Posts Tagged ‘trends

14
Oct
13

10.14.13 … The Zoo is temporarily closed … no, the US brand is temporarily closed …

iconic photos, 2013 Shutdown: this will be the photo of the 2013 Shutdown.  Do you think it was staged?  I don’t. 

It helps that the iconography is simple: kid in an animal hat, zoo bars, Love Locked Out. It also helps that you can’t see the child’s face. The juxtaposition of sign and small body and quasi-narrative situation invites our projections. We assume that the child is forlorn, or that the picture is staged (it’s not), or that the photographer was seeking to make a political point.

View image on Twitter

We think we have seen all of that in this picture, and we begin to discuss the picture as if we had seen those things, and as if the picture had portrayed them. But it turns out – as I realized when I discovered I had overlooked the picture’s subject – that we aren’t really looking. And much of what passes for commentary or dialogue – certainly in the immediate responses to this picture on all of the many Web sites and forums and tweets that have disseminated it – are reactions based on our own shadow-projections. Nowhere is this clearer than in a photograph that doesn’t actually show the face or even the gender of the subject. “Entitled little bastard,” wrote one kind soul on the Web site of the Atlantic: that’s a lot to read into the back side of a kid in a monkey hat.

via I know the sad kid at the Zoo.

mediation, home:  I still plan to build a labyrinth in my home.

Yearning for a place to unplug, meditate and pray, some people are transforming parts of their homes into houses of worship.

These latest spiritual spaces are no longer relegated to a single altar in the corner of the room. Homeowners are creating meditation gardens, yoga and tai chi studios and private chapels. Rather than tacking these spaces on as afterthoughts, architects and builders are incorporating them into home plans from the start.

via There’s No Place Like Om: Meditative Spaces—WSJ Mansion – WSJ.com.

 I have never been a person defined by music, but Kay Mutert added music to my love of labyrinths … makes it a truly sacred and meditative place. 

Kay’s passion is helping others find their inner song. Kay believes the ancient archetype of the labyrinth is right for today’s world as it draws us into an embodied non-verbal experience. She encourages others to deepen their spirituality, letting her love for music and movement speak to the hearts of others.

via Veriditas – Home.

brands, trends, Brand Thinking, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, stuff, Brain Pickings:  Many years ago I read an article by Faith Popcorn on Clicking and this blog post reminded me of that article.  I think I will have to find the book Clicking to figure out why.  

The art of the interview may be nearly obsolete, but a handful of its contemporary masters still hold its fort. One of them is Debbie Millman who, besides being an extraordinary artist and modern-day philosopher, is also a maven of design and branding who has spent nearly a decade interviewing some of today’s most revered designers, writers, artists, anthropologists, and various other thought leaders on her Design Matters radio show, which earned the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2011. Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (public library) is the equally fantastic follow-up to the 2007 anthology How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, culling and synthesizing some of her finest interviews with such admired minds as Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, and Wally Olins

via Brand Thinking: Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, and Other Mavens on How and Why We Define Ourselves Through Stuff | Brain Pickings.

Explore – Seth Godin and other cultural mavens on the….

17
Feb
13

2.17.13 … I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year …

Charlotte, snow:  I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year.

photo

photo 2 photo 1   photo 3

photo 4 photo 5

history, Lent: So, I am a Pharisee now …

Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Don’t act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.”

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up ones strength and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Josephs Day March 19 and the Annunciation March 25, one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Dont act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.” Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

Wonder what it says about FB that so many people are abstaining from it for Lent?

and one of his friend’s comment …

I’m Betting they cheat and look ..just not commenting.

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.

via Daily Meditation: Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us.

Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being – this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead.

My goal for Lent is to remember this death, and to meditate on it in reverence, humility, and mystery. And to reflect not on the God who rules by power, but a god who leads by love; who identifies with the weak; whose foolishness upsets omniscience; a God who reveals Himself in many ways, who reveals Himself in a first century peasant named Jesus; a God who empties Himself of God, and offers Himself to his enemies in submission and servitude; who is concerned with the plight of widows and orphans, the least among us, and the disadvantaged; who sends Jesus to go after the marginalized and the misunderstood, and to bring back home again those who have been ostracized and forgotten.

I am giving up God for Lent to make room for God. I am prying open my fingers, and letting all of my theological idols crash to the ground. And I am lifting up my empty hands to Heaven in anticipation of God’s arrival, and quietly echoing the unsettling words of Meister Eckhart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

Kneeling in Jerusalem,  Ann Weems, Lent:  Ann Weems’ book  Kneeling in Jerusalem is a great resource during Lent.

LENT

Lent is a time to take the time

to let the power of our faith story take hold of us,

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

a time place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea and listen to his word,

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

a time to ponder and a time to wonder . . .

Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God!

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

clergywear, pastors, stoles, FPC-Charlotte, Lent,  fyi:

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

Of all the questions I have received since arriving as your pastor last September, the most popular has been about what we wear on Sunday during worship.

The name for what we wear around our necks is a “stole.” Stoles are worn by the clergy of many denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

The shape of a stole is reminiscent of a yoke that symbolizes the yoke of Christ, which reminds those of us who wear the stole (and those who see us wearing it) of whom we serve. Stoles are a symbol of ordained ministry – and are often given as gifts to a pastor on his or her ordination to service in the Church.

You may have noticed that the stoles we wear even change colors! The color of our stoles follows the season of the Christian year: purple in Advent and Lent, white in Christmas and Easter, green in ordinary times, and red in Pentecost.

You’ll also notice that the color of our stoles coordinates with the materials that cover both the pulpit and the communion table. These materials are called “paraments.”

Christians follow a different calendar – defined by our salvation history – because as we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are called to live a different kind of life.

Finally, most of your pastors’ stoles have a story – about where they were made or by whom they were given. Feel free to ask us about them sometime!

Pen

source: FirstNews

Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago Forum, bucket list: Thank you CCP for sharing this one.  One day …

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

architecture, I.M. Pei, Gateway Towers, Singapore, optical illusion, Wired.com:  strangely two-dimensional …

Gateway

Gateway Towers, Singapore

Completed in 1990, the trapezoidal shape of I.M. Pei’s Gateway Towers in Singapore create an optical illusion when viewed from certain angles — the 37-story office buildings appear strangely two-dimensional.

via Wired’s Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture | Wired Design | Wired.com.

uncreative writing, language, Digital Age, Brain Pickings:  subversive ..

The rest of Uncreative Writing goes on to explore the history of appropriation in art, the emerging interchangeability between words and images in digital culture, the challenges of defining one’s identity in the vastness of the online environment, and many other pressing facets of what it means to be a writer — or, even more broadly, a creator — in the age of the internet. Complement it with the equally subversive How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

via Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings.

art, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brain Pickings, 

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

Letters From Father Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas books that I shared with my children …  and to a large extent because of Tolkien’s whimsical drawings, I know I would love this edition of The Hobbit.

A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history’s greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer — a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

via Letters From Father Christmas: J.R.R. Tolkien: 0046442512657: Amazon.com: Books.

Obamacare, Uninsurables Program: I thought this was one of the good things about ObamaCare … 😦

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.

“From the beginning (the administration) has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”

via Obamacare ‘Uninsurables’ Program Quietly Winds Down As Funding Dries Up.

news, journalism, mobile journalism, end of an era, Poynter;  “News needs to solve problems” hmmm … ” We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.”

