Posts Tagged ‘UNC-CH

15
Jan
19

1.14.19 … “Hiraeth describes a deep, inborn sense of yearning for a home, a feeling, a place or person that is beyond this plane of existence”

FPC – Charlotte, TMBS, vocabulary, word nerd, hireath, thin places: We began our FPC – Charlotte TMBS with a discussion of hiraeth and thin places.

1.8.19

Breadcoins, Cary Umhau, Washington DC:

I’m so excited by this article about Breadcoin. Cary is a co-founder!


Quentin Wilson, 56, uses a “Breadcoin” to buy breakfast Friday from Naomi Banks at the Mission Muffins food truck. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Jeffrey Carter, who is homeless, carried two gold-colored coins in his palm as he approached the Mission Muffins cafe trailer in Northwest Washington to exchange them for a breakfast burrito and apple juice.

The quarter-size coins — each worth $2.20 and inscribed with part of the Lord’s Prayer and an image of wheat — were “Breadcoins,” a new form of currency in the District intended for people in need.

Inspired by the popularity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Breadcoins have circulated in the District since 2016, but they are still relatively unknown. They are an option for people who worry that giving money to those in need might be used to fuel an addiction.

Source: ‘Breadcoin’ is a new currency in D.C. for people in need – The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/11/breadcoin-is-new-currency-dc-people-need/

1.11.19

Kith/kin, UNC-CH, student mental health: For years I have received the DTH daily email. I rarely read it. But today, I clicked on it and there was the daughter of one of my best friends. Nice shout out to e, Eleanor!

Does CAPS' referral system work?

Eleanor Murray, a first-year public policy and global studies major, at the James A. Taylor Building, where Counseling and Psychological Services is located, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  “As someone who did not realize I had mental health issues, it was helpful and resourceful and I felt supported while trying to find a therapist,” Murray says of her experience with CAPS. Murray would recommend CAPS and likes the multiple treatment options offered at CAPS.

Source: Does CAPS’ referral system work? – The Daily Tar Heel, https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2019/01/caps-short-term-therapy-experiences-0114

1.14.19

Georgetown SC, DeBordieu: One of my favorite places …

From surf and sand to sightseeing and beyond, Myrtle Beach is always a good idea. But, when it’s time for a break from the buzz of the Grand Strand, head less than an hour south to Georgetown, one of six towns that make up the Hammock Coast. Here, you’ll have easy access to a multitude of activities, museums, and dining options. Read on for our affordable guide to the highlights of South Carolina’s third oldest city.

Source: Southern Hospitality Meets Modern Style in Georgetown, South Carolina, 
https://www.shermanstravel.com/advice/easy-southern-escapes-georgetown-south-carolina

1.8.19

Coffee Shops, Third Place, Burney’s Sweets and More, New places: Barb and I enjoying this just opened bakery, as in yesterday. And I will go back!

Barb and I were discussing where to meet. I receive a daily email called Charlotte Agenda which had just this day mentioned this new bakery. I had not realized it was it’s second day until they asked if they could take our picture.

Give Burney’s a try! Bakery known for its fried stuffed croissants now open near Uptown – Charlotte Agenda, https://www.charlotteagenda.com/153909/bakery-known-for-its-fried-stuffed-croissants-now-open-near-uptown/

And I think this could be a great “third place.”

I recently read a book by Ray Oldenburg – The Great Good Place – which suggested another happy place candidate, perhaps the most viable of all. The book is scholarly but accessible, an anthropological / sociological analysis of cafés, coffee shops, bars, and other hangouts. The book introduced to me a new term – third place – that made instant sense.

Third places are where people congregate other than work or home. England has pubs, France has cafés, and Austria has coffee houses. Once upon a time in the United States, common third places included country stores, post offices, barber shops, hair salons, soda shops, and taverns.

As described by Oldenburg, third places share common features. First, they are neutral, meaning that all people can come and go without penalty. If you don’t go to your third place for a few days or weeks, your return is greeted with interest and enthusiasm. Contrast that with work or home, where your eventual return after days of absence would be greeted with a pink slip or divorce papers.

Source: Happy Places: Third Places | Psychology Today, 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-good-life/200912/happy-places-third-places

cider v cider, I remember the first time …,

I remember discovering alcoholic cider when I traveled to England with my sis in 1978. I liked it!

In the American state of New Hampshire, the state beverage of apple cider is like unfiltered apple juice. Usually, mulled spices are added, turning it into a spiced, piping hot drink. But in the famed cider-growing region of Britain’s West Country, cider is a fermented, alcoholic beverage. Look further across Europe and you’ll find that America’s version of apple cider is the outlier—cidre in France and sidra in Spain are both akin to British hard cider, rather than the American mulled beverage. So, how did Americans end up with such a unique form of apple cider?

People have been making cider for thousands of years. Wild apples, Malus sylvestris, grew naturally in the ancient British Isles. The Romans encouraged apple cultivation for cider, and when Christian monks established monasteries, they also made the beverage. When European settlers traveled to North America, they took cider with them.

Source: Why Cider Means Something Completely Different in America and Europe – Gastro Obscura, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-is-american-cider-nonalcoholic

1.10.19

Street art, public art, Charlotte NC: And some Charlotte street art … I have a few favorites.

Charlotte’s mural scene is on the rise. Large-scale painting events like Talking Walls Mural Festivaland #nodacanjam help bring local and national artists together to crank out multiple pieces at the same time. And developers and businesses are catching on to the value of investing in public art, as you’ll see in places like South End’s Design Center, as well as at a number of apartment complexes.

The following is a hefty guide to where you can find more than 60 murals around town.

Source: The definitive guide to 60+ Charlotte street murals, mapped – Charlotte Agenda, https://www.charlotteagenda.com/153556/the-definitive-guide-to-60-charlotte-street-murals-mapped/

Neel Reid, Brookwood Hills, Atlanta GA,

Some Neel Reid and Brookwood Hills history for you.

The house is perfectly balanced, and though the facade appears plain at first sight, the bold ornaments draw the eye — the pediment across the front, balanced above a smaller pediment over a wide, ornate doorway topped by a sunken half circle.

These elements tell you the work you are looking at is not by your average architect but by an artist — a poet if you will — a man who brought beauty and precision to everything he touched.

Built in 1922, the house at 14 Palisades Road is the last man standing in a way.

It is one of seven Neel Reid designed just north of Ansley Park, a small settlement of houses designed by one of the South’s preeminent architects before there was a Brookwood Hills, and when Buckhead was several miles north on Peachtree Road.

Source: Brookwood Hills home one of seven originals and the last standing | Opinion | mdjonline.com, https://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/northside_sandy_springs/opinion/brookwood-hills-home-one-of-seven-originals-and-the-last/article_7400e9bc-1495-11e9-9300-cbcd24a794df.html

Longest Shutdown, Peggy Noonan:

I’ll throw in some­thing else I think we agree on. Gov­ern­ing by shut­down is ig­no­rant, cow­ardly and de­struc­tive. It is un­just to the in­no­cent, who are forced to deal with re­duced ser­vices, closed agen­cies and missed pay­checks. It’s dan­ger­ous: Some­thing bad will hap­pen with air se­cu­rity, food in­spec­tion—some­thing. It’s de­mor­al­iz­ing: It makes Amer­ica look in­com­pe­tent in the world, un­sta­ble, like an empty ad­ver­sary and in­ca­pable friend. It harms the de­mo­c­ra­tic spirit be­cause it so vividly tells Amer­i­cans—rubs their faces in it—that they’re pawns in a game as both par­ties pur­sue their self­ish ends.

Source:
End This Stupid Shutdown

1.10.19

Shutdown, Youngstown Steel, SCOTUS, Presidential Powers, US Constitution:

Justice Hugo Black delivered the majority opinion for the Court. Although it was the decision of the majority, it was clear that the Justices were split on a number of issues, as there five concurring opinions entered as well. Justice Black’s decision found for the steel industry, declaring that “[t]he President’s power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. There is no statute that expressly authorizes the President to take possession of property as he did here. Nor is there any act of Congress…from which such a power can be fairly implied.” The Court also found that, “[i]n the framework of our Constitution, the President’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.”

Amongst the concurring opinions, and even compared to the majority opinion, Justice Robert Jackson’s still stands out today as the most useful in assessing the extent of executive power. Justice Jackson rejected strict boundaries between Congressional and Presidential power, and instead divided Presidential authority into three categories of legitimacy. First, and most legitimate, were cases in which “[t]he President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress.” Second, is when Congress has been silent on the issue. And finally, “[w]hen the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb.”

President Truman was shocked by the decision. He immediately ordered the return of the steel mills to their owners, and the workers went on strike right away. The strike lasted more than 50 days. The effect of the Court’s decision limiting Presidential powers, however, has continued to impact executive decision-making throughout our nation’s history.

Source: Youngstown Steel: The Supreme Court stands up to the President – National Constitution Center, https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/youngstown-steel-the-supreme-court-stands-up-to-the-president

1.8.19

Shutdown:

There’s a lot at stake here — much more than just the next craft beer to be discovered and Instagrammed.

What spiritual practices is your congregation taking on in the new year? … such as ….walking a labyrinth … And a shout out to Katie Crowe!

For some, that means a deepening commitment to spiritual practices – to a regular, intentional discipline of taking the time to draw closer to God.

Congregants at First Presbyterian in Conway, Arkansas, learned about various postures for prayer – raising their arms as a passage from Mark’s Gospel was read, to worship God with all their souls.

People both inside and outside of churches are using all sorts of practices – such as centering prayer or walking a labyrinth or using lectio divina to read Scripture. Some have roots in ancient practices of early Christianity. Some involve silence; some seek God’s presence through art or movement.

Some tap into technology – using apps such as Pray as You Go, which draws from Ignatian spirituality and gives folks material to listen to while out for a walk or commuting to work or school.

Practicing a spiritual discipline can be communal work as well.

Quotes: I collect quotes. This is a good place to share a few.

I’m reading the preview chapter of “A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time” by Sarah Arthur.

I love the dedication.

“For my young sons, Micah and Sam. May you tesser well.”

https://media.harpercollinschristian.com/files/z/PDF/LightSoLovely_samptxt.pdf

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

— Ode on a Grecian Urn”

To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Meditating on the Word”

“Manners are what hold a society together .. that and a reliable postal system. Propriety is concern for other people. When that goes out the window the gates of hell are surely opened and ignorance is king”

– Jane Austen

It is an ongoing temptation to think of ourselves as living under a curse. The loss of a friend, an illness, an accident, a natural disaster, a war, or any failure can make us quickly think that we are no good and are being punished. This temptation to think of our lives as full of curses is even greater when all the media present us day after day with stories about human misery.

Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to others. Blessings and curses are always placed in front of us. We are free to choose. God says, Choose the blessings!

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society,

https://henrinouwen.org/resources/daily-meditation/

LOL, Art School of Fish:

11
Jan
13

1.11.13 … Say what you will about the south … :)

The South:

Photo: I think the sign says it all.

via WUSY US-101

labyrinth walks:

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking.

Well it is 10:15 AM and it is 65° outside. That is way too warm for January. But it makes for very nice “walking and solving”.

Thoughts…

Wearing summer shoes 😦

Long conversation with fellow Davidson grad Carl McPhail who I had never met. We chatted about Davidson and labyrinths etc.

A very nice walk … — at Myers Park Baptist Church on 1.10.13

UNC-CH, AP classes, college admissions:  More  may not be better … Study finds that more AP classes may not be better – University Gazette.

Sliding Doors, movies I own, quotes: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” … james quoting Monty Python in Sliding Doors (1998) – IMDb.

 pop culture, board games, Monopoly, change:

I am partial to the top hat and the dog …

CS Lewis, quotes:

Photo: "Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny."- CS Lewis<br /><br />  post by team Ziglar www.Ziglar.com

via Zig Ziglar.

Steven Colbert, LOL:  He is just so funny … Watch The Colbert Report: Obama’s Failed Second Term online | Free | Hulu.

President Obama is turning out the way white males wanted him to, and Jack Lew’s sloppy signature will make America’s currency a laughingstock.

via Watch The Colbert Report: Obama’s Failed Second Term online | Free | Hulu.

The Barnes Collection, Phladelphia, bucket list:  On my bucket list … Higher now that I’ve seen this PBS special … About | The Barnes Collection | WHYY.

SouthPark – Charlotte,  Victorias Secret, crime:  50 bras … where did she stuff … stash … them?

 employee reported to police that a woman stole 50 assorted bras off a display table near the front of the store sometime between noon and 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

via Police: Thief snags 50 bras from SouthPark Victorias Secret | CharlotteObserver.com.

Wilmette IL, winter: Family builds coolest house in town.  🙂

For your real estate viewing pleasure: building with second floor patio balcony, architecturally daring circular indoor ramp and stunning central great-room in fashionable east Wilmette.

via Family builds coolest house in town – Wilmette Life.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats:  They’re back!

The cure for kudzu? It may be the common goat. Thirty of the persistent ruminants spent time on campus this summer, the latest weapon in davidson’s eff orts to curtail a 3.5-acre stand of kudzu on the cross-country trails. The initiative—completely sustainable!—was the brainchild of Rebecca mckee ’14, who suggested the college adopt “goatscaping” after seeing it work at her high school. kudzu is notoriously pernicious; introduced in the 19th century as an ornamental plant, it can grow up to a foot per day. But the goats’ eff orts were not for naught—in fact, their chomping was so eff ective that the animals were brought back this fall, to attack the kudzu that has re-sprouted since their departure. The hope is that by munching the weed down to the ground before winter, the goats will get closer to the root of the (kudzu) matter, perhaps eradicating the evil vine for good.

.

via Scene and Herd | davidsonjournal

2013 Academy Award Nominations, movies: I have not seen a single one of these … I now have a list! I’ll let you know what i think.

Best motion picture of the year

“Amour” Nominees to be determined

“Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

“Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

“Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

“Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

“Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

“Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

“Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

via 2013 Academy Award Nominations Are Announced (Full List) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Dr. Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven, bookshelf:  I read Dr, Alexander’s book and really enjoyed and would recommend it.

7. Kathy Maloney- Urich: As a Neurosurgeon, if a person is on life support with no brain activity, not breathing on their own, do you believe they are already in heaven?

Yes, the spirit often has left the body before bodily death. In all of my talks with doctors, nurses and families, I urge them to say and act knowing that the spirit of the beloved is potentially aware and present, no matter what the state of the body. They may still be in transit to heaven at that point, but their spirit/soul is freed up, and well.

via Dr. Eben Alexander Answers Your Questions! – Katie Couric.

30
Sep
11

9.30.2011 … I never thought I would be so excited about a few blades of grass! … tgif …

UNC-CH, international students, game reserves, Zimbabwe, Africa:  One of Molls’ favorite memories was visiting the game farm of a friend.  There is something magical that goes on there.

Cheetah urine on the curtains, a baby rhino knocking you off your chair and the family’s pet hyena trying to eat you are not the problems of a typical North Carolina student athlete, but they are for field hockey player Samantha Travers, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC forward recalls growing up on game reserve in Zimbabwe.

Appalachian Trail, thru hikers, Robert Yerike, RIP:  RIP, Buffalo Bobby.  I hope you died happy, doing something you loved.

