Posts Tagged ‘Vatican

27
Feb
13

2.27.13 … If I hate being late, why am I always late …

Van Cliburn, RIP,  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30, YouTube:  What a life!  RIP, Van Cliburn.

Pianist Van Cliburn died Wednesday at the age of 78 in Forth Worth, after battling bone cancer.

In 1958, Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow — he became an international classical music star.

via Van Cliburn Dead at 78: His Great Performances (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 (Van Cliburn) in D minor Op.30 – YouTube.

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten labyrinth walks,  Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2013 FPC Charlotte Lenten Devotional, 2013  NAPC Lenten Devotional:

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Beautiful day …  as I opened the car door I hear the chimes ringing softly in the wind.  What a great way to start my walk.
Things I thought about …
From FPC’s Wes Barry:
I had a professor in Seminary say that anytime the word “bread” shows up in scripture we should take notice, because it is by this earthly substance that we are told by our Lord to remember him.  So when God asks us “why spend money on what is not bread,” he is asking us why would we spend our resources on things that do not satisfy?  In the end, it is only Jesus Christ, his body broken for us, which satisfies our longings.
From NAPC’s devotional …
Life is like this; just a little seed of an evil desire can cause us to go down another path. James is encouraging us to endure temptation and to stand the test so that we will receive a blessing beyond our imagination.
And from Henri Nouwen …

Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

via Daily Meditation: Creating Space for God.

TED Talks, business, Harvard Business Review:

It’s happening right now.

Thousands of very lucky individuals are seated in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center are at TED 2013. TED has become a brand name as they have uploaded their archive of 18-minute presentations from their exclusive annual event to TED.com. Originally available only online, the speeches are now distributed and broadcasted on TV, radio, podcasts and even on Netflix. I have been fortunate to have attended the annual conference since 2008, and I’ve found TED an experience that helps businesspeople unlock a new way to think about the work that we do, where we are going as leaders, and our collective role in the evolution of the world. In the spirit of TED 2013, here are 10 amazing TED Talks that have helped me think differently about what business can be, how to be a better leader, and how to become a better global citizen

via 10 TED Talks to Help You Reimagine Your Business – Mitch Joel – Harvard Business Review.

The Cloisters, The Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary, WSJ.com:  I love it that my husband sent this to me. 🙂

Set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, the Cloisters museum and gardens were designed to give visitors the impression they are stepping back in time, wandering through what feels like an old-world monastery.

But as America’s only medieval-art museum approaches its 75th anniversary this spring, its curators are stepping gingerly into the modern world.

This year, the Cloisters will for the first time present a contemporary-art installation. The museum, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is developing new digital content for visitors to view on iPods. And after decades of displaying the same permanent collection, the museum is making a bid to attract return visitors with more special exhibitions, made possible by climate-control improvements in recent years.

Change is a delicate issue at the Cloisters, where curators are looking to draw a broader audience without alienating those who cherish the spot’s timeless quality.

via The Cloisters Opens Up – WSJ.com.

 Vatican, Pope Benedict’s new title, CNN.com, fyi:

Pope Benedict XVI will keep the title “his holiness” once he retires and will be called “pontiff emeritus,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican on Tuesday.

via Vatican reveals Pope Benedict’s new title – CNN.com.

BofA,  Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan, gaffes, Bloomberg:  Worth reading …

“Brian certainly doesn’t show up on anyone’s list of most- admired bankers,” Miller says. “If he’s successful, he will have a lot more stature than is now the case.”

Buffett, who stands to become Bank of America’s largest shareholder, says he has little doubt Moynihan will succeed.

“I’ve been around other companies that have great underlying strengths, where some huge event has gotten them into major trouble,” the 82-year-old billionaire says. “Sometimes, you can make a very good investment when that happens.”

via BofA Affirms Buffett Bet as Moynihan Recovers From Gaffes – Bloomberg.