4. News needs to solve problems

A study by Flurry in November found that the news category only accounts for 2 percent of total time spent on mobile apps. Social apps gobble up 26 percent. Facebook alone accounts for 23 percent of all time spent with mobile apps, according to Comscore in December. That beats every news organization’s app combined by a long shot.

As Facebook (and Twitter) grow in time spent – and since both are populated with plenty of news – they’re increasingly competitive with news organizations’ mobile experiences by sheer volume.

As a result, simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

“The key insight from thinking about your business this way is that it is the job, and not the customer or the product, that should be the fundamental unit of analysis,” said Clayton Christensen, David Skok and James Allworth in a Nieman report. “This applies to news as much as it does to any other service.”

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself,” explains Y Combinator’s Paul Graham. “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.”

via 5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago | Poynter..

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Confirmation Process: One of my favorite lectures.  The speaker was a little dry, but I learned a great deal about the confirmation process from nomination to confirmation, vetting both by the White House and the Senate, the role of public relations and media, etc.  Once again, I have confirmed that I am a nerd.

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

Michael J. Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Law and Government, UNC School of Law

this session will explore the nuances of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. The speaker has significant experience in this arena. He advised several senators on the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel Alito Jr., and served as Special Counsel to Chair Patrick Leahy (D-vt.) as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning,  Student Athletes, Penn State, caveat emptor:  You should always be ticked when the presenter starts off telling you that there will be very little about Penn State despite the fact that it is in the title.

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

Barbara J. Osborne, Associate Professor, UNC Department of Exercise & Sport Science

this session will explain the 2012 U.S. Department of education’s Sexual violence guidance. Institutional liability will be discussed using recent situations involving student-athletes at the high school and college level, as well as the Office of Civil Rights’ complaint against Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Festival of Legal Learning.

Life With Dogs: Thank you, EWP,  for sharing this  Life With Dogs’s photo …

this is like one of those old-fashioned fox stoles that my grandmothers used to wear – EWP

Find Rufus Competition, corgies, visitlondon.com:  What is it with the Brits and corgies?

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

For your chance to win a romantic trip to London, use the clues to find Rufus in the map below. Remember, he’s only a little dog, so you might need to zoom in!

via Now See It For Yourself – Find Rufus Competition – visitlondon.com.

translation apps,  Google App,  NYTimes.com:  My husband downloaded an arabic translation app for his next trip to Kuwait.  We’ll see how that goes …

I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf and mute?The answer: yes, though knowing your way around it in advance will help. (United Nations interpreters need not fear for their jobs, at least not yet.) Here, then, are my tips, learned the hard way….

Pantomiming and phrasebooks have always worked for you in the past, and are more fun anyway? I hear you. But even if you want to stay old-school, the world is moving on without you. At least once a day during my trip, the Chinese broke out their own translation apps before I had a chance to break out mine. In other words, this train has already left the station. Or, to pick a cliché more appropriate to my trip, you don’t want to miss the boat.

via Lost in Translation? Try a Google App – NYTimes.com.

Carnival Cruise, Triumph Failure, Total PR Fiasco, bathrobes, twitter:  They may have tweeted too fast … bathrobe fiasco!

They may have been stranded aboard a busted cruise ship for five days with little food, broken sewage systems and no heat or air conditioning, but at least they’ll get to keep the bathrobe.

On Friday morning, as more than 3,000 tired and dirty customers finally disembarked from the stranded cruise ship Triumph, @CarnivalCruise tweeted, “Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.”

It was a remarkably tone-deaf finish to a week-long public relations fiasco that began Sunday night when an engine fire crippled the Caribbean-bound ship and set it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop news coverage and social media chatter brought the public vivid images of the fetid conditions aboard the Triumph. Reports from passengers included details about overflowing toilets, hours-long waits to get food and flooded rooms during the five days they were stranded at sea.

via Carnival Cruise Tells Passengers They Can Keep The Bathrobes In Total PR Fiasco.

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers, kith/kin, high school, Westminster Schools, memories, Brain Pickings: I had a friend in high school who got a hold of this.  I never laughed so hard as I did one night … Can anyone guess who possessed this “pamphlet”?

Between Edison’s scandalous footage of the first kiss in cinema in 1896 and Bill Plympton’s quirky animated guide to kissing a century later, the public image of lip-locking underwent some radical transformations. In 1936, the year my grandmother was born, a man named Hugh Morris penned a small illustrated pamphlet titled The Art of Kissing (public library), in which he guided young lovers through the techniques, tricks, and “approved methods of kissing,” including such varieties as “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss,” as well as tips on how to prepare for a kiss and how to approach a girl. Delightfully dated in its assumptions about love, heterosexuality, and marriage, it’s as much a charming time-capsule of a bygone era as it is a sure source of a good chuckle.

THE ‘VACUUM’ KISS

Here you start off by first opening your mouth a trifle just after you have been resting peacefully with closed lips. Indicate to your partner, by brushing her teeth with the tip of your tongue, that you wish for her to do likewise. The moment she responds, instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation, your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In this fashion, in a very short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be the sort of pain that is highly pleasurable. That may sound odd, but nevertheless it is a fact. Pain becomes so excruciating as to become pleasurable.

via The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers | Brain Pickings.

Valentine’s Day memes, follow-up:  Since I was off FB for VD … I enjoyed a belated FB experience this morning.  Some are nice … some,  not so nice …

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Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day gift, StoryCorps:  I think I’ll suggest this one to my husband for next year.  LOL

Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Grab your sweetheart and head to StoryCorps at the AHC to record your love story! Appointments are available this Saturday! http://ow.ly/hHctG

StoryCorps is pleased to be in partnership with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta.

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

via About Us | StoryCorps.

Downton Abbey, The Dowager Countess, quotes, LOL: : )

‎”I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.”

Georgia, Yumion – the Vidalia Onion, Vidalia GA, kitschy, corporate mascots:  I must admit, I would go out of my way to see Yumion … I have done so to see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and the Famous Idaho® Potato Truck …

Explore Georgia

Be sure to look for Yumion, the Vidalia Onion, when you visit Vidalia, Georgia! http://budurl.com/Vidalia

Tiffanys,  Costco, knockoffs, retail, knockoffs, icons, iconic jewelry, blue boxes, diamond rings,  ABC News:  If I were a bride, I’d be ticked …

Speaking of retail, a wild story. A big fight between tiffany’s and costco. Tiffany’s wants the big box store to knock off the knockoffs, selling fake versions of its iconic jewelry.

Here’s abc’s tanya rivero. Reporter: It’s the little blue box, versus the big box retailer. On valentine’s day, as lovers everywhere snuggled,iffany and co.

Slapped costco with a lawsuit. These pictures allegedly show tiffany koffs inside a california costco. Tiffany sent someone in, bought one of the rings.

They were not made by tiffany. They are not tiffany rings. They have nothing to do with tiffany.

Reporter: Being sold at a fraction of what real tiffany rings cost. Everybody would love a deal on a tiffany ring. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

Tiffany diamonds are never on sale. Reporter: Tiffany alleges costco had been selling the fakes for years. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of engagement rings were sold using the tiffany trademark.

Reporter: A rep for costco told abc news, we will be making no comment on this story as it involves pending litigation. Court papers say an unnamed consumer blew the whistle, contacting a tiffany store to complain. She was offended by the fact that tiffany would be selling engagement rings in costco.

