Posts Tagged ‘Volvo

23
Jul
11

7.23.2011 … gathering of the clan …

Davidson, 4th Rich, reunion, Tuxedo NC:  Our second great gathering of the 4th Rich clan … what a delightful evening.  Thanks, McGrady.  For a few pics … Gathering.

green, Dartmouth College:

In June 2010, faculty, staff and administrators at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire had their desk trash cans replaced with six-inch-tall cartons. One year later, Dartmouth has sent 200 less tons of trash to the landfill, and recycling is up by one third.

It’s a simple strategy. Every desk gets one large “zero sort” recycling box for paper, glass, aluminum and plastic and one tiny trash tub for whatever cannot be recycled, which at Dartmouth is essentially a few types of drink lids and certain types of plastic bags and packaging materials. When the trash tub reaches its meager capacity, the owner has to empty it at a disposal area.

via With Tiny Cans, a New Trash Equation – NYTimes.com.

Harry Potter:  In case you can’t remember, like me … “Harry Potter – A Look Back” – YouTube.

Google+:

Forget being friended on Facebook or followed on Twitter. What you really want now is to be Circled—or so Google hopes.

The company’s latest social-networking effort, Google+, lets users organize people into Circles of friends so you can choose what you share with each group. It offers multi-person video chats and a feature called Sparks that encourages users to plug into news that interests them. It integrates with Picasa, Google’s photo site.

Google+ is designed to compete with Facebook, but judging from my non-techie friends’ reactions over the past two weeks, the initial setup can be confusing. Plus, many of them aren’t eager to build another social network. This week, I’ll take a step back to explain Google+, how it differs from Facebook and just what’s with the Circles.

via Going in Google+ Circles. Review of Google+ – Katherine Boehret – The Digital Solution – AllThingsD.

As virtual world expert Wagner James Au has chronicled on his blog New World Notes, this is posing problems not just for political dissidents but for many virtual world users who’d prefer to go by their avatar names. His post was a response to a Second Life user, Opensource Obscure, who had his account suspended for “violating community standards.”

Google spokesperson Katie Watson has confirmed that the company will require real names for Google Profiles, the requisite for people to establish their Google Plus accounts. There is a place in your Google Profile account where you can list nicknames, and that’s what Google suggests users do who are interested in listing their other online names and persona. Those who do establish Google Profiles under a pseudonym face account suspension.

via No Pseudonyms Allowed: Is Google Plus’s Real Name Policy a Good Idea?.

Looking for an easy way to move your photos from Facebook to Google Plus? So were we. That’s why we were happy to discover this Web application, available in the Chrome Web store, that does the work for you. Available only as a browser add-on for Google Chrome, Move2Picasa exports all your Facebook albums and photos and imports them into Picasa for you, for free. You can then share those pictures with your Circles on Google Plus.

via How to Move Your Facebook Photos to Picasa & Google Plus.

food, lobster rolls:  OK I had my first lobster roll in Boston, and I will admit it was pretty good.  I felt stupid paying $25; but honestly, it was so good it was worth it.

Neptune Oyster- Boston Lobster Roll

Leave it to the World Financial Center to host its pumped-up opposite. At Ed’s Lobster Bar Kiosk on the waterfront, 225 Vesey Street (Liberty Street); (917) 364-3787, lobsterbarnyc.com, Ed McFarland’s six-ounce celery-and-chive-dotted blob of musky mayonnaise-y lobster meat bobs atop its butter-drenched roll like one of the sprawling yachts in the adjacent marina ($25). It’s an object of conspicuous consumption as befits the captains of finance.

via New Lobster Rolls – NYC – Restaurant Review – NYTimes.com.

random, Chinese fakes: Guo Meimei: The TIME Cover Girl Who Wasn’t – Global Spin – TIME.com.

Civil War, history, random, quotes: The article was interesting on lots of levels … but the closing quote just made me laugh!

