Posts Tagged ‘water resource management

09
Mar
11

3.9.2011 … as a lifelong Presbyterian I know little about the religious celebrations associated with Lent … but I enjoyed pancakes last night!

Lent, Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day:

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day ( also known as Shrove Tuesday) is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent. It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes. copyright of projectbritain.com

Why are Pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday?

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

When is Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)?

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday (Easter Day).

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between 3 February and 9 March. (See our Lent page for a visual explanation why Shrove Tuesday is 47 days and not 41 days before Easter)

Why do Christians call the day ‘Shrove Tuesday’?

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. copyright of projectbritain.com

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent. Throughout the United Kingdom, and in other countries too, people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

via Shrove Tuesday 2011 (Pancake Day).

Lent, me: Should I give up something for Lent??  Thanks for the suggestions … And never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer …

 

MP:  If I were you, I would give up tripping on stuff on the floor and breaking limbs. For myself, I am going to give up eating boiled okra
CHS:  found a site that had some great (and funny) ideas. I thought this one was clever: angelmeg said…
“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “

“I gave up worrying one Lent, best lent I ever had. Every time I started to worry I had to stop because I had given it up for Lent. By the end of lent I was cured of my need to worry about anything. “She continues by stating that “This year I tried to give up being judgmental but after three days I had to ammend that to being aware of when I am judgmental and praying for forgivness and the grace to change at that moment ( I am praying constantly, which might turn out not to be a bad thing, but presently is making me a bit sad). This is going to be a long lent.”

here’s the link if you’re interested. http://www.ironiccatholic.com/2008/02/cool-things-to-give-up-during-lent.html

DHD:  I think C is on to something there! My husband made a suggestion for me: sudoku….

Fat Tuesday, International Women’s Day, twitter, LOL:

@lenadunham Lena Dunham

It’s fat tuesday AND international women’s day??? i am receiving mixed messages

via Twitter / Home.

Lent, fasting, social networking, Facebook:

It turns out I’m not the only one considering the social-networking fast. The Wall Street Journal unearthed the Facebook group “Giving up Facebook for Lent,” and a variety of similar groups filled with self-proclaimed addicts who want to test their religious mettle starting on Ash Wednesday. (That’s this Wednesday, folks–two days from now.)There’s just one problem: One Facebook addict’s self-improvement project is another Facebook fan’s snub. A sudden break from your social network–virtual or otherwise–creates a social minefield for anyone concerned with online manners. With more than 175 million active users on Facebook, at least one or two will want to “friend” you in the next 40 days. What to do?

via How to give up Facebook for Lent and keep your friends | Webware – CNET.

gLee, tv:  Family friendly?

A “parental discretion is advised” warning flashes before Glee turned up the heat in “Sexy,” led by the affably game and comically cool substitute teacher Holly Holliday. It’s Gwyneth Paltrow, but mucho, mucho mas sexy.Her second turn as the “I thought you’d never ask?” weirdo sub was infinitely better than her debut in the fall. Back then, she was a puzzle, a loony bin. Here, she’s sly and quick-witted, appropriately adult and seductively saucy in an episode that showcased more of her comedic timing, than her stiff dance skills. All the better for us.via ‘Glee’ Season 2, Episode 15 ‘Sexy’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

science, faith and spirituality: Someday the scientists will find the proof!

More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences. Hear what they have discovered in this controversial field, as the science of spirituality continues to evolve.

via Is This Your Brain On God? : NPR.

politics, Girl Scouts:  don’t think you should mix the two

.

Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie taxBe prepared, lawmakers.Over the weekend, an e-mail went out to Girl Scout leaders, warning them that HB 385, a bill to rewrite the state tax code, would subject their cookies to a sales tax – and would hit Boy Scout popcorn sales as well:Gov. Nathan Deal holds boxes of Girl Scout cookies as the young women kicked off their sales season last month. Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.comThis significant financial impact would take money away from Girl Scout programs, camp support, financial aid and proceeds from the sale that support troop activities and community service projects……[P]lease contact your State House Representative and State Senator TODAY and express your concern in a courteous, Scout-like manner about our Scouts being taxed. Please reference House Bill 385. Sample letters have been provided on the left to make it easy to copy and paste into your own email. There are sample letters for girls as well as for parents and volunteers.The message appears over the name of Marilyn W. Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

via Your morning jolt: Girl Scouts ticked over cookie tax | Political Insider.

education, CMS, The Great Recession: It is going to get worse before it gets

About 560 educators – including teachers, librarians and counselors – face layoffs next year under guidelines the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved Tuesday.Approval of layoff criteria is the first step toward a worst-case 2011 budget scenario that would cut jobs to trim $100 million from the CMS budget. The plan Superintendent Peter Gorman presented Tuesday calls for laying off 395 teachers and 164 education support positions.If the board votes to scale back on Bright Beginnings prekindergarten, those teachers would be added with a separate list of criteria.via CMS to layoff about 560 – CharlotteObserver.com.

politics, religion, Mormonism:  2012 will be interesting …

THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, is in a tizzy now that not one but two of its members, or “saints”, seem about to vie for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (see article) both seem determined to try to test the limits of discrimination.For most of the 181 years since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon, such prominent Mormon candidacies for the highest office would have been unthinkable. Mainstream Protestants, and especially evangelicals, have traditionally considered Mormons a devious cult, not quite Christian and just plain wacky….If both the more pious Mr Romney and the more secular Mr Huntsman, who have been personal rivals in the past, run in the primaries, their Mormonism will become an issue again. A few Mormons may even stoke it themselves. For instance, Glenn Beck, an excitable television host, likes to allude to something called The White Horse prophecy, according to which America’s constitution, deemed to be divinely inspired, will one day “hang like a thread” until Mormon leaders rescue it.But mainstream America may learn to get over its old and unpleasant distrust. The core of Mormon philosophy, says Michael Otterson, the church’s spokesman, is “the idea of self-improvement”. What, after all, could be more American? The church is now waging a large advertising campaign to show the diversity of Mormons in America. “We’re not prepared to be defined by others” any longer, insists Mr Otterson.

via Mormons in politics: When the saints come marching in | The Economist.

Apple, iPhone, changes:

The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. The person said Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also plans to upgrade the iPhone 4.

The new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing talks that are in their preliminary stages, the people familiar with the situation said. Apple had planned for the service to roll out a year earlier.

The new service would give users access to their iTunes libraries from, say, an iPhone or iPad, instead of requiring that the devices be synced by cable with a computer and use space to store the actual files, the people said. The new service likely would be compatible with the iPhone 4, one of the people said.

Some MobileMe features, such as a service that locates lost or stolen iPads and iPhones, already are free.

via Apple Works on Line of Less-Expensive iPhones – WSJ.com.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, The Supreme Court, culture, discrimination:

If walking into such unceasing dialogues has been her greatest challenge, the greatest surprise, even after many years as a judge, “has been how burdened I have felt in the decision-making process because I am part of the final court. I find that the weight of this is greater than I anticipated.” At lower levels, she always knew that one could make a mistake and perhaps the next court would correct it. No more.

via NationalJournal.com – Sonia Sotomayor on Dating, Deciding, and Being the Newest Supreme Court Justice – Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

google, technology, Nelson Mandela: Technology being used for good purposes.

Backed by global-search-giant Google Inc., the foundation of aging South African leader Nelson Mandela is putting thousands of documents on the Internet, from a 1977 letter smuggled out of prison to his membership cards in the Methodist Church.

Google said Tuesday that it was providing a $1.25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to help preserve a trove of photographs, letters, calendars and journals through digital technology.The $1.25 million grant is seen as a possible stepping stone to a broader relationship with Mr. Mandela’s foundation, which is now disseminating digital bursts of his memorabilia through its website (www.nelsonmandela.org). Google is already helping the website with indexing, but it would also like to provide the search technology that will allow people around the world to troll through the life of the anti-apartheid icon.

“Google wants to help bring the world’s historical heritage online, and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information,” said Luke Mckend, Google’s South Africa country manager.

via Google to Help Mandela Put Memorabilia Online – WSJ.com.

South Africa, Post-Apartheid:  Similar struggles in the US ...

As a young engineer in South Africa’s apartheid era, Sandile Zungu was once asked by a white subordinate to use a separate toilet. As a businessman in the post-apartheid era of black empowerment, company doors of all kinds have opened to him.

In little over a decade, the 44-year old has amassed a fortune by building a broad portfolio of business investments, from financial services to pest control. African art adorns his office walls in Johannesburg’s swank Sandton business district, and he drives a black Mercedes sedan to meetings, even if it means traveling a dusty road to a gold mine.

But mounting criticism of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policy that has made that possible is pulling Mr. Zungu and other black moguls into a national debate over how to right history’s wrongs without upending business in Africa’s largest economy.