In this particular case, there’s enormous room for confusion among consumers because costco does sell a of big brands at deep discounts. Reporter: Shoppers at tiffany’s flagship store weighed in. You think you’re buying into a brand.

And you find out it’s a rip-off. When you buy a tiffany diamond, you’re buying into the row mant schism and there’s only one place to get it. Costco has removed all tiffany labels.

But tiffany is a suing for additional mary damages. And whether customers will sue remains to be seen. If you have any doubt about a tiffany’s item you own, you can bring it into a tiffany’s store.

They’ll tell you if it’s the real thing. Diamonds are never on sale.

via Tiffanys Battles Costco Over Knock Off Diamond Rings | Video – ABC News.

 weddings,  trends, gold, The Huffington Post:  I am pretty traditional … but  I really like the gold …

Beyond emerald and yellow, one of the fastest growing color trends this year in weddings is gold. For a while, gold had become passé as platinum gained in popularity and silver made a resurgence. However, gold is back, and here to stay. With sequins so popular (we’re on board!), and because this color can be paired with so many options from pink to black and white, all that glitters is GOLD for 2013.

With the help of patterns and rose gold, check out our favorite golden wedding ideas in the gallery.

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

Twitter, David Boreanaz, Playmobil, adult play, random: So if I were to create a scene using playmobil figures, what would I create?

You see my photo!!!! Playmobil Bones!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Zb55U6pA

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random:

VALUE9.com India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

The Marine Corps on Friday unveiled their future mascot. If all goes as planned, Chesty the Recruit will become Private First Class Chesty XIV later this year, replacing Sgt Chesty XIII.

Chesty XIII became one of the most storied dogs in the long history of Marine Corps mascots when he faced off last year with Bravo, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s golden retriever.

As chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, the growling confrontation earned Chesty a promotion to Sergeant and raised the bulldog’s reputation among many of the enlisted and officers at the Marine Corps barracks. But it didn’t sit too well with some of the officer’s wives.

Some of the women viewed Chesty the XIII as crotchety and ill-mannered to guests. (Check out the video here.)

The Marines rolled out the red carpet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thursday night at the Home of the Commandants at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks. Bonnie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, met the latest Chesty Thursday night.

via Marines Roll Out Red Carpet for Chesty the Recruit – Washington Wire – WSJ.

short stories, literary genres, publishing, book industry, NYTimes.com.

The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.

Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.

“It is the culmination of a trend we have seen building for five years,” said Cal Morgan, the editorial director of Harper Perennial Originals, who until last year ran a blog called Fifty-Two Stories, devoted to short fiction. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers very engaged in experimentation.”

via A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling – NYTimes.com.

24
Jun
11

‎6.24.2011 … Labyrinth walk #4 at Kanuga … very nice … happy camper, I mean junior counselor, is home … hail here now …

labyrinth walk,  Kanuga Conference Center:

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The labyrinth is a walking meditation, a tool that enables us, in the midst of the business of life, to be still, to focus our thoughts and feelings. Labyrinths can be found in cathedrals all over Europe and have been used by Christians for hundreds of years as a means of meditation and experience of the Divine Presence. The Kanuga Labyrinth is an exact replica of the one set in the floor of Chartres Cathedral.

To enter a labyrinth is like entering a cathedral. You sense the presence of The Holy.

It should be noted that there is a difference between a maze and a labyrinth. A maze has many entrances and many exits. It is a puzzle to be solved. The labyrinth has only one path that takes you to the center and back. It is a spiritual path.

There are now over 1,000 labyrinths across the United States, mainly in churches, but also prisons, hospitals, parks and retreat centers.

via Kanuga, Chapels: The Labyrinth.

JK Rowling, Pottermore, digital media:  Fascinating … she held back the digital rights to her books 13 years ago …

Ms. Rowling has made a bold move in going direct to consumers to sell her e-books, instead of relying on online retailers like Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc.’s iBookstore. Whereas publishers for other authors often own both the print and digital rights for books, Ms. Rowling owns the rights to the digital versions of the Harry Potter books herself. The digital rights aren’t held by her U.K. publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, or by Scholastic Inc., which owns the U.S. print rights.

Now, Pottermore is Ms. Rowling’s next step toward keeping the franchise alive and vital beyond the book series.

Users can travel through the first book in the series—”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”—and Ms. Rowling will then gradually reveal the online ecosystem tied to the subsequent six books over the course of a few years. Digital editions for all seven books, however, will be available in October.

via Rowling Conjures Up Potter E-Books – WSJ.com.

music, kith/kin:  From e …

new york city 1982, 1983…listened to wanna be startin’ somethin’ on walkman while taking subway to smith barney office on wall street…chapel hill June 2011…listening to same song on mp3 player while taking bus to unc hospitals…

social networking, gender differences:  Intriguing article … I don’t get LinkedIn!  Women Still Don’t ‘Get’ LinkedIn, Says LinkedIn – Technology – The Atlantic Wire.

Gone with the Wind, literature:  “narrative vigor”  … I enjoyed this video essay on the literary merits of GWTW.  I personally sdon’t think it is “great” literature … but it is a great story.  Maybe that is what F. Scott Fitzgerald  meant by “narrative vigor.”

Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in the spring of 1937, to the dismay of some critics and the delight of others. William Faulkner had expected to receive the award for his novel Absalom Absalom and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who never received the prize, would soon be working on the screenplay of Mitchell’s novel. On a warm night in May, Mitchell received news of the prize by phone, along with multiple requests for interviews. Hating publicity, she fled to a gospel concert at a small black church in Atlanta with her husband John Marsh, her publisher Harold Latham and her black housekeeper Bessie Jordan. The press scoured the city but never found her. It was a glorious night for Margaret Mitchell.

via PBS Arts : Pulitzer Prize Night.

Braves, baseball, Gone with the Wind, literature, Atlanta:  Hoopla!  I like corny things to get the fans to the ballpark … but this one seems wacky to me!!

If you’re going to the Atlanta Braves game on July 2, bring your glove and your hoop skirt.

The Braves, the Atlanta History Center and the Margaret Mitchell House are teaming up for “Gone with the Wind Night” to celebrate the novel’s 75th anniversary. Fans who show their July 2 Braves ticket stub at the Atlanta History Center or Margaret Mitchell House afterward will receive $5 off admission to either venue.

Fans who come to the game dressed as their favorite GWTW character on July 2 get $10 off Upper Box (regularly $18) or Outfield Pavilion (regularly $28) tickets. A Scarlett O’Hara impersonator will greet fans beginning at 4:30 p.m. and host GWTW trivia.

via “Gone With the Wind” night at Turner Field | The Buzz.

quotes, Bertrand Russell:

“Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.”
 Bertrand Russell

social networking, FBI, followup:  Just the other day, 6/21,  I posted about how the FBI was using social networking and lo and behold it worked!

On Monday, the FBI had announced a new television campaign aimed specifically at women, in the hopes of tracking down Greig.

Bulger is wanted in connection with 19 murders, while Greig is accused of harboring a fugitive; the two have been on the run together since 1995, according to the Associated Press. The FBI was offering $2 million for information leading to Bulger’s arrest.

via ‘Whitey’ Bulger Arrested: ‘Departed’ Mob Inspiration Nabbed in California – ABC News.

neuroscience, common chorus, music:  This is really fascinating.