Colm Toibin,  “Summer of ’38” , The New Yorker, bookshelf:  Colm Toibin: “Summer of ’38” : The New Yorker.

poems,  Rudyard Kipling, NPR:  I love lost works …

Fifty previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, were discovered by Thomas Pinney, an English professor at California State Polytechnic University. The lost works by Kipling, whose most famous poems include “If” and the notorious “White Man’s Burden,” are to be published next month. Kipling was widely derided as an apologist for British colonialism — George Orwell called him “a jingo imperialist” — though he was also a respected novelist who won the Literature Nobel in 1907.

via Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered : The Two-Way : NPR.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren,   Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney, lawsuits:  Ah, intigue in retail …

Lundgren, 60, said Stewart sounded like she was reading from a document prepared by lawyers when they spoke, and that he cut off the conversation when the home goods doyenne claimed her deal with J.C. Penney would be good for Macy’s.

“I think that’s when I hung up,” said Lundgren. “The thought this was going to be good for Macy’s was so far from anything I could comprehend.”

Lundgren said that at the time he considered Stewart a friend, and he has not spoken to her since.

via Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren ‘Shocked And Blown Away’ Over Martha Stewart’s Alliance With J.C. Penney.

Swiss watchmakers, The Economist:  I met someone a few years back whose ex worked with a swiss watchmaker … very interesting …

No one buys a Swiss watch to find out what time it is. The allure is intangible: precise engineering, beautifully displayed. The art of fine watchmaking has all but died out elsewhere, but it thrives in Switzerland. “Swiss-made” has become one of the world’s most valuable brands.

In the popular imagination, Swiss watches are made by craftsmen at tiny firms nestled in Alpine villages. In fact, the industry is dominated by one big firm. The Swatch Group’s stable of brands Breguet, Blancpain, Omega and a dozen others generated watch and jewellery sales of SFr7.3 billion in 2012. That is up by 15.6% over the previous year and accounts for one-third of all sales of Swiss watches. In January Swatch announced the purchase of Harry Winston, an American jeweller which also makes watches in Geneva.

via Swiss watchmakers: Time is money | The Economist.

YMCA, ballene:  I attended my second ballene class in a month … I like it!

Ballene: A unique blend of core, strength and flexibility exercises using the stability ball

via Exercise Class

gay marriage, GOP, NYTimes.com:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”

Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.

via Prominent Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com.

Secretary of State John Kerry,  Free Speech, only in America, NYTimes.com: “In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid.”  If you want to see the clip … Kerry Defends American Liberties.

In a robust defense of free speech during a meeting with young Germans in Berlin on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry explained just how far the limits of tolerance extend in blunt terms. “In America,” the country’s top diplomat explained, “you have a right to be stupid.”

That remark, at a forum hosted by the United States Embassy in Berlin, went completely unmentioned in German newspaper and television reports on the event, but it was gleefully seized upon by Mr. Kerry’s critics back home, and bored journalists everywhere, hungry for a gaffe.

via ‘In America, You Have a Right to Be Stupid,’ Kerry Says in Defense of Free Speech – NYTimes.com.

North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Frank M. Eldridge:  I spent a day with Frank while my mother was having surgery in 2008.  What a blessing he is to NAPC … and what an accomplishment  … by title alone …

Name with titles: Hon. Rev. Dr. Frank M. Eldridge, Sr., JD, LL.M., M. Div., Th.M., Associate for Congregational Care, Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

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via North Avenue Presbyterian young adults, Who’s Who at NAPC?.

Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech, marriage, truth:  I thought this deconstruction of his speech very interesting …

Did you see Ben Affleck’s speech accepting the Best Picture award last night? If not, he made a moving and authentic statement about marriage. Read more about it here.

The part that has people in a tizzy is this:

I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.

The criticism centers around this statement as lacking in cuteness, and focusing on the negative. It wasn’t the “right forum” for this type of declaration, it was a possible indicator that “something is wrong” in the marriage, he should have just stuck to “I love you and adore you and you’re perfect” — basically whining that a major Hollywood star was uncomfortably honest about his relationship and said overly blunt things about marriage in one of the most public forums on the planet.

