Posts Tagged ‘vuvuzelas

27
Jul
10

‎7.27.2010 … missing my peeps … even jbt out of state today …

faith, missions, family, Gray: My nephew Gray is in Lesotho on this mission trip.  What a great experience and so great that I can follow from home!

The Give Love Mission Team is headed out tonight at 7:30 p.m. It’s a long flight (about 16 hours!). And aside from 6 youth and 10 adults, we have a lot of luggage to get there as well. We’re taking more than 200 blankets to the kids at the Ministry of Insured Salvation Orphanage from the North Avenue kids at Vacation Bible School, guitars, art supplies, and all kinds of goodies. Please pray for safe travels, team unity, and that God would be preparing our hearts for what we’re about to encounter. Be praying for the precious kids we’re about to meet, too!

via North Avenue Missionaries.

education, internships, Davidson:  Davidson, just like most liberal arts colleges, is struggling to incorporate internships into the college experience.

But besides the financial question, students who attend liberal arts colleges can find it’s difficult to get credit for internships, says Lauren Valentino, 22, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., who wrote a thesis on unpaid internships.

“Liberal arts colleges maintain a distinct identity from other institutions through their non-vocational curriculum, which explains why they are less willing than some other universities to grant credit for internships,” Valentino says.

via Unpaid internships can cost — or pay off for — college students – USATODAY.com.

culture, high school: What will I say about my generation in 20 years?

I was witnessing a truth. Within our bodies of 67 or 68 years lived all the people we had ever been or seemed to be. All the success, all the defeat, all the love and fear. We were all here.

We went to Urbana High School between 1956 and 1960. We were the first post-Elvis generation, and one of the last generations of innocence. We were inventing the myth of the American teenager. Our decade would imprint an iconography on American society. We knew nothing of violence and drugs. We looked forward to the future. We were taught well. We were the best class.

via Talking ’bout my generation – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

news, random, LOL, truth – stranger than fiction:  I have seen this story before, but it is definitely one instance where truth is stranger than fiction.

Three street-muggers in Sydney, Aus chased a visiting med student down an alley and took his iPod and phone. Unfortunately for them, the alley they chased him down was next to the local ninja martial arts school, and a student ninja was lurking in the shadows. He got his teacher, and five ninjas stole out into the night and kicked ninjed the muggers’ asses.

via Muggers chase victim into crowd of ass-kicking ninjas – Boing Boing.

history, my nerdiness: I must be a real nerd because I found this article on the history and future of the electrical grid fascinating.

During the Depression, when power lines first electrified rural America, a farmer in Tennessee rose in church one Sunday and said—power companies love this story—”The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.”

via Electrical Grid – National Geographic Magazine.

culture, health:  We aren’t looking so good.  You should read the article …. talks about our generations drug use and unknown interactions with prescribed drugs when we are old …

The generation known as baby boomers may go into old age broke and fat, researchers say.

Particularly, those among the first decade of boomers – now at retirement age or within 10 years of it – may find a combination of unhealthy living and unwise personal finance decisions will leave them in rough shape after age 65.

They may not mind so much, however, because researchers say they also are more likely to be stoned on drugs than either their elders or those younger.

via Some N.C. boomers: Fat and flat broke – CharlotteObserver.com.

news, Charlotte, weather: Definitely hot here.

Charlotte hit 101 degrees on Sunday, a new record for the day, in a summer that so far is the city’s third-hottest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

via 101° – CharlotteObserver.com.

Apple: New Apples?

Will Apple launch new Mac Pros, iMacs, and the Magic Trackpad tomorrow?.

vuvuzelas, FIFA World Cup 2010:  Never thought about who invented them … just assumed they were a plastic version of an ancient african horn … but instead they evolved from a bike horn!

I invented the vuvuzela 35 years ago but, of course, it’s only since the start of the World Cup that it has become quite so well known globally. Whatever people may say about the sound it makes, it has never been so popular. That makes me proud; I see so many visitors taking vuvuzelas home with them, to Europe, South America and beyond.

I know people have complained in the past. One football squad objected to the noise when they played in South Africa, but I think it’s only polite to accept the customs of any country you visit, and this is our culture. Our players expect it and the sound encourages them – it’s the sound of our support. Many people say they don’t like the noise, but I’ve been blowing the vuvuzela for decades now and I’ve never heard of anyone going to hospital or dying because of it.

I approached someone who ran a manufacturing company and he made the first plastic version – a yellow one very much like those you see today. We called them Boogieblasts and sold them at games. I changed the name to vuvuzela in 1992, after Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa was allowed to compete internationally again – the name means three things in Zulu: “welcome”, “unite” and “celebration.”

via Experience: I invented the vuvuzela | Life and style | The Guardian.

FIFA World Cup 2010, marketing: Very interesting. .. Did Nike master the social network marketing and win despite Adidas’ sponsorship?

Two contenders, Adidas and Nike, each have a shot at becoming undisputed market leader when the whistle blows on July 11 and the final game concludes. Coming into 2010, their records show them evenly matched: each is estimated to have earned $1.5-1.7 billion in football merchandise sales in 2008 and 2009, and each controls about a third of the total market.

via The World Cup Brand Winner: Adidas or Nike? – Elie Ofek – HBS Faculty – Harvard Business Review.

culture, followup:  I forgot to include the illustration for Does Language Influence Culture? – WSJ.com …  The Tower of Babel’ by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563.  That illustration really enhanced the article.  Also loved Ann Sheaffer Gibert’s comment:

I came to the same conclusion when I studied Hebrew. Language must shape how our brain works, and different language structures reflect (or cause) different cultural standards.

The Tower of Babel' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563

travel, Ireland:  Really enjoyed this article on Ireland  … hope to go back and it will give me some new insights into what I am seeing.

