Posts Tagged ‘USA

08
Sep
11

9.8.2011 … Last week … “let me in, it is too hot” … this week … “let me in, it is too cool” … and now … “let me out, it’s sunny and just right” – Goldibassets, Bart and Lisa, two 10-year-old bassets.

fall:  Bassets are loving it … they can ride in the car with me again … which usually means a “loving it” trip to McDonald’s as well.

Romare Bearden, Charlotte, A. Zachary Smith III:  I am so enjoying sharing in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth Charlotte’s native son Romare Bearden.  Thank you Zach Smith for introducing me to this wonderful artist 25 years ago.

Join us as we celebrate one of Mecklenburg County’s greatest artists in a film series dedicated to Romare Bearden; hosted by our award-winning film series guru, Sam Shapiro of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

What started as a Summer Film Series has become a year-long venture into bringing the world of film history to various audiences and last year won Creative Loafing’s Best of Charlotte Award for Best Film Series.

There will be Bearden celebrations and art exhibits around town throughout the fall and winter, including a major retrospective of his work opening at the Mint Museum in September. In partnership with the Mint, the Library will be screening a three part series focusing on Bearden, his art and his influence on music. Among them will be documentaries about the Harlem Renaissance, a 20th century movement.  All of these screenings also include a brief talk by Shapiro.

Funds raised for this series will be used to secure screening rights, produce and promote each series, and acquire much needed material on these topics for our collection.

Budget Breakdown:   Movie Rights: The rights to show these movies will cost $400. Promotional Materials: To ensure we have a great crowd we will need posters and a few advertisements that will cost $400. DVDs and Other Check Out Materials: We want the film series experience to be that our guests can take home and show their friends so we will spend $500 buying materials to support this effort. $156 will go to processing fees on the site

Total – $1,456

via Project Detail | power2give.

2012 Presidential Campaign, Jon Meacham, twitter: I forgot to watch … but JM sums it up …

@jmeacham

Jon Meacham

About that cheering last night: Obama seems bloodless, and the GOP is bloodthirsty.

via Jon Meacham (jmeacham) on Twitter.

medical marijuana, DC, LOL:  I am sorry … but having two boys in Boulder where medical marijuana is legal, I am used to it, make that not shocked by it,  in CO or CA, but I still  cannot imagine it on the east coast.

Gone is the sound technician who wanted to sell cannabis-infused cupcakes. And gone is the hydroponics supply store owner who once named a strain of pot after the Potomac River. They are among at least a dozen would-be medical marijuana entrepreneurs who took themselves out of the running because they found the city’s regulations too restrictive or the start-up costs too high. And in the past week, at least five more dropped out because of a recent change in the regulations that they fear increases the likelihood of federal prosecution.

The contenders that remain range from medical-cannabis veterans to complete novices whose qualifications for cultivation consist of “a green thumb.”

Many have gone the A-Team route and gathered an assortment of people with different specialities: doctor, CPA, horticulturist.

One of the most polished entrants is the nonprofit Abatin Wellness Center, the brainchild of former television talk show host Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis and has long supported legalizing medical marijuana. Abatin opened a dispensary in Sacramento this year that one reviewer dubbed “the Neiman Marcus of Marijuana.”

Intent on expanding eastward, Abatin hired veteran lobbyist and longtime Marion Barry lawyer Frederick Cooke Jr. to represent it in the District. In July, Cooke escorted Williams around the Wilson Building to meet local pols.

Williams said he hopes an Abatin outpost in Washington will help change perceptions about medical marijuana on Capitol Hill. He agrees with critics who complain that in some parts of the country, loose regulation has turned medical marijuana into little more than state-sanctioned drug dealing.

via D.C. approves more than 50 to apply for medical marijuana licenses – The Washington Post.

diet, health mental health:  I should never be depressed … these are all my favorites.

In recent years, carbohydrates have become the enemy in certain types of diets. “People are cutting out carbs completely,” Villacorta says, who suggests that rather than avoiding all carbs, you should simply choose the right ones — whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables. These carbs are digested more slowly than refined carbs, which cause your blood sugar to quickly rise and drop, leading to fatigue. Including healthy carbohydrates in your diet is important because they help increase levels of serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps relay messages from one area of the brain to another — which makes you feel more relaxed.

Nutrients to Improve Mood

Other healthy food-mood partners include:

Omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel and in ground flaxseed, canola oil, and some nuts such as walnuts. Research is still ongoing, Villacorta says, but some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate symptoms of depression. You can also take fish oil in capsules. “There are psychiatrists who prescribe fish oil as an adjunctive treatment for depression,” Wong says. “I’ve had a few people report to me that it helped improve their mood.”

Vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 is found in fish, such as salmon and trout, and in fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals. B12 is also available as a vitamin supplement. Good sources of folate (another B vitamin) are dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, citrus fruits, beans, almonds, dairy products, and fortified breakfast cereals. Researchers believe that these two B vitamins help break down the amino acid homocysteine, which is being investigated for a possible link to depression when in high levels.

Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and increases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. “I recommend dark chocolate to all my clients,” Villacorta says. “If you can eat just one or two small pieces a day, it’s good for you.” But be sure to stop there — a serving of only 1.5 ounces has also been shown to be heart-healthy, but eating the whole bar may cause you to pack on extra pounds.

via The Right Foods for Managing Depression – Major Depression Resource Center – Everyday Health.

USA, international relations, politics, global spin, post-American world:  I don’t even like the term “Post-American World”

Most Europeans – 54% — want to see strong American leadership, according to a new Transatlantic Trends poll out Sept. 14. And a whopping 85% of Americans want their country to lead the world. Certainly, if you listen to the GOP field of U.S. presidential wannabes, American exceptionalism has been on the decline and should be a priority. To their mind, America should always be No. 1.

But, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’s 2011 Review of World Affairs, out Tuesday, America’s interest in leading the world is at the lowest point since before Sept. 11. “The U.S. approach to international crises in the medium term will be shaped by the country’s war fatigue,” John Chipman, the institute’s director, told reporters in London at the report’s unveiling. “‘Abroad’ has become a synonym for ‘quagmire’ in the American political consciousness. ‘Home’ is the priority for which most political capital must be spent.” Traditionally, second-term presidents have focused more on foreign policy. Given the economic climate, President Obama has been forced to focus much of his attentions inward, and it remains to be seen whether he’s been successful enough to win a second term. A decade of two protracted and expensive wars have worn thin on the world’s only superpower.

via Many in the West Don’t Want a Post-American World – Global Spin – TIME.com.

marriage, mental health problems, marrying young, twitter:  The twitter link said women who marry “young” suffer mental health problems.

@TIMENewsFeed

TIME NewsFeed

Getting married young is linked to psychological problems later, study finds | ti.me/pGRp6o

via TIME NewsFeed (TIMENewsFeed) on Twitter.

I thought I married young at 24 … uh-oh … they meant under 18, i.e., children who marry!  Glad I don’t qualify … I have enough risk factors as it is!

A new study has found that girls who marry before they’re 18 are more likely to suffer from mental health problems later on.

The research, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, found that women who were married as children — defined as 17 or younger by the study — were more likely to suffer from problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug addiction. The researchers, led by Dr. Yann Le Strat, discovered the connection by looking at data from more than 18,000 women from across the United States and determining how old they had been when they were first married (if they married at all) and whether or not they suffered from long or short-term psychiatric problems.

via Study: Getting Married Before Age 18 Linked to Psychological Problems – TIME NewsFeed.

brainwave controllers, science, innovation, TED:  Humans are amazing!

THE idea of moving objects with the power of the mind has fascinated mankind for millennia. At first it was the province of gods, then sorcerers and witches. In the late 19th century psychokinesis, as the trick then came to be known, became a legitimate object of study, as part of the nascent field of parapsychology, before falling into disrepute in the arch-rationalist 20th century. Since the 1990s, however, it has seen something of a revival, under a more scientifically acceptable guise.

There is nothing particularly magical about moving things with thoughts. Human beings perform the feat every time they move a limb, or breathe, by sending electrical impulses to appropriate muscles. If these electrical signals could be detected and interpreted, the argument goes, there is in principle no reason why they could not be used to steer objects other than the thinker’s own body. Indeed, over the past two decades brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) which use electrodes implanted in the skull have enabled paralysed patients to control computer cursors, robotic arms and wheelchairs.

Now, though, non-invasive BCIs, where electrodes sit on the scalp instead of burrowing through it, are finally becoming a realistic alternative to the complicated surgical procedure that implants necessitate. Electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity along the scalp, has long been used clinically to diagnose epilepsy, comas and brain death, and as a research tool in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Last year an Austrian company called Guger Technologies released a system that uses EEG to allow paralysed patients to type. The system highlights letters one by one on a grid. When the desired letter comes up an EEG headset picks up the brain activity associated with recognising it. At five to ten characters per minute the process is slow and laborious, but it offers patients a way to communicate with others. The device can also be used to attract a minder’s attention, to get a computer to read out a text or to send commands to external devices such as a TV.

As might be expected, not everyone shares the enthusiasm for supplanting mankind’s traditional, arm’s length relationship with technology with a deeper, BCI-mediated sort. Jens Clausen, a medical ethicist at Tübingen University, warns that excessive use of BCI for gaming could alter brain activity in ways that conventional gaming does not, and that as yet are poorly understood. And blurring the distinction between thinking about an act and actually performing it raises some tricky moral and philosophical questions.

Yet as it stands, the technology seems poised for a period of rapid development which both the needy and thrill-seekers are bound to greet with cheers. As Tan Le, co-founder of Emotiv, the headset-maker, told the TED conference last year, “We are only really scratching the surface of what is possible.” Those scratches are, however, getting deeper all the time.

via Brainwave controllers: Put your thinking cap on | The Economist.

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves | Video on TED.com.

Odessa Sloan Hunsucker, RIP, Davidson College:  Davidsonians loved the staff at the college.  This obituary  made me think of The Help and wondered if the staff knew how much we loved them.  They blessed our lives. Rest in peace, Odessa Sloan Hunsucker. You had a full life.