Anyone who actually agrees with the above criticism doesn’t get marriage.

A fundamental reality of human relationships is that two people are not meant to be in a single monogamous partnership for all eternity (or even until the end of their lives). Humans crave sexual novelty. We get bored. We lose interest after just two years. We find our intimacy crushed by the weight of daily routines. Marriage is a voluntary commitment that flies in the face of all scientific research and human evolution.

We enter this voluntary (some say insane, and they’re not entirely wrong) pact because we do a cost-benefit analysis and decide that the benefits of getting married (or otherwise partnering for life) outweigh the potential costs — breakups, emotional pain, financial disarray, the list goes on. We make just about the biggest emotional leap of faith a person can make, because we think, feel, and hope that the rewards will be great.

via Ben Affleck’s Oscar Speech Revealed A Truth About Marriage.

The Silver Linings Playbook, bookshelf, film/lit:  I need to read the book and see the movie!

Paper or Plastic, games, icebreakers, app:  There’s an app for that?

Paper or Plastic App | A Simple Game to Break the Ice.

Kayla loves the moon, YouTube: Endearing .. to the tune of 300,000 hits in the first week!

That doesn’t make her attempts any less endearing.

In this swoon-worthy YouTube video, the pink-clad, stuffed-animal-toting toddler converses with her dad, who encourages her to reach for the moon before eventually agreeing with her that it’s a lost cause, and she should say “goodbye.”

Since being uploaded on Friday, the clip — which denmoff77 posted alongside links to the Lunar and Planetary Institute and its moon-themed site, MyMoonspace.com — has racked up almost 300,000 views.

via Kayla Loves The Moon So Much, She Wants To Catch It (VIDEO).

@amandapalmer, human connection, mutual dignity of gift economies,  TED2013, Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker:  I can’t wait to watch this 2013 TEDTalk.

Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker

“Asking makes you vulnerable.” @amandapalmer makes a beautiful case for the human connection and mutual dignity of gift economies #TED2013

via (73) Twitter.

bikes, cycling, training, Bicycling MagazineIndoor Bike Trainer Tips, Tricks & Strategies | Bicycling Magazine.

25
Oct
11

10.25.2011 … ‎1 scoop Pistachio Gelato with 1 scoop Nutella Gelato on the streets of Paris is possibly one of the most enjoyable dessert experiences I have ever had. 1 scoop of store-bought Pistachio Gelato actually comes pretty close and is a lot cheaper.

home, Ciao Bella Pistachio Gelato:  This stuff is really good … but still not as good as that served at  Amorino in Paris … but you can find it at HT!

Discover. Savor. Share. Ciao Bella.Following more than a decade of success in New York City, Ciao Bella opened its first San Francisco location 15 years ago on Harrison Street before moving to the famed Ferry Building, as an inaugural tenant in 2003.   To celebrate its Bay Area history and new design, Ciao Bella will highlight flavors that source ingredients from local vendors, such as Pistachio Gelato and Peach Ginger Sorbet.

via Ciao Bella Gelato & Sorbet blog.

Muammar Gaddafi, RIP/End of an Era: … weird, creepy … makes for a good Halloween costume … see next entry. 🙂

Long before his end, Muammar Gaddafi had become the weird, creepy, certainly criminal uncle who showed up, because he was really rich, at reunions of world leaders. He did not begin that way. How a young man from deep poverty in a rural North African town rose to become one of the West’s most intractable foes, and then one of its most critical political and economic partners, is an extraordinary political saga.

Gaddafi was scarcely destined for power. Born in 1942 into a tribal Bedouin family near the coastal town of Sirt, he was raised in a country still digging out from the ravages of World War II and a long struggle against Italian colonialism. The giant oil reserves that lay beneath the Libyan desert were years away from being explored. In fact, Libya was barely a nation at all. Gaddafi was 9 years old when the country finally gained its independence from France and Britain (which administered it jointly after the war’s end) and became a monarchy under King Idris al-Sanusi.