I have been wandering in a zig-zag way around its country parts, Waterford to Donegal, contemplating the three great quandaries that have obsessed Ireland during my own lifetime: the old, old miseries that arose centuries ago from the interference of the English; the recent hubris and nemesis of economics; the tragic loss of faith and trust in the Roman Catholic church, for centuries the very essence of Irishness.

To my mind there is something transcendental to the charm of the Irish, the very emblem of their national identity. They are no nicer than other peoples, no less bitchy, no less quarrelsome, no less murderous indeed, but without doubt they are, come boom or bust, come faith or disbelief, come peace or war the most charming of nationalities. I cannot make out how deeply they have been affected by the three great communal anxieties that have lately afflicted them, but I can vouch for the fact that in externals, at least, they are just as they always were.

Call it national character, call it community resilience, or call it, most mystically, spiritually and irresistibly of all, simply the luck of the Irish.

via FT.com / Travel – On a journey across Ireland.

RIP:  My friend Eleanor is a friend of Leah … her story is compelling …Leah Siegel, ESPN producer whose struggle with breast cancer inspired thousands, dies at 43 | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News.

faith, followup: I also loved the  Henri Nouwen post that Cary referred to here.  But Cary culls it down to one question … and my list is way too short.

A valid question is “What are the names of the poor whom you interact with?”

via Knowledge Leads to Empathy « Jubilee Year.

children’s/YA literature, faith, history:  I look forward to reading this book by the Pope.

On July 22nd, the Vatican press office announced that Pope Benedict XVI has authored a children’s book entitled, The Friends of Jesus. The twelve friends to the famed Messiah are the Twelve Apostles.

President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Spanish priest Julian Carron, wrote the prologue to the book. He also offers this comment about the publication: “[The Pope] takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus’ first companions were, how they met him and were conquered by him to the point that they never abandoned Him.”

via Pope Benedict XVI to Publish Children’s Book – mediabistro.com: GalleyCat.

politics, The President: Sorry, Mr. President, this seems ridiculous … That is just too much for some face time with you.  And the people who pay such an  exorbitant amount expect something in return.

Chicagoans next week will have the chance to wish President Barack Obama “happy 49th birthday” for $30,400 ($60,800 a couple).

That’s the admission price for a Democratic National Committee “birthday” reception to be held at a the home of real-estate billionaire Neil Bluhm in Obama’s hometown on Aug. 5, the day after his birthday.

via Happy $30,400 birthday, Mr. President – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

tv, gLee: I hope Season 2 is as uniquely fun as Season 1. A ‘Rocky Horror’ Episode, and 9 Other ‘Glee’ Spoilers – Yahoo! TV Blog.

05
Jul
10

7.5.2010 Wonderful fourth celebration at the lake with my Charlotte “family”. Great fun to just relax, swim, EAT, talk, share and watch fireworks … thank you Lomax family!

history, gardening, art, practicing what you preach: Because Monticello is such a national treasure, I am glad Jefferson failed personally at what he argued for us nationally/politically.

This seems like clear hypocrisy, but it also points to the deep ambivalence in the American mind between our professed ideals and our economic imperatives. We mistrust wealth, but we simultaneously worship it. Like Jefferson, we idealize the supposed simplicity of rural life, but like him we want our country weekend houses well-stocked with all the modern comforts. And, like him, we’re not willing to to balance the checkbook if means sacrificing what he called “the pursuit of happiness.” We can recognize ourselves in Thomas Jefferson, because his contradictions, and his addictions, are our own.

Less well-known is the fact that Jefferson was also America’s founding home and garden addict, a detail-obsessed improver who designed the perfect dwelling at Monticello, then endlessly remodeled it. He sank huge sums into landscaping his grounds in the latest styles and entertained a constant stream of guests with spreads of heirloom vegetables and fine French wine so lavish as to make an oenophile blush.

In doing so, Jefferson set the standard for the irresponsibly over-leveraged American homeowner, mortgaged to the hilt to enjoy the good life. At his death on July 4, 1826, Jefferson was so deep in debt that everything he owned including his slaves had to be sold.

via Jefferson: our first home, garden addict – CharlotteObserver.com.

facts, culture: very interesting …

Federal data from 2007 says 40 percent of births in America are to unwed mothers, a trend experts say is especially common in middle-class America. In one St. Louis community, the notion of getting married and having children — in that order — seems quaint.

As to what kind of consequences this new concept of marriage will have for the next generation — a group of children who may grow up with several parental figures instead of just two — Becky says she worries about it. Experts say it’s too soon to say what the effects will be. We’ll have to ask these children in 20 years.

via Kids First, Marriage Later — If Ever : NPR.

BP oil crisis, economy:

“THE bad news is we didn’t hit oil,” ran the old wildcatter’s joke. “The good news is we didn’t find gas.” Potentially dangerous and always more difficult to manage than pouring liquid into a barrel, natural gas used to give oil companies a headache. Now gas is dominating the thoughts of Western oil bosses and, increasingly, their firms’ portfolios. Seven of the eight projects Exxon Mobil completed last year were for natural-gas developments. Two of the three it has scheduled for this year are also gas-related. Royal Dutch Shell says that by 2012 half of its output will come from gas. The current high oil price still makes crude the prize for any self-respecting major. But the West’s big oil companies are growing gassier.

via Oil companies’ dash for gas: Vapour trails | The Economist.

art, NYC: I enjoyed this article very much … my conclusion was that Hopper’s work epitomized art … “a collage inside Hopper’s imagination”. Nighthawks is in Chicago at the Art Institure and one of my favorite paintings.  If you are in Chicago … go see it … it is worth a look.

Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, 1942. Oil on canvas; 33 1/8 x 60 in. (84.1 x 152.4 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago

Back home, I dug through my bookshelves and unearthed Gail Levin’s “Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.” The book is autographed by the author — I had gone to hear Ms. Levin read in a bookshop that is now gone — and dated from a time when I was still new to the city and knew it largely, romantically, as a sprawling Hopper painting filled with golden, melancholy light. In the book, Ms. Levin reported that an interviewer wrote that the diner was “based partly on an all-night coffee stand Hopper saw on Greenwich Avenue … ‘only more so,’” and that Hopper himself said: “I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger. Unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.”

Partly. More so. Simplified. The hidden truth became clearer. The diner began to fade. And then I saw it — on every triangular corner, in the candy shop’s cornice and the newsstand’s advertisement for 5-cent cigars, in the bakery’s curved window and the liquor store’s ghostly wedge, in the dark bricks that loom in the background of every Village street.

Over the past years, I’ve watched bakeries, luncheonettes, cobbler shops and much more come tumbling down at an alarming rate, making space for condos and office towers. Now the discovery that the “Nighthawks” diner never existed, except as a collage inside Hopper’s imagination, feels like yet another terrible demolition, though no bricks have fallen.

It seems the longer you live in New York, the more you love a city that has vanished. For those of us well versed in the art of loving what is lost, it’s an easy leap to missing something that was never really there.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Nighthawks Of the Mind – NYTimes.com.

history, NC, OBX:  I almost cried over the Mother Vine … and I had never heard of it … Partly because I love the Outer Banks and its history and lore.

A scuppernong grapevine in Manteo, believed to be 400 years old, is struggling after a utility contractor sprayed it with weed killer. N.C. DIVISION OF TOURISM

For centuries, a massive grapevine has grown on the northern end of Roanoke Island, and long ago came to be called the Mother Vine.

It’s believed to be the nation’s oldest cultivated grapevine.

Cuttings from the vine, which yields sweet scuppernong grapes, helped sprout North Carolina’s wine industry. The vine erupts from the sandy soil in Manteo a gnarly 2 feet thick, and has survivednor’easters, bugs and mildew for maybe 400 years.

Then a utility contractor sprayed it with weedkiller. The Mother Vine is sick.

Jack Wilson, who has owned half the vine for 52 years, noticed a bit of browning in late May. He found more browning the next day.

It turned out that a contractor for Dominion Power had driven through, spraying herbicides to keep vines from engulfing power poles. A tendril of the Mother Vine had touched a pole. Wilson said a neighbor reported that the contractor “sprayed the heck out of everything.”

Grapevine and other experts rushed to the scene. Dominion Power fell on its sword.

“We feel awful this has happened,” said spokesman Chuck Penn. “I mean, you’re talking about an historic icon, 400 years old, and we are really saddened.”

Wine lovers are holding their breath. Scuppernongs, a type of native muscadine, were the first U.S. cultivated wine grapes. They’re the foundation of the state’s 175-year-old wine industry, now seventh largest in the nation.

via Centuries-old N.C. ‘Mother Vin

news, UGA, social responsibility, career, followup:  One mistake, caught, can ruin a career.  That is a hard lesson.  Interesting line … “He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot…”

“He is the face of one of the top five brands that the state of Georgia produces, behind Coca-Cola, Delta and maybe Home Depot,” said Stone, onetime president of the Columbus-area Bulldog Club. He wants Evans dismissed swiftly.

via UGA fans angry, sad over Evans  | ajc.com.

A source has confirmed that Damon Evans and the University of Georgia have reached a negotiated settlement that will result in his resignation as athletic director.

Georgia athletic director Damon Evans leaves a news conference in Athens, Ga., Thursday, July 1, 2010. A state trooper pulled Evans over late Wednesday night for driving erratically. Police said Evans smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test. He was taken to Atlanta’s city jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain a lane. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The resignation is expected to be announced during an 11 a.m. Monday teleconference of the executive committee of the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Evans has been under fire since his DUI arrest Wednesday in Atlanta.

via Source: Evans, UGA reach settlement; resignation to be announced Monday  | ajc.com.

college search:

For seven summers, a group of college counselors from across the country have climbed on bicycles to travel from college to college on an informal, saddle-bound fact-finding mission that I like to think of as the Tour d’Admission.

via College Admissions Advice – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

media, business model: Just interesting …

The freely syndicated articles have ads embedded in them (which you must not adjust if you’re republishing–though the Guardian notes you’re free to have your own ads elsewhere on the page to drive your own monetization efforts). So by republishing the Guardian content, you’re effectively multiplying the newspaper’s advertising footprint … and this is how the publication is hoping to make a success of this bold move. If it finds its articles grabbed and republished many times–a situation that may happen as less and less big-name news articles are freely available–then it’ll be able to charge more fees to its advertising partners.

via Blogs as 21st Century Newsies: The Guardian’s Syndication Experiment | Fast Company.

public art, favorites, Charlotte: Romare Bearden is one of my favorite artists.  And I love public art … so I will be excited to see the part dedicated to Romare Bearden and the relationship with his art.

This conceptual rendering gives an idea how artist Kendall Buster's metal wire sculptures might look once in place at proposed Romare Bearden Park.

Some might say Kendall Buster’s welded metal sculptures resemble hot air balloons.

Others might see flower bulbs turned upside down.

Either way, her design is a winning concept, said Brad Thomas, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Commission.

The commission’s search committee chose Buster over two other finalists to create the sculptures for a proposed uptown park.

The committee chose Buster’s concept design, in part, because she and the park’s landscape architect have both expressed an interest in collaborating to create a setting for the sculptures at Romare Bearden Park.

Buster’s design also would allow visitors to move around and inside the sculptures and experience them in different ways from each location, Thomas said.

“We’re talking about a park environment and creating some interaction with the work of art,” Thomas said. “Kendall took all of those early considerations in and really brought to the table a commission that will serve us well when the park opens and for many years down the road.”