“At Gettysburg, I had one woman who said to me, ‘I don’t understand how they fought this battle with all these statues here,’ ” Chaney said.

via Whatever Happened to … the statue of Gen. Lee at Antietam – The Washington Post.

technology, education: Whole new world …

Cathy Davidson spotted the gorilla but only because, as a dyslexic, she gave up immediately on trying to count the tosses. That shock of seeing what others missed became the germ of her remarkable new book, Now You See It, which offers a fresh and reassuring perspective on how to manage anxieties about the bewildering pace of technological change: “Distraction is your friend,” she says.

Davidson is a Duke University English professor, part of a tribe that’s not known for embracing the future. But she is a cofounder of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), an international network of academics inspired by new technology, which administers the annual Digital Media and Learning competition with the MacArthur Foundation. Davidson believes that true conceptual innovation is needed to reinvent our homes, schools, and workplaces for the demands of the digital age. She calls her approach “technopragmatism,” or “technorealism.”

In the book, Davidson tells the story of her extensive arm rehab, which includes a fascinating insight from her physical therapist, who found that her patients who sustained injuries toward the end of a decade in their lives — at 29, 39, even 69 — tended to recover more quickly and completely than those who had just passed that milestone, who felt too old. Davidson, then in her early fifties, was determined to be an exception. “What was very interesting was how little relationship there was in rehab between physical damage and healing. Much more important was attitude — not some goofy optimistic thing, but almost some kind of stubbornness about possibility,” she says.

That very stubbornness is what Davidson models. Even as she works with her students to help rewrite the rules, she’s not going to let people of her own generation off the hook for turning their backs on the new reality. “When I hear from those 40-year-old, 50- year-old Luddites, I’m thinking, What else is wrong in your life that you have to make such a wall? If you’re that worried about distraction, something else is going on.”

via Duke’s Cathy Davidson Has A Bold Plan for Change | Fast Company.

NASA Shuttle Program, end of an era, photojournalism:  I really enjoyed this photo essay.

When the end of the program was announced, my father and I knew we had to do something special. We have spent the past three years securing access and photographing scenes few people have ever witnessed. It has been quite a bit of work, but I have felt humbled and privileged every minute I have been at the space center.

In the simplest terms, these photographs tell a story of the work of men and women who showed up every day and launched spaceships. By doing their jobs well, these workers — from much-hailed astronauts to Harley-riding technicians — have made the extraordinary task of spaceflight seem mundane.

via The space shuttle: Portrait of an American era – The Washington Post.

cars, Volvo, green, electric cars, hybrid cars:  OK, I want one.

Volvo is taking a shotgun approach to vehicle electrification, essentially blasting away with a whole lot of concepts to see what hits the bullseye.

The Swedish automaker’s already wowed us with the slick C30 Electric, a car that it really ought to go ahead and sell already. Volvo keepts telling us we’ll see the C30 electric (pictured) in 2013. Then it wheeled out the diesel-electric V60 Plug-In Hybrid, which could be in (some?) showrooms next year.

Now it’s experimenting with extended-range electrics, which are another way of saying plug-in hybrids that use gasoline engines to boost electric range. One is a straight-up riff on the Chevrolet Volt, a car Volvo vp of business development Paul Gustavsson told us is “a milestone in the industry.”

Although range-extended drivetrains are more complex than either internal combustion or electric systems, they offer the flexibility of a conventional car, the efficiency of an EV and the reduced greenhouse gas emissions of a hybrid.

via Volvo Packs More Buckshot in Its Electric Shotgun | Autopia | Wired.com.

National Geographic Traveler,  apps, Above France:  Enjoyable app for someone planning a trip.

Today, National Geographic Traveler and app developer Fotopedia are launching a brilliant new iOS app for wanderlust enthusiasts, called “Above France.” The new app provides a bird’s eye view of France’s beauty including a stunning collection of more than 2,000 photographs taken by helicopter pilot and professional photographer, Frank Mulliez.

via National Geographic Travelers new app: Above France – TNW Apps.

