Posts Tagged ‘Warren Buffett

05
May
14

5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings …

anthropology, SkyMall, Want A Tour Of The American Psyche? Flip Through SkyMall, NPR:  I love SkyMall, but I must admit I have never bought anything, not one thing.  I’ve mentioned this before … 9.15.2010.

I sometimes thumb through the catalog and wonder what future anthropologists may deduce about life in our times by looking at SkyMall.

They’d find out that we hurt. There are pages of corrective braces, shiatsu leg massagers, reflexology foot massagers, all-day gel seats, while-you-sleep foot relief sleeves and back stretching aids.

They’d also find out that we don’t want to look fat. There are scads of garments that promise to slim, insta-slim, and superslim, maybe while we try to digest the deep-fried pretzel we downed just before boarding.

Travel makes us long for home and pets. There are elevated dog beds — which, by the way, look like something Scarlett O’Hara might sleep in; pet gates — a term that sounds like a White House dog immersed in a scandal; and pet ramps and stairs.

I ordered upholstered pet stairs for our cat, after seeing cunning pictures of cats and dogs in the catalog, strolling on stairs as if touring the National Gallery. I rubbed my cheek on the steps to show our cat they were soft and friendly, but she seems to have now decided they were for me and still jumps on the sofa.

Travel can aggravate our deepest anxieties. Thumb through SkyMall and you’ll see that we don’t know where to store our shoes. We worry about holding on to our hair. We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue in fiberglass resin. We might not be able to imagine where we’d put the statue, but having the $5,000 to spend on it would be nice.

The current catalog shows a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings.

You might wonder who would order such a thing? I’ll let you know — delivery is guaranteed in seven to 10 days.

via Want A Tour Of The American Psyche? Flip Through SkyMall : NPR.

New York City Rescue Mission, homeless, makethemvisible.com: Change how you see the homeless.  makethemvisible.com

via ▶ Have the Homeless Become Invisible? – YouTube.

Published on Apr 22, 2014

In this social experiment, unsuspecting people walked by relatives pretending to be homeless. Would they notice their family members? Or have the homeless become invisible? http://MakeThemVisible.com

To find out more about the New York City Rescue Mission visit http://nycrescue.org/

via ▶ Have the Homeless Become Invisible? – YouTube.

President Obama, Is Barry Whiffing? – NYTimes.com:  I followed a link posted by a liberal friend who agreed with this article.  interesting … ” A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.”

But that being said, you are the American president. And the American president should not perpetually use the word “eventually.” And he should not set a tone of resignation with references to this being a relay race and say he’s willing to take “a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf,” and muse that things may not come “to full fruition on your timetable.”

An American president should never say, as you did to the New Yorker editor, David Remnick, about presidents through history: “We’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.”

Mr. President, I am just trying to get my paragraph right. You need to think bigger.

An American president should never say, as you did Monday in Manila when you got frustrated in a press conference with the Philippine president: “You hit singles; you hit doubles. Every once in a while, we may be able to hit a home run.”

Especially now that we have this scary World War III vibe with the Russians, we expect the president, especially one who ran as Babe Ruth, to hit home runs.

In the immortal words of Earl Weaver, the Hall of Famer who managed the Baltimore Orioles: “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers.” A singles hitter doesn’t scare anybody.

.via Is Barry Whiffing? – NYTimes.com.

Warren Buffett, Bank of America, BAC:  I think he should have been outraged.  I am.

Mr. Buffett also expressed support for the management of Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.06% , another company in which Berkshire Hathaway owns preferred stock.

Last month, the bank had to reverse course on a stock buyback and dividend-increase plan after miscalculating capital levels. “That error they made does not bother me,” Mr. Buffett said in response to a shareholder question. “It doesn’t change my feeling about Bank of America’s risk management one iota.”

Mr. Buffett invested $5 billion in Bank of America in 2011 in the form of preferred stock that paid 6% a year, and received warrants to purchase 700 million shares as part of that deal. The terms of the preferred stock were renegotiated earlier this year to allow the lender to include it as part of its capital.