Buster, 55, teaches sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The Yale University graduate has had commissions and exhibitions nationally.

Last week she installed a sculpture at Johns Hopkins University and has another installation planned this summer at the new Indianapolis Museum of Art garden.

In Charlotte, Buster proposed multiple rounded-top sculptures for Bearden Park, currently a parking lot at Church and Third streets.

The park is expected to celebrate the life and work of Bearden, a Charlotte native and renowned 20th-century artist who died in 1988.

Plans call for an art wall and gardens, a theme in some of Bearden’s work. A memory walk will include colorful paving based on one of Bearden’s works.

via Virginia sculptor will build for uptown park – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, entertainment, Davidson ’82:  Saw Knight and Day … honestly a stupid movie … but great entertainment with Bob and Joni … sometimes I just need to be entertained.  And Joni and I got a good laugh during the Running with the Bulls scene, since we have a Davidson ’82 friend who has actually done it …

IMDb Video: Knight and Day: Trailer #2.

vuvuzelas, culture, FIFA World Cup 2010: Got mine … blue … intended to take it to 4th of July party, but forgot … It is Panthers blue … Will John or I dare take it?

With that note of the Exotic Other struck, we could turn to the question of the object’s future. What happens when the World Cup concludes next weekend and a tchotchke diaspora takes shape? After all, it’s “a must-have item” for visiting fans, The National Postof Canada reported, noting that one South African maker of the horns sold about a million of them (for $2.50 each) before matches even got underway. “I love it,” said one German fan quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. “I can see it catching on at games in Europe.” In the U.S., they have already been given out at as a Florida Marlins game promotion. The vuvuzela sound has proliferated in a range of ringtones and smartphone apps.

via Consumed – The Vuvuzela as Cultural Artifact – NYTimes.com.

Kagan nomination, Supreme Court, history, media, politics, Thurgood Marshall legacy: Do you think the media analysis (legal, political, historical, philosophical, cultural, personal) has been more extensive on the last two nominations has been markedly more extensive?

Thankfully, Ms. Kagan appears to have escaped any damage from these attempts to paint her as the second coming of this devilish caricature of her former mentor. But the justice’s own legacy took some hits, and the truth about his record needs to be set straight before this distortion becomes fixed in the public mind.

First, there are the hard numbers. As a lawyer, Marshall argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29. That’s hardly the record of a man operating outside of the legal mainstream. Marshall’s rulings on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals were never overturned by the Supreme Court, and in most of his appellate opinions he joined with the majority of what was then viewed as a conservative circuit. As solicitor general of the U.S. he lost only five of the 14 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

via Juan Williams: The American Conservatism of Thurgood Marshall – WSJ.com.

When Senate Republicans decided to turn the first day of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing into a referendum on her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall, they made two big mistakes. The first was tactical: Most Americans just don’t know or care that much about Marshall’s jurisprudential style. When they think of him, they think of him as a lion of the civil rights movement, a guy you name airports after. While deriding him as a “judicial activist” and “results oriented” may have been an attack on his judicial craftsmanship, to most of us it sounded a lot like an insult to his legacy. But the real mistake the GOP made in tethering Kagan to Marshall was that the comparison emphasized the exact point Senate Democrats were attempting to make all week: that the court has a critical function to play when the other two branches of government let the American people down. Democrats made that point with some success. By invoking Marshall over and over again, Republicans really drove it home.

via How Republicans inadvertently made the case for confirming Elena Kagan. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine.

IN her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Elena Kagan cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. as her model of judicial restraint in response to questions from Republican senators who want the court to overturn health care, campaign finance and economic regulations.

Ms. Kagan picked the wrong justice. Holmes was a cold and brutally cynical man who had contempt for the masses and for the progressive laws he voted to uphold. Ms. Kagan would do better to look to the justice whose seat she has been nominated to fill: Louis D. Brandeis. Brandeis, who was succeeded by William O. Douglas and then John Paul Stevens, was not only a great and restrained judge but the most prescient critic of the “curse of bigness” in a time of economic crisis.

Both Holmes and Brandeis were heroes of the Progressive Era, when the constitutional debate eerily anticipated the one that unfolded in the Kagan hearings. Liberals denounced the pro-corporate bias of the conservative Supreme Court, and conservatives countered that only the court could protect economic liberty and personal freedom in the face of an out-of-control regulatory state.

Although Holmes and Brandeis both objected to conservative activist decisions striking down progressive regulations, Holmes, unlike Brandeis, had no personal sympathy for the Progressive movement. An aristocratic nihilist who once told his sister that he loathed “the thick-fingered clowns we call the people,” Holmes believed that judges should vote to uphold virtually all laws, even the ones they hate.

If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, Brandeis will be a far more relevant guide as she grapples with the issues at the center of our current constitutional debates. (Disclosure: I’ve known Ms. Kagan for years and my brother-in-law has been her principal deputy in the solicitor general’s office.)

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

Ever since the rise of the conservative legal movement in the 1980s, liberals have yearned for a justice who can not only challenge Justice Antonin Scalia on his own terms, but also change the terms of debate. As her deft performance in the hearings showed, Elena Kagan has the potential to play that transformative role. To achieve it, however, she needs to develop a positive vision of progressive jurisprudence in an age of economic crisis, financial power and technological change. As a model for this vision, she need look no further than her greatest predecessor.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Brandeis’s Seat, Kagan’s Responsibility – NYTimes.com.

music, science, philosophy, history: OK, so i am a nerd … but I found this fascinating?

Jay Kennedy tells NPR’s Guy Raz that his discovery was partially luck. Looking at Plato’s works in their original scroll form, he noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music. “The regularity of that pattern was supposed to be noticed by Plato’s readers,” Kennedy says.