 

27
Feb
11

2.27.2011 … thinking about how we define things … from Sunday School … “religion.” How do you define “religion?”

FPC, Sunday School – Wired Word, Charlotte, faith and spirituality: I usually go to a Sunday School class that focuses on current news … it is called the Wired Word.  This week’s topic was NASCAR, which is both a local and national news topic. 😉  Kirk Hall opened with the question, “How do you/we define religion?”  Very interesting  question.  From Kirk’s weekly e-mail …

NASCAR was born in the Bible Belt and has always welcomed pre-race invocations and religious symbols on cars. The biblical image of running a good race comes to life on the track, and many drivers become saints — especially after their deaths. Fans of the sport value tradition, as well as the risks involved. But has stock-car racing become a kind of civil religion, one that can lead Christians astray? So our next class will focus on the spirituality of NASCAR and how it both helps and hinders the practice of the Christian faith.

Thomasville GA, kith/kin, places, favorites:  One of my favorite places is Thomasville GA … hello, Julie and Doug!  What a nice article!

THOMASVILLE, Ga. – When you think about it, there has to be something pretty impressive about a place that few people outside of Georgia have heard about but was once referred to by Harper’s magazine as “the best winter resort on three continents.”

That place is Thomasville. Deep in the farthest reaches of Georgia, about a rock’s throw from the Florida line, Thomasville is a town where time seems to have stood still and the Old South never completely faded away.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Thomasville is one of the prettiest towns in America for a number of reasons. Rolling green hills. Furrows of red clay in hues of carmine, mahogany, and cinnamon. Graceful plantations that bespeak of an era long ago. Victorian architecture. Southern breezes. Bobwhite quail whistling among the pines. Kudzu-covered roadsides. Towering magnolias and oaks drizzled with Spanish moss. And plenty of warm Southern hospitality.

via Thomasville is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets – Travel Wires – MiamiHerald.com.

library, Charlotte, Great Recession:  It appears the recovery may be too late to save our wonderful library system.

The Future of the Library Task Force must submit its final recommendations next month. Among the items members will discuss and possibly act upon include:

Whether to increase hours, staffing and resources at the regional libraries. Those changes would come at the expense of the smaller branch libraries, and some are likely to close.

via Tuesday vote could include closing libraries – CharlotteObserver.com.

faith and spirituality, church, Marthame Sanders:  A really good piece by Marthame Sanders.

Eventually, though, it’s time to stop playing church and start being church.

That’s the very problem that Isaiah is facing when he preaches to the ancient Israelites. They do very well at playing the people of God: they do great at the trappings of faith: they follow the sacrificial ordinances, they fast appropriately, they make a great show of humbling themselves. But when it comes to being the people of God, apparently they don’t do so well. And Isaiah let’s them know that they have completely missed the point. The ritual serves its purpose, yes; but if it doesn’t change lives, then it’s useless. “You fast,” he says, “but you oppress. You humble yourself, but you fight and quarrel and attack.”

“True fasting, true faith,” he says, is “loosing the bonds of injustice. It’s letting the oppressed go free. It’s giving bread, shelter, clothing to those who have none. That is where your light will shine – not in the fires of burnt offerings, not in the making of ashes to cover yourself in showy grief – but in the divine light of goodness. That’s when you stop playing a role and start changing the world.”

How do we make that transition? How do we move from playing church to being church? What are the things that we do out of habit, and what are the things we do because they make a difference?

Isaiah does a great job of putting a mirror to Israelite hypocrisy. What would that mirror look like today? What does it mean when we dress up for church, but then gossip about those whom we see at church? What do we say about ourselves when we read these words about injustice, oppression, hunger, homelessness, but then spent the other six days – or even the rest of this day – focused on ourselves? Does Isaiah make us cringe, because these words sound too politically loaded, or do we take this as a cringe-worthy opportunity for self – and community – examination?

via A Low Salt Diet? « i feast therefore i am.

random, tv, House, Princeton:  I realized when I was visiting Princeton that the back of the Campus looks like the aerial shot for House’s hospital … that is because it is.

frist campus center – Google Search.