Like many provincial boys with little education, Gaddafi joined the army. He became a captain, then trained at Britain’s elite Sandhurst Academy, before returning home as an officer in the Signal Corps. It was in that position, at just 27, that he led a group of junior officers in a bloodless coup, toppling King Idris and declaring himself colonel. In the museum glorifying Gaddafi’s “people’s revolution,” set within the high stone walls of the fortress in Tripoli’s Green Square, one of the main exhibits was a battered sand-colored jeep with open sides, in which Gaddafi, according to his own legend, rode into the city, victorious on Sept. 1, 1969, to present himself as Libya’s leader to a people hungry for popular leadership.

via The End of Muammar Gaddafi: The Colonel’s Long, Weird Ride – TIME.

Muammar Gaddafi,  Halloween 2011, costumes:

rebecca black

What you’ll need:

• An unruly black wig (or this mask)

• Unkempt mustache and goatee

• Gaudy sheets, drapes or pajamas

• Matching kufi or brimless hat

• Dark, square sunglasses

• Female bodyguards (optional)

via Muammar Gaddafi – The 10 Best (Topical) Halloween Costumes for 2011 – TIME.

Vatican, global oversight, economy, supranational authority, global economy:  When has the Vatican been known for democratic and ethical principles?

The Vatican called on Monday for an overhaul of the world’s financial systems, and again proposed establishment of a supranational authority to oversee the global economy, calling it necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok.

In a report issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican argued that “politics — which is responsible for the common good” must be given primacy over the economy and finance, and that existing institutions like the International Monetary Fund had not been responding adequately to global economic problems.

The document grows out of the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns about economic instability and widening inequality of income and wealth around the world, issues that transcend the power of national governments to address on their own.

“The time has come to conceive of institutions with universal competence, now that vital goods shared by the entire human family are at stake, goods which the individual states cannot promote and protect by themselves,” Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the pontifical council, said as he presented the report on Monday. “That is what pushed us.”

The language in the document, which the Vatican refers to as a note, is distinctively strong. “We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,” the document states.

The message prompted comparisons with the rallying cries of protest movements that have been challenging the financial world order, like the indignados in Madrid and the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City. Still, Vatican officials said the document was not a manifesto for disaffected dissidents.

via Vatican Calls for Global Oversight of the Economy – NYTimes.com.

Polaroid, Edwin Land,  dreaming, success, inventing, Insisting on the Impossible, books, quotes:

In the fall of 1943, a little girl asked her father why she couldn’t see a photograph immediately after it was taken — a blasphemous proposition in the era’s photographic paradigm. Fortunately, her father happened to be Edwin Land, the iconic inventor and founder of Polaroid Corporation. So rather than dismissing the question as an impossibility, he took it as a challenge, then made history — in February of 1947, the world’s first Polaroid camera hit stores and unleashed one of the most creative movements in the history of the static image.

via Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land on the 5000 Steps to Success | Brain Pickings.

“If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.”

~ Edwin Land to Polaroid employees, December 23, 1942

via If you dream of something worth doing – benrmatthews.

electric mini cupcake maker, random:  I have been known to buy some useless items … but this tops the cake … no pun intended!

How it actually works: The cupcakes themselves tasted fine, and except for some tunneling where steam created holes, their texture was fine, too. But compared to the 12 minutes it took to bake a full dozen mini cupcakes in the oven, this machine was no time-saver.

Good to know: It cleaned up easily; however, we had to struggle a bit to wash and rinse it without getting the machine too wet.

Best for: It might be fun as an activity with children, but most kids would probably become bored with waiting before the second half-dozen cupcakes are done, and you’d be trapped, baking off the rest of the batter, tiny batch after tiny batch.