A 67-year-old hiker was within 20 miles of completing the Appalachian Trail for the third time when he suffered a fatal medical problem.The Maine Forest Service received a call Thursday about a so-called “thru-hiker” who suffered stroke-like symptoms on a rugged stretch known as the 100-Mile Wilderness.0CommentsWeigh InCorrections?inShareThe hiker was Robert Yerike YER’-ick of Brick, N.J. He had to be carried more than 2 miles because bad weather made a helicopter rescue impossible. He died Thursday night at Millinocket Hospital.Yerike started hiking in Georgia in March. His family says the former paratrooper known on the trail as “Buffalo Bobby” completed the more than 2,000-mile trail twice before.One of his six children says he was planning to return to New Jersey on Sunday.

via NJ hiker dies in Maine just a few miles short of completing Appalachian Trail – The Washington Post.

Facebook, changes, marketing: Never realized what a big deal Facebook is too marketers, even colleges.

From Timeline to ticker and a totally revamped stream, it has been a big couple weeks for Facebook. And while the social giant’s latest innovations are grabbing headlines, many marketers are left wondering how the changes will impact their own efforts on the platform. Though largely overlooked amidst the recent media frenzy, Facebook has been quietly making significant changes to the way marketers engage with the site. Included in these changes are overhauling if and when your content will appear in a users’ stream, lifting restrictions on how users engage with your Page, and reversing the platform’s approach to public figure profiles, just to name a few.

via What Facebook Changes Means for Marketers | Higher Ed Live.

CU-Boulder,  youth violence prevention project,  Denver, kudos:  What an exciting project.  Kudos to CU.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is granting $6.5 million to CU to lead a project to reduce youth violence in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, according to a news release from CU.

The project, a five-year process that will begin Sept. 30, received praise from the city when it was submitted as a grant. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock supported the initiative.

Delbert Elliot, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and distinguished professor emeritus of sociology, is leading the project which will be partnered with the School of Medicine.

“We intend to create a novel combination of risk assessment and interventions in a broad partnership with the community, and in collaboration with a local hospital, to address the problem of high levels of violence,” said Elliot in a CU news release.

via CU leads violence prevention project in Denver | CU Independent.

BofA, headlines: Bad week/month/quarter for BofA … at least we weren’t the headline.

Morgan Stanley shares shed 7%, battered by concerns about the investment firm’s exposure to Europe, and Bank of America Corp. limped toward the third-quarter finish line Friday.

Bank of America also dragged on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -2.16% . The bank closed 3.6% lower on Friday and fell 25% in September alone. It is the worst performer among the Dow industrials’ 30 components for the quarter.

via Morgan Stanley sinks 11% on Europe exposure – Financial Stocks – MarketWatch.

Michele Bachmann, Arab Spring, GOP: Arab Spring is a consequence of Obama’s “weakness?”  Personally, I don’t think it had anything to do with Obama … and not a bad thing.

Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has taken her special perspective on world affairs to a new level, telling an audience in Concord, N.C., on Thursday that the Arab Spring was the unwelcome consequence of weak leadership from President Obama.

“You want to know why we have Arab Spring?” Bachmann asked in the appearance. “Barack Obama has laid the table for the Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America.”

In Bachmann’s telling, the widespread popular — and mostly peaceful — movements by Arab people to liberate themselves from decades of brutal dictatorships has posed a threat to the safety of Israel, and should not have been allowed to take place.

“[Obama] put a lot of daylight in our relationship with our ally Israel,” she added.

In a May speech, President Obama explicitly embraced the revolutions sweeping the Middle East, and confirmed that the U.S. would do everything in its power to help usher them along.

via Michele Bachmann Slams Arab Spring As Consequence Of Obama’s ‘Weakness’.

Pottermore beta:  I never got on the beta … I may lose interest by the time they let me on. 😦

There are now one million people with access to Pottermore and everyone who registered through The Magical Quill challenge can access the site.

The Beta is enabling us to learn a lot about how people want to use Pottermore – and to understand the features they enjoy the most.

Since the launch of the Beta, we’ve seen really high levels of activity, and interaction with the site has been phenomenal. This affects how quickly we can give everyone access. As a result, we’ve decided to extend the Beta period beyond September and take a different approach to the way new users are brought onto the site.

From the end of October, registration will be opened to everyone and we’ll be giving access to registered users in phases. Access may be granted quickly, but please note it could also take some weeks or months, depending on demand.

We are also making a number of enhancements and simplifications to Pottermore, in order to make the site smoother and more enjoyable – so existing Beta users will likely experience some changes when new users begin to join.

Finally, the Pottermore Shop, which will sell the Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books, will now open in the first half of 2012, in order to allow us to focus on our first priority: opening Pottermore to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be.

via Pottermore Insider: Beta and Beyond.

UBS, 2011 rogue trading scandal, risk management: ” I’m pretty convinced that we have one of the best risk managements in the industry.”

Looking back, perhaps Gruebel’s most side splitting remark came this past June when he said “we have no undue risk in our positions… I’m pretty convinced that we have one of the best risk managements in the industry.”
Man, what a laugher. Just too comical. But what really cracks us up about that particular statement is not that he announced a $2.3 billion rogue trading loss barely two months later.  It’s that he said it with a perfectly straight face.

New Boom, oil industry, North Dakota, fracking:  I had no idea of the magnitude of this.

The boom in Williston, Charles Groat says, is happening in spots across America. New drilling technology is also fueling boom towns in Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado. New drilling technologies mean companies can extract oil and natural gas from shale rock that was previously thought unreachable.

“Horizontal drilling — accessing a huge area of reservoir — and then the fracking process, which props opens those cracks, and allows the liquid or gas to flow to the well,” Groat says. “That’s what’s made shale gas and shale oil such a viable resource.”

But those techniques also raise environmental concerns that Groat is studying.

“There is a danger, here – the fact that we drill so many wells,” he says. “If you look at the numbers of wells that have been drilled in North Dakota, just in recent times, the numbers of wells are huge, which increases the opportunity for bad things to happen environmentally or procedurally in developing the resource. We also are not dealing, of course, with the question of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide as we continue our hydrocarbon dependence.”

Global Implications

Amy Myers Jaffe of Rice University says in the next decade, new oil in the US, Canada and South America could change the center of gravity of the entire global energy supply.

“Some are now saying, in five or 10 years’ time, we’re a major oil-producing region, where our production is going up,” she says.

The US, Jaffe says, could have 2 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be drilled. South America could hold another 2 trillion. And Canada? 2.4 trillion. That’s compared to just 1.2 trillion in the Middle East and north Africa.

Jaffe says those new oil reserves, combined with growing turmoil in the Middle East, will “absolutely propel more and more investment into the energy resources in the Americas.”

via NPR.org » New Boom Reshapes Oil World, Rocks North Dakota.

“Courageous”, movies, faith-based film industry: “As of this morning, purchases for “Courageous” accounted for 26% of the transactions on the site; the only other new release that comes close is “50/50,” which was in fourth place with 7%. The film has also been trending throughout much of the day on Google.”  Impressive numbers for a low-budget faith inspired film.

“Courageous,” a film about four police officers attempting to be good fathers and maintain their Christian faith, may be the most popular new movie release of the weekend. Yet odds are that you’ve never even heard of it.

The new movie — which opens on 1,161 screens nationwide and was co-written and directed by Alex Kendrick, the filmmaker behind past faith-based films such as “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” — is leading advance sales on Fandango and has been throughout the week, according to data provided by the online ticket retailer.

As of this morning, purchases for “Courageous” accounted for 26% of the transactions on the site; the only other new release that comes close is “50/50,” which was in fourth place with 7%. The film has also been trending throughout much of the day on Google.

But “Courageous” was not screened in advance for most critics (only four reviews can currently be found on Rotten Tomatoes) and the marketing push behind it does not even approach the media blitzes behind competitors like “50/50” and Anna Faris’s “What’s Your Number?”

via ‘Courageous’: The movie that’s leading Fandango ticket sales – Celebritology 2.0 – The Washington Post.

Apple, corporate secrets:  Whatever happened to the guy that left the iPhone 4 in the bar?

To feed the fan fire, Apple keeps its new devices shrouded in secrecy until launch day. As the iPhone 5 release date approaches, a lot has been said about the latest iGadget, but not much has been confirmed. And Apple likes it like that. While its had its slip-ups, Apple is pretty good at keeping those privy to its latest device muzzled, requiring a series of involved security procedures for those who get to test the device pre-launch. A few executives and developers who went through Apple’s absurd security precautions and lived to tell exactly how Apple keeps its new products under wraps. It’s intense.

via All the Ways Apple Keeps Secrets (That We Know Of) – Technology – The Atlantic Wire.

Great  Recession,  women’s equality:  Not good for anyone …

The recession was bad for everyone, but women experienced at least one silver lining: Their median earnings edged a bit closer to men’s.

The progress was bittersweet, however. It happened not because women earned more, but because men earned less, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data.

via Recession Struck Inadvertent Blow for Women’s Equality – NYTimes.com.

25
Sep
11

9.25.2011 …‎ Sitting in a sea of BIG Newton fans at Bank of America Stadium … (OK, we bolted at the half due to the rain deluge … and it was sunny with no sign of rain at home … not a drop) … But nonetheless it was a panther day!

Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton:  Great day to be a Panther fan … Nice to have a QB to cheer for.

The Carolina Panthers slipped up in the rain that pelted Bank of America Stadium in the second quarter Sunday, but they refused to let it rain on their parade, rallying for a 16-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With the large majority of fans having retreated for cover, a defensive gaffe gave Jacksonville a touchdown and a 10-5 lead as the clock expired on an opening half otherwise dominated by the Panthers.

The fans came back when conditions improved after halftime, and so did Carolina. The defense pitched a shutout in the second half, and the offense navigated treacherous field conditions for a game-winning drive capped by tight end Greg Olsen’s 16-yard touchdown catch with 4:20 left.

With that, the Panthers earned their first victory of the season, and Ron Rivera got his first victory as head coach.

via Panthers reign in the rain.

Rin Tin Tin, legends: My dad always talked about Rin Tin Tin …  ‘Yo, Rinty,’

This Rin Tin Tin is heir to a dynasty of celebrity canines. After all, a lot of us still remember “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” on TV back in the 1950s and ’60s.

“The number of people who declared ‘Yo, Rinty,’ which was the sort of signature phrase of the TV show, was heartening, said Susan Orlean – heartening enough to inspire her to write a whole book about the legend of Rin Tin Tin.

“I think he’s a wonderful symbol of something innocently heroic, Orleans said, “a living being who has embodied qualities that we have always thought of as American – of being independent, of being tough and brave.”

It’s a story that may surprise you. Did you know, for instance, that the first Rin Tin Tin was a star in silent movies in the ’20s, celebrated as an athlete AND an actor?

via The legend of Rin Tin Tin – CBS News.

writing, tips, lists:  I like lists … so far I am at #1.

One of the challenges of writing is…writing. Here are some tips that I’ve found most useful for myself, for actually getting words onto the page:

1. Write something every work-day, and preferably, every day;

via The Happiness Project: Thirteen Tips for Actually Getting Some Writing Done..

gLee, Sesame Street, letter G, parody, LOL: Enjoy the  letter G!

Get ready to learn all about the letter ‘G’ with Sue, Rachel, Finn, and er, Mr. Guester. Sesame Street‘s 42nd season premiere airs Monday, and it features a killer parody of Glee that is sure to delight children and parents alike (the episode also includes a significantly more manly parody of The Deadliest Catch, if you balk at musical television but dig puppets)

via Flavorwire » Watch Sesame Street’s Hilarious ‘Glee’ Parody.

Sesame Street: G – YouTube.

cartoon, pirate cartoon, New Yorker, LOL:

Cartoons from the Issue of September 26th, 2011 : The New Yorker.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, heroes, Supreme Court, photo essays:  As a female law student in the 80’s, she was a role model … a hero.

The Career of Sandra Day O’Connor

A look back at the rise and tenure of the first female Supreme Court justice, sworn in thirty years ago, September 25, 1981.

via The Career of Sandra Day O’Connor – Photo Essays – TIME.

Planet Word , books, Stephen Fry: “The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you” – Stephen Fry

Planet Word

“The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you”. (Stephen Fry). From feral children to fairy-tale princesses, secrets codes, invented languages – even a language that was eaten – “Planet Word” uncovers everything you didn’t know you needed to know about how language evolves. Learn the tricks to political propaganda, why we can talk but animals can’t, discover 3,000-year-old clay tablets that discussed beer and impotence and test yourself at textese – do you know your RMEs from your LOLs? Meet the 105-year-old man who invented modern-day Chinese and all but eradicated illiteracy, and find out why language caused the go-light in Japan to be blue. From the dusty scrolls of the past to the unknown digital future, and with (heart) the first graphic to enter the OED, are we already well on our way to a language without words? In a round-the-world trip of a lifetime, discover all this and more as J.P. Davidson travels across our gloriously, endlessly intriguing multilingual Planet Word.

via Planet Word (Book) by J. P. Davidson, et al. (2011): Waterstones.com.

Frank Warren, PostSecret: I am a big fan of PostSecret … although sometimes they are tiring because so many secrets are sexually related … or maybe I am just really boring.

It began simply enough seven years ago, when Germantown resident Frank Warren decided to embark on an experiment: He distributed postcards around the Washington area to complete strangers. Warren inscribed the postcards with the following instructions: “You are invited to anonymously contribute a secret to a group art project. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything—as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before. Be brief. Be legible. Be creative.”

Warren’s initial idea became PostSecret, a Web site which now receives millions of hits a week. The ongoing project fills Warren’s mailbox with hundreds of postcards every week, from which he chooses a few to post on his blog. PostSecret has produced five books to date, and last week Warren launched his newest project: an app for mobile devices. The PostSecret app takes Warren’s project to an entire different level of connectivity, allowing users to create and share secrets on the go. Within three days, the app had processed over 50,000 submitted secrets, and it’s currently the bestselling social networking iPhone app in the country.

via Q&A with Frank Warren, Founder of PostSecret – Capital Comment Blog (washingtonian.com).

Apple, Steve Jobs, business, growth:  Worth reading …

Finding that first market — a few customers willing to pay for your early product — is hard enough. But there’s one thing that may be even harder. And that’s finding the second market. Especially because companies are often so focused on protecting what they already have.

In 1996 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, I was in charge of an industry-recognized channel program for the company that was responsible for growing a $2M business to $180M business in 18 months. By working with a few dedicated partners — some were called “value-added-resellers” and some were national retailers such as Best Buy — Apple was able to grow its sales exponentially.

So, as I went into the full business review, it never occurred to me that Jobs wouldn’t appreciate the channel program. It was the most profitable part of Apple’s business at the time and a needed source of revenue. But Steve’s take on it (in his words, not mine): “Fuck the channel; we don’t need the fuckin’ channel.”

And he was right. Getting to that next growth market takes more than being unhappy with your current results (in this case, abysmal sales margins and underperforming stock), and it takes more than being willing to change. You have to be willing to do what feels unnatural.

As you become successful in something, you develop a feel for how to do it. You know when something is “right.” You’ve built up the equivalent of a hand callus in response to the friction and pressure of what it has taken to get to that first-market success. So, when you try to replicate that in a new context — a second market in this case — all courses of action just feel…off.

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, a good channel strategy made the key difference between a $100M and a $2B company in the tech world. If you had enough money, you could buy distribution and thus sales. The channel, therefore, had a powerful position in relationship to the brand.

via What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Growth – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review.

reality of fiction, naturalism: Very interesting article … “Not only can literary theory (along with art criticism, sociology, and yes, non-naturalistic philosophy) produce knowledge of an important and even fundamental nature, but fiction itself, so breezily dismissed in Professor Rosenberg’s assertions, has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.”

