oil and tempera on limewood painting created by the German artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger between 1520–22. The work shows a life-size, grotesque depiction of the stretched and unnaturally thin body of Jesus Christ lying in his tomb. Holbein shows the dead Son of God after he has suffered the fate of an ordinary human.

The painting is especially notable for its dramatic dimensions (30.5 cm x 200 cm),[1] and the fact that Christ’s face, hands and feet, as well as the wounds in his torso, are depicted as realistic dead flesh in the early stages of putrefaction. His body is shown as long and emaciated while eyes and mouth are left open.[2]

via The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 Philomena, RedBox:  I got lucky! The movie has so many themes consistent with Holy Week, forgiveness, marginalized people, role of the Church, atonement, confession, tragedy … and what if he was obese? 

via ▶ Philomena – Size of Portions – The Weinstein Company – YouTube.

Philomena: “Now we’re getting closer, all these years wondering if Anthony was in trouble or prison or goodness knows where. But as long as I didn’t know I could always turn myself he was happy somewhere and that he was doing all right.”

Martin: “Don’t upset yourself.”

Philomena: “What if he was obese?”

Martin: “Obese?”

Philomena: “I watched this documentary that says a lot of Americans are huge. What if that happened to him?”

Martin: “What on earth makes you think he’d be obese?”

Philomena: “Because of the size of the portions!”

As they learn more about Anthony and draw closer, Philomena wonders about his lifestyle and health. A documentary about obese Americans has her wondering if Anthony is obese, among other things.

via Philomena Movie Quotes.

 

Oh my goodness, it’s the best movie I’ve seen in the last five years.  It’s a rather somber movie, although positively holy. I’d go for something more lighthearted for an exhausted Wildcat.

Loved it!

A must see

One of the best talks about forgiveness

Excellent story. Worth watching.

Philomena seems to have broad appeal: men women, protestant, jew, young, old (or at least middle aged) …

The most wrenching scene in the film is when she spots her young son being taken away from the convent by the American couple who adopt him, almost as an afterthought, to be a companion to the young girl they had originally come to claim. (Plot spoilers abound in this article.)

Throughout the film, Mr. Hess remains something of an enigma to the audience, which is why his real-life story may seem so tantalizing to viewers. Yes, there are those artfully staged flashbacks, but Mr. Hess is always “a little out of reach” to quote Mr. Coogan, who plays the journalist who helps Philomena track him down and who was a co-writer of the screenplay.

This was apparently intentional. If you are going to make a movie based on a true story, and if that story centers on a woman’s search to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption, it makes a certain amount of sense not to flesh him out too much.

“We didn’t want to become overly involved in the life of Anthony Lee or Michael Hess,” Mr. Coogan said. “What appealed to me was the search for the son and the tragedy of not being able to see him grow up. That’s how Philomena experienced it; it was just out of reach, just beyond her.”

via Behind ‘Philomena,’ the True Story of Michael Hess – NYTimes.com.

60 MINUTES CLASSICS

THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES

The movie “Philomena,” which opens this week and stars Judi Dench, tells the true story of an unwed, pregnant Irish girl who is sent off to a convent, where her baby is given up for adoption against her will. Years later, as an elderly woman, Philomena tries to find her son.

The convent where Philomena was sent was a “Magdalen Laundry,” one of many convents across Ireland where thousands of girls – pregnant out of wedlock or otherwise deemed morally wayward – were placed by the church or their families. At the laundries, the girls endured harsh, unpaid labor to make restitution for their sins.

Steve Kroft reported on the Magdalen Laundries in 1999, only two years after the last one had closed and when the full story of the laundries was coming to light. “The women had been virtual prisoners,” Steve reported. “Confined behind convent walls for perceived sins of the flesh, condemned to a life of servitude.”

Earlier this year, the Irish government released a report on the laundries. The report acknowledged, for the first time, that the state was directly involved in the laundries, having sent as many as one quarter of the women to these institutions — most of them in their twenties, but at least one as young as age 9.

“The chronicle of the Magdalen Laundries was for many years characterised primarily by secrecy, silence and shame,” the report says. “The psychological impact on these girls was undoubtedly traumatic and lasting.”

via “Philomena” and Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries – CBS News.

And a friend put me on to this … beautiful!

emmylou harris – magdalene laundries

Electoral College, kith/kin: A long time ago on a family vacation, my brother and sister discussed the pros and cons of the electoral college (yes, really). It was a very heated discussion (yes, really). So I always click on news items discussing it and its alternatives. Somehow my childhood never leaves me.

I think, like most colleges, the cost of the EC has become outrageous!

It was the statewide and/or nationwide debate topic when I was in high school. I’m well versed on both sides. Would welcome the opportunity to referee.

Maybe you are the cause of the lifelong debate in our house!! I had to interest in the matter at the time. I really think the Great Electoral College Debate began on a Jekyll beach trip.

I used to ask my dad to explain the Electoral College to me when we were driving on trips and he seemed sleepy. He would get all fired up and it would wake him back up.

Why does that not surprise me about V. Stuart!

Pros/cons of the Electoral College was one of the national debate topics when I was in high school – I never thought I was very convincing when I had to support it.  We also debated unilateral intervention in Vietnam, abortion rights, and the role of the military- industrial complex. I loved debate!

Deadliest Everest Avalanche, adventure travel, Sherpas: This link is a Sype interview with Diana Williams, the wife of a Davidson friend , who is just down from Everest Base Camp. You never think that you might know someone who is at such a phenomenal place. Prayers for the Sherpas who lost their lives and the families and the adventurers who are up there.

[http://bcove.me/4brrdauw]

VIDEO: Deadly Everest Avalanche.