Mrs. Hunsucker was born July 1, 1911, in Davidson and attended schools in Davidson and Statesville. She married John Baxter Hunsucker (1905-1967) and together they moved to New Jersey and New England, where they lived and worked for many years.

After her husband’s death, Mrs. Hunsucker moved back to Davidson and built a home on Lakeside Avenue, where she lived until 2007. At the time of her death, she was living in a nursing home in Mooresville. In July, she celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.

In Davidson, she was active in Reeves Temple AME Zion Church, where she was a former trustee board member, a class leader, deaconess, senior choir member and a member of the Missionary Society and Lay Council. She also was a member of the Progressives Club.

Odessa Sloan Hunsucker celebrated her 100th birthday with friends in July 2011.

She worked many years as a cook at Davidson College fraternities PKA and Emanon and later was employed by the Howie family.

She is survived by a niece, Angela Sloan, of Clinton, Md.; and two cousins, Mable Torrence of Davidson and Ruth Crosby of Charlotte.

She also leaves behind many friends, including Lela Johnson of Davidson, who assisted her for many years. “She was a sweet person, and she loved everybody,” Mrs. Johnson recalled. “She was a fun person to be with. She loved to crochet, and she loved to cook.”

via Odessa Sloan Hunsucker, 100 | Obituaries.

 The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, bookshelf, corporate history, economics, kith/kin, Atlanta:  Very interesting how the great corporations rise (and fall) coincide with our economic history.  As a kid in Atlanta, we had the Peachtree Battle A&P (where I went with my dad on Saturdays to get all the OA gossip) and a few Colonials and then the hold out independents (the one I remember was near Brookwood Station) which all disappeared by the late 60s.   What do you remember?

Enter the A&P. The company, which originally focused on the tea market, opened its first small grocery store in 1912. Unlike traditional mom-and-pop stores, the A&P had no telephone, no credit lines and no delivery options. They also had lower prices.

“People figured out they could save money by shopping there,” says Levinson. “It stocked only items that were fast-sellers, so it wasn’t stuck with an inventory of products no one was buying. It had limited hours. It had a single employee. … They found a way to sell groceries cheaper. … Within eight years, this approach turned their company into the largest retailer in the world.”

By 1930, the Hartford family, which owned A&P, had opened up almost 16,000 more stores. The stores themselves also expanded in both size and selection.


In a new book, Levinson explains how local mom-and-pop stores — with their limited selections, high prices and nonstandard packaging — paved the way for national chains like the A&P to swoop in and dominate the grocery industry. His book The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America chronicles the rise (and fall) of the discount grocery chain that was once one of the largest businesses in America. Levinson tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies that it was no coincidence that a national chain replaced the corner store.

“People get misty-eyed at the thought of the independent store — maybe it had some unique product, maybe we had more choices than we have today — but the truth was exactly the opposite,” he says. “Most of these stores had a very limited selection. They had no unique products at all. … [Shoppers] would have to go to two or three different grocery stories in their neighborhood if they wanted different type of goods, plus the butcher, the baker, and the fruit and vegetable store. … The consumer’s choices were pretty constrained.”

State laws were passed to force manufacturers to sell to all stores at the same price and to tax merchants with multiple stores in a case. An antitrust suit was also filed against the A&P, claiming that it had become a food monopoly because it controlled all aspects of manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling. But the movement lost steam in the late 1930s, when the economy started to pick up.

“By late 1939, unemployment was starting to fall, prices were starting to rise,” he says. “And you had full employment in World War II. The fate of mom-and-pop merchants was not the political issue that it had been during the Depression. After the war, you had huge changes in American society — and people liked the idea of shopping at a larger store … and they didn’t like being told that they were supposed to do business with a little independent grocer who didn’t offer them many choices.”

via How The A&P Changed The Way We Shop : NPR.

blogging, what i think about most: This wordpress feature intrigues me because some surprise me …

Apple Apps architecture art Atlanta bookshelf Charlotte Chicago college culture Davidson Davidson College education Facebook faith and spirituality followup food gLee Great Recession green health history icons Jane Austen kith/kin kudos lists LOL media movies music news NYC places politics quotes random religion restaurants RIP South Africa technology travel tv

via Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Newseum, Newseum Student Advisory Team, DC, Carol Harman:  If I were an “opinionated, engaging and informed middle and high school students,” I would love this.  Unfortunately I do not qualify. 🙂  But if you are in the DC area and have kids in this age group … what a great opportunity.  The Newseum is one of my favorites.  Thank you Carol Harman for suggesting I visit!

Join the 2011-2012 Newseum Student Advisory Team

We are looking for opinionated, engaging and informed middle and high school students to participate in the Newseum Student Advisory Team. The advisory team’s role is to (a) serve as the Newseum’s student ambassadors and (b) provide feedback on the development of interactive exhibits, videos and programs in the Newseum.

Students who participate will be given a package of tickets to the Newseum. Verification of volunteer hours will be provided. Team members must be able to attend required meetings once a month at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Interested students should submit a completed application, including a 250-word essay, describing why you would like to be a part of the team, and one letter of reference from a faculty or community member by Sept. 16, 2011.

Completed applications can be submitted by mail, fax or electronically to:

Newseum Education Department

555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20001

Phone: 202/292-6650; Fax: 202/292-6665

E-mail: educationprograms@newseum.org

Download the new member application

Key Dates:

Finalists will be notified via email by Sept. 24, 2011. Finalists are required to interview with members of the Newseum Education Department and current Student Advisory Team members before joining the team.

The first meeting will be Thursday, Oct.13, 2011, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents are required to attend this introductory meeting with their students.

via Newseum | Resources for Students.

10
Mar
11

3.10.2011 … If they call it “artisan,” I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

Lent: I like the discipline idea of Lent .. rather than the giving up … But I will do both … I will give up using my right arm (it will heal much more quickly) and will discipline myself to pray rather than complain or be judgmental.  I am not giving up ice cream … read on … 🙂

foods – desserts, artisan foods, ice cream:  If they call it “artisan,”  I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

You’ve heard this story before: tiny company makes wonderful product using method alien to evil corporate rival; tiny company vows to keep at it even if it never makes a dime. There’s usually a twee, antiquarian sensibility about it, maybe you grow a handlebar moustache and print a label with an ancient letterpress. Painstakingly (and conspicuously) sourced ingredients, laborious production methods and most importantly a supportive circle of buyers — preferably in somewhere like Brooklyn or Portland, Ore. — completes the picture. There’s just one universal law: you can’t be expected to make any real money. As a recent article in food-snob bible Edible Brooklyn boasted of its subjects, “none of these entrepreneurs is looking to be the next Mrs. Fields or Ben & Jerry’s. Part of what sets this artisan boomlet apart from other start-ups is that the goal is to make a living — not a killing.” Real profit, in this narrative, needs be ceded to the corporations.

Jeni Britton Bauer, on the other hand, has never done anything but work on ice cream, think about ice cream and take ice cream to places where it has never gone. If she can become a success, and it looks like she can, there may yet be hope for all those tiny, perfect products — the micro-distilled spirits, the handmade cheeses, the bean-to-bar chocolates — that currently exist only in gourmet ghettos. After all, there was a time when gelato was unknown in America’s supermarkets too.

via In Ohio Ice Cream Chain’s Success, Hope for Other Artisans – TIME.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Made in Columbus Ohio.

globalization, USA, Fareed Zakaria: “The Rise of the Rest” … I think this is one of the best articles  I have read in a while.

Despite the hyped talk of China’s rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate. But these are snapshots of where we are right now. The decisions that created today’s growth — decisions about education, infrastructure and the like — were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world and generous immigration policies. Look at some underlying measures today, and you will wonder about the future. (Watch TIME’s video “Why Cities Are Key to American Success in the 21st Century.”)

The following rankings come from various lists, but they all tell the same story. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades). We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment. Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy. American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization, we’re 27th in life expectancy, 18th in diabetes and first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more. There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they’re not ones we usually brag about. We have the most guns. We have the most crime among rich countries. And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.

The changes we are currently debating amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But reducing funds for things like education, scientific research, air-traffic control, NASA, infrastructure and alternative energy will not produce much in savings, and it will hurt the economy’s long-term growth. It would happen at the very moment that countries from Germany to South Korea to China are making large investments in education, science, technology and infrastructure. We are cutting investments and subsidizing consumption — exactly the opposite of what are the main drivers of economic growth.

It’s not that our democracy doesn’t work; it’s that it works only too well. American politics is now hyperresponsive to constituents’ interests. And all those interests are dedicated to preserving the past rather than investing for the future.

The founders loved America, but they also understood that it was a work in progress, an unfinished enterprise that would constantly be in need of change, adjustment and repair. For most of our history, we have become rich while remaining restless. Rather than resting on our laurels, we have feared getting fat and lazy. And that has been our greatest strength. In the past, worrying about decline has helped us avert that very condition. Let’s hope it does so today.

via U.S. Decline in Global Arena: Is America No Longer No. 1? – TIME.

YA/children’s lit, Shel Silverstein, bookshelf:  I may have to buy it just for the memories!

Nearly a dozen years after his death, Shel Silverstein will once again hit the shelves with a new book of poems called Everything On It.

Silverstein gained fame for penning children’s classics like The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic. Members of his family selected the poems and illustrations in Everything On It from his archives, and took care to make sure the content echoed his past work.

via Posthumous Poems: New Shel Silverstein Book Hits Stores in September – TIME NewsFeed.

Facebook, technology, culture, Good Samaritan, suicide prevention: If it saves lives … but …

Facebook is launching a system that allows users to report friends who they think may be contemplating suicide.

The feature is being run in conjunction with Samaritans, which said several people had used it during a test phase.

Anyone worried about a friend can fill out a form, detailing their concerns, which is passed to the social networking site’s moderators.

It follows reports of several cases where Facebook users announced their intention to commit suicide online.