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation, at the event “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus”, from the 2009 World Science Festival, June 12, 2009.

via YouTube – World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale.

tweet of the day, Wimbledon, culture, etiquette:  I hate to say it but I think the grunting is annoying.

Opinion on grunting players at #Wimbledon RT @alexabahou: Great pkg, haha! Grunting is part of the game! @johnsberman

3 minutes ago via HootSuite

via Good Morning America (GMA) on Twitter.

houses, US, real estate, trends, followup: Like I said, my children’s favorite house is our smallest.

David Brooks wrote about this trend in American real estate a decade ago, in an article called “Castle in a Box.” Brooks visited a new development of five-million-dollar tract mansions in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where the front doors could be set for fingerprint or iris recognition, and motion sensors activated room lights.

In the past five years, McMansions along these lines have been cropping up all across suburban America. The houses tend to be similar: the two-story “lawyer foyers” when you walk in; the four-car “garage mahals” jutting out front; the altar-like spas in the master baths, with those whirlpool tubs that look so suggestively sexy before you move in but seldom get used afterwards.

via Back Issues: Big Houses: Lawyer Foyers and Garage Mahals : The New Yorker.

social media, privacy: Good question …

Nothing is anonymous or invisible. Will the recent cases make people more careful about how they behave? Will they keep their tempers in check at the post office, or stop telling strangers how to raise their children? How does this growing “publicness” affect civility, privacy rights and free expression?

via You’re Mad! You’re on YouTube! – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

Apple, piracy:  I would never think to film a movie with my phone … I would not make a good pirate.  So it is fine with me if Apple disables my ability to violate the law.

Apple’s recent patent for an invisible infrared sensor that would block piracy at concerts and movies has net neutrality enthusiasts rattled, but some patent bloggers enthused about the possibilities.

The SavetheInternet.com coalition, a group of some two million people devoted to a free and open Internet, want to send Steve Jobs an online petition, “Dear Apple, Don’t Shut Down My Phone Camera,” to ask that he reconsider the patent. The patent, which would enable a device’s camera to shut down during a movie or concert, applies to iPhones, the iPod Touch and iPad 2.

via Dear Apple, don’t shut down my phone camera – BlogPost – The Washington Post.

education, philanthropy, kudos:  Kudos, PoP!  And I hope you are successful in your worthy endeavor.

Pencils of Promise (PoP) is a non-profit organization that endeavors to bring the possibility of education to communities of underprivileged children. Braun and PoP believe that education is a basic human right, and that by building educational structures, it will bring self-sustainability and ownership to the areas.

It is with this philosophy that Braun partnered with Bieber to create the “Schools 4 All” initiative. PoP is an interactive organization that allows participation, not just donation.

That’s where Bieber comes in. Whoever can raise the most money with their fundraising page gets a special visit by the pop star himself at the school of the winner’s choice. Creating a page is easy: All you need to do is visit schools4all.org and get started.

via Justin Bieber and Pencils of Promise partner to make education dreams come true – What’s Trending – CBS News.

Phantom of the Fox, Fox Theater, Atlanta, news, random:  Didn’t know there was an apartment in the Fox?  What a cool place to live.

It’s official: Joe Patten — the longtime Fox Theatre resident affectionately known as “The Phantom of the Fox” — can remain in the apartment he’s maintained in the historic Midtown venue for more than 31 years.

The Fox announced today that a settlement has been reached in the dispute between Atlanta Landmarks, its owner and operator, and Patten, who helped save the theatre from the wrecking ball in the 1970s.

Patten, who’d renovated the apartment with $50,000 of his own cash since moving in in 1979, claimed the theatre’s board committed housing discrimination when it terminated his lifetime lease and asked him to sign an occupancy agreement — complete with several stipulations — after he experienced a stroke.

via ‘Phantom of the Fox’ won’t have to leave Midtown theatre | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

quotes, Frank Lloyd Wright:

“Where I am, there my office is: my office me.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

travel, Europe:  I think we bought at the top!

Did you put off booking a trip to Europe this summer after plane ticket prices skyrocketed?

Here’s your chance to be a little impulsive. A quick scan of Bing Travel this afternoon indicated that ticket prices to Europe this summer are dropping quickly. (I used July 14-July 21 as travel dates.)

A one-stop flight (with less than an hour-and-a-half layover) from Atlanta to London from US Airways is priced at $1087, one of the lowest prices since the beginning of this year (the highest was $1493). Fights to Paris on multiple airlines were priced at $1223 (they peaked at $1775 in March), with prices expected to drop as well. Amsterdam is down to $1312, Frankfurt at $1297 and Prague at $1237.

via Summer airfare to Europe quickly dropping | Atlanta Bargain Hunter.

2012 Presidential Election, politics, polling, statistics:  Very interesting …

In a new Gallup poll, 22 percent of Americans say they would not vote for a “generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be Mormon.”

That’s the same number since Gallup began asking the question back in 1967, when George Romney, father of Mitt, was running for president. However, as Gallup notes, 25 percent of Americans in 1959 said they wouldn’t vote for a Catholic, and one year later John Kennedy was elected president.

A few other tidbits:

– Democrats (27 percent) were more likely than Republicans (18 percent) to reject a Mormon candidate.

– Two-thirds of Americans said they would support a well-qualified presidential candidate who happened to be gay, compared to only 26 percent in 1978.

– Fewer than half — 49 percent — would support an otherwise well-qualified candidate who happened to be atheist. But that too has changed. In 1958, the first year it was asked, just 18 percent would have supported an atheist.

You hear a lot of people talk about how much America has changed, and they seldom imply it’s for the better. But in many ways the changes of the last 50 years have made this a much better, stronger and united nation.

via Most voters would back Mormon or gay, but not an atheist | Jay Bookman.

cities, bookshelf: I am reading a book on urban living now … and here is a discussion of several more that I could add to my bookshelf.  I”ll wait …

The key factor in determining whether a city is successful is how significant a cohort of the Creative Class it attracts. “It would be a mistake for cities to think they can survive solely as magnets for the young and hip,” the Harvard economist Edward Glaeser writes in his new book, “Triumph of the City” (Penguin Press; $29.95), by way of dismissing Richard Florida. For Glaeser, the key factor that makes cities successful is not the presence of the Creative Class but “proximity,” the way they bring people into contact, enabling them to interact in rich, unexpected, productive ways. Though Edward Glaeser considers Richard Florida’s celebration of cities sentimental and unrigorous compared with his own celebration of cities, the same trump card of hard-hearted rigor could be played against Glaeser. An odd, fascinating new book called “Aerotropolis” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $30) predicts that, in the future, cities will reorient themselves around enormous airports.

via The City-Suburb Culture Wars and Globalization : The New Yorker.

twitter, lists: People should think before they tweet … Outrageous Tweets: A Short History – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Jane Austen, zombie, genre, LOL:  There are people, including boys, reading Jane to better understand the Zombie takeoffs … LOL

Whoa! Pride and Prejudice? Darcy’s dip in the lake certainly was not written by Jane. Even Geek Mom knew that. So she went to the source to find out why pimply pre-pubescent boys would read a spinster’s 200 year-old-novel:

“If you’re wondering about that last one … well, as Nick, another of the boys in the group, explained, “It’s good to read to get the cultural references.” I suspect the allusions Nick was trying to understand involved the Undead, but hey, I’m not going to argue with anything that could get my kids to voluntarily pick up Jane Austen.”