BEE, as the policy is widely known, reaches across industries, compelling domestic and multinational companies operating here to meet such benchmarks as black ownership, skills training and development in poor communities. Ford Motor Co. last month said it plans to build a center to support black-owned, automobile-parts suppliers. Microsoft Corp. last year announced a $65 million program to cultivate young, black software developers. And Belgium’s Rezidor Hotel Group AB, which operates such brands as Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts, expanded a partnership with black-owned South African enterprise Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Critics, however, say BEE too often rewards people who are already successful. The Economic Development Ministry in November deemed BEE largely a failure, saying it focuses too much on deal making and not enough on supporting new entrepreneurs and creating jobs in a country where it estimates unemployment is 40% for people between 16 and 30 years old.

via Black Empowerment Roils South Africa – WSJ.com.

faith and spirituality, travel, theme parks, KY: Oh, my!

In Kentucky, there are plans for a religious theme park, which has the support of the governor despite critics who say the state shouldn’t give tax breaks for religious purposes.

The park’s centerpiece will be a replica of Noah’s Ark, a wooden boat longer than a football field. Other attractions include a first-century Middle Eastern Village, a Tower of Babel and a Walled City. When Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear announced Kentucky’s support last December for the “Ark Encounter,” he touted the economic impact.

“This is a $150 million investment that is projected to create nearly 900 jobs, including almost 550 full-time jobs,” Beshear says.

via Kentucky Governor Hopes Tourists Will Come Two-By-Two To Noah’s Ark Park : NPR.

water resource management, states’ rights, GA:

A panel of judges on Wednesday appeared disinclined to let stand a ruling in the tri-state water dispute that, should it come to pass, could have catastrophic consequences for the metro region.

People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com People wait outside the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for today’s water hearing. The state will ask the federal appeals court to overturn a ruling barring the metro area from drawing on Lake Lanier for most of its drinking water.

The judges for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals indicated they wanted to send the case back and order the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Buford Dam, to make a final determination of how much water from Lake Lanier can be used to meet metro Atlanta’s needs.

At issue is a July 2009 ruling from Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who found it was illegal for the corps to draw water from Lake Lanier to meet the needs of 3 million metro residents. Magnuson set a July 2012 deadline for Georgia, Alabama and Florida to work out a resolution. Otherwise, the judge said, metro Atlanta would only be allowed to take the same amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when the population was a fraction of its current size.

via Judges appear disinclined to let water ruling stand  | ajc.com.

college, marketing, random:

Big consumer-products companies are going back to school.

Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push.

Universities, in some cases, receive funding or proprietary consumer data from companies for their research. Students get experience they can display on their résumés, and add lively classes to the usual mix of lectures and written exams.

“We are helping students to go out and get hired,” says Randy Hlavac, an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School. “They’ve done the work.”

The partnerships are emerging as businesses are scurrying to bolster their ability to engage with their customers on the Web by using Facebook, Twitter and the like.

via Big Brands Sponsor College Classes to get Social-Media Help – WSJ.com.

autos, green: New green offerings from Toyota …

Toyota Motor Corp. next month will broaden its range of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles with a wagon and minivan as it looks to meet a long-term goal of selling a million of the fuel-efficient cars a year.

Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker by volume, said it will launch a hybrid five-seat wagon and seven-seat minivan based on the power train of its Prius hybrid. The minivan will be the company’s first lithium battery-powered hybrid model.

via Toyota Plans Hybrid Wagon, Minivan – WSJ.com.

22
Nov
10

11.22.2010 … the boys are back in town …

First Presbyterian Church, end of an era, Dr. Bill Wood, followup:  Nice article in the local paper … but does show both sides of his legacy.

Members of First Presbyterian may have been saying goodbye to their spiritual leader of 27 years, but Charlotte was also witnessing the retirement of a minister who had long been a community leader.

Wood, 67, worked with business leaders – many of them Presbyterian – and other clergy to open centers for the city’s homeless. He filled his 2-block church campus with schools and programs for children. He commissioned a fresco of the Good Samaritan by artist Ben Long that has become an uptown landmark. And he chaired the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library board when ImaginOn, the children’s library and theater, was built.

jAnd in 2004, Wood made headlines with his quotable response to Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James’ comment that urban blacks “live in a moral sewer.”

“There are a few moral sewers in south Charlotte as well,” Wood told the commissioners, referring to James’ district.

via Wood leaves legacy of growth, outreach at First Presbyterian – CharlotteObserver.com.

Where were you when?, history, anniversaries:  I was 3. I do not remember anything other than my sister telling me what she remembered.

My first “Where were you when?” event is probably the first moon walk.

Forty-seven years later, it all seems part of another world defined by black-and-white television, the black-and-white certainties of the Cold War and black-and-white racial relations. Even if he had served two full terms as president, JFK (born in 1917 and afflicted with Addison’s disease) almost certainly would be long dead by now. Few remain who were close to John Kennedy (aside from his daughter, Caroline) following the deaths of Ted Kennedy last year and “ask not” speechwriter Ted Sorensen three weeks ago.

Today’s Americans – no matter what age – have become hardened by the shock of wrenching events from the 9/11 attacks to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and the shooting of Ronald Reagan. But for teenagers born after World War II, this was not how it was supposed to be in 1963. Assassination meant John Wilkes Booth and Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at the theater.

via JFK Assassination Anniversary: Eternal Flame Flickers but Still Burns.

gardening, urban farming:  New term … “urban farming.”

Growing food in dense cities like New York might seem like an oxymoron, but why shouldn’t we grow food right next to our plates to reduce the waste? Today, most Americans live in urban areas. And as the population densities have shifted around the country, we should re-examine backyards. They can be more than places to relax; they can be places to grow vegetables.

There are more than 10,000 acres of unused land in New York City, according to the Department of Planning, and 1,500 of those acres are in Brooklyn. On top of that, there are countless privately owned sunny backyards. Farming 36 backyards in Crown Heights or Bay Ridge is the equivalent to farming an acre. In other words, Brooklyn is ripe for decentralized urban farming.

via Is Decentralized Urban Farming the Future of food? – Food – GOOD.

water resource management, history: very interesting.

This tension between Western states was anticipated by John Wesley Powell, the great frontier explorer and head surveyor of the West for the federal government back in the 1880s. (You might remember him from history class as the one-armed maniac who lead the first European American expedition down the then-ferocious Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.)

Powell saw that water management—mostly for irrigation—would be a pivotal issue throughout the arid Southwest, one that state governments would be wrestling with forever. So he proposed state boundaries based on watershed, as seen on his map below.

via John Wesley Powell’s Watershed States Map – Environment – GOOD.

random, culture, habits:  Cell phones = 21st century cigaraettes?

And while it’s unlikely that the negative effects of cell phones are anywhere close to those of smoking, it does raise the question: Will our grandchildren look at us talking on our cell phones the moment our plane touches down, or while sitting in the doctors office, with the same mix of nostalgia and moral superiority that we feel toward those dated characters on Mad Men?

via Are Cell Phones the Cigarettes of the 21st Century? – Health – GOOD.

google street view, random, public art:  Does this constitute “public art?”

Google’s Street View feature has captured private moments before, but “Street with a View” is the first example of public art we’ve seen that was designed specifically to be documented by Google’s roving cameras, and viewed online through Street View.

For “Street with a View,” artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley enlisted the help of a full cast of artists and performers to set up a series of tableaux—including a parade, a sword fight, a rooftop escape, and a perplexing giant chicken—along Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They then invited Google to drive through the scene and immortalize it in its Street View feature.

via The Most Exciting Street in the World – Design – GOOD.

blogs, favorites, quotes:  Ordinary Courage may be my new favorite blog … and I like her quote of the week and this passage about TGIF ..

Quote of the week:

“Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.”

— Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

via quote of the week  – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

-and-

T.G.I.F is based on my theory on twinkle-lighting. I think twinkle lights are so universally loved because they are the perfect metaphor for joy. In our culture we’re taught to believe that joy and happiness should be a constant. They’re not.

Joy is glorious precisely because it comes in moments – mostly ordinary moments. Most of us tend to miss out on those bursts of heart-light because we’re so busy chasing down “the extraordinary light” or we’re too afraid to enjoy them because we know that they are fleeting.

A joyful life is not a “flood light” of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration.

via itiwjm read-along – chapter 3 tgif – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

random:  OK, I am a sap, but I love the things … Welcome Back – Heathrow Airport (T-Mobile).

Jane AustenJuvenile Jane: Radio 4 discovers the ‘sexy and surreal’ tales of a young Jane Austen – Telegraph.

churches, music, history, Charlotte:  I think I will make it a point to go to a service at St. Perter’s.  It is a lovely church.

Carolinas Medical Center. The Urban Ministry Center. Thompson Child and Family Focus.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church founded all three – beginning when it started Charlotte’s first hospital, which grew into CMC. This weekend, the 176-year-old parish makes a new contribution to Charlotte life. This one could outlast them all.

It weighs 10 tons. It reaches up to embrace the rose window at the sanctuary’s rear. It can be as stirring as the fieriest minister.