The bank was forced to shelve a plan to repurchase shares and boost its dividend for the first time since 2008, after discovering an error that left the lender with $4 billion less in capital than it thought it had.

via Warren Buffett Defends Coke Abstention at Berkshire Meeting – WSJ.com.

Mount St. Helens, LiveScience:  I spent a day touring all the museums near Mt. St. Helens.  It was one of the most interesting of days.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Mount St. Helens is nowhere near another eruption, but new magma is rising underground, heaving the volcano upward and outward by the length of a fingertip, researchers said here today (May 2) at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.

A small amount of magma started pooling 2.5 to 3 miles (4 to 5 kilometers) beneath the volcano in 2008, said lead study author Seth Moran, a seismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington state. The depth comes from the pattern of surface swelling, measured with GPS, and from earthquakes triggered by the molten rock pushing upward. GPS units moved away from the center of the volcano by up to 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) between 2008 and 2013. (Imagine that Mount St. Helens’ magma chamber is like a balloon inflating deep beneath the volcano, pushing everything above it out of the way as it fills with a fresh batch of molten rock.) [Gallery: The Incredible Eruption of Mount St. Helens]

“This doesn’t mean it’s getting ready to erupt,” Moran told Live Science’s Our Amazing Planet. “The balloon has inflated, and it could stay inflated for decades. What we can say, is when it is ready to erupt, we will know.”

The observatory tracked a similar refueling pattern beneath Mount St. Helens during the volcano’s quiet period in the 1980s and 1990s, Moran said. However, the earthquakes were deeper during the first quiet period, at about 4 to 5 miles (6 to 8 km) below the surface, and the magma refueled faster, according to the new results.

Digital elevation map of Mount St. Helens, showing the epicenter of earthquakes from 2008 to 2014.

Credit: S. Moran

Scientists keep a close eye on the Washington volcano, which has erupted on and off since its deadly 1980 blast. Studies of past eruptions suggest Mount St. Helens is more likely to spend the next few hundred years rebuilding a beautiful, snowy peak, rather than blowing the countryside to smithereens.

Even so, the signals from the slumbering volcano are a message to be ready for the next eruption, however small, the researchers said.

“We’re like the fire department,” Moran said. “We’ve got to be ready to go.”

via Mount St. Helens Is Recharging: What Rising Magma Means | LiveScience.

Thomas Cook Train Guide, Redbook, Trainspotters, Train Lovers, Timetable, WSJ.com:  I loved this quirky story about quirky people.

But in Oundle, work is full steam ahead. The compilers hope there is enough traction to make their project work.

“Obviously, you can look a journey up on bahn.de in 10 seconds,” said Mr. Potter, referring to the website of the German railways. “But people buy [timetables] just to read them.”

via Trainspotters and Other Train Lovers Take Timetable to Heart – WSJ.com.

Twitter / GeorgiaPics, Atlanta secret:

BmgsbidCcAAAPDN

Beautiful Georgia

‏@GeorgiaPics

An Atlanta secret, 1,000’s of people walk by this world map near Hooters & Hard Rock and never notice it. pic.twitter.com/KKfaY33hmX

via Twitter / GeorgiaPics: An Atlanta secret, 1,000’s ….

Twitter / GeorgiaProblemz: A simpler breakdown of Georgia. …

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Georgia Problemz

‏@GeorgiaProblemz

A simpler breakdown of Georgia. pic.twitter.com/cvZgzRHT6L

via Twitter / GeorgiaProblemz: A simpler breakdown of Georgia. ….

University Of New Hampshire,  National Model For Rape Prevention:

DURHAM, N.H., May 2 (Reuters) – The 1987 gang rape of an 18-year-old University of New Hampshire freshman by three fellow students set then-graduate student Jane Stapleton on a course that could revolutionize the way U.S. colleges and universities handle sexual assaults.

Stapleton helped develop a campus program that aims to eradicate sex assaults – not by focusing on potential victims and assailants, but by making other students aware how bystanders can play a key role in preventing an attack.

New Hampshire is one of three universities chosen to help a White House task force come up with a plan that could be rolled out at colleges across the United States to combat what it called a sex assault “epidemic.”