Overall: Would we buy this? No. We’ll stick with the oven, where we can bake a couple dozen mini cupcakes in the time it takes this machine to steam seven.

via World’s Fastest Electric Mini Cupcake Maker (It Exists!) | The Feed.

animated short film, greed, Tout Rien (“All Nothing”): Beautiful! Tout Rien animation – YouTube.

But most striking of all are his animated short films. In 1978, his Tout Rien (“All Nothing”), a delicate and pensive 11-minute animated allegory set to the music of Igor Stravinsky about how our human greed is stealing the happiness of our species, earned him an Oscar nomination. It tackles, with remarkable elegance and sensitivity, our tragic tendency towards anthropocentricity in a world we share with countless

via AAll Nothing: Poetic 1978 Animated Allegory about Mankind’s Greed | Brain Pickings.

corporate social responsibility (“csr”), soda companies:  Interesting … flies in the face of csr, don’t you think?

The soda industry hit a new low this year. In 2010, Philadelphia’s mayor and health commissioner had both supported an SSB tax and came within one vote of having the tax passed by the city council. In 2011, when the mayor made it clear he would reintroduce the tax, the industry created an organization called Foundation for a Healthy America, which gave a gift of $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for research and prevention of childhood obesity. Would the hospital accept money from a tobacco company to study anti-smoking programs? The hospital tried to give some of the money to the city to run obesity programs through city health centers, but the mayor refused on the grounds it was funded by the beverage industry.

Over time, the tobacco companies were outed for their dirty tactics and the nation reacted with a series of public policies that cut smoking in half in the U.S. The beverage industry has been successful thus far in fighting off significant taxes through heavy lobbying, questionable tactics, and the attempt to appear public-health minded, but they, too, are likely to be embarrassed as light shines upon them. As they scramble to protect their profits, their actions may ultimately hurt their cause and pave the way for the very government actions they seek to prevent.

via Kelly Brownell on the Dirty Tactics of Soda Companies | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

live and work in the present, lifestyles, universal truths: “Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley?” … Some good things to think about here. “Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.”

For reasons I will explain, I call this process “getting to clear.”

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago from a friend—let’s call him Steve—who worked in multilevel marketing (or sales careers based on recruiting other sellers). He attended a lot of motivational seminars and listened repeatedly to recordings of books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Power of Positive Thinking. For a while he was into Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. As I understood it, the big idea in that book was to remove all your painful memories because they sap your energy and prevent you from being effective and happy.

Steve kept saying that he was “getting to clear,” which is Scientology lingo that meant, more and more, he was fully in the moment, and not only that, the moment was increasingly subject to his mental control. Working from a table outside a shopping mall, Steve could push cellphone accounts on passers-by with a manic, smiling intensity that was almost frightening to behold. He could switch it off, too, like some kind of Tesla-inspired, anti-gravity device, to explain what he was doing so that I could imitate it and earn more commissions.

Reality was something created by our minds, Steve said. Once he was “clear”—and living fully in the present moment—he would be able to “manifest” anything he desired. He said he could visualize customers lining up, and they simply would appear, in greater and greater numbers. In sales, you just have to believe, and then you can have anything you want, developing your mental powers—the will to succeed—by increments.

That belief struck me as odd at the time, and it still does. Sort of like thinking you could learn to fly like Superman by leaping out of airplanes with smaller and smaller parachutes.

On the other hand, some of those ideas seem to descend from respected thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Friedrich Nietzsche. Following Emerson’s gospel of self-reliance, Steve was on his way to becoming an Übermensch among the Willy Lomans. Of course I think that acting like the material world is a mental construct—and that people are manifestations of your will—is going too far, but who can doubt the value of liberating yourself from the past so you can be more effective in the present? Why drag around a chain of regrets like the ghost of Jacob Marley? Once you have completed your overdue obligations and done your best to repair the “errata” of your life, as the printer Benjamin Franklin called them, why not embrace the present, completely. As counterculture gurus said back in the ’60s, if you want to be happy, you need to “Be here now!”

But one of my colleagues here at Hope College—let’s call her Natalie (for that, happily, is her name)—said something to me that I’ll never forget: “You can’t spend your career looking forward to doing something else.”