The church’s new pipe organ actually could drown out the minister if the player saw fit. After all, its message is supposed to reach beyond the church’s walls.

“When we come together for worship,” says the Rev. David Pittman, the church’s rector, “what we’re there for is to offer to God our very best. That includes the music. The organ will make that offering of praise … the best we can offer.”

The organ – which replaces one from the 1930s – is the crowning feature of a yearlong renovation of the sanctuary. St. Peter’s will introduce the instrument with a pair of concerts tonight and Sunday afternoon by Janette Fishell, professor of organ at Indiana University. The dedication service is Sunday morning.

via 10 tons of pipe dreams – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, NC, Great Recession:

North Carolina is giving low-income students more than $210 million in grants this year to help them go to state community colleges and universities.

But that money is likely to slow to a trickle in the near future, when families may need it most.

Of the $210 million, only about $34 million is a sure thing that state leaders can count on; it’s money reserved for scholarships from state lottery proceeds.

The rest will be hard to come by, particularly because North Carolina’s largest single source for financial aid – the state’s escheats fund of unclaimed property – is nearly tapped out.

About 90,000 to 100,000 low- to middle-income students now receive state grants, which do not have to be repaid. Most students also take on loans to pay for tuition, room, food and books. The state grants are layered on to other forms of financial aid, including the federal Pell Grant for low-income students and other grants and loans provided by universities.

via College aid pool for N.C. students is running low – CharlotteObserver.com.

Davidson basketball:  ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Sweet Caroline… Good times never seemed so good ! ♪♫•*¨*• .¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫  … Davidson 64 – Western KY 51!  (Aside – from Lisa –  … Puerto Rico Tip Off Tourney Results: UNC 1 win- 2 losses. Davidson 2 wins- 1 loss. 🙂  )

Jordan Downing has already earned a nickname from his coach: The Microwave.

“He heats up pretty quick,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said.

JP Kuhlman had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Downing scored big baskets off the bench to lead Davidson to a 64-51 win over Western Kentucky on Sunday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.

via Davidson defeats Western Kentucky 64-51 – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, Myers Park HS, UNC-CH, Rhodes Scholarship, kudos:  Kudos to Paul and his family and to all the people and organizations that supported him to win this great honor.

Steven “Paul” Shorkey Jr., a UNC Chapel Hill senior from Charlotte, was one of 32 Americans awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, the university announced today.

Shorkey, 21, a 2007 Myers Park High graduate, is the only North Carolinian to win the Rhodes this year. He’s a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC, where he’s double majoring in business administration and psychology.

via Charlotte student wins Rhodes Scholarship – CharlotteObserver.com.

technology, Charlotte: dead last among 27 metro areas, no kudos here …

A call-quality survey J.D. Power and Associates conducted of more than 26,000 customers this year showed the Queen City finishing dead last among 27 metro areas.

Which prompts a simple question from frustrated Charlotte cell phone owners: Why?

The major carriers, battling for supremacy over a $150 billion-a-year industry, aren’t talking – at least not in the kind of detail necessary to pinpoint the answer. Private media research firms like J.D. Power and Nielsen have the data but won’t share it, at least partly because they market their information to carriers.

And government regulators have so little insight into call quality that, if they sought to study Charlotte’s networks, they would need to buy the private firms’ data.

Still, clues have emerged in a series of interviews and site visits the Observer conducted in recent weeks. The list of culprits appears to include:

Charlotte’s growth, which has strained carriers’ networks and staff. The increasing use of bandwidth-hogging smart phones hasn’t helped, either.

So many cell sites are being built or upgraded that call quality suffers during the wave of construction.

And in some areas, there simply may not be enough towers.

via Can you hear me now? Sorry, Charlotte callers – CharlotteObserver.com.

college, kids, gap year:  I think it seems like a great idea.  More U.S. students taking ‘gap year’ break – Travel – Travel Tips – msnbc.com.

history, future, China: So much for the thought that we were going global … this article just suggests the axis is changing.

chinacover

“We are the masters now.” That was certainly the refrain that I kept hearing in my head when I was in China two weeks ago. It wasn’t so much the glitzy, Olympic-quality party I attended in the Tai Miao Temple, next to the Forbidden City, that made this impression. The displays of bell ringing, martial arts and all-girl drumming are the kind of thing that Western visitors expect. It was

It was the understated but unmistakable self-confidence of the economists I met that told me something had changed in relations between China and the West.

One of them, Cheng Siwei, explained over dinner China’s plan to become a leader in green energy technology. Between swigs of rice wine, Xia Bin, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, outlined the need for a thorough privatization program, “including even the Great Hall of the People.” And in faultless English, David Li of Tsinghua University confessed his dissatisfaction with the quality of Chinese Ph.D.s.

You could not ask for smarter people with whom to discuss the two most interesting questions in economic history today: Why did the West come to dominate not only China but the rest of the world in the five centuries after the Forbidden City was built? And is that period of Western dominance now finally coming to an end?

via The Return of China – WSJ.com.

movie, Harry Potter:  Love the quote: “The key to this franchise is 18-34 year olds and their aging process.”

Warner Bros. executives credit an audience that has grown up on “Harry Potter” with the success of the decade-long series.

“The key to this franchise is 18-34 year olds and their aging process,” says Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “When we first started ‘Harry Potter’ and cast 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, parents drove their 10-year-olds to see the movies. Today, those same kids are now driving themselves to the midnight shows.”

Roughly 10 percent of the first film’s audience was 18-34 year olds, adds Mr. Fellman. By contrast, that age group composed 25% of the audience for “Deathly Hallows.”

via ‘Potter’ Charms Aging Audience – WSJ.com.

history, Oh_Please, kumbaya:  There are lots of myths in history … why do we have to ruin this one … and besides it may well be true.  Tea Party, go away!

Forget what you learned about the first Thanksgiving being a celebration of a bountiful harvest, or an expression of gratitude to the Indians who helped the Pilgrims through those harsh first months in an unfamiliar land. In the Tea Party view of the holiday, the first settlers were actually early socialists. They realized the error of their collectivist ways and embraced capitalism, producing a bumper year, upon which they decided that it was only right to celebrate the glory of the free market and private property.Historians quibble with this interpretation. But the story, related by libertarians and conservatives for years, has taken on new life over the last year among Tea Party audiences, who revere early American history, and hunger for any argument against what they believe is the big-government takeover of the United States.It has made Thanksgiving another proxy in the debate over health care and entitlement spending, and placed it alongside the New Deal and the Constitution on the platter of historical items picked apart by competing narratives.

There are other debates about Thanksgiving — whether the first was in Jamestown, Va., or Plymouth, Mass.; whether it was intended as a religious holiday or not. But broadly, the version passed on to generations of American schoolchildren holds that the settlers who had arrived in the New World on the Mayflower in 1620 were celebrating the next year’s good harvest, sharing in the bounty with Squanto and their other Indian friends, who had taught them how to hunt and farm on new terrain.

All very kumbaya, say Tea Party historians, but missing the economics lesson within.

William Hogeland, the author of “Inventing American History,” agreed. “Across the political spectrum, there’s a tendency to grab a hold of some historical incident and yoke it to a current agenda,” he said. “It doesn’t always mean there’s no connection, but often things are presented as historical first, rather than as part of the agenda first.”

via Thanksgiving and the Tea Party – NYTimes.com.

boys, me, music: OK, so my boys came in on the redeye this am and this is the song in my head … YouTube – Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town.

18
Nov
10

11.18.2010 … beautiful day in Carolina …

Christmas, business, advertising, change:  This was one of my favorite things about Christmas … going downtown to see the Christmas windows.  We took our kids in Chicago and they loved it too … very magical.  Most kids will never have that experience.  Some change I do not like.

Many department stores are competing to add high-tech special effects to their holiday displays this season. Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s are among the big stores deploying computer-assisted animation, projection shows and interactive features to amp up the drama. The goal is to grab the attention of consumers accustomed to the fast pace, interactivity and sophisticated effects of smartphones and videogames.

Retailers’ holiday window decorations date back to the late 19th century, when stores began using large plate-glass windows to showcase their wares, according to William L. Bird Jr., author of the 2007 book “Holidays on Display.” Christmas-themed sets were powered by spring mechanisms, steam and eventually electrical power. Department stores’ downtown displays became free entertainment destinations that families took annual pilgrimages to see.

via Designing Holiday Windows 2.0 – WSJ.com.

Davidson basketball: Let the games begin … I hope to hear “Sweet Caroline ,” soon.

Let the Games Begin! Day 1 of the fourth annual Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off is finally here. Davidson and West Virginia will get the party started at 12:30, followed by Nebraska vs. Vanderbilt at 2:30 p.m. Both games are on ESPNU

via Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

politics, business: interesting …

Still, the omission – let’s call it a “No-bama” — does seem to be a curious lapse considering that Buffett supported Obama in the 2008 elections and after. When people criticized Obama for not moving quickly enough to revive the economy, Buffett publicly called for patience on financial recovery. On the eve of the presidential election, Obama penned his own thank-you letter of sorts, saying he was “proud” to have the support of Buffett and other business leaders. Is this relationship unequal?