The reporting page asks for the address (URL) of the Facebook page where the messages are posted, the full name of the user and details of any networks they are members of.

Suicide-related alerts will be escalated to the highest level, for attention by Facebook’s user operations team.

via BBC News – Facebook adds Samaritans suicide risk alert system.

news, South Africa, hate crimes, new terms:  corrective rape?

Gaika is a rarity in South Africa, indeed in all of Africa, as an openly gay woman. And since her attack, which took place in 2009, she has become something of an icon in the battle against the South African phenomenon called “corrective rape.” Virtually unknown to the rest of the world at the time of Gaika’s ordeal, corrective rape has since become a hot issue. Through online campaigns, nearly a million people have joined local activists in demanding that the South African government recognize corrective rape as a hate crime. But with so few cases of homophobic violence resulting in trials — and of those, almost none ending in conviction — the activists have a long fight ahead of them.

via South Africa’s Corrective Rape: Activists Battle Violence – TIME.

19
Feb
11

2.19.2010 … continuing the tour of mid-atlantic colleges … our tour guides all seem happy :)

education, Teach for America, USA: Very interesting analysis … ET has met some TFA teachers and noted that they feel unprepared.  Several teach math with absolutely no background in math … or teaching.

According to the petition,

“few TFA teachers remain in the classroom beyond TFA’s two-year requirement, depriving our children of experienced educators. These are bold injustices in a perpetually unfair education system that denies our children the critical resources they deserve and need to reach their full potential. The status quo educational inequity that assigns well-prepared teachers to middle class and wealthy white children and inadequately prepared teachers to our children must end.”

Undeniably, part of what’s kept Teach For America going over the past 20 years is the ability to cultivate achievement-oriented individuals who are committed to keeping student achievement front and center. Improving its training is surely going to be a part of how the organization prioritizes its students in the 21st century. But if Teach For America stepped up and took the lead in the national conversation about race, class, and education—if it used its considerable influence to challenge how school districts decide which teachers get funneled to certain schools—now that would be something spectacular.

via Teach For America’s Model: Does It Need to Change? – Education – GOOD.

college, drugs, parenting:  One negative of decriminalizing or social acceptance of “a little pot” is that the risk-takers move up the risk ladder.

Thanks to recent high profile narcotics busts at the universities of Georgetown, Columbia, and Cornell, word is out that students at elite private schools aren’t just smoking a little pot. They’re using (and dealing) hard drugs like heroin—and they’re getting arrested for it.

via Breaking: Ivy League College Students Use Hard Drugs – Education – GOOD.

economics, world markets:  Coffee is the second most important legally traded commodity.

While you might think of coffee as merely a good caffeinated drink, the seeds of the Coffea plant represent the second most important legally traded commodity, following oil, in terms of dollar value, writes Mark Pendergast in Uncommon Grounds. Consequently, these beans mean a lot to some 25 million farmers in developing countries.

via Map: Where Are the World’s Coffee Drinkers? – Food – GOOD.

culture, multiculturalism, globalization, parenting:  I really enjoyed this analysis and agree it is very difficult to raise children open to multiculturalism in our culture.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron just reignited the debate on “multiculturalism,” joining ranks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Sarkozy by declaring their multicultural policies a “failure.” As a U.S. passport carrying, multilingual, daughter of immigrants, and as a mother of aspiring global citizens, such a defeat felt like a kick in the gut. In my travels speaking to diverse audiences on gaining a global perspective and the tools contained in my book, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, I’ve seen quite the opposite: individuals of varied backgrounds coming together to raise beautiful families, make friends across cultural and ideological lines, and take tangible steps toward building a better world for their children.

Upon closer review, David Cameron’s justification for the failure of multiculturalism seemed reasonable: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream.” Speaking specifically of radical Muslim youth, Cameron argued this resulted in marginalization, rootlessness, and “behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.”

Like most words that end in “-ism,” the policy of multiculturalism divided people rather than it building connections among them. Unity and diversity became mutually exclusive. This resulted in too many immigrants not gaining opportunities to move into better neighborhoods, attend those schools, or marry outside their confined groups. That version of “multiculturalism” resulted in ghettoization, produced a violently radicalized youth, and served as a excuse for racism; that version of “multiculturalism” is a failure.

via How to Save Multiculturalism – Education – GOOD.

politics, stereotypes:  Also interesting … as well as the comments.

I find Mr Sumner’s typology quite congenial probably because I have Mr Sumner’s politics, more or less, and his way of carving up the ideological space places us where we see ourselves: as “pragmatic libertarians” leaning a bit more toward “progressive idealism” than “dogmatic libertarianism”. That said, there is something troubling about the lack of parallelism in Mr Sumner’s scheme. While conservatism and progressivism both have “idealistic” and “corrupt” variants, libertarianism is only “dogmatic” and “pragmatic”. I think the ideological influence but electoral insignificance of libertarianism goes some way toward justifying its different treatment. But I wouldn’t want to leave out the possibility of conservatism and progressivism that is pragmatic in the sense of pursuing conservative and progressive values through practical, empirically-tested means, and not in the “corrupt” sense of catering to the electoral interests of a partisan faction.

via Picturing politics: Sumner’s wheel of ideology | The Economist.

history, China, bookshelf:  In 2007, my family visited the Chengde Mountain Resort.  As I walked through this summer palace with our guide, he read to me many of the signs that were not translated into English and I was struck by how many times he read the word “humiliation”.  I commented the other day that  it would be like walking through a US historical site and repeatedly commenting on our humiliation. This book review puts perspective on why the Chinese did this (and possibly why the signs were not translated into English and others glorifying China’s dynastic history were translated).

AS NUMEROUS museums across China testify, the country dwells on its past in order to justify the present. A common theme is that of the “national humiliation” China says it suffered from the mid-19th century until the Communist Party came to power in 1949. To help prove that the party created a “new China” and has the right to rule it, schoolchildren are made to tramp around exhibits showing how foreigners scrambled to dismember China, how they poisoned it with opium, bullied (and sometimes butchered) its people and looted its treasures.

As far as it goes, this outline of what happened is true enough, though opium was commonly used by the Chinese elite before the British started peddling their own produce from India. But the party forbids exploration of anything that might blur this picture. One taboo area is what Chinese nationalists at the time saw as the foreign nature of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing, which collapsed in 1911. Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary who helped topple it, held the ethnic Manchus who controlled the dynasty in more contempt than the Westerners who had forcibly set up colonial enclaves, the Russians who had carved off part of Manchuria, or the Japanese who had taken Taiwan after a war in 1895. To keep the story simple, the party prefers to view the Manchus as Chinese.

In his history of the foreign scramble for China, Robert Bickers of Bristol University looks mainly at the story of west European and, to a lesser extent, American interaction with the country. The Japanese and Russian strands of this hugely complex tale of an evolving nation-state are picked out in less detail. The anglophone actors take centre stage—rightly, perhaps, at first, given the pioneering role played by the British in China’s history of humiliation. Mr Bickers takes 1832 as his starting point, the year when British ships sailed north from the Canton delta, carrying pamphlets, textiles and opium.

via 19th-century China: Clashing with the foreign devils | The Economist.

Middle East Unrest:  good country by country summary …

Unrest has spread across the Middle East and North Africa. Here’s a look at what has happened — and what is happening — in various countries:

via Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa — country by country – CNN.com.

history, GWTW, Atlanta, kith/kin:  Every time a new picture or footage is found I search for a 12-year-old boy in a boy scout uniform “holding the ropes” for Clark Gable and shaking his hand.  🙂

The color film is a rarity for its time, shot in 1939 during the three-day celebration surrounding the release of the movie Gone with the Wind.

“It was made on 16mm Kodachrome film. And some of that film is of pretty lasting quality,” said Paul Crater of the Atlanta History Center.

The Atlanta History Center uploaded the film to YouTube a few weeks ago. It features the Loew’s Grand Theatre — which was destroyed by fire in 1978. The Georgia Pacific tower stands in its place now. Shot by a furniture store executive with a taste for expensive cameras, it’s an archival piece that stayed mostly under wraps for 70 years.

via New / Old Footage Unearthed of 1939 Atlanta GWTW Premiere – 11Alive.com | WXIA | Atlanta, GA.

17
Feb
11

2.17.2011 … planning for life …

Great Recession, Great Recovery, colleges, Sewanee: Yea, Sewanee’s right!

In a move likely to reverberate among America’s top-tier private colleges, the University of the South said Wednesday it will slash tuition and fees for the coming school year by 10%, or about $4,600.

Commonly known as Sewanee, for the Tennessee town where it is based, University of the South said the cut represents an acknowledgment of “new economic realities.”

“Higher education is on the verge of pricing itself beyond the reach of more and more families,” John M. McCardell Jr., the university’s president, said in a press release.

If not the first, Sewanee is the largest private school to institute such price cuts in recent years, said Tony Pals, director of communications for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

via University of the South Slashes Tuition, Cites Economy – WSJ.com.

faith and spirituality, culture, family, Nouwen, followup: I loved yesterday’s Nouwen post (see here) about the value of the “intimacy” of the family meal.  I equally enjoyed this followup.

The Barometer of Our Lives

Although the table is a place for intimacy, we all know how easily it can become a place of distance, hostility, and even hatred. Precisely because the table is meant to be an intimate place, it easily becomes the place we experience the absence of intimacy. The table reveals the tensions among us. When husband and wife don’t talk to each other, when a child refuses to eat, when brothers and sisters bicker, when there are tense silences, then the table becomes hell, the place we least want to be.

The table is the barometer of family and community life. Let’s do everything possible to make the table the place to celebrate intimacy.

via February 17, 2011 – The Barometer of Our Lives.

USA, perspective, culture:  It takes an outsider to look at us critically.  What do you think?  Are we a “not exceptionally bright” “beacon of freedom unto the world”?