Literature has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.

In his contribution to The Stone last week, Alex Rosenberg posed a defense of naturalism — “the philosophical theory that treats science as our most reliable source of knowledge and scientific method as the most effective route to knowledge” — at the expense of other theoretical endeavors such as, notably, literary theory. To the question of “whether disciplines like literary theory provide real understanding,” Professor Rosenberg’s answer is as unequivocal as it is withering: just like fiction, literary theory can be “fun,” but neither one qualifies as “knowledge.”

Though the works of authors like Sophocles, Dante or Shakespeare certainly provide us with enjoyment, can we really classify what they have produced as “fun”? Are we not giving the Bard and others short shrift when we treat their work merely as entertainment? Does their fictional art not offer insights into human nature as illuminating as many of those the physical sciences have produced?

As a literary theorist, I suppose I could take umbrage at the claim that my own discipline, while fun, doesn’t rise to the level of knowledge. But what I’d actually like to argue goes a little further. Not only can literary theory (along with art criticism, sociology, and yes, non-naturalistic philosophy) produce knowledge of an important and even fundamental nature, but fiction itself, so breezily dismissed in Professor Rosenberg’s assertions, has played a profound role in creating the very idea of reality that naturalism seeks to describe.

via ‘Quixote,’ Colbert and the Reality of Fiction – NYTimes.com.

college search, fit:  If I were a high school senior, I would be pulling my hair out.

Not too long ago in my office, I counseled a student distraught because the extensive spring break college tour from which he had just returned hadn’t yielded a discovery of “the right fit.” This seemed to be defined as El Dorado in college form, where everyone would share this young person’s worldview and interests—and the food was great. Each fall counselors have some tough talks with teenagers insistent that super-selective, name-brand colleges are the right fit for them, even if the admission profile of those colleges would suggest otherwise. We also see young people who earnestly struggle to identify the factors that will define fit for them, but who get derailed by “lifestyle” selling points of the colleges, like the ubiquitous gleaming athletic facility with climbing wall, touted in viewbooks and in admission officers’ seemingly interchangeable information sessions. From the student perspective, the Quest for Fit can be elusive, stressful, and frustrating.

There is a popular slogan posted in many college counseling offices: “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” This statement has become a mantra we repeat to families as an antidote to the media-driven obsession with rank, reputation, and prestige. The notion of “fit” or “match” once seemed to offer a metaphorical goal that would lead our conversations to more productive ground—to what my colleague Jeff Durso-Finley calls the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy, College Edition. What college attributes will contribute to your success and give you the support you need to meet your goals? What do you bring to a college community? What are some realistic parameters for your search? Increasingly, though, Fit showed up as a factor in student experiences that were counterproductive to the reflective, student-guided college search we want to support.

A few years ago, I was comparing notes with my colleagues Carl Ahlgren, of Baltimore’s Gilman School, and Jeff Durso-Finley, of The Lawrenceville School, in New Jersey, when we recognized the emergence of the “mid-sized urban school with great school spirit” (or MSUSWGSS) as the Holy Grail of Generation Fit. A by-product of our abuse of Fit, simultaneously one-size-fits-all and highly customized, this perfect college is academic, but fun, not too big, not too small. Its campus is, of course, reminiscent of Hogwarts; its dorms, spacious. The largest cross-section of our counselees described this mythic ideal as their “right fit,” usually assuming it was found in the far off lands where admit rates fall to single digits. Strange as it may seem, this is where Don Quixote rode into the conversation. Quixote’s tasks of knight-errantry are undertaken in the name of his beloved Dulcinea, of whom he proclaims, “all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her.” In fact, he has never seen her and she may or may not even exist; he has heard her name and ascribed attributes; she sounds a lot like the elusive MSUSWGSS.

Our colleague Jennifer Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, once captured the frustration of a conversation about the whole business of Fit when she exclaimed, “Fit happens!” Happily, this tongue-in-cheek phrase nails it. We hope it can become the new counseling office motto, opening our kids to unexpected possibilities and a more authentic, empowering and reflective transition to the next phase of their lives.

via Head Count – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), media, President Obama, politics,  black/race card:  Don’t like or respect Joe Walsh … but I am really tired of the race card being thrown out … from both sides.

A recent crop of bad press has not stopped U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) from making his usual media rounds this week. On Wednesday, after being named among Congress’s thirteen “most corrupt” representatives, Walsh sat down with the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell to discuss the mainstream media’s alleged “protection” of President Obama, claiming the president’s race protects him from criticism.

Bozell, a conservative talk show host, brought up the Tea Party’s love for African American GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain before accusing the Obama administration of “playing class warfare and race warfare games.” He went on to say that the national media is “aiding and abetting” that agenda, and Walsh agreed, referring to the president as “this guy.”

“This guy pushed every one of the media’s buttons,” Walsh said. “He was liberal, he was different, he was new, he was black. Oh my God, it was the potpourri of everything. They are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to protect him. [The media], I believe, will spout this racist line if some of their colleagues up here aren’t doing it aggressively enough. There is going to be a real desperation.”

via Joe Walsh: Media Will Protect Obama Because He Is Black (VIDEO).

Troy Davis, final words, death penalty:  Troy Davis maintained his innocence in killing of officer … Never a advocate of the death penalty, I can justify it in certain circumstances … but cases like this make more and more actively against it.

Georgia inmate Troy Davis maintained his innocence until the very end, saying he did not kill an off-duty officer in 1989.

Davis made his final statement as he was strapped to a gurney. He was executed at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday. Davis told the family of officer Mark MacPhail that he did not kill their son, father and brother.

He said the incident that happened that night was not his fault and he didn’t have a gun. Davis’ claims of innocence drew worldwide support from hundreds of thousands of people. Courts, however, consistently ruled against him.

via In his final words before execution, Troy Davis maintains his innocence in killing of officer – The Washington Post.

Facebook, social networks, media, marketing: Big Brother is watching …

Facebook, the Web’s biggest social network, is where you go to see what your friends are up to. Now it wants to be a force that shapes what you watch, hear, read and buy.

The company announced new features here on Thursday that could unleash a torrent of updates about what you and your Facebook friends are doing online: Frank is watching “The Hangover,” Jane is listening to Jay-Z, Mark is running a race wearing Nike sneakers, and so forth. That in turn, Facebook and its dozens of partner companies hope, will influence what Frank and Jane and Mark’s friends consume.

via Facebook’s New Strategy to Turn Eyeballs Into Influence – NYTimes.com.

Southern American English, Y’all: It may be ok to say y’all!!  And I never thought that there was a distinct name for my language … Southern American English!

DISCUSSIONS of Texas often turn to an exploration of the American South’s most distinctive regional locution, “y’all.” The common view, among outsiders, is that insofar as “y’all” is from the region specified, it’s also a bit sub-literate and redneck.

That’s a bit snooty. The fact is that “y’all” is pretty useful, as formal English doesn’t have a distinctly plural version of “you.” There is no “yous” (except in places like New York city and New Jersey, sometimes in the form of “youse guys”). This suggests that the referent is usually clear enough in context. But the existence of “y’all,” the related “you-all” and “all-y’all,” and other workarounds like “you guys” and “you lot” show that there is, in fact, room in the market for new second-person plural pronouns. Visitors to Texas typically realize the value of “y’all” within 48 hours.

via Southern American English: Y’all hear this | The Economist.

Navy SEALs, Commanding Officer Capt. Roger Herbert, Davidson College Alums:  Some Davidson friends and I were talking about the Navy SEALs the other night and one friend said that a classmate was head of the recruiting and training (Although he may be retired now.)  So I looked it  … learned a little about the SEALs, too.

In a courtyard known as the Grinder, more than 200 young men are well into a 90-minute, high-intensity workout. They’re dressed in white T-shirts and camouflage pants. A shirtless and heavily tattooed instructor shouts out orders. Other instructors pace up and down the aisles with megaphones — making sure that on push-ups elbows are bent past 90 degrees and chests are hitting the ground. These SEAL recruits are in the last week of “in doc” — the ramp-up to the first phase of formal SEAL training.

This is a scene that makes Commanding Officer Capt. Roger Herbert very happy. He oversees the recruiting and training of future SEALs.

“For the first time in years, I’ve got a full class out there,” he says. “We don’t usually see that. In fact, we have so many people in the class, they’re competing to get into first phase. This is a problem we’ve always wanted.”

It’s especially good news for the SEALs now. The Pentagon wants the force of just over 2,000 SEALs to expand by 500 by the year 2010. Herbert says it’s not going to be easy.

“It’s not just a spigot you can turn on and off,” he explains. “From the day that a guy gets here to the day that I give the guy his trident — the seal insignia — takes 59 weeks minimum, if he makes it through the first pass.”

The SEALs hope this mentoring will help recruits make it through the program, but Captain Herbert says the force will not compromise its standards.

“If we compromise our standards,” he says, “we are putting our troops in jeopardy. We are putting our mission in jeopardy.”

Herbert says the SEALs’ work during wartime is dangerous enough as is. He won’t tell parents of SEALs not to worry. Instead, he says this: “I can promise you he’ll be the best-trained man on the battlefield, the best-led man on the battlefield, the best-equipped man on the battlefield. But ultimately, he’s on the battlefield, and war is an uncertain thing.”

Herbert will disclose nothing about what SEAL commandos are doing overseas. He’ll only say they’re making contributions that Americans would be proud of. To date, 18 SEALs have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

via Navy SEALs Seek to Build Up Their Ranks : NPR.

Draw a Stickman, websites, random:  As one blogger said … what a great way to waste time. 🙂

careers, happiness, kith/kin:  My dad always whistled when he came in from work … he was a pretty happy guy.  He was a stock broker/bond peddler … #9 on the list: financial services sales agents.

Your therapist’s happiness level rises when you visit her couch. Firefighters are delighted to help you get Kitty out of a tree. Sins to confess to your priest or minister? He’s tickled to hear them.

Psychologist, firefighter, and clergy are included in the list of the “10 happiest jobs” based on data collected via the General Social Survey of the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “Since experts say that social interaction drives job satisfaction, it makes sense that clergy are happiest of all,” Christian Science Monitor writes. “Social interaction and helping people [is a] combination that’s tough to beat for job happiness.”

This formula explains why teachers and physical therapists are on the list, but also included are autonomous, creative professions like author and artist, and labor-intensive jobs like operating engineer. “Operating engineers get to play with giant toys like bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, scrapers, motor graders, shovels, derricks, large pumps, and air compressors,” says the Monitor. And, “with more jobs for operating engineers than qualified applicants, no wonder they are happy.” The full list follows:

1. Clergy

2. Firefighters

3. Physical therapists

4. Authors

5. Special education teachers

6. Teachers

7. Artists

8. Psychologists

9. Financial services sales agents

10. Operating engineers

Interestingly, many of the occupations that fall at the bottom of the job-satisfaction list involve information technology, which can create isolating work, notes Forbes:

1. Director of information technology

2. Director of sales and marketing

3. Product manager

4. Senior web developer

5. Technical specialist

6. Electronics technician

7. Law clerk

8. Technical support analyst

9. CNC machinist

10. Marketing manager

Where does your job fall on the happiness scale? Are you bolstered by the helping hand you extend to others or satisfied by what you create—or should you pack it all in and learn to drive a bulldozer?

via Whistle While You Work – The Sweet Pursuit – Utne Reader.

Apple, Samsung, competition, intellectual property:  Samsung … you look pretty stupid.

Consider the wall of apps in this photo of the company’s new shop-in-a-shop in Italy’s Centro Sicilia, which appears to feature not only the iOS icon for Apple’s mobile Safari browser, but the icon for the company’s iOS App Store — three instances of it.

Embarrassing, particularly given Apple’s allegations that Samsung “slavishly” copied the design of its iPhone and iPad devices. It’s hard to imagine there’s a reasonable explanation for this. Samsung phones don’t support iOS apps and I can’t imagine Apple is making the company a version of Safari.

Now it’s possible this was a display left over from some other event or product, but still.

via What Are Apple’s Icons Doing on Samsung’s Wall of Apps? – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

Jennifer Ehle,  “A Gifted Man”,  “Pride & Prejudice”:  Love Jennifer Ehle … I will add “A Gifted Man” to my dvr record list.

Many viewers will forever associate Jennifer Ehle with her career-making role as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice, the sumptuous adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. But the 41-year old actress, the daughter of the actress Rosemary Harris and the writer John Ehle and now a mother of two, has been producing a steady body of work for both the stage and film, since she first donned a curly black wig to play Austen’s outspoken romantic heroine back in 1995. On Broadway, she won a Tony award in 2000 for The Real Thing and another in 2007 for The Coast of Utopia.

Recently, Ehle starred alongside her Darcy, Colin Firth, in The King’s Speech, though the two only shared one brief scene together; she played Lady Catelyn Stark in the original pilot for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but departed the role before it went to series. This month, she’s in Steven Soderbergh’s big-budget germaphobe’s-worst-nightmare flick, Contagion, in which she plays a CDC scientist, and next month she’ll appear as the wife of George Clooney’s politician character in The Ides of March.

Ehle also stars in CBS’s new supernatural/medical/personal journey drama, A Gifted Man, created by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and launching tonight. She plays Anna Paul, the ghost of a free clinic doctor on a mission to improve the character of her arrogant ex-husband, Michael (Patrick Wilson), a brilliant neurosurgeon who has lost his way.

The Daily Beast sat down with Ehle, and in these excerpts we discussed A Gifted Man, why she left Game of Thrones, attachment parenting, why she’s never recognized on the street, and ghost sex.

Why did you decide to do a weekly series now?

Jennifer Ehle: I never thought in a million years that I would do a weekly series. I met Jonathan Demme when I’d auditioned for him for Rachel Getting Married. It hadn’t worked out, but I knew he liked me. Without Patrick being attached to this and Jonathan directing it I don’t think I would have even read it or looked at it. Then I just sort of started taking baby steps because if they’re both seeing something in this then maybe what I see is not an illusion.

via Jennifer Ehle on ‘A Gifted Man,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Pride & Prejudice,’ Colin Firth – The Daily Beast.

New York City Ballet “Ocean’s Kingdom,” Sir Paul McCartney,  ballet, New York City Ballet, costume design,  Stella McCartney:  What a great father daughter collaboration.  Now I need to find a review of the performance … not that I know anything about ballet.

Sir Paul McCartney’s first ballet score has premiered in New York.

Peter Martins, master-in-chief of the New York City Ballet, said it has been one of the greatest collaborations in his career.

Speaking ahead of the premiere, he told BBC arts editor Will Gompertz that the musician was engaged in “every aspect” of the project.

The ballet, choreographed by Martins, tells the story of an underwater romance.

via BBC News – Sir Paul McCartney ‘delivered’ to the ballet world.

When Paul McCartney announced earlier this year that he would create an original score for the New York City Ballet’s “Ocean’s Kingdom,” he had the perfect costume designer in mind—daughter Stella McCartney! The limited-engagement ballet premiered last night at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Stella McCartney, Ocean's Kingdom

Stella McCartney’s Ballet Costumes: See the Sketches! : InStyle.com What’s Right Now.

R.E.M, music:  Love  REM … might actually have to  buy the set … christmas gift for me?

