Posts Tagged ‘UK

11
Apr
14

4.11.14 … collective nouns … an ostentation of peacocks… How great is that! …

trivia: Listening to NPR last weekend … collective nouns … an ostentation of peacocks… How great is that!  I could not find the NPR link, but I found this …

An “exaltation of larks”? Yes! And a “leap of leopards,” a “parliament of owls,” an “ostentation of peacocks,” a “smack of jellyfish,” and a “murder of crows”! For those who have ever wondered if the familiar “pride of lions” and “gaggle of geese” were only the tip of a linguistic iceberg, James Lipton has provided the definitive answer: here are hundreds of equally pithy, and often poetic, terms unearthed by Mr. Lipton in the Books of Venery that were the constant study of anyone who aspired to the title of gentleman in the fifteenth century. When Mr. Lipton’s painstaking research revealed that five hundred years ago the terms of venery had already been turned into the Game of Venery, he embarked on an odyssey that has given us a “slouch of models,” a “shrivel of critics,” an “unction of undertakers,” a “blur of Impressionists,” a “score of bachelors,” and a “pocket of quarterbacks.” This ultimate edition of An Exaltation of Larks is Mr. Lipton’s brilliant answer to the assault on language and literacy in the last decades of the twentieth century. In it you will find more than 1,100 resurrected or newly minted contributions to that most endangered of all species, our language, in a setting of 250 witty, beautiful, and remarkably apt engravings

via Goodreads | An Exaltation of Larks: The Ultimate Edition by James Lipton — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists.

 

The Dance, March Madness, UK:  In the end, it was  just me, two dogs and a cat pulling for the cats … shhh … Don’t tell the dogs … Dogs won anyway.  next year.

 Dan Clodfelter, Charlotte mayor scandal, It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!: Who you gonna call?

Davidson President Carol Quillen said, “Congratulations to Dan on his election to Mayor of Charlotte. Dan is a remarkable and dedicated leader and has been an incredible asset to the Davidson College community for more than 40 years. We look forward to the great impact Dan will have on the Charlotte region. It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!”

Clodfelter is an attorney with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, who served on Charlotte City Council 1987-1993. He was a philosophy major at Davidson and earned his law degree from Yale.

At Davidson, Clodfelter was active in student government, and served as SGA President his senior year. He was on the debate team, and served as the student representative on several trustee and faculty committees. He was once featured on national television as one of Ralph Nader’s “Raiders” because of his advocacy for better working conditions in the textile mills of Kannapolis. He graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa as Davidson’s 17th Rhodes Scholar. His hometown of Thomasville, N.C., celebrated the honor with a Daniel G. Clodfelter Day.

Davidson awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007. The citation accompanying the award praised him for a distinguished career in which he brought tenacity and open-mindedness to legal and political tasks; for the high standard of ethics he brought to his twin professions; for the recognition by his peers, and for the distinction he reflects upon Davidson through his achievements.

After two years at Oxford and at Yale, Clodfelter and his wife Elizabeth Bevan returned to North Carolina, where he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan in Charlotte. He joined Moore & Van Allen in 1978. His practice there emphasizes counseling and litigation involving federal and state antitrust and unfair trade practices, including mergers and acquisitions, and litigation and advice relating to zoning, land use, and planning law.

via Charlotte City Council Selects Dan Clodfelter ’72 as Mayor – Davidson College.

George W. Bush,  painter, The New Yorker: Is he worse than, as good, or better than Churchill?

 

During Friday’s segment on the “Today” show, in which the NBC special correspondent Jenna Bush Hager joined her father, former President George W. Bush, for a tour of an exhibition of his never-before-seen paintings, the two came upon a self-portrait—not the infamous one of Bush in the bathtub, but a more conventional depiction, from the shoulders up.

“You think you got to the soul of you?” Hager asked her father.

“Well, you’re gonna have to ask other people who know me better, like yourself,” the former President said.

In the interview, Bush told his daughter that painting had opened his mind, but perhaps it is too much to think that it would have turned the outward-looking, goal-driven man inward. Some Bush paintings that leaked last year, including ones in the shower and the bathtub, were startling not merely for their unexpected setting (and ex-Presidential skin) but because they, with their primitive experimentation with point of view, suggested a kind of soul-searching. They were quiet and a little sad. The magazine’s art critic, Peter Schjeldahl, wrote, “Someone could run with it into themes of appearance and reality, mysteries of identity, and whatnot. Not me, though.” It turns out he was wise to resist the urge. As Bush tells it, he conceived of those scenes because “I wanted to kind of shock my instructor.”

via George W. Bush Paints the World : The New Yorker.