They’re reading the original in order to understand Pride and Prejudice and Zombies??!!!! Ack! Guess that’s is better than endlessly playing World of Warcraft or hanging around the mall.

via Jane Austen Today: Will Banned Books Get Boys Interested in Jane Austen?.

food, places: Food is key to a sense of place … What do you crave from home?

Atlanta (me):  Henri’s PoBoys, Varsity onion rings, Greenwood peppermint ice cream with fudge sauce … they served it  the funeral reception of my kith uncle … a true Atlantan!

Cincinnati, OH – Graeter’s Mocha Chip Ice Cream ( Graeter’s peach is also divine.)

Southeast: CHCK-FIL-A!!!!! and “Hot Now” KrispyKreme doughnuts …

NJ – Philadelphia area – hoagies and cheese steak sandwiches

I’ve only been to the Bojangles’ in Union Station once since it opened, but I have to say, knowing it’s here, in the District, with a Cajun chicken biscuit and fries anytime I need, is soothing. It’s one of the things I think of when I think of home, in North Carolina. (And yes, I know they’re in Prince George’s, too, and yes, I have driven well out of my way to get to one. But I don’t have a car, so my options are limited.)

(Richard A. Lipski – WASHINGTON POST) It seems most people’s memories of their home towns are closely entwined with food, as we learn in Monica Hesse’s story of Manhattan transplants. They talk about missing cheap food, good Chinese takeout and bagels. (But they’re happy about the Shake Shack.)

A quick survey of my co-workers had everyone thinking about what they’d like to import

Anna’s Taqueria. (Eric Athas – The Washington Post) to Washington: Anna’s Taqueria for the Bostonians. Jack in the Box for the Californian. Bertman Ballpark Mustard for the Clevelander. A cherry limeade from Sonic for the guy who went to school in Kansas. Zapps’ potato chips for the New Orleanian. (At least now that she can get sno-balls here.)

No matter how much you like Washington, there’s still probably something you sometimes want to import. What would it be? Your answer doesn’t have to be food-related, though that’s the way our conversation went. What are you missing from your home town (or another city you called home for a while)? Tell us in the comments below or by using #DCWishList on Twitter.

via What you want imported to Washington (#dcwishlist) – The Buzz – The Washington Post.

music, generation gap, rant:  I found this amusing … no one wants to feel culturally insignificant!

… but is it . not distressing that parenthood and age, in combination, signify cultural insignificance?

via Immutable/Inscrutable., The New Yorker to One-Third of All Music Listeners in America: You Don’t Matter.

30
Mar
11

3.30.2011 … Definitely a year in reverse … March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb … joke … Can’t wait to see what April brings …

old sayings, quotes:

The old saying goes “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” due to the fact that the month generally starts unsettled and chilly, while the end of the month typically turns milder as spring begins.

This saying looks to be opposite for March 2011 since just over four weeks ago, the month came in like a lamb with quiet weather across the eastern half of the country. High pressure was in control of the weather, bringing near- to slightly above-normal temperatures to residents living along the I-95 corridor.

To round out the month, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a winter storm to track up the East Coast, effectively sending March out like a lion this year.

A disturbance currently moving inland over the Pacific Northwest will track into the Plains states by Wednesday before diving into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

via March may roar out like a lion | NJ.com.

Chicago, Cubs:  I was in Chicago last weekend at a wedding and of course the bride was a Cubs fan and the groom was a White Sox fan … had to be mentioned!  But saw this today and loved it … always hope!  I am a Cubs fan, btw.

Join the Heckler and Rick Telander for their celebration of the Cubs inevitable march to World Series glory (…) and get down on $2 Old Styles, a free buffet, and giveaways of Cubs tickets and rooftop passes, so you’ll have absolutely no hassle getting up to the best place to throw yourself off.

via Next Year Day | Thrillist.

random, apps, guys vs. girls:  I am not sure I care … but guys are into cars … funny.

In many ways cars are better than girlfriends — you can get in whenever you want, they don’t complain when you take their tops off, and spare tires are actually a plus. To follow up on old flames that could be covered in them, hit up Check My Ride.

A recently launched social network affiliated with a major auto data company, Check My Ride lets you build and share a comprehensive personal vehicle history and check up on old whips using their “Where in the World is My Car?” tool, not to be confused with the Dude Where’s My Car? tool, as no one cares where Stifler is (spoiler alert: it’s rehab). Start by building a detailed history of your vehicles (age when purchased, year/make/model/color, year sold, etc.), including awesome road trips you took, how many miles you put on, and “why [it] was memorable”; once complete, it’ll calculate the total mileage you’ve accrued since you started driving and generate a bar graph timeline of your life in terms of car ownership, which will be low if you’re wont to take “bar graph” literally. Next, enter a VIN into the car-finder widget (powered by AutoCheck) to see deets on an old whip’s current whereabouts, including a GMap with connected pins showing the places it’s been registered since you ditched it, unless you literally ditched it, in which case, um…it’s in a ditch.

via Check My Ride | Thrillist.

aging, parents, happiness, culture:  85 is the happiness peak … Well, my mom should be in a good mood come October!

Traditional wisdom states that our younger years are the best of our lives, with the milestone of 40 meaning we are “over the hill” and already on the wane.

But in fact satisfaction and optimism steadily increase after middle age, easily eclipsing the earlier years and peaking as late as the eighties, according to research.

An easing of the responsibilities of middle age combined with maturity and the ability to focus on the things we enjoy combine to make old age far more enjoyable than one might expect.

This is greatly increased by having good health, a stable income and good relationships with family and friends, according to scientists.

Lewis Wolpert, emeritus professor of biology at University College London, who explained the findings in a new book called You’re Looking Very Well, said most people were “averagely happy” in their teens and twenties, declining until early middle age as they try to support a family and a career.

He added: “But then, from the mid-forties, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late seventies or eighties.”

A study published by the American National Academy of Sciences, based on a survey of 341,000 people, found that enjoyment of life dwindled throughout early adulthood but began an upward trend in the late forties, and continued to increase until reaching a peak at 85.

via Happiness peaks in our eighties – Telegraph.

Apps, lists: I really like a few of these and look forward to trying others … Top 10 Apps That Will Change Your Life – WSJ.com.

9/11, Muslim Community Center, update:  Why is this a regional story?  We were just talking about this in Chicago … seems it should be national?

Two co-founders of the plan to build a Muslim community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan have begun exploring a new, and possibly competing, project: an interfaith cultural center that they said might be located at the currently proposed site, two blocks from ground zero, or elsewhere in the neighborhood.Daisy Khan, the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, said on Tuesday that she and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, two co-founders whose involvement in the controversial community center plan was curtailed this year after a falling out with their real estate partner, might develop a new project that was “larger in concept” than what is now proposed at 51 Park Place.The new project would be interfaith in character, rather than predominantly Islamic, she said, and it would include a center for inter-religious conflict resolution.

On Tuesday, Ms. Khan said that since last summer, she and her husband had been meeting privately with family members of 9/11 victims and first responders in an effort to understand the source of some of the opposition to the original idea. She said that as a result of those meetings, the story of the 9/11 families “will be housed in our center.”

via Planned Downtown Mosque Could Become an Interfaith Center – NYTimes.com.

museums, trends, change, globalization:  Everything trends toward sameness … even museums.