On April 17, at about 6:30 a.m. local time, an avalanche swept down off the west shoulder of Everest and killed 16 climbers. To anybody who’s familiar with Everest climbing, it should come as no surprise that all of the men were Sherpa porters. Sherpas are Everest’s workforce—the literal backbone of the climbing industry there. The men who were struck were either carrying 80-pound loads to Camps 1 and 2, or they were on their way back to Base Camp. Without the hard work of the Sherpa porters, it would be largely impossible for Americans and Europeans with slightly above-average physiology, and well-above-average disposable income, to scale the world’s tallest mountain.

Increasingly, the pinnacle of adventure tourism—the summit of Everest—comes at too steep a cost. In the August 2013 issue, I wrote a story titled “Disposable Man,” about the routinization of Sherpa deaths on Everest. Today’s avalanche was the worst accident in the history of the mountain. Add to this the April 2 death of Sherpa Mingma Tenzing, who was working for the Peak Freaks expedition, as well as at least a dozen serious injuries from the avalanche, and 2014 stands out as the bloodiest year in Everest history— all before most teams have even set foot on the mountain.

Yes, something needs to be done.

via The Value of a Sherpa Life | Mountaineering | OutsideOnline.com.

Homeless Jesus statue,  Timothy Schmalz, audience with an admiring Pope Francis, Toronto Star: The Pope likes Homeless Jesus; no surprise there.  Maybe St. Albans/Davidson should ask him to drop by and see it installed.

 

For two years, it was the sculpture nobody would take: a life-sized Jesus sleeping on a park bench with his bare feet, wounded from his crucifixion, poking out from under a blanket.

But now Jesus the Homeless and its Canadian sculptor have a new fan in the Vatican: Pope Francis.

Timothy Schmalz brought the original wooden model of his sculpture to St. Peter’s Square last Wednesday to present to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. After his weekly general audience, the Pope prayed over the statue and blessed it, Schmalz said.

“It is very, very amazing for a sculptor to have that,” he said. “After, the Vatican officials introduced me to Pope Francis and he said he thought Jesus the Homeless was a beautiful sculpture. So needless to say, I’m very excited about that.”

The model is going to stay in one of the Vatican houses, he said, and he is working to find an outdoor location near St. Peter’s for the full-sized bronze version.

via Homeless Jesus statue gets audience with an admiring Pope Francis | Toronto Star.

clear quartz, follow-up:  I’m trying to figure out what to do with my quartz.  Infuse me with optimism … I like that! 🙂

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Crystal Properties – Clear Quartz

Color: Clear with a glassy look.

Associations:

Associated Crystals: Diamond, white sapphire and white topaz.

Candle Color: Gold.

Chakra: Crown.

Element: Fire.

Flowers & Plants: Golden chrysanthemum, marigold and sunflower.

Herbs – Incenses – Oils: Bay, frankincense, orange and rosemary.

Planet: Sun.

Zodiac: Leo.

Metaphysical Properties & Uses:

Animals: Use clear quartz with old animals to help give them an energy and health boost.

Children: All children should be give a piece of clear quartz to be kept throughout life. It will gradually increase in power and act as their own personal talisman.

Environment: Clear quartz will send environmental healing energy to anywhere it is needed on the planet.

Finance & Prosperity: –

Health & Healing: Clear quartz is almost certainly the most versatile healing crystal there is. It can be used for any cleansing, energizing or healing.

Home: Clear quartz will help your family to live together in harmony. It will also help instill a sense of optimism and purpose when times are difficult.

Love: –

Protection: Clear quartz is protective against negative energy and will transmute it to positive energy.

Psychic: Clear quartz will amplify any healing or psychic power. It is also suitable for channeling angels and spirit guides, and can be used for aura work.

It Is The Stone Of: –

Ritual: –

Work: Clear quartz will infuse everyone with a sense of optimism, even those who are by nature pessimistic.

Other: –

See Our Clear Quartz

via Clear Quartz – Properties – Associations – Uses.

biological clock, reset: I have never been a big camper, but I am definitely in need a of a reset!

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Inflatable Child Seat Concept, Volvo Cars, YouTube:  Pretty cool.

via Inflatable Child Seat Concept – Volvo Cars – YouTube.

selfie, travel photos:

“The selfie is a new type of travel photo,” explains Dr. Lev Manovich, a professor at CUNY’s Graduate Center and the project coordinator of Selfiecity, an academic investigation into the where and why of the phenomenon. Portraits may have always been integral to travel photography, but the emergence of the two-camera mobile phone means people no longer need a friend or trustworthy stranger to take one.

“Since the face occupies a larger part of the images, these self-portraits may function differently from earlier travel photos,” Manovich continues. “They do not document the travel scene—rather they announce, ‘I was here.’”

And this year, with World Cup mania taking over Brazil, Universal Orlando opening a new section of its Harry Potter mini-park, and Coachella celebrating 15 years of wrecking the minds and bodies (and fashion sense) of music fans, there’s plenty to announce. If Kobe Bryant can have a selfie-off in a Turkish Airlines commercial and Ellen can break Twitter records at the Oscars, then you can surely make your friends and family jealous for months. And if you do it in the Philippines, home to the Selfiest City in the World, you’ll be in good company; Manhattan and Miami trail just behind.

So grab your favorite mobile camera—be it a Canon, iPhone, or GoPro—and get snapping. This year, you don’t want to spare a minute of #FOMO. We’ve even included a few hashtags for you to use along the way.

via 25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

Swan House, Atlanta History Center, Flyworx.co productions, YouTube: New perspective!

via ▶ Swan House – Atlanta History Center – Flyworx.co productions – YouTube.

