Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Postal Service

11
Nov
13

11.11.13 … “Lord, teach me to be grateful, for others, and to You. Uncover all I have not noticed, and nurture in me a thankful heart.” …

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Thansgivukkah, holiday mashup: “Home cooks have been doing that for centuries, and this year’s supercollider is an invitation to make something new that lasts.”

But on Nov. 28, there will be three candles ready in the menorah by the time the turkey leaves the wood fire. (Hanukkah starts on Wednesday at sundown, so depending on how long this meal lasts, we’ll probably be lighting candles for the second night around the time the pie comes out.)

The challenge this year is to serve a meal that honors our traditions, makes room for fresh influences from our grown sons (both home cooks) and blends the best of both holiday menus into one epic feast. For help, we turned to the Dining section’s own Melissa Clark, who picked out the most promising notes in our family cookbooks and developed recipe combinations that pulled the meal together.

She suggested we add fresh horseradish to the matzo balls, a perfect nod to David’s grandfather, who liked to carve bits tableside from a huge, gnarly root. So festive. It was also Melissa’s idea to serve our Hanukkah brisket next to the turkey, as if she knew that David’s grandmother always served two kinds of meat at every holiday, a subconscious demonstration of abundance by a Holocaust survivor who understood privation.

We won’t be the only family crowding into the kitchen this year, mixing holiday flavors and inventing new customs on our feet. Home cooks have been doing that for centuries, and this year’s supercollider is an invitation to make something new that lasts. But not cranberry sauce with raisins.

via When Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Collide – NYTimes.com.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Audible, bookshelf: So I listened to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry on Audible and I really enjoyed it.  But I quickly realized that I needed a map.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

NANJING China, The Sifang Project, architecture, an architectural fantasy land in China:  This is really fascinating on many levels.

Wall Street Journal ‏@WSJ 39m

Take a multimedia trip to an architectural fantasy land in China: http://on.wsj.com/17dFayp

NANJING, China—China is famous for its warp speed of construction. The Sifang project near this ancient capital in southern China is a study in the opposite.

The construction of 24 uniquely designed buildings by various architects on 115 acres of land has been slow and extremely deliberate, even though 1 billion yuan (US$164 million) has been spent to date. So deliberate, in fact, that when this design fantasyland opens to visitors Saturday, only 11 of those 24 structures will be complete—a decade after the architects submitted their designs.

Scaffolding covers the recreation center, designed by late Italian architect Ettore Sottsass. Only foundations have been laid for a house by 2010 Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese duo Sanaa. Even some of the houses that are “finished” still appear to be missing details like electrical outlets.

Sifang Museum.

ENMESHED IN MID-AIR: THE NANJING SIFANG ART MUSEUM | 艺术界 LEAP.

China’s wealthy patrons like Mr. Lu’s family are underwriting a major cultural boom, spending billions of yuan on grand buildings to showcase impressive collections of art, antiques and other cultural rarities. Their largesse and ambitions echo American industrialists who sponsored the arts in the early years of the 20th century… — online.wsj.com

Recently in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Jason Chow interviewed real-estate developer Lu Jun and his son Lu Xun who finally opened the Sifang Art Museum for its first exhibition this past weekend in Nanjing, China after 10 years of construction.

Spearheaded by Lu Jun and curated by architects Liu Jiakun and Arato Isozaki, the $164 million project consists of 11 mixed-use buildings designed by an international mix of well-known architects including Wang Shu, SANAA, David Adjaye, Mathias Klotz, Steven Holl, and artist Ai Weiwei (the only non-architect). Three more buildings are expected to be completed within the next year.

During a rising cultural trend of private museums owned by China\’s wealthiest patrons, Lu Jun, his son, and some of the museum’s architects describe the doubts, challenges, and hopes in the construction and operation of the ambitious project.

via Sifang Art Museum – designed by 22 architects including Wang Shu, SANAA, Adjaye, Holl – opens its first exhibition | News | Archinect.

“Without money from the property development, how do you support the art? It’s unfair to judge us that way,” Mr. Lu said. “We’re not flipping art.”

U.K. art consultant Philip Dodd, who has organized private-museum forums in recent years to gather China’s budding patrons, says art museums have long been tied to the large egos and profits of businessmen, pointing to Andrew Mellon, the U.S. financier who died in 1937 and whose art collection was donated to establish the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

“I wouldn’t over-moralize this,” Mr. Dodd says. “Museums are often set up with sugar money.”

via Nanjing’s New Sifang Art Museum Illustrates China’s Cultural Boom – WSJ.com.

U.S. Postal Service,  Amazon packages , Sunday delivery,  latimes.com:  Interesting.  I’d like to see the numbers.

Giant online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays.

Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers’ doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.