Americans take pride in standing as the beacon of freedom unto the world. And America is pretty free. However, as Mr Sorens observes, it’s beacon is not exceptionally bright. America comes in sixth in the Fraser Institute’s 2010 “Economic Freedom of the World” rankings, between Chile and Canada. Mr Sorens doesn’t mention it, but matters look worse if we look at the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal’s “2011 Index of Economic Freedom”, which ranks America ninth, just behind Denmark and well behind our frostbitten northern neighbours. It’s worse if we move on to non-economic liberties. Mr Sorens reports that America rates merely average on Amnesty International’s government repression index in the period from 2004-2008. One might come to the defence of the city on the hill by noting that America gets top marks in political rights and civil liberties from Freedom House, but then so do scores of other countries. The Freedom House ratings aren’t very fine-grained. If you think the extent of liberty is not unrelated to the rule of law, you may be interested in America’s place in Transparency International’s latest corruption perceptions index. It’s 22nd, which isn’t bad—better than France!—but not what you’d call exceptional.

via America the not-so-weird: How exceptional is America, really? | The Economist.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, media:  Seems they don’t think much of us …

“Seems no major city wants the Democratic convention. It’ll be in Charlotte, N.C. Great idea. The nearest hotel’s in South Carolina.”

“Charlotte is not world class. It is more suited to host the Southern Baptist Convention because it shares the mentality of that ilk of folk. It has no real night life, unless you find drinking with a bunch of hick twinks and talking about football or NASCAR enjoyable. … If your idea of a host city is one of religiosity, racism, racing and wrestling, ya’ll come!”

“Here in L.A. we have no automatic biases. But I have decamped to both towns for coverage and believe me, this is where you’ll find that third of Americans who think evolution’s a crock. What rubes.”

via Don’t sweat the image; some live for negatives – CharlotteObserver.com.

internet, Facebook, culture, psychology: I have seen different sides of people in e-mails and on Facebook … sides that I enjoy more than the person I got to know in person.  Rarely have I disliked someone  because of my internet interaction.  I can see how it might help a shy person.

At a party, bar or restaurant, “I just sit there, hoping someone will talk to me,” he said. “I wait.”

But on Facebook, the 32-year-old Woodbridge resident is Mr. Personality. He constantly refreshes his status, comments on others’ updates, posts pictures, makes jokes and registers his likes. More important, when he sees his digital connections in person, he said, his shyness often disappears.

“There is no doubt that Facebook has improved my life in building relationships with other people,” Chiles said.

Chiles is, in many ways, the face of a counterintuitive new stream of research examining whether social networks, particularly Facebook, are for shy people what water is for the thirsty. The studies, with such titles as “The Influence of Shyness on the Use of Facebook” and “Shyness and Online Social Networking Services,” grapple with an important question: Can the Age of Oversharing bring the shy and lonely out of their cocoons?

“Overall, I think Facebook is a mixed bag,” Cohen said. “The benefits are more obvious, apparent and immediate. But the downsides, at least at first, tend to be less obvious and deeper in the long run. We are really just beginning to understand all of this.”

via Can Facebook help overcome shyness?.

 

10
Feb
11

2.10.2011 … I am off to a festival … festival of legal learning at UNC … whooppee!

faith and spirituality:  Really liked this post by Brene Brown.

As I look around at the political and social struggle around us, I’m reminded of my own struggle to find/reclaim faith in my life. As a lover of all things certain, I wanted faith to work like an epidural; to numb the pain of vulnerability. As it turned out, my faith ended up being more like a midwife – a nurturing partner who leans into the discomfort with me and whispers “push” and “breathe.”

Faith didn’t make my life less vulnerable, it simply offered to travel with me through the uncertainty.

via faith, doubt and inspiration – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Egypt Uprising:  Makes you think …

In a region where the truth and truth-tellers have so long been smothered under the crushing weight of oil, autocracy and religious obscurantism, suddenly the Arab world has a truly free space — a space that Egyptians themselves, not a foreign army, have liberated — and the truth is now gushing out of here like a torrent from a broken hydrant.

And the this is a titanic struggle and negotiation between the tired but still powerful, top-down 1952 Egyptian Army-led revolution and a vibrant, new, but chaotic, 2011, people-led revolution from the bottom-up — which has no guns but enormous legitimacy. I hope the Tahrir Square protesters can get organized enough to negotiate a new constitution with the army. There will be setbacks. But whatever happens, they have changed Egypt.

After we walked from Tahrir Square across the Nile bridge, Professor Mamoun Fandy remarked to me that there is an old Egyptian poem that says: “ ‘The Nile can bend and turn, but what is impossible is that it would ever dry up.’ The same is true of the river of freedom that is loose here now. Maybe you can bend it for a while, or turn it, but it is not going to dry up.”

via Speakers’ Corner on the Nile – NYTimes.com.

quotes, pity quotes, Julia Child:  Love this old article/interview with Julia Child!

The problem with the world right now is that we don’t have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don’t have anyone who’s speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don’t know what’s to become of us.

via Julia Child Interview – Eating Healthy and Smart – Quotes about Diets – Esquire.

Gabrielle Giffords, recovery, miracles:

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has recovered enough from a bullet to the brain to ask for toast with breakfast.

Few details are available, but Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, confirmed that the congresswoman made the verbal request on Monday when hospital workers at TIRR Memorial Hermann brought her a meal.

“The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury but they aren’t kidding when they say this is a marathon process,” Kelly wrote on Facebook. “There are encouraging signs every day, though.”

via Giffords speaks, asking for toast with breakfast – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

health care:  But Gabrielle Giffords costs are fully covered … many are not so fortunate.

What is clear, however, is that her care at one of the country’s top five rehab sites will be paid for through a federal workers compensation program, providing essentially unlimited time and money to help her regain cognitive, physical and social functions.

“What she’s needed, she’s gotten,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, who confirmed to msnbc.com that Giffords’ care after the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and injured 13 will be treated as a workplace injury.

via Brain injury victims struggle to find care – U.S. news – msnbc.com.

restaurants, farm-to-table, Boulder, Salt:  Add Salt to my Boulder list …

In every bite of a dish from Salt, one can taste a medley of flavors that impart more than just the delight of a quality, flavorful meal, but also a dedication to sustaining the ecology and businesses of Boulder.

Salt is one of the few restaurants in America that has fully immersed itself in the culture of farm-to-table dining, a culinary approach in which restaurants (and family kitchens) get their products from nearby farms, ranches and vendors, instead of ordering them from a corporate third party.

“The term farm-to-table is the shortest distance, the fewest hands, that it takes to get a vegetable from the ground to the table,” said Kevin Kidd, the executive chef at Salt. “It’s the farmer selling it and it going directly to the chef.”

Kidd said the benefits of farm-to-table dining go beyond a kitchen filled with fresh food, but also contribute to a sustainable environment and localized economy.

via From farm to table | CU Independent.

city v. country, culture, people watching:

Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvellous things—the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space. I wish there were some way you could have all that and still be reminded of the wild array that we humans are. Instead, it seems like you can watch birds or people, but not both.

via Free Range: On the Wing : The New Yorker.

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim:

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ghonim also said it is “no longer the time to negotiate” with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

“There’s a lot of blood now” that has been spilled, he said.

Ghonim played a key role in organizing the protests that have convulsed Egypt for more than two weeks. He was the administrator of a Facebook page that is widely credited with calling the first protest January 25.

“This is not about me,” he said several times during an hour-long and emotional interview in a relative’s Cairo apartment..

He conceded that President Hosni Mubarak has “sacrificed a lot” for Egypt but said the 82-year-old leader represents a system that needs to be replaced. He demanded that Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party be immediately dissolved. He also said, though, that Mubarak should be treated with dignity.

via Egyptian Google exec is ‘ready to die’ for change – CNN.com.

Apps, tv, Bones: So an App to enhance my tv watching of Bones … Of course I will try it, but I did not enjoy tweeting and tv-watching so I probably will not like this.

It’s the Bones hook-up we’ve been waiting for!

In an effort to enhance fans’ viewing experience, Fox has launched the Bones Show Companion, a new iPad app that will automatically synchronize with the current episode as its broadcast in each time zone to provide content that is both wholly unique and pretty freakin’ cool.

via Scoop: Fox Launches Bones App – TVLine.

cookbooks, comic books:  Funny … I think I can figure it out without the graphics!

According to the Strong Buzz, Amanda Cohen, the chef/owner of Dirt Candy, has signed a deal with publisher Clarkson Potter to create a cookbook disguised as a graphic novel.

via The Cookbook as Comic Book | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

random, history, food, foodies: Just read it …

THE ROMAN HISTORIAN Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline. I wonder what he would have thought of The New York Times’ efforts to admit “young idols with cleavers” into America’s pantheon of food-service heroes.

With their swinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers have the raw, emotional appeal of an indie band … “Think about it. What’s sexy?” said Tia Keenan, the fromager at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café and an unabashed butcher fan. “Dangerous is sometimes sexy, and they are generally big guys with knives who are covered in blood.”

That’s Severson again, by the way, and she records no word of dissent in regard to the cheese vendor’s ravings. We are to believe this is a real national trend here. In fact the public perception of butchers has not changed in the slightest, as can easily be confirmed by telling someone that he or she looks like one. “Blankly as a butcher stares,” Auden’s famous line about the moon, will need no explanatory footnote even a century from now.

Whether gluttony is a deadly sin is of course for the religious to decide, and I hope they go easy on the foodies; they’re not all bad. They are certainly single-minded, however, and single-mindedness—even in less obviously selfish forms—is always a littleness of soul.

via The Moral Crusade Against Foodies – Magazine – The Atlantic.

statistics, economics, men v. women:  We still have a long way to go, baby!

Young women are outpacing men in educational attainment and there’s little sign males will make up ground any time soon.