What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks, Carmine Gallo, Harvard Business Review:

What makes for a great presentation — the kind that compels people’s attention and calls them to action?  TED talks have certainly set a benchmark in recent years: HBR even asked Chris Anderson, the group’s founder, to offer lessons drawn from the three decades he’s run TED’s signature events in an article published last summer.

But experience and intuition are one thing; data and analysis are another. What could one learn by watching the most successful TED talks in recent years (150 hours’ worth), talking to many of the speakers, then running the findings by neuroscientists who study persuasion?  I did just that, and here’s what I learned:

Use emotion. Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk, “We need to talk about an injustice”, received the longest standing ovation in the event’s history. A civil rights attorney who successfully argued and won the Supreme Court case Miller v. Alabama, which prohibits mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder, this is a man who knows how to persuade people.

I divided the content of his talk into Aristotle’s three areas of persuasion. Only 10 percent fell under “ethos” (establishing credibility for the speaker); 25 percent fell into the “logos” category (data, statistics) and a full 65 percent was categorized as “pathos” (emotion, storytelling). In his 18-minute talk, Stevenson told three stories to support his argument. The first was about his grandmother, and when I asked him why he started with it, his answer was simple: “Because everyone has a grandmother.” The story was his way of making an immediate connection with the audience.

Stories that trigger emotion are the ones that best inform, illuminate, inspire, and move people to action. Most everyday workplace conversations are heavy on data and light on stories, yet you need the latter to reinforce your argument. So start incorporating more anecdotes – from your own experience or those about other people, stories and brands (both successes and failures) – into your pitches and presentations.

Be novel. We all like to see and hear something new. One guideline that TED gives its speakers is to avoid “trotting out the usual shtick.” In other words, deliver information that is unique, surprising, or unexpected—novel.

In his 2009 TED presentation on the impact of malaria in African countries, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates shocked his audience when he opened a jar of mosquitoes in the middle of his talk. “Malaria, of course, is transmitted by mosquitoes,” he said. “I brought some here so you can experience this. I’ll let these roam around the auditorium. There’s no reason why only poor people should have the experience.” He reassured his audience that the mosquitoes were not infected – but not until the stunt had grabbed their attention and drawn them into the conversation.

As neuroscientist Dr. A.K. Pradeep confirms, our brains can’t ignore novelty. “They are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out.” Pradeep should know. He’s a pioneer in the area of neuromarketing, studying advertisements, packaging, and design for major brands launching new products.

In the workplace your listener (boss, colleague, sales prospect) is asking him or herself one question: “Is this person teaching me something I don’t know?” So introduce material that’s unexpected, surprising or offers a new and novel solution to an old problem.

Emphasize the visual. Robert Ballard’s 2008 TED talk on his discovery of the Titanic, two and a half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic, contained 57 slides with no words. He showed pictures, images, and animation of life beneath the sea, without one word of text, and the audience loved it. Why did you deliver an entire presentation in pictures? “Because I’m storytelling; not lecturing,” Ballard told me.

Research shows that most of us learn better when information is presented in pictures and text instead of text alone. When ideas are delivered verbally—without pictures—the listener retains about 10% of the content. Add a picture and retention soars to 65%.

For your next PowerPoint presentation, abandon the text blocks and bullet points in favor of more visually intriguing design elements. Show pictures, animations, and images that reinforce your theme. Help people remember your message.

via What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks – Carmine Gallo – Harvard Business Review.

Japan, travel:

Japan: What facts about Japan do foreigners not believe until they come to Japan?

In light of all the comments and feedback I’ve been getting, the one thing about Japan that foreigners do not believe, even if they do come to Japan for a visit, is probably this: It’s a mass of contradictions and hard to pigeonhole; your snap judgement may just be wrong. This may be why you are reading this and why Japan interests you. I addressed this in greater depth in the first half of my answer here: Makiko Itoh’s answer to Japan: What are some of Japan’s best kept secrets?

via (1) Home – Quora.

Divinity Candy Recipe, Garden and Gun, kith/kin: I saw this today as an Easter treat.  It was more a Christmas confection from my memory, but that memory is a good one.

My mother made wonderful divinity, but I also remember the divinity fails if you tried to make it on a rainy day and it would refuse to set.

I like divinity every now and then, but if I’m going to mess with making meringue I’d rather make a Pavlova or just meringues.

I’m going to have to check on Pavlova … that’s a new one for me.

It’s a large – pie sized – meringue. Usually has fresh fruit w/sauce over it.

 

holidays can be particularly tough for homesick Southerners. Her old-fashioned Divinities make a great addition to the Easter table, wherever you are. Meringue clouds studded with hunks of pecan, they’re bound to trigger a few sweet memories, especially among Southerners of a certain age. Feel free to personalize them with your own add-ins—she recommends peanuts, chocolate, or candied fruit.

via Divinity Candy Recipe | Garden and Gun.

J.P. Craven, Davidson College alum, Boston Marathon after trauma, http://www.wsoctv.com:

A group from Davidson College will fly to Boston this weekend to cheer on graduate and baseball alumnus J.P. Craven. Craven was at the finish line waiting for his father to cross when the first blast went off at last year’s marathon.

Craven will be running in the race for a cause.

As Craven gets ready to take on the Boston marathon, he’s going with the support of his former baseball team, classmates and teachers at Davidson.

It’s just some of the support he’s relied on since the bombings. The first explosion knocked him to the ground.

“I realized I was bleeding and realized I had to get out of there, which is when I started running,” Craven said.

Craven found help at a Boston Medical Center tent nearby. A piece of shrapnel had hit him in the head and ear, and another piece was lodged in his nose. He asked medics to call his parents, and his dad, who hadn’t finished the race yet, ran straight there.

via Davidson College alum returns to Boston Marathon after trauma | www.wsoctv.com.