But the relocation of the Barnes is about more than the dismantling of a single museum. It also marks the end of an era in American cultural history. Over the past 15 or so years, some of the most original and idiosyncratic art institutions in the country — the Barnes, the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston — have embarked on major expansions to modernize (and in some cases, to generate more revenue), significantly transforming their identities.

All three museums, each built by a wealthy eccentric, once represented intensely personal visions. All were conceived as alternatives to the offerings of the elite cultural establishment. And by the time the Barnes completes its move, all will have been remade into slick, corporate artistic institutions of a sort that their founders no doubt would have deplored.

Yet even more striking is what these transformations suggest about what we’ve become as a culture. The three museums’ iconoclastic collectors, and the institutions they built, embodied an America that still embraced an ideal of stubborn individualism. That spirit is now mostly gone, a victim of institutional conventions and corporate boards, and by a desire for mainstream acceptance that has displaced a willingness to break rules.

via Eccentricity Gives Way to Uniformity in Museums – NYTimes.com.

Davidson College, D2s (Children of Davidson friends@Davidson): Look at the D2s – Boyce and Betsy – being role models!

Davidson College seniors shared their experiences with Davidson Day School students recently. They are (from left): Bryan Droll, Rayna McKenzie, Boyce Whitesides and Betsy Lyles.

Four Davidson College seniors fielded questions about dorm rooms, study habits and what to expect from the food from high school students at Davidson Day during the private school’s second “College Life 101″ presentation last week.The 45-minute forum focused on transitioning from high school to college. Davidson College students included Betsy Lyles, who grew up in Davidson and is an English major at the local college. She was joined: Bryan Droll, a psychology major from Duluth, Ga.; Rayna McKenzie, a philosophy major from New York City; and Boyce Whitesides, a religion major from Wilmington, N.C.“The purpose of College Life 101 is to help our students become more prepared to adjust to college,” said Stacy Allen, Davidson Day’s college counselor. “They hear a lot from us but it’s different when what they’re hearing comes from a college student who is actually living the college experience.”

via Davidson seniors give a college preview at Davidson Day | DavidsonNews.net.

31
Jan
11

1.31.2011 … 51 isn’t so bad …

food, trends:  Flights of pie, oh my!

Pie is turning up all over the US, having reinvented itself from a dowdy church supper ware to a stylish dessert served in ‘flights’ in some places. Each region has a specialty based on local ingredients and culture. If you filled your plate motoring across the country – made an American pie flight, so to speak – it’d look like this…

Nutty South & Tart West

Down south, everyone’s gramma has her own recipe for pecan pie, where secret ingredients swirl in the bowl with the nuts and corn syrup. Royer’s Round Top Cafe (105 Main St, Round Top), in middle of nowhere Texas, has earned a swooning crowd for its version. It’s so traditional you’re charged 50 cents extra for not getting the ice cream on top. The chef also whips up southern-style buttermilk and coconut chess pies. Can’t decide? They offer a pie flight!

via American pie: slicing across the country – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet.

FaceBook, social networking, culture:  More social, hummm?

Were you creeped out by the ominous trailer for “The Social Network” (“I want you to notice, when I’m not around …”) and what it may say about you? Does logging on to Facebook for the fourth time today make you feel like a soulless shut-in?

If so, fear not: According to a cheery report out of the University of Texas, Austin, Facebook actually makes us more sociable. Surveying 900 current and recent college graduates nationwide, Craig Watkins and Erin Lee of the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas examined the impact of Facebook on users’ social lives, concluding that “social media afford opportunities for new expressions of friendship, intimacy and community.”

via Studied – Does Facebook Make You More Social Offline? – NYTimes.com.

art, pop art, Roy Lichtenstein:  Loved this … “So shocking that in 1964 Life Magazine wondered if the artist who created them, Roy Lichtenstein, was quite possibly the worst artist in the U.S.”

Whimsical paintings based on cartoons … witty sculptures … prints that remind us of famous paintings, with a commercial twist.

Images so familiar to us today it’s nearly impossible to believe that they were once considered quite shocking.

So shocking that in 1964 Life Magazine wondered if the artist who created them, Roy Lichtenstein, was quite possibly the worst artist in the U.S.

That’s not a question anymore.

When the dust settled at Christies’ auction house last November, one of Lichtenstein’s pieces named “Ohhh…Alright…”did more than “all right”: It sold for nearly $43 million.

A record, beating out even Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can.

Lichtenstein himself would find that shocking.

“He used to say that he was amazed that people would actually pay for what he called ‘used canvases,'” said Mitchell Lichtenstein, Roy’s youngest son.

But, in fact, Roy Lichtenstein may be more popular today than ever, says his youngest son, Mitchell, who walked us through the sculpture garden on the roof of his father’s old N.Y. studio, pointing to one piece Mitchell’s mother had called “her giant Chia Pet.”

“I think people appreciate his humor,” Mitchell said, “and I think they see more in it as time goes by.”

via Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Art’s Most Popular – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

travel, historical journeys, bucket lists:  So where would you go … I would like to follow Lewis & Clark or Paul.

Part one: Go around the world in 80 days with Jules Verne, rampage across Mongolia with Genghis Khan and trek the Muslim world with Ibn Battutah.

Part two: Take the ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ with Charles Darwin, decide whether Alexander the Great should be Alexander the Grotesque and see if you think Marco Polo was a fibber.

Part three: Get satirical with Evelyn Waugh, explore the Wild West with Lewis & Clark, and trek across the Australia with Burke and Wills.

via Greatest historical journeys – travel tips and articles – Lonely Planet.

health, globalization: Go for it! I did not know that only one disease has been eradicated.

ONLY one disease has ever been eradicated—smallpox—but Davos Man thinks a second is possible. In a packed congress hall today full of world leaders and celebrities, David Cameron and Bill Gates announced a bold campaigh to wipe out polio over the next few years.

via Davos diary: A plan to eradicate polio | The Economist.

Baby Boomers, health, healthcare:  I think we are going to be a pain in the ass!

The MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest held Boomers, Technology & Health: Consumers Taking Charge in Seattle, Washington on January 19, 2011. The event examined the role of baby boomers in future technology innovation with a special focus on health.  The organizers did more than an excellent job framing the event with speakers representing health providers, industry, technology developers and venture capital they prepared a research report based upon interviews with 50 industry and thought leaders to understand the barriers as well as opportunities for boomer-driven innovation. The report is one of the best summaries of the evolving role of baby boomers in driving innovation in health and wellness and well worth the read.

The report presents five key findings:

1. Baby Boomers Will Play a Key Role in the Adoption of Personal Connected Health

Why will baby boomers make a difference? Simply put, the baby boomers have more money, greater expectations and personal health as well as caregiving needs that will drive demand for health and wellness innovations.

2. Personal Connected Health is a Component and Enabler of a Paradigm Shift to Patient-centric Approach

The baby boomers are the leading edge and passionately vocal movement of consumers demanding patient-centric care. With 67% of the boomers having one or more chronic diseases they will seek technologies and services to manage and monitor their health – on their terms as consumers with demands, not simply as patients in need.