In other words, once September arrives, instead of embracing the academic year, the return of the usual routine, we feel like divers inhaling deeply before a plunge into dark water. We look forward to surfacing with the return of summer, but then summer comes, and we find that nothing has really changed: just a new configuration of responsibilities. It’s never going to be perfect, but you have to find a way to make the most of what you are doing today.

Perhaps a better way of describing this goal than “getting to clear” is the Quaker notion of finding “peace at the center”—a state of serenity or stillness of spirit in which one is no longer worried about the past or the future. In other words, stop trying to “get” anywhere, just “be clear now,” not next May, or 20 years from now, when you retire, because things won’t be different then, either.

via ‘Getting to Clear’ – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

TEDxCharlotte, dream makers, risk takers,  bucket list:  To go to a TED presentation is on my short bucket list … who has been?

Every presenter — whatever their particular passion and mission — was inspiring, motivating and engaging. The day was a composite of live speakers, videos, entertainers and art offered to spark deep discussion and connections. In addition to the daylong conference, there is an accompanying art exhibition up through Thursday, Nov. 3 that highlights some dream makers and risk takers in the art world. This show is in the Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins Building and is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

via Dream makers and risk takers come out for TEDxCharlotte | Knight Arts.

Elizabeth Eckford, Hazel Bryan, iconic photos, Civil Rights Movement, history, reconciliation, friendship:  How horrible to be branded in the world’s memory as a person filled with racial hatred … very moving story.

Sometime in 1962 or 1963—no cameras recorded the scene, and she didn’t mark anything down—Hazel, sitting in the trailer in rural Little Rock in which she and her family now lived, picked up the Little Rock directory, and looked under “Eckford.” Then, without telling her husband or pastor or anyone else, she dialed the number. Between sobs, she told Elizabeth that she was that girl, and how sorry she was. Elizabeth was gracious. The conversation lasted a minute, if that. In the South, in the ’60s, how much more did a white girl and a black girl have to say to one another?

Still, Hazel never stopped thinking about the picture and making amends for it. She severed what had been her ironclad ties to an intolerant church. She taught mothering skills to unmarried black women, and took underprivileged black teenagers on field trips. She frequented the black history section at the local Barnes & Noble, buying books by Cornel West and Shelby Steele and the companion volume to Eyes on the Prize. She’d argue with her mother on racial topics, defending relatives who’d intermarried.

Secretly, Hazel always hoped some reporter would track her down and write about how she’d changed. But it didn’t happen on its own, and she did nothing to make it happen. Instead, again and again, there was the picture. Anniversary after anniversary, Martin Luther King Day after Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month after Black History Month, it just kept popping up. The world of race relations was changing, but to the world, she never did.

Finally, on the 40th anniversary of Central’s desegregation in 1997, Will Counts returned to Little Rock and arranged for Elizabeth and Hazel to pose for him again. Hazel was thrilled, Elizabeth, curious. Their first meeting was predictably awkward, but the new picture, showing the two women smiling in front of Central, revealed only the barest hint of that. It all but took over the next day’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and very nearly upstaged President Clinton’s speech the next day, in which he worked in a reference to them both. Soon, a poster-sized version of the picture was available: “Reconciliation,” it said. Everyone rejoiced; Thanks to Elizabeth and Hazel, Little Rock, maligned for 40 years, bathed in instant absolution.

Ultimately, it grew too much for Hazel. She cut off ties with Elizabeth—for her, Sept. 11, 2011 marked another anniversary: 10 years had passed since they’d last spoken—and stopped making public appearances with her. Her interviews with me—granted only with great reluctance—will, she says, be her last. When I asked the two women to pose together one last time (Elizabeth turned 70 last Tuesday; Hazel will in January) Elizabeth agreed; Hazel would not. Hazel was poised to vote for Obama in 2008; after all, even her own mother did. But so deep was her hurt that she found some excuse not to.