Boobypack,  A Fanny Pack For Your Rack, kickstarter campaigns:  The things you learn from daughters.  One of her friends is interning for tho startup.  🙂

About Boobypack- The one and only fannypack for your rack | Boobypack | A Fanny Pack For Your Rack.

17
Jan
14

1.17.14 … Every step, every breath, a prayer …

prayer, walking meditation, labyrinths:  Just ran across this link today.  I enjoyed the article … Every step, every breath, a prayer.

Every step, every breath, a prayer.

Walking meditation has a long history in various religious traditions, from Christian labyrinths to the Zen Buddhist kinhin, a practice that means, literally, “walking the talk.”

via COMMENTARY: Every prayer, every breath, a step toward a cure – The Washington Post.

London, travel, favorite places/favorite spaces,  Hidden Gems, lists:  I like this list!

Inner Space is a meditation and self-development center in Covent Garden, central London. After visiting the bookshop, try the free Quiet Room where you can relax and unwind. What an oasis of calm in such a busy city!

More About Inner Space

via London Hidden Gems.

 Chicken Potpie, Garden and Gun, recipes: Wow, thighs (dark meat), kale, rutabaga, sweet potato … interesting!

¾ cup oyster mushrooms (torn in pieces)

1 cup kale (measure after cleaning and cutting the leaves into 1-inch tiles)

Prepared vegetables: 1 large rutabaga (peeled, diced, and roasted), 1 large sweet potato (diced and roasted), ½ cup pearl onions (drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in preheated 425˚F oven until tender)

via Chicken Potpie | Garden and Gun.

creepy, Old Spice Ad:  Definitely creepy.

via ▶ New Old Spice TV Ad 2014 – Mom Song 60 – YouTube.

Isn’t it nice that there are no ads, creepy or otherwise, while watching Downton Abbey? Can’t wait for 9 pm.

So, Old Spice has a new ad. It features moms singing about being sad their sons are growing up.

via Moms Get Creepy As Hell In The New Old Spice Ad.

West Virginia 60-mile-long chemical cloud, WSJ.com:

Officials in Kentucky and Ohio prepare for the arrival of a slow-moving, 60-mile-long chemical cloud, which contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people in West Virginia. “They could smell it in the air,” said one official. http://on.wsj.com/1dneTna

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, a multistate agency based in Cincinnati that coordinates with states along the river to control, limit and monitor pollution, has been on high alert since the spill and is coordinating with state agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard to keep testing water quality, Mr. Schulte said.

Scientists at the Louisville Water Company do not think the chemical will be any kind of health risk when it reaches the area, sometime Friday morning, said company spokeswoman Kelley Dearing-Smith.

The number of lawsuits filed by businesses and residents affected by the water ban is growing. More than a dozen lawsuits had been filed in state court as of Monday morning, mostly seeking compensation from Freedom Industries for lost revenue and wages.

via West Virginia Begins to Lift Water Ban – WSJ.com.

14
Nov
13

11.14.13 … bourbon pecan pie …

 

 

The Hil, Serenbe, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Garden and Gun:  last week I went to the Hil and my meal was delightful.  Of course, less than a week later I spot this.  Why did I not  have dessert? 

Garden & Gun Magazine

Holiday recipes: From bourbon pecan pie to cornbread oyster dressing to the perfect Blood Mary, we’ve pulled together our favorite recipes to amp up your holiday spread. http://bit.ly/1aAAyTg

It’s hard to beat a fresh pecan pie, unless you add a little bourbon

The only tree nut indigenous to the South, the pecan has been used in the region’s cooking since the earliest colonists met Native Americans. But the rise of pecan pie—sometimes called Karo pie—came centuries later, commonly traced to a product-based recipe printed on jars of Karo corn syrup, circa 1930.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” says Hilary White, chef and co-owner of the Hil in Serenbe, a 1,000-acre sustainable community located in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Hill Country. “There was a day when family favorites were a mix of recipes clipped from the Sunday newspaper and Ladies Auxiliary books. Others came straight off the flour sack.”

While pecans grow throughout the South, Georgia has been the nation’s largest producer since the late 1800s. The state’s growers even donated enough pecan trees to create wood handles for more than ten thousand torches carried during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. With peak harvesting months October to December, it makes sense that pecan pie became a traditional Southern holiday dessert, and the rich, nutty flavor matches the aromatic spices used in savory Thanksgiving recipes. “Every year my father’s parents would drive from Florida to Ohio, where my family lived at the time, stopping in Georgia to buy pecans,” White says. “I remember it was dark outside and we’d sit in the eat-in kitchen, picking them. My grandfather would use the nutcracker, and my grandmother and I would use the nut picks. It was delicate work because you didn’t want to crush the pecans but keep them perfect halves for the pie.”

White’s maternal grandmother contributed the piecrust, and like most inherited family recipes, it has a few “miracle” ingredients. The flaky tenderness comes from fresh white lard, testament to the recipe’s age. And the acidity in the vinegar enhances the workability of the dough, keeping it so pliable you don’t even have to rest it.

“Pie making is sort of a lost art,” White says, “and this is a good old recipe.” Though she did add one other miracle ingredient to her grandparents’ version: bourbon. “It has the same flavor nuances of the dark corn syrup and makes the pie even more Southern.”

via Bourbon Pecan Pie | Garden and Gun.

ice cream premium brands, Talenti, High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations, Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, BOGO:  I love Talenti, but it is so expensive I only buy it when it is BOGO.  

Talenti’s clear plastic pint package with a screw-on lid is more upscale than the traditional cardboard pint. And with flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Blood Orange and Sicilian Pistachio, gelato commands a price roughly 25% to 50% higher than premium ice creams.

After all, the mark of a top-selling gelato, says Talenti founder Josh Hochschuler, is “something you want to eat a ton of.”