Recently disbanded alt-rock legends R.E.M. will release their first career-spanning retrospective Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 on November 15th. Few details of the set have emerged, but Rolling Stone has confirmed that the compilation will include a handful of tracks recorded this year after the completion of the band’s final album, Collapse Into Now.

Though R.E.M. have released a handful of compilations and hits collections over the years, the material on those sets has always been divided between their IRS Records years, which covers the Chronic Town EP on through Document in 1987, and their Warner Bros. catalog, which includes all of their material from Green through Collapse Into Now. Part Lies, presumably a multi-disc set to cover the sheer volume of the band’s hits, will be the first collection to provide an overview of their entire body of work.

via R.E.M. to Release Career-Spanning Hits Set in November | Music News | Rolling Stone.

“The Problem We All Live With” ,  Norman Rockwell,  paintings, civil rights paintings, kudos:  Since I was only 4 at the time, I never thought about how controversial “The Problem We All Live With” was.  Kudos to Norman Rockwell for using his work to portray this.

With the eyes of the nation this week on civil rights, let’s turn our focus to a painting inspired by a Louisiana event that astonished America when it came out 46 years ago.

In 1964, artist Norman Rockwell, the well-known illustrator of iconic images of the American dream, unveiled the first of his civil rights paintings, “The Problem We All Live With.” It’s very likely you have seen this painting that debuted in a two-page spread in Look magazine. It’s very different from most of Rockwell’s work.

The painting shows a full-length profile of a young black girl in a white dress and tennis shoes on a sidewalk. She’s sandwiched between two pairs of federal marshals. You can’t see the full bodies of the marshals – just from their shoulders to their shoes. Scrawled on a wall that serves as the painting’s background is the nasty word, “Nigger.” Scratched at another place is “K.K.K.” The only vivid color in the piece, marked mostly by its muted grays, tans and yellows, is the carcass of a red tomato. It lay on the ground, splattered just below where it hit the wall.

“The Problem” is a simple, but remarkable work. North Carolina artist Kenneth W. Laird, who did his master’s degree thesis on this and other paintings, calls Rockwell’s piece “arguably the single most important image ever done of an African American in illustration history.”

via Rockwell painting nudged nation by Andy Brack | LikeTheDew.com.

 “All My Children”, soap operas, end of an era, UGA Law School:  41 years … great memory of watching all my children at lunchtime as a first year law student and rushing to get to Louisville to see if Jenny married ???

The long-running soap opera aired its final episode on Friday, ending the show’s 41-year run.

The finale finished with a cliffhanger: It ended with most of the show’s characters gathered at the Chandler house for a party. J.R. lurked outside with a gun and fired it when the screen went black.

Whether anyone was shot could still be revealed – ABC licensed the show to production company Prospect Park, which hopes to keep the show going online and on other “emerging platforms.”

The series, which debuted in 1970, featured Susan Lucci as villain Erica Kane, and helped launch the careers of actors including Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Josh Duhamel, Melissa Leo, Amanda Seyfried, Mischa Barton, Christian Slater and Michelle Trachtenberg.

ABC announced it was pulling the plug on the show back in April, along with the soap opera “One Life to Live,” which will end its run in January.

via “All My Children” ends after 41 years – Celebrity Circuit – CBS News.

“Buffett Rule”, Warren Buffet, taxes, politics:

WHAT percentage of your annual income do you pay in taxes — as much as Warren Buffett’s secretary? If not, what is the likelihood that you will soon?

Wealthy investors and their advisers pondered these questions this week, after President Obama included the “Buffett Rule” in the budget plan he sent to Congress. The rule stipulates that people who make more than $1 million a year should pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-class Americans.

The prospects of the rule ever becoming law are poor — there is strong opposition to it among Republicans in Congress. But some variation is possible. And that prompted David Scott Sloan, co-chairman of private wealth services at the law firm Holland & Knight, to spend his lunch hour earlier this week trying to calculate how much Mr. Buffett’s secretary would have to make to pay a higher percentage of her income than one of the richest men in the world. Assistants to high-powered financiers often make six-figure salaries, which put them in a top tax bracket (and presumably out of the middle class).

But Mr. Sloan gave up. “It’s so nonsensical,” he said. “It’s not rich, poor. It’s source of income.”

As Mr. Buffett explained last month, “What I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office.” His income comes mostly from his investments, which are taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent. His secretary is most likely paid a salary and bonus, which would be taxed as ordinary income, at a rate that goes as high as 35 percent.

Yet behind the entertaining political theater, some complicated tax questions are being raised. Here is a look at a few.

via ‘Buffett Rule’ Is More Complicated Than Politics Suggest – NYTimes.com.

dictionaries, words, culture:   Outrage?  Don’t ususally think of a dictionary as evoking such strong emotions.

But it was widely denounced for what critics viewed as a lax admissions policy: it opened its columns to parvenus like “litterbug” and “wise up,” declined to condemn “ain’t,” and illustrated its definitions with quotations from down-market sources like Ethel Merman and Betty Grable. That was reason enough for The Times to charge that Merriam had “surrendered to the permissive school” and that the dictionary’s “say as you go” approach would surely accelerate the deterioration already apparent in the language. In The New Yorker, Dwight Macdonald wrote that the editors had “made a sop of the solid structure of English,” and in an Atlantic article called “Sabotage in Springfield,” Wilson Follett called the Third a “fighting document” that was “out to destroy . . . every obstinate vestige of linguistic punctilio, every surviving influence that makes for the upholding of standards.” (The dereliction that most appalled Follett was the Third’s refusal to reject “that darling of the advanced libertarians,” the use of “like” as a conjunction.)

Gove was naïve to imagine that the dictionary could be purged of all subjective value judgments. Yet the Third wasn’t the radical manifesto critics made it out to be. Mmes. Merman and Grable notwithstanding, its three most frequently cited sources were Shakespeare, the Bible and Milton. And the editors insisted — quaintly, by modern lights — on including only words that had been documented in respectable venues. In a letter responding to the Times editorial, Gove pointed out that “double-dome” had been used by John Mason Brown and Alistair Cooke, and that “finalize” could be found in “highly reputable places” like The New Republic and The Times itself.

Still, the controversy signaled a turning point in Ameri­can attitudes about language. It introduced the words “prescriptivist” and “descriptivist” into the cultural conversation, and fixed the battle lines for the ritualized squabble over standards that persists across media old and new. The keening indignation, the dire prophecies of imminent cultural disintegration — it’s easy to have the impression that little has changed over the past 50 years.

But the furor over Webster’s Third also marked the end of an era. It’s a safe bet that no new dictionary will ever incite a similar uproar, whatever it contains. The dictionary simply doesn’t have the symbolic importance it did a half-­century ago, when critics saw the Third as a capitulation to the despised culture of middlebrow, what Dwight Macdonald called the “tepid ooze of Midcult.” That was probably the last great eructation of cultural snobbery in American public life.

via When a Dictionary Could Outrage – NYTimes.com.

fads,  photo gallery, LIFE:  I really enjoy these LIFE photo galleries … What fads do you remember?  Duncan yo-yos …

Fads. They come and go. Some, like the hula hoop, have a kind of staying power, a certain quirkiness or kitsch that makes us love ’em even more as time goes on. Others definitely have their moment in the sun and then vanish, exiled to the cultural dustbin where so many pet rocks and beanie babies currently reside. In need of a fad refresher? Come take a scroll down memory lane.

via Freaky and Fabulous: A Tour of Fads – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Mitch Daniels, GOP/Republican Party, 2012 Presidential Election, politics:  There is still time …

Daniels, a leading voice within the GOP on the need for radical fiscal reforms in government, disappointed legions of activists by ruling out his own bid for president this year. In town through Tuesday to promote his new book, “Keeping the Republic,” Daniels said he is hoping his views can remain in the conversation and guide the nomination process.

In his remarks Friday, Daniels said he did not watch Thursday night’s GOP debate in Orlando, nor any of the debates, for that matter. It’s his way of dodging a question he’s constantly asked: what he thinks of the current field.

Daniels did say that he would support the GOP nominee, whoever it turns out to be, and he qualified his view that there’s still time for someone else to jump in by saying, “I didn’t say there was a need.”

via Mitch Daniels: There’s still time for more GOP hopefuls – The Washington Post.

college applications, application essay, advice:  Another approach to the essay …

Stanford University’s application for admission includes a prompt directing students to write a letter to their future freshman roommates. The exercise is a good one for all applicants – regardless of their interest in Stanford – as a fun, fresh jumping-off point in the essay writing process, Rebecca Joseph, a professor of education at California State University, said on Friday.

“It’s all about loosening up,” said Ms. Joseph, who was on a panel called “Communicating Stories: Strategies to Help Students Write Powerful College Essays,” part of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors conference in New Orleans.

She quoted various students’ “Dear Roommate” pieces:

“If you want to borrow my music, just ask. If you want to borrow my underwear, just take them.”

“I eat ice cream with a fork, and I drink orange juice right after I brush my teeth just for the sour taste.”

“If you have anything other than a Dodgers poster on the wall, I will tear it down.”

“Using ‘I’ is scary,” Ms. Joseph said, but students must get comfortable with their first-person voice on paper in order to craft successful, resonant essays.

Erica Sanders, an admissions officer at the University of Michigan, stressed that writing style – something students may obsess over – is less important than “psychedelic” three-dimensionality and shows of authentic personality.

“We can fix that a student’s a comma fiend, that they don’t have verb-tense structure,” she said.

via Crafting an Application Essay That ‘Pops’ – NYTimes.com.

grammar, grammatical errors, lists:  Don’t want anybody to look dumb!

One thing blogging and good copywriting share is a conversational style, and that means it’s fine to fracture the occasional rule of proper grammar in order to communicate effectively. Both bloggers and copywriters routinely end sentences with prepositions, dangle a modifier in a purely technical sense, or make liberal use of the ellipsis when an EM dash is the correct choice—all in order to write in the way people actually speak.

But there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility. While we all hope what we have to say is more important than some silly grammatical error, the truth is some people will not subscribe or link to your blog if you make dumb mistakes when you write, and buying from you will be out of the question.

Here are five mistakes to avoid when blogging and writing web copy.

via Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb | Copyblogger.

alumni relations, technology:  

Alumni, analyzed: Collecting and analyzing data on alumni browsing habits—which newsletters they click on, how many times they visit the college’s Web site—can be a big help to fund raisers, write Peter Wylie and John Sammis on the CoolData Blog. They recommend that colleges push back against vendors who are reluctant to provide such data.

via Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Kate Middleton (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), princess school, The Princess Diaries, movies:  Sounds a great deal like Kate Middleton is a real life Mia Thermopolis.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Kate Middleton (ahem, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), is getting some private briefings on Britain’s august national institutions to prepare her for a lifetime of shaking hands royal duties.

It’s been remarkably quiet for Middleton in recent weeks, since she and her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, returned from their tour of Canada and the U.S. But behind the scenes, it transpires that experts in the areas of government, the arts and media have visited St James’s Palace to give the Duchess one-on-one tutorials.

A royal source said, “The Duchess is being briefed on how the State works, getting to know our national institutions better and learning more about organizations such as the arts, the media and the government. It is a process that will carry on for several months but is being done privately.”

NewsFeed was particularly taken by the notion that Middleton is “spending time carrying out private research of her own,” which one might call, you know, reading.

If this comes across as slightly extreme behavior, the Telegraph suggests that the Royal Family (or “The Firm,” as some refer to them) are keen to avoid the mistakes made in the case of William’s late mother, Princess Diana. According to the paper, she “told friends that no forethought had been given to her future role when she married the Prince of Wales, and that Palace staff ‘basically thought I could adapt to being Princess of Wales overnight.'”

To that end, William insisted that a support network be established to guide his bride through the potential pitfalls of public life. We have no doubt that she’ll do just fine, and hope that if we’re ever a player short for a pub quiz team, the Duchess will be available to take part.

via A Royal Education: Kate Middleton Goes to Princess School – TIME NewsFeed.

 Coca-Cola, memorabilia, collecting, UNC-CH, exhibits:  I want to the Stonehenge!

Stephen and Sandra Rich’s collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia began with just a few serving trays.

Now an unknown number of pieces whose dates of origin span more than 100 years make up one of the largest private collections in the country.

The couple, both UNC alumni, will display a portion of their artifacts beginning tonight at the Love House and Hutchins Forum in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Coca-Cola.

Stephen Rich worked as an executive with the Coca-Cola Co. at its headquarters in Atlanta for 30 years.

As an Atlanta native, Rich said he inherited his collecting gene from his mother.

“What company better reflects our country and the south?” he said.

The couple’s memorabilia — including a life-size cutout of Michael Jordan holding a Coke, a 1904 oval plate of the St. Louis World’s Fair and a miniature model of Stonehenge with Coca-Cola products in place of rocks — is housed in their downstairs den.

Stephen said every piece has a story.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Coca-Cola memorabilia to be displayed on UNC campus.

23
Sep
11

9.23.2011 … ‎lucky me … i get to take two dogs and a cat to the vet and its pouring … cat is MIA right now … and nightime viewing …‎… watched The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) … Why are old movies so slow?

pets, Armstrong Animal Clinic, followup:  It’s a good thing I love my pets and my vets … all animals are healthy … but the bill was $779!  I am getting pet insurance on my next pets.  And why are we talking about adding another to the pack??? Shout out to the best vets in Charlotte … the Drs. Williston at Armstrong Animal Clinic.  We have been seeing them for 26 years … Thank you for great vet care.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), movies, old movies: Why are old movies so slow? Did we not think they were slow way back when?

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Poster

1966 Nominated Oscar

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Richard Burton

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, Ted Marshall, Josie MacAvin

via The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) – Awards.

Jenna Huff , Deb Guthmann, high school sports, high school cross-country, sportsmanship, kudos, NC:  sometimes you just need a feel good story.  Kudos to Jenna and Deb!

Eleven months ago, a spontaneous act of good sportsmanship at a girls’ cross country meet in Salisbury transformed a simple race into something bigger.

The ripples from that moment keep widening. Tonight, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Jenna Huff is scheduled to receive a national sportsmanship award from the U.S. Olympic Committee for what she did for Deb Guthmann.

They were bound together last Halloween morning at a regional meet, where Jenna trailed Deb for all but the final few yards of the 3.1-mile race.

As the two approached the finish line – behind the race leaders but well ahead of the majority of runners – Deb still led Jenna.

Then something awful happened. Deb’s right hip basically tore apart. She screamed in pain and stopped.

Jenna had never met Deb and had been taught to pass every runner she could no matter the circumstances.

Instead, Jenna stopped and helped.

“C’mon,” Jenna said she told Deb. “We’re going to run, and we’re going to do it now.”

Jenna took Deb’s left elbow with her right hand and helped her jog the last few yards of the race. Then, at the finish line, she pushed Deb in front of her, reasoning Deb would have beaten her anyway if not for the injury. That act helped Deb’s Waxhaw Cuthbertson team win the regional race and advance to the state meet.

via Act of sportsmanship one that keeps drawing praise | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

death penalty, last meals request, cookbooks, random:  The main part of this story is that Texas Prisons ended special last meals because the inmates facing execution were being unreasonable.  Nothing funny there.  However, I just had to laugh at the last paragraph …

A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky’s Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called “Meals to Die For.”

via Special Last Meals: Texas Prisons End Special Last Meals For Inmates Facing Execution.

cohabiting, culture:  Twenty plus years ago a special friend asked her girlfriends what we thought if her boyfriend moved in with her.  We all twenty-somethings told her the world judges women harsher than men, but that we would not judge her negatively because we knew her. He moved in … and pretty soon they got married and had three kids … happy ending.  This article strikes a chord ….