The Stories Behind 12 Seemingly Obvious Baseball Rules | Mental Floss: 🙂

1. RUNNERS CANNOT RUN THE BASES BACKWARDS [RULE 7.01, 7.02, 7.08(I)]

Considering the purpose of a baserunner is to advance safely to home plate, running the bases in reverse seems nonsensical. However, the silly antics of Germany Schaefer, a journeyman infielder in the early 1900s, forced officials to put this rule in the book.

On August 4, 1911, Schaefer stole second, intending to draw a throw from the catcher to allow his teammate—Clyde Milan, who was on third—to steal home. However, the opposing catcher held the ball, keeping Milan struck at third. Hoping to recreate the play, Schaefer looked to steal again. This time, the only option was to steal first.

On the next pitch, he took off for first, but a double steal still didn’t materialize; the catcher was too surprised to make the throw. The opposing player-manager ran onto the field to argue and amid the chaos Milan finally took off for home plate, where he was thrown out.

This wasn’t the first time Schaefer attempted a double steal by regression, but the 1911 stunt received more publicity. It took until 1920, but the sport’s officials finally passed a rule prohibiting such actions, which remains to this day. Now, if a player runs the bases in reverse

via The Stories Behind 12 Seemingly Obvious Baseball Rules | Mental Floss.

Elite Colleges Turn Away Up to 95%, NYTimes.com:  This is making education very difficult.  Overvaluing a few at the expense of everyone.

Enrollment at American colleges is sliding, but competition for spots at top universities is more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever. In the just-completed admissions season, Stanford University accepted only 5 percent of applicants, a new low among the most prestigious schools, with the odds nearly as bad at its elite rivals.

via Best, Brightest and Rejected: Elite Colleges Turn Away Up to 95% – NYTimes.com.

09
Feb
13

2.9.13 … barking dogs …

barking dogs, for the love of dogs, kith/kin, neighbors:  I was out-of-town and my old pups barked way into the night/ morning.  Sometime I forget their shortcomings because I love them.   I feel really bad …

IMG_5446

Maira Kalman, art, quotes,  Brain Pickings:

Kalman echoes Anaïs Nin and adds to history’s finest definitions of art:

There’s a certain freedom to do whatever I want to do, which I guess is the definition of being an artist.

Complement with Kalman on identity, happiness and existence and the difference between thinking and feeling, then treat yourself to some of her marvelous, unassumingly profound books — you can’t go wrong with The Principles of Uncertainty and Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World).

via Maira Kalman on Art and the Power of Not Thinking | Brain Pickings.

blogs, Jane Austen:  New resource — The Everything Austen Daily.

coffee foam art: 🙂

One of the perks of visiting your local coffee shops!

via The 40 Most Amazing Examples Of Coffee Foam Art.

memes, Marco Polo, childhood:

Poor fellow. To think this is what most will know his name by…

Annie Dillard, winter, memes, Brain Pickings:

This particular excerpt from the essay “Footfalls In A Blue Ridge Winter”, a celebration of winter originally published in the February 1974 issue of — of all places — Sports Illustrated, manages to capture in some 200 words just about everything that’s magical and poetic about life, innocence, curiosity, presence, and even the memes that permeate the Internet, a kind of vision for the currency of the web long before the web as we know it existed.

via Annie Dillard on Winter, Memes, and Living with Wonder | Brain Pickings.

NYT, WSJ, WashPost, NY Post, photography, journalism, Poynter:

 

It’s not unusual for a single image to dominate a news event. But it is unusual for the same photo to be prominently featured on four major newspapers. Reuters photojournalist Brian Snyder captured the front page image (shown below) in Boston on Friday, as the storm was arriving. Only the New York Post uses the name ‘Nemo’ to refer to the blizzard that has dumped several feet of snow in the northeast and left thousands without power. || Related: New York Times, Wall Street Journal drop paywalls for storm coverage | How Wall Street Journal, NPR are using RebelMouse for storm coverage, Fashion Week

via Same photo appears on front pages of NYT, WSJ, WashPost, NY Post | Poynter..

China, architecture, copycats, WSJ.com:

In Beijing, the new Wangjing SOHO complex, a trio of curvy office buildings designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, is slowly rising in the smog-filled skyline. Meanwhile, 1,000 miles south, a set of two buildings is going up—and the design looks just like Ms. Hadid’s, say the backers of the Beijing complex.