Music in ancient Greece was based on a 12-note scale, unlike the eight-note scale of modern Western music. Kennedy posits that Plato deliberately inserted discussions of music every 12 lines to send a secret, musical message.

What Plato couldn’t tell people was that he was a closet Pythagorean. Pythagoras and his followers believed that mathematics and music were the key to the universe.

“Plato’s philosophy shows us one way to combine science and religion,” Kennedy says. “The culture wars we’re having today — about evolution for example — see science and religion as two polarized opposites. Plato’s hidden philosophy shows us that he combined an emphasis on mathematics with an emphasis upon beauty, music, art and divinity. The founder of western culture, in fact wanted us to combine science and religion.

via A Musical Message Discovered In Plato’s Works : NPR.

Davidson:  Great video about Davidson and it’s future … What Should the Core Values of Davidson College Be?.

Two professors and a student spent a large part of the spring semester examining the values that Davidson espouses. They hope that the video they produced illuminates the range of opinions the community holds about those values, as well as demonstrating the value of video as a tool in teaching and learning.

architecture, culture, great headlines: Midlife crisis for a stadium … 15 years?  How old is the Roman Coliseum?  Are million, even billion dollar buildings obsolete in 30 years?  Are buildings  “disposable” today? Are the financing term and the useful life of a building equivalent?

At the ripe old age of 15, Bank of America Stadium remains a pleasant place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Look around the rest of the NFL, though, and it becomes clear how hard it is to keep up with the (Jerry) Joneses, from the Dallas Cowboys’ $1.2 billion palace opened last season to the $1.6 billion stadium the New York Giants and Jets will move into next month.

via Midlife crisis for Carolina Panthers’ BofA Stadium? – Charlotte Business Journal.

BP Oil Spill, opening lines: I bought gas at a BP station … and admittedly I thought that i should punish BP … but really I’m hurting the local owner and myself.  If BP goes bankrupt, nobody wins … gas is gas …

Does that mean I have oil on my hands?

So today I drove into the BP station up the street from my house. There were one or two cars at first. By the time I finished filling my tank the place was packed. And I felt happy about it. Me, the social worker who will go the extra mile for the injured and underdog, me the lover of dolphins, turtles and whales.

Because BP is us. And the owner of my local BP station is a member of my community with a family to support and anguish over the folly of the  parent corporation. (I’ve been there in my lifetime. Have you?)

There was a thank you note taped to each pump at the station this morning, explaining that the station is locally owned and operated. I wanted to go inside and hug somebody.

So let’s stop the scapegoating and the finger pointing and good grief, let’s  stop making this a political event. We’re in this together. Those responsible need to make amends and pay for this mess. They should do time or pay huge fines if there are criminal elements to what happened. But I won’t make my neighbor any more responsible than I am for our country’s squandering of resources. This is our time to come together and do some soul searching about ourselves.

via I Bought Gas at a BP Station Today by Cathleen Hulbert | LikeTheDew.com.

art, DC: Another article on Norman Rockwell’s exhibit to open at the Smithsonian … “American Ideal”  … interesting analysis.

His heyday was the 1940s and early ’50s, when the accumulated sorrows of the Depression and two World Wars imbued Americans with a sense of solidarity and common purpose. “There was a strong sense of loss,” Mr. Spielberg said. “Because not since World War I had America’s mothers lost so many sons. It was an open wound, and Rockwell was part of the healing process.”

As beloved as he was by the public, he suffered the slings of critical derision, especially in the ’50s. The dominant art movements of that era — Abstract Expressionism, Beat poetry and hard bop jazz — devalued craftsmanship in favor of improvisation and the raw, unmediated gesture. Against this backdrop Rockwell was accused of purveying an artificial and squeaky-clean view of America, which remains a criticism of him today.

Rockwell perfected a style of painting that might be called the American Ideal. Instead of taking place in lush European gardens, his playful gatherings are in a diner on Main Street.

At the time he made the comment he could not have imagined that his work would one day be collected by some of the same museums and individuals who also collect Abstract Expressionism. In hindsight it is possible to see Rockwell and Pollock as opposite sides of the same coin: Rockwell exemplifies the American desire for safety and security as much as Pollock exemplifies the opposing need for flight and rebellion.

The current exhibition offers us the chance to step out of the vast marble-white spaces of Washington and into a world where Americans convene in old-fashioned drugstores and barbershops, conducting themselves with a sense of integrity and fair play, with gumption and whimsy. These are qualities one wants to retain as a society, and it is a credit to Rockwell’s subtle, story-weaving imagination that he captured the values we celebrate on Independence Day without ever having done a painting of American flags waving from porches or July skies bursting with fireworks.

via Rockwell Paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – NYTimes.com.

how things work, The President: I found this fascinating. President Obama’s nighthawks: Top officials charged with guarding the nation’s safety.

salt, bookshelf:  I posted my brother in law’s blog entry the other day on salt and found this book review very interesting.  I think I may add salt to my list of topics to follow. 🙂

I read this fine book in bedrock Calistoga, California, while marinating in

a spring of geothermal hot water. Very comforting, especially since Tisdale

reminds me that there is a trace of primordial salt in this pickling brine, to

which I have given back a few drops of my own salt-pinpricks of sweat on my

forehead, spindrift forming on the bridge of my nose. It all makes me feel a

part of something greater. The Good Book, it seems, was right on the mark: I

am the salt of the earth. You too.

via Article: Lot’s Wife: Salt and the Human Condition. | AccessMyLibrary – Promoting library advocacy.

Apple:  I considered buying Apple TV when it first came out … but I couldn’t see that it added anything.  I think I was right.

“I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this hobby gets turned into a business, the TV space is too important to ignore,” Mr. Gartenberg said. ”The TV remains one of the last disconnected devices in the household and everyone is trying to figure it out.”

via Apple Hopes to Re-enter the Living Room – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.