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Jill Telesnicki (6)

High-concept flavors and ingredient combinations that once were considered niches—like vodka-flavored Limoncello and Montebianco, based on the Italian dessert made with roasted chestnuts and whipped cream—are going mainstream, as sellers of premium-priced gelato, sorbetto and ice cream cater to adult tastes and look to increase flat sales.

“We’ve seen an increasing level of interest in some of our more complex ice-cream flavors like rum raisin, bourbon praline pecan and peppermint bark,” says Cady Behles, brand manager of Häagen-Dazs, a Nestlé SA unit. Last month, Ben & Jerry’s, a unit of Unilever PLC, added “Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch” butterscotch ice cream, timed to the release next month of “Anchorman 2.”

via Premium Brands Hope Foodie Flavors Can Lift the $11.2 Billion Frozen Treat Industry – WSJ.com.

bikeshare programs, travel, adventure, Macs Adventure,  bikes, touring, Intelligent Travel:  I love touring by bike!

Macs Adventure

‘I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment.’

We couldn’t agree more. Biking allows you to access sides of places you wouldn’t otherwise see.

via Facebook.

Ten or 15 years ago, whenever I arrived in a new place, I’d ask where I could find the subway, a central plaza, or a DIY T-shirt shop. Nowadays — whether I’m in Ontario’s wine country or hopping off the train for a day in Denver – my first question has become “where can I get a bike?”

I don’t bike for biking’s sake. I bike because biking’s the best way to see a place. It’s more fun than public transit, quicker than walking (or horse cart, as I learned in Bagan), and cheaper than taxis or renting a car – not to mention better for the environment. What’s more, biking allows you to access sides of cities you wouldn’t otherwise see.

I had lived in New York City a decade before I took a bike up the Hudson River Park Bikeway. I saw things I didn’t know existed, like out-of-view softball fields, riverside anglers, and a little red lighthouse tucked below George Washington Bridge. What’s more, I was reminded, after years lost in Midtown skyscraper canyons, that New York down deep is a river city.

via Are Bikes the New Tour Bus? – Intelligent Travel.

 American Girl Dolls, kith/kin, history, parenting: My daughter forwarded this to me.  she is a current college student majoring in history and believes that the AG Dolls fostered her  love of history.  Very sad. 

 

You grow up with your dolls and through your dolls (or action figures, or stuffed animals, or whatever is your drug of choice). You use them to navigate miniature worlds. Limiting the range of their canonical adventures to the present-day, first-world problems of these little girls who are Just Like You is a big mistake. Sure, maybe you picked your first American Girl doll because she resembled you – actually a lot has been written on this – but the whole point was to give you an entry point to history. Felicity or Samantha or Addy reminded you that, during the Civil War and the Revolutionary War and all the fascinating important times of history, there were Girls Almost But Not Quite Like You. You could see yourself in history! You could engage with the biggest moments of the past!

Dolls Just Like Us. Is this really what we want? The image is embarrassing — privileged, comfortable, with idiotic-sounding names and few problems that a bake sale wouldn’t solve. Life comes to them in manageable, small bites, pre-chewed. No big adventures. No high stakes. All the rough edges are sanded off and the Real Dangers excluded. It’s about as much fun as walking around in a life vest.

Yes, I know there are plenty worse toys out there. Still, it pangs. These dolls were once a stand-out.

Of course, that’s history. We’ve moved past that.

via Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl doll brand than you thought.

Providence and Queens Harris Teeter, grand openings, shame on you:  I am sorry, HT but your beautiful store is way out of scale for the neighborhood.  You ought to be ashamed.  

Harris Teeter plans to open its new, expanded grocery store at Queens and Providence Roads on Nov. 20, two years after the company first announced plans to demolish and replace the old Harris Teeter Express at that location.

The two-story, 42,000-square-foot Harris Teeter will be one of the larger grocery stores in the area. Its design mirrors many of the houses and buildings in the neighborhood nearby. As one of the company’s architects put it in a statement, “The building reflects the sophistication of the neighborhood fused with the excitement of shopping in a dynamic environment featuring food.”

The building features a Starbucks, an outdoor patio and expanded prepared food and produce sections. Building permits show Harris Teeter spent more than $9.1 million on the new store.

via What’s In Store: Providence and Queens Harris Teeter to open Nov. 20.

Mexican Coke  taste test, The Billfold:  I saw Mexican Coke in my local HT recently.  I think I will get some and have the kids do a blind taste test over Thanksgiving.  🙂

It really might be the experience of drinking the soda from a glass, at least according to Mexican Coke lovers. A commenter from the story argues:

Most of the “better taste” factor with MexiCoke comes from it being in glass bottles instead of cans or plastic. Bring back glass!

I have to admit that I too have always thought that the cane sugar in Mexican Coke made it taste better than the high-fructose Coca-Cola Classic bottled in the plastic in the U.S. The sweetness of American Coke is cloying, I’ve thought, perhaps, incorrectly. A grocery store near me sells both versions. Perhaps I’ll have to do a side-by-side taste test to find out for sure.

via Does Mexican Coke Really Taste Different From Coke Produced in the U.S.? | The Billfold.

4. ”If you want to hide a secret, you must also keep it from yourself,” wrote George Orwell in the novel 1984. That is coincidentally the year that Coca-Cola made the switch to high fructose corn syrup, rolled out New Coke (conspiracy theorists insist it was a diversion), began their denial of the flavor disparity, and started hiding miniature video cameras in their bottle caps.

11. If you get a Mexican Coke in Mexico, where they call it ”non-American Coke”, you won’t see any nutritional information sticker — those get slapped on when the bottles make their way up here. Maybe they should think about it, though: they recently surpassed us as the most obese country in the West!

via Mexican Coke Facts – Pure Cane Sugar Coke – Thrillist Nation.