Nearly one in four women had earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they reached age 23, compared to just one in seven men, the Labor Department said Wednesday. And while a growing share of professions are expected to require a college education in the future, men don’t appear poised to make up the education gap.

via Women Likely to Continue Outpacing Men in Education – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

random, Apps, faith and spirituality:

A new application being sold on iTunes, “Confession: a Roman Catholic App,” cannot be used as a substitute for confession with a priest, the Vatican said Wednesday. The application was developed by American entrepreneurs with the help of two priests and the blessing of a bishop. It features a questionnaire of sins, and is promoted as a tool both to revive interest in confession and to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament. But some media reports cast the app as a “virtual priest” for Catholics who do not have time for church, prompting the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, to respond, “One cannot speak in any way of ‘confession by iPhone.’ ”

via App Can’t Replace Confession, Vatican Says – NYTimes.com.

Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 300 tweets since my last confession.

Whether you’ve been “borrowing” free Wi-Fi or coveting your neighbor’s avatar — or, heaven forbid, something worse — a new mobile app is designed to help you atone for it.

Lame tech jokes aside, the makers of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” say their software is seriously designed to help believers with the sacrament, and to help those who have left the church take a digital step back home.

Worry not, faithful Catholics: The $1.99 application, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is not intended to replace the confessional. Instead, it’s designed to complement the act of confession, offering a “personal examination of conscience” (password-protected, of course) and a step-by-step guide to sin-confessing.

via New app helps Catholics confess on the go – CNN.com.

faith and spirituality, Christianity, culture: Very interesting article …

More and more Christians choose a church not on the basis of its denomination, but on the basis of more practical matters. Is the nursery easy to find? Do I like the music? Are there support groups for those grappling with addiction?

This trend is a natural extension of the American evangelical experiment. After all, evangelicalism is about the fundamental message of Christianity—the evangel, the gospel, literally the “good news” of God’s kingdom arriving in Jesus Christ—not about denomination building.

If denominationalism simply denotes a “brand” vying for market share, then let denominationalism fall. But many of us believe denominations can represent fidelity to living traditions of local congregations that care about what Jesus cared about—personal conversion, discipleship, mission and community. Perhaps the denominational era has just begun.

via Russell D. Moore: Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? – WSJ.com.

health, health care, globalization, technology, history:  A little history of epidemics and a modern-day use of technology to help detect new viruses …

That’s why it’s so welcome to see the launch of the new Predict project, an online mapping tool that will allow scientists to track outbreaks of animals diseases that could threaten human beings. Funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — and led by a group of institutions, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the innovative new Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI) — the system will monitor data from World Health Organization alerts, news reports, online message boards for epidemiologists, to create a digital map of where animal outbreaks are occurring around the world and where they might threaten human beings.

The consortium was put together in 2009, during the H1N1 pandemic, and the hope is that a better information tracking system will help scientists avoid being caught off guard. As Damien Joly of the WCS told the New York Times:

We strongly believe in public access to the data we collect. It doesn’t do public health much good to collect data and let it sit while it awaits publication.

The Predict tool (download a PDF about the project here) is just the latest indication that the global human health community is finally beginning to take animal disease seriously. That hasn’t always been the case — just compare the vast World Health Organization to its relatively tiny animal counterpart, the World Organization for Animal Health. But nearly 75% of all new, emerging or reemerging diseases affecting human beings in the 21st century originated in animals, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and influenza.

What’s needed is a “one health” approach of the sort pioneered by Nathan Wolfe of the GFVI, who patrols areas in the deep developing world where humans and animals closely overlap. We may not be able to stop the next flu pandemic or new emerging disease as it passed from animals to human beings — but we should know when it happens.

via USAID’s Predict Tool Will Help Scientists Keep Track of Animal Disease Outbreaks—and Protect People – TIME Healthland.

college, heart-strings, Wake Forest University, kudos: What a great story … kudos, Coach Walter!

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter has donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.

Both Walter and outfielder Kevin Jordan were recovering Tuesday in an Atlanta hospital one day after the transplant was performed.

“For us, it’s almost like it’s been divine intervention,” Jordan’s father Keith told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday from Atlanta.

Dr. Kenneth Newell, the lead surgeon on the team that removed Walter’s kidney, said in a statement issued Tuesday by Wake Forest that he expects Walter and Jordan to recover fully.

The school says the recovery time for both the 42-year-old Walter and Jordan is expected to be several months. Walter said it will be two months before he is back to normal. Keith Jordan says his son could swing a bat again in 6-8 weeks, and he expects Kevin to enroll in summer school in June and prepare for the fall semester.

via Baseball Coach Donates Kidney to Star Player – CBS News.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

via Twitter / @DailyLit: “Love takes up where knowl ….

Davidson College, literature: Sounds interesting.

For his latest novel, Davidson College’s Alan Michael Parker got a big helping of inspiration from The Home Depot.

Parker’s new literary comedy, “Whale Man” (WordFarm; $18), is about a guy who builds a life-sized wooden whale on his mother’s front lawn.

via Davidson professor’s new novel is a whale of a tale – CharlotteObserver.com.

green:

How it works? The station’s ventilation system includes heat exchangers that convert all that excess warmth into hot water. That water is then pumped to the nearby building, where it reportedly reduces energy costs by as much as 25 percent.

via Commuters’ surplus body heat used to warm office building – Springwise.

food, food regulation:  The incredible edible egg is better, but still not incredible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that in its routine reevaluations of the nutritional content of foods, it discovered that domestic chicken eggs — which hadn’t been looked at since 2002 — has had something of a nutritional makeover.

Compared with the egg of 2002, the current-day egg has 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D. A large egg now has 185 mg of cholesterol and 41 IU of Vitamin D, down from 212 mg of cholesterol and up from 18 IU of Vitamin D. It also still contains 70 calories and 6 g of protein. (More on TIME.com: Is School Lunch Making Your Kids Fat?)

via The Updated Egg: Less Cholesterol, But Is It a ‘Healthy’ Food? – TIME Healthland.

The President, USA, high-speed rail:  This may be worthy of federal money in my opinion … may.

U.S. passenger trains are, quite simply, a global laughingstock. Most of them travel at speeds that were common a century ago. Meanwhile, bullet trains have been zipping around Western Europe and East Asia for years, China is building more high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined, and even countries like Morocco and Brazil are getting into the game. “It works everywhere else in the world,” says Alstom Transport vice president Chuck Wochele, whose French firm is one of 30 train manufacturers that have pledged to build or expand U.S. factories if they land high-speed contracts. “Unfortunately, it’s been politicized in the U.S.”

via High-Speed Rail: Obama Pledges $53 Billion for Upgrades – TIME.

quotes, happiness quotes:

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

— Anne Frank

via The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness. Gretchen Rubin.

quotes, random, LOL:

NCIS rerun quote: “Love means never having to read her her Miranda rights.” – Abbie 🙂

via NCIS rerun quote:….

09
Feb
11

2.9.2011 … only my hairdresser knows for sure … otherwise a very random day.

Davidson College, changes: Hooray for another new dorm … congrats to 7 new profs … but no SNU Lake.:(  … Board of Trustees Discusses Building Plans, Tuition Increases and Promotes 7 Professors – The Davidsonian – News.

gLee, Katie Courid, UVA:  Katie Couric went to UVA. I bet that is where she learned the crazy moves like the pretzel!  YouTube – GLEE – Katie Couric is a GLEEk!.

… “We did a little dance. I was supposed to lead, but she ended up leading me around, and showing me all these crazy moves like the pretzel. Shes good. Shes a good little dancer.”  Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester, gLee)

Jules Verne, inventions, birthdays: Happy 183, JV!

Jules Verne 183rd birthday picture: Similar to Jules Verne's imagined Nautilus submarine, the underwater submersible Alvin explores the seafloor.

As made interactively evident by a retro-futuristic Google doodle, Tuesday would have been the 183rd birthday of Jules Verne. Had he lived to see 2011, the French science fiction writer also would have seen many of his fanciful inventions made real—more or less.

In perhaps his most famous novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Verne’s Captain Nemo travels the world’s oceans in a giant electric submarine, the Nautilus—the inspiration for the portholed Jules Verne Google doodle.

8 Jules Verne Inventions That Came True (Pictures).

business, csr, politics, Mitt Romney:  It’s interesting that this article seems to support indirectly that  the bottom line is the only that that should govern corporate decision-making.

But there does seem to be a method to Marriott’s madness. Politico’s Ben Smith explains that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a presumptive candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, recently left the Marriott board. The chain’s owners are “longtime Romney supporters”, Mr Smith notes. And social conservatives, apparently, hit Mr Romney hard on the porn “issue” during the ex-governor’s 2008 campaign for the GOP nomination. (One critic called Mr Romney a “major pornographer.”) So in some sense, Mr Smith argues, Marriott appears to be doing Mr Romney a “costly favor.” Then again:

Another person familiar with the workings of the industry, though, cast doubt on the connection: The in-room movie business has been hit hard by wifi, Netflix, iPads, and laptops, and the structure of contracts with providers could well have made it a solid economic decision.

Labour unions, at least, seem convinced that Marriott is throwing Mr Romney a bone. Eddie Vale, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, emailed reporters last week to mock the Marriott-Romney-smut connection (via Mr Smith):

Now when it comes to folks who actually work for a living—and negotiating on their wages, benefits, etc—we always hear the mantra ‘we must maximize revenue and value for the shareholders’. Interesting how this pillar of corporate philosophy seems to have gone right out the window when it comes to helping their billionaire buddy’s presidential campaign.