So the famous photograph of 1957 takes on additional meaning: the continuing chasm between the races and the great difficulty, even among people of good will, to pull off real racial reconciliation. But shuttling back and forth between them, I could see that for all their harsh words—over the past decade, they’ve only dug in their heels—they still missed one another. Each, I noticed, teared up at references to the other. Perhaps, when no one is looking—or taking any pictures—they’ll yet come together again. And if they can, maybe, so too, can we.

via Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan: What happened to the two girls in the most famous photo of the Civil Rights Era..

global population,  7 Billion Day:  I had no idea we were approaching 7 billion!

My print column examines the numbers underlying the designation by the United Nations of Oct. 31 as 7 Billion Day — the day when the world population will hit that milestone number.

Unlike its approach to the equivalent milestone 12 years and a billion people ago, the U.N. won’t be naming the seven billionth inhabitant of the planet. Instead, the agency is calling for hundreds of newborns to take the mantle, by encouraging all countries to identify their own seven billionth baby. The Canadian magazine Maclean’s recently tracked down Adnan Nevic, the designated No. 6,000,000,000, who receives attention each year on his birthday for his achievement but whose Bosnian family has trouble making ends meet.

Hospitals around the U.S. named competing children as No. 300 million when the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country passed that threshold five years ago. But Census itself stays mum. “Would it be someone born, or an immigrant?” asked Census spokesman Robert Bernstein. “You don’t know which component of change” is responsible for the last bit of population growth.

The world tacked on its most recent billion in as much time as the prior billion, which means the growth rate is slowing, easing some of the fears of Thomas Malthus’s intellectual descendants. And the population milestone isn’t necessarily a one-time-only event: The world could cross back under seven billion if deaths overtakes births. “We may pass that mark several times,” Nico Keilman, a demographic modeler at the University of Oslo, wrote in an email, outlining a morbid scenario. (Keilman has studied the accuracy of past population projections.) “Suppose the world counts exactly seven billion on or around 31 October. Suddenly there is an earthquake or some other natural disaster with many people killed. This may lead to a population less than seven billion. In other words, whereas the U.N. (and others) predict a smooth path for population development, reality is volatile.”

via 7 Billion Day: The Uncertainty of Counting and Projecting Global Population – The Numbers Guy – WSJ.

 The New York Times,  Angry Birds,  corrections: 🙂

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the premise of “Angry Birds,” a popular iPhone game. In the game, slingshots are used to launch birds to destroy pigs and their fortresses, not to shoot down the birds

via Regret the Error» The New York Times offers an amusing Angry Birds correction.

McRib, McDonald’s, cult following, social media:  Just funny!

NEW YORK — The McRib, the elusive sandwich that has inspired a cult-like following, is back.

McDonald’s Corp. announced Monday that the boneless barbecue pork sandwich, usually available in only a few stores at a time, will be sold at all U.S. locations through Nov. 14.

Most of the time, it’s up to local franchises to determine when and if they want to sell the McRib — except in Germany, the only place where it’s available perennially. But McDonald’s said the response was so great last November when it made the McRib available nationally for about three weeks that it decided to bring it back this year. The company, which previously hadn’t sold the McRib nationally since 1994, declined to give specific sales numbers.

The sandwich, which is dressed with onions, pickle slices and barbecue sauce, was introduced nationally in 1982. With 500 calories and 26 grams of fat, it’s slightly trimmer than the Big Mac, which has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat. And just like the Big Mac, the McRib has become a popular McDonald’s offering.

If the McRib is so popular, why not just offer it all the time? McDonald’s likes to stoke the enthusiasm with an aura of transience.

“Bringing it back every so often adds to the excitement,” said Marta Fearon, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director, who added that she’s not sure if the McRib will reappear in stores every fall.

And how can it be called a McRib if it doesn’t have any bones? Said Fearon: “That gives it this quirky sense of humor.”

via The elusive pork sandwich is coming back, briefly; a barbecue without the bones – The Washington Post.




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