“Instead of pointing fingers at women as victims or potential victims or men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, it says everybody has a role to play here,” said Stapleton, who is co-director of the Prevention Innovations initiative at UNH.

One in five coeds in the United States falls victim to sexual assault during her student years, studies show, and experts warn that many of the attacks go unreported.

The program, which goes by the acronym SHARPP, runs workshops to teach students practical methods for heading off potential sex attacks, whether it be forming a conga line at a bar to walk an inebriated friend away from unwanted approach or turning on the lights at a party to discourage a sexual advance.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING

The university’s program is one of just a handful in the country to treat reports of rape as confidential, not reporting attacks to the police without the victim’s consent.

That is important since most victims of sex assault that takes place on or around a college campus know their attackers, and that can make them less willing to report the crime, said Maggie Wells, Sharpp’s educational outreach coordinator.

“Part of empowerment is getting the situation back under the victim’s control,” Wells said.

Some victims come forward immediately. And when they do, the program dispatches student volunteers to accompany them to a hospital where staff collect the physical evidence police can use to pursue criminal charges.

The university offers other remediation options, from moving an assailant out of a victim’s dorm to suspending the attacker from school until the victim graduates, even if that takes years, said Amy Culp, the program’s interim director.

One of the main challenges faced by the program’s staff and 38 student volunteers is overcoming the perception that sex assaults are an inevitable part of college culture.

via University Of New Hampshire Sets National Model For Rape Prevention.

film synopsis, Wizard of Oz:  I chuckled …

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Steve Silberman

‏@stevesilberman

Best film synopsis ever. [By @ShakeNTell] http://goo.gl/7IIcPS  pic.twitter.com/lAFpTpGByk

via Twitter / stevesilberman: Best film synopsis ever. [By ….

12 Literary Spots, London, book lover:  Next time I visit …

A guide to the best (and mostly free) places to channel some of the city’s greatest writers and celebrate their works.

via 12 Literary Spots In London That Every Book Lover Needs To Visit.

And these are my favorites …

4. The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾

6. Sherlock Holmes Museum & Shop

8. Charles Dickens Museum

12.  Shakespeare’s Globe

via 12 Literary Spots In London That Every Book Lover Needs To Visit.

 

 

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:

IMG_6136 IMG_6154

IMG_6156 IMG_6155 IMG_6153

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IMG_6141 IMG_6142  IMG_6151

  IMG_6146 IMG_6145  IMG_6135

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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.

image

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.

01
Oct
11

10.1.2011 … ‎!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday (LXXXV) to my mamma ♪♫•*¨*• .¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ … another end of an era … M’s last SAT … Wohoo! … and “Last” high school homecoming dance (better than last SAT) …

Davidson College, Study Abroad Program: I think the 1968-69 brochure speaks volumes for Davidson College … way ahead of its time.

According to a 1968-1969 brochure, “A year of study in a foreign country, confronting the student with new combinations of old ideas and opening his intellect to the possibilities for the development of new ideas, is an invaluable adjunct to any college program. This is particularly true for Davidson, which has as its goal the development of ‘disciplined and creative minds,’ minds which ‘make relevant and valid judgements,’ which ‘discriminate among values,’ and which communicate freely with others in the realm of ideas. Such study goes far toward making understanding out of prejudice, intellectual sophistication out of intellectual provincialism, and mature insights and habits of thought out of uncritical and adolescent minds. It therefore contributes in the most profound way to a truly liberal arts education.”

With its central place in the liberal arts tradition, Davidson now sponsors wide range of study abroad programs in its history, ranging geographically from Europe to the Indian sub-continent to Africa to South America. The current study abroad program for Davidson students is administered through the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.

via Study Abroad Shapes Students at Davidson — Around the D.

gLee, tv: Spoiler  …

It looks like the honeymoon is over for Kurt and Blaine.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Glee has tapped up-and-coming theater actor Grant Gustin to play the recurring role of Sebastian, a gay Dalton Academy Warbler who sets his sights on Blaine.