 10.21.13 … supposedly they sell the real thing, Mexican Coke (aka non-American Coke) at some WalMarts in Atlanta, a a premium … Life doesn’t get much better than low country shrimp and grits … Perfect! … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

11.5.13 … “Remember, remember the fifth of November when gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

 

Banksy, followup: A few things to think about … 

On the side of the old brick building that houses a thriving optical business, there are now two geishas, one with an umbrella, strolling over a “bridge” formed by one of the basement window arches. At the bottom of the arch is a spreading tree. It is beautiful.  But whether we like it or not, my sisters, father, and I have suddenly found ourselves in the position of being responsible for this notable piece of public art.

Should we preserve it immediately? Do we have a public duty to do so? How does one preserve a piece of art like this? How do we control the crowds with gawkers and fans of the elusive artist, many of them foreign tourists, who were suddenly standing outside the building? Will it make us money?

The advice came fast and furious. “Don’t tell people who you are,” a neighbor told me on the street. “They’ll try and kill you.”  “Put up plexiglass,” another told me.

via I’m the Accidental Owner of a Banksy — Daily Intelligencer.

 

Banksy did at least one admirable thing during his monthlong New York City residency: He bought a $50 landscape painting from a Housing Works thrift store, added a Nazi, and returned it to the organization as the now very valuable The Banality of the Banality of Evil. On Halloween, Housing Works, which uses donations to fight homelessness and AIDS, auctioned off the piece for a reported $615,000. Like Banksy, the buyer’s identity was a something of a mystery — he went by the screen name “gorpetri” on the auction website he used to make the winning bid. And, (arguably) like Banksy, he did not live up to the hype. Today, the New York Times and Talking Points Memo report that gorpetri “immediately shirked” on his pledge, leaving Housing Works to scramble to find another buyer.

The charity contacted the auction’s other high bidders and found another anonymous person to take it off their hands for an undisclosed amount on Wednesday. As for the gorpetri? “We are still looking into why he defaulted, and we reserve the right to sort of see what we’re going to do with it,” Housing Works COO Matthew Bernardo told TPM on Friday night. But, he told the Times, “We were happy with the [second] sale. We were happy with the process which we closed with, and it’s at a very good home.”

via Original Buyer of Banksy’s Nazi Painting Bailed — Daily Intelligencer.

 

 

Guggenheim Museum, UBS MAP Global Art Initiative:  Interesting … 

 

 

The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative fosters cross-cultural interaction between artists, curators, and audiences via educational programs, online activities, and collection building. It focuses on three regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

via Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative.

Las Vegas NV, Lemon Drop Martini, “I’ll have what she’s having”:  I met a friend for drinks in LV.  I did a “I’ll have what she’s having” and I think this is what we had.  It was very good.  🙂

Jenny McCarthy’s Lemon Drop Martini

Makes 1

Juice of 3 lemons, plus a lemon wheel for garnish

2 tbsp. sugar (use 1 tbsp. for a more tart cocktail)

2 shots (1.5 oz.) vodka

1 sugar-rimmed martini glass

Mix lemon juice, sugar and vodka in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

via Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy: ‘Watch What Happens Live’ Cocktails.

The drinks

Wonderfully handcrafted cocktails are served, all with seasonal fruit, house-made mixers and freshly squeezed juices. We enjoyed two delicious examples: my friend had a Sunset Sangria ($15) with Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Absolut Tune, rhubarb and strawberry shrub. I went for a refreshing London Cooler ($15) with Oxley gin, fresh lemon, Mr. Q Cumber and fresh cucumber.

There’s a “Social Hour” from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day featuring draft beer and half-price martinis. There’s also a “Night Cap Hour” from 10:00 p.m. to midnight with half-price coffee cocktails. PRESS also features Lavazza espressos with some serious baristas behind the counter and organic, fresh-squeezed juices. The wine list is deep and they are currently featuring wines from women winemakers.

via PRESS at Four Seasons Las Vegas – a Delicious Oasis – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

 

 

The Women of the Supreme Court,  the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C. ,  female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sandra Day O’Connor

The women of the Supreme Court are the subjects of a new painting unveiled at the Smithsonian\’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

The portrait features the high court’s current female justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, as well as Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired from the bench in 2005. O\’Connor made history in 1981 when she became the first woman ever named to the Supreme Court.

via The Women Of The Supreme Court Now Have The Badass Portrait They Deserve.

 

 

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’,  74 Years Ahead Of Its Time, architecture

The work of Frank Lloyd Wright needs no identification. Unless, it\’s one of the hundreds of structures the legendary architect designed that never saw the light of day.

If you aren’t familiar with Wright’s work, you could head to the famous Guggenheim museum in NYC, or check out photos of the legendary Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Or, you could take a stroll through the campus of Florida Southern College, which boasts 18 Wright structures, the most Wright-designed projects in a single site. That’s where the latest Wright design has come to pass — a single-story house that Wright designed 74 years ago.

Designed in 1939 as part of his middle class-friendly Usonian House series, the house features a flat roof, small kitchen, overlarge living area, and airy, plain-jane, aesthetic, as Curbed describes it.

According to design site Dezeen, the house is one of 60 created for in the Usonian style, “a kind of family residence that is free from ornamentation, intended to represent a national style whilst remaining affordable for the average family.”

Inside the house, which makes up part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, furnishings also keep Wright’s vision alive with its reproduction furniture designed by Wright specifically for use in his Usonian homes.

via Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Usonian Home’ Was 74 Years Ahead Of Its Time (PHOTOS).

Daylight Saving Time, helpful info, fyi, TIME Explains | TIME.com:   Very helpful info … watch the video, too!