Are Mr Vale and Mr Smith on to something? Or is Marriott just making a normal business decision?

via Hotel pornography: Marriott, Mitt Romney, and porn | The Economist.

pets, inventions: Funny, but if my dogs figured this thing out, they would be FAT!  Amazon.com: The Amazing Treat Machine Interactive Dog Toy: Kitchen & Dining.

urban planning, Jane Jacobs, Davidson College, kith/kin:  Ran across this and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed Jane Jacobs work as a student and talking about her works with my husband’s grandfather, Dali Walte

The 2011 Jane Jacobs Medal Nomination Form

Thank you for your interest in the 2011 Jane Jacobs Medal. Please fill out the form below to submit your nomination. The Jane Jacobs Medal will be given each year to two living individuals – one for Lifetime Leadership and the other for New Ideas and Activism – whose creative vision for the urban environment has greatly contributed to the vitality of New York City and who exemplify the following values and ideas:

* Open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city

* Challenge traditional assumptions and conventional thinking

* Advance a creative use of neighborhood knowledge

* Promote Jacobsean principles of dynamism, density, diversity and equity

* Take a common-sense approach to solving complex problems

* Generate new principles for the way we think about development and preservation in New York City

* Demonstrate activism and innovative cross-disciplinary thinking

* Provide leadership in solving common problems

* Generate creative uses of the urban environment

* Make New York City a place of hope and expectation that attracts new people and new ideas.

via Jane Jacobs Medal :: The Rockefeller Foundation.

random, politics, kith/kin: I read this and it just reminded me of my father’s friendships with many “liberals”; he was conservative.  They were able to remain love and respect for each other despite very different political and social views.  Why does this not seem possible now?  The death of Daniel Bell, sociologist of capitalism: Daniel Bell, non-neocon | The Economist.

travel, Hollywood, Los Angeles, history: I would so do this!

As he drove he shared a little history of the Hollywoodand area. It was established as a housing development in early 1920s and specialized in building storybook fantasy houses: castles, Tudor homes, and the like. The Hollywood sign was erected as an advertisement for the development project and read “Hollywoodland.” It was meant to stay up for just a year, but people liked it and it soon became a symbol for the motion picture industry, not just the housing development. The neighborhood has been the home of many famous folks, including Aldous Huxley, Bugsy Siegel, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Swanson, and James M. Cain.

via Hiking up the outdoor staircases of Hollywoodland – Boing Boing.

business, groupon:  Same article as above … but this tidbit included … anyone tried Groupon, yet?  I have and have been very pleased.

But then he offered a deal on a Groupon-like site I can’t remember which one and 1700 people signed up for tours. Now he’s very busy, conducting 2-3 tours per day.

via Hiking up the outdoor staircases of Hollywoodland – Boing Boing.

iPad, Apple:  OK, I want one …

Apple Inc. has started manufacturing a new version of its iPad tablet computer with a built-in camera and faster processor, said people familiar with the matter.

The new iPad will be thinner and lighter than the first model, these people said. It will have at least one camera on the front of the device for features like video-conferencing, but the resolution of the display will be similar to the first iPad, these people said. It will also have more memory and a more powerful graphics processor, they said.

..The one feature in the new iPad that may disappoint consumers will be the lack of significant improvement in the resolution of the device’s display. People familiar with the situation said Apple has had trouble improving the display technology, in part because of the iPad screen’s larger size compared with the iPhone.

via Apple’s New iPad in Production – WSJ.com.

Internet:  I have put up the white flag …

That the reality of machines can outpace the imagination of magic, and in so short a time, does tend to lend weight to the claim that the technological shifts in communication we’re living with are unprecedented. It isn’t just that we’ve lived one technological revolution among many; it’s that our technological revolution is the big social revolution that we live with. The past twenty years have seen a revolution less in morals, which have remained mostly static, than in means: you could already say “fuck” on HBO back in the eighties; the change has been our ability to tweet or IM or text it. The set subject of our novelists is information; the set obsession of our dons is what it does to our intelligence.

via How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker.

Super Bowl XLV, advertising, Detroit:  As I said this was my favorite.  I am glad it was successful.

If you haven’t seen the two-minute commercial that Chrysler Group LLC ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday, it’s worth taking a look.

The spot, featuring a brief appearance by Detroit-based rapper Eminem, has gone viral, racking up more than 3.5 million views on YouTube and occupying hours of sports-talk time on radio stations across the country. According to market researchers who tracked the impact of Super Bowl commercials, the Chrysler ad sparked a dramatic spike in online shopping for the company’s models.

via Eminem Super Bowl Ad Sparks Lasting Buzz For Chrysler – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Supreme Court, Constitutional Law, health care, Justice Kennedy, Justice Sotomayor, Justice Kagan:  Good question …

Maybe it all does come down to whether Justice Kennedy eats chicken or fish for dinner one evening in 2012. But isn’t it a little presumptuous, perhaps even a mite sexist, to suppose we already know the minds of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, and that nothing anyone might write or say from now through the time the question is considered by the Supreme Court could change them?

via Judges and ideology: Telepathic Supreme Court vote counting | The Economist.

culture, Lindsay Lohan:  She was so cute in Parent Trap. Enough said.

The actress Lindsay Lohan can now add the prospect of a grand theft charge to her legal woes.

via Lohan Faces Felony Theft Charge – NYTimes.com.

politics, Egypt Uprising, The President, President Bush:  Another interesting perspective …

That possibility now faces Mr Obama as the old order in Egypt changes. What if the new one eventually delivers the greatest of the Arab nations into the patient hands of a hostile Muslim Brotherhood? That fear gives even some neocons pause. And such questions will continue to plague America for as long as it aspires to be both a superpower and a champion of democracy and self-determination. It is a riddle to which neither Mr Bush nor Mr Obama nor any president has found a neat answer.

via Lexington: Was George Bush right? | The Economist.

random, internet auctions:  I get this spam all the time.  It is nice to have it explained.

Anybody who has a computer and an Internet connection has probably seen ads touting deals like those above. They come from “penny auction” sites, a Web phenomenon that has spurred hundreds of start-ups over the past year.

As consumers eager for deals help fuel the rise of these sites, consumer advocates stress the adage, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Users can actually spend hundreds of dollars on these sites without winning a thing.

Penny auctions, believed to have started in Europe, operate very differently from other auction sites such as eBay.

via Penny auctions promise savings, overlook downsides – USATODAY.com.

green, wind farms: The first picture is of the wind farm in the English Channel.  I flew over it in September and it is truly massive.  I had no idea how big an area they covered or how big the “wind mills” are.

The world’s largest offshore wind farm officially opened today in the English Channel 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) from Foreness Point, off England’s southeast coast.

Owned and operated by the Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm has 100 turbines and covers an area of 35 square kilometers (13.5 square miles).

Boat cruises past the new Thanet wind farm in the English Channel. (Photo courtesy Vattenfall)

With 300 megawatts of generating capacity, the wind farm will generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 200,000 British households.

via World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in English Channel.

green, wind farms, USA:  So it will be interesting to see them off the US coast.

The Interior Department said it will expedite environmental reviews for four wind projects off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. This spring, it expects to identify other wind energy areas off Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the South Atlantic region, notably North Carolina.

“This initiative will spur the type of innovation that will help us create new jobs, build a clean energy future and compete and win in the technologies of the 21st century,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in the announcement, which notes President Obama’s goal of generating 80% of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

Wind advocates called for a streamlined process after it took eight years for the Cape Wind project off Cape Cod, Mass., to obtain a lease as the nation’s first offshore wind farm. That project faced opposition from Indian tribes, some environmentalists and residents, who argued it threatened marine life and ruined ocean views.

Salazar said the wind farms identified Monday — all off major tourist destinations, including Atlantic City, N.J.; Ocean City, Md.; and Virginia Beach, Va. — would be 10 to 20 miles offshore so they shouldn’t mar vacationers’ views, according to the Associated Press.

via Obama fast-tracks Mid-Atlantic offshore wind energy – Green House – USATODAY.com.

 

08
Feb
11

2.8.2011 … great day … BSF … Isaiah is really interesting … and lunch with an old friend.

college, culture, Great Recession:  The economy is changing drinking by college freshman.  Very interesting.

The tough economy appears to be having a sobering effect — literally — on incoming college freshmen. Some new surveys of high school students suggest increasing numbers are beginning college as teetotalers.

* More incoming college freshmen have abstained from alcohol, polls find.

Outside the Classroom, an organization that provides alcohol education training at colleges, finds that since 2006, the percentage of incoming freshmen who abstain from alcohol has jumped from 38% to 62%.

“It’s a demographic trend among students,” CEO Brandon Busteed says. His organization surveys about a third of freshmen entering four-year universities and colleges each year.

Why the number of teetotaling 18-year-olds is up isn’t clear. Busteed says the economy is a big reason. Students “are taking (college) more seriously because they realize it’s their future,” he says.

via Polls: Young non-drinkers up in down economy – USATODAY.com.

Super Bowl XLV, National Anthem, Christina Aguilera, flubs:  I can’t criticize.  My third grade music teacher gave me an f on a report card because I could not memorize it.

Christina Aguilera’s lyric malfunction on Super Bowl Sunday scored plenty of Internet ire and water-cooler debate Monday, leaving the five-time Grammy winner the latest celebrity skewered for muffing the national anthem.

Christina Aguilera’s flub of the national anthem at Sunday’s Super Bowl has become a national item of discussion.The Star-Spangled Banner has stumped plenty of singers, and a recent Harris Poll found that two-thirds of Americans don’t know the lyrics. But the song has been especially embarrassing for high-profile entertainers.

via Christina Aguilera is not alone in anthem flub club – USATODAY.com.

media, journalism, Keith Olbermann:  That did not take long …

Former MSNBC television personality Keith Olbermann, who departed the cable news network in January, is expected to announce on Tuesday that he’s joining the public affairs channel Current TV, The New York Times reports.

Because Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC includes a clause that prohibits him from joining another TV outlet for an undetermined amount of time, it’s not clear when he’d be starting at Current TV. But it appears that the move has been in the works for some time. According to the Times, the Internet domain name TheOlbermannShow.com was registered two days before his on-air announcement that he was leaving MSNBC.

Olbermann’s arrival could boost Current TV’s profile. The cable channel, which counts former vice president Al Gore among its founders, is currently only available in about 60 million homes.

Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC came after he’d brought big ratings — and big controversy — to the network. The former ESPN sports anchor’s nightly Countdown show was by far MSNBC’s biggest ratings draw, but in November he was suspended for making political contributions to candidates in Kentucky and Arizona.

via Report: Keith Olbermann to join Current TV – USATODAY.com.

Bible, culture, sex:  Interesting.