The mid-term election “shellacking” delivered to Obama and the Democrats – his words – was at least in part owed to opponents’ efforts to badge the financial bailouts as an Obama intervention, whether that was a fair characterization or not. So in this case, is Obama getting zero credit for the government’s financial rescue and all of the blame?

via Is Warren Buffett’s ‘Thank You’ to America a Dis to Obama? – Deal Journal – WSJ.

special needs, gLee: gLee effect … I like this story … watch the video clip!

The Sparkle Effect was created by cheerleading coaches in Iowa. The idea is to allow those with special needs the opportunity to cheer side-by-side with their peers. Some young ladies are showing us how it works here in the Twin Cities.

via The Sparkle Effect at Anoka High School.

high school, football, Westminster: I like this story, too.

Hardin is spending his senior season serving as the school’s first-ever “student assistant coach” after having his playing career abruptly end last year because of a severe concussion.

“This is my way of staying connected to football, the sport I’ve loved so much for as long as I can remember,” Hardin said. “It has been awful not being able to play. It changed the direction of everything in my life. So I’m very thankful to the coaches for allowing to me to still be a part of the program.”

via Westminster football standout switches to coaching after concussion No. 7 | Prep Zone: High School Sports.

Davidson, kudos:  Kudos to Professor Shaw.  I would love to nominate several professors from classes that I took over 28 years ago … I am still talking about quite a few Davidson classes … the Emergence of Professions, Urban Development, History of Economic Thought … to name a few.

He was nominated without his knowledge by Alex Pitsinos, a 2010 Davidson graduate in economics who took Shaw’s course as a sophomore. It was his first political science course at Davidson, and made a big impression. Pitsinos said, “I had a lot of great courses at Davidson, but none other affected me and my friends to the point that we were still talking about them in our senior year.”

“Foundations of Liberalism” examines the different interpretations of the liberal tradition-from John Locke in the seventeenth century to John Rawls in the twentieth. Shaw begins by explaining that all current American political movements are “liberal” in the sense of sharing a fundamental commitment to the core liberal values of individual rights, political democracy, toleration and economic liberty.

via Liberal? Conservative? Award Recognizes Professor Shaw’s Course for Its Unbiased Examination of Both

Kruger, South Africa, places:  I loved where we stayed … but this looks pretty cool.

With the black mamba tutorial over, a Land Rover delivers me to the base of an ancient Leadwood tree, home of the only treehouse at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve. It’s dead and bone dry, its scraggly branches curl against a darkening sky like the fingers of a fairy-tale witch. Thirty feet up, a two-tiered platform abuts the tree—bed and dining table on top, chemical flush toilet below. The large bed is shrouded in mosquito netting and a small dining table is set for dinner. An insulated cooler stores the evening meal, morning breakfast and your choice of wine or beer. At the foot of the bed are extra blankets to ward off the night cold and a two-way radio to call for help.

The family-owned property dates back four generations to Guy Aubrey Chalkley, a Virginian gold miner turned stockbroker who bought it in 1933. Mr. Chalkley had arrived in South Africa in search of gold and to hunt big game, but his descendants say he became an early conservationist.

Today, Lion Sands shares a porous river border with Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s biggest game reserves. The Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo—are in abundance, as are wildebeest, wild dogs and warthogs. Tawny Eagles hunt from the sky while packs of hyena skulk for prey through thorny underbrush.

via A Treehouse Night at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa – WSJ.com.

gardening, locavore:  I will gladly barter my yard for produce. 🙂

But James Lucal in Seattle has them all beat. He not only brings home the local produce, he got a local to grow it for him directly outside his home. And yet he spent almost nothing for this luxury, and lifted not so much as a trowel to make it happen.

Welcome to “urban sharecropping,” the hippest, most hardcore new way to eat local. In the latest twist in the farm-to-table movement, homeowners who lack free time or gardening skills are teaming up with would-be farmers who lack backyards. Around the country, a new crop of match-makers are helping the two groups find each other and make arrangements that enable both sides to share resources and grow their own food.

via The Rise of the Lazy Locavore – WSJ.com.

gift ideas, food – Southern, books, me: I love cookbooks (especially Southern cookbooks), but I hate to cook.   Cookbooks with a Southern Twist.

gift ideas: I like this one … Holiday CD to benefit Atlanta Humane Society | Atlanta INtown Paper.

food, kith/kin, my dad:  My dad’s hamburgers are still my favorite … “Lindsey Burgers”  They contained both fat and butter …

Most of the chefs make a big deal about the kind of meat served at their restaurants. Mr. Lagasse blends ground chuck, short rib and brisket; others promote their Angus, Kobe or grass-fed beef. Some beef experts say the main secret behind tasty celebrity-chef burgers is simple: They pile on the fat, whether from beef patties with 30% fat content or from patties basted in butter. That alone may make their burgers delicious at a time when supermarket ground beef may contain as little as 8% fat.

via Burger Chains of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Hubert Keller, Marcus Samuelsson and Other Celebrity Chefs – WSJ.com.

water resource management, NC, SC:

“Today is a beautiful day, a gorgeous day for a settlement concept to be proposed to you,” S.C. Deputy Attorney General Bob Cook told the bi-state commission. “I’m here to tell you today that the settlement concept is not only a better result, but it’s a fair resolution for both states.”

The deal is built from a compact that a 70-member stakeholder group from both states previously crafted and signed in August 2006. That pact, called the Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement, is required for the renewal of Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp.’s (NYSE:DUK) 50-year federal license to use the Catawba to generate electricity. The renewal is still pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The new settlement deal places strict drought protocols on any entity that pulls water from one of Duke Energy’s reservoirs along the river.

via Settlement reached in N.C.-S.C. water war | Charlotte Business Journal.

Bones, tv: My other favorite show …‘Bones’ exclusive: A proposal in February! (Plus, scoop on the Brennan-centric and sniper episodes) | EW.com.

29
Oct
10

10.29.2010 P&P at Davidson was fun, but not great. Staging was good … acting good, but loud (were they not used to the mics in the larger theater? … Some men in the audience laughed at the wrong point … they obviously were not used to the subtlety of her dialogue … sorry men.

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, theater, Davidson, review, kudos:  I attended Davidson’s production of  P&P last night.  It was fun, but not great. The staging was very good … 50 scene changes … and they flowed. The acting was good, but loud (were they not used to the mics in the larger theater? … I know the story by heart and the dialogue, too … Some men in the audience laughed at the wrong points  … they obviously were not used to the subtlety of her dialogue … sorry, men. Kudos to Tatum P. who was a charming Mrs. Reynolds.

The Davidson College Theatre Department will present one of its most ambitious efforts ever in producing the North Carolina premier of one of literature’s most popular love stories October 27-31.

The college’s presentation of Jane Austen’s beloved 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice, will be the state premier of a 2009 adaptation of the play by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan originally produced at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Professor of Theatre Ann Marie Costa, who directs the production, has assembled an “A Team” of area theatre professionals and a large student cast to reinforce the script with an energetic, rich production that highlights the humor and complexity of Austen’s characters. She said the new adaptation will especially appeal to Jane Austen fans because it maintains much of the actual dialogue of the novel.

DiFiore said the Davidson production should be highly entertaining for the audience as a “solid, full production.” It will include large ball scenes, dynamic lighting, elaborate costumes, music, and many scene changes.

Music provides almost constant accompaniment for the play, with theme music for lead characters and multiple instruments playing in large ballroom scenes. Davidson College music faculty member Cynthia Lawing played the piano parts on a modern instrument, and Bill Lawing, another music faculty member, converted it electronically to mimic the sound of a piano forte, the instrument played in Austen’s time. Sam Van Hallgren, a producer with WDAV, created the overall sound design for the play.

Charlotte-based costume designers Bob Croghan and Heidi O’Hare are creating period costumes from scratch for female characters, and Davidson College set designer Josh Peklo has built two major automated platforms that will support outdoor and indoor worlds for 50 scene changes. Delia Neil of UNC Charlotte is choreographing English country dance scenes, and Todd Wren has designed the lighting.

via Davidson College Mainstage Theatre Production of “Pride & Prejudice” | Charlotte Area News Local Section.

quote, politics:   From my brother-in-law Gary — “Regarding the President being referred to as Dude by Jon Stewart the other night on Comedy Channel “news”, let us respectfully remember that there is only one “Dude”!”

“Let me explain something to you. I am not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr.
Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So, that’s what you call me. You know, that, or
his dudeness, or duder, or el duderino, if you’re not into the whole
brevity thing.” – Jeff Bridges, from “The Big Lebowski,” 1998

restaurants, Charlotte: actually Belmont … The String Bean is about 30 minutes from my house … worth the drive … I had a pimento cheese sandwich with fries fried in duck fat. Both were very good.  Trobs had the Cuban and the Reuben (I think) … W will go again!