Is a Bad Idea For Some.

But if you are a young adult who thinks you might want to have kids one day and maybe even get married but you aren’t sure that your current sweetie’s The One, please don’t move in with him or her.

I can hear the grumbling; “How will I know if we’re compatible or not if we don’t live together?” Easy — you know because you’ve spent enough time together as a couple. If you really don’t know if you can live with his smelly socks in the hallway or her panties hanging in the bathroom, then you either haven’t known each other long enough or you haven’t been paying attention. In either case, you’re just not ready to marry. Please, date some more.

Couples rarely split up over socks and underwear; they split because of affairs, alcohol, addictions and abuse. They split because their expectations of marriage differ. And they split because they never should have been together in the first place — probably because they moved in together to see if they could live with the socks and panties while they were ignoring other, much bigger issues.

So what’s so wrong with living with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Let’s forget the studies pointing out the booze (cohabitors drink more), weight (they’re heavier) and happiness (they’re not quite as happy as married couples but they aren’t more miserable, either), because those aren’t the issues. Nor are the results of the latest NMP study, “Why Marriage Matters,” which predicts doom and gloom for the children of cohabiting couples. The NMP has an agenda; it wants to promote marriage. Still, even a recent and presumably agenda-less Pew Study finds similar results, at least when it comes to cohabiting couples’ economic well-being; they’re poorer, and that puts stress on a relationship. A lot of stress.

As a society, we need to pay attention because there are 12 times as many cohabiting couples today as there were in the 1970s.

The real problem with cohabiting is that many couples who enter into it don’t give it a lot of thought; it’s one of those “just kind of happened” things. You like him, he likes you and a few months later you’re jamming your stuff into his closets. And those are the couples who, if they end up “sliding into marriage,” as research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver Scott Stanley would call it, are more likely to divorce at some point.

Commitment is a decision. And if cohabitation is being offered as a replacement to marriage — as the Alternatives to Marriage Project and many sociologists and family psychologists see it — then a little more thought about it needs to happen, especially if you know you want to have kids one day.

For Linda Lea Viken, head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, that would mean a cohabitation agreement. Even if a couple doesn’t end up signing one, at least they’ve been thinking about things like property, spending, saving and — this is a big one — expectations. If you can have unrealistic expectations in a marriage, you can have them living together, too.

Of course, none of this matters if we’re talking about two child-free adults who live together and then split. It’s just a heck of a lot worse if there are kids involved — his kids, her kids, their kids. According to the ATMP, 40 percent of the first babies of single mothers are actually born to cohabiting couples. And some 42 percent of kids will have lived in a cohabiting household before they turn 12 years old.

Still, no one’s pushing for marriage (well, except the NMP), but it you want to live with someone happily and for the long haul you really do need to be committed, especially if you have or want kids. “To me, the biggest issue is commitment not marriage,” says psychologist Joshua Coleman, co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. “A lot of people are opting not to marry, but I wonder what is the context in which you have a child.”

For our most famously cohabiting couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the context seems clear. As Jolie said when asked if she and Pitt will grow old together, “Of course; we wouldn’t have six children if we weren’t absolutely sure of that.”

No one can ever definitively know if a relationship will last, whether married or not. But making a conscious decision to start off that way sure helps.

via Vicki Larson: Why Cohabiting Is a Bad Idea For Some.

Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It, children’s/YA literature:  I loved Siverstein’s poetry with my kids …. and now he has a post mortem (11 years) new book!

Every Thing On It, published eleven years after Shel Silverstein’s death, arrived yesterday. Homework was instantly abandoned. The Girl Who Hates To Read simply had to dive into this collection of 139 poems.

This speaks volumes.

Shel Silverstein’s books are said to be for children 9 to 12. Nonsense. We started reading him when The Girl Who Hates To Read was six, and now we have the full collection. Only Roald Dahl comes close — and he’s a distant second.

What is Silverstein’s appeal?

Simple: He’s not full of the mealy-mouth bullshit that used to pass for children’s books. Starting way back in the ’60s — when Ozzie and Harriet values were finally starting to wither and die everywhere but in kids’ books — he talked to kids with respect. He thought they were smart. And creative. And they needed to be encouraged, not sedated.

via Jesse Kornbluth: Hey, Kids! A Decade After His Death, Shel Silverstein Has a New Book.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry:  I learned a lot from this analysis using debate team analysis as the basis.  Without this new understanding, I agree, anyway:  timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it.

In any debate, contestants must make decisions given their limited amount of time to speak. On Thursday night, Rick Perry made the wrong ones. The Texas governor came across as forced and all over the place — awkward, unsure, with no clear strategy for how to answer questions or when he should go on attack. At one point he tried to fit three attacks on his nearest challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, into one sentence.

In short, Perry misused his time.

Academic competitions set rules and speaking times, and the debate teams I coach cannot change them. Debaters must make argumentative decisions about what they need to say to win. You have to pick and choose your best argument and stick with it. You should have a theme, limit your attacks, clarify your positions. In the presidential debates, the candidates must also do so.

As we have learned by now, these debates are a bit stacked. Front-runners Romney and Perry get more questions, making the job harder for the other candidates. They have to win over voters with less speaking time. Some did well with their limited time at the Florida/Fox News/Google debate in Orlando, others not so much.

via Timing is everything, and Perry didn’t have it – CNN.com.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, illegal immigration:

My friend Gov. Perry said if you don’t agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals, that you don’t have a heart,” Romney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. “I think if you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means that you have a heart and a brain.”

via TRENDING: Romney tweaks Perry over illegal immigration – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

2012 Presidential Election, Republican Debates, debate analysis, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney:  I found this review helpful …

Reporters look at five moments from the debate in Orlando, Fla., and their importance going forward in the Republican race.

via The Caucus | Key Moments From the Debate – Video Library – The New York Times.

2012 Presidential Election, President Obama, Israel, analysis:  Israel is becoming the  key foreign affairs issue … so far neither party is looking very good … “As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.”

A small secret. In writing about the White House or Congress, I always feel completely free to attempt to see things clearly, to consider the evidence, to sift it through experience and knowledge, and then to make a judgment. It may be highly critical, or caustic, even damning. But deep down I always hope I’m wrong—that it isn’t as bad as I say it is, that there is information unknown to me that would explain such and such an act, that there were factors I didn’t know of that make bad decisions suddenly explicable. Or even justifiable.

I note this to make clear the particular importance, for me, of Ron Suskind’s book on the creation of President Obama’s economic policy, “Confidence Men.” If Mr. Suskind is right, I have been wrong in my critiques of the president’s economic policy. None of it was as bad as I said. It was much worse.

The most famous part of the book is the Larry Summers quote that he saw it as a “Home Alone” administration, with no grown-ups in charge. But there’s more than that. Most of us remember the president as in a difficult position from day one: two wars and an economic crash, good luck with that. But Mr. Suskind recasts the picture.

Mr. Obama isn’t as resilient as a Bill Clinton, with his broad spectrum of political gifts and a Rasputin-like ability to emerge undead in spite of the best efforts of his foes. His spectrum of political gifts is more limited. That’s a nice way to put it, isn’t it?

But consider what happened this week in New York.

Mr. Obama’s speech Wednesday at the United Nations was good. It was strong because it was clear, and it was clear because he didn’t rely on the thumping clichés and vapidities he’s lately embraced. When the camera turned to the professionally impassive diplomats in the audience, they seemed to be actually listening.

“It has been a remarkable year,” he said: Moammar Gadhafi on the run, Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali deposed, Osama bin Laden dead. “Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way they will be.” Technology is putting power in the hands of the people, history is tending toward the overthrow of entrenched powers. But “peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart.”

On the Mideast conflict: “The people of Palestine deserve a state of their own.” But the proposed U.N. statehood resolution is a “shortcut” that won’t work: “If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Peace can be realized only when both parties acknowledge each other’s legitimate needs: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” Friends of the Palestinians “do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”

“I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress,” the president said. “So am I.” All in all, it was a measured statement at a tense moment. It was meant to defuse tensions, to cool things down.

Contrast it with the words of Rick Perry, who zoomed into New York to make his own Mideast statement the day before the president’s speech. The Obama administration’s policy, the Texas governor said, amounts to “appeasement.” It has encouraged “an ominous act of bad faith.” We are “at the precipice of such a dangerous move” because the Obama administration is “arrogant, misguided and dangerous.” “Moral equivalency” is “a dangerous insult.”

This was meant not to defuse but to inflame. It does not seem to have occurred to Mr. Perry that when you are running for president you have to be big, you have to act as if you’re a broad fellow who understands that when the American president is in a tight spot in the U.N., America is in a tight spot in the U.N. You don’t exploit it for political gain.

Perry competitor Rick Santorum responded: “I’ve forgotten more about Israel than Rick Perry knows about Israel,” he told Politico. Mr. Perry “has never taken a position on any of this stuff before, and [the media is] taking this guy seriously.”

The Israeli newspaper Ha’artez likened Mr. Perry’s remarks to “a pep rally for one of Israel’s right-wing politicians, and a hard-liner at that,” adding that the governor “adopted the rhetoric of Israel’s radical right lock, stock and barrel.”

I’d add only that in his first foreign-policy foray, the GOP front-runner looked like a cheap, base-playing buffoon.

As I said, Mr. Obama can’t win this election, but the Republicans can lose it by being small, by being extreme, by being—are we going to have to start using this word again?—unnuanced.

via Amateur Hour at the White House – WSJ.com.

“The Good Wife” , tv, culture, gender issues, monogamy:  I don’t really like tv’s portrayal of our culture … “there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.”

Are men meant to be monogamous?

Alan Cumming from “The Good Wife” says there are worse ways to betray your partner than by being unfaithful.

via Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

Morgan Freeman, President  Obama, race relations, politics, Tea Party:  Makes you think … I personally had hoped Pres. Obama’s election would be a great leap forward for the U.S.

Morgan Freeman, in an interview to be aired on CNN Friday evening, says that President Obama has made racism worse in America.

Chatting with Piers Morgan, the Oscar-winning actor also blames the Tea Party saying they’re “going to do whatever [they] can to get this black man outta here” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

via Morgan Freeman: Obama Made Racism Worse, Tea Party Will Do ‘Whatever [It] Can To Get This Black Man Outta Here’ | NewsBusters.org.

Troy Davis, capital punishment, understatement, GA:  “Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.”  SETTLED!  Talk about effective use of understatement.

The idea that if you do wrong you get what’s coming to you animates Westerns and crime fiction, both distinctly American genres; small wonder it should find fertile political ground too. But here’s the thing: life is not a movie or a novel. Reality has no obligation to provide us with a clear narrative or villain, and it rarely does.

Take the case settled yesterday in Georgia.

Speaker after speaker harped on the same two points, one sound and one largely but not wholly irrelevant. The former, of course, concerned the injustice of the death penalty and the large amount of doubt concerning Mr Davis’s guilt. He was effectively killed on the word of nine people, seven of whom changed their minds. Reports said that Georgia’s parole board, which denied Mr Davis clemency on Monday, split 3-2 on that decision. Eyewitness testimony is profoundly unreliable; that it, and only it, was used to kill someone is unjust on its face and sets a terrible precedent.

The largely irrelevant point concerned the large numbers of supporters Mr Davis had around the world. We were told that rallies were held in Europe and across America, that hundreds of thousands of people had signed petitions, that death-penalty supporters such as Bob Barr and William Sessions (a former Georgia congressman and a former FBI director) and luminaries such as Jimmy Carter and the pope all opposed Mr Davis’s execution. But the problem with Georgia’s decision to kill Mr Davis is not that it’s unpopular; it’s that it was wrong.

When it was all over, Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Church, where Martin Luther King preached, said, “This is one of those moments when the nation is called to examine itself and ask, ‘Is this who we are?'” It seems that it is, alas.

via Capital punishment: A death in Georgia | The Economist.

President Obama, Jobs Bill, ” A Bridge To Nowhere”, 2012 Presidential Election:  Is the jobs bill nothing more than a first swing at the 2012 election … “This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.”

“It’s a short-lived fix,” he says. “I mean, the guys will be working on the bridge for a couple years, and then they’re out of work again.”

The truth is, construction on the Brent Spence Bridge would not begin right away even if the bill passes tomorrow. The White House says it never claimed this project was shovel-ready. One reason it was chosen was its political symbolism.

The Brent Spence connects House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky. On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said it would be great to fix this bridge, but the president’s jobs bill won’t get it done.

“Don’t patronize us by implying that if we pass the second stimulus, that bridges will get fixed right away,” McConnell said. “The American people heard the same thing when the administration was selling the first stimulus.”

But small-business owner Jeffrey McClorey says the first stimulus really helped this community. He runs Bromwell’s Fireplace and Art Gallery, which calls itself the oldest business in Cincinnati. He says the first stimulus helped spur a mixed-use condo development along the river, called The Banks.

“There’s 300 new families living down at The Banks, and more coming. And those people are buying products from me and other people downtown and in the region,” McClorey says. “And it also benefits and helps to repopulate the city center, which I think is very important.”

This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.

via Obama’s Jobs Bill Pitch: A Bridge To Nowhere? : NPR.

“How I Met Your Mother”, tv, Katie Holmes,  “Slutty Pumpkin”, random, LOL:  OK, I watch some shows because my kids watch them.  I admit I have grown to love “How I Met Your Mother” and look forward to Season 7 and Katie Holmes as the “slutty pumpkin.”

Shockers abound in Season 7 of “How I Met Your Mother.”

Just days after the season premiere return of Season 1’s cupcake girl, Victoria (Ashley Williams), the identity of the elusive “Slutty Pumpkin” has been revealed.

First reported by Vulture, the elusive character first mentioned in Season 1 will appear this year in the form of Katie Holmes.

“Katie is a lovely and talented actress,” co-creator Craig Thomas tells Vulture, “which is why we’ve saved for her perhaps the most classily named character in our show’s history.”

“The Slutty Pumpkin,” also the name of the series’ sixth episode, was a potential love interest Ted (Josh Radnor) met at a 2001 Halloween party and never saw again. She’s since been mentioned several times — and cannot possibly be the mother.

via ‘How I Met Your Mother’ revelation: Katie Holmes is the ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ – chicagotribune.com.

Michael Warner, public lectures, UNC-CH, evangelical Christianity: ” Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.”

When one thinks of evangelical Christianity, “nation-shaping” is not the first concept to come to mind.

But Michael Warner, a professor of English literature and American studies at Yale University, said Thursday that evangelical Christianity is the mother of all social movements.

Warner defined evangelicalism as a “transnational movement” that focuses on converting strangers. The movement is loud and unafraid to adapt to technology, he said.

He focused on the rise of evangelical Christians as a “counter public” in America from the late 18th century until the mid-1970s, which he claimed was the turning point for modern evangelicalism.

He discussed early American evangelical publications created for the purpose of converting readers, including “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” a sermon delivered in the 1740s by theologian Jonathan Edwards.

“The idea of evangelicalism follows the assumption that a reading of these texts anywhere by anyone leads to a conversion,” Warner said. “To read it is to imagine a spectacular conversion happening somewhere.”

“Free speech created a very special kind of culture,” he said.