Getting packages on Sundays normally is expensive for customers. United Parcel Service Inc. doesn\’t deliver on Sundays, according to a spokeswoman. And FedEx Corp. said Sunday \”is not a regular delivery day,\” though limited options are available.

The deal could be a boon for the postal service, which has been struggling with mounting financial losses and has been pushing to limit general letter mail delivery to five days a week.

Spokeswoman Sue Brennan said that letter mail volume is declining “so extremely,” yet package volume is “increasing in double-digit percentages.”

The postal service’s Sunday package delivery business has been very small, but the arrangement with Amazon for two of the retailer’s larger markets, Los Angeles and New York, should boost work considerably.

To pull off Sunday delivery for Amazon, the postal service plans to use its flexible scheduling of employees, Brennan said. It doesn’t plan to add employees, she said.

Members of Amazon’s Prime program have free two-day shipping and, under the new deal, can order items Friday and receive them Sunday. Customers without Prime will pay the standard shipping costs associated with business day delivery.

via U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays – latimes.com.

NASA, astronauts, Overview Effect:

Who would have thought traveling to outer space could be such a profound experience? OK, probably everybody, but these former astronauts really articulate it in a way that was just a little mind-blowing.

via Some Strange Things Are Happening To Astronauts Returning To Earth.

workforce, women in the workforce:

Why were women opting out, particularly the ones who looked like they should have the highest potential?”

via Mandy O’Neill: Why Do Highly Capable Women Not Always Realize Their Workforce Potential? | Stanford Graduate School of Business.

meditation, The Noble Eightfold Pat, bookshelf:  So I attended a intro session on meditation and this short book was recommended.

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi

via The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering.

labyrinths, Camus quote:

“Life’s work is nothing but the slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence one’s heart first opened.” ~ Albert Camus

On a recent trip to Serenbe, one of my favorite retreat spots in the Atlanta area, I walked the labyrinth. I remember feeling a paradoxical sense of peace and power, when I finally surrendered my need to ‘get’ some earth shattering insights.

Labyrinths are truly sacred places. The design itself is ancient, some say more than 4,000 years old. It combines the sacred geometry of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path.

The ritual of walking the labyrinth silences the intellect and awakens your deep, intuitive nature. Walking a labyrinth is a metaphor for life’s journey, you will often discover parallels between your ‘walk’ and how you move about in the world.  As you navigate this sacred space, it awakens and activates your own sacred blueprint.

The labyrinth invokes your intuition, creativity, and imagination.  It is an invitation to adventure to the core of your Essence and come back to the world with an expanded experience of who you are.

via Walk the Labyrinth: Awaken Your Sacred Pattern, Activate Your Sacred Path – ADELA RUBIO.

Black Friday, Holiday shopping, Thanksgiving:  I would love to say I would do this, but even in the 70s I spent thanksgiving shopping. We would take all our holiday catalogs to Pineview and turn down the corners all afternoon. So, since I already shop on-line on Thanksgiving, I guess I can’t begrudge the brick and mortar stores for trying to get me back.  Well, I can, actually.

J.C. Penney now joining Macy’s and other stores that plan to open on Thanksgiving Day, prompting this pledge to circulate. No way do I want to shop that day – but maybe a lot of people will. What’s your position on this?

Add Macy’s to the list of retailers kicking off “Black Friday” and Thanksgiving Thursday.

Macy’s will open the doors at most of its 800 namesake department stores, at 8 p.m. on Nov. 28. The company said the shift was voluntary for workers and that the move was “consistent with what many rivals are doing.

Traditionally, retailers have waited until Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving, to start their end-of-the-year push for sales.

U.S. retailers have extended their hours on Black Friday, so named because it’s when most stroes go into the black, in recent years to get a jump on the holiday season sales.

via Macy’s latest retailer to open holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving – chicagotribune.com.

Georgia Bulldogs , 2012 College Football Team Valuations, Forbes, followup: Given my recent excerpt from an article on the highest paid officials in each state (11.4.13 … “When you raise a generation to believe that throwing a ball is more important than fulfilling their civic duty to make informed decisions, you allow charlatans to sell their lies to the public unchallenged.” … ), I thought this interesting.

5. Georgia Bulldogs

Current Value: $99 million

One-Year Change in Value: 10%

Football Revenue: $75 million

Football Profit: $52 million

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Mark Richt

Georgia’s value to the SEC increased thanks to playing in the Outback Bowl, which brought $3.5 million in bowl revenue into the conference. The Bulldogs may see another bump in revenue next year thanks to hosting the Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry game against Georgia Tech and playing in the SEC Championship this season.

via Georgia Bulldogs – In Photos: 2012 College Football Team Valuations – Forbes.

21
Feb
13

2.21.13 … labyrinthine evolution … “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious …

labyrinths, history, labyrinthine evolution, Loyola University Chicago: “with its sinful eleven tracks” … sounds mysterious … and why have a chosen this as my Lenten Practice two years in a row?