The String Bean Fresh Market and Deli is an experience. There’s nothing like it in the area. We feature a creative menu with daily specials that go far beyond your typical “Deli”. Our collection of 200 beers and 400 wines is sure to quench your thirst. The Market Place boasts never frozen fish and meats…cut to your liking

via Belmont North Carolina Restaurant : The String Bean Market & Deli.

food, I’d walk a mile for a …, facebook:  My review of The String Bean … see above … brought on a fb discussion of french fries … what are your favorites … good enough that you would go out of your way to get them again?

C:  We went to Dandelion Market (Charlotte) partially because they had duck fat fries on the menu, but they had taken them off. Bummer. About a half block from Caroline’s apartment in New York is the David Burke restaurant in Bloomingdale’s. …

Dennard:  If you are in Boulder’s Larkburger has trufle oil and parmesan fries which are amazing …

education:  Great presentation of his position … long but worth the time to watch … YouTube – RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms.

random, culture, blogposts: A grew up with being told woman of a certain age should not have long hair … so I enjoyed this post.

Hey! I missed all the fun! Wouldn’t you know it–the one time I write something that goes viral, I go missing in Utah, without a laptop. I’ve come home from the excellent Utah Humanities Council Festival, only to find my piece in The New York Times about having long hair at 55 jammed with comments, more than 1200 so far. I’m told they will soon close out the commentary section as the people who monitor it must move on to other subjects. I cannot wait to catch up on them, to see what nerve that hit. Mothers and daughters? Middle age? Graying hair? And here is a link for readers of Slow Love Life who missed the Times. The picture here is of my braid, which Theo took last summer; you can tell that I’m not so good at braiding. The picture in the Times is no one I know–but reminds me of a young Joni Mitchell, yes?

via Slow Love Life: LONG HAIR on WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE.

random, culture, Coca-Cola: My sister says she can tell a difference,  and they sell it at Wal-Mart in Marietta sometimes (you find it on the international aisle).  Study: Hey, Hipsters, Mexican Coke Might Be a Myth – TIME Healthland – StumbleUpon.

soccer, student athletes, Davidson: Nice interview with Matt Spear. YouTube – Mondo Coaches Interview – Matt Spear, Davidson College.

media, ebooks, technology, business models: If I were a writer, I would try to figure this one out … $80,000 for short fiction.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, King revealed how much he earned on the story. While aspiring novelists can’t imagine eBook sales figures, it does reveal an audience hungry for digital reading.

Here’s more from King’s interview: “I didn’t do ‘Ur’ for money. I did it because it was interesting. I’m fairly prolific. It took three days, and I’ve made about $80,000. You can’t get that for short fiction from Playboy or anybody else. It’s ridiculous.”

via Stephen King Earned $80,000 on Kindle Novella – GalleyCat.

me, kith/kin, places, Atlanta: As a  child I visited the Swan House because it was the home of the grandmother of my kith uncle.  I loved the foyer … but I vaguely remember something about not walking on the black tiles … funny what you remember …

A fan wanted to confirm that Mrs. Inman would ask people to only walk on certain tiles in Swan House. The story is true. She asked family and house workers to walk on the white tiles because the black tiles scuffed easily.

via Facebook | Atlanta History Center’s Photos – Wall Photos.

politics, silver linings, women’s issues:

In one unexpected result of the scandal, the women’s movement was considerably strengthened. In the 1992 election that followed, voters who watched a circle of white men act like bozos elected more women to Congress than ever before. In the spirit of silver linings, maybe in this election cycle, another unintended result of Mrs. Thomas’ phone call will be a closer look at judicial conflicts of interest.

via Virginia Thomas and the Optics of Faith.

international issues, water resource management: Good video .. Michael Pritchard’s water filter turns filthy water drinkable | Video on TED.com.

blogs, new: Thanks, Max, for pointing this one out … Texts From Last Night.

retail, culture: OK, people, chill … “outrage” over coupons …

Avid coupon users are calling it an outrage.

via Target shortchanges shoppers with certain coupons | Chicago Breaking Business.

19
Oct
10

10.19.2010 … yesterday would have been my parent’s 58th wedding anniversary … I am glad they tied the knot …

Think Pink, Denver:  I was in Denver last weekend and almost every office building had a big pink ribbon on it … I am going to drive downtown and see if that is true of Charlotte.  It was impressive.

random, culture: None of my children’s names are on the list  nor my nieces or nephews for that matter …

The top ten names for girls were: Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Emily, Olivia, Madison, Sarah, Ashley, Leah and Emma.

For boys: Jayden, Daniel, Ethan, Michael, David, Justin, Matthew, Joshua, Alexander and Christopher.

via Most Popular Baby Names in New York City: Jayden and Isabella Top the List – Metropolis – WSJ.

media, twitter, facebook:  Interesting … Conan O’Brien: King of Social Media | Fast Company.

parenting, colleges:  Good advice … I will neither ask the question of others or answer it without Molly’s permission.  Or at least I will try.

Last December, I wrote a post about secrecy during the college application process. I had come across several parents in my community who felt it was important to keep secret the names of the colleges where their child — who in some cases was not the same year in school as mine — was applying. While I accepted this practice as a sign of our competitive, helicopter-parenting times, it still seemed like a foreign notion to me. When it’s my daughter’s turn, I thought, I’m going to shout it from the rooftops.

It hasn’t exactly turned out that way. Fast forward nearly a year, and I’m the one keeping the secret. I’m not really comfortable with the idea, but it makes more sense to me now. And out of respect for my daughter and her desired privacy, I must oblige.

via Keeping Quiet About a Daughter’s College Choices – NYTimes.com.

LOL, facebook, parenting:

YouTube – SNL 683 (Se 36 Ep 03) Jane Lynch – Damn It, My Mom Is On Facebook Filter.

business, economy, Great Recession:  Business ain’t good at the Crystal Cathedral …

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, an Orange County landmark and megachurch founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday morning.

The cathedral owes about about $7.5 million to unsecured creditors. The bankruptcy filing seeks court protection from its creditors.

Officials at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove announced Monday that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a statement issued Monday, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy filing was a necessity because a “small number of creditors chose to file lawsuits and obtained writ of attachment.”

She said the cathedral also had no choice because a committee of creditors decided not to extend a moratorium to allow continued talks about a payment plan.

“For these reasons, the Ministry now finds it necessary to seek the protection of a Chapter 11,” she said.

The Cathedral, which has been a landmark and a tourist attraction with its glistening glass tower, is now faced with $55 million in debt because of the economy and dwindling contributions. Click here to see a list of known creditors and how much they’re owed.

via Crystal Cathedral files Chapter 11 bankruptcy | cathedral, creditors, bankruptcy – News – The Orange County Register.

economics, water resource management:  Again the greatest economic issue of our lifetime …

A report released today reiterates an often ignored problem–that water isn’t the unlimited resource we often treat it like.

The Johnson Foundation has released a report called “Charting New Waters: a Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges,” which details the necessity in developing water technology, as 36 states expect to be facing water shortages by 2013.

Noting that such shortages will severely undermine the economy, the Foundation also mentions that water use and energy use are intertwined. The Journal Sentinel writes:

“Energy production accounts for over two-fifths of all U.S. water use, meaning a big carbon footprint creates a big water footprint. But it takes prodigious energy to clean and pump water.”

It’s clear that the report is meant to spur change in the water-technology sector in the U.S. in a way that will sufficiently address the problem as well as reducing our carbon footprint–the title of the report says it all. Because while water shortages will take a huge toll on the American economy, it’s also important to keep in mind how dire climate change and the water situation will be throughout the rest of the world in the next few years.

via The New Economy: Water-Driven? – TIME NewsFeed.

restaurants, business, Charlotte: I guess the Phat Burrito is not the Penguin. 🙂

National Restaurant Properties says it will franchise South End’s Phat Burrito restaurant.

The restaurant, known for its California-style Mexican food, will remain the sole Phat Burrito in Charlotte.

National Restaurant Properties, which has 15 brokerages along the East coast, will market the restaurant regionally. A spokeswoman for the company says it hopes to have 10 to 15 franchises open within a year.

Phat Burrito, at 1537 Camden Road, has been open for more than a decade.

via National Restaurant Properties to franchise Phat Burrito | Charlotte Business Journal.

invention:  Electrolux Winner “The Snail” Cooks Without a Stove | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

google doodles: I have to admit that when they had this one, I did not get it … I can be a little slow!

Oct 09, 2010

John Lennon’s 70th Birthday. Courtesy of Yoko Ono Lennon/Bag One Arts, Inc. – (Global)

via Google Doodles: 2010 October – December.

movies, technology:  childish novelty … I just can’t get into them …

The question I want to consider is this: Why are 3-D movies so bad?