Daylight Saving Time is one of the universe’s great mysteries, like the afterlife, or who really killed JFK. It was one of the things you assumed you’d never understand. But it’s time for TIME to break down Daylight Saving Time.

First of all, it’s this weekend (Saturday night going into Sunday, to be exact). And since we spring forward and fall back, we’ll all be setting our clocks back Sunday fall morning to get an extra hour of sleep.

Daylight Saving Time dates back to the good ole’ days when we did everything based on when we had sunlight. It got more serious when Benjamin Franklin decided to be “that guy,” suggesting we all get up earlier to save money on candles. Thanks, Benji. It was a major blow to all the unhappy, unhealthy, and unwise people who love to snooze.

The practice wasn’t formally implemented until World War I, when countries at war started setting their clocks back to save on coal. Daylight Saving was repealed during peacetime, and then revived again during World War II. More than 70 countries currently practice Daylight Saving Time, because they think it saves money on electricity (in the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii have opted out).

But studies show that Daylight Saving Time actually results in a one percent overall increase in residential electricity. And that it messes with sleeping patterns. Oh, and also it may cause heart attacks, according to the American Journal of Cardiology. So it’s no surprise that more and more countries are reevaluating whether to hold on to this relic from the past.

But like all great mysteries, the answers only beget more questions: Does your iPhone automatically update for Daylight Saving Time?

Actually, yes, it does.

via Daylight Saving Time: TIME Explains | TIME.com.

I-85 HOT lane toll, record, http://www.ajc.com, Peach Pass

The cost to drive the 16-mile stretch of “HOT” express lane on I-85 southbound in Gwinnett and DeKalb County soared to a record $8.50 Tuesday morning, eclipsing the old mark by 50 cents.

The High Occupancy Toll lane’s cost is set on a sliding scale depending on the level of congestion on I-85 and in the HOT lane.

According to the State Road and Tollway Authority website, “when HOT lanes become too congested, the price increases and this in turn reduces the number of cars entering the lane.”

The website says the authority’s goal is to keep traffic in the HOT lane moving at an average speed of greater than 45 mph during peak hours.

The maximum toll has been gradually climbing since the lanes opened on I-85 northbound and southbound 25 months ago.

Mark Arum in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said the cost to drive the entire 16 miles hit $7 for the first time on June 26, and first hit $8 on Sept. 10.

via I-85 HOT lane toll hits record $8.50 | www.ajc.com.

Student Health Advisers, student stress, The Davidsonian, Davidson College, kith/kin: Nice article, PB!

Stress is such a given part of our lives that it doesn’t even seem like a problem. Too happy to be prisoners to our planners (or our procrastination), we constantly find ourselves working into the wee hours of the morning, anxious, worried, strung out on Union coffee, the glare of a computer screen burning our eyes. To make things worse, often we survive the week only to spend the weekend doing more work or lying about in a hung-over daze, perpetuating the cycle of sleep deprivation.

And yet Davidson is by no means a mill of torture and toil; a walk through Davidson also reveals students practicing on sports fields, reading out in the sun, laughing over meals and engaging each other in meaningful conversation. Still, it is important to remember the importance of breaking the repetitiousness of our weekly routines.

So what can we do? People suggest yoga, encourage us to get more sleep or manage our time more effectively, but in the end the result is often the same: less sleep than we would like, more work than we would like, erratic sleep cycles, embattled immune systems, quick tempers and naps that replace classes––none of which are good for our health.

Breaking the routine, even if it is writing a page in a journal, playing a game of FIFA, going for a run on the (fabulous) cross country trails, building a nap into your routine, getting off campus for an afternoon or a weekend, doing that one thing you love that you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for, is crucial to staying sane and keeping stress at bay.

For those who drink, it is easy to forget that drinking is not the only way to relieve stress; in fact, drinking excessively often creates more stress and leads to less sleep. It’s also time to think seriously about expanding the health center into a space dedicated to student wellness, with more space for programming (blenders? a zen garden? acupuncture?) or simply space to wind down and relax. A more regular bus to Charlotte would also be a helpful step, allowing students to change their environment more readily and easily.

Telling students to get more sleep is like telling a gambler to step away from the baccarat table: we would if it were that easy. We should all remember that Davidson is a community with plenty of helpful resources: walking into Georgia Ringle’s office and contacting a health advisor are great ways to discover different resources and opportunities.

There is no need to sacrifice our standard of academic excellence on the altar of complaint; but neither is there reason to sacrifice our well-being.

via Health advisers focus on strategies to reduce student stress – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

22
Oct
13

10.22.13 … secrets, secret places and secret lives …

 

China, Harbin China, pollution:  In the heat of the summer it was bad … but never this bad!  

The Harbin government reported an air quality index (AQI) score of 500, the highest possible reading, with some neighborhoods posting concentrations of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter that are 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller and especially harmful to health — as high as 1,000 milligrams per cubic meter, according to the China News Service.

(By comparison, the air quality index in New York was 41 on Monday morning.)

The Chinese government describes air with an AQI between 301 and 500 as “heavily polluted” and urges people to refrain from exercising outdoors; the elderly and other vulnerable populations are supposed to stay indoors entirely. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses a similar index that labels any reading between 301 and 500 as “hazardous.”

Both scales reach their limit at 500, leaving creative citizens of polluted cities to come up with their own labels when the air gets worse. Foreign residents in Beijing declared an “airpocalpyse” last January when the U.S. Embassy reported an AQI equivalent of 755, with a PM2.5 concentration of 866 milligrams per cubic meter. The World Health Organization has standards that judge a score above 500 to be more than 20 times the level of particulate matter in the air deemed safe.

via ‘Airpocalypse’ Hits Harbin, Closing Schools – NYTimes.com.