The other development company has denied copying the design and coined a slogan about its project. “Never meant to copy,” reads a pitch posted on the firm’s official microblog. “Only want to surpass.”

[image]

Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

BONJOUR CHINA | An Eiffel Tower looms over a road in Hebei province.

That motto could be the mantra for China’s massive movement in architectural mimicry. To show they are making it big, the Chinese have turned to faking it big.

via In Chinese Buildings, a Copycat Craze – WSJ.com.

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, Harper Lee, nonfiction narrative, literary genres, WSJ.com:  This entire article is fascinating …

The notes show that when Mr. Capote and his assistant, novelist Harper Lee, traveled to Garden City in the winter of 1960, Mr. Dewey gave them exclusive access to the Clutter files for a week. Mr. Dewey also granted them private interviews with the arrested killers after he had told the media that no such interviews would be granted, according to Charles J. Shields, who studied the Capote archives for his 2006 biography of Miss Lee, “Mockingbird.”

via Capote Classic ‘In Cold Blood’ Tainted by Long-Lost Files – WSJ.com.

Berta Soler, Cuba, dissidents, Ladies In White, freedom to travel:  Change is coming.  i was very moved by this story.

HAVANA — Cuban authorities granted a passport Friday to the leader of a protest group that received the European Union’s top human rights prize in 2005, even as another, lesser-known dissident reported being told she will not be allowed to leave the country.

Berta Soler, the most prominent member of the Ladies in White, picked up her new passport in the morning and said she plans to make a long-delayed trip to Europe to pick up the EU’s Sakharov award, something she has been unable to do until now because she was denied an exit visa.

The 50-year-old exit visa requirement, which was often denied to the likes of doctors, military officers and dissidents, has been abolished under travel reform that took effect Jan. 14.

Soler said she would contact EU officials to schedule a date, and she’s also hoping to visit Spain and attend two April human rights conferences in Panama and Germany.

“I have many invitations to different places,” she told The Associated Press, holding up her new passport.

The Ladies in White formed a decade ago to press for the release of their husbands, 75 dissidents imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown. All 75 have since been freed, and the Ladies have refocused their message on demanding political change, with almost completely new membership. Soler is one of the few original members still active in the group.

via Berta Soler, Leader Of Cuban Dissident Group ‘Ladies In White,’ Receives Passport To Travel.

China, culture, boyfriend rentals, Chinese New Year,  The Wedding Date , Valentine’s Day ,  ABC News:  Reminded me of The Wedding Date … but then thought of the social and family pressure that must exist to cause this to be significant enough of a business that it received US news coverage.

Renting out boyfriends and girlfriends is a new business in China. With the Chinese New Year approaching, the whole country has begun its massive annual migration, with millions of people struggling to get home. For the many young Chinese who work away from their hometowns, this is the one time of year when they can spend a week or two at home with their families. Besides visiting relatives and friends, it’s also the perfect time to show what you have achieved in the past year. For many young people, that means bringing home a potential mate or spouse to introduce to your family.

Gao told ABC News that the market for rental boyfriends is much bigger than rental girlfriends. The pressure to get married weighs heavy on the shoulders of many Chinese women. Even state media refers to single women above age 27 as “leftover women.” The 26th birthday of a daughter rings like an alarm bell for many anxious Chinese parents.

Gao owns two online stores selling flowers through Taobao.com. He has recruited nine young men between the ages of 26 and 32 who he considers suitably masculine to rent out as boyfriends.

via Boyfriend Rentals Boom During Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day – ABC News.

tea, UK, Earl Grey, British estates, Boston.com: fascinating … but I would have assumed it had never been grown in Britain.  🙂

An estate owned by descendants of the 19th century British aristocrat for whom Earl Grey tea was named is turning history on its head by selling English tea to China. The Tregothnan estate in the southwestern English county of Cornwall started selling tea from its tiny plantation in 2005 and last year produced about 10 tons of tea and infusions. Current owners (and residents) of Tregothnan, Evelyn and Katharine Boscawen think they’ve found a niche to exploit in exporting English tea to China and India. The long history of immersing tea leaves in hot water for a refreshing drink is not lost on the Boscawens. By the Victorian Era, taking tea had become a regular ritual at almost every level of society from elaborate afternoon tea for the rich in country houses to tea and gruel for the working poor as depicted by Charles Dickens.Tregothnan has projected 2013 sales to be $3.14 million, a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the world’s largest black tea exporter, Kenya, predicting $1.33 billion in sales for 2013.

via Tea Time – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

26
Jan
13

1.26.13 … fly on the wall …

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R – GA,  Political Insider:  Thank you for your years of service to GA and to the Nation, Senator. I would love to be a fly on your back porch!