The problem isn’t merely technical. It’s not the fact that 3-D darkens the screen, or the fact that 3-D effects present spatial depth as visibly layered, as in a pop-up book, that accounts for what’s wrong.

No, the problem with 3-D is conceptual. The whole motivation for 3-D movies is confused. Despite the wild success of Avatar, 3-D movies remain, I think, somewhat like pop-up books themselves, a childish novelty.

via 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

law:  We were in Boulder last weekend and these laws make pedestrians into idiots … but I thought it was always the law.

It looks like Chicago police have a fresh candidate for extending a sting operation that targets drivers who fail to obey a new state law requiring people behind the wheel to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

It’s the Art Institute of Chicago’s new crosswalk between the year-old Modern Wing and Millennium Park. As I reported here Friday, some drivers are respecting the crosswalk’s flashing yellow lights, but others are blowing right through the crosswalk, frightening pedestrians.

When the police select locations for their ticketing blitz next year, the Art institute crosswalk “certainly would be a candidate,” said Brian Steele, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation.

No accidents have been reported yet at the crosswalk. Last year, seven pedestrians were killed while walking in crosswalks in Chicago and more than 1,000 people were injured, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

via Cityscapes | Chicago Tribune | Blog.

food, phrases:  I had the best Peking Duck in Beijing/Peking.  I like the phrase “poetics of its place.”  Question for those from Philly … does this apply to Philly cheesesteaks?

Like the Philly cheesesteak, the Peking Duck carries the poetics of its place.

via Made in China — Gourmet Live.

history, The South:  Great story!

Sherman (below) wrote a letter to a superior in Washington, explaining his rationale.

“They [Roswell mills] were very valuable and were burned by my order. They have been engaged almost exclusively in manufacturing cloth for the Confederate Army, and you will observe they were transferred to the English and French flags for safety, but such nonsense cannot deceive me. They were tainted with treason, and such fictitious transfer was an aggravation. I will send all the owners, agents and employees up to Indiana to get rid of them there.”

Union troops rounded up 400 of the Ivy Woolen and Roswell mill workers (a contingent that included 87 men — some soldiers, some deserters), and then added another batch that worked at a mill at Sweetwater Creek, west of Atlanta, for a total of about 600 people. Five hundred were women and children.

Very few had anything do with the caper at the Ivy mill.

Sherman charged the assembly with treason. That included men, women and their children.

“This was the only time in the Civil War that something like this occurred,” said Hitt. “It was newsworthy at the time.”

via The remarkable story of the French flag ruse and imprisoned women and children of Roswell by Phil Gast | LikeTheDew.com.

spirituality, religion:  I believe this …

If you find the concept of a dead loved one greeting you on your deathbed impossible or ridiculous, consider what I finally realized as a parent: You protect your children from household dangers. You hold their hands when they cross the street on their first day of school. You take care of them when they have the flu, and you see them through as many milestones as you can.

Now fast-forward 70 years after you, yourself, have passed away. What if there really is an afterlife and you receive a message that your son or daughter will be dying soon? If you were allowed to go to your child, wouldn’t you?

While death may look like a loss to the living, the last hours of a dying person may very well be filled with fullness rather than emptiness. Sometimes all we can do is embrace the unknown and unexplainable and make our loved ones feel good about their experiences.

Rather, it may be an incredible reunion with those we have loved and lost. It reminds us that God exists and birth is his miracle that carries us into life. A deathbed vision is his miracle that carries us though the transition of death into the next part of our eternity.

via Do the dead greet the dying? – CNN.com.

Santa Monica, places, travel: I’ve been here and not done one thing in this article … guess I need to go back … 36 Hours in Santa Monica, Calif. – NYTimes.com.

writing:  OK, so I loved this article on writing.  The WSJ really has some interesting things.

Look at the King James Bible, that magnificent repository of English at the height of its beauty. The language used to describe the creation of the world is so simple, so direct. “Let there be light, and there was light.” That sentence has immense power precisely because there are no adjectives. If we fiddle about with it, we lose that. “Let there be light, and there was a sort of matutinal,* glowing phenomenon that slowly transfused, etc.” No, that doesn’t work.

And therein lies the problem. The trouble with overwritten prose is that it takes away from the reader the opportunity to imagine a scene. We do not want to be told everything; we want a few brushstrokes, a few carefully chosen adjectives, and then we can do the rest ourselves. It’s Roget’s fault, of course. I blame him and his wretched thesaurus. Put it away.

* of or pertaining to morning; don’t use this word.

via Alexander McCall Smith on Writing Concisely – WSJ.com.

education: As someone who believes in liberal arts, I think this is horrible.

The State University of New York at Albany, a campus with 18,000 students, announced this month that it is getting rid of degree programs in French, Italian, classics, Russian and theater. The university president said the decision was driven by budget cuts and the recognition that relatively few students enrolled in those programs.

SUNY Albany is not alone in cutting humanities departments. While many large universities are promoting majors like information technology as career preparation for jobs, French and classics do not seem to fit that bill.

Should these humanities programs be saved at public universities that are hard pressed to meet the needs of all sorts of students? Are they luxuries that are “nice to have” but not what taxpayers need to support? What’s lost, if anything, if they are eliminated?

via Do Colleges Need French Departments? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

culture, poverty, economics: Worth reading …

For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named.

The reticence was a legacy of the ugly battles that erupted after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant labor secretary in the Johnson administration, introduced the idea of a “culture of poverty” to the public in a startling 1965 report. Although Moynihan didn’t coin the phrase (that distinction belongs to the anthropologist Oscar Lewis), his description of the urban black family as caught in an inescapable “tangle of pathology” of unmarried mothers and welfare dependency was seen as attributing self-perpetuating moral deficiencies to black people, as if blaming them for their own misfortune.

Now, after decades of silence, these scholars are speaking openly about you-know-what, conceding that culture and persistent poverty are enmeshed.

William Julius Wilson, whose pioneering work boldly confronted ghetto life while focusing on economic explanations for persistent poverty, defines culture as the way “individuals in a community develop an understanding of how the world works and make decisions based on that understanding.”

For some young black men, Professor Wilson, a Harvard sociologist, said, the world works like this: “If you don’t develop a tough demeanor, you won’t survive. If you have access to weapons, you get them, and if you get into a fight, you have to use them.”

Fuzzy definitions or not, culture is back. This prompted mock surprise from Rep. Woolsey at last spring’s Congressional briefing: “What a concept. Values, norms, beliefs play very important roles in the way people meet the challenges of poverty.”

via Scholars Return to ‘Culture of Poverty’ Ideas – NYTimes.com.

economics, urban development, China:  Fascinating that China has the resources to build possibly a dozen of these ghost towns.

City leaders, cheered on by aggressive developers, had hoped to turn Ordos into a Chinese version of Dubai — transforming vast plots of the arid, Mongolian steppe into a thriving metropolis. They even invested over $1 billion in their visionary project.

But four years after the city government was transplanted to Kangbashi, and with tens of thousands of houses and dozens of office buildings now completed, the 12-square-mile area has been derided in the state-run newspaper China Daily as a “ghost town” monument to excess and misplaced optimism.

Analysts estimate there could be as many as a dozen other Chinese cities just like Ordos, with sprawling ghost town annexes. In the southern city of Kunming, for example, a nearly 40-square-mile area called Chenggong has raised alarms because of similarly deserted roads, high-rises and government offices. And in Tianjin, in the northeast, the city spent lavishly on a huge district festooned with golf courses, hot springs and thousands of villas that are still empty five years after completion.

It might all seem mere nouveau riche folly were it not for China’s national goal of moving hundreds of millions of rural residents to big cities over the next decade, in the hope of creating a large middle class.

But determining whether the Ordos-style expansion and re-engineering of old cities is being driven by smart planning or propelled by speculative madness is a prime challenge for Beijing policy makers.

Fearing inequality and social unrest, China’s national government has struggled to rein in soaring property prices and stem the threat of inflation, even as ambitious local officials continue to draw up blueprints for new megacities.

And if government-run banks balk at providing additional loans to developers, underground, gray-market lenders are only too happy to step in.

via In China, a City With Lots of Buildings, but Few People – NYTimes.com.

health, women’s issues: I actually learned quite a bit from this article.

Researchers have found a group of genes that are linked to when women go through the menopause and so the age when they will stop being fertile.

It is hoped the test, which will cost around £50, will be available within a decade and be eventually able to predict within five years when women will go through the change.

Is 66 too old to have a baby?

“The ultimate goal is one day be able to predict when someone is going through the menopause,” said the study leader Dr Anna Murray from the University of Exeter Peninsula Medical School.

“It is estimated that a woman’s ability to conceive decreases on average 10 years before she starts the menopause.

“We should therefore be able to help them make a decision about when they should be looking to have children.

“These findings are the first stage in developing an easy and relatively inexpensive genetic test which could help the one in 20 women who may be affected by early menopause.”

On average women hit the menopause around the age of 51, but some experience their last period in their 40s and others in their 60s.