Yet in a democracy, even those who speak “heresies” are allowed a voice. And whether readers accept Coogan’s and Knust’s interpretations, the authors are justified in their insistence that a population so divided over questions of sex and sexual morality cannot—should not—cede the field without exploring first what the Bible actually says. The eminent Bible historian Elaine Pagels agrees. To read the Bible and reflect on it “is to realize that we have not a series of answers, but a lot of questions.”

via What the Bible Really Says About Sex – Newsweek.

psychiatry/psychology, anxiety:  I can’t imagine being addicted to feeling anxious …

“Some people,” he adds, “get addicted to feeling anxious because that’s the state that they’ve always known. If they feel a sense of calm, they get bored; they feel empty inside. They want to feel anxious.” Notice he didn’t say “like.”

via Why Some People Choose Anxiety – Newsweek.

Super Bowl XLV:  He will never live this one down …

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC) — Last week a hospital in Pittsburgh wrapped their newborns with “Terrible Towels” and placed Steeler caps on their heads.

It is time to meet their opponent.

The babies of Saint Vincent hospital in Green Bay were wrapped in “Titletown Towels” and Packers fleece blankets.

Of course, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without their very own Cheesehead.

The real game is Sunday in Arlington, Texas when the Packers and Steelers tangle in Super Bowl XLV.

via WCSH6.com | Portland, ME | Green Bay hospital outfits new arrivals in Packers gear.

Great Recession, marriage, USA:

Americans without a college degree bore the brunt of the recent recession, and so did their marriages, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Virginia.

The “Survey of Marital Generosity,” conducted on behalf of U-Va.’s Marriage Project, found that 29 percent of couples reported that the economic downturn had put financial stress on their marriages.

At the same time, about a third of the couples surveyed said the recession had prompted them to work harder on saving their marriage – a finding that the report’s author described as one of two “silver linings” to the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression. It’s unclear whether those couples might have had more stable marriages to begin with.

via Study shows recession has weighed heavily on American marriages.

architecture, recycle, Eero Saarinen, NYC:  I think it looks like the Jetsons.  I am not sure I want to stay at a boutique hotel at the airport … but someone might.

[SB10001424052748704858404576128640566349196]

An airline terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport that started as a jet-age architectural icon but has become a security-age relic could be reopened as a boutique hotel.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking for developers to turn the vacant Trans World Airlines Flight Center into the centerpiece of a small, high-end hotel that would allow the agency to reopen the terminal and recoup some of the money it spent restoring it.

The long-vacant TWA terminal would be part of a boutique hotel under the Port Authority’s plan.

The curving, winged terminal opened in 1962 at what was then Idlewild Airport. It became a symbol of the glamour of air travel. Its designer, Eero Saarinen, is considered a master of midcentury modernist architecture. Among his other works are St. Louis’s Gateway Arch and Manhattan’s CBS headquarters.

via Hotel Plan Set for Ghost Terminal – WSJ.com.

quotes:

“There can be no joy in living without joy in work.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas

via The Happiness Project, Moment of Happiness. Gretchen Rubin.

Egypt Uprising, Wael Ghonim, news:  I had a sneaking suspicion that this was big …

Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive for the Middle East, is free following his release by Egyptian authorities 12 days after he disappeared in Cairo.

Ghonim, 30, an Egyptian based in Dubai, sobbed throughout an emotional TV interview with Dream 2 TV. He said he was not tortured, was treated with respect and was surprised to be branded a traitor by security forces.

“This is the revolution of the youth of the Internet and now the revolution of all Egyptians,” he said. “Anyone with good intentions is the traitor.”

Google declined to comment except to issue a statement: “It is a huge relief that Wael Ghonim has been released. We send our best wishes to him and his family.”

via Egypt releases activist, Google executive – USATODAY.com.

Wael Ghonim is talkative and confident, just like many in the new generation of Arabs out to change their world — and prosper in it — by way of technology. He has pointed out that Norway, so much smaller than the Mideast in population, had more indigenous language content on the web. There was so much room to grow. “We live in a digital age, and it is important that the Arab world takes advantage of this new medium,” Ghonim told an Abu Dhabi paper.

I’ve met him briefly on a couple of occasions here in Dubai, where the expatriate Egyptian lived and worked as Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa. Slim and sanding a little more than average height, Ghonim, 30, is typical of the new guard: speaking English with an American accent but audibly Arab when he pronounces Arabic words. He is at ease in both worlds. (See TIME’s special report “The Middle East in Revolt.”)

But, in spite of his career achievements and comfortable life, he also chose to be part of a hidden, more dangerous world — one in which he sought to activate change in his homeland. After he returned to Egypt, that work would thrust him into prison for more than 10 days and, when he emerged, he was suddenly hailed by some as the leader of the faceless group of youthful revolutionaries credited with getting the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak off the ground.

via Egypt’s New Hero: Can Google Activist Wael Ghonim Overthrow Mubarak? – TIME.

quotes, BSF, Bible:  My favorite from this week’s BSF lesson, Isaiah 41 … and I have to say I really enjoyed this week’s lesson.

8 “But you, Israel, my servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

you descendants of Abraham my friend,

9 I took you from the ends of the earth,

from its farthest corners I called you.

I said, ‘You are my servant’;

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

via Isaiah 41 – Passage Lookup – New International Version, ©2010 – BibleGateway.com.

25
Oct
10

‎10.25.2010 .. Enjoyed a delightful redeye .. Enjoyable environmental graphic design consultant who also coaches 16-17 year olds in high level club hockey who was nice enough to warn me that he snores loudly … So after chatting for an hour … He sleeps and I take a sleeping aid .. Everyone was happy. Prayers today for his father who is critically ill.

me, strangers, art: I should have asked the man on the plane his name … loved talking to him and learning about his field … environmental graphic design … “we have nothing to do with tree huggers…”

art, public art, media, YouTube, NYC:  I would have loved to have been in NYC and seen the live streaming of the selected videos!

Over the course of the evening, the top videos will be projected onto a large screen in the rotunda and onto the Guggenheim Museum facade facing Fifth Avenue. The exterior projections, created by Obscura Digital and Consortium Studios, will be on display October 21 and 22 from sundown to 10:30 pm. The final videos selected by the distinguished jury will also be on view to the public from October 22 through 24 in the Annex Level 2 area of the museum and in an adjoining HP + Intel digital gallery, as well as to a worldwide audience on the YouTube Play channel.

via YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim.

The videos and artists were celebrated at an event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on October 21, which was streamed live to a worldwide audience at youtube.com/play.

via YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video.

The Guggenheim/YouTube Art Experiment: See Winning Videos Here | Discoblog | Discover Magazine.

Got @NYTimes? Turn to pg A32 & see our Frank Lloyd Wright… on Twitpic.

wasabi wildcat friends, kith/kin, Davidson: I had a great time at my  Davidson  Reunion (the Wasabies … it’s what we call ourselves)  in the Tahoe area and so loved the diversity of interests and experiences of these 15 friends.  Here are some tidbits from their lives …

LeeAnn:  On the board of … :: Welcome to the Official Website of the Daraja Academy :: – Home.

Ann: On the Board of … Worlds of Words | International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature.

Cary:  Blogger extraordinaire … Holy Vernacular … and two of her children … Charlie and Carter …

This is my first pair of pants and I am so happy about by how well they turned out. I’ve been bit by the sewing bug, and now I gots sewing fever

They are based on a mens 1860′s civilian work pant pattern, but I gave these old timey high-waisted trousers a modern day twist with a red zipper front, indigo dyed denim fabric, large jean-style back pockets and side seam pockets with with a funky white and blue patterned fabric from Tanzania. They are fully equipped with suspenders buttons- suspenders are in the works- for now they are held up with a waist belt. I spent about fifteen/sixteen hours making these.

via Custer’s Last Waistband- | Charlie C. Umhau.

and Carter Fleet Umhau.

opinion, politics, Supreme Court, quotes:  “and that the conservative constitutional view of money as speech is unconvincing.”  I just had not conceptualized this holding in this way …

Mr. Matthews is a sharp observer of politics and no naïf about campaigns. But, as he told me, he finds that “secret money” is a problem; that self-financing, wealthy candidates unfairly threaten “reasonably effective officials” at all levels; and that the conservative constitutional view of money as speech is unconvincing.

via Campaign Ad Uses a Sleight of Lines – NYTimes.com.

politics, polling, culture:  I don’t answer my phone … So I find some issue with this argument.  Do you answer your phone to pollsters …

In all, The Post identified more than 1,400 possible groups and was able to verify and reach 647 of them. Each answered a lengthy questionnaire about their beliefs, members and goals. The Post tried calling the others as many as six times. It is unclear whether they are just hard to reach or don’t exist.Mark Meckler, a founding member of the Tea Party Patriots, said: “When a group lists themselves on our Web site, that’s a group. That group could be one person, it could be 10 people, it could come in and out of existence – we don’t know. We have groups that I know are 15,000 people, and I have groups that I know are five people.”

via Gauging the scope of the tea party movement in America.

random, Halloween, holidays: So how did you rank your candy as a kid?  I was very partial to any full size bars and to Reese’s. 🙂

The Candy Hierarchy – Boing Boing.

culture, media, religion: Look at her vocabulary … Yet there is no religion in this cycle.

Transgression, disgrace, redemption, oblivion — the whole self-destructive cycle, from public denial, to groveling, to “Dancing with the Stars,” to the sweet hereafter (Us Magazine), is such a part of 21st century life that it’s something of a scandal itself that there hasn’t been a serious consideration of scandal.

via Laura Kipnis explores a culture of scandal – chicagotribune.com.

culture, kith/kin:  My sister was a grandmother at 55, and my first peer will be a grandmother in February and she is/will be 50.  I guess the rest of us are going to be on the old side of the median.

And speaking of age…the popular image of a grandparent as a person with plenty of gray hair might be misleading. The report notes that the median ages when men and women first become grandparents are 54 and 50, respectively.

via Grand Times – WSJ.com.

libraries, culture, wealth: I certainly think this community has the right not to fund a library, but it does seem selfish.