02
Jul
10

7.2.2010 Molly’s birthday lunch at the Penguin (fried pickles, hamburgers, pimento cheese and the like) followed by sushi dinner at Koishi for 8 (I did not know what sushi was when I was 16) … is there a dichotomy there … the 4th celebration begins today … always after Molly’s birthday.

events, media: OK, I listen with my husband to NPR every off day … and I don’t ever remember hearing this 22 year tradition … I must sleep late on the 4th.

Twenty-two years ago, Morning Edition launched what has become an Independence Day tradition: hosts, reporters, newscasters and commentators reading the Declaration of Independence.

via The Declaration Of Independence, Read Aloud By NPR Staff : NPR.

RIP:  I never heard of Egon Rony, but I thought his obituary fascinating.

A generation of chefs, among them Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White, looked on him with affection, for his stars had got them going. But, though the guides survived, his influence had faded before the age of the celebrity chef, a creature he had little time for. He did not want elaborate sculptures and arty flourishes for food. Give him sauerkraut, venison, frankfurters, sour cream, walnut beigli, a good Bordeaux; and then a cup of good, dark, bitter coffee, with multiple sugars from a clean and unattached spoon.

via Egon Ronay | The Economist.

literature, my past: I did not realize that The Good Earth was now passé.  Very interesting analysis.

Ever since her 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman, Pearl S. Buck’s reputation has made a strange, slow migration. These days, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read — either in the West, or in China) that’s come to fascinate readers.

Ever since her 1931 blockbuster The Good Earth earned her a Pulitzer Prize and, eventually, the first Nobel Prize for Literature ever awarded to an American woman, Pearl S. Buck’s reputation has made a strange, slow migration. These days, it’s her life story rather than her novels (which are now barely read — either in the West, or in China) that’s come to fascinate readers.

The big shift was set in motion almost 15 years ago, when literary scholar Peter Conn lifted Buck out of mid-cult obscurity in his monumental biography called, simply, Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography. Now, award-winning biographer Hilary Spurling has made a case for a reappraisal of Buck’s fiction and her life. Spurling claims that Buck had a “magic power — possessed by all truly phenomenal best-selling authors — to tap directly into currents of memory and dream secreted deep within the popular imagination.”

via ‘Pearl Buck In China’: A Child Across The Good Earth : NPR.

economy, business, interesting facts:

“We’re a lot less tied to the market as a whole,” said Mark Andrews, Habitat’s senior director for U.S. operations. “We’ve been able to keep chugging along at a pretty solid pace.”

As a result, Habitat, a Christian group founded 34 years ago in Americus, Ga., around a philosophy of constructing and rehabilitating homes for low-income families, was recently ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 builders for the first time in a closely watched industry list compiled by Builder Magazine.

via Charity Joins Ranks of Top Home Builders – WSJ.com.

architecture, economy: Great article.

Mies’ signature phrase means that less decoration, properly deployed, has more impact than a lot. Elegance, he believed, did not derive from abundance. Like other modern architects, he employed metal, glass and laminated wood — materials that we take for granted today but that in the 1940s symbolized the future. Mies’ sophisticated presentation masked the fact that the spaces he designed were small and efficient, rather than big and often empty.

Tom Wolfe’s “From Bauhaus to Our House” aside, the trend toward “less” was not entirely foreign. In the 1930s Frank Lloyd Wright started building more modest and efficient houses — usually around 1,200 square feet — than the sprawling two-story ones he had designed in the 1890s and the early 20th century.

“Less is more” wasn’t for everyone; modernism was popular mainly with the so-called “Progressives,” the professionals and intellectuals who commissioned modern houses. But these trend-setters were not alone in assuming there would be fewer servants in the future and that modern conveniences would make housework easier to do, especially in smaller quarters.

Sadly, many of the small, architect-designed houses of the postwar period have been demolished to make way for McMansions. But those that remain, and those we know about from blueprints and photographs, have much to teach us — about the efficient use of space for storage, integrated indoor and outdoor space and the way careful design can facilitate natural ventilation. When you think about how many rooms you actually use, it seems obvious that various ideas from that optimistic era could make the next decade a happier, saner one than the overstuffed times we’ve just lived through.

via When Less Was More – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

art, favorites: I have always loved Norman Rockwell … and never quite known if it was art … given Jack’s interest in Jackson Pollack … I think I may have to go see The Connoisseur!

Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Lucas may be best known for vaulting E.T. and Luke Skywalker into the reaches of outer space, but they happen to be serious collectors of Rockwell’s scenes of earthlings set in a galaxy close to home. Now they have pooled their art holdings and created a likely summer hit in a medium other than film. “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg” opened Friday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, where it remains on view until early next year.

It is true that his work does not acknowledge social hardships or injustice. It does not offer a sustained meditation on heartbreak or death. Yet why should it? Idealization has been a reputable tradition in art at least since the days when the Greeks put up the Parthenon, and Rockwell’s work is no more unrealistic than that of countless art-history legends, like Mondrian, whose geometric compositions exemplify an ideal of harmony and calm, or Watteau, who invented the genre of the fête galante. Rockwell perfected a style of painting that might be called the American Ideal. Instead of taking place in lush European gardens, his playful gatherings are in a diner on Main Street.

Surely the most arresting image in the current exhibition is “The Connoisseur,” which graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1962. It takes us inside a museum, where a proper-looking gentleman who appears to be around 70 is shown from the back as he holds his fedora and contemplates a large-scale drip painting by Jackson Pollock. His gray hair, gray suit and general air of quietude offer a sharp contrast with the crackling intensity of the Pollock.