Major Glee Spoiler Alert: Big Developments For Rachel/Finn and Kurt/Blaine in Episode 5

Both Fox and the show’s producers declined to comment, but the buzz is that Sebastian is the polar opposite of Kurt in every possible way. He’s more like the male version of Santana in that he’s both promiscuous and kinda-sorta scheming.

via Glee Exclusive: New Gay Warbler Played By Grant Gustin to Come Between Kurt and Blaine! – TVLine – TVLine.

Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, halloween, history, Ireland:  Never heard it was rooted in Ireland.

Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival

21 October 2011 – 06 November 2011

County Meath, uniquely where it all began, is bringing you Ireland’s most electrifying Halloween Festival…Fun by day, frights by night!! Samhain, the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call Halloween, originated in Co. Meath more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marks the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located on top of the hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, near Athboy, Co. Meath. Today, the old Celtic ceremony at Tlachtga has been revived and we mix the ancient past and the twenty-first century with a re-enactment of the Celtic celebration starting with a torch lit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy, Co. Meath to the top of the Hill of Tlachtga, at 7pm on October 31st each year.

via Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival.

Disney World, kith/kin, 40th Anniversary, family secrets:  OK, I am sure my brother (and I only have one)  has been wondering when this family secret would come up.  Our grandparents took the two of us to the NEW Disney World in the summer of 1972.  And we were allowed to go through the park together … and he abandoned me.  I had to ride the teacups by myself … You can cry now. Happy 40th Disney World!

 

Don’t get sick! This photo from 1955 shows some of the first children to ever brave Disneyland’s dizzying teacup ride, formally called “Mad Tea Party” and based on Disney’s animated version of Alice in Wonderland.

via Disney Theme Parks, Then and Now – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Troy Davis, funeral, martyr, death penalty:  Martyr … is martyr the right word?  Tragic victim, maybe, but not martyr.

Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as “martyr and foot soldier” Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty.

via More than 1,000 mourn Troy Davis as a martyr at Ga. funeral preaching end to the death penalty – The Washington Post.

BofA, Merrill Lynch, Warren Buffett, financial meltdown:  Profits, but no joy … they forget that many at ML got their hefty bonuses at the time of the merger … despite hefty losses.

IT sounded like a crank call, the business equivalent of “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”: Hello, Warren Buffett wants to talk to your boss.

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s chief. The bank is still reeling under mortgage-related woes despite recent success at its Merrill Lynch unit.

Only this was no gag. The caller was telling a banker in Chicago that none other than Mr. Buffett wanted to reach the chief executive of Bank of America, ASAP.

The hurried deal that emerged from that early-morning call in late August underscored Bank of America’s predicament: It was the too-big-to-fail bank that, to some, also seemed too big to succeed.

Its C.E.O., Brian T. Moynihan, has been struggling to fix things for almost two years. After the financial markets turned on the company this summer, Mr. Buffett invested $5 billion, arresting a precipitous decline in Bank of America’s share price.

But not even the imprimatur of the Oracle of Omaha has been enough to dispel the clouds. Despite the billions from Mr. Buffett, and tens of billions in asset sales, Bank of America can’t seem to find its way.

The situation has set teeth on edge at its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. But perhaps nowhere is the grumbling louder than in Midtown Manhattan, at One Bryant Park, now the base of the Wall Street bank formerly known as just Merrill Lynch.

DESPITE the pain, some senior bankers are saying privately that they’re hoping the division can become a bit nimbler as a result of Project New BAC.

“There is just a feeling that you can’t make a move on things that make a great deal of sense,” one executive says. “There’s just this enormous black hole.”

Sometimes, he says, the bureaucracy is suffocating. “I like being out on the road with clients,” this executive adds. “It’s only when I’m sitting in this office am I reminded of what a big, burdensome place this can be.”

Mr. Montag isn’t one for moaning and groaning. “At many firms, not just here, there’s a woe-is-us attitude,” he says. “The market is after us, the economy is after us. You name something and people will say it’s after us.”

He says morale is much better than it was two years ago. His advice for the complainers? “Show no fear. People respond to that.”

With that attitude, he says, “people will walk through the fire with you.”

via At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Profits but No Joy – NYTimes.com.




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