“I’m going to have a life after this,” Chambliss said. “Sitting on a back porch drinking whisky with some of y’all is exciting to think about.”

via U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to announce retirement | Political Insider.

Paris, Best Friend in Paris: Small world!  My Charlotte friends “stalked” my FB page to find the name of my Paris guide and friend, Donna Morris.  i highly recommend her.  And loved getting this photo of them having a great time!  Best Friend in Paris: Custom, Personalized Tours of Paris.

Bussing back to Saint Germaine with D ‘s friends 🙂

Photo: Bussing back to Saint Germaine with Dennard Lindsey Teague 's friends :-)

Jane Austen, portrait, British Portrait Gallery, Jane Austen’s World:  I dragged my husband to see this portrait …

It is here , many of you will know, is the tiny portrait of Jane Austen attributed to her sister Cassandra and drawn in 1810 using pencil and watercolours. It is an unprepossessing little picture. It’s great worth is in who it is. But, if you stand back from the plinth with the perspex box on its summit containing Jane and view the whole vista you will notice that Jane is surrounded by a halo of super star writers. She is the centre of the group.

Bottom left is Sir Walter Scott. Moving clockwise next comes Samuel Taylor Coleridge, at the top is John Keats and then as you move down right of Jane, Robert Southey follows and last, bottom right, is Robert Burns. Quite a group, and there she is in the middle, our Jane. If you think I am imagining the halo metaphor, walk behind the plinth with Jane displayed and you will notice that there is nothing on the wall, there is a space. The halo metaphor works. The only thing behind Jane is a handwritten catalogue number on the back of the portrait itself. It reads; “NPG 360, Jane Austen.” It’s written in pencil in a reasonably legible hand. A scrawled note such as somebody might write as a memo to themselves on a post it and stick on their fridge door.

via Jane Austen’s World.

NYC, The Cloisters: If you get a chance while in NYC..

.“The Cloisters was assembled from architectural elements dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth century, and the collection comprises approximately 3,000 works of art. To add to the experience: the gardens at The Cloisters are treasures in themselves, and the views of the Hudson River are spectacular.” —Tom Campbell, The Director’s Tour http://met.org/WAKiItMade in, present-day France | Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa | ca. 1130–40

.Photo: “The Cloisters was assembled from architectural elements dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth century, and the collection comprises approximately 3,000 works of art. To add to the experience: the gardens at The Cloisters are treasures in themselves, and the views of the Hudson River are spectacular.” —Tom Campbell, The Director’s Tour http://met.org/WAKiIt</p> <p>Made in, present-day France | Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa | ca. 1130–40

wind turbines, UK, Ireland: How to create a conflict …

‘Giant’ Wind Turbines – British and Irish ministers will sign an agreement Thursday to build the world’s largest wind turbines across the Irish midlands, reports the BBC. Environmentalists have described the plan to build the 600 feet towers, which could generate energy for millions of U.K. homes, as “crazy” and believe that it will damage the Irish landscape. The proposed wind towers would transfer energy via cables under the Irish Sea back to the U.K. Even though developers claim that thousands of Irish jobs will be created, Andrew Duncan from Lakelands Wind Information said “it seems to be an Irish solution to a British problem … it seems they want to impose these wind farms on the Irish general public instead.” Irish energy minister Pat Rabbitte confirmed that the project is still in its infancy.

via Must-Reads from Around the World | TIME.com.

 “Friendfluence”, Carlin Flora, bookshelf, Sophisticated Dorkiness: Sounds like my friend group …

Review: “Friendfluence,” writes journalist Carlin Flora, “is the powerful and often underappreciated role that friends — past and present — play in determining the shape and direction of our lives.” Studies have shown that our friends help mold our identities and, as adults, subtly influence our beliefs, values and physical and emotional health. Our friends are both the most stable and the most flexible relationships we have, yet friendships are not nearly as well-studied or well-recognized as our relationships with our families and our spouses.