Simply put, eleven was seen as a stigmatized number from the time of Saint Augustine of Hippo and throughout much of the Middle Ages because it signified the fallen nature of humanity.  Eleven was perceived as equating to sin and dissonance with God, being one more than the Commandments yet one short of the Apostles.  Eleven, like humanity, was flawed.[3]  Despite this corrupted number, the enlarged labyrinths were geometrically perfect.  During the Middle Ages the cosmos, as a product of God, was seen as being without flaw and as such the circle symbolized divine unity for it has no beginning nor end.[4]

Having been enlarged to become perfectly circular, there was still one more significant alteration to labyrinths which made them entirely Christian, and that was the superimposition of the Cross.[5]  Around the year 900 CE, an otherwise nameless monk probably from the Benedictine monastery of Auxerre, ingeniously placed the cross within the confines of the labyrinth.[6]  He accomplished this by dividing the full circles into halves and quarters.

With its sinful eleven tracks and the incorporation of the Cross, the labyrinth in Western Europe not only looked Christian, but became truly Christian, symbolizing important aspects of the faith.[9]   When the labyrinth was finally put back into stone, the two regions which would build them most extensively would be found in Northern France and Northern and Central Italy. Click on either to find examples from each country!

via labyrinthine evolution: Loyola University Chicago.

pomegranates: Love pomegranates!

.

via Uses of pomegranates

ailurophobia, The Cat-Hater’s Handbook, Tomi Ungerer, Brain Pickings:

I learned a new word … and I found two used copies, one for each of my favorite ailurophes!

An ailurophobe’s delight circa 1982

via The Cat-Hater’s Handbook: A Subversive Vintage Gem Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer | Brain Pickings.

Paula Broadwell, CharlotteObserver.com, local news:  Because I can drive by her house, I really hate this story … I feel sorry for her children and husband.  I feel sorry for her … Human beings do such stupid things.

Paula Broadwell’s promotion in the Army Reserves has been revoked by military officials because of the investigation into whether she might have been storing classified information at her Charlotte home without permission, according to a report Thursday by CNN.

Broadwell became a national figure last year after her affair with David Petraeus, director of the CIA and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, became public. Broadwell, 40, had co-authored a book on Petraeus.

CNN’s story says an unnamed military official said Broadwell’s promotion from major to lieutenant colonel, which had been approved last August, has been revoked until the investigation has been completed.

via Paula Broadwell’s promotion revoked, CNN says | CharlotteObserver.com.

MINI Backflip [Landed], YouTube:  I find myself holding my breath … even though I know the mini made it …

The French champion skier and stuntman Guerlain Chicherit took the death-defying backflip challenge and nailed it in the hills of Tignes, France. The Mini Countryman John Cooper Works SUV was modified enough to make the flip and land without falling apart. This is the first time a backflip such as this has been pulled off. 360 degrees in anything that heavy is a tall task. There is less of a chance I can do this myself,  jumping off a diving board.

via MINI Backflip [Landed] | Guerlain Chicherit | The Crosby Press – BETA

Wray Herbert,  order, disorder, chaos, creativity, good, evil:  God created the world out of chaos … so can we …

Vohs wanted first off to explore the effects of order and disorder on socially desirable behaviors, so in the first experiment she looked at healthy eating and charitable giving. These are both things that, by common agreement, are good. She recruited volunteers and, unknown to them, had some work in a tidy room and the others in a messy space. They filled out questionnaires that weren’t really relevant to the study, and afterward were given the opportunity to donate privately to charity — specifically, to help pay for toys and books that would be given to children. Then, as they were departing, they were offered the choice of an apple or chocolate.

The results were unambiguous. Those who had been working in an orderly workspace were more generous. Not only were they more likely to donate anything to the kids, collectively they donated more than twice as much money to the charity. They were also more likely to make the healthy food choice.

The results confirmed what Vohs had predicted. As described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, the volunteers who worked in the untidy room were much more creative overall, and they also produced more “highly creative” ideas. In other words, they were more likely to break away from tradition, order and convention in their thinking. In a third study, those in a messy environment were more likely to select an option labeled “new” over one labeled “classic” — further supporting the link between order and tradition, disorder and novel thinking.

Taken together, these findings challenge the well-entrenched view of order and disorder as too simplistic. It’s misleading to conclude that messiness promotes wild, harmful and morally suspect behavior, or that order leads to honesty and goodness. A more nuanced view would add that disorder also inspires breaking from tradition, which can lead to fresh insight, and that order is linked to playing it safe. Vohs concludes with the example of Albert Einstein, who famously quipped: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

via Wray Herbert: What a Mess: Chaos and Creativity.