Unlike most of Rockwell’s other magazine covers, “The Connoisseur” isn’t humorous, and its meaning is elusive. The man gazing at the Pollock is a mystery man whose face remains hidden and whose thoughts are not available to us. Perhaps he is a stand-in for Rockwell, contemplating not only an abstract painting, but also his own artistic extinction. In an interview in 1962 with The Los Angeles Examiner, Rockwell expressed his respect for abstract painting when he said, “If I were young and starting out again, I would try to be an abstract artist.”

via Rockwell Paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum – NYTimes.com.

business, success, internet, vuvuzelas: I have to admit I love it when someone capitalizes on a fad … I hope they don’t get stuck with too many after the fad ends … (Oh, and I bought one for the 4th of July … 🙂 )

Late last year, the 10-employee online retailer ordered several thousand vuvuzelas on a hunch that they’d become popular among U.S. soccer fans. The Birmingham, Ala., company then promoted the instruments mainly using paid-search advertising on Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. amid minimal competition for relevant search terms such as “soccer horn” and “stadium horn.” Since then, the small firm has sold nearly 30,000 vuvuzelas for about $8 each, pulling in roughly $240,000 in revenue.

“It was a massive opportunity for us,” says Jeff Stephens, director of marketing for 365 Inc., which also sells team jerseys and other sports supplies. The company declined to disclose how much it cost to purchase the vuvuzelas or what they’ve spent so far on the ads.

via Retailer 365 Inc. Bets Wisely on Vuvuzelas – WSJ.com.

end of an era, economy, trends: Blockbuster just missed the boat … they got squeezed between Netflix and Redbox.  I’ll miss going to Blockbuster  on a dull Saturday night.

Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) shares will be suspended and delisted by the New York Stock Exchange next Wednesday, after the troubled video-rental chain failed to address its lack of compliance with NYSE listing standards.

via Blockbuster Will Be Delisted After Proposals Fail – WSJ.com.

NASA, followup: NASA reschedules two final space shuttle launches.

30
Jun
10

6.30.2010 … as of tomorrow, my youngest will be driving … times they are a changing …. … what do you remember about turning 16? … the end is near, in two parts (Harry Potter) … John saw Ringo Starr in a restaurant in Boston the other night … have you ever seen someone famous/infamous … I’ve met and/or seen a few politicians … but other than that … nada

food – Southern:  This is going too far … bet they don’t have these in Colorado.

The doughnuts will be packed with Cheerwine-infused crème and topped with a chocolate icing and a healthy dose of red and white sprinkles, said Tom Barbitta, vice president of marketing for Cheerwine.

via Cheerwine-infused Krispy Kremes to hit stores – CharlotteObserver.com.

vuvuzelas, sports, FIFA World Cup:  I am searching for mine now … 4th of July vuvuzela, anyone?

Spicing up boring old American baseball — one vuvuzela at a time.

At a home game June 19, the Florida Marlins debuted vuvuzela-style plastic horns. They were a hit with fans, the players? Not so much. “I can’t tell you how awful it was,” said center fielder Cody Ross.

The good news? After the World Cup ends you can mourn its loss by blowing into a vuvuzuela forlornly. The bad news? That annoying, head ache-inducing killer bee sound? It seems it’s here to stay.

via They Live: Vuvuzela Coming Soon, to a Sporting Event Near You – TIME NewsFeed.

blogs: OK, 35 best blogs … I have heard of 10 and been to 2 … I am on this computer a lot … who finds this stuff?

From the savvy to the satirical, the eye-opening to the jaw-dropping, TIME makes its annual picks of the blogs we can’t live without

via Zenhabits – Best Blogs of 2010 – TIME.

education, twitter, literature: importance of conciseness … and they actually have college courses on the literary art of twitter!  where?

Twitter critics all seem to forget the old adage: less is more.

If you’re anti-twitter because you just “don’t care what someone had for breakfast,” then maybe you’re still missing the point.

At least according to Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News, who says that twitter isn’t just a place for frivolous updates or random links. He says there’s actual literary value in keeping things 140 characters and less.

And he has a point.

Writers, poets and editors have long known the importance of conciseness. As Vognar points out, it takes a lot more skill to make a salient point in 140 characters than it does with dozens of needless words.

And that’s where Twitter’s literary value really shows. Not in the reading of tweets—which can of course be consumed rather quickly—but in the writing. To write a pithy, interesting tweet, time after time, takes discipline (what exactly are you trying to say), self-editing (it’s difficult to stay under the character limit), and an appreciation for language (which words are absolutely necessary).

Time’s own James Poniewozik made similar observations recently, pointing to past literary giants who “would have killed on Twitter.” (Alexander Pope in this case).

From the Twitter novel to the Twitter short story to the Twitter humorists, there is a strong case for how, when done right, Twitter allows writers to use a new form of technology to sharpen the old writing rules.

Twitter is all about what you make of it. And like all forms of literature, sometimes it takes a bit of effort to find the masterpieces (that is, until they actually have introductory college courses on the literary art of Twitter). So when you find something worthwhile, please make sure to retweet.

via Twit Lit 101: How Twitter Is Redefining Writing – TIME NewsFeed.

health, Colorado: This is scary … maybe my boys have the right idea.

Take a look at this map. See that blue state in a sea of red and purple hues? It’s Colorado, the only state in the union with an adult obesity rate below 20%. (”Just” 19.1% of its residents are obese.)

We’re talking obesity here — defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, or about 180-plus pounds for a 5′5″ person — not merely overweight (defined as a BMI of between 25 and 30).

via Colorado Now the Only State With Obesity Rate Less Than 20% – Health Blog – WSJ.

Apple apps, philosophy: Since John and I met in an 8 am philosophy class, I am a little light in that area … so I downloaded this app and made it though about 3 sentences in the first article and glazed over … I am not meant to be a philosopher …

We’re a little way off from a handheld Deep Thought, but since life and meaning continue to perplex, a new philosophy application for smart phones might be the next best thing. AskPhilosophers.org — a popular online resource for questions philosophical — has launched an app — AskPhil —for iPhones, iPods and Android phones.