Tests for menopause looking at hormone levels are available at the moment but they only work two or three years before women go through it.

via Genetic test could pinpoint when women will go through the menopause – Telegraph.

Apple, Steve Jobs:  Apple is too linked to Steve Jobs.

But the fireworks came midway through the earnings conference call when Jobs joined the line to hail the company’s first $20 billion revenue quarter. He went on and bashed the competition in an oddly head-on fashion not commonly heard from CEOs.

Clearly perturbed by the sudden rise of Google’s Android phones, which outsold iPhones in the second quarter, Jobs took a few jabs at the challengers. He started by boasting that Apple’s iPhone sales surpassed RIM’s BlackBerries, adding: “I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future.”

Jobs went on to critique the Android movement effectively, calling it messy and rife with too many challenges for developers and too many choices for users.

“We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so that the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator,” said Jobs, according to a Macworld transcript.

Jobs then went on to discredit the “avalanche” of tablets set to invade the market. The focus of his criticism was the inferiority of the 7-inch screen, an interesting point given that Apple had plans to introduce its own 7-inch version of the iPad.

via Apple Sinks as Jobs Tosses Barbs – TheStreet.

politics, Great Recession: Another interesting read …

“All politics is local,” said Tip O’Neill years ago, a concept that can be paraphrased over and over. For example, Economy. Education. Religion. War. Crime. And Hunger. Particularly Hunger.

Lots of political leaders have been screaming about last year’s stimulus package, claiming it accomplished nothing except more debt; helped nobody. My son is manager of a food pantry in Austell, right in the center of last year’s devastating floods, but what I’m writing is about hunger, the hunger that impacts millions of families in this richest country in the world.

The hunger faced by millions of citizens who have never asked for assistance before, who lost jobs through no fault of their own, and find themselves living on the edge.

People who live just down the road, or across the street, or in our own neighborhoods. And many of them were helped directly by the stimulus program, in thousands of communities across this nation.

Austell’s Christian Action Mission Program (C.A.M.P.) has held four mass food distributions in the last year, handing out FDA food to anyone who stated that yes, they need help feeding their families. It was first come first serve, with cars lined up hours ahead of time.

via Your Tax Dollars At Work… by Mary Willis Cantrell | LikeTheDew.com.

15
Oct
10

10.15.2010 … Thinking Pink all week … taking molls and liv to Colorado … You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply …

Think Pink, White House: I think the WH looks great in pink!

 

 

THE White House became the ‘Pink House’ today in a visible show of support for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The presidential mansion was bathed in a rosy hue by coloured spotlights for one night only, drawing a crowd of tourists, as soon as dusk fell.

October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month every year, by public service groups, medical professionals and government agencies that combine to promote awareness of the disease.

The American Cancer Society says about 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women will be diagnosed this year and nearly 40,000 women will die from the disease.

via White House goes pink for breast cancer | Herald Sun.

lyrics, places, Colorado, kith/kin: Can’t wait to show Molls and Liv Colorado for the first time … and I always think of my brother when I think of John Denver and this song …

And the Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply

Rocky mountain high

via Rocky Mountain High Lyrics by John Denver.

random, college, Harry Potter, children’s/YA literature:  .. lives… breathes.. HP … I wonder what her roommate thinks?  U. of C. senior lives, breathes Harry Potter :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State.

food, my kids, South Africa: My kids would beg to differ … Mott’s Original for them.  Very interesting … applesauce is not a staple in South Africa … or pbj for that matter.

Imagine our surprise when we tasted seven brands from the daunting array of styles crowding the shelves (“natural,“ ”original,” and ”home style,” to name but a few)—and found that our runaway favorite contains sucralose, the same artificial sweetener in Splenda.

via Applesauce – Cooks Illustrated.

gLee, tv: It was a good scene.

The crucial scene involves Sue talking about how she used to pray for God to help cure her sister with Down Syndrome, but since he never responded, she stopped believing. Murphy said that he didn’t care if audiences agreed or disagreed with the sentiment, but he did want to start a conversation and invite people to not be afraid of discussing serious issues in the open.

via ‘Glee’ Co-Creator Ryan Murphy on the Show’s Music, His Favorite Scene, and Guest Star Gwyneth Paltrow – Speakeasy – WSJ.

water resource management, followup:

For a year now, Lake Lanier – which reached devastating levels caused by drought – has maintained “full pool.” 1

via Atlanta News, Sports, Atlanta Weather, Business News | ajc.com.

Desmond Tutu, people, apartheid, history, South Africa:

Despite such heavy thoughts, Tutu smiled frequently. He peppered his conversation with hopeful statements about cultivating “a culture that respects human rights.” South Africa’s “apartheid was not the last word,” he said. He still believed people from diverse backgrounds can ultimately weld themselves together and work together as a society. One of the best lessons of his life, he said, is that “there are some extraordinary people in the world.” He remained, in short, hopeful.

via Desmond Tutu: ‘Apartheid was not the last word’ by Keith Graham | LikeTheDew.com.

Desmond Tutu, people, religion, history, South Africa, 2010 FIFA World Cup: Loved this interview … even the quote about Milo …Molly loves Milo!

Even when it comes to religion, Archbishop Desmond Tutu can’t resist a joke. He begins his interview with a prayer then, asking an assistant for a milky cup of Milo, says: “If you put any water, you are not going to heaven.”

That in spite of all the horror of injustice and oppression, and the sense that those who perpetrate evil tend to appear invincible, the texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good and laughter and justice will prevail. In the end, the perpetrators of injustice or oppression, the ones who strut the stage of the world often seemingly unbeatable — there is no doubt at all that they will bite the dust. (Laughs) Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!”
Anyone who was not thrilled by the World Cup needs to go see their psychiatrist. The pride. The amount of people flying the flag. It was just crazy! We have shown the world. We have shown ourselves. We can meet deadlines. We build state of the art stadiums. We can actually control crime. We have got the ability. We [can] make every South African proud [and] feel they matter. One has a great, great exhilaration about the possibilities. [Then there are] the young people in our country. They take your breath away. Man! They really can make this country hum. The sky is the limit now. So I am excited about that. My sense is that we are a scintillating success waiting to happen.

via Retiring from Public Life, Desmond Tutu Reflects on God, Forgiveness and South Africa’s Future – TIME.

culture, media: Another woman thrown into the spotlight by a philandering husband … but why is this an occasion to bash Jenny Sanford.

Marta Salinas, the Chilean miner’s wife who stayed home to watch her husband Yonni Barrios’ miraculous rescue on TV (so he could greet his mistress), out-classed Jenny Sanford in the cheated-on-wife category. Senora Salinas’ husband was the 21st in the line of men who one by one came up a straw tube Wednesday to a very different world than the one they tunneled away from last August.

Television crews, book agents, long lost family members and a watching world were there to greet them. Their extraordinary grace after spending more than two months trapped half a mile underground (the first 17 days with no contact from above), and the order, mutual trust, cooperation and respect they apparently maintained among themselves in their cavern, epitomized the complete civilized inverse of Lord of the Flies social behavior.

Apparently that dignity extended to their families. Barrios’ wife of 28 years told the New York Times, “He has another companion,” and added, “I’m happy for him, and if he remakes his life, good for him.”

via Wronged Wife of Chilean Miner Out-Classes Jenny Sanford.

history, random: punch drunk …

punch is misunderstood. It has a serious, largely unappreciated pedigree, flagged by cameos in the 18th- and 19th-century novels of Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray and Henry Fielding, Mr. Wondrich said.

To reintroduce and redeem it as something less blandly sugary and fizzy — as something nobler and better — than what most of us typically encounter is the mission he has taken on, and who better for it? His interest in history runs as deep as his thirst for beverage experiences on the banks of the mainstream, and he has the handsomest punch ladle I’ve ever laid eyes on, more than 200 years old, with a whalebone handle. He got it on eBay two years ago, and it perfectly suits him. Mr. Wondrich himself looks vintage, his bushy trademark goatee less an ironic statement than a slightly dandyish nod to the chin topiary of yesteryear.

The above punch bona fides, along with many others, are on eloquent display in his new book, “Punch,” to be published by Perigee on Nov. 2. In his fetchingly wonky way, Mr. Wondrich, 49, has given the book not just a subtitle, “The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl,” but also a sub-subtitle, “An Anecdotal History of the Original Monarch of Mixed Drinks, With More Than Forty Historic Recipes, Fully Annotated, and a Complete Course in the Lost Art of Compounding Punch.” I quote it in its entirety because it describes “Punch” as succinctly as I could.

As in one of his previous books, “Imbibe!,” a highly regarded look at the American cocktail pioneer Jerry Thomas, Mr. Wondrich trots out staggering amounts of research, producing a work of sociology and anthropology as much as mixology. But this one has a bit of a hurdle to clear.

All this fuss over … punch?