3. The Imminent Explosion of Personal Health Data Will Create Opportunities for Entrepreneurial Problem-solvers

Consumer demand is only one part of innovation. Technology serves as inspiration and catalyst. The report observes that the ready availability of new wireless, mobile and ubiquitous smart everything present an endless possibility of health devices and services.

4. Lasting Behavioral Change Requires Incentives and Social Support Mechanisms

As noted in other posts on disruptivedemographics.com, social media is not just for kids any more. The report authors aptly observe that Web 2.0 will be key in developing the social support necessary for healthy and lasting behaviors.

5. The Northwest has the Ingredients for the Creation of Personal Connected Health Business Ecosystem

via Disruptive Demographics: Global Aging, Technology & Innovation: Translating Global Trends into Regional Economic Opportunity: The Pacific Northwest Looks at Older Baby Boomers, Health & Technological Innovation.

Egypt Uprising, titles/headlines, Davidson, prayers:  Updates for today … have to laugh at the Huffington Post title … “A Complete Guide to the 2011 Uprising.”  Davidson has two students in Egypt this semester.  One with a Middlebury Program and he is coming home.  One in Cairo who has family in Cairo and he is staying  Prayers for all in Egypt.

As his people desert him, so do Mr Mubarak’s foreign backers. Shortly after he spoke, so did Barack Obama. He called on the Egyptian president to “give meaning” to his promises to improve the lot of the Egyptian people. For much of the crisis, the American administration has been trying hard to avoid making a choice: Mubarak is our ally but we deplore violence and are on the side of “reform”, goes the line.

Hillary Clinton has called for restraint on all sides and for the restoration of communications. She said America supported the universal rights of the Egyptians, and called for urgent political, economic and social reforms. But sitting on the fence becomes increasingly uncomfortable as events unfold, and the vibes from Washington have become distinctly colder over the past 24 hours. The private talk, increasingly, is no longer about whether Mr Mubarak should go, but who might be able to take his place if he does.

via Unrest in Egypt: Not appeased | The Economist.

-and-

Having trouble digesting all the news in Egypt? Not sure what’s going on and why it matters? Want to brush up on the key players and latest developments? Or just curious to learn more about Egypt in general?

You’ve come to the right place. The Huffington Post is aggregating our comprehensive coverage into easily-digestible nuggets below to help those who feel overwhelmed. This page is 100% human-curated. It will be fluid and changing as major developments happen, so please keep checking back. And please share it with your friends, family and colleagues.

via EGYPT: A Complete Guide To The 2011 Revolution.

-and-

What’s happening today?

A.

Today’s biggest event was a battle at the Interior Ministry. The police have sort of made it their last stand. The building is surrounded by several hundred to a thousand police. Some of the protesters were a few blocks away, surrounding some army tanks, having afternoon prayers. The soldiers had been just sitting atop their tanks, being friendly with the crowd.

The prayers were punctuated by the sounds of gunfire. When they heard the gunfire, the protesters were all begging the Army to get involved. The soldiers drove four army vehicles to the Interior Ministry to protect the protesters who were fighting the police. The protesters hid behind the army vehicles as the police fired. It was amazing.

Q.

How is it for you as a resident of Cairo?

A.

I have lived here for 10 years. When I’m covering Baghdad, I expect to hear gunfire at night. I never expected to hear it in Cairo. There was never much news in Cairo and I liked it that way. My favorite thing about Cairo, coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan, was how warm and funny the Egyptian people are.

My neighbors are deeply concerned about what’s going to happen. There are roadblocks on almost every corner, with neighborhood militias — really just six to 10 men with sticks — protecting their homes from looters. People are very nervous about security.

I love Cairo. It’s hard to see the downtown area trashed, but for the first time in 30 years, people are excited. Professionally, there’s the thrill of covering such a big story and watching a revolution. But everyone is worried about what’s going to happen next.

via Cairo Photographer Sees Hope in Turmoil: Scott Nelson Tells What It’s Like – NYTimes.com.

Apps, games:  relaxing?

iPad owners in search of a relaxing, story-based puzzler should enjoy the game play packed into Treasure Seekers 2: The Enchanted Canvases HD, the sequel to a game that ranked among the Top 10 highest-grossing games in 43 countries.

Based on a nearly 2-year-old PC game of the same name, Treasure Seekers 2 challenges you to find well-hidden objects in busy environments (think Where’s Waldo?), and use items in your inventory (or in the environment) to solve the task at hand.

via Treasure Seekers 2: Graphics impressive; adventure on the short side – USATODAY.com.

challengeShow Us Your City: A User-Generated Video Project with a Local Point of View – NYTimes.com.

art, sculpture, exhibits, London:  Another reason to go to LOndon. 🙂

England has produced some of the greatest sculptors of the last 100 years, so it is only fitting that one of London’s most prominent galleries, the Royal Academy of Arts (Burlington House, Piccadilly; 44-207-300-8000; http://www.royalacademy.org.uk), should hold one of the first comprehensive exhibition of their work. Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Jacob Epstein and Anthony Caro are just a few of the major artists whose sculptures will be on display through April 7.

via In London, a Century of British Sculpture – NYTimes.com.

fashion:  I will continue to let medium ash brown work for me.

From salt-and-pepper locks to a white mane, gray hair isn’t just for men in their 50s and 60s anymore. Film stars, athletes, television personalities, even President Obama, are all rocking gray hair–and some are welcoming it.

“I think it’s the measure of maturing and growing,” said Andy Cohen the host of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live.” The 42-year-old first noticed his transition from dark black to slate in his late 20s, when a few silver hairs started appearing around his temples. He never had the urge to dye it, and suggests that graying men regardless of their age should wear it with confidence.

via How to Make Gray Hair Work For You – Speakeasy – WSJ.

random: Click and watch this gorilla walk … kinda creepy.

Meet Ambam, a 485-pound Western lowland gorilla who strolls around the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in England like he owns the place. According to Phil Ridges, the park’s gorilla keeper, Ambam might walk upright to get a height advantage to look over the wall to watch for feeding time. Either that, or he’s just a shrewd self-promoter: Videos of Ambam walking have captured YouTube’s attention, with more than 1 million views.

via Viral Weekend: Watch a Gorilla Walk Like a Human – TIME NewsFeed.

30
Dec
10

12.30.2010 … Since all the stores tell me to get organized for 2011 … as they do for every other year … here I go …

RIP, end of an era: Rest in Peace, Kodachrome!  Oh, how I do hate change …

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the end, it was determined that a roll belonging to Dwayne Steinle, the owner, would be last. It took three tries to find a camera that worked. And over the course of the week he fired off shots of his house, his family and downtown Parsons. The last frame is already planned for Thursday, a picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne’s wearing shirts with the epitaph: “The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010.”

via For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas – NYTimes.com.

vocabulary, faith, acts of God:  Another one to make you think:

First, during a period of wonderful, calm, sunny weather we do not read of Nature’s “love” or “mercy” or that we are being “blessed” or “rewarded.” The good we take for granted, as our due. The bad we assume is wrathful and punishment of some kind.

I do not want to make too much of this, but my simply drawing attention to it makes the point. It seems almost natural (!) to refer to the storm as “wrath” and “punishing” while it would be strikingly odd to read a weather report referring to a sunny day as “merciful.”