U.S. Postal Service, clothing line, TIME.com:  It worries me that I know some folks that might actually buy and wear this …:)

Postal service workers may stop delivering first-class mail on Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have style. Soon everyone will be able to dress like a postal worker seven days a week.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is launching a clothing and accessory line called “Rain Heat & Snow,” due out in department and specialty stores nationwide in 2014. According to a news release, the name is meant to signify resilience — inspired by the agency’s unofficial motto “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

via U.S. Postal Service to Launch Clothing Line | TIME.com.

kith/kin, restaurants,  Atlanta, Yahoo! News:  Reading this list is like walking down memory lane … with my dad.  I’ve actually never been to Greenwood … but I will add it to my list … all the others I have regularly frequented during my lifetime …

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta

As you might have guessed, Colonnade is best known for its Southern dishes. That means fried chicken, beef ribs, and chicken-fried steak. Then we hit the sides, and there are about 30 of them each day. From apple sauce to mac and cheese, and it wouldn’t be a Southern favorite if it didn’t have that staple, fried okra.

As is tradition in the South, a basket of yeast rolls and cornbread muffins comes with your meal. Also a tradition, the servers are well-trained and attentive, and the atmosphere is relaxing and positive.

The Varsity

61 North Ave., Atlanta

It’s nothing fancy, and part of the building standing today is the original structure. The food is addicting in a good sort of way. Naked dogs, burgers, onion rings, and frosted oranges — the menu is pretty simple, but nerve-racking when it comes time to make that decision.

“We are what we are,” said Gordon Muir, whose grandfather, Frank Gordy, opened the restaurant after going to school at nearby Georgia Tech. “The food hasn’t changed.”

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

224 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta

Mary Mac’s Tea Room represents the “old guard” of Atlanta’s restaurants, and they do it well. …

Like The Varsity, Mary Mac’s is one of those “must eat” places when in Atlanta. Unlike The Varsity, Mary Mac’s offers comfort food with fresh cooked vegetables, and that includes the likes of picked beets and something called pot liquor, which apparently is the droppings from all the cooking going on in the kitchen. The servers will bring you some so you can dip your cornbread or muffin in for a special treat.

At Mary Mac’s, there is a pencil on every table, and you fill out your own order. Is that tradition in the South?

Greenwood’s Restaurant

1087 Green St., Roswell

“Greenwood’s was doing farm-to-table before farm-to-table was cool,” stated Melissa Libby of the popular Atlanta blog Atlanta Dish.

via A Look at Some of the Oldest Restaurants Around Atlanta – Yahoo! News

President Obama, media, the liberal press, technology, POLITICO.com:  Just thought this an interesting read …

President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.

Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.

The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

via Behind the Curtain: Obama, the puppet master – POLITICO.com.

Obamacare layoffs:  I saw a nasty post on FB where an employer fired employees who had voted for Obama …

Firing workers based on political affiliation may land employers in hot water. “It’s possible that employees could have some protection under various laws that exist,” said Risa Lieberwitz, professor of labor and employment law at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Federal law offers fines and imprisonment for anyone who “intimidates, threatens, coerces” someone “for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, several employers sent notices to workers urging them to vote for Romney, or warning of potential problems if Obama won. Courts would have to determine whether such letters constitute “intimidation.” The Supreme Court specifically protected employers’ rights to distribute political information to workers in its Citizens United decision.

Retaliation for a vote may not qualify as intimidation. But employers who fire workers or cut their hours based on their vote could face additional legal threats from a few state and local laws, which specifically ban retaliating against employees based on their voting preferences.

via Obamacare Layoffs: Georgia Businessman Claims He Fired Workers Because Obama Won.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, law blogging, blawging:  Enjoyed this session … don’t like the term “blawging” …

Law Blogging in the 21st Century

Tamar R. Birckhead, Associate Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

You are an expert in your field and you’d like to start a legal blog. this session will explore how to use social media to establish your presence in the blogosphere.

Festival of Legal Learning.

kitchen islands, design, WSJ.com:  thinking about my next kitchen …

[D]

Once-concealed preliminaries to a formal dinner, food prep and cooking are now the main event. It’s part of the fun for guests to mingle around the hostess-chef and help out. In this context, the island becomes “a stage where you perform cooking in front of your friends,” says Elizabeth C. Cromley, author of “The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating and the Architecture of American Houses.”

“I call it the lighthouse,” says Joseph Tralongo, lead designer at Leeds Custom Design, in West Palm Beach, Fla. “When someone walks into the kitchen, they immediately gravitate towards leaning or touching or putting their stuff on the island. It’s like a law of nature.” And the island is a design element that helps balance interior space—especially in a big, open home. “It keeps everything in scale,” Mr. Tralongo says.

via Kitchen Islands Get More Built-In Appliances, Storage and Features – WSJ.com.

 




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