Alexander George, a professor of philosophy at Amherst College, launched AskPhilosophers.org in 2005 (he discusses the site in his post for The Stone, “The Difficulty of Philosophy”). He describes the AskPhil app in an Amherst press release: “When philosophical questions occur to people away from their desks or computer screens they’ll now have the opportunity through their mobile devices to see quickly whether other people have already asked that question and whether it’s received interesting responses.”

via Philosophy App – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

colleges, parenting, teens: I am so guilty of some of these … Reacting to One College’s Advice for Parents – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com.

news, movies, fact/fiction: Yesterday we met a real life Jason Borne, today a real life Bond girl …

Her Facebook page’s address contains the more Russian first name “Anya” instead of the Americanized “Anna” and is adorned with glamorous, suggestive self-portraits. Many of them are being republished today in the tabloids, with captions calling Chapman a “femme fatale” with a “Victoria’s Secret body.”

via Spy Ring’s ‘Femme Fatale’ Anna Chapman Conjures Bond Girl Image.

Also check out … Deep Inside Alleged Russian Spies’ Tech and Techniques | Fast Company.

Charlotte, culture, LOL: Just plain out funny … “weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.”

This royal theme, while fine for street-sign logos, is an absolute manly-man disaster, public relations-wise. Mention royalty and people instantly think of Prince Charles.

Our honor springs from one of those surveys ranking various towns – which surveyors never bother to visit – on oddball criteria. Sponsored by the snack food Combos, the nation’s 50 biggest cities were weighed for such factors as per-capita pickup trucks, home-improvement stores, number of construction workers and other such nonsense.

And we won. Baltimore, Kansas City and Pittsburgh, well-muscled manly-man hotbeds if ever there were, are left in our dust.

Ridiculous.

We’re such a manly-man city that:

Our top tourist attraction is an outlet mall.

We cancel school because it might snow.

Our prostitution ring was called “Hush-Hush.”

Panthers receiver Steve Smith breaks his arm playing flag football.

Tryon Street, our main drag, has three art museums, but you can’t get a tattoo anywhere.

via Real men don’t do Charlotte – CharlotteObserver.com.

movies, marketing: The end is near … in two parts … The trailer is pretty good … so Thanksgiving 2010 will have a fun movie … and July 2011 … way to build things up.

YouTube – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Official HD.

blogs: Another pretty good blog …Girls, God and the Good Life.

blogs, summer: I really like this blog I found yesterday … amazing what is out there … and the $1.69 cheery limeade drink at TAco Bell is pretty good too!

Sonic Strawberry Limeade is summer beverage perfection. The ice is perfect. The fizzy sweet-tartness is perfect. The juicy bits of strawberry that sneak up the straw to surprise your taste buds are perfect. The ice is perfect. The fresh lime wedge and strawberry chunks left in the bottom of the cup are perfect. And did I mention the ice? It’s the perfect size, the perfect shape, and the perfect softness for ADA-approved crunching. It’s the ice all other ice dreams of becoming but never will. Sonic Strawberry Limeade is a delectable treat from the first sip to the last bits of berry you scrape off the side of the cup with your straw, if you’re unladylike enough to do that sort of thing. A finger works, too.

Better still, it’s half price from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Happy Hour indeed! For one dollah and nine cent you can purchase a 16 oz mini-vacation in beverage heaven. So, what are you waiting for? By my clock, you still have ten minutes to get there.

via The View From Here.

RIP, icons: “most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II” … goodbye, Ms. Shain … I think every woman would have loved to have been the recipient of that random kiss …

It’s perhaps the most iconic photograph from the victory celebrations of World War II, and the nurse who made it possible, Edith Shain, is dead at 91.

via ‘Kissing Nurse’ From Famous World War II Photograph Dies – TIME NewsFeed.

history, archeology, alluring titles:  Come on, with a title like “Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? ” you have to find out!

Did someone sabotage the Egyptian king’s mummy to hide his less-than endowed genitalia? A new report from The New Scientist presents the possibility of a anatomical conspiracy.

Earlier this year, scientists speculated the cause of famed King Tutankhamen’s death to be due to a bone disorder and a bad case of malaria, but just last week a group of German researchers overruled that diagnosis. Instead, they say the 19-year-old pharaoh suffered from sickle-cell anemia, a genetic abnormality in red blood cells that ultimately causes organ failure.

While researching the new prognosis for The New Scientist,journalist Jo Marchant uncovered another proposed ailment of Tut’s. A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that Tut could also have suffered from Antley-Bixler syndrome, a genetic mutation that yields strange physical effects, such as elongated skulls and even under-developed genitalia. (Some researchers support the theory and use artistic depictions of Tut and his relatives, often show with elongated faces, as proof.)

Egypt’s chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass dismisses the theory, claiming that Tut was, in fact, well-developed. However, as Marchant points out, Tut’s penis is no longer attached to the body. After some digging, Marchant was able to confirm that the king’s genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning the postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times. Interestingly, Tut’s penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy.

This evidence has lead some, including Marchant to believe that Tut’s penis was swapped sometime after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from embarrassment of the locker room variety, even in the afterlife.

via Is King Tut’s Penis Missing? – TIME NewsFeed.

quotes:

“To do good, you actually have to DO something.”

Yvon Chouinard

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.

unique, philanthropy, doing good: I am fascinated by this project.

Back in March, I spent two weeks writing about some of the 36 young entrepreneurs who were each trying to raise $6,500 to get to the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder. This 10-week business incubator is designed to give these dauntingly brilliant, inspired, energetic and committed young innovators the tools to get their big ideas off the ground & out in the world where they can do some huge good.

via Something big’s going down in Boulder « What Gives 365.




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