Mr. Wondrich admitted that not too many years ago, he also thought of it “as a category without respect — and not deserving of it. Punch was either stupidly frilly or stupidly basic.”

via The Tipsy Diaries – Punch, the Drink of Dickens, Redeemed – NYTimes.com.

mascots, The South, pc-ness:  I love it when there is a reason for a mascot … so Old Miss choose a bear to replace their very politically incorrect Colonel Reb … why the bear … read on …

Colonel Reb, meet your replacement.

A decision by the University of Mississippi to replace Colonel Reb, the school’s longtime mascot, with the Rebel Black Bear is meeting some resistance.

Colonel Reb was formerly the University of Mississippi’s mascot.

On Thursday, the University of Mississippi announced the successor to its former mascot, a white-goateed, cane-toting Southern plantation owner that many have criticized as racist and anachronistic. The new mascot? The Rebel Black Bear.

Supporters of the old mascot were quick to find flaws. For one, an artist’s design shows a brown bear, not a black one. The animal was chosen based on the short story “The Bear” by William Faulkner, himself a former student, in which a bear is killed. Not exactly inspiring on the football field. And how original is a bear mascot?

via Ole Miss Resolves One Mascot Controversy and Creates Another – NYTimes.com.

pop ups, business model, NYC:  Again, I love this idea of a pop up business … but this one is only around for three weeks … not fair!

Waris Ahluwalia–best known for his appearances in Wes Anderson films and for his self-made “House of Waris” jewelry brand–has launched a pop-up tea room in New York City, open for only ten days.

“I always knew I would do tea,” Waris tells Fast Company. And he finally got the chance when he issued the House of Waris Design Challenge–the winner of which was Swiss architect, Christian Wassmann–and then took over a temporary pop-up space under the New York City High Line and created the House of Waris Tea Room. It serves Darjeeling tea, biscuits from England, and of course hosts Playboy parties. As for the tea itself? “I brought to market a product in three weeks,” says Waris, implying just how entrepreneurial the actor really is.

via Wes Anderson’s Waris Ahluwalia Pops Up a Tea Room Under NYC High Line | Fast Company.

education, science: Do you engage in free choice science learning?  Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Much of my information derives from an excellent article in the American Scientist by John Falk and Lynn Dierking. They present studies showing that school is not where most Americans learn most of their science. Instead, knowledge is acquired via what is called informal science education or free-choice science learning. And while Falk and Dierking stress that current efforts to improve formal science education should be pursued with vigor, they lift up the imperative to also maximize opportunities for adults to pursue inherent levels of curiosity relating to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

So how do Americans engage in free-choice science learning?

Studies indicate a variety of sources. Adults may be pursuing a hobby, like gardening or tropical fish or star gazing, and devour relevant information. They may take their children to science museums and zoos and pick up information and curiosity in the process. They may be afficionados of NOVA or Discovery Channel. They may consult the internet when they — or family members — incur a disease or when a disaster like the Gulf oil spill occurs, seeking to better understand what’s going on. They may bookmark 13.7 or Chet Raymo or Carl Zimmer or Kahn or Seed and avail themselves of scientists’ attempts to make their passions accessible. They may frequent a science café.

via Stronger And Smarter: Informal Science Learning In Rural American Libraries : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

random, writing, history: Interesting thought … does a good editor check these things today?

Betsy, Peggy, and Sally all strike me as common 18th century names, but Linda really does not. However, it was a very common name when Johnny Tremain was written (1944), so I have a feeling that’s how it snuck in. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the author for including what seems like such an anachronism in an otherwise well-researched book, but I did learn something important from her slipup: Always be conscious of what you name your characters, even the minor ones.

People’s names and how they’re chosen say a lot about a given culture, and giving your characters names that accurately reflect the time period you’re writing about is another way to make your setting richer. Were names chosen from the Bible? From words that have positive connotations in that culture’s native language? Look at inscriptions, censuses, birth and baptismal records. (And if your novel takes place in 20th century America, the Social Security Administration has lists of the 1000 most popular baby names for every year since 1880.) But please, don’t take a name that’s popular today and give it to a Puritan child – unless it’s that rare name that can survive the ages.

via Wonders & Marvels — A Community for Curious Minds who love History, its Odd Stories, and Good Reads.

restaurants, business models: One of my favorite restaurants, Panera, is trying a slightly different business model?  What would you pay, more or less?

Around 4,000 people a week visit the restaurant, which is operated as a non-profit entity under the brand Panera Cares. About 65% pay the recommended amount. The remainder are roughly divided between over-payers and those who pay less or nothing. An attempt by cynics working in a nearby courthouse to break the system by paying pennies for an armful of sandwiches and soups was blocked by limiting the offer to one meal per person in the restaurant. The store is close to breaking even. There are plans to open more “shared responsibility” restaurants soon, including one in Detroit—albeit in the sort of neighbourhood where many people should be able to afford the full asking price.

via Fast-food restaurants: Dough rising | The Economist.

advertising, twitter, facebook: Do you follow any companies or products?  I follow the airlines on twitter and a few on fb …

HOW much attention is a big annual conference for marketers paying to the growing importance of social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help reach consumers? Well, speakers are saying “fans,” “like” and “hash tag” almost as often as “touch points,” “benchmark” and “prioritize.”

But if the results of a survey taken during the opening general session of the conference on Thursday are projectable on a large scale, marketers may still need some schooling on the dos and don’ts of social media. Asked to describe how its use has affected sales, 13 percent replied that they did not use social media at all. Eleven percent said sales had increased a lot, 34 percent said sales increased “some” and 42 percent said they had seen no change.

The success of the “Smell like a man, man” campaign for Old Spice was fueled by its acceptance in social media, Mr. Pritchard said, listing examples like the 140 million times that video clips for Old Spice — official ones created by the company and parodies created by consumers — had been viewed on YouTube.

The brand’s followers on Twitter increased by 2,700 percent, he added; they now total almost 120,000.

The currency the campaign has earned in social media has pushed it into the popular culture. Mr. Pritchard showed the audience a spoof that was recently introduced by Sesame Workshop in which Grover suggests that his young viewers “smell like a monster on Sesame Street.”

The Coca-Cola Company, which already has several feeds on Twitter, plans to soon add another, Joseph V. Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer, said in an interview before his speech on Thursday.

The new feed will be for company news, he said, joining, among others, one for the Coca-Cola brand (twitter.com/CocaCola), one for the exhibit at corporate headquarters (twitter.com/WorldofCocaCola) and one written in the voice of Dr. John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola (twitter.com/docpemberton).

via Advertising – Marketers Compare Notes on Using Social Media – NYTimes.com.

history:  Can you guess what the 100th item was? BBC – A History of the World: Neil MacGregor unveils the 100th object.

creativity, business, motivation: what would you do?

What we should be is inspired by the model of the MacArthur awards. If you’re in management, any slack time you give a talented employee to pursue an idea is a mini “genius grant.” It doesn’t have to be a half-million dollars — a chunk of release time might suffice. The key, really, is the signal that such creativity is valued and the recognition that people tend to come up with great stuff when they’re allowed to take an occasional flyer.

I’m curious to hear from HBR readers how creativity is cultivated in the ranks of their organizations. Does your management give out anything resembling a genius grant? And here’s what I’m most curious to hear: if you got one — say half a million to build on your past work and push it into interesting new territory — what would you do?

via Award Your Own Genius Grants – Julia Kirby – Our Editors – Harvard Business Review.

business models, economy, csr: socially responsible giant?

Wal-Mart has made a push to show it is a socially responsible giant; it now, for instance, offers better health benefits than most of its retail rivals, and is requiring suppliers to limit their carbon emissions. Yet Wal-Mart has struggled at cracking the big cities amid stiff opposition from organized labor—even as its archrival, Target Corp., and other big-box chains such as Best Buy Co. make a steady march into urban areas with similar products, stores and nonunion workers.

via Wal-Mart to Go Smaller in U.S. – WSJ.com.

architecture, design, movies:  Three of my favorite topics all rolled into one.

The first US film festival celebrating the creative spirit of architecture and design will feature a dynamic selection of feature length films, documentaries and shorts.

via Architecture and Design Film Festival.

Molly, family, idiosyncracies, kith/kin, history: Molly used to drive me crazy asking the question, “So who was the first person on the highway?”

On this day in 1915, Atlanta welcomed the Dixie Highway Motorcade, the first group of tourists to use the newly completed Dixie Highway.

via Facebook | Atlanta History Center.

Apps:  So what do you think an augmented reality app is? 🙂  Four Augmented Reality Apps You Actually Want on Your iPhone | Mac|Life.

resources, libraries, kudos, Charlotte:  Nice resource, although dated, PLCMC!  Hornets’ Nest.

random, nicknames, Charlotte: Can you think of any others?

The Queen City, The QC, Crown Town, and The Hornet’s Nest are all nicknames for Charlotte, North Carolina, US.

via Charlotte, NC: “The Hornet’s Nest” :: Try Handmade.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 618 other followers

May 2020
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31