Many students attended as part of their “Introduction to Fiction” class, said John Weeks, a junior psychology and political science double major.

“The religious discussion relates to the theme in the book we’re studying, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle,” said Tara Jeffries, a freshman journalism major.

“I enjoyed the references to American history and how the Puritanical religious views shaped the country,” Jeffries said. “His analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon and the way he deconstructed it were especially interesting.”

The lecture was part of the Critical Speaker Series of UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Yale professor lectures on social importance of evangelical Christianity.

Silent Sam, public monuments, Real Silent Sam movement, UNC-CH, history, traditions:  I clipped about silent Sam before.  It is difficult … should it go … I will say I was very moved by The Unsung Founders Memorial.  I am interested to see how this plays out.  My opinion is that it should stay and be a reminder of a history that you cannot deny … but be a discussion point.

0919_silentsam_sweeney

The statue in McCorkle Place has again sparked community-wide debate about the implications of having a monument to the Confederacy so prominently placed on campus.

But despite outrage from some, the monument has never been seriously threatened, at least during the past few decades.

Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said he has heard of no formal petition to remove the statue in his 31 years at the University.

On Sept. 1, a group called the Real Silent Sam movement, composed of concerned community members and students, held a protest to attract attention to the statue’s history.

Senior Will McInerney, a member of the movement, said the group wants to start a discussion about monuments with racist backgrounds.

University officials said they support the students’ right to protest the statue.

“I do fully support robust and earnest dialogue about this and similar issues, and I fully support student’s rights to raise this issue before the university community,” said Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs.

About 10 years ago, University officials heard from a senior class that wanted to commemorate another aspect of UNC’s history.

The Unsung Founders Memorial — the stone table situated less than 100 yards away from Silent Sam — was erected in 2005 by the graduating class of 2002 in memory of enslaved African-Americans who helped to build the University.

David Owens, chairman of UNC’s building and grounds committee, said careful considerations were made about the placement of the Unsung Founders monument.

“Silent Sam was the second monument to be placed inside the sidewalks at McCorkle Place,” Owens said, adding that the first was the burial site for Joseph Caldwell, the University’s first president, who was also a slaveowner.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Real Silent Sam movement holds protest focused on statue’s history.

Sebastian Junger, Reynolds Lecture, Davidson College:  Great lecture … “He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: ‘And then there’s Congress.’”

His talk touched on themes recounted in his books “War,” “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire.”

He describes his time embedded with an military unit in Iraq. We all almost died, he said. Soldiers come to know that “you die or survive because of a random set of circumstances. … It’s meaningless,” he said. “It really torments these guys.”

The horrors and meaninglessness of war create problems when veterans return. On the battlefield, they come to know brotherhood and loyalty. For brotherhood, he said, all that’s required is that you value others’ lives above your own. “It’s there in the platoon,” and soldiers know they all can be brave.

That accords them respect that is hard to find in civilian life, Mr. Junger said. In combat, “every 19 year old can be encased in all the respect he can ever want.”

Once back home, they miss that and find they lack the same sense of purpose. In response to a question after his talk, he said as a nation, our goal for veterans should be to make them feel necessary. “A hug is great,” he said, but we need to ensure they have a purpose.

He also noted that on the battlefield, it’s not hard for a group of 22-year-olds to come together and overcome their differences, united behind a common purpose. In one of the few political statements of the evening, he added: “And then there’s Congress.”

Mr. Junger also recounted the death of his friend, collaborator and photojournalist Timothy Hetherington, with whom he made the award-winning documentary “Restrepo,” about Afghanistan. After they appeared at the Academy Awards ceremony to received an award for the film, Mr. Hetherington headed off to cover the civil unrest in Libya. There, he was killed by a mortar shell.

As Mr. Junger mourned, a friend emailed him. Apologizing for being so blunt, he told Mr. Junger that he and Mr. Hetherington had come closer than most to capturing the meaning of war. “The central truth of war is not that you might die, it’s that you’re guaranteed to lose your brothers,” the friend wrote. Now you understand, the friend said.

via At Davidson, Junger talks about war and its meaning | DavidsonNews.net.

Freshman Cake Race, Davidson College, traditions, goats, followup:  A Davidson tradition is the freshman cake race … I just saw this and loved its creativity … someone made a kudzu eating goat cake!

Today’s Freshman Cake Race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Baker Sports Complex has inspired people all over town. One of the college’s crack strategic planning analysts, Janet Werner, was so moved by the college’s summer goat story that she confected this decorative entry, complete with tiny goat on top of kudzu fondant:

Not Baaaad!

And irrepressible math prof Tim Chartier concocted a real Wildcat paw/M&M cake on his computer, then brought it to life in the kitchen.

via Daybook Davidson.

Davidson College,  first night down, college life, student life, traditions, change:  Change is hard .. What college tradition would you be upset about if the college changd or banned it?

In 2009, First Night Down was officially renamed the Opening of the Court. Related events were moved from a Friday to a Monday in an effort to deemphasize drinking and encourage Patterson Court houses to better present their unique qualities to first year students. These changes, however, failed to achieve their desired effect.

This year, administrators from Student Life and Patterson Court chose to completely eliminate First Night Down, a decision that also precipitated a new set of recruitment rules for Patterson Court organizations.

Students were informed of this change on Aug. 15 in an email from Patterson Court Council President Lee Dorsey ’12. Dorsey attributed the decision to a year-long conversation involving the Patterson Court Council, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Police, Counseling and Student Health Center, the Union and the Residence Life Office.

Dorsey stated in the email that the event had lost its original focus and needed to better maintain its primary purpose: “to provide first-year students a comprehensive and welcoming experience, and to favorably introduce the pillars of our Patterson Court organizations and the Patterson Court Council to the outside community.”

In eliminating a formal opening date, Dorsey said that they hoped to “diffuse a frequently stressful and intense environment.”

Current students have mixed feelings about the decision. Krista Catafago ’14, a member of the last class to have a First Night Down, said, “As a freshman, I kind of resented the first night down rule, but as a sophomore, I’m able to understand the reasoning behind it. That being said, I think including students from all years from the very beginning has made the court more fun.”

Ace Coumas ’14 felt more strongly about the loss of the tradition. “I wouldn’t have known my [freshman] hall as well as I do today had First Night Down not existed,” he said. Though Meg Shamburger, Patterson Court Advisor, previously told The Davidsonian that she felt students were more upset about the changes to recruitment than the elimination of First Night Down, Coumas disagreed.

“A tradition has been stripped from Davidson College. It is certainly different. Of all the changes that have been dropped on returning students this year, this is the one that I am most concerned about,” he said.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Anne Wills ’88, Associate Professor of Religion, also suggests that First Night Down may have meant more to recent classes. “As a historian, I would have to point to this occasion as yet another recent invention/innovation that has disguised itself as an ancient (or at least generations-old) tradition,” she said.

Though First Night Down may not have left as great an imprint on the memories of Davidson’s older graduates, the loss is more strongly felt among current students and recent alumni. This loss of tradition reflects the larger goals of the administration to overhaul Patterson Court culture. The measure is officially a “preliminary solution to a long-term concern,” though it remains to be seen what steps will be taken next.

via First night down: – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

$16 Muffins, government waste,  Justice Department, oversight:  I am glad there were no $16 Muffins, but it does show you how we can get overhyped by phrases … and the bottom line is there is a lot of waste.

There was a whole host of over-priced items: $5 meatballs, $7.50 beef canapes, $8 coffees. But the sound-byte everyone took from the story was the $16 muffin.

Journalists and auditors arrived at the startling price when they discovered that 250 muffins at a hotel conference had cost the Department $4,200. Many were outraged, and pointed to the muffins as a prime example of governmental waste. Senator Chuck Grassley even said that whoever was responsible should be fired. Obama, for his part, seems to be complying. Obama Foodorama reports that POTUS has ordered a systematic review of all conference spending, and put Vice President Biden in charge of oversight.

It sounds like the new oversight is worth it; the government undoubtedly wastes a lot of money on catering and hospitality. But there’s a fantastic irony at the heart of the entire story. Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum has a great explanation of why the $16 muffins didn’t really cost $16. The calculation was based on the invoice price of the muffins — which included overhead and service charges for the use of the conference space.

UPDATE: Peter Yost of the Associated Press just wrote a story denouncing the idea of the $16 muffin as well; interviews with Hilton indicate that the apparent $16 price included free drinks, service and fruit. Here’s the full AP story:

via $16 Muffins, Which May Not Be Real, Get Justice Department In Trouble.

college search, virtual campus tours:  Anybody found these useful?

Virtual campus tours have been an active part of the higher ed web space for over a decade. Designed as the online sibling to the physical campus tour, they have the potential to reach prospective students and have a major impact on the recruitment process. Yet despite this great potential, the vast majority of virtual campus tours in existence today are disappointing, at best.

via Virtual Campus Tours | Higher Ed Live.

1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, history, Atlanta, followup:  I posted the anniversary of the Epositions’s opening a week ago.  I have always been fascinated it because my great-grandfather JJ Dennard, a Georgia state legislator, attended.  His ticket/pass with his photograph on it (remember 1895!) was always in a drawer in my grandparents home.  My sister has it now.  It just fascinated me.  So here is a little history for you.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
U.S. President Cleveland

The most ambitious of the city’s cotton expositions was staged in 1895. Its goals were to foster trade between southern states and South American nations as well as to show the products and facilities of the region to the rest of the nation and to Europe. These objectives found expression in the official name of the event—the Cotton States and International Exposition. There were exhibits by six states and special buildings featuring the accomplishments of women and blacks. Also showcased was the latest technology in transportation, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and other fields. Amusements such as the “Phoenix Wheel” and an early version of the motion picture were set up as part of a midway to attract visitors.

On opening day, September 18, military bands played, followed by speeches from political, business, and other leaders, including the prominent African American educator Booker T. Washington. In a speech that came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech and that was greeted enthusiastically by white advocates of the New South, Washington did not challenge

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition

the prevailing ideas of segregation held by advocates of the New South; putting aside all claims to political power and social equality, he urged blacks to make progress as agricultural and industrial laborers. In spite of lavish promotion, fewer than 800,000 attended the three-month exposition, which was plagued by constant financial problems. The Cotton States Exposition did showcase Atlanta as a regional business center and helped to attract investment. Although most of the 1895 exposition’s buildings were torn down so that the materials could be sold for scrap, the city eventually purchased the grounds, which became the present-day Piedmont Park.

via New Georgia Encyclopedia: Cotton Expositions in Atlanta.

BofA,  Countrywide, bankruptcy, business ethics:  I am a big supporter of  Bank of America (my spouse has worded for BofA or a predecessor for his entire career).   But passing the Countrywide debacle off on the American people bothers me.  However, BofA took a huge hit with Merrill Lynch for the country … and has taken huge hits with countrywide already … Opinions?

The threat of a Countrywide bankruptcy is a “nuclear” option that Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan could use as leverage against plaintiffs seeking refunds on bad mortgages, said analyst Mike Mayo of Credit Agricole Securities USA. … “If the losses become so great, how can Bank of America at least not discuss internally the relative tradeoff of a Countrywide bankruptcy?” Mayo, who has an “underperform” rating on the bank, said in an interview. “And if you pull out the bazooka, you’d better be prepared to use it.”

via Report: Bank of America could consider Countrywide bankruptcy – Charlotte Business Journal.

Facebook, changes:  I do not get too upset about Facebook changes … but some pretty creative people do …

08
Apr
11

‎4.8.2011 … Loaded up and ready to go on John’s MacBook … Hope I did not lose too much! Definitely try to back up frequently …

Bronx Zoo Cobra, follow-up:  OK, I am a little slow … Mia = Missing in Action … I like it!

After the snake was found, zoo officials and The Daily News held a naming contest. The tabloid received more than 34,000 responses, with 59,535 people voting on the final five choices.

Mia was nominated 222 times and received 15,972 votes, or 27 percent. The runners-up were: Subira, 14,016 votes (24 percent); Amaunet, 11,672 votes (20 percent); Cleopatra, 10,730 votes (18 percent); and Agnes, 6,777 votes (11 percent).

via Cobra at Bronx Zoo Is Named Mia – NYTimes.com.

history, Civil Rights Movement 50th Anniversary, quotes: “Many Americans, black and white, think we’re done with this now. It happened. It’s over,” she said. “They really don’t connect with the fact that civil rights is still a huge issue in this country.”

But she thinks events like this are important — and not just because they allow students here a glimpse of history outside of their textbooks.

“Many Americans, black and white, think we’re done with this now. It happened. It’s over,” she said. “They really don’t connect with the fact that civil rights is still a huge issue in this country.”

Mulholland was a 19-year-old white student when she was arrested in 1961 and says she hopes the exhibits here inspire young people now to deal with the problems of today. That, she says, would be a tribute to the Freedom Riders who have passed on.

via Ahead Of 50th Anniversary, Freedom Riders Remember : NPR.

news, really stupid, UNC-CH:  The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC professor arrested, charged with stealing ambulance.

history, GA, WWII, Jekyll Island, me:  I remember being fascinated by this historical fact as a child when we visited Jekyll Island … as the story goes … the millionaires were ordered off the island because there was the greatest concentration of wealth in a very small place … and they never returned.

April 8, 1942

A German submarine sank two oil tankers near St. Simons Island, GA.

via Atlanta History Center, April 8, 1942.

In 1885, Jekyll Island was sold to the new
Jekyll Island Club, which included such
members as J.P. Morgan, Marshall Field and
Joseph Pulitzer. Over the years that followed,
the Jekyll Island Club became the nation’s
premier resort for the rich and famous and
was described in one publication as “the
richest, the most exclusive, the most
inaccessible club in the world.”

From 1886 until World War II, Jekyll Island
was a playground for millionaires. They built
massive “cottages” there and gathered for
meals and social events at the magnificent
clubhouse. In addition to the Morgans, Fields
and Pulitzers, the club’s membership also
included the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and
Goodyears among many others.

With such a remarkable membership of the
wealthiest people in America, the Jekyll
Island Club figured prominently in some of
the most important events of its time. It was
here that a secret meeting involving the
nation’s top financiers during an economic
recession led to the creation of the Federal
Reserve. And it was from Jekyll Island in
1915 that the president of AT&T made the
first public transcontinental telephone call.

The most remarkable event in Jekyll Island’s
rich history, however, was its transformation
in 1947 from a playground for the rich to a
playground for all.

Changing times and World War II made the
island available for purchase and in 1947,
the State of Georgia bought it from the Jekyll
Island Club for $675,000.

via Jekyll Island, Georgia – Historic Sites and Points of Interest.

Atlanta, architectural history, places, Neil Reid, Philip Trammell Shutze:  i had a fabulous lunch outside of Davidson yesterday two friends,  and my host told me her house was modeled after one on Habersham Road … so I started researching Habersham Road and Reid and Shutze and of course came back to my favorite area in Atlanta … Brookwood Hills.  Oh the places you can go on the internet! Brookwood Hills Historic District–Atlanta: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary.

 

 

19
Mar
11

3.19.2011 toured chapel hill with Molly … most impressed with this memorial … and the awareness of current students ….

college search, UNC-CH, history:

McMillan’s tour began at the university’s most polarizing monument, Silent Sam.”When people think about black history and Chapel Hill, Silent Sam is always the flashpoint. They say, ‘Why is this damn Confederate soldier standing at the entrance to campus?’ I like to point out that we choose what to remember from our past. When Silent Sam was erected in 1913, it was an era where consolidating white power was important,” said McMillan.By contrast, a student tour guide from the Visitors Center stuck to the facts, saying Silent Sam was a tribute to more than 1,000 students who donned the Confederate gray during the Civil War.