In Friendfluence, Flora takes a broad look at the research that is available about friendship, starting with our childhood pals, the benefits and dark sides of friendship, and how technology is changing the way we make friends and maintain friendships. In the book, Flora makes a convincing argument that our friends are more than just extras — they are vital relationships in our lives.

via Sophisticated Dorkiness — A bookworm journalist blogs on literature and life.

history, Britain, Jane Austen, Embarking On A Course of Study:

I happened upon this great series called Ian Hislop’s Emotional History of Britain. It’s in three parts but, alas, only part one is on YouTube. Still, it’s the part that covers Austen so, hurray!

Ian doesn’t only touch on S&S, but also P&P, and Emma. And the curator of the Jane Austen House Museum has some great advice for ladies to follow when choosing who to give your heart to. (Hint: Knightley to Emma: “If I loved you less, I could say more.”

Ian walks a bit through the house, which is lovely to see. There’s a wonderful peace to this six minute section. I miss her house!

But don’t just watch the Austen bit, watch the whole thing. It begins discussing how Brits used to be considered very emotional by other Europeans. And how a romantic sensibility was to be cultivated and prized, in the early to mid 1700s. Then he traces how the tide turned to the ‘stiff upper lip’.

The part related to Austen is 42:43 – 48:36.

via Embarking On A Course of Study.

SeinfeldToday, Downton Abbey, Twitter, LOL:

Jerry loses his phone contacts, doesn’t know which girl is texting.

ELAINE:”She mentioned Downton Abbey.”

J:”They all like Downton Abbey!”

via Twitter / SeinfeldToday: Jerry loses his phone contacts, ….

macroeconomics, The Economist:  As a college economics major, I am amazed at how much understanding of the subject area i have lost.

MAINSTREAM macroeconomics has a pretty poor reputation these days, both among the public at large and among economists in other fields. This is hardly surprising. There is little consensus on even the most basic questions in macro. Ask top academics why America’s post-crisis recovery has been so slow and you will get many different conflicting answers. But the most obvious reason for the widespread disdain is that the profession failed to predict that the biggest and most painful downturn since the Great Depression was even possible.

Now, several groups of economists are trying to rebuild macro, often melding previously discarded ideas with sophisticated new mathematical and computational techniques. This week’s print edition gives an overview of some of the interesting new developments, but in this post, I want to look more at the history of the field. The following slideshow by Markus Brunnermeier and Delwin Olivan of Princeton is a good place to start:

 

As this week’s article makes clear, however, a new generation of reformers and revolutionaries are figuring out how to realistically depict the financial system. Subsequent posts will discuss these and other worthwhile ideas that may reshape the field.

via A brief history of macro: How we got here | The Economist.

Super Bowl Ads,  YouTube,  AllThingsD:  Personally, I’d rather be forced to watch the game to see the ads …

Note that if you’re one of those weird people who wants to watch the Super Bowl on a browser instead of a TV, and you’re one of the people who wants to see the ads (smallish Venn overlap there, methinks), you’ll be in luck this year. CBS, which is streaming the game on the Web, says that it will also stream the broadcast ads on the Web — something that NBC didn’t do when it streamed last year’s game.

via Super Bowl Ads Run Early on YouTube – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD.

LOL, Princess Bride:

A man aboard a New Zealand-bound Qantas Airlines flight was asked to remove his “Princess Bride” t-shirt after other passengers reported that they found it intimidating.

A man aboard a New Zealand-bound Qantas Airlines flight was asked to remove his "Princess Bride" t-shirt after other passengers reported that they found it intimidating.

via “Princess Bride” T-Shirt Freaks Out Australian Airline Passengers.

NYC, man’s best friend, graphics, @brainpickings: An Interactive Watercolor Map of the City’s Canine Caucus…

New York City has a special relationship with its dogs — just look at the treasure trove that is The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs, one of 2012′s best art books. Now, the data team at WNYC — consisting of John Keefe, Stephen Reader, Steven Melendez and Louise Ma — has put together this fantastic map of NYC’s dog names and breeds, explorable by area, down to the ZIP code. The data is displayed over Stamen’s stunning watercolor map of NYC, one of the works featured in Art Pickings

LOL:

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.

He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

‘Al-Gebra is a problem for us’, the Attorney General said. ‘They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.’ They use secret code names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, “There are 3 sides to every triangle.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.”

Photo: A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.</p> <p>He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.</p> <p>'Al-Gebra is a problem for us', the Attorney General said. 'They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.' They use secret code names like "X" and "Y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns" but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."</p> <p>When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Davidson Basketball: Another great day to be a wildcat … Wildcats won! DAV(13):79 APP:56




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