Why is this? Is it because we assume we deserve everything to be perfect or at least unchallenging? That the norm for us is bland perfection? That somehow we deserve grace and favor, which, of course, is a contradiction?

In short, “who do we think we are?” Maybe we simply don’t think!

via Grapes of wrath? « Hopelens Blog.

Davidson, history: Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century Bill Gates”  … interesting to think that Andrew Carnegie would need to be defined.

With the prospect of a new year ahead, the last blog of 2010, will celebrate the 100th anniversary one of the loveliest buildings on campus.  Now known as the Carnegie Guest House, it was dedicated on September 10, 1910 as the Carnegie Library.Interior of Carnegie Library from Cornelia Shaw scrapbookThe name comes from Andrew Carnegie, a 19th century Bill Gates – who took some of the monies made by his companies and helped build libraries across the nation. Most were public libraries but a number of colleges, including Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, received funding as well.

via The Davidson College Archives & Special Collections blog — Around the D.

historical preservation, Atlanta, memories:  The golden grandeur of the Fox Theatre is not diminished one bit in knowing that it is plaster, aluminum and paint!

While they appear to be made from exquisite metals, most of the ornate decor in the Fox Theatre is actually plaster. The Restoration Department identifies damaged or worn pieces and recreates each piece using a historic mold.

Once the plaster has been poured, set, and hardened, a fine, adhesive glue called “size” is applied. The plaster and size will sit untouched for 8-12 hours until it achieves a high level of stickiness.

The artisans then gild the plaster pieces using a paintbrush and extremely thin sheets of aluminum leaf or imitation gold leaf, also known as Dutch metal. The process is repeated until the plaster is concealed.

After the metal has been applied, a piece of cheese cloth is used to burnish or smooth out the creases. Finally, the aluminum is treated with orange shellac and a burnt umber glaze to give the appearance of gold. The imitation gold leaf is treated with a burnt umber glaze to deepen the appearance and add age.

via The Fox Theatre, While they appear to be made from exquisite….

random:  Don’t you just wonder who buys theses things?

Now, Harlan Ellison, a self-identified blue-collar fantasist who has written over 1,000 short stories, screenplays, essays, and criticisms, has listed his Remington noiseless portable for $40,000. Ellison penned “I, Robot,” “Soldier,” which James Cameron drew from for “The Terminator” and “The Outer Limits,” to name just a few. Speakeasy spent some time on the phone with Ellison, who dominated the conversation with anecdotes and allusions of times past.

..

No it’s all tied up in the fact that I’m 76 and I’m very ill and like a sage old dog I can smell when certain signs are there. We are trapped in a medical eddy, this mad meat house of medicine where we cannot get the help we need. I’m not a bag lady, I live in a particularly good house that I’ve been living in since 1966, but we don’t have anywhere near the chance of getting Marcus Welby to fix my problems. As a consequence we have to get some money and as time goes by you get more and more famous and less and less wealthy. I literally have to start eating my past and turning into the actually dollar all of the artifacts that have made me who I am. I am eating my past.

via Would You Pay $40,000 For An Antique Typewriter? – Speakeasy – WSJ.

technology, trends, stocks, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter: So if Walt Mossberg is right, I should be buying Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

It has been a big year in personal technology, from the debut and early success of Apple’s iPad, to the rise and continuous improvement of Google’s Android smart phone platform, to the continued surge in social services led by Facebook and Twitter.

via Walt Mossberg’s What’s In Store for Technology in 2011 | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD.

Apple, technology:

If patents are to be believed, Apple is working on the creation of the world’s first glasses-free 3D display that would produce holographic images using a screen made up of “pixel-sized domes” that would be read differently by the human eye depending on where they’re viewing from.

via Is Apple Planning A Holographic 3D TV? – Techland – TIME.com.

New Year’s Resolutions, me: #1 – Get organized.

29
Dec
10

12.29.2010 … slipped away … but I did use up our FSA … and by the way Christmas 2010 was officially NOT a snow day in Charlotte, NC.

oral history, media, official records, Charlotte,  headlines: How often do official records and oral history differ?  Everyone I know will remember Christmas 2010 as a white Christmas.  Sounds very Grinchy to me!

John Tomko, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says the official snow depth reading is taken at 7 a.m. Charlotte had no snow at 7 a.m., so according to weather service in Greer, S.C., Charlotte had no snow on Christmas. And the official records in Greer, S.C., will state that Charlotte’s last White Christmas was in 1947.

via Musta been a Grinch who stole our White Christmas – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, grade inflation:  It’s happening in high schools, too.  And by the way, I have no idea what “Zen koan” means.

It could be a Zen koan: if everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?

The answer: Not what it should, says Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “An A should mean outstanding work; it should not be the default grade,” Mr. Perrin said. “If everyone gets an A for adequate completion of tasks, it cripples our ability to recognize exemplary scholarship.”

As part of the university’s long effort to clarify what grades really mean, Mr. Perrin now leads a committee that is working with the registrar on plans to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts. In addition, they expect to post further statistics providing context online and give instructors data on how their grading compares with their colleagues’.

“It’s going to be modest and nowhere near enough to correct the problems,” Mr. Perrin said. “But it’s our judgment that it’s the best we can do now.”

via Chapel Hill Campus Takes On Grade Inflation – NYTimes.com.

media, social change, Mozambique, Africa:  Interesting … I wonder how I would feel if it was moving the people of Mozambique toward revolution?

But while many publishers would be satisfied with creating a popular, free, quality newspaper, for founder Erik Charas that’s just the beginning: the 36-year-old homegrown entrepreneur believes his paper can be an instrument of social change, one that will help lift the country out of poverty and end its dependence on aid. “We didn’t start a newspaper to become a great newspaper,” he says. “We started a newspaper to achieve transformation in the country, to push the issue of access to information and ultimately … to engineer or create ambition in Mozambicans.”

Leaving coverage of high-level politics to other papers, Verdade focuses on the issues that affect those on Maputo’s fringes: bread subsidies, electricity prices, crime in the slums and HIV/AIDS. “I’ve never bought a paper. I’ve never had the opportunity,” says Enia Tembe, 29, a washroom attendant in a Maputo shopping mall who earns about $70 a month. “Verdade helps us to see what’s going on.”

via Mozambique: How One Newspaper Wants to Transform a Nation – TIME.

Great Recession, economics, college: Good question?

How have the financial crisis and recession affected the way economics is taught? How should economic instruction change?

via Economics: How has the crisis changed the teaching of economics?.

lists, movies:  I just keep these so I can see them on video. 🙂 The Best Movie Lists of 2010 – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Jane Austen, winter, historySnow Sports and Winter Transportation in the Regency Era « Jane Austen’s World.

Christmas, gingerbread, architecture, Frank Llyod Wright:

If It’s Hip, It’s Here: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water In Gingerbread for 2010!.

words:  Vuvuzela, of course!  Words of the Year 2010 – Interactive Graphic – WSJ.com.

RIP, movies:  Rest in peace, Liesl.  Agatha was the model for Liesl in the Sound of Music. Agathe von Trapp Dies at 97 – Eldest of Trapp Singers – NYTimes.com.

blogs:  Kinda’ interesting … The Period Periodical.

NYC, trends:  Maybe too cheap for me … but I know kids who have done the Couchsurfing thing … and it scares me … like Craig’s list … My $100 Weekend in New York: Where the Money Went – NYTimes.com.




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