Lewis Grizzard, The South:  I always loved Lewis’ columns … still do …

He would tell Yankee immigrants who found fault with the South: “Delta is ready when you are.”

via Lewis Grizzard | Today In Georgia History.

Paris, Ernest Hemingway, quotes, kith/kin:  How long do you have to “live ”  to feel this way?

source: Pinterest.

travel, shoes, good informationBest Walking Shoes for Travel – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

Norma Kamali, Provence FR, olive orchards, bucket list:  Never thought of doing a tour of olive vineyards …

So began the first of what would become a decade of road trips from Barcelona along the coast of Spain and into France and Italy. But of all the orchards that Ms. Kamali has ever visited along the way, her favorite is in Provence, in the South of France, where she thinks the best olive oil in the world is made. “If there was a description of what heaven looks like,” she said, “I would say this is it.”

THE DESTINATION

Ms. Kamali’s Provence is an autumnal watercolor of what she describes as endless vineyards against a backdrop of mountains and sea. France’s sole A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) olive-oil designation — a sought-after status that verifies the oil’s contents, as well as the method and origin of production — is in Provence. The region is also home to five of France’s seven A.O.P. (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) olive-oil designations, a classification system used throughout the European Union.

WHY SHE GOES BACK

Despite having been to orchards from Spain to Italy, Ms. Kamali always returns to Provence for the quality of the oil, the taste of which depends on many factors, including sun (is the orchard on the shady side of a hill?), terrain (are the trees on flat land?) and neighbors (what’s planted nearby?). “In France it’s often living next to lavender,” Ms. Kamali said, “so there are some olive oils that have a lavender scent.”

The fragrance may be delicate, but “the olive trees are in themselves just very stoic,” she said.

“They lasted through wars and all kinds of weather conditions,” she continued. “History just counts the olive tree as part of the marking of time.”

When in Provence, Ms. Kamali stays at a friend’s chateau, but she said that you can still immerse yourself in the culture by staying at a villa on an orchard.

via Steal My Vacation – Norma Kamali’s Provence – NYTimes.com.

Frank Law Olmstead, Biltmore, John Singer Sargent: I stood for several minutes and stared at this portrait on my last visit to Biltmore.  it is huge and I love the outfit and cane.  Now that I know that his son wore the outfit and posed toward the end, I think it even more interesting.  Olmstead’s impacted almost every city I love in the US … nothing better in a city than a really good park!

As a National Historic Site it is also a modest place, considering the huge scope of the legacy left by the man who lived and worked there. Olmsted is best known as the creator of Central Park, a design he completed with his partner Calvert Vaux. With that celebrated project he may be said to have invented the field of landscape architecture, going on provide most of the major cities in America with a legacy of his genius. To name a few, the great parks of Boston, Chicago, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Louisville, Rochester, Buffalo, Baltimore, Denver, Seattle, all bear his signature. He designed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and all or parts of the campuses of Stanford, Cornell, Amherst, Yale, Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and many others.

Olmsted by Sargent

The final work project of his life, though, was for a private client, George Washington Vanderbilt, who in 1895 had just completed The Biltmore, the largest private residence ever built in the United States. It was a 250-room chateau outside of Ashville, North Carolina. Olmsted worked to landscape the place. Perhaps recognizing that his 73-year-old landscape designer was in poor health, Vanderbilt arranged for Olmsted’s friend, the artist John Singer Sargent, to come down from Boston to paint his portrait on the grounds of the estate. Sargent chose to place his subject in a setting of thick vegetation. It is a poignant picture of an old man leaning on a cane and somehow receding slightly into the mass of greenery around him. Flowers and flowering bushes had never been Olmsted’s forte; he had always preferred to plant trees that took little tending. In Sargent’s portrait, the flowers seem slightly out of control, reaching to overtake the elderly gentleman standing in their midst.

via Frederick Law Olmsted, John Singer Sargent, and Nature’s Design.

Entering a city park can be almost surreal, like encountering a desert mirage–smells of hot garbage are replaced instantly with cut grass and forsythia, sounds of screeching subway brakes are traded for birdcalls and quiet. Former Vogue editor and New York Public Library chairman Catie Marron had a lifelong love for these green respites from cacophony and claustrophobia. “I always gravitate towards city parks. In the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris when I was 23, something moved me internally, almost brought me to tears,” Marron tells Co.Design. “I really wanted to find books on parks for myself, but I didn’t find any. They didn’t seem to exist.”

She decided to change that, and rallied an impressive collection of authors and public figures–including Bill Clinton, Zadie Smith, Andre Aciman, Colm Toibin, and Nicole Krauss–to pen poignant odes to twenty-one city parks the world over. The resulting book, City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts, captures the enchantment of urban green spaces with intimate essays and Oberto Gili’s full color photographs, which appear almost three-dimensional in their depth and richness.

via The Secret Lives Of City Parks | Co.Design | business + design.

18
Jun
13

6.18.13 … travel sites … this one is for me :) …

travel sites, fyi, travel, lists:  

 

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—It’s no secret that the Internet has turned travel on its head. Thanks to resources like web-based booking, online currency conversions and networked ATMs, everyone has become his own travel agent and can make plans on the fly. Sometimes literally. Travel websites have dropped the barriers to entry, turning formerly insurmountable problems like tracking political unrest into little more than an inconvenience. (As this writer once discovered firsthand.) A good browser history is, these days, an indispensible part of any traveler’s toolkit.

Over the years I’ve collected a number of different websites that help with the many moving pieces of going overseas. They range from the useful to the outright essential, but one thing’s for sure: like the old saying goes, you should never leave home without them. With that in mind, here are a few links that have earned a place at the top of my bookmarks.

via Top 10 Travel Sites – MainStreet.




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