The locations used for exterior shots of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital are Princeton University’s First Campus Center, [a] UCLA, and the University of Southern California.

via What Hospital does House MD take place? – Yahoo! Answers.

Warren Buffet, annual letter:  I enjoy reading it and reading the discussion … here are some early reactions.

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...

Image via Wikipedia

Warren Buffett has now issued his annual letter to shareholders. Now it is the shareholders’ turn. Here are some reactions from shareholders on Buffett’s letter.

via Here Is What People Are Saying About Buffett’s Letter – Deal Journal – WSJ.

cars, Volvo, station wagons, RIP:  Rest in peace, Volvo wagons … We have driven two, a 240 and a v70 for over 20 years and 350,000 miles combined.   I always assumed  I would have at least one more …

Volvo, the company most associated with station wagons for the last 20 years, will stop selling wagons in the U.S. The market is drying up. Farewell, Family Truckster, farewell (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)The Volvo wagon had been on life support for months. After dropping the larger V70 Volvo in 2010, Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, told Automotive News he was giving the V50 another year because there “is a bit more energy in the small wagon segment.” Not enough, apparently. Volvo, which was sold to China’s Geely in 2010, sold just 480 V50s last year, about two per dealer.

What happened to the Volvo wagon is a classic case of automotive Darwinism. American buyers first turned away from station wagons during the 1973 oil crisis. Their extreme length, emphasized by long rear overhangs to accommodate a third seat, made them natural targets. In the 1980s, the minivan came along and stole the people-mover business. SUVs moved to the fore in the 1990s. Far more utilitarian, they offered a lot more cargo space, a command seating position, and four-wheel-drive.

via Death of the station wagon.

Apple, Macs, change:  Still more changes … I think I will wait for Lion before getting a new Mac.

But one particularly interesting under-the-hood change that we’ve learned about is an evolution of Mac OS X’s “resolution independence” features. Resolution independence has been a long talked about feature that would eventually provide support for high DPI (dots per inch) displays. While there has been the beginnings of support for it starting in Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) and into Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), full support was never realized. In Mac OS X Lion, however, references to Resolution Independence has been replaced with a new system that could pave the way for these super high resolution “Retina” monitors.

via Mac OS X Lion Building in Support for Super High Resolution ‘Retina’ Monitors – Mac Rumors.

twitter, Middle East Uprising/Awakening: The twitter line reeled me in … the article is very helpful at explaining the differences in the countries involved.

Five lessons we can learn from the Middle East revolutions, including “Patience Is a Virtue” | http://ti.me/fxJ2E9

via TIME.com (TIME) on Twitter.

There’s no need to panic.

Revolutions are messy affairs. They don’t follow the easy logic of middle-school textbooks. Hostilities in the American Revolution broke out a year before the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution was not ratified until nearly seven years after the decisive battle at Yorktown. In two years starting in 1974, Portugal went from neofascism to army rule to something like a communist putsch and then to liberal democracy, where, happily, it has stayed. (Along the way, events in that little country made the end of white rule in South Africa and Rhodesia inevitable. That’s another thing about revolutions: their reverberations often surprise.) The Philippines got rid of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 but is still groping toward a system of government that is both effective and democratic.

(See TIME’s photo-essay “Scenes from the Unrest in Libya.”)

In the 10 weeks since demonstrations began in Tunisia, the Arab Middle East has been messiness personified. We have seen the relatively swift and peaceful ouster of the regime in Tunisia; an 18-day standoff marked by peaceful mass protests and sporadic regime resistance before the departure of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt; demonstrations for constitutional reform combatted by deadly force, followed by negotiations in Bahrain; and most recently, the outbreak of violence bordering on civil war in Libya. And this catalog of the Arab world’s democratic winter doesn’t include the protests elsewhere, against everyone from a classic big man in Yemen to hereditary monarchs in Morocco and Jordan. So what can we learn from the region’s revolutions — and those that went before them?