The Unsung Founders memorial at UNCMcMillan and the student tour guide also had different takes on the Unsung Founders memorial, placed steps away from Silent Sam in 2005. The memorial consists of a polished stone table held by 300 approximately foot-high human figures and five stone seats. Inscribed around the table’s circular edges are the words “The Class of 2002 honors the University’s unsung founders, the people of color bond and free, who helped build the Carolina that we cherish today.”

via UNC-Chapel Hill examines race and history | Orange County | Independent Weekly.

 

16
Feb
11

2.16.2011 … mind is lots of places … Bahrain, Boulder, Charlotte, Atlanta, Naples … technology makes the world smaller.

Uprising in the Middle East, Bahrain:  Unlike Egypt,  where most have a visual picture, albeit ancient, of pyramids and pharaohs, few have much knowledge of Bahrain, ancient or modern.  I only became aware of it beyond its name last year when I met our South African exchange student.  Her family’s primary residence is there because her father is a banker working out of the Middle East, and it is/was considered the safest.  Now the democracy movement has moved there.  I watch … I wish I knew more.  I wish I could understand what is going on and where this is going

Protests in Bahrain entered their third day on Wednesday, as tens of thousands continued to occupy a major intersection in the capital and thousands more marched to mourn a second man killed in Tuesday’s clashes with security forces.

A committee set up by seven opposition groups to coordinate the protests called for a massive demonstration on Saturday, forecasting a gathering of at least 50,000 people.

Crowds massed at the hospital morgue, as the body of the man killed on Tuesday was ferried out on top of a land-cruiser in a coffin covered with green satin. Thousands of men followed the coffin, many holding pictures of the deceased, beating their chests and chanting “God is great” and “Death to the Al Khalifa,” a reference to the country’s ruling family. Security forces remained withdrawn from protest areas, stationed in large battalions around a kilometer away.

At the Pearl roundabout, a central traffic circle in the financial district of the capital which has been claimed by the protesters, more tents and makeshift food stalls sprung up Wednesday, with those who spent the night there in a festive mood. Young men, many carrying Bahraini flags, chanted and danced, while a loudspeaker broadcasted a steady stream of speeches from activists.

The mourners are expected to march to the central roundabout later in the day, further swelling the numbers there.

Bahrain is a tiny, island kingdom in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, best known for its banking prowess and bars that cater to nationals from alcohol-free Saudi Arabia next door. While it pumps little crude itself, its neighbors are some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers.

Its position straddling the Gulf has made it a longtime, strategic ally of Washington. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, though no American warships are actually home-ported here.

via Protests Swell as Bahrain Demonstrators Mourn – WSJ.com.

Bernie Madoff, banking, Great Recession:  Is he getting even?  The NYT Op-Ed piece that follows is a great read even if you do not agree.

Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff said in an interview published online Tuesday that banks and hedge funds were “complicit” in his scheme to fleece victims out of billions of dollars.

Madoff did not name any institutions in his series of interviews with The New York Times but said banks and hedge funds “were complicit in one form or another.” He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.

via Madoff to NY newspaper: Banks ‘complicit’ in fraud – WSJ.com.

The billions that vaporized in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme amounted to a rounding error next to the eye-popping federal bailouts, including those pouring into too-big-to-fail banks wrecked by their own Ponzi schemes of securitization.

via At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back – NYTimes.com.

faith and spirituality:  When anthropologists and psychologists discuss the breakdown of the nuclear family, there is often a comment about the importance of the family meal.  From a spiritual standpoint,  I found this blogpost very interesting.

The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, “Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it,” we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion. That is why a refusal to eat and drink what a host offers is so offensive. It feels like a rejection of an invitation to intimacy.

Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another. Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communion with one another.

via February 16, 2011 – The Intimacy of the Table.

business, mergers, Family Dollar, Howard Levine, Charlotte: I heard a commentator on the radio the other day quip that Charlotte should be renamed “Levine-McColl” (like Winston-Salem?)  because of the importance of these two men and their families.  If the Levine’s sold Family Dollar I do not think it would impact Charlotte like a merger of other local companies … many do not know it is headquartered here …

Mr. Peltz’s Trian Group contacted Family Dollar’s chairman and chief executive, Howard Levine, on Tuesday and said it had amassed a 7.9 percent stake in the retailer, according to the filing. The investment firm has offered to pay between $55 to $60 a share in cash for the rest of the company, valuing Family Dollar at between $7 billion and nearly $7.6 billion.

At the low end of the range, Trian’s offer represents a 25 percent premium over Family Dollar’s Tuesday closing stock price of $43.96. Shares in the company soared more than 30 percent in after-hours trading.

Family Dollar’s stock has risen 39 percent over the past 12 months.

via Peltz Offers More Than $7 Billion for Family Dollar – NYTimes.com.

travel, adventure travel:  If money were no object then every vacation would be an adventure for John … but part of the adventure is planning it yourself.

Mr. Robertson creates 15 to 20 trips a year; he also takes the bespoke quality to a new level, having personally accompanied travelers (there’s a maximum of six per trip) on each trip so far. The packages, which start at around $7,000 a person (they can range up to $500,000, since each trip is custom-designed), span all seven continents and range in length from two to 21 days. They also make good use of Mr. Robertson’s wide network. On a recent hunting and whiskey-making getaway, for example, guests stayed at a seaside castle in Scotland that’s not open to the public.

via A New Entrant in Adventure Travel Outfitters – NYTimes.com.

marathons, adventure travel:  John loves Chicago’s, has wanted to run London’s … never thought about Las Vegas’s …

Marathons are popular around the globe, and it’s not uncommon for people to fly great distances to run in one. After all, if you’re going to work that hard, you might as well reward yourself with interesting sites, great pre-race carb-loading and the reward of a champion’s feast afterward. Here are three marathons that are among the best for an all-around great experience.

via Where is the World’s Best Marathon? | Spa & Sport | Four Seasons Magazine.

business, business secrets, Coca-Cola, Atlanta:  Those who read this “blog” know that I am brand loyal to Apple.  But before Apple, I was brand loyal to only one other company … Coca-Cola … I am an Atlanta girl:  I loved real Coke; I loved that the “secret formula” was locked away in the vault at the Trust Company (now SunTrust); I loved Atlanta’s Anonymous Donor (when everyone knew it was Mr. Woodruff); I pay money to go to the World of Coke … at least once a year;  I have read multiple books about its corporate history … truly.  Is the secret formula now out …

One of the most closely guarded trade secrets in the history of commerce may be a secret no more: NPR’s “This American Life” thinks it has found the exact recipe for the world’s most popular soft drink in a 1979 newspaper article.

According to the show’s host, Ira Glass, the drink’s secret flavoring component, which was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, is something called “Merchandise 7X.” The show’s staff recently stumbled across the February 8, 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published an article on page 28 about a leather-bound notebook that once belonged to Pemberton’s best friend, another pharmacist in the Atlanta area named R. R. Evans. The notebook contained a number of pharmacological recipes–but the main entry, for students of commercial history, was what’s believed to be the exact recipe for the soft drink: all of the ingredients listed with the exact amounts needed to whip up a batch.

The Journal-Constitution piece also featured a photo of the page in Evans’ notebook detailing Coke recipe–essentially revealing the recipe to the world. But since 1979 well antedated the explosion of digital media, the photograph of the recipe didn’t travel far beyond the Atlanta area.

Coke’s recipe is one of the most closely guarded secrets in American commerce, steeped in cloak-and-dagger lore. After businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought out Pemberton–who also conjured up cough medicines and blood purifiers, among other things–in 1887 for $2,300, the exact recipe for 7X was placed in the vault in an Atlanta bank. It’s been reported that only two company employees are privy to its ingredients and how they’re mixed at any given time–and that those two aren’t allowed to travel together out of fear that a traveling accident might take both of their lives.

According to company historian Mark Pendergrast, Candler was so paranoid about the recipe leaking out of his proprietary control that he would go through the company mail himself to prevent any employees from seeing invoices that might tip off its ingredients.

“It’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual,” Pendergrast told Glass, “and the formula is kept in a bank vault at Sun Trust, which used to be the Georgia Trust Company.”

via Did NPR’s ‘This American Life’ discover Coke’s secret formula? – Yahoo! News.

economics, St. Valentine’s Day, LOL, UNC-CH:  OK, one last VD post.  I loved this …

This annual event has really become a classic in the economics department,” said Sarah Whitford, executive co-president of the club.

Byrns said he hopes students take away more than a laugh from his lecture, adding that he also wants them to learn to approach love rationally and look at the bigger picture.

“I hope they take away the technique of making themselves better people,” Byrns said.

“I hope they take away that, even though I teach economics, this isn’t all about money. It’s about relationships and what you give the world.”

During his lecture, Byrns said that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, quoting Whitney Houston.

“Giving love is so much harder than receiving love because in order to give love you have to be a whole person,” Byrns said. “Asking and demanding love is a sign that you have issues you need to work through and that love should be a gift.”

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Ralph Byrns gives last-ever lecture on economics of love.

Apple, iPad: I knew this was coming.  I was not about to buy a magazine every month for full price …

Apple launched a subscription service at the App Store for magazines, newspapers, videos, and music bought through its App Store.

In a move that goes a long way to addressing concerns of many in the magazine and newspaper sectors, Apple said today that publishers will be allowed to set the price and the length of the subscription term. The processing of payments will be Apple’s job and handled within the App Store. Apple will collect 30 percent of the revenue.

“Our philosophy is simple,” Steve Jobs wrote in a statement. “When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.


15
Feb
11

2.15.2011 … VD is over … next stop President’s Day/Winter Break …

St. Valentine’s Day, history, media, followup:  Yesterday, I jokingly said ..”enough said,” knowing full well I would click and listen to VD stories all day … and I truly enjoyed reading all the history and true life stories this year.  I wonder if the journalists roll their eyes and say, “why me?” when they get the assignment.  Here is a sampling: The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day : NPR, Love Letters that Live On – CBS News Video, History of Valentine’s Day / Academic & Pulse / Audio – Inside Higher Ed.

St. Valentine’s Day, faith and spirituality:  I like it that my favorite Methodist blogger reminds us that love in the Bible is not lust but love in action …

Jesus cares how we live, and in every little corner or life, not just some spiritual zone. Jesus loves. Jesus wants love. Jesus wants what we do to be love in action.

via Myers Park United Methodist Church | Charlotte Methodist Church, Methodist Churches Charlotte NC – Myers Park UMC.

St. Valentine’s Day, The President, LOL:  I agree with the First Lady …

“I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said Tuesday at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.

“So we still find ways to have fun together, and a lot of it is private and personal. But we keep each other smiling and that’s good,” she added.

It also helps that Obama is “very romantic.”

via Michelle Obama: Laugh With Your Valentine – CBS News.

St. Valentine’s Day, me, followup, recipes: A little wine, a little chocolate, a little history, a little love … what more could I ask of a day!  Oh and for me … You had me at triple chocolate … (my husband actually brought me a “sinfully chocolate” mini ice cream cake … )

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

via Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake :: America’s Test Kitchen :: Recipes.

technology, history, our future, faith and spirituality:  very interesting article and very interesting blog post by Jim Miller/Hopelens (my favorite Presbyterian blogger).

Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now. One thing, at least, seems clear: although 3D printing will create winners and losers in the short term, in the long run it will expand the realm of industry—and imagination.

via3D printing: The printed world | The Economist.

So, every player in the orchestra, from the lead number one to the lowliest third violin can be playing a Strad.

So, in a universe with a surfeit of excellence will things be “better?” Will the Stradivarius be noticed when it is common? To excel means to “step beyond” the norm, but if the new normal is perfection, where do we find excellence? Will the palate get sated and then lose its taste. I am reminded of Jesus’ saying about the salt losing its savor. Is Paradise Regained too boring?

Then the agricultural fields of employment were abandoned for the big cities with their demand for hands in the “manufactories.” The additive manufacturing envisioned will need few hands, more brains, and just a couple of fingers.

I wonder if the new 3D technology can print some meaning and purpose. Can it print me love and hope? Can it print peace and justice? Can it print compassion and forgiveness? Can it print me my life?

Additive manufacturing presents huge spiritual challenges and opportunities.

via Print me a life « Hopelens Blog.

Apple:  Even without Steve Jobs, Apple is not stopping … Apple’s Calendar for the Next 6 Months: Apple News, Tips and Reviews «.

urban development, cities, bookshelf:  “our species greatest invention?”   Very interesting take on cities.  You’ll have to read the review … or maybe the book.

For Mr Glaeser, a Harvard economist who grew up in Manhattan, this is a happy prospect. He calls cities “our species’ greatest invention”: proximity makes people more inventive, as bright minds feed off one another; more productive, as scale gives rise to finer degrees of specialisation; and kinder to the planet, as city-dwellers are more likely to go by foot, bus or train than the car-slaves of suburbia and the sticks. He builds a strong case, too, for town-dwelling, drawing on his own research as well as that of other observers of urban life. And although liberally sprinkled with statistics, “Triumph of the City” is no dry work. Mr Glaeser writes lucidly and spares his readers the equations of his trade. This is popular economics of the best sort.

via Urban life: A tale of many cities | The Economist.

green, technology, me:  I have a five year old Bosch … which NEVER gets the dishes clean … I think it is both the BOSCH and the detergent! Great article!

Another Triumph for the Greens

To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.

via Another Triumph for the Greens | The Weekly Standard.

UNC-CH, change:  I hate to say this but I don’t think this is Carolina Blue either … it looks baby blue to me.

This year’s senior class can graduate with new gowns designed by Alexander Julian. UNC says the new gowns are a closer match to “true” Carolina blue and are also more environmentally friendly.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Pit Talk : Caps and gowns get a new look from Alexander Julian.

Egypt Uprising, technology, internet, FaceBook, culture: Loved this explanation of social space and public space merging!

But if Friday’s resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak proves nothing else, it is that social media and public space can be complementary, rather than in conflict. The social bonds built in the virtual world can spill over into the physical world–and with such seismic force that they can topple an autocrat.

The revolt is Egypt is said to have begun with the killing of Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian businessman who was hauled out of an Internet cafe by plainclothes policemen last June and beaten to death. As the New York Times reported last week, a graphic Facebook page tribute to Said provided an outlet for people’s rage.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

high-speed rail, technology, budgets, politics:  I think we may have missed the boat … train … whatever.

Barack Obama’s just-released budget for fiscal 2012 provides a major boost for transportation and infrastructure spending. Not surprisingly, transportation advocacy groups are praising the proposals, but will they get any traction in a Republican-controlled House that has knives out to cut the federal deficit? Significantly, the budget doesn’t propose raising the federal gas tax to pay for the increases in transportation and infrastructure spending.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

politics, 2012 Election, Newt Gingrich, pithy quotes: He has a lot of “‘splaining to do” to get my vote.  Inconsistencies between political rhetoric and personal life is a big negative for me.  I call it dishonesty.  He may be the king of pithy quotes … read on …

 

Stop, you say, Gingrich may not run for the Republican nomination and even if he does, chances are he won’t win it. But Gingrich says he’ll decide by the end of the month whether to set up an “exploratory committee” to raise money. The recent performances by a parade of prospects at the Conservative Political Action Conference make clear both why he is seriously entertaining the idea and why many Republicans continue to hold him in high regard, despite all.