Robert Toohey, a lawyer who a few years ago unsuccessfully fought Bloomfield Township’s library contract all the way to the state Supreme Court, is still hammering at his failed legal argument: He contends residents shouldn’t have to pay any portion of the township library’s operating costs, only the cost “to check out books.”

“There are people here who think they don’t need to pay for a library because they’ll order what they want from Amazon. It’s an arrogance,” said Carol Young, a Bloomfield Hills library lover.

New city residents like Dr. Homa Hasnain are sometimes surprised to discover their beautiful new home in a prestigious community doesn’t include access to the nearby library.

“I was shocked,” said Hasnain, whose 9-year-old couldn’t participate in summer reading programs. “We thought a library is automatic. … It feels like a punishment to my daughter.”

In a recent op-ed piece in the Birmingham Observer & Eccentric, Bloomfield Hills resident Christine Zambricki, an opponent to the proposal, suggested that residents can use the excellent “local libraries” in Birmingham and Bloomfield Township.

In other words, they can use those lovely “free” libraries in other cities. Libraries supported by unenlightened taxpayers still clinging to 19th-century ideas about sharing knowledge and education.

Hey, times are tough, especially when your mansion isn’t worth what it once was. But before fighting taxes became the only American principle that mattered, all kinds of people, wealthy and not, recognized the public library as one of the inspiring ideas that makes us American.

via To some, Bloomfield Hills is a cheap rich town | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

Justice Thomas, The Supreme Court: Scathing opinion … I keep hoping some set of facts that will make sense of this story.

In the wacky coda to one of the most searing chapters in American history, everyone remained true to form.

Anita Hill reacted with starchy disgust.

Ginni Thomas came across like a spiritually addled nut.

Clarence Thomas was mute, no doubt privately raging about the trouble women have caused him

….

It’s too late to relitigate the shameful Thomas-Hill hearings. We’re stuck with a justice-for-life who lied his way onto the bench with the help of bullying Republicans and cowed Democrats.

We don’t know why Ginni Thomas, who was once in the thrall of a cultish self-help group called Lifespring, made that odd call to Hill at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. But we do know that the Thomases show supremely bad judgment. Mrs. Thomas, a queen of the Tea Party, is the founder of a new nonprofit group, Liberty Central, which she boasts will be bigger than the Tea Party. She sports and sells those foam Statue of Liberty-style crowns as she makes her case against the “tyranny” of President Obama and Congressional Democrats, who, she charges, are hurting the “core founding principles” of America.

via Supremely Bad Judgment – NYTimes.com.

culture, USA:

Americans have been in this sort of apathetic but emotional mood many times before, and the record is grim. After World War I, the United States turned away from the League of Nations and back in on itself, only to watch from an unsafe distance the resurrection of Germany under the Nazis. After the Cold War evanesced, the Gulf War was won, and history, it seemed, had ended in the early 1990s, Democrat Bill Clinton won the presidency with the axiom “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In the years that followed, the American public was almost completely unmoved by enormous tragedies elsewhere on the planet. Little was done to stop the genocides that swept through Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. After a brief and bloody intervention in Somalia, the United States stepped back, let the country slide into chaos, and promptly forgot about it. “Americans have a great ability to shrug things off,” says Professor Mueller. With the Russians out of Afghanistan, the U.S. lost interest, opening the way for the Taliban to take over, Al Qaeda to thrive, and Pakistan to be destabilized. What was there to worry about? In the summer of 2001, not long before 9/11, polls showed that the issue of “terrorism” ranked a flat zero on the American public’s list of concerns.

As Senator Graham said, sometimes it takes a “dramatic event” to focus America’s attention.

via Americans Grow Apathetic Over Foreign Policy – Newsweek.

libraries, business models: Enjoyed this analysis … what is next for our libraries?

In fact, all kinds of organizations and businesses can use the study in this way: inserting themselves into the stories and asking themselves: do “we” still work? That is, is our value proposition, our business model, our resource or alliance base, still valid? Do our success recipes still apply? If not, what are the necessary new ways to be valuable and to engage with consumers and stakeholders? What would we need to do—how would we need to innovate to transform our organization such that it creates value for future users—given the overwhelmingly powerful external dynamics redefining our operating environment?

http://detnews.com/article/20101023/OPINION03/10230366/1409/To-some–Bloomfield-Hills-is-a-cheap-rich-town

via Libraries Are Showing the Way for Everyone – Adam Gordon – Management By Looking Ahead – Forbes.

24
Oct
10

‎10.24.2010 … truly priceless weekend … now home on the redeye …

invention,  culture:

Picking humanity’s 100 greatest gadgets is no easy task. If we were starting from the beginning of humanity itself, the list would actually be a lot easier to compile: the wheel, the lever, the telescope, the syringe, movable type — the roster practically writes itself. But we’re masochists and decided to limit the list to the 100 most influential personal gadgets created since 1923 — the year TIME started publishing.

via How We Chose the All-TIME 100 Gadgets – ALL-TIME 100 Gadgets – TIME.

USA, culture: great article…

A few years later, when I got to America on a college scholarship, I realized that the real American Dream was somewhat different from Dallas. I visited college friends in their hometowns and was struck by the spacious suburban houses and the gleaming appliances — even when their parents had simple, modest jobs. The modern American Dream, for me, was this general prosperity and well-being for the average person. European civilization had produced the great cathedrals of the world. America had the two-car garage. And this middle-class contentment created a country of optimists. Compared with the fatalism and socialist lethargy that was pervasive in India those days, Americans had a sunny attitude toward life that was utterly refreshing.

But when I travel from America to India these days, as I did recently, it’s as if the world has been turned upside down. Indians are brimming with hope and faith in the future. After centuries of stagnation, their economy is on the move, fueling animal spirits and ambition. The whole country feels as if it has been unlocked. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the mood is sour. Americans are glum, dispirited and angry. The middle class, in particular, feels under assault. In a Newsweek poll in September, 63% of Americans said they did not think they would be able to maintain their current standard of living. Perhaps most troubling, Americans are strikingly fatalistic about their prospects. The can-do country is convinced that it can’t.

via Fareed Zakaria on How to Restore the American Dream – TIME.

nature v. nurture:  jack loves artificial red dye … and I loved it during pregnancy (jelly belly red cherry jelly beans, cherry popsicles) … enough said.

What makes us the way we are? Why are some people predisposed to be anxious, overweight or asthmatic? How is it that some of us are prone to heart attacks, diabetes or high blood pressure?

There’s a list of conventional answers to these questions. We are the way we are because it’s in our genes: the DNA we inherited at conception. We turn out the way we do because of our childhood experiences: how we were treated and what we took in, especially during those crucial first three years. Or our health and well-being stem from the lifestyle choices we make as adults: what kind of diet we consume, how much exercise we get.(See 5 pregnancy myths debunked.)

But there’s another powerful source of influence you may not have considered: your life as a fetus. The kind and quantity of nutrition you received in the womb; the pollutants, drugs and infections you were exposed to during gestation; your mother’s health, stress level and state of mind while she was pregnant with you — all these factors shaped you as a baby and a child and continue to affect you to this day.

This is the provocative contention of a field known as fetal origins, whose pioneers assert that the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives, permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. The conditions we encounter in utero, they claim, shape our susceptibility to disease, our appetite and metabolism, our intelligence and temperament. In the literature on the subject, which has exploded over the past 10 years, you can find references to the fetal origins of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness — even of conditions associated with old age like arthritis, osteoporosis and cognitive decline.

via Fetal Origins: How the First Nine Months Shape Your Life – TIME.

college life, culture: just makes me sad …

Police have arrested three men suspected of creating a drug lab in a freshmen dormitory at prestigious Georgetown University in Washington.

D.C. Police spokesman Officer Hugh Carew says investigators found a DMT lab where chemicals could create a hallucinogenic drug. DMT stands for dimethyltryptamine. Officials thought it was a methamphetamine lab earlier Saturday.

Emergency crews responded about 6:15 a.m. after a strange odor was reported. About 400 students were evacuated from Harbin Hall. Seven people were exposed to noxious chemicals, including three students.

via Suspected drug lab found in Georgetown Univ. dorm  | ajc.com.

bookshelf, children’s/YA literature,new blog:  She writes a compelling blog post for this book.

Judging entirely from the cover art, I picked up Plain Kate expecting a charming light British fantasy. That’s what the cover suggested to me — the girl on the cover looks like someone who is having a gently meandering adventure, the sort one could have on the way home from school, even. I expected to enjoy it, but I had no hint that there’d be anything memorable about it.

via bookshelves of doom: Plain Kate — Erin Bow.

college life, kids, Harry Potter, children’s/YA literature:  This does not surprise me one bit!

Like freshman everywhere, Xander Manshel and his Middlebury College classmates found themselves in their first year of college pondering some of life’s biggest mysteries—like how to play Quidditch if you can’t, like Harry Potter, fly?The solution: race around in capes and goggles with broomsticks between your legs, while shooting balls through mounted hula hoops. Their version of the game, first played in 2005, was modeled on matches described in J.K. Rowling’s novels.”Quidditch was this bridge between the fantasy world of the books and the more concrete world of college,” says Mr. Manshel, who has graduated and now teaches English. “For us [playing] was a way to have both.”The Quidditch World Cup will be played in New York in November. NYU student Sarah Landis is hoping her new team will have a home advantage.But now Harry has grown-up—and so has the sport. There are tournaments, new rules and special brooms for competitive play. The “Quidditch World Cup” is moving this year to the Big Apple from Middlebury’s idyllic campus. More than 60 college and high school teams have registered to compete Nov. 13 and 14—up from 20 last year—at a park in Manhattan.

via Harry Potter’s Game Grows Up – WSJ.com.

random, Halloween, culture, holidays: I am kinda partial to the Old Spice guy!

Octomom outfits are so 2009. This year, there’s plenty of pop-culture news worth mining for Halloween-costume glory. TIME takes a look at the getups that are sure to win any costume contest

via Old Spice Guy – The 20 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2010 – TIME




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