But the key thing about the Arab revolution — the reason we can dream that even Libya may turn out fine — is that Arabs are doing it for themselves. This revolution is a regional one, a movement in which each nation’s young people have learned tactics, technological fixes and slogans from one another. A local TV channel — al-Jazeera, not the BBC or CNN — has been a principal megaphone. The unplanned system of mutual support that has developed may turn out to have done more to bind the region together than the top-down attempts to create pan-Arabism in the 1950s. This year, says Rogan, “Arabs have been inspired by the example of fellow Arabs. What matters in the Arab world matters to Arabs.” For that reason, it matters to us all.

via Learn to Love The Revolution – TIME.

pirates, game changer:

Until four Americans died this week after they were captured by Somali raiders, the United States and other countries considered pirates a nuisance. The world’s navies catch and release hundreds of pirates off the African coast every year, and no one has worried too much about it.

The killings represent a new level of violence in the thriving high seas enterprise.

Fifteen pirates are now in custody in the incident, many of them headed to the U.S. to face criminal charges. But experts say that may be the worst option in fighting the piracy problem.

Nikolas Gvosdev, who teaches at the U.S. Naval War College, told NPR’s Talk of the Nation that the killings could be a “9/11 moment,” like when passengers and airlines decided they had to fight back against hijackers.

via Fighting Piracy At Sea And In Court : NPR.

photographs, Middle East Uprising/Awakening, Libya:  This picture says it with very few words …

CIVIL WAR WEEKEND

via DRUDGE REPORT 2011®.

history, Frederick Douglass, Civil War:

For Douglass, his warm reception in Ireland also served as an ironic contrast to difficulties he would soon face in his native land. Even as he toured Ireland, a blight was destroying the potato crop on which the island depended. In the coming years, the disaster transmogrified into a full-fledged famine, sending millions of Irish to North America. During that period and through the Civil War years, many — but not all — Irish-Americans and their leaders opposed Douglass’s fight to gain rights for African-Americans. They opposed his efforts to win rights for enslaved blacks in the South and for blacks in the North, free but denied U.S. citizenship and subject to widespread discrimination — including, in many cases, both de facto and de jure segregation.

via Frederick Douglass’s Irish Liberty – NYTimes.com.

fast food, McDonalds:  Good question, Why?  (I actually like the oatmeal … but not so much now that I know what is in it.)

The bottom-line question is, “Why?” Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding “healthier” foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?

I asked them this, via e-mail: “Why could you not make oatmeal with nothing more than real oats and plain water, and offer customers a sweetener or two (honey, the only food on earth that doesn’t spoil, would seem a natural fit for this purpose), a packet of mixed dried fruit, and half-and-half or — even better — skim milk?”

via How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong – NYTimes.com.

Academy Awards, gLee, gLee effect:  Wouldn’t you love to be a member of the PS22 Chorus, a fifth-grade glee club from Staten Island!!

The Academy Award show is Sunday night, and excitement is growing over what celebrities will wear, what they will say, and who will be the big winners. In addition, we can expect to hear some musical performances by Mandy Moore, Randy Newman and Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, she’s singing).

But there is one group performing you probably don’t know: The PS22 Chorus, a fifth-grade glee club from Staten Island.

After discovering the PS22 Chorus on YouTube, Anne Hathaway showed up at their Winter Recital in December to personally invite them to perform at the awards show. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming.

via The PS22 Chorus Goes To The Oscars : Monkey See : NPR.

history, Mount Vernon, George Washington:  Enjoyed this article … perspective is everything.

The new Mount Vernon humanized Washington, but only by eclipsing the true meaning of him and his home for a changing nation: not a refuge from modernity but an incubator of it.

via Rebranding Mount Vernon – NYTimes.com.

TED Prize, street art, public art:  Did not know there was a TED Prize … this one is interesting.