And for people of a certain age, there is a lot of all: The extramarital affair with a House committee aide who is now his third wife, the personal and political failings that prompted him to leave the speakership and Congress, the inflammatory rhetoric that has made him so polarizing. (To hit a few highlights, he called Sonia Sotomayor racist, claimed Obama has a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” worldview and said that “Woody Allen having non-incest with a non-daughter … fits the Democratic platform perfectly”).

Over the three-day CPAC conference, one 2012 prospect after another brought to mind the word “generic.” The two who broke out of the mold were Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gingrich. Daniels gave a dense and high-minded speech about facing down the “Red Menace” of debt. Gingrich was Gingrich: hurling colorful insults at Obama, Democrats and their policies, flinging out ideas that included replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency and proposing that Obama receive an invitation to be CPAC’s keynote speaker next year – if he meets certain conditions like signing a repeal of his signature health care law.

That led my colleague David Corn to tweet: “Calls on Obama to sign a repeal of #HCR. That’s like calling on Newt to remarry wife No. 1.” Just the type of joke that would dog Gingrich in a presidential campaign.

via Would Women Support Newt Gingrich for President?.

technology, markets:  Scary … we have no idea how to value these companies …

The new high tech-bubble might not be the one you’re thinking of. Measuring the bubble’s size and inner pressure of is a delicate exercise. For today, we’ll consider two sectors: social networks and online media — such as the Huffington Post acquired last week by AOL for a stunning $315m.

via The Traffic Bubble | Monday Note.

gLee, Barbara Streissand, mea culpa:  Doesn’t hurt my feelings if she doesn’t like the show …

Streisand Apologizes: When Barbra Streisand was asked if she would consider an appearance on the hit dramedy at MusiCares ceremony, the “Yentl” star said “Not If I Can Help It.” The singer issued a clarification about her brusque statement on her Web site, saying, in part, “When asked if I would ever appear on ‘Glee,” I should have said, “You never know.” It was wrong to say, “Not if I can help it. What I meant was that I’ve been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album and starting a new movie.

via Barbra Streisand Clarifies ‘Glee’ Remark; Ken and Barbie Reunite – Speakeasy – WSJ.

websites,  favorites:  I have found a new site and I love it …. The Academic Minute – Inside Higher Ed / The Academic Minute.

23
Jan
11

1.23.2011 … Sunday, Sunday … so nice to have a day of rest …

followup, Jake’s , Charlotte, restaurants/diners:  So we ventured to Jake’s Good Eats for a second visit.  It is an upscale diner … in an old gas station.  The food is interesting.  The friend oysters were very good, but the sautéed spinach underneath was to die for.  The wedge with bleu cheese and bacon was very good … a meal in itself.  And my vegetable plate was quite good.  I could not have downed a full entre after the other two shared items.  I’ll go again … but get there early.  It is worth a 30 minute wait … but not an hour.

Jake’s Good Eats -.

music, classical music, lists:  I am not a music person, but I do consider myself educated … so I laughed when I got to her number 10 and had never heard of him.

I am about to reveal my list, though as those who have been with me on this quest already know, I’ve dropped hints along the way. And the winner, the all-time great, is … Bach!

But forced to pick only one more composer, I’m going with Bartok. In an earlier piece I made my case for Bartok, as an ethnomusicologist whose work has empowered generations of subsequent composers to incorporate folk music and classical traditions from whatever culture into their works, and as a formidable modernist who in the face of Schoenberg’s breathtaking formulations showed another way, forging a language that was an amalgam of tonality, unorthodox scales and atonal wanderings.

via The Greatest Composers – A Top 10 List – NYTimes.com.

Julio J. Ramirez, Davidson, kudos: To former neighbor Julio, kudos!

Julio J. Ramirez, the R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of a the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Ramirez will receive the award next Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will make the presentation. Ramirez will deliver a 10-minute talk on that occasion about his 30 years of involving students in his research on recovery from brain injury and his national efforts to promote neuroscience education and research.

via Obama honors Prof. Ramirez for mentoring | DavidsonNews.net.

Civil War Sesquicentennial, education, history, research:  We are only in the first weeks … It will be interesting to see how I/we feel after retracing this history in 5 years.

Over the next four years Americans will be reminded of and engage in debates about every aspect of a war that fundamentally transformed the nation and that set us on a path we are still working to come to terms with. America went through the same process at the centennial. What’s different this time around is the focus on race and slavery, both of which have the potential to divide Americans and obscure the boundaries between the present and the past; that, and the ability for anyone to access millions of pages of information about the war, its causes and consequences through the Internet.

via Teaching Civil War History 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Silent Sam, public art, UNC-CH, Civil War, history, icons:   I remember first encountering Silent Sam and hearing the tale of why he is silent (read on … ).  I laughed and went on.  I never knew he was memorializing the Civil War veterans who attended UNC.  I am sure all the current students will know his history as calls to topple him are made.  A compromise needs to be made.  He is a university icon.  Maybe it is time to publicly remember slavery and teach to understand the war by all students.

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war… their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South — when the ‘bottom rail was on top’ all over the Southern states, and today, as a consequence, the purist strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”

Carr then proudly recounted his contribution to Reconstruction’s racial violence:

“100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”

This disturbing past is part of our beloved institution’s history. All paths forward carry their own perils. Destroying the monument erases an uncomfortable past, but to ignore its connections to racial ideologies that barred African Americans from UNC until the 1950s is equally problematic. Even new interpretive signs would stir debates on what to include. These debates are healthy. As we near the Civil War’s sesquicentennial discussions over the meaning of our past ensures a more informed public. This I celebrate.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Why Silent Sam was built: A historian’s perspective.

It is silent because the figure wears no cartridge box for ammunition,[2] but legend has it he fires his gun every time a virgin walks by; since supposedly “no one” on campus is a virgin, he never fires his gun, hence why he is known to be “silent.”

via Silent Sam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Erected in 1913 as a monument to the 321 alumni of the University who died in the Civil War and all students who joined the Confederate Army, this statue is known by students as Silent Sam. The university continued operation during the Civil War, thanks to President Swain’s reliance on wounded veterans and men who were exempt from military service. Although the soldier holds a rifle, it is silent because he wears no cartridge box for ammunition.

via Landmarks | Silent Sam | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

childhood, Disney Princesses, end of an era, RIP, Bruno Bettelheim, followup, :  Still think this is sad that our society has outgrown the princess fairy tales.  I am sure followers of Bruno Bettelheim would say the stories were never about happy endings … but still for a generation who grew up with the films and who raised its children on the films it is a sad end.

Tangled, Disney’s latest fairy tale movie, was shut out at the Golden Globe Awards last weekend. Nominated for two — Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (“I See the Light”) — the retooled Rapunzel story won neither.

The critical shunning could be construed as a key indicator: Fairy tale movies have fallen on hard times. In fact, around Thanksgiving, the Walt Disney Co. revealed it has no plans to make another animated fairy tale.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Disney’s fairy tales. What do we tell the children? Kissed frogs don’t turn into princes, wicked stepsisters win out, glass slippers just won’t fit. And what colorful icons will we silkscreen all over kids’ pillows and lunchboxes?

via The Fairy Tale Struggles To Live Happily Ever After : NPR.

In The Uses of Enchantment (1976), his prize-winning treatise on the uses of fairy tales in the child’s upbringing, Bettelheim poignantly described how the child’s imagination is served by romantic stories, especially those told to the child and, in the telling, elaborated by the child’s freely created variations. Again, Bettelheim emphasized the collaboration of parent and child in sharing fairy tales to enhance the child’s developing sensibilities. The child needs not only those coping skills that are fostered by didactic parents, but also, Bettelheim wrote, a moral education communicated not through abstract (ethical) concepts but through fairy tales that deal with what is tangibly right and therefore meaningful. He likened the child’s understanding of fairy tales to the psychological insights gained long ago by poets. The German poet Schiller wrote: ‘Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.’10

As in so many of his works, the foundation for Bettelheim’s thesis that fairy tales foster the child’s developing mind and provide a forum for emotional expression rested primarily on the application of psychoanalysis to childhood education. True to the subject, Bettelheim whimsically discussed some of the most difficult psychoanalytic concepts in clear, amusing and fanciful language, rendering his thesis accessible to contemporary parents. Conspicuously oedipal themes in fairy tales are brought forth for the reader to consider. The power of Bettelheim’s writing resides in his ability to illuminate concepts that are obvious to psychoanalysts but remain obscure to parents without explication. A little girl’s conflict with her mother is narrated in ‘Cinderella’ by the device of having the child’s mother portrayed as the wicked stepmother. Such a theme resonates with a girl’s feeling of helplessness which is then overcome by the ‘good mother,’ a fairy godmother, who rescues Cinderella and supports her in her aspirations to meet the prince. Bettelheim also highlighted the importance of sibling rivalry in the family and in the Cinderella story, which depicts beautiful but shy Cinderella helpless at the hands of her stepsisters. This, too, is resolved by the rescuing fairy godmother, a resolution that every little girl deeply appreciates. Bettelheim hoped that as parent and child together understood the deeper meaning of these stories, the parent and the child would bond in mutual enjoyment.

http://www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/ThinkersPdf/bettelhe.pdf

random, video, NAPC, Atlanta:  Well this is an interesting way to teach a group of dull Presbyterians about their leaders and leadership! I’m a North Avenue Officer.

news, media, Keith Olberman:  So in the end does it just come down to money?

This was all Keith’s choice. He has several times over the years said that he wants out of his contract. He never meant it until this year. He started lawyers negotiating twice this year. He stopped them in the spring. Then, about a month ago with the guidance of his new ICM team and a new LA manager (who were making zero $ on his current deal), he once again said he wanted to leave and this time they negotiated the full package.

via NEW DETAILS: “MSNBC And Keith Olbermann Have Ended Their Contract”; Lefty MSNBC About To Make Right Turn? – Deadline.com.

“I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I’ve been told–that this is going to be the last edition of your show,” Olbermann said. “You go directly to the scene from the movie ‘Network’ complete with the pajamas and the raincoat.”

via Keith Olbermann’s Parting Words on MSNBC (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Arizona Massacre, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, rehabilitation:  So much hope … but I would hate to be in the spotlight.

Instead of doctors making you well, rehab means “teaching you how to help yourself” to get your life back, said Dr. William Donovan, a former medical director of the rehab hospital who still works there part-time.

It’s frustrating when your muscles and mind won’t work the way you want them to. Emotional challenges, post-traumatic stress and physical problems like seizures, headaches and infections loom as risks that could complicate her recovery.

via Rep. Gabrielle Giffords ‘More Alert,’ Says Dr. Gerard Francisco.

random, viral videos, lawsuits, YouTube:  I am sure this has happened before.  But the security guard did nothing to help her and posted the embarrassing video on YouTube. Do you think it really never crossed the guard’s mind that this was not appropriate? … unkind? … reflective on him or her that he/she was not doing their job?

But their lack of action has opened the floodgates. Sitting next to Marrero on GMA was her attorney, James Polyak. “We plan to hold all responsible parties accountable,” he said, for letting the video out, and will at the very least request an apology from the security team.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of the monstrous Mall of America.)

Marrero’s outcry has already made waves within the mall staff. According to the Reading (Pa.) Eagle, the Berkshire Mall security guard who posted the video has been fired. (via ABC News)

via Woman Falls in Fountain While Texting: Yes, She’s Real. And Mad. And Suing – TIME NewsFeed.

truth, friendship, relationships, Jane Austen, Davidson friends:  Ah, Jane once again subtly revealing the truth. This reminded me of my friend Cary’s recent article about our Davidson friend group gatherings.  I think one of the core requirements is that you tell the truth about yourself.

Truth is a very dangerous commodity. It is like a very sharp knife. You will kill or wound someone with truth more easily than you will cut the cords of ignorance with it. Truth often hurts; sometimes the hurt is necessary. A friend of mine used to say, “The truth will set you free, but it will make you miserable first.” In order for wounds to be healing wounds, they must be both given and received in a context of love and trust. Emma may often disagree with Mr. Knightly, but she never doubts his concern for her and her father.

via Holy Nativity Orthodox Church: Who’ll Tell Emma The Truth?.

heartbreak, Alzheimer’s, personal stories: Jan’s Story: Love and Early-Onset Alzheimer’s – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

college students, Duke:  Duke is getting nailed for what has been happening on college campuses forever.  The women should know better; the men should know better.  “Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part.” Stupid … and these kids are supposed to be the best and the brightest.

Some Duke University student activists hope to end a long-held practice where female students are plied with booze and encouraged to cozy up to new fraternity recruits.

It happens at “progressive” parties, generally held at the end of rush, the period during which fraternities and sororities evaluate prospective members. At Duke, the latest rush period concludes next weekend.

Female students are invited to be hosts at these fraternity parties. The Duke Chronicle student newspaper reported this week that the women’s tasks at the parties can range “from bartending to providing sexual favors.” The women often dress provocatively and are stationed in party rooms bearing such themes as “spring break” and “school girls,” critics say.

Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part. A new group, the Greek Women’s Initiative, recently held a forum examining the issue, and petitions seeking to end the practice have garnered about 800 signatures.

via ‘Progressive’ Duke parties under scrutiny – CharlotteObserver.com.

random, literature, museum exhibits, Morgan Library, NYC:  Diaries are interesting.  I would like to see this exhibit at  the Morgan.

“I have tried to keep diaries before,” John Steinbeck writes in a giant ledger book filled with his methodical script, “but they didn’t work out because of the necessity to be honest.”

via ‘The Diary’ at the Morgan Library – Review – NYTimes.com.

random, politics, Congress, man cave:  I never thought about where freshman members of congress lived.  But if you think about it they have just spent a ton of money and are only assured of two years.  Man Cave in the office??

“I probably got it as good as a man cave can be,” Walberg said.

Down the hall, freshman Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois, is still figuring out how to manage his nights. He sleeps on a couch.

“I think it’s important that we show we don’t live here, we are not creatures of this town,” Walsh told us. “There’s so much to do the next two years, I don’t want to be distracted with another place. I don’t want to have to think about an apartment.”

Walsh, Walberg and nearly two dozen of their colleagues are part of a trend that may have reached a historic high point.

A CBS News survey of all freshmen members of the U.S House of Representatives has found that at least 21 of the 96 members are sleeping in their office – that’s 19 of the 87 new Republicans and 2 of the 9 new Democrats.

The reasons range from making a symbolic statement that they are not part of Washington, proving they are fiscal conservatives, and just saving money.

They sleep on air mattresses, cots, couches, and rollaway beds.

via One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices – CBS Evening News – CBS News.

Arizona Massacre, emotional injuries, prayers:  Keep them in your prayers.

They cried together. They promised one another to seek professional help. And they said they would remain in frequent touch. When Mr. Green drove by with his son the other day, Ms. Hileman vowed that there would be more backyard water gun fights.

In a certain sense, Ms. Hileman sees herself, along with Ms. Giffords, as the third corner of a triangle — she wanted Christina to know that she, too, could become the kind of woman who emanated intelligence and pizazz.

“Christina and I were doing exactly what we wanted to do,” Ms. Hileman said. “We weren’t dragging somebody to the movies. We were happy. Some idiot decided to rain on my parade.”

via Tucson Shooting Survivors Struggle With ‘What If?’ – NYTimes.com.




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