I first met JR one afternoon late last November in his studio in Paris. The nearest Metro station is named after Alexandre Dumas, and there’s something “Three Musketeers”-ish about the team inside too: JR; one right-hand man, Emile Abinal; and the other, their “philosopher and guru,” Marco Berrebi, were winding down from a poster-pasting trip to Shanghai and preparing for a press conference about the positive aftereffects of their portraits in the Middle East. They never really had people in the studio before, and there was some cleaning up to do — for one thing, a yellow Kawasaki motorcycle was parked right in the middle of it. Hanging on a far wall, hidden between large-scale photographs of JR’s installations, was a small trophy cabinet containing two battered broom brushes, a squeegee and a box of powdered glue. “We kneel down and pray in front of that every day,” JR said.

We sat in a corner to talk about the TED Prize, which he won a month earlier. Every year since 2005, the New York-based TED organization has awarded $100,000 to prominent figures like Bono and Bill Clinton and Jamie Oliver who are expected to use the money to fulfill “one wish to change the world.” Now 28 years old, JR is the prize’s youngest winner.

“I don’t even know how they knew my work,” he said, still flush from the news. “What I love about the TED is that it’s not, Hey, take this check and enjoy. It’s, Do something with this, and we’ll help you. I think that’s the most beautiful prize I’ve ever heard of.” Until JR announces his plans this week at the TED conference, the contours of his next project are secret, but it’s likely to resemble his earlier actions, as he calls them; only this time, he says, it will be bigger.

via Supercolossal Street Art – NYTimes.com.

gLee, Katie Couric, school chorus clubs:  I have something in common with Katie Couric …

I’ll admit it, I’m a “Gleek.”

For those of you who don’t watch the show “Glee” that would be a Glee-geek (clever…huh?)

Sure the show can be sappy, but that’s often the point. It is just fun.

However, seeing some real show choirs (singing and dancing students) was even more entertaining.

In our piece for Tuesday’s “CBS Evening News, we profile the students at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, Calif.

via “Glee” effect makes high school choir cool – Couric & Co. – CBS News.

urban planing, aerotroplis, Dubai, China:  Aerotroplis?  Enjoyed this whole article about the next stage in the evolution of cities.

In public statements, Sheikh Ahmed has equated the future of Dubai with the future of Emirates, calling his country’s mammoth airport the center of a new Silk Road connecting China to the Middle East, India and Africa.

Thanks to the jet engine, Dubai has been able to transform itself from a backwater into a perfectly positioned hub for half of the planet’s population. It now has more in common with Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangalore than with Saudi Arabia next door. It is a textbook example of an aerotropolis, which can be narrowly defined as a city planned around its airport or, more broadly, as a city less connected to its land-bound neighbors than to its peers thousands of miles away. The ideal aerotropolis is an amalgam of made-to-order office parks, convention hotels, cargo complexes and even factories, which in some cases line the runways. It is a pure node in a global network whose fast-moving packets are people and goods instead of data. And it is the future of the global city.

This hasn’t been lost on Paul Romer, the Stanford University economist overseeing the development of an instant city in Honduras. He proposes building “charter cities” in impoverished states with new laws, new infrastructure and foreign investors—free trade zones elevated to the realm of social experiment. Mr. Romer sold Honduran President Porfirio Lobo on the idea in November and has stayed on as an adviser. Last month, the Honduran Congress voted to amend the country’s constitution to allow the pilot project to proceed.

The aerotropolis arrives at a moment when urban centers seemingly have started to rule the world. Just 100 cities account for nearly one-third of the global economy. “If the 20th century was the era of nations,” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak pronounced at New Songdo’s christening in 2009, “the 21st century is the era of cities.”

The aerotropolis is tailor-made for today’s world, in which no nation reliably dominates and every nation must fight for its place in the global economy. It is at once a new model of urbanism and the newest weapon in the widening competition for wealth and security.

via Aerotropolis: The Airport-Based Global City of Tomorrow – WSJ.com.




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